What do Yamaha CLP, CSP and CVP mean?

The letters used in the Yamaha Clavinova models can be confusing. Let's try and clear things up and help you decide which one is for you!

Chris Hammond

So the C series of Yamaha keyboards are all Clavinovas, meaning they have the look, shape, and style of a real piano. They are a digital piano in popular demand for those who are looking for a traditional style of piano cabinet, yet still want to have the advantage of volume control and different voices to play with.

Yamaha CVP models

The ‘CVP’ model stands for Clavinova Versatile Piano, meaning they carry the vast amount of features a keyboard has, whilst still holding very well to the traits of a real piano in terms of the feel and look.

One of the stand-out features for the CVP series is its ability to play many different backing tracks in all different styles for you to play along to.

A really nice touch Yamaha has added to the CVP is its ability to host a microphone as well as on-screen lyrics for you to sing along to, karaoke-style, to many of the piano’s professionally arranged accompaniments that are built-in.

The CVP by Yamaha really is an outstanding keyboard, allowing you to have endless fun, whether you are a professional working concert pianist, or you’re using the keyboard as a family instrument to have some fun bonding time around, or you are a hobbyist and just love to play on those peaceful afternoons until your heart’s content.

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Yamaha CLP models

Moving onto the Yamaha CLP, this is the model most people associate the Clavinova keyboard with, due to its increased focus on being styled classically like a traditional piano.

Attention has been paid to the design and detail of its appearance, and less focus on having many different features and options to spend hours playing around with.

So in my opinion, this piano can act as a bit of a Marmite model, loved by some for its simplicity in terms of features and buttons, yet accuracy in terms of holding to the feel of an acoustic, but disliked by some who may be after more of an entertaining and engaging instrument that will give them more options and features to play with.

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There are adjustments made to the features of the CLP series as you go up through the range, however, they mainly focus on sound quality and touch/feel of the instrument replicating that of an acoustic piano.

For example, as you go up to the higher models, you receive wooden/ ivory keys and hammer graded action. So for those who would like a piano, but need to control the volume due to noise complaints or if you need one that is more in your price range, the CLP series is perfect for you.

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Yamaha CSP models

Lastly, the CSP series. This is the ‘smart piano’ of the three, due to the fact that everything you do is controlled via the screen which displays your information on ‘the smart pianist’ app.

This is great for those who don’t want to have to deal with lots of different buttons and would prefer a more straightforward, simple-looking keyboard to suit the room it is in.

Another “Smart” feature of the CSP series is the Stream Lights function. When you select a song to play, either from the built-in songs or from your own music library, the sheet music will be displayed on the screen and lights will show in the panel above the keys to indicate the correct notes.

So this piano does a great job at looking the part, with its slick, clean appearance, as well as holding many of the features of the CVP series, using the Yamaha SmartPianist app to do so, giving you lots of freedom and potential in terms of practicing and improving too.

This keyboard will perfectly suit those who would like a blend of the two above series pianos. (CLP and CVP)

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So to summarise, the CVP series of Clavinova digital piano is the more versatile, technical keyboard, having many different to play around with.

Whilst the CLP is more of a traditional acoustic piano styled piano, with fewer features to play with and more perks in terms of the way it looks and feels to play, and the CSP keyboard is the ideal piano if you’re after a simple, modern-looking piano that would look nice in most household settings and still give you many different options and features to use via the Smart Pianist app.

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Chris Hammond Manager
Chris is the manager of and the driving force behind the demonstration, comparison and review videos that we feature on our website. He is responsible for overseeing all areas of the sales and marketing team, with extensive product knowledge and many years of experience as a musician and composer.

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