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Building on the legacy of the CF concert grand, Yamaha launched their new CF Series in 2010, incorporating a host of revised design elements developed during 19 years of research. The CX Series took these developments a step further for Yamaha’s 125th anniversary in 2012, while the latest SX Series (2017) incorporates Yamaha’s accelerated wood reforming process known as A.R.E.

Yamaha’s excellence in the acoustic arena continues to be matched by their digital offering. The company introduced TransAcoustic technology in 2013, combining the best of both worlds in instruments that offer acoustic, digital and SILENT capabilities. Meanwhile, the 30th anniversary of Disklavier was marked in 2016 by the release of its seventh iteration, ENSPIRE, which provides full recording and playback functionality. The most recent addition to the Yamaha stable is the Clavinova 700 Series (2020), which takes the sound quality and playability of previous digital pianos to a new level.

International venues and conservatoires that own a CFX include London’s Royal Festival Hall, Berlin Philharmonie and Liszt Academy in Budapest, while Yamaha’s growing roster of classical piano artists features JohnEfflam Bavouzet, Mariam Bastashvili, Artur Pizarro and Jerome Rose.

Since 2008, the Yamaha Corporation has also owned the Viennese piano manufacturer Bösendorfer (see pages 16-20).

CURRENT INSTRUMENTS Acoustic pianos Yamaha pianos are celebrated for their clear and bright sound. Premium instruments in lines developed over the past decade offer the widest range of tone colours due to their enhanced design and construction. The CF Series comprises three handcrafted models, including Yamaha’s flagship CFX. These instruments are built from the highest quality materials and feature a treble ‘bell’ to enhance their tone. The method for crowning the soundboard has also been modified for greater resonance. The newer SX Series is constructed along similar lines but has a thicker rim prepared using Yamaha’s patented Acoustic Resonance Enhancement process for aging wood. A new hammer design with more elastic felt promises ‘well-balanced density across the full range from bass to treble’. The CF and SX ranges are complemented by the mid-priced CX Series, which incorporates several of the same design features.

Yamaha’s largest upright pianos are manufactured in Japan, while smaller models (not listed here) are produced in Indonesia.

Both instruments in the flagship SU Series possess a resonant bass, advanced hammer design and superb soundboard. Hot on its heels comes the SE Series, which boasts excellent craftsmanship and voicing, while the U Series and YUS (aka Super U) also receive individual attention from technicians to guarantee their mellow tone.

Pricing of Yamaha’s uprights begins at £9,941 for the U1 in ebony, up to £23,972 for the SU7. Top prices for the three grand piano series in polished ebony are £46,241 (C7X), £67,996 (S7X) and £142,978 (CFX). All models are available in a variety of finishes at an additional cost.

Yamaha grand pianos Model Length cm Weight kgs CFX 274 491 CF6 212 409 CF4 190 366 S7X 227 410 S6X 212 390 S5X 200 350 S4X 186 330 C7X 227 415 C6X 212 405 C5X 200 350 C3X 186 320 C2X 173 305 C1X 161 290 C3 Studio 186 320 GC2 173 305 CG1 161 290 GB1K 151 261 Yamaha upright pianos Model Height cm Weight kgs SU7 131 273 SU118 118 230 SE132 132 252 SE122 122 241 YUS5 131 253 YUS3 131 247 YUS1 121 229 U3 131 246 U1 121 228 SILENT pianos Yamaha offers a SILENT option for most acoustic pianos (except the CF Series), allowing players to ‘mute’ the instrument’s strings and listen to digitally generated voices through headphones without compromising on feel. Sampled voices include the Yamaha CFX and Bösendorfer Imperial concert grands, while Virtual Resonance Modelling (VRM) replicates string and soundboard resonances. Binaural sampling guarantees an immersive listening experience.

International Piano Guide to Instruments & Accessories 77

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