A Really Solid Gig Board
The Good: There is an enormous selection of outstanding acoustic piano sounds, so many that it is hard to choose which one to play. The string resonance effect on the pianos is really, really good and might make this board even usable in the studio. On stage, the mono piano patches sound incredible and cut through the mix better than anything I have used in the past. The EP's, pads, brass, and strings are all really outstanding, especially the lush pads and punchy brass sections. It's so nice to just select these sounds and not have to fuss or tweak at all, they are perfect as is. Punchy and realistic drum kits are bonus. Layers and splits are as easy as it gets.
The Bad: The organs are totally useless, but this is to be expected with Yamaha, they have never had good organ sounds on any of their keyboards. The Vintage C3, Soft Organ, and Jazz Organ, are fine in a pinch, but surprisingly there is no fast leslie switching on any of the organs? Flip the mod wheel, and what you get is an Ethel Murman modulation warble that sounds...well, terrible. The transistor organs sound good though for the one or two times you need that sound. Synth patches are just okay, but how many mini moog solos do you really take in a night? Not that big of a loss. Not enough Rhoades patches, only 3. There are several wurly's though. Way too many DX/FM piano sounds. Who actually uses the DX7 sounds anymore? Well, you get something like 15 DX piano patches like it or not. There is only one fretted electric bass sound, finger bass, and it is not as warm as I would like it but it works. Acoustic bass sounds great though. The build quality of this keyboard is unimpressive. Plastic everywhere, which gives it a cheapish feel and look. The much more expensive CP4 is no better either, identical actually.
Verdict: The pros of this keyboard far outweigh the cons. You will not find better sounding pianos. Compared to the Korg SV-1 I had before, the CP40 has far better acoustic pianos, which is saying alot because the SV1 is no slouch. Slightly better action on the SV1, better ep's on the SV1, better build on the SV1, but way more sounds and features on the CP40 which is why I switched, it's better for the gig. Sweetwater has this board priced right, it is not worth more than $1400. What about the CP4? Unless you want the slightly better action, more sounds, and more zones, I would save your money and do the CP40.
Great service as always from Paul Rowan. Sweetwater is the best!