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In 1976, Yamaha released the first of its CP series stage pianos. These "electric grands" became instant classics with their authentic sound and live performance convenience. Thirty years later, Yamaha celebrates those milestone keyboards by unveiling the the new CP300 and CP33.

Drawing on Yamaha's rich tradition and experience, these instruments give the live performer all the sound and expressiveness of a grand piano with the portability and versatility of a modern digital instrument. The professional 88-note, weighted action portable stage pianos with enhanced performance and MIDI controller features are equally at home on the stage or in the studio.

"The CP300 and the CP33 represent the rebirth of the legendary CP series, which served as the professional musicians' stage piano of choice," said Dane Madsen, marketing manager, Digital Pianos, Pro Audio and Combo Division, Yamaha Corporation of America. "With Yamaha's trademark emphasis on touch and tone, you can tell they're made by people who know what a piano is supposed to feel and sound like. We are the only significant digital piano manufacturer that also makes acoustic pianos, experience that shows on the new CP line."

The flagship CP300, which replaces the P250, features Yamaha's signature Graded Hammer Effect action and 3-level, stereo-sampled grand piano voices with String Resonance (offering harmonic overtones), Stereo Sustain (simulating open strings while pedaling) and Key-Off Samples (providing recordings of felt dampers coming to rest on vibrating piano strings), which combine to provide the most authentic-sounding and finely nuanced acoustic piano voices. Two built-in 30 Watt stereo monitor speakers preclude the need for external amplification. During live performances, the speakers serve as built-in monitors; they also create vibrations throughout the cabinet that players can feel, bringing the playing experience one step closer to that of an acoustic piano. Balanced XLR outputs provide a crisp, clear, noise-free audio signal onstage or in the studio.

Other pro highlights include four new slider controls for internal sound levels or external MIDI control. Dedicated buttons for speaker ON/OFF, transpose and panel lock prevent the performer or anyone else from inadvertently changing the sound.

The CP33, which replaces the P90 and is geared toward the budget-minded performer, contains a number of professional performance enhancements, including two-zone slider controls that provide rapid balance adjustments between Split and Layer voices, Pitch-bend and Mod wheels, and an auxiliary foot controller input. A USB terminal connects to a computer for recording of performances and creating and arranging songs.

The CP300 (MSRP $2,699) began shipping in May and the CP33 (MSRP $1,699) began shipping in June.

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