The Yamaha Reface CP is the electric piano of the Reface bunch. It takes inspiration from the CP-30, CP70 and CP-80.
As a reissue of a Yamaha classic, the Yamaha Reface CP has a long lineage dating back to the 1970’s. According to Yamaha the “CP Series stage pianos were designed to be amplified so they could hold their own when played in a band together with electric guitar and bass. Although both belonging to the same series, the CP-30 and the CP-70 introduced at this time were very different under the hood.”
Although, Yamaha hit the mark with reissuing their classic CP series of EPs with the Yamaha Reface CP, they made certain to include other sought after classics of the era. Those classics, like Fender Rhodes MK1/MK2 and Wurlitzer, are readily available with the turn of a knob.
The type knob give you access to the following six keyboard types:
- RdI, early ’70s tine electric piano
- RdII, late ’70s tine electric piano
- Wr, late ’60s reed electric piano
- Clv, 70s struck string Clavinet
- Toy, toy piano
- CP, Yamaha CP80 electric grand piano
The effects are readily available with big ergonomically spaced knobs and switches for easy control. Nothing about any of these effects sounds cheesy at all. Every effect sounds great. However, this is more apparent when the CP’s audio goes direct into studio monitors or headphones. The small built in speakers really don’t do justice to the lush sound of the CP and its built in effects.
The effect types are:
- Drive (adds harmonics and distortion)
- Tremolo (Auto-Pan for Rd) or VCM Wah with adjustable depth and rate
- Chorus with adjustable depth and speed
- VCM Phaser with adjustable depth and speed
- Digital or Analog-Type Delay with adjustable time and depth
- Reverb with adjustable depth
Similar to the other Refaces it has the typical build. The plastic body with mini keys is flanked to the left and right with small “2W 3cm stereo speaker system.”
Unlike its Reface counterparts, CS and DX, the CP does not have a sequencer. But this seems appropos as most EPs lean towards the more organic form of creation and the real deal players. Still, with it’s midi capabilities, the CP is easy enough to link into your favorite DAW / sequencer.
The keybed of 37 mini-keys is said to be “Based on the FS action found on the flagship Motif XF, HQ (High Quality) Mini Keys provide premium feel and response for fast, accurate and natural playing.” I can attest to the comfortably keybed action. Its not a bad keyboard by far. It’s certainly one of the better smaller form factor keybeds. I’d even say that of all the keyboards I’ve used the Reface mini keys are the best bar none.
Other features include;
Uses six “AA” batteries with five hours of life
USB “TO HOST” allows MIDI connectivity to your USB-equipped computer or iOS device
Dual 1/4″unbalanced line outputs provide connection to mixers, audio interfaces, DI boxes and more
A 3.5mm aux line input lets you connect and hear mobile devices, tablets and more through the instrument
Overall, I thought the Reface CP sounded great. It generally sounds like some of my favorite EPs in use. In comparison to a real Rhodes 73 EP, as you can see in the video, the real thing is always a bit more warm, full and rich. Still, I like the fact that the CP seems to capture the character of these cherished EPs pretty well. As I’ve mentioned with the previous Reface models “the keys are dope in terms of the action. Yes, they are mini keys and that may not appeal to some but the fact is that these are mini keys with great action and quality. Still not a fan of mini-keys, no problem! Midi controller to the rescue as the Reface line has midi over USB as well as traditional Midi via mini break out cable.”
For more info, head over to the Yamaha Reface CP product page.
For more info on the history of the DX head over to Yamaha’s dedicated CP history page.