Review: Yamaha Reface CP

The Yamaha Reface CP features a vintage keyboard sound engine with six detailed vintage keyboard types. Matt Vanacoro puts all six to the test in this video review.  

Out of the four Yamaha reface keyboards, the CP is the one I was looking forward to the most. I often find myself in a hotel room before a gig on the road wanting to work on a part or figure out a solo. I usually have a portable keyboard with me, but going through the motions of hooking it up to my laptop, getting sound out of a software instrument, and plugging everything in can be a bit of a buzzkill. The CP looks to solve that problem for me by putting classic keyboard sounds at my fingertips within seconds.

Yamaha Reface CP

Yamaha Reface CP

Watch the Reface CP in action:

The Sounds

The CP produces just about every classic keyboard sound you can ever want. There’s an early Rhodes, a late Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Clav, a Toy Piano, and (of course) a Yamaha CP80 electric grand. Each sound is lovingly authentic sounding, and the modulation/effect chain provided does the perfect job of complimenting the source material. 

 Each sound is lovingly authentic sounding.

The stop-box style effects you have access to are Drive, Tremolo, Wah, Chorus, Phaser, Delay, and Reverb. The good folks at Yamaha have handled the available control real estate on the reface series with thought. You can flip between tremolo and wah, chorus and phaser, or digital and analog delay with a simple toggle. Each effect section has dedicated depth and speed knobs (or in the case of the delay, depth and time). The drive knob is in its own dedicated area, right next to the keyboard type selector. There’s also an octave selector, giving you the full range of the samples when necessary.

The Build

When creating the reface series, it’s clear Yamaha didn’t skimp on aesthetic design. Each reface has a different look and feel, and the CP is one of my favorites. The ’70s keyboard vibe that the CP puts off is clear, and the keyboard truly ‘feels’ like the offspring of a Fender Rhodes and a Yamaha CP80. The knobs are well built, the finish of the keyboard is lovingly vintage, and the switches feel extremely sturdy. 

It’s a fun instrument to use, and it is INCREDIBLY satisfying to pick up, sit on the couch, and just start noodling away.

All of the reface keyboards include USB midi for both a computer and an iOS device. 1/4” audio outputs for professional amplification, a headphone output, and an 1/8” input for audio passthrough (such as an MP3 player or phone). The 2 watt speakers absolutely sound bigger than they are, and are quite useful for quick moments of inspiration. That’s what this keyboard really is all about, anyway. It’s a fun instrument to use, and it is INCREDIBLY satisfying to be able to pick it up, sit on the couch, and just start noodling away. It will jumpstart your creativity as a keyboard player, and it will give you the ability to jam anytime, anywhere.

Yamaha Reface CP angle top

Yamaha Reface CP is incredibly fun to play.

Conclusion

I loved the entire reface series, but the CP has a special place in my keyboard lineup. They’re going to have to pry this out of my hands to get it back for sure. It’s just wonderfully convenient to be able to pick up a keyboard, sit anywhere you like, and get to playing. 

Price: $499

Pros: Great selection of sounds, wonderful design evokes a vintage feel, well-designed effects, extremely portable, durable.

Cons: None. Absolutely none. I’m extremely happy with what you get for the price.

Web: http://usa.yamaha.com/products/music-production/synthesizers/reface 

Matt Vanacoro is one of New York’s premier musicans. Matt has collaborated as a keyboardist in studio and on stage with artists such as Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Mark Wood (Trans-Siberian Orchestra), Mark Rivera (Billy Joel Band), Aaron Carter, Amy Regan, Jay Azzolina, Marcus Ratzenboeck (Tantric), KeKe Palmer, C-Note, Jordan Knig... Read More

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