For almost 40 years, Yamaha's electric grands have graced the stages of professional players the world over. After almost two years in development, the company is readying "simply the best stage piano Yamaha has ever made" for release later this month. Featuring natural wood keys and authentic hammer action, the CP4 Stage promises faithful sonic recreations of the company's premium acoustic grand pianos, as well as a good selection of electric piano sounds from years gone by.

The CP4 Stage professional piano boasts 433 preset voices, including 45 sound emulations of three of the company's premium acoustic grand pianos – the flagship CFX (which is described by Yamaha product designer Jose Gonzalez as a "highly expressive piano that produces a rich, harmonic spectrum and spans a wide dynamic range from pianissimo to fortissimo"), the CFIIIS full concert grand, and the warm and woody S6.

The voices of 47 vintage electric pianos have also been included, together with compressor, chorus and reverb stomp effects created using Yamaha's Virtual Circuit Modeling technology (which impressed us when we reviewed the THR10C guitar amp earlier this year), and over 300 sounds based on the Motif synthesizer.

Real wood white keys have been topped with synthetic ivory, and natural wood graded hammer action makes keys at the lower end heavier than those at the higher end for an authentic grand piano feel and response. Two sensors tasked with detecting keystroke strength are joined by a damper sensor, which allows for fast repetition of notes without clipping.

Between the keyboard and the leather-like finish of the CP4 Stage's outer shell, a user interface runs the length of the piano's 88 keys. It features big lighted buttons for splits and layers, voice category buttons for quick sound selection, pitch and modulation wheels, five band master EQ control and a 40-character LCD display with back lighting.

Connectivity options to the rear include unbalanced mono audio jack and balanced XLR outputs, foot controller inputs (the piano comes supplied with an FC3 foot pedal), MIDI in and out terminals, and USB ports.

The 38.5-lb (17.5-kg) CP4 Stage carries a suggested retail price of US$2,999.

Product page: CP4 Stage