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For the final tour in 1979/80, John Paul Jones used a Yamaha CP70B electric grand piano. This was a descendant of the original Helpinstill idea to use a magnetic pickup to amplify an acoustic piano. Yamaha developed this idea much further with the CP70 and it's larger mate, the CP80. The Yamaha was indeed portable, as it could be taken in two pieces! One piece would house the mechanical keys and hammers, and the other could be lifted off to contain just the strings and harp frame. This made for a true piano that was somewhat simple to transport, although it still required constant tuning. The piano used a sophisticated pickup and preamp to enable a truer piano tone, although it was still less "true" than an acoustic grand with microphones. As the Yamaha was being used next to the large white Yamaha GX-1, there was a special casing built to make the Yamaha look like a white, full-sized concert grand.

JPJ giving his CP70B a break (1980).
(Note the DUNN pedal control box and the Maestro phaser on top!)

 

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