Which CLP Should You Buy?
When looking for a new digital piano, the options can be overwhelming, but one name that will always appear is Clavinova. The CLP range of Clavinovas is Yamaha’s flagship range of digital pianos, and the current 600 series are their most advanced models yet.
Every piano in this series features the voices of a CFX Grand and Bösendorfer Imperial; these are both fantastic pianos that immediately elevate the instrument to a high standard of sound. For the first time, Clavinovas now include a binaural sampling of the CFX. With the process of using specialized microphones to record locational material, the experience of playing the CFX with headphones on is now so real, you’ll forget that you are even wearing them!
The 600 series begins with the fantastic CLP-625. Along with the CFX and Bösendorfer, it features 8 other voices which can be changed using the function button in conjunction with keys on the piano. It boasts a Graded Hammer 3 X Action, meaning that the keys get lighter in sections as you move up the keyboard, recreating the feeling that you would experience on an acoustic piano.
The CLP-635 is the first in the series with an intuitive display, with all the features being controlled from a small, easy-to-use screen to the left of the keyboard. It also includes the Piano Room feature, which allows the player to control details such as lid position, resonance and tuning. Another advancement when moving up from the CLP-625 to the CLP-635 is the addition of Virtual Resonance Modelling (VRM). This fantastic technology takes into account the resonances that would happen when playing an acoustic piano, creating an even more realistic piano sound than before. The number of voices has increased from 10 up to 36 in this model and more colour options are available including the stunning White Ash and Dark Walnut.
The CLP-645 is the first to feature a Natural Wood X Keyboard. Much like in their grand pianos, the wood that Yamaha use to create these keys is dried specifically for use in musical instruments. The keyboard is still graded like the previous models, and the addition of the wooden keys creates a more responsive touch closer to that of a real piano. The VRM is also more advanced in this model, with the ability to calculate the resonance of two strings per note. The CLP-645 features Bluetooth connectivity, meaning that you are able to connect your device, providing the ability to play music through the piano or use it in conjunction with a variety of apps.
The most obvious step up between the CLP-645 and the CLP-675 is the touch. The CLP-675 features the brilliant new GrandTouch keyboard. In a grand piano, the keys are individually weighted and this is recreated in the GrandTouch keyboard, with every single key getting slightly lighter as you move up the keyboard. Another way in which they have recreated the feel of playing a Grand Piano is through the addition of the GP Response Damper Pedal. If you think of the damper pedal on the previous models as a light switch, the GP Response pedal acts more like a dimmer switch, allowing half-pedalling and a more responsive experience overall.
The very top of the CLP upright range is the CLP-685. The touch of this piano is incredible; again, it features the GrandTouch keyboard, with the addition of counterweights on every key, making the experience as close as possible to playing a grand piano. Not only are the speakers in the CLP-685 more powerful than the previous models, creating a fuller sound than any others in the series, they are also made from the same spruce that Yamaha use for the soundboards of acoustics. This attention to detail is what makes Clavinovas stand out among other models. The design of the CLP-685 is based on that of the B2 acoustic upright, so not only is the sound and feel incredibly close to a real piano, but the appearance is also.
The CLP 600 series includes two other models; the CLP-665GP and the new CLP-695GP. The CLP-665GP has mostly the same features as the CLP-635, the main differences being the grand piano casing and slightly more powerful speakers. Similarly, the CLP-695GP has all the features of the CLP-685 but with the appearance of a baby grand piano and also the addition of a twisted flare port, providing a more focused bass sound.
There is a huge amount of information out there regarding digital pianos and which model is the best to go for which can potentially confuse the process, but hopefully, this has effectively highlighted why the CLP 600 series are a fantastic choice to go for and also made clear the differences between the models.
If you would like more information on the CLP range, please come and visit our Edinburgh store where our friendly staff will provide you with more expert knowledge and will help you to understand the CLP range more.