So, you’ve perused all the information you can about digital pianos and you’re ready to narrow down your search. You’ve decided that you’re going to buy a Yamaha digital piano. Good choice! Yamaha sells about 75% of the digital pianos sold every year, so you’re definitely not alone. But you don’t want just any Yamaha digital piano; you want a baby grand digital piano.
Well, thankfully, in this article, I’m going to review the Yamaha CLP 665GP so that you can ultimately determine is beautiful baby grand digital is worth your money. And to better help you, please take a brief moment to use our interactive guide below to compare the Yamaha CLP 665GP against other popular pianos on the market.
Yamaha CLP Grand Pianos
Yamaha offers two digital pianos that resemble grand pianos, and both pianos are in the CLP series. They are the Yamaha CLP 665GP and the Yamaha CLP 695GP. (Guess what GP stands for? Yep, Grand Piano!) Here is my photograph of the Yamaha 665GP as displayed at my local Yamaha piano showroom:
This is the polished ebony cabinetry of the CLP 665GP. It’s a beautiful piano, as you can see. This model also comes in a polished white cabinet, although my local store didn’t have one in stock. From the photograph above and the picture below you can see that, at first glance, the CLP 665GP and the CLP 695GP look remarkably similar.
However, if you look at the side views of both pianos, the visible difference is obvious:
Both pianos are clearly shaped like a grand piano, albeit quite a bit smaller. Of course, neither piano has any strings, so they have no need for the cast iron plate to which the strings are attached. (This is the main reason why digital pianos weigh so much less than an acoustic piano—no strings, so no cast iron plate is necessary.)
The CLP 665GP isn’t quite as deep as the 695GP: 45 3/16” versus 48 11/16”. It may not seem like much, but if you live in an apartment or a small house, those 3 ½ inches can make a significant difference.
You can’t really see the speakers of the 665GP in the above picture, but three of the four speakers in the 695GP are quite obvious since they contrast so clearly with the wooden frame. In my opinion, the wood and speaker contrasts give the 695GP a slight edge over the 665GP when it comes to appearance. I’ll tell you more about the speaker systems in a moment.
Like the CLP 665GP, the 695GP comes in a polished ebony cabinet (shown above) and a polished white cabinet. Either would be beautiful additions to any room, although the polished ebony cabinets tend to show fingerprints more readily than the polished white cabinets. Of course, the white will show the slightest smudge or dark pet hair, so you might want to consider your circumstances before you choose a color.
For the CLP 665GP, the polished ebony cabinetry is less expensive than the polished white—another factor to consider when choosing your color. There is no apparent price difference between the two colors on the CLP 695GP.
In this article, I will ‘compare and contrast’ the two models of grand piano-shaped Yamaha CLP pianos. I will present the following comparisons:
- Speaker systems
- Integrated voices (GM and XG)
- Integrated accompaniment styles
Below, please take a moment to view some of the best selling digital pianos on Amazon, and see how they compare to the Yamaha CLP 665.
The Yamaha CLP 665GP boasts four speakers—two 16-cm speakers and two 5-cm speakers. The larger speakers have 25-watt amplifiers, and the smaller speakers have 10-watt amplifiers. This speaker system emits a great deal of sound, especially for a smaller home/apartment.
The CLP 695GP comes equipped with six speakers: two 16-cm speakers, two 8-cm speakers, and two 2.5-cm dome speakers. The amplifiers for these speakers are all 50-watt amps, which is considerably more wattage than those in the CLP 665GP and results in extremely crisp high sounds, clean mid-range sounds, and bass notes that greatly resemble the sound of the Yamaha CFX concert grand and Bosendorfer Imperial sampled for the Clavinova series of pianos.
Before I played both instruments, I rather thought that the greater number of speakers and wattage of the 695 wouldn’t really make that much difference. I should have known better. While I liked the sound of the CLP 665GP, the huge sound difference between the two pianos blew me away.
When I closed my eyes while I was playing the 695GP—which I can do because I’ve been playing piano for 55 years! — it truly sounded like I was playing one of the big acoustic grands on the showroom floor. (Perfect for Grieg’s Piano Concerto or anything by Rachmaninoff or Franz Liszt. Or Chopin’s Etude No. 4, Op. 10.)
If you live in a house, you might prefer the more powerful speaker system for clarity of notes and added depth. However, if you live in an apartment or condo, you might want to consider the smaller sound system to keep you on good terms with your neighbors. Of course, if you plan to use headphones every time you play, then the speaker system’s impact on your neighbors becomes moot.
The CLP 665GP features 36 integrated voices, including both the Yamaha CFX concert grand sampling and that of the Bosendorfer Imperial, two of the world’s most famous and respected concert grand pianos. The CLP 695GP, however, offers 49 Voices + 14 Drum/SFX Kits + 480 XG Voices. XG is a major enhancement of the typical MIDI-type voices that Yamaha developed in order to provide significantly more sound choices in some of their finest digital pianos.
If you wish to compose your own music, whether for solo voice/instrument or a combination, or if you want to arrange someone else’s music, the greater number of voices and drum sounds on the CLP 695GP will provide greater choices. You can still compose and arrange on the CLP 665GP, of course, but you won’t have the same number of options.
Of course, playing around with the voices on a digital piano is part of the appeal of the instrument. If you feel that a considerably larger number of voices is an important feature of a digital piano, then you would probably prefer the CLP 695GP.
Integrated Accompaniment Styles
Both pianos offer 20 accompaniment styles for recording or arranging, as well as storage in the instrument’ hard drives and external USB drives. Students and teachers alike can have a lot of fun with accompaniment styles.
Many of my students enjoyed changing the style of a piece they played to fit an unusual accompaniment style and then recording their creations on the recording device on my Clavinova. Of course, Yamaha doesn’t offer a 3 ½-inch disk recorder anymore…thankfully!
The CLP 665GP utilizes Yamaha’s GH3X keyboard action that imitates the graded linear response of some grand pianos. This response means that the action is lighter on the upper end of the piano and each key moving down the piano becomes slightly heavier. The GH3X keyboard also has an added sensor that enables escapement on each key. This allows the musician to repeat a note rapidly without dropping a note.
The CLP 695GP features a Grand Touch keyboard. This keyboard allows for the subtle nuances of dynamics across the keyboard, no matter how lightly or heavily the keys are attacked. Keys are lengthened in the Grand Touch action, which moves the fulcrum slightly toward the front of the keys and allows greater power and subtlety when striking the key.
Some musicians feel the Grand Touch keyboard is too heavy and prefer the lighter touch of the GH3X keyboard action. As for me, I like the Grand Touch action; it reminds me of the concert grand pianos I used to play when I was working on my piano performance degree in college.
However, there may be physical reasons for preferring the lighter touch of the GH3X keyboard: if the musician has arthritic or otherwise damaged fingers and/or hands, or if carpal tunnel syndrome is an issue. The only way to ascertain which touch you prefer is to actually play both pianos.
The prices of these two digital pianos may be the telling factor in your decision. The CLP 665GP retails for about $6,200 for the polished ebony model and about $7,000 for the polished white model.
The CLP 695GP retails for about $10,000 for either model. I’m not sure why this price is fixed for either the polished ebony or the polished white models, but I find it interesting that the 665GP has an $800 difference between the two colors. I believe if I were purchasing the GLP 665GP and I wanted the white model, I would be asking some rather pointed questions.
Anyone purchasing a digital piano has to make a significant amount of decisions: where will I put this instrument? Who will play it? What are the features that are the most important to me? Which features can I live without or are of no importance to me?
Maybe the most important feature to you is the price tag. Price is certainly an important part of the digital piano decision. If you prefer to spend what it takes to put the best digital instrument in your home for longevity and quality, then the CLP 695GP is probably your best choice between these two pianos.
However, a difference in price of $3,000 to $4,000 is pretty significant and would probably make me think twice (or more) about the other specs on these instruments. Across the board, these pianos share many identical features: polyphony, number of songs that can be recorded, audio responses, and many others. They have the same tone generation and effects numbers, the same internal storage capacities, and the same width and height.
I really liked both of these pianos. But in my opinion, the differences in features does not justify the differences in prices. If I were purchasing a digital piano at this time and wanted an instrument that resembled a grand piano, I would probably decide upon the CLP 665GP in polished ebony. It’s a beautiful instrument with great sound and features. For a beginning student or an intermediate student, I would highly recommend the CLP 665 GP in polished ebony.
Any beginner or intermediate would love having this piano to practice upon. I give the CLP 665 GP a 4.5 out of 5 stars, and I believe the CLP 695 GP should receive 4.25 stars out of 5. Even though the CLP 695GP offers more features, the differences in price between the two instruments is too great.
This article was written by Digital Piano Review Guide contributor Anita Elliott.
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