Yamaha CLP 675 review

In this article, I’m going to give you my thoughts on the Yamaha CLP 675, as I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with this particular Clavinova.

Yamaha CLP 675 review

Not only will I break down what this instrument offers to potential customers in areas such as sound quality, touch and feel, and key features, but I’ll also compare the CLP-675 to a few other impressive pianos I had the chance to try out recently–namely the, the Yamaha CLP 685, Yamaha CLP 645 and Kawai CA 78.

Below, take a moment to use our interactive guide to directly compare the Yamaha CLP 675 against other popular digital pianos on the market.

Yamaha CLP 735
Yamaha YDP 144
Casio PX-770
Yamaha YDP-165
Casio PX-870
Roland RP-102

What the Yamaha CLP 675 Offers

Yamaha manufactures some of the best digital pianos on the market, and they’ve been doing so for longer than almost anyone else.  The CLP 675 is one of their upper midrange-priced Clavinova series.  This piano makes an attractive and functional addition to any home or apartment décor:

As you can see, the CLP 675 resembles a spinet-size acoustic piano and requires about the same amount of space in a home.  This piano offers much more than an acoustic piano, however.

The Yamaha CLP 675 digital piano has many wonderful, interesting features to keep a young child or even an adult engaged in the process of learning to make music.

This piano offers 36 preset voices in its repertoire: from digital samplings of the magnificent Yamaha CFX concert grand piano and the incredible Bosendorfer Imperial concert grand piano to the digital samplings of many of the instruments for which Yamaha is renowned, such as flute, clarinet, saxophone, and others.  These options can make even the simplest piano music fun and interesting for a young student.

The CLP 675 features Yamaha’s premier Grand Touch keyboard action.  Yamaha designed this action to imitate that of a grand piano by utilizing longer-than-normal keys made from wood especially cut and designed for pianos (at least, the white keys).  By moving the fulcrum a bit closer to the front edge of the key, the Grand Touch action allows greater power for the louder sections of a piece of music and yet more subtle control for the soft sections of a piece.  

Below, please take a moment to view some of the best selling digital pianos online, and see how they compare to the Yamaha CLP 675.

1) Casio PX-770
2) Yamaha YDP-145
3) Roland RP-701
4) Yamaha YDP-165
5) Casio PX-870

Yamaha CLP 675 vs Yamaha CLP 685

When you look at the Yamaha CLP 685, a ‘big brother’ to the 675, you will notice some significant differences in appearance.  The CLP 685 is taller than the CLP 675 by two inches.  The keyboard cover folds up to reveal a hinged music stand, rather than the lyre-type music stand of the CLP 675.  

The photograph above is the polished ebony cabinetry of the CLP 685.  The two pianos have the identical control panels on either side of the keyboard, however, as seen below:

The display screen and button selection areas are identical in both pianos.  However, the CLP 685 has 13 more integrated voices in the general MIDI classification and in the enhanced MIDI classification the CLP 685 boasts a whopping 480 voices!

Both pianos utilize Yamaha’s Smart Pianist app, which allows the musician full access to all of the capabilities of either piano.  By using an iOS Smart device, the full range of features is readily accessible to the pianist, whether it’s the integrated voices or the accompaniment styles or the Chord Chart capability.  Yamaha’s Chord Chart feature accesses the music stored on your Smart device and charts the chord progressions of the song.  With a chord chart, you can now play along with your favorite songs!

(All of the Yamaha Clavinova pianos are capable of accessing the Smart Pianist app on an iOS device, although only the CSP series has full app functionality.  At this time, only the CSP series is capable of using an Android device, as well.)

The speaker system of the CLP 685 is one of the largest in the Yamaha family.  It contains six speakers:  two 16-cm speakers, two 8-cm speakers, and two 2.5-cm speakers (called cones).  Each of the speakers is powered by a 50-w amplifier, which is more than enough power to make any of its sounds come alive.

Yamaha CLP 675 vs Yamaha CLP 645

The Yamaha CLP 645 is slightly smaller version of the CLP 675 and 685, with some significant differences:

As you can see in the photo above, the CLP 645 resembles the CLP 675 more than the CLP 685 in actual appearance.  The music stand of the CLP 645 is slightly narrower than that of the 675.  They have identical control panels, a fact which surprised me.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the CLP 645 and the other two CLP-series pianos is the keyboard action.  Unlike the 675 and the 685, the CLP 645 uses a GH3X keyboard system.  The Graded Hammer 3X system uses a shorter key on the keyboard with the fulcrum further forward than the other two pianos.

One of the disadvantages of the Grand Touch keyboard is that the action might have more resistance than some pianists prefer.  The GH3X system has a lighter touch, which might be helpful to small hands or to a musician with arthritis or some other painful finger/hand condition.  Personally, I prefer the heavier touch of the Grand Touch system, but I know many pianists who do not.

Both the Grand Touch and the GH3X systems feature an 88-key weighting system that increases key-by-key as you move down the piano toward the bass end.  Both systems also incorporate escapement through the use of an additional sensor.  Escapement allows a pianist to play repeated notes very rapidly without dropping a note.

Yamaha CLP 675 vs Kawai CA 78

The Kawai CA 78 is one of the Concert Artist line in the Kawai family of digital pianos.  This particular model also resembles an acoustic spinet piano, as you can see from the photograph below.

This particular piano is displayed in the rosewood cabinetry, which is my favorite of the Kawai cabinet choices.  I find the warm rosewood tones to be welcoming and quite pleasing to the eye.

Kawai devised its own Grand Feel II wooden key keyboard action that is similar to the Grand Touch action in the Yamaha instruments.  The CA 78 incorporates the Grand Feel II wooden key action, which consists of longer keys made entirely from wood. 

As with the Yamaha pianos, the fulcrum for the keys has been moved slightly toward the front of the piano.  This position change for the fulcrum, as well as the weightier wooden keys, allows the Grand Feel II keyboards to feel more like the touch of an acoustic grand piano.

One of the features of the CA 78 is the integrated piano lesson materials from Alfred Publishing.  

Alfred publishes my favorite teaching method books, and the CA 78 includes books from the Basic Piano series for children, the Premier Series, and the Adult series.  Not only can you access the lesson materials, but you can also listen to the songs included in the lesson materials.

An advantage of having the lesson materials on the CA 78 is the ability to slow the tempo (speed) of the piece and play along.  This allows the pianist to learn the piece at a slower pace until they can increase the tempo to the desired rate of speed.

Kawai also includes many other musical pieces and exercises for finger speed and agility.  From composers like Chopin and Bach to the masters of technical exercises like Czerny and Burgmüller, the musician can choose from some of the finest music ever written.

When I played the Kawai CA 78 I was impressed by the sound of the instrument.  In fact, I liked it better than the CA 98 sitting next to it!  The Grand Feel II keyboard action felt close to the touch of an acoustic grand, but I like the Grand Touch of the Yamaha pianos a little more than the Grand Feel II.  The CA 78 had an authentic piano sound, but I did not examine any of the 66 remaining voices.

Comparisons—Price, Features, etc.

I really like the Grand Touch of the Yamaha CLP 675 and 685.  In my opinion, the closer you can come to the touch of a grand piano, the better.  It allows the pianist to improve technique and agility as well as strengthening the fingers and hands.  The Grand Feel II keyboard action of the Kawai CA 78 has similar advantages, although the feel isn’t quite as close to the touch of an acoustic grand piano as the Grand Touch feel of the Yamaha instruments.

The CLP 645 uses the GH3X, which feels too light to me compared to the Grand Touch.  The CLP 645 is not very much less than the CLP 675, so I would spend the extra $600 or so for the more authentic keyboard touch.

There are a lot of other features to compare and contrast in this discussion about the CLP 675, 685, 645 and the Kawai CA 78.  Rather than write a great deal more prose, let’s talk about prices and other features using this table:

The range of prices shown in the table above reflect the differences in prices between cabinet choices.  Polished ebony is the most expensive cabinet choice in all of the pianos, including the Kawai.  The rosewood cabinetry is the least expensive for all of the pianos above.

The CLP 675 lands between the least expensive and the most expensive pianos in this comparison.  It features the Grand Touch keyboard, which is the best of the keyboard actions offered in the four pianos above in my opinion. 

The CLP 675 is significantly less expensive than the CLP 685, as well.  Although it doesn’t feature as many voice possibilities as the 685, for a beginning or intermediate student it seems to be the better choice.  I recommend this piano for anyone with a beginning or intermediate student as it is a better value, yet still offers the most authentic touch on the market today.

This article was written by Digital Piano Review Guide contributor Anita Elliott.

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