What we say about the Yamaha CLP625 Black Walnut / CLP625B Digital Piano:
If you find yourself trying to decide between the Yamaha Clavinova CLP625 Black Walnut / CLP625B and the CLP635 piano at the minute, this review is for you because I’m going to tell you precisely what the differences are. If you’ve been researching already you probably realise there are many things that are similar about these two pianos; being in the same range they have the same amount of keys, they have exactly the same key mechanism, they have three pedals, they have weighted keys like a real piano, they never need any tuning, you can wear headphones – all the basic things are there.
The most obvious difference between the two, as you’ve probably noticed already from the video, is the cabinet design.
The Clavinova CLP625B as you can see has got the much lower front on it – it’s quite a conservative design not taking up much space at all. All of the buttons are compacted on the left there again just to make it look neater.
With the CLP635 you can see it’s a little bit more striking – the top is higher on it and it’s got a nicely presented front where the corners are a little bolder, and the buttons and the controls on the left-hand side are much clearer, making it much easier to navigate your way through.
Yamaha CLP625 Black Walnut Digital Piano Technology
The main thing that it’s going to give you almost all of that extra money’s worth is a bit of technology called virtual resonance modelling.
Now what does that mean to actual human beings like you? Well, it means it’s a more authentic sound, it’s closer the experience of playing a traditional piano.
If you’re new to this experience, a digital piano has no strings in; it there’s no hammer hitting any strings, the sound that you hear is recorded from a real concert grand piano. Yamaha, of course, have a rich heritage – they’ve made all sorts of pianos for over a century, so they know what they’re talking about! They have at their disposal some of the world’s finest pianos to record from.
Now the recording technology itself is what’s getting better with every addition and with virtual resonance modelling they go into incredible detail to sample the gazillion amounts of variation in the strength of the hammer hits the string, how long a hammer lingers and whether the dampener pedal is on; so the strings next to it vibrate and resonate in harmony with the string that you’ve played.
VRM technology is magic, because when you play you can hear (in particular when you got your foot on the pedal) the strings next to you vibrating.
For me personally, virtual resonance modelling technology is worth almost all the money between the two pianos. Whilst virtual resonance modelling is the main thing for me between them, there are some other very important things that make the difference between these models.
As you’d expect on digital pianos, you can record at the touch of a button.
There’s quite a large difference between what you can do between these two pianos; on the CLP625B you can record one song only, and you can record two tracks. So, I could record my left-hand part for example and my right-hand part, and have it play back.
The CLP635 has a 16-track recording studio inside, so that’s 16 layers I can put down and I also have 250 songs that I can record on there, so the memory is enormous compared to the CLP625B which is in comparison quite simple.
There is a mega difference in what you can do between the different pianos. When you’ve recorded something and you are happy with it, perhaps you want to show the world by putting it online! How you transfer it from either piano onto a computer differs as well.
You can’t actually do it with the Yamaha Clavinova CLP625 Black Walnut digital piano unless you record it on your phone (or something like that); there’s no way of transferring the clean audio recording digitally from it onto a computer.
On the CLP635 you just put it on a USB stick as a WAV file straight on the computer and you can hear it as nicely as you played it on the piano.
There are other important differences between these two models.
A dedicated auxiliary output exists on the CLP635 but not on the CLP625B, so if you want to output to larger speakers or into a console for recording, you can do this on a CLP635 but not on the CLP625B.
Yamaha CLP625 Black Walnut Digital Piano Sound
Regarding all the speakers in these pianos, there’s a big difference.
On CLP635 we have 2 x 30-watt amplifiers and 2 x 16-centimetre speakers. The Yamaha Clavinova CLP625 Black Walnut digital piano only gives us 2 x 20-watt amplifiers with 2 x 10-centimetre speakers, and in all honesty here with the CLP635 with all of that extra virtual resonance modelling technology, larger speakers and the more powerful amplifier are going to be superior and you’re not going to have to run it at full volume to get the best from it.
You have probably found in your own research they both use very clever technology when you’ll play with headphones and this is something that’s really come on in the past few years.
When you’re sat playing with headphones on rather than just the clean sound from the speaker’s being projected into your ears, Yamaha now uses what they call binaural sampling and stereophonic optimising – wonderful names for basically giving you surround sound.
When you play a traditional piano the sound from the right-hand side mostly goes in your right ear (and the sound from the Left hand side, goes in to your left ear). This is why Yamaha have simulated this through technology when you’re playing using headphones. I was sceptical when I first tried this feature, but it really does work.
Both the CLP625B and the CLP-635 feature music rest holders, as well as lids that slide out for keeping the dust off.
If you were to leave either of these pianos on by accident; perhaps you get disturbed to go and do something else, they actually turn themselves off after half an hour. This is quite a nice and reassuring feature that the CLP-625 and the CLP-635 offer.
Both of the pianos come with a book of music – ‘Fifty Greats’, and essentially this book contains fifty pieces of classical music, of which have been recorded in to the piano. This means that you can have the piano play the songs back to you enabling you to follow the music. You can even take away the left hand or the right hand part and play along if you wanted to – it’s quite a nice feature to have.
Other features that differ are smallish things, but quite nice features to have.:
Both of these pianos include metronomes with traditional tick tock metronome sounds (the CLP635 will also give you 20 realistic drum rhythms on top of this)
Both the Yamaha CLP625 Black Walnut Digital Piano and the CLP-635 have what’s called duo mode which basically gives you the middle section of a keyboard but one at one end, and one at the other end. This means that 2 people could sit there and play from middle C with just one piano – quite a nice little feature for two people to practice with.
The CLP-635 also has a feature called split functions. This involves your right hand playing one sound and your left hand perhaps playing another sound. The CLP625B doesn’t have this but it does have dual on here which means if you wanted to play, for example, piano and strings across the whole length of the keyboard – you could.
To finish off this comparison, here is a simple summary of the main differences between the Yamaha Clavinova CLP625 Black Walnut digital piano and the CLP-635…
|1 Song recording||250 Song recording|
|2 Track recording||16 Track recording|
|N/A||Virtual resonance modelling|
|N/A||USB to device|
|20W Amplifiers||30W Amplifiers|
|10cm Speakers||16cm Speakers|
|Surround sound (HP’s)||Surround sound (HP’s)|
|N/A||20 Drum rhythms|
|Dual Function||Dual function|
|Duo Mode||Duo mode|
Watch our video review:
|Dimensions||Width||1,350 mm (53-1/8″) (Polished finish: 1,353 mm (53-1/4″))|
|Height||831 mm (32-11/26″) (Polished finish: 832 mm (32-3/4″))|
|Depth||414 mm (16-5/16″) (Polished finish: 415 mm (16-5/16″))|
|Weight||Weight||43.0 kg (94 lb, 13 oz) (Polished finish: 45.0 kg (99 lb, 3 oz)]|
|Keyboard||Number of Keys||88|
|Type||GH3X (Graded Hammer 3X) keyboard: synthetic ebony and ivory keytops, escapement|
|88-key Linear Graded Hammers||–|
|Pedal||Number of Pedals||3|
|Functions||Damper, Sostenuto, Soft|
|GP Response Damper Pedal||–|
|Key Cover||Key Cover Style||Sliding|
|Tone Generation||Piano Sound||Yamaha CFX, Bösendorfer Imperial, CFX Binaural Sampling|
|Polyphony||Number of Polyphony (Max.)||256|
|Preset||Number of Voices||10|
|Intelligent Acoustic Control (IAC)||Yes|
|Preset||Number of Preset Songs||50 Piano Preset Songs, 10 Voice Demo Songs|
|Recording||Number of Songs||1|
|Number of Tracks||2|
|Data Capacity||100 KB/Song (Approx. 11,000 notes)|
|Compatible Data Format||Playback||SMF (Format 0, Format 1)|
|Recording||SMF (Format 0)|
|USB Audio Recorder||Playback||–|
|Tempo Range||5 ‒ 280|
|Transpose||-6 ‒ 0 ‒ +6|
|Tuning||414.8 ‒ 440.0 – 466.8 Hz|
|Storage and Connectivity|
|Storage||Internal Memory||Total maximum size approx. 900 KB (User song: One song approx. 100 KB, Loading song data from a computer: Up to 10 Songs)|
|Connectivity||Headphones||Standard stereo phone jack (x 2)|
|USB TO DEVICE||–|
|USB TO HOST||Yes|
|Amplifiers and Speakers|
|Amplifiers||20 W x 2|
|Speakers||10 cm x 2|
|Power Consumption||12 W (When using AC adaptor PA-300C)|
|Auto Power Off||Yes|
|Power Supply||Adaptors||PA-300C or an equivalent recommended by Yamaha|