Yamaha Clavinova CLP685 Review

Yamaha Clavinova CLP685
Chris Hammond

Yamaha Clavinova CLP685 Compared & Reviewed

The Yamaha Clavinova CLP685 is the flagship of the Yamaha Clavinova range of digital pianos. It represents the pinnacle of Yamaha’s technical excellence and prowess in the production of the world’s finest digital pianos.

Yamaha CLP685 Cabinet

The cabinet of the Yamaha Clavinova CLP685 is beautifully understated; of all the models in the CLP600 series, the CLP685 is the most attractive, and comes replete with a closing keyboard lid.

The removal of the tall sheet music rest as featured on the preceding models in the range also provides a more compact and tidy appearance, with the placement of the rest on the CLP685 now directly above the keyboard in a more ergonomic and authentic way.

A sound improvement

Capitalising on their experience of building acoustic pianos and high-end speakers, Yamaha CLP685 speaker cones actually use the same spruce wood used to make acoustic piano soundboards. As a result, there is an inherent natural warmth to the sound that only these materials can provide.

The speaker arrangement on the CLP685 is also greater than on the CLP675, with additional power and size offering keener definition across the audible range.

Below are two independent reviews of the Yamaha CLP685, demonstrating just how well-received the CLP685 has been in both academic and performance-centric environments.


About the GrandTouch Keyboard by Yurie Miura

After graduating from Ferris High School in Yokohama Yurie Miura later studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 2001, she won first prize of the Maria Canals International Music Competition.

‘There are a number of small dramas that occur in the interval between beginning to press a key on an acoustic piano keyboard and the time the key reaches its full depth of travel and the pianists controls the tone over that period.

When I tried the Yamaha Clavinova CLP685 out it felt like there was a real action there right behind the keys.

It felt incredibly realistic and with this keyboard you can control the tone partway through the keystroke in the same way you would on an acoustic piano. The rich sound and impressive volume lets you feel like you’re playing a concert grand piano.

You can add gradation to the tone of the instrument, which means that you can now do things like practice legato on a digital piano. In terms of sound you just can’t complain about the CFX and Bosendorfer samples. You can actively do things like try to develop your own sound, even at home.

I think that playing this instrument is sure to yield positive results.’

– Yurie Miura


GrandTouch Keyboard Action with Piano Professor Dr. Stephen Pierce

Stephen Pierce enjoys a multi-faceted career as a performer, pedagogue, scholar, and clinician. He currently teaches piano pedagogy, keyboard literature, and applied piano at the USC Thornton School of Music.

As an educator and as a music teacher what I look for in a piano action first and foremost is something that’s really responsive. The piano is really an extension of the player and the player’s technique and so you really want an action that’s very responsive, able to be very expressive.

The second thing that’s so important to me as an educator is the wellness and health of my students and so for me it’s very important medicine even, action that is well-regulated and that is working with them and not against them.

When you have a beautifully regular action like this one (on the Yamaha CLP685) it allows the students just really to be expressive instead of fighting the instrument to try and get sound out of it. The benefit of having this instrument is that you have two amazing grand pianos at your disposal – there’s no acoustic instrument that allows for that variety in your preparation.

As a music teacher I often teach beginning students, and parents are often concerned about investing in an instrument. I advise them to first purchase a really high-end fine digital piano. I’m now encouraged to have them purchase this amazing Clavinova because it is a mechanical action and it prepares them to play the acoustic piano and a fraction of the cost.

The grand touch of the Yamaha CLP685 actually really impressed me in several ways – the repetition mechanism is wonderful; that allowed me to easily repeat notes and it also allowed me to voice very beautifully which some digital pianos are not able to do, so for me I felt I was able to be very expressive.

– Dr. Stephen Pierce

Yamaha CLP685 Clavinova Piano in summary:

Yamaha CLP-675Yamaha CLP-685
Sliding Key CoverFolding Key Cover
36 Voices 49 Voices + 14 Drum/SFX Kits +
480 XG Voices
(16 cm + 8 cm + 5 cm) x 2
(16 cm + 8 cm + 2.5 cm (dome)) x 2,
Spruce Cone Speaker

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Chris Hammond Manager
Chris is the manager of and the driving force behind the demonstration, comparison and review videos that we feature on our website. He is responsible for overseeing all areas of the sales and marketing team, with extensive product knowledge and many years of experience as a musician and composer.