Yamaha CLP625 vs CLP635 Clavinova | Which Digital piano should I buy?
This time we’re looking at and comparing the Yamaha Clavinova CLP625 Digital Piano and the Yamaha CLP635 digital piano. This model is available in Polished Ebony, White, Black Walnut and Rosewood.
Left picture: Yamaha CLP625 Digital Piano in White, Right picture: Yamaha CLP635 Digital Piano in Polished Ebony
If you find yourself trying to decide between them at the minute, this review is for you because I’m going to tell you precisely what the differences are.
Some Basic Similarities Between The Pianos
Being in the same range they have the same amount of keys (88)
The key mechanism is exactly the same
Weighted keys like a real piano
They never need any tuning, you can wear headphones – all the basic things are there.
Differences Between The Design of these pianos
The most obvious difference between the two pianos would be the cabinet design.
The Yamaha CLP625 digital piano as you can see has got the much lower front on it. It is 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).
The Yamaha CLP635 is 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. The buttons and the controls on the left-hand side are much clearer, making it much easier to navigate your way through.
A Great Feature: Virtual Resonance Modelling
One of the main things with purchasing the Yamaha CLP635 that is giving you almost all of that extra money’s worth is a bit of technology called virtual resonance modelling.
Now what does that mean to us?
Well, it means it has 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; (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. With virtual resonance modelling they go into incredible detail to sample the gazillion amounts of variation in the strength of the hammer hitting 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 is quite a large difference between what you can do between these two pianos; on the Yamaha CLP625 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 Yamaha 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. The memory is enormous compared to the CLP625 which is in comparison quite simple.
There is a huge 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 this with the Yamaha CLP625 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.
Other important differences between these two models.
- A dedicated auxiliary output exists on the CLP635 but not on the CLP625, 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 CLP625.
- Regarding all the speakers in these pianos, there is a big difference. On the Yamaha CLP635 we have 2 x 30-watt amplifiers and 2 x 16-centimetre speakers. The Yamaha CLP625 only gives us 2 x 20-watt amplifiers with 2 x 10-centimetre speakers.
- 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.
Some Features That Both Of The Pianos Offer
- Both the Yamaha CLP- 625 and the CLP – 635 digital pianos use very clever technology when you play with headphones. This is something that’s really come on in the past few years. When you are sat playing with headphones on, 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 CLP-625 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.
- Both of the pianos come with a book of music – ‘Fifty Greats’. 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.
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 CLP-625 and the Yamaha CLP-635 digital pianos have what’s called duo mode. This 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 CLP625 doesn’t have this, though it does have ‘dual’ on here. This 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 CLP-625 and the CLP-635…
1 Song recording
250 Song recording
2 Track recording
16 Track recording
USB to device
Surround sound (HP’s)
Surround sound (HP’s)
20 Drum rhythms
I hope that you have found this useful!
If you would like some more help, perhaps you are still trying to decide which of these pianos to purchase, or maybe you simply just have some questions about the two models – please do get in contact with us and we will be more than happy to help you.