Yamaha CLP635 Clavinova Piano

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Yamaha CLP635 Clavinova Piano Review

If you’re trying to learn what the differences are between the Yamaha CLP635 Clavinova piano and the CLP645 piano, you are in the right place! I am going to be explaining exactly what they are and what it is that you gain from spending the extra for the CLP-645.

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Key differences

First of all I want to talk to you about the main differences between the two pianos:

In my opinion, the biggest and the most important difference is that the Yamaha CLP635 Clavinova piano has plastic keys, whereas the CLP 645 has wooden keys. This makes a huge difference in terms of how the piano feels to play, especially if you think about the fact that traditional pianos of course have wooden keys on them. Wooden keys are not as dense as plastic ones; they are slightly lighter to the touch. They are still weighted, they still feel like a traditional piano to play, and they just simply feel lovely to the touch. When playing the CLP-645, the wooden keys just seemed to return to the normal position a little bit faster than the Plastic keys on the CLP635. They are not so dense when you’re playing quick passages.

Comparing the wooden keys on the CLP-645 to the CLP635’s plastic keys, the plastic keys really do feel a little bit more sluggish. I can’t knock this completely as it is still weighted to feel like a real piano, but comparing this to wooden keys, there really is a massive difference. I feel that even a total beginner would be able to sit down, play these two pianos and be able to feel a difference in the way that the keys respond to your playing; of course if you’re an advanced player and you’re used to using a traditional piano, you are going to prefer the way the CLP-645 feels. There is no question about it!

Yamaha CLP635 Clavinova Piano | Speakers

So the second big difference between these two pianos is the speaker setup. The Yamaha CLP635 Clavinova piano has 230 watt amplifiers and two 16 centimetre speakers. The CLP-645 on the other hand actually has two sets of 25 watt amplifiers too on either side. It has the same 16 centimetre speaker cones that the CLP635 has but it has an additional pair of 8 centimetre speakers on either side as well. This is important because if you play with light and shade (as to say you play quite subtly, sometimes very very light as a feather, sometimes heavy as a hammer), you need your speakers to be able to give you the scope to play like that.

Now something that I have noticed about the CLP635 (two 16 centimetre speakers either side) when I am playing it against the CLP-645, is that if you do start to play with a lot of subtlety, and then maybe you really hammer it and then you play gently, it does start to get a little bit boxed in and sound a little bit muddy. This can quickly become a limiting factor.

The CLP-645 in comparison with those additional eight centimetre speakers and the extra amplifiers in there gives you much more range. The sound is much more crisp, and there is more clarity. This is particularly on the top end of the piano, but it saves the bottom end when you are really giving it some oomph from getting too cloudy, and too muddy. It keeps that clarity all the way through.

If you’re a total beginner, admittedly the range of the speakers isn’t something that you notice straight away. However, as you improve and as you get better (perhaps starting to do your middle grades), you will be required to play with light and shade, and be able to show expression. This is where eventually the CLP635 is going to be limiting when you compare it to the CLP-645, due to it having a lot more scope (because of its speaker setup.)

Yamaha CLP635 Connectivity

So the third really big difference between these two pianos is that the CLP-645 has got built-in Bluetooth. This is a really handy feature to have because it means you could just take your phone out of your pocket (you could also use an iPad etc.) and you can play music straight through the speakers at the touch of a button. It’s very easy to set up, there’s a Bluetooth pairing button that you just press and it immediately links up to your phone or your tablet. The Yamaha CLP635 Clavinova piano doesn’t have this Bluetooth feature built into it. Linking your device to the piano is still possible to do but you would need the Yamaha wireless adapter (Which will set you back around about 60 pounds). This adapter will allow you to play your music through the speakers using your Wi-Fi connection.

I should point out that when you play music from your device; in this instance through the speaker’s of the CLP635, due to the fact that it is only the two 16 centimetre speakers the sound does tend to get boxed in and sound a little bit muddy. It doesn’t quite come through with the richness and the clarity that you might expect it to. The CLP-645 in comparison, does sound much better when you play your music through the speakers. This is because it has got those two extra eight centimetre speakers. Again there’s more clarity in the top and the bottom end and it just overall sounds a lot better.

So, those are the three big differences between the two pianos! A couple of other differences which are only small things…

If you look at the music rest holders you’ll see that they are plastic on the CLP635, whereas on the CLP-645 they are a slightly more sturdy metal. The music rest itself is larger on the CLP-645 than on the CLP635.

As you have probably discovered through your own research, there are many things as you’d expect that are the same in these two pianos.

Side by side

Being next to each other in the range, they have:

The same amount of keys

You can wear headphones with them

They never ever go out of tune

They have both got the dust covering lids

They both have a wonderful technology from Yamaha called virtual resonance modelling (which simulates the body of the 9 foot long concert grand piano.) It really does work nicely gives you all those lovely howling swelling whistling noises that you get from a real piano cabinet you have a 16 track recorder you have 250 songs that you can record onto

The pianos have USB connections for removing and taking off your recordings as a WAV file or MIDI

It has got the traditional MIDI in and out and through connections as well.

They also have clever technology when you’re playing with headphones (for example if you have to be quiet because in your family are in the house) called stereophonic optimising. This is where when you are wearing headphones it gives you the sound in your right ear of the piano from the right hand side, and the same with your left ear (it gives you the sound from the left hand side). It is actually very nicely done – certainly not just a gimmick and I recommend trying it if you can! The pianos both have that technology in there.

So, the big question’s ‘what piano should I buy between these two?’ ‘Is it worth the extra for the Clavinova CLP-645?’

Well, for me wooden Keys are what it’s all about. They are so much more authentic, and so much nicer to play; it is almost just a case of that alone for me. This feature makes the CLP-645 a much nicer piano, and if you couple this up with the superior speakers it really does make all the difference. This is because you need that light and shade, you need that scope to play with subtlety.

For these reasons, this is why to me the CLP-645 is the winner between these two.

Yamaha CLP635 Clavinova piano in summary:

Yamaha CLP635WHYamaha CLP-645
Plastic KeysWooden Keys
30W Amp X225W Amp X4
16cm Speakers X216cm speakers X2
N/A8cm Speakers X 2
N/ABluetooth

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