Yamaha CLP645 Clavinova Piano

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Yamaha CLP645 Clavinova Piano Review

If you are trying to decide at the moment between the Yamaha CLP645 Clavinova Piano and CLP 675 then this blog post is for you! I’m going to explain precisely what the differences are between these two pianos and what it is you get for the extra expense. For me there are 4 major differences between these pianos.

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Firstly, the key mechanism on these two pianos is different; they both have weighted keys, however the CLP645 uses the older version. This is called the NWX action, which still feels like a real piano to play, but simply just uses older technology. The CLP-675 on the other hand uses Yamaha’s newer technology called Grande Touch. This is something that even a beginner will feel, as well as folks that come into our showroom here. They will sit down, play these two pianos, and notice the difference in touch immediately. The CLP-675 really does feel different to the Yamaha CLP645 Clavinova Piano.

How do the Yamaha CLP645 Clavinova Piano and the CLP675 feel and sound differently?

Well to me, the CLP-675 certainly feels heavier to the touch than the Yamaha CLP645. The response seems pretty much the same from the tip of the key all the way to the back of the key. This is important because Yamaha are of course, always striving to get their digital pianos to be more authentic. Every time a new addition of these pianos come along in their cycle (which is once every four to six years) better technology has been researched and developed. We see that improved technology filter into the top two pianos here in the Clavinova range.

I should mention that both of these pianos have wooden keys, which is a really nice feature.

The second major difference between these two pianos is the speaker and amplifier configuration. Now, it’s important to realise that it is not all about volume with these things; you might think well I’m not going to play too loud because I have got neighbours that I mustn’t disturb, but it’s more to do with the variation that you can get from the piano in terms of playing with light and shade putting a bit of feeling into your playing as well. The CLP-675 (again this is something that people notice even without much playing experience) has more depth in the bass than the Yamaha CLP645 Clavinova Piano, and the sound is also crisper; it has more clarity all the way through to the top-end as well.

In comparison to the Yamaha CLP645 it does tend to feel a little bit boxed in when you play the two together. As you’ll hear later on, there is a two-way speaker system on the Yamaha CLP645, and there’s a 3-way speaker system on the CLP- 675. Now what this really means is if you were to look along underneath the two pianos, you would see that the CLP645 has an empty cavity underneath which granted does have acoustic properties, but it’s also got these two little speakers pointing downwards.

Underneath the CLP- 675, what we have is a great big bass speaker that’s running all the way from one side nearly all the way to the other. This when you really give it some welly, you can feel it flapping your trouser legs. It really Improves that bass. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s all about volume as I said, it’s all about giving you the range to play as a sensitive player; which you have to develop and you will develop as you improve.

Key differences between the Yamaha CLP645 and the CLP675

Now the third really big difference between these two pianos is all to do with how the keys themselves are weighted. On the inside they have hammers attached to the key so it’s a real weighting that you are feeling. On a Traditional grand piano, every single key as you go up the keyboard has its own Weight; of course it gets lighter as you go to the top. It is quite pronounced on a traditional piano and you do feel it on the CLP645 and the CLP-675 as well, but there is a crucial difference between these two.

What it is is the CLP-675 is the first one in the range where every single key does have its own weight. On the Yamaha CLP645 Clavinova Piano what happens is although the keys at the bottom are heavier than the keys at the top, as you go up you’ll find that they move up in blocks. This means there are certain blocks that have the same weight to say four or five keys, then the next block will have the same weight; but they’ll be slightly lighter then the next block will have (then and on and on).

The CLP- 675 is the first one that does have linear weighted Keys as they call it.

This is where every single key as you go up has its own weight. Again, this is Important because what we’re striving to do with these pianos is achieve maximum authenticity, and of course that is what we have on a traditional piano. That is replicated on the CLP-675. It is the first piano in the range that does it, so for me that is another major reason why the CLP-675 is a superior spec than the Yamaha CLP645 Clavinova Piano.

Now the fourth really big difference between these two pianos is how you control them using the sustain pedal, because the CLP-675 has a technology called GP damper response which is missing on Yamaha CLP645.

For anyone that doesn’t know what this is, here is an explanation..

On a traditional piano when you play a note, you’re hearing a string that’s vibrating inside the cabinet. As we play a note, it causes a hammer to come up and hit a string, and it starts to vibrate. Now when you take your finger off the key, a hammer will return and it will kill the sound from the string… unless you play the sustain pedal with your foot. This will cause the hammer to stay away from the string, and the string will vibrate; therefore the sound is sustained – this is not available on the Yamaha CLP645 Clavinova Piano.

On a traditional grand piano you have the ability to do what’s called half pedalling which is where the hammer returns ever so slightly. Not all the way but just a little bit, and it takes the edge off the vibration (causing the sound to be numbed down ever so slightly). It is a very important skill to have. You’re required as you’re doing the upper grades to show that type of control and subtlety in your playing – this technology is missing from the CLP645, but we do have it on 675. It is very important to consider if you have high aims playing the piano or if you’re buying for someone who you think is going to be quite an advanced player.

This is a really important facility to have in a digital piano.

So just quickly to go over some of the other spec that is the same they both have:

Full-length 88 keys both of the keys sets and the white keys are made out of wood

The dimensions are more or less the same (but on the CLP-675 as you can see it is ever so slightly higher- up 40 millimetres higher than the CLP645R and we have a little bit more depth but not by much.

Both the Yamaha CLP645 and CLP675 can take Bluetooth control so you can play music through them from your phone or your tablet (or whatever you can record on)

Both of these pianos can take your recordings off as a WAV file on a USB Stick.

Of course you can wear headphones with both of these pianos.

As well they’ve got lots of sounds built into them. Crucially the two really wonderful grand pianos that you’ll hear- the Yamaha CFX concert grand and the Bösendorfer Imperial grand as well.

The main differences between the Yamaha CLP645 and CLP675 pianos just to summarise..

For you the main thing is the key mechanisms are different between these two pianos. We use older technology on the CLP645, it’s still very nice still feels weighted. We have however got the newer version of this closer to the real thing on CLP-675 called Grand touch.

The speakers and amplifiers are a different setup we have a two-way system on the Yamaha CLP645 Clavinova Piano, and a 3-way system on the CLP-675 giving you more round sound; particularly on the base end, but there is a crispness that’s present all the way through to the treble end as well.

The Yamaha CLP645 Clavinova Piano does feel a little bit boxed in in comparison, the way the keys are weighted as they’re graded and they go up and they get a lighter. The CLP645 it does it in blocks, and the CLP-675 is the first one that replicates a traditional piano in full (in that every single key has its own weight as you go up the keyboard), as I’ve just explained the GP damper responds so you’ve got more control with controlling the other hammer returning to the strings. Not that there are strings in these by the way but the effect is killing slightly the vibration of a string to give you more control over the sound (just what you would get on a traditional grand piano).

Yamaha CLP645 Clavinova Piano in summary:

Yamaha CLP645RYamaha CLP675
NWX KeyboardGrand Touch Keyboard
2 Way Speaker System3 Way Speaker System
Block Grading OnlyWeight Grading In Every Key
N/AGP Damper Response

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