Yamaha CLP-725 REVIEW | 2022 Clavinova Piano | Lower Price


Yamaha CLP-725 review
UPDATED REVIEW - May 1, 2022 - LOWER PRICE HERE - The Yamaha CLP-725 Clavinova digital piano at $1999 price for matte finishes is the latest and lowest price Yamaha Clavinova home digital piano for 2022. With its good looks, impressive key action movement, and resonant stereo piano sound, this model is a big contender in the "under $2000 price range" for a high quality furniture cabinet digital piano whether you are beginner, intermediate, or advanced player. This model focuses on the "piano playing experience" without a lot of "frills" that many people may not use. In this detailed review of the CLP-725 you will learn enough about this newer digital piano to make an informed buying decision whether you want this model or perhaps another brand and model of digital pianos under $2000.


YAMAHA CLAVINOVA DIGITAL PIANO 


Yamaha CLP-725 polished ebony
The Yamaha CLP-725 is part of the "Clavinova" series of digital pianos which are very popular for the Yamaha company and the Clavinova's cover many different price ranges with a variety of digital features from being very basic up to having a ton of "bells & whistles."
 The Clavinova series of digital pianos have been made by Yamaha for over 35 years and those pianos have proven to be popular with piano teachers, students, churches, schools, and everyone in-between. So there is definitely a big history there and some Clavinova's have been really great and some during the years (unfortunately) not so good...but you can't always be perfect or close to it. Nevertheless, the new Clavinova 700 series really are right on point and very impressive for what they offer. There is a wide variety of piano options and price ranges in the Yamaha digital piano lineup and the lowest priced most basic Yamaha Clavinova is called the CLP-725

This model comes in three colors: matte rosewood or matte black ($1999 internet discount price) and also a beautiful high polished ebony finish ($2399 internet discount price) and all of them include a matching padded bench. Matte black seems to be the more popular color since it is easier to contrast with home furnishings, is a lower price at $1999 as compared to the polished ebony at $2399. But the matte rosewood is attractive as well and if you can increase your budget then the elegant looking high gloss polished ebony is a great choice and very elegant because it has that "wow factor" of being high gloss polish.


Yamaha CLP-725 matte rosewood
The general idea behind the CLP-725 model is that if you are wanting to be in a lower price range under $2000 for a matte finish and just want to mainly focus on and play piano without having many other "bells & whistles,"
 then this is the Clavinova model for you. If you can go a bit higher in price then you will want to consider the upgraded Yamaha Clavinova CLP-735 or CLP-745 which I have reviewed on this blog. The upgraded models are very nice and worth consideration because they offer more realistic piano sound and more piano options. But as for the new CLP-725, it really does put out a lot of impressive piano tone in a compact furniture style cabinet with enough digital features to provide a variety of other things you can do.If you want to read my review on the higher priced CLP_735 and CLP-745 then go to the following link to read my review on those models: Yamaha CLP-735 & CLP-745 Review

Top 5 highlights of the Clavinova CLP-725 


1. The keys are upgraded with synthetic ebony key tops for the black keys which allows for a nicer more organic appearance and feel on the black keys and is also a sweat absorbing material for those people (like me:) with sweaty hands and fingers. The white keys still have a nice synthetic ivory on them for a smoother, less sticky surface. The piano cabinet is also slightly upgraded and has redesigned front support legs and music rack.

2. The key action is new and now called "GrandTouch-S" and has an improved key movement which is lighter and more responsive than the previous model CLP-625 (that action was somewhat heavy) and is a welcome change which I like very much. The key action" escapement" feature on all keys is also noticeably upgraded and more responsive when pressing down the keys. A key action escapement/let-off feature tries to simulate what a real grand piano feels like when playing the keys lightly. There is a slight hesitation or notch that you would feel which can give you more control of the keys when playing softly and this feature is part of acoustic piano key actions.  

3. The piano sound is also where the CLP-725 has been noticeably improved. Yamaha uses two higher quality piano sound samples from their better acoustic grand pianos (Yamaha & Bosendorfer grand pianos). Adding to the realistic piano sound samples, Yamaha has added more organic sound content to the samples along with resonance modeling technology to give the sound a more "natural" organic piano tone and is an improvement over the previous model and another welcome change. 

4. The new CLP-725 has upgraded speakers to achieve a bigger, bolder piano sound which is very important. So when playing the piano sounds through better speakers you will hear a more authentic, more resonate piano tone not previously available on the prior models and that difference makes a big positive impression for me because without good speakers the sound tends to be thin and artificial..

5. Yamaha has a new headphone sound technology called binaural sampling which simulates a more natural piano sound experience in the headphones for their CFX grand piano sound. Instead of the sound just normally flowing through the left & right ears in a linear fashion, the binaural technology simulates the sound location in a 3D sort of way like you would hear if you were not using headphones and just listening normally through the piano speaker system in a room. It's a pretty cool feature and sounds great.

KEY ACTION DETAILS


Yamaha CLP-725 key action
However, the first thing that people should look for when shopping for a digital piano is the key action and how closely it can simulate a real acoustic piano.
A good key action is critical in the musical growth of piano students and how they can interact with the keys as well as for the more advanced player who would be playing more complex music. The keys need to be weighted like a good acoustic piano, move up and down like a piano with good balance from one end of the keyboard to the other and be responsive so that you can express yourself in a musical way. Key actions are considered the most important part of any piano and a digital piano is no exception. You would think that Yamaha would know what they are doing because they design and produce real acoustic pianos and have being doing so for decades. But just because you can make good acoustic pianos does not necessarily mean you can do the same for digital pianos because a digital piano is really a completely different thing. Yamaha has not always had the best key actions in the past and I have mentioned that in my reviews over the years. But Yamaha finally "nailed it" this time and I was impressed.


Yamaha GrandTouch-S key action
The CLP-725 key action is identical to the higher priced CLP-735 model which is using Yamaha's new GrandTouch-S key action.
 Grandtouch has been a feature of the higher priced Yamaha Clavinova digital pianos but now there is a new modified version of GrandTouch which is the "S" version found on the new CLP-725 and CLP-735. The new key action has a solid, faster, lighter, and more responsive key movement than on previous models and is a real improvement and I noticed it right away. I was surprised how much better and different it was when I played it and was pleased that Yamaha finally changed and improved this key action after having the previous version for many years. It's about time! 

YAMAHA PIANO SOUND TECHNOLOGY


Bosendorfer grand piano pic
Proper piano sampling (recording) from real pianos takes a lot of knowledge and experience to get it right. With advances in the sampling process along with better pianos to use as the "sampled" instrument, Yamaha has improved the overall organic tonal characteristics, clarity, and authenticity of the piano sounds in the CLP-725. Using Yamaha's latest and greatest acoustic grand pianos called the Yamaha CFX and Bosendorfer  Imperial 9' grand pianos, the CLP-725 just sounds better with these new piano tones and that is a good thing. Yamaha still has their 256-polyphony processor and triple sensor key action (GrandTouch-S) in this model which they have in all their new Clavinova cabinet pianos these days. With a 256-note polyphony piano processor chip a person will not run out of polyphony piano memory and experience "note dropout" that used to be a problem some years ago. 

Also, no matter how complex the the music is that you are playing, the the triple sensor system under each key will assist in faster key repetition recognition when playing keys more quickly. But do not be fooled by any of these piano companies who market their small digital pianos as sounding and playing  just like "grand pianos" because they don't. The differences are just too large between an acoustic grand piano and a small digital piano like the CLP-725 (or others) to translate into a real grand piano....not going to happen. But nevertheless, the CLP-725 is a joy to play, sounds great, feels so much more responsive, and is a very competent digital piano.

grand piano strings picture
When it comes to a real acoustic grand piano, it has a big all wood body, vibrating all-wood soundboard, all-wood full length keys, wooden moving parts, metallic strings, natural felt and leather parts, and so on. To translate all those organic tonal components into a digital piano is virtually impossible given the constraints of the digital piano cabinet, speaker system, position of speakers, and materials used in the digital piano. So do not expect a digital piano to be like or sound exactly like an acoustic piano. But the fact is that most people who do not have piano playing or piano listening experience would not be able to tell the difference if it hit them in the face...and the advanced pianists who can tell the difference may not care that much because some of these new digital pianos are getting very close to the real thing, especially if you need a small footprint, relatively inexpensive instrument for the purpose of playing piano on an instrument that will never go out of tune and you can practice privately using stereo headphones like this new CLP-725. There's a lot to be said for all of that.  

YAMAHA CLP-725 PEDALING FUNCTIONALITY


Yamaha CLP725 digital piano picture
When using the pedals on a digital piano its important to know if those pedals work properly and that they are responsive to foot control. The CLP-725 does have three full size, full functioning pedals that control the normal functions of a real piano including soft, sostenuto, and damper sustain. The right damper sustain pedal also triggers a feature called half-damper which allows you to control the sustain time in varying degrees depending on how far you press down the pedal and this is especially important as you are able to play at a higher skill level and would need that type of control. There are some digital piano companies that do not have this feature and I would personally stay away from those models. But in the case of Yamaha all of their models provide for half-damper control. The piano sustain/decay time is very good (how long the piano tone will be heard when letting go of the keys while holding down the sustain pedal). The more sustain/decay time that a digital piano can produce, the more natural your music will be especially when playing legato and needing more resonance.

YAMAHA CLP-725 DIGITAL FEATURES


Yamaha CLP-725 side control panel
The Yamaha CLP-725 does have a number of nice features that can be found on other digital pianos in this price range including instrument sounds. The CLP-725 has a total of 10 sounds (which is not much) incl 2 acoustic piano sounds, 2 electric pianos, strings, choir, harpsichord, etc.
Some people don't care about extra sounds and mainly just want regular piano sounds and so the CLP-725 does that fine that way although this model only has the 2 piano sounds where other brands and models can have more variety which can be very nice. The CLP-725 also has the ability to layer two sounds together at the same time such as piano and strings which can add extra enjoyment to your music. Other features include key transpose/modulation to hear your music in other keys while playing the same notes, playing in a "duo" mode which allows two people to sit next to each other and play the same song together within the same octaves which is useful for 2 people practicing at the same time, a digital and adjustable metronome to help with rhythm & timing, reverb effects to give the feeling of playing piano in a larger room or hall which a natural echo. 

One other useful feature is the touch sensitivity control which offers 3 different settings including soft touch, normal, and hard touch. This function does not change the physical aspect of the key movement but does change how soon the piano sound comes on when you press down the keys. The side control panel is easy to use, quite minimalistic in its appearance, and buttons light up to tell you what functions are being used.

CLP-725 RECORDING FUNCTIONS


Yamaha CLP725 digital piano picture
The CLP-725 has a 2-track MIDI recorder which can also be found on many digital pianos all the way down to about $500 so it is not unusual but certainly useful for playing and recording left-hand and right-hand parts independently and then playing along with the other hand or listening to both recorded hand parts playing back at the same time. Great for students or for skilled players learning new music. You can only save one recorded song in the piano but can transfer that save a MIDI song Yamaha CLP725 piano file to a computer for storage, but that method is not something I like to do and is inconvenient. It would have been much better and easier if this new piano model had a USB flashdrive input to put in a thumb-drive and transfer recorded songs into it in that way as many other digital pianos can do in this price range including all the other Clavinova models. I know this CLP-725 model is supposed to be a "no-frills" basic piano but if brands like Roland, Casio, and Kawai can offer a USB flashdrive input in their (less than $2000) pianos to save and load songs, why can't Yamaha do it? The answer to that is they probably want you to spend more money on the higher models to get that feature. 

When I see something like this that is so obvious, it just shows that Yamaha (in this case) purposely leaves off certain good features that they could otherwise include just to get you to spend a lot more money. Oh well, can't win all the battles I guess, but I can complain:). For many people, the recording and other features in this model would likely be enough, but I am always looking for more, especially given how much good technology exists out there. At the very least Yamaha could have also included a small OLED or LCD display screen on the control panel to see what you are doing when you press a button rather than relying on lights and the owners manual. However, there is a very good remedy for this and that's by using the proprietary app that Yamaha created called "Smart Pianist."

YAMAHA SMART PIANIST APP


Yamaha Smart Pianist app
The "Smart Pianist" app allows you to connect your tablet (iPad is best) to the piano through USB connectivity and then you can easily and intuitively control all the functions of the piano from the color touch screen of your external device tablet. It's a very cool way to interface with the piano and that app also has additional features in it not found in the piano such as displaying sheet music of the songs built into the piano and being able to play along with those songs at any tempo you choose. You can also import iTunes into the app of your favorite songs and then see the chords for those songs and play along with them and do some of that play-along by ear. That's really a lot of fun, especially for those people who like music other than classical. That Smart Pianist app puts the CLP-725 on another level in terms of control and function and is a great addition for the CLP-725. 

YAMAHA CLP-725 CABINET & DESIGN


Yamaha CLP-725 cabinet color options
In the final analysis the CLP-725 is a very nice but more basic digital piano in the Clavinova line that has an attractive furniture cabinet with front support legs and a back privacy panel and is offered in 3 different color finishes. It comes with a comfortable padded piano bench, has a nice sliding key cover, has an easy to use minimalistic left side button control panel as I previously mentioned, and comes with a long 5-year in-home factory warranty.
  This model also has "sheet music clip holder" built into the piano in front of the music rack to help hold the music in place. So whether you like the matte back color, the darker brown rosewood color, or the upgraded elegant polished ebony finish, there are a few good options with regard to cabinet and with the front support legs on this model it makes it more sturdy to put on just about any floor. At approximately 53" wide, 16" deep, 33" high and weighing approx 95 lbs, I believe many people will really like the more compact, minimalistic, but attractive size and design of the Yamaha CLP-725.  

CLP-725 CONNECTIVITY 


Yamaha CLP725 digital piano pictureThe audio power on the CLP-725 is the same as the previous model at 40 watts total power into 2 speakers which are a bit larger than the previous model. But when it comes to connectivity hardware on this model, it is very sparse and only has USB output to device and 2 stereo headphone jacks. If you are mainly wanting to play piano then this is likely all you will need as far as connectivity goes. But if you need separate audio output jacks (the headphone jack can be used as audio out), audio input jacks, or USB to thumbdrive ports, forget about it because there are none. Also, there is no Bluetooth wireless connectivity either. So if you need those feature then the CLP-725 is not for you and. 

There are a few more functions and features in this new model but overall what I found when playing this piano is that it will be very good for people who just primarily want a piano and are not so concerned about or needing other digital features like extra sounds, drum rhythms, 16-track recording, audio recording, Bluetooth wireless streaming, etc. 

FINAL THOUGHTS ON YAMAHA CLP-725


Yamaha polished ebony digital piano
polished ebony example
Finally, the CLP-725 is the only lower priced furniture cabinet digital piano out of all the brands that is offered in a more elegant polished ebony finish for $400 more ($2399) as I mentioned earlier. Polished ebony (similar to the left picture) is typically what you will see in grand pianos and is a high gloss black shiny finish which is very beautiful but also a bit higher maintenance as it is easier to see dust and fingerprints on it. That finish can also get scratched a bit easier if you are not careful, but if you take care of it the polished ebony finish certainly makes it look more elegant in the room. Roland, Casio, and Kawai do not offer a polished ebony finish in this price range so that is a distinct advantage this model has if you are interested in this finish option.  

I do recommend the CLP-725 as a very good option in this price range but there are certainly other digital piano options out there including the Kawai CA49 ($2299) , Casio AP-470 ($1699), and Korg G1 Air ($1999). Do your research and homework while shopping for a good piano and then contact me and I will show you how to get even lower prices on brand new digital pianos including free shipping, no tax, and full factory warranty. 

If you want more info on new digital pianos and LOWER PRICES than internet discounts, please email me at tim@azpianowholesale.com or call direct at 602-571-1864.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for in depth review. I am leaning towards CLP625 because of the price, but I am trying to figure how I can connect the piano to an external hifi speakers, like the CLP 635 does via its Aux out. I have a digital to analog converter (DAC) which I use to convert digital music to analog to listen them in a hifi system. Now that the CLP 625 has only 2 headphone jacks as the only audio source, is there any way that I can connect the CLP 625 to my hifi receiver and through it to hifi speakers? One thing comes to my mind is to connect the piano to an Ipad and through Airplay mirror the sound to the external hifi system, although there will be some loss of audio quality. Is this possible and are there other ways? How about connecting the piano via headphone jack to a Macbook Pro and from there through a USB DAC to the hifi system?

My second question, in the Yamaha official web site, the pedal functions of the CLP 625 listed as Damper, Sostenuto, Soft.

The pedal functions of the CLP 635 are listed as Sustain (Switch), Sustain Contin uously, Sostenuto, Soft, Expression, Pitch Bend Up, Pitch Bend Down, Rotary Speed, Vibe Rotor, Song Play/Pause.

How would you evaluate these differences especially when it comes to connecting both pianos to a computer as a MIDI controller to play virtual instrument stored in the computer?