Yamaha CLP-675, CLP-685, CLP-695GP | REVIEW | Digital Pianos 2020

Yamaha CLP675, CLP685, CLP695 picture

🎹 Yamaha Clavinova CLP-675, CLP-685, CLP-695GP | UPDATED REVIEW & COMPARISON | March 2020 | The Yamaha CLP-675, CLP-685, and CLP-695GP are the 3 top-of-the-line digital pianos in the Yamaha CLP series and have upgraded key actions called GrandTouch along with better internal speaker systems as compared to lower priced models.


Yamaha CLP675 & CLP685 piano picture
CLP-675 satin black
CLP695 pictureThe CLP-675 is offered in rosewood, matte black, and dark matte walnut for $4699US store discount price with a polished ebony version at $5299US store discount price, and the CLP-685 is offered in matte black for $5799US store discount price with a polished ebony version at $6599US store discount price and a polished white version at $7599US store discount price. The new CLP-695GP (GP stands for "grand piano") in polished ebony is priced on-line at $7499US discount price and in the polished white color is $8499US discount price. The CLP-695GP mini grand has the same functions and features as the the upright CLP-685 except it's in a new, larger 4' deep grand style cabinet. Yamaha has never offered a mini grand version of their top-of-the-line upright style cabinet before and the CLP-695GP mini grand is just being released now to the general public in the US. I do know that shoppers have been asking Yamaha for a top-of-the-line larger 4' deep beautiful looking mini grand cabinet for many years and it would appear that Yamaha has listened to these requests long enough that they finally decided to offer one that I think will meet the needs of those people who are looking for an elegant attractive mini grand piano that sounds great, plays real good, and offers enough exciting higher end features (like the current CLP-685 upright style) to keep most people very happy for many years. The primary reason for me talking about these three models together in one review is because of the new GrandTouch key action that Yamaha has developed exclusively for these models that all three of these pianos share, whereas none of the other lower priced Clavinova models have this new key action. Also, the CLP-675, CLP-685, and CLP-695GP have more powerful internal speaker systems than the other models below them. By the way, unfortunately Yamaha adds a big $1000 extra charge just to get the polished white color which is a huge price jump for a white cabinet over a polished ebony finish. But I suppose if you want the CLP-685 or CLP-695GP bad enough in polished white, then that's the price you'll have to pay to play...so to speak:).

Yamaha CLP675 & CLP685 piano picture
CLP685 polished ebony
As far as key action goes in these three models, without a doubt this portion of any piano is the most important part of any piano playing experience. There are a variety of different piano key actions in both acoustic and digital pianos including all the major brands and they all claim to have this "secret sauce" as I call it when it comes to producing what they think is a great key action that can handle all of a player's musical needs and desires for an expressive keyboard playing experience. Some of them actually are impressive and expressive key actions to play and others aren't so great regardless of what the manufacturers would otherwise claim in their marketing and promotion advertising. Most people would expect that the more money you pay for a piano instrument, the better and more responsive the key action will be, therefore producing an even greater amount of playing enjoyment. But unfortunately that is not necessarily true and is the case in my opinion concerning the CLP675.

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Yamaha CLP675 & CLP685 piano picture
Although the CLP-675, CLP-685, and CLP-695GP mini grand use the same Grandtouch keys, the CLP685 and CLP695GP are different than the CLP-675 because the keys on the CLP-685 and CLP-695GP have counterweights inside of them which creates a noticeably more balanced, more responsive, and lighter key action response as compared to the CLP675. On the lower priced Yamaha CLP-645, it has a different key action called Yamaha CLP675 & CLP685 piano pictureNWX which offers wood keys and was the key action used on the previous 500 series model CLP-575 and CLP-585 (with key counter-weights), so I was looking forward to playing and enjoying the new GrandTouch wood key action in the new CLP-675, CLP-685, and CLP-695GP. But what I found specifically on the CLP-675 was that the key action was overly heavy and stiff in my opinion, especially when playing more lightly and softly and the keys just took too much finger force to press down compared to most good acoustic upright and grand pianos I have played...including Yamaha acoustic pianos. In other words, the static touch weight of the keys (amount of downward pressure it takes for the fingers to press down the keys) was overly heavy in the CLP-675 and there was a lot of upward resistance to pressing down the keys. So when I would try to play lightly the keys just did not want to go down easily and an unusual amount of finger pressure was needed to press the keys down as compared to the NWX action in the previous models (CLP-575 & CLP-585) and currently used in the new CLP-645. Beyond that, the new GrandTouch action on all three of these new pianos is a bit noisy in my opinion. If you are playing with some energy and pressing the keys down with a bit of force, when the keys hit bottom they make a knocking/thumping sound and it's more noticeable when the master piano volume is set to lower levels and you are in a quiet room. Also, when the keys come back up they are also a bit noisy and have a louder key return, especially when playing at lower volumes. To me this could be distracting for some people, especially when playing in a quiet room. This key action situation may not bother other people, particularly in a church or school setting where people may be singing or other instruments are playing along, but it was something that I noticed and wanted to mention it. However, it is also good to know that real acoustic pianos tend to have noisy key actions even more so than these digital pianos. But the difference is that you can't hear that key action noise in a regular acoustic piano because the volume of an acoustic piano is always so loud that it covers up the mechanical key noise. In a digital piano you can turn down the volume with the volume knob so it can be played quietly and then that's when you will hear more of the key noise. But this is true on some other digital pianos as well.

Yamaha CLP675 & CLP685 piano picture
CLP695 pictureWith regard to these key action issues that I experienced with the Grandtouch keys,  the lower priced NWX wood key action does not have the same type of key movement noise as compared to the CLP-675 or even the CLP-685 and CLP-695GP. For someone who enjoys a much firmer key action then they may really enjoy playing the CLP-675, but I did not. The CLP-685 and CLP-695GP grand counterbalanced key action does feel good to play and although it does feel as if there is more mass and weight under your fingers when playing the keys than the CLP-645 has with its NWX wood key action, the response is very smooth and expressive and is a noticeable improvement over the CLP-675 key action. For this reason alone I personally would get the CLP-685 or CLP-695GP over the CLP-675 if you can fit it into your budget. Actually, Yamaha could have put the same "counter-balanced" weighted keys in the CLP-675 but for some reason they chose not to do that. I think that was a big mistake and in reality adding that better "counter-balanced" key action would have made the CLP-675 a much better option but as it is now, I don't recommend it. It would be much better to go up to the CLP-685, CLP-695GP, or down to the CLP-645. There may be some people out there who would disagree with me concerning this key action that is part of the CLP-675 and perhaps you may like this action and if so, that is fine and is your choice. Since there is no way to change the physical weighting of the keys themselves then your only option is to change the velocity digital touch curve and that may help a bit but doesn't address the actual key resistance and weight.

CLP695 pictureI have played top of the line Yamaha, Steinway, Bosendorfer, and other famous grand pianos and my experience on those grands with regard to key action was almost always good and very enjoyable to play with quick, relatively light and responsive keys. With regard to the CLP-675, regardless of everything Yamaha says in their marketing ads, although this new GrandTouch key action does include a more stable key movement as well as longer keys and more realistic fulcrum point so that the finger pressure needed for playing anywhere on the keys (both black & white keys or front to back of key) is more even and a bit closer to a grand piano, I did find a few issues with it. The overall extra heaviness/firmness of the keys when pressing down on the CLP675 keys (as I mentioned before) and the increased noise of both black and white keys going up & down on the CLP675 (along with some fatigue I experienced in my fingers on the CLP-675) does, in my opinion, counteract the positive points of this key action. Again, I do like the key action movement and response on the CLP-685 and CLP-695GP very much and if it were not for the slightly increased key noise (perhaps this extra noise is due to the longer wood key with the counter-weights inside), I would have no complaints about the CLP-685/CLP-695GP key action at all and it would be my preferred key action of all the Clavinova models, but you would definitely need more dollars in your budget to own one.

Yamaha CLP675 & CLP685 piano picture
So now on to the piano sound realism and other features. From here on in, all of the Yamaha Clavinova pianos models starting from the CLP-635 share the identical acoustic piano sounds, the identical user control panel, and pretty much all the same digital features including reverb, individual sound and tone editing with the exception of the CLP-685/CLP-695GP having extra added instrument sounds including 49 proprietary instrument tones developed for the CLP-685/CLP-695GP along with 480 Yamaha standard XG Yamaha CLP675 & CLP685 piano picture instruments. The Yamaha XG instruments is a sound library of additional orchestral, band, and percussive tones that Yamaha has exclusively on the CLP-685/695GP and one of the biggest benefits to this XG library of instrument sounds is that they are compatible with playing General MIDI song files including song play formats by other digital piano manufacturers. So if you want to Yamaha CLP675 & CLP685 piano picture find, buy, and download from the  musically exciting MIDI song files from just about any composer or song you can think of , then you can put them on a USB flashdrive and have the CLP-685/CLP-695GP playback those songs. Then you can listen, sing along, or playalong with those songs for musical enjoyment, you can slow down the songs to more easily playalong and learn them, or transpose them to any key to suit your vocal range better and none of the other Clavinova pianos can do this. Also, to have those hundreds of extra sounds that you can play live such as saxophones, trumpets, bells, banjos, guitars, synthesizers, etc, just adds to the fun and enjoyment the CLP-685/CLP-695GP can bring. *It is also good to know that both of these piano models have a large amount of built-in sound, recording, pedal, and function editing features that allows you to manipulate (customize) just about every digital feature on these pianos so that you can have more control over them in a way that satisfies your piano playing needs. If you want to know more about these helpful features then just take a look at the owners manual on-line and you'll see a huge list of these many features.

Yamaha CLP675 & CLP685 piano picture With regard to the new Yamaha piano sound engine including recorded piano samples from the latest Yamaha Concert Grand and European Bosendorfer Concert Grand, I do like the new acoustic piano sound authenticity very much and they have greatly been improved from the previous models. There is a "presence" to the setero grand piano sounds that gives you the feeling of hearing "the real thing" I talk about this new piano sound in my CLP-645/635 review so please read more about the new piano sound there.  Accessing these sounds and related functions in these new pianos from their side control panel is identical to the lower priced CLP-635 and CLP-645 pianos and the new control panel is much nicer and much easier to use as compared to the previous models CLP-575 & CLP-585. I have detailed my thoughts about the Clavinova 600 series piano sound, control panel, and other functions in my recent CLP-635/645 review so I recommend you read my comments there about the piano sound since the CLP-675, CLP-685, and CLP-695GP are exactly the same as those pianos. Yamaha CLP-635/645 Review.

Yamaha CLP675 & CLP685 piano picture
As far as pedaling goes on the CLP-675, CLP-685, and CLP-695GP all three of these pianos have the upgraded grand piano damper pedal feel as opposed to the upright or normal pedaling feel that is found on the CLP-645 and below. Other digital piano companies have this "grand feel" feature as well (even down under the $2000US range) and what they do is make the resistance of the pedals to your foot pressure a bit lighter when you initially press the pedals down and then the pedal gradually get heavier or more resistant to your Yamaha CLP675 & CLP685 piano picture foot pressure as you press it down further. This is a pretty cool feature and it does feel a bit different than the lower priced models and supposedly can help you develop a more realistic feel for grand piano pedaling, but how important this is in your overall piano playing experience on a digital piano is not really critical in my opinion. This is because ultimately the same right pedal sustain/decay result is the same regardless of the pedal pressure and fact is that real grand piano pedals and the pressure they exert on the right foot can be different from grand piano brand to another so they are not all the same. Some are heavier overall and some lighter, and yes, some adjustments can be made to that acoustic pedaling movement but as far as the CLP-675, CLP-685, and CLP-695GP go, the pedaling is very nice and for some people the grand pedal feel on the right pedal (aka: GP response damper pedal) would be a benefit, but for many people playing at a recreational skill level, just having a decent smooth pedal movement is all they really need which is what you would find on both the lower priced Yamaha CLP-635 and CLP-645 assuming you need to be in a lower price range.

Yamaha CLP675 & CLP685 piano picture
Yamaha CLP675 & CLP685 piano picture CLP695 picture The internal sound system in all three of these new models are significantly louder and fuller than on the lower priced models. This will help when playing at softer volumes because the extra power helps to increase the richness of the sound when playing at lower volumes. On the CLP-675 the internal speaker system consists of a huge 210 watts of power going through 6 separate amplifiers and 6 speakers with part of system enclosed in a separate speaker box under the piano. The top of the line CLP-685 and CLP-695GP mini grand have the same sound system in both models which includes a whopping 300 watts of power each going through 6 amplifiers and 6 speakers with the main speaker cone being made from spruce wood pulp instead of the traditional paper, plastic, and kevlar materials found in most speaker cones in digital pianos and audio equipment. Since Yamaha has never used wood as a material in a digital piano speaker before as far as I know, the speaker durability, longevity, and overall sound reproduction ability & consistency is yet to be seen, although it likely will be durable for a long time. Wood speaker cones have existed for many years in some hi-fi speaker equipment so I suspect it will be a good thing in the CLP-685/CLP-695GP and it does have a nice tone to it. It's also good to know and remember that regardless of which Clavinova piano model you choose (with the exception of the entry level CLP-625), the piano sound coming through stereo headphones is absolutely identical on all models because you are not relying on the internal speaker system for the sound quality you are hearing. So if for some reason you will mostly be listening to the piano through headphones, then getting a super huge and loud internal speaker system could be overkill for your needs, unless you want or need the upgraded internal speaker system and/or more advanced key action, etc.

Yamaha CLP675 & CLP685 piano picture
CLP-685 polished white
As for any other differences between the vertical CLP-675 and CLP-685 go, the cabinet design is noticeably different with the CLP-685 being more contemporary, streamlined, and having a different look as well as the CLP-685 being almost 3" taller and also about 30 lbs heavier than the CLP-675, so it is more substantial. I do like the more upgraded cabinet of the CLP-685 as compared to the CLP-675. The CLP-685 also has a unique slow-close folding key cover as opposed to the more traditional sliding key cover on the CLP-675 like all the other CLP models have so I do like that feature very much on the CLP-685. The CLP-685 music rack works nicely and supports sheet music with its built-in sheet music holders in the music rack itself so that is a very nice touch in this new model over the previous one. The CLP-695GP mini grand is obviously different in cabinet design than the other two so you would just need to decide if you want a vertical upright style or a grand piano style and if your choice is affordable for you. All three models come with a nice matching padded bench and the Yamaha factory warranty is 5 years parts & labor.

Yamaha CLP675 & CLP685 piano picture
CLP-675 with closed key cover
At the end of the day, playing and enjoying the piano is all about how it makes you feel when you touch, feel, and look at your new instrument. Yamaha certainly does produce some great digital pianos including top notch acoustic pianos and I have played many of them for years. But I believe that, at least for me, I would definitely opt for the higher priced CLP-685 or CLP-695GP over the CLP-675 Clavinova primarily because they are simply better options in my opinion with a much more responsive and quicker playing key action that feels good in terms of weight and the way it moves under your fingers. I CLP695 picture also really like the design and appearance of the CLP-685 as compared to the CLP-675 and the CLP-695GP mini grand has a beautiful interior polished wood grain color that is quite striking and elegant in contrast to its attractive exterior cabinet colors, and I have not seen this design or materials used in any digital grand piano cabinet before now. Along with its sliding key cover, 1-position fully opened lid prop, and minimalistic digital user interface and the left side of the keyboard, the CLP-695GP mini grand at $7499 for the popular polished ebony color I think will overall be a winner for Yamaha and perhaps in the future Yamaha will improve upon the items I mentioned with regard to their key action. The lower priced CLP-645 model is also a good choice and one you should consider over the CLP-675, especially if you prefer to be in a lower price range. The piano sound-chip and most other functions on the lower priced Clavinovas are identical to the higher top end CLP-675 along with the CLP-685 and CLP-695GP, so Yamaha did a great job of giving the lower priced CLP-645 many of the important features of the CLP-675 while still offering a satisfying piano key action playing experience in my opinion. If you decide you want a 4' deep size digital baby grand then the new Yamaha CLP-695GP would be my recommendation over any other brands and models in this price range, and in fact the CLP-695GP has become so popular for Yamaha since they introduced it, Yamaha has been running out of stock on that model fairly often because of the strong demand for them right now. Any of these pianos may be a perfect choice for you, even the CLP-675 with the heaviest of all the Clavinova key actions because maybe you personally will like it since some people do. Regardless, you should be able to find a model in this lineup that you like and if you do, be sure to contact us in person so we can help you further.

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.

12 comments:

  1. The heavy key action of the CLP 685 is the reason why I bought an old 585 with a noticably lighter action instead. And even the 585 has a heavier touch (around 62g) than a real grand piano like a Steinway (around 47g). I didn't measure the CLP 685 downweight, but I think I would be around 80g. If you want a downweight like at a real grand piano you have to choose Kawai.

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  2. We recently bought a CLP685.
    I wish I has seen this review before, we are inexperienced "pianists"!
    In the shop I did not notice that the keys require much more
    force then our old Petrof.
    It is more difficult to play softer phrases because of the relative
    high minimum key force. Indeed the keys are also unnecessary noisy
    for a digital piano.
    The pedals spring-load is also unnecessary high, en they are noisy too!,
    a plasic notch scratces in the metal frame. The pedals unit is a
    cheap construction with too much side play, the red felt is only there for the nice.
    We are disappointed with this piano,
    Yamaha should have build something better for this price.

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  3. I bought a clp-675 despite not having played it, primarily because it was offered to me at a little more than a 645 (which was my original aim)
    I was assured that the grand key action was superior on the 675, which it is I guess to an
    extent.

    It’s an absolutely fantastic piano but it’s heavy with unnecessary noise.
    I don’t want to pigeon hole the series but I will. In my opinion, the best in the 6 series are 685,645,675.
    If you’re a midranger like me, please go and play these pianos.


    The best analogy I can come up with, which is of course wholly subjective is that the clp-675 feels like a downgrade from the 685 and not an upgrade from the 645.

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  4. it's interesting that some people do shopping research AFTER they purchase a digital piano rather than before. It's risky in my opinion to trust a local or on-line store salesperson with what they are promising or assuring you of when it comes to buying a digital piano from them. I pointed out in this review concerning the CLP675 that the key action was extra firm (heavy) and also made unnecessarily loud key movement noise and my very experienced opinion concerning these models should be taken seriously before buying. Playing them in person can help but unless you have piano playing experience you may not recognize the shortcomings of the piano right away until after you buy it. Ultimately it's really no fun to play a piano of any type if your hands, fingers, and ears will not be enjoying the experience. A "good deal" is only a good deal if you like what you get. I wonder why the salesperson/store was so anxious to give you a "good price" on the CLP675? Maybe they knew it was just like you said and wanted to move it as fast as they could because they did not like it either? Regardless, I would try to get my money back (at least as much back as possible) rather than live with something you are not going to enthusiastically enjoy for the rest of your life.

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  5. Well, let me retort.
    My store had the clp 685,645 and (635), which i had a limited time to play.
    I loved both but my budget would not stretch to the 685 (which i would have prefered)
    Cue a month later and i was offered a new 675 for maybe £200 more than the 645, with, as you suspect assurances of the keystroke etc.
    You did point this out in your review, however i was not privvy to this before my purchase. It can be difficult to source unbiased and objective reviews online.

    I am happy with the piano, i'll leave others to dwell on what i've said comes from dissonance rather than professionalism but it does still feel fundamentally like a 685 downgrade rather than an upgrade from the 645

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  6. I have to agree with Tim, Thanks for all your reviews Tim. Just bought my second DP(GP-400) and your review

    spiked my interest in the GH line.

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  7. Hi Tim, in addition to my previous regarding Yamaha digital pianos, would it not be possible to provide as well as an opinion on key touch some hard facts such as actually measuring the keystroke downweight .Other factors easy to measure are Sustain and Resonance. Strike middle C fairly hard hold the key down and measure how long it takes for the sound to fade to nothing (you are looking for at least 10secs, an acoustic piano the sound will last 15-20secs) . Resonance by holding down silently the chord of C (C,E,G) and striking C an octave below, you should hear the Chord resonate as well as the single note.
    Keystroke weight, Sustain and Resonance are the major factors differentiating digital from acoustic pianos, yet at the moment only player opinions are given. Perhaps because digital piano pianos are so bad, maybe if the hard facts were given the manufacturers might be persuaded to do better.

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  8. Hi Tim,
    Thanks for your useful and good reviews!
    I bought a CLP 685 last year. I had to buy it due to serious problems with my old upright Petrof…and with my neighbors too. :-))
    It’s my first digital piano and I’m happy with it, despite the quite heavy and noisy key action. But I have to mention that after long playing sessions my thumbs and little fingers hurt a bit while playing wide chords and some fast passages. I realized it’s because the edges of the white keys are not perfectly smooth, especially the corners; they are slightly rough and sharp, and maybe it’s due to synthetic ivory. The seller claimed all Yamaha piano keyboards are made that way and nobody has never complained about that. Are my fingers too delicate? Your opinion as an expert would be appreciated.
    Regards,

    Giulia Rella (from Italy)

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  9. As far as I can tell the clp695 keyboard is approximately 6-7cm lower than the standard keyboard on an acoustic baby grand. Is this correct? and would that be to low for someone keen to continue their piano exams beyond grade 6? I am in Australia and our Music Examinations Board assesses students to te same high standards as the British Music Examinations Board. Thankyou

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  10. Thanks for your reviews Tim!! I am upgrading from the older model yamaha clp-465gp to the clp695, and was curious as to the difference in action / sound between the two. I already sold my 465, and have not found a store near me that carries the 695 so unfortunately I have been unable to try it out myself. I know it is foolish to buy something you haven't tried but I have done as much research as possibly can, including watching all the videos on the 685/695 I can find. Anyways, I already put the $ down on the 695, and have to wait 2-4 weeks before the piano gets shipped to the local dealer in my city, and thought I might reach out to you to get your thoughts on the differences. I should add that I am looking to upgrade primarily for key action as I have been getting into more advance piano pieces. I did read your review on the 465 6 years ago when I purchased it, and I think I may have called you as well. Just looking for piece of mind until the piano arrives. Thanks Tim!!

    Side note---I was able to try the 665gp in the store and I gotta be honest....I was extremely disappointed in the sound quality as it sounded artificial / electronic compared to my older model clp 465. My assumption is that this quality reduction might be due to wattage in the unit. My 465 had 40w while the 665 only had 25w. I am hoping the 695 will blow the 665 out of the water in terms of key action and sound.

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  11. The GH3X key action of CLP 645 feels too light to me compared to the Grand Touch of CLP 675. It might be helpful to small hands or to a musician with some disability. I played Scarlatti sonatas on both of them in a music store for an hour and the response, articulation and the overall impression was way better with the Grand Touch key action of 675. Even the Grand Feel II keyboard action of the Kawai CA 78 isn’t quite as close to the touch of an acoustic grand piano as the Grand Touch feel of the Yamaha instruments.

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