Yamaha Clavinova CLP-685 Digital Piano Review (2023)

People fall for Yamaha’s Clavinova series of pianos for the great sounds that they can recreate. The CLP 685 encompasses the sounds of the Yamaha CFX and the Bosendorfer Imperial pianos along with the grand touch keyboard action of Yamaha. The Clavinova CLP 685 is perhaps the most advanced digital pianos that Yamaha has ever manufactured. This piano undoubtedly recreates the feel and touch of a concert grand piano and its graded hammer action keyboard helps in the smoothest playing experience. Let us discuss the unique features of the CLP-685 here and how it differentiates from the rest of the pianos from Yamaha.

Yamaha Clavinova CLP-685 Review

Yamaha Clavinova CLP-685
Overall Editor Rating: 9.3/10
Performance and sounds9.5
Build Quality9.3
Value for money9.3

Note: CLP-685 has been discontinued by Yamaha, so we suggest you should look for an alternative and we suggest you should consider Yamaha Clavinova CLP-775 as an alternative, which offers similar high-end features.

Features of the Yamaha Clavinova CLP-685

  • The CLP 685 has the best action and sounds of the Yamaha keyboards
  • Every single key in the keyboard is rendered counterweights.
  • The piano features a built-in stand with a three-pedal attachment
  • The piano features a powerful stereo amplification system with spruce cones.
  • The piano has a unique and elegant look with a richly finished cabinet.
  • There are a USB audio and MIDI recording feature with rhythm accompaniment
  • The keyboard emits 49 sounds with a maximum polyphony of 256 sounds
  • Features three-pedal input and Bluetooth connectivity feature
  • There are 20 accompaniment sounds with 50 preset songs and built-in speakers
  • The weight of this piano is about 183 pounds
  • It comes with both the stand and the bench.

Check out: List of Best Digital Pianos to Buy in 2023

Keyboard and its Mechanism

The Yamaha Clavinova CLP 685 has made all attempts to look and function as much as the grand acoustic piano. This can be seen easily with its Grand touch keyboard itself. The piano has long keys with more depth, at the top of the keys to render more control on sound interpretation. The keys also have a simulation of the double escapement in a grand piano. Thus, it is possible to play a note over and over again, without having to disturb all its drafts. The hammer action in the keys is pretty precise and each of the keys in this piano holds a different weight.

The white keys in the keyboard have a synthetic ivory finish, whereas the black keys are made of synthetic ebony. This helps with the grip on the keys, even after playing for hours in hot and humid conditions. 

Design of Yamaha Clavinova CLP-685

Sound Effects and Mechanism

The Yamaha CLP 685 emits the sounds of the CFX grand piano with a note of 256 polyphonies. Polyphony is the number of sounds that one can hear from the piano at one time. The piano has legendary sounds in its extensive catalog. This digital piano comes with more than 400 sounds, with exceptional sound quality. The best feature of this piano is its tri-amplification, that is, it has separate amplifiers for basses, mids, and other sounds. Its internal speakers have a voltage of about 50W, which is great to play in small auditoriums, without the use of any external amplification system.

The virtual resonance modeling technology makes this digital piano look and sounds more like an acoustic piano. The VRM is the system that calculates all aspects of resonance that occur in an acoustic piano. The sounds in this piano resonate perfectly, rendering the complete feeling of sitting and listening to a grand acoustic piano. 

As it is compatible with headphones, it is possible to listen to and play music without disturbing others. The split mode available in the piano helps the students and the teachers to play simultaneously to learn and teach the lessons. The onboard 16- track recorder helps to create own songs, by making use of multiple sounds for exceptional playback.

The binaural sounds that come from the body of the piano not just helps in experiencing realistic sounds, but also to relieve the ears from the constant use of headphones. The Clavinova CLP 685 makes use of drum rhythms that are more fun both to practice and perform. Its AUX input takes the output from an iOS device, portable music player, and even a computer and makes use of its speakers to playback the audio

Must Check: Best Sounding Digital Pianos

Compatibility With the Smart Pianist App

The Clavinova CLP 685 is an excellent piano that is compatible with the Smart Pianist app from Yamaha on any of the iOS smart devices. With the help of this app, musicians can gain complete access to all of the wonderful features of the CLP 685. These features include the chord chart, which is one of the best ways to play along with the music that is stored on iOS devices. Thus, the pianist can gain instant access to their favorite music and song charts and can also get them displayed on the chord display to follow the music to play along. 

Intense Control Panel

The control panel of the CLP 685 is found on both sides of the keyboard. The right side of the keyboard helps in controlling it’s on and off functions and the volume setting, whereas the left side of the piano renders access to its sounds and features on the piano. Through this control panel is identical to the panel that is found in a vast majority of the CLP models, the display of the piano allows the players to toggle through its various features and voices depending on the buttons that one press. 

Side View of Yamaha Clavinova CLP-685

Speaker and Amplifier System

The speaker and the amplifier system of this piano are great for a large home and room. Its headphone jacks allow the players to practice and also play music privately. Just like any digital piano in the market, the Clavinova 685 features two headphone jacks, so that the friend and the teacher can listen to music and play along. 

Its tri-amp audio system makes use of the dedicated amplifiers of the three separate speaker systems and reproduces all the sound ranges more beautifully and clearly. The speaker cones are also made of the same wood that Yamaha uses to make soundboards. Thus, the sound that comes from its musical system, is more authentic and original.

Connectivity Features

The digital piano has an excellent USB midi connectivity feature so that the pianist can record a MIDI track on their recent accomplishments and export it to the USB device directly. It can also be shared with friends and family instantly. There is also a USB port in this piano to save the music that is been recorded on a flash drive. The piano is not devoid of Bluetooth connectivity as well, and thus it is possible to play on the piano and connect the tune to a Bluetooth-enabled external device instantly. There are three pedal inputs to mimic the originality and feel of the grand acoustic piano.

Check out: Best Digital Pianos Under $5000

Pros & Cons of Clavinova CLP-685

What’s Best in Yamaha Clavinova CLP-685?

  • The piano renders an authentic touch and feel for the pianist as the keys are weighted light towards the end
  • The Clavinova CLP 695 is just less than 49” deep and weighs around 280 pounds
  • It has an impressive speaker and amplifier system that is great for playing in large rooms and concert halls.
  • It is compatible with the Smart Pianist app from Yamaha.
  • The reverb, chorus, delay, and brilliance music effect helps in adding a lot of quality to the music played.
  • The control panels are excellent and are on both sides of the keyboard.
  • Features ambient sound enhancement features such as VRM, binaural sampling, stereophonic optimizer, etc.
  • The damper resonance feature recreates the sounds of the acoustic piano when the dampers are off the strings.
  • Its tri-amped audio system reproduces all sound ranges clearly and beautifully by making use of the three speakers.

What’s Lacking in Yamaha Clavinova CLP-685?

  • The cost of this piano is on the higher end
  • The piano incurs additional maintenance costs as well.
  • Pitch bend, equalizer, arpeggio, and modulation features are absent

Final Verdict

The Clavinova CLP-685 is the flagship model from this Yamaha Clavinova series and feature a grand touch keyboard and individual key counterweights that are found in the grand pianos. It looks like an attractive piece of equipment and stands huge at 183 lbs. weight. Unrivaled realism and unparalleled originality of music are guaranteed in this piano. It samples its sounds from the CFX grand and the Bosendorfer grand pianos, which sing through its powerful 300W sound system efficiently and amplified through its Spruce cone speakers. Selecting the voices and adjusting the settings of the piano are made easy with the help of its intuitive LCD interface. It is equipped with a tremendous sound and sound system, advanced connectivity features, and superior play action, which makes this piano the most favourite among piano enthusiasts.

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Being in love with music, Larry started this website to help piano lovers get the most detailed and accurate information with his 5 Years of experience of working in a music store.

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