Yamaha’s CLP-725 is the entry-level piano in the Clavinova series. While it’s cheaper than the others, it’s by no means a budget piano. It’s still expensive, but rest assured, it’s a legitimate Clavinova and worthy of the name.
About the author
Final verdict on the Yamaha CLP-725
The CLP-725 is deserving of the Clavinova name, and that means it’s a fantastic digital piano. It’s in a slightly tricky position with its price because it’s cheap for a Clavinova, but it’s entering expensive territory for other brands. All I mean by that is that you need to look at your options and make sure that you get the most out of your money.
Overall, the CLP-725 looks and feels like a Clavinova digital piano, and if you buy one, you won’t be disappointed.
What I like
- Stunning looks.
- Outstanding CFX and Imperial grand piano sounds.
- Pianoforte voice.
- Excellent GrandTouch-S keyboard.
What I don’t like
- No screen.
- Limited connectivity options.
Use these jump links to navigate to the desired section of the review.
There are 10 voices in total, but when you buy a CLP-725, you buy it for the Yamaha CFX and Bösendorfer Imperial. When you talk about iconic concert grand pianos, the Yamaha CFX and Bösendorfer Imperial are as good as it gets. They are so sought-after. Even great pianists could go a lifetime without playing either of them.
The Yamaha CFX is widely regarded as one of the most expressive concert pianos in the world. Being so expressive means that the CFX captures every dynamic nuance of the player’s performance with incredible detail. The Imperial is naturally a warmer-sounding piano and a favorite of many famous jazz pianists, such as Oscar Peterson.
Both of these stunning pianos are beautifully recreated in the CLP-725 with Yamaha’s Smooth Release technology. The CLP-725 reacts to your key pressure beautifully, thanks to the meticulous attention to detail during the sampling process.
The Clavinova CLP-725 digital piano has a max polyphony of 256 notes.
The built-in speakers play a big part in the overall sound quality of any digital piano. In the CLP-725, you get two 4.7-inch speakers powered by a pair of 20-watt amps. In terms of output/power, the CLP-725 is probably amongst the leaders in its class.
I should add that the binaural sampling for headphones adds to the overall sound quality (there are two headphone outputs).
The CLP-725 features Yamaha’s top-of-the-line GrandTouch-S keyboard. Yamaha is usually a safe bet for a realistic feel, especially in the Clavinova series.
The keytops have simulated ebony and ivory feel, making it more like an acoustic grand. The simulated ebony/ivory also helps your performance because the keys won’t get as slippy as standard plastic keys when your hands sweat.
The main features of the CLP-725 are all things that enhance the sound and feel; nothing is unnecessary, and I love that.
3D binaural sampling is something that we see more often these days, particularly in software plugins. Usually, plugins that are designed to recreate the sound of a particular room when mixing/mastering in headphones.
Yamaha has taken the same approach with their flagship piano sound (CFX only). It recreates various positions in an acoustic space while listening in your headphones. In other words, it creates a more natural sound. It’s not the same as being in the room, but it does make a difference.
Grand Expression Modeling
Expression modeling is another feature that we often see these days. Yamaha has just done it with more attention to detail than most.
It simulates the mechanical noise created by an acoustic piano. Things like hammer and string noise or pedal noise. Some players might prefer to play without it, but it does add to the realism of the CLP-725.
Dedicated fortepiano voice
Fortepianos were around in the 18th and early 19th century as the predecessor to the modern piano. While the physical characteristics haven’t changed drastically, the sound was different. Notes decayed much faster than they do on modern pianos.
The fortepiano voice gives you the ability to play and hear classical music, such as Mozart, as the composer intended.
Virtual Resonance Modeling
This feature also mimics the experience of playing a real acoustic piano. Instead of mechanical noise, it focuses on the resonance created by vibration between the strings, piano body, and dampers.
Yamaha’s Virtual Resonance Modeling doesn’t just trigger a stock impulse each time you play. It delivers sympathetic tones that accurately match the combination of the note played, the velocity, timing, and how you pedal. It’s very clever, indeed.
It features a two-track recorder that captures in the SMF format.
The CLP-725 is more streamlined than the more expensive Clavinova pianos, which is to be expected. It doesn’t have a screen like models higher in the range do, but the main controls are found in the same place, to the left of the keyboard. The master volume knob is to the right of the keyboard.
There are only seven main buttons, including basic transport controls, metronome on/off, voice, and demo select. While the controls are simple, a small screen would have been nice to easily keep track of the voice/song number that you’re on. There are only 10 voices, but there are 50 songs, and scrolling through them could get a little annoying if you get lost.
If you play piano, there’s virtually nothing bad about having any Clavinova in your house. It’s hard to say anything negative other than the more expensive Clavinova CLP-735 might be better if you have the budget.
The CLP-725 is a lovely-looking digital piano that comes in matte black, rosewood, and polished ebony. The combination of sound and feel makes the CLP-725 about as close as you can get to a real concert piano at home for the money.
Like most digital pianos, it’s not the ideal stage instrument for a gigging musician. However, for an intimate venue, it could make the perfect house piano.
There are two ways to look at the build quality of the CLP-725. When you compare it to Clavinovas that cost twice the price or more, you might be a little disappointed that it doesn’t look quite as grand. But, it’s important to compare it to other pianos in the same price range.
When you do that, you’ll see why it’s worthy of the Clavinova name. It’s as well built as any at a similar price and has a better finish than most.
In terms of connectivity, the Clavinova CLP-725 only comes with two headphone jacks, which is nice but somewhat lacking.
Compared to other digital pianos
Clavinova pianos are amongst the best digital pianos and often stand alone at the top. However, we are talking about the entry-level Clavinova here, so it’s worth checking out some more options.
Yamaha CLP-725 vs Arius YDP-165
The YDP-165 is a fantastic digital piano, and it’s part of the popular Arius series. However, I think the Clavinova CLP-725 has passed it by.
Yamaha CLP-725 vs Casio AP-710
The Celviano series is Casio’s answer to the Clavinova range. The AP-710 is a stunning piano, but for the money, I’d stick with the CLP-725 this time.
Yamaha CLP-725 vs Kawai CA49
I love Kawai digital pianos because they tend to sound and feel very authentic. It’s a tough choice here; it’s a coin toss; I love them both.
Who is the Yamaha Clavinova CLP-725 digital piano best suited for?
The Clavinova CLP-725 is great for players of all levels, but I would suggest the price makes it more appropriate for intermediate to advanced pianists.Buy Yamaha Clavinova CLP-725 at: SweetwaterGuitar Center