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.
Our 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 we 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, it looks and feels like a Clavinova, and if you buy one, you won’t be disappointed.Available at: Sweetwater
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 classical and 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 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″ speakers powered by a pair of 20 W amps. In terms of output/power, the CLP-725 is probably amongst the leaders in its class.
We should add that the binaural sampling for headphones mentioned above adds to the overall sound quality (there are two headphone outputs).
It has a max polyphony of 256 notes.
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 we 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 2-track recorder that captures in the SMF format.
Piano bench and classical music book
Not so much a feature, but well worth a mention. Digital pianos don’t often come with a bench, and buying one to match your piano can be expensive, especially for such a nice-looking piano. The music book is a bonus.
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’s 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.
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.
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.
Compared to other digital pianos
Clavinova pianos are amongst the best 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.
CLP-725 vs. Arius YDP-184
The YDP-184 is a fantastic digital piano, and it’s part of the popular Arius series. However, we think the new CLP-725 has passed it by.
CLP-725 vs. Kawai CA49
We love Kawai digital pianos because they tend to sound and feel very authentic. It’s a tough choice here; it’s a coin toss; we love them both.
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, we’d stick with the CLP-725 this time.
Check out our Casio Celviano AP-710 review
For more great options, check out our pick of the best digital pianos to buy. For the most authentic feel, check our recommendations for the best 88-key fully-weighted models.
Who is the Yamaha Clavinova CLP-725 best suited for?
It’s great for players of all levels, but we would suggest the price makes it more appropriate for intermediate to advanced pianists.
- Stunning looks.
- Outstanding CFX and Imperial grand piano sounds.
- Pianoforte voice.
- Piano bench.
- Excellent GrandTouch-S keyboard.
- No screen.