About the Yamaha CLP685 Polished Ebony / CLP685PE Digital Piano:
The Yamaha CLP685 Polished Ebony / CLP685PE is the flagship of the Yamaha Clavinova range of digital pianos. It represents the pinnacle of Yamaha’s technical excellence and prowess in the production of the world’s finest digital pianos.
But don’t just take our word for it – below you can read two independent reviews of the Yamaha CLP685 in Polished Ebony, demonstrating just how well-received the CLP685PE has been in both academic and performance environments.
Yamaha Clavinova CLP685 | About the GrandTouch Keyboard by Yurie Miura
After graduating from Ferris High School in Yokohama Yurie Miura later studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 2001, she won first prize of the Maria Canals International Music Competition.
‘There are a number of small dramas that occur in the interval between beginning to press a key on an acoustic piano keyboard and the time the key reaches its full depth of travel and the pianists controls the tone over that period.
When I tried this instrument out it felt like there was a real action there right behind the keys.
It felt incredibly realistic and with this keyboard you can control the tone partway through the keystroke in the same way you would on an acoustic piano. The rich sound and impressive volume lets you feel like you’re playing a concert grand piano.
You can add gradation to the tone of the instrument, which means that you can now do things like practice legato on a digital piano. In terms of sound you just can’t complain about the CFX and Bosendorfer samples. You can actively do things like try to develop your own sound, even at home.
I think that playing this instrument is sure to yield positive results.’
– Yurie Miura
Yamaha Clavinova CLP685 | GrandTouch Keyboard Action with Piano Professor Dr. Stephen Pierce
Stephen Pierce enjoys a multi-faceted career as a performer, pedagogue, scholar, and clinician. He currently teaches piano pedagogy, keyboard literature, and applied piano at the USC Thornton School of Music.
As an educator and as a music teacher what I look for in a piano action first and foremost is something that’s really responsive. The piano is really an extension of the player and the player’s technique and so you really want an action that’s very responsive, able to be very expressive.
The second thing that’s so important to me as an educator is the wellness and health of my students and so for me it’s very important medicine even, action that is well-regulated and that is working with them and not against them.
When you have a beautifully regular action like this one is it allows the students just really to be expressive instead of fighting the instrument to try and get sound out of it. The benefit of having this instrument is that you have two amazing grand pianos at your disposal – there’s no acoustic instrument that allows for that variety in your preparation.
As a music teacher I often teach beginning students, and parents are often concerned about investing in an instrument. I advise them to first purchase a really high-end fine digital piano. I’m now encouraged to have them purchase this amazing Clavinova because it is a mechanical action and it prepares them to play the acoustic piano and a fraction of the cost.
The grand touch actually really impressed me in several ways – the repetition mechanism is wonderful; that allowed me to easily repeat notes and it also allowed me to voice very beautifully which some digital pianos are not able to do, so for me I felt I was able to be very expressive.
– Dr. Stephen Pierce
Other highlights of the Yamaha CLP685 in Polished Ebony include:
VRM physical modeling
In a grand piano, sound resonates throughout the body of the instrument, producing a rich reverberation that envelops the listener in sound. This phenomena is reproduced perfectly in the CLP685PE through enhanced Virtual Resonance Modeling (VRM). The original VRM calculates the various states of the strings for each of the 88 notes on the keyboard, from one instant to the next, and timing and depth of damper pedals pressed. The enhanced VRM now also calculates aliquot resonance in the upper octaves, and the full resonance of the soundboard, rim, and frame. This technology allows for vivid, bright, richly-varied expression that reflects the limitless number of factors inherent in piano performance.
The moment a pianist’s fingers are lifted from the keys of a grand piano, subtle changes occur in the instrument’s tone as the damper is lowered onto the strings to mute its sound. Key-Off samples features actual recordings of these changes, offering a faithful reproduction of the most subtle changes in the piano’s sound, allowing for a more realistic performance.
Escapement mechanism of Clavinova CLP685PE Keyboards
The escapement mechanism in a grand piano moves the hammers away from the strings quickly after they strike them, in order to prevent any interference with string vibration. This mechanism produces a slight clicking sensation when the keys are pressed gently. Since Real Grand Expression offers players superb sound, touch and pedaling, we decided to create an escapement that delivers outstanding playability, repetition, and response without impeding performance. Yamaha CLP685 in Polished Ebony keyboards feature an escapement mechanism that reproduces this sensation near the bottom of the key dip. They have been designed in such a way that the click is discernible only on the lightest keystrokes, similar to the keyboard of a grand piano. These keyboards have been adjusted to provide additional friction that balances key repetition and response without impeding performance.
88-key Linear Graded Hammers—the first digital piano keyboard ever to feature realistic weighting on every key
Every single key on a grand piano keyboard is weighted differently. This is because the strings for each note are slightly thinner and shorter in the treble register, becoming thicker and longer towards the bass register. The 88-key Linear Graded Hammers of the CLP685PE is the first-of-its-kind to faithfully duplicate this graded touch with differing weights and key return on each one of its keys. This results in a feel and response that is astonishingly like that of a grand piano, and allows players to gain an appreciation of a more authentic touch.
The GP Response Damper Pedal provides an authentic grand piano pedal feel
Using the damper pedal subtly alters the nature of a piano’s sound and is essential to providing the pianist with all the necessary expressive tools to convey their musical vision. Clavinova digital pianos feature a damper pedal that continually detects depression depth and allows halfpedaling, which lets players make minute adjustments to pedal depression and return, changing the depth and character of their piano sound.
The CLP685PE models feature the GP Response Damper Pedal, which offers a grand piano-style resistance curve, starting out light to the touch and growing heavier as the pedal is depressed further. This allows players to become accustomed to the nuances of delicate pedaling.
The speakers attached to the body exhibit a phenomenon in which, if nothing is done, the volume of the sound will increase due to the resonant frequency of the body. Conversely, installing pipes with the same resonant frequency within the body suppresses this resonance. Acoustic optimizers utilize this phenomenon. This improvement of the sound is something that has only been possible thanks to Yamaha‘s thorough knowledge of the internal acoustic characteristics of musical instruments.#
Yamaha CLP685 Polished Ebony Speaker innovations
Drawing from its experience in building both acoustic pianos and high-end speakers, the CLP685PE speaker cones use pulp from the same spruce wood used to make acoustic piano soundboards. This results in a more natural, piano-like attack to the sound.
Connect wirelessly for Bluetooth® audio
You can play music through the audio system on the CLP685PE by using a Bluetooth-enabled smart device. You can stream audio data such as mp3 files. You can enjoy playing along with any songs on your smart device, and you can even share your Clavinova performances.
Multi-track Song Recorder
The recording function featured in CLP685PE digital pianos allows you to record your performances* with a single touch, which is useful when you want to review your playing objectively. Additionally, you can record up to 16 tracks for simultaneous playback, so different hands can be recorded separately or overdub parts with different Voices.
* Recordings are made in MIDI format, and can also be recorded to USB flash memory. Compatible software is required for playback of recorded data on a computer
USB Audio Recorder
Record performances to USB flash memory and create audio files* you can save and play back on a computer, share with friends or create a CD.
* Data is saved in WAV format
Connect the Clavinova to a computer or a USB memory device to manage your library.
|Dimensions||Width||1,461 mm (57-1/2″) (Polished finish: 1,467 mm (57-3/4″))|
|Height||1,027 mm (40-7/16″) (Polished finish: 1,029 mm (40-1/2″))|
|Depth||477 mm (18-3/4″) (Polished finish: 477 mm (18-3/4″))|
|Weight||Weight||83.0 kg (183 lb, 0 oz) (Polished finish: 89.0 kg (196 lb, 3 oz)]|
|Keyboard||Number of Keys||88|
|Type||GrandTouch Keyboard: wooden keys (white only), synthetic ebony and ivory key tops, escapement|
|88-key Linear Graded Hammers||Yes|
|Pedal||Number of Pedals||3|
|Functions||Sustain (Switch), Sustain Contin uously, Sostenuto, Soft, Expression, Pitch Bend Up, Pitch Bend Down, Rotary Speed, Vibe Rotor, Song Play/Pause|
|GP Response Damper Pedal||Yes|
|Display||Type||Full Dots LCD|
|Size||128 x 64 dots|
|Key Cover||Key Cover Style||Folding|
|Tone Generation||Piano Sound||Yamaha CFX, Bösendorfer Imperial, CFX Binaural Sampling|
|Binaural Sampling||Yes (CFX Grand Voice only)|
|Polyphony||Number of Polyphony (Max.)||256|
|Preset||Number of Voices||49 Voices + 14 Drum/SFX Kits + 480 XG Voices|
|Compatibility||XG (GM), GS (for Song playback), GM2 (for Song playback)|
|Intelligent Acoustic Control (IAC)||Yes|
|Preset||Number of Preset Songs||21 Voice Demo Songs + 50 Classics + 303 Lesson Songs|
|Recording||Number of Songs||250|
|Number of Tracks||16|
|Data Capacity||Approx. 500KB/Song|
|Compatible Data Format||Playback||SMF (Format 0, Format 1)|
|Recording||SMF (Format 0)|
|USB Audio Recorder||Playback||.wav (44.1 kHz sample rate, 16-bit resolution, stereo)|
|Recording||.wav (44.1 kHz sample rate, 16-bit resolution, stereo)|
|Tempo Range||5 ‒ 500|
|Transpose||-12 ‒ 0 ‒ +12|
|Tuning||414.8 ‒ 440.0 – 466.8 Hz (approx. 0.2 Hz increments)|
|Scale Type||7 types|
|Other Control||Tuning, Scale Type, etc.|
|Storage and Connectivity|
|Storage||Internal Memory||Total maximum size approx. 1.5 MB|
|External Drives||USB flash drive|
|Connectivity||Headphones||Standard stereo phone jack (x 2)|
|MIDI||[IN] [OUT] [THRU]|
|AUX IN||Stereo Mini|
|AUX OUT||[L/L+R] [R]|
|USB TO DEVICE||Yes|
|USB TO HOST||Yes|
|Amplifiers and Speakers|
|Amplifiers||(50 W + 50 W + 50 W) x 2|
|Speakers||(16 cm + 8 cm + 2.5 cm (dome)) x 2, Spruce Cone Speaker|
|Power Consumption||Power consumption is described on or near the name plate, which is at the bottom of the unit.|
|Auto Power Off||Yes|