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Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 #2692132
11/26/17 03:07 PM
11/26/17 03:07 PM
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darthdeus Offline OP
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After spending two days in music shops in my city, I've narrowed down my list of choices to Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685. Initially I also considered Roland HP-605, but after trying out the action and seeing how much softer it is (and funnily enough I met my piano teacher in the store who also said it might be too soft if I intend to play on acoustic). I didn't consider any of the Kawai models, because there literally isn't any dealer in my country that has any of them available in store. Initially I really wanted to try the CA67/97, but I don't wanna travel to another country just to try them out, especially since I really loved the CLP-685 action.

Now my question is, for those that aren't aware of the differences, CLP-685 has the almost same action as CLP-675, but it adds counterweights. I'm not sure how big of a difference they will make, or if it is just a marketing gimmick? The CLP-685 also supposedly has (from what I've read online) much better speaker system. I wasn't able to compare them side by side, as each store I went to only had one or the other, but I did hear the CLP-685 being played by someone way more skilled than I am, and I was blown away by how good it sounded in a large room. I didn't get a chance to hear the CLP-675 out loud as much, mostly only on headphones.

I am going to be putting it in our bedroom, which is a "regular" sized room, say around 4x5 meters, and very quiet environment, so I won't be needing to play super loud, most of the time probably at mid/lower volume (at least that's how I currenty set my shitty Yamaha P95). But some youtube reviews also say that the more powerful speaker system sounds better at lower volumes.

The price difference is rougly $1000, which isn't a huge amount considering how much these costs, but at the same time it's not as little as to not think about the lower model.

I guess what this comes down to is:

- Are added counterweights worth it? How much of a difference will they make?
- Is a more powerful speaker system worth it when playing in a quiet small room?

edit: As of the time of writing this, I'm leaning towards the CLP-685, also because it looks better, and because of the "I don't wanna regret being cheap" ... but at the same time there is a part of me that isn't sure if it's not just throwing more money out of the window for a few marketing gimmicks.

Last edited by darthdeus; 11/26/17 03:08 PM.

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Re: Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 [Re: darthdeus] #2692169
11/26/17 06:02 PM
11/26/17 06:02 PM
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Tyr Online content
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Simply get the most piano you can afford. I played the 675 in stores but i found the action good but really heavy. The counterweights in the 685 could help to make it a bit more comfortable. Also from what i've heard, the 685 sounds better a good chunk. And the look is great. If the costs aren't a problem: Go for it.

Last edited by Tyr; 11/26/17 06:03 PM.

Kawai Novus NV10
Re: Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 [Re: darthdeus] #2692173
11/26/17 06:05 PM
11/26/17 06:05 PM
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I cannot help you with that decision. My decision would rest largely on how the piano sounds.
I'm not happy with any digital piano these days. To sound good they all need a VST and a proper sound system. And none of them have that.

But since you're happy with the sound of these Yamahas, I'd instead ask MYSELF: Which action do I prefer?
If my answer is the 685, then the choice has been made.

Re: Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 [Re: darthdeus] #2692254
11/27/17 04:20 AM
11/27/17 04:20 AM
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Kawai James Offline
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Hello darthdeus, welcome to the forum.

Originally Posted by darthdeus
I didn't consider any of the Kawai models, because there literally isn't any dealer in my country that has any of them available in store. Initially I really wanted to try the CA67/97, but I don't wanna travel to another country just to try them out...


Just out of curiosity, may I ask where you are based, please?

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
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Re: Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 [Re: MacMacMac] #2692268
11/27/17 06:39 AM
11/27/17 06:39 AM
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darthdeus Offline OP
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
But since you're happy with the sound of these Yamahas, I'd instead ask MYSELF: Which action do I prefer?
If my answer is the 685, then the choice has been made.


Well that's part of the problem. I'm still a beginner, and couldn't really feel a difference between the counterweights. I didn't get a chance to compare them side by side in a single store though. From what I've read, the counterweights are supposed to help keys return more naturally and help in soft playing, but not having enough experience, I don't think I can feel it yet. The other question of course is if anyone can feel the difference and if it's not just a marketing gimmick supposed to sink people into spending another $1000 for a bit fancier cabinet.

Originally Posted by Kawai James
Just out of curiosity, may I ask where you are based, please?


Prague, Czech Republic. There are quite a few music stores, but everywhere I went and asked they said they don't put higher-end Kawais on display since they usually sell only like one per year. They told me I'd have to order one (and pay for it) otherwise they won't stock them.

To be more specific, there are some Kawai models available for show, but none are from tha CA/CS range, it's only the low end ones, so there's really no point in trying them as they don't have the GF2 action.


Roland HP-605
Re: Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 [Re: darthdeus] #2692270
11/27/17 07:05 AM
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I know you said you didn't want to travel. But...

The CLP685 is a lot of money.

Why not get cheapo flight to London and try out the Kawai CA98? It is in stock at Rose Morris on Tottenham Court Road (and no, I have nothing to do with them, but they are close to where I work, so I happen to know they have one available to play on the shop floor)

There is also a big yamaha showroom ten minutes walk from the Kawai one, where you would be able to try all of the CLP range.

I personally thought that the Kawai CA98 (which is about the same price as the CLP-685) was MUCH, MUCH nicer to play.

For something that you are likely to use every day for many years, I personally think that, pain though it is, you really MUST play them before buying, because it is so subjective.

The CLP-685 felt too heavy to me, but again thats just me! I would never know that if I played it in isolation. But having tried both ranges I think the Kawai is considerably better in terms of the keyboard touch (though I do love the sound of the Yamahas)

Re: Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 [Re: PianoGuyStuart] #2692271
11/27/17 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoGuyStuart
I know you said you didn't want to travel. But...

The CLP685 is a lot of money.

Why not get cheapo flight to London and try out the Kawai CA98? It is in stock at Rose Morris on Tottenham Court Road (and no, I have nothing to do with them, but they are close to where I work, so I happen to know they have one available to play on the shop floor)

)


If the Prague dealers don't really support the high end Kawais perhaps this isn't such a good idea? As you are a beginner I would have thought the 675 was the better option especially as most people, myself included, think the 685 had a heavier/stiffer action. Invest the extra money so that in a few years time, if you really get into it, there might be even better pianos to play.

Last edited by Colin Miles; 11/27/17 07:23 AM. Reason: grammar

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Re: Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 [Re: Colin Miles] #2692284
11/27/17 08:55 AM
11/27/17 08:55 AM
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Hi darthdeus.


I'm, like you, considering to buy any of these models (among others in the same price range). I just came from a piano store where they have the two models and this is what I think:) Personally I prefer the cabinet of the CLP675 because the music stand is higher and more "grand piano-like" ergonomically speaking. About the action, my opinion so far is:
Originally Posted by darthdeus
From what I've read, the counterweights are supposed to help keys return more naturally and help in soft playing, but not having enough experience, I don't think I can feel it yet. The other question of course is if anyone can feel the difference and if it's not just a marketing gimmick supposed to sink people into spending another $1000 for a bit fancier cabinet.

I don't think it's a gimmick. The action on the clp685 is a bit smoother I think. The return of the key isn't as fast on the CPL685 as on CLP675, with makes it feel more natural. I also think that it is easier to play fast, delicate scales (for example Mozart) on CLP685 and I think it is the counterweights that makes the difference.
Originally Posted by Colin Miles
As you are a beginner I would have thought the 675 was the better option especially as most people, myself included, think the 685 had a heavier/stiffer action.

My experience is actually the opposite. I think the lack of counterweights on the CLP675 makes it feel heavier and more "stiff". After all, the purpose of counterweight is to make the touch feel a bit lighter and smoother. However I don't think it's a big difference in feeling between CLP675 and CLP685, especially played with headphones. The speaker system is noticeably better on CLP685 tough. Personally I'm not too fond of the new GrandTouch action that's in CLP675 and CLP685, and I actually prefer the NWX action that's in CLP645 despite it's shorter key length. Everything else is better with the models you're considering though, I think (except price:)).

Last edited by johanibraaten; 11/27/17 01:56 PM.
Re: Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 [Re: darthdeus] #2692302
11/27/17 10:15 AM
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I also believe you should try out the comparable options before making what I consider to be a big investment in a digital piano that should last a good number of years.

The new GrandTouch action on the CLP-685 and 675 has been getting a number of not so positive comments as it feels quite different than what you would get on an acoustic grand or upright. Also note that the black keys on these CLP models are made of plastic and not of wood and feel different than the white keys (maybe because of different weight and/or pivot points). I recently tested the CLP-685 and the Kawai CA98 alongside a number of acoustics. So, my honest advice is for you to test a Kawai CA98/78. You can test an older CS or CAx7 as they use the same action. Try also a Roland with PHA-50 action, such as the RD-2000 or a model in their LX/HP range. Compare them and see what you prefer.

The only point I actually find in favour of the 685 is the speaker setup which is really good. But as important as the speakers is the acoustic piano sound. So, listen to these models through their speakers and through quality headphones. Yamaha, Kawai, Roland (and others such as Nord) have different approaches to simulating the sound of an acoustic. Yamaha has been using the same sound engine technology for a decade or so, while others have been (slowly) improving their sound engines to close the huge gap between an acoustic and digital.

So, I would suggest you to try out these models and to make an informed decision before buying. If for some reason you have already decided for an Yamaha CLP and if money is not an issue, then just go for the 685 since the speaker setup is better than the one on the 675.

Re: Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 [Re: darthdeus] #2692315
11/27/17 11:25 AM
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Suggestion.... If there any meetup type groups for piano in Prague, why not just post up an ad and ask if anyone has got a Kawai CA97, CS11, (or any of the other ones that have a Grand 2 keyboard) and offer to pay a few bucks to play it for an hour (you can even explain why. You may find someone allows you to test it for free if they know why)

That way you could avoid a trip out of Prague, and would get to check the key difference, which is the 'feel' of the keyboard.

They have all been around a few years, so I would be surprised if someone doesn't have one in Prague.

If you like the 'feel' much more, then you have some thinking to do, and maybe a trip somewhere to try out the version you would 'buy' would be in order. But if you prefer the action on the CLP-695, then you won't have to go anywhere.

Last edited by PianoGuyStuart; 11/27/17 11:27 AM.
Re: Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 [Re: darthdeus] #2692347
11/27/17 01:12 PM
11/27/17 01:12 PM
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No Kawai dealers in the Czech Republic who carry the CA/CS series pianos?
That's a shame. But I'll say this: If I cannot try a piano first then I cannot buy it.

Someone suggested a travel trip to London to find a Kawai piano. Or maybe find someone locally who owns a Kawai.
Those seem like good ideas ... but I don't know whether they are feasible for you.

But somehow you have to try a piano before buying. If you cannot try a Kawai then buy the Yamaha.
If you're skeptical of spending the extra $1000 on the 685, just get the 675. You won't be giving up much.

But wait! You said you're a beginner. Are you sure you want to spend big money just now? Are you sure you'll benefit from a 675/685?
I'd instead opt for a mid-range keyboard. Perhaps one of the MP series (if available). Or perhaps another, similar keyboard.
I think you could save a bundle that way.
Can someone here make a recommendation?

Re: Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 [Re: MacMacMac] #2692354
11/27/17 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
No Kawai dealers in the Czech Republic there who carry the CA/CS series pianos?
That's a shame. But I'll say this: If I cannot try a piano first then I cannot buy it.


Yeah I'm the same; no way would I buy an instrument I hadn't tested first. It seems a perennial problem for Kawai that they have a very limited distributor network. There are quite a lot of stories here about people having trouble finding a Kawai dealer within a reasonable distance, and I can't imagine how many sales they've lost just because of that. It seems a shame to build generally good DPs and then not enable people to actually get to test them and buy them by not having sufficient dealers around the world.


Broadwood, Yamaha U1; Kawai CA67; Pianoteq Std (D4, K2, Blüthner, Grotrian), Garritan CFX Full, Galaxy Vintage D, The Grandeur, Ravenscroft 275, Ivory II ACD, TrueKeys Italian, AS C7, Production Grand Compact, AK Studio Grand, AK Upright, Waves Grand Rhapsody; Sennheiser HD-600 and HD-650, O2 amp
Re: Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 [Re: darthdeus] #2692404
11/27/17 05:01 PM
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I have a CA67 and I recently also played CLP-685 at a dealer. I have never played CLP-675.

My 2 cents are that: key action in CA67 is much much better. Its speaker system is not as good - but I can (and I do) use external amplification. But one cannot do much about the action.

I believe CLP-685 competes with CA98. CA97 has better speaker system than CA67 and CA98 has better Pianist mode sound and even better speaker system. For a purchase of this size, I would definitely recommend to try CA98 in person before making such a big investment.

Osho


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Re: Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 [Re: darthdeus] #2692490
11/27/17 10:39 PM
11/27/17 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by darthdeus
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Just out of curiosity, may I ask where you are based, please?


Prague, Czech Republic. There are quite a few music stores, but everywhere I went and asked they said they don't put higher-end Kawais on display since they usually sell only like one per year. They told me I'd have to order one (and pay for it) otherwise they won't stock them.

To be more specific, there are some Kawai models available for show, but none are from tha CA/CS range, it's only the low end ones, so there's really no point in trying them as they don't have the GF2 action.


Thank you for your reply.

I don’t have a great deal of information about the Czech Republic market, however according to the Kawai Global website, Kawai instruments are distributed throughout this country by Praha Music Centre. this page lists which stores carry the various brands that’s Praha distributes, including Kawai (10 stores). While I cannot guarantee that these retailers will stock the lackest CAx8 models, they may still have older generation instruments available that can be used for comparison.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 [Re: MacMacMac] #2692540
11/28/17 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
No Kawai dealers in the Czech Republic who carry the CA/CS series pianos?
That's a shame. But I'll say this: If I cannot try a piano first then I cannot buy it.

Someone suggested a travel trip to London to find a Kawai piano. Or maybe find someone locally who owns a Kawai.
Those seem like good ideas ... but I don't know whether they are feasible for you.

But somehow you have to try a piano before buying. If you cannot try a Kawai then buy the Yamaha.
If you're skeptical of spending the extra $1000 on the 685, just get the 675. You won't be giving up much.

But wait! You said you're a beginner. Are you sure you want to spend big money just now? Are you sure you'll benefit from a 675/685?
I'd instead opt for a mid-range keyboard. Perhaps one of the MP series (if available). Or perhaps another, similar keyboard.
I think you could save a bundle that way.
Can someone here make a recommendation?


I would class myself as a beginner. I have a Yamaha YDP-163.

That costs under a £1000, and honestly, while the CLP models you spoke about are better in some ways better (and I have played them on quite a few occasions, because the Yamaha showroom is quite close to where I work), I honestly don't think the difference is enough is to justify the extra cost.

I am honestly very happy with the ydp-163. The touch is very nice. Seeing as you have a Yamaha showroom near you, maybe go and try out the YDP163, the CLP-645 (which has the old keyboard, which I actually prefer) and then the 675.

Price wise they are £1000, £1800 and £3000 ish. So that is a good spread to judge.

I did think the Kawai CA-98 felt like a 'proper' upgrade. That (or the CS12 which will probably be out next year), are looking like the front runners for my upgrade cash. I too, like others feel like the Grand Feel 2 keyboard on the Kawais is definitely nicer to place. Feels more 'immersive.

Re: Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 [Re: darthdeus] #2692543
11/28/17 06:48 AM
11/28/17 06:48 AM
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Hi

I have since one week the clp 675 and i m very happy with it. For me it is perfect, the touch, the sound... And i dont feel that the touch is heavy... Its just perfect smile
Im not a beginner, i played the piano for 10 years in the childhood.

Re: Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 [Re: PianoGuyStuart] #2692551
11/28/17 07:45 AM
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darthdeus Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Kawai James

Thank you for your reply.

I don’t have a great deal of information about the Czech Republic market, however according to the Kawai Global website, Kawai instruments are distributed throughout this country by Praha Music Centre. this page lists which stores carry the various brands that’s Praha distributes, including Kawai (10 stores). While I cannot guarantee that these retailers will stock the lackest CAx8 models, they may still have older generation instruments available that can be used for comparison.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
x



Thanks for the tip, thought I actually used that site before and went to all the stores in the city in person and asked, and always got the same response.

After much of the responses in this and other threads, I ended up going with the Roland HP-605 instead of the Yamaha. Most importantly, I went back to the store yet again to play and it was much clearer.

After reading a bit more on the 685/675 action, I was a bit put off, and having tried the 645/585/575 models which have the older action without initial press resistance, I found that I really didn't enjoy playing it. I guess the thing that made enjoy the 685 a lot more was both the resistance/clickiness of the action, but also the fact that "hey, it's more expensive, it must be better, right?" ... not necessarily a feeling of "this action is nice to play" but more of a "this feels like I'm lifting expensive weights at gym so I must be getting better", while the Roland was "holyshit this feels soo good".

Originally Posted by PianoGuyStuart

I would class myself as a beginner. I have a Yamaha YDP-163.

That costs under a £1000, and honestly, while the CLP models you spoke about are better in some ways better (and I have played them on quite a few occasions, because the Yamaha showroom is quite close to where I work), I honestly don't think the difference is enough is to justify the extra cost.

I am honestly very happy with the ydp-163. The touch is very nice. Seeing as you have a Yamaha showroom near you, maybe go and try out the YDP163, the CLP-645 (which has the old keyboard, which I actually prefer) and then the 675.

Price wise they are £1000, £1800 and £3000 ish. So that is a good spread to judge.

I did think the Kawai CA-98 felt like a 'proper' upgrade. That (or the CS12 which will probably be out next year), are looking like the front runners for my upgrade cash. I too, like others feel like the Grand Feel 2 keyboard on the Kawais is definitely nicer to place. Feels more 'immersive.


I see your point, and in the end I ended up going with a cheaper piano than the 685, which was probably an overkill considering I will be using headphones a lot (see above). But I just wanted to respond that while I am a complete piano noob, I have owned a lower model for quite some time (Yamaha P-95, about 8 years), and I really do not enjoy playing on it. Both because the sounds/speakers are kinda meh, and because the action feels extremely unappealing. Having played the HP-605 in a store a few times I got a completely different feeling out of it.


Roland HP-605
Re: Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 [Re: darthdeus] #2692559
11/28/17 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by darthdeus
I ended up going with the Roland HP-605 instead of the Yamaha.


Congrats! It's a great piano, I loved playing on it whenever I visited the Roland showroom. I am sure it will inspire you much more than that old P-95. Enjoy.


Adult beginner, playing since October 2016
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Re: Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 [Re: darthdeus] #2692580
11/28/17 10:25 AM
11/28/17 10:25 AM
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Congrats!!!!!!!

That is why it is so important to try out the pianos for yourself. What I like might not be what you like.


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 [Re: darthdeus] #2692585
11/28/17 10:40 AM
11/28/17 10:40 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 142
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PianoGuyStuart Offline
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PianoGuyStuart  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 142
Congrats! Enjoy playing it!

Never tried the Roland, but trying it yourself is always the magic formula, as it's such a personal decision. So it's good that you found one you are happy with.

Re: Choosing between Yamaha CLP-675 and CLP-685 [Re: darthdeus] #2692759
11/28/17 09:53 PM
11/28/17 09:53 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,363
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Kawai James  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,363
Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted by darthdeus
Thanks for the tip, thought I actually used that site before and went to all the stores in the city in person and asked, and always got the same response.


Ah, okay, I'm sorry to hear that.
But thank you for letting me know.

Oh, and congrats on your new Roland too!

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

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