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Comparison between Yamaha CLP-695GP and Yamaha N series? #2770367
10/07/18 07:15 PM
10/07/18 07:15 PM
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Pianoguy_SWE Offline OP
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I recently decided to buy a really good digital piano for myself.
I did an awful lot of research: I dived headfirst into endless youtube reviews, I studied the specs on a number of pianos, and ended up choosing beteween Yamaha´s Avant Grand N1/N2 and their new CLP-695GP.
I had the opportunity to play both these instruments in the local store and make a direct comparison between the two.

1) The action:
*I really liked the action on the N1: it's pretty hard to beat, since the piano actually contains all the mechanical components of an acoustic grand.
*The action in the CLP-695GP, on the other hand, is called "grand touch". It's not a hybrid piano like the N1, but the keys have counterweights to give the action a lighter touch, among other things. It doesnt beat the N1, but it is nevertheless a very pleasant action compared to Yamaha's other digital pianos, and in terms of playability, it's not far behind the N1. I doubt that most casual players would even notice the subtle difference. Someone aspiring to be a concert pianist might notice, though.

2) The sound quality
This is where the CLP-695GP won. When I made a direct comparison, there was no doubt whatsoever that the the newer set of samplings of the CLP held a higher quality. The sound of the N1 felt thin and slightly synthetic in a direct comparison.
The N1 came out in 2009, and hasn't received any updates at all in almost ten years time and is IMHO beginning to show its age: it sounded pretty much like a medium-priced digital piano from around 2008-2010.
The CLP-695 on the other hand, hit the stores in May 2018 here in Europe.
The CLP has - as far as I can tell - both higher quality sampling sets and a considerably more impressive speaker system. The two concert grand samplings: Bösendorfer and Yamaha CFX, are the best I've heard in any digital piano.

3) The form factor
Here we have a tight race between the two: both pianos are very beautiful. The N1 offers a more minimalistic and clean design, perfect if you have less space available. The CLP-695GP looks... well, beautiful.

It was a pretty tight race between these two: i concluded that the N1 had a better action, but the CLP-695GP offered better sound, and an action I could probably get along nicely with anyway, so in the end I went with the CLP. Good choice, bad choice? I appreciate comments & opinions!

All in all: the digital pianos have become really good. They cant mimic the real thing fully just yet, but the are getting very, very close to the original.

P.S. English is not my first language: I apologize for possible errors.

[img]https://photos.app.goo.gl/G7C3Pxc42od6S1s47[/img]

[img]https://photos.app.goo.gl/TCdYqVUPyqZP5Tbf6[/img]

[img]https://photos.app.goo.gl/TwkMnjEsff7NgZFB9[/img]

Last edited by Finurliig; 10/07/18 07:24 PM.

Yamaha CLP-695GP at home.

Composers: Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Mendelssohn.

Performers: David Fray, Jean Rondeau, Glenn Gould, Evgeny Kissin, Daniel Barenboim
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Re: Comparison between Yamaha CLP-695GP and Yamaha N series? [Re: Pianoguy_SWE] #2770388
10/07/18 09:14 PM
10/07/18 09:14 PM
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It's surprising to find someone who actually praised the Bösendorfer sampling in the Clavinova. Most reviews I've read about it tend to be negative.

Re: Comparison between Yamaha CLP-695GP and Yamaha N series? [Re: Pianoguy_SWE] #2770398
10/07/18 10:13 PM
10/07/18 10:13 PM
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Finurliig, welcome to the forum, thank you for sharing your shopping experiences, and congrats on your new piano - it looks great.

Am I correct in thinking that you did not play-test the Avantgrand N3X?
This model features the same keyboard action as the N1/N2, while also using the superior sound engine of the latest Clavinova models. The N1/N2 are certainly due an update - perhaps this will happen before the end of the year?

Kind regards,
James
x

ps.Your English is excellent! wink


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

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Comparison between Yamaha CLP-695GP and Yamaha N series? [Re: Pianoguy_SWE] #2770426
10/08/18 12:29 AM
10/08/18 12:29 AM
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I'd also point out that the CLP-685 is pretty much exactly the same as the CLP-695GP except for the form factor (there is a very marketing buzzwordy speaker enclosure thing they added, but otherwise the specs are identical). I've played both (and own the 685) and wouldn't spend the extra on the 695.

That said, I'm hoping that Yamaha brings out an "N1X" (not the recently updated upright, I want the grand action in the N1) in the very near future that will have the hybrid action with the new sound engine. If it does, I would trade in my 685 immediately. The keyboard is really quite amazing, however I just can't deal with the 10(?) year old sound engine and didn't want to have a computer hanging off my piano in the living room for running a VST.


𝒀𝒂𝒎𝒂𝒉𝒂 𝑨𝒗𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝑮𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑵1𝑿
Re: Comparison between Yamaha CLP-695GP and Yamaha N series? [Re: Kawai James] #2770467
10/08/18 06:07 AM
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No I didn't. The N3X wasn't available in the store. it would have been interesting to try it though.

I also considered an acoustic grand with Yamahas "silent" technology, but I ruled that option out because I live in a condo and would like to avoid any friction with the neighbours. It had to be digital.

The thing is: if I were to put up the kind of money that Yamaha wants for the N3X, I think I would have preferred to purchase an acoustic grand anyway: as pretty as these digital pianos are, they are still not "the real thing".
I also think the N3X seems to be heavily overpriced: can someone explain why on earth they are asking 2,5 times the price of the N1, when the tech inside is quite similar?


Yamaha CLP-695GP at home.

Composers: Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Mendelssohn.

Performers: David Fray, Jean Rondeau, Glenn Gould, Evgeny Kissin, Daniel Barenboim
Re: Comparison between Yamaha CLP-695GP and Yamaha N series? [Re: Pianoguy_SWE] #2770472
10/08/18 06:43 AM
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Because there is no competition in this price range.


Current: Yamaha NU1X | Roland FP-30 with Garritan CFX Full & Pianoteq 6
Past: Yamaha: P-115, YDP-163, CLP-545, CLP-685 | Kawai: CA-98, Novus NV10
Re: Comparison between Yamaha CLP-695GP and Yamaha N series? [Re: Tyr] #2770479
10/08/18 07:52 AM
10/08/18 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyr
Because there is no competition in this price range.

And of course the N3X has the newer sound engine from last year, not the one from 9+ years ago like the N1. That should take care of 0.5 (or so) of that 2.5 factor. wink

Re: Comparison between Yamaha CLP-695GP and Yamaha N series? [Re: Beowulf] #2770604
10/08/18 03:05 PM
10/08/18 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Beowulf
It's surprising to find someone who actually praised the Bösendorfer sampling in the Clavinova. Most reviews I've read about it tend to be negative.

I listened to these samples through quality headphones and I would not say they are so bad, for many pieces (especially classical) I would prefer them over Yamaha's CFX, I just think they are not what we would expect from Bösendorfer samples made by Yamaha. The expectations were too high.

Re: Comparison between Yamaha CLP-695GP and Yamaha N series? [Re: Pianoguy_SWE] #2845911
05/06/19 10:04 PM
05/06/19 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Finurliig
I recently decided to buy a really good digital piano for myself.
I did an awful lot of research: I dived headfirst into endless youtube reviews, I studied the specs on a number of pianos, and ended up choosing beteween Yamaha´s Avant Grand N1/N2 and their new CLP-695GP.
I had the opportunity to play both these instruments in the local store and make a direct comparison between the two.

1) The action:
*I really liked the action on the N1: it's pretty hard to beat, since the piano actually contains all the mechanical components of an acoustic grand.
*The action in the CLP-695GP, on the other hand, is called "grand touch". It's not a hybrid piano like the N1, but the keys have counterweights to give the action a lighter touch, among other things. It doesnt beat the N1, but it is nevertheless a very pleasant action compared to Yamaha's other digital pianos, and in terms of playability, it's not far behind the N1. I doubt that most casual players would even notice the subtle difference. Someone aspiring to be a concert pianist might notice, though.

2) The sound quality
This is where the CLP-695GP won. When I made a direct comparison, there was no doubt whatsoever that the the newer set of samplings of the CLP held a higher quality. The sound of the N1 felt thin and slightly synthetic in a direct comparison.
The N1 came out in 2009, and hasn't received any updates at all in almost ten years time and is IMHO beginning to show its age: it sounded pretty much like a medium-priced digital piano from around 2008-2010.
The CLP-695 on the other hand, hit the stores in May 2018 here in Europe.
The CLP has - as far as I can tell - both higher quality sampling sets and a considerably more impressive speaker system. The two concert grand samplings: Bösendorfer and Yamaha CFX, are the best I've heard in any digital piano.

3) The form factor
Here we have a tight race between the two: both pianos are very beautiful. The N1 offers a more minimalistic and clean design, perfect if you have less space available. The CLP-695GP looks... well, beautiful.

It was a pretty tight race between these two: i concluded that the N1 had a better action, but the CLP-695GP offered better sound, and an action I could probably get along nicely with anyway, so in the end I went with the CLP. Good choice, bad choice? I appreciate comments & opinions!

All in all: the digital pianos have become really good. They cant mimic the real thing fully just yet, but the are getting very, very close to the original.

P.S. English is not my first language: I apologize for possible errors.

[img]https://photos.app.goo.gl/G7C3Pxc42od6S1s47[/img]

[img]https://photos.app.goo.gl/TCdYqVUPyqZP5Tbf6[/img]

[img]https://photos.app.goo.gl/TwkMnjEsff7NgZFB9[/img]



Hello, Finurliig! Could you give us an update on your CLP-695? Do you still like it? Thanks for all the helpful info.


Yamaha AvantGrand N3X
Re: Comparison between Yamaha CLP-695GP and Yamaha N series? [Re: Pianoguy_SWE] #2845917
05/06/19 10:39 PM
05/06/19 10:39 PM
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I wouldn't hold out much hope for a reply.
Finurliig has only made two posts on the board. Those were in last October of last year.
And he hasn't logged in for two months.

Re: Comparison between Yamaha CLP-695GP and Yamaha N series? [Re: vara411] #2847525
05/12/19 11:47 AM
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Sorry for the late answer: have been quite busy lately. Update? Still like it? Yes, I’m happy as a clown.

An evaluation six months after purchase might actually be worth the effort, so here it is: (in a separate post)


Yamaha CLP-695GP at home.

Composers: Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Mendelssohn.

Performers: David Fray, Jean Rondeau, Glenn Gould, Evgeny Kissin, Daniel Barenboim
The Yamaha CLP-695GP, six months later: [Re: Pianoguy_SWE] #2847541
05/12/19 12:46 PM
05/12/19 12:46 PM
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As I've been using the CLP-695GP the past 6 months or so, I've been digging deeper into the settings menu and I've been experimenting a bit with the sound settings and the Yamaha "smart pianist" app. The app is not just a gimmick; but actually very useful:

First: the app and some of it’s features:

[img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/x...fu8bIUOQ2OI4wY93JYu2eLT_k=w2388-h1668-no[/img]

I went to the store and picked up one of these little gizmos: a Wifi-adapter. With this, you can connect your piano to the local network, which in turn allows you to connect the piano to your Ipad.

[img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/t...5x_nov1Y2TKZR_l4bXtDNNP1Y=w2702-h2028-no[/img]

The Yamaha ”smart pianist” app has a ton of features, but I will just mention the ones I’m using every day.


Sound settings page: touch curve

This setting allows you to set how the force you use when pressing down a key will correlate to an increase in sound volume.
*setting it to”soft” will make even small variations in pressure from your fingers stand out as unevenness in your play.
I find this quite useful when I’m practising scales and arpeggios, I can clearly hear even the slightest unevenness in my play, and correct it faster.

[img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/8...O0fZkiBY3bqQocJS6-hmOUEmU=w2388-h1668-no[/img]

Sound settings page: Environment

Setting the amount of reverb, essentially. Recommend low setting, or sound will quickly become muddy. I like to raise it slightly though.

[img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/P...rXp4TvZewtdRkWLaPgRsY9S4c=w2388-h1668-no[/img]

Sound settings page: damper resonance, aliquot resonance, body resonance and ”key off sampling”
A number of settings for resonance effects from the strings, mechanics and cabinet of an acoustic grand piano. They are a number of rather discrete but interesting effects:
*Be careful with ”damper resonance”: setting it too high will give the sound an unpleasant dissonant singing tone: recommend low setting here.
*The others however, can even be set to maximum without disadvantage.
I don’t know the physics behind these functions, but I really like them; it makes the piano produce a ”richer” sound than you can normally hear from a digital piano. Can’t put my finger on it, but it sounds really nice. =)

Environment settings:

Choose between the acoustic environment of a cathedral, concert hall, club, smaller recital hall, of chamber. Best setting depends on what you are playing for the moment.
I usually stay with ”Chamber” or ”recital”: reverb gets a shorter duration, best for most classical pieces.

[img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/N...xyU2IGgjxLKp74cC8kr1FT9Bk=w2388-h1668-no[/img]

Bösendorfer VS Yamaha CFX, and ”binaural sound” : is it any good?

There are a number of sampled pianos in the sound bank, but these two are supposed to be the best. There is an excellent harpsichord voice that I sometimes use when playing Bach, but otherwise I stick with the CFX.
Bösendorfer and CFX both sound great through the speakers: but only the CFX has the ”binaural” effect: simply meaning that when you play with earphones, it’s supposed to sound just like when you sit in front of an acoustic piano.

Let me elaborate on that: using earphones – even good ones- usually means that it will sound a little bit like listening to a piano performance through a hole in a wall: you lose the sense of spatial orientation – i.e. where in the room the sound comes from.
Not so here: the sound produced in your earphones is almost indistinguishable from sitting in front of an acoustic piano. You can hear the bass strings growling slightly downwards to the left, the middle register right in front of you, and so on.
The yamaha engineers have done a really good job with this. So good in fact, that I rarely use the Bösendorfer voice when I play with earphones.
Instead I prefer to go to the sound settings page: and change the ”brightness” of the CFX voice to make it sound more mellow. Good for Beethoven pieces, I think.

[img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/S...8pG7wmmyLGYHQn5CMcWAe3uYY=w2388-h1668-no[/img]

Final verdict 6 months post purchase:

[img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/P...naEsg2-bPNIzM7CFywIifgYsY=w2702-h2028-no[/img]

I’ve already commented on the ”Grand touch” mechanics in this piano and the CLP-685, and my initial opinion stills stands: I liked it then, and I still like it now. I’ve been sitting in front of a couple of good acoustic grands since I bought mine, and I honestly have a really hard time telling a difference. There is one clear advantage with the digital piano though: It’s always perfectly regulated, unlike most acoustic grands. Options to play around with various environments and tonal qualities are very nice too.
The dynamic range of a really good acoustic grand can’t be beaten by any digital piano, ever, but you can’t have it all. For a digital piano though, it has an impressive sound: the best I’ve heard so far.

My local piano store has got the new Yamaha NX-1 in store: I think I will go there and try it out some day this week: it might be interesting to compare these two again.


Yamaha CLP-695GP at home.

Composers: Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Mendelssohn.

Performers: David Fray, Jean Rondeau, Glenn Gould, Evgeny Kissin, Daniel Barenboim
Re: The Yamaha CLP-695GP, six months later: [Re: Pianoguy_SWE] #2847560
05/12/19 02:06 PM
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Very interesting read Finurliig!

I’m also getting a Yamaha, although, I’m likely getting the CLP-685/785 (if it’s released in the near future).

Re: The Yamaha CLP-695GP, six months later: [Re: Pianoguy_SWE] #2847564
05/12/19 02:23 PM
05/12/19 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Finurliig
_

My local piano store has got the new Yamaha NX-1 in store: I think I will go there and try it out some day this week: it might be interesting to compare these two again.



Sounds like an expensive trip coming up . . .

Last edited by peterws; 05/12/19 02:26 PM.

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Re: The Yamaha CLP-695GP, six months later: [Re: peterws] #2847589
05/12/19 04:40 PM
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LOL! laugh I hope not. Why, is it THAT good?


Yamaha CLP-695GP at home.

Composers: Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Mendelssohn.

Performers: David Fray, Jean Rondeau, Glenn Gould, Evgeny Kissin, Daniel Barenboim
Re: The Yamaha CLP-695GP, six months later: [Re: Pianoguy_SWE] #2847610
05/12/19 06:59 PM
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Interesting points. BTW isn't the key-front-to-pivot distance on the CLP685 longer than it is on AvantGrand? I thought I read somewhere that it was the longest in the business. The relevance of this varies amongst pianists.

Anyway, having a grand action in a piano isn't necessarily an advantage for everyone. For me the important thing is having an action that has the responsiveness of a grand, and also having an action that requires no particular adjustment when playing an acoustic grand, or at least no more than it would coming form another acoustic grand.

Other than that, whether it feels exactly like an acoustic action or not, I don't really care.

Re: The Yamaha CLP-695GP, six months later: [Re: Pianoguy_SWE] #2847613
05/12/19 07:33 PM
05/12/19 07:33 PM
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PS, I can't imagine any situation where having a real grand action is a disadvantage, just that when choosing a DP. the most realistic action may not be the one I like best. For my purposes, I'm hoping the new Roland action (the hybrid action that isn't really) will be perfect for me. If not, I'll probably buy a Yamaha CLP-685, N1X, or NV10 in the future.

Last edited by johnstaf; 05/12/19 07:33 PM.
Re: The Yamaha CLP-695GP, six months later: [Re: Pianoguy_SWE] #2847648
05/13/19 01:18 AM
05/13/19 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Finurliig
LOL! laugh I hope not. Why, is it THAT good?


Maybe. The N1 wasn't brilliant to my old ears, lacked depth and still I never sounded digital, but played wonderfully well. I can only accommodate a small piano, so I don't dwell on anything bigger which is probably why I never found it's hidden treasures!


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Re: The Yamaha CLP-695GP, six months later: [Re: johnstaf] #2847850
05/13/19 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Interesting points. BTW isn't the key-front-to-pivot distance on the CLP685 longer than it is on AvantGrand? I thought I read somewhere that it was the longest in the business. The relevance of this varies amongst pianists.


Roughly comparable, I'd say. Yamaha did say the GrandTouch has the "longest support [pivot] length of any DP," but that was before the NV-10 was released and it's not clear whether it includes the hybrids to begin with.

From (http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2734488/all/naked-pics-of-grandtouch-action.html), the GrandTouch pivot is roughly 24cm (9.5"), which is similar to the Kawai Grand Feel/Grand Feel II and also similar to the AvantGrand. IIRC, the NV-10's is well over 10". Also, Roland's "Hybrid Grand" action with longer pivot length was released recently too, I'm not sure how it compares with the GrandTouch.

The takeaway is that nearly all the high end digital consoles nowadays have extremely respectable pivot lengths (comparable to 5-6' grands). Who has the absolute longest doesn't matter too much (arguably? :D)


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: The Yamaha CLP-695GP, six months later: [Re: Pianoguy_SWE] #2847856
05/13/19 05:51 PM
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Kitsap County, WA
In my personal opinion, that doesn't matter a lick, the action on the AG is so much better than the CLP-685. It's an apple and oranges comparison. I didn't mind the CLP, but now that I have the AG there's no going back ever...


𝒀𝒂𝒎𝒂𝒉𝒂 𝑨𝒗𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝑮𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑵1𝑿
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