Yamaha Clavinova CLP-775 review | MusicRadar

Yamaha Clavinova CLP-775 review: What is it?

Yamaha has been at the forefront of home digital piano scene for decades, with early Clavinova models first appearing in the early 1980s – this writer’s studio is home to a CLP-360 model from 1990 that still works well, a testament to the quality and longevity of these implements. Released in July 2020 and occupying an upper middle slot in the current CLP-700 lineup, the CLP-775 is a compact console model that resembles the classic home piano every inch, looking like a scaled-down upright piano but sounding like a full-sized piano. concert tail.

The test unit for this Yamaha Clavinova CLP-775 review was clad in a beautiful dark rosewood finish, but the 775 is also available in classic polished ebony, black walnut, satin white, white ash, and dark walnut finishes.

The piano arrived in a large cardboard box and some assembly was required, taking about 30 minutes for two people to unpack, assemble and screw it together. Some vendors may, however, ship instruments easily assembled, with delivery and installation included for an additional charge, so check with your retailer to see if your particular piano will require assembly. Full-size pianos are bulky things, and the 775 is no exception, weighing around 75 pounds.

Still in the box, next to the instruction manual, you receive a sheet music book containing 50 classic piano pieces to learn (here are 8 more classic piano pieces for beginners). There’s no piano stool included, so you’ll need to get one separately.

The CLP-775 has two headphone outputs, a big plus for student/teacher collaboration scenarios. These are concealed under the left end of the keyboard along with two USB ports – a USB to Host port which allows the piano to be used as a MIDI controller and a USB A port for storing audio recordings on a USB flash drive. The built-in pedalboard houses the required three-pedal configuration of una corda, sostenuto, and damper pedals needed for RSM Grade 5 and above, with the Grand Piano Response damper pedal designed to function and respond exactly like a grand piano pedal supporting half-pedaling.

To the left of the keyboard is a touchscreen which, when idle, is completely invisible, giving the appearance of a plain black panel that comes to life when tapped. This allows control of sound selection, rhythm and metronome access and more via a series of touch sensitive buttons. There’s also a small, backlit, dot-matrix LCD display that shows the current sound selection and navigates through the various menus.

Yamaha Clavinova CLP-775 review: Performance and verdict

Review of the Yamaha Clavinova CLP-775

(Image credit: Yamaha)

Once assembled, we slid off the CLP-775’s built-in keyboard cover and pressed the “on” button, and we were ready to start playing after a wake-up time of about 7 seconds. First impressions were that the keyboard action is very close to that of a acoustic pianoand the sound is, well, very close to that of an acoustic piano!

The realistic feel is achieved through Yamaha’s acclaimed GrandTouch keyboard, which features real wooden keys, each individually calibrated to simulate different weight and feedback, recreating the authentic feel of an acoustic piano. The excellent sound is delivered by a set of downward-firing speakers with 3-way transducers arranged below the keyboard.

The most remarkable thing about this piano is that when you sit down to play it, it doesn’t sound electronic. The sound from the speakers hidden in the enclosure is so realistic and the ambience recreated so naturally that when you combine it with the authentically designed keyboard action and psychoacoustic trickery delivered by the combination of electronics and real wooden cabinet, the overall effect is a very difficult experience to distinguish from reality. Like an acoustic, you feel totally locked into the sound and incredibly involved in the playing experience to the point where you forget you’re playing a digital instrument.

There are two main grand piano sounds on the CLP-775, both of which are superb. The default Yamaha grand sample is taken from a CFX Concert Grand and is of pristine quality. Sympathetic resonance, full sound and delicate ambience are all present and correct thanks to a technology that Yamaha calls Virtual Resonance Modeling. This simulates the sympathetic sounds created by the layered resonance of a grand piano’s strings, soundboard and body, and seems to work brilliantly.

Review of the Yamaha Clavinova CLP-775

(Image credit: Dave Clews)

The second tone, sampled from a Bosendorfer Imperial grand piano, is less bright, rounder and warmer with a bit squarer tone overall. Both of these sounds have their own dedicated call buttons on the control panel, so you can choose between having a Yamaha or a Bosendorfer in your living room at the push of a button. Samples are also recorded binaurally, giving them an extra realistic dimension when used with headphones. When we tried it, the binaural effect was of such quality that we didn’t initially think the sound was coming through our cans, and had to pull them out momentarily to check (enhance your cans with our pick of the best digital piano listeners).

For an instrument that is clearly intended as a high-end parlor piano, we were struck by the number of different voices available. Besides the two main piano tones, there are upright, jazz, rock and honky-tonk pianos, electric pianos such as Rhodes, Wurli and DX7 E-piano tones. In a unique twist, there are two fortepiano sounds on board, which are sampled versions of the early pianos Mozart and Chopin would have used to compose on. The idea is to be able to play songs from this period and hear them as they would have originally sounded at the time. These tones are a nice addition and are very well executed – not that we’re experts in exactly how they should sound, but they certainly bring an as-yet-undiscovered dimension to the instrument that you won’t easily find elsewhere.

Meanwhile, further down the list of sounds, you’ll find organs, strings, acoustic and electric basses, a vibraphone, and a pair of harpsichord sounds that are wonderful for playing Bach and other baroque pieces. There’s even a selection of 20 pre-programmed rhythm tracks to play, along with auto bass parts and intro and outro fills, but we found them a bit like a home organ for our tastes and – a bit snobby we admit – felt these were a little below the instrument’s raison d’être, although to be fair they can be a little more exciting for practicing scales than the built-in metronome .

Review of the Yamaha Clavinova CLP-775

(Image credit: Dave Clews)

The demo songs are very well executed, and kicking off one or two of them is fun enough in itself – you can play piano tunes while you dust the living room, for example, or just use them as a way to show off your new instrument without revealing your own questionable talents. A built-in USB audio player/recorder lets you record your performances in uncompressed .WAV format, allowing you to share your music with friends and family.

The 775 is equipped with Bluetooth functionality, allowing it to be wirelessly connected to things like online piano lesson services and teaching apps, as well as Yamaha’s SmartPianist app, which allows sound selection and control of other piano parameters and settings directly from your device. . You can also pair the piano with a Bluetooth-enabled mobile device and use its speakers to listen to and play songs from your mobile device’s music library.

In summary, the CLP-775 is a magnificent instrument that not only looks great – especially in the rosewood finish – but also sounds phenomenal. Having a piano that’s as much a piece of furniture as it is an instrument contributes a lot to the authenticity of the playing experience. There’s not a single whiff of digital in the sound, and the large CFX sample in particular is the one of the best we have come across. It would be worth the price for the piano sounds alone, but all the extra features like Bluetooth, great electric piano and harpsichord sounds – even the slightly cheesy rhythm tracks – make this a set that’s hard to overlook. If you’re looking for a high-quality, great-sounding digital piano for the home that comes as close to the feel of an acoustic grand piano as possible, we recommend the CLP-775 at a glance. eye. Our only real question remains: do we absolutely have to return it?

Yamaha Clavinova CLP-775 review: Hands-on demos

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Yamaha Clavinova CLP-775 review: Specifications

  • Keys: GrandTouch keyboard with 88 individually weighted linear keys with synthetic ebony and ivory keys, wood is used for white keys
  • Lester: 74kg
  • Dimensions (W x D x H) mm: 1466x465x970
  • Speakers: (16cm+8cm+5cm+transducer) x 2
  • Pedals: Grand piano response damper, sostenuto, soft
  • Connections: 2 x 6.3mm headphone outputs, USB to host, USB device connector, Bluetooth audio and MIDI
  • Tones: 38
  • Rhythms: 20
  • Polyphony: 256
  • Contact: Yamaha (opens in a new tab)