What Is The Difference Between A Clavinova And An Arius?

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Written By Sarah Barlow

Chief Music Officer

Yamaha is one of the leading manufacturers of acoustic pianos, digital pianos, and other wind, string, and percussion instruments. The company has established a name due to its reliability and innovative electronic devices and equipment which is what most people look for in a digital piano. Yamaha has manufactured two successful ranges of digital pianos which are the Arius series and the Clavinova series. Any digital piano with a “CLP” label is a Clavinova while any piano starting with a “YDP” is an Arius. Both ranges of pianos look fairly similar and do the same thing which is to produce sounds and melodies. In this article, we are going to distinguish the main differences between both series and discuss the advantages each one has over the other. 

What Is The Yamaha Arius Range?

The Yamaha Arius is considered by many as a well-rounded piano. This is primarily because it suits anyone no matter what piano skill level they are classified with, from beginners to advanced players. Pianos from the Arius series are typically designed as simple as possible which isn’t a disadvantage. It just simply implies that you have core essentials to work with and that sometimes less may mean more.

List Of Pianos In The Arius Series With Their Corresponding Prices:

Model Price
Yamaha YDP-184$2,399.99-$2,799.00
Yamaha YDP-165$1,799.99-$2,399.00
Yamaha YDP-S55$1,599.99-$1,999.00
Yamaha YDP-145$1,299.99-$1,599.00
Yamaha YDP-S35$1,199.99-$1,499.00
Yamaha YDP-105$1,099.99-$1,399.00
Yamaha YDP-184$2,399.99-$2,799.00
Yamaha YDP-164$1,599.99-$1,999.00
Yamaha YDP-S54$1,449.99
Yamaha YDP-144$1,199.99-$1,499.00
Yamaha YDP-S34$999.99-$1,099.99
Yamaha YDP-103$999.99-$1,299.00

Features Present In The Arius And Not On The Clavinova

  • In terms of specifications, the Arius series offers the same piano in a smaller cabinet that is more realistic in terms of available modern living space. Not everyone has a spare room in their house dedicated to music. When rooms need to be doubled up, the YDP-S35 and YDP-S54 come in handy. ‘Slim’ is what the ‘S’ stands for.
  • Affordability. Money does not always appear to stretch as far as we would want. This is a very appealing characteristic of the Arius series which is the price. Yamaha designed this range with cost in mind and ensures that you will not be sacrificing quality by choosing this less expensive option.
  • When it comes to technological features, the Arius series has just the right and sufficient amount. There aren’t too many or too few. A newbie may find the Clavinova range intimidating, whereas the Arius range is warm and friendly because it keeps things simple and balanced.

What Is The Yamaha Clavinova Range?

The Clavinova series is where we first notice Yamaha’s unique trademarks and exceptional technology. Digital pianos from this range are where we can see how excellent Yamaha can recreate the feel of a conventional piano in a modern context while focusing solely on the instrument’s quality feel. When compared to the Arius range, think of the Clavinova as a little more detailed piano and a superior option.

List Of Pianos In The Clavinova Series With Their Corresponding Prices:

Yamaha CLP Series

Yamaha CLP-795GP$7,999.99
Yamaha CLP-785$6,999.99-$7,999.99
Yamaha CLP-775$4,999.99-$5,599.99
Yamaha CLP-765GP$5,899.99
Yamaha CLP-745$3,699.99
Yamaha CLP-735$2,899.99-$3,399.99
Yamaha CLP-725$1,999.99-$2,399.99

Yamaha CVP Series

Model Price
Yamaha CVP-809GP$17,099.99-$19,999.00
Yamaha CVP-809$12,499.99-$21,999.00
Yamaha CVP-805$7,799.99-$9,999.00
Yamaha CVP-701$4,199.99-$5,278.00

Yamaha CSP Series

Yamaha CSP-170$5,399.99-$5,999.00
Yamaha CSP-150$3,699.99-$4,599.00

Features Present In The Clavinova And Not On The Arius

  • The ‘Binaural sampling’ is a feature found in the Clavinova series. Simply put, this is when you listen to music through headphones, and the sounds you hear feel like it’s coming directly from the speakers. It is what others describe and call “3D” sound quality. The most common question you would hear from people trying this feature for the first time is “Are the headphones plugged in?”mainly because they temporarily believe that the sound is coming from the speakers and when in fact it isn’t.
  • We get wooden (white) keys starting with the CLP-745. It’s a minor feature that appears to be unimportant. However, it’s something some pianists have come to appreciate in a piano. It’s something about the feel and weight of the key that makes its users feel at ease when playing. 
  • Touch Center Control feature (CLP-775). This makes moving around your piano feel like a breeze. It made it very clear where each feature is located, and it is quite simple to use. It practically takes the tension out of playing the instrument because you don’t have to learn where everything is. It simply just comes to you.
  • Bluetooth is a feature you didn’t realize you needed. Play along with your favorite songs by connecting your phone or tablet to your piano. Surround yourself with the sound of an orchestra and see what happens to the level of intensity you put into your playing. Second, it eases the process of connecting to Yamaha apps. There are no cables or wired adapters. All you need to have is the piano and your phone. This is, without a doubt, the simplest method of connecting to the app.

What Are The Main Features That Separate The Clavinova And Arius From One Another?

Piano Action (Feel)

Featured Ydp Models And Predecessor Clp Models Keyboard Systems:

ModelType Of Keyboard
Yamaha YDP-144GHS Keyboard System
Yamaha YDP-164GH3 Keyboard System
Yamaha YDP-S54GH3 Keyboard System
Yamaha CLP-625GH3X Keyboard System
Yamaha CLP-635GH3X Keyboard System
Yamaha CLP-645NWX

Let’s have a look at the various systems featured in both the YDP models and predecessor CLP models which include GHS, GH3, GH3X, and NWX. Yamaha’s “Graded Hammer Standard” digital piano keyboard system is known as GHS. The GH3 adds a third sensor to the system, allowing for faster note repetition. This is because the third sensor allows the system to record a half-pressed key as a keypress when released, similar to how a grand piano may sound like a half-pressed key when released.

The GH3X then builds on the previous GHS and GH3 systems by including an escapement “X” that simulates the subtle “click” that is felt when a key is pressed on the keyboard, which is traditionally caused when the hammer on an acoustic piano lifts to allow a piano string to sound continuous without being dampened. Finally, there’s the NWX “Natural Wood X” system, which is only available on the CLP-645 in this lineup and features all white keys made of wood.

In terms of keyboards, only the Clavinova range has an escapement, and only the CLP-645 and higher have hardwood keys (white only), whilst all other models have synthetic ebony, except for the YDP-144, which has smooth plastic keys.

Latest CLP Keyboard System

The newly released Yamaha CLP-700 series features either a GrandTouch or GrandTouch-S keyboard system, like its predecessor the NWX keyboard, it also has three sensors and solid natural wood white keys.

The GrandTouch keyboard is a significant upgrade over the NWX. It offers great touch responsiveness, as well as a wider variety of keyboard dynamics for the performer.

Even while playing towards the back of the keys, the distance between the key front and the fulcrum has been significantly increased, providing the performer additional leverage. The GrandTouch keyboard provides a fine balance, a more exact rhythm, and a smoother melodic expression.

Tone Generation

For its samples, the Arius features a Yamaha CFX tone generator. The Clavinova series has Binaural Sampling, Key-off Samples, Smooth Release, and Enhanced Virtual Resonance which is featured in a CFX & Bösendorfer tone generator utilized by the CLP-635 and latest models.

Amplifiers And Speakers. In addition, all pianos from the Clavinova 700 series are equipped with 256 polyphony while in the Arius series only the YDP-184 features the same number of polyphony, and the rest only has 192 polyphony.


All pianos from the Clavinova-700 series feature an easy-to-use LCD interface, whereas, in the Arius series, only the YDP-184 is equipped with an LCD while the rest of the YDP series utilizes a “combo button” mechanism.


Both the Arius and Clavinova models have internal recording and playback capabilities. This is a fantastic feature for children learning the piano because it allows them to listen to and improve on previously performed compositions while practicing. The Arius series allows you to store and playback a single piece of music with around 11,000 notes! This is sufficient for storing one piece of music; however, if you want to record another song, you must overwrite the previous one. Most pianos from the Clavinova series, starting with the CLP-735, substantially improve this capability, allowing up to 250 tracks to be stored. These songs may also be transferred from the device to a USB flash drive in.wav format, which is highly useful because it retains the recording’s high-quality audio.


The Arius YDP-184 and all CLP-700 series pianos except the CLP-725, features two headphone jacks, MIDI, AUX-in & out, USB to device & host while the rest only features two headphone jacks and USB to host.


Another factor worth considering when choosing from both pianos is that the Arius series is much lighter in weight compared to Clavinova pianos which are heavier by approximately 60%. For reference listed below the table are all digital pianos from both series with their corresponding weight.

List Of Pianos In The Arius Series With Their Corresponding Weights:

Model Price
Yamaha YDP-184123 lb, 7 oz or 56 kg
Yamaha YDP-16592 lbs., 10 oz or 42 kg
Yamaha YDP-S5588 lbs., 3 oz or 40 kg
Yamaha YDP-14583 lbs., 12 oz or 38 kg
Yamaha YDP-S3581 lbs.,9 oz or 37 kg 
Yamaha YDP-10582 lbs or 37.5 kg
Yamaha YDP-16492 lbs., 10 oz or 42 kg
Yamaha YDP-S5488 lbs., 3 oz or 40 kg
Yamaha YDP-14483 lbs., 12 oz or 38 kg
Yamaha YDP-S3479lbs., 2 oz or 35.9 kg
Yamaha YDP-10382 lbs., 11 oz or 37.5 kg

List Of Pianos In The Clavinova Series With Their Corresponding Weights:

Yamaha CLP Series
Yamaha CLP-795GP277 lb or 126 kg
Yamaha CLP-785185 lb or 84 kgPolished Finish: 191 lb or 87 kg
Yamaha CLP-775156 lb or 71 kgPolished Finish: 163 lb or 74 kg
Yamaha CLP-765GP233 lb or 106 kg
Yamaha CLP-745132 lb or 60 kgPolished Finish: 138 lb or 63 kg
Yamaha CLP-735125 lb or 57 kgPolished Finish: 132 lb or 60 kg
Yamaha CLP-72594 lb or 43 kgPolished Finish: 99 lb or 45 kg 
Yamaha CVP Series
Model Price
Yamaha CVP-809GP275 lb, 9 oz or 125 kg
Yamaha CVP-809180 lb, 12 oz or 82 kgPolished Finish: 185 lbs., 3 oz or 84 kg
Yamaha CVP-805176 lb, 6 oz or 80 kgPolished Finish: 185 lb, 3 oz or 84 kg
Yamaha CVP-701130 lbs., 1 oz or 59 kgPolished Finish: 135 lbs., 9 oz or 61.5 kg
Yamaha CSP Series
Yamaha CSP-170147 lb, 12 oz or 67 kgPolished Finish: 152 lb, 2 oz or 69 kg
Yamaha CSP-150127 lb, 14 oz or 58 kgPolished Finish: 134 lb, 8 oz or 61 kg


The YDP pianos are ideal for those looking for a budget-friendly weighted keyboard with a traditional piano cabinet style. If you want a high-quality digital piano but aren’t sure if you’re the type of player who will enjoy it, the YDPs provide that while saving you money over a Clavinova. However, if you are the type of pianist who is buying a digital piano that you would be playing for a long time or someone who wants the greatest possible start, the Clavinova series offers better action and tone boosting features that ensure that you won’t have to upgrade as very soon. The revolutionary GrandTouch action on the latest CLP-700 series is the most realistic ever, satisfying even the most seasoned players.

In short, the Yamaha Clavinova series holds more superior features compared to the Yamaha Arius series. No matter which digital piano you choose from both ranges, it is guaranteed that you get your money’s worth.