Is The Yamaha Clavinova A Good Piano?

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Written By Sarah Barlow

Chief Music Officer

Is Yamaha A Good Digital Piano Brand?

Yamaha has been making some of the finest instruments in the world since 1887. It’s no surprise that Yamaha is one of the most popular and well-established piano manufacturers in the world, given its remarkable features, attributes, and innovative technology. Even Though, other piano firms have been around for even much longer. Yamaha pianos have been sought-after by the majority of pianists all over the globe and here are some of the reasons why the top pianists use Yamaha pianos:

Consistent Quality

The consistency and reliable quality of each Yamaha piano are one of the various features that distinguish them from their competitors. Continuous quality control, as well as Yamaha’s culture of excellence and enthusiasm for exceptional instruments, are key factors in each Yamaha piano’s consistent high quality. Yamaha is one of the few manufacturers that display quality in each instrument they create, even though it may sound like a normal corporate business motto. The company has always gone above and beyond in helping musicians and promoting its goods wherever possible. Due to the company’s huge discounts for educational institutions, it has also become the go-to brand for colleges and high schools all around the world. Yamaha is, at its core, a corporation that is passionate about what it creates, as it is reflected in their finished products.

Genuine Sounds

Despite having competitors, no one can deny that Yamaha’s high-end collection offers pianos that sound and feel on par with the top brands in the world. This is also where Yamaha’s unwavering excellence is showcased. There are no terrible Yamaha pianos even if they are ten or twenty years old.

Keyboard Action

The action of the keyboard and hammers is one of the most neglected and underrated elements of a piano. Yamaha pianos have the best keyboard action of any brand. In reality, this claim may be the least debatable. All musicians admire Yamaha’s performance. However, these pianos aren’t just amazing because of their movement. Every note played on a Yamaha piano has a level of balance, consistency, and quality about it. The same is shown with their digital pianos. Yamaha always listens to their customers and is always determined to improve their keyboard’s action and feel. As they evolved from their previous GHS, GH3, GH3X, and NWX keyboard systems and recently released the GrandTouch keyboard which offers great touch responsiveness, as well as a wider variety of keyboard dynamics for the performer. It enables pianists to play with a fine balance, a more exact rhythm, and a smoother melodic expression.

Quality At Bargain

Finally, Yamaha provides pianists with an affordable high-quality piano. Yamaha pianos are perhaps the most mass-produced pianos available, with quality that rivals that of Steinway at a fraction of the price. All of this is derived from Yamaha’s desire to create exceptional musical instruments. The Steinway and other models have evolved into status symbols akin to works of art. Yamaha, on the other hand, has remained committed to producing the best pianos at an affordable price.

What Type Of Piano Is A Clavinova?

The Yamaha Clavinova is a collection of digital pianos which were introduced back in 1983. It was an electric-powered piano whose goal was to reliably emulate the power and performance of an actual acoustic concert grand. Fast Forward to almost four decades, the Clavinova carry on to inspire and persuade all players no matter what piano skill level they possess of the piano’s authentic acoustic action, stylish design, and fine tones that imitate a concert grand. The Yamaha Clavinova is indeed timeless and undoubtedly one of the most influential technologies in the last fifty years.  


Affordable than Acoustic Pianos

High-end acoustic grand pianos such as Steinway, Bosendorfer, and Yamaha on average would cost you around $65,000 – $190,000. On the other hand, digital pianos would approximately cost you between $1,000-$20,000. 

High-Quality Grand Piano Sound

Since the early days of digital pianos, sound sampling technology has rapidly advanced. The top grand pianos in the world, such as the 9′ Yamaha CFX Concert or the world-renowned Bösendorfer, now produce lifelike sounds.

This sound is richer and more realistic than ever courtesy of improved speakers, featuring spruce cone speakers. Higher-end Yamaha Clavinovas, such as the CLP-685, features virtual resonance modeling, which simulates the complete resonance of an acoustic grand piano’s soundboard, rim, and frame. The digital piano now sounds even more realistic than ever.

Same Touch As Acoustic Pianos

If you haven’t recently played a digital piano, you might not be aware of this. Digital piano technology has enhanced even the touch and feel of a digital piano over the last decade and a half. Nowadays, they can simulate an acoustic piano’s touch, rather than the light-touch, lifeless keyboard keys that can only be pressed effortlessly with very little pressure. This means weighted keys, textured black keys, and a touch that differs somewhat between lower and higher notes, are now applicable in digital pianos. One of the major (and latest) advantages of a digital piano is the ability to play classical piano music.

Don’t Require Tuning

Another advantage of digital pianos is that they do not need to be tuned or maintained from time to time. They don’t need professional tuning because their sounds are programmed in a tone generator to produce sounds. This saves you time and money on maintenance each year.

Players Can Use Headphones

This is one of the most prominent advantages of purchasing a digital piano among families. Since you can practice with headphones at any time of day or night, it provides you privacy and enables you to cancel out all unnecessary noises from your surroundings. 

Various Instrument Sounds

Digital pianos, unlike acoustic pianos, feature a wide range of sounds and tones. They can play a variety of instruments and even different types of pianos with a variety of tones. This means you can use a resonant Yamaha CFX for dramatic expressionist compositions, a brighter piano sound for classical songs, and artistic jazz piano for playing your favorite Art Tatum or Duke Ellington piece, or even a B2 for playing Boston or other classic rock.

Background Rhythms

Background rhythms are enjoyed by students of all ages and skills. A background beat, unlike the dull metronome ticking away next to you, helps you learn to sustain a constant rhythm while providing a more authentic playing experience. Newer Yamaha Clavinovas, on the other hand, take these background sounds to a whole new level.

Smart Accompaniments

With new technology, the accompaniments are much better than ever before. The latest Yamaha Clavinovas allow you to assemble a whole ensemble of musicians to perform with you. You have complete control over the harmony, dynamics, and musical style. Your support musicians will follow your lead, transforming your solo into a masterpiece in a matter of seconds.

Recording Capabilities

The recording capabilities are one reason more experienced pianists find value in purchasing a digital piano. You can record in a variety of audio formats and distribute your recordings in whatever way suits you best. As a result, digital pianos are becoming a more powerful instrument for musicians to create and share music.

Learning Technology

Digital pianos are not only packed with technology like guide lights that assist you to play some of your favorite tunes, but they’re also compatible with a variety of educational apps that can assist you or your child in learning how to play.


Value Degrades Quickly

This is primarily because new models are introduced every year which makes it more difficult for you to sell your piano and causes its value to degrade over time. 

Expensive To Repair

Since digital pianos are typically made of plastic they are more prone to body damages which are expensive and hassle to repair. This is mainly because digital piano parts aren’t accessible like acoustic piano parts. If ever you damage your piano’s plastic body, you can either order parts from the dealership you bought it from but it still depends on whether they sell the parts you need or the brand still manufactures parts for your piano model. In addition, since digital pianos are electrical mechanical faults and software issues may occur over time. This type of repair requires a professional piano technician or software programmer to be fixed and that is if it is still repairable.

What Features Makes The Yamaha Clavinova A Must Have?

The Yamaha Clavinova series over the years have established a name worldwide. This is mainly due to the company’s reliability, innovative technology, and excellent quality they put in their products. Here are some of the features Yamaha Clavinovas have that make them desired by many pianists.


Grandtouch-S™ Keyboard

Yamaha’s new keyboard action has a wide dynamic range and a faithful reaction to every nuance of touch, giving the pianist access to a wide variety of tones, from delicate to strong. The very consistent grand piano hammers accurately reproduce the satisfying response felt when the hammers strike the strings, allowing for fine tone control.

Synthetic ivory white and ebony black keys are highly absorbent and feel almost exactly like those on a grand piano, preventing sliding even during an extended performance.

Escapement Mechanism Of Clavinova Keyboards

To avoid any interference with string vibration, the escapement mechanism in a grand piano quickly pushes the hammers away from the strings when they strike them. When the keys are softly pressed, the mechanism generates a little clicking sound.

The Clavinova keyboards have an escapement mechanism that simulates this sensation near the key dip’s bottom. They’re made so that the click is only apparent on the lightest keystrokes which are equivalent to a grand piano’s keyboard. The friction on these keyboards has been increased to balance key repetition and response without limiting performance.

Design Concept

Clavinova pianos have exceptional playability and versatility, and also a polished, authentic design that balances a small form with modern aesthetics in a manner befitting the instrument which has established the current standard for pianos. The sensation a player feels when sitting in front of a Clavinova piano is at the heart of the design concept. To create a realistically natural setting that feels just like sitting at an acoustic piano, unnecessary features are excluded from the player’s range of vision. This demonstrates Yamaha’s thoughtfulness for players who practice on Clavinova and perform on grand pianos so that they may walk on stage without fear or anxiety since everything feels normal, as rehearsed. Clavinova pianos are a part of the player’s everyday life, with modern finishes and color variations to fit any house decor or lifestyle.


Enhanced Sound Quality

The interplay and connection of the hammers, dampers, and strings found inside a grand piano respond to the subtleties of the pianist’s touch, resulting in an infinite spectrum of tonal expression. Touch refers to the pianist’s ability to manage not only the intensity (softness/loudness) with which the keys are played and released but also the pace and depth with which they are pressed. The CLP-700 Series’ Grand Expression Modeling turns the pianist’s variable input into the same unlimited tone variety of a grand piano.

This enables you to change the sounds by playing the keys at varying depths and speeds, even when using techniques like trills or legato, or accentuating the melody over the accompaniment. In many well-known songs, Grand Expression Modeling excels at excellently duplicating the output expected of these strategies. A free touch provides the weak tone in Debussy’s “Clair de Lune,” making the melody stand out more crisply. The supporting arpeggios in Liszt’s “Un Sospiro” enhance the melody without overwhelming it, and the melody’s dynamic expression gives it the same quality as vocals. Trills, legato, and other delicate techniques where fingers seem to drift over the keys deliver the light, smooth tonal expression required in the final Chopin nocturne. Playing such pieces on a highly expressive piano allows the pianist to master new techniques and enjoy the same delight of expression as a painter with the use of sounds.

Sound Quality

Yamaha Cfx And Bösendorfer Imperial Voices

The sounds of various world-famous concert grand pianos were captured for the Clavinova grand piano. The CFX is Yamaha’s top-of-the-line concert grand piano and is one of them. The CFX’s magnificent, bright, richly expressive sound in performance halls has captivated pianists all over the world. Another concert grand that has been sampled is the Imperial, which is Bösendorfer’s flagship model and has a devoted fanbase. The Imperial is recognized for its vibrant colors and welcoming atmosphere. Yamaha meticulously records the whole tonal range of each of the 88 keys, making minute modifications to capture the most beautiful tones each piano has to offer.

Virtual Resonance Modeling

The sympathetic resonance created by the entire instrument is one of the allures of the grand piano. Clavinova pianos use a new technology called Virtual Resonance Modeling to effectively reproduce this rich sympathetic resonance (VRM). VRM simulates the complex responsive tones produced when the vibrations of the strings are carried to the soundboard and other strings, matching the timing and intensity of key playing and pedaling, to produce a richly diversified sound. In addition to the resonance of the duplex scaling, strings, soundboard, and casing, the CLP-700 Series pianos reproduce the sounds the dampers generated when they are raised off the strings. Clavinova pianos offer a similar dynamic range and deep sympathetic tones as a grand piano’s complete body for you to enjoy.

Immersive Experience

Binaural sampling is a sampling technique in which special microphones are placed on a mannequin’s head in the same positions as the pianist’s ears to capture piano sounds as they sound.

In Clavinova pianos, we chose this method to create the ambiance and rich, the natural resonance of acoustic pianos. Even when playing with headphones on, pianists will experience as though they are sitting at a grand piano. They forget they’re wearing headphones because the experience is so enjoyable, no matter how long they play.

Binaural sampling was employed on the Bösendorfer Imperial and Yamaha CFX and was equipped with CLP-700 Series pianos. This allowed Yamaha to achieve higher-definition binaural sound with a specially built mannequin head and model ears for recording.

To accomplish a similar result for the piano effects, we created the Stereophonic Optimizer function. For the piano voices other than the CFX and Imperial, Stereophonic Optimizer technology simulates natural sound diffusion in headphones almost as well as binaural sampling.

Instrument Voices

The CLP-775/745/735/765GP* are Yamaha’s earliest instruments having fortepiano voices, which are the forerunners to the modern piano. A fortepiano’s tones are simpler than those of a modern piano, and they decay considerably faster. Hearing the instruments that Mozart, Beethoven, and Chopin used to compose their songs can help you understand the original idea behind the notes on the page. Playing these vintage instruments provides a unique opportunity to communicate with historical composers.

These models feature the voices of two fortepianos that Mozart and Chopin adored.

Innovative Features

Time-Tested Practice Aids

Use proven practice methods from Hanon, Bayer, Czerny, and Burgmüller to strengthen your hands with some of the most generally approved exercises in the world. You can practice your right and left hands separately with these built-in songs, or simply listen to them.

Playing With Rhythm Playback

The CLP-700 Series includes 20 different and simple rhythm patterns which include drums and bass accompaniment that are well-suited to a wide range of musical genres, allowing you to lighten up your performance with some backing musicians, make practice more interesting, or open up your creative flow with fresh ideas.

Smart Educational Applications

Smart Pianist is a dedicated app that adds a wonderful graphic interface and a range of beneficial features that are compatible with your Yamaha digital piano, allowing you to enjoy the piano even more.

You can connect to Smart Pianist wirelessly using the Bluetooth® MIDI function.

Multi-Track Song Recorder

Clavinova digital pianos have recording capability that enables you to record your performances with a single touch, which is useful for objectively reviewing your playing. You can also record up to 16 tracks for simultaneous playback, allowing you to isolate individual hands or overdub passages with various voices.

MIDI recordings can be saved to a USB flash drive. When playing back recorded data on a computer, compatible software is necessary.

USB Audio Recorder

Yamaha Clavinova pianos allow you to transfer your recorded performances into USB flash memory and create audio files that you can save and listen back on your computer, send to friends, or burn to a CD. The data is kept in WAV format.


Overall, the Yamaha Clavinova series offers exceptional models of digital pianos. Although Clavinova pianos are more expensive than your average digital piano, they are still one of the most desired and clear choices of many pianists. This is mainly due to the many features and technology Yamaha has equipped them with, and the resemblance of its performance to an actual acoustic grand piano. All these features and specification makes it a good investment to choose a Clavinova when looking for a Digital piano and without a doubt guaranteed to get your money’s worth.