From the Clavinova series of the Yamaha comes the Yamaha Clavinova CLP 535. Now, if we were investigating Yamaha’s digital pianos, we would easily get to that point where we all agree that the Clavinova series contains Yamaha’s best digital pianos ever.
Now, did you know that it was Yamaha that made the first ever digital piano? Yep! Your very own trusted brand created the first digital piano in the year 1983. This keyboard was christened the YP-40. But over the years, this piano has been upgraded to reach some crazy new heights of technological awesomeness.
But hey we’re not here today for the YP-40. We’re here for the CLP 535. So, moving on…
Currently, Yamaha has more than a dozen Clavinova pianos in the market. And of these twelve digital pianos, the CLP 535 qualifies as a very interesting model.
It’s the digital piano on review today and there’s a lot to talk about. So, if you’re ready let’s get going. It’s about to get really interesting.
Specs And Features Of The Yamaha Clavinova CLP 535
- 88 fully weighted keys with ivory keytops and Graded Hammer 3X action.
- Touch sensitivity: Soft 1, Soft 2, Hard 1, hard 2, Medium, Fixed (6).
- Full Dot LCD display.
- Sound: Yamaha CFX, Bosendorfer Imperial.
- 256 note polyphony.
- Sound effects: 6 reverb types. 3 chorus types, 7 brilliance types, 12 types of Master Effect, with Intelligent Acoustic Control.
- Mode: Split, dual/layers.
- Preset songs: 50 piano, 18 voice demo, 303 lessons.
- 250 songs.
- Recording and playback feature.
- Metronome, transpose.
- Connectivity: 2 headphone jacks, AUX IN, AUX OUT, MIDI (IN, OUT, THRU), USB to device, USB to host.
- Speakers: 16 centimeters.
- Dimensions: 57.7 x 36.6 x 18.06 inches.
- Weight: 127 pounds.
An Overview Of The Yamaha Clavinova CLP 535’s Outlook
Firstly, the Yamaha CLP 535 looks good. It looks darn good actually! But then again, for something that looks that good, you could probably already guess that it would cost a pretty penny. And if you guessed that already, then you’re right.
But hey, listen up for the word on the street. This baby costs over two grand. That’s a lot of money! And the responsible thing to do is to find out if this instrument is worth the investment first before purchasing. And that’s why we’re here… to help you decide if this is a keyboard worth the investment.
Okay first, Yamaha chooses to craft this piano out of a really elegant wooden cabinet. Well, this comes as no surprise knowing Yamaha. The famous Japanese brand is already well known for its simple yet aesthetically pleasing designs. So, yeah, no surprise.
Next, you can find the CLP 535 in different finishes. About four of them to be exact. There’s the matte black walnut, the lucid polished ebony, the mahogany, and the dark rosewood. Thanks to this plethora of finishes Yamaha offers, you are sure to find something that matches you home décor.
Nonetheless, keep in mind that some finishes cost more than others.
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Design And Layout
In the first place, we will begin with the cabinet of the CLP 535. This cabinet comes with a music rest that’s integrated into the cabinet. And so you can easily lower or raise this as you want.
You’ll also find something else that makes this piano look very much like an actual grand piano. That’s the triple-pedal system. This triple-pedal system helps to support the damper pedal, soft pedal, half-pedal, and sostenuto functions. You see? Just like an actual grand.
Furthermore, there’s a hanger included with this keyboard which goes to the bottom part of your keyboard’s cabinet. You can use this hanger to store your headphones safely.
Moving on to the interface on the piano, you’ll find that towards the left end of the keyboard. On that interface, you’ll find some navigation buttons (4 of them to be precise), the mode/metronome functions, transport, and the sound categories as well.
Keys – So Much Like An Actual Grand
Perhaps the Yamaha CLP 535’s most important feature is its action. This comes with a GH3X graded hammer action. And even better, these keys come with synthetic ivory keytops which give the realism and resemblance to the grand that makes us love this piano.
Of course the keys are very sensitive and there are 6 levels of sensitivity as opposed to the usual 4 levels Yamaha offers in its lower priced models. Even the DGX 660, Yamaha’s portable grand series comes with only 4 sensitivity types.
Also, with all these sensitivity types, the player can easily achieve excellent response as they play on this piano.
Alright, let’s dwell on the keys on this keyboard for a bit…
Now, with the higher end models of the CLP series, you’ll find that their keys come wooden. However, you won’t find this in the CLPP 535. The keys are still plastic. But in this model, Yamaha tries to simulate a grand piano feel by making the keytops of synthetic ivory.
Wooden keys will, of course, definitely give a more realistic feel. But except you’re super advanced in your skills as a piano player, you might not even pick up the differences between the keys of the CLP 545 and above and those of the CLP 535.
First up, we have to say that, in the sound department, this piano scores very highly. Yamaha includes the best of the best piano sounds on the CLP 535. You’ll find the Bosendorfer Imperial grand pianos and the Yamaha CFX – two swell pianos with amazing sounds.
One of the sounds from the Yamaha CFX is obtained from Yamaha’s 9 foot concert grand piano. This piano actually sounds somewhat brighter than the Bosendorfer – the other piano. The Bosendorfer’s sound, on the other hand, tends more towards a mellower, and richer feel.
Even more, Yamaha gives this piano a really realistic tone by sampling the sound of each of the CLP 535’s keys individually. And the final result? Super!
Furthermore, Yamaha keeps blowing minds with this model, giving this piano a more realistic feel on every turn.
Check out the damper and string resonance, for instance…
Yamaha works to achieve a sound that’s very similar to an actual grand by using these functions. The damper resonance and string resonance work together to give you that added realism when you take your hands off the keys.
The plolyphony count on the CLP 535 is a whooping 256! This means that even professionals are going to totally adore this baby.
There’s no way this keyboard is going to drop any notes at all even if you’re playing the most complex of pieces. Pretty sweet!
The speakers here are pretty excellent and high quality and they give a most pleasurable listening experience.
But ironically, one sure way to cut short that experience is to use headphones. Yeah, we know, this is quite the reverse with other lower priced models.
Most lower priced pianos typically require you to use headphones if you want a more superior, more immersive listening experience.
But that said, you still can’t compare the speakers on the CLP 535 to other higher end models on the CLP series. They are just not as great and don’t give that much of a surrounding auditory experience.
But then again, if Yamaha did this, then this piano would consequently have to cost more. If this happens, then the idea of the CLP 535 becomes compromised. It needs to remain in its category as a great intermediate piano model.
The CLP 535 comes with a recording feature too. It can record about 16 tracks. Plus, you can even use your USB drive to save up to 250 songs! What’s more? You can also use this piano to record songs in WAV format. And then you can store them in any external memory of your choice.
Of course, there’s a piano lesson mode as is common with most Yamaha pianos. This lesson function features about 303 lesson songs. And these songs are obtained from well-known methods like Burgmuller, Hanon, Bayer, and Czerny. This will help you achieve even better techniques as you experiment.
Finally, it doesn’t always have to be so serious. You can tone things down and have more fun with your piano with the Yamaha app that connects to your piano.
What’s In The Box
- One keyboard.
- One furniture-style stand.
- Triple-pedal system.
- Music rest.
- A headphones hanger.
- An owner’s manual.
- A book: “50 Greats for the Piano”.
Pros Of Yamaha Clavinova CLP 535
- Offers a high level of realism like an acoustic grand piano.
- High quality sound samples obtained from two amazing pianos – the Yamaha CFX and the Bosendorfer.
- Piano lessons for beginners.
- Comes with a 16 track recorder.
- Loads of styles, songs, rhythm and sound effects to play with.
- Comes with a sturdy stand.
- Impressive speakers.
- 256 count polyphony.
- Features a hanger for your headphones.
Cons Of Yamaha Clavinova CLP 535
- A bit pricey.
- Speakers could be a bit better.
- Sound isn’t as great with headphones.
There is no question, the Yamaha Clavinuva CLP 535 is one of Yamaha’s best digital pianos in the market. It is also the most affordable option in the Clavinuva series. Of course, it does get better than the CLP 535. But it also gets more expensive as well.
So, what’s our honest opinion? If you can’t afford to splurge right now, getting the CLP 535 is far more than settling. This piano is more than impressive and will give you an experience you’ll be more than content with.
We love it and we’re pretty sure you will too!