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Take It Away

Take It Away offers interest free loans to purchase musical instruments, gear and software. They are managed by Creative United, a not-for-profit Community Interest Company and funded by the Arts Council England. At Hickies Music Store with the “Take It Away” scheme, you can get a interest free loan of between £100 and £5,000.

To be eligible you must:

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Be a permanent UK resident
  • Have a regular income that exceeds £5,000 per year
  • Hold a bank or building society account capable of handling direct debit payments

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Yamaha YDP vs CLP | What is the difference and which should you choose?


Naturally we get many questions from our customers who are trying to make a comparison between Yamaha’s Arius “YDP” and Clavinova “CLP” range of digital pianos. In this article we aim to outline the main differences between comparable models within this series of digital pianos.

We always think it is best to try any instrument before you buy, as this is the only way to know if the instrument will suite your needs. We have every major Yamaha digital piano at our gallery in our music store, located on 153 Friar Street, Reading.

Yamaha Arius Range

Best suited for new students and those seeking a more cost effective digital piano. The Arius range has everything you need to comfortably enjoy the benefits of a digital piano without a larger price tag.

It is worth remembering that Yamaha continually upgrades their Arius piano range (about every three years) normally introducing features that where formally exclusive the their Clavinova range of digital pianos. This means that many of the features present in today’s Yamaha YDP are both surprisingly premium but also affordable.

Yamaha Clavinova Range

Intended to create the best acoustic experience that a digital piano can offer. The Clavinova range from Yamaha has a very authentic and premium build for those seeking an acoustic piano experience and also introduces many great features that only a digital piano can offer.

Here we have the first three models in the CLP line up of Clavinova pianos. These models have been chosen because they are the most comparable to the Arius range offered by Yamaha. However it is worth noting that Yamaha also offer the CSP and CVP line of digital pianos within their Clavinova range.

Feature Differences


Below is a list outlining the system types and key finish types for the Arius and Clavinova range.

YDP-144 AriusGHS Keyboard SystemMatte black key tops
YDP-164 AriusGH3 Keyboard SystemSynthetic ebony and ivory key tops
YDP-S54 AriusGH3 Keyboard SystemSynthetic ebony and ivory key tops
CLP-625 ClavinovaGH3X Keyboard SystemSynthetic ebony and ivory keytops
CLP-635 ClavinovaGH3X Keyboard SystemSynthetic ebony and ivory keytops
CLP-645 ClavinovaNWX Keyboard SystemWooden White Keys with synthetic ebony and ivory keytops

Lets go over the different systems listed here, including the GHS, GH3, GH3X and NWX. Yamaha uses GHS to denote their “Graded Hammer Standard” digital piano keyboard system. The GHS. With the GH3 a third sensor is placed into the system allowing faster repetition of notes, this is because the third sensor allows a half pressed key to be registered by the system as a key press upon releasing the key in the same way a grand piano can sound a half pressed key when released. Then we move to the GH3X, the system again builds on the previous GHS and GH3 systems by adding an escapement “X” to the system simulating the subtle “click” that is felt when a key is pressed on the keyboard traditionally caused when the hammer on an acoustic piano lifts to allow a piano string to sound continuously without being dampened. Finally we have the NWX “Natural Wood X” system, featured only on the CLP-645 in this lineup where all white keys on this piano are made from wood.

Keyboards in summary, only the Clavinova range features an escapement and only the CLP-645 and upwards include wooden keys (white keys only) whilst all other models have a synthetic ebony, with the exception of the YDP-144 that just has smooth plastic keys.

Tone Generation

Below is a list outlining the tone generation systems of the Arius and Clavinova range.

YDP-144Tone: CFXPolyphony: 192
YDP-164Tone: CFXPolyphony: 192
YDP-S54Tone: CFXPolyphony: 192
CLP-625Tone: new CFX & BösendorferPolyphony: 256
CLP-635Tone: new CFX & BösendorferPolyphony: 256
CLP-645Tone: new CFX & BösendorferPolyphony: 256

The Arius uses yamahas CFX as a model for its samples. The Clavinova series features the CFX & Bösendorfer including Binaural Sampling, Key-off Samples, Smooth Release with the CLP-635 upwards including Enhanced Virtual Resonance.

Amplifiers &Speakers

Below is a list outlining the amplification and speaker systems of the Arius and Clavinova range.

YDP-144Amplifiers: 8W x 2Speakers: 12cm x 2
YDP-164Amplifiers: 20W x 2Speakers: 12cm x 2
YDP-S54Amplifiers: 20W x 2Speakers: 12cm x 2
CLP-625Amplifiers: 20 W x 2Speakers: 10 cm x 2
CLP-635Amplifiers: 30 W x 2Speakers: 16 cm x 2
CLP-645Amplifiers: (25 W + 25 W) x 2Speakers: (16 cm + 8 cm) x 2


The Arius features a “combo button” system where the Clavinova CLP-635 and upwards include a easy to use LCD display and interface.


You are able to record and play back music internally on both the Arius and Clavinova range. This is a very useful feature for students learning the piano as it provides a great opportunity to listen to and improve preformed pieces whilst practicing. With the Arius range you are able to store and play back one piece of music with roughly 11,000 note! This is easily enough to store one piece of music, however if you would like to record another song you will need to over wright your previous piece. The Clavinova range from the CLP-635 upwards vastly improves this feature allowing storage of up-to 250 songs. These songs can also be exported from the device onto a USB flash drive as a .wav file format, this is very useful because you keep all of the high quality audio of the recording.


The YDP-143, YDP-163 and CLP-625 have two headphone jacks and USB to host, however the CLP-635 upwards includes two headphone jacks, MIDI, AUX in & out, USB to device & host.


These are some other points that are worth mentioning when considering the Arius and Clavinova range of digital pianos. Each model of piano gets successively heavier, the YDP-144 weights 38 kg whilst the CLP-645 weight 60 kg, almost 60% heavier.