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Topic Options
#1229733 - 07/10/09 07:12 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: LVP]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
In all fairness, I should add that I did first look at digitals (my pocketbook loves the idea!)
_________________________
LVP
Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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Piano & Music Accessories
#1230022 - 07/11/09 12:20 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: LVP]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
lvp, another thing about acoustic pianos. Even not
being a player, you must have noticed the high dropout
rate: kids take lessons for a few yrs., or even a few
months, and quit; your husband quit playing; etc.
Ever wonder why? It's the sound. Even an upright can
be heard a block away. If you live in an apt. building,
you'll drive the neighbors nuts. If you live
in a single family house, you can drive the people
in the house nuts. If you have a separate piano
room, you can drive yourself nuts.

This why silent keyboards were introduced in the late
1890's (a silent keyboard is like a digital piano
with the power turned off). It allows a pianist to
play anytime and anywhere and not disturb people, but
more importantly, it allows a pianist to save his ears
and nerves. Claudio Arrau used one all his life.

I have very good hearing and can hear a car's tires
on the pavement a mile away at night. But rather
than being an advantage for me as a player, it
has alway been a tremendous handicap. I grew up
with lessons and acoustic pianos, and I got nowhere
with playing. The cacophony from an acoustic piano
would grate on my nerves and quickly produce fatigue.
Digitals have literally been my salvation as a player.
I can turn the volume down and play much longer and
more effectively. Sometimes I forget and turn the
vol. up too much, and then I wonder why I don't want to play
the next day. I suspect that you might have not
taken lessons as a child because you simply could not
stand the sound of an acoustic, which bodes ill for
your future on an acoustic piano.


Edited by Gyro (07/11/09 12:23 PM)

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#1236603 - 07/24/09 02:35 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: LVP]
wruess Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/07
Posts: 120
Loc: Northern California, USA
Ivp -

My 'european' piano is a Sauter Omega. I have been a rock/pop/(pseudo) jazz player for over 40 years, but also play classical. The Sauter shines in both areas (because it's a phenomenal instrument). I would rather play a 'real' piano any day, even just a decent upright. (I seldom fire up the Kurzweil PC3x unless I'm doing recording or live performance). I strongly applaud your desire to get 'piano made of wood and 'real' things'. Despite all the new technology, there is still no digital piano that feels and plays like one of those old wooden things.

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#1237336 - 07/25/09 08:24 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: LVP]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1079
Loc: California
I had a bad experience buying a piano which I shared here, but I'll summarize it, because it is pertinent. I had an old Wurlitzer studio upright which was serviceable. I had fooled around with piano, but not done much, then decided to work on classical piano for real and took about 2 years at the local college. I rewarded myself when I got up to about grade 6 with a 1927 Knabe grand, which after much heartache, I was able to return to the seller by a court order and get my money back. Being soured on my experience with the piano technicians I ran into (the seller was one), I decided to get a digital. I had already given away my old upright. I got a YPG 635 which is really nice, I think, and has all the fun extra voices and educational stuff, along with a pretty nice piano sound and a touch I like.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I've joined an online jazz piano program and am working on jazz/blues, and I find the digital keyboard to be much better for it than the acoustics. I won't say I like playing classical piano on it as well, because I don't, but otherwise, I'm happier with it than with my old upright and the grand I had problems with.

Just my 2 cents worth. I'd like to have a really nice grand piano, but I'd still want my digital for jazz/blues/rock. It's fun to practice blues scales and ii/V/I progressions and such on all the different voices, with an accompaniment track.

And it only set me back $739, including a free bench, no tax, and free shipping, with headphones, midi capability, 3 or 4 instructional DVDs and CD/Roms which included a very extensive music songbook.

The ability to use different sounds for different music is so much fun. I'm actually quite happy with my little digital piano, the only regret I have is that there are some new Casio Privias coming out, and although I love my Yamaha, it's not nearly as portable as some other models.

With the $4800 I saved after returning my Grand, I can afford a 2nd DP! And I'm getting a Mac as well.

Anyway, whatever you decide have fun!

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#1237339 - 07/25/09 08:30 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: Gyro]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1079
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Gyro
lvp, another thing about acoustic pianos. Even not
being a player, you must have noticed the high dropout
rate: kids take lessons for a few yrs., or even a few
months, and quit; your husband quit playing; etc.
Ever wonder why? It's the sound. Even an upright can
be heard a block away. If you live in an apt. building,
you'll drive the neighbors nuts. If you live
in a single family house, you can drive the people
in the house nuts. If you have a separate piano
room, you can drive yourself nuts.

This why silent keyboards were introduced in the late
1890's (a silent keyboard is like a digital piano
with the power turned off). It allows a pianist to
play anytime and anywhere and not disturb people, but
more importantly, it allows a pianist to save his ears
and nerves. Claudio Arrau used one all his life.

I have very good hearing and can hear a car's tires
on the pavement a mile away at night. But rather
than being an advantage for me as a player, it
has alway been a tremendous handicap. I grew up
with lessons and acoustic pianos, and I got nowhere
with playing. The cacophony from an acoustic piano
would grate on my nerves and quickly produce fatigue.
Digitals have literally been my salvation as a player.
I can turn the volume down and play much longer and
more effectively. Sometimes I forget and turn the
vol. up too much, and then I wonder why I don't want to play
the next day. I suspect that you might have not
taken lessons as a child because you simply could not
stand the sound of an acoustic, which bodes ill for
your future on an acoustic piano.


Gyro I find myself agreeing with you. I too am a highly auditory person and when I stopped by the practice room at the college to play on the Steinway upright grand, I couldn't take the loudness of it, after my digital piano, not to mention how horrible out of tune it seemed to me (since the digital pianos are in tune).

Even the touch wasn't agreeable. I will say however that for me the think lacking in the digital piano is the touch. Mine is weighted and graded and has a nice response, but a "good" acoustic has the edge there. A bad acoustic is worse tho'. AND the Roland V piano had a touch that was really glorious to me, as nice as any acoustic I've played, including the Steinway grand in our classroom.

For me, the digital keyboard almost hurts my fingers, and I don't know why. I have to remind myself to play softer, perhaps it is because the YPG has a very quiet sound even at full blast. I think i'll need to buy some external speakers.

I don't think silent keyboards are needed in this day and age of headphones and DPS tho'.

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#1237342 - 07/25/09 08:32 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: LVP]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1079
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: lvp
So, this quickly devolved into something of an acoustic vs. digital debate, but I am still curious what acoustic pianos the rest of you rock/pop/jazz players love best! I sort of thought this might become a baldwin vs. yamaha thread- go figure! Anyhow, would love to hear your thoughts on my original question~!

(and thanks to those of you who shared their favorites with me already)

Thanks!


Okay, I'll jump off the digital bandwagon. I don't really like the brightness of Yamahas or Baldwins. I think my vintage Knabe had a beautiful sound, despite all of its neglect and decay. It had a sweet warm singing tone.

When I was shopping for my grand, I played a Yamaha side by side with a Kawai K8. I do like the Kawai sound and touch...if properly regulated I think it's very nice. Altho' the seller felt that Yamaha was better for jazz.

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#1237343 - 07/25/09 08:34 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: Nikalette]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1079
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Nikalette
[quote=lvp]So, this quickly devolved into something of an acoustic vs. digital debate, but I am still curious what acoustic pianos the rest of you rock/pop/jazz players love best! I sort of thought this might become a baldwin vs. yamaha thread- go figure! Anyhow, would love to hear your thoughts on my original question~!

(and thanks to those of you who shared their favorites with me already)

Thanks!



Don't you think that a lot of pop/rock/jazz folks play digitals? Just because there are a lot more working musicians in those fields...few make a living playing classical. And carting around an acoustic piano, or having one available for a gig might not be a realistic plan.

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#1237831 - 07/26/09 08:59 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: Nikalette]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
Interesting turn this has taken. I think it is true that a lot of these folks play digitals, though I did have a slight revelation at a recent Billy Joel/Elton John concert. Of course there were DP's there doing all the cool stuff that they can do, and then of course two grands: one Steinway and one Yamaha. That mostly reinforced for me my distaste for Yamahas but ALSO my commitment to an acoustic for this phase of the piano journey. I bet we'll end up with a digital at some point, but it's not what get's me hot and bothered sound wise. I did try some of the 'silent' pianos but totally cringed at the sound coming through the headphones (methinks the digital pianos must sound better than these through headphones or you wouldn't all love them so!) I don't know, I am a person who can hear the lights humming when no one else can, and I just hate electricity running everything. Makes me tense. I think that is my main problem with them. The low level hum puts me on edge, probably like the volume of an acoustic bothers Nikalette and Gyro. It interesting how different this all is for everyone!

Liza
_________________________
LVP
Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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#1237894 - 07/26/09 11:05 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: LVP]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
lvp, if the hum of fluorescent lights bothers you, that's
not a good sign for a piano player, in my opinion.
With that kind of hearing, an acoustic piano is likely to
drive you up the wall.

Furthermore, that Walter is a fine instrument, but
what distinguishes it from other pianos? It's
essentially just another upright. For the same
price you could get a Roland V Piano and have people
coming from miles around just to take a look at it.

Top
#1238059 - 07/27/09 10:10 AM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: Gyro]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
Gyro,
I'm sure it's not a problem. With years of dancing and singing under my belt at a fairly high level, I am used to having a piano in front of me for hours at a time, pretty much every day. It really is about electronic gadgets; I don't like them! But I have never had a problem with a piano in my face; that is part of what actually helped reinforce my desire to play.

What distinguishes the Walter is that is makes me smile every time I hear it. It has that ineffable quality. Whatever is the 'right' sound of a piano 'inside my head' comes through in the Walter sound.

I am curious why you don't believe that:

1. People might be different than you, or have different experiences

and that

2. People might know themselves better than you can manage over a limited amount of internet interaction?

I appreciated your comments, and having shopped digitals, have realized that I don't really want one. Why is that so unbelievable? I know they are too loud for you, but I happily sang in a punk/alt rock cover band. I don't really mind loud noise, but I don't love electronic instruments, which is why I am making my choice. Do you really believe that no one is capable of really enjoying acoustic piano? I don't believe it for a second, and I find your insistence that I don't know my own mind sort of insulting.


Edited by lvp (07/27/09 10:10 AM)
_________________________
LVP
Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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#1238100 - 07/27/09 11:23 AM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: Gyro]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1233
Loc: Ohio, US
Originally Posted By: Gyro
lvp, if the hum of fluorescent lights bothers you, that's
not a good sign for a piano player, in my opinion.
With that kind of hearing, an acoustic piano is likely to
drive you up the wall.

Furthermore, that Walter is a fine instrument, but
what distinguishes it from other pianos? It's
essentially just another upright. For the same
price you could get a Roland V Piano and have people
coming from miles around just to take a look at it.


Ivp, Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated!
grin laugh grin laugh grin ha
_________________________
I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.


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#1238107 - 07/27/09 11:42 AM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: LVP]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1233
Loc: Ohio, US
The "Elton's Yamaha vs. Billy's Steinway" thing always ends up in a tie for me. I love the higher tenor and treble on the Steinway, this area does occasionally sound "harsh" on Elton's piano but since I've started paying attention to the differences in pianos (although not usually live in person)I've noticed that the bass in the Yamaha seems to have a "crispness" to it that I kind of like. Paul McCartney playing "Lady Madonna" on a Yamaha in a concert special I watched had an excellent sound to it. Obviously a recording doesn't tell all, but I've started to notice these things.
_________________________
I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.


Top
#1238296 - 07/27/09 04:10 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: Little_Blue_Engine]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: Little_Blue_Engine
T Paul McCartney playing "Lady Madonna" on a Yamaha in a concert special I watched had an excellent sound to it. Obviously a recording doesn't tell all, but I've started to notice these things.


Wow, Paul plays a Yamaha? Interesting, I wouldn't have thought. I have to say, I have heard Yamaha's sound great, but I swear Elton's is tuned to be extra bright!
_________________________
LVP
Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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#1240323 - 07/30/09 12:44 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: LVP]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
lvp, you just need to take a look at the thousands upon
thousands of acoustic pianos for sale online and
elsewhere. This is not a case of people trying to
sell their piano so they can buy a better one; they'd
simply trade it in if they were doing that. This
is people getting rid of an item that they bought
with great initial enthusiasm and which now has become a
very heavy piece of unusable furniture.

When you buy an acoustic piano, you need to go in
with your eyes wide open, not leading with your heart,
which is what you're doing. And in order to go
in with your eyes open, you need considerable experience with
the instrument, which you simply don't have, not
having played before. When you go in with great
enthusiasm, leading with your heart, that's the
perfect way to end up with an unplayed piece of
furniture, because the piano can quickly bring
you down to earth when you try to actually play it.


This is why I strongly advise a digital
piano over an acoustic. If you haven't signed for
the Walter yet, I'd suggest you hold off until you
extensively tried out the many impressive digital
pianos available, that are just as good as an
acoustic.

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#1240337 - 07/30/09 12:59 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: Gyro]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: Gyro
lvp, you just need to take a look at the thousands upon
thousands of acoustic pianos for sale online and
elsewhere. This is not a case of people trying to
sell their piano so they can buy a better one; they'd
simply trade it in if they were doing that. This
is people getting rid of an item that they bought
with great initial enthusiasm and which now has become a
very heavy piece of unusable furniture....

I'm sure there are thousands upon thousands of disused digitals, too, that were bought with great enthusiasm and now reside upended in garages. If you don't see them advertised in droves, it's probably because they don't take too much room that way and relatively little was expended on them in the first place.

"Unusable" isn't quite the right word for an acoustic piano in which one is no longer interested. Something unusable would likely go straight to the dump instead of being advertised for sale.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1240590 - 07/30/09 09:26 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: Gyro]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1233
Loc: Ohio, US
Originally Posted By: Gyro


When you buy an acoustic piano, you need to go in
with your eyes wide open, not leading with your heart,
which is what you're doing.


lvp has invested more time and effort into researching and considering all the options before this piano purchase than many people do before they buy a car or even a house. I think the chances of a major disappointment here are relatively low.
_________________________
I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.


Top
#1240685 - 07/30/09 11:38 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: Gyro]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: Gyro

When you buy an acoustic piano, you need to go in
with your eyes wide open, not leading with your heart,
which is what you're doing. And in order to go
in with your eyes open, you need considerable experience with
the instrument, which you simply don't have, not
having played before.




So...to get enough experience with acoustic pianos to justify buying one....I should start by buying something else??? That doesn't make a lot of sense to me. If I want to play an acoustic for the dozens of reasons I have expressed, then how is starting on a DP with none of the sensitivities or quirks of an acoustic really helping?

And really, if I was so irrational and emotional about my piano purchase, wouldn't I have bought the $8k Boston that I adored on my first buying excursion? Wouldn't that have been the more emotional route, as opposed to putting thousand of miles on my car to visit shops and reading hundreds of pages about different models and brands to be sure that my piano would bring joy to myself, my family, and my circle of musical and theatrical friends?

Some things people know and get right without any good reason. How does anyone 'know' that having children is 'right'? Totally inconvenient, sure, but that doesn't stop them from being an absolute joy for millions of people!

I say that music and art are the same; our desire to be involved with them are not based on the rational. My desire to play is wrapped up in a relationship with the physicality of the sound and the tactile relationship between player and piano. For sure, piano playing is not for the timid, or those who hate loud noises! You said you hated this, it was overwhelming for you. I could have the same experience; if I do, I have chosen a great piano with great resale value and I will move on... but I am not worried. However, I do know that the death of my passion would be to buy something that I just plain don't like.

Oh, never mind, you think we're all nuts to like something that doesn't suit you, and that's fine by me. I don't believe for a minute that I am too ill informed to make this decision. Live how you like, and I'll continue to trust my instincts. Please don't insult my intelligence or ability to reason simply because it doesn't jive with your personal experience. Maybe there is 'heart' in my decision, but that doesn't make the decision wholly uninformed or irrational.

BTW, to those of you still interested in the original question, my husband and I feel like the Walters with brighter voicing have the perfect tonal balance for the music we love the most. I look forward to sharing some samples with you all in the coming months and thinking more about the acoustic pianos that our popular musicians play; I think this is just as interesting as the choices the classical folks make!
_________________________
LVP
Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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