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#1321579 - 12/09/09 04:21 AM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: dewster]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: dewster
If I were an EE in the synth / digital piano department of Korg, Yamaha, Roland, KAWAI, whatever (drool, drool) I don't know if I'd be able to get out of bed in the morning and hold my head up after having my ass repeatedly kicked by cheap PC software / hardware for the last decade or so. Don't those guys have any self-respect? How do they show up for work every day and manage turn on their PC, knowing that it pwned almost their entire product line years ago?


Well, that's monopoly (or duopoly) capitalism for you. Yamaha brings out a DP with 3 layers, Casio follows suit. Yamaha upgrades to 4 layers (P-155), Casio will follow suit. Etc. There aren't many improvements to the hardware per se, so instead they play the incremental update game. This may also be due to manufacturers considering DPs a more or less finished product, so the R&D budgets are probably not that big anymore, except for developments like the V-Piano or AvantGrand.

If you created a startup company and developed something much, much better, Yamaha and Casio would probably buy you out. Ideally they would integrate the technology into their own DPs (that's how half of Apple's products seem to have begun), or perhaps they would simply bury it (more likely).

Originally Posted By: dewster
If you're talking Casio CDP-100 as as low a one should go, I'd agree. But many of my wife's students play on crap toys, and it is often impossible to get their parents to upgrade once they have made the initial investment (however small). Everyone suffers as a result.


I was mainly referring to people buying some random weighted Casio or Yamaha, and how they can't really go completely wrong with that (for a beginner). Of course there are also quite a bit of no-name trash keyboards...
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#1321705 - 12/09/09 11:28 AM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: Triryche]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4335
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Triryche
I guess I am a bit confused. I (mistakenly?) thought the intent of your post was to gather opinions on the realism of DP's for recommendations for students. Perhaps it's more of a discussion on the state of the art and/or price and demand.
Sorry, I got worked up and hijacked my own thread!

Originally Posted By: Triryche
PC ROMplers are a far cry from a quality stand alone final product which offers musicians a viable alternative to an acoustic piano.
Inferior technology?? Hardly!!
Well, digital pianos are not nearly state-of-the-art when it comes to the electronic guts. Treating sample memory like it is some kind of precious commodity is so 1980's. And fairly snappy processors are a dime a dozen these days. You throw out what could be the brains of a very good digital piano every time you upgrade your cell phone.

I think DP manufacturers are playing the same game PC "manufacturers" like Dell, HP, etc. are playing. Any feature not immediately obvious to the average Joe consumer is designed out. This is why I build my own PCs.
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#1321814 - 12/09/09 01:35 PM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: dewster]
Triryche Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1451
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: dewster
Sorry, I got worked up and hijacked my own thread!

LOL!! Hopefully you didn't offend the OP!!

Originally Posted By: dewster
Well, digital pianos are not nearly state-of-the-art when it comes to the electronic guts. Treating sample memory like it is some kind of precious commodity is so 1980's.
Yeah, it's definitely the marketing smoke and mirrors game aimed at the not so electronically savvy musician or parent.

We are definitely stuck with either being spoon fed, or forking out ridiculous $$. (or starting your own business).

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#1321833 - 12/09/09 01:51 PM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: Martin C. Doege]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4335
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Martin C. Doege
Of course there are also quite a bit of no-name trash keyboards...


As well as a bunch of name-brand trash keyboards - my wife has to play on an older ~$500 "toy" Yamaha at church, poor thing. I installed their PA, and every chance I get I tell them they really need something better, but it seems they already crossed that bridge and don't really want to discuss it further.

Same thing with most of the parents of her students, can't get them to upgrade from a terribly insufficient toy to save their lives, even if it is obviously holding the student back. They spend so much on lessons, the price of a decent (as they go) DP is nothing in comparison. Sometimes I fantasize going the "cold, dead hands" route :-).
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#1321872 - 12/09/09 02:48 PM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: Triryche]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4335
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Triryche
We are definitely stuck with either being spoon fed, or forking out ridiculous $$. (or starting your own business).


Or not buying for a while until things catch up, that's the route I'm taking. Meanwhile, my wife needs recommendations from the current lame crop of DPs, and I have to hold my nose while perusing the stone knives and bearskins that pass for such.

I had an email exchange with someone at Pianoteq a year or more ago. In the process of begging for a teacher's discount (which they offer BTW) I begged the guy to put something like it in a box or board, but he said they weren't interested. Now that they have a Linux port I wonder if rolling your own box wouldn't be so difficult.
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#1321973 - 12/09/09 04:46 PM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: dewster]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4335
Loc: Northern NJ
UPDATE:

I sent another email to Yamaha asking several questions about the sampling on the P-155. Got a call on the answering machine a couple of minutes ago from a guy named "Lewis" who proceeded to hem and haw his way through not answering any of them - and then he was cut off by our machine.

Lewis claimed that the engineers don't divulge how they do the sampling on the P-155 (lord, like sampling is some huge trade secret) but he did say that he didn't think all the keys were sampled (i.e. there is some stretching of samples across multiple keys) which is pretty much the opposite of what my first email from Yamaha seems to state.

The feeling I get about this is that Yamaha doesn't want to go on record with any technical info not in the brochure or user's manual (which is pretty slim pickens IMO). They make a big deal about the number of multi-samples, but they won't discuss looping or stretching, issues which are arguably as important. I guess I'll just have to find one in a store and check out the looping / stretching myself <sigh>.

Anyone from Yamaha out there that could comment on this? I want to know, definitively, the following:
1. Is every key individually sampled (i.e. no sample stretching)?
2. How many velocity layers (I assume 4)?
3. Are there pedal up and pedal down velocity layers, or what?
4. Is looping employed?
5. Is the sympathetic resonance a single sample? If not, what is it?

Is this too much to ask? This kind of info is readily available for any PC sample set as it is critical to judging the sample set quality. I don't see DPs as any different.
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#1322013 - 12/09/09 05:41 PM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: dewster]
signa Offline
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Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8482
Loc: Ohio, USA
1. i don't think that every key is sampled on current Yamaha DPs, low or high end (except perhaps n2/n3). i remember some people talked about it a while ago on this forum.
2. P155 has 4 level dynamic sampling, i.e. velocity layers.

5. no idea. but P155 definitely doesn't have it, while CP300/P250/PF500/CLP380 all have it.

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#1322051 - 12/09/09 06:30 PM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: signa]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4335
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: signa
1. i don't think that every key is sampled on current Yamaha DPs, low or high end (except perhaps n2/n3). i remember some people talked about it a while ago on this forum.


OK, that right there tells me I'm not interested in the P-155 as a replacement for our P-120. I'll just keep waiting I guess <sigh>.

Thanks!
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#1322069 - 12/09/09 07:02 PM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: dewster]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: signa
1. i don't think that every key is sampled on current Yamaha DPs, low or high end (except perhaps n2/n3). i remember some people talked about it a while ago on this forum.


OK, that right there tells me I'm not interested in the P-155 as a replacement for our P-120. I'll just keep waiting I guess <sigh>.

Thanks!


I believe Yamaha samples about every third piano key, while Roland actually does sample every single key. It might be that the higher-end Clavinovas are also sampled key-for-key.

However, I still prefer the sound of a Yamaha over a Roland for some reason. It's also about the quality, not just quantity of samples used. Fewer sampled keys means a longer time before looping sets in (if one assumes the same memory footprint), which is presumably why Yamaha still does sample stretching.
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#1322074 - 12/09/09 07:16 PM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: Martin C. Doege]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4335
Loc: Northern NJ
I think all DP manufacturers have put a lot of time and money into making the samples for their keyboards, and they are reluctant to just dump them in these days of $1 GB ROM.

Sucks to be them - I'm tired of their ancient crap and refuse to buy any more of it until it is less than a decade behind current technology.
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#1322079 - 12/09/09 07:23 PM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: Martin C. Doege]
Guoguodi Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/08/09
Posts: 17
As others have already stated, there is no sympathetic string resonance on the P155. Hell, even Synthogy Ivory doesn't have resonance, which sucks from a playing point of view, but in terms of recording and playback isn't such a big issue to me personally. This is an area in which Pianoteq obviously shines.

On the P155 there is no looping as far as I can tell. However, I'd agree that the sampling is interpolated (not every key sampled). There are some quality issues with the tenor range on the P155, in my opinion -- it just doesn't sound very clear at all. Something noticeably "wrong" with the sound if you listen carefully. It is even more apparent when you use the sustain pedal; all the clarity is reduced to mush. Compare with Synthogy Ivory's sampled Steinway which actually has a reputation for being unrealistically flat and clean.

I'd have to agree with dewster that PC based software is still ahead of 90% of DPs out there.

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#1322095 - 12/09/09 07:46 PM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: Guoguodi]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: Guoguodi

I'd have to agree with dewster that PC based software is still ahead of 90% of DPs out there.


I think this will remain the case as long as Computers have much more powerful processors inside of them. This is what makes the the software instruments better, they simply have more CPU cycles available and can run more detailed models.

When you ask for a better DP, rather then specifying the technology to be used it would be better to specify the result. What we need is a way to specify the quality of the sound. We need a vocabulary for talking about the sound.

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#1322305 - 12/09/09 11:50 PM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: Guoguodi]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4335
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Guoguodi
As others have already stated, there is no sympathetic string resonance on the P155. Hell, even Synthogy Ivory doesn't have resonance, which sucks from a playing point of view, but in terms of recording and playback isn't such a big issue to me personally. This is an area in which Pianoteq obviously shines.

On the P155 there is no looping as far as I can tell. However, I'd agree that the sampling is interpolated (not every key sampled). There are some quality issues with the tenor range on the P155, in my opinion -- it just doesn't sound very clear at all. Something noticeably "wrong" with the sound if you listen carefully. It is even more apparent when you use the sustain pedal; all the clarity is reduced to mush. Compare with Synthogy Ivory's sampled Steinway which actually has a reputation for being unrealistically flat and clean.


Thanks very much for your impression of the P-155, it helps me very much! If you can tell there is note stretching then I know I definitely am not interested in it. Do you know of a similarly priced DP that has better sound?

Originally Posted By: Guoguodi
I'd have to agree with dewster that PC based software is still ahead of 90% of DPs out there.


Are you saying that 10% of DPs out there that can compete with PC based stuff? Which ones are they (not counting the V-Piano)?
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#1322311 - 12/09/09 11:58 PM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: ChrisA]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4335
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
I think this will remain the case as long as Computers have much more powerful processors inside of them. This is what makes the the software instruments better, they simply have more CPU cycles available and can run more detailed models.


Yes, but they are also running a non-real-time bloated operating system. Get Windows (or OS-X) out of the way and you can get by with a ~$10 ARM or similar (this will happen with netbooks soon). A small FPGA would probably help as well.

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
When you ask for a better DP, rather then specifying the technology to be used it would be better to specify the result. What we need is a way to specify the quality of the sound. We need a vocabulary for talking about the sound.


Well, part of the vocabulary is:
1. Is every key individually sampled?
2. How many velocity layers?
3. Are there pedal up and pedal down velocity layers, or what?
4. Is looping employed?
5. Is the sympathetic resonance modeled?

But Yamaha evidently considers this proprietary information, not to be disclosed to anyone on penalty of death. So much for your vocabulary.

DP manufacturers have met the enemy, and they are the consumer.
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#1322340 - 12/10/09 12:47 AM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: dewster]
Guoguodi Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/08/09
Posts: 17
Originally Posted By: dewster
Do you know of a similarly priced DP that has better sound?


Well, I know that the Kawai ES6 does simulate sympathetic resonance to an extent; what they call "Harmonic Imaging" or something. It falls into the same price range as the P155. However personally I found the overall tone of the P155 preferable to the ES6's. One very strong point of the ES6, acknowledged by everyone I know who's played one, is its fantastic bass sound. Yamaha pianos (in general) do not have the nicest bass tone for classical music.

A good sample library like Synthogy Ivory sounds vastly superior to the P155. Although at one time I was satisfied with the P155, now having used Ivory I can't go back! Depending on your needs, you might find the software route superior in terms of sound -- beware though that it isn't exactly easy to set up, and it definitely isn't hassle-free in getting everything working nicely.

Can someone outline again why DP manufacturers can't, or won't, rely on modern, cheap consumer grade hardware to achieve superior sound? Why does $300 worth of piano samples surpass a $3000 DP's sound? If Synthogy Ivory "only" requires about 50GB, why not put it on a cheap but reliable 10,000RPM embedded hard drive? Throw in 2GB of RAM and tweak the embedded operating system to work with this new hardware and the larger sample library. Latency wouldn't be an issue at this scale, there's basically just the read latency off the hard drive which is minimal.

DP design has remained unchanged since the 1980s; manufacturers and consumers are content to work with "state of the art" that's decades old. I understand there's a strong disincentive for manufacturers to not rock the boat and change the status quo -- after all, it works "good enough" for most DP consumers out there. One of the bigger reasons must be the small size of the enthusiast market. The market's tiny, and hence innovation is at a snail's pace compared to other computing/electronic technologies.

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#1322423 - 12/10/09 05:26 AM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: Guoguodi]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
It's like with calculators: They are basically rugged designs with relatively slow CPUs that are outclassed by e.g. the iPhone. I mean, the TI-89 is still available after a decade or so with minimal changes, so low-end DP progress has not stalled as much as calculator progress.

OTOH, if you put a hard drive in a DP, it might become less reliable and more prone to electronics failures. If dewster's dream instrument will ever get built, it would need to be treated with more care than a "normal" DP.

How does a Tyros store its samples by the way? Aren't they using hard disks in there already?
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#1322519 - 12/10/09 10:03 AM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: Guoguodi]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4335
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Guoguodi
A good sample library like Synthogy Ivory sounds vastly superior to the P155. Although at one time I was satisfied with the P155, now having used Ivory I can't go back! Depending on your needs, you might find the software route superior in terms of sound -- beware though that it isn't exactly easy to set up, and it definitely isn't hassle-free in getting everything working nicely.


Yes, I own a nice C7 sample from VintAudio that I use from time to time for rendering MIDI. I have played around quite a bit with the Pianoteq demo and plan to purchase it some day as it is much simpler to render MIDI with, sounds very realistic, isn't a resource hog, and is a fascinatingly tweakable product otherwise.

Originally Posted By: Guoguodi
Can someone outline again why DP manufacturers can't, or won't, rely on modern, cheap consumer grade hardware to achieve superior sound? Why does $300 worth of piano samples surpass a $3000 DP's sound? If Synthogy Ivory "only" requires about 50GB, why not put it on a cheap but reliable 10,000RPM embedded hard drive? Throw in 2GB of RAM and tweak the embedded operating system to work with this new hardware and the larger sample library. Latency wouldn't be an issue at this scale, there's basically just the read latency off the hard drive which is minimal.


It is a mystery. My theory is they are just lazy and overly dependent on clueless consumers. And I for one am not going to take it any more. Someone wake me up when the DP manufacturers get their collective crap together.

Originally Posted By: Guoguodi
DP design has remained unchanged since the 1980s; manufacturers and consumers are content to work with "state of the art" that's decades old. I understand there's a strong disincentive for manufacturers to not rock the boat and change the status quo -- after all, it works "good enough" for most DP consumers out there. One of the bigger reasons must be the small size of the enthusiast market. The market's tiny, and hence innovation is at a snail's pace compared to other computing/electronic technologies.


Well, they scraped up enough R&D cash to make the V-Piano, and they continue to crank out strange things like the Avant Grand. My feeling is the market isn't all that tiny. The DP room down at Guitar center is just as big as the acoustic guitar room (if that is any indication of sales / profits).
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#1322534 - 12/10/09 10:23 AM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: dewster]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8854
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
[quote=dewster]...and they continue to crank out strange things like the Avant Grand.

Why is the Avant Grant strange?

Cheers,
James
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#1322538 - 12/10/09 10:26 AM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: Martin C. Doege]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4335
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Martin C. Doege
OTOH, if you put a hard drive in a DP, it might become less reliable and more prone to electronics failures. If dewster's dream instrument will ever get built, it would need to be treated with more care than a "normal" DP.


A quick check at newegg shows a bunch 64 GB solid state (Flash-based) hard drives for ~$150. Ultra durable (can withstand 150,000g shock or something crazy like that) and super-duper read bandwidth (a big plus if you go the rompler route, and also gives you a really fast boot-up).

That's normal retail price, they go on sale for quite a bit less every now and then.
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#1322555 - 12/10/09 10:49 AM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: Kawai James]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4335
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
Why is the Avant Grant strange?


Well, strange to me. The whole thing screams "LOOK AT OUR LATEST GIMMICK"!

Vibrational feedback is interesting, as is the multi-dimensional sampling (if they indeed do that), but it probably has looping.

People who consider a piano to be first and foremost a piece of furniture will probably like it however. And the brochure for it is probably pretty. It's hard for me to work up any enthusiasm for this sort of thing, I just can't take it seriously.
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#1322560 - 12/10/09 10:52 AM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: dewster]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8854
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
dewster, to be perfectly honest, I do not believe you are in a position to pass judgement until you actually play the instrument.

Cheers,
James
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#1322601 - 12/10/09 11:50 AM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: Kawai James]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4335
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
dewster, to be perfectly honest, I do not believe you are in a position to pass judgement until you actually play the instrument.


That's like me going to the dealer to buy a commuter car, and the dealer telling me I need to test drive a pickup first. There's no point! I already know what I want and it ain't a pickup.

The Avant grand seems to be an attempt to recreate the piano playing EXPERIENCE (and make a piece of furniture).

I, however, am interested in a portable DP (or box, or rackmount) that faithfully reproduces the SOUND of a real piano.

If they had the SOUND nailed, and were then moving on to nailing the EXPERIENCE, I (or, more properly, my wife and her students) might be more interested, but without the SOUND nailed I am not interested at all.
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#1322615 - 12/10/09 12:08 PM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: dewster]
EmmaElise Offline
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Registered: 08/10/09
Posts: 37
Loc: N. California
Dewster, I think what James is trying to say is that you are bagging on the Avant Grand without even having played it. Give it a test run before saying the sound hasn't been nailed. Or, perhaps I missed that you've actually experienced it. Maybe you can clarify- thanks.
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#1322619 - 12/10/09 12:16 PM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: EmmaElise]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4335
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: EmmaElise
Dewster, I think what James is trying to say is that you are bagging on the Avant Grand without even having played it. Give it a test run before saying the sound hasn't been nailed. Or, perhaps I missed that you've actually experienced it. Maybe you can clarify- thanks.


There's no point in demoing it.

If it doesn't have Pianoteq (or similar modeling) or at least 2 GB of samples under the hood, then by very definition the sound hasn't been nailed.

Also the N3 weighs 438lbs, which is about 400lbs more than I am willing to schlep around.
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#1322634 - 12/10/09 12:45 PM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: dewster]
EmmaElise Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/09
Posts: 37
Loc: N. California
Dewster, I understand that the Avant Grand doesn't fit within your parameters for DP needs BUT why NOT try it out? I wouldn't mind trying out a Cadillac for fun even though I'm looking for towing rig, if given the opportunity. Trying out DPs is way simpler than test driving cars. Conversation regarding actual models is far more interesting with first hand experience descriptions. It can confirm your previous notions OR maybe it will surprise you! It would be fun to hear your actual observations even though you're not looking to buy one. I would try one if I had access to one. Just my thoughts.
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#1322668 - 12/10/09 01:26 PM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: EmmaElise]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4335
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: EmmaElise
Dewster, I understand that the Avant Grand doesn't fit within your parameters for DP needs BUT why NOT try it out? I wouldn't mind trying out a Cadillac for fun even though I'm looking for towing rig, if given the opportunity. Trying out DPs is way simpler than test driving cars. Conversation regarding actual models is far more interesting with first hand experience descriptions. It can confirm your previous notions OR maybe it will surprise you! It would be fun to hear your actual observations even though you're not looking to buy one. I would try one if I had access to one. Just my thoughts.


Oh, if it were just sitting there in the DP demo room at GC I'd probably tickle the ivories. I'm not completely incurious, just rather burned out from seeing slight, almost inconsequential, variations on the same DP stuff year after year after year.

But I'd never for a minute consider buying one, knowing (from an EE standpoint) the sounds cannot be up to the standards I'm looking for in a DP. We already have a real piano, I'm not interested in something that approximates the weight of it while delivering inferior (from a real piano standpoint) sound.
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#1326139 - 12/15/09 06:54 PM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: dewster]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4335
Loc: Northern NJ
-UPDATE-

I spent some time down at the local Sam Ash store yesterday. Played mainly with:

- Yamaha P-155 (see below)
- Yamaha P-85 (not bad for single layer, though I could clearly hear 3 note stretching)
- Casio PX-330 (hated it)

The P-155 was hanging on the wall at an unplayable angle and dead, had to get someone to find the AC adapter & put it on a real stand. Spent an hour or so barking my shins against the double 'X' stand and playing with the controls.

First off, I have no clue why, with all the buttons on this thing, they bury some voices under an "others" button, which relies on cryptic codes on a three digit 7-segment LED display to tell you what you've selected. Are a few more buttons or a one-line LCD too much to ask at this price-point? In a performance situation you need to be sure what voice you will be playing BEFORE you start playing. Yeesh...

Anyway, I could clearly hear looping, but there are a few seconds of solid, real sample before that, with a smooth transition into the looping phase. If you can tolerate looping, the here looping is fairly well done.

I wandered without a guide into primitive Yamaha 7-segment function land and managed to alter the "Sustain Sample Depth" as well as the "Damper Resonance Effect Depth". I couldn't hear the sound of felt dampers working on the strings, but maybe that was due to the Buddy Rich solo going on an aisle over, even though I had sealed headphones on. When I turned them both up to maximum I noticed a horrible beating sound when I played the middle D key. Turning it down, it sounded more like a pseudo-reverb and not so much like sympathetic resonance. Yamaha, if you're listening, this really needs work. At this point in it's development (making the huge assumption that they actually try to improve anything in DP land) it's so lame I'm not sure I'd even advertise it as I wouldn't want to call attention to it.

Otherwise, the P-155 was incredibly similar, some would say TOO similar, to our P-120. Pretty much the same sample set, implemented pretty much the same way. Except with fewer voice buttons. And probably a couple of more watts going to the speakers. But that's it. If anyone is looking at the P-155 but has the opportunity to snag a P-120 for somewhat less, I'd say go with the P-120.

I think it's rather sad that an old 2001 out-of-production Yamaha is nearly kicking the ass of the unit (P-155) built to replace the unit (P-140) that replaced it (P-120).


Edited by dewster (12/15/09 07:39 PM)
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#1326153 - 12/15/09 07:20 PM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: dewster]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8854
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
dewster, I expect the main differences between the P-120 and P-155 are the improved piano sounds on the newer model.

Kind regards,
James
x
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Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1326164 - 12/15/09 07:36 PM Re: Yamaha P-155 sympathetic resonance [Re: Kawai James]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4335
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
dewster, I expect the main differences between the P-120 and P-155 are the improved piano sounds on the newer model.

Kind regards,
James
x


We may be buying one for the local church my wife plays for. If I hear any significant differences in the piano sample I'll post it here.

Auditory memory is notoriously unreliable, so this demands a true head-to-head comparison.

I'll try to put a sample at Purgatory Creek as well (if we get it).
_________________________
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