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#1369541 - 02/09/10 02:28 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: Nguyen]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Nguyen
The HP-307 has finally arrived in our US Dealers. I'd like to revive this thread hoping there will be more testing reviews.

Thanks,
Nguyen


We are still waiting to see the Kawai units appear to be able to compare.

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#1370061 - 02/10/10 09:54 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: theJourney]
Andree Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 248
Loc: Sweden
I'm very disappointed with the sound in the new Kawai CA series. As you already have stated, the keyboard is good but I can't understand why you say that the piano sound is good as well. In my opinion this is very bad compared with todays' technology, listen to the midrange, you have no expressiveness in this part.

Take a look on this thread http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...A63.html#UNREAD


Edited by Andree (02/10/10 09:55 AM)

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#1370110 - 02/10/10 10:58 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: Andree]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
@Andree, to whom are you referring?

The sound is in fact a matter of taste. I personally find it very convincing and realistic, also in the midrange, but definitely different than Yamaha and Roland.

But the technical flaws are indeed not acceptable.
_________________________
<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

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#1370115 - 02/10/10 11:05 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: mucci]
Andree Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 248
Loc: Sweden
@kawaian, I know that this is a highly personal matter and therefore I began to say "I'm very disappointed", in my statement. When we are talking about the midrange, the feeling I got was that I played on a guitar, not a piano. I think this explains the issue in a fairly proper way...

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#1370224 - 02/10/10 01:44 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: theJourney]
Bill Logan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 10
Loc: Arizona
I just purchased a new Casio Celvaniano AP-620 that just came out in January. Shouldn't this be one of the digital pianos to be considered in the comparison?
_________________________
Clear skies,
Bill Logan
Arizona

http://loganobservatory.shutterfly.com/

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#1370253 - 02/10/10 02:21 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: Bill Logan]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Perhaps. Can you tell us more about your shopping experience?
Did you compare it and audition directly against the other mentioned makes and models?
How did it stack up and what made you decide on the Casio?

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#1370608 - 02/10/10 10:45 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: theJourney]
Bill Logan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 10
Loc: Arizona
Hi Journey,
No comparisons were made. I am the owner of two Yamaha keyboards. As an internediate pinaist, I wanted to upgrade to something better. I wanted something with weighted keys and good sound. Casio Celviano AP-620 is the latest model. My new AP-620 should be shipped to me at the end of the month. It just came out in January and is now hitting the retail stores. At a cost of $1,400 and listening to the sound quality that vastly surpassed my existing Yamaha YPG 535, I thought perhaps it should have been included in the comparison. Keep in mind that I am new to DPs and perhaps the AP-620 may not be in the same league as the others quoted.
_________________________
Clear skies,
Bill Logan
Arizona

http://loganobservatory.shutterfly.com/

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#1370709 - 02/11/10 02:18 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: Bill Logan]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
I am not personally familiar with the Casios as they are not sold much here. I definitely live in Yamaha territory with some Roland thrown in. Even Kawai is very difficult to find. Your link sounds promising and the price is certainly right. Please keep us posted with your experiences. If they are as positive as almost all the other reviews of Casio we tend to read here you may have found the model that will give everyone else a run for their money. Enjoy your playing!

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#1370781 - 02/11/10 08:09 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: theJourney]
Bill Logan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 10
Loc: Arizona
Thanks Journey,
I've only started taking piano lessons now for the past 19 months. Now that I am retired, I can practice 2-3 hours per day. I am new to the group and wasn't sure if I would be criticized for suggesting a Casio in your comparisons. I anxiously await the arrival of my Casio AP620 DP and will certainly keep the group informed about it's features and quality. Thanks again.
_________________________
Clear skies,
Bill Logan
Arizona

http://loganobservatory.shutterfly.com/

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#1374336 - 02/15/10 02:38 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: mucci]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: kawaian
@Andree, to whom are you referring?

The sound is in fact a matter of taste. I personally find it very convincing and realistic, also in the midrange, but definitely different than Yamaha and Roland.

But the technical flaws are indeed not acceptable.


For me this is a critical point that would be helpful to get our arms around.

For me at least, and I believe for a number of others as well, the digital piano is used as a silent practice instrument and for the earlier, pre-polish phases of learning and studying clasical literature. The idea is to perform on an acoustic but to have the most flexible, realistic and productive study environment on the digital. The playing experience on the digital should be more " realistic " or " authentic " rather than " pretty ".

My impression of some digital pianos is that they make you sound like a better player than you really are by smoothing things out instead of letting your uneven playing sound the way it will sound on an acoustic: uneven.

Can anyone comment on which of the remotely affordable contenders (CA93, HP307, CLP380) they find most authentic and not too unrealistically kind for studying classical music?

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#1379116 - 02/20/10 07:46 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: theJourney]
jbx Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 11
I am new to this forum, but today I tried the Kawai CA63 and Roland HP-307. Some time ago, I also tried the Yamaha CLP-380, but had no time today to try it. At that time I already found out I liked the Roland better than the Kawai, so I did not try it again today. Unfortunately, I did not find a store yet (close enough to me) that had the CA93, but since the only real difference between the CA63 and CA93 is the speaker system and let-off simulation, I think my comparison of the CA63 and HP-307 is relevant for this topic. I looked especially at the action, and a bit at the sound, mostly with headphones (that is why I think it is acceptable that I compare the CA63 instead of the CA93). Here I put some of my findings/thoughts/opinions, hopefully useful to somebody.

Action:
  • Dynamic range: by this I do not mean the dynamic range of the output sound, because I suppose that can be controlled by a parameter in the software, but I am talking about the range of the physical velocity of the hammers that can be detected by the sensors. Velocities that are in reality higher, are all reported as the maximum velocity. One of the bigger problems of a DP in my opinion is that the maximum velocity is reached pretty easy by most DPs. For an acoustic piano, there is no such limit (until something breaks of course). I would like to measure this (I am a physicist), but was only able to compare qualitatively. My impression is that the Roland is the best one in this aspect: on the Roland, you need most physical force to reach the maximum velocity. I think this is good because it leaves more room for expressiveness.
  • Velocity control: I do not know how to call this, but I mention this, because I was a bit disappointed in the Kawai on this aspect. I found it harder to control the velocity with the Kawai. Some notes sounded louder than I intended, others too soft. Especially, the middle range in velocities was hard to control in my opinion. I tried all standard touch levels from light to heavy and also tried to use a custom curve, but I was not satisfied. Maybe after some more trials with custom curves this could be improved. I do not know if this is a hardware or software problem with the Kawai, or maybe it is a problem with me... or I should get used to it better. However, I do not have this problem with most acoustic piano's I think.
  • Touch: the new Kawai has the heaviest touch, also clearly heavier then the previous series of Kawai. I like this, but maybe this is because I am used to an acoustic with heavy touch. The Roland and Kawai do not differ much, I think the Roland is a bit heavier.
  • Key weight: I feel that something is not realistic about the key weight of the Roland and Yamaha's, but is realistic in the Kawai. I think it is the actual weight of the keys themselves (not the hammers). I noticed it most clearly by lightly 'tapping' the keys, with loose fingers. When a loose finger hits the key, the energy is transferred to the hammer, and the finger is almost stopped because of the collision with the key. At the moment the hammer is set in (fast) motion and the finger falls more slowly on the key, it is very noticeable in my opinion that the key itself is very light (Roland and Yamaha). It feels a bit bouncy and plasticy in this situation. The Kawai is superior in this aspect: I think the keys themselves are much heavier, which feels much more realistic. However, in normal play (except maybe for staccato) I did not notice this problem much when playing the Roland and Yamaha. I think because of the proper weight of the hammers, the keys appear to have a proper weight.
Summarizing: the Kawai feels more realistic and has a heavier touch (which I liked). The Roland has a better dynamic range and the velocities are easier to control.

Sound:
I think the Roland is clearly superior here. In my opinion the sound is more realistic and sounds more alive, although I cannot tell exactly why. One thing I noticed is that in the Roland sound you hear more realistic beats when multiple notes are hold for a longer time.

Difference HP-307 and HP-305: slightly offtopic, but something I took a few minutes for and might interest some people: in my opinion the action of the PHAIII is only slightly better than the PHAII. I expected the difference to be bigger. The quality of the speaker system however was bigger than I expected. The speaker system of the HP-305 produced uneven results (some ranges too loud or sounding different), probably because of unwanted resonant frequencies.

This morning I was pretty sure I would not be able to make a decision (again) and would lean towards the Kawai. But, to my surprise, I was able to make a clear decision for myself: I take the HP-307! The reason is that I liked the sound much better, and the keyboard gave me a feeling of better control (easier to control the velocities). Also, but less important to me, it has more options to fine tune the sound and better and more sounds. The only downside of the Roland in comparison to the Kawai is the slightly less realistic action, but the action of the Roland is satisfactory for me. However, if you are only interested in the most realistic action, then my advice is to go for the Kawai, and maybe use a software piano to be able to adjust the touch curve better and have better sounds.

Edit: about the Yamaha: I think it is not a fair competition, because it is from one generation earlier. I am curious about what their next generation will bring...

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#1379209 - 02/20/10 10:39 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: jbx]
Nguyen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 430
Loc: Massachusetts
jbx, welcome to PW and congratulations on your HP-307! Please don’t forget to update the “Prices Paid” thread

Thanks for such a detail analysis. It helps DP shoppers like me tremendously. I am also leaning toward the HP-307 but I have to try it again side by side with the CLP-380 to make that final decision, hopefully in the next few weeks.
_________________________
Nguyen - Student Pianist

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#1379238 - 02/20/10 11:43 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: jbx]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Quote:
Summarizing: the Kawai feels more realistic and has a heavier touch (which I liked). The Roland has a better dynamic range


I'm more of a beginner. I think I agree with the above. That is the first thing I noticed about the Roland, the dynamic range of the key action. You have said a few things I had not been able to describe.

Here is a question for a physicist: Do you think a keyboard action could be described by a small set of parameters?

An example of what I'm thinking of is what Thiele/Small did for loudspeakers. No, I don't mean that any of their work would apply. But only that prior to their work people described loudspeakers with long paragraphs and ad-hoc measurements then T/S showed that only a few numbers were required to describe the speakers. Perhaps only a few numbers describing inertia and friction would be enough. If I'm right, it would revolutionize keyboard and piano reviews

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#1379250 - 02/20/10 11:56 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: jbx]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Thanks very much for your review, jbx. The HP-307 really shines in the DPBSD test, and I'm very anxious to try one.

I want that sound in a $2k stage piano or $1k 1/3 rackmount form - which of course doesn't exist yet. A boy can dream though.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1379337 - 02/21/10 02:05 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: dewster]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9551
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Hello jbx, many thanks for your thoughtful review - you have made some excellent points.

Welcome to the forum, and of course, congratulations on the purchase of your new DP!

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
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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#1379386 - 02/21/10 05:32 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: ChrisA]
mezzo-poor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 47
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Here is a question for a physicist: Do you think a keyboard action could be described by a small set of parameters?

An example of what I'm thinking of is what Thiele/Small did for loudspeakers. No, I don't mean that any of their work would apply. But only that prior to their work people described loudspeakers with long paragraphs and ad-hoc measurements then T/S showed that only a few numbers were required to describe the speakers. Perhaps only a few numbers describing inertia and friction would be enough. If I'm right, it would revolutionize keyboard and piano reviews

I sometimes consider this question and I basically agree with ChrisA. However in loudspeakers, the parts move together(e.g. a coil and a diaphragm) while in piano actions, the parts move differently(e.g. a key and a hammer).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_action

This complex combination of parts makes things difficult for describing piano actions. A precise model of a piano action requires not only each part's weight and moment of inertia, but also interaction between parts(e.g. when the jack is released from pressing the hammer).

However when I get a loudspeaker, I don't usually check the detailed parameters. I just check f0 and wattage. I think it is useful to give just a few parameters which roughly describe the piano actions. I would like to propose two parameters to manufactures, static pressure and dynamic pressure. (to (might) be continued to a new thread)

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#1379409 - 02/21/10 07:05 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: mezzo-poor]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9551
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: mezzo-poor
I would like to propose two parameters to manufactures, static pressure and dynamic pressure.

Now things are starting to get interesting. wink

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
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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#1379720 - 02/21/10 04:15 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: Kawai James]
jbx Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 11
I agree with mezzo-poor.
I think indeed static and dynamic pressure are the two most important parameters. But indeed, the real action is much more complicated. I think that the force is also a (probably non-linear) function of the distance a key is pressed down and maybe also of the force that is applied.
But, as said, just static and dynamic pressure is a very good way to describe the basic behavior of the action.

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#1379813 - 02/21/10 06:29 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: jbx]
zaba19 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/09
Posts: 33
Originally Posted By: jbx

Difference HP-307 and HP-305: slightly offtopic, but something I took a few minutes for and might interest some people: in my opinion the action of the PHAIII is only slightly better than the PHAII. I expected the difference to be bigger. The quality of the speaker system however was bigger than I expected. The speaker system of the HP-305 produced uneven results (some ranges too loud or sounding different), probably because of unwanted resonant frequencies.

When I was buying my piano, I tried both HP-305 and HP-307 too to find if the price difference is worth it. Putting aside HP-305's ridiculously small display (for gods sake small lcd's are cheap and the piano certainly isn't cheap) which is a joke in 2010 I have to tell that it didn't take a long time to say I liked HP-307 more. I heard they have the same sound generator and very similar keyboard but when playing I somehow felt and heard the difference. I can't describe exactly what differs PHAII from PHAIII. I would say that the experience was just like trying out 2 acoustic pianos of the same brand. You pick the one that feels better for you. It was the same - I just liked PHAIII more and that's it. It was more natural for me, I played more comfortably with it, it spoke to me "take me" wink
If someone else played 305 and 307 and wouldn't be able to tell difference between those actions I wouldn't be surprised tho. Then the price difference would certainly not be worth the extra speaker power and display imo.

PS. I was testing them with headphones so can't comment on the uneveness of 305's speaker system.

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#1380757 - 02/22/10 10:25 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: theJourney]
toyboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 363
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: theJourney


The reality of the simulation does not negate demand for the real thing:
Rubber dolls have unprecedented levels of realism, yet men still date, get married, pay for hookers and shell out for expensive drinks and dinner.
If flight simulator is so popular on the PC, why do people skill want to learn to fly in real airplanes?
One can listen to amazing recordings in the comfort of the home, yet people still want to experience live performances


I started a similar debate on acoustic vs digital a few months ago, and I have to say that this has to be one of the better metaphors arguing for acoustical instruments that I've seen. Couldn't have done it better myself. Thank you.
_________________________
"Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense."
Gertrude Stein

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#1380764 - 02/22/10 10:37 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: snazzyplayer]
toyboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 363
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer

Doesn't matter what the acoustic piano costs, or what name brand it is...it goes out of tune, and those of us blessed (or cursed) with sensitive and accurate hearing don't need to put up with the drift in tuning, calling the tuner, waiting for the tuner, paying the tuner, and listening to the tuner chuckle as he leaves the house, knowing you are as dependant on him as a crack user is on his/her dealer.


Two points please. Those of us blessed (or cursed) with sensitive and accurate hearing can't deal with a digital reproduction of acoustic sound no matter how "accurate" it is because focussing on accuracy misses part of what making music is about: human beings sitting at human made things that are based on natural things such as air, vibrations, etc.

A few months ago a friend, who is relatively unsophisticated in all things music, but very sensitive and open-minded, came to visit and I played some music for her on my grand piano. She was awestruck at the sound and particularly by how long the sound could sustain itself. That is to say she was struck by the magic of the origin of the sound coming out of all that wood and metal strings.

I am awestruck by it everyday and I both count my blessings that I'm able to while at the same time do try and keep in perspective the priviledge of it all. But it is that perspective that makes me want to somehow try and share that magic rather than capitulate in, shall we say, pragmatic music making.

Finally, your attitude to piano tuners is terribly cynical. I find the relationship with my tuner(s) very rewarding in their helping me understand not just how my piano works, but the array of choices I can have in how we might voice the piano to suit my desires. In the digital world all you have is a manual.

This debate will be endless because everyone comes to it based on their own personal experience, needs and situation.


Edited by toyboy (02/22/10 10:41 PM)
_________________________
"Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense."
Gertrude Stein

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#1380805 - 02/22/10 11:40 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: zaba19]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: zaba19
Putting aside HP-305's ridiculously small display (for gods sake small lcd's are cheap and the piano certainly isn't cheap) which is a joke in 2010 I have to tell that it didn't take a long time to say I liked HP-307 more.

Ha! I don't get this either. I keep seeing cheap $0.50 displays on $1.5k keyboards and it makes me scratch my head. It's like they're daring me to buy it and feel like an idiot.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1380867 - 02/23/10 02:28 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: toyboy]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: toyboy


Finally, your attitude to piano tuners is terribly cynical.


Those of us blessed (or cursed) with the skill of precise perception are usually regarded as being "cynical" by those who haven't acquired it yet.

And yes, this debate will always be endless, much like the old chestnut, "Mac vs. PC" (PC is better wink ).

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1380895 - 02/23/10 04:03 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: toyboy]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Originally Posted By: toyboy
Finally, your attitude to piano tuners is terribly cynical.

I, for one, particularly love Snazzy's metaphor of acoustic owners depending on tuners like crack addicts depending on their dealers. grin I'm sure Snazzy means no disrespect toward tuners here. They do honest work for honest pay. The cynical attitude is with the high maintenance aspects of the AP (tuning, voicing, humidity control). It's not with the tuners.

Originally Posted By: toyboy
I find the relationship with my tuner(s) very rewarding in their helping me understand not just how my piano works, but the array of choices I can have in how we might voice the piano to suit my desires. In the digital world all you have is a manual.

I'll take just a lousy manual for a DP any day over a relationship with a tuner. At least I don't have to pay my manual $300/year on maintenance, and still wondering how long that tuning is going to hold before I need another one. And I don't care to develop a relationship with anyone. Just give me a super low maintenance product that performs spot on, always in tune, reliably day-in day-out, in any kind of climate, and throw me a lousy manual, and you'll never hear from me again. Boy, I love that lousy manual and my low-maintenance DP.

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#1382048 - 02/24/10 03:41 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: theJourney]
edt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 210
Originally Posted By: theJourney

Rubber dolls have unprecedented levels of realism, yet men still date, get married, pay for hookers and shell out for expensive drinks and dinner.


true.

I think the only thing I have really learned from reading pianoworld forums is that . . . when Henry Ford first came out with the Model T, I'm sure there were people that didnt care about the top speed or miles per gallon, but instead they would incessantly complain about how it wasn't like a horse. For instance, I believe there must have been people complaining about that new car smell. Why doesn't it smell like old horse?

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#1382442 - 02/25/10 03:29 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: Volusiano]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Volusiano
Originally Posted By: toyboy
Finally, your attitude to piano tuners is terribly cynical.

I, for one, particularly love Snazzy's metaphor of acoustic owners depending on tuners like crack addicts depending on their dealers. grin I'm sure Snazzy means no disrespect toward tuners here. They do honest work for honest pay. The cynical attitude is with the high maintenance aspects of the AP (tuning, voicing, humidity control). It's not with the tuners.

Originally Posted By: toyboy
I find the relationship with my tuner(s) very rewarding in their helping me understand not just how my piano works, but the array of choices I can have in how we might voice the piano to suit my desires. In the digital world all you have is a manual.

I'll take just a lousy manual for a DP any day over a relationship with a tuner. At least I don't have to pay my manual $300/year on maintenance, and still wondering how long that tuning is going to hold before I need another one. And I don't care to develop a relationship with anyone. Just give me a super low maintenance product that performs spot on, always in tune, reliably day-in day-out, in any kind of climate, and throw me a lousy manual, and you'll never hear from me again. Boy, I love that lousy manual and my low-maintenance DP.


The issue is to a large degree cultural as well.

It is a quintessentially North American tendency to prefer convenient, cheap, efficient, "close enough for me" copies requiring low commitment and low investment over the authenticity and genuineness of the real article, with all its quirks and total experience of purchase implications.

That explains why North Americans eat more than half their meals outside of the home, primarily in "restaurants" manufacturing "meals" at such efficient manufacturer outlets as McDonalds and Applebees rather than cooking the evening meal from scratch with healthy ingredients at home with the family.

That is why supermarkets are filled with brightly colored packages of "just add water" copies of real food dressed up with lots of chemicals, salt and high fructose corn syrup.

That explains the popularity of plastic laminate flooring instead of laying unsealed hardwood floors that must be waxed and buffed on a regular basis and which age gracefully and with character over the decades.

That is why people buy pre-manufactured homes or Vytek insulated cardboard/wood boxes with low maintenance plastic siding that barely last as long as their mortgages rather than building brick or stone homes meant to stand for centuries.

That is why people increasingly "don't want to build a relationship with anyone" and see themselves primarily as consumers and other people as objects whose only value is whether or not they can satisfy the lusts, wants or needs of the consumer, cocooning at home alone passively consuming 5 hours of television on average per day from their alimony-purchased plasma TV rather than having meaningful social contacts or being a member of their community.

That also explains the relative popularity in Europe of the acoustic uprights with factory installed silent systems: People want their children to learn to play the real thing but recognize that in this day and age of decreased tolerance between neighbors that it is necessary to be able to practice silently. However, the desire is to do so on the most authentic possible keybed with maximum transfer of skill to real acoustic piano playing. Someone with 15 years of classical training on an acoustic can make the transition to digital quite easily. Spending 15 years playing unweighted keyboards and then expecting to play well on an acoustic demonstrates quite clearly what the real differences are between the two instruments.

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#1382453 - 02/25/10 04:19 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: theJourney]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: Volusiano
Originally Posted By: toyboy
Finally, your attitude to piano tuners is terribly cynical.

I, for one, particularly love Snazzy's metaphor of acoustic owners depending on tuners like crack addicts depending on their dealers. grin I'm sure Snazzy means no disrespect toward tuners here. They do honest work for honest pay. The cynical attitude is with the high maintenance aspects of the AP (tuning, voicing, humidity control). It's not with the tuners.

Originally Posted By: toyboy
I find the relationship with my tuner(s) very rewarding in their helping me understand not just how my piano works, but the array of choices I can have in how we might voice the piano to suit my desires. In the digital world all you have is a manual.

I'll take just a lousy manual for a DP any day over a relationship with a tuner. At least I don't have to pay my manual $300/year on maintenance, and still wondering how long that tuning is going to hold before I need another one. And I don't care to develop a relationship with anyone. Just give me a super low maintenance product that performs spot on, always in tune, reliably day-in day-out, in any kind of climate, and throw me a lousy manual, and you'll never hear from me again. Boy, I love that lousy manual and my low-maintenance DP.


The issue is to a large degree cultural as well.

It is a quintessentially North American tendency to prefer convenient, cheap, efficient, "close enough for me" copies requiring low commitment and low investment over the authenticity and genuineness of the real article, with all its quirks and total experience of purchase implications.

That explains why North Americans eat more than half their meals outside of the home, primarily in "restaurants" manufacturing "meals" at such efficient manufacturer outlets as McDonalds and Applebees rather than cooking the evening meal from scratch with healthy ingredients at home with the family.

That is why supermarkets are filled with brightly colored packages of "just add water" copies of real food dressed up with lots of chemicals, salt and high fructose corn syrup.

That explains the popularity of plastic laminate flooring instead of laying unsealed hardwood floors that must be waxed and buffed on a regular basis and which age gracefully and with character over the decades.

That is why people buy pre-manufactured homes or Vytek insulated cardboard/wood boxes with low maintenance plastic siding that barely last as long as their mortgages rather than building brick or stone homes meant to stand for centuries.

That is why people increasingly "don't want to build a relationship with anyone" and see themselves primarily as consumers and other people as objects whose only value is whether or not they can satisfy the lusts, wants or needs of the consumer, cocooning at home alone passively consuming 5 hours of television on average per day from their alimony-purchased plasma TV rather than having meaningful social contacts or being a member of their community.

That also explains the relative popularity in Europe of the acoustic uprights with factory installed silent systems: People want their children to learn to play the real thing but recognize that in this day and age of decreased tolerance between neighbors that it is necessary to be able to practice silently. However, the desire is to do so on the most authentic possible keybed with maximum transfer of skill to real acoustic piano playing. Someone with 15 years of classical training on an acoustic can make the transition to digital quite easily. Spending 15 years playing unweighted keyboards and then expecting to play well on an acoustic demonstrates quite clearly what the real differences are between the two instruments.


Oh ho ho! Wow! I'm speechless. How did a DP vs AP post turn into such prejudiced anti-American hatred like this??? And such holier-than-thou attitude, no less. Is it because you can't argue on-point to the topic at hand anymore, so you must bring in ugly baggage like this into the discussion?

I won't lower myself to argue any of your points that's non-piano related. As for your point about the popularity of silent acoustic upright in Europe, that's all good for those who chose to go with this option. But personally, I don't believe the action of acoustic upright is all that in the first place. And who says people who don't choose the silent acoustic upright only use unweighted DP action? Many modern DPs today offer very good weighted actions that are not necessarily inferior to the acoustic upright action at all. The acoustic upright action is not the standard a weighted DP should strive to emulate. Only the full acoustic grand action should be the standard to strive for. So someone with a nicely weighted action DP should have no more problem transitioning to a real grand action compared to someone with an acoustic upright action.

The popularity of upright in Europe are probably mostly due to space constraint and price constraint. Not because of their keyboard action are so hot. And who's to say that DPs don't sell as well as acoustic uprights in Europe? Do you have any data to back this up? If I have to make an educated guess, I'd venture to say that DPs sell more than acoustic uprights anywhere in the world, including Europe and Asia, bar none.

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#1382459 - 02/25/10 05:09 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: Volusiano]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Volusiano

Oh ho ho! Wow! I'm speechless. How did a DP vs AP post turn into such prejudiced anti-American hatred like this??? And such holier-than-thou attitude, no less. Is it because you can't argue on-point to the topic at hand anymore, so you must bring in ugly baggage like this into the discussion?

I won't lower myself to argue any of your points that's non-piano related. As for your point about the popularity of silent acoustic upright in Europe, that's all good for those who chose to go with this option. But personally, I don't believe the action of acoustic upright is all that in the first place. And who says people who don't choose the silent acoustic upright only use unweighted DP action? Many modern DPs today offer very good weighted actions that are not necessarily inferior to the acoustic upright action at all. The acoustic upright action is not the standard a weighted DP should strive to emulate. Only the full acoustic grand action should be the standard to strive for. So someone with a nicely weighted action DP should have no more problem transitioning to a real grand action compared to someone with an acoustic upright action.

The popularity of upright in Europe are probably mostly due to space constraint and price constraint. Not because of their keyboard action are so hot. And who's to say that DPs don't sell as well as acoustic uprights in Europe? Do you have any data to back this up? If I have to make an educated guess, I'd venture to say that DPs sell more than acoustic uprights anywhere in the world, including Europe and Asia, bar none.


Interesting that you find the comments anti-American. The statistics on percentages of meals out of home, makeup of the restaurant industry, supermarket and FMCG packaged goods content, percentage of meals eaten as a family, relative floor covering popularity, home building materials and methods, relative life spans of wooden houses to mortgages, television viewing hours, high divorce rates and the demise of community activities and joining of service associations, etc. are all factual. The comment about not valuing personal relationships was a direct quote from you. All provide a direct insight into key cultural aspects that, whether or not one is self-aware of them or not, can influence the degree to which people value traditional products and practices over modern ones.

They are not necessarily right or wrong but simply statements of fact that illustrate key cultural choices within North America.

If you read my post rather than putting words in my mouth you will also see that I do not claim that digital pianos are not sold as well in Europe. I made the simple factual claim that that hybrid acoustic pianos with factory installed silent (e.g. a Yamaha U3 Silent), which are first and foremost an acoustic piano and secondarily a digital piano, are sold relatively more in Europe than in the US. This is a fact. Those buying them state as rationale that they want an acoustic instrument that can be played on an exception basis also as a silent instrument.

Simply because you dispute the facts does not make a post "anti-American".

There is more to playing a real piano than having a very realistic feeling action. To date no sampling or modeling or sound reproduction approach can duplicate a real acoustic piano. This is also a fact.

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#1382466 - 02/25/10 05:36 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: Volusiano]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
While I do not share the biased expression of what theJourney says, many of the examples tend to be going in the right direction.

If you have some time reading: Here's a very interesting comparison of USA and Germany (well, that's more specific than Europe, but you get an idea) where some of these statements can also be found. But it's much more complex, and either way of living has it's advantages and drawbacks:

http://math-www.uni-paderborn.de/~axel/us-d.html

Especially the chapter "Technology" is interesting, and I who know both countries very well agree on most of the points made.

On one side it says:
"It is well known that the US is the most heavily technologized society; if you count TVs, phones, microwave ovens, cars or personal computers per person, you'll find that the numbers are far higher than in Germany, or most every other country for that matter. Clearly, they are also world leaders in many technologies, such as military applications, space exploration, biotech, software and computer chips."

On the other side:
"This is not the full story however. I am constantly amazed by the poor quality and backwardedness of many technologies routinely employed in the US. Sometimes I think that while Germans tend to tolerate outrageous prices without complaint, Americans tolerate substandard quality. Here are some examples, I keep discovering more every day:"...

But enough OT...


Edited by kawaian (02/25/10 05:37 AM)
_________________________
<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

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#1382472 - 02/25/10 06:00 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: ChrisA]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2223
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted By: ChrisA

Here is a question for a physicist: Do you think a keyboard action could be described by a small set of parameters?


FWIW, here's some info on the piano action: http://www.ofai.at/cgi-bin/get-tr?paper=oefai-tr-2005-01.pdf but I don't think it answers your question. (stumbled on this when searching for repetition rate specifications)

Greg.

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