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#1392871 - 03/10/10 12:36 PM Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model?
nan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/04
Posts: 140
Loc: San Francisco
Can anyone tell me how the Avant Grands compare to an older model, the CLP 990? The CLP 990 keyboard feels very much like an acoustic, but doesn't have the nuances in sound that the acoustic has (I also play on a Boston grand). The CLP 990 sounds great with headphones but tinny otherwise. Can anyone make a comparison for me? Is the Avant Grand a lot better than the old clp 990? I'm wondering if upgrading to the Avant Grand is worth it... I know I'll have to find it and try it out for myself but just wondered if anyone already has, thanks!

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#1392900 - 03/10/10 01:28 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: nan]
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
The CLP990 technology is now nearly 10 years old. Time marches on in computers and digital pianos. The touch response on a mear CLP340 is likely better than the CLP990. The AvantGrand is in a complete other catagory. The action in the N3 is an actual acoustic Yamaha grand piano action. You really must play the AvantGrand and draw your own impressions and conclusions.
_________________________
Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.

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#1393619 - 03/11/10 12:09 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: Marty Flinn]
nan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/04
Posts: 140
Loc: San Francisco
Thanks Marty. Looks like my model is very old. I sure like it with headphones. The keys are made of wood and I really like the feel of the keyboard. But if even the 340 is much better, the Avant Grand should be much better than my 990.

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#1393642 - 03/11/10 12:41 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: nan]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: nan
The CLP 990 keyboard feels very much like an acoustic, but doesn't have the nuances in sound that the acoustic has (I also play on a Boston grand).

If you like the feel of the keyboard then you're 1/2 way there. Have you considered a laptop or PC running a modeler or sampler? That would give you the best of both worlds.

Originally Posted By: nan
I'm wondering if upgrading to the Avant Grand is worth it... I know I'll have to find it and try it out for myself but just wondered if anyone already has, thanks!

Technically, and IMO, the AvantGrand sound samples could use some enlarging - particularly the loop lengths. You might want to hold off for a year or two if you can, as some really new things seem to be happening in the sample departments of most manufacturers.
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#1393668 - 03/11/10 01:08 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: dewster]
Richard Stark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 278
Loc: Hälsingland, Sweden
The CLP 990 is unique, because it features 192-note polyphony and has an 88 key sample with 5 velocity layers.
This is something Yamaha on later Clavinovas have replaced with sound banks and stretching.

Technically this model is superior to the Clavinovas available today!

Only Avant Grand can compete with the specs of this DP.

Link to specs:
Clavinova CLP 990

I think this piano is a worthy contender for the DP BSD test!

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#1393751 - 03/11/10 03:01 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: Richard Stark]
bkmz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 142
Loc: Belarus
Richard Stark

Quote:
Naturally, this requires a lot of memory: how about a whopping 80.4 megabytes just for the Grand Piano sound?


Nooo, thats too small. Divide it to 88/5/2 = 95801 bytes per note. Maybe its not even 16 bit.
_________________________
ex-Yamaha CLP 330

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#1393812 - 03/11/10 04:23 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: bkmz]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: bkmz
Nooo, thats too small. Divide it to 88/5/2 = 95801 bytes per note. Maybe its not even 16 bit.

I agree:

( 80.4MB ) / ( 88 notes ) / ( 5 layers / note ) / ( 2 ch stereo ) / ( 2 bytes / sample ) / ( 44100 samples / sec ) = 1.04 seconds per sample average

To sound good (if something looped can indeed be considered good sounding) I think 3 to 4 seconds are necessary. I never thought I'd be saying this, but it's too bad they didn't stretch the sample set to increase the average sample time.
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#1393824 - 03/11/10 04:32 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: dewster]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Quote:
88 Stereo Sampling
In the same way that an acoustic piano has separate strings for each key, the CLP-990 has separate stereo samples for all 88 keys — each one painstakingly recorded from a top-class, perfectly maintained Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand. There's no tricky filtering or pitch shifting to make a single sample sound like several notes: each individual note is a separate and distinctly vibrant entity. What's more, each note is sampled at five separate dynamic levels so that the timbre is right from the meekest pianissimo to the most commanding fortissimo. Naturally, this requires a lot of memory: how about a whopping 80.4 megabytes just for the Grand Piano sound?

Quote:
Natural Keyboard
In addition to unrivalled sound, the CLP-990 delivers unbelievably realistic touch with the "Natural Keyboard" featuring spruce keys. As with the highly acclaimed GH (Graded Hammer effect) keyboard of all other Yamaha Clavinovas, key weight is graded from heavier in the lower registers to lighter in the higher, exactly like a grand piano. However, in the "Natural Keyboard", this grading is in 8 steps as opposed to 4 in the GH keyboard. For even more realism, this new keyboard also uses a new hammer action that lets you actually feel the hammers and cushions as you play. What's more, there are two sensors — one under each hammer and one under each key. The hammer sensor detects velocity, while the key sensor detects when the damper is on or off.

OMG! If Yamaha accidentally revealed this level of technical detail about one of their more contemporary DPs they'd probably send someone out to kill you.

These days they never tell you memory size per voice, and I don't recall ever reading the number of keyboard grading steps anywhere.
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#1393933 - 03/11/10 06:55 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: dewster]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9404
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Are there any CLP-990 owners out there willing to submit a DPBSD test to dewster?

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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#1394037 - 03/11/10 09:31 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: Kawai James]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: KAWAI James
Are there any CLP-990 owners out there willing to submit a DPBSD test to dewster?

nan? Could I persuade you to digitally record the DPBSD MIDI file and submit it for analysis?
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#1394384 - 03/12/10 01:25 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: dewster]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2408
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
I'm amazed. The CLP-990 looks like a Tour de Force for Yamaha bearing in mind its age. Everything that followed it must've had an inferior spec...this might even still be the case. On paper at least the 990 seems better than the CLP-380. Why did they slam it into reverse after the 990? Can't understand it.

Steve
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Yamaha CP1

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#1394424 - 03/12/10 01:59 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: EssBrace]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3837
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
I'm amazed. The CLP-990 looks like a Tour de Force for Yamaha bearing in mind its age. Everything that followed it must've had an inferior spec...this might even still be the case. On paper at least the 990 seems better than the CLP-380. Why did they slam it into reverse after the 990? Can't understand it.
I doubt we'll ever know for sure. But I think it's all about marketing. The 990 may have been "too good". Assuming that the subsequent Clavs cost less to build ... Then if people were satisfied with the "lesser" Clavs, and were unaware of what they were missing, then Yamaha stood to profit by selling lower cost units.

Remember ... your best product doesn't have to be the best one possible. It just has to be as good as or better than the competition. And it must satisfy your customers. Apparently, Yamaha's post-990 Clavs met both of those criteria.

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#1394439 - 03/12/10 02:19 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: MacMacMac]
bkmz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 142
Loc: Belarus
EssBrace, MacMacMac, have you read the comments? The amount of memory for samples on CLP990 is too small to sound good.
_________________________
ex-Yamaha CLP 330

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#1394441 - 03/12/10 02:24 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: bkmz]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3837
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: bkmz
EssBrace, MacMacMac, have you read the comments? The amount of memory for samples on CLP990 is too small to sound good.
That's conjecture. But people here and elsewhere have raved about the 990. Apparently, it sounds good despite the claims of "not enough memory". Others here have said, many times ... judge the results, not the specs.

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#1394443 - 03/12/10 02:24 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: MacMacMac]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2408
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Yeah I know you're right. But it's so cynical of them. And I'm not picking just Yamaha out here. In some ways some of the older keyboards were better. My RD-1000 is still in perfect working order after 23 years, with full wooden action with really long pivoted keys (sound familiar Kawai?). Yamaha KX-88 with full wooden action was one of the all-time great controllers. To dumb down your product just because the market will let you get away with it lacks integrity. I know things have started to progress now with the Yamaha SCM and Roland SN stuff but in some ways it's like they are only making ground up that they lost over the last decade or so.

Steve
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Yamaha CP1

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#1394445 - 03/12/10 02:29 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: dewster]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3837
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: bkmz
Nooo, thats too small. Divide it to 88/5/2 = 95801 bytes per note. Maybe its not even 16 bit.

I agree:

( 80.4MB ) / ( 88 notes ) / ( 5 layers / note ) / ( 2 ch stereo ) / ( 2 bytes / sample ) / ( 44100 samples / sec ) = 1.04 seconds per sample average

To sound good (if something looped can indeed be considered good sounding) I think 3 to 4 seconds are necessary. I never thought I'd be saying this, but it's too bad they didn't stretch the sample set to increase the average sample time.
Suppose the data are compressed? Ordinary WAV files can be compressed 5x or 6x to produce MP3 format. If this (or other) compression were used, then your computation would need to consider that.

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#1394457 - 03/12/10 02:54 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: MacMacMac]
bkmz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 142
Loc: Belarus
EssBrase, your words: "Everything that followed CLP990 must've had an inferior spec...".

I'm just saying its not.

judge the results, not the specs.

True, but the results is highly dependent on specs.

On the other hand I must admit that the sound on this videos is beautiful and deep.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmng4l2ymc8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAtrtBwxMPI


(edit: Oh I'm sorry, my mistake: "Played on Yamaha CLP 990 using The Grand 3 by Steinberg." That explains.

real CLP990 sound: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM-Ksk6-qBQ
nice, but nothing so special.)

Anyway, it's a question - which is more important:

1) more dynamic levels
2) less stretches
3) longer samples

CLP990 seem to have short samples (maybe its not THAT short actually - because fff notes can be longer than ppp), lot of levels, no stretching.

For me personally, lack of dynamic levels is a real pain. It makes piano sound like a toy.


Edited by bkmz (03/12/10 04:05 PM)
_________________________
ex-Yamaha CLP 330

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#1394484 - 03/12/10 03:56 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: MacMacMac]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Suppose the data are compressed? Ordinary WAV files can be compressed 5x or 6x to produce MP3 format. If this (or other) compression were used, then your computation would need to consider that.

True, they could be using a simple compression of some sort such as delta encoding, or maybe 12 bit samples. MP3 I seriously doubt. But the only way to know for sure is with a DPBSD test.

I wouldn't doubt at all that they made better keyboard assemblies in the past, but I'd be kind of shocked to run across a better sample set than what they are doing now - not that what we have is super great, but ROM is a lot cheaper, they were truly constrained by ROM costs in the past. Not sure why they aren't putting a lot more ROM in modern DPs, but they certainly could without breaking the bank.
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THE RD-700NX Thread!
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#1394487 - 03/12/10 04:02 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: bkmz]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: bkmz
Anyway, it's a question - which is more important:

1) more dynamic levels
2) more samples per key (less stretches)
3) longer samples

In this case, and without looking at it, listening to it, or analyzing it beyond the back-of-the-envelope thing, I'd trade stretching for longer samples.

Originally Posted By: bkmz
CLP990 seem to have short samples (maybe its not THAT short actually - because fff notes can be longer than ppp), lot of levels, no stretching.

Very likely too short. From what I've seen so far, it takes somewhere around a 3 second attack sample plus 3 second loop in the bass, and 2 second sample with 1 second loop in the high end. Average of 4.5 seconds total.
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#1394492 - 03/12/10 04:07 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: bkmz]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: bkmz
real CLP990 sound: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM-Ksk6-qBQ
nice, but nothing so special.)

The midrange decay sounds unnaturally short to me in that video.
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#1394493 - 03/12/10 04:08 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: dewster]
bkmz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 142
Loc: Belarus
Originally Posted By: bkmz
Anyway, it's a question - which is more important:
2) more samples per key (less stretches)


I meant - "per keyboard", of course.

Originally Posted By: dewster

In this case, and without looking at it, listening to it, or analyzing it beyond the back-of-the-envelope thing, I'd trade stretching for longer samples.


That is what Yamaha did. smile


Edited by bkmz (03/12/10 04:40 PM)
_________________________
ex-Yamaha CLP 330

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#1394975 - 03/13/10 12:40 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: dewster]
nan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/04
Posts: 140
Loc: San Francisco
What a surprise to find so much going on this thread -- most of it over my head. Looks like I'll hang onto my 990 for a while. From what I was hearing, it sounds like the Avant Grand is excellent and thought maybe I should upgrade because I'd like a better sound when I'm not using headphones.

Dewster you ask: Could I persuade you to digitally record the DPBSD MIDI file and submit it for analysis?

I'll have to ask my husband how to do that. Funny, as an aside, I just saw Kurosawa's film "High and Low" about a Japenese shoe company CEO who wants to make quality shoes but is being forced out of the business by the other executives who want to making cheaper shoes that don't last . . .

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#1394985 - 03/13/10 12:49 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: dewster]
nan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/04
Posts: 140
Loc: San Francisco
Dewster -- how do I find the DPBSD MIDI file?

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#1395010 - 03/13/10 01:24 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: nan]
Jordy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/09
Posts: 133
Loc: USA
I played the Avant Grand two days ago. While it's better than any other digital I've ever played...it's still a digital. The sound in the headphones is still way better than through the speakers, as it is with ALL digitals, but the sound is a real good piano sound, IMO. The action is good, but not nearly as great as some say it is. To me, it's spongy and very, very hard to control. It's way too sensitive. I put it on the lowest setting and to play mf to ff was hard for me cause it seemed it went from pp to ff with no middle ground on some higher octaves. IT sounds real bad with the lid down cause of the reverb, but it's okay with the lid open. I think if you're singing with it or in a band, it's a great piano..sort of, but it is a digital for sure.

I played acoustic grands right after and went back and told the sales person, no way I'd ever be happy with the Avant when I compare it to a real piano.

JMHO.

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#1395016 - 03/13/10 01:32 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: nan]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: nan
Dewster -- how do I find the DPBSD MIDI file?

It's located here.

There's a readme file there too, please take a look at the "Test Setup" section.

From the manual it looks like you can just copy the DPBSD MIDI file to a floppy and play it from that.

For recording the audio, in a nutshell you want to record the factory default voice with the reverb off, while trying to get the recording level as high as you can without clipping. The free trial of Adobe Audition is here if you want to use that to record with on your PC, and there are special instructions in the readme file for using it.

If you have any questions let me know. Your DP is an interesting specimen.
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#1395017 - 03/13/10 01:33 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: Jordy]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2408
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Interesting view. Most people seem to find that, unlike almost every other DP, the AG is inferior through headphones because the tactile response system is disabled and it is this feature that makes the AG such a piano-like experience. Was this switched on when you played it? I should stress that I haven't played one but one of the regular contributors here had one for a while (he also owns a Steinway model B) and found it a very agreeable alternative.

Cheers,

Steve
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1395122 - 03/13/10 05:03 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: EssBrace]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Interesting view. Most people seem to find that, unlike almost every other DP, the AG is inferior through headphones because the tactile response system is disabled and it is this feature that makes the AG such a piano-like experience. Was this switched on when you played it? I should stress that I haven't played one but one of the regular contributors here had one for a while (he also owns a Steinway model B) and found it a very agreeable alternative.

Cheers,

Steve


Yes Steve, the Avant Grand is just basically a regular (but great sounding) digital piano through headphones.

What really makes it, is the tactile feedback when playing it without headphones...I really dislike using cans, as the sound of any digital piano is too "in your ear" and the panning sounds very unnatural.

As far as the action goes, the Avant Grand is better than nearly every real grand I've played, including my Steinway...of course, action is very subjective and personal, and what is ham for some, is just pig to others. wink

But, it beats the spots off every other digital piano for realism...simply because it is a real grand piano action...no other digital piano comes close, in my opinion, and very few real grands(unless they are perfectly maintained) can touch it...and upright acoustic pianos aren't even in the running.

Again, the subject of action (and sound as well) is a personal thing...I'm anxiously awaiting the next generation Avant Grand...I want more than just piano sounds in an instrument that costs as much as the AG, especially good strings and pad patches.

But for pure piano playing...the Avant Grand is a total experience, and a wonderful instrument to play.

Did you get your HP-307 yet?

Snazzy
_________________________
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#1395135 - 03/13/10 05:25 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: Jordy]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Originally Posted By: Jordy
I played the Avant Grand two days ago. While it's better than any other digital I've ever played...it's still a digital. The sound in the headphones is still way better than through the speakers, as it is with ALL digitals, but the sound is a real good piano sound, IMO.

It goes without saying that no sound system no matter how good can beat what comes out of a good set of headphone speakers that are 1/2" away from your ears.

Originally Posted By: Jordy
The action is good, but not nearly as great as some say it is. To me, it's spongy and very, very hard to control. It's way too sensitive. I put it on the lowest setting and to play mf to ff was hard for me cause it seemed it went from pp to ff with no middle ground on some higher octaves.

The action on the AG is really the same action found in Yamaha acoustic grands such as the C3. Even actions amongst acoustic grands differ, and some people prefer certain acoustic brand's action over others. I guess in your case, you probably wouldn't like any Yamaha acoustic grand's action either, if you don't like the AG's action.

The other thing is that it looks like you picked the wrong setting to begin with. If you find the "medium level 2" default setting too sensitive for you, changing it to the "soft/lowest level 1" setting like what you did would only make it worse because the soft/level 1 setting allows maximum loudness to be produced with relatively light key pressure. You should have gone the other way, to "hard level 3", which requires that the keys be played quite hard to produce maximum loudness. At this setting, the volume changes very widely from pianissimo to fortissimo to facilitate dynamic and dramatic expression.

Note that even if you change the sensitivity setting, it does not change the weight of the keyboard, it just changes the sensitivity to the volume loudness. So if you think it feels spongy for you in the first place, that sponginess is not going to go away even when you change to different sensitivity levels.

I myself own an N3 for 7 months now, and play with it every day. I personally don't find the AG's action spongy at all. I find it very crisp and precise. I keep the sensitivity level to default level 2 and don't find the need to adjust this to any other levels. I've compared it to many other Yamaha acoustic keyboards and hardly find any different between their feel and the AG's. But I know that keyboard action can be a very personal taste to different people.

Originally Posted By: Jordy
IT sounds real bad with the lid down cause of the reverb, but it's okay with the lid open.

Nobody in their right mind would close the lid on the AG because you would muffled and ruin the sound produced by the speakers. The lid on the AG is only for decorative purposes and is not meant to be used for sound control like that of an acoustic grand. If you want to use sound control on the AG, leave the lid open and use the volume knob instead. And there's a reverb switch on the control panel to let you turn off the reverb if you don't want it.

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#1395141 - 03/13/10 05:35 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: snazzyplayer]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2408
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Hi Snazzy,

Third week in March is all the shop are saying. Can't wait. I really have to say though that for the living room piano, an AG N2 would have been a dream come true. I would have kept my GranTouch for the sake of that lovely Yamaha piano action had it not been so lacking in versatility...just one piano voice (not a bad one even considering its age). And obviously no tactile resonators etc. I had it a few years and what I would've given for a decent Rhodes and a transpose facility! The AG does have couple of very decent sounding EPs and a harpsichord I believe so actually it would be fine for me.

I can dream!

Cheers,

Steve
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Yamaha CP1

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#1395150 - 03/13/10 05:52 PM Re: Avant Grand a lot better than older CLP 990 model? [Re: EssBrace]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Interesting view. Most people seem to find that, unlike almost every other DP, the AG is inferior through headphones because the tactile response system is disabled and it is this feature that makes the AG such a piano-like experience.
Cheers,
Steve

Steve, you can still listen to the headphone AND have the Tactile Response System turned on (at 3 different levels). So you still get the full piano-like experience in terms of the vibration on headphones as well. It's just that the default when headphones are plugged in is for the TRS to be turned off (the assumption being that the player wants complete silent). But you can choose to turn it back on with a touch of a button, to 3 different levels.

If you choose to turn on the TRS for headphone use, however, it won't be a completely silent setup anymore. This is because the input used to drive the transducers for the TRS is the very sound that you play. The transducers take this input and turns it into vibration to send to the keyboard and pedals. The vibration caused by the transducers creates a very soft, but natural audible buzzing sound of the music you play. It is inevitable because it is the transducers that create this soft buzzing sound from the vibration, not the speakers from the sound system. An analogy is the very soft music you'll hear from a vinyl record caused by the vibrating diamond head as it tracks through the sound track, even if you don't connect this record player into a sound system.

And I wouldn't characterize the AG sound as being inferior through the headphones, either. What you hear through the headphones is basically the very close up and clean original sound source without any adulteration by the room environment, and without having to be subjected to any limitation that a sound system (amplifiers and speakers) may impose. The difference is that the AG also has a great external 4 channel sound system implemented through the 16 amps/speakers/transducers to give you the best projection of the sound source into the air/the room.

So the usual argument I hear discussed on the forum is that if your need is mostly silent practice through headphones, it may not make sense to spend the extra money on the AG because you wouldn't be making full use of the expensive sound system that's put in there. So you might as well just buy a cheaper DP which can still sound pretty good through headphones because you wouldn't make use of this cheaper DP's inferior sound system very much anyway. This argument may get misinterpreted into something like the AG's headphone sound is not as good as the AG's external sound. But in reality, it's just 2 different ways of listening and either way will produce great results on the AG.

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