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#1572356 - 12/07/10 11:03 PM Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait!
10fingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/09
Posts: 298
Loc: CA
After having read sooo much on this forum about the N2 and N3, I was delighted to see, for the first time, one of each at my local piano shop. I tried out their new 7 foot Bosey first, and then sat down at the N3. I was both impressed at how good the N3 was, and amazed (don't ask me why) at how much less satisfying it was to play than even a good upright, not to mention the Bosey. The speakers were outrageously good, in my opinion, but the tactile response system was disconcerting - like getting a quick vibration on each finger as you play. Turned it off, and that niggle went away.

Sat down at the N2, which, surprisingly I enjoyed just as much as the N3 - still a great speaker system. Both pianos produced thunderous bass notes when prompted. I thought the N3's sound really benefitted from having the music stand down (unfortunate, that!).

Here's the rub, however. My experience of the action on these 'hybrids' was nothing like my experience of the action of a Yamaha grand. The sound just didn't connect with the keys in the way that I've come to expect on a good AP (also my expectations were raised very high by other's reviews).

In summary, I think that for some people there is a real need to have something that is real and different every time you play it; something that you get from the action of felted wooden hammers on strings, something that responds to every nuance in ones playing. Maybe using a decently sized sample set would be a good start, along with really good algorithms to better get the sympathetic resonance right, but for me these instruments fell far short of the real thing. Now, the Bosey - if I only had $70,000 to spare...

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#1572426 - 12/08/10 02:01 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 10fingers]
Ovidiu M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/10
Posts: 196
Loc: Romania
You know...i'm just taking your word for that. I havent had the chance of playing high end DP's, but from my experience so far, i dont think that any musical electronic device will ever 100% reproduce the feeling of the real wooden thing. I had the same experience also with acoustic guitars. I remember one guy on some forum that stated the following: "I had a $50 000 sound system with horned speakers that sounded glorious, yet i sold it and bought with the same money a 9 foot grand piano"

And you hit the nail on the head over there with a very true statement. Indeed a wooden instrument always changes tone and behavior according to temperature and other factors. My acoustic guitar never ceased to amaze me with that. I also noticed the same issue with the church Petrof upright.


Edited by Ovidiu M (12/08/10 02:02 AM)

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#1572456 - 12/08/10 03:33 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 10fingers]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Originally Posted By: 10fingers
Here's the rub, however. My experience of the action on these 'hybrids' was nothing like my experience of the action of a Yamaha grand. The sound just didn't connect with the keys in the way that I've come to expect on a good AP (also my expectations were raised very high by other's reviews).
As an owner of an N3, I may not agree with you, but I fully respect your opinion. I just want to chime in about the opinion I've heard from another member of this forum who owns both an acoustic Yamaha grand (first) and then bought an N3 (later). And he keeps both, so he has plenty of chances to do A to B comparison in his home environment.

He said that while the action is good on the N3, it still feels a little bit "forgiving" when compared to the action of his Yamaha acoustic grand. He said other lower priced digitals with non-authentic action, on the other hand, feel VERY "forgiving". I think this is along the line of what you said above, that the action doesn't connect with the sound the way the acoustic does.

However, he said that when the sensitivity setting on the N3 is changed from the default to the more sensitive setting, the action on the N3 starts to feel "uncanny" like that of his Yamaha acoustic grand. I got curious about this and decided to try it out for myself. And I could definitely sense the difference between the default sensitivity and the higher sensitivity setting myself. I like the higher sensitivity setting much better that from then on, I only play with the higher sensitivity setting. I personally think that this should have been the default setting for the AG instead.

Anyway, I thought I'd pass that along in case next time you happen to be at the store, you might want to try out that setting to see if it seems to "connect" more for you after all.

The bottom line is that it may not be so much "lacking" as it is just about the different settings the AG has to offer, and about trying to find the optimum setting that works for you and give you the best connection between the action and the sound.

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#1572466 - 12/08/10 04:43 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 10fingers]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
For me it comes down to this, for my practicing purposes, the grand piano action and the sound, whether through the speaker system or headphones, is good enough for me.

For some perspective, I owned a Yamaha full sized upright for many years and a C3 for ten or so. I had both of them stuffed with towels to quiet them down. For me, the action comes first with the sound a very close second.

If it doesn't work for you, don't buy it. Buy your acoustic piano and have it tuned two, three, four times a year. smile
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#1572471 - 12/08/10 04:53 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 10fingers]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5548
If you're looking for a real connection between your fingers and the sound that comes out, the only DP that does that in my opinion is the V-Piano. And because its sound (no harshness/stridency/'going thru its tone' at fff unless you program it in, and powerful bass like that of an AP grand) and unlimited power is far superior to that of most uprights (not to mention its grand piano key action which allows rapid repetition of notes etc), I prefer it to upright APs (but not to good grands, certainly not the Bösie Imperial).
I've also tried the N2/3 and wasn't impressed with its artificial key vibration that has no connection to the sound, and never lost the feeling that I was playing on an electronic instrument. With the V-Piano, I forget that the sound is entirely computer-generated once I start playing. I don't know the ins & outs of its modelling technology, but it sure works....
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#1572473 - 12/08/10 04:57 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 10fingers]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
You know, to put some perspective into all of these opinions, it would be great to hear the music behind these opinions.
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#1572480 - 12/08/10 05:26 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 10fingers]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2231
Loc: Sydney, Australia
I quite like the vibration feedback I get from my Casio PX-330 when using it's internal speakers. :P

Greg.

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#1572481 - 12/08/10 05:31 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 10fingers]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5548
It's the playing experience that we're talking about here, rather than anyone's performance credentials. I've been toying with putting some of my playing on here, but I don't own/have a computer at home (nor a MP3, nor a cell phone, nor iphone nor...) which makes things difficult. And if someone doesn't like my playing, they'll probably criticize the sound the instrument makes, and vice versa, which in any case has nothing to do with the playing experience of the V-Piano, and that can only be experienced by playing it yourself. I do urge everyone who's interested in DPs to at least try out the V-Piano for themselves.

If it's any consolation, I've never listened to the playing of any of the forumners here, because I don't want to have my opinions of their posts prejudiced or otherwise by what I think of their playing (or their music, if they don't play classical), as many people here do (judging by their posts).
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#1572484 - 12/08/10 05:42 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 10fingers]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
bennevis, I wrote what I wrote because of the three concert pianists and their remarks at the Yamaha site.

http://avant-grand.com/en/message/
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#1572489 - 12/08/10 06:11 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: Dave Horne]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5548
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
bennevis, I wrote what I wrote because of the three concert pianists and their remarks at the Yamaha site.

http://avant-grand.com/en/message/


Yamaha, unlike Roland, recruits classical pianists to its stable - hardly surprising, as it also makes acoustic concert grands that are in world-wide use, and is a respected make amoung concert pianists, whether or not they play on a Yamaha. All the blurb from Roland are from pop/rock stars (or ex-stars :o), but what really impressed me were the reviews from classical music magazines which normally take no notice of DPs, let alone stage pianos that look like acoustics just as a ukelele looks like an electric guitar grin - which was what led me to try the V-Piano (which I otherwise wouldn't have touched with a barge pole based on its ugly appearance....).
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#1572625 - 12/08/10 11:22 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 10fingers]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2426
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Mmm, what paid "artists" say on the Yamaha website needs to be seen in context. They are sponsored/supported by Yamaha. I doubt they would've been under great duress to say positive things but you can bet your life that Yamaha wouldn't publish any negative impressions or comments.

I read that some technicians from Steinway played the V-Piano and stated they thought it was just like "putting their heads under the lid of a Steinway". Praise indeed. But I've owned a V-Piano and got rid of it...didn't like the sound - LOVED the connection and sense of one-ness with the thing but really couldn't live with it.

And for what it's worth I'd love a Yamaha Avant Grand. We used to have a contributor on here called Snazzy...he had a Steinway (B I think) and an N3...the comparison was very favourable to the N3 in his opinion.

We'd all have our own thoughts on the matter I suppose.

Cheers,

Steve
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Yamaha CP1

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#1572636 - 12/08/10 11:41 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 10fingers]
ConcertEtudes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/06/09
Posts: 82
The action of Avant Grand is amazing, as it's supposed to replicate an acoustic grand action. The speaker system still can't compare to acoustics, especially on the bass, but the treble secion is pretty good.

However, the Avant Grand is not supposed to compare to a good acoustic grand. At its price range it compares to a Yamaha C1. Digital piano nowdays cannot compare to acoustics in sound, and it is mainly for people who want the other benefits (silence, easier to move, cheaper, etc).

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#1573097 - 12/09/10 02:28 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 10fingers]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
The connection to an acoustic instrument is not just from the action but also from a lot of other things. The next time you happens in the store, look for a Yamaha Disklavier grand. This is an acoustic grand that also have the ability to be silenced. Play it normally, getting that acoustic feel, then mute the strings, and play it again. It's the same piano, but you'll suddenly notice the action feels somehow fake, like a digital piano, even though the action is just as real as before. In the end, an acoustic piano produces sounds using strings and wood while the N3 re-produces sounds that went through some sophisticated digital process capture from a piano that's not there anymore. You cannot expect this process to be completely lossless. At the keyboard, I can tell the difference between my acoustic Yamaha grand and my N3 blind-folded, but I still like the N3 a lot. I spent $600 tuning my acoustic this year, and the only thing I paid for the N3 is a $50 surge protector. Also, I could record myself instantly on the N3 and play it right back. On the acoustic, I have to break out the laptop, fire up the recording software, connect up the microphone. The recording of my acoustic definitely sound a lot worse than the N3 recording, since I don't own pro recording gear. The ease of listening a recording of yourself while sitting at the audience position is really a big advantage of the N3.

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#1573114 - 12/09/10 03:14 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 4evrBeginR]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1733
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: 4evr88
The connection to an acoustic instrument is not just from the action but also from a lot of other things. The next time you happens in the store, look for a Yamaha Disklavier grand. This is an acoustic grand that also have the ability to be silenced. Play it normally, getting that acoustic feel, then mute the strings, and play it again. It's the same piano, but you'll suddenly notice the action feels somehow fake, like a digital piano, even though the action is just as real as before. In the end, an acoustic piano produces sounds using strings and wood while the N3 re-produces sounds that went through some sophisticated digital process capture from a piano that's not there anymore. You cannot expect this process to be completely lossless. At the keyboard, I can tell the difference between my acoustic Yamaha grand and my N3 blind-folded, but I still like the N3 a lot.

.... Also, I could record myself instantly on the N3 and play it right back. On the acoustic, I have to break out the laptop, fire up the recording software, connect up the microphone. The recording of my acoustic definitely sound a lot worse than the N3 recording, since I don't own pro recording gear.


I've noticed the action difference too on that Disklavier Grand, I was never a fan of those things at all. I think most people with a good quality grand, any semblance of chops and no noise issues (neighbors or personal) will prefer the real deal....most of the time.

I'd love to have the N3 to replace my aging Gran Touch GT-2 . The GT-2 now has a few notes not making sound, bad sensors I guess, I'm too cheap to put any money into it though grin I don't even really play it anymore, it's more like a piece of furniture in our living room, the size/scale of it is just right. I was close to pulling the trigger on the N3 last year after getting an exceptional deal on a trade in for my GT, but because of work slow down I passed. My Yamaha piano dealer told me the initial hoopla has worn off and they aren't selling a lot of them---of course figure in the economy too.

The fact you can record on it so easily is very attractive. Last year I spent a ton of dough on a pair of DPA 4011s, a modded Soundcraft Delta board, Dynaudio BM6A monitors and modded Tascam DV-RA1000HD hard disc recorder. I made a few recordings of the D, they sound great considering I'm not an engineer. You know how many recordings I've made in 2010 ? ZERO ! blush

The hassle of hooking up the mics, positioning them right, getting the levels, re-learning the UI again on the Tascam, making sure my neighbor's dogs aren't barking--my studio is close proximity to their house and not totally soundproofed. I'm just not into futzing with it.

The N3 would be easy, just plug it in and go. Still too much other music stuff to spend my dough on, I'll wait till they come out with Ver.2 and they start blowing out the N3s.
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2005 NY Steinway D

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#1573159 - 12/09/10 05:56 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 10fingers]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
I'd love to have the N3 to replace my aging Gran Touch GT-2 . The GT-2 now has a few notes not making sound, bad sensors I guess, I'm too cheap to put any money into it ...

Dave, you can easily fix this yourself. I know the GT2 is slightly different from the GT1, but in 10 minutes I can have the action, key by key, on the floor. Gently, using an attachment and the vacuum cleaner on a light setting, simply vacuum the sensors under the keys, the ones in the key bed. (There are also sensors - fiber optics in plain view that you can vacuum.) Hell, you might not even have to remove anything if you use a great deal of vacuum with the keys in place though I'd remove the action completely and do it right.

If you need help with this, Skype me and we can do this together. I opened my GT1 a handful of times. It's not difficult at all. The only minor scary thing was figuring out how to unplug the computer ribbon connectors.
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AvantGrand N3, CP5

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#1573427 - 12/09/10 03:39 PM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: Volusiano]
10fingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/09
Posts: 298
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: Volusiano
he said that when the sensitivity setting on the N3 is changed from the default to the more sensitive setting, the action on the N3 starts to feel "uncanny" like that of his Yamaha acoustic grand. The bottom line is that it may not be so much "lacking" as it is just about the different settings the AG has to offer, and about trying to find the optimum setting that works for you and give you the best connection between the action and the sound.


Thanks Volusiano for that thoughtful response. I recollect having cranked up the sensitivity on other DPs before, and finding a great improvement in the touch. I will certainly try that next time I go by the shop.

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#1573442 - 12/09/10 04:13 PM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 10fingers]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
I think Dave Ferris and 4evr88 touched upon a very underestimate factor, the convenience factor. People can buy the most expensive thing but if it's incovenient to use, they'll still end up using it less often. But when the quality gap closes up, the convenience factors can begin to tip the scale. I think this is the case of the AvantGrand where it has managed to close up on the quality gap. Still not 100%, but who cares because it's close enough, and it has all these other convenience factors to offer.

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#1574236 - 12/10/10 06:17 PM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 10fingers]
10fingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/09
Posts: 298
Loc: CA
Thank you folks for your thoughts about this instrument. To reiterate: I found it to be a really fine piece of equipment. Perhaps after reading so much about it, I had unrealistic expectations (particularly given the genuine action used). Clearly it does what it does exceedingly well, and of course it has several advantages over an acoustic. I'm still going to take Volusiano's advice and tinker with the sensitivity settings.

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#1576298 - 12/14/10 12:37 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 10fingers]
Frozenicicles Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 1324
Loc: Canada
I had a chance to try the Avantgrand when I went to the store, playing with the idea of getting a DP for late night practice and extended traveling. I concluded that I would rather not practise than play on a digital - the touch and sound was simply too terrible. The Avantgrand was in a completely different league - I could see myself playing it and enjoying it.

However, like the OP, I felt that it still did not measure up to an acoustic 100%. I would rather take a mediocre acoustic upright (like my middle-aged U3). All that talk about having a concert grand in a digital and convenient form is pure marketing. It is nowhere as good, IMO. There was something about the sound that just wasn't quite right. I think it is way overpriced for its quality, because you can get much better used acoustic pianos for half the price. I was still extremely impressed with it compared to the other digitals. If I had unlimited funds, I would definitely buy it for late-night practising and recording.

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#1576311 - 12/14/10 01:15 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: Frozenicicles]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
All that talk about having a concert grand in a digital and convenient form is pure marketing.
Convenience is not pure marketing. It's just pure fact. You can have the best sounding acoustic grand but if it's not convenient to play it whenever you like due to lack of silent play, then it's just a piece of furniture. In this day and age where life is always on the move and time is a precious resource, convenience is almost everything to many people.

Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
It is nowhere as good, IMO. There was something about the sound that just wasn't quite right. I think it is way overpriced for its quality, because you can get much better used acoustic pianos for half the price.
While I have my own opinion about the sound, I respect your own opinion about the sound, too. So I won't debate the sound with you. But for it being overpriced, don't forget to add into the cost of ownership a lifetime of tuning cost, twice a year, on an acoustic. And the cost of voicing and humidity control. Not to include what I would weigh in and introduce as the "use factor". Meaning if you count the total number of hours you can spend on the AvantGrant (thanks to its silent mode) while you own it, compared to the (more limited) total number of hours you can spend on an acoustic piano while you own it, and multiply this ratio (which most likely will be much greater than 1) to the price of the acoustic, you can now compare fairly what the higher "effective" price of the acoustic would be. Or invert that ratio and multiply it to the AvantGrand price to see what the lower "effective" price the AvantGrand would be.

Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
If I had unlimited funds, I would definitely buy it for late-night practising and recording.
Again, this goes right into the convenience factor, which you dismissed earlier as pure marketing, but now you're recognizing that it has value. You don't really need unlimited funds to buy it. You just need the same fund you would use to buy a comparable acoustic grand, and it can be had. And you can play it during the day, too, not just late night or for recording only.

I would use my limited fund to buy convenience and adequately good sound first. Then if I had unlimited funds later, I would use the unlimited funds to buy a dream sound acoustic grand next. But not the other way around.

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#1576327 - 12/14/10 01:48 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 10fingers]
Frozenicicles Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 1324
Loc: Canada
The pure marketing I refer to is the claim that the Avantgrand is nearly equivalent to the CFIIIS. It is not. I would rather play an acoustic upright of less than half the price (such as my own piano). I probably play a very different style of music than you, but for me, what the Avantgrand misses is quite important. It is probably an excellent jazz piano, where there isn't such a focus on tone (to my understanding).

You mention the convenience factor - I don't consider it that much more convenient than an acoustic. I'm not a night owl so I never feel like practising in the dead of the night, and the decreased enjoyment of the Avantgrand compared to an acoustic might even make me practise less. The high price is also very inconvenient.

I sat down at the instrument wanting to fall in love with it based on some of the reviews here, but I didn't. Who wouldn't want the quality of a concert grand for 1/10 of the price? I was still reasonably impressed with it. It's the only digital that I can envision doing serious practice on. It's not my intention to trash talk anyone's piano, but I believe that nearly all classical pianists would agree with me.

Anyway, congratulations on owning such a nice instrument.

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#1576336 - 12/14/10 02:11 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: Frozenicicles]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
The pure marketing I refer to is the claim that the Avantgrand is nearly equivalent to the CFIIIS. It is not. I would rather play an acoustic upright of less than half the price (such as my own piano). I probably play a very different style of music than you, but for me, what the Avantgrand misses is quite important. It is probably an excellent jazz piano, where there isn't such a focus on tone (to my understanding).

You mention the convenience factor - I don't consider it that much more convenient than an acoustic. I'm not a night owl so I never feel like practising in the dead of the night, and the decreased enjoyment of the Avantgrand compared to an acoustic might even make me practise less. The high price is also very inconvenient.

I sat down at the instrument wanting to fall in love with it based on some of the reviews here, but I didn't. Who wouldn't want the quality of a concert grand for 1/10 of the price? I was still reasonably impressed with it. It's the only digital that I can envision doing serious practice on. It's not my intention to trash talk anyone's piano, but I believe that nearly all classical pianists would agree with me.

Anyway, congratulations on owning such a nice instrument.
Frozenicicles, I didn't take offense or thought that you "trash talked" the AvantGrand at all. You're definitely entitled to your opinion about its sound quality, and you're not the first person walking away unimpressed with its sound anyway. We all know that no matter how good a digital sound is, it's still just a digital sound and it'll never live up to an acoustic sound. So it's just a matter of how close the sound quality is to the real thing, and whether it's good enough based on individual taste to make it become acceptable as a trade off to the other convenience factors.

So if you clarified that you just don't think the AvantGrand sound lives up to the CFIIIS sound as many alluded to, then I agree with you. It's only sampled based on the CFIIIS, but it doesn't mean that it can deliver through its sound system the same quality that an acoustic CFIIIS can. No amount marketing can fool us AvantGrand owners about that. So if this is what you fault the marketing on, then I agree. But I truly don't think anybody bought into this marketing hype sight unseen or sound unheard. The marketing hype may have brought people in to check it out, but the superior sound quality (as compared to the lower end digitals, not as compared to acoustics) is what seals the deal. It doesn't have to be 100% as good as the acoustics. It only has to be good enough.

I just misunderstood that you were faulting the importance of the convenience factors that digital pianos deliver. That's where I would disagree. I, for one, could have afforded a nice acoustic grand all along, but I never care for the inconvenience of owning one (despite the great sound), so I never bought one. And I never bought a low-end digital piano either, because I was not satisfied with their sound and action either. Instead I had been waiting a long time for such a product like the AvantGrand to arrive to fill the need that I was looking for. So I think all products, whether they be acoustic, high-end digitals, low-end digitals, all have their places in the market. You gotta see them for what they are, and not for what they may be hyped up to be. They all have their compromises and trade-offs and you pick and chose according to the importance of your own criteria.

A person whose criteria is low price would have bought a digital already. A person whose criteria is uncompromised sound would have bought an acoustic already. Neither one of those types of people would buy the AvantGrand. But I bet you there are many folks out there who have the fund but don't want to buy for an acoustic because they place great importance on the convenience of a digital, but also high importance on feel and sound. So to simply dismiss the AvantGrand as a high price digital that doesn't fit well into any segment of the market is simply not accurate. I think there's a good size market out there for this demand and I believe over time, it'll be a very viable market against the acoustics.

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#1576346 - 12/14/10 02:58 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: Frozenicicles]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
I'm not a night owl so I never feel like practising in the dead of the night
I think it's a misconception that silent play is only necessary during off-hours. I think silent play is also very valuable to allow people to not feel inhibited about spending more time practicing if they're not afraid that they would drive their loved ones in the household crazy with repeated play/practice of a piece.

I think practicing is a HUGE part of a developing pianist and can easily account for 90% of the time spent on the piano. The worst thing for a developing pianist to do is to feel inhibited about being able to practice enough.

And it's not just silent play. Volume loudness is also a big issue with acoustics that may inhibit and cause less play time than should be normally.

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#1576376 - 12/14/10 04:33 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 10fingers]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Volume loudness is also a big issue with acoustics that may inhibit and cause less play time than should be normally.

Ain't that the truth!
_________________________
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#1576706 - 12/14/10 06:20 PM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 10fingers]
BK1 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 12
I find this interesting because I own a V-piano and have been wanting to try the new Avant Grands to see what they are like. I'm particularly interested in how the action feels. I suspect I'd like them compared to most other DPs. However, I've wondered how much I'd like them compared to the V-piano. I have to echo bennevis's comments -- after having tried many DPs over the years, the V-piano is the first that feels "organic" to me. The action and expressiveness is terrific. The result, I suppose, of sound modeling, a very sensitive keyboard, and a nice action. It really feels great to play.

I acknowledge that EssBrace and at least one other person who posts here bought and returned the V-piano, being unsatisfied with the mid-tone sound. While I don't fully agree, I can see where they are coming from because I can hear where someone might take issue with it. For me, that goes away after playing for a couple of minutes, it just feels right.

I probably don't have the performance credentials of many others here. I'm rusty but I have been playing piano more than 35 years now, a good portion of which has been on well-maintained grand pianos (as well as my share of poorly-maintained pianos, something I'm sure we're all familiar with!). While the V-piano is not as good as any upper level grand piano IMO, for anyone looking for a DP, it is worthwhile to check it out and play it for more than a few minutes. The feel is surprisingly natural and you can get hooked.

I'm still looking forward to trying one of the Avant Grands at some point. It seems like DP technology has taken quite a leap forward just in the last couple of years, after having stagnated for several years.

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#1576743 - 12/14/10 07:30 PM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: BK1]
Melodialworks Music Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 1309
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: BK1

I acknowledge that EssBrace and at least one other person who posts here bought and returned the V-piano, being unsatisfied with the mid-tone sound.


Yep! That would be me! My signature is significant.
_________________________
Melodialworks Music
Yamaha C3X
Yamaha CP300 + Omnisphere
Yamaha NU1 + Production Grand

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#1576758 - 12/14/10 07:53 PM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 10fingers]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
i thought the one I played last week was very impressive. (I would have designed the exterior a bit differently i think if I was producing it). It was so cool tho, how it worked, what it could do. I definitely want one.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1576810 - 12/14/10 09:51 PM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: 10fingers]
Frozenicicles Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 1324
Loc: Canada
I didn't try out the V-piano. The store that I visited only carried Yamahas - the salesman said that in his opinion, Yamahas are better because they manufacture acoustics. I was looking for a portable digital but the P155 that I tried was disappointing. Are Rolands any better? I'm reading a lot about the V-piano (too expensive), and the fp-7f (a bit more reasonable). If the fp-7f is about midway between the P155 and the Avantgrand, I would really consider it.

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#1576819 - 12/14/10 10:08 PM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: Frozenicicles]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1733
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
.
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D

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#1576886 - 12/15/10 12:21 AM Re: Avant Grand - impressed and amazed! But wait! [Re: Frozenicicles]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles

However, like the OP, I felt that it still did not measure up to an acoustic 100%. I would rather take a mediocre acoustic upright (like my middle-aged U3). All that talk about having a concert grand in a digital and convenient form is pure marketing. It is nowhere as good, IMO. There was something about the sound that just wasn't quite right. I think it is way overpriced for its quality, because you can get much better used acoustic pianos for half the price. I was still extremely impressed with it compared to the other digitals. If I had unlimited funds, I would definitely buy it for late-night practising and recording.


I personally think that no digital piano (or computer program) sound or feel just like an acoustic piano. If there was, there would no more reason to make acoustic pianos, and all the acoustic piano makers would go out of business, considering most of them already have one foot in the grave. The only acoustic piano anyone would make would be the concert grand, for the sake of tradition only.

A few things I can think of that are problem areas for the N3 are its speakers, which are unidirectional. The underside of the N3 sounds nothing like a real grand piano. Also, from the pianist's perspective, the four speakers are pretty inadequate compared to the hundreds of strings of a real piano. From the audience perspective, the difference is much less so.

I also don't understand why they didn't put dampers in the action so when the sustain pedal is pressed, the tension on the keys are reduced just like a normal piano. In this way, it is still not a full grand piano action.

As for speakers they should implement something like small speaker arrays that some high end speaker makers use. Ten to twelve columns of 20-small 2" speakers drivers across the top of the piano would sound more convincing than 4 speaker configuration they have now. Of course, they would need to sample a lot more, and may have to increase target price to a lot higher, but it would be more realistic. There is a lot of potential for the N3, but it certainly is more work in progress than a product that has arrived in terms of competing with an acoustic concert grand.

In the world of technology, if you need something, you have to decide to buy at some point instead of endlessly waiting for the better revision of it, which eventually comes. If you have no need of the technology, then you're basically looking at the wrong type of product. I suppose as long as piano tech don't all die and new piano techs are graduating from school, even though fewer each year, acoustic pianos will not be obsolete, yet.

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