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#1577128 - 12/15/10 11:12 AM DP midi playback comparison
tinybox Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 51

!! !! Project abandoned !! !!

If you want the files from this project email me (see my profile for address)


Hi.

In an attempt to make it easier to understand the differences between the different DP's I've put up a site where you can find audio files rendered by different DP's from the same midi file (found here). Feel free to send me audio files of whatever DP's playing the same piece, it would be great to have them all gathered in one place. Both hardware and software DP's are ok.

The site with the midi and audio files can be found here:

http://tinybox.se/AudioComparison/

PM me for details on how to contribute with your own files.


DP's so far

Lossless (uncompressed high quality)


  • Kawai MP10 Concert 1 (tinybox)
  • Roland FP-7F (Rimmer)
  • East West Silver Steinway (Rimmer)
  • GEM Promega 3 (Qbert)
  • Ivory II (bbent)
    2 files, Bosendorfer and German Grand. Word document with patch settings at the site.
  • Imperfect Samples (AldoEsplay)
    2 files, one with key noise and one without.
  • Kawai MP10 Custom patches (AldoEsplay)
    3 files, Kawai EX, Bosendorfer and Fazioli. MP10 Patches at the site.
  • Kawai MP8 Concert 1 (gvfarns)
    2 files, Concert 1 & 2.


Lossy (compressed formats)

* PianoTeq default Pleyel recording setting (Martin C. Doege)
* PianoTeq K1 solo recording mode (Martin C. Doege)
* Accoustic Samples Old Black Grand (PianoMan51)
* Bluthner Digital Model One (PianoMan51)
* Truepianos Diamond Classical preset (Martin C. Doege)
* Yamaha P85 Grand Piano 1 (Martin C. Doege)
* Galaxy Vintage D Concert
* Alicia's Keys Small Concert Hall
* PMI Bosendorfer Dry 8 Layer Basic

Thanks to Rimmer for the midi file and to all audio file contributors (forum name in parenthesis) :-)


Notes on the audio files

* Since some DP's don't playback all its AP effects when playing midi I think it could be a good idea to skip those DP's in this comparison since it wont be valid anyway.

* I'm primarily interested in lossless audio formats.



Edited by tinybox (03/06/12 03:17 PM)

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#1577175 - 12/15/10 01:03 PM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Rendered using Pianoteq's default Pleyel Recording setting:

http://www.box.net/shared/rp5u03ndg8

Same for the K1 in solo recording mode:

http://www.box.net/shared/5tziyiv6e9


Edited by Martin C. Doege (12/15/10 03:54 PM)
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1577186 - 12/15/10 01:20 PM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
Qbert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 328
Loc: Italy
Maybe the volume should be normalized. MP10 is little low.
_________________________
GEM Promega 3 (sold) - Yamaha CLP 170 (sold) - Acuna88 (sold) - Kawai VPC1 + BK7m

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#1577267 - 12/15/10 03:19 PM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
Good one...!

I haven't really had much of a chance to compare the two versions but from what I have heard, it ends up reminding me of what I thought of both piano sounds in the shop (CA93 AP sound engine)..

Both very good, quite different and very much a matter of taste, I would hope..

I'm very happy with the FP-7F's performance overall and I suspect the MP10 is quite something to behold. There isn't anything very good looking about the FP-7F. Looks nice but there is something industrial about it so I suspect i'd opt for the MP10 on looks.

I didn't normalise mine but I got a good level to start with. Something it would appear is a potential problem with the set input gain in some DP's own recording facilities. I'd recommend normalising it to bring it up to a gain level similar to the FP-7F, if you get a chance.. thumb

Regards. Rimmer

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#1577316 - 12/15/10 04:25 PM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: Martin C. Doege]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Martin C. Doege
Rendered using Pianoteq's default Pleyel Recording setting:

http://www.box.net/shared/rp5u03ndg8

Same for the K1 in solo recording mode:

http://www.box.net/shared/5tziyiv6e9


Nice one.. Interesting stuff..

I'll load up one the Steinway built in to the EastWest Silver library at some point... Got a few days hard graft to get out the way first but I will try and get it up there.

Quite an interesting test at this stage... eek

Regards. Rimmer

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#1577325 - 12/15/10 04:30 PM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8383
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Make sure you record to WAV first, then normalise, then save as MP3. 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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#1577328 - 12/15/10 04:33 PM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: Kawai James]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Make sure you record to WAV first, then normalise, then save as MP3. wink

Cheers,
James
x


Or just leave it as a wave file??

My file is huge and maybe inconvenient to some people, but it's smaller if it's 16bit too so I don't think it should be an issue..!

Regards. Rimmer

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#1577335 - 12/15/10 04:41 PM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8383
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
...or to return to a previous topic, save the output as FLAC. 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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#1577382 - 12/15/10 05:43 PM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
achat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 536
Loc: Rome, Italy
One doubt:
does it really make sense to compare two Pianos with two files playing the same MIDI, but with such a different dimension (57M vs 5.2M)

Isn't the quality of an audio highly influenced by the dimension of the file?

A.

Originally Posted By: tinybox
Hi.

I've put up a site where you can find audio files of the Roland FP-7F and the Kawai MP10 playing the same midi file (Thanks Rimmer). Feel free to send me audio files of other DP's playing the same piece, it would be great to have them all gathered in one place.

The site can be found here:

http://tinybox.se/~daniel/AudioComparison/


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#1577420 - 12/15/10 06:33 PM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8383
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Good point. Furthermore, the recordings of the two instruments were created using different methods, making it largely impossible to perform an objective side-by-side comparison.

I would also suggest that the FP-7F clip be re-recorded, playing back the MIDI file that was dumped into Logic. This should ensure that both instruments are receiving exactly the same performance data.

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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#1577483 - 12/15/10 08:16 PM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: achat]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Quote:
does it really make sense to compare two Pianos with two files playing the same MIDI, but with such a different dimension (57M vs 5.2M)

Isn't the quality of an audio highly influenced by the dimension of the file?


If both files are compressed using the same method then yes the audio quality depends on the size. the order of magnitude difference quoted about makes them incomparable.

But ONLY if they are both compressed using the same method. For example a 10M wav file and a 5M FLAC files can be bit-by-bit identical when played back. And a 32Kbps MP3 files might sound very close to a wav file that is 8 times larger.

Much of the difference is going to be caused by recording technique. Some people have high end audio interfaces and understand how to set levels properly and others are just going to use some PC's built-in audio connected the DP's headphone jack.

And then there are different velocity curves the translate MIDI numbers to loudness. This has the effect that the piano used to capture the performance will sound the best.

All that said, gross differences will be easy to hear

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#1577492 - 12/15/10 08:28 PM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
tinybox Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 51
Size doesn't matter. There's not many of you who will notice the difference between an MP3 and a WAV of the same midi file. If you're one of those people you will probably know what is artifacts of the MP3 and what is the DP.

The method of the recording matters only if anyone is doing something wrong, not so in this case. The WAV recorded by Rimmer is good enough and I think he will produce even better ones smile The MP3 recorded by me is done with the MP10's built in midi->wav so I believe it's good enough.

James point about all units receiving the same midi data is very valid because we don't know how much was skipped in Rolands export procedure, so I believe this is a good idea. Problem here is if there's a problem with the midi playback on some units, then the result is invalid even still.

I will check the quality of everything before putting it up on the site and I will let good-enough through because I don't see this as a clinical trial. It's only a try to give people a hunch on how the DP's sound and I would gladly see all the DP manufacturers officially take part in this to produce high quality recordings ;-)


Bottom line is; this is not a perfect side-by-side comparison, just see it as a chance to listen to the different instruments.


I will try to normalize the MP10 recording when I have the chance.



Edited by tinybox (12/15/10 09:19 PM)

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#1577696 - 12/16/10 03:30 AM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: Kawai James]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
...or to return to a previous topic, save the output as FLAC. wink

Cheers,
James
x



That would be fine also.

Low level MP3's are not the way forward..!

Regards. Rimmer

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#1577701 - 12/16/10 03:38 AM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
Qbert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 328
Loc: Italy
Yes, please. I'm really interested in MP10 sample but the comparison is affected by low volume. I used external sound card and DAC e good headphone (AKG 240) and, in spite of highest volume set, it was too low for a fair comparison with FP7F one.

BTW, many thanks for you effort in this interesting stuff!
_________________________
GEM Promega 3 (sold) - Yamaha CLP 170 (sold) - Acuna88 (sold) - Kawai VPC1 + BK7m

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#1577748 - 12/16/10 06:00 AM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
tinybox Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 51
Ok, I've removed the MP3 and uploaded a WAV that is normalized. If anyone want's it as an MP3 I will encode it and put it up also. If the volume level and quality are good I'm still going to put up compressed formats.

Also, I got two new files from forum member PianoMan51:
* Accoustic Samples Old Black Grand
* Bluthner Digital Model One


Edited by tinybox (12/16/10 11:48 AM)

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#1577750 - 12/16/10 06:02 AM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1317
Loc: The Netherlands
James' remark makes sense; the internal playback of the demo file on the FP7F may contain additional continuous pedal control data and such that may be absent from the MIDI file (or incorrectly interpreted by the MP10 or Pianoteq).

For comparison the FP7F should therefore also be recorded while playing back this same posted MIDI file from a sequencer. In that way all the different instruments are fed with the same data. If the still uncompressed recording is then normalized and output to FLAC or left uncompressed you can make a good comparison (provided the recording was made at a proper level). Please; no MP3 rubbish, otherwise this whole "compression, MP3 ziff noise" etc discussion will take place for the fourth or fifth time. Internet speed and storage is large enough to contain a simple audio file in FLAC or WAV or AIFF.

Thanks

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#1577763 - 12/16/10 06:46 AM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: JFP]
Aidan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/08
Posts: 371
Loc: UK
The other variable is the keyboard to sound engine connection. So physically performing the same piece on another piano, with roughly the same dynamics, will quite possibly result in a far different sound than simply running a MIDI file through the instrument.

FWIW, I quite like the FP7-F recording - it's woodier than some of the other Supernatural pianos I've heard (which tend to have more wire prominent). The Kawai is a bit of a curate's egg - good in parts. But it has that "plinkyness" which I've associated with Kawai DPs in the past. And of course, the MP10 is still damn heavy, whichever way you look at it.
_________________________
Yamaha CP40 | Hammond SK1-61 | Kurzweil PC361

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#1577851 - 12/16/10 09:20 AM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Truepianos Diamond (Classical preset):

http://www.box.net/shared/3p1pj944g7
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1577893 - 12/16/10 10:47 AM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: JFP]
dewster Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4268
Loc: Northern NJ
The only "ziff" noise I've encountered is in web videos of DPs, where it can be quite obnoxious. I think the people in charge of the transcoding crush the video as small as possible for web, and take great liberties with the audio as a result. These videos really are in a different category though, people want to see what's going on, but many are paying greater attention to the sound.

If you go WAV or FLAC for this project it will take longer to upload and download the files for comparison, which will tend to inhibit people from giving them a spin. I know I always think twice before downloading a WAV file. FLAC may require some to install CODECs for their players. And it will take more room to store them at your share point (the DPBSD archive is already > 1GB).

MP3 or OGG Vorbis should be fine given a high enough bit rate such as 192kbps @ 44.1kHz CBR. I just tested the Kawai MP10 and the only difference I could see or hear between the 16 bit WAV file and the MP3 (compressed with the above settings and both files generated directly on the MP10) was the residual noise down at the noise floor. I listen to most of my CD collection compressed with OGG quality=6.0 and played back on my PC via XMPlay (a highly recommended tiny player), an ECHO MIA soundcard, and high quality headphones - it always sounds pristine and accurate to me.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1577905 - 12/16/10 11:05 AM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
I think 128/256 kbit/s AAC (like the iTunes store) or 256 kbit/s VBR MP3 (like Amazon MP3) are the way to go, especially as most portable audio players seem to support those formats.

192 kbit/s CBR MP3s OTOH do smooth over some intricacies of the sound, which became apparent to me when I encoded my files for this thread at 192 kbit/s.
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1578019 - 12/16/10 02:03 PM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Yamaha P-85; Grand Piano 1:

http://www.box.net/shared/6p390qpqyv
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1578642 - 12/17/10 09:31 AM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
Erard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/07
Posts: 51
Loc: Italy
... and an interesting AP version.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ke5gsIR1UPQ
_________________________
Yamaha C3M - V-Piano

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#1579271 - 12/18/10 06:58 AM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
They all sound good, eh? The BDMO sounded a bit too mellow for the forte notes for my taste though.

Greg.

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#1579339 - 12/18/10 09:42 AM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
tinybox Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 51
Thanks for the new files Martin smile

Eerard, nice AP version. Young player :-O

sullivang, I think the volume level of the BDMO is a bit low. I'll see if I can get a higher volume version.


And if anyone has an idea on other midi files to use I would happily up them to the site and record them with the Kawai MP10. Maybe something aimed at EP's?


Edited by tinybox (12/18/10 09:43 AM)

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#1579364 - 12/18/10 10:58 AM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
PianoMan51 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/30/10
Posts: 12
Loc: United States
Hi guys. The BDMO is mine. I added it to the list because it's a different sounding piano, and I thought it might be interesting as a comparison.

The BDMO is quite mellow sounding, compared to Steinway, Yamaha or Bosendoerfer. The 'bite' in the louder samples is there, but at a lower frequency.

This is an extremely dynamic piano, and I recorded it at the original dynamics. I don't normally play or record it like this because if you set the loudest velocities to play back as loud as a real piano would be, the softest velocities tend to sink into the noise floor of any but the quietest rooms.

I also did not normalize the audio prior to converting into MP3 because the result was distortion at the high levels.

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#1579389 - 12/18/10 12:05 PM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
Mavs972 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/10
Posts: 52
Alicia's Keys recorded with the small concert hall preset

http://www.box.net/shared/3jclnvx8uv

The Vintage D Concert preset

http://www.box.net/shared/nvz1dhipus

PMI Bosendorfer Dry 8 layer Basic

http://www.box.net/shared/n0yuvxcn40


Edited by Mavs972 (12/18/10 01:00 PM)

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#1579521 - 12/18/10 03:55 PM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: Mavs972]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Can anyone else hear a slightly awkward sounding "crushed" note in the Alicia Keys, at time 3s and 11s? I haven't noticed this characteristic in any of the others yet. Sounds great in general though.

Greg.

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#1581145 - 12/21/10 04:50 AM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: Kawai James]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Good point. Furthermore, the recordings of the two instruments were created using different methods, making it largely impossible to perform an objective side-by-side comparison.

I would also suggest that the FP-7F clip be re-recorded, playing back the MIDI file that was dumped into Logic. This should ensure that both instruments are receiving exactly the same performance data.

Cheers,
James
x


For what it's worth, I compared the internal song and the played back midi file I recorded out of the FP-7F and it sounded identical. I was quite thorough with that. I don't mind doing it again but I don't feel it will make any difference.

As far as using an MP3 to compare, soo many people on here said they sound identical (which I would disagree with considering the options for the MP3 to be encoded badly with either poor settings or a bad encoder). I personally don't like the thought of using MP3 as a critical listening file at all. I would observe the level at which the bounced material is recorded and correct, if need be, with a reliable normalising routine..

Regards. Rimmer

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#1581146 - 12/21/10 04:54 AM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: tinybox

James point about all units receiving the same midi data is very valid because we don't know how much was skipped in Rolands export procedure, so I believe this is a good idea.


I didn't use any form of midi export from Roland. I literally used Logic to 'listen' to the midi output of the FP-7F as it played the song. I had to enable this in the menu.

In this case, I believe that the midi data being sent to the piano's sound module (as it were) is the same data being sent out of the midi port on the back of the machine. I literally streamed that in to Logic down the midi cable.

Regards. Rimmer

[EDIT]... I've uploaded another file to my online drive that is the midi file played straight out of Logic which is controlling the FP-7F remotely, via midi. The only difference in the file is that it doesn't contain the Logic Reverb Plugin, rather a touch of built in FP-7F reverb.. I have PM'd tinybox with this information so hopefully he will be able to download the file and then replace the one I provided him originally. Get it HERE

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#1581166 - 12/21/10 06:28 AM Re: DP midi playback comparison [Re: tinybox]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: tinybox
Thanks for the new files Martin smile

Eerard, nice AP version. Young player :-O

sullivang, I think the volume level of the BDMO is a bit low. I'll see if I can get a higher volume version.


And if anyone has an idea on other midi files to use I would happily up them to the site and record them with the Kawai MP10. Maybe something aimed at EP's?


Same here. I've trawled the net looking for decent piano mids and some of them are, well... awful.. Some of them sound quantised or simply played badly or seemingly without feel. I'm sure there are some people on here that would be able to play something lovely and then post it out as a midi file??

The EP's in the FP-7F aren't great but I do have the Scarbee (NI) Vintage Keys plugin for Kontakt which sounds great (loads better than the FP's internal EP's). I'd happily send a few of those your way..!

Regards. Rimmer

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