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#1713168 - 07/14/11 11:03 AM Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1424
I think the the V-Piano Grand actually sounds quite good here overall. Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, which is one of the most demanding pieces int he piano repertoire.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0-dC7eT_Oo

I think the AvantGrands sound better in person, but still sounds quite good to me here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpHO4lZtmqo

For sound, that's a toss up. You're talking fully modeled vs. the latest in sampling. For action, hands down the N3 is in a league above the V-Piano Grand. I think Roland should have gone for a real piano action for such a premium instrument. I've played the N3 and the V-Piano (not Grand, but still the same action) and the N3 is quite a step above the V-Piano's PHA III Ivory.


Edited by ZacharyForbes (07/14/11 12:13 PM)
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#1713181 - 07/14/11 11:19 AM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
I'm glad we have choices of more than one piano! I'm thinking of hotels, restaurants, cafés, churches and cruise lines. Having pianos that are always in tune with a responsive action is a dream come true for the guys in trenches.
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#1713191 - 07/14/11 11:34 AM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
10fingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/09
Posts: 298
Loc: CA
Very interesting - thanks for posting the links, Zachary

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#1713202 - 07/14/11 11:54 AM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5004
What matters to me is the connection between the mind and fingers and the sound that comes out, and how playable the instrument is overall. Having now experienced both the V-P Grand and the N3 (and N2 but not N1), I've no doubt that Roland's offering easily trumps Yamaha's: the latter sounds like any of its CLP series when heard through headphones, but even through its speakers, it cannot entirely mask the problems inherent in sampling, i.e. it just doesn't 'feel' like the real thing to me, and I can't lose myself into making music for the sheer pleasure of it the way I can with the V-Piano (via headphones), and even more, the V-P Grand.

As for the key action, I don't think having a 'real grand piano action' makes any difference to the playability: I've played so many different acoustics (grands and verticals of all shapes and sizes) over the years that I can easily adapt. Even better if the action is reasonably positive, allows rapid note repetition, and is gravity-driven, and feels reasonably like a good grand piano action. The V-Piano and Grand appears to have the same excellent action, and easily ticks all the right boxes. In fact, I've played quite a few acoustic grands (including brand new ones) which don't give me quite the same degree of minute tonal control as the Rolands. The latter may not be able to boast of having 'real grand piano action' with real wooden hammers etc, but it sure feels convincing.

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#1713204 - 07/14/11 11:58 AM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
I prefer this for the AG -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpHO4lZtmqo

An ambient stereo recording (although the levels are all wrong and it clips here and there). AG sounds best when recorded as per a real piano (ie, with microphones), not from line outs.

V-Grand has really beautiful bass, hollow mids though and no sense of "woodiness" but modelled pianos do seem to favour metallic rather than woody tones.

I agree with Zachary - Roland really should have bought in and modified (fitted with sensors etc) a real piano action though...a plastic DP action in a product of this value is a bit of an insult. To play a V directly against an AG would be like chalk and cheese purely in terms of action.

All that said, Dave is right - choice is a positive thing. Roland's presence in this premium part of the market should spur Yamaha on to improve their tone generation although despite some weaknesses in this respect I really enjoy my N3 - Having also owned a GranTouch in the past I would observe that Yamaha use exclusive voices for these products. The GT voice was totally dissimilar to the contemporary Clavinovas and the AG has a voice quite unlike the current Clavinovas and stage pianos.

Before Dewster reminds us all, the AG has looping and the decay is indeed somewhat static - but there is still some real quality in this instrument - and for action, it is peerless. The AG I believe uses Dynaudio speakers and the sound system is out of this world. Yamaha will never disclose this I understand but (I think) I've been reliably informed the speakers are Dynaudios (they make top-end hi-fi speakers).
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#1713212 - 07/14/11 12:18 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: EssBrace]
Hideki Matsui Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 787
Dynaudio is awesome. I love their tweeters.

Personally, I would take the N3. I prefer the action and I don't find the sound to be technically deficient when I'm playing.

I like the V-piano, but I think I just prefer the sound of sampled pianos. They sound more natural to me. I also think the pricing of the Vs is a bit ridiculous. V-piano is at least within reason, but I'm not sure how they justify the sticker on the V-grand.

Interestingly, an owner of the V-piano over at Korg forums is getting rid of his V-piano after buying and playing the Kronos. I'm not sure if he will regret losing the finer action, but he clearly seems to favor the sampled sounds of his Kronos.
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#1713215 - 07/14/11 12:19 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
kippesc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 407
Loc: United States
I have an N2 and a Roland RD-700NX. They're both great. In my view, the Roland sounds better over headphones -- more tonal variety as you move from velocity 0 to 127. And it has a nice powerful internal amp to drive high impedance headphones like some of the Sennheiser line. The N2 has a great internal sound system; it actually sounds very good when used as a hi-fi powered speaker. As between the Yamaha action and the Roland PHA III -- I like them both . . . a lot. As for the claim that the AvantGrand samples sound like the Clavinova samples -- that has NOT been my experience. I traded in a CLP-380 for the N2. The N2 samples are considerably better than the CLP-380's.
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Yamaha AvantGrand N2
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#1713216 - 07/14/11 12:19 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1424
Steve,

Thanks for the other video. I actually edited my post above and used that video. It's indeed a better representation of the sound, although, the AvantGrands still sound a lot better in person if you ask me. However, the C7 inside the NP88 is a darn good Yamaha sample. wink

Also, I agree with you on the lack of mids in the V-Piano Grand. I do think the VPG sounds quite good in that video I posted, but there is still an absence of mids. It's like the shape of the sound of a V-Piano/Grand is like this U where the tops of the U are the bottom and highs, with a total lack of mids. I think perhaps one of the few possible advantages of the V-Piano Grand with it's plastic action is that it wouldn't need to regulated, so it probably wouldn't get stiff and un-responsive like most of the un-taken-care-of grands I play at gigs...*sigh*
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#1713218 - 07/14/11 12:22 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: kippesc]
Hideki Matsui Offline
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Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 787
Originally Posted By: kippesc
I have an N2 and a Roland RD-700NX. They're both great. In my view, the Roland sounds better over headphones -- more tonal variety as you move from velocity 0 to 127. And it has a nice powerful internal amp to drive high impedance headphones like some of the Sennheiser line. The N2 has a great internal sound system; it actually sounds very good when used as a hi-fi powered speaker. As between the Yamaha action and the Roland PHA III -- I like them both . . . a lot. As for the claim that the AvantGrand samples sound like the Clavinova samples -- that has NOT been my experience. I traded in a CLP-380 for the N2. The N2 samples are considerably better than the CLP-380's.


I like the sound of the 700NX more than the V. The 700 sounds great through headphones.
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#1713224 - 07/14/11 12:34 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
I've found a downside to the AG action. I was firmly in the camp that took the view that as long as an action is smooth, linear and allows good expression then that is all that matters.

Owning the AG makes you realise that there is much more to it than that - the subjective feel of the mechanics under your fingers is a very satisfying experience, addictive almost.

So, I have found that playing the AG, which I have downstairs, and then trotting upstairs to my music room and playing the Nord for instance made me feel a bit sick - a typical DP action feels like a toy compared to the AG. So I mothballed the Nord and got a FP-7F, thinking the PHA-III would make the transition easier/nicer. WRONG. It might be a percentage point or three better than the Nord but is still pretty shitty compared to the AG. Sold the FP and got a Yamaha CP-33 thinking "it's a Yamaha!" It'll be much closer to the AG. FAIL.

If you only ever play the CPs/FPs/RDs/MPs/NPs/Vs of this world you will be quite happy, very happy in many cases - I was, despite a two year interlude with a Yamaha GranTouch. But now I find the contrast between AG and anything else just too unpleasant. And this is a problem for me. I need a piano in my little project room but what to get? Damn you, AG for spoiling me too much. Please can someone disinvent it and then I could be quite happy with a RD-700 or the NP88 or any of the other equivalents.
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#1713230 - 07/14/11 12:49 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: EssBrace]
kippesc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 407
Loc: United States
You need one of those Bosendorfer MIDI controllers with an Imperial grand action. It can double as a credenza.
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Yamaha AvantGrand N2
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#1713237 - 07/14/11 12:58 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
I wrote to Steinway a few years ago suggesting they consider the then same course as Bösendorfer (with their now dead on arrival hybrid) and Yamaha. I still have their response. In short, they wrote ... As you know our mission statement from our founder Henry Engelhard Steinway is "to built the best piano possible". This is only possible in making real acoustic pianos.

I see their point but in the real world of hotels, restaurants, cafés, churches and cruise ships, they are losing a potential market share.

If I were given a choice between Steinway and Yamaha, I'd probably choose the warmer of the two. wink If Bösendorfer followed through on their hybrid, all bets would be off. smile
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#1713242 - 07/14/11 01:09 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5004
Essbrace,
I was going to say 'you need to get used to playing more acoustics' grin, just like most classical pianists have to do - adapt to different pianos and actions. Few concert pianists have the clout to demand a particular brand or even size of piano, let alone a particular kind of action for their concerts. I did all my piano exams on pianos that I'd never played and that were often heavier-actioned than the one I learnt and practised on (which was a small Yamaha console-sized vertical), and my first encounter with a grand of any sort was in my Grade 5 exam (a 7ft Yamaha): the action with pronounced 'click' was very off-putting. The examiner kindly allowed me to play a few scales and arpeggios on it before the exam proper....

But I agree with you about the Nord's keyboard action, which feels totally artificial.

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#1713286 - 07/14/11 01:58 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: bennevis]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1424
Originally Posted By: bennevis


But I agree with you about the Nord's keyboard action, which feels totally artificial.


Apples to Tomatoes. The Nord cannot have an action that comes remotely close to the V-Piano/Grand, much less the AvantGrand. Two totally different market approaches. The Nord Piano is geared nearly exclusively towards the gigging musician, so it's optimized for light weight, flexible Flash storage. At 39lbs, it's action is quite good, and works perfect with it's sound engine.

I think the only thing Steve and I were saying, is that Roland is charging a high premium for their best attempt at a grand piano replacement, and they're using the same basic action that they offer in a $2000 DP-the FP-7F. I think that's a little cheap if you ask me. They've certainly got the R&D capability and the financial means to have pursued a real grand piano action.
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Yamaha AvantGrand N1
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"Be who you are and say how you feel. Because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

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#1713299 - 07/14/11 02:19 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3800
Loc: North Carolina
Roland could upgrade the Vpiano to use a conventional piano action. But wouldn't that raise the price? Sales of the V are apparently below expectations. They'd be even lower if the price were higher.

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#1713302 - 07/14/11 02:29 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: MacMacMac]
azandj Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/10
Posts: 45
Loc: Texas, USA
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Roland could upgrade the Vpiano to use a conventional piano action.
Wouldn't it take a tremendous amount of resources for Roland? Unlike Kawai and Yamaha, they do not built acoustics... I would infer that they'd have to get someone else to build an action for them.
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#1713309 - 07/14/11 02:48 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: azandj]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: azandj
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Roland could upgrade the Vpiano to use a conventional piano action.
Wouldn't it take a tremendous amount of resources for Roland? Unlike Kawai and Yamaha, they do not built acoustics... I would infer that they'd have to get someone else to build an action for them.


If they did they'd be in the same rank and file as Bösendorfer and Steinway. wink
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#1713317 - 07/14/11 03:11 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: MacMacMac]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1424
Why don't Roland and Steinway partner up to create the V-GranD?? wink
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Roland could upgrade the Vpiano to use a conventional piano action. But wouldn't that raise the price? Sales of the V are apparently below expectations. They'd be even lower if the price were higher.


Well the V-Piano and V-Grand are way to high, and the V-Piano went up further yet. The V-Piano ought to sale out the door with the stand for $4000-$4500 tops and the V-Grand $12000 tops. You can't tell me the speaker and cabinet of the V-Grand cost $10,000 more than the V-Piano. Current price of the V-Piano is $6799 and the V-Grand $19,995. That's outrageous. I could understand if they were using a much more expensive action.
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Nord Piano 2


"Be who you are and say how you feel. Because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

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#1713326 - 07/14/11 03:33 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3555
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: ZacharyForbes
Why don't Roland and Steinway partner up to create the V-GranD?? wink
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Roland could upgrade the Vpiano to use a conventional piano action. But wouldn't that raise the price? Sales of the V are apparently below expectations. They'd be even lower if the price were higher.


Well the V-Piano and V-Grand are way to high, and the V-Piano went up further yet. The V-Piano ought to sale out the door with the stand for $4000-$4500 tops and the V-Grand $12000 tops. You can't tell me the speaker and cabinet of the V-Grand cost $10,000 more than the V-Piano. Current price of the V-Piano is $6799 and the V-Grand $19,995. That's outrageous. I could understand if they were using a much more expensive action.


You could also postulate that if they put in a premium action and solved their midrange issues on the V-grand, even if it cost $5,000, or even $10k more, it would still outsell the current version. Why? because it would have no weak points and it would be the undisputed king of DP's - able to replace a real grand in most situations. As it stands, it is a little under par in terms of the action and aspects of the sound so it's not quite at the value for money point that it could be. In general if you make the best product in any category, it will sell, even if it's twice the price of its competitors. But you have to get everything right to command it.

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#1713390 - 07/14/11 05:07 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9041
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Are there any hardware differences between the V-Piano and V-Piano grand?

By the way, welcome back EssBrace!
(Welcum bahuk).

James
x
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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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#1713404 - 07/14/11 05:24 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
I agree that it would be a big deal for Roland to develop a full grand type action from scratch but many of the newer Chinese pianos, that are very good by the way, at least when they are new, have excellent actions. I don't see why Roland couldn't just equip a bought-in action with the required sensors to trigger their sound engine.

Alternatively, Roland could just dust off the technical drawings for their old all wood action...not a grand type but long wooden keys like Kawai...the RD-1000 had an all wooden action with very long balanced keys and is wonderfully responsive.

In any event, just as Zachary stated it just seems a bit at odds with the top-line price and performance potential of the V-Grand to have the same action as DPs costing less than a tenth of its price. And what if the dreaded key-top wear rears its head?

I also agree with bennevis that it is possible to adapt to (nearly) any action as long as a range of expression is possible...there's no doubt the PHA-III action provides control and expressive power but then again the Nord action is no bar to expression either. Taken in isolation almost all DP actions are acceptable. But it is the subjective satisfaction that a real grand action provides. Once you are used to it nothing else quite hits the spot.

Cheers,

Steve
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#1713406 - 07/14/11 05:28 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: Kawai James]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Thanks James...been working away...no piano except on some weekends. Not much private use of computer either. Anyway, a'roight buh!
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#1713537 - 07/14/11 09:52 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3800
Loc: North Carolina
Could Roland do it? Sure. But it would not fit into the intended market ...

It would require a console cabinet to fit the action. And ... it's already at the $5000-$6000 mark. With a grand action it would cost MUCH more to produce. The selling price would be up around that of the Vpiano.

So ... it seems they've already done it. You're asking for what's already out there. Vpiano.

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#1713678 - 07/15/11 06:08 AM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5004
Frankly, if having a real grand piano action means having the maintenance problems that goes with it, I'd gladly trade that off for a good but 'unreal grand piano action'. I don't keep my apartment at the proper humidity, and the kitchen opens out less than 10ft away from my V-Piano, so when I'm cooking the humidity can get very high in the winter, then drops like a stone afterwards. And I don't want any sticky keys to result from this, thank you.... cry

Real grand piano action is overrated, IMO. What matters is what you can do with the keys (or what the keys will let you do, assuming you have the technique to do it grin), not what the keys are.

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#1713679 - 07/15/11 06:17 AM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9041
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
So you would prefer to have the plastic PHAIII action in your V-Piano than a real grand piano action?

You're pulling our collective legs again, surely?

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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#1713682 - 07/15/11 06:39 AM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5004
Yes, if it means I never have to call a technician in to repair/fix key action problems.

As I've said on several occasions, I've played on so many different acoustics with such varying actions - even amoung concert grands - that I've no trouble adapting to any, as long as the keyweight is within acceptable levels, and the action is even and allows me to control minute variations of touch and tone, and permit rapid repetition. Roland's allows me to do all that.

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#1713701 - 07/15/11 07:46 AM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: Kawai James]
Auver Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 194
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
So you would prefer to have the plastic PHAIII action in your V-Piano than a real grand piano action?

You're pulling our collective legs again, surely?

James
x


I can definately see where he's coming from. The maintainance needed with a real grand action (if you haven't got a steady humidity) is something I'd consider too if I were to buy an AG. And I'm quite sure the keys on the top-end Rolands are quite nice, I remember I fell in love with the HP-307 when I first played it some time ago.
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#1713704 - 07/15/11 08:08 AM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
I can't see maintenance being an issue on the AGs...maybe after several years of really heavy use...by which time you can regulate it, as opposed to a standard DP plastic action that would be shot by then. I see the potential for regulation as a life-extending (for the piano!) advantage, not a disadvantage.

I had a GranTouch for two or three years, never took any special precautions temperature or humidity wise and it felt like new when the guy took it away (he had owned a GT1 for ten years by then, played it a great deal and it had never needed any adjustment).
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#1713742 - 07/15/11 09:19 AM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2203
Loc: Sydney, Australia
I prefer the AG, however the V Grand sounds pretty good - less synthetic than I remember the V Piano sounding. More deep hammer thud would help the V Grand I think.

Greg.

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#1713811 - 07/15/11 11:48 AM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
jmcintyre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 228
Loc: Wash. DC area
Originally Posted By: ZacharyForbes
Also, I agree with you on the lack of mids in the V-Piano Grand. I do think the VPG sounds quite good in that video I posted, but there is still an absence of mids. It's like the shape of the sound of a V-Piano/Grand is like this U where the tops of the U are the bottom and highs, with a total lack of mids.


I have the FP-7F and I am still struggling with this same perception. Headphones and my nearfield monitors seem to exacerbate the problem - I've messed with the EQ quite a bit and still haven't been able to overcome it. I'm getting to the point where I actually prefer the onboard speakers.

I liked the V-Grand sound in the clip the OP referenced. I'm beginning to wonder if SN sounds better from a listener's perspective rather than that of a player.
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Kawai K-3, Roland FP-7F
Now: Brahms Op. 118, Bach French Suite #5

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#1713823 - 07/15/11 12:08 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: EssBrace]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5004
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
I can't see maintenance being an issue on the AGs...maybe after several years of really heavy use...by which time you can regulate it, as opposed to a standard DP plastic action that would be shot by then. I see the potential for regulation as a life-extending (for the piano!) advantage, not a disadvantage.



You might be interested to know that Kawai uses plastic now (including in their Shigeru Kawai concert grands), their rationale being that plastic lasts far longer than wood, never bends out of shape or swells due to humidity/drying out problems etc.

My childhood home's Yamaha vertical (in a tropical country) kept developing 'sticky' keys. Last time I visited, about 10 keys were completely stuck.

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#1713905 - 07/15/11 01:43 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Modern Yamaha actions are specifically made for centrally heated homes. The company is renowned for having brought consistency and reliability to the piano market. I just cannot see the AG suffering problems in the overwhelming majority of cases. I would also point out that, unlike Roland for instance, Yamaha use optical sensors - there is no mechanical stress or wear on the sensors. The keys of the AG are covered in Ivorite, the better Kawai grands use Neotex and the high end Kawai DPs use something very similar to Neotex. There are no reports that I have ever seen of premature failure of the key surface with any maker apart from Roland.

I'm not saying the PHA-III is not a good DP action. I've said many times what an agile, responsive action it is. I've owned three pianos equipped with it after all. But it is noisier than most, there are question marks over the resilience of the key surface and in terms of feel, it is not at all comparable with a real grand piano action.
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Yamaha CP1

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#1713907 - 07/15/11 01:46 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5004
Have a look at the Piano Forum to see what problems pianists experience with changes in humidity etc in their acoustic pianos. Yamaha is 'specifically made for centrally heated homes' - therein lies the problem.

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#1713911 - 07/15/11 01:52 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Not really - I live in a centrally heated home (as do most people in the developed world) so I'll be fine thanks. The woods that piano makers use are selected with the destination of the piano in mind so it will be better able to withstand environmental factors. I have a sneaking suspicion that had the V-Piano been equipped with a full wooden action, you would not have quite such a problem with the use of wood. Dare I suggest you would be rather pleased about it.
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Yamaha CP1

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#1713922 - 07/15/11 02:12 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: EssBrace]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1424
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
I have a sneaking suspicion that had the V-Piano been equipped with a full wooden action, you would not have quite such a problem with the use of wood. Dare I suggest you would be rather pleased about it.


As deep as as the V-Piano is, and quite obviously the V-Piano Grand too, they have plenty of space in the cabinets to have installed a full sized grand piano action. The V-Piano is 530mm deep, and the AvantGrand N2 is 531mm deep. Almost identical. The V-Piano Grand has more than enough space for a real grand piano action.

I just think at $20,000 and touted as a grand replacement, even going so far as to showcase it in a concert setting, Roland could have put a real grand piano action inside of it. They've got the R&D dollars for it. It just seems a bit odd that you can have the same action in Roland's $2,000 FP-7F that also goes into their $20,000 premier V-Piano Grand.

I'm not saying the PHA III isn't a wonderful and expressive action, but it doesn't compare to a real grand piano action. The place where my N1 is on hold is a Roland Piano dealer as well and they have an LX-10F for sale, and I played that after playing a Mason & Hamlin BB, Yamaha C7, and then my AvantGrand N1, and to no surprise, the LX-10F felt like, well, a digital piano. It's a really great action for digital pianos but not for an acoustic grand substitute.
_________________________
Yamaha AvantGrand N1
Nord Piano 2


"Be who you are and say how you feel. Because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

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#1714123 - 07/15/11 07:29 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: jmcintyre]
moleskincrusher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/04/10
Posts: 172
I'm not sure that I hear the much-discussed middle register dullness, etc. in the Roland SN APs (most of the criticism seems directed at the V-Piano; I have an FP-7F), but I AM sure what I want my AP patches to sound like, I'm not pleased with the default settings in the FP-7F, and I haven't found playing with the EQ menus to be helpful.

So what I've chosen to do is to turn OFF the Reverb and the Equalizer AT ALL TIMES and tailor the AP sounds exclusively through the subfunctions within Piano Designer. All of them.

Examples: (1) adjusting the Lid setting (0-1-2-3 for jazz ballads, 5-6 for uptempo); (2) increasing Cabinet Resonance above 4 (the higher settings add a reverb-like effect that I find less artificial than using the Reverb button); (3) playing with Duplex Scale (I like it at 1 rather than higher or Off).

I have found all the Designer subfunctions to affect the EQ to various extents.

(The settings above aren't prescriptions for others, just my personal preferences. And I must add that I find constant fiddling to be an enjoyable rather than a laborious pursuit. I can only imagine, if I had a V-Piano; I would have a feast.)

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#1714163 - 07/15/11 08:53 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: bennevis]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9041
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Yamaha is 'specifically made for centrally heated homes' - therein lies the problem.


Please explain why this is a problem.

As others have said, the PHAIII is a very capable digital piano action, however even the staunchest Roland fanboy would surely have to admit that it's not in the same league as the AvantGrand's real GP action.

Kind regards,
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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#1714479 - 07/16/11 01:56 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5004
It's a problem because a centrally heated home is assumed to have a constant dry atmosphere, not one that changes day by day, hour by hour. I've already said what happens in my apartment - the windows steam up when I hang up the washing (no, I haven't got a balcony to hang them up, nor a dryer somewhere else), or do some cooking - when the central heating is on, and windows closed as in the winter, or in summer when it's raining. I don't have a separate kitchen or washing/drying room with a door to keep moisture in.

I couldn't envisage having an expensive musical instrument that uses wooden moving parts in my home. But as I've already said, the Roland's key action satisfies me on all counts, and whether its key action is 'real' is beside the point - it's far more responsive and controllable than any upright's and quite a few grands, in any case. And switching directly from my V-Piano to an acoustic grand is easy - I don't even have to mentally adapt, unlike switching from an acoustic upright to a grand for example, when the difference in action is obvious immediately. It just feels right, and once I play, it doesn't cross my mind that I'm playing an electronic instrument. What does bothers me is not being able to 'feel'/hear a direct response to my every change of touch and dynamic, and a feeling that the sound isn't totally under my control (i.e. the instrument doesn't feel 'real'). And that applies to all sampled DPs that I've ever played: I'd be happy to practise on them occasionally, but they'd never be my only instrument

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#1714669 - 07/16/11 07:55 PM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9041
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Well, as long as you are satisfied with your Roland - that's obviously the most important thing.

Kind regards,
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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#2043682 - 03/06/13 12:41 AM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: bennevis]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: bennevis
As for the key action, I don't think having a 'real grand piano action' makes any difference to the playability...


The question is of course if the action in the Avantgrand can really be called a 'real grand piano action'. It comes very close of course, but it is made especially for the Avantgrand which is not a real grand piano, so, by definition, it is also not a real grand piano action.

Also, because of limitations in the implementation, in terms of articulation and differentiated sound production, it does not respond exactly like a real grand piano action either.

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#2043683 - 03/06/13 12:41 AM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: bennevis]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: bennevis
You might be interested to know that Kawai uses plastic now (including in their Shigeru Kawai concert grands), their rationale being that plastic lasts far longer than wood, never bends out of shape or swells due to humidity/drying out problems etc.

My childhood home's Yamaha vertical (in a tropical country) kept developing 'sticky' keys. Last time I visited, about 10 keys were completely stuck.


I have always found it mildly entertaining that Kawai touts their plastic parts in their real pianos and their wooden parts in their fake ones...

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#2043689 - 03/06/13 01:02 AM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: PianoZac]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9041
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: theJourney
I have always found it mildly entertaining that Kawai touts their plastic parts in their real pianos and their wooden parts in their fake ones...


tJ,

Kawai utilises ABS/ABS Carbon action parts in acoustic pianos as they are faster, transfer greater amounts of power, and are more durable than their traditional wooden counterparts.

Kawai utilises wooden keys in premium digital pianos due to wood's unique structural properties, resulting in a more satisfying, comfortable, and believable playing experience.

I hope this explanation helps.

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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#2043691 - 03/06/13 01:05 AM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: Kawai James]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: theJourney
I have always found it mildly entertaining that Kawai touts their plastic parts in their real pianos and their wooden parts in their fake ones...


tJ,

Kawai utilises ABS/ABS Carbon action parts in acoustic pianos as they are faster, transfer greater amounts of power, and are more durable than their traditional wooden counterparts.

Kawai utilises wooden keys in premium digital pianos due to wood's unique structural properties, resulting in a more satisfying, comfortable, and believable playing experience.

I hope this explanation helps.

James
x


Well, at the very least, it is entertaining! laugh

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#2043735 - 03/06/13 02:45 AM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: Kawai James]
Macy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 611
Originally Posted By: Kawai James

Kawai utilises ABS/ABS Carbon action parts in acoustic pianos as they are faster, transfer greater amounts of power, and are more durable than their traditional wooden counterparts.

Kawai utilises wooden keys in premium digital pianos due to wood's unique structural properties, resulting in a more satisfying, comfortable, and believable playing experience.

I hope this explanation helps.

James
x

Makes sense. You wouldn't want a faster, durable digital or a comfortable, satisfying acoustic piano.
_________________________
Macy

CVP-409GP, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, True Keys American D, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere

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#2043770 - 03/06/13 05:52 AM Re: Clash of the Titans: V-Piano Grand vs. AvantGrand N3 [Re: Kawai James]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 451
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: Kawai James

(...)
Kawai utilises wooden keys in premium digital pianos (...), resulting in a more (...) believable playing experience.
(...)


I truely like this! To have a strong believing is very important for everybody, even for the ones who believe that they are not believers. Otherwise doubts would spoil life for them. That´s why I believe to own the best DP for my situation, and it is not a V-Grand, and not an AG, but an even better instrument! wink
_________________________
learning Piano on my Roland HP-505
before playing Drums in adults bluesband on handpicked set; before crashing E-Guitar in kids garage band; raised on home entertainment Organ and Keyboard models Eminent Solina P240, Farfisa Maharani 259R, Technics KN800, and on Mouth Organ, Recorder and Accordion

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