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#1729351 - 08/09/11 11:52 AM Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard.
north Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 29
I wonder if any of you have had an opportunity to compare the keyboard action of the Nord Piano and the Nord Stage 2 HA88 ?

north

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#1729359 - 08/09/11 12:18 PM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: north]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1421
I have, and to me they feel just ever-so-slightly different. Almost like the Stage 2 action is very subtly compromised for better synth/organ action whereas the Nord Piano, being a dedicated Piano, has an action that is slightly better for piano playing. Also, the Stage 2 has Aftertouch which may be the reason for the different feel. We're talking a small, yet discernible difference. Could just be me though.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


"Life is a lot like jazz...it's best when you improvise."

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#1729373 - 08/09/11 12:33 PM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: north]
bfb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/11
Posts: 531
Loc: Atlanta GA USA
it would be critical to know how the velocity response is set up for the two boards, and how much flexibility YOU have to change it.

i've played neither, so i probably shouldn't comment but i want to pass this on to you - i love the sound of the Nord's AP- i asked someone who had posted audio demos about it. He was actually a stage 2 owner and told me he felt the velocity response was set way too fast for acoustic piano on the stage 2- probably to accomodate the organ/ synth playability. therefore he was using a different controller to access the Stage 2's AP's for recording- in order to get a slower, heavier velocity response. (that really turned me off as to wanting a stage 2)...

so you should really determine what your reason to own would be, and if its just to play piano- the piano 88 might be better suited and its certainly a lot less money. but that is just an observation on my part and i defer to owners of both/either.
_________________________

Steinway M; Roland V-Piano; Yamaha P250; Roland FP 5
Ivory II Grands, Italian, American D; Galaxy Vintage D; Alicia's Keys; Garritan Steinway; Galaxy Pianos; The Grand 3

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#1729382 - 08/09/11 01:01 PM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: north]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1421
Yeah Bruce, the Nord's velocity response, which has four settings on the Nord Piano, don't know for the Stage 2, and the default setting is the 'heaviest' as it were. I've found it to be a little too light even on the heaviest setting, which like a said is the default. If it had one or two more settings, it would be awesome. As it stands now, the NP88 is still one of the most responsive DPs I've played/owned.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


"Life is a lot like jazz...it's best when you improvise."

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#1729384 - 08/09/11 01:03 PM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: PianoZac]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: ZacharyForbes
We're talking a small, yet discernible difference. Could just be me though.


Nah, I felt it too. The NP is a tad more solid with maybe a little heavier action. The Stage felt more synthy and less substantial to me.

Similar, but not as dramatic, in comparing the Balanced action of the Yamaha Motif/S90s to the Graded actions of the P series stage pianos.
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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#1729416 - 08/09/11 01:53 PM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: north]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1421
Dave,

I just listened to your Groovin' High recording on the NP88 over at Soundcloud and it sounds really good. The Nord behaves very acoustically through a recording. That was definitely the Grand Lady D wasn't it? It sounds much better than the CP5, but on In Your Own Sweet Way they're about equal to me, with me leaning toward the NP88 still. I believe that's the Studio Grand 2 C7 on that one. The CP5, just like all the Yamahas I've owned, including my N1, have that classic boxed in digital, short decay sound during short punching comping. You can hear the sympathetic resonance on the Nord which I think really helps the helps. The CP5 does sound really good though. And the CP5 has much better action! Wish the CP5 action was inside the NP88...
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


"Life is a lot like jazz...it's best when you improvise."

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#1729696 - 08/09/11 09:32 PM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: PianoZac]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Hey Zac, thanks man.

That's funny. Again it shows how everyone hears these things completely differently. For me, I liked the CP5 with the drum track. It sounded richer and less compressed then the Nord. I definitely felt the playing was better with the Yamaha, more musical and expressive---because of its sound & action.

It was the Grand Lady D on GH, but as I've mentioned several times in previous threads where I posted this, I screwed up the recording by not panning the NP right and left, thus the sound isn't a full stereo image like with the CP5.

On IYOSW I definitely preferred the Nord Piano for solo. It sounds a little thinner in certain registers then the Yamaha, but more realistic and certainly a cooler type vibe going for it.

I'm definitely keeping the CP5. Have to decide again on a lightweight live board. It was going to be a slam dunk for the NP but now I'm considering saving the dough and just going with a P155b.

If it were for recording, the NP would be the choice hands down but live I still have my doubts regarding taming its idiosyncrasies through my gigging speakers.

In any case, I'm trying to sell some old Camco drums to fund the purchase so I'm not in a big hurry.
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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#1729846 - 08/10/11 12:56 AM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: Dave Ferris]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Did you you hear this fellow Sebastion/Cee's recording of the Grand Lady D over on the Nord forum ? It's over an Aebersold. To me it sounds much more flattering then my Groovin' High GLD recording. Really no *harpsichordy* thing going on at all.

http://www.box.net/shared/mi16lh2qf422l147ip27

He got the panning right. The moral of this almost story is--never record something at the end of a long day of teaching and rehearsals. cry
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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#1729889 - 08/10/11 03:28 AM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: north]
Aidan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/08
Posts: 371
Loc: UK
Just to return to the original topic for a moment, I also found the NS2 action far lighter than the NP88. When the Stage 2 came out I wondered whether I should bite the bullet and trade up but I don't think I'd be happy with it for long-term solo piano work.

Although I've found before now that aftertouch sensors can radically alter a keybed's feel, in this case I don't think they're to blame. I believe it's established that Nord now customise these Fatar actions when they arrive, so they've probably just altered the weighting to be a better compromise for organ/synth stuff.

Anyway, the GAS has gone for the Stage 2 right now, especially as I've just spent a wedge of cash on a used XLK3 lower manual for my Hammond.



Dave, that's a nice recording you linked to. I must revisit the Grand Lady D - at the moment it's not on my Nord as I'm mostly using the Bosie or Bright Grand live. The Grand Imperial needs careful equalisation but sounds great in solo settings, the Bright Grand is my "goto" for band gigs.
_________________________
Yamaha CP40 | Hammond SK1-61 | Kurzweil PC361

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#1729893 - 08/10/11 03:44 AM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: north]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8401
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Great setup Aidan!

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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#1729928 - 08/10/11 06:28 AM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: north]
Aidan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/08
Posts: 371
Loc: UK
Thanks James! Yeah, I feel I've pretty got all the bases covered now for whatever job:

Solo piano: Nord
My jazz and blues band: Nord + Hammond top manual
Function band depping: Nord + Kurz or Kurz + Hammond
Future organ trio project: XK System

It feels like I've got to the point where I've pretty much got "best of breed" in all areas, so my GAS is now shifting towards better PA and stuff LOL - it has to go somewhere, I guess!
_________________________
Yamaha CP40 | Hammond SK1-61 | Kurzweil PC361

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#1729996 - 08/10/11 10:16 AM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: Kawai James]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1421
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Did you you hear this fellow Sebastion/Cee's recording of the Grand Lady D over on the Nord forum ? It's over an Aebersold. To me it sounds much more flattering then my Groovin' High GLD recording. Really no *harpsichordy* thing going on at all.

http://www.box.net/shared/mi16lh2qf422l147ip27

He got the panning right. The moral of this almost story is--never record something at the end of a long day of teaching and rehearsals. cry


Wow Dave, Sebastian's recording sounds really authentic. That'd be tough for anyone without seriously trained ears. That's the best I've probably ever heard a digital piano sound. Thanks for the link.
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Great setup Aidan!

James
x


+1! Great set up Aidan. Also, on topic, interesting you found the action on the Stage 2 to be so much lighter. I think your intuitions in regard to Nord adjusting the action to cater more for organ/synth playing seems to make sense. I say, for those who want a solid piano for gigging, the NP88 is the choice to beat.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


"Life is a lot like jazz...it's best when you improvise."

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#1730007 - 08/10/11 10:50 AM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: Aidan]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1171
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Aidan
Just to return to the original topic for a moment, I also found the NS2 action far lighter than the NP88. When the Stage 2 came out I wondered whether I should bite the bullet and trade up but I don't think I'd be happy with it for long-term solo piano work.



Well they are different instruments designed for different markets. If all you want to do is play piano then there is no point in having a stage and if you want to play organ/synth/control something then the piano isn't really going to work well.
Action is of course a very personal thing so you may take what I say with a pinch of salt but I quite like the action on the stage. It is well too light of course but I am finding it pretty good for piano playing especially now I am getting used to it. There are better actions out there but there are no better actions at this weight I think (the 76 weighs 16.5kg).
Actually I would probably have got the piano but the lack of a pitch bend and mod was the deal breaker for me.
But I do not regret getting the stage in the slightest. The interface is just fantastic, so great for quickly adjusting and changing sounds. I love it.
The only thing that I really wish is that there was better control over the velocity curve as, coming from a board with a heavier action, the higher velocity samples are reached a bit too early for me. The positive side of the light action is that it is really really easy to play fast.
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/davebeeboss

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#1730033 - 08/10/11 11:52 AM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: north]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1421
Good overview beeboss. I think actions are the same on both but Nord more than likely made some adjustments to the Stage 2 to make it more friendly for other keyboard work. Do you have a Stage 2? I didn't singer time on the 88 and it was a monster board. Ask of the sounds were absolutely top notch.

Just a note, but the Nord Piano doesn't have a pitch bend/mod wheel because it only is capable of acoustic piano oriented instruments, so there's no real use.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


"Life is a lot like jazz...it's best when you improvise."

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#1730049 - 08/10/11 12:27 PM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: north]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1171
Loc: uk south
Yes I have a NS2.
Pitch bend/mod would have been very useful for me on the nord piano because although I normally play piano sometimes I like to control modules/laptop. I don't require sophisticated midi control stuff but pitch bend and mod is the minimum I need. I only want to use one board so it has to do that, hence I had to choose the NS2 over the piano.
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/davebeeboss

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#1731623 - 08/12/11 10:27 AM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: north]
north Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 29

Thank you all for the answers.

I have been reading this forum for months now to find out, which digital piano I should buy, and I have come up with a conclusion, that in a way surprises myself !

To begin with, I quickly liked the Roland RD-700NX and the Yamaha CP5, and i have been listening to sound samples of these two and many others for the last few months.

Now I think, the SuperNatural sound of the Roland is not really natural compared to the sounds from the Nord Piano Library, and the same applies to the sounds from the Yamaha CP5 as well.
Another drawback of the CP5 is the complicated user interface, which may shift the focus from learning to play the piano to learning how to program it !

So i really like the Nord sounds, and then I wanted to find out, if it was an idea to get everything in one box,- the Stage 2, or just get the Nord Piano. Hence my question about keyboard action on the Nords.

And in order to achieve my goal of learning to play piano properly my conclusion is, that it might be best to select the Nord Piano, which have (in my opinion) wonderful piano- as well as electric piano sounds, and not much else.
It means no 2-300 other sounds, layers and effects to play around with, and so what, I can always buy another keyboard later, that can do all this stuff. the most important to me is playing the piano.

What do you think, a good conclusion, or ?

One question to Nord Piano owners:
which stand is good, the original EX from Clavia: http://www.thomann.de/de/clavia_nord_stage_keyboard_stand.htm

or perhaps one like this: http://www.thomann.de/de/km_18953.htm

Best regards

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#1731635 - 08/12/11 10:49 AM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: north]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
If budget were not an issue, even just for piano playing, I'd lean toward the Stage 2 over the Nord Piano, because the Stage 2 has the new "long release" function which makes the pianos sound/play better. The fact that you can play so many other sounds, split and layer sounds, etc. is a bonus. ;-) However, I can't speak to whether the action feels any different.

Though also, based on playing the Stage 2 which is at least similar if not identical to the NP, and playing the Roland FP-7F which is likewise similar to the RD-700NX you liked, I feel confident in saying that the RD-700NX, FP-7F, and Yamaha CP5 all have better feeling actions than the Nords. Like you, though, I prefer Nord's sound to Roland. (I wasn't able to hear the CP5 in a good enough environment to feel I can offer an opinion on how it sounds relative to the others. But so much of this is subjective anyway...)

As for the CP5 interface... I think if you use it ONLY to play piano--i.e. the way you would use a Nord Piano anyway--and so don't get into all the other things it can do, then you probably don't have to worry much about complexity.

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#1731642 - 08/12/11 10:56 AM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: north]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1421
To be totally honest North, if you're worried about technique and learning to play the piano, both the Nord Piano and Stage 2 aren't adequate for that. You'd be best off going with the RD-700NX, and check out the Kawai MP10 as well which has a superb action for piano, and to me sounds better than the CP5 and as good as the RD-700NX.

If you've got the budget to buy the Nord Stage 2, if I were you, I'd get the Nord Piano and a good controller keyboard for it's action, say the Yamaha CP33 or P155 for $999 and use it to control the Nord sounds. Then you get the benefits of the Nord Piano Library but a better action. Is this piano for gigging or more for home use? The Nord Piano is targeted much more for gigging hence the straight forward use interface, and the compromised action. It's lightweight which means the action isn't as good as the CP5, RD-700NX, or MP10. If this is mostly for just piano, also look at the Roland FP-7F.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


"Life is a lot like jazz...it's best when you improvise."

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#1731658 - 08/12/11 11:12 AM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: PianoZac]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: ZacharyForbes
If you've got the budget to buy the Nord Stage 2, if I were you, I'd get the Nord Piano and a good controller keyboard for it's action, say the Yamaha CP33 or P155 for $999 and use it to control the Nord sounds. Then you get the benefits of the Nord Piano Library but a better action.

Even better, perhaps... instead of the Nord Piano, get a Nord Electro 3, it has almost the same piano sounds. If you're going to be driving it from another controller anyway, the action and lack of full 88 keys on an Electro doesn't matter. The Electro will be cheaper and provide a whole lot of other sounds and capabilities (plus give you something very portable if you ever happen to need it). What you'd lose is the ability to load in as many different piano sounds at once (they have less RAM), and you couldn't use the very largest of the Nord piano samples (the two "XL" versions they have), and you don't have the added other-keys-down damper resonance. OTOH, the HP model of the E3 has the long release feature that the Nord Piano doesn't have. So there are pros and cons to each combination...

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#1731680 - 08/12/11 11:35 AM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: PianoZac]
north Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 29
Originally Posted By: ZacharyForbes
To be totally honest North, if you're worried about technique and learning to play the piano, both the Nord Piano and Stage 2 aren't adequate for that. You'd be best off going with the RD-700NX, and check out the Kawai MP10 as well which has a superb action for piano, and to me sounds better than the CP5 and as good as the RD-700NX.

If you've got the budget to buy the Nord Stage 2, if I were you, I'd get the Nord Piano and a good controller keyboard for it's action, say the Yamaha CP33 or P155 for $999 and use it to control the Nord sounds. Then you get the benefits of the Nord Piano Library but a better action. Is this piano for gigging or more for home use? The Nord Piano is targeted much more for gigging hence the straight forward use interface, and the compromised action. It's lightweight which means the action isn't as good as the CP5, RD-700NX, or MP10. If this is mostly for just piano, also look at the Roland FP-7F.


this piano is mainly for home use, and I know, that the piano is more targeted for gigging, but Nord does not have any pianos specifically for home use, and still, - I really like the Nord sounds.

But Zachary, do you mean, that it´s impossible to learn piano-playing on the Nord piano because of the compromised action ?

Bear in mind, that what I want to achieve, is to be fair on playing the piano. Of course I want to be as good as possible, but I don't imagine to become a piano super star any time soon.
I hope, you understand what I mean, since english is not my native language.

Best regards

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#1731691 - 08/12/11 11:57 AM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: north]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: north
But Zachary, do you mean, that it´s impossible to learn piano-playing on the Nord piano because of the compromised action ?

I think that would be an over-statement. The Nord action is not the best piano action, but it's certainly not the worst either. I would certainly not say it would be impossible to learn to play on one. I've had students who started learning to play on worse.

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#1731698 - 08/12/11 12:04 PM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: north]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1421
Yeah good suggestions anotherscott. I agree.

North, yeah the NP88 is definitely adequate for casual piano playing technique wise no doubt and no it's not impossible by any means to learn to play piano on the NP88. I started learning piano on a 61 key Roland synth. But I wouldn't want to develop technique on the NP88. It's no knock on the NP88 either, btw, as Nord wasn't trying to emulate a grand piano action, but just a good solid action for piano playing in a lightweight package. I love mine, and it's perfect for the gigging piano player. But the reason I forked out the money for the N1 is because I need an acoustic action. Have you played the NP88 or Stage 2? If you haven't you should, and play others as well, because impressions in person are always different than listening to samples online.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


"Life is a lot like jazz...it's best when you improvise."

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#1731744 - 08/12/11 01:19 PM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: north]
Per Baekgaard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/21/11
Posts: 53
Loc: Danmark
Originally Posted By: north

Now I think, the SuperNatural sound of the Roland is not really natural compared to the sounds from the Nord Piano Library, and the same applies to the sounds from the Yamaha CP5 as well.

...

So i really like the Nord sounds, and then I wanted to find out, if it was an idea to get everything in one box,- the Stage 2, or just get the Nord Piano. Hence my question about keyboard action on the Nords.



I have a Nord Electro 3 (that has pretty much the same sounds as the Nord Piano, just a bit smaller memory) and a Roland RD700NX.

I am post the "just got this and it is better than everything else" stage :-) So I can honestly say that all of the 3 you mention have their pro's and con's.

Between the NP88 (or NS2), CP5 and RD700NX, I'd say the RD700NX has the most piano-like action and plays really well. The piano sounds are less "Roland'ish" than what they used to -- and that comes from a guy that played a Yamaha board for years as I hated the Roland piano sound... In fact, they sound really good and rich, and are just a tad less sensitive to bad amplification than the Nord sounds, which needs good amplification and careful EQ (as a real piano does). The e-piano sounds are tweakable and useable, but I like the Nord e-pianos better.

The Nord is very enjoyable and playable. If I should only get one board that could do piano, e-piano and organ, I'd get the NS2. But the keyboard is a compromise and not as good for piano playing as the RD700NX or the CP5. If I wanted mainly a piano board, I'd get the RD700NX. If I wanted only an e-piano, I'd get the Nord (or the CP5). The Nord is really very very good for e-piano playing! Just for completion: if I wanted only organ, it would obviously be a Nord (C2 or Electro 3).

The Nord pianos are very good and varied. Nevertheless, they suffer a bit from the stretched sample set (also the XL ones), and some of them have a slightly "boxy" sound. The boards without the long release have a slightly "harpsichordy" sound to them as well -- that was one of the key points for me not getting the NP88, which lacks the long release.

The CP5 is very good for e-piano; better than the RD700NX for that, but not better than the Nord; just different. I happen to like the Nord e-piano's a lot -- all the Yamaha's have their "signature" sound for (e-)piano as well, and are easily recognisable in a song when you have heard the sound a lot, like the old Roland acoustic pianoes were.

But the Nord e-piano samples are also quite small, and even if I find them excellent and have a slight preference vs. the Yamaha's, they also have their shortcomings (try to play e.g. rootless 4-voice chords and see how easily you can hear the individual tones -- or try how easy it is to control going from soft to barking sounds and how many gradations you can get).

The action on the CP5 is pretty good, but the piano on the CP5 is less "full" than the two others. It is very good in a mix or for fast jazz-lines, but it does not have the same kind of body or sustain that both the RD700NX and the Nords have. Sometimes this is an advantage, though. But after spending some 6+ hours going between the RD700NX and the CP5, I picked the RD700NX to complement the Electro 3. Others would probably pick the CP5 :-)

Anyway, it sounds to me as if you have already made up your mind on a Nord product, and indeed they are very good. So I don't want to discourage you, just say that all of those mentioned are compromises one way or the other -- the Nord is a very good compromise, but not perfect. I can pick between the Nord and the Roland RD700NX sounds for acoustic piano when I bring both boards and MIDI them together, and I usually pick the Roland SN sound for my playing. For most e-pianos and always for organs, I pick the Nord sounds.

At the end of the day, all 3 (or 4): NP88 (NS2), CP5 and RD700NX, are really excellent products and just so much better than what you could get 8-10 years ago!


... I think I have said most of this also previously in other threads or PM's, so sorry for the repetition. Just wanted to put this "update" here after having spent some more time with my selections :-)


-- Per.
_________________________
Hornung & Møller Acoustic Grand
Roland RD-700NX, Nord Electro 3, Yamaha P150, Roland JV-80

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#1731802 - 08/12/11 02:36 PM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: Per Baekgaard]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
That's a very accurate summation of all those keyboards Per.

The sound and action is so subjective on all these, you really have to find the one that fits your style of music and playing the best. Each one has its strong points and compromises.
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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#1732100 - 08/13/11 07:00 AM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: PianoZac]
north Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 29
Originally Posted By: ZacharyForbes
Yeah good suggestions anotherscott. I agree.

North, yeah the NP88 is definitely adequate for casual piano playing technique wise no doubt and no it's not impossible by any means to learn to play piano on the NP88. I started learning piano on a 61 key Roland synth. But I wouldn't want to develop technique on the NP88. It's no knock on the NP88 either, btw, as Nord wasn't trying to emulate a grand piano action, but just a good solid action for piano playing in a lightweight package. I love mine, and it's perfect for the gigging piano player. But the reason I forked out the money for the N1 is because I need an acoustic action. Have you played the NP88 or Stage 2? If you haven't you should, and play others as well, because impressions in person are always different than listening to samples online.

I tried to play the Nord Piano 88 very briefly, but I have not yet seen the Stage 2 in shops around here.

I might go to Copenhagen - Denmark by the end of next week, and I think there is one shop that have it on display, so I can try it out.

did any one have experience with these stands:

http://www.thomann.de/de/clavia_nord_stage_keyboard_stand.htm

http://www.thomann.de/de/km_18953.htm

Best regards

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#1732103 - 08/13/11 07:18 AM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: north]
north Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 29
well, thank you again for all contributions, not least to Per for his comprehensive summation of the various keyboards.

All the digital pianos have imperfections, so, I think Dave Ferris says it pretty well:

"The sound and action is so subjective on all these, you really have to find the one that fits your style of music and playing the best. Each one has its strong points and compromises."

And in this process it is very nice to have this forum, whose members are very knowledgable.

Best regards.

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#1732618 - 08/14/11 01:07 AM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: north]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Found this nosing around for NS2 demos. Very nice.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdkpmgdCLZg
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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#1732657 - 08/14/11 05:07 AM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: Dave Ferris]
north Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 29
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Found this nosing around for NS2 demos. Very nice.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdkpmgdCLZg


I found the same video last night, indeed very nice.

Now, if you did not watch this video in HD - 720p yet, try to view it in it's default 360p solution (and not full screen) and just listen to the music.

Question to the trained ears: cool

Can you hear, if the long release (mentioned earlier by anotherscott and Per Baekgaard) is switched on on the piano sounds ?

Best regards

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#1732668 - 08/14/11 06:52 AM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: north]
ZeroZero Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 208
Loc: UK
I am just going through similar choices.

I just bought a stage 2 (revision b) and after a week I was so unhappy with the sounds that it went back.

I want to say up front that I am not a keyboard player, I play sax mainly and have a decent studio with things like TruePianos, Omnisphere, Absynth, NI B4. I have lots of Piano VSTs over the years from NI, Steinberg and a host of stuff with Kontakt and Halion - old school now. I have been using TruePianos Diamond module as my goto.

For the last four years I have been hot-housing myself on keys, playing 3-15 hrs a day - some physical problems preventing me playing the sax.

I also owned an early KeyB which I sold to get the Stage 2. I have a nord electro 2 also.

I play jazz and rock.


I know little about touch for the piano - so I can't deal with this perspective. I learnt piano on waterfall keys mostly (oops!)

I was very eager to get the Stage 2. When I got it home and plugged it into the studio I dowloaded the XL sizes of the pianos and then plugged in the MIDI to my studio.
I was hoping for one excellent piano which I could grow to love. I found a mass of compromises. The keyboard is very well built and the interface is amazingly thoughtful for an all rounder, but the sounds, none of them satisfied me, with the possible expetion of the organs. I think this is due to the lack of disk space, there is simply too many instruments crammed in to too little disk space, IMO.

The Synth section
I own some good VST synths my favorites being Absynth and Omnisphere. I was hoping that, with the addition of the ability to use samples, I would hear Omni like sounds, but what I found was cheesy eighties disco type sounds. Auditioning the synth samples they all seemed to be not of high quality - especially the vox samples - sounding like frebbies from an old computer mag. I think they were all sixteen bit? Maybe you could get this going with some better samples and some work of your own.

The Piano section:
Again, I am not an expert, and it must be said that this is a stage piano and what I was looking for was perhaps a studio type emulation, but I found compromises everywhere. For a start the whole idea of having small medium and large samples is a compromise there can be no doubt about that. The biggest XL grand comes in at 198 megabytes. By comparison the largest offering on the planet is VLS's gigantic offering the Imperial - at 60 gigabytes I make that 700 times larger. Ivory II is 22 gig. I know we are talking flash memory, (and yes there is the question of load up times) but half a gig? For everything?
I wonder how many seperate samples have been used, how many layers, how compressed the sounds were, were the samnples lossy? After playing for hours every day for a week the Stage had to go for this reason alone - the painos. I did not need a synth so this was not part of the equation.

Aurally I could not get on with the paino sounds and found it to be synthy in direct comparison to the TruePianos Diamond Module http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsd2SJThgjU. Touch wise, from my non expert perspective, the keyboard of the Nord seemed to come alive with the TruePiano (which is also small and cantradicts my hypothesis) as soon as I switch back to the Audio coming from the Nord, the keyboard felt singlificantly less vivacious and things like trills became hard work.

The Organ section
For me the best part. until the week before I had had a KeyB mark 1. I also used the B4 VST. I like the B4 for its wide range of cabinet emulations and for its presets. On occasions I used my Nord Electro.
The Hammond on the Nord Stage 2 is well laid out, I would have preferred some kiond of rocker switches to the 'drawbuttons' which arent grabable. I can see Nords point in not using sliders (as the presets would not be reflected when selected), but a rocker switch could be better I think.
Aurally its difficult to compare one Hammond to another as various settings have to be spot on to make the comparison. I have never owned a real Hammond, but I would guess that each beast has its own personality anyways. I ran quite a few tests and found the Hammond sounds to be good but thinner that the other organs I have. This was not too bad, as there were plenty of ways of compensating for this.

The Leslie emulation was quite good as well, certainly useable, I found the fast speed of the Leslie to be faster than I was used to. I search for a setting to slow it down but did not find one, I did find a setting to differ the acceleration speed from slow to fast - the brake speed.
On the Nord Stage 2 there are some different Hammond organs, I selected each one but did not find any marked difference. I only spent five minutes on this ands its possible that I did not discover the right attributes.
I did like the Vox and Farfisa which were to my untutored ears very good. The fact that the organ interfaced provided a close emulation of the original controls, brought tghe epxerience from being two dimensional to three dimensional. I have never owned either of these organs but I found the epxeirence of using them to creat Door's like runs very rewarding.

My conclusions

For me the synth was unremarkable - especially the preloaded examples - nothing exceptional at all. The Pianos I could not live with, they may be all right for cutting through the mix of a rock band ( I would rather have something better) but in the studio (OK its not what its designed for) I could not use it for either practice or for recording. If the Stage 2 had stayed in my studio, then it would have been a MIDI controller for TruePianos.

I think I am going to end up with a Nord C2 for organ sounds and a dedicated stage paino sound as the Roland RD700x or a Yamaha CP1.

If anyone want to recoomend anything else I would appreciate it.

Zero




Edited by ZeroZero (08/14/11 07:12 AM)

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#1732886 - 08/14/11 04:23 PM Re: Nord Piano keyboard vs. Nord Stage 2 keyboard. [Re: north]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1421
ZeroZero, sorry to hear of your disappointment. I was on a seemingly never ending pursuit of a great sounding, great playing, lightweight flexible professional keyboard to gig. Over the years I've had the P80, CP300 (not lightweight), RD-700GXF, RD-300GX, RD-700NX, and now the Nord Piano. The Nord's pianos took a little while to get used to, as did the action (esp coming from the RD-700GXF/RD-700NX). But I've found through my own ears, and through countless compliments from FOH engineers, and engineers in the studio recording the NP88, that it's an amazing sounding keyboard. Nord's acoustic pianos and electric pianos combined with the string/sympathetic resonance and pedal modeling are the best sounding of any keyboard I've had both live and in the studio. The action, while a compromise and the only debatable weakness to me that the NP88 has is still quite good and very responsive. Granted it's no action to build solid technique on, but it's still great for it's intended purpose.

I'm coming in on my 3rd week owning the AvantGrand N1, and I can say without a doubt the Nord's pianos sound better by a long shot with headphones. I hooked up my NP88 to my AG N1 and was blown away all over again with the Nord's pianos. They're so alive and organic sounding. Of course the story changes when you play the AG through its own speakers, which thus takes advantage of the Spatial Acoustic Sampling methods Yamaha used when recording the AG samples...you only get a stereo image from the AG with headphones which is why it loses much of its fidelity IMHO.

The bottom line is that, the sound and feel of these things is so subjective, but the Nord's AP and EP sounds with the details and imperfections are the most authentic and playable samples I've ever heard in a DP. Everything else sound bland and boring after a small amount of time. I would highly highly highly recommend either the NP88 or NS2.

Side note, but I played the NP88 for a gig this morning, and I haven't played it about three weeks, other than hooking it up to the AG once, (not been gigging much lately) and it was so fun to play. I actually really appreciate and enjoyed the action, which I've been on record before as not caring too much for it. After spending a lot of time behind a real grand piano action, I actually found the NP88 action quite responsive and quite enjoyable to play. It reaffirmed my adoration of the Nords! smile

ZeroZero I would recommend the RD-700NX if you're looking for a solid piano, but the CP5 IMHO would work better live. To my ears, much of the warmth and detail in the SuperNATURAL pianos of the Roland disappear in a live mix, esp if you're playing rock and jazz. Those are genres of music where the Yamaha sound really shines.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


"Life is a lot like jazz...it's best when you improvise."

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