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#1786692 - 11/10/11 08:42 PM Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9682
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Good morning folks,

Below is an edited version of a report about my visit to the Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 last weekend. Please note that the opinions expressed in the report are entirely my own, and not those of my employer.

■ Introduction
The Japan Musical Instrument Fair (‘Gakki Fair’) is a four day biennial musical instrument trade show, held at the ‘Pacifico’ convention centre, Yokohama (approximately 30 minutes from central Tokyo). The fair invites domestic and overseas manufactures to showcase their latest musical instruments to the general public, with product demonstrations, concerts, and even tutoring workshops.

■ Kawai
Located a short distance from the main entrance, the Kawai area was the first booth to be visited. I’m obviously rather familiar with Kawai’s instruments, however it was still a good opportunity to watch consumers playing the strong selection of different acoustic and digital pianos on show. One surprise was seeing the ‘M’ art-deco grand piano, based on an original design from the 1940s.


A range of instruments on show at the Kawai booth.

■ Clavia
One of the few non-Japanese keyboard manufacturers to attend at this year’s show, Clavia exhibited a selection of their Nord instruments inside a bright red double-decker bus – a nice touch from the Swedes. Onboard the ‘Nord bus’ were three models that have recently been launched in Japan: the ‘C2’ dual-manual clonewheel organ, the ‘Electro 3 HP’, and the impressive ‘Stage 2’.


Stage 2 (left) and Electro 3 HP (right) onboard the Nord bus.

I chatted briefly to the Korg employee representing Clavia, commenting on the similarities of the Korg SV-1 with Nord models such as the Electro, and querying whether there is perhaps a conflict of interests for Korg, distributing a rival’s instruments that ‘overlap’ their own models. He smiled, reassuring me that Korg work equally hard to distribute and support Clavia instruments throughout Japan.

■ Korg
Stepping off the Nord bus, I arrived at the Korg booth, which featured a stage area, new product introduction tutorials, and stands for playing existing models. The latest ‘Kronos’ workstation featured very prominently, with artists/clinicians providing live, interactive demonstrations every 45 minutes.


A Korg clinician introduces features of the Kronos workstation.

Upon sitting down at one of the Kronos demo machines, I immediately did a power cycle to check the startup screen and boot time. The instrument took approximately 2m:30s to startup, however the representative noted that this could be improved by adjusting the preloaded sound settings. As others have noted, the build quality felt a little cheap, however the acoustic and electric pianos were very impressive. I particularly enjoyed tweaking the EPs, adding pedal effects etc., although the touchscreen interface was a little unreliable when trying to access small text menus.

After the Kronos, I spent a little time playing on the ‘MicroArranger’ instrument. This is an interesting addition to the existing ‘Micro’ range, with some great sounds and accompaniment styles taken from previous generation Korg workstations. I’m not terribly keen on the mini-keys, however at 50,000 JPY, this compact board could prove popular within some niche markets.


The new Korg MicroArranger was a real hit with the overgrown boys.

Among the other instruments on display, I noticed a new ‘SP-170DX’, which featured a stand and triple-pedal accessory at a very competitive (e.g. less than Casio Privia) price.


The new Korg SP-170DX, with triple-pedal accessory unit.

■ Suzuki/Hammond
Walking towards the Suzuki/Hammond booth, I could hear a nice, swinging organ groove, and arrived to find Daisuke Kawai sat at a new ‘SK-2’ double manual clonewheel, connected to a large Leslie cabinet. The crowd were clearly enjoying the artist’s clean licks, with the sound from the organ and speaker distinctively warm and classic.


Daisuke Kawai grooving on the new Hammond SK-2.

After Kawai-san’s set had finished, I gave the smaller, single manual ‘SK-1’ a try, eager to compare it to my beloved Electro3. The interface was reasonably straight forward, and the ‘Extra Voice’ sounds (pianos, EPs, etc.) were acceptable. However, this is a Hammond, so the organ simulation is obviously the focus of the instrument – this aspect of the board was very impressive, with real drawbars, and selectable Leslie cabinet simulations. Really great fun!


The new Hammond SK-1: average ‘extra’ voices, but awesome organ sounds.

■ Casio
After a brief refreshment break, I headed over to the Casio booth, keen to check the improvements made to the recently announced model updates. The Casio booth was rather large, with a strong emphasis on the Privia line. I played the PX-135 briefly, comparing it to the PX-330 and PX-3 – in terms of action, there didn’t feel like a great deal of difference between the three boards, with the PX-135 keys still suffering from a fair amount of side-to-side ‘wiggle’ movement.


The new Casio PX-135 – a minor revision.

I asked one of the booth representative to clarify the main differences between the PX-135 and older PX-130. He noted that the PX-135 features two additional piano sounds, and a slightly revised cabinet finish (single colour instead of two-tone). I queried the possibility of action improvements, and was told that while the actions were structurally the same, the PX-135 actions had a great amount (or different type?) of grease applied at the factory.

Comparing the PX-735 with the PX-730, he noted a more attractive silver finish on the lid lip, and a stronger, reinforced pedal board.

I also enquired as to why ‘Modern’, rather than ‘Classical’ is the default piano sound on Privia instruments. The rep explained that Casio does not have the strong acoustic piano legacy of Yamaha or Kawai, and that most Privia customers will likely be playing ‘modern’ piano music rather than classical works of Beethoven or Chopin – a point reinforced by the presence of technical artist Tempei Nakamura.


Tempei Nakamura demonstrating the latest Privia models.

■ Yamaha
As Japan’s largest musical instrument manufacturer, Yamaha’s booth was very impressive, separating its products into ‘Black’ (digital) and ‘White’ (acoustic/hybrid) areas.

Walking into the keyboards section of the ‘Black’ area I was immediately drawn to the flagship ‘CP1’ stage piano. And enjoyed playing with the acoustic piano and EP sounds. The ‘NW Stage’ action is very playable, and responds/connects incredibly well to the instrument’s impressive tone generator. I have played this model on a number of occasions, so knew exactly what to expect, yet still found it to be a very impressive (if rather overpriced) instrument.


Yamaha ‘Black’ area: SX synths and CP stage pianos. A youngster checks the CP1's string/pedal resonance implementation.

Aside from the CP1, Yamaha also exhibited S70XS/S90XS and Motif boards, and a selection of domestic-only ‘Electone’/’D-Deck’ models. Surprisingly, however, there were no Clavinova, Arius or other ‘home’ digital piano instruments on display.

The atmosphere of the contrasting ‘White’ area was rather different, with polished brass and woodwind instruments, and a considerable amount of space dedicated to the AvantGrand ‘hybrid’ pianos.


Yamaha ‘White’ area: Acoustic pianos and AvantGrand ‘hybrids’.

I was keen to play-test the latest ‘N1’ AvantGrand instrument, as this model – the most competitively priced of the range – is apparently selling well in Europe and the US, and also proving to be rather popular among a number of PianoWorld forum regulars.

My first impressions of the N1 were highly positive – the instrument looks very attractive, with an excellent build-quality, and acoustic-class polished finish. The instrument’s sound through both speakers and headphones was rich and clear, with the keyboard action exceptionally good. I cycled through the handful of additional sounds using the cheek-block control panel (simple, but functional), but immediately returned to the first piano sound.

I continued to play the N1 for almost an hour, stopping occasionally to ask questions to the attending booth staff. Conscious of the time, I eventually left the Yamaha booth, but concluded that the N1 was among the best (and most expensive) piano-oriented digital pianos I had ever played.


The AvantGrand ‘hybrid’ instruments proved popular with all ages.

■ Roland
The main Roland booth was also of a good size, thoughtfully arranged, and with an excellent selection of the latest instruments. Having recently played a Yamaha AvantGrand, I was obviously keen to try Roland’s new flagship ‘V-Piano Grand’ model, however my initial impressions were less favourable. Despite its grand piano shape, the visual appearance of the instrument somehow lacked prestige. Whereas the AvantGrands looked classic and elegant, the V-Piano Grand design appeared dated, and even ugly; it’s polished finish ‘plasticy’, and inferior to that of an acoustic piano.

I performed a quick power-cycle to ensure the default settings were in use, and began to play. The bass notes had a strong, deep resonance to them, however the tone became gradually more metallic as I played further-up the keyboard. The instrument’s PHAIII action felt light and playable, but ultimately rather unsatisfying (admittedly, the N1 was always going to be an impossible act to follow) with a loud ‘thumping’ sound when playing with force.

Roland clearly intends the V-Piano Grand to compete with Yamaha’s premium AvantGrand models. However, with reportedly poor sales of the original V-Piano, it’s difficult to envisage the larger (arguably oversized) and more expensive (arguably overpriced) grand piano version being any more successful – especially without a more realistic keyboard action.


The new Roland V-Piano Grand: disappointingly ordinary.

Announced in mid-October, the LX-15 was another new instrument I was keen to try. This model – an update of the LX-10F – features SuperNatural sound technology and the PHAIII keyboard action (as found in a number of Roland models, including the V-Piano Grand). Its attractive, black polish upright piano-like cabinet, will likely see this model compete with the Kawai CS9 – it is being marketed as a ‘classical piano’-oriented instrument, with a limited selection of sounds and features, and a smaller LCD display than previous models.


The new Roland LX-15: Attractive cabinet, toned-down feature set.

I spent a little while chatting with one of the Roland representatives inside the booth, and began by asking how the V-Piano Grand differs from the original V-Piano. He explained that both models utilise the same keyboard action and physical modelling sound technology, but that the V-Piano Grand offers a powerful, integrated speaker system, and is obviously shaped liked a real grand piano.

Next, I gestured towards the original V-Piano, querying exactly why the instrument was so much larger and heavier than the RD-700NX placed beside it, and suggested that perhaps the V’s action used longer key sticks, constructed from a different material. He confirmed that the PHAIII action in the two models was identical, but explained that the additional size and weight of the V-Piano was due to a stronger chassis construction, allowing greater support and stability.

Finally, I asked the chap his thoughts on Korg’s Kronos workstation, and how he felt it competes with the Roland ‘Fantom’ range. He believed that the Kronos was an impressive product from a technical and programming/development perspective, but that it didn’t ‘feel’ like an integrated musical instrument – more like a keyboard with a computer attached.

■ Closing Thoughts
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to this year’s ‘Gakki Fair’, and spent far longer than I had anticipated at the show. It was a terrific opportunity to play-test the latest instruments from the main manufacturers, while also quizzing representatives from each company about current and future developments within the industry. The Korg Kronos stood-out as one of the major advances in digital piano technology, even if aspects of the user interface and interaction with the instrument itself still feels a little too ‘raw’.

However, the highlight of the show was, without a doubt, the excellent Yamaha AvantGrand N1 – a beautiful piano that is truly a joy to play. Certainly, the instrument’s premium price-tag will likely exceed the budget of most digital piano customers, however I strongly believe that even during times of global economic uncertainty, there will always be a market for exceptional quality. The question is, how, and indeed will, other manufacturers be able to respond to this lofty benchmark.

JMB - 2011/11/10


Additional photographs from the show can be found at the following URL:

http://www.dropbox.com/gallery/35226929/1/Gakki%20Fair%202011?h=c4ec80

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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#1786695 - 11/10/11 08:50 PM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: Kawai James]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3707
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Great work, James! smile

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#1786711 - 11/10/11 09:08 PM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: Kawai James]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3484
Loc: Pennsylvania
Great writeup! I assume you didn't notice any difference in the sounds between the N1 and N2/N3, then...no evidence of CFX sampling?

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#1786716 - 11/10/11 09:14 PM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: Kawai James]
piRround Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 320
Loc: Yarmouth, Maine
James, thank you for this. Very informative and nicely written!
_________________________
Sandy


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#1786721 - 11/10/11 09:24 PM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: gvfarns]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9682
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Great writeup! I assume you didn't notice any difference in the sounds between the N1 and N2/N3, then...no evidence of CFX sampling?


Well, I'm afraid I didn't actually try the N2 or N3 (although I have played an N3 in Yamaha's Hamamatsu store) in order to do a proper comparison. However, the rep I spoke to mentioned that the N1 did actually utilise a newer CFX sample set.

As you may recall, I raised this point in another thread here, however Dr Popper didn't believe it to be true. Without comparing the other N2/N3 models, I decided to er on the side of caution and not include the rep's explanation in my report.

With any luck, one of the N1 owner's will submit a DPBSD test to dewster shortly, which should allow us to confirm the situation.

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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#1786725 - 11/10/11 09:26 PM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: Kawai James]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3206
Loc: Maine
James, thank you for the fascinating writeup. In connection with your Casio comments, what is the difference between a Classical and Modern piano sound?
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#1786739 - 11/10/11 09:50 PM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: Kawai James]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4366
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
With any luck, one of the N1 owner's will submit a DPBSD test to dewster shortly, which should allow us to confirm the situation.

I added it to the begging section of the DPBSD thread, thanks!

And thanks for your nice pix and report on this trade show!
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1786745 - 11/10/11 09:59 PM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: PianoStudent88]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9682
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
In connection with your Casio comments, what is the difference between a Classical and Modern piano sound?


Well, it's rather difficult trying to describe the character of the sounds with words alone, but put simply, the 'Modern' piano sound sounds like a modern piano, while the 'Classical' piano sound sounds like a classical piano. I believe these sounds are also found on the PX-330, so it should be possible for you to compare the two tonal characters relatively easily.

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

Top
#1786749 - 11/10/11 10:00 PM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: dewster]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9682
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
With any luck, one of the N1 owner's will submit a DPBSD test to dewster shortly, which should allow us to confirm the situation.

I added it to the begging section of the DPBSD thread, thanks!

And thanks for your nice pix and report on this trade show!


Ah, I was rather hoping you'd step in and say "Well, it just so happens that Zachery Forbes sent me a recording of his N1 yesterday..."

No luck so far though, huh?

Cheers,
James
x

ps. Did you like the CP1 caption - I added that in there just for you! wink
_________________________
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

Top
#1786863 - 11/11/11 02:39 AM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: Kawai James]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3707
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
the rep I spoke to mentioned that the N1 did actually utilise a newer CFX sample set.


It'd be nice to have that confirmed on Yamaha's brochures and webpages. You'd think that would be the 2nd thing they'd mention after the action - or the 3rd thing after the speaker system.

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#1786879 - 11/11/11 03:57 AM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: Kawai James]
zack! Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/11
Posts: 239
Loc: france
Thank you James.
Great article, and good images, we can feel the ambiance and imagine your test sessions.
BR

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#1786882 - 11/11/11 04:17 AM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: Kawai James]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2471
Loc: UK
Great report and pics, thanks. (Sweden and London bus though - Hmmmm).

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#1786884 - 11/11/11 04:21 AM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: Kawai James]
zack! Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/11
Posts: 239
Loc: france
James,
Concerning casio, I agree the difference in touch is not so important between PX135 and the long time "floor" (demo) model PX830 I tried. They have the same "feel" in term of mechanical motion.

But I still felt more "friction" in newer model, so perhaps the grease is more "viscous / thick", so in the end, a bit less loose lateraly, and also a bit heavier.

The second option, is that grease is not stable/constant (ageing pb or leakage), so newer model (of any kind, 130 or 135) will be a bit more firmly guided, and used model become a little bit more "loose" and lighter.

Last comment, if this is just a grease change, perhaaps the upgrade of other models (for example the PX3 and PX330), is already done, so comparaison may be irrelevant ?

BR


Edited by zack! (11/11/11 05:05 AM)

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#1786885 - 11/11/11 04:22 AM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: Kawai James]
Qbert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 328
Loc: Italy
Thanks James.
Very interesting report and nice pictures!

Really, I hoped to see the SV-2, with the Kronos piano SSD technology and a new keyboard (RH4? grin )!


Edited by Qbert (11/11/11 04:25 AM)
_________________________
GEM Promega 3 (sold) - Yamaha CLP 170 (sold) - Acuna88 (sold) - Kawai VPC1 + BK7m

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#1786889 - 11/11/11 04:28 AM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: Kawai James]
zack! Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/11
Posts: 239
Loc: france
James,

Concerning AvantGrandN1, do you feel the "sound presence" like a real piano ? I mean, does powerful, specialized speakers, and localization of sources, is more important to your ear compare to "depht / richness" of sound engine ? Do you "feel" the resonance in the box, do you feel vibration on your fingers ?

BR

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#1786890 - 11/11/11 04:31 AM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: Kawai James]
zack! Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/11
Posts: 239
Loc: france
James,

Kronos is a sofware piano ? That is a keyboard, with an embedded "regular" computer inside ? Kronos does "sound generation" has "V-piano" do ?

Do you test startup to check "long boot" of true computers vs "DSP" (previous electronic board) ?

BR

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#1786895 - 11/11/11 04:37 AM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: zack!]
Qbert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 328
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: zack!

Kronos is a sofware piano ?

NO

Originally Posted By: zack!

That is a keyboard, with an embedded "regular" computer inside ?

YES!

Originally Posted By: zack!

Kronos does "sound generation" has "V-piano" do ?

NO. It uses a huge (for a stage instrument) library (4GB) on SDD


Edited by Qbert (11/11/11 04:37 AM)
_________________________
GEM Promega 3 (sold) - Yamaha CLP 170 (sold) - Acuna88 (sold) - Kawai VPC1 + BK7m

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#1786902 - 11/11/11 05:01 AM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: zack!]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9682
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: zack!
Last comment, if this is just a grease change, perhaaps the upgrade of other models (for example the PX3 and PX330), is already done, so comparaison may be irrelevant ?


Posssibly. The chap I spoke to mentioned that Casio would be doing a 'running change' over to the new grease, so it's possible that some models already have it.

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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#1786906 - 11/11/11 05:13 AM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: Kawai James]
zack! Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/11
Posts: 239
Loc: france
By the way James, I am surprised there is grease. I though there isn't at all, just direct "plain" materials resistance.
Grease is a concern considering ageing, no ?
- chemical instability
- physical instability (temperature)
- vanishment, due to physical motion/pressure (leakage, drift, etc)
- accumulation of dusts (stickiness)
Do you know if every manufacturers uses grease in their keybeds ?

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#1786918 - 11/11/11 06:47 AM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: zack!]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2471
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: zack!
By the way James, I am surprised there is grease. I though there isn't at all, just direct "plain" materials resistance.
Grease is a concern considering ageing, no ?
- chemical instability
- physical instability (temperature)
- vanishment, due to physical motion/pressure (leakage, drift, etc)
- accumulation of dusts (stickiness)
Do you know if every manufacturers uses grease in their keybeds ?

People on here in the past have spoken about opening their DP's up, having a repair technician in, and re-greasing the action. I think lithium, silicon, 'white' grease have all been mentioned. So it does seem common.

Like you I'm a bit surprised. Hardly seems durable, and is going to move out of the way of any mechanical action. Possibly ok for lubrication or friction reduction, but not to stabilise the key action which is what often seems to be implied.

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#1786933 - 11/11/11 07:34 AM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: spanishbuddha]
zack! Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/11
Posts: 239
Loc: france
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
Possibly ok for lubrication or friction reduction, but not to stabilise the key action which is what often seems to be implied.

Well, to be honnest, AFAIK, I am the only one that made the assumption that the "guidance" / "firmness" has slightly improved, or was varying from one casio "floor" model to another one (depending on "how" they are used/ageed ?). So this is not a "fact", just my personnal assumption. If someone can confirm this impression, then we will have the beginning of a clue, but by now, this i not the case, even for me (I am far from an expert (rather the opposite wink ), so my perception is absolutely not reliable, even if I try to make my own opinion based on my own testing).


Edited by zack! (11/11/11 08:05 AM)

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#1786944 - 11/11/11 07:52 AM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: Kawai James]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3206
Loc: Maine
James, thank you for your comments on Classical vs. Modern piano. I'll keep my eye out for a PX-330 to investigate further.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#1786953 - 11/11/11 08:34 AM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: Kawai James]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
I just got around to reading the report and saw the slide show. Excellent! Thanks.

One thing that surprised me, there didn't seem to be much traffic. The Messe over here is a zoo.
_________________________
website

mp3\wav files

AvantGrand N3, CP5

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#1786955 - 11/11/11 08:35 AM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: zack!]
zack! Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/11
Posts: 239
Loc: france
Originally Posted By: zack!
James,
Concerning AvantGrandN1, do you feel the "sound presence" like a real piano ? I mean, does powerful, specialized speakers, and localization of sources, is more important to your ear compare to "depht / richness" of sound engine ? Do you "feel" the resonance in the box, do you feel vibration on your fingers ?


Well, I have no accoustic piano at home to test, but in my memory, if you sustain a powerfull chord, you have the feeling that the sound is "moving all along the box (like waves or turning sounds)". I don't kwow how to explain, they are repeated "variations" in time (at Hz and sub Hz frequency). More on the medium and the bass I believe.
I don't know if it is related to "reflections" in the box (that means that the box (size and material) and localization of sound emitters matters), or this is simple "resonance" betweens all the vibrating harmonics of every chords, so polyphonies of samples are suffiscient to give the same effect with a DP ?


Edited by zack! (11/11/11 08:41 AM)

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#1787032 - 11/11/11 11:36 AM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: ando]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5553
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
the rep I spoke to mentioned that the N1 did actually utilise a newer CFX sample set.


It'd be nice to have that confirmed on Yamaha's brochures and webpages. You'd think that would be the 2nd thing they'd mention after the action - or the 3rd thing after the speaker system.


I don't think anyone can mistake the sound of the CFX for the CF-IIIS, and as Kawai James had recently played the N3, I'd have thought he'd immediately notice the difference if the N1 he played used CFX samples. Certainly, the (new) N1 on display in the London store that I visited recently used CF-IIIS samples and sounded identical (via headphones) to the old N3 there.

And.....I'm pretty sure that Yamaha would shout it from the skies if they had a DP on display that used CFX samples, probably even more than they did for the real CFX acoustic grand during its launch last year.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#1787108 - 11/11/11 02:25 PM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: Kawai James]
suniil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/09
Posts: 149
Loc: London
Thank you James for sharing your thoughts and pictures.
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#1787119 - 11/11/11 02:52 PM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: Kawai James]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4366
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Ah, I was rather hoping you'd step in and say "Well, it just so happens that Zachery Forbes sent me a recording of his N1 yesterday..."

No luck so far though, huh?

No such luck. Though I am sitting on a few samples, just need to find some time to review them.

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
ps. Did you like the CP1 caption - I added that in there just for you! wink

Ha ha, thanks!

And thanks too for the Casio key grease bombshell. I can't keep up with all of the exciting new developments in DP technology. wink
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#1787157 - 11/11/11 04:23 PM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: dewster]
zack! Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/11
Posts: 239
Loc: france
Originally Posted By: dewster

And thanks too for the Casio key grease bombshell. I can't keep up with all of the exciting new developments in DP technology. wink


Why are you sarcastic? It is important to know. I am a newcomer in this forum, but every one told me DP were std and stable, so reliable and trustworthy. And may be this is not true, I need to know... We are talking about object that cost hundreds or thousands of euros and people will go with for several years. And anyway, mechanical and physics are also important technical aspects. Do you know if your DP need grease, or engineers could avoid using it in your DP ? Do you know if you so beloved "key action" will be stable with time ?

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#1787168 - 11/11/11 04:43 PM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: Kawai James]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3901
Loc: North Carolina
Yes, the keys require lubrication.

The sarcasm in dewster's phrase "exciting new developments in DP technology" is quite apt.

Pianos change very little over time. Most of the "innovation" is in the marketing terminology, while little is done to improve the pianos.

So a new kind of lubricant is about as exciting a development as we've seen in the past ten years. frown

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#1787215 - 11/11/11 05:52 PM Re: Japan Musical Instrument Fair 2011 [Re: zack!]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4366
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: zack!
... every one told me DP were std and stable ...

Some would say too stable.

I think what many of us are looking for is a blend of DP and PC technology: the large unlooped and unstretched sample sets of PC pianos, coupled with the blended layers, key resonance, half-pedaling, and overall integration of Digital pianos. It's entirely possible to do this now, particularly with fast cheap processors, exceedingly cheap DRAM, and Flash memory nearing $1USD/GB (retail) - but for whatever reason you won't find this even in the super high-end DPs (AvantGrand, etc.). So if you want the best sound you have to DIY, which is nuts.
_________________________
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THE RD-700NX Thread!
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