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#1800602 - 12/04/11 09:33 PM Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2...
Matt Peckham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 41
Loc: Michigan
Much as I've loved my MP10 the past few months, I think after five or six progressively more AP-like digital actions on various boards up to and through the MP10, I hit a kind of musical "uncanny valley" and realized the only thing that was going to do was an actual piano, or minimally a perfect 1:1 AP action.

So I picked up an N2. I'd fixed on the N1 for cost, but found a shop in Maryland selling a week-old N2 at a pretty unbeatable price. Trigger pulled, piano incoming (didn't fit in my vehicle, so someone else is bringing it over Tuesday).

Only quibble: 300+ lbs! Going to be quite the trick getting this thing up the stairs into my condo... smile
_________________________
Yamaha AvantGrand N2
Nord Electro 4 HP

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#1800609 - 12/04/11 09:57 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
Haha, we were just talking about feature creep in a different thread. Each model is better than the last until you are buying an AVantGrand and using it as a glorified MIDI controller to power a software piano through super expensive speakers in an acoustically treated room or listening through HD800's from a high-end balanced headphone amp. smile

Congratulations, though! Great piano...I totally want one.

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#1800694 - 12/05/11 06:22 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Congratulations - let us know how it goes and what your impressions are.

I own AG and MP10. Whilst the AG is untouchable action-wise (for obvious reasons) I don't think you could want a better action in a DP than the Kawai's. When I first tried it I was impressed but not bowled over - I compared it to others in the shop (Yamaha NW, Kawai RH etc) and didn't feel it had much more to offer in a tactile sense. But now I've got to know the RM3 action I am in love with it - just so smooth and non-fatiguing to play.

My Nord Piano came home the other day and I've set it up next to the MP10. Playing the Nord makes you realise two things instantly: 1, how bloody good the sounds are (and the variety of them) and 2, how far behind the Kawai MP10 the standard plastic DP action is. I also had my Yamaha CP33 set up (prior to selling it on Saturday) and whilst I rate the Yamaha GH(3) action it was just like a heavier version of the Nord (perhaps too heavy actually).

But there's nothing like the AG - enjoy it!

Steve
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1800709 - 12/05/11 07:40 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Brasspounder Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 24
Loc: PA
Hey Matt,

Congrats on the N2. I picked up an MP10, which I like a lot. But, if I had the money and room would consider the N2. I played an N3 at the local piano store and it was very very nice.

Good luck with it. I will be interested in how you compare it against your MP10 after you have been using it for a while.
_________________________
Brasspounder

Kawai MP10
Yamaha HS50M's

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#1800785 - 12/05/11 11:59 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Matt Peckham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 41
Loc: Michigan
Thanks guys (that's a gender-neutral "guys," btw, just in case!). It'll be here tomorrow, at which point I and two others will roll it up to the place on a four-wheel dolly, then try to gracefully wrestle it up some stairs and into my studio/office.

I'll say again how much I admire what Kawai's managed with the MP10. I've played all the Yamaha P-series boards, Roland's RD-series and the V-Piano, Korg's SV-1, and none of them felt as AP-like as the MP10. My only over-finicky quibbles about the MP10 at this point are that (1) it doesn't feel as weighty (in terms of both depression *and* key return) as an actual AP action, and (2) the bottom of the key-press feels soft, something I initially liked, but which eventually bothered me compared to the solid "thunk" of the AP action on the Yamaha baby grand I grew up playing (as well as the CF3 action in the AG).

But that's purist quibbling, and I have all the biases of a classical pianist--the action in the MP10's not intended exclusively for Bach, Albeniz and Scriabin wonks, and has to accommodate a broader range of players, idiomatically. For what it's trying to accomplish, I found it unsurpassed, and my playing--AP or otherwise--better for using it.


Edited by Matt Peckham (12/05/11 12:00 PM)
_________________________
Yamaha AvantGrand N2
Nord Electro 4 HP

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#1800791 - 12/05/11 12:24 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
Be sure to check back after you've played them both for a while at home and more thoroughly formed an opinion about the AG (some of these things take some time). I'm sure there are lots of people interested in your experience with the two best available actions (by some accounts) in digital pianos.

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#1800795 - 12/05/11 12:32 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Matt Peckham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 41
Loc: Michigan
You got it gvfarns. In fact I'm planning to do a few official write-ups for my day job (TIME magazine), possibly as soon as this week.
_________________________
Yamaha AvantGrand N2
Nord Electro 4 HP

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#1800993 - 12/05/11 05:25 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8874
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Matt, congratulations on the purchase of your N2!

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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#1802116 - 12/07/11 03:25 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
dada life Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 1
i'm so excited about your oppinion.
i am thinking about change my mp10 too. it's good but i dont feel this is THE ONE. the key
return of the rm3 could be faster.
i'm using it with adam a3x+subwoofer and do not like the way how a stereo monitor setup
projects the sound into a room because the speakers are right in front of the players position.. thats not the way a ap sounds like.
of course i absolutely do not like the internal mp10 sounds and so i'm using ivory 2.


Edited by dada life (12/07/11 03:26 PM)

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#1802183 - 12/07/11 05:23 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Matt, according to your 5 Dec post your new piano should be set up by now. How did the move go?
_________________________
website

mp3\wav files

AvantGrand N3, CP5

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#1802268 - 12/07/11 08:01 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: EssBrace]
bfb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/11
Posts: 539
Loc: Atlanta GA USA
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Congratulations - let us know how it goes and what your impressions are.

I own AG and MP10. Whilst the AG is untouchable action-wise (for obvious reasons) I don't think you could want a better action in a DP than the Kawai's. When I first tried it I was impressed but not bowled over - I compared it to others in the shop (Yamaha NW, Kawai RH etc) and didn't feel it had much more to offer in a tactile sense. But now I've got to know the RM3 action I am in love with it - just so smooth and non-fatiguing to play.

My Nord Piano came home the other day and I've set it up next to the MP10. Playing the Nord makes you realise two things instantly: 1, how bloody good the sounds are (and the variety of them) and 2, how far behind the Kawai MP10 the standard plastic DP action is. I also had my Yamaha CP33 set up (prior to selling it on Saturday) and whilst I rate the Yamaha GH(3) action it was just like a heavier version of the Nord (perhaps too heavy actually).

But there's nothing like the AG - enjoy it!

Steve


use the MP10 to control the Nord 88? best of both worlds?...
_________________________

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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#1802459 - 12/08/11 05:08 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: bfb]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: bfb
use the MP10 to control the Nord 88? best of both worlds?...


Set them up yesterday Bruce. Works very well...without any tweaking the velocity curve seems fine - the sense of connection is just as good as when playing the Nord natively so to speak. The Kawai holds its head up against the Nord in terms of piano sound anyway in every respect except variety. I played the Nord's sounds for a while and retuned to the Kawai's Jazz Grand and really enjoyed it. I wouldn't want people thinking the Kawai is only good for its keys - the sounds are good too.

Only two issues - you have to switch off the Nord's pedal sounds (which go haywire when controlled by another keyboard or when playing MIDI files) and secondly, when controlled from the Kawai the Nord makes a sound at the lowest velocity - which it doesn't when controlled from its own keyboard.

I so wish Nord made their piano in a rack version!!!

Steve
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1802607 - 12/08/11 10:59 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Dave Horne]
Matt Peckham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 41
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
Matt, according to your 5 Dec post your new piano should be set up by now. How did the move go?


Hey Dave! It went wonderfully. I was nervous about setting the thing on its back and it traveling eight hours in an SUV, but everything went perfectly--dollied it up to the stairs, three of us managed to wrangle it up the stairs and dollied into the condo. Furniture blankets + a bit of luck = not a scratch on it.

Yesterday was my first full day fooling around, so I'm really early days, but here's what I wrote about it, first in a multi-week series:

http://techland.time.com/2011/12/08/piano-or-pretender-first-impressions-of-yamahas-avantgrand-n2/
_________________________
Yamaha AvantGrand N2
Nord Electro 4 HP

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#1802612 - 12/08/11 11:17 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Matt, at that link you wrote ...
Quote:

Yamaha’s angle with the AvantGrand was to put an actual grand piano action inside a piano box—not synthetic, not scaled down, not 70 or 80 or 98.5%, but an honest-to-goodness grand piano action. In this case, it’s the same as the one found in the company’s premium CFIIIS piano, a top-of-the-line 9-foot acoustic grand so pricey selling your house (especially in this market) might not foot the bill.


While I haven't measured the length of the keys, I was under the impression the action came from their C3, a six footer, give or take, not the action from their nine footer.

Did a dealer tell you this or did Yamaha in Japan confirm this?

At any rate, I'm glad to hear the move and set up was uneventful.
_________________________
website

mp3\wav files

AvantGrand N3, CP5

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#1802626 - 12/08/11 11:54 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Dave Horne]
Matt Peckham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 41
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
Matt, at that link you wrote ...
While I haven't measured the length of the keys, I was under the impression the action came from their C3, a six footer, give or take, not the action form their nine footer.

Did a dealer tell you this or did Yamaha in Japan confirm this?


It's a great question, one I may have been too quick to answer with the CFIIIS samples. Yamaha claims the N-series "[delivers] the tone and touch of a nine-foot Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand piano" in the press literature, but perhaps that's not what it sounds like (though my dealer did indeed claim as much, too).

I'm checking on this now with my Yamaha contact for a definitive answer, assuming I can get one!


Edited by Matt Peckham (12/08/11 11:59 AM)
_________________________
Yamaha AvantGrand N2
Nord Electro 4 HP

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#1802633 - 12/08/11 12:09 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Matt Peckham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 41
Loc: Michigan
Okay, not the CFIIIS action, but the C1 Conservatory Classic Collection piano (5-foot, 3-inch grand), says Yamaha. I've updated the article, and Yamaha's admitting the press lit may be in error.

Good catch, Dave, and thanks.


Edited by Matt Peckham (12/08/11 12:09 PM)
_________________________
Yamaha AvantGrand N2
Nord Electro 4 HP

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#1802642 - 12/08/11 12:33 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Hmmm, I've been told C3 action - maybe that's the same as C1, who knows?
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1802650 - 12/08/11 12:41 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Well, we could have a Yamaha dealer measure the length and compare it to other Yamaha models.

Irving, are you there?
_________________________
website

mp3\wav files

AvantGrand N3, CP5

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#1802660 - 12/08/11 12:55 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Matt Peckham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 41
Loc: Michigan
Another question might be: What are the fundamental and/or noticeable differences between the action in the C1, C3, and for that matter, CFIIIS.
_________________________
Yamaha AvantGrand N2
Nord Electro 4 HP

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#1802667 - 12/08/11 01:07 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
That's a good question, and one I'd love to hear the answer to. It was just a while ago in a similar context that I learned that the actions are of different lengths in different pianos. Not something I ever noticed while playing but I haven't played THAT many grands and I probably would have chalked up key-length induced differences to regulation disparities or something.

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#1802920 - 12/08/11 08:30 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1717
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Matt, as I'm sure you know, your N2 article is up now at Time, and someone has posted a link on the Piano Forum.

Great work!

(Post over/under now 2 on the "Why don't you post this in the *digital* forum?" reply.)


Edited by ClsscLib (12/08/11 08:34 PM)
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#1802976 - 12/08/11 10:46 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Gothri Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 14
Originally Posted By: Matt Peckham
So I picked up an N2. I'd fixed on the N1 for cost, but found a shop in Maryland selling a week-old N2 at a pretty unbeatable price. Trigger pulled, piano incoming (didn't fit in my vehicle, so someone else is bringing it over Tuesday).

Only quibble: 300+ lbs! Going to be quite the trick getting this thing up the stairs into my condo... smile



Stephen Hough is a London-based concert pianist. He's a bit unusual in that he also keeps a blog for the London Telegraph. It's interesting to have a window into the thoughts of a performer at that level. In any case, his December 1st entry into his blog covered digital pianos, specifically the Yamaha PF-1000 which he takes on the road with him. He uses it in his hotel room to practice.

He had this to say about the Avant Grand:

"The Yamaha PF-1000 was most useful although it is not one of their top electric pianos. That accolade has to go to the Avant Grand which is better than almost any upright and than a good many grands."

Not exactly on topic, but I thought it was a good read. The complete link to Stephen Hough's blog entry is:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/ste...ore-hotel-room/

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#1802978 - 12/08/11 10:56 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Gothri Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 14
Originally Posted By: Matt Peckham
Thanks guys (that's a gender-neutral "guys," btw, just in case!).


I know of no way to more obviously or more clearly say to the world "I am a Midwesterner" than to say to a group, "Thanks, guys." That is soooooo Midwestern America. I know. I grew up there.

Down here, it would be "Thanks, y'all." Nobody ever uses the gender-neutral "guys" like I am so accustomed to from my formative years.

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#1802986 - 12/08/11 11:09 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8874
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Likewise, I say "chaps". wink

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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#1803013 - 12/09/11 12:22 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
Well, I'm pretty sure "guys" is everywhere in American casual speaking except in the deep south. It's all over the west, southwest, and northeast. With the midwest, that's basically everything (sorry Hawaii and Alaska).

Such a shame the English language doesn't have an acceptable second person plural. I would actually support "you-all," as my very southern English teacher used to assert was proper, as the new standard.


Edited by gvfarns (12/09/11 12:28 AM)

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#1803022 - 12/09/11 12:39 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
kippesc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 407
Loc: United States
I'm not sure where to put this, so I'll put it here.

A while back, there was a discussion of grand versus upright actions and grand escapement/let-off. (The discussions are scattered over several threads. Here's one: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1783815/Re:%20Let-off%20feel%20-%20grands%20vs%20u.html#Post1783815 .) In the course of those discussions, which touched on the Roland PHA III, Kawai RM3 and Yamaha AvantGrand actions (all having an escapement feel -- whether related to a genuine escapement mechanism or not), the concept of "playing off the jack" came up.

Originally Posted By: sullivang
Quote from: http://convention.ptg.org/Class%20materials/FromthePointofView.pdf

"One hallmark of fine regulation is “playing off the jack.”
a. Resting the fingers lightly on the keys at drop/let off contact, press through very
rapidly.
b. Each key should sound, a very light pianissimo, next to impossible to achieve
otherwise.
c. Close let off is the major factor.
d. Some pianists use this on occasion in performance – if the piano is regulated so
that it will work."

So this little "trick" appears to be one advantage of having the build-up of resistance - i.e - without the tactile feedback, the pianist would not readily know how far down to press the keys in order to position them optimally for this style of playing. Very interesting!

Greg.


I had never heard of this before. But I've since done some real world testing, and found that I can easily "play off the jack" on my Steinway, on the Yamaha acoustic that I take lessons on (a C1 or C2 -- I can never remember), and on my Roland RD-700NX. I cannot, however, play off the jack on my Yamaha AvantGrand N2. The sensors do not pick this motion up. That is somewhat odd to me, since Yamaha states that the AG action has hammer sensors as well as optical sensors.

BTW -- I came home tonight newly interested in playing the internal sounds of my N2, having read the piece in Time, having read the Hough blog, having seen the Youtube video of the British pianist endorsing the N1. Well, it didn't take long before I decided to fire up Ivory II. For me, I prefer the sound of the Yamaha C7 in Ivory ("At the C7" factory setting) to the AG's internal sounds. (And the Ivory II Steinway is better still.) You have to dial in the correct velocity curve, but Ivory is more expressive and more pleasing to listen to. I've tried to like the internal N2 sounds, but for me they fall short of Ivory and, indeed, the Roland SuperNatural APs.

I thought I'd pass this info along. The readers of Time should be alerted that they will not be able to "play off the jack" and attain the full expressivity of a CFIIIS or even a C1 with the AvantGrand. They also won't get the wood sharps that are part of the C line of acoustics.
_________________________
Steinway B
Yamaha AvantGrand N2
Roland RD-700NX

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#1803024 - 12/09/11 12:57 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
The AvantGrand sharp keys are not wooden? Or do you just mean they are not the same as in the acoustic?

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#1803039 - 12/09/11 01:31 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
kippesc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 407
Loc: United States
They aren't the wood composite material in the C line of acoustics. They are covered in plastic that's a little slicker than I'd like it to be.
_________________________
Steinway B
Yamaha AvantGrand N2
Roland RD-700NX

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#1803119 - 12/09/11 08:51 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Kawai James]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Likewise, I say "chaps". wink

James
x


I wear them; backless leather ones. Oh sorry, wrong forum.
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1803224 - 12/09/11 12:36 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4339
Loc: Northern NJ
In the article:

Originally Posted By: Matt Peckham
The N2?s piano sounds are simply outstanding, often tricking my ear during this or that passage in ways even the highest-end piano sample libraries from companies like Synthogy haven’t managed to.

While the AG sample set is one of the best loopers around in terms of specs, and highly integrated DPs like the AG are often more than the sum of their parts, this statement could benefit from a bit more qualification IMO because it is presented to the uninitiated average Time reader. It seems to be suggesting the N2 sample set is superior to the best PC samplers, but there are various people here bypassing the internal samples by jacking their AGs into PCs, Macs, and even Nords.
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The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
How old is a Ahlborn-Galanti Digital Pipe Organ Chronicler
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07/30/14 10:55 PM
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by nlive
07/30/14 10:44 PM
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by vers la flan
07/30/14 09:59 PM
Baldwin E250 1998
by sort
07/30/14 08:11 PM
Shostakovich and Prokofiev
by Verbum mirabilis
07/30/14 06:01 PM
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