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#1804723 - 12/12/11 09:19 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
toddy Online   content
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Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1581
Loc: Portugal
On the other hand, these kinds of threads should be a useful mine of information for the R&D departments of Messrs Yamaha, Roland, Kawai and Casio etc.....in fact, I think they could probably save a few bob from their initial stages (the brainstorming, throwing a softball around a table stages) and put a few of these ideas into prototype production straight away.

Disappearing up your own bottom might never have been so valuable, despite the beneficiaries being elsewhere.
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#1804724 - 12/12/11 09:26 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Dave Horne Offline
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toddy, this technology is not exactly in its infancy. The first of this hybrid technology was introduced around 15 years ago or so, the Yamaha GranTouch.
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#1804757 - 12/12/11 10:41 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
gvfarns Offline
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Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3480
Loc: Pennsylvania
Yeah, I'm surprised at the complaints about this thread. Pretty much everyone recognizes that AG is the best DP money can buy. Someone points out that it can't do a particular thing (playing off the jack). Interesting. No one cares about that particular technique too much (hardly anyone knew what it was when it first came up) but we try and figure out if there are other implications, like that Yamaha senses a repeated note only when the note is lifted higher than an acoustic would do (albeit by not far). That seems like a pretty legitimate topic to me, and very interesting. The fact that the best available piano is nonetheless imperfect shouldn't shatter anyone's world view. And any implications of that imperfection are interesting.

Remember, this is a gear forum. If we were uninterested in discussing the details of DP's and cared only about playing, we'd be playing instead of coming to a forum to discuss. I see no need to truncate this thread by offending its participants or suggesting that it's not a legitimate question or discussion.

In fact, since it turned rapidly to into a "complain about people who don't take as given that AG is perfect" thread, I kind of got lost with the conclusion that was being reached. In the end did we figure out what the issue is? Is it that Yamaha's sensation that a key has been lifted is triggered just a little higher than it should be relative to the jack friction point, or is the conclusion that the inability to play off the jack is unrelated to the use of the double escapement for rapid repetitions? I got lost.

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#1804768 - 12/12/11 11:11 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: gvfarns]
dewster Online   content
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Registered: 12/07/09
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Originally Posted By: gvfarns
When I first started with digital pianos I was shocked that midi only has 128 levels and thought it was quite a limitation. After having played software pianos for a while I'm not so sure. I'm coming around to the belief that our ear couldn't discern the difference between midi and some kind of true grayscale with far more velocity levels possible. I guess I don't have a way to test, but 128 certainly works well enough for my ears and fingers.

I also think 128 final velocity levels are probably enough for piano (and take away level 0 for note-off, and perhaps level 1 for silent play). So in a sense the term "grayscale" is appropriate, since the eye seems to have a fairly limited resolution here too - black and white pictures look fine when I scan them using only 256 gray scales, but for post scan editing more levels are necessary so as not to easily reveal these levels, another parallel to the velocity shifting, scaling, and curving that most keyboards can do (and should use more resolution pre-filtering to do it right).

Using that MIDI data with, say, a PC based piano sample, and then performing further MIDI filtering on the MIDI data stream itself could be problematic, as this could eliminate some of the remaining 128 velocity codes from being useful, reducing resolution. So attempts at matching the response of the keyboard to the response of the sampler should start (and hopefully end) with the velocity filtering and scaling functions in the keyboard itself.

I think it's kind of a shame MIDI didn't use at least 256 levels - reserving a single bit in every byte strikes me as bad design. A 16 bit word with 4 bits of opcode and 12 bits of data might have been even better, but I imagine they were trying to keep costs down by employing the 8 bit UART chips that they had at the time (though why they didn't also pick a common RS-232 BAUD rate is beyond me).
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#1804823 - 12/12/11 01:01 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
gvfarns Offline
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Loc: Pennsylvania
Yes, I agree. While 128 *may* be enough...it does seem like they could have made it much better without stretching the limits of technology, even at the time. It would at least give me confidence that the 127 limitation isn't crippling my performances, and probably there are other instruments where a larger number of levels would be more important than it is on Piano.

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#1804847 - 12/12/11 01:47 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
dewster Online   content
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Registered: 12/07/09
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I'm always rather bewildered when DP owners (myself included) take any hard analysis of the DP they happen to own to heart.

By almost all accounts the AGs are among the best widely manufactured DPs in existence today for replicating the full "true piano experience" but, being DPs and all, they are prone to certain limitations, and anyone contemplating the purchase of one should be fully aware of those limitations.

The DPBSD thread revealed audible looping on the AG sample set, admittedly probably not too obvious with normal playing (the looping is some of the best I've heard, though the loops themselves could use improvement) but IMO this somewhat or entirely precludes serious intimate solo recording of the instrument. I would argue that looping also hurts the tone, though that is perhaps perceived in a more indirect or subjective way than the repeated looping sound itself. It's my strong feeling that a DP in this class really shouldn't be hobbled by crude sample set compression techniques.

On this thread an honest misinterpretation of Yamaha's own AG press literature seems to have lead to the revelation that the AG keys are likely significantly shorter than those in the CFIIIS. Something which, if true, would have consequences for the evenness of touch when playing closer or farther from the key pivot point.

Kippsec brought up how his AG won't "play off the jack" even though many real pianos and some other DPs can do this.

All of this may seem like petty harping, but Yamaha implicitly issued something of a challenge with this line of DPs by marketing them as no-compromise AP replacements. And to those of us who are more technically inclined, they've more or less thrown down a gauntlet. Can AGs replace APs in many instances and do so realistically? Sure. Can they do so in all instances? No. Are they completely free of the typical DP issues? No. Could Yamaha significantly improve them? Yes. Is Yamaha's marketing "overselling" them? I would say yes and I find it annoying. Would a lot of people be really happy with one? Absolutely.
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#1804938 - 12/12/11 04:44 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Dave Horne]
gvfarns Offline
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Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3480
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
I have an answer to the question I posed. I first wrote Renner in the US and they informed me they don't make the keys of the action. I was passed onto a Rick Wheeler from the Roseland Piano Co.

He answered my question very promptly.

He gave me the lengths of keys in mm (which I converted and rounded) for a nine footer, a seven footer and a five footer. I was also told that the lengths would vary with manufacturer.

A nine footer's key length would be about 623 mm \ 24.5 inches
A seven footer's key length would be about 523 mm \ 20.5 inches
A five footer's key length would be about 480 mm \ 19 inches

So, in order to have a nine footer's action in an AvantGrand, Yamaha would have to make the package about five inches deeper.


These are the key lengths from front of the key to the very back, right? The discussion in this thread has indicated that the measurement of interest is the distance between the fulcrum and keyslip, I believe. According to another website I was checking out, this is standardized at 10-3/8" (not too different from the RM3 key length). Do you guys know if that's correct or not? If it is, does that mean there would be no advantage to using a concert grand action instead of the smaller action in an AvantGrand?

In other words, is there an advantage to having a longer key from the fulcrum to the back of the key, the part the pushes up the hammers, as well?

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#1804979 - 12/12/11 06:00 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: gvfarns]
dewster Online   content
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Registered: 12/07/09
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Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
These are the key lengths from front of the key to the very back, right? The discussion in this thread has indicated that the measurement of interest is the distance between the fulcrum and keyslip, I believe. According to another website I was checking out, this is standardized at 10-3/8" (not too different from the RM3 key length). Do you guys know if that's correct or not? If it is, does that mean there would be no advantage to using a concert grand action instead of the smaller action in an AvantGrand?

I want to know this too. I sent an email to rick@roselandpiano.com and will share the info if/when he replies.
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THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1805042 - 12/12/11 07:45 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
gvfarns Offline
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Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3480
Loc: Pennsylvania
I asked the question on the piano technician's forum and got back the following answers:

1. The fulcrum is near the center of the key, regardless of key length, so there is a larger distance between keyslip and fulcrum in larger pianos.

2. Longer keys do have superior playability, so the 9-foot action is indeed better than that of the smaller grand.

I wonder if the sweet spot...the optimal key length...has been studied and found.

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#1805067 - 12/12/11 08:39 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
sullivang Online   blank
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Registered: 07/05/09
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One reason I suspect that a longer keyslip-fulcrum distance is better is that this results in a key movement that is closer to purely vertical from front to back. I.e, I suspect the ideal would be a key that moved purely vertically. (just surmisal on my own part)

Greg.

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#1805182 - 12/13/11 01:02 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: sullivang]
dewster Online   content
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Registered: 12/07/09
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Originally Posted By: sullivang
One reason I suspect that a longer keyslip-fulcrum distance is better is that this results in a key movement that is closer to purely vertical from front to back. I.e, I suspect the ideal would be a key that moved purely vertically. (just surmisal on my own part)

Absolutely. I think they use longer keys on longer grands to make the hammer hit the string at a particular ratio of the total distance from the nearest end, but this also happens to make the mechanical advantage over the played ivory section less variable, and therefore more amenable to consistent play.
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THE RD-700NX Thread!
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#1805211 - 12/13/11 03:37 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
sullivang Online   blank
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Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2189
Loc: Sydney, Australia
@Dewster, yes, that was my understanding too. (re: the hammers hitting the strings at the optimum point along the strings). I learnt that just recently - I forget where.

Greg.

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#1805226 - 12/13/11 05:08 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: sullivang]
Dave Horne Offline
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Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: sullivang
@Dewster, yes, that was my understanding too. (re: the hammers hitting the strings at the optimum point along the strings). I learnt that just recently - I forget where.

Greg.


You learned that here in one of these threads. I copy and pasted a paragraph from a site that stated that the optimal striking place is between 1/7th and 1/8th the length of the string (or was that 1/8th and 1/9th?).

This had to do with the explanation of why larger pianos needed a larger action - the distances needed to be greater.
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#1805227 - 12/13/11 05:21 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
sullivang Online   blank
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Ah yes, of course. smile
the post

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#1805549 - 12/13/11 04:59 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: dewster]
dewster Online   content
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4337
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: dewster
I sent an email to rick@roselandpiano.com and will share the info if/when he replies.

Here is the info Rick just sent me:

Quote:
The front half of the fulcrum varies in length to provide a given key ratio that will work properly with the given action (hammer assembly & whippen). The key ratio will generally be between 1.7:1 & 2.1:1

A bit of a punt I suppose, but at least we know the "front half of the fulcrum" isn't a fixed, standardized length.
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THE RD-700NX Thread!
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#1957813 - 09/12/12 11:23 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Dr Popper Offline
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Registered: 12/30/09
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Why are you posting this on every mp10 thread ? Such attention seeking is unsavoury particularly as you have already been chastised for it.
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#1957830 - 09/12/12 11:51 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
dje31 Online   content
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Maybe he wants Kawai James's job?
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#1957831 - 09/12/12 11:55 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: dje31]
voxpops Offline
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Originally Posted By: dje31
Maybe he wants Kawai James's job?

...or a boot in the posterior. wink
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#1957838 - 09/12/12 12:11 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
bajabill Offline
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Registered: 06/27/12
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well, now we have all of the MP10 threads with similar timestamps. One way around the wonderful search function here.

BTW, I cant play any of the files on the linked page,

ps, dont tell me how to work around it, not going to follow thru

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#1957964 - 09/12/12 05:03 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Kawai James Online   content
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Hmmm...I seem to recall another user with 'motif' in their name who posted equally constructive messages. Same person, perhaps?
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#1957986 - 09/12/12 06:18 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Kawai James]
Dave Ferris Offline
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.
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2005 NY Steinway D, Yamaha CP5, CP4, Nord Piano 2
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#1959512 - 09/16/12 06:40 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Kawai James Online   content
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Registered: 09/06/07
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Pantalón corto muy sexy!

Sin embargo, no es necesario para publicar el mismo vídeo en todos los temas MP10.
Además, va a asociar a la 'Mobile' sitio YouTube, por lo tanto, la mayoría de la gente no será capaz de ver sus vídeos de todos modos.

A pesar de su mala 'Netiqueta', espero que estés disfrutando de tu MP10!

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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#1959533 - 09/16/12 08:09 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Dr Popper Offline
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Registered: 12/30/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: Hancock Park LA (not again)
I hope you were offering him advice containing sex and travel
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#1959566 - 09/16/12 10:06 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
leemax Offline
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Registered: 12/16/10
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I didn't know you spoke Spanish, James! Good on you! I am not, however, going to check out the short pants!
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#1959764 - 09/16/12 04:48 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: 8861
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
leemax, I studied Spanish for a few years at high school, however much of the vocabulary I learned has been 'replaced' by Japanese.

I confess that I used the incredible 'Google Translate' in order to post that message. wink
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

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#1982704 - 11/04/12 04:44 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Ishkabibble Offline
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Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 79
Loc: Edmonton
I've tried out both the AG and the MP10.

I'm impressed with both, but what I would really prefer is a midi keyboard that consists of a true concert grand action (felt hammers and all), mounted in/on a keybed from a real concert grand. The string heights and stike points would be identical to that of the concert grand, but each note's string (or strings) would be replaced by an advanced piezoelectric sensor that is mounted simply to a rail.

The concept would be simple. The harder the hammer strikes the sensor, the louder the note. The technology from so-called "digital drums" may very well be appropriate for this application:
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10772

There could even be real grand-piano dampers in this concept instrument. There would another row of sensors under each damper. As the damper contacts the sensor, the output from the sensor varies as the felt just barely touches the sensor, or rapidly puts its full weight on the sensor.

The output signals from the sensors are then "handled" as in any digital piano. The sostenuto and soft pedals would be entirely electronic as they are currently done in digital pianos

Over the years, sensor and other electronics will rapidly evolve, so the physical design of the case should allow easy replacement of these components.

Amplification of sampled sounds should be done externally of the keyboard, IMO, for the same reasons. This, IMHO, is where the grand-style AG falls short. The owner is more or less obliged to buy the, for lack of a better expression, "sound system" - amplifiers and speakers - when he/she buys the piano. I'd rather pay much less for an instrument that has only high-quality line-level, or even digital-only, outputs and I would continue to provide my own sound system, as shown below with our Yamaha P-80.

I relatively recently discovered that a 15 watt integrated tube amp drives our Paradigm Studio 100 speakers far better than our 175-watt/channel Denon 5800 could. The difference was night and day. Now as I sit there playing, I can easily imagine that, sound-wise anyway, I'm playing a 9' concert grand. A real grand piano action and response would be the icing on the digital cake. In short, IMO, a solid state amplification system may not be the best way to amplify sampled piano sound. In fact, I hate to say it, but I think the sound coming out of our system, with its "obsolete" P-80, sounds better than that out of the AG.. (For example, the accuracy and simple "presence" of the bass out of our system is simply amazing.) I am virtually certain that the AG's shortcoming in this area is because of its internal amplification system.



(BTW, a 1964 Bechstein model B sits just to the left of the Yamaha system, and we used to own a Yamaha C7, so I am fairly familiar with what an acoustic piano's bass sounds like.)

What I imagine is a "Back to the Fuure" version of the old CP-70 and CP-80 pianos of the late 1970s and early to mid 1980s, only the plate/strings "half" of the piano would be very very much smaller and very very much lighter, and the action would be, again, that from a 9' concert grand. That much-lighter, much-smaller part would contain the electronics and be easily upgraded as technology advances. (I owned the CP80B. Great action. Terrible sound, IMO, compared to today's digital pianos.)








Edited by Ishkabibble (11/08/12 06:20 PM)
Edit Reason: more info

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#1982708 - 11/04/12 04:59 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Ishkabibble]
EssBrace Offline
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Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Ishkabibble
In fact, I hate to say it, but I think the sound coming out of our system, with its "obsolete" CP80, sounds better than that out of the AG.. (For example, the accuracy and simple "presence" of the bass out of our system is simply amazing.) I am virtually certain that the AG's shortcoming in this area is because of its internal amplification system.


I take it you turned the volume up on the AG to a realistic level? I found mine to be more than enough in every respect in terms of its onboard sound system.

But I have to say, that's a very smart set-up you have there. Whatever was I thinking in wanting that beautiful sleek AvantGrand cluttering up my living space when I could've had a set-up like yours?!
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#1989937 - 11/22/12 11:57 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Peter B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/12
Posts: 22
Loc: USA
I am looking for a stage keyboard with the best possible grand piano like action to use with my Nord Stage 2 and Ivory. I found this thread very enlightening with the detailed discussion about key actions and their behaviour, thank you. I have tried most relevant keyboards and although the perception of a key action is closely linked to the sound engine it is controlling (for example, I recently compared AG, MP10, V-Piano and CP50 side by side and when turning the volume to zero on all the feel of the keyboard actions were in my view impossible to judge), my view is that AG is best (but not a Stage type keyboard) and MP10 is the best stage type keyboard available. I assume then that the conclusion will be the same if these are used to control Ivory, for example.

Apparently Yamaha does not find it worthwhile to offer a real good grand piano like action in a stage piano (I have also a P250 and it does not seem much has happened since that came out with the top stage type models CP1/CP5 having a light and non-graded action, for example). A promising scenario would be if Yamaha came out with a stage piano with the AG action but I see no signs this is going to happen.

So, only good choice in my view - and it is quite good - is the Kawai MP10. A question for me then is whether the successor to MP10 will have the GF action which I have seen getting very good reviews. In light of the discussion above, by comparing the pictures on Kawai's homepage

http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/digital/Features/new_actions2010.html

between RM3 and GF actions it can be inferred that given the key length from player end to pivot point is about 7.3 inches on RM3, it is 9 inches on GF. So one would think - and reviews of CA95 indicate this as well - that better control can be achieved with the GF action.

Given that Kawai seems to be a forward leaning company and - if I am right - the MP8 came out in 2005, MP8II in 2008 and MP10 in 2010 I assume it is time for the next model of Kawai's top of the line stage piano. Does anybody have any indications/information about when this will happened and whether the next model will include the GF action? Kawai James?

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#1989944 - 11/23/12 12:23 AM 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: 8861
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: Peter B
Does anybody have any indications/information about when this will happened and whether the next model will include the GF action? Kawai James?


I'm afraid I am unable to comment on instruments that have yet to be formally announced.

However, as a fellow Nord owner, I can tell you that the Nord Piano Library sounds even better when controlled with a good quality Kawai action. wink

So, let's see what happens at NAMM.

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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#1989952 - 11/23/12 01:10 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Kawai James]
Peter B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/12
Posts: 22
Loc: USA
Thanks James. I fully appreciate your position and I am also convinced that the Kawai action will be very good for the Nord Piano Library. Yes, I will wait for NAMM to see what will happen there.

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