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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: 2405
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
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9360
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: 5277
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: 540
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: 2405
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: 5277
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: 2405
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: 5277
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: 1777
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
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9360
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: 2405
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: 4354
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.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1803236 - 12/09/11 12:47 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
Yes, dewster is right. I think that was a bit misleading. The samples in the AvantGrands are good by onboard sample standards, but it's the very unusual person who thinks they compare with, much less surpass, high quality sampled pianos. From a technical perspective they are not even in the neighborhood, and I feel comfortable saying that the difference in sound quality and realism is audible (in favor of Ivory II).

Of course, it was stated as your opinion, so it can't actually be *wrong*, but I suspect the euphoria of the new piano might have colored your perception. I'll be interested to see if you change your opinion over time.


Edited by gvfarns (12/09/11 12:49 PM)

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#1803315 - 12/09/11 03:21 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
EssBrace Offline
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Registered: 12/01/09
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Whilst all you non Avant Grand owning individuals pour forth your opinions - which you are fully entitled to do of course - you need to remember that to PLAY, as a STAND ALONE piano using the onboard sound system it is tremendously effective and messing about with software is just something you would never want or need to do.

To find a piano to RECORD is a different matter altogether. If you want the tactile pleasure of using the AG's keyboard but want to record a piano or want a piano of a different timbre or other tonal characteristics I can easily see how you would consider alternatives to the onboard sounds.

But the experience of just sitting down at the AG and playing where the four channel sound is appropriately amplified by the piano itself and the connection between keys and tonal dynamics is all there - I cannot imagine you would get an equal, let alone better, result with using multiple components/computers and software. So in this respect Matt's observations are probably completely valid - and he speaks from experience now.

Steve
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#1803333 - 12/09/11 03:55 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
kippesc Offline
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From my experience: the N2 is a nice, albeit expensive, MIDI controller. The internal sounds don't do it for me. By piping it into Ivory, I get better sound and better touch. I've just about got it playing like my Steinway B, which has been very carefully regulated. After a little more tweaking, I will post my preferred velocity curve.

The only reason I'm making this post is to caution those who might think the AG is worth the premium. You should at least try both the Kawai RM3 action (MP10 and CA93) and the Roland PHA III action with Ivory II. And you should try the Roland SuperNatural APs. If I were writing for a widely-circulated news magazine at Christmastime, I'd mention those alternative products as valid high quality options worthy of consideration.
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#1803382 - 12/09/11 05:49 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Gothri]
ClsscLib Offline

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What's the current equivalent of a Yamaha PF-1000?
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#1803409 - 12/09/11 06:41 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
EssBrace Offline
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I don't think there is one - it's like a cross between a lowish level CVP Clavinova and CP300.
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#1803412 - 12/09/11 06:52 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Dave Horne]
Dave Horne Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
Well, we could have a Yamaha dealer measure the length and compare it to other Yamaha models.

Irving, are you there?


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.
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#1803419 - 12/09/11 07:03 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Kawai James Online   content
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Dave, how long are the keys of the N1/N2/N3 (assuming they are all the same length)?

Cheers,
James
x
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#1803430 - 12/09/11 07:17 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Kawai James]
Dave Horne Offline
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Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Dave, how long are the keys of the N1/N2/N3 (assuming they are all the same length)?

Cheers,
James
x


Good question. I don't know. Once I learn how to easily remove the action I'll let you know.
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#1803432 - 12/09/11 07:20 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
36251 Offline
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I'm so glad that my hearing is not as discerning as some of the people who dislike the AG internal sounds. I enjoy both acoustic pianos. Even if Ivory is better, the samples are not 4-channel so playing them through the N2 speakers would not give you the same separation. Paying for a AG only for the action seems like a huge waste of money. If anything, I wish the EP sounds were better.
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#1803444 - 12/09/11 07:38 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
gvfarns Offline
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I think the differences in quality between decent piano sounds are mostly clear through headphones. When using speakers (especially unexceptional speakers) there sometimes isn't enough detail to tell. Further, when using headphones the AG sound is reduced to stereo, removing whatever advantage the four channels provide. So maybe through the onboard speakers the acoustic sound could compare well with a piped-in stereo Ivory sound. Though I'm pretty sure people have said that they liked piped in Ivory better, despite the noise gate issue with the AG line-in.

But heavy headphone users I would expect to prefer Ivory. I almost always use headphones, personally.


Edited by gvfarns (12/09/11 07:43 PM)

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#1803476 - 12/09/11 09:09 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: EssBrace]
dewster Offline
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Originally Posted By: EssBrace
... and he speaks from experience now.

Schooling TIME readers after having "just unwrapped the thing" and having "only had a few hours with the N2" is kind of a rash move IMO. We've owned the NX for going on a year now and I'm still not completely sure what I think about the piano sounds.
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#1803479 - 12/09/11 09:20 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: dewster]
ClsscLib Offline

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Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
... and he speaks from experience now.

Schooling TIME readers after having "just unwrapped the thing" and having "only had a few hours with the N2" is kind of a rash move IMO. We've owned the NX for going on a year now and I'm still not completely sure what I think about the piano sounds.


Well... the piece is headed, "First Impressions of Yamaha's N2...". That's kind of hard to misread.
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#1803481 - 12/09/11 09:28 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: dewster]
Kawai James Online   content
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Originally Posted By: dewster
having "only had a few hours with the N2" is kind of a rash move IMO. We've owned the NX for going on a year now and I'm still not completely sure what I think about the piano sounds.


Maybe you should try playing it? ;p

James
x
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#1803497 - 12/09/11 10:29 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Kawai James]
kippesc Offline
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Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Dave, how long are the keys of the N1/N2/N3 (assuming they are all the same length)?

Cheers,
James
x


James, Do you know the length of the MP-10 keys? What size of grand action is it intended to emulate?
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#1803502 - 12/09/11 10:44 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Kawai James Online   content
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kippesc, I'm afraid I cannot remember the key length off the top of my head. I have measured the keys in the past and posted the data here, but am unable to find the thread, unfortunately.

As for your second question, the 'RM3 Grand' action itself does not attempt to emulate any grand piano in particular.

Cheers,
James
x
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#1803514 - 12/09/11 11:02 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
gvfarns Offline
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They are just under 13 inches long as measured in a picture on this thread.

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#1803515 - 12/09/11 11:05 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Kawai James Online   content
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Ah, well remembered. wink

James
x
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#1803519 - 12/09/11 11:15 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
gvfarns Offline
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That was a very memorable thread for me. I keep thinking of opening up my MP8 and taking similar pictures for comparison but I'm not sure how much value added there will be...also I'm just a teeny bit scared that I might accidentally break something.

Someone needs to do a thorough AvantGrand nekid pictures thread so we can see some of the oft contested things like the true length of the keys (verify manufacturer claims), what's up with sensors on the hammers *and* the keys and the like.


Edited by gvfarns (12/09/11 11:21 PM)

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#1803531 - 12/09/11 11:35 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
kippesc Offline
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gvfarns, Thanks. That Kawai thread is really surprising and interesting. It seems to me that the distance from the front of the key to the pivot point may be the most important dimension in determining the feel of an action because the mass on the back end of the lever (key) can be adjusted to accomodate varying leverage ratios. I may be wrong, though. I'm no engineer. In any event, compare the pivot point on the MP10 keys with the pivot point on a 7-foot (I think) Steingraeber (at 00:24) in the following video.

http://vimeo.com/21494671
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#1803548 - 12/09/11 11:57 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
gvfarns Offline
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Yeah, I've always kind of wondered about that. Your notion seems intuitive.

At the same time, I've always thought piano feel is about rotational inertia (and down-weight, but that's a simple thing). Rotational inertia seems like it would be the same whether created through weights or length. I may be wrong, though. Engineers?


Edited by gvfarns (12/09/11 11:57 PM)

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#1803572 - 12/10/11 12:55 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: gvfarns]
dewster Offline
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Originally Posted By: gvfarns
... I've always thought piano feel is about rotational inertia (and down-weight, but that's a simple thing). Rotational inertia seems like it would be the same whether created through weights or length. I may be wrong, though. Engineers?

I've been doing some investigations into this for my own edification and really need to do a post on it.

A key is a lever, and levers rotating over small angles can be linearized without too much error, which means (to a first order) we can dispense with moments and the like. So imagine a key as a lever with a mass counterweight on the other end.

Accelerating the mass takes a force, which is felt through the lever. Mass also exerts a return force due to gravity, but the acceleration of a mass by gravity is independent of the mass itself, so this means the return time of the key is purely a function of the square root of the leverage ratio and not at all on the mass, which is kind of surprising (at least it was to me initially).

Long story short, you can make the key feel "heavier" by either increasing the mass counterweight or the leverage ratio, but the return time will slow down if you increase the leverage ratio.

So for portability you want little counterweights geared up through large ratios, but that means the keys return more slowly. But since the return time is related to the square root of the leverage ratio, you can play with the leverage somewhat without significantly impacting the return time. However, I believe "sluggish" DP keys have counterweights that are too small coupled to leverage ratios that are too high.

Also, the density of the key itself isn't very important, which is also a bit surprising, though for portability you generally want to keep it low.

Kapish?
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#1803580 - 12/10/11 01:34 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: dewster]
ando Offline
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Originally Posted By: dewster


Long story short, you can make the key feel "heavier" by either increasing the mass counterweight or the leverage ratio, but the return time will slow down if you increase the leverage ratio.


I like your summary, Dewster, but I wouldn't dispense with the role of momentum of the key system (key + hammers/weights/counterweights). Counterbalancing what is on either side of the pivot point on the lever has a certain effect on the perception of key weight (touch weight) but I think equally so, if not more, so is the rotational mass of the whole system. In short, how hard is it for the key to stop and change direction? If the rotational mass is high, it will be hard to play a note, release it and then play it again. Similarly when you press a key and it bottoms out, the felts on the keybed have to absorb the momentum before gravity or springs are able to send the key in the opposite direction. I think this is why a keyboard can feel relatively easy to play a few chords on, but the faster you play, the more the effect of rotational mass will become apparent - it's the effort to are expending into stopping and starting a mass. I have such a keyboard in my old Korg T1 - it's easier to press down and hold than my acoustic piano, but to play for longer periods, and to play faster it is quite exhausting.

My piano has a heavier touch weight, but is more agile with direction changes. For this reason, a good action with needs both aspects to feel pleasing to the player. I think this is a big part of what we are affected by when we try different DPs. They all have their own formula with regard to key length, mass, leverage, rotational mass, materials, etc. The formula also plays a big role in how expressive we feel we can be with a given action. We need to feel that we get reward for every physical effort we make and that we aren't expending effort just fighting against a resistant mechanism.

Interesting discussion. smile

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#1803703 - 12/10/11 10:40 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: ando]
dewster Offline
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Originally Posted By: ando
I like your summary, Dewster, but I wouldn't dispense with the role of momentum of the key system (key + hammers/weights/counterweights). Counterbalancing what is on either side of the pivot point on the lever has a certain effect on the perception of key weight (touch weight) but I think equally so, if not more, so is the rotational mass of the whole system. In short, how hard is it for the key to stop and change direction? If the rotational mass is high, it will be hard to play a note, release it and then play it again. Similarly when you press a key and it bottoms out, the felts on the keybed have to absorb the momentum before gravity or springs are able to send the key in the opposite direction. I think this is why a keyboard can feel relatively easy to play a few chords on, but the faster you play, the more the effect of rotational mass will become apparent - it's the effort to are expending into stopping and starting a mass. I have such a keyboard in my old Korg T1 - it's easier to press down and hold than my acoustic piano, but to play for longer periods, and to play faster it is quite exhausting.

Yes, I agree entirely, I was trying to keep my response here short and hopefully sweet. I'll do a full independent post soon.

Real piano actions often have counterbalance weights in the played ends of the keys, presumably to reduce the static downward force necessary to hold the note after being played, but this increases the mass that must be accelerated when the note is played quickly. It also increases the return time of the key, making it more sluggish that way.

DP keys generally don't need counterbalance weights on the played ends of the keys because the mass on the other end isn't really doing anything practical. So the designer can independently vary the key return time via the ratio, and the static weight via the mass & ratio.
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#1803719 - 12/10/11 11:14 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
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Great analysis. Only here's the question: how (if at all) does this analysis support the notion that longer keys are better? For example, wouldn't the 9 foot grand keyboard feel more sluggish than the baby grand? And the baby grand more sluggish than the MP10? According to what I read here, it seems like piano designers (at least, acoustic piano designers) would be trying to minimize key length. I guess maybe they do that, subject to making the hammer hit in the optimal place.

So we should be happy that the smaller grand action was used in the AvantGrands, rather than the concert action?


Edited by gvfarns (12/10/11 11:16 AM)

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#1803805 - 12/10/11 03:14 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: gvfarns]
dewster Offline
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Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Great analysis. Only here's the question: how (if at all) does this analysis support the notion that longer keys are better? For example, wouldn't the 9 foot grand keyboard feel more sluggish than the baby grand? And the baby grand more sluggish than the MP10? According to what I read here, it seems like piano designers (at least, acoustic piano designers) would be trying to minimize key length. I guess maybe they do that, subject to making the hammer hit in the optimal place.

Leverage is a ratio. Imagine a teeter-totter constructed in the usual way from a single board and pivot located in the very center. A weight on one end will the be felt 1:1 on the other end. It doesn't matter how large the actual board is if the leverage is 1:1 and you only press on the end.

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
So we should be happy that the smaller grand action was used in the AvantGrands, rather than the concert action?

Just the opposite. As Kippesc brought up above, the distance from the front of the key to the pivot point dictates how much the leverage ratio varies as you play closer to the end of the key or closer to the pivot point. Keys with more distance here ("longer keys" I suppose) will have less variation in this respect, which most would likely argue is a good thing, as the touch will vary less depending on where on the key you play. Thus, the revelation that the AG has the keys of a small grand rather than the nine foot CFIIIS as implied by Yamaha's press release likely isn't good news.
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#1803824 - 12/10/11 03:59 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Kawai James]
dewster Offline
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Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
Well... the piece is headed, "First Impressions of Yamaha's N2...". That's kind of hard to misread.

The full title of the article is "Piano or Pretender? First Impressions of Yamaha's AvantGrand N2". Even a quick first impression could easily reveal the audible looping on the low notes if one were looking for immediate evidence that the AG somehow fails in the complete realism department. Real pianos don't loop. Call me a serious nitpicker, but for me it's a pretender because you can't use it for critical intimate recording - though by most accounts a very well done one as these things go. In conclusion, Chick Corea and Glenn Gould something something.
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#1803831 - 12/10/11 04:11 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: dewster]
gvfarns Offline
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Originally Posted By: dewster
As Kippesc brought up above, the distance from the front of the key to the pivot point dictates how much the leverage ratio varies as you play closer to the end of the key or closer to the pivot point. Keys with more distance here ("longer keys" I suppose) will have less variation in this respect, which most would likely argue is a good thing, as the touch will vary less depending on where on the key you play. Thus, the revelation that the AG has the keys of a small grand rather than the nine foot CFIIIS as implied by Yamaha's press release likely isn't good news.


Ahh. I hadn't been thinking about how hard it is to play at the front of the key vs the back. Good reason to have long keys. Thanks for that explanation.

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#1803844 - 12/10/11 04:39 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: dewster]
EssBrace Offline
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Originally Posted By: dewster
Call me a serious nitpicker


You are a SERIOUS nitpicker!
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#1803861 - 12/10/11 05:20 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: EssBrace]
dewster Offline
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Originally Posted By: EssBrace
You are a SERIOUS nitpicker!

OK, now back to your short-keyed, mechanically-disadvantaged, recording-challenged, 438 lb, £8000, quadraphonic looper! smile
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#1803875 - 12/10/11 05:44 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: kippesc]
KarelG Offline
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Originally Posted By: kippesc
gvfarns, Thanks. That Kawai thread is really surprising and interesting. It seems to me that the distance from the front of the key to the pivot point may be the most important dimension in determining the feel of an action because the mass on the back end of the lever (key) can be adjusted to accomodate varying leverage ratios. I may be wrong, though. I'm no engineer. In any event, compare the pivot point on the MP10 keys with the pivot point on a 7-foot (I think) Steingraeber (at 00:24) in the following video.

http://vimeo.com/21494671

Hello,
this is indeed interesting intuitive idea. I think you are right, since perhaps the action "feel" is also partly formed by consistency in between different fingers. I'll explain: more longer keys you get, you get longer distance from key top to the turning point and the ratio between distance of turning point to end of the key as you see it from the top of the keyboard and distance from the turning point to the top of the key, so this ratio is higher if you do have longer keys. Man's hands are curved and you can see a lot of people naturally playing not with fingers in the row, but forming an arc on the keyboard. This means some fingers need to press with more power (those longer fingers which are usually nearer to the turning point) then others (short fingers which are just playing on top of the keys and so their distance to turning point is longest). So from this it looks like the "feel" of action might also depend on this consistency of required press weight and this purely depends on the length of the keys from their top to the turning point. Longer the distance, better should be the "feel" -- at least from this point of view.
There are also another aspects like key's weight, their inertia etc, which all combined together make the actual man feel of the action. Also there is a possibility that some of us put higher priority on some of the action property (e.g. key length and hence consistency in weight in between fingers) while others put more priority on another property of the action....
This all is so interesting indeed...
Karel
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#1803887 - 12/10/11 06:11 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Dave Horne Offline
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This all comes down to control. The longer the key (the greater the distance on both sides of the fulcrum), the more control you have. (Now, I'm sure there a sweet spot regarding the percentage of the length on one side of the fulcrum compared to the other side, but with grand pianos we're dealing with some constraints and the comparison is between a six footer and a nine footer.)

Now, I don't know if I would pass a blindfold test on guessing the specific actions, I just know that all things being equal, I'd have more finesse on the action from a nine footer.
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#1803894 - 12/10/11 06:23 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
kippesc Offline
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I owned a Steinway M (5' 7") before trading it in for a B (6' 10.5"). That was when I first discovered that one can, in fact, feel the difference between the actions. I don't have a clear preference between the two, but they are different.


Edited by kippesc (12/10/11 06:23 PM)
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#1803896 - 12/10/11 06:35 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: dewster]
EssBrace Offline
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Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
You are a SERIOUS nitpicker!

OK, now back to your short-keyed, mechanically-disadvantaged, recording-challenged, 438 lb, £8000, quadraphonic looper! smile


I'm planning to conduct a jovial little parade at my place one day soon. Dewster, if you're not too busy shattering dreams and destroying illusions held dear by wide-eyed optimists on your side of the pond, be a dear and pop over and rain on it will you? Otherwise the positivity would probably be unsettling.

By the way, I so wish I'd paid £8000 for my AG! And "quadrophonic" - you're showing your age there!

Steve
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#1803924 - 12/10/11 07:46 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
36251 Offline
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I'm no expert on any of this but I'd say that the action for the AG matches the level of sampling engineering you can achieve with today's technology. If it had a 9' grand action wouldn't you need some new development which would allow for more variations of the sound of a piano so you'd have something greater to control?
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#1803930 - 12/10/11 07:53 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
gvfarns Offline
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I'm having trouble finding a reference, but I thought AG is supposed to have many more possible velocity levels internally than the 128 provided by MIDI. Isn't that right? Yamaha "greyscale" or something?

Did I get this confused with another product?


Edited by gvfarns (12/10/11 07:54 PM)

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#1803944 - 12/10/11 08:28 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: dewster]
ClsscLib Offline

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Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
Well... the piece is headed, "First Impressions of Yamaha's N2...". That's kind of hard to misread.

The full title of the article is "Piano or Pretender? First Impressions of Yamaha's AvantGrand N2". Even a quick first impression could easily reveal the audible looping on the low notes if one were looking for immediate evidence that the AG somehow fails in the complete realism department. Real pianos don't loop. Call me a serious nitpicker, but for me it's a pretender because you can't use it for critical intimate recording - though by most accounts a very well done one as these things go. In conclusion, Chick Corea and Glenn Gould something something.


There's no doubt that the N1 is not a Fazioli 228. But then it's not >$200k in cost and 7-1/2 feet long either.

The clear consensus among pros is that the AG action is far better than anything else available on a non-acoustic, and better than virtually all acoustic uprights and some grands. And the sound, if not perfect, is pretty danged good.

One might ask a lot more for the money. For example, I might like like Scarlett Johansson turning pages... but where are you going to get that deal?


Edited by ClsscLib (12/10/11 09:39 PM)
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#1804012 - 12/10/11 10:30 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: 36251]
dewster Offline
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Originally Posted By: 36251
I'm no expert on any of this but I'd say that the action for the AG matches the level of sampling engineering you can achieve with today's technology. If it had a 9' grand action wouldn't you need some new development which would allow for more variations of the sound of a piano so you'd have something greater to control?

Are you suggesting they've hobbled the AG action to keep it on roughly the same technological level with the looped internal sound generation technology? Or that you would need more MIDI velocity resolution with a longer key action?
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#1804098 - 12/11/11 02:44 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: dewster]
36251 Offline
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Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: 36251
I'm no expert on any of this but I'd say that the action for the AG matches the level of sampling engineering you can achieve with today's technology. If it had a 9' grand action wouldn't you need some new development which would allow for more variations of the sound of a piano so you'd have something greater to control?

Are you suggesting they've hobbled the AG action to keep it on roughly the same technological level with the looped internal sound generation technology? Or that you would need more MIDI velocity resolution with a longer key action?
First off - I love my N2. If there are loops or any other imperfections with the action, I don't hear or feel them and I'm not looking for them. IMO - this is like other posts say "better than any upright and many grands."

As to my layman's post - yes velocity standards, I believe, haven't changed since first introduced so my thought was if you had an action from a 9' that is suppose to give you more control over dynamics, it only makes sense that it would be better suited attached to some new velocity standard.

I realize that Yamaha has taken sampling farther with the AG and I certainly get that feeling when I'm playing it but what if they could match twice as much nuance of a 9 footer?
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#1804199 - 12/11/11 09:23 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: gvfarns]
dewster Offline
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Originally Posted By: gvfarns
I'm having trouble finding a reference, but I thought AG is supposed to have many more possible velocity levels internally than the 128 provided by MIDI. Isn't that right? Yamaha "greyscale" or something?

Did I get this confused with another product?

There's some chatter about that on this thread, but I don't see references so I can't tell the origins of the info other than PW member athomik, who states:

Originally Posted By: athomik
You might have a problem taking advantage of the speaker placement if the software can't handle 4 channel sampling into 12 separate audio channels, as you get with the AvantGrand. The software would also only respond to 128 step key velocity whereas the AvantGrand uses continous (grey scale) key and hammer velocity internally.

The "12 separate audio channels" to me sounds like simple frequency band separation via filters (tweeter, woofer, sub). *Yawn* as James would say. If the 4 channel thing wasn't true it would be a bombshell.

The grayscale thing strikes me as meaningless hype. I imagine most keyboards resolve velocity to more than 127 levels in order to have no missing MIDI codes after running it through thresholds and curves and such. Higher resolution velocity measurement is virtually free, just extra bits in the counter they're using as a timer.

The real trick would be high resolution position tracking, you could do literally anything with that.
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#1804210 - 12/11/11 10:01 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Dave Horne]
dewster Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
This all comes down to control. The longer the key (the greater the distance on both sides of the fulcrum), the more control you have.

Just to be clear, minimization of mechanical advantage variation only depends on the length from the playing end of the key to the pivot point.

This whole short keys in the AG thing has me intrigued. Is it difficult to access the the front of the action in the AG? For reference I just popped off the fall board on our 6.1' Young-Chang and accessed the action well enough to measure the pivot point of a white key to the playing end. It measures 9 1/2 inches and is constant over the entire keyboard. The black key pivots are located about 3/4" farther in:


From a white key pivot to the end of a white key - 9.5".


From a black key pivot to the end of a white key - difference in pivot point locations is 0.75".
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#1804219 - 12/11/11 10:35 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Dave Horne Offline
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And the distance from that pin all the way to the hammer is ... ?
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#1804223 - 12/11/11 10:44 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Dave Horne]
dewster Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
And the distance from that pin all the way to the hammer is ... ?

Dunno. I was probably unclear? When I said "playing end" I meant the end you play with your fingers, not the end with the hammer.
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#1804274 - 12/11/11 12:39 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
gvfarns Offline
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For comparison, based on the picture, it looks like the MP10 keys are about 7 1/4 inch for white keys and...hard to tell...6 inches for black keys maybe? (to the pivot point from the front of the key).


Edited by gvfarns (12/11/11 12:39 PM)

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#1804280 - 12/11/11 12:59 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: dewster]
gvfarns Offline
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Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
I'm having trouble finding a reference, but I thought AG is supposed to have many more possible velocity levels internally than the 128 provided by MIDI. Isn't that right? Yamaha "greyscale" or something?

Did I get this confused with another product?

There's some chatter about that on this thread, but I don't see references so I can't tell the origins of the info other than PW member athomik, who states:

The "12 separate audio channels" to me sounds like simple frequency band separation via filters (tweeter, woofer, sub). *Yawn* as James would say. If the 4 channel thing wasn't true it would be a bombshell.

The grayscale thing strikes me as meaningless hype. I imagine most keyboards resolve velocity to more than 127 levels in order to have no missing MIDI codes after running it through thresholds and curves and such. Higher resolution velocity measurement is virtually free, just extra bits in the counter they're using as a timer.

The real trick would be high resolution position tracking, you could do literally anything with that.


Interesting. Yeah I guess it makes you wonder whether the sound is really resolved at better than 128 levels or whether velocity is just mapped to 128 and then 128 blends of however many sampled layers are available in the sounds.

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.

On a slightly different note, I've been thinking about kippesc's comment a bit ago (link) that his N2 will not play off the jack as his acoustic and Roland will. If the N2 will not register a key press from that height, does that mean the sensors are not configured or capable of registering very fast repeated notes? In other words, is it possible that the double escapement in an AvantGrand (though physically present) does not actually work because the sensors won't pick it up as a hammer strike?

If so that would be a significant strike against AvantGrands, since PHAIII and RM3 actions both allow this type of repetition and the real grand action is a major AG selling point.

Anyone with experience or thoughts on that?


Edited by gvfarns (12/11/11 01:02 PM)

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#1804420 - 12/11/11 05:48 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Dave Horne Offline
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If the N2 will not register a key press from that height, does that mean the sensors are not configured or capable of registering very fast repeated notes?

Start listening from 6:15 to the end.

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#1804432 - 12/11/11 06:09 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
sullivang Online   blank
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@Kippesc:
RE: the "playing off the jack", I'm wondering whether it's simply that the double-escapement position sensor is not positioned exactly at the point where the jack starts to be pulled sideways by the whippen. One thing you could do is to make absolutely sure that it has ANY double-escapement sensing, by doing the following test:

1. Play a note normally, and hold the key down.
2. While the note is still sounding, slowly release the key until the sound stops. Note the point in the return at which the sound stops.
3. Lift off the key completely
4. Play the note again, and hold the key down
5. While the note is still sounding, slowly release the key to a point just below the point where the note is known to stop. If you go too far and the note does stop, lift off completely and go back to Step 4.
6. With the key just below the note termination point, and with the note still sounding, press down on the key again forcefully. If a new note sounds, you have double escapement sensing. If a new note does NOT sound, you probably do not have double-escapement sensing.

My Casio PX-330 passes the above test, and so do tri-sensor Yamaha Clavinovas and Roland PHAIII-based DPs. (it would be extremely bizarre if your N2 did not pass this test)

Greg.


Edited by sullivang (12/11/11 06:15 PM)

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#1804437 - 12/11/11 06:21 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
sullivang Online   blank
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@Dave: RE: that performance, I don't think I hear any extremely soft playing that might be a test of "playing off the jack". And whilst it is very impressive overall, parts of it sound sloppy to me, but I am not familiar with that piece. I.e - in some parts where he is rapidly repeating, it sounds like there are missing notes - it just sounds sort of slurred and "wrong" to me. (anyone else notice that? I am listening from 6:15 but stopped when it went back to the narrative.)

Greg.


Edited by sullivang (12/11/11 06:21 PM)

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#1804443 - 12/11/11 06:32 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
gvfarns Offline
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Though right around where I notice missing notes, he starts saying it makes more sense to miss some notes and connect with the audience than to play perfectly and bore them.

Wish I had the option. Most often I miss notes *and* bore them. smile


Edited by gvfarns (12/11/11 06:32 PM)

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#1804461 - 12/11/11 07:15 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: sullivang]
kippesc Offline
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Originally Posted By: sullivang
@Kippesc:
RE: the "playing off the jack", I'm wondering whether it's simply that the double-escapement position sensor is not positioned exactly at the point where the jack starts to be pulled sideways by the whippen. One thing you could do is to make absolutely sure that it has ANY double-escapement sensing, by doing the following test:

1. Play a note normally, and hold the key down.
2. While the note is still sounding, slowly release the key until the sound stops. Note the point in the return at which the sound stops.
3. Lift off the key completely
4. Play the note again, and hold the key down
5. While the note is still sounding, slowly release the key to a point just below the point where the note is known to stop. If you go too far and the note does stop, lift off completely and go back to Step 4.
6. With the key just below the note termination point, and with the note still sounding, press down on the key again forcefully. If a new note sounds, you have double escapement sensing. If a new note does NOT sound, you probably do not have double-escapement sensing.

My Casio PX-330 passes the above test, and so do tri-sensor Yamaha Clavinovas and Roland PHAIII-based DPs. (it would be extremely bizarre if your N2 did not pass this test)

Greg.


The N2 passes this test just fine and very realistically.
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#1804463 - 12/11/11 07:20 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
sullivang Online   blank
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Good. So, you could now determine the minimum return amount to allow a repeat. If that point is above the point of increasing jack/whippen resistance, that might explain why you can't "play off the jack". If you are pressing down very slowly so you can stop the notes at the "notch", it may have registered a note-start BEFORE you reach that point, and by the time you actually complete the stroke, it has decided that the notes have been played too softly for the hammers to strike the strings, even if your mechanical hammers really do strike your rubber stop. smile
(there's a point - are your hammers actually hitting the stop, or not? If not, maybe it needs regulation!)

Greg.


Edited by sullivang (12/11/11 07:22 PM)

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#1804473 - 12/11/11 07:36 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
kippesc Offline
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sullivang, I will check the MIDI codes and report back. The instrument doesn't need regulation. Its touch is even and consistent from bottom to top. In general, if it needed regulation, there'd be unevenness in the touch and SOME KEY would play off the jack, just not all keys. It is, of course, possible that the whole thing is out of wack, but I doubt that is the case. (But who knows, maybe another AG owner can get theirs to play off the jack.)


Edited by kippesc (12/11/11 09:26 PM)
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#1804528 - 12/11/11 09:24 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
kippesc Offline
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sullivang, Using Pianoteq's MIDI info, the AG sends an "Aftertouch Value 127" for the note being played when you try to play off the jack, but it does not send any actual note velocity. When you release the key, the AG sends an "Aftertouch Value 0." In a software piano, you could assign that info a low velocity and achieve the "playing off the jack" effect. However, it's a little jumpy, if you approach the letoff point with any speed, the AG sends the Aftertouch Value 127 without needing the key to be pressed all the way to the bottom. But if you approach the letoff point carefully (and don't trigger the Aftertouch info prematurely), you'll get the playing off the jack effect.
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#1804589 - 12/11/11 11:47 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
sullivang Online   blank
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Thanks!

So, if you press a key very carefully, and stop just before the "notch", you can hold it there for as long as you like, right? If you then press down forcefully, a very soft note will sound. Do you get an Aftertouch AND a Note-On in this case, or just one or the other? Anyway, from your description, it appears that the re-trigger sensor (the middle sensor in a tri-sensor action) is positioned slightly above the "notch", which could be considered a small deficiency in the design, I suppose.

I thought the Avangtgrand would use the hammer for the velocity sensing, though. It looks like it might be using the key. (although it's hard to be sure yet)

Greg.

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#1804602 - 12/12/11 12:19 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: sullivang]
kippesc Offline
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Originally Posted By: sullivang
[i] So, if you press a key very carefully, and stop just before the "notch", you can hold it there for as long as you like, right? [ii] If you then press down forcefully, a very soft note will sound.

(i) Yes, you can hold it there for as long as you like; it is as though you've done nothing, pressed nothing. (ii) Not correct. You cannot "play off the jack."

Originally Posted By: sullivang
Do you get an Aftertouch AND a Note-On in this case, or just one or the other?

If you slowly and gently depress to the notch, then, from that point, smash the key hard, from the notch-point to the bottom of the range, you get Aftertouch only. You do not get a note on. Again, you cannot "play off the jack."
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#1804604 - 12/12/11 12:23 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: kippesc]
sullivang Online   blank
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Originally Posted By: kippesc
But if you approach the letoff point carefully (and don't trigger the Aftertouch info prematurely), you'll get the playing off the jack effect.


What do you mean by this, exactly? Are you saying that if you stop just ABOVE the let-off point, you can then play a note forcefully, and a soft note will sound?

Greg.

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#1804615 - 12/12/11 01:07 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: sullivang]
kippesc Offline
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Originally Posted By: sullivang
Originally Posted By: kippesc
But if you approach the letoff point carefully (and don't trigger the Aftertouch info prematurely), you'll get the playing off the jack effect.


What do you mean by this, exactly? Are you saying that if you stop just ABOVE the let-off point, you can then play a note forcefully, and a soft note will sound?

Greg.


I was talking hypothetically about a situation where, using the AG purely as a MIDI controller, you might reassign the Aftertouch 127 value to a very soft Note-on value (velocity 1, maybe?). In that event, if the AG sent an Aftertouch 127 value, Pianoteq (for example) would play a very soft note (Note-on 1).

The problem with reassigning the Aftertouch 127 value would be, I presume, that you would no longer be able to depress a note silently in order to lift the dampers -- in order, say, to utilize string resonance or to achieve what Dewster would call "silent replay."

Furthermore, the Aftertouch 127 value does not work in the same way as playing off the jack would work. It seems to be a signal that is sent at the point where the key has travelled to the notch, but not necessarily bottomed out.

In any event, now that I've thought about this a little more, I don't think reassigning Aftertouch 127 to, say, Note-on 1 would work very well at replicating playing off the jack. I hereby retract the portion of my previous post that you've quoted. I don't think that will work well.

I have to say, this is all getting fairly abstruse, even for my taste. The only reason I made the observation about "playing off the jack" was that I was amazed that the Roland RD-700NX achieved the effect. Is that because Roland intended to achieve the effect or is it just a happy coincidence? It's such a weird technique. As we all know, sometimes performers invent techniques that instrument designers may never have anticipated (playing a violin with the wood of the bow; playing an electric guitar near the speakers to intentionally achieve feedback; a glissando on a clarinet; a horse whinny on a trumpet; rolling a brush on a snare drum; banging on the cymbal stand with a drum stick; castrati). I put playing off the jack in that category. A nice trick to know that I'll probably never employ and would never have expected to find in a DP.

Note: There are no intentional double entendres in this post. I didn't invent these terms.
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#1804620 - 12/12/11 01:33 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
sullivang Online   blank
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RE: the Roland, perhaps they simply positioned the middle sensor slightly after the let-off feel rubber flap? (why not design it as authentically as possible?) It doesn't seem to be such a hard thing to get right, even though it is admittedly an extremely subtle detail. Perhaps, though, if one tried hard enough, it would be possible to make the Roland fail as well. For example, there might be a tiny window of travel between the middle sensor and the let-off flap, where a note can be re-triggered without the let-off feel. This would not be authentic, because it would represent a piano that is repeating without the jack returning under the hammer knuckle.

Thanks for your clarification and patience, anyhow.

Greg.


Edited by sullivang (12/12/11 01:38 AM)

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#1804678 - 12/12/11 06:14 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
36251 Offline
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Very curious?

Is this discussion to pluck holes in the AG as being "not worth the money, not as good as soft pianos, not as good as EP hammer actions?" How often do people play off the jack "whatever that is?" Don't get me wrong, I'm staying up with this thread cause I like my AG so much it's nice to hear people discussing an axe I own for a change.

For me practicing is more meaningful and jamming with friend with Aebersold is also closer to the real experience of gigging.

I don't think I could sit at the best grand piano (if I had room and money) and still get as useful of practice sessions. For me, the grand piano will be for performance, where I will hopefully be very comfortable after priming my skills on my AG.
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#1804682 - 12/12/11 06:31 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: 36251]
EssBrace Offline
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Originally Posted By: 36251
Is this discussion to pluck holes in the AG as being "not worth the money, not as good as soft pianos, not as good as EP hammer actions?" How often do people play off the jack "whatever that is?" Don't get me wrong, I'm staying up with this thread cause I like my AG so much it's nice to hear people discussing an axe I own for a change.


Mate, just enjoy your N2. This particular argument is going around in ever decreasing circles - perhaps it will end when the participants disappear up their own bottoms...
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#1804705 - 12/12/11 08:02 AM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: EssBrace]
Dave Horne Offline
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Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Originally Posted By: 36251
Is this discussion to pluck holes in the AG as being "not worth the money, not as good as soft pianos, not as good as EP hammer actions?" How often do people play off the jack "whatever that is?" Don't get me wrong, I'm staying up with this thread cause I like my AG so much it's nice to hear people discussing an axe I own for a change.


Mate, just enjoy your N2. This particular argument is going around in ever decreasing circles - perhaps it will end when the participants disappear up their own bottoms...


I couldn't have said that better.

The next discussion will cover the imperceptible though extremely important air currents that arise from the movement of the hammers and how those currents effect the propagation of sound waves. The hammers in the AvantGrand are shaped differently and this subtle effect is lost. smile
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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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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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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 Offline
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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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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 Offline
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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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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 Offline
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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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#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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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]
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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 Offline
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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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#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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@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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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 Offline
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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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#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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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]
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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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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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#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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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
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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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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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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
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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
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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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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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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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#1990088 - 11/23/12 03:03 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
gvfarns Offline
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Ahhh the season of NAMM. So promising and so often disappointing.

I anticipated so much last year and the only things it delivered (that attracted my attention) were the NU1 and Ivory's American Steinway.

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#1990165 - 11/23/12 09:53 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: gvfarns]
kippesc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 407
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Ahhh the season of NAMM. So promising and so often disappointing.

I anticipated so much last year and the only things it delivered (that attracted my attention) were the NU1 and Ivory's American Steinway.


Do you suppose Synthogy will announce a new product that will ship Summer 2013 -- i.e., Sept or Oct 2013? [Insert winky emoticon.] I do like Synthogy's stuff; I just get impatient waiting 9 months for it.
_________________________
Steinway B
Yamaha AvantGrand N2
Roland RD-700NX

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#1990553 - 11/25/12 01:37 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
Haha, yeah that was disappointing too. We had a demo of the new piano in January, but they must have been doing some major debugging or something because no one here could get their hands on one for a looooong time.

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#2019649 - 01/23/13 12:58 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
_________________________
Yamaha AvantGrand N2
Nord Electro 4 HP

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#2019659 - 01/23/13 01:15 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
36251 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 751
Originally Posted By: Matt Peckham
Have one, love it. Thanks for sharing.
_________________________
AG N2, CP4, GK MK & MP

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#2019664 - 01/23/13 01:30 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1731
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Nice piece Matt, enjoyed it. And nice gig too... cool

I'll be checking the Marriott out here in a day or two (NAMM) to see if anything is new in the world of Yamahas and AGs.
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Yamaha CP4, CP5 (home use) , RCF TT08A, TT22A speakers

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#2019671 - 01/23/13 01:43 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Dave Ferris]
Matt Peckham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 41
Loc: Michigan
Thanks Dave! The other bit of fun news: Just joined two local bands and picked up a Nord Electro 4 HP, so I'll circle back soon with a review of that.

Looking forward to hearing your reports on NAMM. I was on the verge of going myself, but my wife and I are about to build a house and we're looking after a 6-month-old (our first). It'd be fun to connect at one of these shows down the road...


Edited by Matt Peckham (01/23/13 01:43 PM)
_________________________
Yamaha AvantGrand N2
Nord Electro 4 HP

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#2019692 - 01/23/13 02:40 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1731
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Most definitely ! Hope to meet up sometime. Yeah the Nords are the best thing going for lightweight gigging tools. I'm enjoying my Nord Piano 2 for what it is.

Wow, you and your wife have more then enough going on right now.. Never any kids here, just dogs .. smile Congrats on both of the new additions, our niece just had their first on 12/28, so everyone's excited over that.
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Yamaha CP4, CP5 (home use) , RCF TT08A, TT22A speakers

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#2019764 - 01/23/13 04:52 PM Re: Presto: From a Kawai MP10 to a Yamaha AvantGrand N2... [Re: Matt Peckham]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9360
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Matt, congrats on your new additions - both the Nord and the baby! 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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#2021012 - 01/25/13 09:35 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
Very good second review of the N2.

In the picture, you show the piano with the top lid down; I've found that makes it sound (not surprisingly) like it's closed up in a box, and it deadens the high frequencies. Do you tend to keep the top lid closed/down?

Also, you mention playing software pianos through the N2 (using the line ins), which works, but there is an issue with a noise gate that Yamaha put in the instrument which creates issues when playing quietly, or when notes are sustained and allowed to decay to a quiet level. When the noise gate threshold is reached, you start to hear an effect that is like the volume control being turned up and down, up and down.
_________________________
Steinway B
Yamaha AvantGrand N2
Roland RD-700NX

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