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#1930001 - 07/20/12 10:22 PM New(ish) AvantGrand video
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2426
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Folks,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG5EVGf98lU&feature=relmfu

Just saw this recent addition to YouTube. Don't think anyone has referenced this before on PW. It's mainly just salesmanship to be honest - perhaps it's even exclusively salesmanship!

But perhaps worth a watch from about 2:30.

Cheers,

Steve
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#1930023 - 07/20/12 11:14 PM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1834
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
I haven't seen the action displayed like that anywhere else, and there are a few other factoids here that are new. Thanks for posting it, Steve!
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#1930036 - 07/20/12 11:47 PM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
Melodialworks Music Offline
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Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 1309
Loc: Canada
Interesting. John Ebata is who I purchased my N3 from.

Lawrence
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#1930041 - 07/21/12 12:08 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
kippesc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 407
Loc: United States
This video will undoubtedly stimulate much discussion (though perhaps little that hasn't already been said on PW). For those who do not own one of these things, I would point out that (1) there's no evidence I'm aware of that this instrument detects and produces a more subtle range of velocities than typical MIDI 0 to 127 (It doesn't play with more granularity/subtlety than a 0 to 127 board, IMHO, and the MIDI outs are certainly 0 to 127.) and (2) I believe it's fairly well established that the action isn't that of a "concert grand" but rather a much shorter grand.

Puffery aside, the instrument is useful for practice. I doubt I'll sell my N2 anytime soon. I just think the marketing gets a little overblown sometimes.
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Yamaha AvantGrand N2
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#1930078 - 07/21/12 03:16 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: kippesc]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3705
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: kippesc
I believe it's fairly well established that the action isn't that of a "concert grand" but rather a much shorter grand.


Yes, a very short grand indeed. I am surprised at the short key length actually. I'm not sure they aren't custom length keys specifically for the AG. They really are a bit too short IMO - shorter than my U3's keys and quite a bit shorter to the pivot than Kawai's latest RM3 action in the CA65/95. That's a large oversight, IMO, given it governs the touch so much when playing further up the key.

Regarding the increased internal MIDI resolution - yes it's odd that it only ever gets spoken about anecdotally. Why would Yamaha want to avoid stating this number in any of its documentation? Surely it would be better to let us know if it were better than 128 steps. Even if it were only 256 or 512 - still a good selling point. The fact that it's never been written anywhere suggests it's all smoke and mirrors and it's just normal MIDI.

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#1930093 - 07/21/12 04:21 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
Dave Horne Offline
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Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
I posted here a while back asking about the length of various sized actions and where the N series fits in.

I forget the information. smile I assume it's comparable to a six footer ... or slightly more.
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#1930102 - 07/21/12 05:25 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
Karnevil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/17/06
Posts: 160
Yeah, I'm very happy with my AvantGrand, but to say that it's pretty much identical to a real HQ acoustic grand is just not true. Too many shortcuts, and still the N3 costs a fortune. However, you're not gonna find a better digital piano on the market today...

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#1930110 - 07/21/12 05:53 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: ando]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2426
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: ando
Yes, a very short grand indeed. I am surprised at the short key length actually. I'm not sure they aren't custom length keys specifically for the AG. They really are a bit too short IMO - shorter than my U3's keys and quite a bit shorter to the pivot than Kawai's latest RM3 action in the CA65/95.


ando, can you point us to the reference for this information? I've seen the action out on my N3 when the Yamaha tech came to do something to it and I certainly did not get the impression the key/action length was unusually short. I was told that the action was essentially a C3 action with specialised hammer assembly.

The video is mainly marketing puffery - the AG certainly does not have a concert grand action but I do think there is substance in the velocity claim. I think it is capable of recognising 1000+ *playing* levels but when those levels are divided across maybe just 5,6,7 or even 8 *real* velocity layers in the sampling process, even with a blended/filtered sound engine, then the velocity resolution of the sensors etc is a bit of a moot point and of little consequence. 1000+ genuinely graduated volume *and* timbral layers would be nice but I don't think anyone could make that claim for the AG.

I also agree with kippesc that it doesn't really play with any more nuance than a 0-127 DP but the additional *value* if you like is the interaction with the real action, and that makes it *feel* much more nuanced. Having owned more or less everything it is my opinion that the AG is on another level entirely, purely in terms of tactile feedback and satisfaction. The MP10 is very good but just not even close to the AG - understandable given that the N3 for instance is over five times the price of the MP10.

On another topic, I've been spending lots of time listening to Yamaha U3 upright videos on YT and I'm reassessing my attitude to upright pianos. A good one sounds wonderful.

Anyway, enough of my waffling.

Steve



Edited by EssBrace (07/21/12 05:56 AM)
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#1930141 - 07/21/12 08:00 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
gvfarns Offline
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Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3484
Loc: Pennsylvania
I think the thread he's referring to is this one.

At about the same time I asked the piano technicians about key ratios. Specifically I was asking whether the ratio of the fulrum to key edge to fulrum to hammer was the same in every piano, but it turned a bit into a discussion of key length overall. Some guys over there felt that the longer keys of a concert grand were not necessarily better because longer keys have more flex and also more inertia. Well, you can read it yourself here.


Edited by gvfarns (07/21/12 08:08 AM)

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#1930144 - 07/21/12 08:07 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3705
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Originally Posted By: ando
Yes, a very short grand indeed. I am surprised at the short key length actually. I'm not sure they aren't custom length keys specifically for the AG. They really are a bit too short IMO - shorter than my U3's keys and quite a bit shorter to the pivot than Kawai's latest RM3 action in the CA65/95.


ando, can you point us to the reference for this information? I've seen the action out on my N3 when the Yamaha tech came to do something to it and I certainly did not get the impression the key/action length was unusually short. I was told that the action was essentially a C3 action with specialised hammer assembly.




No reference, I was going by the various action models I've seen recently while shopping for a grand piano. Most shops have a working model of the action for particular models and some grands actually had the action and keys exposed to see. They were generally quite a bit longer from the end of the black key to the pivot. I just had a look at my U3 action and it is about the same length as the AG - so I was incorrect about saying the U3 was longer.

I'm not suggesting the AG isn't a nice action or that it's a dog to play, but it's a fair way off a concert action - with those you barely notice a difference between playing at the front of the key or all the way in at the fallboard. I think Yamaha probably kept the key length on the shorter side because they were going for compactness in the design and they wanted the action to fit in all 3 models of the AG. That's fine by me, I just think they shouldn't hype it up and suggest it has the key-length of a concert grand in these promotional videos.

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#1930145 - 07/21/12 08:09 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: ando]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2426
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: ando
I just think they shouldn't hype it up and suggest it has the key-length of a concert grand in these promotional videos.


Totally agree with you.
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#1930148 - 07/21/12 08:14 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4365
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
I've seen the action out on my N3 when the Yamaha tech came to do something to it and I certainly did not get the impression the key/action length was unusually short. I was told that the action was essentially a C3 action with specialised hammer assembly.

Over on this thread we were told the AG action is based on a C1 Conservatory Classic Collection piano (5-foot, 3-inch grand).

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
The video is mainly marketing puffery - the AG certainly does not have a concert grand action but I do think there is substance in the velocity claim. I think it is capable of recognising 1000+ *playing* levels but when those levels are divided across maybe just 5,6,7 or even 8 *real* velocity layers in the sampling process, even with a blended/filtered sound engine, then the velocity resolution of the sensors etc is a bit of a moot point and of little consequence. 1000+ genuinely graduated volume *and* timbral layers would be nice but I don't think anyone could make that claim for the AG.

Around 1:30 he seems to imply that it has the keys of a 9' grand: "... so if you think of having a Yamaha CFx or CF3 9' concert grand fully MIDIed up so I can record and send, print out my notation that I'm playing...".

What I find a tad disturbing in the video (thanks very much for bringing it to our attention Steve!) is the passing on of Yamaha apocrypha, rather than real specs. This isn't the Shroud of Turin or dinosaur eggs we're talking about, this is something that's currently being manufactured.
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#1930149 - 07/21/12 08:15 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: gvfarns]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2426
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
At about the same time I asked the piano technicians about key ratios. Specifically I was asking whether the ratio of the fulrum to key edge to fulrum to hammer was the same in every piano, but it turned a bit into a discussion of key length overall. Some guys over there felt that the longer keys of a concert grand were not necessarily better because longer keys have more flex and also more inertia. Well, you can read it yourself here.


Thanks, very interesting.
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#1930152 - 07/21/12 08:20 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: dewster]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2426
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: dewster
Over on this thread we were told the AG action is based on a C1 Conservatory Classic Collection piano (5-foot, 3-inch grand).
What I find a tad disturbing in the video (thanks very much for bringing it to our attention Steve!) is the passing on of Yamaha apocrypha, rather than real specs. This isn't the Shroud of Turin or dinosaur eggs we're talking about, this is something that's currently being manufactured.


Yes, we were told that, but the source is, well, what is the source? Likewise I say C3, but what is my source? It was the guy that sold it to me!

So I completely agree with you. Sales-people are fanning the flames of Yamaha's marketing dept and then adding their own slant. Which is often (though not always) additional nonsense.

To say it is like having a digital nine-footer (in action terms) stretches the truth way beyond breaking point, clearly.
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#1930173 - 07/21/12 09:29 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
I wrote to a keyboard action manufacturer (or rebuilder) and was given the lengths of the keys of various actions. I posted that here in a thread within the last year I believe.

All we have to do is measure a key in the N series and consult that thread or open up a few grands, take measurements, and make comparisons.

I would love to have a hybrid piano that uses the action from a nine footer. Bösendorfer was planning to market one and I would have bought one.

There is one on the market but it's too expensive - http://www.alpha-piano.com/

(I should add that the guy I spoke to at Bösendorfer in Vienna years ago is now associated with Alpha Piano. I assume this is what the Bösendorfer version might have looked like before they were bought out by Yamaha.)
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#1930176 - 07/21/12 09:44 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
Erard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/07
Posts: 51
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: Erard

Originally Posted By: Gigantoad

The length of the key, the whole thing from front to back, seems to be about 480 mm (about 18.9 inches), key depth measured at the front of white key was 26 mm (little more than an inch).


I measured the length of the keys on my C3 and they are also 480mm long (more or less). So it's possible that this action has the same geometry as the C3's.


The quotes are from this post, which was about the N1 (probably the same action as the N3)
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#1930279 - 07/21/12 01:19 PM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2426
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
So maybe - shock, horror - a salesman told me the truth and the AG's action is based on the C3.

To be fair the guy I bought my N3 off was certainly not into any hard selling and seemed to have tip-top product knowledge. This is at a very long-established shop in Cambridge. What was nice, what with Cambridge being a University town, was that quite a number of students came in and played the pianos to their hearts' content.
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#1930378 - 07/21/12 06:04 PM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4365
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Yes, we were told that, but the source is, well, what is the source? Likewise I say C3, but what is my source? It was the guy that sold it to me!

The source was Matt Peckham who wrote a piece in TIME Techland - his contact at Yamaha provided the correct info after Dave Horne called him on it. So it's ~C1 IMO unless/until Yamaha changes their mind again (or someone actually measures from the pivot to the playing end and it doesn't jibe with the C1, whatever that measures).
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#1930409 - 07/21/12 07:47 PM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
Melodialworks Music Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 1309
Loc: Canada
It actually doesn't really matter what piano the action is based on. The fact is that it is a HYBRID action.
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#1930411 - 07/21/12 07:53 PM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: Dave Horne]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1834
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne

There is one on the market but it's too expensive - http://www.alpha-piano.com/

(I should add that the guy I spoke to at Bösendorfer in Vienna years ago is now associated with Alpha Piano. I assume this is what the Bösendorfer version might have looked like before they were bought out by Yamaha.)


Dave, are the Alpha Pianos now being sold? If so, what do they cost?

Wait, I see from the FAQs that they're "taking reservations" at 29,000 Euros. At that price, it would be unreasonable to expect speakers, I suppose. Hmmm...


Edited by ClsscLib (07/21/12 08:20 PM)
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#1930445 - 07/21/12 09:21 PM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: Melodialworks Music]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4365
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
It actually doesn't really matter what piano the action is based on. The fact is that it is a HYBRID action.

HYBRID or not, it actually does matter what piano the action is based on because this sets the mechanical advantage variation over the playing surface.
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#1930468 - 07/21/12 10:30 PM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: dewster]
Melodialworks Music Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 1309
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
It actually doesn't really matter what piano the action is based on. The fact is that it is a HYBRID action.

HYBRID or not, it actually does matter what piano the action is based on because this sets the mechanical advantage variation over the playing surface.


You're missing the point. I'll try again. It's a MODIFIED action.
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#1930478 - 07/21/12 11:05 PM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: ClsscLib]
kippesc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 407
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne

There is one on the market but it's too expensive - http://www.alpha-piano.com/

(I should add that the guy I spoke to at Bösendorfer in Vienna years ago is now associated with Alpha Piano. I assume this is what the Bösendorfer version might have looked like before they were bought out by Yamaha.)


Dave, are the Alpha Pianos now being sold? If so, what do they cost?

Wait, I see from the FAQs that they're "taking reservations" at 29,000 Euros. At that price, it would be unreasonable to expect speakers, I suppose. Hmmm...


The Alpha Piano site indicates they are using the VSL Bosendorfer. I wonder if that's the off the shelf Bosie that lacks partial pedaling. Regardless, at the price indicated above, the Alpha Piano makes the N1 qua MIDI controller look like a super bargain.
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#1930553 - 07/22/12 06:43 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: Melodialworks Music]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4365
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
You're missing the point. I'll try again. It's a MODIFIED action.

And I've missed the point again. smile

It of course isn't a standard piano action just tossed into a case, but beyond that I'm at a loss as to what you're getting at.

Actually, I wonder why someone doesn't do just that: toss an unmodified action into a case and have the hammers hit piezo elements or something. Damper return velocity might be a problem to measure, but that's fairly secondary IMO. Any competent tech could adjust / regulate it.
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#1930555 - 07/22/12 06:52 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
sullivang Offline
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Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2231
Loc: Sydney, Australia
@Dewster: I think that Alpha piano is pretty close to that, isnt it? As I've said before though, I wonder whether the AvantGrand has an advantage wrt latency, because I think the AG determines velocity a bit before the "hammers" strike the stopper.

Greg.

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#1930571 - 07/22/12 07:57 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
36251 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 765
Question?

Say Yamaha sold another line of AG piano along side current models. Say the new line is called AG boutique. It's attributes were it used sample and action from CFX. Say it would have a street price of $20,000. Who's buying this here?

Ok carry one...


Edited by 36251 (07/22/12 07:58 AM)
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#1930572 - 07/22/12 08:01 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: 36251]
Melodialworks Music Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 1309
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: 36251
Question?

Say Yamaha sold another line of AG piano along side current models. Say the new line is called AG boutique. It's attributes were it used sample and action from CFX. Say it would have a street price of $20,000. Who's buying this here?


Answer? Not me!
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#1930575 - 07/22/12 08:08 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: sullivang]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4365
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: sullivang
@Dewster: I think that Alpha piano is pretty close to that, isnt it? As I've said before though, I wonder whether the AvantGrand has an advantage wrt latency, because I think the AG determines velocity a bit before the "hammers" strike the stopper.

Have Hall Effect sensors under each key to detect key position and return velocity (ala the VAX77). Use these to alert the processor to preload the attack sample of the keys that are starting to be depressed, then play the note with the amplitude from the piezo.
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#1930577 - 07/22/12 08:16 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: 36251]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4365
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: 36251
Say Yamaha sold another line of AG piano along side current models. Say the new line is called AG boutique. It's attributes were it used sample and action from CFX. Say it would have a street price of $20,000. Who's buying this here?

Knowing Yamaha, even if they went to $2 million it would still be looped and wouldn't play off the jack. And they would never tell you anything technical about it, so even if you bought one and were kind of happy with it, you'd end up back here at PW speculating wildly with the rest of us.
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#1930584 - 07/22/12 08:41 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: dewster]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2426
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: dewster
Knowing Yamaha, even if they went to $2 million it would still be looped and wouldn't play off the jack. And they would never tell you anything technical about it, so even if you bought one and were kind of happy with it, you'd end up back here at PW speculating wildly with the rest of us.


So cynical!

Dewster, how old were you when you figured out Father Christmas didn't exist? I can picture you now - three years old sitting bolt upright in bed as your parents sneak into your room at midnight to dump a pillow case full of presents at the foot of the bed...

Infant Dewster: "I knew it! You complete frauds! I laid it on the line to you two time and time again, show me EVIDENCE of Santa! All that nonsense about behaving myself all year for Santa Claus. And don't try leaving money under my pillow when my teeth start falling out, I've already worked that one out!"

Why can't you just let Yamaha enrich our lives with their special kind of fairy dust? It would spoil it if we knew how they did it....
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#1930590 - 07/22/12 09:11 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1834
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Originally Posted By: dewster
Knowing Yamaha, even if they went to $2 million it would still be looped and wouldn't play off the jack. And they would never tell you anything technical about it, so even if you bought one and were kind of happy with it, you'd end up back here at PW speculating wildly with the rest of us.


So cynical!

Dewster, how old were you when you figured out Father Christmas didn't exist? I can picture you now - three years old sitting bolt upright in bed....


It's early, but this is the post of the day so far.
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#1930593 - 07/22/12 09:17 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
kippesc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 407
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Why can't you just let Yamaha enrich our lives with their special kind of fairy dust? It would spoil it if we knew how they did it....

How true. I'm still coming to grips with those popsicle stick sidewalls they put on the those plastic NW keys.

Edit: For those new to PW, here's what I'm talking about
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1830168.html


Edited by kippesc (07/22/12 10:07 AM)
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#1930598 - 07/22/12 09:29 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: Melodialworks Music]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3705
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
It actually doesn't really matter what piano the action is based on. The fact is that it is a HYBRID action.

HYBRID or not, it actually does matter what piano the action is based on because this sets the mechanical advantage variation over the playing surface.


You're missing the point. I'll try again. It's a MODIFIED action.


The only thing being challenged here is the key-length and whether it can be legitimately called a "concert" action like it is in the promotional video. It clearly isn't a concert action. It's a decent action - it's similar to the action in a small grand. As Dewster correctly points out, the touch across the entire key area is not as good as a concert action - that's why they shouldn't be calling it a concert action. They should absolutely say it's a good acoustic action though. No problem with that.

Same deal with the unknown internal MIDI resolution - just stick to the facts. There's nothing to be gained by using apocryphal claims about high-res MIDI or concert actions. I'm a big fan of Yamaha as a company overall - but I don't like these fuzzy facts that make their way into their promotions. A product should publish its specifications and let the product do the rest of the talking.

For the record, I have nothing against the AG itself.

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#1930599 - 07/22/12 09:37 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: dewster]
sullivang Offline
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Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2231
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted By: dewster

Have Hall Effect sensors under each key to detect key position and return velocity (ala the VAX77). Use these to alert the processor to preload the attack sample of the keys that are starting to be depressed, then play the note with the amplitude from the piezo.


Even in a standard disk streaming software sampler, all attacks are pre-loaded in memory. If you mean to perform some other kind of initialisation, I'm struggling to think what could be done before the velocity is known. We don't know what sample layer to use, and we don't know how to configure any layer blending processing, and we don't know how to initialise an envelope generator, if one is required. Mind you, the latency penalty, if there is one, might be so tiny as to be inconsequential. I assume the audio output buffering would be highly optimised.

Greg.

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#1930631 - 07/22/12 11:10 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4365
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Why can't you just let Yamaha enrich our lives with their special kind of fairy dust? It would spoil it if we knew how they did it....

[Guys in the Yamaha marketing department who keep an eagle eye on PW AG posts]

SCORE!!!

[whereupon much jumping up and enthusiastic high fiving of each other ensues]


(Just kidding Steve, as you probably are wink )
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#1930648 - 07/22/12 11:40 AM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3900
Loc: North Carolina
So ...

dewster: Knowing Yamaha, even if they went to $2 million it would still be looped and wouldn't play off the jack. And they would never tell you anything technical about it, so even if you bought one and were kind of happy with it, you'd end up back here at PW speculating wildly with the rest of us.
(Translation: They're full of crap, the lousy bastards!)

Essbrace: Why can't you just let Yamaha enrich our lives with their special kind of fairy dust? It would spoil it if we knew how they did it...
(Translation: Let's enjoy the mud bath.)

I have a different view.
My take: Ignore sales pitches, promotional material, and all other hype.

Sample promotional material:
Quote:
SPECIALIZED GRAND PIANO ACTION AND PIANO KEYBOARD
The nuanced touch and response of the grand piano are an essential standard yardstick for piano quality. It offers the player a specially-developed grand piano action that features the same configuration as the action of a real grand. The hammers strike the "strings" from underneath, allowing minute adjustments to the weight distribution of the hammers, and to the movement of the hammers themselves, for a smoother feel when playing. In addition to a hammer sensor, this instrument employs a non-contact key sensor that has no effect on the movement of the keys, affording excellent recognition of the player's pressure on the keyboard, timing, and the other delicate nuances that affect musical expression. This combination provides an impressive sensitivity for the entire range from pianissimo through to fortissimo, and the ability to translate even the swiftest trills of the pianist with transparency. The wood construction of the keyboard mirrors that of the grand piano, and features New Ivory II on the white keys. This is a unique material developed by Yamaha, with a texture superbly close to that of natural ivory, allowing you to play swift passages with ease while also offering a sure response for slower pieces.

SPATIAL ACOUSTIC SAMPLING
Together with a variety of piano sounds, this instrument features samples of the actual vibrations from within the soundboard of the instrument. To permit the sound to travel well to the player's position, as it does with a grand piano, we sampled the sound from four locations in the left, right, center, and rear of a grand piano. Sampling from deeper inside the instrument, we were able reproduce the attraction of the original sound almost perfectly. It was the experience of our engineers, and a reiterative cycle of trial and error conducted with piano tuners that made this success possible. And of course, the samples in this instrument are all taken from a specially-selected example of Yamaha's CFIIIS full concert grand piano.

SPATIAL ACOUSTIC SPEAKER SYSTEM
Opening the lid of the instrument reveals 4 speakers in an impressive and attractive layout. This instrument utilizes a four-channel multi-speaker system, designed in a three-way configuration with the bass woofer pointed down and the treble cones facing up, to allow more natural reverberation in the soundboard. Each of the speakers in this layout is equipped with its own dedicated amplifier, a luxury that reduces the interference in each pitch range and offers more natural expression to the delicate nuances in each sound. Moreover, by using speaker positioning that mimics the positions in the grand piano from which the original samples were taken, it offers a more natural sound to the pianist.

SOUNDBOARD RESONATOR
In addition to the four-channel multi-speakers, the N3 also features a flat-panel "Soundboard Resonator" where the music rest would be when laid flat, allowing a more subtle reproduction of the buildup of sound felt by pianists when playing a grand piano. An oscillator called a "transducer" transmits vibration to the flat-panel soundboard, giving a realistic sound response that is especially evident in the higher range.

TACTILE RESPONSE SYSTEM
The sound of an acoustic piano resonates throughout its entire body. The bass range in particular is an essential part of the reverberation that is continually transmitted to a player's body. This is replicated by our newly-developed Tactile Response System (TRS) that focuses on reproducing reverberation. This system features two transducers in the soundboard, the area underneath the keyboard, resonating natural reverberation throughout the entire instrument. The player's hands on the keyboard transmit the natural sound felt from the feet as they depress the pedals; the epitome of real piano playing. This system can be turned on and off, and the vibration set to one of three levels.

SPECIALIZED GRAND PIANO PEDAL
Light to the touch at first, subtle firmness partway through its travel, and lightening again as the player pushes further; the pedals of the grand piano have subtly different stages than can be felt when the pedal is depressed. Skilled players take advantage of these pedal movements by using extremely delicate pedaling that allows them to achieve finely nuanced expression in their play. In developing this instrument, we set out to reproduce the sensations of a grand piano's pedals as faithfully as possible. The resulting pedal allows for music as you believe it should sound, equally responsive for more impressionistic pieces that require a lot of half-pedaling.

Translation: Yamaha has an AG N3 model for sale. No other reliable information is available.

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#1930659 - 07/22/12 12:00 PM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1861
Loc: Portugal
Yes. Reading those promotional leaflets is like having a long warm bath with Cussons Imperial Leather or Pears Coal Tar soap.

All very nice if you're in the mood but a complete waste of time.
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#1930664 - 07/22/12 12:12 PM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: dewster]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2426
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: dewster
(Just kidding Steve, as you probably are wink )


Ha ha, yes I was kidding alright! They made a conscious decision at some point didn't they? Not just Yamaha. I think they pretty much all decided to cease giving out FACTS. It's not that there isn't a grain of truth in what they say in their marketing stuff, there probably usually is. But it is dressed up in the language of sales, not technical language. Not many years ago all of the manufacturers used to declare the sample ROM size but that rarely happens now.

I wonder if this nonsense will infiltrate other technical products (no doubt it's already happening to some degree).

I imagine a conversation between a professional in procurement for a hospital talking to the sales rep of the maker of a diagnostic machine...

Buyer: "So, er, what resolution will we get with this scanner?"
Seller: "Oh lots. It's got really good resolution. The best we've ever done."
Buyer: "Well, what is it then?"
Seller: "Eh? well, it's better than the last model. A very significant improvement I can assure you. You'll see those tumours in magnificent technicolour. In 3D too. Probably."
Buyer: "So, what is the resolution then?"
Seller: "It's a game changer. You can even dim the display for use at night, like on a Sat-Nav. And it pipes music through loads of speakers. It's the last scanner you'll ever have to buy. Until the next one comes out."
Buyer: "How many speakers?"
Seller: "Loads. More than the last one."
Buyer: "Can't you just tell me about the resolution? We need to know so we can compare your scanner to a couple of others."
Seller: "Did I mention that we've got 0% finance and we can give you cash back on your old one? And we've got a range of new finishes. The only "free" colour is the colour of a baby's first sh*t. But polished ebony is only a few grand more. So like I said, it's a game changer."
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#1930699 - 07/22/12 01:13 PM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
KLSinCT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/12
Posts: 148
Loc: Stonington, CT USA
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Originally Posted By: dewster
Knowing Yamaha, even if they went to $2 million it would still be looped and wouldn't play off the jack. And they would never tell you anything technical about it, so even if you bought one and were kind of happy with it, you'd end up back here at PW speculating wildly with the rest of us.


So cynical!

Dewster, how old were you when you figured out Father Christmas didn't exist? I can picture you now - three years old sitting bolt upright in bed as your parents sneak into your room at midnight to dump a pillow case full of presents at the foot of the bed...

Infant Dewster: "I knew it! You complete frauds! I laid it on the line to you two time and time again, show me EVIDENCE of Santa! All that nonsense about behaving myself all year for Santa Claus. And don't try leaving money under my pillow when my teeth start falling out, I've already worked that one out!"

Why can't you just let Yamaha enrich our lives with their special kind of fairy dust? It would spoil it if we knew how they did it....


ROFLMAO!!!!!!! laugh

K.
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#1930709 - 07/22/12 01:54 PM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
kippesc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 407
Loc: United States
I've been staring at this picture all morning (simply because I haven't closed my browser) while monitoring this thread. I'm going to re-post this picture because, for me, it marks the nadir of DP marketing dissembling (wait, maybe I mean "zenith").



(That's the inside of a CP1, which has nothing to do with an AG, but it does relate to the topic of Yamaha marketing. Just to be clear.)

Okay. I've gotten it out of my system. Now back to my project to precisely tweak Pianoteq to sound like my AP. ;-)


Edited by kippesc (07/22/12 01:59 PM)
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#1930715 - 07/22/12 02:04 PM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2426
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
It's shocking isn't it?! The CP1 key I mean. It reflects badly on Yamaha but it's more an indictment of the "machine" made by the marketing people. They tell us wood is better. We want wooden keys. Yamaha gives us wooden keys....
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#1930751 - 07/22/12 03:06 PM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3900
Loc: North Carolina
Don't fret. The wood paneling is just for appearance.

Even if the key were solid wood it would make no difference. The key is only about five inches long. So, whether wood or plastic, all that matters is the total mass.

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#1930766 - 07/22/12 03:30 PM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: EssBrace]
kippesc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 407
Loc: United States
I agree. It's more stable and precise, not using wood, especially on gigging instruments.
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#1930878 - 07/22/12 06:59 PM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: kippesc]
36251 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 765
Originally Posted By: kippesc
I've been staring at this picture all morning (simply because I haven't closed my browser) while monitoring this thread. I'm going to re-post this picture because, for me, it marks the nadir of DP marketing dissembling (wait, maybe I mean "zenith").



(That's the inside of a CP1, which has nothing to do with an AG, but it does relate to the topic of Yamaha marketing. Just to be clear.)

Okay. I've gotten it out of my system. Now back to my project to precisely tweak Pianoteq to sound like my AP. ;-)
I thought that the wood keys on DP actions would make the bottom-out feel a little softer. Seeing this would seem to tell me the wood is only there to make the key heavier? I wouldn't be too happy if I owned a CP1 or CP5 and have to move those beasts and the keys weren't even all wood. That pic adds another sub-group of Hybrid.

My other request would be to see other DPs like the Kawai that comes with wood keys. Are they all wood?
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#1930890 - 07/22/12 07:22 PM Re: New(ish) AvantGrand video [Re: 36251]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9680
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: 36251
My other request would be to see other DPs like the Kawai that comes with wood keys. Are they all wood?


Yes.
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