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#1951906 - 08/31/12 06:47 AM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: spanishbuddha]
jve Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 52
Thanks for your thoughts spanishbuddha. I too had the chance to try the NU1 earlier this week. The NU1 was located next to the Avant Grand range, so it was easy to make direct comparisons (although a bit unfair given the different price point).

Action -- Very expressive and pleasant to play, but not as smooth and refined as the AG. I felt the action required a bit more effort, although I wouldn't say it is distinctly heavier than the AG, just different. The pivot point of the keys is very close to the far end of the playing surface, so this will undoubtedly affect the feel.

Overall, playability (for me at least) is quite a lot better than most DPs, probably because velocity is sensed from full-size freely moving hammers, not just key velocity at the end of the key's travel. On these hybrid DPs you can in fact trigger sound without pressing the keys fully down, a feature that adds immensely to expressiveness and authenticity.

Sound -- Listening through headphones, the new CFX sample is very clear and detailed. The tone I would describe as extremely netural, perhaps even on the verge of being a bit too generic. This is all personal preference, of course, and although I myself prefer a more characterful piano sound, I believe the CFX tone will be liked by many people. I think most will agree that the CFX sounds less 'boxed-in' than the CFIIIS sample, which is good.

Sampling is typical high-end Yamaha -- longish attack samples with seamless transition into looped decay. Sample playback quality is very good, as one might expect, but comparisons with the AGs revealed some interesting differences. In fact, I found the AGs to have a substantially warmer and more multi-dimensional sound. Whether this is because of better DACs or a higher bit-depth playback engine I don't know, but I think it's clear one should not underestimate the importance of the AG's four-channel sampling (vs two on the NU1), even when listening through headphones.

Speakers -- I only played briefly through the built-in speakers, and to me they sounded fine, very similar to those on the N1.

User interface -- There's not a lot that can be tweaked on these instruments, so the control panel is accordingly sparse. There's a new power saving feature that automatically switches the instrument off if you don't play it for half an hour.

Appearance -- Again, this is subjective, but I thought the NU1 looked and felt great -- simple but stylish. I prefer the looks of this one to the N2 and N1, and the compact size means it will
fit easily in small apartments without taking up too much space.

Conclusively, the NU1 is just what you'd expect -- a home/practice piano with excellent playability and quality sound. Anyone who is looking to buy a Clavinova or similar MUST try the NU1 first, it just feels so much closer to a real piano.

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#1957907 - 09/12/12 02:51 PM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: Jadis]
Jadis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/12
Posts: 24
My NU1 arrived yesterday!

I love it, it's the perfect size for my living room. Had my first lesson yesterday too smile

I'm not exactly a piano connaisseur, but my first impressions of it are that it has a very high build quality. Classic, yet modern esthetic design. I cannot (yet) distinguish the feel of the keys from my teacher's acoustic grand piano. I love the sound it produces especially at 3/4 volume (which I would say is actually louder than my teacher's grand for a given amount of force from my fingers).

I practiced for a couple of hours late at night after putting the kids to sleep on a lower volume setting. At that setting the sound of the mechanical keys is very present, but my understanding is acoustic pianos would be no different but their sound usually masks the sound of the keys. I have yet to invest in a pair of headphones, so that will rectify that.

The kids love it and are very excited about playing with it and learning on it. Nothing like a brand new shiny and "big" (in their eyes) piano to get them excited about learning!

Here are some pics:


NU1wall by I Shoot Kids, on Flickr


closed by I Shoot Kids, on Flickr



NU1 by I Shoot Kids, on Flickr


DSC_6431 by I Shoot Kids, on Flickr


DSC_6424 by I Shoot Kids, on Flickr


Edited by Jadis (09/12/12 02:54 PM)

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#1957949 - 09/12/12 04:24 PM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: Jadis]
spanishbuddha Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2359
Loc: UK
Congrats. It looks very nice. Better get a chamois ready for the kids fingerprints smile

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#1957968 - 09/12/12 05:12 PM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: Jadis]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9169
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Wow, it looks beautiful - great pics too!

Congrats on your new piano!
_________________________
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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#1958186 - 09/13/12 08:48 AM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: Kawai James]
Kona_V-Piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 281
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Wow, it looks beautiful - great pics too!

Congrats on your new piano!


Yeah it does look and sound great. Congratulations. I am thinking about purchasing one for my parents home to replace the very old Yamaha upright that resides there.
_________________________
Roland V-Piano, Yamaha CLP990, Yamaha S90

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#1958224 - 09/13/12 10:26 AM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: Jadis]
oivavoi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 48
Loc: Norway
What do you guys think, any chance Yamaha will update the other models in the avant grand line anytime soon? (haven't heard rumors or nothing, just wondering - I might buy the N1 in some months, and wonder when the next model will arrive)


Edited by oivavoi (09/13/12 10:29 AM)
_________________________
Happily improvising at my Kawai CS10

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#1958238 - 09/13/12 11:09 AM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: Jadis]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
I would be surprised if they did. The main feature of the AG line is the physical construction, action, and sensor technology, and piano manufacturers are loath to change those things frequently. Plus if they updated the line, the old versions would have to sell at a discount and they don't like that either.

I expect AG updates to be very infrequent.


Edited by gvfarns (09/13/12 11:09 AM)

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#1958662 - 09/14/12 02:19 AM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: Jadis]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Beautiful. I got a chance to try the NU1 last week and was very impressed. The action on the demo unit was a bit light compared to my 48" acoustic vertical at home, but way smoother, in a very Yamaha way. I noticed excellent controllability for dynamics that is not typical of an acoustic upright. At max volume the NU1 is loud, much louder than my 48" vertical. Maybe even louder than a 52" with its lid closed. I did detect a bit of distortion at max volume, which is not the case for the Avant-Grand N2 & N3 at max volume. Then again, max volume is seldom necessary at home, and I never go beyond 3 or 4 o'clock on the volume knob in a home setting.

The price is right. I certainly prefer it over the top end Clavinova CLP. Who needs 50 bizillion voices when all I need is one good one with authentic touch.

As usual, sympathetic vibrations of strings was non-existant as expect from a digital piano even with resonance setting at max. My Avant Grand N3 is also weak in this department, so no surprises here.

On the plus side, it has a very nice CFX tone, and I didn't notice any jumps in dynamics layers. Timbre sounded quite natural. Didn't try the other voices or recording, but I suspect it would be similar to my Avant Grand N3.


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#1958672 - 09/14/12 02:55 AM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: Jadis]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Jadis

While I understand the piano keyboard and hammer mechanism on the NU1 are mechanically identical to an acoustic, is it really true that the "feel" is identical to an acoustic? The wooden keys and hammers don't actually strike strings and so ultimately is the interaction between key action and sound and tone on par with higher end digital pianos in a similar price range or not (eg Kawai CA63, CS9, Roland HP507, etc)?


Yes and no. When you play an acoustic upright, you can feel the key vibrate. Each key vibrates differently as you play it. In the end, it's a small thing. It should not make any differnce to your performance.

Also, the NU1 action is not like a Yamaha CLP action. In an upright action, you can feel the hammer being thrown. You can feel when the hammer leave the key that split second before the tone sounds. But because the tone generation is digital, and Yamaha did not provide sloppy sounding samples when a key is being press sloppily, you don't get the feedback of bad tone even though the action is real. You can still hear some of it. (I've experienced it on my N3), but it's not in your face like a real piano. A Clavinova doesn't do it at all. Every note sounds perfect no matter how you pressed the keyboard.


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#1958712 - 09/14/12 06:54 AM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: 4evrBeginR]
spanishbuddha Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2359
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: 4evrBeginR

As usual, sympathetic vibrations of strings was non-existant as expect from a digital piano even with resonance setting at max. My Avant Grand N3 is also weak in this department, so no surprises here.


I don't think this is quite accurate, if I'm being picky. There is sympathetic resonance on the NU1, just not as strong as on an acoustic. If you keep the pedal down smile on some pieces it really picks up (and this is not just the notes you hit sustaining).

Originally Posted By: 4evrBeginR

Every note sounds perfect no matter how you pressed the keyboard.


I'm not sure about this on the NU1. I managed to get an ugly note a couple of times. I would have to go back and try and do it deliberately. Or just play as I normally do wink

You can see I'm convincing myself it's 'perfect' and so should buy one.

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#1958874 - 09/14/12 02:05 PM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: spanishbuddha]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
I play acoustic 95% of the time, so I'm used to the resonance on an acoustic. So to me, on a digital, it's non-existant. I don't think it's a big deal. It sounds dry, but doesn't otherwise affect learning or the performance. Most people who don't play or listen to an acoustic piano everyday won't miss it. Those of us playing mostly acoustic could always tell something is digital. Again not a big deal.


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#1959214 - 09/15/12 11:54 AM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: 4evrBeginR]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5132
Originally Posted By: 4evrBeginR
I play acoustic 95% of the time, so I'm used to the resonance on an acoustic. So to me, on a digital, it's non-existant. I don't think it's a big deal. It sounds dry, but doesn't otherwise affect learning or the performance.


It does affect the way one pedals, as I discovered on my own DP: I started (almost unconsciously) overpedalling on my minimally tweaked V-Piano in the first 3 months after I bought it, and didn't even realize what was happening until I played again on a real piano - a Blüthner grand in a showroom, and found myself submerged in murk as my right foot stayed down through harmonic changes from 3 months' practice of doing so, because I could...

Once I got home I increased the decay time (from the default 0 to +70) and damping time, and the string, soundboard and cross resonances until I obtained the same amount of resonances that I heard from that Blüthner, and a week later went back to check on it and other acoustic grands (Fazioli etc) until I was satisfied that I'd tweaked my DP sufficiently. And it's been left that way ever since.

But I've seen the same problems from other pianists who practise on DPs at home, when they play on acoustic pianos in showrooms that I visit regularly.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#1959246 - 09/15/12 01:12 PM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: bennevis]
dewster Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4345
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Once I got home I increased the decay time (from the default 0 to +70) and damping time, and the string, soundboard and cross resonances until I obtained the same amount of resonances that I heard from that Blüthner, and a week later went back to check on it and other acoustic grands (Fazioli etc) until I was satisfied that I'd tweaked my DP sufficiently. And it's been left that way ever since.

I wish decay time was adjustable on Roland SN pianos. The default isn't bad, but I like to tweak things. The pedal & key resonances are adjustable, and have to be turned up quite a bit before they are anywhere near realistic levels. These two things - decay time and sympathetic resonance - are the Achilles' heel of most DPs IMO.
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THE RD-700NX Thread!
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#1959268 - 09/15/12 02:32 PM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: bennevis]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: bennevis

It does affect the way one pedals, as I discovered on my own DP: I started (almost unconsciously) overpedalling on my minimally tweaked V-Piano in the first 3 months after I bought it, and didn't even realize what was happening until I played again on a real piano - a Blüthner grand in a showroom, and found myself submerged in murk as my right foot stayed down through harmonic changes from 3 months' practice of doing so, because I could...


Thanks for sharing that. That's makes complete sense. I'm not advanced enough to pedal without explicit instructions on the music yet, so wouldn't have discovered that, so that's really interesting part about digital pianos that I didn't know about.

It was a fluke that I now practice on an acoustic 95% of the time. It was the other way around before I bought my acoustic, and only because I had a $3K budget to buy a replacement for my aging Clavinova, and I found short of the Avant-Grand N2 ($10K at the time) most DP didn't have an authentic feeling action while any $3,000 acoustic did have an authentic feeling action, I decided to get a new acoustic vertical instead of the N2.

I admit I've been discovering things about the piano I would otherwise not without an acoustic, but that was just a bonus. I would have certainly bought an NU1 had it been available two years ago for $4K.


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#1960702 - 09/18/12 02:39 PM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: Jadis]
Jadis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/12
Posts: 24
Just an update:

After one week of practicing (approximately 1.5 hours a day) on my NU1 then returning to my teacher's acoustic grand for my second lesson I immediately felt one difference: the acoustic keys vibrate when played while my NU1 does not. I didn't notice that I was more prone to making "bad" notes on the acoustic over the digital though.

There were minor differences in sound too (again a certain kind of "vibratory" sound, I'm not sure how to describe it).

Still all in all, I feel the advantages of the digital meet my needs very much. In particular, playing with headphones; this is a feature I used almost daily (at night and early morning). Even during normal daytime hours I think my wife can only take so many tunes of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Happy Birthday haha.

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#1960751 - 09/18/12 05:01 PM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: Jadis]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Technology have limitations. The acoustic piano is basically technology that was introduced a long time ago, and it has massive limitations. That's no privacy setting; it doesn't let you record yourself; it doesn't play along with you; it only has that one voice; it doesn't stay in tune; the hammers and action need routine maintenance; and it's generally much louder than it needs to be.

Digital pianos are getting better all the time, but they are still missing something as you have pointed out.
In the end, you bought a digital piano because you needed it. If you could live with an acoustic piano, could afford a new one for $4,000, don't mind paying all the maintenance bills, and have no neighbors that would run you out of the building, and not practicing in a tiny practice room, don't need to practice in absolute privacy, then you can afford to learn on a real piano.

By the way, I love technology, and that Nikon 24mm f1.4 G AF-S of yours is a very nice lens. Great photos of kids.


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#1960828 - 09/18/12 07:46 PM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: Jadis]
Jadis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/12
Posts: 24
Yeah there are limits I guess.

If I progress well enough in the years to come maybe I'll move to a grand. But I would still need a digital for silent playing.

I was just at the piano store again today and played with a Yamaha CLP-S408 and immediately felt it was inferior: the key action was very spring-like. When depressed and release the keys popped back up in manner very unlike the acoustics and the NU1. Also. The cabinet was pretty thin and less substantial: for example the falling keyboard cover was thinner and had a metal hinged front lip instead if a thicker wood one. It was also a slide and fold action, not just folding down.

The dealer has just had a large sale event for a local university and each piano on the floor had one ticket on it for each buyer. The NU1 had the most by a factor if three, followed by the U1 and a few grands.

The Nikon lens is a great one. My most used are the 35mm/1.4 and 85mm/1.4. Photography is my other, now seemingly inexpensive, hobby.

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#1960845 - 09/18/12 08:15 PM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: Jadis]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Jadis
I was just at the piano store again today and played with a Yamaha CLP-S408 and immediately felt it was inferior: the key action was very spring-like.


I expect the NU1 to cannibalize many models in the CLP line.



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#1963416 - 09/23/12 11:02 PM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: Jadis]
Fripp Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/07/11
Posts: 4
I'm interested in getting either the NU1 or the N1 in a month or two.
I have not played any of them yet so I don't know which one I'm going to get (if any) but I did take a quick look through the owner manuals yesterday.
What I found interesting is that they've added the possibility to toggle the noise gate on and off for the AUX in on the NU1, and also that they've added a "TO HOST" USB port to it as well.

I wonder if they've made hardware changes to allow the noise gate to be toggled on and off with the NU1 or if it could be possible on the N1 as well with a future software update?

I would like to use my future piano with software pianos as well and the NU1 seems to be making that a bit easier but the N1 has that grand action that I think that I'd like to have, still need to try them both first smile

I couldn't find anything on how to assemble the NU1 in the manual, does it come in one piece? If not, can it be assembled by one person?

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#1963449 - 09/24/12 12:05 AM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: Fripp]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Fripp
What I found interesting is that they've added the possibility to toggle the noise gate on and off for the AUX in on the NU1, and also that they've added a "TO HOST" USB port to it as well.


That's kind of awesome news (the noise gate). Sounds like Yamaha read this forum. The USB thing is a plus too. I should read more manuals.

Originally Posted By: Fripp
I wonder if they've made hardware changes to allow the noise gate to be toggled on and off with the NU1 or if it could be possible on the N1 as well with a future software update?


Hope springs eternal.

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#1963760 - 09/24/12 03:24 PM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: Jadis]
Jadis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/12
Posts: 24
It comes pre-assembled in the box.

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#2086691 - 05/22/13 10:02 AM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: Jadis]
Palmpirate Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/13
Posts: 222
Loc: B.C.Canada
last post was aug 2012 so wondered if there was any new thoughts in the PW community. I am having to consider downsizing from my GC1 disklavier frown
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#2086706 - 05/22/13 10:28 AM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: Jadis]
36251 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 742
If seeing the keys move like on your disklavier is important, then you might want to consider searching for a used Grand Touch with disklavier system. I know I'd love to have that feature on my AG N2.

http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA/ContentDetail/Text_WithCatMenu_XC.html?CNTID=12180

The current line up of hybrids have a midi recorder.


Edited by 36251 (05/22/13 10:29 AM)
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AG N2, CP4, GK MK & MP

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#2086792 - 05/22/13 12:50 PM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: Palmpirate]
enzo.sandrolini Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 273
Loc: Europe - France
Originally Posted By: Palmpirate
last post was aug 2012 so wondered if there was any new thoughts in the PW community. I am having to consider downsizing from my GC1 disklavier frown

Hello Palmpirate
what would you like to knwo about the NU1 ?
I own one, and I am really satisfied of it
I think most of the things has already been said about this piano

Cheers
_________________________
Music is a lifestyle

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#2087013 - 05/22/13 08:01 PM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: 36251]
Palmpirate Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/13
Posts: 222
Loc: B.C.Canada
thanks for the link 36251 . My dealer didn't mention this piano to me. The key moving independently is not vital to me. i want the feel of playing a full piano with headphones and have recording ability. I will most likely be in a much smaller place so will not have room for a grand any more. We're retiring and downsizing so most likely the piano will stay with the property.
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#2087017 - 05/22/13 08:09 PM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: Jadis]
Palmpirate Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/13
Posts: 222
Loc: B.C.Canada
Thanks for you reply enzo.sandrolini. I am glad to hear you enjoy your NU. I just wondered if people had encountered any problems or any more information was out there since the instrument had been released. I think it offers me all that i am hoping to find . Good sound, good touch, headphones, recording, and compact size. It will be an adjustment - guess I'll have to find a studio to get my acoustic fix!
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#2087086 - 05/22/13 11:43 PM Re: Question about Yamaha NU1 hybrid and the like [Re: Palmpirate]
enzo.sandrolini Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 273
Loc: Europe - France
Hello Palmirate
I have faced no problems at all with my NU1 and after one year, I still love it
It is such a huge help for me for making progress in piano technics, and so pleasant to play
For my needs, the only real alternative would have been a real piano, but I cannot afford one, as I am living in an apartment
But I can say taht I prefre it to the real upright I take lessons one with my teacher (NU1 has better keybed, and is always tuned)

Cheers
_________________________
Music is a lifestyle

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