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#2031271 - 02/11/13 04:15 PM How far is THE PERFECT DP from now?
MVshabeer2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/11
Posts: 86
When will we have a DP that can 100% replace the AP?

I think the action is solved by introduction of Avantgrands.
[But since it use a real AP action it costs as much as an AP (N3) which doesn't follow the motto of DP "A piano at every home".]

Regarding sound what is still missing? What is the bottle neck?

Compared to the growth of technology in other fields, DP's still in stone age.(IMHO)

Will a 2nd/3rd gen of Avantgrand or Vpiano will meet the needs(if any exists)?


Edited by MVshabeer2 (02/11/13 04:17 PM)

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#2031280 - 02/11/13 04:22 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 843
Never?

Even a 'perfect' DP would be a different instrument than an acoustic piano.
The pianoforte has not replaced the clavichord, the harpsichord, etc. Uprights and grands coexist. Acoustic and electric guitars and basses coexist. It's not one or the other, it's both (or all).
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.

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#2031289 - 02/11/13 04:29 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
Miguel Rey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 374
Good question. But I have a better one, when will Steinway enter the game and put their action in a DP box? After all said and done, DP's can not and hopefully never will replace a acoustic pianos. If that ever happens you will probably see vocalists with digital vocal chord implants
_________________________
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#2031296 - 02/11/13 04:32 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3484
Loc: Pennsylvania
You mean Renner, not Steinway. Renner provides actions for Steinway, Bosendorfer, and many other famous piano makers.

Far more likely (though not likely in the short term) would be Kawai putting their Millenium III action in a hybrid.

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#2031316 - 02/11/13 04:44 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: Miguel Rey]
KataiYubi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/13
Posts: 32
Originally Posted By: Miguel Rey
If that ever happens you will probably see vocalists with digital vocal chord implants


An original thought. Can you sign me up for that, I've always wanted to sing Pagliacci like Pavarotti!

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#2031341 - 02/11/13 04:55 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
carey Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6426
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Heck - I'm still waiting for the perfect AP.
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#2031346 - 02/11/13 04:57 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: maurus]
Temperament Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
Originally Posted By: maurus
Even a 'perfect' DP would be a different instrument than an acoustic piano.
The pianoforte has not replaced the clavichord, the harpsichord, etc...
There is no perfect instrument. (There is no perfect earthquake, measuring scales are therefore upwards open.)
And yet there IS: one at which you don't have the need to improve upon something. And that feeling can be achieved sometimes even with todays imperfect digital instruments - only play nice music on them....
_________________________
Acoustic: own clavichord!, Burger&Jacoby,Biel (nice vintage vertical)
Digital: CA65; Pianoteq; Sampled:Galaxy VintageD+Vienna(Bösendorfer)
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Harpsi: Beurmann Dutch+Sampletekk, Clavichord:PMI+Wavelore+organs

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#2031386 - 02/11/13 05:25 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
KataiYubi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/13
Posts: 32
I'd say that the evolution speed of DPs depends on the amount of competition in the market. I see some encouraging signs in an otherwise depressing outlook.

Take for instance Casio. Their PX-850 model (priced at around $1000) has given the big three (Yamaha, Roland and Kawai) a run for their money as the PX-850 offer features found only in the higher-end models at a fraction of the cost: 256 polyphony, 4 speakers (incl. 2 tweeters), and a good variety of in/out jacks. I have no personal experience of how these specs translate to in terms of sound, but we should thank Casio for trying.

Something good **may** come up of China, who's now an emerging player in the market. If they do the Casio trick and sell a **good** model at an affordable price, that will be a huge jolt to the big-3.

The big-3 are in an oligopoly, and largely survive not because of the objective quality of their products, but rather because of their reputation. They have the brainpower and engineering expertise to make their products far better, but no monetary incentive to do so because of low competition. As a result, their products are overpriced and evolve very slowly. Why should Yamaha/Kawai/Roland sound samples be of any lower quality than those of a firm such as Synthogy (the makers of Ivory II)? I'm sure Yamaha could blow Synthogy out of the water overnight if they decided to do so. I haven't tried any Roland product, but some say that their V-piano compares favorably to software pianos - but their prices are outrageous, and so I won't be the sucker to pay for the Roland name.

I vote for 10 years, but that's only a guesstimate. The looming US debt crisis could postpone that for another decade.


Edited by KataiYubi (02/11/13 05:28 PM)

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#2031431 - 02/11/13 06:54 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
xorbe Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/12
Posts: 573
Loc: Mt View, CA
As long as PIANO makers are making the DPs, then never!

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#2031445 - 02/11/13 07:39 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3803
Loc: Northern England.
"When will we have a DP that can 100% replace the AP?"

About fifteen years. Ago. I bought my Yam then , was transfixed by the sound. Wasn`t perfect in many ways. But the following crop o` digitals weren`t a patch. It`s been like rthat ever since imo. I`m looking to change. But the old ones are selling for a very high price . . . and they look BEAUTIFUL!
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#2031476 - 02/11/13 08:51 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
fizikisto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 655
Loc: Hernando, MS
If I tell you that you're listening to an acoustic piano when in fact you're listening to a digital piano, there are probably a lot of people who wouldn't be able to tell the difference. I'd wager that most players, well most people with a good ear in any case, would have no problem spotting the fake. There's sample looping, sometimes a certain sterile quality to some of the modeling, etc... I'd say that on one front the question will be "when will you be unable to tell the difference?" or when will pros be unable to tell the difference? It may not be that far off.

You might also make similar arguments about the action of most DP's If you blindfolded most players and put them down in front of a dozen AP's (maybe a mix of uprights and grands) and 1 DP (or vice verse) and had them play something on each piano, would they be able to spot the odd man out just by touch? I would imagine so, but again I think the gap is closing. I think there will come a day when even pros could not tell a DP from an AP unless they knew a priori which was which.
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#2031493 - 02/11/13 09:47 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: peterws]
KataiYubi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/13
Posts: 32
The perfect DP will be/have:

A) Affordable - max $3000. And don't sell at inflated prices in some countries just because you can (Canada v. the US).

B) Gorgeous piano sounds - just like some software pianos. No reason why I should buy a bloody expensive box if, in order to get decent sounds, I need to bypass their software by a third-party product at the cost of latency and playability.

C) No sound artifacts - sounds that do not exist in APs. I raised the issue of ears ringing when playing fast notes in the treble range for a high-end model elsewhere. This is totally unacceptable for a price tag of $7000.

D) Acceptable touch. Adjustable to one's tastes would be even better, as touches vary wildly in APs. A 7/8 key size option would be nice, as it would be easier for elderly people or people with small hands.

E) A good soundboard in wood, which would give the DP sound an organic feeling. The CA95 (which I haven't tried yet - not yet available in my area) sounds like a pace in the right direction.

F) Drop the junk features. Music lessons, "Concert magic", dual mode with slow strings (yeech!), split keyboard. These are best left for entry level slab models, for people that are satisfied with their toys since 15 years. Ago.


Edited by KataiYubi (02/11/13 10:23 PM)

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#2031495 - 02/11/13 09:58 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: KataiYubi]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9558
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: KataiYubi
F) Drop the junk features. Music lessons, "Concert magic", superimposed strings (yeech!), split keyboard. These are best left for entry level slab models, for people that are satisfied with their toys since 15 years. Ago.


Which models feature superimposed strings?

Also, many users appreciate these additional features. If a manufacturer was to remove the 'Split' functions from their instruments they would almost certainly lose sales.

Kind regards,
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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#2031501 - 02/11/13 10:18 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: Kawai James]
KataiYubi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/13
Posts: 32
Originally Posted By: Kawai James

Which models feature superimposed strings?


Sumimasen for not being clear, James-san: I was thinking about the dual mode in all CN/CA models, for instance concert grand with slow strings. When the dealer turned it on in the shop, my reaction was "Yeech!".

You can make the argument some people want these features, but an equally powerful argument can be made that you are missing some sales because some people are turned off by the higher prices that these features command.

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#2031517 - 02/11/13 10:47 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: KataiYubi]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9558
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: KataiYubi
I was thinking about the dual mode in all CN/CA models, for instance concert grand with slow strings. When the dealer turned it on in the shop, my reaction was "Yeech!".


Well, piano with strings is a popular combination.
Please understand that you are not the only consumer in the world.

Originally Posted By: KataiYubi
You can make the argument some people want these features...


Correct.

Originally Posted By: KataiYubi
...but an equally powerful argument can be made that you are missing some sales because some people are turned off by the higher prices that these features command.


Such an argument could be made, however it probably would not apply to a terribly significant number of consumers. Moreover such 'Dual' and 'Split' playing modes are pretty standard features across most digital piano ranges.

Kind regards,
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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#2031564 - 02/12/13 12:13 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2746
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: MVshabeer2
When will we have a DP that can 100% replace the AP?
Unlikely to happen. However, I do believe that, if it weren't for the saturated market of underserviced-but-still-functioning used pianos, they would quickly replace entry level uprights. The saturated market brings the price down but new owners continue to underservice and trot out these tired relics. Better uprights and grands will not be replaced by technology though institutions will make monetary decisions when comparing alternative instruments.
Originally Posted By: MVshabeer2
Regarding sound what is still missing? What is the bottle neck?
Speakers morso than anything (not entirely solvable). The next gap is pedal behavior (solvable but impractical for now). The third would require some randomization incorporated into modeling to prevent fatigue. Currently, even the best models are too predictably consistent. Our ears recognize patterns and we break down the complex into simple elements which leads back to fatigue with DP's. Until the speaker issue is solved, this problem may as well wait.
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#2031573 - 02/12/13 12:25 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: Kawai James]
KataiYubi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/13
Posts: 32
Originally Posted By: Kawai James

Well, piano with strings is a popular combination.


Seriously, have you ever listened to that particular combination? Putting the YouTube video hype aside, it's plain ugly and unnatural. I would even go as far as to say that this combination is particularly repulsive and offensive to the ears. The piano does not sound like a piano and the strings do not sound like strings. Plus, you have little control on the mix, as you would on an organ with two keyboards plus pedals, as in simulating a concerto for piano and orchestra. The dual mode mix is a half-baked feature that would perhaps interest an absolute beginner for 5 minutes before getting tired of it and never using it again. Idem for the other features I mention. Who else but a total beginner would enjoy "concert magic" for more than 5 minutes? That goes against the very concept of learning piano, which is to learn the skills to produce one very own's creation.

Originally Posted By: Kawai James

Please understand that you are not the only consumer in the world.


Thanks for the pleasantry. If I may say so in my turn, please understand that you're not working for the only company in the world. If a company insists on piling on dubious features in order to justify jacking up their prices, then I'll be happy to buy from other vendors, should they offer solid value at an affordable price. Mada mada desu.


Edited by KataiYubi (02/12/13 12:29 AM)

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#2031599 - 02/12/13 01:40 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
LesCharles73 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 739
Loc: Denton Texas
I highly, highly doubt the piano/strings combo adds much, if anything, to the price. When you produce some actual proof rather than theories, people might listen to you. Until then you're frankly just verbalizing from within your posterior region. wink

The other features, maybe. I never used things like autoaccompaniment, etc and I can't think of many serious applications. If I was do play/record/run a composition, I'd want to go and do it right.

I do like piano/string combos, but I use synthesizers which give me much more control, so I see your point there. However, full programmability in a DP probably would raise the price. Right now, I see the extra voices being a freebie that some people (musical theatre, etc) happen to use sometimes.


Edited by LesCharles73 (02/12/13 01:47 AM)
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#2031610 - 02/12/13 02:25 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: KataiYubi]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3803
Loc: Northern England.
"for people that are satisfied with their toys since 15 years. Ago."

That toy got played with. And earned me a lot of much needed cash at the time over four years. . . . People liked the sound o` that piano.
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2031626 - 02/12/13 04:01 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3866
Loc: North Carolina
KataiYubi: KawaiJames put it perfectly: You are not the only customer in the world. I'll agree that the strings voice could be better, but it still has its uses. If you don't like it, then just don't push that button.

As for "Who else but a total beginner would enjoy "concert magic" for more than 5 minutes?" ... Well, I wouldn't use it, but others would. There are a great many beginners. And your 5 minute limit is absurdly small. So, again, you are not the only customer in the world.

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#2031627 - 02/12/13 04:01 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: xorbe]
MVshabeer2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/11
Posts: 86
Originally Posted By: xorbe
As long as PIANO makers are making the DPs, then never!


This is the perfect answer. When AP makers are making DP's they are forced not to drive technology that far that they lose AP sales.
I agree that Yamaha can blow away synthogy overnight if they are willing to

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#2031636 - 02/12/13 04:27 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2434
Loc: UK
KataiYubi points A - E could equally be applied in the search for a perfect piano.

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#2031659 - 02/12/13 06:17 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: PianoWorksATL]
kurtie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 210
Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
Speakers morso than anything (not entirely solvable). The next gap is pedal behavior (solvable but impractical for now). The third would require some randomization incorporated into modeling to prevent fatigue. Currently, even the best models are too predictably consistent. Our ears recognize patterns and we break down the complex into simple elements which leads back to fatigue with DP's. Until the speaker issue is solved, this problem may as well wait.


+1

This seems to me a good summary of the weak points of DPs: 1. speakers vs soundboard, 2. pedalling and resonance and 3. fatigue dued to predictability

The first problem seems the hardest to overcome. Some DPs now include a soundboard... good move on the right direction but I think that they are still far away. The other two problems are more prevalent in sampled pianos than in modeled pianos, but modelling have other problems on its own (modelled tone is not as good as in samples yet).

In the end, I think we are not going to see pianos disappear in the next decades. DPs and APs will coexist. DPs will improve (I hope... they must). Maybe in a distant future I will sell my upright and play only on the digital... but right now? No way!

Regards,
Kurt.-

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#2031662 - 02/12/13 06:26 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
Nigeth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 108
Perfection is something you can strive for but never truly achieve so there will never be a perfect digital piano let alone a perfect acoustic piano.

Secondly I'd argue that an acoustic piano is by no means a perfect instrument to begin with and that some of the characteristics of an acoustic are really flaws or technical limitations of the instrument that get 'romantisized'.

As for a pretty good aproximation of an acoustic I'd say that all the pieces are there we've simply not seen anybody put them expertly together to form a coherent instrument.

From a technical standpoint building a PCB that could be used to play a Galaxy, Synthogy or any other virtual instrument or even Pianoteq is easy albeit maybe not exactly cheap. The current crop of DSPs is easily capable of processing that and you'd need a few GB of RAM and a decent size SSD.

Basically the HW setup of the Korg Kronos X would suffice, except with a different CPU/DSP setup.

Also from a technical standpoint there are a few great DP actions that come close to the real deal out there. The AvantGrand actions (which are basically modified Renner ones anyway), the Kawai GF and RM3 or even the Roland ones. Replace the three sensor rubber 'button' design with a light or laser based velocity sensing (like in the VAX 77, the Viscount or the Lachnit Studio) and you'd be able to decently map the dynamics of playing.

Then you'd have a very good action, that maps velocity and dynamics with decent solution plus a great sample-based virtual instrument or the modelling of Pianoteq and a velocity curve that could be adapted to the instrument.

Sound reproduction via amps/speakers would be a technical hurdle but not unsolvable and there are already a few great high end DP's out there that excel at that.

The problem is. The companies that have shown that they could tackle the electronics and SW side of things (Clavia, Korg, Casio etc.) don't have access to the best actions and don't exert to much effort to built one. That's because they focus on a different segment of the market - professional or semi professional studio or stage musicians.

In that segment there are certain trade-offs you have to take into account. Portability, price, flexibility and controller functions.

The companies that have shown that they can tackle the instrument side of things (Kawai, Yamaha) don't have the best expertise in electronics and SW or don't exert too much effort in that field.

They focus on the pianist or piano enthusiast in the high end and they also sell real acoustic uprights and grands. A sufficiently good DP would cannibalize most of their high end market which contrary to popular belief is not only made up of professionals but also of enthusiasts and semi-professionals that want a 'real piano'.

I'd assume the number of acoustic pianos that get bought by hobbyists or parents is quite large.

Most professional pianists I know (admittedly not that many) own a grand of course but some of them would rather not. They are touring and need a decent DP to practice on the road and they are usually provided an instrument at the venues they play. If you're not Lang Lang you can't bring your owm grand to a concert hall.

If you play professionally for hours a day an acoustic is also not the most practical instrument if you don't want your neighbours to show up at your doorstep one day with pitchforks and torches that is.

I pretty much agree with xorbe, as long as most DPs are made by instrument companies that also sell 'real' pianos you'll probably not see a 'perfect' digital at least not by them.

If a company like Clavia ever got access to an action with the same level of quality as the AvantGrand, GF or RM3 though they could probably built an instrument that would truly upset the 'balance of power' of the traditional players.

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#2031711 - 02/12/13 08:40 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3866
Loc: North Carolina
I used to think this might be true ...
"I pretty much agree with xorbe, as long as most DPs are made by instrument companies that also sell 'real' pianos you'll probably not see a 'perfect' digital at least not by them."

... but no longer. Roland makes good digitals. So does Casio. Neither manufacture acoustic pianos.

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#2031721 - 02/12/13 08:54 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
Nigeth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 108
Good, yes, but not perfect.

Casio and Roland focus on the professional/semi-professional musician that uses instruments on stage/in the studio/live.

They make good instruments but their focus leads them to a different set of trade-offs.

The instruments have to be as flexible as possible:

4 Zone Midi-Controllers, Splits, Layers, lots of different basic sounds and emulations, arpeggiators etc.

The instruments have to be 'portable' so the action has to be light-weight and the form-factor of the boards has to be so that you can easily carry them.

You should be able to play different piano and organ sets so the action will be more light and weighting will be less.

Price

This is s different set of trade offs than the ones you'd take if you wanted to build the best digital piano. They offer a set that is 'good enough' but offers you a lot of flexibility.

But I already mentioned this in my previous post.

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#2031734 - 02/12/13 09:44 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
36251 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 761
Just because a hover car is not available, should I not go out and buy a car?

I'm quite happy with my N2 as a replacement for an upright. I do consider myself someone that needs an adequate sound and maybe it's the whole experience of the action and the sound system, but it gives me the intimacy to feel creative.
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#2031741 - 02/12/13 10:07 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1815
Loc: Portugal
Nigeth said: I'd argue that an acoustic piano is by no means a perfect instrument to begin with and that some of the characteristics of an acoustic are really flaws or technical limitations of the instrument that get 'romantisized'.


Quite so. In fact, 'fetishised' might be a more suitable word than 'romanticised'. There is nothing inherently good, in a musical sense, about a piano keyboard action. It is just a rather cumbersome means to an end: striking a set of strings. Of course, highly satisfactory ones have developed over the centuries and pianists develop a feeling for them, it is true.

And is there really any use in copying an acoustic piano's sound board? I mean, would a tuba-shaped speaker made of brass really yield a better sousaphone sound than an ordinary high quality monitor or hi-fi? Perhaps, but it sounds like piffle to me.


Edited by toddy (02/12/13 10:08 AM)
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#2031743 - 02/12/13 10:09 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5429
Why don't we do a poll here - everyone submits what they feel is their dream DP from all the currently available models. Money and space and neighbours and dogs/cats/rabbits are no object. You can have what you want.

BUT - it will be the only instrument you can have (don't forget, it's supposed to be your perfect DP, or as close to one as what is available today), and a DP can't be perfect if you have to have two or three different ones, plus an acoustic grand. So, you can't have an acoustic either.

It would be interesting to see if predominantly very expensive, high-end models are chosen, or whether, simply, people want something very different than purely acoustic emulations, and if so, what sort.
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#2031780 - 02/12/13 11:34 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: PianoWorksATL]
anotherscott Offline
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Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL

Originally Posted By: MVshabeer2
Regarding sound what is still missing? What is the bottle neck?
Speakers morso than anything (not entirely solvable).

I agree that speakers are a major factor. Real acoustic pianos, expertly recorded and played back through a pair of multi-thousand dollar high quality stereo speakers still generally won't fool you into thinking there's actually an acoustic piano in the room. Though the idea of a series of special purposed speakers placed with only the intent of recreating the soundfield of a piano, as in high end Yamahas, is an interesting (if not always practical) approach.

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#2031786 - 02/12/13 11:44 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MacMacMac]
anotherscott Offline
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Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
I used to think this might be true ...
"I pretty much agree with xorbe, as long as most DPs are made by instrument companies that also sell 'real' pianos you'll probably not see a 'perfect' digital at least not by them."

... but no longer. Roland makes good digitals. So does Casio. Neither manufacture acoustic pianos.

It sounds like that's evidence that you're agreeing with them, rather than no longer agreeing with them!

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#2031788 - 02/12/13 11:47 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: KataiYubi]
anotherscott Offline
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Originally Posted By: KataiYubi
The perfect DP will be/have:

A) Affordable - max $3000.

Everyone will have their own ideas of perfect. But there are people who pay $50k for an acoustic grand because it's closer to perfect than a $25k model, so I don't know how close to perfect you're going to get in a $3k emulation. ;-)

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#2031808 - 02/12/13 12:32 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: bennevis]
36251 Offline
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Originally Posted By: bennevis
BUT - it will be the only instrument you can have (don't forget, it's supposed to be your perfect DP, or as close to one as what is available today), and a DP can't be perfect if you have to have two or three different ones, plus an acoustic grand. So, you can't have an acoustic either.
DP's are for gigging, so picking only one is not an accurate poll. I can't gig with AG and I can't fit in my house or afford a Steinway B.

I love my FP4 compared to any other gigging boards. I know I could easily get bored with action if it was my only piano.
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#2031814 - 02/12/13 12:35 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: Nigeth]
anotherscott Offline
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Originally Posted By: Nigeth
As for a pretty good aproximation of an acoustic I'd say that all the pieces are there we've simply not seen anybody put them expertly together to form a coherent instrument.

The Crumar Baby Grand may be closest to what you want.

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
The problem is. The companies that have shown that they could tackle the electronics and SW side of things (Clavia, Korg, Casio etc.) don't have access to the best actions and don't exert to much effort to built one.
...
The companies that have shown that they can tackle the instrument side of things (Kawai, Yamaha) don't have the best expertise in electronics and SW or don't exert too much effort in that field.

"Best actions" is very subjective, as are "best electronics." Not everyone would agree that Clavia and Korg have better electronics (better sounding pianos) than Kawai and Yamaha. Not everyone even agrees that Kawai and Yamaha actions are necessarily better than Casio's.

But regardless, there is nothing to stop you from using the action of your choice to trigger the piano sound of your choice, whether that piano sound is in another keyboard or a computer. You can get any combination you want, so I don't find it so bothersome that there's no one piece that does it, i.e. that someone might prefer the action of vendor A and the sound of vendor B. I mean, odds are, we would never all agree on which action and sound are best to begin with. So even if a company came out with the kind of model you and others are theorizing about, probably most of us would still complain about it and prefer some other action or some other sound. People don't even agree on which $50k grand piano sounds and feels best. So there is not a holy grail, there are countless individual holy grails... and the tools exist today for most of us to assemble something darn close to what we want, if we are so motivated. (Apart perhaps from the difficulty of the speaker issue, as discussed elsewhere.)

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
They focus on the pianist or piano enthusiast in the high end and they also sell real acoustic uprights and grands. A sufficiently good DP would cannibalize most of their high end market

The idea that Yamaha won't make the best DP they can because it will cut into their acoustic sales assumes that Yamaha considers their DP's competition to primarily be their own acoustic pianos, whereas I would think they would consider their main competition to be DPs made by other companies. (And they are certainly also competing against companies who would not have their own line of acoustics to "protect" as well, even if I were inclined to buy into that line of reasoning, which I'm not.)

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#2031823 - 02/12/13 12:44 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
scorpio Offline
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Imperfect is perfection! Acoustics and digitals have their own characteristics and idiosyncrasies. Acoustics are different from each other, digitals are different from each other; and definitely acoustics are different than digitals. There seems to be more differences than similarities in all subsets of pianos.

What makes a piano perfect? Is there one piano somewhere that is deemed the perfect piano that all others are trying to replicate? I don't know the answer.
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#2031827 - 02/12/13 12:46 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: KataiYubi]
anotherscott Offline
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Originally Posted By: KataiYubi
The big-3 are in an oligopoly, and largely survive not because of the objective quality of their products, but rather because of their reputation. They have the brainpower and engineering expertise to make their products far better, but no monetary incentive to do so because of low competition. As a result, their products are overpriced and evolve very slowly. Why should Yamaha/Kawai/Roland sound samples be of any lower quality than those of a firm such as Synthogy (the makers of Ivory II)? I'm sure Yamaha could blow Synthogy out of the water overnight if they decided to do so.


I think the difference is that the companies that can make the most sophisticated pianos at lowest cost (a combination of low-overhead low-manufacturing-cost software developers developing for high-volume low-cost hardware platforms like Apple and Dell, where you then supply your own keybed of choice) are in a situation where that approach provides obvious cost advantages relative to manufacturers of low-volume all-in-one custom-hardware manufacturers.

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#2031836 - 02/12/13 01:04 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
Kbeaumont Offline
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The perfect piano is the one that inspires you to play. No more, no less whether it cost $500 or $250k. Dreaming of the perfect piano is akin to mental masturbation.
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#2031875 - 02/12/13 02:14 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: Kbeaumont]
36251 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Kbeaumont
Dreaming of the perfect piano is akin to mental masturbation.
Isn't that what we do here. I mean this thread is a rehash of a recent one. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
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#2031884 - 02/12/13 02:22 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: Kbeaumont]
peterws Offline
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"The perfect piano is the one that inspires you to play. No more, no less whether it cost $500 or $250k. . . "

Ya right there, man!
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#2031896 - 02/12/13 02:43 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
MVshabeer2 Offline
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A PERFECT DP mentioned in the OP is
- A DP where you get the FEEL that you are playing an AP.
- Where you don't get fatigued by the sampled sound.
- Lastly one that makes you happy & dont want to think "I should get a better DP" within a week.

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#2031908 - 02/12/13 03:03 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
scorpio Offline
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True. But each of us has a different response to those points. For some, the perfect digital piano already exists; while for others it will never exist.
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#2032079 - 02/12/13 07:53 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
Amaruk Offline
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The perfect DP is the one you can enjoy today. Alas, enjoy the music now.
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#2032084 - 02/12/13 07:57 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: Amaruk]
Kawai James Offline
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Originally Posted By: Amaruk
The perfect DP is the one you can enjoy today. Alas, enjoy the music now.


Totally agree.

Stop analysing, start playing!
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#2032095 - 02/12/13 08:12 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
poggler Offline
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The DP will not be "perfect" until it wafts the smell of a 150 year old Steinway or (better yet) a 300 year old Cristofori.

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#2032353 - 02/13/13 09:05 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: poggler]
peterws Offline
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Plus assosiated dog urine and cigar smoke associated with the aristocracy. . . .Hmmm. Nice!
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#2032381 - 02/13/13 10:05 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
sandalholme Offline
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And the sound of munching woodworms ................

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#2032410 - 02/13/13 10:55 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
toddy Offline
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Woodworm, dog dirt, stale tobacco smoke, assorted hauntings and who knows what other delights. Perhaps you'll find them all here.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/one-of-a-kind-...=item35c2cbd6e6

...I do hope so.....but then I'm bad.


Edited by toddy (02/13/13 10:59 AM)
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#2032417 - 02/13/13 11:20 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
Fscotte Offline
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Isn't the real culprit the thing called a speaker? As long as a digital piano transmits sound through a speaker, you'll never achieve the acoustic sound.

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#2032420 - 02/13/13 11:23 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: Fscotte]
peterws Offline
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Yes, but they usually have two speakers or more. And we only have two ears . . . The pronounced stereo effect does seem to be lacking in todays DPs unfortumately. But if you pay out a lot of cash, things might be different .
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#2032433 - 02/13/13 11:39 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: peterws]
anotherscott Offline
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Originally Posted By: peterws
Yes, but they usually have two speakers or more. And we only have two ears . . . The pronounced stereo effect does seem to be lacking in todays DPs unfortumately

Despite our having only two ears, a pair of stereo speakers is not sufficient to recreate a true 3D space, especially over a wide range of listening positions. Hence the need for things like center channel and surround speakers in movie and home theater systems.

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#2032453 - 02/13/13 12:30 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
floydthebarber71 Offline
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There will never be a perfect DP. Even if they could, no manufacturer would ever make one because they will put the entire business..out of business :P
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#2032481 - 02/13/13 01:34 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: anotherscott]
36251 Offline
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Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Originally Posted By: peterws
Yes, but they usually have two speakers or more. And we only have two ears . . . The pronounced stereo effect does seem to be lacking in todays DPs unfortumately

Despite our having only two ears, a pair of stereo speakers is not sufficient to recreate a true 3D space, especially over a wide range of listening positions. Hence the need for things like center channel and surround speakers in movie and home theater systems.
At least Yamaha has tried to address this issue. The samples might not be full but you have to believe they did sample in the four spots and have created the sound system to emulate the position of the mics.

I'm sure co's are only going to spend just enough money and just enough of research to get a new product to market. They're always saving something for the next product when they've milked every penny out of current model. You can't blame them in a world economy.
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#2032503 - 02/13/13 02:26 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: 36251]
anotherscott Offline
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Originally Posted By: 36251
I'm sure co's are only going to spend just enough money and just enough of research to get a new product to market. They're always saving something for the next product when they've milked every penny out of current model. You can't blame them in a world economy.

If a company waited until everything was perfect, they would never ship anything. And technology continues to improve and get more cost-effective, so there's no foreseeable end point anyway. At some point, whatever business you're in, you have to come up with something feasible, cost effective, and marketable to ship based on what is available now, while you continue to work on new things.

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#2032521 - 02/13/13 03:05 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: 36251]
peterws Offline
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Years ago (98) I bought this Yam CLP 820 in preference to a lot o` more expensive models because it had tremendous stereo sound. When I`d put it together and played it, each note seemed to be coming from a different place. Might not be how things are, but it sounded good and attracted a lot of interest in the restaurant where I used it. Had to change for a lighter (Kawai) console model. It was crap but I could carry it better. . . crazy isn`t it?
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#2032540 - 02/13/13 03:34 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
MacMacMac Offline
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anotherscott: I have to agree. Speakers are (for now) the biggest limiting factor.

The keybeds are adequate. (But if not, get an AG.)
The tone generation is okay. (But if not, run a suitable piano library on a PC.)
The amplifiers are adequate. (But if not, just use an external amp.)

But the speakers just can't seem to pass muster, even good quality external units.

Doesn't someone have a solution?

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#2032541 - 02/13/13 03:36 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
MVshabeer2 Offline
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I have a feeling that Yamaha's older models are built better.

I have an old PSR E403 keyboard back at home (made in china). Event though it's china built, the keys felt really good and steady. I never felt cheap plastic on that. no clicking sound either.

Recently I just checked the keyboard of its 3rd successor PSR E433. It's also china made. OMG the built quality is terrible. The keys felt really really cheap. I can hear that annoying clicking noise on every keys & buttons.

I also checked the S710/S910 models, their keys felt like the one I had on PSR E403.(Not the same but almost).

Now I have Yamaha MOX6. Inside it's a beast. But the built, huh: when I lift it from the table the side plastic caps bend. I will get a feeling that it is going to tear apart. The plastic is so cheap that it cant even hold together with screws.

So I believe as technology evolves built quality gets cheaper. Atleast Yamaha


Edited by MVshabeer2 (02/13/13 03:38 PM)

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#2032604 - 02/13/13 05:42 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: peterws]
toddy Offline
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Originally Posted By: peterws
.....It was crap but I could carry it better. . . crazy isn`t it?


Yes, indeed. This is a nice summary of the way things are. I do not know why, but from this sentence I get an image of you going to the chip shop after the gig - with the piano. Did this ever happen? Or was it in the boot of the car?
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#2032627 - 02/13/13 06:34 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: toddy]
peterws Offline
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Ha ha you got that right! But that was in the old days with the band. Chippies were open `till 2,30am just for returning musicians.- Great days with the Hammond . . .
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#2032976 - 02/14/13 11:18 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
slipperykeys Offline
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Why pick on Digital Pianos??

The perfect acoustic has still not been made yet!

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#2052866 - 03/23/13 09:29 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: bennevis]
R_B Offline
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Ummm, please define "perfect" http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/images/icons/default/grin.gif

I have a karaoke player (or two) on various computers, I play around with various midi files derived from QRS rolls, chain them into play lists, shuffle play them, route the midi via loopbe to pianoteq, sometimes watch the keys go down and up, etc.

I am wondering if there is a market for an "all singing all dancing" player piano - for a nostalgia market.
QRS is still selling paper rolls, in fact there is a revival.

I think I might like a modern version of a 1920s style player piano complete with faux stained glass doors that cover an OPTICAL roll player (no need for vacuum pumps, hoses, etc.) the ability to copy to a terabyte hard drive - USB, web connection, MP3 file compatibility, .wav, whatever-all-else.

As "furniture" I think it would go over much as motorcycles without rear springing from the same era sell quite well (Hardly Does-it-run) to people trying to ride their grandfather's bike (dress in black and orange, wear peel_and_stick tattoos - the whole THANG).
Not about RIDING per se, about nostalgia.

Oh, sound quality ?
Does it HAVE TO sound like a 9 ft grand ?
How about a 1920s honky tonk ?

Bosendorfer sounds coming out of a cabinet like that would just sound [url=WRONGhttp://www.pianoworld.com/forum/images/icons/default/crazy.gif][url=WRONGhttp://www.pianoworld.com/forum/images/icons/default/crazy.gif][url=WRONGhttp://www.pianoworld.com/forum/images/icons/default/crazy.gif]WRONGhttp://www.pianoworld.com/forum/images/icons/default/crazy.gif[/url][/url][/url]

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#2053040 - 03/23/13 04:49 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
Ishkabibble Offline
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Loc: Edmonton
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
anotherscott: I have to agree. Speakers are (for now) the biggest limiting factor.

The keybeds are adequate. (But if not, get an AG.)
The tone generation is okay. (But if not, run a suitable piano library on a PC.)
The amplifiers are adequate. (But if not, just use an external amp.)

But the speakers just can't seem to pass muster, even good quality external units.

Doesn't someone have a solution?


I think that a least some external speakers "pass muster".

I think that digital pianos are made up of three major "systems" -- action, DAC, sound-amplification.

There is no need to re-invent the wheel when it comes to the action of the piano. Do what Yamaha does in their AG -- use a real grand action.

Present-day DAC is also, IMO, very good, but a final tube pre-amp in the DAC to create the line-level output just may improve (make even more realistic) that signal's ultimate potential a bit.

IMO, THE major shortcoming in modern-day digital pianos is their sound-amplification systems. I don't think that DP manufacturers should (necessarily, anyway) attempt to provide their customers with a solution to that "problem".

Remember the old, all-in-one "stereo systems" that were made in the 1950's and early 1960's? Most of them had a radio, turntable and amplification system all in one big, long box (some even had a TV in there).

Consumers soon turned to so-called "component" systems that had "separate" turntable, radio, amplifiers (or "receivers") and, finally, speakers. All of these things could be mixed and matched according to the taste of each customer.

Forcing customers to buy a "built in" sound system in a DP makes the DP much more expensive, bulky and heavy. I think the manufacturers should allow customers the option to decide that particular part of "the digital piano" for themselves, but if a customer wants a complete package, an all-in-one model should be available, too, as several already are.

IMO, something similar to the following is what's needed:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1982704/Re:%20Presto:%20From%20a%20Kawai%20MP10%20.html#Post1982704

Again, just as we do when we decide how we're going to reproduce the sound of a symphony orchestra or a pipe organ in our living space from the output of any digital or analog source, we customers should be allowed to decide for ourselves how to reproduce the sound of an acoustic grand piano from the output signal of the digital piano.

(Dear Kawai, please put your GF action in your next version of the MP10. Dear Yamaha, please market an AG WITHOUT the on-board sound system.)

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#2053048 - 03/23/13 05:20 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
MacMacMac Offline
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I think the amplification systems are fine. It's hard to build a poor amp these days.
The speakers leave a LOT to be desired.
And the samples are worse. This is the weakest link right now.

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#2053063 - 03/23/13 05:51 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
maurus Offline
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Not so long ago I listened to a concert of a singer with band in which the pianist played a Nord (Stage, I think, or perhaps Piano). The PA and the speaker installation in the room (a medium sized venue that takes both classical and modern performances) made this sound brilliant (in an amplified context, that is), I was quite surprised. There were some solo passages of the piano with clear and transparent sound, and while these did not sound quite as a mic'ed acoustic (and even less as an acoustic without amplification), I was seriously impressed. But this experience was quite singular, all too often the piano sound with large speakers and PA's is quite ugly.

Was it the room? An excellent speaker setup? The art of the sound engineer? Probably a bit of all. The quality of input from the Nord was sufficient I'd say, and certainly not the bottleneck in the chain.
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#2053069 - 03/23/13 05:58 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
toddy Offline
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Do you know what speakers they were?
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#2053070 - 03/23/13 06:03 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
maurus Offline
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toddy, this is the venue:

http://www.centralstation-darmstadt.de/vermietung/saal.html

You can see a few speakers hanging in front of the stage. I believe there were more on stands when I listened. Unfortunately I did not check the speakers (was enjoying the music...).
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Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.

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#2053071 - 03/23/13 06:06 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: toddy]
Dwscamel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/13
Posts: 495
I think the sounds of software pianos are already excellent. If I find a DP action I love, that isn't limiting in any way, then the 'perfect' DP already exists. I don't even care about onboard sounds anymore, because I'll just change the sounds by running software anyway.

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#2053081 - 03/23/13 06:14 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: maurus]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1815
Loc: Portugal
Originally Posted By: maurus
[I] was enjoying the music...).


smile

....well I see a suspended (wedge shaped?) speaker....could be EV.....well could be anything, actually! smile
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2053327 - 03/24/13 08:09 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
R_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 532
Originally Posted By: MVshabeer2
When will we have a DP that can 100% replace the AP?

I think the action is solved by introduction of Avantgrands.
[But since it use a real AP action it costs as much as an AP (N3) which doesn't follow the motto of DP "A piano at every home".]

Regarding sound what is still missing? What is the bottle neck?

Compared to the growth of technology in other fields, DP's still in stone age.(IMHO)

Will a 2nd/3rd gen of Avantgrand or Vpiano will meet the needs(if any exists)?


Perhaps they are already "good enough" to "replace" most APs ?
In the "replace AP" sense they have been "good enough" to replace many/most APs for a few decades already.

Realistically I am not "replacing" a Steinway or Bosendorfer in my living room.
If it hadn't been for electronic imitations I may have bought an old Chickering, Story and Clark, or perhaps just not have had any "keyboard instrument".
Most of our parents/grandparents probably had generic uprights in the parlor, some may have been tuned/adjusted/regulated from time to time, others not.
From what I remember of my parents' upright - it had a worse action than my (now ~30 year old) Yamaha KX88 and poorer sound than the SGUs of the 1980s, even the FB01 (-:
The eternal search for a perfect concert grand (or several) in a box may be unrealistic.

We HAVE electronic instruments that we can make music on.
That they don't perfectly imitate instruments that we (MOST of us) would never find the money or physical space for seems irrelevant - lets just make music on what we DO have.

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#2053844 - 03/25/13 08:03 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3803
Loc: Northern England.
Perhaps DPs have to disassociate themselves from APs. They have come of age, methinks. There are many features on the AP which compromise it`s playability which the DP should be (but isn`t for marketing purposes)free from. Start with the action. It does not need, nor is it desireable to feel like any acoustic piano. Even the best are compromised by design and construct/ functionability constraints.

It would take a brave or stupid manufacturer . . .
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

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#2053855 - 03/25/13 08:18 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: peterws]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3667
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: peterws
Perhaps DPs have to disassociate themselves from APs. They have come of age, methinks. There are many features on the AP which compromise it`s playability which the DP should be (but isn`t for marketing purposes)free from. Start with the action. It does not need, nor is it desireable to feel like any acoustic piano. Even the best are compromised by design and construct/ functionability constraints.
.


Except that people actually want to play piano music on these things. The music that was written for piano is directly related to its action. Have you ever tried to play demanding piano music on an unweighted keyboard action? It's terrible. The action of the piano is a desirable thing to anyone who plays piano. You spend too much of your time trying to reason things in a vacuum. If you are any sort of player yourself, you shouldn't be dismissing the piano action as easily as you do. There's a reason the big DP manufacturers have put so much effort into the actions of their products. And it's not just some misguided need for approval. They are trying to make these things feel like real instruments. The action needs to feel mechanical in nature, it needs to respond to nuance and touch. A swinging hammer provides such feedback.

I understand your point from a sound generation/technology point of view, but your comments on the action side of things miss the point: the interface between the human being and the technology needs to be something that feels real and right. The pianistic action is a proven winner - there's no reason to ditch it. People like it - heck, they need it.

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#2054212 - 03/25/13 08:08 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: ando]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3803
Loc: Northern England.
I can see your points Ando. I`m not being dismissive; just putting forth suggestions and hypotheses. I`m not an accomplished pianist; more a piano-player. But I have found that some touch sensitive non weighted keyboards were superior to the weighted variety when it come to a speedy and intricate passage. Far superior.

And it set me thinking . . . people like the piano keyboard, I do myself. But one can soon adapt to a sprung action, as long as the keys aren`t short like they are on the portable keyboards they have now.. . . imo! The best I came across was on a digital organ with a piano setting which I was employed to play. The action was superb (should be; the organ cost as much as a house when first built) but the piano on it was total crap . . . .
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

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#2226071 - 02/04/14 11:26 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
R_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 532
Barely a year since this was asked and there have been comments in several places to the effect that the DP has already (functionally) replaced the upright.
DP is the new upright, etc.

So, who will have the last FILM camera ?
The last fountain pen ? (I think quills have already passed).
The last vacuum tube audio amp - oops, that one might strike a nerve (-:

Hassle factor (wet film processing, piano tuning, quill sharpening, microphonic tubes) just KILLS previous generations of xyz.
Some will cling, most will move on.

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#2226129 - 02/05/14 03:11 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: R_B]
Rappy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/14
Posts: 67
Who said the DP replaced the Upright? I have a 1920s August Frster upright with the most virtuous action and glass-bell tone who would make an elegant counter-argument to that.

Because real pianos require maintenance, there are technicians whose life's work has been historically devoted to them - and dozens of seemingly incidental adjustments can be made to expertly customise the action (and tone, but thats a different argument) to the individual player. This is not the case with a DP and even the most realistic action will be only ever be a hash of what is possible with a real action, until they can be customised as much by technicians as heartily obsessed.

Also, the point made that DP actions should move beyond the confines of the AP action design, forgets one important thing: The AP action evolved definitively to the way it is and then plateau'd - pretty much for >100 years - not because of a lack of technical advancements, for which there has been an exponential increase during this time, but because out of necessity its design found a symbiotic balance with the human expressive capacity. With just enough sensitivity so that you must concentrate and focus your intention to shape the tone, but also heavy with the potential for dramatic tempest - such dimensional dynamics, and no less, will give enough depth in which to plough the eternal spirit. This 'ideal' of an Action would be no different for a DP action, I don't think, since the artistry is still the goal (I hope).

Since the design had already moved beyond the simple mechanical requirements of the job in hand - that of percussing a string or three- and the specifics of how the AP went about this job could easily have developed in many other ways, I firmly believe that there is something inherently expressive about the current acoustic action design that is definitely worth striving for in DPs even in an era where the hammer does no longer need to truly percuss anything. It is still a percussion instrument in concept and as someone mentioned before, a lot of the literature was written with that in mind. But by all means we must also strive in parallel to create new original instruments, (eg. Seaboard) - just don't refer to them as the pianoforte.

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#2226170 - 02/05/14 06:50 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: Rappy]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3803
Loc: Northern England.
" With just enough sensitivity so that you must concentrate and focus your intention to shape the tone, but also heavy with the potential for dramatic tempest - such dimensional dynamics, and no less, will give enough depth in which to plough the eternal spirit."

Sounds like only top quality pianos will have this admirable feature, the raison d`etre for the instrument. Don`t believe that for a moment . . .
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2226172 - 02/05/14 07:03 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: Rappy]
R_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 532
Originally Posted By: Rappy
Who said the DP replaced the Upright? I have a 1920s August Frster upright with the most virtuous action and glass-bell tone who would make an elegant counter-argument to that.


Clearly not YOUR upright, but to the "buying public" as a whole the sales volume of DPs has replaced uprights, indicating that the DP in the home is what the upright (in the home) used to be.
To the majority it is more attractive for all the reasons previously stated; reduced maintenance requirements, auto-accompaniment, headphone operation, lighter weight, not being the least of these.

There are still people raising and training carriage horses.
They have customers who are learning to "drive" with reins, etc., but for the VAST MAJORITY of us the horse has been FUNCTIONALLY replaced by the automobile and tractor.
Faster, lower "maintenance", cheaper, etc., but inorganic and those clinging to horses DO get other returns.

Ahh yes, I don't play it, but it is my understanding that aftertouch and music that exploits it have evolved together BEYOND the traditional piano action.
Maybe not the music that everyone likes, but another dimension is offered by the feature.

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#2226218 - 02/05/14 09:05 AM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: MVshabeer2]
Psychonaut Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/21/13
Posts: 234
Great thread! I enjoy the diversity and variety of perspectives shared here, and that's as it should be because playing a musical instrument is never a "one size fits all" proposition.

The bottom line IMHO is that one thing is never another thing. So a DP will never be "exactly" like an AP, which is fine. No matter how imitatively good the key action, tone generators, speakers, pedal functions etc., there will always be a different character to the coloration of the final output, because this output is being rendered via an entirely different process. Whether this difference in any individual instance (or on any particular level) is greater than the vast disparities that exist between different APs remains an open, subjective question, but also an academic one. From a musician's point of view, you can simply play the music you wish to play with the instrument on which you wish (or have available) to play it, and leave it to others to categorize it as "piano" or "electronica" or whatever. It just is what it is, and music will continue to evolve and change, reflecting the tools and styles of the day just as it always has. For better or worse, the DP (and the digital age in general) is at least in part a manifestation of closet-urbanization and a high-tech circumvention of traditional geographically defined architecture, providing a technological means to create music "out of the box" in an isolation chamber similar to the way cars, air conditioning or TV facilitated the creation of cultural spaces in isolation from the traditional village square.

Everyone is different. For me, a DP should function enough like an AP in terms of key feel and response that technical skills acquired should more or less "translate" to competency on an AP. This is a practical thing more than an aesthetic thing. In terms of sound, the DP should be able to allude to the sound of an AP in such a way that it's clear that it's traditional piano music that's being interpreted. Beyond that, it only needs to sound good in its own way and on its own terms, and sound good to me. If I want 100% AP authenticity, then I need to get a hold of an AP. There's no way, and never will be a way around that. Nor should there be.
_________________________
Yamaha P120, MO6, Steinberg MR816, Galaxy Vintage D, Komplete 8 & various other VIs, Reaper

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#2226681 - 02/05/14 11:38 PM Re: How far is THE PERFECT DP from now? [Re: peterws]
doremi Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1758
Originally Posted By: peterws
...I have found that some touch sensitive non weighted keyboards were superior to the weighted variety when it come to a speedy and intricate passage. Far superior.

peterws, do you have examples of such non weighted keyboards that are currently on the market? I am genuinely interested, i.e. this is NOT a trick question.
_________________________
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Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked

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