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#2034419 - 02/16/13 06:43 PM N1 vs NU1
Albatrossone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 20
Hi
Just wanted to start off by saying hello as I'm a new member.

I wanted people's advice. I'm sold on the yamaha hybrid pianos and am trying to decide which one. I wanted to ask for views about the yamaha N1 vs NU1.

I know there have been other threads about this but I wanted to hear thoughts about the action.

I want a grand action - no two ways about it. But it's quite difficult to justify the extra expense of the N1. At a lower price, the NU1 has better speakers, a better, at least smaller form factor, the [trs system which I find to be quite good, soundboard resonator - EDIT: NOT SURE ABOUT THESE TWO NOW], ability to turn off the noise gate and a USB output. Unlike a real upright, (at least compared to a grand) the NU1 s actually very responsive and the repetition is very quick and comparable to the N1.

However, in theory at least, a real grand action should be better and give better control shouldn't it? But in these cases the grand and upright actions are both triggering digital samples.

So my question us: Apart from pure feel is there any difference performance wise between the two? i.e.should I be better able to control the velocity using the N1 grand action as opposed to the NU1 action? And would one or the other be better for learning on?

I know from experience that repetition is equal (actually better on the NU1 I tried - but all the N1s seem to be regulated differently - some heavy and some light as a C1, but that's another story!)

Would really appreciate views

Many thanks
Nick


Edited by Albatrossone (02/17/13 06:34 PM)

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#2034430 - 02/16/13 07:02 PM Re: N1 vs NU1 [Re: Albatrossone]
bennevis Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4362
You may have already read my review of the NU1 in comparison to the AvantGrands some months ago.

I'll just reiterate what I said then (and which I've confirmed since whenever I revisited that showroom and played the DPs again) - I'd go for the NU1 even if it was the same price as the N1.

For me, the AG key actions don't really feel like those of the Yamaha grands - they're just too heavy and sluggish. The NU1's are at least as good as those of any acoustic upright, and they allow very rapid repeated notes, which for me is essential for the music I play. (They also feel a similar weight to those of the acoustic grands). I had a hard time doing those on the N1.

And there's no question that the NU1's sound (sampled from the CFX concert grand) is superior to the N1's (sampled from the now-discontinued CF-IIIS, which was replaced by the CFX in 2010). I think that the N1, 2 and 3's samples are overdue for updating.

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#2034434 - 02/16/13 07:08 PM Re: N1 vs NU1 [Re: Albatrossone]
36251 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 646
If you use search function, you'll notice that this subject has been discussed once or twice. wink


Edited by 36251 (02/16/13 07:08 PM)
_________________________
AvantGrand N2, FP-4, Gallien-Krueger MK & MP

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#2034456 - 02/16/13 08:01 PM Re: N1 vs NU1 [Re: Albatrossone]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
This is the first time I've heard that the NU1 allows you to turn off the noise gate and it's also the first time I've noticed that it has USB to host. That's pretty nice stuff.

The limiting factor for the repetition speed of these hybrid instruments doesn't appear to be exactly the same as it is for their acoustic counterparts. Apparently (based on earlier thread information) the sensors are not all that close together on the AvantGrands, so the advantage of the double escapement might not come into play, at least not fully.

Other reasons a grand action might be better? Well there's the key-length argument. I'm not sure how long the keys are from the front of the key to the pivot point. In principle you want a longer distance there so that the mechanical advantage difference at the front and back of the playing surface is as small as possible. I don't know how long these key lengths are, but if the grand is longer, that could be an advantage.

A grand action does feel differently from an upright. It's not immediately clear to me that in a hybrid context there are any other factors (besides the two I have mentioned) making the grand action better. Perhaps someone else can think of one.

We've had people report back that the NU1 is noticeably better than its grand counterparts, but we've also seen the opposite here in the forum. I haven't been able to get my hands on an NU1 so I can't add personal experience to the mix unfortunately. You have to let your own fingers be your guide. Based on what you are writing it seems like you enjoyed playing the NU1 even better. It's also cheaper, so I am not seeing the downside.


Edited by gvfarns (02/16/13 08:01 PM)

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#2034484 - 02/16/13 08:52 PM Re: N1 vs NU1 [Re: Albatrossone]
Wess. Chr. K. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 37
Loc: Sofia, Bulgaria
Hi Albatrossone,

I passed the same hesitation like you and after I checked both pianos, N1 was definitely my choice and I did buy it.
As for as the action: "heavy",as "bennevis" mentioned, yes, indeed, but sluggish – certainly not.
It has a perfect action – just try to play Bach, Mozart or Beethoven at "Yamaha show room" near your place and consider yourself.
When I checked them both in Stuttgart, the assistant shown me the real grand piano to compare (in the same floor where N1 was places).
Absolutely the same keys, but the only difference was that fade out (release) of N1 was a bit shorter than the real grand.
Only this.
The sound of N1 is perfect, even that I have some reproofs about the loops, seen in every DP. It really needs extra reverberation. For such proposes I use the plug in called "Altiverb" and preset "Schubert hall".

N1 does not sound so brightly as UN1 (being EQ-ed IMPO), but playing on N1 you can not heat any transition in sound form "ppp" to "fff" or even "ffff".
All colors (velocity) changes are very obvious in UN1.
It differs from the scraped of sound of Kawai just a bit (if we are not ashamed to compare this two instruments).

BTW there is only "p" (with some mental reservation – with left pedal "pp") to ff in UN1, but neither "ppp" and nor "fff-ffff" as heard in N1.
The sound system has 6 or 7 loudspeakers 3 on top, 2 at back side, one 4.5" in bottom sound box and one 6" low frequency also at bottom side.
It sounds pretty OK and there is no point to compare with NU1 which has only 2 loudspeakers.

As composer and symphony orchestrator, I bought it as a MIDI recording tool (because of its replicated piano action) and also as an instrument to teach my 6 years son to start plying piano.

But if you expect miracles from this two Yamaha digital pianos – please, do not mislead yourself.
They are made to save space at your home and not to trouble your neighbors. The sound is much better compared to CLP 4000 series, but as I mentioned several times, it is not Steinway (or Bösendorfer) real grand piano.

Have you ever heard some great pianist to play solo recital on Yamaha... (or for Got's sake Kawai....) in Vienna, Berlin, London, Amsterdam, Paris and so on...
_________________________
Best regards,
Wess

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#2034491 - 02/16/13 09:25 PM Re: N1 vs NU1 [Re: Wess. Chr. K.]
torhu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/12
Posts: 174
A while there I thought you were asking about U1 vs NU1 and was going to call you out for trolling laugh
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Roland RD-700NX // Galaxy Vintage D

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#2034609 - 02/17/13 06:28 AM Re: N1 vs NU1 [Re: Albatrossone]
Albatrossone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 20
Thank you all for your comments. It seems that from your experiences there may not be any particular advantage to the grand action and it comes down to which you prefer. I do prefer the grand action but its a case of my heart says N1 and my head says NU1. I will have to keep playing them!

What is quite interesting, in terms of whether the N1 is heavy or sluggish, they had two of them in the shop I went to. One of them was indeed heavier and much more tiring to play - but the other felt much lighter. And I could see that the key depth on the first was greater than on the second.

The sales person said that he always recommended people buy the one they had played in the showroom - in the same way as you would avoid an acoustic you hadn't played - as they did all vary a bit. He also said that whilst all the acoustics got some setup by yamaha when they came into the country, the avantgrands didn't get the same treatment. They were boxed up in Japan and stayed in the box until they arrived in the shop.

So these may vary a bit. For anyone with an avantgrand I'd be very interested in they key depth yours is set up with - nothing precise - just whether the key goes down less than half way, about half way or more than half way should give me a good idea of what I might be likely to get if I had to order a boxed one. (And yes I know this is only one aspect of a action but it is something that can easily be checked). From seeing pictures of the insides I see that they seem to have little card spacers under the felt washers . I wonder if early ones didn't have this and this was done to address complaints about a sluggish action.

Best
Nick

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#2034616 - 02/17/13 07:26 AM Re: N1 vs NU1 [Re: Albatrossone]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5259
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
I own the N3 and recently played the NU1. I have now given very serious thought of buying one just to have in addition to my N3. I liked the NU1 since, for me at least, I found it more difficult to play.

I like having the wind at my back on jobs but not when I'm practicing at home.
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AvantGrand N3, CP5

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#2034619 - 02/17/13 07:31 AM Re: N1 vs NU1 [Re: Albatrossone]
bennevis Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4362
Originally Posted By: Albatrossone
Thank you all for your comments. It seems that from your experiences there may not be any particular advantage to the grand action and it comes down to which you prefer. I do prefer the grand action but its a case of my heart says N1 and my head says NU1. I will have to keep playing them!

What is quite interesting, in terms of whether the N1 is heavy or sluggish, they had two of them in the shop I went to. One of them was indeed heavier and much more tiring to play - but the other felt much lighter. And I could see that the key depth on the first was greater than on the second.

The sales person said that he always recommended people buy the one they had played in the showroom - in the same way as you would avoid an acoustic you hadn't played - as they did all vary a bit. He also said that whilst all the acoustics got some setup by yamaha when they came into the country, the avantgrands didn't get the same treatment. They were boxed up in Japan and stayed in the box until they arrived in the shop.



Best
Nick


For acoustics, I'd always prefer a grand action. I was quite surprised when playing the N1 and NU1 side by side that it was the NU1 that felt more similar to the CFX and CF-IIIS concert grands that was also in the showroom. Unlike acoustics, which rely on proper key return to repeat a note, in a DP like the NU1, it's the sensor placement that determines when a note can be repeated, so one advantage of the grand action is negated.

Incidentally, I also played a N3 there which had been on display for three years. Its action felt slightly lighter and less sluggish, but I assumed that was due to punters pounding on it over the years. Variability in the actions on DPs of the same model wasn't something that occurred to me, but there must be some truth in that with the AGs and NU1. But unlike acoustics, you can't ask the tech to modify their actions to your liking prior to, or after, purchase.

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#2034621 - 02/17/13 07:36 AM Re: N1 vs NU1 [Re: Albatrossone]
36251 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 646
Please feel free to skip my boring story of piano ownership and read last paragraph ***

I started playing on one of those free 100+ years old upright. After that my parents were given an equally bad grand. Then I went through many other uprights. Then I decided to just use a digital piano once they had become pretty good. Then I had a chance to buy a used Yamaha CP-70B for short money. The sound was a compromise but it was nice to finally have an instrument with good grand action. After a few years, the sound became a negative so and I had bought a small house with no one to worry about but not enough room for a grand, unless I wanted to compromise the little living space I have. I finally got into a fairly new used Steinway K, which I had thought would be the last piano I ever bought. It sounded great and had nice size keys with nice key depth. At the time I bought K I was very close to buying a Yamaha Grand Touch but decided to get "dream" - a Steinway.

Then comes this blog and started to learn of AG and after five minutes had made up my mind to sell K for N2. Even if the NU1 was available I would never consider after deprived a grand for my whole life.

***Grand action can not be duplicated IMO in a vertical action. You have to take advantage of Earth's gravity smile


Edited by 36251 (02/17/13 07:37 AM)
_________________________
AvantGrand N2, FP-4, Gallien-Krueger MK & MP

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#2034911 - 02/17/13 06:33 PM Re: N1 vs NU1 [Re: Dave Horne]
Albatrossone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 20

Thanks everyone - its all really helpful. By the way, doing a bit more research it looks like the NU1 doesn't have the TRS and the soundboard resonator - is that right - if so I'll edit my first post so as not to confuse anyone. I was sure I was feeling the TRS when I was playing one on Friday though. Strange - helpfully makes it a little less attractive though.


Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
I own the N3 and recently played the NU1. I have now given very serious thought of buying one just to have in addition to my N3. I liked the NU1 since, for me at least, I found it more difficult to play.

I like having the wind at my back on jobs but not when I'm practicing at home.


Here's the solution. I am close to firing up Excel and trying to work out financially how I can have both!!

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#2035106 - 02/18/13 03:53 AM Re: N1 vs NU1 [Re: Albatrossone]
spanishbuddha Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2231
Loc: UK
No the NU1 doesn't have TRS or a soundboard. But the woofer speakers are located in the panel below the keyboard facing out so maybe that is what you heard or felt.


Edited by spanishbuddha (02/18/13 07:34 AM)

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#2035145 - 02/18/13 07:59 AM Re: N1 vs NU1 [Re: spanishbuddha]
Dragon777 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 27
When playing the NU1 at higher volume, you can definitely feel some vibration/resonoance on the lower notes which feels quite natural. They are not artificially generated by a dedicated module like TRS, but I think they are resonances of the chassis. Yamaha tells that they have placed the speakers in a certain way to cause this. I think it´s quite good, but less than on an acoustic. And it´s definitely different from the soundboard that the bigger Kawai models offer.

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