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#2049009 - 03/16/13 06:19 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: outo]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7892
Originally Posted By: outo

And why would anyone want a grand as furniture? No matter how much I want one they are actually pretty ugly things...



Status and identity, I think.

I had a neighbor living in a second-floor apartment who went to enormous expense not only to acquire a grand piano, but to remove a window and its frame so as to slide the thing, which was dangling from a crane that had been hired, through the opening and into the apartment, because the stairwell was too tight to get it in via that more normal route. And after all that, it was never played at all, but just sat there, apparently as some kind of symbol of something.

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#2049014 - 03/16/13 06:35 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: jeffreyjones]
wr Offline
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Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7892
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
There's only so much you can do with a pair of speakers. I don't see any way to cure this shortcoming; you need all of the heavy, earthen and organic material of a piano to replicate the full experience for your audience.


I think this is crucial - speakers simply are not the same kind of sound-producing vehicle as a piano. No matter how good they get, at least using the concepts currently in use, they just don't move the air in the same way as an acoustic piano does. It's physically impossible.

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#2049030 - 03/16/13 07:35 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: -Frycek]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Originally Posted By: -Frycek
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think the huge percentage of pianists, including those on this thread who hate the sound of digitals/hybrids, would have difficulty telling the difference in a blind test.



Cher, it's not the sound of a digital I hate (though I'm not wild about it)-it's the feel. I keep one at my elderly parents' home to practice on when I'm down there. Yes, it has weighted keys but it still feels like some sort of toy compared to my not particularly grand acoustic.


This is no longer an issue with modern digital pianos.

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#2049031 - 03/16/13 07:37 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: wr]
debrucey Offline
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Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
There's only so much you can do with a pair of speakers. I don't see any way to cure this shortcoming; you need all of the heavy, earthen and organic material of a piano to replicate the full experience for your audience.


I think this is crucial - speakers simply are not the same kind of sound-producing vehicle as a piano. No matter how good they get, at least using the concepts currently in use, they just don't move the air in the same way as an acoustic piano does. It's physically impossible.


Human hearing is only so good. It's theoretically possible to have a speaker system good enough that the ears will be deceived.



Edited by debrucey (03/16/13 09:46 AM)

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#2049032 - 03/16/13 07:40 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: outo]
debrucey Offline
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Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Originally Posted By: outo

And why would anyone want a grand as furniture? No matter how much I want one they are actually pretty ugly things...



What!?
I think they'e beautiful.

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#2049062 - 03/16/13 09:38 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: debrucey]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
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Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Originally Posted By: outo

And why would anyone want a grand as furniture? No matter how much I want one they are actually pretty ugly things...



What!?
I think they'e beautiful.
Of course. They're incredibly beautiful which is one reason, and a perfectly valid one IMO, that some only get them as furniture.

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#2049064 - 03/16/13 09:44 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: debrucey]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
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Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
There's only so much you can do with a pair of speakers. I don't see any way to cure this shortcoming; you need all of the heavy, earthen and organic material of a piano to replicate the full experience for your audience.


I think this is crucial - speakers simply are not the same kind of sound-producing vehicle as a piano. No matter how good they get, at least using the concepts currently in use, they just don't move the air in the same way as an acoustic piano does. It's physically impossible.


Human hearing is only so good. It's theoretically impossible to have a speaker system good enough that the ears will be deceived.
I think you meant "possible".

I don't know if it's possible, but I'd assume based on how fast technology is advancing that any problems/shortcomings in this area using current methods will eventually be worked out.

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#2049065 - 03/16/13 09:47 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: Mark_C]
debrucey Offline
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Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Haha yes sorry I meant possible. I didn't mean necessarily possible with todays technology, but it is within the realms of possibility.

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#2049067 - 03/16/13 09:49 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: theJourney]
pianoloverus Offline
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Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: SBP
I hope they don't.

Personally, I hope that acoustics will evolve away from the loud beasts they are today. That would sure make them more pleasant to play for long periods :P


This is an excellent point.

Why should all quality grands be more appropriate for the concert hall than home?
If everyone agreed with you, no one would be buying those pianos for their home. I have a Mason Hamlin BB in a tiny living room and it is not too loud. I do realize that sometimes pianos can be too loud for their spaces, but it is certainly not always the case.


Edited by pianoloverus (03/16/13 09:51 AM)

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#2049086 - 03/16/13 11:01 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: Mark_C]
JoelW Offline
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Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4828
Loc: USA
1) No digital piano can ever recreate the same presence of acoustic grands.

2) Machine-made electric grands will all be 100% identical to each other. You can't even say this about machine made grand pianos, which leads me to my third point.

3) People love the uniqueness of organic instruments. Every Steinway is different in tone, touch, character, everything. This is hugely important.



Instruments have been made organically for thousands of years; I don't think this will ever change. I just think raw materials will always beat synthetic ones when it comes to music. Sure pop and some e-music (electronic music) genres do everything with computers and sampling, but I don't believe that this will ever dominate organic instruments.

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#2049091 - 03/16/13 11:18 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: outo]
carey Offline
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Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6372
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: outo

And why would anyone want a grand as furniture? No matter how much I want one they are actually pretty ugly things...

And a small box-like plastic/particle board digital with a fake finish looks better than a beautiful acoustic grand in a formal living room??? grin
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#2049093 - 03/16/13 11:22 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: carey]
JoelW Offline
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Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4828
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: outo

And why would anyone want a grand as furniture? No matter how much I want one they are actually pretty ugly things...

And a small box-like plastic/particle board digital with a fake finish looks better than a beautiful acoustic grand in a formal living room??? grin


I think those AvantGrands are quite ugly. It looks like a 3 foot grand piano. I believe if you look up 'ugly' in Websters you will find a picture of one.


And I agree with Mark and Debrucey. Real grand pianos are gorgeous. When I walk into a piano store my eyes light up like a kid in a candy shop.


Edited by JoelW (03/16/13 11:27 AM)

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#2049094 - 03/16/13 11:22 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: JoelW]
Damon Online   happy
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6168
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: JoelW
1) No digital piano can ever recreate the same presence of acoustic grands.


Never is a long time. I remember when similar comments about sound and feel have been made that have been surpassed.

Originally Posted By: JoelW

2) Machine-made electric grands will all be 100% identical to each other. You can't even say this about machine made grand pianos, which leads me to my third point.


There are wide variety of parameters on some digital keyboards that go a long way toward personalizing the piano. They are also not the same in ways that are not as charming as an acoustic but at least prove they are not identical to each other.

Originally Posted By: JoelW

3) People love the uniqueness of organic instruments. Every Steinway is different in tone, touch, character, everything. This is hugely important.


People also love saving money. Digital pianos are often a fraction of the cost and never need tuning. (that $100 a pop around here).

Another thing people love is space. A digital piano takes much less of it than a grand piano.

Also, some of us who use the instrument to make money, find the ability to move it, invaluable.

I believe if it weren't for rich people that like the snob appeal of a grand piano as furniture, they would already be gone....maybe. smile
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#2049095 - 03/16/13 11:23 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: debrucey]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Originally Posted By: outo

And why would anyone want a grand as furniture? No matter how much I want one they are actually pretty ugly things...

What!?
I think they're beautiful.

++
I can't believe it took that long for anyone to start countering it.

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#2049096 - 03/16/13 11:26 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: Mark_C]
Damon Online   happy
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6168
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Originally Posted By: outo

And why would anyone want a grand as furniture? No matter how much I want one they are actually pretty ugly things...

What!?
I think they're beautiful.

++
I can't believe it took that long for anyone to start countering it.


I found the comment to ridiculous to respond. wink
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2049103 - 03/16/13 11:41 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: JoelW]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19460
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: JoelW
1) No digital piano can ever recreate the same presence of acoustic grands.

2) Machine-made electric grands will all be 100% identical to each other. You can't even say this about machine made grand pianos, which leads me to my third point.

3) People love the uniqueness of organic instruments. Every Steinway is different in tone, touch, character, everything. This is hugely important.
Part of the differences between Steinways is usually attributed to quality control/manufacturing inconsistencies although this has apparently improved significantly in recent years. Other makers of the highest category are generally more consistent in touch and tone although there are still differences that could make someone choose one piano of the same make and model over another.

Hybrids already have the possibility of being adjusted in terms of their touch like any acoustic piano and are not therefore all exactly the same. In terms of variety of tone, I think digitals/hybrids already have some possibility for tonal adjustmentts based on the wishes of the performer and can certainly imagine that the options in this area could increase dramatically as non acoustic instruments develop. I can imagine a point where a non acoustic could have thousands of different high level pianos sampled and a performer could choose among those.

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#2049108 - 03/16/13 11:51 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: pianoloverus]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6372
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I can imagine a point where a non acoustic could have thousands of different high level pianos sampled and a performer could choose among those.

True - but the "samples" come from high level acoustics. So if acoustics go away, it may be challenging in the future to get the samples...in which case, everyone loses.
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#2049110 - 03/16/13 11:52 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: Damon]
LarryShone Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 793
Loc: Darlington, UK
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Originally Posted By: outo

And why would anyone want a grand as furniture? No matter how much I want one they are actually pretty ugly things...

What!?
I think they're beautiful.

++
I can't believe it took that long for anyone to start countering it.


I found the comment to ridiculous to respond. wink

I am in shock! The thought of describing a grand piano as ugly..no I just cant picture it! :()
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If the piano is the King of instruments then I am its loyal servant.

Yamaha PSR225-I NEED A PIANO wink

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#2049112 - 03/16/13 11:53 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: carey]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I can imagine a point where a non acoustic could have thousands of different high level pianos sampled and a performer could choose among those.

True - but the "samples" come from high level acoustics. So if acoustics go away, it may be challenging in the future to get the samples...in which case, everyone loses.


Well they won't go away.

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#2049113 - 03/16/13 11:55 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: pianoloverus]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4828
Loc: USA

Pianoloverus:

Quote:
Part of the differences between Steinways is usually attributed to quality control/manufacturing inconsistencies although this has apparently improved significantly in recent years. Other makers of the highest category are generally more consistent in touch and tone although there are still differences that could make someone choose one piano of the same make and model over another.

Hybrids already have the possibility of being adjusted in terms of their touch like any acoustic piano and are not therefore all exactly the same. In terms of variety of tone, I think digitals/hybrids already have some possibility for tonal adjustmentts based on the wishes of the performer and can certainly imagine that the options in this area could increase dramatically as non acoustic instruments develop. I can imagine a point where a non acoustic could have thousands of different high level pianos sampled and a performer could choose among those.




That's fair. But what about the actual presence? A 9' concert Steinway has godly presence. It's insane. I don't see how speakers on a little AvantGrand-type instrument could ever match the raw experience of a 9' resonating beast. With real grand pianos, the entire piano is the speaker. All of it vibrates, not just the soundboard. I just don't see electric pianos ever being able to capture that, and if they could, it seems like they'd be too big and too expensive to have the luxury of inexpensiveness and portability. It seems like they would just be building an electric 9'. And even then would it match the raw power and organic experience of the real 9' grand's presence? I'm just not convinced.

I think the problem is when we try to match an electric instrument to an organic instrument. When the goal is to make the fake one sound like the real one, the fake one with never be as good as the real one because it's always an imitation. This is why the piano did away with the harpsichord. It wasn't just an imitation, it was an improvement. Electric pianos serve a good purpose but I think their place in music needs to be acknowledged. They do what they do well but they won't ever be a 9' Steinway.

This is all my opinion! smile

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#2049116 - 03/16/13 11:57 AM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: debrucey]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6372
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I can imagine a point where a non acoustic could have thousands of different high level pianos sampled and a performer could choose among those.

True - but the "samples" come from high level acoustics. So if acoustics go away, it may be challenging in the future to get the samples...in which case, everyone loses.


Well they won't go away.

Of course they won't wink
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#2049118 - 03/16/13 12:00 PM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: JoelW]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Quote:
Part of the differences between Steinways is usually attributed to quality control/manufacturing inconsistencies although this has apparently improved significantly in recent years. Other makers of the highest category are generally more consistent in touch and tone although there are still differences that could make someone choose one piano of the same make and model over another.

Hybrids already have the possibility of being adjusted in terms of their touch like any acoustic piano and are not therefore all exactly the same. In terms of variety of tone, I think digitals/hybrids already have some possibility for tonal adjustmentts based on the wishes of the performer and can certainly imagine that the options in this area could increase dramatically as non acoustic instruments develop. I can imagine a point where a non acoustic could have thousands of different high level pianos sampled and a performer could choose among those.




That's fair. But what about the actual presence? A 9' concert Steinway has godly presence. It's insane. I don't see how speakers on a little AvantGrand-type instrument could ever match the raw experience of a 9' resonating beast. With real grand pianos, the entire piano is the speaker. All of it vibrates, not just the soundboard. I just don't see electric pianos ever being able to capture that, and if they ever could, it seems like they'd be too big and too expensive to ever have the luxury of inexpensiveness and portability. It seems like they would just be building an electric 9'. And even then would it match the raw power and organic experience of the real 9' grand's presence? I'm just not convinced.

I think the problem is when we try to match an electric instrument to an organic instrument. When the goal is to make the fake one sound like the real one, the fake one with never be as good as the real one because it's always an imitation. This is why the piano did away with the harpsichord. It wasn't just an imitation, it was an improvement. Electric pianos serve a good purpose but I think their place in music needs to be acknowledged. They do what they do well but they won't ever be a 9' Steinway.

This is all my opinion! smile


They're not trying to sound like a 9 foot steinway, that would be ridiculous. Who has a 9 foot steinway in their study?

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#2049119 - 03/16/13 12:00 PM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: wr]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6372
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: outo

And why would anyone want a grand as furniture? No matter how much I want one they are actually pretty ugly things...



Status and identity, I think.

I had a neighbor living in a second-floor apartment who went to enormous expense not only to acquire a grand piano, but to remove a window and its frame so as to slide the thing, which was dangling from a crane that had been hired, through the opening and into the apartment, because the stairwell was too tight to get it in via that more normal route. And after all that, it was never played at all, but just sat there, apparently as some kind of symbol of something.



But, on the other hand, they were always prepared for a party !!
_________________________
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#2049120 - 03/16/13 12:01 PM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: Mark_C]
debrucey Offline
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Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
I think a piano always brightens up a home. Even if someone doesn't play, its nice to have one. Whenever they have guests who are musicians they can have a bit of a singsong, and thats nice

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#2049121 - 03/16/13 12:02 PM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: debrucey]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4828
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: debrucey

They're not trying to sound like a 9 foot steinway, that would be ridiculous. Who has a 9 foot steinway in their study?


Well the 9' was just the most extreme example. I think the same applies to all of the well-sized grands, and even the smallest of grands. The organic, raw sound presence you get from any acoustic instrument can't be replicated as such by a non-acoustic instrument. IMO.

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#2049123 - 03/16/13 12:04 PM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: JoelW]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: debrucey

They're not trying to sound like a 9 foot steinway, that would be ridiculous. Who has a 9 foot steinway in their study?


Well the 9' was just the most extreme example. I think the same applies to all of the well-sized grands, and even the smallest of grands. The organic, raw sound presence you get from any acoustic instrument can't be replicated as such by a non-acoustic instrument. IMO.


Well, I have experienced it replicated, so yes it can.

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#2049124 - 03/16/13 12:06 PM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: debrucey]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4828
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: debrucey

They're not trying to sound like a 9 foot steinway, that would be ridiculous. Who has a 9 foot steinway in their study?


Well the 9' was just the most extreme example. I think the same applies to all of the well-sized grands, and even the smallest of grands. The organic, raw sound presence you get from any acoustic instrument can't be replicated as such by a non-acoustic instrument. IMO.


Well, I have experienced it replicated, so yes it can.


Really? If you were to be blindfolded and sat down at two pianos, one being the one you felt successfully replicated the organic presence of an acoustic, and the other being a 6' acoustic grand, you would NOT be able to tell which one was which? Haha c'mon man! "I have experienced it replicated" -- no you haven't! grin


Edited by JoelW (03/16/13 12:16 PM)

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#2049135 - 03/16/13 12:38 PM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: debrucey]
LarryShone Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 793
Loc: Darlington, UK
Originally Posted By: debrucey
I think a piano always brightens up a home. Even if someone doesn't play, its nice to have one. Whenever they have guests who are musicians they can have a bit of a singsong, and thats nice

Agree! But I just want, no NEED a piano in my life, any piano!
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Yamaha PSR225-I NEED A PIANO wink

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#2049151 - 03/16/13 01:15 PM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: Mark_C]
Hakki Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2664
Mark, BTW, did you manage to follow the Poll so far?

How is it going? Relic or not?

Could you post a list of who said what.
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#2049162 - 03/16/13 01:33 PM Re: Poll (sort of): Will the 'acoustic piano' become a relic? [Re: LarryShone]
personne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/24/12
Posts: 123
Loc: Toronto, Canada
The cost of acoustic piano can well make acoustic piano relics smile
My colleague says she purchased an August Foster piano for her nieces 20 years ago for 1/3 this make and size cost now.
Digital pianos have not come far in terms of sound modeling, they have a lot of room for improvement, their software is still pretty primitive. As soon as software will be able to emulate piano resonances and tonal differences at the reasonable level, only few will still purchase a 'real piano' - and not because they cannot tell the difference, but due to the cost and convenience.
Now digitals compete with entry-level acoustics, as soon as they can compete with mid-price point, there will be not too many buyers left on the market for acoustic pianos as a few have budget for high-end grands. IMO.
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