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#2254538 - 03/30/14 10:18 PM My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
I would like to share my experience between my grand piano, digital piano, and upright piano and hope it can help some of you in similar situations.

As a preface, I got a degree in classical piano performance - and at home I had a 4"11 Yamaha grand piano.

After moving, I left that piano at home and ended up buying a Roland FP7F digital piano. Recently, I got rid of that and bought a Steinway 1098 upright.

First, let's address the Roland FP7F. I am going to get right down to it: It has a nice touch, and a good enough sound all on its own, but compare it to any decent acoustic piano and it just is not in the same world.

I think it's really more appropriate for a casual player, and not a more serious classical player who wants to fully develop touch, tone, etc. It has its limitations in that regard and I would recommend a good quality upright if you could swing the price difference.

Now, the grand vs upright. I will make it simple. My Yamaha grand has a faster touch and response, which also makes dynamic control a bit easier.

Having said that, the 4"11 size grand does not sound good. It sounds metallic, dim, and overall not pleasant.

The Steinway 1098 upright in comparison was a great revelation to me - a very live, warm rich sound and good action for an upright. The sound really jumps out right at you - and has a more ringing sound to it.

So if you put 2 and 2 together, you come to the conclusion that a larger, good quality grand piano is really ideal. But you knew that already.

The second conclusion - if you're a serious player, I'd avoid a digital piano and just find a good upright. I got my used Steinway in great condition for around $5,000, which is not unreasonable when many digital pianos are near that price. (My Roland FP7F with pedals and stand was almost $2500 alone)

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#2254582 - 03/30/14 11:02 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3806
Loc: North Carolina
You points seem obvious, but they bear repeating.
- Small baby grands don't sound very good.
- Good uprights do.
- Digital pianos do not.
The DPBSD thread offers technical explanation of a few of the shortcomings exhibited by digital pianos. But the bare ear is adequate. Digital pianos are a pale imitation of the real thing.

You buy a digital to do the things an acoustic cannot.
You don't buy a digital for fine piano sound or feel.

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#2254587 - 03/30/14 11:39 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3552
Loc: Northern England.
You buy a car to do the things a pony and trap cannot.
You don`t buy a car to interact with the horse . . .
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes — but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2254624 - 03/31/14 02:11 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: MacMacMac]
Kos Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 77
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac

You don't buy a digital for fine piano sound or feel.


Now if someone could just explain that to DP marketing departments smile
_________________________
"There is nothing to piano playing besides producing the appropriate velocities on the appropriate keys at the appropriate time" (c) qvfarns

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#2254638 - 03/31/14 02:57 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: peterws]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 451
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: peterws
You buy a car to do the things a pony and trap cannot.
You don`t buy a car to interact with the horse . . .


That´s a good one. smile

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#2254651 - 03/31/14 04:10 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
jarosujo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/12
Posts: 237
Loc: Slovakia
You buy digital because of neighbors.
_________________________
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Kawai CL-36
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#2254683 - 03/31/14 06:29 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
36251 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 740
My choice would be the grand. I owned a 1098. Granted it was used, so maybe I had a bad one, but that thing was way to bright, even after I would get hammers voiced. I finally moved up to a Steinway K. That was a beautiful sounding instrument but got tired of playing upright action.

I could probably find room in my tiny house (325 sq ft per floor,) for that 4'11" but then I heard of AG here and I've been happily ever after although I'm sure the grand would be nice if it stayed in tune.
_________________________
AG N2, CP4, GK MK & MP

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#2254684 - 03/31/14 06:32 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
Lester Burnham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/13
Posts: 244
I can't help but think you miss out on why some people buy digital pianos - convenience, and other more practical things - slient playing / practice, limited space, don't require tuning or being anything like as concerned about the environment situation it's in.

The question, money, space and predisposition all equal, would be to have both. But then, invariably, things are not all equal.

I have an acoustic piano, a digital piano, and a keyboard. All have their place. The digital piano gets most use. Why? Because I can play it and not be concerned that it's having any impact on anybody else in the house, or close neighbours for that matter, at any time of day I choose. And the action and sound are good enough for the types of use I put it to.

If I was rich, with a large house, with no neighbours that were that close, I would have a decent grand and a decent digital - I'm sure I'd still find use / need for one - plus I'd also have one of the more portable (stage orientated) digital pianos and a case for when I travelled.

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#2254694 - 03/31/14 07:28 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11803
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
A grand shorter than 5'6 to 6' will usually be not worth it for the price, unless you're going for a nice piece of piano-shaped furniture. While I agree with you on the Roland as far as feel, please bear in mind that Roland is not all the DP world has to offer. Try playing on higher end Yamahas and Kawais and I think you will be much happier. It's still not the same as acoustic, but there are pretty good substitutes out there if your situation means you have to buy digital.

I agree that for long-term practicing, the Roland is not great for a classical pianist. I spent last summer playing mostly on my FP-7 (not sure if it has the same action as the FP-7F). That was not good and it prompted me to buy the MP11 for practicing this summer. We shall see how it goes, but so far I'm delighted with how it feels and sounds.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2254709 - 03/31/14 08:05 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Morodiene]
Digitalguy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 426
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: Morodiene

I agree that for long-term practicing, the Roland is not great for a classical pianist. I spent last summer playing mostly on my FP-7 (not sure if it has the same action as the FP-7F). That was not good and it prompted me to buy the MP11 for practicing this summer. We shall see how it goes, but so far I'm delighted with how it feels and sounds.


Very different action, PHAII against PHA III Ivory Feel-S Keyboard with Escapement. So if PHAII is the only Roland action you have played you may want to try other models before saying Roland is not great for a classical pianist (I am no classical pianist, but I know some the love PHAIII for classical piano playing). Action, like sound, has a certain degree of subjectivity, however.
_________________________
Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, Focal Spirit Pro, Shure SRH240A, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, iPad Air, iLoud, Ivory II ACD, Galaxy Vintage D, Galaxy Steinway, TrueKeys American, VILabs Ravenscroft, Kawai-Ex Pro, The Grand 2, SampleTekk Black, Addictive Keys, Ezkeys

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#2254712 - 03/31/14 08:08 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9096
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Is PHAIII so different to PHAII?

Isn't it just a case of 3-sensors vs 2-sensors?

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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#2254713 - 03/31/14 08:09 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
Nigeth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 108
It might be true - I disagree but let's say that it might for the sake of your argument. Even then you too quickly dismiss some of the advantages of DPs and you also don't acknowledge the 'total cost of ownership' of an AP.

If you want to buy new $5000 will give you the absolute bare minimum as far as upright pianos are concerned. It's barely enough to get you out of 'cheap' or 'store brand' territory and will net you the cheapest Yamaha b1 or Kawai K15. If you buy used you have to be lucky or very experienced to get a used piano that was treated and maintained right otherwise you'll end up with a 'worn out' instrument or you'll have to spend additional money on maintenance and repair atfer the purchase. Then you'll spend probably a few hundred dollars per year on tuning/maintenance in addition to that.

If you don't own a big house/don't have very tolerant neighbors/have a wife and or kids/have to hold down a job then your practice hours are either very limited or you at least need a silent piano. This will push you into the $7000 territory if you want the least expensive 'brand name' instrument.

Double that if you want a grand but you'd likely end up with a really bad sounding one. You'd also need a whole room dedicated to that instrument then. If you want to breach into 6 ft. territory you'll end up paying $20,000 for a decent grand with silent function. You'd also need to consult with a structural engineer to make sure your floor can support the 700 lbs. or more of weight

Well most subscribers already know this because the whole argument has been done time and time again.

If you are lucky and or affluent enough to be able to own a great acoustic grand piano then congratulations to you sir. You are not the first one to point out the superiority of acoustic pianos to DPs though. In fact if you look around then you'll notice that that topic is debated lively and almost daily by the people on this subforum.

So while your input is certainly appreciated it's not exactly news

Secondly the instrument manufacturers have already made great strides forward to 'close the gap' between acoustics and DPs and to make the differences less noticeable.

Thirdly for many of us it is the best and or only option to enjoy playing the piano at all in lieu of our living conditions etc.

Lastly it's always a foregone conclusion anyway if you compare a Roland FP7-F to a Steinway and Sons 1098 Piano that cost $25,000 when it was new.

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#2254714 - 03/31/14 08:12 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Digitalguy]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11803
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Originally Posted By: Morodiene

I agree that for long-term practicing, the Roland is not great for a classical pianist. I spent last summer playing mostly on my FP-7 (not sure if it has the same action as the FP-7F). That was not good and it prompted me to buy the MP11 for practicing this summer. We shall see how it goes, but so far I'm delighted with how it feels and sounds.


Very different action, PHAII against PHA III Ivory Feel-S Keyboard with Escapement. So if PHAII is the only Roland action you have played you may want to try other models before saying Roland is not great for a classical pianist (I am no classical pianist, but I know some the love PHAIII for classical piano playing). Action, like sound, has a certain degree of subjectivity, however.
Sorry, I have played other Rolands before, but older models. I have not played the PHA III, but apparently the OP doesn't like it either for classical playing. But of course, it is an opinion. smile
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2254715 - 03/31/14 08:13 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Kawai James]
Digitalguy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 426
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Is PHAIII so different to PHAII?

Isn't it just a case of 3-sensors vs 2-sensors?

James
x


Haven't played FP7 but according to Roland there is also ivory feel and escapement. Having said this a 3rd sensor for a classical pianist could make a difference (it doesn't for me).
_________________________
Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, Focal Spirit Pro, Shure SRH240A, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, iPad Air, iLoud, Ivory II ACD, Galaxy Vintage D, Galaxy Steinway, TrueKeys American, VILabs Ravenscroft, Kawai-Ex Pro, The Grand 2, SampleTekk Black, Addictive Keys, Ezkeys

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#2254724 - 03/31/14 08:31 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1675
Loc: Portugal
There didn't seem to be any difference between PHAII and PHAIII when I tried them side by side. They both felt reasonably like a well regulated grand, on the light side, to me. I preferred them to Yamaha GH3, Kawai RH and some other actions: Korg, Kurzwiel and Casio.

But Morodiene, who is a classical pianist and teacher, says more or less the opposite smile , so it's really very subjective this. It must also have to do with the AP actions you've been exposed to and been impressed with.
_________________________
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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#2254725 - 03/31/14 08:32 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
Pete14 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/13
Posts: 232
Breaking News: "Acoustic pianos better than Digital pianos." The 'International Association of Associated Matters' (IAM) has determined -via rigourous tests- that Acoustics are indeed better than Digitals. As of yet, Casio, Korg, and Roland have no comment. Yamaha and Kawai couldn't care less; and Steinway, well, Steinway fully agrees and complies with the findings: 'Acoustic good; Digital bad!'

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#2254726 - 03/31/14 08:33 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
R_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 503
but the car has no CHARACTER, doesn't whinny or nicker, doesn't leave "gardeners' gold" (a.k.a. "road apples") on the road, has SUCH poor traction in snow that the roads have to be plowed or salted.
Plus it goes SO FAST that the wheels and suspension get destroyed on pot holes and there is No TIME to enjoy the journey...
on and on, the list goes on...

I can't turn back the hands of time on THAT one either.
{I could move to a very different area of the country that would just about REQUIRE a change of religion.}

Long live wooden pianos, with their temperature and humidity frailty - clearly WORTH the hassles for their (ever decreasing) difference in sound. (to some)

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#2254731 - 03/31/14 08:48 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Digitalguy]
CarloPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/12
Posts: 168
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Is PHAIII so different to PHAII?

Isn't it just a case of 3-sensors vs 2-sensors?

James
x


Haven't played FP7 but according to Roland there is also ivory feel and escapement. Having said this a 3rd sensor for a classical pianist could make a difference (it doesn't for me).


PHA II keyboard's (I own a HP-305) note repetition is quite mediocre (as best). It's noticeably better on PHA III. But AFAIK that 3rd sensor and the subsequent better ability to do repeated notes is the only difference between both. At lest in my case, I just got the same feeling playing non-repeated notes repertoire on both.

Both actions also share their characteristic thundering noise. The brand new PHA IV is a bit quieter.

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#2254732 - 03/31/14 08:48 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Morodiene]
Digitalguy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 426
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Sorry, I have played other Rolands before, but older models. I have not played the PHA III, but apparently the OP doesn't like it either for classical playing. But of course, it is an opinion. smile


Yeah, I think opinions on actions depend very much on people's experience with acoustics and on the type of music they play.
Personally, I find the Ivory feel G (sort of a half way between PHAII and PHAIII, but very different from both) closer to the action of my baby grand, as I find PHAIII too light, but sure PHAIII is faster, but this is not really an argument for me (and Ivory feel G is relatively fast, to the point that some people think it has 3 sensors). From what I have been told Kawai Grand Feel is quite lighter than RM3II, but faster. So, while I have not played either, I would probably prefer RM3II based on my experience and on the music I play.
_________________________
Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, Focal Spirit Pro, Shure SRH240A, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, iPad Air, iLoud, Ivory II ACD, Galaxy Vintage D, Galaxy Steinway, TrueKeys American, VILabs Ravenscroft, Kawai-Ex Pro, The Grand 2, SampleTekk Black, Addictive Keys, Ezkeys

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#2254734 - 03/31/14 08:51 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CarloPiano]
Digitalguy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 426
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: CarloPiano
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Is PHAIII so different to PHAII?

Isn't it just a case of 3-sensors vs 2-sensors?

James
x


Haven't played FP7 but according to Roland there is also ivory feel and escapement. Having said this a 3rd sensor for a classical pianist could make a difference (it doesn't for me).


PHA II keyboard's (I own a HP-305) note repetition is quite mediocre (as best). It's noticeably better on PHA III. But AFAIK that 3rd sensor and the subsequent better ability to do repeated notes is the only difference between both. At lest in my case, I just got the same feeling playing non-repeated notes repertoire on both.

Both actions also share their characteristic thundering noise. The brand new PHA IV is a bit quieter.


The thing is, there are several different implementations of PHAIII, FP7f is different from RD700, which in turn is different from V-piano (which is the heaviest, and probably best, PHAIII implementation). I haven't tried HP models, but I wouldn't be surprised is it in turn different from the stage pianos implementations
_________________________
Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, Focal Spirit Pro, Shure SRH240A, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, iPad Air, iLoud, Ivory II ACD, Galaxy Vintage D, Galaxy Steinway, TrueKeys American, VILabs Ravenscroft, Kawai-Ex Pro, The Grand 2, SampleTekk Black, Addictive Keys, Ezkeys

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#2254747 - 03/31/14 09:28 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: R_B]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3552
Loc: Northern England.
"Long live wooden pianos, with their temperature and humidity frailty - clearly WORTH the hassles for their (ever decreasing) difference in sound. (to some)"

Have to agree when you can buy a decent sounding playable one for less than £300 in a salesroom complete with Vintage Stool . .
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes — but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2254749 - 03/31/14 09:32 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Digitalguy]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9096
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
The thing is, there are several different implementations of PHAIII, FP7f is different from RD700, which in turn is different from V-piano (which is the heaviest, and probably best, PHAIII implementation).


Are you sure about that?
I would be interested to read more about the different implementations - it would be rather complicated (not to mention expensive) to maintain spare parts for different types of the same action.

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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#2254758 - 03/31/14 09:57 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Nigeth]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3806
Loc: North Carolina
This is true.
Originally Posted By: Nigeth
If you want to buy new $5000 will give you the absolute bare minimum as far as upright pianos are concerned. It's barely enough to get you out of 'cheap' or 'store brand' territory and will net you the cheapest Yamaha b1 or Kawai K15.
But don't forget the used market. A decent Yamaha U-series or Kawai K-series upright (new: $10,000 to $12,000 list) can last 30 or 40 years. If you buy one that's ten years old you'll get decades of use for perhaps $3000 or $4000. And it will beat the pants off of any digital at any price.

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#2254761 - 03/31/14 10:08 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5059
Originally Posted By: CrashTest
I would like to share my experience between my grand piano, digital piano, and upright piano and hope it can help some of you in similar situations.

As a preface, I got a degree in classical piano performance.

I think it's really more appropriate for a casual player, and not a more serious classical player who wants to fully develop touch, tone, etc. It has its limitations in that regard and I would recommend a good quality upright if you could swing the price difference.

Now, the grand vs upright. I will make it simple. My Yamaha grand has a faster touch and response, which also makes dynamic control a bit easier.

Having said that, the 4"11 size grand does not sound good. It sounds metallic, dim

The second conclusion - if you're a serious player, I'd avoid a digital piano and just find a good upright. I got my used Steinway in great condition for around $5,000, which is not unreasonable when many digital pianos are near that price. (My Roland FP7F with pedals and stand was almost $2500 alone)


I cannot say much about your Roland, but I bought my V- Piano because of neighbours, which means that I play it exclusively with headphones. I have no problems transferring new classical pieces that I learnt from scratch on it to performing them on acoustic grands, for audiences. That is not something I could say about some small uprights - including the Yamaha that I learnt on as a child.

Of course, I would have preferred to have a good acoustic grand as my home piano instead, but the V is a lot more than a stopgap for me: it has enabled me to learn and polish pieces to performance level - it has a responsiveness to touch and articulation that far transcends sampled DPs', and doesn't have the limits to dynamics and tone that the latter have. And its action is good enough that transitioning to acoustic grands is no problem.

Incidentally, I am a serious classical pianist......

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#2254768 - 03/31/14 10:17 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2073
Loc: Rocky Mountains
I have to admit. Listened to an online retailer who had a used full size Steinway upright (52 inch). The thing sounded obscenely good.

Agree with the no new info.

I also have to admit. I haven't played an Avantgrand or a V-piano. I'm very happy with my VPC.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2254771 - 03/31/14 10:21 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: MacMacMac]
Nigeth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 108
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
This is true.But don't forget the used market. A decent Yamaha U-series or Kawai K-series upright (new: $10,000 to $12,000 list) can last 30 or 40 years. If you buy one that's ten years old you'll get decades of use for perhaps $3000 or $4000. And it will beat the pants off of any digital at any price.


Please see the next paragraph where I was talking about the used market and its issues.

Yes you can save a lot of money when you buy used but it can be - excuse my french - a crapshoot. Many pianos have not been maintained well by their previous owners, some have been utterly neglected even, music schools tend to use the used market to 'dump' old instruments which usually have been treated even worse or are simply 'worn out' from years of practice.

Chances are you end up with a prestigious instrument that was expensive and well made when it was new 20 years ago but is now even worse than an entry level piano because of years of abuse and neglect.

You either end up spending more to repair and restore your purchase or you have access to an expert that can help you judge the quality of a used purchase.

It's great when you have a company like Thomann that offer 'refurbished' used instruments with store warranty otherwise you'd have to be an expert to judge the quality of your purchase.

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#2254788 - 03/31/14 11:16 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3806
Loc: North Carolina
I don't think it's a crap shoot. Just skip over pianos in poor condition. Any piano that's been abused or neglected is off the list.

Instead, seek out one in good condition. And then have it inspected by a local PTG tech. Choose one that needs little or no repair work. There are plenty of pianos like that, at or below $4000.

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#2254815 - 03/31/14 12:24 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Kawai James]
Digitalguy Offline
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Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 426
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
The thing is, there are several different implementations of PHAIII, FP7f is different from RD700, which in turn is different from V-piano (which is the heaviest, and probably best, PHAIII implementation).


Are you sure about that?
I would be interested to read more about the different implementations - it would be rather complicated (not to mention expensive) to maintain spare parts for different types of the same action.

James
x


Roland itself gives different names PHAIII, PHAIII Ivory Feel, PHAIII Ivory feel S, Ivory feel S (still PHAIII according to the piano seller I talked to). I haven't played all the possible implementations but some of them and not all side by side, but talking to other people they have confirmed my impression. RD700 fells a bit firmer than either fp-7f / fp-80 (each with slightly different PHAIII) and V-piano slightly firmer than RD700. However with V-piano it's difficult to compare as it's a completely different instrument and it can be just an illusion... However, the same impression is confirmed by the piano dealers I have talked to...
Maybe Jay from Roland can tell us which PHAIII are really the same and which are not interchangable...
_________________________
Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, Focal Spirit Pro, Shure SRH240A, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, iPad Air, iLoud, Ivory II ACD, Galaxy Vintage D, Galaxy Steinway, TrueKeys American, VILabs Ravenscroft, Kawai-Ex Pro, The Grand 2, SampleTekk Black, Addictive Keys, Ezkeys

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#2254822 - 03/31/14 12:40 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
CrashTest Offline
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Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
Very lively discussion guys - good points.

There are some conveniences you lose by not having the digital, such as quiet practicing and always in tune. And I like I said, it depends how far you want to develop your playing in terms of nuance and detail that a digital cannot match an acoustic in.

I'll make a point with my musical development, though. I feel that the Yamaha Grand's poor sound stumps my musical growth even if the action is good. The opposite for the digital - made to sound like a grand, but it's not natural and the action is not real.

The upright, at least this Steinway one - has a good balance of both tone and touch that makes me develop faster musically. If I had a nice larger grand, I'm sure the trend would be even better.

A special note about the cheaper uprights - yes, it is very difficult finding a good one for under or around $5k. I searched high and low, and many of the Steinway 1098's that I played were not maintained too properly and sounded not so great. I found a very clean, well maintained one that feels great and has a very good tone. They are out there, but you have to play a couple before finding that nice one.

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#2254848 - 03/31/14 02:23 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Digitalguy]
EssBrace Offline
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Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Roland itself gives different names PHAIII, PHAIII Ivory Feel, PHAIII Ivory feel S, Ivory feel S (still PHAIII according to the piano seller I talked to). I haven't played all the possible implementations but some of them and not all side by side, but talking to other people they have confirmed my impression. RD700 fells a bit firmer than either fp-7f / fp-80 (each with slightly different PHAIII) and V-piano slightly firmer than RD700. However with V-piano it's difficult to compare as it's a completely different instrument and it can be just an illusion... However, the same impression is confirmed by the piano dealers I have talked to...
Maybe Jay from Roland can tell us which PHAIII are really the same and which are not interchangable...


I think you are completely wrong. Yes, Roland uses different nomenclature "ivory feel', ivory feel s" etc but that all relates to key surface, NOT the actual hammer mechanics. I am absolutely sure that PHA-III actions, regardless of their exact name are identical in terms of the pure mechanics. Any perceived differences are due to the actions being mounted in different structures and/or due to differences in sound engine response to key pressure. I say this as a previous owner of V-Piano, RD-700GX, FP7F and HP-307.

I also believe that purely in terms of mechanics PHA-II is the same. But PHA-III allows recognition of much faster repetition due to the different sensor arrangement.

All the Roland actions are nimble and responsive. Slightly lighter than average and slightly noisier than average.
_________________________
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#2254892 - 03/31/14 04:04 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
kapelli Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 380
Loc: Poland
Today I had the real please of playing the Kawais top digitals. Firstly I sat on the CA15, touched it, and thought ( after year of not touching good grand, only many digitals and crappy uprights) WOW IT FEELS LIKE A GRAND! However, I didn't like the sound was coming out from the piano, but the piano was standing in the middle of the room, nowhere near any wall. I didn't liked the sound much - I mean, I was impressed how it sound compared to other digitals I have played before, and I was amazed by its reality. Open and bright bass, good middles, however, the soprans. The is good sustain, but the were just kind of... Like covered a bit with a. Blanked... Missing the light and glory of real good grand.

After I sat at the Ca95. Th positioning not well as well, but sounded much better. And the keyboard - I need to say that it was very strange - the middle ones a bit bouncy like Roland, the highs and lows more in the ca15 manner. Can it be due to the fact of playing? I don't know, this is demo instrument.

However, I need to tell you, that if CA15 would have the audio in, I would buy it and play some VST instruments on this and I would be in the piano heaven. Unfortunately, I have to buy the CA65 to use this, or go another makers. Ech, what a pity that Kawai did not included this audio option to the CA15 frown

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#2254902 - 03/31/14 04:22 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
toddy Offline
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Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1675
Loc: Portugal
I think the matter of Roland keyboard actions as Essbrace says above here. Exactly! But, whether you like that action or not is another matter - it seems to divide people like Marmite or Margaret Thatcher.

In any case, Jay Roland has confirmed this by saying the differences between PHAIII and Ivory Feel-S is in the cosmetic make up or the keys, as is the difference between PHAIV Concert and PHAIV Premium. They are mechanically the same.

Roland's Ivory Feel-G is different in weight and feel, though, and is made with stage work & gigging mind.
_________________________
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 .

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#2254917 - 03/31/14 04:48 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: toddy]
Digitalguy Offline
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Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 426
Loc: Switzerland
The illusion of different feel is then entirely due to different key surface / piano structure, and, in the case of V-Piano, sound engine. And yes Ivory feel G is very different, but is also very different from the PHA alpha II of FP4 (I have read people saying Ivory feel G is lighter than Ivory feel S / PHA III, probably thinking about the action of FP4).
_________________________
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#2254939 - 03/31/14 05:13 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
slipperykeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 370
Loc: Dorset, England
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac

You buy a digital to do the things an acoustic cannot.


That wasn't actually my reasoning for buying a digital at all, although it may be yours.
I bought a digital to be as close to an acoustic as I could get it without the problems of owning an acoustic, although I do also own an old Hirsch upright.

Originally Posted By: MacMacMac

You don't buy a digital for fine piano sound or feel.


Those are the very reasons I chose a Roland RD700NX, because it felt and sounded so like a real concert grand. Now I fully understand that others may disagree with me but, and this is the important thing, I bought it for ME and MY perceptions, not because of what others may think.
As such I am perfectly satisfied with my electric piano.

Yes, I would love a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial, just as I would love an Aston Martin and a luxurious villa in Tuscany. But for what I want, need and can afford, and those are three massive compromises from the ideal, the Roland is a piano the like of which I never thought I would be lucky enough to sit at. (My old Mazda 323 Estate car still serves adequately and my house in Dorset is fine too)

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#2254944 - 03/31/14 05:25 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: EssBrace]
Enthusiast Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/13
Posts: 237
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Roland itself gives different names PHAIII, PHAIII Ivory Feel, PHAIII Ivory feel S, Ivory feel S (still PHAIII according to the piano seller I talked to). I haven't played all the possible implementations but some of them and not all side by side, but talking to other people they have confirmed my impression. RD700 fells a bit firmer than either fp-7f / fp-80 (each with slightly different PHAIII) and V-piano slightly firmer than RD700. However with V-piano it's difficult to compare as it's a completely different instrument and it can be just an illusion... However, the same impression is confirmed by the piano dealers I have talked to...
Maybe Jay from Roland can tell us which PHAIII are really the same and which are not interchangable...


I think you are completely wrong. Yes, Roland uses different nomenclature "ivory feel', ivory feel s" etc but that all relates to key surface, NOT the actual hammer mechanics. I am absolutely sure that PHA-III actions, regardless of their exact name are identical in terms of the pure mechanics. Any perceived differences are due to the actions being mounted in different structures and/or due to differences in sound engine response to key pressure. I say this as a previous owner of V-Piano, RD-700GX, FP7F and HP-307.

I also believe that purely in terms of mechanics PHA-II is the same. But PHA-III allows recognition of much faster repetition due to the different sensor arrangement.

All the Roland actions are nimble and responsive. Slightly lighter than average and slightly noisier than average.


I gave a Roland LX15 a decent try for the first time today in a shop and was impressed with the action. I then tried the FP-80 hoping that it would feel pretty much the same in a much cheaper smaller form but it really didn't. I didn't try the FP-80 for long but it felt like a simpler lower quality action in comparison.

These are both PHAIII actions I believe.


Edited by Enthusiast (03/31/14 05:27 PM)

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#2254981 - 03/31/14 06:42 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: EssBrace]
Jay Roland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 268
Loc: White Rock, BC.
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
Roland itself gives different names PHAIII, PHAIII Ivory Feel, PHAIII Ivory feel S, Ivory feel S (still PHAIII according to the piano seller I talked to). I haven't played all the possible implementations but some of them and not all side by side, but talking to other people they have confirmed my impression. RD700 fells a bit firmer than either fp-7f / fp-80 (each with slightly different PHAIII) and V-piano slightly firmer than RD700. However with V-piano it's difficult to compare as it's a completely different instrument and it can be just an illusion... However, the same impression is confirmed by the piano dealers I have talked to...
Maybe Jay from Roland can tell us which PHAIII are really the same and which are not interchangable...


I think you are completely wrong. Yes, Roland uses different nomenclature "ivory feel', ivory feel s" etc but that all relates to key surface, NOT the actual hammer mechanics. I am absolutely sure that PHA-III actions, regardless of their exact name are identical in terms of the pure mechanics. Any perceived differences are due to the actions being mounted in different structures and/or due to differences in sound engine response to key pressure. I say this as a previous owner of V-Piano, RD-700GX, FP7F and HP-307.

I also believe that purely in terms of mechanics PHA-II is the same. But PHA-III allows recognition of much faster repetition due to the different sensor arrangement.

All the Roland actions are nimble and responsive. Slightly lighter than average and slightly noisier than average.


There's nothing left for me to say.

Summed up beautifully.

Jay
_________________________
National Piano Sales Manager for Roland Canada.
www.roland.ca
t: RCMPianoGuy

I'm sure that Jay (along with every other product manager in recorded history) is quite accustomed to hearing different customers assert "X" and "not-X" with equal conviction. - slowtraveler

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#2254997 - 03/31/14 07:44 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: EssBrace]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9096
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
I think you are completely wrong...Any perceived differences are due to the actions being mounted in different structures and/or due to differences in sound engine response to key pressure.


Well said Steve.

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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#2254998 - 03/31/14 07:45 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Jay Roland]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9096
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: Jay Roland
Originally Posted By: EssBrace

There's nothing left for me to say.

Summed up beautifully.

Jay


wink
_________________________
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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#2255002 - 03/31/14 07:52 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Enthusiast]
Digitalguy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 426
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: Enthusiast


I gave a Roland LX15 a decent try for the first time today in a shop and was impressed with the action. I then tried the FP-80 hoping that it would feel pretty much the same in a much cheaper smaller form but it really didn't. I didn't try the FP-80 for long but it felt like a simpler lower quality action in comparison.

These are both PHAIII actions I believe.


That's just an illusion, apparently...
_________________________
Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, Focal Spirit Pro, Shure SRH240A, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, iPad Air, iLoud, Ivory II ACD, Galaxy Vintage D, Galaxy Steinway, TrueKeys American, VILabs Ravenscroft, Kawai-Ex Pro, The Grand 2, SampleTekk Black, Addictive Keys, Ezkeys

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#2255004 - 03/31/14 07:55 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1675
Loc: Portugal
That's just an illusion, apparently...

This one just runs and runs. Me? I've ordered a bucket of popcorn.
_________________________
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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#2255010 - 03/31/14 08:18 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Digitalguy]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9096
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
That's just an illusion, apparently...


Not necessarily.

The previous generation PHAIII action utilised by the FP-7F, RD-700NX, and V-Piano would appear to be the same. However the keyboard action utilised by the FP-80 and LX-15e may well be different.

Cheers,
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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#2255014 - 03/31/14 08:24 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
Rachel J Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 325
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Excellent points.

I have recently begun using a pretty high end digital piano for night time practice, though, and for that (practicing when others are sleeping) it is indispensable. I use it in conjunction with a great virtual piano software package, and I am able to get a lot of great work done on it. In my experience it is more responsive than any upright I've ever played.

I'm lucky enough to also have a Steinway L, too though.


Edited by Rachel J (03/31/14 08:24 PM)

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#2255017 - 03/31/14 08:33 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Kawai James]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1675
Loc: Portugal
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
That's just an illusion, apparently...


Not necessarily.

The previous generation PHAIII action utilised by the FP-7F, RD-700NX, and V-Piano would appear to be the same. However the keyboard action utilised by the FP-80 and LX-15e may well be different.

Cheers,
James
x


But that doesn't apply here. Enthusiast claims to have found the LX15 and the FP 80 actions quite different.

However, both those pianos use what Essbrace has just said is the same action under a different name: PHA III Ivory Feel Keyboard with Escapement for the one and Ivory Feel-S Keyboard with Escapement for the other.

Jay Roland has just said that Essbrace is right. So yes, any perceived difference between them is indeed an illusion, apparently.

As I say, this one keeps running wink
_________________________
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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#2255029 - 03/31/14 09:08 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: toddy]
Hideki Matsui Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 787
The perceived differences in how the keyboard feels from instrument to instrument is not an illusion. People can't separate the mechanics of the action from the surrounding materials that support the action. If you mount an action to a pillow I'm sure it will feel different than the identical action mounted to a steel beam. Just because someone loves how the Roland action feels on the LX-15 doesn't mean that feel will translate to a 35lb stage piano made of entirely different supporting material. You have to test the action on the keyboard you intend to buy if you really want to know whether or not it will be to your liking. Even the simple addition of some felt makes the PHAIV feel different than the PHAIII.

Originally Posted By: toddy
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
That's just an illusion, apparently...


Not necessarily.

The previous generation PHAIII action utilised by the FP-7F, RD-700NX, and V-Piano would appear to be the same. However the keyboard action utilised by the FP-80 and LX-15e may well be different.

Cheers,
James
x


But that doesn't apply here. Enthusiast claims to have found the LX15 and the FP 80 actions quite different.

However, both those pianos use what Essbrace has just said is the same action under a different name: PHA III Ivory Feel Keyboard with Escapement for the one and Ivory Feel-S Keyboard with Escapement for the other.

Jay Roland has just said that Essbrace is right. So yes, any perceived difference between them is indeed an illusion, apparently.

As I say, this one keeps running wink
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK5
Vintage Vibe 64
Roland LX-15e
Roland Jupiter 80

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#2255035 - 03/31/14 09:19 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
toddy Offline
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Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1675
Loc: Portugal
Hideki Matsui said: The perceived differences in how the keyboard feels from instrument to instrument is not an illusion. People can't separate the mechanics of the action from the surrounding materials that support the action.

Well maybe, but I would describe that as more illusory than substantial, since what we're talking about here us the keyboard action - not all the surrounding paraphernalia which really will have a negligible influence on the action and the player's real engagement with the actual keys.

These differences, if they exist at all in a substantial sense, would be extremely marginal, surely.
_________________________
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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#2255040 - 03/31/14 09:28 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: toddy]
Enthusiast Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/13
Posts: 237
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: toddy
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
That's just an illusion, apparently...


Not necessarily.

The previous generation PHAIII action utilised by the FP-7F, RD-700NX, and V-Piano would appear to be the same. However the keyboard action utilised by the FP-80 and LX-15e may well be different.

Cheers,
James
x


But that doesn't apply here. Enthusiast claims to have found the LX15 and the FP 80 actions quite different.


Yes that's right it was the LX15 with PHAIII action. I checked and it was on clearance sale presumably because the newer LX15e needed to put on display.

I didn't play the FP-80 for long but I could feel a very noticeable difference. If anyone else has tried these two models back to back I'd be interested to hear opinions. I didn't really notice that sort of difference between the CA95, CS10 and MP11 in that shop.

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#2255049 - 03/31/14 09:37 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9096
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
May I ask which shop you visited, Enthusiast?

Cheers,
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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#2255052 - 03/31/14 09:42 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: toddy]
Hideki Matsui Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 787
Originally Posted By: toddy
Hideki Matsui said: The perceived differences in how the keyboard feels from instrument to instrument is not an illusion. People can't separate the mechanics of the action from the surrounding materials that support the action.

Well maybe, but I would describe that as more illusory than substantial, since what we're talking about here us the keyboard action - not all the surrounding paraphernalia which really will have a negligible influence on the action and the player's real engagement with the actual keys.

These differences, if they exist at all in a substantial sense, would be extremely marginal, surely.


So the felt added to the PHAIV on the LX-15e has made a negligible difference when compared to the PHAIII on the LX-15? I think you would have to have hammer hands to not feel the difference.

People are going to have varying levels of sensitivity to subtle differences. While you might find differences negligible, that same difference might feel significant to someone else. I don't think chalking it up to illusion is the answer nor do I think EssBrace or Jay Roland suggested as much.

Without making any assumptions about your skill level, I will also note that someone like Martha Argerich will most likely be more sensitive to subtle differences than a beginner with little control over dynamics.


Edited by Hideki Matsui (03/31/14 10:02 PM)
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK5
Vintage Vibe 64
Roland LX-15e
Roland Jupiter 80

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#2255138 - 04/01/14 02:27 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Kawai James]
Jay Roland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 268
Loc: White Rock, BC.
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
That's just an illusion, apparently...


Not necessarily.

The previous generation PHAIII action utilised by the FP-7F, RD-700NX, and V-Piano would appear to be the same. However the keyboard action utilised by the FP-80 and LX-15e may well be different.

Cheers,
James
x


For clarification. The FP-80 uses PHA-3 (Ivory Feel S version) and the LX-15e employs the newer PHA-4 Concert. These two variants will feel markedly different to anyone familiar with a quality digital piano action.

Jay
_________________________
National Piano Sales Manager for Roland Canada.
www.roland.ca
t: RCMPianoGuy

I'm sure that Jay (along with every other product manager in recorded history) is quite accustomed to hearing different customers assert "X" and "not-X" with equal conviction. - slowtraveler

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#2255144 - 04/01/14 02:49 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Jay Roland]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9096
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Thank you Jay!

Originally Posted By: Jay Roland
The FP-80 uses PHA-3 (Ivory Feel S version)


May I ask if this is different to the FP-7F's keyboard action?

Originally Posted By: Jay Roland
...the LX-15e employs the newer PHA-4 Concert.


May I ask how this is different to the (original, i.e. without the 'e') LX-15's keyboard action?

Cheers,
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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#2255172 - 04/01/14 06:54 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Hideki Matsui]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1675
Loc: Portugal
Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui

So the felt added to the PHAIV on the LX-15e has made a negligible difference when compared to the PHAIII on the LX-15? I think you would have to have hammer hands to not feel the difference.


I haven't actually commented on the PHAIV at all since I've never tried one. I am looking forward to doing so, though.


Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui
People are going to have varying levels of sensitivity to subtle differences. While you might find differences negligible, that same difference might feel significant to someone else. I don't think chalking it up to illusion is the answer nor do I think EssBrace or Jay Roland suggested as much.


I agree, the word 'illusion' is not a positive one. Essbrace used the words 'perceived differences'.

Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui
Without making any assumptions about your skill level, I will also note that someone like Martha Argerich will most likely be more sensitive to subtle differences than a beginner with little control over dynamics.


Evidently a competent pianist will have a much more developed sensitivity to the feel and response of the keys than a beginner. But I very much doubt that a great pianist would pay so much minute attention to these differences as we do.

Regarding digital pianos, from the comments I've read and seen, professional performing pianists' criticisms are more concerned with the limits and gradation of expression that digital pianos are able to deliver.

The differences between various makers, models and forms of acoustic pianos - even those of above reasonable level of quality - vary far more than the differences between those of the main DP manufactures. These differences are (in my opinion) relatively slight.
_________________________
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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#2255180 - 04/01/14 07:38 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Kawai James]
Enthusiast Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/13
Posts: 237
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
May I ask which shop you visited, Enthusiast?

Cheers,
James
x


It was Rose Morris in London. I was also in Yamaha Music London (formerly Chappell of Bond Street) just before. Both have a treasure trove of DP's, Keyboards and workstations to try and don't seem to mind you spending ages there. In addition to those I mentioned I also had a go on the HP508, RD800, CP4, CVP609, Avantgrands and a silent piano. That was all after playing on a S6 Grand for an hour so good fun. There's also a shop specializing in Casio next door to Rose Morris and the Steinway Hall among others not far from there so the opportunities for trying both DPs and APs there are excellent.

I really liked feel of the b3e SG2 silent piano. Seemed better than the NU1 Avantgrand.

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#2255303 - 04/01/14 11:57 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Kawai James]
Jay Roland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 268
Loc: White Rock, BC.
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Thank you Jay!

Originally Posted By: Jay Roland
The FP-80 uses PHA-3 (Ivory Feel S version)


May I ask if this is different to the FP-7F's keyboard action?

Originally Posted By: Jay Roland
...the LX-15e employs the newer PHA-4 Concert.


May I ask how this is different to the (original, i.e. without the 'e') LX-15's keyboard action?

Cheers,
James
x


There's no physical difference in the action between the FP-7F and FP-80.

In the LX-15e, the PHA-4 Concert (and Premium) have decreased the mechanical thump that all digital actions make to Varying degrees. This was accomplished through a couple of design and material enhancements within the action.

I personally find the initial throw of the keys to have a TINY bit more weight, and the point at which the keybed bottoms is softer than the PHA-3. I haven't actually measured the down weight to see what the difference is. Like I've said before, specs don't matter as much as sound and feel.

All the new PHA-4 equipped pianos also employ a similar technology to the V-Piano, in that there is actually a separate processor scanning the keybed and offering 100 times the resolution that PHA-3 was able to.
_________________________
National Piano Sales Manager for Roland Canada.
www.roland.ca
t: RCMPianoGuy

I'm sure that Jay (along with every other product manager in recorded history) is quite accustomed to hearing different customers assert "X" and "not-X" with equal conviction. - slowtraveler

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#2255338 - 04/01/14 01:13 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
Joe Garfield Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/13
Posts: 156
Loc: Ohio, USA
This is a good reminder thread. I started out trying to find a digital that would emulate an acoustic very well. I was dissatisfied with most. I then started looking at acoustic pianos, and for $2000 could get 'garbage, for $3500 could get 'barely acceptable' and really needed to spend $5500 on a used upright to get half way to what I really wanted. At the same time I accepted that the digital will never be an acoustic, and finally started to overlook some of the differences.

I ended up with a Kawai MP10. So far, I really like the feel and sound. It is not the same as having an acoustic piano in the room, but it sounds good and feels good to play, and certainly is better than nothing.

Acoustic pianos are like furniture in some ways - they are big and heavy and you will end up looking at it every day. Because of that, it becomes a major decision to a lot of people. My house is small so I feel that I need to carefully consider what I get and where I put it.

That being said, I find that the digitals that try to replicate the action of an acoustic are more enjoyable to play. Each piano feels different, whether it's acoustic or digital.

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#2255580 - 04/01/14 07:26 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Jay Roland]
Enthusiast Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/13
Posts: 237
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Jay Roland
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Thank you Jay!

Originally Posted By: Jay Roland
The FP-80 uses PHA-3 (Ivory Feel S version)


May I ask if this is different to the FP-7F's keyboard action?

Originally Posted By: Jay Roland
...the LX-15e employs the newer PHA-4 Concert.


May I ask how this is different to the (original, i.e. without the 'e') LX-15's keyboard action?

Cheers,
James
x

All the new PHA-4 equipped pianos also employ a similar technology to the V-Piano, in that there is actually a separate processor scanning the keybed and offering 100 times the resolution that PHA-3 was able to.


What does that mean exactly? What effect does it have?

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#2255601 - 04/01/14 08:05 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Enthusiast]
Jay Roland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 268
Loc: White Rock, BC.
Quote:

All the new PHA-4 equipped pianos also employ a similar technology to the V-Piano, in that there is actually a separate processor scanning the keybed and offering 100 times the resolution that PHA-3 was able to.


Quote:
What does that mean exactly? What effect does it have?


Basically what that means is that the separate keybed processor is able to take care of reading the actual keystrokes and feeds the sound engine the most accurate possible data so expression and dynamics is always exactly what the player wants.

Anything that eases load on the sound engine so it can just make the sound is a good thing, and I'm glad that this has been included in the new series.

These pianos have to do a lot of instantaneous calculations to create the sound that they do, so taking some of that load off of the sound engine was a smart design decision. Especially with the updated SuperNatural engine doing even more than the previous one did in terms of nuance and resonance.

Anything with a PHA-4 action will employ this processor and will allow for greater sensing of the inputs of the player.

In practical application, I've found that I've been able to really dig the tone out of the piano and found it really responds incredibly well to all my playing inputs.

I've spent a LOT of time the last couple of days on the RD800 and HP508. I'm preparing to do a clinic event in Southern Alberta this weekend. Every time I sit down, I enjoy them more and more.

I'm hoping my boss will allow me to use the HP508 at home. If not, there's a beauty DP-90Se-PW (Polished white) that I may ask for as well if it is still around when I get back from Alberta.



Edited by Jay Roland (04/01/14 08:13 PM)
_________________________
National Piano Sales Manager for Roland Canada.
www.roland.ca
t: RCMPianoGuy

I'm sure that Jay (along with every other product manager in recorded history) is quite accustomed to hearing different customers assert "X" and "not-X" with equal conviction. - slowtraveler

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#2255750 - 04/02/14 02:42 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9096
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Thank you for your explanations Jay.

Cheers,
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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#2255761 - 04/02/14 03:13 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Enthusiast]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9096
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: Enthusiast
It was Rose Morris in London. I was also in Yamaha Music London (formerly Chappell of Bond Street) just before. Both have a treasure trove of DP's, Keyboards and workstations to try and don't seem to mind you spending ages there. In addition to those I mentioned I also had a go on the HP508, RD800, CP4, CVP609, Avantgrands and a silent piano. That was all after playing on a S6 Grand for an hour so good fun. There's also a shop specializing in Casio next door to Rose Morris and the Steinway Hall among others not far from there so the opportunities for trying both DPs and APs there are excellent.


Wow, you're lucky to have access to such a great selection of instruments!
_________________________
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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#2260849 - 04/12/14 09:44 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
internetizen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/18/13
Posts: 1
I bought my LX15 on mid July 2013 and am very upset to find out that the newer LX15e has a better and less noisy keyboard. After a month or two playing with that at night, my wife and son complained the thump noise was too loud and wake them up...since that I seldom touch my piano as I couldn't only find time to play at night. My $6K was a big waste.

Wish I knew the LX15e would come in Jan2104, I would have had waited for just few more month for a quieter keyboard...

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#2260853 - 04/12/14 09:59 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: internetizen]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11803
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: internetizen
I bought my LX15 on mid July 2013 and am very upset to find out that the newer LX15e has a better and less noisy keyboard. After a month or two playing with that at night, my wife and son complained the thump noise was too loud and wake them up...since that I seldom touch my piano as I couldn't only find time to play at night. My $6K was a big waste.

Wish I knew the LX15e would come in Jan2104, I would have had waited for just few more month for a quieter keyboard...

I would try to do some sound-dampening treatments to your room. There are relatively cheap ways of helping to reduce this to those in the next room. There will always be the next best thing right around the corner, and not much you can do about that. But other than that, do you like your LX15? If so, try to make it work, if not, cut your losses and sell it while it's still under warranty and can get a decent price and look at other instruments you can buy instead.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2260877 - 04/12/14 11:59 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Hideki Matsui]
doremi Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1736
Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui
The perceived differences in how the keyboard feels from instrument to instrument is not an illusion. People can't separate the mechanics of the action from the surrounding materials that support the action. If you mount an action to a pillow I'm sure it will feel different than the identical action mounted to a steel beam.

Very, very true. Although I am not Martha Argerich (I am a male) I do feel the difference between an action in a slab and the identically specified action in a console.

This is in fact a bit of a concern to me: my next DP will be a slab (for various reasons) but I will build a rock solid custom stand for it. I am positive that the feel of the action will change a little from what I felt at the store, hope I will like it even better...
_________________________
I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked

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#2261463 - 04/14/14 08:37 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1424
Since I have owned both an RX2 Kawai grand and previously the AvantGrand N1, I feel I have a good perspective on the merits of both. The overall experience of playing a quality acoustic is in an entirely different league than even the best digital from a sound perspective and in some cases the touch perspective, though the best digitalis and hybrids are closing the gap some in both.

Say what you want about its sound or stiff action (both relative of course), but the brilliance behind the AvandGrands lies in this-hough you do get the limitations in sample technology so through headphones they sound like a DP (through their 4 channel speaker system they sound great), the AvantGrands offer the best of both worlds-the touch of an acoustic, the look somewhat of an acoustic, no turnings, silent practice, and for the serious classical pianist, the AvantGrands have been endorsed by many serious classical players because of the touch and dynamic range. Here at the Blair Conservatory of Music at Vanderbilt University, one of the main Piano Professors has an N1 in her office that she teaches private lessons on.

For an upcoming piano student who can neither afford an acoustic or has the money for a hybrid or acoustic, DPs like the P155/255, ES7, etc will provide a good start.


Edited by PianoZac (04/14/14 08:38 AM)
_________________________
Yamaha AvantGrand N1
Nord Piano 2


"Be who you are and say how you feel. Because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

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#2261498 - 04/14/14 10:20 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: doremi]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5059
Originally Posted By: doremi
Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui
The perceived differences in how the keyboard feels from instrument to instrument is not an illusion. People can't separate the mechanics of the action from the surrounding materials that support the action. If you mount an action to a pillow I'm sure it will feel different than the identical action mounted to a steel beam.

Very, very true. Although I am not Martha Argerich (I am a male) I do feel the difference between an action in a slab and the identically specified action in a console.


I can't tell you how many DPs I try out at DP stores that are mounted on inadequate stands, that wobble when you play. Some even wobble when you're playing very softly.

I remembered when I bought my slab, and asking for the cheapest stand for it (here, the V-Piano and the KS-V8 stand are sold separately). The dealer told me that he wouldn't recommend anything other than Roland's dedicated stand for such an expensive and heavy slab, and to encourage me to have it, he offered to add it on for half price.

And I'm glad I took up his offer - apart from being absolutely rock-solid, the stand also insulates any transmission of my thumping to my neighbors below (there's only a thin carpet on the floor). They tell me they can't hear a thing from my playing, though they can hear my TV and hifi, and when I walk.....(and I'm very light grin).

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#2261524 - 04/14/14 11:34 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: bennevis]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3552
Loc: Northern England.
Usually you can hear the notes thumping on a digital by neighbours. I woke mine up at 2 am when I was playing to alleviate toothache . . .the walls weren`t that thin . . .Keyboards have improved since then, I reckon. Old Yamahas were dreadful.
_________________________
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""

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#2261689 - 04/14/14 06:20 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: PianoZac]
PianoBoenna Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/21/14
Posts: 7
Loc: Norway
I have now started to save up for a AG N1.
Hopefully it will be my christmas present for my self smile

B.

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#2262571 - 04/16/14 12:05 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: PianoBoenna]
Enthusiast Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/13
Posts: 237
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: PianoBoenna
I have now started to save up for a AG N1.
Hopefully it will be my christmas present for my self smile

B.


What about a silent piano for that sort of price?

Based on my recent experiences at the shops I'd much rather get a silent upright piano over anything from the AG range if I had the money. I don't know how significant the difference is between an upright action and a grand but the AG's don't sound too good. Considering the cost they disappoint in that area. A silent can be played acoustically with some of the advantages of a digital.

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#2262629 - 04/16/14 02:37 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: Enthusiast]
PianoBoenna Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/21/14
Posts: 7
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: Enthusiast
Originally Posted By: PianoBoenna
I have now started to save up for a AG N1.
Hopefully it will be my christmas present for my self smile

B.


What about a silent piano for that sort of price?

Based on my recent experiences at the shops I'd much rather get a silent upright piano over anything from the AG range if I had the money. I don't know how significant the difference is between an upright action and a grand but the AG's don't sound too good. Considering the cost they disappoint in that area. A silent can be played acoustically with some of the advantages of a digital.


Im having lessons on a acoustic grand, so i do not want to get used to the upright action when im playing at home if you understand. I like the grand action better to.

And in my opinion the N1 sounds great. I was actually surprised, i didnt think it would sound that good. Where i demo it, the piano was not standing on the midle of the floor, but they had it close to a wall. I think that is very important for the sound of the instrument. I think you could compare it to high-end speakers that can potentially sound totally different from one room to the next.

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#2262940 - 04/17/14 06:24 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
enzo.sandrolini Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 273
Loc: Europe - France
I agree with PianoBoenna
the sound of the AG through speakers is really good
Since I have one N2, I am more than happy and no more looking for other thing
I think in my situation (flat with neighbourds and little space), it is the best I can have.
Good choice PianoBoenna
_________________________
Music is a lifestyle

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#2263111 - 04/17/14 03:09 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: enzo.sandrolini]
Enthusiast Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/13
Posts: 237
Loc: UK
I dunno know, I've just never been keen on the sound of the AG's though I tried them mostly through headphones. On my last trip up to the shops I tried the N3 after playing on a Yamaha YUS5 SH upright and a baby grand among others and immediately got turned off it's sound.

The YUS5:SH sounded fantastic and slightly put me off digital piano sounds. However it's silent system through headphones seem to work well and actually sounded quite good. I don't know anything about silent systems or how much of a substitute they are for digital pianos but this model seemed liked it had the best of both worlds when I tried it. One of the much cheaper models (from the Yamaha B range I think) I tried on a previous visit was also quite impressive. That one was set up opposite the much more expensive CVP 609 and actually sounded better through it's silent system to me. It's action was much better than the NW action of the high end CVP/CLPs.


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#2263121 - 04/17/14 03:34 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
CyberGene Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 718
Loc: Sofia, Bulgaria
The only problem with a digital piano is that it is not an acoustic piano.
_________________________
http://www.myspace.com/evgenykumanov
Current DP: Kawai ES7
Previous DP-s: Kawai MP6, Kawai CA63, Roland RD-700SX, Roland FP-5, Yamaha P90, Korg SP-200, Casio CDP-100

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#2263130 - 04/17/14 03:57 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
kapelli Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 380
Loc: Poland
This is also their biggest advantage over the acoustic wink
Imagine the trumpat player playing at 11pm just behind the wall, practicing some fortissimo for trumpet concerto laugh

I wonder, how long your love for trumpet would be laugh

The same is with pianos wink

But on the digital, you just put the phones on your head, and the problem is gone smile

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#2267796 - 04/27/14 03:26 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: CrashTest]
pold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 54
In my opinion, a digital piano can be compared to an acoustic piano, only when speakers will be treated just like any other acoustic instruments, which means: making them using wood, metal, soundboards etc (no paper or plastic allowed...).

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#2267883 - 04/27/14 05:55 PM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: pold]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1675
Loc: Portugal
Originally Posted By: pold
In my opinion, a digital piano can be compared to an acoustic piano, only when speakers will be treated just like any other acoustic instruments, which means: making them using wood, metal, soundboards etc (no paper or plastic allowed...).


Isn't the whole point of making the speaker material from paper or plastic is that they are capable of reproducing any sound at all, if well designed and made? You don't need brass to get a trombone sound nor a mass of flesh to imitate the product of vocal cords. If that were the case, your ears would need to contain a variety of materials in order to correspond to each sound, but we only need two skin drums.
_________________________
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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#2268092 - 04/28/14 06:38 AM Re: My experience from Grand piano, to Digital Piano, to Upright [Re: toddy]
pold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 54
I think that a real trombone will sound always a bit better than a recorded trombone, all thanks to the real brass. I know that is difficult to replace paper, but in my opinion, speaker technology has never made any effort in the last 50 years.

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