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#2314384 - 08/12/14 04:40 AM Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585
Chris Warren Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 50
Recently spent some time at Yamaha in London playing these, and my thoughts were: (I'm a reasonably serious classical pianist)

The sound of the CLP585 is definitely better than all the predecessors I've played, and if I was limited by budget, I'd definitely go for this over the other DP contenders.

The touch to my mind is unfortunately no better than the 480, and really stopped me considering this further... so I turned to the Avant Grandes and the NU1.

The NU1 clearly had the best sound engine, but whether it's snobbery or real playing constraints, I don't think I'd be happy with an upright action.

The N2/3 are again clearly ahead of the N1, mainly in terms of sound performance - the TSR or whatever it is on the N2/3 does present added value, but probably not enough alone to justify the price hikes over the N1. When you add in the sound performance (largely speaker performance I accept) I personally felt that the N2 presents the best option. After an hour on the N2, I crossed the room to play on a Yamaha C7 that happened to be up there. Maybe it was a poor example, but I can honestly say I preferred playing the N2.

So, with a house down-sizing in the offing, I shall try to sell my 3 yr old Kawai RX3 (anyone interested?), and hot-foot it back to London to buy the N2 (which is on offer at the moment).

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#2314398 - 08/12/14 06:16 AM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: Chris Warren]
36251 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 736
There has never been a moment since I've owned my N2 that I questioned my decision.
_________________________
AG N2, CP4, GK MK & MP

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#2314405 - 08/12/14 07:02 AM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: Chris Warren]
enzo.sandrolini Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 273
Loc: Europe - France
Hello
I have currently an N2 and a 575
I previoysly owned an NU1,
So I think I can also comment on your message.. grin
First: I love my N2, that is clear.
It has the best action I have ever played, better than any accoustic upright and any numeric (for me even Kawai with its top action is far behind)
Second: I really like my 575: it has a very good action (I like it) and a very good sound (via headphone, it is clearly superior to the N2, but not via the speaker)
Third: I can no more stand the NU1 action...
it is exactly like a B1 action...not really pleasant,
It is far from a good upright action for me (the U1 action I have tried are really better than the NU1)
But its sound was quite good indeed
Now...everything is a matter of personnal preference and goals.

But for sure, you will enjoy your N2
You can also improve more its sound by mixing it with external VST like I do (search for some post I have made on that topics)

Cheers and enjoy.
_________________________
Music is a lifestyle

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#2314437 - 08/12/14 09:13 AM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: enzo.sandrolini]
BrianDX Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 505
Loc: Lewes DE
As an owner of both an AvantGrand, a mid-priced Kawai DP, and a Yamaha C2X in the past three months here is my take on the discussion:

There are a LOT of good reasons to own something like an N2. Space, budget, or other requirements to name a few. From my time with the AG, the action and sound is far better than any DP I've played on, pretty much at any price.

However, an N2 will never be an acoustic replacement or facsimile for a properly tuned and regulated acoustic grand of reasonable quality IMHO.

You have to remember that the speakers on the N2 can't complete with my $600/pr Paradigm bookshelf speakers, nor can the amp compete with my mid-level Yamaha receiver.

Here is how I would put it. If you were to put a person in a room with a very good A/V system, and play a recording of a piano performance, and then play the same performance on a grand sitting right behind that person, I think it would be quite clear what the recording was and what the live performance was.

But as I said before, the N2 is a really nice DP that has a lot going for it.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F .


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#2314523 - 08/12/14 12:40 PM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: Chris Warren]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2333
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Chris Warren


So, with a house down-sizing in the offing, I shall try to sell my 3 yr old Kawai RX3 (anyone interested?), and hot-foot it back to London to buy the N2 (which is on offer at the moment).

Can you share, via PM if preferred, what the offer price is? I then wonder to myself if they would keep to that price with a PX trade in that Yamaha also currently do. This forum is bad for GAS!

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#2314838 - 08/13/14 05:27 AM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: Chris Warren]
Chris Warren Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 50
Sure - I think the current offer is around 9,100 incl. delivery within a limited radius of London. They will do PX, but they offered a silly price for my RX3 so I'll try to sell privately.

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#2314869 - 08/13/14 07:19 AM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: BrianDX]
R_B Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 502
Originally Posted By: BrianDX

...snip...
Here is how I would put it. If you were to put a person in a room with a very good A/V system, and play a recording of a piano performance, and then play the same performance on a grand sitting right behind that person, I think it would be quite clear what the recording was and what the live performance was.

But as I said before, the N2 is a really nice DP that has a lot going for it.


Previous such "tests" have showed that even the "golden ears" folk can't tell the difference between tier one grands and even modest DPs - on SOUND ONLY.



Edited by R_B (08/13/14 07:20 AM)

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#2314881 - 08/13/14 07:57 AM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: R_B]
BrianDX Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 505
Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: R_B
Originally Posted By: BrianDX

...snip...
Here is how I would put it. If you were to put a person in a room with a very good A/V system, and play a recording of a piano performance, and then play the same performance on a grand sitting right behind that person, I think it would be quite clear what the recording was and what the live performance was.

But as I said before, the N2 is a really nice DP that has a lot going for it.


Previous such "tests" have showed that even the "golden ears" folk can't tell the difference between tier one grands and even modest DPs - on SOUND ONLY.


Balderdash.

I've been plugged into the A/V community for 40+ years, and I know the differences that blind tests can reveal (like discerning a live instrument from a recorded one), and those they cannot (Differences with speaker wires for example).

If you really think that a person with normal hearing cannot discern the difference between the sound of a live grand in a room and a DP playing the sound of a live grand (using what are basically car speakers) then we must agree to disagree.

As I said before, the N2 is a great DP. But I've heard salesman push the AG series as "perfect" and "even better than the real thing". Total, utter nonsense.

P.S. The reason that I feel very strongly about this, is that I believed the sales hype and spend a lot of hard-earned money on the AG series. It was a VERY expensive mistake. Folks who are considering spending $10K+ on a DP should know what these instruments can do well, and what they cannot do.


Edited by BrianDX (08/13/14 08:02 AM)
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F .


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#2314908 - 08/13/14 09:19 AM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: Chris Warren]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1674
Loc: Portugal
The living sound of a piano maybe almost impossible to simulate still, although I don't see why it might not happen in the future. A digital piano sounds 'potted', because only the optimum sounds have been captured.7

Even so, perhaps a recording of a perfectly tuned grand piano and a recording of a very fine DP (the best VST, for example) could be indistinguishable - both being played through speakers. In other words, a DP can arguably deliver the quality you'd get from an artist captured on record or CD, but not the experience of hearing a real piano at a close range in good listening conditions.
_________________________
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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#2314915 - 08/13/14 09:32 AM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: BrianDX]
36251 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 736
Originally Posted By: BrianDX
Originally Posted By: R_B
Originally Posted By: BrianDX

...snip...
Here is how I would put it. If you were to put a person in a room with a very good A/V system, and play a recording of a piano performance, and then play the same performance on a grand sitting right behind that person, I think it would be quite clear what the recording was and what the live performance was.

But as I said before, the N2 is a really nice DP that has a lot going for it.


Previous such "tests" have showed that even the "golden ears" folk can't tell the difference between tier one grands and even modest DPs - on SOUND ONLY.


Balderdash.

I've been plugged into the A/V community for 40+ years, and I know the differences that blind tests can reveal (like discerning a live instrument from a recorded one), and those they cannot (Differences with speaker wires for example).

If you really think that a person with normal hearing cannot discern the difference between the sound of a live grand in a room and a DP playing the sound of a live grand (using what are basically car speakers) then we must agree to disagree.

As I said before, the N2 is a great DP. But I've heard salesman push the AG series as "perfect" and "even better than the real thing". Total, utter nonsense.

P.S. The reason that I feel very strongly about this, is that I believed the sales hype and spend a lot of hard-earned money on the AG series. It was a VERY expensive mistake. Folks who are considering spending $10K+ on a DP should know what these instruments can do well, and what they cannot do.
When I play my N2, I don't think it sounds like a real grand. What I think it kind of sounds like is being in a studio, playing a real grand and only hearing it through headphones. I'm not wearing headphones, but I can imagine my live sound this way. Of course it's still not the same, but is close enough when I factor in that I can't fit a grand or have enough money for the grand I'd buy, if I had the room smile
_________________________
AG N2, CP4, GK MK & MP

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#2315000 - 08/13/14 12:39 PM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: toddy]
BrianDX Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 505
Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: toddy
The living sound of a piano maybe almost impossible to simulate still, although I don't see why it might not happen in the future. A digital piano sounds 'potted', because only the optimum sounds have been captured.7

Even so, perhaps a recording of a perfectly tuned grand piano and a recording of a very fine DP (the best VST, for example) could be indistinguishable - both being played through speakers. In other words, a DP can arguably deliver the quality you'd get from an artist captured on record or CD, but not the experience of hearing a real piano at a close range in good listening conditions.

I completely agree with this comment.

Having said that, I do not want to minimize the terrific sound quality of the N2. Once the volume is adjusted properly, it delivers the most accurate reproduction of a grand piano sound I have heard.

The same cannot be said for the N1.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F .


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#2315150 - 08/13/14 08:02 PM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: Chris Warren]
theoak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 64
Loc: Idaho, USA
Chris Warren, from a sound perspective, how would you rate the N2 versus the 585?

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#2315418 - 08/14/14 10:42 AM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: Chris Warren]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2625
Originally Posted By: Chris Warren
The sound of the CLP585 is definitely better than all the predecessors I've played, and if I was limited by budget, I'd definitely go for this over the other DP contenders.

The touch to my mind is unfortunately no better than the 480, and really stopped me considering this further...


I would agree regarding the CLP-480 as I own one and it is well worth its price tag when you consider the only advantage to the AvantGrands is the action and other than that the CLP-480 is Yamaha's best digital, currently. I also own the older CLP-990M and it has equal sound and action.

The speakers are very good and the action is reasonable enough for any serious classical pianist as I believe there is no need to upgrade to another model as there are no major changes with the CLP-585.

And, here is a short demo at my CLP-480:

https://app.box.com/s/33352vxz78p98bvrojio

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#2315757 - 08/15/14 02:22 AM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: theoak]
Chris Warren Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 50
I would rate the 585 and N2 equally on sound if you just compare notes without any dynamics/touch considerations.

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#2316588 - 08/17/14 02:53 PM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: 36251]
R_B Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 502
Originally Posted By: 36251
Originally Posted By: BrianDX
Originally Posted By: R_B
Originally Posted By: BrianDX

...snip...
Here is how I would put it. If you were to put a person in a room with a very good A/V system, and play a recording of a piano performance, and then play the same performance on a grand sitting right behind that person, I think it would be quite clear what the recording was and what the live performance was.

But as I said before, the N2 is a really nice DP that has a lot going for it.


Previous such "tests" have showed that even the "golden ears" folk can't tell the difference between tier one grands and even modest DPs - on SOUND ONLY.


Balderdash.

I've been plugged into the A/V community for 40+ years, and I know the differences that blind tests can reveal (like discerning a live instrument from a recorded one), and those they cannot (Differences with speaker wires for example).

If you really think that a person with normal hearing cannot discern the difference between the sound of a live grand in a room and a DP playing the sound of a live grand (using what are basically car speakers) then we must agree to disagree.

As I said before, the N2 is a great DP. But I've heard salesman push the AG series as "perfect" and "even better than the real thing". Total, utter nonsense.

P.S. The reason that I feel very strongly about this, is that I believed the sales hype and spend a lot of hard-earned money on the AG series. It was a VERY expensive mistake. Folks who are considering spending $10K+ on a DP should know what these instruments can do well, and what they cannot do.
When I play my N2, I don't think it sounds like a real grand. What I think it kind of sounds like is being in a studio, playing a real grand and only hearing it through headphones. I'm not wearing headphones, but I can imagine my live sound this way. Of course it's still not the same, but is close enough when I factor in that I can't fit a grand or have enough money for the grand I'd buy, if I had the room smile


When ANYONE "Plays" ANY instrument they have an entirely different sensation to when they merely HEAR the sound of it.

Again, on a SOUND ONLY basis the golden ear blessed have been unable to distinguish "real" from "simulated".

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#2316961 - 08/18/14 02:11 PM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: R_B]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 795
R_B, there is a huge difference between a piano in the room (and I mean an acoustic piano) and a recording of a piano played back from a sound system. You are talking about the latter, not the former. A *recorded* piano may be difficult to distinguish from a DP. But an actual piano in the room is an entirely different matter, as Brian already pointed out.

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#2316971 - 08/18/14 02:40 PM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: maurus]
BrianDX Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 505
Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: maurus
R_B, there is a huge difference between a piano in the room (and I mean an acoustic piano) and a recording of a piano played back from a sound system. You are talking about the latter, not the former. A *recorded* piano may be difficult to distinguish from a DP. But an actual piano in the room is an entirely different matter, as Brian already pointed out.

My point exactly.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F .


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#2317203 - 08/19/14 06:44 AM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: Chris Warren]
R_B Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 502
...and your belief is that a DP is NOT a "recorded piano" ?

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#2317212 - 08/19/14 07:05 AM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: R_B]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1674
Loc: Portugal
Originally Posted By: R_B
...and your belief is that a DP is NOT a "recorded piano" ?


It maybe impossible to tell the difference between a system where a traditional piano is captured by microphones and reproduced on a high quality sound system [a recording of a piano], and a system where each note has been recorded at various levels and re-triggered by a player in performance through a similar sound reproduction system [a DP].

The live experience of playing, or just listening to, a traditional piano is, still, quite a different thing. It is not yet reproducible in virtual reality, though we're getting closer.

This is all anyone is saying. I thought that's what you were saying, too, as a matter of fact.
_________________________
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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#2317330 - 08/19/14 01:10 PM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: Chris Warren]
Karnevil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/17/06
Posts: 159
Owning an N1, I have to echo what others have already stated. Playing the N1 using the speaker system, it sounds like you listening to a recording of a piano - not an actual piano. I guess there is no substitute for a real acoustic...

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#2317497 - 08/19/14 09:50 PM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: Chris Warren]
GWILLY Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/14
Posts: 40
I both agree and disagree. Ultimately, even a real piano can sound crappy at the listening position, if the room is bad. Position the same piano in a great room, different results. I think playback systems can make a huge difference. It is not inconceivable that a surround sound algorithm with accurate and adequate amplification, speaker placement and quality, intimately twinned with state of the art sampling/modelling - could be far more cost effective. Especially with DSP. smile Just saying.


Edited by GWILLY (08/19/14 09:51 PM)

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#2317579 - Yesterday at 04:10 AM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: Chris Warren]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2333
Loc: UK
What none of the hybrids or DP's do, is recreate that rumble and resonance of something alive inside the cabinet when you push down the damper. Something in there to be tamed and mastered.

Maybe not everyone wants to hear, all or many of these these unmusical side effects of the real thing. But that's the first thing I notice in comparison when I sit at my teachers piano.

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#2317589 - Yesterday at 05:50 AM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: GWILLY]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1674
Loc: Portugal
Originally Posted By: GWILLY
I both agree and disagree. Ultimately, even a real piano can sound crappy at the listening position, if the room is bad.


Indeed it can. That is one of the main indicators that you are listening to a piano and not a digital. A digital usually sounds perfect, like a recording, as was pointed out above.

You could argue that 95% or more of the quality of a piano is captured by the digital piano. It's the remaining 5% that's the problem and some, most but not all of that 5% is composed of crap.

The precise details of listening to an acoustic piano close up are still elusive, but they are lost to the audience in a concert hall or the CD listener, anyway.


Edited by toddy (Yesterday at 05:51 AM)
_________________________
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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#2317591 - Yesterday at 05:55 AM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: spanishbuddha]
bennevis Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4952
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
What none of the hybrids or DP's do, is recreate that rumble and resonance of something alive inside the cabinet when you push down the damper. Something in there to be tamed and mastered.


Actually, that is simulated (and adjustable) on my V-Piano, and, it seems, on the new Rolands. See Jay Roland's demo video on the RD800 Turbo Start video thread, where he demonstrates exactly that 'rumble & resonance' when you step on the pedal.

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#2317620 - Yesterday at 07:55 AM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: toddy]
Paolo70 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/11
Posts: 82
Loc: Italy
Hi Toddy,

Originally Posted By: toddy
Originally Posted By: GWILLY
I both agree and disagree. Ultimately, even a real piano can sound crappy at the listening position, if the room is bad.


Indeed it can. That is one of the main indicators that you are listening to a piano and not a digital. A digital usually sounds perfect, like a recording, as was pointed out above.


I think Gwilly was referring to the impact of room acoustics, which affects both AP's and DP's.

Actually the sound from typical DP's point-source speakers can be affected by room acoustics more severely than the sound from an AP's extended soundboard.

Ciao,
Paolo
_________________________
Yamaha CLP-970
Roland JV-1080

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#2317629 - Yesterday at 08:34 AM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: Paolo70]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1674
Loc: Portugal
Originally Posted By: Paolo70
Hi Toddy,

Originally Posted By: toddy
Originally Posted By: GWILLY
I both agree and disagree. Ultimately, even a real piano can sound crappy at the listening position, if the room is bad.


Indeed it can. That is one of the main indicators that you are listening to a piano and not a digital. A digital usually sounds perfect, like a recording, as was pointed out above.


I think Gwilly was referring to the impact of room acoustics, which affects both AP's and DP's.

Actually the sound from typical DP's point-source speakers can be affected by room acoustics more severely than the sound from an AP's extended soundboard.

Ciao,
Paolo


Yes - that's a good point. But I think we're all agreed that, what ever the acoustics, the real thing is different from the best digital set up.

I don't think it matters much, anyway, because for the past half century, recording engineers have been busy ironing out that last 5% of crap that the real piano experience gives you.

Digital piano makers - especially VST software producers - are now putting it back in again. This could be considered a healthy crossover, or something else.
_________________________
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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#2317863 - Yesterday at 06:31 PM Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: spanishbuddha]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1424
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
What none of the hybrids or DP's do, is recreate that rumble and resonance of something alive inside the cabinet when you push down the damper. Something in there to be tamed and mastered.


The Nord Pianos do a heck of a good job recreating this. It's actually pretty impressive as the sound changes with dynamics.

String Resonance Modeling (go to 2:07 in the video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4q--3k0snY

Dynamic Pedal Resonance Modeling
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkMcSEkXoe8



Edited by PianoZac (Yesterday at 06:40 PM)
_________________________
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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#2318064 - 21 minutes 6 seconds ago Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 [Re: Chris Warren]
R_B Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 502
Well, at least SOMEONE read and understood the "on SOUND ONLY" clause.

and OF COURSE the "Playing experience" is different on a physical vs electronic piano.
Just as the "driving experience" is different in a 1949 whatever make/model automobile.
Personally I would rather have ABS discs all round, radial ply tires, air conditioning, on and on, but that is a (slightly) different rat hole from the fact that I don't want to allocate space to a large piece of musical furniture that has "needs" of its own and a cost disproportionate to its utility.
Top o' the heap wooden piano s top of the heap electronic piano is probably about 80:1 dollar ratio - I have spending opportunities for the other 79 :-)

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