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#2362232 - 12/16/14 05:41 AM Unimpressed with Yamaha N1
Beemer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/26/13
Posts: 251
Loc: Scotland
I recently spent time playing a Yamaha N1 which has the Grand Feel action. This has a grand piano action where the hammer heads have been replaced with metal weights.

My present instruments are a Yamaha Tyros5/76 and a Knight K10 upright acoustic. I am interested to buy a digital piano to play Pianoteq instead of my original idea to buy a VCP-1 or MP-11.

I thought that the N1 grand action although different to an upright action would be equally acceptable to me as my upright but this proved not to be the case.

I have played a number of different acoustic and digital pianos and felt quite comfortable from the first note played. However with the showroom N1 I never got a feeling that this was nice to play. My well regulated 27 year old Knight has a smooth (Langer 80) action and smooth let off. The N1 action felt stiff in comparison and the let off was too apparent.

My wife who had been sitting near me said when I had finished "I could see you were unimpressed" and I could only agree.

This week I played a five year old (Took four people to lift and move it!) Clavinova that had no model nameplate but it had a small LCD display. It's action was very nice and not much different to my upright.

Perhaps we have become too susceptible to present day marketing speak that we assume it must always give us a better experience than older product?

Ian



Edited by Beemer (12/16/14 05:46 AM)

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#2362246 - 12/16/14 07:41 AM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: Beemer]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3899
Loc: North Carolina
Maybe the new N1 wasn't broken in. Surely your 27-year-old has been!

Also, the N1 might need regulation. Given that its action is substantially the same as an acoustic upright, and since the latter generally get some pre-sale and need some post-sale adjustments, perhaps the same is true of the N1?

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#2362247 - 12/16/14 07:49 AM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: Beemer]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2468
Loc: UK
I've played the N1 a few times, my first experience was also poor, but the opposite, the action seemed loose and 'all over the place'; the second time it felt sublime, with great control of the dynamics and I was impressed. Since then I've tried the N2, a couple of times, supposedly the same action, and one time was less than impressed again (the N2 also has the TRS) and another time had that great rapport feeling back. But to spend that amount of money I would want to purchase the very instrument that felt great in the shop when I tried it, even though I know it could be regulated. The N1 is just plain ugly though IMHO.

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#2362249 - 12/16/14 07:56 AM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: MacMacMac]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3694
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac


Also, the N1 might need regulation. Given that its action is substantially the same as an acoustic upright, and since the latter generally get some pre-sale and need some post-sale adjustments, perhaps the same is true of the N1?


Isn't Yamaha's upright action digital the "NU1"? I'm pretty sure the N1 has a grand piano action.

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#2362251 - 12/16/14 07:59 AM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: ando]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2468
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac


Also, the N1 might need regulation. Given that its action is substantially the same as an acoustic upright, and since the latter generally get some pre-sale and need some post-sale adjustments, perhaps the same is true of the N1?


Isn't Yamaha's upright action digital the "NU1"? I'm pretty sure the N1 has a grand piano action.

Yes, I think that's right. But I guess the point Mac was making remains.

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#2362255 - 12/16/14 08:15 AM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: MacMacMac]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5524
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Given that its action is substantially the same as an acoustic upright, and since the latter generally get some pre-sale and need some post-sale adjustments, perhaps the same is true of the N1?

The AvantGrands are supposed to have grand action rather than upright ones (like NU1).

I've never been enamoured of the AG's actions - the ones I've played have been in the Yamaha showroom, where I can easily compare directly with the acoustic grands and uprights (Yamaha & Bösendorfer) in the floor above, and they've always been found wanting. In particular they all felt stiff and heavy, as if there's too much friction. (I'm not sure that their key weight is exceptionally heavy as such, as I've never measured it). OK, most (but not all) of them are new, but then so are the acoustics. And the AGs are not meant to have to be serviced after purchase. And how many 'normal' piano technicians know how to regulate an AG?

Why would one buy a digital, only to have to have its action regulated just like an acoustic?
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2362280 - 12/16/14 09:35 AM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: bennevis]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3899
Loc: North Carolina
Sorry for the error regarding upright vs. grand action on the N1. frown

Why this ... ?
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Why would one buy a digital, only to have to have its action regulated just like an acoustic?
If you want the feel of an acoustic action, you have to buy an acoustic action ... even if it's inside a digital piano. Such a piano will naturally need the same maintenance as an acoustic, including regulation. That seems plain and obvious.

Are you asking "In that case, why not just buy an acoustic?" ???

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#2362323 - 12/16/14 11:40 AM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: MacMacMac]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5524
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac

If you want the feel of an acoustic action, you have to buy an acoustic action ... even if it's inside a digital piano. Such a piano will naturally need the same maintenance as an acoustic, including regulation. That seems plain and obvious.


No, it's not plain and obvious.

If you read Yamaha's blurb - it's obvious they never designed the AGs to be easily serviceable by acoustic piano technicians, and they don't envisage regular maintenance to be foisted onto owners. There've been threads about it here over the years, where techs refuse to touch the AG.

I know one tech, who will happily regulate any acoustic piano, of any vintage. Not a digital like AG - he has no idea how to open it up safely, let alone what to do once opened.

Acoustics vary enormously. You don't need an acoustic action to have the 'feel' of one. It takes me longer to adapt from the N1 to a Fazioli F278 than it does from my own digital, which makes no pretence of an acoustic action. That's because the N1's action is so much more sluggish/heavy than the Fazioli's.

_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2362341 - 12/16/14 12:48 PM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: Beemer]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3899
Loc: North Carolina
Huh? If the N1 action is similar to that of an acoustic, then wouldn't it need similar maintenance?

It has cloth-bushed wooden keys, doesn't it? And grand-action wippens and reps? Save for the hammer heads, doesn't it have all the work and wear characteristics of a grand?

Just because techs can't or won't work on one doesn't mean the maintenance is not needed, does it?

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#2362380 - 12/16/14 02:37 PM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: MacMacMac]
Beemer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/26/13
Posts: 251
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Maybe the new N1 wasn't broken in. Surely your 27-year-old has been!

Also, the N1 might need regulation. Given that its action is substantially the same as an acoustic upright, and since the latter generally get some pre-sale and need some post-sale adjustments, perhaps the same is true of the N1?


I regulate my own acoustic so am aware of the amount of time it takes to do this properly, in my case following the Reblitz book. Factory regulation on an digital will I guess be a much quicker and possibly less exact process than factory regulation of an acoustic piano action.

So you might well be right and I'm going to check out another N1 in a different retailer showroom.

Ian

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#2362586 - Yesterday at 02:34 AM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: Beemer]
leafhound Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/14
Posts: 42
Loc: Everywhere
I could easily tell the N1-N3 are digital pianos.

just another sample based piano/.

All that money for just a bunch of samples.


Edited by leafhound (Yesterday at 02:38 AM)
_________________________
“To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” ~ Chang Tzu

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#2362656 - Yesterday at 08:21 AM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: Beemer]
36251 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 765
The AG's are a niche piano with a lot of technology. They must sell cause they're still around and haven't been updated in a while. I understand the limitations of my N2, but it's given me more joy to play and listen than any upright piano I've ever owned, including the Steinway K I sold to buy the N2.

There are plenty of digital pianos I don't care for but I only dis the ones I've owned. Just trying one in a music store can't give you the feeling of turning it on everyday to play and having an instrument that's in tune, sounds great live due to its independent speaker/amp system with four-channel samples, which are not full samples but what I've read are not stretched, etc.

If you compare the very expensive home models from other companies using actions right out of their stage models or the Roland V piano and V-grand with its modeled sound, then IMO, the AG's are pretty competitive especially today since you can find used ones. I personally would not of sold my upright for just any home digital piano.

I didn't have the luxury of considering a software piano when I bought my N2, so making that argument as a better solution can't be on the table in my world. I own and have played live the Galaxy Vintage D and could, I guess hook it up to my AG, but the two internal pianos on AG have been fine for jazz, which is what I play.

Lastly, I did A-B the N1 before buying N2. The samples and action are the same but I didn't like the N1 sound system, lack of TRS, or larger footprint.

I'm not trying to change anyone's mind but if you had a chance to rent any AG for a month you might find it's not as bad as playing a few times in a music store.


Edited by 36251 (Yesterday at 08:24 AM)
_________________________
AG N2, CP4, GK MK & MP

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#2362666 - Yesterday at 08:48 AM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: leafhound]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3899
Loc: North Carolina
Sampling isn't the problem. Inadequate samples are.
Originally Posted By: leafhound
I could easily tell the N1-N3 are digital pianos. just another sample based piano. All that money for just a bunch of samples.
Lots of piano software packages run with samples ranging from 4 GB up to tens of GB. I doubt the AG series can come close. Certainly the low-end pianos don't, having just a few tens of MB ... 1000x smaller than the piano software packages.

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#2362679 - Yesterday at 09:10 AM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: Beemer]
lolatu Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 559
Loc: UK
I played the N1 in the same showroom as the latest Roland, Kawai and Yamaha offerings, and my impression was that it was leagues ahead of everything else. On the downside it is too big, heavy and expensive for me to consider getting at present.
_________________________
Kawai CA95 / Pianoteq Stage / Sony MDR-7506 / Steinberg UR22
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810

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#2362680 - Yesterday at 09:10 AM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: 36251]
Beemer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/26/13
Posts: 251
Loc: Scotland
36251,

My OP discussed the N1 action not its voices. Were you implying that for you the N1 has a better action than your K model (circa 1930?) had? Was the K fully regulated?

I agree that playing an instrument over a much longer period is the best method but I'd rather sit with headphones on in the shop over days rather than fork out for any hire and delivery cost.

Ian

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#2362690 - Yesterday at 09:25 AM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: lolatu]
leafhound Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/14
Posts: 42
Loc: Everywhere
Originally Posted By: lolatu
I played the N1 in the same showroom as the latest Roland, Kawai and Yamaha offerings, and my impression was that it was leagues ahead of everything else.


smile Utter nonesense, a proper pp and ffff can't even be acheived on this piano.
You must play jazz or something?

Again £5000K for a bunch of samples and a half decent action. lol


Edited by leafhound (Yesterday at 09:29 AM)
_________________________
“To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” ~ Chang Tzu

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#2362691 - Yesterday at 09:30 AM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: Beemer]
36251 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 765
Originally Posted By: Beemer
36251,

My OP discussed the N1 action not its voices. Were you implying that for you the N1 has a better action than your K model (circa 1930?) had? Was the K fully regulated?

I agree that playing an instrument over a much longer period is the best method but I'd rather sit with headphones on in the shop over days rather than fork out for any hire and delivery cost.

Ian
My K was built in 1990 and my piano tuner thought it was one of the best he's seen. It, though, is still an upright and playing piano IMO, is about the action. I was willing to give up sound for grand action. I can't even fit a Steinway S in my place so my limitations out weighed any thought of owning a grand. I did own a CP70B before I pursued owning a Steinway upright. It was a nice instrument but took up more space and didn't have midi, so I stuck with a mediocre sound.

If I played classical, I might of kept the K. I do miss the intangibles of an acoustic instrument, and there's no comparison when I get a chance to play a great instrument but it's a compromise that works.

One last thought. If Yamaha ever updated the AG series, it would have to take leaps and bounds before I considered upgrading.
_________________________
AG N2, CP4, GK MK & MP

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#2362745 - Yesterday at 11:28 AM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: leafhound]
Pete14 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/13
Posts: 287
Originally Posted By: leafhound
Originally Posted By: lolatu
I played the N1 in the same showroom as the latest Roland, Kawai and Yamaha offerings, and my impression was that it was leagues ahead of everything else.


smile Utter nonesense, a proper pp and ffff can't even be acheived on this piano.
You must play jazz or something?

Again £5000K for a bunch of samples and a half decent action. lol



Can you describe exactly what pp and fff mean to you? To me, these are guidelines referring to playing soft or loud, but what is loud to you might be medium rare to me. And yes, you can play super-duper soft on the AvantGrand; i.e. ppppppp; of course, that's from my soulless perspective.

"You must play jazz or something?" Have you ever attempted to transcribe a Bill Evans solo? There's a deeper harmonic, polyphonic, non-diatonic content in a Bill Evans solo than you could ever find in a Chopin something. Granted, Chopin throws lots of gratuitous ffff's to go with the redundant, diatonic harmonies disguised as complex chord progressions. Oh, and don't forget Liszt with his pound-me-hard type structures, and mezzo-this molto-thats leading towards a bunch of crescendos, and the final big bang (usually a Major/Minor chord in root position).

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#2362765 - Yesterday at 12:06 PM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: 36251]
Beemer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/26/13
Posts: 251
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: 36251
Originally Posted By: Beemer
36251,

My OP discussed the N1 action not its voices. Were you implying that for you the N1 has a better action than your K model (circa 1930?) had? Was the K fully regulated?

I agree that playing an instrument over a much longer period is the best method but I'd rather sit with headphones on in the shop over days rather than fork out for any hire and delivery cost.

Ian
My K was built in 1990 and my piano tuner thought it was one of the best he's seen. It, though, is still an upright and playing piano IMO, is about the action. I was willing to give up sound for grand action. I can't even fit a Steinway S in my place so my limitations out weighed any thought of owning a grand. I did own a CP70B before I pursued owning a Steinway upright. It was a nice instrument but took up more space and didn't have midi, so I stuck with a mediocre sound.

If I played classical, I might of kept the K. I do miss the intangibles of an acoustic instrument, and there's no comparison when I get a chance to play a great instrument but it's a compromise that works.

One last thought. If Yamaha ever updated the AG series, it would have to take leaps and bounds before I considered upgrading.


I do apologise for assuming you had an older model K. That said I am (to use a UK term) "gobsmacked") that you would exchange a 1990 circa 20,000 UK pound (30,000usd) acoustic for an N2!

http://www.besbrodepianos.co.uk/piano-sale/steinway-model-K-upright-piano-black.htm

Ian


Edited by Beemer (Yesterday at 12:06 PM)

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#2362767 - Yesterday at 12:16 PM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: leafhound]
lolatu Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 559
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: leafhound
Originally Posted By: lolatu
I played the N1 in the same showroom as the latest Roland, Kawai and Yamaha offerings, and my impression was that it was leagues ahead of everything else.


smile Utter nonesense, a proper pp and ffff can't even be acheived on this piano.
You must play jazz or something?

Again £5000K for a bunch of samples and a half decent action. lol

I don't think you or anyone else is in a position to argue over what my impression was, since I (and the salesman I talked to) are the only ones who know about that...

More importantly, why do you post in monospace?
_________________________
Kawai CA95 / Pianoteq Stage / Sony MDR-7506 / Steinberg UR22
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810

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#2362772 - Yesterday at 12:44 PM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: leafhound]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1860
Loc: Portugal
Originally Posted By: leafhound
Utter nonesense, a proper pp and ffff can't even be acheived on this piano.
You must play jazz or something?


This is a very telling question-cum-statement.
_________________________
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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#2362779 - Yesterday at 12:58 PM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: toddy]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1499
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: toddy
Originally Posted By: leafhound
Utter nonesense, a proper pp and ffff can't even be acheived on this piano.
You must play jazz or something?


This is a very telling question-cum-statement.


It's idiotic.

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#2362970 - Yesterday at 10:48 PM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: Beemer]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12206
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Is it troll-feeding time already? smile

Anyways I'm not overly shocked that 36521 traded in his upright. Just because it's Steinway doesn't mean it's going to measure up to an action that is grand piano (or pretty close). In the end, it's still an upright, and that action will only get you so far.
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#2363030 - Today at 05:41 AM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: Morodiene]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1499
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Is it troll-feeding time already? smile

Christmas - a time for giving wink

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#2363041 - Today at 07:13 AM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: Morodiene]
36251 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 765
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Is it troll-feeding time already? smile

Anyways I'm not overly shocked that 36521 traded in his upright. Just because it's Steinway doesn't mean it's going to measure up to an action that is grand piano (or pretty close). In the end, it's still an upright, and that action will only get you so far.
thank you. BTW, it's 36251 smile
_________________________
AG N2, CP4, GK MK & MP

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#2363083 - Today at 10:06 AM Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: 36251]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12206
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: 36251
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Is it troll-feeding time already? smile

Anyways I'm not overly shocked that 36521 traded in his upright. Just because it's Steinway doesn't mean it's going to measure up to an action that is grand piano (or pretty close). In the end, it's still an upright, and that action will only get you so far.
thank you. BTW, it's 36251 smile


Thanks for the correction. I had to go back one page to see your name and remember it. I failed 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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#2363088 - 52 minutes 22 seconds ago Re: Unimpressed with Yamaha N1 [Re: Beemer]
bnolsen Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 181
Loc: Colorado
Even if you got the name wrong it's hard to mistake it for anyone else's. And yes I agree about upright actions being wanting compared to a grand piano.

Short key sticks, short fulcrum, lack of speed of repetition, feeling the hammer pullback mechanism, any or all of these annoy me with uprights.

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