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#2366786 - 12/29/14 11:19 AM Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions
andythefiredog Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 13
Hello all! Thank you for this forum, Iíve spent hours upon hours learning from all your collective wisdom.

Iíd like to bring up a discussion I havenít seen before. I know AvantGrands have been compared to real acoustics many times in the forum, but thereís some details Iíve never seen considered or fleshed out. Let me lay it out the way itís in my head:

I have a (now much higher than originally conceived) hard budget of $9,000 to invest in a piano. Iíve come up with three situations Iíd like to consider with their pros and cons. I've played acoustic pianos as well as digital keyboards through the years.

1) AvantGrand N2 - I could probably do a little better than $9k for this, but not much. The advantages we all know. The disadvantage Iíve never heard considered is will this really truly ďhold upĒ the way a REAL piano would? I know it would require occasional regulating, say every 3 / 5 / 10 years. But thatís my pointÖdoes anyone buy these seeing themselves owning it for 15 to 20 years? Even 30 like a real piano?

Iím an IT Director and Iíve done nothing since I was 8 as much as Iíve tinkered with electronics and computers and now high end servers upwards of $50k-$100k. Even these beasts, well built as they are, rarely make it to 20 years.


2) A Premiumish Brand New Yamaha Upright - Comes with a 10 year warranty at least. I know it will require maintenance, at the very minimum an annual tuning if not twice a year. Temperature / humidity control is a non-issue as the AC will always be on. Can one purchase a brand new upright that they will WANT to keep for 30 years as a real treasured item? Are there any raging perfectionist out there like me, who will start to have ill feelings towards their piano as it develops little quirks (a metal clink on this key, a slight sticking of that key, etc.)?


3) A Used Baby Grand - Rarely comes with a very long warranty, most of the time theyíll either be rebuilt or refurbished in some way. There could always be something I or even the dealer doesn't know that that piano experienced. I wonít enjoy the quirks of an aged piano, I like things that stay as I enjoyed them, so I'd probably have to spend a small fortune in maintenance. Would it even be worth looking down this road?

My heart was set on the N2. A huge, huge plus is the silence while practicing over and over. My house isnít tiny, but the piano would be centrally located under the vaulted ceilings and the house has a very open layout, few walls that go all the way up and the floors are all tile.

But the tiny, niggling voice that wonít go away keeps saying ďitís just a piece of electronicsÖitís just a piece of electronicsÖ.you know electronics, they never last that longÖ.invest in something realĒ


I know Iím overthinking this. I always do. But then again, weíve talking about nearly $10,000. Itís one choice you donít want to get wrong.

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#2366813 - 12/29/14 12:42 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3491
Loc: Pennsylvania
There is a very good chance that an AG will hold up for 15 or 20 years or more in the sense that, with a little maintenance, it will perform the same way it did when it was new.

Whether you have the urge to replace it will depend on what new products come out in the mean time and your personality. The main problem with electronic instruments isn't usually that they wear out. It's that something else comes along that turns our head and we end up wanting to upgrade. Acoustics don't have that problem to the same degree.

If you are the type of person who buys a digital piano, is satisfied, and never gives it another thought, you will have no problem using and AG for many years without changing. But that kind of person doesn't tend to frequent this forum.


Edited by gvfarns (12/29/14 12:43 PM)

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#2366822 - 12/29/14 01:12 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3948
Loc: North Carolina
gv! We've not heard from you in quite a while. Welcome back.

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#2366823 - 12/29/14 01:17 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
Pete14 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/13
Posts: 340
The AvantGrand can be upgraded, to a certain extent, by adding/blending VST's to the equation. It seems that sounds (software) tend to become obsolete far quicker than actions (hardware). The AvantGrand's action is similar to that of a Grand, so no, it won't become obsolete upon the release of a new version; unless the new version uses a concert-grand action, in which case you're stuck with the lesser action; still good, but not quite as good as the longer action. I doubt that Yamaha will go the concert-grand action route, but just in case. In terms of design, the N2 looks like a shrunken down grand, and it will still look like that 20 years from now, so that's not a problem.

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#2366827 - 12/29/14 01:23 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3531
One issue with all things electronic is that parts can become scarce, and after some years, may even be non-repairable, if certain things fail and there is no replacement to be had.

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#2366831 - 12/29/14 01:30 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
spanishbuddha Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2518
Loc: UK
You don't really discuss your preference or otherwise the main reason(s) people buy DP's, the requirement to practice silently using headphones, possibly the stability of tuning with no ongoing yearly costs, the additional features that come such as recording, other voices, loops, arpeggios, splits, and potential use as a controller.

Some of these are also a drawback, you mention the quirks that may develop with an acoustic, but if you browse our forum you will find many cases of people fixated on an unusual note sample in their DP, that then ruin their experience with the DP.

I think gvfarns states it well in his last para, but it still remains that a DP experience even with the N2 and TRS is not the same as a 'live acoustic piano'. It seems you could have an acoustic where you live, so I would compare your personal experience of the N2 with a few same budget acoustics, and make the decision based artistically or musically on that, then manage the consequences (maintenance, regulation, depreciation or obsolescence) as part of that for its expected or planned life with you.

So get an acoustic but want the other features of a DP, get a budget slab below $1000 as well; or get the 'best' DP for the price that also meets your requirements, maybe the N2, maybe something else.

I would love an acoustic, the K500 is in my current desire, but my living conditions prelude regular use of one, so then I too yearn for an N2 as an upgrade from my current DP. But it is really quite overpriced IMHO and although I can afford it I wanted too, it's not IMHO good enough to justify its price for my own purpose.


Edited by spanishbuddha (12/29/14 01:38 PM)

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#2366835 - 12/29/14 01:36 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
NormB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/02/12
Posts: 56
Loc: Vancouver, BC
I'd suggest buying a used AG. I have found over the years that there really isn't a sharply defined 'market price' for grands. Privately offered prices are all over the place, and I so have always managed to sell my current one for more than I paid for it. $8K can buy you quite a lot of well-maintained AG if you are careful. Naturally you don't want one that would require a rebuild, but at this price point that is unnecessary. I'd also suggest something a bit bigger than a 'baby' grand--say in the 6'-6'3" range: much better sound and not much more money. Bring a technician if you are doubtful about buying one solo.

FYI, if you are a tinkerer, maintaining the regulation of a grand after it is properly set up is a piece of cake (and a bit fun: to see if you can go a bit further than the std measurements, etc).

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#2366850 - 12/29/14 02:01 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 909
When it comes to long term satisfaction and durability (say 20 years +) I think an acoustic piano of sufficient quality (!) is superior by quite some margin.

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#2366858 - 12/29/14 02:14 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
ElmerJFudd Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 129
I own or have access to an awful lot of acoustic and digital pianos from gigging and teaching. I know this is the digital forum, but let's just be honest - the sound and feel of an acoustic piano in the price range we are talking about here still beats even the best digital of which the AvantGrand is really the best imho. A rebuilt grand or upright from the 1900s (and newer of course) or a new Kawai or Yamaha upright model - or even a Petrof or a Boston, are all nice choices.

With that said, for folks who don't have your budget, often times a digital is a decent choice when you are working in the sub-$2000 area. And of course once you get into the AvantGrand area, the lines begin to blur. I haven't played the N2, but the N3 is a fantastic digital Piano. The action in particular is very good,. The vibration feedback they developed feels right and the speaker system is very very good. The pedal lyre on the N3 is not as sturdy as you would find on a real grand, and needs to be tightened from time to time. The electronic slide out controls maybe could be a little sturdier too. But overall it's built quite solid and as close as anyone builds right now to the real deal. Hopefully someone with an N2 can chime in. Used is a very good idea because like cars, these are worth a lot less the moment they leave the showroom, so look around


Edited by ElmerJFudd (12/29/14 02:16 PM)

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#2366859 - 12/29/14 02:18 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5741
Originally Posted By: andythefiredog

I know Iím overthinking this. I always do. But then again, weíve talking about nearly $10,000. Itís one choice you donít want to get wrong.

If you have this amount to spend, and you don't have neighbor problems, and you have the space, unless you want non-piano stuff (accompaniments, EP sounds etc), an acoustic is far more satisfying and 'alive' - and yes, real, compared to an AvantGrand. Especially if your main interest is classical. It's not clear from your post whether you really do need to play with headphones - whatever, don't practice with the volume turned down (via headphones or speakers) to unrealistic levels, unless you really know what you're doing.

And a tech can alter the voicing - including on individual notes - as well as the action, and much else, if anything crops up that isn't to your liking on an acoustic. Sounds cannot be altered on a DP - you're stuck with whatever samples it comes with, unless you stick on software stuff.

An acoustic will almost certainly last much longer than any DP - even assuming you don't feel the compulsion to upgrade your DP on a regular basis, like most DP owners do.

Have you read Perri Knize's Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey? She is a PW member and occasionally posts in the Piano Forum. I can't imagine anyone getting obsessed by (and falling in love with) a digital the way you can with 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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#2366864 - 12/29/14 02:25 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3531
Originally Posted By: andythefiredog
My heart was set on the N2. A huge, huge plus is the silence while practicing over and over.

The budget should be enough to locate a nice acoustic, and still get a low-cost digital for silent practicing, which could be another way to go.

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#2366870 - 12/29/14 02:33 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
andythefiredog Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 13
Thank you for all the input. I definitely would benefit greatly from near-silent practice of an AvantGrand. I tend to have...expensive...taste. I never overspend, but I never shy away from paying the right price for the right things. It's the only way I could live. I don't judge others who don't, and in my younger days when I couldn't even afford a Casio, I would just go without and be fine. But...I'm not the kind of person that has a particle board bed or fake wood dining table, etc. I shop smartly for quality, and I tend to be very picky, yes.

For example: When my workmates purchase a new car, they ask me to look it over and find any virtually unnoticeable things wrong or weirdness for them to go back to the dealer with. At least three times, I've come up with something that turned our fairly serious and / or would have been blamed on the owner and not covered by the warranty had it not been noticed so quickly.

All that being said, what I seem to be getting from the replies is as far action and "all-around" satisfaction in general is concerned, I'm probably best with the N2 vs what I could get with 9k for a new upright.... [edit: I should say I wrote this just before a few other replies came in suggesting an acoustic grand. While i could possibly make room for a baby grand, a full grand would be just too much. It really can be the difference of a foot or two. I wouldn't have the room to entertain a piano and a keyboard, and I'd honestly never want to practice on a cheap digital if I had a real acoustic. Someone is almost always home and I fear an acoustic would go unplayed a lot).

I'm working with an extremely nice and pleasant dealer, but they always seem to be a little higher than what I'd expect. Perhaps it's a volume thing. They quoted me $10k as a serious buyer for the N2. I very politely let the manager know that I'm not the average wealthy guy they are used to seeing that's happy to drop that much on 4-year old digital design.He seemed to actually agree and I pointed out I've seen in many reviews and forums the N2 going for an average of $8K-$10K. Even www.time.com quotes that as the average selling price. I don't think it's unreasonable to pay $8k for the N2, particularly since the rookie salesman under him has now drawn me to the store (a 40 minute trip) twice, incorrectly quoting me prices and models. Manager says he'll talk to the owner and let me know.

I have a strong feeling 2015 will be the release of an NU2 and NU3 with the new CFX voices as well.

By the way, the dealer cost on the N1 (including having it shipped to them) is about $4k and the lowest they'd go for me on that one was $6k, which I felt was ok/fair. My point isn't to kill them...it's to make sure that if they're going to do that one-crazy-deal this month for a customer that I'm the customer. I would even buy a store display N2 / N3 at the right price.


Edited by andythefiredog (12/29/14 02:38 PM)

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#2366878 - 12/29/14 03:02 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: MacMacMac]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3491
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
gv! We've not heard from you in quite a while. Welcome back.


Haha, good to be around. I see that Kawai didn't come out with a GF VPC2 while I was gone, though... smile

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#2366881 - 12/29/14 03:08 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5741
Originally Posted By: andythefiredog

I have a strong feeling 2015 will be the release of an NU2 and NU3 with the new CFX voices as well.


The NU1 has CFX sound already.

It remains to be seen whether Yamaha will upgrade the AvantGrands with CFX samples......
_________________________
"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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#2366882 - 12/29/14 03:11 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: bennevis]
andythefiredog Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 13
Right, which is why I was saying I felt we'd possibly see an NU2 and an NU3.

NU = "New" haha.

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#2366885 - 12/29/14 03:31 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
andythefiredog Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 13
For those of you that feel I'd be best served in the long run by a true acoustic piano, do you have any suggestions or input on what would be THE two or three top instruments to look at? Any specific models that would be a great buy? Acoustics seem to have better sale prices in my area of South Florida, as they're everywhere.

I feel I'd only be looking for new, the warranty would be of great peace of mind for the first 10 years, and around 9k. Feasible?

Thanks.

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#2366902 - 12/29/14 04:06 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 909
That's a question best asked over in the Piano Forum on this board.

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#2366904 - 12/29/14 04:11 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: maurus]
andythefiredog Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 13
They will surely pick the flesh from my bones for suggesting a DP in comparison to an Acoustic ;-)

shhh. Let's keep it a secret.

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#2366907 - 12/29/14 04:17 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 909
There are quite a few people, both here and there, who have experience with, or own, both acoustic and digital pianos wink . I agree with anotherscott above that this is another - good - solution: get a good acoustic and an acceptable digital piano (stage type for portability).

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#2366922 - 12/29/14 05:04 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
Thomas B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/13
Posts: 50
If the option to practice silently is important to you, I would definitely consider an acoustic piano with a silent option. At home I use an upright with the silent option and I really enjoy to have the real sounding instrument as well as the possibility to practice while everyone else is sleeping. In your budget range you should be able to find good instruments. I would hunt for something from the Bechstein family with the Vario system installed, but a Yamaha U1 SG would be a good choice as well.

Thomas

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#2366925 - 12/29/14 05:12 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12324
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: andythefiredog
For those of you that feel I'd be best served in the long run by a true acoustic piano, do you have any suggestions or input on what would be THE two or three top instruments to look at? Any specific models that would be a great buy? Acoustics seem to have better sale prices in my area of South Florida, as they're everywhere.

I feel I'd only be looking for new, the warranty would be of great peace of mind for the first 10 years, and around 9k. Feasible?

Thanks.


Hi, fellow South Floridian! smile

OK, for acoustics, sure there are some brands, but for $9k, you're looking at used and/or very small (under 5.5 feet) and you won't be happy with the results. You might be able to get a decent refurbished one, but if you can't handle a piano larger than 5.5 ft then you're back to looking at uprights vs. AG.

Now, for $9k, you can get a very nice acoustic upright. With uprights, you want to go for as tall as you can afford. A rather new brand is Hailun, which comes highly recommended by professional pianists. Because it's not Yamaha or Kawai or Steinway, you are going to get more piano for your money.

It's a tough one, though. I still think acoustic is the way to go, but you want the ability to do silent practice (well, it won't be silent, you'll still hear the keys, but it will be less sound than playing), and you seem to be the kind of person who expects perfection. You won't get it, but perhaps you'll have less problems with a digital. Acoustics are not usually rife with problems, but they do crop up once in a while, most of which is fixed by the tech during the course of tuning (which should be done twice a year at least).

Anyways, you really should try them all out and go with your gut feeling.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11


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#2366961 - 12/29/14 06:43 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
leafhound Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/14
Posts: 68
Loc: Everywhere
grin I would go with the NU1 over the N1 & N2 purely for that CFX sample, however none of them are any good at pp-ffff.

If classical is your thing then stay away. grin


Edited by leafhound (12/29/14 06:44 PM)
_________________________
ďTo a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.Ē ~ Chang Tzu

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#2366968 - 12/29/14 06:53 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
andythefiredog Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 13
Thank you all, I will look for some good options for acoustic uprights with silent additions as well as the N2.

I'll post that in the correct forum but if anyone who's previously responded feels like chiming in, please do.

Hailun, Bechstein, Yamaha U1 SG so far.

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#2366979 - 12/29/14 07:16 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
36251 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 784
The action on N2 trumps any upright. If you get tired of N2 sound, hook up a VST. If you want just to enjoy the acoustic sound, then get an upright.
_________________________
AG N2, CP4, GK MK & MP

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#2367023 - 12/29/14 10:13 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
ElmerJFudd Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 129
Hi again, Andy.
Here is a thread where shopper is looking for a sub-$8000 upright. What's the best one and why.

link to thread

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#2367027 - 12/29/14 10:36 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1622
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Quote:
. . .
Iím an IT Director and Iíve done nothing since I was 8 as much as Iíve tinkered with electronics and computers and now high end servers upwards of $50k-$100k. Even these beasts, well built as they are, rarely make it to 20 years. . .


I've never run a data center. But my experience with electronics generally is that non-moving parts don't wear out, or become unreliable:

. . . the design becomes obsolete.

I'd expect that the lifetime of a server is set by whether it will run "this year's O/S" fast enough to be competitive with a new server. It may run last year's O/S perfectly well -- but that's not enough reason to keep it.

Moore's Law applies to the electronics in a DP; the keyboard action lives (and dies) on a different time scale.

. Charles

PS -- FWIW, an acoustic and an inexpensive DP seems like a sensible combination, to me.

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#2367039 - 12/29/14 11:17 PM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: Charles Cohen]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3948
Loc: North Carolina
Non-moving parts DO wear out! They ALL do.
Originally Posted By: Charles Cohen
... my experience with electronics generally is that non-moving parts don't wear out, or become unreliable ...
Metal parts oxidize.
Electrolytic capacitors dry out (and sometimes explode).
Metals on semiconductor surfaces migrate.
Resistors change value with age and temperature (and caps do too).

Everything wears out eventually. Everything.

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#2367069 - 12/30/14 02:12 AM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
Volusiano Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 787
I was just at a piano store yesterday looking at an N2 for my daughter. I bought an N3 back in 2009 and it still plays great today with no problem whatsoever.

Just for your reference, the first offer the store said they'll sell it to me for is $8,500. I bought my N3 back in 2009 for $10,250.

Even if problems arise in 10-20 years, the occasional service on these AGs would still be minimal cost compared to the twice a year tuning maintenance cost of an acoustic over the same 10-20 years.

To me, it's not just a piece of electronics. The bulk of it is the same action as an acoustic grand. The casing is the same wood and finish as an acoustic piano. The only difference is that an acoustic has strings and a big sound board, and the AG has speakers and sensors and electronics. While speakers and sensors and electronics can go bad, an acoustic sound board can crack, too, if not maintained properly. And strings can break. So you can't say DPs will break and APs will last forever. They both have their own vulnerabilities.

Many people say DP will become obsolete in 5-10 years because there's always something better and cheaper down the horizon. Well, it's been 5 years and I still don't see anything close enough and for a lower price to make the AGs obsolete. Again, the action can't become obsolete. The wood casing and its design can't become obsolete. Providing that everything functions, what will become obsolete, then? The sampled sound? Why? Because there'll be better/bigger/more sounds in future models? But wait a minute, the AP has only 1 sound but the AP's sound won't become obsolete but the DP will? That's a double standard, isn't it?

People also say that DP won't hold value but AP will hold value much better. Well, now 5 years later, I want to get an N2 for my daughter and I don't mind buying a used N2. I searched Craigslist and eBay and googled for a used AG and haven't come across a single used AG for sale by private parties. Meanwhile I see a ton of APs on Craigslist for sale everywhere. I know that there are a lot more APs out there than AGs, but I sincerely believe that most people who make a decision to buy an AG are happy enough with it to want to keep it long-term.

So to me I think it depends on what problem you're trying to solve, and what quality you're trying to enjoy. Let's talk problems to solve first:

Silent practice: unless you're already a very good player who doesn't drive household members crazy when you practice, silent practice is a paramount problem to solve like you already recognized. Here, it boils down to getting a high end DP like the AG (assuming you want the authentic grand action), or an AP with a silent option. So this problem can be solved either way so let's just assume a tie in this area.

No tuning/low maintenance: goes to the AG obviously.

Now let's talk quality next:

Action quality: If only an upright is practical in your space, then the AG with the grand action trumps an acoustic upright with the upright action.

Sound quality: Here we're talking authentic upright acoustic sound vs very very good duplicated grand (not upright) digital sound reproduction. It's really up to you to decide which one is more important to you.

So if you look at all 4 areas (2 problem-solving areas and 2 quality areas), the AG is equal in silent option, better in maintenance and action, and maybe the same or lower in sound, which is subjective to your preference. And we haven't considered cost yet, but let's assume the same cost between the 2 options.

This is how I look at things and why I decided that the AG is better for me. It's better or the same in virtually all areas except only for the sound quality. And to me very very good digital sound of a sampled grand is good enough for me. Authentic acoustic sound may be better, but not necessarily always better depending on what kind of acoustic sound it is. I would rather have an always in-tune sampled sound of a grand piano that is very very good, vs an authentic acoustic sound that may or may not be great and subjected to being in tune or not.

I think in your case, it looks like your heart is already set on the N2, you just want somebody to tell you that it's not just a piece of electronics. Well, I'm telling you that it's not just a piece of electronics!!! The BIGGEST part of it (at least to me) is the GRAND ACTION. And that's nothing electronic. If the vulnerability of the electronic portion gives me the advantage of never having to tune the bloody thing twice a year and worry about humidity control, etc (and I live in AZ), then it's for sure worth the trade off. And the silent practice is BUILT-IN, FOR FREE. Sure, you can buy an AP with a silent option, but it's going to cost you more $.

Needless to say, you can already tell that I'm biased toward the AG, for many reasons, LOL. And then there are others who are biased toward an AP, for primarily 1 reason, the authenticity of the acoustic sound.

So are you a purist? Or a pragmatist?

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#2367094 - 12/30/14 05:19 AM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
andythefiredog Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 13
Volusiano,

That's an excellent distillation of the thought process and evolution in my head.
Yes, I'm a pragmatist, I just haven't...lived with an AvantGrand yet to know it as you do.

It's the one I want, it's just unfortunate the dealer in my area was adamant about $10,000. Yesterday, I spoke to the actual store owner and he very curtly said "9k plus tax. Not a penny less".'

Since I'll need to finance over half this purchase, and the taxes come to around $500, I really do not wish to pay him more than $8,000. I'm going to bide my time and in a few weeks when I'm a few hours north for work in a major city, I'll check out the prices there. I believe the dealer by me may just be a lower volume and can't afford the discount, at least I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.

I understand he has a minimum he'd like to make, but I don't understand losing the entire sale to another dealer. He should take $1,500 instead of $2,500 in profit for making a phone call to order me a piano, but he'd rather hold his bottom line and not make the sale.

I think it's a game of hard ball, and he'll call to accept $8,000 in a few days. He wasn't at all surprised to hear I've found documentation of them regularly selling at that price.

His head is a little inflated since Andrea Bocelli bought an N3 and began visiting the store before hours to play the grands.

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#2367119 - 12/30/14 08:04 AM Re: Input Needed On AvantGrand N2 vs. Acoustic - New Questions [Re: andythefiredog]
Pete14 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/13
Posts: 340
The prices for the AvantGrand did indeed go up. I was quoted $7,500 for an N2 a while ago (taxes/delivery included); now, the N2 is going for about $8,300 + taxes/delivery.

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