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#2391082 - 02/26/15 03:32 AM N1 adding external speakers
Saskatuner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/15
Posts: 24
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Just a thought, is it possible to connect external speakers like the roland cm 220 (200 watt sub and 2 satellites) to the n1? $599) Also if you did that and used a good virtual piano would it not be the best of both worlds? Perhaps it wouldn't be the most economical approach, as you'd simply be using it as a controller, but is there a better way to get the realism of a real grand feel than just getting a real grand action?
I'm still looking for a good digital, but it is difficult as I'm fairly rural, and dealers in close by cities don't stock many choices for comparison. I haven't yet tried the N1, but did try a NU1 that I felt was decent. Felt like a typical 40" upright piano, I guess because that is what it is. I thought the sound was impressive on both concert grand settings, and the harpsichord was realistic. Didn't play it long enough to notice any rogue loud notes with damper pedal engaged.
Looking at pictures of the wooden keys on the kawai pianos isn't impressing me much. The physics of the key length may be good in theory, and folks on this forum mostly seem to like them, but the quality of parts is lacking, ie the spongy black key sponge where the key pushes up the hammer could have been felt, or better yet leather. The balance rail punchings, just paper, no felt? Front rail punching, just a very narrow strip of felt? I can see why ravenscroft is "adjusting" these actions. ($1900). I can't see them performing well over the long term or with heavy use. As a piano technician, I could remedy the problems easily enough, but when I look at a vpc1 for $2000, or or the actions on the higher end kawai's, I'm having a hard time seeing value. When I look at the NU1 I see "more" value, with the real upright action the N1 even more value with a real grand action. Just FYI, if one were to order a complete upright action for a traditional piano it would be in the $3000 range, a grand would be $4500 - $5000 more or less. To put things in perspective, the upright and grand actions in the avant pianos apart from very excessive abuse will still be reliable more or less depending on environment, for years and years and years longer than the kawai digitals as they are today, and having a valuable action like that would warrant the cost of repairing or replacing or updating the electronics when they become obsolete.
_________________________
Piano technician serving Southern Saskatchewan

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#2391092 - 02/26/15 05:23 AM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Saskatuner]
Kawai James Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 10559
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Saskatuner, thank you for your post.

I am writing this on an empty stomach, so my apologies in advance if this response comes across as a little aggressive or confrontational...

Originally Posted By Saskatuner
is it possible to connect external speakers like the roland cm 220 (200 watt sub and 2 satellites) to the n1?


Yes, the N1 features AUX OUT jacks, so connecting additional speakers to the instrument should not be difficult.

Originally Posted By Saskatuner
Also if you did that and used a good virtual piano would it not be the best of both worlds?


Yes. Please refer to the excellent 'Real enough?' threads from Philip Johnston in this forum.

Originally Posted By Saskatuner
Perhaps it wouldn't be the most economical approach, as you'd simply be using it as a controller, but is there a better way to get the realism of a real grand feel than just getting a real grand action?


Currently not. There have been one or two other grand piano action-based controllers from Bosendorfer, Petrof, and possibly other manufacturers, however these were not widely marketed and prohibitively expensive for most consumers.

Originally Posted By Saskatuner
Looking at pictures of the wooden keys on the kawai pianos isn't impressing me much.


It's unfortunate that your remote location restricts you from visiting a Kawai dealer to check the digital piano action samples more closely, and play-test our various instruments first hand. As much as I love the interactive 'Grand Feel' animation on the Kawai MP website, I shall admit that trying the real thing in person is undoubtedly more impressive.

Originally Posted By Saskatuner
the spongy black key sponge where the key pushes up the hammer could have been felt, or better yet leather.


I believe this 'slip tape' material is synthetic leather with an additional coating applied. It is not sponge. I'm confident the action engineers had their reasons for selecting this particular material when designing the action.

Originally Posted By Saskatuner
The balance rail punchings, just paper, no felt?


I can see felt and paper rings on the action sample I have here in front of me. As with an acoustic, the paper rings are added during production to regulate minor differences in key height.

Originally Posted By Saskatuner
Front rail punching, just a very narrow strip of felt?


I just checked the thickness of this front cloth (not felt) against that of the acoustic upright and grand action samples I also have here - it's the same.

Originally Posted By Saskatuner
I can see why ravenscroft is "adjusting" these actions. ($1900).


Presumably Ravensworks Design (a subsidiary of Ravenscroft) believe there is a market for developing bespoke piano controllers targeted towards professional musicians willing to pay for their knowledge and expertise.

Originally Posted By Saskatuner
I can't see them performing well over the long term or with heavy use.


Variants of the wooden key keyboard actions that you are referring to have been incorporated into Kawai DPs for over 25 years. These actions are upgraded with each successive generation, improving touch realism, accuracy, and durability, while also reducing movement/mechanism noise. While I doubt that every wooden-key DP Kawai produced 25+ years ago is still being used today, I'm confident that a number of well looked-after instruments still are. Certainly there are MP9000 owners throughout the world still enjoying the feel of its wooden key action and making music with this vintage MP - an instrument first unveiled back in 1998.

Originally Posted By Saskatuner
when I look at a vpc1 for $2000, or or the actions on the higher end kawai's, I'm having a hard time seeing value.


That's fine, you are of course entitled to your opinion.

However, Kawai wooden key actions are more complicated and therefore more expensive to produce than plastic key actions. While certainly not a bargain, I believe the VPC1 is a competitive product at its current price, and does represent value for money. Please understand that this price incorporates not only the cost of internal (action + electronics) and external (chassis) parts, but also R&D investment, manufacturing, shipping, and marketing costs, international safety testing, and various other fees.

Originally Posted By Saskatuner
When I look at the NU1 I see "more" value, with the real upright action the N1 even more value with a real grand action.


The NU1 and N1 are certainly impressive instruments, and very competitively priced. I agree with you on this point.

Originally Posted By Saskatuner
Just FYI, if one were to order a complete upright action for a traditional piano it would be in the $3000 range, a grand would be $4500 - $5000 more or less.


This may be true for an end-user (or piano technician), however I expect a piano dealer will be able to order such an action at a lower price, with their distributor probably able to order the same action at an even lower price than that. As the manufacturer, Yamaha's digital piano division can probably purchase the modified upright/grand actions utilised by the NU1/N1 from their acoustic piano division at an even lower cost, hence the very competitive pricing of these instruments.

Originally Posted By Saskatuner
the upright and grand actions in the avant pianos apart from very excessive abuse will still be reliable more or less depending on environment, for years and years and years longer than the kawai digitals as they are today


Again, you are entitled to your opinion.
I believe it's rather difficult to speculate on these things without thorough testing.

I hope you will one day have the opportunity to visit a Kawai dealer to play-test our wooden key action digital pianos in person, rather than judging their technology, value, and durability from pictures you find online.

Kind regards,
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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#2391094 - 02/26/15 05:42 AM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Saskatuner]
PhJ. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/28/02
Posts: 215
Loc: Brussels
Originally Posted By Saskatuner
To put things in perspective, the upright and grand actions in the avant pianos apart from very excessive abuse will still be reliable more or less depending on environment, for years and years and years longer than the kawai digitals as they are today, and having a valuable action like that would warrant the cost of repairing or replacing or updating the electronics when they become obsolete.

Keeping the perspective, you could say that for the price of the N1 you could buy an MP11, its successor in 5 years and yet again another successor in 5 years (keeping some change reselling the used boards).

Seeing how fast the electronic part evolves, that would be my preferred option had I that kind of money for a DP.


Edited by PhJ. (02/26/15 05:44 AM)

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#2391122 - 02/26/15 08:35 AM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Saskatuner]
Pete14 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/13
Posts: 398
Buying an N1 for the long run seems a better option than buying an MP11 every 5 years.
The "MP 13" still will not have a grand piano action. The N1 can be upgraded without having to break the bank (software/additional speakers).

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#2391196 - 02/26/15 11:20 AM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Pete14]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1930
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By Pete14
Buying an N1 for the long run seems a better option than buying an MP11 every 5 years.
The "MP 13" still will not have a grand piano action. The N1 can be upgraded without having to break the bank (software/additional speakers).


But the "MP 13" might have a "haptic-feedback" action, which would be a whole new ballgame.

You don't know where technology will take us. It could be "more of the same", or it could be something quite different than we're used to.

. Charles
_________________________
. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / ZXA1 speaker

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#2391222 - 02/26/15 12:27 PM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Charles Cohen]
MRC Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 11/05/14
Posts: 248
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By Charles Cohen
But the "MP 13" might have a "haptic-feedback" action, which would be a whole new ballgame.

You don't know where technology will take us. It could be "more of the same", or it could be something quite different than we're used to.

. Charles


It depends on what you want from a digital piano. If you want it to copy the feel of an acoustic grand as nearly as possibles, then the choice is clear: an AvantGrand with whatever speakers, headphones, extra samples or modelled pianos that tickle your fancy. The action should last a lifetime and the optical sensor system should be less subject to wear than a system with mechanical sensors.

If you are more interested in all the things that a digital piano can do that an acoustic one can't, you'd do better to buy a less expensive model so that you can exchange it for something new in a few years.

I'm in the first category. I would have bought the N1 instead of my NU1 if I had had the money.

I wish Yamaha would bring out an AvantGrand version where it is possible to upgrade the software with extra memory cards and/or downloads. I imagine: I might buy an N1 and love playing it but I'd get frustrated with the original sampled sound and I would therefore put up with the hassle of connecting it to a computer in order to be able to use other samples. If Yamaha then brought out a completely new AvantGrand I would be loathe to sell at a considerable loss an instrument where the action is still perfectly OK, in order to pay lots of money for the improved version: I'd just keep connecting the computer to add new sounds. But if Yamaha would sell memory cards with new improved samples of a CFX, Bösendorfer, whatever, I'd buy them. Yamaha is missing a sales opportunity here: they could continue to make money out of an instrument that somebody may keep for decades.
_________________________
Richard Lipp grand (1913), Yamaha P2 upright (1983), Casio PX-150 digital (2013), Yamaha NU1 hybrid (2014)

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#2391224 - 02/26/15 12:38 PM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Saskatuner]
Ishkabibble Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 121
Loc: Edmonton
Originally Posted By Saskatuner

...........
When I look at the NU1 I see "more" value, with the real upright action the N1 even more value with a real grand action. Just FYI, if one were to order a complete upright action for a traditional piano it would be in the $3000 range, a grand would be $4500 - $5000 more or less. To put things in perspective, the upright and grand actions in the avant pianos apart from very excessive abuse will still be reliable more or less depending on environment, for years and years and years longer than the kawai digitals as they are today, and having a valuable action like that would warrant the cost of repairing or replacing or updating the electronics when they become obsolete.

Saskatuner (are you a Saskatchewanian, by any chance?), your comments immediately reminded me of something I posted a few years ago, so I'll copy and paraphrase it below for your possible comments.

What I would really prefer is a midi keyboard that consists of a true concert grand action (felt hammers and all), mounted in/on a keybed from a real concert grand. The string heights and stike points would be identical to that of the concert grand, but each note's string (or strings) would be replaced by an advanced piezoelectric sensor that is mounted simply to a rail.

The concept would be simple. The harder the hammer strikes the sensor, the louder the note. The technology from so-called "digital drums" may very well be appropriate for this application:
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10772

There could even be real grand-piano dampers in this concept instrument. There would another row of sensors under each damper. As the damper contacts the sensor, the output from the sensor varies as the felt just barely touches the sensor, or rapidly puts its full weight on the sensor.

The output signals from the sensors would then be "handled" as in any digital piano. The sostenuto and soft pedals would be entirely electronic as they are currently done in digital pianos

Over the years, sensor and other electronics will rapidly evolve, so the physical design of the case should allow easy replacement of these components.

Amplification of sampled sounds should be done externally of the keyboard, IMO, for the same reasons. This, IMHO, is where the grand-style AG falls short. The owner is more or less obliged to buy the, for lack of a better expression, "sound system" - amplifiers and speakers - when he/she buys the piano. I'd rather pay much less for an instrument that has only high-quality line-level, or even digital-only, outputs and I would continue to provide my own sound system
.................
............
What I imagine is a "Back to the Fuure" version of the old CP-70 (shown below) and CP-80 pianos of the late 1970s and early to mid 1980s, only the plate/strings "half" of the piano would be very very much smaller and very very much lighter, and the action would be, again, that from a 9' concert grand. That much-lighter, much-smaller part of the case would contain the electronics and be easily upgraded/replaced as a "package", as technology advances. (I owned the CP80B. 88 keys. Great action. Terrible sound, IMO, compared to today's digital pianos. Imagine the sound quality from the smallest grand or the shortest vertical and then reduce your expectations even further.)

BTW, notice that there is no soundboard on these old stage pianos. If one plays the instrument without amplification and with the lid still screwed down, the strings still make a sound, but it is at a "level" that probably would not greatly disturb someone sitting in the same room, let alone in an adjacent room with the door closed. I doubt very much if any neighbors in an apartment building could hear it, let alone complain about it.

But even though the action was fantastic, even with the lid off, the quality of tone and, more importantly, the sound-level of tone, was IMO poor, so even the greatest performance of one's life would not be worth the tremendous effort.

BTW, IMO, it is only by playing this particular piano that one can truly appreciate both what the motivation for the evolution of the design of the acoustic piano was..., and what a stunning human achievement is the 9' concert grand (or, for that matter, that even more stunning Rubenstein 12'+ "super grand" piano, here played by a real virtuoso who is more than capable of "handling" both herself and it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqB3s89R0GU This is a performance that, in perfect hindsight, I would have been willing to pay probably $500 to hear in person, sitting 5 feet from the piano.)

The CP80B was not an inexpensive instrument. I paid over $2500 for it from a huge NYC retailer/distributer (when other retailers were getting between $4000 to $5000. Remember, this was in 1984 dollars, too. Current ink to CP80 owner's manual with specifications:
http://www2.yamaha.co.jp/manual/pdf/emi/english/synth/CP80E.PDF )

Again, IMO, what I've described above is the ideal purely "digital" solution -- not a "hybrid".

From a manufacturer's perspective, however, selling constantly improving electronics modules for the above concept would not be anywhere near as profitable as selling entire new digital pianos where customers have to buy absolutely everything over and over again. Yummy, yummy for the manufacturers.







CP70 assembly video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuN94LfonTI

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#2391251 - 02/26/15 02:04 PM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Ishkabibble]
Saskatuner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/15
Posts: 24
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
First off, yes, I am in Saskatchewan, Moose Jaw, to be precise. Thanks for clarifying Kawai James, The synthetic black material on the key looked like a spongy material that I would change if I purchased a Kawai, still probably would. The front rail strip as well, I would replace with individual punchings so that key dip could be regulated properly. Although this would be very simple for me, I don't know how many users would go for it, or how many piano technicians in the field would be willing to crack the case open on a digital. I have played 1 Kawai digital, the CS7. It's $3500 in Regina. I didn't find the action to be compelling, but I didn't find it to be bad neither. As for sound on the onboard speakers on the CS7, again, It's ok, by not compelling, and is why I would be adding my own sound system and virtual piano to it. With Headphones, it sounded great! I don't know what the VPC feels like, but the ravenscroft video's on youtube was what got me interested and looking at the kawai's in the first place. Certainly, if I don't buy an N1 grand or the Nu1 upright, the Kawai would be my second choice, and it very well may wind up being that too after Stephen is through with me at tax time. Sorry if my first post seemed very anti-Kawai, I'm really not. In my earlier post I indicated that the yamaha would be around for years and years. That is true for the action, however the electronics may be another story. When you look at the cp70-80, among the best of their time, Yamaha could easily retrofit digital upgrades for these instruments, but of course never will. As for replacing the piano every few years, well, I guess if you're a professional musician, or just have lots of money, this would be kind of fun. I don't know what the cost of the MP11 is in other places, but here, you could buy 2 for the price of 1 N1. NU1 is about $4700 here in Regina. Are there any N1 users out there that can comment on the sound of the N1 on its own with no separate speakers attached?
_________________________
Piano technician serving Southern Saskatchewan

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#2391387 - 02/26/15 07:33 PM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Saskatuner]
Kawai James Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 10559
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Thank you for your follow-up post, Saskatuner.

I've just checked 'Moose Jaw' and 'Regina' on Google Maps. wink

Kind regards,
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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#2391390 - 02/26/15 07:39 PM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Kawai James]
Vid Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 1048
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Originally Posted By Kawai James
Currently not. There have been one or two other grand piano action-based controllers from Bosendorfer, Petrof, and possibly other manufacturers, however these were not widely marketed and prohibitively expensive for most consumers.


Do such things actually exist???

I'm pretty happy with my VPC-1 but a Bosie action-based controller sounds awesome!
_________________________
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#2391393 - 02/26/15 07:50 PM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Vid]
MRC Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 11/05/14
Posts: 248
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By Vid
Originally Posted By Kawai James
Currently not. There have been one or two other grand piano action-based controllers from Bosendorfer, Petrof, and possibly other manufacturers, however these were not widely marketed and prohibitively expensive for most consumers.


Do such things actually exist???

I'm pretty happy with my VPC-1 but a Bosie action-based controller sounds awesome!


Here's something to drool over. From the description:

Quote:
The uncompromising striving for perfection is complemented by an original Renner action and genuine felt hammer heads.


I don't think it has ever got of the ground, being too expensive.
_________________________
Richard Lipp grand (1913), Yamaha P2 upright (1983), Casio PX-150 digital (2013), Yamaha NU1 hybrid (2014)

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#2391396 - 02/26/15 07:56 PM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: MRC]
Vid Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 1048
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Originally Posted By MRC
Originally Posted By Vid
Originally Posted By Kawai James
Currently not. There have been one or two other grand piano action-based controllers from Bosendorfer, Petrof, and possibly other manufacturers, however these were not widely marketed and prohibitively expensive for most consumers.


Do such things actually exist???

I'm pretty happy with my VPC-1 but a Bosie action-based controller sounds awesome!


Here's something to drool over. From the description:

Quote:
The uncompromising striving for perfection is complemented by an original Renner action and genuine felt hammer heads.


I don't think it has ever got of the ground, being too expensive.


Ah yeah, remember seeing that a few years ago. The website hasn't been updated in a couple of years. frown

A Renner action on a controller would be awesome.
_________________________
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#2391397 - 02/26/15 07:58 PM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Saskatuner]
ElmerJFudd Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 483
There is of course the Yamaha Disklavier and they put that technology into Bosendorfers like the 200DE3 now. On the cheaper end there are the silent pianos and the U1TA.

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#2391427 - 02/26/15 09:25 PM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Vid Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 1048
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Originally Posted By ElmerJFudd
There is of course the Yamaha Disklavier and they put that technology into Bosendorfers like the 200DE3 now. On the cheaper end there are the silent pianos and the U1TA.


Those are very nice hybrid instruments but I've been converted to the pure controller side of things. There is a lot of wood and strings in those instruments that would not be utilized (in my case). The built in velocity curves of the VPC1 was a revelation. My ideal is a virtual piano controller with an action as close as possible to a real piano grand action. The VPC1 fits the bill quite admirably but I would like the keys to be as long as they are in a 7' or bigger grand piano. There probably isn't a lot of demand for something like this but I will continue to dream.

I was tempted by the MP11 but I would probably dispense with its native sound engine and connect it to piano software. But even doing that I'm not sure the velocity curves would work as seamless as they do on the VPC1.

Build it and they will come.
_________________________
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#2391429 - 02/26/15 09:30 PM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Saskatuner]
ElmerJFudd Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 483
Trust me, you're not the only one who wants to see them update the VP-1 with the GF action.

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#2391458 - 02/26/15 11:21 PM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Saskatuner]
Saskatuner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/15
Posts: 24
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
I was in much the same frame of mind as VID, a simple controller that most accurately resembles a grand. My first thought was the VPC 1, then I started reading about the longer keys on other Kawai models, which I played a couple of at a store. Well, if they're suppose to be "more" like a grand than the VPC 1, my concern is that I would not be satisfied with the feel of the VCP. As has been mentioned, one should really analyze what they are trying to accomplish before getting sucked into the cycle of upgrading every year to the latest and greatest new thing by whatever manufacturer. I don't want to say in a year years time, "my piano sounds great BUT I wish it was ...." fill in your own blank. To this point, and in my opinion, the only dp that has felt AND sounded like a real acoustic, and good acoustic experience, however a vertical, has been the Yamaha NU1. I can only imagine that the N1 would be even better with the grand action. When you buy a grand piano, you could kind of justify it by the fact that you would likely have it for the rest of your life. This isn't going to be the case with the N1 ( depending on how long you live of course). Tons of capacitors to dry out. VPC 1, not so much so but feel is not much like a grand "really", or at least I doubt it would be simply because it has let off or weighted graduated keys. I still have never played or seen one, nor have I played or seen the N1. If there is interest here I could make a list of everything that translates into and therefore has an impact on "feel" on a grand.
_________________________
Piano technician serving Southern Saskatchewan

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#2391690 - 02/27/15 02:17 PM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Saskatuner]
Vid Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 1048
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Originally Posted By Saskatuner
I was in much the same frame of mind as VID, a simple controller that most accurately resembles a grand. My first thought was the VPC 1, then I started reading about the longer keys on other Kawai models, which I played a couple of at a store. Well, if they're suppose to be "more" like a grand than the VPC 1, my concern is that I would not be satisfied with the feel of the VCP. As has been mentioned, one should really analyze what they are trying to accomplish before getting sucked into the cycle of upgrading every year to the latest and greatest new thing by whatever manufacturer. I don't want to say in a year years time, "my piano sounds great BUT I wish it was ...." fill in your own blank. To this point, and in my opinion, the only dp that has felt AND sounded like a real acoustic, and good acoustic experience, however a vertical, has been the Yamaha NU1. I can only imagine that the N1 would be even better with the grand action. When you buy a grand piano, you could kind of justify it by the fact that you would likely have it for the rest of your life. This isn't going to be the case with the N1 ( depending on how long you live of course). Tons of capacitors to dry out. VPC 1, not so much so but feel is not much like a grand "really", or at least I doubt it would be simply because it has let off or weighted graduated keys. I still have never played or seen one, nor have I played or seen the N1. If there is interest here I could make a list of everything that translates into and therefore has an impact on "feel" on a grand.


Don't misconstrue my daydreaming with any dissatisfaction with the VPC1 as is.

Yes it doesn't have exactly a grand piano action but it is pretty darn good. Of course people have their own opinions and it may not be a good fit for you. I have no regrets and feel its going to serve me well for a few years yet.

I'm a very satisfied customer.
_________________________
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#2391723 - 02/27/15 03:20 PM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Vid]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 981
Originally Posted By Vid
Yes it doesn't have exactly a grand piano action but it is pretty darn good. Of course people have their own opinions and it may not be a good fit for you. I have no regrets and feel its going to serve me well for a few years yet.

I'm a very satisfied customer.

Exactly my thoughts about the VPC1. I'm going back and forth between acoustic pianos and the VPC1 nearly every day and I find the action very satisfying when coupled with and adapted to the right sound source.

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#2391993 - 02/28/15 11:07 AM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Saskatuner]
Saskatuner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/15
Posts: 24
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Yes indeed, as Kawai James pointed out, I should maybe not be too judgey about the VPC1 having never had the opportunity to play one. Long & McQuade will order one for me, at a decent price too, but it wouldn't give me a chance to try it out first, or especially not with software. I have to decide if I think the N1 is worth the extra $4500.

"Exactly my thoughts about the VPC1. I'm going back and forth between acoustic pianos and the VPC1 nearly every day and I find the action very satisfying when coupled with and adapted to the right sound source."

Very interesting point Maurus, how much does the sound perception affect our perception of touch? I can't tell you how often after simply tuning a piano, the client thinks that I've done something to the "Feel", kind of like the freshly washed car syndrome.
_________________________
Piano technician serving Southern Saskatchewan

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#2392011 - 02/28/15 11:55 AM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Saskatuner]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 981
Yes, and the best action in the digital world can "feel" dull when coupled to the wrong source, or with a wrong touch curve, or with discernible latency.

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#2392017 - 02/28/15 12:42 PM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Saskatuner]
Enthusiast Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/13
Posts: 263
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By Saskatuner
I was in much the same frame of mind as VID, a simple controller that most accurately resembles a grand. My first thought was the VPC 1, then I started reading about the longer keys on other Kawai models, which I played a couple of at a store. Well, if they're suppose to be "more" like a grand than the VPC 1, my concern is that I would not be satisfied with the feel of the VCP. As has been mentioned, one should really analyze what they are trying to accomplish before getting sucked into the cycle of upgrading every year to the latest and greatest new thing by whatever manufacturer. I don't want to say in a year years time, "my piano sounds great BUT I wish it was ...." fill in your own blank. To this point, and in my opinion, the only dp that has felt AND sounded like a real acoustic, and good acoustic experience, however a vertical, has been the Yamaha NU1. I can only imagine that the N1 would be even better with the grand action. When you buy a grand piano, you could kind of justify it by the fact that you would likely have it for the rest of your life. This isn't going to be the case with the N1 ( depending on how long you live of course). Tons of capacitors to dry out. VPC 1, not so much so but feel is not much like a grand "really", or at least I doubt it would be simply because it has let off or weighted graduated keys. I still have never played or seen one, nor have I played or seen the N1. If there is interest here I could make a list of everything that translates into and therefore has an impact on "feel" on a grand.


I'm a learner and I tried a lot of acoustics and DPs when looking for a DP both the first and the second one which I'm now on. I never found the GF to feel like any of the acoustics. The lightness, the empty feeling resistance and the unnatural bottoming out all put me off. I can understand those wanting longer more even keys and an action that's easier and more effortless to play on liking it though. I much preferred the action in the VPC1 which I tried in the CA15 and similar in the MP10. That feels apart from the longer keys more like my impression of an acoustic. The Avantgrand actions are really heavy and though I haven't tried them back to back with GF I think there very different to play on. There is now also GF2 which I've never tried.


Edited by Enthusiast (02/28/15 12:44 PM)

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#2392095 - 02/28/15 03:41 PM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Enthusiast]
Saskatuner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/15
Posts: 24
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
[/quote] I never found the GF to feel like any of the acoustics. The lightness, the empty feeling resistance and the unnatural bottoming out all put me off. I can understand those wanting longer more even keys and an action that's easier and more effortless to play on liking it though. I much preferred the action in the VPC1 which I tried in the CA15 and similar in the MP10. That feels apart from the longer keys more like my impression of an acoustic. The Avantgrand actions are really heavy and though I haven't tried them back to back with GF I think there very different to play on. There is now also GF2 which I've never tried.[/quote]

This is what I've been driving at. Also if anyone has been trying out the N1, would you say that the action feels more like a G2 Yamaha grand or the C3 yamaha grand? I always found the G2's a little heavier and stiffer than the C3's or C7's
_________________________
Piano technician serving Southern Saskatchewan

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#2392119 - 02/28/15 05:39 PM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Saskatuner]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 981
Originally Posted By Saskatuner
Also if anyone has been trying out the N1, would you say that the action feels more like a G2 Yamaha grand or the C3 yamaha grand? I always found the G2's a little heavier and stiffer than the C3's or C7's

The N1 action is definitely one of the heavier Yamaha actions. I vaguely remember a thread where someone showed that the action in the Avant Grands was taken from one of the lower range Yamahas (possibly GC1, but I don't recall exactly).

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#2392131 - 02/28/15 06:31 PM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: maurus]
bennevis Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 6245
I've played most current and discontinued Yamaha grands over the years, from C1X - C7X, to CF4 and CF6, to CF-IIIS and CFX, but none have an action as heavy/sluggish as that of the AvantGrands (N1, N2, N3).
_________________________
"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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#2392235 - 03/01/15 01:06 AM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: bennevis]
Saskatuner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/15
Posts: 24
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By bennevis
I've played most current and discontinued Yamaha grands over the years, from C1X - C7X, to CF4 and CF6, to CF-IIIS and CFX, but none have an action as heavy/sluggish as that of the AvantGrands (N1, N2, N3).


I would think that the action could be regulated to some degree to make it a bit lighter.
When using external audio, does the internal automatically turn off, or is there an option of using both?
_________________________
Piano technician serving Southern Saskatchewan

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#2392256 - 03/01/15 02:54 AM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: bennevis]
Carlos-CR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/12
Posts: 85
Loc: Madrid, Spain
Originally Posted By bennevis
I've played most current and discontinued Yamaha grands over the years, from C1X - C7X, to CF4 and CF6, to CF-IIIS and CFX, but none have an action as heavy/sluggish as that of the AvantGrands (N1, N2, N3).


That's discouraging frown

IMO the better the action the faster you learn... Maybe for pianists that already have good technique is better to have a heavy action so they can more easily adapt to a wider range of instruments. But for learners I doubt that is the case. So do you think the N1 has the kind of action that could get in the way of a learner with only 2-3 years of experience?

If you could retrofit the N1 action in to your v-piano for free will you do it or would you keep the phaIII?

Thanks

Carlos

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#2392288 - 03/01/15 05:21 AM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Carlos-CR]
bennevis Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 6245
Originally Posted By Carlos-CR
Originally Posted By bennevis
I've played most current and discontinued Yamaha grands over the years, from C1X - C7X, to CF4 and CF6, to CF-IIIS and CFX, but none have an action as heavy/sluggish as that of the AvantGrands (N1, N2, N3).


That's discouraging frown

IMO the better the action the faster you learn... Maybe for pianists that already have good technique is better to have a heavy action so they can more easily adapt to a wider range of instruments. But for learners I doubt that is the case. So do you think the N1 has the kind of action that could get in the way of a learner with only 2-3 years of experience?

If you could retrofit the N1 action in to your v-piano for free will you do it or would you keep the phaIII?

Thanks

Carlos

I'd keep the PHA-III.

The AG action is hard work (though not insurmountable) and I can see why there are concert pianists who like to do repetitive technical stuff on it late at nights, with the volume turned down. But it's too heavy for me for daily practice, considering that all the acoustic grands I play frequently have much lighter actions, including the old Bechstein on which I play my monthly recitals, for which I practice on my V for (and whose action is very similar in feel and weight).

But if you asked me whether I'd take the CFX (concert grand) action over the PHA-III, yes, I would - the two CFXs I've played on were very responsive, and allow me to play stuff like repeated notes very rapidly which I couldn't on the AGs. And of course, being a real acoustic grand action, the keys which have dampers on the strings get lighter when you depress the sustain pedal, and the keyboard moves sideways when you depress the una corda. Yes, those are artefacts of a mechanical action, but if you're a classical pianist and been brought up playing acoustics all your life, you do miss them if they aren't there......

As for whether the AG action is suitable for a near-beginner, well, I think it's better than some low-end DP actions if you want to play acoustics as well (or eventually) - but more important is that the learner should always play the DP with the volume set at the right level. The combination of a heavy action and the volume control set low (which is what the vast majority of learners playing DPs do) can be a recipe for injuries.....
_________________________
"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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#2392397 - 03/01/15 12:05 PM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: bennevis]
Saskatuner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/15
Posts: 24
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
There are a lot of things that make the action on that well played in bechstein or C7 feel more responsive, or lighter. These actions are usually well played in, and have had time to reach a desire able moisture content, especially the weight of the hammer heads. Friction poimts, centre pins, balance pin holes, front rail holes, etc, all are usually well worked in on the older pianos. I still contend that the actions on the avant grands will also work in quite a bit when they get "experienced". With the skills of a very experienced piano technician, the action can be made to be buttery smooth as well, but note, not all technicians have the same skill level. Glenn Gould never once asked me to adjust his piano, why? Because he had only a few technicians that he trusted enough. I had the opportunity to know and work with 2 of them, and they both could tune and regulate circles around me!!
_________________________
Piano technician serving Southern Saskatchewan

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#2392408 - 03/01/15 12:14 PM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Saskatuner]
Ishkabibble Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 121
Loc: Edmonton
The dps that have nice grand-like actions also have electronic sensors and, for lack of a better expression, computer boards of various types, specialized amplifiers, speakers, etc. etc.

I think it's not too far from reality to say that the N series by Yamaha represents, costwise anyway, if not the pinnacle of dp technology, close to it.

I hope that what follows is not too off topic.

I think an issue that must be raised at some point, preferably before buying an expensive dp, is the number of years that manufacturers such as Yamaha, etc. support their instruments with replacement electronic parts as well as the technical expertise to install them so that the dp can be maintained operating as well as, or very close to, "like new". (For GM automobiles, many, but not all, crucial electronic parts are discontinued after 10 years.)

Just go to any newspaper classified ad section, or internet equivalent, and it is obvious that there are many acoustic pianos that are 100 years old and still operate just fine. Maybe not like when they were new, but, if they have been well maintained, close to it.

To be brief, how many years is Yamaha legally obligated to "support" an NU1, N1, N2 or N3 (or, for that matter, the electronics of an example of the "silent" series acoustic grand or upright) that is purchased today?

Edit: Here's a link to the Yamaha Canada warranty:
http://ca.yamaha.com/en/products/musical...es#tab=PD518946

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#2392461 - 03/01/15 01:35 PM Re: N1 adding external speakers [Re: Ishkabibble]
Saskatuner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/15
Posts: 24
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Great point, this is where the decision needs to be considered based on the use of the instrument. I would buy a real grand way before a dp, but I wouldn't be able to put it where I need it to play it, on second floor in bedroom. Now take the cost of the dp, divide by 3650 days, and the cost of owning a real grand action in an always in tune piano is about $1.91 per day, or $57.53 per month with the $7000 yamaha N1,if you keep the piano 10 years. Now take real piano, add cost of regular tuning (I would say 6 times per year, to keep it equal to the tuning on the digital, and considering atmospheric stability,of course how good your hearing is.). Still better with real piano if you have it for 50 years or better. Of course the yamaha dp will likely last longer than 10 years, or at least will still be worth selling for a decent amount after 10 years, neither of which I've considered in my calculation. Either way, there is no free lunch.
_________________________
Piano technician serving Southern Saskatchewan

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