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#2508307 - 02/07/16 07:24 PM Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter.
Celdor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 293
Hi,

My piano has USB-B female socket that works as a USB MIDI port. I would like to connect the piano to an audio interface Focusrite that has only an old 5 pin DIN socket for MIDI In/Out. I have connected the piano to a computer directly via USB cable and it works but I need to connect the piano to the audio interface.

Could someone please recommend any good adapter USB-B to MIDI In/Out.

Thanks.
_________________________
\\o o//
Yamaha P105, Roland LX-7, AKG K141 MKII, Focuserite Saffire Pro 24
SoundClound

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#2508325 - 02/07/16 08:35 PM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: Celdor]
newbert Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 809
Loc: Upstate New York, USA
This may be overkill for your needs, but it works fine for me. It comes with a Lightning adapter for the iPad, and I use it to connect my VPC1 MIDI-OUT ports to an iPad Pro.

Here's a page of less expensive options, if you don't need/want the Lightning adapter.
_________________________
Bert



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#2508353 - 02/07/16 10:49 PM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: Celdor]
MacMacMac Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 4583
Loc: North Carolina
Why do you want to connect the piano's USB port to the Focusrite? The piano sends only MIDI data on that port. No audio.

In general, you'd connect the piano's **MIDI** output to the Focusrite MIDI port ... which will send the data to the computer to which it is attached.

But if your piano has no MIDI port, then connect its USB directly to the computer's USB port. The Focusrite need not be connected to the piano at all.

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#2508365 - 02/08/16 12:51 AM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: MacMacMac]
Charles Cohen Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 2706
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By MacMacMac
Why do you want to connect the piano's USB port to the Focusrite? The piano sends only MIDI data on that port. No audio.

In general, you'd connect the piano's **MIDI** output to the Focusrite MIDI port ... which will send the data to the computer to which it is attached.

But if your piano has no MIDI port, then connect its USB directly to the computer's USB port. The Focusrite need not be connected to the piano at all.
_________________________
. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker

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#2508371 - 02/08/16 01:27 AM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: newbert]
Frédéric L Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/13
Posts: 553
Loc: France
Originally Posted By newbert
This may be overkill for your needs, but it works fine for me. It comes with a Lightning adapter for the iPad, and I use it to connect my VPC1 MIDI-OUT ports to an iPad Pro.

I have look at the photo : the USB plug is for the computer (USB-A), not the DP (USB-B).

I do only know 2 adaptors which have a plug for DP (female USB-A on which you can put a standard USB cable) : the Kenton model and a more expensive iConnect (MIDI4+) model. The Kenton needs a USB Class Compliant model and will not work if the piano needs a specific driver. It is probably the same with the iConnect model.

It could work, but a direct connection to the computer will be simpler. Use a USB hub if you have not enough USB sockets.


Edited by Frédéric L (02/08/16 02:07 AM)
_________________________
Yamaha CLP150, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq

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#2508380 - 02/08/16 04:15 AM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: Celdor]
Celdor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 293
Thanks for the answers. I am totally confused and clueless now :\ I have read that old MIDI connectors available in audio interfaces are only to support old devices. I feel like I really need much better understanding of all this :\ perhaps there's a better configuration that I have imagined.

I wouldn't have any problem to connect DP directly to computer if I used headphones; I could simply listen everything everything from computer. What I would prefer though is my DP to play sounds from Pianoteq. I don't have external speakers and I think the DP have decent internal speakers. Also, the DP comes with an audio input so that external audio devices can be connected, such as iPad etc.

If I use this audio input, what's better for me to connect a computer directly to DP or should I use an audio interface between computer and DP?

I'm sorry, I am not good at this at all. I need to find a good source to read from.
_________________________
\\o o//
Yamaha P105, Roland LX-7, AKG K141 MKII, Focuserite Saffire Pro 24
SoundClound

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#2508385 - 02/08/16 05:05 AM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: Celdor]
Frédéric L Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/13
Posts: 553
Loc: France
The audio interface could be better.

You may have some noise with both USB and audio link. If you have some, you could search ground loop isolator (for the USB or the audio link, but you need not both of them).


Edited by Frédéric L (02/08/16 05:06 AM)
_________________________
Yamaha CLP150, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq

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#2508509 - 02/08/16 04:27 PM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: Celdor]
Charles Cohen Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 2706
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Celdor:

. . . What brand / model of DP do you have?

. . . Does it have a "Line In" or "Audio In" jack ?

If it _doesn't_ have "Line In" or "Audio In" jack, you _will not_ be able to play Pianoteq through its loudspeakers.

In that case:

. . . As MacMacMac says, connect the DP's USB port to the computer,
. . . . . and do whatever is needed to get the computer to recognize that
. . . . . MIDI signals are coming in from the DP, on that USB cable.

. . . Arrange Pianoteq to play its audio through the FocusRite interface,
. . . . . and take its MIDI input from the DP (these are set inside Pianoteq);

. . . Use headphones on the Focusrite, or use its "Line Out" jacks to
. . . drive external "powered" or "active" loudspeakers.

. . . Turn off "Local Control" on the DP -- it should be a menu option.

If the DP _does_ have a "Line In" or "Audio In" :

. . . Follow the same steps, but connect the FocurRite audio outputs to the "Line In" jack on the DP.


The signal flow is:

. . . Press a key;

. . . . MIDI data goes over the USB cable to the PC;

. . . . . Pianoteq "reads" the MIDI data, and produces digital audio;

. . . . . . digital audio goes out over the USB cable to the FocusRite interface;

. . . . . . . . Focusrite interface produces analog audio;

. . . . . . . . . . Analog audio drives the loudspeakers (or headphones).

I never wrote that down, before. I can see why you're a bit confused!<g>
_________________________
. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker

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#2508524 - 02/08/16 05:15 PM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: Celdor]
jokke Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/26/15
Posts: 13
Originally Posted By Celdor
Thanks for the answers. I am totally confused and clueless now :\ I have read that old MIDI connectors available in audio interfaces are only to support old devices. I feel like I really need much better understanding of all this :\ perhaps there's a better configuration that I have imagined.

I wouldn't have any problem to connect DP directly to computer if I used headphones; I could simply listen everything everything from computer. What I would prefer though is my DP to play sounds from Pianoteq. I don't have external speakers and I think the DP have decent internal speakers. Also, the DP comes with an audio input so that external audio devices can be connected, such as iPad etc.

If I use this audio input, what's better for me to connect a computer directly to DP or should I use an audio interface between computer and DP?


I think I can clarify this for you, having made a DIY MIDI adapter recently and knowing about all (little) there is to know about MIDI interface: http://codeandlife.com/2016/01/17/midi-to-usb-adapter-with-teensy-lc eek

MIDI is meant for note and control data to pass between two devices. In case of digital piano and computer, notes played on the keyboard are transmitted over MIDI to computer. Some software (like Pianoteq) can generate audio from that data, which you then can output from a sound card, connected to speakers or headphones. No audio is transmitted over MIDI. So:

Piano -> midi data -> computer -> audio data -> soundcard -> speakers

Because computer is generating audio, connecting piano directly to (external) sound card is not any better than connecting it to a computer directly -- the software on PC will receive and process note data regardless of the method, and converting USB MIDI to standard MIDI and then receiving data from there is not any better.

Someone mentioned ground loops, but I think properly designed USB MIDI circuitry in the DP _should_ be relatively isolated from piano electrical ground, so I would not worry about ground loops before they present themselves. Furthermore, if you will use speakers in your DP to audio output, the ground loop might happen between audio connection and your computer (/sound card connected to computer) regardless of MIDI.

So that's that. For "nice to know" extra information: the USB MIDI in your DP is most likely "device" type, meant to be connected to a "host" like PC (alternate terms to device/host are slave/master). A standard USB-MIDI adapter is also a "device" type, so even with electrical adapter to convert USB A to USB B it would be like hooking two televisions via antenna cable -- quite useless. Neither device (DP, USB-MIDI adapter( will act as a host and it wouldn't work. Of course adapters that can act as USB host for the DP and present MIDI out probably do exist, but you would achieve the same thing just by connecting the USB from piano to computer the usual way, and save money and trouble.

So in short, there should be no advantage of connecting the DP to sound card instead of computer. From computer software (such as Pianoteq) viewpoint, both ways will look identical. And I doubt there are any electrical advantages either.

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#2508568 - 02/08/16 08:08 PM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: jokke]
Charles Cohen Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 2706
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By jokke
. . .
So in short, there should be no advantage of connecting the DP to sound card instead of computer. From computer software (such as Pianoteq) viewpoint, both ways will look identical. And I doubt there are any electrical advantages either.


If you wander through the Pianoteq forum, you'll find lots of people who say that there is a _substantial_ difference in sound, between a typical PC sound card, and a higher-quality "audio interface" like the FocusRite.

The Focusrite software drivers will also --probably -- have less latency than driver for the PC soundcard.

I am agnostic on the "improved sound quality" argument. But there's good evidence for the "decreased latency" argument.

. . . If I had a FocusRite interface, I'd use it.
_________________________
. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker

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#2508573 - 02/08/16 09:05 PM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: Celdor]
Celdor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 293
Hello,

First of all, thank you so much for all your great effort to explain this for me. I really appreciate it smile

A couple of things. I have Focusrite Saffire 24 DSP which is connected to a MacBook Pro via FireWire. My first DP Yamaha P-105 was causing loud noise when I connected both USB MIDI and the audio interface via FireWire.The Roland is much better. There's not any noise smile Additionally, Roland has an audio input and it is a mini jack connector which I can use to play I think analog audio from external sources, like iPad. I haven't tried it but I am sure I can still use piano simultaneously. It's not Line In, it's Audio In.

Now, thanks to you I am convinced to connect a DP directly to a computer. It couldn't get to me what would be the purpose of an audio interface but now I can see it's just an external sound card of much higher quality than internal sound cards. I've got it thanks to Charles smile

As to Pianoteq, I have tried it today but I think I've done something wrong. I used Focusrite but I could only hear sound in right headphone. I connected DP to computer via USB, and Pianoteq has rocognised DP. I setup Pianoteq to use Focusrite as an audio device and it almost worked. Tomorrow i will do some tests. The Saffire MixControl is quite painful :p but I don't think it is audio interface problem.

Thanks
_________________________
\\o o//
Yamaha P105, Roland LX-7, AKG K141 MKII, Focuserite Saffire Pro 24
SoundClound

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#2508634 - 02/09/16 03:08 AM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: Celdor]
Celdor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 293
Hi again,

I have a good and bad news.

The good news is I managed to get everything worked with MacBook Pro, Focusrite, DP, and Pianoteq. I am going to buy RCA to mini jack cable today to connect Focusrite to DP and I think I will be testing new sound through DP.

The bad news is I realised yesterday that, in one of the outputs to headphones in Focusrite, the left channel is dead. The other output is OK (there are two) and, not confirmed, I think output to monitors / DP etc. should work. Nonetheless, I cannot understand why it happened because I believe I maintained this device with care. It never dropped, I never used force to plug / unplug headphones. It just stopped working. The only explanation to this is it's in the room where I don't use heating and the temperature at night may even drop to 1°C. I don't know if that's the problem.

Anyway thanks for your assistance guys. I would probably still wondering how to make this work and how things work with MIDI etc. It's easier to understand everything now.

Thanks.
_________________________
\\o o//
Yamaha P105, Roland LX-7, AKG K141 MKII, Focuserite Saffire Pro 24
SoundClound

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#2508639 - 02/09/16 03:21 AM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: Celdor]
Frédéric L Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/13
Posts: 553
Loc: France
If your piano has a LINE-IN, you could send the audio from the Focusrite to the piano, then from the piano to the headphone. Then you don't use the broken headphone socket.
_________________________
Yamaha CLP150, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq

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#2508643 - 02/09/16 04:18 AM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: Frédéric L]
Celdor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 293
Originally Posted By Frédéric L
If your piano has a LINE-IN, you could send the audio from the Focusrite to the piano, then from the piano to the headphone. Then you don't use the broken headphone socket.

I am not sure about the difference between Line In and Audio In but AFAIK there's an input via mini jack connector and the DP can play sound from an external source. Just in case I'm talking rubbish, this is the link to website regarding my DP
thanks
_________________________
\\o o//
Yamaha P105, Roland LX-7, AKG K141 MKII, Focuserite Saffire Pro 24
SoundClound

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#2508654 - 02/09/16 05:36 AM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: Celdor]
Frédéric L Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/13
Posts: 553
Loc: France
Don't worry, you can send the output of your Focusrite to the DP. And use the speaker or the headphone depending on whether the headphone is connected to the DP.

I make no differences between LINE-IN and audio-In.
_________________________
Yamaha CLP150, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq

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#2508658 - 02/09/16 06:25 AM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: Celdor]
Celdor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 293
Thanks a lot for help smile
_________________________
\\o o//
Yamaha P105, Roland LX-7, AKG K141 MKII, Focuserite Saffire Pro 24
SoundClound

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#2508749 - 02/09/16 01:10 PM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: Celdor]
Charles Cohen Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 2706
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
I think Frederic L's suggestion should work fine. One "good" headphone output on the FocusRite will be enough,and the LX-7. The LX-7 stereo input jack is compatible with iPhone-type devices, and you should be able to feed "headphone-level" signals to it.

I see why you want to use the LX-7 loudspeakers -- it has 10" woofers!

I'd be interested in hearing how Pianoteq's sound compares to the sound built into the LX-7, once you have everything working.

Good luck, happy practicing --
_________________________
. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker

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#2508793 - 02/09/16 02:45 PM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: Celdor]
Frédéric L Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/13
Posts: 553
Loc: France
I was thinking of a LINE-OUT of the Focusrite, but if a headphone plug does work it could be fine too.
_________________________
Yamaha CLP150, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq

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#2508961 - 02/10/16 04:15 AM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: Celdor]
Celdor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 293
Right. This time only good news smile

I couldn't understand that after little use of the interface it simply broke. I have gone through the entire manual which took me whole afternoon; I missed practicing >.<

It turns out that the interface has a lot of sections in its app "Saffire Mix Control": to control volume of all inputs or mute them, to control effects, to control a lot of outputs (Line Outs, Headphones etc.) and what is fed to each output, such as DAW1/DAW2, Ang1/Ang2, MixL/MixR etc.

One of these sections which I happened not to see before :p is to control or mute single output channels. And they called these channels simply by 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, and 8. I don't remember the configuration but it looks like channel 1,2 are for output to monitors (I guess speakers), channels 3,4 are for headphones output 1, channels 5,6 are for headphones 2. And now guess what happened laugh ... channel 3 was mute; one freaky little square button of 1mm squared on screen.

I am thicko noob but at least happy ;p. I will try to connect DP with the interface. What is more preferable configuration: Interface's Headphone output to DP's Audio In or Interface's Line Out to DP's Audio In? What would be the difference?

Thanks


Edited by Celdor (02/10/16 04:16 AM)
_________________________
\\o o//
Yamaha P105, Roland LX-7, AKG K141 MKII, Focuserite Saffire Pro 24
SoundClound

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#2509365 - 02/11/16 04:20 AM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: Celdor]
Celdor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 293
Hi guys,

I have manage to configure everything. I had to take analogue signal from headphone's output to the DP "Audio In" input. I found out there is sort of buzz high frequency noise which changes whenever I operate the laptop (MacBook Pro). I tried to disconnect main power from the Interface and the laptop and the high frequency noise disappeared but it was replaced with low frequency hum noise smirk

I am totally clueless.

Could someone please advice on that?

The interface can work without powering as FireWire can supply power to the device. However, I would prefer the laptop to be connected to mains.

Thanks
_________________________
\\o o//
Yamaha P105, Roland LX-7, AKG K141 MKII, Focuserite Saffire Pro 24
SoundClound

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#2509368 - 02/11/16 04:37 AM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: Celdor]
Frédéric L Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/13
Posts: 553
Loc: France
If the noise disappear when you unplug the USB link, it is a ground loop noise. There exist ground loop filter for audio link or USB link. Insert one of these filters and you should suppress the noise.
_________________________
Yamaha CLP150, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq

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#2509380 - 02/11/16 05:53 AM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: Celdor]
Celdor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 293
Just to confirm, I watched a youtube video and the guy has stated if this is ground loop noise, it doesn't depend on volume. The noise I have from DP speakers depends on volume! Do you think ground loop noise eliminator/isolator would still work here?
_________________________
\\o o//
Yamaha P105, Roland LX-7, AKG K141 MKII, Focuserite Saffire Pro 24
SoundClound

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#2509676 - 02/12/16 04:06 AM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: Celdor]
Celdor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 293
Originally Posted By Frédéric L
If the noise disappear when you unplug the USB link, it is a ground loop noise. There exist ground loop filter for audio link or USB link. Insert one of these filters and you should suppress the noise.

I can confirm that the noise disappears when I disconnect USB cable from laptop. Thanks again.
_________________________
\\o o//
Yamaha P105, Roland LX-7, AKG K141 MKII, Focuserite Saffire Pro 24
SoundClound

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#2509714 - 02/12/16 07:47 AM Re: Which USB-B to MIDI DIN adapter. [Re: Charles Cohen]
jokke Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/26/15
Posts: 13
Originally Posted By Charles Cohen
Originally Posted By jokke
. . .
So in short, there should be no advantage of connecting the DP to sound card instead of computer. From computer software (such as Pianoteq) viewpoint, both ways will look identical. And I doubt there are any electrical advantages either.


If you wander through the Pianoteq forum, you'll find lots of people who say that there is a _substantial_ difference in sound, between a typical PC sound card, and a higher-quality "audio interface" like the FocusRite.


I was referring to DP->sound card connection, which is MIDI data from DP MIDI OUT to sound card MIDI IN. I really doubt there is any sound difference in there, as there is just note data coming from DP to computer.

And latency-wise, I would expect DP native USB MIDI implementation to result in same latency (or better) than if the MIDI data would first go to soundcard, and from there via USB to computer (depends on DP USB MIDI latency vs. DP MIDI + soundcard MIDI IN latency + soundcard USB MIDI latency, latter is less likely to be faster).

Sound-wise, connecting soundcard to DP audio in vs. PC to DP audio in, I agree that a good quality external card may sound better, and has better chance of having less latency (native ASIO drivers and such).

As an interesting side note, a Finnish tech magazine did a blind testing of 0.30 € integrated audio D/A conversion versus more expensive 100 € and 1000 € external solutions, and test subjects not knowing which source was used were not able to accurately judge which audio source was which. So with a good integrated audio implementation, the sound quality difference might be surprisingly small.

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