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#666249 - 01/30/06 09:24 PM I just bought a U1 silent - question about it
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
I just got a Mason AA grand. But the apt. I live in does not allow loud sounds before 9 and after 10, when it is sometimes best for me to practice (also other family members sleep then, too.)

I tried the Piano Disc system in the store, but I feel it alters the touch too much. I also had a mute pedal on a Schulze-Pollman upright, but never used it (too soft for me, too loud for sleeping family members). I looked at Clavinovas, but didn't like them. Then I tried a new Yamaha U1 at a local dealer, with a silent feature. It works really well, the touch is altered only the slightest bit. The sound is a sampled Yammie concert grand. I really think Yamaha put some serious engineering into their silent-play system for acoustic pianos. I highly recommend people thinking of digital pianos for silent practice to look at them.

The price, however, was above a Clavinova, and I had just shelled out the big bucks for a new Mason AA. I called Ori of Allegro Pianos (the dealer who sold me the AA) to ask him about these systems and what he thought of them and just by chance he had later 1990's USA-bought, home-use U1 in trade with a silent feature, for a good used U1 price, with dealer backing. This is now my second piano.

I have one or two questions, however. First, the piano is from 1996. How much has the silent play system improved since 1996, if at all? Second, there is a "midi out" section of the electronics. All the piano currently has is a single, sampled Yammie grand output, using 1996 technology. Would a newer midi device give me any better sound, over a 1996 silent play Yammie? I could put a new Roland or Yamaha sound generator on the piano. Would that likely improve the basic piano sound, and if so by how much? The harpsichord and organ features are interesting, but not really essential to me. The sound is just fine for what it is, but I wonder if for a few hundred dollars, I could have more options?

Thanks in advance to anyone who knows about such things.

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#666250 - 02/02/06 04:42 PM Re: I just bought a U1 silent - question about it
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4683
Loc: San Francisco
Jeffrey,

SteveY and Rodney both post frequently on the digital forum. Both could probably help with this one. You may want to PM them.

CC2's MUSE solution is much more than you want to pay, and the kind of setup that I and many others use requires a reasonably fast computer (PIII is OK, PIV is better for large piano libraries). If you wouldn't mind connecting to a computer that you already own, you could do what you want to for c.$400, including a good soundcard, more RAM, and a "standalone" piano app.

Because of a problem with my digital piano that Bachmann tech support can't figure out, I'm actually using my computer's included audio codec, "wrapped" in a free utility called ASIO4ALL. I plug the Sennheiser HD580's into the computer's audio out and get suprisingly good audio quality.

One confusion: you mention MIDI Out, but no MIDI In. I didn't know that that was possible. There is another type of connection called ToHost, but normally I think that MIDI requires two jacks on your board.

I'm afraid that I raised as many issues as I spoke to. Let's hope others weigh in here or respond to PM's.

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