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#693570 - 02/12/06 11:08 PM Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
Baron de Cardenale Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/05
Posts: 61
Loc: USA-Russia-France
Hello dear all,

I was interested in the following: I have a very ancient, but truly stunning in its appearance, square piano, which is totally unplayable and would cost me a fortune to be fully rebuilt. I love the case, which is from 1830s, I suppose, and would like to preserve it. In connection with this, I was thinking to get a quality keyboard and get it built into the square piano case. Since I am completely ignorant in this type of issues, I am looking for an "expert" opinion. I would appreciate if someone would assist me on this matter.

The questions I would like you to answer are the following:

1. Are there digital pianos with real piano feel regarding touch, feel, etc. on the market?

2. What do they cost? (price range)

3. Is it possible to build a digital into a real piano case? (I assume it is; however, I would like to hear an opinion of someone who knows).

Random opinions are also very welcome. I'm looking foward to receiving your replies.

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#693571 - 02/13/06 10:44 AM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
ProPianoGuyBC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 388
One of our resellers has done this retrofit successfully in the past with the Roland KR107. I will send you a PM.

PPBC

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#693572 - 02/13/06 10:57 AM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
CHAS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/03
Posts: 521
Loc: Ski Country of Colorado
Check out Kawais new digital action.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A

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#693573 - 02/13/06 05:37 PM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
hugo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 63
Loc: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
I agree that Kawai's the way to go.

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#693574 - 02/14/06 12:18 AM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
Baron de Cardenale Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/05
Posts: 61
Loc: USA-Russia-France
Thank you. Now can anybody educate me about the price of a good digital piano (bottom price and top price)? Since I am not into digitals (have been owning acoustic pianos all my life), I have no idea about that. I'd appreciate that.

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#693575 - 02/14/06 07:10 PM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
Melbourne Gary Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 14
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Hi Baron,

I don't think I'd ad a digital to an old piano case. To me, it would devalue both of them. You'd mangle the old piano in the process and then you'd be stuck with a digital in there that isn't as convenient as a normal digital in its own moveable case.

Also, digital pianos will probably be even better in 10 years time when the computer chips are faster. It would be easier to upgrade to another digital rather than trying to ad a new digital to your old case again.

I have a Roland HP 103 (home style) which is okay, but if I were to upgrade I'd buy a Roland RD700SX (stage piano) and some small monitors. Its about $3600 Australian Dollars. Then in your case I'd keep the old piano as an ornament and not alter it. One day, you might want to restore it.

Regards,

Melbourne Gary

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#693576 - 02/14/06 09:15 PM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
WDMcM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/14/05
Posts: 164
Loc: Ohio
When you say "totally unplayable and would cost me a fortune to be fully rebuilt", is it unplayable due to the action having issues or is it because of some other problem, I.E. can't be tuned, cracked soundboard, etc.?

Unless the action is in very bad physical shape, it can be adjusted to even out the keys so it feels OK.

The reason I ask; you might want to consider the MOOG PianoBar . This device requires very simple installation as it consists of a slim sensor bar that rests at the very back of the keys against the fallboard. There is no physical contact with the keys as it uses specially designed sensors to detect key movement. A cable from the sensor bar connects to a small module that contains a sound source with 300 or so sounds. The nice thing is it also generates a MIDI signal that could be connected to the piano module of your choice.

I think it may even be possible to mount the PianoBar on the action behind the fall board as long as there is enough room. MOOG doesn’t mention this, but it seems like it may be possible.

I agree with Melbourne Gary that it would be a shame to make modifications to the acoustic or digital piano as that would destroy their value. The PianoBar isn’t cheap, but by the time you spend the money and time on making those modifications, you could get the same results without tearing up two instruments.

Just a thought.

Best Regards,

Dave
_________________________
Wm. David McMahan
LearnMyKeyboard
JazzItUp Band

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#693577 - 02/14/06 10:09 PM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
ProPianoGuyBC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 388
 Quote:
Originally posted by WDMcM:
When you say "totally unplayable and would cost me a fortune to be fully rebuilt", is it unplayable due to the action having issues or is it because of some other problem, I.E. can't be tuned, cracked soundboard, etc.?

Unless the action is in very bad physical shape, it can be adjusted to even out the keys so it feels OK.

The reason I ask; you might want to consider the MOOG PianoBar . This device requires very simple installation as it consists of a slim sensor bar that rests at the very back of the keys against the fallboard.

I agree with Melbourne Gary that it would be a shame to make modifications to the acoustic or digital piano as that would destroy their value. The PianoBar isn’t cheap, but by the time you spend the money and time on making those modifications, you could get the same results without tearing up two instruments.

[/b]
The problem here, as I see it anyways (please correct if I am wrong) is the sheer age of the Square Grand. Anything from the 1830's really by this point is typically WAY beyond the point of any economical repair.

The MOOG PianoBar is an interesting application that I completely forgot though Dave, thanks for the reminder.

Anyways Baron, you should probably consider shopping for a Digital Piano starting at around $1500 (USD) and be prepared to spend up to and including $5000 or even more dpending on the features that you deem to be important.

There are really 2 main categories of digital piano that (I think) would be of interest to you. One is a more straight type home piano (Roland HP Series, Yamaha CLP Series, General Music RP Series, Kawai CN (CA) Series, amongst others)

The other type is an Arranger or Accompaniment Style Digital Piano. (Roland KR Series, Yamaha CVP Series, Kawai CP Series, General Music has Arranger pianos too and I am sorry but cannot remember the Series (Dave perhaps you can fill this blank for me)

One caution is that in some cases the cabinets and speaker systems of some home digital pianos are specially optimized to reproduce the recorded Grand piano sound together as a unit. Perhaps using a stage style piano (Roland RD, Yamaha P, General Music ProMega or PRP, or Kawai MP) with a very high end but discreet speaker system may be the way to go instead.

Sorry to throw all the variables at you, but when a very select few of our customers have opted to go this route, we have had to take many of these factors into consideration. Just want to be sure you know what you're getting into.

Sincerely though, you need to try EVERYTHING available to you to determine what is right for YOU and YOU only. Only when you have decided which (if any) digital piano is right for you, is it time to decide on whether or not to install the components of the digital instrument into the Square Grand Cabinet. Recognizing of course that any warranty offered on any digital instrument will probably be voided by doing this. But I have heard of this install being successful in the past. And I wish you luck on your quest.

The challenge here is that Each of these instruments (typically is built into a cabinet with speakers) would have to be completely dis-assembled and re-assembled into the Square Grand Cabinet. But I wish you best of luck and we are here for you to query further

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#693578 - 02/14/06 11:33 PM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
Baron de Cardenale Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/05
Posts: 61
Loc: USA-Russia-France
Thank you very much for your most valuable advice. I have played the digital keyboard only twice in my entire life, and for this reason I have no any sort of knowledge about what to consider when buying digital.

My friend who is an antiques expert said yesterday that my square piano is even from 1820's. WDMcM, no, the piano is totally unplayable and need complete rebuilt, just as I said, since the action inside has totally decayed. It doesn't make any sound at all, misses about a third of all strings, but is absolutely gorgeous in its appearance, with many different woods used in its cabinet. And it retains its turtoiseshell keys (big reason that makes me thiking about turning down the idea of fitting a digital inside, since afterwards these keys will have to go). I was quoted that a complete rebuilt of my piano with all internal parts being manufactured by hand copied from the original parts would cost me 40,000 Euros. I think I might follow your advice and leave the square piano for better days when I might have sufficient funds (and desire) to restore it, while now I will purchase a digital (since I am in need of not very expensive instrument).

In this connection I have several more questions to address to you:

1. Stage digital pianos -- these are keyboard, I assume. Do they have built-in speakers? How much does a quality stage piano cost in average? I am not interested in additional sounds, except probably several piano modes, a harpsichord, and an organ.

2. Home digital pianos (those with sturdy cabinets) -- what would be a price of a good (not very expensive, middle priced) piano of this kind?

3. Those that look like small awkward-looking grand pianos -- what would be a price of one? I remember myself playing one in a piano store in Indianapolis 5 years ago(I think it was a Suzuki digital grand) and found its sound SO SYNTHETIC and FAKE that I made a decision not to come back to digitals any more. However, I think these days (5 years since) digital quality has improved. Also, I listened to few digital pianos samples on Yamaha International website and was amazed.

I apologize for these questions that this forum has probably answered for many hundreds times. I am just lost searching for right information, considering that all info is so different and often contradictory. Thank you for your attention.

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#693579 - 02/15/06 12:24 AM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
ProPianoGuyBC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 388
 Quote:
Originally posted by Baron de Cardenale:
Thank you very much for your most valuable advice. I have played the digital keyboard only twice in my entire life, and for this reason I have no any sort of knowledge about what to consider when buying digital.


In this connection I have several more questions to address to you:

1. Stage digital pianos -- these are keyboard, I assume. Do they have built-in speakers? How much does a quality stage piano cost in average? I am not interested in additional sounds, except probably several piano modes, a harpsichord, and an organ.

2. Home digital pianos (those with sturdy cabinets) -- what would be a price of a good (not very expensive, middle priced) piano of this kind?

3. Those that look like small awkward-looking grand pianos -- what would be a price of one? I remember myself playing one in a piano store in Indianapolis 5 years ago(I think it was a Suzuki digital grand) and found its sound SO SYNTHETIC and FAKE that I made a decision not to come back to digitals any more. However, I think these days (5 years since) digital quality has improved. Also, I listened to few digital pianos samples on Yamaha International website and was amazed.

I apologize for these questions that this forum has probably answered for many hundreds times. I am just lost searching for right information, considering that all info is so different and often contradictory. Thank you for your attention. [/b]
Your questions although based mainly on price are really good and it's no problem helping you out.

I (and I think many others) would feel remiss in telling you any pricing as your profile and location has you all over the place (lucky guy) so investigate the pricing in the country where you expect the digital piano to reside (this is mainly for reasons of warranty as most manufacturers warranties are good only for the country of purchase)

Be aware that pricing can vary wildly country to country and sometimes saving 50-100 euro/dollars or some amount like that by buying it somewhere else may not always be worth it for the reasons discussed above.


Stage Digital Pianos (Full 88 key weighted piano action keyboards) usually dont have internal speakers although there are exceptions to this. The Yamaha P-140 and P-250 (amongst others) spring to mind. Although it is my humble opinion that the P-140 is not nearly as professional level as it's predeccesor, the P-120 was. (To qualify, some of the more pro level features I thought would be necessary were omitted JMHO) The P-250 is very nice, and has built in speakers but is extremely heavy.

A few Roland models I would recommend are:

RD-700SX (Good key touch and outstanding Piano sound) although it would require an external speaker system.
FP-5 Great key touch nice piano sound through the built in speaker system.
Any HP-Series Piano although I would reccomend HP103 and HP107

General Music PRP700 and 800 (stage/portable versions) and RP700 and 800 (cabinet style versions) are well worth considering too.

Any Yamaha CLP from the CLP240 on upwards to the CLP280


I am glad that you are remaining open minded to technology even though the last Digital Grand left a VERY bad taste in your mouth. And yes, rest assured that the sound and keytouch (in most cases) has taken great strides in the last 5 years.

Roland (see below), Yamaha (CVP-309GP and CLP-175), and General Music(Model numbers Dave please) all make digital grand pianos.

Roland just announced a new series of KR Grand pianos at the Winter Music Trade show in Anaheim California in January. Granted I am a Roland Guy, but these are WELL WORTH a look! Also consider the HP109 Digital Grand Piano.

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#693580 - 02/15/06 05:34 AM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
Baron de Cardenale Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/05
Posts: 61
Loc: USA-Russia-France
ProPianoGuyBC, thank you very much for your prompt and informative response! I appreciate your time and attention. I still have some questions (I apologize.... )

1. Are stage pianos sufficient enough to deliver full grand piano sound? (for example, P-250)

2. Digital grands do cost more. Is there any superiority in their sound in comparison with "upright" digital piano or is it just their looks?

3. What would be the bottom price for my search for a quality digital with most realistic grand piano sound/touch? What is average price I should expect for a quality digital that would satisfy my needs?

Once again, please let me thank you for your patience. Indeed, your assistance is a great help to me.

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#693581 - 02/15/06 05:41 AM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
Baron de Cardenale Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/05
Posts: 61
Loc: USA-Russia-France
1. I am talking here about stage pianos with speakers, as P-250, and others.

3. I still would like to hear the price, in USD if possible, and for the US territory. I work for the United Nations Development Programme and travel back and forth all the time without having sufficient time for looking for prices myself. So, please, if you could give me approximate price that would be great, so that I could plan my budget and what I can actually afford.

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#693582 - 02/15/06 07:04 AM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
Tomas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 42
This is in response to question #3. And please note that as I have no familarity with Rolands whatsoever, I'm only linking to Yamaha prices. Roland's models should cost just slightly more.

P70, ~$600
P90, ~$1000
P250, ~$2000

Does anyone know how many samples each key has on these models?

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#693583 - 02/16/06 12:02 AM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
ProPianoGuyBC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 388
 Quote:
Originally posted by Baron de Cardenale:
ProPianoGuyBC, thank you very much for your prompt and informative response! I appreciate your time and attention. I still have some questions (I apologize.... )

1. Are stage pianos sufficient enough to deliver full grand piano sound? (for example, P-250)

2. Digital grands do cost more. Is there any superiority in their sound in comparison with "upright" digital piano or is it just their looks?

3. What would be the bottom price for my search for a quality digital with most realistic grand piano sound/touch? What is average price I should expect for a quality digital that would satisfy my needs?

Once again, please let me thank you for your patience. Indeed, your assistance is a great help to me. [/b]
Many of the available stage pianos have a sound that at least equal to if not superior to the home counterparts. The reason for this is simply that (in some cases) manufacturers undertake careful post sampling sound design work to ensure that these pianos sound their best in a "Live" environment. As opposed to a Home Cabinet Model Piano is intended to be used in a "Solo" situation where the sound (again in some cases) is optimized for the speaker system and cabinet.

I can certainly say that the above mentioned sound design work is done on EVERY Roland Piano.

Quite often, the Digital Grand instrument is nothing more than a bigger polished ebony case case but (Speaking for the Rolands anyways) there is a new piano sample included on the higher end Roland models (KR115 and up) that is an 88 key multi sample (4 different velocities EACH KEY) called Superior Grand. (some forumites will recognize this patch from the Roland RD-700SX Stage Piano)

Pricing again varies wildly country to country and I am not in a position to offer any help here but perhaps someone else can offer more in the way of assisatnce.

I have played this sound in these Grand Piano Cabinets and beleive me it is Fantastic!

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#693584 - 02/16/06 12:30 AM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
Tomas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 42
Check out the prices at www.kraftmusic.com for an idea of stage piano costs in the US.

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#693585 - 02/16/06 06:21 AM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
WDMcM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/14/05
Posts: 164
Loc: Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by ProPianoGuyBC:
Quite often, the Digital Grand instrument is nothing more than a bigger polished ebony case case but...[/b]
On the other hand, one particular company takes the same sound and technology found in thier flagship model and puts it into every model of home and stage digital piano. Only the number of extra sounds and programming flexibitity is reduced as the price goes down. ;\)
_________________________
Wm. David McMahan
LearnMyKeyboard
JazzItUp Band

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#693586 - 02/16/06 02:22 PM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
hv Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 1240
Loc: Cape Cod
 Quote:
Originally posted by Baron de Cardenale:
My friend who is an antiques expert said yesterday that my square piano is even from 1820's. [/b]
Sounds like a perfect specimen for Antique Roadshow.

Howard

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#693587 - 02/21/06 03:36 AM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
Baron de Cardenale Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/05
Posts: 61
Loc: USA-Russia-France
Can anybody give me the price of a good digital in a grand piano cabinet?

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#693588 - 02/21/06 10:49 AM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
WDMcM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/14/05
Posts: 164
Loc: Ohio
How about This ?
_________________________
Wm. David McMahan
LearnMyKeyboard
JazzItUp Band

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#693589 - 02/22/06 02:13 AM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
Baron de Cardenale Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/05
Posts: 61
Loc: USA-Russia-France
Price looks good. Sound sample found on that digital grand is also impressive, although I couldn't quite appreciate it due to low-quality speakers on my laptop computer. It says in the text that the sound of grand piano is being sampled from 308 Fazioli.

I have a question now. For example, say you have 6 thousand dollars to spend on a piano. Under this condition what is better to purchase, a digital or an acoustic? Digital grand piano or an acoustic one? What will give you a better sound quality?

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#693590 - 02/22/06 08:31 AM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
WDMcM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/14/05
Posts: 164
Loc: Ohio
An important difference to understand between acoustic pianos and digital pianos is where the sound is emanating from. A digital piano of course has speakers. And as you have just pointed out in regards to your computer speakers, the speakers can make quite a difference is sound quality. The quality of the audio system used in a digital piano can have an enormous effect on the sound you hear. Generalmusic not only manufactures digital keyboard instruments but also manufactures a line of high-end professional sound reinforcement systems under the LEM product name. The design experience of that division goes into the audio systems of the GEM keyboard instruments. Then there is the sound source itself. In the case of GEM digital pianos, the piano sounds are created through physical modeling technology which is totally different that the other sample-based instruments by other brands. I won’t go into a long explanation of this here, but ask that anyone interested please use the link I provided and watch the DRAKE Technology video to see what this is all about. I will just say that the interaction of frequencies that occur in an acoustic instrument when playing more that one key with out without the damper pedal in use is faithfully reproduced via the physical models running in the DRAKE microprocessor.

The sound from an acoustic piano is generated by the physical vibrations of the strings traveling through the bridge and onto (into) the soundboard where it is naturally amplified and heard by the player and listeners. Now, I don’t care who makes the speaker system or how expensive it is, but so far the technology does not exist to absolutely create the effect of sound emanating from the entire wood surface of a piano soundboard. Like I said above, there are good audio systems and not so good audio systems. But they all consist of speakers that produce a relatively small sound wave as compared to the surface of an acoustic piano’s soundboard.

Here is something to ponder. If you took one of our DRAKE powered instruments and the Steinway or Fazioli concert grand pianos that we used when designing the physical models, put them in a room and placed microphones on each acoustic piano, then listened to each piano played from another room using headphones or an audio system, you would not be able to tell which is the acoustic and which is the digital. We have actually done this and the result was about 50/50 meaning the people tested were guessing correct only half the time.

So which is better? The GRP800 will certainly outlast a 5 to 6 thousand dollar acoustic grand piano. The acoustic will fill the room with more sound, but as the wood starts to expand/contract, and as the action starts to go downhill, and as the pin block can no longer hold the tension of the tuning pegs…. Well, the GRP800 will still be producing it’s wonderful in tune Steinway and Fazioli sounds, not to mention the other sounds that are available in the instrument.

Best Regards,

Dave
_________________________
Wm. David McMahan
LearnMyKeyboard
JazzItUp Band

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#693591 - 02/22/06 09:20 AM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
Now Dave... Do you know for a fact that the GRP800 will outlast a 6k acoustic? No you don't. Do you know for certain that no maintenance will be necessary? I've never seen a 20-year-old digital that didn't have issues (keys that don't work, hum on the stereo output, sustain pedal with bad contacts, etc.).

And maybe some people can't tell the difference between your products and an acoustic piano that's miked (I'm pretty sure I could). But is that any different than Yamaha or Roland or _____? They could say the same thing.

(btw -- I looked for you at NAMM. Would have liked to shake your hand)
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#693592 - 02/22/06 10:15 AM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
WDMcM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/14/05
Posts: 164
Loc: Ohio
Steve,

I answered a question, that's all. It is the same answer that many others familiar with the average build quality of a $6000.00 grand piano would offer (granted without the specific brand related information, but it is not like I didn't include a signature, or logged-in under a false name to hide my identity).

 Quote:
All I'm looking for is more even-handed info
Did I not point out the sonic advantage of an acoustic instrument? And at the same time make it clear that NO digital piano running through speakers is going to sound quite the same as an acoustic? Isn't that straight-forward, even-handed, extremely honest? etc.

As for sales spin, not true. Offering information on a particular brand when the opportunity arises, yes.

I have no idea why you seem to want to start something up with me. Is it because you are in the music industry yourself? Do you work for another manufacturer or a retail store that sells competitive products? The fact that you said in another thread that you were interested in seeing the latest DRAKE models at NAMM sounds like you attend this industry only trade show on a regular basis. So you must either work for a manufacturer or as a retail salesman. Or you have a friend in one of those positions that supplies you with an under the table NAMM pass. According to your profile you are in NJ, so a trip to either the winter or summer show is not just an across town trip so you must have some reason to be there.

FWIW: There was a thread started by someone asking about opinions and suggestions on digital pianos for a church HERE . The person described how some church members were more interested in furniture, while others were interested in sounds and programmability and others who had interest in being able to record services and burn them to CD. He made a comment that no instrument was available that could cover all of those requirements. Well, this is not so. We have an instrument that would probably work quite well and satisfy the entire congregation. But because I make it a point to NOT jump into a thread unless someone else brings up a GEM product first, I didn't get involved with that thread. I did however contact Piano World via the webmaster e-mail address and told them the situation, gave them a link to the thread and asked if there was any way that I could help this fellow out by offering an instrument that might do what he needs without stepping across the line into using this forum for advertising purposes. I sent this e-mail an 29 January and re-sent it a week later but still have not received a response. So this customer who was asking for open suggestions an how to satisfy a seemingly impossible set of requirements with just one instrument will more than likely never know that one even exists. One purpose of a forum like this is to help people out and here was a guy who could have been helped. GEM does not advertise here so maybe that is why I didn't receive a response, I don't know. The point is, I don't intend to PUSH our products here or apply any form a sales spin to what I say.

Another thing. I have not been a member of this forum for as near as long as you, nor have I racked up as high of a post count. But if you search my user name you will see that I have offered help/advice/suggestions to several people in various threads that had nothing to do with the company I work for. I am here like every other (non-industry) member, to offer help when possible with any and all products that I am familiar with. If you search my user name in other forums you will even see that I have helped out owners of competitive brands because they were not getting answers elsewhere and I happened to know the answer. I don’t think those people mind my being around.

Finally, how about leaving it to the forum monitors to correct a problem if one exists. They will do it outside of the forum thread where this type of stuff doesn't eat up the screen space of those interested in talking about music and instruments.

Sincerely,

Dave McMahan
_________________________
Wm. David McMahan
LearnMyKeyboard
JazzItUp Band

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#693593 - 02/22/06 10:57 AM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
w_scott_iv@yahoo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/29/05
Posts: 1120
Loc: West Virginia
Baron,
I'm so glad you decided to leave your piano in-tact. What a shame it would be if a 185 year old piano that had made it this far was altered in any way. I'd guess that to the right person (perhaps even a museum) it could be worth a significant amount. If gutted, it would have value only to you. You might want to make some inquiries about the piano's value just so that you'll know what you have. If you're ever tempted to harm your piano again I hope you'll decide instead to donate it to a museum that can preserve it. You'd be doing all piano enthusiasts a favor. Best wishes, Walt
(Imagine - a piano from Beethoven's time!)

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#693594 - 02/22/06 12:48 PM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
WDMcM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/14/05
Posts: 164
Loc: Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by w_scott@verizon.net:
Baron,
I'm so glad you decided to leave your piano in-tact. What a shame it would be if a 185 year old piano that had made it this far was altered in any way. I'd guess that to the right person (perhaps even a museum) it could be worth a significant amount. If gutted, it would have value only to you. You might want to make some inquiries about the piano's value just so that you'll know what you have. If you're ever tempted to harm your piano again I hope you'll decide instead to donate it to a museum that can preserve it. You'd be doing all piano enthusiasts a favor. Best wishes, Walt
(Imagine - a piano from Beethoven's time!) [/b]
_________________________
Wm. David McMahan
LearnMyKeyboard
JazzItUp Band

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#693595 - 02/22/06 11:45 PM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
Dave,
I don't have a particular problem with you. I even said I wanted to meet you at NAMM -- seriously. If my post was harsh, I apologize. We've had problems around here from time to time with manufacturers or dealers violating forum guidelines. I felt that your post was questionable as you seemed to be stating that your product was clearly better than a $6k acoustic because it would last longer. I find that to be highly questionable. I would say the same thing about any brand of digital piano and would have posted no matter which manufacturer had responded as you did.

As to my motives, I do not work for a dealer. I do not work for a manufacturer. In other words, I have no dog in the hunt. I've attended winter NAMM for 15+ years now (I lived in LA until 5 years ago). There's nothing "under the table" about my badge. Initially, I was a touring/recording musician and was invited to the show by various companies whose products I used. More recently, I have worked as a writer for industry publications and have written a book for Hal Leonard. These days I do a fair amount of consulting for several companies in the industry. My most frequent client in recent years has been Roland for which I have been a clinician at NAMM, a writer for their publications, and an outside clinician at various events around the country. My 2006 badge was from them. However, I own gear from various manufacturers and will use anything that works (including GEM though I don't own anything at the moment). That is why I'm curious about GEM products. And for the record, I did spend some time at the GEM booth a few weeks ago.
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#693596 - 02/24/06 12:03 AM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
Baron de Cardenale Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/05
Posts: 61
Loc: USA-Russia-France
Yes, I agree that statement about digital outlasting acoustic sounds a bit... unusual. I seriously doubt that any kind of electronic device can outlast mechanics... By the way, what is an average life of a digital piano? 5 years, 10 years, more?

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#693597 - 02/24/06 08:42 AM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Baron de Cardenale:
Yes, I agree that statement about digital outlasting acoustic sounds a bit... unusual. I seriously doubt that any kind of electronic device can outlast mechanics... By the way, what is an average life of a digital piano? 5 years, 10 years, more? [/b]
Might depend on the maintenance available.

An electronic piano not repaired for ten years would probably still work perfectly, or possibly not at all if a part had broken.

An acoustic piano not tuned or regulated for ten years would certainly play badly and quite possibly not at all.

The average life of any electronic assembly has usually been held to be 12 years. I'm not sure how old that figure is, that's what I heard back in engineering school which was quite a while ago.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#693598 - 02/24/06 09:17 AM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
WDMcM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/14/05
Posts: 164
Loc: Ohio
Hi,

Perhaps I could have been clearer on what I was trying to say. Sorry.

Now PLEASE do not take this as my putting down acoustic instruments. I started piano lessons at age 5 on an acoustic piano and have had an acoustic piano ever since (42 years, but don't tell anyone \:\) ) I love acoustic piano and when I want to play pure piano, if the choice is available I will take the acoustic over electronic.

That being said, there are certain advantages that an electronic instrument has over its acoustic counterpart;

• A digital piano will never go out of tune.
• Some digitals even have an assortment of alternate temperaments to choose from.
• Late night playing, no problem with headphones.
• Maintenance - dusting
• Recording is easier since you don't have to worry about mic placement, cross-talk, environment noise, etc.
• A digital piano is completely unaffected by the temperature changes that can push an acoustic piano out of tune, change the feel of the action, and at the extreme cause serious problems with cracks in the soundboard or other areas.
• A digital piano is easier to move if necessary.

My comment on a digital outlasting a lower quality acoustic is not a stretch. Other than the relatively small movement that occurs in the keybed of a digital piano, small pedal movements and buttons and knobs, there is nothing mechanical in a digital piano to wear out. In an acoustic piano, everything starts with a mechanical piano action consisting of 100’s of small wooden parts that do go out of adjustment from time to time. And then there are the strings that are stretched across a block of wood glued to a large relatively thin piece of wood under extreme high tension. Granted the better the design, workmanship and materials used in an acoustic piano, the greater the longevity of the instrument. But even the best acoustics will suffer over time.

While I did want to offer an additional explanation to my earlier comment, I do apologize for going on so long here. Having played acoustic piano for over 40 years and electronic instruments for over 30 years, and having worked not only in the retail sales side but also in the design and manufacturing of both acoustic and electronic/digital instruments, I feel that I do have some experience in these issues. Then again, I don’t know everything. If someone disagrees with something I say or has more experience on an issue and can offer a valid difference of opinion with an explanation, I am not above learning new things (far from it).

Best Regards,

Dave
_________________________
Wm. David McMahan
LearnMyKeyboard
JazzItUp Band

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#693599 - 02/24/06 03:23 PM Re: Best "real piano feel" digital to be built into antique square piano
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
That being said, there are certain advantages that an electronic instrument has over its acoustic counterpart;

• A digital piano will never go out of tune.
• Some digitals even have an assortment of alternate temperaments to choose from.
• Late night playing, no problem with headphones.
• Maintenance - dusting
• Recording is easier since you don't have to worry about mic placement, cross-talk, environment noise, etc.
• A digital piano is completely unaffected by the temperature changes that can push an acoustic piano out of tune, change the feel of the action, and at the extreme cause serious problems with cracks in the soundboard or other areas.
• A digital piano is easier to move if necessary.
I agree with this completely.

(see -- I'm not out to get you) ;\)
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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