Yamaha Avantgrand action vs. Kawai CA-93 RM3 action

Posted by: dcb

Yamaha Avantgrand action vs. Kawai CA-93 RM3 action - 09/03/10 01:41 PM

Does anyone have any experience with the key actions on both the Yamaha Avantgrand and the Kawai CA93? Can you tell me how the actions compare? I've played the Avantgrand and it is really an incredible piano. Unfortunately, it is out of my budget. The Kawai CA93 is half the price and I'm wondering if it can compare to the Yamaha. I don't live near a Kawai dealer so it is hard for me to try it out.

I play with headphones most of the time, so the action is more important to me than the speaker setup.

Thanks for your opinions.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Yamaha Avantgrand action vs. Kawai CA-93 RM3 action - 09/03/10 02:46 PM

The Yamaha AvantGrand (N2 \ N3) uses a very slightly modified (neoprene hammers instead of wool) as their C3 grand (so I've been told).

The Kawai, while I'm sure a great piano, does not use a real grand piano action; it uses some kind of a 'digital piano action'.

If money is an issue, you could look at the AvantGrand N2, the version that looks like an upright piano. The N2 uses the same exact action as the N3, the grand version of the AvantGrand piano.

A Yamaha GranTouch, no longer made but available second hand, is also an option as it also uses a real grand piano action.

If a real piano action is what you're after, there are only a handful of models from which to choose.
Posted by: TADutchman

Re: Yamaha Avantgrand action vs. Kawai CA-93 RM3 action - 09/03/10 03:37 PM

Hi dcb,
In this thread there's someone named 'PianoInMd' who actually directly compared the CA93 and AvantGrand action, before making a buying decision: cool thumb
http://www.mypianofriends.com/i-am-wonde......-196284.html

May I ask: where do you live, as you say a Kawai dealer is far away?
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Yamaha Avantgrand action vs. Kawai CA-93 RM3 action - 09/03/10 03:55 PM

TADutchman, I would be very curious to learn just how much playing on acoustic pianos PianoInMd has under his belt. smile
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Yamaha Avantgrand action vs. Kawai CA-93 RM3 action - 09/03/10 06:33 PM

Avant Grand (or even the old GranTouch) is completely different to all other DPs in terms of action...beyond comparison really. There can be no doubt the Kawai is good but not comparable to the Specialised Grand Piano Action in the Yamaha products mentioned.
Posted by: Volusiano

Re: Yamaha Avantgrand action vs. Kawai CA-93 RM3 action - 09/04/10 12:33 AM

I think a better approach is to try out the CA-93 and see if its action is good enough for you for the money, instead of trying to compare it to the AvantGrand's action, or really to the acoustic grand action for that matter, because the AvantGrand's action IS the acoustic grand action after all.

I think it really all depends on how much exposure you've had on an acoustic grand action so far. If not much, you probably won't know any better how much different they are, unless you've played with both a lot. At least not enough to be willing to pay the price difference. But if you've played on an acoustic grand action a lot already, you may notice a big difference right away and would never go back to any digital action again at any cost saving.

So it really all depends on how serious you are in your musical endeavor. If you have to ask, then you probably already made up your mind how much you're willing to pay, and you're just looking for justification here to make you feel better about deciding to go with the lower cost route. Which is perfectly okay, too. So you really need to seek out a CA-93 to try it out and decide for yourself. People's opinions here don't matter because this kind of thing is very subjective. Only your opinion matters.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: Yamaha Avantgrand action vs. Kawai CA-93 RM3 action - 09/04/10 01:52 AM

As explained, the Avantgrand action is in a class of its own and is not comparable to a digital piano action, but is better compared to an acoustic piano with silent installation such as the excellent Yamaha Silent Hybrid Pianos which are available both in upright and grand versions.

The problem with going with an Avantgrand N2 instead of an Avantgrand N3 is that the experience for the player is not nearly as satisfying due to the cabinet construction and speaker placement. Listeners in another room won't be able to tell if you are playing an N2 or a real Yamaha grand, but you as the player will not have the same envelopment in sound or satisfactory illusion. In fact, for many, the Kawai CA93 would likely be more satisfying for the player to play.

So that leaves the Avantgrand N3 which is out of reach for most mortals and which would allow you, for the same budget, to buy a truly excellent, high performance acoustic piano such as the Yamaha YUS5 that also has a factory-built, optical sensor based digital piano built into the very same acoustic keyboard with a Yamaha Silent system.

http://music.yamaha.com/products/main.html?productId=109990&hierarchy_id=16322_16277
Posted by: Volusiano

Re: Yamaha Avantgrand action vs. Kawai CA-93 RM3 action - 09/04/10 11:45 AM

I would argue that the N2 has a far more superior sound system than the CA93. Even though the N2 sound system is not as good as the N3, it is still a very superior sound system, and it can hold its own against any other digital pianos beside the N3.

Any N2 owners care to comment?

And the point of comparing sounds is moot because the OP said he'll be using headphones most of the time anyway. So the main point of this post is about keyboard action.

The YUS5 retails for $19.7K and its SMP is $16.8K according to the Piano Buyer Guide book, while the N3 retails for $20K and its SMP is $15.7K. So I would rather buy an N3 over a YUS5 because it's cheaper than the YUS5, has a real grand action while the YUS5 has only an upright action, and requires no tuning, no maintenance while the YUS5 still has all the baggages that come with being an acoustic.

Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: Yamaha Avantgrand action vs. Kawai CA-93 RM3 action - 09/04/10 11:53 AM

I agree, the action in the N2 / N3 is superb. You really can't compare it to even a high-end upright acoustic.

Interesting that when I compared the N3 to the C3, I preferred the N3. The "baggage" that comes with an acoustic is not to be underestimated.
Posted by: coz

Re: Yamaha Avantgrand action vs. Kawai CA-93 RM3 action - 09/06/10 12:42 AM

I agree with you. I have the N2 and love it. The N3 does have better sound but I didn't have room for it. If you try the N2 make sure the top is open for its best sound. The action is awesome! I think the N2 is the best value here at $5k less than the N3.
Posted by: FishTako

Re: Yamaha Avantgrand action vs. Kawai CA-93 RM3 action - 09/30/10 07:56 PM

I thought I'd chime in here as I'm also in the market for a digital practice piano. The 3 top models I'm considering are the Kawai CA93, the Roland HP 307 and Yamaha AvantGrand N-2 (unlikely I'll get this as it is easily double the price of the other two digitals).

I haven't played on the N-2 but it is supposed to be the same as the N-3 minus the action of the grand pedals. I've spent about 2.5 hours on the N-3 yesterday and I have to say that no other DP comes even close to the action on the N-3. I compared it to the YU-5 Silent Piano (an upright) and there really is no contest. I grew up playing classical piano on my parent's Schimmel Grand and my piano teacher's 2 Yamaha Grands so the N-3 just felt absolutely brilliant.

That being said, at less than half the price of the N-2, the CA-93 has, IMO the next best digital action out there. Over the last week or so, I've spent about 5 hours going back and forth between a CA-93 and CA-63. Both seem to have a slightly more responsive touch than the HP 307 and I was able to get a very nice dynamic range from it. Hope this helps.

If you mainly play with headphones, I'd recommend the CA-63 over the CA-93 as you won't need the soundboard. I didn't particularly care one way or another for the let-off.
Posted by: B. Michels

Re: Yamaha Avantgrand action vs. Kawai CA-93 RM3 action - 12/13/10 08:00 PM

Has someone tested the Kawai MP10 which is supposed to have a key action similar to the CA-93 ?
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Yamaha Avantgrand action vs. Kawai CA-93 RM3 action - 12/13/10 08:20 PM

B.Michels, the CA93 and MP10 both use exactly the same keyboard action: RM3 Grand with Ivory Touch key surfaces and let-off simulation.

Cheers,
James
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