Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos?

Posted by: MzrtFan

Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/09/11 05:01 PM

I know Kawai has the CA-93 with a soundboard speaker system, and Roland has the V-Piano. But I'm talking about the feature that makes the AvantGrand stand out: the real grand piano action.

Just speculating... I haven't been able to find anything on the internet about this. Yamaha launched the AvantGrand pianos about 2 years ago, and I haven't heard anything on other makers developing a hybrid piano using a real piano action. I find it hard to believe that Kawai, for example, wouldn't be interested in putting their Millenium III action together with an advanced speaker system to create something that can compete with the AvantGrand.

Any thoughts or info on this?
Posted by: azandj

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/09/11 06:20 PM

As far as I know, the only hybrids with authentic (i.e. "real", though some could get find that offensive) acoustic actions are the AvantGrands and "silent" acoustic uprights such as those made by Yamaha and Kawaii.
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/09/11 06:36 PM

Actually, there have been a number over the years. One interesting and short-lived model was the Bosendorfer CEUSmaster. It really only stayed as a prototype used by a few touring artists like Lenny Kravitz and Robbie Williams, but it featured the full action out of a Bosendorfer concert grand hooked up to one of the finest (at the time) Bosendorfer sample software. It was a slab, with MIDI or their own higher resolution output, ".boe" files. It looked kind of like the N1 but with a price tag above the N3.
Posted by: MzrtFan

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/09/11 07:46 PM

Interesting... I didn't know that. I wonder why they weren't interested in marketing it to the general public.

I also wonder why other piano manufacturers haven't yet come out with something equivalent to the AG's. So far, my impression from articles I've read online is that the AG's have been a success and well accepted among classical pianists. One would think that other companies would be interested in following the same path as Yamaha in developing this kind of hybrid technology that uses a real piano action.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/09/11 07:56 PM

Interesting... I didn't know that. I wonder why they weren't interested in marketing it to the general public.

I played one of the three prototypes and had planned to buy one. The price mentioned, off the record from Bösendorfer, was €20,000.

Yamaha has since taken over Bösendorfer and the rest is history.
Posted by: azandj

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/09/11 09:44 PM

Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
Actually, there have been a number over the years. One interesting and short-lived model was the Bosendorfer CEUSmaster.


But the CEUSmaster did not have silent play functionality, correct?
Posted by: Kona_V-Piano

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/09/11 10:08 PM

Originally Posted By: azandj
Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
Actually, there have been a number over the years. One interesting and short-lived model was the Bosendorfer CEUSmaster.


But the CEUSmaster did not have silent play functionality, correct?


The CLP990 was the only Yamaha CLP series to have an all natural real spruce key action back when it came out in 2001. I guess that was the first attempt at mixing a real keybed with sampled sounds.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/09/11 10:17 PM

Kona_V-Piano, may I ask what you mean by 'all natural real spruce key action'?

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Kona_V-Piano

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 12:09 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Kona_V-Piano, may I ask what you mean by 'all natural real spruce key action'?

Cheers,
James
x


http://usa.yamaha.com/en/products/musica...990/?mode=model

Natural Keyboard

In addition to unrivalled sound, the CLP-990 delivers unbelievably realistic touch with the "Natural Keyboard" featuring spruce keys. As with the highly acclaimed GH (Graded Hammer effect) keyboard of all other Yamaha Clavinovas, key weight is graded from heavier in the lower registers to lighter in the higher, exactly like a grand piano. However, in the "Natural Keyboard", this grading is in 8 steps as opposed to 4 in the GH keyboard. For even more realism, this new keyboard also uses a new hammer action that lets you actually feel the hammers and cushions as you play. What's more, there are two sensors — one under each hammer and one under each key. The hammer sensor detects velocity, while the key sensor detects when the damper is on or off. The result is the same feel and response as a grand piano's keyboard when playing fast, delicate passages. Add to this the warmth and texture of natural wood keys, and you have touch and control that is closer than ever to the real thing.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 12:50 AM

Thank you for the information.

So Yamaha were also using wooden keys in the DPs, and had 88-key sound sampling?

It seems like the CLP-990 was a really great instrument - I wonder why they took several backward steps with future generation models?

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 01:39 AM

Originally Posted By: azandj
Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
Actually, there have been a number over the years. One interesting and short-lived model was the Bosendorfer CEUSmaster.


But the CEUSmaster did not have silent play functionality, correct?
The CEUSmaster is not the CEUS reproducing system for the acoustic grands. The CEUSmaster had no built-in speakers. It had the usual array of stage-ready outputs and headphone jacks...so think of it as a stage slab with the most expensive action possible.

There is shared "CEUS" technology in both related to their uniquely accurate sensor system. Probably some other things, too.
Posted by: PianoZac

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 02:25 AM

Mzrtfan, good question. Kawai is the only other DP maker that also makes acoustic piano actions so this would pose problems for Roland, Korg, etc. Kawai certainly has the ability to do an AvantGrand-like hybrid. The CA93/CS9 is close. I suspect we may see them offer something similar with real grand piano action. Roland is doing just fine with the impressive V-Piano Grand. For some reason the PHA III inside the V-Piano feels much more authentic than inside Roland's other DPs. I suspect it's due to the tone generation.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 05:11 AM

Yamaha launched the AvantGrand pianos about 2 years ago, and I haven't heard anything on other makers developing a hybrid piano using a real piano action.

Don't forget that Yamaha introduced the GranTouch, the original hybrid, back in 1996 or so.

Kawai many years introduced a hybrid using a real upright piano action. Perhaps Kawai James can shed more light on that.

There's a lot of talk about actions but there were really only three digital\hybrid pianos that used real acoustic actions - GranTouch\AvantGrand, the Kawai upright hybrid, and the Bösendorfer prototypes which never went to market but was used on stage by Robbie William's piano player.
Posted by: Kona_V-Piano

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 07:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Thank you for the information.

So Yamaha were also using wooden keys in the DPs, and had 88-key sound sampling?

It seems like the CLP-990 was a really great instrument - I wonder why they took several backward steps with future generation models?

Cheers,
James
x


10 years later and playing it everyday, it still looks and plays as if it was brand new.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 07:59 AM

Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
There's a lot of talk about actions but there were really only three digital\hybrid pianos that used real acoustic actions - GranTouch\AvantGrand, the Kawai upright hybrid, and the Bösendorfer prototypes which never went to market....


In my opinion, this is a definitive statement.

The CLP990 did not have a grand piano action, it clearly had an action akin to the current Natural Wood action - for its time though, the specs are quite strikingly advanced in some respects.
Posted by: MzrtFan

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 08:36 AM

Originally Posted By: ZacharyForbes
Roland is doing just fine with the impressive V-Piano Grand. For some reason the PHA III inside the V-Piano feels much more authentic than inside Roland's other DPs. I suspect it's due to the tone generation.


I would like to try the V-Piano Grand (not that I can afford it tough... Just curious). I tried the regular V-Piano at Guitar Center and thought it felt very plasticky. Maybe it's the lack of a wooden cabinet that makes it feel like that.

Dave, you're right, I forgot all about the GranTouch... It just seems there's more of a hype around the AvantGrand, like it's something completely new and revolutionary. I was also reading about the Kawai hybrid upright, HA-11 if I'm not mistaken. I think it was around in the 90's, and it had a real upright action.

It would be interesting to see Kawai offer something like that again in the future using a grand action. I noticed their ATX series of silent pianos is named "hybrid" on their European catalog, but they are acoustic pianos with the added digital features, like Yamaha's silent series. The ATX series is not offered in the US though...
Posted by: Kona_V-Piano

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 09:25 AM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
There's a lot of talk about actions but there were really only three digital\hybrid pianos that used real acoustic actions - GranTouch\AvantGrand, the Kawai upright hybrid, and the Bösendorfer prototypes which never went to market....


In my opinion, this is a definitive statement.

The CLP990 did not have a grand piano action, it clearly had an action akin to the current Natural Wood action - for its time though, the specs are quite strikingly advanced in some respects.


I play real Yamaha grand piano's on a weekly basis. I take it you have not played the CLP990 before. If you did, you would not be making such statements. It happens to be the only piano Yamaha made for over 10 years to use that type of design for the keys. The AvantGrand series uses a completely different approach for the design, I have yet to play one of those to compare however since the samples are from the same concert grand they do sound very similar with headphones on as I have heard the dewster samples. The CLp990 key action surpasses the GH3 action which came out many years later by a whole lot. I would not be making these statements if I did not believe them to be 100% accurate. Very few of these CLP990's were sold because they were very expensive at the time in comparison to the CVP and other CLP series digital piano's. Never again did Yamaha use such a large sample for any digital piano, up until the AvantGrand series I presume even though Yamaha has kept sample size a secret for them.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 09:43 AM

Dave Horne's statement was factual. You express an opinion about the (for the time) unique features of the CLP-990. It is clear that it was a tour-de-force for Yamaha back then - but it does not have a grand piano action, or anything close to one. It is also, to my eyes, extremely ugly. But I do find it mystifying that Yamaha kind of went backwards with the Clavinova. In one or two respects the brand new Clavinovas still have not recovered the ground they lost.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 09:44 AM

Are there any explanation illustrations of image of the CLP-990's action?

Kona, perhaps you would be able to take a picture of the instrument with the lid off - it would be interesting to see how close/different this wooden-key action is to the current generation GH3.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Kona_V-Piano

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 10:59 AM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Dave Horne's statement was factual. You express an opinion about the (for the time) unique features of the CLP-990. It is clear that it was a tour-de-force for Yamaha back then - but it does not have a grand piano action, or anything close to one. It is also, to my eyes, extremely ugly. But I do find it mystifying that Yamaha kind of went backwards with the Clavinova. In one or two respects the brand new Clavinovas still have not recovered the ground they lost.


In what way does it not have a Yamaha grand piano feel? It certainly fools me when I play all my songs. Trust me when I say I am the most picky person when it comes to the way a piano feels since I play acoustics all the time. There is very little difference between the way my CLP990 keyboard behaves and an acoustic. The artificial looping of the samples along with certain layer changes are the only things that I can hear different. However the way the keyboard behaves is 100% better than the GH3 in terms of grand piano feel. If you have not played it, you cannot make a comment that it does not have grand piano action and that it is not even close to one. If you sat down at one to play, you will see it is way ahead of the GH3 and has a heavier feel at the lower registers than anything Roland has put out, which again is more accurate to how a grand piano feels. ALl things considered, Yamaha for some reason only produced this type of keyboard one time for one model. I can only assume because it was expensive to reproduce and they wanted to save money. Hence the GH3 which is a cheap alternative for all those years following. Not even the V-Piano keyboard feels as realistic to me as the CLP990's because it is too light all around, however the sound sure does surpass it. Like I mentioned before, the lightness of the keys on the V-Piano make it less fatiguing than an acoustic grand which may be a positive. However if you want true grand piano feel, you have to have that heavier than usual keybed on the lower registers. I assume the AvantGrand feels heavier than the GH3 making it more realistic as well.
Posted by: PianoZac

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 11:27 AM

Kona, I think you're getting mixed up in semantics. While the CLP990 may in fact feel like a grand piano, it's action, the mechanics and physical construction are not the same as a real grand piano action.
Posted by: PianoZac

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 11:28 AM

Kona, I think you're getting mixed up in semantics. While the CLP990 may in fact feel like a grand piano, it's action, the mechanics and physical construction are not the same as a real grand piano action.
Posted by: Kona_V-Piano

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 11:39 AM

Originally Posted By: ZacharyForbes
Kona, I think you're getting mixed up in semantics. While the CLP990 may in fact feel like a grand piano, it's action, the mechanics and physical construction are not the same as a real grand piano action.


Here is a good sounding vid where you can see it being played.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68m7DztSh58
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo4ExG-fu6g
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 11:59 AM

I think some folks need to get out and play acoustic pianos and also take a look inside.

This reminds me of the discussions where someone asks if their piano is incomplete since it lacks dampers for the top octave and a half.

People, go out and play acoustic pianos and stop reading the advertising.
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 12:11 PM

In the difference of real piano action vs. compact action simulation...


Versus...

Versus...

Versus...whatever design is in your CLP990? I hope this is now clear. I'm not sure what action is in the CLP990, but I'm sure it is not the first type. I am curious like Kawai James.
Posted by: Kona_V-Piano

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 12:28 PM

Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
In the difference of real piano action vs. compact action simulation...


Versus...

Versus...

Versus...whatever design is in your CLP990? I hope this is now clear. I'm not sure what action is in the CLP990, but I'm sure it is not the first type. I am curious like Kawai James.


I understand what you mean. If I ever need to take it apart, I will post the pictures.
Posted by: pv88

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 07:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Kona_V-Piano
I understand what you mean. If I ever need to take it apart, I will post the pictures.

@Kona:

Were you referring to your Yamaha, or, the Roland V-Piano?

Please do not take your V-Piano apart for any reason since that would void your warranty, and, only let a Roland technician take care of any issues, etc.

There has been talk of why the V-Piano has such a large outer case, and, both Steve & Zachary have been keen to note that it's probably due to a larger than usual action, giving the piano its nearly acoustic-like feel.

Perhaps "krzyzowski"* might eventually be willing to open his up, since I know he had acquired a used/damaged unit to begin with, as we all would be curious to know what's going on inside!

That could be a real eye opener to get a review... with photos?

*And, here is the quoted text of his post:

"V-Piano is a rugged machine; Bought mine damaged. Got a great deal. Big dent in it. UPS guy laughed as he carried the pieces out of the truck. He wondered why I didn't file a claim told him I bought it that way. Came in a plain box with no packing, just laid in there. Put it all back together and use it every day. Still has a dent in the keyslip."
Posted by: Kona_V-Piano

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 08:29 PM

Originally Posted By: pv88
Originally Posted By: Kona_V-Piano
I understand what you mean. If I ever need to take it apart, I will post the pictures.

@Kona:

Were you referring to your Yamaha, or, the Roland V-Piano?

Please do not take your V-Piano apart for any reason since that would void your warranty, and, only let a Roland technician take care of any issues, etc.

There has been talk of why the V-Piano has such a large outer case, and, both Steve & Zachary have been keen to note that it's probably due to a larger than usual action, giving the piano its nearly acoustic-like feel.

Perhaps "krzyzowski"* might eventually be willing to open his up, since I know he had acquired a used/damaged unit to begin with, as we all would be curious to know what's going on inside!

That could be a real eye opener to get a review... with photos?

*And, here is the quoted text of his post:

"V-Piano is a rugged machine; Bought mine damaged. Got a great deal. Big dent in it. UPS guy laughed as he carried the pieces out of the truck. He wondered why I didn't file a claim told him I bought it that way. Came in a plain box with no packing, just laid in there. Put it all back together and use it every day. Still has a dent in the keyslip."


No way I am opening up the V-piano. And yeah it is good to hear that is is a rugged machine too. I was talking about my CLP990 which probably has a similar action as the original Graded Hammer but with Spruce (heavier) keys and a couple of extra sensors than the GH3 has. Other than that it is probably not some groundbreaking design, it just happens to be really good for its time and the fact I have zero keys broken and I play hard means it withstood the test of time as well.
Posted by: azandj

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 09:45 PM

Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
The CEUSmaster is not the CEUS reproducing system for the acoustic grands. The CEUSmaster had no built-in speakers. It had the usual array of stage-ready outputs and headphone jacks...so think of it as a stage slab with the most expensive action possible.

There is shared "CEUS" technology in both related to their uniquely accurate sensor system. Probably some other things, too.


Ah, thanks for clearing that up!
Posted by: PianoZac

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 10:03 PM

Originally Posted By: pv88


There has been talk of why the V-Piano has such a large outer case, and, both Steve & Zachary have been keen to note that it's probably due to a larger than usual action, giving the piano its nearly acoustic-like feel.


Well, to set the record straight, Steve and I both wondered why the V-Piano's PHA III action feels different than the PHA III inside Roland's other boards, but honestly, if Roland had a special action for the V-Piano, they'd be proud to market and advertise that. The difference in feel is due to unique tone generation inside the V-Piano combined with the the physical construction of the V-Piano. I played a V-Piano the other day for the first time in a while, and I have to say, hats off to Roland, they nailed how a piano behaves. It's a very playable instrument.
Posted by: kippesc

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 10:30 PM

Above, I spied actions, which are always fun to look at. Some might not remember this thread

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...20N2%20apa.html

where this picture of the interior of the Yamaha AvantGrand N2 was posted.



When I saw that, I thought, Cool, that might actually be worth $10k.
Posted by: Kona_V-Piano

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 10:43 PM

I found something interesting from Yamaha. Now I don't know if the natural wood keyboard in the CLP990 is the one they describe since GH3 did not exist yet when the CLP990 was released. To me it feels nothing like the GH3.

http://faq.yamaha.com/us/en/article/musi...last_page_id=10

What is the difference between the natural wood (NW), graded hammer (GH3) 3, graded hammer (GH), and graded hammer standard (GHS) keyboards?

*

Back to the list
Go to Product Information

Last Update: 10/14/2010
Each of the keyboards is explained below.

NW keyboard: This keyboard has the same structure as a GH3 keyboard, but the white keys are are all cut from the same plank of natural wood, just like in an acoustic piano. Using our wood-working skills gained from making pianos, we are able to keep keyboard vibration and warping to a minimum. We have achieved the solid feeling of a grand piano.

GH3 keyboard: This keyboard has Yamaha's proprietary third sensor, the Damper Sensor. It enables the pianist to play the same note in rapid succession without cutting off the sound, enabling performances only possible on a grand piano. As with the GH keyboard, the lower keys are heavier and the higher keys are lighter, faithfully reproducing the differences in feel.

GH keyboard: In pursuit of the feel of playing on a grand piano, the lower keys are heavier and the higher keys become lighter, the touch response changing gradually through the different registers, thus creating a natural touch response on the keyboard.

GHS keyboard: This keyboard is based on the concept of the GH keyboard, but uses lighter parts. This decrease in weight all reduces the overall weight of the instrument. The selection of a keyboard is greatly influenced by the preferences and sense of the indiviudal, so we invite you to come and play several products for yourself.
Posted by: MzrtFan

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 10:47 PM

Now, that's a real grand piano action right there! Awesome pic! Thank you for posting this.

It almost makes me want to buy one... I'm still undecided... I'll probably come to a decision in another year or so, haha!
Posted by: MzrtFan

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/10/11 11:03 PM

Regarding my original question: today I went to the Kawai dealer in my area to play the CN33 again, and while I was there I asked the store owner about the possiblity of Kawai coming out with a product like the AvantGrand. His answer was probably not, due to the fact that Kawai spent a lot of time and effort developing the RM3 action to be as close as possible to the real thing. I actually think that's a very plausible answer, even though he's not an "insider" at Kawai, just a dealer.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/11/11 04:59 AM

I'll go out on limb here and give a common sense comment or two regarding actions - not based on any real knowledge per se.

The actions that use wood in the keys don't affect the action per se but give the guys in the advertising department something to differentiate their product form the rest. It looks nice, and for some gives it an organic feel (whatever that means) - it always comes across as a plus.

Graded hammers - this just means that the upper keys in the action require less downward force to depress because the keys themselves are lighter.

In a real piano action there are weights in the keys. As you travel from the lower notes to the top notes in an acoustic piano you'll see (and possible feel smile ) three to seven or so graduations of weighting. The makers of digital keyboard actions do the same but to a much less degree. This also give the guys in advertising something to write about.

Graded hammers in a digital keyboard action is just hype as far as I'm concerned since the actions in the overwhelming number of digital keyboards are already pretty light to begin with. Making some of the keys even lighter to make the action more 'realistic' borders on unnecessary hype as far as I'm concerned, but it does allow the guys in advertising to write wondrous claims.
Posted by: reza

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/11/11 05:57 AM

Schimmel also have Silent versions called Schimmel TwinTone
Posted by: reza

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/11/11 06:12 AM

Even with this full acoustic piano action in models like N1/N2/N3, I think there is something missing in Dynamics part of the action especially regarding repeated notes.
Posted by: reza

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/11/11 07:54 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Thank you for the information.

It seems like the CLP-990 was a really great instrument - I wonder why they took several backward steps with future generation models?

Cheers,
James
x


I also impressed with the features of the CLP990, it is still superior to the most of Clavinova series. Man 88 keys samples, 80 MB sample memory, 5 dynamics levels. It is wonderful. New Clavinowas are definite down grades.
Posted by: PianoZac

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/11/11 05:23 PM

80MB samples was very large for the time but some of the samples in my Nord NP88 are just shy of 200MB and those are tiny compared to the software samples. I wonder what the size of the samples are inside the CP5, RD700NX, MP10, and even inside the AvantGrands...
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/12/11 05:23 AM

The sample used for the GranTouch was 30 MB. I used that sample for 12 years and never felt that it lacked anything. (It also only had 32 note polyphony ... and I never felt or heard any notes dropping out as a result of hitting the limit.)
Posted by: lisztvsthalberg

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/12/11 05:50 AM

+1

And it still sounds good!
Posted by: PianoZac

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/12/11 10:30 AM

Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
The sample used for the GranTouch was 30 MB. I used that sample for 12 years and never felt that it lacked anything. (It also only had 32 note polyphony ... and I never felt or heard any notes dropping out as a result of hitting the limit.)


Good points Dave. I guess, purely for technical reasons, I'm curious to see what the sample sizes are in most modern DPs. Also, as far as polyphony goes, if the number told the whole story, then I should be having some serious headaches with the NP88 since it boasts a mere 40-60 notes vs the 128-196 in most other DPs, and yet, I've never, not once experienced any note stealing in the NP88.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/12/11 10:37 AM

Originally Posted By: ZacharyForbes
I should be having some serious headaches with the NP88 since it boasts a mere 40-60 notes vs the 128-196 in most other DPs, and yet, I've never, not once experienced any note stealing in the NP88.

IIRC, the NP88's 40-60 notes polyphony is the equivalent of 80-120 in other DPs. The figures quoted are for the full stereo note samples, whereas other DPs use two mono units for each note played in stereo.
Posted by: Kona_V-Piano

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/12/11 03:14 PM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
Originally Posted By: ZacharyForbes
I should be having some serious headaches with the NP88 since it boasts a mere 40-60 notes vs the 128-196 in most other DPs, and yet, I've never, not once experienced any note stealing in the NP88.

IIRC, the NP88's 40-60 notes polyphony is the equivalent of 80-120 in other DPs. The figures quoted are for the full stereo note samples, whereas other DPs use two mono units for each note played in stereo.


The only time I've ever run into polyphony issues that were noticeable is when using the ClP990's feature where I can have 4 different sounds played at the same time. It cuts the 192 polyphony down by four to 48 polyphony. Even then, I have to be holding down the sustain indefinitely for me to audibly hear notes drop. In the real world playing, 64 polyphony is enough to get by without noticing any note drop offs. That is why that was the standard amount for so long until it changed to 128 for most. On older Casio keyboards they had 5-10 polyphony max. Those ran out of notes real quick.
Posted by: PianoZac

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/12/11 04:07 PM

Why in the he*% did Yamaha back track so far from the CLP990 with their Clavinova series?? It was obviously a stand out board, and Yamaha appears to have totally backtracked in that lineup...
Posted by: Kona_V-Piano

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/12/11 06:16 PM

Originally Posted By: ZacharyForbes
Why in the he*% did Yamaha back track so far from the CLP990 with their Clavinova series?? It was obviously a stand out board, and Yamaha appears to have totally backtracked in that lineup...


I never understood why myself as I followed each improvement in the CLP line over the years. I'm not a marketing major, nor do I pretend to be, however it would make sense to keep improving on previous numbers as that is what gets buyers to want to upgrade. I guess the market they wanted to sell it to became people who can care less about specs and more about price. That eliminated me from wanting to upgrade for sure. If you look around at all the other brands of cabinet digital keyboards, the specs really haven't changed over the last 10 years for most part either. I guess Yamaha and all the other companies have been waiting for each other to be the first to spend some R&D on an improvement and then study their sales numbers to see if they made any more money than before. I think it has to do with complacency as well. But it may boil down to simply lowering the cost of production at the various sweatshops.

As for Yamaha not coming out with their own modeled piano, I have to assume they have not been able to achieve it in the same manner Roland has. Remember that it took Roland 10 years to create the V-Piano technology from scratch.

So by 2009-2011, Yamaha has been able to model the soundboard, and hammer hardness, along with some other sounds, however they still want to use recorded samples for the most prominant main sound and allow that limitation of looping to continue.

Another reason would be that Yamaha feels 99.9% of people or potential buyers would not be able to tell the difference anyway..And they are probably right. We are a very very small group of people who can't afford or don't have the space for a concert grand piano in the house who want that particular sound.

Another area that has seen a standstill and is diminishing more than ever is in the hardware synthesizer market. That one is easy to figure out because everyone has multiple controllers in old keyboards and software is cheap, good and upgradeable. However latency is still a factor which is why I and many other musicians need and prefer a stage worthy synth to play. USB 3.0 may change all that if that spec is placed inside a controller keyboard for cheap.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/13/11 05:23 AM

The vast majority of purchasers of DPs are after bells and whistles, not an acoustic piano substitute (from my experience of visting DP stores). Most have never played on an acoustic piano before. Hardly surprising that DP manufacturers target buyers with lots of space-age multi-colored displays, buttons, levers and dials on the consoles, and not bother trying to make the keyboard play or feel like an acoustic. If you're not into classical music, why would you want an acoustic piano substitute in your keyboard rather than lots of fun sounds and things to plug into?

It's like iPod/MP3 and downloads v CD. The sound quality of the former are nowhere near that of CDs, yet most people far prefer the convenience of those, even if they could hear the difference (and many probably don't).
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/13/11 07:29 AM

bennevis, with the greatest respect, you're completely wrong.

Originally Posted By: bennevis
The vast majority of purchasers of DPs are after bells and whistles, not an acoustic piano substitute...


This is absolute rubbish.

Take this forum as an example - the majority of posts from individuals looking to purchase a new digital piano almost always emphasise the need for the instrument to "sound and feel as close to an acoustic piano as possible". We seldom, if ever, read posts that list requirements such as "...it's got to have a multi-coloured display and lots of buttons and flashing lights". If this was the case, I expect we'd recommend the individual purchase a cheap keyboard from their local Dixons or Argos (you're British, yes?), rather than a digital piano.

Originally Posted By: bennevis
Most have never played on an acoustic piano before.


Really? That's quite a broad, sweeping statement. What about those individuals who learn by playing their teacher's piano? Or those who own an acoustic, but wish to purchase a digital piano to facilitate silent practise? Or even those who - heaven forbid - decide to replace their ageing acoustic piano with a digital instrument?

Originally Posted By: bennevis
Hardly surprising that DP manufacturers target buyers with lots of space-age multi-colored displays, buttons, levers and dials on the consoles


Which instruments (brand and model numbers please) are you referring to specifically? It appears that you may be confusing console digital pianos with stage pianos - the latter of which which typically feature knobs, sliders, wheels, and buttons in order to adjust the character of the sound in real-time. Regardless, the presence or absence of LCD displays and buttons does not automatically mean that the instrument's keyboard action or piano sound has been compromised - your very own marvellous V-Piano is a case in point.

Originally Posted By: bennevis
...and not bother trying to make the keyboard play or feel like an acoustic.


Actually, this is usually the first priority for most digital piano manufacturers.

Originally Posted By: benneivs
If you're not into classical music, why would you want an acoustic piano substitute...


Perhaps to play other types of music - music that is often performed using an acoustic piano? Are you familiar with the various forms of popular music termed 'Jazz', for example?

Individuals purchase digital pianos for a variety of reasons, and are just as diverse in their demographic, playing ability, and ambition. For you to suggest that those who do not choose to play classical music are any less demanding (in terms of realism or authenticity) of their acoustic piano substitute is both condescending and incorrect.

Ah, and the CD vs MP3 analogy tagged onto the end of your post is completely irrelevant.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/13/11 10:52 AM

I'm prepared to be corrected, but I base my opinions on my observations, as I've already stated, and from chatting to many prospective buyers, some of whom come up to me to ask my opinions when they see me playing. The majority are looking for a 'keyboard', not a piano substitute, and most have never played an acoustic - the fact that a DP can play like an acoustic is secondary to what accompaniments, different sounds, and rhythm stuff it provides. The DPs with few colored displays and knobs and dials on the consoles get scant attention from punters in DP stores, and a quick chat with the store assistants confirm what I suspected: some DPs fly out of the window; others just don't sell. People who post here have questions to ask or opinions to state, and don't necessarily reflect the majority of DP buyers. But, as you say, I'm currently based in the UK, so the situation in USA may be different, though the few times I've walked into DP stores there didn't seem any different to here in the UK.

Incidentally, I've two friends who are jazz pianists, one of whom is a semi-professional. They have their (Yamaha) acoustic baby grands voiced very brightly, and their priorities in a piano are very different to that of classical pianists, and they play very differently too. They also own several keyboards. I invited them to play my V-Piano (which I have to say they weren't that impressed with - they expected far more from a keyboard) and one of them wanted to do his own customization (only the very bright-sounding customizations that I did appealed to them, like my 'Yamaha' setting). To me, his version was well-nigh unplayable, even for the jazzy music I like playing (Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Preludes etc). BTW, I've listened to lots of jazz pianists past and present and have several CDs of Oscar Petersen, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett etc. I admire some of their playing, but it's obvious that their priorities are different from that of classical pianists (though Keith Jarrett switches to 'classical mode' when he plays Bach and Shostakovich). Different - I never said inferior.

Posted by: bennevis

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/13/11 11:37 AM

My reference to CD v MP3 was in response to Kona V-Piano's post about Yamaha feeling that 99.9% of people 'would not be able to tell the difference anyway'.

I've got friends who're amazed that my ancient cassette tape Walkman still works perfectly, and even more amazed that its sound quality (especially recordings on CrO2 and metal tape) is better than that from their iPods - but some are so used to their iPod sound that they refuse to believe what their ears tell them.....
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/13/11 12:54 PM

My own opinions of course...

I think a lot of DP buyers are people who would love to be able to play the piano, but have never really learned. They may have dabbled a bit, but for whatever reason never stuck with it. The presence of "bells and whistles" - features that assist with accompaniment, rhythms, note illumination etc. - help the buyer to sound good with minimum input/effort. That may be one of the main reasons why "distractions" win out over authenticity for a good percentage of sales. Serious musicians will usually eschew these gizmos in favor of those models with the most refined action/sound.

But manufacturers are also in something of a rather slow race to be able to come up with an affordable and acceptable facsimile of an acoustic grand - hence the AvantGrand and V-Piano. To have a flagship model accepted, played and endorsed by famous musicians from across the musical spectrum is a major marketing triumph. In the non-classical world, the fact that you can watch a concert and pick out those red Nords, or the illuminated Yamaha logo, does wonders for sales, I'm sure. I feel just as certain that the day when a noted classical pianist sits down at a Roland or Kawai as his instrument of choice for a concert will be splashed across the DP brochures. So the quest for authenticity does matter to DP manufacturers.

The irony is that marketing seems to be a drag on innovation - rationing the use of the best technology, and maybe even holding back on the inclusion of new developments. It's perfectly understandable that higher-cost actions should be reserved for upper-echelon models, but parsimony with better software seems ludicrous when the gulf between PC and DP technology threatens to grow into a continental divide. But in the end, I really do think that these companies cannot survive without pushing the boundaries, and so would expect to see every major player with a flagship DP that rivals the AvantGrand.

For those that are following the parallel development of organ "clonewheel" technology, it is now the smaller companies that are in the forefront. The maker of VB3 software, for example, is helping to revive the Crumar name with a product that may wipe the floor with Hammond-Suzuki, Roland and others. Should Pianoteq choose to follow the same route, we could be in for some serious competition in the DP arena; that can only be good for all of us here.
Posted by: PianoZac

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/13/11 02:20 PM

I think that the DP manufacturers, in their defense, have a rather tough shoe to fill. It seems they are expected to produce the total feel, meaning an accurate acoustic piano action reproduction, the total sound, accurately reproducing the full spectrum of nuances that pianos produce, at a minimum cost and weight. The gigging musicians want a keyboard that sounds amazing, plays amazing, and weighs nearly nothing, and yet our home-use only DP buyer wants the look, sound and action of an acoustic, but at a fraction of the cost. I'd say the newest Yamahas and Kawais in particular are executing the home-based DP market well. Roland is too, but seem to be slightly more limited in the action department since they don't make their own acoustic actions. Needless to say, the big 3 DP makers are putting out some quality stuff. To be able to reproduce what a several hundred pound wood and metal instrument is capable of in an often portable, much smaller synthetic unit is a tough task to fulfill.
Posted by: athomik

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/15/11 10:09 AM

Originally Posted By: reza
Schimmel also have Silent versions called Schimmel TwinTone


I believe that is an early (late '90's ?) Yamaha silent system.
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/15/11 11:59 AM

Originally Posted By: athomik
Originally Posted By: reza
Schimmel also have Silent versions called Schimmel TwinTone


I believe that is an early (late '90's ?) Yamaha silent system.
I believe it is one generation newer than late '90s, but yes, it's a Yamaha product and I think one generation behind Yamaha's current offering.
Posted by: athomik

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 09/16/11 05:09 AM

Looking at the control box on the Schimmel website, they don't have a Reverb control, which some of the more recent Yamaha ranges did have. Either way, I don't think they are associated with Yamaha anymore.
On another note, the Kemble silent system (not that Kembles are very common in the US), as well as the one on Bösendorfers are the current Yamaha SG system.
Posted by: trandinhnamanh

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 02/20/13 09:34 AM

pianoworld
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 02/20/13 09:54 AM

Was this mentioned ... ?

http://www.alpha-piano.com/en
Posted by: trandinhnamanh

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 02/20/13 10:36 AM

I've just posted some pics about the CLP-990's action. Hope it'll help smile

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post2036302
Posted by: krzyzowski

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 02/20/13 01:48 PM

Originally Posted By: pv88
Originally Posted By: Kona_V-Piano
I understand what you mean. If I ever need to take it apart, I will post the pictures.

@Kona:

Were you referring to your Yamaha, or, the Roland V-Piano?

Please do not take your V-Piano apart for any reason since that would void your warranty, and, only let a Roland technician take care of any issues, etc.

There has been talk of why the V-Piano has such a large outer case, and, both Steve & Zachary have been keen to note that it's probably due to a larger than usual action, giving the piano its nearly acoustic-like feel.

Perhaps "krzyzowski"* might eventually be willing to open his up, since I know he had acquired a used/damaged unit to begin with, as we all would be curious to know what's going on inside!

That could be a real eye opener to get a review... with photos?

*And, here is the quoted text of his post:


"V-Piano is a rugged machine; Bought mine damaged. Got a great deal. Big dent in it. UPS guy laughed as he carried the pieces out of the truck. He wondered why I didn't file a claim told him I bought it that way. Came in a plain box with no packing, just laid in there. Put it all back together and use it every day. Still has a dent in the keyslip."

Tnx for reminding me; I have to pop the cover and replace the slip. There are some open V pix showing the replacement of worn keys somewhere..
Posted by: krzyzowski

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 02/20/13 02:05 PM

IMHO, In 20 yr the acoustic instrument will become obsolete. Modern equipment has become accepted as the "Evolution" of sound. This is not a bad thing because technology has changed music ever since the vibrating string. The new kids on the block like the artifical sound and strive to create it. Bach can sound great played on anything..Its all about the: Composer> The Music> The Performer> not the instrument.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 02/20/13 02:15 PM

Originally Posted By: krzyzowski
IMHO, In 20 yr the acoustic instrument will become obsolete. Modern equipment has become accepted as the "Evolution" of sound. This is not a bad thing because technology has changed music ever since the vibrating string. The new kids on the block like the artifical sound and strive to create it. Bach can sound great played on anything..Its all about the: Composer> The Music> The Performer> not the instrument.


In 20 years? Not a chance.

While most of today's digital piano pieces of C**p will already long ago have been brought to the junk heap, my acoustic and that of many others will still be going strong. In addition, those of us who enjoy authentic, analog experiences that have a direct culture-evolutionary link going back hundreds of years will still prefer the real thing over the digital substitute.

Synthetic fabrics have been around for more than 50 years, yet still people want to enjoy the comfort of cotton and wool.

Linoleum floors and and vinyl carpets are cheap and cheerful, yet many distinguishing home owners still choose for marble and waxed hard-wood floors. Automatic transmissions make it so much easier to hold your Big Gulp in your hand yet clasic automobile aficionados would never consider a car without manual transmission.

I could go on, but I think you get the picture....
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 02/20/13 02:32 PM

Automatic transmissions make it so much easier to hold your Big Gulp in your hand yet clasic automobile aficionados would never consider a car without manual transmission.

I was hoping you'd compare the car with the horse. smile

There will always be an acoustic pianos on stage for performances but there will be fewer and fewer acoustic pianos made and more and more electric and hybrid pianos used in places where previously the acoustic piano reigned.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 02/20/13 04:17 PM

And don't forget that in the Old World, manual transmission still reigns supreme. We Europeans like to feel that we are in control, not a machine. grin

Even for bog-standard automobiles, like my little Citröen C2, manual transmission is standard. The vast majority of cars in the UK are manual. And most learner drivers learn on manual.

We also like to feel that we are in control of the keyboard too........

Incidentally, among aficionados (outdoors people), natural fabrics are the way to go. Merino wool and bamboo, unlike polyester and nylon, are naturally anti-bacterial and so remain stink-free even when worn unwashed for weeks in the mountains, but still wick reasonably well and quick-drying.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 02/20/13 11:48 PM

Originally Posted By: adak
It was mentioned earlier that Roland doesn't make their own piano actions. Is that right?


I don't know where you read this (it would be helpful to include a source to the thread...), however the information is not correct. Roland DPs utilise Roland-made keyboard actions.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Karnevil

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 02/22/13 02:55 PM

Originally Posted By: krzyzowski
IMHO, In 20 yr the acoustic instrument will become obsolete. Modern equipment has become accepted as the "Evolution" of sound. This is not a bad thing because technology has changed music ever since the vibrating string. The new kids on the block like the artifical sound and strive to create it. Bach can sound great played on anything..Its all about the: Composer> The Music> The Performer> not the instrument.


No chance, no way.
Posted by: maurus

Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? - 02/22/13 05:50 PM

The interesting thing about vibrating strings is: They are still around. And, coupled to some wooden resonance body and agitated by a hand or a suitable mechanism, they still are making fantastic music. And will continue to do so for much longer than we might think.

Acoustics allows for much more complex phenomena than some electronics and a few speakers can emulate.

Real painting won't go away just because we have a few graphics programs. DPs are not here for replacing APs, but for complementing them, for different uses.

Actually this is why hybrid constructions are so attractive. They keep at least part of the real thing. And after all, the best emulation of a grand piano is another grand piano.