Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops)

Posted by: Karnevil

Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 09/30/11 12:07 PM

Hi!

I have a couple of questions regarding the Yamaha Avantgrand N1, and it would be great if you could help me out. smile

I’m a music teacher and play/practice the piano almost daily. Right now I’m using a Yamaha CP300 digital stage piano at home, and I’m finding it limiting. I can’t use a real acoustic because of my appartment isn’t sound proof enough.

I can only afford the Avantgrand N1 right now, but I would like to know if it compares favourably to N2/N3 playing wise. (Have no means of playing one before buying, although I’ve tried an N3.) If anyone here have had experiences with several Avantgrand models, including the N1, I’m very interested in your opinions.

I’m mainly wondering about the two omissions in the N1 feature wise. 1: Lack of ivorite keytops, is the plastic material on N1 satisfactory for demanding classical playing? 2: Lack of TRS (tactile response system), is this a big deal? I tried a N3, and the TRS did not feel entirely natural to me, but I didn’t test it for very long. Will the speakers create enough of a vibrating string sensation by themselves in the N1?

There very little info and user experiences on the net about the N1, so I would be very grateful for any critial advice you can give me. Thanks! smile
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 09/30/11 01:06 PM

As for the plastic keys ... You're already familiar with plastic KEY TOPS, both on your CP300 and on nearly any acoustic you've played (real ivory is rare, right?). So I presume you're asking about the difference between PLASTIC KEYS and WOOD KEYS? I think the only way to know if there's a difference is to try both an N1 and an N2/N3. (I don't think wood is important, but that's just me. In the end, only YOUR own opinion matters, right?)

As for the tactile response system ... When I bought a Clavinova, I was surprised at the lack of key vibration/feel. I still had my upright at the time and I played both units. The difference is startling.

But I quickly became accustomed to the non-TRS feel, and don't suffer for it. I surely wouldn't spend much more money to gain the TRS. But, once again ... only YOUR opinion matters.

As for "will the speakers create enough vibrating string sensation by themselves in the N1?" ... I haven't tried an N1 but it's easy to conclude that the keys won't pick up any significant vibration from the speakers. There's just not much coupling of energy between speakers and keys.

Summary:
1. The only way to judge pianos is by trying it them yourself.
2. If you can "only" afford an N1, then perhaps the choice is moot ... get the N1. It may be a compromise for the no-wood and no-TRS, but you're still getting a unit that's head's above other digital pianos.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 09/30/11 01:54 PM

Mac3 answered the question about the keytops and even though I haven't played the N1 (or N2) the action is the same, although as you noted, the N1 does not have the TRS.

I do most of my practicing using headphones and by default Yamaha turns off the TRS when using headphones (though it can be turned back on). I don't miss the TRS and while it's a nice touch, so to speak, it should not be a deal clincher.

I wouldn't count on the internal speakers of the N1 transferring any kind of tactile response. If money were an issue (it wasn't when I bought my N3 but it is now), I would buy the N1. Yamaha was smart in introducing the N3, the most expensive model first, followed by the N2 and then the N1. All things considered, the N1 is the best buy. I could have almost bought two N1's for what I paid for the N3.

Buy the N1, but as always, be sure to play one before you make the final decision. Don't forget to bring along quality headphones as well.
Posted by: MzrtFan

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 09/30/11 04:08 PM

I recently compared the N1 and N2 (for almost 2h on 2 different occasions). My conclusions after the 2nd visit were:

If I had $7,000 (that's the price I was given at the 2nd store!) and did not have to sell my acoustic to buy an AvantGrand, I would have bought the N1.

If I had been offered a good trade-in value for my piano, I would have bought the N2.

The N1 is very close to the N2 as far as the keytops go. I noticed a slight difference (fingers slide more easily on the ivory feel keys). But I don't think the N1 impaired my playing in any way, it was just something I noticed and probably would have gotten used to it.

However, the TRS did make it a lot more realistic and that's why I say I would have chosen the N2 if I had to sell my piano in order to buy an AG. I don't have any access at all to another acoustic piano in order to satisfy any occasional "cravings" for a real piano experience.

About the N1 speakers, if you have the volume high enough you can actually fell some vibrations - but not like the TRS though.

I felt the N1 provides a very satisfying experience though, even without the TRS.

Good luck!
Posted by: Karnevil

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 09/30/11 04:20 PM

Thanks for the replies! I obviously ment "Ivorite", (i.e. fake Ivory, vs. the cheaper plastic material on the N1 keys), I'm not exactly a newbie... Both N1 and N2/N3 obviously has wooden keys, the only difference is the key top material.

I do notice that vibration from the speakers affect the keys on the CP300, and I was hoping that since the N1 is built much more massive with long wooden keys that the effect would be more pronounced..

Thanks Mozart fan for your answer!

Posted by: kippesc

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 09/30/11 08:58 PM

If you again get access to an N2 or N3, but not an N1, try different TRS settings (off, min, default (middle), max -- I think) and decide the TRS issue for yourself. For me, it's not a big deal to have it off, which is the default setting when you use headphones.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/01/11 06:06 AM

I like the TRS. On the N3 the TRS also extends to the pedals and I find it a very real sensation personally - bearing in mind the N3 was brought into my house the very same day a real Yamaha grand was taken out the comparison was certainly meaningful to me.

Everyone keeps mentioning the TRS but don't forget the N3 also has the soundboard resonator. In my opinion this is something that makes some of the behaviour of the N3 uncannily right - if you pound the piano the resonator just keeps swelling the sound. To illustrate this, you can sit down at the piano and play a chord with the greatest strength you can, ie, max out the piano's velocity (you obviously need to bang pretty hard to do this!). If you do this several times in a row the volume and timbre of the piano changes, just as it would on a real grand, the resonator doing "more" each time thereby simulating the behaviour of a real soundboard - the sound just swells and becomes absolutely towering.

I think the AG range is very well conceived in terms of the features/benefits of the three products - each has a unique position within the hierarchy with a well-judged price/feature identity. I think the N1 had to happen - the range would be incomplete without it. It is not too far away price-wise from the top-line offerings from Yamaha and the other maufacturers but offers the unique (to Yamaha) real grand action, which is the main "prize" and makes it the perfect practicing tool. One thing that strikes me is that I've never seen any AG owner that wants to get rid of it or is not very impressed and happy with their piano.

Cheers,

Steve
Posted by: Volusiano

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/01/11 09:36 PM

I own an N3 so I can't comment on the Ivorite vs Plastic Resin question. On the TRS question, I use headphones for practice a lot, and in this mode, the TRS is automatically off. You can turn TRS on in headphone mode, but you'll hear the soft vibrating sound they use to induce the vibration on the keys. So it wouldn't be completely silent via headphones if you turn TRS on. Because I want complete silence, I forgo the TRS mode in headphone practice. But while I don't miss it during headphones mode, when I play in the normal play mode, I can tell that it's on, but it feels natural enough that it doesn't throw me off or anything. I can switch back and forth easily with or without TRS with no problem. The point I'm trying to say is that while TRS is nice, it's not going to make a significant enough difference that will be a make or break decision on your purchase of the AG.
Posted by: Kuanpiano

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/01/11 10:44 PM

I've tried the Avantgrands, and for my purposes, the N1 is best. If you want the best of the best, go for an N3 which is probably superior to any baby grand or small grand piano, but with an N1, it's still in the same price range as an acoustic upright but is by far the better choice IMO.

I wasn't a big fan of the N2 in comparison, the difference between that and the N1 wasn't huge and it was several thousand dollars more. I only noticed the TRS when I turned the volume off too...
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/01/11 10:59 PM

I'm certainly leaning towards the N1. The speakers on the N2 do seem better, though. That, more than the keytops and the TRS, seems to be what significantly separates the two models.
Posted by: Karnevil

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/02/11 09:09 AM

Thanks for some very interesting comments! I really appreciate the feedback. I agree that an N3 would be the ultimate choice, but at 2.5x the price of an N1 it's just far outside my budget..

I think I understand as far as the keytops. If I glide my fingers across the keys on my CP300 (Yamaha digital stage piano) it doesn't feel as frictionless as the material used on real (quality) acoustic pianos, but it doesn't really hamper my playing in any way.
From what I can deduce so far the TRS is a nice feature, but doesn't represent a big difference in playing comfort/experience when using headphones, which I'll do more than 90% of the time.

I'm going to talk with the local piano store next week, and see what kind of price I can get for an N1. Wow, I'm excited.. smile

I would still love to hear more user experiences with the N1 vs. N2/N3, if there's more AvantGrand users on this board. Thanks again! smile
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/02/11 01:19 PM

I haven't yet played the N1, but I didn't find the TRS on the N3 at all convincing (with headphones especially, it felt distinctly odd), and as you don't either, I wouldn't use that as a criteria for whether you buy the N1. Far more important is the sound from the speakers, which from the N3 is very impressive, and obviously cannot be matched by the N1. That's of no concern of course if you're going to be using headphones. I definitely don't think you should turn down the volume control while using the speakers to avoid annoying neighbors - you'll end up messing up your fine control of tone and dynamics.

As for keytop material, let's just say that of the (new) concert grands I've played on recently, only the Fazioli F278 had a distinctly non-plastic feel. Steinway D, C.Bechstein, Blüthner, Shigeru Kawai....all felt like plastic. But none the worse for it.
Posted by: Karnevil

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/05/11 01:11 PM

Thanks for all the comments and info about the AvantGrands. I was back at the local piano store today and tested the N3, and compared with various Yamaha acoustic grands.
This was my findings:
Ivorite vs acryllic resin: I tested two acoustic grands from Yamaha (a cheap and expensive model with each of the keytop materials). The ivorite definately feels more "luxurious", and has a slighty "worn" and nuanced texture, whereas the acryllic resin material just feels like plain smooth plastic. This time I tested the N3 with TRS on various degrees and completely off, and at the middle setting it definately added to the playing experience - it felt quite "right" even with headphones. Still, the key action still felt great without TRS.
In other words, if I had the money I would get a N3 in a heart beat, but I think I will be quite satisfied with the N1, even though the playing experience isn't quite as "luxurious" as the N3/N2.

Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/05/11 02:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Karnevil
However, it felt like the key return on the AvantGrand is slightly slower than on Yamahas acoustic grands. The hammer doesn't hit anything on the AvantGrand, whereas on an acoustic grand the hammer hits strings. The AvantGrand action did feel a bit heavy, I wonder if it had to do with a very slighty slower key return. Kinda the same feeling I had using my (now sold) Kawai MP9500. It's a very small difference, but still..


It may just have been that the acoustics had more played-in actions. My AG is only now starting to loosen up just a tad - feels nicer now than when new - there was a very slight feeling of excessive inertia when it was brand new.
Posted by: kippesc

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/05/11 03:03 PM

I've owned a few Yamahas, and the bushings sometimes need to be played in or even "eased" before the action starts to feel fast and light (less friction). I'm still waiting for that to happen on my Avant. But I think it will eventually.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/05/11 03:41 PM

Originally Posted By: kippesc
I've owned a few Yamahas, and the bushings sometimes need to be played in or even "eased" before the action starts to feel fast and light (less friction). I'm still waiting for that to happen on my Avant. But I think it will eventually.


But even before it's worn in, the Avant returns and is ready to play more quickly than a standard DP action, right? I ask because I notice you have both.
Posted by: kippesc

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/05/11 04:26 PM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Originally Posted By: kippesc
I've owned a few Yamahas, and the bushings sometimes need to be played in or even "eased" before the action starts to feel fast and light (less friction). I'm still waiting for that to happen on my Avant. But I think it will eventually.


But even before it's worn in, the Avant returns and is ready to play more quickly than a standard DP action, right? I ask because I notice you have both.


No. If you want fast, the Roland PHA III is fast, smooth, balanced and light. The Yamaha is a very good action, however. It has the heaviest touch of the three pianos I have. I've been getting ready the past few weeks for a performance of the third movement of the Mozart Sonata in C K330, and I've been switching among all three pianos, but I'm getting my confidence up on the Yamaha, because I feel like it will help me deal with a heavier action at the performance venue.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/05/11 04:37 PM

My N3 came fresh right out of the box, I watched it being opened.

It was playable from the start and I for one prefer a brand new action though didn't notice any particular stiffness or anything that needed to be played in.

If I were a millionaire I'd buy a new piano every few years just to have a brand new action, tightness and all.


.... very slight feeling of excessive inertia when it was brand new. I have no idea what that means but it does sound impressive. smile
Posted by: Kona_V-Piano

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/05/11 04:44 PM

Originally Posted By: kippesc
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Originally Posted By: kippesc
I've owned a few Yamahas, and the bushings sometimes need to be played in or even "eased" before the action starts to feel fast and light (less friction). I'm still waiting for that to happen on my Avant. But I think it will eventually.


But even before it's worn in, the Avant returns and is ready to play more quickly than a standard DP action, right? I ask because I notice you have both.


No. If you want fast, the Roland PHA III is fast, smooth, balanced and light. The Yamaha is a very good action, however. It has the heaviest touch of the three pianos I have. I've been getting ready the past few weeks for a performance of the third movement of the Mozart Sonata in C K330, and I've been switching among all three pianos, but I'm getting my confidence up on the Yamaha, because I feel like it will help me deal with a heavier action at the performance venue.

I have to concur, the Roland PHA III in my V-Piano is the fastest graded hammer action I've ever played on. Especially compared to my Yamaha CLP990 with the natural wooden keyboard which does have hammers hitting a contact for that same grand piano feeling.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/05/11 04:59 PM

I'm a little confused. Can we qualify "fast" a little better?

The Yamaha has a real grand action with double escapement. Doesn't that make it better than any digital, at least for repetition speed?

I had heard that Roland is lighter (haven't played one in a coon's age), which would mean you could physically play fast without fatigue, but in what other way is it fast?
Posted by: Karnevil

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/05/11 05:19 PM

Don't get me wrong, I much prefer a more heavy action on a digital (more resistance) than a lighter one. I personally think Rolands action is too light, and the RD700fx (whatever the newest model is called..) has a rather shallow action (not a good thing in my mind). Sometimes you'll play a concert on a piano with a heavy action, so I'd rather not practice on a very light/easy action.

I'm gonna go for the N1, I don't think there is a better keyboard action on a digital piano out there right now. I was just wondering why Yamaha didn't have the hammers in AvantGrand hitting a string-like surface, to get the exact key return of an acoustic, but maybe I'm just overanalysing.. At any rate the N3 is one heck of an instrument. Wish I could afford it.., but I'll settle for the N1. smile
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/05/11 05:33 PM

I was just wondering why Yamaha didn't have the hammers in AvantGrand hitting a string-like surface, to get the exact key return of an acoustic, but maybe I'm just overanalysing.

The GranTouch, the predecessor of the AvantGrand, did just that ... and I assumed the AvantGrand did the same until I saw photos of the action. The GranTouch had slightly modified hammers. The hammer heads were made of neoprene and struck a neoprene type material. Had I not seen the action of the AvantGrand, I never would have known anything was different between the two series.
Posted by: kippesc

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/05/11 09:15 PM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
I'm a little confused. Can we qualify "fast" a little better?

The Yamaha has a real grand action with double escapement. Doesn't that make it better than any digital, at least for repetition speed?

I had heard that Roland is lighter (haven't played one in a coon's age), which would mean you could physically play fast without fatigue, but in what other way is it fast?


Passage work -- e.g., Chopin Op 25 No 2 -- easier (faster and cleaner and less fatigue) than most acoustic grands. Repeated notes -- e.g., Rhapsody in Blue repeated note section -- easier (faster and cleaner) than most acoustic grands. Ornaments (trills and turns) -- easier (faster and cleaner) than most acoustic grands. I just confirmed this against my Steinway B. To be clear, I'm not saying one action is superior to another. I'm simply saying that the PHA III is fast and light, and I find the key dip to be quite deep, not shallow. I'll try to measure it when I get a chance.

Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/05/11 10:20 PM

Kippesc, how does the AvantGrand compare with your Steinway, in terms of the feel of the action?

Sorry if it's tiresome to explain too much, but I'm not in a good place to be able to try out an AvantGrand so I'm real curious about how good (or not) it really is action-wise. I've always wished digital actions were more perfectly like acoustic actions and the AvantGrand seems like the perfect solution.
Posted by: Kona_V-Piano

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/05/11 10:43 PM

Originally Posted By: kippesc
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
I'm a little confused. Can we qualify "fast" a little better?

The Yamaha has a real grand action with double escapement. Doesn't that make it better than any digital, at least for repetition speed?

I had heard that Roland is lighter (haven't played one in a coon's age), which would mean you could physically play fast without fatigue, but in what other way is it fast?


Passage work -- e.g., Chopin Op 25 No 2 -- easier (faster and cleaner and less fatigue) than most acoustic grands. Repeated notes -- e.g., Rhapsody in Blue repeated note section -- easier (faster and cleaner) than most acoustic grands. Ornaments (trills and turns) -- easier (faster and cleaner) than most acoustic grands. I just confirmed this against my Steinway B. To be clear, I'm not saying one action is superior to another. I'm simply saying that the PHA III is fast and light, and I find the key dip to be quite deep, not shallow. I'll try to measure it when I get a chance.



I can 100% agree with this as I move from real grands back to my Yamaha and then the V-piano's PHA III. There are certain songs that I can play faster and more accurately on the PHA III than on the heavier piano's. Not saying one is better than the other either, however if I had to pick one action to play for a couple hours a day, I'd choose the PHA III. Don't get me wrong, I love to play real grands and I love my CLP990 to death, however when you play for hours, your fingers will thank you for using the lighter keyboard every-time. And on top of that, as kippesc also mentioned, fast passages sound cleaner and is noticeably easier to play when compared to a heavier keyboard. If you want to get a workout when playing and want a more accurate concert grand feel, then go Yamaha. If you want in my opinion a better practice piano, then choose the PHA III action.
Posted by: kippesc

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/05/11 11:03 PM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Kippesc, how does the AvantGrand compare with your Steinway, in terms of the feel of the action?

Sorry if it's tiresome to explain too much, but I'm not in a good place to be able to try out an AvantGrand so I'm real curious about how good (or not) it really is action-wise. I've always wished digital actions were more perfectly like acoustic actions and the AvantGrand seems like the perfect solution.


Shortly after I bought my Steinway, I had a very good technician (an RPT who I believe has given RPT qualifying examinations to other techs on action issues) regulate it. She took the action with her to her shop for several weeks and removed a lot of the friction that was in action where many of the bushings were too tight. I was surprised that this was necessary, but it was quite clear that action parts were not moving freely. My Steinway now is accordingly very fast and responsive, though definitely not perfect.

My Yamaha N2 has not had all this work done to it. It's nevertheless fine. It's not as quick and responsive and light as the Steinway or the Roland, but it's like a good new piano. I'm confident it'll "play in," and I kind of need a heavier action, because from time to time, I have to play on pianos that are not well regulated or that otherwise have a heavy touch.

Here's the primary reason why I think the Avant will play in and lighten over time: Back when the Avants came out, Keyboard magazine did several videos featuring the Avant side-by-side with a well-used C7 in an LA recording studio. The links to these videos are somewhere on this forum in one of the earlier discussions of the AvantGrand. At one point in these videos, one of the professional (pop/jazz) pianists compares the touch of the Avant to the C7, and states that the C7 is much more played in and easier to play. He clearly seems to prefer the C7 action, but from my perspective, that's no matter, because the Avant is brand new. (The C7 may have better action geometry, however, being a larger grand.)

Another reason I think the Avant will play in is that I once owned a new U5, and the bushings on that new piano were tight enough that keys would stick in humid conditions. I had to have the bushings under the key "eased" on that piano. I was told at the time that this is common on Yamahas, and the solution is simple and covered under their warranty.

Your statement "perfectly like acoustic actions" is interesting. Acoustic actions, are of course, very complicated mechanical devices, and they are generally made of wood. These things are rarely perfect, so an action perfectly like an acoustic action would be, in all likelihood, imperfect. (I'm not trying to be pedantic. I really am trying to make a point here.) My Steinway, for example, presently needs to be regulated (the let off seems off on a few keys; one damper wire is hitting a tri-chord), and it could also benefit from a Stanwood action person smoothing out the touch weight in a few places (touchweight between two adjacent keys seems uneven). New York Steinways are notorious for their uneven touch when new (or, at least they used to be), and it seems to take a lot of time and money to get them into tip top condition.

The Roland action, by contrast, is smooth, stable, consistent. I would recommend you watch the following video at 4:47.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0w_cUQOV-xM&noredirect=1

This video is the first time I've heard someone who seems to know what they are talking about point out that plastic and metal configured in a way to simulate (while not replicating) an acoustic grand action can be very very good. It truly would require thousands of dollars of Stanwood action regulation to regulate my Steinway to the level of consistency in the Roland. And, frankly, I don't see the point in doing it. Because a pianist ultimately is at the mercy of the piano he finds himself playing, he can't expect a perfect touch in an acoustic because a perfect acoustic action is a very rare and possibly fleeting thing.

Finally, I should note that neither the Roland nor the Yamaha are as responsive and substantial-feeling and satisfying to play as the Steinway. But that's an obvious point. I nevertheless enjoy playing the Roland and Yamaha and spend MOST of my practice time on them so as not to drive my wife crazy playing the same repertoire over and over and over again.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/06/11 04:43 AM

The links to these videos are somewhere on this forum in one of the earlier discussions of the AvantGrand. At one point in these videos, one of the professional (pop/jazz) pianists compares the touch of the Avant to the C7, and states that the C7 is much more played in and easier to play. He clearly seems to prefer the C7 action, but from my perspective, that's no matter, because the Avant is brand new. (The C7 may have better action geometry, however, being a larger grand.)

I watched those videos several times. It was a totally bullsh*t comparison. The C7 in question was in studio use for decades and was more than broken in, it was probably in need of a complete overhaul.

Those videos were made by Keyboard Magazine and I thought they were less than objective. It came across as a partnership between Yamaha and Keyboard, that's unacceptable. While I've used Yamaha products for decades there should always be an adversarial relationship between a so-called journalist and the company being interviewed.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/06/11 05:57 AM

Coincidentally, I visited the Yamaha/Bösendorfer showroom yesterday (had a few hours to kill before the evening concert I was going to attend) and compared the N3 with a top-end CLP, as well as with brand-new Yamaha ('Premium' range) and Bösendorfer grands. The N3, which I played first, immediately felt rather heavy and it took me a few minutes to adjust. The sound was nice through its speakers, but when I put the (Yamaha) headphones on...oh dear, it sounded really artificial, with very poor sustain and decay. The CLP was a lot lighter but didn't feel at all like an acoustic (with no escapement feel either), and its sound via headphones was similar to the N3.

Then I went upstairs to the real pianos and the dealer invited me to try their Bösendorfer 170 and 190 (just arrived from Vienna), which immediately felt rather lighter and more easily controllable than the N3. On to the Yamaha hand-made Premium range, of which I tried the S4 and S6 before going on to the concert grand CF-IIIS. The S4 and S6 were brand new; the CF-IIIS had been used regularly for concerts, but they were all lighter than the N3, and about the same as the two Bösies.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/06/11 06:31 AM

bennevis, my experience with the N3 speaker system and headphones was exactly the opposite. To me through headphones it sounds great, better than through the speakers ... and to me it sounds natural through headphones. For the N3 to sound decent through the speaker system the level has to be set to approximate that of a real grand piano. If the level is set too soft there's a noticeable lack of bass response.

The sustain can be easily adjusted via the control panel. The setting goes from 0 (off) to 20 with 5 being the default setting. I typically set it to 15 or so since the default setting is a tad too dry for my tastes.
Posted by: HwyStar

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/06/11 11:03 AM

Bennevis and Dave: I plan on taking one of my sub woofers and connecting it to the N1, N2, and N3 this weekend (at the store) to see if rounding out the bottom end helps those pianos sound a little bit richer. My thought; as you know Dave, was to give the pianos a bass boast; like a loudness control on receivers, so that the pianos sound good at a lower volumes. I will post my results on Sunday.

Don't forget that the AG's can be regulated if need be by a qualified tech. If its to stiff then have them soften it up!

Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/06/11 04:18 PM

Originally Posted By: HwyStar
Bennevis and Dave: I plan on taking one of my sub woofers and connecting it to the N1, N2, and N3 this weekend (at the store) to see if rounding out the bottom end helps those pianos sound a little bit richer. My thought; as you know Dave, was to give the pianos a bass boast; like a loudness control on receivers, so that the pianos sound good at a lower volumes. I will post my results on Sunday.

Don't forget that the AG's can be regulated if need be by a qualified tech. If its to stiff then have them soften it up!



I wouldn't be surprised if just a little bit of extra bass did the trick.
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/06/11 04:54 PM

Dave and Kippesc, have you adjusted the touch settings on your Avant Grands? Does that make a difference to you? If so, what settings for touch do you use?

I had not realized until looking at the manual this afternoon that the touch settings were adjustable. (I found this at p.22 of the current N3/N2 owner's manual.)
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/06/11 05:30 PM

I keep the piano on its default touch setting (2). I've tried the other settings, noticed a difference in response, but kept using the default setting.
Posted by: kippesc

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/06/11 05:45 PM

I usually just turn it on and start playing. I will try changing the touch this weekend when I have some time.
Posted by: PianoZac

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/06/11 06:40 PM

In my experience with the N1, the overall action, even on it's lightest touch setting, which is 1 (from a selection of 1-3), the N1 is noticeably heavier than the Steinway B at the Jazz Workshop I'm attending. I like the fact that my N1 is heavier because in my experience, most acoustic grands are NOT taken care of, and the actions tend to be heavy and unresponsive. Thus, transitioning to from the N1 is no longer a chore for the fingers. smile

I'm in the camp that feels, or rather hears the AvantGrand sounds better through its speaker system. To my ears, with headphones, it tends to have an artificial, somewhat static-ness to the sound in some areas. For example with the piece, Claire De Lune, the decay with headphones, becomes quite evident. When playing more jazzy, the sound through headphones doesn't seem to bother me as much.
Posted by: Volusiano

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/06/11 07:03 PM

I think whether the headphones on the N3 sound better or worse than the speakers probably will largely depends on the quality of the headphones. I don't really know if a piano store really keeps a very high quality pair of headphones lying around or not.

I have tried several different pairs of headphones on my N3 and they all sound quite different from each other. Some sound great, and others horrible.

But overall, I find the N3 sounds through the headphones very nice. I wouldn't say more nice or less nice than through the speakers, because they're different sound experiences. I'd have to say either through headphones or speakers, the N3 sounds impressively nice to me.
Posted by: Volusiano

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/06/11 07:13 PM

Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
Dave and Kippesc, have you adjusted the touch settings on your Avant Grands? Does that make a difference to you? If so, what settings for touch do you use?

I had not realized until looking at the manual this afternoon that the touch settings were adjustable. (I found this at p.22 of the current N3/N2 owner's manual.)
I much prefer the more sensitive setting on my N3. It allows me to play more expressively. Enough to be worth the trouble of having to set it on each time upon power up (because it always goes back to the default setting). It's really not that much trouble really, just push a button down and hit a key. But you have to remember to do it. After a while, it's automatic and you don't even think about it.
Posted by: ando

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/06/11 09:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Volusiano
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
Dave and Kippesc, have you adjusted the touch settings on your Avant Grands? Does that make a difference to you? If so, what settings for touch do you use?

I had not realized until looking at the manual this afternoon that the touch settings were adjustable. (I found this at p.22 of the current N3/N2 owner's manual.)
I much prefer the more sensitive setting on my N3. It allows me to play more expressively. Enough to be worth the trouble of having to set it on each time upon power up (because it always goes back to the default setting). It's really not that much trouble really, just push a button down and hit a key. But you have to remember to do it. After a while, it's automatic and you don't even think about it.

It's amazing that such an important parameter can't be saved to a patch. There's always something to work on with DP technology. Still, the AG's are getting a pretty strong reputation on this forum. I may end up with one myself one day. I'd love it if Yamaha could develop their own fully modelled piano and marry it with the AG action. That would be sublime. By the time I am in the market for one it might be a reality.
Posted by: Volusiano

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/08/11 09:19 PM

Originally Posted By: ando
It's amazing that such an important parameter can't be saved to a patch. There's always something to work on with DP technology.
I'm sure they can save it if they want to. They do allow a few other parameters to be saved on the N3. Just not the majority of them. I'm at a loss as to why. Maybe it's an oversight. But it's almost as if they don't want to do it on purpose.
Posted by: kippesc

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/08/11 10:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Volusiano
Originally Posted By: ando
It's amazing that such an important parameter can't be saved to a patch. There's always something to work on with DP technology.
I'm sure they can save it if they want to. They do allow a few other parameters to be saved on the N3. Just not the majority of them. I'm at a loss as to why. Maybe it's an oversight. But it's almost as if they don't want to do it on purpose.


I was surprised this weekend when using the on-board MIDI recorder on the Avant that, in playback, there does not seem to be a pause button. If you stop playback and then hit play again, you go back to the beginning of the track.

They kept the interface very basic/clean, and I prefer that to the confusing complexity of the Clavinovas. But it would be great if future versions of this instrument had a user-friendly interface accessed through a laptop or an iPad.
Posted by: kippesc

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/20/11 12:52 AM

Originally Posted By: Volusiano
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
Dave and Kippesc, have you adjusted the touch settings on your Avant Grands? Does that make a difference to you? If so, what settings for touch do you use?

I had not realized until looking at the manual this afternoon that the touch settings were adjustable. (I found this at p.22 of the current N3/N2 owner's manual.)
I much prefer the more sensitive setting on my N3. It allows me to play more expressively. Enough to be worth the trouble of having to set it on each time upon power up (because it always goes back to the default setting). It's really not that much trouble really, just push a button down and hit a key. But you have to remember to do it. After a while, it's automatic and you don't even think about it.


I finally got around to trying this out today, and you are right: Touch sensitivity level 1 (triggered by pushing piano/voice + the top A#) is a significant improvement over the AG's default setting. Interestingly, altering the sensitivity of the keyboard affects not only the on-board sounds but also the MIDI output, so Ivory II works better too with the more sensitive setting.
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/20/11 10:52 PM

Thanks, Kippesc. I was hoping you would report back on that issue. Very helpful!
Posted by: Mental Nomad

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/22/11 02:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Karnevil
However, it felt like the key return on the AvantGrand is slightly slower than on Yamahas acoustic grands. The hammer doesn't hit anything on the AvantGrand, whereas on an acoustic grand the hammer hits strings.


Actually, the hammer DOES hit something. It hits a "strike sensor" in a sort of elastic pad, from what I've seen.

So it may not be identical to a felted hammer hitting tensioned wire, but it is certainly getting a rebound back down.
Posted by: Karnevil

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 10/22/11 05:20 PM

...
Posted by: Karnevil

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 01/08/12 12:22 PM

Yes! Finally getting my Avantgrand N1 on Tuesday. Tried it on Saturday in a local store, and I was really impressed. I can understand the members here who has an Avantgrand N3 say they might as well have gotten an N1 today (because of the price). Even with the lack of TRS and cheaper keytop material, switching between the N3 and the N1 (the store had both models) gave almost an identical user experience IMO.
Also the N1 has a very practical size, and is a very good looking instrument. The only thing I felt lacking in the N1 was dynamics when using the speaker system. A real piano would have a greater dynamic range. However, I would never pay as much as the N3 costs for a digital piano, not here in Norway at least...
N1 is a very good compromise between quality and price. Great to finally have a authentic practice instrument at home (going from a Yamaha CP300)..
Posted by: Gigantoad

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 01/08/12 12:47 PM

Good to hear! You won't regret it. I love mine very much indeed.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 01/08/12 03:31 PM

Karnevil, enjoy your new piano when it arrives Tuesday and there's no crime in posting a photo. smile

Don't forget to post the price and dealer information in the sticky thread.
Posted by: PianoZac

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 01/08/12 03:53 PM

Karnevil, congrats on the AG N1! Had mine 6 months and don't regret it at all. It's not only a very practical tool for building technique, even for demanding piano work, but its also a very handsome and classy piece of furniture that is always a conversation piece when having company over. smile
Posted by: Karnevil

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 01/08/12 04:19 PM

Thanks! Zachary, my sentiments exactly. smile
Can't wait.. smile
Posted by: Karnevil

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 01/14/12 10:31 AM

Sorry for not having any photos, my mobile camera sucks...but anyway.. smile

Wow, I have to say I'm very pleased with the N1. I've always been picky about keyboard sounds, so I was a bit sceptical of the Avantgrand piano sound at first. It seemed a bit "overtweaked" with EQ, giving among other things a rather dominating lower midrange area. After having used the N1 for a few days, I have to say I like the sound a lot. It's very expressive and detailed, giving great note seperation when playing chords.

Also the grand action is pretty much perfect to me, and the general design and build quality is top notch. My only real critisism is an unnecessarily slow CPU/chip, which uses 6-7 seconds to respond after a short midi recording, that's just dumb.

I went back to the piano store, and did a comparison with the N3, just to see if the N1 still holds up. My impression was that the TRS does make the piano "come alive". However, me using the piano almost exclusively with headphones, the N1 is the perfect choice (the price gap between N1 and N2 is HUGE). I'

I can see myself paying for the next high end hybrid model from Yamaha. There are still improvements to be made, like a more detalied/dynamic soft pedal and TRS response, and even more timbre variation and nuances in the piano samples. I'm however very impressed by Yamahas hybrid pianos! smile
Posted by: PianoZac

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 01/14/12 12:25 PM

Very glad the N1 is working so well for you. For all the reasons you love yours, I love mine. It's just a super practical tool. I still want an acoustic grand and will get one when I can because there's still a special something with acoustics that not the AvantGrands have, esp a well kept 6'+ acoustic.

Post pics when you can! smile
Posted by: Singleton

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 03/04/12 03:59 PM

One more thing concerning the difference between N1 and N2: The local dealer here said that the N1 is manufactured in China, whereas the N2 comes from Japan; and that the N2 is therefore of better quality.

I couldn't verify this in the shop - and as the N2 is too expensive for me anyway I ended up buying the N1. But the quality is not what I expected for this price:
- A key regulary got stuck (which I managed to fix today spending several hours dismantling and reassambling the instrument).
- I'm not so keen on playing with earphones and I had thought I could play without and just turn down the volume enough, but that doesn't work: With the volume down, there is often no sound at all when I press a key - and I cannot play reasonably like this.
- There is someting strange with the sound: Every now and then, after I press a key and keep it pressed, the sound changes. It's like modulated. It's difficult to describe. It's like some special effect you would produce with a mixing desk - and it's quite disturbing.

But if the N2 is any better in these respects, I don't know.
Posted by: Karnevil

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 03/05/12 08:03 AM

Singleton:
I didn't know about the China vs. Japan manufacturing, hmm.. Having said that, I tested a N1 and N3 side by side, and side keyboard action and sound was identical. My N1 also works just fine. No stuck key, nothing strange with the sound. Maybe you're hearing the added sound level when pressing down the sustain pedal - this is a "feature" on all AvantGrand models. There are however a couple of twangy fff samples in the 5th octave. As far as your second caveat, I'm not really sure what your problem is there...

Personally I think the prices on N2 and N3 are a bit over the top, especially the price premium from N1 to N2. Sure, ivorite keys and TRS are nice features, but I just can't justify paying additional thousands of dollars (or over 40000 Norwegian kroner) for that. Of course if I had loads of money laying about, I would have gotten both an N3 and acoustic grand piano. I do sometimes miss more response from the N1 keyboard, although the TRS on the N2 and N3 isn't entirely dynamic/realistic either. Either way, the AvantGrand is as close as you possibly can get to the real thing with digitals today.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 03/05/12 08:09 AM

The local dealer here said that the N1 is manufactured in China, whereas the N2 comes from Japan; and that the N2 is therefore of better quality.

What's the name of the dealer who made that comment?
Posted by: motifmm6

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 03/05/12 08:55 AM

AG N1, 2 and 3 seems like the luxurious line of DPs marketed by yamaha. Beautiful cabinet, top quality sounds, speakers and cutting edge sampling. They are priced almost amongst the most expensive DPs.

But at the entry level, N1 does not feature ivorite keytops and TRS. The CP300 vibrates slightly due to the position of the speakers and this gives a similar feel to the TRS.

How does the higher end clavinovas compare to the AG N1? In terms of touch and sound. I think higher end CLPs should come quite close.

On key action being heavy or light, it is very subjective. Grands are usually heavier in action. Used pianos after being heavily played tend to be lighter too, due to reduction in fricton. Some people prefer heavier action for practice as it builds up finger strength whereas some prefer lighter for faster response.

For example, CP300 and CP50 used the same action which is heavier. The CP1 and CP5 action is obviously lighter.
Posted by: Gigantoad

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 03/05/12 09:42 AM

I find it highly unlikely that the N1 would be manufactured in China while the other two models aren't. I would rather think that they are all manufactured there.
Posted by: PianoZac

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 03/05/12 10:04 AM

Originally Posted By: motifmm6
AG N1, 2 and 3 seems like the luxurious line of DPs marketed by yamaha. Beautiful cabinet, top quality sounds, speakers and cutting edge sampling. They are priced almost amongst the most expensive DPs.

But at the entry level, N1 does not feature ivorite keytops and TRS. The CP300 vibrates slightly due to the position of the speakers and this gives a similar feel to the TRS.

How does the higher end clavinovas compare to the AG N1? In terms of touch and sound. I think higher end CLPs should come quite close.

On key action being heavy or light, it is very subjective. Grands are usually heavier in action. Used pianos after being heavily played tend to be lighter too, due to reduction in fricton. Some people prefer heavier action for practice as it builds up finger strength whereas some prefer lighter for faster response.

For example, CP300 and CP50 used the same action which is heavier. The CP1 and CP5 action is obviously lighter.



The N1 sounds vastly better through its speakers than any lesser Yamahas. This is in no small part due to the 4 channel high speaker system Yamaha uses along with the different sampling techniques Yamaha uses with the AvantGrands. The action of course is on another level to everything else Yamaha makes DP wise, but it should as the AvantGrand uses a customized acoustic piano action.
Posted by: Singleton

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 03/05/12 03:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
The local dealer here said that the N1 is manufactured in China, whereas the N2 comes from Japan; and that the N2 is therefore of better quality.

What's the name of the dealer who made that comment?

It's a fairly large store called "Musik Hug" in Zurich, Switzerland; here's the link:
http://www.musikhug.ch/
In fact, I was there more than once, and they seem to be very sure about the China vs. Japan issue - and I guess they know what they're talking about.
Posted by: Karnevil

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 03/05/12 05:09 PM

Well, it would explain the unreasonable price jump from N1 to N2.. Either way, I don't think it's gonna impact the N1 build quality. Mine is in impeccable condition, no build flaws/QC issues what so ever.
Posted by: PianoZac

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 03/05/12 05:32 PM

Mine is too. I am not surprised the N1 is built in China, but the fit and finish is as good as the N2/3, so I'm not worried about it.
Posted by: jve

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 03/06/12 05:07 AM

Originally Posted By: Singleton
One more thing concerning the difference between N1 and N2: The local dealer here said that the N1 is manufactured in China, whereas the N2 comes from Japan; and that the N2 is therefore of better quality.

For what it's worth, my dealer tells me the N1 is manufactured in Indonesia. Just lower cost of labour, not necessarily lower quality.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 03/06/12 05:17 AM

We've now narrowed down this rumor where the N1 is manufactured to countries that contain the letters ... a, i, and n. We're making progress.
Posted by: motifmm6

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 03/06/12 09:21 AM

The country of manufacture by itself can be a new thread. Yamaha products made in China are almost certainly cheaper. Only the lower end products are made in China. Flagship products are still japan made. Japan made models include MOTIF XF, S90XS, mostly all flagship products. Entry models like MM series and MOX synths are from China. It is quite natural that the quality of cheaper products cannot be compared to the flagship products.

Also, there are various factories around the world. Depending where you are purchasing from. Maybe in the US, Yamaha ships products from places nearer the US. Whereas in Asia, Yamaha could ship the same product, manufactured from a nearer factory in Asia.
Posted by: Karnevil

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 03/06/12 12:08 PM

That may be so, but I've been thoroughly impressed by the build quality of the N1. Nothing to complain about there at all. Of course, the N1 lacks some of the features in N2/N3, but there is no difference quality that I can see (and I'm a rather picky person generally looking for things to nitpick about smile ).
Posted by: Sanfrancisco

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 11/07/13 10:18 PM

Like any other piano player everyone has a "ideal" sound preference. My N1's sound was a little too prominent in the upper register and a little thin in the lower. The first is probably because the piano sits in front of large glass windows in my living room. I solved both problems by connecting a 31 band equalizer (aux out- EQ-aux in) and including a powered subwoofer in the loop. I can't recommend the equalizer enough. In it's neutral setting it doesn't change the sound profile on my N1, just requires a slightly higher volume setting for the same output without it. With the eq you can fine tune the N1 to your room and own personal taste.
Posted by: fntms

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/12/14 12:49 PM

I tried the N1 and N2 side by side today (leaning towards an N1 as a masterkeyboard for Pianoteq, as the prices are lower now on the AvantGrand series). I was surprised to find that contrary to the impression I had from reading this thread, the N1 action is quite a bit lighter than the N2 or N3...also the N1 black keys are narrower whereas the N2 keys are near identical to C3 keys (I had been playing a C3 for 2 hours before that). Overall the action (excluding trs) felt more comfortable on the N2... but the price difference is not justified.
Now I don't know what to do, of course the N1 would be a step up from my Numa Nero, but the action is a bit lighter...
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/12/14 01:22 PM

Originally Posted By: fntms
I tried the N1 and N2 side by side today (leaning towards an N1 as a masterkeyboard for Pianoteq, as the prices are lower now on the AvantGrand series). I was surprised to find that contrary to the impression I had from reading this thread, the N1 action is quite a bit lighter than the N2 or N3...


They are all supposed to have the same action. Just to confirm, was it N1 you played or NU1? NU1 might feel a tad lighter because it is a different action (from an upright).
Posted by: BrianDX

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/12/14 02:56 PM

I bought an N1 as an upgrade from my Kawai CN34.

Within two weeks I had returned it. Here is a very detailed thread that describes why. The final posts in this thread are most important:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post2262053

Knowing what I know now the upgrade to the N2 would have been worth it. The speakers are substantially better IMHO, and it did not seem to have the Sustain pedal issue that ultimately caused the N1 return.



Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/12/14 03:19 PM

Originally Posted By: fntms
I tried the N1 and N2 side by side today (leaning towards an N1 as a masterkeyboard for Pianoteq,...


By the way, the N3 has a noise gate meaning that you would find routing PianoTeq audio back into an N3 (to use its fantastic onboard sound system) a very frustrating and, ultimately, unsuccessful endeavour. It is just an assumption but I think it is highly likely the N2 is similarly cursed. Given the limitations of the onboard sounds of these pianos it seems rather cruel that Yamaha have seen fit to effectively prevent the routing in of alternative piano tones from software, PianoTeq or whatever.

It was my understanding that N1 did not have this noise gate. Not a great deal of comfort because the N1's sound system is nowhere near as sophisticated or high-end as the N2 or N3.

If you are not planning to route PianoTeq back into the piano you can disregard everything I've written!

Good luck,

Steve
Posted by: enzo.sandrolini

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/12/14 04:35 PM

Again and again same wrongs things about this famous non existent noise gate
I have a N2 and I am highly happy with it
I mix it's sound with pianoteq to improve it, and there is no no no noise gate at all....
I have made several post already on this subject explaining also how did I mix the sound do get a really near to perfect result (at least for me) emulating a real grand
the N2 is a wonderful piano...but never tried the N1 for comparison.
So please ..stop carrying such wrong information...either there have been no noise gate at all, bnever, or Yamaha removed it during the production time of the avantgrand.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/12/14 07:26 PM

If you are mixing sounds you won't be hearing the 'imported' sound (PianoTeq for instance) being abruptly cut off just as it dies away. Sounds below a pre-determined volume are suddenly cut off - this is what the noise gate does. You can check it by piping some music from an iPod (or whatever) through the analogue audio ins. Pick a track that fades out to silence and you will hear the noise gate suddenly cut the sound off before it has finished naturally fading out. You can imagine what that does to the sound of a decaying piano; it ruins the experience of playing external piano sounds through the AG. But I doubt very much if you'd hear it when mixing sounds, as you claim to be doing.

So until you can prove this behaviour no longer exists don't accuse me of spreading misinformation. I had an N3 and the noise gate was most definitely there. Others have tried to use their AGs to play software through the onboard sound system and have run up against the same problem. I would be surprised if the N2 doesn't do it but I seem to recall that the N1 doesn't do it. You may be right that Yamaha have modified the AGs to eliminate this behaviour but in my experience once a product has been launched Yamaha very seldom updates them.
Posted by: littlebirdblue

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/12/14 08:37 PM

Just in case anyone is still wondering, N1 is indeed made in China as is NU1. N2 and N3 are made in Japan.

You can run the link below through google translator:

http://yamaha.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2376
Posted by: enzo.sandrolini

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/13/14 01:11 AM

Ok, I was not clear enough..
I mix the sound because I like the TRS feature enabled AND and like the result
BUT I have also used my N2 as a simple MIDI controller, disabling internal sound and I repeat: No noise gate...
I can prove what I am saying..and you can prove bad information you are spreading on this forum ?

Did you try ??
Do you have an avantgrand ?
I assume no for these 2 questions.
So stop speaking about things you don't know that does not help people to freely choose here

Here is one thread where I am explaining how I use my N2 and where I am already explaining that there are no noise gate
AvantGrand N1 + VST

Playing Galaxy Vintage D through avantgrand
Posted by: fntms

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/13/14 04:55 AM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace


They are all supposed to have the same action. Just to confirm, was it N1 you played or NU1? NU1 might feel a tad lighter because it is a different action (from an upright).


Yes the N1, just next to an N2 (and next to an NU1 which I am not considering).

The actions are definitely not the exact same, it was obvious from my comparison (and the salesman admitted as much, also saying that according to Yamaha they are the same ).

The design might be similar (or the exact same) but the components in the action must be different, and not just the keytops (the black key are definitely larger on N2/N3). The rebound on the N2 is slower, closer to that of certain real grands, and the action is just harder, more precise, it just feels better to me...

I intended to use it mainly with headphones as a midi keyboard. But even with the lower price the N1 is still expensive and now I am doubting the action would be satisfactory in the long run, although it is definitely more realistic and pleasing than the Nero. On the other hand maybe the N2 action gets softer with regular playing? and maybe the N1 can be regulated?
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/13/14 09:23 AM

Originally Posted By: fntms
Originally Posted By: EssBrace


They are all supposed to have the same action. Just to confirm, was it N1 you played or NU1? NU1 might feel a tad lighter because it is a different action (from an upright).


Yes the N1, just next to an N2 (and next to an NU1 which I am not considering).

The actions are definitely not the exact same, it was obvious from my comparison (and the salesman admitted as much, also saying that according to Yamaha they are the same ).

The design might be similar (or the exact same) but the components in the action must be different, and not just the keytops (the black key are definitely larger on N2/N3). The rebound on the N2 is slower, closer to that of certain real grands, and the action is just harder, more precise, it just feels better to me...

I intended to use it mainly with headphones as a midi keyboard. But even with the lower price the N1 is still expensive and now I am doubting the action would be satisfactory in the long run, although it is definitely more realistic and pleasing than the Nero. On the other hand maybe the N2 action gets softer with regular playing? and maybe the N1 can be regulated?


Interesting comment about the N2. I have an NU1 but last week spent a couple of hours hogging an N2 in a store. I found the action 'too fast' for what I'm used to. Obviously it is not, but these things are a matter of perception based on our current predominant use. It was an easier action to play than my NU1, and after a few minutes I was in love with it.

I then went and played some acoustics, uprights and grands. The Steinway, new, was terrible, maybe it needs regulating and the best I encountered was an upright Kawai K500. So there is a lot of variability in fact, and also of our own making.

The AG and NU1 actions can be regulated. The hammer felts cannot be voiced crazy
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/13/14 02:11 PM

Originally Posted By: enzo.sandrolini
....and I repeat: No noise gate...
I can prove what I am saying..and you can prove bad information you are spreading on this forum ?

Did you try ??
Do you have an avantgrand ?
I assume no for these 2 questions.
So stop speaking about things you don't know that does not help people to freely choose here


I really don't like your tone.

And please read my post again - you will see that I was the owner of an AvantGrand N3.

Please see below two pieces of correspondence from September 2010, the first from a senior Yamaha official and the second from a sales manager at one of the biggest Yamaha retailers:

Just to give you an update I looked at the schematic of the N3 and I think I understand what is happening. Or should I say I have a theory. The inputs from the auxiliary L and R go directly to an A to D converter (analogue to digital). This is because the processing of all the sounds in the N3 is generated digitally and therefore the analogue signal from another source must be converted into the digital domain. This digital signal is then sent to one of the tone generators to be digitally mixed with other voices to be out put to the digital amplifiers. My theory is that because of the limited memory to process external signals the time allotted is also limited and that is why the sound of these voices is cut off early. I suspect that all analogue signals input to the auxiliary ins will at some point be cut off.

Also because the auxiliary inputs are two channel only, the output is sent to the left and right channels only and is not fully mixed in with the Avants full multi channel sounds. I doubt that the engineering designer's concerns were with the potentially huge variety of auxiliary inputs possible. The Avant Grand does not contain a sophisticated mixing system.

I would recommend that if the customer wants to mix the Avant's sound with other music then it might be better mixed externally with a small mixer and external speakers.

I hope this will assist with the customer's concerns.

Regards

Service Manager Musical Instruments
Yamaha Music Ltd.


Hi,
My customer called again today and noticed that playback thru the audio in of the N3 aux in only plays back in the left and right speaker. While checking this I was able to duplicate the noise gated effect on our floor model N3. The amount noticeable varies with the loudness of the input source so at matched volumes the quiet tails of the sustain are lost.

Sincerely,
Manager - Piano Division
Posted by: enzo.sandrolini

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/13/14 03:06 PM

Ok,
Then the answer is pretty clear: they removed it.
As I bought my N2 this year, and your email is from 2010...
Then, please, stop saying things which are no longer relevant.
We already had this discussion in others thread, so I don't understand why you sill bring up this obsolete information.
What is the point of misleading potential customers...
Ok, you had issues with noise gate..in 2010...
and I, in 2014, have no issues, that is for me the important point, and it has to be said and stated clearly.

Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/13/14 05:31 PM

Well, the answer seems clear to you. But if I intended to use the AG for the playback of an external sound source such as PianoTeq or a software library I would want to satisfy myself that this issue had been resolved. Given Yamaha's track record with existing instruments I wouldn't be confident that they'd addressed this problem. They rarely modify instruments during the product's life cycle.

I wouldn't want other people spending vast sums of money on an AG just to find that it doesn't meet their needs. I'm trying to be helpful. If they've fixed the problem - and either way I won't be taking your word for it - I'm very happy because an obvious use of the AG series is as a controller for software.

Furthermore, you seemed to basically deny that the problem ever existed - you now have to accept that it did because even Yamaha acknowledged it. You assumed I had not owned an AG - despite my post clearly stating that I had. You assumed I had not had personal experience of the problem, but I had. So who, out of the two of us, is spreading misinformation?
Posted by: enzo.sandrolini

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/13/14 05:51 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
So who, out of the two of us, is spreading misinformation?

Indeed, we both shared now enough information to let others here judge them-self.....obsolete information compared to current situation
Posted by: briansaddleback

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/14/14 05:51 PM

Also what everyone is forgetting or didn't think about when comparing why the N3 is that much more expensive than the N1/N2..is not only the technical aspects, but most importantly, with the general consumer, the physical design of the pianos. N3 although smaller than a baby grand, is designed to look like an actual piano. Rather than just a console style.


Also, I have to admit, the action was superior on the N3 than on the N1 when I checked both out a couple of months ago.
Posted by: fntms

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/15/14 01:54 AM

Originally Posted By: briansaddleback

Also, I have to admit, the action was superior on the N3 than on the N1 when I checked both out a couple of months ago.


Yes, but the N3 and N2 have the exact same action I find.

Apart from the speaker system (and I have read a review that finds the N2 actually 'projects' the sound more and better than the N3), the N3 has better pedals (also according to this review, didn't try myself).

Now the dilemna is whether the price of the N2 is justified over the N1 considering by order of importance: a better keyboard and action /(much) better speaker system / nicer, narrower design / TRS...

(I will try to assess the gate/no gate issue with an mp3 player as aux in, as mixing with pianoteq might be useful to liven up the sound, which lacks some dynamics in ff/fff).
Posted by: enzo.sandrolini

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/15/14 02:44 AM

Hello
I personnally took the N2 because of the sound system AND the TRS
I think it is not a gadget but a real feature that increase drastically the playing experience making it much more 'real'
It is really important for me

Now, about the price, N2 is clearly overpriced compared to real accousic, but when you cannot have an accoustic, and you want a real grand action..there is no choice (at least in my opinion, and in my situation)

About the difference between N1 vs N2/N3, I have NOT tried the N1, but I think (to be checked) that N1 are built in indonesia, while N2 & N3 are built in Japan
I am sure for N2 as I have checked, but if someone can check for an N1
Perhaps, it explains the difference (different manufactur)
Posted by: Pete14

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/15/14 08:24 AM

I believe someone stated earlier that the N1 was built in China.

As far as the actions go; Yamaha has stated they are identical, and perhaps they are -from a design stand point-; however, the N1 action is probably slapped in there right before it ships, while the N2/N3 get the full acousitic treatment; such as a proper regulation by a senior technician. I suppose the N1 could reach the standard of the N2/3 if properly adjusted/regulated.

If it turns out to be true that the black keys on the N1 are different, then yamaha outright lied about the actions being identical; unless they clearly specified that the actions, though not the keys are identical.

Made in Chinaroo does not necessarily mean bad quality; it simply means cutting costs which could potentially lead to an inferior product. wink
Posted by: enzo.sandrolini

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/15/14 09:09 AM

Originally Posted By: Pete14
I believe someone stated earlier that tha N1 was built in China.

As far as the actions go; Yamaha has stated they are identical, and perhaps they are -from a design stand point-; however, the N1 action is probably slapped in there right before it ships, while the N2/N3 get the full acousitic treatment; such as a proper regulation by a senior technician. I suppose the N1 could reach the standard of the N2/3 if properly adjusted/regulated.

Indeed, that makes sense.


Originally Posted By: Pete14

Made in Chinaroo does not necessarily mean bad quality; it simply means cutting costs which could potentially lead to an inferior product. wink

I perfectly agree and did not mean other things, but..as you stated, different origin, different process...and perhaps different quality level required.
That could also explain the big price difference between the N1 and the N2/N3
Posted by: fntms

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/16/14 05:49 AM

PS: not to put oil on the fire, but doesn't this Yamaha FAQ item clearly acknowledge the noise gate issue? (yes it's from 2010, but if this had changed I assume the item would have been deleted...)

N2 faq

"N2 N3 Sound Input to the AUX IN Jacks is Interrupted.

Last Update: 10/22/2010
The output volume of the external device connected to this instrument is too low. Increase the output volume of the external device.

The volume level reproduced via this instrument's speakers can be adjusted by using the [MASTER VOLUME] control."


Not such a big deal for me, as I would be mixing in Pianoteq mainly to get a more dynamic/responsive attack sound...
Posted by: enzo.sandrolini

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/16/14 06:34 AM

smile
No problem, there are no fire smile
but I can assure you that my N2 has no noise gate
I simply made the test but using it as simple controler using its internal speaker and with the lowest sound possible..
Result => no cut off.

Now, as I said, I still think the best option is to mix sound for serveral reasons:
- I think velocity is internally processed better than MIDI value that is issued => you get a real good dynamic range
- You keep the TRS feature
- You keep the multichanel feature for internal sound

I made several tests with different VST, and Pianoteq gives thes best result by far

Cheers
Posted by: toddy

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/16/14 07:15 AM

There is a real mystery here, then: why is it that N2 and N3 are reported to truncate signals run through them, but Enzo Sardini's N2 does not.

Either: the noise gate on that piano is 'broken' - or set at a lower threshold ie zero.
Or: the noise gate has been disabled on that piano with user interface
Or: the noise gate has been disabled by some deeper change in the programming
Or: there are different versions of software on different N2 and N3 affecting cut-off

If it's the last, perhaps Yamaha are phasing out the gated line-ins. It is proved that they know there's a gate because on their FAQ page it says: 'sound input ... is interrupted'.

Cloak and dagger stuff.
Posted by: Pete14

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/16/14 07:17 AM

Originally Posted By: fntms
PS: not to put oil on the fire, but doesn't this Yamaha FAQ item clearly acknowledge the noise gate issue? (yes it's from 2010, but if this had changed I assume the item would have been deleted...)

N2 faq

"N2 N3 Sound Input to the AUX IN Jacks is Interrupted.

Last Update: 10/22/2010
The output volume of the external device connected to this instrument is too low. Increase the output volume of the external device.

The volume level reproduced via this instrument's speakers can be adjusted by using the [MASTER VOLUME] control."


Not such a big deal for me, as I would be mixing in Pianoteq mainly to get a more dynamic/responsive attack sound...



This is simply a customer concern/query; however, Yamaha simply suggests raising the volume of the main source, or the instrument's master volume; therefore, yamaha is not admitting that there is a noise gate. "It's you, not me," says Yamaha.

For the record: I contacted Yamaha a few years ago regarding the -so called- noise gate, and they vehemenlty denied it existed. I posted part of the response on this forum. It was also implied that the problem probably had to do with my limited knowledge regarding software pianos, and not the product; in other words, the issue had to do with either the software, the connections, or the volume levels, yet the Yamaha representative insisted, 'You should be able to route a software piano through the AvantGrand's internal speakers without any problems.' Once again, "It's you, not me," says Yamaha.
Posted by: fntms

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/16/14 09:13 AM

Enzo, thanks for your interesting reply. Given the limited midi velocity out of the N2 (I read 90 max) would it still be realistic to use only Pianoteq sound (no AG sound) with headphones (hooked to PC card)? This would imply to adjust the Pianoteq velocity curve quite a bit. Thanks.
Posted by: enzo.sandrolini

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/17/14 04:30 PM

Hello fntms
Yes it is still ok to use pianoteq with headphones
Indeed you have to adjust the velocity curve in a big S form
And the max velocity value I get is around 100, as the long key travel allows a perfect control of the dynamic, it is not an issue
As I said, noise gate or not, the avantgrand are not really designed to be simple midi controller
The internal velocity has a much more wider range
But mixing it with extant source make it perfect
You can also mix the sound and get the result to your headphone (it is also what I do)
Posted by: Pete14

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/19/14 05:29 PM

I was under the impression that only the N3 used a soundboard resonator; however, based on the -Yamaha listed- specs, the N2 also uses a soundboard resonator.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/20/14 02:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Pete14
I was under the impression that only the N3 used a soundboard resonator; however, based on the -Yamaha listed- specs, the N2 also uses a soundboard resonator.


You were right in the first place. Only the N3 has a soundboard so only the N3 has a soundboard resonator!
Posted by: Pete14

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/20/14 03:03 PM

Thanks for confirming the fact.

Yamaha needs to correct this info. Their U.S.A. website states that the N2 uses a soundboard resonator (under specs).

Per Yamaha's website:

Spatial Acoustic Speaker System: Yes
Soundboard Resonator: Yes
Posted by: toddy

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/20/14 05:12 PM

As a matter of fact, Yamaha Europe also states that the N2 and the N3 both have soundboards with resonators, saying in the spec:

Soundboard Resonator Yes

whereas, for N1 and NU1, it says

Soundboard Resonator -

But, on scrutinizing their N3 page a little further, the mystery is cleared up. It seems that, while the N1 has no soundboard resonator, the N2 does have a soundboard resonator and the N3 has two soundboard resonators but with different functions.

The N2 and N3 both have soundboards under the keyboard, and the N3 has another soundboard on a plain with the main speaker baffle, directly behind the keyboard. The first is concerned with recreating resonance throughout the instrument (so they say) and the other soundboard is concerned with giving a 'realistic sound response, especially in the higher frequencies'.

So the spec sheet saying the N2 has a soundboard resonator is not wrong, apparently - it's just that it has one soundboard less than the N3 does.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/21/14 06:38 AM

Originally Posted By: toddy
So the spec sheet saying the N2 has a soundboard resonator is not wrong, apparently - it's just that it has one soundboard less than the N3 does.


I think we're at cross purposes here. A soundboard is a massive plank of wood found in pianos that vibrates. In the case of the N3 (and Kawai CA95s for instance) the massive plank is there and it vibrates as a result of artificial stimulation from an electric resonator speaker bolted to the soundboard. On the N3 and N2 there are further electric resonators under the keys to mimic the subtle vibrations of the keys on real pianos. On the N3 there is a further resonator on the damper pedal. These additional vibrations are what Yamaha calls TRS (Tactile Response System).

But the N2 does not have a soundboard as such.
Posted by: Pete14

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/21/14 08:00 AM

Originally Posted By: toddy
As a matter of fact, Yamaha Europe also states that the N2 and the N3 both have soundboards with resonators, saying in the spec:

Soundboard Resonator Yes

whereas, for N1 and NU1, it says

Soundboard Resonator -

But, on scrutinizing their N3 page a little further, the mystery is cleared up. It seems that, while the N1 has no soundboard resonator, the N2 does have a soundboard resonator and the N3 has two soundboard resonators but with different functions.

The N2 and N3 both have soundboards under the keyboard, and the N3 has another soundboard on a plain with the main speaker baffle, directly behind the keyboard. The first is concerned with recreating resonance throughout the instrument (so they say) and the other soundboard is concerned with giving a 'realistic sound response, especially in the higher frequencies'.

So the spec sheet saying the N2 has a soundboard resonator is not wrong, apparently - it's just that it has one soundboard less than the N3 does.


Perhaps the issue has to do with the terminology used by Yamaha. The device used under the keys (soundboard resonator) vibrates; however, it produces no audible sound. It is some sort of board that resonates/vibrates; hence, it should be called the "board resonator."
Posted by: toddy

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/21/14 08:23 AM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
A soundboard is a massive plank of wood found in pianos that vibrates.......the N2 does not have a soundboard as such.


Right. So it's a problem of loose terminology as Pete said: the 'soundboard resonator' on the N2 neither has the form nor the function of a soundboard of the type found in pianos and hybrid DPs.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/21/14 10:14 AM

Originally Posted By: toddy
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
A soundboard is a massive plank of wood found in pianos that vibrates.......the N2 does not have a soundboard as such.


Right. So it's a problem of loose terminology as Pete said: the 'soundboard resonator' on the N2 neither has the form nor the function of a soundboard of the type found in pianos and hybrid DPs.


Correctamundo!
Posted by: Kona_V-Piano

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/22/14 12:38 AM

It should be called "Force Feedback" or "Rumble Effect" instead of having the word "Sound" and "Board" involved.
Posted by: Pete14

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/22/14 07:55 AM

Originally Posted By: Kona_V-Piano
It should be called "Force Feedback" or "Rumble Effect" instead of having the word "Sound" and "Board" involved.


"The Resonator II"
Posted by: toddy

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/22/14 08:37 AM

Resonator II .....without the 'the' .......sounds much better. It has more..it has more resonance, if I might put it that way. It would sell in its millions, grossing out box offices across the planet.
Posted by: Pete14

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/22/14 10:08 AM

That sounds good, but I was thinking since the thing is meant to vibrate, why not call it "The Vibrator II." I meant "Vibrator II" in a theater near you. grin

Posted by: toddy

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/22/14 11:24 AM

Vibrator II! Laugh out loud (I'm already working on the sequels) wink
Posted by: Pete14

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/22/14 12:32 PM

"O.K; I, I don't know where to go with that." (Sprint Framily-Plan dinner). cry
Posted by: fntms

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/26/14 12:07 PM

I tried the CLP-585 today which some have compared to the N2 in terms of action. I would not got that far: the 585 is still clearly a digital piano with an ersatz action, although it is quite good at what it does, and the sound is excellent. I think there is something too "bouncy" about the action, and it would take some adaptation to get back to playing on a grand. The N2 is clearly in a different league.
Compared with the Kawai top line (C95) I preferred the 585, although the black keys are better (wood) on the kawai...
Posted by: enzo.sandrolini

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/26/14 12:25 PM

Hello
Interesting review
I have a N2 and tried also the 575
I came to same conclusion as you: very good action (which I prefer to the Kawai action) and good sound
But the N2 is in Another league indeed.
But when you come to the price, I found you have a very good piano for far less money than the N2
For sure these new 575 & 585 Are very good piano...
Posted by: Digitalguy

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 07/26/14 01:32 PM

I tried the 575 a couple of days ago and I have tried, among others, the CA95 and I prefer the 575 for the action (realistic and definitely heavier, but I seem to understand that 585 is lighter) but I clearly prefer the sound of the Kawai to the CFX as implemented in this DP. I also briefly tried some lower end CLP500 (don't remember the name maybe 525 and 535) and the difference in action was huge (clearly inferior). However I played a grand next to it and you feel the difference. If I played blindly the 575 and a grand side by side, I would not hesitate to tell which is the grand and which is the digital (like with any other digital piano). Still, for the money it costs it's a lot of value
Posted by: Karnevil

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 08/05/14 02:51 PM

Sorry if I've missed something already stated, but I'm critical to this N2/N3 action is better than the N1. I've been to the local piano store, which have had several N2 and N1 units on display, as well as an N3. In fact, of those I tested, I actually prefered the N1. What I have noticed though, is that the action slightly varies from unit to unit (including same model), that also includes the key depth. It could also be that the N2 or N3 has been standing on display longer than the N1, which makes sense considering N2/N3 are far more expensive. This could possibly make a difference too.
This is my subjective opinion, but I prefer to play without TRS, after having auditioned these models several times. The TRS function just feels fake to me. I don't own an N2 or N3, so I would defer to the opinion of those that actually owns these pianos of course.
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 08/05/14 03:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Karnevil
Sorry if I've missed something already stated, but I'm critical to this N2/N3 action is better than the N1. I've been to the local piano store, which have had several N2 and N1 units on display, as well as an N3. In fact, of those I tested, I actually prefered the N1. What I have noticed though, is that the action slightly varies from unit to unit (including same model), that also includes the key depth. It could also be that the N2 or N3 has been standing on display longer than the N1, which makes sense considering N2/N3 are far more expensive. This could possibly make a difference too.
This is my subjective opinion, but I prefer to play without TRS, after having auditioned these models several times. The TRS function just feels fake to me. I don't own an N2 or N3, so I would defer to the opinion of those that actually owns these pianos of course.

I was, like others, under the impression that apart from TRS the key action is the same on the N1, 2 and 3. However others on here have noted there are physical differences in the dimensions of the black keys, for starters. The key action can be regulated, just like an acoustic (hammer felts excluded, but key dip included), so that may explain some difference in the feel as shipped from factory. Also there is some electronic adjustment for key sensing (not by the user however). I would be inclined to worry less about specs and choose based on what you like after play testing.
Posted by: fntms

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 08/06/14 05:12 AM

The N2 I tried had been on display for 4 years (sic), and its action was still harder/"fuller" than the newer N1 next to it. I did notice a lot of wear on the black key bases, which was surprising...but after all they are made of wood.
Yes, it does say on the Yamaha hybrid page that they can be regulated, which is good to know.
To me TRS felt quite natural, ie it does increase with sound level. I tested it on level 3.
Posted by: Karnevil

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 08/08/14 03:46 PM

Ok, thanks. I'm quite happy with my N1. It's not perfect, but it is good enough for serious practice at home. It's crucial to practice regularly on real acoustic pianos IMO, so I don't consider the N1 a full AP subsitute anyway. Besides the N1 form is very practical, as I can have lots of sheet music laying around on the top of the piano... smile
Posted by: andythefiredog

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 01/04/15 07:35 AM

While I'm very familiar with midi and mixing, I'd like to get some exact details around the cut off some people are experiencing. In about two weeks, my N2 will arrive. It's not coming from a dealer stock, but arriving from Yamaha, so there's no chance it will be an older production unit. As I have no skin in the game, I'd like to recreate the situation and see what happens on my N2. I enjoy scientific experimentation and would be happy to post the results here.

I believe I have all the equipment I'd need, and my computer is a a top-spec'd 2014 MacBook Pro with Retina Display, SSD. Suffice to say any potential issues will not be with equipment outside of the AG.

Someone want to point me in the right direction to get prepped before it arrives?

Thanks all!
Posted by: Philip_Johnston

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1 vs N2/N3 (TRS and keytops) - 01/05/15 06:10 PM

Andy, I can confirm the cut-off problem. It's the primary reason I use studio monitors when recording - if I try to use the AG3's inbuilt speakers for my preferred sample library, then I lose the tail of anything that's quiet.

Loving the AG otherwise. Yet to throw a piece at it that the action can't handle, while my neighbours like very much that I can use headphones smile