Yamaha NU1 owners, users feedback

Posted by: Tjpp

Yamaha NU1 owners, users feedback - 01/06/13 05:11 PM

Hi all-
Have read through many posts on a few pianos, one specifically, the NU1. It is pretty new, so I am wondering if there are any reviews, thoughts, etc? How are you using its different features? Favorite things?
We are pretty serious about this dp, but its not inexpensive so we are trying to do our due diligence! Thanks!
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Yamaha NU1 owners, users feedback - 01/06/13 05:13 PM

We have had scant reviews, although I have yet to hear anything negative--mostly happy customers. It's a very good piano at its price point (expensive for a DP but super-cheaper for a hybrid). My guess is that it will be a good bet for you.

Hopefully an owner can chime in with more details.
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: Yamaha NU1 owners, users feedback - 01/06/13 06:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Tjpp
Hi all-
Have read through many posts on a few pianos, one specifically, the NU1. It is pretty new, so I am wondering if there are any reviews, thoughts, etc? How are you using its different features? Favorite things?
We are pretty serious about this dp, but its not inexpensive so we are trying to do our due diligence! Thanks!

You don't say what you are looking for in a DP.

The NU1 does not have many different features. Hardly any customisable options. The few extra sounds, apart from the second piano, are not really useful at all. It does have midi in and out though, so additional sounds can be added if desired.

It's an excellent acoustic substitute for piano practice. Not anything else IMHO. It looks good, nice key action (just like a piano!), timbre, sound are all good; solid I would say rather than outstanding. It's a Yamaha sound, not to to everyone's taste.

Is it better than the equivalents from Roland, LX15, or Kawai, CS9? Only if you value its piano key action.

I have one, and am totally satisfied with everything, have stopped GAS-ing and suspect my next upgrade will be an acoustic. (Previously owned a Casio PX330, Kawai CN33, play also a friends Roland FP7F, and my teachers K3 acoustic. )

If you read previous threads, the criticisms aimed at it are: price, limited versatility, noisy key action (clunky) and weak bass (compared to an acoustic). None of these are factors for me. I just use piano sound, except when hooking up my iPad, the keys cannot be heard on normal volumes, the mids and treble allow the RH melody to sing. It looks good, sounds good, plays good. Great actually. My acoustic piano playing has improved hugely since acquiring it, due to the (clunky) keyboard. My playing is improving because I just so much enjoy practice these days.
Posted by: Dragon777

Re: Yamaha NU1 owners, users feedback - 01/07/13 05:19 AM

Hello,

I had my NU1 delivered about four weeks ago and I am very satisfied with it.

The action feels exactly like an upright piano and I cannot notice any lack of control of sound compared to an acoustic. Dynamic range is very good and you can easily play silent parts on it (which I found impossible to do on the Kawai DPs for example). The action feels great and gives you all the control you want. Though it is harder to play than all the other DPs I have tested. This is the case with any acoustic as well. The NU1 plays like an acoustic, while most DPs are somewhat unnaturally easy to play. This is a good thing if you want to play on an acoustic one day, but it will demand some more effort from a beginner. To me, it feels so much like an acoustic instrument, that I regularly forget to switch it off. My only criticism is that it´s a bit hard to get a full ringing fff from it. This requires a lot of force and it´s still not that crisp like on a good acoustic. But that´s the only donwnside I noticed.

The look of the NU1 is awesome and it´s only competitor on the market in this regard is the Kawai CS9 (though I think it´s inferior to the NU1). Build quality is very good and the the black finish seems to be of high quality as well.

The sound of the NU1 is very clear, colorful and balanced. Compared to the sound of Kawai DPs, it is less warm and full, but much more defined and distinct. This is a matter of taste, I guess. In the beginning, I found it to sound a bit boxed and wooden compared to other DPs, but I got used to it after two days or so. I think the sound is quite natural, while the Kawai CA-65 seemed to candy-coat the sound a bit. I am perfectly happy with the sound through speakers now. I think it is not lacking bass compared to an upright at reasonable volume levels. It´s not like a grand, though, of course. And playing at lower volume levels is a bit strange, because then you have bass missing. I think at higher volume levels, the speakers low-end output triggers some resonances in the chassis of the instrument which makes it feel and sound very natural with plenty of bass. But at lower volumes, there is not enough low-end output to make anything resonate and therefore it feels like something is missing. This is also the case when you play through headphones (but I think it´s the same with the Kawai Soundboard models). So like on any other DP, playing through headphones or at lower than acoustic volume levels is still a compromise.

Please note: As there is an acoustic action with full hammer mechanism in the NU1, the action is quite loud. This is no problem for the player because at reasonable volumes, you won´t notice it. But if you play with headphones while someone else in the same room is reading or watching TV etc., you may annoy this person with the sound the action makes.

I think if you want to practice at home to learn playing acoustic instruments, the NU1 is the best DP out there in it´s price range. I would even prefer it over lower-end acoustic uprigths at a similar or somewhat above price level, because I like the sampled Grand sound of the NU1 better than the sound of small upright acoustic pianos.

If you want to stay digital and play around with lots of different voices, split-sounds etc., you should look somewhere else. Especially if you want to play certain keyboard/synthesizer sounds, because it´s nicer to jam with them on the easy playing artificial actions of some DPs. So the high-end Kawai or Roland models may be more "best of both worlds" compared to the NU1.

Greetings
D
Posted by: ando

Re: Yamaha NU1 owners, users feedback - 01/07/13 05:32 AM

Originally Posted By: Dragon777
And playing at lower volume levels is a bit strange, because then you have bass missing. I think at higher volume levels, the speakers low-end output triggers some resonances in the chassis of the instrument which makes it feel and sound very natural with plenty of bass. But at lower volumes, there is not enough low-end output to make anything resonate and therefore it feels like something is missing.


What you are describing there is normal behaviour of speakers. They just don't generate the energy to move enough air for the lower frequency waves. I have played electric guitar in many bands over the years and found that the amp settings I used for practising were terrible for rehearsing and gigging. You have to wind down the bass a lot when playing at stage volume. Eventually I just made 2 copies of every sound patch I made - one for low volume practise, one for stage volume - the main difference being the amount of bass. You'll find the same thing in hi-fi systems. If the NU1 has an EQ, you could boost the bass when playing at lower volumes and it might improve the situation. If not, I guess you just accept this limitation of speakers. It's great that you found such a good fit with your new piano. Congratulations.
Posted by: Dragon777

Re: Yamaha NU1 owners, users feedback - 01/07/13 06:28 AM

Hi ando,

the NU1 has no EQ, but if I get it´s manual right, it already does some kind of "loudness" adjustment at lower volumes. But you can´t push the bass too far or the whole sound would become unbalanced. Therefore, it´s just physics: lower volume means lower air movement means lower resonances. I think the NU1 chassis and speakers are designed in a way to have the sonic bass waves resonate in there similar to an acoustic upright piano and therefore the feeling is similar. Though it´s still limited by the power of the sonic bass wave, of course.

Best
D
Posted by: swiss_boy

Re: Yamaha NU1 owners, users feedback - 01/07/13 01:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Dragon777

...the NU1 has no EQ, but if I get it´s manual right, it already does some kind of "loudness" adjustment at lower volumes. But you can´t push the bass too far or the whole sound would become unbalanced. Therefore, it´s just physics: lower volume means lower air movement means lower resonances. I think the NU1 chassis and speakers are designed in a way to have the sonic bass waves resonate in there similar to an acoustic upright piano and therefore the feeling is similar. Though it´s still limited by the power of the sonic bass wave, of course.


Hi Dragon777,
what you mention here is called "I.A. Control" (intelligent acoustic control).
You can enable/disable this feature and in addition set the sensitivity, i.e. set the impact on the loudspeaker of the piano (but not the head phones).

Regards.
Posted by: Dominik

Re: Yamaha NU1 owners, users feedback - 01/07/13 03:21 PM

Hi,
I bought an NU1 three weeks ago and I send about 1 to 2 hours per day playing on it.

At the time where I bought it, I was actually looking for an acoustic piano with a Silent system. The reason is that I did not want to bother my neighbors with my practising.

My piano teacher had recommended to go for acoustic, since I am learning on an acoustic piano. I tested the Yamaha B series but I was not fully satisfied with the digital part of the Silent system. I also tested a W. Hoffmann piano, I loved it but it was outside my budget, it costs circa 8500€.

There is quite no used Silent system. Then I decided to test the hybrid systems.

As I saw the NU1, first of all, I found it quite nice looking. It really looks awesome!
I also loved the Keyboard, it feels even a little bit harder than the one I am being taught on (W. Hoffmann). This is true that it is noisy t lower volume levels. But I got used to it.

Today I play about 95% of the time using headphones so that the investition was a good one. At least a dimension better than buying a B1 or B2 with Silent system.