Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture

Posted by: KataiYubi

Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 02:13 AM

In the course of the past months, I was thinking of buying a digital. Digitals represent a very seductive idea, namely that one day, we will be able to do without all the inconvenience of tuning/maintaining/voicing/paying for those huge monsters of wood and steel, and that one day, the same heavenly singing voices are going to be produced digitally.

I went to two local dealers and tried digitals four times, about one hour per visit. I play pianos since 41 years and I have a pretty good ear. I have played on good pianos in the past, even if the one I have now at home is well past due for the junkyard.

The first time I went, I made the mistake of playing only Bach and Mozart. The digitals sounded very nice, I was particularly impressed by the Kawai CA series.

The second time, I dusted my Mephisto-Waltz - not my favorite music but why not try, and boy, what a difference! The supernatural-expensive Yamaha N2 with the lid open caused a very unpleasant ringing in my ear when I was playing repeated notes in the treble range. In disbelief, I went to play the same passage on acoustic grands, and there was no ringing. So I crossed the N2 mentally, as I could not live with that flaw. But then when I tried the acoustic grands, I felt I crossed a Rubicon.

Then I brough my Gaspard de la Nuit to try on the Kawais at the other dealer and lo and behold, they sounded flat and artificial. I also tried the same piece on Kawai grands and it was a totally different world. Not so much in terms of touch, but in terms of resonance.

So my (unoriginal) conclusion is that digitals are fine if you are a beginner and that you play casual stuff (Alfred, is that you?) that does not push the instrument to its limit, but that the technology is **far** from being there yet. How long will it take - at the slow pace at which products evolve, I don't see them getting there for at least 10 more years, and they will need far more than ridiculous features such as "concert magic" to convince me. For the experimented pianists, especially those playing late classical music, nothing replaces a good acoustic. "Duh", I hear some people say.

Anyways, who are we fooling? Present day digitals are overhyped junk and, judging from this forum, people who buy them seem to replace them by a newer model of junk every couple of years - not a quality signal.

Meh. I thought I could save ten thousands dollars, and now I know that I will never be able to afford that 9-ft Steinway I dream about. So I'll probably rent a decent grand, put up and shut up. And meditate about the impermanence of existence.
Posted by: o0Ampy0o

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 02:20 AM

Originally Posted By: KataiYubi
So I'll probably rent a decent grand, put up and shut up. And meditate about the impermanence of existence.

Not bad ideas at all.
Posted by: Gigantoad

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 03:07 AM

I've come to think it has more to do with the style you play. Classical is so demanding that the weaknesses of a DP are emphasized very much. For pretty much anything else DP's seem to be fine these days, especially software ones.
Posted by: Dave Ferris

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 03:08 AM

Originally Posted By: KataiYubi


Then I brough my Gaspard de la Nuit to try on the Kawais at the other dealer and lo and behold, they sounded flat and artificial. I also tried the same piece on Kawai grands and it was a totally different world. Not so much in terms of touch, but in terms of resonance.


That Ravel piece is some pretty darn serious chow... I can't imagine any pianist who can play that up to speed, fairly accomplished, ever being happy on a DP. wink

For many pro players, digitals exist for only one reason---work/gigging. smile cool

If you like the Kawai grands, why not look for a later model, say an RX-2 or 3 used ? Piano Zac, on the PW forums here, just found a lightly used RX2 at considerable savings after trying the Avantgrand route and still feeling dissatisfied.
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2023558/1.html
You'd pay more initially but you wouldn't be *upgrading* every few years and still feel frustrated. In LA, on Craigslist, there are deals galore.

Good luck with it. I feel your pain. wink
Posted by: peterws

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 03:55 AM

Must admit that ringing sound on top end models would influence me not to buy one.

I`m thinking of going back in time. To get a totr Dated Digital which gives me the sound I have (only better) in a great cabinet, and better action. Hopefully! I`m too old to lug `em around anymore.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 07:08 AM

Well, it's junk I can live with.

My standards must be pretty ******* low. smile
Posted by: justpin

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 07:17 AM

Its a case of different strokes for different folks.

Me personally I really wanted an AP, but then discovered the other bells and whistle functions that APs don't and never will have.

Secondly if the DP did not exist pianoworld would probably be 25% the size it is today. The DP is the modern day spinet, affordable for most people.

Also the technology exists today to make a better DP than an AP. The maths just doesn't work out in terms of cost of production vs sale price.

Also if Kawai or Yam were to make a pitch and action perfect DP, then what would they make next year to improve to sell next year.
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 07:35 AM

Originally Posted By: justpin
The DP is the modern day spinet, affordable for most people.



I never thought of it that way, but it's a valid point. And a lot of people who otherwise wouldn't play DO start on digital and move eventually to APs, which even an AP purist shouldn't gripe about.

Besides utility for gigging, digitals are great for silent practice.

Finally, not all notes we play are the same. Some are in concert, some purely practice; some are Ravel, others Bach, still others show tunes or rock. There is plenty of music that CAN be gotten out digitals very usefully, even if digitals don't lend themselves perfectly to every activity that every pianist might pursue.

I don't consider digital pianos "junk." I consider them useful tools that have a great many valid applications.
Posted by: zapper

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 07:49 AM

Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris

For many pro players, digitals exist for only one reason---work/gigging. smile cool


exactly, it's unfortunate compromise to space, portability, tuning, neighbors etc etc. Since I've bought my acoustic grand piano (one of the cheapest) I seldom sit to my digitals (one of the more expensive)... cool
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 07:52 AM

Originally Posted By: KataiYubi
In the course of the past months, I was thinking of buying a digital. Digitals represent a very seductive idea, namely that one day, we will be able to do without all the inconvenience of tuning/maintaining/voicing/paying for those huge monsters of wood and steel, and that one day, the same heavenly singing voices are going to be produced digitally.


So my (unoriginal) conclusion is that digitals are fine if you are a beginner and that you play casual stuff (Alfred, is that you?) that does not push the instrument to its limit, but that the technology is **far** from being there yet. How long will it take - at the slow pace at which products evolve, I don't see them getting there for at least 10 more years, and they will need far more than ridiculous features such as "concert magic" to convince me. For the experimented pianists, especially those playing late classical music, nothing replaces a good acoustic. "Duh", I hear some people say.

Anyways, who are we fooling? Present day digitals are overhyped junk and, judging from this forum, people who buy them seem to replace them by a newer model of junk every couple of years - not a quality signal.

Meh. I thought I could save ten thousands dollars, and now I know that I will never be able to afford that 9-ft Steinway I dream about. So I'll probably rent a decent grand, put up and shut up. And meditate about the impermanence of existence.


Didn't you try any SuperNatural Rolands? Or even better, the V-Piano, which gives you the closest simulation to an acoustic in terms of response to touch, articulation, tonal nuances, dynamics etc,. because of its modeling technology? Or better still, its big brother, the V-Piano Grand (which has been played by concert pianists around the world in a series of promotional concerts)?

I set out looking for a DP three years ago - prior to which I absolutely refused to touch one. But I realized it had to be a DP or nothing in my situation, because of where I live and neighbor problems. And I managed to find the DP that would satisfy me as an acoustic piano substitute - which was far more than I'd expected to find: the V-Piano. In case you're interested, I used a few classical pieces to audition the DPs (I play almost exclusively classical): Rachmaninoff's big chordal cadenza to his 3rd concerto and his G minor Prelude, Mendelssohn's Rondo capriccioso, Schumann/Liszt's Widmung and Scarlatti's K141 Sonata among them, which covers more or less everything that would show up limitations in a piano - especially its tonal response and dynamics and key action. The V-Piano passed all those tests, especially once I'd worked out how to improve its 'factory' preset sound (by increasing its sustain and tone color, which unfortunately in its factory setting is far too conservative).

And since then, I've learnt Ravel's Gaspard, the Yellow River Concerto, more Rachmaninoff and Chopin pieces, some Scriabin and others - all from scratch, on my V-Piano, and then transferred what I'd practised onto the grands (mainly Fazioli F278 and Yamahas) at the showrooms where I visit occasionally, with no trouble at all.

Why don't you have a look (and play them) for yourself - bring your own headphones for the V-Piano, as the store's set-up is likely to be less than optimal. If you get to try the Grand, even better. But remember to do some customizations first.
Posted by: wouter79

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 08:02 AM

Originally Posted By: KataiYubi
"Duh", I hear some people say.

+1 laugh


I just wish more people had good ears...
Posted by: offnote

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 08:19 AM

I told you, digital pianos are like dildos....
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 08:23 AM

Originally Posted By: offnote
I told you, digital pianos are like dildos....

+1 Good analogy. Also, it's so hard to find the real thing that you really like, and is low maintenance.
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 08:23 AM

Only the ones with a soundboard ... CA95, N3, etc.
Originally Posted By: offnote
I told you, digital pianos are like dildos....
Posted by: wouter79

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 08:42 AM

>now I know that I will never be able to afford that 9-ft Steinway I dream about.

Maybe you can make a deal with someone that has one but wants the latest greatest digital to reduce maintenance smile
Posted by: kippesc

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 09:21 AM

While you're saving your money for that Steinway D (does the price jump about 5% each year [$6,000]?), you may find that the Roland RD700-NX (Studio Grand setting) through headphones is useful as a practice instrument. I agree that the N2 is disappointing when playing classical. It may be as much because it doesn't live up to the hype as anything else. And, with respect to not living up to the hype: Try buying a Steinway. The Roland is the only set of keys I have that exceeded my expectations. I bought the thing for its PHAIII action, thinking I'd use it as a controller. But I RARELY connect a software piano to the Roland. It's more responsive than Ivory and Galaxy, and it sounds better than Pianoteq. As for real APs, give the Hailun 178 a try -- a lot of piano for the money.
Posted by: JFP

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 09:33 AM

Not everybody can have an acoustic in it's living environment, because of space / neighbors to start with. Then a DP is the only option if you want to play the piano (or fake piano - whatever you like) at all. I think nobody in this forum will ever say that a certain DP model is exactly like the real thing, so what's your point ?
Posted by: slipperykeys

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 09:53 AM

Let me just start with some truth here, I will carry on later with more truth, before closing with evidence, and yes, some more truth, with just a dash of opinion thrown in to spice it all up....

I started playing the piano, an acoustic upright, in 1971. I owned a number of pianos, forget how many and played both acoustics and grands in locations ranging from small flats to prison chapels. All good fun.

In 1990, I bought my first digital, a Roland RD300S which, after we got used to each other, I grew to love. I decided to replace in with a Roland RD 700NX in August 2011, again, I am growing to love it and yet I could criticise it from here until Christmas but would still have to replace it with another one should the situation ever arise. I still have an old Schirmer upright.

Right, that's the history, now to the present.....

"Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture "

Actually the real truth is that if digital pianos were such junk no-one would buy one, therefore the basic logic of your argument is flawed, as thousands of digital pianos are sold around the world, presumably, judging from the somewhat supercilious comments that have been made occasionally, to cloth-eared, foolish beginners with no idea what a piano sounds like!


Now apparently it is more difficult to replicate the sound of a grand piano than it would be to perform brain surgery whilst hand-cuffed and on board a rocket ship blasting off Cape Canaveral, this must be the reason why when I press the Concert Grand button on my Roland RD700NX it sounds just like a chain-saw......(er, it sounds like a damned good grand piano, actually)

By the way, I am not the only one doubting the "logic" ( I use the word loosely here) of the argument.

Some other people, who I have the very temerity to suppose, are well qualified to make this choice, have agreed that digitals are in fact, as I have always claimed, "PERFECTLY PASSABLE REPLICATIONS" of acoustics, here is my evidence:

""""USA

Clavinova digital pianos have been acquired by prestigious institutions for use in music education labs through the USA, including:

Oberlin Conservatory
Eastman School of Music
University of Southern California
University of Arizona
Portland State University

CANADA

The First Choice of the Royal Conservatory of Music

UNITED KINGDOM

Clavinova is used extensively in music education throughout the UK, including the following prestigious establishments:

Royal Academy of Music
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama
The Royal Northern College of Music
Birmingham Conservatoire
Cheethams School of Music, Manchester""""

Whole thing,

http://www.classicportland.com/pianos/yamaha-clavinova

Now, can we have some evidence to support the anti-digital claim?

By the way, the "dildo logic" is equally flawed and a fatuous claim and is an attempt to disguise truth from the fiction pedalled by the acoustic brigade.
Posted by: zapper

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 09:59 AM

Originally Posted By: slipperykeys

"Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture "

Actually the real truth is that if digital pianos were such junk no-one would buy one, therefore the basic logic of your argument is flawed, as thousands of digital pianos are sold around the world, presumably, judging from the somewhat supercilious comments that have been made occasionally, to cloth-eared, foolish beginners with no idea what a piano sounds like!


well, number of sells has nothing to do with it, you have junk music on MTV and it's selling well so I don't see a flowed logic here from OP.
Posted by: 36251

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 10:15 AM

I own an N2 and don't notice any ringing. My Tinnitus must cancel it out.
Posted by: kurtie

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 10:26 AM

Originally Posted By: zapper

well, number of sells has nothing to do with it, you have junk music on MTV and it's selling well so I don't see a flowed logic here from OP.


+1. Number of sales does not equal to quality.

As for the anti-digital claims (or anti-acoustic claims) I don't really understand them. Digitals and acoustics as I see them, are different instruments. There are different players, that play different music styles, with different playing skills, with different tastes, with different places where to put the piano in, with different neighbours, with different wallets... then each one can choose digitals, acoustics, or even both. Having choices is good and there is a place for both, digitals and acoustics.

One likes acoustics? Get one. One like digitals? Get one. One like software pianos instead of built-in sounds on acoustics? Use them. Sampled? Modelled? Uprights? Grands? Hybrids? For me is all about choices.

Regards,
Kurt.-
Posted by: chickenlump

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 10:52 AM

I don't think anyone will disagree that no digital can replace a genuine, well maintained concert grand for it's touch, character and tonality.

I don't however appreciate your condescension and implication that whoever uses digital must only be a beginner, or casual users, or somehow can't hear the fact that it is "junk".

Although I've fallen out of practice, I have been playing since I was 3.5 and I was training in ARCT Performance diploma prior to stopping. I've played many concert grands and uprights... and I think good quality DPs are at the stage where it is a perfectly acceptable replacement for an acoustic when price, noise , environment or space is a factor. I wouldn't have said this even 5 years ago when I was looking at the models out at that time.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 11:01 AM

I think the point about digitals being the modern-day spinets is the right one. No digital I've seen is a true high-performance instrument. Professional classical pianists wouldn't practice on your living room upright or a digital because of the level at which they are operating and the demands of their repertoire.

Digitals replace inexpensive uprights in people's homes and do so well. In fact, they are perfect for it with their small size, light weight, and silent play capability--all very valuable in a typical home environment. Great for learning and for regular-level (intermediate and advanced) play. Of course there is variety among digitals as well...some are better than others. Every digital so far is limited relative to a concert grand in terms of action and sound, but so are typical acoustics and especially spinets.

Digitals are also perfect for the gigging musician, but that's kind of a separate topic because the OP doesn't seem to be in that group.

Posted by: KLSinCT

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 11:13 AM

Originally Posted By: chickenlump
I don't think anyone will disagree that no digital can replace a genuine, well maintained concert grand for it's touch, character and tonality.

I don't however appreciate your condescension and implication that whoever uses digital must only be a beginner, or casual users, or somehow can't hear the fact that it is "junk".

Although I've fallen out of practice, I have been playing since I was 3.5 and I was training in ARCT Performance diploma prior to stopping. I've played many concert grands and uprights... and I think good quality DPs are at the stage where it is a perfectly acceptable replacement for an acoustic when price, noise , environment or space is a factor. I wouldn't have said this even 5 years ago when I was looking at the models out at that time.



+1 thumb
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 11:25 AM

Originally Posted By: chickenlump
I don't think anyone will disagree that no digital can replace a genuine, well maintained concert grand for it's touch, character and tonality.

I don't however appreciate your condescension and implication that whoever uses digital must only be a beginner, or casual users, or somehow can't hear the fact that it is "junk".

Although I've fallen out of practice, I have been playing since I was 3.5 and I was training in ARCT Performance diploma prior to stopping. I've played many concert grands and uprights... and I think good quality DPs are at the stage where it is a perfectly acceptable replacement for an acoustic when price, noise , environment or space is a factor. I wouldn't have said this even 5 years ago when I was looking at the models out at that time.



Good point. I suspect there are quite a number of young (would-be or practising) classical concert pianists who only have digitals to practise on at home, but get regular access to acoustics to hone their interpretations for the concert platform.

But what I've definitely noticed is that people who've only ever played (and learnt) on digitals lack the quality of touch and tonal control when they play on acoustics, which may be due to the deficiencies of most DPs in this area. Hanging around piano showrooms and listening to the visiting punters bashing away is often an interesting experience. With acoustics, everyone can hear what everyone else is playing...

Perhaps where the DP really scores is when the pianist is already experienced, and knows how to control textures and bring out melodic strands within complex figuration, and able to use the tonal and dynamic range of the instrument. Such pianists have no difficulty doing the same on digitals, up to the limit of what the digitals allow them. Those still in the early-intermediate stage (when it's no longer just getting around the notes (when any DP with decent weighted keyboard would probably suffice) but also tone production, which requires control of weighting of individual notes within chords and textures, rather than just playing them) may benefit from using an acoustic most, if not all, the time, just so they can easily feel and hear the effects of the way they play, which is not so evident from most DPs.
Posted by: hamlet cat

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 12:17 PM

Originally Posted By: KataiYubi
Anyways, who are we fooling? Present day digitals are overhyped junk and, judging from this forum, people who buy them seem to replace them by a newer model of junk every couple of years - not a quality signal.


There goes your credibility. Why don't you just go play your acoustic and leave the commentary alone. Maybe you would be happier if you did not spend any time in the DP forum.
Posted by: carey

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 12:20 PM

Originally Posted By: offnote
I told you, digital pianos are like dildos....

A rather crude analogy based, I'm assuming, on your personal experience with both.......
Posted by: hamlet cat

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 12:26 PM

Originally Posted By: JFP
Not everybody can have an acoustic in it's living environment, because of space / neighbors to start with. Then a DP is the only option if you want to play the piano (or fake piano - whatever you like) at all. I think nobody in this forum will ever say that a certain DP model is exactly like the real thing, so what's your point ?


His point is to stir things up, or perhaps to display the superiority of his piano and himself. Maybe he has some kind of complex, small man or something.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 12:40 PM

Originally Posted By: ron88
Originally Posted By: JFP
Not everybody can have an acoustic in it's living environment, because of space / neighbors to start with. Then a DP is the only option if you want to play the piano (or fake piano - whatever you like) at all. I think nobody in this forum will ever say that a certain DP model is exactly like the real thing, so what's your point ?


His point is to stir things up, or perhaps to display the superiority of his piano and himself. Maybe he has some kind of complex, small man or something.


It sure would be great to hear him play. smile
Posted by: CHAS

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 01:05 PM

Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: offnote
I told you, digital pianos are like dildos....

A rather crude analogy based, I'm assuming, on your personal experience with both.......


ad hominem
When you can't win, attack the messenger.
Posted by: peterws

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 01:19 PM

"When you can't win, attack the messenger."

True maybe. But it is illuminating . . . and funny
Posted by: PattyP

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 02:22 PM

I'm thinking the OP is a troll, considering his join date and post history.

Is there an "ignore" function on PW?
Posted by: Chris H.

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 02:51 PM

I think there is plenty of room in the world for both digital and acoustic pianos.

As a pianist there is nothing I like better than to get my hands on a quality concert grand piano, however rare that is nowadays. Unfortunately I will never have the space or means to own one. Even so I still prefer my Yamaha upright to any digital. It's not necessarily the sound of individual notes or the action, more that it gives me feedback that I have never managed to get from a digital. In many ways it's inferior to the most modern and best digitals but I still get more enjoyment from it.

I also own two digitals. One is an old technics that I have in my teaching room and use to accompany students in two piano works as I only have one acoustic. The other is a stage piano that I take on gigs. Actually it's mainly classical stuff that I play on gigs and I've been glad of my digital when faced with some of the horrendous acoustics in hotels and small venues. At least I know where I am with the digital, everything works and it's in tune!

I think the main problem with acoustic pianos these days is price. I teach around fifty students and not one of them can get anywhere near being able to afford a nice grand piano. Even a decent upright costs an arm and a leg. So I find myself recommending digitals more and more and so far haven't noticed that they have been detrimental to my students playing.
Posted by: peterws

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 02:55 PM

"I'm thinking the OP is a troll, considering his join date and post history.
Is there an "ignore" function on PW?"

I wouldn`t worry. It`s a reasonable posting and has generated a lot of interest. You can always ignore it yourself if you want to. It won`t last forever.
Posted by: adak

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 03:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Chris H.
I think there is plenty of room in the world for both digital and acoustic pianos.

As a pianist there is nothing I like better than to get my hands on a quality concert grand piano, however rare that is nowadays. Unfortunately I will never have the space or means to own one. Even so I still prefer my Yamaha upright to any digital. It's not necessarily the sound of individual notes or the action, more that it gives me feedback that I have never managed to get from a digital. In many ways it's inferior to the most modern and best digitals but I still get more enjoyment from it.

I also own two digitals. One is an old technics that I have in my teaching room and use to accompany students in two piano works as I only have one acoustic. The other is a stage piano that I take on gigs. Actually it's mainly classical stuff that I play on gigs and I've been glad of my digital when faced with some of the horrendous acoustics in hotels and small venues. At least I know where I am with the digital, everything works and it's in tune!

I think the main problem with acoustic pianos these days is price. I teach around fifty students and not one of them can get anywhere near being able to afford a nice grand piano. Even a decent upright costs an arm and a leg. So I find myself recommending digitals more and more and so far haven't noticed that they have been detrimental to my students playing.


That is an interesting comment. What is your price breakdown for acoustics vs digitals?

I feel that digitals have to be upgraded more often as technology improves, as for acoustics there is price of tunings as time goes on. Acoustic pianos don't have to be replaced as often either.

Can you do a price breakdown for acoustics? What price would be a "nice grand" or "decent upright" be for you? What other costs are there that are associated with owning an acoustic piano?

In the end I have to wonder if owning an digital piano is really less expensive than owning an acoustic piano.
Posted by: Dave Ferris

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 03:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Chris H.

I think the main problem with acoustic pianos these days is price. I teach around fifty students and not one of them can get anywhere near being able to afford a nice grand piano. Even a decent upright costs an arm and a leg. to my students .


Most definitely. The ap manufacturers have practically priced themselves out of the market....at least with respect to players, teachers or aspiring players.

I couldn't believe the price, new, for that high end Yamaha upright..the model # escapes me right now. But I think it was over 12K, for an upright !

The only way a quality grand for most is even remotely obtainable is by buying used. It's so tragic because you have so many great players (both pro and serious hobbyists), along with dedicated teachers that are SO deserving that might never have the means ( much less the space to put it in) to acquire something nice. I can't begin tell you how many gigs/private parties I've played over the years in people's homes on a high end instrument that is nothing more then a piece of furniture to them. frown

Given the prices I totally get why people are turning to digitals. Heck I paid only $13,250 + Ca. tax for my Yamaha C7E in 1985 from Fields Piano in Orange County. What do they go for, new, today for God's sakes ?! I'm not into cars at all, but I'm fairly certain you could buy a mid-priced Lexus for what a new C7 sells for. cry
Posted by: 36251

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 03:14 PM

Doctor, I get this very unpleasant ringing in my ear when I play repeated notes in the treble range of my piano.

Doctor: Then don't do that!
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 03:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Chris H.

I think the main problem with acoustic pianos these days is price. I teach around fifty students and not one of them can get anywhere near being able to afford a nice grand piano. Even a decent upright costs an arm and a leg. So I find myself recommending digitals more and more and so far haven't noticed that they have been detrimental to my students playing.


How advanced are your students (in terms of ABRSM grade), and are they playing classical music?

I've often wondered when I hear intermediate-standard young pianists playing who seem not to be able to voice chords properly, bring out melodies within textures etc. Everything sounds one-dimensional, their chording is opaque, they can't seem to play softly or balance melody against accompaniment, yet they evidently have finger dexterity from being well-practised, and maybe even well-taught, but possibly not having an adequate instrument to practise on. Their parents tell me they use a digital at home, so it can't be uneven action (inadequate, possibly yes) at fault. Unresponsiveness to touch, maybe?
Posted by: PattyP

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 03:42 PM

Oh, I'm not worried about it at all, peter. But I do find the OP's attitude to be rather condescending. Granted, everyone is entitled to an opinion, but when it's stated in such a way that is offensive or damaging it needs to be addressed. Perhaps I was hasty suggesting that the OP is a troll. Maybe he's just immature.
Posted by: RBMusik

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 03:47 PM

This discussion is an absurd waste of time. An absurd, wasteful rant that adds positively nothing to any conversation. The idea is not to replace but to present a suitable alternative. The premises are all flawed. Starting from the argument that folks would choose a DP over an AP given no space, time, logistic or monetary constraints is just fish bait. Go back to your pianos and play folks. Leave the negative ninny rants to pros like the OP. He just opened the door, yelled fire, and ran for the hills. I feel like a fish.
Posted by: xorbe

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 04:04 PM

When is Dewster gonna weigh in? :^)
Posted by: jens4711

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 04:07 PM

Originally Posted By: chickenlump
I don't think anyone will disagree that no digital can replace a genuine,
well maintained concert grand for it's touch, character and tonality.


Sure, but I don't think anyone will disagree that no acoustic piano can replace
a modern digital piano or synth for it's versatility, choice of timbres,
ease of maintenance, and usefulness as a music production tool.

In fact I would suggest that in todays world, the acoustic piano is a very
specialized instrument, particularly suited for the classical niche genres. For
most modern and/or popular music genres is it simply not (any longer) as useful
as modern electronic keyboard instruments.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 04:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris

The only way a quality grand for most is even remotely obtainable is by buying used. It's so tragic because you so many great players (both pro and serious hobbyists) and teachers that are deserving that might never have the means to acquire something nice. I can't begin tell you how many gigs/private parties I've played over the years in people's homes on a high end instrument that is nothing more then a piece of furniture to them. frown



Two years ago, I helped out a rather well-off family looking for a new baby grand for their little daughter. We met for the first time when they saw me playing in Steinway Hall, and they asked me to help them with their quest, because they didn't play and knew nothing about pianos. (They eventually ended up buying a K.Kawai because the dealer offered the best discount).

The parents appeared to have little interest in music and when I visited them on the day the piano was delivered, I began to get an inkling of what their principal interest in buying the piano was, when the father seemed more interested in admiring the piano from the other end of the room, in relation to the the other furniture, than in how the piano sounded in the room. And then, warning bells sounded in my brain when I suggested that they get a teacher for their daughter so that she could learn to play properly, but they said they'd think about it. Instead, they watched in admiration when the six-year-old sat down and picked out a few notes with one finger......

Still, hoping to get the whole family inspired, I gave them some CDs of mainly light/tuneful classical piano music (Fur Elise, Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, Moonlight Sonata -1, 'Elvira Madigan' etc) which were unwanted gifts I'd acquired over the years, and played some music for them on their new piano.

I'd forgotten about them until a recent post in the Piano Forum jogged my memory, and decided to give them a ring yesterday to see how they were enjoying their piano......

The wife told me that they decided not to bother with a teacher after all, the little girl had lost interest in playing, the father was picking out the odd pop tune on it occasionally, and after the initial free tuning, they hadn't bothered with any more.

But the piano is still a lovely piece of furniture, and polished regularly cry.
Posted by: zapper

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 04:12 PM

Originally Posted By: offnote
I told you, digital pianos are like dildos....


Posted by: emenelton

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 04:14 PM

THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN BE PLAYED ON A CONCERT D THAT WON'T SOUND EQUALLY AS GOOD ON A CLP-120!
Posted by: Vid

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 04:16 PM

What a waste!!! So many of use would sell our kidneys to have the space and the piano.
Posted by: ando

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 04:19 PM

Originally Posted By: emenelton
THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN BE PLAYED ON A CONCERT D THAT WON'T SOUND EQUALLY AS GOOD ON A CLP-120!


So basically we are all trolls now, are we?
Posted by: emenelton

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 04:25 PM

I miss the rantings of the 'ole goat. (I'm not talking about the OP but you know who!).
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 04:27 PM

One thing the OP said rings true: digitals are often overhyped. On the other hand, acoustics tend to be overhyped as well. Corporations have marketing departments specifically to overhype their products.
Posted by: emenelton

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 04:37 PM

Every instrument needs to be adapted to. It seems that great players sound great because they know how to adapt to the instrument.
Take it with a grain of salt. The OP made a blanket condemnation of DP's based on a visit to a retailer.
I remember seeing that video here not too long ago(sorry I can't remember specifics) of a Pianist just wailing a classical piece on what appeared to be a Yamaha 120. The piano was bouncing a bit, but he was incredible on that 10 year old slab!
Posted by: Chris H.

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 05:09 PM

My students range from beginner to grade 8 abrsm so I have the full range of abilities. The more advanced ones do tend to own acoustic pianos but not always what I would consider to be good ones. Mostly grey market yamahas or kawais which are fine and one has recently bought a new Chinese instrument by kingsburg. None have the space or budget for a grand. But then neither did I and yet I made it through to post grad at conservatoire and have given many recitals. When I left home to study at college I had access to great pianos but all I had up until then was a small upright.

When new students ask about instruments they usually have a small budget in mind as they don't want to waste money on something that might end up not being used. A decent upright to me would cost at least 3k pounds sterling. The other day I was looking at the current range of yamahas in London and prices for a U1 were around 6k ranging to 18k for an SU7. The smaller grands started around 15k from what I recall. But parents of kids I teach want to spend hundreds, not thousands. If that's all you can afford then digital is the way to go. Spend less than a thousand on an acoustic and it will be firewood.
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 05:16 PM

I agree.
Originally Posted By: RBMusik
This discussion is an absurd waste of time.
But after you posted that, emenelton posted a picture that made this thread just a little bit worthwhile.

That aside, yes ... a waste.
Posted by: emenelton

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 05:22 PM

She looks a little like The Nanny, Fran Drescher.
I didn't post the picture however, praise must be directed to Zapper!
My claim to fame was channeling our very own WILLIAM's Virtuoso.

Originally Posted By: emenelton
THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN BE PLAYED ON A CONCERT D THAT WON'T SOUND EQUALLY AS GOOD ON A CLP-120!
Posted by: chickenlump

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 05:34 PM

Originally Posted By: jens4711
Originally Posted By: chickenlump
I don't think anyone will disagree that no digital can replace a genuine,
well maintained concert grand for it's touch, character and tonality.


Sure, but I don't think anyone will disagree that no acoustic piano can replace
a modern digital piano or synth for it's versatility, choice of timbres,
ease of maintenance, and usefulness as a music production tool.

In fact I would suggest that in todays world, the acoustic piano is a very
specialized instrument, particularly suited for the classical niche genres. For
most modern and/or popular music genres is it simply not (any longer) as useful
as modern electronic keyboard instruments.


For sure, I was replying to him in the context of using a DP as a piano alternative for classical players.

I think there clearly are two different user bases of DPs, one who are seeking an acoustic replacement (for whatever reason) and wishes the piano to be as close to the real thing as possible, and there are ones who use DPs as an instrument category in its own right.

They're all valid.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 05:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Chris H.
My students range from beginner to grade 8 abrsm so I have the full range of abilities. The more advanced ones do tend to own acoustic pianos but not always what I would consider to be good ones. Mostly grey market yamahas or kawais which are fine and one has recently bought a new Chinese instrument by kingsburg. None have the space or budget for a grand. But then neither did I and yet I made it through to post grad at conservatoire and have given many recitals. When I left home to study at college I had access to great pianos but all I had up until then was a small upright.

When new students ask about instruments they usually have a small budget in mind as they don't want to waste money on something that might end up not being used. A decent upright to me would cost at least 3k pounds sterling. The other day I was looking at the current range of yamahas in London and prices for a U1 were around 6k ranging to 18k for an SU7. The smaller grands started around 15k from what I recall. But parents of kids I teach want to spend hundreds, not thousands. If that's all you can afford then digital is the way to go. Spend less than a thousand on an acoustic and it will be firewood.


Do you (or your students) read 'Pianist' magazine? In issue 65 (May-June 2012), the Steinmayer S108 was mentioned, costing £2090, voted as the 'best entry-level piano' by The Guardian, and as 'one of the ten best pianos' by The Independent in 2010. I can't vouch for its quality, not having played it myself, but it's significant that when Pianist went on to review acoustic uprights (as a group) in issue 67, only acoustics of over £5000 were considered - but DPs costing less than £2000 were also considered in another review.

I too only had a small vertical until I left home to go to boarding school, where the practice rooms had decent uprights. And at university, also the same Yamaha uprights in their practice rooms. I never played on a grand until my diploma exam...
Posted by: carey

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 05:50 PM

Originally Posted By: CHAS
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: offnote
I told you, digital pianos are like dildos....

A rather crude analogy based, I'm assuming, on your personal experience with both.......


ad hominem
When you can't win, attack the messenger.


Who said anything about winning???? grin
Posted by: Chris H.

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 05:54 PM

I used to subscribe to 'pianist' but haven't read it for a while. Never tried the steinmeyer, to be honest here in the midlands there are not many piano dealers to choose from. The kingsburg I mentioned is probably similar although it was taller and cost a little more. I played it and it was fine.

But like I said, most people think they should be spending about 200 to 300, at least at first. For this money you can pick up a used clavinova to get started with. I help them find these on the used market. Second hand acoustics are more difficult and bargains are becoming few and far between. I have never bought a brand new acoustic piano and probably never will, I just can't afford it.
Posted by: Jeff Clef

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 06:15 PM

"...Is there an "ignore" function on PW?..."

There is! I use it only for that select few who have proved that it is never worth hearing from them. Just left-click on the offender's name, select View Profile, and then click the radio button that says Ignore this User.

Give your blood pressure a few minutes to go down, and you're good from then on.

As for the question of whether digitals are junk--- it's at best overbroad, and can hardly be answered with any fairness. Some models are, others are really pretty good. Every instrument has its failings, including the AP. But it sounds like our OP might be happier with one. Personally, I have both and love both--- and I think it is very mean to compare the DP with those nasty spinets, which offer integrity in neither touch, sound, nor appearance. The better DPs can say more for themselves, and even the more modest ones serve the needs of those among us with a limited price point range (I still have my first one, in a closet).

I understand that an aftermarket program has found a use for worn-out spinets: constructing artificial reefs. It's a spinoff program, discovered when it was found that spinets really don't make very good boat anchors.
Posted by: adak

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 06:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Chris H.
My students range from beginner to grade 8 abrsm so I have the full range of abilities. The more advanced ones do tend to own acoustic pianos but not always what I would consider to be good ones. Mostly grey market yamahas or kawais which are fine and one has recently bought a new Chinese instrument by kingsburg. None have the space or budget for a grand. But then neither did I and yet I made it through to post grad at conservatoire and have given many recitals. When I left home to study at college I had access to great pianos but all I had up until then was a small upright.

When new students ask about instruments they usually have a small budget in mind as they don't want to waste money on something that might end up not being used. A decent upright to me would cost at least 3k pounds sterling. The other day I was looking at the current range of yamahas in London and prices for a U1 were around 6k ranging to 18k for an SU7. The smaller grands started around 15k from what I recall. But parents of kids I teach want to spend hundreds, not thousands. If that's all you can afford then digital is the way to go. Spend less than a thousand on an acoustic and it will be firewood.


Lets take the 3k pounds example, buying a 3k pounds upright and play it for 10 years, it would still be a keeper. However if you buy a top of the line 3k pound yamaha cp1 stage piano, no way you will keep it after 10 years the advances in technology would have made it obsolete long ago. Replacing the digital would mean paying more money, making more expensive than buying an acoustical piano in the first place.
Posted by: Dave Ferris

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 07:16 PM

Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris

The only way a quality grand for most is even remotely obtainable is by buying used. It's so tragic because you so many great players (both pro and serious hobbyists) and teachers that are deserving that might never have the means to acquire something nice. I can't begin tell you how many gigs/private parties I've played over the years in people's homes on a high end instrument that is nothing more then a piece of furniture to them. frown



Two years ago, I helped out a rather well-off family looking for a new baby grand for their little daughter. We met for the first time when they saw me playing in Steinway Hall, and they asked me to help them with their quest, because they didn't play and knew nothing about pianos. (They eventually ended up buying a K.Kawai because the dealer offered the best discount).

The parents appeared to have little interest in music and when I visited them on the day the piano was delivered, I began to get an inkling of what their principal interest in buying the piano was, when the father seemed more interested in admiring the piano from the other end of the room, in relation to the the other furniture, than in how the piano sounded in the room. And then, warning bells sounded in my brain when I suggested that they get a teacher for their daughter so that she could learn to play properly, but they said they'd think about it. Instead, they watched in admiration when the six-year-old sat down and picked out a few notes with one finger......

Still, hoping to get the whole family inspired, I gave them some CDs of mainly light/tuneful classical piano music (Fur Elise, Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, Moonlight Sonata -1, 'Elvira Madigan' etc) which were unwanted gifts I'd acquired over the years, and played some music for them on their new piano.

I'd forgotten about them until a recent post in the Piano Forum jogged my memory, and decided to give them a ring yesterday to see how they were enjoying their piano......

The wife told me that they decided not to bother with a teacher after all, the little girl had lost interest in playing, the father was picking out the odd pop tune on it occasionally, and after the initial free tuning, they hadn't bothered with any more.

But the piano is still a lovely piece of furniture, and polished regularly cry.


I posted right after Christmas in the Piano forum about playing a post Christmas party at an older couple's home on a Fazioli 212.
Neither one played...of course wink At least they were into having it maintained and did very much appreciate good music. It was so rare to encounter that on a gig. smile cool

Many, many wealthy folks just view their Steinway/Bosendorfer/Yamaha/Kawai as just another acquisition among their *toys* meant to impress their other well to do friends. A good 90% of the time that piano is used for strictly background ambience. I could be playing on my old Yamaha P120 and I'd bet my house most wouldn't notice the difference in sound. frown
Posted by: The Monkeys

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 07:28 PM

Originally Posted By: adak

Lets take the 3k pounds example, buying a 3k pounds upright and play it for 10 years, it would still be a keeper. However if you buy a top of the line 3k pound yamaha cp1 stage piano, no way you will keep it after 10 years the advances in technology would have made it obsolete long ago. Replacing the digital would mean paying more money, making more expensive than buying an acoustical piano in the first place.


AP: $3000
CP1:$3000

10 years later:
AP : tuning @ every 8 month for $120, cost 1.8K, can sell for 2K
CP1: no tuning cost, can sell for $300

Adjusted residual value:
AP: $300 (+/- $1000)
CP1:$300 (+/- $300)

The AP is still the same AP, with a bit of wear and tear.
The CP1 is still the same CP1, with a bit of marks and dents.

Monetary value of 10 years of investment: worthless
Enjoyment value of 10 years of music : priceless
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 08:03 PM

Originally Posted By: zapper
Originally Posted By: offnote
I told you, digital pianos are like dildos....




Classic !!! LOL
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 08:04 PM

Originally Posted By: PattyP
I'm thinking the OP is a troll, considering his join date and post history.

Is there an "ignore" function on PW?



He might be a troll or somewhere a village might be missing a idiot.

But at least it's more entertaining then "Does a PX-150 have a plastic pedal"
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 08:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris


For many pro players, digitals exist for only one reason---work/gigging. smile cool



Yeah but then it gets easier to use a DP or VST then to mic up your grand, then you become lazy. People think I'm a DP apologist but forget I've got two real acoustic grand pianos at home. Given a choice ...you would like to always prefer the real thing but practicality's often mean the opposite is true.
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 08:15 PM

Originally Posted By: kippesc
While you're saving your money for that Steinway D (does the price jump about 5% each year [$6,000]?), you may find that the Roland RD700-NX (Studio Grand setting) through headphones is useful as a practice instrument.


The Studio grand is better then that ... it's the nicest piano ever in a DP and better then most VST pianos.
Posted by: PianoZac

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 08:37 PM

After lurking on these DP threads for the last 3 years, and spending God knows how much on DPs, i finally pulled the trigger on an acoustic piano. I can say with all honesty, I feel your pain. I owned one of the highest end DPs ($8,000!!) in my AvantGrand N1, and after 18 months, I decided it was just not satisfying. Every time I stepped behind even a decent grand, heck even a baby grand, I felt right at home. It sounds stupid, but acoustic pianos, with all the natural resonance and warmth pull music out of me. Digitals never really did. The closest thing is probably that new Fazioli sample in my Nord Piano 2. There's a certain magic with acoustic pianos which is why the DP manufacturers spend millions trying to duplicate the experience. There's more to the acoustic piano than modeled sounds, unlooped samples, supernatural decay, graded action, ivory feel keys, triple pedals, and polished cabinets with high end speakers.

With that said, the better DPs have their purpose and will only get closer and closer to the acoustic experience.
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 08:46 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
I could be playing on my old Yamaha P120 and I'd bet my house most wouldn't notice the difference in sound. frown


I'll match your house and raise you another two ....

The fact is ... in a mix nobody (even a concert pianist) would know and 95+% of people wouldn't know in a solo.
Posted by: PianoZac

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 08:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Originally Posted By: Chris H.

I think the main problem with acoustic pianos these days is price. I teach around fifty students and not one of them can get anywhere near being able to afford a nice grand piano. Even a decent upright costs an arm and a leg. to my students .


Most definitely. The ap manufacturers have practically priced themselves out of the market....at least with respect to players, teachers or aspiring players.

I couldn't believe the price, new, for that high end Yamaha upright..the model # escapes me right now. But I think it was over 12K, for an upright !

The only way a quality grand for most is even remotely obtainable is by buying used. It's so tragic because you have so many great players (both pro and serious hobbyists), along with dedicated teachers that are SO deserving that might never have the means ( much less the space to put it in) to acquire something nice. I can't begin tell you how many gigs/private parties I've played over the years in people's homes on a high end instrument that is nothing more then a piece of furniture to them. frown

Given the prices I totally get why people are turning to digitals. Heck I paid only $13,250 + Ca. tax for my Yamaha C7E in 1985 from Fields Piano in Orange County. What do they go for, new, today for God's sakes ?! I'm not into cars at all, but I'm fairly certain you could buy a mid-priced Lexus for what a new C7 sells for. cry


I'm actually working for Porsche Cars North America now, and I can tell you, the better grand pianos, especially Steinways, Steingraebers, Bosendorfers, Faziolis, etc cost more than many of our cars. That's ridiculous. They're farther out of reach than freakin Porsches! Now, I'd gladly pay over $100,000 for a high end grand piano vs a car because I have my priorities straight. smile
Posted by: 36251

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 09:08 PM

Originally Posted By: PianoZac
I'm actually working for Porsche Cars North America now, and I can tell you, the better grand pianos, especially Steinways, Steingraebers, Bosendorfers, Faziolis, etc cost more than many of our cars. That's ridiculous. They're farther out of reach than freakin Porsches! Now, I'd gladly pay over $100,000 for a high end grand piano vs a car because I have my priorities straight. smile
Those grands might be more expensive but I need even more money to buy a house to put a used six foot Baldwin in. Grands don't work in apartments. For that matter neither do uprights. So, what is a pianist to do?

I think your love for music and piano trumps the OP's impressions of the lowly DP's out in the real world.

I'd love to read the forums that Bach, Chopin and Beethoven subscribed to and read their heated debates about how crappy the pianos were in those centuries.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 09:25 PM

Originally Posted By: 36251


I'd love to read the forums that Bach, Chopin and Beethoven subscribed to and read their heated debates about how crappy the pianos were in those centuries.


Here's the state-of-the-art keyboard of the era: http://youtu.be/gcyPrOVYRVk

Crappy or expressive? Or crappy and expressive (note the vibrato)? grin
Posted by: xorbe

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 10:15 PM

Today's $2K DPs ... is there a point in history where APs were worse than what we have today for DPs?
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 11:08 PM

Originally Posted By: PianoZac

... I'm actually working for Porsche Cars North America now, and I can tell you, the better grand pianos, especially Steinways, Steingraebers, Bosendorfers, Faziolis, etc cost more than many of our cars. That's ridiculous. They're farther out of reach than freakin Porsches! Now, I'd gladly pay over $100,000 for a high end grand piano vs a car because I have my priorities straight. smile


I'm driving an older, paid-off Toyota for a reason, Zac!
Posted by: LesCharles73

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/01/13 11:48 PM

I wouldn't get too worked up, guys. The OP is the same guy who wants these to be available in North America and Europe, so he can't be THAT anti-digital:



http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2021919/Let%27s%20get%20together%20and%20demand%20.html#Post2021919

I guess I'll chime in while I'm here. It was mentioned before, but the sheer utility value of the digital piano is worth its weight in gold. Sometimes the goal is to make live piano music accessible to listeners. It's not always for the player. Modern music and musical theatre would not be where it is today without DP's and synths. Sometimes (not always) it seems like these rants are the product of "ah, I'll just blame the instrument!"
Posted by: peterws

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 02:06 AM

"Today's $2K DPs ... is there a point in history where APs were worse than what we have today for DPs?"

That is nonsense and you know it. "Bridge over Troubled Water" awaits you and any other, my friend. If you and your piano are up to it . . .
Posted by: offnote

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 02:45 AM

Originally Posted By: PianoZac
After lurking on these DP threads for the last 3 years, and spending God knows how much on DPs, i finally pulled the trigger on an acoustic piano. I can say with all honesty, I feel your pain. I owned one of the highest end DPs ($8,000!!) in my AvantGrand N1, and after 18 months, I decided it was just not satisfying. Every time I stepped behind even a decent grand, heck even a baby grand, I felt right at home. It sounds stupid, but acoustic pianos, with all the natural resonance and warmth pull music out of me. Digitals never really did.  


I told you digital pianos suck...
Posted by: slipperykeys

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 06:37 AM

I find this argument from the OP bizarre, frankly, this is the same person who claims to believe that an organ makes a passable representation of an instrument, but a digital piano doesn't, as somebody else has said, seems to be just trying to stir it up.

www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2021919/Let's%20get%20together%20and%20demand%20.html#Post2021919

So he's going to buy one of those and piano?

Originally Posted By: CHAS
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: offnote
I told you, digital pianos are like dildos....

A rather crude analogy based, I'm assuming, on your personal experience with both.......


ad hominem
When you can't win, attack the messenger.


And how are you doing any different?

You are also attacking a messanger because you don't like the message, the fact is, we often become the person we despise or ridicule!


Originally Posted By: zapper
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys

"Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture "

Actually the real truth is that if digital pianos were such junk no-one would buy one, therefore the basic logic of your argument is flawed, as thousands of digital pianos are sold around the world, presumably, judging from the somewhat supercilious comments that have been made occasionally, to cloth-eared, foolish beginners with no idea what a piano sounds like!


well, number of sells has nothing to do with it, you have junk music on MTV and it's selling well so I don't see a flowed logic here from OP.


Why?
You deny that the fact that a large majority of people who, I imagine, know what a piano sounds like have no bearing whatsoever on the facts. OK, you can deny it but the truth is still out there but you don't buy junk, it's only everybody else?

You seemed to ignore the rest of my post where significant global educational organisations see fit to use them, I notice.

Are they all the equal of MTV?

What I am saying is that a digital piano is most certainly not "junk", and yes, that is proven by the number of sales. If they were junk everybody would avoid them.

Doubtless there are those who will think that this proves the OP claim that anybody playing a digital piano will never be good enough to really test it?
And doubtless, those defending his view agree with him?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u1PkF9anJI


I would love somebody to tell me why it doesn't sound like a piano and is a load of, "junk".

Really, indefensible, vacuous and wildy inaccurate comment. How can anybody defend such a remark?

Could it possibly be that some acoustic dinosours need to update their (psychological) model?

Of course, I agree with the post that said nobody is claiming digitals are better than a well maintained, and extremly expensive, acoustic grand.

But "junk" they ain't, pure and simple.




Posted by: Temperament

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 07:58 AM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
One thing the OP said rings true: digitals are often overhyped. On the other hand, acoustics tend to be overhyped as well. Corporations have marketing departments specifically to overhype their products.
Well said, that is one of the most important missions of marketing.
Posted by: ando

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 08:12 AM

Originally Posted By: Temperament
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
One thing the OP said rings true: digitals are often overhyped. On the other hand, acoustics tend to be overhyped as well. Corporations have marketing departments specifically to overhype their products.
Well said, that is one of the most important missions of marketing.


I don't really think marketing plays a big role in people's feelings about acoustic pianos. Acoustics are a known quantity, and haven't changed substantially in a hundred years. The reason digital piano manufacturers use highly persuasive marketing is because they are trying to get closer to replicating the experience of a real piano. So every new advancement toward that end tends to be presented as a glorious advancement. The fact that DPs are still quite a way off the experience of an acoustic is immaterial to them. They are pushing the things that do get them closer to their goal, rather than mentioning the limitations that keep them away from their goal. Anybody who's played a nice acoustic knows what they are about. DPs are playing catch-up, hence the marketing hyperbole.
Posted by: zapper

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 08:14 AM

Originally Posted By: slipperykeys

Why?
You deny that the fact that a large majority of people who, I imagine, know what a piano sounds like have no bearing whatsoever on the facts. OK, you can deny it but the truth is still out there but you don't buy junk, it's only everybody else?


yes, I deny fact that masses opinions count.
People are being fooled all the time and the bigger the group the easier is to accomplish this.

BTW, calling digital pianos "junk" by OP was most likely figure of speech to make his point. Don't take it literally. I have two of those expensive "junk" keyboards at my "junkyard" studio and I enjoy them from time to time. The point is even the cheapest acoustic beats any digital piano sounds and feel wise.
I prefer even slightly out of tune acoustic then top of the line digital piano, but there is a time and place for both of course.
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 08:30 AM

All true and false. One personal argument: in my childhood I had a Förster baby grand in parents house to play on, and while it was a highly appreciated instrument in the vicinity, I have got tenosynovitis from practising on it - a lifelong condition. Without the aid of some soft and very consistent digital keyboard I doubt I cold have restart with 50 ys. again. (My vintage acoustic has a very light action, a special thing too.)

Hype or not - digital is a bless for me.

Many digital SW pianos are ahead of DPs, by a large margin sound wise some even of high-end cabinet instruments. There is no technological reason that this gap will not be filled within 1-2 Ys. with as leap. (We see already DPs with 1 GB builtIn samples; NUMA Concert) Modelling is just a newborn technology. Keyboards are mechanical constructs and can be reused even refined in digital. All prereqisites are already there for a steep improvement.

The whole debates are de-ja-vue, all resembling to the debates about DP ( = Digital Photography) for a decade or so. I don't want to spend much idle time with these questions (unless they are contributing to improvements). The result is today nobody is buying a digital camera anymore (just a camera - which is digital.)

Just wait for a decade or so. I am not willing to waste my precious time by fighting or defending myths - futile.

Posted by: Temperament

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 08:38 AM

Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: Temperament
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
One thing the OP said rings true: digitals are often overhyped. On the other hand, acoustics tend to be overhyped as well. Corporations have marketing departments specifically to overhype their products.
Well said, that is one of the most important missions of marketing.


I don't really think marketing plays a big role in people's feelings about acoustic pianos. Acoustics are a known quantity, and haven't changed substantially in a hundred years. The reason digital piano manufacturers use highly persuasive marketing is because they are trying to get closer to replicating the experience of a real piano. So every new advancement toward that end tends to be presented as a glorious advancement. The fact that DPs are still quite a way off the experience of an acoustic is immaterial to them. They are pushing the things that do get them closer to their goal, rather than mentioning the limitations that keep them away from their goal. Anybody who's played a nice acoustic knows what they are about. DPs are playing catch-up, hence the marketing hyperbole.
Before I began to understand digital technology, I used to use marketing material for understanding. I tried to think verbal phrases give some serious orientation and insights into technology, such as "Ultra Progressive Harmonic Imaging (UPHI)" "SuperNatural (SN)" to "Imperfect Samples" (the latter one is the only true one). And I am a technologically trained person - which most buyers of a DP are definitely not.
Posted by: chickenlump

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 08:52 AM

Originally Posted By: zapper

The point is even the cheapest acoustic beats any digital piano sounds and feel wise.


... really?

I went to pick up some music yesterday and played a cheap baby grand by Pramberger (I've never heard of the brand, this store specializes more on DPs)... it made my ears bleed, and it felt horrible. Plus it was way more expensive than my DP.

I know you were just making a point, but I think despite it's downsides, a DP at least can provide a very consistent experience.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 09:14 AM

Everything is a trade off ... except for those purists who walk among us.

I grew up in the 1960's and there really wasn't much to choose from. The Fender Rhodes was introduced but was a monster to lug around. The Wurlitzer electric piano wasn't too bad but you really had to work when playing since the sound died so quickly. I bought a Yamaha CP25 or CP35 back in the 1980's and it was OK. I used a Roland A80 midi controller for many years and used all kinds of modules (and a sampler as well).

What we have today is pure gold by comparison for live work. A digital piano, even a hybrid, will never replace an acoustic but in some instances will actually sound better and will be easier to work with.

I'm fond of saying that keyboards (acoustic, electric, and hybrids) are just tools. For some folks their piano is a life long partner, for me it's just a tool to get a job done ... and I have a wandering eye. (I'm planning on going to the Messe and trying the AlphaPiano.)
Posted by: HisKidd

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 10:28 AM

Can we agree that both the acoustic and the DP have their place and serve different purposes for different people and not dis anyone? Just my two cents.
Play On!
H.K.
Posted by: karlosserio

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 11:00 AM

My opinion is based on my experience...
Play whatever, digital or acoustic, but spend more time doing music then talking about it smile
Posted by: dewster

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 01:18 PM

Quote:
Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture

I mostly agree with this. If it weren't for Roland SuperNATURAL I'd almost completely agree with it.

At this point any non-toy DP should have:
1. A minimum of 4GB per piano voice (if sampled).
2. Resonance samples / algorithms that are quite obvious and believable.
3. Key position that is continuously sensed, not inferred from two or three switches.
4. A well designed speaker system (even if it is for nearfield use only).

Like most DPs, the SN sound seems to suffer badly when rendered via speakers instead of headphones. I'm starting to think the ideal DP speaker might be the open baffle type (as ChrisA advocated a while back).
Posted by: Clayman

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 01:33 PM

The OP may have some more or less valid points but I didn't really like the tone of the post. Stirrin' it up a tad, aren't we?

Anyway, as I'm just getting into this world of piano playing, I can hardly talk from personal experience with various pianos' sound and touch, but although I'm getting a DP in the near future, this very thread made me take a little time and skim through pages of local shops selling acoustic uprights as those are the only other viable alternative given the circumstances.

What I've taken away is that money wouldn't really be the biggest issue -- I could probably get some relatively decent (although older) upright for about $2,000 - 3,000; that's less than I'm about to spend on the CA-95 from Kawai and I could get on with the shopping right now. The real deal-breakers for me are the usual weight of an upright and being unable to play silently. You see, I live on the 6th floor of a 7-storey block of flats. It's quite a stretch to imagine getting a ~200kg (~440lb) heavy upright up 12 sets of stairs. I also anticipate that the neighbors wouldn't be very appreciative of my playing late in the afternoon/evening and I don't want to play on a dampened piano all the time.

So it's all practical reasons for me. Things like low maintenance, extra sounds and features etc. are a nice plus but not a complete necessity. I have already had a fair share of witty wisecracks from my colleagues at work, some of which happen to be (semi-)decent piano players, but now they seem to have accepted these reasons. I still see the purchase as a long-term investment, hence the higher-end model even though, as a complete beginner, I could have been looking at some of the lower-end DP's.
Posted by: kippesc

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 02:13 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Like most DPs, the SN sound seems to suffer badly when rendered via speakers instead of headphones. I'm starting to think the ideal DP speaker might be the open baffle type (as ChrisA advocated a while back).

Interesting thought.

The first day I owned the RD-700NX, I plugged it into my home stereo (decent Boston Acoustic speakers) and it sounded pretty lame; I've always thought that was my stereo, though. Also, when playing back recorded performances of the RD on the stereo, it does not seem to sound as good as Ivory or the Vintage D.

I only use headphones when playing the Roland, and with headphones, it sounds very good.
Posted by: kapelli

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 02:31 PM

This thread is kind of a bit silly for me.

I think that everybody knows that DP is only some kind substitute of real piano for people.
I am playing piano for about 20 years, I have in home some mid-quality upright (which at the date of production in 1938 was for sure hi-end piano, but was not treated properly by previous owners). Sound is big and rich, as also it has beautiful furniture.
I played in my life on pianos from totally crapped and low-quality uprights, dozens of old and newer grands in music schools up to brand new S&S D model, C model, Kawai RX (little bigger than baby grand) so in fact all kinds of pianos I had below my hands.

Now I am moving from my parents house to flat in old builiding and I can't take AP with me. I have to buy DP to let my neighbours live with me in peace smile

But the main thinking error is that we just cannot compare DP to acoustic instrument...
They are mode for different people, different needs, different skills. Of course, there is some kind of the common area in the AP and DP usage, but...

Who buys DP:
1. Piano lovers who cannot buy AP due to the living conditions (neighbours etc)
2. People who just want to play piano for fun, most probably they will never achieve high-level technique and musical understanding... because they just don't want to smile people want to have fun with piano, not to spend 6 months on learning Chopin's Ballades or Debussy Etudes smile
3.Parents for children but they don't know will they love or hate it...


Going futher... people prefer DP's becase they are smaller and look better in small flats and don't take so much place as AP smile
(It's obvious that in a big living room the only one good looking is mid-sized grand wink


Waht's more, on the DP you can have a lot of fun because its fireworks, different sounds, midi, playing with orchestra etc.
So - in the eyes of 90% people (what we can clearly see on this forum) the DP is the right choice smile

Only for the left 10% of pianists DP is bad, just because they don't have another choice due to some external conditions, but each of them most probably would buy an AP if only could. And this is the little unhappy group claiming about the DP quality smile

So saying, that DP is a crap, generally makes no sense. If you compare it to the any grand, or the most of new uprights (meybe excluding these cheapest) we can say the it;s worse or crap. But go to any piano store, get 2-3k USD upright compare to any concert grand and you will also say that it's a crap... smile

It's the same story as with cars. You can buy Dacia Logan or even Tata Nano,
and say that it's a crap... in many aspects maybe yes, but you cannot compare this to Rolls-Royce or Bentley or Lamborghini... it's just made for other people for other needs smile Eventually, both in Tata and RR you can drive from one place to another smile
Posted by: dewster

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 02:57 PM

Originally Posted By: kippesc
The first day I owned the RD-700NX, I plugged it into my home stereo (decent Boston Acoustic speakers) and it sounded pretty lame; I've always thought that was my stereo, though. Also, when playing back recorded performances of the RD on the stereo, it does not seem to sound as good as Ivory or the Vintage D.

I only use headphones when playing the Roland, and with headphones, it sounds very good.

It sounds really good to me too (for a DP) through headphones. But through the speakers I built for it it sounds not so good. It seems there are one or more elements of the SN sound that rely too heavily on headphones, like a CD mixed via headphones will likely sound bad when played over speakers. Perhaps headphones were too heavily employed during its development?
Posted by: zapper

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 03:08 PM

Originally Posted By: kapelli

But the main thinking error is that we just cannot compare DP to acoustic instrument...
They are mode for different people, different needs, different skills. Of course, there is some kind of the common area in the AP and DP usage, but...


are you implying we're different? mad

wink
Posted by: dewster

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 03:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Clayman
The OP may have some more or less valid points but I didn't really like the tone of the post. Stirrin' it up a tad, aren't we?

Putting aside any technical analysis, the DPs I encounter in my various travels routinely and profoundly disappoint me. Crap tone, crap speakers, crap keys, crap UIs, etc. I saw / heard the AG for the first time a year ago in the flesh and it struck me as pretty weak tea when compared to the real thing - the reps on hand were talking it up like it was superior to an AP, which made the experience even more surreal. I guess I'm less disappointed by the low end, where expectations are low-to-nonexistent to begin with, but it's more of a "hey, look what they can do with a pile of plastic and $20 worth of electronics" kind of thing. All DPs are seriously overpriced for what they are. And there is no technical or financial reason they can't be significantly better by this point. And their abilities are generally overhyped - their ad copy writes checks their products can't cash.
Posted by: Dave Ferris

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 03:19 PM

Originally Posted By: kippesc
Originally Posted By: dewster
Like most DPs, the SN sound seems to suffer badly when rendered via speakers instead of headphones. I'm starting to think the ideal DP speaker might be the open baffle type (as ChrisA advocated a while back).

Interesting thought.

The first day I owned the RD-700NX, I plugged it into my home stereo (decent Boston Acoustic speakers) and it sounded pretty lame; I've always thought that was my stereo, though. Also, when playing back recorded performances of the RD on the stereo, it does not seem to sound as good as Ivory or the Vintage D.

I only use headphones when playing the Roland, and with headphones, it sounds very good.


The 700NX sounded excellent through my RCF TT08As...and that was before I bought the JM-110 pre/di. It would probably sound even better now. But yes generally speaking, I think it fares best on a solo recording or over phones.
Posted by: kippesc

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 03:35 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
The 700NX sounded excellent through my RCF TT08As...and that before I bought the JM-110 pre/di. It would probably sound even better now. But yes generally speaking, I think it fares best on a solo recording or over phones.

I think those are PAs? What would you use if you were setting a board up in your house? I'm not convinced that studio monitors are the way to go. But many on this forum use them.
Posted by: Dave Ferris

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 03:58 PM

I actually use the RCFs. The TT line of RCF are pretty high definition...not your usual QSC,EV, JBL, Mackie MI fare. I have a pair of Dynaudio BM6As that I monitor my acoustic recordings of my Steinway. I've tried the Dyns on both the CP5 & Nord Piano. For just playing my DP through at home, I prefer these RCFs to my Dynaudio monitors.
Posted by: AshwayGap

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 07:34 PM

For goodness sake - he's an Internet troll. I can see right through this Muppet. Just ignore him and he'll go away.
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 08:34 PM

You're right, Ashway.
KataiYubi is a troll. He posted exactly ONCE in this thread.
Since then, all the fuss has come from other members.

So it's not him we should ignore. We ought to ignore this thread, eh?
Posted by: dewster

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 08:56 PM

Troll or not, it obviously hit a nerve.
Posted by: adak

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 09:10 PM

Originally Posted By: The Monkeys
Originally Posted By: adak

Lets take the 3k pounds example, buying a 3k pounds upright and play it for 10 years, it would still be a keeper. However if you buy a top of the line 3k pound yamaha cp1 stage piano, no way you will keep it after 10 years the advances in technology would have made it obsolete long ago. Replacing the digital would mean paying more money, making more expensive than buying an acoustical piano in the first place.


AP: $3000
CP1:$3000

10 years later:
AP : tuning @ every 8 month for $120, cost 1.8K, can sell for 2K
CP1: no tuning cost, can sell for $300

Adjusted residual value:
AP: $300 (+/- $1000)
CP1:$300 (+/- $300)

The AP is still the same AP, with a bit of wear and tear.
The CP1 is still the same CP1, with a bit of marks and dents.

Monetary value of 10 years of investment: worthless
Enjoyment value of 10 years of music : priceless



I am confused. Are you supporting my point of view or his?
Posted by: Peter B

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/02/13 11:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
He might be a troll or somewhere a village might be missing a idiot.
But at least it's more entertaining than "Does a PX-150 have a plastic pedal".

For sure it's more entertaining. And the troll has a point - if we forget gigging, silent practicing, access to different piano tones, recording, price and all the junky acoustic pianos around.
Posted by: AshwayGap

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/03/13 07:53 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Troll or not, it obviously hit a nerve.


Of course, because that's what trolls do. It's the easiest thing in publishing just to pick a controversial subject or argument, tart it up with bit with bigotry or intolerance and then sit back and watch people fall for it.
Posted by: Clayman

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/03/13 08:08 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Putting aside any technical analysis, the DPs I encounter in my various travels routinely and profoundly disappoint me. Crap tone, crap speakers, crap keys, crap UIs, etc. I saw / heard the AG for the first time a year ago in the flesh and it struck me as pretty weak tea when compared to the real thing - the reps on hand were talking it up like it was superior to an AP, which made the experience even more surreal. I guess I'm less disappointed by the low end, where expectations are low-to-nonexistent to begin with, but it's more of a "hey, look what they can do with a pile of plastic and $20 worth of electronics" kind of thing. All DPs are seriously overpriced for what they are. And there is no technical or financial reason they can't be significantly better by this point. And their abilities are generally overhyped - their ad copy writes checks their products can't cash.


Well, I think we all realize that acoustic pianos will not be beaten in realism department for the time being, simply because they are as real as it gets. Digitals are still sort of an approximation of their acoustic counterparts and I'd be the first to admit it.

With that said, however, I don't really believe that digitals are "junk" or "crap" as you say. I don't know, maybe you are used to the AP's so much that you can't settle for the "artifical" flavor of a digital anymore or you have had access to many acoustic grands and whenever you have sat at a digital piano, you mentally put it side-by-side to to all those AP's and see/feel the deficiencies of the former. That's probably fine by me, I guess. But the list of institutions buying Clavinova's that someone has posted in this thread says that the DP's can't be all bad. I assume that the decisions to buy these pianos were made by people who did know what they were doing and if the Clavinova's really were "crap", it would mean a lot of wasted money.

I can't really comment on the pricing with respect to the technologies used, though, since I lack that knowledge. I would agree that especially the high-end digitals are quite spendy (in my country, the top model of the Clavinova CLP series carries pretty much the same price tag as a new Petrof upright) but I don't really know if the technologies used in DP's sold nowadays are the best available or not. I've seen the Physis piano in the NAMM 2013 thread -- that one seemed to have some pretty nifty gimmicks in it but at this point in time I consider it maybe a little more than a proof-of-concept kind of thing.
Posted by: kiedysktos.

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/03/13 10:23 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: Clayman
The OP may have some more or less valid points but I didn't really like the tone of the post. Stirrin' it up a tad, aren't we?

Putting aside any technical analysis, the DPs I encounter in my various travels routinely and profoundly disappoint me. Crap tone, crap speakers, crap keys, crap UIs, etc. I saw / heard the AG for the first time a year ago in the flesh and it struck me as pretty weak tea when compared to the real thing - the reps on hand were talking it up like it was superior to an AP, which made the experience even more surreal. I guess I'm less disappointed by the low end, where expectations are low-to-nonexistent to begin with, but it's more of a "hey, look what they can do with a pile of plastic and $20 worth of electronics" kind of thing. All DPs are seriously overpriced for what they are. And there is no technical or financial reason they can't be significantly better by this point. And their abilities are generally overhyped - their ad copy writes checks their products can't cash.


+1

Once new model is released, repeatedly old tiny sample set is used, many short cuts are done and again we are disappointed. Even Clavia, which is quite forward looking company: if it releases 400MB piano or 100MB rhodes it would be a miracle. But at the same time we have cellphones with multi-core processors and many GB of memory.
Posted by: dewster

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/03/13 10:55 AM

Originally Posted By: Clayman
I don't know, maybe you are used to the AP's so much that you can't settle for the "artifical" flavor of a digital anymore or you have had access to many acoustic grands and whenever you have sat at a digital piano, you mentally put it side-by-side to to all those AP's and see/feel the deficiencies of the former. That's probably fine by me, I guess.

My wife teaches private piano here at home and also has a church gig, so I hear a real, decent, maintained, brightish grand piano a couple of hours a day. Played through speakers, I can't say I've ever encountered a situation where a DP fooled me into thinking it was an AP. Looping, stretching, too few layers, and lack of resonance invariably add up to a dull, lifeless sound. The cheap speakers don't help either.

Originally Posted By: Clayman
But the list of institutions buying Clavinova's that someone has posted in this thread says that the DP's can't be all bad. I assume that the decisions to buy these pianos were made by people who did know what they were doing and if the Clavinova's really were "crap", it would mean a lot of wasted money.

DPs are bought by all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons, some rational, some irrational. If you need the things only a DP can give then you obviously need a DP and should probably buy one. That doesn't mean they are anywhere near as good as they could/should be at this point, or that they are reasonably priced.
Posted by: dewster

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/03/13 11:14 AM

Originally Posted By: kiedysktos.
Even Clavia, which is quite forward looking company: if it releases 400MB piano or 100MB rhodes it would be a miracle.

Yes, even at 400MB they're leaving ~95% of that gorgeous piano on the cutting room floor.

Rather like the movie industry showing you a trailer on an iPhone and claiming it's a feature length film in an IMAX.
Posted by: zapper

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/03/13 01:42 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: kiedysktos.
Even Clavia, which is quite forward looking company: if it releases 400MB piano or 100MB rhodes it would be a miracle.

Yes, even at 400MB they're leaving ~95% of that gorgeous piano on the cutting room floor.

Rather like the movie industry showing you a trailer on an iPhone and claiming it's a feature length film in an IMAX.


the idea is the same as in light bulb conspiracy, it's a greedy business and there are no place for sentiments or drive for excellence.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/03/13 03:12 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
3. Key position that is continuously sensed, not inferred from two or three switches.


I don't particularly see why this would be necessary. Two switches to determine the velocity of the hammer at release and one to determine whether the dampers are engaged or not. There *might* be an issue with DP implementation in that the two switches are not as close together as we would like so instead of giving us the release velocity they give us an average velocity. If this is the case I suppose it's due to the tolerances on the switches that are currently being used. That being the case I would prefer a better type of switch, but I don't see any reason to think that it should be continuous. Do you?
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/03/13 03:48 PM

While I could see the possibility of a theoretically more complete modelling by using continuos velocity measurement (or position which could be equivalent) of key movement, but how much would it be better than the n sensor approximation - I cannot say for now either. I think it could be sufficient even with n=3. some better n=2 solutions yielded already playable expressive keyboards.
Posted by: dewster

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/03/13 06:02 PM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
I don't particularly see why this would be necessary. Two switches to determine the velocity of the hammer at release and one to determine whether the dampers are engaged or not. There *might* be an issue with DP implementation in that the two switches are not as close together as we would like so instead of giving us the release velocity they give us an average velocity. If this is the case I suppose it's due to the tolerances on the switches that are currently being used. That being the case I would prefer a better type of switch, but I don't see any reason to think that it should be continuous. Do you?

Yes. So that the final velocity is real, and not a rough approximation. And so note-off damping is a changing position, rather than a velocity. It's trivially easy to apply non-constant pressure to a key while playing (almost certainly the norm) and it's also easy to apply note off damping on a real piano in very complex ways. Two and three sensor actions might seem pretty OK (I'm kind of shocked they work as well as they do) and many can obviously easily adapt to them, but a real continuous sensor would give you tons of extra control over what actually happens, when, and how.

In many ways it would be nice to move past the bandwidth limitations of MIDI, which is how we got all this velocity nonsense in the first place. I mean, it's OK to a first order, but if you're going after realism I think you need more detailed data that key position can give you. And this isn't pie-in-the-sky stuff, it's all easily doable with 10 year old (or likely older) technology.
Posted by: pv88

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/03/13 06:07 PM

@dewster,

Have you thought of seriously sending your ideas (about the continuous sensor) to Roland, Yamaha, Kawai, etc., and see if they could make a prototype model?

Or, are you currently working on a keyboard that would implement it?

I would even consider buying one if there is someone that can do it.

As of now, there's nothing better than the V-Piano.
Posted by: xorbe

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/03/13 06:26 PM

@Dewster, Pv88 - if only I had the time and resources to develop a DP -- I would build one with a dual bios, with the second one customizable, and lay waste to every DP manuf on earth. Imagine a Linux rom with a 128GB ssd behind it (300MB/s), and a 4 core x86 around 2GHz and 25W TDP for processing power, 8GB ram (30GB/s). About $350 of electronics would destroy anything offered today ...
Posted by: Peter B

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/03/13 07:45 PM

Even with a "100%" sound engine we still need a speaker set-up that can communicate the sound as a real grand piano does if we are aiming for acoustic piano realism.
Posted by: torhu

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/03/13 10:10 PM

A DP is simpler than an AP, in some negative and some positive ways. Let me illustrate it in a way that should be intuitive to most by posting a picture of a "DP":

Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/04/13 12:08 AM

Torhu: Can your version accept full-length samples?
Does it have hammer action?
What about letoff?
MIDI in and out?
smile
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/04/13 12:49 AM

Infinite Response are already using continuous key position sensing, however they are necessarily outputting standard (hi-res) MIDI.

Quoting from: http://www.infiniteresponse.com/expr.html

Quote:

Better Experience
A sophisticated digital signal-processing algorithm (DSP) analyzes the slightest key movement thousands of times a second. It delivers MIDI messages based on acceleration vectors, not just key speed at the bottom. Its more about how you play the note than how you hit the note. For example, you can play trills without fully depressing the keys. Many of the best keyboard players in the world play the VAX77 and find it to be the most expressive keyboard instrument ever. Never before could you play a MIDI keyboard so softly. And no matter how strongly you attack the keys, it always feels like you can dig down and get a little more out of it.


Greg.
Posted by: Clayman

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/04/13 02:10 AM

Originally Posted By: pv88
@dewster,

Have you thought of seriously sending your ideas (about the continuous sensor) to Roland, Yamaha, Kawai, etc., and see if they could make a prototype model?

Or, are you currently working on a keyboard that would implement it?

I would even consider buying one if there is someone that can do it.

As of now, there's nothing better than the V-Piano.


I really don't think the engineers at Yamaha/Roland/Kawai etc. haven't thought about this already but for some reason they stick to whatever we have today. I'm not sure I share dewster's "conspiratory" point of view that manufacturers purposely sell products with sub-par technologies but it's an interesting question nonetheless.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/04/13 04:04 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
In many ways it would be nice to move past the bandwidth limitations of MIDI, which is how we got all this velocity nonsense in the first place.


- just a minor side-issue on bandwidth, I don't mean to divert the OP but do you (or does anyone) know how fast midi data is pushed through a USB port into a PC? I know both MIDI and USB are serial ports but the latter has a theoretical max rate of 480kb/s (v2) while MIDI is a little over 31kb/s. I was never convinced, when using a sequencer for real-time input, that otherwise tight chord timings were getting accurately reported by MIDI whereas I've a bit more faith in USB doing a better job. Does anyone have any insights?
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/04/13 04:22 AM

I'd rather we'd refrain from using marketing speech.

With digital systems there is no "infinite response" and no "continuous sensing" and I'd be pretty astonished if you'd really need a full blown DSP just to get a reading from a triple sensor setup.

I'd even argue that even if you'd measured the velocity distribution of the key presses from a couple of great pianists with sufficient accuracy you'd still get a distribution you could model with sufficient accuracy on a digital.

Even so, a digital sensor with just 8 bit of resolution still can discern 256 different levels of velocity, a setup with 16 bit resolution could even measure up to 65535 unique levels of velocity per sensor.

That's pretty much enough resolution to map out a pretty realistic velocity response curve and you wouldn't need a DSP for that (not at the low frequency even a fast pianist presses the keys which is < 20 Hz or < 20 keypresses per second)

You'd still only be able to use 127 levels over MIDI though, which probably would still be quite good if the sample sets in the pianos used all 127 layers and had enough samples for all of the velocity levels and notes.

So until a decent DP isn't even able to give you the full resolution of MIDI (127 levels of velocity) with a decent polyphony and samples which are long enough and numerous enough to play most chords without looping then it's pretty moot to talk about 'continuous response' or other marketing gibberish.

This by itself wouldn't even be much of a technical hurdle, take the innards of a Korg Krome (which is able to use the German Concert D sample set of the Kronos) and pair it with a great action and you'd probably blow most of what's available today out of the water in terms of fidelity with it's 3.8 GB of available memory and even the Krome only samples each key with 8 layers of velocity.

The Kronos X uses a 64 Gb solid state disc and 4 Gb of RAM, which would be more than enough to store one or two of the ivory 2 grand sample sets and use them.
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/04/13 04:39 AM

Originally Posted By: dire tonic

- just a minor side-issue on bandwidth, I don't mean to divert the OP but do you (or does anyone) know how fast midi data is pushed through a USB port into a PC? I know both MIDI and USB are serial ports but the latter has a theoretical max rate of 480kb/s (v2) while MIDI is a little over 31kb/s. I was never convinced, when using a sequencer for real-time input, that otherwise tight chord timings were getting accurately reported by MIDI whereas I've a bit more faith in USB doing a better job. Does anyone have any insights?


I'd be pretty surprised if MIDI over USB used anything other than the 31.25 Kbaud/s rate. With that rate you could send a MIDI event every 32 Mikroseconds.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/04/13 04:52 AM

Nigeth: I agree, in a digital system, there is no such thing as completely "continuous", however the VAX77 does NOT use a triple-sensor action - each key has a hall-effect sensor, which produces an analog signal that varies in proportion to the key-press depth, and this signal is then digitised and processed by a DSP, as evidenced by the quote I supplied.

Greg.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/04/13 05:12 AM

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
Originally Posted By: dire tonic

- just a minor side-issue on bandwidth, I don't mean to divert the OP but do you (or does anyone) know how fast midi data is pushed through a USB port into a PC? I know both MIDI and USB are serial ports but the latter has a theoretical max rate of 480kb/s (v2) while MIDI is a little over 31kb/s. I was never convinced, when using a sequencer for real-time input, that otherwise tight chord timings were getting accurately reported by MIDI whereas I've a bit more faith in USB doing a better job. Does anyone have any insights?


I'd be pretty surprised if MIDI over USB used anything other than the 31.25 Kbaud/s rate. With that rate you could send a MIDI event every 32 Mikroseconds.



I fear you might be right, the same data rate over USB as over MIDI - pity.

One thing though, I'm fairly sure that it's 31.25k (bits) rather than K (bytes). If I remember correctly it takes approx 1 millisec to send a 3-byte MIDI message (e.g. note-on = [9x, pitch, velocity])
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/04/13 05:46 AM

You are correct. It's one bit every 32 µS.

That's what I get for doing an off the cuff calculation. Technically it would be 31.25 Kilobaud/s since it's 32 µS per symbol (MIDI doesn't specify how a bit is encoded, i.e. how the electrical interface works, it just requires that you're able to transmit one bit every 32 µS)

It was specified to be 31.25 kBit/s since it's an exact division of 1 MHz and since most small microprocessors run at an integral MHz value it can be easily derived from the clock of the microcontroller.

Midi messages consist of three byte (one for the status and two for the data), the first bit of each byte designates its purpose (status or data) and there are seven bit to encode the content. Each byte is framed by a strat and a stop bit.

Therefore each Midi byte consists of ten bit so a standard MIDI message would take 960 µS
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/04/13 09:44 AM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
Infinite Response are already using continuous key position sensing, however they are necessarily outputting standard (hi-res) MIDI.

Quoting from: http://www.infiniteresponse.com/expr.html

Quote:

Better Experience
A sophisticated digital signal-processing algorithm (DSP) analyzes the slightest key movement thousands of times a second. It delivers MIDI messages based on acceleration vectors, not just key speed at the bottom. Its more about how you play the note than how you hit the note. For example, you can play trills without fully depressing the keys. Many of the best keyboard players in the world play the VAX77 and find it to be the most expressive keyboard instrument ever. Never before could you play a MIDI keyboard so softly. And no matter how strongly you attack the keys, it always feels like you can dig down and get a little more out of it.


Greg.


I've read all the VAX77 ad materials. I'd love to hear from someone who has bought one and played it a lot.
Posted by: dewster

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/04/13 11:29 AM

Originally Posted By: Clayman
I really don't think the engineers at Yamaha/Roland/Kawai etc. haven't thought about this already but for some reason they stick to whatever we have today. I'm not sure I share dewster's "conspiratory" point of view that manufacturers purposely sell products with sub-par technologies but it's an interesting question nonetheless.

I don't think it's a conspiracy, though markets don't always operate like the perfectly competitive capitalist ideal. Probably more laziness, old engineers, MIDI mindset, don't rock the boat, the crap we make is selling fine, paranoid schizophrenic corporate risk aversion, etc.

Much innovation these days is performed by small start-ups, which are formed with the intent of being bought out / swallowed up by a larger industry player (if only to quash the innovation and own the patents). The big guys are seemingly incapable of doing anything really new. Maybe because they attract mediocre employees who need to get their kids through college, healthcare (in the US), and maybe a big screen TV or two, and are run by professional jet setting golfers.
Posted by: Nigeth

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/04/13 12:03 PM

The bigger issue is that the established companies are selling real instruments too.

If Yamaha or Kawai built the 'perfect' digital piano for an affordable price then probably no one except for professional musicians, concert halls and nostalgics would buy real instruments.

They'd basically totally destroy their owm > $10.000 market
Posted by: wouter79

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/04/13 12:29 PM

Originally Posted By: kapelli

Who buys DP:
1. Piano lovers who cannot buy AP due to the living conditions (neighbours etc)
2. People who just want to play piano for fun, most probably they will never achieve high-level technique and musical understanding... because they just don't want to smile people want to have fun with piano, not to spend 6 months on learning Chopin's Ballades or Debussy Etudes smile
3.Parents for children but they don't know will they love or hate it...


Yes, and many of these may be "fooled", believing the sales pitch of the DP industry, particularly (3) where parents want to get a cheap piano for their kids.

I think that's sad because many kids will turn away from playing piano because the DP does not inspire to play.
Posted by: toddy

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/04/13 12:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Nigeth
The bigger issue is that the established companies are selling real instruments too.

If Yamaha or Kawai built the 'perfect' digital piano for an affordable price then probably no one except for professional musicians, concert halls and nostalgics would buy real instruments.

They'd basically totally destroy their owm > $10.000 market


Nothing to stop Korg, Nord, Casio or Roland trying to produce such an instrument though, is there?

.....as for the argument that children would be put off by uninspiring DPs - I really doubt that that is true, in general. The alternative to a Clavinova, Kawai CA or Roland HP digital would in many or most cases be a truly dreadful and often un-tunable upright acoustic....remember the acoustic-only days?
Posted by: peterws

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/04/13 01:08 PM

"If Yamaha or Kawai built the 'perfect' digital piano for an affordable price .. ."

That day may be soon upon us. Already the sounds of digitals are becoming harder to digest . .. It`ll have to be Ebay for my next purchese! .. . .
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/04/13 01:26 PM

When we find fault in pianos and then decide that the manufacturer is holding back improvements that you and I might want ... we have to remember that neither you nor I represent the whole market. The maker wants to show a profit, and he must sell products to satisfy the market. It seems that plenty of people are satisfied with the current product lines, so what is there to drive change?
Posted by: Kbeaumont

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/04/13 01:34 PM

Most of the arguments here about digital versus acoustic pianos were said also about electric guitars when they first hit the scene. And sorry I know quit a few young people that learned on digital pianos before they got an acoustic grand. Weren't inspired? Then why did they stick with it?
Posted by: slipperykeys

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/04/13 01:37 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster

DPs are bought by all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons, some rational, some irrational.


True, a friend of mine bought a V-Piano because it fitted exactly the gap between the floor and the short leg of his wobbly coffee table.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/04/13 02:25 PM

Originally Posted By: slipperykeys
Originally Posted By: dewster

DPs are bought by all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons, some rational, some irrational.


True, a friend of mine bought a V-Piano because it fitted exactly the gap between the floor and the short leg of his wobbly coffee table.



I understand perfectly.

I bought my V-Piano because its colours matched exactly the colours of my hi-fi speakers' grills, down to the metalled silver logos. And in the fashion world that year, 2010, black was the new white (or should that be the new black?). And I had nothing else in my flat (apartment) that was black.

But I believe that was a good, rational reason for buying a DP. (It also happens to play quite well, despite my best efforts.....).
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/04/13 02:58 PM

Gvfarns, Dewster, questions to Your previous posts:
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
I don't particularly see why this would be necessary. Two switches to determine the velocity of the hammer at release and one to determine whether the dampers are engaged or not. There *might* be an issue with DP implementation in that the two switches are not as close together as we would like so instead of giving us the release velocity they give us an average velocity. If this is the case I suppose it's due to the tolerances on the switches that are currently being used. That being the case I would prefer a better type of switch, but I don't see any reason to think that it should be continuous. Do you?

Yes. So that the final velocity is real, and not a rough approximation. And so note-off damping is a changing position, rather than a velocity. It's trivially easy to apply non-constant pressure to a key while playing (almost certainly the norm) and it's also easy to apply note off damping on a real piano in very complex ways. Two and three sensor actions might seem pretty OK (I'm kind of shocked they work as well as they do) and many can obviously easily adapt to them, but a real continuous sensor would give you tons of extra control over what actually happens, when, and how.

1. AP-s apply one single sensor for key ON velocity measurement: the string itself when hit by the hammer.

The velocity is the integrated kinetic energy gathered from the a whole complex pressure force applied to the moving key.

Damper up should be simulated mechanically by the DPs action. (And measured accurately at the striking point by two very near positioned sensors.)

2. Damper movement. It is an interesting point. Do we have for this a MIDI event at all? I cannot remember whether even a 3 sensor action could deliver an event for damper up. (NOTE ON 0 ?). String/Damper Noises + SR should be controlled by this event.

If this is the case, it is a much more obvious shortcoming with current MIDI then ultimate accuracy due to the lack of continouos measurement.
Posted by: dewster

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/05/13 02:24 PM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
Nigeth: I agree, in a digital system, there is no such thing as completely "continuous", however the VAX77 does NOT use a triple-sensor action - each key has a hall-effect sensor, which produces an analog signal that varies in proportion to the key-press depth, and this signal is then digitised and processed by a DSP, as evidenced by the quote I supplied.

A shame it's saddled with MIDI. Even high-res MIDI velocity doesn't paint the whole picture of what's going on. A VAX77 with internal fully sampled pianos that bypass the MIDI nonsense might seriously kill. Though I'm not a big fan of it folding in half (when folded the exposed middle keys look really fragile).

Don't get me wrong re MIDI, it's really OK for a lot of keyboard / piano centric stuff. But IMO its bandwidth is too limited to take control realism to the next level.
Posted by: Tom Fine

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/05/13 07:22 PM

So here's a question. You try ABC piece on piano XYZ and it's not to your satisfaction. Isn't the same true of any acoustic piano? That top notch classical piece is going to sound like cow dung on a spinet. Heck, at the highest levels, you're going to find pianists who'll tell you that this particular Steinway is lousy for that piece, but this other Steinway that's the exact same model but rolled out of the factory a week later is perfect for it.

Or from the other direction, you want to play some 1800's saloon music. Don't you want a twangy old upright instead of a concert grand?

I'm not going to claim that DPs have caught up to the quality of the best pianos in the world. I'm simply suggesting that no piano-like instrument of any quality or price can satisfy the performance needs for all compositions and performers.

tom
Posted by: xorbe

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/05/13 07:26 PM

It's much more economical and space efficient to build a collection of DPs versus a collection of APs!
Posted by: zapper

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/05/13 07:32 PM

Originally Posted By: xorbe
It's much more economical and space efficient to build a collection of DPs versus a collection of APs!


not necessary when you stack them on each other.
Posted by: Roger Ransom

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/06/13 02:07 PM

I have both and I use them for different purposes.

However, the reason I bought a my DP to begin with was so I didn't have to play many of the AP's that I regularly encounter. I am occasionally asked to play for various programs here and there but I am not a concert pianist and the places I play do NOT have decent Acoustic pianos. Small, poor churches for weddings, funerals etc, various background music situations in city hall meeting rooms, library conference rooms and - well - you get the idea. The pianos in those places are typically not maintained or tuned at all. As a result, my Roland FP7 with some small speakers is a FAR better instrument than those.

A good AP will be better that a DP but the key word is 'good'. There are some horrendously terrible pianos out there and even a mediocre DP like my FP7 is much better. The statement that any AP is better than any DP is just ridiculous.

In my experience, most of my audiences don't even differentiate. To them they are just pianos and the music sounds good or it doesn't. The music played and the pianist are the main things they notice.

However, I love my old G7, it's just REALLY REALLY hard to cart around with my Honda Accord. Maybe if I put wheels on it?
Posted by: wouter79

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/08/13 07:35 AM

>However, I love my old G7, it's just REALLY REALLY hard to cart around with my Honda Accord. Maybe if I put wheels on it?

Probably it already HAS wheels :p You only need to connect a towbar to the G7 !
Posted by: egallego

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/09/13 04:43 AM

I'll just add my personal experience to some of the very good point already made. I have owned DP, Synths, and fine acoustic pianos.

They are just different instruments. Period. Comparing an acoustic piano with a DP is for now, a bogus thing to do. They are miles apart. At least for a classical piano player as myself.

Touch, sound... The similarity is nowhere to be seen. Try playing Chopin Op. 25 on a DP.

Of course, I mean playing, for practice they are quite OK. I don't agree they are good for the beginners. Affordable? Sure. But the hand/sound connection is just not there (yet), and IMVHO, this is the most important point about playing an instrument.

Best,
E.
Posted by: peterws

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/09/13 08:45 AM

I wonder if the main problem is the length of the keys; my skills are sufficient to discern that playing on the black notes on a digital is a pain in the arse. . . that goes for most of `em;

So I tried the acoustic actions in the next room. And guess what . . .! It`s down to good old fashioned filthy lucre!
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/09/13 09:35 AM

Well, I just got back from setting up my piano and sound system where it will be used tomorrow night and I must say it really sounded excellent.

In this instance if I had to choose between an acoustic and an electric for this specific location I would have still chosen the electric.

This has been said several times in this thread, digital pianos are what they are and sometimes they work better in some situations.

Has the original poster ever returned to this thread?
Posted by: hamlet cat

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/09/13 01:55 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave Horne

Has the original poster ever returned to this thread?


I believe the original poster is off to "meditate about the impermanence of existence". Perhaps he seeking a better understanding of the "overhyped junk", and "people who buy them". That may take some time based on "the slow pace at which products evolve".

But I could be wrong because when talking about his current piano I think he said it "is well past due for the junkyard". So he may have gone off to take it there, and seeing as he did mention "dusted my Mephisto-Waltz", and the possibility of going to "rent a decent grand", its possible that's where he went.

"Anyways, who are we fooling?", "judging from this forum", just "put up and shut up".

Posted by: LesCharles73

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/09/13 02:59 PM

Originally Posted By: ron88
I believe the original poster is off to "meditate about the impermanence of existence". Perhaps he seeking a better understanding of the "overhyped junk", and "people who buy them". That may take some time based on "the slow pace at which products evolve".

But I could be wrong because when talking about his current piano I think he said it "is well past due for the junkyard". So he may have gone off to take it there, and seeing as he did mention "dusted my Mephisto-Waltz", and the possibility of going to "rent a decent grand", its possible that's where he went.

"Anyways, who are we fooling?", "judging from this forum", just "put up and shut up".


Golden
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Who are we fooling - digitals are junk at this juncture - 02/09/13 06:30 PM

Originally Posted By: KataiYubi

So I crossed the N2 mentally, as I could not live with that flaw.
I'd guess the N2 is better in touch and tone than at least 50% of the pianos owned in the U.S. The percent could be much higher than that.