GranTouch

Posted by: Nunatax

GranTouch - 07/13/03 05:00 PM

Is anyone familiar with the GranTouch pianos of Yamaha? I have been playing on a Roland HP 1800e for almost 10 years now, and the most damned thing about it is the weight of the keys. It's soooooo light. I get lessons on a grand piano and my hands are getting tired very fast on that instrument. So I'm looking for a new piano and I was considering an upright Yamaha GranTouch (like the GT-20), hoping for a more realistic and most of all heavier touch than that of a normal digital piano. One of the things that scares me is the polyphony of only 32 (64-note stereo switchable or whatever).
Is there anyone who can tell me whether it's a worthy substitute for a real piano or does it have it's shortcomings?

Thanks a lot!
Michiel
Posted by: WynnBear

Re: GranTouch - 07/13/03 08:03 PM

Be sure to try a Clavinova CLP 170 or 150. I think you'll be impressed with the sound and the key action is very good, esp. the 170. You'll also save $$$$$$.
Posted by: JimM

Re: GranTouch - 07/14/03 01:28 AM

The Grantouch has the best piano touch of any digital I've tried, which it should since the action is from a Yamaha acoustic grand. It's also by far the most expensive and its electronics are very limited. I think you'd really have to want the "perfect" grand feel to justify the cost. 32-note polyphony is not adequate IMHO, although you could use an external sound module.

Try the newer digitals - Yamaha CVP 900 (wood keys), Kawai, etc. They are much better electronically than the Grantouch and you may find the touch to be just fine compared to your old Roland.
Posted by: Nunatax

Re: GranTouch - 07/15/03 05:43 AM

Thanks for the tips!
The CVP 900 seems to be a grand piano (digital of course) but I don't have the place to put such a large instrument... Anyone any experience with the YAMAHA CLP 990? It has wooden keys and all but I don't have any idea of it's touch. Is it comparable with the KAWAI CA 1000? I've been able to play on that one, only thing I don't like about it is when you play louder, there happens something strange with the volume. It seems to go up in steps in stead of gradually, anyone who noticed that?
Posted by: Luke's Dad

Re: GranTouch - 07/15/03 10:35 AM

Don't know about the Kawai, but the smaller version of the CVP900 would be the CVP209, which is also being replaced by the CVP210.

Also, you should probably try the Roland KR7 and KR5, as well as some Technics models.

At the time you bought your HP1800, nobody really made very good actions, but in the past 5 years there have been some significant improvements.
Posted by: JimM

Re: GranTouch - 07/15/03 12:43 PM

"when you play louder, there happens something strange with the volume. It seems to go up in steps instead of gradually, anyone who noticed that? "
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I haven't played the Kawai CA1000 (is it a current model?) It sounds like they didn't do a good job of cross-fading the samples. Sampling is typically done in steps - each sampled key is struck a few times with different levels of force. Then various software and hardware tricks are used to smooth the transitions. It can't be done perfectly but some are better than others. My CVP 900 does a pretty good job, the newer Gigastudio samples are usually the best.

The CLP 900 has the same keyboard as the CVP900 (wooden keys, a very different mechanism.) I like it, but not everybody does. Ya just gotta try for yourself. I'm sure it's a more expensive design, which is probably why they only use it on the top of the line.

Many people have said good things about the touch of the Kawai 9500.
jim
Posted by: Nunatax

Re: GranTouch - 07/15/03 01:41 PM

Yes, the KAWAI CA 1000 (and the CA 1200) are pretty new models featuring wooden keys (CA stands for Concert Artist...) You can check them out at www.kawaius.com I like the models because they offer things like wooden keys and a fine touch and yet they have kept the other accessories (like touch screens and other unusefull gadgets) low, making the instrument a lot cheaper than other models which offer these advantages. It's only the weird volume regulation that scares me, and it has a polyphony of only 64, that should have been at least 128... I'd say it's the only model I've played on so far in that price category that has such a fine touch.
It's a shame YAMAHA does not make models that have wooden keys and special mechanisms without all those useless gadgets. It would make a nice instrument available at a good price...
Posted by: JimM

Re: GranTouch - 07/15/03 05:22 PM

I think Yamaha would say that they do make such an instrument, and point to the CLP990 as an example.

I wouldn't make too much out of wooden keys. It's the total feel that matters. I suspect most of what I like about the 900's touch has to do with the hammer mechanism, not the wooden keys. In fact, one could say that wood is an inferior material - it absorbs moisture, expands and contracts, etc. Kawai does in fact say that - they use ABS plastic for some critical parts of their acoustic piano mechanisms for exactly those reasons. You may like the feel of plastic keys better than wood - I know people who do. Of course, some "traditionalists" say that wood is the best material because it's been used for so many centuries, but it ain't necessarily so.
Posted by: Nunatax

Re: GranTouch - 07/15/03 06:28 PM

You could indeed say that! It's the model I like the most of Yamaha. What I'm wondering, is it the best of Yamaha?
You'll probably say I have to test it, but the few stores in my neighbourhood have only a limited stock, not many types, certainly not the better types . The only type I've been able to test is the previously mentioned KAWAI CA1000, and other YAMAHA types, but I didn't like their touch, way too light. The guy in the store immediately wanted to sell me a GranTouch, but the difference in price is quite astonishing...

In septembre, after my vacation job, I'll visit a remote store, somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Belgium where I'll probably be able to test the better YAMAHA's. For now I'll have to rely on your experiences hoping you like to share them with me \:\)

So, the balance until now :
KAWAI CA 1000/1200
YAMAHA CLP 990

Any ROLAND or TECHNICS (or other) types that are comparable with these two?

Thanks a lot!