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#2050687 - 03/19/13 07:59 AM Re: Yamaha Graded Hammer action compared to real piano action [Re: JanVan]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
I found tremolos on the CA95 surprisingly straightforward. I didn't play ondine on it but I did play the toccata.

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#2050742 - 03/19/13 10:48 AM Re: Yamaha Graded Hammer action compared to real piano action [Re: ando]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5153
Originally Posted By: ando


I think there is something wrong with the sensor placement on the AGs. Perhaps they don't even use 3-sensors? For all the talk of sensors in DPs, if you don't get them in exactly the right place, the thing will never play naturally and the repeats will always be terrible. Watching Cyprien Katsaris absolutely butchering some tremolo on an AG was enough to convince me that the AG is not for me.


I think it's safe to say that anyone who can play trills in double octaves at the same speed as others play it in single notes with two fingers won't have any trouble playing tremolos and repeated notes on any piano - unless that piano isn't up to the task.

Watch him in the trill at 0:46 http://youtu.be/GOOfXjMEmBE
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2050772 - 03/19/13 11:33 AM Re: Yamaha Graded Hammer action compared to real piano action [Re: JanVan]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
That's not as hard as it looks, and wouldn't necessarily reveal difficulties with fast repeated notes, which are a different technique and appear in many different contexts.

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#2050798 - 03/19/13 12:19 PM Re: Yamaha Graded Hammer action compared to real piano action [Re: bennevis]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3588
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: ando


I think there is something wrong with the sensor placement on the AGs. Perhaps they don't even use 3-sensors? For all the talk of sensors in DPs, if you don't get them in exactly the right place, the thing will never play naturally and the repeats will always be terrible. Watching Cyprien Katsaris absolutely butchering some tremolo on an AG was enough to convince me that the AG is not for me.


I think it's safe to say that anyone who can play trills in double octaves at the same speed as others play it in single notes with two fingers won't have any trouble playing tremolos and repeated notes on any piano - unless that piano isn't up to the task.

Watch him in the trill at 0:46 http://youtu.be/GOOfXjMEmBE


I agree with Debrucey that this video doesn't show any technique that would test out a piano's action. In any case, my point was that Katsaris is a supreme technical pianist and if he was struggling to do a decent tremolo on an AG, I will blame the piano and not Katsaris.

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#2050802 - 03/19/13 12:27 PM Re: Yamaha Graded Hammer action compared to real piano action [Re: debrucey]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3588
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: debrucey
I found tremolos on the CA95 surprisingly straightforward. I didn't play ondine on it but I did play the toccata.


Debrucey, being the capable pianist you are, I think you are in for a disappointment if you think that practising predominantly on a digital is going to be satisfying and beneficial to you. I know you have said repeatedly that you rank action above tone, but I think you will change that view in time.

Playing composers like Ravel demands management of tone and texture as part of technique. I don't think the two can be separated like you say. I find that playing Ravel on my large upright to be infinitely more satisfying and better for my technique than playing a very good digital. The sheer resonance and liveliness of a real soundboard and strings makes you work for clarity and tone in a way that DPs can't offer you. When you get on a real acoustic after playing a DP for a long time, the resonance is really hard to manage and you realise that there is real technique that goes into managing it. Pedalling, in particular. Clarity is easy on a DP, not so easy on a large acoustic. I would say unless you play music of Bach's era with no pedalling required, it is not wise to confine yourself to a DP too much. As a companion to practice, sure, but not as the main instrument for a high-level classical pianist. A V-Piano may be an exception to this because it is capable of extreme resonance as part of its modelling algorithm, but I haven't spent enough time on one to know about this. Bennevis raves about his though.

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#2050831 - 03/19/13 01:18 PM Re: Yamaha Graded Hammer action compared to real piano action [Re: ando]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5153
Originally Posted By: ando
I would say unless you play music of Bach's era with no pedalling required, it is not wise to confine yourself to a DP too much. As a companion to practice, sure, but not as the main instrument for a high-level classical pianist. A V-Piano may be an exception to this because it is capable of extreme resonance as part of its modelling algorithm, but I haven't spent enough time on one to know about this. Bennevis raves about his though.


I believe debrucey has an acoustic grand to practise on when he's not playing at night. In which case, I suppose working purely on technique on a Kawai DP (even with its unrealistically clear sound and lack of various resonances, compared to an acoustic), while playing a real piano at other times might be OK.

In my case, I don't have the luxury of practising on an acoustic every day - I have to go downtown (London) to get to one. So, I work on both technique and interpretation at home on my DP, then take the finished product to try on the grands in the showrooms. The V-Piano allows me to customize and push up the sustain and resonances to concert grand levels (and beyond), and also allows subtlety of tone and color and pedal effects, which is why it's the only DP that will do for me.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2050869 - 03/19/13 02:12 PM Re: Yamaha Graded Hammer action compared to real piano action [Re: JanVan]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
If you regard the V-Piano as an exception, then any ordinary digital piano can also be made into an exception with the addition of Pianoteq or similar software.

Again, as I said before, bad action = bad responsiveness. I might not be able to get a satisfactory level of subtlety out of a DP for composers like Ravel, but I'll be damned if the same can't be said for a £1500 upright piano.

I'm not suggesting by the way that technique and tone can or should be separated. When you regularly play on a variety of pianos of all different levels of quality, in a way you learn to ignore the sound the piano is making and instead focus on what sound the actions you are doing would theoretically produce on a finer instrument. I feel confident that the use of a digital piano, or indeed a crap acoustic piano, wouldn't affect my ability to control an concert grand. This is the sort of thing that always has to be adapted in real time anyway. In fact, I would go one step further and say that it's possible to do all sorts of work on tone, texture, cantabile etc. with a piano that makes no sound at all, if you know what you're doing.


Edited by debrucey (03/19/13 02:13 PM)

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#2050870 - 03/19/13 02:12 PM Re: Yamaha Graded Hammer action compared to real piano action [Re: JanVan]
kapelli Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 382
Loc: Poland
Bennevis and others,
who has experience on long piano playing on acoustic grands.

How do you feel with the PHAIII compared to RM3/GF from Kawai?

I'd like to have some opinion from experienced people, not only from these ones that have been playing on grands in dealers rooms during searching for DP for them only.

In two months I will need to choose between CA65 or HP-505 (or if I will have much more money then CA95/HP507).
Thus the opinion from experienced piano players will be huge advantage for me.
I play mailny Rachmaninov, Scriabin, Bach etc music.

I know it's matter of taste and feel in some way, however I need to leave my poor acoustic due to new flat and buy a DP.

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#2050873 - 03/19/13 02:18 PM Re: Yamaha Graded Hammer action compared to real piano action [Re: JanVan]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
I have played on a lot of grands over the past few years and a lot of DPs over the past few weeks, and my personal preference out of those two is for the CA65, which has the GF action. I regard this action to be the most realistic of all the actions on the market at the moment (if not a little lighter than I would like). I would discourage beginners from making an intuitive decision about these things, however, from the sounds of things, you are plenty experienced to know what you like, so you should probably spend quite a bit of time yourself playing them and decide for yourself which you prefer.

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#2050885 - 03/19/13 02:39 PM Re: Yamaha Graded Hammer action compared to real piano action [Re: debrucey]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5153
Originally Posted By: debrucey
If you regard the V-Piano as an exception, then any ordinary digital piano can also be made into an exception with the addition of Pianoteq or similar software.

Again, as I said before, bad action = bad responsiveness. I might not be able to get a satisfactory level of subtlety out of a DP for composers like Ravel, but I'll be damned if the same can't be said for a £1500 upright piano.

I'm not suggesting by the way that technique and tone can or should be separated. When you regularly play on a variety of pianos of all different levels of quality, in a way you learn to ignore the sound the piano is making and instead focus on what sound the actions you are doing would theoretically produce on a finer instrument. I feel confident that the use of a digital piano, or indeed a crap acoustic piano, wouldn't affect my ability to control an concert grand. This is the sort of thing that always has to be adapted in real time anyway. In fact, I would go one step further and say that it's possible to do all sorts of work on tone, texture, cantabile etc. with a piano that makes no sound at all, if you know what you're doing.


I don't have any experience of software stuff - my computer skills are pretty basic. Personally I doubt that software connected to a DP can give you the kind of responsiveness to your every nuance, from what I've read about interface problems (if that's the right term) some people encounter.

As for using one's imagination to produce the sound quality you expect rather than what you actually hear, without sounding boastful wink , I'm a past master of this dark art. I've had decades when I was playing on any old cr*ppy piano, which were not just totally out of tune, but had missing notes and sticking keys. And even holes where keys once resided. I just about managed to retain my hard-earned technique acquired from my school and university days by occasionally hiring a practice room, but as for refining my touch and tone and dynamics and pedalling and all that....that all went by the wayside. Two hours on a fully-prepped grand once a month wasn't sufficient.

But if you have regular access to a good acoustic grand, you'll likely not have any problem. There're some concert pianists I know of who practise on a digital (like the AG) to save wear and tear on their acoustic, and once they've got the notes in their brain, practise on the acoustic to hone their interpretation
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2050890 - 03/19/13 02:44 PM Re: Yamaha Graded Hammer action compared to real piano action [Re: JanVan]
kapelli Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 382
Loc: Poland
Thanks,
I was only thinking will the PHAIII (which is also highly acclaimed - or was )
will be step back or the level lower than GF. If it's minor difference, who knows.

There's also sound factor, and at this moment Roland is little closer to my taste.
I will buy piano for at least 10 year, on which I can play Debussy, Chopin and Liszt etudes and all this classical stuff.
But the sound is also important factor, however, nice to have some experienced people opinion.

About the sound - when I was teenager I loved very bright and clear pianos, now I prefer a lot rather this what is called german sound (steinway Hamburg etc, Bluthner is too dark for me), rather massive with more harmonics at the base of sound and not so open and straight forward.

Eventually, I see I will need to spend many hours deciding between R/K/Y (I know it's old technology, however I should give them a chance).
NU1 / Vpiano/LX-15 and AG1 are far above my budget frown

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#2050909 - 03/19/13 03:06 PM Re: Yamaha Graded Hammer action compared to real piano action [Re: kapelli]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5153
Originally Posted By: kapelli
Thanks,
I was only thinking will the PHAIII (which is also highly acclaimed - or was )
will be step back or the level lower than GF. If it's minor difference, who knows.

There's also sound factor, and at this moment Roland is little closer to my taste.
I will buy piano for at least 10 year, on which I can play Debussy, Chopin and Liszt etudes and all this classical stuff.
But the sound is also important factor, however, nice to have some experienced people opinion.

About the sound - when I was teenager I loved very bright and clear pianos, now I prefer a lot rather this what is called german sound (steinway Hamburg etc, Bluthner is too dark for me), rather massive with more harmonics at the base of sound and not so open and straight forward.

Eventually, I see I will need to spend many hours deciding between R/K/Y (I know it's old technology, however I should give them a chance).
NU1 / Vpiano/LX-15 and AG1 are far above my budget frown


Key action is a personal thing. I don't have much experience of Kawai DPs, because the stores aren't convenient for me, and these days, I only pop into a DP store if I happen to come across one. But the action of the Kawai DPs I did try (if I remember correctly) felt somewhat more 'spongy', less of a 'thud' at the key bottom, compared to Roland's PHA-III. But I can't remember which models they were. In any case, I preferred them to the Yamaha Clavinovas' actions which are unrealistically smooth and have no escapement feel, which to me feels unnatural. They also seem too light.

So, I'd say that if my V-Piano had the Kawai key actions but retained everything else unique to the V, I'd be satisfied. If I could make an analogy, the Kawai DP's actions felt more like that of Kawai acoustics; the Roland's PHA-III felt more like that of some German brands of acoustic grands (Grotrian-Steinweg in particular).
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2050921 - 03/19/13 03:17 PM Re: Yamaha Graded Hammer action compared to real piano action [Re: JanVan]
kapelli Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 382
Loc: Poland
Thank you bennevis smile
I wanted some other point view, not the Kawai-fan begginer piano lover (it's good that they are buying good pianos and feel the differences). I am classicaly trained and was playing the whole life on acoustics.

I like Rolands - but start to being afraid are they much worse than Kawai new actions. It's good to hear it's no so bad with them, yet wink

PS HP-507 PE is so horribly beautiful

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