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Re: New stage pianos from Yamaha!
Dr Popper #1388567 03/05/10 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr Popper
Has anyone realised just how good the CP1's EP's are BTW ???


That's one of the main reasons I can't commit to buying a CP300. The Rhodes sounds in the CP1 and CP5 demos sound better to me than anything I've heard since I had my Rhodes 73 suitcase.

Mychal

Re: Top of CP5
Peakly #1388606 03/05/10 05:00 AM
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I know someone already said it wouldn't be feasible to put a keyboard on top of the CP5. But what about a very light, small one? If I could figure out a way to set it up there, by making a small stand for it out of something light, would that plastic on top of the CP5 support it?

If you push down on the top of the CP5, does it bend? Or could you, for instance, put a couple of six packs of beer on it without it bending? How much will that top support? I like putting a small keyboard on top of the main one if I can. I can do that with my current Yamaha stage piano, and I know I can do it with the CP 300.

Shoot I wish I could grab one of these and figure out if it will work for me, and if not, move on to the next thing.

Mychal

Re: New stage pianos from Yamaha!
snazzyplayer #1388626 03/05/10 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
Dewpster's ongoing effluent drives you to worship squiggly lines on a screen...

Do you think that describing phase/frequency spectrum analyis as "worshipping squiggly lines on a screen" makes your point any stronger? It only makes you look like you don't understand the scientific background of what dewster is doing.

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
you are just a part of the over-analysis cult led by an amateur and very biased tester...

So technical analysis is cult like and bad? You know, Galileo Galilei was once condemned by the Catholic Church for claiming that the earth wasn't at the center of the universe. Not saying that dewster's technical analysis is anywhere even *remotely* near in importantance to Galileo Galilei's scientific work, of course. But science has been condemned as cult like before. I thought this wouldn't happen today, anymore, but it seems I was wrong...

Dewster is definitely biased. But not for/against specific manufacturers. He's biased against looping and stretching. Saying that his bias is bad is kind of similar to saying that a person's bias against e.g. plastic keys is bad. You are clearly biased, too, btw, namely against technical analysis.

Now if you argue that your subjective impression of actually playing an instrument is much more important to you than technical analysis, then that's just fine with me. I've no problem with that *at all*. And I honestly value your CP1 review/impressions. But are you tolerant enough to let other people have their own opinion about how to evaluate the available instruments? It doesn't seem like that to me, sadly...

Re: New stage pianos from Yamaha!
madshi #1388637 03/05/10 06:23 AM
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Well, snazzy, that's more than enough now from your side. This ist gettng way too dirty. There is no basis left for any meaningful discussion. Hope some moderator will be helpful and stop this.

Last edited by kawaian; 03/05/10 06:24 AM.

<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>
Re: New stage pianos from Yamaha!
dewster #1388661 03/05/10 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by dewster


We are a family-oriented web site. Please be careful what you post. Keep it clean, refrain from vulgarity or slander.

Do not be mean-spirited or decidely negative.


Yes, like you keep it clean...an excert from a post of yours on the AvantGrand quick first impression thread...

Originally Posted by dewster


[censored] happens.


Certainly my posts are peppered with smileys and never mean spirited....nor do I use foul language, like you have done above.

In another post, same thread, you took the Lord's name in vain...

Originally Posted by dewster


Jesus, it's Adobe Audition, not something I wrote in my basement over a weekend.


Now, I'm not super religious, but I believe that crosses the line, wouldn't you think? grin

Thank you for pointing out the rules....read them yourself while you're at it. wink


Snazzy


Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)
Re: New stage pianos from Yamaha!
madshi #1388663 03/05/10 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by madshi


Dewster is definitely biased. But not for/against specific manufacturers. He's biased against looping and stretching. Saying that his bias is bad is kind of similar to saying that a person's bias against e.g. plastic keys is bad. You are clearly biased, too, btw, namely against technical analysis.



No, Dewpster is clearly biased against pretty well all digital pianos which he assumes are crap...great fellow to do an objective test. wink

And, by the way, I am not against technical analysis per se...nothing wrong with a professionally done test...I'm just realistically assessing the amateur test being done here that has already been inaccurate several times.

Being biased and being realistic are different, sir, and I am more of the latter than the former.

Snazzy



Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)
Re: New stage pianos from Yamaha!
snazzyplayer #1388665 03/05/10 07:37 AM
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Wow, what a low point in 1.5 years of reading these forums. I've never before read such a pretentious, arrogant post here. These forums are of great value to a lot of people, but some recent threads go down the drain, with personal insults, language etc..

Dewster has been ranting a lot in his early days, but has calmed down a lot and seems really interested in doing a good job. Some people agree with his approach, some don't. OK, that's normal, but he clearly states that this does not replace playing yourself and making up your own mind.

Certainly, people like snazzy, Dr. Popper et al. have very valuable opinions, based on long-term experience, and I read them with great interest (at least, until now). Maybe you play in bands, since a long time. But snazzy, does this make you the only 'real musicians' around here and allow you to denigrate others?

My 2 cents on this debate: there's always a lot of hype about new products. When I started here, it was, e.g. discussions on the speed of repetition from the PHA-II (in the HP-207) vs. NW (Yamaha) keyboards. Then came the V-Piano, and some time later the first negative posts about the mid-range. Now we're at the next step, with the new Yamahas. Probably the future will bring a debate about new CLP's. So, even Gyro has a point comparing DP's to computers, yet with slower development (no, I still don't want a Williams).

Being myself far away from a 'real musician' (but at least, I have good ears or so I'd like to think) I have learned a lot here - especially what to search for and how to test a DP beyond the initial 'do I like the sound & feel' (and also, to go several times to several shops for playing, even if well-informed). When I played DP's myself for the first time, I preferred the Yamaha 'bright' and crisp sound. Playing more over time has brought me to the Roland 'warm' or mellow sound. I've only been able to play Kawai once during a visit to Germany - too short to form an opinion. In the beginning I didn't know anything about stretching, looping, implementation of key-off sounds, string resonance etc. While I still have difficulties to detect the start of a loop, I clearly recognize stretching now. This will probably not impact day-to-day playing very much, but it could impact long-term pleasure (and I'm not someone able to buy a new DP every 1-2 years to have the latest and greatest).

And still, in the end I might end up with a DP with 2 year old technology (the FP-7), just because it also sounds great when put into a good cabinet, and connected with good speakers (see my digitalclassic.nl thread) - owing to my wife's wishes of good looks (pending another visit to dry the RD700GX with the SN expansion).


I like the comparison with digital cameras. Maybe another comparison (from a European perspective): Yamaha doesn't look like the great innovator these days, recent steps came from software pianos, followed by Roland. But Yamaha could be just like Volkswagen: watching for some time how the development goes, and then roll up the market from behind with good and reliable products. VW has waited a long time with common-rail motor technology, and took a long time to get out SUV's. When they finally came with the Touareg and Tiguan, they were still able to overtake the others. Still, I don't have any car myself - it's simply not needed here, public transport (+ bikes!) are sufficient, and renting a car for the few occasions one is needed is really sufficient.


There once was a sticky with excellent (newbie) advice on DP shopping. Could it be put back?

Btw: I have no affiliation with any company / shop / any side of the discussion here etc., just my (humble) opinions.


Just ordered an RD-700GX (SN upgrade) within an upright cabinet + nice speakers, looking very much forward to receiving + playing it!
Re: New stage pianos from Yamaha!
madshi #1388670 03/05/10 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by madshi
Do you think that describing phase/frequency spectrum analyis as "worshipping squiggly lines on a screen" makes your point any stronger? It only makes you look like you don't understand the scientific background of what dewster is doing.



I do understand the scientific background of this type of test...that's easy...but what I don't agree with, is that it has the distinct possibility of errors, and that it may influence a first time visitor not to try a specific product...one that may prove to sound perfect to their ears, one they would miss out on, as well as the manufacturer losing a customer. shocked

I also think that you using the word "scientific" to describe a test done by a clearly, and self admitted, biased amateur individual is a hoot. grin

The tester, in this case, is akin to the vegetarian who eats veggies, not because they love animals, but because they hate vegetables. wink

Snazzy


Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)
Re: New stage pianos from Yamaha!
Nachtschatten #1388675 03/05/10 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Nachtschatten


Certainly, people like snazzy, Dr. Popper et al. have very valuable opinions, based on long-term experience, and I read them with great interest (at least, until now). Maybe you play in bands, since a long time. But snazzy, does this make you the only 'real musicians' around here and allow you to denigrate others?



Well sir, anyone putting that much faith in an amateur test is hardly what I would call a real musician...that's my opinion.

BTW, for those clinging to the squiggly lines on the screen, "denigrate" means..."Cause to seem less serious; play down". wink

Snazzy




Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)
Re: New stage pianos from Yamaha!
Nachtschatten #1388676 03/05/10 07:57 AM
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@Nachtschatten, thank you so much for your very balanced comment! That should be the spirit of all the postings here, and we should handle different opinions here with all due respect which they really deserve.

And as I said, I no longer comment on any of snazzy's and alike posts, as this is like talking to an (IMHO very unpolite) answering machine... my time is too precious for wasting it.

Last edited by kawaian; 03/05/10 07:58 AM.

<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>
Re: New stage pianos from Yamaha!
snazzyplayer #1388681 03/05/10 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
Originally Posted by madshi
Do you think that describing phase/frequency spectrum analyis as "worshipping squiggly lines on a screen" makes your point any stronger? It only makes you look like you don't understand the scientific background of what dewster is doing.



I do understand the scientific background of this type of test...that's easy...but what I don't agree with, is that it has the distinct possibility of errors, and that it may influence a first time visitor not to try a specific product...one that may prove to sound perfect to their ears, one they would miss out on, as well as the manufacturer losing a customer. shocked

I also think that you using the word "scientific" to describe a test done by a clearly, and self admitted, biased amateur individual is a hoot. grin

The tester, in this case, is akin to the vegetarian who eats veggies, not because they love animals, but because they hate vegetables. wink

Snazzy


self-repetitive, answering machine like BS.


<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>
Re: New stage pianos from Yamaha!
Dr Popper #1388682 03/05/10 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr Popper


Has anyone realised just how good the CP1's EP's are BTW ???

The CP80 and 88 patches are about as good as it gets ....


The Rhodes is excellent, and having owned a CP-80 for many years, the CP-1's emulation is astonishing.

My favorites are still the acoustic pianos.

The action seemed to change to suit each patch...I know it doesn't physically adjust, but the illusion is uncanny.

I'm really looking forward to the CP-5 and the new alternate sounds....what's the Hammond emulation like, Doc?

Snazzy



Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)
Re: New stage pianos from Yamaha!
mucci #1388688 03/05/10 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by kawaian
#1388676 - 03/05/10 07:57 AM

And as I said, I no longer comment on any of snazzy's and alike posts, as this is like talking to an (IMHO very unpolite) answering machine... my time is too precious for wasting it.




Mmmmm...but not "precious" enough to break your own rules? wink

Originally Posted by kawaian
#1388681 - 03/05/10 08:03 AM


self-repetitive, answering machine like BS.


And of course, you're not being repetitive? confused

You are too funny...thanks for the chuckle. grin

Snazzy


Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)
Re: New stage pianos from Yamaha!
snazzyplayer #1388699 03/05/10 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
No, Dewpster is clearly biased against pretty well all digital pianos which he assumes are crap...great fellow to do an objective test. wink

You're reducing him to be nothing but a DP hater. I think that's not a fair interpretation of his point of view. He's a hater of stretching and looping. And I happen to agree with him in that aspect. In case you didn't notice, the Roland HP307 does pretty well in his test. So there goes your idea of him hating all DPs.

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
And, by the way, I am not against technical analysis per se...nothing wrong with a professionally done test...I'm just realistically assessing the amateur test being done here that has already been inaccurate several times.

Ok, then please enlighten me:

(1) Where exactly has the technical analysis been "inaccurate several times"? Please let me know, I really want to know!

(2) What does it matter if it's done by an amateur or a professional? I my experience often enough so-called amateurs are doing a better job than many professionals. I've stopped buying certain print magazines a long time ago, because the so-called professional reviewers are often doing a worse job than many so-called amateurs who sometimes write very fine online reviews. You should judge based on the methology of the analysis, not based on by whom it's done.

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
what I don't agree with, is that it has the distinct possibility of errors

As has everything done by human beings - including subjective reviews.

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
and that it may influence a first time visitor not to try a specific product...one that may prove to sound perfect to their ears, one they would miss out on, as well as the manufacturer losing a customer. shocked

That's the same old knockout argument as always. Do you also think that car reviews should leave out engine measurements, because some people might be stupid enough to buy a car only based on engine specs? Do you think AV processor reviews should leave out Watts measurements because some people might be stupid enough to buy a processor only based on how many Watts it can output?

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
The tester, in this case, is akin to the vegetarian who eats veggies, not because they love animals, but because they hate vegetables. wink

Once again you're misinterpreting dewster's position. He *wants* to love DPs. He just hates the way most current DPs are built, technically. There's quite a difference. And, as said above, he does like the technical implementation of the HP307's sound engine. So please do yourself a favor, and stop reducing dewster to a one-dimensional DP hater.

Re: New stage pianos from Yamaha!
madshi #1388704 03/05/10 09:19 AM
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I would suggest to stop this discussion right away. There is nothing more to add to it. This thread is about the new Yamaha stage pianos, and it should stay on-topic.

If someone wants to continue with this fruitless discussion, one can start a new thread with a heading like: "Is dewster a biased amateur using untested software with possibly inaccurate data?"

Last edited by kawaian; 03/05/10 09:20 AM.

<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>
Re: New stage pianos from Yamaha!
madshi #1388706 03/05/10 09:22 AM
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Hi,

It's been several weeks now since I played the CP1 for the first time at a local distributor. I wrote most of the text below back then, but didn't find the time to finish it until now.

In addition to the CP1, the shop also had a V-Piano, AvantGrand N2 and a Modus F01. The CP1 was the one I spent most time with, almost two hours. The others I played only briefly since I've tried them before. They were also unpacking a Roland HP-307, but didn't get to play that.

The first thing that strikes you about the CP1 is the lightness of the action -- very smooth and responsive. When shopping for a DP I don't necessarily look for an action that immediately feels familiar. A good action to me is one that I feel I will be able to adjust to during a reasonably short period of time. The CP1 action has that "confidence factor".

Now for the sound -- and I've got to say I'm rather demanding in this department, I've developed somewhat of an aversion to sampling artifacts over the years. Oddly enough, I don't mind a little digital-ness here and there when listening to recordings of digital instruments, but when I play a DP myself, I just find any artifacts incredibly off-putting. Almost as if my playing wasn't being taken seriously.

For analytic listening tests I tend to divide the sound of a playing note into three sections -- percussive attack, early sustain, and final decay. The attack portion is often well captured on modern DPs, so is the final decay as long as it isn't implemented as a static single-cycle oscillator. The intermediate section is, however, where much of the tonal character of a piano lies, and unfortunately also where most DP manufacturers make compromises. You need lots of sampling memory to capture the harmonic motion and detuning that occurs during the early sustain stage, so what DP manufacturers tend to do is that they either omit this stage altogether, or apply time compression so that they can go into the less demanding final decay at an earlier point, thus saving on sample storage. The former leads to a dull and characterless sound, the latter to a too percussive, almost typewriter-like sound.

Back to the CP1 and its main acoustic sound, the CFIIIS. I liked this very much. In fact, this was so much fun to play I didn't even bother to go into "analysis mode" for a while. This is the Yamaha acoustic piano tone at its best, lots of clarity and definition, but still with a nicely rounded body. The S6 is equally impressive, featuring a warmer overall tone, although with slight nasality in the lower mids that I find very attractive.

As far as authenticity is concerned, the CP1 acoustics score high, IMO. There are some digital artifacts here and there (see below), but you mostly have to look for them to hear them. My guess is that the basic acoustic piano tone is sample based, and they then use additional signal generation/processing techniques for enhancement. For instance, the critical early sustain portion sounds like samples overlayed with synthesized harmonics. The beauty of this implementation is that there is no detectable velocity switching. The tone is lush and vibrant, and the playing response smooth and continuous. I'd imagine this hybrid technology also allowed Yamaha to include adjustable features such as hammer hardness. Well done!

The final decay surprised me a bit though, as it has a static, metallic quality that I immediately associate with the Modus series digital pianos. The Modus pianos use sampling technology that is several generations old, although the sampling itself is reportedly more advanced than that in the current Clavinovas. In the CP1 the note decay is apparently processed with diffusion effects -- the same technique you use to simulate the reverb part of string resonance effects. Whether the effect is there to mask sample looping I'm not sure. The effect also seems more prominent on the S6 than the CFIIIS. Overall, the final decay characteristic is perhaps the weakest point of the CP1 in terms of authenticity, although not nearly as digital sounding as the Modus series, or many newer DPs for that matter. It's not a big deal, unless 100% authenticity under all circumstances is what you're after.

The CP80 Electric Grand is good, the best yet in a digital instrument. I still own a CP70 which I'm quite fond of and regularly play. It has to be said that the CP80 patch is often a mixed bag in DPs -- it's invariably a secondary sound, so to speak -- one that gets less sample memory and less attention from engineers, and mostly ends up sounding rather horrible. The one in the CP1 is refreshingly different, as it features the same kind of playability that the acoustic grands have. The low notes are spot on, exactly like the real thing. In the mid and upper note ranges, however, Yamaha seem to have gone a little too far with modelling. There are some very bright metallic sounding harmonics coming through, harmonics that I only hear a hint of in my CP70, even with the Treble control set to maximum (which is my default setting). I tried tweaking the CP1's EQ and other controls, but could not defeat the metallic quality. Shame, because to me this almost spoils an otherwise promising sound.

At this point I found I was running out of time, so I didn't audition the other electric piano sounds. Will try them next time I get a chance to play the instrument.

In conclusion, the CP1 is a very impressive piano type instrument. It's not necessarily the most authentic acoustic piano replacement -- definitely no AvantGrand killer -- but feels great to play, and is capable of producing lush, shimmering sounds.

Here are some brief comments on the other instruments I played that day:

V-Piano: Still one of the most responsive DPs, but sounds a bit academic. The variabilty of sound is attractive, but I prefer the tone and overall feel of the CP1.

Modus F01: Very firm and stylish (looks better in real life than on pictures), no distracting big displays or arrays of buttons. More expressive and fun to play than the Clavinovas, but the underlying technology is really starting to show its age.

AvantGrand N2: Can only echo what others have said: The most authentic digital yet. Apparently many serious keyboardists now tour with an N2, so maybe there will be a portable version (N1?) available at some point. Although that would of course be treading into CP1 territory!

-joachim


Re: New stage pianos from Yamaha!
jve #1388715 03/05/10 09:42 AM
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Joachim, what a great review! BTW I reach out to the local piano store today to play some DPs including the CP1. Sounds promising. I won't buy anything but I want to be up to date what's on the market.


Last edited by kawaian; 03/05/10 09:43 AM.

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Re: New stage pianos from Yamaha!
madshi #1388738 03/05/10 10:13 AM
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snazzyplayer I also agree that your recent posts are arrogant and lowering meritorious level of discussion.

When somebody buys a DP, he considers a few characteristics:

- timbre of sound (of samples or of model)
- resonance, velocity decay time and everything that makes the sound more natural while playing a song
- possibility of tweaking stock piano sounds
- other features and their usability
- Rhodes and other EP's sound
- keyboard, it's feel and it's connection to the sound while playing
- other non-piano sounds (organs, strings etc.)
- price and it's relation to what you get (can I get 80% of possibilities by buying other instrument for 1/2 price? or maybe it's worth to add some dollars?)
- look
- internal speakers or their lack
- type: cabinet/console or stage
- others (weight/size, connectors etc.)

dewster's work focus only on the two first point - sample set, it's technical characteristics. He point it out in a few posts, and he mostly relates to the sample set. Of course it's only a part of all features that people consider while buying a DP, but it's not a reason to ignore someone's analysis, because it can be very helpful.

There are no perfect tests. Though the value of this test is in discussion about facts, not ONLY subjective impression: everyone can download the same audio with pianos played the same MIDI file and judge it's features, and we have nice base for discussion (about sample set and it's features, not whole DP).

Nobody forces you to believe dewster - listen to the files on your own and judge is he right or not. In my few blind listening test I have very similar conclusions to him. The graphics just confirm and visualize results, there is no need to use them at all.

Now you can't say that CP1 has beautiful, 100% realistic resonance with damper pedal, because in the recording everyone can clearly hear (in 4:10-4:25), that there is too much reverb and it's pulsing like a fast echo. Roland's SuperNatural wins here with more smooth solution, the pulse is slower, and not reverby - more natural.

Though you may have right that in the mids Yamaha have a little more richness, but I'm not sure of that, they simply sound different here; for me it's subtle difference, if it is present.

From the other hand, CP1 has shorter decay in upper register than Roland's SN (I guess because of shorter samples), and this aspect is very important to me. Also, I hear stretched samples in low tones, it sound slightly fake to me. I don't hear any looping in both instruments, so it doesn't matter for me.

And to be honest, both instruments have a beautiful timbre.

Above is an example of conclusions that people can draw from listening the files. Also, maybe somebody would never consider 700GX, because it's stage piano or because it's Roland, and here you have some information about it's sample set, and you can see it's worth considering, especially if it's cheaper than HP-307 and CP1 and still sounds great.


Roland FP-4
Re: New stage pianos from Yamaha!
mucci #1388745 03/05/10 10:20 AM
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Excellent review Joachim!

And great point about the possibility of an N1 - perhaps this will be the stage piano for acoustic piano players?

Cheers,
James
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Re: New stage pianos from Yamaha!
jve #1388752 03/05/10 10:27 AM
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Wow, excellent review joachim, thanks very much! Your theory of harmonic overlay is quite plausible. A couple of bucks worth of Flash would fix everything, so I'm not sure why they go to all the bother. The profit margins can't be that thin?

My current working theory is they intend to use the sample set in various other instruments (e.g. the CLP-330 and P-155 share at least some of an identical piano sample) and so they are highly motivated to keep it tiny - all of the expensive labor required to do that (NRE) will then be amortized over several models and lines. What a shame though. Like digital pictures, you can only compress a sample set so far before it becomes obvious. And before it becomes obvious it may be fatiguing. I long for the days when manufacturers splurge on samples, and include the actual MB per voice in their specs - and I'm not talking about some meaningless "linear equivalent" value either.

Have you tried turning down the damper resonance to see if that reduces the metallic decay? It must be difficult to build a looped instrument and not have the loops occasionally interact with short delay effects.

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