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Which silent system least affects the touch? #147119
04/11/07 11:53 AM
04/11/07 11:53 AM
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doremi Offline OP
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Thanks in advance for any views and experiences!


I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked
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Re: Which silent system least affects the touch? #147120
04/11/07 12:05 PM
04/11/07 12:05 PM
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I am also interested in any expertise on this. My piano needs have suddenly changed a bit.


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Re: Which silent system least affects the touch? #147121
04/11/07 12:19 PM
04/11/07 12:19 PM
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PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
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doremi and USAPT,

My previous research into this subject (which included consulting two premium European piano factories) persuaded me to get a quality digital piano for silent practice, rather than retrofitting any kind of silent system to my acoustic piano.

The main reason given was that the let-off has to be adjusted such that it is then rendered more difficult to play pianissimo[1], or as a German Master Piano Builder stated in an email: "We do not recommend installing those kits to grand pianos because of the influence of the touch feeling." .

My Sfr 0.02,

Michael B.
[1] And I need all the help I can get smile


There are two rules to success in life: Rule #1. Don't tell people everything you know.
Re: Which silent system least affects the touch? #147122
04/11/07 01:21 PM
04/11/07 01:21 PM
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doremi Offline OP
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Michael,

I notice that the recommendation of the German Master Piano Builder (at Grotrian) is against installing a silent system in a GRAND piano.

But even Grotrian installs the Yamaha 4.0 (silent) System in their uprights. Is that essentially the same system as in the Yamaha's Disklaviers?

I would take the touch of an upright anyday over that of a digital, or is the touch of a silent upright also affected?

doremi


I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked
Re: Which silent system least affects the touch? #147123
04/11/07 01:56 PM
04/11/07 01:56 PM
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Monica K. Offline

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doremi, I've never tried a piano with a silent play option. From reading various threads talking about it, I get the impression that some people do find a difference in the action after the system has been installed and they don't like it as much. Others either don't mind or don't notice a difference. I think what you should do is try to find a dealer that has one in stock and play it.

The alternative is, as Michael suggested, to buy an acoustic AND a digital for use when you want to play with headphones. It could very well turn out to be more cost-effective to do that anyway instead of installing the silent system. (There are some nice digital keyboards with weighted keys that don't cost much at all, e.g., the Casio Privia series.) Given your stated preference for the acoustic (a preference I can fully empathize with), I'd suggest going the two-piano route over the digital-only route.

Re: Which silent system least affects the touch? #147124
04/11/07 02:40 PM
04/11/07 02:40 PM
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doremi Offline OP
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What I have been thinking of is a silent upright instead of a digital as the second piano.

Or at least something that has a real piano action (like Renner) for silent playing.

FWIW, I already have a digital with weighted keys and a graded hammer action. I'm ready to toss it out.


I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked
Re: Which silent system least affects the touch? #147125
04/11/07 04:45 PM
04/11/07 04:45 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by PoStTeNeBrAsLuX:

[1] And I need all the help I can get smile
heaven, finally someone who shares my problems with a weak technique laugh

Seriously, though, all technical aspects aside, I did some soul searching about this as well, and before even dipping into this topic, I decided that I don't want to install some electronic gimmicks on my beautiful new piano.

I made up my mind to get myself a digital for silent practising, as the cost is about the same... but that's just my feelings (calling them thoughts would be far too much...)


Proud owner of an August Förster 190 Serial No. 164163
Re: Which silent system least affects the touch? #147126
04/11/07 05:16 PM
04/11/07 05:16 PM
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In general it is true that installing a silent system in a grand piano may influence the touch because the let off has to be set wider as normal. For uprights this is less of a problem and touch difference will be less noticible because almost all upights without a silent system are equiped with a muting bar and because of this the let off is already set wider as compared to a grand piano. When installing a quality silent system there is not really a need of changing the let off much if at all.

Some manufacturers are also working on better silent systems which do less influence the touch. I know this is e.g. the case for Wendl & Lung; their silent grand should be marketed within the coming months.

schwammerl.

Re: Which silent system least affects the touch? #147127
04/11/07 05:37 PM
04/11/07 05:37 PM
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Kawai used to make a model I think it was called the HA45 that was nice. It was all digital but had a nice upright-quality action inside. looked like a K30 on the outside.

I like that. The AWA graded hammer action is nice but this was better -- albeit more money.


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Re: Which silent system least affects the touch? #147128
04/11/07 06:36 PM
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doremi Offline OP
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USAPT and others,

Yamaha touts the all digital Grantouch as having a genuine grand action. That's only partly true. True is that the part from the key to just prior to the hammer is genuine. But instead of a hammer, there is a weight there. Instead of dynamically flinging the hammer, you statically lift a weight. Which makes a very perceptible difference in the touch.

I may be wrong, but I suspect that the 'genuine' upright action in the all digital Kawai HA45 is only partly true also, i.e. instead of a hammer at the end of action, there is a weight there.

That's the reason why I wanted to discuss silent piano actions WITH hammers, thereby hoping that the silent system alters the touch less than if the hammers are substituted with weights.

And no, I am not in any way an advanced pianist, I merely play for my own amusement. But I do believe that everyone of us here hears with the fingers and feels with the ears, so to speak. If I have to hear through headphones, then let me at least enjoy the touch!

doremi


I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked
Re: Which silent system least affects the touch? #147129
04/11/07 06:50 PM
04/11/07 06:50 PM
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Hi All!
I promised some time ago to tell my piano-shopping story, but didn't dare to start my own thread (this is my first forum ever). But now you are discussing exactly the same question I was trying to find an answer to... I can't resist. Still not my thread, but I'm a bit closer...

I was looking for a piano with Yamaha Silent system, preferably U3, but bought Grotrian-Steinweg 124 Classic and CLP280 (several months ago).

I tried U1, U3 Silent at different dealers, new YUS3, Schimmel C120T, K125 and Grotrian Classic Silent. After hours of playing Grotrian silent and not-silent side by side I knew the answer...Actually I knew the answer in five minutes, but I did my best to evaluate pianos without any prejudice to that let-off adjustment.
Several weeks later I extensively compared CLP 270 and 280, they had very different touch for me, and my search was completed.

From all silent pianos I've played my favourite is U1. Touch is amazing. I think I can't feel the difference in touch of "normal" and silent U1, but I didn't play them side by side - different dealers and days. The least appealing were U3 - heavy touch, difficult to control pp, I like my ClP280 much more...

My 2 eurocents...

Kind regards,
PianoO, dedicated restarter.

Re: Which silent system least affects the touch? #147130
04/11/07 10:48 PM
04/11/07 10:48 PM
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Monica K. Offline

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Welcome to the forum, PianoO, and please don't hesitate to start your own thread. We're a pretty nice group and we love to read about pianos. wink

Re: Which silent system least affects the touch? #147131
04/11/07 10:48 PM
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I have played a Roland digital for years with headphones while my little ones were asleep (and am off to do so now). The touch is very good for a digital, and it has made me a far better classical pianist than I ever was before, as I find I practice a lot more and better, since I'm not worrying what I sound like to others. I would far and away go digital with headphones rather than change an acoustic to be "silent" (esp. a grand). The sound of a good digital with headphones is actually pretty amazing, far better than through their speakers, and if the intent is practice, it more than does the trick.

Re: Which silent system least affects the touch? #147132
04/11/07 10:52 PM
04/11/07 10:52 PM
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Yes doremi you are probably right.

PianoDisc makes a mute rail that blocks the hammers just before they hit the strings. Then, Moog's piano bar or pianodisc's record strip (although I don't care for the TFT material under the keys) would be a good compromise.

Its tought to get both features without charging for both. Many customers don't want to pay twice for one piano so I don't think much R&D time goes into it.


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Re: Which silent system least affects the touch? #147133
04/12/07 10:01 AM
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Thank you Monica, I will try! smile

Doremi, I apologize but I don't understand completely- you are going to play with headfones and enjoy the touch - so is your question
1)wich system least affects the touch when the system is swiched on
or
2)how would two pianos be compared- one without silent system and another- with system installed but swiched off?

Re: Which silent system least affects the touch? #147134
04/12/07 02:35 PM
04/12/07 02:35 PM
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doremi Offline OP
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Yes, it is indeed important to distinguish between case A and case B.

case A: an installed silent system of a certain type in a (single) particular piano. The difference in touch is observed between the silent system ON and the silent system OFF. For example, a muting felt type of silent system stops the hammers before hitting the strings which shortens the travel of the hammers compared to when the muting felt is switched out of the way. Moreover, in one case the hammer hits a hard metallic string, and in the other case, the hammer hits a soft felt surface. The difference in hammer travel and perhaps the difference in the hammer target, change the touch. The objective of case A may be to minimize the change of the touch to a (subjectively) acceptable level between regular and silent playing on one and the same piano.

case B: compares the touch of TWO pianos, one with and the other without a silent system, the two pianos being otherwise the same. The change of the touch is caused by the installation of the silent system. The assertion has been made that the touch of a grand is impacted more than the touch of an upright by the installation of a silent system. The reason given (which I frankly don't understand, but that may be just me) is that the let-off in a grand action has to be changed in order to make the installation of the silent system possible at all, whereas the let-off in an upright action can be left essentially as it was, it may not even have to be changed at all for the installation of the silent system. The objective of case B for a grand may be to minimize the change of the touch so that a player may (subjectively) accept the resulting touch as that of his favourite acoustic grand piano. Similarly, the objective of case B for an upright may be to minimize the change of the touch so that a player may (subjectively) accept the resulting touch as that of his favourite acoustic upright piano.

As far as yours truly goes, I believe my present target to be a combination of case A and case B for a tall upright. I happen to like the Kawai sound and touch (I have an RX-3 6'1") and would like to upgrade my second piano (currently a Clavinova CVP-55) to a perhaps 52" Kawai upright with a silent system installed. I would accept a case A small change of the touch between the silent system switched ON or OFF, and a case B small change of the touch compared to a regular (non-silent) 52" Kawai upright, but my expectation is that I would still have to feel (this is subjective as noted) that I am playing a genuine acoustic piano to enjoy it, whether I play the piano in the silent or in the regular playing mode.


I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked
Re: Which silent system least affects the touch? #147135
04/13/07 01:15 PM
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Quote
As far as yours truly goes, I believe my present target to be a combination of case A and case B for a tall upright. I happen to like the Kawai sound and touch (I have an RX-3 6'1") and would like to upgrade my second piano (currently a Clavinova CVP-55) to a perhaps 52" Kawai upright with a silent system installed. I would accept a case A small change of the touch between the silent system switched ON or OFF, and a case B small change of the touch compared to a regular (non-silent) 52" Kawai upright, but my expectation is that I would still have to feel (this is subjective as noted) that I am playing a genuine acoustic piano to enjoy it, whether I play the piano in the silent or in the regular playing mode.
I too thought I had a target, but from I've wanted at the beginning of my search I have only that particular Yamaha sample sound now! laugh

Doremi, I would suggest you to find and try not only K52 silent, but YUS3 (juicy new piano), smaller silent Kawai,U1,CLP270/280 and latest Kawai digitals. You can be surprized.

I can't comment much on technical aspects- my only search criterion was if we (my daughter and I) like tone and touch or not. I can share only some personal impressions if it helps.
Case A. When the system is switched on, touch of every piano I've tried becomes lighter. The least difference is in U1,the biggest- in Grotrian(but not in silent mode grotrian's touch was heavier). I loved all the pianos! Everything was joy to play.
Case B. Besides U1 liked small Ibach upright with retro-fitted don't-know-which-system at my duet-partner's house. I liked it so much that I forgot to be attentive to her Bosie grand. Could be happy with it as a second piano. Didnt't compare it with other Ibach uprights though, liked it as it was. But I thought I needed only one dream silent piano ...

In desperate need to leave and practice a bit,
PianoO.

Re: Which silent system least affects the touch? #147136
04/13/07 04:04 PM
04/13/07 04:04 PM
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doremi Offline OP
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I have been shopping for pianos before. The first time yielded my Clavinova, the second time yielded my acoustic grand. I did well in that I am quite happy with both pianos.

But well over a year ago, I had a small mishap with the Clavinova, and while looking for a replacement, I have gradually come to the insight that I want a silent upright instead.

(Or an upright with an aftermarket silent system, but I am frankly a bit concerned what the installation does to the piano, and hence the subject line of this thread: which silent system least affects the touch?)

Unfortunately, Kawai has apparently discontinued their Anytime pianos. The only silent upright at my local dealerships is the Disklavier U1, but like so many others, I am hoping that a specimen with a warmer sound comes along (I want to play it in the non-silent mode too!), the touch is OK.

BTW, while searching the subforums here, I came across the suggestion of replacing the hammers of the U1 with a different make, but I cannot locate the discussion thread anymore. If anyone wants to provide comments in this regard, it is more than welcome!

--------------

I promised the grand to my daughter and while it will be at least several years before the two move out, I am at the same time also looking at six footers thereby becoming the bane of piano dealers, LOL!


I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked
Re: Which silent system least affects the touch? #147137
04/13/07 06:35 PM
04/13/07 06:35 PM
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I attended a technical at the local Yamie dealership to learn more about Disklaviers and thier "quiet mode" as well as other things needed for post sale work. I believe the "silent" Yamaha system works just like the "quiet" system. The pianos jacks have two toes instead of one (the second in-set slightly from the regular one) and when the quiet feature is turned on there is a secondary "let-off button" rail that drops down and trips the second jack toe. This is to compensate for the decreased hammer travel and to retain the correct touch. Any Yamie dealers here that can vouch for or correct me??


Piano Technician
Re: Which silent system least affects the touch? #147138
04/14/07 12:09 PM
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doremi Offline OP
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Yeah, or a tech who wants to chime in?

I would also like to know whether the Disklaviers (the DU1A in particular) allow for changing the Yamaha hammers to Ronsen hammers which is said to produce a mellow tone on Yamaha pianos.


I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked
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