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#1534018 - 10/12/10 04:43 PM Silent Pianos  
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I was wondering if anybody here has ever played a so-called silent piano and what they think of it.

I downloaded the manual of the Yamaha U1 (this is the one my usual music shop has) and looking at the troubleshooting guide there were a couple of points that didn't quite convince me, like:
☞ The acoustic piano emits sound when I am using the Silent Piano function to play.
- Playing with extreme force may result in sound being emitted from the acoustic piano. Please moderate the
strength of your playing.
What if I had to play a piece with fff at night?
☞ When I play a rapid series of notes in Silent Piano mode, a loud sound is emitted that is not part
of the performance.
- This is not a fault. The structure of the Silent Piano causes this to occur in some cases.
Same as above. I could have to play a presto piece at night, and it says it is not silent in such cases?

Anyway, if you have a silent piano, are you happy with it?
I am just exploring several possibilities for upgrading my piano next year or so.

Thanks.



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#1534052 - 10/12/10 05:50 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Mine will arrive next week - it isn't a U1, mine is smaller (P112).
We played it in the shop in Silent mode - (3 of us , with me being the least accomplished pianist!).

I didn't notice any sound being emitted other than through the headset.

I don't quite see that it COULD emit sound..... the hammers don't get anywhere near the strings. (we had it opened up to watch the innards at work!).

Now I'm a tad concerned.
I'll certainly report back once I've had a chance to play it again.


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#1534054 - 10/12/10 05:52 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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I just bought a silent YUS5. The only sounds the piano makes outside the headphones is the sound of the hammers moving and striking the silent bar, even at fff. The strings are not struck. It is pretty quiet, but sounds like galloping horses tee hee.

I am very happy with my silent piano. I do find that it is difficult to play ppp acoustically. This might be due to the way the hammers have to be set for the silent function to work or just that my piano needs the action regulated - I've asked a technician to check just in case.

I play 1-2 hrs a day with the headphones on. It is fantastic.

#1534064 - 10/12/10 06:09 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Wow a YUS5 Silent. Nice piano!
Let us know how you get on with your technician.
I have also heard that the change in letoff of the Yamaha Upright Silent installation can impact the ability to play ppp.


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#1534065 - 10/12/10 06:11 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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the term 'silent piano' alone makes me, well, feel uncomfortable...


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#1534068 - 10/12/10 06:15 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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I think the best thing to do for me would be to try it out... Unfortunately I don't know if they have it in the shop, although it is on their website. They might have it in Sydney though, I could try it out there and then if I like it buy it here, where they usually give me a nice discount...
Somehow it is good to know about possible problems, so I can test it more carefully.
I think they mean it can happen though, not that it always happens...



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#1534072 - 10/12/10 06:20 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: theJourney]  
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Originally Posted by theJourney
Wow a YUS5 Silent. Nice piano!
Let us know how you get on with your technician.
I have also heard that the change in letoff of the Yamaha Upright Silent installation can impact the ability to play ppp.


Thanks. smile I'm over the moon to have the piano.

I also have heard ppp can be an issue for silent pianos and I suspect this is the issue with mine. However without the silent function I would be stuck with a digital piano, so it may just be a price I have to pay.

#1534078 - 10/12/10 06:24 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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Originally Posted by dolce sfogato
the term 'silent piano' alone makes me, well, feel uncomfortable...


On the other hand, playing at 3 am on a real acoustic keyboard without worrying about housemates, neighbors or the police makes me, well, feel liberated.

Call it a hybrid if you please. If you haven't tried one, the experience is highly recommended.

Last edited by theJourney; 10/12/10 06:24 PM.
#1534079 - 10/12/10 06:26 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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well, luckily I can do all you mentioned anytime, it happens.


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#1534086 - 10/12/10 06:32 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: theJourney]  
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I would prefer to have bought a non-silent piano and be able to play it at any volume and at any time; but unfortunately I don't have the luxury of being a purist right now. My piano is in my living room and I can practice while my wife watches TV or is sleeping or at midnight. I can do far more practice than I otherwise could which is liberating and worth any minor negatives.

Bottom line, if playing silently allows you to play more it is well worth it. In any case I find the technology so good that I usually forget I've got the headphones on.

#1534095 - 10/12/10 06:49 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
Same as above. I could have to play a presto piece at night, and it says it is not silent in such cases?


It will always be silent in silent mode. You are misunderstanding the trouble shooting guide. These comments just refer to the hammer noise.

#1534126 - 10/12/10 07:41 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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So the "loud sound" is just disturbing, but obviously won't be heard by the neighbours...



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#1534129 - 10/12/10 07:48 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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It's a pretty quiet noise. You really need to try one and see for yourself. When you hear it I'm sure you will say, oh, is that all, no problem. It's not much louder than playing an electric piano with the power off - just some key action noise.

#1534154 - 10/12/10 08:28 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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I had a silent U1 or U3 while in Europe for a few years. I was really happy with the piano and I wondered why it wasn't more popular in Canada/US. From what I remember, the noise of the hammers was quieter than the keys on digital Yamaha Clavinovas. I also liked the action on it better than digital actions (although I've heard they are now producing digital pianos with the same action).

#1534167 - 10/12/10 08:43 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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U1 and U3 seem to be the most popular ones here too, actually even the only ones available in many shops...



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#1534341 - 10/13/10 01:56 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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Originally Posted by dolce sfogato
well, luckily I can do all you mentioned anytime, it happens.


You're very fortunate - not all of us are able to do so.
I was thrilled to find a piano I liked, in my budget, with this feature.

8 days to go......to delivery day!


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#1534401 - 10/13/10 05:14 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: casinitaly]  
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Just a general note for those who haven't tried a silent piano system like Yamaha's SG (or Kawai's new ATX). It is an extremely impressive experience. It feels and sounds very authentic with excellent dynamic control and responsiveness.

I know when I first heard about the technology I thought it sounded a bit dodgy at best and a terrible mutation of a beautiful acoustic instrument at worst.... but companies like Yamaha have executed it very well.

#1534408 - 10/13/10 06:00 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: Rjt]  
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Originally Posted by Rjt
Just a general note for those who haven't tried a silent piano system like Yamaha's SG (or Kawai's new ATX). It is an extremely impressive experience. It feels and sounds very authentic with excellent dynamic control and responsiveness.

I know when I first heard about the technology I thought it sounded a bit dodgy at best and a terrible mutation of a beautiful acoustic instrument at worst.... but companies like Yamaha have executed it very well.


+1

80% of the Yamaha pianos sold in by the largest Yamaha dealer in Amsterdam all have the factory Silent system installed. In this day and age of low tolerance, high individualism, close neighbors and thin centuries old walls, the surest way for a child's piano lessons to be stopped before they really got started is to have the neighbors demand that they stop. Silent Pianos have been a godsend.

#1534493 - 10/13/10 09:32 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: theJourney]  
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Originally Posted by theJourney
...the surest way for a child's piano lessons to be stopped before they really got started is to have the neighbors demand that they stop. Silent Pianos have been a godsend.


Or their parents who don't want to hear their practicing frown

#1534510 - 10/13/10 10:06 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: Arghhh]  
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Hee hee. Or wife in my case.

I actually find it very convenient to spend the hours grinding away at new pieces (and scales etc) with the headphones on. Then to only play near performance-ready pieces acoustically. It means my wife only ever hears me play the good stuff and not the tedious practice stuff - she thinks I'm a musical genius!

#1535205 - 10/14/10 08:51 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: Arghhh]  
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<<From what I remember, the noise of the hammers was quieter than the keys on digital Yamaha Clavinovas>>

That's great to hear! My aged Clavinova is in the lounge and it does distract others (even though I'm playing with headphones), and the TV gets louder and louder and so forth...

#1535209 - 10/14/10 08:55 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Should I keep my old digital too next year when I buy a silent piano?
Somehow, being my first piano, it has a sentimental value, but I don't have much space...



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#1535229 - 10/14/10 09:29 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
Should I keep my old digital too next year when I buy a silent piano?
Somehow, being my first piano, it has a sentimental value, but I don't have much space...

I know what you mean, I am one of the most sentimental creatures on earth.... but I'm not planning on keeping my digital- also my first piano. We don't have much space either (compared to some here, for sure!!)...... space aside though, there really isn't any need for it. With the silent option, you've actually got the digital there.

Take a picture, and sell the old one to buy some new sheet music.


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#1535448 - 10/14/10 03:53 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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I think you are right... They even said they can sell it for me (in the shop), which would make things easier. I will ask them how much I get for it.
With that and the usual discount they give me, I should get the U1 for a good price... smile



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#1535509 - 10/14/10 05:39 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
I think you are right... They even said they can sell it for me (in the shop), which would make things easier. I will ask them how much I get for it.
With that and the usual discount they give me, I should get the U1 for a good price... smile


That's great! I hope they give you a good deal on your "trade in".

When will your U1 be delivered?


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#1535599 - 10/14/10 08:10 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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I actually have to wait until March frown or I won't get any interests on my money and, as I am not rich, I need those interests too...



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#1535709 - 10/15/10 02:07 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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I have used a Virgil Practice Clavier for over forty years and it has been a wonderful help. In fact I doubt I would be able to play as I do now without it. But perhaps that isn't the sort of silent piano you mean.


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#1535735 - 10/15/10 04:01 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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The Virgil Practice Clavier looks cool, I just searched for it. And so cheap compared with the Yamaha U1!



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#1535759 - 10/15/10 05:27 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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Originally Posted by dolce sfogato
well, luckily I can do all you mentioned anytime, it happens.


I take it you don't live in Amsterdam then smile


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Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
#1535763 - 10/15/10 05:32 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: Victor25]  
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I have considered moving to the outback to have a grand and no neighbours... smile



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#1536227 - 10/15/10 07:57 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Chopinaddict:

A disadvantage is that they are very rare; it appears that nobody has made a modern version. They are also very heavy to lift and move, much heavier than a digital piano. Of course their main advantage is the adjustable key resistance, which can be made far greater than that of any piano. However, used without common sense they can produce a really horrible touch. I think the trouble is that players screw up the resistance to a point where finger technique cannot cope, and end up leaning and pushing to depress the keys.


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#1537448 - 10/17/10 05:48 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Apparently it is possible to turn any acoustic piano into a silent piano, although of course it you don't have an acoustic you'd better buy a silent one from the very beginning...
http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=5710.0

Anyway, casintaly, if you are still reading this thread, I hope you will let us know how you like your silent piano when it is delivered... smile



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#1558734 - 11/16/10 01:28 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Well, I had an offer by a shop I had contacted. They said they will have a silent Yamaha U1 at the end of January for about 5,000 dollars - used I suppose.
I am a little bit nervous about it to be honest, but there is nothing I can do at the moment... Somehow I don't even feel happy about it, just anxious... Hopefully it won't be the beginning of more problems... Of course it is not final anyway, just a possibility. I would prefer to buy at my local shop to be honest just in case there is a problem that comes out later...



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#1574784 - 12/11/10 03:56 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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I was thinking buying a AvantGrand N3 (EP with real grand piano action) but... I may finally go for a small grand ACOUSTIC SIlence, and then, if I don't like the "it's silence sound' I can always link it through midi to an external sound module (Yam XF rack ? :-) ) or to my next stage piano to use its sound bank.

With this I am building my very own acoustic/electronic hybrid piano :-) without the constant fear of having an expensive Avantgrand N3 becoming obsolete, and with the pleasure of a "real" acoustic sound when played "non silently".

so now the question is : Yamaha silence (C2 or C3 silence) or KAWA anytime (RX2 ATX-f ) ? Any recommendation ? Which has the best "silent module" and without consequences on the acoustic keyboard action ?

#1575058 - 12/12/10 01:51 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
Apparently it is possible to turn any acoustic piano into a silent piano, although of course it you don't have an acoustic you'd better buy a silent one from the very beginning...
http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=5710.0


I think you can only do this to uprights.


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#1575084 - 12/12/10 02:52 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: jazzwee]  
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Originally Posted by jazzwee
Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
Apparently it is possible to turn any acoustic piano into a silent piano, although of course it you don't have an acoustic you'd better buy a silent one from the very beginning...
http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=5710.0


I think you can only do this to uprights.


I've seen silent systems fitted to grands too. They are pretty much the same idea. Most people just don't want to do it to their grand because the action isn't hidden like an upright.

#1575109 - 12/12/10 03:56 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Yes, they can be fitted to grands too. That's what they told me in the shop at least. Unfortunately I wouldn't have a room for a grand though....



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#1626861 - 02/23/11 06:05 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Does anybody know if a silent piano can be used in silent mode but without headphones (that is to say if I can just adjust the volume without using headphones)?

Thanks smile



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#1626879 - 02/23/11 06:26 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
Does anybody know if a silent piano can be used in silent mode but without headphones (that is to say if I can just adjust the volume without using headphones)?

Thanks smile


I believe that it's either acoustic or the silent mode and that the latter can only be heard through headphones.

Regards,


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#1626891 - 02/23/11 06:37 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Thank you, Bruce.



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#1627172 - 02/24/11 05:12 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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you can connect active speakers to the headphone out (or line out if there is one) and then adjust the volume of those.
But that will naturally be the same sampled sound you get through the headphones, not the real piano's sound.

What I dream of is to buy an old gorgeous 130cm concert upright in a fantastic finish (such as this one), retrofit a silent system, and replace my digital piano with that! Ideally, it'd have that dreamy, "old upright" ever-so-slightly out of tune sound when played live and then a professional sample library in a small dedicated PC inside for silent practice...

I guess that's a project for when the grand is paid off and we move to a house...


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#1627198 - 02/24/11 08:03 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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OMG! Why am I just finding out now that these things exist! Can anyone tell me the price range of one of the upright versions of these pianos?

#1627234 - 02/24/11 09:33 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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I haven't checked in for a while - so here are some updates.

What I like about the silent feature:

1. I can play when I want and it feels exactly the same as playing when in normal playing.
2. I can plug in two sets of headphones and play with a friend into the wee hours of the night smile (or have my husband listen while I play)
3. I can out put to speakers and turn the volume down so I don't have to wear a headset, (I hate wearing a headset)
4. It sounds better than my original dp.
5. I have an option for recording directly to the computer

What I don't like:

1. It still sounds digital and of course has no "vibes"
2. I hate wearing headphones but most of the time I can't be bothered to hook up to the speakers.
3. There is some noise. They hammers do move, though they don't touch the strings and you can hear them clunking about. I have seen that as time goes on I am less and less aware of this point.

Adding the feature to a piano - friends of mine added it to their upright a while ago, after complaints from the neighbour. (Their son is doing a degree in music and he plays ALL THE TIME! )

The price: here (Italy) it seems to add about 2 grand (in euros) onto the price of a new Yamaha U3. Mine (a P112) was used and I paid 4,000 euros for a six year old piano in great shape.

My recording for the ABF recital n. XX was done with the silent option as I couldn't figure out how to record the acoustic. If you listen, be kind - I'd only been playing for 10 months at that point smile



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#1627273 - 02/24/11 10:37 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Are you sure that you hate wearing all headphones and not just your particular model? Might be worth a trip to the electronics store! There's quite a difference between brands and models.


aim for the moon - if you miss, at least you'll be among the stars.
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#1627310 - 02/24/11 11:34 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: Bunneh]  
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Originally Posted by Bunneh
Are you sure that you hate wearing all headphones and not just your particular model? Might be worth a trip to the electronics store! There's quite a difference between brands and models.


You are absolutely right about the differences in models and brands - however, I really DO hate wearing headphones, they give my ears the feeling of being suffocated! I have some really excellent headphones that cost a pretty penny and they are MUCH better than my old ones...but I still don't like wearing them smile



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#1627320 - 02/24/11 11:46 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Try in-ears!


aim for the moon - if you miss, at least you'll be among the stars.
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#1627321 - 02/24/11 11:49 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: Bunneh]  
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Originally Posted by Bunneh
Try in-ears!


cringe....no, I don't think I'd like those either. I had some like that for my mp3 player and they drove me nuts too.

I guess I just don't like things on or in my ears smile


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#1627383 - 02/24/11 01:15 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: polyphasicpianist]  
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Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist
OMG! Why am I just finding out now that these things exist! Can anyone tell me the price range of one of the upright versions of these pianos?


For comparison purposes only:

A Yamaha U1 "lists" for $US10,999.00 (polished ebony) and $US11,599.00 )satin ebony.)

A Yamaha U1SG "lists" for $US14,999.00 in polished ebony.

The factory-installed silent feature adds US$4,000.00 to the base price.

"Street" prices may differ slightly, depending upon our area.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
#1627427 - 02/24/11 02:35 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: casinitaly]  
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Originally Posted by casinitaly

What I don't like:

1. It still sounds digital and of course has no "vibes"



Agreed. The built-in digital on my ten year old silent upright sounds pretty awful. You could try what I did, which is hook up the silent piano module to a laptop running Pianoteq. That sounds nicer, and is far more responsive.

#1627450 - 02/24/11 03:09 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: BruceD]  
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Originally Posted by BruceD


For comparison purposes only:

A Yamaha U1 "lists" for $US10,999.00 (polished ebony) and $US11,599.00 )satin ebony.)

A Yamaha U1SG "lists" for $US14,999.00 in polished ebony.

The factory-installed silent feature adds US$4,000.00 to the base price.

"Street" prices may differ slightly, depending upon our area.
Regards,


Thanks.

#1627489 - 02/24/11 04:55 PM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Thanks everybody for the replies! smile
Yes, I could buy some really good speakers, or also connect the piano to my laptop I suppose (the laptop speakers are horrible, but I hsve Steinway sounds on it...). Headphones are sort of annoying in summer... I usually play with headphones, but the other day I was playing without and it was actually very nice.

Apparently you can add the silent feature to any piano, as discussed in this thread, and in the USA and Europe it is not so bad, about $1,500 I have been told, but here they want twice as much. The silent feature of the Australian piano currawong and I are going to have a look at is more limited than the Yamaha (less instruments), but if I keep the digital piano too it really shouldn't matter.

I didn't know about silent pianos either when I bought the DP just 4 years ago... frown



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#1627777 - 02/25/11 04:23 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Can you give me some links for those retrofit silent systems? I am considering putting one into my Estonia grand and selling the digital.

I am just not sure yet if that's a good idea!


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#1627791 - 02/25/11 06:01 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: Bunneh]  
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The very first thread I found on the topic was this ...
Some seem to think it is better if the pianos are made with the silent system (factory-installed). My local dealer seemed to think it is no problem at all to have it installed later, but maybe he only wanted to sell it. I personally don't think it is a problem to install it later, but I am not a technician. frown
The thread I refer to goes back to a time before I even played the piano, there must be something better by now.
The Australian piano currawong and I are going to test uses a silent system called "Dream".
Ask a good dealer in your area and they should be able to advise you.



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#1638547 - 03/11/11 01:40 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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A shop in Sydney is willing to sell me the silent Yamaha U1 PE for 11,000 dollars including delivery and initial tuning (new of course). The biggest shop in Sydney wanted 16,000 for it without delivery. I am a little bit agitated now... I think the Australian piano (same size) would be about 8,000, but the silent option has less instruments... Also, Yamaha is probably better after all. I don't know what to do now!
At any rate, if I say yes it would take a few months because they have to order it from Japan.
help



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#1638627 - 03/11/11 08:01 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
A shop in Sydney is willing to sell me the silent Yamaha U1 PE for 11,000 dollars including delivery and initial tuning (new of course). The biggest shop in Sydney wanted 16,000 for it without delivery. I am a little bit agitated now... I think the Australian piano (same size) would be about 8,000, but the silent option has less instruments... Also, Yamaha is probably better after all. I don't know what to do now!
At any rate, if I say yes it would take a few months because they have to order it from Japan.
help


HOLY CRAP!!! That's $11 grand for a piano that's NOT a grand, correct? If you have that kind of money to spend on an upright, then you should know that I'm single, available and willing to learn to cook (we can discuss laundry).



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#1638646 - 03/11/11 08:38 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: stores]  
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Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
A shop in Sydney is willing to sell me the silent Yamaha U1 PE for 11,000 dollars including delivery and initial tuning (new of course). The biggest shop in Sydney wanted 16,000 for it without delivery. I am a little bit agitated now... I think the Australian piano (same size) would be about 8,000, but the silent option has less instruments... Also, Yamaha is probably better after all. I don't know what to do now!
At any rate, if I say yes it would take a few months because they have to order it from Japan.
help


HOLY CRAP!!! That's $11 grand for a piano that's NOT a grand, correct? If you have that kind of money to spend on an upright, then you should know that I'm single, available and willing to learn to cook (we can discuss laundry).


ha Well, unfortunately everything is MUCH more expensive here. Maybe I should come to the US... You don't have to pay upfront to buy a piano here though.
I think an upright Steinway (no silent option) is 20,000 dollars...



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#1638657 - 03/11/11 09:04 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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#1638701 - 03/11/11 10:41 AM Re: Silent Pianos [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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I also want to ask another shop (again) about their pianos because they have a 15-year warranty which is the warranty Yamaha apparently gives on new pianos, but their pianos are supposed to be second-hand, so I don't quite understand... (Still, they must refurbish them well if they give the same warranty new pianos have...) Their pianos are cheap, but they just gave away one without notifying me although they had said they would notify me when they have a silent Yamaha U1, so I am a little bit cursing with them....
Music is all I have from life, so money is secondary...



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