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Avantgrand N3..worth it?
#1562595 11/22/10 09:28 PM
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I am very close to making a decision about purchasing an Avantgrand N3. I am a serious classical (and sometimes jazz) pianist. I like the silent and midi options. But at the end of the day, I also want to make sure my practice results in building strength and skills that will translate into playing on acoustic grands. I also want a satisfactory musical experience, especially given the price. Can those of you who are playing on the N3 please advise?


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Re: Avantgrand N3..worth it?
aberfeldy #1562602 11/22/10 09:36 PM
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I didn't have the opportunity to play the N2/N3, but I played some silent pianos from Kawai and Yamaha and they felt pretty good. I would buy a silent piano over a digital.

Unfortunately they didn't meet some of my space / weight requirements so I went for a digital.

Re: Avantgrand N3..worth it?
egallego #1562618 11/22/10 10:00 PM
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I did play the Yamaha silent 5-ft. grand but thought it had some problems while playing with headphones. It also doesn't have the midi option. IT would cost a bit less and it is acoustic. Still pondering....

Re: Avantgrand N3..worth it?
aberfeldy #1562724 11/23/10 04:06 AM
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Since you're interested in playing both classical and jazz music, an advantage right off the bat with the N3 is that it has a piano sound made for classical and another sound made for jazz. It's like having 2 pianos in 1. The keyboard action is real authentic acoustic action anyway, so you should have no problem translating your skills into playing on acoustic grands and going back and forth. The N3 sound experience should give you more than just a satisfactory musical experience. It should give you a great sound experience rivaling any acoustic grands in its price range, all the while allowing you to dial down on the volume should you find the volume level usually associated with a real acoustic grand too loud for your liking.

I've had an N3 for over a year now and there's no regret whatsoever. The silent option enables me to practice on it a lot more often than if I would have owned an acoustic and have had to wait for the right time to practice. I can just pull up to it and play any time day or night whenever I feel like it. So now you really CAN have the best of both worlds.

A silent acoustic is not any cheaper than a regular acoustic. In fact, it's usually more expensive. And it still has all the baggage of being an acoustic. While the price of the N3 is not cheap like other digitals out there, it's within the same range of other acoustic grands out there of comparable quality. So if you've been waiting for a digital worthy of standing amongst the acoustics, it's finally arrived.

Boy, Yamaha should pay me a commission if you should decide to pull the trigger on an N3.

Re: Avantgrand N3..worth it?
aberfeldy #1562732 11/23/10 04:14 AM
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Boy, Yamaha should pay me a commission if you should decide to pull the trigger on an N3.

Would you consider splitting it with me ... ? smile


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Re: Avantgrand N3..worth it?
aberfeldy #1562733 11/23/10 04:15 AM
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May I ask are you studying your university degree on piano performance? From your words I feel so, I'd say you are aiming to be a professional on Classical piano performance, if so I suggest you stay on the acoustic grand. Avant-grand series is prefect for JAZZ, and enough for people like me who has RCM Level 10 skill and take Classical piano as hobby. But for professional classical music, I means if you are going to have a bachelor or master degree on performances arts. Stay on the acoustic grand, at least this is what my seller told me.

I take classical piano playing as a hobby, my N2 certainly enough for this. I love the real grand piano action of my N2, I believe the key action is better than YAMAHA entry-level acoustic grand, such as GC1 and GC2. However, everyone knows that playing the piano is not an action only process, when comes to dynamics, the disadvantages of digital recording will pops up in some works. You have to feel it yourself, my vocabulary is not big enough to provide a very detail description.

I know one of N3 in Vancouver was sold to a professor who teaches piano in University of British Columbia, the seller told me he uses that N3 for basic practices at night hours.

It's hard to answer it by YES or NO. Depends on people's requirements, needs, the answers are various. But, PLAY IT and FEEL yourself before pay in cash.


Last edited by James Q; 11/23/10 04:18 AM.

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Re: Avantgrand N3..worth it?
aberfeldy #1562737 11/23/10 04:31 AM
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I would agree that the most serious pianist and/or professional pianist would already want and have an acoustic grand for sure, without question. Then they may still even want to buy something like an N2 or N3 to supplement for practice at night, like that Vancouver piano professor.

But for someone aspiring to become a professional pianist or to become serious enough but haven't purchased an acoustic piano yet, I think the N3 or N2 is still not a bad high-end first-piano purchase choice. Simply for the fact that it will allow them to practice as much as they want so they can progress even faster. Then at some point,they can graduate into wanting to buy their ultimate acoustic grand to commensurate their accomplished skills. And even then, the N3 or N2 can still continue to faithfully serve them as a practice piano at night for the rest of their career.

And if they don't get far enough to acquire sufficient skills to need/want an acoustic after all, the N3/N2 would still have served their purpose well in enabling them to go as far as they can.

Re: Avantgrand N3..worth it?
aberfeldy #1562738 11/23/10 04:31 AM
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Unless you specifically want a piano to record or transport I would think the N3 (or N2) would be suitable for any possible purpose, at any skill level.

Steve


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Re: Avantgrand N3..worth it?
Dave Horne #1562740 11/23/10 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Boy, Yamaha should pay me a commission if you should decide to pull the trigger on an N3.

Would you consider splitting it with me ... ? smile
For sure I would split the commission with you, Dave. smile You're as big an advocate and ambassador for the N3 as anybody else on this forum, Dave, if not more.

Re: Avantgrand N3..worth it?
EssBrace #1562745 11/23/10 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
Unless you specifically want a piano to record or transport I would think the N3 (or N2) would be suitable for any possible purpose, at any skill level.

Steve


I am referring to candidate of master or doctor degree in piano performance, think about piano concert such as Rach 1,2,3,4


Last edited by James Q; 11/23/10 05:02 AM.

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Re: Avantgrand N3..worth it?
aberfeldy #1562761 11/23/10 05:56 AM
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If a satisfying musical experience is your priority, do have a look at (and play) the Roland V-Power first before you make up your mind. Disregard the futuristic looks and the fact it doesn't look like any acoustic, past, present or future. To me, it is the only DP that actually plays like an AP, the way it responds to my touch, the tonal and dynamic control, the way the tone sharpens with minute changes in key attack, just like any acoustic grand. I forget I'm playing a computer as soon as I put my headphones on and start playing - something I couldn't say for any other DP, including the N2 & N3. (I play almost exclusively classical music, including the big romantic concertos).

Last but not least, it costs about 1/3 that of the N3.


"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."
Re: Avantgrand N3..worth it?
aberfeldy #1562763 11/23/10 05:57 AM
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Ok I take your point.

Steve


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Re: Avantgrand N3..worth it?
aberfeldy #1562764 11/23/10 06:01 AM
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bennevis makes a good point...if you can put aside preconceived ideas about appearance and like the tonal character of the V-Piano it is probably fit for the purpose. The V-Piano does provide that connection between player and instrument...but I guess the AG can counter with the tactile sensations intrinsic to a real piano...and of course a fantastic onboard sound system....if only you could combine the two!

Steve


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Re: Avantgrand N3..worth it?
aberfeldy #1562769 11/23/10 06:14 AM
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To be fair, the Tactile Response System is a nice touch and feels real to be sure. I usually turn it off though. While it's great that the N3 has an excellent sound system displayed in a very nice package, the selling point for me - a real grand piano action, period.

If the N3 had not been introduced I probably would have bought the GranTouch2 since my GranTouch1 was about 12 years old and needed work on the action ... again. I had the action worked on after five years and it was either have it worked on or buy something new. Since we only live once (though I fully support life after death smile ) I decided to spend my money and leave less behind.


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Re: Avantgrand N3..worth it?
aberfeldy #1562987 11/23/10 02:47 PM
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I normally don't make it a point to turn off the TRS when I play through the speakers because it automatically is on in that mode and I do want to have it. But in the headphones/silent mode, it's automatically turned off (although can be turned back on), but I don't make it a point to turn it back on in silent mode either. Because when I'm in silent mode, I want it to be silent. Otherwise, I could just have played with reduced volume instead if I want to be in "soft" mode (and TRS would be on).

I agree that there are other digitals such as the Roland V that can come pretty close and is a lot less expensive. But remember that for the extra money for the N3, you do get significant extra stuff, like an outstanding 4 channel sound system, a high quality grand piano style enclosure that serves as a significant high-end furniture decor to your room, a realistic pedal lyre/pedal system on top of the already authentic acoustic key action, none of which the V has.

My point is that a purchase decision on the N3 is no longer about saving money, because otherwise you could have gone with the V or another digital for 1/3 of the price. It's about wanting almost everything else that an acoustic grand delivers (not just the sound and feel but also the look), and be willing to pay a comparable cost to that of an acoustic grand in the same league, but not having to deal the maintenance baggage of an acoustic, and also be able to have all the advantages of a digital (silent, MIDI, audio in/out).

Re: Avantgrand N3..worth it?
aberfeldy #1562993 11/23/10 03:11 PM
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If it's strength-building you want, then the best thing is an economy digital with a non-progressive (non-graded) action, like mine, a $600 Williams Overture. The heavy, non-graded action builds greater strength than a graded action, in my experience. Plus, the non-half pedal on economy digitals like mine develops crisp, clean pedaling. I regularly work on the most difficult classical repertoire (for example, the Chopin op. 14, a piece that few of the top concert pianists in the world can play) on the Williams and it serves just fine for that.

If you don't buy this, then consider Arrau. He used an ancient silent keyboard all his life, which surely was the secret to his unique playing. The principle behind the old silent keyboards is similar to a digital with a heavy non-graded action.

Re: Avantgrand N3..worth it?
aberfeldy #1563004 11/23/10 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by aberfeldy
..I like the silent and midi options. But at the end of the day, I also want to make sure my practice results in building strength and skills that will translate into playing on acoustic grands.


A better option is to buy two pianos (1) an acoustic grand piano and (2) a digital piano like say a Yamaha P155 or Roland FP4F.

You may actually find it is cheaper to buy two pianos because it's a buyer's market for used acoustic pianos. Also the used acoustic will hold it's value as some other person has already taken the big deprecation hit.

I'm a fan of digital and I think for most people it is the way to go but if your goals is concert performance on an acoustic grand then much of your price time needs to be on that. Then use the digital piano for after hours practice time with headphones or if ever you need a portable instrument, the N3 is not very portable but an FP4F can be moved if you have a road case for it.

Re: Avantgrand N3..worth it?
aberfeldy #1563010 11/23/10 03:45 PM
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I played on the N3 in a shop specialized on grands and they certainly had placed it on a good spot. I think the N3 is one of the best DPs you can get and it certainly has some nice piano feel to it.

However,it really can't beat even an average acoustic. Even the upright that was next to it had more authority. The acoustic is alive, digital sound is dead. The sound projection of digitals also is not okay.


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Re: Avantgrand N3..worth it?
Gyro #1563042 11/23/10 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Gyro
If it's strength-building you want, then the best thing is an economy digital with a non-progressive (non-graded) action, like mine, a $600 Williams Overture. The heavy, non-graded action builds greater strength than a graded action, in my experience. Plus, the non-half pedal on economy digitals like mine develops crisp, clean pedaling. I regularly work on the most difficult classical repertoire (for example, the Chopin op. 14, a piece that few of the top concert pianists in the world can play) on the Williams and it serves just fine for that.


I have absolutely no idea how you form your opinions but perhaps you could share your playing with us so your opinion could have some realistic weight.


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Re: Avantgrand N3..worth it?
Dave Horne #1563209 11/23/10 10:46 PM
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This has been really interesting and helpful input. I think I will try the Roland V and then make a decision. I'll keep you posted.

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