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Yamaha Avantgrand v/s Roland V-Piano
#1591106 01/05/11 01:23 PM
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I think that we should compare the V-Piano to the Yamaha Avantgrand N2. Indeed, in fact the N2 does not cost much more than a V-Piano PLUS 4 amplified speakers PLUS the stand ... and it has a real AC Grand piano action keyboard.


And...The new YAmaha Avantgrand N1, to be anounced a NAMM, may give V-Piano some very tough competition. it is supposed to be priced like the V-Piano, but (1) with a real AC action, and (2) with built-in speakers, so in fact way cheaper than a V-Pianio since no need for extra costs on speakers and stand.

What do you think ? Which one do you prefer ?

Re: Yamaha Avantgrand v/s Roland V-Piano
B. Michels #1591107 01/05/11 01:27 PM
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I dont think that sampled DP's may they be the best of them,like N2, can compete with the modelling technology V piano has to offer. But take this with a grain of salt as it is based on youtube listening, although very carrefull listening. The V piano, i dont know....just sounds like a piano. The samples at their best in N2,N3, still fall short to my ear. As for the true GP action of N2, of course for those that aim at classical training is the best. I think though that, subjectivly speaking, there could be a bunch of folks who actually prefer other type of touch, like that in the V piano.

I would buy the V piano from what i've heard so far,....honestly.

Last edited by Ovidiu M; 01/05/11 01:28 PM.
Re: Yamaha Avantgrand v/s Roland V-Piano
B. Michels #1591153 01/05/11 02:23 PM
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I don't think one can completely compare the V-Piano to anything else out there since it's the only thing like it. No other digital piano produces sounds that are purely modeled. This review of the V-Piano in pianobuyer was pretty interesting:
http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall10/150.html


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Re: Yamaha Avantgrand v/s Roland V-Piano
Ovidiu M #1591185 01/05/11 02:55 PM
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I seriously considered the V Piano prior to purchasing my N2. The V Piano is a great instrument that would please some very discerning ears. The reason the N2 is a better instrument is because of the aural experience of playing it. With the transducers beneath the keybed (the same keys that are in Yamahas real grands), and the 4 channel speaker system - it blows away in V piano for the purest. The V piano does however allow for some very unique tweaking of the piano playing experience (all that modeling business). Having to add studio monitors still doesn't bring the V piano to N2's level though. So to some up: real wood keys and action, 4 channel sampling, and the aural experience make the N2 better for the purest. You'd have a hard time selling a V Piano to a composer or school, not so with the N2.


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Re: Yamaha Avantgrand v/s Roland V-Piano
B. Michels #1591188 01/05/11 02:57 PM
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I played the V Piano today in a store and while I didn't play it for very long I did notice a quality about the sound that seemed slightly artificial.

I think it's a great idea for a software piano though.


website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
Re: Yamaha Avantgrand v/s Roland V-Piano
B. Michels #1591515 01/06/11 12:12 AM
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I don't see this comparison getting too far. Keep in mind what they are...the V-piano is a superfunctional keyboard devoted to uniquely developed "acoustic" piano recording/performing. I use parentheses because they are modeled not sampled. It's all about the sound engine and the creation of usable "acoustic" sounds.

The Avantgrand is Yamaha's most stylish, best sounding, acoustic piano simulation. Instead of redeveloping their DP action, they skipped to the end with the real thing. The sound is the best from their library and run through excellent speakers and attractively packaged. It's meant to look good at home or even on stage.

The V-piano is kinda cool looking, but no one would mistake it for having a stylish upright piano cabinet, and the exclusion of speakers is clearly intentional. If Roland made an even better action, it would have that.

To me, its like comparing a Jeep Wrangler to Nissan Maxima Coupe. 2 entirely different buyers.

If you're looking for a Roland comparison to the N2, you could look at the LX-10F. Now it is a good DP action (PHA III) but never quite a full acoustic action, but that is certainly reflected in the price difference. The other comparisons of built-in speakers (also a strength of Roland) and stylish cabinet (totally subjective) are still there just in a much lower price point. Roland's action has escapement feel while Yamaha's has cabinet vibration to help with visceral appeal. There's a lot to compare.

If someone really likes the idea of the N2 but doesn't have the budget, the LX-10F is a good place to look. The rumored N1 will be interesting to see where it falls in, but what if it is "a portable piano action" with outputs...kinda like the Bosendorfer CEUSmaster, but no one is talking (until next week? smile ). Very few products are without a comparative competitor. Other Clavinovas compare to Roland's HP models for that customer. Their pro-slabs compete; their workstations compete. I guess that's how I'd see it.

I just noticed this thread is started or included on multiple piano forums today. That's very thorough of you, B.Michels. Stir it up....


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Re: Yamaha Avantgrand v/s Roland V-Piano
B. Michels #1591834 01/06/11 12:25 PM
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They're aimed at different markets - the N2/3 is squarely aimed at classical pianists (as per their booklets and blurb, and hence their appearance), while the V-Piano is a stage & studio piano substitute which Roland thinks will appeal to rock & pop musicians for their gigs, and to studio owners who can customize its sound to suit all and sundry who record there.

Only thing is, the V-Piano has fallen into the clutches of classical pianists like myself, who doesn't give a dam* about its appearance (and non-resemblance to any known acoustic), and cares only about the playing experience and the sound quality at all tonal & dynamic levels (once tweaked judiciously), which beats anything else around - if the reason for that is its modelling technology, well, I take my hat off to Roland for all its R&D over the decades. The N2/3 just doesn't give me that authentic playing experience and still sounds like any sampled DP, albeit a superior one. Heard via headphones, all its advantages over the V-Piano (exceptional speaker system heard via grand piano-like cabinet) disappear, and the sampled problems (looping, unnatural decay etc) become all too evident. Playing it, I can't forget I'm using an electronic instrument, whereas with the V-Piano, the response is uncannily like an acoustic's.


"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: Yamaha Avantgrand v/s Roland V-Piano
bennevis #1591927 01/06/11 02:05 PM
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I would be interested to see actual sales numbers, but I have been told by more than one retailer that the V-piano is not selling well at all. The opinion given to me was that it doesn't quite fit any market. Studios are better off with software solutions and stage performers want more versatility. I'm not sure that is entirely true, but I don't think the coffin-on-a-walker aesthetics help.

As for the V-piano v. N3 debate, I would personally pick the N3, even though I am probably about to sell my CP1 in favor of a 700NX.

The action on the N3 is amazing and offers a true substitute practice instrument for aspiring or professional acoustic players. You can practice on just about any weighted digital these days, but the N3 offers the most seamless transition for those who prefer acoustic grand pianos.

The delivery of sound on the N3 is not just about 4 speakers and the shiny cabinet. The discrete recording, processing and playback through independent channels are far more important than the aesthetic appeal of the N3. Trying to compare the sound of an acoustic grand to what you hear through a 2 channel setup, especially headphones, would make even the most competent loudspeaker manufacturer chuckle. Yamaha has drawn on its knowledge in A/V to tackle the problem. I don’t think the end result is perfect, but as far as digital grand piano substitutes go, it is step in the right direction and far better than anything out there. You can get a nice sound using a good monitor/loudspeaker setup, but you aren’t going to get discrete channels no matter what you do unless it was recorded and processed that way.


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Re: Yamaha Avantgrand v/s Roland V-Piano
bennevis #1591936 01/06/11 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Playing it, I can't forget I'm using an electronic instrument, whereas with the V-Piano, the response is uncannily like an acoustic's.


How do you forget you are using an electronic instrument when you are using a pair of headphones to use the instrument? The way acoustic pianos actually deliver sound when you play or listen to someone playing them seems vastly different than a headphone experience.


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Re: Yamaha Avantgrand v/s Roland V-Piano
B. Michels #1591944 01/06/11 02:24 PM
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The OP has presented us with a false dichotomy.

Completely different pianos, with different functions, for different market segments .

Should we care to compare a Ford Transit van to a Mercedes Coupe and debate which one is better?

Re: Yamaha Avantgrand v/s Roland V-Piano
B. Michels #1592007 01/06/11 03:57 PM
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I wish Roland would make the V-piano in module form. It would be great if people could use the keyboard of their choice, but have the sound tweaking options of the V-piano. Imagine if you could use your Yamaha Avant Grand with a V-piano module, and even feed it back into the speakers of the Avant Grand. Now that would be something!

The problem is, there aways seems to be something lacking from every model. It surprises me sometimes that manufacturers don't consult more with customers. I am certain that I could draw up a list of specs that would please 90% of people here better than any single model in the DP market. How do they do realise this? You get a great action with a less than great sound experience. You get a great sound module with no piano casing, so no realism. Why can't somebody do it all and just make the ultimate DP?!

Re: Yamaha Avantgrand v/s Roland V-Piano
B. Michels #1592037 01/06/11 04:53 PM
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I wish Roland would offer the V-Piano technology in either a grand piano cabinet or a lighter smaller frame for stage piano players like myself. Several months back, I almost jumped the gun and bought the V-Piano, irregardless of the 80+ lbs it weighs. If the V-Piano was the weight of the RD700NX, I'd jump all over it, or charge more than the current V-Piano and put it in a grand piano cabinet.


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Re: Yamaha Avantgrand v/s Roland V-Piano
B. Michels #1592053 01/06/11 05:11 PM
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Well then maybe the comparison should be Pianoteq vs. V Piano. It's all software after all.


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Re: Yamaha Avantgrand v/s Roland V-Piano
bennevis #1592061 01/06/11 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
... with the V-Piano, the response is uncannily like an acoustic's.
I have tried the V-Piano side by side with a bog-standard Yamaha upright. The (very undistinguished) real piano sounded and felt SO much better that it was almost laughable.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
Re: Yamaha Avantgrand v/s Roland V-Piano
B. Michels #1592117 01/06/11 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ando
It surprises me sometimes that manufacturers don't consult more with customers.


Request 1:

Originally Posted by ando
I wish Roland would make the V-piano in module form.


Request 2:
Originally Posted by PianoZac
I wish Roland would offer the V-Piano technology in either a grand piano cabinet...


Request 3:
Originally Posted by PianoZac
...or a lighter smaller frame


Okay, so the V-Piano should be produced as:

- an expander module
- a grand piano cabinet
- a light-weight portable

So, two different individuals, posting one after the other, requesting three completely different products.

“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.

Cheers,
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Re: Yamaha Avantgrand v/s Roland V-Piano
Kawai James #1592170 01/06/11 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by ando
It surprises me sometimes that manufacturers don't consult more with customers.


Request 1:

Originally Posted by ando
I wish Roland would make the V-piano in module form.


Request 2:
Originally Posted by PianoZac
I wish Roland would offer the V-Piano technology in either a grand piano cabinet...


Request 3:
Originally Posted by PianoZac
...or a lighter smaller frame


Okay, so the V-Piano should be produced as:

- an expander module
- a grand piano cabinet
- a light-weight portable

So, two different individuals, posting one after the other, requesting three completely different products.

“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.

Cheers,
James
x


James, these three options aren't as far-fetched as you make them sound.

The module would just involve putting the engine of the V-piano in a box and providing the right connections. Certainly not hard to develop or make.

The larger cabinet version would compete directly with the Avant Grand N3. The lighter version would be like the upcoming Avant Grand N1.

If you accept the word of critics. The strength of the Avant Grand is the action, but many feel let down by the quality of its sound. People seem far more impressed by the sound of the V-piano, but it doesn't come in true piano form. Seems like an opportunity to challenge Yamaha in that market.

Modules are popular with lots of people who play live, work in studios, and are happy with their controller keyboard. It may even be more popular than the V-piano itself because that takes up a lot of space in a studio. There are plenty of keyboards out there and many musicians prefer to play on their own keyboard. I would certainly enjoy having a V-piano module in my studio, but I don't have room for a V-piano.

The lighter version would be the doubtful one. I don't know what the market would be for this. The light version would probably end up with the stripped down version of V-piano that is already found in the HP models, like 305, 307.

Certainly the module and Grand version would find a place, given the people I've spoken to about this issue in the past. Of course, I don't know about the profitability of this industry.

Re: Yamaha Avantgrand v/s Roland V-Piano
PianoZac #1592197 01/06/11 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoZac
I don't think one can completely compare the V-Piano to anything else out there since it's the only thing like it. No other digital piano produces sounds that are purely modeled.

As I don't care what's under the hood - just how well the thing performs - my comparison rests purely on the feeling and the sound of the DP in question, and how well I am able to express musical thoughts on the instrument.

I've only spent about an hour each on the N3/N2 and the V, and whilst I liked them all, I felt more connection to the V.

Re: Yamaha Avantgrand v/s Roland V-Piano
bobbo #1592203 01/06/11 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by bobbo
The OP has presented us with a false dichotomy.

Not necessarily. If a purchaser simply wished for the finest playing experience available on a DP, then both instruments would likely be on his or her shortlist.

Re: Yamaha Avantgrand v/s Roland V-Piano
B. Michels #1592209 01/06/11 08:34 PM
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I think a module version of the V-Piano would miss the point of the V. The main advantage it has, where it is second to none, is the connection between player input and the resulting tonal change. The dynamics of it essentially. In this respect it is without equal in my view. I suspect part of its secret might be that the direct connection between the V's own keys and the tone generator might feature a greater number of levels than the MIDI spec because there is no doubt that the control of nuance possible with the V is truly exceptional - this is perhaps also a result of the V-Piano's intelligent chip that apparently adapts to your individual playing style etc. To hook up a rack version of the tone generator to any ropey old keyboard sending velocity information across the MIDI standard 127 levels would certainly not achieve the same level of control or feeling of connection with the thing. With the module version you would be left with a tone generator that plays no better than a bog standard DP but in some respects sounds appreciably worse - or perhaps I should say unnatural/artificial.

Steve


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Re: Yamaha Avantgrand v/s Roland V-Piano
B. Michels #1592231 01/06/11 09:03 PM
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I doubt anybody would hook a "ropey" old keyboard to a V-piano. It's a top piece of gear and anyone with the nous to buy one would have a very good keyboard to go with it.

You may well be right that there is a very good marriage between the keyboard and the the tone generator. Doesn't mean I wouldn't buy the module though. The are a lot of great keyboards that are similar to the one the V-piano uses - in particular the better roland keyboards have the same action.

About the MIDI. If it is in fact the case that the V-piano uses a higher velocity resolution, that extra information would be lost whenever using an external MIDI recorder. I think 127 is still a lot of levels. I think it's more likely that they have got the velocity curve just right on the V-piano so that it responds with an appropriate volume for the effort you are putting into the keys. A lot of DPs don't do this especially well - even with the user definable velocity curves.

Anyway, I may be entirely wrong about the marketability of a module, but I know that I would seriously consider it for myself if it was half the price of a V-piano.

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