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HP302 (a SN piano)...annoying notes that grate upon ears? #1713129 07/14/11 10:02 AM
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Derek Andrews Offline OP
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Well, I'm afraid I may have made a 3000$ mistake. I'm not sure why I didn't notice it right away, but there are several groups of notes on my HP302 which really grate upon my ears. I've played with the "brilliance" setting, closing the lid at that halfway point, and trying the three grand piano settings. I've also tried the obvious "lower volume" approach, but to no avail. There are some notes on this piano which just sound horrible. Has anyone encountered this, and would it be worthwhile to call Roland about? At this point in my musicianship, I've come to expect flaws, imperfections, etc. But flaws and imperfections that actually make it irritating to play are something else.

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Re: HP302 (a SN piano)...annoying notes that grate upon ears? [Re: Derek Andrews] #1713136 07/14/11 10:16 AM
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Which notes on the keyboard do you find to be unacceptable?

Also, are you playing the instrument using the built-in speakers or headphones?

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: HP302 (a SN piano)...annoying notes that grate upon ears? [Re: Derek Andrews] #1713143 07/14/11 10:26 AM
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dewster Offline
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Do the same notes sound horrible through headphones?

Re: HP302 (a SN piano)...annoying notes that grate upon ears? [Re: Derek Andrews] #1713154 07/14/11 10:43 AM
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Great minds...


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: HP302 (a SN piano)...annoying notes that grate upon ears? [Re: Derek Andrews] #1713175 07/14/11 11:13 AM
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Derek Andrews Offline OP
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I hear the sounds in both headphones and the internal speakers. It is a very specific set of notes. I think on one grand piano setting it was a couple of C's, and on another setting it was a couple of C#'s. I tried changing the master tuning as far up and down as it would go, but the notes remained irritating.

Re: HP302 (a SN piano)...annoying notes that grate upon ears? [Re: Derek Andrews] #1713260 07/14/11 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Derek Andrews
It is a very specific set of notes. I think on one grand piano setting it was a couple of C's, and on another setting it was a couple of C#'s.

I assume the HP302 tone generator is highly similar to the FP-7F. In the FP-7F, relative to "Grand Piano1", the "Grand Piano2" voice is transposed down one note, and "Grand Piano3" up one note. So the sour notes tracking up / down a note based on the piano voice makes sense.

All three FP-7F voices are based on the the RD-700NX "Concert Grand" voice. The NX has a piano parameter called "Tone Character" [-5 to +5] that roughly makes the sound go from dark to bright but I notice with each incremental adjustment some note groups sound better or worse (clearer / less clear, not quite sure how to describe it) though no single setting makes all the notes sound the best. It's subtle, and sounds something like a relative phase adjustment.

Re: HP302 (a SN piano)...annoying notes that grate upon ears? [Re: Derek Andrews] #1713333 07/14/11 03:42 PM
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7even Offline
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Funny, I've noticed something similar on my 700NX but I chalked it up to some weird synergy with my KRK monitors. I feel like it's less noticeable now, though.

Last edited by 7even; 07/14/11 03:43 PM.

Now: RD-700NX
Someday: Steinway concert grand :|
Re: HP302 (a SN piano)...annoying notes that grate upon ears? [Re: Derek Andrews] #1713335 07/14/11 03:44 PM
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Hopefully I just developed some hypersensitivity to it through overexposure. I'm not sure. I know a few years ago I got hypersensitive to a particular e-flat on my parents' petrof grand, before I knew that subtle variations in tone color on an acoustic piano are expected and perhaps even desired. It got to the point where I could sing an e-flat whenever I wanted and could figure out any note by comparing it to my memory of e-flat! What's that...perfect relative pitch?? Well it's gone now, I have no idea what an e-flat is.

Re: HP302 (a SN piano)...annoying notes that grate upon ears? [Re: dewster] #1713337 07/14/11 03:45 PM
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Derek, if you can layer two or more sounds, some editing and balancing of volume should help. I had the same problem with a kawai MP6, and layering two pianos helped a lot. When I mix an MP piano with a piano sound from another keyboard with MIDI, the result is even better. But if you dont have one, that will be an expensive solution.

Re: HP302 (a SN piano)...annoying notes that grate upon ears? [Re: Derek Andrews] #1713342 07/14/11 03:54 PM
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Yeah...the only midi equipment I have is a simple cable between the piano and my laptop. I'd expect if I found any software that could do what you're suggesting there'd be some unwanted latency. Are you using a device that sits between your piano and your computer or...? I know very little about midi.

I don't want to have spent this amount of money and have sounds that grate upon my ears like this. I moved up to this sort of piano because of flaws in the old, layered style, but if this is the trade off I'm not sure it was worth it.

I want sounds that seduce and please my ears, not sounds that I have to put up with or get used to. The only two instruments I've played that meet that criterion are my parents' petrof grand (I do not have room in my small house for a grand piano, so this is not an option), and my clavichord at home. Thankfully, I am an amateur and enjoy the clavichord so fully that the idea of becoming almost 100% a clavichord player doesn't sound like a bad one. It'd just be a shame is all, since I've invested a lot of time in the piano specifically for many years now.

Last edited by Derek Andrews; 07/14/11 03:58 PM.
Re: HP302 (a SN piano)...annoying notes that grate upon ears? [Re: Derek Andrews] #1713365 07/14/11 04:28 PM
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Derek, I forgot to mention computer software. That should be the best solution. I am not an expert on that, but if you go to Pianoteq forum, you will find the experts there. Your DP should be good enough, but the big question is your computer, and if you need an external soundcard.
I knew there was someone around here who plays the clavichord, and now I found him. I will probably resist the temptation to buy one, but baroque keyboard music played on period instruments are my great passion.
On the other hand I found a very good description of J.S. Bachs clavichord technique a few days ago, and using that on a DP with a light and very good touch is surprisingly effective. Trust Bach to get things right.

Re: HP302 (a SN piano)...annoying notes that grate upon ears? [Re: cubop] #1713380 07/14/11 04:55 PM
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Don't resist the temptation to buy a clavichord. You won't regret it. It completely knocked my socks off. I had been fascinated with them for years, and when I finally got one I had no idea how much I'd enjoy it. I'll probably always play the piano also, there's a rather silly side of me that constantly wants to have a "revolution" and be only one of something. But the clavichord is wonderful. I can see why it was the dominant keyboard instrument for almost 700 years. It'll be a few hundred years before piano can top that.

BTW, my clavichord is a 1976 Sabathil & Son Dolce. It's unfretted and I usually just tune it to equal temperament. I was interested in trying some older temperaments for a while but never quite got used to it. The behavior of the clavichord tends to make the brain forget what temperament you're using anyway, since one might be using a lot of bebung and there's always subtle bending of the pitch on this instrument anyway.

What's really wonderful about the instrument is that even though it is quiet, the tone is so rich that it sounds large and full in your mind. It's kind of the same principle as reading a book and having it take you away like you're watching a movie in your brain. Less really is more sometimes.

Last edited by Derek Andrews; 07/14/11 05:00 PM.
Re: HP302 (a SN piano)...annoying notes that grate upon ears? [Re: Derek Andrews] #1713391 07/14/11 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Derek Andrews
Well, I'm afraid I may have made a 3000$ mistake. I'm not sure why I didn't notice it right away, but there are several groups of notes on my HP302 which really grate upon my ears. I've played with the "brilliance" setting, closing the lid at that halfway point, and trying the three grand piano settings. I've also tried the obvious "lower volume" approach, but to no avail. There are some notes on this piano which just sound horrible. Has anyone encountered this, and would it be worthwhile to call Roland about? At this point in my musicianship, I've come to expect flaws, imperfections, etc. But flaws and imperfections that actually make it irritating to play are something else.


In what way do the sounds grate? Too metallic? Too thin? Harsh? etc ....

If you want a mellower sound then perhaps try adjusting the key touch to a heavier setting.

Also did you try before you buy? If so, the sound must have been persuasive enough to make you part with $3000 so either the DP was set up differently to how you have it set up at home now (the factory settings I presume) or the headphones that you used to demo were a better match.

Re: HP302 (a SN piano)...annoying notes that grate upon ears? [Re: Derek Andrews] #1713415 07/14/11 05:44 PM
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One reason I got rid of my FP-7F was the quite sudden transition to a harsh metallic twang at velocities that are too low...it's a couple of small clusters of notes in the midrange. Grated on me very badly. By all accounts for a lack of these annoying little idiosyncrasies some of the smart money has gone to Kawai it would seem. I haven't read of any similar issues on CA-63/93 or MP-10. Yamaha have some odd notes on the CP-33 that have got under my skin too by the way, it's not just a Roland thing.

Steve


C. Bechstein Model B | Roland RD-1000 | Kawai VPC1
Re: HP302 (a SN piano)...annoying notes that grate upon ears? [Re: Derek Andrews] #1713423 07/14/11 05:59 PM
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Well, most all of the notes in the piano samples in the Nord Piano Library in the octave above middle C on my NP88 have a weird harshness, the classic 'harpsichordy' character some have described. This is a characteristic of Nord's piano samples because it's pretty much evident in all of them. When I first played the NP88, it took by surprise because I was use to the smooth Roland SN on my old RD-700GXF. Now, I'm accustomed to it, and it doesn't bother me. In fact, the pianos in the Nord Piano Library, whether upright or grand, IMHO are some of the best, most organic sounding out there, including what's in the AvantGrands.


Kawai MP7SE w/ GFP-3
Re: HP302 (a SN piano)...annoying notes that grate upon ears? [Re: Derek Andrews] #1713489 07/14/11 07:59 PM
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I neglected to mention my ears are recovering from a loud concert I went to last week. This is an exceedingly rare event for me. And, I had musician's ear plugs but they no longer fit, I had to take them out to hear the music.

I think I'm already starting to recover as the annoying notes are not annoying me as badly on the HP302 today. I'm still not sure this was worth my money though. I'll have to sit on it for a while.

I knew to expect some flaws in a new instrument. I always do, now. I'm intimately familiar with the flaws of all the instruments I own. It is folly to expect zero flaws whatsoever, I think, and one must learn to live with most of them.

The HP302 sound overall is superb. I've heard some of the metallic sounds and I personally find these flaws acceptable. some acoustic pianos make sounds like this. I think they perhaps replicated some flaws a real piano might have, to give it life.

The flaws I'm upset about are frequencies which irritate the ears. But again I hope this is just temporary due to having gone to a concert...we'll see...


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