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#1749717 - 09/09/11 05:01 PM Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos?  
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I know Kawai has the CA-93 with a soundboard speaker system, and Roland has the V-Piano. But I'm talking about the feature that makes the AvantGrand stand out: the real grand piano action.

Just speculating... I haven't been able to find anything on the internet about this. Yamaha launched the AvantGrand pianos about 2 years ago, and I haven't heard anything on other makers developing a hybrid piano using a real piano action. I find it hard to believe that Kawai, for example, wouldn't be interested in putting their Millenium III action together with an advanced speaker system to create something that can compete with the AvantGrand.

Any thoughts or info on this?

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#1749758 - 09/09/11 06:20 PM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: MzrtFan]  
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As far as I know, the only hybrids with authentic (i.e. "real", though some could get find that offensive) acoustic actions are the AvantGrands and "silent" acoustic uprights such as those made by Yamaha and Kawaii.


Home piano: Yamaha P2 upright
#1749768 - 09/09/11 06:36 PM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: MzrtFan]  
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Actually, there have been a number over the years. One interesting and short-lived model was the Bosendorfer CEUSmaster. It really only stayed as a prototype used by a few touring artists like Lenny Kravitz and Robbie Williams, but it featured the full action out of a Bosendorfer concert grand hooked up to one of the finest (at the time) Bosendorfer sample software. It was a slab, with MIDI or their own higher resolution output, ".boe" files. It looked kind of like the N1 but with a price tag above the N3.


Sam Bennett
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#1749800 - 09/09/11 07:46 PM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: PianoWorksATL]  
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Interesting... I didn't know that. I wonder why they weren't interested in marketing it to the general public.

I also wonder why other piano manufacturers haven't yet come out with something equivalent to the AG's. So far, my impression from articles I've read online is that the AG's have been a success and well accepted among classical pianists. One would think that other companies would be interested in following the same path as Yamaha in developing this kind of hybrid technology that uses a real piano action.

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#1749808 - 09/09/11 07:56 PM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: MzrtFan]  
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Interesting... I didn't know that. I wonder why they weren't interested in marketing it to the general public.

I played one of the three prototypes and had planned to buy one. The price mentioned, off the record from Bösendorfer, was €20,000.

Yamaha has since taken over Bösendorfer and the rest is history.



website | mp3\wav files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
#1749854 - 09/09/11 09:44 PM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: PianoWorksATL]  
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
Actually, there have been a number over the years. One interesting and short-lived model was the Bosendorfer CEUSmaster.


But the CEUSmaster did not have silent play functionality, correct?


Home piano: Yamaha P2 upright
#1749861 - 09/09/11 10:08 PM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: azandj]  
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Originally Posted by azandj
Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
Actually, there have been a number over the years. One interesting and short-lived model was the Bosendorfer CEUSmaster.


But the CEUSmaster did not have silent play functionality, correct?


The CLP990 was the only Yamaha CLP series to have an all natural real spruce key action back when it came out in 2001. I guess that was the first attempt at mixing a real keybed with sampled sounds.


Roland V-Piano, Yamaha CLP990, Yamaha S90
#1749864 - 09/09/11 10:17 PM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: MzrtFan]  
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Kona_V-Piano, may I ask what you mean by 'all natural real spruce key action'?

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#1749922 - 09/10/11 12:09 AM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: Kawai James]  
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Kona_V-Piano, may I ask what you mean by 'all natural real spruce key action'?

Cheers,
James
x


http://usa.yamaha.com/en/products/m...italpianos/clp_series/clp990/?mode=model

Natural Keyboard

In addition to unrivalled sound, the CLP-990 delivers unbelievably realistic touch with the "Natural Keyboard" featuring spruce keys. As with the highly acclaimed GH (Graded Hammer effect) keyboard of all other Yamaha Clavinovas, key weight is graded from heavier in the lower registers to lighter in the higher, exactly like a grand piano. However, in the "Natural Keyboard", this grading is in 8 steps as opposed to 4 in the GH keyboard. For even more realism, this new keyboard also uses a new hammer action that lets you actually feel the hammers and cushions as you play. What's more, there are two sensors — one under each hammer and one under each key. The hammer sensor detects velocity, while the key sensor detects when the damper is on or off. The result is the same feel and response as a grand piano's keyboard when playing fast, delicate passages. Add to this the warmth and texture of natural wood keys, and you have touch and control that is closer than ever to the real thing.


Roland V-Piano, Yamaha CLP990, Yamaha S90
#1749938 - 09/10/11 12:50 AM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: MzrtFan]  
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Thank you for the information.

So Yamaha were also using wooden keys in the DPs, and had 88-key sound sampling?

It seems like the CLP-990 was a really great instrument - I wonder why they took several backward steps with future generation models?

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#1749959 - 09/10/11 01:39 AM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: azandj]  
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Originally Posted by azandj
Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
Actually, there have been a number over the years. One interesting and short-lived model was the Bosendorfer CEUSmaster.


But the CEUSmaster did not have silent play functionality, correct?
The CEUSmaster is not the CEUS reproducing system for the acoustic grands. The CEUSmaster had no built-in speakers. It had the usual array of stage-ready outputs and headphone jacks...so think of it as a stage slab with the most expensive action possible.

There is shared "CEUS" technology in both related to their uniquely accurate sensor system. Probably some other things, too.


Sam Bennett
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#1749972 - 09/10/11 02:25 AM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: MzrtFan]  
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Mzrtfan, good question. Kawai is the only other DP maker that also makes acoustic piano actions so this would pose problems for Roland, Korg, etc. Kawai certainly has the ability to do an AvantGrand-like hybrid. The CA93/CS9 is close. I suspect we may see them offer something similar with real grand piano action. Roland is doing just fine with the impressive V-Piano Grand. For some reason the PHA III inside the V-Piano feels much more authentic than inside Roland's other DPs. I suspect it's due to the tone generation.


Yamaha AvantGrand N1
Nord Piano 2


"Be who you are and say how you feel. Because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss
#1750010 - 09/10/11 05:11 AM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: MzrtFan]  
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Yamaha launched the AvantGrand pianos about 2 years ago, and I haven't heard anything on other makers developing a hybrid piano using a real piano action.

Don't forget that Yamaha introduced the GranTouch, the original hybrid, back in 1996 or so.

Kawai many years introduced a hybrid using a real upright piano action. Perhaps Kawai James can shed more light on that.

There's a lot of talk about actions but there were really only three digital\hybrid pianos that used real acoustic actions - GranTouch\AvantGrand, the Kawai upright hybrid, and the Bösendorfer prototypes which never went to market but was used on stage by Robbie William's piano player.




website | mp3\wav files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
#1750032 - 09/10/11 07:22 AM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: Kawai James]  
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Thank you for the information.

So Yamaha were also using wooden keys in the DPs, and had 88-key sound sampling?

It seems like the CLP-990 was a really great instrument - I wonder why they took several backward steps with future generation models?

Cheers,
James
x


10 years later and playing it everyday, it still looks and plays as if it was brand new.


Roland V-Piano, Yamaha CLP990, Yamaha S90
#1750044 - 09/10/11 07:59 AM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: Dave Horne]  
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Originally Posted by Dave Horne
There's a lot of talk about actions but there were really only three digital\hybrid pianos that used real acoustic actions - GranTouch\AvantGrand, the Kawai upright hybrid, and the Bösendorfer prototypes which never went to market....


In my opinion, this is a definitive statement.

The CLP990 did not have a grand piano action, it clearly had an action akin to the current Natural Wood action - for its time though, the specs are quite strikingly advanced in some respects.

#1750051 - 09/10/11 08:36 AM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: PianoZac]  
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Originally Posted by ZacharyForbes
Roland is doing just fine with the impressive V-Piano Grand. For some reason the PHA III inside the V-Piano feels much more authentic than inside Roland's other DPs. I suspect it's due to the tone generation.


I would like to try the V-Piano Grand (not that I can afford it tough... Just curious). I tried the regular V-Piano at Guitar Center and thought it felt very plasticky. Maybe it's the lack of a wooden cabinet that makes it feel like that.

Dave, you're right, I forgot all about the GranTouch... It just seems there's more of a hype around the AvantGrand, like it's something completely new and revolutionary. I was also reading about the Kawai hybrid upright, HA-11 if I'm not mistaken. I think it was around in the 90's, and it had a real upright action.

It would be interesting to see Kawai offer something like that again in the future using a grand action. I noticed their ATX series of silent pianos is named "hybrid" on their European catalog, but they are acoustic pianos with the added digital features, like Yamaha's silent series. The ATX series is not offered in the US though...

#1750065 - 09/10/11 09:25 AM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: EssBrace]  
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
There's a lot of talk about actions but there were really only three digital\hybrid pianos that used real acoustic actions - GranTouch\AvantGrand, the Kawai upright hybrid, and the Bösendorfer prototypes which never went to market....


In my opinion, this is a definitive statement.

The CLP990 did not have a grand piano action, it clearly had an action akin to the current Natural Wood action - for its time though, the specs are quite strikingly advanced in some respects.


I play real Yamaha grand piano's on a weekly basis. I take it you have not played the CLP990 before. If you did, you would not be making such statements. It happens to be the only piano Yamaha made for over 10 years to use that type of design for the keys. The AvantGrand series uses a completely different approach for the design, I have yet to play one of those to compare however since the samples are from the same concert grand they do sound very similar with headphones on as I have heard the dewster samples. The CLp990 key action surpasses the GH3 action which came out many years later by a whole lot. I would not be making these statements if I did not believe them to be 100% accurate. Very few of these CLP990's were sold because they were very expensive at the time in comparison to the CVP and other CLP series digital piano's. Never again did Yamaha use such a large sample for any digital piano, up until the AvantGrand series I presume even though Yamaha has kept sample size a secret for them.

Last edited by Kona_V-Piano; 09/10/11 09:31 AM.

Roland V-Piano, Yamaha CLP990, Yamaha S90
#1750069 - 09/10/11 09:43 AM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: MzrtFan]  
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Dave Horne's statement was factual. You express an opinion about the (for the time) unique features of the CLP-990. It is clear that it was a tour-de-force for Yamaha back then - but it does not have a grand piano action, or anything close to one. It is also, to my eyes, extremely ugly. But I do find it mystifying that Yamaha kind of went backwards with the Clavinova. In one or two respects the brand new Clavinovas still have not recovered the ground they lost.

#1750070 - 09/10/11 09:44 AM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: MzrtFan]  
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Are there any explanation illustrations of image of the CLP-990's action?

Kona, perhaps you would be able to take a picture of the instrument with the lid off - it would be interesting to see how close/different this wooden-key action is to the current generation GH3.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#1750112 - 09/10/11 10:59 AM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: EssBrace]  
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
Dave Horne's statement was factual. You express an opinion about the (for the time) unique features of the CLP-990. It is clear that it was a tour-de-force for Yamaha back then - but it does not have a grand piano action, or anything close to one. It is also, to my eyes, extremely ugly. But I do find it mystifying that Yamaha kind of went backwards with the Clavinova. In one or two respects the brand new Clavinovas still have not recovered the ground they lost.


In what way does it not have a Yamaha grand piano feel? It certainly fools me when I play all my songs. Trust me when I say I am the most picky person when it comes to the way a piano feels since I play acoustics all the time. There is very little difference between the way my CLP990 keyboard behaves and an acoustic. The artificial looping of the samples along with certain layer changes are the only things that I can hear different. However the way the keyboard behaves is 100% better than the GH3 in terms of grand piano feel. If you have not played it, you cannot make a comment that it does not have grand piano action and that it is not even close to one. If you sat down at one to play, you will see it is way ahead of the GH3 and has a heavier feel at the lower registers than anything Roland has put out, which again is more accurate to how a grand piano feels. ALl things considered, Yamaha for some reason only produced this type of keyboard one time for one model. I can only assume because it was expensive to reproduce and they wanted to save money. Hence the GH3 which is a cheap alternative for all those years following. Not even the V-Piano keyboard feels as realistic to me as the CLP990's because it is too light all around, however the sound sure does surpass it. Like I mentioned before, the lightness of the keys on the V-Piano make it less fatiguing than an acoustic grand which may be a positive. However if you want true grand piano feel, you have to have that heavier than usual keybed on the lower registers. I assume the AvantGrand feels heavier than the GH3 making it more realistic as well.

Last edited by Kona_V-Piano; 09/10/11 11:00 AM.

Roland V-Piano, Yamaha CLP990, Yamaha S90
#1750132 - 09/10/11 11:27 AM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: MzrtFan]  
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Kona, I think you're getting mixed up in semantics. While the CLP990 may in fact feel like a grand piano, it's action, the mechanics and physical construction are not the same as a real grand piano action.


Yamaha AvantGrand N1
Nord Piano 2


"Be who you are and say how you feel. Because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss
#1750133 - 09/10/11 11:28 AM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: MzrtFan]  
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Kona, I think you're getting mixed up in semantics. While the CLP990 may in fact feel like a grand piano, it's action, the mechanics and physical construction are not the same as a real grand piano action.


Yamaha AvantGrand N1
Nord Piano 2


"Be who you are and say how you feel. Because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss
#1750142 - 09/10/11 11:39 AM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: PianoZac]  
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Originally Posted by ZacharyForbes
Kona, I think you're getting mixed up in semantics. While the CLP990 may in fact feel like a grand piano, it's action, the mechanics and physical construction are not the same as a real grand piano action.


Here is a good sounding vid where you can see it being played.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68m7DztSh58
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo4ExG-fu6g

Last edited by Kona_V-Piano; 09/10/11 11:45 AM.

Roland V-Piano, Yamaha CLP990, Yamaha S90
#1750151 - 09/10/11 11:59 AM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: MzrtFan]  
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I think some folks need to get out and play acoustic pianos and also take a look inside.

This reminds me of the discussions where someone asks if their piano is incomplete since it lacks dampers for the top octave and a half.

People, go out and play acoustic pianos and stop reading the advertising.



website | mp3\wav files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
#1750159 - 09/10/11 12:11 PM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: MzrtFan]  
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In the difference of real piano action vs. compact action simulation...

[Linked Image]
Versus...
[Linked Image]
Versus...
[Linked Image]
Versus...whatever design is in your CLP990? I hope this is now clear. I'm not sure what action is in the CLP990, but I'm sure it is not the first type. I am curious like Kawai James.


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
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www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta
#1750164 - 09/10/11 12:28 PM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: PianoWorksATL]  
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
In the difference of real piano action vs. compact action simulation...

[Linked Image]
Versus...
[Linked Image]
Versus...
[Linked Image]
Versus...whatever design is in your CLP990? I hope this is now clear. I'm not sure what action is in the CLP990, but I'm sure it is not the first type. I am curious like Kawai James.


I understand what you mean. If I ever need to take it apart, I will post the pictures.


Roland V-Piano, Yamaha CLP990, Yamaha S90
#1750335 - 09/10/11 07:48 PM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: Kona_V-Piano]  
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Originally Posted by Kona_V-Piano
I understand what you mean. If I ever need to take it apart, I will post the pictures.

@Kona:

Were you referring to your Yamaha, or, the Roland V-Piano?

Please do not take your V-Piano apart for any reason since that would void your warranty, and, only let a Roland technician take care of any issues, etc.

There has been talk of why the V-Piano has such a large outer case, and, both Steve & Zachary have been keen to note that it's probably due to a larger than usual action, giving the piano its nearly acoustic-like feel.

Perhaps "krzyzowski"* might eventually be willing to open his up, since I know he had acquired a used/damaged unit to begin with, as we all would be curious to know what's going on inside!

That could be a real eye opener to get a review... with photos?

*And, here is the quoted text of his post:

"V-Piano is a rugged machine; Bought mine damaged. Got a great deal. Big dent in it. UPS guy laughed as he carried the pieces out of the truck. He wondered why I didn't file a claim told him I bought it that way. Came in a plain box with no packing, just laid in there. Put it all back together and use it every day. Still has a dent in the keyslip."

#1750348 - 09/10/11 08:29 PM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: pv88]  
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Originally Posted by pv88
Originally Posted by Kona_V-Piano
I understand what you mean. If I ever need to take it apart, I will post the pictures.

@Kona:

Were you referring to your Yamaha, or, the Roland V-Piano?

Please do not take your V-Piano apart for any reason since that would void your warranty, and, only let a Roland technician take care of any issues, etc.

There has been talk of why the V-Piano has such a large outer case, and, both Steve & Zachary have been keen to note that it's probably due to a larger than usual action, giving the piano its nearly acoustic-like feel.

Perhaps "krzyzowski"* might eventually be willing to open his up, since I know he had acquired a used/damaged unit to begin with, as we all would be curious to know what's going on inside!

That could be a real eye opener to get a review... with photos?

*And, here is the quoted text of his post:

"V-Piano is a rugged machine; Bought mine damaged. Got a great deal. Big dent in it. UPS guy laughed as he carried the pieces out of the truck. He wondered why I didn't file a claim told him I bought it that way. Came in a plain box with no packing, just laid in there. Put it all back together and use it every day. Still has a dent in the keyslip."


No way I am opening up the V-piano. And yeah it is good to hear that is is a rugged machine too. I was talking about my CLP990 which probably has a similar action as the original Graded Hammer but with Spruce (heavier) keys and a couple of extra sensors than the GH3 has. Other than that it is probably not some groundbreaking design, it just happens to be really good for its time and the fact I have zero keys broken and I play hard means it withstood the test of time as well.


Roland V-Piano, Yamaha CLP990, Yamaha S90
#1750381 - 09/10/11 09:45 PM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: PianoWorksATL]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 45
azandj Offline
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azandj  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 45
Texas, USA
Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
The CEUSmaster is not the CEUS reproducing system for the acoustic grands. The CEUSmaster had no built-in speakers. It had the usual array of stage-ready outputs and headphone jacks...so think of it as a stage slab with the most expensive action possible.

There is shared "CEUS" technology in both related to their uniquely accurate sensor system. Probably some other things, too.


Ah, thanks for clearing that up!


Home piano: Yamaha P2 upright
#1750392 - 09/10/11 10:03 PM Re: Other manufacturers making their own AvantGrand-like pianos? [Re: pv88]  
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PianoZac Offline
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PianoZac  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,428
Originally Posted by pv88


There has been talk of why the V-Piano has such a large outer case, and, both Steve & Zachary have been keen to note that it's probably due to a larger than usual action, giving the piano its nearly acoustic-like feel.


Well, to set the record straight, Steve and I both wondered why the V-Piano's PHA III action feels different than the PHA III inside Roland's other boards, but honestly, if Roland had a special action for the V-Piano, they'd be proud to market and advertise that. The difference in feel is due to unique tone generation inside the V-Piano combined with the the physical construction of the V-Piano. I played a V-Piano the other day for the first time in a while, and I have to say, hats off to Roland, they nailed how a piano behaves. It's a very playable instrument.


Yamaha AvantGrand N1
Nord Piano 2


"Be who you are and say how you feel. Because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss
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