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#1870012 03/28/12 09:44 PM
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Today a piano tech worked on my N3, to adjust the action to make it lighter. He certainly found issues of friction and stiffness. Basically, the piano needed to be setup.

Here are some photos showing the process, somewhat. Impressive how much there is, under the hood, so to speak.

N3 Regulation

He spent about 7 hours working on it.

Last edited by Melodialworks Music; 03/29/12 10:09 AM.
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Very interesting pictures - thanks Melodialworks Music!

So, how does the N3 play now?

Cheers,
James
x


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I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
My teacher is 'domisol' because he plays chords shocked
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Those are super detailed pictures. Thanks, MelodialWorks!

We get a lot of new information on the inner workings of these AvantGrands from these shots. We should let dewster know so he can add it to the nekkid DP thread and also maybe he (or some other people) can give us an analysis of some of the guts. This is the first picture of the brain board that I've seen, for example. Perhaps we can infer how much memory is used to store the samples, for example?

After 7 hours I'm sure you are ready to put this behind you, but I can tell you we'd all love to have any extra information you have:

1. Do you remember specifically which adjustments were made? Anything you recall would be helpful. Was part of the process lubrication? Did he mention anything that surprised him about how it was set up?

2. Why did it take so long to do the regulation?

3. Were there any further adjustments offered that you did not take him up on? Was there anything you would have liked changed that he was unable/unwilling to do?

4. Did he imply that the retailer should have set it up differently, or was it poorly regulated and adjusted from the factory?

5. How much harder (if at all) was it to lighten up the action compared to an acoustic? Or did he just reduce problems with friction?

5. In what way does it feel different when played now?

All very exciting. I'm living vicariously through you a little here. There are lots of people with AvantGrands, though, and some have complained about the regulation, so if we all have a better idea of what can be done (and what can't) I think we can all benefit.

Thanks again for sharing!

Last edited by gvfarns; 03/29/12 12:46 AM.
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Good stuff, definitely interested in what the guy did. Did he add/remove weight from each key or just remove friction/stifness? Also, what did it all cost you?

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Thanks for sharing. Love the way the two front tweeters are hanging out there smile. Hope you're making the most of the N3 now.

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I'd like to know more about opening up the piano to get to the action.

Great pictures!


Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
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Fantastic pictures Lawrence - many thanks for sharing. When you see it like this I think you can somehow see at least some justification for the cost of the thing!

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I always thought the best way to break in a stiff action was to play it ... and it can take years before it gets sloppy and then needs to be regulated.


Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
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Well we don't yet know exactly what the tech did with Lawrence's N3. I think it will be down to friction, not weight. The AG's action is only average in terms of weighting anyway.

I occurs to me that if you were to go to a reputable piano seller and buy a new grand, that seller would set the piano up according to your wishes (within the bounds of what is reasonably possible) - this might include some kind of work on the action. So perhaps Yamaha should build into the AG purchase/ownership experience a visit by a tech a month or two after purchase for them to tweak the feel of the action to the individual's liking.

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Originally Posted by Kawai James

So, how does the N3 play now?


Much better! Before I always had to change the velocity curve to 1 (from the default of 2) but now it seems fine on the default velocity curve.

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Originally Posted by gvfarns

We get a lot of new information on the inner workings of these AvantGrands from these shots. We should let dewster know so he can add it to the nekkid DP thread and also maybe he (or some other people) can give us an analysis of some of the guts. This is the first picture of the brain board that I've seen, for example. Perhaps we can infer how much memory is used to store the samples, for example?


I actually tried (given my meager photography skills) to capture some shots of the circut boards, since I knew there would be some interest, and yes, I even thought of Dewster at the time!


Originally Posted by gvfarns

1. Do you remember specifically which adjustments were made? Anything you recall would be helpful. Was part of the process lubrication? Did he mention anything that surprised him about how it was set up?


Here is what he did:

-removed the lid, front rail, front panel and music rack, rear panel, fallboard, keyslip, key blocks
-disconnected wiring and removed the circuit board tray
-removed the action stack
-eased all keys at the balance hole and checked all key friction points (no action required)
-changed the fulcrum at the balance hole
-checked friction points on the hammer assembly centers (no action required)
-changed the jack/knuckle position slightly lighter than Yamaha standard to reduce after-touch resistance
-adjusted the jack/repetition arm height to slightly closer than Yamaha standard
-checked the let off point (no action required)
-replaced the action stack
-re-set the drop slightly lighter than Yamaha standard
-adjusted the key dip slightly lighter than Yamaha standard
-re-assembled the unit
-hid all the extra parts that were left over in the back yard

Originally Posted by gvfarns

2. Why did it take so long to do the regulation?


First one he had worked on, so disassembly took longer - specifically getting the electronic parts out of the way, for access to the mechanical components. I was the guinea pig, in that respect, and was not charged for the extra time.

Originally Posted by gvfarns

3. Were there any further adjustments offered that you did not take him up on? Was there anything you would have liked changed that he was unable/unwilling to do?


There are further things that can be done, but this was a good starting point. Taking things further starts to risk things like reduction of dynamic range, etc. He is certainly willing to do more. I'm going to live with the instrument for awhile, before determining if I want more work done.

Originally Posted by gvfarns

4. Did he imply that the retailer should have set it up differently, or was it poorly regulated and adjusted from the factory?


All pianos need setup, apparently, and can be improved - although not everyone is fussy to the point of feeling this needs to be done. Simply playing the piano (a lot for a long time) will not solve all of the problems.


Originally Posted by gvfarns

5. How much harder (if at all) was it to lighten up the action compared to an acoustic? Or did he just reduce problems with friction?


Not harder, once the electronic components were removed. There were symptoms of friction, and many adjustments made to deal with these

Originally Posted by gvfarns

5. In what way does it feel different when played now?


- is somewhat lighter, but it's still an acoustic grand action, so nothing like a digital action (however, transitioning from MP10 to N3 is smoother)
- even throughout
- much more responsive to volume (better control) (greater range)
- much more responsive to gesture
- much more enjoyable to play
- before I would focus on the action, more than the sound
- now it is the other way around
- strangely, the piano now sounds better with the volume cranked up all the way



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Originally Posted by Gigantoad
Good stuff, definitely interested in what the guy did. Did he add/remove weight from each key or just remove friction/stifness? Also, what did it all cost you?


He did not remove weight, but made some adjustments would have reduced the effective weight by perhaps 3 to 4 grams, he estimated. (He didn't feel that the weight was actually the issue). There are a lot of weights on the keys, including even on the black notes. He suspects that there are additional weights to compensate for the fact that the keys are much shorter than on a traditional action. However, he was not sure about this, and would need to do some research before messing with the weights themselves.

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Originally Posted by Dave Horne
I'd like to know more about opening up the piano to get to the action.


Really can't be done, without access to the service manual. He even had to call the factory rep a few times, to clarify some things. Very complicated, unlike an acoustic grand, where you remove a couple of screws, and can slide the action out on your lap.

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Originally Posted by EssBrace
Fantastic pictures Lawrence - many thanks for sharing. When you see it like this I think you can somehow see at least some justification for the cost of the thing!


Absolutely. That was exactly my observation. The cost seems much more reasonable when you see how much is there, the build quality, the engineering and design. Very impressive.

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Originally Posted by EssBrace
I think it will be down to friction, not weight.


Correct.

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Thanks for the pix Lawrence!

- Would it be OK if I made them available in a single zip file for mass consumption? MediaFire is a PITA when it comes to multiple downloads.

- Do you have any higher res pix of the brain board that you could share? I can make out many of the chip numbers but not all. Unfortunately for inquiring minds it looks like the processors are on the flip side.

- It's very interesting to see the speaker box: 1/2" or so chipboard from the looks of it, and fairly high quality looking woofers and tweeters. The woofers have flats, these are often used in multi-driver line arrays - not completely sure why Yamaha chose them for this application, though it never hurts to get the woofer and tweeter as close as possible. The speaker box has a fair amount of air between it and the outer enclosure, so physically the N3 could have been made somewhat smaller. The trim board that goes over the speakers has flares incorporated into the speaker grills, but I would still expect some diffraction issues with the tweeter response.

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Originally Posted by Melodialworks Music

Here is what he did:
-hid all the extra parts that were left over in the back yard


Ha ha ha. If you get him back a time or two more you could make up another N3 from all the surplus bits!

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Originally Posted by EssBrace
Originally Posted by Melodialworks Music

Here is what he did:
-hid all the extra parts that were left over in the back yard


Ha ha ha. If you get him back a time or two more you could make up another N3 from all the surplus bits!


I wondered if anyone would notice that! The point form list was actually provided by the piano tech. (You didn't really expect me to remember or even understand all of that, did you?) I had to leave, briefly, just when he was finishing final reassembly, and we had joked about getting it back together without any parts left over.

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I remember as a kid my dad helping the chap across the road take the gearbox and overdrive out of an old Daimler - there were two or three bits left over when they'd got it all back together - worked ok though!

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