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#2026910 - 02/04/13 02:13 PM TOP OF THE RANGE  
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 732
Karl Watson Online content
500 Post Club Member
Karl Watson  Online Content
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 732
Friends:

If this is a topic that has been covered before, I beg your collective pardon.

I'm curious to know just what is the very best digital substitute for a large grand piano. I'm familiar with the Yamaha N3 and the Roland V grand. Hope I remembered properly just what they're called. Is there anything else ?

I know that the English pianist Stephen Hough has a digital piano in his London town house for occasional use (in addition to pianos in his nearby studio).

I'd like to know what the members regard as the very best as regards touch and tone.

Please.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY

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#2026915 - 02/04/13 02:26 PM Re: TOP OF THE RANGE [Re: Karl Watson]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,523
CyberGene Offline
1000 Post Club Member
CyberGene  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,523
Sofia, Bulgaria
Yamaha AG uses real grand piano action and is thus the best in the touch department. There is possibly no argument about that. However its sound is arguably worse than what you can achieve with software pianos.


https://myspace.com/evgenykumanov/music/songs
Currently: Kawai ES7 -> Garritan CFX Lite
Previously: Kawai MP6, Kawai CA63, Roland RD-700SX, Roland FP-5, Yamaha P90, Korg SP-200, Casio CDP-100
#2026917 - 02/04/13 02:30 PM Re: TOP OF THE RANGE [Re: Karl Watson]  
Joined: Oct 2010
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bennevis Offline
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bennevis  Offline
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Well, you've already played the two most expensive simulations of the acoustic concert grand, so maybe you already have an opinion....

I've no doubt myself (hint: I own the V-Piano wink ), but I think even just listening to good YouTube recordings of both the DPs you mentioned, played by decent classical pianists, will give you an idea of which one sounds closest to an acoustic grand, with all its myriad nuances, tone color, resonances, etc.

But I still believe that it's when you actually play them one after the other, using both their built-in speakers (both are superb and tailored to their strengths) and using your own headphones that you get a real idea of the respective manufacturers' priorities and whether they succeeded - and to what extent they succeeded.


"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."
#2026940 - 02/04/13 03:09 PM Re: TOP OF THE RANGE [Re: Karl Watson]  
Joined: Feb 2010
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wouter79 Offline
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wouter79  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,843
I think it depends on your own ears and hands.
Did you already try a few acoustic grands? That might give you a feel of what you're missing with a DP and put you in a position to better determine the answer yourself


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#2027070 - 02/04/13 07:41 PM Re: TOP OF THE RANGE [Re: Karl Watson]  
Joined: Dec 2009
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EssBrace Offline
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EssBrace  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,163
Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted by Karl Watson
I'm curious to know just what is the very best digital substitute for a large grand piano. I'm familiar with the Yamaha N3 and the Roland V grand. Hope I remembered properly just what they're called. Is there anything else ?


No, there really isn't anything else as a stand-alone solution. They are the two choices.

Personally if I had the space and budget for a good large grand I would buy a silent grand (Yamaha) for the times when I needed to play silently, although the digital tone within the silent grands is not comparable with the very best piano sounds.

I had the AvantGrand N3 and sold it after a while and replaced it with a Kawai upright piano. The N3 is good but it isn't really a believable substitute for a really good acoustic grand. If you just want a practice tool with appropriate key action then it is ideal (as are the cheaper N2 and N1).

#2027084 - 02/04/13 08:09 PM Re: TOP OF THE RANGE [Re: Karl Watson]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 432
kippesc Offline
Full Member
kippesc  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 432
United States
Originally Posted by Karl Watson
I know that the English pianist Stephen Hough has a digital piano in his London town house for occasional use (in addition to pianos in his nearby studio).


Has he written about this?

I'm aware only of this:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/cultur...nt-companion-in-my-singapore-hotel-room/


Steinway B
Yamaha AvantGrand N2
Roland RD-700NX
#2027092 - 02/04/13 08:24 PM Re: TOP OF THE RANGE [Re: Karl Watson]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 432
kippesc Offline
Full Member
kippesc  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 432
United States
While you certainly should try the AG, you should also try the Kawai CA-95 and the Roland RD-700NX. I've played the Kawai CA-93 but haven't seen its replacement the CA-95. The Kawai action is great. The Roland PHAIII is good but not great (it returns under you fingers faster than a real acoustic). The Yamaha action is good, but I believe sometimes fails to fire (sound) when a real acoustic would. As far as sound quality, the Roland set to Studio Grand is great -- lots of tonal variety as you move from soft to loud. The AG -- not so great. The Kawai, I have far less experience with. Pianoteq (controlled with the Roland) has a greater dynamic contrast than the Roland and, certainly, the Yamaha.

This weekend, I loaded the Ivory II American D on my computer, and I'm so far unimpressed. Playing softly, it feels like you get pp, mp, mf. No p. No gentle dynamic swell. I lost patience with it, as it was eating into my practice time.

In any event, do yourself a favor and try the Roland RD-700NX (Studio Grand voice) with good headphones before you drop a serious amount of coin on DPs priced north of $3k. I've owned the piano for 22 months and still really like it.

Last edited by kippesc; 02/04/13 08:33 PM.

Steinway B
Yamaha AvantGrand N2
Roland RD-700NX

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