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Avant Grand vs. top Galileo
#2275368 05/13/14 09:43 AM
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Friends:

Can anyone tell me if the top Galileo digital compares favourably to the Yamaha Avant Grand ?

Does the Avant still hold the top spot ?

Thanks. I'm new to this forum and the idea of a digital piano is radical to me. I need to advise a piainist friend.

Thank you.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY

Re: Avant Grand vs. top Galileo
Karl Watson #2275380 05/13/14 09:56 AM
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Hi Karl,

What holds the top spot is very much in eye of the beholder, but one thing you can be sure of is that the Galileo pianos are nowhere near the top. They are using very old technology, inferior Fatar brand keybeds (that hardly anybody likes), only 64 note polyphony, no mentioned of simulated resonance. In my opinion you'd be making a huge mistake by going down that route. Yamaha, Kawai and Roland are the place to start looking if you are after a high quality digital piano. Which one meets your needs is entirely up to you, but stay away from the cheaper, less known brands. They present themselves as original products but are pretty much bolted together using old/inferior parts. Digital pianos are different from acoustics in that there is an enormous gulf between the the best and the lowest brands. Only a few companies have the resources to make a premium digital piano.

A.

PS - I still cry myself to sleep that you sold your PIII before I could sort out shipping with Rich. cry

Re: Avant Grand vs. top Galileo
Karl Watson #2275413 05/13/14 11:00 AM
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Hi Karl - which Galileo model are you looking at? The Avant Grand is certainly a wonderful instrument, but I'm guessing the difference in price is quite large? Do you know your friend's budget?


- Gary Girouard
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Re: Avant Grand vs. top Galileo
ando #2275501 05/13/14 01:56 PM
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Dear Ando:

Thank you VERY MUCH for your words of wisdom and of caution.

Gratefully,

K

Re: Avant Grand vs. top Galileo
Karl Watson #2275507 05/13/14 02:16 PM
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The top of the line Avant Grand, the N3, is very nice. Even though it's still in another universe (sonically and touch) , from even a good upright, I could get a lot of quality practicing in on it.

I've come close a few times to pulling the trigger on one (primarily for the house as my Steinway is in a detached studio) but in the end couldn't justify *that* much dough on a digital.

It was released in 2009 if I'm not mistaken, so in the digital piano tech world- it's getting fairly long in the tooth. Which is not to say even with a newer updated sample, an older N3/N2 isn't a perfectly viable, functional instrument for practicing.

I've never heard of the Galileo.


https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D
Yamaha CP4, CP5
Re: Avant Grand vs. top Galileo
Karl Watson #2275527 05/13/14 03:11 PM
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Pricing for the Galileo Grande II – VIP $10,995 MSRP $14,995

Re: Avant Grand vs. top Galileo
Karl Watson #2275529 05/13/14 03:18 PM
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Hi Karl;

Please read my adventures (or misadventures) concerning my purchase of the AvantGrand N1.

I will bump it up as it has been inactive for over a week.


Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
Curriculum: Faber Developing Artist (Book 3)
Current: German Dance in D Major (Haydn) (OF); Melody (Schumann) (OF)
Re: Avant Grand vs. top Galileo
Karl Watson #2275657 05/13/14 07:41 PM
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Karl, may I ask, what kind of instrument is your friend looking for?

Kind regards,
James
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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: Avant Grand vs. top Galileo
Karl Watson #2275734 05/13/14 09:57 PM
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I would go with a Roland, Yamaha or Kawai digital if you want a decent piano sound. You want at least 192 polyphony in my opinion. As for the sampled sounds of of the instrument, you need to listen to each brand and determine which sound you like best. As far as the keys or piano action, that we can help you with as many in this forum know well what each feels like.

Now read further if you want a small non-biased history delving into digital piano technology circa 2001 to today. Since the peak of the technology wars peaked around 2001 when digitals were still marketed by sample size specs.

As some people made the comment of old technology inside digitals, that is true as of today's most recent models as well. Many of us have one or a couple of the top digital piano models that have come out in the last 15 years. In my case, I own a Yamaha CLP990 which is an excellent DP from 2001, which was extraodinary technologywise back then. However fastforward to 2014 and not much has improved if at all with Yamaha. I would say for years it got worse as the same reused samples were downsized further lowering sound quality on budget models and it trickled up as well. Many forum threads talk about this in greater detail.

Roland after years of research and development made the largest leap ahead technology wise in 2009 with the release of the V-Piano. Granted, it was priced too high and not marketed well so the rest of the competition like Yamaha didn't do much upgrading. Granted the AvantGrand series in 2009 while not having a new sound sample did improve the grand piano feel and is still a nice DP. The AGNU1 does have the newest CFX sample while all the other AG's have the consistant 2001 Yamaha GP sound.

There should be new models coming in 2015, but if history repeats itself, there will be negligeable improvement. In other words baby steps that occur on purpose.

You will not see Kawai, Yamaha, or Roland market same size of ther piano's anymore, and most use memory chips, boards, and piano samples ages old to cut costs.

By now, why we don't see 512 popyphony where you can overlap and mix four unique sounds without worying about not drop offs? Why we don't see 2GB to 4GB piano roms with 12 unique but very high quality sampled voices inside Yamaha, Kawai and Roland DP's when 64GB sold state drives are so cheap? At the very least no more looping would be necesary for note cutoffs with large sample sizes. Computing power and memory being so cheap, why the lethargic upgrade policy? Because they can, and all three top brands are waiting for the other to move first. I'm eagerly awaiting for something better, even though I am happy with my 2001 CLP990 and 2009 Roland V-Piano. To answer your question, I've never heard of Galileo digital, however with only 64 note polyphony on their top of the line model, you can scratch them off any list and go with a casio that has 128 polyphony as that would be better if you use the sustain pedal when you play at all. Galileo digital does seem to make pretty furniture that looks like a grand piano cabinet, but you'd be better of sticking almost anything else inside a grand shell in my opinion if you want to enjoy playing it. I think their high end market would be mainly cruise ships.


Roland V-Piano, Yamaha CLP990, Yamaha S90
Re: Avant Grand vs. top Galileo
Kona_V-Piano #2275860 05/14/14 07:38 AM
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Friends:

Thank you VERY much for your kind replies. Without knowing ANY particulars, one had a sense that things were/are as described.

My friend is a professional pianist who is looking for something that can stand-in for a real piano in his home.

Once again, thank you.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY

Re: Avant Grand vs. top Galileo
Karl Watson #2275897 05/14/14 09:52 AM
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It really depends on what part of the "real piano" experience is most important.

As far as my N1 was concerned;

The touch and feel part is unmatched as it had an actual grand piano action.
However, when it came to the sound producing/amplification part, that is where, for me, the N1 went dramatically wrong.

Having said that, the N2 and N3 were much better in that regard, albeit at much higher prices.

Best of luck smile



Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
Curriculum: Faber Developing Artist (Book 3)
Current: German Dance in D Major (Haydn) (OF); Melody (Schumann) (OF)
Re: Avant Grand vs. top Galileo
Kona_V-Piano #2276026 05/14/14 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Kona_V-Piano
Now read further if you want a small non-biased history delving into digital piano technology circa 2001 to today....


Non-biased? Others can be the judge of that but certainly the information you are trying to impart is not completely accurate.

The AvantGrand's sample is not the same as a Clavinova. You've made that claim before but it is simply not true. It is unique to the AG. All 88 keys are sampled. The attack phase of the sample is longer than Clavinova samples. The AG is tonally quite different to any Clavinova. It is certainly nothing exceptional but the sample is exclusive to the AG.

As far as Roland is concerned please remember the V-Piano is a 2009 iteration of exactly what they had done in 1986 with their fully modelled RD-1000 (although that had a full wooden action). The V-Piano being the "largest leap ahead technology wise"? I don't think the facts support that claim at all. I fully agree it has been a signature product for them over recent years but it's just a re-hash of a previous concept.


C. Bechstein Model B | Roland RD-1000 | Kawai VPC1
Re: Avant Grand vs. top Galileo
EssBrace #2276037 05/14/14 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by EssBrace

As far as Roland is concerned please remember the V-Piano is a 2009 iteration of exactly what they had done in 1986 with their fully modelled RD-1000 (although that had a full wooden action). The V-Piano being the "largest leap ahead technology wise"? I don't think the facts support that claim at all. I fully agree it has been a signature product for them over recent years but it's just a re-hash of a previous concept.


That's true only it's a bit like comparing a 1980's Apple Mac with the iMacs of today. Certainly they are, in a sense, a rehash of the earlier machine in that they are both digital computers using icon driven operating systems. But the enormous changes in capacity and speed, plus the research and development that has taken place between the two means that there is a massive difference between them - more than that implied by the word 'rehash', I'd have thought.


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Re: Avant Grand vs. top Galileo
Karl Watson #2276043 05/14/14 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Karl Watson

My friend is a professional pianist who is looking for something that can stand-in for a real piano in his home.


I think he'd be most satisfied with the N3. Since it is older , many shops are selling far below what the *street* was even 2-3 years ago. I'm just guessing, but based on my past pricing I've been quoted on it, if I were going in today to purchase an N3, I think it would be a little south of 10K.

Even though the N1 has the newer CFX sample, ( and I've played the N1 at least a half dozen times), the more grand like action, and superior sound system of the N3 far outweighs the player advantages/instrument connection of the new sample upgrade on the N1.

I had a difficult time executing on the N1. I actually preferred playing a CP5 to it.


https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D
Yamaha CP4, CP5
Re: Avant Grand vs. top Galileo
toddy #2276073 05/14/14 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by toddy
Originally Posted by EssBrace

As far as Roland is concerned please remember the V-Piano is a 2009 iteration of exactly what they had done in 1986 with their fully modelled RD-1000 (although that had a full wooden action). The V-Piano being the "largest leap ahead technology wise"? I don't think the facts support that claim at all. I fully agree it has been a signature product for them over recent years but it's just a re-hash of a previous concept.


That's true only it's a bit like comparing a 1980's Apple Mac with the iMacs of today. Certainly they are, in a sense, a rehash of the earlier machine in that they are both digital computers using icon driven operating systems. But the enormous changes in capacity and speed, plus the research and development that has taken place between the two means that there is a massive difference between them - more than that implied by the word 'rehash', I'd have thought.


Ok, I take your point. Not a re-hash. An update.


C. Bechstein Model B | Roland RD-1000 | Kawai VPC1
Re: Avant Grand vs. top Galileo
Dave Ferris #2276083 05/14/14 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Ferris
Even though the N1 has the newer CFX sample, ( and I've played the N1 at least a half dozen times), the more grand like action, and superior sound system of the N3 far outweighs the player advantages/instrument connection of the new sample upgrade on the N1.

I had a difficult time executing on the N1. I actually preferred playing a CP5 to it.


Dave, I believe you may be referring to the NU1, which is the upright style hybrid with the newer CFX sample. I'm pretty sure the N1 uses the same action and sample technology as the N2 and N3.

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: Avant Grand vs. top Galileo
Kawai James #2276092 05/14/14 07:38 PM
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Right, my mistake.


https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

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Yamaha CP4, CP5
Re: Avant Grand vs. top Galileo
EssBrace #2276109 05/14/14 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
The AvantGrand's sample is not the same as a Clavinova. You've made that claim before but it is simply not true. It is unique to the AG. All 88 keys are sampled. The attack phase of the sample is longer than Clavinova samples. The AG is tonally quite different to any Clavinova. It is certainly nothing exceptional but the sample is exclusive to the AG.
The AG samples are also suppose to be 4 channel with each sample derived from its mike placement. Then on the N3 and N2 each channel has it's own speakers and amplifiers.

I'll defend the AG, but I'm not naive. I was recently at a music store who had a 7' Mason & Hamlin and it took me a while to get comfortable with the sustain pedal. Too much pedal doesn't effect the AG sound like the a real acoustic. That's just one of many points that people can argue about. It works brilliantly, though for me.

Now, I wish they would market an AG with a killer Steinway sample in a joint venture with those two co.s I can dream...

Last edited by 36251; 05/14/14 08:02 PM.

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Re: Avant Grand vs. top Galileo
EssBrace #2276129 05/14/14 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
Originally Posted by Kona_V-Piano
Now read further if you want a small non-biased history delving into digital piano technology circa 2001 to today....


Non-biased? Others can be the judge of that but certainly the information you are trying to impart is not completely accurate.

The AvantGrand's sample is not the same as a Clavinova. You've made that claim before but it is simply not true. It is unique to the AG. All 88 keys are sampled. The attack phase of the sample is longer than Clavinova samples. The AG is tonally quite different to any Clavinova. It is certainly nothing exceptional but the sample is exclusive to the AG.

As far as Roland is concerned please remember the V-Piano is a 2009 iteration of exactly what they had done in 1986 with their fully modelled RD-1000 (although that had a full wooden action). The V-Piano being the "largest leap ahead technology wise"? I don't think the facts support that claim at all. I fully agree it has been a signature product for them over recent years but it's just a re-hash of a previous concept.


The recordings used in the Avantgrand that are of the CFIIIS which are great by the way, are recordings made in 2000 for which Yamaha spent a small fortune to record. They did a very small adendum in 2010 to add some more color but the core sound is the same. They are very high quality recordings which are then converted to fit the sound they look for in each model. The piano sound in the Motif/S90/EsXS piano plugin card of the CFIIIS is the same session. The sustain was recorded even longer than what they used originally and that is what you get on the AG when the CFIIIS is the piano you hear. Yamaha never will record a CFIIIS from scratch for any new instrument ever because they don't need to. It does not make financial sense. Just remember that even though it is an old recording, it is still mastered with newer equipment making it sound more full with a longer decay.

From 1986 to 2009 Roland researched and developed modeling and crescendoed with the V-Piano. The technology in the V-Piano is leaps ahead of anything 1986, and also the brains in your AG!!!

Yamaha won't advertise how many velocity layers are in play for their AG (they now say for trade secret reasons as well as a conscious decision not to market to spec-spotters) The last time they did market their specs was early 2000's.


Roland V-Piano, Yamaha CLP990, Yamaha S90
Re: Avant Grand vs. top Galileo
Kona_V-Piano #2276336 05/15/14 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Kona_V-Piano
The recordings used in the Avantgrand that are of the CFIIIS which are great by the way, are recordings made in 2000 for which Yamaha spent a small fortune to record. They did a very small adendum in 2010 to add some more color but the core sound is the same. They are very high quality recordings which are then converted to fit the sound they look for in each model. The piano sound in the Motif/S90/EsXS piano plugin card of the CFIIIS is the same session. The sustain was recorded even longer than what they used originally and that is what you get on the AG when the CFIIIS is the piano you hear. Yamaha never will record a CFIIIS from scratch for any new instrument ever because they don't need to. It does not make financial sense. Just remember that even though it is an old recording, it is still mastered with newer equipment making it sound more full with a longer decay.

From 1986 to 2009 Roland researched and developed modeling and crescendoed with the V-Piano. The technology in the V-Piano is leaps ahead of anything 1986...


Please quote your source for the information about Yamaha's sampling so we can all make an assessment of the credibility.

I would not describe the AG as having much of a longer sustain. It does have longer attack samples but the sustain/decay behaviour is still poor due to the looping (which Yamaha has never done well). The AG sounds tonally different to any Clavinova I have played or heard. More mellow on Piano 1 but lacking a degree of timbral change according to velocity. And more metallic on Piano 2 but giving believable timbral change. I have played Yamaha DPs for years and never heard these pianos. Yes, they are all from the CFIII-S. But I hear something different with the AG. As an aside, the GranTouch also had a unique 88 key Yamaha sample in my opinion, which was substantially different to the Clavinovas of the day (including your CLP-990).

Yes, overall the V-Piano is more advanced (and effective) than what they were doing in 1986. But frankly, relative to what else is/was out there in the market place at the time, what they did in 1986 was literally ground-breaking. The V-Piano is an update of the same technology and principles. Furthermore, I'm bound to point out that the RD-1000 had other (fully modelled) voices, not just piano. And it had a full wooden action. And it was adopted by numerous pro players. Somewhat ironically in some of those respects the V-Piano is a regressive step.


C. Bechstein Model B | Roland RD-1000 | Kawai VPC1
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