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Best Steinway Virtual Piano #2413725
04/25/15 02:39 AM
04/25/15 02:39 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 20
Australia
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carlspost Offline OP
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Australia
Hi All,

At the risk of opening a big can of worms.... I was hoping for a short list of what are considered the top 3 or 4 Steinway virtual pianos available today. The only two requirements are that they have ability to half pedal, and are from a full 9ft concert piano size. Also it would be great if they came in a stand alone version.... It will be used for classical piano music so will of course need to be very realistic. All opinions are welcome! Thanks.

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Re: Best Steinway Virtual Piano [Re: carlspost] #2413730
04/25/15 03:12 AM
04/25/15 03:12 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 50
The Netherlands
jefinho Offline
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The Netherlands
For me, in this particular order:
1) Ivory American D
2) Ivory German D
3) Galaxy Vintage D

Re: Best Steinway Virtual Piano [Re: jefinho] #2413738
04/25/15 04:13 AM
04/25/15 04:13 AM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 706
Switzerland
D
Digitalguy Offline
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Switzerland
Originally Posted by jefinho
For me, in this particular order:
1) Ivory American D
2) Ivory German D
3) Galaxy Vintage D


Absolutely agree with this order, and I would add the Grandeur as very close contender to the 3rd place.
In Ivory II German, I particularly like the bass, but it's a very good piano overall, and what a treat to be able to have it on ipad too, thanks to Korg.
Ivory II American is in my opinion not just the best Steinway, but he best virtual piano on the market.
As for the vintage D, which has been around for longer, it's probably the most popular on this forum and I am certain many will rate it first, but in my opinion it's not up to the 2 Ivory II.
Having said that, much depends on the audio output you use. With some headphones / external speakers / DP speakers some pianos sound better than others and vice-versa..... That's also why there are so many different opinions.


Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, HD58X, HD598, Focal Spirit Pro, Shure SRH240A, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, Presonus Eris E5, iLoud micro monitors, iPad Pro, HP Elite X2, Ivory II ACD, Korg Module for iPad, Vienna Imperial, Galaxy Vintage D, Ravenscroft, Kawai-Ex Pro
Re: Best Steinway Virtual Piano [Re: carlspost] #2414335
04/26/15 08:35 PM
04/26/15 08:35 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 252
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login Offline
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The new NI Steinway , the grandeur, was made by Galaxy too and sounds quite good.

Also there is a new one by Soniccouture called The hammer smith which seems quite good.

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Re: Best Steinway Virtual Piano [Re: carlspost] #2414341
04/26/15 08:49 PM
04/26/15 08:49 PM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 885
Tempe, Arizona
AZ_Astro Offline
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Tempe, Arizona
To me the Ivory II products still stand tall above all others. They are the virtual pianos that I use daily.

FYI - I and a few others still prefer Ivory II German D to the Ivory II American D. But the price and packaging of the American D product make it very appealing (if you can get past the iLok issue).

3rd place for me is either the Ravenscroft or the Galaxy Vintage D. I love the playability of the Galaxy product but I have not been able to tweak it to my overall liking sound-wise.

The other six or eight products that I own have some limited appeal but I do not use them regularly anymore.

The new Native Instruments / Galaxy Definitive Piano Collection looks promising but I will wait for awhile to see how they settle into the marketplace.

Last edited by AZ_Astro; 04/26/15 08:55 PM.

Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Garritan CFX, Ivory II, Ivory Am D, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.
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Re: Best Steinway Virtual Piano [Re: login] #2414827
04/28/15 03:01 AM
04/28/15 03:01 AM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 136
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Thomas B Offline
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Originally Posted by login
Also there is a new one by Soniccouture called The hammer smith which seems quite good.


No key sympathetic resonance?! Nah...

Re: Best Steinway Virtual Piano [Re: Digitalguy] #2415317
04/29/15 10:47 AM
04/29/15 10:47 AM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 6
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piaudio Offline
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piaudio  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2015
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Originally Posted by Digitalguy
Originally Posted by jefinho
For me, in this particular order:
1) Ivory American D
2) Ivory German D
3) Galaxy Vintage D


Absolutely agree with this order, and I would add the Grandeur as very close contender to the 3rd place.
In Ivory II German, I particularly like the bass, but it's a very good piano overall, and what a treat to be able to have it on ipad too, thanks to Korg.
Ivory II American is in my opinion not just the best Steinway, but he best virtual piano on the market.
As for the vintage D, which has been around for longer, it's probably the most popular on this forum and I am certain many will rate it first, but in my opinion it's not up to the 2 Ivory II.
Having said that, much depends on the audio output you use. With some headphones / external speakers / DP speakers some pianos sound better than others and vice-versa..... That's also why there are so many different opinions.


Audiotechnica ATH-M40x beats all other headphones as being the most accurate in produce as original sound source through dummy hearing tests. Even the waveform is almost similar to the original source.

Re: Best Steinway Virtual Piano [Re: Digitalguy] #2415319
04/29/15 10:58 AM
04/29/15 10:58 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 7,223
Raleigh, North Carolina
MacMacMac Offline
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MacMacMac  Offline
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Raleigh, North Carolina
Digitalguy: I like the Grandeur, too. I use it all the time.
Originally Posted by Digitalguy
I would add the Grandeur as very close contender to the 3rd place.
But have you noticed how the bass notes "swell" when you step on the pedal? It's very unnatural. I can reduce that effect by reducing the Resonance setting. But then I lose something across the rest of the range. Annoying.

piaudio: Not sure how you get this:
Originally Posted by piaudio
Audiotechnica ATH-M40x beats all other headphones as being the most accurate in produce as original sound source through dummy hearing tests. Even the waveform is almost similar to the original source.
In audio work, accuracy is a tough nut to measure. The makers of many/most speakers and headphones make claims about accuracy. But they offer no objective measure. So I treat it as just a bunch of marketing flim-flam.

Re: Best Steinway Virtual Piano [Re: MacMacMac] #2415323
04/29/15 11:03 AM
04/29/15 11:03 AM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 6
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piaudio Offline
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piaudio  Offline
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There a proof if you want to hear it.

https://soundcloud.com/sonic-sense-...nic-sense-pro-audio/sets/headphones-test

https://soundcloud.com/sonic-sense-...nic-sense-pro-audio/sets/headphones-test

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Digitalguy: I like the Grandeur, too. I use it all the time.
Originally Posted by Digitalguy
I would add the Grandeur as very close contender to the 3rd place.
But have you noticed how the bass notes "swell" when you step on the pedal? It's very unnatural. I can reduce that effect by reducing the Resonance setting. But then I lose something across the rest of the range. Annoying.

piaudio: Not sure how you get this:
Originally Posted by piaudio
Audiotechnica ATH-M40x beats all other headphones as being the most accurate in produce as original sound source through dummy hearing tests. Even the waveform is almost similar to the original source.
In audio work, accuracy is a tough nut to measure. The makers of many/most speakers and headphones make claims about accuracy. But they offer no objective measure. So I treat it as just a bunch of marketing flim-flam.

Re: Best Steinway Virtual Piano [Re: piaudio] #2415330
04/29/15 11:20 AM
04/29/15 11:20 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 7,223
Raleigh, North Carolina
MacMacMac Offline
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MacMacMac  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 7,223
Raleigh, North Carolina
What are we to learn from those recordings? No definition of "accuracy" has been offered. But more importantly:

Assuming the same source material was used in both recordings, we're getting sound from ...
A: a pair of headphones (the ones being evaluated)
B: captured by microphone unknown
C: processed by audio equipment unknown
D: digitized in some fashion
E: replayed in a destination audio system
F: through any random set of speakers or cans

If the intent is to measure the "accuracy" of item A, how can we tolerate the presence of B, C, D, E, and F? What are those items doing to the sound?

In the end, it's all subjective. The manufacturer might have a way to exclude items B/C/D/E/F from a test. But we do not.

Re: Best Steinway Virtual Piano [Re: MacMacMac] #2415333
04/29/15 11:32 AM
04/29/15 11:32 AM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 6
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piaudio Offline
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piaudio  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 6
Glad you ask it! For you to find out and for us to know, start here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnK1Gq7txYA
and probably ask a few questions to SSP team, I and maybe other folks curious to know your findings.

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
What are we to learn from those recordings? No definition of "accuracy" has been offered. But more importantly:

Assuming the same source material was used in both recordings, we're getting sound from ...
A: a pair of headphones (the ones being evaluated)
B: captured by microphone unknown
C: processed by audio equipment unknown
D: digitized in some fashion
E: replayed in a destination audio system
F: through any random set of speakers or cans

If the intent is to measure the "accuracy" of item A, how can we tolerate the presence of B, C, D, E, and F? What are those items doing to the sound?

In the end, it's all subjective. The manufacturer might have a way to exclude items B/C/D/E/F from a test. But we do not.

Last edited by piaudio; 04/29/15 11:34 AM.
Re: Best Steinway Virtual Piano [Re: carlspost] #2415365
04/29/15 01:28 PM
04/29/15 01:28 PM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 26
C
C. L. Offline
Full Member
C. L.  Offline
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C

Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 26
Pianoteq D4.

Last edited by Corvus Corax; 04/29/15 01:36 PM.
Re: Best Steinway Virtual Piano [Re: C. L.] #2415382
04/29/15 02:04 PM
04/29/15 02:04 PM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 460
Bachus Offline
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Bachus  Offline
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Posts: 460
Originally Posted by Corvus Corax
Pianoteq D4.


While this is probably my favoirite VST piano sound, i think the ivory comes closer to the real Steinways.. This one however is more fun to play..

Re: Best Steinway Virtual Piano [Re: Bachus] #2415391
04/29/15 02:28 PM
04/29/15 02:28 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,338
UK
A
Alexander Borro Offline
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Alexander Borro  Offline
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A

Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,338
UK
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
What are we to learn from those recordings? No definition of "accuracy" has been offered. But more importantly:

Assuming the same source material was used in both recordings, we're getting sound from ...
A: a pair of headphones (the ones being evaluated)
B: captured by microphone unknown
C: processed by audio equipment unknown
D: digitized in some fashion
E: replayed in a destination audio system
F: through any random set of speakers or cans

If the intent is to measure the "accuracy" of item A, how can we tolerate the presence of B, C, D, E, and F? What are those items doing to the sound?

In the end, it's all subjective. The manufacturer might have a way to exclude items B/C/D/E/F from a test. But we do not.


I think the key is that it gives a relative comparison to you phones you are using. Clearly when you wearing your cheap iphone earbuds you are not going to make them sound like a sennheiser HD 800 and get an idea what it will sound like.

FWIW, I think they do give a fairly good indicator having used it myself a few times for studio monitors when I was buying them. These comparisons will give an idea how a headphone may come out in terms of EQ and emphasis on bass, mids, teble etc. but ultimately it has its limits. I think sonic sense would the first to admit that


FWIW just now I listened to the Audio technica MTH50x track on my senns HD598, I then listened to the reference track on the MTH50x, it gives a fairly decent impression I would say. smile

FWIW, I find the senns 598 is a very good match for painoteq and many piano tones/software, because they are so laid back and smooth and they take that harshness away. Works nice for the Ivory American too and are fairly neutral sounding with a fairly good flat consistent response. You can listen for hours on these things and turn them up and not get fatigue.

For music in general they can sometimes arguably be a bit boring some might say (including me) and not as in your face as some, and even the 598 is a little more forwards than the HD650/600, which for me is a good thing as it is closer to what I like, though the quality of the HD600/650 is better I would say, but you need amps to drive them.

In any case, in their price ranges the HD598 and ath50x are good jack of all trades phones I find in their respective open and closed categories, which is why I own both laugh ( btw the ath40 is more neutral, but I think the ath50 sounds better and can be EQd anyway for a bit less bass if needed to be like the 40).

The MTH50x are better for fast music and bit more bass response, the senns are better at sound staging, less edgy, less aggressive, which is important for piano tone IMO, but both, whatever you throw at them sounds good.

IMHO, for evaluating piano software comparisons I'd pick a decent full size open back headphone with as decent flat response you can get your hands on, but I am a little spoiled for choice getting to try quite a few these days in the last couple of years, it has become a little hobby of mine.


Selftaught since June 2014.
Books: Barratt classic piano course bk 1,2,3. Humphries Piano handbook, various...
Kawai CA78, Casio AP450 & software pianos.
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Re: Best Steinway Virtual Piano [Re: carlspost] #2415416
04/29/15 03:41 PM
04/29/15 03:41 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 20
T
twl Offline
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Joined: Feb 2012
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For me, in this particular order:
1) Pianoteq D4 (Daily Preset is fine)


I encourage the OP to download the free trial to check out Pianoteq directly. Didn't put a #2 or #3 because I rarely bother with Ivory American Concert D, Ivory German D ver 2, Galaxy Steinway or Vintage D.

Re: Best Steinway Virtual Piano [Re: carlspost] #2415428
04/29/15 04:21 PM
04/29/15 04:21 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,811
France
Frédéric L Online content
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Frédéric L  Online Content
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France
I have Pianoteq, TrueKeys American and Ivory American Concert D, and Ivory American Concert D is my favorite. I do also like the Ivory German D (a warmer sound) and like to have the choice.


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
Re: Best Steinway Virtual Piano [Re: MacMacMac] #2415614
04/30/15 07:47 AM
04/30/15 07:47 AM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,916
Sydney, Australia
S
sullivang Offline
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Sydney, Australia
re: the Grandeur
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
But have you noticed how the bass notes "swell" when you step on the pedal?


FWIW, I hear only a bit of swelling, but no more than the rest of the notes, and it doesn't bother me in the slightest. This is using the default settings. I have no idea how much swelling is authentic.

Greg.


Middle-aged Jeremy Clarkson acolyte.
Re: Best Steinway Virtual Piano [Re: carlspost] #2415619
04/30/15 07:55 AM
04/30/15 07:55 AM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,916
Sydney, Australia
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sullivang Offline
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Sydney, Australia
HOWEVER, repeated bass notes holding the sustain pedal down do swell too much, yes.

Greg.


Middle-aged Jeremy Clarkson acolyte.
Re: Best Steinway Virtual Piano [Re: carlspost] #2415858
04/30/15 08:08 PM
04/30/15 08:08 PM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 78
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Skylover Offline
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Try the Steiwnay samples from Imperfect Samples. They are very, very realistic.

Re: Best Steinway Virtual Piano [Re: carlspost] #2416156
05/01/15 01:47 PM
05/01/15 01:47 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,206
Rocky Mountains
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rnaple Offline

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Rocky Mountains
I have to ask.... On the GermanD IvoryII. Do you find that it loses hammer noise at too high a level? I'd say at about mp. Maybe even m?
Is the AmericanD IvoryII different than the German in this respect?


Ron
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