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Re: Digital pianos - Can they get better ? [Re: TonyB] #2468193 10/09/15 11:40 AM
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I still think digital pianos are terrible. I've used Yamaha CP4, Nord Piano, Ivory II, Pianoteq5 and many predecessors with excellent controllers and excellent stereo amplification and they still sound like "fingers on a chalkboard". When I hear a well recorded VST piano like Ivory it sounds great, but the playability factor is still poor. I'm spoiled with a Steinway B, but I also have a CP70 which is far more satisfying to play than any DP or VST piano. And yes, I have experimented with velocity curves, EQ, etc. I'm not sure how the sound/playability can be improved, but I am still unhappy with the state of the art.

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Re: Digital pianos - Can they get better ? [Re: B3boy] #2468203 10/09/15 12:00 PM
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So! You ajust a note or two to get this even, acceptable sound when you play it.

Then somebody listening on the other side o the room says "Ya got a note out. .. "


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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Re: Digital pianos - Can they get better ? [Re: peterws] #2468216 10/09/15 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by peterws
So! You ajust a note or two to get this even, acceptable sound when you play it.

Then somebody listening on the other side o the room says "Ya got a note out. .. "


You could well be right, and I get your point. However, my wife does not hear that. She hears it as being corrected , as I do. But then, maybe somebody else may experience it as you say, I really don't know. What I do know is that after the minor adjustment, that note is no longer bothersome, where a DP that is unable to make such exacting adjustments per key, the owner would just have to live with it, or with an acoustic (and I have read in the acoustic piano sub-forum where people have done this), either move the piano around or put something on the wall to alleviate the reflection causing the problem.

Tony


Re: Digital pianos - Can they get better ? [Re: B3boy] #2468220 10/09/15 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by B3boy
I still think digital pianos are terrible. I've used Yamaha CP4, Nord Piano, Ivory II, Pianoteq5 and many predecessors with excellent controllers and excellent stereo amplification and they still sound like "fingers on a chalkboard". When I hear a well recorded VST piano like Ivory it sounds great, but the playability factor is still poor. I'm spoiled with a Steinway B, but I also have a CP70 which is far more satisfying to play than any DP or VST piano. And yes, I have experimented with velocity curves, EQ, etc. I'm not sure how the sound/playability can be improved, but I am still unhappy with the state of the art.


There are those for whom the digital piano is as bad as you describe. I feel very fortunate that I am not one of them. I don't doubt you on what you say. For me, the "fingers on a chalkboard" is the incessant pounding and slamming and distortion that has been a part of pop and country music for some time now. Many just think of it as a good beat to "groove to", and since it seems to be everywhere, I assume that the majority really like it. It is very unfortunate that this stuff irritates me so and many simply can't understand that I am serious when I describe the effect it has on me. So I equate my experience in this regard with what you are saying about digital pianos, and therefore fully accept that what you describe really is the case for you.

Tony


Last edited by TonyB; 10/09/15 12:35 PM.
Re: Digital pianos - Can they get better ? [Re: B3boy] #2468394 10/09/15 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by B3boy
I still think digital pianos are terrible. I've used Yamaha CP4, Nord Piano, Ivory II, Pianoteq5 and many predecessors with excellent controllers and excellent stereo amplification and they still sound like "fingers on a chalkboard". When I hear a well recorded VST piano like Ivory it sounds great, but the playability factor is still poor. I'm spoiled with a Steinway B, but I also have a CP70 which is far more satisfying to play than any DP or VST piano. And yes, I have experimented with velocity curves, EQ, etc. I'm not sure how the sound/playability can be improved, but I am still unhappy with the state of the art.


You pretty much told the story when you said, "I'm spoiled with a Steinway B".

I don't think I've ever played a digital piano with an action anything like a Steinway B. Then again, I've worked for serious musicians that despised the way a Steinway action feels thinking it was heavy and clunky and slow. (Some are worse than others.)

That said, there are an enormous number of piano players who have never had the chance to play a S&S B. It's not exactly in the price range of any but a few aspiring pianists to actually own one. Even an old, beat up, used up, not good for much of anything anymore "B" will probably sell for $10k to $15k as a carcase, a piano that is intended to be torn down to it's frame and completely rebuilt into something as good as or better than new. (FWIW, I would LOVE to have a project like that again. Right now, I have no place to work on it, though.)

Not 'dis'ing your B. Definitely enjoy it! Hope you understand, though, that you're not the average piano owner as you occupy a space in piano ownership that most will never have.

Re: Digital pianos - Can they get better ? [Re: Edb123] #2468405 10/09/15 08:43 PM
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I agree with B3boy, and I only have an old upright (albeit a tall one in good condition). I so far haven't found any DP that comes close to the feeling of playing my acoustic, in the sub €2000 range. It's quite annoying actually - I really want that DP for silent practice!

I did a quick play of the Kawai CA 17 today with headphones (AKG-401), and reset to factory defaults it didn't do it for me: the sound was far too weak (or maybe thin is a better word). I haven't given up on it though - the touch on my upright is light and I need to try the CA 17 with light touch, resonance set to max, and maybe other things as well. I'm holding my thumbs...

I also have the Roland HP-504 and HP-603 on my to-try-list. Maybe they are better.

But so far: no! No way the digital pianos are as good as an acoustic piano (when it comes to sound and "connectedness"). They simply do not evoke the same feelings of wonder as the acoustic.

Re: Digital pianos - Can they get better ? [Re: Edb123] #2468411 10/09/15 09:08 PM
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I don't understand how the question can arise "Is a digital piano as good as an acoustic?" It's a non-starter.

One poster wrote "It's hard to distinguish the current top of the line DP and software instruments from the real deal." I can only assume that such a person has not played (nor been in the presence of) an acoustic piano.

But that was not the OP's question. Rather, he asked "Can the digital piano get any better than it is now or are we seeing the best it can possibly be?"

That question has already been answered.

Re: Digital pianos - Can they get better ? [Re: Bellyman] #2468444 10/10/15 12:00 AM
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I think I need to clarify myself because I believe it is more than being spoiled by a Steinway. I actually prefer the sound of a Rhodes on my CP4 or Nord piano to any of the acoustic piano sounds. The Rhodes must be much easier to capture digitally because it has a far greater organic feel to it. I can be much more expressive on the Rhodes emulations than the acoustic piano emulattions.

Re: Digital pianos - Can they get better ? [Re: bitnick] #2468482 10/10/15 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by bitnick
I agree with B3boy, and I only have an old upright (albeit a tall one in good condition). I so far haven't found any DP that comes close to the feeling of playing my acoustic, in the sub €2000 range. It's quite annoying actually - I really want that DP for silent practice!

I did a quick play of the Kawai CA 17 today with headphones (AKG-401), and reset to factory defaults it didn't do it for me: the sound was far too weak (or maybe thin is a better word). I haven't given up on it though - the touch on my upright is light and I need to try the CA 17 with light touch, resonance set to max, and maybe other things as well. I'm holding my thumbs...

I also have the Roland HP-504 and HP-603 on my to-try-list. Maybe they are better.

But so far: no! No way the digital pianos are as good as an acoustic piano (when it comes to sound and "connectedness"). They simply do not evoke the same feelings of wonder as the acoustic.


We are a forgiving lot here. Imagine saying the reverse on the Piano Forum. I did once. . . they took me to the cleaners. .

Come to think of it, I have to watch what I say here, too. . . we have been infiltrated!


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Re: Digital pianos - Can they get better ? [Re: B3boy] #2468489 10/10/15 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by B3boy
I still think digital pianos are terrible. I've used Yamaha CP4, Nord Piano, Ivory II, Pianoteq5 and many predecessors with excellent controllers and excellent stereo amplification and they still sound like "fingers on a chalkboard". When I hear a well recorded VST piano like Ivory it sounds great, but the playability factor is still poor. I'm spoiled with a Steinway B, but I also have a CP70 which is far more satisfying to play than any DP or VST piano. And yes, I have experimented with velocity curves, EQ, etc. I'm not sure how the sound/playability can be improved, but I am still unhappy with the state of the art.

I'm having trouble understanding how a VI which sounds like "fingers on a chalkboard" when played can sound "great" when recorded.

Quote
I actually prefer the sound of a Rhodes on my CP4 or Nord piano to any of the acoustic piano sounds.

What kind of music do you play?

Re: Digital pianos - Can they get better ? [Re: peterws] #2468501 10/10/15 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by peterws
Originally Posted by bitnick
I agree with B3boy, and I only have an old upright (albeit a tall one in good condition). I so far haven't found any DP that comes close to the feeling of playing my acoustic, in the sub €2000 range. It's quite annoying actually - I really want that DP for silent practice!

I did a quick play of the Kawai CA 17 today with headphones (AKG-401), and reset to factory defaults it didn't do it for me: the sound was far too weak (or maybe thin is a better word). I haven't given up on it though - the touch on my upright is light and I need to try the CA 17 with light touch, resonance set to max, and maybe other things as well. I'm holding my thumbs...

I also have the Roland HP-504 and HP-603 on my to-try-list. Maybe they are better.

But so far: no! No way the digital pianos are as good as an acoustic piano (when it comes to sound and "connectedness"). They simply do not evoke the same feelings of wonder as the acoustic.


We are a forgiving lot here. Imagine saying the reverse on the Piano Forum. I did once. . . they took me to the cleaners. .

Come to think of it, I have to watch what I say here, too. . . we have been infiltrated!


We live in a world of riches where acoustics aren't going away and digitals keep getting better. And don't even get me started on how much easier it is to find sheet music now than it was in the '70s. Yet all people do is complain...

(The last time I suggested this here somebody called me a "sheep" so whatever. Baaaaa.)



Re: Digital pianos - Can they get better ? [Re: Edb123] #2468757 10/11/15 12:15 AM
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First, you won't be able to play good enough so that it's going to make any difference if you play on a digital or acoustic. Nowadays, dance bands and jazz bands all use digitals, rather than trying to lug around an acoustic upright. The reason is simple, there isn't enough difference between a digital and an acoustic to justify the expense and inconvenience of trying to haul around something that literally weighs a ton.

Even more to the point, these acoustic pianos are obsolescent. They're relics from a hundred years ago, still hanging around, but rapidly going the way of the film camera, the manual typewriter, and the horse-drawn carriage. You simply can't play well enough so that it makes a difference if you play on a digital or acoustic.

The day is fast approaching (no, we're there already) when a big-time classical concert can be played on a digital and the audience won't miss anything, really.

Re: Digital pianos - Can they get better ? [Re: Edb123] #2468765 10/11/15 12:37 AM
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An audience won't go to see a big name classical pianist play on a digital. Let's be honest though, in 20 years how many people are going to be classical concerts anyway? There isn't much money in such concerts now and in 20 years there'll only be a tiny demographic left for an audience.

Acoustics are defintely being superseded by digitals overall though, digitals are just a massively more practical instrument. I doubt they'll ever completely replace them though. I mean if the electric bass hasn't replaced the double bass there's no chance acousitic pianos will go extinct regardless of how good digitals get.

Re: Digital pianos - Can they get better ? [Re: Gyro] #2468773 10/11/15 01:51 AM
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Gyro is back?!
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Originally Posted by Gyro
First, you won't be able to play good enough so that it's going to make any difference if you play on a digital or acoustic. Nowadays, dance bands and jazz bands all use digitals, rather than trying to lug around an acoustic upright. The reason is simple, there isn't enough difference between a digital and an acoustic to justify the expense and inconvenience of trying to haul around something that literally weighs a ton.

Even more to the point, these acoustic pianos are obsolescent. They're relics from a hundred years ago, still hanging around, but rapidly going the way of the film camera, the manual typewriter, and the horse-drawn carriage. You simply can't play well enough so that it makes a difference if you play on a digital or acoustic.

The day is fast approaching (no, we're there already) when a big-time classical concert can be played on a digital and the audience won't miss anything, really.

Re: Digital pianos - Can they get better ? [Re: Gyro] #2468802 10/11/15 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Gyro

Even more to the point, these acoustic pianos are obsolescent. They're relics from a hundred years ago, still hanging around, but rapidly going the way of the film camera, the manual typewriter, and the horse-drawn carriage. You simply can't play well enough so that it makes a difference if you play on a digital or acoustic.

The day is fast approaching (no, we're there already) when a big-time classical concert can be played on a digital and the audience won't miss anything, really.

You're absolutely right, as always.

Recently, we had young virtuosi banging out Tchaik 1 and Rach 2 & 3 on Steinway, Fazioli and Yamaha digitals at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, which had billions of people following on live web stream.

And currently, more young virtuosi are banging out Chopin on Yamaha, Steinway and Shigeru Kawai digitals, at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw, also live and on YouTube on http://chopincompetition2015.com. There's a long thread at Pianist Corner on it.

You really don't miss acoustic pianos at all, such is the quality of those digitals.


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Re: Digital pianos - Can they get better ? [Re: Edb123] #2468805 10/11/15 04:24 AM
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I can't see a live concert by a celebrated pianist playing a stage piano really managing to cut it, no matter how good the sound system. On the other hand, a DP in a 9 foot concert grand case. If it's all about spectacle, make it 12 feet or longer.

Re: Digital pianos - Can they get better ? [Re: dire tonic] #2468810 10/11/15 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by dire tonic
I can't see a live concert by a celebrated pianist playing a stage piano really managing to cut it, no matter how good the sound system. On the other hand, a DP in a 9 foot concert grand case. If it's all about spectacle, make it 12 feet or longer.


I have heard the drawback to a long grand piano is the length of the keys necessary to strike the string in the right place. It costs a lot of money to alleviate the problems that creates.

So a 12 footer? No thanks! But if someone wants tp make samples of one. . . smile. Nice!


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Re: Digital pianos - Can they get better ? [Re: Edb123] #2468811 10/11/15 04:54 AM
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I think bennevis has his tongue planted very deeply in his cheek. smile

Re: Digital pianos - Can they get better ? [Re: MacMacMac] #2468838 10/11/15 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I think bennevis has his tongue planted very deeply in his cheek. smile


Indeed. Gyro has never been, and will never be, right! Every post he's ever made has been a tribute to absurdity.

Re: Digital pianos - Can they get better ? [Re: Edb123] #2468841 10/11/15 07:40 AM
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I've not noticed (in this thread) anyone mention the fact that few acoustic piano owners keep their pianos tuned often enough. This statement is based on simple observation over the years. And if one plays more "modern" music - lets say Debussy Preludes or contemporary jazz piano - with chord voicings using things like minor 2nds, pianos needing tuning come up short. This issue is a matter of perception and is probably lost on the average piano owner. But digital pianos have sure spoiled me in this regard.

The term "sonic mush" comes to mind.

Last edited by indigo_dave; 10/11/15 08:08 AM.
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