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Nord Stage Piano vs Yamaha P515 #2786203
11/29/18 09:00 PM
11/29/18 09:00 PM
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mzforte Offline OP
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I learned about the Nord Stage Piano recently that costs more than the Yamaha P515...

https://www.nordkeyboards.com/products/nord-stage-2

As a piano, how does the weighted action compare? Does the Nord also have wooden keys and as high quality of the GH action? Does the sound actually sound better for Nord?

I just care about piano vs piano. Reason I ask is the Nord keyboards look smaller and compact.

Last edited by mzforte; 11/29/18 09:01 PM.
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Re: Nord Stage Piano vs Yamaha P515 [Re: mzforte] #2786215
11/29/18 09:38 PM
11/29/18 09:38 PM
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If you're looking for piano vs piano, then you should be looking at the Nord Piano 4, not the Nord Stage series (Nord Stage series includes Synthesizer and Organ engines and is a LOT more expensive).

Nord Piano 4 is an excellent digital piano, great key action, with lots of different high-quality pianos available (ie: Bosendorfer, Steinway, Yamaha, Kawai, Fazioli, etc)... with free pianos (and other instruments) available to you for free from the Nord Piano & Sample libraries (and they constantly update them). When you buy a Yamaha digital piano, you're limited to only the pianos Yamaha has/owns (Yamaha and Bosendorfer).

The key action on the Nord Piano 4 is excellent! But so is the Yamaha P515. I highly recommend that you visit your local retailer (or any retailer in your area) that has both that you can try/compare.


www.PianoManChuck.com
Authorized Reseller of Casio, Dexibell, Kurzweil, Nord ...
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Re: Nord Stage Piano vs Yamaha P515 [Re: mzforte] #2786227
11/29/18 10:15 PM
11/29/18 10:15 PM
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Dave Ferris Offline
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If smaller and compact are an issue- the Yamaha CP4 is a better comparison with the NP4. Weight wise the CP4 is 10 lbs. lighter then the P-515.

The 515 , according to my friend who just got one, has a better, more piano-like action then his CP4. Along with a crisper sound from the CFX sample. It only makes sense that would update after releasing the CP4 5 years ago (?). I still use my CP4 on gigs, although less frequently since I mainly play acoustic piano. There's nothing about it after 4.5 years that makes want to move off of it fwiw.

I see the 515 has being more of a home or church instrument, where you're not moving it around frequently.

The opinions on the sound and action between the Nord Pianos and the Yamaha CP4/P515 are so subjective- you could have 10 hobbyist level, and 10 Pro level players all together- and the preferences would all be different.

I owned two Nords in the past for a combined four years - the original NP88 and the NP2. They recorded fantastic, in addition to mostly sounding good out front in the room while someone else was playing it, but I never could connect with the action and the sound coming out of my speakers. They updated the action with the NP3 and now NP4. It plays much better then the older ones. For me personally, it's still not up to how a CP4 feels.


https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D
Yamaha CP4, CP5
Re: Nord Stage Piano vs Yamaha P515 [Re: mzforte] #2786262
11/30/18 12:05 AM
11/30/18 12:05 AM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Another vote for the Nord Piano over the Nord Stage. I also still like the Yamaha CP4.

However, if grand piano-like keyboard action realism is your priority, the MP11SE trumps them all.

Kind regards,
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
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Re: Nord Stage Piano vs Yamaha P515 [Re: mzforte] #2786263
11/30/18 12:07 AM
11/30/18 12:07 AM
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halherta Offline
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P-515 will have in my opinion a much better action.
P-515 sound good but not as good as the Nord.
Also the P-515 comes with a fixed number of piano sounds. Main 2 are the CFX and Bosendorfer.
P-515 is about 10lbs heavier than the Nord.

Nord will have a decent action but not as good as Yamaha's NWX.
Nord has better piano sounds that are downloadable so you can change them from time to time.
Nord is the lighter piano.

If you value action over sound get the P-515. If you value sound over action get the Nord.

If you want to get something in the same class as a Nord (piano 4) but cheaper, have a look at the Dexibell Vivo S7. The P-515 is also significantly cheaper than the Nord.


The Nord Piano 4 / Dexibell Vivo S7 are stage pianos whereas the P-515 is really intended to be used at home as a portable piano and not the stage (but some will disagree with this assessment). So the P-515 will lack the knobs/sliders e.t.c. that the other stage pianos possess. Also I believe the Nord Piano 4 and Dexibell Vivo S7 stage pianos do not have internal speakers, whereas the P-515 has internal speakers capable of delivering a total of 40W.

Last edited by halherta; 11/30/18 12:09 AM.


Yamaha P-125, Pianoteq 6, Ravenscroft 275 VST, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
Re: Nord Stage Piano vs Yamaha P515 [Re: halherta] #2786266
11/30/18 12:23 AM
11/30/18 12:23 AM
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jon123 Offline
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The Dexibell Vivo P7 has built-in speakers. It is also comparable in price to the P515.

Re: Nord Stage Piano vs Yamaha P515 [Re: mzforte] #2786275
11/30/18 01:01 AM
11/30/18 01:01 AM
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mzforte Offline OP
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In looking at the specs of the Nord Piano 4, it costs $2,999.00

Nord Piano 4 has "grand weighted action for authentic Piano touch and feel" compared to Yamaha's... is it NWX that is the direct comparison? I assume Nord Piano is not wooden, but Yamaha's is?

I just think it is so strange that Nord Piano 4 is even a thing in that Yamaha is to me a much more reputable and well known brand.

Re: Nord Stage Piano vs Yamaha P515 [Re: mzforte] #2786276
11/30/18 01:06 AM
11/30/18 01:06 AM
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halherta Offline
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Nord Piano 4 and Dexibell Vivo S7 both use variants of the TP40 Fatar action. In my opinion Yamaha's NWX action on the P-515 is better.
The Dexibell Vivo P7 uses the Fatar TP100 action which is not as good as the TP40.



Yamaha P-125, Pianoteq 6, Ravenscroft 275 VST, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
Re: Nord Stage Piano vs Yamaha P515 [Re: mzforte] #2786283
11/30/18 02:10 AM
11/30/18 02:10 AM
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mzforte Offline OP
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Also to add, the Nord looks like it has the Steinway Piano sound. Why doesn't Yamaha have it? Is it because Yamaha is viewed as a direct competitor or something?

Re: Nord Stage Piano vs Yamaha P515 [Re: mzforte] #2786291
11/30/18 02:56 AM
11/30/18 02:56 AM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Does Toyota build cars featuring Ford engines?


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: Nord Stage Piano vs Yamaha P515 [Re: Kawai James] #2786296
11/30/18 03:23 AM
11/30/18 03:23 AM
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Dave Ferris Offline
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Few use the Steinway "Lady D" (best sounding Steinway on the Nord) on the Nord anymore. It's thin sounding compared to the later samples. It's not even sounding in all the registers. That was one of the early samples. Most go with the Italian Grand, a few still use the Bosendorfer (that worked pretty decent for solo stuff) Bright Grand (yamaha) for rock stuff, the Silver Grand or the newest Royal Grand. I like the sound of the Royal Grand myself.

Amplification - speakers and pre-amp are crucial in getting a good sound on the Nords , where the Yamaha is less sensitive. Both sound good with quality phones.

You should really play a Nord Piano 4 or at least have a good, solid return policy on it. Almost everyone either loves the Nord Pianos - action/sound/ player experience- or hates them, usually no in between.

Last edited by Dave Ferris; 11/30/18 03:32 AM.

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D
Yamaha CP4, CP5
Re: Nord Stage Piano vs Yamaha P515 [Re: mzforte] #2786306
11/30/18 05:12 AM
11/30/18 05:12 AM
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EssBrace Offline
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I have Nord Piano 3 - identical sound(s) and action to Nord Piano 4.

I also have Yamaha CLP 645 - identical action and sounds to P515.

For what it's worth I also have Dexibell P7 - their competitor to Yamaha P515.

I've owned countless digital pianos over the years. Until I get a decent grand piano the journey will never end, I know that.

All I can say to anyone interested in these models is to play them.

The Nord has more variety in its piano sounds and its pianos have a huge range of character. If you wanted particular piano sounds to record then the Nord would beat any other digital piano because they sound real and present and have flaws that provide a sense of realism. The onboard effects and reverbs etc are also good. The Nord is far more portable than the Yamaha. Nord's more recent sounds such as Royal Grand (very beautiful) and Velvet Grand (Bluthner Model 1 I believe) and Silver Grand (Kawai) are all technically slightly superior to their earlier offerings. Nord's Steinway sounds (most recent being Grand Lady D) are unusable for me. They're not bad but they just don't do anything for me personally.

Personally I find the Yamaha's action more to my liking. I also feel that the Yamaha's two principle piano sounds are the equal of Nord, but there's just less variety. Out of both instruments I would say the Yamaha's CFX sound is the most versatile. You could probably use it in more or less any setting whereas I think with Nord you'd have to pick and choose more. Yamaha's Bosendorfer sound is very different but if you give it time for your ears to acclimatise then it is quite beautiful in my opinion. Yamaha's onboard speakers would be useful of course, but it's one reason why it is a much heavier board than the Nord. Yamaha also has Bluetooth, an onboard audio interface and works with a decent Yamaha piano app.

Cheers,

Steve


Roland RD-1000 | Yamaha CLP 645 | Broadwood Barless 7' 6"
Re: Nord Stage Piano vs Yamaha P515 [Re: mzforte] #2786355
11/30/18 09:00 AM
11/30/18 09:00 AM
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Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Online content
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Cheshire, United Kingdom
Originally Posted by mzforte
I learned about the Nord Stage Piano recently that costs more than the Yamaha P515...

https://www.nordkeyboards.com/products/nord-stage-2

As a piano, how does the weighted action compare? Does the Nord also have wooden keys and as high quality of the GH action? Does the sound actually sound better for Nord?

I just care about piano vs piano. Reason I ask is the Nord keyboards look smaller and compact.


Hi Mzforte,

I'm always a bit surprised when people post comparison questions about two pianos which serve two entirely different markets and it immediately makes me wonder: "what does the person want or need?"

1) What is their budget?

2) What is the main purpose:

is it to gig, is it home practice, is it to have something to practice on before performing on a real piano, is it to record music in a studio, is it to take to university, is the owner going to be moving around a lot due to their life-style or work?????

3) What does the questioner value:

Is it the piano action which should be the best for playing piano?
Is it the quality of the piano tone?
Is it the responsiveness of the piano i.e., would they prefer modelled over sampled piano?
Is it the speaker/amplification?
Is it the functionality for live performance?
Is it the variety of sounds?
Is it the aesthetic characteristics and how well it would fit into a family home?
Do you want on-board speakers or would you be fine with monitors on stands?

What weighting does the questioner give to these different factors? Do you have a top 3 among these factors, and is so, which is most important?


What you've given us doesn't give us much to go on, other than talking about the merits of the Nords vs. the Yamaha's. What do you want and what do you need; more importantly, what are you prepared to pay for it???


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Nord Stage Piano vs Yamaha P515 [Re: mzforte] #2786359
11/30/18 09:18 AM
11/30/18 09:18 AM
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Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Online content
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Originally Posted by mzforte
Also to add, the Nord looks like it has the Steinway Piano sound. Why doesn't Yamaha have it? Is it because Yamaha is viewed as a direct competitor or something?


This is a matter of niche. The Yamaha provides a set of characteristics which are meant to satisfy the market of customers which it has determined it can best compete within. Nord have a different strategy.

There are many piano manufacturers: Bechstein, Fazioli, Steinway, Yamaha, Kawai, Bosendorfer, Bluthner, Mason and Hamlin, Stuart and Sons, Schimmel, Grotrian Steinweg etc. The big 3 digital piano manufactuers (Kawai, Roland, Yamaha) could take the view that they should offer the top 10 acoustic grand piano sounds in their digital pianos. If they did that, the R&D budget would have to be spread out---shared between these different pianos. Instead, they focus on a few pianos that they can produce a really good standard. The other argument against producing many piano sounds is that people who want better piano sounds can always opt for Virtual Pianos (VSTs). It seems to me that Nord are offering pianos in which you can also load their old piano samples into, and perhaps apply modern filters and effects to them. That's a specific strategy and they command higher prices than other pianos for that.

Probably, if you tested the best Nord piano sample against the Garritan CFX grand (full version), the CFX would sound better. It's worth considering that many people have a PC / laptop and the cost of e.g., the Garritan CFX grand or Pianoteq 6 is much lower than the difference in cost between most top end digital slabs and the Nord Piano 4.

Last edited by Doug M.; 11/30/18 09:21 AM.

Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Nord Stage Piano vs Yamaha P515 [Re: EssBrace] #2786396
11/30/18 11:15 AM
11/30/18 11:15 AM
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jon123 Offline
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
I have Nord Piano 3 - identical sound(s) and action to Nord Piano 4.

I also have Yamaha CLP 645 - identical action and sounds to P515.

For what it's worth I also have Dexibell P7 - their competitor to Yamaha P515.

...

Personally I find the Yamaha's action more to my liking. I also feel that the Yamaha's two principle piano sounds are the equal of Nord, but there's just less variety. Out of both instruments I would say the Yamaha's CFX sound is the most versatile. You could probably use it in more or less any setting whereas I think with Nord you'd have to pick and choose more. Yamaha's Bosendorfer sound is very different but if you give it time for your ears to acclimatise then it is quite beautiful in my opinion.



Thank you for the insights on comparing the Nord to the Yamaha. Since you also have a Dexibell, how do you feel about the sound of the pianos (especially the platinum sounds) compared to the Yamaha?

Re: Nord Stage Piano vs Yamaha P515 [Re: mzforte] #2786423
11/30/18 12:05 PM
11/30/18 12:05 PM
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Jitin Online content
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I have the p515 , I don't think you could go wrong with it. I tried many slabs (es8, fp90, p255 , p155 etc..), this tops them all IMHO . But in any case, you won't go wrong with P515.
Just try them.


P155
Re: Nord Stage Piano vs Yamaha P515 [Re: jon123] #2786428
11/30/18 12:22 PM
11/30/18 12:22 PM
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EssBrace Offline
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Originally Posted by jon123
Thank you for the insights on comparing the Nord to the Yamaha. Since you also have a Dexibell, how do you feel about the sound of the pianos (especially the platinum sounds) compared to the Yamaha?


Err...good question! Technically the Dexibell is pretty good. Long (15 seconds) samples on the low notes for instance so no audible looping in almost every realistic scenario.

The US Platinum sound is, for me, the most playable insofar as the dynamic response is the most natural (to my mind anyway) and most linear. Its tonal quality is slightly metallic and, rather unexpectedly, it has less character than the Vivo Grand upon which it is based (which sounds warmer to me).

The German Platinum is a bit spiky (for want of a better word). When played softly it is gentle and quite muted and woody but when played at high velocities it is very dynamic (perhaps too much) and becomes quite aggressive and metallic sounding.

I just don't like the Japan piano (standard or platinum versions). To my ears it just doesn't sound like they used a particularly pleasant sounding piano to sample. However, the Japan Platinum sound seems possibly to be the most liked among Dexibell users so you will appreciate I am just giving my personal opinion.

I had high hopes for the new Italian Platinum sound. Tonally, it is really quite pleasing but the variation in timbre with rising velocities is a bit flat to my ears - not in terms of pitch but it just doesn't exhibit quite enough tonal change and it's not really possible to get it to growl (quite the opposite of the German Grand for instance). I think it lacks personality.

There are five variations of each Platinum sound (all five load as one sample but the differences are useful between 'live', 'bright', 'classic' versions etc).

For me I don't really experience the Platinum sounds as being notably superior to the original 'Vivo Grand' or 'Vivo Live' sounds. Furthermore I think Dexibell has messed up the Platinum functionality a bit. For instance, the reverb can never be turned off. You can disable it but it makes no difference to the sounds; they all seem to have reverb imprinted into the patch. Likewise, the resonance and other 'T2L' parameters are quite hit and miss. There is lots of editability with the original Vivo sounds but changes in the Platinum sounds don't occur as intuitively and making adjustments to the sounds is far more hit and miss.

All that said (and I know it probably seems like criticism) the Dexibells do play remarkably well. I think the Yamaha's CFX sound is better (a real jack-of-all-trades workhorse sound) personally but that's just because Dexibell doesn't have a piano sound that really speaks to me, despite how much I enjoy playing it. I do think Dexibell missed a trick when compared to Nord for instance; they had an opportunity to provide several different piano voices with oodles of character but there is a tendency towards blandness to my ears, albeit with a slight metallic bias.

By the way, the Dexibell P7's onboard speakers are really excellent. I am reading the odd negative comment about the P515's speakers but I can't imagine anyone having complaints about the Dexibell's. Given that they are smallish speakers and the inevitable limitations they pack a decent punch and the overall tonal balance is just right.

Sorry for rambling!


Roland RD-1000 | Yamaha CLP 645 | Broadwood Barless 7' 6"
Re: Nord Stage Piano vs Yamaha P515 [Re: Doug M.] #2786626
12/01/18 01:59 AM
12/01/18 01:59 AM
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mzforte Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Doug M.
Originally Posted by mzforte
I learned about the Nord Stage Piano recently that costs more than the Yamaha P515...

https://www.nordkeyboards.com/products/nord-stage-2

As a piano, how does the weighted action compare? Does the Nord also have wooden keys and as high quality of the GH action? Does the sound actually sound better for Nord?

I just care about piano vs piano. Reason I ask is the Nord keyboards look smaller and compact.


Hi Mzforte,

I'm always a bit surprised when people post comparison questions about two pianos which serve two entirely different markets and it immediately makes me wonder: "what does the person want or need?"

1) What is their budget?

2) What is the main purpose:

is it to gig, is it home practice, is it to have something to practice on before performing on a real piano, is it to record music in a studio, is it to take to university, is the owner going to be moving around a lot due to their life-style or work?????

3) What does the questioner value:

Is it the piano action which should be the best for playing piano?
Is it the quality of the piano tone?
Is it the responsiveness of the piano i.e., would they prefer modelled over sampled piano?
Is it the speaker/amplification?
Is it the functionality for live performance?
Is it the variety of sounds?
Is it the aesthetic characteristics and how well it would fit into a family home?
Do you want on-board speakers or would you be fine with monitors on stands?

What weighting does the questioner give to these different factors? Do you have a top 3 among these factors, and is so, which is most important?


What you've given us doesn't give us much to go on, other than talking about the merits of the Nords vs. the Yamaha's. What do you want and what do you need; more importantly, what are you prepared to pay for it???


1) What is their budget? Don't care about cost. I know costs for these keyboards are less than 10k for sure or even 5k. I am just asking about closest to acoustic piano (or better yet, grand piano)

2) What is the main purpose: Play at home and enjoy the highest quality sounding keyboard piano without picking up a real acoustic piano. Not to record music in studio, just for live performances. Won't be moving around a lot, but I like it to be portable. (Which is why Clavinovas are out of the question and P515 or Nord are preferred.

3) What does the questioner value:

Is it the piano action which should be the best for playing piano? Relative perspective... the keyboard piano with the highest quality action would be good.
Is it the quality of the piano tone? Relative perspective... the keyboard piano with the highest quality action would be good.
Is it the responsiveness of the piano i.e., would they prefer modelled over sampled piano? Relative perspective... the keyboard piano with the highest quality action would be good.
Is it the speaker/amplification? Not that big of a deal, should at least be loud enough like a typical acoustic piano?
Is it the functionality for live performance? Yes, live performance of a grand piano or acoustic piano.
Is it the variety of sounds? I just want quality piano sound. Maybe as close to a Steinway? Or some high quality grand piano? Whichever one has the best quality as opposed to variety. If the best sounding on the Nord beats out the best sounding of the P515, then it's a win for the Nord in this category. It's not about comparing the # of sounds.
Is it the aesthetic characteristics and how well it would fit into a family home? I don't care too much about aesthetics, just has to play and sound like a real piano, simple as that.
Do you want on-board speakers or would you be fine with monitors on stands? Good quality onboard speakers is nice, but ability to have monitors on stands is fine.

What weighting does the questioner give to these different factors? Do you have a top 3 among these factors, and is so, which is most important? If anything I would love to see independent of weights, which piano would rank the highest. The top for me out of all the categories you identified is:

1) action - I want it to feel like a real piano
2) quality of piano tone - should sound like the best piano
3) responsiveness - it should be at least as responsive as acoustic piano

Now that I've provided this information, what are the scores between Nord and Yamaha P515? Sounds like Nord Piano 4 is really the right piano as opposed to the stage. Unless if the top Nord Stage piano can produce a better sound and action than the Nord Piano 4, which doesn't seem likely based on whats been discussed so far.



Last edited by mzforte; 12/01/18 02:05 AM.
Re: Nord Stage Piano vs Yamaha P515 [Re: mzforte] #2786647
12/01/18 05:39 AM
12/01/18 05:39 AM
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Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,337
Mzforte, one basic difference between the Yamaha P515 on the one side, and the Nord Piano4 and the Kawai MP11SE, on the other, are built in speakers. Do you want to add your own speakers (which bring in additional cost and which influence the sound in your living room dramatically)? Will you do this anyway, or would you rely on the internal speakers of the P515?

That's another issue to consider.

In the end, you need to go and play these things for yourself, as others have said! There is no way around it.


Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.
Re: Nord Stage Piano vs Yamaha P515 [Re: mzforte] #2786679
12/01/18 09:42 AM
12/01/18 09:42 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,192
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Online content
1000 Post Club Member
Doug M.  Online Content
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,192
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Originally Posted by mzforte
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Originally Posted by mzforte
I learned about the Nord Stage Piano recently that costs more than the Yamaha P515...

https://www.nordkeyboards.com/products/nord-stage-2

As a piano, how does the weighted action compare? Does the Nord also have wooden keys and as high quality of the GH action? Does the sound actually sound better for Nord?

I just care about piano vs piano. Reason I ask is the Nord keyboards look smaller and compact.


Hi Mzforte,

I'm always a bit surprised when people post comparison questions about two pianos which serve two entirely different markets and it immediately makes me wonder: "what does the person want or need?"

1) What is their budget?

2) What is the main purpose:

is it to gig, is it home practice, is it to have something to practice on before performing on a real piano, is it to record music in a studio, is it to take to university, is the owner going to be moving around a lot due to their life-style or work?????

3) What does the questioner value:

Is it the piano action which should be the best for playing piano?
Is it the quality of the piano tone?
Is it the responsiveness of the piano i.e., would they prefer modelled over sampled piano?
Is it the speaker/amplification?
Is it the functionality for live performance?
Is it the variety of sounds?
Is it the aesthetic characteristics and how well it would fit into a family home?
Do you want on-board speakers or would you be fine with monitors on stands?

What weighting does the questioner give to these different factors? Do you have a top 3 among these factors, and is so, which is most important?


What you've given us doesn't give us much to go on, other than talking about the merits of the Nords vs. the Yamaha's. What do you want and what do you need; more importantly, what are you prepared to pay for it???


1) What is their budget? Don't care about cost. I know costs for these keyboards are less than 10k for sure or even 5k. I am just asking about closest to acoustic piano (or better yet, grand piano)

2) What is the main purpose: Play at home and enjoy the highest quality sounding keyboard piano without picking up a real acoustic piano. Not to record music in studio, just for live performances. Won't be moving around a lot, but I like it to be portable. (Which is why Clavinovas are out of the question and P515 or Nord are preferred.

3) What does the questioner value:

Is it the piano action which should be the best for playing piano? Relative perspective... the keyboard piano with the highest quality action would be good.
Is it the quality of the piano tone? Relative perspective... the keyboard piano with the highest quality action would be good.
Is it the responsiveness of the piano i.e., would they prefer modelled over sampled piano? Relative perspective... the keyboard piano with the highest quality action would be good.
Is it the speaker/amplification? Not that big of a deal, should at least be loud enough like a typical acoustic piano?
Is it the functionality for live performance? Yes, live performance of a grand piano or acoustic piano.
Is it the variety of sounds? I just want quality piano sound. Maybe as close to a Steinway? Or some high quality grand piano? Whichever one has the best quality as opposed to variety. If the best sounding on the Nord beats out the best sounding of the P515, then it's a win for the Nord in this category. It's not about comparing the # of sounds.
Is it the aesthetic characteristics and how well it would fit into a family home? I don't care too much about aesthetics, just has to play and sound like a real piano, simple as that.
Do you want on-board speakers or would you be fine with monitors on stands? Good quality onboard speakers is nice, but ability to have monitors on stands is fine.

What weighting does the questioner give to these different factors? Do you have a top 3 among these factors, and is so, which is most important? If anything I would love to see independent of weights, which piano would rank the highest. The top for me out of all the categories you identified is:

1) action - I want it to feel like a real piano
2) quality of piano tone - should sound like the best piano
3) responsiveness - it should be at least as responsive as acoustic piano

Now that I've provided this information, what are the scores between Nord and Yamaha P515? Sounds like Nord Piano 4 is really the right piano as opposed to the stage. Unless if the top Nord Stage piano can produce a better sound and action than the Nord Piano 4, which doesn't seem likely based on whats been discussed so far.




Your responses suggest the best likely candidate digital pianos for your needs are:

1) Kawai MP11SE plus Garritan CFX concert grand Virtual Piano, or maybe with Pianoteq 6.
2) Kawai VPC1 plus above mentioned VST pianos

Potentially great options for monitors include Focals or Adams paying around £500-£1000 to get top quality.

There are other boards that have good actions: eg, the Roland RD2000; however, for getting the best piano action in a portable board, these two (MP11SE and VPC1) are the most authentic available currently.

With regard to best sounding (compared to real acoustic pianos) VST virtual pianos are tonally closest. In particular, the CFX concert grand by Garritan is one of (if not actually) the best sampled pianos in the market (although the Vienna Imperial is pretty good too). Pianoteq 6 is the best available modelled piano VST which is more suitable for the pianist who values dynamic control. Of course, to run VST pianos requires a decent spec laptop or PC, especially for the CFX grand.

The Nord piano 4 is focused on gigging musicians with its User Interface designed for on-the-fly adjustments. It's focus is not just piano, and its competitors are boards like: Kawai MP7SE, the Kurzweil Forte 7, and the Roland RD2000, all of which are excellent band pianos with their EP, organ and synth modules all being top class. The Nord Piano 4 is fun to play and well suited to gigging and studio recording,
but the serious pianist is going for something more focused.

The portable pianos are great---Kawai ES8, Roland FP90, and Yamaha P515; however, their actions are not as authentic as the Kawai MP11SE nor the VPC1---an instrument designed specifically to put a top quality piano action in a controller piano for use with a VST.

If you didn't want portable options, the Avant Grand N3X and Kawai Novus NV10 would be the absolute most authentic options for digital pianos with acoustic piano like actions.

Kind regards,

Doug.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
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