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To those who own acoustics. #2788319
12/06/18 07:29 AM
12/06/18 07:29 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 280
Murmansk, Russia
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PianoStartsAt33 Offline OP
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Murmansk, Russia
Especially baby-grands.
Why did you by digitals instead of installing silent-systems on your acoustic instruments? Such a systems can be installed on used pianos, as I know.
The only reason I didn't do it is that there no techicians able to do it in my town. They say in demands trained technician and special equipment. It can be done in Moscow, 3500 km away, so...


"No succes of failure matters when it's about true vocation". Nicolás Gómez Dávila

Roland FP 90

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Re: To those who own acoustics. [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2788327
12/06/18 08:44 AM
12/06/18 08:44 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,061
Europe
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JoeT Offline
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After market silent systems aren't worth the money. They use outdated synth technology, sound bad and reduce the value of a good acoustic.


Kawai ES100 | Pianoteq 6 | Ivory II American Concert D | Steinberg UR22 | Sennheiser HD595
Re: To those who own acoustics. [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2788334
12/06/18 09:19 AM
12/06/18 09:19 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 7,006
Raleigh, North Carolina
MacMacMac Offline
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I think most digital pianos cost less than the silent system, right?
So keep the acoustic. Buy a digital. And have both.

Re: To those who own acoustics. [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2788337
12/06/18 09:29 AM
12/06/18 09:29 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
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In my case, I owned a digital before I got my grand.

I wanted to learn the instrument on a close representation of an acoustic to find out if I would love it and benefit from an acoustic. If people own both, this can be one reason for it.

It looks to me like most of the systems are at least $2,000-$3,500 (CAD before tax) installed. For that price I can get a really nice Roland DP with a realistic feeling hammer action. Regardless of if it is just a couple screws in my grand, no one touches that. I don't care if they want to give me the system for free. You aren't putting any holes in my grand and mounting electronics to it.

That said, my grand isn't one of the high-end models from Steingraeber or Fazioli. I would imagine most people would feel even more strongly against it at that point.

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Re: To those who own acoustics. [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2788348
12/06/18 10:27 AM
12/06/18 10:27 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
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Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
The only reason I didn't do it is that there no techicians able to do it in my town. They say in demands trained technician and special equipment. It can be done in Moscow, 3500 km away

Obviously you didn't pitch to any of them how badly they should really wanted to make a trip to see the Pamyatnik Zhduschey. wink


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: To those who own acoustics. [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2788425
12/06/18 02:28 PM
12/06/18 02:28 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 280
Murmansk, Russia
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PianoStartsAt33 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
The only reason I didn't do it is that there no techicians able to do it in my town. They say in demands trained technician and special equipment. It can be done in Moscow, 3500 km away

Obviously you didn't pitch to any of them how badly they should really wanted to make a trip to see the Pamyatnik Zhduschey. wink



The name means:"A monument to a sailors wife waiting for her husband that roams seas far away" or something like that:)


"No succes of failure matters when it's about true vocation". Nicolás Gómez Dávila

Roland FP 90

YoutubeChannel
Re: To those who own acoustics. [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2788426
12/06/18 02:37 PM
12/06/18 02:37 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 1,246
Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
The only reason I didn't do it is that there no techicians able to do it in my town. They say in demands trained technician and special equipment. It can be done in Moscow, 3500 km away

Obviously you didn't pitch to any of them how badly they should really wanted to make a trip to see the Pamyatnik Zhduschey. wink

The name means:"A monument to a sailors wife waiting for her husband that roams seas far away" or something like that:)

konechno!


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: To those who own acoustics. [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2788468
12/06/18 05:17 PM
12/06/18 05:17 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,652
Reseda, California
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JohnSprung Offline
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Many reasons:

1. With two complete instruments, I get two radically different correspondences between finger motion input and sound output. This is very helpful in learning to adapt to different pianos.

2. With two instruments, if either needs repair, I still have the other to play. With a single silent system, a problem with either means I have nothing.

3. If my slab digital is better than some venue's instrument, I can simply bring it with me in an ordinary car.

4. Digital technology advances rapidly. I can change digitals when the improvements are worth it, without affecting the other instrument.

5. Silent systems are quite expensive, and nowhere near as good as the digital you could get for the same money.


-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: To those who own acoustics. [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2788472
12/06/18 05:32 PM
12/06/18 05:32 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 831
Portland, OR, USA
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Osho Offline
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Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
Especially baby-grands.
Why did you by digitals instead of installing silent-systems on your acoustic instruments? Such a systems can be installed on used pianos, as I know.
The only reason I didn't do it is that there no techicians able to do it in my town. They say in demands trained technician and special equipment. It can be done in Moscow, 3500 km away, so...

I went through the process of making a decision last year (whether to get a grand with silent system or a grand and a DP). I went with the option for a grand and a DP. There were several reasons that influenced my decision:
  • The action changes or is impacted with most installation of 'after market' silent systems. This changes the action even when not using the silent system. And, the action definitely changes when using the silent system due to the mute rail. Some technicians claim that the action is completely unchanged for the regular 'non silent' acoustic operation - but I have heard differing opinions on this from different technicians.
  • It is fairly expensive for what it provides. The sound quality is pretty poor for the after market systems. For those used to VST quality sounds, it is simply unacceptable (as it was for me). That means you will have to hook up VST + computer. I don't want a computer that generates heat under my AP near the soundboard. And I don't want to have to connect a laptop/removable device everytime I want to use the silent system.
  • There is only one technician in the area who provides this service and has preference for one specific system - which maybe what you like or don't like. Also this means no price negotiations.
  • It may negatively impact the resale price. In theory, it should increase the resale price, but in practice - a lot of people do not want any electronics in the acoustic system.
  • Wiring power cable in the middle of the room (where I had planned to put acoustic) is an issue. It is not a pretty sight to see a big black cable running from the wall - ruins the 'elegance' of a AP in the room. This may not be an issue if the piano will be next to an outlet.


So, unless you are absolutely starved of space to house both DP and AP - a separate DP (which costs roughly the same as the cost of the silent system) is a better idea IMHO.

Osho


Mason & Hamlin BB
Kawai Novus NV10 + Embertone Walker D Full/Garritan CFX/Pianoteq 6
Re: To those who own acoustics. [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2788519
12/06/18 08:35 PM
12/06/18 08:35 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 234
North of Los Angeles
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Learux Offline
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I purchased my digital first, enjoyed it so much that I bought a grand 9 month thereafter.

Keeping the digital for silent practice.



Casio GP-400
Schimmel SP-182T
Re: To those who own acoustics. [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2788524
12/06/18 08:50 PM
12/06/18 08:50 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 86
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redfish1901 Offline
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My decision was opposite. I needed to practice silently at night, but wanted to have a grand, so grand+digital seemed like the only logical choice.

Except that space is tight, and having two pianos in the house didn't justify itself. I also hated the fact that I would be playing on my digital 80% of the time when most of the money was spent on the acoustic.

So I started looking at silent piano options, and they were all terrible. Except the Yamahas. I was very familiar with the AvantGrand, and the Yamaha silents are very similar in that they have both key and hammer sensors. I don't much care for the older Yamaha (bright) sound, but current Yamahas sound good to me.

And having a silent grand have been great. MIDI out for VST's. Fantastic action: better than AvantGrand because of the longer key sticks.

I'm very happy with my Silent Grand.

Re: To those who own acoustics. [Re: redfish1901] #2788546
12/06/18 10:50 PM
12/06/18 10:50 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 831
Portland, OR, USA
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Osho Offline
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Joined: Aug 2017
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Portland, OR, USA
Originally Posted by redfish1901

So I started looking at silent piano options, and they were all terrible. Except the Yamahas. I was very familiar with the AvantGrand, and the Yamaha silents are very similar in that they have both key and hammer sensors. I don't much care for the older Yamaha (bright) sound, but current Yamahas sound good to me.

When I was looking into silent grands, I thought that the factory-installed Yamaha silent grands were the best and much better than after-market options. But, they were impossible to find used and the new ones are quite expensive.

Osho


Mason & Hamlin BB
Kawai Novus NV10 + Embertone Walker D Full/Garritan CFX/Pianoteq 6
Re: To those who own acoustics. [Re: Osho] #2788631
12/07/18 07:56 AM
12/07/18 07:56 AM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 597
Europe
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arc7urus Offline
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Europe
Originally Posted by Osho
Originally Posted by redfish1901

So I started looking at silent piano options, and they were all terrible. Except the Yamahas. I was very familiar with the AvantGrand, and the Yamaha silents are very similar in that they have both key and hammer sensors. I don't much care for the older Yamaha (bright) sound, but current Yamahas sound good to me.

When I was looking into silent grands, I thought that the factory-installed Yamaha silent grands were the best and much better than after-market options. But, they were impossible to find used and the new ones are quite expensive.


But do Yamaha's silent systems change the touch of the keyboard or not? Yamaha says that it does not. These are quotes from Yamaha.

From the SH system user manual:
Quote
The noncontact optical sensor faithfully detects subtle movement of the keys without affecting the touch of the keys. You can enjoy the natural expression of the music.

From the new SH2 system user manual:
Quote
Non-contact sensors for maximum expressiveness: The non-contact optical sensors faithfully detect subtle movement of the keys without affecting the touch of the keys. They catch keystroke information precisely, enabling you to perform with rich nuance and extraordinarily subtle expression.

From Yamaha's website (https://europe.yamaha.com/en/products/musical_instruments/pianos/silent_piano/sh2/features.html)
Quote
Since they do not come into contact with the keys, these sensors do not affect the feel of the keyboard in any way.


However, I have read that these systems do change the touch of the keyboard. I have also played two silent Yamaha acoustics whose touch was very noticeably affected when the silent system was enabled, but I do not know if they were using the SH/SH2 system.

Is there any objective analysis of the SH/SH2 not coming from Yamaha?

Re: To those who own acoustics. [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2788692
12/07/18 10:25 AM
12/07/18 10:25 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,652
Reseda, California
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JohnSprung Offline
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The sensors do not affect the touch, they're optical. It's much like shining a flashlight on your keys won't affect the touch. That applies when you're playing in acoustic mode.

When you switch to silent mode, the touch changes because of the way they stop the hammers from hitting the strings. It's the muting, not the sensors.


-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: To those who own acoustics. [Re: JohnSprung] #2788699
12/07/18 10:39 AM
12/07/18 10:39 AM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,683
Germany
JoBert Offline
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung

The sensors do not affect the touch, they're optical. It's much like shining a flashlight on your keys won't affect the touch. That applies when you're playing in acoustic mode.

When you switch to silent mode, the touch changes because of the way they stop the hammers from hitting the strings. It's the muting, not the sensors.

That's not entirely correct either.

On a piano where the silent system does affect the touch, the touch is always affected, not only in silent mode, i.e. even when playing in acoustic mode. So it's not the "engaging the silent mode" action that worsens the touch, but the mere presence of the silent system worsens the touch both for acoustic and silent mode.
This is because without a silent system, the let off is regulated to happen 1-2mm before the hammer strikes the string. With the silent system, the stop bar now comes into play. The stop bar must stop the hammers way earlier than 1-2mm before the strings, or otherwise the hammer flex would still cause some contact with the strings and the piano wouldn't be totally silent. And since the hammer is now stopped earlier, the let off must be regulated even earlier, before the stop bar is hit. Ending up with a let off that is about 8-10mm before the hammer strikes the string. And that changed let off is always active, in acoustic mode and in silent mode. So instead of having an optimally regulated let off distance of 1-2mm, you now have 8-10mm, which would normally never be accepted by any piano technician. But the silent system requires it.

Afaik, currently this (or something similar) is the case for all upright silent systems and also for the after market silent systems for grand pianos. But I think (I'm not 100% sure though, but I remember it was mentioned here on Pianoworld) that Yamaha (and probably also others) have a factory installed silent system for grand pianos where there is compensation for this let off problem, i.e. the let off can again be regulated normally. Essentially, the whole action is lifted/lowered, so that the distance in acoustic mode is smaller than in silent mode (to accommodate for the stop bar). If this is true (if I remember this correctly) then that would explain why Yamaha can claim that the touch is not affected (or is maybe only affected in silent mode?).

But as said, AFAIK such a "neutral" system exists currently only for grands, and only in factory installed system. Uprights are always negatively affected by the silent system.

Re: To those who own acoustics. [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2788701
12/07/18 10:44 AM
12/07/18 10:44 AM
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I use the real piano for rehearsals and serious recording work. I use the digital for scoring and arranging on the computer, preliminary film score mapping, and for gigging when the venue doesn't have a decent piano (or any piano). And, occasionally, when I need to record a piece that's beyond my skills and I want to multi-track the recording or fix errors in MIDI.


Rodney Sauer
Kawai KG-2E • Kawai ES8
Re: To those who own acoustics. [Re: JoBert] #2788710
12/07/18 10:50 AM
12/07/18 10:50 AM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 86
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Originally Posted by JoBert

On a piano where the silent system does affect the touch, the touch is always affected, not only in silent mode, i.e. even when playing in acoustic mode.


A piano technician has to weigh in here, but I think what makes Yamaha silents unique is that the silent system does not affect the touch when in acoustic mode.

As far as I know, Yamaha has the silence bar which block the hammers. But in order to not affect the touch in acoustic mode, and minimize the change in sensation in silent mode, they have what they call the "quick escape" system. This system changes the distance where the jack "toe" contacts the let off button between two modes. This happens by changing the shape of the toe. I can see it happen with the fallboard removed on my piano. There used to be an animation on the web, but I can't seem to find it now. I believe only the grand silent systems have this feature.

From my perspective, the Yamaha silent system has absolutely no impact in acoustic mode, and in silent mode, the escape mechanism feeling disappears. The key travel distance and weight remain the same between silent and acoustic modes.

Last edited by redfish1901; 12/07/18 10:52 AM.
Re: To those who own acoustics. [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2788788
12/07/18 02:54 PM
12/07/18 02:54 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,652
Reseda, California
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JohnSprung Offline
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It looks like these things are following in the footsteps of Mel Brooks:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cone_of_Silence_(Get_Smart)


-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: To those who own acoustics. [Re: redfish1901] #2788888
12/07/18 07:22 PM
12/07/18 07:22 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 831
Portland, OR, USA
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Osho Offline
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Portland, OR, USA
Originally Posted by redfish1901
Originally Posted by JoBert

On a piano where the silent system does affect the touch, the touch is always affected, not only in silent mode, i.e. even when playing in acoustic mode.


A piano technician has to weigh in here, but I think what makes Yamaha silents unique is that the silent system does not affect the touch when in acoustic mode.

I talked to a few piano technicians during my search for a Grand piano - and they didn't agree on this topic. What makes this tricky is that it also depends on the silent system installation as well as the technical skills of the installing technician and his/her skill in regulating actions with silent system.

My takeaway was that there is no 'single' answer - really depends on the particular piano and the silent system and how well is the installation of that system on that piano.

Osho


Mason & Hamlin BB
Kawai Novus NV10 + Embertone Walker D Full/Garritan CFX/Pianoteq 6

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