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DP Speaker Specs, are they worth anything?
#2793477 12/20/18 04:01 PM
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I just made the decision to order the Yamaha NU1X. This was the first DP I tried solely by accident. I stopped by a Yamaha dealer in a city we were visiting intending to look at the CLP-685, the AvantGrand DP's were not on my radar. I tried it on my own and I think because of how it was setup I didn't care for it at the time. They then directed me to the NU1X and I loved it. Afterwards the geek side of me got going and I started to compare similar models and made a spreadsheet with the costs and the specs. I did keep coming back to the NU1X but the specs, speakers in particular kept me looking elsewhere. (8 visits to dealers to test 6 different pianos everyone played at least 3 times.)

Where I am going this is that on paper the NU1X looks to have the least promising sound of any of the ones I looked at but it was the one that I thought sounded the best. Note, I am not disparaging the other DPs, they all sounded good and I think I would have been happy with any of them but I preferred the NU1X. As a comparison the CLP-685 has 6 speakers and 300 watts of power while the NU1X has 2 speakers and 90 watts. Just looking at the specs they shouldn't even be close in sound quality yet from my perspective they were similar sounding when playing the default piano and I preferred the NU1X.

Is it just me and my lack of audio experience / awareness or is a lot of the marketing talk in the brochures just that, marketing speak? I did get over doing spec comparisons in the end and went with the advice given here by many people, buy the one that you feel best at when you play it.

As a side note I am aware of the NU1X defect but given my skill level, or lack of, it is going to be a non issue. If a random loud note shows up it will have plenty of company from the random loud notes that I unintentionally play.

(Look for me to be hanging out in the adult beginners forum)


Yamaha NU1X, Sennheiser HD 599 headphones, dabling with PianoTeq
Re: DP Speaker Specs, are they worth anything?
Peddler100 #2793484 12/20/18 04:18 PM
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Well I won't say specs are worthless, but, watts and quality are two different things, and quantity and quality are too. What matters are what the ears hear in the end, right? smile


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Re: DP Speaker Specs, are they worth anything?
Peddler100 #2793489 12/20/18 04:47 PM
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Don't worry, you seem to have excellent ears and you have selected one of the best digital piano in its category!

(btw: it has 2x90=180W and 2x2=4 speakers installed)

Re: DP Speaker Specs, are they worth anything?
Peddler100 #2793494 12/20/18 05:14 PM
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If speaker watts is anything to go by, the Kawai CA98 would have been blown away by the Yamaha CLP685.

Re: DP Speaker Specs, are they worth anything?
Peddler100 #2793499 12/20/18 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by oneilt130
CLP-685 has 6 speakers and 300 watts of power while the NU1X has 2 speakers and 90 watts. Just looking at the specs they shouldn't even be close in sound quality

Power says something about how loud a piano will play into a particular speaker (and how much clean headroom there may be for peaks), but that's about all. Other than that, it says nothing about sound quality. It doesn't even tell you which of the two pianos will be louder because they're not being played through the same speakers. 8 watts into a speaker with efficiency of 94 dB (1 watt, 1 meter) is louder than 32 watts into a speaker with efficiency of 86 dB. (You get 3 dB more volume with every doubling of power.)

Re: DP Speaker Specs, are they worth anything?
puremusic #2793502 12/20/18 05:54 PM
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Bingo!
Originally Posted by puremusic
Well I won't say specs are worthless, but, watts and quality are two different things, and quantity and quality are too.

Let's also keep in mind that these pianos do not HAVE 90 watts, nor 300 watts.
Rather they can DELIVER 90 watts or 300 watts ... if the input signal is strong enough for long enough.

Three things must be kept in mind.

1. Speaker efficiency matters, as anotherscott has already said. And no piano specs call out ANY information about that. None at all.

2. The power claims are just claims ... with no rule of law and no means of substantiation ... and therefore no reason to be believed.

3. The real average power output is just milliwatts. That's right, just milliwatts. You don't need much power to make a loud sound.
The big watts are pumped out only during those very brief audio spikes ... and you'll not have such very much unless you have the volume cranked way up.

So ... as puremusic has already said: What matters are what the ears hear in the end, right?

Re: DP Speaker Specs, are they worth anything?
Peddler100 #2793508 12/20/18 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by oneilt130
As a comparison the CLP-685 has 6 speakers and 300 watts of power while the NU1X has 2 speakers and 90 watts. Just looking at the specs they shouldn't even be close in sound quality yet from my perspective they were similar sounding when playing the default piano and I preferred the NU1X.

Is it just me and my lack of audio experience / awareness or is a lot of the marketing talk in the brochures just that, marketing speak?

From a practical perspective, audio marketing "specs" are 100% worthless. Watts, sensitivity, impedance, number of speakers, etc. quoted in marketing documents mean nothing in most cases.

Just play the digital piano and let your ears decide if you enjoy the experience and sound.

Re: DP Speaker Specs, are they worth anything?
newer player #2793510 12/20/18 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by newer player
Originally Posted by oneilt130
As a comparison the CLP-685 has 6 speakers and 300 watts of power while the NU1X has 2 speakers and 90 watts. Just looking at the specs they shouldn't even be close in sound quality yet from my perspective they were similar sounding when playing the default piano and I preferred the NU1X.

Is it just me and my lack of audio experience / awareness or is a lot of the marketing talk in the brochures just that, marketing speak?

From a practical perspective, audio marketing "specs" are 100% worthless. Watts, sensitivity, impedance, number of speakers, etc. quoted in marketing documents mean nothing in most cases.

Just play the digital piano and let your ears decide if you enjoy the experience and sound.


That was the point I was trying to get confirmed. To those unaware of how the sound output actually works, like me, you tend to go on the specs when evaluating them. I did that but my ears kept telling me something else. In the end I went with my ears as people here recommended. It was interesting that one dealer kept trying to sway me to the CLP-685 over the NU1X by mentioning the 300 watts and all the features that I told him I wasn't interested it. In retrospect I think the CLP-685 was getting ready to come off of the floor plan and he wanted to move it. :-)


Yamaha NU1X, Sennheiser HD 599 headphones, dabling with PianoTeq
Re: DP Speaker Specs, are they worth anything?
Peddler100 #2793512 12/20/18 06:19 PM
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For reference, my "2 watt" tube amps and old speakers will play much "louder" than that 300 watt system. Not even a contest.

Re: DP Speaker Specs, are they worth anything?
newer player #2793521 12/20/18 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by newer player
For reference, my "2 watt" tube amps and old speakers will play much "louder" than that 300 watt system. Not even a contest.
You have given a good example of the complexity of 'audio power' vs. 'loudness'. Your old speakers are extremely efficient and therefore require very little power to drive them to very loud volume levels. My speakers are very inefficient and need at least 250 watts per channel to reach the same very loud volume levels.

People also don't understand that the difference in volume between a solid 90 watts and a solid 300 watts is barely perceptible. To be twice as loud as a solid 90 watt system, you would need a 900 watt system, (10 dB increase in power).

Re: DP Speaker Specs, are they worth anything?
Peddler100 #2793522 12/20/18 06:38 PM
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Yes, prout. You're right about the doubling of power.
What people also might not realize is that you don't need that doubling of loudness.

80 dbA is borderline.
90 dBA is damaging.
100 dBA is destructive.
How much louder do you want or need?

You only need the "big power" for brief instants. Spikes. Most of the time you need only tiny amounts of power.

On the subject of efficient vs. inefficient speakers ... I think you should amend this statement:
Quote
My speakers are very inefficient and need at least 250 watts per channel to reach the same very loud volume levels.
It would be more correct to say that you need 250 watts on a transient basis. (If you put 250 watts continuous into them they'd catch fire.)

Re: DP Speaker Specs, are they worth anything?
MacMacMac #2793526 12/20/18 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
On the subject of efficient vs. inefficient speakers ... I think you should amend this statement:
Quote
My speakers are very inefficient and need at least 250 watts per channel to reach the same very loud volume levels.
It would be more correct to say that you need 250 watts on a transient basis. (If you put 250 watts continuous into them they'd catch fire.)

Good point. I run my KEFs on 250 RMS per channel with about 3dB headroom. The bass below 60Hz goes to a 1200 RMS Velodyne.
The average listening level (I have continuous power monitoring) is about 0.001 Watt.

A few years ago I did run a test on a subwoofer. I put a 15Hz pure sine wave into it at about 200 watts (it was rated 1000 RMS) and it melted the voice coil in about 30 seconds. An expensive mistake. frown

Re: DP Speaker Specs, are they worth anything?
Peddler100 #2793527 12/20/18 06:56 PM
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When I tried out the CLP-685 on multiple occasions, it was almost always "that's the best they can do? It's not that great".

When I tried out the NU1(X) on multiple occasions, it was almost always "wow, that sounds/feels like a piano".

I think what happened inside Yamaha is that the digital piano department and the AvantGrand department collided at the same price point. The digital piano department kept adding features to simulate a piano (wooden keys, counterweights, nicer cabinets, bigger speakers, FAKE SOUNDBOARD). The AvantGrand group started from the top (no spared expense, make it as best as they can for 20K USD), and gradually removed things for a cheaper price point.

If that's what happened, it's not that surprising that AvantGrand dept reached a more satisfying product at a similar price point than the CLP dept. They didn't have to think about what Kawai was doing with their CS/CA series and the fake soundboards, the counterweights, the let-off simulation and all that.

I hope the AvantGrand dept keeps going and give the world a good 2K USD digital piano.

Last edited by redfish1901; 12/20/18 06:59 PM.
Re: DP Speaker Specs, are they worth anything?
prout #2793531 12/20/18 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by prout
Originally Posted by newer player
For reference, my "2 watt" tube amps and old speakers will play much "louder" than that 300 watt system. Not even a contest.
You have given a good example of the complexity of 'audio power' vs. 'loudness'. Your old speakers are extremely efficient and therefore require very little power to drive them to very loud volume levels. My speakers are very inefficient and need at least 250 watts per channel to reach the same very loud volume levels.



Sounds like something might be getting rather warm . . . . the speaker coil?


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Re: DP Speaker Specs, are they worth anything?
peterws #2793546 12/20/18 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by peterws
Originally Posted by prout
Originally Posted by newer player
For reference, my "2 watt" tube amps and old speakers will play much "louder" than that 300 watt system. Not even a contest.
You have given a good example of the complexity of 'audio power' vs. 'loudness'. Your old speakers are extremely efficient and therefore require very little power to drive them to very loud volume levels. My speakers are very inefficient and need at least 250 watts per channel to reach the same very loud volume levels.



Sounds like something might be getting rather warm . . . . the speaker coil?
Probably - some losses as well in the crossovers and a lot in heating the air inside the sealed chamber. There are three drivers in each speaker and its sensitivity is 82dB. Acoustic suspension designs tend to be inefficient. The payback is much lower distortion.

Modern designs can reach over 100dB sensitivity. That would mean I need 63 Watts for every one Watt delivered to a 100dB speaker to be as loud.

Re: DP Speaker Specs, are they worth anything?
prout #2793610 12/20/18 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by prout
. . .
A few years ago I did run a test on a subwoofer. I put a 15Hz pure sine wave into it at about 200 watts (it was rated 1000 RMS) and it melted the voice coil in about 30 seconds. An expensive mistake. frown


No "overheat protection", eh?

One nice thing about the ZXA1 -- it'll shut down, if it gets too hot. But I don't know if the sensor is on in the amp, or on the voice coil(s).


. Charles
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Re: DP Speaker Specs, are they worth anything?
Charles Cohen #2793740 12/21/18 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Originally Posted by prout
. . .
A few years ago I did run a test on a subwoofer. I put a 15Hz pure sine wave into it at about 200 watts (it was rated 1000 RMS) and it melted the voice coil in about 30 seconds. An expensive mistake. frown


No "overheat protection", eh?

One nice thing about the ZXA1 -- it'll shut down, if it gets too hot. But I don't know if the sensor is on in the amp, or on the voice coil(s).

It was around 1990 when I did the testing and the circuitry was not all that sophisticated.

Re: DP Speaker Specs, are they worth anything?
Peddler100 #2793797 12/21/18 12:02 PM
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And in 1990 there was no online video. Too bad. That would be a fun view on You Tube.

I've seen on You Tube a similarly inclined guy take a car stereo thumpa-thumpa (woofer) and burn it up with excess power. Fire. Smoke. Fun. (And nobody died.) smile


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