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I hate all digital pianos' sound, is this a burnout? :) #2798385
01/04/19 12:52 PM
01/04/19 12:52 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,206
Sofia, Bulgaria
CyberGene Online content OP
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CyberGene  Online Content OP
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Sofia, Bulgaria
I know it sounds like a total waste of time but I had an hour or two today which I decided to spend by listening to YouTube or official website demos of all the latest digital pianos. I've played most of them or listened to demos many times in the past so this isn't something new. Anyway.

I simply couldn't like any of them frown To put it mildly.

Newest LX-series: thin, boxed, mono-like sound that is disguised by very good resonances and stuff but the core part is meh.
Previous LX-series: even worse!
Latest Yamaha pianos: sharp and rough.
Kawai Rendering: dull, boring, sterile, way too clean (regardless of characters/modes)
Dexibell: probably the worst of them all. Maybe not suitable for listening with headphones but I barely managed to withstand listening to any of the latest platinum extended sounds: distant, mono-like, over-processed, nasal
Casio: "plink-plonk"
Nord: actually the only ones I kind of liked, however on many of the demos it seems like the dynamic curves or velocity mappings might not be well made since many players produced what appeared to be too high velocities compared to the context of say softer passage, might be wrong, need to test.

(Haven't listened to any Korg and Kurzweil though)

I've also listened to demos of a few sample-based VST-s such as Ivory, CFX, Vintage D, etc. and they all sounded fabulous. I know the problem with them is playability and I personally have managed to connect (and love) CFX only.
-----
But started wondering: is this a burnout that I am having? Am I too picky? Becoming grumpy old man? smile What do you think?

Last edited by CyberGene; 01/04/19 12:55 PM.

My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
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Re: I hate all digital pianos' sound, is this a burnout? :) [Re: CyberGene] #2798402
01/04/19 01:25 PM
01/04/19 01:25 PM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 248
Germany
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Markuska Offline
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For me there also never was a "omg, this is it!!!!" moment, and I am testing since a few months. I had the fear that it was about me and not the DPs itself.

Then I sat in front of a Steinway Grand (I misread the price, read €8000 instead of €80000). It was not about me, there just is no perfect sound I suppose until now. But enough options that are "good/good enough", so I certainly dont HATE them smile

Re: I hate all digital pianos' sound, is this a burnout? :) [Re: CyberGene] #2798404
01/04/19 01:27 PM
01/04/19 01:27 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
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Ontario, Canada
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halherta Offline
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There is such a thing as having too much choice.



Yamaha P-125, Pianoteq 6, Ravenscroft 275 VST, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
Re: I hate all digital pianos' sound, is this a burnout? :) [Re: CyberGene] #2798405
01/04/19 01:36 PM
01/04/19 01:36 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
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stamkorg Offline
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Originally Posted by CyberGene

I've also listened to demos of a few sample-based VST-s such as Ivory, CFX, Vintage D, etc. and they all sounded fabulous. I know the problem with them is playability and I personally have managed to connect (and love) CFX only.


You mentioned the Vintage D.
Did you try the Grandeur? I find it much more playable and velocity controllable than the Vintage D. It is nearly perfect for me except the well known pedal problem (the same as Vintage D), but it is totally usable for me and lovely to hear.

Re: I hate all digital pianos' sound, is this a burnout? :) [Re: CyberGene] #2798408
01/04/19 01:41 PM
01/04/19 01:41 PM
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navindra Offline
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It's so relative.

I thought I hated digitals until I started shopping for real uprights. To my complete and utter surprise, I found that I hated the uprights more than the digitals. The digital strategy is to track grand pianos, and I got so used to the whole grand piano "experience", and so spoilt, that even real upright pianos don't seem to cut it in comparison.

So many of the uprights felt like they sounded terrible in particular areas of the keyboard and the action felt less expressive. To top it off, I found that some of the things I originally thought were digital sound artifacts or defects actually manifest on the real thing. laugh

It was not something I expected and, obviously, I'm not talking about high-end $$$ uprights here.

Re: I hate all digital pianos' sound, is this a burnout? :) [Re: stamkorg] #2798409
01/04/19 01:41 PM
01/04/19 01:41 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,206
Sofia, Bulgaria
CyberGene Online content OP
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CyberGene  Online Content OP
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Originally Posted by stamkorg
Did you try the Grandeur? I find it much more playable and velocity controllable than the Vintage D. It is nearly perfect for me except the well known pedal problem (the same as Vintage D), but it is totally usable for me and lovely to hear.

I haven’t tried it, nor listened to it but I will definitely do. The problem is I need excellent pedal implementation. I have Vintage D and while it’s the best piano sound to my ears (maybe even better than my favorite CFX) its flawed half-pedal implementation (that I have reported to them) ultimately made me look for other pianos although I’ve used it for some time and to render a few of my recordings.


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: I hate all digital pianos' sound, is this a burnout? :) [Re: CyberGene] #2798416
01/04/19 01:49 PM
01/04/19 01:49 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 368
Greenwich, London, United King...
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DPs aren't for listening to. Who in their right mind would record a classical CD of solo piano music using a DP?

They are for playing, for learning, for accompaniment and some are more enjoyable to play than others, and many are more enjoyable to play than a comparably priced upright in good condition never mind your average one in a state of neglect.

My other interest is Hi-Fi and I have some modestly good audiophile gear. Speakers and amplification that can (almost) create the illusion (with eyes closed) that there is a real physical piano in the room costs 4 - 5 times more than the top end DPs. And people wonder why an MDF box full of consumer electronics and car speakers cannot come close to recreating the same Grand Piano experience (the V-Grand comes close but at a premium price) ....

If you are looking for a genuine substitute for a Grand Piano, buy a grand piano. There is no substitute.

If you are looking for an affordable and easy to live with instrument that allows you to enjoyably play music written for the piano imo you are spoiled for choice at the moment from R Y K and C.

Last edited by DazedAndConfused; 01/04/19 01:51 PM.
Re: I hate all digital pianos' sound, is this a burnout? :) [Re: DazedAndConfused] #2798418
01/04/19 01:59 PM
01/04/19 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by DazedAndConfused
If you are looking for a genuine substitute for a Grand Piano, buy a grand piano. There is no substitute.

If you are looking for an affordable and easy to live with instrument that allows you to enjoyably play music written for the piano imo you are spoiled for choice at the moment from R Y K and C.


This.

I've got both. The digital is for gigging, computer input for creating arrangements and composing, and (in my case) rough film-scoring work; and occasionally doing in MIDI what I'm not a good enough player to do in analog.

The grand piano is for playing, rehearsing with my ensemble, and recording.

It'll set you back $5000 to $10,000 for a very good used grand piano. Have a technician check it out before you buy it. Get it revoiced if needed. Why waste your life on indifferently-implemented VSTs and compromise keyboards when the real thing is available?


Rodney Sauer
Kawai KG-2E • Kawai ES8
Re: I hate all digital pianos' sound, is this a burnout? :) [Re: CyberGene] #2798424
01/04/19 02:04 PM
01/04/19 02:04 PM
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Posts: 302
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
its flawed half-pedal implementation (that I have reported to them)


Yes,
I remember you were the first who noticed that.
It's a pity they didn't resolve this problem.
But, to be honest, I can live with it in my everyday practice.

What annoys me is a kind of bug related to the repedalling (also the same thing on the Vintage D). In some cases, an energic repedalling seems to trigger some release samples in an unnatural way. I don't know why but there seems to be a link between the repedalling function and the release samples. I resolved that by simply let the repedalling option off. And even there, I like it very much.

Re: I hate all digital pianos' sound, is this a burnout? :) [Re: Markuska] #2798430
01/04/19 02:11 PM
01/04/19 02:11 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,262
Reseda, California
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JohnSprung Offline
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Originally Posted by Markuska
Then I sat in front of a Steinway Grand (I misread the price, read €8000 instead of €80000).


In that case, try a few used grands, and the mid-range makers. You can get some very nice instruments with the decimal point where you want it.... ;-)


-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: I hate all digital pianos' sound, is this a burnout? :) [Re: CyberGene] #2798445
01/04/19 02:27 PM
01/04/19 02:27 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 17,037
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Well, YouTube isn’t quite hi-fidelity so I wouldn’t be too harsh based on that.

But yes, nothing beats the sound of a good acoustic grand. wink


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: I hate all digital pianos' sound, is this a burnout? :) [Re: CyberGene] #2798455
01/04/19 02:57 PM
01/04/19 02:57 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,206
Sofia, Bulgaria
CyberGene Online content OP
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Sofia, Bulgaria
YouTube uses AAC which is probably the best lossy compression. Much better than mp3. And even with an audiophile headphone DAC and amplifier and my various headphones (including my favorite HD650) I can’t hear difference between FLAC/WAV and mp3 over 160kbps so the YouTube compression wouldn’t be the one to blame IMO smile

As to real grands. That’s my dream but for the foreseeable future I will be working in our capital, hence can afford to live only in a rather small apartment so a grand piano is absolutely out of the question, even though I have the budget for a baby grand such as a new Kawai/Yamaha frown


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: I hate all digital pianos' sound, is this a burnout? :) [Re: DazedAndConfused] #2798459
01/04/19 03:03 PM
01/04/19 03:03 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,107
Kitsap County, WA
Chrispy Offline
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Originally Posted by DazedAndConfused
DPs aren't for listening to. Who in their right mind would record a classical CD of solo piano music using a DP?

They are for playing, for learning, for accompaniment and some are more enjoyable to play than others, and many are more enjoyable to play than a comparably priced upright in good condition never mind your average one in a state of neglect.

My other interest is Hi-Fi and I have some modestly good audiophile gear. Speakers and amplification that can (almost) create the illusion (with eyes closed) that there is a real physical piano in the room costs 4 - 5 times more than the top end DPs. And people wonder why an MDF box full of consumer electronics and car speakers cannot come close to recreating the same Grand Piano experience (the V-Grand comes close but at a premium price) ....

If you are looking for a genuine substitute for a Grand Piano, buy a grand piano. There is no substitute.

If you are looking for an affordable and easy to live with instrument that allows you to enjoyably play music written for the piano imo you are spoiled for choice at the moment from R Y K and C.


This is a really good take on the issue I think. In addition DP's are (obviously) digital, not analog, so there it something lost no matter how good your reproduction system and as is wisely noted, DP's don't have high end audio to begin with.

An interesting and related question I'd ask you CyberGene, are there any recordings of a piano you don't hate?


𝒀𝒂𝒎𝒂𝒉𝒂 𝑨𝒗𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝑮𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑵1𝑿
Re: I hate all digital pianos' sound, is this a burnout? :) [Re: CyberGene] #2798460
01/04/19 03:04 PM
01/04/19 03:04 PM
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Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
YouTube uses AAC which is probably the best lossy compression. Much better than mp3. And even with an audiophile headphone DAC and amplifier and my various headphones (including my favorite HD650) I can’t hear difference between FLAC/WAV and mp3 over 160kbps so the YouTube compression wouldn’t be the one to blame IMO smile
I was comparing to live playing through the speakers.

Quote
As to real grands. That’s my dream but for the foreseeable future I will be working in our capital, hence can afford to live only in a rather small apartment so a grand piano is absolutely out of the question, even though I have the budget for a baby grand such as a new Kawai/Yamaha frown
Someday it’ll happen, we all go through seasons smile


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: I hate all digital pianos' sound, is this a burnout? :) [Re: Chrispy] #2798465
01/04/19 03:11 PM
01/04/19 03:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,206
Sofia, Bulgaria
CyberGene Online content OP
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Originally Posted by squidbot
An interesting and related question I'd ask you CyberGene, are there any recordings of a piano you don't hate?

As I said I enjoy almost all recordings made with VST-s. The notable exception being Pianoteq that I can’t stand. The problem with VST-s is most of them are not very playable. But I love the playability of Garritan CFX and it’s what I only play at the moment. In a way I’m not complaining since I play a digital sound that I love. What I’m wondering is there’s still no single digital piano that offers this kind of quality in a single integrated package. And so I started thinking maybe I’m wrong and not piano manufacturers?


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: I hate all digital pianos' sound, is this a burnout? :) [Re: CyberGene] #2798473
01/04/19 03:28 PM
01/04/19 03:28 PM
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Ontario, Canada
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halherta Offline
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In addition to Garritan CFX I also like Ravencroft 275 and Bechstein Digital. These three in my opinion have decent sound and are very playable.

In all honesty the latest entry level digital piano models have 20 year old sampling / tone generation tech in them. Intermediate and high end digital pianos have 10 year old tone generation tech in them with a few exceptions. Even when the tech is very sophisticated as in Roland LX-7XX series, sometimes the sound can be perceived to be too artificial. If you like Garritan CFX, then just stick with it and spend more time practicing than trying to find the perfect sound.



Yamaha P-125, Pianoteq 6, Ravenscroft 275 VST, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
Re: I hate all digital pianos' sound, is this a burnout? :) [Re: CyberGene] #2798513
01/04/19 05:47 PM
01/04/19 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Newest LX-series: thin, boxed, mono-like sound that is disguised by very good resonances and stuff but the core part is meh.
Previous LX-series: even worse!

I'm guessing you played lower models? Because LX-708 sounds pretty clean to me with open lid.

Re: I hate all digital pianos' sound, is this a burnout? :) [Re: CyberGene] #2798515
01/04/19 05:56 PM
01/04/19 05:56 PM
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Pianoteq. Stop resisting. Salvation is right there.

Re: I hate all digital pianos' sound, is this a burnout? :) [Re: CyberGene] #2798517
01/04/19 05:59 PM
01/04/19 05:59 PM
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I agree, i can”t believe how mediocre hardware samples sound.
I gave my new MP11SE a very good work out for a week with it’s internal sounds but althaugh i really dig my purchase i won’t ever use it’s piano sound unless my computer brakes down.
Here what gives me my current piano satisfaction

Garritan CFX is great on all accounts as the best of modern sounding grand piano’s

Walker 1955 has the most haunting resonance and cuts through any mix in the most gorgious way.... rather ‘aged’ Steinway sound ... not tightly tuned.

CinePiano has this fat and bold Steinway sound great for pop/blues/jazz sole lines... some notes with jumpy velocities though...

Art vista Supergrand and My Piano/fluffy audio give this much appreciated ‘different’ sound when i prefer something different.

That’s it for me, bought a lot of stuff i will never use, but that’s because software is relatively cheap and impulse buys are easily made.

But no way i can enjoy those lacking internal hardware piano sounds at the moment.

Last edited by pianistje; 01/04/19 06:02 PM.
Re: I hate all digital pianos' sound, is this a burnout? :) [Re: Nordomus] #2798518
01/04/19 06:12 PM
01/04/19 06:12 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,206
Sofia, Bulgaria
CyberGene Online content OP
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CyberGene  Online Content OP
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Originally Posted by Nordomus
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Newest LX-series: thin, boxed, mono-like sound that is disguised by very good resonances and stuff but the core part is meh.
Previous LX-series: even worse!

I'm guessing you played lower models? Because LX-708 sounds pretty clean to me with open lid.


Yes, I've played only previous LX-series (can't remember well, maybe LX17 or 7...). In the very beginning I kind of liked it. Then on a second visit I wasn't impressed and then started disliking it a lot.

As for LX-708, I am speaking entirely based on the YouTube demos, I haven't found a place that has it for testing. I know it's harsh to judge pianos only by YouTube demos but that was the exercise: listen only to demos on YouTube. And let's be honest, this isn't entirely inconsistent with how one will feel when playing the corresponding piano with headphones.


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
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