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Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
CyberGene #2829352 03/21/19 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
...And the keyboard definitely feels even heavier. In a nice way. All at all, I’m so deeply fascinated by this piano! It’s the best piano I could ever imagine I would realistically own. I’m glad I ended up with the N1X and it’s definitely one of the most successful product choices I’ve ever made.

How would rate the noise of the mechanical action when playing through speakers at low volume or when you use your open-back headphones? I ask this because I already had issues with neighbours when playing late at night due to the thumpety thump of my previous DP. My only data point is a grand with silent system that I occasionally play, but most of the noise I hear comes from the mute/silent rail and not from the action itself.

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Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
arc7urus #2829360 03/21/19 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by arc7urus
How would rate the noise of the mechanical action when playing through speakers at low volume or when you use your open-back headphones? I ask this because I already had issues with neighbours when playing late at night due to the thumpety thump of my previous DP. My only data point is a grand with silent system that I occasionally play, but most of the noise I hear comes from the mute/silent rail and not from the action itself.

There's a loud thump, no doubt about it. It's certainly louder than regular digital pianos. If you've previously had problems with that, you'll have with the N1X and I guess hybrid or silent pianos. I guess it's inevitable, you have high velocity hammers that need to rebound with the same speed as from a string (e.g. a high tensile spring). If you have to eliminate noise, you should either use a lot of dampening on the rail but that would interfere with the rebound, or have noise insulated body or something.

Fortunately I don't have problems with neighbors regarding thumping. I believe one of the reasons might be that traditionally Bulgarian construction is very heavyweight, excessive concrete amounts are used for slabs and rooms are separated by heavy bricks. I've sometimes heard ridicules about how we build houses as though they are pill-boxes smile But at least noise even between two rooms is well insulated. I remember when I lived in Ireland, internal walls were pathetic, I could hear my room mate breathing in the next room... And even between flats/floors it was all so thin.


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Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829375 03/21/19 06:59 AM
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Based on CyberGene’s impressions (and others), it seems like the N1X is a ‘substantial’ improvement over the N1 despite the specs not being too different.
For example, the speakers got a slight bump in wattage, but there’s no mention of the actual quality. Could the speakers on the N1X be slightly better overall?
What about the action? In terms of dimensions it seems to be identical, but what if Yamaha gave it the true acoustic treatment this time around; perhaps employing their master technicians for the final touches, such as regulation, etc... Who knows?

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
Pete14 #2829405 03/21/19 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete14
Based on CyberGene’s impressions (and others), it seems like the N1X is a ‘substantial’ improvement over the N1 despite the specs not being too different.
For example, the speakers got a slight bump in wattage, but there’s no mention of the actual quality. Could the speakers on the N1X be slightly better overall?
What about the action? In terms of dimensions it seems to be identical, but what if Yamaha gave it the true acoustic treatment this time around; perhaps employing their master technicians for the final touches, such as regulation, etc... Who knows?

The improvements are mostly limited to the sound engine (resonance model/VRM, new multi-channel samples, binaural CFX samples) plus updated connectivity options (BT Audio, USB Digital Audio and Smart Pianist app integration). Upgrades to the speakers are not mentioned on the press release or on the official pages.

I also seriously doubt that N1X features an improved action. You should expect to find the same action as in the N3X (released ca. 2016) and I wouldn't be surprised if this action is the same used on the AvantGrands released around 2011. Maybe some of the materials and production processes were changed. For example, the repetition lever on the AvantGrands is made of plastic, but this might have been a change introduced during production. But if there was any tangible improvement to the action you could be sure you would find plenty of marketing gibberish around it. And there is none... so, either the action is the same as before or is was downgraded to increase profit margins... I would bet on the former.

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
arc7urus #2829413 03/21/19 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by arc7urus
The improvements are mostly limited to the sound engine (resonance model/VRM, new multi-channel samples, binaural CFX samples)


I've played a N1 many years ago and I wasn't impressed. I would agree that the power of a good playability coming from better samples, multichannel projection, VRM, etc.shouldn't be underestimated.

As to action, I don't think an upgrade is needed. Grand piano actions have been like that for 200 years. Well, yeah, the pivot point could have been longer but other than that it's still a nice grand piano action - the one that has been on the market for hundreds of years, however made in the 21st century. The real actions don't get upgraded every 3 years. They never get upgraded, they have been always like that smile Kawai and WNG upgraded some parts with ABS and other composites. Yamaha replaced the repetition lever with a plastic one. Can't see what's wrong in that. Plastic is stronger than wood. We don't even know what kind of plastic that is. You can also say ABS is plastic too.

I believe the digital crowd is too used to expecting evolutions, revolutions, upgrades and whatnot every few years which isn't the case about a long ago established grand piano action. I really can't see why would Yamaha need to update the action in an AvantGrand. It feels great to me, undistinguishable from the action of an acoustic grand, simply because it's the action from an acoustic grand.

Last edited by CyberGene; 03/21/19 08:26 AM.

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Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829415 03/21/19 08:26 AM
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I purchased this new monitor from Amazon ($164.00).

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

It’s a 31.5” monitor and it’s just the right size to be a few feet away from the N1X. I need a monitor for my piano lessons, VST’s, and recording. I was using a smaller 21” monitor, but I didn’t like it so close to the piano. This one works well and I’m happy with it.

The height of the N1X music rest is like a normal acoustic piano and I needed a stand that could raise the monitor high enough for me to see it over the music rest. I was able to find this stand on Amazon ($49.99) and I’m really happy with it also.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

I like this setup because it places the monitor away from the piano keeping the playing experience more natural. That’s one thing I really like about the N1X. I feel like I’m sitting down to play a real piano. I never had that feeling before with the various DP’s I’ve owned and I always coveted playing a real piano anytime I could. Now when I play different acoustic pianos (I have access to two Kawai pianos) I feel like I’m literally transitioning from one acoustic (N1X) to another.

The N1X is remarkably authentic. My fingers are more conditioned after a few weeks of playing it. It’s very noticeable when I play the heavier actions of the Kawai pianos. My fingers feel strong, whereas before, they would feel weak when transitioning to an acoustic from the MP11SE. I also feel like I have more dynamic control on real acoustics after playing the N1X. The other day I was able to play in-between services at church and I immediately felt confident and in command because I’ve gotten used to playing the N1X acoustic/hybrid action everyday.

I’m sure experienced players can transition between DP and acoustics quite effortlessly, but as a beginner, I found it more challenging. Perhaps there was a psychological factor along with the actual neuromuscular difference. However, the N1X is getting my brain wired to the feel of an acoustic piano and I feel much more comfortable actually sitting behind a real acoustic and playing it.

God Bless,
David


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Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
CyberGene #2829424 03/21/19 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by arc7urus
The improvements are mostly limited to the sound engine (resonance model/VRM, new multi-channel samples, binaural CFX samples)


I've played a N1 many years ago and I wasn't impressed. I would agree that the power of a good playability coming from better samples, multichannel projection, VRM, etc.shouldn't be underestimated.

As to action, I don't think an upgrade is needed. Grand piano actions have been like that for 200 years. Well, yeah, the pivot point could have been longer but other than that it's still a nice grand piano action - the one that has been on the market for hundreds of years, however made in the 21st century. The real actions don't get upgraded every 3 years. They never get upgraded, they have been always like that smile Kawai and WNG upgraded some parts with ABS and other composites. Yamaha replaced the repetition lever with a plastic one. Can't see what's wrong in that. Plastic is stronger than wood. We don't even know what kind of plastic that is. You can also say ABS is plastic too.

I believe the digital crowd is too used to expecting evolutions, revolutions, upgrades and whatnot every few years which isn't the case about a long ago established grand piano action. I really can't see why would Yamaha need to update the action in an AvantGrand. It feels great to me, undistinguishable from the action of an acoustic grand, simply because it's the action from an acoustic grand.

Sorry if my comments sounded negative. That was not the point. A capable sound engine is fundamental to connect the player to the DP. Even with an hybrid action, a DP with a subpar sound engine will not be able to deliver the illusion of playing a grand. So, the upgrade to the sound engine is very significative.

The usage of composite and plastic materials also make complete sense to increase the stability of the action and to reduce the impact of humidity and temperature changes. And these "modern" materials are not used by many acoustic pianos builders because they are somehow "inferior" but simply to keep with tradition (another example of this is the use of brass instead of other alloys).

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
arc7urus #2829429 03/21/19 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by arc7urus
Sorry if my comments sounded negative. That was not the point. A capable sound engine is fundamental to connect the player to the DP. Even with an hybrid action, a DP with a subpar sound engine will not be able to deliver the illusion of playing a grand. So, the upgrade to the sound engine is very significative.

The usage of composite and plastic materials also make complete sense to increase the stability of the action and to reduce the impact of humidity and temperature changes. And these "modern" materials are not used by many acoustic pianos builders because they are somehow "inferior" but simply to keep with tradition (another example of this is the use of brass instead of other alloys).

Sorry if it sounded like I was opposing your post. On the contrary, actually I liked what you said and quoted it in agreement that a sound upgrade can actually result in a much better instrument even if the action is the same. My post was probably a bit grumpy but wasn't an answer to you but rather to the generic notion I've seen sometimes in the forum that Yamaha need to upgrade the keyboard action in N1.


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Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829432 03/21/19 09:20 AM
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Realistically speaking, I agree with arc7urus and CyberGene regarding the plausibility of an improved action in the AvantGrand in terms of parts, dimensions, etc.. but my fantasy has more to do with ‘improvements’ to the implementation, such as regulation, of these components.
Then again, as mentioned before, if Yamaha had made these improvements they’d be all over it and then some......... “Regulated by Michio Sacamoto, the best piano technician ever born....on planet earth.”
So yes, any perceived improvements most likely have to do with the new sound engine and such.

P.S.

Let us not confuse plastic with ABS. The last time I referred to Kawai piano butts being made from plastic, I got a whipping (lesson) from James in terms of the differences. And here I always thought ABS to be some form of plastic. I learned my lesson! Thanks, James. grin

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829437 03/21/19 09:37 AM
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My local Yamaha dealer carries all the Yamaha acoustic and digital pianos, with the exception of the AvantGrands.
They say more people are interested in the silent acoustics than the AvantGrands.

So i don’t get the pleasure of trying out the N1X. mad


.... Jeff ▫️ Yamaha P515 ▫️ Roll Tide
Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829439 03/21/19 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by David B
I purchased this new monitor from Amazon ($164.00).

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

It’s a 31.5” monitor and it’s just the right size to be a few feet away from the N1X. I need a monitor for my piano lessons, VST’s, and recording. I was using a smaller 21” monitor, but I didn’t like it so close to the piano. This one works well and I’m happy with it.

The height of the N1X music rest is like a normal acoustic piano and I needed a stand that could raise the monitor high enough for me to see it over the music rest. I was able to find this stand on Amazon ($49.99) and I’m really happy with it also.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

I like this setup because it places the monitor away from the piano keeping the playing experience more natural. That’s one thing I really like about the N1X. I feel like I’m sitting down to play a real piano. I never had that feeling before with the various DP’s I’ve owned and I always coveted playing a real piano anytime I could. Now when I play different acoustic pianos (I have access to two Kawai pianos) I feel like I’m literally transitioning from one acoustic (N1X) to another.

The N1X is remarkably authentic. My fingers are more conditioned after a few weeks of playing it. It’s very noticeable when I play the heavier actions of the Kawai pianos. My fingers feel strong, whereas before, they would feel weak when transitioning to an acoustic from the MP11SE. I also feel like I have more dynamic control on real acoustics after playing the N1X. The other day I was able to play in-between services at church and I immediately felt confident and in command because I’ve gotten used to playing the N1X acoustic/hybrid action everyday.

I’m sure experienced players can transition between DP and acoustics quite effortlessly, but as a beginner, I found it more challenging. Perhaps there was a psychological factor along with the actual neuromuscular difference. However, the N1X is getting my brain wired to the feel of an acoustic piano and I feel much more comfortable actually sitting behind a real acoustic and playing it.

God Bless,
David

David, many thanks for your input!

I think that what you are experiencing is not only a psychological effect. The level of mechanical feedback from an acoustic action cannot be compared to any top-tier digital action. Advanced players already know how to "work with the action", so they can easily adapt to the characteristics of most instruments. However, extensive experience is required to start creating that connection between the acoustic action and the player. And that feedback is something you will always lack from a digital action, even as beginner. So, I am happy that you are already able to feel the difference!

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829444 03/21/19 09:49 AM
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jeffscot, I think they’re full of it! I doubt that most people are interested in the silent option; simply due to pricing and all the other inconveniences related to acoustic-based silent pianos. You know, these silent pianos have to be tuned regularly, and properly ventilated. Novus-type hybrids can be beaten to the ground before any need for maintenance.

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
Pete14 #2829447 03/21/19 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete14

Let us not confuse plastic with ABS. The last time I referred to Kawai piano butts being made from plastic, I got a whipping (lesson) from James in terms of the differences. And here I always thought ABS to be some form of plastic. I learned my lesson! Thanks, James. grin


ABS is a common plastic.

Lego is made of ABS.

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829449 03/21/19 09:54 AM
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Wait, are you saying Kawai James is wrong?

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829452 03/21/19 10:05 AM
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without speaking for James, I think he may have been talking about the characteristics of the plastic in question or additional compounds added to it.

ABS itself is plastic. It's a type of plastic, and there are many types, with widely varying qualities.

Saying ABS is not plastic is like saying balsa (or rare macassar ebony) is not wood. It may not be suitable for your particular need but it's definitely a class of wood.


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Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
Pete14 #2829453 03/21/19 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete14
Wait, are you saying Kawai James is wrong?

I think the distinction was, that the Millennium III action parts are made out of an ABS + carbon fiber composite.

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829455 03/21/19 10:09 AM
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Actually Kawai Millenium III is a composite of ABS and carbon. I won't speculate as to what percentage is the carbon part in that composite wink In a totally unrelated news, I've recently bought some biscuits "with butter", and then when I actually read the ingredients, the butter was 0.1% laugh But yeah, there IS butter in the biscuits, right?

P.S. JoBert beat me to it.

Last edited by CyberGene; 03/21/19 10:10 AM.

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Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
johnstaf #2829458 03/21/19 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete14
Wait, are you saying Kawai James is wrong?

KJ is simply using Kawai's official marketing terminology, which, like most marketing-oriented terms are usually far from being precise. So, do not blame KJ but his employer. And obviously marketing is never wrong.

Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by Pete14

Let us not confuse plastic with ABS. The last time I referred to Kawai piano butts being made from plastic, I got a whipping (lesson) from James in terms of the differences. And here I always thought ABS to be some form of plastic. I learned my lesson! Thanks, James. grin

ABS is a common plastic.
Lego is made of ABS.

ABS is certainly a common plastic. ABS composites, such as ABS mixed with other resins or fibers are still classified as plastic by the manufacturing industry. This also applies to the CFRP aka ABS-Carbon used in the Millennium-III action.

However, it is well known that any material will acquire magical properties after passing through the marketing department and therefore cannot be classified anymore by mere mortals.

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
arc7urus #2829463 03/21/19 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by arc7urus

However, it is well known that any material will acquire magical properties after passing through the marketing department and therefore cannot be classified anymore by mere mortals.


Or, realistic properties. It's almost certain that ABS alone (or other composite forms) didn't pass the durability and longevity requirements Kawai had for an action component, whereas ABS-carbon did. Given that, it makes sense that they would want to highlight the difference whenever they could. And that difference could be avoiding any reference to it as "simply" ABS. I'm willing to give them that much, since it's a part of any materials selection process.


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Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
Pete14 #2829466 03/21/19 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete14
Wait, are you saying Kawai James is wrong?


Lego is cool.

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