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Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829467 03/21/19 10:34 AM
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I think I will open the N1X after the 30-day period (no, I'm not intending to return it unless I discover a fault) to just have a look at the action and check whether the repetition levers are still plastic. With that in mind, how is a N1 opened? I would assume it's unscrewing the topmost screws in the rear and then sliding the top panel forward but since there are also speaker grills I am afraid there might be tweeters attached to panel and I need to be careful to unplug cables...

Wondering why Yamaha chose exactly the repetition lever to be plastic though. Its function isn't weight bearing. I mean, it's the jack that is transferring the force from the keys to the knuckle and hammer, as well as the friction at the escapement point and I would imagine the jack as the most obvious target for replacing wood with plastic. NU1 and NU1X according to pictures have plastic jacks. It's an upright action but the principle is the same, so it's strange why Yamaha (supposedly) use wooden jacks in the N1(X) and plastic repetition levers.

Last edited by CyberGene; 03/21/19 10:34 AM.

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Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
Gombessa #2829480 03/21/19 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
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.

I think Kawai has been using plastic parts in their actions since the 70s, and they were indeed using "normal" ABS for a long time (successfully). AFAIK, only with the Millennium III did they introduce the ABS-carbon composite (in 2003 or so).
Here's an interesting article about that (including about the underhand sales tactics of the competition, to bad mouth those "plastic actions"):
http://digitaleditions.sheridan.com/publication/?i=85037&article_id=709953&view=articleBrowser&ver=html5#{%22issue_id%22:85037,%22view%22:%22articleBrowser%22,%22article_id%22:%22709953%22}

So to bring this back on-topic a bit: I see no reason to see the introduction of the plastic repetition lever by Yamaha as a negative thing. After all, they have to start somewhere, if they want to catch up to the industry leader in the field of action parts made out of modern materials. wink Maybe they are using the AvantGrands (where the DP crowd is maybe more likely to accept the evil plastic parts) to test out those parts, to later phase them in in their acoustic lines, once they have shown that they do work in the AvantGrands (for a decade or two)...

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829484 03/21/19 11:03 AM
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Are we being used as guinea pigs for Yamaha’s macabre plan: testing ABS -I wanna say plastic- components on us before they start mass producing for the acoustic crowd? Shame on you, Yamaha.

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
johnstaf #2829488 03/21/19 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by Pete14
Wait, are you saying Kawai James is wrong?


Lego is cool.


How about a Lego piano action, anyone for it?

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
Pete14 #2829497 03/21/19 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete14
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by Pete14
Wait, are you saying Kawai James is wrong?


Lego is cool.


How about a Lego piano action, anyone for it?


Hmmm


Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829525 03/21/19 12:25 PM
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Look at this: https://youtu.be/_O1UHbWe3vE

Yamaha Grantouch used both plastic repetition lever and plastic jack, starting from 20 years ago.

I opened my N3 and I’ve confirmed that the repetition lever is made of plastic but the jack is made of wood. There is a guy in the technician forum said N3X has plastic jack and he found some reproducible failures for the action. I’m not 100% sure about what he meant. I tested an N3X last week and tried to play a trill for a long time (longer than 30s). There is chance that the key gets hanged and I have to release the key fully to play it again.

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829527 03/21/19 12:25 PM
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Now I have GAS (Lego piano) smile

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829553 03/21/19 12:50 PM
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Also I did tested the action of Yamaha N2, N3X, Yamaha acoustic grands and a couple of Steinway and Bosendorfer side by side. I think each individual piano varied a little bit and the regulation matters a lot. Personally I don’t feel much difference among those pianos. I wrote those impressions in a separate thread.

The really important fact is the combination of the touch and tone. That’s something that really sets a good piano apart. If you considered touch only (like turn off the power of an AG and played silently), the difference is much less.

Last edited by Harpuia; 03/21/19 12:52 PM.
Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829643 03/21/19 04:37 PM
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I would be very surprised if there was some noticeable deficiency with the AG's action. Yamaha went to such expense and effort to get a pristine acoustic action into a digital, it'd be such a waste to "cheap out" with inferior parts now (not saying that plastic is inferior to wood as a material, but if a change did result in a less capable action, then that would indeed be a shame).


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Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829646 03/21/19 04:44 PM
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I wonder if this will make its way to the acoustics. Making mechanical parts out of wood in the 21st Century is a bit odd, although plastic actions are more expensive currently.

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829678 03/21/19 07:01 PM
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I dedicated the night to piano playing, maybe 3 hours now! I am slowly regaining my technique but it's still far from what I feel is my best... frown Decided to record something classical this time:


I did zillions of takes but never managed to record it without mistakes frown I'll need more time for that... But N1X is one h*ll of a beast! I can't stop digging it! I know I said the same about the NU1X but that was before I got the N1X wink

BTW, I have lowered the headphones volume from the MAX position. Seems after playing a lot and "calibrating" my ears and brain to the dynamic range of the piano, as well as regaining my finger strength, I had to lower the volume and that's good, there's some headroom now.

Last edited by CyberGene; 03/21/19 07:01 PM.

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Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829700 03/21/19 08:24 PM
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Nice playing, CyberGene!

Like the black & white, artistically angled vidoes. thumb


.... Jeff ▫️ Yamaha P515 ▫️ Roll Tide
Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
Gombessa #2829783 03/22/19 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
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.

I agree. But if a company wants to market a product as "more than conventional ABS", then why use "ABS" to describe the product in first place? This is marketing 101.

And are you aware that Kawai used ABS plastic on their piano actions before the Millennium-III with carbon fiber was introduced? ABS was then considered by Kawai an "ideal material for use in the critical parts of a piano action". So, ABS was able to meet Kawai's quality requirements before. This makes carbon fiber an even-more-than-ideal material, which is probably a good thing wink

Originally Posted by Gombessa
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.

Sure. When ABS is reinforced with carbon fibers, the resulting composite material is called CFRP which stands for Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic/Polymer or simply Carbon Fiber. Carbon Fiber is not only a widely known term but also often associated to demanding (and expensive) applications, such as aviation and high-performance sports. So, if they really wanted to avoid references to ABS, why not just call it carbon fiber? This is exactly how WNG labels their piano action parts. Maybe CFRP is called this way in Japan and this is just one of those "lost in translation" situations...

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
Harpuia #2829790 03/22/19 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Harpuia
Look at this: https://youtu.be/_O1UHbWe3vE

Yamaha Grantouch used both plastic repetition lever and plastic jack, starting from 20 years ago.

I opened my N3 and I’ve confirmed that the repetition lever is made of plastic but the jack is made of wood. There is a guy in the technician forum said N3X has plastic jack and he found some reproducible failures for the action. I’m not 100% sure about what he meant. I tested an N3X last week and tried to play a trill for a long time (longer than 30s). There is chance that the key gets hanged and I have to release the key fully to play it again.


The AG repetition lever is plastic. Not sure if the jack is wood or plastic. May be wood or wood-coloured plastic. See picture below from Yamaha's website.

Regarding the action "failures": I don't think it is feasible for an hybrid action to behave "better" than an acoustic piano action that is properly and periodically regulated. The AG will be regulated just once at the factory. After that it will travel by sea for weeks, be stored in some warehouse and then transported by road until final delivery. It is a fact that an hybrid action is rather resilient to environmental changes and all the bumps during transportation, but it is not immune to those. Nevertheless, I wonder how many hybrid piano owners consider regulating the DP after the break-in period. And if they decide to do it, I wonder how many technicians are actually qualified to perform such a task.

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Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
JoBert #2829812 03/22/19 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by JoBert
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.


Correct.


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
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"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829832 03/22/19 07:11 AM
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In my N2, the repetition lever is plastic. The jack is wood.

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Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
CyberGene #2829840 03/22/19 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
I dedicated the night to piano playing, maybe 3 hours now!...

Very nice playing!
Quote
BTW, I have lowered the headphones volume from the MAX position. Seems after playing a lot and "calibrating" my ears and brain to the dynamic range of the piano, as well as regaining my finger strength, I had to lower the volume and that's good, there's some headroom now.

I think you should get an headphone amp. You are likely losing clarity and soundstage by driving your 300 Ohm headphones directly from the AG.

Btw, have you tested already the Smart Pianist app with the N1X? I am curious about what can be controlled via app, since I cannot find such description on the manuals.

But I am disappointed because according to the manual it is not possible to use Bluetooth to connect to the app. The manual says you need to use either a cabled USB connection (plus the Lightning/USB adapter on a iOS device) or an wifi connection using the Yamaha UD-WL01 adapter (which is far from ideal since it requires the device to be disconnected from the internet).

Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829846 03/22/19 07:56 AM
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Suggest to us acr7urus a good headphone amp that would sit nicely and work well with the piano. Maybe it would be mounted below the key bed? I use 650’s too (300 ohm).

There are so many choices out there I just throw my hands in the air. I do NOT want to become an audio-pile again. Been there, done that.

Last edited by HwyStar; 03/22/19 07:59 AM.

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Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
David B #2829848 03/22/19 08:06 AM
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I'm not a huge proponent of the dedicated headphone amps TBH. I've had a brief "audiophile" period in which I was advised good headphones such as HD650 need headphone amps and so I've had multiple headphone amps: a custom built one from a well-respected Bulgarian engineer, with discrete elements, toroid power supply, galvanically isolated AK4490 DAC and whatnot..., an Apogee Groove USB DAC/amp, a hybrid tube amp. After many months of trying to convince myself it sounded better than just plugging the headphones in my Mac and iPhone I had to admit there's absolutely no difference. Maybe I'm not one of those blessed (cursed?) golden ear guys but I'm perfectly OK without dedicated headphone amps and luckily both the Mac and the iPhone are providing just enough power. Same applies to the N1X now, so I don't really see the need to use an external headphone amp. I sold the audiophile one but I keep the hybrid tube one and might test it but as I said, I rather skeptical. Luckily for my budget I'm immune to audiophilia smile

As to the Smart Pianist, I downloaded it but was disappointed to realize I need to purchase a €100 worth of dedicated wi-fi adapter. And frankly I doubt I can do something special from the app. N1X sounds great as it is, the touch response is perfect. I guess it's only the touch response that would benefit from a dedicated app but in that case it's not needed.


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Re: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - Hands On
HwyStar #2829853 03/22/19 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by HwyStar
Suggest to us acr7urus a good headphone amp that would sit nicely and work well with the piano. Maybe it would be mounted below the key bed? I use 650’s too (300 ohm).

There are so many choices out there I just throw my hands in the air. I do NOT want to become an audio-pile again. Been there, done that.

I have this amp: https://www.schiit.com/products/magni-1 - it is not easy to get one in the EU as they are often out of stock (they are made in the USA).

I use it to drive 250 Ohm headphones (Beyerdynamics DT990) and I am happy with it since I prefer the sound coming out of the amp to the non-amplified source. But that I am no audiophile and I am also not up-to-date when it comes to audio equipment. I picked this amp because of a recommendation and reviews such as this. So, you may get more informed suggestions from other forum members.

PS: I believe this should fit under the keybed provided you install some braces or similar.


Last edited by arc7urus; 03/22/19 08:23 AM.
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