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Digital Piano Room Placement Guide #2830688
03/24/19 07:06 AM
03/24/19 07:06 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
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dhts Offline OP
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I'm planning a new build house and want to ensure there's a good location for my next piano. This is a good few years out but I'd be hoping for a NV10, N1X or CA98 and whilst models will come and go in that time the principles will I guess be the same.

I've looked in the user manuals for all three but can't immediately see a 'Here's how to place your piano in a room guide'. The rear of those pianos I mentioned are not the most attractive - is this because they are designed aesthetically or acoustically to back on to a wall ? Is it 'bad' to sit with your back to the wall and have the piano back face into the room ?

I can see acoustic piano placement guides but these seem to focus on issues relating to temperature, sound originating from the back of uprights etc.

Is there a definitive guide out there that I've missed for digitals ?

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Re: Digital Piano Room Placement Guide [Re: dhts] #2830695
03/24/19 07:19 AM
03/24/19 07:19 AM
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Sheffield, UK
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KevinM Online content
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I would certainly like to know some of the principles. I don't want to get into it intensively but having some concept of the main factors to take into consideration and why would be really good knowledge to have.

The only thing I've heard is to have a 15-20 gap between the back of the digital piano and the wall but literally that is all my knowledge and I'm not even sure why.


Learning Mendelssohn Song without Words Op. 19 No. 2, Schumann Bunte Blätter Stücklein Op. 99 No. 1. Jensen Sehnsucht Op. 8 No. 5. Schumann Kinderszenen Op15 No1, Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen.
Digital piano: Casio Celviano AP-470. Headphones: Superlux HD681 EVO
Re: Digital Piano Room Placement Guide [Re: dhts] #2830733
03/24/19 08:43 AM
03/24/19 08:43 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,272
Sofia, Bulgaria
CyberGene Online content
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CyberGene  Online Content
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In the manual of the N1X they recommend to place it at least 15 cm from a wall. Well, guess what, I can't afford it frown I've placed it against the wall. (BTW that's how N1X is placed in Yamaha marketing materials too wink ). The sound is excellent, bass is not boomy and is clean. Maybe I will pull it some day to see whether it makes any difference but even close to the wall is OK.


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Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Digital Piano Room Placement Guide [Re: dhts] #2830736
03/24/19 08:49 AM
03/24/19 08:49 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 8,176
Raleigh, North Carolina
MacMacMac Offline
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CG ... does the N1X have rear-facing speakers? Or rear-ported speakers?
If not I wouldn't worry about against-the-wall placement.

But if so ... need that necessarily be a problem?

I just added a pair of monitors atop my console. They're rear ported. It's commonly held that they should be at least a foot (or more) away from the wall.
But like you I can't afford it. I don't have room. The rear of each monitor is maybe four inches from the wall.

Guess what? They sound fine.

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Re: Digital Piano Room Placement Guide [Re: dhts] #2830742
03/24/19 09:03 AM
03/24/19 09:03 AM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 2,181
Germany
JoBert Offline
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Originally Posted by dhts
Is there a definitive guide out there that I've missed for digitals ?

I doubt it.

I think it is simply so that a huge percentage of people who buy a DP or upright acoustic want (or have) to place it against a wall, as that's the only viable option in their living situation anyway. So there is literally no need to give these pianos an appealing backside, because it would just make the piano more expensive, which would give those manufacturers who don't go that route a price advantage.

Case in point: The NV10's backside. In the Novus announcement thread (not the hands-on thread but the one that came before the piano was actually available) there was a big discussion about how the back side is ugly, and that Kawai cheaped out, how it is a big drawback, etc. In the hands-on thread however, this hasn't really been a topic of interest to the actual owners. Because to my knowledge, I am the only owner who posted pics (or placement descriptions) where the piano is not placed against a wall anyway (and mine is in a corner where the back side can only be viewed if you step into the space behind it to access the bookshelf in said corner, so the backside doesn't matter either).

So I believe that all furniture style pianos are constructed so that they sound good (within their constraints) when placed against a wall.

However, I do not think that this means that when not placed against a wall, they then sound bad. I would expect them to sound good (as good as they can) even then.

Honestly, I don't think that, unless you get a sound engineer involved in the planning, it will be possible for you to make proper acoustic planning for your piano already when planning the house (more than self evident dos and don'ts, like "don't place a piano into a 1.5x5m room" or something equally silly). I would plan this based on aesthetics, practicability, preferences (player should look into room or not?) etc. and then later do the necessary sound related modifications, if that should even become necessary (acoustic panels, rugs, bass traps, etc.).

Re: Digital Piano Room Placement Guide [Re: dhts] #2830744
03/24/19 09:08 AM
03/24/19 09:08 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 8,176
Raleigh, North Carolina
MacMacMac Offline
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JoBert: I like your pragmatic viewpoint.

Re: Digital Piano Room Placement Guide [Re: dhts] #2830844
03/24/19 01:31 PM
03/24/19 01:31 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 45
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dhts Offline OP
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Thanks for those and for sure I'm probably obsessing but it's a once in a lifetime chance (well strictly speaking our second as we've built before) to get things as right as we can.

Is the rear of the N1X also not finished as per the NV10 ?

Re: Digital Piano Room Placement Guide [Re: dhts] #2830982
03/24/19 08:21 PM
03/24/19 08:21 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,019
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Originally Posted by dhts
Is the rear of the N1X also not finished as per the NV10 ?


I've yet to see a N1X in the flesh, however I don't believe the original N1 back had an ebony polish finish, so doubt this has changed for the N1X.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Digital Piano Room Placement Guide [Re: dhts] #2831081
03/25/19 02:42 AM
03/25/19 02:42 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,272
Sofia, Bulgaria
CyberGene Online content
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Sofia, Bulgaria
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
CG ... does the N1X have rear-facing speakers? Or rear-ported speakers?
If not I wouldn't worry about against-the-wall placement.

But if so ... need that necessarily be a problem?

The speaker box (the one beneath the keyboard) has a central rear speaker that faces the wall but that box is slightly recessed, so there are a few cm from the wall. And the main body has two grilles on the rear side but I don’t think there are any speaker there, I believe they are just openings. Once anyone of us opens the piano, we’ll know for sure smile

And yes, the piano sounds great close to the wall. I don’t think it’s a problem that there is a rear facing speaker.

Originally Posted by dhts
Is the rear of the N1X also not finished as per the NV10 ?

No, it’s not finished.

Last edited by CyberGene; 03/25/19 02:43 AM.

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Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Digital Piano Room Placement Guide [Re: KevinM] #2831133
03/25/19 08:11 AM
03/25/19 08:11 AM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,181
Europe
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arc7urus Offline
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Originally Posted by KevinM
I would certainly like to know some of the principles. I don't want to get into it intensively but having some concept of the main factors to take into consideration and why would be really good knowledge to have.

The only thing I've heard is to have a 15-20 gap between the back of the digital piano and the wall but literally that is all my knowledge and I'm not even sure why.

The gap makes a difference on the Kawai DPs that have a rear-facing soundboard speaker, such as the CA97 and 98. In this case, a gap of less than 10cm or so will have impact on sound projection. But the distance to the back wall should make no difference on DPs that have no rear-facing speakers or speaker ports. And, as cybergene just pointed out, some models like the N1X have recessed rear speakers, so the impact of the proximity to the back wall should be minimum. Anyway, the overall room acoustics and room decoration will play a major role on how the DP will sound, so you will always need to test different placements.

Re: Digital Piano Room Placement Guide [Re: CyberGene] #2831495
03/26/19 07:02 AM
03/26/19 07:02 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,019
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by dhts
Is the rear of the N1X also not finished as per the NV10 ?

No, it’s not finished.


Thanks for confirming.

I shall attempt to conceal my faux-outrage... wink


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Digital Piano Room Placement Guide [Re: Kawai James] #2831512
03/26/19 08:13 AM
03/26/19 08:13 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 45
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dhts Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by dhts
Is the rear of the N1X also not finished as per the NV10 ?

I've yet to see a N1X in the flesh, however I don't believe the original N1 back had an ebony polish finish, so doubt this has changed for the N1X.


James, are you aware of any design factors which would mean the NV10 was better acoustically if placed with back to the wall or rotated through 180 degrees with the back facing into the room and one sat playing with your back to the wall ?

And to answer my own original question around the same time I posted there was a link to a helpful thread in the non-DP piano section of this site: https://www.pianobuyer.com/Articles/Detail/ArticleId/184/HOW-TO-MAKE-A-PIANO-ROOM-SOUND-GRAND

Re: Digital Piano Room Placement Guide [Re: dhts] #2831522
03/26/19 08:45 AM
03/26/19 08:45 AM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 2,181
Germany
JoBert Offline
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JoBert  Offline
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Germany
Originally Posted by dhts
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by dhts
Is the rear of the N1X also not finished as per the NV10 ?

I've yet to see a N1X in the flesh, however I don't believe the original N1 back had an ebony polish finish, so doubt this has changed for the N1X.


James, are you aware of any design factors which would mean the NV10 was better acoustically if placed with back to the wall or rotated through 180 degrees with the back facing into the room and one sat playing with your back to the wall ?

And to answer my own original question around the same time I posted there was a link to a helpful thread in the non-DP piano section of this site: https://www.pianobuyer.com/Articles/Detail/ArticleId/184/HOW-TO-MAKE-A-PIANO-ROOM-SOUND-GRAND


I'm not James but I have an NV10, so... smile

Of the NV10's 7 speakers, 4 are pointed upwards and 3 (the two invisible tweeters and the also invisible bass speaker in the base) are pointed towards the player. I haven't tested it, but I would bet that the acoustics are better with those speakers pointing into the room (i.e. with the piano's back to the wall) than pointing away from the room against a wall that is only a short distance away (behind the player).

Re: Digital Piano Room Placement Guide [Re: dhts] #2831763
03/26/19 09:48 PM
03/26/19 09:48 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,019
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Hello dhts,

Originally Posted by dhts
James, are you aware of any design factors which would mean the NV10 was better acoustically if placed with back to the wall or rotated through 180 degrees with the back facing into the room and one sat playing with your back to the wall ?


I am James, however I'm afraid I do not have the fortune of owning an NV10. wink
Therefore, I defer to JoBert's better judgement.

Some dealers with larger stores (and more therefore more space) may chose to display the NV10 away from the wall. I believe this should provide a good example of how the instrument will sound in your latter scenario.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019

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