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Do you change settings when you test new DPs in shops? #2847113
05/10/19 02:54 PM
05/10/19 02:54 PM
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Posts: 424
Udachny, North-East Siberia
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PianoStartsAt33 Offline OP
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Some people say: "I am absolulte beginner, wanna buy my first DP. Tried X, Y and Z. Didn't like X and Z, bought Y". As I see with my LX 706, the sound with default settings and the sound with personal settings are 2 big differences. I do not like the first and like the second very much. But may be some newbies do not even know how much can settings change the sound? They just test pianos as they are in shops. And sometimes form wrong opinion, I guess...

Last edited by PianoStartsAt33; 05/10/19 02:54 PM.

"No succes of failure matters when it's about true vocation". Nicolás Gómez Dávila
“The goal of music is to help people live”. Francis Bebey

Roland LX-706

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Re: Do you change settings when you test new DPs in shops? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2847165
05/10/19 05:50 PM
05/10/19 05:50 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 235
Philadelphia
Bruce In Philly Offline
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Philadelphia
I did the following:

1- If there was a 20 year old in there getting off making high-decible fart siren sounds from some 60's sci fi movie... I turned and left.
2 - Found the factory reset and just reset the darn thing .. who knows what crazy ass settings were in there
3 - Uplgugged the unit from any monitors
4 - Plugged in my expensive Grado headphones and played only the default sounds - the monitors hooked up to these things in a store were just crap

Peace
Bruce in Philly

Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 05/10/19 05:51 PM.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Re: Do you change settings when you test new DPs in shops? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2847181
05/10/19 06:58 PM
05/10/19 06:58 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,704
Northern England.
peterws Offline
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I just use default. I assume it's default, can't be bothered checking.
I know changing the settings can make a big difference, but it'd take too long. In any case, now, I just use the DP as a controller so i try them mainly on that basis. Connectivity is very important too.


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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Re: Do you change settings when you test new DPs in shops? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2847190
05/10/19 07:32 PM
05/10/19 07:32 PM
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karvala Offline
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Depends on the purpose. If I'm just browsing out of idle curiosity I will change settings and play around, but not very systematically. If I'm buying, I will systematically go through all the main piano voices, and variations of the main parameters. Where possible (as it was when I bought my CA67; it needs the co-operation of the shop owner), I will also do this blind to price and model number. I will always take my own headphones and battery-powered headphone amp as well (the same headphones and amp that I use on a daily basis, albeit mains powered).

I generally spend at least two hours testing an individual instrument. Buying a new DP involves multiple visits to dealers, which to me is helpful in confirming/correcting impressions from the previous visit and forming a more reliable and stable impression over time. But I do that because it's enjoyable for me. If people don't enjoy the testing process, then I can certainly understand why they would accept default settings and just sit down and play for a while.


Broadwood, Yamaha U1; Kawai CA67; Pianoteq Std (D4, K2, Blüthner, Grotrian), Garritan CFX Full, Galaxy Vintage D, The Grandeur, Ravenscroft 275, Ivory II ACD, TrueKeys Italian, AS C7, Production Grand Compact, AK Studio Grand, AK Upright, Waves Grand Rhapsody; Sennheiser HD-600 and HD-650, O2 amp
Re: Do you change settings when you test new DPs in shops? [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2847256
05/11/19 02:28 AM
05/11/19 02:28 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 8,912
Raleigh, North Carolina
MacMacMac Offline
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What have you got against fart sirens?
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
If there was a 20 year old in there getting off making high-decible fart siren sounds from some 60's sci fi movie... I turned and left.

How dare you uplgug in public!
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Uplgugged the unit from any monitors

Re: Do you change settings when you test new DPs in shops? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2847712
05/13/19 10:11 AM
05/13/19 10:11 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 38
Czech Republic
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MartasK Offline
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Czech Republic
My view is, low ends should always be good at default, their tweaking ability is so limited that you dont get much better sound than default anyway.
Higher priced DPs should also be great at default because it represents the ability of the manufacturer, but at later stage I also try the setting range just to find out where I can get later on, what flexibility the gear gives me.
I am just looking for new DP, I am doing the search this way, first rounds and pre-selection at default setting, the final selection considering also tweaking possibilities.

Re: Do you change settings when you test new DPs in shops? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2847722
05/13/19 10:47 AM
05/13/19 10:47 AM
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Virginia, USA
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Kbeaumont Offline
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I generally lower the reverb levels and sometimes eq. I also have changed the velocity curve when evaluating the action. Nothing drastic, but I found most factory presets are drenched in reverb.


A long long time ago, I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile....
Re: Do you change settings when you test new DPs in shops? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2847728
05/13/19 10:57 AM
05/13/19 10:57 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,867
Sofia, Bulgaria
CyberGene Offline
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CyberGene  Offline
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I always reset to default settings and never bother with tweaking stuff. If the manufacturer hasn’t managed to create a convincing default sound it means either that that’s the best he can do with the resources and so anything else would worsen the sound. Or the manufacturer didn’t bother to choose what’s best which means he has neglected the most important thing about his piano, so I would assume he might have been that irresponsible about other things too.

Last edited by CyberGene; 05/13/19 10:58 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: Do you change settings when you test new DPs in shops? [Re: CyberGene] #2847754
05/13/19 12:39 PM
05/13/19 12:39 PM
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Sheffield, UK
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KevinM Offline
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
I always reset to default settings and never bother with tweaking stuff. If the manufacturer hasn’t managed to create a convincing default sound it means either that that’s the best he can do with the resources and so anything else would worsen the sound. Or the manufacturer didn’t bother to choose what’s best which means he has neglected the most important thing about his piano, so I would assume he might have been that irresponsible about other things too.


That has been my thought process as well. Reverting to default to me seems like the only thing you would want to do.


Mendelssohn Song without Words Op19,2 and 19,6, Jensen Sehnsucht Op8,5. Chopin Nocturne C# Minor. Schumann Hasche Mann from Kinderszenen Op15,3. https://soundcloud.com/sheffieldkevin
DP: Casio Celviano AP-470. HP: Superlux HD681 EVO
Re: Do you change settings when you test new DPs in shops? [Re: KevinM] #2847759
05/13/19 12:44 PM
05/13/19 12:44 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 5,457
Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
I always reset to default settings and never bother with tweaking stuff. If the manufacturer hasn’t managed to create a convincing default sound it means either that that’s the best he can do with the resources and so anything else would worsen the sound. Or the manufacturer didn’t bother to choose what’s best which means he has neglected the most important thing about his piano, so I would assume he might have been that irresponsible about other things too.

Originally Posted by KevinM
That has been my thought process as well. Reverting to default to me seems like the only thing you would want to do.

This makes sense if you think you tend toward the mean/median. However, because I hated the sound on my FP30, when I know there are people who absolutely find it acceptable, then I know I must be off from the mean/median.

Also, a comment for CyberGene - about half the people out there find modeled virtual instruments acceptable and the other half find them unacceptable. If for example, you were to go with the default settings on a Roland LX708 (just to pick on one particular model), then one could assume that most of the developers of that piano found the modeled sound it uses acceptable. Why would you then trust those people who clearly have a different ear than you do, on what settings they think are optimal? You already know (or can strongly suspect) that they (the developers) differ from your hearing or aural preferences on at least one very major point.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Do you change settings when you test new DPs in shops? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2847767
05/13/19 01:00 PM
05/13/19 01:00 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,867
Sofia, Bulgaria
CyberGene Offline
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Regarding modeled pianos you somehow assume the modeled piano sound is so tweakable that I could eventually like it, i.e. it’s a matter of parameters and configuration. However IMO modeled pianos already come with their best sound and tweaking it makes it much worse to me. In the past while I still had some hopes in Pianoteq I would still believe that it’s a matter of parameters. I would try hundreds of custom Pianoteq presets from people who swear by them and those presets would be total cr*p, much worse than the default sound. So my comment above still applies. I don’t like artifacts in the current modeled pianos which I would call inherent to the modeling approach rather than the parameters. I’ve communicated (as a Pianoteq beta tester in the past) with Philippe, the creator of Pianoteq, and he’s very knowledgeable guy, very friendly and very responsive to the feedback I’ve given. He would do everything he can do to make the sound likable. Which is why I think Pianoteq in its current form has utilized its full potential and if you don’t like its sound there’s no way it can be tweaked to change that. Instead, the engine needs to be improved, rewritten or whatever is needed to change the inherent characteristics of that engine.


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: Do you change settings when you test new DPs in shops? [Re: CyberGene] #2847772
05/13/19 01:19 PM
05/13/19 01:19 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 5,457
Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Regarding modeled pianos you somehow assume the modeled piano sound is so tweakable that I could eventually like it, i.e. it’s a matter of parameters and configuration. However IMO modeled pianos already come with their best sound and tweaking it makes it much worse to me. In the past while I still had some hopes in Pianoteq I would still believe that it’s a matter of parameters. I would try hundreds of custom Pianoteq presets from people who swear by them and those presets would be total cr*p, much worse than the default sound. So my comment above still applies. I don’t like artifacts in the current modeled pianos which I would call inherent to the modeling approach rather than the parameters. I’ve communicated (as a Pianoteq beta tester in the past) with Philippe, the creator of Pianoteq, and he’s very knowledgeable guy, very friendly and very responsive to the feedback I’ve given. He would do everything he can do to make the sound likable. Which is why I think Pianoteq in its current form has utilized its full potential and if you don’t like its sound there’s no way it can be tweaked to change that. Instead, the engine needs to be improved, rewritten or whatever is needed to change the inherent characteristics of that engine.

Very interesting!

Actually, though, you misunderstood me. I just meant that in the case of my example, the developers of the LX708 clearly think that modeled sounds are good, while you feel, based on your own experiences, they are not. So why would you then trust those same developer's aesthetic/musicality judgement on anything else involving sound? You know or can strongly suspect that those developers have a different aural perception than you do.

(Not referring to the tweakability of a modeled sound. I can take for granted those developers might have used optimal settings for themselves. I'm only referring to whether their optimal settings would necessarily be your optimal settings since it is almost proven that they hear differently than you. BTW, I think this example of the LX708 extends to other pianos. I only use this example to point out that the developers of a piano may not hear like we - consumers - individually hear.)


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Do you change settings when you test new DPs in shops? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2847774
05/13/19 01:22 PM
05/13/19 01:22 PM
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Kbeaumont Offline
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I have Pianoteq stage for just that reason, I find little I want to change. I'm one the ones who like Pianoteq especially since version 6. Again like hardware, if I can adjust the reverb level or find a preset that sounds good I really don't need to change anything drastic. I'm picky about reverb. If I'm in my house or wearing headphones and I'm playing, the last thing that I want to hear is a big hall type reverb. I am way more picky about electric piano sounds. If I'm playing a cover of Supertramp or Steely Dan, I want that sound as close as I can make it to the original. And with all the possibilities of amp models and FX, no board is going to have all the myriad of EP sounds out there.


A long long time ago, I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile....
Re: Do you change settings when you test new DPs in shops? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2847779
05/13/19 01:45 PM
05/13/19 01:45 PM
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Posts: 3,867
Sofia, Bulgaria
CyberGene Offline
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Tyrone, still not sure I understand what you mean. What I say is this: I believe the default presets represent the best piano that can be achieved with that hardware/software. That I believe applies to Pianoteq and Roland pianos too, which I have confirmed to myself in practice. The fact that there are people who like modeled pianos (apparently the creators included) and others who don’t, doesn’t contradict that. They’ve chosen that approach because it has its advantages (behavior, resonances, playability) but I hardly believe that they chose it exactly because they like what people like me don’t like smile They rather think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. And I believe otherwise.

Let’s bring car analogy once again. I believe car manufacturers tune the cars in the best way for their respective customers. You can tune a VW Golf to be insanely quick but it would harm the mileage. I prefer using the stock car. If I don’t like the stock car I won’t buy it. Some people like SUV-s, other people like sports cars, etc. And some people don’t like electric cars, being they SUV-s, roadsters, etc (e.g. because of poor mileage). But that won’t contradict the fact that the electric car manufacturer do utilize the car’s full potential and do tune the car for best characteristics taken the target customers. The electric car manufacturer didn’t choose electrification because of poor mileage but rather despite the poor mileage.

Last edited by CyberGene; 05/13/19 01:48 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
Re: Do you change settings when you test new DPs in shops? [Re: CyberGene] #2847786
05/13/19 01:58 PM
05/13/19 01:58 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Tyrone, still not sure I understand what you mean. What I say is this: I believe the default presets represent the best piano that can be achieved with that hardware/software. That I believe applies to Pianoteq and Roland pianos too, which I have confirmed to myself in practice. The fact that there are people who like modeled pianos (apparently the creators included) and others who don’t, doesn’t contradict that. They’ve chosen that approach because it has its advantages (behavior, resonances, playability) but I hardly believe that they chose it exactly because they like what people like me don’t like smile They rather think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. And I believe otherwise.

Let’s bring car analogy once again. I believe car manufacturers tune the cars in the best way for their respective customers. You can tune a VW Golf to be insanely quick but it would harm the mileage. I prefer using the stock car. If I don’t like the stock car I won’t buy it. Some people like SUV-s, other people like sports cars, etc. And some people don’t like electric cars, being they SUV-s, roadsters, etc (e.g. because of poor mileage). But that won’t contradict the fact that the electric car manufacturer do utilize the car’s full potential and do tune the car for best characteristics taken the target customers. The electric car manufacturer didn’t choose electrification because of poor mileage but rather despite the poor mileage.

I guess I might be making a bad assumption. I'm assuming developers are like me as a consumer. I like a VST. I dislike others. They are the same and wouldn't produce a VST they dislike. Based on that assumption, which might be flawed, their sense/judgement of good vs. bad is definitely different than someone who might have different aural preferences.

Let me use a strictly hypothetical example. Let's say I thought the most beautiful sound in the world was the accordion. You hate accordions and thing they make an ugly sound. Therefore clearly, my perception of sound and what is musical is different than yours. Then why should you trust that my choice of settings for your piano would be the same as what you would chose yourself? That's what I'm trying to get at. That good settings for me, might not be good settings for you, if you and I can't even agree on what sounds beautiful and what doesn't.

BTW, I know my preferences are different than yours, because while I appreciate the "responsiveness" argument associated modeled pianos and as a former software developer, I just think Pianoteq "sounds beautiful." So what I'm trying to say is that if I were to come up with what I think would sound good on your piano, you shouldn't trust me! Very possibly, I'm not going to make your piano sound beautiful to you. wink


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Do you change settings when you test new DPs in shops? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2847787
05/13/19 02:02 PM
05/13/19 02:02 PM
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oneilt130 Offline

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Bringing it back to the OP's original6 question when I was researching DP's I always reset them to the factory defaults primarily because on some of them there are so many settings that I wasn't going to let randomness of what the preferences were for the person who played before me color my decision. From there about the only thing I adjusted was the touch curve. The reason I did this was I found a discrepancy in some models when testing them at different dealers and even the same dealer at different times. Going back to factory defaults gave me a starting point to compare models.

Adding to what CyberGene has said I would research what was considered the best piano voice of the DP I was testing and work with that since all I was looking for was a single voice. For the ones I was looking at, the Kawai CA series, Yamaha CLP-685 and the NU1X they all had a "premier" voice. (OK, maybe not the 685 but definitively the CA 78/98 and NU1X) I also brought my own head phones to get a accurate comparison.


Yamaha NU1X
Re: Do you change settings when you test new DPs in shops? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2847795
05/13/19 02:23 PM
05/13/19 02:23 PM
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Virginia, USA
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Kbeaumont Offline
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Not everyone has the same take. Using the car analogy, the aftermarket parts industry was valued at USD 369.2 billion in 2018 and is anticipated to expand at a rate of 3.9% from 2019 to 2025. Yes the engineers design for a certain price and what they think the average customer wants. And immediately, the parts industry start improving upon it using better quality materials, and improved designs. Look how many people buy a truck and then immediately lift the suspension 6 or more inches buy huge tires, increase the horsepower and purchase a myriad of other things to install on it. I did the same kind things for my Jeep Wranglers.

On my motorcycle, I bought the model I wanted. Then installed a more comfortable seat, saddle bags, windshield, floor boards and an ECU programmer that added 20 hp and increased the gas mileage. The term is "personalization" even the dealer sells custom add-ons to "make it yours".

If I saw a digital piano and the only sound control available to change was volume, I don't think I would go any further.


A long long time ago, I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile....
Re: Do you change settings when you test new DPs in shops? [Re: Kbeaumont] #2847799
05/13/19 02:27 PM
05/13/19 02:27 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Originally Posted by Kbeaumont
Not everyone has the same take.

Wow. You said what I was trying to, only using fewer words! laugh


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Do you change settings when you test new DPs in shops? [Re: Kbeaumont] #2847814
05/13/19 03:33 PM
05/13/19 03:33 PM
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Posts: 258
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oneilt130 Offline

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Originally Posted by Kbeaumont
Not everyone has the same take. Using the car analogy, the aftermarket parts industry was valued at USD 369.2 billion in 2018 and is anticipated to expand at a rate of 3.9% from 2019 to 2025. Yes the engineers design for a certain price and what they think the average customer wants. And immediately, the parts industry start improving upon it using better quality materials, and improved designs. Look how many people buy a truck and then immediately lift the suspension 6 or more inches buy huge tires, increase the horsepower and purchase a myriad of other things to install on it. I did the same kind things for my Jeep Wranglers.

On my motorcycle, I bought the model I wanted. Then installed a more comfortable seat, saddle bags, windshield, floor boards and an ECU programmer that added 20 hp and increased the gas mileage. The term is "personalization" even the dealer sells custom add-ons to "make it yours".

If I saw a digital piano and the only sound control available to change was volume, I don't think I would go any further.



I agree but if a high level of personalization is what you are looking for then a AvantGrand may not be the right DP for you. Compared to the other DP's I looked at they have the least amount of options. Just about everything that could be considered near them such as the Kawai NU10 CA78/98 or Yamaha CLP-685 have way more options. It's not even close.


Yamaha NU1X
Re: Do you change settings when you test new DPs in shops? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2847817
05/13/19 03:44 PM
05/13/19 03:44 PM
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Raleigh, North Carolina
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Do I change settings? Yes and no. I try to change them, but often the interface is too confusing.

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