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Blind sound test: DP vs Pianoteq vs VST instruments #2849603
05/18/19 12:13 PM
05/18/19 12:13 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 28
Russia
StasNick Offline OP
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StasNick  Offline OP
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Hello friends!

I decided to do a little experiment: I played a test track on the Clavinova CLP-635 and recorded a MIDI file. And then I converted it to audio on different devices and programs: there are several CLP-635 voices, several popular VST instruments, and several Pianoteq voices. Total received 15 files.
And most importantly: the test must be blind. That is, it is not known in advance on which device the sound was received. And this, I think, excludes any prejudiced attitude as much as possible. Therefore, the names of voices I will post later: in 1-2 days.

Test audio files here >>

I would be very grateful if you can listen to these files and answer a few questions (you can write the first two digits of the file name - this is the number):
1. Do you hear a distinct difference between these voices?
2. Which voice do you like best?
3. Which voice do you think is the worst?


Many thanks in advance and pleasant listening!

PS: It would be great if you can make a test recording on your instrument. And upload this file here. We all have different digital pianos and it would be possible to create something like a comparative table with the sound of different instruments.
Test MIDI: Chopin op.28 No_4 (18.05.19) >>


I started learning to play the piano in November 2017.
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-635 | SoundCloud >>
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Re: Blind sound test: DP vs Pianoteq vs VST instruments [Re: StasNick] #2849617
05/18/19 12:40 PM
05/18/19 12:40 PM
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RobR Offline
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3 is the best, better yet: The only one which is convincing to my ears.

6 and 14 are abysmal, it was a tough choice choosing which one is worst.

I hear a lot of Pianoteq models in these demos, am i right? EDIT: Nevermind, it's in the title, so i was right:)


Last edited by RobR; 05/18/19 12:42 PM.
Re: Blind sound test: DP vs Pianoteq vs VST instruments [Re: StasNick] #2849652
05/18/19 01:56 PM
05/18/19 01:56 PM
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Posts: 165
Norway
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oivavoi Offline
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Can't download the files to my ipad! Will try later on the computer.

Re: Blind sound test: DP vs Pianoteq vs VST instruments [Re: RobR] #2849656
05/18/19 02:06 PM
05/18/19 02:06 PM
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Posts: 28
Russia
StasNick Offline OP
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Originally Posted by RobR
3 is the best, better yet: The only one which is convincing to my ears.

6 and 14 are abysmal, it was a tough choice choosing which one is worst.

I hear a lot of Pianoteq models in these demos, am i right? EDIT: Nevermind, it's in the title, so i was right:)


RobR, thank you very much!
Yes, of course, there is Pianoteq there (I will say more: there are 6 different timbres from Pianoteq, including the new Bechstein).

Originally Posted by oivavoi
Can't download the files to my ipad! Will try later on the computer.

I made an alternative source, perhaps this will help you:
Test audio files (DropBox) >>


I started learning to play the piano in November 2017.
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-635 | SoundCloud >>
Re: Blind sound test: DP vs Pianoteq vs VST instruments [Re: StasNick] #2849669
05/18/19 02:45 PM
05/18/19 02:45 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 507
Just outside London UK
akc42 Offline
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I downloaded an played all the files

I liked No 4 the best, but I like a mellow voice rather than a bright one

Agree that 6 and 14 are the worst, BUT I also found 13 and 15 slightly funny - some sort of background ringing which I didn't like.

I did make a load of wav files on my CA67 with a load of different piano voices selected, but I also tried selecting an organ and playing the midi file and I still got a piano voice and a quick listen to the various wav files I made are all the same, so I am not sure what piano settings the CA67 uses. I can load it somewhere if useful, but I am not sure what sounds its using

Last edited by akc42; 05/18/19 02:45 PM. Reason: Add preference
Re: Blind sound test: DP vs Pianoteq vs VST instruments [Re: StasNick] #2849673
05/18/19 02:53 PM
05/18/19 02:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 20
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PianoMasterIreland Offline
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Thanks for this; always a bit of fun especially when it's a blind test. I'll write my thoughts on each one as I go.

01. Sounds like clipping coming through on some chords although that could be the sound effect of the MIDI limitation. It's a clean sound. The decay on the notes is respectable but this piano isn't to my liking overall.
02. Sounds distant with a lot of hissing in the background. This surely is a VST. The piano is nice with a rounded sound. A lot more exciting than number one but I can't get past the hissing.
03. A more modest tone from this one but quite beautiful. As with number two, too much hiss for me. I like the attack on this piano on the accented notes but it's a mellow sound overall. I'm more of a bright guy.
04. I'm aware this is MIDI file which is going to be clinical in technique crossover but I really didn't like this piano's obsession with the pedal sound. Reminds me of an old upright I'd hear in a showroom. I get that people might go for this but I can comfortably say; hate it.
05. Off to a lovely start. Clean delivery. It's another mellow sound. High notes are a little weak. Wow, the overtones on the final chords are dense; don't think I'm fond of that..
06. So, going to have to forget hissing lest all my comments here be negative!😂It's bright. The samples in this are quite good. It's an improvement for me but not number 1 yet.
07. Immediately know I wouldn't go for this. That twang aside, it's got a heavy lumbering sound although I do admire the sampling on certain individual notes.
08. Quite nice. Is it Yamaha? I've become a Yamaha fan boy (P255 and Garritan CFX). I'll possibly mark this down as favourite so far, lovely balance and attack. Final chords - gorgeous.
09. An in-your-face left hand on this track. The climactic part on this was disappointing. I have to hand it a really good sustain.
10. An older piano sound again here which just isn't up my street. It reminds me of another percussion, keyboard instrument like celeste in parts. Good dynamics to be fair. Sampling is very respectable.
11. I don't have strong feelings on this one on way or another. It's okay. It has an ethereal sound. The pedal sampling is annoying.
12. I may be beginning to need a palette cleanser but this reminds me of previous pianos here. A respectable sound. Bass is lacking more so in this one.
13. This is like glass. Really smooth and ringing. I'm drawn to it so far. It let me down in the climax. Right hand drowned out. Too delicate.
14. Sounds tired and dusty. Bored by it. Shaky sampling on the higher notes very obvious. This sounds inconsistent with itself.
15. I like this one a lot. Really nice tone. It's slightly imbalanced. It's not as nice as number eight.

Favourite: 08

Least favourite: 04

Re: Blind sound test: DP vs Pianoteq vs VST instruments [Re: akc42] #2849678
05/18/19 03:17 PM
05/18/19 03:17 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 28
Russia
StasNick Offline OP
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StasNick  Offline OP
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Russia
Originally Posted by akc42
I downloaded an played all the files

I liked No 4 the best, but I like a mellow voice rather than a bright one

Agree that 6 and 14 are the worst, BUT I also found 13 and 15 slightly funny - some sort of background ringing which I didn't like.

I did make a load of wav files on my CA67 with a load of different piano voices selected, but I also tried selecting an organ and playing the midi file and I still got a piano voice and a quick listen to the various wav files I made are all the same, so I am not sure what piano settings the CA67 uses. I can load it somewhere if useful, but I am not sure what sounds its using


akc42, thank you for your feedback!
By the way, you have raised an interesting topic: it turns out that changing the voice for a MIDI file to Kawai CA67 is not such an easy task. I have an option on the CLP-635 in the settings that changes the voice for a MIDI file (this is very convenient), I thought it was on any instrument.
I found a discussion of this issue here on the forum, perhaps it will be useful to you:
Kawai CA67 MIDI Playback From USB


I started learning to play the piano in November 2017.
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-635 | SoundCloud >>
Re: Blind sound test: DP vs Pianoteq vs VST instruments [Re: PianoMasterIreland] #2849679
05/18/19 03:26 PM
05/18/19 03:26 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 28
Russia
StasNick Offline OP
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StasNick  Offline OP
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Russia
PianoMasterIreland, incredibly comprehensive answer! You have a great ear and you noticed many small details.
And it is especially interesting to read this, knowing the names of instruments smile
I think tomorrow I will show a table with names.


I started learning to play the piano in November 2017.
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-635 | SoundCloud >>
Re: Blind sound test: DP vs Pianoteq vs VST instruments [Re: StasNick] #2849680
05/18/19 03:27 PM
05/18/19 03:27 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,090
Sofia, Bulgaria
CyberGene Offline
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CyberGene  Offline
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Sofia, Bulgaria
I also tried opening the files from my iPhone but it seems they are not playable on iPhone by default. Even DropBox won’t show a player. Ogg is kind of exotic nowadays. Should’ve used AAC which is the same high quality and supported on all platforms. I’ll take a listen when I’m on my laptop.

Last edited by CyberGene; 05/18/19 03:28 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: Blind sound test: DP vs Pianoteq vs VST instruments [Re: CyberGene] #2849685
05/18/19 03:53 PM
05/18/19 03:53 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 28
Russia
StasNick Offline OP
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StasNick  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
I also tried opening the files from my iPhone but it seems they are not playable on iPhone by default. Even DropBox won’t show a player. Ogg is kind of exotic nowadays. Should’ve used AAC which is the same high quality and supported on all platforms. I’ll take a listen when I’m on my laptop.


CyberGene, I got used to the OGG format and converted all my music into it. I did not know that there are problems with it on iOS.
But for convenience, I made MP3 files, I hope it will be compatible:
Test audio files (MP3) >>


I started learning to play the piano in November 2017.
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-635 | SoundCloud >>
Re: Blind sound test: DP vs Pianoteq vs VST instruments [Re: StasNick] #2849698
05/18/19 04:51 PM
05/18/19 04:51 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 167
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JJHLH Online content
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Joined: Mar 2019
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Originally Posted by StasNick
Originally Posted by CyberGene
I also tried opening the files from my iPhone but it seems they are not playable on iPhone by default. Even DropBox won’t show a player. Ogg is kind of exotic nowadays. Should’ve used AAC which is the same high quality and supported on all platforms. I’ll take a listen when I’m on my laptop.


CyberGene, I got used to the OGG format and converted all my music into it. I did not know that there are problems with it on iOS.
But for convenience, I made MP3 files, I hope it will be compatible:
Test audio files (MP3) >>


I couldn’t get this to work on my iPad either.


Yamaha N1X, P-515. Garritan CFX. Genelec 8331 monitors.
Re: Blind sound test: DP vs Pianoteq vs VST instruments [Re: StasNick] #2849704
05/18/19 05:04 PM
05/18/19 05:04 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,090
Sofia, Bulgaria
CyberGene Offline
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CyberGene  Offline
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Sofia, Bulgaria
For me it works.


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: Blind sound test: DP vs Pianoteq vs VST instruments [Re: StasNick] #2849722
05/18/19 06:20 PM
05/18/19 06:20 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 165
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oivavoi Offline
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Got the mp3's to work.

Listened through and scribbled down my first impressions upon listening to them. This is very spontaneous and probably not very precise. FWIW:

1: something is wrong. clipping? Muffled
2: metallic sheen. noticeable hiss
3: noticeable hiss here as well
4: what's that really strange noise which shouldn't be there?
5: nice all in all. well-rounded. no hiss. but do I detect some digital artifacts? I think so. Or maybe not. Not sure. Can't make up my mind about it.
6: this one sounds really different! Difficult to describe, but weird. Like it's old or something.
7: I like it. Musical and clear sound. But with this one there's a fairly pronounced low-level noise. Damper noise I assume?
8: wow! My clear favorite so far. Nothing to comment on really. The damper noise isn't annoying but blends well with the overall sound. Lovely and rich and clear.
9: once again pronounced low-level noises. Damper noise. This time the damper noise has a more metallic feel to me.
10: sound feels nasal on this one. kind of 'twangy'. Once again I find the damper noise noticeable
11: what's with the weird low-level scratchy noises?
12: different tonally from the last one, but scratchy noises here as well. AND metallic damper noise
13: no hiss or low-level noise. But it has a kind of artificial "amplified" feel to it. A bit weird tonally
14: different from the last one, but also feels artificial to me
15: very polite, this one. Probably not my overall favourite but I definitely like it.

Eight is my clear winner!

Last edited by oivavoi; 05/18/19 06:26 PM.
Re: Blind sound test: DP vs Pianoteq vs VST instruments [Re: StasNick] #2849737
05/18/19 07:28 PM
05/18/19 07:28 PM
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I can give my rough impression after listening to them all.

Ones I preferred: 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11

Neutral towards: 1, 7, 12

Didn’t like as much: 2, 4, 6, 13, 14, 15

Thank you for the taking the time and effort to do this experiment.


Yamaha N1X, P-515. Garritan CFX. Genelec 8331 monitors.
Re: Blind sound test: DP vs Pianoteq vs VST instruments [Re: StasNick] #2849816
05/19/19 04:55 AM
05/19/19 04:55 AM
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Quick impressions without reading anyone's comments:

1) There's a certain piano brand somewhere in the file's metadata. Sounds ok, could be Pianoteq(?)
2) Has more reverb than #1 so that's at least different. Maybe a Japanese grand VST(?)
3) Pretty much like #2
4) What's wrong with this one? The una corda pedal stuck down? Maybe it's the NI Noire piano with the "felt effect".
5) Okay, could be a Clavinova.
6) A historical "pianoforte"/"fortepiano" from Pianoteq. Interesting but probably boring over time.
7) A wild guess: another "slightly older" piano from Pianoteq. Or Clavinova's "Bösendorfer".
8) Could be anything. Except a Casio. An okay "basic grand".
9) A bit muffled? Again an okay "basic grand". Maybe Pianoteq.
10) Brighter than #9. Could be anything except a Casio.
11) Pianoteq Steinway(?)
12) Pianoteq Bechstein(?)
13) Could be anything except a Casio. At least the key action noises are now gone.
14) Again a historical "pianoforte"/"fortepiano" from Pianoteq.
15) Could be anything except a Casio. Maybe a digital piano.

Re: Blind sound test: DP vs Pianoteq vs VST instruments [Re: StasNick] #2849819
05/19/19 05:07 AM
05/19/19 05:07 AM
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Celestis
Originally Posted by StasNick
1. Do you hear a distinct difference between these voices?
2. Which voice do you like best?
3. Which voice do you think is the worst?

1) Yes. There are timbre / EQ and stereo image changes.
2) No favorite really. They all sounded convincing to my ears.
3) Nr. 5 sounded very flat / lifeless

I also noticed damper noise on Nr. 12 and odd metallic scratching noises in Nr. 4.

Other than that, I found myself enjoying the playing an not thinking much about stuff that stands out / disrupts the experience.


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 6 Std | Garritan CFX / Pearl Alto Flute 201
Re: Blind sound test: DP vs Pianoteq vs VST instruments [Re: StasNick] #2849821
05/19/19 05:15 AM
05/19/19 05:15 AM
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Interesting test but not easy.

1st Q: YES

2nd Q: The best for me is the 5 , but unnatural bass resonnance in the end.

3rd Q: The worst for me is the 6

Re: Blind sound test: DP vs Pianoteq vs VST instruments [Re: StasNick] #2849827
05/19/19 05:47 AM
05/19/19 05:47 AM
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CyberGene Offline
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I also didn’t read other opinions in order not to be influenced. I listened them in order and wrote short notes after each:

1. OK, slightly nasal
2. OK, metallic sustain, nasal
3. Better
4. Too soft and dull, maybe bad velocity mapping, some weird hammer knocks, not enough dynamic range
5. Ok, metallic sustain at places
6. Ugh, nasty! Immediately starts ugly, contender for worst so far
7. Another contender for worst, but slightly better than 6
8. Best so far but still slightly metallic sustain
9. OK at low velocities but at higher velocities exhibits some synthetic CP70 sustain
10. OK-ish, but still some nasal and metallic character
11. Among the better ones, but some bell-like attack at places that spoils it
12. Best so far!
13. Among the best ones, maybe slightly smeared sustain but otherwise very good
14. Ugh! Another ugly and nasal contender for the title of “worst”
15. Ohh, this is great! Maybe it’s the best

The best is 15. Also good are 12, 13, 8, to some degree 11
Worst: 6, 7, 14


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: Blind sound test: DP vs Pianoteq vs VST instruments [Re: StasNick] #2849833
05/19/19 06:12 AM
05/19/19 06:12 AM
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nax Offline
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Great comparison. I made the mistake to first read a few comments, so it might not be 100% blind:

round sound: 3, 8, 11

ok: 7, 9, 12, 15

too thin: 1, 14

too bright: 10

too mellow (muffled bass around 1:16-1:18): 4, 5

a bit artificial/tinny (too much virtual resonance? or maybe just reverb): 2, 6, 13

Overall, I would probably vote for 8.

Re: Blind sound test: DP vs Pianoteq vs VST instruments [Re: StasNick] #2849958
05/19/19 11:44 AM
05/19/19 11:44 AM
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lorez Offline
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3 and 10 are the ones I like the most.

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