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Originally Posted by computerpro3
Listening to the rich overtones float in the air and mingle in Debussy on the Shigeru in an acoustically great recital hall is just not something we can approximate with sampled or modeled instruments yet.

Now that’s surprising. It’s generally accepted that it’s resonances where modeled pianos shine.


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It’s really just my seat of the pants opinion, so take it for what it’s worth. My opinion could have been influenced by the world-class quality of the artists playing, the hall, the glass of wine I had before the concert, etc. But I have spent a lot of time playing modeled pianos (and prefer them to sampled) and I just remember thinking that I’ve never heard any kind of digital sound that was as pleasing as what I was hearing at the time.

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It makes sense that playing a top-tier acoustic piano at a professionally-optimized, and acoustically primed hall will sound better than good ol’ Pianoteq played in my closet.
The question is ‘are we getting there’? And I say yes!

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Originally Posted by computerpro3
It’s really just my seat of the pants opinion, so take it for what it’s worth. My opinion could have been influenced by the world-class quality of the artists playing, the hall, the glass of wine I had before the concert, etc. But I have spent a lot of time playing modeled pianos (and prefer them to sampled) and I just remember thinking that I’ve never heard any kind of digital sound that was as pleasing as what I was hearing at the time.

That is a high bar.

Thanks for the follow up and interesting posts computerpro3. I'm glad the recitals went well.

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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by computerpro3
Listening to the rich overtones float in the air and mingle in Debussy on the Shigeru in an acoustically great recital hall is just not something we can approximate with sampled or modeled instruments yet.

Now that’s surprising. It’s generally accepted that it’s resonances where modeled pianos shine.

In terms of sound quality, the 9’ piano has vibrating strings and a soundboard. The digital piano sound is a stereo mix being rendered on speakers or headphones.

It would be theoretically possible to design a multichannel sound system for the hall and design a multichannel mix of the piano sound that could be rendered on the sound system so that it would be difficult (but maybe not impossible) to distinguish it from the acoustic grand.

The sound system would be expensive and the collection of the samples would be costly, requiring acoustic isolation of the hall and microphones placed around the hall to collect samples of what each speaker would produce. If such a digital piano sound sample existed, you could also render it on a multi-channel sound system in your living room. I think Kawai or Yamaha has the theoretical capability to do this today, but the cost of the full system (piano and sound system) would well exceed the cost of some very nice acoustic pianos that fit in the homes of potential buyers.

In terms of stereo sound mixes, headphones are especially a problem. The left ear does not hear anything being rendered on the right channel and vice versa.

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I think the NV10 is a 3-channel mix, but the same applies.

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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
It would be theoretically possible to design a multichannel sound system for the hall and design a multichannel mix of the piano sound that could be rendered on the sound system so that it would be difficult (but maybe not impossible) to distinguish it from the acoustic grand.

PianoTeq, which runs 5 channels so a basic system is not so difficult to set up these days. There are plenty of schemes to quickly measure and place speakers or just use a home-theatre receiver. Then run some reverb of through DAW.

I never heard a multichannel movie system that sounded better than stereo, unfortunately. And I don't recall reading about multichannel PianoTeq systems. If I had the time I would give this a go. . .

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The NV10 has 7 speakers actually, so not sure of the mix channel count.

A home theater system of the required quality would be prohibitively expensive, and the multichannel mixes being rendered on them are not engineered to the requisite standards.

There are multichannel SACDs for instance of symphony performances that were recorded in performance halls with microphones placed to capture the content each speaker needs to produce. When rendered on a high end multichannel audio system you would have the auditory experience of being in the hall. But the audio system alone would cost as much as a new SK-3, before we even get into the cost of the digital instrument.

Stereo music mixes for classical recordings are generally done to higher standards than home theater sound mixes, and if your budget for speakers is $1000 spreading the funds out over the purchase of 7 speakers will mean lower quality speakers than if you buy 2 or 3. So experiencing a stereo sound as superior is a common experience (I listen to recorded music in stereo).

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The N1X uses four-channel samples and it has even more speakers. I rarely play it through speakers but it’s one of the better (more realistic) pianos in terms of sound seemingly coming from everywhere. However it’s certainly very modest, to put it mildly, compared to a top level grand prepared by top level technician and played in a top level concert hall. There’s no match and I doubt there will ever be. At least not soon. Not until they implement some way of inducing sound directly in the brain centers, bypassing the ears laugh

Last edited by CyberGene; 06/29/19 02:19 PM.

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Originally Posted by CyberGene

Now that’s surprising. It’s generally accepted that it’s resonances where modeled pianos shine.


I guess only in comparison to samples!

As high as the bar sounds, aren't all sampled and modeled pianos based on professionally prepped, voiced and tuned concert grands played in ideal environments? So this really sounds like what we should be comparing them against!


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In reality our transducers are probably the weakest link, either we are reliant on the crappy speakers in our pianos (and they are all crappy), aftermarket monitors, or headphones. Some can sound quite excellent, but it's still going to be "different" than a grand in a concert setting unless we place the speakers firing upwards in an identical concert hall to compare.

I think modeled pianos can sound pretty much the same as recorded top shelf grands, but I have never heard a recording of either sound as good as in person for obvious reasons. Which frankly is not a fair comparison (but it's what I was doing anyway!)

I would be incredibly curious to here a top shelf digital with a top shelf aftermarket sound system in a concert hall.

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The problem with Pianoteq is that it sounds like a simplistic version of a piano to me. The VSL pianos do a much better job in terms of capturing the wealth of tone colours of an acoustic grand, and makes them very realistic in terms of response. Even though they only have a couple of levels of pedalling (in the newer pianos), I still find it more realistic than Pianoteq.

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I mostly agree with this ...
Originally Posted by computerpro3
In reality our transducers are probably the weakest link, either we are reliant on the crappy speakers in our pianos (and they are all crappy), aftermarket monitors, or headphones. Some can sound quite excellent, but it's still going to be "different" than a grand in a concert setting unless we place the speakers firing upwards in an identical concert hall to compare.
Headphones were good, but speaker not so. But after ten years of using this digital with internal speakers and with so-so external speakers I finally got a pair of monitors. And it now sound marvelous.

But these monitors are not "top-shelf" ... and I don't have a concert hall in which to perform this test ... smile
Originally Posted by computerpro3
I would be incredibly curious to here a top shelf digital with a top shelf aftermarket sound system in a concert hall.

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To me Pianoteq sounds no better than almost tolerable in the midrange and quite fake in the highs. And always "distant", as though the piano were somewhere else rather than right here.
Originally Posted by johnstaf
The problem with Pianoteq is that it sounds like a simplistic version of a piano to me. The VSL pianos do a much better job in terms of capturing the wealth of tone colours of an acoustic grand, and makes them very realistic in terms of response. Even though they only have a couple of levels of pedalling (in the newer pianos), I still find it more realistic than Pianoteq.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
And always "distant", as though the piano were somewhere else rather than right here.

I'm afraid that, in my case, concert grands tend to be somewhere else rather than right here. They get that right at least! grin

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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
And always "distant", as though the piano were somewhere else rather than right here.

I'm afraid that, in my case, concert grands tend to be somewhere else rather than right here. They get that right at least! grin

LOL


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Are there any Soundcloud/YouTube recordings of any members actually playing the NV10? We've got 325 posts, but precious few real life hands on recordings...

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Originally Posted by Chris Warren
Are there any Soundcloud/YouTube recordings of any members actually playing the NV10? We've got 325 posts, but precious few real life hands on recordings...

Click on JoBert’s signature. Who’s that guy? The author of this very thread laugh


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Add another NV10 owner to the list.

I was planning to get a N1X but very unexpectedly ended up getting the NV10 instead. I had mostly ignored this NV10 thread during my research as the NV10 cost a little more than I was willing to pay and I was vaguely aware of issues people were having without actually researching what those were.

I'd basically settled on the N1X as a result (wasn’t overly interested in an upright action). I'd arranged to travel a few hours to a store to test out The N1X, N1UX, a Transacoustic and maybe the NV10 just for fun. As it turns out there was some miscommunication and only the NV10, NU1X and a Kawai K300 ATX2 were available to play. So I tried out the NU1X with HD650 headphones to test the sound and compare to the NV10.

It was a near instant realisation that the NV10 was the correct choice for us. I'd previously listened to the few comparison videos between the N1X and NV10 and had usually thought the NV10 sounded better but had brushed it off as an artifact of recording and the limits of listing back via YouTube. In the end my wife and I both greatly preferred the sound of the Kawai over the Yamaha. The lower registers on the NV10 are just gorgeous. I expected the Binaural on the NU1X to be _amazing_ after all the raving about it, but it didn't blow me away. I could definitely hear the difference and it was _nice_ but not enough to justify favouring the Yamaha over the Kawai.

The action on the NV10 was also amazing and almost exactly what I was hoping for. I expect the N1X would have felt far too heavy for my liking - as the NU1X did. To be fair however it has been over 10 years since I last sat at a piano and the heaviness of the NU1X vs the NV10 might have played a part in that feeling - my fingers aren't used to playing so I'd probably enjoy anything lighter right now. Also the piano is for my young kids to learn on, so a lighter action might be preferable to start with. I’m not sure what the NU1X action is modelled on, but I compared it to a new U1 and it was far stiffer/heavier than the U1. I would loved to have tried the N1X action out but it would have required flying across the country and I couldn’t justify that, especially after listing to the NU1X and getting that feeling it just wasn't for me.

Of course after I purchased I came back and only then read through this entire thread and started to have many second thoughts (buzzing etc). I don't recall hearing any problem in store, but I also mostly used the headphones, wasn't listening for it specifically and there was a piano concert going on simultaneously which made it hard to hear at times.

I'll find out in a week or two when it arrives smile - although I'm not actually expecting there is going to be an issue.

In the end we got the NV10 for the same as the list price of the N1X ($12k AUD / ~$8.3k USD) so it was in the correct price range, sounded better to my ears (relative to the CFX and Bösendorfer), felt great to play on and I didn't have to wait months for it (the N1X) to be in stock. Hard to say no to that. I’ll have to post a picture when it finally arrives smile

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It looks like you found the piano that suited you. You can't find out which piano you're going to prefer by reading a forum I suppose. Enjoy it.

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