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Help deciding on a Yamaha hybrid?
#2983321 05/24/20 03:24 PM
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Hello,

I've been doing a lot of research on the Yamaha N series, and I've also read a lot of threads on this website as well to figure out what instrument would be the best for me. All of your posts have been really helpful and I think I may want to get the N1X but I still would appreciate some more insights before I decide. Sorry in advance for the long post.

Here's a little background on me if these things help:

I actively perform as a classical pianist and teach piano part-time at a local university. I've always practiced on only acoustic pianos, but after graduation a year and a half ago, I moved to a new city for the job and am in an apartment setting, where with space and neighbors an acoustic piano is out of the question.

I had considered buying a hybrid instrument or a high end clavinova back when I graduated but a friend of mine offered his old Yamaha CP-33 (a stage piano) for cheap. Although the sound is obviously not great, it is the heaviest keyboard I've ever played on and is a fantastic practice instrument for me. I have akg k271 mkii headphones which help with the sound. I always had access to acoustic pianos at my job that I could also practice on, so I could always check that I wasn't practicing something strange with my CP-33. This setup has worked for me to play many solo and chamber concerts over 1.5 years without any issues!

Because of covid-19 though, I haven't played on an acoustic piano for over 2 months and I'm getting frustrated practicing with only my CP-33. Teaching online has required me to record myself playing for my students and that's driving me crazy as I do not have proper speakers for my CP-33. I've never needed them because it was a strictly a practice instrument for me with headphones.

Since the fall semester for teaching is looking like it will be at least partially or fully online and performing has been limited to online live videos or recordings, I'm thinking this is the time to invest in a nicer instrument. I'll probably have limited access to our school's pianos (if they ever open), so I would like an instrument where I can practice with the closest feel to an acoustic piano and ability to use both headphones and speakers (although most of the time I'll just be practicing with headphones).

The nearest yamaha dealer from where I live is 1 hour away, so I wanted to get all of my research and questions out of the way as I can probably make just one trip out to test out these pianos. Any answers and insights to these questions would be appreciated! (I am leaning towards the N1X but am open to suggestions)

______________________

1. I saw from another thread that the n1x key weight is around 22 pennies. I tried with my CP33 and I got 33 pennies (it's really heavy)! I know the type of action is different though (graded hammer keyboard with authentic touch), but do you think I would still feel that the CP33 is much heavier than the n1x?

2. I tried my friend's N2 which he got about 6-7 years ago. I honestly wasn't impressed much back then with the sound of this instrument, although I only played on it with the speakers. Is there a big difference in playing the N2 with and without headphones?

3. On some youtube reviews on the hybrids, some people said that the action is disappointing as it is actually not the same as a full grand piano, but more like a baby grand action. I couldn't find any basis for these claims though, does anybody know more about this?

4. I've seen Sara Davis Buechner and other yamaha artists in ads for these yamaha hybrids but are there any members on here who've used these as main practice instruments for performances and find it adequate? There's no telling whether SDB or other yamaha artists actually use these instruments to do their practice.

5. Do these pianos have a good re-sell value? I have a trusty Yamaha C3 grand piano waiting for me at my parent's place, which I'm waiting to bring as soon as I can move to a house in a few years. If I bring my grand, I probably would sell the hybrid piano I get soon.

6. I had tried a yamaha CLP-645 a couple years back as well as a yamaha N1 in 2018 at a dealer, and I was underwhelmed with the N1, and was seriously considering buying the CLP-645. It could be that the N1 floor model was old and overplayed, but the action and the sound did not merit the huge price tag over the CLP-645. Any clavinova players out there who have experience comparing their instrument to the hybrid instruments?

7. In the "prices paid" thread, I've seen people that bought the N1X for MUCH cheaper by asking around and seeing if others will match the prices. I am terrible at haggling - would like some tips on how you do it. Do you just ask the dealer how low they're willing to go right off the bat? smile

Thank you in advance and apologies again on the long post!

Last edited by conanima; 05/24/20 03:26 PM.
Re: Help deciding on a Yamaha hybrid?
conanima #2983329 05/24/20 03:41 PM
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With a background such as yours, it’s only you who will be able to determine the proper instrument for you. Seems like you're not complaining about the CP33 and if that’s the case, you may be good with many modern digital (non-hybrid) pianos too: Yamaha, Kawai, Roland.

Some years ago I was underwhelmed by N1 too. I liked a NU1 next to it more. That’s a faded memory and I haven’t compared a N1 and a N1X. But I love my N1X and it feels even better than the NU1X it replaced. And the latter felt even better than a NU1. So, by a very far fetched extension, N1X should be better than N1 😉

But you need to test, test, test.

Last edited by CyberGene; 05/24/20 03:43 PM.

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Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Help deciding on a Yamaha hybrid?
CyberGene #2983332 05/24/20 03:51 PM
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Thanks for the reply, I've seen your performances with the N1X on here and that's what really drew me to the instrument as a possibility!

I'm going to try and make the trip to the yamaha dealer sometime to try out the instruments soon. smile

Re: Help deciding on a Yamaha hybrid?
conanima #2983341 05/24/20 04:04 PM
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You can answer your questions 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 for yourself by trying the piano with your own hands and ears.

For question 5: Do these pianos have a good re-sell value?
Generally not. The resale value is usually a fraction of the original price. So you buy a piano to keep.

For question 7: Do you just ask the dealer how low they're willing to go right off the bat?
I don't. I don't want to hear what the dealer wants. I want to tell him what I want.
So I decide on my price and make an offer.

You see, I don't want to try to bring down the dealer's high price.
Instead I want to see whether the dealer wants to try to raise up my low price.
I don't view that as negotiating. I simply make an offer.

BTW ... I always make it an "all in" offer. That is, everything included: tax, delivery, setup.
If you make an offer on just the piano, then the dealer can accept your offer ... and then slap on extra for delivery and setup.

Re: Help deciding on a Yamaha hybrid?
conanima #2983376 05/24/20 05:18 PM
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Simone Dinnerstein has been known to practice occasionally on an AvantGrand prior to a performance. The second clip shows her with headphones:

https://www.facebook.com/simonedinnerstein/videos/927360597312266/

https://www.facebook.com/simonedinnerstein/videos/928326690548990/

And I don’t think she is a Yamaha artist since she frequently performs on Steinways.

CyberGene has convinced a few of us to buy the N1X. Thanks for the great advice CG! smile


Yamaha N1X, P-515.
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VI’s: Garritan CFX, VSL Bösendorfer Upright, and VSL Blüthner 1895. Pianoteq.
Re: Help deciding on a Yamaha hybrid?
conanima #2983468 05/24/20 11:27 PM
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I had the pleasure of playing the nu1x 2 nights ago for about an hour. I currently own the clp-645. while i found the nu's speaker system top be slightly better, it made me fell better about my choice of the clp-645. I found the action very similar, though I shouldn't have. For the price the clp-645 is an absolute bargain. I paid 2899 for the 645 and though I could have probably purchased the nu1x for about 4600, I don't see the real reason to do so. Similar sound and maybe a slightly better action. Just maybe.........................imho

Re: Help deciding on a Yamaha hybrid?
conanima #2983472 05/24/20 11:52 PM
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Just a correction to my spell checker in the previous post. Feel an to.
Thanks!

Re: Help deciding on a Yamaha hybrid?
JJHLH #2983475 05/24/20 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by JJHLH
CyberGene has convinced a few of us to buy the N1X. Thanks for the great advice CG! smile
🍻


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: Help deciding on a Yamaha hybrid?
conanima #2983508 05/25/20 04:10 AM
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I spent the past year hunting for a good quality digital piano, as I live with my in-laws and renting a condo with neighbors to the side and below me, ruling acoustic pianos out.

A year ago I was contemplating a Kawai CA78, CA98, NU1X and the N1X. I recently purchased my N1X, and I have truly enjoyed it. From someone who grew up with access to a baby grand my entire life, for one year I played on a P125. It’s a great slab keyboard, but nothing compares to the action. The CA78 and CA98 at the time were really nice, I wasn’t a big fan of the sliding CA78 cover for the keys. The action was pretty good though on both.

However I fell in love with the AvantGrand touch and feel. Which is something that you can only try and develop a sense of yourself. But put it this way, the first time I played an Avantgrand was a used N3 at the time, which was way to big, and the action was so good that it threw me for a loop.

So please take your time, and dig around, and even though it’s difficult try to be as hands on as you can with your contenders.

As a proud new owner of an N1X, I will say, I’ve had great success out there in securing my N1X and I hate conflict and confrontation in regards to negotiations. Best of luck! There’s a piano out there with your name on it!

Re: Help deciding on a Yamaha hybrid?
conanima #2983513 05/25/20 04:30 AM
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cgeronimo is modest, but I will say it for him:
He got the best deal on an N1X so far.

He says ‘I’m not a haggler’, but I wonder if he used some reverse-psychology subliminal hypnosis on the dealer to get such a great deal.

The bluff-and-walk has not been working well for me: ‘I’m going to think about your offer’, and then I start walking towards the door hoping for them to stop me; but no, they let me walk right out. And then I have to walk back in with my head down; knowing they caught my bluff!

Re: Help deciding on a Yamaha hybrid?
conanima #2983514 05/25/20 04:31 AM
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☝🏻🤣

Last edited by CyberGene; 05/25/20 04:31 AM.

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Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Help deciding on a Yamaha hybrid?
Pete14 #2983518 05/25/20 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete14
The bluff-and-walk has not been working well for me: ‘I’m going to think about your offer’, and then I start walking towards the door hoping for them to stop me; but no, they let me walk right out. And then I have to walk back in with my head down; knowing they caught my bluff!

That is so me! I'd even make sure to apologize wholeheartedly for bluffing - you know, because I want something from THEM. :-)


Kawai Novus NV10; Yamaha P-515
Re: Help deciding on a Yamaha hybrid?
conanima #2983539 05/25/20 06:29 AM
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The action on all the AvantGrands (except NU1/X) is a baby grand action. The Kawai NV-10 has the longer keys sticks of a mid-sized grand. If you can manage with the CP33, you'll absolutely love the AvantGrand. I don't know which hybrid I would choose, but both actions are good enough for anyone (IMHO of course).

Re: Help deciding on a Yamaha hybrid?
conanima #2983555 05/25/20 07:06 AM
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I am a bit worried too if the N1X would have too light action as my teacher has a quite heavy upright and he also recommended a heavy action for practice. I have been wondering if CLP-685 would be better for that. Im only a beginner though.

Re: Help deciding on a Yamaha hybrid?
Mickey_ #2983572 05/25/20 07:52 AM
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There's a solution for this problem ...
Originally Posted by Pete14
The bluff-and-walk has not been working well for me: ‘I’m going to think about your offer’, and then I start walking towards the door hoping for them to stop me; but no, they let me walk right out. And then I have to walk back in with my head down; knowing they caught my bluff!
Originally Posted by Mickey_
That is so me! I'd even make sure to apologize wholeheartedly for bluffing - you know, because I want something from THEM.
It's all about attitude.

Two things:
1. When making a large purchase ask yourself "who's in charge?" Answer: Me. Always own the floor. Be the speaker, not the audience.

2. I don't need a product from the dealer. Rather, he needs something from me: money. And he needs it badly. For that reason, I don't want to think about his offer. I want him to think about mine.

Re: Help deciding on a Yamaha hybrid?
conanima #2983586 05/25/20 08:27 AM
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Hi All (my first post here, yay smile )

Dear conanima, maybe you will find some of my experiences helpful. I own old Clavinova CLP230 (15y.old). I play piano for 25 years, I used to play a lot on grand and upright at the beginning ,when I was learning as a kid, for 5 years I played almost exclusively Clavinova at home.
I am looking to buy a new DP/hybrid myself, working now on a similar post as you. I was able though to test many pianos alongside at my dealer local store recently, it gave me so much surprising insight. When I will finish my post I will post a link to it in this thread. My view is of course quite personal and subjective, but if you want me to say more about any topic - I am happy to discuss it smile


Ad 1 - weight considerations: As for my old CLP230 it's downweight is 80-ish grams, it is heavy. I felt mu CLP230, CLP645, and CLP685 quite a bit heavier than n1. I was able to test 645 685 and n1 alongside at a local dealer. One interesting thing. For me the heaviness differences were different when I played slow and gentle, and when I played e.g. faster pieces mf. When I played slow and gentle, n1 was clearly the lightest. When I played fast and a bit louder, a solid mf (not bashing though smile ), 685 surprisingly started to feel much less heavy (!?), and action of n1 and 685 started to feel much closer. CLP230 and 645 were still quite clearly heavier.

Also - does anyone know or confirm that n1/n1x action can be regulated even under warranty? (also - same question for Novus nv10)?

Ad 2 - sound considerations: Sound differences is true. Testing alongside, I fekt the sampling difference between N1 and n1ux or even clp685 quite a bit. It is still a jump up from me from my 15 year old Clavinova CP230.

Ad 5 - reselling. According to few people I spoke with - if you think about selling in future - the silent piano is a much better deal than the hybrid - if of course upright action is what you want and what you can use for your practice. You can try to resell DP to the shop, but almost no one will buy a high priced, used DP on sth like eBay. Just a gathered opinion, base on conversations and looking through Central European eBay-like online markets. so take it with a grain of salt.

Ad 6 - N1 vs other Yamaha DPs: I had quite a reverse. I felt a big difference between n1 and 645/685 or CA99, in favor of n1. But also - old Grantouch GT1 felt different from n1 which felt different from nv10 (surprisingly GT1 felt the best for me). I wonder - maybe it is due to regulation, and one n1 will be different from another n1x?

Ad 7 - find-a-bargain smile : I so much agree with MacMacMac. Try to bargain for a full bundle (with delivery etc), think what price sounds right for you, and try to go for it. Also, what works for me - I try to seem quite an undecided person, always asking about a few of instruments, including lower priced ones. I found out that it is possible a dealer will make me an offer for the more expensive one, trying to sell it instead of sth that is half price of it.


good luck with hunting for a new instrument!

Re: Help deciding on a Yamaha hybrid?
conanima #2983620 05/25/20 10:20 AM
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And here it is - my monster post wink http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...brid-feedback-after-hands-on.html#UNREAD
I hope my experiences will be helpful to you.

Also - just wondering, in your professional experience, is it better to train on acoustic upright, or DP that simulates grand piano? I know it will differ for everyone, just gathering personal takes on the topic smile

Re: Help deciding on a Yamaha hybrid?
podski #2983633 05/25/20 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by podski
Ad 1 - weight considerations: As for my old CLP230 it's downweight is 80-ish grams, it is heavy. I felt mu CLP230, CLP645, and CLP685 quite a bit heavier than n1. I was able to test 645 685 and n1 alongside at a local dealer. One interesting thing. For me the heaviness differences were different when I played slow and gentle, and when I played e.g. faster pieces mf. When I played slow and gentle, n1 was clearly the lightest. When I played fast and a bit louder, a solid mf (not bashing though smile ), 685 surprisingly started to feel much less heavy (!?), and action of n1 and 685 started to feel much closer. CLP230 and 645 were still quite clearly heavier.

This is how a grand behaves. There are counterweights in the keys, but they only make it feel lighter when playing softly. If greater the acceleration, the less the counterweights help. If you accelerate at a higher rate than gravity, the counterweights have the opposite effect and make the keys feel heavier than when you have no counterweights at all.

Re: Help deciding on a Yamaha hybrid?
johnstaf #2983635 05/25/20 10:48 AM
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Johnstaf - If I understand you correctly - you mean that he the softer you play, the lighter the key feels? I thought this is the case of grand pianos indeed and that is how n1 feels for me.
(now offtopic a bit) What really surprised me, is that for CLP685 alone my feeling was opposite. It was heavy when playing softly and light when playing (though according to specs it should have counterweights).
There is a good CLP685 review by JB (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rsS8UJi5Ac&t=936s) in which he refers to CLP 685 action that it is different - maybe that behaviour is the reason?

Re: Help deciding on a Yamaha hybrid?
conanima #2983637 05/25/20 10:55 AM
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podski, yes it should get heavier as you play louder. The 685 has counterweights, but the mass required is probably quite a bit less than the AvantGrand. The heavier the counterweights, the greater the difference between loud and soft playing.

Last edited by johnstaf; 05/25/20 10:57 AM.
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