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Top end digital pianos??
#3011114 08/07/20 10:00 AM
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OK. So I have contacted Yamaha, Roland and Kawai direct to get a straight answer on which models are their top end

Meaning the closest feel to a grand (or what they perceive as their very best)
Best sound via headphones and outputs. (no interest in the speaker systems)

And with them two questions in mind. The most compact version of them.

I don't think any company makes it very clear of which ranges has what. And which is supposed to be better.

What are everyone else's opinion.

I owned a V Piano years ago which I loved (compared to the previous rd700sx)

Now I'm getting back into music. I'm on the search for my dream digital piano.
I'm led to believe that the home pianos have a better feel and sound than stage pianos?

Back when I got the v piano (2010/11) I know yamaha had started to bring out some impressive products.
My favourite grand is a yamaha. Not the the cfx, but the slightly warmer sounding one. Its still as big but I can never remember the name. C2 or C3. It was in the private room in the main yamaha store in London (near Oxford Street) next to the cfx.

Just as a reference of sound I like. And I always was a fan of Roland. But the new rd2000 feels crap.

Re: Top end digital pianos??
Chrisgilx #3011120 08/07/20 10:34 AM
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I have a Yamaha N1X, which is near top end and I love it. A fair number of people on here might feel that the N3X is the actual top end from Yamaha. I am not familiar with Kawai or Roland.

Re: Top end digital pianos??
Chrisgilx #3011125 08/07/20 10:52 AM
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Two categories to look at
a) with speakers to try and emulate how the sound from a grand piano is spread in a room
b) electronics involved to get on phones as a recorded piano would sound

Price difference is basically the number of amps+speakers you get.
Go from $10,000 to $20,000 and you get double amount of speakers, pretty much.
Electronics is just about the same inside.
Keybed you get is about the same on best stage pianos(without speakers) - for fraction of the cost.

So what experience do you want?
- feel playing and it sounds loud out the room, with the dynamic sitting at a grand piano
- or more like hearing piano on hifi at home

Kawai MP11SE with longer keys and pivot feel more like acoustic grand and you get away a fifth in cost if settling for phones and possibly connected hifi.

Nothing can replace this giant furniture of a grand piano sounding in a room. The difference is as big as going to a symphony orchestra concert and listen to a cd at home.

Last edited by Nip; 08/07/20 10:54 AM.

Kawai MP7SE - Hammond XK3c - Synthesizers
Re: Top end digital pianos??
Chrisgilx #3011129 08/07/20 11:09 AM
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Just my $0.02:

Given:
Quote
Meaning the closest feel to a grand (or what they perceive as their very best)
Best sound via headphones and outputs. (no interest in the speaker systems)

You should probably consider the $8k Yamaha AvantGrand N1X and $10k Kawai Novus NV-10, they are as close as you can get to satisfying both, and represent the companies' respective flagship lines.

If you're looking to spend less, the field is wide open. With Kawai, you get the same sound generator and action in several models so if you do not care about speaker output, the CA-79 is just as good as the CA-99. Yamaha reserves more special features only for their highest end models (only the CLP-685 has counterweights and linear graded keys in their top end action, the 675 drops some of that, etc.).

In all cases you really should test out the options, but the general consensus here is that the sounds today are pretty good from most manufacturers, and the best actions are the ones that use real acoustic actions (also usually the most expensive).


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Top end digital pianos??
Chrisgilx #3011130 08/07/20 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Chrisgilx
My favourite grand is a yamaha. Not the the cfx, but the slightly warmer sounding one. Its still as big but I can never remember the name....

You're thinking of the CF-IIIS.


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Re: Top end digital pianos??
Chrisgilx #3011136 08/07/20 11:37 AM
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FWIW --

When I saw "most compact version of them":

. . . Try an MP11se first.

No amp/loudspeaker overhead, on that one. Not a "hybrid", but long keysticks.


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Top end digital pianos??
Chrisgilx #3011182 08/07/20 01:37 PM
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Problem is. I can't try the mp11se anywhere in the country.
But back when I got the v piano, I wasn't a fan of the flagship kawai stage piano back then so I tend to think yamaha and Roland maybe more to my taste. But or course that could have changed. Ie. I hated the rd2000 when I tried it.

Yes that sounds about right. Cf 3s. I knew the number 2 or 3 was in there.. What a beautiful instrument that is 👌

I'm reading issues with the n1x??

I have heard back from a Roland rep at one of the stores up north.

So the lx705. Is basically the smallest one with the top end action and sound engine.
I think the rd2000 has the same sound engine?

I'm not the only one that wishes these companies would put their flagship keybed in a compact as possible piano. Stage piano styley?


By the way. I'm. Seriously considering just getting a second hand v piano I liked it so much... I just can't imagine the sounds havnt progressed significantly though... To my ear the rd2000 didn't sound like it.. Although why a music shop has music blaring when the very reason you go is to hear how the 8nstrumebts sound is beyond me 😏 so I won't judge the rd2000 harshly on sound unless I get to try it again

Last edited by Chrisgilx; 08/07/20 01:38 PM.
Re: Top end digital pianos??
Chrisgilx #3011198 08/07/20 02:12 PM
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“...issues with the N1X...” What issues?

Unless a sustain pedal that needs some ‘breaking-in’ is considered an issue, I don’t know of any serious issues with the N1X other than the hideous interface!

Re: Top end digital pianos??
Chrisgilx #3011213 08/07/20 02:49 PM
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An issue about the N1X I plan to buy... I am listening (reading) carefully...

(OK, I know about the interface)

What is the issue about the sustain pedal. I don’t understand “breaking-in” in this context. Does it needs to be used a while before being efficient ?


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
Re: Top end digital pianos??
Chrisgilx #3011237 08/07/20 03:45 PM
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Exactly!

Someone ‘round here was complaining about the ‘squeaking’ N1X pedals, and after much analysis (by our experts), it turned out to be something completely normal; which we call ‘breaking-in’; and yes, as you put it, this simply means the mechanism needs to be used a bit before things start to settle in.

Needless to say, my tight leather pants still squeak after several years of ‘breaking-in’, but that might have to do with my fat arse rather than the leather pants! laugh

Re: Top end digital pianos??
Chrisgilx #3011239 08/07/20 03:52 PM
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Has Yamaha perfected the key action in their hybrids? I have the NU1 got it in 2015, but when playing trills I would hear a sudden loud note come in from time to time. Plus, I find it doesn't work too well with VST's. So I decided to let it rest in China for now. smile

Re: Top end digital pianos??
David Lai #3011248 08/07/20 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by David Lai
Has Yamaha perfected the key action in their hybrids? I have the NU1 got it in 2015, but when playing trills I would hear a sudden loud note come in from time to time. Plus, I find it doesn't work too well with VST's. So I decided to let it rest in China for now. smile
The problem you refer to does not exist on the original AG series, N1(X), N2, N3(X).

For the NU1(X) there is a firmware update that lessens the likelihood of the problem occurring. It's covered in other relevant threads. My NU1 works just fine with VSTs, Windows or iOS.

Last edited by spanishbuddha; 08/07/20 04:21 PM.
Re: Top end digital pianos??
Pete14 #3011256 08/07/20 04:36 PM
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That's a bit more information that is needed, eh? But that's par for you, right? smile
Originally Posted by Pete14
... my tight leather pants still squeak after several years of ‘breaking-in’, but that might have to do with my fat arse rather than the leather pants! laugh

Re: Top end digital pianos??
Chrisgilx #3011264 08/07/20 04:42 PM
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blush

Re: Top end digital pianos??
spanishbuddha #3011275 08/07/20 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Originally Posted by David Lai
Has Yamaha perfected the key action in their hybrids? I have the NU1 got it in 2015, but when playing trills I would hear a sudden loud note come in from time to time. Plus, I find it doesn't work too well with VST's. So I decided to let it rest in China for now. smile
The problem you refer to does not exist on the original AG series, N1(X), N2, N3(X).

For the NU1(X) there is a firmware update that lessens the likelihood of the problem occurring. It's covered in other relevant threads. My NU1 works just fine with VSTs, Windows or iOS.

Good for you! But during my time of using the NU1 from 2015 to early 2017, I would sometimes run into this problem when playing trills, especially when the key is not raised all the way up but maybe half way or whatever, then from time to time there would be this loud bang... smile

Re: Top end digital pianos??
Chrisgilx #3011303 08/07/20 06:27 PM
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I'm sure I read somewhere about a loud note issue. Where a single note suddenly goes louder than it should?

Re: Top end digital pianos??
Chrisgilx #3011305 08/07/20 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Chrisgilx
I'm sure I read somewhere about a loud note issue. Where a single note suddenly goes louder than it should?

That's NU1X with upright action. And we were initially talking about N1X which is a higher model with grand piano action. And the N1X isn't known for any serious issues (some pianos have an assembly issue which can lead to the fallboard snapping out of one of the sockets but is a user fixable issue by re-screwing the pins slightly farther away).


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Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Top end digital pianos??
CyberGene #3011315 08/07/20 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by Chrisgilx
I'm sure I read somewhere about a loud note issue. Where a single note suddenly goes louder than it should?

That's NU1X with upright action. And we were initially talking about N1X which is a higher model with grand piano action. And the N1X isn't known for any serious issues (some pianos have an assembly issue which can lead to the fallboard snapping out of one of the sockets but is a user fixable issue by re-screwing the pins slightly farther away).

I hope to have confidence again in these pianos once I can try them in a store again! this is nice to read. smile

Re: Top end digital pianos??
David Lai #3011347 08/07/20 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by David Lai
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by Chrisgilx
I'm sure I read somewhere about a loud note issue. Where a single note suddenly goes louder than it should?

That's NU1X with upright action. And we were initially talking about N1X which is a higher model with grand piano action. And the N1X isn't known for any serious issues (some pianos have an assembly issue which can lead to the fallboard snapping out of one of the sockets but is a user fixable issue by re-screwing the pins slightly farther away).

I hope to have confidence again in these pianos once I can try them in a store again! this is nice to read. smile

Speaking of using VST, does the VST software provide accessibility on changing the velocity curves? If not I think it will be a deal breaker. A lot of the VSTs don’t seem to respond the touch natural if using the default touch curve as different keyboard actions are different. Did you run into any velocity curve issues when using the StudioLogic?

Re: Top end digital pianos??
Chrisgilx #3011355 08/07/20 08:54 PM
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I use an external velocity curve program. It plugs into the chain, in between your MIDI device and your DAW.
That way I have a velocity curve adjustment for any piano software.

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