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Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
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Joined: Jul 2018
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I just played a beautiful Estonia grand at a friend's home. I hadn't played a real piano in a long long time.....

Question: When or how often do you play a real acoustic piano... and a good one at that? Comparison to your home rig?

I came away with the following:

1 - The Estonia boomed!!! Wow what a big dynamic sound. Holy cow. You would think I would have to tame my touch on it... but NO! I started banging away.. I loved that big loud huge wall of sound. Yeeehaaa!!!!
2 - The Estonia had some tonal qualities I did not like... the higher frequency overtones in all registers sounded ... um ... metallic. If keyboard samples had this characteristic, we would say it had a tinky fake sound.
3 - My efforts to make my Roland RD-2000 sound big with external amplifiers and four speakers is definitely the right thing to do. This is a worthy pursuit to get a big sound.... if you don't pursue quality play back, you are missing a huge emotional boost. Cheap small speakers suck and now are more sucky that I got religion again from that Estonia.
4 - The RD-2000 and VI Labs Ravenscroft piano I have have really good sounds... technically. In some regards... when you put your analytical ears... sound better than that real Estonia. This is really goofy and makes no sense. But... nothing was more fun to play than that big Estonia..... I want one!!!
5 - Odd the Estonia's action felt very foreign to me... I didn't like it... but maybe I have been re-programmed (poisoned?) for these Rolands I have owned for 20 years.

Peace
Bruce in Philly

My rig... note the really nice B&W 805S speakers above and the big woofy ADS speakers below... it cranks... and I can feel it... I love feeling the sound... but nothing like that Estonia... not even close.

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 01/21/21 10:11 PM.

Peace
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Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Question: When or how often do you play a real acoustic piano... and a good one at that? Comparison to your home rig?


I am fortunate to play a real acoustic grand every day - 7' Mason & Hamlin BB. Comparing it to my digital piano rig - sound wise there is no comparison as you noticed. Action wise, I actually prefer the action of NV10 over Mason & Hamlin BB. NV10's action is lighter, smoother and has a longer pivot.


Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
I came away with the following:

1 - The Estonia boomed!!! Wow what a big dynamic sound. Holy cow. You would think I would have to tame my touch on it... but NO! I started banging away.. I loved that big loud huge wall of sound. Yeeehaaa!!!!
2 - The Estonia had some tonal qualities I did not like... the higher frequency overtones in all registers sounded ... um ... metallic. If keyboard samples had this characteristic, we would say it had a tinky fake sound.

I had played Estonia a few times at the local dealer. They are wonderful piano with great sound. Excellent build quality as well. Great bass - but I was not a big fan of their mid range and highs - tonal quality wise.

Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
3 - My efforts to make my Roland RD-2000 sound big with external amplifiers and four speakers is definitely the right thing to do. This is a worthy pursuit to get a big sound.... if you don't pursue quality play back, you are missing a huge emotional boost. Cheap small speakers suck and now are more sucky that I got religion again from that Estonia.
+1. Definitely a worthy pursuit to get a big sound - makes the piano playing experience that much better.

Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
4 - The RD-2000 and VI Labs Ravenscroft piano I have have really good sounds... technically. In some regards... when you put your analytical ears... sound better than that real Estonia. This is really goofy and makes no sense. But... nothing was more fun to play than that big Estonia..... I want one!!!

Definitely VSTs may sound tonal quality wise better than some digital pianos as most VSTs are capturing Top Tier 1 9' concert grands that are very well maintained. So, in a recording, a VST may sound better than a recording of a grand piano. But, in person experience - as you mentioned - it's a whole different experience.

Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
5 - Odd the Estonia's action felt very foreign to me... I didn't like it... but maybe I have been re-programmed (poisoned?) for these Rolands I have owned for 20 years.

Sounds like the action could use some regulation/maintenance. Many grand pianos in private homes have actions that are not the best or well-maintained.

Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
My rig... note the really nice B&W 805S speakers above and the big woofy ADS speakers below... it cranks... and I can feel it... I love feeling the sound... but nothing like that Estonia... not even close.

[Linked Image]

Wow - that's one really nice rig!!

Osho


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Kawai Novus NV10 + VST + Genelec 8050B monitors.
Current VST favorites (in the order of preference): Pianoteq 7/VSL Synchron Concert D//Garritan CFX/Embertone Walker D Full

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Originally Posted by Osho
Wow - that's one really nice rig!!

Osho

Seconded; but it could use a bit of cable management though laugh


Kawai Novus NV-10 | Pianoteq 7 (Kremsegg 1 & 2, Ruckers Harpsichord, KIVIR)
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try to put speakers towards the ceiling, not too close to the wall, turn off any reverb, match the volume of an acoustic piano, find a moment when you are happy, and bang as hard as you can on those keys.

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Since the times of the old RD-700, Roland DPs action has gone too soft for my taste, the RD-800 was the first that didnĀ“t quite appeal to my taste and kinesthetic memory. They sound amazing with thos SuperNatural samples and the keybeds are very expressive but too soft... if only they could make them harder to play louder, that the 128 volumen mark needed more weight and pressure needed would be amazing!

The sound surrounding yourself of a real grand is nothing comparable to any speakers on the market... it hits you from any direction, even the reflections below the body of the piano... like listening a recording of a concert compared to be in that concert...

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I have an upright and digital piano at home - and comparing them side-by-side is unflattering for a digital piano.
The good course of action for me not to play an acoustic, or play it rarely, definitely not more often than 1-2 times / week - because when I play my Yamaha U1 more often, it ruins the experience with my digital(s) for me - to the point I do not want to play digital, so I practice less, and my technique deteriorates.


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Nice comparison, the Estonia is a very good piano.

Most likely the reason you didn't like the action is because it allows you to play every single volume between ppp and FFF.

This great control comes with one caveat, it is much harder to play and something that takes time to learn.

The two pianos in my signature are a good example. Pieces that make me sound like a hero on my digital turn me almost into a beginner on my "real" piano.

Yes it is that big of a difference.

Last edited by Learux; 01/23/21 01:21 PM.

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Originally Posted by Learux
. Pieces that make me sound like a hero on my digital turn me almost into a beginner on my "real" piano.

Yes it is that big of a difference.

I never quite manange to sound like a hero on my P515. And there's no way I'll ever look like one . . .


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I have an LX-17, plus RD-2000, my acoustic is a K219 Schimmel.

I only practice on the electronic pianos when I'm forced to which is rare for those 3 AM practice sessions. There is no comparison in anyway you care to measure, in my very humble opinion.

BTW, nice setup. I'm not even close to being that squared away.

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First of all, you got a beautiful and nice rig! Mine is primitive (only the built-in sound with a low-price monitor headphone, since I only used it for night-time practice).

Possibly because of my poor rig, I spent less and less time on it than on either of my acoustics. Both of my acoustics, in fact, have tonal imperfections, but that fact does not diminish the reward from the soundscape, or the way their sound fills the rooms. I can totally connect with how you feel.

Estonia makes great pianos. I wonder what model your friend has. I was quite serious about getting a 210 or even the 225. I didn't quite like their concert grand (274) for a profound low treble-high treble break that the high treble, on the specific piano I tried, was too bright/high-pitched/metallic to me.

In addition to tonal quality, I found that the control offered by acoustic grands cannot be matched by my MP11. I certainly have the bias of mostly playing acoustic pianos, upright or grands, in my entire life, and also both acoustics that we have had been regulated by top-notch technicians.


1969 Hamburg Steinway B, rebuilt by PianoCraft in 2017
2013 New York Steinway A
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Previously: 2005 Yamaha GB1, 1992 Yamaha C5

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