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A picture is worth a thousand words:



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Originally Posted by Abdol
A picture is worth a thousand words:


Link is broken.



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One has to bear in mind that the Yamaha as heard here is almost never actually heard at all.

One either plays through headphones, in which case you get a different binaural sample of the CFX, or one plays through the AvantGrand's own speakers, in which case you get multi-channel sampling properly presented. Two channel line out is not a representative way to experience it.

Therefore, pointless comparison.

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Originally Posted by EssBrace
One has to bear in mind that the Yamaha as heard here is almost never actually heard at all.

One either plays through headphones, in which case you get a different binaural sample of the CFX, or one plays through the AvantGrand's own speakers, in which case you get multi-channel sampling properly presented. Two channel line out is not a representative way to experience it.

Therefore, pointless comparison.

Tow-channel line-out comparison makes sense to me then. Many folks here play through headphones most of the time.


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Originally Posted by Abdol
Originally Posted by EssBrace
One has to bear in mind that the Yamaha as heard here is almost never actually heard at all.

One either plays through headphones, in which case you get a different binaural sample of the CFX, or one plays through the AvantGrand's own speakers, in which case you get multi-channel sampling properly presented. Two channel line out is not a representative way to experience it.

Therefore, pointless comparison.

Tow-channel line-out comparison makes sense to me then. Many folks here play through headphones most of the time.

But the line out doesn't feature the Yamaha Binaural sample. Only the headphone output uses the binaural sample. It sounds very different through headphones.

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I have to agree that the Kawai sounds more life-like in these hardward digital piano offerings. Good job Kawai!

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Originally Posted by EssBrace
Tow-channel line-out comparison makes sense to me then. Many folks here play through headphones most of the time.

But the line out doesn't feature the Yamaha Binaural sample. Only the headphone output uses the binaural sample. It sounds very different through headphones.[/quote]

I highly doubt that Binaural recording would make the sonic profile of an instrument any better. Binaural is more of a gimmick, like VR. It's an experience.

The samples offered by both Yamaha and Kawai are faithful representations of the relevant acoustic pianos.

Last edited by Abdol; 11/25/21 09:09 AM.

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I think that comparing the line out sounds of two pianos is a valid thing to do, but in doing so you are not comparing the two pianos--just the line out sound. Both Kawai and Yamaha obviously spend a lot of time tweaking their twenty five cent internal sound systems to produce a pleasing and fairly realistic result. It is that result that needs to be compared.

And FYI I am almost absolutely certain that the binaural sound on the X1 is transmitted to the line outs. I use the line outs a lot to drive a serious headphone amp and can confirm this. Moreover, it says so on p. 36 of the English manual: you are recommended to turn binaural off when driving speakers through the line outs, etc.

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Two days ago, belatedly, I managed to get my hands on a NV10(S), having had an N2 for 10 yrs now and just wondering what the competition now was like.

In particular, I've been hoping for a digital with lighter touch than the N2, and the NV10S feature replicating damper weight was the final clincher for me to drive 2 hours to play one.

The touch was indeed better all round, but the sound was a different story. Even through the internal speakers, the N2 is better and more realistic, and this carries through via headphones. I just found the NV10 too artificially ramped up in the bass (which is admittedly lacking in the N2) but also the treble was too strident/ring-like/artificial. I tried messing around with the virtual technician and selecting different pianos/styles, but it didn't make much difference in the short time I had (and you shouldn't have to mess around too much to get a sound you like). The recording via WAV and Bluetooth capability are of course a great bonus, but at the end of the day the sound is paramount unless you're using such an expensive piano as a keyboard/VST combination.

I also tried the NV5 and N1X albeit briefly. The N1X demonstrates as good sound (if not better than the N2), but as with the NV5, I can't get on with the upright action. The soundstage of the NV5 was very impressive, although the tone was similar to the NV10.

All in all, a successful day, for the wrong reasons perhaps. It's convinced me the the N2 is still very competitive, and I'll now get it regulated again and perhaps look at lubricating the bushings etc. to try to improve the action slightly.

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I've played the NV10 a few times now since it has been out. A couple times at NAMM-- but in Kawai's separate room upstairs, away from the madness, where you can hear what's going on. Also once at Pierre's place in W. LA when he had one in stock sometime ago.

On each occasion it takes me all of 10 seconds to reaffirm my preference for the AvantGrand. The sound, the action, the speaker system the whole player connection. The Kawai is very nice but it's just not my thing.

Also I never play my N3X with phones (Senn HD650s). I don't think it sounds all that great with them, sort of boxy and not very airy. In comparison, the CP88 sounds much better and is more inspiring to play with phones then the AG.

I was a bit apprehensive when I got the N3X back in Feb., not being a piano but I've grown to like it a lot. It sees quite a bit of use these days.


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Originally Posted by Chris Warren
I also tried the NV5 and N1X albeit briefly. The N1X demonstrates as good sound (if not better than the N2), but as with the NV5, I can't get on with the upright action. The soundstage of the NV5 was very impressive, although the tone was similar to the NV10.
Unless this is a typo I think the N1X is also a grand action. Maybe you meant NU1X?

Thanks for sharing your experience anyway. I used to GAS for an N2, but the value for price just wasn't there for me, and now its fallen behind in terms of samples. I now GAS for an NV5S, well at least to try one; the upright action doesn't bother me as I loved it on a K500. Thats another GAS.

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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Thanks for sharing your experience anyway. I used to GAS for an N2, but the value for price just wasn't there for me, and now its fallen behind in terms of samples.

Well, with the way prices are going now, the NV5S is soon going to be approaching the price of an N2!


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Originally Posted by Chris Warren
Two days ago, belatedly, I managed to get my hands on a NV10(S), having had an N2 for 10 yrs now and just wondering what the competition now was like.

In particular, I've been hoping for a digital with lighter touch than the N2, and the NV10S feature replicating damper weight was the final clincher for me to drive 2 hours to play one.

The touch was indeed better all round, but the sound was a different story. Even through the internal speakers, the N2 is better and more realistic, and this carries through via headphones. I just found the NV10 too artificially ramped up in the bass (which is admittedly lacking in the N2) but also the treble was too strident/ring-like/artificial. I tried messing around with the virtual technician and selecting different pianos/styles, but it didn't make much difference in the short time I had (and you shouldn't have to mess around too much to get a sound you like). The recording via WAV and Bluetooth capability are of course a great bonus, but at the end of the day the sound is paramount unless you're using such an expensive piano as a keyboard/VST combination.

It's not Kawai having ring-like treble, but Yamaha samples from past ( I don't about current 7x series, but would not expect any change here) are muffled. You either make them with change to bright setting sound ear piercing or muffled at standard. Kawai has them perfect - they just shine when they need to, what is impossible on Yamaha. Real CFX sounds that same way, treble overtones are fading very quickly instead of rising and blooming.

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Originally Posted by Abdol
I highly doubt that Binaural recording would make the sonic profile of an instrument any better. Binaural is more of a gimmick, like VR. It's an experience.

You will doubt it until you hear it, it is absolutely not a gimmick. Once you’ve used the binaural sample, you basically can’t use any other sample with headphones on the N1X. They all suck in comparison and sound weak and without any fullness, like this recording. But, over headphones, the binaural is astoundingly lifelike, with a presence that provides a very convincing “piano experience” for lack of better words. It also sounds far better than the NV10 with headphones.

Interestingly, for playing over the 5 way speakers, I prefer the second patch, which is a Bosendorfer. I find the Yamaha patch to be too bright for my taste. I wish the Bosendorfer was binaural as well, I would use it over headphones as well, but as mentioned, it just doesn’t hold up once the phones are on.

Last edited by Chrispy; Yesterday at 11:38 PM.

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Originally Posted by Chrispy
You will doubt it until you hear it, it is absolutely not a gimmick. Once you’ve used the binaural sample, you basically can’t use any other sample with headphones on the N1X...

Only if you use headphones... these are static samples recorded in a specific environment. The timbre of an instrument is constant here regardless of the method you use to record its sound (I'm sure about this)

It's a cool feature to experiment with but not significant and has a low practicality value in my opinion. A digital piano should sound beautiful in an actual room space

Last edited by Abdol; 4 hours ago.

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Binaural is certainly not a gimmick. I have a Yamaha CLP785. If I have guests who play, I always invite them to try playing with headphones as well. Every one of them put on the headphones, started to play, and took the headphones off again to check if they were working - they thought they still heared the sound coming from the piano instead of the headphones. That's binaural samples for you.

Edit: binaural samples are specifically meant for headphones. If you play without headphones, the piano plays non-binaural samples.

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Originally Posted by Abdol
Originally Posted by Chrispy
You will doubt it until you hear it, it is absolutely not a gimmick. Once you’ve used the binaural sample, you basically can’t use any other sample with headphones on the N1X...

Only if you use headphones... these are static samples recorded in a specific environment. The timbre of an instrument is constant here regardless of the method you use to record its sound (I'm sure about this)

It's a cool feature to experiment with but not significant and has a low practicality value in my opinion. A digital piano should sound beautiful in an actual room space


That’s the whole point. Binaural is meant for headphones, the binaural patch sounds better than any DP I’ve played that doesn’t have it, specifically on headphones. Considering a lot of people buy DP’s so they can practice silently it seems silly to say “it’s not significant”.

Regarding playing in the room, as many have already pointed out, the line out played over YouTube you’re hearing doesn’t accurately portray how the N1X plays in a room. I don’t know if there is additional processing, however the piano sounds fantastic in a room while using the 5 speakers. Very lively. And, as I noted, I do prefer patch 2 when playing in the room, as I noted. Patch 1 (the CFX) and patch 2 (the Bosendorfer) were recorded especially for the 5 speaker setup and you can hear it. The rest of the piano patches just sound dull and lifeless compared to the first two.

Does the Kawai sound better when recorded over line out? Sure, but that’s not an indication of how the piano performs either in the room or on headphones. I’d posit that in the case of the N1X, your line out example has low practical value as I’d guess the vast majority of people aren’t listening to line out, they are listening to headphones or the built in speakers.

I’m curious, have you ever heard the N1X in person?


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Originally Posted by Chrispy
I wish the Bosendorfer was binaural as well, I would use it over headphones as well, but as mentioned, it just doesn’t hold up once the phones are on.
On the CLP 700 series, both the CFX and the Bösendorfer have binaural samples.

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Originally Posted by Ostinato
Originally Posted by Chrispy
I wish the Bosendorfer was binaural as well, I would use it over headphones as well, but as mentioned, it just doesn’t hold up once the phones are on.
On the CLP 700 series, both the CFX and the Bösendorfer have binaural samples.

I’d seen they had done that on some newer models. I wish it had made the N1X!


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