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Falsch Offline OP
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Hi,

At the moment I'm still looking to move to a house or bigger appartment. (I've another sighting coming up next week.) If this happens, there may be a search for a grand piano in the cards, 1-3 years after I move, because then I'll (probably) have the space for it.

However, having a silent playing option is imperative.

I've been considering a few routes and piano's, and these are the results when setting a budget of approx €30K at the top-most maximum:

- Buy a new Kawai GX-1, GX-2, or Yamaha C1X or C2X with the respective silent system built in. (The GX-2 and C2X with built-in silent system will probably end up out of budget.)
- Buy a used but rebuilt Yamaha C2, C3, or C5 from the late 1990/early 2000's and fit it with an aftermarket silent system
- Buy a new GX-1, GX-2, C1X or C2X, or a used but rebuilt C2-lC7 (can go bigger for the same price) and keep my NV-10 as a second piano.
- A new German-built piano (probably Blüthner or Bösendorfer, because I liked those the best the times I've played piano's in a store) is completely out of the question because they will be 1.5-3x out of my budget, and I'm too risk-averse to buy a 40-50 year old one with probably questionable status with regard to restoration.

"I'm too risk-averse" is the key in this entire post.

If I go for an acoustic piano, this will be the first and probably last acoustic piano I ever buy; and possibly, if it has a silent system, the last digital as well.

So the digital part of this equation has to be future-proofed. An acoustic piano can always be repaired or restored as long is it isn't half-destroyed, obviously. That is different with a digital piano: if it is 15, let alone 20 or 25 years old, it may become very hard, or impossible to repair.

That is the entire sticking point.

1. If I buy a used Yamaha C3 (for example), and have a third-party silent system integrated, I still have a C3... as far as I've been able to see, the rail that is on top of the keys is replaced with a sensor rail, and the keys get stickers that can trigger those sensors. Basically, the silent system can be removed and replaced if necessary, so this is very future-proof and safe. But: how "good" are these systems in practice; are there any drawbacks?

2. However, I assume (but I don't know this for certain), that a Kawai or Yamaha silent system may be integrated into the piano much better, may be regulated better, and thus work better overall. The point is that, if something in that system breaks after 20 or 25 years, can this still be repaired? Does anybody have any reliable information about things like this?

3. The last option would be to keep the two completely seperate: Buy a new piano (or a bigger used and restored piano) and keep it as it is, with the NV-10 on the side for silent play. Then start writing off the NV-10, and just replace it with the then-current model every 10 years (in this case, this would be 2030 for me). It has a Millennium III action, so it's basically a grand piano; the only thing is that I'm not sitting at the _actual_ acoustic grand piano for half the time I practice. (But a setup like this does give me the option to also keep Pianoteq on the side for messing with the harpsichords now and again.)

- Personally I'd want option 2, but only if I can be guaranteed that the silent system can be repaired, replaced or upgraded until the day I die or can't play piano anymore (which will hopefully be another 40+ years from now).

- This seems unlikely. That is where option 1 comes in, but I _suspect_ (but don't know for sure) that the aftermarket systems will be less precise / not as good as the built-in ones.

- Option 3 is very safe and gives the best of two words: A completely seperate acoustic grand and digital grand, where the digital grand will be replaced every 10 years or so. (And it can easily be connected to Pianoteq because the back is against the wall.) The major drawback is that for at least half the time, I'll be practicing on the digital grand.

If you had the option go either the 1, 2 or 3 route as outlaid above, which would be your choice and why?

Kind regards,
Falsch


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If you're on a budget, and will be playing acoustically anywhere close to 50% of the time or more, I would go with option 3, and get the best acoustic piano in your budget. I think an integrated digital will eat into too much of what you are upgrading for, and frankly, at $30k you won't find a better action than what you already have.


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How sensitive are you to touch? I've heard that the regulation modifications they make for the silent action affect the touch. In your position I'd probably go with option 3.


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Originally Posted by twocats
How sensitive are you to thumb thumbtouch? I've heard that the regulation modifications they make for the silent action affect the touch. In your position I'd probably go with option 3.


Agree.


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Safest option is to divide the duties, if you don't mind your current digital. When the time comes, there are some hybrids with some very fine, realistic action-- and will likely be more in 7 years. That gives you the largest range of choice and the smallest probability of catastrophic failure, at the cost of some additional chewed-up floor space and less-than-optimal performance on the silent side.

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I would go option 3, in particular since you have the space. That will allow to get the best acoustic you can get for the budget you have. And it gives you also more possibilities to get a piano you really like and not have to worry about fitting it with a silent system. The aftermarket will anyway modify the touch.

For the ability to repair, i am not technical enough to answer, but it is very likely that 20 years from now, the technology will have evolved so if you have a severe issue, probability is that you will only be able to fully replace. Someone more knowledgeable can give you more input.

As far as having 2 different pianos, that is my case and i dont have any issue going from one to the other. Especially that your nv10 is already pretty good. In fact it is a good training to play on different pianos.


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I have gone through the same thoughts the past weeks.
To make a long story short:
I chose a premium acoustic grand and a premium Digital (P515) that does not take up all that much space. The Grand is something you will have for a long time. The small digital does not take up that much room and can be swapped out as technical things change.
For me it was also a matter of reselling price. With the small digital I will not losse that much money if I have to sell it.

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So it seems that most people would choose option 3 in this situation.

As I have the NV-10 already, and it will allow me to get the best acoustic for my budget not having to worry about a digital part, I can live with that; especially because the houses/apartments I'm looking at will have the space to house both piano's.

The only real drawback will be that for about half the time I'll not be sitting at the grand piano... but at least, the NV-10 has a grand piano action, so it shouldn't be an issue except for the mental "I want to play on the grand piano" thing.

Originally Posted by Gombessa
If you're on a budget, and will be playing acoustically anywhere close to 50% of the time or more, I would go with option 3, and get the best acoustic piano in your budget. I think an integrated digital will eat into too much of what you are upgrading for, and frankly, at $30k you won't find a better action than what you already have.

I was thinking that as well.

The appartment we're going to look at has an 8m x 4m living room. If we should end up there, then part of that will be sectioned off to become a library / study (probably somewhere around 4m x 4m), and the grand will be in the middle. There is more than enough room there to put the NV-10 into a corner; I don't have to sell it to finance a grand. The other 4mx4m will be the TV-room/living room.

With regard to the budget: you can always go bigger or better. I just don't _WANT_ to spend more than €30K on a piano, and that is already streching it. If I can find a good restored C2 or C3 from the late 90/early 2000's (which in the NL, there's quite some chance), I could go with that just because it's 16-18K instead of the 27K of a new C2X.

Then I can just write off the NV-10 in an 8-10 year time span and replace it.

This appartment seems to have a stair. I'll have to look into that and I hope it's not a problem. It would be horrible to finally move into a house where there's enough room for an acoustic piano and then not being able to get it in there. However, there are other, more important concerns (one of them being the location of the house) that FAR outweigh the wish to have an acoustic piano. I'm not going to reject a house because an acoustic can't be moved into it.

Originally Posted by twocats
How sensitive are you to touch? I've heard that the regulation modifications they make for the silent action affect the touch. In your position I'd probably go with option 3.

Very. I'm not the world's best pianist, but when I play ppp, I expect the piano to play very quietly. I managed to (finally) get the NV-10 action under control to such an extent that I can play entire pieces in the MIDI 5-20 range if I want to.

I actually reset the settings and put everything in again, for fear that some setting would be wonky somewhere... the Nv-10 has some bugs in that regard. But I can still play it very quietly now. In 2021, I had part of the keyboard re-regulated under warranty because one key (F4) couldn't go as soft as the rest... even though it can now do it, the touch is STILL different from all the other keys, and sometimes that irritates me if I miss a "pp" or "ppp" note (doesn't sound) and it happens to be F4.

So I'm quite sensitive to touch.

Originally Posted by Maestro Lennie
Safest option is to divide the duties, if you don't mind your current digital. When the time comes, there are some hybrids with some very fine, realistic action-- and will likely be more in 7 years. That gives you the largest range of choice and the smallest probability of catastrophic failure, at the cost of some additional chewed-up floor space and less-than-optimal performance on the silent side.

So, option 3.

Originally Posted by Belger1900
I have gone through the same thoughts the past weeks.
To make a long story short:
I chose a premium acoustic grand and a premium Digital (P515) that does not take up all that much space. The Grand is something you will have for a long time. The small digital does not take up that much room and can be swapped out as technical things change.
For me it was also a matter of reselling price. With the small digital I will not losse that much money if I have to sell it.

So, option 3 again. I already have a high-end digital. It has some (software) problems/bugs, but after it's configured, it can basically be started up and used the same as a silent piano. (I consider a silent Kawai an acoustic with an NV-10 built in; same software.)

Originally Posted by Sidokar
I would go option 3, in particular since you have the space. That will allow to get the best acoustic you can get for the budget you have.

True. Option 3 again. I don't _have_ the space right now, but there is a possibility I'll be getting it in the not too distant future.

Quote
And it gives you also more possibilities to get a piano you really like and not have to worry about fitting it with a silent system. The aftermarket will anyway modify the touch.

True. As I like the Kawai sound a bit better than the Yamaha sound (but I don't hate or dislike the Yamaha sound by any means), I'd probably be looking at a new GX-1 or GX-2, a new C1X or C2X, or a restored C2-C3-C5 (which will be a bit bigger, but cheaper, than the new piano, assuming I can get it up the stairs).

Originally Posted by Sidokar
For the ability to repair, i am not technical enough to answer, but it is very likely that 20 years from now, the technology will have evolved so if you have a severe issue, probability is that you will only be able to fully replace. Someone more knowledgeable can give you more input.

That is what I'm very afraid of.

I could just write-off an NV-10 in 8-10 years, sell the current one and buy the NV-10Z, or NV-20 or whatever, and then do it again 10 years later. A 10 year old NV-10 will still bring in €2000 or €3000 (going by the prices of 10 year old Yamaha hybrids in the Netherlands.)

I can see myself replacing a hybrid every 10 years (I have routinely replaced most of my digital instruments in a 5-7 year time span up until now, so nothing new there), or, if I decide to keep it longer, scrap it at 12 or 15 years if it irreparably breaks.. I _CAN'T_ see myself scrapping a €30K acoustic silent piano. "Oh, it's broken; just throw it out and replace it." That would be horrible and maybe even financially impossible.

I don't want to buy a piano from my savings. Even though I'm not poor, I'm also not rich. It will take a bit of frugal living for some time to get €30K together to blow on a piano. I _DON'T_ want to end up having to scrap that 15 years down the line due to a broken digital system. (This is also why a rebuilt C2 or C3 sounds so much more budget-friendly. Pity that I'm too risk-adverse to go and look at a 40-y/o Blüthner for xample... I'd only do that if it was fully restored.)


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Electronics have a shorter half-life than acoustics, and if you have a hybrid with electronics that are shot, it is less valuable than a straight acoustic and a dead digital. They can fit together like a Mother and Daughter harpsichord and not take up a lot of room, and similarly, the daughter can be moved fairly easily when you want.


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keep it separate, much less hassle later on.

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Originally Posted by Falsch
I can see myself replacing a hybrid every 10 years (I have routinely replaced most of my digital instruments in a 5-7 year time span up until now, so nothing new there), or, if I decide to keep it longer, scrap it at 12 or 15 years if it irreparably breaks.. I _CAN'T_ see myself scrapping a €30K acoustic silent piano. "Oh, it's broken; just throw it out and replace it." That would be horrible and maybe even financially impossible.

I don't want to buy a piano from my savings. Even though I'm not poor, I'm also not rich. It will take a bit of frugal living for some time to get €30K together to blow on a piano. I _DON'T_ want to end up having to scrap that 15 years down the line due to a broken digital system. (This is also why a rebuilt C2 or C3 sounds so much more budget-friendly. Pity that I'm too risk-adverse to go and look at a 40-y/o Blüthner for xample... I'd only do that if it was fully restored.)

My guess is that you shoukd be able to get same quality digital piano for less money in the future.

You would obviously not scrap your piano if the silent is broken. Either you dont use it, or worst case you would have to remove the old one and put a new one. Of course that would be a lot of hassle and cost. Now i have not seen any thread about cases like this one. So i dont actually know what people do when their old silent is out of order.


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It sounds like you're leaning toward option 3, but also this would enable you to find the best grand piano possible within your budget, instead of limiting yourself to pianos that would "play nicely" with a silent mode. So when you have to play silently, you can look forward to having a really great piano to play with sound, instead of one that you might have compromised to buy smile


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If you could find someone to come to your house to repair something electronic you probably couldn't afford it. Your chances of getting something electronic repaired improve greatly if you can take it to a repair facility, but there's pretty much a zero chance of taking a silent acoustic grand to a repair facility and you run the risk of damage to the acoustic part even if you can afford to have it moved. There's been threads on the forum where people couldn't get parts for expensive digital pianos that weren't that old, so that leaves you the option of finding someone skilled enough to repair the original electronics rather than just swapping out parts. Good luck finding such a person. So I'd vote for option 3. Since you already own an NV10, keep it as long as it works. I know 3 people with Yamaha Clavinovas from the 80s that still work fine, so who knows how long these hybrids will last.


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