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Posted By: Guido, Roma - Italy Silent system or practice pedal? - 10/19/20 09:24 AM
Hi, I had almost decided to go for a baby grand (Kawai GL10) with a silent system (ATX2), however, when I checked the price with a dealer I discovered that a Kawai GL10 WITHOUT ATX2 silent system costs the same price as the Kawai K500 WITH ATX3.

Then my question is this: how much is effective the practice pedal? My wife says that she studied piano when she was a young girl using the practice pedal without any problem. I am a very beginner and I do not want to bother my neighbors with hours of tedious exercises, this is why I looked for a silent system. What do you think? Would it be enough to use the practice pedal not to bother my neighbors? If the answer is a yes I would go for the GL10 instead of K500.

I also own a Yamaha Clavinova CVP 307, however, I still think that it is much better to practice with an acoustic piano.

Guido
Posted By: rkzhao Re: Silent system or practice pedal? - 10/19/20 09:38 AM
As far as I know, no grand piano has a mute pedal so this may be a moot point if you are looking at a GL10.

With regards to the practice pedal (if you end up considering uprights), unless it's an apartment with paper thin walls and very picky neighbors, I feel a practice pedal is enough. Silent systems just sound better than a practice pedal.
Posted By: gwing Re: Silent system or practice pedal? - 10/19/20 11:38 AM
You need to play the piano you are interested in both with and without the practice pedal and see how you like it Personally I don't like playing with the practice pedal as I have to change how I play to get consistently audible notes (softly played notes don't sound at all). There again I don't think a lot of the silent systems I have tried either, but others have different opinions.

Would you be able to play your piano during the day and return to the Clavinova during hours when it might cause a disturbance? That could be the ideal solution.
Posted By: j&j Re: Silent system or practice pedal? - 10/19/20 01:22 PM
Does a Kawai GL10 come with a soft pedal or a una corda pedal? I use the una corda pedal for sections of music that I want to play very softly but since it moves the action to only use 2 of the 3 strings the hammer strikes. If the una corda pedal is used extensively it causes uneven wear on many of the strings. Again you do need to try before you buy.
Posted By: K8KT Re: Silent system or practice pedal? - 10/19/20 06:50 PM
It depends on how close your neighbors are and how quiet you need your piano to be. Practice pedal on my Yamaha u1 makes it quiet enough to have normal conversations while playing and unlikely to be audible from outside. But within the building I can still hear it if someone in the house is playing so it’s not quiet enough for nighttime practice in my home. I don’t have a silent feature on my pianos but I have a digital so that’s for our nighttime use, although it still makes thumping noise. The sound quality of practice pedal is not quite the same thing as the normal sound at lower volume, unlike digital. It sounds very muffled has a slightly different touch as the key bottoms out. You need to try and see if you like it. I’ve heard that the silent feature changes the touch of piano very slightly when it is engaged, but I have no experience in that regard, so again you need to try it for yourself.
Posted By: MarkL Re: Silent system or practice pedal? - 10/19/20 10:22 PM
I played all combinations of the K models and GL models when I was shopping. The K500 is a nicer sounding piano than the GL-10 in my opinion. The touch is of course different on a grand, but you've played both so you are aware of the difference. I find the practice pedal on the K500 acceptable, but all practice pedals feel a bit odd to me, partly because the sound is not just softer but kind of sounds oddly muted, and the touch is slightly altered with the practice pedal. The GL-10 is not available with ATX here in the US, so I've never played it. I concluded that instead of buying a silent option piano of any brand, the money would be better spent on a quality digital piano. Of course that assumes you have the space. So if the practice pedal on the K500 isn't adequately muted for your application, you could spend the money you saved on a quality digital that has a nice touch.
Posted By: pianogabe Re: Silent system or practice pedal? - 10/20/20 06:14 AM
Originally Posted by K8KT
I’ve heard that the silent feature changes the touch of piano very slightly when it is engaged, but I have no experience in that regard, so again you need to try it for yourself.

I does not, there is no difference whatsoever in touch when the silent system is engaged. The stop bar catches the hammer after it is released. There is no connection between the hammer and the key anymore, so you cannot feel it. On a Kawai, the silent system measures hammer movement optically, so there is no way how this could have any mechanical consequence on touch.

My K300 ATX-3 has both a practice pedal and a silent system, and I never use the practice pedal. The correspondence between how you play and what you hear is completely different between normal playing and practice pedal playing. That is the point of the device of course :-), but that limits its functionality. A silent system enables you to play in a similar way as normal. With a good silent system such as Kawai's or Yamaha's you can be fully expressive. It is IMO better that a good digital piano because the digital part is similar/the same but you have the touch of a real action.
Posted By: Morten Olsson Re: Silent system or practice pedal? - 10/20/20 01:25 PM
A grand won't have a practice pedal though it can be fitted with a digital silent system.
I have had a K300 ATX2 - I usually ended up just using the practice pedal instead of the silent system when I wanted to make less noise because I really disliked the digital sound. I'm sure newer silent systems will have somewhat better digital sounds.

While most people seem to dislike playing with the practice pedal I love it. My current piano is an old Yamaha U1 and i love playing it with the practice pedal engaged.
Posted By: pianogabe Re: Silent system or practice pedal? - 10/20/20 01:49 PM
Originally Posted by Morten Olsson
I have had a K300 ATX2 - I usually ended up just using the practice pedal instead of the silent system when I wanted to make less noise because I really disliked the digital sound. I'm sure newer silent systems will have somewhat better digital sounds.

The ATX3 has a somewhat better sound than the ATX2. But to get much better sound I think you still need a VST.

Playing with practice pedal can be very beautiful indeed. Joep Beving ( https://joepbeving.com/ ) uses this a lot and he is currently one of my favorite artists.
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