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Posted By: Chris Warren Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/12/14 08:40 AM
Recently spent some time at Yamaha in London playing these, and my thoughts were: (I'm a reasonably serious classical pianist)

The sound of the CLP585 is definitely better than all the predecessors I've played, and if I was limited by budget, I'd definitely go for this over the other DP contenders.

The touch to my mind is unfortunately no better than the 480, and really stopped me considering this further... so I turned to the Avant Grandes and the NU1.

The NU1 clearly had the best sound engine, but whether it's snobbery or real playing constraints, I don't think I'd be happy with an upright action.

The N2/3 are again clearly ahead of the N1, mainly in terms of sound performance - the TSR or whatever it is on the N2/3 does present added value, but probably not enough alone to justify the price hikes over the N1. When you add in the sound performance (largely speaker performance I accept) I personally felt that the N2 presents the best option. After an hour on the N2, I crossed the room to play on a Yamaha C7 that happened to be up there. Maybe it was a poor example, but I can honestly say I preferred playing the N2.

So, with a house down-sizing in the offing, I shall try to sell my 3 yr old Kawai RX3 (anyone interested?), and hot-foot it back to London to buy the N2 (which is on offer at the moment).
Posted By: 36251 Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/12/14 10:16 AM
There has never been a moment since I've owned my N2 that I questioned my decision.
Hello
I have currently an N2 and a 575
I previoysly owned an NU1,
So I think I can also comment on your message.. grin
First: I love my N2, that is clear.
It has the best action I have ever played, better than any accoustic upright and any numeric (for me even Kawai with its top action is far behind)
Second: I really like my 575: it has a very good action (I like it) and a very good sound (via headphone, it is clearly superior to the N2, but not via the speaker)
Third: I can no more stand the NU1 action...
it is exactly like a B1 action...not really pleasant,
It is far from a good upright action for me (the U1 action I have tried are really better than the NU1)
But its sound was quite good indeed
Now...everything is a matter of personnal preference and goals.

But for sure, you will enjoy your N2
You can also improve more its sound by mixing it with external VST like I do (search for some post I have made on that topics)

Cheers and enjoy.
Posted By: BrianDX Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/12/14 01:13 PM
As an owner of both an AvantGrand, a mid-priced Kawai DP, and a Yamaha C2X in the past three months here is my take on the discussion:

There are a LOT of good reasons to own something like an N2. Space, budget, or other requirements to name a few. From my time with the AG, the action and sound is far better than any DP I've played on, pretty much at any price.

However, an N2 will never be an acoustic replacement or facsimile for a properly tuned and regulated acoustic grand of reasonable quality IMHO.

You have to remember that the speakers on the N2 can't complete with my $600/pr Paradigm bookshelf speakers, nor can the amp compete with my mid-level Yamaha receiver.

Here is how I would put it. If you were to put a person in a room with a very good A/V system, and play a recording of a piano performance, and then play the same performance on a grand sitting right behind that person, I think it would be quite clear what the recording was and what the live performance was.

But as I said before, the N2 is a really nice DP that has a lot going for it.
Posted By: spanishbuddha Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/12/14 04:40 PM
Originally Posted by Chris Warren


So, with a house down-sizing in the offing, I shall try to sell my 3 yr old Kawai RX3 (anyone interested?), and hot-foot it back to London to buy the N2 (which is on offer at the moment).

Can you share, via PM if preferred, what the offer price is? I then wonder to myself if they would keep to that price with a PX trade in that Yamaha also currently do. This forum is bad for GAS!
Posted By: Chris Warren Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/13/14 09:27 AM
Sure - I think the current offer is around £9,100 incl. delivery within a limited radius of London. They will do PX, but they offered a silly price for my RX3 so I'll try to sell privately.
Posted By: R_B Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/13/14 11:19 AM
Originally Posted by BrianDX

...snip...
Here is how I would put it. If you were to put a person in a room with a very good A/V system, and play a recording of a piano performance, and then play the same performance on a grand sitting right behind that person, I think it would be quite clear what the recording was and what the live performance was.

But as I said before, the N2 is a really nice DP that has a lot going for it.


Previous such "tests" have showed that even the "golden ears" folk can't tell the difference between tier one grands and even modest DPs - on SOUND ONLY.

Posted By: BrianDX Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/13/14 11:57 AM
Originally Posted by R_B
Originally Posted by BrianDX

...snip...
Here is how I would put it. If you were to put a person in a room with a very good A/V system, and play a recording of a piano performance, and then play the same performance on a grand sitting right behind that person, I think it would be quite clear what the recording was and what the live performance was.

But as I said before, the N2 is a really nice DP that has a lot going for it.


Previous such "tests" have showed that even the "golden ears" folk can't tell the difference between tier one grands and even modest DPs - on SOUND ONLY.


Balderdash.

I've been plugged into the A/V community for 40+ years, and I know the differences that blind tests can reveal (like discerning a live instrument from a recorded one), and those they cannot (Differences with speaker wires for example).

If you really think that a person with normal hearing cannot discern the difference between the sound of a live grand in a room and a DP playing the sound of a live grand (using what are basically car speakers) then we must agree to disagree.

As I said before, the N2 is a great DP. But I've heard salesman push the AG series as "perfect" and "even better than the real thing". Total, utter nonsense.

P.S. The reason that I feel very strongly about this, is that I believed the sales hype and spend a lot of hard-earned money on the AG series. It was a VERY expensive mistake. Folks who are considering spending $10K+ on a DP should know what these instruments can do well, and what they cannot do.
Posted By: toddy Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/13/14 01:19 PM
The living sound of a piano maybe almost impossible to simulate still, although I don't see why it might not happen in the future. A digital piano sounds 'potted', because only the optimum sounds have been captured.7

Even so, perhaps a recording of a perfectly tuned grand piano and a recording of a very fine DP (the best VST, for example) could be indistinguishable - both being played through speakers. In other words, a DP can arguably deliver the quality you'd get from an artist captured on record or CD, but not the experience of hearing a real piano at a close range in good listening conditions.

Posted By: 36251 Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/13/14 01:32 PM
Originally Posted by BrianDX
Originally Posted by R_B
Originally Posted by BrianDX

...snip...
Here is how I would put it. If you were to put a person in a room with a very good A/V system, and play a recording of a piano performance, and then play the same performance on a grand sitting right behind that person, I think it would be quite clear what the recording was and what the live performance was.

But as I said before, the N2 is a really nice DP that has a lot going for it.


Previous such "tests" have showed that even the "golden ears" folk can't tell the difference between tier one grands and even modest DPs - on SOUND ONLY.


Balderdash.

I've been plugged into the A/V community for 40+ years, and I know the differences that blind tests can reveal (like discerning a live instrument from a recorded one), and those they cannot (Differences with speaker wires for example).

If you really think that a person with normal hearing cannot discern the difference between the sound of a live grand in a room and a DP playing the sound of a live grand (using what are basically car speakers) then we must agree to disagree.

As I said before, the N2 is a great DP. But I've heard salesman push the AG series as "perfect" and "even better than the real thing". Total, utter nonsense.

P.S. The reason that I feel very strongly about this, is that I believed the sales hype and spend a lot of hard-earned money on the AG series. It was a VERY expensive mistake. Folks who are considering spending $10K+ on a DP should know what these instruments can do well, and what they cannot do.
When I play my N2, I don't think it sounds like a real grand. What I think it kind of sounds like is being in a studio, playing a real grand and only hearing it through headphones. I'm not wearing headphones, but I can imagine my live sound this way. Of course it's still not the same, but is close enough when I factor in that I can't fit a grand or have enough money for the grand I'd buy, if I had the room smile
Posted By: BrianDX Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/13/14 04:39 PM
Originally Posted by toddy
The living sound of a piano maybe almost impossible to simulate still, although I don't see why it might not happen in the future. A digital piano sounds 'potted', because only the optimum sounds have been captured.7

Even so, perhaps a recording of a perfectly tuned grand piano and a recording of a very fine DP (the best VST, for example) could be indistinguishable - both being played through speakers. In other words, a DP can arguably deliver the quality you'd get from an artist captured on record or CD, but not the experience of hearing a real piano at a close range in good listening conditions.

I completely agree with this comment.

Having said that, I do not want to minimize the terrific sound quality of the N2. Once the volume is adjusted properly, it delivers the most accurate reproduction of a grand piano sound I have heard.

The same cannot be said for the N1.
Posted By: theoak Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/14/14 12:02 AM
Chris Warren, from a sound perspective, how would you rate the N2 versus the 585?
Posted By: pv88 Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/14/14 02:42 PM
Originally Posted by Chris Warren
The sound of the CLP585 is definitely better than all the predecessors I've played, and if I was limited by budget, I'd definitely go for this over the other DP contenders.

The touch to my mind is unfortunately no better than the 480, and really stopped me considering this further...


I would agree regarding the CLP-480 as I own one and it is well worth its price tag when you consider the only advantage to the AvantGrands is the action and other than that the CLP-480 is Yamaha's best digital, currently. I also own the older CLP-990M and it has equal sound and action.

The speakers are very good and the action is reasonable enough for any serious classical pianist as I believe there is no need to upgrade to another model as there are no major changes with the CLP-585.

And, here is a short demo at my CLP-480:

https://app.box.com/s/33352vxz78p98bvrojio
Posted By: Chris Warren Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/15/14 06:22 AM
I would rate the 585 and N2 equally on sound if you just compare notes without any dynamics/touch considerations.
Posted By: R_B Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/17/14 06:53 PM
Originally Posted by 36251
Originally Posted by BrianDX
Originally Posted by R_B
Originally Posted by BrianDX

...snip...
Here is how I would put it. If you were to put a person in a room with a very good A/V system, and play a recording of a piano performance, and then play the same performance on a grand sitting right behind that person, I think it would be quite clear what the recording was and what the live performance was.

But as I said before, the N2 is a really nice DP that has a lot going for it.


Previous such "tests" have showed that even the "golden ears" folk can't tell the difference between tier one grands and even modest DPs - on SOUND ONLY.


Balderdash.

I've been plugged into the A/V community for 40+ years, and I know the differences that blind tests can reveal (like discerning a live instrument from a recorded one), and those they cannot (Differences with speaker wires for example).

If you really think that a person with normal hearing cannot discern the difference between the sound of a live grand in a room and a DP playing the sound of a live grand (using what are basically car speakers) then we must agree to disagree.

As I said before, the N2 is a great DP. But I've heard salesman push the AG series as "perfect" and "even better than the real thing". Total, utter nonsense.

P.S. The reason that I feel very strongly about this, is that I believed the sales hype and spend a lot of hard-earned money on the AG series. It was a VERY expensive mistake. Folks who are considering spending $10K+ on a DP should know what these instruments can do well, and what they cannot do.
When I play my N2, I don't think it sounds like a real grand. What I think it kind of sounds like is being in a studio, playing a real grand and only hearing it through headphones. I'm not wearing headphones, but I can imagine my live sound this way. Of course it's still not the same, but is close enough when I factor in that I can't fit a grand or have enough money for the grand I'd buy, if I had the room smile


When ANYONE "Plays" ANY instrument they have an entirely different sensation to when they merely HEAR the sound of it.

Again, on a SOUND ONLY basis the golden ear blessed have been unable to distinguish "real" from "simulated".
Posted By: maurus Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/18/14 06:11 PM
R_B, there is a huge difference between a piano in the room (and I mean an acoustic piano) and a recording of a piano played back from a sound system. You are talking about the latter, not the former. A *recorded* piano may be difficult to distinguish from a DP. But an actual piano in the room is an entirely different matter, as Brian already pointed out.
Posted By: BrianDX Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/18/14 06:40 PM
Originally Posted by maurus
R_B, there is a huge difference between a piano in the room (and I mean an acoustic piano) and a recording of a piano played back from a sound system. You are talking about the latter, not the former. A *recorded* piano may be difficult to distinguish from a DP. But an actual piano in the room is an entirely different matter, as Brian already pointed out.

My point exactly.
Posted By: R_B Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/19/14 10:44 AM
...and your belief is that a DP is NOT a "recorded piano" ?
Posted By: toddy Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/19/14 11:05 AM
Originally Posted by R_B
...and your belief is that a DP is NOT a "recorded piano" ?


It maybe impossible to tell the difference between a system where a traditional piano is captured by microphones and reproduced on a high quality sound system [a recording of a piano], and a system where each note has been recorded at various levels and re-triggered by a player in performance through a similar sound reproduction system [a DP].

The live experience of playing, or just listening to, a traditional piano is, still, quite a different thing. It is not yet reproducible in virtual reality, though we're getting closer.

This is all anyone is saying. I thought that's what you were saying, too, as a matter of fact.
Posted By: Karnevil Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/19/14 05:10 PM
Owning an N1, I have to echo what others have already stated. Playing the N1 using the speaker system, it sounds like you listening to a recording of a piano - not an actual piano. I guess there is no substitute for a real acoustic...
Posted By: GWILLY Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/20/14 01:50 AM
I both agree and disagree. Ultimately, even a real piano can sound crappy at the listening position, if the room is bad. Position the same piano in a great room, different results. I think playback systems can make a huge difference. It is not inconceivable that a surround sound algorithm with accurate and adequate amplification, speaker placement and quality, intimately twinned with state of the art sampling/modelling - could be far more cost effective. Especially with DSP. smile Just saying.
Posted By: spanishbuddha Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/20/14 08:10 AM
What none of the hybrids or DP's do, is recreate that rumble and resonance of something alive inside the cabinet when you push down the damper. Something in there to be tamed and mastered.

Maybe not everyone wants to hear, all or many of these these unmusical side effects of the real thing. But that's the first thing I notice in comparison when I sit at my teachers piano.
Posted By: toddy Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/20/14 09:50 AM
Originally Posted by GWILLY
I both agree and disagree. Ultimately, even a real piano can sound crappy at the listening position, if the room is bad.


Indeed it can. That is one of the main indicators that you are listening to a piano and not a digital. A digital usually sounds perfect, like a recording, as was pointed out above.

You could argue that 95% or more of the quality of a piano is captured by the digital piano. It's the remaining 5% that's the problem and some, most but not all of that 5% is composed of crap.

The precise details of listening to an acoustic piano close up are still elusive, but they are lost to the audience in a concert hall or the CD listener, anyway.
Posted By: bennevis Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/20/14 09:55 AM
Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
What none of the hybrids or DP's do, is recreate that rumble and resonance of something alive inside the cabinet when you push down the damper. Something in there to be tamed and mastered.


Actually, that is simulated (and adjustable) on my V-Piano, and, it seems, on the new Rolands. See Jay Roland's demo video on the RD800 Turbo Start video thread, where he demonstrates exactly that 'rumble & resonance' when you step on the pedal.
Posted By: Paolo70 Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/20/14 11:55 AM
Hi Toddy,

Originally Posted by toddy
Originally Posted by GWILLY
I both agree and disagree. Ultimately, even a real piano can sound crappy at the listening position, if the room is bad.


Indeed it can. That is one of the main indicators that you are listening to a piano and not a digital. A digital usually sounds perfect, like a recording, as was pointed out above.


I think Gwilly was referring to the impact of room acoustics, which affects both AP's and DP's.

Actually the sound from typical DP's point-source speakers can be affected by room acoustics more severely than the sound from an AP's extended soundboard.

Ciao,
Paolo
Posted By: toddy Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/20/14 12:34 PM
Originally Posted by Paolo70
Hi Toddy,

Originally Posted by toddy
Originally Posted by GWILLY
I both agree and disagree. Ultimately, even a real piano can sound crappy at the listening position, if the room is bad.


Indeed it can. That is one of the main indicators that you are listening to a piano and not a digital. A digital usually sounds perfect, like a recording, as was pointed out above.


I think Gwilly was referring to the impact of room acoustics, which affects both AP's and DP's.

Actually the sound from typical DP's point-source speakers can be affected by room acoustics more severely than the sound from an AP's extended soundboard.

Ciao,
Paolo


Yes - that's a good point. But I think we're all agreed that, what ever the acoustics, the real thing is different from the best digital set up.

I don't think it matters much, anyway, because for the past half century, recording engineers have been busy ironing out that last 5% of crap that the real piano experience gives you.

Digital piano makers - especially VST software producers - are now putting it back in again. This could be considered a healthy crossover, or something else.
Posted By: PianoZac Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/20/14 10:31 PM
Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
What none of the hybrids or DP's do, is recreate that rumble and resonance of something alive inside the cabinet when you push down the damper. Something in there to be tamed and mastered.


The Nord Pianos do a heck of a good job recreating this. It's actually pretty impressive as the sound changes with dynamics.

String Resonance Modeling (go to 2:07 in the video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4q--3k0snY

Dynamic Pedal Resonance Modeling
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkMcSEkXoe8

Posted By: R_B Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/21/14 12:20 PM
Well, at least SOMEONE read and understood the "on SOUND ONLY" clause.

and OF COURSE the "Playing experience" is different on a physical vs electronic piano.
Just as the "driving experience" is different in a 1949 whatever make/model automobile.
Personally I would rather have ABS discs all round, radial ply tires, air conditioning, on and on, but that is a (slightly) different rat hole from the fact that I don't want to allocate space to a large piece of musical furniture that has "needs" of its own and a cost disproportionate to its utility.
Top o' the heap wooden piano vs top o' the heap electronic piano is probably about 50:1 dollar ratio - I have spending opportunities for the other 49 :-)

Posted By: BrianDX Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/22/14 02:15 AM
Ratio for me was more like 2.5 to 1.

So what did that extra 1.5 get me? An instrument that I love to play and hear played, as opposed to something that I hated.

So that extra 1.5 not only got me something, it actually got me everything.
Posted By: R_B Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/22/14 11:36 PM
Hey, that is GREAT !

Wondering where the giant leap comes in though...
$4,000 would get a fairly up scale digital, $10,000 might get a somewhat marginal wooden piano.

From what I understand of the Steinway market good rebuilt or used Ms and Os are ~$20K and up.
I would expect a LOT of change from $8K on a very good DP.

Of course, what is good for one person may be less good for someone else.
Posted By: maurus Re: Playing the Avant Grandes & CLP585 - 08/23/14 10:04 AM
Originally Posted by R_B
Well, at least SOMEONE read and understood the "on SOUND ONLY" clause.


Define "SOUND ONLY".

Do you mean this: You sit in a room, eyes closed, and listen to:

(a) someone playing an acoustic piano in the room;
(b) someone playing a digital piano (or the like) in the *same* room.

I bet you mean something else.



Originally Posted by R_B
Hey, that is GREAT !
Wondering where the giant leap comes in though...
$4,000 would get a fairly up scale digital, $10,000 might get a somewhat marginal wooden piano.
You are exaggerating 'a lil bit', aren't you. 10k Euros would buy you an upper class upright Petroff, a leading company in Europe. The sound coming from that piano is huge and I'd have bought that instrument in a heartbeat had I played more regularly.
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