Piano World Home Page
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/24/17 10:08 PM
I've been considering getting an upright acoustic for sometime time now to replace the YPD-181 I have. After a visiting a store I became sold on upgrading to a different digital vs buying an upright acoustic. I understand that the action is different between an upright and grand. My lessons and events are always played on grands, but having a grand piano in my home is not practical. Also, I can then get rid of the existing digital now, and not have to make space for another piano. Note, a discounted N2 floor model was offered, which I am considering.

Wondering what others think of the AvantGrand? I played on a N2 and it felt very nice, but I would have to get used to it. It actually feels like the piano I use at my lesson. I didn't know what to expect almost 2 years ago now when I started. Moving forward though, I probably don't want to continue on the YDP.

Unrelated, but at the store they have 9' Bosendorfer. They let me play on it for a brief moment. The school's competition this coming weekend will be held at the store and played on this piano. I realize now that practicing on the YPD-181 really doesn't help, the feel is so much different.
Posted By: Osho Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/24/17 11:26 PM
If you can wait, wait until Kawai Novus NV10 is out before deciding.

Osho
Posted By: Michael. Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/25/17 11:53 AM
I tried both the N2 and N3 (not N3X) on the same day I tried various acoustic instruments. I found the N series to me to have the best actions I have played on a DP. For what it is worth I also played on a Casio GP500 which also has an acoustic grand action and something was missing.

I brought this topic up with my teacher and he mentioned the Avantgrand was his favorite DP and the only one that allowed him to shape the sound well and can handle the nuances needed for French music.
Posted By: JoBert Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/25/17 12:11 PM
Originally Posted by Michael.
For what it is worth I also played on a Casio GP500 which also has an acoustic grand action and something was missing.

That's not surprising, as the GP500 (and GP400/300) does not actually have an acoustic grand action. It's just a case of cleverly crafted marketing material, which, although it never actually states that the GP500 action is in fact an acoustic action, nonetheless leaves you with that impression.
Posted By: EssBrace Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/25/17 01:24 PM
Originally Posted by JoBert
Originally Posted by Michael.
For what it is worth I also played on a Casio GP500 which also has an acoustic grand action and something was missing.

That's not surprising, as the GP500 (and GP400/300) does not actually have an acoustic grand action. It's just a case of cleverly crafted marketing material, which, although it never actually states that the GP500 action is in fact an acoustic action, nonetheless leaves you with that impression.


You've got to hand it to Casio and/or their dealers. If it has entered the consciousness of DP buyers that the Casio has a real piano action then they've hit the back of the net. Without ever saying it (which of course would be a lie) they've referenced the 'link' with Bechstein enough to get it into the minds of some potential buyers. For all we know there will be owners of the GP series out there who have an honest belief that their piano has a real grand action in it.
Posted By: Belger1900 Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/25/17 02:49 PM
The only line-up with real grand piano action are the avantgrands. Perhaps that's why you enjoyed them so much. At least from action standpoint.
I personally love the avantgrands and have the N1. The N2 was too expensive, the N3 way to expensive. The N1 is what I expect from a digital piano. Grand action and good playability. If the sound at some point should not suit my taste, I can still replace with another software piano. Which I will do anyway smile

There should be some sales going on as the newer models "X" are now on their way.
What's the price of the N2 floormodel?
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/25/17 03:32 PM
Floor model is $8500. I wonder though how much people are paying for it brand new.

When is the N2X or NV10 due to arrive?
Posted By: LynnChr Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/25/17 04:11 PM
I am considering an N2 also. The floor model price is $8900 but the manufactured date is Oct 2011. Do you know when the floor model you are considering was manufactured? I am not sure it matters but it sures seems a long time to sit on the floor. Just curious if you know.
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/25/17 04:18 PM
Originally Posted by LynnChr
I am considering an N2 also. The floor model price is $8900 but the manufactured date is Oct 2011. Do you know when the floor model you are considering was manufactured? I am not sure it matters but it sures seems a long time to sit on the floor. Just curious if you know.


Not yet, I hope to know soon. I sent the question out last night in email. I should hopefully get answer today.
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/25/17 07:29 PM
Looks like build date was Jan 2016, purchased by store in Aug 2016, and was told it replaced another floor unit in May of this year.
Posted By: Falsch Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/25/17 07:59 PM
Isn't the Avant Grand 8 years old already?

For the action, it wouldn't matter, but I wouldn't like to buy a digital piano with an 8 year old sound engine in it, knowing the N3X has been released recently. I'd be very unhappy if I bought an N2 just to see the N2X appear half a year later.

I'd wait for the Kawai Novus, and to see what Yamaha does with the N1 and N2. I can't imagine them not updating them at some point in the near(ish) future, after they just released the N3X.
Posted By: Belger1900 Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/25/17 08:23 PM
I would not want to buy an 8 year old instrument. I would have concerns about the electronic components. Not that the soundengine would bother me (if you don't know it, you will probably not even notice it) but how long do these pcb´s last? And it is way out of the guarantee.

For the N1.
I bought mine a couple of weeks ago. And of course I would be upset seeing an N1X pop up this year. The Novus from Kawai to be honest doesn't bother me. It will be more expensive anyway. And buying first instruments with bugs....no thanks. Kawai isn't really known for their outstanding quality checks...I will give them at least a year of serial production and pick up some information in this forum. Will probably not take long before we have the first Novus here wink
(And the first person totally taking his piano apart trying to solve issues on it laugh
Posted By: cphollis Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/29/17 01:07 AM
Yeah, well, I bought the original NP3 when it first came out, and still LOVE it.

I own a small fleet of APs and DPs. The NP3, a grey market Yamaha grand, Nord Piano 2, and this stupidly expensive Bosendorfer Klimt Model 200 that's sitting in my living room ...

Bottom line, the AvantGrand line does not suck. It delivers 95% of the AP grand experience for a fraction of the cost. Keyboard feel, sounds, etc. I know, I go back and forth between my instruments all the time.

My NP3 is still a joy to play. I sit down, I play my brains out. Which is what it's all about, right?

Totally reliable, zero maintenance required.
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/29/17 04:08 AM
I caved and bought the N2 yesterday. It was delivered this morning. I finally ate something a few minutes ago.

I've playing with it all day. My fingers are a bit tired, the keys are so much different (heavier) than the YPD-181, as expected. Now the keys on the 181 feel like fluff.

I think the sound of the first voice is great. I really don't need the others, and that was case with the 181. Sure it's fun to mess around with at times, but I never really use all the different voices. The YDP's interface to change settings is easier I think, but after you figure it out on the N2 it's not really an issue. That's why they have manuals.

Pianoteq works fine with the N2. One thing though, hopefully it's not an issue, is that the highest velocity value the N2 sends is just a bit over 100. And I'm really banging on the key. The 181 would send the max value, 127. But maybe that's as it should be. A guess a value of 127 should be at the point of breaking your hand ;0

I've listened to the N2 in several ways now. From the speakers with the lid up, with headphones, and with a line out to my sound system. I also took a line out from the laptop into the N2 and listened to Pianoteq's sound that way. Sounds a bit muffled in that respect, so it's probably better to output Pianoteq to the sound system.

In playing, I came across issues that would present themselves during my lessons. For example, ghosting notes when trying to play some things lightly. This wouldn't happen when playing on the 181. I'm not going to tell my teacher yet that I bought it. I'm curious to see if she's any difference over the next few weeks.

In the end, I think this was better for me than an acoustic. Oh, and because I just got it, it means the N2X will come out Monday ;0 Actually, the salesman mentioned to me that the NX2 will have 10 voices, instead of 5. Bluetooth capability, but said the keyboard action and sound system is the same, no change. It's due the middle of October. I guess we'll find out what it really has then.
Posted By: gvfarns Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/29/17 05:27 AM
Congratulations on buying a digital piano that you love!

Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Pianoteq works fine with the N2. One thing though, hopefully it's not an issue, is that the highest velocity value the N2 sends is just a bit over 100. And I'm really banging on the key. The 181 would send the max value, 127. But maybe that's as it should be. A guess a value of 127 should be at the point of breaking your hand ;0


My recollection is that this is a feature and a selling point in the AvantGrand line. I think some pianists had complained about hitting 127 on regular pianos so Yamaha decided to satisfy them by raising the bar for 127 to herculean. The question is, do you feel that your current dynamic and timbral range is sufficient? I would think the touch settings on your AvantGrand would map your key velocities into higher ranges if you set it to 'light.' Maybe you can report back if this is the case. If not, you can, of course, change the touch settings in PianoTeq (and probably should), but you lose a little bit of the fine granularity since now you only have 100 velocity levels to send to PianoTeq. I've never been able to hear the difference between a velocity of, say 80 and 82, so maybe this loss of granularity is no big deal.
Posted By: scorpio Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/29/17 11:41 AM
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
bought the N2 yesterday

Congratulations! I am so envious. Can't wait to see your next video. Enjoy it!
Posted By: EssBrace Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/29/17 11:46 AM
Originally Posted by gvfarns
I would think the touch settings on your AvantGrand would map your key velocities into higher ranges if you set it to 'light.'


I always used to set my N3 to the slightly lighter touch. I find the AGs give the impression of being just slightly stodgy otherwise. The lighter touch setting is very nice though.

And congrats to the OP. The N2 is a lovely thing. Yamaha have found out that you have just purchased one and have brought forward the launch of the N2X to this afternoon!
Posted By: 36251 Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/29/17 12:14 PM
Congratulations. I prefer the CFIII sample, which is Piano 1 on AG N1-3. I also prefer the CFIII on my CP4. Compared to CFX, I find it darker, more like a Steinway and since the NX series will not have the CFIII, you have to ask yourself, which you prefer. That's not to say I've tried a NX3, maybe it's amazing; haven't found one in a store yet. Now if someone wants to give me a CFX acoustic and a house to put it in, I probably would love it.
Posted By: Michael. Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/29/17 12:49 PM
Congrats !!

I played on an N2 recently, wonderful instrument, I am sure you will be happy with your decision. I am considering one myself someday, I am sure when the Kawai NV10 comes out it will be more expensive.

Enjoy !!
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/29/17 01:01 PM
Huge congrats! I'm really quite jealous smile
Posted By: enzo.sandrolini Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/29/17 07:35 PM
Hello, congratulations and welcome in the happy AG owners.
I own mine for 4 years now, and I have never regretted my choice.
I have sold many others DP I bought, but I still keep my N2, and do not plan to change it.
Enjoy.
Posted By: cphollis Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/30/17 01:34 AM
Good call. May you be as happy with your N2 as I am with my N3. It's an instrument to be reckoned with ...
Posted By: Chris Warren Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/30/17 11:03 AM
Don't forget you can use a sound blend of PT and N2, playing the PC output back through the N2. Sounds pretty rubbish through the speakers, but great through headphones. The roughly 60/40 mix I use, with PT dynamics slider turned up full, gives me a bit better touch response and range of dynamics, masks the sustenuto pedal issue, and adds a nice little bit of depth to the bass notes. Results here if interested

Hearthis

Congrats on your purchase.
Posted By: enzo.sandrolini Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/30/17 01:59 PM
Correct, I do the same blending the sound of the N2 with Ivory 2,
Thus, I get a very rich sound that even the new N2X would not overcome (as I can adapt the final result sound to my wish)

But, even without blending the sound, the internal sound is already really satisfying by itself.
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 09/30/17 04:11 PM
I had to return to reality yesterday and work. I was able to play some more last night. In regards to gvfarns question, yes changing the sensitivity does change things a bit. Before changing, I was able to get a velocity value of close to 110. On the lighter touch, I was able to get around 120. But wow, you have to hit it hard. I'm guessing that's just how they designed it, perhaps to be more realistic. Or maybe I just haven't learned the proper technique for really loud sounds.

At the lower end, I feel like I can produce a lot more notes at lower velocity values (compared to YDP 181), so I think the dynamic range is still there.

I didn't think about blending the sound (I had turned local control off when testing), but wouldn't there be a delay or echo issue? I would think that sound coming in from the laptop will be slightly behind the internal N2 sound? At least that's how it sounded to me, after just testing now.
Posted By: Jaytee-66 Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 10/06/17 04:42 PM
Congratulations! I think around $8000 is probably a steal on an N2.

I have a 585 and am anxiously awaiting the release of the N2x (if they ever get around to it) as I plan on upgrading.

I live in a condo, a grand is not practical, and the N2 is the best digital I have ever played. Adding .wav format recording is really the only thing I'm waiting for on the N2 (plus the better concert grand sound which I hope rivals my 585).
Posted By: Pete14 Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 10/06/17 05:38 PM
Have you considered checking out the Novus?
Posted By: Belger1900 Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 10/06/17 08:57 PM
Originally Posted by Pete14
Have you considered checking out the Novus?


How? It's not even on the market?
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 10/06/17 09:26 PM
Any ideas on what the price might be on the Novus when it comes out? Just curious.
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 10/06/17 10:03 PM
I think the reported price was ~$8000.
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 10/07/17 05:40 PM
Originally Posted by Gombessa
I think the reported price was ~$8000.

Hmm, I thought it would be a lot more expensive. Might have to buy that ...
Posted By: Sanfrancisco Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 11/14/17 04:07 AM
I have owned an N1, N3, 182 cm acoustic grand and currently a 210 cm acoustic grand in the past 6 years. I traded up from the digital hybrids because the restricted dynamic range of the action was limiting my progress as a classical pianist. I sat down at a showroom and was blown away by the expressiveness of every decent acoustic grand compared to my N3, that did it. The same was true with excellent full size uprights. Both Yamaha digitals said they have a grand piano action. They don't, they lack hammers to strike strings. Only hammers and strings have the potential to give you a full, wide dynamic range i.e. infinate graduations of loudness, color and expressiveness. If you look back on my posts with the N1 and N3 you can see I tried everything to get a "better" sound- equalizers, subwoofers, baffles. The real problem was an inherent cap on expressiveness of not having hammers striking strings.
Posted By: Osho Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 11/14/17 04:21 AM
Originally Posted by Sanfrancisco
I have owned an N1, N3, 182 cm acoustic grand and currently a 210 cm acoustic grand in the past 6 years. I traded up from the digital hybrids because the restricted dynamic range of the action was limiting my progress as a classical pianist. I sat down at a showroom and was blown away by the expressiveness of every decent acoustic grand compared to my N3, that did it. The same was true with excellent full size uprights. Both Yamaha digitals said they have a grand piano action. They don't, they lack hammers to strike strings. Only hammers and strings have the potential to give you a full, wide dynamic range i.e. infinate graduations of loudness, color and expressiveness. If you look back on my posts with the N1 and N3 you can see I tried everything to get a "better" sound- equalizers, subwoofers, baffles. The real problem was an inherent cap on expressiveness of not having hammers striking strings.

Have you tried it with a quality VST such as Garritan CFX??

Thanks
Osho
Posted By: Bambers Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 11/14/17 10:16 AM
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
I had to return to reality yesterday and work. I was able to play some more last night. In regards to gvfarns question, yes changing the sensitivity does change things a bit. Before changing, I was able to get a velocity value of close to 110. On the lighter touch, I was able to get around 120. But wow, you have to hit it hard. I'm guessing that's just how they designed it, perhaps to be more realistic. Or maybe I just haven't learned the proper technique for really loud sounds.


Kawai's grandfeel 2 actioned pianos are similar in that regard. As I think are many of the other higher end DPs.
Posted By: Pete14 Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 11/14/17 01:01 PM
The real problem was an inherent cap on expressiveness of not having hammers striking strings.[/quote]

The Alpha piano uses real piano hammers that strike string-like sensors. I’ve often wondered if this approach would be better than optical sensors, but the Alpha pianos have yet to show up at dealers for piano players to test and compare.
Posted By: ngk Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 02/12/18 08:10 PM
Originally Posted by Pete14
The real problem was an inherent cap on expressiveness of not having hammers striking strings.


The Alpha piano uses real piano hammers that strike string-like sensors. I’ve often wondered if this approach would be better than optical sensors, but the Alpha pianos have yet to show up at dealers for piano players to test and compare. [/quote]
I would not hold my breath. I played the Alpha last Namm in 2017. It did not feel solid, nor did it sound good at all.
Posted By: JoBert Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 02/12/18 08:49 PM
Originally Posted by Pete14
The Alpha piano uses real piano hammers that strike string-like sensors. I’ve often wondered if this approach would be better than optical sensors, but the Alpha pianos have yet to show up at dealers for piano players to test and compare.

There's an Alpha Piano at Thomann's shop here in Germany. I've recently had my fingers on it, but at 45,000€ it's so far out of my budget, I wasn't really interested. And since I was there to test other pianos, I only gave it a cursory plink. So I can't really say anything about how it sounds and feels.
Posted By: Pete14 Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 02/12/18 09:06 PM
I believe the Alpha comes with the Bosendorfer Imperial installed, but they can install any VST per request. I wonder if they installed Pianoteq, and fine tuned it to the action and speaker system, would this be the optimal controller? Still, too expensive, but just wondering.
Posted By: Frédéric L Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 02/12/18 09:23 PM
A VST is typically built to run on a full Windows operating system. A digital piano typically includes an embedded operating system which provides only the minimum useful functions : not enough to run a VST.

Then, I would be interested in knowing what makes you think we can make them install any VST. If this information is not published by Alpha, it seems very unlikely to have such a function.
Posted By: jfl Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 02/12/18 09:24 PM
I know I'm probably repeating myself, but I've been playing a large assortment of VSTs with Yamaha studio monitor output (HS7 + HS8 sub) for a couple of years.

Frankly, I can't imagine a better sound than what I'm getting now. Also the dynamic response in my view beats the Yamaha conservatory grand I play at my lessons (granted it's a big grand in a small room - not idea acoustics).

My biggest complete is my midi controller. The action is not good for rapidly repeating notes. (Example: Chopin Op 18 No. 1 - sections that are unplayable at proper speed). And it's really not a grand piano action in any case. Nothing I've tried except the AGs comes close.

My search is for a true grand piano action with the equivalent sound to the VSTs + amp/speakers I'm using now. I don't need all the different modern grand piano sounds (Steinway, Yamaha, Fazioli, Bosendorfer, Bechstein) I have now, just one really good one will do. (I'll keep the midi for historical keyboards / harpsichords, fortepianos).

The N2 is very close, but has a few issues. I was very disappointed that the next gen N2 wasn't announced at NAMM but at this point I'm willing to wait. Just hoping what they end up with is worth the wait. I don't have the right house for an acoustic grand.

I'm going to try the NV10 when it comes to my area. Something tells me I won't be satisfied with it, but I'm going to keep an open mind.

Some magic day, a piano manufacturer will come out with a hybrid DP with a true acoustic action that is fully integrated with 64 bit plugins, but it will be too late for me.
Posted By: Pete14 Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 02/12/18 09:48 PM
Originally Posted by Frédéric L
A VST is typically built to run on a full Windows operating system. A digital piano typically includes an embedded operating system which provides only the minimum useful functions : not enough to run a VST.

Then, I would be interested in knowing what makes you think we can make them install any VST. If this information is not published by Alpha, it seems very unlikely to have such a function.


Alpha might’ve made changes since the instrument’s announcement, but they initially claimed that any VST could be installed at the factory per request.
Posted By: Frédéric L Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 02/12/18 10:13 PM
If they have claimed it... We can think of an architecture close to a PC (Korg Kronos, Muse Receptor) but it is a quite unusual feature. It may also have hardware dependency (iLok, eLicenser, HDD or SSD). Also, a VST without screen and mouse can’t be tuned easily.

Because of the absence of mention in on their site, we can suppose they changed heir mind.
Posted By: www.allpianos.com Re: Considering the AvantGrand N2 - 02/15/18 08:56 AM
I personally love the Avantgrand pianos but I don't think the big price gab between N1 and N2 is justified. The difference isn't that big when you try both models.
© Piano World Piano & Digital Piano Forums