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Posted By: Bruce In Philly Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/07/19 07:51 PM
What I mean is this: There must be a market for a specialized digital piano with nothing but the "Best". For example, action. Why no DP with a duplicated grand hammer action with sensors?

I have a RD 2000 and it has nice action.... but the RD 600 I had back in '97 was pretty good to and after 20 years, well I would have expected the RD 2000 to be way way better. It is better but no way way better. Further, I don;t feel the RD 2000's action is like a Steinway grand.... no way close. Nice, but no way.

So..... mimicking a real grand action would be expensive.... OK, so what? With a global market and premium pricing, why not?

For sound, a high-end unit would have modular boards than can be updated in the future..... huge memory..... and only the most complex samples.

For digital to analog conversion - again, modular boards or allow a digital out to use your own DAC

For analog electronics, high end amplifiers using top grade components.

There is a ton of money out there...... I gotta believe Roland or a niche maker could make big money on that... further, it can be a maker's halo product.... much like a Dodge Viper was to the Dodge line of cars.... sets a glow and gets a ton of press.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Posted By: McBuster Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/07/19 07:57 PM
Check Kawai and Yamaha. Both use acoustic actions from the proverbial grand piano. Kawai has a really nice one.
Posted By: tudor33sud Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/07/19 08:23 PM
Originally Posted by McBuster
Check Kawai and Yamaha. Both use acoustic actions from the proverbial grand piano. Kawai has a really nice one.

I think that what he tries to say is that even if you go all the way to the top AvantGrand or Kawai Novus, you still don't get that mindblowing experience of touch / sound combination. There are still cheap components used in these products, since good marketing seems to have better results, than actually building a top of the line piano. It is a known thing that digital piano technology advances pretty slow, and it's probably intentional, so that acoustic grands don't lose that much value.
Posted By: arc7urus Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/07/19 08:24 PM
You would only get the “best” action. Check for example the Alpha Grand or Studio pianos with Renner action. http://www.alpha-pianos.com/ These hybrids cost the same as a good acoustic. In any case, the sound is not comparable to an acoustic instrument. For a lower price, you have the AvantGrand and the Novus, that have an adapted acoustic action.
Posted By: johnstaf Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/07/19 08:40 PM
Bösendorfer had a digital that was more expensive than most mid-size grands. I don't think they made many of them.

Alpha Pianos most expensive digital is dearer than a Steinway Model D. They make digitals with conventional grand actions for €30,000.

P.S. Sorry Arc7urus. I didn't see your post.
Posted By: JoeT Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/07/19 09:16 PM
The answer is diminishing returns: At some point a more expensive digital piano is just another digital piano.
Posted By: peterws Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/07/19 10:02 PM
I think a bespoke digital piano would be an excellent ploy. Choose your keyboard, sound engine, cabinet design, speaker and amp system and connectivity requirements. The manufacturers could get together on this. The cabinet might well be the most difficult thing to design and produce!
Posted By: johnstaf Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/07/19 10:28 PM
I can't imagine the NV-10 ever not being good enough.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/07/19 10:32 PM
Alpha Piano comes to mind indeed. I doubt they ever sold even a single one though. Totally wrong concept IMO. Why would you like nothing but the best and will then buy a digital piano? The best is an acoustic piano. You’re going to spend 100k on a digital because you live in a flat? Or you want to play Pianoteq instead of the real thing? Or you are cheap on tuning and regulation? Or you need to compose hip-hop music in a sequencer through a Renner action.

It just doesn’t make sense. There’s no such thing as high-end digital piano because that’s an oxymoron.
Posted By: mcontraveos Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/07/19 10:51 PM
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
What I mean is this: There must be a market for a specialized digital piano with nothing but the "Best".


I don't believe this premise is correct.
Companies in pursue markets if there are profits in them, or reasons to believe profits are in them.
Posted By: ˆTomLCˆ Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/07/19 11:42 PM
I’m not sure what the OP means as “high end”. The AG N3x is more expensive than most baby grands. A sure to be coming NV-3 will also be in that class. The various silent system acoustic piano, uprights and grands, that use the actual soundboard instead of speakers might qualify as high end.
Posted By: chongjasmine Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/07/19 11:50 PM
Why will someone want to buy a high end digital, when they can get a good acoustics at the same price?
Posted By: Pete14 Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/07/19 11:50 PM
What about a revival of the Ballsandorfer CeusMaster? Only this time build it into the ‘155’ baby grand cabinet, use a soundboard, and a sensor technology similar to the Alpha Piano (sensors function as strings). Would that be high end enough?
Interesting.... I was unaware of the AG N3x action.... very cool..... but why not in a stage piano or similar unitl without speakers and amps?

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Posted By: anotherscott Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 12:22 AM
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Interesting.... I was unaware of the AG N3x action.... very cool..... but why not in a stage piano or similar unitl without speakers and amps?


1. a real piano action is very heavy. There's not much market for a 150 lb stage piano.

2. one of the things that make these things sound more like "a piano in the room" than "a piano being played through speakers" is the particular array of speakers they build into them.
Posted By: johnstaf Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 01:11 AM
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Interesting.... I was unaware of the AG N3x action.... very cool..... but why not in a stage piano or similar unitl without speakers and amps?

Peace
Bruce in Philly


Because they don't want me to buy one... [tinfoil hat smiley]
Posted By: Lushey1 Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 01:46 AM
If you were a business,would you invest all the necessary capital into producing a high-end digital piano?All the R&D,factory costs..... How many would you need to sell to just break even? However,have you tried the new Roland LX708 action?longer keys and different pivot points.Feels good to me.
I know a bit more about cars.... sports cars and the like... and I am throughouly amazed... just amazed at the size of the global market for high-end luxury goods. Million dollar cars.... etc.... Cars such as Koningsegg, Ferrari, McLaren, et al.... These are not just stupid-high priced cars.... they are seriously engineered. Koenigsegg literally makes just about everything... and by hand.... unbelivable engineering in their hand built engines... carbon fiber wheels.... etc etc....

The global market is so so big and there is so much money out there that a maker can charge a large price, develop a very special, highly engineered product, and make money.

I wanted a stage piano for my home.... I like the gadgets and all that candy even though I only layer two sounds at one time.... only dick with the others. I was pretty surprised that Rolands RD 2000, their top stage, was only $2400. Seriously, I would have thought they had some super-premium for the high-dollar folks. Again, the global market is huge.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Posted By: vara411 Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 02:12 AM
Hi Bruce, I think the comment about diminishing returns is spot-on.

Having said that, I purchased my Yamaha N3X three weeks ago and am over the moon happy with it. REAL hammer action, 12 speakers, spatial sampling... honestly I'd say the only limitations of the instrument are from the limitations of sampling methods. I do wish it had built-in wifi and Bluetooth but otherwise there is an amazing amount of tech built in to these things. The most beautiful part for me is that all the tech melts away when I play it... I'm just enjoying the living snot out of it. And it's GORGEOUS in my living room. One of the best purchases I've made in a long while.

I've heard great things about the Kawai NV-10, but there's no dealer in my town. If they'd built one in a grand cabinet with a powerful speaker system I may have traveled to go see it.

Anyhow I encourage you to check out the hybrids that our out there, the best known being from Yamaha, Kawai, and Casio. The only one in a grand cabinet was the N3X, so that was really my only choice. I'm thrilled with it, full-stop.
Posted By: johnstaf Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 02:35 AM
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
I know a bit more about cars.... sports cars and the like... and I am throughouly amazed... just amazed at the size of the global market for high-end luxury goods. Million dollar cars.... etc.... Cars such as Koningsegg, Ferrari, McLaren, et al.... These are not just stupid-high priced cars.... they are seriously engineered. Koenigsegg literally makes just about everything... and by hand.... unbelivable engineering in their hand built engines... carbon fiber wheels.... etc etc....

The global market is so so big and there is so much money out there that a maker can charge a large price, develop a very special, highly engineered product, and make money.

I wanted a stage piano for my home.... I like the gadgets and all that candy even though I only layer two sounds at one time.... only dick with the others. I was pretty surprised that Rolands RD 2000, their top stage, was only $2400. Seriously, I would have thought they had some super-premium for the high-dollar folks. Again, the global market is huge.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


The V-Piano is/was Roland's most expensive stage piano. It still exists officially as a current product, but seemed to disappear from the real world not long after it was released.
Originally Posted by johnstaf
The V-Piano is/was Roland's most expensive stage piano. It still exists officially as a current product, but seemed to disappear from the real world not long after it was released.

About 6 months ago, Roland did tell another PW member the V-Piano was discontinued.
Posted By: johnstaf Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 04:04 AM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by johnstaf
The V-Piano is/was Roland's most expensive stage piano. It still exists officially as a current product, but seemed to disappear from the real world not long after it was released.

About 6 months ago, Roland did tell another PW member the V-Piano was discontinued.


Thanks Tyrone for clearing that up.
Posted By: johnstaf Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 04:13 AM
I wonder if they'll put their new flagship action in a replacement. Maybe not a V-Piano II, but a more high-end stage piano than the current ones.
Posted By: Nordomus Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 04:23 AM
Originally Posted by vara411
I do wish it had built-in wifi and Bluetooth

Wait, what? N3X doesn't have Bluetooth? You are serious? I didn't even consider that it wouldn't have it.
Posted By: Nip Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 05:43 AM
As I see it - real feel hammer action and incredibly well made samples is just half or less of what an acoustic grand piano does.

The acoustic spread of the sounds in a room you sit - that is very physical - is really hard to reproduce. I saw in this thread examples with so many speakers like it becomes surround sound, kind of. That is probably the way to go.

So we must differentiate between recorded piano and the feel of sitting by a physical grand piano.

In the end what counts is the music and the performance - and it does the job if both those are "high end". Too much focus on the physical, maybe, and not so much about the art.

You can listen to old 78 rpm records of artists/performers that elevate you - sound is crappy as anything - but the art is there. The composers work interpreted by a good performer.

I see the sound itself more like make up and appearance - it's not the art that a good performer/artist express.
Posted By: Groove On Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 05:46 AM
It's a pretty hard-sell above the USD$5000 level when "high-end" digital pianos encounter serious competition from "low-end" acoustic pianos. Like photography a few decades ago when digital cameras were not yet competitive with film cameras; acoustic pianos still dominate the "higher-end" of the digital piano market.
Posted By: jeffscot Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 06:00 AM
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
The global market is so so big and there is so much money out there that a maker can charge a large price, develop a very special, highly engineered product, and make money.
Seriously, I would have thought they had some super-premium for the high-dollar folks. Again, the global market is huge.

Peace
Bruce in Philly

Well by golly, since that market is so huge and profitable, you just need to go into business, and build that super-premium digital piano! thumb

Maybe Koenigsegg will design it for you!?
Posted By: Groove On Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 06:42 AM
Also - how do you build a "high-end" digital piano that solves the inherent flaws of the technology? In other words, how do you build a "high-end" digital that gives you the "sound quality" of a decent acoustic; after all that would be the point of buying a "high end" digital piano.

The only thing we know for sure is that we can use a real acoustic action; but no matter how much money you throw at the problem, what solutions can you buy that are practical solutions to the inherent flaws of sampling, modeling and speaker technology - so that the final product creates the "sound quality" of a decent acoustic?
Posted By: Nip Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 08:24 AM
Originally Posted by Groove On

The only thing we know for sure is that we can use a real acoustic action; but no matter how much money you throw at the problem, what solutions can you buy that are practical solutions to the inherent flaws of sampling, modeling and speaker technology - so that the final product creates the "sound quality" of a decent acoustic?


I think the sound quality is there in samples. Was it a Roland with 12 speakers - is that surround 11.1 - don't know. The latest drum samples for Toontrack Superior Drummer - is 11.1 mikes in a room. Yesterday it was release Orchestral SDX with 11.1 as well, doing the type of percussions that orchestras do.

To the most part - it's about SPL - sound pressure level - and the quality of what that gives. It probably means a surround system - 12 channels - each having 100W or something to represent dynamics for a grand in a concert hall.

I remember the first time I was in a live concert hall listening to a Rachmaninov piano concert.

I've had better experience cranking up hifi at home - listening to that. I was more "there" in the music that way. I surely have peaks 100+ dB SPL - and is all absorbed by what I hear - nothing else exist.

I felt too detached in concert hall - even having decent seats.

So what presence does the DP system give in this sense?

How we perceive the sound from playing is giving us feelings and that is what we remember sounding good - because it's feeling good.

Decent sound, good feelings and excellent performance - that is unbeatable.

So I think it's more about the physical experience feeling "there" - than the actuall sound quality itself. We need something like 100+ dB SPL and be surrounded by it - to feel and perceive it the same way as a acoustic grand piano in a nice room.

The technology is there - pretty sure of that - but is there a market and who is prepared to pay for that extra.

I saw an ad for a sampled grand piano for computer being 400 GB or something - is that what it takes maybe. In a hardware sampler like a DP is - 2 GB seems to be considered large like in the new Nord Grand - can it do it justice. There has to be compromises.

I was into maybe getting surround phones at some time for video games. Not sure how well that works - if you get leakage between ears like being in a room with a giant grand piano?

Some phones claim doing 7.1 surround - not clue if that is working.

I think it's easier doing a full experience of sitting with a grand piano with phones if surround really works. Have not checked the latest technology up yet but will in time. Doing a bit of video and also writing music for that - I am curious if that might be a way to go.
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 09:14 AM
Is there a market for this? Who knows?
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
There must be a market for a specialized digital piano with nothing but the "Best".
Do the market research and find out. Perhaps it has already been done. But I suspect the market for such is vanishingly small.

What's more, even if the price does not matter to a billionaire, there's still the cost and value comparison to an acoustic. Who would spend six figures on a digital piano when the world's finest acoustic can be had for such a sum. And the latter would bring the prestige of an established line of product that's lacking in a new "high-end" digital. In the world of ultra-high priced merchandise I think that brand prestige and similar intangibles play a big role in the buyer's mind.

This is more expensive than you might imagine ...
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Mimicking a real grand action would be expensive. OK, so what? With a global market and premium pricing, why not?
Development might run in the millions of dollars. They'd have to sell a lot of pianos before this business would be profitable.

I don't think Roland would be the right player for this ...
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
I gotta believe Roland or a niche maker could make big money on that... further, it can be a maker's halo product.... much like a Dodge Viper was to the Dodge line of cars.... sets a glow and gets a ton of press.
Nor Yamaha nor Kawai. This is a job for a specialty entrepreneur.

(By the way ... the Viper is history.)
Posted By: jamiecw Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 10:03 AM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Why would you like nothing but the best and will then buy a digital piano? The best is an acoustic piano. You’re going to spend 100k on a digital because you live in a flat? Or you want to play Pianoteq instead of the real thing? Or you are cheap on tuning and regulation?

It just doesn’t make sense. There’s no such thing as high-end digital piano because that’s an oxymoron.


Exactly! Thank you my brother...:-) If you want the best then a 9ft grand is what a rich person would go after not some Digital aberration - the rich have neither the space or sound constraints your average pianist will have and neither will worry about the maintenance costs - that's why there is no high end digital piano because there already is one the grand piano.
Originally Posted by Groove On
what solutions can you buy that are practical solutions to the inherent flaws of sampling, modeling and speaker technology - so that the final product creates the "sound quality" of a decent acoustic?

Not speaking of sampling and modeling, but there are DPs with soundboards, of course. Yamaha also has the TAs that play synthetic sound through their acoustic soundboard. Are their inherent flaws that you can think of that are still not being addressed with such implementations?
Originally Posted by jamiecw
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Why would you like nothing but the best and will then buy a digital piano? The best is an acoustic piano. You’re going to spend 100k on a digital because you live in a flat? Or you want to play Pianoteq instead of the real thing? Or you are cheap on tuning and regulation?

It just doesn’t make sense. There’s no such thing as high-end digital piano because that’s an oxymoron.

Exactly! Thank you my brother...:-) If you want the best then a 9ft grand is what a rich person would go after not some Digital aberration - the rich have neither the space or sound constraints your average pianist will have and neither will worry about the maintenance costs - that's why there is no high end digital piano because there already is one the grand piano.

Some people might because they prefer a different decor. These two comments are entirely missing out on something which often people who are on a budget don't understand. When we (I am including all people in the 'we' here, and not only those not on a budget) buy things that are only a small portion of our disposable income, then other considerations come into play, including just "whim." On a whim, I want a hotdog with crab on it (BTW, I had this before - it was good!) On a whim, I want a piano that fits into the decor of my home.

The acoustic grand piano has a style that dates back to the Victorian era. Not everyone has a home where a piece of Victorian era furniture. In particular, some people might prefer something in a more contemporary style, such as the USD 110,000 DP below.

[Linked Image]

Those who like the above are often the sorts of people, like my wife, who pay homage at the altar of Bang and Olufsen.

[Linked Image]

Personally, I'm a much more 'functionally' oriented person than my wife (perhaps because she herself is an fine art world professional specializing in contemporary art) and if I am going to spend $40,000 on speakers, I could care less what they look like, only how they perform and what they sound like.

But my wife sells works of art to people who would be just as willing to pay $1.5M as $1M for them, just to hang on their wall. Why shouldn't people who are less budget-constrained like that, get exactly what they want, even if it is entirely aesthetically motivated?
Posted By: Pete14 Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 11:28 AM
I’m assuming there’s some heavy science behind those speakers, or are we paying for the cubist aura reminiscent of Picasso?
Originally Posted by Pete14
I’m assuming there’s some heavy science behind those speakers, or are we paying for the cubist aura reminiscent of Picasso?

With due respect to my wife, I think one pays for the cubist aura reminiscent of Picasso.

She recently lost her B&O earbuds that cost more than the headphones most on here use. I now have to replace those for her.... with another B&O pair. This causes me more pain that it does buying an N1X or NV10 will. Because in my mind, it is so useless and money flushed down the toilet.

Still, I do appreciate aesthetics. Pure aesthetics such as art. I just appreciate less "industrial design" sorts of aesthetics. For example that Apple Computer and B&O try to foist on us. My wife though...
I think what threw me... is Roland's own advertising. They noted the RD 2000 has its "best action yet" or something like that. Which simply is not true. I really thought the RD 2000 was the state of the art from this maker.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Posted By: tudor33sud Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 01:08 PM
Honestly, I can't wait for the new era of digital pianos where alongside the built in speakers of the cabinet, one would be able to get bluetooth / wired speakers to mount them strategically in a room, and get the full experience of a piano sound filling up the room! I think with the current VSTs, modeled sound which can be put into physical pianos, pair that with great speakers tweaked to the sound engine, and you would have something really close, and probably much less expensive than a high quality grand.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 01:10 PM
I'm kind of surprised that you didn't know about hybrid pianos such as Yamaha N-series (AKA AvantGrand with their flagship being the N3X) and Kawai NV10. Although I wouldn't call them high-end (since you're an audiophile, I would assume you refer to what's high-end in audio), they are the "highest" end mass market digital pianos. Both Yamaha and Kawai produce acoustic pianos which is why they can also use their real grand piano actions in digital instruments. It doesn't get much higher than that, besides the fact they use actions from their baby grands and not big concert grands. But one can arguably say they have put their best technology there.

Roland can't make such an instrument because they have no experience in manufacturing acoustic pianos (and grand piano actions in particular). It's a bit odd for you to expect Roland to produce a high end piano. What I also find odd is also the fact you need this to be a stage piano. Stage pianos are used for gigging. You need to connect external speakers but although that may seem like a perfect task for an audiophile you need to remember acoustic pianos are not producing sound from two stereo points. And even if the stage piano was produced with multichannel capabilities, it is still highly doubtful that a regular customer would be able to cope with proper speaker placement. And even if he can do, that's still not how a real piano produces sound. A real piano emanates sound from the entire soundboard which is why the Yamaha N3X has a soundboard and transducers that make the soundboard produce vibrations.

With all that, I mean an acoustic piano is not an audiophile product and you can't expect that they will just give you a great keyboard with sound source that you need to hook to your tube DAC, preamps, amps and uber speakers and voila, it becomes "high-end" piano.
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
I think what threw me... is Roland's own advertising. They noted the RD 2000 has its "best action yet" or something like that. Which simply is not true. I really thought the RD 2000 was the state of the art from this maker.

Peace
Bruce in Philly

The RD2000 uses a PHA-50 action, which is the same as they put in the Roland LX705 console piano. However, aside from the Roland V-Piano, which as pointed out is no longer sold, the Roland LX706 and LX708 use a newer action called the "Hybrid Grand keyboard" action.

I tried the PHA-50 action side-by-side with the "Hybrid Grand keyboard" action, along with a few Steinway acoustical grands, in a piano store in December, and the latter did indeed feel better and slightly more authentic to me. This was especially noticeable on the black keys when played near the fallboard, but aside from that special case, it just felt slightly better overall.
Posted By: jeffscot Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 02:14 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
But my wife sells works of art to people who would be just as willing to pay $1.5M as $1M for them, just to hang on their wall. Why shouldn't people who are less budget-constrained like that, get exactly what they want, even if it is entirely aesthetically motivated?

Oh, come on Ty!
That is even worse than Bruce comparing digital pianos, to high performance cars.
I don’t think your wife would get much work, in the art world, if she was hanging art on clients walls that depreciated like digital pianos.

That Whaletone is pretty cool looking though. laugh
Posted By: johnstaf Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 02:18 PM
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
I think what threw me... is Roland's own advertising. They noted the RD 2000 has its "best action yet" or something like that. Which simply is not true. I really thought the RD 2000 was the state of the art from this maker.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


The RD2000 had Roland's best action until a few months ago.
I knew about the Roland "home pianos" with speakers that look like nice furniture...... I kinda figured, incorrectly, that they were just that... targeted to the home use market and the speaker/amp layout improved the sound to be more piano like. I really didn't think they also had "better" other stuff. Again, wrongly, I thought the home stuff was the same as the RD 2000, defeatured, with better home looks and speakers.

Again, action being so important..... I thought that the RD 2000 had the best. A pro musician, who buys a stage piano would want this, therefore,.... why wouldn't they have a stage piano with this stuff... even if it was heavier.... that is the choice of the buyer.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Originally Posted by jeffscot
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
But my wife sells works of art to people who would be just as willing to pay $1.5M as $1M for them, just to hang on their wall. Why shouldn't people who are less budget-constrained like that, get exactly what they want, even if it is entirely aesthetically motivated?

Oh, come on Ty!
That is even worse than Bruce comparing digital pianos, to high performance cars.
I don’t think your wife would get much work, in the art world, if she was hanging art on clients walls that depreciated like digital pianos.

That Whaletone is pretty cool looking though. laugh

I'm on a different order of magnitude myself than the clients of my wife I mentioned, but yet, I don't believe I've ever seriously considered depreciation in any purchase I've made, whether it was for cars or pianos - in the case of the latter, I am looking at N1X and NV10, and I haven't researched what the depreciation would be, and likely won't either even though I am raising that point here. On the other hand, this might just be because I'm rather spendthrift and irresponsible. Art collectors are sometimes impulsive with their purchases, but really can't be said to be spendthrift or irresponsible. Those of you who are financially responsible and consider such things as depreciation and total cost of ownership - well, I admire you!
Posted By: johnstaf Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 02:25 PM
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
I knew about the Roland "home pianos" with speakers that look like nice furniture...... I kinda figured, incorrectly, that they were just that... targeted to the home use market and the speaker/amp layout improved the sound to be more piano like. I really didn't think they also had "better" other stuff. Again, wrongly, I thought the home stuff was the same as the RD 2000, defeatured, with better home looks and speakers.

Again, action being so important..... I thought that the RD 2000 had the best. A pro musician, who buys a stage piano would want this, therefore,.... why wouldn't they have a stage piano with this stuff... even if it was heavier.... that is the choice of the buyer.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


But you were right. When you bought your RD2000, the LX706 and LX708 probably hadn't been released. Presumably the successor to the RD 2000 will have the newer action.
Originally Posted by jeffscot
I don’t think your wife would get much work, in the art world, if she was hanging art on clients walls that depreciated like digital pianos.

Off topic, but speaking of depreciating art, here is a work of contemporary art from my wife's world that appreciated the moment it was purchased! (Not being sarcastic here - it did indeed appreciate in value!)

Posted By: johnstaf Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 02:39 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by jeffscot
I don’t think your wife would get much work, in the art world, if she was hanging art on clients walls that depreciated like digital pianos.

Off topic, but speaking of depreciating art, here is a work of contemporary art from my wife's world that appreciated the moment it was purchased! (Not being sarcastic here - it did indeed appreciate in value!)



I don't suppose it happens very often when you buy a painting that it immediately turns into one of the world's most famous works of art.
Posted By: jeffscot Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 02:41 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I'm on a different order of magnitude myself than the clients of my wife I mentioned, but yet, I don't believe I've ever seriously considered depreciation in any purchase I've made, whether it was for cars or pianos - in the case of the latter, I am looking at N1X and NV10, and I haven't researched what the depreciation would be, and likely won't either even though I am raising that point here. On the other hand, this might just be because I'm rather spendthrift and irresponsible. Art collectors are sometimes impulsive with their purchases, but really can't be said to be spendthrift or irresponsible. Those of you who are financially responsible and consider such things as depreciation and total cost of ownership - well, I admire you!

Yes, well on digital pianos, I wouldn’t either . . .
But the higher expenditure, the more you think about future value.
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by jeffscot
I don’t think your wife would get much work, in the art world, if she was hanging art on clients walls that depreciated like digital pianos.

Off topic, but speaking of depreciating art, here is a work of contemporary art from my wife's world that appreciated the moment it was purchased! (Not being sarcastic here - it did indeed appreciate in value!)

I don't suppose it happens very often when you buy a painting that it immediately turns into one of the world's most famous works of art.

Let's just say that the buyer decided to definitely keep it, as in about 15 seconds, this work doubled in value! I think the above video, made by the artist himself, contributes to its cachet. smile
Posted By: Granyala Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 03:05 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
[Linked Image]

Those who like the above are often the sorts of people, like my wife, who pay homage at the altar of Bang and Olufsen.

[Linked Image]

Holy crap those things are even uglier than me and that takes some doing. laugh

I never was one for "design" objects.

@Bruce: the highest end you can get is building a real grand piano action into a DP. Way too heavy and bulky! to do so in a slab.

Sound wise you will always be limited by the speaker setups. KAWAI does try to get closer by employing a sound board but a transducer just can't replace real swinging strings. It's not a matter of $$$, it's a matter of technology. We just don't have it.
Posted By: Groove On Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 03:46 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Groove On
what solutions can you buy that are practical solutions to the inherent flaws of sampling, modeling and speaker technology - so that the final product creates the "sound quality" of a decent acoustic?

... there are DPs with soundboards, of course. Yamaha also has the TAs that play synthetic sound through their acoustic soundboard. Are their inherent flaws that you can think of that are still not being addressed with such implementations?

Sure, but none have passed the “acoustic” test; otherwise we could point one out and say “hey, this one did it. And the jury is still out on which speaker technology/setup will produce a high-end digital piano that can equal a decent acoustic. Point in case - when Kawai moved from the CA98 to the Novus they ditched the wood soundboard for a point speaker system!?

(The TransAcoustic doesn’t count because it is an acoustic, so of course it sounds like one. And if they manage to not make it sound like an acoustic, then we’re back to inherent flaws of digital technology.)

I think the main point is that we’ve got all these bits and pieces of current technology - but none of it solves the problem of making a high-end digital piano that produces the “sound quality” we get from a decent acoustic. And throwing money at the problem won’t get rid of the fundamental flaws in those technologies. My gut feeling is that could spend USD$50,000-100,000 to build a digital with the best of those technologies (samples, modeling, speakers) and we’d still just get something that still isn’t as good as a decent basic acoustic. It’s gonna take a thoughtful approach and a more elegant solution that hasn’t been thought of yet, to make it work.
Posted By: newer player Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 05:43 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I think one pays for the cubist aura reminiscent of Picasso.

With due respect to Tyrone's wife, B&O has some nicely designed gear.

B&O was a client of mine. As a general matter, no consumer electronics business makes much profit so it is safe to assume B&O spent a lot of money on design, engineering, raw materials, assembly and service.

I can't speak for those nifty cubist speakers. But for some of B&O's previous models, B&O invested a lot of time and money to optimise both aesthetic and audio goals. I thought they balanced beautiful design with pretty good sound. For shoppers who did their homework, a handful of competitors' speakers had better specs but were always in non-descript boxes.
Posted By: Charles Cohen Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/08/19 10:02 PM
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
What I mean is this: There must be a market for a specialized digital piano with nothing but the "Best". For example, action. Why no DP with a duplicated grand hammer action with sensors?



You might want to read Veblen's "Theory of the Leisure Class", with its theory of "conspicuous consumption".

"Conspicuous consumption" goods have a strange property:

. . . The more expensive they are, the more desirable they are.

That's independent of any additional "use value" that the higher price might bring.

You can see that in high-end watches, high-end cars, and (at least when I was following the market) high-end hi-fi equipment. Custom-made straight razors are another example, I think.

Your RD2000 is designed, and sold, as a tool for a working musician. So Roland put in what they thought was necessary for that person, and priced it at what they thought that person might pay, in a competitive market.

I agree with some previous posts:

. . . For pianos, the 'conspicuous consumption' items are acoustic grands, from Steinway, Fazioli, and a few other makers.

Nobody -- except maybe a pianist -- will walk into a living room, see a Yamaha Avant Grand or Roland GPxxx, and think:

. . . "Oh my -- the people who live here must be really rich!"

Whereas everybody knows what a Steinway means.
Well Comrade, I am not sure of your point.

I am pointing out what appears to me to be a gap in the market place and asking as to why this is so? When I look at my RD 600 and compare to my RD 2000, I just would have thought it would be more advanced. This brings out many questions.... maybe Roland et al realizes that a "perfect Steinway" action is actually detrimental to sales given the stage keyboard has to do so many things.. such as play like an organ too.

Of course the short answer, assuming a perfect market, is that there is no money in it. Or more specifically, the rate of return of that investment is less than putting money elsewhere for comparable risk.

Regardless of the reason a person would want to spend money on something expensive, that demand is there... at least so I thought. Again, I believe, "the market" is so darn big, and there is so much money out there, I just thought that I could buy a digital piano without speakers/amps that had a true, Steinway-like action.

Regarding Veblens belief (it is a belief, there is no science behind his late 1800s conjecture), so what? It employs people. Look, the very existence of a whammy bar on a guitar or a stick that warbles on our pianos is all trickle down economics. These digital pianos are not food or medicine. They are driven by folks like us, spending our wealth on entertainment ~gasp~.. and handing money over to people who are simply trying to make money from us. I would have thought they are missing an opportunity to make more.

Besides, not everyone who pays big money for something does this to be seen or to get chicks.... entertainment is a valuable pursuit. Otherwise we would all be wearing blue denim uniforms. Anyone, and there are very few, who have seen or heard my home audio system would not be impressed. They think I am nuts.... not a compliment. I do it for another pursuit... I love it... it helps me in my pursuit of happiness.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Posted By: siros Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/09/19 12:35 AM
You don't feel RD-2000 is much an advancement over RD-600, really?

I wonder what kind of criteria for judgement for the so called "high end" digital pianos.
I mentioned this before.... for clarification.

The RD 2000's basic piano sounds (modeled) are superior to the RD 600... I owned both and had them side by side before I sold off my RD 600. But they are not, what I thought, would be 20 years worth of advancement. Now what do I mean by that? I am not sure.... I guess the RD 600 sounds were really pretty darn good.

Action wise? Again, same comment.... I guess the RD 600s action was pretty good... I believe it was the first DP action with an actual hammer.

Regarding the memory, controls etc etc..... the RD 2000 is way way way more... just over the top with tech such as the USB to PC connectivity (well at least I am impressed).

I guess I see a digital piano in the same way I view computer-powered anything... twenty years is an eternity.... I guess I never realized that maybe, just maybe, the RD 600 was already near some sort of piano nirvana.... good enough ... and that is darn good. Seriously, I kept that RD 600 for twenty years for a reason... I loved it. I could hear faults in its samples... you develop a better ear with time... and the piano sound I used for the default I could hear some metally unrealness with some finger pressures... and the decays weren't all perfect etc etc.... but again, it was a good sounding piano.

Further... that a stage piano is really for a working musician and may not be in alignment with what I wanted. Anywho.....

Regarding "High end"... well first, I was unaware of the Yamaha mechanisms.... but anyway, I just figured in a world market so darn big, and so darn flush with money, that I would have been able to find a stage piano with a Steinway-like action. Further, the RD 2000 is Roland's "Top O' the Line" stage piano.... I would have thought a top-o-the-line anything would be more than $2400 simply because I thought there would be a market for it... again because the market is so huge etc etc. .

Heck, is was worth a post on this piano forum. It even flushed out a resident Communist.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Posted By: Charles Cohen Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/09/19 01:02 AM
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
. . .
Heck, is was worth a post on this piano forum. It even flushed out a resident Communist.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


ROFL !!!!

I'll cop to "liberal Democrat" -- nothing to the left of that. Well, maybe "democratic Socialist" . . .

Thanks -- I didn't realize that "Theory of the Leisure Class" _was_ 19th-century, by a hair (published 1899). I thought it was 20th century, because its ideas seemed so current when I read it 50 or 60 years ago!

I don't want to get sidetracked into politics. This forum is far too friendly, and supportive, for that.
Yes, no politics.... but.... how about a more science-related comment? Most of the material of that time were ruminations... based on observation... and at a very transformative time for human history... the history was not written yet. Today, to do economic publishing at the University level, you can;t just "reflect" or use "logic". Economics today is based on science... hard data.... statistical analysis. Taking a thoeory and testing it on data gathered in another place or time to then see if the outcomes were the same. If this scientific approach was applied to economic and behaviourl texts of the time, there is good chance communism would not have happened... or may have been different. Karl Marx had no real data other than his observations... he would not have lasted longer than a nano-second of peer review.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
If this scientific approach was applied to economic and behaviourl texts of the time, there is good chance communism would not have happened... or may have been different. Karl Marx had no real data other than his observations... he would not have lasted longer than a nano-second of peer review.

You are far underestimating the willingness of people to believe what they want to believe or to believe what is convenient. While modern day examples of these effects abound in the US and Europe, this would cross into verboten politics.

Instead, let me give an example relating to communism. My ex-mother-in-law had her Candidate in Sciences degree (PhD) in Socialist Economics in the USSR. She did research, wrote papers, studied a field which almost defines the term, "subjective validation." Her papers did undergo peer review - by other Soviet socialist economists!
Posted By: Granyala Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/09/19 04:16 AM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
You are far underestimating the willingness of people to believe what they want to believe or to believe what is convenient. While modern day examples of these effects abound in the US and Europe, this would cross into verboten politics.

No need to go into politics, really.

Just take a look at the high end HiFi snake oil market and you see this effect in action.
Pretty darn profitable action at that. laugh
Posted By: johnstaf Re: Why no "High End" Digital Pianos? - 05/09/19 08:29 AM

Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly


Regarding "High end"... well first, I was unaware of the Yamaha mechanisms.... but anyway, I just figured in a world market so darn big, and so darn flush with money, that I would have been able to find a stage piano with a Steinway-like action. Further, the RD 2000 is Roland's "Top O' the Line" stage piano.... I would have thought a top-o-the-line anything would be more than $2400 simply because I thought there would be a market for it... again because the market is so huge etc etc. .


Peace
Bruce in Philly


If you want expensive, Roland isn't the best manufacturer to look at, unless they are selling a new technology such as the V-Piano. The action in the RD2000 is one of the most responsive actions ever made in my experience. I'm not sure what else they could have offered at the time the RD2000 was released.
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
What I mean is this: There must be a market for a specialized digital piano with nothing but the "Best". For example, action. Why no DP with a duplicated grand hammer action with sensors?

Bruce, now that this thread has cleared up some misconceptions of the state of modern DPs, and in particular hybrids with authentic grand piano actions, have you been considering just breaking down and buying yourself a state-of-the-art hybrid - say a Yamaha N1X or Kawai NV10 - and using it just as a MIDI controller? You can use it to drive your current RD2000, or any other music-making apparatus - Nord, Dexibell, etc. No reason to give up the sounds of what you have. Of course this idea presupposes you have the space for an extra keyboard (which happens to be attached to a cabinet).
Well.... maybe I purchased the wrong thing eh? So with one of these high-end home units, do I get the 50 thousand sounds?

So I guess my "high end" units would look like all the features and functions of my RD 2000 and the keyboard amps/speakers of the big Yamaha units.

While those home units look cool, they are still "de-featured". I want it all in one box!!!

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Well.... maybe I purchased the wrong thing eh? So with one of these high-end home units, do I get the 50 thousand sounds?

So I guess my "high end" units would look like all the features and functions of my RD 2000 and the keyboard amps/speakers of the big Yamaha units.

While those home units look cool, they are still "de-featured". I want it all in one box!!!

Peace
Bruce in Philly

No, as I mentioned above, to get the 50000 sounds, you'd need to use the hybrid as a MIDI Controller for your existing RD2000, which you could do if you have the space. In any case, two DPs connected together is still nothing like Bobby Simon's home setup here. LOL. Or you could just use VSTs. You could have all the sounds you want with VSTs.
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