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oh well... one has to adapt to life changes.

In my case, changing house, getting away from an overcrowded, traffic packed, loud, polluted and smelly Rome to go to a nice, green, quiet suburban area, located just nearby, was a very good thing under every aspects save for the fact that...

I had to sell my B E A U T Y F U L Yamaha U1M...
both the new furnishings and the neighborhood no longer allow me to have/play an acoustic piano.

I also considered getting me an acoustic with silent but I should have given up part of the furniture and my house would have turned too much "piano-centric".

So I ended up with yet another digital piano (a Kawai MP7SE, as some people in this forum may already know).

Am I happy with that?
...uhm...

Let's say that I like it for what it is: an excellent instrument, probably among the best in its league, aesthetically pleasant, everything on it appears professional, it feels sturdy, definitely a good buy.
Also, as all electronics, it does offer options a regular acoustic piano doesn't.

I.e. I'm quite happy with the Rhodes sounds: that is a whole lot better that anything I had in the past, though I happened to play with "the real thing", for quite a while (a year or so) and... there's no possible match...

The "drawbar Hammond like" sounds are also very nice, really WAY above the average these keyboards usually offer: the sound can be trimmed to achieve anything you want. Of course, in this case too, it can't be played as a real Hammond, but I am no organ player so I'm quite happy with the way it is.

AP, EP and organs are the instruments of real interest, to me, the rest is just fun stuff (well... it's good to have a few valid analog synths, too).

From my profile it is possible to see all the instrument I owned (I still own some of them); I bought them all brand new, with the exception of my former acoustic pianos.

I can say that this new one is definitely improved, both the sound and the key action, but... not to the point to be jumping for joy, particularly when it comes to the "acoustic piano" sound, which is the "main course" in the menu.

The Yamaha CP80 is the piano with which I studied most of my life: the keyboard action feels (it actually is) the same as a baby grand and when it's not amplified, it makes a pleasant sound, muffled enough not to bother the neighborhood. I sold it because I wanted a real acoustic.

I made enough money, with it, to get me a splendid U3H, which really had such an elegant sound, almost comparable to a baby grand. I sold it for good money, like 30% more than what I paid for it, and got the U1 (I could say I STOLE it from a guy who was "desperate" to sell it, because he too was moving to another house and the poor piano ended up stored in a garage, so he gave it away for a... "very interesting" price); that piano sounded as good if not better than the previous.

With the time, I learned pretty well how to choose a good one in the bunch and, so far, I always ended up earning a little profit, buying and reselling acoustic pianos.

This compensates the fact that reselling electronics has always been a total loss, whether or not you buy them new or used, they lose a lot of value with the time, while used acoustics might even gain some, once you set them right.

All this bla bla to say...

I like my new DP but, boy... do I miss my acoustic pianos, and I mean: A LOT.

Those pianos played "by themselves"... notes and phrasings came out of the fingers without even having to "think" about it.

They were "inspiring", like a muse.

Those days are gone, now...

As I said, I really like what I have now, but... yet again I have to adapt to the "coldness" of this sort of "robot" (though it is a nice one, I have to say).

I tried LOTS of them, all brands and price ranges: it'll NEVER be the real thing, both under your hands and in your ears, your brain, your heart, your creativity...

I don't regret buying it but I know I'll end up getting me another acoustic, sooner or later, even if I have to move to a new house! wink
Originally Posted by Ragtime2k


So I ended up with yet another digital piano (a Kawai MP7SE, as some people in this forum may already know).

Am I happy with that?
...uhm...

I like my new DP but, boy... do I miss my acoustic pianos, and I mean: A LOT.

Those pianos played "by themselves"... notes and phrasings came out of the fingers without even having to "think" about it.

They were "inspiring", like a muse.

I don't regret buying it but I know I'll end up getting me another acoustic, sooner or later, even if I have to move to a new house! wink

Yes, that’s the reality. But I think MP7SE isn’t the most realistic DP anyway, so it can hardly compete against a real acoustic piano. Even CA-pianos fall short, let alone a stage piano. Maybe you should have looked at hybrid pianos instead.
Originally Posted by Ragtime2k

I like my new DP but, boy... do I miss my acoustic pianos, and I mean: A LOT.

Those pianos played "by themselves"... notes and phrasings came out of the fingers without even having to "think" about it.

They were "inspiring", like a muse.
I understand your point. This is a little bit of a non sequitur, but from another perspective the piano in the abstract sense "playing by itself" really became a musical minus to me. It's one of the reasons I took up the cello quite a while back. You're more intimately involved with tone production, and therefore more intimately involved in the music itself. When you've played a string or woodwind instrument and go back to the piano, you realize how coldly mechanical it can be. The thing that keeps me coming back to the piano is the repertoire and harmonic richness, and that's accessible on my DP. It's more about the music than the instrument.
Originally Posted by CyberGene

Yes, that’s the reality. But I think MP7SE isn’t the most realistic DP anyway, so it can hardly compete against a real acoustic piano. Even CA-pianos fall short, let alone a stage piano. Maybe you should have looked at hybrid pianos instead.


+1.

Speaking of just Kawai pianos, MP11SE and CA99/79 etc. are better approximations of the acoustic grand. With Kawai Novus NV10 being an even better approximation of the acoustic grand. NV10 is by far the closest to an acoustic grand IMHO (with the possible exception of Yamaha AvantGrand N1X - which I haven't played as it wasn't in the market when I bought NV10). NV10's action is indistinguishable from a real acoustic grand. But, the sound via speakers is nowhere close to the acoustic grand.

I play a 7" acoustic grand (Mason & Hamlin BB) daily. I play NV10 more than BB (because most of my playing is at night when the family is asleep). I prefer the action of NV10 over BB - but they are comparable. But, the sound of BB over NV10 is just incomparable.

The biggest weakness of all DPs is the speaker sound system (IMHO). The best I have seen is Yamaha AvantGrand N3X - their implementation of multi-channel samples and multi-speaker sound system is excellent. But if you have space and money to buy N3X and circumstances permit you to play it via speakers - you might as well get an acoustic (upright or grand).

With MP7SE, your best bet to get closest to an acoustic experience is high quality VST + high quality headphones.

Osho
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Yes, that’s the reality. But I think MP7SE isn’t the most realistic DP anyway, so it can hardly compete against a real acoustic piano. Even CA-pianos fall short, let alone a stage piano. Maybe you should have looked at hybrid pianos instead.

I don't understand this either. Why do people looking for an acoustic piano replacement end up with a stage piano, which is everything but? Even the mere P-515 I own shares its action, samples and setup with a Clavinova instead focusing on drawbar organs and XLR outs.

When I switched my primary instrument to the guitar I got around this issue and a bunch of others - including the limited options of sharing my gift with other musicians. And being there now I would never expect an electric guitar sounding and behaving like an acoustic one. I just choose to own both, and carry them around as needed.

So this is how I solved this problem for myself instead of chasing after the next expensive digital substitute for an unobtainable grand. I'm open-minded and do not have to limit myself to keyboard repertoire while complaining about my choices. Maybe one day I get hands on a clavichord.
It is a REAL digital piano though.

Then again, I remember when photographers were saying that digital cameras would never replace film cameras. Reality had other ideas.

Given enough time, the gap between digital and acoustic pianos will likely narrow significantly in my view.
Originally Posted by MusicalDudeist
Given enough time, the gap between digital and acoustic pianos will likely narrow significantly in my view.

I don't see this happening in the next decade or so. Since the first Yamaha AvantGrand series was released, the main improvement has been in the sample quality, resonance modeling, binaural samples etc. Basically, the sound engine has improved a lot. However, the action hasn't improved that much (Yamaha AvantGrand N1X has the same action as N1 - which was released ~10 years ago). But, the action is the strongest part of hybrids. The weakest link is the speaker sound system - and I haven't seen any significant upgrade in that to close the gap with acoustic pianos.

Osho
A DP with just good sound will always be more expensive than an acoustic.
And brands selling acoustics won't do that.
I tried the U1 and U3 acoustics (Pianoteq and actual) and I liked neither. Preferred the B3 series. If you tweak up the kawai CA58 it'll pass muster imo and get the job done. Why is everyone so fussy? Man up, guys!
Originally Posted by peterws
I tried the U1 and U3 acoustics (Pianoteq and actual) and I liked neither. Preferred the B3 series. If you tweak up the kawai CA58 it'll pass muster imo and get the job done. Why is everyone so fussy? Man up, guys!


What about the girls in the room................................?
Originally Posted by EPW
Originally Posted by peterws
I tried the U1 and U3 acoustics (Pianoteq and actual) and I liked neither. Preferred the B3 series. If you tweak up the kawai CA58 it'll pass muster imo and get the job done. Why is everyone so fussy? Man up, guys!


What about the girls in the room................................?



Both the terms "man" and "guy" are gender non-specific now. Didn't you know? smile
Originally Posted by Osho
Originally Posted by MusicalDudeist
Given enough time, the gap between digital and acoustic pianos will likely narrow significantly in my view.

I don't see this happening in the next decade or so. ...
I don't see this happening ever. No matter how advanced it is, no matter how many geegaws it has, it will always be a simulation... which is fine. It's still good for learning and playing the literature. The convenience factor is enough for me.
Originally Posted by peterws
I tried the U1 and U3 acoustics (Pianoteq and actual) and I liked neither. Preferred the B3 series. If you tweak up the kawai CA58 it'll pass muster imo and get the job done. Why is everyone so fussy? Man up, guys!

The current B3 series is just the previous generation U1 model.
ok, I can't quote everybody but I can do some considerations about the posts I read.

first thing first, I tried several Kawai pianos (CA67, CA58, CN37, ES8) and I can state that the piano sound is exactly the same as the MP7SE, though it is a stage piano.
If you play all of them with the same headphones the sound is just the same.
What can create the illusion of a better sound is the speaker system on each one of them, not the sound engine.
The speaker system make one heck of a difference as well as the headphones quality: I tried 5 different headphone with my piano and received 5 totally different response in term of sound quality: one of them headphones were very cheap and the result was so poor I almost threw my piano in the trash, then I tried several and finally, with a pretty decent JVC, things changed radically, I mean day and night difference.

second, the U1 and U3 are two incredibly beautiful upright pianos, but you have to find the right ones.
A lot of them have been poorly refurbished by not very skilled/competent/interested people, also non original parts were often used so that those pianos no longer match Yamaha's standards (they aren't Yamaha pianos anymore), thus they may sound awful.
Many of those pianos had their hammers filed in the refurbishing. That is a very sensitive process that, if done wrong, may cause a wrong shape and/or an excessive hardening of the hammers resulting in a piano with a very metallic sound. A wrong shape can also cause the hammers not to hit the strings properly or to hit them only partially (let's say two strings instead of three, in the three strings section of the harp).
On top of that, every piano, and I mean ALL of them, even a 80.000$ Bosendorfer, need to be properly adjusted, tuned and voiced by a skilled technician in order to play up to their potential.
So, saying "I didn't like them" doesn't mean anything, since there are several issues possible.
I had three of them, one U3H, a U1H and U1M, which I picked very carefully, had them trimmed by a highly skilled technician and the sound they had was just dreaming beautiful.

Now, back to the topic, when comparing a DP to an acoustic, it is fundamental to consider a number of components which are NOT the sound "itself".
Strictly speaking, I'm not "complaining" much about the sound quality of my DP, but the fact of missing all those features proper on an acoustic instrument. I can quote one of the posts in here, though referred to other instruments it still matches pretty well what I mean to say
Originally Posted by rmns2bseen
You're more intimately involved with tone production, and therefore more intimately involved in the music itself

I couldn't agree more with this statement.
"producing a sound" with an acoustic piano (or generally an acoustic instrument) is something that goes beyond the simple act of pressing a key on a keyboard. It involves a whole amount of "shades of feelings" which no electronic imitation could ever give.
The way the hammer strikes the strings, the string vibrations, the soundboard response, the harmonics, the infinite variations that can be given on terms of dynamics sensitivity, just to mention some...

I'm going to make a parallelism that somebody may consider a bit "graphic" but I believe it suits this case quite a bit so I hope I can be forgiven for doing so:

could the most absolutely beautiful, perfect and impeccable silicon dolls ever replace a real woman?
Well that's what happens comparing DP to an acoustic piano as well.
The problem with an acoustic piano is its maintenance and acceptable functionality lifecycle, and for this reason, I always prefer digital pianos when I arrange songs.

- No mechanical sounds.
- No detuning and thus no maintenance is necessary.
- MIDI output to PC and VST if necessary.
- I can utilize headphones.
- No mic setup and recording etc involved.
- ...

When things get more stable in my life, I will buy a nice NV series.

I hope by that time, Kawai will add an audio interface to its DPs. The main reason is, Kawai has one of the best sounding emulations, so sometimes, it's as good as a VST and I prefer to directly record it on my PC.
Originally Posted by Abdol
I always prefer digital pianos when I arrange songs.

So, maybe it all depends on the style of music and whether you compose, arrange, perform? Bach used to say to his pupils whoever can't compose music in his head better seeks another job. For arranging and composing you may not need an instrument at all.
They have different pros and cons. But its difficult to see that digital will replace acoustic, the sound produced by acoustic means has something special about it, digital is just an emulation. Same way string instrument havent been replaced by electric ones, it became a different niche instead.
This all hinges on what you define as a "real piano". 300 years ago, people hearing a modern piano would probably having a hard time accepting it as the same as a pianoforte of the time. 300 years from now, I suspect what a "real piano" is will be quite different than how you define it now.

In my opinion, a digital piano is different than an acoustic piano, but that doesn't make it any less "real" and I find a good digital piano equally as enjoyable as a good, well tuned acoustic (and better than a bad acoustic!). But, as I say, that's just an opinion and I can understand your position as well.
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by Abdol
I always prefer digital pianos when I arrange songs.

So, maybe it all depends on the style of music and whether you compose, arrange, perform? Bach used to say to his pupils whoever can't compose music in his head better seeks another job. For arranging and composing you may not need an instrument at all.


I'm not talking about a piano recital. Even if I compose a song, I still prefer a DP! The final performance, sure it's nice to play it on an acoustic.

Arranging is about having the knowledge of every instrument you pick. It's about pairing and matching instruments, how each instrument can be played, the combination, ensemble, etc.

Bach was truly a jerk and he never had a chance to play a Digital Piano. Allah blesses him.
Originally Posted by Chrispy
This all hinges on what you define as a "real piano". 300 years ago, people hearing a modern piano would probably having a hard time accepting it as the same as a pianoforte of the time. 300 years from now, I suspect what a "real piano" is will be quite different than how you define it now.

In my opinion, a digital piano is different than an acoustic piano, but that doesn't make it any less "real" and I find a good digital piano equally as enjoyable as a good, well tuned acoustic (and better than a bad acoustic!). But, as I say, that's just an opinion and I can understand your position as well.


Agreed. The problem is it is difficult to keep a piano well-tuned.

It's a joy if someone else takes the responsibility of tuning it and do the recording and post-recording stuff smile
I don't think the sound of an acoustic piano will change in 300 years. In the same way I don't think an acoustic classic guitar or violin sound will be different. They are mature instruments, so the manufacturers are not interested in changing their typical sound timbre they worked so hard to find and refine. In the past centuries it was different, because the piano was a completely new and revolutionary keyboard instrument, evolution of the harpsichord.
So, in 300 years we could have a completely new keyboard instrument, successor of the piano, but it would not be a "piano" anymore. The piano is what we have now in the same way an harpsichord was and "is" an harpsichord and not a piano.
But, personally, I think it's very unlikely there will be an "acoustic successor/evolution" of the grand piano (I mean, a mechanical instrument, not digital) as the piano was for the harpsichord. Maybe in 300 years all the acoustic instruments will disappear, replaced by digital things.
i see DP as a cheaper alternative, a simulation, to have at home or with reduced space. I picked a DP that tries to sound like a $250.000 piano rather than a cheap sounding upright piano that needed maintenance.
Originally Posted by GNkyrios
i see DP as a cheaper alternative, a simulation, to have at home or with reduced space. I picked a DP that tries to sound like a $250.000 piano rather than a cheap sounding upright piano that needed maintenance.


You look around, you'll find a perfectly serviceable pre-loved piano for $250; might even get a grand for little more than that.
Sand it down, tweak it a bit, and . . .happy days!
Originally Posted by Ragtime2k

I tried LOTS of them, all brands and price ranges: it'll NEVER be the real thing, both under your hands and in your ears, your brain, your heart, your creativity...


Actions are a nearly-solved problem. Today's digital actions are quite nice, and those who still don't tolerate them have hybrid digitals as a no-compromise option. Output is really where it's lacking, and no foreseeable way to bridge the gap. No matter how many, how big, or what type of speakers you use, I've never sat down at a digital and thought "Wow, it feels/sounds like I'm playing a a real acoustic piano." I just don't think the air moves the same way.
A bit of a different angle.....

My RD-2000 is better than an acoustic... and I am not talking about the electronic stuff.

Feel: it feels better than an acoustic
Sound: It sounds better than an acoustic

Wha?!?!?

Yea, grind on this factoid (hey I made it up)... 95% of all the acoustic pianos ever made suck. They just suck. And... they are almost never in good tune. Remember those awful "mall pianos"? I played a Schroeder growing up... it sucked. I never knew it did. I never played on a good one for any length of time. My teacher, The Nun, had a Steinway.. small grand... but I was just a kid. I didn't really understand until I went to college. Even today, I don't have much opportunity to play a really good acoustic. So.... for me....

My RD-2000 sounds and plays better than 99% of my total playing time on acoustics.

Think of it this way: Modern digital pianos really raised the bar and just turned 95% of acoustic pianos into junk.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Wow, that's a strange viewpoint. Yes, an acoustic piano can go out of tune. And a neglected piano (tuned or not tuned) can be crappy.

But any decent acoustic piano beats any digital ... by a country mile. There's so much missing from the digital.

I don't know much about the RD-2000 ... but until I tried a Novus with its grand action, I never found a digital piano that felt anywhere near as good as a grand. Not even close.

I won't quibble with your your experiences or opinions ... but this all seems quite strange.
Originally Posted by magicpiano
Maybe in 300 years all the acoustic instruments will disappear, replaced by digital things.
I doubt it. Nothing digital will ever take the place of, for example, drawing a real bow across real strings and producing this powerful singing tone with nothing but that bow, strings and a wooden box. And feeling that music vibrate through you.
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
A bit of a different angle.....

My RD-2000 is better than an acoustic... and I am not talking about the electronic stuff.

Feel: it feels better than an acoustic
Sound: It sounds better than an acoustic

Wha?!?!?

Yea, grind on this factoid (hey I made it up)... 95% of all the acoustic pianos ever made suck. They just suck. And... they are almost never in good tune. Remember those awful "mall pianos"? I played a Schroeder growing up... it sucked. I never knew it did. I never played on a good one for any length of time. My teacher, The Nun, had a Steinway.. small grand... but I was just a kid. I didn't really understand until I went to college. Even today, I don't have much opportunity to play a really good acoustic. So.... for me....

My RD-2000 sounds and plays better than 99% of my total playing time on acoustics.

Think of it this way: Modern digital pianos really raised the bar and just turned 95% of acoustic pianos into junk.

Peace
Bruce in Philly

There are times I visit this sub-forum just to get a good laugh from one of the feistier peasants. You guys never disappoint! 😆

I kid! I kid!
Originally Posted by MusicalDudeist
Then again, I remember when photographers were saying that digital cameras would never replace film cameras. Reality had other ideas.
I would say though that when it comes to photography at an artistic level, digital still can't beat a roll of film and a darkroom. Digital is great and convenient for getting pics of the kids at Disney World etc.
I'm sceptical, too. But ... never say never! You just don't know what lies ahead.
Originally Posted by rmns2bseen
Originally Posted by magicpiano
Maybe in 300 years all the acoustic instruments will disappear, replaced by digital things.
I doubt it. Nothing digital will ever take the place of, for example, drawing a real bow across real strings and producing this powerful singing tone with nothing but that bow, strings and a wooden box. And feeling that music vibrate through you.
Would anyone in the 18th century have predicted flight, space travel, telecommuting, genetic engineering ... or anything else that has been discovered in the last 300 years?
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Would anyone in the 18th century have predicted flight, space travel, telecommuting, genetic engineering ... or anything else that has been discovered in the last 300 years?
No, but some things though just can't be improved upon that much. Getting from point A to point B, yeah. Time required for communication, ditto. Actually making music, I don't think so. It'd be like digitally-enhanced shower-singing.
They haven’t even recreated the real keyboard action in any other way than using an entire real grand piano action. And this is easier than recreating the sound. So, no big hopes of anything improving soon. Digital pianos are good. But no more than that.
The key item was "300 years". Things thought impossible will exist. Things not even dreamed of will exist.

But ... I can't wait for 300 years. I'll just go buy a Novus and be done with it. It'll be plenty good enough.
It's always like this. People now can't imagine what things will be in the future. People now have attachments to what they know and don't want to give them up. That's cool. smile
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
A bit of a different angle.....

My RD-2000 is better than an acoustic... and I am not talking about the electronic stuff.

Feel: it feels better than an acoustic
Sound: It sounds better than an acoustic

Wha?!?!?

Yea, grind on this factoid (hey I made it up)... 95% of all the acoustic pianos ever made suck. They just suck. And... they are almost never in good tune. Remember those awful "mall pianos"? I played a Schroeder growing up... it sucked. I never knew it did. I never played on a good one for any length of time. My teacher, The Nun, had a Steinway.. small grand... but I was just a kid. I didn't really understand until I went to college. Even today, I don't have much opportunity to play a really good acoustic. So.... for me....

My RD-2000 sounds and plays better than 99% of my total playing time on acoustics.

Think of it this way: Modern digital pianos really raised the bar and just turned 95% of acoustic pianos into junk.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


Your experience and opinions are what they are, but I humbly disagree. If any grand acoustic piano is in reasonable tune and has been decently maintained, it sound will run circles around even the top-end hybrid digital pianos.

Osho
Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by Ragtime2k

I tried LOTS of them, all brands and price ranges: it'll NEVER be the real thing, both under your hands and in your ears, your brain, your heart, your creativity...


Actions are a nearly-solved problem. Today's digital actions are quite nice, and those who still don't tolerate them have hybrid digitals as a no-compromise option. Output is really where it's lacking, and no foreseeable way to bridge the gap. No matter how many, how big, or what type of speakers you use, I've never sat down at a digital and thought "Wow, it feels/sounds like I'm playing a a real acoustic piano." I just don't think the air moves the same way.


+1. Sound system is where the DPs truly lack.

Osho
Originally Posted by rmns2bseen
Originally Posted by MusicalDudeist
Then again, I remember when photographers were saying that digital cameras would never replace film cameras. Reality had other ideas.
I would say though that when it comes to photography at an artistic level, digital still can't beat a roll of film and a darkroom. Digital is great and convenient for getting pics of the kids at Disney World etc.


I would disagree, but I've shot better digital cameras than one you would see of "getting pics of kids at Disney World". But hey, to each his own viewpoint.
Originally Posted by MusicalDudeist
It's always like this. People now can't imagine what things will be in the future. People now have attachments to what they know and don't want to give them up. That's cool.
Each and every one of us is "clinging" to it. We're not talking about a whole new instrument with its own techniques and tonal characteristics. Most if not all of the debates and discussions here are how close this or that DP comes to being like "the real thing"...that is, the low tech hammers on strings. That's the standard. The improvements on the acoustic are really marginal: more portable, able to use headphones etc.
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
A bit of a different angle.....

My RD-2000 is better than an acoustic... and I am not talking about the electronic stuff.

Feel: it feels better than an acoustic
Sound: It sounds better than an acoustic

[...]

IMHO the current Roland V-Piano technology used in the RD-2000 (and I think in the top-models of the cabinet series too) is still not enough to get a good piano sound. To me, the previous SuperNatural technology (much more similar to traditional sample-based engines of Kawai, Casio and Yamaha) gives much more realistic results. You can hear this in the following video where the user compares the new modeled piano sound timbre with an old piano patch of the RD-700GX (a Roland DP from 2008). I think the old piano patch sounds better. More warm, more natural, more detailed, less boomy.


Starting from:
0:44, 2:52, 3:17 - new modeled piano patch
1:57, 3:03, 3:25 - old sampled piano patch

But I respect and praise Roland for taking the risk of researching and developing a new piano modeling technology (and allow the user to choose the old piano engine too, if he/she doesn't like the new) where most of the other manufacturers still are in the "short attack samples + boring looped parts" world, when with the current technology (and for "current" I mean with standard technology from 5-6 years ago) we could easily have so much more.

There is so much room to improve.
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly

My RD-2000 sounds and plays better than 99% of my total playing time on acoustics.

Well, the RD-2000 doesn't play and sound like an acoustic piano at all. It doesn't play like one because of its digital action. And it doesn't sound like one, because it sounds like a Roland SuperNatural Modeling Piano and this is how Roland wants it to sound like.

I think your standard for "acoustic piano" simply doesn't exist in reality as an acoustic grand piano, regardless of how well built and maintained it is. Just like a $100,000 concert guitar still will never play and sound like a Fender Stratocaster.

So when we use comparative terms like "better" or "worse", we measure towards a certain goal. For a traditional digital piano this goal is replicating the acoustic piano experience. Stage pianos like the RD-2000 are not made with that goal.
Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly

My RD-2000 sounds and plays better than 99% of my total playing time on acoustics.

Well, the RD-2000 doesn't play and sound like an acoustic piano at all. It doesn't play like one because of its digital action. And it doesn't sound like one, because it sounds like a Roland SuperNatural Modeling Piano and this is how Roland wants it to sound like.

I think your standard for "acoustic piano" simply doesn't exist in reality as an acoustic grand piano, regardless of how well built and maintained it is. Just like a $100,000 concert guitar still will never play and sound like a Fender Stratocaster.

So when we use comparative terms like "better" or "worse", we measure towards a certain goal. For a traditional digital piano this goal is replicating the acoustic piano experience. Stage pianos like the RD-2000 are not made with that goal.


A bit wrong here, Joe if I might say.
Time was, I played this LX 17, next to various acoustic uprights and grands. I recoiled in horror. the darned thing sounded like an acoustic, felt like one, played like one.
I was not happy. Wondered what the world was coming to.
You see, I liked my digital and had no wish for it to sound like the real thing . . . .
Originally Posted by peterws

A bit wrong here, Joe if I might say.
Time was, I played this LX 17, next to various acoustic uprights and grands. I recoiled in horror. the darned thing sounded like an acoustic, felt like one, played like one.
I was not happy. Wondered what the world was coming to.
You see, I liked my digital and had no wish for it to sound like the real thing . . . .


And how does you not liking acoustic pianos at all make my statements wrong?
First, this is just some good, thought provoking fun.

1 - RD-2000 - ok, so you don't like it. This is not my point... just insert your favorite digital.
2 - Acoustic piano - The world compares digital to the best the world has made.... few few of us actually have the means to own one so why do we compare to them?
3 - Reality acoustic piano - My honest experiences are that acoustic pianos I play and have had access to suck.
4 - Reality for me..... my RD-2000 is better than almost all of my real life experiences with acoustic pianos.. maybe because I am a hack that my parents (very middle class) or I never purchased a mega-buck acoustic? I just have never had the privileged (spoiled?) to spend quality time with great pianos.

The original poster's comment "never like a real piano".... gosh I hope not. My RD-2000 is better than the crap I have access to.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
How 'bout turning this on its tail ...
"No acoustic piano will ever sound like the RD-2000 !"
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
How 'bout turning this on its tail ...
"No acoustic piano will ever sound like the RD-2000 !"


Ha!... a twist.... gotta think about that one.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
I went to an used piano shop, and the uprights i could afford that were around the price as the CA78 didnt sound nearly as good, the action wasnt very good too, maybe they were kind of old, they even had some Kawai uprights, but when you get an upright it sounds like an upright, and i dont like the sound that much, the ones that impressed me were the Yamaha U1 or U3 i think but they were like $1200 more than a CA78, and a Grand piano? around $6000+. So even if it isnt acoustic, the sound its emulating still pleases me, and i can pretend to be playing a really good acoustic.

Now the action, i think if or when they move to optical sensors on more DPs they can improve the feel, the rubber contact bands kind of limit it i think, they could simulate something like an escapement when they get rid of it, plus add some kind of vibration like Yamaha has done to make the experience more complete.
I don't want this to sound as comparing music styles but when I played mostly jazz and easy-listening music, I much preferred digital pianos due to a very clean sound especially for more complex harmonies and syncopated rhythms with less focus on lyrical sound, legato transitions, fine control over pedaling and resonances, etc. And you can even see that I defended that opinion (digitals are better than acoustics) 5 or more years ago on this forum. However with moving almost entirely to classical music, and especially into romanticism wih slow, lyrical pieces that require every single note to sing and blend properly with the rest, I find it more and more difficult to do so on digital pianos (hybrid pianos included) compared to a real acoustic piano. This is just an opinion and it could be as much biased, as it was on the opposite side years ago smile
So you were once wishy, and you're now washy? smile
Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by peterws

A bit wrong here, Joe if I might say.
Time was, I played this LX 17, next to various acoustic uprights and grands. I recoiled in horror. the darned thing sounded like an acoustic, felt like one, played like one.
I was not happy. Wondered what the world was coming to.
You see, I liked my digital and had no wish for it to sound like the real thing . . . .


And how does you not liking acoustic pianos at all make my statements wrong?


Never said all. You were talkin' about the Rd. Me about the LX.
Film Cameras vs Digital Cameras

Each has its strength. Each has its limitations. Film is still used today. And digital certainly is.

Pianos are no different. I don't expect to pay $5000 for one and it competes nicely with a $40,000 (or far more) acoustic. But, I do like the touch and the sound is more than adequate.

We can find all sorts of parallel arguments in many other products. Arguments that will never be satisfied.

Neither will this one.

+++

I still wish Kawai would add the sound as standard of "Toy Piano". It's wonderful and makes people smile.

And if we compare the high end digitals of today with even fifteen years ago. Is there a comparison? Hardly.
Originally Posted by McBuster
And if we compare the high end digitals of today with even fifteen years ago. Is there a comparison? Hardly.

Not exactly. There are improvements but not really huge. Keyboard actions are basically the same unchanged principle for the last 20 years. Sound improved slightly but not that much. There are a bit more layers, a bit longer samples, some VRM resonances. But it isn't a night and day difference. And people still remember how CLP-990 was actually better in many respects to modern high end digitals.
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by McBuster
And if we compare the high end digitals of today with even fifteen years ago. Is there a comparison? Hardly.

Not exactly. There are improvements but not really huge. Keyboard actions are basically the same unchanged principle for the last 20 years. Sound improved slightly but not that much. There are a bit more layers, a bit longer samples, some VRM resonances. But it isn't a night and day difference. And people still remember how CLP-990 was actually better in many respects to modern high end digitals.


I kinda agree with this.... my RD-600 of 18 years ago was pretty darn good, and when you just compare action and basic piano sound, well my RD-2000 is not what I would have thought 18 years of improvement would have delivered. HOWEVER.... the acoustics I have sum-total played suck, and both those digitals are better.

ANOTHER! way to look at it: My mom's Schroeder upright... when I touch that thing today, I can feel the action swinging the hammer... oooo... I can feel the string being struck.... I can feel the resonances.... my RD-2000 feels no way as real..... but that acoustic piano still sucks and I would be happy to light that match on it.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Originally Posted by Bruce in Philly

1 - RD-2000 - ok, so you don't like it. This is not my point... just insert your favorite digital.
2 - Acoustic piano - The world compares digital to the best the world has made.... few few of us actually have the means to own one so why do we compare to them? ...

Not necessarily. I would take a Yamaha baby grand -- not exactly the "best the world has made" -- over the very best "hybrid" on the market. The only problems are the bulk of the Yamaha acoustic, and the fact that it would probably wake up the neighborhood if I wanted to play at 1 am.
In my opinion, decent digital beats mediocre acoustic (by a country mile), but a decent acoustic will always be better than a digital.

We have to be specific when talking about "acoustic" since the degree of variance in acoustic pianos between them selves is far greater than the difference between an average acoustic and a digital.
Originally Posted by Zaphod
In my opinion, decent digital beats mediocre acoustic (by a country mile), but a decent acoustic will always be better than a digital.

We have to be specific when talking about "acoustic" since the degree of variance in acoustic pianos between them selves is far greater than the difference between an average acoustic and a digital.


A decent DP always beats any acoustic in terms of convenience and utilization no matter how expensive that piano is.

I don't give a care if it's a 100k+ grand. What matters is how I utilize it.

Acoustic is more of a luxury/profession thing. If you're a pianist you need an acoustic (in addition to DP).


Playing my DP it has moments where I think it sounds really good.

When I hit a series of notes right on my grand it reverbs the room, sends shivers down my spine and makes me appreciated the instrument.

Something a digital can not duplicate.
Originally Posted by Abdol
Originally Posted by Zaphod
In my opinion, decent digital beats mediocre acoustic (by a country mile), but a decent acoustic will always be better than a digital.

We have to be specific when talking about "acoustic" since the degree of variance in acoustic pianos between them selves is far greater than the difference between an average acoustic and a digital.


A decent DP always beats any acoustic in terms of convenience and utilization no matter how expensive that piano is.

I don't give a care if it's a 100k+ grand. What matters is how I utilize it.

Acoustic is more of a luxury/profession thing. If you're a pianist you need an acoustic (in addition to DP).

Is there really any need for absolute statements like this? It depends on the person. For somebody who wants none of the features of a digital and just wants to play an acoustic piano in a singular location in their own home, an acoustic piano might be a more convenient and offer better utility.
Originally Posted by Learux


Playing my DP it has moments where I think it sounds really good.

When I hit a series of notes right on my grand it reverbs the room, sends shivers down my spine and makes me appreciated the instrument.

Something a digital can not duplicate.


Yes, reverberations. Something that could be a problem on digitals. A good point.

A personal anecdote - I practice mainly on a VPC1 with pianoteq. I also have an upright (quite a decent one) and I always find that quite weird to play after the VPC1. However, I went for a lesson recently (first one) and my teacher has a Steinway grand. Felt extremely similar to the VPC in terms of action. I played for the first time on that Steinway a lot better than I can play my upright acoustic piano.

My teacher had no problem with me practicing on a VPC1, I also found that I could achieve everything I wanted, albeit fairly limited, on the Steinway, namely the stuff I'd been practicing at home. I was pleasantly surprised.

There are differences, the feel of the pedal, and also the way an acoustic will shout in your face if you're not careful. But nothing I couldn't get used to in twenty minutes. Therefore I conclude that practising on a VPC or decent action with software that at least responds more or less the way you want it to, is a perfectly viable way of operating, certainly at my level, which is about intermediate.

It seems to me that the synthesis level of the digitals is acceptable in modern times. Maybe not so much in the past.

The other advantage of digitals is a spin-off of the headphones point. It allows people to do more practice, and possibly might help keep the standard up. Someone with a one bedroom apartment can now actually do some proper piano work at 4 o clock in the morning if they so desire (keyboard thump aside). This will certainly not harm the general standard on the piano scene - quite the opposite. Helps keep it alive.

So perhaps it's essential that digitals are not, and never will be, real (acoustic) pianos?
One thing that comes through in discussion is that an acoustic is very much an individual - one is not like the other.

So just picking acoustic is an undertaking.

My reference as guitar as main instrument is that acoustics really, really, are different. I travelled around 3 different shops, 100 km in different directions, and played everything they had in stock. I recorded as well, took at preamp and mikes I use - to compare in computer later to help memorize a bit to help in deciding.

Same brand, same model - but most leave you indifferent.
Electric guitars are different individuals too, but more subtle I would say and are never compared to an acoustic as they sound - they are very different instruments.

So just saying acoustic is better is not the full story. In general they fill a room with sound where you sit in a way that speakers have a hard time doing - but putting that kind of money on an instrument also means other things matter too.
- do I like this very instrument or not?
- how will this sound at home?

And you are stuck with the room you are at with an acoustic. Digital can provide different reverbs for ambience that you prefer - just for playing. Upfront or in a hall.

Those that have a situation and a room that serves well for a grand piano - those are to be envied.

There are ads all over that people are giving away acoustic pianos - after the x:ed move they are sick of it, Just come and get it.....I don't want to move this beast again....and contract an army to carry it.....
Real piano, not a real piano... it's good enough for Andrew Lloyd Webber.

[img]https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.ne...d2f208f4d9a1b4bef4d4ec7f&oe=5E9A985C[/img]
Originally Posted by Nip
One thing that comes through in discussion is that an acoustic is very much an individual - one is not like the other.

So just picking acoustic is an undertaking.

+1.

It is crazy how different acoustics get and how the room factors in. There was a book by someone who bought their dream acoustic grand piano and hated it once it was in their home. Sometimes. one may spend tens of thousands of dollars and 'upgrade' an acoustic piano and may end up liking it less than the one they had before.

Osho
I was in a Piano Store a couple of years ago and a customer was trying out upper range grand pianos. Talking all in the upper range in $$$ and the gentleman could play very well. Each piano had a character of its own and he was able to bring it out of the pianos. He was having a hard time trying to decide. If you think picking a Digital Piano is hard, LOL. I don't know what he decided on or at all as I had a meeting to go to and was just killing some time.

I know the digital I choose will not be like an acoustic piano and I'm totally fine with that as most of the time I will play with headphones smile
I prefer the connection between musician and analogue instruments, even poorly maintained, mediocre instruments.

But still appreciate the benefits powerful, inexpensive computers bring to music. The weakest link today, IMHO, is loudspeaker technology; as drivers evolve, so will other challenges.
Yes - the weakest link is the loudspeaker. But I would take most digital pianos over a 19th century square grand or even a replica of Mozart's piano with its wood frame. My point - even the acoustic piano has had a trajectory and it may not yet be completed.

Most pianos are used for music. Music can easily be made on most digital pianos. But heck - if you are staying in all day like me - posts are needed and appreciated!
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