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#1433807 05/10/10 06:09 PM
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Right now I have a terrible upright piano. Im trying to buy a new one, but I cant spend to much. I've heard mixed things about the new Yamaha AvantGrand, and i cant decide whether to get a regular acoustic piano or this. Any advice?

foldsfan #1433815 05/10/10 06:16 PM
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About what is your budget?("can't spend too much" is a little too vague for people to make suggestions)

Have you tried the AvantGrand and some acoustic pianos?

Have you read the Piano Buyer?

Also, you can chack out the digital piano forum for many threads about the AvantGrand.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 05/10/10 06:17 PM.
foldsfan #1433819 05/10/10 06:20 PM
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The AvantGrand is nice, but the N2 won't be as cheap as a used acoustic upright. It probably won't be cheaper than a new acoustic upright, either. Don't know what your budget is, but if you say you can't spend too much, then my guess is you'll probably balk at the N2's $15K retail list price. But it doesn't cost anything to go check it out if you want. It's better to form your own opinion rather than rely on people's inputs here, because the inputs will vary a lot depending who you talk to.

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The most I can spend is $11K, but I got an offer for the AvantGrand N2 for $10K.

foldsfan #1433868 05/10/10 07:12 PM
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foldsfan, what is your particular attraction to the AvantGrand? Are you attracted to the technology? the features?

The N2 is a great digital piano, but it is not an acoustic. For similar money, you could get a new Yamaha U1 upright with silent play option. That would give you a real acoustic with added capabilities/connectivity.

Just a thought. $11k will buy you an outstanding upright, a pretty good grand, or the latest technology. Wasn't a 50" plasma TV like $10k about 4 years ago?


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Thanks for the comment. I've only played the AvantGrand once very quickly, but was amazed at what it could do. It is pretty amazing.

But its not comparable to playing a great acoustic piano. I've looked into the Yamaha U1 as well as the Yamaha U3. Both great uprights. I've also looked into the Yamaha GB1. Im leaning towards the GB1 becuase a dealer near me is giving me a great price.

foldsfan #1433932 05/10/10 08:45 PM
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A high end DP can sound pretty good, but can probably not compete with a good acoustic in the sound department because after all, the acoustic produces the authentic sound the DP can only strive for. So if sound is everything for you, then go for an acoustic. But since you started this thread, maybe you're looking to understand better why you may want an N2 or not want an N2 over an acoustic.

Many people will tell you that technology (hence the AvantGrand or any DP for that matter) is a bad thing because technology products are always overpriced and don't hold value. I would argue that technology is a good thing because without technology, you can never get to the level of sophistication in products and the choices that you have today. If you don't like to be in the forefront of technology so you don't have to pay a premium, then wait until it's cheaper to buy. But if you're tired of waiting and are ready to get rid of your current terrible upright piano for something better like you said you are, then your decision with respect to the N2 and other acoustic pianos is about today's technology vs acoustic. It's not about today's technology vs tomorrow's technology. Don't let people confuse you by comparing apples to oranges here. And don't forget that you're reaping the benefits of today's technology here, to give you more choices. Technology is not a plague you should avoid.

As for the benefits of the N2, first off, it has an authentic grand action in the form of an upright piano. You will not be able to get a grand action in a normal acoustic upright (except for a very few select high end uprights with escapement mechanism). If you buy something like a Yamaha U1 or U3, it's still not a grand action. You have to buy a grand like the GB1 to get a grand action. So in the keyboard action department, the N2 is just as competitive as any acoustic, if not more competitive than most acoustic uprights thanks to its grand action.

In the sound department, it'll never be as authentic as an acoustic, but that's not to say that its sound is shabby at all. It has a very high end sound system and its sampled sound is that of a concert grand (CFIIIS). It may not be 100% as good as an great acoustic piano, but it's up there in the 80-90% quality range of that of a great acoustic easily. And it probably sounds better than many so-so average or below average acoustic pianos.

So the bottom line question you'd want to ask yourself is whether the 10-20% less in sound quality is worth the other trade-offs that a digital has to offer? Like volume control, always in tune, temperament change at a touch of a button, no 2-times-a-year tuning, no humidity control, no voicing, more built-in sounds, USB, MIDI, line-in, line-out connections, lighter weight, etc.

Only you can decide what's more important for you. But aren't you glad that at least you have a choice, thanks to technology?

foldsfan #1433947 05/10/10 09:08 PM
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No offense to your local dealer, but if you weren't aware already, many dealers are giving great prices. Try expanding your search and focusing on playing the pianos, getting what you like. Trying other good pianos will help you understand if you really prefer Yamaha's instruments. Don't worry, you'll be able to get a great price.


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Originally Posted by Volusiano
It may not be 100% as good as an great acoustic piano, but it's up there in the 80-90% quality range of that of a great acoustic easily.
I think this statement is up for debate and depends entirely on the player's gut reaction.

I spent about 30 minutes with an N2 (and about 10 with an N3 because so many people were curious). I thought it was exceedingly cool, but it didn't make me want to get rid of my upright. I also spent 30 minutes with Roland's V-piano, also exceedingly cool (with different talents), but it didn't change my mind, either.

I believe that high end digital pianos are all about the application of need - not acoustic replacements, not yet. I'm very supportive of choosing the benefits of digitals over mediocre pianos, but there are still surprisingly good uprights for $4k-$6k. Mid-level digitals win a lot of battles over budget, but the high-end is like all high-end products from other industries including high-end pianos, a luxury or a tool of the (recording) trade.


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Do you like always coming home to an in-tune piano? Do you like the fact that you can regulate the action of the N2 if you so desire? Does it beat out an upright...action wise, yes...sound wise, probably not, except for the concert grand bass coming through the high-end sound system. Do you play classical music? Being able to utilize the classic harpsichord or organ sounds (does it have organ?) only expands your repertoire of music you can play authentically. Being able to practice quietly without disturbing others is a big plus, too (i.e. via headphones). You can even use it as a sound system by plugging in your iPod via the audio inputs. You can record your performances and save them onto USB, as well.


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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
Originally Posted by Volusiano
It may not be 100% as good as an great acoustic piano, but it's up there in the 80-90% quality range of that of a great acoustic easily.
I think this statement is up for debate and depends entirely on the player's gut reaction.

Fair enough. I agree that it's a very personal thing.

Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
I spent about 30 minutes with an N2 (and about 10 with an N3 because so many people were curious). I thought it was exceedingly cool, but it didn't make me want to get rid of my upright. I also spent 30 minutes with Roland's V-piano, also exceedingly cool (with different talents), but it didn't change my mind, either.

I can understand this, too. If I already have a nice sounding acoustic and the setup is already working out for me, I wouldn't go out and replace my acoustic with an AvantGrand either. The main reason for selecting a digital is because of their conveniences and practicalities. An acoustic owner who doesn't have a need for these conveniences has no reason to switch. An acoustic owner who has a need for these conveniences will probably buy a digital to supplement his acoustic, but will most likely keep his acoustic as well to have the best of both worlds.

Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
I believe that high end digital pianos are all about the application of need - not acoustic replacements, not yet. I'm very supportive of choosing the benefits of digitals over mediocre pianos, but there are still surprisingly good uprights for $4k-$6k. Mid-level digitals win a lot of battles over budget, but the high-end is like all high-end products from other industries including high-end pianos, a luxury or a tool of the (recording) trade.

I think high end digital fills a niche market, for those who don't have any piano yet (or very crappy ones), and are looking for a nicer piano but also want the conveniences of a digital. So in that sense I agree that a high end DP is not intended as a replacement for an acoustic, but rather as a viable alternative to an acoustic where the buyer is willing to compromise a little bit on the sound in order to get the other trade-offs he wants.

So for the purists, the acoustic market will always be there to serve them. For non-purists who are driven by low price and big values, the mid-end and low-end DP market will be there to serve them. For the semi-purists who are willing to compromise a little bit, but not a lot, the high-end DP market is now available to serve them.


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