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I for one don't want to buy $10,000 for a digital hybrid and have to use VSTi's.


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
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Originally Posted by Beowulf
Originally Posted by Pete14
The problem with VSTs is that they’ll never sound as good through on-board speakers because Yamaha and Kawai have partnered in a major conspiracy that employs advanced algorithms that can detect any incoming VST signal and color it with all sorts of nasty!
I'm fine with how VSTs sound through the on-board speakers of the N1X but the problem is how they feel through the keys. You don't sense the 'impact' of the hammers striking as much as the internal voices do, and that makes you feel more disconnected with the instrument.

That sounds like a latency issue to me. I had it when I tried PianoTeq with my personal laptop. I later tried my employer-provided laptop, which is a high end model and it makes a huge difference. This problem is solved with that hardware.

To check if you are suffering from this problem or instead is something else, keep local control on for the following test. You want local control off when playing, for various other reasons, but keep it on for this test. Play some notes which will sound both with the internal sound and with the VST. I'll bet they will not sound at the same time, but the VST will be a few ms later. On paper I though that 50ms would have been fine, instead in practice I found that I can't stand more than 10ms latency, and only if it's 5ms or less it feels natural (with that "impact" sense you mention).

That severely limits what kind of computer I can use.... to only that one among the many I have laying around at home... and I don't like the hassle of having to move, reboot, connect, start the app on that laptop... each time I want to play piano -- for what to me sounds like a marginal improvement in sound! So I keep using the internal voices, but I digress...

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Me neither. But if the internal sound isn't good enough ... a VST is faster, cheaper, and easier than the proposed board swap "upgrade", eh?
Originally Posted by EPW
I for one don't want to buy $10,000 for a digital hybrid and have to use VSTi's.

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Originally Posted by Del Vento
That sounds like a latency issue to me. I had it when I tried PianoTeq with my personal laptop. I later tried my employer-provided laptop, which is a high end model and it makes a huge difference. This problem is solved with that hardware.

To check if you are suffering from this problem or instead is something else, keep local control on for the following test. You want local control off when playing, for various other reasons, but keep it on for this test. Play some notes which will sound both with the internal sound and with the VST. I'll bet they will not sound at the same time, but the VST will be a few ms later. On paper I though that 50ms would have been fine, instead in practice I found that I can't stand more than 10ms latency, and only if it's 5ms or less it feels natural (with that "impact" sense you mention).

That severely limits what kind of computer I can use.... to only that one among the many I have laying around at home... and I don't like the hassle of having to move, reboot, connect, start the app on that laptop... each time I want to play piano -- for what to me sounds like a marginal improvement in sound! So I keep using the internal voices, but I digress...
I actually did what you stated and there's certainly no latency issue. Or at least, not to the point where it bothers me. I almost cannot tell that the sound from the VST is coming out any later than the internal sound.

What I am saying is that the internal voices has this uniformity with the keyboard of the N1X. I have no idea of the technical aspects of it, but this may be a feature that cannot be replaced by any VST.


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Originally Posted by Beowulf
What I am saying is that the internal voices has this uniformity with the keyboard of the N1X. I have no idea of the technical aspects of it, but this may be a feature that cannot be replaced by any VST.
It would be nice to figure out what that is.

You can record both the internal and VI sounds simultaneously and see any latency and jitter.

Maybe the internal engine is running higher velocities and uses more factors to reproduce sounds. This is speculation but I don't mean to trigger anyone.

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My wish list for NV10:

1) 15 years later I can still buy replacement parts or the entire keyboard deck and get a tech to replace it. Would be nice to reward my piano with a recon job one in a while.
2) 15 years later any electronics or speakers or any other parts like the damper pedals that fail can be replaced with a fresh set by a tech.

And all this hopefully won't kill me. That would be nice. If a customer has such an assurance of the longevity of a product, that would be so reassuring. It might even involve flying the tech on a budget airline to the customer to fix the piano.

Unless by then, and certainly this is even better, buying NV40 is way more rewarding than paying 25% of the price of NV40 to recon an NV10. But some people wouldn't mind paying this 25% recon fee, which might come up to somewhere like US$4000 to recon a perfectly decent product just like how people pay to recon used acoustics.

And maybe my recon comes with NeoTex !

Having tinkered with speakers in the past, I don't imagine it is easy even to replace the 7 standard speakers with Onkyo equivalents because the output spectrum will be different from the original, unless Kawai assessed it first in their lab to show that it's either very similar or even better, which means my speaker recon can even be Onkyo.

Longevity was my biggest fear when committing in a pricey DP. I won't have such a fear at the price range of a CA79.

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Originally Posted by Seif Maher
I think we are discussing 3 different points:

1) Is it technically possible to upgrade the electronics.
- I totally agree with Gombessa on this. If the first design was made with upgradability in mind, it would be totally possible, and if well implemented it would be also very easy.
- Without having upgradability in mind, I believe it is still possible, if the new mother board would have a similar size and uses the same ports and communication protocol with the other components such as sensors and the touch screen.
- The concept is not new. It is implemented with so many products such as AVRs. You have a decent AVR that has outdated HDMI ports, you replace HDMI module with the new one, and you keep your decent and expensive amplifier. As I am hoping you would keep your action.

- I hear your concerns about the availability and the cost of qualified technicians to do this.
- I think the same technician who would come and fix the piano if, God forbids, something goes wrong with it’s digital components, will be able to make the replacement. If it is not easy to find this technician, that a another problem.
- Of course there will be a cost for parts and labor, and also for the R&D behind the new features of the new system. I don’t expect it to be free or cheap.

2) Is it needed? Is it beneficial to customers? Would we be happy with it?
- I can see that some of us look at it as a nice to have feature.
- Some of us are less concerned about features and technology, and they are primarily focused on the art of playing piano.

3) Will Kawai or Yamaha do it?
I think it depends mainly on:
a) How it will impact sales.
b) The cost of developing such a feature properly so that it works well. (The design changes that need to happen).

Assuming there are more people who think of this as a nice to have feature:
- Such a feature “may” increase the sales of the all Novus models, because people will feel confident buying it being future proof.
- It may decrease future sales of NV11, as NV10 owners would have less motive to buy the NV11.
- It may possibly cannibalize the sales of acoustic grands, if more people are steered towards hybrids.

I cannot answer these questions. Industry experts with help of focus groups and market surveys can answer this.

If Yamaha made this option available, would Marchelune or Kailord who are considering the NV10 go with Yamaha for this feature?

Yamaha has the audio interface and the binaural headphone mode, and they are behind on the touch interface and instrument sounds. So both companies have an area of development when it comes to electronics.

Current difference btw Kawai and Yamaha is the damper pedal which interestingly I find Kawai doesn't maximise it's marketing about it. Assuming Yamaha has upgradability but it's not possible to upgrade the pedal effect, kawai still wins in the learner market (my child) where the pedal is of some importance, and in the acoustic-wannabe market (myself). And I my above post about longevity, all I wish for Christmas is just some longevity in this product which I expect would be a good substitute for acoustic, to be able to last another lap beyond 10 or 15 years.

This is because NV10 has managed to narrow most of the gaps to be like acoustic, except for the sound output, which is a holy grail for all brands. And if you accept that even buying an acoustic, u are subject to suboptimal sound output (eg new low end uprights are muffled, nasal; oh this old refurbished acoustic sounds tinny cos of age; oh this recon acoustic sounds newish but has 30++ year old parts eg soundboard which theoretically may be end of lifespan: oh I have a good acoustic but for 5 years I have to tolerate some form of aging sound until I can recon or refurbish it; oh this brand sound is too bright, or too mellow, I prefer another brand). So the ability to increase longevity of an NV10 would mean having this sound output and this action lasting for decades to persist it's resale value or personal enjoyment because other expensive new models may not provide significant gain.

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Originally Posted by Seif Maher
Originally Posted by Pete14
The problem with VSTs is that they’ll never sound as good through on-board speakers because Yamaha and Kawai have partnered in a major conspiracy that employs advanced algorithms that can detect any incoming VST signal and color it with all sorts of nasty!

Oh yes! I play on Pianoteq and listen through the headphone output of the Motu M4 audio interface and it sounds amazing. I literally keep pressing G and D notes at different octaves and enjoy how the Steinway D and the Steigraeber sound.

I connect the Motu M4’s line outs to the NV10’s line in and suddenly the sound quality is way downgraded and noise is introduced. The internal sound of the NV10 is light years better than this setup.
Note: I use a short high quality cable between the M4 and the N10.

IMPORTANT post about the NV10 Line in noise level.

Hello guys,
I did a lot of testing to try to get better sound of my VST from the NV10 speakers through the Motu M4 audio interface going into the NV10's line in.

After trying so many configurations that all still introduced noise, I remembered that there is a line-in level adjustment in the NV10’s user interface, not just the physical knob. This is normally set to 0 dB.
[Linked Image]

I just changed it to -5 dB, and the sound got way much better than before. Then I changed it to -10 dB, and that’s it.
1) The sound is still loud enough to fill the room, I think louder than if I had an acoustic grand in the same room.
2) The noise level is very very low.

Final setting:
- Volume of my Motu M4 audio interface set to maximum, as recommended in the user manual.
- Line in level knob of the NV10 set to minimum, like 7 o’clock.
- Line in level on the NV10’s digital operating system set to -10 dB.

You can listen to the noise in this video:

Note: The noise you hear at -10 dB is the fan of the laptop, 2015 Macbook Pro.

Plot Twist!
While testing, my laptop's battery died, so I connected the iPad instead. All connections remained the same through the Motu M4.
Suddenly, I hear ZERO noise. No noise even at +10 dB!!!!
I never thought the noise could be coming from the laptop, as before I got the NV10, I had the same laptop connected to the Motu M4 and then a 2.1 speaker system, and I had no noticeable noise.

The I tried my primary work laptop, 2019 Macbook Pro. The noise is back, but less than the 2015 Macbook.

Conclusion:
There is nothing wrong with the Line-in of the NV10. I am so sorry for saying otherwise earlier without enough testing.

My preliminary assumption is that this noise is made by the power circuit of the laptop. I can do some research and testing to see how to eliminate it, however, setting the digital line-in level of the NV10 to -10 dB is more than enough to get a decent, loud enough, sound.

I wanted to correct myself about this, because I complained about this several in several posts in this forum, and because of my ignorance, I was blaming the NV10.
Now, I still believe an integrated audio interface would have been nice to minimize the number of cables, devices and connections. But it is no longer needed for sound quality concerns, the line in does the job.


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Originally Posted by Seif Maher
My preliminary assumption is that this noise is made by the power circuit of the laptop.
Try running laptop on battery so only the nv10 is plugged into the mains.

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Originally Posted by Seif Maher
Now, I still believe an integrated audio interface would have been nice to minimize the number of cables, devices and connections. But it is no longer needed for sound quality concerns, the line in does the job.

That might be questionable still. The NV10 I tried did not play nice with my 2018 Mac mini, and I believe Gombessa had to introduce an additional filter of some sort to mitigate the noise on his NV10.

An integrated audio interface seems to produce a clean audio signal. No muss, no fuss.

God Bless,
David


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Originally Posted by newer player
Originally Posted by Seif Maher
My preliminary assumption is that this noise is made by the power circuit of the laptop.
Try running laptop on battery so only the nv10 is plugged into the mains.

It was on battery. Both the 2015 and the 2019 Macbooks were on battery.


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Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by Seif Maher
Now, I still believe an integrated audio interface would have been nice to minimize the number of cables, devices and connections. But it is no longer needed for sound quality concerns, the line in does the job.

That might be questionable still. The NV10 I tried did not play nice with my 2018 Mac mini, and I believe Gombessa had to introduce an additional filter of some sort to mitigate the noise on his NV10.

An integrated audio interface seems to produce a clean audio signal. No muss, no fuss.

God Bless,
David

In the Audiophile world, I see people paying crazy amounts of money on expensive computers, DACs, and power supplies that are designed to lower down the noise. I have a $15,000 sound system and I never heard any noise before, so I was wondering why people are paying such amounts, it made no sense to me back then.

@Gombessa,
Did you try setting the NV10’s digital line-in level to the minimum?


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What are you saying?
Originally Posted by Seif Maher
I see people paying crazy amounts of money on expensive computers, DACs, and power supplies that are designed to lower down the noise.

I have a $15,000 sound system and I never heard any noise before ...
Are you saying that you needlessly spent $15k ... because you never had noise, and yet you went for the big spend anyway?
Are you saying that it requires great expense (perhaps $15k) to get noise free audio?

And this ...
Originally Posted by Seif Maher
... I was wondering why people are paying such amounts, it made no sense to me back then.
Why are you questioning the wisdom of others when you made that same big purchase yourself?

Count me as puzzled.

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Originally Posted by Seif Maher
@Gombessa,
Did you try setting the NV10’s digital line-in level to the minimum?

Yep, I tried the analog knob, the digital setting, and the master volume, when trying to diagnose. Nothing helped. The thing is, I could easily get a clean signal with other line-in sources including micro DACs for USB-C headphones. In the end I concluded that the noise was coming from the MBP (which it had to be because the noise modulates with touching the trackpad).


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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
What are you saying?
Let me try to better explain what I wanted to say.

I have a decent Denon AVR and Paradigm speakers that together cost about $15k. I paid this much because it delivers a certain level of audio quality that I aspired for. I have been dreaming of this system for about 12 years before I bought it. I felt so blessed and grateful that after so many years I became able to afford it. I would never say you need to pay this much to get noise free sound, I know that this is far from the truth.

I saw other people paying a lot of money on DACs, on top of their AVRs and speakers, that are some times much more expensive than my system, to get a clean sound. Such as this one: Signature Rendu SE. This is the same amount of money you would pay to get the amazing flagship Anthem STR, but just for the DAC functionality.

This was confusing to me, because I get no noise whatsoever with my sound system when it is connected to the computer. Even with the much cheaper system I had before the existing one, that was about 1/7 of the price, I had no noise. So I was wondering why people pay more specialized DACs.

Now, I understand what is that noise that people had, and had to pay thousands of dollars to fix. It “made” no sense earlier, as I said, and now I understand more. I am not trying to judge others or question their wisdom for sure.


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I have a preliminary understanding of what may be the reason I had no noise, and now I have it. Previously I was playing DSD music files stored on the computer and sending it over HDMI to my AVR. HDMI does not allow the passthrough of DSD, so the DAC was taking place on the computer, and the media was sent over HDMI as PCM. This is a lot different than what is happening with the NV10, where the DAC takes place externally at the Motu M4 audio interface.

Note: I tried do the HDMI with the piano, but there was a big delay that is maybe more than 0.3 seconds. Useless.


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by Seif Maher
@Gombessa,
Did you try setting the NV10’s digital line-in level to the minimum?

Yep, I tried the analog knob, the digital setting, and the master volume, when trying to diagnose. Nothing helped. The thing is, I could easily get a clean signal with other line-in sources including micro DACs for USB-C headphones. In the end I concluded that the noise was coming from the MBP (which it had to be because the noise modulates with touching the trackpad).

Did you try something like this USB Filter?


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Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by Seif Maher
Now, I still believe an integrated audio interface would have been nice to minimize the number of cables, devices and connections. But it is no longer needed for sound quality concerns, the line in does the job.

That might be questionable still. The NV10 I tried did not play nice with my 2018 Mac mini, and I believe Gombessa had to introduce an additional filter of some sort to mitigate the noise on his NV10.

An integrated audio interface seems to produce a clean audio signal. No muss, no fuss.

God Bless,
David

I guess this will have to be the NV11 or the NV20... Since most people didn’t support the upgradability path smile

Just a joke.

Last edited by Seif Maher; 10/31/20 04:33 PM.

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Tried an iDefender (helped 70% or so, not 100%) and also a usb cable with a cut ground lead. It's a shame BT MIDI had latency, that would have been a good solution.


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I wonder, did you try an N1X? grin

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