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Which digital piano on the market today would you recommend for acoustic piano player who needs training gear? I mean piano key action closest to acoustic (Yamaha G2 to be exact). Speakers and all the bells and whistles are irrelevant. Just a headphone training gear.

Thanks in advance
Bartek

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Anyone of the hybrids from Kawai or Yamaha. Your choice is then grand or upright action. IMHO no other digital comes close, but others may not agree.

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Yamaha AvantGrand N1X/N2/N3X/NU1X
Kawai Novus NV5/NV10


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Yamaha AvantGrand N1X/N2/N3X has real grand piano action
Yamaha AvantGrand NU1X has real upright piano action
Kawai Novus NV10 has real grand piano action
Kawai Novus NV5 has real upright piano action
There is also very old Yamaha GT with real grand paino action, but very primitive sound engine.

They're all in the form of mini grands or uprights, so quite big and heavy and also very expensive. I'm not aware of anything in a form of a stage piano with real grand or upright action, everything else is not even close to real thing. If you want to practice sometimes on your grand, sometimes on digital piano, then it wont be so bad for you that it's not a real action, but if you want something to replace grand piano for some longer period of time, then you have a problem

Last edited by ambrozy; 12/21/20 12:29 PM.
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If the G2 is like the G3 I played, the action is quite light. I wonder whether any of the hybrids mentioned here are as light as that.

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The Yamaha AvantGrand grand piano action should have the closest feel to the G2.


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I can't really speak to the G2, but the main reason I didn't buy an AG was because it DIDN'T feel particularly close to a C-series Yamaha to me.

I would recommend trying different pianos and making a choice based on your own perception of the action. There's nothing I've found that would make a Yamaha digital/hybrid feel more like a particular Yamaha acoustic than any other piano. Similarly, two acoustic pianos of the same make/model can feel very different from each other too, meaning you really need to try it out for yourself.


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
I can't really speak to the G2, but the main reason I didn't buy an AG was because it DIDN'T feel particularly close to a C-series Yamaha to me.

I agree, avantgrand and yamaha C grand (C5 to be exact) have quite different feel

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I guess that's the flaw with the perrenial "what feels most like an acoustic" threads. Since acoustics feel different among themselves--even if all indeed feeling like an acousic--maybe that isn't the most important thing. I mean, how satisying will it be, really, if it feels like an acoustic but one that you wouldn't enjoy playing as much?

If I was after something similar to a G3, I might go with a quality light hammer action DP (like a Yamaha CP1/CP5 or a Roland FP7/FP7F), which might not feel as close to an acoustic as something with a full acoustic action, but where the overall experience might be closer because it is not so much heavier than the G3 like many actions are. A hybrid action may feel more like the G-series in some respects, but maybe less so in other. Then it could be a matter of what you prioritize.

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Originally Posted by anotherscott
I guess that's the flaw with the perrenial "what feels most like an acoustic" threads. Since acoustics feel different among themselves--even if all indeed feeling like an acousic--maybe that isn't the most important thing. I mean, how satisying will it be, really, if it feels like an acoustic but one that you wouldn't enjoy playing as much?

If I was after something similar to a G3, I might go with a quality light hammer action DP (like a Yamaha CP1/CP5 or a Roland FP7/FP7F), which might not feel as close to an acoustic as something with a full acoustic action, but where the overall experience might be closer because it is not so much heavier than the G3 like many actions are. A hybrid action may feel more like the G-series in some respects, but maybe less so in other. Then it could be a matter of what you prioritize.

Exactly.

And there is no substitute for personal experience with digital piano actions, so rather than asking what is the best, it's a whole lot easier to ask what the options are for the price you're prepared to pay...Then test out the options in the store and you will know for yourself which suits you.


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Originally Posted by Doug M.
And there is no substitute for personal experience with digital piano actions, so rather than asking what is the best, it's a whole lot easier to ask what the options are for the price you're prepared to pay...Then test out the options in the store and you will know for yourself which suits you.

Yes, I wouldn’t have purchase a N1X (far more expensive than the Clavinova I have tried), without having tried it before. Even if I trust a guy which says it is better, would it be worth 1000€ more of MY money ? 2000€ ?...


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An important consideration is the overall feel compared to a digital, when playing. First, the digital volume must be cranked up to suit at least a smallish upright such as a K300.
The digital gives a super smooth transmission of range which it could be hard to replicate on an acoustic, requiring better control in the fingers to achieve that.
That's why most digitals sound great on first play but won't necessarily prepare you for the acoustic change-over, either in sound or in feel. A software piano should help in this respect if the adjustment is faciliatated.
And just because a hybrid may have a near genuine acoustic action may not always alter this state of affairs. But I dare say it helps a tad. I've only played the NU1, N! and Bechstein Casios. The NU1 did feel like an acoustic to me, and had the sharpness associated with one too.
I still don't quite know whether I liked that or not.


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Bartek, you say "headphone training gear". A few questions:

- Why do you need headphone training gear at all? Why not practice on the real thing?
- Any limitations in budget?
- What amount of training to you have in mind? How many hours per day or week?
- Do you need transportability?

The right answer to your original question depends on your answers to these four...


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I played on an N2 for many years, and was told it was the same action as a C3 or C1, but not sure if that is really true. I've been playing on a C3X now for about 6 weeks. The action on it is significantly better and different to me, so I'd have to agree with Gombessa and ambrozy. The C3X doesn't feel anything like the N2. On the C3X, I feel like i can push the keys deeper and it's easier to play faster. It's actually a completely different playing experience!


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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
I played on an N2 for many years, and was told it was the same action as a C3 or C1, but not sure if that is really true. I've been playing on a C3X now for about 6 weeks. The action on it is significantly better and different to me, so I'd have to agree with Gombessa and ambrozy. The C3X doesn't feel anything like the N2. On the C3X, I feel like i can push the keys deeper and it's easier to play faster. It's actually a completely different playing experience!

Originally Posted by maurus
Bartek, you say "headphone training gear". A few questions:

- Why do you need headphone training gear at all? Why not practice on the real thing?
- Any limitations in budget?
- What amount of training to you have in mind? How many hours per day or week?
- Do you need transportability?

The right answer to your original question depends on your answers to these four...

I have Yamaha G2 (1980) and Yamaha P-85 (simple digital). I practice a lot on the headphones. P-85 feels different, lighter, less detailed (obviously) and pedaling is completely different experience (more forgiving for sure). I just wondered if there is anything newer/better closer to my acoustic than my good old P-85 (reliable and fantastic, don't get me wrong) so I could somehow close the gap between digital and acoustic and be able to save some time when switching between the two - if you know what I mean. It takes time to adjust to acoustic when you learn and practice a lot on a digital.
To answer your questions:
1 I don't like to be a burden when I practice and I don't like to play tunes in front of people before I'm comfortable with them. It is unnecessary, stressing and my training is far more profitable when I am relaxed and concentrated on it and not on surrounding. Well it seems that I just like playing on headphones ;-)
2 I don't want to spend another fortune - this time on digital. Hybrids are way too pricy. I just though that maybe some stage gear (Korg, Yamaha, Nord Piano 4?) would be an significant upgrade on P-85 from training perspective but if all stage pianos feels more or less similarly "artificial", far from hammer system, then forget it, I'll stay with my good old P-85.
3 I play 2 to 4 hours per day
4 not at all

p.s. thank you so much for your kind replies

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. . . 2 I don't want to spend another fortune - this time on digital. Hybrids are way too pricy. . . .

That's useful information -- not quite a budget, but we know that there _is_ an upper limit.

Put the Kawai MP11Se (or original MP11, which I think has the same action) on your list. That action isn't "folded" -- the keys are wood, and their total length (visible + invisible) is grand-piano size.

It has no loudspeakers, so it's perfect for headphone practice.

Put the Kawai VPC-1 on your list. It is _only_ an action, with MIDI output -- no sound generator at all. You'll need a computer to generate sounds.


Neither one of those is "cheap", but they get a lot of praise here.


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So if it is not to replace grand piano, then fact that none of (non hybrid) digital pianos are close to real grand action is not much relevant, just go to store, play on everything and buy what feels good for you.

Last edited by ambrozy; 12/21/20 08:15 PM.
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Originally Posted by ambrozy
So if it is not to replace grand piano, then fact that none of (non hybrid) digital pianos are close to real grand action is not much relevant, just go to store, play on everything and buy what feels good for you.
This. In addition to the Kawai MP11 (and VPC1+computer) mentioned above, put a Yamaha P515 on your list. But by all means, play-test these instruments before buying. As an experienced player, you will realize quickly what pleases you, and what doesn't.


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The Kawai MP11se is definitely worth mentioning again.

Last year, after having decided that none of the digitals/hybrids could take the place of an acoustic grand for me, I wanted to buy a dp that I would keep even after I get my acoustic grand. After a lengthy search, I bought the MP11se because it made the most sense to me. I'd make the same decision today.

I think many dealers have them back in stock; I hope you'll have a chance to try one out!

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If you take a real piano action and put it in the digital , it would feel authentic, but the action itself with its complications necessarily introduce unpredictability to the input. It also then reduces the controllable dynamic range because you can't play that mechanism nearly as softly, as it wouldn't be work right.

Last edited by jeffcat; 12/21/20 09:34 PM.

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