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Cutec #3160241 09/28/21 03:43 PM
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Thanks all for responses. I do indeed have a Kawai CN37 which I was happy with. Unfortunately/fortunately I went into a piano shop and randomly tried an acoustic. Although I couldn't really play many tunes I was blown away by the touch and organic feel. Went immediately to the DP section and they felt like toys! Did loads of research on acoustics and different brands but then realized the maintenance, humidity and noise concerns. I live in a terraced house. So then I thought I'd look at top end digitals. Some sounded good but not up to acoustic standards. Now I'm thinking whatever I get I'll get used to so maybe something like a CLP 785 or Kawai 79 digital will do. Probably better than the CN37 I currently have?

Cutec #3160243 09/28/21 03:48 PM
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My best advice:

Go to a dealer who is knowledgable in both technologies. (I personally prefer the Yamaha technology, especially when it comes to hybrids), but Casio makes a "quasi-hybrid" and Kawai makes one too.

Play the maker's acoustic pianos next to their hybrids and see what YOU think. I know a good number of pianists who own Yamaha hybrids in my area and are happy with them. Full Disclosure - if money and space were no object these would not be their choices. Further, you will not sit down blind folded and think you are sitting at a concert grand piano. However, they are superb instruments for what they are and they are being increasingly chosen by universities music programs over acoustic upright pianos.

At the end of it all, buy what YOU love.

Good luck and keep us posted!


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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
My best advice:

At the end of it all, buy what YOU love.

Rich nails it.

Servicing an acoustic isn't that costly. So, don't let that hold you back.


Gary
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Cutec, here is where your situation is different from mine, and why you may prefer a high-end digital or hybrid to an acoustic.

I live in a detached house hundreds of feet from any neighbor. The closest ones can only hear my grand piano if they are outside and I play with my windows open, which they encourage me to do! So 'annoying neighbors' is not an issue for me. But living in an English terraced house (townhouse in the US), as you do, sound transmission could be a problem.

In the US, unlike in England (where I have also lived), most houses have air-conditioning. I live in the southeast US, where summers are hot and humid, but air-conditioning reduces humidity inside the house. In the winter, which is cold and dry, I keep a humidifier running non-stop in the piano room to keep humidity from falling too far.

Routine maintenance is not a great concern if one picks a new or well-kept used acoustic piano. I do get mine tuned by a professional, and on his first visit he had to spend more time on the actual tuning and adjust the tone of a couple of hammers. Pianos have been around a long time and, if they were a maintenance nightmare, wouldn't have survived more-or-less unchanged.

If you envisage sound and humidity control issues in your situation, don't mind playing with headphones, and don't consider your next piano a lifetime purchase, a high-end digital or hybrid could very well be better for you. I certainly liked Kawai's CA line, the top-end of Yamaha's CLP line, and their hybrids. An acoustic was just a better fit for me. Buy what's right for you!

All the best,
Lotus

Cutec #3160265 09/28/21 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Cutec
Thanks all for responses. I do indeed have a Kawai CN37 which I was happy with. Unfortunately/fortunately I went into a piano shop and randomly tried an acoustic. Although I couldn't really play many tunes I was blown away by the touch and organic feel. Went immediately to the DP section and they felt like toys! Did loads of research on acoustics and different brands but then realized the maintenance, humidity and noise concerns. I live in a terraced house. So then I thought I'd look at top end digitals. Some sounded good but not up to acoustic standards. Now I'm thinking whatever I get I'll get used to so maybe something like a CLP 785 or Kawai 79 digital will do. Probably better than the CN37 I currently have?

This happened to me. One touch of an acoustic piano and I completely lost interest in ever playing the digital again. My practical side argued against it (neighbors, lack of space, etc.) but my heart won out and I have not regretted buying my acoustic for one moment.

Buy the one that is calling you. Good luck, keep us posted! smile


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Bach WTC II Prelude/Fugue XII in F minor

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Adagiette #3160277 09/28/21 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Adagiette
. My practical side argued against it (neighbors, lack of space, etc.) but my heart won out and I have not regretted buying my acoustic for one moment.

Buy the one that is calling you. Good luck, keep us posted! smile

+1. I don’t think your climate is so extreme that this should be a huge decision-making point. And while acoustic pianos need regular maintenance, I also wouldn’t think of this as a big deal.

I think the bigger issues are if you feel you are primarily going to play ‘silently’ (your neighbors wouldn’t tolerate practicing, you play in the middle of the night and neighbors or family would object, etc). Otherwise, if you feel like the acoustic piano experience is fulfilling in a way that you’ve found lacking in the DP pianos you’ve played, then I’d definitely opt for an acoustic.

Cutec #3160321 09/29/21 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Cutec
Thanks all for responses. I do indeed have a Kawai CN37 which I was happy with. Unfortunately/fortunately I went into a piano shop and randomly tried an acoustic. Although I couldn't really play many tunes I was blown away by the touch and organic feel. Went immediately to the DP section and they felt like toys! Did loads of research on acoustics and different brands but then realized the maintenance, humidity and noise concerns. I live in a terraced house. So then I thought I'd look at top end digitals. Some sounded good but not up to acoustic standards. Now I'm thinking whatever I get I'll get used to so maybe something like a CLP 785 or Kawai 79 digital will do. Probably better than the CN37 I currently have?
If you are thinking of a Kawai CA79 could you also consider the CA99 model which has a soundboard and might potentially give a better acoustic piano experience.

Sgisela #3160334 09/29/21 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Sgisela
Originally Posted by Adagiette
. My practical side argued against it (neighbors, lack of space, etc.) but my heart won out and I have not regretted buying my acoustic for one moment.

Buy the one that is calling you. Good luck, keep us posted! smile

+1. I don’t think your climate is so extreme that this should be a huge decision-making point. And while acoustic pianos need regular maintenance, I also wouldn’t think of this as a big deal.

I think the bigger issues are if you feel you are primarily going to play ‘silently’ (your neighbors wouldn’t tolerate practicing, you play in the middle of the night and neighbors or family would object, etc). Otherwise, if you feel like the acoustic piano experience is fulfilling in a way that you’ve found lacking in the DP pianos you’ve played, then I’d definitely opt for an acoustic.


+lots :-)

Get the piano, digital or acoustic, that you actually wan't, nothing else really matters. If you can afford to buy an acoustic in good condition and love playing it then the cost of maintenance is not a major factor compared to the piano itself, the cost of lessons and the music you'll buy. And you may find you even look forward to paying those maintenance costs as the piano always sounds so much sweeter after a tuning :-)

Cutec #3160343 09/29/21 05:14 AM
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All good advice here. Maybe take some time to digest it. When chosing an acoustic the usual advice is to play as many pianos as you can and play the ones you are considering several times to make sure. In other words take your time to get it right.


Ian Russell
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Sonepica #3160345 09/29/21 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Sonepica
It might be needed if you're trying to get close to the sound of a real piano. What's your view on why digital pianos don't sound quite the same as real pianos?

Real acoustic piano sound is EXTREMELY complicated. This is why, until Ray Kurzweil invented digital sampling, all synthesized pianos sounded like toys...it is impossible to truly synthesize this sound realistically.

Digital sampling instead COPIES the sound of a real piano and then digitally manipulates it for various frequency ranges, and is good enough to fool a large % of people. However, it is still not the SAME as a true acoustic because the generation of frequencies is more 2D than 3D (as in the piano). One must remember that in the end a digital keyboard is still just a SYNTHESIZER (meaning not real).

Additionally, the physical action of a good grand creates an opportunity to create infinite subtleties in the sound due to the WAY keys are pressed and/or manipulated, whereas in a digital you are limited to whatever the "programmers" decided to allow. It is not the same. The same is true when it comes to pedaling in a good grand vs a digital.

Digital essentially means "on" or "off" and at the speed of light regulates on and off to fool you into thinking it's real...but it ain't. An acoustic instrument is analog (meaning comparing one thing to another) and has a wider range of gradations available to you as pianist which then causes you to react (compare) and change what you are doing on the fly. (Think flying an airplane vs using a flight simulator).

Anyway, these are just some of the reasons why a good acoustic has a different effect on the psyche than a digital. Digitals have their place, but in the final analysis they are only a copy of the reality (with bells and whistles added which can be a cool thing to have).

HTH

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


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Sonepica #3160354 09/29/21 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Sonepica
My hifi speakers incorporate subwoofers and claim to produce frequencies down to 32Hz. As far as I know, digital pianos don't even incorporate subwoofers, despite the fact that the lowest note on the piano is 27.5Hz. As you go down into the bass you can hear that part of the sound is missing. It seems odd that manufacturers seem to be trying to get digital pianos as close as possible to a real piano, yet haven't thought of putting in subwoofer(s)?
Maybe it's a cost issue? The obvious solution is to plug your digital piano into your hifi or see if it'll allow you to run a powered sub in addition to the inbuilt speakers. I play my stage piano through 11 separate speakers thumb including a subwoofer, and I also dial up the bass on my virtual piano software. This goes some way toward getting the surround effect and room-shaking bass of an acoustic piano. It doesn't help the feel of the stage piano's action though... I'd like to try one of those newfangled hybrid digitals at some point.

Last edited by Ben_NZ; 09/29/21 06:31 AM.

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Cutec #3160420 09/29/21 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Cutec
Unfortunately/fortunately I went into a piano shop and randomly tried an acoustic. Although I couldn't really play many tunes I was blown away by the touch and organic feel. Went immediately to the DP section and they felt like toys!
This made me smile because it is an exact description of my experience. I went to the dealer specifically to pick a digital or hybrid, and after doing just what you did I ended up buying an acoustic upright.
I think it's important to explore this and make sure you're happy in the long term. These instruments are primarily for our pleasure. So when confronted with the option to have this overpowering organic, pleasant feeling from the interaction with my instrument, I thought all the potential additional hassle of maintaining the acoustic was well worth it. Yes, maybe it would be just a touch cheaper and less work with a digital, but what is the point? I'm not making a business investment here, I'm investing in my joy only. Why would I get something that may seem more "sensible" and forego the joy that was the whole point in the first place??
Not to say there is anything wrong with digitals - not at all! But I would say that one needs to have a similarly rewarding experience interacting with it. If that happens, one is in luck and can get a Digital with all its advantages.


Enjoying the journey and the delicious music.
U1
Cutec #3160772 09/30/21 10:32 AM
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Never know why peeps try to compare. They are two different instruments. I played, learned for two and a half years on a nice Kawai ES8 digi. When I started playing acoustic grands, well just a different instrument. I was lucky to find an antique acoustic, Mason Hamlin A in great shape and moved it to my house last June. So currently I play the acoustic when I have the choice of either. However just the other day I played the digital in EPiano mode and it was really cool to hear my compositions in digi mode. I also love the clav mode on the digi. So the best, at least for me is to have both. The relationship with my acoustic is very kinda, gut personal, the touch between me and the keys,, partial mix's, soundboard bloom, sustain etc is thrilling at times and I'm still finding new sounds with her! I actually wink or give other praise to the piano when I pass by her sometimes.The digital provides an awesome escape of adventure though. The acoustic is upstairs and has become part of the house. The digi is downstairs in a cool, kinda studio room.

I guess my point to the OP is an acoustic and a digital are two different instruments and i hope you are able to experience both. On another personal note, my limit $s on a digital piano would top out at 3k or so. An acoustic has no limits(if I had the means, and liked the sound)

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Xam's post above nails it. Two different instruments, with great, but different, types of joy to be extracted from them.
Funny to also note that they, like many others, have assigned gender to their instrument. I never named my digital, but Clara, my acoustic, was named the moment I met her. Speaks to the fact that we tend to interact with these instruments as if they were alive - and in some respects they are, depending on how you want to define that.
What a fun way to fill our days smile


Enjoying the journey and the delicious music.
U1
rocdoc #3160910 09/30/21 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rocdoc
These instruments are primarily for our pleasure… I'm not making a business investment here, I'm investing in my joy only. Why would I get something that may seem more "sensible" and forego the joy that was the whole point in the first place?

I love how you put this. It’s exactly how I thought (and think) about my piano purchase.

Cutec, any further thoughts? I’m very curious what you decide to do.

Cutec #3160978 10/01/21 04:15 AM
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Sgisela, yes an acoustic is my preferred option but practically I'm not sure it will work for me. I live in a terraced house with neighbours and more importantly am away from home for a few days at a time so can't keep my room properly regulated or checked re humidity. I live close to the sea. Just being able to open the windows when I'm there can make a big difference to the humidity. Not being there to do this will probably cause the piano to drift out of tune regularly.
So a Kawai ca79 is my likely next purchase. If it means I can play anytime and without worrying about noise and humidity it will surely improve me as a player. The acoustic will always be on my radar as soon as I can have house one.

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Originally Posted by Cutec
Sgisela, yes an acoustic is my preferred option but practically I'm not sure it will work for me. I live in a terraced house with neighbours and more importantly am away from home for a few days at a time so can't keep my room properly regulated or checked re humidity. I live close to the sea. Just being able to open the windows when I'm there can make a big difference to the humidity. Not being there to do this will probably cause the piano to drift out of tune regularly.
So a Kawai ca79 is my likely next purchase. If it means I can play anytime and without worrying about noise and humidity it will surely improve me as a player. The acoustic will always be on my radar as soon as I can have house one.

You will probably find that in our climate, particularly by the sea, you only need a dehumidifier. You can get a 'proper' compressor based standalone dehumifier which will keep your piano room nicely stable and, if you are away for ages, you can connect it with a hosepipe to a drain or something rather than having to keep emptying the tank. I use this one as it is economical enough to leave running contiuously and is the quietest one I could find Keep your piano happy!

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Originally Posted by gwing
You will probably find that in our climate, particularly by the sea, you only need a dehumidifier. You can get a 'proper' compressor based standalone dehumifier which will keep your piano room nicely stable and, if you are away for ages, you can connect it with a hosepipe to a drain or something rather than having to keep emptying the tank. I use this one as it is economical enough to leave running contiuously and is the quietest one I could find Keep your piano happy!

I bought a dehumidifier for this purpose last week. A larger one than you linked because of the room size, but still a relatively small one. 300 euros. It works surprisingly well given that this time of the year is super-humid here in NL (wet but not cold outside). It is also good for your own health to keep humidity under control (<60%RH). See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1474709/ .

Cutec #3161243 10/02/21 12:20 AM
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When you decorate you will find it excellent for drying emulsion paint and wallpaper paste. If the weather is wet it can be used to dry laundry inside. I have found mine to be very useful. When I was in UK I knew a man with an electric fork lift truck. I used to take him my abundant supply of distilled water.


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Cutec #3161359 10/02/21 10:39 AM
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Question for pianogabe, gwing, and anyone else who uses a dehumidifier at home:

Do these devices have a humidity gauge on them so that you can set it to a certain level? (as in, keep dehumidifying until you reach X% and then stop, like an AC keeps a set temperature and turns on and off as needed). Or does it keep dehumidifying and you need to keep an eye on a separate hygrometer so that the room doesn't get too dry?

When their tank is full, do they turn off so they don't spill water on the floor or do you need to keep checking the water level every day?

I live in south Florida and my house can get pretty humid (above 60%) when the AC isn't running, so I'm considering a dehumidifier. But then I wonder about the accuracy of my hygrometer: if I move it a few inches, the number can change significantly. Does anyone have a super precise hygrometer to recommend?

Many thanks in advance.


Talão

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