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Hi everyone.
46yo here, haven't played piano for the last 5y, before that i had taken lesson and was practicing on a Yamaha Silent B1 (on rent).
Then new job, new life and stopped practicing and taking lessons. Moreover, I separated from my ex and moved into a new apartment. The piano (rented) is still in the old apartment allowing our 7yo daughter to practice her lessons.
I am now willing to pull the trigger on another piano in the new apartment, both for myself and my daughter.
I have been caressing the idea of a digital piano, but the fear of fake feeling and also the pricetag (in excess of €1500 for a cheap Clavinova) has changed my mind.
So at the end the choice is going to be between these two: Yamaha B1 Silent vs Kawai K15 ATX3

- i will RENT, not buy
- i will often play with headphones
- it will be used to learn by me (old man) and my 7yo kid
- Kaway's depth is 5cm bigger
- pricewise, Kawai is €8 more per month (different dealer)

i saw what i found on the web, it seems the consensus is that Kawai is better, however i couldn't find any info about how they compare in headphone mode. Any experience?

any other info/tip/hint is highly appreciated
thanks in advance

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I think you should pay a visit to your dealer, wearing quality headphones.

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Also keep in mind that ATX4 is just now being released with updated sound engine. ☺️

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Lorcar Offline OP
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thanks
i am not sure how long i have to wait for the new technology, and also i am not sure that -when available- my dealer will have a beginner piano to rent with that technology

i understand about doing first hand experience bringing my headphones, but the two dealers are not even close, and i was looking for some other user's experience with the same piano, just to get an idea

thank you very much indeed

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I tried the B1 silent to determine if it was feasable for me; my hands aren't so clever any more. I wasn't keen on the action; it seemed a little flawed when playing stuff if you didn't press your fingers down enough. The tone was nicely graded; it was loud enough for most rooms I'd say.
The k300 available (silent) was far more dynamic, loud from the outset, and light to play. It was good to play, but difficult to control the liveliness of it all. If I could, it'd probably seem heavier.
There was no k15 unfortunately.
I bought an ES110 which too, had a light action.


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Originally Posted by peterws
I tried the B1 silent to determine if it was feasable for me; my hands aren't so clever any more. I wasn't keen on the action; it seemed a little flawed when playing stuff if you didn't press your fingers down enough. The tone was nicely graded; it was loud enough for most rooms I'd say.
The k300 available (silent) was far more dynamic, loud from the outset, and light to play. It was good to play, but difficult to control the liveliness of it all. If I could, it'd probably seem heavier.
There was no k15 unfortunately.
I bought an ES110 which too, had a light action.
My limited experience is that many good acoustics, upright or grands, can be tricky 'to control' after spending most time on a digital. My teacher talks about controlling and expressing the tone, dynamics and phrasing. That's one, the main reason really I bought a hybrid, it helps get the action feel ppp to fff under the fingers. But no matter, you have to get what's good for the hands and fingers. K15? Thats a new one to me, more reading and reviewing.

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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Originally Posted by peterws
I tried the B1 silent to determine if it was feasable for me; my hands aren't so clever any more. I wasn't keen on the action; it seemed a little flawed when playing stuff if you didn't press your fingers down enough. The tone was nicely graded; it was loud enough for most rooms I'd say.
The k300 available (silent) was far more dynamic, loud from the outset, and light to play. It was good to play, but difficult to control the liveliness of it all. If I could, it'd probably seem heavier.
There was no k15 unfortunately.
I bought an ES110 which too, had a light action.
My limited experience is that many good acoustics, upright or grands, can be tricky 'to control' after spending most time on a digital. My teacher talks about controlling and expressing the tone, dynamics and phrasing. That's one, the main reason really I bought a hybrid, it helps get the action feel ppp to fff under the fingers. But no matter, you have to get what's good for the hands and fingers. K15? Thats a new one to me, more reading and reviewing.

There'll be a difference between dynamics on an acoustic upright , than those on a grand, more depending on the quality of the model.
My own experience of acoustic uprights is devoid of "ppp" or even "pp" most times!


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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
[quote=peterws] That's one, the main reason really I bought a hybrid, it helps get the action feel ppp to fff under the fingers.

thanks
could you please clarify what you mean? i find it weird to believe it's better to forego the touch/feeling of a real piano for a digital sound

also for me was not easy to adapt from the sound of my vertical acoustic to the teacher's grand during lessons, however better to try and experiment rather than foregoing a real piano!

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Originally Posted by Lorcar
Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
[quote=peterws] That's one, the main reason really I bought a hybrid, it helps get the action feel ppp to fff under the fingers.

thanks
could you please clarify what you mean? i find it weird to believe it's better to forego the touch/feeling of a real piano for a digital sound

also for me was not easy to adapt from the sound of my vertical acoustic to the teacher's grand during lessons, however better to try and experiment rather than foregoing a real piano!
It seems you understood the opposite of my meaning?

An acoustic piano has the jack/hammer notch feel (escapement) under the fingers, and depending on how well it is regulated it can be difficult to push through the notch and still achieve the desired grading of ppp-p softness required, and possibly the other ranges to fff. It's usually playing soft on a poorly regulated action that is difficult (my teachers grand crazy). Despite some DP's having a friction notch to simulate the escapement feel, it's fake of course and feels fake and does not help with the feel of playing on an acoustic. Whereas learning, practising, on an acoustic action available in a hybrid helps gets used to the notch making it easier to adapt playing on a range of poor or well regulated acoustics.

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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
It seems you understood the opposite of my meaning?

An acoustic piano has the jack/hammer notch feel (escapement) under the fingers, and depending on how well it is regulated it can be difficult to push through the notch and still achieve the desired grading of ppp-p softness required, and possibly the other ranges to fff. It's usually playing soft on a poorly regulated action that is difficult (my teachers grand crazy). Despite some DP's having a friction notch to simulate the escapement feel, it's fake of course and feels fake and does not help with the feel of playing on an acoustic. Whereas learning, practising, on an acoustic action available in a hybrid helps gets used to the notch making it easier to adapt playing on a range of poor or well regulated acoustics.

thanks, i am sure i got it wrong, english not being my first language.

What are examples of models that offer "Acoustic action available in a hybrid"? like Clavinova?

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Hello,

@Lorcar, Hybrid pianos, in the sense of having an acoustic-piano action and digital sound production (no strings) are:

- Yamaha N-1X
- Yamaha NU-1X
- Yamaha N-2
- Yamaha N-3X

- Kawai NV-5S
- Kawai NV-10S

As far as I know, these are the only ones currently in the (new/not used) market.

Cheers and happy further research,

HZ

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hello again
it seems the choice will be between the K15 and the K200, difference is €10/month.

Any of you has experienced both?
thanks in advance

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I’m renting a K-200 ATX3 and I’m very happy with it. I’m not sure how much better the sound is on the K-200 but I think it should be worth the extra money. I personally like the design much more of the K-200.

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Hello, guys!
Thinking of silent systems too. Is that true that turning silent mode on slightly alters the touch on uprights? And that on grands this problem is solved?

Last edited by PianoStartsAt33; 11/22/21 05:13 AM.

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Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
Hello, guys!
Thinking of silent systems too. Is that true that turning silent mode on slightly alters the touch on uprights? And that on grands this problem is solved?
It seems that with ATX4 the problem with difference in touch is solved on Kawai grands, see
this thread..

I think that with Aures2 on Kawai uprights the hammer shank stop remains, so the problem is possibly still there, but find the information on Kawai sites in this respect confusing or unclear so could be wrong.

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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
Hello, guys!
Thinking of silent systems too. Is that true that turning silent mode on slightly alters the touch on uprights? And that on grands this problem is solved?
It seems that with ATX4 the problem with difference in touch is solved on Kawai grands, see
this thread..

I think that with Aures2 on Kawai uprights the hammer shank stop remains, so the problem is possibly still there, but find the information on Kawai sites in this respect confusing or unclear so could be wrong.

The shank is under tremendous pressure when in silent mode, apparently. Someone on this site had loads of failures; mind, he did work tis instrument hard . . .
I reckom I'd buy the basic piano, and stosh my ES110, stored vertically, hinged, so it can be lowered into position at my side immediately if needed..

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Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
Hello, guys!
Thinking of silent systems too. Is that true that turning silent mode on slightly alters the touch on uprights?

No. There is only a small difference in let-off regulation between an silent piano and a non-silent piano. Turning on the silent mode on a silent upright piano does not change the touch at all (unless there is something terribly wrong).

I have a silent piano and would recommend it, at least until very recently. As peterws says there is one user on this forum who reports serious problems using a Kawai K200 ATX3. Never heard of this before, but it is very worrying and calls for an explanation, from Kawai preferably. Perhaps you can't play fff on a silent Kawai without damaging it? I can't see any damage in my piano (1.5 years old), but I almost never play very loudly.

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Originally Posted by pianogabe
Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
Hello, guys!
Thinking of silent systems too. Is that true that turning silent mode on slightly alters the touch on uprights?

No. There is only a small difference in let-off regulation between an silent piano and a non-silent piano. Turning on the silent mode on a silent upright piano does not change the touch at all (unless there is something terribly wrong).

I have a silent piano and would recommend it, at least until very recently. As peterws says there is one user on this forum who reports serious problems using a Kawai K200 ATX3. Never heard of this before, but it is very worrying and calls for an explanation, from Kawai preferably. Perhaps you can't play fff on a silent Kawai without damaging it? I can't see any damage in my piano (1.5 years old), but I almost never play very loudly.

Don't keep us in suspense! What is your piano?


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Originally Posted by peterws
Don't keep us in suspense! What is your piano?

grin I thought I had been talking too much about my piano, but I guess this is a piano forum so it is perhaps tolerable.

It is a K300 ATX3, so very similar to the K200 ATX3 that gamma has so much trouble with. Which is why I am super interested in this. I am very happy with my piano and keep on advertising it, but if it turns out I or other people run into the problems that gamma has at some point in time this would be disastrous. Replacing all those hammer shanks must be very expensive, and then the problem could just recur later. In principle the problem could arise in any silent piano, DIY hybrid, or perhaps even hybrid? They all stop the hammer at the shank.

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Originally Posted by pianogabe
Originally Posted by peterws
Don't keep us in suspense! What is your piano?

grin I thought I had been talking too much about my piano, but I guess this is a piano forum so it is perhaps tolerable.

It is a K300 ATX3, so very similar to the K200 ATX3 that gamma has so much trouble with. Which is why I am super interested in this. I am very happy with my piano and keep on advertising it, but if it turns out I or other people run into the problems that gamma has at some point in time this would be disastrous. Replacing all those hammer shanks must be very expensive, and then the problem could just recur later. In principle the problem could arise in any silent piano, DIY hybrid, or perhaps even hybrid? They all stop the hammer at the shank.

I guess one should ease back a tad when playing in silent mode unless you can slip in a thin piece of cushioning fabric to ease the impact, and indeed, the sound of the action. But I've been encouraged by all this; liking the Kawai k series and their light, highly dynamic touch, I detected no problems with the silent model although some sensitive souls may beg to differ. . .


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