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I'm getting really frustrated looking for an acoustic grand piano. The inventory of decent, used pianos seems to be severely constrained right now in my market--especially if looking for a good deal.

My local dealer has both the N1X and N3 in stock and I could go that route. I'm thinking about it again.

To those of you that have experience with both, how close does it really feel to the "real" thing? I've had some limited experiences in the dealer store, but it's hard to judge without extended playing time.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!


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Well, when you ask “how close” a hybrid gets to the real thing, it depends on which of the two main elements you’re referring to: action or sound.

In terms of the action & feel, a good hybrid can be *nearly* indiscernible from the real thing. Not totally, but nearly, indiscernible. Both Yamaha & Kawai have done great jobs with their hybrids, and the instruments have superb actions, feel, & playability.

In terms of sound, I don’t think any of the hybrids are any closer to a real piano than their digital faux-action counterparts, and that goes for both Yamaha & Kawai. Digital piano sound quality has improved massively, but compared to the real thing, it’s still lacking. Hybrids provide the best action you can get outside of an actual acoustic, but in terms of sound, they’re no better than their digital counterparts.

That said, if you couple your hybrid with a good VST, you’ll get an experience that comes as close to the real thing as you’re going to get.

So, if you absolutely can’t find a good used acoustic near you, and you need something immediately, a good hybrid and a good VST is a superb choice.

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Originally Posted by Taushi
Well, when you ask “how close” a hybrid gets to the real thing, it depends on which of the two main elements you’re referring to: action or sound.


.


Yes, thanks for the differentiation. This probably is an impossible question to really answer. If they were that close, people wouldn't buy anything but a hybrid. I think I wrote the post out of frustration at my inability to find an acoustic quickly. I'm going to have to be more patient methinks.


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mivaldes ... I have a feeling that ... if you are tested for ability to establish whether or nor a piano sound comes from a good quality sample or from an acoustic piano of same or similar sort ...... you will likely find that you'll have a hard time picking the difference. Especially with a very good electronic sound system and high quality samples. And good quality electronics for reconstructing the audio from the samples.

And when I play a particular digital piano, and turn it right up ..... I guarantee that the neighbours won't know that the beautiful piano sound is from a digital or acoustic, or hybrid.

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I mainly practice on a Yamaha N1 because of the time of day. When I can, I also play a Petrof grand. The Yamaha action feels just like a good grand action to me and I have no difficulty moving from the N1 to an acoustic piano as far as touch and development of finger strength. As for sound, however, the sound coming out of my headphones on the N1 while fine, is cleaner than what you'll get from an acoustic. Therefore if I have been practicing a piece mainly on the N1, there is some adjustment to all the resonances and ambient sounds that come at you from the acoustic which you don't experience with the digital.

If silent practice is important to you, then hybrids with a good pair of headphones are great. If you're trying to fill a room, the sound from the speakers on a hybrid is impressive, and you can enhance it with external speakers. But only you can judge if the result is close enough to an acoustic to make you happy.

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Originally Posted by Emery Wang
Therefore if I have been practicing a piece mainly on the N1, there is some adjustment to all the resonances and ambient sounds that come at you from the acoustic which you don't experience with the digital.
That I can relate to.

I live in an apartment. I have an N3 and play almost entirely with headphones. Maybe 8 or 10 times a year I'll play on speakers for an hour.

One day last summer I had the opportunity to play on an acoustic grand for the first time in 6 or 8 years. One piece I played sounded to me as if I was hitting wrong notes... the complex resonances of the acoustic were jarring and disorienting after what you correctly describe as the "clean" sound from the headphones.

I still play the N3 with headphones but have switched to using various VSTi at least half the time so my brain doesn't stay so dependent on that "clean" sound from the N3's own samples.


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Having tried the N1X and NV10, and some other acoustic grand including a Steinway D, I'd say the NV10 is comparable to the small-baby new Grand Piano in term of sound, with good/better bass and tonal but lack some of the acoustic aspect (which is hard to describe), whereas the N1X is a little bit too clean and lack some power to my ear, action is 98% identical, but when you pay attention you can notice the subtle different between a keypress->hammer hitting string creating direct sound and hammer hitting felt in those hybrid


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Originally Posted by mivaldes
I think I wrote the post out of frustration at my inability to find an acoustic quickly. I'm going to have to be more patient methinks.

Hello,

I'm glad you wrote this, for this is probably the essence. I'd say please, please keep your head up, nose in the wind, and find yourself your beloved Grand Piano.

A lot has already been said above so I'll try not to repeat that.

Over the last few weeks I have extensively compared digital and acoustic pianos during two lengthy visits to a specialized piano store.

As has been said, hybrid digitals are good instruments action-wise, but are no match sound-and-visceral-connection-wise to a good acoustic grand.

I was shocked by the N3X (sorry Jane!) and its ridiculous price for what it is. I'd be gutted to see such money being spent on that instrument while it could have been put towards a lovely acoustic piano instead. In the next room there were grand pianos (used) with price tags *below* that of the N3X and which I could easily love and cherish for the rest of my life, while sitting at the N3X I was just in shock for what it isn't and got up and moved on in mere minutes.

The N1X and Kawai NV10S I consider as more balanced value for money wise, both are good and my personal preference from action standpoint would be with the NV10S. The N1X though is said to have a more advanced sensor implementation. Personally, even with these two, I'd rather invest such money in a real, wood and string instrument. These two hybrids are highly playable yet no match at all to the true piano experience.

Cheers and a happy search,

HZ

PS In all of this conversation, I am not considering "baby grands". I do not find those very interesting and/or worth the investment.

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Originally Posted by mivaldes
Originally Posted by Taushi
Well, when you ask “how close” a hybrid gets to the real thing, it depends on which of the two main elements you’re referring to: action or sound.


.


Yes, thanks for the differentiation. This probably is an impossible question to really answer. If they were that close, people wouldn't buy anything but a hybrid. I think I wrote the post out of frustration at my inability to find an acoustic quickly. I'm going to have to be more patient methinks.

Well, while the sound/sound engine on a hybrid may not be as good, a really high quality VST like the ones by Vienna Symphonic Library, Garritan, or Embertone can certainly hello the hybrid catch up in terms of sound.

I’d say if your search for an acoustic doesn’t manifest the one you want, a hybrid with a VST for sound may be a great option. And if a grand you like does pop up, you can generally trade-in or sell, and apply that toward the grand.

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I've no experience with the N1X or N3, but I do have both an analog acoustic grand (rebuilt Bechstein Model B 7'), and a digital "hybrid grand" (Casio GP-510).

The Bechstein I've owned for nearly 20 years, and I figured at the time it would last me many decades, if not the rest of my life. I had fallen in love with the sound and feel of it when I was actually shopping for a decent vertical piano. Love is fickle, and I was smitten. I still am. It's a beautiful instrument that seems to pull the music right out of my fingertips and the sweet sound wraps around and around like a soft, warm, blanket on a cold winter day.

I'm a snow birder, so have a winter home near Phoenix. That's a much smaller house with no room for a grand let alone the dryness there being an issue. Initially I had my travel piano there, an old Yamaha P-120. Last fall when we arrived for the season, I decided it was time to upgrade and ended up liking the Casio GP-510. The Bechstein partnership with Casio intrigued me, and my fingers were 100% satisfied after some playing sessions at the local dealer. Although the sound is excellent, nuanced and musical, leaps above my old P-120, my ears could tell it's not a real grand - it lacks some of the spaciousness that washes over you and down your spine. That's the physics and reality of digital pianos. Digital piano sound can be upgraded, but the action is what you get, so get a good one. That said, it helps to have excellent built-in sound and speakers to start.

So, I practiced daily on that new digital for five months. This week I am now back home to my summer place. I'm pleased to report that I had zero time required to adapt back to playing on my Bechstein. I picked up my musical journey right where I left off the previous week on the digital. What did strike me, though, was sonic... it needs a voicing. I had it tuned by the original rebuilder last fall, but it is now a little harsher sounding than it should be.

Now I realize I've been a bit spoiled by the digital... a clean sound that is always in tune, controllable volume, a choice of three excellent piano sounds, ability to use headphones, and connectivity to my iPad or laptop. I'm an intermediate to advanced player, but decided it would do me some good to shore up some long neglected method and technique. The Piano Marvel app was great for that, and I have significantly improved my timing, accuracy, and comfort with less common key signatures. Now back home on the analog piano, I have to admit I do miss some of those qualities unique to the digital. I can still use Piano Marvel, but the functions are limited without connectivity.

While I thought I would never part with my analog acoustic piano, I'm not quite as attached as I was before. If we downsize the winter home to, say, a condo, it won't break my heart to move on and go full digital. This very much reminds me of the transition from film to digital in photography. None of the pianos are perfect, digital or analog. There's always something more, so you have to learn to appreciate what you have or you'll drive yourself crazy(er).

Best wishes in your piano journey.


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I have a N1X… the feeling is perfect, but after trying an acoustic grand, I have heard the sound too dull. It is resolved with VSL virtual piano however… I should try again an acoustic grand, then try my N1X+VSL again and have a better comparison.


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Hello,

What a nice and interesting story, @BravoRomeo!

I do however hope you'll fall in love with your 7' Bechstein all over again. The way you describe your visceral connection with it very much resembles my feelings when sitting at a proper grand piano.

Your experiences with the Casio GP are also encouraging. Although technically, in the context of this thread, it is not a hybrid action, it is quite good. During the store visits mentioned above I also tested the GP510 and liked how it played. Should I have to make a purchase decision between this and the Grand Feel III by Kawai, I'd have a hard time calling one above the other.

Cheers and happy transfers,

HZ

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Originally Posted by BravoRomeo
Now I realize I've been a bit spoiled by the digital... a clean sound that is always in tune, controllable volume, a choice of three excellent piano sounds, ability to use headphones, and connectivity to my iPad or laptop. I'm an intermediate to advanced player, but decided it would do me some good to shore up some long neglected method and technique.

I know just what you mean. And probably everybody else does too. A digital piano is a musical instrument too, which can be enjoyed by many people - no matter what quality it is (and as long as it is working of course). Just as acoustic pianos can be enjoyed by many people. On both sorts of instruments (not including 'hybrid') - one can generate music.

As for clean, and no-tuning needed, and many outstanding features (eg. selecting different sorts of piano sounds to suit different sorts or styles of music, reverb and tonal adjustments in selected models etc) available in digital pianos ----- it can be said that digital pianos are in a league of their own. Although, digital pianos always has their root ----- that started with maybe harpsichord/clavichords etc. Evolution has been going on. How far it goes (where it evolves to) ------ nobody knows.

We know that digital instruments require electricity to work though. So if there is a black-out and if there is no energy storage for powering the digital, then this is where an acoustic piano does have an advantage. It's a particular case/condition of course.

As for tonal qualities of the 'best' acoustic pianos --- I reckon that the best mic systems, and best recording expertise and technology can record the sound of those acoustics very well indeed. Resonances will be recorded as well. And clever digital processing techniques even allow for some 'fancy' things to be done with the samples - so that a note can still sound pretty much the 'same' each time the key is struck (on a fancy digital piano), but not be 'exactly' the same sound. This is part of the evolution. Key action - also evolving. And is up to the stage that the keyboard mechanism behaviours and sensors are very nice indeed.

Both sorts of instruments - acoustic and digital - are amazing. We know it's possible to just buy both ------ if one really has a desire/need for both sorts. Not just buy both ----- but some of each, if there is room for them that is. Otherwise - for sure - these days, digital piano technology has evolved to an impressive stage, and it will keep evolving.

We know the way of analog tv, analog bulk-passenger commute aircraft, and analog cameras. They pretty much wiped out the analog counterparts on the market. But still - occasionally, under some circumstances - such as when the power goes out, or the digital system goes haywire due to some electronic fault, or sensor fault etc, or batteries or power runs out ------ under particular conditions --- this is where we can see some benefits of analog (for backups). Although, it is true that analog gear needs their servicing too - and can also have failures.

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You know, a digital can be subtly de-tuned. It does sound more authentic when you do this, or even overdo it.
Some years ago, I played Rolands offering at that time, an LX 17, new on the market. The piano lady had it positioned amongst the acoustics. It had a very similar ring to it, and was far, far superior to the other digitals upstairs wrt to sound.
I was fooled, definitely. But it sounded like an acoustic upright; maybe it had been de-tuned.a little.
A used one certainly wouldn't set one back too much. . . . .


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I have little to offer over the good advice provided here already.

Action - hybrids are 100% there. They're real. You may not *like* a particular hybrid action feel, but that's the same for acoustics. FWIW, I find the action and keyfeel in the NV-10 to be entirely identical to a C. Bechstein M/P 192. It's the closest acoustic grand action to the M3 (and that includes Kawai's own GL/GX/SKs).

Sounds - pretty good nowadays, and if you want to use a VST, there's no doubt it can sound/feel realistic and musical.

Speakers - really no good news here. A hybrid is at best going to be "a little bit better" than a standard digital piano, which doesn't hold a candle to any acoustic. If you like the sound from an acoustic piano, a hybrid may not be good enough.

It sounds like you're actually in the market for an acoustic grand (e.g., you have the money, space, and environment to support it). If so, I would strongly recommend broadening your search radius and keep on that train. A hybrid is a good alternative when you can't have a grand, but "can't have" usually means you need silent play or don't have the space.


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Originally Posted by peterws
But it sounded like an acoustic upright; maybe it had been de-tuned.a little.
A used one certainly wouldn't set one back too much. . . . .

That's quite ok! As we know that very nice music can be played on uprights. For many sorts of piano music ..... while some people think that it is super important to have super best ocd action and 'awesome' tonality etc ...... my own opinion is ... you can make lots of pianos generate fantastic music for people and ourselves to enjoy. Just got to be adaptable/flexible. People don't need an analog or even 'best' digital to generate nice music. You can generate the nice music through you.

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Originally Posted by HZPiano
Hello,
What a nice and interesting story, @BravoRomeo!

I do however hope you'll fall in love with your 7' Bechstein all over again. The way you describe your visceral connection with it very much resembles my feelings when sitting at a proper grand piano.

Your experiences with the Casio GP are also encouraging. Although technically, in the context of this thread, it is not a hybrid action, it is quite good. During the store visits mentioned above I also tested the GP510 and liked how it played. Should I have to make a purchase decision between this and the Grand Feel III by Kawai, I'd have a hard time calling one above the other.

Yes, I'm still in love with my Bechstein... wonderful piano. That said, my eyes have been opened to the possibility that it'd be OK to downsize if I needed to. It's great there are some compelling options. I wonder how things will look in another 5-10 years.

Curious - what is a hybrid? If the GP-510 doesn't qualify as one, then I'll be happy to retract my post so as not to clutter the thought process here.


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Will also add ... just in case. If somebody is aiming to have the best control they can possibly get ..... for particular demanding styles of music, then sure ..... the right tool for the right 'job' purpose can be considered. Or people with arthritis etc ..... maybe old synth type spring keys are beneficial.

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Originally Posted by BravoRomeo
Curious - what is a hybrid? If the GP-510 doesn't qualify as one, then I'll be happy to retract my post so as not to clutter the thought process here.

A hybrid piano has the same (or same sort) of mechanical system as 'acoustic' pianos. Except the hammers strike something that doesn't make much of a sound .... or hard to hear when piano sounds are masking the hammer strikes and other mechanical sounds. The piano sound is generated by methods found in digital pianos ... by means of sensors and samples playback, or even 'physical modelling' methods. The hybrid feel will be the same as acoustic actions. This doesn't necessarily mean best 'action' though (in one person's or some groups opinion that is). As technology advances .... it's possible that non-acoustic piano mechanisms can be the new 'go to' (favoured) behaviour among many people.

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Surprises are seen all the time as well. And one future surprise will likely be digital grand piano or even hybrid grand piano used in professional classical piano concerts. Not sure if it has happened already. Maybe it has .... for small concerts.

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Originally Posted by BravoRomeo
Curious - what is a hybrid? If the GP-510 doesn't qualify as one, then I'll be happy to retract my post so as not to clutter the thought process here.

Don't worry about it too much. "Hybrid" is already a loaded term, and folks (myself included) may often jump in and point it out.

But generally, there is no "agreed upon" definition of a hybrid, without reducing the term to the unhelpful definition of something that incorporates aspects of both an acoustic and a digital. But how much "acoustic" is needed? 88 keys? Keytops are the same material? Shiny metal capstans? Soundboard? Different manufacturers (including Yamaha, Casio, Kawai and Roland) have used the term "hybrid" in different ways.

A somewhat-accepted definition of "hybrid" has been the category of high-end digital pianos that use a "real acoustic action" taken from or derived from an acoustic piano. The Yamaha Avant-Grands and the Kawai Novus fall into this definition of "hybrid," and I'd argue it is the most frequently used definition here -- a digital piano with a real acoustic piano action.

The only issue with Casio is that they very cleverly market their GP-series as a hybrid positioned alongside the AvantGrand and Novus, and make claims about their keys and action that can be misconstrued as being in the same class. A LOT of folks in fact think it is. But in reality, the keys and action in a GP are nothing like a real acoustic grand action, and in reality are just like any digital action with wooden keysticks, like the Kawai Grand Feel series.

In the end, it doesn't matter all that much; by all accounts the GP's action is a fine one, it feels real and is quite performant, and some people prefer it even to the real-action hybrids. How you like it is really what matters in the end, no?

I chime in when there seems to be confusion about the facts/claims of the action, as quite a few buyers are taken in by the intimation that the GP has a "real acoustic action" like the other hybrids it labels and peers itself against.


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Excellent responses all and I appreciate your time to share your knowledge.


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by BravoRomeo
Curious - what is a hybrid? If the GP-510 doesn't qualify as one, then I'll be happy to retract my post so as not to clutter the thought process here.

Don't worry about it too much. "Hybrid" is already a loaded term, and folks (myself included) may often jump in and point it out.

Exactly right. For example, even in terms of the action. the acoustic piano's sound is heavily colorized by the rigidity of the hammer shank. there is a dramatic difference between the most and least rigid. there's no way to replicate this coloring and adaptive physics in a digital instrument. so while the complexity achieves the tactility of the acoustic action, that tactility is still far removed from the sound as colored by the ultimate impact. it's a complicated fascade that leads to something completely different.

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Originally Posted by BravoRomeo
Yes, I'm still in love with my Bechstein... wonderful piano. That said, my eyes have been opened to the possibility that it'd be OK to downsize if I needed to. It's great there are some compelling options. I wonder how things will look in another 5-10 years.

Curious - what is a hybrid? If the GP-510 doesn't qualify as one, then I'll be happy to retract my post so as not to clutter the thought process here.

No need to retract anything, your post is lovely!

Casio markets the GP line with the term 'hybrid' attached, yet generally the piano nerds such as me consider the term 'hybrid' to mean a true piano action (the full mechanism) in an otherwise digital instrument. Currently, that would only apply to the Yamaha AvantGrand and Kawai Novus instruments.

But in a more relaxed sense, who cares? The Casio/Bechstein action is really good and I sure did like to feel it under my fingers a week ago.

Glad you still love your Bechstein grand. I hope to meet one in person some day to get an impression. It may well be that Blüthner and Bechstein turn out to be my favorite piano builders.

Cheers and the happiest playing,

HZ

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"Casio markets the GP line with the term 'hybrid' attached, yet generally the piano nerds such as me consider the term 'hybrid' to mean a true piano action (the full mechanism) in an otherwise digital instrument. Currently, that would only apply to the Yamaha AvantGrand and Kawai Novus instruments"

Or conversely, an actual acoustic instrument which also incorporates digital sensors and sound engine apropos the Kawai, Yamaha et al. Silent and 'Player' piano ranges!


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Originally Posted by Tog
yet generally the piano nerds such as me consider the term 'hybrid' to mean a true piano action (the full mechanism) in an otherwise digital instrument.

I think that sounds about right. A piano derivative instrument that has pretty much the full hammer striking mechanism, for purposes of making users 'feel' pretty much the same mechanism action as some sort of acoustic piano, except the measured velocity and/or other related quantities are used as inputs to a digital system that outputs notes/sounds nuances etc based on what those inputs are at various times ----- which is pretty much 'digital' anyway.

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True ..... the outputs of these digital systems to become audible to us ..... is analog ... through a digital to audio conversion process.

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Digital to analog that is.

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I really think we should stop calling pianos with purely digital sound sources 'hybrids'. The action does not decide if a piano is hybrid, the sound source does. Silent pianos are hybrids because they have strings as well as a digital sound generator. Digital pianos with 'real' actions are still digital pianos. This is how it always used to be, and changing the meaning of the term 'hybrid' will only create confusion for newcomers on the market.

EDIT: never mind me, from other posts in this thread it seems that this train has left the station long ago. So forget what I wrote. I'm gettin old.

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Ostinato. It's ok. We came back for you. Let's go. And we're off.

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Originally Posted by Tog
Or conversely, an actual acoustic instrument which also incorporates digital sensors and sound engine apropos the Kawai, Yamaha et al. Silent and 'Player' piano ranges!

Originally Posted by Ostinato
I really think we should stop calling pianos with purely digital sound sources 'hybrids'. The action does not decide if a piano is hybrid, the sound source does. Silent pianos are hybrids because they have strings as well as a digital sound generator.

Hence the perpetual lack of resolution smile

I think the only reason we don't move towards the silent/player space for the term is because they are relatively rare (both in the piano world as a whole, and on the digital forum here). You're just more likely to run into the high-end AvantGrands and Novuses (just look at the respective hands-on threads for the N1X and NV-10).


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Originally Posted by Ostinato
I really think we should stop calling pianos with purely digital sound sources 'hybrids'. The action does not decide if a piano is hybrid, the sound source does. Silent pianos are hybrids because they have strings as well as a digital sound generator. Digital pianos with 'real' actions are still digital pianos. This is how it always used to be, and changing the meaning of the term 'hybrid' will only create confusion for newcomers on the market.

EDIT: never mind me, from other posts in this thread it seems that this train has left the station long ago. So forget what I wrote. I'm gettin old.

There are pianos with strings, harps, etc. If they have a silent mode with a digital sound source, they are still acoustic at their core.

Digital pianos, on the other hand needed a marketing differentiator when manufacturers took an acoustic piano action, axed the strings with a digital sound source. Yamaha and Kawai modified there hammers differently, but kept actions mostly intact. IMO, hybrid is a word ppl decided was a good term for these two models. There was a consensus and life was a happy place - until Casio marketeers came along and hijacked the word.

Since then, as ppl who follow these threads know, has caused an outcry and opened up the overuse of the term "Hybrid."

Lastly, IMHO, the design of the upright piano actions with a digital sound source is a money grab. and I would buy a Casio with long wood keys above an upright action hybrid.


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Ppl has decided it was a good term because the first use was about this use. And it couldn’t be confused with Silent piano since Yamaha sells its Disklavier under the Silent registered mark and not under as Hybrid. (But Kawai can’t use Silent about the ATX series because it is a registered mark!)

Then when a term is used the first time in a domain (like Hybrid used by Yamaha about GranTouch, then AventGrand), it is quite logical to associate this term with the first associated meaning and to consider other associations misleading. Whatever the logic behind the new association. (And the main logic with Casio is marketing !)

(Note : the first time Erard produced actions with a repetition lever, they named it double escapement, and 2 century later, we still use the same expression with the same meaning, even if it is not very pertinent : only one escapement jack… but everyone know what I could mean by double escapement… just something which was protected by the US patent #4,631)

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An acoustic piano can be a silent piano too ------ such as in a vacuum environment, or in space (although, not sure what no gravity in space does with the hammers etc hehe).

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Interesting to see the considerations of the term hybrid. To add my completely unrequested two cents:

I would consider an acoustic with a silent player system to be just that: an acoustic with a silent player system. Above all, it is an acoustic. It can function as an acoustic without the silent player system, but the silent player system cannot function on it’s own. The silent player option is just that: an option. But the acoustic element of the instrument is complete, foremost, & dominant.

I’d consider the AvantGrands/Novus’ to be truly “hybrid” because they combine elements of an acoustic and elements of a digital, in equal parts, and in full harmony. Full true acoustic action, full digital sound creation. One doesn’t function without the other. The acoustic action can do nothing without the digital elements, and the digital elements can do nothing without the acoustic action.

-

Also, as others have said, the Casio GP series doesn’t qualify to be a true hybrid since it doesn’t really have a true acoustic action: real key sticks and miniature hammers like the hybrids, but the actual “action” is just a plastic weight visual approximation. HOWEVER, it is a fine instrument, and they’ve done a good job with the weighting to capture the feel of weight and movement a real action would give. Not a hybrid, but the best non-hybrid action on the market in my opinion.

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We could probably say that it's probably fair enough to give the hybrid name to those pianos that really do have the key mechanism being completely acoustic piano type (regardless of what type it is) ----- as in the full hammer system. Somebody basically have to give this version of a 'piano' a name. So they grabbed the hybrid word - since it the instrument really is significant mix between a significant portion of an acoustic piano and a 'regular' digital piano without that 'acoustic' key mechanism. And removing the hammers from the 'hybrid' or tinkering with the key mechanism in the wrong way will most likely make the 'hybrid' no longer work properly.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
An acoustic piano can be a silent piano too ------ such as in a vacuum environment, or in space (although, not sure what no gravity in space does with the hammers etc hehe).

It can be silent, but not a Silent(R) excepted Yamaha Silents. wink

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Originally Posted by Frédéric L
It can be silent, but not a Silent(R) excepted Yamaha Silents. wink

+10

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« Not a hybrid, but the best non-hybrid action on the market in my opinion. » My experience with the Casio action is that they are fairly decent, just like the CLP675 or LX17, but I haven’t the Wow effect of the N1X. Then I am quite puzzled when some piano virtual shops put Casio GP models on the same category than the N1X and NV10S. There is something which doesn’t fit my feelings.


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Originally Posted by Frédéric L
« Not a hybrid, but the best non-hybrid action on the market in my opinion. » My experience with the Casio action is that they are fairly decent, just like the CLP675 or LX17, but I haven’t the Wow effect of the N1X. Then I am quite puzzled when some piano virtual shops put Casio GP models on the same category than the N1X and NV10S. There is something which doesn’t fit my feelings.

True, the hybrids, like the N1X, are significantly better. However, among the non-hybrids, I think the GP-series has the best non-hybrid action on the market, at least in terms of design.

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Originally Posted by Taushi
Originally Posted by Frédéric L
« Not a hybrid, but the best non-hybrid action on the market in my opinion. » My experience with the Casio action is that they are fairly decent, just like the CLP675 or LX17, but I haven’t the Wow effect of the N1X. Then I am quite puzzled when some piano virtual shops put Casio GP models on the same category than the N1X and NV10S. There is something which doesn’t fit my feelings.

True, the hybrids, like the N1X, are significantly better. However, among the non-hybrids, I think the GP-series has the best non-hybrid action on the market, at least in terms of design.

I concur with both of you on the hybrids and the GP versus *all other actions*. Yesterday was my third lengthy store visit in about a month aiming to really get the picture of the available digital actions, in order to see which one would be an improvement for me that i'd be confident investing in.

Best feeling digital hybrid action: Kawai NV10S, but out of my budget.

Acceptable feeling non-hybrid action: after testing all the usuals (really, all Yamahas, all Kawais, and enough Rolands to know their actions too), only ONE would remain feasible: the Casio/Bechstein GP action. Still, currently out of my budget.

I am still pondering the VPC1 as a last resort, although so far I am not super convinced of it either.

Wow, this has been some educational and sobering experience.

Cheers and happy playing,

HZ

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From our experience, a Hybrid is a significant improvement from a digital piano in terms of realism compared to an acoustic, but still falls some way short of bridging the gap between digital/acoustic.

The main obstacle is the sound, still.

However I would state that the acoustic action in a hybrid is very much audible and does go some way in contributing to the overall sound. It adds an extra dimension. But you can still hear and recognise that the underlying sample is digital.

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Originally Posted by DeckardWill
The main obstacle is the sound, still.

I have no issue with digital piano sounds. They sound real enough to me. I decided to just play something very roughly for a sound recording (using a portable audio recorder) this evening ----- just to determine whether a neighbour would be able to tell if it comes from an analog ('acoustic'), or hybrid, or digital. I don't reckon they would be able to tell the difference. LINK

I just kept this one short. I even have some very nice backing ...... from real Australian crickets. This will be nice to listen out for --- for those that aren't in Australia heheh. (and excuse the 'click sounds'. I got short finger nails, but needs a little clip heheh).

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Originally Posted by DeckardWill
From our experience, a Hybrid is a significant improvement from a digital piano in terms of realism compared to an acoustic, but still falls some way short of bridging the gap between digital/acoustic.

The main obstacle is the sound, still.

However I would state that the acoustic action in a hybrid is very much audible and does go some way in contributing to the overall sound. It adds an extra dimension. But you can still hear and recognise that the underlying sample is digital.

These are practice work horses. Maybe you won't hear one played at Carnegie Hall but a tuned piano with great action might be the ticket to getting there. Before I bought N2, I had a 1990 Steinway K. I figured since I couldn't fit a grand, I would get something with a great sound, but the action never motivated me to practice, unlike my hybrid.


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I'm a bit different. You can give me pretty much any workable action .... and I'll just play it anyway ..... as in play/practise whatever works with it.

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Originally Posted by 36251
Before I bought N2, I had a 1990 Steinway K. I figured since I couldn't fit a grand, I would get something with a great sound, but the action never motivated me to practice, unlike my hybrid.

Originally Posted by SouthPark
I'm a bit different. You can give me pretty much any workable action .... and I'll just play it anyway ..... as in play/practise whatever works with it.

I'm in the same boat as 36251. The feel of the action is paramount to me. I *think* most pianists, especially those who grow up with acoustics, are more in SouthPark's boat.

Here's the rub:

Because the feel of the action was so important to me, I found that I ended up being extremely particular about what kind of acoustic piano was really a sizable upgrade from the NV-10...because the action is IMHO really up there in terms of quality.

But if you're moved by the *sound* of the music in a piano, in a lot of cases even an old spinet would be a colossal upgrade from even the best hybrid.


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Yikes - didn't mean to open a can of worms. Oh well. Nevertheless, I agree with many of the points made.

This actually reminds me of the "hybrid" in hybrid cars. My first hybrid car was a Honda Insight (gen 1). Amazing efficiency at 70 MPG, but it was less of a hybrid than the Toyota Prius which could propel the car on battery power alone. Both were laughed at by the EV nerds because these early "hybrids" still depended 100% on gasoline for their fuel source. One of the manufactures even had the gall to market their hybrid as "The electric car you never have to plug in!" Well, you couldn't plug it in even if you wanted to. So, were they really hybrids?

Then came models like the Chevy Volt, arguably much more of a hybrid than either of the above attempts, as you could actually plug it in like a real EV.

Perhaps the hybrid piano technologies could similarly align along a spectrum from mild to complete.

Interesting thread!


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
I'm in the same boat as 36251. The feel of the action is paramount to me. I *think* most pianists, especially those who grow up with acoustics, are more in SouthPark's boat.

Totally understanding of pianists that prefer a particular key mechanism behaviour. You both like piano as much as I do here. We're all in the same pool or sea when it comes to generating nice music and enjoying our piano playing!!

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
Originally Posted by DeckardWill
The main obstacle is the sound, still.

I have no issue with digital piano sounds. They sound real enough to me. I decided to just play something very roughly for a sound recording (using a portable audio recorder) this evening ----- just to determine whether a neighbour would be able to tell if it comes from an analog ('acoustic'), or hybrid, or digital. I don't reckon they would be able to tell the difference. LINK

I just kept this one short. I even have some very nice backing ...... from real Australian crickets. This will be nice to listen out for --- for those that aren't in Australia heheh. (and excuse the 'click sounds'. I got short finger nails, but needs a little clip heheh).

Others feel differently. I, for one, have a huge issue with digital piano sounds. I can tell when I’m hearing a digital, and find even the most expensive digitals to have inferior sound when it comes to properly emulating the sound of an acoustic piano. If the goal is for it sound like a “good digital piano”, many of them are acceptable. If the goal is to have the sound be as close to an acoustic as possible, none are sufficient.

A “neighbor” might not be able to tell the difference between an acoustic or digital, but a pianist who regularly plays an acoustic will be able to discern it, as would anyone who regularly listens to music played on acoustics.

While I think the samples in digitals may be sufficient for certain types of music, especially more modern “Solo Piano”-genre/style compositions, there are other genres where the digital will not be sufficient: in classical, for instance, the sound from a digital will be exposed almost immediately for lacking all the richness, tones, complexity, variety, depth, & interplays of resonance that an acoustic has & that the writing of the genre makes use of.

It largely depends on what you’re looking for. If you just want a good digital piano with a presentable “piano sound”, that’s one thing. If you want a digital piano that authentically emulates an acoustic, that’s another.

I’d say the same argument can be made for action.

If you goal is to use the digital piano as it’s own instrument, for you own personal enjoyment or if you travel with it, then any action will do.

If your digital piano is a piano replacement because you can’t afford a grand of equal quality in action, or because you can’t own a grand in your living space due to neighbors or sound restrictions, than you’re going to want an action that most accurately emulates the action of a fine acoustic. Especially if you perform on acoustics regularly or want a smooth transition to acoustic instruments.

Some people consider the digital piano to be it’s own instrument; a synth-like thing with a faux piano sound as part of it’s offerings. And for them, that may suffice. If your goal is an authentic piano experience, you may be more picky.

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Originally Posted by HZPiano
Originally Posted by Taushi
Originally Posted by Frédéric L
« Not a hybrid, but the best non-hybrid action on the market in my opinion. » My experience with the Casio action is that they are fairly decent, just like the CLP675 or LX17, but I haven’t the Wow effect of the N1X. Then I am quite puzzled when some piano virtual shops put Casio GP models on the same category than the N1X and NV10S. There is something which doesn’t fit my feelings.

True, the hybrids, like the N1X, are significantly better. However, among the non-hybrids, I think the GP-series has the best non-hybrid action on the market, at least in terms of design.

I concur with both of you on the hybrids and the GP versus *all other actions*. Yesterday was my third lengthy store visit in about a month aiming to really get the picture of the available digital actions, in order to see which one would be an improvement for me that i'd be confident investing in.

Best feeling digital hybrid action: Kawai NV10S, but out of my budget.

Acceptable feeling non-hybrid action: after testing all the usuals (really, all Yamahas, all Kawais, and enough Rolands to know their actions too), only ONE would remain feasible: the Casio/Bechstein GP action. Still, currently out of my budget.

I am still pondering the VPC1 as a last resort, although so far I am not super convinced of it either.

Wow, this has been some educational and sobering experience.

Cheers and happy playing,

HZ

I wish there was a store near me with Novus 10s in stock. Even in a major city, it is still harder to find Kawai’s than any other brand.

I’d like to try the NV10s because I’ve heard such good things about it, but unfortunately, all I can find is the NV5.

I’m thinking of upgrading my CLP-785 to a hybrid, and while I’m looking at an N1X, I’m still having the fear of missing out since I’m unable to really do a true comparison between the N1X and the Novus 10S, especially with all the great things I’m hearing about the latter.

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Originally Posted by Taushi
Others feel differently. I, for one, have a huge issue with digital piano sounds. I can tell when I’m hearing a digital, and find even the most expensive digitals to have inferior sound when it comes to properly emulating the sound of an acoustic piano.

A “neighbor” might not be able to tell the difference between an acoustic or digital, but a pianist who regularly plays an acoustic will be able to discern it, as would anyone who regularly listens to music.

I seriously doubt it taushi. As in I seriously doubt that you could tell the difference between an acoustic and a suitably set up digital piano with suitable sound system.

It's my word against yours. But that's ok. Our views are simply different. This also applies to action. I absolutely don't reckon there is a need to have acoustic action for the control and comfort we need for lots of styles of piano playing. I also reckon that my ears and hearing are very likely as good as yours mate. I don't know music making/audio background, and you don't know mine. But we certainly must not underestimate the audio experience of others ... if you know what I mean.

Also ..... a working piano of any sort generates sounds. And the audio we hear will depend not only on the piano features .... but also on the surroundings, which also includes your own hearing system. Filtering and acoustic effects are considered obviously.

But ..... regardless of what I mentioned above. It's fine if you reckon you have particular requirements for your piano needs. But also got to understand that I'm absolutely happy with my digital piano sound and key mechanism behaviour. I actually like to play any kind of piano ..... just like many others. And we know that in this world ..... there are all sorts.

And forgot to add. The crickets plus piano recorded last night was brought to everyone by yamaha p-515. And I genuinely love the key mechanism behaviour of it.

If my digital pianos break down beyond repair in the future, then my next digital pianos are also going to be 'slab' type. That's pretty much all I need for piano music satisfaction.

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Originally Posted by Taushi
Others feel differently. I, for one, have a huge issue with digital piano sounds. I can tell when I’m hearing a digital, and find even the most expensive digitals to have inferior sound when it comes to properly emulating the sound of an acoustic piano. If the goal is for it sound like a “good digital piano”, many of them are acceptable. If the goal is to have the sound be as close to an acoustic as possible, none are sufficient.

A “neighbor” might not be able to tell the difference between an acoustic or digital, but a pianist who regularly plays an acoustic will be able to discern it, as would anyone who regularly listens to music played on acoustics.

While I think the samples in digitals may be sufficient for certain types of music, especially more modern “Solo Piano”-genre/style compositions, there are other genres where the digital will not be sufficient: in classical, for instance, the sound from a digital will be exposed almost immediately for lacking all the richness, tones, complexity, variety, depth, & interplays of resonance that an acoustic has & that the writing of the genre makes use of.

It largely depends on what you’re looking for. If you just want a good digital piano with a presentable “piano sound”, that’s one thing. If you want a digital piano that authentically emulates an acoustic, that’s another.

I’d say the same argument can be made for action.

If you goal is to use the digital piano as it’s own instrument, for you own personal enjoyment or if you travel with it, then any action will do.

If your digital piano is a piano replacement because you can’t afford a grand of equal quality in action, or because you can’t own a grand in your living space due to neighbors or sound restrictions, than you’re going to want an action that most accurately emulates the action of a fine acoustic. Especially if you perform on acoustics regularly or want a smooth transition to acoustic instruments.

Some people consider the digital piano to be it’s own instrument; a synth-like thing with a faux piano sound as part of it’s offerings. And for them, that may suffice. If your goal is an authentic piano experience, you may be more picky.

Agree on this entirely.

It does like everything else though depend on the individual, their requirements and circumstances.

For us, our kid is pretty serious about piano on an academic level, and has a top teacher who fundamentally believes that learning on anything other than an acoustic is a distinct disadvantage.

We have a hybrid through necessity (lack of space in our house for an acoustic), not through specifically preferring a hybrid or a digital. It's the best we can do in our circumstances.

That said, all the benefits of a digital - recording, different samples, bluetooth etc. etc. are great to have.

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Serious doesn't require one to need an acoustic piano 100% of the time for home .... especially when lots of serious piano players even practise and play on digitals ..... not hybrids. Although some use hybrids too obviously.

Everybody knows that pianists will often play somebody else's piano .... acoustic/digital or whatever .... at other venues they might happen to go to. And not everybody's acoustic piano or digital has the same 'action'. Adaptability and flexibility is what it is about. Do what one can with what there is for that situation. Although .... if one isn't able to adapt ... then consider 'right tool' for their purpose.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
I don't know your music making/audio background, and you don't know mine. But we certainly must not underestimate the audio experience of others ... if you know what I mean.

Typo correction from link

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
I seriously doubt it taushi. As in I seriously doubt that you could tell the difference between an acoustic and a suitably set up digital piano with suitable sound system.

It's my word against yours. But that's ok. Our views are simply different. This also applies to action. I absolutely don't reckon there is a need to have acoustic action for the control and comfort we need for lots of styles of piano playing. I also reckon that my ears and hearing are very likely as good as yours mate. I don't know music making/audio background, and you don't know mine. But we certainly must not underestimate the audio experience of others ... if you know what I mean.

Also ..... a working piano of any sort generates sounds. And the audio we hear will depend not only on the piano features .... but also on the surroundings, which also includes your own hearing system. Filtering and acoustic effects are considered obviously.

But ..... regardless of what I mentioned above. It's fine if you reckon you have particular requirements for your piano needs. But also got to understand that I'm absolutely happy with my digital piano sound and key mechanism behaviour. I actually like to play any kind of piano ..... just like many others. And we know that in this world ..... there are all sorts.

And forgot to add. The crickets plus piano recorded last night was brought to everyone by yamaha p-515. And I genuinely love the key mechanism behaviour of it.

If my digital pianos break down beyond repair in the future, then my next digital pianos are also going to be 'slab' type. That's pretty much all I need for piano music satisfaction.

Don’t doubt it: I can tell the difference. I have a Yamaha CLP-785, a hi-fi Samsung 5.1 channel sound system, and Sennheiser 660S headphones. Whether through the sound system or the headphones, I can still instantly tell the difference between the sounds on my digital piano, the sounds from a recording/video of any digital piano, and the sound from an acoustic or a recording of an acoustic. It’s the reason why, after buying all that, I then parted with even more money to get the VSL Synchron Piano software and a laptop to run it, though I would much rather have kept that money in my pocket. And it’s the reason I try to practice on an actual acoustic at least once a week to ensure that what I’m doing on my digital will translate to an acoustic. And I’m not the only one as many people on the board say the same thing & have taken the same steps in their pursuit of authenticity.

I completely agree that our views are different and that our uses are different. And that was my point: that it’s important to accept & allow other people’s perspectives.

If *you* don’t need an authentic action to perform at your best, that’s fine. But there are others who do need an acoustic action for control and comfort in playing their styles of music. I am one of them, and I am not alone.

And while a working piano generates sounds, and you’re fine with that sound, for me, my goal is for the sound to be as authentically close to an acoustic as possible, and I have found that even the best hybrids/digitals can’t accomplish that, when most feature four to seven velocity layers, clipped/looped samples, limited quality, basic recording methods, and lack the near infinite level of dynamic gradations, harmonic interplays, resonance interplays, and much more.

That said, I’m not denying your experience or the fact that you’re happy with what you have and that it works for you. I’m simply saying that minimizing the experience of those for whom that does not suffice is problematic for the very reasons we’re discussing. As you said, that’s all *you* need for piano music satisfaction, but that alone may not suffice for others.

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Originally Posted by Taushi
That said, I’m not denying your experience or the fact that you’re happy with what you have and that it works for you. I’m simply saying that minimizing the experience of those for whom that does not suffice is problematic for the very reasons we’re discussing. As you said, that’s all *you* need for piano music satisfaction, but that alone may not suffice for others.

Nobody is going to have their experience minimised out there in their musical journey. A lot of people will also see and understand the fallacy that an acoustic piano is the 'ultimate' in piano experience for piano sound and 'keyboard' playing experience. We may well have played acoustic pianos and digital pianos as much as each other. And I know from my experience that various modern digital pianos ..... including the ones I'm using .... are as good as any acoustic piano out there. There is no need at all to work towards acoustic action. The reason is because the 'best' acoustic actions in my opinion isn't the 'best action'. And then there are also aspects such as sounds changing or drifting over time acoustics due to the mechanical system changing ... hammers, overtone/voicing issues etc.

So in your last line ... regarding 'not suffice' ... you probably realise that it is a case of acoustic piano features aren't matching the quality of digital or hybrids in terms of sound quality, input key mechanisms etc. Do rather than digitals needing to match or imitate 'acoustics' ...... I reckon it's more like a need for acoustics to match or keep up with digitals these days - in terms of both sound and key mechanism performance.

But - once again - as mentioned previously in other threads --- we both know that music is enjoyed by people that have digitals and/or acoustic pianos. Any instrument - that is enjoyed by somebody (even just one person) is a win already. Somebody that reckons a particular sort is the 'ultimate' ------ is actually misguided. That's for those that reckon a particular sort of instrument (eg. an 'acoustic) is the 'ultimate'.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
Do rather than digitals needing to match or imitate 'acoustics' ...... I reckon it's more like a need for acoustics to match or keep up with digitals these days - in terms of both sound and key mechanism performance.

Typo from cell/mobile phone. The 'do' should be omitted. Excuse any other spotted typos.

Originally Posted by SouthPark
But - once again - as mentioned previously in other threads --- we both know that music is enjoyed by people that have digitals and/or acoustic pianos. Any instrument - that is enjoyed by somebody (even just one person) is a win already. Somebody that reckons a particular sort is the 'ultimate' ------ is actually misguided. That's for those that reckon a particular sort of instrument (eg. an 'acoustic) is the 'ultimate'.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
Originally Posted by Taushi
That said, I’m not denying your experience or the fact that you’re happy with what you have and that it works for you. I’m simply saying that minimizing the experience of those for whom that does not suffice is problematic for the very reasons we’re discussing. As you said, that’s all *you* need for piano music satisfaction, but that alone may not suffice for others.

Nobody is going to have their experience minimised out there in their musical journey. A lot of people will also see and understand the fallacy that an acoustic piano is the 'ultimate' in piano experience for piano sound and 'keyboard' playing experience. We may well have played acoustic pianos and digital pianos as much as each other. And I know from my experience that various modern digital pianos ..... including the ones I'm using .... are as good as any acoustic piano out there. There is no need at all to work towards acoustic action. The reason is because the 'best' acoustic actions in my opinion isn't the 'best action'. And then there are also aspects such as sounds changing or drifting over time acoustics due to the mechanical system changing ... hammers, overtone/voicing issues etc.

So in your last line ... regarding 'not suffice' ... you probably realise that it is a case of acoustic piano features aren't matching the quality of digital or hybrids in terms of sound quality, input key mechanisms etc. Do rather than digitals needing to match or imitate 'acoustics' ...... I reckon it's more like a need for acoustics to match or keep up with digitals these days - in terms of both sound and key mechanism performance.

But - once again - as mentioned previously in other threads --- we both know that music is enjoyed by people that have digitals and/or acoustic pianos. Any instrument - that is enjoyed by somebody (even just one person) is a win already. Somebody that reckons a particular sort is the 'ultimate' ------ is actually misguided. That's for those that reckon a particular sort of instrument (eg. an 'acoustic) is the 'ultimate'.

Well, it can be a bit of a minimization if, when a person makes a thread asking how close a hybrid is to an acoustic, because for their purposes the acoustic is preferred, you suggest to them that they can’t tell the difference anyway; or when people say the sound and action of digitals isn’t up to par to an acoustic for their purposes, you repeatedly put your experience as the standard, even using blanket statements like “we all.” Perhaps that’s just my interpretation.

That said, it’s probably best we agree to disagree. If you think digital pianos sound & play better than acoustics, or that acoustic pianos need to “match” or “keep up” with digital pianos instead, then I don’t think there’s anything more to discuss. Clearly, we disagree on a very fundamental level, and there’s that.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
Nobody is going to have their experience minimised out there in their musical journey. A lot of people will also see and understand the fallacy that an acoustic piano is the 'ultimate' in piano experience for piano sound and 'keyboard' playing experience. .

Sorry but as much as I respect that you are entitled to your opinion, some of what you are saying is veering into misleading.

* I can easily, easily distinguish between a digital/hybrid and an acoustic in terms of sound. We own a PREMIUM hybrid in the NV5S and while it sounds great, it doesn't sound just like an acoustic.

* There are technical limitations even with a hybrid action, relating to sensors and how they work in place of strings. This can make particularly difficult styles more of a challenge or even impossible (read this forum)

* Our experienced teachers from the top tier (including our current, and our previous one) all state that while it is perfectly possible to learn on a digital or hybrid instrument, it is not as ideal as learning on a good acoustic. My uncle is a concert pianist and owns both digital and acoustic - he has no problem transitioning between the two, but he does agree that LEARNING on a digital isn't so ideal.

What Taushi is also saying is that while digital instruments are great, and getting better with each generation, they aren't yet at a level where you could truthfully say they are interchangeable with acoustic pianos, or where you could say it doesn't matter at all if you learn on one or another. For the timebeing that simply is not true.

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Taushi - that's no problem. I totally respect what you like, and what you're happy with. We're all musicians and like music. And we're all quite experienced - not just playing various instruments (acoustic and digital) - but also really like music and audio etc. Each person has their preferences and opinions. I respect that.

Also Will ---- same as above. I have concert pianist friends too - and they're fine with playing pretty much anything. But sure - for a particular application or requirement for particular individuals - they can and will certainly choose the instrument that meets their needs/requirements/criteria/expectations.

In another thread, I was asking somebody if they heard of Lara6683. For lots of musical styles - the sound and performance of say ----- yamaha P-255 appears to be more than adequate.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
There is no need at all to work towards acoustic action. The reason is because the 'best' acoustic actions in my opinion isn't the 'best action'.
Nice said. Especially the first sentence. Although, the best action I personally did experience was that of the Yamaha NU1X. ;-)

Another nice thing is that you can’t make a hard separation in your experience, between action and sound.


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Originally Posted by deafital
Nice said. Especially the first sentence. Although, the best action I personally did experience was that of the Yamaha NU1X. ;-)

Another nice thing is that you can’t make a hard separation in your experience, between action and sound.

+100

Also noticed that your upcoming one is the NU1X. Excellent in that you found that you personally really liked a particular action in an instrument that you encountered. That's going to be so nice! Fantastic sound, plus an action you like - very nice combination indeed.

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Originally Posted by deafital
Originally Posted by SouthPark
There is no need at all to work towards acoustic action. The reason is because the 'best' acoustic actions in my opinion isn't the 'best action'.
Nice said. Especially the first sentence. Although, the best action I personally did experience was that of the Yamaha NU1X. ;-)

Another nice thing is that you can’t make a hard separation in your experience, between action and sound.

I also agree that there in principle is no need to work towards an acoustic action. Unless you want/need to play on an acoustic regularly, in which case it is nice if the actions and pedals aren't wildly different. The fact that digital actions can be emancipated from inherent acoustic design requirements can offer opportunities for improvement/innovation.

Having said that, in practice I generally still like a reasonable acoustic action a lot better than a top digital action. I don't think there is a fundamental reason as to why this has to be so, but it is for me. I switched from a Kawai GFC digital action to a silent piano just for the action.

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Completely agree that in theory there does not have to be a reason why an acoustic action is "better", providing it is fast enough to cater for any style and any level of control.

Where things are complicated is down to the fact that learning on a digital and then having to play an acoustic can be very jarring and tricky. That plus the current discrepancy in sound and 'connection' to the instrument is why in certain circumstances there really is no substitute for an acoustic.

That is why I say that at the moment, digital/hybrid and acoustic aren't like-for-like and simply interchangeable (though that of course is the future aim with manufacturers of digitals, as the market matures and technology improves).

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Originally Posted by DeckardWill
That is why I say that at the moment, digital/hybrid and acoustic aren't like-for-like and simply interchangeable (though that of course is the future aim with manufacturers of digitals, as the market matures and technology improves).

I beg to differ with the sentence between parentheses. I think manufacturers of digitals are not really working towards fully realistic imitation of acoustics. They just want to offer a portfolio of more or less affordable DPs that are good enough for most players. IMO DPs will never replace acoustic pianos. They are just different instruments. I read somewhere in this thread that classical musicians will gradually switch to DPs. I think that's a hilarious view which is simply untrue and I dare anyone to show me a professional classical pianist playing a concerto on a DP.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
There is no need at all to work towards acoustic action. The reason is because the 'best' acoustic actions in my opinion isn't the 'best action'.

Originally Posted by DeckardWill
I also agree that there in principle is no need to work towards an acoustic action.

Originally Posted by DeckardWill
Completely agree that in theory there does not have to be a reason why an acoustic action is "better", providing it is fast enough to cater for any style and any level of control.

I find this sentiment, in the context of a hybrid piano thread, odd smile

It's an entirely valid opinion to think that digital actions don't need to be like acoustics, and also that one does not subjectively consider an acoustic action "the best/ideal thing." That's all fine.

But the entire point of a hybrid piano in the sense of the AvantGrand and Novus, is exactly to replicate an acoustic action as much as possible, in as close to commercially viable a way as "no holds barred" gets you. These makers have imported entire acoustic actions into 300lb instruments, modified them to use non-contact optical sensors to immaculately preserve the touch, and implemented moving action components not even connected to electronic sensors, solely to feel more real. Yamaha even has solenoids to rumble the keyboard and multi-channel recording and output that is not on any other DP in their range, all in the effort of as perfectly replicating an acoustic piano as possible.

So while one might take the view that a DP is a "separate instrument" from an acoustic, and need not even attempt to have a similar feeling action....I'm betting cash money that this isn't at all the design intent OR the core market of the hybrid. In fact, anyone interested in a hybrid is probably very specifically looking for the best possible simulation of an acoustic they can get (and they're willing to pay as much more or for it than a budget upright or grand will cost them).

Originally Posted by Ostinato
I think manufacturers of digitals are not really working towards fully realistic imitation of acoustics. They just want to offer a portfolio of more or less affordable DPs that are good enough for most players.

I think both statements can be true. A P-45 isn't a fully realistic imitation of an acoustic, and I'm sure Yamaha has targeting it at people who think it's good enough, particularly for $500. But they will presumably continue to improve the action and sound over time, so long as it fits in their product tiering strategy. But when it comes to the AvantGrands and Novuses, it's hard to argue that they are NOT seeking a "fully realistic imitation of acoustics" as much as technologically and commercially possible (which again, brings in the "good enough" element).


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Some manufacturers, in an effort to be closer to an acoustic action, at least in marketing terms, include features in their digital actions that are detrimental to playability. The infamous 'let-off simulation' notch in some kawai digitals is an example. Multiple people of this forum opened up their DP and just removed that mechanism (a friction notch) in order to make their piano better playable.

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Originally Posted by pianogabe
features in their digital actions that are detrimental to playability. The infamous 'let-off simulation' notch in some kawai digitals is an example. Multiple people of this forum opened up their DP and just removed that mechanism (a friction notch) in order to make their piano better playable.

100% agree, I considered doing this myself, buy the ca99, cut out the bumper, but I decided against it because I was worried that kawai's transfer function had some sort of compensation timing for the letoffs, so that if removed, the way it calculates note on and off may be offset.

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So, in the context of a CA99 or regular DP, I understand there's some criticism of how the letoff simulation isn't great. And some makers (Casio, Nord) go to specific pains to exclude that feature from their actions.

Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
100% agree, I considered doing this myself, buy the ca99, cut out the bumper, but I decided against it because I was worried that kawai's transfer function had some sort of compensation timing for the letoffs, so that if removed, the way it calculates note on and off may be offset.

If the CA99's GF3 action is anything like the WM88 keyboard in the MP11, that should be an easy, reversible mod. The rubber "escapement" fingers just pop right out of the hammer rail frame. And IIRC, that's the only part of the action that's actually greased.


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
I find this sentiment, in the context of a hybrid piano thread, odd smile

Very good post (your entire one that is) gombessa.

When I back to the thread title - it has 'real thing'. I didn't add earlier in my post(s) that the OP is really assuming the 'acoustic' piano as being the 'real thing' - while all the keyboard instruments that we have - digital, acoustic, or a mixture - are all the 'real thing' - real musical instruments.

The most advanced (technological - material, build, mechanisms, sound-wise etc) from each group are outstanding. All are magnificent creations of people - or hard work from everybody that contributed in the development and evolution of pianos. At the digital piano end (without the hammer works etc) --- the technology has reached the stage of producing input systems with impressive performance/behaviour, that meet or even surpass expectations of piano players at all levels.

Just in case, once again - acoustic pianos, hybrid pianos, and digital pianos - are the real thing. But to answer the answer of say 'how close is a hybrid to an acoustic piano - such as physically', the answer is --- relatively very far. Although, at least --- the key mechanism behaviour of hybrid is the same as at least particular sorts of acoustic piano. And if somebody - for their reason - is after that particular key behaviour/feel, then it's ultra close - in that area.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
When I back to the thread title - it has 'real thing'. I didn't add earlier in my post(s) that the OP is really assuming the 'acoustic' piano as being the 'real thing' - while all the keyboard instruments that we have - digital, acoustic, or a mixture - are all the 'real thing' - real musical instruments.

Typo -- 'go back to'

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
But to answer the answer of say 'how close is a hybrid to an acoustic piano - such as physically', the answer is --- relatively very far. Although, at least --- the key mechanism behaviour of hybrid is the same as at least particular sorts of acoustic piano. And if somebody - for their reason - is after that particular key behaviour/feel, then it's ultra close - in that area.

'question'.

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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by SouthPark
There is no need at all to work towards acoustic action. The reason is because the 'best' acoustic actions in my opinion isn't the 'best action'.

Originally Posted by DeckardWill
I also agree that there in principle is no need to work towards an acoustic action.

Originally Posted by DeckardWill
Completely agree that in theory there does not have to be a reason why an acoustic action is "better", providing it is fast enough to cater for any style and any level of control.

I find this sentiment, in the context of a hybrid piano thread, odd smile

Heeeey, my friend, quoting me in context is important! grin

The emphasis is on 'in principle'. Of course in the real world acoustic pianos have been around in some capacity for hundreds of years, pianos dominate the music space and naturally therefore their acoustic action is what digitals attempt to replicate.

I simply meant that 'in principle' one does not need, in total isolation and without any consideration of the above, to be labelled as 'better'. The action feel is determined by the mechanical characteristics of the time, not because someone decided this is how every piano must feel.

100% - we bought a hybrid because we need an acoustic action. My son's teacher demands it, nothing less.

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Originally Posted by DeckardWill
I simply meant that 'in principle' one does not need, in total isolation and without any consideration of the above, to be labelled as 'better'. The action feel is determined by the mechanical characteristics of the time, not because someone decided this is how every piano must feel.

Yep, if we are talking about achieving "an ideal piano action not constrained by engineering limitations" then the world is your oyster, just throw Cristofori out the window and have at it. You can probably save a lot of money not replicating the complex historical bits needed for hammer and string interaction.

For Yamaha and Kawai building hybrid actions however, i'd assume their gold standard isn't some Platonic ideal of a piano, but rather their own physical samples of the acoustics they produce and are trying to emulate, including all of the mechanical characteristics they might otherwise want to eliminate/minimize.

The issue (as I see it) is it's easy to fall down the path of arbitrary line drawing. There are a lot of threads here where someone just proclaims "graded hammers aren't important, they're just a necessity of the time and the ideal piano WILL have identical weighting for all keys." Or "the ideal piano WILL NOT have any noticeable letoff." But also that "the ideal piano will have 50g downweight for middle C." Really? Who says? I just have a hard time believing anyone to be the arbiter of truth and decider of what is desirable and is merely tolerated.

If someone wants to create their own action with new features for a new instrument class, go for it. But what I like about hybrids is that their mission is expressly versimilitude, to replicate an acoustic piano action as closely as possible, warts and all!


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by DeckardWill
I simply meant that 'in principle' one does not need, in total isolation and without any consideration of the above, to be labelled as 'better'. The action feel is determined by the mechanical characteristics of the time, not because someone decided this is how every piano must feel.

Yep, if we are talking about achieving "an ideal piano action not constrained by engineering limitations" then the world is your oyster, just throw Cristofori out the window and have at it. You can probably save a lot of money not replicating the complex historical bits needed for hammer and string interaction.

For Yamaha and Kawai building hybrid actions however, i'd assume their gold standard isn't some Platonic ideal of a piano, but rather their own physical samples of the acoustics they produce and are trying to emulate, including all of the mechanical characteristics they might otherwise want to eliminate/minimize.

The issue (as I see it) is it's easy to fall down the path of arbitrary line drawing. There are a lot of threads here where someone just proclaims "graded hammers aren't important, they're just a necessity of the time and the ideal piano WILL have identical weighting for all keys." Or "the ideal piano WILL NOT have any noticeable letoff." But also that "the ideal piano will have 50g downweight for middle C." Really? Who says? I just have a hard time believing anyone to be the arbiter of truth and decider of what is desirable and is merely tolerated.

If someone wants to create their own action with new features for a new instrument class, go for it. But what I like about hybrids is that their mission is expressly versimilitude, to replicate an acoustic piano action as closely as possible, warts and all!

Of course - there's some satisfaction in feeling like you are playing a mechanical instrument even setting aside any serious necessity.

For James, he was learning on the P515 then getting lessons once a week on a grand with a completely different feel. The P515 action was so light and different in comparison, every lesson it was utterly jarring having to suddenly adapt. He and his teacher found that really frustrating.

As a workaround he set the key sensitivity to "very hard" but all that did was get him used to hitting the keys harder and losing sensitivity.

A hybrid (partially) resolves this problem for us. Although now we still have the matter of one being an upright action vs. a grand.

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Originally Posted by DeckardWill
For James, he was learning on the P515 then getting lessons once a week on a grand with a completely different feel. The P515 action was so light and different in comparison, every lesson it was utterly jarring having to suddenly adapt. He and his teacher found that really frustrating.

As a workaround he set the key sensitivity to "very hard" but all that did was get him used to hitting the keys harder and losing sensitivity.

A hybrid (partially) resolves this problem for us. Although now we still have the matter of one being an upright action vs. a grand.

I hear you there. That sounds like a case where the P-515 just wasn't close enough to a real acoustic action to learn the proper feel/dynamics your teacher was aiming for. With the hybrid, you close the gap and enter the normal range of "all acoustics feel different to some degree." There may still be wide gulf in feel between an upright and a concert grand, or your teacher's piano and your son's hybrid, but regardless of what that gulf is, it is in that range of "if you play piano, you have to deal with it. Everyone who has played piano throughout history has to deal with the same thing."

That's exactly what I think the hybrid gets you. Not necessary "the perfect" or "best" action, but one that is undoubtedly real enough where the difference between it and any other acoustic piano is within the norm you have you expect as a pianist.


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
That's exactly what I think the hybrid gets you. Not necessary "the perfect" or "best" action, but one that is undoubtedly real enough where the difference between it and any other acoustic piano is within the norm you have you expect as a pianist.

Yep, exactly this - agree totally.

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Originally Posted by pianogabe
Having said that, in practice I generally still like a reasonable acoustic action a lot better than a top digital action. I don't think there is a fundamental reason as to why this has to be so, but it is for me. I switched from a Kawai GFC digital action to a silent piano just for the action.

That's the best situation. As long as the piano player (experienced or even unexperienced) is satisfied with the key mechanism action/behaviour/feel, then that is indeed the best thing (including the sound). In recent threads, I asked somebody (or people) if they heard of Lara6683. That natural talent is making her digital piano really shine. She has it all under easy and comfortable control. Excellent sounds too. She is also very experienced with acoustic pianos. We all know that versatility and flexibility and adaptability is nice. But indeed --- the best situation is that the piano player is satisfied. And we know that in the world, that not everybody has the same privileges - and that is ok too. If lucky enough to have a working piano (digital or acoustic) of any sort - then there's something we know here ----- having something is better than nothing.

The original topic does indeed have the words 'the real thing'. And we do know that the OP is referring to 'acoustic pianos'. While all instruments we have are actually 'the real thing' (real deal), we can assume that the OP is really after the key mechanism behaviour of an acoustic piano of some sort. In that case, the hybrid piano action really does have the key mechanism behaviour of an acoustic piano of some sort.

Also noting that the best quality/designed acoustic piano actions are good -- but also have to keep in mind what sort of effort is needed to not only get the behaviour to be good (and the sound as well) ----- and to maintain it to be that good over time (the maintenance/service side of things). Although, also noting that digital pianos and hybrids can develop their own issues as well. That's expected with relatively complex/complicated 'machines' (like digital pianos and acoustic pianos).

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
And we know that in the world, that not everybody has the same privileges - and that is ok too. If lucky enough to have a working piano (digital or acoustic) of any sort - then there's something we know here ----- having something is better than nothing.

In the above - I'm not referring to Lara6683, who is very successful. I'm referring to people that actually don't have the same privileges as others.

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I entirely agree with you SouthPark. There is no need for an acoustic to be able to create fantastic music. And DPs have indeed opened up the world of piano for less privileged people, although for a large part of the world still unreachable unfortunately. They even open up the world of piano for financially more privileged people, as many people would not buy an acoustic as a beginner because the investment is too large if you aren´t sure yet if this is going to work out. I wouldn't even have bought my current acoustic as an intermediate player if it wasn't also digital (because of neighbors).

I bought my acoustic just for the action because I had developed medical issues (osteoarthritis) on my digital Kawai CA-58, which exerted too large forces and was too uneven for my midlife-aged beginner fingers. I almost stopped playing definitively until I found out that a comparatively light acoustic action (Kawai K200/K300 series) did not cause problems for me (other people have reported this as well and long threads here on PW have speculated as to why this generally might be the case). It was a bit of a gamble buying a new K300 (with silent option) because I wasn´t sure if inflammation would indeed would stay, but it did. I wasn't specifically looking for the ´acoustic´ sound and could have opted for the digital NV-5 (which I think has the same action as the K300), but the price difference wasn't that big, and I figured it would be nice to have the option of acoustic sound.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
In the above - I'm not referring to Lara6683, who is very successful. I'm referring to people that actually don't have the same privileges as others.

May I politely ask what is the relevance of 'Lara6683' in this conversation? I hear you mentioning this person in your posts everywhere. On youtube she strikes me as a perfectly capable but hardly remarkable keyboard player.

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Thanks for your post PG. Excellent post. And totally agree with your views too. Thanks for sharing the information about the choices taken, and this pathway that allows you to handle the situation, and still able to enjoy playing the piano. Hoping the inflammation condition improves with more treatment. All the best PG!

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Originally Posted by DeckardWill
May I politely ask what is the relevance of 'Lara6683' in this conversation? I hear you mentioning this person in your posts everywhere. On youtube she strikes me as a perfectly capable but hardly remarkable keyboard player.

May I ask you politely in return if you're much more capable than her in piano skills? Sure, I can answer you. The point is ..... she plays the piano extremely well. She has particular talents. Gifted. And she demonstrates remarkable piano playing and musical skills ..... and she makes one of her pianos ... a P-255 ... really shine. So basically ..... the point is ... one absolutely does not require an 'acoustic' piano key mechanism or mechanical hammers or acoustic piano sound to make awesome and beautiful music. But this is about one piano type versus another.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
The point is ..... she plays the piano extremely well. She has particular talents. Gifted. And she demonstrates remarkable piano playing and musical skills ..... and she makes one of her pianos ... a P-255 ... really shine. So basically ..... the point is ... one absolutely does not require an 'acoustic' piano key mechanism or mechanical hammers or acoustic piano sound to make awesome and beautiful music. But this is about one piano type versus another.

Specifically though this thread is about hybrid pianos and their closeness to an acoustic. She does not play a hybrid so again, not sure she has particular relevance to this subject matter.

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Originally Posted by DeckardWill
Specifically though this thread is about hybrid pianos and their closeness to an acoustic. She does not play a hybrid so again, not sure she has particular relevance to this subject matter.

It is also about the words 'real thing' ..... referring to the title. As can be seen from the examples of Lara6683 and other people like her ...... acoustic 'action' ..... unnecessary for great music.

But ..... already mentioned ... just in case, once again ..... whatever somebody chooses to buy ... that is fine. As long as they're fine with it, then that's great. Although, it's ok to point out that you don't actually require acoustic 'action' for a heap of piano music playing. That's about it really.

Will ... just replying to your comment in the 'next' post. It's not deleted. The reference was merely an example for you to take in.

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I see that your last post has been deleted SouthPark.

May I politely suggest that if you want to talk about 'Lara6683', you create a thread specifically about her? So that hybrid owners and potential hybrid buyers can discuss the subject matter. Thank you.

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Originally Posted by SpithPark
It is also about the words 'real thing' ..... referring to the title.

I see this pop in other domains...and I'm not the OP but I would suggest not reading too much or too metaphorically into "real thing." It doesn't mean digital pianos are incapable of making music or that the people who play them are not real musicians.

The fact is, a digital piano (including hybrids) have a mission, to emulate an acoustic piano as closely as possible. Their sound engines, their keys, their action and pedals, speaker placement, everything is based on, aimed to, measured against, compared to, marketed as, and in the case of hybrids even taken directly from, acoustic pianos. I don't think it's derogatory in the thread title to refer to acoustic pianos as "the real thing," in the sense that this is what the hybrid is striving to emulate.

Originally Posted by SouthPark
She has particular talents. Gifted. And she demonstrates remarkable piano playing and musical skills ..... and she makes one of her pianos ... a P-255 ... really shine.

Pardon the aside, but I've never seen Lara with a P255. I think she plays a P-155 (not that it makes any difference)? Talented artists can make any instrument shine. Again, nobody is saying you need a hybrid or acoustic in order to play virtuosically, or to take advantage of aphasia, perfect pitch or a gift to play by ear.


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Originally Posted by DeckardWill
May I politely suggest that if you want to talk about 'Lara6683', you create a thread specifically about her? So that hybrid owners and potential hybrid buyers can discuss the subject matter. Thank you.

I disagree and would be a lot more tolerant. As Gombessa says, the thread title is unlikely meant in a derogatory way, but on the other hand it isn't strange either that someone highlights that not only acoustic pianos are real. Especially not on a digital forum, with lots of people playing music on digital pianos.

Why would only hybrid owners and potential hybrid buyers allowed to say something in a thread like this? I welcome opinions especially if they are motivated. Isn't interesting to see how many people would advice *not* to buy a hybrid as a grand piano replacement and for what reasons? Or why hybrids exist at all? The OP can always decide to weigh in this info or not. I don't see the point of telling people who have an honest opinion/contribution to go away. If this line of thinking was prevalent I would read almost no threads.

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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Pardon the aside, but I've never seen Lara with a P255. I think she plays a P-155 (not that it makes any difference)? Talented artists can make any instrument shine. Again, nobody is saying you need a hybrid or acoustic in order to play virtuosically, or to take advantage of aphasia, perfect pitch or a gift to play by ear.

Just double-checked. It is the P-155 that she uses. I put in 255 .... but should be 155. The 155 model came before the 255. It's true. My responses were about the 'real thing' words in the title. And also adding. I know that you and I could make the 155 sound great. Although ..... I definitely haven't got absolute pitch and that particular mental music processing power.

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On hybrid pianos vs, acoustic pianos...

OP, our experience is that the hybrid does provide a step closer to the realism of an acoustic, but not to the extent that a hybrid can be considered a flawless substitute for a real acoustic.

Sensors at the end of a real action is a great compromise but won't give an identical experience to an acoustic in terms of connection to the instrument.

Same with pedals, same with the sound reproduction.

Hybrids are absolutely a worthy consideration though providing you try them first (if you can) and have realistic expectations.

pianogabe - I am not trying to be difficult. It's simply that I have been following various recent posts from users and prospective buyers, and references from this user on this particular youtuber appear to crop up on all of them, where really it isn't adding anything in furthering the conversation.

There are other threads more suitable for sharing videos of people we like without leading topics off course, is all.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
I know that you and I could make the 155 sound great.

I snorted. Maybe YOU can! But I would probably make a Borgata Grand Prix beg for the junkyard after 2 pathetic minutes 🤣


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I would love to see an objective Bosendorfer D214VC ENPro comparsion P-155 review by you Gombessa! laugh

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Originally Posted by Gombessa
I snorted. Maybe YOU can! But I would probably make a Borgata Grand Prix beg for the junkyard after 2 pathetic minutes 🤣

hahaha! Such modesty! Thumbs up!

Originally Posted by pianogabe
I would love to see an objective Bosendorfer D214VC ENPro comparsion P-155 review by you Gombessa! laugh

haha PG! There's golng to be too much bias in that review. But jokes aside. It is really nice in that everybody is enjoying the piano playing with the variety of absolutely wonderful instruments out there.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
Originally Posted by deafital
Nice said. Especially the first sentence. Although, the best action I personally did experience was that of the Yamaha NU1X. ;-)

Another nice thing is that you can’t make a hard separation in your experience, between action and sound.

+100

Also noticed that your upcoming one is the NU1X. Excellent in that you found that you personally really liked a particular action in an instrument that you encountered. That's going to be so nice! Fantastic sound, plus an action you like - very nice combination indeed.

+101

Nobody has to be offended or take it for the truth, if I say when I did look upwards the nv10 showed the n1x it’s tail.

Your “ There is no need at all to work towards acoustic action. ” also applies for grand action versus upright action.

However I see room for a lighter upright touch, with modified mechanics, accommodating some nv10 candidates. ‘NU3X’


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Originally Posted by deafital
However I see room for a lighter upright touch, with modified mechanics, accommodating some nv10 candidates. ‘NU3X’

+100. There is room indeed for that. It's awesome how the design teams work toward providing instruments that accommodate everybody.

Also ... for the NU1X ... yamaha came up with a nice firmware fix for the surprise 'loud' note issue that surfaced sometimes, which wasn't really acceptable. You probably know about that one already. They got a solid fix for it which is nice. Maybe nobody knows that the history is about that issue (although non-issue now, as there's the fix for it) ------ but would be extremely interesting if anybody from the 'rigorous' testing department actually encountered that issue during the rigorous testing phase for that particular hybrid piano.

For my P-515 (non hybrid) - I was actually surprised with one unsatisfactory behaviour, where the one-button push recording mode really does start recording our playing once we begin to play (which beings in the automatic paused recording mode). But the note (sound) from the very first key strike is very noticeably delayed, while all succeeding keys pushed there-after is all fine. So a 'slightly' poor effort from the 'rigorous' testing department. Not a major issue though, as a work-around is to just hit one more button to start recording in 'unpaused' mode. So no real drama overall. Maybe yamaha will have an update sometime in the future (nobody knows for sure though for a fix). But at least they really put out a software fix for the previously unacceptable issue with the NU1X hybrid.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
Also ... for the NU1X ... yamaha came up with a nice firmware fix for the surprise 'loud' note issue that surfaced sometimes, which wasn't really acceptable. You probably know about that one already. They got a solid fix for it which is nice. Maybe nobody knows that the history is about that issue (although non-issue now, as there's the fix for it) ------ but would be extremely interesting if anybody from the 'rigorous' testing department actually encountered that issue during the rigorous testing phase for that particular hybrid piano.

I think the answer to that is clearly yes, during testing of the NU1X, during testing of the prior generation NU1, and even years before the NU1 was ever released, or even conceived.

The NU1 and NU1X manual expressly call out the loud note issue, saying that:


Quote
When playing the same key repeatedly and quickly or playing a trill continuously for a long time, a sound louder than expected (considering your playing strength) might very occassionally occur. This might be caused by the mechanical structure of the keys and the action; this is normal, but only very seldom occurs. - NU1 manual, page 31

And way, way before the development of the NU1, in fact back in 1997, Yamaha's own patent for an optical hammer sensor calls out the limitations that begat this feature:

Quote
The first monitoring system includes key sensors respectively provided for the black and white keys of the keyboard, and each of the key sensors detects the associated key moved between a rest position and an end position at more than one point. The detecting points are spaced apart by a predetermined distance, and reports the detections at the points to a data processor forming a part of the tone generator. The data processor calculates a key velocity, and estimates the intensity of the impact and the impact timing

...

However, the first monitoring system encounters a problem in fidelity of the electronic sounds. This is because of the fact that the key motion represented by the key velocity does not correspond to the hammer motion at all times.

For example, if a player mincingly repeats a key across the detecting points, the acoustic tones are not loud due to the short stroke. However, the key velocity is so large that tone generator tailors the audio signal representing a loud sound. The electronic sound is too loud, and the player wonders the loud electronic sound.

As discovered by former member Cybergene a few years back.

Yamaha was well aware of the limitations of a key-only sensor system from the beginning. And they actually have an upright hammer sensor....they just....don't use it on their upright hybrid???

I used the fixed firmware for the NU1, and can confirm that it doesn't 100% fix the loud note issue (it's impossible that it could do so). A 100% fix requires using a hammer sensor.


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Thanks gombessa. Excellent post and most excellent information!

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Originally Posted by DeckardWill
Originally Posted by SouthPark
In the above - I'm not referring to Lara6683, who is very successful. I'm referring to people that actually don't have the same privileges as others.

May I politely ask what is the relevance of 'Lara6683' in this conversation? I hear you mentioning this person in your posts everywhere. On youtube she strikes me as a perfectly capable but hardly remarkable keyboard player.

I’ve seen the same thing, and I’ve felt the same way. Having seen some of her Youtube videos upon recommendation, I would not consider her a remarkable keyboard player or even a remarkably gifted musician. There are many on Youtube and in real life who do what she does & do it better. She’s had the good sense to market herself to the Twitch & Youtube audience that likes her aesthetic & are willing to pay to see her play/hear her renditions of pop songs & video game/anime/tv/movie/cartoon songs. If you like that, wonderful, and she deserves kudos for her branding & advertising ability. However, I certainly wouldn’t lift her as a standard if the conversation is whether or not people can use digitals the same way they use acoustics, simply because she doesn’t possess the best technique or musical talent in her field/genre, & complexity of performance is the defining factor that separates acoustics from digitals. Popularity doesn’t always translate to the measure of one’s talent. Unless a person has an extremely virtuosic technique & high level of musicianship and prefers digitals, then they shouldn’t be lifted as a response to the claim that digitals don’t allow for the complexity that acoustics do.

- And just in general:

I must also say that I don’t understand the vitriol to this topic, & the resulting unnecessary crusade by people who prefer digitals to acoustics. Pretending offense at the suggestion that acoustics are “the real thing” is an illogical stance. The bottom line is that, at this point, hybrid pianos & digital pianos are still built to emulate the acoustic instrument. When you look at how Yamaha, Kawai, Casio, & Roland build & even advertise their digitals, it is based on their ability to replicate the experience of a real acoustic instrument, e.g. GrandTouch, GrandFeel, hybrid actions, samples of top-tier acoustics, and even emulation of the look of acoustics. To pretend that they are not modeled after acoustics, and to act as if acoustics aren’t, thus, “the real thing” is an odd hill. (And digital pianos/hybrids are different from stage pianos, synthesizers, etc.)

There also seems to be this glaring straw man response. People are acting as if those of us who point out that acoustics are superior *for certain genres* are somehow suggesting that you can’t make “amazing” & “beautiful” music on a digital, and using that intentional misrepresentation & glaring distortion of our position as some rallying cry to push digitals as equal in all capacities. But the discussion was never about the ability to create “amazing” or “beautiful” music. The statement was that acoustics are *superior for certain genres*. Those points are not the same. The fact is there are some genres of music for which digitals do not surpass acoustics at matching the musical intent of a performer. And erasing/ignoring that by saying “ oh well it works for what I like so that means it’s perfect” is fallacious.

If the actions in a digital suffice for the genre of music you like, but *don’t* suffice for all genres, then it is still imperfect, because it doesn’t work for everything, whereas an acoustic does. And if even with the assistance of virtual instruments that offer hundreds of velocity layers, highest quality sound, and GBs upon GBs of data, the sound quality of a digital still doesn’t surpass that of an acoustic *in certain genres*, then it is still imperfect. Anything you can do on a digital piano (hybrid or otherwise) you can do on an acoustic, but the same simply is not true in reverse. On an acoustic, you can play anything from the prohibitively complex classical works of Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Beethoven, Alkan, Scriabin, & Prokofiev & the finger-busting virtuoso classic jazz arrangements of Art Tatum & Thelonious Monk to the triads, powerchords, & floating harmonies of modern music. You cannot exceptionally play extraordinarily complex music of *any* genre on a digital, with the same sonic quality and ease of performance that you can get on an acoustic. And erasing the experiences of people who perform genres of music for which digitals are not sufficient in an attempt to push the point that digitals are equal is false logic. Lara on Youtube may be able to do the genre of music she does on a digital, but those who play music with more complex technical requirements or more complex musical requirements still recognize that digitals can only approximate an acoustic, ***IF YOUR GOAL IS AN AUTHENTIC PIANO SOUND***.

These glaring omissions of fact, straw man misinterpretations/distortions, & the imagined insult simply by highlighting the realities of acoustics vs. digitals are odd. The highlighting of the perceived weaknesses of acoustics and the glossing over of the weaknesses of digitals is odd. The minimization of people’s experiences, even going as far as to deny people’s ability to differentiate between digitals & acoustics, despite what they say, is odd. And the forceful steering of the topic toward digital supremacy, when the OP was very clear in their feeling, their preference, and their question is odd. So I’m not quite sure that it is those who hold acoustics as the standard who’ve been “intolerant”, thus far, in this thread.

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Originally Posted by Taushi
So I’m not quite sure that it is those who hold acoustics as the standard who’ve been “intolerant”, thus far, in this thread.

Not sure if this is in response to my post, but since I asked for more tolerance: that had nothing to do with opinions on acoustics vs digitals vs hybrids. This was about who can participate in the thread.

On the topic itself: in my opinion if your goal is to get an authentic piano sound, which you mention, my answer is that DPs and hybrids are "not very close". The sound is less close than that of good VSTs, and the difference between the best VSTs and acoustic sound is also still substantial.

The OP's question was how close it "feels", and then it depends on what you mean with "feel". Touch (as in force on your fingers) is identical for a hybrid because the action is an acoustic action. However, it has been pointed out that you can't fully separate that component of feeling with the component of hearing. The brain mixes different modalities in one experience. And so the sound produced has an effect on how an action feels.

Of further relevance, but not often mentioned, is that the latency between key press movement and sound generation on a hybrid (and DP) may be different than on an acoustic, and thus influences how the action feels. I quantified this on my upright silent piano, which you can see as a hybrid NV5 with only headphone output and an acoustic K300 in one piano. It turns out that the hybrid part has overall a shorter key movement-sound latency than the acoustic part. Also, latency does not scale in the same way with key velocity. On the acoustic component latency scales more strongly with key velocity than is the case on the hybrid component.

Whether or not this leads to a feeling that is close enough is subjective. Personally I think a hybrid is a perfect solution for people who want an acoustic action for whatever reason, but who can almost never play acoustically because of neighbors etc. But I would not buy it as a replacement for an acoustic grand because you can't find a suitable grand on the current market. I would be more patient and wait until you do find a nice grand piano.

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Originally Posted by pianogabe
Originally Posted by Taushi
So I’m not quite sure that it is those who hold acoustics as the standard who’ve been “intolerant”, thus far, in this thread.

Not sure if this is in response to my post, but since I asked for more tolerance: that had nothing to do with opinions on acoustics vs digitals vs hybrids. This was about who can participate in the thread.

My post wasn't really intolerant, though, was it? I was merely pointing out that a user has been posting the same thing on several different threads with links to a keyboard player whose output bears absolutely no relevance to the points being discussed, and that perhaps there are more suitable places to talk about and promote her.

I don't know what the rules are on this forum, but do know that on many that would be considered 'spam' and the user would be asked to stick to the topic. This has nothing to do with tolerance or intolerance.

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PG ----- I think it was a response to maybe me, and anybody else that made a comment about for example a hybrid and/or digital can be (or is) just as good as an acoustic in both sound and/or key mechanism behaviour - depending on application and sort of music being played etc. Like many others here, I have played premium grand pianos by myself, inside an empty auditorium, and recording the sounds, and listening to the sounds. And I am going to say to Taushi - something along the lines of 'are you kidding me?!' ----- as in ---- I know that acoustic grand pianos, upright acoustics, digitals, hybrids etc ----- are all good. You can go good stuff on all of them. It's only when you need particular extra performance ----- is when you will consider the same thing we all know -- such as suitable or right tool for a job. And no Taushi -- one particular acoustic instrument might not necessarily match the tone or voice of some other instrument, or some particular singer, or some particular style of music. In some cases, the sound from a particular upright piano could match somebody's voice, like a glove. And not all pianos (acoustics, digitals, hybrids) have they same key mechanism actions. And not everybody needs to feel that the particular key mechanism action that you prefer or really like is what they really prefer or really like, or is comfortable/happy with.

But - back to the root/tonic once again - which is --- the answer to is hybrid close the the 'real' thing? That can be self-answered ----- by hopping down to a music store. Or driving/or flying to a town or city that has a good range of pianos (hybrid, acoustic etc). And there ----- one will be able to try, and there lies various answers, which includes the answer to the OP's question. Try before buy (for oneself) is always recommended.

And also - the comment from Taushi (and/or Will) about Lara6683 being not remarkable, and not gifted etc --- I'll only make a serious response if they claim for themselves that their own piano skills and musical abilities actually match or surpass her piano skills and musical abilities.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
And also - the comment from Taushi (and/or Will) about Lara6683 being not remarkable, and not gifted etc --- I'll only make a serious response if they claim for themselves that their own piano skills and musical abilities actually match or surpass her piano skills and musical abilities.

You're perfectly entitled to your view that 'Lara6683' is remarkable. You have made this clear a really quite large number of times now on a variety of threads. That's great, but perhaps a thread on her specifically is a better idea?

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
You can go good stuff on all of them.

Typo..... 'do'

Will ..... I got the point across now ... to you. So will leave it at that for now.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
Originally Posted by SouthPark
You can go good stuff on all of them.

Typo..... 'do'

Will ..... I got the point across now ... to you. So will leave it at that for now.

I can state with confidence that my own son is better than this youtuber. I can state with confidence that my aunt, a piano teacher, is better. I can state with confidence that my uncle, who is a pianist and conductor and has performed with the LSO, is better.

Referencing them would also be more relevant since my son learns on a hybrid but gets lessons on an acoustic, while my uncle owns both. But this is all besides the point: if people want to ask about them that's great, but I'm not going to sideline topics asking people to go looking for them on youtube.

I have now answered your question and will also leave it at that, so perhaps this thread can return to topic.

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Why are we delving into a who’s better conversation?
Admittedly, I did not read all 11 pages of this thread.

However, comments like this seem very subjective. Better at what? How?

I remember my piano juries. I was always better at dynamic expression, than say perhaps fingering technique. Does that make me a worse pianist?
Worse than who? Why?

Some folks are “better” at jazz or pop, than classical? Or perhaps they are just more prepared and/or comfortable. Does this make them better or worse as a musician? Perhaps just different.

As for the hybrid action….speaking as a new owner of the Kawai NV5S and frequent player of other acoustic pianos….it is close. The Millennium 3 action is a heavier one than either of the Yamahas I play (C3 and P22). I’m not sure I can explain it well, but it does seem like the hybrid hammer is hitting something more solid and less springy than a set of strings. I am not sure if that it an accurate description though. The hybrid is quite expressive (snd once the bushings wear a bit more, it will be quite nice -the keys are snug). Overall, I think the hybrid is a fine practice instrument.

Last edited by I. Bruton; 05/20/22 10:38 AM.

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Originally Posted by I. Bruton
Why are we delving into a who’s better conversation?

Yep. Sorry it came to that. But this is what prompted it:

Originally Posted by SouthPark
I'll only make a serious response if they claim for themselves that their own piano skills and musical abilities actually match or surpass her piano skills and musical abilities.

Agreed on the NV5S Millennium 3 action -it is really rather heavy compared even to a lot of uprights we've tried. But it's a proper action and therefore as you say very close to replicating an acoustic instrument.

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Originally Posted by I. Bruton
The Millennium 3 action is a heavier one than either of the Yamahas I play (C3 and P22). I’m not sure I can explain it well, but it does seem like the hybrid hammer is hitting something more solid and less springy than a set of strings. I am not sure if that it an accurate description though.

This is a pretty interesting observation. For one, because I've wondered it myself as well. But also, because I think there is a psychological aspect. With the escapement in an acoustic piano, the hammer should be detached from the keys when it hits the string (or cushioned stop rail, in the case of a Novus). So how does it feel like a more substantial stop? I think part of it may be because I don't have my hybrid set to the same volume as an acoustic piano, so the "thunk" of the action is more audible, and that impacts my feel.

As to tightness of the action, I do agree this has to do with the piano being new. FWIW, I have NEVER felt a more tight (as in precise, lacking side-to-side play/wobble, not as in uncomfortable) action than a new Yamaha C3X. It's like pushing down on a finely machined hunk of steel. But I've played C-series before and they certainly don't stay like that, they do loosen up.


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Originally Posted by I. Bruton
Why are we delving into a who’s better conversation?
Admittedly, I did not read all 11 pages of this thread.

True. But let’s kick this up a notch by getting past the lightweight gamer/movie music and establish this as the new “bar” by which keyboard playing is measured:



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Some folks are “better” at jazz or pop, than classical? Or perhaps they are just more prepared and/or comfortable. Does this make them better or worse as a musician? Perhaps just different.

Very well said. Most of the professional pianists and musicians I know have their favorite performers for a particular genre or composer, never a one-size-fits-all standard for everything. With perhaps a bias towards one’s own teacher (or pedagogical lineage) being a wholly understandable exception.

It does appear this thread is just chasing its horrendously lengthy tail, or we’re listening to the sound of one hand clapping. grin


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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by I. Bruton
Why are we delving into a who’s better conversation?
Admittedly, I did not read all 11 pages of this thread.

True. But let’s kick this up a notch by getting past the lightweight gamer/movie music and establish this as the new “bar” by which keyboard playing is measured:



No room on that screen for a scrolling stream of comments and heart emoji!

Quote
Some folks are “better” at jazz or pop, than classical? Or perhaps they are just more prepared and/or comfortable. Does this make them better or worse as a musician? Perhaps just different.

Very well said. Most of the professional pianists and musicians I know have their favorite performers for a particular genre or composer, never a one-size-fits-all standard for everything. With perhaps a bias towards one’s own teacher (or pedagogical lineage) being a wholly understandable exception.

It does appear this thread is just chasing its horrendously lengthy tail, or we’re listening to the sound of one hand clapping. grin

I like my electric organs with far more buttons than that huh.... laugh


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Originally Posted by SouthPark
PG ----- I think it was a response to maybe me, and anybody else that made a comment about for example a hybrid and/or digital can be (or is) just as good as an acoustic in both sound and/or key mechanism behaviour - depending on application and sort of music being played etc. Like many others here, I have played premium grand pianos by myself, inside an empty auditorium, and recording the sounds, and listening to the sounds. And I am going to say to Taushi - something along the lines of 'are you kidding me?!' ----- as in ---- I know that acoustic grand pianos, upright acoustics, digitals, hybrids etc ----- are all good. You can go good stuff on all of them. It's only when you need particular extra performance ----- is when you will consider the same thing we all know -- such as suitable or right tool for a job. And no Taushi -- one particular acoustic instrument might not necessarily match the tone or voice of some other instrument, or some particular singer, or some particular style of music. In some cases, the sound from a particular upright piano could match somebody's voice, like a glove. And not all pianos (acoustics, digitals, hybrids) have they same key mechanism actions. And not everybody needs to feel that the particular key mechanism action that you prefer or really like is what they really prefer or really like, or is comfortable/happy with.

But - back to the root/tonic once again - which is --- the answer to is hybrid close the the 'real' thing? That can be self-answered ----- by hopping down to a music store. Or driving/or flying to a town or city that has a good range of pianos (hybrid, acoustic etc). And there ----- one will be able to try, and there lies various answers, which includes the answer to the OP's question. Try before buy (for oneself) is always recommended.

And also - the comment from Taushi (and/or Will) about Lara6683 being not remarkable, and not gifted etc --- I'll only make a serious response if they claim for themselves that their own piano skills and musical abilities actually match or surpass her piano skills and musical abilities.

This was, essentially, word salad. Opaque, nebulous, circular wording, that ignores the factual statements & doesn’t address the claims, to ultimately push your narrative. And the same sort of “we all know” statements, where you present your opinions as fact; an argumentum ad populum fallacy not even rooted in an actual majority consensus. The conversation was not about how digitals and acoustics “are all good” & “you can do good stuff on all of them”. I was very clear: A.) what you can do on an acoustic, you cannot do on a digital, as it pertains to extremely complex music of any genre, both in terms of action & sound, B.) digital piano actions (excepting hybrids) cannot handle the extremely virtuosic playing the same way an acoustic can, C.) digital pianos are modeled, built, and advertised after acoustics, and thus acoustics are, in fact, “the real thing”. Ignoring those statements with platitudes doesn’t support your point. And this sort of opaque backtracking to “they’re all good” and “find the right tool for the right job” is not the same point you made earlier.

It’s possible to know the limitations of digitals and still consider them fine instruments, without ignoring the reality that they are still approximations of the real thing. Darn good approximations, especially when speaking of hybrids and top-tier digitals, but approximations, none the less.

And when Lara can play some serious works by Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Beethoven, or some virtuosic arrangements by Tatum or Monk, or even some works by more modern virtuosos, then we’ll talk. Until then, I’m not prepared to concede that her cover of the Friends theme song, hammered out with octaves and power chords, is the standard. Again, there’s a world outside your perception. While she may be the stars in your sky, there are others for whom she isn’t the standard.

Originally Posted by pianogabe
Not sure if this is in response to my post, but since I asked for more tolerance: that had nothing to do with opinions on acoustics vs digitals vs hybrids. This was about who can participate in the thread.

I don’t think DeckardWill’s post was about who can participate in the thread. It was about the relevance of spamming multiple threads with mentions of a YouTuber, even when that person isn’t relevant to the conversation.

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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
True. But let’s kick this up a notch by getting past the lightweight gamer/movie music and establish this as the new “bar” by which keyboard playing is measured:



No room on that screen for a scrolling stream of comments and heart emoji!

Not bad, but audibly lacking a briliance that can only be exhibited through skimpy cosplay.

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Originally Posted by Taushi
I don’t think DeckardWill’s post was about who can participate in the thread. It was about the relevance of spamming multiple threads with mentions of a YouTuber, even when that person isn’t relevant to the conversation.

You are incorrect Taushi. You're wrong. Poor form from you in the way that you conjured this lie about 'spamming' ('spamming multiple threads'). The limited mention is/was for mentioning to people such as you (whenever appropriate that is) that there are gifted pianists using pianos other than the 'acoustic' sort, and they have no problem with action and/or sound. And their ears and musical ability are possibly better than both your ears and Will's ----- combined.

The thread title does indeed have the words 'the real thing'. As mentioned - all our instruments we use are 'the real thing'. There is uncertainty about whether or not the OP is after 'the real thing' (as in their interpretation that the 'real thing' is 'acoustic piano') due to thinking that having not 'the real thing' will be a disadvantage in some way(s).

Also - while I'm at it - I disagree with you about comments you wrote about 'digitals' (which also includes hybrids) not capable of 'complex' (complicated) piano music.

And once again, back to the title of the thread. As mentioned - the OP will certainly find the answer by heading (in any way that they can) to a suitable music instrument store (or as many stores as needed), to do some comparisons behind hybrids and digitals and acoustics ----- and the answer to their question will personally be found. And try enough of all of the different sorts. This also includes playing expertly tuned and configured 'premium' grand pianos. The OP isn't going to get her answer in this thread - as they will only find out for themselves by personal trying out of the various sorts of instruments out there ----- at the music stores.

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Originally Posted by DeckardWill
Not bad, but audibly lacking a briliance that can only be exhibited through skimpy cosplay.

That is a non-issue, as compared with low-stooping, disrespectful, and high-horse mentally/behaviour from you.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
Originally Posted by DeckardWill
Not bad, but audibly lacking a briliance that can only be exhibited through skimpy cosplay.

That is a non-issue, as compared with low-stooping, disrespectful, and high-horse mentally/behaviour from you.

I note that both yourself and the person you keep insisting on using to flog your straw man to death are from Australia, SouthPark.

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Originally Posted by I. Bruton
As for the hybrid action….speaking as a new owner of the Kawai NV5S and frequent player of other acoustic pianos….it is close. The Millennium 3 action is a heavier one than either of the Yamahas I play (C3 and P22). I’m not sure I can explain it well, but it does seem like the hybrid hammer is hitting something more solid and less springy than a set of strings. I am not sure if that it an accurate description though. The hybrid is quite expressive (snd once the bushings wear a bit more, it will be quite nice -the keys are snug). Overall, I think the hybrid is a fine practice instrument.

Multiple people here on PW reported problems with slow or heavy keys, silent keys even, with brand new K200/K300/NV5 Kawai pianos. These models probably share much of the same Millenium III action and may be manufactured in the same facility. I had the same problem on my K300. After some work by a technician (from the dealer) and keeping the humidity below 60% (ideally <55%), the action now is light and problem free.

If you can feel the hammer hitting something (strings in an acoustic, or something else in a hybrid), the regulation is seriously wrong and should be fixed. A key press should lead to the full release of the hammer. You shouldn't be able to feel when it hits something.

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Originally Posted by pianogabe
Originally Posted by I. Bruton
As for the hybrid action….speaking as a new owner of the Kawai NV5S and frequent player of other acoustic pianos….it is close. The Millennium 3 action is a heavier one than either of the Yamahas I play (C3 and P22). I’m not sure I can explain it well, but it does seem like the hybrid hammer is hitting something more solid and less springy than a set of strings. I am not sure if that it an accurate description though. The hybrid is quite expressive (snd once the bushings wear a bit more, it will be quite nice -the keys are snug). Overall, I think the hybrid is a fine practice instrument.

Multiple people here on PW reported problems with slow or heavy keys, silent keys even, with brand new K200/K300/NV5 Kawai pianos. These models probably share much of the same Millenium III action and may be manufactured in the same facility. I had the same problem on my K300. After some work by a technician (from the dealer) and keeping the humidity below 60% (ideally <55%), the action now is light and problem free.

If you can feel the hammer hitting something (strings in an acoustic, or something else in a hybrid), the regulation is seriously wrong and should be fixed. A key press should lead to the full release of the hammer. You shouldn't be able to feel when it hits something.

Yep, I was one of those. Regulating the action made a huge difference - really transformed the piano to something that can be enjoyed. It is still rather a heavy action though - just no longer has any of the sluggishness from when it arrived.

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There are a number of comments on this thread relating to the ‘heavy’ action on Kawai Novus hybrids. In Stu Harrison’s revues of both the NV5 and the Nv10 on the Merriam Music website, he goes into significant detail on the impact of the volume setting on ‘perceived’ key weight. In short, at volumes below around 60%, the player feels the need to hit the key harder to produce the equivalent sound they get playing an acoustic, and their brain falsely sees this as a heavy key action. Setting the volume at circa 75% overcomes this ‘false perception’.
He explains and illustrates far better than me in his reviews.
Apologies if everyone here is already aware of this phenomenon.

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KPNUT, if I'm understanding your logic correctly, would that mean if we play at lower volumes at home, a lighter action would feel more natural as it corresponds better?

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Originally Posted by KPNUTS
There are a number of comments on this thread relating to the ‘heavy’ action on Kawai Novus hybrids. In Stu Harrison’s revues of both the NV5 and the Nv10 on the Merriam Music website, he goes into significant detail on the impact of the volume setting on ‘perceived’ key weight. In short, at volumes below around 60%, the player feels the need to hit the key harder to produce the equivalent sound they get playing an acoustic, and their brain falsely sees this as a heavy key action. Setting the volume at circa 75% overcomes this ‘false perception’.
He explains and illustrates far better than me in his reviews.
Apologies if everyone here is already aware of this phenomenon.

Thanks for the feedback. We are aware of this phenomenom and it does make sense that when the player hears the sound produced at a level less than they'd expect from an acoustic, there is a natural tendency to try to compensate. I don't think that this is what we witnessed in our particular case with the NV5S, and anyway we're pretty happy with the action now following regulation. It is still what we'd refer to as heavy but very much playable and satisfying.

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KawaFanboi: Your logic seems perfectly reasonable to me. As I said in my post, Stu Harrison explains and illustrates it far better than me, and his playing is light years beyond mine, so I recommend you watch his comprehensive reviews of the NV10 and the NV5.

DeckardWill: Good to hear you are enjoying your NV5S. Mine is on order, due in June. I live in the UK and my retailer, Bonners Music, has advised me that that when Kawai UK receive a shipment of Novus pianos, they regulate the action as with an acoustic before shipping it to the retailer, so I hope I do not have to go through that procedure.

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Agreed. It is not a volume perception for me as Stu mentions. I think the issue is tight key bushings which sometimes prevent certain keys from returning to their original position.

Will, could you elaborate on how yours was regulated?


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Originally Posted by I. Bruton
I think the issue is tight key bushings which sometimes prevent certain keys from returning to their original position.

Oh, that sounds like an extremely common issue with new pianos. It likely just requires lubrication or easing of the balance (or front) rail bushings, using a tapered easing tool or easing pliers.


Here's an example @ 9:32:



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Originally Posted by SouthPark
The OP isn't going to get her answer in this thread - as they will only find out for themselves by personal trying out of the various sorts of instruments out there ----- at the music stores.

'his/her','personally' ... and any other typos.

Also ..... not just music stores. Also include anywhere else having instruments for trying out.

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Originally Posted by I. Bruton
Agreed. It is not a volume perception for me as Stu mentions. I think the issue is tight key bushings which sometimes prevent certain keys from returning to their original position.

Will, could you elaborate on how yours was regulated?

I'm afraid I don't know in technical terms, sorry. It was done by someone from Kawai UK who came over to sort that as well as a problem with the pedals. He spent a good couple of hours - bits of the action were getting taken out, approximately three hammers at a time, then lastly the whole thing came out in one go and was resting on our floor for a minute.

If you do find the action troublesome and it's under warranty, you should absolutely get in touch with Kawai directly though - James here may be able to provide an email or something.

Edit - yes, the video above sounds to me consistent with what needed to be done on ours. I like this guy's reviews BTW - he seems more impartial than most.

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Of course it is going to be a ghostly sound if that particular set of notes - including the bass - is going to be played that way, and giving us the startled look heheh - LINK. But - I think I did see a shadow move along the wall, in the background. Looks like sleeping with the lights on for tonight.

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Originally Posted by I. Bruton
Agreed. It is not a volume perception for me as Stu mentions. I think the issue is tight key bushings which sometimes prevent certain keys from returning to their original position.

Will, could you elaborate on how yours was regulated?

In my case the problem was not the front rail bushings (mentioned in the video above) but the jack flanges. A few needed repinning, i.e. received slightly thinner pins, while other keys were lubricated with some special fluid. This stopped the ´key not returning to their position´ problem. Since I want the action to be as light as possible, I also bought a dehumidifier to make sure humidity does not exceed 55%. I can notice the action becomes heavier/slightly sluggish above that.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
Originally Posted by Taushi
I don’t think DeckardWill’s post was about who can participate in the thread. It was about the relevance of spamming multiple threads with mentions of a YouTuber, even when that person isn’t relevant to the conversation.

You are incorrect Taushi. You're wrong. Poor form from you in the way that you conjured this lie about 'spamming' ('spamming multiple threads'). The limited mention is/was for mentioning to people such as you (whenever appropriate that is) that there are gifted pianists using pianos other than the 'acoustic' sort, and they have no problem with action and/or sound. And their ears and musical ability are possibly better than both your ears and Will's ----- combined.

The thread title does indeed have the words 'the real thing'. As mentioned - all our instruments we use are 'the real thing'. There is uncertainty about whether or not the OP is after 'the real thing' (as in their interpretation that the 'real thing' is 'acoustic piano') due to thinking that having not 'the real thing' will be a disadvantage in some way(s).

Also - while I'm at it - I disagree with you about comments you wrote about 'digitals' (which also includes hybrids) not capable of 'complex' (complicated) piano music.

And once again, back to the title of the thread. As mentioned - the OP will certainly find the answer by heading (in any way that they can) to a suitable music instrument store (or as many stores as needed), to do some comparisons behind hybrids and digitals and acoustics ----- and the answer to their question will personally be found. And try enough of all of the different sorts. This also includes playing expertly tuned and configured 'premium' grand pianos. The OP isn't going to get her answer in this thread - as they will only find out for themselves by personal trying out of the various sorts of instruments out there ----- at the music stores.

When the OP said “the real thing”, it’s clear they are referring to acoustics, which are “the real thing” upon which digitals & hybrids are modeled. Nobody was uncertain about that & nobody took that to mean digital pianos aren’t real musical instruments. You, alone, distorted it into some imagined insult against digitals, so you could steer yet another thread into the “digitals are superior” rhetoric which you consistently display.

And the OP knows they can go to a music store. That shouldn’t mean they can’t come here to get advice, insight, and information from other musicians who’ve had similar experience to inform their decisions. It does not hurt to consult with other people on a topic and to get insight from a different perspective. Would it that we all could do that.

This YouTuber who you consistently defer to is not a “gifted pianist”. From what I’ve seen in her videos, at her very best, she is of intermediate technical skill (primarily playing repetitive basic chords and simple melodies), and musically, shows a common ability to play by ear (mimicking basic melodies from pop tunes & television/movies). We should celebrate everybody for their talent, but you can do that without wildly exaggerated claims. To lift this person up as a gifted pianist & musician, when you can find people with equal & greater ability in the Adult Beginner’s section on this very forum, indicates that there is an entire world of music & skill out there to which you have not been exposed, are not aware of, & are not willing to learn about.

Your consistent insistence that digitals can perform in the same way as acoustics illustrates a profound lack of understanding of how both acoustics or digitals work, what acoustics are capable of versus what digitals are capable of, or even what repertoire & technique would be considered “extremely complex”.

And your minimization of other people’s experiences/skills/knowledge/ability, coupled with your insistence that your preferences/experiences/tastes/abilities are the only ones that should be centered, demonstrate that conversing further on the subject would be a waste.

And so, there’s that.

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Three people have taken over this thread to spar with each other. Closing it because oif this.

This time the thred gets closed. Next time the people's accounts get closed.


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