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Petr87 Offline OP
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Hi guys,

Could you recommend me a new upright piano that will be suitable to an apartment (so neighbors will not complain)? Currently I have Kawai CA79 but thinking to replace it with acoustic instrument or acoustic silent piano. Here in Czechia I was thinking between Petrof, Yamaha or W.Hofmann (C.H.Bechstein). I'm just monitoring the market for suitable options and for setting budget (my initial thinking was around 12-15k EUR, but at this stage this is not a hard limit).

Do you recommend to purchase a piano with silent feature (e.g. Yamaha TransAcoustic)?

My other option will be to purchase smaller grand piano and put it to some isolated room...

Many thanks for your advises!
Petr

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Hi Petr!

There are MANY threads about this topic. (Apartment Pianos)

You can search via google:
“Piano forums (name of what you want to search)”
Thread searching on PW doesn’t work because the way it searches.

I can’t really answer the other questions, I’ll leave it to the others.

Hope you get a good piano. 🎹

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Originally Posted by Petr87
Do you recommend to purchase a piano with silent feature (e.g. Yamaha TransAcoustic)?
My other option will be to purchase smaller grand piano and put it to some isolated room...
The transacoustic feature adds something expensive beyond the silent feature, so you probably don't want to pay for that if you just want the silent feature. The transacoustic allows you to use the soundboard in the piano as a speaker for audio input from another source (like a software piano running on your computer). If you just want the silent feature, you only need one of the acoustics that produces midi and has a sound engine so you can either listen with headphones or through external spearkers. Examples would be the Yamaha U1 SH and U3 SH, both probably in your price range. I assume you're aware most uprights have a practice pedal that mutes the sound, sometimes that's enough to keep the neighbors happy and will be much cheaper than buying a silent model.


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The only kind of piano that's 99% guaranteed not to annoy neighbors is one that you can listen to through headphones. Even that kind of piano has a very tiny chance of annoying neighbors because the action makes a clicking or thumping noise. This is true for all pianos with acoustic actions but is masked by the piano's sound so many people are not aware of it.

Whether your neighbors get annoyed depends more on things like:
1. how easily they get annoyed by someone's playing
2. does the room housing your piano share an adjacent wall with their apartment?
3. when you play and when they are in the apartment
4. how loud you tend to play

If your piano annoys your neighbors there are things you can do to quiet down your piano. I have a M&H BB and my neighbor's studio apartment shares a wall with my living room which houses the piano. He didn't complain for around 15 years but then he got quite upset. My tech installed acoustic foam underneath the soundboard and on top to the soundboard which IMO didn't adversely affect the tone but did make the piano softer. I also worked out with him a schedule of when I would practice.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
The only kind of piano that's 99% guaranteed not to annoy neighbors is one that you can listen to through headphones. Even that kind of piano has a very tiny chance of annoying neighbors because the action makes a clicking or thumping noise.

From the various reports in the digital piano forum, I would say "very tiny chance" is overly optimistic. If your apartment has thin walls/floors, is an old building, and/or you have sensitive neighbors, or you play late at night or early in the evening, playing silently through headphones still has a non-negligible chance of raising complaints. Maybe has high as 30-40%.

The main difference is a DP is usually portable enough to move around to try to find a better position, or small/light enough where treatment such as sorbothane pads, thick rugs, foam mats, etc. is easy enough to experiment with!


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Silent feature, or the practice pedal that drops felt in front of the hammers.

A third option is a good hybrid. Yamaha AvantGrand is successful in many ways, especially when you move away from the bottom of the line.

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If his CA79 doesnt bother the neighbors, it is unlikely any piano action will.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Originally Posted by Learux
If his CA79 doesnt bother the neighbors, it is unlikely any piano action will.

Well, I certainly think that's a good sign if he already has a digital. However, the "Grand Feel 3" in the CA-79 is widely regarded as the quietest digital action on the market.

A hybrid piano with an acoustic action, or an acoustic piano with a silent system, is widely considered the loudest digital action on the market, by a wide margin.

So not to be negative, but I wouldn't automatically consider them equivalent.


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I was going to suggest AvantGrand as well. I've played an N3, and if I needed silent, that's probably what I would get.


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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
I was going to suggest AvantGrand as well. I've played an N3, and if I needed silent, that's probably what I would get.
Gombessa just said that hybrids have the loudest action noise.

But even if that's true, I think there's only a small chance it would annoy neighbors. At least that's what my tech said but it would depend on the thickness and type of wall separating the apartments, If one gets a hybrid, then a vertical model hybrid might be the best choice since it has the best chance of fitting into a room that doesn't have a wall adjacent to a neighbor's apartment.

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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
The only kind of piano that's 99% guaranteed not to annoy neighbors is one that you can listen to through headphones. Even that kind of piano has a very tiny chance of annoying neighbors because the action makes a clicking or thumping noise.

From the various reports in the digital piano forum, I would say "very tiny chance" is overly optimistic. If your apartment has thin walls/floors, is an old building, and/or you have sensitive neighbors, or you play late at night or early in the evening, playing silently through headphones still has a non-negligible chance of raising complaints. Maybe has high as 30-40%.

The main difference is a DP is usually portable enough to move around to try to find a better position, or small/light enough where treatment such as sorbothane pads, thick rugs, foam mats, etc. is easy enough to experiment with!
Sorbothane is a good idea.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
[...]
Whether your neighbors get annoyed depends more on things like:
1. how easily they get annoyed by someone's playing
2. does the room housing your piano share an adjacent wall with their apartment?
3. when you play and when they are in the apartment
4. how loud you tend to play
[...]

5. The amount and quality of insulation between apartments.

Regards,


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Are you already living in this apartment? If you are, what sounds can you hear from your neighbours? Why not put an upright in the isolated room you mention? My suggestion is to make Petrof your benchmark for assessing other brands.


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Yamaha Clavinova CLP-795 is a great option.


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I had a Petrof 125 that I loved. I lived in a condo but on the first floor, and faced the piano on a wall that did not have a neighbor on the other side. I played at normal daytime hours and didn't get any complaints.

I think it really depends on your neighbors and whether it bothers them. On one hand it's a normal part of apartment living to have to deal with some noise from neighbors, but on the other hand one doesn't want to deal with unreasonable volume and/or times.

I think if you're on a first floor that it would help, as the bass sound waves vibrate right into the floor. If not I would look into a rubber mat and thick rug to help with the acoustics, and of course not have the piano next to a shared wall. You could look into other options but I think there's nothing like playing a real acoustic piano. Some neighbors may be a little bothered but perhaps others will enjoy hearing you play.


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When I lived in a condo, I followed TwoCats formula: piano on interior wall, limited playing yo reasonable evening hours. I never had any complaints from neighbors, except ‘you need to play louder’ 😊


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