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Nord Grand with Kawai Action #2982946 04/02/19 05:03 AM
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KC Island
Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #2982948 04/02/19 05:08 AM
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wow, A Nord with a decent action:)

EDIT: 20kg's. A bit heavier than I would like, but not too bad

Last edited by RudyS; 04/02/19 05:09 AM. Reason: weight

Rudy

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: RudyS] #2982951 04/02/19 05:13 AM
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Excellent move by nord!
I like fatar actions, but i was never like the way they set the keybeds to their machines...
I wish they did a good job with kawai keybed, which is the best in indystrty IMHO...

Last edited by UnderGroundH; 04/02/19 05:35 AM.

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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: RudyS] #2982957 04/02/19 05:49 AM
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I think 20kg is great for an action like this...


Gear: Nord Electro 4 73SW, Kawai CA67, Yamaha DXR10.
Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #2982960 04/02/19 05:59 AM
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Think the space on top would be big enough for a Stage Conpact...?


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: N4dr0j] #2982967 04/02/19 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted By: N4dr0j
Think the space on top would be big enough for a Stage Conpact...?


I don't think so. The flat surface is less than half of the depth (378 mm), which makes it about 180mm or so. The compact is about 300mm deep, so a substantial part wouldn't be supported.

Of course you can maybe put an (*ahem*) X-stand level with the flat surface to provide some extra support.


Rudy

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: RudyS] #2982971 04/02/19 07:55 AM
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Heh - blows my mind Kawai would do this.
Maybe as part of the deal Nord has to promise the digital piano would be red. wink

Maybe they also have data that shows the VPC-1 did not cut into their console sales?


Maybe Kawai will buy Nord.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: ElmerJFudd] #2982974 04/02/19 08:18 AM
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I had to double-check that it wasn't still April 1.

Interesting move for both companies. I'm guessing it's based on Kawai's RH III action (MP7SE, ES8).

I really like the semi-vertical control panel and the flat top. To me, ergonomically, this might be the best portable piano available.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: AnotherScott] #2982976 04/02/19 08:35 AM
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Price would be the deal breaker. Let's wait and see.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Keepitsimple] #2982979 04/02/19 08:46 AM
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of course it will be expensive.


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: davedoerfler] #2982985 04/02/19 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted By: davedoerfler
of course it will be expensive.


Most certainly. Bu it would also be one of the best piano's out there (IMHO).


Rudy

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: davedoerfler] #2982988 04/02/19 09:02 AM
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NP4 is 2500 euros, I guess this will be 3000 at the very least. Lots of red paint to pay for. wink

Bigger and heavier than any Nord stage piano to date, but still very portable when you look at the high-end competition: Montage, Kronos, SV1, Grandstage, Crumar Seven, Forte, MP7/11, RD2000, FP90 etc are all as heavy or heavier (often MUCH heavier) than this Nord Grand.

And the large empty flat top is awesome and unique in the current panorama of portable stage pianos: just imagine a Minimoog sitting on top of it, and you're straight back to the 70's!

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Spider76] #2982995 04/02/19 09:19 AM
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NORD GRAND
DIMENSIONS
128.6cm (50.7"), 16.8cm (6.6"), 38.7cm (15.2")
WEIGHT
20.9kg (46.07lbs)

KAWAI MP7SE
DIMENSIONS
136.5cm (53 5/8"),17.5cm (6 3/4"), 34cm (13 1/3")
WEIGHT
22.5kg (49.6lbs)


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Spider76] #2982997 04/02/19 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted By: Spider76
Bigger and heavier than any Nord stage piano to date, but still very portable when you look at the high-end competition: Montage, Kronos, SV1, Grandstage, Crumar Seven, Forte, MP7/11, RD2000, FP90 etc are all as heavy or heavier (often MUCH heavier) than this Nord Grand.

A Yamaha CP88 is lighter and smaller, though...! wave (and most probably cheaper as well)


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Mr T, Sweden] #2982998 04/02/19 09:29 AM
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I think Nord will do well here. More of the vintage aesthetic, better action, etc. If I were in the market for a digital piano for home use, this would be a serious contender.

Compared to my NP4 pretty much the same specs, except for the Kawaii action. Since I already am quite comfortable with the NP4 action, no big deal.

I do like the visual appeal, though. As I am playing many small acoustic gigs, I think people would react positively to it, much the way they react to a piano shell.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: cphollis] #2982999 04/02/19 09:32 AM
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^^^
as long as the Mrs. doesn't mind how the red conflicts with the rest of the furniture in the room. Ach! those speakers! wink

I like the tilt angle of the control panel. Better than flat and nowhere near banging your knuckles on a knob. But I can't imagine wanting to carry this around. The weight is within reason, but the shape is bulky.



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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Mr T, Sweden] #2983001 04/02/19 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted By: Mr T, Sweden

A Yamaha CP88 is lighter and smaller, though...! wave (and most probably cheaper as well)


Most probably ANYTHING will be cheaper!
roll

But yes, the CP88 is currently the only serious offering (apart from Clavia's own products) which combines top-end sounds and action with portability. I fondly hate the looks of the new CPs, though.
Less subjectively, the CP88 is lighter but not so much, and it lacks the flat top which may be a strong selling point for somebody.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Spider76] #2983006 04/02/19 10:03 AM
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Spec-wise, this Grand has everything I would want in a modern DP (digital piano). I still *hate* the color.

I played the CP88 this past weekend. The APs and EPs are fine. IMO, Yamaha made a huge mistake in offering less "other" sounds.

Nord just dropped a bomb in the DP game. cool


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Spider76] #2983007 04/02/19 10:15 AM
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CP88 advantages: 4-zone MIDI controller function, pitch and mod controls, more split/layer flexibility, more instant patch recall buttons.

Nord advantages: wider range of different pianos, more complete clav emulation, much larger selection of non-piano sounds, ability to load your own samples, triple pedal.

Subjective: which action, sound, ergonomics, aesthetics you prefer


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: AnotherScott] #2983012 04/02/19 10:22 AM
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As for the controversial red, the top and sides are flat with a not too complex shape, it should be very easy to cover them with vinyl contact paper in the preferred color and texture. I did this to my SK2 which is now a beautiful fake walnut, at the price of less than 10 euros

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: AnotherScott] #2983013 04/02/19 10:24 AM
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Impressive ! Too bad it's not the MP11 action but then it wouldn't weigh in at 46 lbs. of course.

I'd be giving up 8 lbs. on the CP4 and 6 on the NP4, plus a couple inches in the depth. Ah just go the gym and add a few lbs. with the weights. laugh

I'll be curious to play this. Didn't care much for the NP4's action at NAMM, actually preferred the new Casios to it. Yeah I'll bet at least $3500, if not more for this. And yep, that's a lot of red ! Still kudos for knowing their weak link and trying to improve on it. thu

Last edited by Dave Ferris; 04/02/19 10:28 AM.
Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Dave Ferris] #2983018 04/02/19 10:41 AM
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My wife saw me looking at the Nord Grand promo video this morning and she said "That's a great sounding digital piano... based on how expensive the Nord Piano is, I bet it costs $5000."

We'll see, but boy has she learned a few things about keyboards since she's been with me. roll


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Dave Ferris] #2983019 04/02/19 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Impressive ! Too bad it's not the MP11 action but then it wouldn't weigh in at 46 lbs. of course.

I'd be giving up 8 lbs. on the CP4 and 6 on the NP4, plus a couple inches in the depth. Ah just go the gym and add a few lbs. with the weights. laugh

I'll be curious to play this. Didn't care much for the NP4's action at NAMM, actually preferred the new Casios to it. Yeah I'll bet at least $3500, if not more for this. And yep, that's a lot of red ! Still kudos for knowing their weak link and trying to improve on it. thu


Ah Dave, You are willing to move over to the dark/red side again.....;p


Rudy

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: RudyS] #2983023 04/02/19 10:58 AM
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Probably not, the CP4 does everything I need it to do for live. The P-515 is only one I have in my sights and that's for home because of the speakers.

Still, again, impressive ! I could see the Sherman Oaks or Pasadena GC carrying something like this , so I'd certainly be curious to play it.

You know if it were the MP11 action, or even the lesser VPC-1, I'd actually consider it for home, despite not having speakers. I would definitely get a custom black paint job on it though.

Last edited by Dave Ferris; 04/02/19 11:10 AM. Reason: added thought
Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Dave Ferris] #2983035 04/02/19 11:27 AM
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Actually, we don't really know which Kawai RH action is inside the NG. Based on size and weight yes, the MP7 is the closest match. But I suppose we'll know more in the near future

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: AnotherScott] #2983059 04/02/19 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
I had to double-check that it wasn't still April 1.

Interesting move for both companies. I'm guessing it's based on Kawai's RH III action (MP7SE, ES8).

I really like the semi-vertical control panel and the flat top. To me, ergonomically, this might be the best portable piano available.


Kawai has already been supplying keyboards for the Ravenscroft 275 digital piano. It would be nice if the Ravenscroft digital was a self contained instrument.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Radagast] #2983061 04/02/19 01:01 PM
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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Radagast] #2983067 04/02/19 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted By: Radagast
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
I had to double-check that it wasn't still April 1.

Interesting move for both companies. I'm guessing it's based on Kawai's RH III action (MP7SE, ES8).

I really like the semi-vertical control panel and the flat top. To me, ergonomically, this might be the best portable piano available.


Kawai has already been supplying keyboards for the Ravenscroft 275 digital piano. It would be nice if the Ravenscroft digital was a self contained instrument.


That is because the Ravenscroft thing is a modified VPC-1, no? Selling the action to a competitor to use in their DP is a whole different ball game, imho. But I don't think generally Kawai's typical home digital piano customers would go for a Nord Grand Piano. Aesthetically and price wise.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Radagast] #2983069 04/02/19 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted By: Radagast

Kawai has already been supplying keyboards for the Ravenscroft 275 digital piano. It would be nice if the Ravenscroft digital was a self contained instrument.


IIRC from a conversation I had with the Ravenscroft guy at NAMM last year (or the year before?), that was really just them buying, modifying and reselling VPC's.


About the NG, the Fatar in my old NP88 didn't bother me that much, my issue was more with amplification. But if the NG's velocity mapping mellows out the sound it may just help with that, too.

More than the weight (which is not too bad, IMO), the bulk concerns me. It looks unwieldy.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: CountFosco] #2983070 04/02/19 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted By: CountFosco


Looks from these pics like it's going to have an optional console like stand and pedals. Lack of internal speakers may have been part of the deal with supplying the action for this model. Those mounts and nord speakers of course add to cost and would look cooky in most family rooms. This thing is for the man's cave or basement studio. wink


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: CountFosco] #2983072 04/02/19 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted By: CountFosco


It says 3.687 Euros. In Thomann Europe Nord Stage 3 88 is 3.500 Euros, so it's about 200 Euros more expensive than Stage 3-88.

At the same time Stage 3-88 is $4.500 in the U.S so my guess for Nord Grand MSRP in the U.S: $4.700.



Last edited by U.Honey; 04/02/19 01:49 PM.
Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: U.Honey] #2983076 04/02/19 02:24 PM
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That's probably (IF it's a true price and not just a a placeholder) MSRP, which is usually about 25% higher than actual selling price.

The Stage 3 has a MSRP (according to Thomann) of over 4600 euros, but it's sold at 3500. MSRP of the NP4 is 3200€, with a selling price of 2500.

If that ratio is valid, those 3700 euros for the NG would translate in a street price around 2900€, 400 more than the NP4. High for sure, but not forbidding. Finger cross...given that this board largely overlaps with the lower priced NP4, its success will greatly depend on finding the proper price point.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: ElmerJFudd] #2983082 04/02/19 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
But I can't imagine wanting to carry this around. The weight is within reason, but the shape is bulky

To me it just looks like a "square" version of the SV-1 88 from a haulage point of view. Dimensions and weight certainly not a million miles apart.

Therefore not the easiest thing to manipulate but doable.

Looks a bit like someone's red-headed step sister but beauty is in the eye of the beholder - and I'm yet to trip over an audience member who either blown away or disgusted by how a keyboard looks. And I play a real ugly keyboard. In public no less.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: CowboyNQ] #2983086 04/02/19 03:17 PM
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Ha! I knew something was up. I bought a used MP8 from Nord a few years ago..! I love the Kawai actions, they’re the best out there imho but it was just too heavy... if this is 20 kgs it’ll really be something..!

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: CowboyNQ] #2983087 04/02/19 03:19 PM
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We won't know for sure until someone tries it, but it looks to me like you could set another keyboard on top. It will overhang, but would probably still be balanced and playable. To me that's a very attractive feature, if it works.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: CowboyNQ] #2983111 04/02/19 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted By: CowboyNQ
To me it just looks like a "square" version of the SV-1 88 from a haulage point of view. Dimensions and weight certainly not a million miles apart.

Therefore not the easiest thing to manipulate but doable.

Probably easier without all the SV1's awkward-to-grip rounded edges, though.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: AnotherScott] #2983114 04/02/19 05:12 PM
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It reminds me a little bit of a Synclavier.

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Wait....this wasn't an April Fools joke???


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Tonysounds] #2983125 04/02/19 06:40 PM
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Reminds me of the GEM Promega 3.



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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: ElmerJFudd] #2983128 04/02/19 06:51 PM
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I was thinking the Kawai MP-9000.



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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Mighty Motif Max] #2983131 04/02/19 07:00 PM
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I see the resemblance. It’s uncanny! smile


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: ElmerJFudd] #2983133 04/02/19 07:09 PM
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interesting move, surprised not to see the wooden keys as found on the high-end kawais, that would have really set this apart.

btw, does it really matter if keys are made of wood, when you interact with the plastic surface? what's the benefit apart from
any perceived satisfaction from knowing it's there?


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: konaboy] #2983134 04/02/19 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted By: konaboy
...
btw, does it really matter if keys are made of wood, when you interact with the plastic surface? what's the benefit apart from
any perceived satisfaction from knowing it's there?


Weighting might feel more natural. The vibrating from when you hit the bottom of the keybed is different with plastic keys vs wood in my experience.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Mighty Motif Max] #2983137 04/02/19 07:15 PM
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Also possible wood is more forgiving to the players joints and tendons but how significantly...


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: ElmerJFudd] #2983144 04/02/19 07:45 PM
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Wood is solid, and the moving mass will just feel different. Also, I've never seen a plastic key that was solid on the bottom where it contacts the felt. kanker says he's very sensitive to this. Think about it. The plastic keys have two sides digging into the felt when it bottoms, whereas wood has the entire width of the key hitting the felt.

IOW, if plastic keys worked as well as wood, real pianos would have been using them by now.

That's not to say there aren't some really good feeling plastic keys. but even the top end Casio Grand Hybrid uses wooden keys from Bechstein.


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Dave Ferris] #2983146 04/02/19 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Impressive ! Too bad it's not the MP11 action but then it wouldn't weigh in at 46 lbs. of course.


I adore the MP11 action. I even liked playing it when the unit was turned off....but man, was it heavy.

dB

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Dave Bryce] #2983188 04/02/19 10:16 PM
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Nice! cool





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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: ITGITC?] #2983192 04/02/19 10:27 PM
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A very interesting blend of brands/instruments... But I’ll still take my MP11. Lucky for me I don’t gig.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Dave Bryce] #2983344 04/03/19 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted By: Dave Bryce


I adore the MP11 action. I even liked playing it when the unit was turned off....but man, was it heavy.dB


I checked a friend´s MP11 twice.
The action feels great, but I also recognized it´s too heavy for me when playing for any length of time.
It´s heavier than the Rhodes MK80 action, which is the heaviest I still own and in opposite to the MK80, the keys bounced when being released and returned to their initial position which I disliked.
But that´s only me.

A.C.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Al Coda] #2983345 04/03/19 08:22 PM
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Curious to see how'd you feel when comparing RM3II, GF-C, GF/GFII.
http://kawaius.com/technology/wooden-key-actions/


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Al Coda] #2983347 04/03/19 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted By: Al Coda
Originally Posted By: Dave Bryce


I adore the MP11 action. I even liked playing it when the unit was turned off....but man, was it heavy.


I checked a friend´s MP11 twice.
The action feels great, but I also recognized it´s too heavy for me when playing for any length of time.
It´s heavier than the Rhodes MK80 action, which is the heaviest I still own and in opposite to the MK80, the keys bounced when being released and returned to their initial position which I disliked.
But that´s only me.

I was not clear - sorry. idk

My "man, was it heavy" quote was referring to the physical weight of the MP11, not the action. I adore piano action like that. love

dB

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Dave Bryce] #2983348 04/03/19 08:42 PM
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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: ElmerJFudd] #2983353 04/03/19 09:01 PM
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Beautiful! I love Kawai's action on acoustic pianos. They're heavier than most Yamaha's I've played. I played their stage pianos at NAMM, but to me it wasn't anything special...say compared to RH3.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sam CA] #2983387 04/04/19 12:31 AM
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If this is the MP7 action, it is better than the Fatar actions. The MP11, though.... as others have noted, is a very nice action. Best I've played that isn't an acoustic piano. Very satisfying.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Nathanael_I] #2983398 04/04/19 02:53 AM
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My feeling about it is, MP11 may be the best action, but the Yamaha wooden key hammer action (CP4, P515, CP88) is at least 90% as good at 50-60% of the overall weight. If you're gigging, that's kind of an easy choice. And of course there's a subjective element, so someone like Dave Ferris might actually prefer the Yamaha over the Kawai.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Adan] #2983407 04/04/19 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted By: Adan
My feeling about it is, MP11 may be the best action, but the Yamaha wooden key hammer action (CP4, P515, CP88) is at least 90%...


May I ask if you have actually played an MP11?

Kind regards,
James
x


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Spider76] #2983409 04/04/19 07:50 AM
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I love it.. but I would never spend that sort of bread on anything but a new Baby Grand for home now ..


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: ElmerJFudd] #2983424 04/04/19 10:09 AM
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Red and Costly, that is all I can see!


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Kawai James] #2983429 04/04/19 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: Adan
My feeling about it is, MP11 may be the best action, but the Yamaha wooden key hammer action (CP4, P515, CP88) is at least 90%...


May I ask if you have actually played an MP11?

Kind regards,
James
x


I've played the MP11, and all the Yamahas I named, and my opinion is what I stated. Your opinion may be different.

Some years ago I owned an MP9000. I loved playing so much I even tried gigging with it. That was sheer folly. I was younger and stronger then and, in contrast to Bob Dylan's progress through life, I'm not younger than that now. Now my cutoff for a gigging keyboard is about 45 lbs.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: ElmerJFudd] #2983434 04/04/19 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
I see the resemblance. It’s uncanny! smile

no, THIS is uncanny ....



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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Delaware Dave] #2983450 04/04/19 12:04 PM
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He’s not heavy, he’s uncanny!


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: ElmerJFudd] #2983462 04/04/19 12:25 PM
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Now they have me wondering,
Will there ever be a grand-stage?

Seems many people love the formfactor for an 88 key, withcontrolls on the front, espescially when used as a lower key.. or just as a controller for a DAW...

I personally think the action might be a GF-C from the description..

Last edited by KorgyPorky; 04/04/19 12:28 PM.
Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: KorgyPorky] #2983564 04/05/19 06:28 AM
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Looks sexy. The price will definitely bite.


if you can't tell the difference, does it matter?
Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: KorgyPorky] #2983567 04/05/19 06:37 AM
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First thought: Too heavy for me to gig with. Anything north of 18kg these days, I just won't deal with. My MODX8 does 80% of what I need these days at 13kg and for anything more serious pianistically, I still have the CP4.

Second thought: This could be an attractive choice for permanent installation into a home studio if you couldn't afford or have room for a decent piano.

Third thought: But if it wasn't going anywhere, you could get a better action and save a whole bunch of money by just buying an MP11SE.


Casio PX-S1000 | Yamaha CP4 | Yamaha MODX 8 | Yamaha Tyros 5-76 | Nord Electro 5D-73 | Moog Sub 37
Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: ElmerJFudd] #2983570 04/05/19 06:58 AM
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Hmmm...this is cool!

Even more cool would be if they could offer a version with the MP11 keybed as well smile


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Aidan] #2983574 04/05/19 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted By: Aidan
First thought: Too heavy for me to gig with. Anything north of 18kg these days, I just won't deal with. My MODX8 does 80% of what I need these days at 13kg and for anything more serious pianistically, I still have the CP4.

Second thought: This could be an attractive choice for permanent installation into a home studio if you couldn't afford or have room for a decent piano.

Third thought: But if it wasn't going anywhere, you could get a better action and save a whole bunch of money by just buying an MP11SE.


Which is why Kawai didn’t agree to share the GF action most likely.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: ElmerJFudd] #2983592 04/05/19 11:05 AM
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46 lbs is the heaviest keyboard Nord has ever made, yet it will be considered portable by lots of people. If Aiden spoke in terms of lbs instead of kilograms (as an aside, how ironic that the brits would burden us with the pound system only to abandon us at this late date), I would know exactly where his cutoff is. Mine is around 40 lbs.

So I definitely see Aiden's logic. If I'm going to get a 40+ lbs keyboard that I won't gig with, it might as well be the MP11SE.

But I think we'll be in the minority.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Adan] #2983594 04/05/19 11:18 AM
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Hi Adan, sorry about that. Nearly all weights in store descriptions etc are in kg over here now so I've sort of got used to it. But yes, around 40lb is my limit!


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: analogholic] #2983599 04/05/19 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted By: Aidan
Third thought: But if it wasn't going anywhere, you could get a better action and save a whole bunch of money by just buying an MP11SE.

Exactly!
...and it makes even less sense to pay $4,000 for a Nord Grand, when you know that you can have a Kawai MP7SE for less than half the price, about $1,500...


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Mr T, Sweden] #2983601 04/05/19 11:57 AM
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It depends if you wanna pay that extra $1500 for all the Nord piano doenload options


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: jimkost2002] #2983602 04/05/19 12:02 PM
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If you’re playing at home VPC-1 or an MP11 or a Kawai digital console with a laptop and tons of AU/VSTs that dwarf the Nord library starting with Keyscape and maybe Garritan CFX.

I also doubt this instrument if going to be under $4999.99 in the US. I might be wrong on that but that’s my guess.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: ElmerJFudd] #2983605 04/05/19 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
If you’re playing at home VPC-1 or an MP11 or a Kawai digital console with a laptop and tons of AU/VSTs that dwarf the Nord library starting with Keyscape and maybe Garritan CFX.


yea, true, but if you don’t gainstage them right, they will sound like azz


"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�
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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Mr T, Sweden] #2983609 04/05/19 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted By: KorgyPorky
Now they have me wondering,
Will there ever be a grand-stage?

Seems many people love the formfactor for an 88 key, withcontrolls on the front, espescially when used as a lower key.. or just as a controller for a DAW...

Stage has so many more controls, I don't think you could go with that look/form factor. Or at least the control surface would have to extend quite a bit higher.

Originally Posted By: Mr T, Sweden
and it makes even less sense to pay $4,000 for a Nord Grand, when you know that you can have a Kawai MP7SE for less than half the price, about $1,500...

Though you generally pay a premium for the models that emphasize single function direct controls over multi-function controls and menu navigation. Kawai MP11SE leans toward the former, MP7SE leans toward the latter. And I think that's definitely part of the Nord appeal. Similarly, the Yamaha that I think would have the most similar appeal would be the CP88. Something the Nord has over a CP88 or MP11SE is diversity... it has the widest range of different piano sample sets, and the widest range of non-piano sounds.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: jimkost2002] #2983612 04/05/19 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted By: jimkost2002
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
If you’re playing at home VPC-1 or an MP11 or a Kawai digital console with a laptop and tons of AU/VSTs that dwarf the Nord library starting with Keyscape and maybe Garritan CFX.


yea, true, but if you don’t gainstage them right, they will sound like azz


Yeah but that’s true for all PC based rigs and even user created patches on high end instruments and sadly even factory patches on cheaper models.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: AnotherScott] #2983613 04/05/19 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Something the Nord has over a CP88 or MP11SE is diversity... it has the widest range of different piano sample sets, and the widest range of non-piano sounds.


I love that about Nords DP sounds . . .you can really change up the character of the AP sounds... Kurzweil's also.. Roland, Korg, Yamaha there are different pianos in there but not near as many nor as diverse . .

Last edited by Legatoboy; 04/05/19 12:26 PM.

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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: AnotherScott] #2983627 04/05/19 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Something the Nord has over a CP88 or MP11SE is diversity... it has the widest range of different piano sample sets, and the widest range of non-piano sounds.


Well, the diversity on the Kawais (both mp7 as well as mp11) comes from the fact that they are very very versatile master controllers (much more then the cp88)

I know its not everyone’s cup of Tea, but for me the future is in combining hardware with software sounds on my macbook and ipad. And thats where the Nord stage is far from diverse...

Last edited by KorgyPorky; 04/05/19 01:32 PM.
Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: KorgyPorky] #2983635 04/05/19 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted By: KorgyPorky
Well, the diversity on the Kawais (both mp7 as well as mp11) comes from the fact that they are very very versatile master controllers (much more then the cp88)

MP7, MP11, and CP88 are all four-zone MIDI controllers. MP11 beats CP88 by having four zone on/off buttons and four definable knobs; MP7 beats MP11 by having those controls plus four additional zone sliders.

Originally Posted By: KorgyPorky
I know its not everyone’s cup of Tea, but for me the future is in combining hardware with software sounds on my macbook and ipad. And thats where the Nord stage is far from diverse...

Nord Stage is decently functional as a two-zone MIDI controller (that's what the two panels of EXT functions are for). But this Nord Grand does seem to lag there, I've seen no indication of any specific MIDI controller functionality. The addition of even just a single set of EXT controls would have been a nice enhancement.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: KorgyPorky] #2983646 04/05/19 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted By: Adan
46 lbs is the heaviest keyboard Nord has ever made, yet it will be considered portable by lots of people. ... I ... know exactly where [Aidan's] cutoff is. Mine is around 40 lbs.


At around 40 lbs for beings semi-portable, it seems the best actions for acoustic piano are the Yamaha actions. I'm really hoping the CP88 is an improvement over the CP4 in terms of sound and action, and not just user interface. 7 pounds more for the RD-2000 is an interesting comparison to the CP88...

Originally Posted By: KorgyPorky

I know its not everyone’s cup of Tea, but for me the future is in combining hardware with software sounds on my macbook and ipad. And thats where the Nord stage is far from diverse...


I agree, and I think it's crazy that any new keyboards come out without a built-in audio interface for this reason. The CP88 with a directly-connected iPad covers a lot of sonic territory, with the iPad able to make up for the lack of sound diversity in the CP88's sub section.

A CP88, Mojo 61, and iPad could cover nearly everything and offer two very good and distinct actions.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: tfort] #2983648 04/05/19 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted By: tfort
Originally Posted By: Adan
46 lbs is the heaviest keyboard Nord has ever made, yet it will be considered portable by lots of people. ... I ... know exactly where [Aidan's] cutoff is. Mine is around 40 lbs.


At around 40 lbs for beings semi-portable, it seems the best actions for acoustic piano are the Yamaha actions. I'm really hoping the CP88 is an improvement over the CP4 in terms of sound and action, and not just user interface. 7 pounds more for the RD-2000 is an interesting comparison to the CP88...

Originally Posted By: KorgyPorky

I know its not everyone’s cup of Tea, but for me the future is in combining hardware with software sounds on my macbook and ipad. And thats where the Nord stage is far from diverse...


I agree, and I think it's crazy that any new keyboards come out without a built-in audio interface for this reason. The CP88 with a directly-connected iPad covers a lot of sonic territory, with the iPad able to make up for the lack of sound diversity in the CP88's sub section.

A CP88, Mojo 61, and iPad could cover nearly everything and offer two very good and distinct actions.


Don’t forget, its not only about weight, but also length....
i had an RD 2000 and sent it back.
That damned extra block at the end for the pitch/mod lever makes the Roland REALLY ungainly and hard to move with 1person.
The CP88, on the other hand, feels LESS than 40 lbs.
I picked it up off the stand and carried it a bit.
Well balanced and would be even nicer in a wheeled soft case with strategically placed handles.
Also, the pitch and mod levers are REALLY ergonomic and smooth.
I really liked it on the second try!


"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�
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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: jimkost2002] #2983655 04/05/19 04:11 PM
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I agree that if this is going to be used just for home, go with the superior MP11SE action at a cheaper price. Or the VPC-1 with whatever vst you choose.

Unless you're a hardcore Nord Piano fan where the sound and the diversity trumps the action.

But again, I would be happy with just the P-515 for the little I would use a DP at home.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: jimkost2002] #2983656 04/05/19 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted By: jimkost2002
Don’t forget, its not only about weight, but also length....
i had an RD 2000 and sent it back.
That damned extra block at the end for the pitch/mod lever makes the Roland REALLY ungainly and hard to move with 1person.
The CP88, on the other hand, feels LESS than 40 lbs.
I picked it up off the stand and carried it a bit.
Well balanced and would be even nicer in a wheeled soft case with strategically placed handles.
Also, the pitch and mod levers are REALLY ergonomic and smooth.
I really liked it on the second try!


I completely agree. If the CP88 is actually a step up from the CP4 in terms of action and sound quality, the compactness and 7 lbs less mass are significant advantages over the RD-2000. Maybe it could actually be moved around in a city in its wheeled case? I really wish Yamaha had added drawbars and Nord-like flexibility in sound library management.

I also think the built-in audio interface and mod sticks are significant advantages over the Nord Piano 4.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: tfort] #2983657 04/05/19 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted By: tfort
Originally Posted By: jimkost2002
Don’t forget, its not only about weight, but also length....
i had an RD 2000 and sent it back.
That damned extra block at the end for the pitch/mod lever makes the Roland REALLY ungainly and hard to move with 1person.
The CP88, on the other hand, feels LESS than 40 lbs.
I picked it up off the stand and carried it a bit.
Well balanced and would be even nicer in a wheeled soft case with strategically placed handles.
Also, the pitch and mod levers are REALLY ergonomic and smooth.
I really liked it on the second try!


I completely agree. If the CP88 is actually a step up from the CP4 in terms of action and sound quality, the compactness and 7 lbs less mass are significant advantages over the RD-2000. Maybe it could actually be moved around in a city in its wheeled case? I really wish Yamaha had added drawbars and Nord-like flexibility in sound library management.

I also think the built-in audio interface and mod sticks are significant advantages over the Nord Piano 4.


I think the best head to head is with Nord Piano 4, rather than Stage or Electro.
One thing you always have to keep in mind in Yamaha.....well....sucks.....as far as clonewheels.....
the combo sounds were decent, but the Hammond sounds were bottom of the barrel.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Legatoboy] #2983658 04/05/19 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted By: Legatoboy
I love it.. but I would never spend that sort of bread on anything but a new Baby Grand for home now ..


Good point. Although you're still a ways off from getting anything that I would consider good and would want to keep for a long time -that is if the Nord is $4-5K. Still it's a good chunk of dough to put towards something like a Yamaha C2 or an older C3.

You're closer if you went with the Avantgrand N2 or N1X. Or the Kawai Novus hybrid.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Dave Ferris] #2983660 04/05/19 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Originally Posted By: Legatoboy
I love it.. but I would never spend that sort of bread on anything but a new Baby Grand for home now ..


Good point. Although you're still a ways off from getting anything that I would consider good and would want to keep for a long time -that is if the Nord is $4-5K. Still it's a good chunk of dough to put towards something like a Yamaha C2 or an older C3.

You're closer if you went with the Avantgrand N2 or N1X. Or the Kawai Novus hybrid.


I'd go with an acoustic Dave, to be honest I haven't tried N2, N1X, Novus but my instincts tell me I think I would be happier with a C2/3 a bit more or any half way decent acoustic grand. Not ready to buy a Steinway any time soon, though I would love to!

Now you gave me the bug to check out those digital's.

Last edited by Legatoboy; 04/05/19 04:39 PM.

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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Legatoboy] #2983669 04/05/19 05:48 PM
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The N3/3x is awesome for a digital piano.
Yes of course still not a C3 or D, but it’s the best action you’re going to find on a digital and an extensive monitoring system for the sample library. I haven’t played the Kawai Novus yet. Although I am eager to.





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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: ElmerJFudd] #2983670 04/05/19 05:54 PM
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2,5 GB is just not right.
So many sounds to load and so little space in this day and age.
Definitely not cricket.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: ElmerJFudd] #2983776 04/06/19 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
The N3/3x is awesome for a digital piano.
Yes of course still not a C3 or D, but it’s the best action you’re going to find on a digital and an extensive monitoring system for the sample library. I haven’t played the Kawai Novus yet. Although I am eager to.





I live in a condo. I played the avant grand N3/3x and it’s an incredible instrument for people who can’t have a grand due to noise/space. Where I live a new one is 16,000. I found someone selling a yamaha grantouch GT2 for 2000. Sure, it’s an older sample with less polyphony, but it’s still the same thing as the N3x, ie.a real grand action with a sound system built into a grand front. I bought the grantouch and could not be happier.

Last edited by doughnuts; 04/06/19 11:54 AM.
Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: jimkost2002] #2984066 04/08/19 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted By: Mr T, Sweden
and it makes even less sense to pay $4,000 for a Nord Grand, when you know that you can have a Kawai MP7SE for less than half the price, about $1,500...

Though you generally pay a premium for the models that emphasize single function direct controls over multi-function controls and menu navigation. Kawai MP11SE leans toward the former, MP7SE leans toward the latter. And I think that's definitely part of the Nord appeal. Similarly, the Yamaha that I think would have the most similar appeal would be the CP88. Something the Nord has over a CP88 or MP11SE is diversity... it has the widest range of different piano sample sets, and the widest range of non-piano sounds.[/quote]
Well, the price point of the MP7SE says midrange and doesn't have the same layout as the MP11SE, with clearly divided sections. However, to me this is a good thing - for those of us who have played and sat down an hour or so, in front of an MP7SE knows that it's very user friendly, with a very clever user interface, so even though it doesn't look as if it has a one button per function-interface, it certainly acts like it in practice.
Also, the feel of the keys on the MP7SE, and the overall build quality makes it feel as if it was a much more expensive stage piano.
About half a year ago, I spent a whole day in Stockholm, and I played about every digital piano I could find (Kawai MP7SE, MP11SE, ES8, CA98, Novus NV10, Roland RD2000, Dexibell P3, Yamaha CP4, Montage 8, Nord Piano 4, Stage 3 HA88, Viscount Physis H2, Korg SV1, GrandStage 88, P1, Kurzweil SP6, Casio/Bechstein GP-500, and maybe some more I can't remember right now). Now I know, there's a lot of personal preference here (of course), but based on that day, with all the stage pianos I played, the MP7SE was the clear winner - and if I should pick the best digital piano I've ever played - the CA98 is nothing short of amazing, and also a clear winner - I even preferred it over the NV10, much thanks to is dual wooden transducer on the back of the piano (the NV10 has traditional speakers). The CA98 sounded and felt just like an acoustic instrument! However, then NAMM and the release of the CP88 happened - 2½ weeks later I bought a CP88 instead of the planned MP7SE (for some reason Swedish music stores seemed to get the very first batch, and I was lucky to fetch the first one arriving in my home city..!), and I haven't regretted that purchase a single day since, yet another amazing digital piano! smile

Originally Posted By: jimkost2002
It depends if you wanna pay that extra $1500 for all the Nord piano download options

Well, for $1500 you could probably buy a used Nord Electro 4 or even 5, to add to your MP7SE...! grin


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Mr T, Sweden] #2984068 04/08/19 06:13 AM
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Don't get me wrong though - I love the design and the idea of the Nord Grand. I just wish, especially when considering the price, that it at least could have one extern section from the Stage 1/2/3... of course, you could compensate for the very limited MIDI implementation with a device like the Lab4music Sipario, or similar, but I still wish the Grand had a bit more MIDI functions built-in. The design with the flat top could be perfect for a lower 88 board (the flat top was actually one of the main reasons I chose a Keyb/Viscount Legend clonewheel over a Mojo).
Now it's too obvious that the Grand is "just" a repackaged Nord Piano 4 with a better keybed and more luxurious housing (and ok, there's an extra GB of piano flash memory, as well, something that the Piano 4 should have had from the start, IMO... My guess is that will also see a Piano 4 EX in the near future).

I'm looking forward to play a Nord Grand this summer - a store owner in Stockholm has been promised to get one of the very first production units for his little boutique store, probably late June, early July, so then he'll have some kind of event. smile


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Mr T, Sweden] #2984072 04/08/19 07:14 AM
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I'm not sure I see a market demand for adding an external control section to a high-end weighted keyboard stage piano without also adding basic controllers like mod wheel, pitch bend, and aftertouch.

Without that, what need would adding an "extern" section fill that isn't already easily addressed by the product as it is?

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: analogika] #2984074 04/08/19 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted By: analogika
I'm not sure I see a market demand for adding an external control section to a high-end weighted keyboard stage piano without also adding basic controllers like mod wheel, pitch bend, and aftertouch.


Well, an end block with the classic Nord wooden pitch bender and granite mod wheel would certainly be a welcome addition as wheel, in my book..! smile

Aftertouch is certainly nice to have, but I have never seen it implemented in a three sensor keybed, at least not one with counterweights and "let-off simulation" (escapement) - I guess aftertouch would not only be complicated to implement in a keybed with "let-off"/escapement, but also would take away some of the grand piano-like realism of the keys.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: analogika] #2984075 04/08/19 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted By: analogika
basic controllers like mod wheel, pitch bend, and aftertouch.

Without that, what need would adding an "extern" section fill that isn't already easily addressed by the product as it is?

Access to additional sounds (i.e. from a sound module, iPad, pc). Useful parameters for the EXT function to still have would be MIDI channel, key range assignment, enable/disable pedal(s), program change, volume, octave shift. That alone would still be very useful. I have often used boards to trigger external sounds without needing to use mw/pb/at on them... in fact, more often than not.

If you wanted to take it further, since I think (only) the right-most pedal is continuous on the Nord, there could even also be an option to redefine it to CC1 modulation, to substitute for not having a wheel, and maybe even an option to then use one of the other two pedals to be an on/off sustain so you wouldn't have to lose sustain function to get mod. The continuous pedal could also have options to define it as pitch bend... say, with whole step up or whole step down options.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: AnotherScott] #2984080 04/08/19 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: analogika
basic controllers like mod wheel, pitch bend, and aftertouch.

Without that, what need would adding an "extern" section fill that isn't already easily addressed by the product as it is?

Access to additional sounds (i.e. from a sound module, iPad, pc). Useful parameters for the EXT function to still have would be MIDI channel, key range assignment, enable/disable pedal(s), program change, volume, octave shift. That alone would still be very useful. I have often used boards to trigger external sounds without needing to use mw/pb/at on them... in fact, more often than not.

This!

I often use the lower manual of my Legend Live to trigger piano sounds in Panel A on my Stage 3 compact. The Legend Live has also very limited MIDI implementation, but it has a very clever solution for its manuals - they don't send out any MIDI at all, as long as a preset or either drawbar set is active - but once you press cancel (on the Live: both A and B drawbar buttons simultaneously), it starts sending midi - so a dual button press turns the manual from organ to midi controller - very convenient!

For a stage piano, it would be great to have a button for local off, and another for MIDI transmit on/off. Actually, this is the one thing I miss in the CP88 - to turn on/off MIDI transmission you have to go into the menu system (but once there, there's an extensive list of MIDI parameters for each of the four possible zones). Of course, it's very easy to have one or more of the 8 presets in a bank, to send MIDI, and the others "local" only, but I would have loved to have a dedicated extern section, with its own lever/switch like the other three internal sections.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Mr T, Sweden] #2984085 04/08/19 10:09 AM
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Ah, that makes sense. I suppose even just a quick method to switch MIDI send on/off would go a long way in combination the existing split functionality in that case, and turning the internal synth engine down to zero...

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Mr T, Sweden] #2984091 04/08/19 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted By: Mr T, Sweden
For a stage piano, it would be great to have a button for local off, and another for MIDI transmit on/off.

Korg SV1 gets halfway there with a front panel Local Off button, but a companion MIDI transmit on/off button would have been great. But at least you can add it for $20, an extra MIDI cable, and a bit of velcro... https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/258510836/midi-kill-switch

Originally Posted By: analogika
I suppose even just a quick method to switch MIDI send on/off would go a long way in combination the existing split functionality in that case, and turning the internal synth engine down to zero...

Yup, that same box will do it. And I might create selectable Programs with silenced internal sounds, rather than deal with moving the volume controls up and down.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: AnotherScott] #2984096 04/08/19 11:22 AM
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On the subject of price, I would gladly pay more every time for a flat top keyboard capable of supporting a clone or synth. How much would I pay? How deep is the ocean? How high is the sky? How much do I hate 2-tiered stands? Not sure where my limit is but I wouldn't blink at an extra $1K.

I've never found a 2-tiered stand I was happy with. The closest was the Invisible, which I foolishly sold (I had 2 of them, sold both!).

I thrill to a weighted bottom keyboard with a flat top and front-facing controls. And I have one, it's the Crumar Seven. The Seven isn't perfect (if it was, it'd be a "Ten"). But the physical configuration compensates for a lot of downside including it's price.

So, that said, am I interested in the new Nord? Given I already have the Seven, which has the additional advantages of being 73 keys and 33 lbs, probably not. Just saying that I'd love to see more flat top weighted action keyboards. Good on Nord for putting one out.

As I stated above, we don't know for sure whether the narrow top of the Nord will support another keyboard, but I'd bet it will, in a "functional overhang" mode.

Last edited by Adan; 04/08/19 11:28 AM.

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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Adan] #2984099 04/08/19 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted By: Adan
I've never found a 2-tiered stand I was happy with. The closest was the Invisible, which I foolishly sold (I had 2 of them, sold both!).


I have about six or seven different 2- and 3-tier stands... and my absolute favorite so far is definitely the K&M 18950, which is so easily reconfigurable in height, width (!) and also it is one of the few stands where you can get just about any two keyboards really close together. The Standtastic in my home studio is also great in that regard!

Originally Posted By: Adan
I thrill to a weighted bottom keyboard with a flat top and front-facing controls. And I have one, it's the Crumar Seven. The Seven isn't perfect (if it was, it'd be a "Ten"). But the physical configuration compensates for a lot of downside including it's price.

So, that said, am I interested in the new Nord? Given I already have the Seven, which has the additional advantages of being 73 keys and 33 lbs, probably not. Just saying that I'd love to see more flat top weighted action keyboards. Good on Nord for putting one out.

As I stated above, we don't know for sure whether the narrow top of the Nord will support another keyboard, but I'd bet it will, in a "functional overhang" mode.


I rehearsed with my Legend Live and Stage 3 compact yesterday. I put a rubber mat on the top of the Legend, and then a thin wooden board on top of that, and in turn the Stage 3 compact. So with the wooden board it really doesnt matter how the rubber feet of the Stage 3 is placed - it gets quite stable regardless of that. Without the rubber mat and board, the Stage 3 doesn't sit so good on top of the Legend...


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: ElmerJFudd] #2984783 04/12/19 09:19 AM
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Gear: Nord Electro 4 73SW, Kawai CA67, Yamaha DXR10.
Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #2991336 05/26/19 02:56 PM
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I'm considering selling my Kronos 61 to get this (that will be my only way to afford it).

Con: I'll be left with no semi-weighted keys/mod-wheel for playing leads etc, BUT, i do have an M-Audio Keystation 49 which i can put on top of the Nord Grand surface and use it to control Omnisphere.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Keepitsimple] #2991354 05/26/19 05:26 PM
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[quote=Keepitsimple]i do have an M-Audio Keystation 49 which i can put on top of the Nord Grand surface and use it to control Omnisphere./quote]

This approach puzzles me. If you're running a software rig, why do you need a premium hardware instrument? The sounds you can get in software will far exceed the Nord capabilities. I get that:
1. You want a premium action. That's what the Kawai VPC1 is for. Plenty of other options.
2. You want backup sounds in case the software crashes. But they don't have to be top-flight sounds - just enough to get you through the gig.

I'm not knocking the decision, the Nord Grand looks like a great way to deliver a premium instrument. It's just that if you have to sell something else to get it, you may be trying to solve the wrong problem...

Just my £0.015

Cheers, Mike.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: stoken6] #2991358 05/26/19 05:41 PM
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Because i'm sick and tired of holding my left ear with my right hand when playing piano. Even with vsts and a controller, the connection is still lacking compared to a hardware machine with 88 keys and good piano sounds. It all goes back to a mistake i made back in 2011, when i bought a kronos 61 instead of an 88. Who knows, maybe if i did, i wouldn't be making this decision now.

But the biggest reason is that the Kronos doesn't inspire me as a pianist/composer anymore. After 8 years, i can hear the Kronos German Grand in my sleep because of how much i used it.

Gigs: Not much at the moment. Getting ready to release my solo piano album later this summer and hopefully doing a local tour promoting it. Some venues might have a grand piano and some maybe don't and i want one machine to use when promoting the album.

We all have our reasons.

Last edited by Keepitsimple; 05/26/19 05:42 PM.
Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Keepitsimple] #2991363 05/26/19 06:12 PM
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Got it.

Good luck in your quest. Nord's reputation for FTE connection is obviously subjective, but not the highest. Try a Yamaha CP4 (end-of-line or second hand) for comparison? You may not need to sell your Kronos.

Cheers, Mike.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: stoken6] #2991364 05/26/19 06:16 PM
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Thanks Mike. Yep still trying different models. There’s still time between now until the Nord is available. Who knows what happens until then.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3007498 09/10/19 08:18 PM
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This was just posted over at norduserforum.com



/Bjørn - old gearjunkie, still with lot of GAS
Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3007514 09/10/19 10:41 PM
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Very nice playing, really enjoyed it. I love that Metheny tune ! Nice to see and hear a real, more mature player, not trying to show off chops on a demo, just play some music. Really on any keyboard for that matter. wink

Sounds good of course. I'd have to play it in person to say for sure but generally, the Nord sound is not my thing when I have to grudgingly play an electronic keyboard.

I did connect well with the CP88 when I recently played it, and would probably go that route if I ever move up from the CP4.

Again kudos to Nord for trying to up their game for serious pianists. Although contrary to what he posted in the video- I don't consider it in the "lightweight" category for gig schlepping. wink

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3007524 09/11/19 12:17 AM
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Enjoyed the playing, didn't pay attention what piano he was using.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3007569 09/11/19 12:22 PM
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I quite liked the White Grand in that video - it's got a slightly "upright-y" character, boxy and compact, rather than all-dominating like a grand. And I didn't hear any thinning out two octaves above middle C, which is the usual Nord problem.

Playing was indeed wonderful.

42lb is too heavy for me, but relatively competitive with CP88 at 41lb and others.

Cheers, Mike.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: gg22] #3007617 09/11/19 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by gg22
Enjoyed the playing, didn't pay attention what piano he was using.


Same here. The piano sound was good enough that I ended up focusing on what the musician was doing vs. trying to dissect the instrument with my ears. More than good enough for me, although I'm going to have to think carefully about the weight.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3007621 09/11/19 04:56 PM
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His playing was indeed enjoyable in a way piano demo videos seldom are. That's why I watched the whole thing. Of course you can watch hundreds of videos like this but the only way to know if you'll like a digital piano is by playing it. I'd like to play the Nord Grand side by side with a CP88, that would probably qualify as a shootout of the best sub-45 lb DP slabs. The CP88 so stellar I'd have to label the Nord the underdog going into that fight, at least for me.

One thing I noted in the video is that he seems to be largely a middle-of-the-keyboard player, at least in this brief sample. And he values a light weight board, so he might be happy with a 73 or 76 that shaves off a few lbs. It would be great if every time a manufacturer issues a CP or a Nord Grand, they also make a 7x version. That's the world I want to live in someday.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3007624 09/11/19 05:26 PM
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For comparison :

Nord Grand -- Height: 6.6", Width: 50.7, Depth : 15.2" Weight: 46 lbs.

CP88-- Height: 5.5" Width: 51.1" Depth: 14.3" Weight: 41 lbs.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3007627 09/11/19 05:59 PM
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Well, I gotta say, the combination of action, sound, and physical presence (like the Crumar Seven, it looks more like my Wurlitzer than like a typical digital keyboard, and I love me a flat-ish top and angled controls) is super enticing for me. It'd be a lot heavier than my Privia, but lighter than the VPC-1, and built-in sounds, too!

But even though it's less expensive than I anticipated, I just don't see myself upgrading to one at that price point. So it goes!


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3009367 09/24/19 04:39 AM
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Well, my Nord Grand arrived last week while I was overseas on business. So, I had a bit of a present waiting for me on my return! I got it out and have spent a few hours with it. My initial impressions follow. I purchased it to be the lower tier of a live rig. The flat top is specifically useful to me. The fact that I can load in my own synth samples is specifically useful. That it has a Kawai action and not Fatar was very important to me. The lower tier is about AC piano for me, so aftertouch and other things just didn't matter. The fact that it came with a triple pedal and triple sensor were both factors. If it is to be a piano, then be one! I do use the sostenuto pedal on my RX-7, so why not have it on the Nord? This is for a laptop rig, so all the splits and layers will be done in Gig Performer. So, I was not put off by the minimal MIDI implementation Nord seems to think is useful.

I purchased it without playing it. But, I have owned Yamaha P-series before, and played most of the boards on the market, including the Kawai MP7 and MP11. I have long appreciated both Yamaha and Kawai actions (and the Roland RD-2000). So I wasn't too concerned about feel. If it matched MP7, I'd be happy. I do not care for the Fatar weighted actions and avoid them for piano action. I do like the Fatar 8/S premium synth action, however (its on the Solaris, Quantum, etc). I played the CP88 recently, and found that in the CP88, the only sounds I really liked were the AP's - and not being able to change the other sounds was a limitation. The action on the CP88 was fine.

The weight others have mentioned is no bother to me. It is lightweight compared to something like a Kronos 88. I had no trouble maneuvering it. I do wish Nord had already released a new soft bag for it. I will wait for their bag, as I don't really want a 30lb case for it.

Presentation/Quality. The instrument is pleasingly solid and well built. On my custom Gibraltar stand, it is rock solid. It is as stable as my Kawai RX-7 - nothing moves except the keys. I didn't expect to think "this is nice" with an electronic instrument, but it is elegant for what it is. My 8 year old daughter said, "It looks good". So there you have it.

Keys/Action/Feel. It feels great. It is almost indistinguishable from my RX-7. The Nord Grand feels just a smidge lighter - I bet it would weigh off about the same, but there is just more friction in wood parts. Most importantly, it can play softly. So many inexpensive keyboards just can't play softly, and even light playing generates MIDI 50-60's. It's like throwing half the dynamic range away! This can play softly under control, and like anything else generate "127s" without strain. The keys themselves feel great. Whatever "ivory touch" they have is quite nice. The action is "fast" and is not in the way for runs and flourishes. There's plenty of room for anyone to prefer something different, but honestly, if you can't play expressively on this, it isn't the instrument's fault. The MP11SE or Kawai CA-98 might be nicer, but they are in different categories and not suitable for this portable purpose. I'll play a Yamaha P515 on Wed or Thursday this week and be able to compare, but I expect both to be fully adequate for my purpose. The Nord Grand is a better form factor than the P515 for my purposes.

Acoustic Piano Sounds. The new White Grand is a good sample for live playing. It is definitely a very close miked sound. I'd prefer a bit more space and maybe a tiny bit less brightness from close miking, but this is also what makes it a good sample for live playing. It will sound great in a mix. I was playing through my Fulcrum PA at about the same volume as my acoustic piano. My wife came downstairs and asked if I'd been playing the Nord yet. When I responded that's pretty much all I've been playing, she said, "From upstairs I couldn't tell the difference". There's decent variety in the Nord Piano library. None are "state-of-the-art". But if I need that, I can put the Ravenscroft or VSL Synchron Steinway on the laptop. The Synchron Steinway defines state of the art. The uprights have interesting and useful character.

I have a Kawai RX-7 a few feet from the Nord Grand. The sound character of the White Grand is definitely familiar. The big difference to recording my piano is that the Nord Grand is hyper clean. The "string resonance" is much less than what occurs on a real grand, or even a state-of-the-art large piano library like Vienna Synchron Steinway. So, this provides a "clarity" of sorts. This is probably better for live use in a band anyway. For pure solo piano, it's probably 25% of what my RX-7 does. Part of this is likely also tuning related. The Nord sample is, of course, completely perfectly tuned. My RX-y is tuned regularly , but is probably not as "in tune" at any given time as the Nord sampling session - perhaps right after it is tuned. So a bit of thickness from tuning and a real soundboard are the two differences that I hear. I've spent a lot of time recording and miking up my piano, so these were obvious to me, but might be a lot less so to someone else if you don't have experience sampling and recording pianos.

The other immediate difference to my RX-7 is the sample length. For normal live playing purposes the Nord Grand is fine. But if you take the G above middle C, my RX-7 will ring out for about 25 seconds with or without the sustain pedal. The Nord Grand is gone after 3 seconds or so played without sustain, and 6-7 sec with the sustain pedal. This is where a piano sample of a few hundred MB is just necessarily limited. In practical playing it is adequate, but it does show how they can fit so many pianos into 2GB- they aren't really very long samples. I suppose it helps with polyphony as well - if the note is done, the oscillator is free again.

The Nord "soft, mid, bright" control makes a definite difference. The soft is not quite a felted piano, but it takes off both attack and high end. The "bright" adds high and removes low. The "mid" puts in a mid bump. I'm not sure where I'd use it, but it puts a fairly narrow 1-2 octave boost around middle C. I can see using the "soft" as an effect.

E-piano sounds. Adequate, but not exceptional. My go to is the "Canterbury Rhodes" sample put out by Sonic Couture, and it is on my laptop. So the Nord e-pianos are fine for "take only one board" purposes. And that's all I'd ask them to be. If I was only playing e-piano and it was the core of my sound, I would personally have other samples in mind. But these are quite usable.

All other sounds. Uninteresting to me (except the basses - which are useful). I will probably remove almost all. My plan is to sample a few things from my OB-6 and Solaris and put my own default synth pads in place. The included synths are pretty close to "bad, flat ROMpler sounds", in my opinion. When playing with "one board", I'd prefer to load in my own. When playing with full rig, I'll use the OB-6 or other devices. I don't plan to play horns or orchestral parts on this keyboard, so the weakness here is not very important to me, but may be to you. I'm used to hearing professional orchestral sample libraries that are 100's of GB in size. No keyboard sounds are going to sound "good" to me at this point, so it isn't a decision making point for me.

UI. The overall Nord UI is easy and fast. No manual required, and it just works. They really do get the most important things immediately accessible. I don't understand having a synth section without a filter knob, but other than that, the desired things are easy to get to. The rear panel is simplicity itself. This is an instrument for playing, not tweaking or deep customization. It really is a piano, and for a piano it has a lot of features. But for a synth/rompler, it is devoid of many things. Horses for courses....

FX. Convenient. Not as good as a Blue Sky reverb, or an Eventide H9 pedal. But convenient and adequate. If I get picky, I have other things that are much better. But for emergency "one board" use? perfectly adequate.

So, I am happy with it. It will serve me very well for many years as a portable piano, and weighed controller in a laptop rig. The action is as good as I've played (its been a while since I played the MP-11...), and certainly won't stop me from doing anything I can do on my RX-7 at home. When playing the White Grand, the touch-to-sound is wonderful. The instrument is very responsive and dynamically interesting. This is an instrument that you quickly explore and then it is all about playing. this one isn't for tweaking and getting lost for hours making sounds. It is for playing. And playing piano at that.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3009374 09/24/19 07:12 AM
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Wow, that was quite the review, thanks for taking the time to bring your personal experience and clarity to so many different aspects of the value of this board for you! I'd rather read a great review like yours that has a point of view (your points of comparison and what you're looking for), than a review that tries to be all things to all people.

I think by now there's enough people who would buy the Nord Grand who know that you get the ultimate sound quality from vsts, so the disfavorable comparison is not a real knock. I'll bet Clavia would actually promote a review like yours, 'cause, if nothing else, you said the weight wasn't bad, it looks rockin', you didn't need to read a manual, the piano was very responsive and dynamically interesting, a piano you could play quietly as needed, and it has a freakin flat top! High praise indeed!


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Nathanael_I] #3009393 09/24/19 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Nathanael_I
f you take the G above middle C, my RX-7 will ring out for about 25 seconds with or without the sustain pedal. The Nord Grand is gone after 3 seconds or so played without sustain, and 6-7 sec with the sustain pedal. This is where a piano sample of a few hundred MB is just necessarily limited. In practical playing it is adequate, but it does show how they can fit so many pianos into 2GB- they aren't really very long samples. I suppose it helps with polyphony as well - if the note is done, the oscillator is free again.

This is surprising, that the total decay length is different when holding a key without sustain pedal compared to how long it sustains with the sustain pedal. Not only is that not how a real piano works, but there would be no "savings of megabytes" by having a shorter and a longer version compared to just using the longer version (and in fact, even a 25 second version doesn't have to take any more megabytes than a 3 second or 7 second version, since they can employ looping). So that's a really interesting observation. My guess is that you're on the right track that they are manipulating the decay length in different circumstances to maximize available polyphony.

Originally Posted by Nathanael_I
E-piano sounds. Adequate, but not exceptional. My go to is the "Canterbury Rhodes" sample put out by Sonic Couture, and it is on my laptop. So the Nord e-pianos are fine for "take only one board" purposes. And that's all I'd ask them to be. If I was only playing e-piano and it was the core of my sound, I would personally have other samples in mind. But these are quite usable.

I haven't yet used their newest EP sample sets, but based on the earlier ones, I found I could improve them quite a bit (to my taste) with the front panel EQ. Though I've wished I could combine the gentler strikes from one of their sample sets with the bark from one of the others!


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3009395 09/24/19 01:45 PM
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Watch this space. When I finally break down and buy a Nord Grand, this will be the signal for Clavia to immediately announce the newer version.

Great review, Nathanael.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Randelph] #3009465 09/24/19 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Randelph


I think by now there's enough people who would buy the Nord Grand who know that you get the ultimate sound quality from vsts, so the disfavorable comparison is not a real knock.


Exactly! The main thing is that the keys/action feel fantastic and offer a full range of expression. That's what I need the hardware to do. Software can't fix or upgrade hardware or sensor problems! I will happily pay for great haptics. I can make the sounds be whatever I desire in the laptop. And, it should also be said, that for many uses, the built-in sounds would work and cover a gig. I'm glad that you picked up on the comparative nature of my comments and didn't take them as an absolute.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: AnotherScott] #3009466 09/24/19 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by AnotherScott

I haven't yet used their newest EP sample sets, but based on the earlier ones, I found I could improve them quite a bit (to my taste) with the front panel EQ. Though I've wished I could combine the gentler strikes from one of their sample sets with the bark from one of the others!


Good to know! I will be sure to explore that. I quickly turned the knobs to make sure everything was working, but I didn't go through individual sounds yet and see what I can pull out. Their samples are well done - they just aren't exhaustive like the big multi-GB libraries in the laptop. But Nord really does an amazing job in a compact space - they target a very specific part of the market and serve it well. I'm just thrilled that they paired up with Kawai to access a top shelf action.

With respect to the sample length - I am sure they sample pedal up/pedal down separately. It's the only way to get the pedal down samples to sound right. So they could sample them to different lengths. I'll look in the menus in case there is some option to extend the loops or sample playback...


Last edited by Nathanael_I; 09/24/19 08:01 PM.
Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: cphollis] #3009468 09/24/19 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by cphollis
Watch this space. When I finally break down and buy a Nord Grand, this will be the signal for Clavia to immediately announce the newer version.

Great review, Nathanael.


Chuck,

If you think of it as a piano with some extra features, rather then as a weighted controller or all-in-one, it isn't really clear what they would upgrade any time soon. As much as I agree with some of the early comments about the things that would've been nice in the MIDI implementation, having wheels, etc; the truth is that as a piano, it isn't going to go obsolete anytime soon. As long as the action is still sending quality MIDI, it will likely be doing the job I paid for. Given how slowly Nord adds flash RAM to their products, that just won't become a reason to upgrade. I can put 4TB of SSD and 32GB of RAM into a new MBP with an 8 core processor... Now if they suddenly put in 16GB and let me use most of it for one really nice AP and one really nice EP? That would get attention. Or if they put the Kawai action in the Stage (which I can't see their product managers doing given how they segment their product line).

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3009527 09/25/19 03:15 AM
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FWIW, I got to play one at GearFest. I also played Yamahas, Kawais, Rolands, and Casios. It was easily among the best actions I tried. For some reason, the Nord Pianos I have played all have avoided that numb feeling I get on my Stages.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: mate stubb] #3009558 09/25/19 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mate stubb
FFor some reason, the Nord Pianos I have played all have avoided that numb feeling I get on my Stages.
I wonder how much of a factor the lack of aftertouch might be.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: AnotherScott] #3009709 09/25/19 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by AnotherScott
Originally Posted by mate stubb
FFor some reason, the Nord Pianos I have played all have avoided that numb feeling I get on my Stages.
I wonder how much of a factor the lack of aftertouch might be.

I think you have this right. Also, on an acoustic piano, the keys bottom on the wooden keybed. In the Nord Grand, there is no damping material to make the keyboard quieter. So the keys bottom in a way that is very much like an acoustic piano. The Yamaha P-515, for instance, plays almost silently. But the key at the bottom feels "padded". It is. And that doesn't feel the same as an acoustic piano. So, I think aftertouch strips and attempts to quiet the acoustic noises of a hammer action all contribute to feeling less like an acoustic piano.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3009753 09/26/19 04:50 AM
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As I continue to learn the instrument, I am very pleased with the action. The action is better than the Nord Piano Library samples can demonstrate. Using a MIDI monitor, it is quite possible to play MIDI values in the teens consistently and evenly. Playing my RX7 this softly has significant timbre implications. The tone softens as well as diminishing in volume. On the RX-7, pp is a distinctly different timbre than p. The Nord samples pretty much start at an mp timbre and go up. The lower timbral layers are just not in the sample, and the brightness is accentuated by the very close mic positions used. To get softer, the sostenuto pedal brings it down, and one can use the EQ to soften it more, but it still isn't quite the same as having sample data. The Nord samples seem optimized for modern genre's where the softest layers really aren't needed. The piano gets very bright and loud in the upper layers and it is clearly optimized with more detail in the upper end than the lower end of the velocity range. This is likely the right choice, but it does again point out where they've saved sample space by under-sampling the instrument.

So, I turned off the Nord piano section, and loaded up Keyscape and the Yamaha C7 sample it features. I turned off all the effects and EQ so it was just the raw sample and a little reverb. Now the lower layers were all present, and the timbral variations one expects from low velocity playing were all present. I switched over to Pianoteq, and the same thing - soft playing had all the color shifts expected. It's MIDI monitor confirmed that I was playing under 25 consistently, and able to make accents in the 30 range easily. Now, I don't practice to make a MIDI monitor behave - but having control at lower velocities is what you get out of a big grand AND an excellent digital piano action. Control at lower velocities is what I find missing on budget weighted actions. This is of no concern for banging out rock and roll, but for more acoustic work, there is a lot of nuance and expression down there.

So, that's why I say that the action is better than the Nord Piano library - the instrument is more expressive than its own samples can demonstrate. Changing to other grand piano samples on the Nord can also shift the timbre, but there's no one sample that covers the tonal range of my RX-7. The big software pianos fill this in, however. So in the context of a laptop rig, this Nord Grand is a wonderful controller keyboard for large libraries.

Interestingly, the Yamaha P-515 sample doesn't have this limitation - it has samples for the lower layers and gets softer as expected. It doesn't have as good an action feel in an absolute sense, but it is a more complete instrument where internal sounds are concerned. That CFX sample is definitely better than anything in the Nord library.

I haven't loaded the VSL Synchron Steinway onto my laptop, but I may connect the Nord Grand up to the composing rig just to play that sample. I suspect it is a delightful experience. That sample is amazingly realistic and expressive. (It is also massive).

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3009759 09/26/19 06:08 AM
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Are you seeing this lack of soft detail on the Nord even with the XL sample sets?


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3009786 09/26/19 12:17 PM
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I think the number of samples on a given key is the same on XL as in smaller Nord sample sets. The difference from the smaller sets is that more (all?) of the keys have their own samples (as opposed to being stretched from adjacent keys), and that (unlike S and M) the pedal-down samples are employed over the full 88 keys.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3009787 09/26/19 12:23 PM
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Nathanael, great review!

You’re helping me understand why I can connect with the CP4 but couldn’t connect with the Stage 2 HA88 I had for years. Thank you.

I don’t think I’ll be getting a Nord Grand because I’m at an age where weight is becoming more and more important, but I’ll definitely check out the White Grand (on my Electro 4D triggered by the CP4) and the VSL Steinway.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: mate stubb] #3009807 09/26/19 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mate stubb
Are you seeing this lack of soft detail on the Nord even with the XL sample sets?


Yes. I think the L/M/S samples are solving a problem that I don't have, or at least don't want to have. The piano is a very complex instrument, and it is difficult to sample it well. From a sampling perspective, there is not really a way to make small instruments that capture what a grand piano can do. I've explored sampling my Kawai, and the samples become more and more alive the more detail is added. Skipping keys (say minor 3rds) really flattens the sound of the instrument. Recording ~20 velocity layers per note opens up the resulting instrument wonderfully, and allows one to capture the lightest touch that will produce a sound to thundering away. It isn't surprising, but my experience is that more sample data is better. The deeper the sampling, the more connected the playing experience feels. There is probably some upper limit, but this is a case that generally more data is more realism. I would prefer to have one truly excellent piano sample than a whole bunch of different ones at lower quality, but I can accept that this isn't Nord's market, and that there is usefulness in being able to change the sound.

But to consider what state-of-the-art brings, lets think about what the Vienna Symphonic Library accomplished last year. VSL took this to extremes with the Synchron Steinway D-274. They built a robotic finger that could generate over 100 different velocity levels, and they sampled the piano at .5dB increments, measured acousticaly. This is better than any human can play consistently. I can generate about 50dB of dynamic range sampling my piano. This is honestly more dynamic range than is useful. This involves making the smallest possible sound - just barely triggering the hammer, with the una corda pedal down, to the loudest possible sound I can make with the sustain pedal down. Even fussy classical recordings don't usually have more than 35dB of dynamic range. So VSL created a system that can FULLY sample the piano across its entire acoustic envelope. In practice, most playing doesn't need anywhere near 50dB of range to record on my RX-7. It is also true that no live playing situation including solo piano would need 50dB of dynamic range. But it does illustrate just how capable an acoustic grand piano is and why they are so difficult to sample with excellence. To really get at the lower shadings of an acoustic grand instrument, sampling the una corda pedal extensively is required. In addition to the extreme dynamic range in the samples themselves, VSL also recorded extreme dynamics for the release velocities and pedal noises. The dampers do sound different released fast or slow, and they put all this into the samples as well. So the fact that it feels natural to play is not an accident - the sample data contains as complete an envelope of what the instrument is acoustically capable of as has been done to date.

Whether one likes Steinway pianos or this particular one is a separate issue. I do believe that they have set the mark of technical excellence with this instrument. No one has sampled a piano this extensively before and released it as a product for sale.

This is a huge amount of data. It took VSL several years to do this project. I have no expectation that Nord would do this. That's not my point. My point is to illustrate just how much work and space it takes to truly capture the nuance of an acoustic concert grand piano and why hardware instruments often have such variable playing connection. They mostly just lack sample data, even if they have the best physical mechanisms. What the hardware manufacturers do to fool the hand and ear with vastly reduced data sets is impressive engineering. Figuring out what to leave out and how to compensate for it is their art.

We can't exactly know from what VSL publishes, but accounting for the various mic positions and pedal positions, I'm estimating that the finished instrument is around 60 velocity layers per key on average, with all pedals fully sampled at every dynamic. They say up to 100 per note, so they likely put more detail into the most played areas, which is an entirely sensible decision. The top keys just don't say as much as middle-C tonally or musically. The installed library is 266GB in size at 48khz with all the mic positions. With a more basic set of stereo mic positions, it is 118GB, so this is not going to fit in RAM easily. But streamed from SSD? This is not a lot of cost ($50-80 on Amazon for a 512GB SSD at retail price).

We may not see anyone put that kind of resources into a portable keyboard instrument. As long as the hardware manufacturers keep making better and better physical interfaces, thankfully we can sort the software side on our own. But we appear to live in a world that you can't have the best action and the best sample without some personal integration.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3009826 09/26/19 03:55 PM
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So to test this, I took the USB cable off the composing rig and pulled it over to the Nord Grand and loaded up the Synchron Steinway. Oh my. It's the best virtual piano experience I've ever had. I thought I liked this sample played on the VAX77.... This is a different league. With the studio monitors turned up to acoustic piano levels, it is just glorious. The Steinway they sampled is, of course, a better piano than the Kawai RX-7 that I own. This is clearly evident in the sound. It sounds the way a concert grand should - effortless easy bass, and bright sparkling top end. Perhaps if I worked with my tuner to really get the unisons perfect I could get in the ballpark, but this is a superior recorded sound to be sure. I won't be getting rid of the RX-7, obviously. But the Nord Grand controlling the Synchron Steinway is a fantastic experience. It certainly feels as nuanced as playing on my RX-7. I am quite confident this could be recorded onto an album and no one would know. It is very, very good. (and I am picky about recorded piano tone) When played with the surround speakers and samples on, it is even better. At acoustic piano volumes, it is not only a better piano, it is a better room than my piano is in! A rich and rewarding playing environment.

So, I don't know that I'll have much more to write about this. The Kawai action in the Nord Grand is an exceptional bit of kit - it is the best portable action I've played and is in the range of a good grand piano action for how it feels and how subtly one can play. Nord have built it into a premium instrument that is as portable as any other premium stage piano at ~40 lbs. The internal sounds are adequate for many purposes. But if you ignore them, and connect instead to state-of-the-art samples, it supports a completely different experience. This is a very expressive keyboard mechanism, and with the triple pedal, it is capable of shocking realism when paired with superlative samples and quality speakers/amplification. Of course, all these additions cost much more than the keyboard itself. But that is the way it works. No one puts 266GB pianos into portable keyboards. But my experience demonstrates that if you are willing to pay a premium to get the best portable action in an elegant package and simply use it as a piano keyboard with a MIDI out, the results can be stunning. We live in great times. If this instrument is interesting to you, definitely play one. The action and playability are worth the premium if you care about such things.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3009835 09/26/19 04:22 PM
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All this just goes to show why modelling is the way forward. It's a much more elegant approach than brute forcing it with samples.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3009836 09/26/19 04:26 PM
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Is this same Kawai/Nord action in any of Kawai's other products?

Last edited by Charleston; 09/26/19 04:27 PM.
Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Nathanael_I] #3009843 09/26/19 05:13 PM
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Thanks for the great, detailed reports.

Originally Posted by Nathanael_I
I would prefer to have one truly excellent piano sample than a whole bunch of different ones at lower quality, but I can accept that this isn't Nord's market, and that there is usefulness in being able to change the sound.

Yes. And as your numbers demonstrate, even if Nord came out with a piano where you could dedicate the full memory to a single piano sample, it would barely make a dent compared to what's in the VSL. So you'd be trading off the versatility for what is (relative to that standard) only a modest increase in sampling depth. And of course as you also point out, VSL nuance and dynamic range is beyond what someone would typically need in a live performance board, which is Nord's wheelhouse. But it's great that you showed what you can get if you want it... and the economics of keyboard manufacturing being what it is, it's probably cheaper to buy a Nord Grand and a laptop running VSL than it would be to buy a theoretical Nord that had that VSL library built in.

Originally Posted by Nathanael_I
they sampled the piano at .5dB increments, measured acousticaly. This is better than any human can play consistently.

Yes... in fact human control of what can be played consistently is quite poor, relatively speaking. But of course, your piano performance is about what you do in the moment, not about your ability to repeat it identically.

Originally Posted by Nathanael_I
They say up to 100 per note, so they likely put more detail into the most played areas, which is an entirely sensible decision. The top keys just don't say as much as middle-C tonally or musically.

As opposed to "most played" it could also be more samples in lower notes than higher... where your "top keys" comment would equally apply.

Originally Posted by mate stubb
All this just goes to show why modelling is the way forward. It's a much more elegant approach than brute forcing it with samples.

Modeling can definitely address some issues, yet in other aspects, so far, it still seems unable to capture some of what sampling can. You pay one piper or the other, I guess. And depending on what "flaws" you're more sensitive to, you can easily prefer one approach or the other.

Originally Posted by Charleston
Is this same Kawai/Nord action in any of Kawai's other products?

Not exactly... apparently it is some altered version of what's in the MP7SE.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: AnotherScott] #3009847 09/26/19 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by AnotherScott
Originally Posted by Charleston
Is this same Kawai/Nord action in any of Kawai's other products?

Not exactly... apparently it is some altered version of what's in the MP7SE.
To that end, I wonder if anyone has had the chance to compare the feel of this board to the Kawai VPC1, as long as we're discussing using it as a controller for software pianos.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: mate stubb] #3010059 09/27/19 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mate stubb
All this just goes to show why modelling is the way forward. It's a much more elegant approach than brute forcing it with samples.



This is not my experience. Pianoteq is certainly space saving. It improves with every release. It is very responsive to playing nuance. But it is not close to what the VSL Synchron library offers in terms of sound (or the Ravenscraft, Keyscape, etc). If you spend a lot of time recording pianos, the model just doesn't sound real. If you only play Pianoteq, it is very satisfying. But it will take a bit more for the model to really catch up to the samples.

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3010082 09/28/19 02:29 AM
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That's why I said it's the way forward, not what's best today. I believe that modelling will eventually equal or surpass samples, without the giant resource requirements of the latter.


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3024317 01/18/20 05:49 AM
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Believe it or not, I finally was able to play the NG yesterday. I mentioned that to the venerable Pablo Masdtodon who was standing near by and we both had a laugh. He's the hardest working guy in "keyboard tech support" in the biz ! I certainly hope they are paying him well ! laugh

Instantly you could tell a major upgrade and improvement over the Fatar Nord pianos. Again though , because of the extreme noise and low quality phones, it was difficult to really enjoy the keyboard fully or hear/feel any subtleties. I only heard the Royal Grand.

Out of everything I played yesterday that was new to me, it stood out enough where I would actually jump through some hoops to hear it in a quiet environment, with good phones, the Nord monitors or my own system.

Mainly thinking of it for home use only. Can't afford the soft case for gigging ! shocked wink crazy

Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3024319 01/18/20 06:03 AM
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What Nathaniel said. I just sold my entire Pianoteq Pro suite with all add-ons, for way too little money, last week. I feel that sampling has finally caught up with modeling, and that it will now have a permanent lock due to the inherent limits with modeling.

Not sure why that came up in the context of this thread, but I am glad to hear once again of the excellent Kawai action in the Nord Grand. I'm going to check out some audio demos now, as I've really never experienced this keyboard as far as I can remember; just the Nord Stage (and Electro).


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Re: Nord Grand with Kawai Action [Re: Sun&Rain] #3024320 01/18/20 06:10 AM
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+1 on the Grand. I played it at GearFest in a somewhat quieter environment and it really stood out to me. I cannot speak to the Nord sounds, other than that they work for me live, but the playing experience was the first time I felt I connected with a Nord piano.

Edit: I probably said the exact same thing on this thread previously and forgot about it, but not looking for it. Na na na na na na!

Last edited by mate stubb; 01/18/20 06:11 AM.

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