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Yamaha AvantGrand (N2 or N3) OR.. acoustic Piano with silent


Bertrand

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Hello,

 

Here is my dilema ! I learn piano, I very ofter play during the evening (so silence is needed) and I really want/need a "real" acoustic piano keyboard action.

 

So what should I choose : Yamaha Avantgrand or "real" acoustic with Silent (Yamaha) / Anytime (Kawai) system fitted ?

 

 

The prices are similar:

 

Avantgrand N2 = price of a YAmaha U1 or U3 silent

Avantgrand N3 = Price of a Kawai Grand GE20 + Anytime system ( and just a little cheaper than yamaha CG1 + Silent)

 

 

- I am afraid that the acoustic silent/anytime will have a sound through headphone really less good than a Yamaha Avantgrand because the Avantgrand electronic has a really more sophisticated sound generator ? true ?

 

- Also, do you know which silence system for AC is better: Yamaha's silent or Kawai Anytime ?

 

Thanks

 

Help please.....

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever
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For a purchase of this size, it would be best to spend the time and money to travel to wherever you can actually play one of each, and make the comparison based on your own ears and also the "feel" of each instrument.

 

My own solution to a similar issue (home with one night shift worker) is to have both an electronic and an acoustic instrument in our living room. Besides, my wife and I can play duets in the living room with overlapping key ranges.

 

Nothing commercially available, including the Yamaha Avant Grand, will completely duplicate the feel and sound of an acoustic piano. For cost reasons, we went with used instruments - having a 5'8" grand one side of the living room and a Kurzweil electronic on the other side.

 

In order to really duplicate the feel of an acoustic piano, you need to have a full and complete grand action. Bosendorfer was designing such a system, although it was to be marketed primarily for travelling concert artists (price never announced, guesses ran at over 60,000 euro). However, the project disappeared after Yamaha acquired Bosendorfer. They were using the complete action of an Imperial Grand, with light-operated sensors for when the hammer would strike and sensore for the force. This went into a complex computer system which used a system with much higher resolution than MIDI can provide, and into some very large and detailed samples.

 

 

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I would be surprised if that's the case. Although Yamaha has been known to work on two-year refresh cycles with some ranges, the fact that the AvantGrand is a high-end, low volume item - combined with the recession - wouldn't immediately suggest a new iteration is on the way barely 24 months from the original's launch.

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Nothing commercially available, including the Yamaha Avant Grand, will completely duplicate the feel and sound of an acoustic piano. For cost reasons, we went with used instruments - having a 5'8" grand one side of the living room and a Kurzweil electronic on the other side.

 

In order to really duplicate the feel of an acoustic piano, you need to have a full and complete grand action. Bosendorfer was designing such a system, although it was to be marketed primarily for travelling concert artists (price never announced, guesses ran at over 60,000 euro). However, the project disappeared after Yamaha acquired Bosendorfer. They were using the complete action of an Imperial Grand, with light-operated sensors for when the hammer would strike and sensore for the force. This went into a complex computer system which used a system with much higher resolution than MIDI can provide, and into some very large and detailed samples.

 

 

I disagree with much of what has been posted above. The AvantGrand does have an acoustic grand action modified for electronics. Yamaha describes it as such:

 

"The nuanced touch and response of the grand piano are an essential standard yardstick for piano quality. The AvantGrand offers the player a specially-developed grand piano action that features the same configuration as the action of a real grand. The hammers strike the "strings" from underneath, allowing minute adjustments to the weight distribution of the hammers, and to the movement of the hammers themselves, for a smoother feel when playing. In addition to a hammer sensor, the AvantGrand employs a non-contact key sensor that has no effect on the movement of the keys, affording excellent recognition of the player's pressure on the keyboard, timing, and the other delicate nuances that affect musical expression. This combination provides an impressive sensitivity for the entire range from pianissimo through to fortissimo, and the ability to translate even the swiftest trills of the pianist with transparency."

 

As I own an AvantGrand N3 I can attest that the action does feel and respond like a quality Yamaha grand action. It's not like an entry level Yamaha or some cheap Asian grand and certainly not like a $2500 DP.

 

The Bosendorfer prototype had some interesting aspects to it but as no one out side of a very few people ever played/heard it, it's a phantom product. Given the company's precarious financial situation at the time, they really had no business developing this product considering their limited expertise in digital/controller keyboards. Yamaha, on the other hand, has had decades of leadership in the creation of hybrid acoustic/electric pianos. The AvantGrand is the culmination of years of R&D in this area.

 

In comparison to the Bosendorfer, the AvantGrand features:

 

- Quadraphonic sampling where the speakers are placed where the microphones were in the original recording.

- A four-channel multi-speaker system, designed in a three-way configuration with the bass woofer pointed down and the treble cones facing up, to allow more natural reverberation in the soundboard.

- Pedal system that mimics the unique resistance of a grand piano pedals.

- Flatpanel soundboard resonator.

- Tactile Response System - This system features two transducers in the soundboard, the area underneath the keyboard, resonating natural reverberation throughout the entire instrument. This really works and makes a HUGE difference in the connectedness one feels with this instrument.

- Case that feels and looks like a grand piano including lid and fall-board.

 

You could build a system with the best soft synth piano library, finest near-field speakers and best feeling controller and won't come remotely close to the playing experience and sound of the AvantGrand.

 

Busch.

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To the OP's question. I had a Yamaha MIDI Grand (5' 8") which I believe is the same thing as the Silent Grand (naming difference in the USA vs. elsewhere). It did not have the full Diskclavier system, but was an acoustic grand with the silent mechanism plus the digital piano electronics. Mine had two speakers that were attached under the soundboard. Supposedly these were the same speakers they used in the DiskClaviers. I was never crazy about the electronic piano sound coming through those speakers. This became more frustrating as I found myself using the piano less as an acoustic instrument and more and more in electronic mode. Additionally, I didn't like what happens to the action in silent mode. I believe Yamaha uses a mechanism that disengages the action at some point so that the hammers don't strike the strings, but it felt to me like a bar was placed across the hammer to prevent them from striking. It felt, to me, like you couldn't depress the keys fully.

 

So, given my need for superior instrument for quiet mode playing, I jumped at the chance to trade my MIDI Grand for the AvantGrand. I prefer "quiet mode" to silent (headphones). I MUCH prefer the playing experience and sound of the AvantGrand vs. the MIDI Grand.

 

One caveat. The acoustic piano (Silent Grand) will, in all likelihood, retain its value better than the AvantGrand. One of the reasons I did the deal is because my MIDI Grand did retain its value.

 

Busch.

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I've become so spoiled playing in-tune digitals over the years. With humidity and temperature fluctuations that come with every change in seasons, (like last week) I often think how much better it would be to sit down and play a quality digital grand than keep up with the maintenance and tuning issues of the acoustic grands I play.

 

I've played the N3, and man if I could afford one, or if some of the establishments I perform in asked me for my opinion on what to buy, a small grand or one of these, there'd be no question at this point.

 

 

 

 

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You could build a system with the best soft synth piano library, finest near-field speakers and best feeling controller and won't come remotely close to the playing experience and sound of the AvantGrand.

 

Busch.

 

This SO true. I've played the N3 a LOT, the N2 a few times and while they are not going to make a serious pianist trade in or sell their higher quality grand, the playing experience is in another universe from any electronic keyboard I've ever touched. Given the choice between a 5' Baby grand and the N3, I hate to say it but I'd probably go with the DP.

 

Depending on your area, the "street price" has come down dramatically from where it started with even additional "room for wiggle". I was close to pulling the trigger on the N3 last year after getting an exceptional deal on a trade in for my older Gran Touch GT-2 digital. Because of work slow down I passed. My Yamaha piano dealer told me the initial hoopla has worn off and they aren't selling a lot of them---of course figure in the economy too.

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Yes, the AvantGrand, when played at the volume of an acoustic piano, really fills the room in a remarkably similar way to an acoustic grand. I am particularly sensitive to the volume of a piano for the given room. Most of the time I feel acoustic pianos overpower the room, especially in the home. Being able to turn down the overall volume yet retaining your full range of expression is something I really need.

 

I forgot to mention, the OP was talking about comparing the AG to a very small (5 foot) Kawai and as we all know grands that small should avoided if at all possible.

 

Busch.

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The N1 is supposed to be the less expensive of the 3 models. The guy said that he saw it and that is is a "small N2" with a simplified piano mechanism action.

 

I am just wondering if this NEW model will have a NEW sound database, and if therefore the 2 older models may have their sound database updated.

 

I'm really nervous buying something like this and then 1 month later hearing about a new or updated version :-(

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Buy it, then close your eyes and keep them closed.

 

 

 

 

 

(Seriously, why look at new models when you have something good/great? So it's not the latest.)

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Well, here is another dealer, German this time, that show "CATALOG SUSPENDED" for the Avantgrand !???

 

http://www.organstudio.co.uk/acatalog/avantgrand.html

 

Intriguing isn't it ????

 

I am getting nervous to buy now an Avantgrand now.... and hear in 1 month that a new version is available .

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever
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If you buy it today, and love it, and enjoy it so much you just keep playing it and never stop, will a new model make any difference?

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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I think I will finally go for a small grand ACOUSTIC SIlence, and then, if I don't like the "it's silence sound' I can always link it through midi to an external sound module (Yam XF rack ? :-) ) or to my next stage piano to use its sound bank.

 

With this I am building my very own acoustic/electronic hybrid piano :-) without the constant fear of having an expensive Avantgrand N3 becoming obsolete, and with the pleasure of a "real" acoustic sound when played "non silently".

 

so now the question is : Yamaha silence (C2 or C3 silence) or KAWA anytime (RX2 ATX-f ) ? Any recommendation ? Which has the best "silent module" and without consequences on the acoustic keyboard action ?

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever
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This week I spent about 45 minutes playing an AG N3 for the first time. While it was less than ideal environment - a dealer showroom - I was really impressed with the product. KB feel, tactile response, overall "impact" of sound produced @ typical acoustic piano volume, approximation of the player experience sitting at a real grand - Yamaha really has a formidable product. I think if I had your stated needs and the discretionary cash to pull the trigger, I'd be hard pressed to find a more-satisfactory solution.

 

Which leads me to concur with Joe's suggestion that obsolescence is a non-factor. If an AG N3 serves your needs, is a satisfying solution for silent practice and "at volume" playing, what does it really matter that some incrementally updated version comes out in a month? a year? three years?

 

An imperfect analogy - if I bought a used but transcendent rosewood Hamburg M, and in a year Steinway updated their model line with, say, a new action - to what degree would that matter to me?

 

..
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- Has someone being able to also test the new Kawai MP10 ? Kawai used to have very good keyboard action, this board could be a "transportable" alternative when on the go..

 

- Has someone compared the AvantGrand to the V-Piano ?

 

Thanks

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