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Digital piano for classical music? (Read 31300 times)

Offline chrisbutch

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #50 on: November 12, 2014, 12:55:47 PM »
One point about headphones which I don't think has been raised earlier in this thread -
As well as the audio quality of the phones the fit and comfort are also important. It's one thing to sit listening to a CD with phones, quite another to wear them while engaged in a strenuous physical activity such as playing Chopin. The better phones are often quite heavy and can have a tendency to slip if you move your head a lot. There's also the issue of wireless vs. wired, with better quality phones again often available only in wired versions. The benefits of phones soon disappear if you're constantly distracted by them when you should be concentrating on your playing. So before buying an expensive set of phones for this purpose you really need to be able to try them out for several hours in a real practice situation. 

Offline pianoplunker

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #51 on: November 13, 2014, 03:14:10 AM »
That's all fine Ian and also what a lot of people find. However, you really have to get to know the exact piano to buy and find all the menus before you can determine too much. The better keyboards have adjustable sustain for the notes and partial sustain for the pedal and about every adjustment in between ( my Kawai adjusts for hammer release off the keys, hammer sound touching the keys, open string sounds. I tuned it to closely match as best I could, my grand in terms of sustain with and without pedal and even that little clunk you get in the upper notes of hammers hitting the strings.). It's still not perfect but the closer one can get the more enjoyable it becomes to play or switch between instruments.

Yes the keys can be weird. Many are spring action keys. Others have action but the initial depression tension is less than full depression. That's all fine if one plays keyboard all the time but a hindrance when switching back and forth from a full acoustic grand and still learning. Someone with experience like yourself will learn to adjust, a beginner might find that tough to deal with.

That all said, even very experienced piano players who also play keyboard find a common gripe in the sustain pedal. You read about that a lot here. My beef is I tend to look for more pedal on the digital, I feel like I'm shoving it into the basement ! If I ever layed into the pedal on my grand like I do on the keyboard it would drive me nuts. I have a very light pedal foot on the grand and just about leave it pegged down on the digital !

The pedal is one area where digital pianos are completely different. For me the big adjustment between digital and acoustic is not the weight of the keys or the hammers but the pedals and the depth ( lack thereof ). When I first sit at an acoustic , my pedaling is badly overdone from being used to rather limited digital impersonations of pedals. Like you I apply far more pedal on the digital to achieve less. Not good if you need to practice for a performance and no access to a real piano+

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #52 on: November 30, 2014, 08:14:06 AM »
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No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline bronnestam

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #53 on: December 01, 2014, 08:24:57 AM »
Well, yeah, you are right in this but how experienced do you have to be to get your technique "ruined" as you say? I learned to play on an acoustic upright 30 years ago, but after that it has been just digitals - if anything. I made a piano comeback just a few years ago, after decades of hibernation.
When I also got the chance to take lessons I have had a hard time struggling with my teacher's acoustic piano. I admit that. But this summer I went to a piano summer school and spent a week playing on lots and lots of acoustics (no digitals there). The first days were tricky, but after a while ther was no problem at all. I went home, got a slight shock when I had to re-adapt to my digital again, but it took less than half an hour to be back on track again.
And one month later I went back to my piano teacher and played on her acoustic and she was delighted to notice that I did not have any problems with her piano anymore.

It is not worse than learning to drive different types of cars. When you first take you driver's license, you struggle with every new vehicle you try, because you can only drive that old Ford, or whatever you had to practice with before you took your license. After a while, you are able to drive all kinds of car brands without getting those annoying stops and jerks ...

it is about experience, as you say,  but one should not be too afraid of practicing on digitals. You need some time to adapt to a different kind of instrument, but it is not THAT hard, and it will get more and more easy over time.
I don't think there are many pianists who accept to give recitals on pianos they have not tried out in beforehand, though. Acoustics in particular are all individuals.

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #54 on: December 01, 2014, 08:38:29 AM »
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No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline sette_md

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #55 on: November 03, 2015, 03:56:36 AM »
I think there is a way to solve and overcome any existing controversy about acoustic versus digital piano. A digital piano is not a piano. It's another instrument. I'll explain. A DP is not a type, a specie of piano. We are not allowed to say that there are 2 types of pianos, acoustic and digital. Not at all. Having this in mind, there is nothing to be said against digital pianos since one is not a substitute of the other. What if someone learns and keeps playing a digital piano? No problem, he or she, if musically gifted, may become a great DIGITAL PIANO player. No way to extend this to an acoustic one.

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #56 on: November 03, 2015, 10:34:42 AM »
I think there is a way to solve and overcome any existing controversy about acoustic versus digital piano. A digital piano is not a piano. It's another instrument. I'll explain. A DP is not a type, a specie of piano. We are not allowed to say that there are 2 types of pianos, acoustic and digital. Not at all. Having this in mind, there is nothing to be said against digital pianos since one is not a substitute of the other. What if someone learns and keeps playing a digital piano? No problem, he or she, if musically gifted, may become a great DIGITAL PIANO player. No way to extend this to an acoustic one.

Silly
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline prettythought

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #57 on: November 11, 2015, 05:07:16 PM »
I found an interesting article on the best digital pianos that takes a pretty balanced approach to the digital vs acoustic debate, and offers up some recommendations. Hopefully it'll help some of the people in this thread trying to decide between brands and models.

I agree with the sentiments expressed earlier, about the action of Kawai digital pianos being superior to Yamaha and Casio, at least in the under-$1000 range. In my view, of course nothing can replace the feel and sound of an acoustic piano, but seriously I feel so fortunate to live in a world where I can spend $400 and buy a wonderful digital piano that sounds and feels close-ish to the real thing, and allows me to plug in a great pair of headphones and practice into the night without bothering anyone else in the house! :)

Offline bronnestam

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #58 on: November 12, 2015, 09:12:13 AM »
I think there is a way to solve and overcome any existing controversy about acoustic versus digital piano. A digital piano is not a piano. It's another instrument. I'll explain. A DP is not a type, a specie of piano. We are not allowed to say that there are 2 types of pianos, acoustic and digital. Not at all. Having this in mind, there is nothing to be said against digital pianos since one is not a substitute of the other. What if someone learns and keeps playing a digital piano? No problem, he or she, if musically gifted, may become a great DIGITAL PIANO player. No way to extend this to an acoustic one.

No, this is rubbish. In that case I would not be able to play on an acoustic. I practice on my digital all the time, and according to you I can never learn to play an acoustic decently well ...
I have played so many different pianos and some of them are a struggle and some of them I get along real well with. You know what? Some of them are acoustics, some of them are DP. The acoustic grands are rather similar to my digital grand, while some old uprights are tricky at first. But within a few minutes I have adapted to them.

So your "no way" is, in reality, a matter of minutes. And experience.

Offline outin

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #59 on: November 12, 2015, 09:53:47 AM »
^ Yes, one can adapt, at least if one has at some point studied on an acoustic as well. But I still think that a digital piano is a different instrument from an acoustic piano. To play an acoustic is not so much more difficult than to play a digital. But to really master acoustics is not something one can learn on digitals, because their possibilities are limited and they are much more predictable than acoustics.

Offline anie

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #60 on: November 18, 2015, 10:17:12 PM »
Hi :)

What do you think about digital piano for classical music?
Personally i like digital piano, because it has more feature like recording, other sound, no need tuning, etc.
But some people said that digital piano lack of expressiveness, limited dynamic range, etc. And people also said that we can't play legato passages perfectly on digital piano ...

The sound of a digital piano will never approach what we hear from a good acoustic piano.  It's convenient for playing at night (to protect your neighbors) or to practice passages over and over again (w/o making the neighbors sick), but for the final aspect -- the sound -- a good acoustic piano is way better.  No matter what, a digital piano's sound will sound fairly plastic.

  An example: I play, as a hobby, both popular and classical, and here's an audio sample of some Chopin (a brief 2 minute excerpt of a transcription by Wild from the slow movement of the concerto #2), which is music I cannot play correctly, but that doesn't stop me from trying.  The digital at least gives an idea of how a digital piano can sound in classical music, but you'll hear that it's not a good substitute. 

  This is via a Yamaha P80 keyboard (I think the P90 superceded it), considered good for classical, even then you can hear the difference clearly. 

   http://bit.ly/chopin-wild-larghetto-excerpt

    The 3X more expensive Kawai MP11 may come a little closer but will still have that 'plastic' sound, or at least my MP10, which I sold when I got an acoustic piano, did.

Hobbyist - intermediate level (SoundCloud)
Enjoy both digital and acoustic pianos

Offline anie

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #61 on: November 18, 2015, 11:04:45 PM »
Hi all, Thanks for comment and sharing knowledge  ;D

I finally end up to Kawai CN34. I love the touch and the sound, especially when used headphone. There are big diffrences i feel, compared to my yamaha Dgx 630.

Here is a video i play my Kawai CN34, maybe can help someone looking for CN34 demo  ;D



Well, I just saw this post (though the video thumbnail doesn't show) after I posted to you about digital piano sounds.  Curious about your Kawai CN34, I tried to use the 'Play' button in the bottom bar that does show up w/o a picture and then tried to see it at youtube but that leads to a youtube main page.  It' odd that it doesn't say the video isn't available.  It just drops me on the youtube home page.  Did you remove the video?

Will you be putting up another one? 
Hobbyist - intermediate level (SoundCloud)
Enjoy both digital and acoustic pianos

Offline timothy42b

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #62 on: November 19, 2015, 01:03:05 PM »
The sound of a digital piano will never approach what we hear from a good acoustic piano.  It's convenient for playing at night (to protect your neighbors) or to practice passages over and over again (w/o making the neighbors sick), but for the final aspect -- the sound -- a good acoustic piano is way better.  No matter what, a digital piano's sound will sound fairly plastic.

I would bet 99% of the music you listen to is digital.  A CD of an acoustic piano performance is digital. 

Secondly, you can get a plastic sound out of an acoustic played live.  I was at a church conference lately where a very good pianist led hymns on a grand piano.  When I heard the first notes I was horrified.  This was otherwise a very professionally prepared conference, why would they get a cheap digital and put up with that cheesy sound?  So on a break I walked over to it.  It was not a digital, it was a decent sized grand.  But it was close miked so as to fill the large hall, and it sounded awful.  I'm sure the performer never knew what it sounded like out in the audience. 
Tim

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #63 on: November 19, 2015, 04:13:29 PM »
Anie, the MP11 plastic or not :  <iframe width="1016" height="454" src="
" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #64 on: November 19, 2015, 04:23:12 PM »
I would bet 99% of the music you listen to is digital.  A CD of an acoustic piano performance is digital. 

Secondly, you can get a plastic sound out of an acoustic played live.  I was at a church conference lately where a very good pianist led hymns on a grand piano.  When I heard the first notes I was horrified.  This was otherwise a very professionally prepared conference, why would they get a cheap digital and put up with that cheesy sound?  So on a break I walked over to it.  It was not a digital, it was a decent sized grand.  But it was close miked so as to fill the large hall, and it sounded awful.  I'm sure the performer never knew what it sounded like out in the audience. 

Thank you Tim. Additionally any of it will sound about as good as the sound system it's played through. I had occasion to record half a dozen pieces for a wedding recently, recorded my own music and it was played off a USB stick through a dJ's sound system. You would be hard pressed to know it was not acoustic, never sounded so good. I was pleased, very pleased with the outcome in that respect ( the sound over his system). Kawai MP6 played and recorded through Pianoteq software and or Mixcraft 7. Honestly, I don't have recording  hardware good enough to record my grand piano and I'm not buying it either.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline wijnjan

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #65 on: December 04, 2015, 09:33:01 PM »
I played a digital Kawai CA 111 for ca. 5 years and recently changed to a Yamaha U1 silent piano.
I did not expect  a big difference between playing an accoustic and a digital piano but I now must say that this expectation was wrong. The accoustic piano offers much more dynamics and the possibility to put emotions into the music.
I am very happy with the silent function of my piano. I can play day and night without disturbing my family, which is great.

Offline handz

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #66 on: December 06, 2015, 12:48:21 AM »
Did anyone had a real chance to try Yamahas Avantgrand series? I really wonder what pianist say on them, they asking some big money for them, but the actions seems very close to the real piano, but sound and speaker quality I cant say fro many video so far...
In progress: <br />Scriabin: Preludes op 11 nr 6, 10, 17, 1<br />Rachmaninov: Prelude C# minor<br />Fibich: Poeme<br />Mussorgsky: Pictures at Exhibition Promenade, gnome

Offline pianoplunker

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #67 on: December 06, 2015, 02:07:57 AM »
Did anyone had a real chance to try Yamahas Avantgrand series? I really wonder what pianist say on them, they asking some big money for them, but the actions seems very close to the real piano, but sound and speaker quality I cant say fro many video so far...

I tried both the Baby Grand and upright models. In my opinion , they are Yamaha's best digitals. The Clavinovas are just toys in comparison - but then there is a price to be paid

Offline bronnestam

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #68 on: December 06, 2015, 09:10:24 PM »
I recently tried the AvantGrand N1 piano and I was delighted. It really felt just like acoustic Yamaha grands ... the sound? Of course not exactly the same. That is impossible.

Earlier I tried an NU1 piano and got disappointed. I supposed it is because that one "simulates" an upright and that was not what I wanted - I wanted the feeling from a grand.

I suppose the N3 version, which looks like a baby grand, sounds even better, although still not as an acoustic. Unfortunately I think it is ugly! My Clavinova 465GP is a beautiful baby grand, I love to have it in the middle of my living room. I also think the N3 is too expensive. My next piano, whenever that will happen - my 465 is still going strong - may very well be an N1. Unfortunately an acoustic is out of the question at the moment.

So if you need a good digital piano at home for practicing, when you don't have access to an acoustic, I would definitely recommend the N1. For performances it will of course not do, but for practice at home it is good to have and not awfully expensive. Well ... at least not as expensive as an acoustic grand ...

Offline pianoplunker

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #69 on: December 07, 2015, 11:40:07 AM »
I recently tried the AvantGrand N1 piano and I was delighted. It really felt just like acoustic Yamaha grands ... the sound? Of course not exactly the same. That is impossible.

Earlier I tried an NU1 piano and got disappointed. I supposed it is because that one "simulates" an upright and that was not what I wanted - I wanted the feeling from a grand.

I suppose the N3 version, which looks like a baby grand, sounds even better, although still not as an acoustic. Unfortunately I think it is ugly! My Clavinova 465GP is a beautiful baby grand, I love to have it in the middle of my living room. I also think the N3 is too expensive. My next piano, whenever that will happen - my 465 is still going strong - may very well be an N1. Unfortunately an acoustic is out of the question at the moment.

So if you need a good digital piano at home for practicing, when you don't have access to an acoustic, I would definitely recommend the N1. For performances it will of course not do, but for practice at home it is good to have and not awfully expensive. Well ... at least not as expensive as an acoustic grand ...

One thing to consider when spending big money on a digital piano is that technology can outdate itself rather quickly. Something that costs $14000 usd today might be found for $500 within a few years.  A well built acoustic can last for decades and not be outdated. That is why I wouldnt buy the Avant Grande for a big price, although it is fabulous

Offline bronnestam

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #70 on: December 07, 2015, 05:19:44 PM »
One thing to consider when spending big money on a digital piano is that technology can outdate itself rather quickly. Something that costs $14000 usd today might be found for $500 within a few years.  A well built acoustic can last for decades and not be outdated. That is why I wouldnt buy the Avant Grande for a big price, although it is fabulous

yeah, but still - if my only problem was the money, I would go for an acoustic! My mother sold my acoustic upright last year for the equivalent of 60 USD. I was offered a very nice acoustic upright just a few weeks ago - totally for free, very good condition. It is like that in my country, you can get an upright for nothing (but you normally have to arrange the transport).
So at least here nobody buys a digital in order to get away cheap. No, the problem is normally the same as mine: people around you complain whenever you practice, the floor is too weak to take up the weight of a big acoustic, and you have no room for a grand. We are four persons and two dogs living in this very small house and the occasionss when I really can play with loudspeakers on are easily counted ... Either the people protest and complain, or my dogs start to bark. And I get awfully stressed and hesitate to play.
No, the digital is a blessing in this aspect. Headphones on, then play. I can make every silly exercise I like - come on, some really sound weird to a non-pianist - without bothering about what people think.

Professional concert pianists also have digitals in these days. Not ONLY digitals, of course, but they sometimes need them for the same reason as the rest of us.   

BTW I still remember my mothers' rather mindless comment when I was a teen and struggled real hard to learn something: "isn't that piece a bit too difficult for you right now?"
Arrgh!  >:(  Not what I needed to hear ... (yes, I finally learned it). My loving and supporting mother, who bought me this piano from the beginning, meant no harm, but the comment really hurt me.

I still agree with you, though, that the price of the N3 is not quite proportional to what you get, compared to the N1. That is why I recommend the N1 now. It does not cost more than an upright with silent function, and I would say it is more pleasant to play.

Offline handz

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #71 on: December 07, 2015, 10:29:22 PM »
One thing to consider when spending big money on a digital piano is that technology can outdate itself rather quickly. Something that costs $14000 usd today might be found for $500 within a few years.  A well built acoustic can last for decades and not be outdated. That is why I wouldnt buy the Avant Grande for a big price, although it is fabulous

Well, yes and no. Acoustic will hold price better but needs a lot of service, digital will always sound as "well" as when it was new which is definitely  a good thing. 


BTW I just found that CASIO did a new Hybrid Grands in cooperation with Bechstein - interesting, did anyone had a chance to try it? Here it is impossible to see. Price is much better than Yamaha.

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Offline pianoplunker

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #72 on: December 09, 2015, 06:03:58 AM »
Well, yes and no. Acoustic will hold price better but needs a lot of service, digital will always sound as "well" as when it was new which is definitely  a good thing. 

Digitals have their own sets of problems and do need servicing / repair. After a few years, the manufacturers quit making a particular model and parts for that model are more difficult to find. It does not sound as "well" when keys simply quit working, volume adjusts itself up and down , pedal stuck on stupid, preset buttons dont work, connectors become disconnected from the circuit board, etc.  Just a few things I have experienced with digitals.  That is why I am wary about spending too much on a digital simply to simulate and acoustic piano.  The Avant Grande is a nice sounding digital but for the price you can shop around and find a decent acoustic. Also, the Avant Grande weighs 500 LBS which means you need to plan the space for it just like an acoustic

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #73 on: May 08, 2016, 10:24:02 PM »
I would bet 99% of the music you listen to is digital.  A CD of an acoustic piano performance is digital.

Secondly, you can get a plastic sound out of an acoustic played live.[snip]
Apologies for resurrecting an old thread, but this is a profoundly inexact statement. A CD is a digital recording of an analogue instrument - resonances, beatings, vibration from different sources, echo from a specific environment and all the rest. A digital piano (or whatever else has been sampled) is a set of samples recorded (digitally) in isolation in one specific environment (a recording studio - which has its own peculiarities) - no matter how much Yamaha, Nord, Pianoteq (or whoever else) insists on "we record the sound including the resonances from the other strings", they don't record them for all possible combinations/situations.

Let me provide an example: one note (say C4) is down, and you get some resonances from the other strings. Now add the other two from a basic C chord, and you get a fairly different set of resonances from the (acoustic) instrument than when you were holding only the intial C, yet the digital will (even with perfect polyphony) reproduce the "resonances" of the C, E and G as if they were pressed in isolation. Then try to voice the E over the other two notes - and more problems ensue...

If you attempt to do the same while recording (digitally) an acoustic piano, the digitalisation may well introduce its own problems, but at that point one is digitising the "real" sound, not a reconstruction of it from separate samples.

Then, as you noted, there are problems with miking, (recording), amplification and transducers (speakers). None of which are necessarily anything to do with "digital" - in fact, a live set up like the one you described is likely to be all analogue, just set up by a technician that did not know or could not do better with the equipment available (yes, I was a sound technician for a while - it's not always the tech's fault).

Back on topic, here I am, (re)learning to play, getting an N1 six months ago, and finding no fault (at least at my modest level) with the action, but a huge amount of dissatisfaction with the sound, whether it's coming through good quality headphones or the not-too-bad set of N1 amps and speakers, precisely for the reason above. So, now the hunt for a real piano is open, though I will miss the N1's ability to simply plug in the earphones and not bother family or neighbours.

So, to the OP (and anyone else reading), here's my 2 cents: digitals can be greatly convenient, but an acoustic instrument is - at current state of technology - going to sound different, even when the mechanic is so similar to a real piano's (and I can assure you that the N1's mechanic feels uncannily similar to a C3).

Offline bronnestam

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #74 on: May 09, 2016, 08:51:56 PM »
Well, I don't think there is anyone claiming that a digital is exactly as an acoustic.

I just want to correct you on one little point here: Pianoteq is NOT sampled. It is modelled. One cool feature you get in this way is that you can actually decide how well-tuned your virtual piano should be - from "Mint Condition" to "Ruined". You get a more realistic feeling if you make the piano less than perfect.

To many of us, having an acoustic simply isn't an option. Period. I have a very nice digital, a baby grand which looks terrific in my living room and it is also very nice to play. I have to say, I find it slightly amusing when others try to lecture me and inform me that my piano is not the real thing and that - by implication - a "real" pianist cannot stand playing on that kind of toy. Or something like that.

I started to learn playing the piano 40 years ago, and it was on an acoustic upright. Then I hardly played at all, until five years ago when I re-bounded. Since then I have played on more pianos than I have bothered to count, both different digitals and different acoustics, from half-wrecked uprights to abused old grands with broken keys to Steinway D:s in perfect shape, set up for recordings. According to the know-hows, I should not be able to play on an acoustic as I have "damaged" both my fingertip feeling and my hearing on my digital. But actually this does not seem to be the case.

So that a digital is worthless for practicing if you are really SERIOUS, is total BS. Besides, even the ultra-professional concert pianists seem to have digitals in these days, from the same reason as the rest of us.
I do not say that was what you wrote but really, I don't quite understand the point with your posting. Yes, there is a difference between acoustics and digitals. No, there is no difference in the feeling between a piano like N1 and an acoustic Yamaha grand, I know because I have tried them out quite carefully. Yes, the sound is a bit different, that cannot be avoided. And no, it does not matter. If you perform, you need a real acoustic of course, in order to give the audience the ultimate experience. When you sit at home and do your daily practice, you don't need this.

My digital grand is more close to an acoustic grand in touch and feel, than an acoustic upright is. 

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #75 on: May 09, 2016, 09:06:04 PM »
In full agreement. Other than the fact that I still don't like the sound of my N1 (and that I read timothy42b's statement as implying "that a digital is exactly as an acoustic").

The point of my post is that I was just irked (yes, I was) by the statement - repeated at least twice on this thread - that "it doesn't matter if it's digital because all - or at least most - of what you listen to nowadays is a digital recording anyway" thus equating digital recording with digital instruments. They simply are not the same, not even conceptually.

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #76 on: May 09, 2016, 09:21:39 PM »
By the way, I hope that nothing in my previous post was interpreted as meaning that serious playing on a digital instrument (be it sampled or modelled) is somehow impossible, marred or inferior to playing on an acoustic. It isn't; it is just going to sound different and possibly less pleasant to some - just like I don't like the sound of Grotrian-Steinweg, good acoustics as they are (others love them, but chacun a son gut).

My apologies if in any way I have offended; it honestly was not the intention.

Offline bronnestam

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #77 on: May 10, 2016, 10:20:48 AM »
By the way, I hope that nothing in my previous post was interpreted as meaning that serious playing on a digital instrument (be it sampled or modelled) is somehow impossible, marred or inferior to playing on an acoustic. It isn't; it is just going to sound different and possibly less pleasant to some - just like I don't like the sound of Grotrian-Steinweg, good acoustics as they are (others love them, but chacun a son gut).

My apologies if in any way I have offended; it honestly was not the intention.

My apologies back because I realize I was a bit too harsh. My excuse is that I have got so many comments before from people basically telling me I know nothing about playing the piano, as I think my digital is good, and of course I get rather grumpy and after a while. I understand you meant no harm.  :)

Actually I recommend absolute beginners to start with a digital, if they do not already have access to a good acoustic. There are many good reasons for this: first, the headphone option. When you are a fumbly beginner, you may appreciate the total privacy of your first clumsy attempts. Second, the piano is always perfectly in tune so that you learn how it really should sound. Third, a digital is easier to buy, maintain and accomodate ... If just GETTING a piano into your home is a major project, and then adding piano tuning etcetera, the threshold may be too high from the very beginning. The development of the digitals during the last 20 years has opened up lots of exciting opportunities to let piano playing become widely spread, instead of a "snob sport" for a very privileged little group of the society. 

And for those beginners I think it is quite devastating to tell them right in the face: "that is not a real piano you have." (Meaning: you are a cheater and you are too ignorant to be in this game, kid.) Yes, there are keyboards that are a bit TOO simple and will make playing and learning a pain instead of a pleasure, but you should be able to find at least a decent instrument for a reasonable price.

Well, my fourth argument is that it is NOT very difficult to shift between digitals and acoustics, at least not when you have done it a couple of times. It is like learning to drive different car brands. You learn to drive one kind of a car and then you have to drive another and you will probably find it quite tricky at first ... then you try car No. 3 and 4 and ... after a while you have learned to adapt quickly, you knowledge has become more generalized so to speak.

I got delighted when I tried an N1. Before that, I had tried an NU1 and I got very disappointed. Now I realize that it was the "upright feeling" I reacted against. But the N1 was terrific, it really felt like a real grand. The sound ... well, I know I use headphones almost all the time so I don't care much about the loudspeaker quality.

I had a little friendly discussion with a concert pianist friend, who also owns a digital (a Roland, I think) but makes ALL his recordings on acoustic grands, with all the fuzz and fiddle that follows when microphones are to be arranged etcetera. Although I agree with him that recordings for his CD records of course must be carried out with the best acoustic instruments possible, I pointed out that he often publish little snippets on the Internet for educational or demonstrational purpose, and why not use the digital technique then and just press that red button? He had not thought about that ... Because recordings on digitals are ridiculously easy if you compare, they are the best deal if you don't need that first class result.

Then I agree fully that nothing beats the feeling of a concert grand. I made an interesting experiment in a piano show room once. There was an Yamaha CFX something ... expensive ... and I stroke a forceful chord (the intro chord to the Pathtique, by the way, but exaggerated) with the sustain pedal down, and then I looked at my watch. The sound of the chord was still to be heard after more than one minute! And - NO digital I have tried, including N3 and my own baby grand, have managed more than 30 seconds. And the sound from this grand piano is not just coming from some loudspeakers, you feel it through the whole frame, even in your own body ... That is such a cool experience! It is fantastic!

But ... I would not have been able to play that chord if I had not practiced on my digital here at home. The experience is wonderful, yes, but it is also wonderful to drive a Ferrari. Still, in my daily life, my Volvo has to do because that is what I can afford. I would not be much of a car driver if I claimed that I must drive a Ferrari, or else nothing, because I can feeeeeel that the Ferrari is better ...  ::)   Yeah, that feeling does not show what a talented genious I am.


Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Digital piano for classical music?
«Reply #78 on: May 10, 2016, 11:13:25 AM »
Yeah people don't set up enough resonance in their digitals, even using Pianoteq which allows for all sorts of resonance. You got to make that sucker sing ! I set up one of the C. Bechstein's in Pianoteq that easily out plays my old 6' grand piano, it has more attack, it has as much sustain, more bass and nice nasal to the tone with a clean crisp high treble, I will never have in my grand because I could never afford to make it that way or replace it with that vintage C. Bechstein that I also custom modeled. I also have pianos set up that are lesser to my acoustic grand piano.

Another mistake people make with digitals is turning the volume way down. Listen to a real grand, especially one of size, it will shake windows. Start there and learn to play soft ( I know you know this Bronn, this is for those who don't).

The sound system is key too, it takes a sound system with an interface to make realistic sound, not little on board speakers ( head phone aside). You want grand piano sound you gotta be able to produce grand piano presence in the room.

i won't get into the wonders of pianoteq yet again, nuff said. If someone is hell bent on owning an acoustic, so be it.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.