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Topic: Piano buying for apartment-dwellers  (Read 2166 times)

Offline randolph

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Piano buying for apartment-dwellers
on: December 27, 2004, 10:57:58 AM
About five years ago I bought a rather expensive digital piano thinking it would meet my needs as an apartment-dweller (read: silence).  European readers may scoff at this post, but American apartments are built with very thin drywall.

Well, the digital piano was good for 2 things:
1) It allowed me to play silently, &
2) It allowed me to record easily as a nice bonus

These bonuses are so easily outweighed by a simple fact:  digital pianos do not have anything close to the action of an acoustic piano.  No wood, no hammers, no strings...In fact, I abhore my digital piano because when I play on an acoustic it feels like an entirely different instrument, almost as if I have been spending my time practicing on a harpsichord.

I am in the market for a new piano now, but I am still stuck.  I still need the ability to play silently.  I got a little excited when Kawai started offering a line of digital pianos with true wood keys and actual hammers with real counterweights.  However, I was extremely dissapointed in the "feel" of these new digitals when I tried a few pieces on the showroom floor; a thousand times better than the digital I have at home, but still not approaching the feel of a good acoustic.

Now, I understand that Yamaha has a line of acoustic pianos able to be silenced by a bar that blocks the hammers and interprets the sound digitally.  An acoustic I can plug headphones into:

https://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA/ContentDetail/ModelSeriesDetail/0,6373,CNTID%253D572%2526CTID%253D203100,00.html

Sorry for the long post.  My question is, how do other pianists cope with practicing without distubing the neighbors, and is this new Yamaha Acoustic/Digital a promising solution?

Offline kaff

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Re: Piano buying for apartment-dwellers
Reply #1 on: December 27, 2004, 09:41:57 PM
I have an acoustic Yamaha U3 whose middle pedal is a practice pedal. It brings a damper bar down over the strings which makes it very quiet - I use it a lot a night when my children are asleep. I bought it about a year and a half ago in preference to the acoustic/digital silent type which I think you're interested in.  I didn't like the tone of the new ones; they seemed very brash and too bright for my taste.  The one I have bought is a reconditioned used piano, which obviously  made it a lot chearper than a new one, too!  I have the feeling Yamaha no longer make the U3 with the practice pedal but now have it with a proper sostenuto pedal in the middle, so if you were to consider this idea you might have to look at used pianos rather than new ones.  As I said, I preferred the tone of the older ones.

Kathryn
Kaff

Offline JimDunlop

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Re: Piano buying for apartment-dwellers
Reply #2 on: December 28, 2004, 03:15:14 AM
Well, first of all, you probably would have received more/better replies if this had been posted in the "Instruments" forum -- that's the kind of thing you will find there -- including several recent discussions dealing with this very issue.

Arguably, many new and modern digital pianos have replicated a "hammer" system which make them feel quite natural (upper-range Rolands for one) so it may not be such a bad thing to revisit the notion.

For the purists, if you get onto Google (or other search engine) use "silent piano" as a search term and see what you come up with.  There are many methods where an accoustic piano can be made "quiet" through the use of digital pickups, or other devices, resulting in the effect you wish to achieve.

As to how other pianists cope with this issue, that's purely individual.  That's like asking 10 mothers  to what degree their children are "picky eaters."  You will get 10 different answers.  I practice on a digital Roland at home, and play in front of people with a concert grand on the weekends.  For me, it's not irreconcilable.

Offline randolph

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Re: Piano buying for apartment-dwellers
Reply #3 on: December 28, 2004, 05:29:44 AM
Thank you guys so much for responding (my first new thread!).  I sincerely regret that I did not post this in the correct forum, as Jim very correctly pointed out.  I know it may be upsetting to readers to find this post in the incorrect location so I ask this to be the last post on this thread.

Thank you again for responding
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