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Yamaha NU1 as upgrade from CLP-440 (Read 2016 times)

Offline knutmarius

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Yamaha NU1 as upgrade from CLP-440
« on: November 25, 2016, 09:51:10 PM »
I currently own a Yamaha CLP-440, and i consider upgrading. I live in a house with small kids, and it is often after their bedtime that I get to play some piano, so an acoustic is not optimal in that sense. I really like the possibility to play with a headset, but I feel that the CLP-440 has some drawbacks when it comes to both the keyboard and obviously the sound when played with the built-in speakers. What I have come to is that a hybrid piano seems like the way to go for me, since I can get a more realistic feel but still get most the benefits from my old CLP.

So then I have been looking at the NU1. I like the way it looks, and that is also of importance as long as it is to be placed in my living room. Having a big setup with external speakers, cables, etc. is not what I am looking for, because it is in the living room. I know I should try it out for my self, and I intend to do that as soon as I get the chance, but until then I am keen on getting some advice: Would you say that NU1 is a good upgrade from a CLP-440, also in terms of the sound from the built-in speakers? I fully understand that the speakers will never give you the sound you get from an acoustic piano, but I am hoping that they will be significantly better than on the CLP, given the price tag being 2.5 times what I payed for the CLP.

Next question: Is it really the N1 I should be going for? How much better is the N1, compared to the NU1 really? The price tag on the N1 is a bit of a stretch for me, so if I am even to consider it I need to know that it brings a significant upgrade from the NU1. From the pictures, I actually think I like the look of the NU1 better, because a slimmer model should fit better in my living room, and I think personally think it looks more like an acoustic than the N1.

So, any opinions here?

Offline vaniii

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Re: Yamaha NU1 as upgrade from CLP-440
«Reply #1 on: November 25, 2016, 10:10:27 PM »
Hybrid pianos are very good. Full stop.

I have an NU1, so cannot speak specifically for the N1, but in comparison to my Clavinova (Clp-230) from 2000ish, the NU1 is more authentic in contrast to my U3.

For touch, hybrid pianos are in a league to their own.  For sound, it is less than desirable without headphones.  Please do not let this deter you.

My comment comes after performing on various concert grands and practicing on a U3.  The touch is certainly more authentic, and with headphones, I am in a concert hall.  Without the headphones it is all wrong; remember, any digital piano is designed specifically for headphones primarily, and acoustic secondarily.  There is no soundboard to vibrate so the 'feel' of the instrument will be inconsistent; BUT ... and a very big one ... for touch, it is authentic enough that I can rehearse on it with headphones at 3am with little worry; even if, for touch and fingerwork alone.

From your situations, an NU1 or N1 would suit your needs, better than your Clavinova.  If the price tag is not an issue, I would most certainly say purchase it.  Clavinova is on its way out, replaced with Hybrid; the new Clavinova models take many design qualities from the hybrid system with omission of the action; that being something simulating a U1 upright piano without the soundboard and strings (it's blooming heavy enough).

There are less 'bells and whistles', with fewer voices; but the hybrid model is aimed at pianists who need an instrument to rehearse with headphones on a budget, or lack of space (that is comparing silent pianos which are fully acoustic with headphone port).

Verdict:

I have had an NU1 since 2014, and never regretted it.

PS: if the N1 is the 'next model up', then it will certainly live up to this from the my experiences with the NU1.

PPS: don't expect a stienway, it does what it says on the tin.

Offline knutmarius

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Re: Yamaha NU1 as upgrade from CLP-440
«Reply #2 on: November 25, 2016, 11:03:07 PM »
Thanks a lot for your convincing reply! From how you describe it, I feel even more certain that the NU1 (or the N1) is right for me. I am not a very good pianist, but I appreciate having a decent instrument. What I am thinking is that if I buy for instance the NU1, then maybe this one could be moved to a different room in the future, if I decide that the time is right for having an acoustic piano in the living room. In terms of NU1 vs N1 I still do not know, but I know that the NU1 is more on my budget at the moment, so the arguments for N1 would have to be quite heavy if I was to stretch it to buying that one instead. Regarding the sound from the built-in speakers: I realise that it will not be comparable to a proper acoustic, but I would be happy if it was still noticeably better than on my CLP. Even if I appreciate playing with headphones, I do also quite often play with the speakers, because that is the only way that I can play so anyone else than me can hear it. I would say about 50% of the times I play with the speakers, so (unfortunately) I have to also consider that.

Offline vaniii

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Re: Yamaha NU1 as upgrade from CLP-440
«Reply #3 on: November 25, 2016, 11:55:40 PM »
Remember, my criticism of the speaker sound is in comparison to a U3 upright or concert grand piano.  I am speaking of the reverberation of the sound board and not the sound.

With the volume on 3/4 and reverb off, it could be an acoustic.  The touch is convincing, but the feedback is not; true of any digital instrument without a cast iron soundboard.

The only draw back, as with any new instrument is that the keys are stiff and need breaking in.  Even now, the action feels heavier, simply because it is newer than my U3.

The Clavinova feels like a toy in comparison to either of them.

Offline lhorwinkle

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Re: Yamaha NU1 as upgrade from CLP-440
«Reply #4 on: November 27, 2016, 02:23:13 PM »
If you're not happy with the keyboard action of the CLP440, then by all means get a different piano.

If you're not happy with the sound, you can tie the piano to a PC and run piano software. You can choose from a variety of piano sounds (Steinway, Bosendorfer, Bechstein, Fazioli, and more). The sound is better than what you can get from any digital piano.

For some the addition of a PC plus software plus amplifier plus speakers is too much complication. But if you want good sound it's the only choice. No digital piano (not even the over-$10,000 Avant Grand) can sound as good.

Offline bronnestam

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Re: Yamaha NU1 as upgrade from CLP-440
«Reply #5 on: November 29, 2016, 08:09:26 AM »
I have a Yamaha 465GP and I love it as it also looks very beautiful. But I have tried the hybrid pianos too and I think my next piano will be an N1. I did not like the feel of the NU1, and that is simply because the NU1 is an upright but the N1 is a grand - I have played on many acoustic Yamaha grands by now, and I must say that the touch and feel of the N1 could fool anyone, it feels just like an acoustic. The sound is a bit different though; loudspeakers just cannot replace the real thing. On the other hand, I nearly always practice with headphones ...

If you plan to perform regularly on grand pianos, then I think the N1 (or any other N... model) would be the perfect choice for your "home studio". Otherwise, you should just pick whatever you like the best. We are all individuals and we have the RIGHT to have our own personal preferences, even though some self-appointed expert somewhere in the world sticks his/her nose up and claims that "ooh, I wouldn't even call that a piano!" etcetera.
 

Something I have against the N1? It is a bit ugly, IMO. Especially the back side, and that is a real problem to me as the piano has to stand in the middle of the room. The digital baby grand I have right now looks fantastic just as a piece of furniture. It will be hard to replace it with a big black box with an ugly plywood back. Oh well, I will not make that change yet. Yamaha has probably come up with something even fancier whenever it is time for me to upgrade.

Offline knutmarius

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Re: Yamaha NU1 as upgrade from CLP-440
«Reply #6 on: January 02, 2017, 06:24:28 PM »
Thanks for your feedback, guys. I actually just placed and order for the NU1 now, but then I got to think: Should I instead be considering an acoustic with a silent system? I don't know much about how these silent systems are in comparison to the what you get with a digital or hybrid piano, but seemingly it should be a good option? So then I started looking, and I found that for instance a Yamaha B3SG2 for about 25% higher price than the NU1. If this is a much better instrument, then I can find the budget for it. So what do you guys think? I can still cancel the NU1 order, but if so: Now is the time! Would really appreciate some quick feedback on this

Offline indianajo

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Re: Yamaha NU1 as upgrade from CLP-440
«Reply #7 on: January 03, 2017, 12:33:47 AM »
I don't like the sound of any Yamaha console or studio acoustic piano I have heard.  So no, I don't see a silent equipped Yamaha acoustic piano as an upgrade. 
At least with an electronic, you can midi code, and for the price of a used PC and some moderately priced software, you can have any sound you want on headphones.  For another $1500 you can that have that sound live in a room.  I'm talking a 200 W/ch up PA amp and a horn+15"woofer speaker like JBL, Peavey, Yamaha pro PA speakers.  I quite like the sound of my 30 v transient producing amp + Peavey SP2 speakers on recorded piano music in my music room.  As I own a couple of good sounding console pianos, I won't be buying an electronic simulator. But I don't have children or neighbors to worry about annoying with the sound of a real piano.  The nearest neighbor is 40' away through two walls.   

Offline dogperson

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Re: Yamaha NU1 as upgrade from CLP-440
«Reply #8 on: January 03, 2017, 12:38:36 AM »
Thanks for your feedback, guys. I actually just placed and order for the NU1 now, but then I got to think: Should I instead be considering an acoustic with a silent system? I don't know much about how these silent systems are in comparison to the what you get with a digital or hybrid piano, but seemingly it should be a good option? So then I started looking, and I found that for instance a Yamaha B3SG2 for about 25% higher price than the NU1. If this is a much better instrument, then I can find the budget for it. So what do you guys think? I can still cancel the NU1 order, but if so: Now is the time! Would really appreciate some quick feedback on this


If you are considering an acoustic with a silent system, you must go play the ones that you are considering buying.   This is always important, but critical when a silent system has been added-- there are some pianists that believe the overall action is affected by the addition.  You will need to decide for yourself.