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Hybrid sound and action - Yamaha N3X vs Kawai NV10 (Read 6432 times)

Offline jonl

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Hybrid sound and action - Yamaha N3X vs Kawai NV10
« on: April 09, 2018, 05:08:45 PM »
In the market for a high end hybrid digital. I'm space constrained so has to be a vertical form factor.

I almost purchased an Avantgrand N2 last year but then the N3X was announced and I decided to wait. I really liked playing both the N2 and N3 and thought the sound was quite good, but I didn't like the artificial volume increase when chords are held and the damper is depressed. Also, I want to be able to turn off the noise gate when using external VSTs libraries.

So now, the Kawai NV10 and N3X are available. I realize the N3x is not vertical, but I'm assuming the next generation N2(x) will be comparable albeit with fewer amps and speakers and without the extra soundboard resonator.

I'm intrigued by the damper action on the Novus. It doesn't have the TRS that Yamaha has, but I wasn't entirely sold on that when I played the N2/N3 last year. I am a little concerned about the small speakers on the Novus. I like a big sound when I play certain music.

Has anyone played both who could offer comments on action + sound? (Preferably from a classical perspective)?


Offline vmishka

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Re: Hybrid sound and action - Yamaha N3X vs Kawai NV10
«Reply #1 on: April 09, 2018, 09:25:43 PM »
I played both the NV10 and the N3X (but only with headphones) at NAMM in January.

Comparisons like this are totally subjective. For me, I preferred the N3X. I like the Yamaha sound and action (from 1978 to 1991 I owned a Yamaha CF which I sold when I moved to Europe for 8 years and currently have a Clavinova). On another forum, there are plenty of people who like the NV10.

The keyboard that I was most impressed with at NAMM was the Ravenworks (Ravenscroft) modification of the Kawai VPC1. The original VPC1 action is way too heavy for my taste. In my opinion, they did a wonderful job with the modified VPC1. It does feel very similar to the Ravenscroft 275 which I tried for comparison. Playing the Ravenworks-modified VPC1 with a VST like the Garritan CFX would be near the top of my list.

Offline jonl

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Re: Hybrid sound and action - Yamaha N3X vs Kawai NV10
«Reply #2 on: April 10, 2018, 12:01:26 AM »
Really!?! You preferred the Ravensworks VPC-1 mod over an actual acoustic action? I guess it is subjective, but it's hard to imagine a simulated action being preferable to the real thing. I'd love to be able to try one of those.

In my case this is a living room piano and a slab on a stand won't do it. I have a huge collection of VST pianos (including the Garritan CFX) but the thought of not being tied to a computer every time I just want to sit down and play is compelling.

I'm planning to travel to try the NV10 in the next few weeks. It's a Kawai dealer so they may have other Kawai digitals (CA-98, etc. not sure they'd have the VPC-1 set up). I'll take another trip to try the N3X, though I'm more intrigues with the NV10 at this point since I've already played the N3 and know what the action is like (very good).

I'm currently playing a midi controller with not the greatest action (Roland A-88) and I'm at the point where I really need something better. Wish I had room for an acoustic grand, but I don't.

Offline bobob12

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Re: Hybrid sound and action - Yamaha N3X vs Kawai NV10
«Reply #3 on: December 24, 2020, 01:22:18 AM »
Hey, any update?  What did you end up going with?

Offline jonl

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Re: Hybrid sound and action - Yamaha N3X vs Kawai NV10
«Reply #4 on: March 05, 2021, 10:07:47 PM »
Didn't. I spent an hour playing the NV10 and it didn't quite click for me compared to the AG N1 and N3 I had played earlier.

Primary reasons:
1) Action seemed sluggish on the one I played
2) Didn't like any of the built-in piano sounds compared to the AGs (never was able to try an N2)
3) Didn't like the built-in screen, much prefer Yamaha's new digital interface on the 'X' models

I had an N2 on order at a very good price (8K) a couple of years ago but cancelled it when the N3X was announced, assuming the N2X would be along soon. I've been waiting since then. If I could go back in time, I would have gone forward with the N2 but at this point I'm planning to continue to wait it out. Maybe some new options will happen later in the year, post Covid.

For now, I'm still playing my Roland.