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Originally Posted by Morodiene
I only think that hearing damage would happen if you have a large piano in a small room that's all concrete or tiles (not recommended). I think its more that with acoustic the sound emanates from everywhere, whereas on digitals it's from speakers, so the sound is very localized in the latter piano. Acoustics tend to fill the room better. I've played acoustic grands with very light action before, as well as heavy actions. That can be adjusted based on the preference of the pianist to a certain extent as well.

It is hard to say for sure, simply because the consequences of exposure (both sound level and action heaviness) over many years is hard to measure properly, especially if you consider the variation in all kinds of parameters. But it is a fact that sound can be too loud for your ears and even if it is experienced as not very loud (with longer exposure). And it is also a fact that at some point forces on your fingers (because of heavy action) are too large when there is long exposure. Where exactly the point of 'too much' lies is not precisely known and may vary a lot per person. Of course, how careful one wants to be depends on your personality and your situation, and how much you really value that even deeper bass or that extended dynamic range.

There exist really nice smaller pianos. Consider this small Grotrian (112.5 cm)

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Hello,

Originally Posted by pianogabe
There exist really nice smaller pianos. Consider this small Grotrian (112.5 cm)

How absolutely lovely, thank you for this example!

Cheers,

HZ

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I wonder if there is anyone who can report explicitly about the ATX feature.

I remember a youtube-video from a piano builder from Germany about silent acoustic pianos. Basically he said on a pure acoustic, the letoff point is about 1 or 2 mm before the hammer strikes the strings. With silent tech, there is a bank that can be switched to block the hammers before striking the strings. That hammer-blocking must happen after the letoff point. And becaue of mechanical issue this increases the space between letoff point and the strings. He mentioned here a typical distance of 6 or 7 mm.

As long as one plays with a reasonable volume, one don't feel a difference to a pure acoustic piano. But if one plays ppp, there is less control over the tone. It's also possible some notes are missing.

He also said, there is one exception in the market: Yamaha builds a silent grand piano with a solution that has no disadvantages to a pure grand piano. But this system exists only in Yamaha grands, not in their uprights.

Don't nail me to the exact mm numbers, this is just what I remember from that video.


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I bought the e200 atx only because I am a student and didnt't have enough money for a 300atx or even higher. Otherwise I would have bought that,
and clearly they are more fun and better. But even for k300atx we are talking 3.5-4k dollars more which is sooo much more money to be honest.
If it were like 1k I would have immediately went for it. Never forget how expensive they really are. Because in that regime, as stated above
you start to get *really* good uprights already.


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I think all technical aspects that you explain are correct. Except that I don't know about less control over the tone as a consequence. Technically this must be the case to some extent, but that extent may be very small and negligible. I once played a new K300 and a new K300 ATX3 next to each other at the dealer, and I could not notice the difference. But I am only an early intermediate player. I have heard people claiming that they (barely) notice the difference but others not. There is a Youtube video of a technician reducing the let-off distance in an ATX Kawai piano. On my machine there is room to decrease it. I guess the factory installation is to have a slightly larger let-off distance to avoid problems. But with manual regulation you can get it closer. I don't see why you couldn't get it to 2-3 mm, but it requires precise regulation and that is of course money. I considered this, but figured that since I notice no difference this would be a waste of money/time.

In any case in the OP silent K200-ATX3 vs NV-5 comparison there is no difference in this respect because in both cases the hammer velocity is measured before let-off.

For those curious: here is the video (he is a better technician than player IMO ;-) )

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Originally Posted by Gamma1734
I bought the e200 atx only because I am a student and didnt't have enough money for a 300atx or even higher. Otherwise I would have bought that,
and clearly they are more fun and better. But even for k300atx we are talking 3.5-4k dollars more which is sooo much more money to be honest.
If it were like 1k I would have immediately went for it. Never forget how expensive they really are. Because in that regime, as stated above
you start to get *really* good uprights already.

The e200 ATX3-L seems to be a good deal as an alternative to the NV-5. They should be the same price (in Germany it is even less expensive). Would there be a disadvantage of the e200 in this comparison? I see it has a 'light' edition of the ATX3, but I guess many would hook it up to a VST anyway. In effect you have a NV-5 with acoustic part.

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Do you guys find those really-tall uprights appealing (aesthetically)?

Personally, I hate overly tall; where all I’m looking at is this big slab of shiny wood. Now, deep I do like.

Something like the N1X/NV10 fits my preference: deep but not so tall that I can’t see anything in front of me but ‘piano’.


I don’t mean to step on any -acoustic- toes or cause a raucous but the upright acoustic piano has to go:

Hear me out, the ‘upright’ is by definition a compromise that grew out of the need for smaller, cheaper, and quieter pianos, but it was always understood that these changes, whilst fulfilling a need, would adversely impact the overall projection and quality of the sound; hence, the ‘upright sound stamp’ (bad); where even at the taller/more expensive levels, you still cannot fully escape it (boxed-in, tiny bass, extremely directional, literally in your face, etc...).

Fast forward to today’s hybrid and the upright is getting strong competition in the ‘smaller, cheaper, and quieter’ department; especially with hybrids boasting a grand action, multi-channel speaker system, and some modeling!

“Oh, but you haven’t played one of those fancy-tall European uprights”, I’m sorry, but I don’t have to because first, they have to be super tall in order to accommodate longer strings, etc; second, they’re not affordable, and they can still be ‘too loud’ for a small apartment; and third, they still have that ‘upright sound signature’ to a certain extent (it’s the form factor, Billie Jean)!

On the hypothetical side, if Kawai releases the NV-20 featuring a quality soundboard, Neotex, and more modeling (new engine?) packed into a tiny-baby cabinet it will be very hard to justify getting an expensive, fancy-tall hybrid over it. Personally, I would not think twice to take the NV-20, and I believe many other people would follow my lead.


Tuning, who said tuning?

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Originally Posted by pianogabe
In any case in the OP silent K200-ATX3 vs NV-5 comparison there is no difference in this respect because in both cases the hammer velocity is measured before let-off.
Maybe you are right that in silent mode both pianos feel the same. I also see no reason why there should be a difference.

Originally Posted by pianogabe
But with manual regulation you can get it closer. I don't see why you couldn't get it to 2-3 mm, but it requires precise regulation and that is of course money.

I agree that a technician can adjust a silent piano to reduce this distance. I think the German piano builder mentioned that, too. But with the caveat that this can risk sometimes the hammer to hit the strings in silent mode and in other cases the hammer to be blocked before the letoff point. Basically this makes the piano more fragile to faults. And a piano is a living thing: It de-tunes over time. And those distances also change over time because of similar reasons.
You are absolutly right: This big distance is a factory default. And the reason to have this as factory default is to avoid the risks I mentioned.

Originally Posted by pianogabe
I once played a new K300 and a new K300 ATX3 next to each other at the dealer, and I could not notice the difference.
Thanks. That was the point I wanted to address. Real world experience. Did you also compare them in pianissimo?


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Except for those japanese apartments which are as small as closets, it doesn't make sense to only own 1 piano. 2 or 3 pianos should be standard in every home, everyone must play piano. This is my firm stance on the matter, the world is severely piano deficient. cool

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Originally Posted by Pete14
“Oh, but you haven’t played one of those fancy-tall European uprights”, I’m sorry, but I don’t have to because first, they have to be super tall in order to accommodate longer strings, etc; second, they’re not affordable, and they can still be ‘too loud’ for a small apartment; and third, they still have that ‘upright sound signature’ to a certain extent (it’s the form factor, Billie Jean)!

smile you certainly have a number of good points, *but* I don't know about the 'upright sound signature'. People claim this, but there was a test on the acoustic forum a while ago and many people, the same people who usually fret about whether or not all screws in their piano are fully manufactured in Germany, or whether it is allowed to use Italian alpine spruce when calling something a German piano, who could not distinguish between a recording from a good upright and a recording from a good grand piano. Here is the video:

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Originally Posted by Wie Waldi
Originally Posted by pianogabe
I once played a new K300 and a new K300 ATX3 next to each other at the dealer, and I could not notice the difference.
Thanks. That was the point I wanted to address. Real world experience. Did you also compare them in pianissimo?

I did but I am only an early intermediate player, so I would certainly not base any important decisions on this. But at the time when I was choosing a piano this was one of my concerns (the difference in regulation) and it wasn't anymore after trying it. I had troubles playing softly on my DP (a CA-58) and the difference with the K300 ATX3 was night and day. A huge improvement.

My guess is indeed that Kawai regulates the ATX versions with some tolerance for slight changes in the action with use over time. I.e. a larger let-off distance than is strictly necessary. Otherwise they would get a lot complaints that the silently piano is not silent anymore. More strict regulation probably would also require regular optimizations/adjustments/tweaks by a technician which most people want to pay for, given the small advantage. The few who want to go this route can simple have it regulated with less let-off distance by a technician.

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Originally Posted by pianogabe
Originally Posted by Pete14
“Oh, but you haven’t played one of those fancy-tall European uprights”, I’m sorry, but I don’t have to because first, they have to be super tall in order to accommodate longer strings, etc; second, they’re not affordable, and they can still be ‘too loud’ for a small apartment; and third, they still have that ‘upright sound signature’ to a certain extent (it’s the form factor, Billie Jean)!

smile you certainly have a number of good points, *but* I don't know about the 'upright sound signature'. People claim this, but there was a test on the acoustic forum a while ago and many people, the same people who usually fret about whether or not all screws in their piano are fully manufactured in Germany, or whether it is allowed to use Italian alpine spruce when calling something a German piano, who could not distinguish between a recording from a good upright and a recording from a good grand piano. Here is the video:
I can definitely tell the difference in the bass, so I guessed correctly. But the difference in feel between grand and upright actions is huge. I've played many of both, and there is a difference. This is why I almost always recommend digitals these days over acoustic uprights if one has to choose. The digitals generally are going to have an action that is closer to the feel of a grand piano, and if the sound isn't great, there are always piano software libraries that you can use to "upgrade" your sound.

But the OP is comparing two hybrid action digitals with upright actions (although not quite the same actions). I think this would have to be a purchase made with in-person testing to see which feels and sounds the best for them.


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I could tell the difference ... even when listening to these cheapo computer speakers.

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Originally Posted by Morodiene
But the OP is comparing two hybrid action digitals with upright actions (although not quite the same actions).

Aren't the actions of the K200, K300 and the NV-5 all the same? I thought only starting with the K500 the action is different. The K500 is considerably heavier and has longer keys. But not 100% sure about the K200/300 NV-5.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I could tell the difference ... even when listening to these cheapo computer speakers.
Yes but could you hear which one was the upright? (I probably should have worded this better, and I was of course only joking the German screws; I love the acoustic forum, mostly).

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Originally Posted by Morodiene
I can definitely tell the difference in the bass, so I guessed correctly. But the difference in feel between grand and upright actions is huge. I've played many of both, and there is a difference. This is why I almost always recommend digitals these days over acoustic uprights if one has to choose. The digitals generally are going to have an action that is closer to the feel of a grand piano, and if the sound isn't great, there are always piano software libraries that you can use to "upgrade" your sound.

Ahh, such refreshing words on this beautifully sunny day; it almost makes me want to stay!

You know, Morodiene, the DPB’s have been under constant attack as of recently; to the point where I’ve considered abandoning the ‘Digital Piano Boys’ and quitting this forum all together, but your reasoned and balanced perspective has filled me with a new sense of purpose!

Heck, when the NV-20 comes out I will personally deliver one to you free of charge. (The delivery is free; I can’t afford the piano itself).

Welcome back to the DPB’s (“Boys” is gender-neutral; you know, in the same way you say to a girl “you’re one of the boys” even though she’s not a boy). wink

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Originally Posted by pianogabe
Originally Posted by Morodiene
But the OP is comparing two hybrid action digitals with upright actions (although not quite the same actions).

Aren't the actions of the K200, K300 and the NV-5 all the same? I thought only starting with the K500 the action is different. The K500 is considerably heavier and has longer keys. But not 100% sure about the K200/300 NV-5.
It's my understanding that when the name is different the action is different. Here's what I see from Kawai's site:

K200 ATX3: "Action Millennium III Upright Action with ABS-Carbon Composites"

NV-5: "Millennium III Hybrid upright piano keyboard action with optical hammer sensing system"

So I think the difference is that in the hybrid action there are some changes that have to be made. Reading a bit further, this is on the NV-5:

Quote
The specially adapted Millennium III Hybrid keyboard action utilized by the NV5 replaces traditional felt hammers with new ABS equivalents that are individual graded in weight from bass to treble, while high-precision optical sensors take the place of metal strings, accurately reading the subtle movements of each hammer as the corresponding keys are played.

I think "specially adapted" means it is slightly different - I just don't know how exactly. smile


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Hi there and thank you all for your comments.

Actually I am confused, here is my situation

For sure I need a piano with digital features since I live in an apartment now and an only acoustic will be a problem.

The piano touch is very important to me and the Casio PX-350 that i used now is not satisfying.

The reason I posted about those specific models is their action, K-200 has a is pure upright piano action and the NV-5 I believe has the same action with the adjustment on its hammers (since there are no strings). Price also is an issue too.

Locally i can buy only acoustic pianos and low end digitals.


Originally Posted by Morodiene
This is why I almost always recommend digitals these days over acoustic uprights if one has to choose. The digitals generally are going to have an action that is closer to the feel of a grand piano, and if the sound isn't great, there are always piano software libraries that you can use to "upgrade" your sound.

Also as i have posted before I was thinking about MP11se which is more into my price range but I am skeptical about it since i will have to buy it unseen ( internet order from abroad) also a bit skeptical about some minor key reported issues ( i am not going to have local support) and also is about to be 3 years old soon.

Any thoughts on that please

Thanks again

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Larry, re: the MP11SE.

- You'd need to consider if you are OK with just headphones. I'm assuming you don't intend to connect the MP11SE to your lovely home audio system :-) so if you want speakers, you'd need to consider space and costs for external speakers/keyboard amplifiers.

- The issue you've read about seem to be a one-off, which hopefully was fixed by Kawai for that particular buyer. I have not read any critically negative reviews about the MP11SE. Bulky & heavy were by far the most reported negatives.

If you've checked out everything else, the MP11SE is one model I can strongly recommend blind buying. Also @Mordiene, in another thread, seemed to +1 a recommendation for the MP11SE saying that it can take a beating.


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My 2 cents: you state that touch is important to you. I would first figure out if you like acoustic actions generally better than digital ones. You can see in this thread already that this is very controversial topic. To me this is clear cut, I liked the touch of any acoustic that I have tried so far better than any digital I have played so far. I am very happy that I decided to trade in my CA-58 digital for a K300 ATX3. The action was the main motivation, although now I am also thrilled to play acoustically (~10% of the time). But, as you can see in this thread already, others prefer a digital action. I think just trying out various DPs and acoustic uprights locally will be enlightening and help you to move from there.

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