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peterws Offline OP
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Dou you really notice or appreciate the difference in sound? This could equally apply to hi-fi or monitor systems too, which may be used to play the piano through. You may be able to get single speakers which give an excellent performance over the spectral range of hearing, but I think I read the doppler effect (bass) can interfere with the treble in such cases.
And of course, the speakers themselves will deteriate given sufficient time.
Any thoughts? . . .


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You've shortchanged the 8-speaker aficionados! frown

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It'd come down to how the sample was recorded and designed to be played back. More speakers is a waste of time if you don't have the right room treatments, you just get more convolution in the cancellations which worsens the overall response.

I think the field is just starting, old and existing speakers use alot less computing power when they were designed, so they universally use simple geometry and compromises to get the sound good enough.

We have AI aided design now, far more powerful data centers, and 3d printing that can produce any shape you want. There's alot left to do but very little motivation to do it because the market is saturated with trash selling for $$$$, why would manufacturers invest in complex R&D when the idiot audiophiles of today are willing to pony up for the same slop they were selling in the 50s.

Last edited by EinLudov; 05/04/21 04:46 PM.
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Slight exaggeration, eh?
Originally Posted by EinLudov
... the idiot audiophiles of today are willing to pony up for the same slop they were selling in the 50s.

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Hello,

In a very short time I went from two speakers to four speakers, until a few days ago I decided I wanted six.

Four out of the six speakers were recently bought new, the third pair I added is 28 years old. Two out of the three stereo amplifiers in this setup are 31 years old, the third one probably 40--50 years old. All of this is hifi gear of decent quality, give or take minor bits of revision I still need to do on both the 31 year old amps.

There are some specifics about my setup that are quite interesting and turned out quite nice. I've already thought of sharing more on that here, but need to find a decent bit of time to do that properly. Not yet sure when that might be.

My aim was/is to reach a believable piano experience with a digital 'surrogate' (which it is for me), for the lack and want of a proper acoustic instrument.

With the initial two speakers in near-field placement the sound quality was already quite good, but I missed the immersion into the 'wall of sound' that an acoustic instrument offers. And an upright piano quite literally is a 'wall of sound'. Now, with the six speakers, it comes a whole lot closer to that. I am rather fond of the outcomes so far and really enjoy sitting at this 'piano' and being enveloped by the music.

To summarize, the gain in this multi-speaker setup is immersion/added realism more than just sound reproduction quality (in the regular sense of tonality, frequency response, stereo imaging etc.)

Cheers and happy playing,

HZ

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Hi HZ,

I love this idea! So waiting on the details. But quite simply, how'd you set this up though?

6 passive speakers
1 amp powers all 6 speakers
1 volume
1 eq

6 active speakers (individual volume, EQs, with built-amps)


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My thinking on adding multiple speakers to a digital piano is this.
Someone needs to create a speaker box that looks like the back 3/4ths of a baby grand piano, and lets you slide your keyboard into the front.

If you are so dedicated to re-creating acoustic sound that you want to add multiple speakers, at least get rid of the ugliness of it and hide it in a pseudo-grand.


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Originally Posted by trooplewis
My thinking on adding multiple speakers to a digital piano is this.
Someone needs to create a speaker box that looks like the back 3/4ths of a baby grand piano, and lets you slide your keyboard into the front.

If you are so dedicated to re-creating acoustic sound that you want to add multiple speakers, at least get rid of the ugliness of it and hide it in a pseudo-grand.

That's sort of what I did in my grand shaped cabinet. It uses a 100 watt computer sound system and the subwoofer is right behind the bass keys, where you would expect bass to come from in an acoustic grand. Another thing is that with the lid closed it also sounds like a closed lid grand, while opening it up gives a less muffled, more airy, defined sound.


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I like my two above, two below configuration. The two below are heavy-sounding ADS speakers, the two on the top are accurate B&W with that classic B&W sound that I perceive as a woody sound. This config gives me a big lush sound that I can feel. I love it. No need to add more. Done.

I confess that my fantasy setup is those ADS below as I have them.... then a pair of Bose 901 direct/reflecting speakers on top to blast sound out and have it reverb back at me. I know those speakers well as a friend had them.... those Bose were never accurate nor "high fidelity" but they were fun to play giving a huge albeit ambiguous sound stage.

Peace
Bruce in Philly

Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 05/04/21 09:39 PM.

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With PianoTeq you can configure 5.1 systems pretty easily.

With some other VIs you can run several channels also with a DAW (free CakeWalk or cheap Reaper).

It is difficult to set up 2 speakers in a room. More speakers are more difficult. If you have good monitors, you might ignore the subwoofer.

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Hello,

@josh_sounds, As you may have derived from my comment: 3x2 passive HiFi speakers, driven by 3 stereo HiFi amplifiers. Volume and EQ settings on the computer. More details are too extensive for now.

@Bruce In Philly, A couple of days ago I stumbled upon a picture of yours showing your two above/two below setup. My setup kind of resembles that. Sounds as if you are just as happy with that as I am šŸ˜€ šŸ¾.

@newer player, Yes placing speakers can be a pain, and often is. Not long ago it drove me nuts as far as the piano was concerned. Some months ago, and with a few pointers from my brother, I tested near-field placement for the first time and loved it. Having the speakers that close to you, tips the balance between the direct output from the speakers and the room artifacts immensely in favor of the former. With more than two speakers, it is wise to have matching characters, or even literally the same speakers; the same goes for the amplifiers. I was surprised how relatively easy it was after applying some of this common sense, and how well it turned out.

Cheers and happy experimenting,

HZ

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
You've shortchanged the 8-speaker aficionados! frown

I have a 12-speaker system if I care to use it . . . 2 med-fi speakers and the two P515s I've never tried this out yet in it's fullness. . . .Iam wanting to place them strategically inside the front panel I'll be placing above the pedals. The sound will emanate from around it, indirectly, as from a piano cabinet. It will also keep the sound within the confines of the piano, dispersed before it gets a chance to wend it's way into other rooms.
It should work.

Last edited by peterws; 05/05/21 03:37 AM.

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Hello,

Originally Posted by peterws
It should work.

Sounds like you're into experimenting, and are after a 'realistic' experience similar to what @Bruce In Philly and me are after.

If you're even introducing panels, that'd approach somewhat the anatomy of an upright piano. And makes me think of using exciters behind those panels. That'd be a different level of experimenting though that would easily turn out to be a huge time and energy gobbler.

Oh well...

Cheers and happy piano emulations,

HZ

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Originally Posted by HZPiano
Hello,

Originally Posted by peterws
It should work.
... And makes me think of using exciters behind those panels. That'd be a different level of experimenting though that would easily turn out to be a huge time and energy gobbler.

Oh, like this guy did? Proceed to 26:40 for the final product.



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Originally Posted by HZPiano
Hello,

@josh_sounds, As you may have derived from my comment: 3x2 passive HiFi speakers, driven by 3 stereo HiFi amplifiers. Volume and EQ settings on the computer. More details are too extensive for now.

Thanks for that info! That's quite enough for the electronics guy in all of us. smile
By the way, are the amps connected to the PC via wired hifi audio cable, optical audio cable, or via USB or anything else?


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I first saw this Speaker Guy and his video a couple of years ago.

It left me wondering whether such panels are legitimate replacements for "normal" speakers.

If so, will someone please come forward with a conspiracy theory to explain why speaker manufacturers are still selling expensive, conventional units?

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Hello,

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
explain why speaker manufacturers are still selling expensive, conventional units?

There are two videos by this 'Speaker Guy', the second one is all the more important. I posted both somewhere over here (or at least added a link to the second one) not so long ago.

I can't answer that question, but ever since I saw those videos, I'm itching to try exciters (originally, I was after that technology for a musical but non-piano project which is currently in cryo state) but haven't found the time and won't find any anytime soon. But interesting matter this is.

Cheers and happy exciting,

HZ

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Hello,

Originally Posted by josh_sounds
are the amps connected to the PC via wired hifi audio cable, optical audio cable, or via USB or anything else?

VSTi through USB to Behringer UMC204HD interface. Line outputs 1+2 to amp #1, 3+4 to amp #2, and the monitoring L+R outputs to amp #3.

Cheers and happy cable jungle,

HZ

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I first saw this Speaker Guy and his video a couple of years ago.

It left me wondering whether such panels are legitimate replacements for "normal" speakers.

If so, will someone please come forward with a conspiracy theory to explain why speaker manufacturers are still selling expensive, conventional units?

According to this paper, DML Speakers , it is in terms of fidelity! However, it did not discuss cost, manufacturing, or mounting* in detail.

*mounting in terms of holding the panel in place while not disrupting or altering its acoustic properties.


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Originally Posted by HZPiano
Hello,

Originally Posted by josh_sounds
are the amps connected to the PC via wired hifi audio cable, optical audio cable, or via USB or anything else?

VSTi through USB to Behringer UMC204HD interface. Line outputs 1+2 to amp #1, 3+4 to amp #2, and the monitoring L+R outputs to amp #3.

Cheers and happy cable jungle,

Aaahhh... Behringer UMC204HD. This one explains it all! Thanks!

On another note, I hate their controllers, specifically Behringer's UMX610. It is very poorly made and sells for ~$271 brand new.


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Originally Posted by HZPiano
Hello,

Originally Posted by peterws
It should work.

Sounds like you're into experimenting, and are after a 'realistic' experience similar to what @Bruce In Philly and me are after.

If you're even introducing panels, that'd approach somewhat the anatomy of an upright piano. And makes me think of using exciters behind those panels. That'd be a different level of experimenting though that would easily turn out to be a huge time and energy gobbler.

Oh well...

Cheers and happy piano emulations,

HZ

I thought I'd responded to this, but probably forgot to post the thing.

Exciters on a panel, whilst producing a non-centred source of sound, don't work as piano strings do. The exciters would have to be at a distance (trial and error like a piano, or a guitar/violin,) from the panel in order to vibrate it in the same way. They'd have to be free to move, with unrestricted back or front which would or could create an artificial or boxed in effect.
However, the sound of the digital through a speaker equates to the sum total sound of the acoustic, including sound-board resonance delays, bloom, what-have-you. It would be impossible in most cases to separate these out.


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Hello,

Originally Posted by peterws
Exciters on a panel, whilst producing a non-centred source of sound, don't work as piano strings do. The exciters would have to be at a distance (trial and error like a piano, or a guitar/violin,) from the panel in order to vibrate it in the same way. They'd have to be free to move, with unrestricted back or front which would or could create an artificial or boxed in effect.
However, the sound of the digital through a speaker equates to the sum total sound of the acoustic, including sound-board resonance delays, bloom, what-have-you. It would be impossible in most cases to separate these out.

I had to read this a few times before getting it--now that I do (I think), I see that you probably mean the same thing that I have pondered for quite a bit:

- You'd need a decent enough soundboard;
- You'd need exciters in multiple places, possibly following the line where a bridge would be;
- You'd need meticulously recorded string vibrations as samples, nothing else included in their waveforms.

For the latter to work, I'd think of recording the samples using piezo pickups (as found in e.g. double bass pickups) instead of microphones, as many as possible, ideally one under each string group (of one, two, or three strings per note).

The more I think of it, the more enticing it gets--but also I see a huge project with a grand (pun intended) number of pitfalls and challenges.

Oh well, we can always dream of grand (pun intended) things and at least have sparks of learning and creativity from our dreams.

Cheers and exciting dreams to all of us,

HZ

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Originally Posted by HZPiano
Hello,

Originally Posted by peterws
Exciters on a panel, whilst producing a non-centred source of sound, don't work as piano strings do. The exciters would have to be at a distance (trial and error like a piano, or a guitar/violin,) from the panel in order to vibrate it in the same way. They'd have to be free to move, with unrestricted back or front which would or could create an artificial or boxed in effect.
However, the sound of the digital through a speaker equates to the sum total sound of the acoustic, including sound-board resonance delays, bloom, what-have-you. It would be impossible in most cases to separate these out.

I had to read this a few times before getting it--now that I do (I think), I see that you probably mean the same thing that I have pondered for quite a bit:

- You'd need a decent enough soundboard;
- You'd need exciters in multiple places, possibly following the line where a bridge would be;
- You'd need meticulously recorded string vibrations as samples, nothing else included in their waveforms.

For the latter to work, I'd think of recording the samples using piezo pickups (as found in e.g. double bass pickups) instead of microphones, as many as possible, ideally one under each string group (of one, two, or three strings per note).

The more I think of it, the more enticing it gets--but also I see a huge project with a grand (pun intended) number of pitfalls and challenges.

Oh well, we can always dream of grand (pun intended) things and at least have sparks of learning and creativity from our dreams.

Cheers and exciting dreams to all of us,

HZ

I think you said it all. Back to woofers and tweeters with a mid-range thrown in for the better-off amongst us . . . smile


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Hello,

Originally Posted by peterws
I think you said it all. Back to woofers and tweeters with a mid-range thrown in for the better-off amongst us . . . smile

šŸ˜€

Yup, I'm still in the 'woofers and tweeters (no mid-range)' echelon. But am quite happy now with six sets of 'em in my piano setup, which has us back on your intended topic.

In parallel to that, how fortunate that we can always dream sweet dreams... of inspiration and dear wishes... of ideas and solutions... Oh well. šŸ˜‰

Cheers and sweet (day)dreams,

HZ

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On the other hand, there's always the Kawai K15 silent, for my little office . . . .hope to try one out soon. But they cost plenty. and the darn thing'd probably outlast me . . . .that's the bit I don't like.


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Hello,

Originally Posted by peterws
On the other hand, there's always the Kawai K15 silent, for my little office . . . .hope to try one out soon. But they cost plenty. and the darn thing'd probably outlast me . . . .that's the bit I don't like.

Now you made me want one too... After the so-manieth hiccup today with digital, computers and the whole Bleh of that, I am fast approaching having totally and completely and utterly had it with digital and VSTis, which to me are mere, however as of yet inevitable, surrogates anyway.

Cheers and happy true instrument playing,

HZ

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