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I would rather my digital piano didn't try to emulate an acoustic quite so closely. The keys at the top end simulate the undamped strings of an acoustic. Why? It's effectively a defect on the acoustic, which could be fixed on the digital. The notes at the bottom end are "stretch tuned". Why? So the strings resonate better - it's a defect in the way a string behaves - but the digital has no strings, so it can resonate just fine without.

I've never payed a grand piano. I am likely to die before I ever play one. So I don't need the action to match up. I have (and do) play on uprights. And they're different, so I have to play differently. Like paying a different fiddle, or driving a different car - you adapt.

What I want to do is make music. Piano music to be sure. I want the instrument allow me to inject nuance, to shape the sound as I play. That's what I want to hear users on this forum describe - how they can generate colour into their performance - how a digital instrument can play Jazz without having to press a "Jazz" button, and ballads without a "Ballad" button.

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The notes at the bottom are NOT stretched-tuned to make them resonate better. It's because of defects in our hearing. See "Railsback curve".
Originally Posted by uuu
The notes at the bottom end are "stretch tuned". Why? So the strings resonate better - it's a defect in the way a string behaves - but the digital has no strings, so it can resonate just fine without.

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Originally Posted by mmathew
Originally Posted by Burkey
Originally Posted by Burkey
Originally Posted by Killomiter
The issue is surely that ...

Some pianos come with strings attached LOL

Ok I will get my coat smile
Nice one.

Why is a digital piano always better than an acoustic?
It doesn't come with any strings attached :-p
Okay, I've finally nailed her:

Why is it easier to fall in love with a digital piano than an acoustic?
There are no strings attached!!!

Also, in many parts of the world, the tying of string(s) around neck and/or hands is a mark of life long commitment!
In some places that can also be the mark of an imminent execution!

Last edited by Burkey; 06/18/21 09:02 AM.

Pianos are one of the best human inventions of the past 320 years - help evangelize the magic!
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I have written at least 5 times prior on this forum or similar and related threads:

The two are different instruments (or different categories) of instruments built for the same kind of music written from centuries ago onwards. Comparing them is futile - they're not meant to be. It would do us well to ignore marketing materials and rather bold claims from DP manufacturers as to how close their digitals are to acoustics. If digitals are your convenience, if they feel good to you, and if they allow you to play the kind of music that you want to - buy them happily with no regrets!


A man must love a thing very much if he practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practice it without any hope of doing it well. Such a man must love the toils of the work more than any other man can love the rewards of it.
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As long as manufacturers have acoustic piano emulation (to some degree) in mind, and as long as there are folks who buy a DP as a substitute for an AP, there will always be comparisons.

Having said that, some individuals may not be interested in AP in any way, and buy their DPs as instruments in their own right. That's fine too.


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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
The notes at the bottom are NOT stretched-tuned to make them resonate better. It's because of defects in our hearing. See "Railsback curve".
Originally Posted by uuu
The notes at the bottom end are "stretch tuned". Why? So the strings resonate better - it's a defect in the way a string behaves - but the digital has no strings, so it can resonate just fine without.

Not the way I read it: String harmonics are not quite right because of stiffness in the string. Shorter, thicker strings suffer worse than longer thinner ones. The winding around the bass strings retains more flexibility, so reduces the effect.

And yes, the Railsback curve describes the effect graphically, but does not explain the source.

Last edited by uuu; 06/18/21 09:12 AM.
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Originally Posted by TheophilusCarter
some individuals may not be interested in AP in any way, and buy their DPs as instruments in their own right. That's fine too.

I actually think there are quite a lot more than just "some." Quite a lot of people enjoy digitals without comparing them. In my community, one in two homes have kids that play classical music on high and low end DPs with much enjoyment, and parents observing with a satisfied look!

I find logic in upgrading to better & better digital pianos over time, but I find no logic in constant comparison to acoustics.

Digital pianos just can't emulate or replace acoustic instruments.

Why is that so hard for us, who know better than non-PW public, to accept that?


A man must love a thing very much if he practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practice it without any hope of doing it well. Such a man must love the toils of the work more than any other man can love the rewards of it.
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There are two reasons to stretch octavas : the string inharmonicity (an octava without beats has a ratio >2), minimizing fifth beats. Some tuner adopt the Cordier system where all fifths have no beats… then octavas must be stretched even more.


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The human ear and brain are the source.
Originally Posted by uuu
The Railsback curve describes the effect graphically, but does not explain the source.

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Originally Posted by mmathew
Originally Posted by TheophilusCarter
some individuals may not be interested in AP in any way, and buy their DPs as instruments in their own right. That's fine too.



Digital pianos just can't emulate or replace acoustic instruments.

Why is that so hard for us, who know better than non-PW public, to accept that?

The cruel truth is :

Acoustic pianos just can't emulate or replace digital instruments.


Haven`t found an acoustic yet capable of playing with ACD timbre switchable to hamburg D, CFX, Bechstein.... at night, in moist areas with sensitive neighbours. not one that could be used to train tuning, voicing .... without ruining the instrument. And when, many moons ago, I used to travel a lot with 200 hotel stays per year - I hardly found an acoustic in perfect playing condition, well maintained, properly voiced and regulated! But I found wonderful decorative pieces of furniture at most occasions

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And I forgot: Anyone taking his pictures with an analog SLR?

Thanks

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Originally Posted by scirocco
]

Well, yes, you're right about that. But that's not why the debate happens. It happens because many people who would love to play a nice acoustic 100% of the time cannot do so, for numerous practical reasons. And a digital is the only solution.

And when that's your starting point, of course you're going to search for the best you can find for your situation, and then there's always going to be the debate of cost / performance / sound / feel tradeoff.

+1


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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
The human ear and brain are the source.

There I was, about to contradict you again - but I've found a paper by Lindqvist-Gauffin and Sundberg describing exactly your point: "...musicians performing solistic music were
observed to deviate in a systematic way from the fundamental frequencies of the equally tempered scale: Low notes tend to be played too low and high notes too high as compared with this scale..."

I do maintain that string stiffness is a primary driver of the inharmonicity, which is corrected by stretch tuning.

I'd not come across the Cordier temperament before - very interesting - by stretching all the octaves you can correct the fifths.

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Is this an ‘acoustic’ instrument?



Now, which one do you think Bach would’ve preferred, the instrument above, or say, a P-515?

Of course, Bach was stuck with the clavichord, but for the sake of argument, let’s pretend that a P-515 would’ve been available as an alternative……..

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Hello,

Originally Posted by Pete14
Is this an ‘acoustic’ instrument?

Most definitely acoustic! And a lot of fun, as I see it.

I'm not an expert in using ouija boards to ask the master himself, yet an inkling tells me he would have preferred the instrument in the video (or would have commissioned an expanded version of it).

Cheers and happy philosophies,

HZ

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Originally Posted by uuu
I would rather my digital piano didn't try to emulate an acoustic quite so closely. The keys at the top end simulate the undamped strings of an acoustic. Why? It's effectively a defect on the acoustic, which could be fixed on the digital.

Well, this could be "fixed" on a acoustic piano as well. Manufacturers could just add dampers to those notes as well.

I have wondered if that wouldn't be better? Since it would make for a more evenly feeling action? But i'm sure the actual piano builders know better than me and have actually thought about this. smile

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For small room playing - I'm sure Bach would have liked a P-515. But in a church, a proper pipe organ would take some beating.

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Having read the content of this thread and the other thread too, to me its not unlike watching/listening to political debate on CSPAN .... i find seemingly good points made on both sides of this and have decided for now to remain undecided on whether to stay in the middle or firmly pick one side or the other.


In the late 1800s and early 1900s, upright acoustics brought piano to the masses who otherwise could not afford - namely cost & space - a grand piano. Starting from that era and lasting into the present, on the pro side there are and have been generations of advocates happy to own or play or teach or listen to uprights that, ultimately, are not a grand .... will never be a grand ......but for themselves a suitable substitute nonetheless ..... operative word “suitable” ; on the con side, generations of critics happy or obligated to voice opinions valid or not in disparaging uprights.

In similar fashion with the present, there are people content to own a DP, some who are content not because of how it compares as a substitute to a grand or even the supposedly lowly upright, but how a DP compares to nothing as a substitute IE. for many people a DP is a better substitute than no grand or no upright no nothing. Within this crowd, there are no doubt many who’s ability to sufficiently suspend disbelief allows them to enjoy the DP experience when they otherwise 1) have no acoustic experience with which to compare or 2) do have such experience but despite that are able to get on with enjoying the DP experience.

Lastly, note a common thread between way back then and today.


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Originally Posted by Pete14
Now, which one do you think Bach would’ve preferred, the instrument above, or say, a P-515?

Ignoring the lack of electricity, I presume...

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I'm saving up for either of the Novus pianos because of the flexibility. With VST's you can get 95% of the sound from an acoustic, with infinite possibilities in sound. You have midi manipulation for recording,you don't have to use expensive mics to record a similar sound. Less maintenance, less space.

I think acoustic pianos are only superior in live performances but for everything else, the top end digitals take the crown. I think we will have hybrid pianos on par with acoustic for live performances as well especially if they start incorporating spruce sound boards, maybe add some copper coils somewhere inside to mix up the sound or add harmonicity or whatever idk lol






In this video they had trouble distinguishing between a digital (NV5) and acoustic. Digitals have improved so much these last decade, acoustics not so much.

Last edited by Mavs972; 06/18/21 01:32 PM.
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