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Hi everyone,
I made the mistake of going to my awesome regional store, "just to check", and we all know how that goes... My bank account was already screaming at me "don't do it!!" on the way there.
As background, I'm a total noob, adult learner coming now on 7 months (getting towards the end of Alfred book 1, plus some pieces from Bastien classics and one or two blues songs, working with a teacher with virtual lessons). I have a Yamaha Arius 164, which is nice for the price, but I started wondering if it was limited in the quality of sound it gives me, and especially in terms of action and learning proper technique.
To the store I went, and there is nothing like playing a $170k CFX Grand to confirm that what you have at home is closer to a toy than a piano. But that CFX is slightly out of my price and space range, I would say smile I played grands and uprights, to get an idea of the feel, and then went to hybrids (NU1X and N3X), and the digitals: CVP something (I don't recall which one), and the rest of the Clavinovas, but they didn't have the 785, which was my main target going in.
My price range quickly narrowed things down to the NU1X, but I am still wondering if the 785 may be a better choice (couldn't try it). There is something more naturally and instinctively appealing to the hybrid action in the NU1X compared to the CVP which I presume is similar to the 785. But my wife and I also really liked the feel and entire experience of the acoustic uprights, and a B3 would be essentially the same price.
So, I guess two lines of questions: first, am I nuts to consider an acoustic? I know the digitals offer a lot more in terms of flexibility, silent play, voices, and practically no maintenance. I'm in a townhouse and this would go on the main floor (bedrooms above, above-ground basement level below), so it will be heard no matter what. The extremely helpful store owners showed me how you can lock the damper on (with the middle pedal) and it gets really really quiet, but it felt like the sound was quite different and I would need to strike the keys very differently.
Second question, if I go digital: is NU1X the best way to go, or should I lean towards the 785? I see conflicting things online. Some say the sound in NU1X is better, but by specs the 785 has bigger and potentially better speakers. And the action, while digital (vs actual piano action) models a grand rather than an upright, which feels very nice to my fingers.
Any thoughts? Can you help a fella off a ledge?
Thank you all in advance.

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Here is a post of a thread I started about speakers and the NU1X over 2 years ago. I decided to go with the NU1X over the 685 and was in the same spot you are in today. Two things have changes since then. First the NU1X loud note issue has been fixed for all practical purposes. Second the N1X was released along with the Kawaii NV5(s). It was an easy choice to get the NU1X back then because the next alternative was several thousand dollars more. The N1X would have made that decision harder but I probably would have still gotten the NU1X.

It's been about 2 and a half years and I am very happy with the NU1X. It was and probably still is the best choice for my needs. Also try not to go too far down the tech spec rabbit hole. In the end the only thing that really matters is how you feel about the DP when you play it. As I mentioned in my post based on the specs the NU1X wasn't the one to get except that it was the one I enjoyed playing the most. I followed the recommendations of others in this forum and let how I felt playing guide my decision and am glad I did.


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rocdoc Offline OP
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Thank you, that is very sound advice. The store owners (who gave me an awesome couple of hours playing in the store with all the lovely toys) also seem to think the NU1X might fit my needs best. But man, those acoustic baby grands sound and feel delicious. Maybe one day…

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Just trying in a shop, I didn’t manage to find which is better between NU1X and CLP685 (I haven’t tested CLP7xx… I was so convinced by the N1X, I didn’t take too much time which these models).

You should try yourself. Let’s say you are preferring the NU1X and I prefer the CLP785… which one do you think you should buy ?

If after trying you can’t decide, perhaps you should buy the CLP785 : more bell and whistles and the NU1X has an issue with some repeated notes (some have loud notes but I don’t know if it is frequent).


About the choice of digital vs acoustic : I won’t help : it depends too much how you value the digital advantages (headphones…) and acoustic (a whole soundboard resonating).


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I was surprised when it was mentioned about locking the central position oto the side, giving a quieter response.
I know that's what you do with silent pianos whereby the headphones come into play.
Is this feature applicable to all the Yamaha B's?


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Originally Posted by Frédéric L
Let’s say you are preferring the NU1X and I prefer the CLP785… which one do you think you should buy ?
grin+grin


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Originally Posted by Wie Waldi
Originally Posted by Frédéric L
Let’s say you are preferring the NU1X and I prefer the CLP785… which one do you think you should buy ?
grin+grin

I don’t get it, is this a trick question?

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I mean that rocdoc shouldn’t bother what people of the forum prefer, but what he does prefer.

On the forum we can help (example : the NU1X loud notes), but this shouldn’t replace a try in a shop.

Last edited by Frédéric L; 06/24/21 04:18 PM.

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This notion should be a forum headline or banner:
Originally Posted by Frédéric L
I mean that rocdoc shouldn’t bother what people of the forum prefer, but what he does prefer.

On the forum we can help, but this shouldn’t replace a try in a shop.

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rocdoc Offline OP
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Thanks for the additional feedback everyone. And yes, @Frederic L I understood exactly what you meant, and you are right of course. At the end of the day, I don't buy a spec sheet or a printout of an online review, but an instrument that I need to enjoy.
I exchanged a few more texts with the store owner and he thinks that, regardless of what the specs may say, the NU1X actually generates better sound, having to do with the sampling, speaker placement, etc. Honestly it kind of comes down to the NU1X or a B3 acoustic, which is of course discussing very different instruments. And again, nobody will be able to help me with that on a forum, it's a matter of balancing convenience vs the more organic feel of the acoustic - and finding a good place in the house for the latter, not a trivial potential task.
I'm also having the task of dealing with my impostor syndrome. I'm a total beginner, and in the store I didn't even play a full song to test the pianos (since I tend to freeze when someone is listening/watching), and while I'm sure I'll keep at this I am feeling odd spending a lot of money on an instrument given my (lack of) skills. Anyone dealt with this? Do you have a way to approach this feeling (other than a good therapist...)?

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One way to deal with it is to keep the Arius and keep practicing.

Additionally you can think that "There will always be better pianos to lust after" maybe up to the point of a dedicated piano room in your house and an expensive Steinway D.

You'll just need to draw the line somewhere for now. Budget and space restrictions will help.

Think of what else you could do with that NU1X/B3 money.

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Hello,

Yes, that 'impostor' feeling seems rather familiar.

The thing is, if you're passionate about music, your music, regardless of where you are on your learning curve and pursuit of this passion, and if in that store or wherever else you are completely and utterly yourself and true about it, that's it! Then you're the real deal with nothing to fear and all to enjoy.

Talking about the real deal; I'd seriously consider an acoustic instrument if it makes you that happy and gives you that 'organic' feeling. I totally relate to that and will go acoustic myself the day that becomes practically feasible.

If yet you tip over to the digital side, I'd suggest trying out the Kawai NV5S as well, and see/hear/feel if it might float your boat. I suspect it to be a very nice and capable instrument. Not as much as a nice acoustic, of course.

Cheers and happy reconnoitering,

HZ

PS And it is perfectly and totally legitimate to want a good, inspiring instrument even as a beginner. If such an instrument makes you utterly enjoy every minute at it, and draws you back to it again and again without fail, all is (very) good.

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And to make things easier for you wink don't forget to consider than you can get much better deals on craigslist smile. Upright pianos are very easy to find second hand and it is not hard to find good ones IF AND ONLY IF you hire a technician to help you with the search (price of the technician is peanuts compared to the instrument). Hybrid pianos are harder to find, but not impossible (check the "hybrid used snapshot" thread in this forum).

If you have patience and determination, with the same money you can get a much better instrument. Or you can get the same instrument for much less money. But if you want the instrument in your home tomorrow, getting one from the store is totally fine.

The most important thing is: do not buy what you mildly like, BUY WHATEVER YOU LOVE. It's very likely that you will have to live with the instrument for at the very least few years, so make sure you truly LOVE it, and if you are unconvinced, sleep on it. The store will be there for you tomorrow, if today you are still undecided (harder to do this with craigslist).

Best of luck in your musical journey!

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Re being shy in the store... I found it helpful to play the digitals for a while with headphones. Then when more relaxed, have a go on the digitals with speakers, and then last the acoustics.


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Originally Posted by Pete14
Originally Posted by Wie Waldi
Originally Posted by Frédéric L
Let’s say you are preferring the NU1X and I prefer the CLP785… which one do you think you should buy ?
grin+grin

I don’t get it, is this a trick question?

Must be. He never mentioned P515 . . .


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Originally Posted by rocdoc
Honestly it kind of comes down to the NU1X or a B3 acoustic, which is of course discussing very different instruments. And again, nobody will be able to help me with that on a forum, it's a matter of balancing convenience vs the more organic feel of the acoustic - and finding a good place in the house for the latter, not a trivial potential task.

You didn't mention a budget, only that the CFX is just out of reach :), but a solution could be to buy the silent version of that B3. I was an adult learner playing for two years when I bought a silent piano, and it is ideal for me. You can play acoustically whenever possible, and digitally when not, on the same instrument.

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I bought a digital after about 6 months of starting. Got a Casio gp400. Nu1x was slightly out of budget cause I had just started . I'd be more happy with a nu1x than a b3.

And if Ur practicing alot. I get conscious of disturbing others in the house for practicing the same bars of a song 20 times in a row on an acoustic. I'd go silent or digital only

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Not sure what your budget is and how prices are in your area, if you're looking at a Yamaha B3, you could also have a look at a Kawai K200 or K300. I prefered the touch of the Kawai over that of the Yamaha.

If you've got the money, you really should check out:
* The Kawai K500 ATX or Aures - Especially liked the better bass compared to the smaller models
* Yamaha N1X
* Kawai NV5(s)
* Kawai NV10(s)

I was in the same boat as you, eventually I spend more and went for the NV10 after going back and forth between the N1X and NV10 for a month. As for sound, I'd prefer a big(ger) acoustic upright such as the K500 if that would have been an option.

I think you need to hit the piano stores another couple of times :-)

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rocdoc Offline OP
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Hello everyone,
Duplicate post alert: posting this in two different threads where I received very kind and useful advice.
Thank you again for the many helpful replies. You guys made me feel supported. Of course, if I had a financial advisor, they wouldn't like you guys very much... smile So here is an update on how this situation resolved itself:

Her name is Clara. She was born in Shizuoka, Japan, in a place called the Kakegawa factory. She is polished black, and people call her and her siblings a "U1”. She has lived with what I consider her foster family who first took care of her from birth (2018). I have yet to meet her, but will do so in about 8 days, and I hope we like each other and she gets to come home with me!

After a lot of research and nice feedback here, I had been going back and forth with the extremely helpful and patient folks at the store, trying to make up my mind on the acoustic vs hybrid, and figuring out all the details of what I should settle on. I asked them if a used piano would be an option, since I know good deals can be had, and I trust this store if I buy something they took care of. The answer was "yes, sure, that would be nice, but these things fly out within a day, so I don't have anything to offer you there, sorry." I said fine, let me think some more on this B3 vs NU1X decision. A couple of hours later, my phone rings. "You must have some good karma or timing magic; I just got off the phone with a family upgrading from the 2018 U1 to a grand for the kids. Want it?" This is a piano they know well because they sold it to the family and then tuned and maintained it in the home. I'm getting it for just South of 6k (delivered, tax included), which was my (updated) upper budget limit, which sounds like a good deal from what I have seen if confirmed in mint condition. I am getting a student discount since I was referred by my teacher. Comes with the full 10 year warranty, same included in-home tuning as new pianos, and same store policy of option to trade in at full price to upgrade to a grand that they offer for all new purchases. Am I right in thinking this is a good deal?
To clarify, I had played U1s when there, and I liked the action more than the one from the B3 (even though I understand it should be similar), but I didn’t explore too much, since it was out of my range by quite a bit.
It's on the way to the shop, they have to check it and prep, and then I will have to try it and finalize (just a refundable deposit for now). I really hope that this works out. I'm excited about getting an even better model, and I feel like I'm making a better decision financially too, buying a used but good condition piano.
I'll post an update once we meet. Thanks all!

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Sunds good. They are powerful, well respected pianos. You'll not need to upgrade for a long time if ever.


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