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Of all the things, the difference in regulation is probably what would be most noticeable to the average pianist. When you buy a Shigeru it should be painstakingly prepared and gone over by a highly skilled technician. That will make a big difference and you're not going to get that with a NV10, which will be shipped in a box multiple times before you get it and subject to jostling around during transport and delivery.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
@peterws: Have you ever considered becoming a poet?
Originally Posted by peterws
Oh how COULD you?
Here, on this strange world of ours,
we fondly think all sorts of stuff about our digitals,
most of which are economical with the truth.

A shiny cabinet completes the mirage nicely.
and since we all need a healthy dose
of fantasy and unrealistic expectations,
don't you go destroying
anymore of our delusions!

Alak and alas, my poetry would be little better than my piano-playing . . .I fear the sneer, the stinging rebukes
And not a few pukes in the saying . . .

My only poem concerned that which lay between the tracks of Inverness Station where you pay, to use the loo.
Written between playing the organ at the crematorium
When I had nothing much better to do . .

Last edited by peterws; 08/08/21 02:29 PM.

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Nice comeback, Peter. smile

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Nice comeback, Peter. smile

Agreed.

To Peter and other qualified amateurs, I have a shoulder which frequently wants to be sniped upon. 🙂


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The Millennium III action is indeed in the SK2. Not to mention the SK-EX, and the GX series as well.
It also is in the GL-20. And to be precise, the Millenium III grand action. There also is a Millenium III upright action.

But have you ever pulled the action of an SK-2, GL-20, and SK-EX and measured the keystick lengths? I think it is unlikely that the action in the SK-EX has the same key stick length as the action in a GL-20 or SK-2, and that would mean that there likely would be other differences in the actions to compensate for differences in key leverage.

It is unlikely that an NV10 has the same action as an SK-EX, differences in regulation status aside.

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Originally Posted by drewr
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Nice comeback, Peter. smile

Agreed.

To Peter and other qualified amateurs, I have a shoulder which frequently wants to be sniped upon. 🙂

I think that's the nicest thing anybody has ever said to me . . . smile


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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
But have you ever pulled the action of an SK-2, GL-20, and SK-EX and measured the keystick lengths
This is probably descending into technically, but I think the keysticks are not part of the action. Nor, in fact, are the hammers (both of which are different in the SKs and other Kawais).


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
But have you ever pulled the action of an SK-2, GL-20, and SK-EX and measured the keystick lengths
This is probably descending into technically, but I think the keysticks are not part of the action. Nor, in fact, are the hammers (both of which are different in the SKs and other Kawais).

But I would expect differences in keystick length to require differences in the actions to compensate for differences in keystick leverage. Does the NV10 have keysticks with length matching the length of those in an SK-EX?

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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
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The Millennium III action is indeed in the SK2. Not to mention the SK-EX, and the GX series as well.
It also is in the GL-20. And to be precise, the Millenium III grand action.

So, let's keep thinking and you tell me where I am wrong:

1) Kawai uses, basically, the same action from the GL-20 all the way up to the SK EX. The differences are, in part, in the choices made for parts that are peripheral to the action and, in greater measure, in the time spent regulating the action so that it is just right.

2) Therefore, one who buys a Kawai NV10 and is ready to spend, shall we say, another £600 (heck, make it £1000) for an excellent regulation, made by an experienced piano technician, will be very much on his way to (acoustic) "action nirvana", at least for the needs of the normal, non-professional player?

I'd have thought that the action of a Boesendorfer is superior to the action of a Kawai GX20 in the same way as the engine of a Bentley Continental is superior to the one of a BMW 320, that is: intrinsically superior, not just more carefully put together or better regulated.

What am I missing?

Last edited by Omobono; 08/08/21 04:56 PM.

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The key stick length, manner of “weighing off” the keyboard, amount of time regulating the action (probably including more time-intensive tasks like pinning), and the followup day-long MPA visit (in the North American market, at least) to tune, re-regulate, and voice the piano after ~1 year of ownership would be among the differences in action between the regular acoustic grand and Shigeru lines. Don Mannino would know more exactly than anyone on this forum, though. I don’t know what differences there are in geometry, comparatively.


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Originally Posted by Omobono
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Quote
The Millennium III action is indeed in the SK2. Not to mention the SK-EX, and the GX series as well.
It also is in the GL-20. And to be precise, the Millenium III grand action.

So, let's keep thinking and you tell me where I am wrong:

1) Kawai uses, basically, the same action from the GL-20 all the way up to the SK EX. The differences are, in part, in the choices made for parts that are peripheral to the action and, in greater measure, in the time spent regulating the action so that it is just right.

2) Therefore, one who buys a Kawai NV10 and is ready to spend, shall we say, another £600 (heck, make it £1000) for an excellent regulation, made by an experienced piano technician, will be very much on his way to (acoustic) "action nirvana", at least for the needs of the normal, non-professional player?

Yes, which is why I purchased the NV10. Will the piano play 100% identical to that of a SK-EX? No, as you and others pointed out there are some peripheral differences in component selection. But will it be so close that the differences are within a regulation? Yes.

The NV10 action is as good as any piano action ever needs to be, digital or acoustic grand. I prefer it to the Bosendorfer Imperials I've played on, and generally most Steinways. Though there is one particular Steinway at the University of Cincinnati that was incredible when it was brand new, and probably was one of my favorite actions ever.

It is good enough that, without touching an acoustic piano once, I learned the 2nd movement of Brahms 2 and walked right out on-stage with the Ft. Worth Symphony at Piano Texas with the only problem being my nerves instead of the piano. The only time I touched an acoustic piano while learning it was to record the audition and in the practice room at the festival for a couple days before. There was zero adjustment to the action going from the Nv10 to the SK-EX, Steinway D, and Bosendorfer Imperial they had. If that is not "good enough" for a digital than I don't know what is.

Quote
I'd have thought that the action of a Boesendorfer is superior to the action of a Kawai GX20 in the same way as the engine of a Bentley Continental is superior to the one of a BMW 320, that is: intrinsically superior, not just more carefully put together or better regulated.

What am I missing?

It used to be that way, but it is less-so now with modern business practices. Pianos are low volume instruments, and it is not justifiable to produce unique actions for each model. It is actually better both from cost AND quality to produce a single action and slightly modify it.

To that point, a $60k BMW 340i uses the same engine (B58) as a $70k X3, a $95k X5, and a $120k 840I.

Last edited by computerpro3; 08/08/21 05:18 PM.
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Wow page 17!

Page 18! Coming Soon!

laugh

Last edited by josh_sounds; 08/08/21 05:46 PM.

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Chopin:
Polonaise in F#m Op 44
Polonaise in Ab Op 53
Polonaise in A Op 40 #1
Scherzo in Bbm
Etudes 10/3 & 25/9

Brahms:
Intermezzo in A Op 118 #2
Capricio in Gm Op 116 #3

Scriabin: Etude in C#m Op 2 #1

Anyone want to hazard a guess which of the above required the most mindfulness about the fact that an upright was being played to avoid a mistake?

Answer: Polonaise in A 40/1

It is probably the least technically demanding piece of the lot. Brahms 118/2 and Scriabin 2/1 become more demanding (at least for me) when the melody is projected over the remaining voices, and shaped with convincing nuance.

The pure polonaise rhythm has a pair of 16th notes leading into the 2nd beat. Traditionally, they are slightly delayed, and then rushed to get back in rhythm with the 2nd beat of the measure being on time.

Chopin used the pure polonaise rhythm in the middle section, but used either a single 16th note or triplet 16th notes in the main section. These would still be delayed and rushed.

An example of the triplets are in measure 5. They are played like a drum roll. On an upright, if you are not careful, and delay the start of the triplets too much, the action may not support the repetition speed needed to rush them and get back in time without the 2nd or 3rd note of the triplet failing to sound (or both).

But a solution is to be precise, and not delay the start of the triplets too long. The action does need to be reasonably well regulated, but that also would be true when playing this on a grand.

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Originally Posted by computerpro3
It's an upright piano....none of them even can reproduce bass notes properly. And they don't even have enough volume to be heard over an orchestra or a loud ensemble. They have all of the drawbacks of a digital, without the benefit of true grand piano action of a hybrid digital.

I have made recordings with my digital piano and VSTs that have fooled professional pianists. You'll never be able to achieve that with an upright, regardless of EQ or digital effects applied. The sound is too fundamentally different from a grand.

There are a lot of arguments to be made for an acoustic grand over a digital hybrid. I honestly cannot think of many good ones for an upright over a digital hybrid.

I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact how someone could prefer, purely musically, a digital piano over a good or even top upright, but rereading what you wrote I think I am getting it. You say that uprights can't "reproduce" bass notes, and that with a VST, but not an upright, you can even "fool" professionals (in a recording). Apparently you judge the quality of any piano in terms of its ability to mimic a concert grand.

I am sure this makes sense in your situation, but to many people concert grands are not a standard. These are just designed to play live concerts with classical repertoire. Many people want to be able to play beautifully sounding music. If you let go of the constraint that a piano has to mimic a concert grand, this opens up a diverse vista of beautifully sounding acoustics with their own unique sound. Not every pianist needs to be heard over an orchestra (my guess is very very few here on PW). There are even professionals who prefer uprights for one reason or the other. Joep Beving for example:


One big disadvantage of a hybrid like the NV-10 is that they all sound identical. All over the world, everyone who plays it hears the exact same sound. This is not bad if everyone's goal is to mimic the ultimate concert grand over headphones, but personally I am glad there are still people choosing to play uprights.

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Hello,

@pianogabe, That is a lovely piece by Joep Beving that you linked, thank you!

All you said in your post is spot on, and this piece illustrates beautifully where a good decent upright has a place and purpose of its own.

I am studying a few 'atmospheric' pieces myself, such as Spiegel im Spiegel by Arvo Pärt, which I discover to work extremely well on my (emulated*)) upright.

Different instruments, different purposes, different lovers.

Cheers and happy playing,

HZ

*) I cannot have an acoustic in my current place and time; I certainly would if I could. So, very happy to have at least a very nice and useable emulation.

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Well, since this thread is still active, let's continue the comparison of totally different [instruments]/[categories of instruments] built for the same kind of music.

Quickly recorded a small part of what I am (trying to) learn, so please be forgiving of mistakes:

Digital on board recording: https://soundcloud.com/basement_pianist/prelude-08072021-saturday-n1x/s-d5BVhJ8Ik7w
Upright, iPhone video converted to sound only: https://soundcloud.com/basement_pianist/prelude-08082021-sunday-upright/s-3cpJQFP4TBg

I know which one I like over the other. However, I prefer the digital for a variety of practical reasons that allow folks like me - family man, adult beginner, living in a house with others, time/space constraints etc. The DP has opened up possibilities. Although it will never sound or behave like the acoustic, the DP is a blessing.

Last edited by mmatthew; 08/09/21 07:23 AM.

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Originally Posted by HZPiano
Hello,

@pianogabe, That is a lovely piece by Joep Beving that you linked, thank you!

All you said in your post is spot on, and this piece illustrates beautifully where a good decent upright has a place and purpose of its own.

I am studying a few 'atmospheric' pieces myself, such as Spiegel im Spiegel by Arvo Pärt, which I discover to work extremely well on my (emulated*)) upright.

Different instruments, different purposes, different lovers.

Cheers and happy playing,

HZ

*) I cannot have an acoustic in my current place and time; I certainly would if I could. So, very happy to have at least a very nice and useable emulation.

That upright sounded beautiful, but nothing like any upright I'd reasoably expect to play. It really sounded like a recorded grand/upright with the organic bits removed.
Very much like a decent VST.


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Wow, the video pianogabe with the upright piano was nice. mmatthew, you have a morbid sense of humour, you could have used something a little more cheerful. Same here though I am grateful for my digital piano, I can play it any time without annoying anyone. Plus my piano is in a loft room, I would have a lot of difficulty taking a acoustic up there, in fact impossible. DP rules for me.

Last edited by lilchris; 08/09/21 12:52 PM. Reason: Added text

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Originally Posted by pianogabe
I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact how someone could prefer, purely musically, a digital piano over a good or even top upright, but rereading what you wrote I think I am getting it. You say that uprights can't "reproduce" bass notes, and that with a VST, but not an upright, you can even "fool" professionals (in a recording). Apparently you judge the quality of any piano in terms of its ability to mimic a concert grand.

You are making a very good point - that is exactly how I was looking at pianos. I am a classical pianist and the ideal has always been a top-flight concert grand. It's what a lot of the music I play was composed for (romantic repertoire is my forte) and that is the period of music that sounds the worst on uprights in my opinion. Stuff like Bach WTC and Mozart can sound pretty darn good on uprights (I still think they do not have purity of tone that grands do), but I have never played an upright that can handle forte, densely textured romantic music without sounding either congested, hollow, or weak. Of course, I've not played every upright in existence - perhaps there are some out there that can do so. But I've actually never even played an upright that I preferred to an entry level Chinese made grand (a good one like from the Dongbei factories).

Quote
I am sure this makes sense in your situation, but to many people concert grands are not a standard. These are just designed to play live concerts with classical repertoire.

Yes, and that is what I do - hence what I prefer. The right tool for the right job.

Quote
Many people want to be able to play beautifully sounding music. If you let go of the constraint that a piano has to mimic a concert grand, this opens up a diverse vista of beautifully sounding acoustics with their own unique sound. Not every pianist needs to be heard over an orchestra (my guess is very very few here on PW). There are even professionals who prefer uprights for one reason or the other. Joep Beving for example:

I totally agree with this; an upright can be appropriate and even preferred for many different genres - and of course, enjoyed for its own unique sound. But I would push back slightly on your last point and say that yes, while some professionals may prefer uprights, they are by and large not professional classical musicians. There are inherent drawbacks in the action and sound of an upright that make them not as well suited for classical music performances as grands are. But for something like the song you linked - where there are no demands made on the action - the upright can certainly be enjoyed (though I still think a good grand would sound way better!).

Quote
One big disadvantage of a hybrid like the NV-10 is that they all sound identical. All over the world, everyone who plays it hears the exact same sound. This is not bad if everyone's goal is to mimic the ultimate concert grand over headphones, but personally I am glad there are still people choosing to play uprights.

I'll push back on this as well - I don't think the built in sounds of the NV-10 are great, so I use VSTs and use the NV10 as just a midi controller. Hence, there is infinite variability of sound - far more than an upright could provide.

When I get a chance this week I'll try to record some Rachmaninov through the NV10 and VSTs. As to why I prefer them, I think you will be able to hear a richness and sonority in the thick, dense chords that is just not possible to produce in an upright.

But all things considered, while I'll die on my hill that a grand and digital hybrids are superior to uprights for classical music, you make a very salient point that not everyone is a classical musician - and that I was viewing the issue strictly from the lens of one.

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Originally Posted by computerpro3
I am a classical pianist and the ideal has always been a top-flight concert grand. It's what a lot of the music I play was composed for (romantic repertoire is my forte) and that is the period of music that sounds the worst on uprights in my opinion. Stuff like Bach WTC and Mozart can sound pretty darn good on uprights (I still think they do not have purity of tone that grands do), but I have never played an upright that can handle forte, densely textured romantic music without sounding either congested, hollow, or weak. Of course, I've not played every upright in existence - perhaps there are some out there that can do so. But I've actually never even played an upright that I preferred to an entry level Chinese made grand (a good one like from the Dongbei factories).

.

The piano in anything like its present form was not around in those days you speak of. The pianos of their time would not pass muster with most of us here and would surely be surpassed by a decent modern upright for sound, and probably even the action.
Too, it's worth considering whether the music we (you) play was ever intended to be played so fast on such instruments as they were then.
That the music lends itself so beautifully to modern day equipment (grands, uprights, digitals) would indicate clearly that our instruments are indeed designed to play these classics, and to a better standard in most cases, than the originals could ever achieve.
Those guys were so far ahead of their time. Perhaps we need to learn to appreciate the not-inconsiderable advantages of what we currently have.
As for comparisons; the obvious is a decent period piano against anything we have, acoustic or digital.

Last edited by peterws; 08/10/21 04:25 AM.

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