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I currently own a Yamaha P-45 (four years old) and I'm currently working on Rachmaninoff's moment musicaux, Chopin's polonaise, and some Liszt etudes...

Do you think this piano meets the requirements?
Lately, I have been feeling that this piano is not performing up to the mark (not receiving the right sound and touch response that I expect).
I've worked on different ways to improvise my technique, but I still don't see a change.

What do you think?
Should I upgrade to a new one? Any tips?

I've lately been considering the Yamaha Clavinova and Kawai Concert Artist series.
Maybe-
=> Yamaha clp 785 or 795gp
OR
=> Kawai ca99

It would be helpful if you could also provide insights on which of the two mentioned are better too! smile

Thanks!
AmPianistComposer

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In my humble opinion, it is better than not practicing at all.

Having said that, a good piano will help to improve.

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Originally Posted by AmPianistComposer
I currently own a Yamaha P-45 (four years old) and I'm currently working on Rachmaninoff's moment musicaux, Chopin's polonaise, and some Liszt etudes...

Do you think this piano meets the requirements?

It's not a real piano. It's a digital keyboard with a folded action.

Quote
Should I upgrade to a new one? Any tips?

I've lately been considering the Yamaha Clavinova and Kawai Concert Artist series.
Maybe-
=> Yamaha clp 785 or 795gp
OR
=> Kawai ca99

It would be helpful if you could also provide insights on which of the two mentioned are better too! smile

Same basic technology, more bells and whistles.

The money you would spend on them gets you a real upright piano.


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Originally Posted by JoeT
The money you would spend on them gets you a real upright piano.
Yes, but there are some poor upright pianos out there, new and used. This doesn't help.

Since your repertoire is not pop based, you need a good key action that will allow you to control and balance the dynamics of the piece, in both hands, and a good sound (engine) palette will allow you to explore aspects of the achievable tone. A better digital or good upright will help you achieve that compared to the P45. Polishing a piece with my piano teacher is all about 'bringing out the tone' and for ages I had no idea what she was on about, but now I get it, but still can't do it like she can.

It may be easier said than done but you need to play some in a store, digitals or uprights. Purposeful play. Explore touch response dynamics, legato, staccato, harmonies using chords, melody lines, left right hand balance, etc, You will know wink

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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Originally Posted by JoeT
The money you would spend on them gets you a real upright piano.
Yes, but there are some poor upright pianos out there, new and used. This doesn't help.

Why not? One can get a decent used upright for the price of a CA99 or CLP795. Sure one needs to be careful picking it, preferably aided by an experienced piano tech.
Question is if one is able to practice on it for hours without annoying the neighbours.

To find the answer, the OP might want to spend some practice time in piano stores (or elsewhere) trying out different DPs, APs and hybrids.

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To a dedicated artist there is no substitute for a fine acoustic piano.
Originally Posted by AmPianistComposer
I currently own a Yamaha P-45 ...
Lately, I have been feeling that this piano is not performing up to the mark (not receiving the right sound and touch response that I expect).
Should I upgrade to a new one? Any tips?
The piano you choose must meet your needs.
Consider your finances. Consider your circumstances. Consider your art.
These will guide your choice.

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Originally Posted by _sem_
Question is if one is able to practice on it for hours without annoying the neighbours.

Sometimes less is more. Amateur pianists of the 19th century practiced up to 16 hours per day with things like Hanon exercises and didn't really care about neighbors.

For me having half an hour per week with a Yamaha grand piano did more for my technique than spending hours per day on my Kawai ES100. So getting a good 45 to 90 minutes out of a well maintained upright piano will be a clear improvement over spending the entire night with the P-45.


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Originally Posted by AmPianistComposer
.. I'm currently working on Rachmaninoff's moment musicaux, Chopin's polonaise, and some Liszt etudes...

Hey pal, you are into some of the pinnacles of piano playing artistically and technically ! No way a lower end digital piano (as you properly describe it) will do justice to those ! My 2 c, you really need an acoustic piano, at that level nothing would come close for touch , expression, responsiveness!

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A low-end digital piano gets most of the job done, even if the experience is ‘less satisfactory’ from an enjoyment perspective.

Surely, you will have a more visceral experience sitting in front of a concert grand, but practicing is not just about that. A digital will allow you to work on learning the notes, analysis, memorization, and yes, even interpretation.

As a matter of fact, a “lesser-digital” forces you into ‘imagining’ the sound rather than just hearing it; in other words, if the dynamic range is limited, and going form pp to ff is somewhat rough, you simply imagine (in your mind’s ear) a smoother transition and if possible sing along to it. This strengthens your inner musician; which might I add, we tend to neglect in favor of over-the-top fortissimos.

And no, a digital will not ‘damage your technique’ (that is BS). A half-decent musician should be able to adapt between a crappy digital, a useless upright, an average grand, and a perfectly prepped concert grand. Perspective, people, perspective!


P.S.

The truth is that we already use ‘imagination’ when it comes to certain interpretations; for example, a ‘vibrato’ is not possible on the piano due to the nature of the instrument, yet according to Barenboim, that doesn’t mean you can’t ‘imagine’ that indeed you are playing a ‘true’ vibrato although in reality you are not.

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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by _sem_
Question is if one is able to practice on it for hours without annoying the neighbours.

Sometimes less is more. Amateur pianists of the 19th century practiced up to 16 hours per day with things like Hanon exercises and didn't really care about neighbors.
Perhaps, but we don't know how many were killed by their spouses.

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Originally Posted by Pete14
As a matter of fact, a “lesser-digital” forces you into ‘imagining’ the sound rather than just hearing it; in other words, if the dynamic range is limited, and going form pp to ff is somewhat rough, you simply imagine (in your mind’s ear) a smoother transition and if possible sing along to it. This strengthens your inner musician; which might I add, we tend to neglect in favor of over-the-top fortissimos.

An "inner musician" just makes one play good in their mind while not being able to perform decently in front of others.

Quote
And no, a digital will not ‘damage your technique’ (that is BS). A half-decent musician should be able to adapt between a crappy digital, a useless upright, an average grand, and a perfectly prepped concert grand. Perspective, people, perspective!

A professional musician rejects inappropriately prepared instruments, because their reputation depends on that. At some point in a career one could play anything, but don't has to anymore.

But a beginner with a P-45 already struggles with playing even. Their instrument features one dynamic sample layer (forte) per three to four keys and needs the volume cranked to max to barely notice any audible difference in touch. It only has "piano" in the name, not in the sound.

Quote
The truth is that we already use ‘imagination’ when it comes to certain interpretations; for example, a ‘vibrato’ is not possible on the piano due to the nature of the instrument, yet according to Barenboim, that doesn’t mean you can’t ‘imagine’ that indeed you are playing a ‘true’ vibrato although in reality you are not.

A pro's imagination makes them play better. A beginner's/intermediate's imagination makes them play worse, which they promptly find out once they listen to a recording of themselves. Or end up in a piano lesson, where everything falls apart, which sounded so great at home.


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In great pianistic scheme of things, things like P45 are just still toys, with minimum acceptable usability. Playing any kind of advanced repertoire and developing it there is just pure waste of time. Top digitals like CA99 are different beasts, and much better than old uprights impossible to sound nice and regulate and action which help you develop the technique immensely. While I would still opt either for a hybrid like N1X or NV10S, for the price of CA99 and etc you can buy new Ritmuller or other chinese piano with european heritage like Irmler, Schulze-Pollmann studio and so on. And middle-class upright, but do not buy older than 20 years. I know a lot of people will tell you oh I bought 50 years old U1 and sounds great and is regulated. Whatever, those school instruments were beaten almost to death and it's just store business to sell the to you. Best option is to look for a good private sale for upright and hire good technician to check the condition. Some W. Hoffmanns, Petrofs and other mid-class instruments should be available. It's hard to find an used instrument which will please both your eyes, fingers and ears, but you will be happy.

However, if you like digitals, than yes you can buy top stuff and it will bring a lot of good things to you as well. P45 and similar are still toys, unfortunately marketed otherwise. They are good for ocassional and amateur players, who do aim to play serious repertoire and playing even easy Rach and Chopin pieces is far beyond the skills they want to achieve. Do not be misleaded by a lot of people playing beautifully serious works on those in youtube and etc. - be it in commercials or just personal videos. In 99% case these people had lots of year of piano training on acoustic grands and uprights, as it's impossible to develop proper technique and musicality on such cheap instrument. To my they all sound bright and action is "acceptable" only if there are absolutely no other options available.

Yamaha GP series is the same as Clavinova, but pay a lot for cabinet. not worth the price. Want best of two worlds? Look for used N1X or NV10, or used upright. However, is you are asking such questions it seems to me that your reperitore is too serious for your skills...

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Originally Posted by maucycy
However, is you are asking such questions it seems to me that your reperitore is too serious for your skills...

I should have looked closer, I think you found the culprit. The OP makes it sound they are playing a certain repertoire at a certain level of proficiency. However this looks more like a beginner with their (probably) first lowest-end digital piano trying to practice things written for the most advanced pianists:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...of-the-following-pieces.html#Post3149862

I mean just listen to it:



You will not play THIS on a P-45. The primitive plastic action without hinges will simply run into its physical limits and the sound engine won't be able to reproduce anything that resembles Rachmaninoff's virtuoso. That poor thing will probably even struggle with an authentic MIDI file. I know the ES100/ES110 does and starts delaying notes, if you add too much pedal and its internal MIDI bus gets overloaded.

There is only one answer left to someone trying this, struggling and now doubting their gear: Go take lessons and practice appropriate pieces.


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But what is “proper technique and musicality”?

I suppose Corea (Jazz) does not require proper technique and musicality, yet Liszt does?

Is an acoustic or a high-end hybrid optimal? Yes, but given most people’s circumstances that is usually not a possibility, so we work with what we have, and so-called ‘proper technique and musicality’ (whatever the heck that means) can wait.

Once again, we seem to be dismissing some essential aspects of practicing, be that learning the notes, analyzing, and memorizing; and, as usual, using subjective terms like ‘technique and musicality’ to dismiss this ‘toy’ called the P-45.

Transitioning from something like a P-45 to a Novus will not be a traumatizing experience to the player, but simply a process that will necessitate some minor adjustments (yes, you heard me; minor adjustments).

The Novus gives you a much wider dynamic range, you adapt to that.

The action will be faster on the Novus, a welcome advantage.

The Novus overwhelms you with all them resonances, once again, you learn, modify pedaling, adapt, and move on.

No, a P-45 will not damage your so-called technique; this is conservatory-talk that has no basis in truth because it implies that technique is an absolute; which it is not!

Did Monk have a good technique? Yes, a good technique (approach) that worked for him. I couldn’t play the way he played, but I also cannot dismiss it as bad technique because guess what, it worked for him.

Did Gould sit too low at the piano? For me, yes; for him, it was just fine. So, once again, ‘technique’ is a broad and generic term, and, therefore, we cannot apply it as an absolute. The speed of light -as of now- is an absolute, piano technique is not.

IMHO!

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Pete, do you actually own a piano? I doubt it.


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Yes, it’s called the Yamaha P-515! grin

Are you, like Gombessa, going to tell me that my immortally beloved P-515 does not have a ‘true’ action?

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Originally Posted by JoeT
Pete, do you actually own a piano? I doubt it.

The "I doubt it" was a bit too much? Are you that assertive in other stuffs?
Originally Posted by Pete14
Yes, it’s called the Yamaha P-515! grin

Are you, like Gombessa, going to tell me that my immortally beloved P-515 does not have a ‘true’ action?

The p-515, is like all the other digitals a keyboard with folded action, and as thus is not appropriate for classical pieces.(as he said)

Originally Posted by JoeT
I use my own P-515 to accompany and improvise over songs*) with and without lead sheets, using the built-in rhythm section and the MIDI sequencer. This is what the P-515 has been built for and this is also what I teach others, while I don't teach Bach, Chopin and Rachmaninoff, because that's neither what I'm qualified for (despite being classically trained) nor what I have the gear for: A proper grand piano is the minimum requirement for a classical piano teacher.

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I assume by ‘classical pieces’ we mean redundant, over-the-top, flashy-hollow, and simple chord progressions topped off with a cute Lisztsian melody?

Then, perhaps yes, my folded action might get ‘stuck’ upon La Campanella, but that is not a limitation of my piano, but rather a referendum on the composer, Liszt, the king of fluff passing for advanced.

Incidentally, La Redundancy can be played on my P-515 even if it means ‘slowing down’ during the storm of repetitive notes meant to show virtuosity, and don’t get me wrong, people do actually believe that this is complex music; which is why Lang Lang can play to full arenas, and dazzle them people with dazzling feats of acrobatics, big bangs, special effects, and fireworks.

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When I have tried high-end folded action with non folded action, I enjoy them the same (excepted the N1X).

Then whether an action is folded or not should not matter… only what you feel when playing.


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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by AmPianistComposer
I currently own a Yamaha P-45 (four years old) and I'm currently working on Rachmaninoff's moment musicaux, Chopin's polonaise, and some Liszt etudes...

Do you think this piano meets the requirements?

It's not a real piano. It's a digital keyboard with a folded action.

Quote
Should I upgrade to a new one? Any tips?

I've lately been considering the Yamaha Clavinova and Kawai Concert Artist series.
Maybe-
=> Yamaha clp 785 or 795gp
OR
=> Kawai ca99

It would be helpful if you could also provide insights on which of the two mentioned are better too! smile

Same basic technology, more bells and whistles.

The money you would spend on them gets you a real upright piano.

By using "keyboards with folded action, i was only highlighting the sayings of JoeT.
So i assume that the P-515 also belong to the category of keyboard with folded action.

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