Piano World Home Page
Posted By: pianoloverus Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 02:12 PM
Hi everyone,
Although I am the second most prolific PW poster I have never posted on or read the digital forum! I have a 15 year old Mason & Hamlin BB and have not considered buying a non acoustic piano until now. I am hoping that those of you more familiar with these two models(which is almost everyone reading this post) can compare and contrast the touch and tone of these two models for me. For the Avantgrand I would only be considering the ones that come in a vertical type case, i.e. not what I think is called the N3.

My motivation for considering a hybrid is to be able to play silently and listen through headphones or to be able to play very softly. Besides the touch and tone, if you consider other things to be pros or cons please feel free to mention them. But I am not generally interested in(or even probably able to understand) the very technical information or details about the bells and whistles of each model which I assume are important to at least some of you.

Thanks for your help.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 02:29 PM
I haven't played the NV10, so I can't compare them, however I own an AvantGrand N1X (and it replaced an AvantGrand NU1X) and would like to clarify what you mean by "vertical type case".

The NU1X is in an upright style cabinet but to achieve this slim shape it also uses an upright piano action, whereas the other AvantGrand pianos (N1X and N3X) use grand-piano actions. The N1X is more compact but it's still big and not very "upright" in shape. However you are probably well aware of the differences between an upright piano action and a grand-piano action, notably the inability to replay a key on the upright without releasing it fully. As a peculiar consequence Yamaha decided to put sensors only under the keys on that model and that leads to an infamous problem where an otherwise silent stroke (due to an escaped jack) would result in sudden loud note. It was rare and was later alleviated to a certain degree. But it was the reason for me to upgrade to the grand-piano action in N1X which is a delight to play.

Furthermore, the AvantGrand pianos have binaural sampling for their CFX voice, which is specifically created for headphone playing and according to the prevalent opinion, including mine, makes it a delight to play through headphones. A binaural sampling option is not available on the NV10, although some people still find it good enough for playing through headphones.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 02:39 PM
P.S. To avoid being accused of Yamaha bias, let's also mention that on the other hand the piano action in the NV10 is a Millenium III action with longer keys, probably corresponding to the action in a GL30, as well as having damper-emulating weights linked to the damper pedal, so when you press the pedal, you will feel keys becoming lighter, exactly as on a real grand piano. The N1X has shorter keys, probably similar to the ones in GB1 piano and lacks any damper weights, so the key weight will not change with the damper pedal smile
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 02:41 PM
Welcome to the digital subforum, pianoloverus.

The hybrids you mention are really the pinnacle of digital pianos, so if you're looking for something as close as possible to your BB, you're definitely heading in the right direction. I'm going to assume you're focused on hybrid grands, and not uprights?

There's a thriving hybrid community here around both the Yamaha N1X, and the Kawai NV-10, which are your only two choices given the pre-requisite you note. Both products are really so similar that despite the difference we'll end up highlighting here, you should just focus on finding a shop with each and trying them out for yourself (don't forget to bring a good pair of headphones); there's very little chance of going with your gut and choosing the wrong between the two.

A few high level bits to get you started differentiating between the two (and really, most of these are minor differences):

Kawai NV-10
Costs a bit more ($9-10k street price US, pre-COVID)
Has a real damper mechanism (damper weights for each key, mechanical damper bar for the sustain pedal)
Has the same Millennium III action as found in Kawai grands, with slightly longer keysticks (like a 5'10 grand)
Has more powerful speakers
Has a touchscreen UI and dozens of instruments/voices in addition to the piano sounds

N1X
Costs a bit less ($7-8k street)
Has a real grand action, with slightly shorter keysticks (probably a 5' or 5'3 grand) (but no dampers/back action)
Has binaurally recorded samples specifically used for headphone output (which many users here really like)
Has a very basic UI and fewer sounds, bells and whistles (just sit down and play piano, rather than play around with Celesta, strings, etc.)
Has a built in audio interface for sending digital audio straight to a computer/tablet/smartphone

As a second piano to a large grand, you may find you'll either want something as close as possible in feel (NV-10 arguably has the edge with longer keys and real damper), or one the focuses on best silent play (N1X arguably if you like the binaural headphone output).

One thing to note, hybrids play silently, but they're not the quietest digitals out there. You wouldn't want to have one in the bedroom if others are sleeping, the acoustic piano action thumps louder than you might expect. For a more silent late-night pracice experience, you might need to look down-market at non-hybrid digitals.

One last note - Yamaha also makes an "N2" AvantGrand, but you should probably disregard that; it's a 10-yo legacy product that they keep in current inventory/production for reasons only Yamaha knows. The technology in the AG series has moved on significantly since then with the N1X and N3X.
Originally Posted by CyberGene
I haven't played the NV10, so I can't compare them, however I own an AvantGrand N1X (and it replaced an AvantGrand NU1X) and would like to clarify what you mean by "vertical type case".
Thanks for your reply including the part I didn't quote. I do know that there are basically two Avantgrand models with a vertical type case, one with and the other without a grand type action. I am interested in information about either of those models since I haven't decided definitely to only consider the one with grand type action.
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 02:50 PM
Indeed ... I'm surprised to see you here, on the "other side of the tracks".
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Although I am the second most prolific PW poster I have never posted on or read the digital forum!

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I am not generally interested in ... the very technical information or details about the bells and whistles of each model which I assume are important to at least some of you.
That is not a problem. When you chose the M&H, what qualities were you seeking and how did you find them?
I'm guessing you tried out some pianos and chose the M&H because it suited you.

I think it's exactly the same with the digital pianos. Try them, as many as you can.
They may not quite match up with your acoustic grand, but your wants and needs still need to be (mostly) met.
You'll find out by trying. I find the specs 'n' techs unrevealing at best, and often deceptive.

I've tried the NV10 a couple of times. It has a glorious feel. It was hard to judge the sound because (a) the speakers didn't do well in the crappy acoustic environment of the shop (not to mention a noisy eight-year-old running around), and (b) the shop's headphones were crap. But the action was superb.

I've not yet tried an N1X. The shop I visited a month ago only had an N3X. Same action (I think) and same CFX binaural voice (I think) as the N1X.
If so, the wonderful touch and sound of that N3X will suit me just fine, in the form of the much less expensive N1X.
Supplies are short. They sold two N1X models recently, hence none to show on the floor. And the next one comes along next month ... already sold in advance.
Originally Posted by Gombessa
Welcome to the digital subforum, pianoloverus.

The hybrids you mention are really the pinnacle of digital pianos, so if you're looking for something as close as possible to your BB, you're definitely heading in the right direction. I'm going to assume you're focused on hybrid grands, and not uprights?

There's a thriving hybrid community here around both the Yamaha N1X, and the Kawai NV-10, which are your only two choices given the pre-requisite you note. Both products are really so similar that despite the difference we'll end up highlighting here, you should just focus on finding a shop with each and trying them out for yourself (don't forget to bring a good pair of headphones); there's very little chance of going with your gut and choosing the wrong between the two.

A few high level bits to get you started differentiating between the two (and really, most of these are minor differences):

Kawai NV-10
Costs a bit more ($9-10k street price US, pre-COVID)
Has a real damper mechanism (damper weights for each key, mechanical damper bar for the sustain pedal)
Has the same Millennium III action as found in Kawai grands, with slightly longer keysticks (like a 5'10 grand)
Has more powerful speakers
Has a touchscreen UI and dozens of instruments/voices in addition to the piano sounds

N1X
Costs a bit less ($7-8k street)
Has a real grand action, with slightly shorter keysticks (probably a 5' or 5'3 grand) (but no dampers/back action)
Has binaurally recorded samples specifically used for headphone output (which many users here really like)
Has a very basic UI and fewer sounds, bells and whistles (just sit down and play piano, rather than play around with Celesta, strings, etc.)
Has a built in audio interface for sending digital audio straight to a computer/tablet/smartphone

As a second piano to a large grand, you may find you'll either want something as close as possible in feel (NV-10 arguably has the edge with longer keys and real damper), or one the focuses on best silent play (N1X arguably if you like the binaural headphone output).

One thing to note, hybrids play silently, but they're not the quietest digitals out there. You wouldn't want to have one in the bedroom if others are sleeping, the acoustic piano action thumps louder than you might expect. For a more silent late-night pracice experience, you might need to look down-market at non-hybrid digitals.

One last note - Yamaha also makes an "N2" AvantGrand, but you should probably disregard that; it's a 10-yo legacy product that they keep in current inventory/production for reasons only Yamaha knows. The technology in the AG series has moved on significantly since then with the N1X and N3X.
Thanks, that's just the type of relatively non technical information I'm looking for.
Posted By: ˆTomLCˆ Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 03:00 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by CyberGene
I haven't played the NV10, so I can't compare them, however I own an AvantGrand N1X (and it replaced an AvantGrand NU1X) and would like to clarify what you mean by "vertical type case".
Thanks for your reply including the part I didn't quote. I do know that there are basically two Avantgrand models with a vertical type case, one with and the other without a grand type action. I am interested in information about either of those models since I haven't decided definitely to only consider the one with grand type action.

If you are open to an upright action, you should consider the NV5. If you can find one! They are selling like hotcakes as some people really love them. See this review: https://youtu.be/Bpid2CcrUw0
I didn't know you were the #2 poster. Quick market snapshot which certainly has some errors others will fix.

Kawai has two hybrids called Novus: NV5 and NV10 (an upright and grand type, respectively)
- note the damper equipment missing from the Yamahas

Yamaha has 4 hybrids called AvantGrand: nu1x, n1x, n2, n3x
- Older models were the nu1, n1, n3
- Only the nu1 & nu1x are upright types (hence the "u")
- The n3 & n3x have "big" footprints
- The newer "X" versions are subtle updates (a lot of people like the new binaural headphone sounds, some include a built in interface for easy connection to VI pianos etc.) The n2 has not been upgraded.
- The older n1 and n2 look quite similar but note upgraded key material, speaker system, price...

ALTERNATIVES
Confusingly, other brands market "hybrids" but these are the major pianos with "true" piano actions.

You may be able to install some silent system on your regular piano, or buy a piano with silent system Yamaha Transacoustic etc.

USED
NYC has a lot of used hybrid pianos on offer which sometimes are very cheap but not always; today there are not many but there were last month. The factory warranty is not transferrable and you have to organise a delivery method. These seem to be quite robust but you will see factory visits from time to time for issues. The actions will require regulation from time to time.

https://classifieds.pianobuyer.com/buy-a-piano/view?id=42578

EDIT- late to the party but I'll just keep this up.
I recently owned an N2 and now have a Yamaha DC3X. The N2 was a great instrument, but as others have mentioned, the tech is outdated. That never really bothered me though. I was blending Pianoteq with the N2 most of the time. I guess the N2 still has some value. I got 6K for trade in but it could also mean they just inflated the price for the DC3X frown

You're a much more accomplished pianist than most here I think, so I'm not sure if my opinion means much. I'd say go and try the hybrids and decide what's best for you. Do you have any interest in making use of all the tech features it has? Inputs/Outputs/Etc, VST integration? Or are you just looking for an option to use headphones? If it's just headphones, find the hybrid that has the action and sound the appeals most to you.
Posted By: U3piano Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 03:23 PM
Admittedly I didn't read everything in this thread, but I think there is a difference between these 2 products that I rarely see people mentioning when comparing them.


The nv10 only has hammer sensors.

The n1x has hammer + key sensors. This means it can trigger adaptive release samples. (and i believe has some other advantages i forgot.)


I'm not saying one is better than the other, but this is a difference that might be good to know about.
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
I'd say go and try the hybrids and decide what's best for you. Do you have any interest in making use of all the tech features it has? Inputs/Outputs/Etc, VST integration? Or are you just looking for an option to use headphones? If it's just headphones, find the hybrid that has the action and sound the appeals most to you.
Thanks for your reply. I doubt I will ever understand or have use for the types of tech features you mention. I would be playing it either at a very low volume or silently with headphones.
Originally Posted by U3piano
Admittedly I didn't read everything in this thread, but I think there is a difference between these 2 products that I rarely see people mentioning when comparing them.


The nv10 only has hammer sensors.

The n1x has hammer + key sensors. This means it can trigger adaptive release samples. (and i believe has some other advantages i forgot.)


I'm not saying one is better than the other, but this is a difference that might be good to know about.
Thanks. Can you explain in layman's terms what adaptive release samples are?
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Thanks. Can you explain in layman's terms what adaptive release samples are?

...and to what extent exactly they are implemented on this piano?
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 03:55 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Thanks. Can you explain in layman's terms what adaptive release samples are?

I would caution that this discussion is getting a bit into the technical weeds (which you said you wanted to avoid); it's essentially about the methods each piano uses to determine how to strike and mute the "strings." Technically speaking, the Yamahas (N1X/N3X) use a more sophisticated method that allows for additional edge cases (e.g., very gently lifting the keys halfway and getting that buzzing sound of dampers partially brushing against strings) but in reality very few people ever these notice while playing.

This is why it's really important from a non-technical perspective to actually sit and play the pianos if you can; you may find that you notice something more realistic about how the behavior in one or the other, or you may not notice at all (and things like the quality/timbre of the samples or the weight of the keybed are far more noticeable/important to you).
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 04:06 PM
When you see a phrase used to describe a digital piano ...
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Can you explain in layman's terms what adaptive release samples are?
If it's not acoustic piano terminology, then it's bullcr@p.
If it's an acronym, then it's bullcr@p.
If it's a multi-word term with init-caps (esp. when trademarked), then it's bullcr@p.
Come to think of it, most everything in advertising copy and promotional material is bovine exudate.
Posted By: U3piano Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 04:13 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Thanks. Can you explain in layman's terms what adaptive release samples are?

I don't know if "adaptive release samples" are the term usually used, I just called it that because I don't know what else to call it. But in an acoustic piano, when you release a key, the damper falls back on the string and that produces a sound. This sound is different if you release the key fast or slow, and it also matters how long you have pressed the key etc. Try pressing a key on an acoustic piano and releasing it really slowly, you will hear some sort of string sound, ring, or whatever you like to call it, because of the damper falling back really gently on the still vibrating string.

So, "adaptive release samples" are release samples that react according to how you play, so that it triggers different release samples according to how you are playing. This adds to the realism. If and how important this is, one should decide that for himself. I haven't seen one person complaining about the nv10 lacking them, so maybe it's a minor thing to most people, and goes unnoticed. I do believe there are much more important factors than this one, but it's still good to take into consideration.

Digital piano's or vst's without "adaptive" release samples can still use release samples, but the release samples will always be the same (except for volume) no matter how you play. So adaptive release samples will sound more organic.


Originally Posted by terminaldegree
...and to what extent exactly they are implemented on this piano?

I don't know this. I hope someone that knows can reply to this question. I would think since the n1x has key sensors, it would also use adaptive release samples, but I don't know for sure. If it does not, then it only matters when using it with a VST. Some of the most popular vst's use adaptive release samples, and with the nv10 you won't be able to use them.


tl;dr: Adaptive release samples sound more organic/realistic than non-adaptive release samples, one should decide for themselves if that's important or not.
Posted By: Pete14 Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 04:45 PM
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Thanks. Can you explain in layman's terms what adaptive release samples are?

...and to what extent exactly they are implemented on this piano?


...and to what extent they adapt?
Posted By: U3piano Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 04:58 PM
Quote
...and to what extent exactly they are implemented on this piano?

Quote
...and to what extent they adapt?

Actually, I'm not entirely sure about all of these things. Maybe Cybergene could explain, as he is very knowledgeable about these sort of things.

But I agree with what Gombessa said, it's probably best to judge by sitting down and play! I just mentioned this sensor/release samples thing as it might be an aspect that's good to know about.

About the details, I'm not sure, I take it Yamaha didn't put key sensors in there for no reason, but I don't know how exactly this would be or is used as an advantage compared to a dp with only hammer samples.

Could also be the avantgrands mainly use the key sensors, and yamaha just added the hammer sensors to the grand-action avantgrands to prevent the loud note issues that were in the Nu1/Nu1x, which have key sensors but no hammer sensors. confused
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 05:07 PM
I just tested it again on the N1X. The most obvious scenario which is easy to hear and reproduce is this:

Play a note, then release the key slightly, say a bit below the middle so that it still sounds and is not dampened immediately. The sound will decay faster than if you keep the key fully pressed. On a piano without that feature you have only two states: either full sustain or the note is (almost) immediately dampened. Nothing in between. Whether that makes any real difference I can’t say. On my DIY controller (AKA Cybrid) there’s no such behavior supported and I don’t think it makes a lot of difference but then I’m not the most advanced player. Besides, I’ve been playing mostly digital pianos for the last 20 years and the N1X is the first to support this feature. So, it’s possible that I haven’t adopted it for, say, better legato. But an acoustic piano player may unconsciously expect it and utilize it when playing. It’s a good thing for me to start exploring in my playing, so expect that in a year I will be evangelizing about how that’s the most important feature in the world 🤣
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Hi everyone,
Although I am the second most prolific PW poster I have never posted on or read the digital forum! I have a 15 year old Mason & Hamlin BB and have not considered buying a non acoustic piano until now. I am hoping that those of you more familiar with these two models(which is almost everyone reading this post) can compare and contrast the touch and tone of these two models for me. For the Avantgrand I would only be considering the ones that come in a vertical type case, i.e. not what I think is called the N3.

My motivation for considering a hybrid is to be able to play silently and listen through headphones or to be able to play very softly. Besides the touch and tone, if you consider other things to be pros or cons please feel free to mention them. But I am not generally interested in(or even probably able to understand) the very technical information or details about the bells and whistles of each model which I assume are important to at least some of you.

Thanks for your help.
I note you also raised another thread to discuss acoustic muting rail and silent systems. I did not see much feedback on this, examples being the latest Yamaha Transacoustic systems or Kawai ATX/Aures. If you still have the desire to hear the encompassing string, soundboard and cabinet resonance etc, and your circumstances permit occasional playing without headphones, these may be worth looking into as well.
Posted By: Pete14 Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 05:17 PM
If I may, CG, this might also come in handy for what some pianists call ‘halo notes’:

A ‘technique’ where the pianist is able to land -only so much- on certain keys/notes without triggering any sound or simply triggering a soft “halo” sound.

This helps in very dense and jumpy (all over the place) passages where the pianist can use these halo notes as ‘anchors’ or place-holders for the actual notes he or she wants to hear, or, as said above, for a specific yet abstract halo effect.
Posted By: Zack C Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 05:21 PM
A couple of past threads on this topic you may find of interest:
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2943510/1.html
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2959266/1.html
Posted By: Heddy Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 05:36 PM
chiming in here as a newish owner of the NV10: key length has been debated ad nauseum on these forums. i can't imagine any key length shorter than the NV10. when practicing Gaspard and some of the other romantic powerhouses, my hands are bumping up against the fallboard on occasion. it's super annoying smile
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 05:41 PM
Originally Posted by Heddy
chiming in here as a newish owner of the NV10: key length has been debated ad nauseum on these forums. i can't imagine any key length shorter than the NV10. when practicing Gaspard and some of the other romantic powerhouses, my hands are brushing against the fallboard on occasion. it's super annoying smile
It’s not about the visible part of the keys smile You will brush your fingers on every piano, acoustic or digital because they will have the same visible length. It’s about the key length *behind* the fallboard to the fulcrum. The longer it is, the less difference it will make where you press the key across its visible length.
Posted By: David B Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 05:48 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by Heddy
chiming in here as a newish owner of the NV10: key length has been debated ad nauseum on these forums. i can't imagine any key length shorter than the NV10. when practicing Gaspard and some of the other romantic powerhouses, my hands are brushing against the fallboard on occasion. it's super annoying smile
It’s not about the visible part of the keys smile You will brush your fingers on every piano, acoustic or digital because they will have the same visible length. It’s about the key length *behind* the fallboard to the fulcrum. The longer it is, the less difference it will make where you press the key across its visible length.

I think he/she might be kidding around. Unless he/she really thought key length had to do with the visible part of the keys. Kind of hard to believe (especially if someone has been following the "ad nauseam" threads on the subject), but possible.

God bless,
David
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 05:52 PM
Well, yes, I also thought it was a fun comment but I re-read it a few times and it seems like it may be serious.
Posted By: Heddy Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 05:59 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Well, yes, I also thought it was a fun comment but I re-read it a few times and it seems like it may be serious.
not kidding! i never remember encountering the fallboard when i used to play all day on acoustics. but if the visible key lengths are all the same on digital and acoustic grands then <shrug> disregard smile was not referring to the pivot lengths, which i don't really notice when practicing
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 05:59 PM
We've gone off topic rather quickly! But visible key length IS something to keep in mind for acoustics. I think all new pianos are now "standard length" and standard width, with the only real variability being black key width, but for buyers of used and rebuilt pianos, there have been some with shorter keys (I think mainly vintage American pianos like older Baldwins). That's of course neither here nor there for OP as it applies to neither AG nor NV smile

When I was reading Heddy's comment, I thought the same as CG (that he was talking about the visible key length), but it could be interpreted either way.
Posted By: Pete14 Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 07:07 PM
Originally Posted by Heddy
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Well, yes, I also thought it was a fun comment but I re-read it a few times and it seems like it may be serious.
not kidding! i never remember encountering the fallboard when i used to play all day on acoustics. but if the visible key lengths are all the same on digital and acoustic grands then <shrug> disregard smile was not referring to the pivot lengths, which i don't really notice when practicing

Just curious, but is it possible that your fingers got longer since switching from ‘acoustics’; hence the excess brushing up against the fallboard?

I sure wish my fingers grew a little longer; I’ve been feeding them vitamins and all other sorts of supplements, but last I checked, they’ve actually gotten shorter!
Posted By: EPW Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 07:10 PM
Quote
I sure wish my fingers grew a little longer; I’ve been feeding them vitamins and all other sorts of supplements, but last I checked, they’ve actually gotten shorter!

Really not something you want to advertise Pete grin
Posted By: Beowulf Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 07:15 PM
Originally Posted by Pete14
I sure wish my fingers grew a little longer; I’ve been feeding them vitamins and all other sorts of supplements, but last I checked, they’ve actually gotten shorter!
Wait, is that supposed to be natural? shocked
Posted By: EPW Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 07:23 PM
When has Pete been normal I mean natural LOL
Posted By: Harpuia Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 07:32 PM
So far I've only see one forum member (Alexander Acosta) complaining about NV10 not having "adaptive release sample" in the N1X thread, and it was actually the deciding factor of him choosing the N1X (http://forum.pianoworld.com//ubbthr...avantgrand-n1x-hands-on.html#Post3019412).

I asked him what kinds of repertoire he is constantly practicing. It turns out that he plays quite advanced classical repertoires like Chopin Ballade and Rach Prelude.
Posted By: Pete14 Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 07:35 PM
Originally Posted by EPW
When has Pete been normal I mean natural LOL
blush
Posted By: Harpuia Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 07:39 PM
To quote his words about NV10:

Quote
The keyboard is amazing, better than the N1X, but It isn't capable of performing crispy staccatos.

Quote
I tried it all when trying both the N1X and the Novus. From Chopin Ballade op 23, to Rachmaninov Op 23 No 5, Some Chopin Nocturnes then when for random things like trills, octaves, staccatos. Repeated notes going from PPP to FFF and vice-versa, heavy harmonics, loud notes, dissonances, etc.

Quote
I think the Staccatos thing is because of the lack of key off. I found that it sounded as if the dampers took to much time to silence the strings after I had lift my fingers from the keys. I'm guessing that Playing "Pantalón et Colombie" from Carnaval Op 9 would sound rather bizarre.
Posted By: EPW Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 07:44 PM
So what you are telling me, I will never notice the NV10 not having the release samples.
Hoping this thread will get back on topic since I need a lot of help. I will eventually be able to check out the Avantgrand models at the NYC(where I live)dealership, although not very soon because of the virus. Does anyone know of any dealers that have the Kawai Novus is the NYC area, Manhattan being my first choice? Thanks.
Posted By: EPW Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 08:23 PM
I tried the N1x in my area and was like wow this instrument is fantastic. I hear you on being in lockdown. I want to check out the new Yamaha CLP-745 for my budget and my local store still doesn't have one on display. They told me early November they should have the new models on display. Really either piano would probably be fine for you but there's something about experiencing the touch of these monster that will most likely have you leaning towards one.

Peace
Posted By: Zora Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 08:46 PM
I'm having the same problems getting to play either one of these pianos live (covid), and my choice is coming down to one of these two as well. I think I'm going to have to play them for myself to know which one suits me better. The NV5 sounds great in online reviews but it has an upright action, which is pretty much a no-go for me.
Posted By: Heddy Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 09:23 PM
Originally Posted by Pete14
Just curious, but is it possible that your fingers got longer since switching from ‘acoustics’; hence the excess brushing up against the fallboard?

I sure wish my fingers grew a little longer; I’ve been feeding them vitamins and all other sorts of supplements, but last I checked, they’ve actually gotten shorter!

Nah! It's been well over a decade since I played on acoustic grands regularly, so I was probably hitting the fallboard all the time and never noticed smile I'm super rusty, both apparently in brain and technique

pianoloverus - to answer your question - it looks like your closest Kawai dealer is out in Ozone Park (but unclear if they have an NV10 on the floor). Worth a call: https://kawaius.com/find-a-dealer/acoustic-digital/

I played both the N1X and NV10 in the same week. Soundwise, I think the N1X was a little better than the NV10 without headphones. But I preferred the feel of the NV10: I found the N1X action a bit stiffer (which I dislike) and the NV10 action felt heavier (which I prefer). People on these forums have measured the keys and said that the N1X keys are actually heavier, so not sure why NV10 feels weighter to me <shrug>. Ultimately, this is entirely up to taste and can't be determined without playing both extensively.

Tone wise, I found both instruments lacking in sound compared to an acoustic grand and I do find there is a lack of dynamic range. For example, my sforzandos don't sound very sharp and I'm finding it difficult to bring out different colors. But as a practice piano, I honestly could not ask for anything more out of the NV10.
Posted By: dng Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/28/20 11:39 PM
Ori at Allegro Pianos near Stamford CT has a huge collection of Kawai uprights including almost all the Aures series. You might want to call him to see if he has an NV10 or NV5 in the store.

I also found a NV10 at Forte Piano in Paramus NJ, but definitely preferred working with Ori.
Posted By: Del Del Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 01:34 AM
Originally Posted by Gombessa
We've gone off topic rather quickly! But visible key length IS something to keep in mind for acoustics. I think all new pianos are now "standard length" and standard width, with the only real variability being black key width, but for buyers of used and rebuilt pianos, there have been some with shorter keys (I think mainly vintage American pianos like older Baldwins). That's of course neither here nor there for OP as it applies to neither AG nor NV smile

When I was reading Heddy's comment, I thought the same as CG (that he was talking about the visible key length), but it could be interpreted either way.

FWIW, there is no standard length and standard width, albeit as you said that was more of a concern in pianos built about 100 years ago which were all over the place. Nowadays pianos tend to be ALMOST, but not exactly the same size and it seems to be an unfortunate tendency towards larger (but sadly not deeper) keyboards. There is one effort which is trying to standardize the currently most common size as DS6.5 and introduce also three smaller sizes. See http://dsstandardfoundation.org/the-standards/ -- I suspect nobody cares, it's too expensive for people who do care (like me for my daughter) and it will fail.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 03:19 AM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Hoping this thread will get back on topic since I need a lot of help. I will eventually be able to check out the Avantgrand models at the NYC(where I live)dealership, although not very soon because of the virus. Does anyone know of any dealers that have the Kawai Novus is the NYC area, Manhattan being my first choice? Thanks.

Because you already have a high quality acoustic piano, you may find that one of the better non-hybrid digital actions will be sufficient to satisfy what you will require from a digital. I would suggest adding the Kawai MP11SE to your audition list. You may well decide that you want to fork over the additional $10K or so to have an actual grand action, but if it is a 2nd piano, you may be able to save some dough, depending on your requirements.
Posted By: floknot Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 06:47 AM
Originally Posted by Zora
I think I'm going to have to play them for myself to know which one suits me better.
+1

The store I went to had both the NV10 and N1X, standing less than 3 meters apart from each other. The difference in touch is like day and night. And I'm definitely not saying day is good and night is bad. Just completely different, period. And my grand feels yet different. This again illustrates there's not just one grand action out there.

I was obviously much more attracted to the NV10's touch, which IMO offered more body and control, while I had the feeling it was a bit too easy to strike the N1X keys down, with less depth in the course downwards. But plenty of people on PW are really fond of their N1X, so which action is "better" for you is really just a matter of personal preference.

You really have to try these pricey beasts yourself, both for touch and tone, as it's absolutely impossible to get an idea of how that feels/sounds just by reading specs or PW posts, unfortunately smile
Posted By: Evgeny 85 Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 07:43 AM
Originally Posted by floknot
Originally Posted by Zora
I think I'm going to have to play them for myself to know which one suits me better.
+1

The difference in touch is like day and night. And I'm definitely not saying day is good and night is bad. Just completely different, period. And my grand feels yet different. This again illustrates there's not just one grand action out there.
It just goes to show that all real acoustic actions are also not alike. It is difficult to find similar actions even on the same brands of pianos.
Posted By: Beowulf Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 08:11 AM
OP actually suggested we talk about something besides touch and tone, so lets keep to that.

If controls and aesthetics matter, the Novus beats the AvantGrand for me as the latter looks really outdated. If you need to tweak the sound settings it's also more convenient on the Novus. You need to connect the N1X to your phone or tablet to be able to access certain controls.
Originally Posted by Beowulf
OP actually suggested we talk about something besides touch and tone, so lets keep to that.

If controls and aesthetics matter, the Novus beats the AvantGrand for me as the latter looks really outdated. If you need to tweak the sound settings it's also more convenient on the Novus. You need to connect the N1X to your phone or tablet to be able to access certain controls.
I'm definitely interested in comments about touch and tone and said that in my first post. I'm also interested in comments about other differences as long as they don't become overly technical or focus on what most would consider minutiae.
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 12:37 PM
I can tell you that both the N3X and NV10 felt wonderful. Both are so much better than a typical digital piano's folded action.

But keep in mind that I'm coming from a digital piano. So both of those pianos represented a big step up for me.
You're coming at this from an acoustic piano background. Will they meet your needs? You'll have to try them for yourself.

As for sound ... I think the CFX binaural sound on the Yamaha is the best I've ever heard on a digital piano.
Posted By: Del Del Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 12:49 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Beowulf
OP actually suggested we talk about something besides touch and tone, so lets keep to that.

If controls and aesthetics matter, the Novus beats the AvantGrand for me as the latter looks really outdated. If you need to tweak the sound settings it's also more convenient on the Novus. You need to connect the N1X to your phone or tablet to be able to access certain controls.
I'm definitely interested in comments about touch and tone and said that in my first post. I'm also interested in comments about other differences as long as they don't become overly technical or focus on what most would consider minutiae.


Pianoloverus, both are excellent instruments for what they are. If what you are looking is "that", you can't go wrong with either. As others have said, the differences are very personal. For example: the N1X has only 15 sounds, whereas the NV-10 has about 100 sounds, IIRC. You can say "who cares?" and that's fine, but think hard about it. For example I thought "who cares?" and got a NU1 which has only 5 voices and all of them are percussive (piano, harpsichord, etc). Now, for my harmony exercises, I connect the NU1 to a phone, to get a (very poor) organ sound, because the percussive sounds have a too short of a sustain and the organ works best.

In fact, in my opinion, most of the digitial pianos have too short (or too long!! e.g. PianoTeq) of a sustain compared to a really good piano with a nice singing tone.

Download their manuals online, sit in front of your acoustic pretending to be in front of the digital and see how it works. Some find the button+key press of the Yamaha obnoxious. Some find it convenient. Think about yourself. Consider possibilities that open up, e.g. historical temperaments. Do you care today? Could you care in a few years? Kawai has an edge for temperaments, but Yamaha is decent and certainly better than the acoustic for this topic.

However, as I said to you in the acoustic thread where you asked the complementary question, coming from a wonderful acoustic instrument, I suspect you will not be satisfied with either of these pianos. In fact, coming from lower tier of acoustic pianos, I am not satisfied with ANY of the digital instruments I tried. So I got something which was "decent" for what I strictly needed, without spending too much money (because additional money could not buy what I really wanted). That is me. You is you. What is important to you in a piano? When you bought your current acoustic, what other instruments you compared it with? Why you picked the M&H instead of the other ones? You did not based your choice on someone's opinion on the internet, right?

So my suggestion is to go try the instruments and see. Be extremely critical. Play everything on them, from the easier things you know, so you do zero effort and all your mental energy can concentrate on "how does this instrument feel, sound, react?" from the hardest passages you'd ever want to play, to see if they feel easier, harder or impossible compared to the M&H. Be extremely critical (sorry for repeating myself), give nothing from granted. I am sure there will be some aspects that you will NOT like. If you don't find at least two or three things (and probably many more) that you don't like, it means you are not trying hard enough. For me it is the sound: any digital piano that I tried, in any occasion or condition (speakers, soundboard, expensive headphones) sound like "plastic" to me. I prefer the crappiest, decently tuned acoustic sound to the most expensive and refined digital sound. Yet, I bought a NU1 (and a Kawai CA before that and a Kawai ES before that). Why? Because even if I really disliked the sound, I could live with it because of other things that I needed, and still I have the acoustic in my home and use both. So, once you have found these things you dislike, decide if you can live with them.

Also, try cheaper instruments and see if the additional money is really worth it FOR YOU. When I was shopping for the Yamaha NU1, I found it a massive improvement to the Kawai CA. The Yamaha N3 was only marginally better than the NU1 and (besides being totally out of my budget) not worth the additional money FOR ME (even if I had that money).

Hope this helps
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
As for sound ... I think the CFX binaural sound on the Yamaha is the best I've ever heard on a digital piano.
Thanks. Can someone please explain in layman's terms what "binaural sound" is ?
Posted By: EPW Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 02:00 PM
From Yamaha USA website https://usa.yamaha.com/products/mus...inova/clp-735/features.html#product-tabs

Binaural sampling is a method of sampling in which special microphones are placed on a mannequin’s head in the same positions as the pianist’s ears to capture piano sounds the way that they sound in reality.

We chose this method to create the ambience and full, natural resonance of acoustic pianos in Clavinova pianos. This makes pianists feel as though they are sitting at a grand piano even when they play with headphones on. The experience is so pleasant that they forget they are wearing headphones, no matter how long they continue to play.

On CLP-700 Series pianos, binaural sampling was used for the Bösendorfer Imperial as well as the Yamaha CFX. Yamaha achieves higher-definition binaural sound with a specially developed mannequin head and model ears used for the recording.

We also developed the Stereophonic Optimizer function to achieve the same effect for the piano effects. Stereophonic Optimizer technology replicates the natural diffusion of sound in headphones nearly as closely as binaural sampling for the piano voices other than the CFX and Imperial.
Posted By: Del Del Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 02:02 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
As for sound ... I think the CFX binaural sound on the Yamaha is the best I've ever heard on a digital piano.
Thanks. Can someone please explain in layman's terms what "binaural sound" is ?

Basically stereo, but made if very carefully for the position of your head when playing. When using good headphones, many people describe the binaural sound "as if an acoustic piano materializes in front of me". Think of stereoscopic 3D images, if you have tried those. Like with those, some people describe it as just a gimmick. Again, you must try for yourself in all conditions (e.g. with and without headphones, for this)
Posted By: U3piano Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 02:02 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Thanks. Can someone please explain in layman's terms what "binaural sound" is ?

I think it's sound recorded with a special dummy head, placed at the correct position, with microphones in it's "ears" to recreate the exact listening experience you would get when you would sit at the bench playing the piano.

I think it's designed specifically for headphone use, and that does seem logical to me.

All you really need to know is it provides a good listening experience when using headphones.
Posted By: EPW Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 02:08 PM
Quote
All you really need to know is it provides a good listening experience when using headphones.

For most it seems that way, but I know a few folks that didn't like it.
Posted By: Beowulf Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 03:21 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I'm definitely interested in comments about touch and tone and said that in my first post. I'm also interested in comments about other differences as long as they don't become overly technical or focus on what most would consider minutiae.
My apologies for missing out on that! Anyway, if you record your playing on the N1X with headphones connected and binaural option turned on, the binaural sound gets recorded instead of the normal sample. IIRC, CyberGene mentioned it sounds a lot better, but I personally haven't tried.
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 03:33 PM
When recording in binaural mode they use a human mannequin head with microphones planted in each ear.
The recorded left and right channel sounds are those arriving at the head, rather than being picked up directly from the instrument.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
As for sound ... I think the CFX binaural sound on the Yamaha is the best I've ever heard on a digital piano.
Thanks. Can someone please explain in layman's terms what "binaural sound" is ?
Until recently I'd only hear demos of binaural recordings, and those demos were not piano, not musical, and not convincing.
But as soon as I tried the binaural mode on the N3X I was convinced that this is it.
Instead of getting that piano-in-your-head feeling, you get a piano-in-front-of-you sensation. It's remarkable.
There are plenty of rubbish binaural recordings so beware of marketing fluff.

The AvantGrand CFX binaural samples seem quite popular here so they may be worth considering.
Posted By: David B Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 03:57 PM
The best way I can describe my experience with the binaural N1X sample is that it appears the sound is coming from outside of the headphones. It's a pretty neat experience the first time you try it. Occasionally, I still take off my headphones just to make sure the sound is coming from them and not the piano speakers. It's some weird trickery.

God Bless,
David
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
As for sound ... I think the CFX binaural sound on the Yamaha is the best I've ever heard on a digital piano.
Thanks. Can someone please explain in layman's terms what "binaural sound" is ?

This is live example of binaural sound with Yamaha C7
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNTBZCBnMRo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmOvHjSBlnc
Posted By: Volusiano Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 08:41 PM
It would be nice if there's something on Youtube showing A/B comparison switching back and forth of the Yamaha CFX sound to be listened to on headphones between binaural mode and normal mode. I tried looking for such a video on Youtube without luck.
Posted By: Del Del Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 08:49 PM
Originally Posted by Volusiano
It would be nice if there's something on Youtube showing A/B comparison switching back and forth of the Yamaha CFX sound to be listened to on headphones between binaural mode and normal mode. I tried looking for such a video on Youtube without luck.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lXahulLA68

At minute 1 he switches that for voice, and then he does an A/B with piano. Impressive, in my opinion, more so for voice than for piano. The channel has many other videos.
Posted By: Volusiano Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 09:48 PM
Thanks for the Youtube link. It's not quite what I'm looking for, though. I've seen Youtube videos of how the binaural experience is like in general. But what I'm looking for is specifically more about the actual Yamaha CFX binaural experience per se, as the player hears when he plays the N1X or N3X in binaural, then what it sounds like if he turns off the binaural switch (is there such as thing?), then turns it back on, back and forth, for A to B back to A back to B comparison.

Is there such a switch to turn on/off binaural when you play the CFX sound on headphones with the N1X or N3X or P515 or whatever has it? Or is it just defaulting to always playing the CFX sound in binaural and there's no option to just play the normal sound through headphones as it would come out of the speakers?
Posted By: Del Del Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 10:19 PM
Originally Posted by Volusiano
Thanks for the Youtube link. It's not quite what I'm looking for, though. I've seen Youtube videos of how the binaural experience is like in general. But what I'm looking for is specifically more about the actual Yamaha CFX binaural experience per se, as the player hears when he plays the N1X or N3X in binaural, then what it sounds like if he turns off the binaural switch (is there such as thing?), then turns it back on, back and forth, for A to B back to A back to B comparison.

Is there such a switch to turn on/off binaural when you play the CFX sound on headphones with the N1X or N3X or P515 or whatever has it? Or is it just defaulting to always playing the CFX sound in binaural and there's no option to just play the normal sound through headphones as it would come out of the speakers?

I don't think there is such a switch, but I think the CyberGene has found a way to digitally produce such a recording. If he doesn't show up here tomorrow (it's night where he lives now), PM him and ask if he's willing to do this for you and perhaps share it with everybody on his YouTube account. You should also ask him to listen to his own YouTube recording and confirm that it's what he hears on the instrument when playing it live with the same headphones (I know, the audio card will be different...)
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 10:23 PM
The N3X I tried offers both binaural and "regular".
Originally Posted by Volusiano
Is there such a switch to turn on/off binaural when you play the CFX sound on headphones with the N1X or N3X or P515 or whatever has it? Or is it just defaulting to always playing the CFX sound in binaural and there's no option to just play the normal sound through headphones as it would come out of the speakers?
I don't know whether the binaural is the default ... but it would my preferred setting.
I bought an N1X back in May, to have something to play while my M&H BB was missing (long story). I got the BB back a couple of months ago, but its action went into the shop immediately for long-overdue hammer replacement. So I've been using the N1X exclusively for nearly six months. It's been a sanity-saver for me. It feels and sounds like a real instrument, and I continue to be very pleased with it. It's always in tune, and the action feels great: predictable and smooth and weighted just about right.

Having said that, it does suffer by comparison to the BB in a few ways, not surprisingly. It doesn't have the same dynamic range, and it doesn't have that magical M&H sound, especially in the treble. But the #2 voice (Bosie Imperial) sounds pretty darned good over the built-in speakers.

For the first few months I used the N1X only with headphones, using the default voice (CFX binaural). It's certainly better than the other voices, when using headphones, but I wasn't as blown away by the sound as other users have reported. There always seemed to be a ringing noise on the upper treble notes that I couldn't make go away. I don't hear this ringing when using the built-in speakers. But these problems could be due to my cheapo headphones (Koss KPH30i). It's strange, because when I listen to youtube recordings of the N1X using these headphones, the sound seems much better.

Anyway, the headphone issues aren't a big deal. Now that I am living in a real house, I use the speakers, and my experience is much better. I still really like this instrument. I never feel that it has slowed me down or gotten in my way. It's a much better piano than I am a pianist.
Posted By: Beowulf Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 11:13 PM
Binaural can be turned off for headphones use.
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/29/20 11:30 PM
A piano that costs $7k or $8k should be insulted by $40 headphones. It deserves better! smile
Originally Posted by Mark Alexander
For the first few months I used the N1X only with headphones, using the default voice (CFX binaural).
...
There always seemed to be a ringing noise on the upper treble notes that I couldn't make go away.
... these problems could be due to my cheapo headphones (Koss KPH30i).
Posted By: floknot Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/30/20 07:42 AM
There's more going on with the sound of videos posted to Youtube than one would think. But I second MacMacMac, a good amp and better headphones can do wonders smile
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
A piano that costs $7k or $8k should be insulted by $40 headphones. It deserves better! smile

You're right! I knew that, but the headphones I was interested in (Drop/Sennheiser HD58X) can't be auditioned in a store, and I was hesitant to spend $150 on an experiment that might not be successful.
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/30/20 11:00 AM
I understand your point. But note that many online retailers allow you to try headphones and then return them if you don't like them.
I've done that before at Amazon. They even paid for the return shipping! (Is this still true in the corona era? I don't know, but they could tell you if you ask them.)

I don't have the HD58X ... but I bought the HD579 at around the same price, and they're superb. That purchase was sight unseen (or hearing unheard?), and I did not need to return them. They're still grand two years later.
Posted By: NormB Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/30/20 01:53 PM
Quote
A piano that costs $7k or $8k should be insulted by $40 headphones. It deserves better!

And the N1X deserves a better internal headphone amp. It is OK, but when I use headphones I have been using an external amp exclusively for months now.
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/30/20 02:48 PM
Hmmm ... what's wrong with the N1X headphone amp? In what way is it deficient?
Originally Posted by NormB
Quote
A piano that costs $7k or $8k should be insulted by $40 headphones. It deserves better!
And the N1X deserves a better internal headphone amp. It is OK, but when I use headphones I have been using an external amp exclusively for months now.
Posted By: David B Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/30/20 03:05 PM
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Hmmm ... what's wrong with the N1X headphone amp? In what way is it deficient?
Originally Posted by NormB
Quote
A piano that costs $7k or $8k should be insulted by $40 headphones. It deserves better!
And the N1X deserves a better internal headphone amp. It is OK, but when I use headphones I have been using an external amp exclusively for months now.

Works fine with my Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee headphones. 150 ohms.

God Bless,
David
Originally Posted by Mark Alexander
but the headphones I was interested in (Drop/Sennheiser HD58X) can't be auditioned in a store, and I was hesitant to spend $150 on an experiment that might not be successful.
Hi Mark, As far as I can tell, Sennheiser's "5" series headphones are virtually similar outside of price and some minor features. This was my best guess in 2018 trying to figure out the 250% markup. . .
Originally Posted by newer player
**The Sennheiser "5" series is quite popular here. I never used it for piano but didn't particularly like the few I tried for listening to classical or Jazz music.

The "5" series Senn lineup is confusing but I think this table gives a reasonable idea of what Senn is selling although it is not complete (USD list prices) [EDIT - it should be clear that the only real difference among these is open vs. closed]

559_______$99__Open__50 OHM_108dB_1cable
569_______$179_Closed_23 OHM_115dB_2cables&Mic
579_______$199_Open__50 OHM_106dB_1cable&3.5mm adapter
599_______$249_Open__50 OHM_106dB_2cables&3.5mm adapter

_"Amazon edition or factory website only"
598CS_____$249_Closed_23 OHM_115dB_2cables
598SR_____$249_Open__50 OHM_112dB_2cables&3.5mm adapter

Some of the lower-priced models have a small strip of foam tape to "boost bass" and "mess up higher fq". That foam tape was included in the 559 and 579 but excluded from the 599. Just remove the 3cm tape for a free "upgrade":

https://www.headfonia.com/sennheisers-new-hd558-and-hd598/3/

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/the-foam-mod-lives-on-the-sennheiser-hd-5x9-lineup.853644/
Posted By: NormB Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 10/30/20 03:41 PM
Quote
Hmmm ... what's wrong with the N1X headphone amp? In what way is it deficient?

For me, there's enough difference between it and a very good external amp that I bother to make use the latter. But you have be in a bind when trying to explain why because I can't point to concrete measurements or any such 'hard' data. But here goes. First of all, the differences I hear are not subtle, so at the very least I feel confident that there is a difference. And I can say that this difference exists whether I use very good over the ear headphones or state of the art in-ear phones. Why kind of differences? A bigger sound stage, fewer note-with-note artifacts, more solid bass, and the feeling of greater dynamic range (although this can't actually be possible with sensitive in-ear phones).
Originally Posted by Gombessa
One thing to note, hybrids play silently, but they're not the quietest digitals out there. You wouldn't want to have one in the bedroom if others are sleeping, the acoustic piano action thumps louder than you might expect. For a more silent late-night practice experience, you might need to look down-market at non-hybrid digitals.
Is it possible that someone could hear the hybrid through the walls of an apartment? My plan is to put the hybrid in my living room which is adjacent to my neighbor's studio. However, it wouldn't be placed on the wall between my living room and his apartment. It would be against the opposite wall 12' away on the other side of the living room.
Posted By: Beowulf Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/01/20 07:53 PM
I have my N1X in the living room close to the main door and I had someone else jam on the keyboard while I stepped outside to take a listen, and I was surprised how much I could hear the key thudding. I have the main door shut when I stepped out, by the way. We live in apartments here with pretty thick walls.
Originally Posted by Beowulf
I have my N1X in the living room close to the main door and I had someone else jam on the keyboard while I stepped outside to take a listen, and I was surprised how much I could hear the key thudding. I have the main door shut when I stepped out, by the way. We live in apartments here with pretty thick walls.
My subjective opinion is that in the dead of night, depending on your building construction, your neighbour might hear some of the thumping of keys, but that during the day, even early breakfast morning time, or evening, the noise levels would be an acceptable part of living in a block or with adjacent town house neighbours, on a par or much less than with TV, radio, washing machines, outside traffic, etc. For neighbours below you however, if they exist, you might have to take some mitigation measures.
Do all hybrids make the same amount of noise from the action even when played silently? Is the Kawai Novus any better than the AvantGrand in this respect?
Posted By: Del Del Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/01/20 08:21 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Do all hybrids make the same amount of noise from the action even when played silently? Is the Kawai Novus any better than the AvantGrand in this respect?

I can't compare side-by-side because I only have mine, but I can tell that the Yamaha NU1 makes quite a bit of noise too. I suspect the differences you would see among models are minor because their action is very close to the corresponding acoustic one, and hence noisy (so much so that simulated pianos such as PianoTeq include that noise for more realism)
Posted By: ˆTomLCˆ Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/01/20 08:23 PM
They make the same noise as your acoustic piano keys make.
Posted By: David B Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/01/20 08:59 PM
Originally Posted by ˆTomLCˆ
They make the same noise as your acoustic piano keys make.

The hammer shank hitting the stop rail on mine is what makes the most action noise. An acoustic piano doesn't make this sound. My N1X is in the basement and I live on 30+ acres, so I rarely play with headphones on, but I can hear the action thumping if I don't have the volume loud enough on the piano.

The N1X has the loudest action out of the 6 digital pianos I've owned.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: ˆTomLCˆ Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/01/20 09:35 PM
It seems like it is the key hitting the key bed that makes that sound?
Posted By: David B Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/01/20 09:51 PM
Originally Posted by ˆTomLCˆ
It seems like it is the key hitting the key bed that makes that sound?

That makes some noise, too, but it's the shank/stop-rail thumping (on mine) that is the loudest. If you want to test it out, just put your finger against the front of the key to prevent it from bottoming out and strike that key with the other hand pushing the shank into the stop-rail. You can also do the opposite, push the key slowly past the let-off (so the shank won't be pushed up) and then press the key to the bottom and compare the sound.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Harpuia Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/01/20 10:41 PM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by ˆTomLCˆ
They make the same noise as your acoustic piano keys make.

The hammer shank hitting the stop rail on mine is what makes the most action noise. An acoustic piano doesn't make this sound. My N1X is in the basement and I live on 30+ acres, so I rarely play with headphones on, but I can hear the action thumping if I don't have the volume loud enough on the piano.

The N1X has the loudest action out of the 6 digital pianos I've owned.

God Bless,
David

Wow David you live on 30+ acres. You can really think about getting an acoustic piano!
Originally Posted by ˆTomLCˆ
They make the same noise as your acoustic piano keys make.
One cannot hear any action noise from a decent acoustic because it's totally covered by the sound the notes being played.
Originally Posted by David B
The N1X has the loudest action out of the 6 digital pianos I've owned.
Were any of the others hybrids?
Posted By: David B Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/01/20 10:56 PM
Originally Posted by Harpuia
Wow David you live on 30+ acres. You can really think about getting an acoustic piano!

Ha,ha, I wish.

A new mid-level 6' grand = 20-30 thousand.

My N1X = 8 thousand and it took me year to pay it off after selling a bunch of guns (my previous hobby for the past 20+ years).

God bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/01/20 11:05 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by David B
The N1X has the loudest action out of the 6 digital pianos I've owned.
Were any of the others hybrids?

No. Just slabs. Yamaha and Kawai.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/01/20 11:11 PM
Tthe NV-10 action is pretty loud, too.

I think this is the deal: If you set a hybrid piano to the same volume as an acoustic grand, you don't hear the action, because it really is an acoustic action. In an acoustic, the action is regulated only to be as quiet as as it needs to be, since you can't adjust the volume or play only through headphones. Hybrids merely inherit this property, as their #1 criteria for success is replicating the feel/behavior of an acoustic action as closely as possible. Action noise is a distant second priority.

With a regular DP, low volume or headphone play is pressuposed in the design, so the action noise must somehow be mitigated for the product to work as described. Since DPs have very "simple" actions compared to acoustics, it's easier to damp the sound, too. So the end result is going to be that normal digital piano actions are going to be much quieter than hybrids.
Posted By: David B Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/01/20 11:21 PM
Originally Posted by ˆTomLCˆ
It seems like it is the key hitting the key bed that makes that sound?

Checking with my decibel meter, the two sounds are very close in volume (shank/stop rail and key/bed). They both produce a different pitch and both combined create the overall thumbing I hear in the N1X action. Of course, I don't hear it when playing at a normal volume (or with headphones on).

God Bless,
David
My N2 used to be against a shared wall in our condo. I would practice on that early morning with headphones before starting work. I never heard a complaint from the neighbor. The shared wall was between our living rooms. If it was against the shared bedroom wall, that might have been a different story.
The probably placement for my hybrid will be in the living room adjacent to my neighbor's studio but not against the wall separating those two rooms. It would be on the opposite wall about 12' away. Hoping that will be OK when it's played using headphones.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
The probably placement for my hybrid will be in the living room adjacent to my neighbor's studio but not against the wall separating those two rooms. It would be on the opposite wall about 12' away. Hoping that will be OK when it's played using headphones.

I doubt they would hear anything in that case.
Is the music desk on the N1x much higher than it would be on an acoustic grand or acoustic vertical? From the pictures it looks positioned on what would be the top of an acoustic vertical. And since the piano is around 46" that would mean the lowest part of the music desk is 46" above the floor which seems incredibly high. Am I missing something here?
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/03/20 07:39 PM

Here's my old Kawai upright. The music desk is above the fallboard, just like the N1, N1X, and N2. Just about the same height for all of them ...

[Linked Image]
Posted By: OldTinho Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/03/20 07:58 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Is the music desk on the N1x much higher than it would be on an acoustic grand or acoustic vertical? From the pictures it looks positioned on what would be the top of an acoustic vertical. And since the piano is around 46" that would mean the lowest part of the music desk is 46" above the floor which seems incredibly high. Am I missing something here?

It's been a while since I could compare, but I would say IMO the N1X music desk sits either at the same level or lower than that of an acoustic grand.
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/03/20 08:52 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Is the music desk on the N1x much higher than it would be on an acoustic grand or acoustic vertical? From the pictures it looks positioned on what would be the top of an acoustic vertical. And since the piano is around 46" that would mean the lowest part of the music desk is 46" above the floor which seems incredibly high. Am I missing something here?

It's more or less the same as on an acoustic grand. When you look at the pictures, recall that the fallboard is pretty much a standard height (it has to be tall enough to backstop the keys when open, and cover the keys to the keyslip when closed. As with an acoustic grand, the music desk is just a bit higher than the fallboard when open.
Originally Posted by MacMacMac

Here's my old Kawai upright. The music desk is above the fallboard, just like the N1, N1X, and N2. Just about the same height for all of them ...

[Linked Image]
That's good to know because in the picture on this page

https://asia-latinamerica-mea.yamah...ruments/pianos/avantgrand/n1x/specs.html

it looks like the music desk is sitting on the top the case, no?
Posted By: Del Del Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/03/20 10:07 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
That's good to know because in the picture on this page

https://asia-latinamerica-mea.yamah...ruments/pianos/avantgrand/n1x/specs.html

it looks like the music desk is sitting on the top the case, no?

Imagine a long tail in the back of that "case" and you see that's the same geometry of a grand piano music desk. I think you are imagining the instrument like a 54"+ tall upright, whereas that's tall just as a normal grand. Check the picture #3 of the site you linked, where there's a (probaly pretend) pianist and see what the height of the desk is.
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/03/20 11:20 PM
What matters is the height of the music desk above the floor (or above the keys).

The top of the case is not important. My upright in that picture was 50" tall ... taller than any digital.
Originally Posted by Del Vento
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
That's good to know because in the picture on this page

https://asia-latinamerica-mea.yamah...ruments/pianos/avantgrand/n1x/specs.html

it looks like the music desk is sitting on the top the case, no?

Imagine a long tail in the back of that "case" and you see that's the same geometry of a grand piano music desk. I think you are imagining the instrument like a 54"+ tall upright, whereas that's tall just as a normal grand. Check the picture #3 of the site you linked, where there's a (probaly pretend) pianist and see what the height of the desk is.
From what I can see the third picture doesn't show the music desk in the upright position.
I just got this info from a N1x dealer. I was "half right"haha. The dealer said:

"The N1x without the music desk is 38 1/2” high. The desk sits on top bringing it to 46”. This is only slightly higher if at all than most grand pianos. Uprights vary but are usually lower."

Bottom line is that the height of the desk should be no problem.
Posted By: mwf Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/04/20 07:25 PM
Just got back from a shop comparing nv10 and n1x literally side by side in same hybrid room. Also tried the NV5 which bizarrely is probably the best sounding instrument when played on live out of any of the grand hybrids, however why anyone would specifically want an upright action is beyond me so it's not in the equation.

Second time ive played N1X, and the samples are pretty great to be honest. It's just severely let down by the speaker system in my opinion, i can't physically stand the poor quality of it, its like its bordering on distorting. The sound is far too harsh. The action is also basically just the entry level GBK1 grand they make so nothing special, it's stiff and fairly heavy, but also responsive and fast regardless, it's an ok action.

Jumped on nv10 and not impressed with speaker system either, it's more boxy but less harsh and in your face than the yamaha. It's mildly better than the n1x overall, samples wise on the nv10, not bad, different to yamaha, probably not quite as 'good' but they are still rich sounding and ideal for classical piano mainly.

Anyway I've decided on the nv10 simply because I can't stop wanting to play on its sublime action... I'll run a vst through it like garritan if i want a different sound anyway. I don't think you can get a better action on a piano unless you spend more towards £20,000, it surpasses most grands I've played on costing alot more. Its fast, handles repeated notes far better than anything else, especially the n1x or n3x, which I think share same action anyway, it's effortless and your hands glide over the keys like clouds of silk...Kawai should be applauded for making this action in my opinion. I can be as expressive as i like on it, beautifully balanced weighting overall.

The speaker system will do, the sampling will do, the action has won me over completely...its astonishingly good.
Posted By: Showpan2 Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/04/20 07:39 PM
I concur with mwf: I had 2 hours alone in the Bonners Hybrid piano test room with the NV10, NV5, N1X, NU1X doing side-by-side comparisons.

I’m a big Yamaha fan having enjoyed their pianos since my first CVP Clavinova in 1989, and now looking to upgrade my P515. Based on YouTube reviews I was expecting the N1X to closely match the NV10. But heck no. The Kawai’s touch was light years ahead. I knew practically instantly that NV10 was the one. Yamaha really need to pull their finger out when they refresh the Avant Grands.

The NV5 sounds great but the upright action was no match for the silky smooth beautifully balanced NV10 action. I placed an order but delivery is not expected until January. Will be worth the wait.
Posted By: mwf Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/04/20 08:35 PM
I just got back from bonners yeah, about an hours drive from me but well worth the trips I've made, and the staff are brilliant, they just leave me alone for 4 hours each time i go in lol, they know my level is advanced and i know all about dps and pianos so they don't interfere, good guys there.
Posted By: Pete14 Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/04/20 08:57 PM
Interesting you preferred the NV-5 sound wise, and it seems you’re not alone. This could very well be due to the soundboard/speaker system, and the reason why I believe the NV-20 will be the consummate aggregate for ‘the best of both worlds’.

Of course, this is assuming the NV-20 will use a soundboard; which in my opinion pairs perfectly with the baby grand form factor (no obstruction).

No, I’m not being sarcastic, Mac!
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/04/20 09:07 PM
You're dreaming, Pete. There is no NV20. smile
Posted By: Pete14 Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/04/20 09:19 PM
I think it’s about time James settles this (NV-20) rumor once and for all:

Wink once for yes, James!
Posted By: EPW Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/04/20 09:24 PM
There will be a NV20 with a soundboard but alas us peasants will not be able to afford one frown


You have been warned not to try it when it comes out. If you do: Y ou pass Go and go straight to the "poor house"
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
You're dreaming, Pete. There is no NV20. smile

If I take the Yamaha hybrid history (GT..., N..., N...X) I must admit that there is a long era between two generations.

I also see that the N2X idea seams to have been dropped... either these price range is to risky, either Kawai could think there is no concurrence in this price range and a real soundboard would add a real value. Who knows ?
Posted By: Del Del Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/04/20 09:36 PM
Originally Posted by mwf
Just got back from a shop comparing nv10 and n1x literally side by side in same hybrid room. Also tried the NV5 which bizarrely is probably the best sounding instrument when played on live out of any of the grand hybrids, however why anyone would specifically want an upright action is beyond me so it's not in the equation.

In the USA, most of us are fortunate to have large homes, mostly at ground level, and without too close neighbors. In Europe this is a great exception rather than the norm. Because of that, there have been and still are generations of pianists, even professional ones, who grow up with uprights. Is any of them an inferior pianist?

For a digital instrument, such as these hybrids, the upright action is still cheaper and takes less room than the grand one. These two are good reasons for that product to exist, even if it does not appeal you. Sure, the upright action makes it more difficult to play some things, and perhaps even impossible to play some others, but how many people are at that level? Not many. As the fortunate owner of both a Yamaha NU1 (hybrid with upright action) and a baby grand, I actually appreciate having the opportunity to be able to practice some things on the upright action, exactly because they are more difficult.
A N1X is mainly deeper than a NU1X (62 vs. 46cm)

Then height is near (100 vs. 102cm)
The width is near (146 vs. 150cm)

But these later lengths are a little more longer on the NU1X and I don’t know if a NU1X would fit in my house. I have checked for a N1X : it is closed to my limits !!!


(I plan to put the N1X in a roof top.., the height matters !!)


The N1X is shipped unmounted... it can pass my stairs next to a narrow corridor... not sure about the NU1X !
Originally Posted by mwf
Just got back from a shop comparing nv10 and n1x literally side by side in same hybrid room. Also tried the NV5 which bizarrely is probably the best sounding instrument when played on live out of any of the grand hybrids, however why anyone would specifically want an upright action is beyond me so it's not in the equation.

Second time ive played N1X, and the samples are pretty great to be honest. It's just severely let down by the speaker system in my opinion, i can't physically stand the poor quality of it, its like its bordering on distorting. The sound is far too harsh. The action is also basically just the entry level GBK1 grand they make so nothing special, it's stiff and fairly heavy, but also responsive and fast regardless, it's an ok action.

Jumped on nv10 and not impressed with speaker system either, it's more boxy but less harsh and in your face than the yamaha. It's mildly better than the n1x overall, samples wise on the nv10, not bad, different to yamaha, probably not quite as 'good' but they are still rich sounding and ideal for classical piano mainly.

Anyway I've decided on the nv10 simply because I can't stop wanting to play on its sublime action... I'll run a vst through it like garritan if i want
a different sound anyway. I don't think you can get a better action on a piano unless you spend more towards £20,000, it surpasses most grands I've played on costing alot more. Its fast, handles repeated notes far better than anything else, especially the n1x or n3x, which I think share same action anyway, it's effortless and your hands glide over the keys like clouds of silk...Kawai should be applauded for making this action in my opinion. I can be as expressive as i like on it, beautifully balanced weighting overall.

The speaker system will do, the sampling will do, the action has won me over completely...its astonishingly good.
Did you happen to do a comparison using headphones? I would be playing almost exclusively that way. Thanks.
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/04/20 10:55 PM
Congrats mwf and showpan2 on selecting the NV-10 (and Frederic on choosing the N1X). The PW hybrid family grows smile
Posted By: mwf Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/05/20 12:37 AM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by mwf
Just got back from a shop comparing nv10 and n1x literally side by side in same hybrid room. Also tried the NV5 which bizarrely is probably the best sounding instrument when played on live out of any of the grand hybrids, however why anyone would specifically want an upright action is beyond me so it's not in the equation.

Second time ive played N1X, and the samples are pretty great to be honest. It's just severely let down by the speaker system in my opinion, i can't physically stand the poor quality of it, its like its bordering on distorting. The sound is far too harsh. The action is also basically just the entry level GBK1 grand they make so nothing special, it's stiff and fairly heavy, but also responsive and fast regardless, it's an ok action.

Jumped on nv10 and not impressed with speaker system either, it's more boxy but less harsh and in your face than the yamaha. It's mildly better than the n1x overall, samples wise on the nv10, not bad, different to yamaha, probably not quite as 'good' but they are still rich sounding and ideal for classical piano mainly.

Anyway I've decided on the nv10 simply because I can't stop wanting to play on its sublime action... I'll run a vst through it like garritan if i want
a different sound anyway. I don't think you can get a better action on a piano unless you spend more towards £20,000, it surpasses most grands I've played on costing alot more. Its fast, handles repeated notes far better than anything else, especially the n1x or n3x, which I think share same action anyway, it's effortless and your hands glide over the keys like clouds of silk...Kawai should be applauded for making this action in my opinion. I can be as expressive as i like on it, beautifully balanced weighting overall.

The speaker system will do, the sampling will do, the action has won me over completely...its astonishingly good.
Did you happen to do a comparison using headphones? I would be playing almost exclusively that way. Thanks.

I don't ever play with headphones... I don't see the point in buying a piano like that and not playing through its speakers.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/05/20 07:56 AM
I wouldn’t have purchased my N1X if I could play through speakers all the time. (Heck, I can’t even play half the time! Neighbors are not happy at all, which is why I use headphones 95% of the time 😢). I would’ve purchased an acoustic grand otherwise. One can purchase a nice grand for just a few more grands (pun intended).
Posted By: David B Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/05/20 09:46 AM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
I wouldn’t have purchased my N1X if I could play through speakers all the time. (Heck, I can’t even play half the time! Neighbors are not happy at all, which is why I use headphones 95% of the time 😢). I would’ve purchased an acoustic grand otherwise. One can purchase a nice grand for just a few more grands (pun intended).

What would you have purchased and how much do you think it would cost?
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/05/20 10:19 AM
Originally Posted by David B
What would you have purchased and how much do you think it would cost?
Most probably a baby grand such as a Kawai GL10 or a Yamaha GB1.
Posted By: Beowulf Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/05/20 11:14 AM
If you could go for it now, would the GL10 or GB1K be a worthy upgrade over the N1X? 🤔
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/05/20 02:11 PM
Originally Posted by Beowulf
If you could go for it now, would the GL10 or GB1K be a worthy upgrade over the N1X? 🤔

Absolutely. There's something in acoustic pianos, even cheap ones (even my old upright) that makes them alive. Admittedly I haven't played GL10 or GB1K, however I've played another baby grand by Yamaha, as well as some other baby grands whose brand I don't remember and I always liked them. This is me though. On the other hand I wouldn't be able to create videos with nice piano sound for YouTube, as from VST-s or the N1X itself. But I don't play the piano to post on YouTube laugh
Posted By: Del Del Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/05/20 02:48 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by Beowulf
If you could go for it now, would the GL10 or GB1K be a worthy upgrade over the N1X? 🤔

Absolutely. There's something in acoustic pianos, even cheap ones (even my old upright) that makes them alive. Admittedly I haven't played GL10 or GB1K, however I've played another baby grand by Yamaha, as well as some other baby grands whose brand I don't remember and I always liked them. This is me though. On the other hand I wouldn't be able to create videos with nice piano sound for YouTube, as from VST-s or the N1X itself. But I don't play the piano to post on YouTube laugh

I totally agree with this, so it's not only CG. As I said many times there is something "special" in the sound of even the most inexpensive and beaten up acoustic. Alive is a nice way to put it.

Obviously digitals have many other benefits, including harpsichord sound, MIDI, historical temperaments, silent practice, just to name a few I use (in addition to recording as CG mentioned). I am fortunate to have both an acoustic golden era baby grand and a Yamaha NU1. Like all human beings I'd like "something better" and I hope one day to upgrade either or both. If my wife would force me to pick just one instrument (and I suspect she will try, but I hope she will fail smile ), I would go with a grand only, rather than a digital only. I am intrigued by the (relatively) inexpensive Artist Series by M&H, but it's a new series and I have not tried them in person yet. Some people are "offended" that they are built in China (see the thread about it on the piano forum), but I expect them to be very good instrument (they are built by the same company, probably in the same facility where they also build Ritmuller, which are highly regarded instruments, despite being made in China). The M&H Artist Series features the entirely-carbon-fiber WNG action, which is excellent. Otherwise the Kawai GL10 (with a partially carbon-fiber action) is marginally smaller, marginally cheaper and a strong contender (and the GL20 is same size and price of the M&H A160G). I personally prefer Kawai over Yamaha for touch and tone, so I have not explored the Yamaha option. See https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/mason-hamlin/ and https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/kawai/
Originally Posted by mwf
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by mwf
Just got back from a shop comparing nv10 and n1x literally side by side in same hybrid room. Also tried the NV5 which bizarrely is probably the best sounding instrument when played on live out of any of the grand hybrids, however why anyone would specifically want an upright action is beyond me so it's not in the equation.

Second time ive played N1X, and the samples are pretty great to be honest. It's just severely let down by the speaker system in my opinion, i can't physically stand the poor quality of it, its like its bordering on distorting. The sound is far too harsh. The action is also basically just the entry level GBK1 grand they make so nothing special, it's stiff and fairly heavy, but also responsive and fast regardless, it's an ok action.

Jumped on nv10 and not impressed with speaker system either, it's more boxy but less harsh and in your face than the yamaha. It's mildly better than the n1x overall, samples wise on the nv10, not bad, different to yamaha, probably not quite as 'good' but they are still rich sounding and ideal for classical piano mainly.

Anyway I've decided on the nv10 simply because I can't stop wanting to play on its sublime action... I'll run a vst through it like garritan if i want
a different sound anyway. I don't think you can get a better action on a piano unless you spend more towards £20,000, it surpasses most grands I've played on costing alot more. Its fast, handles repeated notes far better than anything else, especially the n1x or n3x, which I think share same action anyway, it's effortless and your hands glide over the keys like clouds of silk...Kawai should be applauded for making this action in my opinion. I can be as expressive as i like on it, beautifully balanced weighting overall.

The speaker system will do, the sampling will do, the action has won me over completely...its astonishingly good.
Did you happen to do a comparison using headphones? I would be playing almost exclusively that way. Thanks.

I don't ever play with headphones... I don't see the point in buying a piano like that and not playing through its speakers.
One of the main reasons people by hybrids is to be able to play them silently so as not to disturb neighbors or people in their home.
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/05/20 04:21 PM
Jumping on the acoustic grand train (dogpile?) wink I'd also have one today if I could play at volume whether I want, and I think of be happy with small grand, too.

I had a thread earlier in the year at the beginning of the epidemic about guessing whether students were playing on acoustics or digitals, just by listening without watching the screen during my daughter's Zoom recitals. We all know how horrible Zoom audio quality is, and even then, I was literally 30 for 30 when I just stopped bothering, it was so easy to tell within a single note or chord being played whether a piano was a digital or acoustic (and even between acoustic uprights and grands). And these were a wide variety of both digitals and acoustics, including old family and chinese uprights, Yamaha and Kawai grands, and even one kid with what I suspect is an imported Hamburg Model D (we probably all know a family like that).

I'm starting to feel that isolated, anechoic close-micing of a grand for DP sampling is such a false god. Nobody presses their ear down to the strings when they play or listen to a piano, so why should we be recording it that way (especially when we don't have the rest of the instrument that changes and molds the sound before it leaves the piano).

I also think there is no coincidence why Garritan CFX, VSL, and Yamaha's binaural CFX are so popular--none of these are recorded in such a "pristine" and artificial way, they're all far-miced from the player or audience perspective, and they sound SO much more real for it.
Posted By: mwf Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/05/20 04:28 PM
For me personally as i live in a detached home the noise is normally not an issue unless playing loudly in the late evenings. My neighbour next to me loves my playing, in fact so does the one down from them and another house which is actually a long way off, must be able to hear me in their large back garden sometimes.

I don't live in a large house though, it's just detached. The problem I have always had with dps is the thumping sound they make. It enrages my mother, has done for about 20 years now bless her. She don't mind if she hears the sound of the piano AND the thumping, just not the thumping by itself with no sound... Hence why I never play with headphones, as those around you or in another room can only hear that annoying thumping sound from the keys hitting the Keybed.

Something like a nv10 I guess will emphasise that thumping sound via headphones as its an even louder mechanism.
Posted By: Beowulf Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/06/20 12:14 AM
I could turn the volume knob on my N1X up to 2 o'clock in the middle of the night and my neighbours right beside me, on the other side of the wall where the piano is placed against, could only hear a very faint sound.
Posted By: robinlb Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/06/20 12:37 AM
@mwf,
Thank you for sharing the experience, which is very helpful for those who are hesitant between these DP models but can't try them all.
Maybe the best solution is to combine the NV5 soundboard+NV10 keyboard action.
Of course, it will be NV11 or NV20 in future as Pete said.
As always, I will wait with Pete for the new NV20 to come out, hope it has larger soundboard than the smaller one on CA9X&NV5. I think I'll definitely upgrade to it from my CA98.
Originally Posted by Beowulf
I could turn the volume knob on my N1X up to 2 o'clock in the middle of the night and my neighbours right beside me, on the other side of the wall where the piano is placed against, could only hear a very faint sound.
Are you talking about the hearing clicking sound of the action? Is this when you are using headphones? Is the neighbor's bedroom on the other side of the wall between your apartments?
Posted By: Beowulf Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/06/20 11:09 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Are you talking about the hearing clicking sound of the action? Is this when you are using headphones? Is the neighbor's bedroom on the other side of the wall between your apartments?
Was talking about the voice, not the action. And, it's their living room right on the other side. Was doing a little test on up to what volume through the speakers would I start to bother them.
Originally Posted by CyberGene
There's something in acoustic pianos, even cheap ones (even my old upright) that makes them alive.



They say that acoustic pianos have "soul", or "life". I believe that this sensation of life has a tactile and a sound component, and that the combination of both produces that special and pleasant sensation in the brain of the person who plays.

These two elements are:
A) a strong tactile vibration that is felt when playing an acoustic,
B) the quality and amplitude of the sound emitted by an extensive surface of good quality wood, thick and dense, such as the soundboard.

However the small cardboard speaker cones on a digital piano (including hybrids) do not produce either of those two characteristics; or at least they don't do it with enough quality or with enough intensity.
Neither do shoddy acoustics, for example the ones with the infamous cheap laminated wood soundboard like the Yamaha b1. I don't think anyone who has ever played a b1 can honestly say that this kind of crude and foul dowel "has a soul and is alive." It is the only keyboard instrument from Yamaha that does not deserve the name of piano.
Therefore the mere fact of having metal strings that transmit their vibration to a piece of wood does not give an instrument that mysterious something that makes them alive.

In fact I think that "feeling of life" would also be obtained in a cheap simple digital piano by adding good amplification and adding large 15" speakers and an 18" cardioid subwoofer (turning the volume as low as possible to avoid damaging the ears, of course).

Someone has tried?
Posted By: Del Del Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/10/21 08:18 PM
Originally Posted by Dasangulyan
Originally Posted by CyberGene
There's something in acoustic pianos, even cheap ones (even my old upright) that makes them alive.



They say that acoustic pianos have "soul", or "life". I believe that this sensation of life has a tactile and a sound component, and that the combination of both produces that special and pleasant sensation in the brain of the person who plays.

<snip>

Someone has tried?

I have. I both fed the output of a couple of VSTs to a driver mounted on the soundboard of my grand piano, and I listened to the recordings of acoustic pianos (including my own) through the speakers of my NU1.

The short results are that
- the VSTs did not get any better when hear from the soundboard
- the recordings of acoustic pianos sounded really alive even that way

So in my opinion and experience neither A) nor B) are so important as usually people say.
Posted By: maucycy Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/10/21 09:56 PM
First of all, N1X and NV10 and far better than beaten uprights, harsh uprights in good condition (so Yamahas from 70 and 80). However, for not much more you can most probably get few years old high quality chinese grand like Ritmuller, Hailun, korean Young Chang etc. There are also lots of stencil Chinese pianos therefore "high quality chinese" is important to mention. Cheap Yamahas and Kawais and so on.

I was thinking last times what to do when I have 100 year old upright: but good new upright OR buy digital grand. I decided to buy digital grand. I have space at home for two pianos, I still have my real thing AND I have real grand action and quite good digital sound. It's best to have both if one one.

Moving from top digital to the cheapest grand - you have to decide by yourself. It's extremely short - only 146cm, and really you cannot expect anything great from it. Only pianos made in last few years which are 156cm long started to sound ok due to development.

While having a grand is nice thing, I would really think few times whether so short piano is good, considering all of it's limitations. If you can buy 155 long story starts to look different.
Posted By: Zanoni Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/10/21 10:07 PM
Originally Posted by Dasangulyan
In fact I think that "feeling of life" would also be obtained in a cheap simple digital piano by adding good amplification and adding large 15" speakers and an 18" cardioid subwoofer (turning the volume as low as possible to avoid damaging the ears, of course).
Someone has tried?

The Yamaha Avantgrand N2 fitts that description of a digital piano with a great speaker and amplification system. However it's not in the cheap digital piano category; it's one of the most expensive ones.
[/quote]The Yamaha Avantgrand N2 fitts that description of a digital piano with a great speaker[/quote]

Well, I think it's a bit of an exaggeration to say that the 16 cm speakers on the Yamaha N2 are "big speakers". I think big speaker are 18-inch, or 15-inch minimum. The cone of an 18-inch subwoofer has an area about 9 times larger than a small 16-cm speaker. And also the material from which it is made is denser and thicker. The result is a much more impressive sound effect.
Think about this: the cartilage that constitutes our outer ears is capable of subtly vibrating when subjected to sound waves emitted by a large vibrating body, such as the soundboard of an acoustic piano, as well as large speakers. Probably that vibration of our outer ears plays an important role in that feeling, imprecise and difficult to describe, that an acoustic piano is "alive".
I don't think a 16cm speaker will rattle your ears (maybe Bugs Bunny's, but not a human's).
Posted By: Zanoni Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/12/21 10:20 PM
Originally Posted by Dasangulyan
I don't think a 16cm speaker will rattle your ears (maybe Bugs Bunny's, but not a human's).

Ah, I see. You want something to destroy your eardrums with. Well, good luck with that.
Originally Posted by Zanoni
Ah, I see. You want something to destroy your eardrums with. Well, good luck with that.

You are correct in giving me that warning. But notice that in my post I said that you had to set the volume as low as possible to avoid hearing damage.

It seems to me that the secret to the feeling that an acoustic piano has a "soul" lies in the broad vibration produced by a large solid piece (the soundboard), and that it can be reproduced quite faithfully by large speakers (putting the volume as low as possible to avoid hearing damage, of course).
Posted By: Del Del Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/12/21 11:01 PM
Originally Posted by Dasangulyan
It seems to me that the secret to the feeling that an acoustic piano has a "soul" lies in the broad vibration produced by a large solid piece (the soundboard), and that it can be reproduced quite faithfully by large speakers (putting the volume as low as possible to avoid hearing damage, of course).

As I mentioned in my earlier comment, this statement is not true.

I can hear the "soul" of a (real, good acoustic) piano in a recording playing on "tiny" speakers (of my NU1), and I did not hear any soul in a couple of virtual instruments which I drove on the soundboard of my grand. Now, the latter part could have been my not-expert way to connect all the parts correctly, so I concede if you say that. However how do you explain the first point?

Have you tried the same test yourself? It's an easy test, and it's eye opening. The speakers do have an effect, but that is for 3D spacial recognition, kinesthesis and things like that, which obviously will be missing when using inadequate speakers. Yet, the "soul" is clearly there. Most well-done random recordings of acoustic pianos in youtube vs a piece in the similar style from the virtual instrument of your choice from the vendor's website (which arguably should be the best you can get out of it...)
Originally Posted by Del Vento
I can hear the "soul" of a (real, good acoustic) piano in a recording playing on "tiny" speakers (of my NU1), and I did not hear any soul in a couple of virtual instruments which I drove on the soundboard of my grand.

Your comment, Del Vento, is very interesting, as well as your tests to detect where the "soul" of an acoustic piano is.

Let me ask you:

1) When you say that you hear the soul of a good acoustic piano even through 16 cm speakers, what exactly do you mean by "soul"?

2) Do you admit the possibility that the sensation of hearing the "soul" of the acoustic piano through the NU1 was psychologically influenced because you knew that what you were hearing was the sound of an acoustic?

3) If acoustics, all acoustics, have "soul", would you pass a blind test to distinguish between low quality acoustic and high quality digital sounds?

4) If I have understood what you are saying, I think that in your second test there is a basic methodological error: you played on your grand piano sounds originally emitted by a digital piano, that is, by small speakers. You brought those "thin" and "small amplitude" sounds to an acoustic's soundboard, and it played them. Analogously, that is like enlarging a low resolution image a lot. As much as you enlarge it, the image quality is not improved; quite the contrary: its low resolution is perceived with greater clarity.

5) Where do you think that what is called the "soul" of an acoustic piano resides? What exactly does it consist of?

6) Do you think it may have to do with the faint and subtle vibration that high amplitude sound waves produce in the eardrums and outer ears (and even in the face, especially in the cartilage of the nose, etc.), and what is perceived by the brain even though that remains on a semi-conscious level for the person's mind?

As far as I'm concerned, I haven't done the tests that you have done. All I have been able to experience in this regard is playing on my two pianos, a 48-inch European upright, and a Kawai CA65 digital, switching from one to the other (they are in the same room) and trying to perceive what differentiates them, and what makes playing an acoustic so special and so rewarding compared to a digital with small speakers.
Posted By: Del Del Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/13/21 12:49 AM
Originally Posted by Dasangulyan
Originally Posted by Del Vento
I can hear the "soul" of a (real, good acoustic) piano in a recording playing on "tiny" speakers (of my NU1), and I did not hear any soul in a couple of virtual instruments which I drove on the soundboard of my grand.

Your comment, Del Vento, is very interesting, as well as your tests to detect where the "soul" of an acoustic piano is.

Let me ask you:

1) When you say that you hear the soul of a good acoustic piano even through 16 cm speakers, what exactly do you mean by "soul"?

2) Do you admit the possibility that the sensation of hearing the "soul" of the acoustic piano through the NU1 was psychologically influenced because you knew that what you were hearing was the sound of an acoustic?

3) If acoustics, all acoustics, have "soul", would you pass a blind test to distinguish between low quality acoustic and high quality digital sounds?

4) If I have understood what you are saying, I think that in your second test there is a basic methodological error: you played on your grand piano sounds originally emitted by a digital piano, that is, by small speakers. You brought those "thin" and "small amplitude" sounds to an acoustic's soundboard, and it played them. Analogously, that is like enlarging a low resolution image a lot. As much as you enlarge it, the image quality is not improved; quite the contrary: its low resolution is perceived with greater clarity.

5) Where do you think that what is called the "soul" of an acoustic piano resides? What exactly does it consist of?

6) Do you think it may have to do with the faint and subtle vibration that high amplitude sound waves produce in the eardrums and outer ears (and even in the face, especially in the cartilage of the nose, etc.), and what is perceived by the brain even though that remains on a semi-conscious level for the person's mind?

As far as I'm concerned, I haven't done the tests that you have done. All I have been able to experience in this regard is playing on my two pianos, a 48-inch European upright, and a Kawai CA65 digital, switching from one to the other (they are in the same room) and trying to perceive what differentiates them, and what makes playing an acoustic so special and so rewarding compared to a digital with small speakers.

Thanks for raising these very valid objections and questions!

1) I can think of two things. One is in the experience of playing it, and I'll leave that discussion for another day. The other is in the sound itself. Probably timbre is close enough of a definition, however it definitely must include changes in timbre according to playing volumes and pitch (different timbre for different notes and for different dynamics)

2) I would say "no", but since by training I am a scientist, I have to admit that only with double blind test one can be really sure. Otherwise horses know how to count! (if you don't get my last exclamation, google it up)

3) I would say "yes", but only testing one can be really sure

4) No, I played a virtual instrument, straight out of the digital output of the computer, to a sound interface, to an amplifier, to the driver attached to the soundboard. So (if I understand your objection right), I was not affected by what you say. But I admit that to get good results one needs to be able to expertly use all the parts involved and I might have made something wrong.

5) see 1)

6) Well, no -- at least if we define it as timbre (as I am making for the purpose of this discussion)

I suggest that you try the following simple experiment (similar to the first part of what I have done).

Step 1. Find a microphone and other equipment to record yourself (your smartphone is ok).

Step 2. Pick a piece and play it on the digital piano, while recording yourself both as MIDI and with the microphone of Step 1. Listen to the two recordings and decide if the MIDI recording is too clean (devoid of background noises) and clearly identifiable. You can even skip this part and just record you via the microphone directly, if you so prefer -- this will greatly simplify the subsequent steps.

Step 3. Pick another piece and play it on your acoustic and record yourself with the same phone (alternatively, if you have another person who plays the piano, instruct them to do the recording in your absence so you don't know what-is-what)

Step 4. Play (or have the other person play) the same piece of step 3 on the digital, in the way decided in step 2 (microphone or MIDI).

Step 5. On your computer make a WAV file of the performance of step 4. Better not listen to it. As appropriate (i.e. it could be in the piano itself or in other way, depending on decision taken in step 2) create other WAV of the recording on the digital piano. Name them clearly

Step 6 (optional, very useful for the double-blind) select a small excerpt (perhaps with audacity, so you can "see" the notes in the two recordings and align them, without hearing them) of just 5-10 notes from both recordings, align them so they last the same time, they have the same volume (audacity can do that with "normalization") and don't contain other clues (e.g. the noises at the beginning of the recording, a dog barking in the middle of the performance, etc). Name them clearly. Then make copies with random names such as ASvN.wav and WoTZ.wav

Step 7. Let a few weeks go by, so hopefully your memory fade and you forget what you might have done different in one performance compared to the other and hopefully the file names too. At that point play ASvN.wav and WoTZ.wav via the digital piano (either directly, if it supports that, or via the line-in from the computer/phone). See if you can identify what you hear. Use a diff tool to match the random names to the clearly named ones and see if you were right.

Now this will obviously be a moot point if your acoustic is e.g. very dark timbre whereas your digital is very bright.... When I did it myself (sadly without step 6, which I did not think at the time) I had two similarly bright instruments and it was very clear to me that the acoustic had a "plasticky" aspect in its sound. The acoustic I have now is vary dark and the digital is decently bright (by the way an NU1 which is for sale, if anybody's interested) so I am not repeating the test at the moment.
Originally Posted by Del Vento
I suggest that you try the following simple experiment (similar to the first part of what I have done).

Del Vento, I really appreciate your clarification and detailed and precise technical suggestions in order to determine what the "soul" of an acoustic piano consists of.

I think this is an interesting enough topic to dedicate a specific discussion thread to it. It also exceeds the field of interest of this thread (Kawai Novus NV10 vs Yamaha Avantgrand).
That is why I have opened a thread with the title:

Does an acoustic piano have "soul" or "life" as opposed to a digital one?

In this way, other people interested in this point will be able to benefit from everything that is published in it, including your explanations and technical suggestions, which I hope you will reproduce in this new thread for the benefit of all.
Originally Posted by Del Vento
I suggest that you try the following simple experiment (similar to the first part of what I have done).

Del Vento, the new thread about the "soul" of the acoustics was desactivated after you included in your post a reference, I think not welcome, to another discussion center. I suppose it is better not to make this type of mention here. I reopened the thread; I hope this time it lasts a little longer.
Posted By: Del Del Re: Kawai Novus NV10 vs. Yamaha Avantgrand - 11/13/21 07:46 PM
Sorry for the OT in this thread: those are private messages, and as far as I can see they have not been deactivated, but you and some others (but not everybody) removed themselves from the conversation. Are you sure you are clicking the right buttons? It appears you did it again with the second posting.
Del Vento,
well, probably "deactivated" is not the most suitable expression. What I saw on the PC screen is that the thread title was shortened, looking like this: "Does an acoustic piano have".
I interpreted this as a way to deactivate the thread, because who is going to be interested in replying to a thread with such a title? So I deleted the thread and reopened it, inviting the same participants.

After a few minutes the same thing happened again: the title was again cropped. And again I deleted this thread as well.

I opened it for the third time, but without inviting anyone. A few hours have passed and this time the title has not been cut.
I cannot affirm with completeness that these mutilations of the title have been intentional, but in any case they rendered the thread useless. That's why I deleted them.

Finally I have created the thread in a public way (Does acoustic pianos have "soul" or "life" unlike digitals?).

Your comments there would be very welcome.
© Piano World Piano & Digital Piano Forums