I was wondering if anyone has any experience (good or bad) with the Yamaha Silent Pianos. - In particular the U3 Silent Model.
- Basically I'm having to clear out of my back bedroom studio/office, as the room is needed for a bedroom (I'm finally having to give way to my 2 year old son, so he doesn't have to share with his baby brother!). Anyway, I currently own a StudioLogic SL900 Pro controller, coupled to Cubase SX and HALion loaded with (mostly) SampleTekk sample libraries. As my office etc. is having to downsize, and relocate into the front room, I'm needing to rethink things somewhat. - I'm having to go multi-purpose - with everything!
...Now to my point. If my office is to take up space in our living space - My wife (who also plays piano) detests digital pianos, and won't go anywhere near my StudioLogic controller or anything else if it 'plugs into the wall' as she would put it. She's always been adamant that she'll only play an acoustic piano. - Whilst I love acoustic pianos (being a piano player myself) I'd always miss the opportunity of experimenting with sample libraries, recording MIDI data, and doing music notation/scoring etc. (It's not my job - only a hobby) So I'd be really reluctant to give up my StudioLogic controller for this reason.
Hopefully by now you can see where I'm coming from. If I were to ditch my StudioLogic controller, in favour of the Yamaha U3 Silent model - would this allow me to continue with my computer-based composition/notation etc. - whilst also having the WAF (wife acceptability factor)?
Are any acoustic features compromised by having extra electronics? - How well would it work as a MIDI controller? Another plus of this system seems to be also being able to play late at night without disturbing the a) neighbours, b) kids asleep and c) neighbours kids asleep. Any thoughts/helpful advice kindly appreciated!
I've been thinking of getting a Yamaha Silent series Piano myself. I did some research and went and sampled a U1 SI last year. I played both a U1 (non silent) and U1 silent version and i couldn't tell any difference. Felt exactly the same.
The salesman claimed there was no difference whatsoever in the acoustic area. Although he was a salesman though
From the research i did (in forums and other places on the internet) the only thing i could find against a silent series (as far as the acoustic area is concerned) was a claim from someone that the "hammer stop" you engage when going to silent mode will in time alter the shape of the hammer head/felts and thus make the tone a little harder when playing in acoustic mode.
I thought about that comment and from what i saw of the U1 silent piano, the stop didn't came in the way of the hammer head, it engaged beneath the head. Might be worth checking out though.
It might lack a bit if you want to use it as a midi controller though, from what i remember there was no midi-controllers whatsoever. But on the other hand, theese can be added extra if the piano has "midi-through".
While testing i thought i felt a small difference in feeling when switching from acoustic to silent mode. But it could also be that i expected the difference and imagined it. It still felt better in silent mode than any pure digital piano i've tried... by far!
Ask around, and test it thouroughly. Why not bring your wife along to a dealer and try it out. Maybe let her test it without telling her it's a silent series first!
Thanks for your comments. - I did manage to get to play a silent B1 piano - which at first playing in Silent mode I found really weird! - However that was before I'd actually asked the rep to plug in the digital piano part so I could hear it through the headphones. - Wow! what a difference! It's amazing how much not hearing the acoustic part of the piano alters your perception of the actual 'feel'. Once the headphones were plugged in, I could hardly tell any difference between acoustic and silent mode.
I did hear that the escapement part of the action is adjusted to kick in slightly earlier than normal to accommodate the silent mechanism. - I'm not sure how much of a big deal this is, or whether it's something that can be adjusted to suit personal taste.
In terms of using it as a MIDI controller - I must admit 95% of the time I'm using my StudioLogic controller to trigger my sampletekk piano libraries, so the lack of controller functions is really a none-issue. If I need them, I can always invest in a cheap 49 key usb controller or something. I haven't been able to find much specs on the MIDI part though. - For example what kind of resolution will it record velocity data to? - I'm assuming it will record 127 discreet levels. - My StudioLogic SL990 isn't great in this area (especially low velocity notes) sometimes it will register a value of 8 say, then jump to 27, and I can't get it to register a value in between.
Thanks for the tip on convincing my wife... I think I'm getting there, I've got to convince her on the price now!