I have the Holy Grail Piano on a ROM card in my EMU Proteus 2000, and I also have the Sonic Reality Pianos in Akai, EMU, and Kurzweil formats.
My opinion on the Holy Grail Piano is that it does have a realism that most piano samples do not have. This is a big plus. However, I wouldn\'t say that this is the absolute best (the \"holy grail\") of all piano samples. Again, I have the ROM card which obviously will have limitations. The giga-version, I\'m sure, will be worlds better.
The Sonic Reality Pianos are also very good. The sound quality (character) of these samples is very similar (in my opinion) to the Coakley Pianos. I\'m not saying that they\'re of the same quality as the Coakley\'s, they just sound similar. I did find that some of the velocity switching wasn\'t as smooth as I would like, but that could just be the controller I\'m using (Kurzweil 2500X).
Bottom line, (again in my opinion), is that neither of these pianos are \"stellar\". They\'re very good, but I wouldn\'t even begin to put them in the same category as the Giga-Steinway or the Truan Steinway...these are in a class all their own.
This sample provides a pretty good idea of what the Steinway B can do. I\'ve added the standard sblive concert verb at 50%, and I\'ve filtered and fiddled with each note of the sample, for hours and hours. I couldn\'t even begin to say what I did. I\'ve lost track. I just hope I don\'t loose the edits!
Off-topic, but...any thoughts on that Holy Grail for the P2000? I\'ve got one as well that I use when I don\'t necessarily want to boot up the PC, resolve any configuration issues that arise, etc...and I\'ve been thinking about either (a) the Holy Grail expansion ROM, or (b) the Z76 expansion ROM with William Coakley\'s \"Perfect Piano\" on it.
By any chance, would you have had a chance to compare the 2? I\'ve actually been speaking with William Coakley to see if he might be interested in making a 32MB (or 64MB) expansion board for the Proteus 2000 that simply contains a single well-sampled piano, but I wouldn\'t hold your breath...
Bill Coakley seems pretty hung up on the idea that \"more is not necessarily better.\" True, assuming the guy doing the sampling is ignorant. But why doesn\'t he just bite the bullet and give us a big fat sampled perfect piano for GS?
I have the Prosonus Grand Piano in Akai format. What can I say? A 128 MB piano is bound for extinction compared to the Gigapiano Yamaha C7. Although different pianos, the Prosonus lacks depth and detail of a gigasized piano and only sounds great when put against other piano sample libraries in the same memory class. So forget it and get the gigapiano(if you don\'t have it yet).
The only small memory piano library I heard that somehow sounds as good as the gigapiano is the William Coakley III. I am waiting for him to re-program it to giga format, better still like one of you said, resample a new non-loop gigasized instrument!
I\'ve tried the Z76 \"Coakley\" ROM and does it sound very good. I also own the Coakley pianos in Akai, EMU, and Kurzweil format (CDROM), and I think the \"software\" versions are much better then the \"rom\" version on the Z76 (as you would expect).
If I were to compare the \"holy grail(rom)\" to the \"Z76 Coakley(rom)\". I would probably go with the Coakley piano. Considering the small/limited size of the ROM-based samples, the coakley piano does a much better job of capturing the realism of the piano than does the Holy Grail(rom). Both samples do have their own unique sound, but I\'d still put my money on the Coakley piano(rom).