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The instruments from the Yamaha Avant Grand Serie are also known as "hybrid" piano's". Hybrid means that they combine features from both digital and acoustic piano's.
The series consists of the models NU1X, N1X, N2 and N3X. The N3X has the cabinet of a grand piano. The first 3 models have the cabinet of an upright piano. One of the most important characteristics is that these are essentially digital piano's equipped with a real acoustic action, that you also find in Yamaha's acoustic instruments.
To express yourself musically, you need to form a physical bond with your instrument. In the case of the Yamaha Avant Grand series, it starts with the keys. Real wooden keys with a comfortable touch, thanks to Ivorite® keytops that look and feel just like natural ivory. Then comes the all-important key action, which the Yamaha Avant Grand series has inherited from Yamaha’s esteemed concert grand pianos. Beneath your fingers you sense the same precise weight and responsiveness, the same scope for expression. To capture every nuance of your performance, Yamaha employs a non-contact optical sensor system that doesn’t affect the feel or performance of the action in any way. Under each key is a continuous optical sensor that captures the speed and depth at which that key is depressed. An additional optical sensor affixed to each hammer shank measures the timing and strength of the hammer hitting the virtual “strings”. This information is instantly translated into a beautifully authentic sound reproduction. The more you play, the more you find yourself becoming one with the piano.
When it comes to judging piano tone, much depends on personal taste. To help you achieve the tonal palette you desire, Yamaha offers the choice of two world-class grand pianos in one—each with its own unique character to convey the emotion you want to express through a piece of music. At the touch of a button on the new Yamaha Avant Grand N3X, you can opt for authentic sounds sampled either from a Yamaha CFX concert grand or from a Bösendorfer Imperial. As Yamaha’s flagship grand piano, the majestic CFX boasts a wide palette of tonal colors, from sparkling high notes to powerful bass tones. The legendary Bösendorfer, meanwhile, is renowned for its sonorous and rich Viennese sound. Either way, the lifelike sounds of the Yamaha Avant Grand N3X allow you to explore the outer reaches of your expressive imagination.
The Yamaha Avant Grand series takes a unique approach to reproducing the sound of an acoustic grand piano. When capturing the original source sounds from a specially selected full concert grand, Yamaha technicians took samples from four different positions across the soundboard: left, right, center, and rear. Compared to conventional left-and-right channel (stereo) recording, this yielded wonderfully rich and authentic results. To make the most of this four-channel source sound, Yamaha Avant Grand pianos employ Yamaha’s Spatial Acoustic Speaker System—a four-point speaker configuration that allows AvantGrand pianos to deliver faithful three-dimensional recreations of the original instruments. For the Yamaha Avant Grand N3X, speaker placement mirrors the four recording positions on the source piano.
In addition to the four-channel Spatial Acoustic Speaker System, the Yamaha Avant Grand features a flat-panel Soundboard Resonator located beneath the music rest and spanning the width of the instrument. This component allows for a more subtle reproduction of the buildup of sound that you feel when playing an acoustic grand piano. It works by using an oscillating transducer to transmit vibrations to the flat-panel soundboard, giving a realistic sound response that is especially evident in the upper key range.
In a grand piano, strings and sounds resonate throughout the entire body of the instrument producing a rich reverberation that envelops the listener in sound. Not only are the strings you are playing vibrating, but other strings ring as a reaction to ones you play. This is one reason the piano sound is so complex and rich.
This phenomena is reproduced perfectly in the AvantGrand N3X through Virtual Resonance Modeling (VRM) which calculates the various states of the strings for each of the 88 notes on the keyboard from one instant to the next. As a result, the Yamaha Avant Grand N3X reflects the limitless number of factors inherent in playing an acoustic piano such as which keys are pressed, the strength with which the keys are played and pedal timing.
AvantGrand pianos are designed to deliver flawless room-filling sound. But there are times when you may want to keep your playing to yourself—when you're practicing at night, for example, or when people nearby are engaged in other activities.
In such cases, headphones offer a private sanctuary where you have the freedom to play however and whenever you choose.
Thanks to Yamaha's advanced binaural sampling* technology, the sound you hear through your headphones is remarkably lifelike. This technology uses piano samples recorded by specialized microphones that mimic the interaural characteristics of the human ear. This unique approach allows the Yamaha Avant Grand to recreate the perceived acoustic sound only experienced when seated in front of a concert grand piano. The resulting sound is so natural, so enveloping, that you'll soon forget you're even wearing headphones at all. (CFX Grand Voice only)
When you play an acoustic piano, the entire instrument resonates. You feel it subconsciously, through your feet on the pedals and through your fingers on the keyboard. It’s this subtle physical sensation that Yamaha’s Tactile Response System (TRS) works to recreate. This digital technology conveys the natural vibrations that emanate from a grand piano, unifying the emotional energy between you and the instrument. Even if you’re wearing headphones, you can use TRS to enhance the realism of the playing experience.
When you press down on a grand piano pedal, you notice subtly different stages. Light to the touch at first, slightly firmer partway through the travel, and then lighter again as you push through. Skilled players take advantage of these pedal movements by using extremely delicate pedaling to achieve finely nuanced expression in their playing. In developing the AvantGrand, we set out to reproduce as faithfully as possible the sensations of a grand piano’s pedals. The resulting pedals give you the scope to play music how it was meant to be played, while also offering the responsiveness to play more impressionistic pieces that require a lot of half-pedaling.