Friday, July 10, 2009

The New AvantGrand Garners Accolades From Pretty Much Everyone

Musicians, gadget hounds and tech enthusiasts alike are singing the praises of Yamaha's new AvantGrand hybrid pianos, which are now available in both N3 and N2 models.

And rightly so - the AvantGrand is truly a revolutionary instrument. While the basis for the AvantGrand sound is the same as that of all of Yamaha's digital pianos, the CFIII Concert Grand, the way that the AvantGrand delivers that sound is entirely original. Rather than sampling the CFIII in stereo, the AvantGrand uses four channel sampling to reproduce the sound of a concert grand at four different locations on the piano.

These samples are then sent out through 16 dedicated amplifiers linked to 16 speakers, placed at different places on the instrument to deliver the most authentic sound. In addition to the sound and vibration of speakers, the AvantGrand also reproduces the vibrations of a concert grand's soundboard and body using transducers beneath the keyboard and an omni-directional speaker in front of it.

The end product is the first hybrid piano, designed to sound and feel exactly like a concert piano.

And by all accounts, the AvantGrand has met the challenge of reproducing the joy of playing an acoustic piano in a digital instrument. Popular Science has featured the AvantGrand in their July issue, and it has been embraced by pianists from Chick Corea to Cyprien Katsaris to Alexander Kobrin.
"I thought, 'look at this little thing, what's it going to do?' It blew me away," recalls Corea. "I sat down and adjusted the volume to make it sound like a big piano and immediately went into reverence at the R&D department and how they pulled it off, because it's quite an accomplishment."
For an introduction and demo of the AvantGrand from Yamaha MusicSoft favorite, Peter Baartmans, you can head over to For more information on the AvantGrand, visit the official AvantGrand site, or your local Yamaha piano dealer.

- Doug