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Q: "Silent" piano with top-notch key action ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: "Silent" piano with top-notch key action
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Music
Asked by: uwidmaier-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 12 Jan 2005 11:02 PST
Expires: 11 Feb 2005 11:02 PST
Question ID: 456181
I am a semi-professional piano player.  I play only classical music. 
I must practice at least 3 hours a day.  I have recently moved into a
small, thin-walled apartment.  Due to very noise-sensitive neighbors,
I need to get a piano that I can play on but not disturb the
neighbors.  That means, I believe, an electronic piano (so I can use
it with headphones).  Problem is, the key action (or "mechanic") of
most electronic pianos is totally unsatisfactory for my standards of
professional classical piano playing.  The only electronic piano I am
aware of that has the kind of top-notch key action I need seems to be
the Yamaha Disklavier.  The model that might work for me (because it seems
small enough given my space constraints) is Yamaha's model DGT2A. 
That model has, according to Yamaha's website, the actual mechanic of
a regular Yamaha Concert Grand.
I have two sets of questions for you.  (1) Would a Yamaha Disklavier
make sense for me, given my needs?  Is Model DGT2A the right model for
me?  Is there anything else on the market that's as good or better for
my purposes than a Yamaha Disklavier?  In other words, is there any
other digital or otherwise "silent" piano on the market that has a key
action as good as or better than the Yamaha Disklavier, and that is
reasonably small?  (2)  I live near Chicago, IL.  In the
greater Chicagoland area, what do the Yamaha DGT2A and its competitors
(if any) cost, and where can I test and possibly buy a Yamaha DGT2A,
or an equivalent competitor's model?  In answering these questions,
please note that I am not interested at all in the sophisticated
computer functions typically offered by electronic pianos.  The only
thing I care about is silent operation (i.e. headphones) and keyboard
action like a regular Grand piano, so I can practice like a pro while
not infuriating my neighbors.  Therefore, whether one model has
better digital features or options is of absolutely no interest to me.

Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 12 Jan 2005 12:26 PST
Hello -

Have you ever played a Yamaha P80 or P200?  I own the P80, and it has
a "graded hammer" feel that is very similar to a regular piano -- so
much so that I rarely feel the need to play a regular piano.  The P200
has a superior sound, and I think it has the exact same mechanics. 
Take a look at the following link:,6373,CNTID%253D1078%2526CTID%253D205800,00.html

Google Answers

Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 12 Jan 2005 12:36 PST
Also, the sound of the P200 is phenomenal; several others at Harmony
Central attest to that as well; see:

Clarification of Question by uwidmaier-ga on 12 Jan 2005 13:11 PST
Yes, I know the P80 well.  In fact, I have one.  It's good as far as
regular digital pianos go.  But compared with the Steinway Grand
action that I'm (perhaps unfortunately) used to, it really won't do
for my purposes in the long haul.
Subject: Re: "Silent" piano with top-notch key action
Answered By: jbf777-ga on 13 Jan 2005 22:18 PST
Hello -

Thank you for your question.  If you require any additional
clarification, please don't hesitate to ask.  Thank you.

I've searched the different manufacturers of electronic pianos, spoken
to four dealerships, as well as browsed various sites on the net.

Yamaha appears to have cornered the market in terms of digital pianos
in the "premium touch department."  There doesn't appear to be any
other significant competitor on the level of their GranTouch

More than one dealer in addition to individuals on the net give an
enthusiastic recommendation of the Clavinova CLP170 something to
definitely look into when touch is of prime importance:,6373,CNTID%253D2714%2526CNTYP%253DPRODUCT%2526VNM%253DLIVE%2526AFLG%253DY%2526DTYP%253DNOTSELECTED,00.html

A good discussion group on the net where piano aficianados convene on
the topic of pianos is the newsgroup:

There's a Yahoo discussion group dedicated to Disklaviers

More reviews of the CLP-170 here:


There is another, considerably less expensive option for getting the
feel of a regular piano.  There are a couple companies that make a
device which enables any normal acoustic piano to output MIDI signals
to a digital sound module.  You could use your existing piano or
purchase a new one and have the QuietTime GT MIDI Controller installed
at a list price of $2500 (will be less than this typically).  I talked
to John at manufacturer PianoDisc (608.355.2384 /, who
claims the Yamaha Disklavier system is going to feel pretty much the
same as this, since it uses a similar mechanism.  The QuietTime
essentially stops the hammers from hitting the strings, and captures
the velocity of each key, sending the information to any MIDI module. 
You can toggle it on and off, which means you can retain the luxury of
a real piano long term.  You would have to purchase a MIDI piano
module; Roland makes at least one (see  Contact
John at the number above to find a dealer of the QuietTime closest to

In addition, there's the PianoBar by Moog Music.  This $1495 product
by Moog Music doesn't do anything in the dampening area, so you would
have to purchase a "muffler rail" or some kind of dampener for the

There are two other foreign products:

Gabor - UK

Bohemia - Czech Republic (product also called "Quiet Time")


For the Yamaha DGT2A, you can expect to pay about $13,500 + tax,
delivery included.  I spoke to all four dealers of the piano in
Illinois.  None of them have the piano in stock, but one of them in
Chicago Ridge has arranged permission with a former customer (a
hospital), to have you audition their piano.  That dealer is
"Ortigara's Musicville" in Chicago Ridge; ask for "Mary," and say that
Jordan said you would call.

Ortigara's Musicville Inc.
10830 South Central Ave
Chicago Ridge, IL 60415
Contact: Mary
Notes: Also ecommends Yamaha CLP170 - $3095 - add about $125 for
delivery; 2-3 weeks


A review of the DGT2A


Kawai claims to have the touch of a "true grand piano," however, it
would have to be played to be believed:

The models mentioned using their wooden, graded action can be seen here:

Mark Ewing says one of the Kawais (now replaced) featuring the
technology had one of the finest actions available at any price:

"From an engineering as well as a subjective player's point of view,
the MP9500 has one of the finest actions available on any piano with a
simulated action, at any price, and it felt like a noticeable
improvement over that of the MP9000. Initially, the extra weight makes
you wonder if the action is a little sluggish, but as with real pianos
that feature a heavy action, you soon realise (after playing a little)
that the extra weight actually gives you the control needed for
serious playing. And the feeling of control is what can separate a bad
piano from a good one, regardless of tone." ... and  "The new sounds
are something of a mixed bag, although, to be honest, nobody's going
to buy this instrument because of the sounds ? you'll buy this
instrument because of the action."


Other dealers in the area; all quoted around the same price for the DGT2A:

Hendricks Keyboards, Inc.
421-25 Maple Ave
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Karnes Music Company
1229-31 E Golf Rd
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Contact: Eric

Karnes Music Company
700 N Milwaukee Ave Ste #125
Vernon Hills, IL 60061


Bottom line: You will of course have to play before you pay, and this
will be the ultimate determining factor.  For what you're looking to
do, you may find the DGT2A to be a bit much after looking into some of
the other options available.

Subject: Re: "Silent" piano with top-notch key action
From: littlerubberfeet-ga on 12 Jan 2005 12:11 PST
Given the quality you seem to demand, the disklavier makes sense. I
would play on a variety of electronic pianos though. Try some other
keyboard controllers like the Studiologic SL-880 or SL-990. You will
need to use an external MIDI piano box with the studiologic keyboards.
My boss, who is a proffesional pianist and composer uses this with his
computer setup. I have heard fairly good things about the Yamaha
Motif, but that is much more geared towards composing and sequencing.
I would be curious to know what type of piano you are playing on right
now...Anyway, the way I would go about shopping is to play every
single digital piano I can, and determine which one feels right and
which one sounds good.

Good luck
Subject: Re: "Silent" piano with top-notch key action
From: yjoe123-ga on 12 Jan 2005 23:17 PST
Welcome to every pianist-with-neighbor's problem. I think you will
find that _no_ electric will be able to provide you with the same
subtle feedback that we semi/pros crave. Nuances of pedaling and
playing "within the keys" are going to be tough on an electric. At
some point you will have to accept the compromise -- or not (I don't).

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