Plenty of digital pianos can deliver a sound that's amazingly close to the real thing, but ask any professional pianist, and they will tell you that the those ones and zeros skip a key part of the analog piano experience. With an acoustic piano, when the hammers strike the strings they create vibrations in the instrument are both heard and felt by the pianist. Even if the key action has been accurately recreated, up till now no digital keyboard could return those good vibes to the player.
Yamaha wants to change that. Their new AvantGrand uses three strategically placed resonators to recreate the tactile vibrations created by the Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand used to record the AvantGrand's digital samples. They even paid close attention to the pedal action, carefully duplicating the spring, friction, and inertia of a real concert grand.
Alicia Keys launched the AvantGrand with a performance yesterday at the NAMM convention in LA, causing her to exclaim that "it's almost like a friend. But it's even better than a friend, because it doesn't talk to you."
You can buy your own non-talking friend starting this July, although the $20,000 asking price would also cover a pretty decent real grand piano. At least this one won't need periodic tuning.