The nuanced touch and response of the grand piano are an essential standard yardstick for piano quality. It offers the player a specially-developed grand piano action that features the same configuration as the action of a real grand. The hammers strike the "strings" from underneath, allowing minute adjustments to the weight distribution of the hammers, and to the movement of the hammers themselves, for a smoother feel when playing. In addition to a hammer sensor, this instrument employs a non-contact key sensor that has no effect on the movement of the keys, affording excellent recognition of the player's pressure on the keyboard, timing, and the other delicate nuances that affect musical expression. This combination provides an impressive sensitivity for the entire range from pianissimo through to fortissimo, and the ability to translate even the swiftest trills of the pianist with transparency. The wood construction of the keyboard mirrors that of the grand piano, and features New Ivory II on the white keys. This is a unique material developed by Yamaha, with a texture superbly close to that of natural ivory, allowing you to play swift passages with ease while also offering a sure response for slower pieces.
Together with a variety of piano sounds, this instrument features samples of the actual vibrations from within the soundboard of the instrument. To permit the sound to travel well to the player's position, as it does with a grand piano, we sampled the sound from four locations in the left, right, center, and rear of a grand piano. Sampling from deeper inside the instrument, we were able reproduce the attraction of the original sound almost perfectly. It was the experience of our engineers, and a reiterative cycle of trial and error conducted with piano tuners that made this success possible. And of course, the samples in this instrument are all taken from a specially-selected example of Yamaha's CFIIIS full concert grand piano.
Opening the lid of the instrument reveals 4 speakers in an impressive and attractive layout. This instrument utilizes a four-channel multi-speaker system, designed in a three-way configuration with the bass woofer pointed down and the treble cones facing up, to allow more natural reverberation in the soundboard. Each of the speakers in this layout is equipped with its own dedicated amplifier, a luxury that reduces the interference in each pitch range and offers more natural expression to the delicate nuances in each sound. Moreover, by using speaker positioning that mimics the positions in the grand piano from which the original samples were taken, it offers a more natural sound to the pianist.
In addition to the four-channel multi-speakers, the N3 also features a flat-panel "Soundboard Resonator" where the music rest would be when laid flat, allowing a more subtle reproduction of the buildup of sound felt by pianists when playing a grand piano. An oscillator called a "transducer" transmits vibration to the flat-panel soundboard, giving a realistic sound response that is especially evident in the higher range.
The sound of an acoustic piano resonates throughout its entire body. The bass range in particular is an essential part of the reverberation that is continually transmitted to a player's body. This is replicated by our newly-developed Tactile Response System (TRS) that focuses on reproducing reverberation. This system features two transducers in the soundboard, the area underneath the keyboard, resonating natural reverberation throughout the entire instrument. The player's hands on the keyboard transmit the natural sound felt from the feet as they depress the pedals; the epitome of real piano playing. This system can be turned on and off, and the vibration set to one of three levels.
Light to the touch at first, subtle firmness partway through its travel, and lightening again as the player pushes further; the pedals of the grand piano have subtly different stages than can be felt when the pedal is depressed. Skilled players take advantage of these pedal movements by using extremely delicate pedaling that allows them to achieve finely nuanced expression in their play. In developing this instrument, we set out to reproduce the sensations of a grand piano's pedals as faithfully as possible. The resulting pedal allows for music as you believe it should sound, equally responsive for more impressionistic pieces that require a lot of half-pedaling.
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