Yamaha AvantGrand N1 unveiled [NAMM11]


Yamaha has announced the latest addition to its AvantGrand range of hybrid pianos.

The AvantGrand N1 is a more affordable version of the N2 upright and N3 flagship hybrids, yet still delivers the tone and touch of a nine-foot Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand piano in a much more compact space.

Yamaha Avantgrand N1 hybrid digital piano

With the introduction of the AvantGrand, Yamaha ignited a revolution in the approach to sampling – the recording and playback of the notes of the actual acoustic piano.

Treating the soundboard not simply as a point source of sound but as a plane, Yamaha took samples at four positions, adding optimum center and rear locations to the traditional left and right. As a sound source, Yamaha carefully selected the best single instrument from among its CFIIIS full concert grand pianos for sampling. The end result of these efforts is that AvantGrand series instruments recreate the original sound of a superb grand piano almost to perfection.

Meanwhile, the instrument’s speaker system has been designed to ensure that this sound is heard best at the playing position. A three-way system, featuring woofer, mid-range and tweeter speakers reproduce the rich, natural resonance of the soundboard accurately. What’s more, each of the low-, mid-, and high frequency bands has been given its own amplifier to prevent interference between bands. This innovative configuration allows the instrument’s outstanding sound system to reproduce the nuances of each individual note.

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The AvantGrand N1 also offers remarkable piano action. The nuanced touch and response of the grand piano are essential measurements of piano quality. The N1 offers the player a specially developed grand piano action that mirrors that of the grand piano, providing 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.

“Yamaha brings its hybrid technology to an expanded market with the release of the AvantGrand N1,” said Mark Anderson, Yamaha Keyboard Division marketing director. “It features the same exquisite sampling found in the other AvantGrand models. Encased within a compact, upright piano footprint, the N1 offers grand piano action and sound, making it a viable alternative to an acoustic upright or a smaller grand piano.”

Beyond the AvantGrand’s compact size, striking design, sound, touch and functionality, teachers, students, performers, hobbyists, apartment dwellers, schools and institutions with small practice rooms will appreciate the competitive price point compared to concert acoustic pianos, and the fact that the instrument requires no tuning. In addition to the remarkable grand piano sound sample, the N1 also features electronic piano and harpsichord voices.

The AvantGrand N1 (MSRP: $9,999) is scheduled to ship in April 2011.