Yamaha AvantGrand Recreates Experience of $125K 9-Foot Concert Piano - At One Fifth the Price, Half the Length

7/24/2009 [Pianos & Keyboards]

Groundbreaking Instrument Provides Affordable, Space-Saving Option to Music Lovers; Now Available at Authorized Yamaha Piano Dealers Nationwide

BUENA PARK, Calif.—Yamaha Corporation of America is now shipping the AvantGrand, a remarkable hybrid piano that digitally simulates the sound, as well as the physical experience of playing a fine grand piano-at a fraction of the cost of a traditional concert grand.

Yamaha AvantGrand Hybrid Piano
Yamaha AvantGrand Hybrid Piano
The piano's state-of-the-art technology offers an exciting and affordable new option to music lovers who have dreamt of owning and playing the ultimate concert grand in their homes. The instrument is drawing raves from several classical pianists, and pop superstar Alicia Keys was one of the first artists to perform on the instrument after its recent music industry debut.

According to jazz legend Chick Corea, the AvantGrand "blew me away. 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."

Five years ago, Yamaha charged its designers with a daunting task: to create the playing experience of a $125,000, nine-foot concert grand piano for one-fifth of the price and one-half the size. They rose to the challenge with the creation of the AvantGrand. Now, serious players with limited space or a limited budget need not sacrifice the look and feel of an acoustic grand for the smaller footprint of a digital piano.

The piano combines state-of-the art sound sampling technology, an ingenious speaker system, and an array of actuators that reproduce a piano's acoustic vibrations. Four speakers are strategically located in the same positions as the four microphones used to sample the source instrument and two resonators reproduce the buildup of sound that a pianist hears and feels. An elegant instrument, the AvantGrand features exquisite craftsmanship, cabinetry and detailing.

Since its debut, the AvantGrand has generated significant buzz among hip, savvy technology writers and journalists.

"A $19,000 piano might not seem recession-friendly. But it's a bargain when it's nearly indistinguishable from one that costs $100,000 more. The sole difference: The discount grand is digital," wrote Popular Science reporter Sean Captain in his review.

Edgy gadget blog Gizmodo called the instrument "an ingenious digital piano that uses strategically-placed resonators to pound the pianist with sound and vibrations, just like the real thing! In fact, the Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand was used to create the digital samples for this piano, and that is the real thing."

In his CNET/Audiophiliac piece "Yamaha Reinvents the Digital Piano," Steve Guttenberg writes, "The AvantGrand sounds like the real thing... Priced at nearly $20,000, the AvantGrand is aimed at serious pianists with limited space; the piano is less than half the size of a nine-foot grand and nearly $100,000 cheaper!"

Darren Murph, of Engadget.com wrote, "The good news is that you can get 99 percent of a grand in your home for just $20,000."

The instrument is available at authorized Yamaha piano retailers nationwide. To find one near you, visit infostation@yamaha.com. A matching padded bench is included. An upright model of the instrument, the AvantGrand N2 will be available in September.

For more information on the Yamaha AvantGrand Piano, write Yamaha Corporation of America, Keyboard Division, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622; telephone (714) 522-9011; e-mail infostation@yamaha.com; or visit www.avant-grand.com.

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