1/24/2013 [Pianos & Keyboards]Recent Musical Merchandise Review (MMR) ‘Product of the Year’ Award for AvantGrand Set Up Strong Start for 2013
ANAHEIM, Calif. — At the 2013 NAMM Show, Yamaha Corporation of America, Keyboard Division, celebrates Yamaha Corporation's 125th anniversary, the enthusiastic consumer and trade acceptance of its NU1 upright hybrid piano, as well as the company's second straight Musical Merchandise Review (MMR) 2012 "Product of the Year" award for its AvantGrand line. The company sees these developments as a strong starting point for the new year.
In June, Yamaha began shipping its NU1 upright hybrid piano, the world's first digital/acoustic hybrid piano to combine an authentic upright action with a remarkable Yamaha concert grand piano sound sample. The model leverages the industry's most innovative digital technology to deliver the sound of a concert grand, and the feel of an exceptional upright, at a fraction of the size and cost.
"Our NU1, as well as our market-leading AvantGrand line of hybrid pianos, have played a key role in the establishment of the category, offering superior sound reproduction without the tuning, cost or footprint of a comparable stringed instrument," said Jim Levesque, hybrid piano marketing manager. "The enthusiasm our products generated in the industry and among consumers in 2012 proves that hybrid models have become a 'go to' option for serious players who don't want to settle for a lesser instrument just because they live in smaller spaces or have limited budgets."
The NU1's superb upright action – featured in Yamaha's higher-end upright pianos – is inspired by the legacy of the immensely popular U1 acoustic upright piano, which has maintained its reputation for being a durable, reliable and professional upright for half a century. The NU1's authentic action is perfectly complemented by its lush sound, sampled from Yamaha's finest hand-built concert grand piano, the CFX. In addition, the NU1 uses Yamaha's acoustic technology to reproduce the characteristic resonance felt when playing an acoustic piano.
Housed in a refined, compact cabinet, the NU1 brings the renowned sound of Yamaha to a wide variety of home and institutional settings, including colleges and universities, which historically have favored purchasing the U1 in large quantities for practice facilities. These venues, in particular, can now benefit from NU1's privacy setting, which enables pianists to practice "silently" using headphones, as well as the fact that the instrument requires no tuning.
The instrument features natural wood keys; five Voices, including a remarkable sound sampled directly from Yamaha's highly-acclaimed CFX Concert Grand Piano; 50 preset songs; five demo songs; computer connectivity; and a USB Audio Recorder, for archiving performances.
The NU1 carries an MSRP of $5,499.
…And the Winner Is: AvantGrand (Again)
Yamaha's 2012 MMR "Product of the Year" award for its AvantGrand line marks the company's unprecedented 12th consecutive win in this category. (Before 2011, the company's Disklavier line swept the category for the previous ten years.) In addition to the 2012 "Product of the Year" award, MMR also gave AvantGrand top honors in the "Pro Digital Piano Line of the Year." MMR is a trade publication for the musical instrument and musical services industry.
AvantGrand pianos, which have earned raves from top concert artists such as Chick Corea and Alexander Kobrin, deliver the tone and touch of a nine-foot Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand piano in compact footprints that can easily fit in limited space environments.
Yamaha ignited a revolution in the approach to sampling – the recording and playback of the notes of the actual acoustic piano – with its introduction of the AvantGrand. 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. The end result is that the AvantGrand models recreate the original sound of a Yamaha CFIIIS full concert grand piano almost to perfection.
In addition, 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 them. This innovative configuration allows the AvantGrand's outstanding sound system to reproduce the nuances of each individual note.
For more information on Yamaha NU1 and AvantGrand hybrid pianos, visit Yamaha Corporation of America, Keyboard Division, at the 2013 NAMM Show in the Marquis Ballroom in the Anaheim Marriott Hotel; write Yamaha Corporation of America, Keyboard Division, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622; telephone (714) 522-9011; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit http://4wrd.it/YAMAHAUSA.