A real grand piano that you can play anywhere, anytime. The AvantGrand series features the same action used in Yamaha’s renowned grand pianos, combined with cutting-edge technology that allows you to experience grand piano performance at any volume. Whether it’s the compact N1 with it’s authentic grand piano feel, the sleek style of the N2, or the outstanding power and playability of the N3X, the AvantGrand series offers the genuine experience of playing a grand piano, wherever, and whenever you need it.
A message to Pianists
When do you, as a pianist, feel elation? Is it in that instant when you see a score for the first time, and feel the inspirations of the composer bloom inside your mind?
It might be when you’re up on stage playing a grand piano that projects every aspect of your sound, bathed in a shower of applause from an appreciative audience.
Call it accomplishment, call it exultation – we’re certain that you’ve experienced your share of such moments.
But above all, there is that incomparable joy you feel in those moments when you sit at your piano.
Those instants when, threading the fragments of your imagination together as sound, you become at one with the instrument; those treasured moments of delight for all who love the piano, regardless of their skill or experience.
It’s why we believe that you can spend so much of your life in front of the piano.
At Yamaha, our desire is to craft pianos that bring a little more of this joy to as many people as possible.
This is a treasured ideal that we have long held dear and one we have now transformed into a new piano.
Meditating on those hours of happiness, those indescribable moments of joy experienced at a piano, we decided to do our best to respond to your desires and aspirations for this instrument.
AvantGrand. A new identity for the piano, born from the fusion of twenty-first century technology and more than a century of piano-crafting experience.
The blissful moment when you and the piano resonate as one…. is here.
Playing the piano – freeing the pianist of all limitations.
And then, the joy of transforming the act of playing into something new…
To play when you want, how you want, as much as you want.
For those that love the piano, this is an extravagance above all else, something that all pianists yearn for.
In reality playing the piano brings with it many limits.
Beyond the physical issues of time to play and a place for the instrument, there are the fine nuances, particularly with the grand piano, of touch, tone, and reverberation, that contribute to the true thrill of playing the piano.
At Yamaha, we hope to offer the best sound we can to as many people as possible.
We have held this goal unchanged throughout our history of over a century of piano making.
Together with the know-how and inspiration gleaned from each new experience, along with the new technologies that have emerged over the years, this goal has taken us closer to our pictured ideal and seen with it the manufacture of a multitude of different pianos.
So what features does a piano have that make it essential in the lives of you, the people who possess both an unreserved love for playing the piano and an awareness of its essential excellence?
The AvantGrand emerged from our desire to relook at these elements.
We took the techniques we had cultivated making keyboards and pedals for acoustic pianos and combined them with the latest digital and acoustic technology, driven by the belief that the resulting instrument would be a model for how a piano should be in the modern age.
Innovation born from a thorough knowledge of the true soul of the piano, brought to the fore.
Everything you need, right in front of you.
Ideas and technologies that unify tradition and innovation.
A piano evolved for the modern age.
Not creating a piano, but rediscovering one.
This, summed up in a single phrase, was the concept behind the development of the AvantGrand.
Making a so-called “acoustic” piano requires extensive technique and know-how, qualities accumulated through our many years of experience.
However, a major theme in the creation of the AvantGrand involved consciously refraining from relying on this experience.
Rather than designing from a standpoint of what a piano must be, we gave priority to looking at what it could be, searching for the kind of instrument that would suggest a new direction for the piano.
For Yamaha, with our history of over a century of piano crafting, it was digital technology that provided the impetus for such an outlook, giving us the confidence that we had matured enough as craftsmen to be able to give life to the ideals we had pictured in our minds.
In creating a digital piano that presented the piano as a more informal and enjoyable instrument, we had many expectations for its sound that had to be fulfilled in the initial stages of development.
It is no exaggeration to say that digital technology evolves in the blink of an eye.
We felt that developing an instrument that took two major trends in the piano world to create a fusion, in the truest sense of the word, was a task that we simply had to complete.
Even with our history in making both digital and acoustic pianos, it was a feat that took everything that we at Yamaha knew to accomplish.
The AvantGrand is the crystallization of our hopes for the piano, something which cannot be summarized by simply calling it a hybrid of the digital and acoustic.
It was our superlative knowledge of the piano that supported this bold endeavor; that, and the bond we feel with you, with your enduring love for the piano.
Technology refined through the new interplay between the digital and
the acoustic; technology polished by the new relationship between the piano and the pianist.
We all wish to be enveloped in the sounds we play, yet find ourselves constrained by concerns for those around us. There are probably many, even among those who own grand pianos, who have wished they could play at a reduced volume from time to time. So it was that we felt there were two clear goals to achieve in the development of the AvantGrand. One was to create an instrument that mirrored the attraction of the grand piano as closely as possible. The other was to endow it with a responsive feel, without sacrificing the rich expression the grand piano offers when played with restraint. To realize these goals we examined everything down to the minutest detail in crafting the AvantGrand; from the keyboard and pedals that are the “gateway” to sound, to the sampling methods used, and the speaker system from which the sound exits, we left nothing overlooked.
Thanks to a specially designed grand-piano action and a wooden keyboard,
the AvantGrand truly becomes an extension of your body as you play.
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.
Pedals specially designed to replicate the subtle pedaling unique to grand pianos.
Light to the touch at first, with subtle firmness partway through its travel, and lightening again as the player pushes further; the pedals of the grand piano have subtly different stages that 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.
Looking at sound from a soundboard from a new perspective.
Investments in new technology for the AvantGrand.
Unique acoustic-sampling approach and speaker system born of a radical rethink of the entire sound production process.
With the introduction of the AvantGrand, Yamaha ignited a revolution in the approach to sampling 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, we took samples at four positions, adding optimum center and rear locations to the traditional left and right. As a sound source, we carefully selected the best single instrument from among our 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 AvantGrand’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. For even greater sonic accuracy, the speakers of the N3 duplicate the original sampling positions, while the N1 and N2 feature speaker layouts optimized for the size of the instruments.
The Soundboard Resonator precisely emulates the way in which the instrument reacts to the sound of hammer hitting string.
In addition to the four-channel multi-speakers, the AvantGrand also features a flat-panel “Soundboard Resonator” where the music stand 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. (Only as for N3.)
The Tactile Response System (TRS) recreates the sensation of piano body vibration.
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. In the AvantGrand, 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 receives the natural sound felt f rom hands touching on the keyboard and feet depressing 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.