When integrating a digital piano (for silent function) within a real acoustic piano, the benefits only exist when the sampled piano tone is convincing. What a challenge for a Silent piano… to toggle between acoustic and digital means instant comparison. Putting a digital piano next to acoustic gives digital little chance. With these new Silent pianos a benchmark has been set and authenticity is no longer a luxury.
Binaural sampling = Pianist’s Perspective
When creating the piano tone you hear through headphones on a silent piano, a real acoustic piano is recorded and “sampled” onto a chip. This tone is triggered when a key on the piano is depressed. Binaural means a dummy head is placed at the piano with microphones in the dummy head ears to capture pianist’s perspective. This is a key breakthrough in achieving such an immersive sound in silent mode.
There are 2 Silent systems available on Yamaha upright and grand pianos, plus a particularly innovative “Transacoustic” offering. All now feature Binaural Sampling of Yamaha CFX Concert Grand.
The SC2 is the standard system available as an option on the initial 3 uprights and 1 baby grand of the Yamaha piano range (B1-SC2, B2-SC2, B3E-SC2 / GB1K-SC2). In contrast to previous editions of Silent for the basic models (fromerly SG2, SI) SC2 confidently presents the prinicple silent piano tone as a binaurally-sampled Yamaha CFX Concert Grand (Yamaha’s most recent and best Concert grand) plus the Boesendorfer Imperial (World-famous Vienesse piano). The tones are both highly impressive and convincing.
The superior SH2 silent system is enjoyed on the majority of the Yamaha range of 7 uprights 116cm-131cm tall; and 8 grands 161cm-228cm long. (Uprights: P116-SH2, P121-SH2, U1-SH2, U3-SH2, YUS1-SH2, YUS3-SH2, YUS5-SH2 / Grands: GC1-SH2, GC2-SH2, C1X-SH2, C2X-SH2, C3X-SH2, C5X-SH2, C6X-SH2, C7X-SH2).
Transacoustic is essentially a sub-type of Silent, although we categorise solely as Transacoustic. Modeled on the SH2 system, Transacoustic TA2 is a silent piano with acoustic transducers which stimulate the piano’s soundboard to serve as a speaker in place of requiring external speakers or using the headphones. This would allow the option to layer live piano with an alternative instrument voice such as e-piano, strings, choir… Or to play silent piano concert grand at a controlled volume in place of using headphones. Transacoustic pianos are available on a limited range of 4 uprights and 3 grands (U1-TA2, YUS1-TA2, YUS3-TA2 , YUS5-TA2 / GC1-TA2, C1X-TA2, C3X-TA2).