An acoustic piano that you could still play loud even late at night without disturbing your neighbors is special. There is such a piano in Yamaha’s arsenal. In this Yamaha Silent Hybrid Piano review, I’ll list all its features and specs to help you see if it’s right for you.
The Yamaha Silent Hybrid Piano combines a high-quality acoustic piano with a high-tech digital piano in one cabinet. This hybrid piano allows all the playability that an acoustic piano can provide, coupled with the ability to play silently when required.
This hybrid piano allows you to play it silently but still hear its sounds through a headphone set. When you activate its silent mode, the piano hammers will not hit the strings when you press the piano keys. A high-tech sensor technology captures the movements of the keys and sends the signals to the piano’s digital tone module.
Read on to learn more about the Yamaha Silent Hybrid Piano, its features and specs, and everything you need to know about it to see if it will satisfy your needs.
About the Yamaha Silent Hybrid Piano
Combination of Acoustic Piano with High-tech Digital Piano
The Yamaha Silent Hybrid Piano beautifully combines the full sound of an acoustic piano with that of a high-tech digital piano in one cabinet. You can play it as naturally as you will play an acoustic piano and also play it silently if you need to.
It uses a technology that allows it to be played acoustically, but you will only hear the sounds it produces through a headphone set. If you activate its silent function, the hammers will not hit the strings.
High-tech Sensor Technology
A high-tech sensor technology captures all the movements of the keys. The signals will then be sent to a digital tone module that reproduces the sounds through the headphones. The recreated sounds are high fidelity by using high-quality digital components, just as if you hear the real thing.
Yamaha is using its patented SILENT Piano function with its HiFi system in its silent hybrid pianos. These types of pianos are ideal for people who want to practice in silence. They may not want to be bothered by ambient sounds, or they may not want to bother others while they play or practice.
There are other features of this piano that may be more advantageous or more convenient to some pianists. Features like MiDi inputs, choices of voices, and Bluetooth connectivity, among many other things, make this silent piano attractive to many people.
It was in 1993 when Yamaha first released its own version of the SILENT piano. Since then, this Japanese manufacturer has consistently improved this piano’s sound muting capabilities.
Now, SILENT Yamaha pianos can provide the naturally beautiful sounds of an acoustic piano organically and produce the same sound quality, silently, when using a headphone set.
Key Features of the Yamaha Silent Hybrid Piano
If you look at the many features that make up a Yamaha Silent Hybrid Piano, you will be impressed. Some of them are highly advanced pieces of technology, while some are high-quality organic materials.
Here are some of the key features of this piano that are quite impressive:
1. Non-contact Optical Sensor System
This is perhaps one of the best features of the Yamaha Silent piano. A patented sensor system constantly measures each key attack and release’s movement, depth, force, and timing. This system faithfully captures and reproduces the subtle nuances of every piano performance.
This piano has key sensors that use continuous-detection grayscale shutter sensing systems that accurately capture the player’s fingers’ detailed nuances and nimble movements. The pianist can play repeated notes and trills at the keys’ edges naturally and smoothly. These are non-contact sensors; therefore, the touch on the keys is not affected.
2. Binaural Sound Sampling
The Yamaha Silent Hybrid Piano uses the Yamaha CFX Binaural Sampling system. This is a meticulous recording method where special microphones are placed in the same position as the piano player’s ears. This is done to improve the headphone listening experience.
When playing this piano in silent mode with your headphones on, you will forget you’re wearing one. Combined with VRM or Virtual Resonance Modeling, you will hear the faithful reproduction of the unique resonance of the acoustic piano. While you are not disturbing others, you are also not being bothered by them.
3. The Same Yamaha Quality
The Yamaha Corp. is known for producing high-quality and durable musical instruments, the piano being one of their key products. This is the same approach that Yamaha uses in making its SILENT pianos.
The components used and the methods these pianos are constructed are geared towards a certain objective: to make high-quality pianos that produce rich and accurate sounds that satisfy the company’s exacting standards.
4. A Wide Range of Voices
Like any digital piano, the Yamaha Silent hybrid piano comes with a wide range of voices. Every Yamaha silent piano has a broad palette of tonal colors, powerful deep bass notes, and sparkling and bright high notes.
The Yamaha CFX system comes with the Bosendorfer Imperial. This provides a Viennese tone to the sound, complete with its characteristic warmth and subtlety. Aside from two world-famous concert grand pianos, this silent piano also has various voices, including organs, harpsichords, and electric pianos.
5. Connect with Your Smart Device
You can also connect the Yamaha Silent hybrid piano to your smart devices to be true to its digital character. For instance, you can choose a voice from the wide selection of voices through the Smart Pianist App.
To do this, you should use the UD-WL01 USB Wireless LAN adaptor, which is sold separately. If you have this adaptor, you can use the Smart Pianist App through a wireless Wi-Fi connection.
Again, what does the Yamaha Silent Hybrid Piano offer? The Yamaha Silent Hybrid Piano is a combination of an excellent acoustic piano and high-tech digital piano. Apart from this, this piano allows you all the acoustic piano’s playability with an option to play silently when you need to.
How the Yamaha Silent Piano Works
Hammers Do Not Hit the Strings
The word ‘silent’ in its name means that although it is a regular acoustic piano, you can also play it silently and hear it produce sounds just like its usual self if you wear a headset. The reason for this is that the hammers are not allowed to hit the strings.
Uses Highly Advanced Sensor Technology
This piano uses a highly advanced sensor technology that captures the movements of the keys and sends the signals to the piano’s digital tone module. So, the sounds you hear from the headset are like the sound from the original acoustic piano.
True Acoustic Piano
In reality, the Yamaha Silent piano is a true acoustic piano with strings, hammers, and soundboard. It uses the same basic mechanisms as regular pianos to produce sounds. It is only different because of the added digital tech to enable it to function in silent mode.
A piano player can play this piano even at night when people are normally asleep with this setup. It gives the pianist the ease of knowing that they will not bother other people while practicing their piano pieces, even at 12 midnight. And yet, they can still produce all the dynamics, nuances, and expressions they want while playing the piano piece.
Voicebox Captures the Acoustic Sounds
The method being used by this piano to capture and reproduce the original acoustic sounds starts with its ‘voicebox.’ This component captures the acoustic sounds produced by the piano through sensors that are placed under the keys and the hammers. This enables the pianist to play in silence.
So, when you activate the piano’s silent mode, there is a mechanism to prevent the hammers from hitting the strings. And yet, the way the pianist plays the keys, with all its dynamics and nuances, will still be captured by the sensors.
Then it will be faithfully reproduced by the piano’s state-of-the-art technology. So, when you put on your headset, what you will hear is the sound of an acoustic piano, as real as it acoustically sounds.
But as I said, the SILENT mode is just one of the main attractive features of the Yamaha SILENT hybrid piano. It has a lot more features, and the next two sections will discuss this in detail.
Two Systems of the Yamaha Silent Piano
The Yamaha SILENT hybrid piano is available in two systems, namely:
- SILENT Piano SH2
- SILENT Piano SC2
They are similar in certain aspects but also dissimilar in other aspects.
Similar Capabilities Between SILENT Piano SH2 and SC2
These Yamaha silent pianos come with the following key features:
- High-quality binaural sampling of the Yamaha CFX
- High performance sensors that captures exactly the playing dynamics of the pianist.
- High-tech components that reproduces the actual expressions and dynamics of an acoustic piano on the headphones.
SILENT Piano SH2
- High performance silencing function
- Wide variety of voices
- Wide variety of functions to produce a full acoustic piano experience even while wearing a headset.
- Available in upright and grand piano models.
SILENT Piano SC2
- High performance silencing function
- Plenty of functions that can produce a full acoustic piano experience even when wearing headphones.
- Available in upright pianos and one grand piano model
Full Specs of the Yamaha SILENT Hybrid Piano
To help you determine which one of these two piano systems will be able to satisfy your needs, you need to see their full specifications.
Here is a table that will show the complete specs of these two models of Yamaha silent pianos:
|Section/Part||SILENT Piano SH2||SILENT Piano SH2|
|System||Fully integrated SILENT Piano system||Fully integrated SILENT Piano system|
|Supported File Formats||Standard MIDI, WAV||Standard MIDI, WAV|
|Recording Format||Standard MIDI, Audio WAV||Standard MIDI, Audio WAV|
|Damper Pedal Sensor Type||Continuous grayscale||Continuous grayscale|
|Key Sensor Type||Continuous grayscale||Continuous grayscale|
|Shift/Soft Sensor Type||On/Off detection system||On/Off detection system|
|Hammer Sensor Type||Shutter type||Shutter type|
|Motorized Muting System||n/a||With Quick Escape mechanism (grand pianos only)|
|Sensor System||Non-contact optical||Non-contact optical|
|Sostenuto Sensor type||On/Off detection system (for models with sostenuto)||On/Off detection system (for models with sostenuto)|
|Polyphony||256 notes||256 notes|
|Voices||480 ensemble voices with 12 Drum Kits||480 ensemble voices with 12 Drum Kits|
|Playable Digital Voices||10||20|
|Audio Connectivity||Stereo audio IN x1 (mini stereo)||Stereo audio IN x1 (mini stereo), analog audio OUT x 2 (TS), Bluetooth|
|MIDI Connectivity||USB TO HOST||5-pin MIDI IN/OUT, USB TO HOST|
|Data Connectivity||USB TO DEVICE x 1, UD-WL01 (Wi-Fi)||USB TO DEVICE x 1, UD-WL01 (Wi-Fi___33)|
|Headphone Connectivity||1/8” mini stereo x 2||1/8” mini stereo x 2|
|Headphone Voice||Binaural CFX Concert Grand voice||Binaural CFX Concert Grand voice|
|Compatible Storage Media||USB Flash Memory (up to 64GB)||USB Flash Memory (up to 64GB)|
|App Compatibility||Smart Pianist app||Smart Pianist app|
Conclusion: Yamaha Silent Hybrid Piano
The Yamaha Silent Hybrid Piano effectively combines a high-tech digital piano with a high-quality acoustic piano in one cabinet. It will allow you to play it just like any standard acoustic piano, but you can also play it in silent mode when you need it and not lose the acoustic sound quality of the instrument.
This silent piano is ideal for pianists who don’t want to disturb others while playing, even during midnight hours. It is also beneficial to pianists because they won’t be bothered by others while they are practicing. In that context, this silent piano is worth your consideration.