Making the Grand Piano Grander: Yamaha GC1TA TransAcoustic Grand Piano Hits the Market

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TransAcoustic Technology Makes Baby Grand Sound Like Full Size Concert Grand

GC1TA Grand Piano Cutaway

"The added attraction of the GC1TA is that it provides the feel, sound and performance experience of a concert grand piano, but at a size that can fit in a compact space, at an extremely affordable price,” said Jim Levesque, Yamaha.

Yamaha is now shipping the GC1TA, the world’s first grand piano equipped with Yamaha's groundbreaking “TransAcoustic” technology capable of creating the sound of a 9-foot concert grand piano, in a compact instrument the size of a 5-foot, 3-inch baby grand.

The GC1TA represents a new breed of “hybrid” instrument which incorporates specially designed, electro-acoustic transducers—a device that converts digital sound data into sound energy—that cause the soundboard to vibrate in much the same way a speaker cone would, essentially turning it into one giant speaker. This means that any sound can be delivered through this naturally resonant piano component, producing the acoustic fields and natural sounding tonal characteristics of an acoustic piano.

This becomes quite evident when the physical resonance of the strings enhances the digitally sampled sound of Yamaha’s flagship concert grand—the CFX—creating a stunningly realistic grand piano experience that is uniquely pleasing to the ear.

Even the digital samples of 18 additional instruments—piano, electric pianos, pipe organs, harpsichords and others—that can be played are enhanced by the piano’s natural string resonance.

The result is an acoustic instrument possessing a massive 3D sound that not only envelops the player just as a conventional grand piano would, but also can be fully adjusted—for the first time—with a volume control, or enjoyed in the privacy of headphones.

The GC1TA's release comes just months after the launch of Yamaha's critically acclaimed TransAcoustic upright piano, the U1TA. The GC1TA employs the same revolutionary technology, but offers music lovers the option of owning a grand style TransAcoustic piano that, at just 5 feet 3 inches, is both compact and highly affordable.

“We expect that the GC1TA will appeal to acoustic piano purists and others who want a digitally enhanced playing experience on a grand piano,” said Jim Levesque, marketing manager, Hybrid Pianos, Yamaha Corporation of America. “Because TransAcoustic technology makes use of the entire piano, the player experiences all elements that they normally would when playing acoustically. It sounds great because we start with an incredible acoustic instrument and augment those acoustic features using our proprietary technology, including transducers, optical sensors and tone generators. The added attraction of the GC1TA is that it provides the feel, sound and performance experience of a concert grand piano, but at a size that can fit in a compact space, at an extremely affordable price.”

Yamaha, the world’s largest musical instrument manufacturer, has significantly increased its focus on this “hybrid” approach to piano technology and craftsmanship in recent years. While the acoustic piano has remained virtually unchanged since the 19th century, Yamaha is working to address changing lifestyle needs, introducing important new features such as volume control and unique sound layering, while maintaining the integrity of an authentic touch.

The new TransAcoustic pianos perfectly complement Yamaha’s growing line of digital hybrid pianos—AvantGrand N3, N2 and N1, and the NU1 upright—which are popular with pianists who want to recreate the sound as well as the experience of playing a fine acoustic concert grand piano at a fraction of the cost, size and weight. These pianos also can be played at any volume or silently through headphones, and never require tuning.

The GC1TA TransAcoustic piano is built on the company’s popular GC1, an immensely popular baby grand acoustic piano that's both exceptionally expressive and uncommonly affordable. The GC1TA provides four distinct experiences that showcase the uniqueness of the instrument:

  •     The Acoustic Experience – Appealing to the musical purist, this mode allows the user to enjoy natural acoustic piano play from a fully strung, wonderfully resonant Yamaha acoustic grand piano, smaller in size to fit in an apartment, studio or other compact room.
  •     The TransAcoustic Experience – The user can envelop themselves in the sound and physical presence of the world-renowned Yamaha CFX concert grand piano, as well as a variety of other sounds, with headphone-free, volume-controllable digital piano play, enhanced by natural acoustic resonance. They can even play back pre-recorded accompaniment tracks as they perform.
  •     The Layered Experience – The user can find inspiration by combining the real acoustic piano sound with one of the many internal digital voices, virtual instruments stored on a computer or sounds triggered from an external tone module.
  •     The Intimate Experience – Become immersed in the music by engaging Silent Mode for totally muted digital piano play, performed with headphones, to avoid disturbing others or being disturbed.

Additional features of the GC1TA include: Scale and fine tuning of the digital voices, metronome functions, MIDI and audio recording capabilities, external device connectivity via MIDI, USB and AUX input terminal, and the ability to connect to a hi-fi, studio or live sound reinforcement system via the built-in AUX output terminal.

The GC1TA has an MSRP of $31,099. For more information, visit http://4wrd.it/TRANSACOUSTICHOME.

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About Yamaha
Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) is one of the largest subsidiaries of Yamaha Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of award-winning musical instruments, sound reinforcement and home entertainment products to the U.S. market. Products include: Yamaha acoustic, digital and hybrid pianos, portable keyboards, guitars, acoustic and electronic drums, band and orchestral instruments, marching percussion products, synthesizers, professional digital and analog audio equipment, Steinberg recording products and Nexo commercial audio products, as well as AV receivers, amplifiers, Blu-ray/CD players, iPod docking systems, earphones, headphones, home-theater-in-a-box systems, sound bars and its exclusive line of Digital Sound Projectors. YCA markets innovative, finely crafted technology and entertainment products and musical instruments targeted to the hobbyist, education, worship, professional music, installation and consumer markets.

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