Yamaha today showcased the new TA2 generation of its groundbreaking TransAcoustic pianos. The TransAcoustic TA2 family — comprising four upright and three grand models — adds a host of improved Voices as well as features including Bluetooth, audio recording, and integration with the revolutionary Smart Pianist app, which can teach songs already residing in a smart device’s music library.
The original TransAcoustic U1TA upright and GC1TA baby grand pianos were the first stringed acoustic pianos to have a volume control, thanks to specially designed, electro-acoustic transducers — a device that converts digital sound data into sound energy — located near each of the instrument’s two soundboard bridges. These transducers cause the soundboard to naturally vibrate in much the same way a speaker cone would and allow premium digital Voices, such as the nine-foot Yamaha CFX concert grand, to be played using the pianos’ own soundboards as a “speaker.”
Joining the CFX piano Voice in the TA2 is a new sample set of the mighty Bösendorfer Imperial, the Viennese concert grand famed for its deep bass and singing sustain. Upright, Pop Grand, and Ballad Grand Voices add character for rock and other modern musical styles. Supplementary Voices such as electric pianos, string sections, choirs, synth pads, organs, and harpsichord are not only useful on their own, but make for lush and beautiful layers with the acoustic piano.
Updated Silent Piano 2 technology lets players practice quietly using only the digital Voices, but with the full tactile feedback of the grand or upright piano action — which still moves fully except without the hammers striking the strings. Hammer sensors and non-contact optical key sensors interpret every nuance of the player’s touch from legato to staccato. Silent Piano 2 mode features an improved binaural CFX Voice, recorded using special microphones that “hear” like a person seated at the piano. The result is so immersive that players will forget they are wearing headphones at all. With Voices other than the CFX, a new Stereophonic Optimizer creates a sense of natural distance and acoustics through headphones.
Silent Piano 2 mode is further enhanced by Yamaha Virtual Resonance Modeling (VRM), which captures all of the complex interactions of the strings, damper pedal, soundboard, rim, and frame of an acoustic piano, accurately rendering the harmonics overtones that are an essential part of the acoustic piano experience.
Via Bluetooth, TA2 pianos can wirelessly stream audio through their soundboards, allowing easy play-along with music from smartphones or tablets. The TA2 system can also record performances as MIDI internally or as audio to an inserted USB memory stick. The Yamaha Smart Pianist app controls all functions of the piano from an iOS® or supported Android™ device. Smart Pianist can also create chord charts for songs in the device’s music library, letting musicians learn the songs they already own and love. The digital tone generator of the TA2 series will also play downloadable songs files from the vast Yamaha MusicSoft ecosystem, with Smart Pianist scrolling their full scores as the player follows along.
The TransAcoustic TA2 system is available in Yamaha U1, YUS1, YUS3, and YUS5 upright pianos and GC1, C1X, and C3X grand pianos. For any pianist, student, or family who has wondered whether to choose the natural sound and touch of an acoustic piano or the conveniences and flexibility of a digital one, the TransAcoustic TA2 series provides both in a single instrument — which no other piano does at any price.
Pricing and Availability
The Yamaha TransAcoustic TA2 series is available now with the following MSRPs:
- U1 TA2: $17,899
- YUS1 TA2: $22,099
- YUS3 TA2: $25,399
- YUS5 TA2: $27,499
- GC1 TA2: $32,499
- C1X TA2: 46,499
C3X TA2: $66,499