Yamaha's Internet Direct Connect (IDC) is unique in the digital-piano world. Available on most Clavinova and Modus models, IDC allows owners to download Yamaha's Digital Music Notebook sheet music, download new styles, listen to music (via a subscription service similar to Disklavier Radio), and take lessons.

Six different actions are used in Yamaha digitals. In order of increasing quality, they are: Graded Hammer Standard (GHS), Graded Hammer Effect (GHE), Graded Hammer 3 (GH3), Natural Wood (NW), Natural Wood Stage (NW-Stage), and the grand piano action used in the AvantGrand models.

Last year Yamaha introduced its game-changing AvantGrand hybrid piano. Only time will tell how hybrid pianos will alter the piano landscape, but we predict that the AvantGrand will displace the sales of many similarly priced acoustic models — including Yamaha's own. For more information about the AvantGrand, see the article on "Hybrid Pianos" elsewhere in this issue.