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Reviewed By johnrule [read all by] on May 18th, 2009
Version reviewed: 2, 3 on Windows.
Last edited by johnrule on 19th May 2009.
This is a solid piece of work. Pianoteq is a model of an acoustic piano that can replace sample based instruments. This point may be arguable, but in my opinion, I believe this is the best modeled piano to date. The first version I experienced was version 2, which is very low on resource usage like memory and cpu. I used this from my PC, Mac, and Receptor (1st gen) with great success. Next, they released version 3 that totally blew me away! The new version has mic modeling included that allows you to place virtual microphones for different effects. There was already a wealth of tweaking tools for controlling dynamics and characteristics (including hammer tone!).

The built in reverb is quite good, and really adds to the reverberation qualities of the piano (sympathetic resonance and overall reflections), and the new soundboard is excellent. You also have built-in eq that is very good...good enough to actually use (compared to some 'tone' eqs that are built-in). The included presets are very usable, but you can tweak until you find what you like. Version 3 uses a bit more cpu than version 2, but you can always disable the reverb to regain some power. I have used this quite extensively in conjunction with Kontakt, Reaktor, SampleTank, and many other VSTs from within Cubase, energyXT, V-Stack, and a few other hosts. It has never crashed on me.

For those of you who are sold on sample libraries, I would say that you should check out the 'Recording' presets, and then play with the mic placement. Eventually you should be able to find the sound you are looking for, but the advantages that you will gain by moving away from samples is well worth it regardless. The new version does include some harpsichord (not bad), and there is an excellent electric piano expansion. They also just released a native Linux version too!

User Interface:
This can be strange at first, but it is logical. And eventually you will find that it is just fine. Could it be better? Sure. But it is not different enough to warrant a bad mark.

Superb! I see no reason to ever use sample based pianos again.

More than you will ever use...

I have never used it (so maybe the UI is better than I thought!), but it looks adequate.

Wide variety of sounds and characteristics, but I always tweak my own.

Customer Support:
I have never required their support, but the forum is active, and there does seem to be a fast response to anyone that does need help (not just from other users either).

Value for Money:
Since I purchased version 2, they have released version 3, and the native Linux version all for free...so I would give them 11 if I could! Overall, it is the best value for my money I have received in a very long time.

It has never crashed, and I use it on a daily basis (standalone for practice, and VST in Cubase).