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In my search for the most authentic grand piano action in any DP or masterkeyboard, I stumbled upon this controller:
The Fatar Numa Nero
Quite a few pianists on different forums have praised this controller for being virtually indistinguishable from a grand piano action.
• 88-KEY wood keys Graduated Hammer action Keybed (TP4OWOOD) • TOUCH SENSITIVE control panel • large LIGHT BLUE graphic display • 2 assignable stereo jack pedal INPUTS • 1 assignable FLUORESCENT wheel • 16 independent MIDI channels assignable to all controllers • 4 KEYBOARD ZONES for splits and layers • 3 factory DYNAMIC curves •15 memory user locations for VELOCITY DYNAMIC COURVES saving • 64 memory locations for PATCH saving • 2 MODE operation 1st EDIT to create patches with all MIDI parameters 2nd PLAY to play keyboard and controls, and some fast MIDI changes ( program change, midi channels, transpose, mute...) • assignable AFTERTOUCH • PANIC buttons • YOU PLAY feature is the best and fastest way to create a dynamic curve in REAL TIME • MIDI out • USB class compliant - to connect with PC to load/save FIRMWARE UPDATES presets • XP-VISTA- MAC compatible, no drivers required • POWERED via USB (cable not included) and/or power adapter included
Cost: Roughly 1200 Euro in Germany
Some videos of people using it:
German music store praising it as being by far the best (in german:)
In action with Tyros (just listen to the dynamics) :
Has anyone here tried it and can give some valuable feedback, whether this really is the holy grail of controllers?
I wrote a rather unflattering review of it a little while back. In hindsight, I was too harsh. But it really did [censored] me off that 1) the power adapter didn't work, 2) it only comes with 2 pedal inputs, which, for a keyboard passed off as some be-all-end-all controller for pianists is truly an insult to my intelligence, 3) soft rapid repeats sent occasional MIDI velocities of 127, and 4) the gentleman I spoke to at their US distribution said that Studiologic knows that it needs some more work and that it was released prematurely.
Frankly, I'd feel better coughing up the extra dough for a Kawai MP8II. 3 assignable pedal inputs, built-in sounds, and an action at least as good as that Fatar.
Got my money back. Problem is I can't find it in stores. I'd have to order it again to prove one way or another if it was just a lemon. And like I said, the Kawai has an even better action, plus a full complement of 3 pedal inputs. More expensive, but perhaps worth it.
In my humble opinion, you're better off the their VMK-188. Same action but without the wood, 3 pedal inputs, and half the price. Though it's not clear to me that any of their pedal inputs support continuous data (like for half-damper effect).
I had VMK188+ with TP40GH which is the same like TP40WOOD only with wooden key sides. Keyboard was very solid, nice keytrack, no squeking or wobbling like on Casio PX 330. But it has too hard touch for me and only one (linear) velocity curve. I had to adjust it in software but it was still too hard for me to play longer time. I've started to lose sensitivity in fingers. And also bottom of the key press was a little bit "woolly". If you've (CruelStrings) got a chance then test it first for more then 10 minutes.
As it was mentioned before, there is no instrument with TP40GH action - all vendors use ungraded versions of TP40...
The Tp 400 and Tp 40wood keys are pretty much the same size (specifically: taller than other fatar keys). This increases key throw depth, which I believe is the main explanation for the nice feel of these actions.
I think they should have called the TP40/Wood... TP400/Wood. The black keys on both Numa White and Numa Nero are double molded with an ebony-like texture. All I'm saying is that the TP40Wood is more like the TP400 than being like other TP40 actions. The wood "sandwich" setup gives the Nero keys a more solid or dense feel, but also causes the return to be a little slower...which can be good or bad depending on what you're used to. No big deal...just an observation.
It was mentioned that the VMK 188 uses the same action as Nero but in plastic. That would be the NUMA White. It has the same action as Nero but with plastic keys.
The VMK 188 uses the TP 40 GH. It's actually more like a Kurzweil PC3X (TP40L) or Nord Stage 88 (TP 40M)
If anyone wants to discuss actions, I am willing...
Hmm, I didn't know that about my PC3X keyboard. So TP40L is supposed to be light action? I don't think I'd want it any heavier. Does anyone have a sense of how the TP40WOOD feels in comparison? Lighter/heavier? (Obviously it's graded.)
I was recently able to open up a Numa White (I had already done so with the Nero). The Nero keys don't fit on the White keybed frame. It is a very close miss though. So giving the keybeds very different model numbers makes more sense now.(TP40wood and TP400)...
Note: the Nero keys won't fit on any TP 40 frame either). Whereas you can interchange keys between just about any of the TP models (TP 23,30, 40...). I have done this many times when keys got damaged. Although there are slight differences in white key color at times (different shades of white and off-white).
Also, I was mistaken about the key surface on the black keys of the Numa white. The Nero has that nice textured fake ebony feel, while the black keys on the Numa white are pretty smooth.
For me the Nero just needs the faster key return of the White (simply a change of the type of return spring used...Fatar has many varieties), and for Fatar to file down the overhang on the inside corners of the white keytops.
Played a Numa at LandM in Toronto. Wanted an mp6, not for the sounds, but just the action. I'm a acoustic piano guy, playing on a Hailun 218. The numa action seemed pretty good, but I couldn't DIRECTLY compare to he Kawai, cause these guys don't stock it.
Numa or Mp6 or keep my cp33, which doesn't feel much like a piano at all to me.