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Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: Jan Oliver] #1691405
06/06/11 01:55 PM
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I played a v-piano for the first time today in a store. It was hooked up to two Roland amp/speakers.

OK I think I get it. Very nice indeed. But oh the price! Have to pass.

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Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: Jan Oliver] #1691455
06/06/11 03:32 PM
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I'm surprised you left out what is perhaps the most important spec, pizzaz, that intangible, unquantifiable thing that is often the deciding factor in a purchase, particularly with 4 pianos in approximately the same price range and with more or less similar performance.

This is how I'd do it. I like to buy sight-unseen online and the deciding factor is ultimately the intangible quality of pizzaz or image. Price is a good, rough indication of performance, and so right from the start I know there's not going to be a world of difference between the four performance-wise. But image-wise they are miles apart. Immediately, the CP 1 is out of contention. It has absolute zero pizzaz. No looks, no catchy name, no nothing in the pizzaz dept., although it would of course be a very fine piano.

I've actually tried a predecessor of the 700NX, the 700SX. This was superb technically, but lacking in image. It has nothing to distinguish itself in that dept. Even the name is too technical-sounding, "RD" seeming to imply "research and development."

So it would be between the V-Piano and the Nord. The V-Piano has the lead in pizzaz and cachet, but the Nord has that knockout red color, that alone being worth the price of admission. Imagine sitting down every day at a RED piano! Flip a coin.

Last edited by Gyro; 06/06/11 03:36 PM.
Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: Gyro] #1691458
06/06/11 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Gyro


So it would be between the V-Piano and the Nord. The V-Piano has the lead in pizzaz and cachet, but the Nord has that knockout red color, that alone being worth the price of admission. Imagine sitting down every day at a RED piano! Flip a coin.


It's a wonderful thing. Aside from sitting down at a quality acoustic grand piano, the only thing better than sitting down everyday a one red piano is sitting down to two red pianos...the NP88 and his little brother, the NE3 61. wink I rather enjoy both of them...everyday.


Kawai MP7SE
Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: Dave Horne] #1691518
06/06/11 06:09 PM
06/06/11 06:09 PM
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Jan Oliver Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Jan, I hope you're very happy with your purchase, it certainly sounds that you are. It's been my experience though that a lot of the subtle improvements that one hears through headphones is very often lost when playing live in a trio using amplification.

What are your plans for that keyboard in the future? Do you plan to sell it in three of four years or hold onto until it stops working (as you did with your previous keyboard)?

Hi Dave,

concerning live sound I'm afraid you're right - I hope once my V-Piano moves into our band's practice room I'll still be able to hear some of those nuances over all that racket. I guess I'll just have to ask for more solos. smile

About reselling: My 1995 Kurzweil RG-200 served me well on stage, but I felt increasingly unhappy with it at home. Having grown up with an acoustic upright I was missing something. So I got my Yamaha YUS-5 SG acoustic upright in 2009, and was so enthralled by the regained expressiveness that I literally played myself a tennis elbow. At our band I was playing a 70's Rhodes they had sitting around. When my Kurzweil partly broke down last month, I wanted a very authentic DP both for the band room and the stage. I only play on stage once every few weeks so weight was not a top concern.

I might sell the V-Piano if a new model got even closer to a real piano. That could happen in a few years - I expect physical modeling, and hybrid sampling/modeling, to really take off over the next few years since physical modeling is bound by computing power, which keeps growing exponentially with Moore's Law. The V-Piano already outperforms my Yamaha's built-in sample-based Silent Piano from just 2 years ago (that one doesn't even have sympathetic string resonance - hold down C3, hit C4, and C3 doesn't resonate). But if I don't hear a clear improvement – and I'm not an audiophile - then I'll keep my V-Piano until it falls apart. Heck, I'm already struggling with the thought of parting with it when it moves from our living room to our band's practice room. smile

Do you use your CP5 for the stage and your AvantGrand for practice at home?

Cheers,

- Jan



Yamaha YUS-5 SG; Roland V-Piano; Roland RD-800; Kurzweil RG-200; 1884 Bechstein upright
Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: Kawai James] #1691521
06/06/11 06:15 PM
06/06/11 06:15 PM
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Jan Oliver Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Kawai James

Just to clarify one point:

There are 27 sounds in total - 9 acoustic pianos, 9 electric pianos, and 9 'sub' sounds (strings, pads, etc.) for layering.

Interesting - that's less than I expected on the MP10. About the same number as the V-Piano - except there you only get pianos, pianos, pianos. smile I'll be in the store tomorrow and will be trying it out for sure.

- Jan


Yamaha YUS-5 SG; Roland V-Piano; Roland RD-800; Kurzweil RG-200; 1884 Bechstein upright
Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: PianoZac] #1691543
06/06/11 07:08 PM
06/06/11 07:08 PM
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Jan Oliver Offline OP
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Originally Posted by ZacharyForbes
First off congrats on your purchase. The V-Piano is a wonderful instrument. However I think the Nord Piano and Nord Stage 2 were not really given an honest shot. Here's why I think so:

1. The NP88 isn't designed to be an acoustic replacement. It's targeted for gigging musicians hence the compromised action. You can't have an "authentic" feeling piano action inside of an 88 key instrument that weighs 39lbs. There has to be compromises somewhere.
2. The NS2 offers more capability than all of the above in a single platform, plus again, being that it's targeted towards the gigging musician, there must be a compromise in the action to get the weight, which for the NS2 is just 41lbs.

In my opinion Nord has gone after a wholly different market than Roland and Yamaha have with the boards listed above. The layout, feature set, flexibility, weight and overall size and dimensions suggest Nord wants the performance crowd and it seems the boards listed above, whilst all top notch boards are meant for a different purpose. Having owned the RD700NX and RD700GXF, they both still seem too heavy and too long for easy moving for a steady gigging musician. Everything is a set of compromises, unfortunately!

Now, enjoy that new V-Piano!

Thanks Zachary!

You're right - I mentioned right upfront that I was after the most realistic sound and touch, to my ears and hands. So I was after an acoustic replacement I guess. Maybe I shouldn't have included the Nords under those circumstances. If I had been after versatility and portability the Nords would have scored high with me. I really like their exchangeable sample libraries approach. And that wooden controller wheel... loved it. Gotta hand it to the Swedes when it comes to cool design!

Cheers,

- Jan




Yamaha YUS-5 SG; Roland V-Piano; Roland RD-800; Kurzweil RG-200; 1884 Bechstein upright
Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: bennevis] #1691546
06/06/11 07:15 PM
06/06/11 07:15 PM
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Jan Oliver Offline OP
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Jan,
Your detailed review mirrors exactly my impressions of the V-Piano, which I've had now for over a year. Fortunately, I'm not a gigging pianist, but I just about managed not to give myself a slipped disc when I set up the beast all by myself onto the KS-V8 stand (the delivery van driver did help me carry them - in their boxes - up several flights of stairs though), so I'm stuck with it now for life....just as well I love it, and always look forward to playing it when I get home from work.

Like you, I auditioned all the DPs using my Bose headphones, in my case principally because I would only be playing using headphones at home (I still don't have speakers for my V-Piano). Playing a DP using its speakers often gives a misleading impression of its sound - it can sound much better (like the AvantGrands) or worse (many cheaper DPs) when using the DP's own speakers. However, I don't get any 'white noise' from the V-Piano using its headphone socket, whether through the Bose or the AKG headphones which I use with it now. (My Bose QC2 actually produces a very slight hum when switched on without being connected to anything, I find).

My priority - in fact my only reason to buy a DP - is a grand piano substitute which I can play using headphones, so the lack of any non-piano sounds is for me a plus (less clutter on the console). I expect Roland's thinking also went along the lines of 'how can you tweak the 'string resonance', 'soundboard resonance, the 'hammer hardness', the 'tuning' of each virtual string etc, etc on non-piano sounds anyway?' :by omitting the latter, you solve that particular problem grin. And it came down to this - does the DP 'feel' convincing enough that I can forget I'm not actually playing a real acoustic grand? Only the V-Piano (and of course its big brother the V-Grand) fitted that bill.

But I still can't understand why Roland doesn't fit a music stand on it - surely it can't be in order to preserve its smooth sleek upper surface top (great for piles of music scores which I've put on it)? My cup of tea is on a table beside my chair - I wouldn't dream of sullying the V-Piano's surface with tea stains... grin (I don't drink beer).

And the V-Piano plays and sounds better than most acoustic uprights (certainly in the bass) and even small grands, though acoustics obviously beat it in sheer realism of sound experience overall. I can play any stuff on it that I can on a grand with great action, but which I can't on uprights (because of their compromised action that don't permit quick key repetition).

Hi bennevis,

thanks! I completely agree with your assessment. Even the beer part (I don't drink, just my band mates do). smile

Regarding the white noise when using my Bose QC-15 headphones: I was able to get rid of it by switching their sensitivity to "LOW" using that tiny slider on the cable connector. Just had to crank up the volume a bit. I'll update my OP.

I'd be interested in your Bösendorfer V-Piano sound - is that still available for download somewhere?

Cheers,

- Jan


Last edited by Jan Oliver; 06/06/11 07:17 PM.

Yamaha YUS-5 SG; Roland V-Piano; Roland RD-800; Kurzweil RG-200; 1884 Bechstein upright
Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: Jan Oliver] #1691549
06/06/11 07:23 PM
06/06/11 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Jan Oliver
About the same number as the V-Piano - except there you only get pianos, pianos, pianos. smile


Does the V-Piano offer different piano 'models', similar to Pianoteq?
It's been a few years since I tried the V-Piano, however I seem to recall that there was just the one model type. Perhaps I am mistaken?

Kind regards,
James
x


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Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: Gyro] #1691553
06/06/11 07:33 PM
06/06/11 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Gyro
This is how I'd do it. I like to buy sight-unseen online and the deciding factor is ultimately the intangible quality of pizzaz or image. Price is a good, rough indication of performance, and so right from the start I know there's not going to be a world of difference between the four performance-wise. But image-wise they are miles apart.
...
The V-Piano has the lead in pizzaz and cachet, but the Nord has that knockout red color, that alone being worth the price of admission. Imagine sitting down every day at a RED piano! Flip a coin.

Love that strategy. I'm getting a red spray can for my V tomorrow. And I'm calling the pizzazz delivery service for an extra serving right now. I think it's 0800-PIZZAZZ.

OK, honestly, I am sure my tiny inner geek contributed just a little to that decision by whispering something along the lines of "buy a V-Piano and own the first serious representative of a new generation of modeling-based digital pianos! Be part of the revolution when it happens!" in my ear.

Now, time for bed here in my time zone. I'll meet the PW Piano Tour 2011 folks (a.k.a. "that busload of crazy American piano geeks touring Europe") in Cologne tomorrow. Can't wait! smile

- Jan



Yamaha YUS-5 SG; Roland V-Piano; Roland RD-800; Kurzweil RG-200; 1884 Bechstein upright
Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: Kawai James] #1691567
06/06/11 07:49 PM
06/06/11 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Does the V-Piano offer different piano 'models', similar to Pianoteq? It's been a few years since I tried the V-Piano, however I seem to recall that there was just the one model type. Perhaps I am mistaken?

Hi! Yes - the V-Piano offers 28 different presets including the four from its free Evolution software upgrade. These each represent different piano "models", with different physical parameters. For example, #3 ("Vintage Piano 1 Concert") differs from #1 ("Vintage Piano 1 Standard") by being modeled with longer bass strings and a larger sounding board, for a fuller sound supposedly more suitable for solo concerts. Others use strings or soundboards from different materials or heavier hammers, for example. There are also two uprights that sound very different (and quite realistic).

These physical parameters are not available to the user for modeling. Many others are though, like hammer felt hardness, unison tuning, cross-resonance, etc., to further tweak any of the existing presets to your liking. And of course you can de-tune and voice every single note individually by a different amount if you feel like it - something not usually possible with sampling-based DPs.

Cheers,

- Jan



Yamaha YUS-5 SG; Roland V-Piano; Roland RD-800; Kurzweil RG-200; 1884 Bechstein upright
Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: Jan Oliver] #1691569
06/06/11 07:52 PM
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Hi Jan,

Okay, thanks for the explanation.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: Gyro] #1691609
06/06/11 09:10 PM
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Hi Gyro, & everyone else:

@ Gyro:

I like your thinking with making a choice between the V-Piano and Nord 88, as I knew right away that Zachary (above) was definitely going to side up with the Nord since he is already a very happy owner of one, thereof.

My thinking seems to be more along the lines of having the modeled instrument, as I would like to be able to play the thunderous / booming Steinway "D" bass (that Horowitz so well commanded, in the earlier days of legendary piano playing). Also, the goal of owning the nearly perfect acoustic grand might be possible, within the changeable parameters of the V-Piano.

By the way, in comparing the Nord 88 to the V-Piano (even if only generally speaking), that has to be a matter of personal selection, as I couldn't really say that one is better than the other. Modeling clearly wins out over the sampled instrument, if you are looking for the best in realistic acoustic resonance and sounds. And, being able to tweak all of it with unbridled abandon.

@ Jan [i.e., original post]:

You have made an excellent choice with getting the "V," and, it will certainly leave its mark as one the great DP's in DP history. I too would like to become part of owning Roland's new and "revolutionary" instrument, as I am going to join the ranks of future revolutionaries by buying one in the near future.

Good thread everyone, as it has been really quite engaging.

pv88

Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: Jan Oliver] #1691791
06/07/11 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Jan Oliver


I'd be interested in your Bösendorfer V-Piano sound - is that still available for download somewhere?

Cheers,

- Jan



I posted my own settings for several well-known (and obscure grin) acoustic piano brands, including my own favorite Bösendorfer, some time ago, but they were all done manually. I'm a complete computer patzer (chess players will recognize this word - it's Bobby Fischer's term for all his defeated opponents....) so I can't even find that post now, but if you can dig it out from the vaults of the forum, do try it out. But it's not on a convenient downloadable form: I don't know how to use downloads. And I don't even own a computer either.... cry


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: bennevis] #1691796
06/07/11 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Jan Oliver


I'd be interested in your Bösendorfer V-Piano sound - is that still available for download somewhere?

Cheers,

- Jan



I posted my own settings for several well-known (and obscure grin) acoustic piano brands, including my own favorite Bösendorfer, some time ago, but they were all done manually. I'm a complete computer patzer (chess players will recognize this word - it's Bobby Fischer's term for all his defeated opponents....) so I can't even find that post now, but if you can dig it out from the vaults of the forum, do try it out. But it's not on a convenient downloadable form: I don't know how to use downloads. And I don't even own a computer either.... cry


Hi bennevis (and, @ Jan Oliver),

I found your V-Piano presets, in this thread, here:

Roland V-Piano settings

pv88

Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: Jan Oliver] #1691811
06/07/11 06:25 AM
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Thanks for that - I can't remember the settings myself now, and I don't fancy having to dig them out of my V-Piano's innards. grin


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: MacMacMac] #1691821
06/07/11 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Originally Posted by bennevis
The V-Piano plays and sounds better than most acoustic uprights (certainly in the bass) and even small grands, though acoustics obviously beat it in sheer realism of sound experience overall.
Huh?
The V piano sounds better than acoustics, but acoustics sound better overall?
That sounds like a contradiction.


No contradiction, the way I use those words grin. The V-Piano has rich bass sounds with strong fundamentals and less harmonics (which is what you get from a 9ft concert grand with long strings), unlike small grands and uprights where the bass notes often sound like low thumps with indistinct pitch, because most of their sound is actually not the fundamental note at all, but the harmonics, simply because of the laws of physics (how do you get short strings to vibrate slowly? - by 'cheating', i.e. winding lots of copper around the bass strings). So, in my book, the V-Piano sounds much better than those compromised small pianos. And its key action is superior to uprights (though not to well-regulated acoustic grands of any size) because it uses gravity, not springs, like grands.

But the overall sound experience is the undefinable factor - the vibration of strings within a wooden box from the soundboard beneath (in grands), then bouncing off the walls of the room, intermingling before reaching your ears (as well as continuing to mingle afterwards). The V-Piano is the closest yet to this experience, close enough that I instantly forget that my fingers have no direct mechanical connection with the sound I'm hearing once I start playing. It's got the 'wow' factor for me which no other DP has (apart from the V-Grand of course).

But I'd still rather have a Bösendorfer Imperial 290 (or Fazioli F308 or F278, or Blüthner Model 1, or C.Bechstein D282, or even - gasp! - Steinway D grin).


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: bennevis] #1691845
06/07/11 08:26 AM
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bennevis,

i looked back at your settings for the various acoustic pianos. its great stuff and thank you for making that available. As i've posted before- Roland should be promoting VPiano users to upload tweaks for download by users, as pianoteq does. But i think Roland's involvement with their users ends with their sale of the hardware.

I noticed you really favor moving tuning aggressively towards full unison (i think i'm saying that right... you are decreasing the setting to a pretty high negative number). do you feel the factory preset tuning is too harmonic? or even to the point of presenting the user an effectively detuned piano setting? i also note you really jack up the decay time and also the damping time and i have found that very helpful- perhaps the biggest single (ok- maybe double) tweak v-piano user should try before shuffling said unit over to ebay for liquidation.

just curious.

I am going to take all your settings and create user presets on my v and see how i like them.


Steinway M; Roland V-Piano; Yamaha P250;
Ivory II Grands, Italian, American D; Galaxy Vintage D; True Keys American; UVI Yamaha C7; Ravenscroft 275; Garritan CFX
Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: Jan Oliver] #1691907
06/07/11 11:30 AM
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The tuning of the virtual strings in the V-Piano changes the tone remarkably, and I simply altered the unison tuning to get the sound of the various acoustic piano brands as I hear them in real life, which may not be what you hear, so feel free to alter those settings. Honestly, I've no idea what piano technicians do about the tuning of each individual string for each note in acoustic pianos - maybe they adjust them to their customer's (or their own) wishes and predilections.

As for the decay and damping times, the poor sustain is probably the most obvious giveaway when comparing the sound of a DP to that of the acoustic from which the DP's sound is sampled, for sampled DPs (i.e. all DPs other than the Roland Vs). My amendment was a late addition to the post - because I didn't feel the need to play on anything else for several months after I bought the V-Piano, and therefore didn't realize how I'd adapted to the short decay/damping times on the factory settings. Then, while shopping one day, I chanced upon a Blüthner showroom, and decided to drop in to try out some of their grands. It was a bit of a shock to discover how much I was over-pedalling.....so as soon as I got home, I pushed up those parameters on my V-Piano to the concert grand levels as I heard at the showroom. This is only possible on modelled pianos because increasing the sustain on sampled DPs will just show up the looping problems on them.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: bennevis] #1691915
06/07/11 11:41 AM
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Atlanta GA USA
Originally Posted by bennevis
The tuning of the virtual strings in the V-Piano changes the tone remarkably, and I simply altered the unison tuning to get the sound of the various acoustic piano brands as I hear them in real life, which may not be what you hear, so feel free to alter those settings. Honestly, I've no idea what piano technicians do about the tuning of each individual string for each note in acoustic pianos - maybe they adjust them to their customer's (or their own) wishes and predilections.

As for the decay and damping times, the poor sustain is probably the most obvious giveaway when comparing the sound of a DP to that of the acoustic from which the DP's sound is sampled, for sampled DPs (i.e. all DPs other than the Roland Vs). My amendment was a late addition to the post - because I didn't feel the need to play on anything else for several months after I bought the V-Piano, and didn't realize how I'd adapted to the short decay/damping times on the factory settings. Then, while shopping one day, I chanced upon a Bluthner showroom, and decided to drop in to try out some of their grands. It was a bit of a shock to discover how much I was over-pedalling.....so as soon as I got home, I pushed up those parameters on my V-Piano to the concert grand levels as I heard at the showroom. This is only possible on modelled pianos because increasing the sustain on sampled DPs will just show up the looping problems on them.


have you recorded yourself on the v-piano? do you feel you can fool people into thinking its an acoustic (a normal lay person- not some pianophile with overly active ears ready to pounce on the first "AHA- GOTCHA!!" DP giveaway note..)..if they aren't told the truth upfront?

As an aside, i really admire the folks at Pianoteq for what they are doing- at a much more affordable price. But to me the VPiano has a much, much more believable attack sound when the note is first struck...


Steinway M; Roland V-Piano; Yamaha P250;
Ivory II Grands, Italian, American D; Galaxy Vintage D; True Keys American; UVI Yamaha C7; Ravenscroft 275; Garritan CFX
Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: Jan Oliver] #1691954
06/07/11 12:52 PM
06/07/11 12:52 PM
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bennevis Offline
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bennevis  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2010
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I haven't got round to recording myself on it (actually, I still don't know how, because I've never read the relevant section in the manual...) but I've had two classical musician friends who've played on my V-Piano, one of whom teaches piano. Both are (or were) completely anti-DP: the teacher has had to put up with some of her students' DPs of varying quality for many years, and was quite amazed at how much of an improvement the V-Piano is over what she'd played on before....in fact she admitted she preferred its sound over that of her upright Schimmel at home, and liked its grand piano action and the way she had so much control over touch and tone color. The other friend, an amateur pianist, was also won over, and admitted he'd be happy to use it as his home instrument. I don't recall whether I asked them if the sound was convincing enough to fool them into thinking they were playing an acoustic: I suspect that like me (who've played on more acoustics of all vintages and qualities (or no vintages and no qualities..) over the years than I've had cold dinners), what mattered was not whether the V sounded like any existing acoustic, but whether the whole experience of playing it felt convincing.

The third anti-DP person is (or was).....myself: I'd avoided DPs like the plague until I bit the bullet last year when I realized I was never going to be able to afford a mansion to put my dream Bosendorfer Imperial in grin.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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