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Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: bennevis] #1691989
06/07/11 01:42 PM
06/07/11 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
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.


well all you got to do is hit the function key. after that go to the 4th button under the display - says UTILITY- and press it. scroll down to SONG, press enter- get new song screen- hit REC and play away. real easy. not very good sequencer since its only one track but it will give you a chance to walk away and listen to what you've played. i have found that when your brain is only running one app- hearing - things sound a lot different than when its running hearing, touch and sight apps together! but then again, my brain runs on an old 386 chip. you probably have a core i5 mpu in yours!

anyway, keep posting any tweaks you find useful for the vpiano. people like me find that very helpful. and like i said i don't think roland really cares once its out the door (you can tell i'm not impressed with their ongoing user support at all..)


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
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Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: Jan Oliver] #1692034
06/07/11 02:41 PM
06/07/11 02:41 PM
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This is kind of an aside, but can anyone, in technical terms explain why the V-Piano feels much more piano like than the same PHA III Ivory Feel w/escapement also found in the RD-700NX and FP-7F? Is the difference in the structures to which the actions are laid in? Is it the difference in how the sounds are produced, i.e. SN vs modeled? I've literally played the V-Piano back to back with the RD-700NX and they don't feel the same at all. It's almost as if the V-Piano has an actual longer throw, a longer key. For whatever faults folks find in the V-Pianos sonic signature, highly subjective like anything else we hear and play on, the V-Piano responds and feels like an acoustic instrument. Impressive.


Kawai MP7SE
Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: PianoZac] #1692346
06/08/11 05:03 AM
06/08/11 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ZacharyForbes
This is kind of an aside, but can anyone, in technical terms explain why the V-Piano feels much more piano like than the same PHA III Ivory Feel w/escapement also found in the RD-700NX and FP-7F? Is the difference in the structures to which the actions are laid in? Is it the difference in how the sounds are produced, i.e. SN vs modeled? I've literally played the V-Piano back to back with the RD-700NX and they don't feel the same at all. It's almost as if the V-Piano has an actual longer throw, a longer key. For whatever faults folks find in the V-Pianos sonic signature, highly subjective like anything else we hear and play on, the V-Piano responds and feels like an acoustic instrument. Impressive.


I don't know but do agree with your observations having played a v-piano and FP-7F this week in the same store. Maybe the electronics that samples the keyboard action to detect velocity and so on is that much different?

Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: Jan Oliver] #1692357
06/08/11 05:33 AM
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I've also played the V-Piano and another high-end Roland with PHA III (likely the RD-700NX) as well as DPs from other brands side by side 2 weeks ago, and the differences were obvious immediately - the V-Piano just felt 'alive' in a way the other didn't, and I don't think it's down to the key action, because when I took the headphones off, they felt very similar. It's the way the V-Piano responds to your touch and articulation, the way the sound picture changes according to the way (not just the force) you hit the keys, and then what follows when the sounds mix up with the (virtual) resonances.

Maybe the way to describe the differences is that other DPs sound and feel 'clinical' in comparison to the V-Piano, which gives you all the dirtiness/muddiness you get from an acoustic: play an 8 note chord ff with both hands, then keep repeating the same chord, holding the pedal down. Sampled DPs keep sounding the same whereas the V-Piano's modelled sound gets more and more muddy, just like in an acoustic when the vibrations bounce around creating havoc with the other strings and soundboard and cabinet...

I leave the technical explanation to others 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] #1693012
06/09/11 03:20 PM
06/09/11 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Maybe the way to describe the differences is that other DPs sound and feel 'clinical' in comparison to the V-Piano, which gives you all the dirtiness/muddiness you get from an acoustic: play an 8 note chord ff with both hands, then keep repeating the same chord, holding the pedal down. Sampled DPs keep sounding the same whereas the V-Piano's modelled sound gets more and more muddy, just like in an acoustic when the vibrations bounce around creating havoc with the other strings and soundboard and cabinet...

I leave the technical explanation to others grin.


Hi bennevis,

I believe that your observation above (regarding the "muddy" resonance) is one of the reasons I will be getting the V-Piano, also.

pv88

Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: pv88] #1693075
06/09/11 05:04 PM
06/09/11 05:04 PM
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Aachen, Germany
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Originally Posted by pv88
Hi bennevis,

I believe that your observation above (regarding the "muddy" resonance) is one of the reasons I will be getting the V-Piano, also.

pv88

Hi pv88,

congratulations - I hope you'll be able to call a V-Piano your own soon! I read about your pre-pay purchasing experience in another thread.

And thanks so much for digging up that V-Piano tuning thread! I just played with the decay setting today, and I agree that it does seem to bring the sound closer to a real acoustic. That's also what [b]this excellent review in Performing Musician[/b] mentioned btw.

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] #1693086
06/09/11 05:28 PM
06/09/11 05:28 PM
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@ Jan,

Glad that you enjoyed all of those V-Piano preset options, as they were given out in precise detail, by bennevis.

And, wish it were sooner than later, although it still could take up to 10 months (or, so) to get the "V."

pv88

Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: Kawai James] #1693115
06/09/11 06:22 PM
06/09/11 06:22 PM
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Aachen, Germany
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Thanks Jan!

So was the MP10 not available, or...?

James
x

Hi James and everybody else,

thanks for all that lively discussion! I'm learning a lot.

I promised to try out the Kawai MP10, so I went to the store again on Tuesday. As luck would have it, the PIANO TOUR folks were also visiting Cologne, so I was able to kill two birds with one stone. I spent a little under an hour to compare the V-Piano, the MP10, and the Roland FP-7F with its built-in speakers.

The Kawai MP10

First, I tried the MP10: You guys were right in saying that it has excellent sampled sounds. Little things like the damper pedal on and off noise are there, just like on the V-Piano. Some effects, such as the key-up noise, I think aren't even modeled on the V-Piano! At least I haven't been able to find them so far.

I also liked that that noise effect, such as a few others, were accessible right while playing by turning the four knobs around the display. Very quick access, very intuitive. The MP10 is much more feature-rich than the V-Piano when it comes to sound banks, etc., and there are lots more buttons and knobs decorating its front (even pitch bend & mod wheels), but it manages to stay usable, and I was able to muddle my way through, even reset it to factory presets for an authentic test, without consulting its manual.

I then played sustained notes, with and without damper pedal, on both pianos, and the differences were minuscule. Especially with several notes there may have been a little more "life" in the V-Piano sound (as bennevis mentioned earlier), but this is critique at a high level.

Why, then, was I still getting the more authentic overall playing experience from the V-Piano? Was it just my after-purchase conscience trying to soothe me by making me feel sure that I'd bet that horrendous amount of money on the right horse?

So I kept comparing, and in the end I think I discovered some reproducible differences.

One was in the perceived "bounciness" of the keyboard. The MP10's keys seemed to play as if there was a stronger, springy force pushing the keys back up. To me, it felt more rubbery, more like a DP, and less authentic than on the V-Piano. You may need to play them side by side to notice, and may in fact prefer the MP10's touch, I don't know.

Also, the MP10's keys, while they also emulate an ivory surface, felt distinctly slicker and, to me, more plasticky (reminding me of a DP) than the V-Piano's more matte, powdery keys, which I preferred.

Finally, and this is easy to tell, the buttons and sliders on the MP10 don't have the same quality feel that the V-Piano offers. Just operate an MP10 slider, then the V-Piano brushed-aluminum clickwheel with its rubber inlays. Or compare the look and feel of the pushbuttons, or the size of the display. Or take the V-Piano's front plate, made from black anodized brushed aluminum - feels very solid, robust, and high-quality, like its entire case. By the way, this may also explain some of the weight gain of the V-Piano compared to all other stage pianos. And it had better feel high-quality too, given that I could easily buy (and almost carry) 2 MP10's for the price (and weight) of one V-Piano!

And my professional user interface design experience tells me that this feel isn't just neat to have in a product - robust, responsive, high-quality controls and large, clear displays will also make for fewer mistakes when pushing buttons and twiddling knobs in the heat of a performance.

The Roland FP-7F

I then also tried the Roland FP-7F with its built-in speakers. It sounded to me as if Roland "froze" some of the V-Piano's piano sounds - they were recognizable - and put them onto the FP-7F as part of its "SuperNatural Sound" engine. They sounded great, just seemed to lack a little of the "aliveness" of the V-Piano, and didn't offer the V-Piano's in-depth tweaking options.

I also found, for example, that the FP-7F was not generating damper pedal-up noise. Unless the setup was messed up, this would suggest that Roland cut a few corners here. BTW, as has been discussed previously, the sides of the white keys on the FP-7F are white, not wood-colored like on the V-Piano, for what it's worth.

On the other hand, the FP-7F offers a variety of additional sounds, even a cute looping sequencer that's fun to build up a quick canvas with, with chord progressions displayed on the LCD.

For some bizarre reason the speakers weren't working even without headphones plugged in, otherwise I would have tried that theory mentioned here earlier that they create more realistic sound vibrations in the piano body that you feel when playing.

In the end, I left without buyer's remorse - for my particular purposes, I still felt I'd picked the right instrument with the V-Piano. Of course, the cats in my band might tell me otherwise the first time we have to move it. smile

Cheers,

- Jan


Last edited by Jan Oliver; 06/09/11 07:39 PM. Reason: Corrected piano model name from FP7 to FP-7F

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] #1693161
06/09/11 07:33 PM
06/09/11 07:33 PM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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Good morning Jan,

Thank you for posting your thoughts about the Kawai MP10 and Roland FP7 (not the FP7F?).

Given your profession, it's obviously very encouraging to read your positive comments regarding the MP10's intuitive interface. The four knobs positioned around the LCD display can be freely assigned to control any of the adjustment parameters for the selected section.

Originally Posted by Jan Oliver
The biggest was in the "bounciness" of the keyboard. The MP10's keys seemed to play as if there was a stronger, springy force pushing the keys back up.


Interesting. This exact same criticism was recently made by scembalo about the RD-700NX, which as you know, uses the same keyboard action as the V-Piano. The same individual went on to state that he/she prefers the MP10's action in this respect. This proves nothing of course, other than that individual opinions can vary quite considerably.

I agree that the V-Piano's buttons, clickwheel, and display are gorgeous though - it definitely feels like a $6000 product in this regard.

Originally Posted by Jan Oliver
BTW, as has been discussed previously, the white keys on the FP7 are white on the sides, not wooden like on the V-Piano, for what it's worth.


I was not aware that the V-Piano uses wooden keys.

Thanks again for posting your comments!

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: Kawai James] #1693171
06/09/11 07:45 PM
06/09/11 07:45 PM
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Aachen, Germany
Jan Oliver Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Good morning Jan,

Thank you for posting your thoughts about the Kawai MP10 and Roland FP7 (not the FP7F?).

You're right, it was the FP-7F of course. I fixed my post above and the OP of this thread. Thanks!

Originally Posted by Kawai James
Interesting. This exact same criticism was recently made by scembalo about the RD-700NX, which as you know, uses the same keyboard action as the V-Piano. The same individual went on to state that he/she prefers the MP10's action in this respect. This proves nothing of course, other than that individual opinions can vary quite considerably.

Absolutely. I guess "It's A Personal Thing" should become a standard footer of any DP (or AP) comparison! smile

Originally Posted by Kawai James

I was not aware that the V-Piano uses wooden keys.

Sorry, I meant just the sides of the keys are white on the FP-7F vs. wood-colored on the V-Piano. Who knows what they're made from internally... I clarified my post accordingly.

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] #1693177
06/09/11 07:56 PM
06/09/11 07:56 PM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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Thanks for correcting your post.

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: Jan Oliver] #1693240
06/09/11 10:17 PM
06/09/11 10:17 PM
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Nashville, Tennessee
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I wonder if the keys on the V-Piano are longer than the standard PHA III Ivory Keys inside many other Roland's? Why else its the body of the V-Piano so wide front to back? Perhaps the V-Piano uses longer keys for a longer more natural throw. wink I know, I know-wishful thinking.

In all seriousness I wonder why the V-Piano is as massive as it is? Why isn't it the same size as the RD700NX or FP-7F?


Kawai MP7SE
Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: PianoZac] #1693243
06/09/11 10:31 PM
06/09/11 10:31 PM
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Hi Zach,

It looks like the same question may have been asked before about the V-Piano's extra size (or, depth), and, since it hasn't been answered directly as of yet:

Does anyone have a good explanation for this, someone at Roland, perhaps?

(Have no idea if Roland employees read these forums, or not...)

pv88

Re: Roland V-Piano: Hands-On Review & Comparison to CP1 etc. [Re: Jan Oliver] #1693379
06/10/11 06:14 AM
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I saw a cut-out model of the V-Piano's key mechanism on display at the showroom - it's an exceptionally long key which (I think) stretches almost the whole width of the V-Piano's slab. There was also a Kawai one I saw elsewhere. Apart from being much shorter, it was also much simpler, lacking the escapement mechanism of the Roland model. I've never had the chance to play Kawai DPs- don't any of them have the escapement feel (the noticeable 'click' when you press the key down slowly, which stimulates that of an acoustic grand)?


"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: Jan Oliver] #1693388
06/10/11 06:44 AM
06/10/11 06:44 AM
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bennnevis, it's interesting to read your thoughts about the V-Piano's action. If the keys do indeed stretch almost the full depth of the instrument, this would explain the considerable size/weight differences between the V-Piano and RD-700NX.

However, why would Roland state that both instruments use the same PHA III action in the product specifications table? Surely if the action was different, they'd make a point of highlighting the fact?

Originally Posted by bennevis
There was also a Kawai one I saw elsewhere. Apart from being much shorter, it was also much simpler, lacking the escapement mechanism of the Roland model.


Do you happen to recall which action sample you looked at?
Kawai DPs currently utilise one of two different keyboard actions:

'RM3 Grand' action image
'Responsive Hammer' (RH) action sample

Originally Posted by bennevis
I've never had the chance to play Kawai DPs- don't any of them have the escapement feel (the noticeable 'click' when you press the key down slowly, which stimulates that of an acoustic grand)?


The following Kawai DPs feature 'let-off' simulation (aka 'escapement'):
- CA93
- CN33, CN43
- MP6, MP10
- CS3, CS6, CS9

The following Kawai DPs do not feature 'let-off' simulation:
- CA13, CA63
- CN23
- CL26, CL36

Kind regards,
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: Jan Oliver] #1693392
06/10/11 06:51 AM
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I actually saw that Kawai model in a Kawai (& Fazioli) showroom - which doesn't actually sell Kawai DPs, only APs. (I love the Shigeru Kawai grands, BTW). There was a sticker on it to say how their DP key mechanism stimulates that of their acoustics, but didn't say which DPs it applies to. So it seems like that was for the cheaper models in their range.


"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: Jan Oliver] #1693396
06/10/11 07:00 AM
06/10/11 07:00 AM
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I'm not sure why a Kawai dealer that doesn't sell DPs would have a Kawai DP action sample.

Which of the two action images linked above did it resemble the most?

Cheers,
James
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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: Jan Oliver] #1693408
06/10/11 07:42 AM
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It was a flattish thing, so looks more like the RM3 Grand. Certainly didn't have all that stuff beneath the key like the second one. It was a working model, and I remember pressing it down slowly to assess its feel - it was smooth all the way down.


"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: Jan Oliver] #1693416
06/10/11 07:58 AM
06/10/11 07:58 AM
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bennevis, you may be interested in these threads from hpeterh:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1542803/1.html
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1558084/1.html

Unfortunately there are no images of the special (?) PHA III action used in the V-Piano - just the standard PHA III action used in the RD-700NX, HP-307, LX-10F, FP-7F, etc.

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: Jan Oliver] #1693440
06/10/11 09:15 AM
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Why Jan did not compare Kawai MP10 vs Roland FP-7F ?

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Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways
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What Piano is that?
by Jonky Ponky. 07/22/19 01:40 AM
Yamaha C1X SH2 (Silent) vs Yamaha N3X
by PianoStartsAt33. 07/22/19 12:36 AM
Isolating the left hand..
by Pianoperformance. 07/21/19 08:23 PM
How not to press with my 4th finger
by Veve87. 07/21/19 03:41 PM
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