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This was the type of comment that makes me want to play one before committing to that type of expense:

"...The VAX has a spring-loaded action, not a “hammer action” like keyboards that attempt to mimic a grand piano action. If you want to feel the escapement action of a piano, this is not for you. Look at a dedicated digital piano if you want “as close to piano as possible”. For me, that was a non-goal: when I want a piano, I turn around in my studio and play one. What I needed was a master controller with great expressive control for playing live and manipulating orchestral samples in the studio. For me, controllability far outweighs emulating a piano, and within 5 minutes, I completely forgot that I wasn’t on my piano and was playing music with similar dynamic control to what I enjoy on my acoustic piano.... "

For me, the ideal instrument WOULD emulate a piano. Unfortunately, my ideal instrument isn't being made by anyone, so I'm going to have to compromise somehow.

BTW, I visited a big music store in NYC tonight and got to play a lot of digital instruments I've only read about before. It shook up my thinking considerably.


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Yes, I noted that also. My grand offers performance without compromise, and I'm looking forward to the day when I can retire and play it every day, all day and all night if I so wish. But in the mean time:

My perfect travel piano would be 61 keys, F to F with middle C in the middle, graded hammer action, and Pianoteq installed, all in an integral case that neatly folds out to make a sturdy stand, and all meeting ATA standards for size and weight. But that doesn't yet exist and I'm done waiting for it, not enough people seem to want one; so I am willing to compromise and get something that meets my needs while away, something portable enough that I can really take it any where.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1767878/Re:%20A%20five-octave%20keyboard,%20F%20.html#Post1767878


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We want the same thing, so the level of demand is now at least two! Are you industry people paying attention?

I'm also happy with my grand at home. It's the constant business travel that's the problem!


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ClsscLib, I don't know what type of music you play, but for classical, early classical up to middle Beethoven (i.e. all of Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart - did I mention Beethoven?) would be playable on a 61-key portable piano if middle C were in the middle. But it seems demand for such a playable portable is just not enough to justify its development. It makes perfect sense to me, but I've given up hope getting anyone else on board. (Note all these musical puns? "Just," "perfect," "development," "board," (as in "keyboard") Hahaha.)

Let's keep knocking: maybe eventually they will open.


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Originally Posted by ClsscLib
Originally Posted by ChrisA
Originally Posted by ClsscLib
I..
I'd pay decent money for a light, small, keyboard with weighted keys that would serve only as a practice piano while on the road. If the keys were pretty good -- something like what we see on the better DPs -- I'd probably pay $500 or even more.?


There is the problem. You want the keys from a "better" DP and the price from an entry level DP. And on a very specialized device that likely would never sell in high volume. Had you said "keys from a better DP and priced only slightly higher" then there might be a chance. The real problem with this, I'm sure is the low number of units that would be sold. Something like this would not sell at entry level price.

The problem is that a professional would simply ship a full size instrument in a shipping case. After all if you are doing a multi-city tour you can by definition afford to ship your gear. So who is the target market for a fully weighted "short" piano? Not a huge market there.

The easy and cheap solution is to learn to play a second instrument and practice that while you travel. As a pianist you might be able to play a synth action keyboard. Or maybe buy a 20-something key keyboard and learn how to build film scores with multi-tracked midi. There are many productive and interesting things to do.


I think you're ignoring the "or even more" part of what I wrote. If the keys played like a P95 or even better, I'd probably be willing to pay a good deal more than $500.

I don't know how big the market for this would be. My guess is that there are some other serious piano students who have to travel and who would like to be able to take a practice instrument on the road with them. God knows one sees many people in airports with those horrible little travel guitars.

By the way, I DO play a second instrument (it used to be my first instrument)... the double bass. smile


No, please don't ask for a "travel double bass". They keep those right next to the folding tubas.

I still think the problem is the market size. A professional would simply ship a full size piano keyboard in an ATA case. Maybe even have two of them. But an amateur is not making a living with the instrument and can't justify the cost to ship an ATA case.

You might try and modify a Casio CDP-100. Take one apart and start removing the keys. You don't need the black plastic case. Toss out the speakers too. Then build a custom plywood shipping case where the lid flips up to expose the keys and make a music rest. It might work.


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I don't know the cdp100. I played the px130 tonight for the first time, and I was really surprised at how much I liked it.

Last edited by ClsscLib; 05/21/12 09:26 PM.

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I am concentrating on Chopin. There is no way any keyboard less than 88 keys will be acceptable. As far as weighting is concerned, I have discovered that, if you learn a piece really well on an electronic keyboard, the problems of adapting to a real piano are minimal. I have been slowly building an 88-key keyboard that folds in four and whose keys raise when the keyboard is unfolded. It's size when folded would be about 13 inches wide, 11 inches deep and 3 inches high. I would buy such a thing in a heartbeat if it was available and no more expensive than a usual electronic keyboard. As for weighting, the VAX77 uses magnets to approximate the feel of a real piano. I plan to do the same thing on mine (I thought of it before learning about the VAX77). Sorry about being so slow. I've been working on the design for a couple of years and only recently started putting things together. It will probably be another couple of years before I have a product, unless someone else beats me to the punch, in which case I'll probably just buy theirs.

For now, I am thinking of keeping a cheap, light Casio to ship to where ever I travel, so that it will be there waiting for me.

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Cruise lines should provide a couple of 88 key, fully weighted stage pianos with NO speakers for passengers to practice on-board (take your own head-phones.) No one should try to play the public pianos our of respect for other passengers.
Cheers,
Roger


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Originally Posted by ClsscLib
The problem is that, with the exception of one theoretical Studiologic MIDI controller that appears not to be for sale anywhere in the phenomenological universe, no 49-key DP or MIDI controller has weighted keys.

The "Best EP" thread reminded me of this thread when I discovered that you can get a Vintage Vibe EP (weighted action) with 44 keys. The price and weight are in the range of the VAX77, but if you want the weighted keys, there's another possible solution!

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Nice idea, however, there are any number of obstacles. Anything engineered for travel has to be built a lot tougher. Something with a simulated piano action has to have mechanical parts. Vibration, jostling, and possibly dropping and throwing are going to mean a short life expectancy, unless it is over engineered.

The other point many others have made is the likely tiny volume for such a unit. Pro pianists and top amateurs don't need it, because most have access to practice pianos where ever they travel. So while some maker might be able to make and sell it for $300 if it did as much volume as their 88-key models, the sales volume would likely be 1/10 as much jacking up the price, meaning an even lower sales volume. It might be a specialized and limited item, so if offered be prepared to pay much more than $500.

Some other options are to research more on practice pianos, and practice rooms, in places where a person spends a lot of time. If the stays are for months at a time, considering buying one of the 88-key models and shipping it from location to location.

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Regarding the VMK-149 question: Kurzweil PC3 / PC3K7 have a TP8 keybed. So if you can try that somewhere - you would know how the TP8 handles.

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Originally Posted by JFP
Regarding the VMK-149 question: Kurzweil PC3 / PC3K7 have a TP8 keybed. So if you can try that somewhere - you would know how the TP8 handles.


My bad for being insufficiently precise in earlier references. (A perfect illustration of why precision in language is so important!)

The Studiologic boards relevant to this thread are the (mythical) VMK-149 Plus and the VMK-161 Plus; they make "non-Plussed" versions of the same board.

The difference is that the "Plus" versions use the TP8Piano weighted-key keyboard, while the "non-Plussed" versions use the TP8 semi-weighted (spring--controlled) keyboard.

The Kurzweil models you mention use the TP8 semi-weighted keys, not the TP8Piano weighted keys.

If I could settle for semi-weighted keys, I'd probably just stick with the NP-11 I have now. It's no gem, but it's cheap, has 61 keys, and I can check it on airline flights in a decent soft case. (There's every chance, of course, that airline baggage handlers will smash it flat the next time I fly, but at the NP-11's cost of about $150, I'm willing to chance it.)

The real crave, though, is for a weighted-key 49 or 61 key board that might be carry-onable. If you see that, send it my way. smile


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I owned a VMK-161-Plus, it is a beast. I liked the action for playing software. I considered it very nice. However a Privia is much(by alot) easier to travel with!

The OS on the VMK is also quite primitive. I am only interjecting to offer a bit of 'common' wisdom.
Be careful what you wish for. It might just come true.
The non-plus version, I believe, uses water-fall style keys.

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Originally Posted by emenelton
I owned a VMK-161-Plus, it is a beast. I liked the action for playing software. I considered it very nice. However a Privia is much(by alot) easier to travel with!

The OS on the VMK is also quite primitive. I am only interjecting to offer a bit of 'common' wisdom.
Be careful what you wish for. It might just come true.
The non-plus version, I believe, uses water-fall style keys.


When I first raised this question some weeks back, I was focusing primarily on the length of the board as a travel impediment. A 49-key board seemed like something that might be feasible as carry-on luggage. Everything I've heard about the VMK since then (including your post) suggests to me that the VMK won't address my needs -- especially since the 149 can only be purchased at shops that sell real unicorn horns.

Since I'm now reconciled to the idea of checking my travel piano as luggage (in a suitable hard case), and unless someone comes along with a weighted-hammer DP with 61 or fewer keys, I'm sticking with my NP-11 for now as my compromise travel piano. I expect that ultimately a Casio PX-x50 in a hardshell case will be the preferred solution.


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A VMK-149 Plus carry on would be funny, in a not so good way.
I have traveled on business trips in my car and taken a Privia and an ES6(not at the same time.
The ES6 is a beast, the Privia was wonderful(PX3), except for the sonics. I still own the ES6, but I don't travel anymore.

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I'll repeat the possibility of shipping one of the 88-key models. Are the trips of short duration? If so, it doesn't seem much of a big deal to be without an instrument. If the trips are longer and at one destination, shipping might be the same or less money than checking luggage for a flight.

One factor is that the company might reimburse for the flight and any checked luggage, but not for shipping. That said, it would be a significant upgrade in instrument to have 88 keys with piano action vs. the 61-key NP11 with no action. Also with shipping, the instrument can be packaged better and likely to be handled more carefully.

If the NP11 is sufficient, maybe a downgrade to an Ipad with a keyboard attachment might be worth a look. Yes, even less of a "piano," and significant costs, but no package to check, and no bulky NP11 to lug around, and an instrument that one can take virtually anywhere.

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Just wanted to follow up on this thread and let everyone know that there is currently an 88-key portable piano that separates into three-pieces to fit in carry-on luggage. With weighted keys as well. Here's what the main features plan to include:

88-key Graded Hammer Action Keyboard
Built-in speakers and high quality instrument sounds
Strong and lightweight carbon fiber casing
Rechargeable battery with up to 7 hours of play time.
4” color touch screen
3 pedal inputs, Audio line out, Headphone jack in the front
MIDI in/out, Wireless MIDI, USB
Music stand with a built-in LED light so you see it in the dark (great for orchestra pits and dark clubs)

If anyone is interested in staying up to date on the progress and when it will be available, please check out www.groovepiano.com and enter your email address. Links to the Facebook and Twitter at the bottom of that webpage as well.

The plan is to launch a crowd sourcing campaign (KickStarter) later this year to help put the piano into production.

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Hello everyone,

I'm new to this thread and was wondering if there has been any progress on finding a usable travel keyboard. I am a product designer and developer as well as a keyboardist and have been working on a design for an affordable travel keyboard. I would like to get some input for what specific features you would expect and the price you would find reasonable.

Here are the key requirements right now:
Under $800
Fits in a airline carry on bag
Has some level of weighted keys
Limited to 68 keys (due to carry on size)

I've read through several forums on this topic but would like to get the chance to ask some direct questions.

Please post on here what you are looking for in the keyboard to help direct the design or follow the progress on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/halfnotepiano

Thanks!


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Originally Posted by Half Note Piano

Here are the key requirements right now:
Under $800
Fits in a airline carry on bag
Has some level of weighted keys
Limited to 68 keys (due to carry on size)


Fits in an airline carry on bag? Maybe something like this?

[Linked Image] (sorry)

Last edited by petes1; 02/01/15 07:37 AM.

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Originally Posted by Half Note Piano
I am a product designer and developer as well as a keyboardist and have been working on a design for an affordable travel keyboard. I would like to get some input for what specific features you would expect and the price you would find reasonable.

Here are the key requirements right now:
Under $800
Fits in a airline carry on bag
Has some level of weighted keys
Limited to 68 keys (due to carry on size)

You won't be able to do 68 (full-width) keys on something that will pass airline carry-on rules, unless maybe you do something that folds or disassembles into smaller pieces, is that your plan?

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