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Re: VPC1 Review [Re: Vas] #2113248
07/05/13 01:02 PM
07/05/13 01:02 PM
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Vas Offline
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Hello,

I am considering getting either VPC1 or the Roland RD700NX (used or wait for the new replacement)

I am comparing the key action from the two top keyboards, (IMHO) the Kawai VPC1and Roland RD700NX. Gotta say the RM3 looks better. Never tried the VPC1 nor the MP10 which I understand is similar. They are not available in the Tampa Bay area. I have a little experience with the RD700NX but the couple of times I touched it it felt great. However if something is better out there this is the time to find out. To me the RM3 looks better but most important is which feels better to the touch.

Kawai VPC1with RM3 Grand II, key action with 3-sensor system
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoktYu4D9HU
Which other Kawai model has this action?

Roland RD700NX action PHAII with 3-sensor system
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1760751/Re:%20NEKID%20PICHURES!!%20(Roland%20R.html

Any comments?

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Re: VPC1 Review [Re: Vas] #2113351
07/05/13 05:21 PM
07/05/13 05:21 PM
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gvfarns Offline
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Originally Posted by Vas
Hello,

I would like to know if all 128 velocities are present on the VPC1. Has anyone tried to get all of them.?

Can you get #1. Is it consistent on the same key and consistent with all the other keys? Do the VSTi’s have a #1 or they ignore the very light velocities?

How hard one strikes the key can then be set in preferences for #1 and for #128?


All DP's are capable of putting out 0-127. Some are calibrated so it would take a superhuman blow to reach 127 but as far as I know they are all capable. The VPC1 has an internal touch curve setting so you could probably set it up so you can get to 127 easily. Alternately you could set it up so it would be very easy to reach velocity 1.

Midi velocities should be consistent for a given key. Whether they are consistent across keys depends on the tolerance of the manufacturing process. Very difficult to test, actually. I have had the impression that a certain key on my piano is harder to trigger than others but it's too difficult for me to test whether this is my imagination or not. I infer that the tolerances are reasonably good on most DP's because you don't often see people complaining that they are not.

VST's typically use velocity 1. Some have a setting to make very low velocities silent ("silent key" in Vintage D, for example) in order to better mimic the shortcomings of acoustics. Some VST's do not have this feature, though. You could probably set up the velocity curve in almost all of them or use a third-party MIDI translator such that you would get the same result, though.

Setting how hard one strikes to get a particular MIDI value is a very fundamental setting in most VST's. In addition, the VPC1 can do this internally, presumably before quantization into 127 MIDI values, using the included software.

Last edited by gvfarns; 07/05/13 05:22 PM.
Re: VPC1 Review [Re: Vas] #2113362
07/05/13 05:40 PM
07/05/13 05:40 PM
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gvfarns Offline
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Originally Posted by Vas
They are not available in the Tampa Bay area.


According to the Kawai dealer locator, Piano Distributors of Florida has two locations in the area, both of which sell digitals. If those particular models are not in stock, you might be able to find a CA-line piano using the same action.

Kawai's wood action and PHAIII are both pretty neat actions but very different from each other. People describe this differently but the way I do it is that PHAIII has very little resistance during the stroke and then hits the bottom quite abruptly. It's pretty quick and responsive. Kawai's actions, to me, have more resistance during the stroke (dynamic weight?) and bottom out soft and quiet by comparison. Some people feel that they bottom out too soft, in fact.

Re: VPC1 Review [Re: Vas] #2113373
07/05/13 06:05 PM
07/05/13 06:05 PM
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dmd Offline
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Originally Posted by Vas
Hello,

I am considering getting either VPC1 or the Roland RD700NX (used or wait for the new replacement)

I am comparing the key action from the two top keyboards, (IMHO) the Kawai VPC1and Roland RD700NX. Gotta say the RM3 looks better. Never tried the VPC1 nor the MP10 which I understand is similar. They are not available in the Tampa Bay area. I have a little experience with the RD700NX but the couple of times I touched it it felt great. However if something is better out there this is the time to find out. To me the RM3 looks better but most important is which feels better to the touch.

Kawai VPC1with RM3 Grand II, key action with 3-sensor system
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoktYu4D9HU
Which other Kawai model has this action?

Roland RD700NX action PHAII with 3-sensor system
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1760751/Re:%20NEKID%20PICHURES!!%20(Roland%20R.html

Any comments?


Just to make sure ...

You are aware that the VPC1 has no internal sound, are you not ?



Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: VPC1 Review [Re: Vid] #2113428
07/05/13 08:14 PM
07/05/13 08:14 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
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Vas Offline
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Hello again,

I am comparing the action on the VPC1 midi keyboard controller vs the RD700nx piano. The benefit of the onboard sounds was not part of this discussion. I am very interested to find one person that has both and can explain the difference.

My previous mid keyboard controller was the CME UF8. Got it for $400. It was hard to pass up. It had a good action but very inconsistent velocity from key to key. Some keys I could not have velocity 1 or 2 or other low velocities. Horrible tolerance or just bad craftsmanship. On the higher end it was ok but horrible on the low velocities so I got rid of it. No imagination here it was just impossible to play. I wasted months on velocity curves that only minimally helped.

About 16 years ago I had an Elka MK88 which I liked very much but had to sell due to circumstances. Really loved this keyboard controller. I loved the action but back then I was less critical about such matters. I did check the velocity for every key and found the action on the low velocities and for that matter the high ones were excellent. If I recall correctly it allowed the 0-127 and 1-128 to be selected perhaps not for the keys but for the many other midi sliders and knobs.

I had tried on a midi sequencer low velocity and at least one piano VSTi (long time ago so I cannot recall which one) would not trigger a sound on low velocities. Now I learned that some use velocity one as a silent note but I am fairly sure I used several low velocities for my test.

Obviously I prefer the controller to have the velocity curves built-in as the internal mechanism has a higher resolution.

I had emailed to Kawai and was told that there were not nearby Kawai dealers that had digital pianos to demo.

From gvfarns’s description of the Kawai's wood action and PHAIII I would prefer the RD700nx as it also reminds me of the Elka MK88. Where as the other reminds me of the CME UF8. It would be great to get a second opinion. smile I always seek a second opinion before getting surgery!

Last edited by Vas; 07/06/13 12:39 AM.
Re: VPC1 Review [Re: Vid] #2114096
07/07/13 07:48 AM
07/07/13 07:48 AM
Joined: Jun 2013
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Hi All, a quick update on my VPC1 purchase now I've had it a while. I've come to the conclusion that the included pedal is of poor quality or not throughly checked before leaving the factory. The continuous sustain pedal is very inconsistent and when you let it go it can "machine-gun" re-trigger by itself randomly. I have actually seen other posters complain about this too. I think I will need to contact my dealer or Kawai about this soon (when I get the chance). But it's a shame such a high quality keyboard comes with a pretty crappy pedal. I saw some guy saying he'd installed optical sensors in it to fix the problem, I don't think I have the time or engineering skill to do that - but optical sensors seem to be much more reliable, shame Kawai don't use them.

Re: VPC1 Review [Re: Vas] #2114110
07/07/13 09:09 AM
07/07/13 09:09 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
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Originally Posted by Vas
Hello again,

I am comparing the action on the VPC1 midi keyboard controller vs the RD700nx piano. The benefit of the onboard sounds was not part of this discussion. I am very interested to find one person that has both and can explain the difference.



Hello Vas,
I will try to answer you about that point.
First of all, I must say I don't have a VPC1, but I have extensively used Virtual software with several DP (with a Casio PX-350, with a Roland FP-80, with a Kawai CA93 and with my Yamaha NU1) with my Mac and MacbookAir

Here is my opinion:
pro Virtual software:
- the best sound possible...(although I really like the internal sound of the Roland)

cons virtual software:
- you have to run your PC (Mac) each time you want to play
- it can be difficult to get a very low latency with sound artifacts (it worked well only with my MacBookAir , meaning you should invest into FlashDrives)

I have forsaken this option as I found that I have never reached the "connection" I can easily get from the internal sound (although I own an external sound card)

Moreover, you have to buy monitors or always use headphone (that I don't like)
Again, it is only my opinion, but for my daily piano practice, I found it really not handy.

Last edited by enzo.sandrolini; 07/07/13 09:11 AM.

Music is a lifestyle
(Happy Yamaha N2 and Roland FP90 owner)
Re: VPC1 Review [Re: Vid] #2114188
07/07/13 12:39 PM
07/07/13 12:39 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 824
New England, USA
Amaruk Offline
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Vas, I never played the VPC1 so I cant comment on it but I think it is a great controller and it looks great. But the RD700nx is an amazing piano. The menu system and the controls are make it really easy to use. Also, having on board sounds, even if you use VST, could come in handy as many here seem to mix virtual pianos with the onboard piano.


My piano channel on YouTube: Link
Re: VPC1 Review [Re: Vid] #2114253
07/07/13 03:16 PM
07/07/13 03:16 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 59
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Vas Offline
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Hello Spark 25,

please comment on the action of the VPC1.

Hello Amaruk,

If I fail to get a descent reply from someone that has both I will stick with the RD700nx as it as a knows item for me. Yea, The onboard sounds of the RD700nx are great and a big plus but would get the VPC1 if it had a better action.

Hello enzo.sandrolini,

I stated “I am very interested to find one person that has both and can explain the difference.” But what I should have said “I am very interested to find one person that has both and can explain the difference in the key action.” Not sure if my post did not communicate my intensions properly.

To reiterate I really like the action of the RD700nx so the VPC1 will have to be better for me to consider buying it. Meanwhile I am waiting (un-patiently) for the RD700nx replacement and hope in this case the newer improved model is actually better. Yes it is great that the RD700nx has onboard sounds that are very good however the action of the keys tramps all.

My earlier comment was that the picture of the action of the VPC1 looked better than the action of the RD700nx but is it? On the VPC1 and the RD700nx can one select at what velocity triggers the #1 velocity and on the other extreme the #128 velocity? One important concern is low velocities on the physical keyboard and the VSTi piano.

I have several VSTi pianos but I am not crazy of any one of them. I too really like the internals sounds of the RD700nx. At the music store they have the proper speakers to demo the sounds. I have the Event 20/20 bas and they are rather cold so this may be the reason I do not like my VSTi pianos. But this is another thread probably previously covered.

Re: VPC1 Review [Re: Vas] #2121876
07/23/13 11:12 AM
07/23/13 11:12 AM
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The action is VERY nice, the best I've tried on an electronic instrument. But it doesn't feel exactly like a grand piano, unsurprisingly. Even though it has wooden keys, it doesn't feel quite as organic and the let-off simulation is good but not 100% realistic. These are not really criticisms because I have not played a better midi keyboard and I doubt one exists - at least in this price range.

I just wish there was a website for users to exchange touch curves for virtual pianos that aren't officially supported. Also hope Kawai are working on new partnership touch curves. I wonder too if Kawai will release a virtual instrument of a Kawai grand and have it perfectly matched with the response of the VPC1 - lots of potential there.

Re: VPC1 Review [Re: Vid] #2121918
07/23/13 01:02 PM
07/23/13 01:02 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5
North Shore Massachusetts
John M. Offline
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North Shore Massachusetts
The USB Midi connection from the VPC to my Mac works great with Pianoteq and Logic Pro instruments, but strangely does not work with the Ivory 2 standalone app. Only the midi out connector from the VPC through an external midi interface works with Ivory.

I have checked all the settings in Ivory, but nothing that indicates a problem. Any ideas? Thank you!


VPC1 / MacMini i7 / Ivory 2 / Pianoteq / Apogee Duet / MAudio SBX5a/SBX10 sub
Re: VPC1 Review [Re: Vid] #2122004
07/23/13 05:25 PM
07/23/13 05:25 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,163
Hamamatsu, Japan
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John M., that's strange. If Pianoteq and Logic Pro are working correctly with the USB connector, Ivory II should obviously work too. I wonder if the Ivory II app is 'listening' on the correct MIDI channel that the VPC1 is sending?

I would also recommend emailing the Ivory chaps for suggestions (this sounds more like a software problem), as they used VPC1s connected to Macs via USB to demo Ivory II at NAMM.

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: VPC1 Review [Re: Vid] #2122302
07/24/13 12:34 PM
07/24/13 12:34 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5
North Shore Massachusetts
John M. Offline
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North Shore Massachusetts
Thanks James, I emailed Ivory and they suggested checking the ivory Midi menu settings, which turned out to be ok. They also suggested trying to see if ivory will play via the USB midi if instantiated in Logic Pro, and lo and behold, that works! Very weird. I emailed them back for their thoughts and will post it here when I get it.

In the meantime, I'm wondering if something got corrupted in the ivory standalone app or if I just messed up one of the app settings. Perhaps there' s some way to reset Ivory to factory defaults.

Regards,

John


VPC1 / MacMini i7 / Ivory 2 / Pianoteq / Apogee Duet / MAudio SBX5a/SBX10 sub
Re: VPC1 Review [Re: Vid] #2123328
07/26/13 01:23 PM
07/26/13 01:23 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5
North Shore Massachusetts
John M. Offline
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North Shore Massachusetts
Hi James,

Finally got this fixed with Ivory support's help. Ivory support noted that the Ivory midi device menu did not show the USB midi connection, only the external midi device connection from the second keyboard. However, when I ran the Mac audio midi utility it showed both the kawai USB midi and the external USB device as being recognized by the OS.

On a hunch, I disconnected the external midi interface and rebooted the Mac with just the kawai connected, and then Ivory's midi device menu showed the USB midi. I then reconnected the external midi interface from the other keyboard and everything is working fine in all applications.

Regards,

John


VPC1 / MacMini i7 / Ivory 2 / Pianoteq / Apogee Duet / MAudio SBX5a/SBX10 sub
Re: VPC1 Review [Re: Vid] #2123355
07/26/13 02:18 PM
07/26/13 02:18 PM
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Norfolk UK
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Last edited by Ojustaboo; 07/29/13 07:50 PM.
Re: VPC1 Review [Re: Vid] #2123362
07/26/13 02:30 PM
07/26/13 02:30 PM
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andal Offline
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How does the action compare to Roland's PHA-III ?

Re: VPC1 Review [Re: Ojustaboo] #2123366
07/26/13 02:34 PM
07/26/13 02:34 PM
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Ontario, Canada
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semo Offline
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Originally Posted by Ojustaboo
Personally I think Kawai missed out on a huge part of the market with the VPC1 design.

Midi controllers WITH really nice keyboards are virtually non existent (not talking about using a synth/workstation as a midi controller).

The VPC1 with pitch bend and mod wheels, around 20 assignable buttons and a few knobs/sliders, transport buttons like on the MP10 and I'm sure they would have at least tripled their market.

I bought the MP10 purely to use like that, I'm not really interested in the on board sounds etc at all.

Had the VPC1 had that I would have gone for it with the 3 sensor keybed.

best

Joe



+after touch control and expression pedal input--that would be cool!


CA95, Sennheiser HD598
Re: VPC1 Review [Re: andal] #2123387
07/26/13 03:45 PM
07/26/13 03:45 PM
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Vas Offline
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Originally Posted by andal
How does the action compare to Roland's PHA-III ?

The answer to this Q is critical to me.

Re: VPC1 Review [Re: Vid] #2123389
07/26/13 03:50 PM
07/26/13 03:50 PM
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Vas Offline
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Sam Ash and Guitar Center are the only big music stores here in the Tampa Bay Area.

I searched VPC1 and both stored had no response. frown

Re: VPC1 Review [Re: Vas] #2123409
07/26/13 04:23 PM
07/26/13 04:23 PM
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Bellevue, WA USA
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Dan Clark Offline
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FYI, it's difficult to find the VPC1 in many places. In the Seattle area, Prosser pianos carries Kawai, but only console-style DPs (CA65/95) and their accoustic pianos. When I stopped in and asked a sales rep about the VPC-1, he gave me a blank look.

3.5 million potential customers in the Seattle Metro Area and no way of buying one. Amazing.

Dan.

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