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#2137216 - 08/22/13 01:12 PM Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"?  
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Hi folks,

I just happened to notice that Kawai lists the MP10 action specification as their "RM3 Grand" action. Then, when looking at the VPC-1 page, I notice that Kawai is marketing it with the "RM3 Grand 2" action?

As far as I can tell, they are both based on wooden keys and feature 3-contact key sensors.

Unfortunately, the Kawai website page, which discusses their different actions, is not helpful in identifying if there exists any difference between the RM3 Grand (MP10) and the RM3 Grand 2 (VPC-1):

Kawai digital piano actions

Does anyone know what the mechanical/physical differences are, or can shed some light?


Last edited by Tritium; 08/22/13 01:48 PM.
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#2137219 - 08/22/13 01:15 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Tritium]  
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MP-10 is not 3-contact key sensor and that seems to be the main difference between the two.


1980 Yamaha C7 from Rick Jones (http://imgur.com/a/duLJb)
Kawai MP-10
Previously: 2012 Young Chang Y175, which was quite impressive for the price
#2137230 - 08/22/13 01:29 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Allan W.]  
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Originally Posted by Allan W.
MP-10 is not 3-contact key sensor and that seems to be the main difference between the two.


Hi Allan...and thanks,

My bad.

I could have sworn that the MP10 had a 3-contact key sensor system. You must be correct, the difference between the two "actions" is the incorporation of the third sensor in the "RM3 Grand 2". The nomenclature is so confusing. One would think that "RM3" stood for "3 sensors". Instead, they use a "2", to indicate an action with 3 sensors. I don't know if this is subtlety that is lost in translation between Japanese and English (Western) languages...but it sure is confusing.

Heck, EVEN THOUGH there is no generational intermediary between the action on the MP10 and the VPC-1...Kawai should have called their latest RM action on the VPC-1 something like "RM3 Grand 3", "RM3/3", or heck, even "RM4"...in order to make a better distinction between the action on the MP10 and the VPC-1.

...just my 2 cents, anyway. grin

P.S. -- and yes, I understand that Kawai is probably using the "3" in the "RM3" to differentiate that fact that it uses wooden keys, versus the "RM2". Nevertheless, the switch to a 3-contact key sensor is arguably as significant as the change from composite/plastic keys to wooden keys. Therefore, I still stand by my declaration that Kawai's "RM3 Grand 2" nomenclature is (at best) a bit silly, and (at worst) downright confusing. On further thought, they should have just leaped ahead and named it (i.e. the action on the VPC-1) "RM4 Grand" action.

P.S.2 -- and yes, I realize I am probably "splitting hairs"...however, if I was first looking at the VPC-1, and then started to become interested in the MP10, I would have mistakenly thought the MP10 contained the same action technology as the newer VPC-1. And let me tell you...if I had end up purchasing the MP10 for $2,500 plus dollars, and found out it only featured a 2-contact key sensor system (even though, for some inscrutable reason it has a mechanical "let-off" simulation)...I would have been majorly Pissed off.

Last edited by Tritium; 08/22/13 01:49 PM.
#2137277 - 08/22/13 02:18 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Tritium]  
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Originally Posted by Tritium
P.S. -- and yes, I understand that Kawai is probably using the "3" in the "RM3" to differentiate that fact that it uses wooden keys, versus the "RM2". Nevertheless, the switch to a 3-contact key sensor is arguably as significant as the change from composite/plastic keys to wooden keys. Therefore, I still stand by my declaration that Kawai's "RM3 Grand 2" nomenclature is (at best) a bit silly, and (at worst) downright confusing. On further thought, they should have just leaped ahead and named it (i.e. the action on the VPC-1) "RM4 Grand" action.


Haha, and the truth is that Kawai is the most clear and forthcoming of the manufacturers about what action is where and how they differ.

Actually there was no RM2. The predecessor of RM3 was AWA PRO II. Before that was AWA PRO. All are wood actions of similar design. RM3 is different in that the pivot points are set back in black keys (as they are on an acoustic) among some more subtle differences. The differences between AWA PRO 1 an 2 are quite subtle indeed and I can't really tell you what they are (I own a piano with AWA PRO 1).

Last edited by gvfarns; 08/22/13 02:22 PM.
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#2137290 - 08/22/13 02:44 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Tritium]  
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Well, the MP-10 came before the VPC-1 so it's understandable that the MP-10 has an inferior action. But I think the difference is fairly minor. The key feel is still similar, it's just repetition might be more reliable with three sensors. If both had been available when I was shopping for a digital piano, I would have gotten the VPC-1 without hesitation.

Last edited by Allan W.; 08/22/13 02:45 PM.

1980 Yamaha C7 from Rick Jones (http://imgur.com/a/duLJb)
Kawai MP-10
Previously: 2012 Young Chang Y175, which was quite impressive for the price
#2137295 - 08/22/13 03:01 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Allan W.]  
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Originally Posted by Allan W.
Well, the MP-10 came before the VPC-1 so it's understandable that the MP-10 has an inferior action. But I think the difference is fairly minor. The key feel is still similar, it's just repetition might be more reliable with three sensors. If both had been available when I was shopping for a digital piano, I would have gotten the VPC-1 without hesitation.


Would you rate the ES7 sounds significantly higher than the MP10?

#2137300 - 08/22/13 03:08 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Allan W.]  
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Originally Posted by Allan W.
Well, the MP-10 came before the VPC-1 so it's understandable that the MP-10 has an inferior action. But I think the difference is fairly minor. The key feel is still similar, it's just repetition might be more reliable with three sensors. If both had been available when I was shopping for a digital piano, I would have gotten the VPC-1 without hesitation.


Hi Allan,

That's is my point...

Because the MP10 was a previous generation ("less advanced") action...then Kawai should have better distinguished the advancement they made by judicious use of good nomenclature. If they already used "RM3" to differentiate between their previous composite actions -vs- wooden key action -- then they should likewise have made a distinct change in nomenclature in transitioning betweeen the 2-contact key sensor MP10 and the 3-contact key sensor VPC-1. IMHO, as a classically trained pianist, this is a significant/huge advancement and change.

Therefore, they should have changed the name from "RM3" to something different entirely.

Again, just my opinion. However, I think it has merit. I think I am reasonably knowledgeable and "up-to-date" on DP industry changes....and still, I would have been completely confounded and mistaken between the MP10 "RM3" action, and it's newer (and greatly improved version) in the VPC-1.

With that said, I completely agree with gvfarns position that, along with Casio...Kawai seems to be a more transparent and up-front Company when it comes to issues of Marketing. In this case, I just think they made a silly mistake, which was not meant to cause confusion.

P.S. -- I am a happy, satisfied owner of a Casio PX-850. However, Kawai has always been a favored brand. I have played both acoustic Kawai Grand pianos, as well as many of their Digital Pianos, and hold them in the highest regard. Hence my frustration.

Last edited by Tritium; 08/22/13 03:15 PM.
#2137327 - 08/22/13 04:34 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Tritium]  
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Just to clarify - is there any structural or mechanical difference between the two actions apart from the third sensor? If I want to try the VPC action, is it safe to try the MP10 and consider them "same"?

#2137331 - 08/22/13 04:40 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Hookxs]  
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Originally Posted by Hookxs
Just to clarify - is there any structural or mechanical difference between the two actions apart from the third sensor? If I want to try the VPC action, is it safe to try the MP10 and consider them "same"?


Hi Hookxs,

If you are classically trained, and can tell the difference between an upright action (single Escapement), and a "grand" piano action (double Escapement)...then there is a HUGE difference between a DP with a 2-contact key sensor and a 3-contact key sensor system.

I can't speak for others, but for me...it is Night and Day.

P.S. -- and by "classically trained", I in no way intend that is speaking from a position of authority or superiority...it is just a statement of fact.

Last edited by Tritium; 08/22/13 04:48 PM.
#2137388 - 08/22/13 06:59 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Hookxs]  
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Originally Posted by Hookxs
Just to clarify - is there any structural or mechanical difference between the two actions apart from the third sensor? If I want to try the VPC action, is it safe to try the MP10 and consider them "same"?


They apparently use a different internal chassis, but it's very unlikely that this makes a palpable difference. In terms of mechanical feel, they should be indistinguishable.

The third sensor...well, very nice feature. I'm not sure DP third sensors work as well as acoustic double escapements, though.

#2137390 - 08/22/13 07:02 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Tritium]  
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Tritium, as others have noted, the main difference between 'RM3 Grand' and 'RM3 Grand II' is that the latter features triple-sensor key detection.

The number '3' in 'RM3 Grand' is actually used to summarise three realistic characteristics of the action: mechanism, motion, and materials (i.e. three 'Ms') - it does not indicate the number of key sensors.

As the Roman numeral suggests 'RM3 Grand II' is the second iteration of the 'RM3 Grand' action series, and is more advanced version of the original.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#2137391 - 08/22/13 07:06 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Hookxs]  
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Originally Posted by Hookxs
Just to clarify - is there any structural or mechanical difference between the two actions apart from the third sensor? If I want to try the VPC action, is it safe to try the MP10 and consider them "same"?


Hookxs, the keyboard actions in the MP10 and VPC1 are similar but not the same. Please note the differences in the action photos below:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

It's rather difficult to summaries the exact touch feeling with words, however I would say the VPC1 action feels somewhere between the MP10 action and CA95/CA65 action. If you are unable to find a VPC1 to play-test, the closest alternative would be a CA15 (which utilises exactly the same 'RM3 Grand II' action).

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#2137402 - 08/22/13 07:47 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Kawai James]  
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
The number '3' in 'RM3 Grand' is actually used to summarise three realistic characteristics of the action: mechanism, motion, and materials (i.e. three 'Ms') - it does not indicate the number of key sensors.


Fun with acronyms. Does that mean the R stands for "realistic?"

#2137404 - 08/22/13 07:49 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Tritium]  
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Yes.

I believe R&D felt that the improvements to the [then] new action over the [then] current 'AWA Grand Pro II' action were significant enough to warrant a brand new name, and one of the chaps at Kawai America suggested the 'RM3' concept.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#2137447 - 08/22/13 08:58 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Kawai James]  
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Yes.

I believe R&D felt that the improvements to the [then] new action over the [then] current 'AWA Grand Pro II' action were significant enough to warrant a brand new name, and of the chaps at Kawai America suggested the 'RM3' concept.

Cheers,
James
x


Thanks for the clarifications, James.

Kawai USA should update their website page which discusses the different actions (see link in my original post), as it does not include the RM3-Grand 2. I still think it was a mistake/missed opportunity not to have a more descriptive or different name for the action when improving from the 2-sensor MP10, to the 3-sensor VPC-1.

#2137453 - 08/22/13 09:09 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Tritium]  
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Originally Posted by Tritium
I still think it was a mistake/missed opportunity not to have a more descriptive or different name for the action when improving from the 2-sensor MP10, to the 3-sensor VPC-1.


Respectfully I disagree.

The triple-sensor in 'RM3 Grand II' certainly improves the responsiveness of the action, however the actual mechanics/specifications of the key etc. are largely the same as the original 'RM Grand' action - hence the 'mark II' denotion.

Please also remember that the new, flagship 'Grand Feel' action was already available in the CA95/CA65. It may have actually been more confusing to customers and dealers to introduce yet another keyboard action with a completely new name. 'Grand Feel' has rather different mechanics/specifications to previous Kawai actions, therefore in order to distinguish the two actions I believe it was the correct decision to name the action in the VPC1 and CA15 'RM3 Grand II'.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#2137465 - 08/22/13 09:51 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Tritium]  
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Originally Posted by Tritium

If you are classically trained, and can tell the difference between an upright action (single Escapement), and a "grand" piano action (double Escapement)...then there is a HUGE difference between a DP with a 2-contact key sensor and a 3-contact key sensor system.


That's very interesting. I'm going to look into the possibility of trading in my MP-10 from my retailer Kraft Music for the VPC-1... although it seems like no one has any stock for the next few months.


1980 Yamaha C7 from Rick Jones (http://imgur.com/a/duLJb)
Kawai MP-10
Previously: 2012 Young Chang Y175, which was quite impressive for the price
#2137468 - 08/22/13 10:00 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Allan W.]  
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Originally Posted by Allan W.
...it seems like no one has any stock for the next few months.


Please give them a call. I believe the supply situation has improved considerably.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#2137472 - 08/22/13 10:17 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Tritium]  
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The following review insists fast repetition is possible on the MP10

www.keyboardmag.com/article/kawai-mp10-and-mp6/4373

"You can get rapid-fire repeated notes, but you’ve got to work for them, just like on most real pianos. "

#2137488 - 08/22/13 11:20 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Todd Bellows]  
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Originally Posted by Todd Bellows
The following review insists fast repetition is possible on the MP10

www.keyboardmag.com/article/kawai-mp10-and-mp6/4373

"You can get rapid-fire repeated notes, but you’ve got to work for them, just like on most real pianos. "


I can get mostly predictable repetition on my MP-10 when hitting the note again before it goes back up halfway. I'm not sure how much the VPC1 can improve on it?


1980 Yamaha C7 from Rick Jones (http://imgur.com/a/duLJb)
Kawai MP-10
Previously: 2012 Young Chang Y175, which was quite impressive for the price
#2137500 - 08/23/13 12:05 AM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Allan W.]  
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Benefits of a triple sensor keyboard action...from Kawai's VPC-1 website:

Quote
The VPC1's 3-sensor action allows improved responsiveness, especially when playing the same note rapidly. Moreover, triple-sensor key detection allows the same note to be re-triggered without the sound of the previously played note being cut-off, enabling greater expressiveness and control when playing trills. Finally, the third sensor also measures the key-release velocity, allowing the software piano (or hardware tone generator) to produce notes with different tonal characteristics ranging from staccato to legato playing.


The 2nd sentence / point is important. You simply cannot play a delicate, pianissimo trill on a 2-sensor system --- the same applies to an acoustic Upright.

The 3rd point is subtle, but also important. On my Casio PX-850 (which also has a 3-sensor key action), the notes respond differently depending how fast you release the key. This is the "Key-Off" simulator.

All these features combine to make the Digital Piano with a 3-sensor key action more closely replicate the greater expressiveness, response, and interaction of an acoustic Grand Piano.

Last edited by Tritium; 08/23/13 12:42 AM.
#2137533 - 08/23/13 03:05 AM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Tritium]  
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That last point is very interesting. What software pianos support that feature? I've seen some with staccato samples (TrueKeys) but I'm not sure if they're triggered by this new MIDI event style or if it does it based on duration of note depress.


1980 Yamaha C7 from Rick Jones (http://imgur.com/a/duLJb)
Kawai MP-10
Previously: 2012 Young Chang Y175, which was quite impressive for the price
#2137660 - 08/23/13 09:57 AM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Tritium]  
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Anyone care to elaborate on how release speed affects the tone (in an acoustic)? After escapement the key has no connection either with the hammer or the string. The only effect of letting the key go fast as opposed to slow is the movement of the dampers. Two-sensor actions are able to correctly infer the timing of the damper fall. Is damper fall speed the issue at hand? If so then presumably key-off velocity is not used/useful when the pedal is depressed, right?

#2137818 - 08/23/13 02:18 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: gvfarns]  
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Originally Posted by gvfarns
Anyone care to elaborate on how release speed affects the tone (in an acoustic)? After escapement the key has no connection either with the hammer or the string. The only effect of letting the key go fast as opposed to slow is the movement of the dampers. Two-sensor actions are able to correctly infer the timing of the damper fall. Is damper fall speed the issue at hand? If so then presumably key-off velocity is not used/useful when the pedal is depressed, right?


I think it affects how fast the dampers go back on the string. Like you said. The release sample would be different depending on how fast or slow the damper was moving when it hits the string.


1980 Yamaha C7 from Rick Jones (http://imgur.com/a/duLJb)
Kawai MP-10
Previously: 2012 Young Chang Y175, which was quite impressive for the price
#2137846 - 08/23/13 03:16 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Kawai James]  
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by Hookxs
Just to clarify - is there any structural or mechanical difference between the two actions apart from the third sensor? If I want to try the VPC action, is it safe to try the MP10 and consider them "same"?


Hookxs, the keyboard actions in the MP10 and VPC1 are similar but not the same. Please note the differences in the action photos below:

...

Kind regards,
James
x


Thank you for the explanation James. Do you think it can be said that the newer RM3 II is lighter than RM3, or they are identical in this aspect?

#2137927 - 08/23/13 06:19 PM Re: Difference between Kawai RM3 Grand and RM3 "Grand 2"? [Re: Hookxs]  
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Originally Posted by Hookxs
Thank you for the explanation James. Do you think it can be said that the newer RM3 II is lighter than RM3, or they are identical in this aspect?


I believe the weight should be the same, however the improved responsiveness of the third sensor may give the impression of a lighter touch.

Please don't quote me on that though...

Cheers,
James
x


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

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