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#2201806 - 12/23/13 10:26 AM Kawai VPC1 in New York City?
jjmarkow Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/20/12
Posts: 5
I'm surprised that I haven't been able to find a VPC1 on the floor of any dealer's showroom in NYC. Kawai US can't help me. The authorized dealers in town don't have one on display. I'm reluctant to order one without being able to check it out first. Does anybody know where I can find one in the city? If anyone has a VPC1 they would be willing to show me, please PM me!

Thanks!

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#2201871 - 12/23/13 12:29 PM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: jjmarkow]
dmd Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 3125
Loc: Pennsylvania
Maybe you can find a place where you can return it for a complete refund if you don't like it ?
_________________________
Don

Current: ES8, ProFX8 Mixer, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors, Pianoteq 5,TruePiano,Ravenscroft275,TrueKeys American,Galaxy Vintage D,Ivory II,Alicia's Keys,CFX Concert Grand, The Grandeur

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#2201872 - 12/23/13 12:35 PM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: jjmarkow]
jjmarkow Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/20/12
Posts: 5
Thanks, I'll do that if I have no other choice.

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#2201879 - 12/23/13 12:50 PM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: jjmarkow]
dmd Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 3125
Loc: Pennsylvania
Judging by the comments by users within this forum, it is highly unlikely that you won't like it....as long as you are happy using software piano products to generate the sound and no onboard speaker system.
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Don

Current: ES8, ProFX8 Mixer, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors, Pianoteq 5,TruePiano,Ravenscroft275,TrueKeys American,Galaxy Vintage D,Ivory II,Alicia's Keys,CFX Concert Grand, The Grandeur

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#2201917 - 12/23/13 02:25 PM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: jjmarkow]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 2487
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Did you try Sam Ash? They seem to have a broader DP/Synth floor stock than anyone else I've tried.
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#2201975 - 12/23/13 05:06 PM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: ClsscLib]
jjmarkow Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/20/12
Posts: 5
I did try Sam Ash. They have a great selection, but not for Kawai--only two keyboards, and the MP10 was in terrible shape, keys broken, etc.

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#2201995 - 12/23/13 06:27 PM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: jjmarkow]
Kawai James Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 12874
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: jjmarkow
I'm surprised that I haven't been able to find a VPC1 on the floor of any dealer's showroom in NYC. Kawai US can't help me. The authorized dealers in town don't have one on display.


Yes, it's unfortunate, however the VPC1 is a rather difficult model to demonstrate on the shop floor as it requires a computer with dedicated software, speakers, audio interface etc. - for many acoustic-oriented dealers, this is quite a large outlay.

Given that you have already contacted Kawai US, I'm afraid there's not a great deal I can suggest, other than to try an MP10 and a CA95/CA65 and consider the action to be somewhere in between.

I would echo the sentiments of dmd, though: in the 10 months or so that the VPC1 has been available, I don't believe I have seen any negative comments - other than the lack of pitchbend/modulation wheel.

Best of luck!

Kind regards,
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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#2202011 - 12/23/13 07:13 PM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: Kawai James]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3510
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
in the 10 months or so that the VPC1 has been available, I don't believe I have seen any negative comments - other than the lack of pitchbend/modulation wheel.


And the choice of RM3II instead of GF. smile

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#2202020 - 12/23/13 07:41 PM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: jjmarkow]
Kawai James Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 12874
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Okay, that's a fair point.

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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#2202024 - 12/23/13 07:59 PM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: Kawai James]
iceporky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/26/13
Posts: 169
Loc: Singapore
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
I don't believe I have seen any negative comments - other than the lack of pitchbend/modulation wheel.


My piano store has both the MP10 (with pitchbend/modulation wheels) and VPC1 on display and, to me, the VPC1 looks so much better without those wheels.

If you are mostly into playing (not mixing), then I think VPC1 has hit the spot. VPC1 looks like something that Apple (when Steve Jobs was still around) would have come up with.
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#2202029 - 12/23/13 08:09 PM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: iceporky]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3510
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: iceporky
My piano store has both the MP10 (with pitchbend/modulation wheels) and VPC1 on display and, to me, the VPC1 looks so much better without those wheels.


Yeah, basically any time someone chimes in wishing for those wheels they are overwhelmed by people (including myself) saying they are wrong. It's not the right instrument to need to include those.

On the other hand, the desire for GF is universal. smile

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#2202032 - 12/23/13 08:15 PM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: Kawai James]
Amaruk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 823
Loc: New England, USA
Originally Posted By: Kawai James

I would echo the sentiments of dmd, though: in the 10 months or so that the VPC1 has been available, I don't believe I have seen any negative comments - other than the lack of pitchbend/modulation wheel.


I also think that the VPC1 is a very refined piano controller and I don't think that you would return it if you ordered it online. Most Kawai owners seem to be most satisfied with the piano action and with the VPC1 that is what you get. Another (minor) complaint I recall is the lack of Mac support for the VPC editor. If I was in the market for a controller I would buy the VPC1 in a flash as I really like the action in the Kawai pianos I have tried. Good luck!


Edited by Amaruk (12/23/13 08:17 PM)
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#2202053 - 12/23/13 10:04 PM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: jjmarkow]
jjmarkow Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/20/12
Posts: 5
Thanks to all for your advice!

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#2202173 - 12/24/13 04:01 AM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: gvfarns]
KLSinCT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/12
Posts: 148
Loc: Stonington, CT USA
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
in the 10 months or so that the VPC1 has been available, I don't believe I have seen any negative comments - other than the lack of pitchbend/modulation wheel.


And the choice of RM3II instead of GF. smile


thumb

K.
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#2202192 - 12/24/13 05:31 AM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: KLSinCT]
funkycornwall Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 112
Loc: Cornwall. UK
Lack of modulation wheel, pitch pend and inputs for expression pedals make it a no no for me as I would be using the VPC1 as a recording studio controller keyboard. I agree it looks very attractive but I think a computer-based instrument like this should have included all these featurees. I am very happy with my Kawai MP10 though.

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#2202212 - 12/24/13 07:00 AM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: jjmarkow]
maurus Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 1229
Strange that, apparently, you find more VPC1s to test in a major German city (such as Frankfurt or Cologne) than in NYC...

Joking aside, to me the VPC1 has no major flaw at all. OK, a GF action might be nice, but frankly, the RM3-II (adding the third sensor to that of the MP10) is more than sufficient for most purposes. And I don't miss the wheels a bit - this thing is not a masterkeyboard for all kinds of MIDI and recording purposes (Kawai might give us such an instrument as well but then an updated mega MP10 with sounds, GF, full MIDI capabilities and controls might as well do the trick, for professionals needing such a thing, and for the rich among you). The VPC1 is for straight piano playing, period. And I like the modest price tag it has, that bit of the equation should not be compromised in updates, in my view.

My only (admittedly not major) niggle is well known: A curve editor for MacOS. Now where is our little Christmas present, James? wink
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.

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#2202270 - 12/24/13 09:41 AM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: jjmarkow]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 15445
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I'm familiar with the RM3-II action, but what is GF?
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private piano/voice teacher FT



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#2202284 - 12/24/13 10:07 AM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: Morodiene]
Hookxs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 310
Loc: Czech Republic
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
I'm familiar with the RM3-II action, but what is GF?

Kawai Grand Feel action, present in CA65, CA95, CS7, CS10 pianos.

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#2202297 - 12/24/13 10:31 AM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: jjmarkow]
PtJaa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/12
Posts: 267
Loc: Czech Republic
GF is a more advanced sibling of RM3-II. The most significant difference are longer keys (to fulcrum) of GF, equal in length to the keys of shorter grands.
Because the GF action weights more and requires more space, Kawai have not used this action in any portable instrument yet, though, IMHO, a version of VPC with GF action could be very appealing to many customers.
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#2202392 - 12/24/13 01:51 PM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: jjmarkow]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 15445
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Thanks Hookxs and PtJaa for explaining that. That is always the trade-off between something 'portable' and getting the best action.
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#2202494 - 12/24/13 06:00 PM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: jjmarkow]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3510
Loc: Texas
True enough, though I would argue that the VPC1 isn't portable in any sense that a GF version with some extra pounds would be. One person can't lug it around (if it weighs anything like what my MP8 weighs) unless they are real strong and not going far.

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#2202562 - 12/24/13 09:21 PM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: Kawai James]
doremi Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1821
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Yes, it's unfortunate, however the VPC1 is a rather difficult model to demonstrate on the shop floor as it requires a computer with dedicated software, speakers, audio interface etc. - for many acoustic-oriented dealers, this is quite a large outlay.

Can't the VPC1 be easily demonstrated with a MIDI IN to a DP like an MP10 or similar? Sure, it won't be VST or finely optimized velocity curves, but just to get a first feel for the all-important action, such a demo may well be adequate (and help sell the VPC1 to people like me who just can't jump without playtesting)

Happy holidays, everyone!
_________________________
I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked

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#2202657 - 12/25/13 03:33 AM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: jjmarkow]
maurus Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 1229
Or you could just set a little red board on top of it.
Buyers would then often leave the shop with both... wink

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#2622829 - 03/11/17 09:59 PM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: jjmarkow]
bernpiano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 11
Hello everyone,

Bumping this up as I am very interested in the VPC1 and want to try it out in the greater New York City area. I am a former Yamaha AvantGrand N1 (grand action, as opposed to NU1) owner but found the action too heavy, hence my interest in understanding the heaviness of the VPC1’s action. None of the NYC-area (including upper NJ and southern CT) dealers have a VPC1 in stock, which is understandable. One of the dealers kindly researched and informed me that the CA63 and CA93 have the same action as the VPC1 (the RM3 Grand II action), but as I believe both have been replaced by newer models with newer actions (CA67, CA97, respectively), no dealer in the aforementioned areas has the older models, either. I know some people say the newer Grand Feel II action used in the CA67 and CA97 may not feel much different from the RM3 Grand II action to a lower-intermediate-level player such as myself (took lessons for a few years when younger, looking to sincerely advance my skill level now), but I would really like to try an identical action to the VPC1 before purchase. So (and thank you for reading this far), my questions for you are:

(1) Is there a place I can try the VPC1, CA63, or CA93 in the greater New York City area that you know of? If any of you have these models and could allow me to try them, I will make it worth your time.

(2) Can anyone comment on the heaviness (or non-heaviness) of the VPC1 action, or if possible, the relative heaviness of the actions between the AvantGrand N1-N3 series and the VPC1?

(3) Would the difference between RM3 Grand II and the Grand Feel II actions be noticeable to a player at my level (lower-intermediate)?

Cordially,

Bernard


Edited by bernpiano (03/11/17 10:00 PM)

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#2623127 - 03/12/17 10:24 PM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: jjmarkow]
Kawai James Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 12874
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Hello Bernard,

I recall reading that one of Sam Ash's NY stores had the VPC1 available to play-test, however I'm afraid I do not know which one. My recommendation would be to contact Kawai America directly for assistance.

As you note, the CA93/CA63 models are a couple of generations old now, consequently it's rather unlikely that any Kawai dealers will still have these models available to play-test.

Those who have played the VPC1 and MP11 side-by-side often comment that the MP11 action feels a little lightly, perhaps due to the longer keys and longer key pivot. If you felt that the N1, which utilises more-or-less a real grand piano action felt a little heavy, my recommendation would be to opt for the slightly lighter of two's Kawai actions - Grand Feel/Grand Feel II.

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.

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#2623298 - 03/13/17 01:18 PM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: jjmarkow]
newer player Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/16
Posts: 220
Bernard,

Check one of the super-sized music stores in midtown near Madison Square Garden (maybe Sam Ash as Kawai James noted but can't remember- the store with the small wheelchair ramp near the sheet music and the pianos in the back left alcove of the store). They definitely had a VPC-1 on the floor for a long-time last year. It was not new; might have been used or a customer return as it had some tag on it (can't remember details of tag either lol) but VPC-1 was there forever.

It might not be on their inventory list becase of that used-repair tag so you would ideally need to visit or call to confirm it is there and make sure you get a digital piano guy.

EDIT - the also had the MP-11, ES-8, and a few other Kawai pianos which I do not recall(plus plenty of other brand digital pianos). Tried all of the Kawai boards in stock!


Edited by newer player (03/13/17 01:22 PM)

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#2623519 - 03/14/17 08:47 AM Re: Kawai VPC1 in New York City? [Re: newer player]
bernpiano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 11
Kawai James and Newer Player, I sincerely thank each of you for replying to my message. You breathed new hope into my search – and alas, upon calling Sam Ash on 34th Street in midtown Manhattan, a very diligent sales rep devoted to piano-type items (as you suggested I find, Newer Player) spent over ten minutes looking for the VPC1 and found it in the Recording Room. (I am almost certain I’d called the store a couple weeks ago and another rep told me they didn’t have it available to try, but that’s likely because it was in the Recording Room, off the larger floor.) I was so happy to see the VPC1, and the MP11 was out on the main floor, which was great for contrasting the different actions. I had only a few minutes to try them both but will be back again soon.

Again, my appreciation to both of you for spending time to help me find the VPC1.

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