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issues with my new VPC 1 #2340154
10/22/14 12:15 PM
10/22/14 12:15 PM
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JJRP Offline OP
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Hi guys, sorry for a downer for a first thread but I'm just having some problems with my new VPC 1.

One of the reasons I chose it was the fact that the vpc action is reputed to have less noise and rattle than the cheaper alternatives (I tend to practice on headphones in a quiet room) and over most of the keyboard this is true.

Unfortunately right in the middle register there is an octave that produces a percussive bang on most white notes unless I'm playing quietly. This bang does not happen on the other keys, regardless of velocity. It also feels like a slightly harder contact at the bottom of the keypress when it bangs. No black keys seem to be affected.

demo video here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao1FWa_p79E&feature=youtu.be

Bearing in mind that I've just dropped ú1000 on this I would have to say I'm disappointed. I'm a career pianist and I figured going for a more expensive but technically more realistic action was worth it after years of practising on cheaper stage pianos, but I'm now suffering buyer's remorse.

There's also a minor issue with the sustain pedal. It's a bit sticky, with a fractional delay in returning to the top. Not huge but enough to bug me.

I don't know if this is a good place to post about all this (apologies if not!) but I know that there's a kawai employee who has dropped in on some other threads, and I wondered if he might be able to confirm that this sort of variation in key noise/feel is not supposed to be happening, what the issue might be and how I might be able to get it fixed in London, UK.

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Re: issues with my new VPC 1 [Re: JJRP] #2340158
10/22/14 12:27 PM
10/22/14 12:27 PM
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Pennsylvania
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dmd Offline
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Well, my basic position on something like this is to complain to the closest appropriate person and see what happens. If that doesn't rectify the problem, then go to a higher-up person in the chain of responsibility. So ....

Bring it to the attention of the place where you purchased it.

Next, Kawai technical support.

I believe you will get that either fixed or replaced.

Good Luck


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: issues with my new VPC 1 [Re: JJRP] #2340165
10/22/14 12:47 PM
10/22/14 12:47 PM
Joined: May 2013
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Scotland
Beemer Offline
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JJRP,

As someone who is about to buy a VPC-1, I have been reading all the problems both here and watching problems being shown on You Tube.

I have to go out now but I'll check for these and post links sometime tomorrow.

As I recall some of the key issues can be fixed but it involves a strip down which would void your warranty. The sustain pedal has different pivot mechanism and I have seen a YT video of it being fixed by some thin material being inserted then grease being applied.

I have no doubt that James here (from Kawai Japan) will reply and advise you to pass the problem to the dealer.

Some use closed headphones type to reduce the clatter

Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Bl├╝thner Model A
Re: issues with my new VPC 1 [Re: JJRP] #2340169
10/22/14 12:57 PM
10/22/14 12:57 PM
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Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Definitely contact the retailer and arrange to have the instrument repaired or replaced. Same with the pedal, it shouldn't be sticky. If you have difficulty with the retailer, do not hesitate to contact Kawai UK. Once you get these matters sorted out, you will be very happy with your VPC1, I'm sure. It's a great instrument.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: issues with my new VPC 1 [Re: JJRP] #2340173
10/22/14 01:06 PM
10/22/14 01:06 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
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JJRP Offline OP
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Yeah I'm going to get onto the vendor as a first move, but we're out of office hours in the UK now and I'm hoping I might be able to work a bit more about the problem out before I phone it in tomorrow.

Re: issues with my new VPC 1 [Re: JJRP] #2340395
10/22/14 10:45 PM
10/22/14 10:45 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,615
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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JJRP, regardless of the reason for signing-up, welcome to the forum!

I've watched your video and can hear the different key sounds when pressing the D and C keys. I do not work in the technical support division, so I'm reluctant to hazard a guess as to what may be causing this sound. However, I've seen a few cases whereby the metal front rail beneath the keyboard has become dented or warped slightly (often in shipping/transit), and pushing into some keys.

As others have noted, I would strongly recommend bringing this to the attention of the Kawai dealer from whom the instrument was purchased, and asking them to resolve the issue. It may also be worthwhile giving Kawai UK a call on 01908 288160.

As for the pedal, I can hear the friction noise you're referring to also. It may simply be due to insufficient grease applied to the mechanism, and even though it's a minor concern, if you're not completely satisfied, definitely take this up with the dealer too.

I appreciate the these niggles can be frustrating - you've invested in a high quality controller, and rightly expect everything to be perfect. However, I'm confident that the issues you're experiencing will be resolved promptly, and that you'll then be able to fully enjoy the VPC1 for many years to come.

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: issues with my new VPC 1 [Re: JJRP] #2340475
10/23/14 05:44 AM
10/23/14 05:44 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
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JJRP Offline OP
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James, thanks very much for taking the time to watch the vid (which isn't searchable on youtube, btw. I think I'd like to be clear that I'm not trying to generate views, escalate a complaint or persuade anyone not to buy a VPC) and pass on that information. Much appreciated.

Thanks to everyone else in the thread for dropping by as well. Handy to get a few second opinions.


Re: issues with my new VPC 1 [Re: JJRP] #2340481
10/23/14 06:35 AM
10/23/14 06:35 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,615
Hamamatsu, Japan
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JJRP, yes, I noticed that you set the video to unlisted - I'm grateful for that.

Fingers crossed you get everything resolved soon.

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: issues with my new VPC 1 [Re: JJRP] #2340613
10/23/14 01:54 PM
10/23/14 01:54 PM
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I join others in hoping you get the key noise issue resolved. As a fellow recent purchaser of a VPC1, I can report no such apparent noise from keys here (mine does have a minor occasional click on the lowest Bb, but it occurs irregularly enough to not be bothered by--and is completely inaudible when actually playing). However, the sustain pedal demonstration would appear to me as normal. I had an MP11 for a short while before getting my VPC1, and both include the same F-30 pedal unit which exhibited the same sustain pedal characteristic as yours--notably more resistance than the other two pedals, and by extension a minutely-lengthened release period.

I took it as more of a feature than a bug--after all, real piano pedals have a degree of resistance, and only the sustain pedal in the F-30 unit offers a progressive level of MIDI response as opposed to the sostunto/una corda pedals which are purely binary on-off switches. Put differently, I think the sustain pedal acts this way precisely because it isn't as "cheap" as the other two. I wouldn't describe mine as sticky, so it's possible that there's a more substantial difference between your unit and my two units than can be discerned through the video, but by my experience with the F-30 pedals, I'd say yours seems normal.

Re: issues with my new VPC 1 [Re: Starboard] #2340617
10/23/14 02:04 PM
10/23/14 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Starboard
However, the sustain pedal demonstration would appear to me as normal. I had an MP11 for a short while before getting my VPC1, and both include the same F-30 pedal unit which exhibited the same sustain pedal characteristic as yours--notably more resistance than the other two pedals, and by extension a minutely-lengthened release period.

I took it as more of a feature than a bug--after all, real piano pedals have a degree of resistance, and only the sustain pedal in the F-30 unit offers a progressive level of MIDI response as opposed to the sostunto/una corda pedals which are purely binary on-off switches. Put differently, I think the sustain pedal acts this way precisely because it isn't as "cheap" as the other two. I wouldn't describe mine as sticky, so it's possible that there's a more substantial difference between your unit and my two units than can be discerned through the video, but by my experience with the F-30 pedals, I'd say yours seems normal.

Pedals - all the pedals - on well-regulated acoustics respond and return to their original positions almost instantly.

Advanced pianists often use 'flutter-pedalling' to 'warm up' the sound in rapid passagework (including scale passages) without turning it into mush. That's only possible if the sustain pedal returns rapidly on release - with no delay due to 'resistance'.


"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: issues with my new VPC 1 [Re: bennevis] #2340656
10/23/14 04:25 PM
10/23/14 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Pedals - all the pedals - on well-regulated acoustics respond and return to their original positions almost instantly.

Advanced pianists often use 'flutter-pedalling' to 'warm up' the sound in rapid passagework (including scale passages) without turning it into mush. That's only possible if the sustain pedal returns rapidly on release - with no delay due to 'resistance'.


I've only used the VPC-1 with Pianoteq (which has an extremely smooth and coherent response to variable pedaling) and haven't felt like I've had any issues with it--including quick releases and re-presses--but it absolutely does have a different resistance, and does return to rest position at a different rate (slightly slower, but not prohibitively so) than do the other two pedals. As noted above, I presumed this "by design," but perhaps that presumption is mistaken. James, is it possible that you could contact the engineers/designers to confirm whether all three pedals on the F-30 unit are intended to have the same press resistance and release speed?

Re: issues with my new VPC 1 [Re: JJRP] #2340662
10/23/14 04:48 PM
10/23/14 04:48 PM
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Concerning the F-30 pedal, I own the original Fatar labeled version, the VFP3-10 D, which is exactly the same product but with another label on it and I can confirm exactly the same noise and behaviour as in the video posted.

The right pedal feels totally different from the two others and you have friction or mechanical noises. It also does not release as quick as the other two. Probably I will open it and see if some grease could help, but to me it's clear that this is just a crappy (and by the way dramatically overpriced) product. With the selection of this Fatar pedal Kawai definetely decided to cut on costs at the wrong place.

At least they know how to build decent pedals, the F-10H is excellent by any means and feels superb. The F-30 is more or less sh*t, no matter if you buy it from Kawai or from Fatar (as I have done).

If I have some spare time during Christmas, I will try to mod a Roland RPU-3 to be compatible electrically with the Kawai MP series (and VPC of course). That unit has a very nice and realistic feel. No comparison to the Fatar pedals...

Re: issues with my new VPC 1 [Re: JJRP] #2340677
10/23/14 05:13 PM
10/23/14 05:13 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 69
London, UK
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JJRP, I just checked on my brand new VPC1 (got it last friday from Rose Morris in London) an my keys are much quieter than yours. I'm sorry to hear about your frustration, but make sure you get your keyboard replaced, as it is an out-of-this-world instrument...I couldn't be happier.
After you get this sorted out, I'm sure it'll give you years of enjoyment!

Re: issues with my new VPC 1 [Re: Starboard] #2340808
10/24/14 02:57 AM
10/24/14 02:57 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,615
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Originally Posted by Starboard
I've only used the VPC-1 with Pianoteq (which has an extremely smooth and coherent response to variable pedaling) and haven't felt like I've had any issues with it--including quick releases and re-presses--but it absolutely does have a different resistance, and does return to rest position at a different rate (slightly slower, but not prohibitively so) than do the other two pedals. As noted above, I presumed this "by design," but perhaps that presumption is mistaken.


I believe the difference in resistance between the left/centre and right pedals is because the left/centre are on/off switch pedals, while the right pedal is a progressive pedal and therefore utilises a different mechanism.

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: issues with my new VPC 1 [Re: Banshee] #2340840
10/24/14 06:31 AM
10/24/14 06:31 AM
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uk south
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Originally Posted by Banshee
I will try to mod a Roland RPU-3 to be compatible electrically with the Kawai MP series (and VPC of course). That unit has a very nice and realistic feel. No comparison to the Fatar pedals...

that would be a worthwhile venture! I wonder if the Roland pedal uses the same potentiometer principle as the Fatar or if it's something completely different.

Even if it's the same, I would definitely pay more for a better build quality.

...having said that, if I slip my foot of my F30's sustain pedal it returns in an instant, seemingly as fast as the other two simple on/off pedals. And this is also a little odd because I recall the pedal being a tad sluggish a while back. Maybe they need to bed in a bit? (This F30 was a replacement, the first one had the dreaded MIDI echo.)

Re: issues with my new VPC 1 [Re: JJRP] #2340861
10/24/14 08:28 AM
10/24/14 08:28 AM
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uk south
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- to the OP, regarding the sustain...

If you check out this pic courtesy of joflah, you can see the mechanism which is giving rise to the pedal noise you're hearing. I wouldn't be too distressed by that since it's probably unnoticeable at normal playing levels.

Re: issues with my new VPC 1 [Re: JJRP] #2340880
10/24/14 09:07 AM
10/24/14 09:07 AM
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I too would be tempted to simply open up the pedal unit and apply a bit of grease myself.

Regarding the main unit noises, clearly that's unacceptable. Ask for a replacement.

I don't think "getting damaged in transit" really flies as an excuse... there are some videos by Roland (I think on their website) showing the testing they do, dropping the packages from chest height onto a concrete floor. And you don't hear about this kind of thing in Roland DPs. It's not so much the packaging I'd seek to improve, as the overall robustness of the design, which I think is lacking.


Kawai CA95 / Steinberg UR22 / Sony MDR-7506 / Pianoteq Stage + Grotrian / Galaxy Vintage D / CFX Lite
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810
Re: issues with my new VPC 1 [Re: JJRP] #2340886
10/24/14 09:23 AM
10/24/14 09:23 AM
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Well, if you'd let your favorite acoustic piano drop from chest height to a concrete floor it would probably lose quite a bit of its value. I wouldn't recommend to do that with a mechanically complex key action either, nicely packed or not.


Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.
Re: issues with my new VPC 1 [Re: lolatu] #2340927
10/24/14 10:42 AM
10/24/14 10:42 AM
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Posts: 15,615
Hamamatsu, Japan
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Originally Posted by lolatu
And you don't hear about this kind of thing in Roland DPs.


Roland DPs utilise plastic keys and are therefore lighter than the VPC1/MP11.
The Roland action design is also completely different to that of a wooden-key Kawai.


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: issues with my new VPC 1 [Re: maurus] #2340974
10/24/14 12:29 PM
10/24/14 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by maurus
Well, if you'd let your favorite acoustic piano drop from chest height to a concrete floor it would probably lose quite a bit of its value. I wouldn't recommend to do that with a mechanically complex key action either, nicely packed or not.
Good point wink


private piano/voice teacher FT

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