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Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
PianoManChuck #2363735 12/20/14 02:48 AM
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Another +1. From what is seen, the Value Added is simply to Regulate the keyboard. For the eye. For the touch. Possibly so where each Note is struck is even from one key to the next. I did not see anything done to the electronics.

Sometimes it is fun to see what others are doing with a unit that is far less. Here is an example. Sounds pretty good too ... $800 and it has speakers too ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zp95Y4D-1k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrpsJt-C3S4

Hmmmmmm ...


Jon ...

Kawai CA67
A Tired, Retired, Dreamer ...
Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
PianoManChuck #2363757 12/20/14 04:56 AM
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Moonlight sonata is played at the correct speed. That doesn't happen often. The guy is outstanding.


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Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
PianoManChuck #2363758 12/20/14 04:56 AM
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Moonlight sonata is played at the correct speed. That doesn't happen often. The guy is outstanding.


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
dewster #2363835 12/20/14 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by dewster

I mean, what, Kawai is competent to manufacture the controller in the first place, but not competent to set it up for proper use by musicians? It doesn't pass the smell test.
With all due respect, I see this as a great step forward for MIDI controllers. Up til now, when you buy a controller it's a factory-built mechanism. This is the first controller that includes a master setup for a MIDI keyboard by people who build some of the best individual pianos in the world.

If you buy a new Steinway piano, or Collins guitar, or Gibson mandolin, the first thing you do is to have it professionally setup to your needs. They don't come from the factory with the fine-tuning necessary for concert play. And the difference after proper setup can be extraordinary.

The Ravenworks folks go beyond regulation to rework those parts of the VPC1 that they believe should be improved. Shelby used to do this with stock Fords, quite successfully. The $5k price is quite reasonable if they can, and this is yet to be proved, replace studio grands for session work.

Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
PianoMan51 #2363858 12/20/14 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoMan51
The Ravenworks folks go beyond regulation to rework those parts of the VPC1 that they believe should be improved. ... The $5k price is quite reasonable if they can, and this is yet to be proved, replace studio grands for session work.


Watching the documentary "Note By Note - The Making Of Steinway L1037" makes one appreciate what is involved in making a great keyboard.

I believe we must keep in mind, the limitations imposed by Kawai in the design and execution of their product. Limitations Ravenworks may not be able to rework, remake or refine.

There is only so much one can do to the mechanicals in the RM3/II or the GF keyboard. I believe Kawai gets these keyboards to the 90+ yard line and does that consistently on a production line basis. And, this is more than satisfactory for the marketplace they serve.

Those of us whose needs dictate the rework and tuning Ravenworks performs are few. And then, even fewer who would pay that level of money ($3000+) for refining just the keyboard.

As parts wear, the rework those adjustments must be performed again, to keep everything in tip-top shape.

ps: However ... It would be great fun to play the Kawai Before and the Ravenworks After, side by side. Teeheehee ...


Jon ...

Kawai CA67
A Tired, Retired, Dreamer ...
Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
PianoMan51 #2363885 12/20/14 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoMan51
If you buy a new Steinway piano, or Collins guitar, or Gibson mandolin, the first thing you do is to have it professionally setup to your needs. They don't come from the factory with the fine-tuning necessary for concert play. And the difference after proper setup can be extraordinary.

Setting up a real AP action or fretted instrument can be highly involved. But this a simple two lever DP action that doesn't have much going on in comparison. No escapement, no wippen, no jack, no back check, no springs - no nothing really but a hammer hitting a pad and a bit of weight somewhere on the key.

Guitar setup has been automated and taken to the next level by the PLEK process (which even Gibson uses): http://www2.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Gear-Tech/en-us/What-the-Heck-is-PLEK.aspx

I guess I've seen too many Steinway construction and general piano servicing videos as I now have a rather jaundiced eye for most technicians. Not saying what they're doing is easy by any means, but watching them work is rather like watching laws or sausage being made.

Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
PianoManChuck #2363958 12/20/14 05:17 PM
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@dewster - simple 2 lever dp? no escapement? for someone who doesn't know what their talking about you sure have a lot of negative comments in this thread.

this is the first controller of its kind thats even capable of undergoing the same type of regulation and refinement as a fine concert grand. it might even be a great substitute at studios for professional recording pianists.

Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
CouchPotatoJr #2363966 12/20/14 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by CouchPotatoJr
@dewster - simple 2 lever dp? no escapement? for someone who doesn't know what their talking about you sure have a lot of negative comments in this thread.

this is the first controller of its kind thats even capable of undergoing the same type of regulation and refinement as a fine concert grand. it might even be a great substitute at studios for professional recording pianists.

I'll agree with you that someone here doesn't know what they're talking about.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but AFAIK - outside of the Yamaha AvantGrand models - no DP action is more than a simple 2 lever deal (key lever + hammer lever) and none have real escapement. Once lengths, weights, weight positions, and mechanical ratios are picked for manufacture, there isn't much left to regulate / refine. Outside of silk screened birds of course.

Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
PianoManChuck #2363989 12/20/14 06:42 PM
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dewster is correct.

Also the only thing that's "first of its kind" about the VPC1 is that it lacks controls and sounds, so can easily be re-branded. That's the real reason Ravenscroft have picked this up. The same basic design has been made by Kawai for at least 16 years since the MP9000 came out.


Kawai CA95 / Steinberg UR22 / Sony MDR-7506 / Pianoteq Stage + Grotrian, Bluethner / Galaxy Vintage D / CFX Lite
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810
Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
PianoManChuck #2364108 12/21/14 05:02 AM
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Yup Dewster is basically correct. Back to the couch couchpotato. There's a photo here. .

But even so no doubt Raven have made changes to the action that enhance it. This thread has drawn lots of negatives and the problem is the video is a gushing lot of nothing. Not one of the finest by pianochuckman. What we need is a more nuanced or critical or informative review by someone.

Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
spanishbuddha #2364128 12/21/14 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Yup Dewster is basically correct. Back to the couch couchpotato. There's a photo here. .

But even so no doubt Raven have made changes to the action that enhance it. This thread has drawn lots of negatives and the problem is the video is a gushing lot of nothing. Not one of the finest by pianochuckman. What we need is a more nuanced or critical or informative review by someone.


Honestly, (and I'm sorry to be a downer, Chuck), I find all his videos to be on the gushy side. They are far more concerned with praise than criticism. I just don't think all the products being reviewed are that special. I also think some of the technical research is very scant - as I've heard numerous false statements being made about technical aspects.

I won't labour the point, this is just one man's opinion and most people seem to love Chuck's videos (more power to ya, Chuck!). I just think there is room for improvement and probably less waffling improvisation. Something more carefully scripted and better researched would hit the spot.

Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
PianoManChuck #2364155 12/21/14 08:56 AM
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I suppose I have a lot of free-floating issues with industry marketing. E.g the Musician's Friend catalog is always chock full of equipment "reviews" which are really just thinly disguised push advertisements, whipping up excitement for products that have barely changed in the last decade or so. It seems to have gotten to the point of blowback - where they believe their own hype - and industry is content resting on badly aging laurels. NAMM is an echo chamber of out of touch suits and assorted lackeys pumping up new paint jobs to second coming levels, and anyone that attends regularly is part of the problem IMO. Marketing is now more important than the product and the inmates are in charge.

Where are the new innovators, the Kurzweils and Moogs and Pearlmans of today? We're drowning in an ocean of mediocrity.

Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
PianoManChuck #2364159 12/21/14 09:22 AM
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"Where are the new innovators, the Kurzweils and Moogs and Pearlmans of today? We're drowning in an ocean of mediocrity."

You don`t quite understand, young fella (condescending smile ) The lesser cheaper pianos are catching up to the more expensive; the gap is getting smaller, describe it how you will.

But worry not! There will be further "semi major advances" eventually and you can all then "spend spend spend!"


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Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
PianoManChuck #2364170 12/21/14 09:48 AM
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The physis, if not an innovation, a continuation on physical modelling. Perhaps not necessarily more advanced than its competitor, but cheaper. Physis offers a beautiful stand with mounted speakers (an innovation?) bundle for about $6,000; now, that's quite the temptation.

Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
Pete14 #2364181 12/21/14 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete14
The physis, if not an innovation, a continuation on physical modelling. Perhaps not necessarily more advanced than its competitor, but cheaper. Physis offers a beautiful stand with mounted speakers (an innovation?) bundle for about $6,000; now, that's quite the temptation.


Well, mounted speakers might be a welcome feature, but hardly in the league that dewster is talking about. The age when Moog, ARP and co led the way was far braver and more exciting than that, and I can only agree with dewster's general comment. Though perhaps we cannot always be in a buccaneering age - today we are in a kind of late 18th century or regency period of refinement and courtesy. Boring!

By the way, peterws, shouldn't it be 'young-fella-me-lad'?



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Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
PianoManChuck #2364210 12/21/14 12:49 PM
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The problem might be the fact that the innovators are not motivated to innovate till the bottom line is affected. Take the iPhone, for example, an innovation when it first appeared, yet as of lately all you get is a better camera, a bigger screen, and a shiny golden hue.

I'm still waiting for the invisible iPhone; which only appears on command: "Manifest thyself, iPhone, and showeth thy way to a pay phone!"

Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
PianoManChuck #2364218 12/21/14 01:15 PM
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For me, I would judge all the following as very innovative:

RD800
Forte
MP11
and in probably in a more evolutionary way, the CP4 Yamaha

Piano Man Chuck's product videos where he shows off the features of various dps' I find extremely revealing and informative. It' seems that his same approach to the very boutique and expensive mod of the VPC1 did justify the vigorous skepticism though.


Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
PianoManChuck #2364267 12/21/14 03:26 PM
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Just re: the bismuth, that's something I find interesting, especially if adding that weight is something Kawai would have done, if they could have used lead, but instead just left it out and did the best they could without it. (but I have no idea whether that's the case).

Greg. (quite happy with my Casio PX-330 action, which I prefer to my Kawai MP9000)

Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
sullivang #2364273 12/21/14 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by sullivang
Just re: the bismuth, that's something I find interesting, especially if adding that weight is something Kawai would have done, if they could have used lead, but instead just left it out and did the best they could without it. (but I have no idea whether that's the case).

Greg. (quite happy with my Casio PX-330 action, which I prefer to my Kawai MP9000)


Were the counterweights not part go the original?

Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
PianoManChuck #2364279 12/21/14 04:07 PM
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I must admit, I don't quite get it. If you need a better action than that in the VPC1, why not just buy an MP11? And it will save you a couple of grand over a modded VPC. Sure, you have to put up with some built-in sounds and buttons, but that seems to be a small price to pay for an inherently better action - plus some useful general controller features. The only downside seems to be the loss of custom velocity curves, but even that's easily remediable. I'm actually kind of surprised that Kawai would put a lesser action in a dedicated piano controller, but that may just speak to the company's skepticism surrounding the product at its inception.

As for the other topic, I find ultra-positive "reviews" a hindrance rather than a help. For example, I much prefer to read Sound-on-Sound reviews as opposed to those in Keyboard magazine. SoS seems to dig far deeper and point out the issues that I need to be aware of before making a purchase. As for the sounds, I'd rather just listen to a selection of "speechless" performances than have to wade through presentations chock full of frequently uninformed comments. Just my opinion, of course.


"you don't need to have been a rabbit in order to become a veterinarian"

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