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KEY ACTIONS comparisson: Roland FP30 vs Kawai ES110 vs other #2613877
02/13/17 01:17 AM
02/13/17 01:17 AM
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Korny Offline OP
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As the Key action is one of the most important features we are all looking in a piano, let's discuss on the actions of FP30, ES110, P115, Casio, Korg, Kurzweill and other entry-level DPs under $700. Would appreciate your experience with any of these and your comparisson live and how it felt to you.
Also, would be great to have as many specs, pictures and graphics that show here the strong points of each and the weaknesses.
Thank you!

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Re: KEY ACTIONS comparisson: Roland FP30 vs Kawai ES110 vs other [Re: Korny] #2613879
02/13/17 01:21 AM
02/13/17 01:21 AM
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Korny Offline OP
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How is each action comparing to the Real Grand Piano action would also be great to put it here.
See here a video of fast and slow motion of a real piano action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGY87KUuz8E

Re: KEY ACTIONS comparisson: Roland FP30 vs Kawai ES110 vs other [Re: Korny] #2613880
02/13/17 01:24 AM
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Korny Offline OP
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For the Fp30 here are some pics and thoughts from ivorytux:
Originally Posted by ivorytux
A few thoughts on the Roland FP-30, now that I've had some time to really get to know it.

pros
* as a piano purist, I can appreciate that it has several really good piano tones, and not much else.
* it does MIDI over USB which is nice if you're going to use it as a controller

cons
* the speakers are pretty powerful considering the size of this board, unfortunately facing them downward doesn't do justice to the otherwise great sound.
* the sensors are placed in an odd position, making the action somewhat un-piano-like. I'll explain below...

All things considered, I do not regret purchasing the FP-30. I was looking for something decent on an $800-ish budget, and I don't know of any boards in that price range that top it.

rant
If you tap a key on an acoustic piano, you will hear a short staccato note. The key itself may have only gone down 25% of the way, but the hammer had enough momentum to swing all the way up and hit the string. This is where the PHA-4 falls short. The sensors are not attached to the hammers, rather directly to the keys, which means that even if the hammer swings all the way up, the note wont sound unless you also follow through and press the key down at least %80 of the way.

I didn't realize at first why sometimes I'd play a passage and a random note would not sound. After taking apart the keyboard and looking closely at the action's sensor placement, it all made sense.

See for yourself in the photos below.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Re: KEY ACTIONS comparisson: Roland FP30 vs Kawai ES110 vs other [Re: Korny] #2613881
02/13/17 01:27 AM
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Korny Offline OP
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For the ES110 here are some specs and words from Kawai James:
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Hello Gray44,

Originally Posted by Gray44
How does the 'RH Compact' action compares to the AHA IV-F action of the ES-100? Or is it just personal preference?


'RH Compact' utilises a more modern action design than 'AHA IV-F', which is based on the mechanism of the popular 'Responsive Hammer' actions. One important change is that the hammer is moved from the front to the back of the key:

[Linked Image]

This improves touch response and allows greater expressive control, so the keyboard feels light when playing softly, yet heavy when playing with force. As a result of these improvements, the 'RH Compact' action's static and dynamic weighting is more realistic and much closer to that of a grand piano action.

[Linked Image]

As Mako notes above, the 'RH Compact' action also benefits from a higher quality matte surface on the black and white keys. This is not quite the same as the 'Ivory Touch' key surface on the larger Kawai DP actions, but still improves playing control, and has a much nicer touch feeling and appearance than the shiny key surfaces employed on the older 'AHA IV-F' action.

The 'RH Compact' action has some other improvements over 'AHA IV-F' that I hope to discuss in the future. However, for the time being, I believe the most important point is that the new 'RH Compact' action feels, behaves, and responds more like a grand piano action than the older 'AHA IV-F' action, while also having the benefits of weighing less - making it ideally suited to a portable instrument like the ES110.

Originally Posted by Gray44
I only have an Android tablet. (Samsung Tab S2)
I hope the app will soon be available for android too. smile


I believe we have tested some Samsung devices such as the S6 and Bluetooth MIDI functions correctly. However, there is not such a wide selection of MIDI apps available on Android, unfortunately.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
x

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Re: KEY ACTIONS comparisson: Roland FP30 vs Kawai ES110 vs other [Re: Korny] #2613885
02/13/17 02:36 AM
02/13/17 02:36 AM
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Earlier I have Yamaha, Casio and now Kawai es100 in low price range, and personaly I will never ever again buy this cheap actions including Roland FP30, except to carry with me on trips sometimes. Compare to action on my VPC1 it is a night and day, and there is no comparison to action on acoustic piano no matter what anybody says. It will do the job though. Only if budget is a problem.

Last edited by slobajudge; 02/13/17 02:42 AM.
Re: KEY ACTIONS comparisson: Roland FP30 vs Kawai ES110 vs other [Re: Korny] #2613892
02/13/17 03:25 AM
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OK, thank you for your input slobajudge, but indeed we are having this post for the Entry Level, Budget key actions, that are to be compared. Of course, I am sure you can't really expect them to compare to the higher priced DP, but still, for a budget these days, you can buy a very realistic keyboard compared to the previous years. I think this is pretty amazing that even the people that can't afford expensive instruments, can benefit from the evolution of the DP market. So, let's compare the apples with apples, and not apples with watermelons... :))

Re: KEY ACTIONS comparisson: Roland FP30 vs Kawai ES110 vs other [Re: Korny] #2613893
02/13/17 03:29 AM
02/13/17 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Korny
OK, thank you for your input slobajudge, but indeed we are having this post for the Entry Level, Budget key actions, that are to be compared. Of course, I am sure you can't really expect them to compare to the higher priced DP, but still, for a budget these days, you can buy a very realistic keyboard compared to the previous years. I think this is pretty amazing that even the people that can't afford expensive instruments, can benefit from the evolution of the DP market. So, let's compare the apples with apples, and not apples with watermelons... :))


Agree, I tried all this actions and my vote go to Kawai.

Re: KEY ACTIONS comparisson: Roland FP30 vs Kawai ES110 vs other [Re: Korny] #2614023
02/13/17 02:30 PM
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OK, so do you have any specs or other ways to compare Kawai's action with other actions, and proove why is Kawai your choice? This would help to get some facts why one action might be better in some parts than other. Of course, only if we are naive we can say a certain key action is perfect and the only good one.
But let's get a few parameters that we can show why a certain action is better.
For example: Key fulcrum is longer at this action. Or, the hammers are better to be in the front rather than in the back, or so on.
As far as I could read on the internet the RM3 action is very realistic, but consider this downside fact of the action of your VPC1: The wooden keys may need maintenance in time. The wood reacts to moisture and may cause some problems, although it feels very realistic now. So, you can't call it a perfect solution IMO.

Last edited by Korny; 02/13/17 02:57 PM.
Re: KEY ACTIONS comparisson: Roland FP30 vs Kawai ES110 vs other [Re: Korny] #2614088
02/13/17 07:00 PM
02/13/17 07:00 PM
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Kawai James Offline
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Hello Korny,

Originally Posted by Korny
The wood [keys] reacts to moisture and may cause some problems...


May I ask if you have any evidence of this please?

I genuinely cannot recall a case of Kawai's wooden-key DP actions 'reacting to moisture', but perhaps you know something that I do not?

It's true that some action maintenance/regulation may be required, especially if an instrument has been stored upside down, or has taken a heavy knock during overseas shipping, however I believe this is also true of acoustic piano actions that utilise wooden keys.

Kind regards,
James
x


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Re: KEY ACTIONS comparisson: Roland FP30 vs Kawai ES110 vs other [Re: Korny] #2614131
02/13/17 09:37 PM
02/13/17 09:37 PM
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terminaldegree Offline
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Originally Posted by Korny
OK, so do you have any specs or other ways to compare Kawai's action with other actions, and proove why is Kawai your choice? This would help to get some facts why one action might be better in some parts than other. Of course, only if we are naive we can say a certain key action is perfect and the only good one.

As far as I could read on the internet the RM3 action is very realistic, but consider this downside fact of the action of your VPC1:


Ah, we're back to spec sheets again as the sole source of "facts".
What happened to "comparing apples with apples"? Now you're attacking somebody's VPC1 because you don't like the way they answered your question?

I feel like we were down this road not so long ago...


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Re: KEY ACTIONS comparisson: Roland FP30 vs Kawai ES110 vs other [Re: terminaldegree] #2614160
02/14/17 12:24 AM
02/14/17 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree


Ah, we're back to spec sheets again as the sole source of "facts".
What happened to "comparing apples with apples"? Now you're attacking somebody's VPC1 because you don't like the way they answered your question?

I feel like we were down this road not so long ago...


+1. For me, it's not that specs are the source of "facts"--ok, sure facts are facts, but the insinuation that specs are needed to prove someone's opinion is a sadly recurring theme here. If someone prefers a particular manufacturer's key feel, should they really be challenged to back that up with specs? Shouldn't it be OK for someone to say they've tried A and B, and like A better, without having their opinion invalidated for not providing static touch weights in grams?

Maybe we could instead be content accepting that some people have a personal preference for Kawai actions, some prefer Roland actions, and a heck of a silent majority are perfectly happy with their Yamaha GH3/NWX actions?


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50 || Kawai NV-10, MP11
Re: KEY ACTIONS comparisson: Roland FP30 vs Kawai ES110 vs other [Re: Korny] #2614178
02/14/17 02:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Korny
OK, so do you have any specs or other ways to compare Kawai's action with other actions, and proove why is Kawai your choice? This would help to get some facts why one action might be better in some parts than other. Of course, only if we are naive we can say a certain key action is perfect and the only good one.
But let's get a few parameters that we can show why a certain action is better.
For example: Key fulcrum is longer at this action. Or, the hammers are better to be in the front rather than in the back, or so on.
As far as I could read on the internet the RM3 action is very realistic, but consider this downside fact of the action of your VPC1: The wooden keys may need maintenance in time. The wood reacts to moisture and may cause some problems, although it feels very realistic now. So, you can't call it a perfect solution IMO.


Every piano company have their story why they think its action is the best. From lots of angles probably they are all right about that. Now, I am not a piano technician and I dont mind about stage piano philosophy. I want to feel wood and steel in DP as much as possible, so first choice for me is Yamaha and Kawai as they produce acoustic pianos. Roland is excellent as a stage piano, but its not for me. I am to conservative. From low to high price I dont like Roland and plastic feel about it so its action. Casio is good in low price range almost as others and story ends there. Its a matter of preference.
Terminaldegree and Gombessa say it all here (+1).

Yamaha is a big and powerfull company for lots of things and because of that DP improvements are cosmetic in low and middle price range. They use the cheapest clunky GHS key action (still) for decades. If you want something good from Yamaha be prepared to give at least 5K.
And there is Kawai. Only aroma of piano and nothing else. I like that feel, I feel a piano from low to middle to high price. Constantly improving and fighting. I try to find something else, but there is nothing for me in a low and middle price range beside them. It is just: I dont want plastic anymore. If you like acoustic like me, when you come to wooden keys and good action there is no turning back. So, VPC is a logical step because it is a first price step to give what I want.

Last edited by slobajudge; 02/14/17 03:02 AM.
Re: KEY ACTIONS comparisson: Roland FP30 vs Kawai ES110 vs other [Re: Kawai James] #2614186
02/14/17 03:18 AM
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Korny Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Hello Korny,

Originally Posted by Korny
The wood [keys] reacts to moisture and may cause some problems...


May I ask if you have any evidence of this please?

I genuinely cannot recall a case of Kawai's wooden-key DP actions 'reacting to moisture', but perhaps you know something that I do not?

It's true that some action maintenance/regulation may be required, especially if an instrument has been stored upside down, or has taken a heavy knock during overseas shipping, however I believe this is also true of acoustic piano actions that utilise wooden keys.

Kind regards,
James
x


This is exactly what I said James: "The wooden keys MAY need maintenance in time ..."
The fact that "The wood reacts to moisture" is not something new, or invented by me, is a fact prooven by science and practice. Do a small research on the internet if you want ... Here is a small demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vbn4t4gKr1Y ... Besides, I have done many wood jobs to know this myself. Of course, if the wood is treated right or layered right, this process will be diminished, but still in time it will turn some issues, generally speaking about wood. So, the conclusion is that when wood is involved, some maintenance will be needed, in time. This is not to say that the feeling of the keys of wood is not great. I'm sure it is but with this little disadvantage IMO.
Here is a larger discussion on this subject: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2608684/Kawai_wooden_key_action_and_te.html

Last edited by Korny; 02/14/17 11:06 AM.
Re: KEY ACTIONS comparisson: Roland FP30 vs Kawai ES110 vs other [Re: Korny] #2614199
02/14/17 04:28 AM
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This wood maintenance is mostly irelevant for DP today. How many years do you think to play on some DP before you switch to something else ? The same is for any DP, 3 to 5 years mostly, maybe less. It is very rare today that someone bought DP and play it for 15 years for example. Do you think that cheap plastic keys will be OK after 10 or 15 years ? It will be much worst then wooden keys and so noisy. On my VPC after 2,5 years of constantly playing, there is no any sign that I need maintenance. I will give you one month of constantly playing on cheap plastic action and on many DP with that action you will hear clicking that not exist earlier.

Last edited by slobajudge; 02/14/17 04:44 AM.
Re: KEY ACTIONS comparisson: Roland FP30 vs Kawai ES110 vs other [Re: Korny] #2614202
02/14/17 05:06 AM
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I don't think that is due to their material nature though more to do with their mechanical design. Your GHIII action like the GFII is basically a stick with a lever positioned an top- very simple, but also very large/long; more compact plastic and metal actions are usually 'folded' actions - saving space and weight but yes possibly incurring more wear


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Re: KEY ACTIONS comparisson: Roland FP30 vs Kawai ES110 vs other [Re: Korny] #2614268
02/14/17 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Korny
This is not to say that the feeling of the keys of wood is not great. I'm sure it is but with this little disadvantage IMO.


Ahh...so you're offering your opinion of something you've never seen, nor tried in person.

Wait, I thought this thread was about the FP30 and ES110! Why are you going round and round on wooden keys now?


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Re: KEY ACTIONS comparisson: Roland FP30 vs Kawai ES110 vs other [Re: Korny] #2614286
02/14/17 11:02 AM
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Korny Offline OP
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Who told you I didn't play wood keys? This was all about, and not specifically the keys of VPC1.
Anyway, your question is off, because as you can see I was just answering the question of James.
I didn't bring it round and round as you are stating.

Re: KEY ACTIONS comparisson: Roland FP30 vs Kawai ES110 vs other [Re: Korny] #2614293
02/14/17 11:41 AM
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So, who wants to give some more input on other key actions of DPs under 700$?
I can give my experience with the PHA4 Standard from Roland: it's a real good key action for the money you pay on a FP30. I can say that for a few months that I owned it and played it, it's very responsive on any pianissimo or forte pressure. I like to feel the escapement when I play a ballad. Compared to an older model (F20) that I played for a few years, that had PHA3 action, this one is a charm. They really improved on this one. Both actions PHA3 and 4 didn't have any built quality faults, as I could notice on other brands. The key noise is minimal and I can say the weight is well balanced. Compared to some Korgs and Kurzweill under $700 that I played longer, this action is far more realistic.
Waiting for your experiences and specs if you have any.



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