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How to judge action? PX-160 vs FP-30 vs ES110 #2658901
07/04/17 06:32 PM
07/04/17 06:32 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 6
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mynameisthis Offline OP
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mynameisthis  Offline OP
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Hi all.

Sorry - I know this type of thread has been done a hundred times - but I have quite a specific query that I haven't quite seen a response to elsewhere.

I'm trying to decide between the pianos in the title. I'm mainly just interested in the action, since I plan to use a VST anyway. But I'm finding it hard to isolate the feeling of the action and judge that alone, because it depends so much on the sound, and how the sound responds to the person playing.

Earlier today, I tried the PX-160, the yamaha p115 and the kawai es110 (I will try the fp-30 tomrrow). I really didn't like the Yamaha; it just wasn't for me and I struggled to be expressive with it.

Between the px-160 and the es110, I can't decide. The action on the Kawai felt smoother I think, and I felt as if I had greater control of how soft/hard I could hit the keys. But it didn't seem to translate quite as nicely to the sound - I enjoyed the feeling of playing, but found it difficult to get lost in what I was hearing. I also felt like the sound got too muddy at times using the pedal. I also felt like the piano was at times overly sensitive at medium velocities - by that I mean: when I accidentally play a note at medium velocity SLIGHTLY too hard the difference in volume was a lot more than I felt was realistic.

With the px-160, it felt a little clunky, not quite as well built as the kawai. It felt like it might be more difficult to have dynamic control when playing quietly. But overall, I felt like I had good control of the sound that came out, especially at medium velocity compared with the Kawai - no unexpected LOUD moments, and generally a more controlled performance I think. And I found it enjoyable, and I could get lost in what I was playing. The sound also didn't get too muddy using the pedal, which helped.

Now to sum that all up - in the first 10 seconds of playing, I prefer the feel of the kawai, the action feels great. But then as I get into the song a bit more, I think I enjoy it more on the Casio - I just don't get as immersed with the Kawai. But I don't know if these are legitimate reasons to prefer the Casio since I plan to use a VST. Can my issues with the Kawai be solved with VST and velocity curves?? Or are some of these things inherent to the action / sensors?

Can anyone relate to my comments above? Any advice would be much appreciated!

Thank you!

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Re: How to judge action? PX-160 vs FP-30 vs ES110 [Re: mynameisthis] #2658902
07/04/17 06:40 PM
07/04/17 06:40 PM
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mynameisthis Offline OP
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mynameisthis  Offline OP
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I just want to point out that I'm not an especially good piano player. I played on and off for 10 years as a kid, but haven't really played at all in the last 10 years. So some of the strange behaviour I describe above could be down to my bad playing! But nonetheless, the Casio felt more forgiving I think.

Re: How to judge action? PX-160 vs FP-30 vs ES110 [Re: mynameisthis] #2658903
07/04/17 06:49 PM
07/04/17 06:49 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,473
Northern England.
peterws Offline
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peterws  Offline
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See what you think tomorrow when you've played the Roland.


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

"[Linked Image]"
Re: How to judge action? PX-160 vs FP-30 vs ES110 [Re: peterws] #2658904
07/04/17 06:51 PM
07/04/17 06:51 PM
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mynameisthis Offline OP
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Originally Posted by peterws
See what you think tomorrow when you've played the Roland.


Will do smile

Are you personally a fan of the Roland over the other pianos?

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Re: How to judge action? PX-160 vs FP-30 vs ES110 [Re: mynameisthis] #2658915
07/04/17 07:43 PM
07/04/17 07:43 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 141
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Fscotte Offline
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You have to play each piano with the same sound module, otherwise it's not a fair comparison. Difficult to do, but if you have an iPhone and a pair of headphones, plug each piano into it and fire up iGrand or Ravenscroft, or your favorite iOS piano. Then judge the action of each keyboard through the iPhone.

The way the sound responds to the keys is just as important as the action itself. Using the same sound module evens the playing field.

Re: How to judge action? PX-160 vs FP-30 vs ES110 [Re: Fscotte] #2658917
07/04/17 07:50 PM
07/04/17 07:50 PM
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mynameisthis Offline OP
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mynameisthis  Offline OP
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Fscotte - thanks for your comment!

I didn't know that was possible to do so easily - I will definitely look into this. Is it necessary to fiddle with velocity curves for each piano or will the default values be fine?

Re: How to judge action? PX-160 vs FP-30 vs ES110 [Re: mynameisthis] #2658924
07/04/17 08:39 PM
07/04/17 08:39 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,752
Richmond, BC, Canada
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Charles Cohen Online content
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Charles Cohen  Online Content
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FWIW --

I suspect that the PX-160 and ES110 are similar enough (in action alone), so that you could live with either one of them, using a VST. IMHO the Yamaha has a physically lighter action.

I think all the common VST's let you set up custom velocity curves. That lets you solve the problem of:

. . . "I can't control the ppp-pp-p dynamics well enough on keyboard X".

Just modify the velocity curve (linking the MIDI velocity coming out of keyboard X to the MIDI velocity going into the VST), so that there's more "space" in the ppp-pp-p section.

You won't be able to control the range of _absolute_ key velocity that's mapped into (keyboard) MIDI 1:127 -- that's controlled by the keyboard's firmware. But either of those DP's should be OK -- there aren't many complaints.


The problem with "testing" this stuff is that:

a) your "test environment" doesn't have a VST, and

b) "testing" and modifying "velocity curves" (also called "touch curves") takes place over days and weeks, not minutes.


I think either the PX-160 or ES110 will do what you want it to do. There's a lot of material on this stuff in the Pianoteq User Forum. It's not very objective. There is a library of user-submitted "velocity curves", and they vary quite a bit _between different users of the same keyboard_.

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/viewforum.php?id=1

The user-submitted curves are in the "FXP Library".

One of the popular "drivers" for Pianoteq is the PX-150. The action is identical to the PX-160; I don't think any "re-calibration" has been done, between those two models.

FWIW, I'm happy with my PX-350 + Pianoteq setup.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: How to judge action? PX-160 vs FP-30 vs ES110 [Re: Charles Cohen] #2659816
07/08/17 09:12 AM
07/08/17 09:12 AM
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mynameisthis Offline OP
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mynameisthis  Offline OP
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Charles Cohen - thanks for your reply.

That's amazing - didn't know about that "FXP library". I'm looking there now, but most people don't seem to post what midi controller they're using. I was under the impression that FXPs were tuned to a particular controller / key action - or is that not the case?

Re: How to judge action? PX-160 vs FP-30 vs ES110 [Re: mynameisthis] #2659818
07/08/17 09:23 AM
07/08/17 09:23 AM
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mynameisthis Offline OP
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By the way, I ended up going with the FP-30. Overall, I personally just enjoyed the feel of playing it a little bit more than the others.

While the Casio was good, I was slightly apprehensive because I'd seen some forum posts of the keys deteriorating after some time. And while this is just a superficial impression, in person, they did feel to me a little less sturdy than the other 2 models.

Between the Roland and the Kawai - both super solid, but I liked the slightly heavier action on the Roland, I felt like I had a bit more dynamic control. Also - this might seem trivial, and it certainly wasn't a deal breaker, but the ivory feel on the Roland was an added bonus. It's a simple thing, but it did make the whole experience that little bit more enjoyable and immersive.

Re: How to judge action? PX-160 vs FP-30 vs ES110 [Re: mynameisthis] #2659840
07/08/17 11:19 AM
07/08/17 11:19 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,752
Richmond, BC, Canada
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Charles Cohen Online content
4000 Post Club Member
Charles Cohen  Online Content
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Posts: 4,752
Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted by mynameisthis
By the way, I ended up going with the FP-30. Overall, I personally just enjoyed the feel of playing it a little bit more than the others.
. . .


Good! I think you'll enjoy it.


Each keyboard (by brand and type) has its own translation ("mapping") of:

. . . physical key velocity --> MIDI velocity (0 - 127)

And Pianoteq offers an additional translation in its "velocity curve":

. . MIDI velocity (from the keyboard) --> MIDI velocity (into Pianoteq's model).

So yes, each curve in that "FXP" section should say what keyboard it's for. I'm sure that mine do -- they're specific to the PX-350 (and PX-150, etc).


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: How to judge action? PX-160 vs FP-30 vs ES110 [Re: mynameisthis] #2659981
07/09/17 06:03 AM
07/09/17 06:03 AM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 224
North east .UK
M
musicman100 Offline
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Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 224
North east .UK
Just posted this in my thread but i think its relevant here.


Eventually got to try the roland and kawai together!! And........ I prefer the kawai action and the sound. I felt the Roland was too heavy for me and playing on it at a gig would be tiring . Also the kawai has a EQ less line out which I think is vital for gigging. Although the bigger speakers on the roland would have been useful, Another point was the registration memories.which will be useful its a shame they dont store transpose. And if they do not where not have a separate buttons so you can do it at a gig. With regard to the sound I felt the piano sound was better on the Kawai to my ears anyway.!! It felt more natural then the roland. On both keyboards I could control the dynamics well and there was not much difference between them in that respect.And finally the kawai is lighter 12 to 14.1 kg which to my back makes a difference. Hope this has helped some people with a decision.

A quick point about the yamaha the keyboard is ok but the GHS keyboard is a old action and the sound is alright.


http://www.scoreexchange.com/profiles/NigelFletcher

Dexibell P7 Kawai ES110 Yamaha PSR-S770
Re: How to judge action? PX-160 vs FP-30 vs ES110 [Re: mynameisthis] #2659986
07/09/17 06:37 AM
07/09/17 06:37 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,199
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Doug M.  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,199
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Originally Posted by mynameisthis
Hi all.

Sorry - I know this type of thread has been done a hundred times - but I have quite a specific query that I haven't quite seen a response to elsewhere.

I'm trying to decide between the pianos in the title. I'm mainly just interested in the action, since I plan to use a VST anyway. But I'm finding it hard to isolate the feeling of the action and judge that alone, because it depends so much on the sound, and how the sound responds to the person playing.

Earlier today, I tried the PX-160, the yamaha p115 and the kawai es110 (I will try the fp-30 tomrrow). I really didn't like the Yamaha; it just wasn't for me and I struggled to be expressive with it.

Between the px-160 and the es110, I can't decide. The action on the Kawai felt smoother I think, and I felt as if I had greater control of how soft/hard I could hit the keys. But it didn't seem to translate quite as nicely to the sound - I enjoyed the feeling of playing, but found it difficult to get lost in what I was hearing. I also felt like the sound got too muddy at times using the pedal. I also felt like the piano was at times overly sensitive at medium velocities - by that I mean: when I accidentally play a note at medium velocity SLIGHTLY too hard the difference in volume was a lot more than I felt was realistic.

With the px-160, it felt a little clunky, not quite as well built as the kawai. It felt like it might be more difficult to have dynamic control when playing quietly. But overall, I felt like I had good control of the sound that came out, especially at medium velocity compared with the Kawai - no unexpected LOUD moments, and generally a more controlled performance I think. And I found it enjoyable, and I could get lost in what I was playing. The sound also didn't get too muddy using the pedal, which helped.

Now to sum that all up - in the first 10 seconds of playing, I prefer the feel of the kawai, the action feels great. But then as I get into the song a bit more, I think I enjoy it more on the Casio - I just don't get as immersed with the Kawai. But I don't know if these are legitimate reasons to prefer the Casio since I plan to use a VST. Can my issues with the Kawai be solved with VST and velocity curves?? Or are some of these things inherent to the action / sensors?

Can anyone relate to my comments above? Any advice would be much appreciated!

Thank you!


A good way to develop a reference point is to compare these pianos with acoustic actions (in the same store/same time) and also with better digital pianos. That way, your mind will be able to feel the bigger picture of how these actions compare. Let's say you plump for a bundle on the ES110 or FP-30 to get the triple pedal stand unit. You'll be paying £649 in the UK for that FP-30 and £800 for the ES110. For this you get a mediocre digital piano action, one or two good sounds, a triple pedal, a black cheap wooden stand, and fairly mediocre speakers/amp. For £1,133.00 on DV247, you'll get a brand new Kawai VPC1. Surely you could wait a few more months and save up £333 ($429.40)? If you're going to only use a VST, this is the best piano controller money can buy and it 's not that much more than the ES110 bundle price. You can buy the accessories fairly cheaply or wait and buy them later. Then you've got years of use out of a great instrument. None of those cheap instruments are going to sounds or feel anywhere near as good as a Kawai ES8. Unless you're on a tight leash budget wise or under time pressure, I would consider saving up a bit more.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: How to judge action? PX-160 vs FP-30 vs ES110 [Re: Doug M.] #2659987
07/09/17 06:48 AM
07/09/17 06:48 AM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 224
North east .UK
M
musicman100 Offline
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musicman100  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2007
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North east .UK
or could just get the es110 for about 550 on its own and 485 for the roland..

Or just get a wieghted midi comtroler for £300 pounds or more.

controllers

there are quite a few there.


http://www.scoreexchange.com/profiles/NigelFletcher

Dexibell P7 Kawai ES110 Yamaha PSR-S770

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