Mentioning that the RHIII action on the ES8 was too bouncy (ref. Kougeru in another thread)---presumably referring to how quickly the action returns from bottoming out after you lift your finger---is again probably a positive thing if you wish to play more like an acoustic; however, I can appreciate that ones perception of an action comes from what you're comfortable with, not necessarily what is closest to a 'perfect' acoustic piano action. When you take style of playing into account---being used to or happy with the action because it allows you facility to play what you want, how you like from a technical perspective---one could argue that the best action is your favoured one (assuming you've tried them all).
Didn't expect to be referenced here. I'm really enjoying your posts. But I have to add that I was comparing that to acoustic baby grands in the same room. Yamaha and Kawai grands. Exact models I do not remember but their prices were $15,000 up to $50,000. A fairly wide range. Of course, real piano actions differ as well so it isn't a really exact "science" at all. I found the RHIII to have a bit more bounce than any of the real actions I tried. I don't know the technical reasons for that, but that's how it was. It wasn't world-ending and I would've loved to own one of those pianos, but I just found it to be lesser to my ideal than the PHA-50 was. I do 100% agree with the Grand Feel II being the closest to perfection on a non-hybrid action.
I went to a different store today to see how the NWX felt. Considering it use to be limited for much more expensive models, I really expected a largely noticeable improvement compared to the GH3 action.. I didn't get that feeling. I'm not sure if it felt better to me than the PHA-50 on the RD-2000 that I've been eyeing for the last few weeks. I thought this would be an easy decision for me due to the low $1500 but the speakers don't look like they'll be very good and if the action isn't blowing my mind, I might have to spend more time with the RD-2000 - I really like all the features it has and what not. Overall my main goal is to get better at piano - classical and jazz. I figured a cabinet style with pedals that don't slide around would a large enough benefit to offset the lack of features when compared to the stage piano (and portability) but after trying the NWX on the CLP-465 I'm not so sure anymore. I'm definitely waiting unti l can actually hear the P-515 in person, but if the speakers are lackluster enough that I'd have to buy external monitors, that removes one of the biggest benefits I see in pianos like this.
It really helped me to play both the acoustic grands and all the various actions in one shop. I got that from Dawsons in Leeds and more or less came to the conclusion that the Grand Feel II was top, but the Grand Feel 1 was great, as was the PHA50. The RM3 grand II action on the CA17 was also very nice. The same action is on the Kawai VPC1: the virtual piano controller you get if you want to use only VSTi pianos (virtual studio technology instruments) like Pianoteq, Garritan CfX, Ivory II, Ravenscroft etc.Using evaluation technique for helping to shortlist pianos.
What I think is that you should buy a piano that fit's your major objectives.
For me, I wanted something that I could use live. I got good deal on a used MP7.
If the only goal were to work on Piano technique with no aspirations for performing, I'd probably go for an instrument without loads of functions.Piano attributes
Now, given that, there are a number of useful factors to consider
2) Sound quality
7) Value for money
9) music style you wish to play
We can call these attributes.
Mikhail Botvinnik (Chess world champion Grand Master) once said that the difference between humans and animals is man's capacity to prioritize.
With respect to evaluating these attributes: the goal is to weight them according to which are most important to you.
Then, you go test some instruments, and you rank them for the attributes out of ten.
Then you multiple the score out of ten for each attribute by the weighting factor, and add up the total score for the piano.Weighting attributes
E.g., the weighting / evalution
1) Action 5
2) Sound quality 4
3) Amplification 3
4) Pedals (triple) 4
5) Portability 2
6) Aethetics 1
7) Value for money 6
8) Price (less than or equal to X) 6
9) music style you wish to play 4
So here, the maximum weighting is a 6 (6 being vital to have, 1 being not too bothered).
In my example ranking, I'm going to be using headphones mostly, so amplification gets a 3. I'm not using the piano for furniture, so aesthetics gets a 1. I'm not needing a new instrument, and my budget is limited to Â£1000, so value for money is a 6 as is price. I want to play funk, jazz, blues, rag, gospel, and some classical. I'm not a Bach fan. Ergo I need an instrument that's fitting my style, but it's not vital. I'm keeping the piano at home, not going to move soon.
So I compare these candidates:
Kawai CA17 new Â£1,510.00
Kawai ES8 new Â£1,200
Roland FP90 new Â£1300
Kawai VPC1 new Â£1,100
Yamaha P515 new 1,200
Now, all of these are out of price range, so I need to go to the used market for getting the action quality I need.Scoring attributes
I get these deals and I score them out of 10 for the attributes (all scores arbitrarily arrived at for the purpose of example):
Kawai CA17 new Â£900 [1 = 7; 2=7, 3=6, 4=10, 5=2, 6=9, 7=8, 8=8, 9 = 6]
Kawai ES8 new Â£800 [1=6, 2=7, 3=5, 4=10, 5=8, 6=6, 7=8, 8=9, 9=6]
Roland FP90 used Â£1000 [1=8, 2=9, 3=6, 4=10, 5=8, 6=6, 7=8, 8=7, 9=8]
Kawai VPC1 used Â£600 [1=7, 2=9, 3=0, 4=10, 5=10, 6=8, 7=10, 8=10, 9=10]
Kawai MP11 used Â£1200 [1=9, 2=7, 3=0, 4=10, 5=8, 6=6, 7=9, 8=2, 9=6]
Yamaha P515 new 1,200 [1=4, 2=6, 3=5, 4=10, 5=8, 6=6, 7=3, 8=2, 9=5]Evaluating the piano by weighting and attribute score (weighting * attribute score)
Now I calculate the total scores by multiplying the weighting factor by the attribute score and adding these values. As all models have the triple pedal, I remove that attribute.
Kawai CA17 new Â£900 [1 = 35; 2=28, 3=18, 5=10, 6=9, 7=48, 8=48, 9 = 24] Total = 220
Kawai ES8 new Â£800 [1=30, 2=28, 3=15, 5=16, 6=6, 7=48, 8=54, 9=24] Total = 221
Roland FP90 used Â£1000 [1=40, 2=36, 3=18, 5=16, 6=6, 7=48, 8=42, 9=32] Total = 238
Kawai VPC1 used Â£600 [1=35, 2=36, 3=0, 5=20, 6=8, 7=60, 8=60, 9=40] Total = 259
Kawai MP11 used Â£1200 [1=45, 2=28, 3=0, 5=16, 6=6, 7=54, 8=12, 9=24] Total = 185
Yamaha P515 new 1,200 [1=20, 2=24, 3=15, 5=16, 6=6, 7=18, 8=12, 9=20] Total = 131Deciding shortlist and testing
So, from this analysis, I've got two top candidates: the VPC1 and the FP90. Not far off is the ES8 and CA17.
So I have to decide now whether my budget gets bigger or I go with my analysis.
What I might do then is extensively test the instruments in the top 3 at the store, and make a choice based upon the score and my gut feeling. In this conjoint analysis, it's pretty clear that the VPC1 fits my needs best as I can get the sound sources I want, and it has the best overall scores for my evaluation of what counts for me.
Of course, for the VPC1, I'd need to buy nice headphones and I'd need to own a computer for this to be a viable option for me.
So, maybe even if you don't want to go to such trouble, it might have helped you thinks about what you value in a digital piano, and given you some sense of how you might come to a shortlist of candidate pianos.