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Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?
#2784103 11/24/18 02:06 PM
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I have an FP-30 and am taking classical piano lessons with it. My FP-30 has served me well, but I've never liked the sound and so have been using Pianoteq with it most of the time. I am now thinking about an upgrade. I am considering one of the Kawai VPC1, NV10, or CA98. I know these are at 3 separate price points and frankly, I am not really considering the NV10 as much as the VPC1+VST vs CA98 w/o VST. Of course, if someone tells me why the NV10 w/ or w/o VST is so much better than the VPC1+VST or CA98 w/o VST, I'd definitely consider it. My top consideration is the piano action and feel for classical piano. Secondary would be pedal action. Last would be sound as I can always use a VST for that (already used to Pianoteq for example). As far as I can think of, there are no other considerations. Price is not a real consideration here, except that I wouldn't want to pay double the price for something that is pretty much equal. So perhaps the real last consideration is not price, but something I will loosely consider "cost effectiveness."

BTW, in order to make either NV10 or CA98 fit where I need my piano to fit, I would literally need to hire a carpenter, and so that time/expense/effort is also a small consideration which doesn't exist for the VPC1, which is just small enough to fit where I want it. On the other hand, I feel like a CA98 would probably keep me for the next decade and I would probably not upgrade for a good long while, at least until I seriously consider an acoustic w/ a silent system. (Not sure if I will ever want the headache of an acoustic though as I'd probably end up having it tuned every month since I am OCD that way...)

So to summarize and order all my considerations from most important to least important, they are:
  • key action and feel
  • pedal action
  • sound
  • cost effectiveness (given the above 3 factors vs price)
  • additional time/cost/effort associated with space modifications for NV10/CA98 (i.e., carpenter, etc)

Lastly, I know where I can get a VPC1 online, but if anyone can point me to where I can email-order either the NV10 or CA98, I'd appreciate it, as Amazon.com doesn't carry either of these and I don't think I can order them directly from Kawai. I've checked with the Kawai US website, and amazingly, though I live in a major metropolitan area, the nearest dealer is further than I have interest in traveling.


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across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?
Tyrone Slothrop #2784112 11/24/18 02:26 PM
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I would say that since you already have used Pianoteq and like it, and you do not mind dealing with external speakers (or headphones, only) then the VPC1 is probably a good choice.

And for another reason …. If it turns out you do not like it, after a few days, it is much easier to box back up and send it back.

Of course, you will need a stand to put it on, pedal, music stand, etc ….

I would suggest the ON STAGE KS7350 Z-Stand.

The VPC1 would be my choice just for the simplicity of changing keyboards down the road.

Not to mention, I seem to remember that the VPC1 has a good reputation as a acoustic-like touch.

Good Luck



Last edited by dmd; 11/24/18 02:29 PM.

Don

Casio PX-S2000, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Mackie MIX 5 Compact Mixer.
Re: Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?
Tyrone Slothrop #2784113 11/24/18 02:30 PM
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I'm open to considering the Roland LX708, especially since it is smaller so I wouldn't need to hire a carpenter to make it fit. It is at the same price point as the CA98, but I have no idea how the keyboard action compares with the other three as my priorities are still key and pedal action above all other considerations. I do like this video though smile

(Yes, I know I shouldn't buy products based on an ad! LOL)


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?
Tyrone Slothrop #2784139 11/24/18 03:43 PM
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Tyrone, I just bought an MP11 today ( the se is not available in Turkey yet) I have been playing the 11 and a 7se over a period of weeks. Finally they had a VPC1. To put it in perspective, I have been playing a terrific Steinway rebuilt 1915 B for the past thirty years. An ideal piano for me, but now it is in Florida and I am 7000 miles away from it. I was playing on a Casio AT5 here, then advanced to a Roland FA07, thinking I needed a workstation. However, as soon as I got it I discovered iOS and no longer needed the functions of a fully loaded keyboard. So now I was free to get the best piano action, for me, in a three grand price range. Hence the Kawais after much research.

Today I had a good comparison between the 11 and the VPC1. For me there was no question, the VPC1 was sluggish, heavy feeling and not at all like my Steinway. Though not a substitute for a great acoustic grand feel, the 11 was much easier to play with greater expression., IMO. Certainly Pianomanchuck on youtube would agree ( he has videos on both MPs and the VPC1 worth checking). The 11se would offer you some things you might not care about, pitch and modulation wheels, four zone midi control and 40 on board sounds and 100 rhythms. The 11se has an array of very good pianos and effects, including a four band EQ which are bested by the better VSTs. So it is really the difference in action that counts here, I think. And the actions are very different. For me, no contest, the GrandFeel action on the 11se is a lot subtler, and the pressure to depress is even all the way up to the fall board. A lot more exciting to play, but I am mostly a jazz guy and I like to take off when I play, but if you are used to a heavy action the RM3 on the VPC1 might be more appealing. Bottom line put a bunch of time into them both. I am sure one or t'other will do it for you.

As to your other concerns, either Kawai should keep you for a good few years, you get to customize your speaker setup to your taste ( I have two Mackie MR5s and am adding a Jamo, which is really a Kliptsch, subwoofer and they are space saving as well as less money. A lot of pros for not many cons. Also, the pedals on the new 11se are made by Kawai, not Fatar ( VPC1) and are sturdier and optical. Kawai must have seen the Fatar pedal trio as a weak point in a pretty great package.

Good luck and let's see what others have to say!


Jazz at www.newartistsrecords.com. Search Michael Levy. Use Safari for free tracks.
https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070 for jazz, classical, world, rock tracks
Kawai ES8, Casio PXS3000
Re: Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?
IosPlayer #2784144 11/24/18 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by IosPlayer
However, as soon as I got it I discovered iOS and no longer needed the functions of a fully loaded keyboard.

Quick question- So what "iOS" are you referring to? The only two I know about are the ones by Apple and Cisco and neither of those iOSes seem music/piano-relevant.

Originally Posted by IosPlayer
Today I had a good comparison between the 11 and the VPC1.

I just checked the dimensions of the MP11SE and I would also be able to fit it in where I want without having to hire a carpenter. So that is a + for it. I hadn't thought about MP11/MP11SE because I had read the action is almost the same as the VPC1, but your message is making me rethink this.


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?
Tyrone Slothrop #2784154 11/24/18 04:09 PM
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Yes, Tyrone, please test drive the 11. I have been longing for one for a year. I really love the look and concept of the VPC1 but the action did not make me feel free. The 11 did and they are night and day, really. But certainly each to his own.

iOS is the Apple iPad platform. For me simpler, cheaper, more portable, and more touchable ( no more mousie) than desktop. Very intuitive to record solo piano or orchestral stuff using Cubasis ( on sale now for $25), compared to $200 ( still a good deal) for Cubase on desktop.
The arRavenscroft iOS app is on sale now for $16! These are incredible bargains compared to their desktop counterparts. Not as full throated or full featured but quite wonderful. I will post an example below.

If iOS interests you, please PM me as I love to promote it! Good luck and keep us posted!


Jazz at www.newartistsrecords.com. Search Michael Levy. Use Safari for free tracks.
https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070 for jazz, classical, world, rock tracks
Kawai ES8, Casio PXS3000
Re: Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?
IosPlayer #2784157 11/24/18 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by IosPlayer
Tyrone, I just bought an MP11 today...

So how is it? I'm super curious, I'm so reconsidering the initial idea of getting the regular DP over a slab+external speakers+VSTs right now...What external speakers do you use?

Re: Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?
Tyrone Slothrop #2784159 11/24/18 04:17 PM
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https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070/yardbird-suite-1

Please bear in mind I used no sustain pedal on this, so no string resonance, ( away on vacation with a simple Casio 76 note synth action keyboard), but the Ravenscroft275 app I used here has it and I think you might agree the sound is pretty satisfying. I played the bass line using IFretless bass ($15). No FX, but they are abundant on the iOS platform.


Jazz at www.newartistsrecords.com. Search Michael Levy. Use Safari for free tracks.
https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070 for jazz, classical, world, rock tracks
Kawai ES8, Casio PXS3000
Re: Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?
IosPlayer #2784162 11/24/18 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by IosPlayer
https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070/yardbird-suite-1

Please bear in mind I used no sustain pedal on this, so no string resonance, ( away on vacation with a simple Casio 76 note synth action keyboard), but the Ravenscroft275 app I used here has it and I think you might agree the sound is pretty satisfying. I played the bass line using IFretless bass ($15). No FX, but they are abundant on the iOS platform.

Very nicely done! Not a big jazz fan, but there is a very nice resonance and a rather intimate feel. I feel like I am sitting in a tiny jazz club close to the performers. Well done!

Now I should look up if Pianoteq has any plug-ins for Cubasis for the iPad. I have been considering a new iPad 12.5" to use forScore with, since my current iPad is so old that Apple doesn't even release new versions of iOS for it, and this might be nice if I can use it for more than just scores. I assume you just connect your iPad to your piano via a MIDI cable? Or do you use bluetooth? Do you have some bluetooth speakers for the iPad or do you just use headphones?


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?
Tyrone Slothrop #2784163 11/24/18 04:33 PM
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Hi, Szatanica, come to Istanbul and you can play it! The 11 se not available here, so after comparing to the VPC1 action was sure the older 11 ( same GrandFeel action as newer se, compared to RM3 on the VPC) was right for me. I did hear a few tings and buzzes on a few treble notes in the onboard EX, and the bass needs some EQ, but I can easily accept the shortcomings . I play mostly jazz, after all!

The action is really smooth and very Goldilocks, not too heavy, not too light, and the MPs offer a custom velocity function. You play a bit and the keyboard brain analyzes for the right touch setting. Four user presets for velocity. Also, 6 velocity settings from +heavy to +light to just tune in. Onboard EQ, too.

Not as delicately editable as the aVPC1 but quite serviceable for me.

I use two Mackie MR5s and adding a Jamo 8" subwoofer ( made by Kliptsch) shortly. I am all iOS, as you can hear above. Can't wait to put it all together!

I am sure , from what you have said, that VSTs are the right route for you. On the MPs it is possible to split up the keyboard in up to four midi sections. With enough computing power you can combine bass, mids and treble sections from different VSTs. Imagine!


Jazz at www.newartistsrecords.com. Search Michael Levy. Use Safari for free tracks.
https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070 for jazz, classical, world, rock tracks
Kawai ES8, Casio PXS3000
Re: Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?
IosPlayer #2784168 11/24/18 04:54 PM
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Hahah...let me take care of the basics here first smile
I've checked the info/vids/demos on VPC1 - looks great but it's super bare. It's nothing more then a controller, so I'm not sure if it's a good choice for me. I do own Yamahas HS7s (for now, no subwoofer, but I guess I could consider buying if I end up with a slab or a controller). I like them very very much, I've been using them for couple of years now, and everything sounds so balanced on them, so I assume the DP or a slab/controller would as well. But this setup would require constant connection to a computer with a VST (or an iPad? is id doable?), which might turn out to be bit of a hassle, when I just want to sit down and have fun with the piano...But I won't delve into that, I'm thinking of posting a totally new post on this.

What do you mean by "I'm all iOS" (I think someone asked you that already on another post)? How exactly do you use it? I also own iPad Pro 10,3, very cool and powerful, it would work great with a piano I suppose but to what extent? What exactly can you do with it when you connect it to a slab/controller?

Re: Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?
Tyrone Slothrop #2784178 11/24/18 05:18 PM
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Well, Szatanica, I only use iOS apps, including instruments, effects and Cubasis as my main DAW and until recently, all on an old iPad 4. Now I have a 256gb Pro2. No question VSt quality is better, so, unless you are fascinated by the cutting edge tech, affordability ( the Ravenscroft piano app is on sale now for $17. Cubasis, based on Cubase, and fully functional is $25 now on sale), the high quality synths, the portability ( I often work in bed.. And maybe it sounds it!) touch vs mousie boredom, and the plain invigorating fun of it, iOS will not please your sensitive ear as far as pianos and instruments go.

However, a Synthony is worth a thousand words... Here is a four movement symphonicish piece done solely on an iPad 4 with $200 worth of apps. The midi controller is a mediocre synth action Casio, and the piano is the Ravenscroft275 mentioned above. I didn't have a sustain pedal so no string res, but the app has it,

This was done after four months of involvement with the iOS platform.
I am just a beginner, but it allows you to imagine what people with real skill ( and perhaps talent) can do.... still, it will give you an idea...

PM me Szatanica, (or anyone) if you care to learn more about it. I love to promote this relatively undiscovered and rapidly developing platform. You can always visit the audiob.us forum, where I learned almost everything. A great community with generous folks like those you find here, though a little edgier ( cause of the edgy tech, I guess. What am I doing there? Good question! I'm a little edgy, I guess).

https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070/synthony-no1-in-gminor


Jazz at www.newartistsrecords.com. Search Michael Levy. Use Safari for free tracks.
https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070 for jazz, classical, world, rock tracks
Kawai ES8, Casio PXS3000
Re: Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?
Tyrone Slothrop #2784336 11/25/18 02:39 AM
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If price isn't a consideration, and if you happen to think that the action on the VPC1 is too heavy (I do), then you should consider the Ravenworks modified VPC1. I played the Ravenworks at NAMM last year (alongside a Ravenscroft acoustic concert grand) and I was very impressed.

Re: Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?
Tyrone Slothrop #2784386 11/25/18 06:46 AM
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Hi Tyrone, in order to connect your iPad to a midi keyboard you need what is called a USB 3 Camera Connection Kit. I recommend using only an Apple product, around $40, I think, tho I read somewhere here recently about an inexpensive 3rd party cable that was pretty reliable. Pianoteq will not work on the iPad ( I wish) but if you decide to experiment I would start with the Ravenscroft app, or get Korg a Module and the inapp Model D sound pack,

If you have money to burn (you could get a an NV10 or Avantgard for the price, I think) the Ravensworks VPC1 modification sounds very interesting, PianoManChuck has a video about it. But please try the 11se first. I am salivating waiting for mine. I might even start playing some Chopin and practicing again cause the playing experience is so piano like. Curious as to your decision. Please let us know


Jazz at www.newartistsrecords.com. Search Michael Levy. Use Safari for free tracks.
https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070 for jazz, classical, world, rock tracks
Kawai ES8, Casio PXS3000
Re: Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?
Tyrone Slothrop #2784389 11/25/18 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?


You're considering 3 instruments that represent 3 different market segments and 3 different price points.

The NV10 you would prefer to buy in all circumstances if you intend to play only at home and most importantly, if you have the money. Its superior action and bespoke speaker system make it the clear winner---that's why it costs so. If you like modelled piano sounds, you can simply use the NV10 to control a VST and then you get the sound source and the action and the speakers.

The CA98 is again a home instrument with less good action and speakers but still good action and speakers.

The VPC1 is the portable instrument that gives you again slightly worse action to the CA98 and also give you the problem of having to select your own speakers etc. So it's more work to set-up. If you're short of money or wish to conserve your bank balance, the VPC1 might be a good compromise, especially if you move around often.

If you are liberal with money and have plenty of it, why not buy the NV10?
If you're staying at home always and you have a good chunk of money but don't really want to afford the best, then the CA98 makes sense --- as does the Roland LX708 and the Yamaha CLP685.

The VPC1 is a controller but many instruments also make good controllers: the MP11SE, the Roland RD2000 etc. These have better actions than the VPC1 and also have onboard sounds.

You really need to consider what you want and need, and what you're prepared to pay for that.

Kind regards,

Doug.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?
Tyrone Slothrop #2784615 11/25/18 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by vmishka
If price isn't a consideration, and if you happen to think that the action on the VPC1 is too heavy (I do), then you should consider the Ravenworks modified VPC1. I played the Ravenworks at NAMM last year (alongside a Ravenscroft acoustic concert grand) and I was very impressed.

Well, I do find the Ravenworks VPC1 to price-wise, ok for me. I see there are two models now, the Studio Model I and the Studio Model II, and from the Ravenworks website, not clear what the difference is. Can't imagine a difference in color would result in a $300 difference.

Were you able to compare the action of the Ravenworks VPC1 vs the action of the higher-end Kawai's - CA98, NV10? What did you think?

Originally Posted by IosPlayer
If you have money to burn (you could get a an NV10 or Avantgard for the price, I think) the Ravensworks VPC1 modification sounds very interesting, PianoManChuck has a video about it.

The main issue of the NV10 for me is the size. But I am opening myself up to the idea though. First step is that I posted an ad this morning to Craigslist looking for an interior designer to reconfigure my place if ultimately, my piano can't physically fit where I want. But the way everything is now, that would require major reconfiguration and possibly even replacing some of my other furnishing. I live in the city and life in the city is "high-density" if you can imagine.

With respect to the Ravenworks VPC1, I now have watched the PianoManChuck videos (2 of them) on the Ravenworks VPC1, and it isn't clear to me if Ravenworks has improved the action or just made it more precise and more like the Ravencroft grand piano. I get the value of being more precise/exact - when I was younger, guys would spend a huge amount of time "blueprinting" auto engines and make the tolerances exact, extracting more power and efficiency out of them. That said, I really wonder how the Ravenworks VPC1 now compares in action to the CA98 and LX708, since all three, including Ravenworks VPC1, are now at approximately the same price point and PianoManChuck appeared to avoid any comparisons with other products and product lines. He was even careful to not say that the Ravenworks VPC1 was an improvement compared to the Kawai VPC1, more stressing that it was now "different".

Originally Posted by Doug M.
why not buy the NV10?...If you're staying at home always and you have a good chunk of money but don't really want to afford the best, then the CA98 makes sense --- as does the Roland LX708..

Yes, this is supposed to be just a home piano. I've measured again and I can't make the NV10 fit. So I'm looking for an interior designer now to see if my urban abode can be "reconfigured" for a piano. If not, I may be strictly limited to 1380mm width, which can squeeze fit the VPC1 (including the Ravenworks VPC1), MP11SE, LX708, but not the CA98 or NV10.

Originally Posted by Doug M.
and the Yamaha CLP685.

Thanks for the new alternative! At 1461mm, the CLP685 falls into the same bucket as the CA98 and NV10. Can only fit if my home is reconfigured by an interior designer.

Originally Posted by Doug M.
The VPC1 is a controller but many instruments also make good controllers: the MP11SE, the Roland RD2000 etc. These have better actions than the VPC1 and also have onboard sounds.

Yes, I'm now seriously considering the MP11SE since it seems like a step up from the VPC1 and has the same width but with optical pedals. Sadly, the RD-2000 falls in the same category as the ones that require home reconfiguration - it's 1412mm wide.


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across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?
Tyrone Slothrop #2784619 11/25/18 05:34 PM
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NV10

NV10

NV10

I tried one a few weeks ago. I want one. So ... if you have to ask, then you want one too!

Re: Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?
MacMacMac #2784670 11/25/18 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac

NV10

NV10

NV10

I tried one a few weeks ago. I want one. So ... if you have to ask, then you want one too!

Alas, the unique woes of an urban dweller. Wish I could trim 4 inches/10cm off the NV10 frown


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?
Tyrone Slothrop #2784679 11/25/18 07:17 PM
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Haha! I just posted a thread on the Ravensworks Digital VPC1... here's PMC's video. He does indeed say it is a step way up from the VPC. Tyrone, have you played the MP11se?!. Since you are stuck for space this is the ( I know I am going out on a limb) only keyboard for you ( and me). Really. Unless you like a heavy action, then the VPC1 is a contender with a couple of others. I say again, after thirty years playing a B this works wonderfully for me. A great digital stand in for my Steinway. Just play it already! But watch this first.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CE4ptyH6Pbg


Jazz at www.newartistsrecords.com. Search Michael Levy. Use Safari for free tracks.
https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070 for jazz, classical, world, rock tracks
Kawai ES8, Casio PXS3000
Re: Should I get a VPC1, NV10, or CA98?
Tyrone Slothrop #2784688 11/25/18 07:45 PM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,470
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Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,470
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by MacMacMac

NV10

NV10

NV10

I tried one a few weeks ago. I want one. So ... if you have to ask, then you want one too!

Alas, the unique woes of an urban dweller. Wish I could trim 4 inches/10cm off the NV10 frown


Tyrone, Where do you live? Just move the sofa. cool From reading your post on PW, in my humble opinion, you may regret you didn’t get the Novus. You should be able to order it from a Kawai dealer. I don’t know about shipping though if you live that far from the dealer. Also, it weighs almost 300 pounds. So you will require help assembling it. Others on the NV10 thread have been successful with that.

Last edited by TomLC; 11/25/18 07:53 PM.


Kawai NV10
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