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really????? px160 over kawai? #2825906
03/12/19 01:57 PM
03/12/19 01:57 PM
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Valencia Offline OP
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Hi everyone,

Wondering if you could help me suss out whether its worth it to spend 3 times more on a Kawai vpc1 compared to the casio px-160.

My other question is whether yamaha keyboards really have wooden keys.

Currently I'm using an oooooooold Roland RD-300s with piano software. It has served me well, but the contacts are starting to wear out so its time to consider what might be my next keyboard. I play classical, probably late intermediate to early advanced.

At a local piano store, they have lots of casios. I asked the sales guy if they had in any of the kawai's listed on their website(in the $2500-$2800 range... one might have been an ES8?) and he said no, they only order them in when people specifically request them because almost everyone prefers the casios, and they are better value for the money. He talked like they are as good as the more expensive kawais. He specifically recommended the px160 as the best keyboard. The px160 is sold for around $700 (actually for $1000 in their store, but I've seen it elsewhere for $700).

What do you all think of this? I tried the px160. It felt not bad, but it was set to standing height and not anchored. and was bouncing around on the stand like crazy when I was trying to play. And there wasn't a kawai there to compare it to.

The VPC1 appealed to me because it is supposed to be like playing a real acoustic piano. I don't actually have the money for it right now, but if it is worth it I might try to see how I can save and scrounge to get one. It seems the only remotely affordable keyboard in that category of realness. For example the MP11-se is over $1000 more than the vpc1. VPC1 sells for between $2000-$2500.

I honestly don't really have the money for the vpc1, but i still have this fantasy of being able to play an acoustic piano if I ever come across one. The keyboard I have right now is not really helping me to do that. I tried to play bits of Schubert's Impromptu Op 90/3 on some real pianos in that store and it was terrible as I had no fine control over the keys.

The other question I have is, is it true that Yamaha products don't really have wooden keys? I found a webpage that says they only put wooden slats on the sides of plastic keys. This turned me off from looking at keyboards like the p515 or the cp4. Is this true?

Thanks for any help you can provide!

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Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Valencia] #2825915
03/12/19 02:23 PM
03/12/19 02:23 PM
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Raleigh, North Carolina
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If you're thinking about the VPC, then it must be that you intend to use virtual instruments exclusively.
So the voices available on the keyboard are unimportant. Only the action feel matters.

In that case, try the Casio. Do you like the action?
If it suits you (and if it has a MIDI connection or a USB/MIDI connection) ... then go for it. You'll have saved a bundle. Enough to pay for the requisite computer and audio interface.

Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Valencia] #2825924
03/12/19 02:50 PM
03/12/19 02:50 PM
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Valencia Offline OP
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Thanks MacMacMac. Yes the lack of internal sounds is a drawback for the vpc1. Fortunately I am using VST now with my current keyboard because it sounds so bad. I almost never just play the keyboard without hooking it up to my computer. Would i need more than my laptop and the VST to use the VPC1? also my current keyboard doesn't have external speakers so I am used to that

Last edited by Valencia; 03/12/19 02:50 PM.
Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Valencia] #2825933
03/12/19 03:10 PM
03/12/19 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Valencia
At a local piano store, they have lots of casios. I asked the sales guy if they had in any of the kawai's listed on their website(in the $2500-$2800 range... one might have been an ES8?) and he said no, they only order them in when people specifically request them because almost everyone prefers the casios, and they are better value for the money. He talked like they are as good as the more expensive kawais. He specifically recommended the px160 as the best keyboard. The px160 is sold for around $700 (actually for $1000 in their store, but I've seen it elsewhere for $700).

I would purchase around $1500, there you get the best piano for your buck. Go below $1000 only if you are really tight on budget.

Quote
The other question I have is, is it true that Yamaha products don't really have wooden keys? I found a webpage that says they only put wooden slats on the sides of plastic keys. This turned me off from looking at keyboards like the p515 or the cp4. Is this true?

This is completely false. Yamaha's wooden actions have fully wooden white keys paired with black keys made from plastic. Roland uses the slats.


Yamaha P-515 | Kawai ES100 | Steinberg UR22 | Sony MDR-7506
Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Valencia] #2825935
03/12/19 03:10 PM
03/12/19 03:10 PM
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Valencia Offline OP
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Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Valencia] #2825939
03/12/19 03:13 PM
03/12/19 03:13 PM
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Valencia Offline OP
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Sorry I didn’t see your response before I posted JoeT! Thanks for the advice on price! The p515 is about $1900 and I saw a used cp4 for $1300 described as mint.

Last edited by Valencia; 03/12/19 03:13 PM.
Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Valencia] #2825954
03/12/19 03:38 PM
03/12/19 03:38 PM
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Finland
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clothearednincompo Online content
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Originally Posted by Valencia
Wondering if you could help me suss out whether its worth it to spend 3 times more on a Kawai vpc1 compared to the casio px-160.


Maybe if:
- You are actually a skilled player and can tell a difference between e.g. a well maintained grand and a mediocre upright
- You are worried about key action noise, side to side movement of the keys and the functioning of the triple sensor implementation as they are a bit different (better in Kawai according to a YouTube video).
- You are worried about the durability of the action in active use as Casios are known to develop some clunks and rattles over time and they can actually be quite loud.
- You are obsessed about the pivot point of the keys. (As Casios have a small pivot length.)

Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Valencia] #2825959
03/12/19 03:47 PM
03/12/19 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Valencia
Sorry I didn’t see your response before I posted JoeT!

Well, it's this picture again:

[Linked Image].

Though it's absolutely clear and visible, that there is a fully wooden keystick plated with plastic. At the instrument you can just look down beside the black keys and verify it. (The wood obviously is cut out to make room for the black keys.)

It just looks weird from this angle, because the plastic plating is the part connecting the wooden key to the joint and the hammer. This invisible attachment is smaller in width (and length) than the actual wooden key and that is the reason why the wood casts a shadow.

This construction saves a lot of weight (compared to a MP11SE for example), while still providing white keys completely filled with solid wood (not hollow like plastic keys) giving the Natural Wood experience you expect from a piano action.

Quote
Thanks for the advice on price! The p515 is about $1900 and I saw a used cp4 for $1300 described as mint.

Indeed, that is the range where you get the most of your money's worth.


Yamaha P-515 | Kawai ES100 | Steinberg UR22 | Sony MDR-7506
Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Valencia] #2825985
03/12/19 04:56 PM
03/12/19 04:56 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
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Richmond, BC, Canada
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Charles Cohen Online content
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You have a VST, a computer to run it on, and external loudspeakers:

. . . Rent a PX-160 for a week (or a month), and see how you like it.

If you say:

. . . "This is good enough"

and you buy it, you'll have saved quite a bit of money compared to the VPC1.

You'll also have a DP that's "stand-alone", with better built-in sound and action than your current DP, if you ever need one.

The PX-160 doesn't have "real MIDI jacks" (5-pin DIN connectors). Instead, it uses a USB jack to send MIDI to the computer, over a USB-to-USB cable. That's usually called a "USB printer cable", and it's cheap. You might have to change a settting on your VST software to make it work.

If you look at the Pianoteq user forum, you might be surprised at how many people are using Casio PX-series keyboards to drive that VST.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: clothearednincompo] #2826031
03/12/19 07:18 PM
03/12/19 07:18 PM
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Valencia Offline OP
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Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
Originally Posted by Valencia
Wondering if you could help me suss out whether its worth it to spend 3 times more on a Kawai vpc1 compared to the casio px-160.


Maybe if:

- You are worried about the durability of the action in active use as Casios are known to develop some clunks and rattles over time and they can actually be quite loud.


Hmm. This is concerning. This sounds like Casios are kind of junky? I don't want to have to replace a keyboard in a couple of years time. I want my next keyboard to last as long as possible.

Charles I never thought about renting a keyboard to try it out. I will look into that! I wish they had the Kawai in stock so I could try that too.

Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: JoeT] #2826033
03/12/19 07:23 PM
03/12/19 07:23 PM
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Valencia Offline OP
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Valencia  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Valencia
Sorry I didn’t see your response before I posted JoeT!



Quote
Thanks for the advice on price! The p515 is about $1900 and I saw a used cp4 for $1300 described as mint.

Indeed, that is the range where you get the most of your money's worth.


yes and the kawai vpc1 isn't much more than the p515 so I guess it might fall into that category too.

Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Valencia] #2826072
03/12/19 08:54 PM
03/12/19 08:54 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,392
Hamamatsu, Japan
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Hello Valencia,

Originally Posted by Valencia
At a local piano store, they have lots of casios. I asked the sales guy if they had in any of the kawai's listed on their website(in the $2500-$2800 range... one might have been an ES8?) and he said no, they only order them in when people specifically request them because almost everyone prefers the casios, and they are better value for the money. He talked like they are as good as the more expensive kawais. He specifically recommended the px160 as the best keyboard. The px160 is sold for around $700 (actually for $1000 in their store, but I've seen it elsewhere for $700).

What do you all think of this? I tried the px160. It felt not bad, but it was set to standing height and not anchored. and was bouncing around on the stand like crazy when I was trying to play. And there wasn't a kawai there to compare it to.


It sounds like the salesperson/store just prefers to sell Casio.

May I ask the name of the store, by the way? If they're listing Kawai instruments on their website, but don't actually have any pianos available to play, I have to wonder...

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Valencia] #2826074
03/12/19 08:58 PM
03/12/19 08:58 PM
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Posts: 15,392
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Originally Posted by Valencia


Hmmm...

"Not even Kawai goes this low!"

This piano dealer should stick to blogging about the products they do sell, rather than attempting to deride the brands that they do not.


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: JoeT] #2826084
03/12/19 09:40 PM
03/12/19 09:40 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
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Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Originally Posted by JoeT
Though it's absolutely clear and visible, that there is a fully wooden keystick plated with plastic.


While I believe the Yamaha "Natural Wood" actions contain more wood material than the dealer blog post linked above claims, I don't believe it's correct to describe the key as being "fully wooden", simply because there is obviously plastic in the construction.

I think if you were to take a Yamaha "Natural Wood" key, a Kawai "Grand Feel" key, and a Casio "Grand Hybrid" key, line them up on a table, and ask someone with no knowledge of digital pianos to pick-out the "fully wooden" keys, I expect they would select the Kawai and Casio keys ahead of the Yamaha.

Of course, this is just my personal opinion.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Valencia] #2826114
03/12/19 11:35 PM
03/12/19 11:35 PM
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Since you already have everything you need to utilize the Kawai VPC1, I would suggest you give it a try.

You might also try to find it used somewhere (Craigslist, etc ….) because a number of them may be out there with those who thought they would like the VST route and then found out they do not and are now trying to sell their VPC1.


BTW …. the Kawai ES8 would also be a very nice option for you in terms of action and built-in sounds.


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Valencia] #2826119
03/12/19 11:53 PM
03/12/19 11:53 PM
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The px160 is a great budget option. The only downside is that it’s pretty heavy playing closer to the fretboard because of the shorter pivot length. The p515 and others are better in that regard, but it’s 3 times more expensive.

Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Valencia] #2826126
03/13/19 12:16 AM
03/13/19 12:16 AM
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When I parted with my Casio PX-760 (same action and sound as the 160) in favor of my VPC1, I regretted it. The reason I switched was to get the benefit of the more realistic action of the VPC1. My observations:

Regarding the keyboard:

1. I used my Casio Privia PX-760 (same as your 160) for an average of 2 hours per day for about 2.5 years and NEVER had any clunking sounds or any other discernible deficiency in the action. It was as reliable as a piano could be. The action was lighter than any acoustic piano I had played, and, since I was embarking on an acoustic piano restoration for my own use, I decided I needed to switch as soon as possible to a wooden key action. That was the ONLY reason for switching.

2. I believe the clunking reputation for Casio comes from their Privias from the 2000s. My very first piano was a Privia PX-310, from around 2005 (I think). It also was extremely reliable under my heavy use. But, the keys were somewhat noisy. However, it was 2014 and the Casio was about 10 years old.

Regarding the sound:

1. I had previously used Pianoteq 5 on that earlier Casio Privia, and, Pianoteq was an improvement over its sound. But, Pianoteq could not match the on board sounds of the PX-760. However, I grew unhappy with the 760's onboard speakers, so, I purchased a set of Samson M50 5" studio monitors for $120. To date, this has been the best sound I have been able to achieve from a digital piano. With good speakers, the Casio sounds quite nice.

2. I have lost 2 months trying to get an acceptable sound from the VPC1. I have Pianoteq 6, and with an investment of at least 300 hours of tinkering, I have only recently achieved a sound that satisfies me as much as the Casio PX-760 with a very modest set of studio monitors. I have wrestled so long with Pianoteq 6 that I feel I can no longer make a reliable comparison of the two sounds in my mind as I suspect my memory of the Casio/monitor sounds has faded and would be unreliable. I can say unequivocally that the sound I get out of my current VPC1/Pianoteq 6 with the same monitors does NOT WOW me. It is just acceptable. For the first two months, the sound was so horrible it distracted me, and discouraged me, from playing. Only now, in my third month of ownership and tinkering, have I been able to get past that distraction and get back to meaningful and productive practice.

So, do not be dismissive of the Privia line of pianos. With a modest set of monitors, you can have a quite nice sound, but, have a somewhat light action. With a better set of monitors, you might get a very, very pleasing sound from the Privia.

As for the VPC1, I do love the action. It is, in my mind, superior to the Privia. As for the sound available via software packages, I do not think the available sound programs match the quality of the VPC1, and there is substantial risk that you will not find the sound you want, leaving you to just settle for a software package that is less than ideal.

Good luck to you.


Ralph

Casio Privia PX-760
Pianoteq Stage
Pianist since April, 2015
Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Valencia] #2826131
03/13/19 01:08 AM
03/13/19 01:08 AM
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I would also consider Roland. I think the FP-90 has a more realistic action than the VPC-1.

Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Valencia] #2826164
03/13/19 04:05 AM
03/13/19 04:05 AM
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Back to the original question, to be honest, the comparison of Casio PX-160 vs. Kawai VPC-1 seems to be pretty artificial to me.
In case Casio PX-160 is really considered then Kawai ES-110 (or Roland FP-30 or Yamaha P-121/P-125) would be the trivial competitors. Which do not cost 3 times more.


Kawai KDP-90
Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Kawai James] #2826166
03/13/19 04:34 AM
03/13/19 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by JoeT
Though it's absolutely clear and visible, that there is a fully wooden keystick plated with plastic.


While I believe the Yamaha "Natural Wood" actions contain more wood material than the dealer blog post linked above claims, I don't believe it's correct to describe the key as being "fully wooden", simply because there is obviously plastic in the construction.

I was talking in layman customer's terms, where the key is the visible part they touch. Obviously it's not a fully wooden action. There are metal and plastic parts in it as well (including all black keys). Weight-wise I think the metal hammers dominate, volume-wise it should be wood.

What I tried to communicate: When you look down on an instrument with a NWX keyboard, everything white you see has solid wood under it.

Quote
I think if you were to take a Yamaha "Natural Wood" key, a Kawai "Grand Feel" key, and a Casio "Grand Hybrid" key, line them up on a table, and ask someone with no knowledge of digital pianos to pick-out the "fully wooden" keys, I expect they would select the Kawai and Casio keys ahead of the Yamaha.

I think we can all agree, that these hybrid actions are a whole different story in regards to realism. But we have yet to see a Kawai ES with a wooden action and powered speakers. I'm looking forward to it. smile


Yamaha P-515 | Kawai ES100 | Steinberg UR22 | Sony MDR-7506
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