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Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Ralphiano] #2826167
03/13/19 04:43 AM
03/13/19 04:43 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,826
Europe
JoeT Offline
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Originally Posted by Ralphiano
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.

I had a similar experience until I gave up and fell back to the built-in sound my instrument thankfully had. This is also the reason why I encourage beginners to choose a hardware sample they like and to stay from the software route. The latter is something to be considered later a few years in.


Yamaha P-515 | Kawai ES100 | Steinberg UR22 | Sony MDR-7506
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Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: JoeT] #2826172
03/13/19 05:22 AM
03/13/19 05:22 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,251
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Originally Posted by JoeT
Obviously it's not a fully wooden action. There are metal and plastic parts in it as well (including all black keys).


Right, if we're talking about the action in general, there are obviously metal and plastic parts - this is true of all digital pianos.

However, I was specifically referring to the "Natural Wood" keystick itself. Again, I don't believe this can be described as "fully wooden", as the wooden part is attached to a plastic chassis that runs along the top and bottom of the key.

Originally Posted by JoeT
I think we can all agree, that these hybrid actions are a whole different story in regards to realism.


I'd rather not get sidetracked by what defines a "hybrid" action, however I personally consider "Grand Feel" and "Grand Hybrid" to be digital piano actions.
Real "hybrid" actions are only found in the Yamaha Avantgrand and Kawai Novus.

Originally Posted by JoeT
But we have yet to see a Kawai ES with a wooden action and powered speakers. I'm looking forward to it. smile


Me too. wink
Maybe it will also feature a "wood+plastic" key action like the latest Yamaha and Roland models? wink

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] #2826173
03/13/19 05:29 AM
03/13/19 05:29 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,349
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Offline
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Originally Posted by Valencia
Hi everyone,

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).

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.

The other question I have is, is it true that Yamaha products don't really have wooden keys?




1) In my experiences, playing a Kawai VPC1 action is nothing like playing an acoustic piano. You can test that action on the CA17. The only actions on digital pianos that come close are the Avant Grand action and the Millennium III hybrid action on the Novus NV10. They are very expensive.

2) The Casio Px-160 is a beginners digital piano. It's action is good for the price, but not in the league of the VPC1 action. You should compare that action against the actions on the Yamaha P125, Roland FP30, Casio PX S-1000 (the replacement for the PX-160). The Casio PX S-3000 (the next level up) is definitely something I would like to try.

3) I like the Kawai MP11 or 11SE action the best (Grand Feel1) in slab pianos. That instrument comes with sounds; whereas, the VPC1 has the capacity to set custom velocity curves for VSTs. If you want to use a VST, the VPC1 in my understanding is slightly better (with regard to optimising the experience).

4) Dealers who have commission for any brand will use narrative that promotes that brand---he is probably lying that most customers prefer the casio; rather, he pushes Casio to them and doesn't sell other instruments unless specifically a customer insists. IMO, ignore them and focus on what you feel is the best after you trial them out. It can put people off when dealers try and push a brand too aggressively, at the cost of the reputation of the brand itself. I would try all the instruments for the price bracket you're aiming for and try and ignore the dealers narrative.

5) VPC1's are sometimes available second hand. The best used deal I've seen was £600 ($790) for a year old instrument on ebay. Also, you may be able to get a good deal on other used instruments that will enable your money to go further. As the VPC1 doesn't come with monitors, but I'm not a big fan of portable piano amplification quality anyway. I'd far rather play using headphones and save up for amplification on a slab, than buy a portable piano with 20 to 60 watts sound.

Good second hand deals on a budget with decent actions:
Kawai MP7 and Kawai ES7; Kawai MP10 (this with piano software would be a good deal).
Roland RD800
Yamaha CP4
Roland FP90 /Fp80.


6) IMO, wooden keys are not necessarily an advantage and what counts is the overall quality and feel of the action. The RHIII plastic action in the ES8 is so nice. I would buy it over the CP4 which has the NW action (wooden keys), although this action is good too. OK, adding wood to the action (or wooden slats) probably pushes up the manufacturing costs and maybe looks nice, but that does that guarantee it will make the action better?


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Doug M.] #2826180
03/13/19 05:59 AM
03/13/19 05:59 AM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 449
UK
jamiecw Online content
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UK
Originally Posted by Doug M.
OK, adding wood to the action (or wooden slats) probably pushes up the manufacturing costs and maybe looks nice, but that does that guarantee it will make the action better?


In my experience there is some realism to keys with wood underneath them...for example, when playing on Roland's PHA50 action which has a couple of pieces of veneer wood on either side on the white keys, I can sense there is this slight/subtle hollow feel (the black keys being more condensed in size less so)...on the contrary when you play the NWX or the Fatar TP40W (which I believe has wood under the actual white keys as the NWX has) you don't get any of that hollowness and really feels like you are playing on a key that has some substance behind it (I say some substance because the entire key is not wooden just the part you see, if that). So the feeling is akin to acoustics which have full wooden keys (feeling is minus the vibration & feeling of hammer hitting strings etc.).

However, to answer the question does it make the action better - in my view, no, definitely not. I can play on either and enjoy both because both actions have their pros and cons...if the question was, does it make the action that little bit more realistic? Yes I really believe it does..

Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Kawai James] #2826193
03/13/19 07:26 AM
03/13/19 07:26 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,826
Europe
JoeT Offline
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JoeT  Offline
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Europe
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by JoeT
But we have yet to see a Kawai ES with a wooden action and powered speakers. I'm looking forward to it. smile


Me too. wink
Maybe it will also feature a "wood+plastic" key action like the latest Yamaha and Roland models? wink

In my opinion there is nothing wrong with attaching plastic to wood, as real ivory is out of the question for digitals, so some plastic is there anyway.

I'm not so fond of the veneer wood option though, I would prefer solid wood white and black keys if possible.


Yamaha P-515 | Kawai ES100 | Steinberg UR22 | Sony MDR-7506
Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Valencia] #2826370
03/13/19 03:15 PM
03/13/19 03:15 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 594
V
Valencia Offline OP
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Valencia  Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 594
Thanks everyone for your contributions to this thread! Lots to think about here. Just to respond to a couple of points:

Kawai James, the store is not a chain store but just a local shop and they have lots of Kawai uprights and grands there, just no digitals! The only digitals they had were casio, including some really expensive ones that were over $5000!

Ralphiano, sorry to hear about your disappointing experience with Pianoteq and the VPC1! I did think the onboard sound for the PX160 was pretty good, especially for the price. However, I've been listening to cfx lite software, and pretty much every sound coming from every digital is a little disapppointing in comparison to that. Even the yamaha p515 sound, which is supposed to be cfx, doesn't sound as good to me as cfx software!

Jasper E, the comparison of Px-160 to VPC1 is a little out there because my economic situation doesn't match my piano abilities and aspirations. I'm trying to decide if i should see if there is a way to get an instrument like VPC1, instead of accepting supposed reality and getting the lowest price decent keyboard.

DougM, Thanks for all the advice in your post! I haven't seen a casio px-3000 and the guy at the piano shop made it sound like the px-160 is the latest. you are probably right about the guy getting commission from casio. He really seemed into it and didn't even ask about my piano aspirations or what I liked to play or anything. Maybe he assumed i was a beginner after he heard me play!!

Tommm777, I didn't even think to try playing specifically at the back of the keys when trying keyboards. Next time I'll be sure to do that.

Several people mentioned looking for a used instrument and I'm on the look out, but I live in a smaller city and there is not as much available used as I'd hoped. The keyboards that are offered used all seem to be really really old. and yet still quite expensive!

some people mentioned the ES8 and FP-90 as possible options as well. I can check into those. Suspect they are a little more expensive than the VPC1.

Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Valencia] #2826796
03/14/19 02:58 PM
03/14/19 02:58 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 43
Canada
pianosx Offline
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Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 43
Canada
If you're on a budget, and want a great value, versatile portable DP with speakers, the PX-160 is solid, you can get a good deal on them if you look around or wait for deals.
I got my slab from Amazon for $500 CAD (<$400 USD), and I got 4 people to buy the whole triple-pedal and wood stand setup when I saw Costco have a sale on them for $500 CAD as well.
PX-160 connects great with laptop and virtual pianos like Yamaha's CFX Lite.
I have it as my secondary workhorse DP to lug around and it does the job, while my main DP - Kawai ES8 - stays at home, except for special occasions (not in the same league, Yamaha P-515 is comparable).
The onboard sound sampling on the PX-160 is passable, and not much improvement with good headphones, but it'll do.
The Kawai ES-110 is more comparable at about $1000 CAD, and I'd say a great value upgrade at twice the price (for my region and based on sale price for PX-160).
If I had only one DP to choose, and being on budget, I'd consider the Kawai ES-110 because how great it is to play with or without a virtual piano, and for the small nuances that Kawai puts into their pianos.
You cannot go wrong with the PX-160 though, I love mine for what their purpose is for, I'm fortunate enough to be able to have several.


All work and no piano make Homer something something.
--
Kawai ES8 | Dexibell VIVO S1 | CASIO PX-160, PX-S1000
Sennheiser 598SE, HD280 PRO, HD58X | Behringer UMC204HD | iLoud Micro Monitors
Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Valencia] #2826932
03/14/19 07:57 PM
03/14/19 07:57 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 367
oscar1 Offline
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Wait a minute...they try to sell you PX160 for $1000 - what currency is this? Mexican pesos?
No seriously, the PX160 is already the casio outgoing model sitting here for years and here in canada in costco it would be around $550-$650 CAD depending on the sale. (Iv'e seen it as low as $499) and canadian dollar stinks. You can easily get used one for $400 CAD. IMHO it is great for $400. But at $700 it is very questionable and I will directly call it a bad deal. Just to give you the price value I bought a year ago PX150 for $200 used. They don't hold the value too much and if you buy PX160 now when S1000 is about to be sold you won't be able to sell it without significant loss.
(and trust me you WILL want to sell it at some point and get something better)
I'd suggest first and foremost to make your mind - try every piano you can and make your mind which company piano you like most - then find a deal on that. Most of the pianos from the same company will sound and feel largely the same between similar models - you know not comparing the low end with the highest end.

Last edited by oscar1; 03/14/19 07:59 PM.

Casio PX-860, Roland Fantom G, Kurzweil PC1X, Korg Micro X
Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Valencia] #2827357
03/15/19 10:27 PM
03/15/19 10:27 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 594
V
Valencia Offline OP
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Valencia  Offline OP
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Thanks pianosx and oscar1!

Glad to hear the good review of the Casio pianosx. It’s so hard to try to figure out the best way to spend my money on a keyboard. I’m also disappointed at how difficult it seems to be to try out kawai digital. That store I went to that told me they were kawai dealers, well when I contacted them to ask about the vpc1, they directed my inquiry to another store that is in a different city! No wonder the guy was pushing the Casio. I don’t understand why more stores don’t handle kawai. And if I got a kawai keyboard from a distance away, what happens if something goes wrong with it? So at this point I can’t even try out an es-110 locally.

Oscar1 thanks for bringing up the px s1000. I don’t know why that guy in the store talked like the px 160 was the newest. And I would never buy it from that store because like you say they are way overpriced!

Don’t know what to do. I really wanted a keyboard that would help make my playing better and help me advance as a pianist (to the extent that I am one). I don’t want to have to sell my keyboard in a few years and get something better. I am ready for something better now. It’s just that darn problem of money...

Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: Valencia] #2828021
03/17/19 10:12 PM
03/17/19 10:12 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,251
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Valencia, may I ask where you are based, please?

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] #2828472
03/18/19 10:30 PM
03/18/19 10:30 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 50
Annapolis MD
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Annapolis MD
Originally Posted by Valencia

Oscar1 thanks for bringing up the px s1000. I don’t know why that guy in the store talked like the px 160 was the newest.

The problem is that the new PX-S1000 was announced at the NAMM in January but has not yet reached distribution channels (supposed to happen this month). So you can't blame the dealer (whatever his other flaws) for trying to sell a model that he has available versus the new model that he cannot even show you yet.


They say extra practice can make up for modesty of talent (up to a point) - I sure hope so...
Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: gerhard_k] #2828477
03/18/19 11:11 PM
03/18/19 11:11 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 594
Bay Area CA
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pwl Offline
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Well, yes you can blame the dealer. The existence of the new model was in the public domain (not a secret that only Casio dealers were "Privia" to). The dealer thinks he can bamboozle the customer into buying immediately - make the sale, never see the customer again. Problem for the dealer is this: If he doesn't make the sale . . . that potential customer will never trust that dealer again. So ANY chance for a sale goes out the window.

As a former retailer, the dealer CAN make a different decision. Be straight up with the customer - offer a nice savings on the outgoing model, acknowledge the new model, and try to create a CUSTOMER instead of a sale.

PS: And it's not that Casio, to my knowledge, has a history of announcing unobtainium with months and months of waiting til the new product is available.

PPS: I'm not trying to start an argument - your opinion is certainly one way of looking at this situation. I just wanted to make the point that there IS another way, which might actually prove to be in the best interest of the dealer (and the customer).

PPS: I'm all in on your tagline!

Re: really????? px160 over kawai? [Re: gerhard_k] #2828506
03/19/19 01:48 AM
03/19/19 01:48 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 304
Mountain Brook, AL, USA
jeffscot Offline
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Mountain Brook, AL, USA
Originally Posted by gerhard_k
The problem is that the new PX-S1000 was announced at the NAMM in January but has not yet reached distribution channels (supposed to happen this month). So you can't blame the dealer (whatever his other flaws) for trying to sell a model that he has available versus the new model that he cannot even show you yet.

Sweetwater is showing in stock, and ready to ship, on the PX-S1000 in black.
With all the talk about these i would have thought the pre-orders would have taken care of the initial shipment, but apparently that is not case.


.... Jeff ▫️ Yamaha P515 ▫️ Roll Tide
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