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Re: Best digital piano action under $2500? [Re: Jethro] #2826580
03/13/19 11:57 PM
03/13/19 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Jethro
Also, anyone know if the action was heavier on the P515 versus the MP11SE. Some reported it being heavier, which actually I prefer. My RX-2 is reported to have a heavy action, but I've built up good strength in my fingers that I don't notice it nor fatigue easily even with fast passage work. I don't want a light keyboard action.


My teacher has the same Kawaii grand as you (I think) and I have a CA78. The action on the digital is nothing like the grand. It’s a buttery smooth playing digital piano though. I also take a class at the community college for fun and we play on p515s. I really like the action on those for the price range. A little light, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I would say the touch weight is probably a little lighter on the CA78, but it feels heavier because the keys don’t bottom out. It’s weird. I’m not very good, and everyone has their own preferences,so you really have to try it out for yourself though.

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Re: Best digital piano action under $2500? [Re: Jethro] #2826613
03/14/19 04:28 AM
03/14/19 04:28 AM
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maurus Offline
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Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by maurus
Kawai MP11SE indeed if action is your preference...

But yes, do compare it with the Yamaha P515 in person. As an experienced pianist you will quickly form your own opinion and this is what really matters.

I see in your signature you have an SK-2. How did the action of the MP11SE compare? Is it an easy transition for you from the acoustic to this digital piano?

Yes, I own a little Shigeru and I love it...

For night practice I am using a VPC1 (coupled to a Nord Electro as sound source). The transitioning between the grand and Kawai's wooden action is easy and works smoothly. There is a bigger difference between the Shigeru and an older upright which I also own than between the SK-2 and the VPC1.

I have played the MP11SE in shops a few times. Its action is nicer than that in the VPC1, perhaps a little lighter as well, but nothing that you won't manage easily. I also used a Yamaha CP4 for traveling and practice for some time, and while its action was very nice indeed I never quite warmed up to the sound.

I should add that I can enjoy the digital soundwise ONLY with headphones. Using speakers there is such a big difference to the acoustic that I actually switch to my grand, always, unless I want a Rhodes sound, an organ, etc.


Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.
Re: Best digital piano action under $2500? [Re: Jethro] #2826621
03/14/19 05:24 AM
03/14/19 05:24 AM
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PS. The tip about using a sturdy stand for a piano such as the MP11 or the P515 is absolutely essential for serious playing - you don't want a wobbly instrument. I am using a K&M 18810, which works nicely, a sturdy table stand would be the alternative.

Re: Best digital piano action under $2500? [Re: maurus] #2826678
03/14/19 09:10 AM
03/14/19 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by maurus
PS. The tip about using a sturdy stand for a piano such as the MP11 or the P515 is absolutely essential for serious playing - you don't want a wobbly instrument. I am using a K&M 18810, which works nicely, a sturdy table stand would be the alternative.



Totally agree. I use the OnStage KS7350. Rock Solid.


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: Best digital piano action under $2500? [Re: maurus] #2826683
03/14/19 09:37 AM
03/14/19 09:37 AM
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Jethro Online content OP
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Originally Posted by maurus
Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by maurus
Kawai MP11SE indeed if action is your preference...

But yes, do compare it with the Yamaha P515 in person. As an experienced pianist you will quickly form your own opinion and this is what really matters.

I see in your signature you have an SK-2. How did the action of the MP11SE compare? Is it an easy transition for you from the acoustic to this digital piano?

Yes, I own a little Shigeru and I love it...

For night practice I am using a VPC1 (coupled to a Nord Electro as sound source). The transitioning between the grand and Kawai's wooden action is easy and works smoothly. There is a bigger difference between the Shigeru and an older upright which I also own than between the SK-2 and the VPC1.

I have played the MP11SE in shops a few times. Its action is nicer than that in the VPC1, perhaps a little lighter as well, but nothing that you won't manage easily. I also used a Yamaha CP4 for traveling and practice for some time, and while its action was very nice indeed I never quite warmed up to the sound.

I should add that I can enjoy the digital soundwise ONLY with headphones. Using speakers there is such a big difference to the acoustic that I actually switch to my grand, always, unless I want a Rhodes sound, an organ, etc.


Thanks very much. I'm glad you brought up the VPC1 because I've been eyeing that as a possible compromise between the MP11SE and the P515. It may be the best compromise between cost, weight, and action. I figure I can always download an appropriate piano sample if necessary. For me the actual tonal character of the piano was not as important as that interface between touch and the ability of the DP to produce a realistic and predictable piano sound that mimics an actual acoustic piano. I don't actual care too much about the sound "character" eg. mellow versus bright as I just want it to sound like a piano when I strike the key. So the only thing that is holding me back right now with the VPC1 is the reports of shorter key length. I have the Kawai RX-2 grand and I think it has the same key length as your Shigeru Kawai 2. The newer GX2 was redesigned with a longer key length to closer mimic a full sized grand and improve touch. Is this the same type of change I would notice going from the VPC1 to the MP11SE? Also, does the VPC1 come with standard sized piano keys because if they are shorter than an actual piano key that would be a deal breaker. Bottom line for me it's coming down to whether or not the VPC1 is just "acceptable" to learn advanced classical pieces and not inhibit my ability to perform well on "baby" grands such as my RX-2 which are realistically the kind of pianos I play on the most. Also thank you guys for the tip on the appropriate piano stand. I will purchase that one.

Edit: I know guys I brought up the $2500 ceiling and I understand mostly like the MP11SE is THE best, but now I'm thinking heck if I could save $1000 and the VPC or P515 was all I needed I could use that extra cash for my business expenses. Also I understand and will audition these 3 pianos, but I think it would be wise to seek the advise of owners of these pianos as you've experienced all the nuances and I don't know if sitting in front of these pianos for a few minutes would allow me enough time to figure out what issues might crop up with my playing ability on these pianos.

Last edited by Jethro; 03/14/19 09:46 AM.

Shigeru Kawai SK2 (2019), Kawai RX-2 (2007), Young Chang (1982), Kawai VPC-1 (2019), Yamaha P80 (2001), Korg C-50 (1995) , Roland Juno 1 (1988), Korg Poly 61 (1986), Lowrey Symphonic Holiday (1975)
Re: Best digital piano action under $2500? [Re: Gombessa] #2826698
03/14/19 10:17 AM
03/14/19 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
The MP11SE has the "Grand Feel" action. The CA-67, CA-97, CS-8, CS-11, CA-78, and CA-98 have the "Grand Feel 2" action. The two are virtually identical in all ways that matter. They're both full wooden keys (black and white), have the same pivot length, have ivory-feel white key surfaces. The GF2 has slightly reshaped hammer weights, "ebony texture" on the black keys, and the highest key has a counterweight (whereas GF1 has counterweights on 87 of the keys, don't ask me why).The GF2 also has a slight adjustment in the sensor or letoff point to improve playing repeated notes from the point of escapement. Those are the only changes I'm aware of.

The GF1 does have the same escapement simulation mechanism as th GF2.

I've had several Yamahas including with GH/GHE actions. They were fine, but the MP11 (and especially its action) is in a completely different class.



I've wondered about the difference in feel between the Grand and Grand II... for those of you that have had experience with both, would it be a failing on the MP11SE not upgrading to the Grand Feel II, or is it simply a matter of personal preference?

Last edited by AnthonyPaulO; 03/14/19 10:18 AM.
Re: Best digital piano action under $2500? [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2826703
03/14/19 10:48 AM
03/14/19 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO

I've wondered about the difference in feel between the Grand and Grand II... for those of you that have had experience with both, would it be a failing on the MP11SE not upgrading to the Grand Feel II, or is it simply a matter of personal preference?


Honestly, it's not enough to even mention. They're really the same thing in all material aspects. But you can and should always try for yourself to decide smile


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Best digital piano action under $2500? [Re: Jethro] #2826714
03/14/19 11:18 AM
03/14/19 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Jethro
Thanks very much. I'm glad you brought up the VPC1 ...

IMHO your remarks above are right on the mark.

On the VPC1: The key length is standard. But yes, the pivot length of the keys is a little shorter than on the acoustic pianos, which makes a slight difference when playing towards the inner end of the keys. But it does not bother me much, and actually I might even prefer the slightly heavier action of the VPC1 over the MP11(SE). Personal taste, I would say, and well within the range of differences in piano actions which a pianist should be able to adapt to.

I avoid using the VPC1 with a computer, though, because I hate the hassle of setting it up, and I never quite figured out how to really avoid latencies in a satisfactory way (perhaps I am a little more sensitive in this respect than others). That's why I put the Nord on top of the VPC1. Since doing that, my gear lust on the digital side has stopped, and I can focus on the music - which is why I own these things, after all.


Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.
Re: Best digital piano action under $2500? [Re: maurus] #2826758
03/14/19 01:12 PM
03/14/19 01:12 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
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New York, NY, USA
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Originally Posted by maurus
Originally Posted by Jethro
Thanks very much. I'm glad you brought up the VPC1 ...

IMHO your remarks above are right on the mark.

On the VPC1: The key length is standard. But yes, the pivot length of the keys is a little shorter than on the acoustic pianos, which makes a slight difference when playing towards the inner end of the keys. But it does not bother me much, and actually I might even prefer the slightly heavier action of the VPC1 over the MP11(SE). Personal taste, I would say, and well within the range of differences in piano actions which a pianist should be able to adapt to.

I avoid using the VPC1 with a computer, though, because I hate the hassle of setting it up, and I never quite figured out how to really avoid latencies in a satisfactory way (perhaps I am a little more sensitive in this respect than others). That's why I put the Nord on top of the VPC1. Since doing that, my gear lust on the digital side has stopped, and I can focus on the music - which is why I own these things, after all.




The problem is most likely USB, you can greatly reduce the latency on your computer connection by using a Thunderbolt 2 or 3 cable to your Thunderbolt 2/3 audio interface. My PC doesn't support it and being a computer engineer I could have upgraded it, but decided to buy myself a Macbook Pro with Thunderbolt 3 hooked to my Apollo Twin and the difference is night and day.

Re: Best digital piano action under $2500? [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2826765
03/14/19 01:28 PM
03/14/19 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
The problem is most likely USB, you can greatly reduce the latency on your computer connection by using a Thunderbolt 2 or 3 cable to your Thunderbolt 2/3 audio interface. My PC doesn't support it and being a computer engineer I could have upgraded it, but decided to buy myself a Macbook Pro with Thunderbolt 3 hooked to my Apollo Twin and the difference is night and day.

There is one other possible problem, although I can't say if it is true of the VPC1. It is definitely true of the Roland FP30. That is MIDI-to-USB conversion. When using a USB printer cable to connect a keyboard to the PC, you are, in general, relying on the keyboard's own MIDI-to-USB conversion, which might be fast or it might be slow. I found for my FP30, using an external MIDI-to-USB converter gives me lower latency than when I am relying on the FP30's internal MIDI-to-USB conversion. I've measured this and seen a difference myself.


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: Best digital piano action under $2500? [Re: Jethro] #2826767
03/14/19 01:31 PM
03/14/19 01:31 PM
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maurus Offline
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I'd suggest the thread stays on topic and avoids to diverge into computer setup issues.


Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.
Re: Best digital piano action under $2500? [Re: maurus] #2826778
03/14/19 02:10 PM
03/14/19 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by maurus
I'd suggest the thread stays on topic and avoids to diverge into computer setup issues.


Thank You


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: Best digital piano action under $2500? [Re: maurus] #2826780
03/14/19 02:11 PM
03/14/19 02:11 PM
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Bravo, maurus. smile
Originally Posted by maurus
I'd suggest the thread stays on topic and avoids to diverge into computer setup issues.

Re: Best digital piano action under $2500? [Re: Jethro] #2826810
03/14/19 03:31 PM
03/14/19 03:31 PM
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Maurus, I think you've pushed me towards considering the VPC-1 as my frontrunner and I'll try to find a local Kawai dealer carrying the MP11Se and VPC1 to compare. I'm pretty sure there is a local Yamaha dealer selling the P515, but these 3 based on the info I gathered on this forum are the forerunners though I may look into the ES8 if there is one on display. This has been very informative for me. Thank you all!.

One last question, will I be able to use my ipad to download piano samples into the VPC-1? What is the typical set up for this particular piano. I'm not looking for the latest and greatest, just one good concert or baby grand sound sample would suffice. Please point me in the right direction this way I can also figure out total cost. Thank you.


Shigeru Kawai SK2 (2019), Kawai RX-2 (2007), Young Chang (1982), Kawai VPC-1 (2019), Yamaha P80 (2001), Korg C-50 (1995) , Roland Juno 1 (1988), Korg Poly 61 (1986), Lowrey Symphonic Holiday (1975)
Re: Best digital piano action under $2500? [Re: Jethro] #2826814
03/14/19 03:45 PM
03/14/19 03:45 PM
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maurus Offline
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Well, you are moving into tricky territory here.

You cannot download samples "into the VPC1." The VPC is a just a key action which sends a MIDI signal to another instrument, or computer, that then generates the sound. You may either use a second instrument with keys (which is what I do, so in the end I have a two-manual setup with a piano action in the VPC1 and an organ-type action in my Nord Electro on top), or a computer which runs a virtual instrument (sample based or modelled).

I do not know what the present state of virtual instruments in an iPad is, but I have connected my MacBook Pro to the VPC1 several times, both with Pianoteq and with the "Contact" Player, with limited satisfaction (as mentioned above). There are other forum members who successfully run a VPC1 + laptop setup and who might give better recommendations than me on this.

The cost of the sound generator (hardware or software based) needs to be factored in if you go for the VPC1. So in the end an MP11SE solution may be simpler and more satisfactory for you if you are just concerned about piano playing. If you wish and need, go for the computer hassle...


Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.
Re: Best digital piano action under $2500? [Re: maurus] #2826874
03/14/19 06:28 PM
03/14/19 06:28 PM
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Jethro Online content OP
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Originally Posted by maurus
Well, you are moving into tricky territory here.

You cannot download samples "into the VPC1." The VPC is a just a key action which sends a MIDI signal to another instrument, or computer, that then generates the sound. You may either use a second instrument with keys (which is what I do, so in the end I have a two-manual setup with a piano action in the VPC1 and an organ-type action in my Nord Electro on top), or a computer which runs a virtual instrument (sample based or modelled).

I do not know what the present state of virtual instruments in an iPad is, but I have connected my MacBook Pro to the VPC1 several times, both with Pianoteq and with the "Contact" Player, with limited satisfaction (as mentioned above). There are other forum members who successfully run a VPC1 + laptop setup and who might give better recommendations than me on this.

The cost of the sound generator (hardware or software based) needs to be factored in if you go for the VPC1. So in the end an MP11SE solution may be simpler and more satisfactory for you if you are just concerned about piano playing. If you wish and need, go for the computer hassle...

There is always a caveat isn't there? wink

I already have a 12 inch ipad pro and I'm reading something about an app called Ravencroft 275 for iOS that might pair well with the VPC1. I have to do more research. But that app is only $36. That's a pretty good deal, so I'm hoping this is a combination that works. (I just need one that works).

Last edited by Jethro; 03/14/19 06:28 PM.

Shigeru Kawai SK2 (2019), Kawai RX-2 (2007), Young Chang (1982), Kawai VPC-1 (2019), Yamaha P80 (2001), Korg C-50 (1995) , Roland Juno 1 (1988), Korg Poly 61 (1986), Lowrey Symphonic Holiday (1975)
Re: Best digital piano action under $2500? [Re: Jethro] #2826882
03/14/19 06:42 PM
03/14/19 06:42 PM
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While I haven't tried the Ravencroft, when talking about the VPC-1, I think it makes sense to seriously think about how you will use the piano. You'll always need an external tone generator connected and running whenever you want to play. That means pulling out your ipad each time and connecting it to the DP and your headphones, or having a dedicated machine running the VST.

It can work, but it's farther away from "turn it on and start playing" if that matters to you. Personally, if I was going to the trouble of running a VST-only rig, I'd want the best VST I could get, not just something that happens to fit on a portable device (at that point, why not get something with a built in tone-generator, and save yourself the setup/operational headache)?


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Best digital piano action under $2500? [Re: Gombessa] #2826897
03/14/19 07:07 PM
03/14/19 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
While I haven't tried the Ravencroft, when talking about the VPC-1, I think it makes sense to seriously think about how you will use the piano. You'll always need an external tone generator connected and running whenever you want to play. That means pulling out your ipad each time and connecting it to the DP and your headphones, or having a dedicated machine running the VST.

It can work, but it's farther away from "turn it on and start playing" if that matters to you. Personally, if I was going to the trouble of running a VST-only rig, I'd want the best VST I could get, not just something that happens to fit on a portable device (at that point, why not get something with a built in tone-generator, and save yourself the setup/operational headache)?


I have given it a little thought I don't see it as much a problem. I have a pretty strong love for music. Look at it this way, I work 11 hour work days in my business and that does not include the 1 hour each way commute. Which is the reason why I'm having my company rent out an apartment closer to work so I get 2 extra hours a day back and the tax break. My lessons are on weekdays after work and then I travel 40 miles back home. Every day I look foward to the 1-2 hours of practice I get daily on my grand piano until my wife tells me she has to sleep. I absolutely love the piano. Been loving it since I was 6. I don't think pulling out an ipad is going to be a problem and I barely use this ipad so it can stay stuck on the piano for all I care. I just want a combination that works and at the moment won't break the bank or is a good deal. I like good deals.

But I see the logic behind what you are saying. The MP11SE is probably the best, but maybe a little overkill for my purposes to use it as a practice piano and my acoustic grand as my performance piano. There's a lot of functions on the MP11 that I personally would never touch. Also something about staring at the simple black case of the VPC-1 I find attractive as a pianist over the cluttered look of the MP11 that makes me feel like I am playing in front of m baby grand over a digital grand. I don't know what it is, but maybe I find it less distracting.


Shigeru Kawai SK2 (2019), Kawai RX-2 (2007), Young Chang (1982), Kawai VPC-1 (2019), Yamaha P80 (2001), Korg C-50 (1995) , Roland Juno 1 (1988), Korg Poly 61 (1986), Lowrey Symphonic Holiday (1975)
Re: Best digital piano action under $2500? [Re: Jethro] #2826907
03/14/19 07:24 PM
03/14/19 07:24 PM
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Yes, why not try the VPC1 with an iPad running Ravenscroft, sounds good. I would be interested in experiences with that myself.

Here is an older thread addressing some problems that may arise; it seems you need a bit of additional gear (a USB power hub) to connect your iPad to the VPC1 for USB power reasons.

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2782826/re-vpc1-does-not-play-ipad.html

Perhaps Kawai James can jump in and tell us what the best way is to set this up?


Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.
Re: Best digital piano action under $2500? [Re: maurus] #2826931
03/14/19 07:57 PM
03/14/19 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by maurus
Yes, why not try the VPC1 with an iPad running Ravenscroft, sounds good. I would be interested in experiences with that myself.

Here is an older thread addressing some problems that may arise; it seems you need a bit of additional gear (a USB power hub) to connect your iPad to the VPC1 for USB power reasons.

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2782826/re-vpc1-does-not-play-ipad.html

Perhaps Kawai James can jump in and tell us what the best way is to set this up?

About 2 months ago, I tried both the VPC1 next to an MP11SE, and I found the action too heavy for my taste. The MP11SE was perfect.


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
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