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VPC1 opinions #2881538
08/20/19 07:16 AM
08/20/19 07:16 AM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 46
Brussels, Belgium
Chopin is up there Offline OP
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Chopin is up there  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2009
Posts: 46
Brussels, Belgium
Hello everyone,

I realize the VPC1 is a common talking point here. I have a chance to buy it new for €1172 from a trusted dealer. I'm looking for a great piano action with high quality MIDI implementation to power my VSTs.

My other options were the SL88 Grand (which I'm doubtful about due to suspicions about their MIDI implementation in terms of being able to hit all velocity values), or possibly cheapest alternatives like FP-10, ES110. I'm really not into Yamaha's GHS action. Roland's strikes me as overly exaggerated with the escapement, and the ES110 is the one I enjoyed the most in that range.

Rambling aside, knowing my preference for Kawai actions, I have the impression that it's really a no-brainer to get the VPC1 at this price range, as only slightly better options start a whole €1000 higher (RD2000/MP11 SE). It anyway gives me the impression that one needs to go thousands above this price to get a significant improvement.

No successor to it seems to be foreseen, as well.

Could someone chip in with their opinion? (Maybe even the illustrious Kawai James!) I sadly cannot try it in person.

Thank you and kindest regards!


Last edited by Chopin is up there; 08/20/19 07:20 AM.

Currently: Kawai VPC1 + NI Noire / Keyscape

Previously: Yamaha DGX630, Yamaha P45, Studiologic SL990 Pro, Kawai ES110
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Re: VPC1 opinions [Re: Chopin is up there] #2881547
08/20/19 08:03 AM
08/20/19 08:03 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,359
Upstate New York, USA
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newbert Offline
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newbert  Offline
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Upstate New York, USA
IMO get the VPC 1. I have some experience with Yamaha (DGX640) and Roland (FP-30) actions, and there is no comparison with the VPC1's. That said, it took me a bit of time to get used to the VPC1 action because it's on the heavy side.

If your main interest is using your VST's, get the VPC1. It's a no-brainer.


Bert
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Re: VPC1 opinions [Re: newbert] #2881553
08/20/19 08:20 AM
08/20/19 08:20 AM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 185
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nicknameTaken Offline
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I'd rather get the P515 for VST's rather than a VPC1 due to the too heavy keybed...

Re: VPC1 opinions [Re: Chopin is up there] #2881554
08/20/19 08:25 AM
08/20/19 08:25 AM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 149
M
mcontraveos Online content
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mcontraveos  Online Content
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The VPC1 has an awful pedal unit, but the rest of it is really quite good. I think that you'll be better off learning to deal with the pedal unit (or it might not be an issue for you) than compromising on the action by buying a different keyboard you've mentioned.

There are keyboards superior to the VPC1, but you've rightly pointed out that they are significantly more expensive.

Re: VPC1 opinions [Re: Chopin is up there] #2881555
08/20/19 08:28 AM
08/20/19 08:28 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 11
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butchkoch Offline
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butchkoch  Offline
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Posts: 11
I got my VPC1 2 years ago. I love it, it feels like velvet and is very quiet and responsive, it lures me to play it. Some think its on the "heavy" side, and when compared to other DP's it is, but I've owned many pianos in my 7 decades and many of those not only had heavy actions, but sloppy ones too, both acoustic and digital. I've played on very expensive pianos [never owned] and was often jealous of not having the means to acquire one, the VPC for a very reasonable price gives me that option. Is it perfect? Who knows but I will say its the best keyboard this piano lover ever touched, that is his own. BTW I bought mine without having demoed it. I also have an ES8, a Roland F140R, a PC3K8, a PX160 and the new Privia PS1000.

Re: VPC1 opinions [Re: nicknameTaken] #2881560
08/20/19 08:37 AM
08/20/19 08:37 AM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,865
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Pete14 Online content
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Pete14  Online Content
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Originally Posted by nicknameTaken
I'd rather get the P515 for VST's rather than a VPC1 due to the too heavy keybed...


+1 on the P-515. You get so much more bang for your buck: on-board speakers, audio interface, stand/pedal board, etc.... and still it’s cheaper than the VPC-1.

Re: VPC1 opinions [Re: Pete14] #2881562
08/20/19 08:43 AM
08/20/19 08:43 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 7,127
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content

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Originally Posted by Pete14
+1 on the P-515. You get so much more bang for your buck: on-board speakers, audio interface, stand/pedal board, etc.... and still it’s cheaper than the VPC-1.

Where is the P-515 cheaper in Europe than the OP can get the VPC1 for €1172? I see on Thomann.de, the P-515B is 1470€, which is almost 300€ more than the OP can buy a new VPC-1 for.


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: VPC1 opinions [Re: Chopin is up there] #2881563
08/20/19 08:44 AM
08/20/19 08:44 AM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,053
J
Jethro Online content
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Jethro  Online Content
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I have a VPC-1 and practice on it several days a week. As far as heaviness goes it is heavier then many digital pianos that I have played in the past and as many have said here on PW, but that heaviness is why I bought it. It actually has a slightly LIGHTER action than an acoustic Kawai RX-2 and Shigeru SK2 that I currently own. The heaviness is not a problem. People are just not used to feeling this heavy an action on a DP I think,


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: VPC1 opinions [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2881567
08/20/19 08:52 AM
08/20/19 08:52 AM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,865
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Pete14 Online content
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Pete14  Online Content
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Pete14
+1 on the P-515. You get so much more bang for your buck: on-board speakers, audio interface, stand/pedal board, etc.... and still it’s cheaper than the VPC-1.

Where is the P-515 cheaper in Europe than the OP can get the VPC1 for €1172? I see on Thomann.de, the P-515B is 1470€, which is almost 300€ more than the OP can buy a new VPC-1 for.


I apologize. I was basing this on U.S.A. pricing. The VPC-1 lists for $1,850. The P-515 for $1,500 + around $200.00 for the stand/pedals (still about $150.00 cheaper).
But yes, Europe is another story.

Re: VPC1 opinions [Re: Pete14] #2881570
08/20/19 08:54 AM
08/20/19 08:54 AM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 46
Brussels, Belgium
Chopin is up there Offline OP
Full Member
Chopin is up there  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 46
Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted by Pete14
Originally Posted by nicknameTaken
I'd rather get the P515 for VST's rather than a VPC1 due to the too heavy keybed...


+1 on the P-515. You get so much more bang for your buck: on-board speakers, audio interface, stand/pedal board, etc.... and still it’s cheaper than the VPC-1.


Thank you both for your input.

It would be an option if it was in fact cheaper (sadly it's €100 more) and if I didn't feel I would be slightly compromising on the action. The onboard speakers I do not care much for, although the audio interface is an interesting addition.

Still, some food for thought!


Currently: Kawai VPC1 + NI Noire / Keyscape

Previously: Yamaha DGX630, Yamaha P45, Studiologic SL990 Pro, Kawai ES110
Re: VPC1 opinions [Re: Chopin is up there] #2881574
08/20/19 09:06 AM
08/20/19 09:06 AM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 46
Brussels, Belgium
Chopin is up there Offline OP
Full Member
Chopin is up there  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 46
Brussels, Belgium
Thank you all for your quick and informative replies.

I have decided to just take the plunge and get the VPC1, as it seems unlikely I would be disappointed. I anyway have 30 days to return it should I be unhappy. I don't mind heavier actions at all, I even prefer the control it gives me and the heft.

Regarding the suggestion of the Yamaha P-515, I'm afraid I don't put enough of a value on onboard speakers and even the audio interface to justify the extra 100 bucks + the price of a decent pedal unit. I am also skeptical that the action would be superior. But it is however a good suggestion, so thank you to those who put it forward. smile


Currently: Kawai VPC1 + NI Noire / Keyscape

Previously: Yamaha DGX630, Yamaha P45, Studiologic SL990 Pro, Kawai ES110
Re: VPC1 opinions [Re: Chopin is up there] #2881575
08/20/19 09:07 AM
08/20/19 09:07 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 36
Bobby Simons Offline
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Bobby Simons  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 36
Love my 515, though I was absolutely stunned to realize there is no way to save a patch (instrument/effects set-up) internally. It never even occurred to me to look. Oh well, live and learn. Though... I'm about to turn 67, running out of 'learning' time, lol.

I very nearly went for the VPC-1 myself. I didn't care what it weighs and already have good piano software (Pianoteq, Ravenscroft, Mainstage), but I did see value in an instrument with built-in speakers for my particular usage, so that tipped the scales.

Re: VPC1 opinions [Re: Chopin is up there] #2881589
08/20/19 10:22 AM
08/20/19 10:22 AM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 22
O
OmniaAequalis Online content
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Posts: 22
I played all high end DPs a while ago, including the P515, VPC1 and MP11SE. What I learned is that ultimately, action is a personal preference. I heated raving reviews of both Yamaha and Rolands action on the RD-2000 but once I played it I knew it wasn't for me. Finally it was between the MP11SE and VPC1, where the former won due to the VPC's action being a bit too heavy for my taste. Potatoes potatoes.

Enjoy your VPC! It is an excellent controller and you won't be sorry! Please let us know what your experiences are once you played it a while!

Mark

Re: VPC1 opinions [Re: Chopin is up there] #2881596
08/20/19 10:53 AM
08/20/19 10:53 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 401
Danmark
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Morten Olsson Offline
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Danmark
I loved the keybed of the VPC1 - in contrast I hated the 645 which to my knowledge has the same action as the 515.
If you don't care about built in sounds then the VPC1 is a no brainer - beautiful to look at, lovely to play.

Re: VPC1 opinions [Re: Chopin is up there] #2881867
08/21/19 12:31 AM
08/21/19 12:31 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,606
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Kawai James  Offline
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Posts: 15,606
Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted by Chopin is up there
Could someone chip in with their opinion? (Maybe even the illustrious Kawai James!)


Get the VPC1.

I believe it offers the most realistic, piano-like keyboard action available for the price.

Kind regards,
James
x

EDIT: Good choice. wink


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: VPC1 opinions [Re: Chopin is up there] #2881903
08/21/19 04:55 AM
08/21/19 04:55 AM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 162
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Andrew_G Offline
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Andrew_G  Offline
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Posts: 162
I recommend VPC1 too. For a serious piano work with Grieg or Scriabin, I can compare it with ES110 that you mentioned in your post. (I had MP7, which AFAIK has the same action as ES110, and replaced it with VPC1).

The action of ES110 is too shallow and too light. As an example of its limitations, you cannot play a glissando quietly (p or pp). It will inevitably be ff of fff. Additionally, too light and shallow keyboard does not support well the phrasing with various velocities of separate notes, tenuto and accents.

All this is much better playable in real grands and in VPC1.




Last edited by Andrew_G; 08/21/19 04:58 AM.
Re: VPC1 opinions [Re: Andrew_G] #2881908
08/21/19 05:31 AM
08/21/19 05:31 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,606
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Kawai James  Offline
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Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted by Andrew_G
I recommend VPC1 too. For a serious piano work with Grieg or Scriabin, I can compare it with ES110 that you mentioned in your post. (I had MP7, which AFAIK has the same action as ES110, and replaced it with VPC1).

The action of ES110 is too shallow and too light. As an example of its limitations, you cannot play a glissando quietly (p or pp). It will inevitably be ff of fff. Additionally, too light and shallow keyboard does not support well the phrasing with various velocities of separate notes, tenuto and accents.


Please note that the ES110 action (RH Compact) is not the same as the MP7 action (RHII), and neither can compare to the VPC1 action (RM3 Grand).

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: VPC1 opinions [Re: Chopin is up there] #2881922
08/21/19 06:04 AM
08/21/19 06:04 AM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,368
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maurus Offline
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Get the VPC1. It is great for pianistic work. And as the others say, the keys may be "heavy" compared to other digital pianos; they are not, compared to most acoustic pianos. I am going back and forth between my grand and a VPC1 with very little effort. (Of course, the expressivity on a real piano is in a different world, still.)


Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.
Re: VPC1 opinions [Re: Pete14] #2881988
08/21/19 09:05 AM
08/21/19 09:05 AM
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 211
Canada
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Abdol Offline
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Canada
Originally Posted by Pete14
Originally Posted by nicknameTaken
I'd rather get the P515 for VST's rather than a VPC1 due to the too heavy keybed...


+1 on the P-515. You get so much more bang for your buck: on-board speakers, audio interface, stand/pedal board, etc.... and still it’s cheaper than the VPC-1.


Defining "the bang for the buck is subjective". If the OP is looking for the best action the P-515 is not even an option. Many of the aspects of P-515 are static. You can never change the speakers, you can never get a better sound... the action, the audio interface and everything you can think of is static and is like a bundle. You buy it "as is" and you sell it "as is" for much cheaper later on.

If you look at it from this perspective, buying P515 will not make sens.


Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
Re: VPC1 opinions [Re: Chopin is up there] #2881995
08/21/19 09:27 AM
08/21/19 09:27 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 36
Bobby Simons Offline
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Bobby Simons  Offline
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Fortunately I don't look at it from that perspective. Problem solved. cool
Personally, I could see owning both (515 and VPC-1). I've got room for one more.

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