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Decision on Yamaha P515 #2910053
11/09/19 03:04 PM
11/09/19 03:04 PM
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Seattle, wa
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Vkk Offline OP
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I’ve read pretty much all the threads on the 515, es8, mp7se etc. I’m a raw beginner to the piano. However I’ve been playing music most of my life - classical guitar and jazz and also compose my own music. The problem with all the methods I see are they are geared towards people with no knowledge of reading music, theory or interpretation. But I digress ( I’ll find a different part of the forum for that ). After a lot of reading, my decision is between getting something cheaper with hammer action ( like a Casio Or m-audio ) and something like the 515. I don’t have problem with motivation and disciplined practice, I’ve been doing it most of my life, so I worry I’d outgrow a cheaper model. In addition I want to build technique on an instrument that closely approximates the real thing. The Kawais ( es8, mp7se, VPc-1) look great but there’s a lot of people having issues with them and given how expensive they are I don’t feel I should take the risk. In addition the 515 seems to hit the sweet spot of piano action, sounds, and technology( Bluetooth usb etc ) in ways that nothing else on the market does right now at a relatively affordable price.

I’d hate to buy something and have to upgrade in a year or two. Will the 515 be a satisfactory instrument that lasts me a long time (5-10 years or longer ) or can I go cheaper and achieve the same thing? I did read about the studio logic sl88 grand but was also concerned by some negative reports. I’m ok with a midi controller since I have a computer with monitors already but even so the 515 seems the most attractive.

Thanks for any advice.

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Re: Decision on Yamaha P515 [Re: Vkk] #2910075
11/09/19 03:36 PM
11/09/19 03:36 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by Vkk
The problem with all the methods I see are they are geared towards people with no knowledge of reading music, theory or interpretation. But I digress ( I’ll find a different part of the forum for that ).

Post here, but in your post, tell us what types of music you want to learn to play (or are even willing to play), if you are looking to self-learn, find an online course, or get a teacher (in-person, or online via video messenger).

Originally Posted by Vkk
I did read about the studio logic sl88 grand but was also concerned by some negative reports. I’m ok with a midi controller since I have a computer with monitors already...

SL88 uses a Fatar action. 🤢 If you want a MIDI controller with a good action, you'll want to get the Kawai VPC1.

For a completely solution at the price point of the 515, you should also consider the ES8 and the Roland FP90.

There are no systematic issues with Kawais that I know of now that the NV10 doesn't have speaker noise any more. Perhaps you should link a sample post which is leading you to think the ES8, MP7SE and VPC1 are having issues.


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: Decision on Yamaha P515 [Re: Vkk] #2910078
11/09/19 03:44 PM
11/09/19 03:44 PM
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Jitin Offline
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So I was in the same situation of es8 vsts p515, I just the p515 Bc of what you said, and I was somewhat partial to the sound


Yamaha P155, Yamaha P515
Re: Decision on Yamaha P515 [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2910085
11/09/19 04:04 PM
11/09/19 04:04 PM
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Seattle, wa
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Vkk Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
[quote=Vkk]
SL88 uses a Fatar action. 🤢 If you want a MIDI controller with a good action, you'll want to get the Kawai VPC1.

For a completely solution at the price point of the 515, you should also consider the ES8 and the Roland FP90.

There are no systematic issues with Kawais that I know of now that the NV10 doesn't have speaker noise any more. Perhaps you should link a sample post which is leading you to think the ES8, MP7SE and VPC1 are having issues.



Thanks Tyrone.

I read about Fatar but have no idea what that means in relation to others physically. I’m not well versed enough to try them and make a decision either. However, VC1 looks great but at that price people complain about the pedal and the inability to do things like split, dual and duo as well as the key action being older and more weighty than than what the MP11SE has. Aesthetically the vpc1 is the most appealing I have to admit especially given I’m already a classically trained musician.

Any search for the kawai es8 and mp7 brings up numerous posts on issues with key degradation and sometimes repeatedly after factory fixing the initial issue.

Last edited by Vkk; 11/09/19 04:11 PM.
Re: Decision on Yamaha P515 [Re: Jitin] #2910088
11/09/19 04:10 PM
11/09/19 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Jitin
So I was in the same situation of es8 vsts p515, I just the p515 Bc of what you said, and I was somewhat partial to the sound

Thanks Jitin - I think one of your YouTube videos is a factor in my liking the 515.

Re: Decision on Yamaha P515 [Re: Vkk] #2910104
11/09/19 04:44 PM
11/09/19 04:44 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
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Newcastle, Australia
AndrewJCW Online content
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I would think the smart thing to do is get something 3-4 years old second hand that will be perfectly suitable for you for the next 12 months, and then revisit this topic then when you will be much better informed about your own taste and preference and can make a sound investment, and then flip your second hand instrument again at little loss. Or you know, just get the p515 because it’s a very nice instrument and you like the YouTube video and you’re an adult so why not? smile I haven’t had a chance to check out a p515 in store, but for me playing a p255 or cp4 back to back with an es8 or mp11 it is no contest, Kawai make exceptional piano-like instruments. I have heard a lot of good things about the p515 though, it’s meant to be a large improvement.

I just don’t think there’s any way at all you can make a ‘safe’ purchase as a beginner. Instruments are very personal things.

Re: Decision on Yamaha P515 [Re: Vkk] #2910106
11/09/19 04:48 PM
11/09/19 04:48 PM
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If youre fine with using a computer then the VPC1 is awesome.

Re: Decision on Yamaha P515 [Re: AndrewJCW] #2910126
11/09/19 05:26 PM
11/09/19 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by AndrewJCW
I would think the smart thing to do is get something 3-4 years old second hand that will be perfectly suitable for you for the next 12 months, and then revisit this topic then when you will be much better informed about your own taste and preference and can make a sound investment, and then flip your second hand instrument again at little loss. Or you know, just get the p515 because it’s a very nice instrument and you like the YouTube video and you’re an adult so why not? smile I haven’t had a chance to check out a p515 in store, but for me playing a p255 or cp4 back to back with an es8 or mp11 it is no contest, Kawai make exceptional piano-like instruments. I have heard a lot of good things about the p515 though, it’s meant to be a large improvement.

I just don’t think there’s any way at all you can make a ‘safe’ purchase as a beginner. Instruments are very personal things.


Yes, that's exactly the thoughts I'm tossing around. There's a p125 on my local Craigs list. However, The other thing is as an advanced player on another instrument and I know that less than great sound is something I'd outgrow pretty quickly.

Re: Decision on Yamaha P515 [Re: Vkk] #2910128
11/09/19 05:32 PM
11/09/19 05:32 PM
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You can always go cheaper ... but don't. That P515 is an excellent value, and it's just about as low-end as I'd recommend.
That's not to say it's a poor choice. I just mean that it has a good action, and I don't like the action on cheaper keyboards.
Originally Posted by Vkk
Will the 515 be a satisfactory instrument that lasts me a long time (5-10 years or longer ) or can I go cheaper and achieve the same thing.
Also ... ten years is a long time for a piano. Don't expect to get much more than that ... unless you're willing to put money into repairs ... and you're willing to resist buying a brand-new much better piano!

Re: Decision on Yamaha P515 [Re: Morten Olsson] #2910130
11/09/19 05:32 PM
11/09/19 05:32 PM
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Seattle, wa
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Originally Posted by Morten Olsson
If youre fine with using a computer then the VPC1 is awesome.

Do you have one? I'm wondering about things like dual, split and layering. Is it possible to do those on the VPC1 via software?

Re: Decision on Yamaha P515 [Re: Vkk] #2910131
11/09/19 05:34 PM
11/09/19 05:34 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by Vkk
Originally Posted by Morten Olsson
If youre fine with using a computer then the VPC1 is awesome.

Do you have one? I'm wondering about things like dual, split and layering. Is it possible to do those on the VPC1 via software?

Have you checked the manual?


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: Decision on Yamaha P515 [Re: MacMacMac] #2910134
11/09/19 05:39 PM
11/09/19 05:39 PM
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Seattle, wa
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
You can always go cheaper ... but don't. That P515 is an excellent value, and it's just about as low-end as I'd recommend.
That's not to say it's a poor choice. I just mean that it has a good action, and I don't like the action on cheaper keyboards.
Originally Posted by Vkk
Will the 515 be a satisfactory instrument that lasts me a long time (5-10 years or longer ) or can I go cheaper and achieve the same thing.
Also ... ten years is a long time for a piano. Don't expect to get much more than that ... unless you're willing to put money into repairs ... and you're willing to resist buying a brand-new much better piano!

Thanks Macmacmac. That's where my instinct has led me. At the moment, I have no plans to gig so anything I buy should last longer since it will be primarily sitting at home.

Re: Decision on Yamaha P515 [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2910138
11/09/19 05:45 PM
11/09/19 05:45 PM
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Seattle, wa
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Vkk Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Vkk
Originally Posted by Morten Olsson
If youre fine with using a computer then the VPC1 is awesome.

Do you have one? I'm wondering about things like dual, split and layering. Is it possible to do those on the VPC1 via software?

Have you checked the manual?

Yes, it's very barebones with almost no information.

Re: Decision on Yamaha P515 [Re: Vkk] #2910239
11/10/19 02:28 AM
11/10/19 02:28 AM
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Hello Vkk,

I've been playing guitars for 47 years and currently own 21 guitars. I got interested in piano a few years ago and like you, I wanted to buy my one perfect for-ever 88-note digital piano. I'm not a trained classical pianist but have played my friends' 9' Steinway, 7' Steinway so I had a pretty good idea about the type of sound and feel I wanted. Well, I just ordered my 6th digital piano and I know it won't be my last. My friends had been playing classical for over 50 years knew what they wanted and the 9' and 7' Steinways will probably be their last pianos but it's not the same with digital pianos, especially your first. Except for the Yamaha MOXF8, I liked my other DPs quite well but unlike acoustic pianos, DP sound and feel are improving every year and what we think we want also changes over time.
Someone suggested buying a good used instrument and I really think it's a smart advice. I bought a like-new Korg Kronos 88 for $1900 and sold it 4 years later for $1700. Bought a Casio PX-5S with a hard case and 8" monitor for $800, sold the PX-5S a year later for $720, the case for $190 and the monitor for $350. Bought a brand new Casio PX-560 (online everywhere for $1199) for $450 from someone who won it from The Price Is Right and had no need for it. Until you really know what you want, buying used gives you a chance to find out for practically free because the first owner already paid the sales tax and depreciation for you. I ordered a brand new MP11se for only $100 more then what I paid for the used Kronos and for the first time, I'm confident I'll truly enjoy this instrument, confident enough to buy new. I may even keep it forever but it won't be the last DP I purchase.
You may very well love and keep your first DP forever. I'm only hoping this post will help you consider the pros and cons of whether to buy new or used. I do hope it helps; best of luck!

Re: Decision on Yamaha P515 [Re: djvu10] #2910362
11/10/19 11:17 AM
11/10/19 11:17 AM
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Posts: 32
Seattle, wa
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Vkk Offline OP
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Originally Posted by djvu10
Hello Vkk,

I've been playing guitars for 47 years and currently own 21 guitars. I got interested in piano a few years ago and like you, I wanted to buy my one perfect for-ever 88-note digital piano. I'm not a trained classical pianist but have played my friends' 9' Steinway, 7' Steinway so I had a pretty good idea about the type of sound and feel I wanted. Well, I just ordered my 6th digital piano and I know it won't be my last. My friends had been playing classical for over 50 years knew what they wanted and the 9' and 7' Steinways will probably be their last pianos but it's not the same with digital pianos, especially your first. Except for the Yamaha MOXF8, I liked my other DPs quite well but unlike acoustic pianos, DP sound and feel are improving every year and what we think we want also changes over time.
Someone suggested buying a good used instrument and I really think it's a smart advice. I bought a like-new Korg Kronos 88 for $1900 and sold it 4 years later for $1700. Bought a Casio PX-5S with a hard case and 8" monitor for $800, sold the PX-5S a year later for $720, the case for $190 and the monitor for $350. Bought a brand new Casio PX-560 (online everywhere for $1199) for $450 from someone who won it from The Price Is Right and had no need for it. Until you really know what you want, buying used gives you a chance to find out for practically free because the first owner already paid the sales tax and depreciation for you. I ordered a brand new MP11se for only $100 more then what I paid for the used Kronos and for the first time, I'm confident I'll truly enjoy this instrument, confident enough to buy new. I may even keep it forever but it won't be the last DP I purchase.
You may very well love and keep your first DP forever. I'm only hoping this post will help you consider the pros and cons of whether to buy new or used. I do hope it helps; best of luck!


Thanks djvu, yes you are right - technology changing is the biggest argument against the idea. But I wonder how much better we need it. And midi mitigates it a bit. I have an old Yamaha keyboard from the 90s that sounds crappy by itself, but hooked up through midi to my computer comes alive. The feel I have no clue about but you are right that it also is changing and will likely get better.

Last edited by Vkk; 11/10/19 11:18 AM.
Re: Decision on Yamaha P515 [Re: Vkk] #2910428
11/10/19 02:40 PM
11/10/19 02:40 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 769
Newcastle, Australia
AndrewJCW Online content
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Maybe the VPC1 is a good option for you, if you're comfortable with a computer setup and already have monitors. As a high quality controller with a great action it won't ever really be superseded the way a digital piano is, which eventually will get left behind in the software world - whereas your VPC1 will always be taking advantage of the newest sample and modelling instruments. In 2-3 years you might want to pick up a console or high quality slab (or acoustic..) but your VPC1 will always have a place as a controller so from that perspective it seems like a sound investment.

I imagine there's not much info in the VPC1 because, well, there's not much to it - you press a key and it sends a midi signal through the USB. I’m pretty sure split/layering/dual would all be done by whatever software it's running. If you go this route and get comfortable with a good DAW you really open yourself up to feature sets in the software world that make a mockery of anything that comes built into a piano. You can arrange, compose,have access to thousands of instruments etc etc. Of course this is fiddly and has a learning curve and can be expensive but that's the nature of the midi route.

Last edited by AndrewJCW; 11/10/19 02:44 PM.
Re: Decision on Yamaha P515 [Re: Vkk] #2910462
11/10/19 04:01 PM
11/10/19 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Vkk
...I'm wondering about things like dual, split and layering. Is it possible to do those on the VPC1 via software?

I'm not an owner of a VPC1, but since it has no internal voices, if these things are possible, then they are only possible through software.

Layering is easy. You can simply open a track in a DAW (digital audio workstation) like Reaper and insert two virtual libraries on that track.


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Re: Decision on Yamaha P515 [Re: Vkk] #2910565
11/10/19 08:01 PM
11/10/19 08:01 PM
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I got a VPC-1 recently (see the thread on quiet keybeds...). Rather happy with it. Keybed is pretty quiet, and it actually feels like a piano. My first impression was that of an old friend I'd never met... Just works. I don't think I'll be upgrading any time soon. It sits next to my desktop PC, and under a Komplete Kontrol 61. I run it through Cantabile (a VST host). You can do splits, layers, velocity mapping, EQ, etc through pretty much any host. I like having a desktop next to the keyboard, because the screen is big, and it never moves, so I'm not always plugging things in to run my keyboard. It replaced a yamaha MO-8 which had a noisy keybed, the famed GHS. Whatever you do, make sure you like the keybed (it's the only thing you can't replace...) I wasn't real fond of the pedal, so I'm using a yamaha pedal. You lose the half pedaling, but it's not squeaky. At some point I'll look at the Kawai pedal and de-squeak it... I'd still recommend the VPC-1, but from what I read, the P-515 isn't half bad.


VPC-1. Komplete Kontrol 61 1st gen. Pianoteq, Ravenscroft, etc. Two kids on Alfred.
Re: Decision on Yamaha P515 [Re: AndrewJCW] #2910643
11/11/19 02:02 AM
11/11/19 02:02 AM
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Posts: 32
Seattle, wa
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Vkk Offline OP
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Originally Posted by AndrewJCW
Maybe the VPC1 is a good option for you, if you're comfortable with a computer setup and already have monitors. As a high quality controller with a great action it won't ever really be superseded the way a digital piano is, which eventually will get left behind in the software world - whereas your VPC1 will always be taking advantage of the newest sample and modelling instruments. In 2-3 years you might want to pick up a console or high quality slab (or acoustic..) but your VPC1 will always have a place as a controller so from that perspective it seems like a sound investment.

I imagine there's not much info in the VPC1 because, well, there's not much to it - you press a key and it sends a midi signal through the USB. I’m pretty sure split/layering/dual would all be done by whatever software it's running. If you go this route and get comfortable with a good DAW you really open yourself up to feature sets in the software world that make a mockery of anything that comes built into a piano. You can arrange, compose,have access to thousands of instruments etc etc. Of course this is fiddly and has a learning curve and can be expensive but that's the nature of the midi route.

Thanks Andrew. That makes sense. I was wondering whether the key system could be upgraded significantly, but kawai alludes in their FAQ to it being a weight grade off as to why they didn’t upgrade the vcp1 to the keys in the MP11SE. So other than connectivity options ( usb-c perhaps for greater bandwidth ) it will probably stay similar.

Re: Decision on Yamaha P515 [Re: Melving] #2910645
11/11/19 02:06 AM
11/11/19 02:06 AM
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Vkk Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Melving
I got a VPC-1 recently (see the thread on quiet keybeds...). Rather happy with it. Keybed is pretty quiet, and it actually feels like a piano. My first impression was that of an old friend I'd never met... Just works. I don't think I'll be upgrading any time soon. It sits next to my desktop PC, and under a Komplete Kontrol 61. I run it through Cantabile (a VST host). You can do splits, layers, velocity mapping, EQ, etc through pretty much any host. I like having a desktop next to the keyboard, because the screen is big, and it never moves, so I'm not always plugging things in to run my keyboard. It replaced a yamaha MO-8 which had a noisy keybed, the famed GHS. Whatever you do, make sure you like the keybed (it's the only thing you can't replace...) I wasn't real fond of the pedal, so I'm using a yamaha pedal. You lose the half pedaling, but it's not squeaky. At some point I'll look at the Kawai pedal and de-squeak it... I'd still recommend the VPC-1, but from what I read, the P-515 isn't half bad.

Thanks Melving. That’s good to know. I have used daws before but mainly for analog recording so never done midi stuff much.

Btw have you ( or anyone else ) been able to compare the es8 to the Vcp-1 action? The es8 is looking more affordable now and I’m wondering if I should go for that instead. My wife is balking at the price of the vcp-1. It’s because I’ve a bunch if guitars and another one coming in a month. smile

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