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No successor to VPC-1... What's your thoughts? #2936914 01/21/20 09:55 PM
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I've owned and loved playing the Kawai VPC-1 for a few years now. I know that the question of there being a successor to the VPC-1 released at NAMM 2020 was on the minds of many. The main upgrade on a successor would most likely be the keyboard action and with the new Grand Feel III action on the CA99 and CA79 being recently released, I was anticipating something new...

Is there any insight or thoughts on the subject?


Young Chang Y-121 upright acoustic, Kawai VPC-1 piano controller (Garritan CFX/Ravenscroft 275/Lounge Lizard), Roland RD-2000 stage piano, QSC K.2 series speakers, Audio Technica ATH-R70x open back headphones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, Xenyx X1222 16 input mixer
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Re: No successor to VPC-1... What's your thoughts? [Re: Normangh] #2936920 01/21/20 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Normangh
I've owned and loved playing the Kawai VPC-1 for a few years now. I know that the question of there being a successor to the VPC-1 released at NAMM 2020 was on the minds of many. The main upgrade on a successor would most likely be the keyboard action and with the new Grand Feel III action on the CA99 and CA79 being recently released, I was anticipating something new...

Is there any insight or thoughts on the subject?

Niche product which meets the needs of its users. Why would Kawai update it? (Do I sound like Kawai James? grin ha )


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Re: No successor to VPC-1... What's your thoughts? [Re: Normangh] #2936935 01/22/20 12:03 AM
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Releasing a VPC-1 with a GF-III would cannibalize too many sales from their furniture pianos, esp if they keep the current price point.
Also I am not sure how well GF-II and III work with slab models, I darkly remember KJ stating that due to the hammer shape, the casing would need to be re-designed.

Only real update opportunity would be the GF3 pedals and Kawai probably doesn't consider that enough of an upgrade to release a new model.


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Re: No successor to VPC-1... What's your thoughts? [Re: Normangh] #2936942 01/22/20 01:05 AM
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Maybe there are a finite number of old RM3II parts in stock and once they are used, the VPC1 hits EOL. I suppose it is possible Kawai still is making RM3II actions in the factory, but not so likely for one niche product. In any case, Kawai can't have a dozen different digital piano actions in production.

VPC2 upgrades in my view might include GFC and new pedals, as those have been around for some time. Redesigning the case is not a difficult effort to be frank.

I see some pent up demand as the VPC1 has been around a while, there are a lot of good recent virtual pianos, powerful computer prices have dropped a lot. This is a niche product with no direct competition, so all we can do is speculate.

Re: No successor to VPC-1... What's your thoughts? [Re: Granyala] #2936973 01/22/20 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Releasing a VPC-1 with a GF-III would cannibalize too many sales from their furniture pianos, esp if they keep the current price point.


They might cannibalise their furniture piano sales, but they're also losing the customers who want neither a big wooden case nor the VPC-1. I'd probably buy the VPC-2 with the GFIII action, or else the Roland FP100 (or whatever it's going to be called) if they put their latest action in it.

Last edited by johnstaf; 01/22/20 05:05 AM.
Re: No successor to VPC-1... What's your thoughts? [Re: Normangh] #2936979 01/22/20 05:26 AM
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VPC1 is perfect. No need for an upgrade.


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Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: No successor to VPC-1... What's your thoughts? [Re: Normangh] #2936983 01/22/20 06:07 AM
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I think there is no competition, so market wise there is no need to update it.

It's still the only choice if you want a slab type controller with full length keysticks/seesaw mechanism. (Aside from the mp11(se))

Re: No successor to VPC-1... What's your thoughts? [Re: Normangh] #2936987 01/22/20 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Normangh
I've owned and loved playing the Kawai VPC-1 for a few years now. I know that the question of there being a successor to the VPC-1 released at NAMM 2020 was on the minds of many. The main upgrade on a successor would most likely be the keyboard action and with the new Grand Feel III action on the CA99 and CA79 being recently released, I was anticipating something new...

Is there any insight or thoughts on the subject?


The GF-C keyboard would fit into the same case, like it was made for it. It would seem the obvious decent choice for many. I would expect it to happen soon.


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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Re: No successor to VPC-1... What's your thoughts? [Re: peterws] #2936989 01/22/20 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by peterws

The GF-C keyboard would fit into the same case, like it was made for it. It would seem the obvious decent choice for many. I would expect it to happen soon.


In combination with better pedals, that would be very attractive.

Re: No successor to VPC-1... What's your thoughts? [Re: U3piano] #2936993 01/22/20 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
I think there is no competition, so market wise there is no need to update it.

It's still the only choice if you want a slab type controller with full length keysticks/seesaw mechanism. (Aside from the mp11(se))


The VPC-1 doesn't have full length keysticks. The distance from the player to the balance rail means it has a very short effective length.

Last edited by johnstaf; 01/22/20 07:02 AM.
Re: No successor to VPC-1... What's your thoughts? [Re: U3piano] #2937000 01/22/20 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
Originally Posted by peterws

The GF-C keyboard would fit into the same case, like it was made for it. It would seem the obvious decent choice for many. I would expect it to happen soon.


In combination with better pedals, that would be very attractive.

If we are agree to keep VPC as a mainly piano controller with clean looks and without other synth adds, then as a owner of VPC1 I think that for successor one thing is crucial, one is recommended, and one comes naturally. Crucial is new pedal unit. Recommended is flat top desk and natural is new action just because times goes by and it will come naturally as a newer and better option (maybe) whatever action they put inside after RM3. Till that happened, VPC1 is still fantastic controller for piano playing without serious competition in midi world.

Re: No successor to VPC-1... What's your thoughts? [Re: U3piano] #2937002 01/22/20 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
Originally Posted by peterws

The GF-C keyboard would fit into the same case, like it was made for it. It would seem the obvious decent choice for many. I would expect it to happen soon.


In combination with better pedals, that would be very attractive.


+1

Re: No successor to VPC-1... What's your thoughts? [Re: Normangh] #2937091 01/22/20 12:29 PM
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I play regularly on my VPC 1 during the work week and a Shigeru Kawai SK2 ( which KawaiDon called me yesterday will be voiced/tuned/regulated by the their best MPA in Japan who does all the world's concert Shigery grands- yay!) and I have no problems with it. It serves its purpose very well and I don't see what an upgrade would do to make it any better without diminishing returns. I practice the entire Busoni D minor Chaconne from beginning to end on it and I don't see it failing in its capabilities. Overall, I would never mistake it for my Shigeru and if you want something that plays, feels, sounds like an acoustic piano you would be best served by just buying the best acoustic you can afford. I would say for the electronics geeks amongst us if I would recommend an upgrade to the VPC-1 I would say, yes improve the pedals, maybe slight improvements to the action, and more sensibly install a small computer with an SSD drive into the VPC that can accept VST's through a thumb drive. I would buy that, but mostly likely most people would not buy one unless there was an onboard "sample" VST already included. Manufacturers could do this like the the Yamaha CFX "lite" version and then offer upgrades software-wise. I just don't think most people looking at digitals pianos today would buy this unless they can hear the clear sound differences between VSTS and onboard sounds.

Last edited by Jethro; 01/22/20 12:31 PM.

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Re: No successor to VPC-1... What's your thoughts? [Re: Normangh] #2937098 01/22/20 12:38 PM
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The Yamaha P515 with its NWX keyboard is quite good... and we have a piano sound generator and its amplification.... then, I would surely think twice before purchasing a VPC-1.


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Re: No successor to VPC-1... What's your thoughts? [Re: Granyala] #2937124 01/22/20 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Granyala

Also I am not sure how well GF-II and III work with slab models, I darkly remember KJ stating that due to the hammer shape, the casing would need to be re-designed.


IIRC, that was for the MP11's case, why GF2 couldn't be a drop-in replacement for the GF1 when the MP11SE was released. From my own informal measurements, I think the only physical conflict in the case would be the Bando KT-032 transformer which would need to be repositioned--otherwise, a GF2 looks like it might fit just fine.

The VPC-1 has a much smaller housing for the shorter RM3-Grand 2 action, and wouldn't fit any GF action without a full redesign.


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Re: No successor to VPC-1... What's your thoughts? [Re: Jethro] #2937139 01/22/20 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Jethro
you would be best served by just buying the best acoustic you can afford.


Lol... That's not even realistic for most people. That's why people look at digital pianos in this pride range. VCP1 is only around $2000 after taxes. The "best acoustic" I've seen around that price are used low quality uprights with a lot of potential issues. Sure you could get lucky. Or you could get something smaller, reliable, and very realistic. If the VCP2 came out with an even more realistic action, that's even better. Not everyone lives in a big city with a massive selection of cheap GOOD used acoustic pianos.

Re: No successor to VPC-1... What's your thoughts? [Re: Frédéric L] #2937280 01/22/20 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Frédéric L
The Yamaha P515 with its NWX keyboard is quite good... and we have a piano sound generator and its amplification.... then, I would surely think twice before purchasing a VPC-1.


The Yamaha P515 as a controller, isn't that good imo although I'd need to spend more time fiddling. It doesn't go up to 127 and requires drastic alteration to the 45 deg Pianoteq velocity curve to achieve a reasonable sound. the Roland FP50 was much better for this.
But, lucky me, I'm happy with the onboard piano sounds. They are good, they are different and I can use most happily.
If you want to use a standard DP as a controller, you really need to try it out in the shop.


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Re: No successor to VPC-1... What's your thoughts? [Re: Normangh] #2937300 01/22/20 07:43 PM
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You're right. Turn off the sound on the P515 and you have a VPC replacement.

Re: No successor to VPC-1... What's your thoughts? [Re: Normangh] #2937334 01/22/20 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Normangh
I've owned and loved playing the Kawai VPC-1 for a few years now. I know that the question of there being a successor to the VPC-1 released at NAMM 2020 was on the minds of many. The main upgrade on a successor would most likely be the keyboard action and with the new Grand Feel III action on the CA99 and CA79 being recently released, I was anticipating something new...

Is there any insight or thoughts on the subject?

I wonder if Kawai gave up on the VPC-1 successors simply because of the difficulty of properly demonstrating the unit. Maybe sales volume were too low. No manufacturer seems interested in that path.

It may be more likely to see a modular instrument in the future where you can swap out various trims of sound engines. It could be very profitable.

Last edited by R111; 01/22/20 10:31 PM.
Re: No successor to VPC-1... What's your thoughts? [Re: R111] #2937356 01/22/20 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by R111
I wonder if Kawai gave up on the VPC-1 successors simply because of the difficulty of properly demonstrating the unit.

The VPC1 is a more difficult product to demonstrate than a stand-alone digital piano, this is true.

However, by now, I believe most consumers interested in virtual piano software will already be familiar with the VPC1, and aware of Kawai's reputation, to the point where a traditional demonstration is perhaps no longer necessary.

Still, it would be useful if more brick and mortar Kawai dealers (especially those in the US...) had a VPC1 on the floor to allow customers to play-test the action, and perhaps even bring their own laptop (running their favourite VI) to connect-up and try.

Originally Posted by R111
Maybe sales volume were too low.

According to the data I have here, 2019 was a good year for VPC1 sales.

Originally Posted by R111
No manufacturer seems interested in that path.

There are quite a few manufactures producing MIDI controllers - Roland announced an updated A-88mkII at NAMM last week.

Originally Posted by R111
It may be more likely to see a modular instrument in the future where you can swap out various trims of sound engines. It could be very profitable.

May I ask if you are familiar with the modular smartphone called "Project Ara" developed by Google?

Kind regards,
James
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