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Re: Why is VPC 1 so expensive?
CyberGene #2960829 03/26/20 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Abdol, you still don’t get it, do you? I’m not talking about feel, I’m talking about principle of work


You're talking about a concept in which no one has enough knowledge.

Getting a fully solid composite key is not necessarily cheaper and can be even more complex to manufacture. Wood is dirt cheap! Cheaper than plastic. It's not a buzz word.


In the end, a folded action will never act the same as straight action. Folded actions are always stiffer in their pivot points (physics laws).


There are plenty of other reasons but I quite got your point and it is invalid.

If Kawai was about to build all of these from plastic (instead of wood) it was going to be more expensive.


The solid (not hallow) Grand Feel action completely made out of plastic is more expensive than the action completely made out of wood.

Hope it's clear now!!!

Last edited by Abdol; 03/26/20 08:26 PM.

Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
Re: Why is VPC 1 so expensive?
VladK #2960833 03/26/20 08:36 PM
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Now the reasons why:

1- The technology to inject solid molds like that is quite expensive. It's a thick long piece, not a Pepsi plastic bottle.
2- A polymer that lasts and behaves like wood, resistance to pressure and bends and doesn't get affected by humidity temperature... in general its durability should beat wood and I'm talking about pine or equivalent wood.

3- Wood is super easy and cheap to shape/cut.
4- Molds are expensive to build and their life-cycle is an issue
5- These wooden keys share the same shape and dimension to Kawai/Yamaha etc piano keys...
6- Similarity brings commonality. So some of the bolts and bits (tools/machines) can be shared to manufacture both acoustic and DPs.
7- Cutting wood into shapes is pretty darn simple. You don't need a factory for that. You can do it in a small workshop

Should I add more?!

*** let me add the last one, you can't have the same plastic key shape for a long 30-20cm key. You should design a different key. Also, you don't want the key to bend, you don't want it to make a loud noise and so many other things.

So it's better to discuss about concepts that we have a clue about them.

Last edited by Abdol; 03/26/20 08:43 PM.

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Re: Why is VPC 1 so expensive?
Abdol #2960839 03/26/20 08:56 PM
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Great answer! As you say, producing straight wooden sticks is actually cheaper than producing complex plastic molds, which is why it proves exactly why charging more for the wooden RM3 action isn’t backed by anything other than the marketing appeal of wood wink Which is what I’ve been saying since the beginning.


Originally Posted by Abdol

In the end, a folded action will never act the same as straight action. Folded actions are always stiffer in their pivot points (physics laws).

Not true. This is high school physics. Check your facts.
[Linked Image]

Last edited by CyberGene; 03/26/20 08:59 PM.

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Re: Why is VPC 1 so expensive?
VladK #2960841 03/26/20 09:26 PM
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To clarify because my phone battery died and couldn't edit my post above.

Straight action is Class 1. Since capstan is closer to the pivot point (fulcrum) on acoustic pianos and on the RM3 action (check James' picture above), the mechanical advantage is greater than 1.

Folded action is Class 2 (load and effort are in opposite directions to the one shown in the diagram, but it's the same: effort presses the key down, while load pulls it up) and the mechanical advantage is greater than 1.

If for some reason the capstan was at a longer distance from the pivot than the key lip to the pivot, then we would have an advantage lower than 1, so a folded action of class 2 wouldn't work but apparently that's not the case.


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Re: Why is VPC 1 so expensive?
CyberGene #2960845 03/26/20 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Great answer! As you say, producing straight wooden sticks is actually cheaper than producing complex plastic molds, which is why it proves exactly why charging more for the wooden RM3 action isn’t backed by anything other than the marketing appeal of wood wink Which is what I’ve been saying since the beginning.


Originally Posted by Abdol

In the end, a folded action will never act the same as straight action. Folded actions are always stiffer in their pivot points (physics laws).

Not true. This is high school physics. Check your facts.
[Linked Image]


This is the correct figure and this is the correct fact:

[Linked Image]

This is how a lever-action work. It's not equal. It depends on the length exposed and where the pivot is located. The pivot is pretty close in RHIII to the end of the keys. This is not the same for the GFII and it is easier to play the keys when you get to the top of the keys.

And not. You're not getting the point. The RHIII has only a plastic surface it's not solid. It's hallow. You can't use the identical key and extend it 30cm! It'll break or bend. You need to add support to it. Overall it will be more expensive to build it out of plastic.

So if you pay $2000 for VPC1 made out of wooden keys, then you'd have to pay 2000+ for something made out of plastic.

Here is a video which shows where the lever actually is:



Last edited by Abdol; 03/26/20 09:54 PM.

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Re: Why is VPC 1 so expensive?
VladK #2960865 03/26/20 10:52 PM
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I think wood keysticks better mimic the feel of an acoustic piano as the hammer hits the string or in this case the sensor. Pianos are percussion instruments and the hammer strike of a wooden key would transfer vibrations differently than plastic just as hitting a baseball feels different when hit by a wooden baseball bat and an aluminum one. It’s all about adding an additional layer of realism to the digital piano but I don’t think it improves the action in any way. In fact it complicates things as wood tends to warp and get stuck so it’s actually risky to put wooden parts in heavy instruments that take a lot of abuse when transported. My first VPC1 had an entire octave of stuck notes when I received it. And how do you regulate this action with wooden parts that swell and contract over time?

As for the VPC1 it is about as real a piano feel as you can get in a slab digital controller, but really no digital perfectly mimics the real thing. There’s no reason to improve a digital controller that already does a good enough job. They’ll never be perfect. After a while they start feeling like toys compared to an acoustic but for silent practice they are quite useful.

Last edited by Jethro; 03/26/20 10:56 PM.

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Re: Why is VPC 1 so expensive?
Abdol #2960885 03/27/20 01:33 AM
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Abdol, you're lost in your own thought and can't follow it. You said:
Originally Posted by Abdol
In the end, a folded action will never act the same as straight action. Folded actions are always stiffer in their pivot points (physics laws).


To which I responded with a picture showing you how a straight action is a Class 1 lever and a folded action is a Class 2 lever and both can have equivalent ratio.

To which you respond with a Class 1 diagram:
Originally Posted by Abdol

This is how a lever-action work. It's not equal. It depends on the length exposed and where the pivot is located. The pivot is pretty close in RHIII to the end of the keys. This is not the same for the GFII and it is easier to play the keys when you get to the top of the keys.


Aren't we talking about the RM3 action and not GF2? wink Didn't I show you a Class 1 diagram? And why shifting the discussion about pivot lengths, since you know pretty well that the RM3 action has shorter pivot point than RH3 and as a matter of fact than other folded actions laugh

And you keep on with the long straight plastic key argument... I used that to show you how even the price is not justified. Sure, the straight wooden stick is cheaper than a plastic, so VPC1 doesn't have an excuse for being more expensive and that's the actual thread topic. Not about pivot length where RM3 loses. RM3 has shorter pivot length than RH3 action and NWX actions. Folding the action allows you to recreate the same lever ratio without having to extend the key further. $2000 are not justified for action that's made of wood (cheaper) and has shorter pivot.

Last edited by CyberGene; 03/27/20 01:36 AM.

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Re: Why is VPC 1 so expensive?
VladK #2960890 03/27/20 02:52 AM
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Wooden keys are cheaper??? I'd have expected that the cutting, shaping, sanding, and other operations made necessary with wooden keys would cost more than the molding process for the keys.

Wooden keys need shaped holes for the pivot bushings. The holes must be lined with bushing felt. Those felts must be eased to fit so the keys move properly. That's a lot of manual labor.

And before any of that work ... the raw wood must be selected, dried, and cut properly. More labor.

Meanwhile the plastic molding process just cranks out the keys, mostly with automation.

Anyway ... I don't build pianos. I only buy them . The manufacturing cost is not my concern. I care about the selling price.
And I have little control over that. I can only hope there's a piano that suits me at a price I can bear.

Re: Why is VPC 1 so expensive?
VladK #2960893 03/27/20 03:30 AM
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Kawai's wooden key actions are of course considerably more expensive to produce than the plastic key actions.

If the opposite were true, Kawai would not produce instruments that use plastic keys.

Kind regards,
James
x


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Re: Why is VPC 1 so expensive?
VladK #2960897 03/27/20 03:49 AM
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Just an idea, wooden keys have perhaps different natural vibration modes, so the response is different than plastic ones. (the response is for me the vibration response to a hit, the spectrum)


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Re: Why is VPC 1 so expensive?
VladK #2960899 03/27/20 04:21 AM
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So:

1. Wooden keys are more expensive to manufacture -> explains why VPC1 is more expensive -> cost. Reason for using wood: marketing

2. Wooden keys are not expensive to manufacture -> explains why VPC1 is more expensive: just marketing wink

Last edited by CyberGene; 03/27/20 04:23 AM.

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Re: Why is VPC 1 so expensive?
VladK #2960900 03/27/20 04:30 AM
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Is VPC1 a bad product? No. Is it expensive? Yes.

But I guess it becomes a forum sport for some people to reply to me as though whatever I say is outrageous.


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Re: Why is VPC 1 so expensive?
CyberGene #2960902 03/27/20 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
So:

1. Wooden keys are more expensive to manufacture -> explains why VPC1 is more expensive -> cost. Reason for using wood: marketing

2. Wooden keys are not expensive to manufacture -> explains why VPC1 is more expensive: just marketing wink


I'm not sure I understand this post, however the first sentence of the statement 1 is correct.

However, may I ask if you are aware of the unit cost of Kawai's various wooden key and plastic key actions? If not, on what basis are you drawing your conclusions?

Kind regards,
James
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Re: Why is VPC 1 so expensive?
Kawai James #2960905 03/27/20 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
However, may I ask if you are aware of the unit cost of Kawai's various wooden key and plastic key actions? If not, on what basis are you drawing your conclusions?

My observations are based on the price difference between similar instruments with wooden and plastic actions in the Kawai range. Apparently wooden actions are positioned/marketed as better and are probably more expensive to manufacture as you yourself confirmed.

As to my statement about Kawai folded plastic actions feeling similar to wooden actions, that’s my personal opinion based on owning three Kawai pianos. I replaced a CA63 with MP6 and I liked the RH-action more than the RM3. Again, it’s my opinion based on owning and testing pianos. Also backed further by my understanding of how actions work. Everyone may feel free to disagree smile

Last edited by CyberGene; 03/27/20 05:28 AM.

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Re: Why is VPC 1 so expensive?
CyberGene #2960922 03/27/20 08:25 AM
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Here are always a lot of users who didn´t play a VPC at all. The VPC has the RM3 Grand2. What exactely was in the CA63? I think there is a little difference...

Re: Why is VPC 1 so expensive?
aphexdisklavier #2960924 03/27/20 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by aphexdisklavier
Here are always a lot of users who didn´t play a VPC at all. The VPC has the RM3 Grand2. What exactely was in the CA63? I think there is a little difference...

It's a RM3 I, in the VPC1 it's RM3 II. They added triple sensors and escapement simulation notches. And there are slight hammer shape changes AFAIK. I've played a VPC1 in a store but haven't compared it directly to the CA63 and can't say if there are drastic or subtle differences. I only remember both are too heavy for my liking. But are good digital piano actions. In any case, plastic piano actions are on par IMO. NWX and PHA50 for instance are also very realistic piano actions. One needs to decide for themselves and test. Personally I find VPC1 expensive for what it offers compared to a ES8 or P515.


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Re: Why is VPC 1 so expensive?
VladK #2960931 03/27/20 08:59 AM
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I found this discussion about the differencies of RM3 and RM3grand2 in the board. http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...een-kawai-rm3-grand-and-rm3-grand-2.html

In my opinion it is a little heavy, but is feels much more like a grand piano than the most other plastic actions I tried in stores. Also the sound result with VSTs is more transparent than the most other masterkeys or DPs I tried. A slightly little lighter action would be nice...but on the other side I missed something on all lighter DP actions I tried.

Also I found the VPC action much closer to the Millenuim3 of the NV 10 than the lighter GF1 or 2 (in MP11 for ex)...

Last edited by aphexdisklavier; 03/27/20 09:09 AM.
Re: Why is VPC 1 so expensive?
VladK #2960933 03/27/20 09:19 AM
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Like "when did you stop beating your wife?", it's a loaded question.

I bought my VPC1 almost seven years ago. I thought it was cheap then (UK prices) and being entirely incurious about the internal sound of DPs, I would buy it again in a heartbeat.

It's built like a tank: after sustained and sometimes intensive use (some indication - the black keys in the central four octaves have given up their matt patina to a high gloss) it still feels and plays as good as new. More to the point, the simplicity of function appeals to me aesthetically. That's another way of saying I would have paid a premium for fewer features. Yes, I would have paid more for the VPC1 than the MP11....but I didn't have to. Truly, it was a bargain.

Re: Why is VPC 1 so expensive?
aphexdisklavier #2960936 03/27/20 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by aphexdisklavier
I found this discussion about the differencies of RM3 and RM3grand2 in the board. ...In my opinion it is a little heavy, but is feels much more like a grand piano than the most other plastic actions I tried in stores.
I thought the same.
Originally Posted by aphexdisklavier
...Also I found the VPC action much closer to the Millenuim3 of the NV 10 than the lighter GF1 or 2 (in MP11 for ex)
I tried the MP11 and VPC1 side-by-side a few years ago and sensed the GF1 was a bit easier to play deep into the keys. I felt the difference between the two actions to be very subtle. And that both were very good digital piano actions. Acoustic piano actions are different league, of course.

Re: Why is VPC 1 so expensive?
propianist #2960953 03/27/20 11:15 AM
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Took the liberty to jump on the bandwagon.

After several email contacts with Kawai Germany and UK, it is confirmed that there is no information about an update for the VPC1.
I contacted them in december last year and just recently this week.

I find the RH-3 action of my MP7SE very annoying. You literally hammer your way around.
Pressing the key is noisy and releasing it is even noisier.
In all the reviews on YouTube this is never mentioned.
As an alternative a VPC1 could be an option, but has not been updated for 8 years now.
Also because I mainly work with VST libraries and do not use the integrated and outdated samples of the Kawai MP7SE.

Last edited by Osiris; 03/27/20 11:16 AM.

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