What I mentioned about key length usually affects the weight when you play near the fall board. For example, when playing a B Flat Major chord, the finger has to be near the fall board. I think the key length of VPC1 is close to an upright, and that of MP11 is close to a baby grand. So if you don't find that is an issue when you play the upright, it should not matter too much.
Oh, then I do have to think again.
Like I said, I've been reading all kinds of reviews and comments but I'm still hoping for a side by side test. So once I do that, I'm pretty sure of what to get!
Maybe this will help you. Some various quotes from people who prefer the VPC1 over the MP11, RM3 vs GF and so forth:
Maybe GF3 is the better action. Again I was in a piano store last week. For me all the other actions (GF1,2) or the Yamaha, Rolands slabs didn´t have the action I would want in a VPC2. So I am looking for the new GF3 in some weeks. So far I am pleased with the VPC1
...ok so I couldn't get a damn VPC-1 & MP11SE to play anywhere in los angeles.. wtf? So I had to buy them both!
I'm a pianist but not a virtuoso, but it took one play to determine that IMO the VPC-1 kicks the MP11SE's ass. I don't give a damn that the MP11 keybed is newer, or that the keystick is longer..
1) The VCP-1 plays more like a typical acoustic grand.
2) The MP11SE touch is too light & spongy.
3) The VPC-1 is not harder to play up the key than the MP11SE. I know the key stick is longer & the pivot point is more towards the back of the key like an acoustic grand, but by the same token the pivot point versus the hammer/back of the key is a significantly shorter ratio. At the end of the day IMO the GF is not better or more realistic than the RM3
4) I prefer the finish on the black keys of the VPC-1.
5) The VPC-1 has custom velocity settings (per key).
6) I also played the CA78 (GFII) in store for about half an hour and still prefer the RM3 action.
I only use the stage piano for piano VST's for classical & contemporary piano. I have tons of other synths for everything else. For reference my previous stage piano is a Roland RD-700GX, which I found excellent but sluggish on rebound and hard to play trills.
At least for me GF felt so light that if something is even lighter, it'd be like caressing a cat.
In my opinion (I've played the RM3/2 and the GF actions) Kawai did not get it right with the GF. It seems as if they simply used a longer key/pivot point but did not consider other aspects related to these changes; therefore, the action feels unrealistically light and bouncy.
(I think the right ratio between the 2 parts (front and behind) the pivot point is more important as a long pivot on the key side. The part behind the pivot makes the up -SWING. Only with weights you do not have a right swing. The ratio on the RM3Grand II is more balanced than the GF1/2 . Thats what I can feel under my fingers. The ideal would be the longer pivot of the GF with the ratio of the RM3Grand II. So the key of the GF has to be much longer at the part behind the pivot.)
(Yes your graphic is right. The VPC is more heavy than all the GF Pianos. But as I checked out, the Millenium action in the best Kawai models is about the same heaviness as the RM3Grand2 ...
I think the VPC1 would be the right choice for you)
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.
Also I found the VPC action much closer to the Millenium 3 of the NV 10 than the lighter GF1 or 2 (in MP11 for ex)...
The GF is not a improvement for me. The longer pivot only on the front (and not backside) makes the key very slow in the rebounce. This is an old discussion. The MP11se was a disapiontment for me. I wrote my experience in the "Kawai VPC2 wish list".
If that helps I preferred the rd-800 to the MP11, I felt the action more responsive without the vibration on the bottom of the key that I felt on the MP11. If anything it was a bit too light for my taste and purpose (DP is a workhorse, not my main piano) but grand pianos can have a light action too.
I eventually settled on the VPC1 for the reasons outlined before...
My main reason for wanting to change is that the MP11's action, though lovely, is lighter than most acoustic baby grands I play outside home and I find the adaption difficult (i.e. I do not have enough time to adapt)
I believe I tried the MP11 a few years back and found the response time (when the notes bounces back up) sluggish compared to the Yamaha Action.
I tried a 1 note trill using both hands and the keyboard was very slow to respond. Everything else was fine but I just couldn't use it in my studio because of this.
I prefer the action of the VPC over the MP11. The MP11 reacts much too slow (rebound) for me. The VPC is little faster and a bit harder. So for me it feels not as spongy as the MP11. I tried both and bought the VPC.
I find the VPC1 actions similar to that of the Schimmel grands. It doesn't happen to me to play toward the root of the key (I stay in the comfort zone at the beginning of the black keys, as I was trained to do as a pianist), so I find the touch absolutely perfect for me. It's not the typical light action of the Yamaha pianos, or even the heavier one on the Steinways, so it might disconcert at first. But then, this weight will let one play with great power.
I have never tried an MP11 with its lighter action, so I can't compare the two.
A couple of days ago I spent nearly an hour playing a small K Kawai grand in a practice room and then went straight from that to a CA95 in the same store. I found the CA95 felt too light and easy to play in comparison to the grand. It was a bit of a disappointment. I remember when I had my first lesson there last year on an upright and then trying it afterwards and feeling underwhelmed considering the hype. I also had a feel of the let off on the grand which felt more pronounced compared to the CA95. Maybe that's actually a good thing though.
Something I've noticed from playing a couple of different acoustics is the that the keys have a slightly mushy gloopy feel as I push down (more noticeable when playing softly) and will return as if their coming out of that mush. It feels like I'm pushing down into something. On the CA95 and nearly every other digital I've tried that's not the case. It feels like I'm pressing into an empty space and the key returns in a different way. Slightly faster and more springy.
I went from that store to another and tried out the MP10 (RM3 action) and that immediately felt better to me. More weight to the keys and the only digital that felt a little gloopy like the acoustics I'd tried.
"I still didn't understand from the people of this forum, whether it is only lighter toward the back of the keys(which is a very good thing), or is it also lighter on the front of the keys."
Note that it is also lighter on the front of the keys as well. I am also one who prefers a heavier action on pianos. For me, I would say that the GF action on the MP11 is near the "lightweight limit" with which I am comfortable.
What I mean is that I would not want a keyboard that is any lighter than the GF on the MP11. (Or in other words, the GF is about the lightest keyboard that I am comfortable with). I actually like the RM III key weight/feel on the VPC-1 because it is closer to that of my acoustic piano.
When it came to Keyboard action, however, I had a reservation about the CA95 (original GF action). The keys seemed to take forever to rebound after playing a note. I conferred with another customer, we both tried some fast repetitions, and agreed that the keys were problematically "soupy", they just don't snap back quickly enough.
The "keys seemed to take forever to rebound after playing a note"-effect mentioned by the OP occured on all CA95/65 I played as well as with the key action model. I believe that it's not just a production quality issue affecting only a few units, it probably has been designed to be this way: Once you release a key, it doesn't immediately snap back to the original position, but wobbles around for a short time. I have not seen this effect on acoustic pianos I have played recently, and not on most other DP's as well. My old Kawai MP9000 doesn't do this either.
I own both VPC1 and MP11SE. The VPC1 action is definitly heavier and "deeper" than the MP11SE. When switching from VPC1 to MP11SE the perception is very clear. I like practicing on the VPC1 as it will make me feel more confortable to play with any acoustic piano I will find when playing in Jazz clubs or others concert hall. It is better to be prepared for the worst eavier action than the opposite.
Finally, I can see I am not the only one finding the GF action "too light"
I have a AvantGrand N2, and the inertia you describe is really there and I really like it (for me, the N2 action is even quite light compared to the upright action I take lessons on)
It make you feel the "real" thing behind your key and impact the way you control your playing.
All the AP I have tried behave like that, even the "lighest" one
Now, I am not sure it is mandatory to have such "feeling" to be able to perfectly control your playing.
Perhaps even the opposite: it is more easy to control your playing with an action like the GF action...
But, in my case, I need to practice on something more real/difficult in order to be able to follow my piano course.
Again ,GF action is undoublty a good action, but I don't find it is close to a real piano action..it is good by itself like most of the high end DP action.
Key length is only, only a part of the whole complex mecanism of an AP
I think people get all caught up on how "old" the action technology is in the VPC1 rather than what it actually offers. I tried the MP11SE recently which is supposed to be an improved action. I found it personally terrible as an acoustic grand substitute. The action was too "mushy/squishy" and way too light to adequately mimic an acoustic grand's action.
Correct, I have VPC 4 years and only logical step forward from there will be Novus or Avant grand or Acoustic. There is nothing wrong with version 1, in fact I still think it is among the best key actions in the market and paying 1k more for MP11 is ridiculous for me especially if someone playing at home and don`t need internal sounds. But people are different. Anyway, there is no reason to wait.
The 2 I ended up playing the most were the Kawai VPC1 and MP11. I personally found the VPC1 to have a better action than the MP (I've heard others echo this). The keybed felt more solid, quieter, there was a less recovery bounce in the keys, and the action had some nice speed and heft to it, but it does have the drawback of having nothing on it.
I find no awkwardness at all playing the VPC1 close to the fall board. I feel as much ease playing fast pieces on the VPC1 as I do on my acoustic grand (RX-2). Honestly, I'm having a hard time understanding what people have issue with in regards to the action. I have/feel no difficulty when playing close to the fallboard. It feels fine to me and it's actually lighter than the millenium 3 action I have in my RX-2 and the SK2 that I'm buying (which feel nearly identical to me).
VPC1 feels like a piano to me.
There's no problem playing the VPC near the fallboard as far as I'm concerned. It's just not a light action there due to the pivot length, which is not inadequate by any means, merely slightly on the heavier side. I've played much much heavier acoustic pianos.
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.
Most of all I was shocked by the GF (in MP11se). Yes it is a bit lighter than RM3 in the VPC but the feeling was that I see the keyboard as one of the worst of all pianos I have tried today. It's very spongy and slow in response. No other keyboard has such a long uplift time (the opposite of a brilliant keystroke). In my opinion, the counterweights are simply not optimal. The weight (downweight) of the Millenium action is similar to the RM3, but reacts a bit faster. With the acoustic grand pianos I had rather heavier actions than those of VPC (also a Kawai Grand was much heavier). What really amazed me was the fact that the actual weighting (which I had checked with my weight) and the feel/ touch often diverged completely. All in all, I am very happy with my VPC. It's a very good action, faster and more brilliant than GF and can keep up with all the other DP I tried today.
What's up with this pivot obsession?
Until quite recently it was never a matter of discussion here. It seems to be the latest fad. Like veganism.
Pivot point is just one tiny part of the overall puzzle. When judged alone it tells you nothing. There's a discussion on the technicians' forum at the moment about a Steinway D lacking sustain. The discourse within that thread from the technicians makes you realise that merely judging isolated factors such as pivot points or static down weights is a totally pointless exercise. And extremely boring in my opinion.
for me the keyaction is much better than the MP series and most other digital pianos/masterkeyboards (yes I checked it out and compared them)
I much preferred the VPC1 with its heavier action. It felt closer to acoustic grands I am used to playing, with more resistance under the fingers. Also I felt the action to be more responsive and precise on the VPC1 than the MP11, thus favoring greater expression and control (though it may be due to the fact that the MP11 was set on a more wobbly stand).
Furthermore, if piano is all that matters:
- the VPC1 provides a more immerse experience with a sleek design free of buttons and knobs (I know some players do not care but that mattered to me)
- for the difference in price of both one can get a dedicated laptop for VSTs
Don't sleep on the Kawai VPC1!
I finally tried everything - I had to buy the MP11SE and VPC1 to try them alongside my old RD-700GX & borrowed RD-2000. For me the VPC1 kills them all - I wish I tried it a long time ago - but you can't find them anywhere in a store.
I kept reading how old the RM3II is, and how the key is shorter and blah blah blah. Well... for me it's the action I've been looking for for years. The RD700GX I've been using since it came out is a bit heavy and slow rebound (hard to trill). The MP11SE shocked me... light & spongy! I also tried the Kawai CA78 and didn't prefer that one either. The RD-2000 didn't seem too much of an improvement to my RD-700GX.. it almost feels like a cost-reduced version of the PHAII.
For me the VPC1 feels like I'm back in music school on a studio grand. I just love it and couldn't be happier.