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Real Acoustic Upright Midi Controller on eBay for $1,800
#3032180 10/05/20 12:42 AM
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Look at this.

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Piano: Yamaha N3X
VST(preference in order): VSL Synchron Pianos, Vienna Imperial, Garritan CFX, VI Labs Modern U, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq
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Re: Real Acoustic Upright Midi Controller on eBay for $1,800
Harpuia #3032184 10/05/20 12:46 AM
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An introduction video here.

Last edited by Harpuia; 10/05/20 12:46 AM.

Piano: Yamaha N3X
VST(preference in order): VSL Synchron Pianos, Vienna Imperial, Garritan CFX, VI Labs Modern U, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq
Re: Real Acoustic Upright Midi Controller on eBay for $1,800
Harpuia #3032190 10/05/20 01:04 AM
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Wow, not very expensive either and looks like brand new. I suppose they use under the keys system such as PnoScan. But it may also be a custom (DIY?) one.

Last edited by CyberGene; 10/05/20 01:05 AM.

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Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Real Acoustic Upright Midi Controller on eBay for $1,800
Harpuia #3032191 10/05/20 01:06 AM
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Description pasted here:

Quote
Photos are of the 2nd Gen prototype that we are starting to micromanufacture (if it were a whiskey I'd call it Ragland MIDI Small Batch). It is a MIDI controller, based on the older QRS KS-1B system, with a brand new, genuine acoustic piano action complete with hammers. The only acoustic action component it does not have is the damper head felt (since there are no strings) but the damper levers are there to preserve the authentic feel (something that CAN be felt in the keystroke of an acoustic piano). There is no actual case (what you see is what you'll get), though it will be crated for shipping. We wanted to spend the money where it was most important - the action and keys. The keys are set to 13/32" keydip (distance the keys travel down when pressed) and the action has escapement ("letoff") and the dampers disengage halfway through the keystroke (slightly increasing touch weight) for a true acoustic piano touch/feel. The 88 keys are full size, actual acoustic studio piano keys. The action is a genuine, full size acoustic studio piano action. Felt hammers strike against felt blocks since there's no strings and that minimizes action noise. The touch is actually user adjustable - the key touch can be set to a slightly heavier or slightly lighter physical touchweight.

There is no sound module/generator or speakers included with this setup. You will have to connect it to something in order for it to generate sounds you can hear. It's very simple and inexpensive (if you already own an iPod or iPad) to use the Garageband app and a set of headphones. You'll need what Apple calls a "camera adapter" to connect to our system which uses either a 5 pin MIDI port or USB (we include the cord that adapts from the 5 pin to the USB). Of course, you can also connect a sound module and whatever speakers that module supports. I recommend against anything Bluetooth due to the lag time from pressing a key to the sound coming from a speaker. Stick with wired unless/until technology eliminates the associated lag time. Questions? Contact me!

Can the MIDI controller be upgraded from the KS-1B? Yes. Tell me what you want and we'll create the auction for it. That's the great thing about dealing with the actual company doing the manufacturing, you can request changes to the specs (which of course usually requires changes to the price...). Would you rather install your own MIDI controller and order just the action and keys with no sensor? Check my eBay store for that auction.

Can we put it on a stand or in a fancier cabinet? Absolutely. Can we put it in your great grandmothers old upright piano that can't be tuned anymore? Yep - and it can look completely original (if that's what you want). We put digital piano mechanisms in former acoustic piano cabinets all the time - and have for over 20 years. We are very, very experienced at this and are glad to discuss this with you.

30 day handling time reflects the longest time usually needed to custom build one of these in a basic MDF "box". Most of the time it will be built and shipped much faster.

Weight (minus shipping materials) is 97lb. It is 55" wide, 19-1/2" deep and 13-1/2" tall.

I'm Howard Gustafson and I've been a piano technician 33+ years, specializing in retrofitting digital systems for most of that time. Your success using my products is extremely important to me so I welcome ANY questions (or suggestions!) you have regarding this setup.



Below is a video showing a very similar setup we used to bring a dead Baldwin Hamilton back to life. The tuning pins were no longer tight enough for the piano to stay in tune, and the original action and keys were worn out. We paired it with a Casio PX870 and the video gives a brief glimpse of what turned out.


Piano: Yamaha N3X
VST(preference in order): VSL Synchron Pianos, Vienna Imperial, Garritan CFX, VI Labs Modern U, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq
Re: Real Acoustic Upright Midi Controller on eBay for $1,800
Harpuia #3032194 10/05/20 01:30 AM
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Saw people having the kick starter idea. I saw in the video description on YouTube saying they are also working on a grand piano controller. If we push him hard enough, and there are enough people becoming interested in the prototype, there might be a market.


Piano: Yamaha N3X
VST(preference in order): VSL Synchron Pianos, Vienna Imperial, Garritan CFX, VI Labs Modern U, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq
Re: Real Acoustic Upright Midi Controller on eBay for $1,800
Harpuia #3032271 10/05/20 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Harpuia
Saw people having the kick starter idea. I saw in the video description on YouTube saying they are also working on a grand piano controller. If we push him hard enough, and there are enough people becoming interested in the prototype, there might be a market.

Who is "him"? CG or this piano technician? There is a market already, but it's small, especially if you are a small fish. Both Yamaha & Kawai have "MIDI controllers" with legit upright and grand action. Ok, they are fully fledged digital pianos, but they can be used as "MIDI controller" if desired. Plus, I think the price of the sound module and the speakers is negligible compared to action and sensors, so it make sense for them to sell the full product to "kill two birds with one stone", so to speak. If you want to compete in the market of new, finished instruments, that's the competition you need to beat.

Also, many technicians can install a key sensor like QRS (or the equivalent PianoDisk) in pretty much any piano. What is special about this guy is only that he's selling it on ebay on a new action-only assembly, rather than retrofitting it in a full, probably old, piano (even though he says that he does that too)

With that said, consider that a good, newly build, well regulated grand action (just the stack, without the keys and the back action) goes for $5,000 so that's the starting point. The back action (dampers) is not very expensive, but their regulation is (at least $1,000 for a well done job). Yet for a MIDI controllers some corners can be cut. For example, the dampers are supposed to lift from the strings all exactly at the same time, with a very precise, long and tedious procedure to regulate. Unnecessary in a MIDI controller, since there are no strings to damp, provided the setting can be done digitally in the key sensor. Other example: in a well regulated grand action each hammer is supposed to strike its 3 strings (or two when the "una corda" pedal is pressed) and none of the nearby one. Seems obvious and "normal", but it's not. That is a relatively time consuming (hence also expensive) thing to do, which is irrelevant in a stringless MIDI controller, so the tricky left-to-right adjustment of the hammers can be very sloppy (ie it's good as long as any nearby hammers do not touch each other...)
Even with that saving, put in a cabinet, shipping, warranty, a dealer profit and the final price won't be much cheaper than N1x or the NV-10 (which have the sound module and speakers too).

Hence, this can be done only by a big company, not a random technician. I think WNG or Steingraeber are two that could. Alternatively, in my kickstarter thread, I suggested CG to target a product for the DIY-from-parts market (including local technicians) who could find a grand action and cabinet basically for free (besides the labor to adjust the action, and refinish or resize the cabinet if desired). CG seems more interested to target DIY-from-scratch people, and given the response we have had on that kickstarter thread (i.e. just one interested party) I think he's right.

Re: Real Acoustic Upright Midi Controller on eBay for $1,800
Harpuia #3032276 10/05/20 08:56 AM
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This is not new. I made a post about this over a year ago:
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...troller-using-a-real-upright-action.html

Re: Real Acoustic Upright Midi Controller on eBay for $1,800
Harpuia #3032283 10/05/20 09:17 AM
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I know that PnoScan has been around for a while. It's a product that can be installed in your existing acoustic piano by a skilled tech.
This $1800 item on Ebay seems to be a complete upright action with PnoScan (or similar) already installed.

If I had an upright and I wanted it to be a MIDI controller ...

Should I choose the PnoScan ... and find a tech to do the work? PnoScan has the "sensor strip" at $1895 ... or $2009 with tax.
How much would installation cost?

Or should I choose the Ebay item from Ragland for $1800 ... and find a tech to do the work?
How much would installation cost?

Finally ... which is the better solution?

The answer might depend on whether I intend to remove the strings and use it purely as a controller, or leave the strings and install a silent system.

(Side note: I gave up my upright over ten years ago, so this is all moot. But with or without an upright ... I still want a grand action. So I'm going with a Novus or an AG. EOF.)

Re: Real Acoustic Upright Midi Controller on eBay for $1,800
Harpuia #3032291 10/05/20 10:06 AM
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Could just find an old grand piano, remove the harp, and throw this into it:

https://www.total-piano-care.com/QRS-PNOscan-Studio.html


Piano is one of the best human inventions of the past 320 years - help evangelize the magic!
Re: Real Acoustic Upright Midi Controller on eBay for $1,800
MacMacMac #3032294 10/05/20 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
PnoScan has the "sensor strip" at $1895 ... or $2009 with tax.
How much would installation cost?

Here it is $1,695 or $2,500 including installation:
https://www.total-piano-care.com/QRS-PNOscan-Studio.html

Last edited by Burkey; 10/05/20 10:09 AM.

Piano is one of the best human inventions of the past 320 years - help evangelize the magic!
Re: Real Acoustic Upright Midi Controller on eBay for $1,800
Burkey #3032305 10/05/20 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Burkey
Could just find an old grand piano, remove the harp, and throw this into it:

https://www.total-piano-care.com/QRS-PNOscan-Studio.html

Much better doing that with Cybrid, as I suggested at http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/3031436/re-cybrid-kickstarter.html#Post3031436

In my opinion, for the about $2000 that PNOscan is going to cost, you'd be MUCH better with the Kawai VPC. The hassle of dealing with a real gran piano action (size, weight, cabinet work, regulation, etc) is worth it only if you measure the hammers, not the keys. PNOscan measures only the keys.

Moreover, if you REALLY want PNOscan (not sure why, unless you want it on your real grand piano, not on a controller, and even so I'd argue against it), PianoTeq customers get 20% off, so you can purchase PianoTeq just to get that discount, even if that VI is not your favorite one.

Re: Real Acoustic Upright Midi Controller on eBay for $1,800
Harpuia #3032309 10/05/20 11:40 AM
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Yes, $2000 for PnoScan (plus installation) is a lot.
But if you want a grand action the VPC just won't do, methinks.

Re: Real Acoustic Upright Midi Controller on eBay for $1,800
Harpuia #3032315 10/05/20 11:52 AM
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The question is not "a lot" or "a little". The question is what you get with that money.

If you want a grand action just for bragging rights, then PNOscan will do.

If you want a grand action because you need a grand action to do the things a grand action is good for, PNOscan will not do in my opinion, so you need Cybrid, NV-10 or an AG different from the NU series.

Re: Real Acoustic Upright Midi Controller on eBay for $1,800
Harpuia #3032371 10/05/20 03:22 PM
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What's wrong with PnoScan?

Re: Real Acoustic Upright Midi Controller on eBay for $1,800
MacMacMac #3032378 10/05/20 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
What's wrong with PnoScan?

Nothing is wrong with PNOscan, it's a good product for what it is. PNOscan is useful if you have the full grand piano and want to MIDI'fy it, e.g. perhaps your grand is also a player piano and you want to record on it, or you want to use InternetMIDI for online lessons, or you need a digital but do not have room or do no like the look of the digital etc.

The problem is that this thread seems to consider PNOscan good for what it isn't. It is not a solution for creating a hybrid piano. For a decent hybrid piano, you need hammer sensors, like they are in the Cybrid or K. Novus'es or Y. AG's.

In my opinion taking a grand piano action to build a hybrid piano with PNOscan would be like doing this https://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sfo/6612026346.html (make sure you check picture #3). What is the point of having a car (grand piano action) if you remove the engine (harp and strings) and use a bike (PNOscan) to make it go? You'd better served by a full bike alone such as the Kawai VPC. Sure, hybrid pianos take a car and remove the engine too, but instead of replacing the engine with the bike they replace it with an (arguably underpowered) electric motor.

Hope this clarifies my point..... if not, I give up, I can't explain it better than this.

Re: Real Acoustic Upright Midi Controller on eBay for $1,800
Del Vento #3032383 10/05/20 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Del Vento
The problem is that this thread seems to consider PNOscan good for what it isn't. It is not a solution for creating a hybrid piano. For a decent hybrid piano, you need hammer sensors, like they are in the Cybrid or K. Novus'es or Y. AG's.

Is this actually true? There are advantages and disadvantages to hammer sensors. But a good key sensor gets you quite far--there are many happy NU1/NU1X owners out there. So I'm a bit skeptical that hammer sensors are absolutely "needed" for a "decent" hybrid.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Real Acoustic Upright Midi Controller on eBay for $1,800
Gombessa #3032389 10/05/20 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by Del Vento
The problem is that this thread seems to consider PNOscan good for what it isn't. It is not a solution for creating a hybrid piano. For a decent hybrid piano, you need hammer sensors, like they are in the Cybrid or K. Novus'es or Y. AG's.

Is this actually true? There are advantages and disadvantages to hammer sensors. But a good key sensor gets you quite far--there are many happy NU1/NU1X owners out there. So I'm a bit skeptical that hammer sensors are absolutely "needed" for a "decent" hybrid.

We are talking about grand action here, not upright. I am not aware of any hybrid with a grand action with only key sensors. Since key sensors are much easier to build, the non-existence could be the proof even if you don't believe my argument. But as I said I'm tired of this thread, so I will stop arguing after this message.

FWIW, I own an NU1 myself and I am fine with it. But it has its limitations, and I really wish it had hammer sensors to provide more "connection" with the instrument. The loud note issue is one of those disconnects Moreover, most importantly, it does not have the grand action we are talking about in this thread.

As far as I view it, the disadvantages of the hammer sensors are only regarding the dampers, so a good grand hybrid action should have both hammer sensors (for note on) and key sensors (for note off). Arguably note-on is more important, hence the "decent" in my message above.

Re: Real Acoustic Upright Midi Controller on eBay for $1,800
Harpuia #3032390 10/05/20 04:13 PM
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Well, they are not even using PnoScan which would be optical, but instead they use another system which they mention and you can find more info if you search with its name. Seems like a mechanical system.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/KS-1B-MIDI...c-Piano-or-Keyset-Keyboard-/293173187014

And I think this was mentioned earlier on the forum, so there might be some previous discussion somewhere out there.

Re: Real Acoustic Upright Midi Controller on eBay for $1,800
Harpuia #3032391 10/05/20 04:15 PM
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Ironically, a grand action with double-repetition would be a much better fit for key-only sensors smile Because the loud-note issue will happen less often (the actual acoustic silent-note “issue” is much rarer on a grand). But then, when you buy a hybrid with grand action, you expect the best.

Last edited by CyberGene; 10/05/20 04:17 PM.

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Re: Real Acoustic Upright Midi Controller on eBay for $1,800
Harpuia #3032397 10/05/20 04:35 PM
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Ironically, there are probably many more grands out there with key-sensor-only implementations than hammer sensors. They may not be production "hybrid digitals" like AG and Novus, but key sensors are used on a number of factory and aftermarket implementations. I'm not arguing that key sensors by themselves are superior, but I just question the claim that hammer sensors are absolutely required for even a "decent" implementation, since it seems there are a lot of decent solutions out there that eschew them. If someone were to sneak into my house and night and swap the hammer sensors in my NV-10 for key sensors, I'm honestly not sure if or when I'd ever notice.

And to add to what Cybergene mentioned, hammer sensors have their own issues and sensitivities that key sensors would be immune to, such as bobbling hammers which we've seen on both the AGs and NV-10s, since it's an acoustic regulation issue at its heart.


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