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Joined: Oct 2013
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I know there's a ton of info about both of these, but since there have been software updates people seem to be getting more dialed in, so I wanted to hear some current opinions. I'm not asking which is better, just curious what people think about each - which do you play more, what do you use each one for, etc.

Thanks smile

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I have 280VC full and BI standard. For me BI is my most used one, from classical to pop music. The 280VC is a clearer, better defined sound, but still I am largely biased to play BI and plan to upgrade on next offer. Both are excellent, though.

Hint: when using headphones, you can use ambient/room mics without any troubles. But, in my experience, with speakers, is better to tame down or directly mute that kind of mics and use close ones. The results are far better that way. YMMV


Yamaha U3H
Kawai VPC1
...plus some other DPs, synths, controllers and VSTs

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The software update to the Synchron pianos player was fundamental to me. I struggled to enjoy the Bösendorfer Imperial (BI) before the update. I think it was partly because the MP11SE has quite a light action and I found it really hard to control the BI.

Being able to make my own velocity curve really changed things for me. I also think that I would not have enjoyed the VC280 without the update which I got around the time of the update.

I am constantly switching between three VSL pianos now (BI, VC280, Blüthner). Sometimes it will just be one for weeks on end, but then something changes and I switch to one of the other 2. But mostly now I switch between the three of these within one practise session. I love them all for different reasons.

The BI is the most even of the three, I am most likely to get a decent recording of something I'm working on with the BI because it is even across the keyboard and I've got the velocity curve right. I feel the BI works for everything and I love its deep rumbly base but it lacks that idiosyncratic sound to give that something extra special.

The Blüthner has the least dynamic range and it takes the most work to bring out dynamics with it, I've wound up the settings in the Synchron player for my usual configuration to maximise dynamics but it is still hard work. But I love its distinctive sound and I've played it a lot recently.

I love the VC280's punchiness. You can nicely pick out a melody line using the VC280 and it has a lovely sound. My one grumble with it is as ha been reported here before is there are some bass notes which produce an unpleasant sound when sustained and this sound sustains longer than expected. David B mentions it here. http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...-sendorfer-280vc-review.html#Post3129686

There are some of my recordings where it really does stand out.

Last edited by KevinM; 08/02/21 04:31 PM.
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The two VSL libraries that I currently use the most are the BI and the 280VC. I've found that I actually prefer the BI for everyday use, but I do included the 280VC for variety. The BI is a more mellow piano and that fits my mood most of the time.

If I could only keep one it would be the BI, but I would choose not to get a full refund on the 280VC if that was an option at this time. The 280VC has an aggressive sound that is punctuated with clarity and dryness (if desired). I want to have the 280VC available as my repertoire changes over time.

God Bless,
David


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Thanks everyone! It's pretty cool to hear three people say pretty much the same thing. My hunch is that most of the online recordings are prior to some of the software updates, and therefore the BI might sound a little sharper than desired. Maybe I'll try that one first. The 280VC has the best tone from what I've heard so far, but there's only so much you can tell from recordings. Hopefully I'll get my work project done tonight and will finally get some time to play this week.

Last edited by Joe Garfield; 08/02/21 07:24 PM.
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I just bought both.

Fell in love with the Imperial immediately.

Took a little fiddling with velocity and midi sensitivity to get the 260VC to come alive.

I probably won't buy another Synchron.

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Originally Posted by David B
The two VSL libraries that I currently use the most are the BI and the 280VC. I've found that I actually prefer the BI for everyday use, but I do included the 280VC for variety. The BI is a more mellow piano and that fits my mood most of the time.

If I could only keep one it would be the BI, but I would choose not to get a full refund on the 280VC if that was an option at this time. The 280VC has an aggressive sound that is punctuated with clarity and dryness (if desired). I want to have the 280VC available as my repertoire changes over time.

God Bless,
David


On all points, my feeling EXACTLY!

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Originally Posted by David B
The two VSL libraries that I currently use the most are the BI and the 280VC. I've found that I actually prefer the BI for everyday use, but I do included the 280VC for variety. The BI is a more mellow piano and that fits my mood most of the time.

If I could only keep one it would be the BI, but I would choose not to get a full refund on the 280VC if that was an option at this time. The 280VC has an aggressive sound that is punctuated with clarity and dryness (if desired). I want to have the 280VC available as my repertoire changes over time.

God Bless,
David

By any chance do you have any non-classical piece/recording rendered through both 280VC and Imperial? Now that's VSL is finally moving to dongle-less licencing I'm considering buying 'the ultimate' piano VI. Still not decided whether it should by Boesendorfer, CFX or Steinway.


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Mad World played using the VC280

https://vimeo.com/529555386

Last edited by KevinM; 08/03/21 07:59 AM.
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Perhaps a controversial opinion, but i think the Yamaha CFX blows the other grands out of the water. The tonality is spot on - it really sounds like a Yamaha CFX. I don't quite get that impression from the other pianos, and I put that down to a poorer(?) mic choice. Somehow I think they didn't quite manage to capture the character - perhaps it's due to trying to make VSTs for composers rather than pianists. The Yamaha sounds like you're sitting in front of it.

Having said all that, they are all absolutely excellent VSTs and a class above most other products. I have them all and switch between all pianos regularly.

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@solasuke I completely agree. I’d prefer something other than Yamaha, but the CFX sounds so good that it’s the first one in the download manager.

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Listening to demos I seem to like CFX the most as well, but a lot of people which opinion I value recommend Boesendorfers. I will probably buy all 4 (2 Bosendorfers, Steinway and Yamaha) and then just return the 3 I like the least.


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