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Hello Pianoworld,

I'm looking for a master keyboard with the "best" grand-piano-like mechanics available. The trouble is that my studio furniture allows a maximum height of around 15.5cm / 6.1', which sadly excludes pianos like the VPC1. 88 keys of course. Sound output with decent piano samples would be a plus, but only MIDI output is required.

I've been looking into Yamaha, Kawai, Roland, M-Audio and others, and the more time I invest the more confused I get as most companies seem to have their own exclusive standards and namings for their hammer action technologies.

What are your personal favourites that would physically fit my available space? Which is the most acclaimed hammer action technology in your oppinion?

Many thanks for your thougts smile

If it's meant to be "grand-like" how can it possibly fit into a vertical space of 6 inches?
Perhaps you could instead seek an action that feels right, even if it's not grand-like.
The Kawai ES8 is 6" high.

That might be cutting it a bit close, but arguably it has the best plastic action available. And the internal piano sounds are fabulous.
The Yamaha P-515 has an excellent keyboard action and a height of only 14.5cm.
The height of the Roland FP 90 is 136 mm or 5-3/8 inches
It has the best keyboard action compared to the ES8 and P515.
Also in MY opinion it has better sound/speakers and is more expressive than the other two.
We all perceive these things differently, so the OP should attempt to try out the models that have been recommended for himself.
Thanks for all your valuable inputs, I'll definitely check these pianos out. The FP90 seems to be my perfect fit - let's see how I like the hammer action.
Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris
We all perceive these things differently, so the OP should attempt to try out the models that have been recommended for himself.


I own both the P515 and the HP605 (which shares the same action as the FP90) and both have great actions and should be both tested to see which one is most suited/preferred.

As I own both, I prefer to practice on the P515 but perform on the HP605 - the reason? The NWX action is a slightly heavier action which means I need to work a tad diligently when playing the P515 whereas as the PHA50 on the Roland is a joy to play, a little less forgiving as a result of being a little lighter and can play for longer too.

If I had to choose one over the other, it would be the Roland (because action and playability due to the modelling sound makes it a more realistic experience for me) - and yes, this is despite the modelled sound which doesn't beat sampling but plays more true to the touch than sampling does.
Here's a video comparing the sounds of the ES8, P515 and the FP90:

Sound Comparison

They all sound good, but I'd have to go with the sampled voices.
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