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Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys

Posted By: Randompianist2

Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/23/19 05:17 PM

Hello,


Which one do you guys think it’s the closer keyboard to a Grand Piano ?

I feel the Kawai Grand Feel II touch a bit soft / spongy feeling

Thanks for your reviews. Currently hesitating between CA78 and HP704.
Posted By: Colin Miles

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/23/19 05:32 PM

Originally Posted by Randompianist2
Hello,


Which one do you guys think it’s the closer keyboard to a Grand Piano ?

I feel the Kawai Grand Feel II touch a bit soft / spongy feeling

Thanks for your reviews. Currently hesitating between CA78 and HP704.

There is no one grand piano touch. Both of these pianos are fine so go with what suits you best.
Posted By: EPW

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/23/19 05:33 PM

Really close in action IMHO. Choose which one you like best. Roland folded action and Kawai pivot action.
I liked Kawai action better before the PHA-50 came out. Now I really do believe they are so close pick the one you like best.
Posted By: Randompianist2

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/23/19 05:41 PM

Also I’m considering the fact that

The Kawai CA78 came almost two years ago and is around €2800.

The Roland HP704 came 3 months ago and is around €1900.

Why such a big price difference ?
Posted By: Pete14

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/23/19 05:47 PM

Kawai claims that the mushy-spongy feeling provides a soothing experience for those who come home from a long day of hard labor and wish to have their hands massaged whilst they play the piano.
A happy ending to a hard day of work and tension is okay, but I’d rather have a masseuse provide this service rather than a piano. When I sit at the piano I’m not expecting ‘a soothing experience’, Kawai!


P.S.

Kawai did not respond to my follow-up messages.
Posted By: Randompianist2

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/23/19 05:53 PM

I also saw that on the HP704, you can regule the keys from 0 to 100 (for the weight feeling)

While Kawai only have Heavy + / Heavy / Normal / Light / Light + on his tactile screen..


Is Kawai a bit overrated or maybe I’m wrong because I don’t see many people in my case
Posted By: Doug M.

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/23/19 06:13 PM

Well, I would visit more than one store incase the demo instrument is just overused.
Also, consider the instrument in the round, not by asking about the action.

You have to play the instrument, you are the best judge as to which instrument overall suits you. Measure twice and cut once---ie, make sure you've tried lots of instruments to get an overall picture of what's out there.

Also, don't forget to try real pianos too. It helps to experience an acoustic to alleviate your own action bias (the bias that arises due to playing exclusively one instrument).
Posted By: EPW

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/23/19 06:14 PM

Kawai is all wooden keys, a six speaker system, more wattage, a touch screen etc.

The Kawai CA78 should be compared to the Roland LX705 I would think.
The Kawai CA58 and the Roland HP704 are more close competitors.
Posted By: EPW

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/23/19 06:16 PM

Also really play the Roland pianos for the sound. Some people just don't like the modeled sound and prefer sampled sounds like Kawai and Yamaha use. No right or wrong here it is the one you the buyer have to decide on as you are the one who has to live with it.
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/23/19 06:21 PM

Originally Posted by Randompianist2
Also I’m considering the fact that

The Kawai CA78 came almost two years ago and is around €2800.

The Roland HP704 came 3 months ago and is around €1900.

Why such a big price difference ?


Kawai and Yamaha save their best actions for their most expensive pianos. Roland start using the PHA0-50 in their upper mid-price pianos.

For me, the responsiveness of the Roland is where it shines. It feels alive under the fingers. This, for me at least, is the most important aspect of an action. I don't have any problem going from my Roland to a grand.
Posted By: nicknameTaken

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/23/19 06:21 PM

The Roland PHA50 is imo better. Why? Because KAWAI has a soft bottoming, which I dislike. While KAWAI has proper key length, it's also possessing more travel. That did annoy me at first, but you just need to use more force than usual. But it the Kawai doesn't feel lighter. It's just around the same felt weighting.
Imo Pianos should give a hard, pronounced feedback, when you hit the (string). But for digitals, at least on the Roland, that's a drawback for some, because it has some key noise, but it doesn't bother me.
KAWAI on the other hand has a very silent keybed.
Posted By: Randompianist2

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/23/19 06:48 PM

Because if it’s overused it is softer ?
Posted By: Randompianist2

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/23/19 06:49 PM

Because if it’s overused it is softer ?
Posted By: CyberGene

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/23/19 07:03 PM

PHA50 feels better than GF2 to me. As already mentioned the GF2 has unrealistic soft-bottoming.
Posted By: peterws

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/23/19 07:38 PM

GF Compact seems very nice. . . .bit of a trade off, but if you have short hairy fingers . . .
Posted By: Randompianist2

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/23/19 08:30 PM

I have long and thin fingers
But it’s just like
While playing the Kawai it feels like a chewing gum effect I mean sponge effect.
So the piano might have a beautiful name I don’t feel it’s closer to a grand piano compared to the PHA 50 keys actually ....
Posted By: EPW

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/23/19 08:35 PM

Originally Posted by Randompianist2
I have long and thin fingers
But it’s just like
While playing the Kawai it feels like a chewing gum effect I mean sponge effect.
So the piano might have a beautiful name I don’t feel it’s closer to a grand piano compared to the PHA 50 keys actually ....


Well then you know which one to get smile
Posted By: Randompianist2

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/23/19 08:52 PM

Yeah I just wanted to hear ppl opinions to understand why they feel better the Kawai maybe
Posted By: Maconi

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/23/19 10:03 PM

From what I can tell the Roland keys/action may be a bit more reliable than the Kawai action as well (I've seen less comments from PHA-50 owners about maintenance issues than the upper end Kawai actions although that may just be because Kawai sells more units so there are more existing customers to complain).

Stuff like build materials/quality, speaker and sound quality, instrument sounds, etc. all vary between each product so it's hard to make a comment on that end.
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/23/19 11:57 PM

Originally Posted by Randompianist2
The Kawai CA78 came almost two years ago and is around €2800.

The Roland HP704 came 3 months ago and is around €1900.

Why such a big price difference ?


The HP704 is closer (in terms of specifications) to the Kawai CA58.

Regarding which action is "better", I know which one I prefer (both in terms of my personal preference, and knowing how these mechanisms are designed and produced), however my opinion is largely irrelevant.

The only opinion that matters is your own. If you prefer playing the Roland over the Kawai, buy the Roland.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 03:39 AM

Originally Posted by Kawai James
I know which one I prefer (both in terms of my personal preference, and knowing how these mechanisms are designed and produced) ....


Yep. Roland really stepped up their game when they designed the PHA-50.
Posted By: PianoStartsAt33

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 04:21 AM

You should compare LX-706 and CA78, not HP704. LX-706/708 have Grand Touch action with longer pivots than PHA-50 has. Many say that PHA-50 is better than GFII. And Grand Hybrid is better than PHA-50 (I had Roland FP-90 with PHA-50 action previously and can compare these actions as a real owner).
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 04:28 AM

Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
You should compare LX-706 and CA78, not HP704. LX-706/708 have Grand Touch action with longer pivots than PHA-50 has. Many say that PHA-50 is better than GFII. And Grand Hybrid is better than PHA-50 (I had Roland FP-90 with PHA-50 action previously and can compare these actions as a real owner).


GrandTouch is a Yamaha action.
Posted By: Randompianist2

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 04:38 AM

I will use this piano to practice and learn a lot.

So that’s why I think I’m going to buy it only regarding the keyboard.
I don’t pay much attention to the design and the sound can be modify anyway.

I was hesitating between Kawai Ca78 Grand Feel II and Roland HP704 PHA50 ( LX706 a little expensive to buy ).

I was just SO surprise that many of the sellers told me that the Kawai is
the best so far, and " even if you don’t like it now, you’ll like it later " said the seller speaking about the CA78&GF2 keys... told me multiples times that was the closest feeling. ( and he played
it on Light+ curves ..)

As he got 25 years of piano experience and I got a month I was kinda listening to him.
Posted By: Randompianist2

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 04:54 AM

I compare the PHA50 with the GF2 keys because I wasn’t sure about which one is the closest feeling to a grand piano between those two.


As the hybrid grand keyboard ( LX706/LX708 ) is obviously better than PHA 50 for me,
Then if the the PHA 50 is better than GFII you got
Hybrid G.K > PHA 50 > GFII automatically

Only regarding keyboard I wouldn’t compare LX706 and CA78 first but the LX705 or HP704 as I already I’ve doubts on PHA50vsGFII.
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 05:03 AM

Originally Posted by Randompianist2

As the hybrid grand keyboard ( LX706/LX708 ) is obviously better than PHA 50 for me,
Then if the the PHA 50 is better than GFII you got
Hybrid G.K > PHA 50 > GFII automatically


Not necessarily. I would imagine that people who prefer the GFII to the PHA-50 are unlikely to prefer the Hybrid Grand Keyboard to the GFII.
Posted By: PianoStartsAt33

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 05:36 AM

Originally Posted by Randompianist2
I will use this piano to practice and learn a lot.

So that’s why I think I’m going to buy it only regarding the keyboard.
I don’t pay much attention to the design and the sound can be modify anyway.

I was hesitating between Kawai Ca78 Grand Feel II and Roland HP704 PHA50 ( LX706 a little expensive to buy ).

I was just SO surprise that many of the sellers told me that the Kawai is
the best so far, and " even if you don’t like it now, you’ll like it later " said the seller speaking about the CA78&GF2 keys... told me multiples times that was the closest feeling. ( and he played
it on Light+ curves ..)

As he got 25 years of piano experience and I got a month I was kinda listening to him.


So, it's because of non-linear pricing, I see. In Russia LX-706 is cheaper than CA78.
Posted By: Randompianist2

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 06:22 AM

Yeah but I don’t speak about what do people prefer here I speak about more realistic keyboard or less unrealistic which is not a total subjective opinion @johnstaf

And to answer @PianoStartsAt33, prices in my country are likely :

Kawai CA78 2700€

Roland LX706 3000€
Roland LX705 2300€
Roland HP-704 1900€

For a basic black finition model.
Kawai sells more than Roland in most of my local shop sellers.

Posted By: Doug M.

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 07:41 AM

Originally Posted by Randompianist2
Yeah but I don’t speak about what do people prefer here I speak about more realistic keyboard or less unrealistic which is not a total subjective opinion @johnstaf

And to answer @PianoStartsAt33, prices in my country are likely :

Kawai CA78 2700€

Roland LX706 3000€
Roland LX705 2300€
Roland HP-704 1900€

For a basic black finition model.
Kawai sells more than Roland in most of my local shop sellers.



Hi Randompianist2,

There is a difference between which is more realistic and which one you like.
Digital actions aren't realistic; however, some manufacturers attempt to model more elements of the acoustic action to better simulate the feel of an acoustic action. The term 'more realistic' is a wooly term because you could be talking about the mechanics of the action or you could be talking about how it feels relative to 'some' acoustics you've played. Feel also includes things like how responsive a digital is to play. For instance, I played on the RD700NX (PHAIII) and then the V-Piano (PHAIII action): they didn't feel similar to play due to the fact that the V-piano felt more connected to play (with a greater dynamic response). The action was mechanistically identical!

IMO, the overall feel of the action is what I think makes a person like or dislike an action rather than how complex a digital action is. There is no doubt that the Grand Feel II action is more complex than the PHA50---the little models below show that. However, the PHA50 feels remarkably good to me considering the differences in design.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


One's subjective preference also is heavily affected by what sort of action you previously played on. When you choose a different kind of action than you're used to, probably it will take a bit of getting used to. There have been quite a few posts by users who have chosen a different action and have complained of forearm strain.

Actions can also fit the style of piano player, so what suit's different users might not suit you.

So for personal playing-style reasons, for previous action bias reasons and for intellectual reasons (knowledge of the action mechanics creating a belief that something is superior) might colour what you think is the 'most realistic'. I think the reason manufacturers create the little slice-action models specifically to influence ones thinking.

The only mechanistically realistic digital actions are on the Kawai Novus NV10 and the Avant Grand / NUX1 Yamaha's.

Problem is, they're driven by digital sound, so the response is digital and therefore not realistic.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Kind regards,

Doug.
Posted By: Randompianist2

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 08:59 AM

Hello Doug


Thanks for your nice review,
Here I was just speaking about the general basic feeling : so when you press the touch and leave your finger from it.
I guess it is more than just such a simple feeling as you said it includes time-response , player style , maybe overused feelings, ect. As it is not only a finger sensation but of course a brain sensation.
That’s why I tried to play em with my eyes close, to maybe "feel it more". I think it can help.

Regarding that, as you said, obviously every brands are making crazy name such as Grand Feel 2 or Progressive Hammer Action because they need to sell their own products which is normal, but whatever it is called I personnally don’t pay much attention on that point.
(however I do pay attention to the name of the brand )

The thing is, I’m wondering if maybe I need to play more than an hour on those to get a true opinion.
Actually I’m pretty sure by playing a lot of time I’ll be used to the GF2 or to the PHA50. No matters.
Both are fine but yeah, without playing a long time on those I don’t think I can have a true own opinion , right ?
Saying that because there’s always people who feel things better at the beginning and then it turns bad and vice-versa.
Unless I stay at different piano shops for ten hours a day that will be difficult to judge ..


Anyway I appreciate your answer and will take all of your elements in consideration.
Posted By: Gombessa

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 09:57 AM

Sometimes I feel I'm the only who finds the PHA-50 to be an incremental upgrade over the (excellent) PHA-IV Concert. I recall when it was released, Roland themselves qualified the changes to cosmetic wood paneling on the white keys and stabilizing pins to prevent lateral movement. Of course, none of this is to discredit people's impressions or preferences.
Posted By: Pete14

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 10:34 AM

The PHA-50 is also less noisy than previous Roland actions.
Posted By: Steve Rose

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 10:37 AM

My advice is don’t worry! The fact is all piano actions, digital or otherwise, are different. Often these differences are subtle. One of the things a pianist should develop and indeed, have pride in, is being able to adapt to the instrument in front of them.
For me as long as the keybed is connected to the sound engine in a way to provide your fingers with enough feedback to properly control the thing then it’s good to go.
Like many here, over the years I’ve own a ton of half finished designs from the late 70's onwards. When Midi came along and provided velocity control it was both great and horrendous at the same time coz pretty much none of the instruments around provided anything like the control and playability of a real piano.
Now it’s not like that. Roland, Yamaha and Kawai have risen to a point of providing keybeds that are pretty much as good or good enough for most pianists to concentrate on their playing rather than on the machine's weaknesses.
I have an RD2000 it’s got a very good action (PHA50), I’ve owned a Kawai MP7SE and played extensively on their MP11SE.. both have really good actions. Controversially I’d say suggest that the MP11SE action is a weighty luxury I don’t need. I’d also add that although the Yamaha NWX action on their P515 is good, it’s not as well connected as the RD2000's action is to its sound engine or the MP7SE and MP11SE are.
This issue of connection is a vital ingredient.
I also own a Kronos. I’ve found it very difficult to get what essentially excellent samples to play like a great piano from the Roland PHA50. BTW I bought the Kronos 61 because it’s lighter and I don’t think the Korg RH3 action is as good as even my Casio PX5s.. lol
So my message is once you get to the latest generation of keybed actions from Roland, Kawai and Yamaha, they're all very good, what counts is how well they can be connected to your sound engine.
Roland and Kawai win hands down here.
Posted By: Doug M.

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 11:04 AM

Originally Posted by Randompianist2
Hello Doug


Thanks for your nice review,
Here I was just speaking about the general basic feeling : so when you press the touch and leave your finger from it.
I guess it is more than just such a simple feeling as you said it includes time-response , player style , maybe overused feelings, ect. As it is not only a finger sensation but of course a brain sensation.
That’s why I tried to play em with my eyes close, to maybe "feel it more". I think it can help.

Regarding that, as you said, obviously every brands are making crazy name such as Grand Feel 2 or Progressive Hammer Action because they need to sell their own products which is normal, but whatever it is called I personnally don’t pay much attention on that point.
(however I do pay attention to the name of the brand )

The thing is, I’m wondering if maybe I need to play more than an hour on those to get a true opinion.
Actually I’m pretty sure by playing a lot of time I’ll be used to the GF2 or to the PHA50. No matters.
Both are fine but yeah, without playing a long time on those I don’t think I can have a true own opinion , right ?
Saying that because there’s always people who feel things better at the beginning and then it turns bad and vice-versa.
Unless I stay at different piano shops for ten hours a day that will be difficult to judge ..


Anyway I appreciate your answer and will take all of your elements in consideration.



Hi Randompianist2,

There is the action within the round -- as a part of the choice -- so considering other factors like sound, dynamic response, user interface, amplification, functionality etc.
Then there is action analysis in isolation.

Considering action in isolation: what is your goal? --- Do you play fast repeating notes like in Prelude / Angry Young Man (Billy Joel) as some actions play fast repeated notes better than others!

If your goal is to play the closest thing to an acoustic piano, then I can only suggest playing lots of different acoustics prior to your next visit to the store, so you have some sort of baseline idea. Also, it will help you appreciate the variation among acoustic actions.

Some people must absolutely have the closest thing to an acoustic; however, as I mentioned, none of the actions below hybrid piano level tick all the boxes. There are pros and cons to all digital piano actions. TBH, there isn't in my mind much difference between the Grand Feel II, Grand Feel I and the PHA50 when compared to the difference between an acoustic action and a digital action. It's like asking which instant coffee is closest to a fresh cup of high quality Kenyan coffee whose beans have just been ground in a local coffee shop right next to the plantation.

I notice the difference between the GF2 and the PHA50; however, the weight of the actions are quite close compared to other competitor digital actions (which are heavier).

I do think that when you are comparing products that expensive, the holistic approach (just playing to work out which one you enjoy playing the most) is the best approach to buying a digital.

Kind regards,

Doug.
Posted By: pold

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 11:21 AM

To me it's all about pivot length, if you play difficult technical things, it's so important. That's why I would compare the GFII to the Roland Hybrid Grand Keyboard, and disregard PHA-50. I like the soft bottoming also. In an acoustic piano the bottom is soft as well, but you don't realise it because you feel the hammer hitting the string, or maybe the keybed felts are aged and compressed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=79&v=EaLzC-q9vRs
Posted By: CyberGene

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 11:29 AM

Originally Posted by pold
To me it's all about pivot length, if you play difficult technical things, it's so important. That's why I would compare the GFII to the Roland Hybrid Grand Keyboard, and disregard PHA-50. I like the soft bottoming also. In an acoustic piano the bottom is soft as well, but you don't realise it because you feel the hammer hitting the string, or maybe the keybed felts are aged and compressed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=79&v=EaLzC-q9vRs

I haven't recently played an acoustic piano with so much soft-bottoming. Admittedly I haven't played every piano in the world. On my brand new N1X the keys are very hard bottoming and it can be said that it's a brand new grand piano action where the keybed hasn't aged. I haven't played NV10 but some of the owners confirmed it's not soft-bottoming at all, compared to GF2.
Posted By: pold

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 11:46 AM

Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by pold
To me it's all about pivot length, if you play difficult technical things, it's so important. That's why I would compare the GFII to the Roland Hybrid Grand Keyboard, and disregard PHA-50. I like the soft bottoming also. In an acoustic piano the bottom is soft as well, but you don't realise it because you feel the hammer hitting the string, or maybe the keybed felts are aged and compressed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=79&v=EaLzC-q9vRs

I haven't recently played an acoustic piano with so much soft-bottoming. Admittedly I haven't played every piano in the world. On my brand new N1X the keys are very hard bottoming and it can be said that it's a brand new grand piano action where the keybed hasn't aged. I haven't played NV10 but some of the owners confirmed it's not soft-bottoming at all, compared to GF2.


ok, but are you sure you are not taking into account the hammer hitting noise on the N1X (with volume off)? Maybe it's louder than a GFII.
Posted By: KevinM

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 11:52 AM

I'm considering the difference between the GF in the MP11se and the Hybrid Grand in the LX-706.

I had discounted any significant cabinet digital piano that is an upgrade on my Casio cabinet as what I currently is the widest it can be. The LX-706 however though it looks big the dimensions listed in its specs mean I should be able to fit it in my attic room, I'll just fun getting it up here.

But that means my two main contenders are the MP11Se and the LX-706. So I can't wait to get a chance to spend some considerable time with both of these in a showroom where I can compare.

I know I need to spend some time playing the different keyboards, because I now know it is not the immediate feel of the key action that is most important. I recently played a concert grade acoustic grand, when i first tried the action I did not like it. But as I played it more I came to really appreciate the dynamic control it gave me, much closer to just an organic connection between what I wanted and the result. I was more like I want this to sound this way and my fingers just did what was necessary to get that result. Currently I am thinking, this needs to be played softy, I need to not hit the note fast. The action on my current DP is too light at the end of the keys and too hard to press near the fallboard.

I feel like I have a mixture of objective and subjective experience to evaluate. Objective is a longer pivot length. Subjective is, will this key action help me achieve the regulation I want.
Posted By: Doug M.

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 11:54 AM

Originally Posted by pold
To me it's all about pivot length, if you play difficult technical things, it's so important. That's why I would compare the GFII to the Roland Hybrid Grand Keyboard, and disregard PHA-50. I like the soft bottoming also. In an acoustic piano the bottom is soft as well, but you don't realise it because you feel the hammer hitting the string, or maybe the keybed felts are aged and compressed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=79&v=EaLzC-q9vRs


You can compensate for the shorter pivot length by having stronger fingers ;-)

I think the main issue is if you are playing acoustic grands regularly in concert and then coming home to practice on a digital piano.

Then in that case, you need to try and find a digital whose pivot length matches as closely as possible to the pianos you're playing in concert i.e., in order to ensure that the muscle memory you create in practice is as close as possible to that which you require to play the acoustic instruments.

Obviously you can practice on many different pianos and develop a muscle memory for each. However, if you practice on a digital---that requires considerably more force to depress the black keys than an acoustic grand you're playing---and you decide to start with a fast piece in a concert on an acoustic, you might play the black notes with too much force. Whilst that would probably only be an issue for a short time (whilst your fingers adapt), it's not ideal.

On the other hand, dynamic control on sampled digitals might be an issue to if you are switching between acoustic and digital. I guess many people like the Roland V-Grand because of that.
Posted By: Philosobyte

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 11:58 AM

Just want to jump in and say that as someone who had formerly pursued a career in classical piano performance, practiced 10 hours a day, and played on many nice pianos at conservatory and competitions, I found the RM3 Grand II in Kawai's VPC-1 to be better than the PHA-50 in Roland's RD-2000. The Kawai has more realistic momentum/dynamic weight characteristics, and the Kawai is also a little heavier (although still not heavy enough, in my opinion). The Kawai action does indeed bottom out unrealistically softly, but for me, a soft bottom is the lesser of two evils.

I have not tried Grand Feel I or Grand Feel II, but I suspect they have similar momentum characteristics to the RM3 Grand II, given their mechanical similarities.
Posted By: KevinM

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 12:06 PM

Originally Posted by Philosobyte
Just want to jump in and say that as someone who had formerly pursued a career in classical piano performance, practiced 10 hours a day, and played on many nice pianos at conservatory and competitions, I found the RM3 Grand II in Kawai's VPC-1 to be better than the PHA-50 in Roland's RD-2000. The Kawai has more realistic momentum/dynamic weight characteristics, and the Kawai is also a little heavier (although still not heavy enough, in my opinion). The Kawai action does indeed bottom out unrealistically softly, but for me, a soft bottom is the lesser of two evils.


It is the momentum/dynamic weight characterstics mentioned here that is important to me. I think it is that, is what gives what I described as an organic* connection. That the piano had become an extension of me rather than something I played.

*organic - I missed my career in marketing
Posted By: sorrownightingale

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 12:12 PM

pold, about pivot lenght...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIIwhoPmI9A

Yamaha basic upright (B1) pivot lenght 16,77cm approximately

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSGQu3XfCAE

Yamaha NU1 (B1 no strings) same pivot lenght.

the upright action is most demanding!! and if you add to that shorter pivot within the realism of the action, you get best interpretation in a Grand!!
Posted By: KevinM

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 12:16 PM

Originally Posted by sorrownightingale
pold, about pivot lenght...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIIwhoPmI9A

Yamaha basic upright (B1) pivot lenght 16,77cm approximately

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSGQu3XfCAE

Yamaha NU1 (B1 no strings) same pivot lenght.

the upright action is most demanding!! and if you add to that shorter pivot within the realism of the action, you get best interpretation in a Grand!!



I think I need actual proof of this. My casio is 18cm and known for being a very short pivot length. 16.77 means playing near the fall board is hard and results in little ability to regulate volume.

Posted By: CyberGene

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 12:19 PM

On real pianos the hammer detaches from the key in the last moment and so there's no need for soft cushioning on the keys. The hammer will rebound and be caught by the backchecks but big part of the rebound energy is absorbed from the friction with the backcheck as well as from the elastic bend of the metal backcheck stem. However digital pianos don't have escapement to allow for the hammer to rebound and so there would be huge shock at the point of strike which would make the key to rebound and thus create very unnatural feeling. I guess that's why Kawai decided to create a lot of cushioning which will absorb the energy of the hammer. That's a problem with all digital piano actions so it's also why most of them are rather light compared to a real piano. As I have said numerous times, for some lucky reason the real piano actions was made up of many tiny workarounds and artifacts leading to a very natural and dynamic instrument. That can't be emulated without recreating the real piano action which is why hybrid instruments exist and there's market for them.
Posted By: sorrownightingale

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 12:39 PM

KevinM....

NU1 action:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2Ipwyo9TOxYRkQ2QV80RlJmY2c/edit?pref=2&pli=1


Kawai K2 action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rDiXZ3Rkbc

Essex EUP-108C (comparable to B1 action):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sd8OcnUjqho&list=PLDoTrLsgAhIWG2bxXLdsGHqqla34JvYFR

Posted By: Randompianist2

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 12:42 PM

Originally Posted by pold
To me it's all about pivot length, if you play difficult technical things, it's so important. That's why I would compare the GFII to the Roland Hybrid Grand Keyboard, and disregard PHA-50. I like the soft bottoming also. In an acoustic piano the bottom is soft as well, but you don't realise it because you feel the hammer hitting the string, or maybe the keybed felts are aged and compressed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=79&v=EaLzC-q9vRs


Even if «  you dont realise it because you feel the hammer hitting the string » as you say
as long as you can’t feel it
even if it the hammer hits the string at the very last second
You will play on something that feel different

Which means a very soft bottoming feeling instead of a « classic » feeling
No matters how they put tons of mechanics in the process, you feel something different ( ok you will always feel something different, but I’m just trying to find the closest feeling)

as the message above from CyberGene... there are hybrids such as a NV10 ... which are very expensive pianos.
I tried it also and it feels VERY different from Grand Feel 2 key action.
Posted By: KevinM

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 12:56 PM

Interesting. The distance from the end of the top part of the black key to the pivot point for a white key, from looking at those images looks be 3 cm or a little bit over. That would make the exposed part of the key with the fall board in place to be slightly less than 14cm. Most I've seen is 15cm so I suppose that is one way of dealing the issue, no point in exposing a part of a key that is unplayable.
Posted By: KevinM

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 12:58 PM

Anyway, we are being diverted from the interesting discussion of comparison of roland and kawai actions.
Posted By: sorrownightingale

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 01:36 PM

Concert pianist Viktoriya Yermolyeva, she always uses roland

in RD-2000 (PHA50):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX6Oll-xvW4

in Roland RD-700GX (PHA II “Ivory Feel):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEkzEm_g83g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuWoOsMYUO8
Posted By: pold

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 03:06 PM

Originally Posted by sorrownightingale
pold, about pivot lenght...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIIwhoPmI9A

Yamaha basic upright (B1) pivot lenght 16,77cm approximately

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSGQu3XfCAE

Yamaha NU1 (B1 no strings) same pivot lenght.

the upright action is most demanding!! and if you add to that shorter pivot within the realism of the action, you get best interpretation in a Grand!!



Yes, I am not saying it's impossible, but you have to be careful about injuries also smile A big part of playing piano (or any other instrument) is improving without getting injured. Also think about it, do you think Paul Barton would prefer playing Beethoven Moonlight Sonata 3rd Movement & Chopin Etude Op.10 No.1 on an upright, or on a grand?
I am not saying it's impossible, but with a shorter pivot there is always the risk of getting this kind of result:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YSqk93g3Pc
Posted By: Colin Miles

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 03:16 PM

Originally Posted by pold


Yes, I am not saying it's impossible, but you have to be careful about injuries also smile A big part of playing piano (or any other instrument) is improving without getting injured. Also think about it, do you think Paul Barton would prefer playing Beethoven Moonlight Sonata 3rd Movement & Chopin Etude Op.10 No.1 on an upright, or on a grand?
I am not saying it's impossible, but with a shorter pivot there is always the risk of getting this kind of result:

With all due respect I don't think that the pivot point has really any relevance to injury. Technique, posture, general fitness, practicising carefully and stopping when you get any twinges - you can usually switch to something else - are far more important. And playing on lots of different pianos and being able to adjust to their differences is a bit part of learning to play the instrument properly. Learn to play on the instrument you have, then go and play on another and master that, then another.
Posted By: Pete14

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 03:20 PM

Are you telling me that size doesn’t matter?
Posted By: EPW

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 04:07 PM

Originally Posted by Pete14
Are you telling me that size doesn’t matter?


For you Pete, No smile
Posted By: EPW

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 04:09 PM

At this price level, I don't think you can go wrong with either Kawai action or Roland action. Pick the one you prefer and get practicing more!
Posted By: sorrownightingale

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 04:26 PM

Colin Miles +1

In NU1 or NU1x , N1,N1x, N2, N3, N3x and Kawai NV10 ( True hybrids piano action), injuries are due to poor practice techniques, as in any piano, or do you think you could not get injured in a Grand?. I study 4 or 5 hours everyday in my NU1 and I practice bodybuilding and fitness. Poor practice techniques = injuries in any instrument digital or acoustic. Obviously there are some digital pianos better than others ... some dissipate energy better in the final phase of the pulsation (bottom part), when the hammer hits, which is the one that could injure you, in acoustics the kinetic energy of the hammer is mostly dissipated in the strings. I am not saying that pivot lenght is not important, but in the range of pianos that have been named in it threads, is irrelevant. For example, VPC1 pivot lenght 17,33cm is considered one of the best for people who usually study in acoustics.
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...-to-the-acoustic-pianos.html#Post2858007
Posted By: sorrownightingale

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 04:27 PM

EPW +1
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 05:36 PM

Originally Posted by Randompianist2
Yeah but I don’t speak about what do people prefer here I speak about more realistic keyboard or less unrealistic which is not a total subjective opinion @johnstaf


The fact that people disagree means it's entirely subjective. I think the Roland is more realistic.
Posted By: Doug M.

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 05:52 PM

Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Originally Posted by pold


Yes, I am not saying it's impossible, but you have to be careful about injuries also smile A big part of playing piano (or any other instrument) is improving without getting injured. Also think about it, do you think Paul Barton would prefer playing Beethoven Moonlight Sonata 3rd Movement & Chopin Etude Op.10 No.1 on an upright, or on a grand?
I am not saying it's impossible, but with a shorter pivot there is always the risk of getting this kind of result:

With all due respect I don't think that the pivot point has really any relevance to injury. Technique, posture, general fitness, practicising carefully and stopping when you get any twinges - you can usually switch to something else - are far more important. And playing on lots of different pianos and being able to adjust to their differences is a bit part of learning to play the instrument properly. Learn to play on the instrument you have, then go and play on another and master that, then another.


+1
Posted By: pold

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 06:08 PM

Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Originally Posted by pold


Yes, I am not saying it's impossible, but you have to be careful about injuries also smile A big part of playing piano (or any other instrument) is improving without getting injured. Also think about it, do you think Paul Barton would prefer playing Beethoven Moonlight Sonata 3rd Movement & Chopin Etude Op.10 No.1 on an upright, or on a grand?
I am not saying it's impossible, but with a shorter pivot there is always the risk of getting this kind of result:

With all due respect I don't think that the pivot point has really any relevance to injury. Technique, posture, general fitness, practicising carefully and stopping when you get any twinges - you can usually switch to something else - are far more important. And playing on lots of different pianos and being able to adjust to their differences is a bit part of learning to play the instrument properly. Learn to play on the instrument you have, then go and play on another and master that, then another.


Yes, I agree, but I am talking about playing the piano every day, 8 hours. You shouldn't underestimate the potential damage from a short pivot. If you play simple things you will be fine. If you play difficult stuff all the time on an upright piano, prepare yourself for some bad things you didn't expect. With a long pivot you can practice longer, and you can have a "rest easy" feeling when you play near the fallboard.
And in this particular case the PHA-50 is too short, if you see in the photo the pivot length in both the Roland Hybrid grand and the GFII is almost twice.
Posted By: Colin Miles

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 07:38 PM

Originally Posted by pold

Yes, I agree, but I am talking about playing the piano every day, 8 hours. You shouldn't underestimate the potential damage from a short pivot. If you play simple things you will be fine. If you play difficult stuff all the time on an upright piano, prepare yourself for some bad things you didn't expect. With a long pivot you can practice longer, and you can have a "rest easy" feeling when you play near the fallboard.
And in this particular case the PHA-50 is too short, if you see in the photo the pivot length in both the Roland Hybrid grand and the GFII is almost twice.

Well anyone who plays for 8 hours a day is bound to end up injured, no matter what piano you play on. That is just crazy. What concert pianist practices anywhere near that length of time?
Posted By: KevinM

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 07:48 PM

Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Well anyone who plays for 8 hours a day is bound to end up injured, no matter what piano you play on. That is just crazy. What concert pianist practices anywhere near that length of time?


Originally Posted by Philosobyte
Just want to jump in and say that as someone who had formerly pursued a career in classical piano performance, practiced 10 hours a day, and played on many nice pianos at conservatory and competitions, I found the RM3 Grand II in Kawai's VPC-1 to be better than the PHA-50 in Roland's RD-2000.


From earlier in this thread.

Where does practising 10 hours a day fit then?

Posted By: sorrownightingale

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 07:49 PM

pold...

PHA 50 pivot lenght is 22 cm Do you consider this shorter pivot lenght?
GFII is 24cm
N1,N2,N3 ~23 cm
GF-C ~21,5cm

Grand piano are between 20 and 25cm. Between 22 and 24cm the difference is neliglible for a physical matter
Posted By: Colin Miles

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 08:01 PM

Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Well anyone who plays for 8 hours a day is bound to end up injured, no matter what piano you play on. That is just crazy. What concert pianist practices anywhere near that length of time?


Originally Posted by Philosobyte
Just want to jump in and say that as someone who had formerly pursued a career in classical piano performance, practiced 10 hours a day, and played on many nice pianos at conservatory and competitions, I found the RM3 Grand II in Kawai's VPC-1 to be better than the PHA-50 in Roland's RD-2000.


From earlier in this thread.

Where does practising 10 hours a day fit then?



That guy is a software engineer. Perhaps he is exaggerating just a little? Classical piano performance is not the same as being a classical concert pianist.
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 09:41 PM

Originally Posted by sorrownightingale
pold...

PHA 50 pivot lenght is 22 cm Do you consider this shorter pivot lenght?
GFII is 24cm
N1,N2,N3 ~23 cm
GF-C ~21,5cm

Grand piano are between 20 and 25cm. Between 22 and 24cm the difference is neliglible for a physical matter


I think the GF-Compact keys are shorter than length given above.

Most grand keys are considerably longer than 20 cm to the balance rail, with larger grands around 30 cm.

The actions on some pianos have such short keys that some pieces are difficult to play, but diminishing returns set in quite early when the key length is increased.

Posted By: pold

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 10:47 PM

Originally Posted by sorrownightingale
pold...

PHA 50 pivot lenght is 22 cm Do you consider this shorter pivot lenght?
GFII is 24cm
N1,N2,N3 ~23 cm
GF-C ~21,5cm

Grand piano are between 20 and 25cm. Between 22 and 24cm the difference is neliglible for a physical matter


PHA 50 is 22cm? Are you sure? Then how long is the Hybrid grand? from the pic it looks at least 5 cm longer.
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 11:00 PM

Originally Posted by pold


PHA 50 is 22cm? Are you sure? Then how long is the Hybrid grand? from the pic it looks at least 5 cm longer.


Yes, it's 22cm. The "Hybrid" is probably around 26 cm. I don't know if anyone has measured it precisely.
Posted By: pold

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/24/19 11:17 PM

Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by pold


PHA 50 is 22cm? Are you sure? Then how long is the Hybrid grand? from the pic it looks at least 5 cm longer.


Yes, it's 22cm. The "Hybrid" is probably around 26 cm. I don't know if anyone has measured it precisely.


ok, if it's 22cm I think you guys are right, and PHA50 is good enough.
Posted By: sorrownightingale

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/25/19 12:22 AM

pold, my advice is that you can't just guide from the pivot length, have to try the pianos for yourself!!

http://www.joflaherty.org/VPC1/images/IMG_5370VPC1.JPG from http://www.joflaherty.org/VPC1/images/thumbs.html

VPC1 =17,86cm pivot lenght and this is one of the best

Concert Pianist in VPC1:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmrDjhjfTb8
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/25/19 12:41 AM

Originally Posted by sorrownightingale
pold, my advice is that you can't just guide from the pivot length, have to try the pianos for yourself!!

http://www.joflaherty.org/VPC1/images/IMG_5370VPC1.JPG from http://www.joflaherty.org/VPC1/images/thumbs.html

VPC1 =17,86cm pivot lenght and this is one of the best

Concert Pianist in VPC1:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmrDjhjfTb8


I find the action of the VPC-1 makes some repertoire very difficult to play comfortably because of the effective key length. I have an MP-10 but bought a Roland FP-90 because of this.
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/25/19 12:47 AM

Originally Posted by johnstaf
I find the action of the VPC-1 makes some repertoire very difficult to play comfortably because of the effective key length. I have an MP-10 but bought a Roland FP-90 because of this.


The MP10 used the "RM3 Grand" keyboard action, the VPC uses the better "RM3 Grand II" keyboard action. Mechanically, they are similar, however they are not the same - there is a gradually evolution in quality and responsiveness, similar to that of PHAIV-->PHA50 mentioned by Gombessa previously.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/25/19 12:49 AM

Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by johnstaf
I find the action of the VPC-1 makes some repertoire very difficult to play comfortably because of the effective key length. I have an MP-10 but bought a Roland FP-90 because of this.


The MP10 used the "RM3 Grand" keyboard action, the VPC uses the better "RM3 Grand II" keyboard action. Mechanically, they are similar, however they are not the same - there is a gradually evolution in quality and responsiveness, similar to that of PHAIV-->PHA50 mentioned by Gombessa previously.

Kind regards,
James
x


The key front to balance pin distance is identical. I wasn't referring to any other aspect of the action.
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/25/19 12:51 AM

Originally Posted by johnstaf
The key front to balance pin distance is identical. I wasn't referring to any other aspect of the action.


You believe that key pivot length is the only factor that influences key touch?
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/25/19 12:55 AM

Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by johnstaf
The key front to balance pin distance is identical. I wasn't referring to any other aspect of the action.


You believe that key pivot length is the only factor that influences key touch?


I said in my previous post that I believe the key pivot length is a problem. I never suggested it's the only factor that influences key touch.
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/25/19 01:20 AM

Okay, thanks for the clarification.
Posted By: aphexdisklavier

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/25/19 12:29 PM

Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by johnstaf
The key front to balance pin distance is identical. I wasn't referring to any other aspect of the action.


You believe that key pivot length is the only factor that influences key touch?


I said in my previous post that I believe the key pivot length is a problem. I never suggested it's the only factor that influences key touch.


Yes johnstaf you mentioned that in a hundred postiings ...
BUT:
The respond/ reaction/uplift of the key of the GF is so slow that I find that action (with the longer pivot length) really bad. So there are really much more components that makes up a good action.
For me the longer pivot was no improvement at all! I think its so easy in forums to argue with pivot points but that says really nothing for me. I tried so many DPs and compared it to acoustic ones. At least I bought the (for you "vintage") VPC1 because of the best action in the pricepoint to about 5000€. (I am a professional musician and composer/ studied music/ playing violin and piano).
Posted By: Philosobyte

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/25/19 01:05 PM

Originally Posted by Colin Miles


That guy is a software engineer. Perhaps he is exaggerating just a little? Classical piano performance is not the same as being a classical concert pianist.

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I pursued a career as a classical concert pianist when I was younger. I switched careers because I decided I wanted a more stable life.

Classical concert pianists who are still in their competition years typically practice 8 - 10 hours a day. Immediately before competitions, that can rise to 12 hours a day. This is the norm, not the exception. However, I can't speak for pianists who are successful on a national or international level and no longer need to participate in competitions.
Posted By: sorrownightingale

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/25/19 01:40 PM

The proof that the VPC1 is an excellent piano keyboard and that the key pivot length is not the only factor that influences key touch (Kawai James +1) is Ravenworks (modified VPC1)

https://ravenworksdigital.com/product/the-studio-model-i/

What We Do to Modify the Kawai VPC1

Sizing of Key Pin & Balance Rail Bushings
Addition of Quality Piano Key-End Felt
Custom Key Dip
Squaring, Spacing, & Leveling of Keys
Proprietary Precision Friction Analysis & Weight Placement Determination
Proprietary Bismuth Key Weighting Procedure
The Manufacturing of Our Bismuth Weights
Key Weight Installation Procedure

but, the key pivot lenght is the same!!!
Posted By: Colin Miles

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/25/19 01:45 PM

Originally Posted by Philosobyte
Originally Posted by Colin Miles


That guy is a software engineer. Perhaps he is exaggerating just a little? Classical piano performance is not the same as being a classical concert pianist.

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I pursued a career as a classical concert pianist when I was younger. I switched careers because I decided I wanted a more stable life.

Classical concert pianists who are still in their competition years typically practice 8 - 10 hours a day. Immediately before competitions, that can rise to 12 hours a day. This is the norm, not the exception. However, I can't speak for pianists who are successful on a national or international level and no longer need to participate in competitions.


Sorry if I misunderstood you. Yes - I can understand the long practice immediately before a concert, but in general the following quote is I think more correct and for the purposes of this discussion at the level most people are at, more relevant

On average, a concert pianist practices at the piano about 3 to 4 hours a day. Before concert pianists get to the level and skill they are currently at, they can put in 8 hours or more of practice per day. The life of a concert pianist is filled with much more than just practicing at the piano.
Posted By: Jethro

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/25/19 01:48 PM

Originally Posted by Philosobyte
Just want to jump in and say that as someone who had formerly pursued a career in classical piano performance, practiced 10 hours a day, and played on many nice pianos at conservatory and competitions, I found the RM3 Grand II in Kawai's VPC-1 to be better than the PHA-50 in Roland's RD-2000. The Kawai has more realistic momentum/dynamic weight characteristics, and the Kawai is also a little heavier (although still not heavy enough, in my opinion). The Kawai action does indeed bottom out unrealistically softly, but for me, a soft bottom is the lesser of two evils.

I have not tried Grand Feel I or Grand Feel II, but I suspect they have similar momentum characteristics to the RM3 Grand II, given their mechanical similarities.

I am not a professional pianist but my experience with the VPC-1 was the same as yours and like you I also do not find the VPC-1's action heavy enough though it's about as heavy as you can get in a DG slab. I also found the action soft/mushy/ a little bouncy compared to the millenium 3 action on my grands. But I still think it is a fantastic practice platform if you don't have access to an acoustic.

Also for those wondering. 10 hours is the mean practice time for piano performance majors and was told the same thing by my teacher who is fairly recently received her Doctorate in Piano Performance.

Those long practice hours can lead to injury. I am currently treating a piano major getting his piano performance degree in my medical practice and he's been with me for at least 4 months. It's a slow process of recovery with bilateral wrist/elbow tendinitis. He changed technique midstream during his studies and was practicing this new technique too quickly and for too long a period of time (9 hours). Now he's out of school to recover for a year. He's about to go back for his last year this summer.
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/25/19 11:29 PM

Originally Posted by aphexdisklavier
Yes johnstaf you mentioned that in a hundred postiings ...


Are you suggesting I shouldn't post about my experience?

And, for the 101st time, I never suggested that the pivot was the only factor in the feel of an action, but actions with short pivots cause problems in certain repertoire, I honestly don't know how to make this any simpler.
Posted By: aphexdisklavier

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/26/19 12:52 PM

Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by aphexdisklavier
Yes johnstaf you mentioned that in a hundred postiings ...


Are you suggesting I shouldn't post about my experience?

And, for the 101st time, I never suggested that the pivot was the only factor in the feel of an action, but actions with short pivots cause problems in certain repertoire, I honestly don't know how to make this any simpler.



The "playability" you always mentioned has more to do with the weighting of the keys than with the pivot point. I played DPs with long pivot points, which were much harder to play than the VPC1. There are also DPs with very short pivon pionts, but they are very smooth-running (because they are very light or not weighted at all). Someone who is new to this forum and is looking for help will of course immediately believe your experience and ask for pivot points as long as possible without even experiencing how different the actions can be. It seems like you can measure (through the pivot point) how easy or difficult the action of the DP is. But this is simply not possible! The argumentation that shorter pivot points increase the weight on the inside of the key more than longer pivot points is obvious. But these are very small nuances compared to the over all weighting of the key.
Posted By: pold

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/26/19 03:42 PM

Originally Posted by aphexdisklavier
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by aphexdisklavier
Yes johnstaf you mentioned that in a hundred postiings ...


Are you suggesting I shouldn't post about my experience?

And, for the 101st time, I never suggested that the pivot was the only factor in the feel of an action, but actions with short pivots cause problems in certain repertoire, I honestly don't know how to make this any simpler.



The "playability" you always mentioned has more to do with the weighting of the keys than with the pivot point. I played DPs with long pivot points, which were much harder to play than the VPC1. There are also DPs with very short pivon pionts, but they are very smooth-running (because they are very light or not weighted at all). Someone who is new to this forum and is looking for help will of course immediately believe your experience and ask for pivot points as long as possible without even experiencing how different the actions can be. It seems like you can measure (through the pivot point) how easy or difficult the action of the DP is. But this is simply not possible! The argumentation that shorter pivot points increase the weight on the inside of the key more than longer pivot points is obvious. But these are very small nuances compared to the over all weighting of the key.




I have to disagree with you on post #2872527, when you say that the longer pivot doesn't make any difference at all for you. To me it makes a lot of difference. Even when you play on the lightest keyboards (for example a synth with non weighted action), you can feel such an annoying fatigue when you play near the fallboard, and it's something I can't adapt to.
Posted By: peterws

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/26/19 05:15 PM

I know the answer to all this. GHS is best! smile
Posted By: sorrownightingale

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/26/19 07:47 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtslXIADufM

in the video you can see that his two hands playing very close to the fallboard!!

*Gabriel Iwasaki
I bought the Kawai VPC-1 instead of an upright piano (i dont own any acoustic piano), and dont regret it at all. Actually i am very pleased with the purchase.
For me, what sets it apart is the wooden keys, and the ability to utilise it with ANY music software running on a computer. The keybed is absolutely fantastic. You just have to spend sometime adjusting the software to match the way you play, and after that it is a dream come true*.
Posted By: peterws

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/27/19 07:37 PM

Originally Posted by sorrownightingale
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtslXIADufM

in the video you can see that his two hands playing very close to the fallboard!!

*Gabriel Iwasaki
I bought the Kawai VPC-1 instead of an upright piano (i dont own any acoustic piano), and dont regret it at all. Actually i am very pleased with the purchase.
For me, what sets it apart is the wooden keys, and the ability to utilise it with ANY music software running on a computer. The keybed is absolutely fantastic. You just have to spend sometime adjusting the software to match the way you play, and after that it is a dream come true*.



Absolutely fantastic? The keys only go up and down, you know. If they did backflips or somersaults, that'd be AF. But they don't. Or maybe they do these days; I'm a tad behind the times. . .
Posted By: spanishbuddha

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/27/19 09:34 PM

Originally Posted by peterws


Absolutely fantastic? The keys only go up and down, you know. If they did backflips or somersaults, that'd be AF. But they don't. Or maybe they do these days; I'm a tad behind the times. . .

Don’t the keys actually (partially) rotate (about an axis)? Must get the details right in this thread. crazy
Posted By: azone

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 07/29/19 10:28 AM

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.

Posted By: MattLee

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 09/10/19 12:37 PM

Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by sorrownightingale
pold...

PHA 50 pivot lenght is 22 cm Do you consider this shorter pivot lenght?
GFII is 24cm
N1,N2,N3 ~23 cm
GF-C ~21,5cm

Grand piano are between 20 and 25cm. Between 22 and 24cm the difference is neliglible for a physical matter


I think the GF-Compact keys are shorter than length given ....



This is the correct length for the Grand Feel Compact. I measured it to be around 8.5 inches which it 21.6cm.
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 09/10/19 08:45 PM

Thanks for the correction. thumb
Posted By: MattLee

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 09/10/19 11:16 PM

Oops. I did another measurement to be sure. It's around 8.25in. Which is around 21cm.

I'm using the super accurate method of shoving a ruler under the felt at the fallboard.
Posted By: pianomike

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 09/12/19 01:39 PM

I am not sure if I posted on this before ,I have an MP11 and an Rd 2000 ,the mp11 is a whole lot more nicer piano action than the rd 2000 , the rd 2000 is a nice action but its a hybrid action and roland even had that written somewhere , can't remember , the rd 800 has a nicer piano action than the rd 2000 in my testing , but the Kawai action is superior to both .
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 09/12/19 01:49 PM

Originally Posted by pianomike
I am not sure if I posted on this before ,I have an MP11 and an Rd 2000 ,the mp11 is a whole lot more nicer piano action than the rd 2000 , the rd 2000 is a nice action but its a hybrid action and roland even had that written somewhere , can't remember , the rd 800 has a nicer piano action than the rd 2000 in my testing , but the Kawai action is superior to both .

The Roland RD2000 uses the PHA-50 action. The PHA-50 is not a hybrid action. Roland doesn't have any hybrid actions. The Roland V-Piano's "PHA III Ivory Feel keyboard action" is not a hybrid action. Even the one that Roland calls the "Hybrid Grand keyboard" action is not a hybrid action.

The Roland RD800 uses the PHA-4 Concert action.
Posted By: Abdol

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 09/12/19 07:12 PM

Originally Posted by Randompianist2
Hello,


Which one do you guys think it’s the closer keyboard to a Grand Piano ?

I feel the Kawai Grand Feel II touch a bit soft / spongy feeling

Thanks for your reviews. Currently hesitating between CA78 and HP704.


These are two different categories of keybed. PHA-50 is in the same category as Responsive Hammer III action in Kawai. I found RHIII action closer to a Kawai Grand piano action. I compared RD-2000 and MP7SE with a Kawai grand side by side.

I assume Kawai and Yamaha will always make keybeds far better than Roland. That's because they both manufacture pianos as well. Unfortunately, Yamaha is parsimonious in deploying better material, technology, and mechanics in its instruments.
Posted By: Frédéric L

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 09/12/19 08:15 PM

“I assume Kawai and Yamaha will always make keybeds far better than Roland. ”

A digital (folded) keyboard is quite different from an acoustic keyboard. I don’t think Yamaha or Kawai have a great superiority in digital keyboard from their competencies in making acoustic pianos.

All of them have to measure the behaviour of an acoustic piano action, and design a digital which is closer and closer by calculus, prototyping, etc. I don’t think the R&D needed for these tasks is reduced a lot when making acoustic pianos.
Posted By: Abdol

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 09/12/19 09:19 PM

Originally Posted by Frédéric L
“I assume Kawai and Yamaha will always make keybeds far better than Roland. ”

A digital (folded) keyboard is quite different from an acoustic keyboard. I don’t think Yamaha or Kawai have a great superiority in digital keyboard from their competencies in making acoustic pianos.

All of them have to measure the behaviour of an acoustic piano action, and design a digital which is closer and closer by calculus, prototyping, etc. I don’t think the R&D needed for these tasks is reduced a lot when making acoustic pianos.


True. RHIII and PHA-50 are both folding and in the same class (PHA-50 is also plastic with matchstick thick wood pieces on the sides). My assumption is that the action/mechanics of a key usually has a response curve. Yamaha and Kawai simulate their own key actions. Roland, I have no clue.
Posted By: Gombessa

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 09/12/19 11:37 PM

Originally Posted by Abdol

I assume Kawai and Yamaha will always make keybeds far better than Roland.


The opinions of pianists here vary so much that I simply can't accept this. Roland by all accounts makes first class digital piano actions that are pound for pound competitive with the best that any other manufacture has. Casio, which doesn't make any acoustic pianos, also seems to have a fine, high-end digital action in their GP series.

IMO, the pedigree of "makes real acoustic pianos" has no real bearing on how good an action is. Yamaha's decades-old GHS for instance, is really not that great at all within its class.
Posted By: Abdol

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 09/13/19 03:09 PM

Originally Posted by Gombessa

The opinions of pianists here vary so much that I simply can't accept this. Roland by all accounts makes first class digital piano actions that are pound for pound competitive with the best that any other manufacture has. Casio, which doesn't make any acoustic pianos, also seems to have a fine, high-end digital action in their GP series.

IMO, the pedigree of "makes real acoustic pianos" has no real bearing on how good an action is. Yamaha's decades-old GHS for instance, is really not that great at all within its class.


We should compare potatoes with potatoes. GHS is not in the same league. I didn't say Roland's action is bad. Action is pretty much like the sound of an instrument, subjective. To some or many, PHA-50 of Roland has an action which feels really nice but to me, it does not physically exist (pretty much the same story goes to V-Piano sound engine).

I'm sure Yamaha and Kawai simulate their own instruments! I would not invest in Roland for piano sound/action. It's not authentic (personal opinion).
Posted By: EPW

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 09/13/19 04:23 PM

Action is so subjective. I am one that likes the PHA-50 action. I didn't like the PHA-III action from Roland. So has been said many times on this forum. Go check out the pianos for yourself. What I like and what you like most likely will be different smile
Posted By: peterws

Re: Most realistic : PHA-50 vs GFII Keys - 09/13/19 07:12 PM

Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by Abdol

I assume Kawai and Yamaha will always make keybeds far better than Roland.


The opinions of pianists here vary so much that I simply can't accept this. Roland by all accounts makes first class digital piano actions that are pound for pound competitive with the best that any other manufacture has. Casio, which doesn't make any acoustic pianos, also seems to have a fine, high-end digital action in their GP series.

IMO, the pedigree of "makes real acoustic pianos" has no real bearing on how good an action is. Yamaha's decades-old GHS for instance, is really not that great at all within its class.


I've played on acoustics with worse actions than GHS. TBH, an entry level modern Kawai or Yamaha doesn't feel much different from some of the digital actions on offer when you discount the sound production, but of course, the sound generated is different in attack and sustain and would make for a most interesting velocity curve, should one of the more enlightened here care to chip in.

I reckon the manufacturers build their digitals to customer expectations, and not as an acoustic feel/sound alike; nonetheless the difference in action isn't as great as we seem to think, here.

Indeed, some acoustics don't even have "Ivory Feel"!! Can you Adam and Eve it?
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