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Posted By: David Lai My next midi keyboard? - 08/18/20 04:28 PM
Hi friends!
So my 2-year warranty for the StudioLogic SL88Grand will expire next August, and I'm thinking of possibly upgrading to a better midi keyboard. I need your help!
What I'm looking for:
1. action, this is key! But I don't want any internal sounds.
2. on-board controllers, like mod wheel, pitch bend, or other controllers if and when available. I benefited largely from the 3 joysticks on the StudioLogic SL-88Grand. If I have to purchase a separate piece of hardware with nobs and such, I hope they can be simply set on top of the keyboard and they would not come off, as I'm totally blind and sometimes if I'm not careful, I might nock things over.
3. a USB connection to my computer.
4. No touch screen interfaces.
5. The size can be a bit bigger than my SL88Grand, but I don't like the kind of piano style furniture cabinets. This is to be in my bedroom, so we need something that saves a bit of space.
Do you have any options for me? I've heard Kawai keyboards have received lots of love on this forum, but I'd like to see if they are indeed what I'm looking for.
Thanks everyone!
David
Posted By: fakemaxwell Re: My next midi keyboard? - 08/18/20 05:02 PM
Sure sounds like the perfect keyboard for you is the StudioLogic SL88
Posted By: anotherscott Re: My next midi keyboard? - 08/18/20 05:58 PM
If you don't want another SL88, to meet your requirements, you might need to get something with sounds, even if you don't use them.
Posted By: anotherscott Re: My next midi keyboard? - 08/18/20 07:23 PM
Hmmm, maybe Roland A-88 MKII? Whether it feels better than the SL88 Grand is probably a matter of opinion...
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 08/18/20 07:24 PM
Originally Posted by anotherscott
If you don't want another SL88, to meet your requirements, you might need to get something with sounds, even if you don't use them.

Right, I'm not sure if I want another SL88 since I feel like the keys don't go down deep enough, and also, after having one torn rubber key contact, I believe that the action can be fragile. I don't mind one extra piece of hardware, just don't let it fall over (like use magnets to let the keyboard and new piece of hardware go together or whatever). I'm not sure if paying for extra sounds is worth it because:
1. Those are not on par with VST instruments yet;
2. I would paying extra for speakers and stuff, while I have a good speaker system already, so I don't think it's worth the extra thousands of dollars.
That's all! smile
Posted By: Harpuia Re: My next midi keyboard? - 08/18/20 09:46 PM
Have you taken a look at Kawai VPC1?
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 08/19/20 11:39 AM
Originally Posted by Harpuia
Have you taken a look at Kawai VPC1?

I wish I could try it out! But can you add hardware on top? And make it stay, too? smile
Posted By: EB5AGV Re: My next midi keyboard? - 08/19/20 01:01 PM
Originally Posted by David Lai
Originally Posted by Harpuia
Have you taken a look at Kawai VPC1?

I wish I could try it out! But can you add hardware on top? And make it stay, too? smile

Before I got mine I read many comments regarding that curved surface... Well, yes, it is curved, but radius is large so you can put some soft material, as a rubber piece, to supplement that difference. I plan to build a flat surface adapted to that curve so I can safely put a keyboard (still deciding which) over the VPC1, to add some spice to my piano playing when I get creative grin

I will post some pictures on the VPC1 owners club thread when I do it.
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 08/19/20 08:33 PM
Originally Posted by EB5AGV
Originally Posted by David Lai
Originally Posted by Harpuia
Have you taken a look at Kawai VPC1?

I wish I could try it out! But can you add hardware on top? And make it stay, too? smile

Before I got mine I read many comments regarding that curved surface... Well, yes, it is curved, but radius is large so you can put some soft material, as a rubber piece, to supplement that difference. I plan to build a flat surface adapted to that curve so I can safely put a keyboard (still deciding which) over the VPC1, to add some spice to my piano playing when I get creative grin

I will post some pictures on the VPC1 owners club thread when I do it.

Nice! Good luck in building the flat surface, and I will keep the VPC 1 as one of my options. Thanks! smile
Posted By: MartF Re: My next midi keyboard? - 08/19/20 11:46 PM
Originally Posted by David Lai
I'm not sure if paying for extra sounds is worth it

You might not be. Here in Aus the Roland A-88 MKII sells for around $1.5K, while the FP10 (same PHA-4 action) is around $750. You could get an additional (DAW) controller with the money saved. I'm guessing it's largely related to sales volume.
Posted By: 88snowmonkeys Re: My next midi keyboard? - 08/20/20 04:00 AM
Most midi keyboards with a hammer action and hands on control use a Fatar action similar to what you already have in your SL88 Grand. If you want to expand your options beyond the Kawai VPC1 and Roland A-88 I think you need to consider keyboards with built-in sounds.

You could use an entry level digital piano (Kawai ES-110, Korg D1, Roland FP-10, Yamaha P-125) and secure a separate midi controller on top (perhaps with doubled sided tape?). The Korg D1 could be a good choice because it has a flat, albeit very narrow, surface to put a small controller like the NanoKontrol2. However, if you find the SL88 Grand to have shallow keys the D1 may not be a good choice. I think the RH3 action in the D1 is a little shallow compared to an acoustic piano.

You could also use a separate midi controller with a mid-priced digital piano like Yamaha P-515 or Kawai ES8, but at that price point I think the VPC1 is the better option since you don't need the internal sounds.

High end stage pianos like the Roland RD-2000 and Yamaha CP88 have a high quality action and hands on control, but they also include a lot of extra features and sounds and have a very busy, crowded interface.
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 08/20/20 01:44 PM
Originally Posted by 88snowmonkeys
Most midi keyboards with a hammer action and hands on control use a Fatar action similar to what you already have in your SL88 Grand. If you want to expand your options beyond the Kawai VPC1 and Roland A-88 I think you need to consider keyboards with built-in sounds.

You could use an entry level digital piano (Kawai ES-110, Korg D1, Roland FP-10, Yamaha P-125) and secure a separate midi controller on top (perhaps with doubled sided tape?). The Korg D1 could be a good choice because it has a flat, albeit very narrow, surface to put a small controller like the NanoKontrol2. However, if you find the SL88 Grand to have shallow keys the D1 may not be a good choice. I think the RH3 action in the D1 is a little shallow compared to an acoustic piano.

You could also use a separate midi controller with a mid-priced digital piano like Yamaha P-515 or Kawai ES8, but at that price point I think the VPC1 is the better option since you don't need the internal sounds.

High end stage pianos like the Roland RD-2000 and Yamaha CP88 have a high quality action and hands on control, but they also include a lot of extra features and sounds and have a very busy, crowded interface.

Thanks for your reply! Yes, I do find, on continued working and practice with the SL-88Grand, that the keys seem to be a bit on the shallow side, doesn't go down as much as, let's say, a concert Steinway. Though the firmness of the keys and the over all perspective of the action is quite pleasing to play. I would love to improve my set up in the near future, hopefully along those lines of a midi keyboard controller with no internal - built in sounds, as I have my VST's, and they are quite enough for me. Thanks for your detailed reply! smile
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/06/20 02:38 PM
Hi friends! If you wouldn't mind me resurrecting this thread about keyboards, due to me having a couple of problems with my current StudioLogic SL88Grand that now I can’t help noticing.
 First is that when I try to play the black keys, I find that they are shorter than the white ones. This especially becomes problematic when I have one certain passage in a Liszt composition where I have a chromatic run in octaves. I find the left hand, which handles the black keys, have little space to move above the right.
 Another thing is the shallow keys themselves. I’m not sure when I get to an actual acoustic again, if the shallow vs deeper key difference would effect my playing.
What do you all think of these questions? Should I try to invest in a better keyboard now that I’m preparing for 2 recitals at school? Many thanks!
Posted By: 88snowmonkeys Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/06/20 05:26 PM
Only you can say how much these issues are bothering you. But you are a very advanced player and I think it would be a good idea to invest in a high quality keyboard that you really like that will serve you well into the future.

I posted my thoughts a few weeks ago, but I just want to throw out another idea that may be helpful. Whatever keyboard you decide to get, you could use a 2 tier keyboard stand or a 2 tier desk setup where you have a separate midi controller mounted on the 2nd tier above your keyboard. This would give you all the hands on control you need mounted securely in place. With this setup you can focus on getting the best keyboard action for your VSTs without limiting your options to keyboards with knobs and levers.
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/06/20 05:46 PM
Originally Posted by 88snowmonkeys
Whatever keyboard you decide to get, you could use a 2 tier keyboard stand or a 2 tier desk setup where you have a separate midi controller mounted on the 2nd tier above your keyboard. This would give you all the hands on control you need mounted securely in place. With this setup you can focus on getting the best keyboard action for your VSTs without limiting your options to keyboards with knobs and levers.

Oh, I love this arrangement! That would give the person who eventually gets my current keyboard the stand, which should look like a pretty good bargain. Now we are talking! smile I guess then the option is clear, get a great keyboard with a great action as close to an acoustic grand piano as possible, and then get a separate controller that has knobs and other physical controls, and then get a stand to fit them all in an accessible manner!
Posted By: EB5AGV Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/06/20 06:03 PM
I have been working over the weekend on my Kawai VPC1 setup. As you can see, it is a Kawai VPC1 with some add-ons over it smile (I have just added some extra soft plastic bumpers on the rear bottom of the items over the VPC1 so they sit perfectly on the rounded VPC1 surface)

[Linked Image]

Incidentally, at its right there is a dual tier setup of other two keyboards, as show on next picture. But for piano use, and DAW (Cubase on my case) and VST control, the VPC1 setup could be more than enough:

[Linked Image]
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/06/20 08:01 PM
Originally Posted by EB5AGV
I have been working over the weekend on my Kawai VPC1 setup. As you can see, it is a Kawai VPC1 with some add-ons over it smile (I have just added some extra soft plastic bumpers on the rear bottom of the items over the VPC1 so they sit perfectly on the rounded VPC1 surface)

[Linked Image]

Incidentally, at its right there is a dual tier setup of other two keyboards, as show on next picture. But for piano use, and DAW (Cubase on my case) and VST control, the VPC1 setup could be more than enough:

[Linked Image]

Sorry, as a blind person, my screen reader can't handle your pictures. But I asked a friend to help me with it earlier, so I think I know what you are going for.
Wow, that does look quite professional! I think if I'm going for the VPC1 perhaps that's what I'll be doing as well.
Your images are an inspiration to me that this can be done ... with much consideration, that is. smile
I'd like to know more about the relationship between the black and white keys (in particular the black keys) and how they compare with an acoustic grand piano. My black keys are really short on the SL88. Will the VPC1 resolve this?
Thanks! smile
David
Posted By: EB5AGV Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/06/20 09:05 PM
Hi David,

Glad to be of some help. Well, I can compare it to my Yamaha U3 and would say they are pretty similar. I don't find any size difference when I play both, although they are not side by side.
Posted By: MartF Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/06/20 11:23 PM
I was watching some Spitfire Audio videos and they all seemed to be using Doepfer Keyboards. The AKAI MPK ROAD 88 seems to get good reviews too. I don't know much about these products though or what keybed they have.
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/06/20 11:35 PM
Originally Posted by MartF
I was watching some Spitfire Audio videos and they all seemed to be using Doepfer Keyboards. The AKAI MPK ROAD 88 seems to get good reviews too. I don't know much about these products though or what keybed they have.

Well, the Doepfer 88-key keyboard use a Fatar action, the TP40GH. Not sure if this is a few generations removed from TP40W, which is the current one I have.
Not sure about the other keyboard you mentioned, but since I can't be able to try it, I'm not sure if the key lengths and the over all feel of the action can be comparable to an acoustic grand piano.
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/06/20 11:36 PM
Originally Posted by EB5AGV
Hi David,

Glad to be of some help. Well, I can compare it to my Yamaha U3 and would say they are pretty similar. I don't find any size difference when I play both, although they are not side by side.

Hmm, in that case I should take a serious look at the VPC1! smile Thanks for your reply.
Posted By: MartF Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/07/20 12:23 AM
Didn't know the Doepfer is Fatar, thanks. Sounds like VPC1 is top of the list. You might consider the MP11SE too. It costs more but has the more recent Grand Feel action, mod and tone wheels. I think some of the buttons can be configured for midi channel switching etc. It is overkill though, and most of the buttons might get in the way.
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/07/20 12:38 AM
Originally Posted by MartF
Didn't know the Doepfer is Fatar, thanks. Sounds like VPC1 is top of the list. You might consider the MP11SE too. It costs more but has the more recent Grand Feel action, mod and tone wheels. I think some of the buttons can be configured for midi channel switching etc. It is overkill though, and most of the buttons might get in the way.

Yeah, I think it's an overkill indeed. Plus, I read in some threads on this forum that the MP11SE feels still like a synth, and that the VPC 1 somehow surpasses it.
Posted By: Kawai James Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/07/20 12:54 AM
Originally Posted by David Lai
Yeah, I think it's an overkill indeed. Plus, I read in some threads on this forum that the MP11SE feels still like a synth, and that the VPC 1 somehow surpasses it.

The MP11SE doesn't feel like a synth, at least none of the synths that I've ever played.

There are countless different opinions shared on this forum. However, the only opinion that really matters is that of your own.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: MartF Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/07/20 01:00 AM
Yes, I read that the VPC1 is a little heavier and the release a little faster. I'd be happy with a little lighter and slower but that's just me :-) I hope to be able to try them myself one day.
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/07/20 01:08 AM
Originally Posted by MartF
Yes, I read that the VPC1 is a little heavier and the release a little faster. I'd be happy with a little lighter and slower but that's just me :-) I hope to be able to try them myself one day.

With the pandemic at hand, trying is a bit, well... trying! smile
But I prefer a heavier action (not like the Yamaha CLP 685 that kind, but it can go a bit deeper at least). I wish there's some place to go in Cincinnati where such things can be found!
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/07/20 01:10 AM
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by David Lai
Yeah, I think it's an overkill indeed. Plus, I read in some threads on this forum that the MP11SE feels still like a synth, and that the VPC 1 somehow surpasses it.

The MP11SE doesn't feel like a synth, at least none of the synths that I've ever played.

There are countless different opinions shared on this forum. However, the only opinion that really matters is that of your own.

Kind regards,
James
x

Hi James! Do you think there might be upgrades to the VPC 1 at some point? If so, I will wait for it. Thanks! smile
Posted By: Kawai James Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/07/20 01:29 AM
Originally Posted by David Lai
Do you think there might be upgrades to the VPC 1 at some point? If so, I will wait for it. Thanks! smile

I'm sure it will, however for the time being, the VPC1 remains Kawai's premier virtual piano controller.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/07/20 01:47 AM
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by David Lai
Do you think there might be upgrades to the VPC 1 at some point? If so, I will wait for it. Thanks! smile

I'm sure it will, however for the time being, the VPC1 remains Kawai's premier virtual piano controller.

Kind regards,
James
x

Then if it will, perhaps it's still wise to wait? I mean, it's better to get a more advanced controller keyboard, right? Electronics is a confusing thing!
Posted By: MartF Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/07/20 03:49 AM
This bugs me a little too, I wish Kawai were more forthcoming with their plans (though I understand why they aren't). The MP11SE and VPC1 both look great but seem ready for an upgrade. If I got it right...

2020: CA79/CA99 (GFIII)
2017: MP11SE (GF)
2015: CA97 (GFII)
2014: VPC1 (RM3II)

I'll probably buy a CA79 as it suits my family better (my youngest loves concert magic!), but I will try the MP11SE first if I can.
Posted By: djvu10 Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/07/20 06:03 AM
David,

If you have a chance, take a drive to Fort Wayne, IN and visit Sweetwater. They should have practically every keyboard you'd want to try.

I have the MP11se and can assure you that it doesn't have a synth action.

MartF,

No manufacturer is going to discuss a new model until they're ready to launch it.

I don't believe the MP11se was introduced in 2017; you may be thinking of the MP11.

The CA-79 is definitely a better family piano than the MP11se, it's a brand new model and you can buy it for less than $300 over the MP11se's street price.
Posted By: MartF Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/07/20 06:23 AM
I'm just going by the official news page, the MP11SE announcement is here. GFII came out in 2015, so I wonder why they went with GF. And here in Aus the MP11SE sells for $500 less than the CA79 (when you can find one in stock!).
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/07/20 02:07 PM
Originally Posted by djvu10
David,

If you have a chance, take a drive to Fort Wayne, IN and visit Sweetwater. They should have practically every keyboard you'd want to try.

If it were not for COVID, I would happily call a friend and ask him or her to drive that 3-hour-long route to get me there, but now I guess we have to work a bit differently. But thanks for the suggestion! smile
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/07/20 04:19 PM
Originally Posted by MartF
This bugs me a little too, I wish Kawai were more forthcoming with their plans (though I understand why they aren't). The MP11SE and VPC1 both look great but seem ready for an upgrade. If I got it right...

2020: CA79/CA99 (GFIII)
2017: MP11SE (GF)
2015: CA97 (GFII)
2014: VPC1 (RM3II)

I'll probably buy a CA79 as it suits my family better (my youngest loves concert magic!), but I will try the MP11SE first if I can.

Interesting info, and good for you! However, the CA79 will not work for me because of two things: a touch screen interface with a lot of features I may not need, including internal sounds, and a cabinet that takes a lot of space in my bedroom. I hope you have fun with it, from what I heard it would be quite enjoyable to play! smile
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/07/20 05:53 PM
Originally Posted by MartF
Yes, I read that the VPC1 is a little heavier and the release a little faster. I'd be happy with a little lighter and slower but that's just me :-) I hope to be able to try them myself one day.

I don’t mind a heavier action and faster release, that definitely feels like what I have felt in some concert grands!
Posted By: kimby Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/07/20 06:48 PM
Originally Posted by David Lai
Interesting info, and good for you! However, the CA79 will not work for me because of two things: a touch screen interface with a lot of features I may not need, including internal sounds, and a cabinet that takes a lot of space in my bedroom.

Hi David Lai! I read your post and thought "oh yes, true about the touchscreen"... but then I thought about my own setup. I have a CA79, and I use a VST full time. So whether you power it up (via a physical button) each day or leave it on continuously, it will use the VST if set to for MIDI only. That eliminates the need for using the touchscreen - and indeed I only ever use it for the metronome (and I'm sure you have other means for that function). I pipe the sound back through the CA79 line-in, but I think you have your own fantastic audio setup for listening. smile

The cabinet/form factor issue, however, could certainly be a deal breaker for your needs.

And I understand about perhaps paying for features you don't need, like the built-in sounds and the rendering engine.

I am only replying here because the action is, to me, so very good, and is the most recent action from Kawai. It has a flat top (with the music stand folded down) and can support additional items you may need to put on top. The cabinet is also not deep at all and is what I would consider a "space-saving design."

My biggest criteria when I went looking was action, followed by silly things like sounds and polyphony - but that was before I could spell "VST" and thought such things mattered. smile Anyway I am not intending to be an evangelist for the CA series nor Kawai, but, just relaying my experience and maybe urge a second look at the CA79 from a playability and action standpoint. From a price and form factor standpoint, it may indeed not meet your needs.
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/07/20 07:07 PM
Originally Posted by kimby
Originally Posted by David Lai
Interesting info, and good for you! However, the CA79 will not work for me because of two things: a touch screen interface with a lot of features I may not need, including internal sounds, and a cabinet that takes a lot of space in my bedroom.

Hi David Lai! I read your post and thought "oh yes, true about the touchscreen"... but then I thought about my own setup. I have a CA79, and I use a VST full time. So whether you power it up (via a physical button) each day or leave it on continuously, it will use the VST if set to for MIDI only. That eliminates the need for using the touchscreen - and indeed I only ever use it for the metronome (and I'm sure you have other means for that function). I pipe the sound back through the CA79 line-in, but I think you have your own fantastic audio setup for listening. smile

The cabinet/form factor issue, however, could certainly be a deal breaker for your needs.

And I understand about perhaps paying for features you don't need, like the built-in sounds and the rendering engine.

I am only replying here because the action is, to me, so very good, and is the most recent action from Kawai. It has a flat top (with the music stand folded down) and can support additional items you may need to put on top. The cabinet is also not deep at all and is what I would consider a "space-saving design."

My biggest criteria when I went looking was action, followed by silly things like sounds and polyphony - but that was before I could spell "VST" and thought such things mattered. smile Anyway I am not intending to be an evangelist for the CA series nor Kawai, but, just relaying my experience and maybe urge a second look at the CA79 from a playability and action standpoint. From a price and form factor standpoint, it may indeed not meet your needs.

Thanks for your message! Yes, CA 79 has the most recent action from Kawai, that's for sure. Do you think it feels more like an upright or a grand piano?
And yes, cabinets do seem to be a deal breaker for me. I once used a piano with a cabinet, when the SL88 was out for repairs. And I find that my space just got a little smaller... So from that standpoint, it may not be for me.
Gosh, if the pandemic were over and I could go to some place and try out keyboards easily without all the cleaning and masking and preparation!!!
Posted By: kimby Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/07/20 07:22 PM
Originally Posted by David Lai
Do you think it feels more like an upright or a grand piano?

To me, it feels like a grand piano. However, it's been a long time since I sat at one, so my opinion may not be the best. Thanks to the pandemic, I also could not go and try these for myself - but I took the word of forum members and YouTube reviewers, and I was not disappointed. smile

Originally Posted by David Lai
And yes, cabinets do seem to be a deal breaker for me. I once used a piano with a cabinet, when the SL88 was out for repairs. And I find that my space just got a little smaller.

The cabinet is quite small. My very poor estimate would be that you'd lose probably 3 to 4 inches of horizontal space if moving to these Kawai cabinets from a setup where the SL88 is on a stand. Maybe others reading this thread can correct this figure or give something more realistic.

Originally Posted by David Lai
Gosh, if the pandemic were over and I could go to some place and try out keyboards easily without all the cleaning and masking and preparation!!!

I am with you on this!! Heck going anywhere would be nice! smile

You are such a wonderful and professional-level pianist that I would want you to have the best action that a DP in this range can provide! I believe the GFIII action probably fits that description. Of course there is also the high end, but, space and budget constraints forbid that for me right now, and perhaps for you as well at the moment. Until the pandemic is over and you begin a world tour to sold-out arenas!
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/07/20 08:43 PM
Originally Posted by kimby
Originally Posted by David Lai
Do you think it feels more like an upright or a grand piano?

To me, it feels like a grand piano. However, it's been a long time since I sat at one, so my opinion may not be the best. Thanks to the pandemic, I also could not go and try these for myself - but I took the word of forum members and YouTube reviewers, and I was not disappointed. smile

Originally Posted by David Lai
And yes, cabinets do seem to be a deal breaker for me. I once used a piano with a cabinet, when the SL88 was out for repairs. And I find that my space just got a little smaller.

The cabinet is quite small. My very poor estimate would be that you'd lose probably 3 to 4 inches of horizontal space if moving to these Kawai cabinets from a setup where the SL88 is on a stand. Maybe others reading this thread can correct this figure or give something more realistic.

Originally Posted by David Lai
Gosh, if the pandemic were over and I could go to some place and try out keyboards easily without all the cleaning and masking and preparation!!!

I am with you on this!! Heck going anywhere would be nice! smile

You are such a wonderful and professional-level pianist that I would want you to have the best action that a DP in this range can provide! I believe the GFIII action probably fits that description. Of course there is also the high end, but, space and budget constraints forbid that for me right now, and perhaps for you as well at the moment. Until the pandemic is over and you begin a world tour to sold-out arenas!

Aw, thank you for your gracious words, kimby!!!
I'll talk with my Sweetwater sales engineer about all this. He told me that he will ask his colleagues that play professionally and get back to me on this. Since we hunted down my FocusRite 4I4 successfully, I'm sure we can figure something out with the keyboard! I was just not expecting that my need for an upgrade came so soon, and at the wrong time... frown
Posted By: MartF Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/07/20 11:19 PM
If it helps, I don't think you'd really be paying for the features you don't use. I wouldn't be surprised if for every VPC1 sold Kawai sell 10 MP models and a 100 CA models. The higher sales volume and the fact that they operate in a competitive market brings the price down. Where as the VPC1 pretty much lives in it's own market and I expect, costs more to manufacture per item sold.

That said, the VPC1 is priced lower, and the top of the CA79 would be a bit high for putting other controllers on top.

Just wondering, have you found a separate controller solution? You mentioned liking the 3 joysticks on the SL-88, but joysticks seem to be a rare thing on standalone controllers.
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/07/20 11:40 PM
Originally Posted by MartF
If it helps, I don't think you'd really be paying for the features you don't use. I wouldn't be surprised if for every VPC1 sold Kawai sell 10 MP models and a 100 CA models. The higher sales volume and the fact that they operate in a competitive market brings the price down. Where as the VPC1 pretty much lives in it's own market and I expect, costs more to manufacture per item sold.

That said, the VPC1 is priced lower, and the top of the CA79 would be a bit high for putting other controllers on top.

Just wondering, have you found a separate controller solution? You mentioned liking the 3 joysticks on the SL-88, but joysticks seem to be a rare thing on standalone controllers.

Well, after talking with my sales engineer yesterday regarding initial plans, we decided to look for the best key action first. The extra controls can be achieved in its own time, maybe with a second layered stand or something. I think it's better to take it one thing at a time. smile
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/08/20 01:25 PM
Hi friends!
So I just took a look at the Sweetwater website for the products they carry.
Out of the 16 midi controllers that have 88 keys, the Kawai VPC1 is the only one that I would consider an "upgrade" that might solve my problems. The others are either fatar action keybeds, or Roland's FA4 action, which from what I heard from some of you, can be found on a digital piano that's half the price of the midi controller.
Of the other options that might result in an overkill, there's the Kawai NV10, the Yamaha N1x and the Kawai MP11SE. All 3 have their positives and negatives, and I won't consider them if the VPC1 fits my expectations.
Hopefully, this has narrowed down my search and all that's linked with it!
Posted By: PianoMan51 Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/08/20 02:15 PM
Hello David.

I have the older version MP11. When using it to drive VSTs I can tell you that the most important setting (perhaps the only setting) that is crucial is the ‘touch’ setting. There is a dedicated knob for this, so that’s good, but without the a ability to read the LCD screen I don’t know how anyone would know what setting you’re on other than trial and error.

On this forum and others we have a great friend Kawai James who works for Kawai but also acts as an independent agent. Perhaps you might ask him for guidance on the VPC-1 or other Kawai keyboards with respect to accessibility issues.

Jack
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/08/20 02:42 PM
Originally Posted by PianoMan51
Hello David.

I have the older version MP11. When using it to drive VSTs I can tell you that the most important setting (perhaps the only setting) that is crucial is the ‘touch’ setting. There is a dedicated knob for this, so that’s good, but without the a ability to read the LCD screen I don’t know how anyone would know what setting you’re on other than trial and error.

On this forum and others we have a great friend Kawai James who works for Kawai but also acts as an independent agent. Perhaps you might ask him for guidance on the VPC-1 or other Kawai keyboards with respect to accessibility issues.

Jack

You make a good point, Jack! Now with the SL88Grand, if I want to set the velocity curve, I just remember how many times I press a certain key, and I know that I hit a virtual boundary on a given setting, ETC. It can be done, though it does require work! smile I'll message James and ask him for help too. Thanks! smile
Posted By: EB5AGV Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/08/20 03:19 PM
The VPC1 has 5 settings for velocity which are easily selectable by pressing same time the power button and one of the higher octave black keys. Selecting exactly which curve is each is done with a PC software, but the unit remembers those settings
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/08/20 05:02 PM
Originally Posted by EB5AGV
The VPC1 has 5 settings for velocity which are easily selectable by pressing same time the power button and one of the higher octave black keys. Selecting exactly which curve is each is done with a PC software, but the unit remembers those settings

Now that's much more easier to do!!! And I can definitely see myself doing it if need be. Thanks for letting me know! smile
I wished, though, that it had a volume slider that could send midi volume messages so I can freely adjust how loud or soft I want the output volume to be. smile
Posted By: MartF Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/09/20 02:52 AM
Originally Posted by djvu10
No manufacturer is going to discuss a new model until they're ready to launch it.
Small comment, but note it isn't always like this and it's starting to feel old-fashioned. See e.g. IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, Drop.
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/09/20 03:04 AM
Originally Posted by MartF
Originally Posted by djvu10
No manufacturer is going to discuss a new model until they're ready to launch it.
Small comment, but note it isn't always like this and it's starting to feel old-fashioned. See e.g. IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, Drop.

You do have a point there. smile I'm now seriously considering if the VPC1 is the right one for me... On paper it should meet all my desires for a piano style midi controller without built in sounds.
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/10/20 06:28 PM
Hi friends! So I just connected with my Sweetwater sales engineer, and we’ve narrowed it down to either the VPC1 or the MP11SE. These are the products that they carry, and he believes that these will be within my significant price range, in other words the money that I’m willing to pay. However, new shipments will not arrive until probably next month. That time is very tight, as one of my recitals is next month. and I also was hoping to make some recording‘s and such and such. So time is everything at this moment. Should I just stick to my controller for now, and wait for an upgrade some other time? But I really feel like I needed the extra few inches on the black keys, so that I know and have a better sense of my positions and muscle memory. Should I change sellers? Knowing that none of these instruments I have demoed, I don’t know how they feel like. This is a very complicated issue right now. What should I do?
Posted By: Harpuia Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/10/20 07:15 PM
Hmm so does the seller give you a chance to try the VPC1 or the MP11SE?
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/10/20 07:23 PM
Originally Posted by Harpuia
Hmm so does the seller give you a chance to try the VPC1 or the MP11SE?

No, they don't have demo units in their location. The only possible thing to do is to wait till next month and then things can be done about trying... Which if I do, it would be kind of tight.
Posted By: newer player Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/10/20 07:33 PM
vpc is not generally stocked at retailers. I did try a used model in a big NYC store once.

It shares some DNA with the MP11 for sure. If you use VIs exclusively, the vpc is much less expensive.
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/10/20 08:26 PM
Originally Posted by newer player
vpc is not generally stocked at retailers. I did try a used model in a big NYC store once.

It shares some DNA with the MP11 for sure. If you use VIs exclusively, the vpc is much less expensive.

Yes, I exclusively use VI's, so those with built in sounds will not help me very much. smile
Posted By: CoogerTown Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/10/20 09:15 PM
I wouldn’t hesitate to buy vpc1. I had a vpc1 and upgraded to the grantouch which has almost same action as avant grand. The difference isn’t that great but the avant grand is better but not by much. I then traded my gran touch for an grand piano. I sold my vpc1 because I thought i wouldn’t use it. Now I am going to buy vpc1 again because I can’t practice at night. Do not hesitate to go for this model. Yes it is a little hard to play at the end of the keys close to fallboard but only at the extreme. Otherwise not a problem. I don’t even notice it. I play classical.
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/10/20 09:25 PM
Originally Posted by CoogerTown
I wouldn’t hesitate to buy vpc1. I had a vpc1 and upgraded to the grantouch which has almost same action as avant grand. The difference isn’t that great but the avant grand is better but not by much. I then traded my gran touch for an grand piano. I sold my vpc1 because I thought i wouldn’t use it. Now I am going to buy vpc1 again because I can’t practice at night. Do not hesitate to go for this model. Yes it is a little hard to play at the end of the keys close to fallboard but only at the extreme. Otherwise not a problem. I don’t even notice it. I play classical.

Oh, I play classical, too. I really wished I had the confidence like you, but it's more than $1000! I think it would be better for me if I tried something before buying it? I don't know, but I just can't bet on it -- it's too much to bet. smile And if I lose, then it could be $1000 down the drain.
Posted By: Harpuia Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/11/20 12:10 AM
Do you have any chance to get access to an acoustic grand piano before your recital?
Posted By: MartF Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/11/20 12:41 AM
I was in a similar position (well, except my playing skills are about zero), and so went with renting. It is costly, as the minimum period (where I am) is 6 months, but it's worked well for me as it's taken me about that long to decide whether I like it. There's usually the option to buy for a reasonable price. I don't know what's in your area, but renting a VPC1 might make sense if you can.
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/11/20 12:48 AM
Originally Posted by Harpuia
Do you have any chance to get access to an acoustic grand piano before your recital?

Yes, at my campus. But I would avoid going there because of COVID, and also, my mom who needs to take me there is quite nervous about these things. I will only go for rehearsals and the actual recital, at least I'll try doing that. Plus, I want to give the practice rooms to those who either don't have an instrument, or must take advantage of an acoustic grand. I think the ACD and VSL Steinway, ETC, are far far better alternatives than the out-of-tune Steinways we have in our practice rooms, lol.
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/11/20 12:49 AM
Originally Posted by MartF
I was in a similar position (well, except my playing skills are about zero), and so went with renting. It is costly, as the minimum period (where I am) is 6 months, but it's worked well for me as it's taken me about that long to decide whether I like it. There's usually the option to buy for a reasonable price. I don't know what's in your area, but renting a VPC1 might make sense if you can.

I don't believe there are services like this in Cincinnati, though. That's where I am. It also shows up in my posts. smile
Posted By: MartF Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/11/20 01:09 AM
Sorry, I live on the other side of the world, and have no idea what stores you have available blush smile
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/11/20 02:00 AM
Originally Posted by MartF
Sorry, I live on the other side of the world, and have no idea what stores you have available blush smile

That's OK, thanks for sharing though! smile I'll rehearse with a violinist next week on a real instrument and I'll weigh if I really need the extra inches badly or I can wait a month. smile
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/19/20 02:42 AM
Hi friends! Today I had a chamber music rehearsal at school, on one of the acoustic pianos there. And a couple of inches of width on the black keys does make a huge difference in how I navigate on the keys!
So, question, shall I pick up the VPC1 or the MP11SE? Which has a better action? Many forum comments and reviews I've read favor the VPC1, but not being able to sample either instruments is making the deciding process very difficult.
Can we have an ultimate word of decision on this issue soon, or shall this indecision period continue? I don't know... But I do know that my SL-88Grand is going to have to go sometime soon...
Posted By: kimby Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/19/20 04:19 PM
Originally Posted by David Lai
So, question, shall I pick up the VPC1 or the MP11SE? Which has a better action?

So I suppose the question boils down to the "Grand Feel" (GFI) action of the MP11SE or the "RM3 Grand II" action of the VPC1.

Is there a unicorn on this forum, reading this thread, who maybe has tried both of these and can give any input?

The GFI/GF1 action shows to be in several past instruments, while the RM3II seems to unique to the VPC1.

As I mentioned earlier, I am completely biased toward the GFIII/GF3, which is in the newer CA-series console pianos. I have tried to persuade our friend and resident virtuoso David Lai toward my position but with no luck. smile (The form factor and extra cost doesn't seem to fit the use case there, unfortunately).

If we've narrowed down to GF1 (MP11SE) or RM3II (VPC1), which would you choose, PianoWorld?
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/19/20 05:30 PM
Originally Posted by kimby
Originally Posted by David Lai
So, question, shall I pick up the VPC1 or the MP11SE? Which has a better action?

So I suppose the question boils down to the "Grand Feel" (GFI) action of the MP11SE or the "RM3 Grand II" action of the VPC1.

Is there a unicorn on this forum, reading this thread, who maybe has tried both of these and can give any input?

The GFI/GF1 action shows to be in several past instruments, while the RM3II seems to unique to the VPC1.

As I mentioned earlier, I am completely biased toward the GFIII/GF3, which is in the newer CA-series console pianos. I have tried to persuade our friend and resident virtuoso David Lai toward my position but with no luck. smile (The form factor and extra cost doesn't seem to fit the use case there, unfortunately).

If we've narrowed down to GF1 (MP11SE) or RM3II (VPC1), which would you choose, PianoWorld?

Haha, great words there! smile
The reason why I decided to forego the CA79 / 99 is because Sweetwater, the nearest dealer I know, doesn't carry them. They do carry CA 49 or something, as far as I know. The only Kawai instruments they carry that has good actions on paper are the MP11SE and the VPC1. I live in Cincinnati, so it's a 3-hour drive to Sweetwater if I want to test the two instruments back to back. They are all on back order now, so we have to wait...
Posted By: kimby Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/19/20 06:02 PM
grin

Originally Posted by David Lai
The reason why I decided to forego the CA79 / 99 is because Sweetwater, the nearest dealer I know, doesn't carry them. ... I live in Cincinnati, so it's a 3-hour drive to Sweetwater if I want to test the two instruments back to back.

I am sure this came up already, but, are there no showrooms closer by (or the same distance) that might have a CA79 / 99 and either an MP11SE or VPC1?

I noticed that many of the large "catalog" vendors don't carry a lot of the CA series, but do have many of the slab pianos and it seemed odd to me.

For me it is academic, and for you it is obviously relevant, but, I am still curious about peoples' anecdotal comparisons of the GF1 and RM3II actions. Although I confess I have not looked on YouTube or done a lot of searching to see what others' experiences have been between those. When I started my search, it was at the beginning of the pandemic, so hands-on research (just as now) was not an option.

You probably can not go wrong with either one. VPC1 owners seem to love their VPC1s, and MP11SE owners seem to love their MP11SEs; both seem to be highly respected.

The difference seems to be the GF1 uses wooden keys and pivot action (forgive my technical inaccuracy there), whereas the RM3 seems to be a plastic folded action..? (Which I'm sure helps with the weight and size of the stage-oriented MP11SE).
Posted By: 9190 Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/19/20 07:30 PM
Originally Posted by kimby
The difference seems to be the GF1 uses wooden keys and pivot action (forgive my technical inaccuracy there), whereas the RM3 seems to be a plastic folded action..?

Wrong
Posted By: kimby Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/19/20 08:39 PM
Thanks, 9190! I stand corrected! I'm not sure how I missed it. I was looking at the RHIII (Responsive Hammer Action 3), which is a plastic folded action. This is NOT what the VPC1 has.

So, in summary:
VPC1 = RM3II, which is a wooden key.
MP11SE = GF1, which is a wooden key.

In the YouTube review by PianoManChuck, he seems to recommend a slight preference for the GF1 (MP11SE) because - wait for it - LONGER PIVOTS! smile According to Kawai's actions page (which seems to be outdated), the RM3II action of the VPC1 is an earlier version of the GF1 action of the MP11SE.

So his recommendation between these two seems to be the MP11SE based on the action.
Posted By: 9190 Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/19/20 09:06 PM
Originally Posted by kimby
So his recommendation between these two seems to be the MP11SE based on the action.

Rather his slight preference for GF.
Posted By: Harpuia Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/19/20 09:36 PM
From the action point of view, the only difference is the pivot point. Then it comes to another question, is the action the only thing you care about, and are the extra inches of key length worth the extra prices? Or are there other aspects that you care about other than the action?
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/19/20 10:59 PM
Originally Posted by Harpuia
From the action point of view, the only difference is the pivot point. Then it comes to another question, is the action the only thing you care about, and are the extra inches of key length worth the extra prices? Or are there other aspects that you care about other than the action?
Well, I don't care about the key length (from the outside to the inside), but the width, especially that on a black key (from one side of the black key to the other). I find that on the SL88Grand, this is narrower compared to an acoustic grand piano. So I guess these 2 actions are similar at the end of the day, only VPC1 is heavier?
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/19/20 11:45 PM
After listening to some videos by PianoManChuck, I feel that perhaps, with an over all consideration (action, price, flexibility, ETC), perhaps I may go to the VPC1 club when my time comes! I will need to buy an extra midi controller though, but that should be easier and maybe cheaper than an MP11SE. All reviews and blog posts I've read so far favor the VPC1.
Posted By: MartF Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/20/20 12:39 AM
Yes, the VPC1 seems to be the winner for you David.

I was just thinking, it seems a few of us go through the same process of researching a new piano, first looking at features and listening to demos. Then we try them and find the action we prefer isn't on the model we want. We end up buying based on action, and get whatever features/price/form-factor we can put up with. In my case, the MODX seemed to have everything I wanted, but I don't like the action thus ditched the idea. This is one of the things I like about electric guitars, it's quite feasible to mix and match whatever parts I like. It would be interesting if one of the DP manufactures tried a more community driven project, like Indiegogo/Drop.
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/20/20 12:49 AM
Originally Posted by MartF
Yes, the VPC1 seems to be the winner for you David.

I was just thinking, it seems a few of us go through the same process of researching a new piano, first looking at features and listening to demos. Then we try them and find the action we prefer isn't on the model we want. We end up buying based on action, and get whatever features/price/form-factor we can put up with. In my case, the MODX seemed to have everything I wanted, but I don't like the action thus ditched the idea. This is one of the things I like about electric guitars, it's quite feasible to mix and match whatever parts I like. It would be interesting if one of the DP manufactures tried a more community driven project, like Indiegogo/Drop.

Interesting. Like picking your favourite keyboard, action and form factor? That would be fun! smile
Yes, on paper, the VPC1 would be the most fitting for my over all needs. I hope one day I can try this so that all my questions would be answered.
Posted By: Pedro Ruiz Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/20/20 12:57 AM
I´ve researched a little, and some fellow pianists I know have experimented a little both actions, and they said to me that the GF action of the MP11 feels light (same problem for the PHA-50 of the Roland RD-800). On the contrary, the VPC1 is considered sustantially heavier.

Hope it helps

BEST REGARDS
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/20/20 01:54 AM
Well, this is good to know. As I said, I generally prefer a heavier action. Let's see when I can test this under my fingers how they like the keys on the VPC1. smile
Posted By: johnstaf Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/20/20 02:19 AM
I'd choose the MP11SE over the VPC-1, which has an action I don't like.
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/20/20 02:44 AM
Originally Posted by johnstaf
I'd choose the MP11SE over the VPC-1, which has an action I don't like.

Ah, so you prefer a lighter action, interesting to know. I'll report back when I've tested them out / made my decision fully or whatever, though right now it's favoring the VPC1.
Posted By: Harpuia Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/20/20 06:48 AM
What I mentioned about key length usually affects the weight when you play near the fall board. For example, when playing a B Flat Major chord, the finger has to be near the fall board. I think the key length of VPC1 is close to an upright, and that of MP11 is close to a baby grand. So if you don't find that is an issue when you play the upright, it should not matter too much.

The other thing to keep in mind is that the weight of MP11 much heavier than VPC1 so it's not really easy to lift the keyboard by one person only.
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/20/20 09:55 AM
Originally Posted by Harpuia
What I mentioned about key length usually affects the weight when you play near the fall board. For example, when playing a B Flat Major chord, the finger has to be near the fall board. I think the key length of VPC1 is close to an upright, and that of MP11 is close to a baby grand. So if you don't find that is an issue when you play the upright, it should not matter too much.

Oh, then I do have to think again. smile Like I said, I've been reading all kinds of reviews and comments but I'm still hoping for a side by side test. So once I do that, I'm pretty sure of what to get! smile
Posted By: EB5AGV Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/20/20 11:39 AM
Originally Posted by David Lai
Oh, then I do have to think again. smile Like I said, I've been reading all kinds of reviews and comments but I'm still hoping for a side by side test. So once I do that, I'm pretty sure of what to get! smile

Of course, the only good test is that you check them and compare by yourself. But, to add some more spice to this thread, I bought my VPC1 used, and the seller was a ex-concert pianist. He had a Grand at home along the VPC1 and demoed the VPC1 to me with some different style pieces, using Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D. It sounded plainly gorgeus! (so now I know for sure that the controller along good VSTs is capable of produce wonderful piano sounds and it is the player who is lacking)
Posted By: EnoughBS Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/20/20 11:59 AM
Originally Posted by David Lai
Originally Posted by Harpuia
What I mentioned about key length usually affects the weight when you play near the fall board. For example, when playing a B Flat Major chord, the finger has to be near the fall board. I think the key length of VPC1 is close to an upright, and that of MP11 is close to a baby grand. So if you don't find that is an issue when you play the upright, it should not matter too much.

Oh, then I do have to think again. smile Like I said, I've been reading all kinds of reviews and comments but I'm still hoping for a side by side test. So once I do that, I'm pretty sure of what to get! smile

Maybe this will help you. Some various quotes from people who prefer the VPC1 over the MP11, RM3 vs GF and so forth:

----


Maybe GF3 is the better action. Again I was in a piano store last week. For me all the other actions (GF1,2) or the Yamaha, Rolands slabs didn´t have the action I would want in a VPC2. So I am looking for the new GF3 in some weeks. So far I am pleased with the VPC1


----


...ok so I couldn't get a damn VPC-1 & MP11SE to play anywhere in los angeles.. wtf? So I had to buy them both!

I'm a pianist but not a virtuoso, but it took one play to determine that IMO the VPC-1 kicks the MP11SE's ass. I don't give a damn that the MP11 keybed is newer, or that the keystick is longer..

1) The VCP-1 plays more like a typical acoustic grand.
2) The MP11SE touch is too light & spongy.
3) The VPC-1 is not harder to play up the key than the MP11SE. I know the key stick is longer & the pivot point is more towards the back of the key like an acoustic grand, but by the same token the pivot point versus the hammer/back of the key is a significantly shorter ratio. At the end of the day IMO the GF is not better or more realistic than the RM3
4) I prefer the finish on the black keys of the VPC-1.
5) The VPC-1 has custom velocity settings (per key).
6) I also played the CA78 (GFII) in store for about half an hour and still prefer the RM3 action.

I only use the stage piano for piano VST's for classical & contemporary piano. I have tons of other synths for everything else. For reference my previous stage piano is a Roland RD-700GX, which I found excellent but sluggish on rebound and hard to play trills.


----


At least for me GF felt so light that if something is even lighter, it'd be like caressing a cat.


----


In my opinion (I've played the RM3/2 and the GF actions) Kawai did not get it right with the GF. It seems as if they simply used a longer key/pivot point but did not consider other aspects related to these changes; therefore, the action feels unrealistically light and bouncy.

(I think the right ratio between the 2 parts (front and behind) the pivot point is more important as a long pivot on the key side. The part behind the pivot makes the up -SWING. Only with weights you do not have a right swing. The ratio on the RM3Grand II is more balanced than the GF1/2 . Thats what I can feel under my fingers. The ideal would be the longer pivot of the GF with the ratio of the RM3Grand II. So the key of the GF has to be much longer at the part behind the pivot.)

(Yes your graphic is right. The VPC is more heavy than all the GF Pianos. But as I checked out, the Millenium action in the best Kawai models is about the same heaviness as the RM3Grand2 ...

I think the VPC1 would be the right choice for you)


----


I got my VPC1 2 years ago. I love it, it feels like velvet and is very quiet and responsive, it lures me to play it. Some think its on the "heavy" side, and when compared to other DP's it is, but I've owned many pianos in my 7 decades and many of those not only had heavy actions, but sloppy ones too, both acoustic and digital. I've played on very expensive pianos [never owned] and was often jealous of not having the means to acquire one, the VPC for a very reasonable price gives me that option. Is it perfect? Who knows but I will say its the best keyboard this piano lover ever touched, that is his own. BTW I bought mine without having demoed it. I also have an ES8, a Roland F140R, a PC3K8, a PX160 and the new Privia PS1000.


----


Also I found the VPC action much closer to the Millenium 3 of the NV 10 than the lighter GF1 or 2 (in MP11 for ex)...


----


The GF is not a improvement for me. The longer pivot only on the front (and not backside) makes the key very slow in the rebounce. This is an old discussion. The MP11se was a disapiontment for me. I wrote my experience in the "Kawai VPC2 wish list".


----


If that helps I preferred the rd-800 to the MP11, I felt the action more responsive without the vibration on the bottom of the key that I felt on the MP11. If anything it was a bit too light for my taste and purpose (DP is a workhorse, not my main piano) but grand pianos can have a light action too.

I eventually settled on the VPC1 for the reasons outlined before...


----


My main reason for wanting to change is that the MP11's action, though lovely, is lighter than most acoustic baby grands I play outside home and I find the adaption difficult (i.e. I do not have enough time to adapt)


----


I believe I tried the MP11 a few years back and found the response time (when the notes bounces back up) sluggish compared to the Yamaha Action.

I tried a 1 note trill using both hands and the keyboard was very slow to respond. Everything else was fine but I just couldn't use it in my studio because of this.


----


I prefer the action of the VPC over the MP11. The MP11 reacts much too slow (rebound) for me. The VPC is little faster and a bit harder. So for me it feels not as spongy as the MP11. I tried both and bought the VPC.


----


I find the VPC1 actions similar to that of the Schimmel grands. It doesn't happen to me to play toward the root of the key (I stay in the comfort zone at the beginning of the black keys, as I was trained to do as a pianist), so I find the touch absolutely perfect for me. It's not the typical light action of the Yamaha pianos, or even the heavier one on the Steinways, so it might disconcert at first. But then, this weight will let one play with great power.

I have never tried an MP11 with its lighter action, so I can't compare the two.


----


A couple of days ago I spent nearly an hour playing a small K Kawai grand in a practice room and then went straight from that to a CA95 in the same store. I found the CA95 felt too light and easy to play in comparison to the grand. It was a bit of a disappointment. I remember when I had my first lesson there last year on an upright and then trying it afterwards and feeling underwhelmed considering the hype. I also had a feel of the let off on the grand which felt more pronounced compared to the CA95. Maybe that's actually a good thing though.

Something I've noticed from playing a couple of different acoustics is the that the keys have a slightly mushy gloopy feel as I push down (more noticeable when playing softly) and will return as if their coming out of that mush. It feels like I'm pushing down into something. On the CA95 and nearly every other digital I've tried that's not the case. It feels like I'm pressing into an empty space and the key returns in a different way. Slightly faster and more springy.

I went from that store to another and tried out the MP10 (RM3 action) and that immediately felt better to me. More weight to the keys and the only digital that felt a little gloopy like the acoustics I'd tried.


----


"I still didn't understand from the people of this forum, whether it is only lighter toward the back of the keys(which is a very good thing), or is it also lighter on the front of the keys."

Note that it is also lighter on the front of the keys as well. I am also one who prefers a heavier action on pianos. For me, I would say that the GF action on the MP11 is near the "lightweight limit" with which I am comfortable.

What I mean is that I would not want a keyboard that is any lighter than the GF on the MP11. (Or in other words, the GF is about the lightest keyboard that I am comfortable with). I actually like the RM III key weight/feel on the VPC-1 because it is closer to that of my acoustic piano.


----


When it came to Keyboard action, however, I had a reservation about the CA95 (original GF action). The keys seemed to take forever to rebound after playing a note. I conferred with another customer, we both tried some fast repetitions, and agreed that the keys were problematically "soupy", they just don't snap back quickly enough.

The "keys seemed to take forever to rebound after playing a note"-effect mentioned by the OP occured on all CA95/65 I played as well as with the key action model. I believe that it's not just a production quality issue affecting only a few units, it probably has been designed to be this way: Once you release a key, it doesn't immediately snap back to the original position, but wobbles around for a short time. I have not seen this effect on acoustic pianos I have played recently, and not on most other DP's as well. My old Kawai MP9000 doesn't do this either.


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I own both VPC1 and MP11SE. The VPC1 action is definitly heavier and "deeper" than the MP11SE. When switching from VPC1 to MP11SE the perception is very clear. I like practicing on the VPC1 as it will make me feel more confortable to play with any acoustic piano I will find when playing in Jazz clubs or others concert hall. It is better to be prepared for the worst eavier action than the opposite.


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Finally, I can see I am not the only one finding the GF action "too light"
I have a AvantGrand N2, and the inertia you describe is really there and I really like it (for me, the N2 action is even quite light compared to the upright action I take lessons on)
It make you feel the "real" thing behind your key and impact the way you control your playing.
All the AP I have tried behave like that, even the "lighest" one

Now, I am not sure it is mandatory to have such "feeling" to be able to perfectly control your playing.
Perhaps even the opposite: it is more easy to control your playing with an action like the GF action...
But, in my case, I need to practice on something more real/difficult in order to be able to follow my piano course.

Again ,GF action is undoublty a good action, but I don't find it is close to a real piano action..it is good by itself like most of the high end DP action.
Key length is only, only a part of the whole complex mecanism of an AP


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I think people get all caught up on how "old" the action technology is in the VPC1 rather than what it actually offers. I tried the MP11SE recently which is supposed to be an improved action. I found it personally terrible as an acoustic grand substitute. The action was too "mushy/squishy" and way too light to adequately mimic an acoustic grand's action.


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Correct, I have VPC 4 years and only logical step forward from there will be Novus or Avant grand or Acoustic. There is nothing wrong with version 1, in fact I still think it is among the best key actions in the market and paying 1k more for MP11 is ridiculous for me especially if someone playing at home and don`t need internal sounds. But people are different. Anyway, there is no reason to wait.


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The 2 I ended up playing the most were the Kawai VPC1 and MP11. I personally found the VPC1 to have a better action than the MP (I've heard others echo this). The keybed felt more solid, quieter, there was a less recovery bounce in the keys, and the action had some nice speed and heft to it, but it does have the drawback of having nothing on it.


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I find no awkwardness at all playing the VPC1 close to the fall board. I feel as much ease playing fast pieces on the VPC1 as I do on my acoustic grand (RX-2). Honestly, I'm having a hard time understanding what people have issue with in regards to the action. I have/feel no difficulty when playing close to the fallboard. It feels fine to me and it's actually lighter than the millenium 3 action I have in my RX-2 and the SK2 that I'm buying (which feel nearly identical to me).


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VPC1 feels like a piano to me.

There's no problem playing the VPC near the fallboard as far as I'm concerned. It's just not a light action there due to the pivot length, which is not inadequate by any means, merely slightly on the heavier side. I've played much much heavier acoustic pianos.


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I play regularly on my VPC 1 during the work week and a Shigeru Kawai SK2 ( which KawaiDon called me yesterday will be voiced/tuned/regulated by the their best MPA in Japan who does all the world's concert Shigery grands- yay!) and I have no problems with it. It serves its purpose very well and I don't see what an upgrade would do to make it any better without diminishing returns. I practice the entire Busoni D minor Chaconne from beginning to end on it and I don't see it failing in its capabilities.


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Most of all I was shocked by the GF (in MP11se). Yes it is a bit lighter than RM3 in the VPC but the feeling was that I see the keyboard as one of the worst of all pianos I have tried today. It's very spongy and slow in response. No other keyboard has such a long uplift time (the opposite of a brilliant keystroke). In my opinion, the counterweights are simply not optimal. The weight (downweight) of the Millenium action is similar to the RM3, but reacts a bit faster. With the acoustic grand pianos I had rather heavier actions than those of VPC (also a Kawai Grand was much heavier). What really amazed me was the fact that the actual weighting (which I had checked with my weight) and the feel/ touch often diverged completely. All in all, I am very happy with my VPC. It's a very good action, faster and more brilliant than GF and can keep up with all the other DP I tried today.


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What's up with this pivot obsession?


This.

Until quite recently it was never a matter of discussion here. It seems to be the latest fad. Like veganism.

Pivot point is just one tiny part of the overall puzzle. When judged alone it tells you nothing. There's a discussion on the technicians' forum at the moment about a Steinway D lacking sustain. The discourse within that thread from the technicians makes you realise that merely judging isolated factors such as pivot points or static down weights is a totally pointless exercise. And extremely boring in my opinion.

for me the keyaction is much better than the MP series and most other digital pianos/masterkeyboards (yes I checked it out and compared them)


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I much preferred the VPC1 with its heavier action. It felt closer to acoustic grands I am used to playing, with more resistance under the fingers. Also I felt the action to be more responsive and precise on the VPC1 than the MP11, thus favoring greater expression and control (though it may be due to the fact that the MP11 was set on a more wobbly stand).

Furthermore, if piano is all that matters:
- the VPC1 provides a more immerse experience with a sleek design free of buttons and knobs (I know some players do not care but that mattered to me)
- for the difference in price of both one can get a dedicated laptop for VSTs


----


Don't sleep on the Kawai VPC1!

I finally tried everything - I had to buy the MP11SE and VPC1 to try them alongside my old RD-700GX & borrowed RD-2000. For me the VPC1 kills them all - I wish I tried it a long time ago - but you can't find them anywhere in a store.

I kept reading how old the RM3II is, and how the key is shorter and blah blah blah. Well... for me it's the action I've been looking for for years. The RD700GX I've been using since it came out is a bit heavy and slow rebound (hard to trill). The MP11SE shocked me... light & spongy! I also tried the Kawai CA78 and didn't prefer that one either. The RD-2000 didn't seem too much of an improvement to my RD-700GX.. it almost feels like a cost-reduced version of the PHAII.

For me the VPC1 feels like I'm back in music school on a studio grand. I just love it and couldn't be happier.


----
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/20/20 02:05 PM
OK, so the tied of public opinion still points to the VPC1 and its RM3 action. Some nice quotes to read for the day as I still play with the TP40W of the SL88Grand. The shallow way that the keys go down as well as the width of the black keys are crying themselves out more noticingly. I think that indeed, my copy of American Concert D will need a better keyboard to go with it... May this process be done away with as fast as time passes, amen!!!
Posted By: kimby Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/20/20 05:15 PM
Originally Posted by David Lai
I think that indeed, my copy of American Concert D will need a better keyboard to go with it.

LOL David - the VSTi is now demanding a better controller. smile

Originally Posted by David Lai
May this process be done away with as fast as time passes, amen!!!

Amen and amen! The pain and pleasure of researching something new... but mostly pain!!
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/20/20 05:44 PM
Originally Posted by kimby
Amen and amen! The pain and pleasure of researching something new... but mostly pain!!
oh yes! I just checked with my Sweetwater sales engineer, a new VPC1 plus stand plus an external controller with knobs and faders would cost $2140! Wow, that’s a huge price to pay for an upgrade. I have to be very careful with my decisions!
Posted By: Antonym Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/20/20 11:17 PM
Hi David, since you are favoring the VPC1 and need an instrument within the next month or so, I just wanted to let you know the ETA provided by Sweetwater isn't exactly true. I have been in contact with them for the MP11SE for the past 6 months and have been on their waitlist. Each month that it's supposedly coming, they delay the time frame by another month again. So please don't take their word for any ETAs!
Posted By: Harpuia Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/21/20 02:25 AM
That ETA is absurdly long! Is this only the case after COVID or it is always like that?
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/21/20 02:42 AM
Originally Posted by Antonym
Hi David, since you are favoring the VPC1 and need an instrument within the next month or so, I just wanted to let you know the ETA provided by Sweetwater isn't exactly true. I have been in contact with them for the MP11SE for the past 6 months and have been on their waitlist. Each month that it's supposedly coming, they delay the time frame by another month again. So please don't take their word for any ETAs!

Really? I just checked this morning and my engineer says it would be a week or two of waiting still. Currently I'm trying to contact someone to take me there to try this if possible. And if an MP11SE is near by, I'll test it out to compare. But so far the tied of public opinion is streaming towards the VPC1, which is helping me make a decision. But it's a lot of money, so I have to be careful! smile I think with COVID, everything can be unstable, so gotta give them time! I've asked other places and we are looking at late November or something... smile
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/27/20 04:57 PM
Hi friends!
September seems to fly by! With a few more days till October, I checked with Sweetwater and they told me that the VPC1 is confident to arrive on the very next shipment early October, as early as this coming Friday. However they are not sure of the MP11SE and its arrival, could be this coming shipment, but this might change again at the final minute...
So it looks like I don't have to go to Indiana if there's only the VPC1 present, and with my current keyboard stand it would fit. Should I just end up getting a VPC1 without trying it? Would any of you recommend me taking a chance to bet for it?
Thanks!
David
Posted By: EB5AGV Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/27/20 05:05 PM
Hi David, that is so personal that I am afraid we can't just tell you "go for it!". My experience is that I bought the VPC1 based on the good coments here and elsewhere, but I am just a beginner so had no way to seriously judge for myself accurately. I own a Yamaha U3H since 2/2020 and had played some DPs over the two and a half years I am playing, but still consider myself as a full-blown beginner grin

Mine was a used unit but I was able to test it the day I bought it and seemed to me as a wonderful keyboard, which later has proved right.

Good luck with your decission!
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 09/27/20 05:28 PM
Originally Posted by EB5AGV
Hi David, that is so personal that I am afraid we can't just tell you "go for it!". My experience is that I bought the VPC1 based on the good coments here and elsewhere, but I am just a beginner so had no way to seriously judge for myself accurately. I own a Yamaha U3H since 2/2020 and had played some DPs over the two and a half years I am playing, but still consider myself as a full-blown beginner grin

Mine was a used unit but I was able to test it the day I bought it and seemed to me as a wonderful keyboard, which later has proved right.

Good luck with your decission!

Yes, I watched a video on YouTube a few days ago talking about the VPC1 vs MP11, and the man’s comment was that if it were for action alone, he would consider the former, but the latter has built-in sounds which he enjoys. If I’m going by what I read over here and his words, I should be betting on the VPC1. But I’m still undecided on either, as both have claimed to be having great actions. So we’ll see when things continue to play out over next month.
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 10/03/20 04:19 PM
Took the plunge and bought the VPC1 from Musician's Friend, just got a notice that it's shipped and is scheduled to be arriving next Tuesday. I have 45 days to figure out if it's justifying as an upgrade... We shall see! smile
Posted By: EB5AGV Re: My next midi keyboard? - 10/03/20 04:44 PM
Originally Posted by David Lai
Took the plunge and bought the VPC1 from Musician's Friend, just got a notice that it's shipped and is scheduled to be arriving next Tuesday. I have 45 days to figure out if it's justifying as an upgrade... We shall see! smile

Great news, congratulations!. I hope you find it to be good for you. Please, keep us informed
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 10/03/20 05:26 PM
Originally Posted by EB5AGV
Originally Posted by David Lai
Took the plunge and bought the VPC1 from Musician's Friend, just got a notice that it's shipped and is scheduled to be arriving next Tuesday. I have 45 days to figure out if it's justifying as an upgrade... We shall see! smile

Great news, congratulations!. I hope you find it to be good for you. Please, keep us informed

Yes, I will keep you posted!!! smile
Posted By: Abdol Re: My next midi keyboard? - 10/03/20 06:35 PM
Originally Posted by EnoughBS
Originally Posted by David Lai
Originally Posted by Harpuia
What I mentioned about key length usually affects the weight when you play near the fall board. For example, when playing a B Flat Major chord, the finger has to be near the fall board. I think the key length of VPC1 is close to an upright, and that of MP11 is close to a baby grand. So if you don't find that is an issue when you play the upright, it should not matter too much.

Oh, then I do have to think again. smile Like I said, I've been reading all kinds of reviews and comments but I'm still hoping for a side by side test. So once I do that, I'm pretty sure of what to get! smile

Maybe this will help you. Some various quotes from people who prefer the VPC1 over the MP11, RM3 vs GF and so forth:

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Maybe GF3 is the better action. Again I was in a piano store last week. For me all the other actions (GF1,2) or the Yamaha, Rolands slabs didn´t have the action I would want in a VPC2. So I am looking for the new GF3 in some weeks. So far I am pleased with the VPC1


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...ok so I couldn't get a damn VPC-1 & MP11SE to play anywhere in los angeles.. wtf? So I had to buy them both!

I'm a pianist but not a virtuoso, but it took one play to determine that IMO the VPC-1 kicks the MP11SE's ass. I don't give a damn that the MP11 keybed is newer, or that the keystick is longer..

1) The VCP-1 plays more like a typical acoustic grand.
2) The MP11SE touch is too light & spongy.
3) The VPC-1 is not harder to play up the key than the MP11SE. I know the key stick is longer & the pivot point is more towards the back of the key like an acoustic grand, but by the same token the pivot point versus the hammer/back of the key is a significantly shorter ratio. At the end of the day IMO the GF is not better or more realistic than the RM3
4) I prefer the finish on the black keys of the VPC-1.
5) The VPC-1 has custom velocity settings (per key).
6) I also played the CA78 (GFII) in store for about half an hour and still prefer the RM3 action.

I only use the stage piano for piano VST's for classical & contemporary piano. I have tons of other synths for everything else. For reference my previous stage piano is a Roland RD-700GX, which I found excellent but sluggish on rebound and hard to play trills.


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At least for me GF felt so light that if something is even lighter, it'd be like caressing a cat.


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In my opinion (I've played the RM3/2 and the GF actions) Kawai did not get it right with the GF. It seems as if they simply used a longer key/pivot point but did not consider other aspects related to these changes; therefore, the action feels unrealistically light and bouncy.

(I think the right ratio between the 2 parts (front and behind) the pivot point is more important as a long pivot on the key side. The part behind the pivot makes the up -SWING. Only with weights you do not have a right swing. The ratio on the RM3Grand II is more balanced than the GF1/2 . Thats what I can feel under my fingers. The ideal would be the longer pivot of the GF with the ratio of the RM3Grand II. So the key of the GF has to be much longer at the part behind the pivot.)

(Yes your graphic is right. The VPC is more heavy than all the GF Pianos. But as I checked out, the Millenium action in the best Kawai models is about the same heaviness as the RM3Grand2 ...

I think the VPC1 would be the right choice for you)


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I got my VPC1 2 years ago. I love it, it feels like velvet and is very quiet and responsive, it lures me to play it. Some think its on the "heavy" side, and when compared to other DP's it is, but I've owned many pianos in my 7 decades and many of those not only had heavy actions, but sloppy ones too, both acoustic and digital. I've played on very expensive pianos [never owned] and was often jealous of not having the means to acquire one, the VPC for a very reasonable price gives me that option. Is it perfect? Who knows but I will say its the best keyboard this piano lover ever touched, that is his own. BTW I bought mine without having demoed it. I also have an ES8, a Roland F140R, a PC3K8, a PX160 and the new Privia PS1000.


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Also I found the VPC action much closer to the Millenium 3 of the NV 10 than the lighter GF1 or 2 (in MP11 for ex)...


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The GF is not a improvement for me. The longer pivot only on the front (and not backside) makes the key very slow in the rebounce. This is an old discussion. The MP11se was a disapiontment for me. I wrote my experience in the "Kawai VPC2 wish list".


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If that helps I preferred the rd-800 to the MP11, I felt the action more responsive without the vibration on the bottom of the key that I felt on the MP11. If anything it was a bit too light for my taste and purpose (DP is a workhorse, not my main piano) but grand pianos can have a light action too.

I eventually settled on the VPC1 for the reasons outlined before...


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My main reason for wanting to change is that the MP11's action, though lovely, is lighter than most acoustic baby grands I play outside home and I find the adaption difficult (i.e. I do not have enough time to adapt)


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I believe I tried the MP11 a few years back and found the response time (when the notes bounces back up) sluggish compared to the Yamaha Action.

I tried a 1 note trill using both hands and the keyboard was very slow to respond. Everything else was fine but I just couldn't use it in my studio because of this.


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I prefer the action of the VPC over the MP11. The MP11 reacts much too slow (rebound) for me. The VPC is little faster and a bit harder. So for me it feels not as spongy as the MP11. I tried both and bought the VPC.


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I find the VPC1 actions similar to that of the Schimmel grands. It doesn't happen to me to play toward the root of the key (I stay in the comfort zone at the beginning of the black keys, as I was trained to do as a pianist), so I find the touch absolutely perfect for me. It's not the typical light action of the Yamaha pianos, or even the heavier one on the Steinways, so it might disconcert at first. But then, this weight will let one play with great power.

I have never tried an MP11 with its lighter action, so I can't compare the two.


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A couple of days ago I spent nearly an hour playing a small K Kawai grand in a practice room and then went straight from that to a CA95 in the same store. I found the CA95 felt too light and easy to play in comparison to the grand. It was a bit of a disappointment. I remember when I had my first lesson there last year on an upright and then trying it afterwards and feeling underwhelmed considering the hype. I also had a feel of the let off on the grand which felt more pronounced compared to the CA95. Maybe that's actually a good thing though.

Something I've noticed from playing a couple of different acoustics is the that the keys have a slightly mushy gloopy feel as I push down (more noticeable when playing softly) and will return as if their coming out of that mush. It feels like I'm pushing down into something. On the CA95 and nearly every other digital I've tried that's not the case. It feels like I'm pressing into an empty space and the key returns in a different way. Slightly faster and more springy.

I went from that store to another and tried out the MP10 (RM3 action) and that immediately felt better to me. More weight to the keys and the only digital that felt a little gloopy like the acoustics I'd tried.


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"I still didn't understand from the people of this forum, whether it is only lighter toward the back of the keys(which is a very good thing), or is it also lighter on the front of the keys."

Note that it is also lighter on the front of the keys as well. I am also one who prefers a heavier action on pianos. For me, I would say that the GF action on the MP11 is near the "lightweight limit" with which I am comfortable.

What I mean is that I would not want a keyboard that is any lighter than the GF on the MP11. (Or in other words, the GF is about the lightest keyboard that I am comfortable with). I actually like the RM III key weight/feel on the VPC-1 because it is closer to that of my acoustic piano.


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When it came to Keyboard action, however, I had a reservation about the CA95 (original GF action). The keys seemed to take forever to rebound after playing a note. I conferred with another customer, we both tried some fast repetitions, and agreed that the keys were problematically "soupy", they just don't snap back quickly enough.

The "keys seemed to take forever to rebound after playing a note"-effect mentioned by the OP occured on all CA95/65 I played as well as with the key action model. I believe that it's not just a production quality issue affecting only a few units, it probably has been designed to be this way: Once you release a key, it doesn't immediately snap back to the original position, but wobbles around for a short time. I have not seen this effect on acoustic pianos I have played recently, and not on most other DP's as well. My old Kawai MP9000 doesn't do this either.


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I own both VPC1 and MP11SE. The VPC1 action is definitly heavier and "deeper" than the MP11SE. When switching from VPC1 to MP11SE the perception is very clear. I like practicing on the VPC1 as it will make me feel more confortable to play with any acoustic piano I will find when playing in Jazz clubs or others concert hall. It is better to be prepared for the worst eavier action than the opposite.


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Finally, I can see I am not the only one finding the GF action "too light"
I have a AvantGrand N2, and the inertia you describe is really there and I really like it (for me, the N2 action is even quite light compared to the upright action I take lessons on)
It make you feel the "real" thing behind your key and impact the way you control your playing.
All the AP I have tried behave like that, even the "lighest" one

Now, I am not sure it is mandatory to have such "feeling" to be able to perfectly control your playing.
Perhaps even the opposite: it is more easy to control your playing with an action like the GF action...
But, in my case, I need to practice on something more real/difficult in order to be able to follow my piano course.

Again ,GF action is undoublty a good action, but I don't find it is close to a real piano action..it is good by itself like most of the high end DP action.
Key length is only, only a part of the whole complex mecanism of an AP


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I think people get all caught up on how "old" the action technology is in the VPC1 rather than what it actually offers. I tried the MP11SE recently which is supposed to be an improved action. I found it personally terrible as an acoustic grand substitute. The action was too "mushy/squishy" and way too light to adequately mimic an acoustic grand's action.


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Correct, I have VPC 4 years and only logical step forward from there will be Novus or Avant grand or Acoustic. There is nothing wrong with version 1, in fact I still think it is among the best key actions in the market and paying 1k more for MP11 is ridiculous for me especially if someone playing at home and don`t need internal sounds. But people are different. Anyway, there is no reason to wait.


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The 2 I ended up playing the most were the Kawai VPC1 and MP11. I personally found the VPC1 to have a better action than the MP (I've heard others echo this). The keybed felt more solid, quieter, there was a less recovery bounce in the keys, and the action had some nice speed and heft to it, but it does have the drawback of having nothing on it.


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I find no awkwardness at all playing the VPC1 close to the fall board. I feel as much ease playing fast pieces on the VPC1 as I do on my acoustic grand (RX-2). Honestly, I'm having a hard time understanding what people have issue with in regards to the action. I have/feel no difficulty when playing close to the fallboard. It feels fine to me and it's actually lighter than the millenium 3 action I have in my RX-2 and the SK2 that I'm buying (which feel nearly identical to me).


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VPC1 feels like a piano to me.

There's no problem playing the VPC near the fallboard as far as I'm concerned. It's just not a light action there due to the pivot length, which is not inadequate by any means, merely slightly on the heavier side. I've played much much heavier acoustic pianos.


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I play regularly on my VPC 1 during the work week and a Shigeru Kawai SK2 ( which KawaiDon called me yesterday will be voiced/tuned/regulated by the their best MPA in Japan who does all the world's concert Shigery grands- yay!) and I have no problems with it. It serves its purpose very well and I don't see what an upgrade would do to make it any better without diminishing returns. I practice the entire Busoni D minor Chaconne from beginning to end on it and I don't see it failing in its capabilities.


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Most of all I was shocked by the GF (in MP11se). Yes it is a bit lighter than RM3 in the VPC but the feeling was that I see the keyboard as one of the worst of all pianos I have tried today. It's very spongy and slow in response. No other keyboard has such a long uplift time (the opposite of a brilliant keystroke). In my opinion, the counterweights are simply not optimal. The weight (downweight) of the Millenium action is similar to the RM3, but reacts a bit faster. With the acoustic grand pianos I had rather heavier actions than those of VPC (also a Kawai Grand was much heavier). What really amazed me was the fact that the actual weighting (which I had checked with my weight) and the feel/ touch often diverged completely. All in all, I am very happy with my VPC. It's a very good action, faster and more brilliant than GF and can keep up with all the other DP I tried today.


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What's up with this pivot obsession?


This.

Until quite recently it was never a matter of discussion here. It seems to be the latest fad. Like veganism.

Pivot point is just one tiny part of the overall puzzle. When judged alone it tells you nothing. There's a discussion on the technicians' forum at the moment about a Steinway D lacking sustain. The discourse within that thread from the technicians makes you realise that merely judging isolated factors such as pivot points or static down weights is a totally pointless exercise. And extremely boring in my opinion.

for me the keyaction is much better than the MP series and most other digital pianos/masterkeyboards (yes I checked it out and compared them)


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I much preferred the VPC1 with its heavier action. It felt closer to acoustic grands I am used to playing, with more resistance under the fingers. Also I felt the action to be more responsive and precise on the VPC1 than the MP11, thus favoring greater expression and control (though it may be due to the fact that the MP11 was set on a more wobbly stand).

Furthermore, if piano is all that matters:
- the VPC1 provides a more immerse experience with a sleek design free of buttons and knobs (I know some players do not care but that mattered to me)
- for the difference in price of both one can get a dedicated laptop for VSTs


----


Don't sleep on the Kawai VPC1!

I finally tried everything - I had to buy the MP11SE and VPC1 to try them alongside my old RD-700GX & borrowed RD-2000. For me the VPC1 kills them all - I wish I tried it a long time ago - but you can't find them anywhere in a store.

I kept reading how old the RM3II is, and how the key is shorter and blah blah blah. Well... for me it's the action I've been looking for for years. The RD700GX I've been using since it came out is a bit heavy and slow rebound (hard to trill). The MP11SE shocked me... light & spongy! I also tried the Kawai CA78 and didn't prefer that one either. The RD-2000 didn't seem too much of an improvement to my RD-700GX.. it almost feels like a cost-reduced version of the PHAII.

For me the VPC1 feels like I'm back in music school on a studio grand. I just love it and couldn't be happier.


----

Can someone tell me the gist of this post?
Posted By: David Lai Re: My next midi keyboard? - 10/04/20 01:50 AM
Hi friends! I wonder, is the On-Stage KS7350 Heavy Duty Folding-Z Keyboard Stand a good one for the VPC1? If so, can I just set it up without adjusting the stand?
Thanks for your opinions! smile
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