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Joined: Dec 2010
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Originally Posted by dire tonic
So, you're softening yourself up for one of these, eh, Ron?

But think about it, with a VPC1, stick a cigar in your mouth and you'll be flying through Joplin's Entertainer, hands ablur.


I've been lusting for one of these since they announced it.
My problem is ... I is a poor boy.

Gee... I need to get the cigars out of my mouth. Seriously...
My M8000 is still doing pretty good. I do have to admit that I need to get on cleaning the contacts. Haven't done that yet. Thinking about using Trichloroethane instead of rubbing alcohol. I still have a little of a gallon I took when they banned it. That should eliminate the two day wait on them drying. Right now my dynamic range is...lets say....clumsy.

Oh...and I might get myself a Brown Derby. My father told me several times, whenever we saw that restaurant in LA. He always wanted a Brown Derby but never had the nerve to buy himself one. I might partly in memory of him.


Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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Originally Posted by joflah
As to coarse grain, the keys seem to be of a plywood consisting of 16 very regular layers of wood laminated together. Maybe you are mistaking the layers for wood grain.


Hi joflah,

good observation, the white keys on mine are indeed of laminated wood. I would tend to consider this a technical advantage actually. It keeps all the good properties of wood, yet makes the keys insensitive or at least less sensitive to bending by moisture.

(I would love to add a picture of the lamination that I just took, but this requires unfortunately having it somewhere online...)

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Originally Posted by my88keys

(I would love to add a picture of the lamination that I just took, but this requires unfortunately having it somewhere online...)

here is a picture of the laminated white keys: [Linked Image]

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Just received my VPC1 today. Bought it sight-unseen, ordered it Saturday over the internet and it arrived FedEx today.
I couldn't be happier. I previously had one of the first-generation MP8's that was OK but I really didn't want all the bells and whistles, so I sold it.
I'm using it with Pianoteq. The VPC1 is a big improvement over the MP8, in my opinion.
They are available out there, if you look around, or maybe I just lucked out.

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Originally Posted by EP
The VPC1 is a big improvement over the MP8, in my opinion.


Can you elaborate on this? I happen to own a first generation MP8 and am contemplating upgrading. I'd love to hear any more specific comments on the VPC1 or especially specific comparisons between them.

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Originally Posted by my88keys
here is a picture of the laminated white keys:


I'm not 100% sure on this one. Are you sure those are laminations? I think it would actually be difficult and expensive to laminate tiny shivs of wood like that. I think that's the natural grain of a solid piece of wood cut with the grain.

My MP8 looks kind of like this but I'm pretty sure it's not laminated.

I could be wrong about both, of course.

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Laminated wood is an industrial product, very similar to the picture of the key, I don't know if it is expensive, anyway vpc1 is not the cheapest thing I've seen in my life...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plywood
EDIT:[Linked Image]

Last edited by Marcos Daniel; 10/23/13 09:59 PM.

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gvfarns:
Several reasons I like the VPC1 better. For one thing, it's much cleaner, without all the knobs and sliders. I only wanted a good practice piano and not a full-fledged keyboard, the MP8 was all I could get at the time.(I wanted a CA-X but they were no longer available). I was never that happy with the piano sound I got, and I didn't have any interest in the other sounds, or the pitch and mod wheels, etc. Obviously this is personal preference.
The action is definitely better and the keytops are nicer. The sound is more realistic with the Pianoteq. I suppose some of the sampled pianos are maybe even better, but Pianoteq is really good.
And, the VPC1 is cheaper - I was actually able to get it for what I sold the MP8 for.
Downside of course it that you are limited to an external sound generator (wouldn't have to be a computer - I still have a Proteus 2000 that works fine with it). And I know a lot of folks have been disappointed that it didn't have pitch and mod wheels.

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Originally Posted by Marcos Daniel
Laminated wood is an industrial product, very similar to the picture of the key, I don't know if it is expensive, anyway vpc1 is not the cheapest thing I've seen in my life...


You might be right, and it's probably not more expensive than whole wood. I have had my keys off the piano before and I had the impression that they were straight up chunks of whole wood, but looking very closely they have lines not unlike what I see here. My impression is that it is the grain. I'd have to open it up to get a real good look.

James, do you know if the keys in the VPC1 and other Kawai wood digital actions use laminated wood?

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Originally Posted by gvfarns
.. laminated wood?


If it is laminated. Bear in mind that anything pressed can be much better than it used to be. That is before the Shuttle blew up. The result of that is they created much better seals. The seals on pistons can up the hydraulic piston to much higher pressures. Resulting in much higher quality of anything pressed.
One other example is those fake diamonds. Zircunoias? They are so good now that it isn't easy for an expert to tell the difference.


Ron
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I don’t have any inside expertise on laminate but I’ve used ply for years in DIY jobs and it can evidently be of very varying quality. From the naked eye I thought the keys were of unusually straight and even grained timber but after joflah’s post a closer look reveals what I’m absolutely certain can only be laminate, albeit probably high grade and maybe even more costly than kiln-dried timber (seasoned these days? I wouldn’t know). The give-away – although I’d be interested if there’s another explanation - is that the direction of the ‘grain’ is unfalteringly parallel to the top of the key, along its entire length. Every key has this property. I doubt there’s a tree in existence that could show this characteristic so consistently. Even with well behaved timber one would expect costlier preparation and considerable wastage when trying to set it up in such a way that milling starts exactly 100% parallel to the grain direction, then only to find that the direction dips or rises a few degrees - as it would naturally, in waves - a short distance down its length.

The benefit of using ply with so many layers (more than a dozen or so here?) is that resistance to warping is guaranteed down to probably a few microns per length.

(not quite as clear as my88's pic, but you see the same entirely parallel chunk)

[Linked Image]

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Hi dire tonic!

is this a picture of a VPC1?

On mine - lets say the one that used to be mine and no goes back for replacement because of the transport damage- there are two darker more dense looking layers just below the ivory touch keytop on all keys...! So there might be different versions out there...?

In addition maybe some disambiguation:

For me, plywood is cross-lamianted. And comes indeed in very varying qualities.

The keys of my VPC1 were parallel laminated if they were - yet I still think they were. And they looked very even.

Still don't like the black keytops hundred percent though. Are they plastic on all units? Any input?

Hope to get a "new sample" soon! Because in the end I just want to play it.

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Hello,

ok, I was talking so much about the black keys, that I feel I should substantiate my impression with pictures, so everyone can get their own idea - and maybe comment on observations on their VPC1. Without any further judgement, three pictures of the black keys / keytops on the unit that I received:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

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The pictures make it clear. My black keys are smooth all the way and look finished from the 'cap' to the bottom.

It really looks like they rushed to get the unit out. As I said before you can't tell that the black keys are 'topped' by anything.


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Originally Posted by gvfarns
James, do you know if the keys in the VPC1 and other Kawai wood digital actions use laminated wood?


Yes, all Kawai DPs with wooden keys use laminated wood as the basic material for the key stick.

As others above have mentioned, laminated wood is typically stronger than solid wood, and less susceptible to shrinking, swelling, and warping as a result of moisture and temperature changes. Therefore, it's ideally suited to the keys of a keyboard.

Cheers,
James
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my88keys, I tend to think close-up pictures often make a situation appear worse than it truly is. The images of the example keys you posted above are not terribly good, however I believe the vast majority of wooden key actions have a smoother join between the wooden key base and Ivory Touch key top.

I hope you receive a replacement for the board that was damaged during transit soon.

Kind regards,
James
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Hi Kawai James,
thanks for your prompt and helpful replies on questions and observations!
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James do you know if keytops are glued manually?
In acoustic pianos technicians replace them with relative ease, these small deviations perhaps could be corrected by a piano restorator...


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I'm afraid I don't know, sorry.

Kind regards,
James
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Originally Posted by my88keys
Hi dire tonic!

is this a picture of a VPC1?

On mine - lets say the one that used to be mine and no goes back for replacement because of the transport damage- there are two darker more dense looking layers just below the ivory touch keytop on all keys...! So there might be different versions out there...?

In addition maybe some disambiguation:

For me, plywood is cross-lamianted. And comes indeed in very varying qualities.

The keys of my VPC1 were parallel laminated if they were - yet I still think they were. And they looked very even.

Still don't like the black keytops hundred percent though. Are they plastic on all units? Any input?

Hope to get a "new sample" soon! Because in the end I just want to play it.

my88keys


yes, it's a VPC1. I'd expect laminate to be variable in it's composition. Providing there are an 'adequate' number of layers, the thickness of each layer doesn't really matter when the finished key is cut to size anyway. Supposedly, different batches of laminate will have some thicker, some thinner layers.

Point taken about cross-grain. I guess you're right, laminate isn't necessarily alternate sheets with grain at right-angles.

Your black keys don't look quite as bad in the photo as I'd imagined from your description. A bit shoddy on the finish but not drastically out of alignment.

Hope your new one will be up to scratch!

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