Piano World Home Page
Posted By: puremusic ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/17/22 05:04 PM
Hey folks, here I am asking for an action comparison from any of you who have tried both.
Posted By: KawaFanboi Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/17/22 06:37 PM
..cough... kawai rhc , greatest action of all time. Superior to all.

a Euphoric balance of lightness, swiftness, uniformity and dynamism.

totally, not biased. grin
Posted By: EPW Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/17/22 06:47 PM
Which one rolls off your tongue better when you speak about them? That is the one you should pick wink
Posted By: EPW Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/17/22 06:48 PM
Really you have to go try them yourself. I know it is very difficult finding them to try but each has a different flavor so to speak. Plus some folks really dislike the Roland modeled piano sounds. If you fall into that camp you might be unhappy with the piano even if you like the action better.
Posted By: puremusic Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/17/22 06:56 PM
Well, I own an FP-90, but there's no place where I can try an ES520 around here. The Guitar Center has only low end pianos. I'm considering a second digital piano, but the 2k price range is too much right now, so either I wait quite awhile and keep an eye out for used FP-90 or heavily discounted FP-90x or try a different action.

I like lighter actions, and I like the ES520 sound, so it's heavily under consideration.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/17/22 07:10 PM
Originally Posted by puremusic
Hey folks, here I am asking for an action comparison from any of you who have tried both.

You're really comparing two instruments from different price points. Despite subjective appreciation of the ES520 action, it is not Kawai's top portable action. The ES920 has the RHIII action, and that is a better comparison to the PHA50 action in the FP90 and FP90X.

On the other hand, you need to decide whether you prefer the Kawai SK concert grand, or the Roland modelled piano.

My opinion is that in order to get the FP90 to really shine, a very nice pair of powered monitors would improve the experience. Even though the FP90 has larger amplification, Roland modelled sound really comes alive with more powerful amplification.

The Kawai sound is much more piano like in tone, but maybe the Roland sound might be more expressive. These tone differences between the ES920 and FP90X are IMO more relevant, as both actions are really good.

Some say that the PHA50 action is really robust and better suited to Jazz, etc, but I couldn't comment on that.

If you are buying a used FP90, also consider the used P515, and maybe boards like the Kawai MP7SE.
Posted By: KawaFanboi Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/17/22 08:02 PM
Originally Posted by Doug M.
You're really comparing two instruments from different price points. Despite subjective appreciation of the ES520 action, it is not Kawai's top portable action. The ES920 has the RHIII action

I highly disagree, it's not a matter of price, I was ready to buy at any price, I went back and forth on all of these along with grandfeel for over 3 hours. The RHC in the 520 is lighter, faster, and more even feeling than the rh3 or the grandfeel. absolutely it's down to personal preference, but from the moving parts perspective, I find the rh3 and GF letoff bumper unproductive. the gf3 and gfc also had unexpected loud notes on the units i tested, this was not a problem on rh3 or rhc.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/17/22 08:15 PM
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
Originally Posted by Doug M.
You're really comparing two instruments from different price points. Despite subjective appreciation of the ES520 action, it is not Kawai's top portable action. The ES920 has the RHIII action

I highly disagree, it's not a matter of price, I was ready to buy at any price, I went back and forth on all of these along with grandfeel for over 3 hours. The RHC in the 520 is lighter, faster, and more even feeling than the rh3 or the grandfeel. absolutely it's down to personal preference, but from the moving parts perspective, I find the rh3 and GF letoff bumper unproductive. the gf3 and gfc also had unexpected loud notes on the units i tested, this was not a problem on rh3 or rhc.

The RHC is better for your uses and piano playing style---not disputing that.

However, Kawai designed both instruments to exist a separate price points based upon the realism of the actions and number of sounds etc.
Whilst you might feel the RHC is superior, Kawai disagree, and they designed the RHIII to be more realistic.

Ligher actions aren't better, they are lighter. Faster actions are only useful if you intend to play fast-repeated notes---you can have a heavy action that is fast btw!

The RHIII action is faster than the Grand Feel action, but the Grand Feel action is still a more realistic action.
Let-off again is just something you like or don't, but if you want to play like you would on an acoustic, you have to pay a bit more for the RHIII. If you want better let-off simulation, you have to pay more still. If you don't wish to have an instrument to practice on when you're not at the acoustic piano, let-off has no use---agreed. It entirely depends on what motivates you.

The problem with testing instruments in store is that the actions tend to get battered, so by the time you get to them, they really need a refurbishment: I wouldn't entirely judge an action on one store demo. Many people buy digital pianos and complain that their new instrument is stiffer than the store demo instrument----again this is just due to the battering they take.
Posted By: KawaFanboi Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/17/22 09:31 PM
Originally Posted by Doug M.
The RHC is better for your uses and piano playing style---not disputing that.

However, Kawai designed both instruments to exist a separate price points based upon the realism of the actions and number of sounds etc.
Whilst you might feel the RHC is superior, Kawai disagree, and they designed the RHIII to be more realistic.

I don't think that's an accurate assessment of Kawai's interpretation.

kawai RHC engineer: hahahaha, I've created kawai's greatest action, the Race Car of actions.

kawai RH3 engineer: this letoff feels awesome, it's uneven just like real pianos and feels like total crap, job well done.

kawai Boss Man: Grand feel , MORE MONEY, money money, money...

There's no uniform kawai stance.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/17/22 09:36 PM
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
Originally Posted by Doug M.
The RHC is better for your uses and piano playing style---not disputing that.

However, Kawai designed both instruments to exist a separate price points based upon the realism of the actions and number of sounds etc.
Whilst you might feel the RHC is superior, Kawai disagree, and they designed the RHIII to be more realistic.

I don't think that's an accurate assessment of Kawai's interpretation.

kawai RHC engineer: hahahaha, I've created kawai's greatest action, the Race Car of actions.

kawai RH3 engineer: this letoff feels awesome, it's uneven just like real pianos and feels like total crap, job well done.

kawai Boss Man: Grand feel , MORE MONEY, money money, money...

There's no uniform kawai stance.

Again, that's a subjective opinion based on your value perception. If Kawai had evaluated the RHC to be a better action, Kawai would have put it in the ES920, and put the RHIII in the ES520. They didn't: why, nobody but they can say. However, it's clear that Kawai consider the RHIII to be a step up.

You're not the only one to prefer cheaper actions. PeterWS prefers the ES110 action. Others prefer the PHAIV action over the PHA50. Nothing wrong with that. For myself, I feel the difference and prefer the more advanced actions for piano playing.

For other types of keyboard instrument playing (organ/synth), it's possible there are merits to actions without letoff.
Posted By: KawaFanboi Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/17/22 09:40 PM
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Again, that's a subjective opinion based on your value perception. If Kawai had evaluated the RHC to be a better action, Kawai would have put it in the ES920, and put the RHIII in the ES520. They didn't: why, nobody but they can say. However, it's clear that Kawai consider the RHIII to be a step up.

you're missing my point doug, kawai is not 1 uniform opinion relative to their decision outcome. they charge more for rh3, that does not mean it's a step up as perceived by everyone at kawai. marketing and engineering see things differently.
Posted By: SouthPark Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/17/22 09:49 PM
Certainly - the main thing is that the person using the instrument is satisfied with it.

And when it comes to key mechanism 'actions' ------ it's all real, and all genuine. One can choose whatever satisfies them. And - even if a particular instrument doesn't quite meet expectations, and it's all they have access to ------ then we can still play that instrument to the best of our ability and its ability.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/17/22 09:51 PM
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Again, that's a subjective opinion based on your value perception. If Kawai had evaluated the RHC to be a better action, Kawai would have put it in the ES920, and put the RHIII in the ES520. They didn't: why, nobody but they can say. However, it's clear that Kawai consider the RHIII to be a step up.

you're missing my point doug, kawai is not 1 uniform opinion relative to their decision outcome. they charge more for rh3, that does not mean it's a step up as perceived by everyone at kawai.

Why didn't Nord buy into the RHC for their Nord Grand? They took the RHIII instead, then they took the let off bits out. So that's two firms who collectively rate the RHIII.

Of course lots of opinion probably exists at Kawai; however, they will charge more for more acoustic-piano-like actions: that's how the whole industry operates.

Many don't like the Grand Touch action in the CLP785. However, I have tried it. The action is quite heavy, but it's really very nice ie, much nicer than the Grand Touch S. For organ, I'd take the Grand Touch S all day long. The goal of the manufacturer is to get closer to the acoustic experience the higher the price bracket.

Obvious reason: as your piano technique improves, and you develop more strength in your playing, you'll want a digital piano action capable of going to the next level---something that plays more like an acoustic. As you're more invested, you're prepared to spend more.
Posted By: peterws Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/17/22 09:53 PM
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Again, that's a subjective opinion based on your value perception. If Kawai had evaluated the RHC to be a better action, Kawai would have put it in the ES920, and put the RHIII in the ES520. They didn't: why, nobody but they can say. However, it's clear that Kawai consider the RHIII to be a step up.

you're missing my point doug, kawai is not 1 uniform opinion relative to their decision outcome. they charge more for rh3, that does not mean it's a step up as perceived by everyone at kawai. marketing and engineering see things differently.

I reckon the more expensive action would have benefits to many people, perhaps most. But we're not all the same . . .and some of us have odd opinions about a lot of stuff . . . .:)
Posted By: KawaFanboi Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/17/22 10:01 PM
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
you're missing my point doug, kawai is not 1 uniform opinion relative to their decision outcome. they charge more for rh3, that does not mean it's a step up as perceived by everyone at kawai.

Why didn't Nord buy into the RHC for their Nord Grand? They took the RHIII instead, then they took the let off bits out. So that's two firms who collectively rate the RHIII.

nord like kawai is a group composed of both marketing and engineering. their engineers might've recognized the absolute superiority of RHC, but went with RH3 so the marketing is happy that the consumer won't accuse them from picking from the cheapest in the line up.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/17/22 10:21 PM
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
you're missing my point doug, kawai is not 1 uniform opinion relative to their decision outcome. they charge more for rh3, that does not mean it's a step up as perceived by everyone at kawai.

Why didn't Nord buy into the RHC for their Nord Grand? They took the RHIII instead, then they took the let off bits out. So that's two firms who collectively rate the RHIII.

nord like kawai is a group composed of both marketing and engineering. their engineers might've recognized the absolute superiority of RHC, but went with RH3 so the marketing is happy that the consumer won't accuse them from picking from the cheapest in the line up.

I don't think it likely that expert engineers get overruled by marketing on such straight forward issues.
Posted By: KawaFanboi Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/17/22 10:43 PM
Originally Posted by Doug M.
I don't think it likely that expert engineers get overruled by marketing on such straight forward issues.

let me give you a historical example. around ww2/cold war stalin reverse engineered the american b29 bomber into their Tu-4, they even copied a repair patch on the plane. the engineers MUST have known that from the material they were copying, that that was a repair patch , however they were so afraid of stalin, that they copied it exactly, just so no one would say, hey that feature wasn't there.

engineers get overruled all the time by marketing/ leadership, not to produce the best engineer, but to make the most money or some other equality vapid goal. this is extremely common.
Posted By: Kawai James Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/18/22 12:13 AM
KawaFanboi, with the greatest respect, you're assumptions are completely incorrect.

The "Responsive Hammer Compact" (RHC) keyboard action was developed as a more compact, lighter, and lower cost version of the "Responsive Hammer III" (RHIII) keyboard action.

As well-engineered as the RHC action is, I don't believe there is anyone within Kawai (R&D, marketing, sales, etc.) who believes it to be more realistic than RHIII.

However, I can appreciate that some customers really enjoy playing instruments that utilise the RHC/RHCII action, and may even prefer it to other, more advanced/feature-rich actions. That's perfectly fine. Everyone perceives key touch slightly differently, therefore customers should play-test a wide range of instruments and purchase the piano that they find most agreeable.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: KawaFanboi Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/18/22 12:41 AM
Originally Posted by Kawai James
KawaFanboi, with the greatest respect, you're assumptions are completely incorrect.

As well-engineered as the RHC action is, I don't believe there is anyone within Kawai (R&D, marketing, sales, etc.) who believes it to be more realistic than RHIII.

Kjames, as a customer I do not see any engineering reason why RH3/GFC/GF are better actions in terms of function as a control interface.

I agree, that relative to "realism" perhaps the order is as such.

And again with respect, KJames can not read the minds of all the engineers involved. working under a boss, and maybe a boss engineer, not all ideas/ perceptions are shared. there is also the case where it's possible the makers are not themselves aware that they've stumbled upon a superior solution to the input problem, regardless of the original design goal (cost reduction).
Posted By: Kawai James Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/18/22 01:23 AM
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
KJames can not read the minds of all the engineers involved.

I don't need to read the engineers' minds, I've talked to them and they've explained the objectives of the action's development.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: Gombessa Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/18/22 02:07 AM
[Linked Image]
Posted By: Kawai James Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/18/22 02:15 AM
Yes, apologies to puremusic for drifting off-topic...
Posted By: johnstaf Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/18/22 02:32 AM
For me, the more expensive Roland actions are the most realistic available (other than digitals using actual grand actions). I initially found the bass a little too light, but I have no problem going between it and an acoustic grand. I think the responsiveness of the action is really the most important thing.

There are several Kawai, Roland, and Yamaha digitals that I'd be very happy with, but I have my favourites.
Posted By: terminaldegree Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/18/22 02:41 AM
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
I highly disagree, it's not a matter of price, I was ready to buy at any price, I went back and forth on all of these along with grandfeel for over 3 hours. The RHC in the 520 is lighter, faster, and more even feeling than the rh3 or the grandfeel.

I completely disagree with you.

The RHC feels and sounds cheaper than the RHIII, to me. Granted, my reference point is playing and teaching mostly classical repertoire 6-9 foot acoustic grand pianos on a daily basis. I also like the PHA50 (definitely more than the PHAIV, based on initial impressions and a lot more seat time with the PHAIV, honestly), but haven't had our university's ES920 and FP-90x in the same room to do a true A/B comparison. Semester's out and I'm not being paid to be in the building, so that's not likely anytime in the next month...
Posted By: OregonJim Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/18/22 06:50 AM
Originally Posted by johnstaf
For me, the more expensive Roland actions are the most realistic available (other than digitals using actual grand actions). I initially found the bass a little too light, but I have no problem going between it and an acoustic grand. I think the responsiveness of the action is really the most important thing.

There are several Kawai, Roland, and Yamaha digitals that I'd be very happy with, but I have my favourites.
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
The RHC feels and sounds cheaper than the RHIII, to me. Granted, my reference point is playing and teaching mostly classical repertoire 6-9 foot acoustic grand pianos on a daily basis. I also like the PHA50 (definitely more than the PHAIV, based on initial impressions and a lot more seat time with the PHAIV, honestly), but haven't had our university's ES920 and FP-90x in the same room to do a true A/B comparison. Semester's out and I'm not being paid to be in the building, so that's not likely anytime in the next month...

I have to agree with both of these. Roland's PHA50 action is the most 'realistic' that I have found to date. Of course, one has to adjust the velocity curve to their liking - it may not be optimal 'out of the box' (as with any digital action).
Posted By: puremusic Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/18/22 07:28 AM
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
Originally Posted by Doug M.
You're really comparing two instruments from different price points. Despite subjective appreciation of the ES520 action, it is not Kawai's top portable action. The ES920 has the RHIII action

I highly disagree, it's not a matter of price, I was ready to buy at any price, I went back and forth on all of these along with grandfeel for over 3 hours. The RHC in the 520 is lighter, faster, and more even feeling than the rh3 or the grandfeel. absolutely it's down to personal preference, but from the moving parts perspective, I find the rh3 and GF letoff bumper unproductive. the gf3 and gfc also had unexpected loud notes on the units i tested, this was not a problem on rh3 or rhc.

Yes, this is what I've heard more than once, but of course have not tried myself to see if that's how I personally feel about it. Realism really doesn't matter to me particularly, if I enjoy the feel and can adapt and control it well, I'll be happy enough with it. I know that some people prefer heavier actions, and feel that going from heavier to lighter is far easier than vice versa when they have to play other instruments, but this is not a significant factor for me. Rather, I'm more focused on preserving my ability to play in the first place as I have RSI issues -- lighter is better, and lighter means less wear and tear in the long term too. Just like walking, you walk on concrete all your life instead of grass, your knees will wear out quicker, I am a believer in keeping things as easy and stress free as possible as long as playability is good.
Posted By: puremusic Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/18/22 07:36 AM
Originally Posted by EPW
Really you have to go try them yourself. I know it is very difficult finding them to try but each has a different flavor so to speak. Plus some folks really dislike the Roland modeled piano sounds. If you fall into that camp you might be unhappy with the piano even if you like the action better.

Yes I know, I think I mentioned that myself here long ago. It's not ideal. It's expressive, but it's plasticy in the upper ranges. The FP-90X sounds a bit better to my ear. But in either case the solution I think for the Roland sound is an external reverb that colors it to sound better. This isn't ideal though, it's not just turn on your piano and go anymore since you have to buy more stuff and press more buttons to get a hardware or software reverb going whenever you turn one on.

Well you can do that or do without the built in sound entirely and use plugins/hardware pianos too. My favorite piano sounds are plugins, but I do want to just press a button and go too sometimes.

I'm fine with waiting if anyone with access to a 520/920 and FP-90/90x/RD2000/etc. remembers this thread a few months from now. All the ES520s are out of stock at the online stores where I have store cards, and a white one is what I would prefer which is even more out of stock than the blacks.
Posted By: Nigo Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/18/22 07:50 AM
what I can say is I tried RH2 (or RH-II) extensively and a FP90 once, and I was very impressed by the PHA-50 keyboard which to me is a clear winner
even though its to light to MY taste, both are but PHA-50 felt lighter still - just a personnal preference
since RHC is a complete redesign of he RH action, I won't comment on it
Posted By: brennbaer Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/18/22 07:52 AM
Originally Posted by puremusic
The FP-90X sounds a bit better to my ear. But in either case the solution I think for the Roland sound is an external reverb that colors it to sound better. This isn't ideal though, it's not just turn on your piano and go anymore since you have to buy more stuff and press more buttons to get a hardware or software reverb going whenever you turn one on.
Before "messing around" with additional hardware etc. i would recommend to try out some of the additional tunings available in the Piano Designer App.
Especially thoses by Hugo Veryzer and the "Vienna Concert" tunings
Posted By: Doug M. Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/18/22 11:00 AM
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
Originally Posted by Doug M.
I don't think it likely that expert engineers get overruled by marketing on such straight forward issues.

let me give you a historical example. around ww2/cold war stalin reverse engineered the american b29 bomber into their Tu-4, they even copied a repair patch on the plane. the engineers MUST have known that from the material they were copying, that that was a repair patch , however they were so afraid of stalin, that they copied it exactly, just so no one would say, hey that feature wasn't there.

engineers get overruled all the time by marketing/ leadership, not to produce the best engineer, but to make the most money or some other equality vapid goal. this is extremely common.

With respect, I'm not sure you've understood marketing, and its role in product design. Kawai marketing are unlikely to carry the fear factor ascribed rightly to Stalin.

For one thing, market research precedes R&D. First, customer tests are conducted to determine what the new instrument should deliver compared to the old (in this case, how to improve the RHII action for the new ES8). Second, the engineers are tasked to draw up plans to meet the design brief. They are only going to be Challenged on a final design if it fails or exceeds the brief.

Why do you think that the marketing people would wish to overrule the engineers choice of action? It makes no sense to me that they would, as each new action already follows the marketing brief.

The engineers would be briefed to create let-off simulation for the ES8's new action (as customer research suggested it). The engineers would then draft design, test, bug fix, test again, then get sign off that it meets standard. Likely, they modified the existing mechanism: the RHII.

If later, the majority of post-market research said: we don't like the let-off, please get rid of it, then the engineers would get a new brief for the ES920, with the note: remove let-off simulation.

As that didn't happen, we can conclude that the post customer Market Research showed that the action was generally well received, with the majority if users not complaining about the let-off simulation. Don't forget, the ES8 was the most popular portable of its time, winning awards etc.

From the post market research on the ES8, likely there were slight technical issues identified that engineers were asked to address ie, to make the RHIII more robust for the ES920. Essentially, the RHIII action was fitting to the ES920 brief ie, as being a piano-like action that can be used in stage and portable piano. It would thus need to be cheaper to produce than the GF 1 action (as it'sa lower model) and a bit faster and lighter too---so stage pianists would be able to play organ and synth licks).

Thinking about the brief for the ES520: it would likely have been to generate a model midway between the ES110 and ES920: with an action not as premium as the RHIII---hence lack of let-off simulation---but better than the RHC action in the ES110, hence the RHCII!

The fact that some of it's characteristics eg, speed of key return etc., might be to you more useful to your needs than the chaaracter of the RHIII action is irrelevant to Kawai, as you are one customer in a larger group. The ES520 RHCII action will not have been designed to outperform the RHIII in terms of how closely it simulates an acoustic. That is the point I am making. That you prefer how the RHCII plays is idiosyncratic to your perspective.

So the engineers don't have one opinion and then get overriden due to the fearful marketing department head; rather, they follow a brief and design to that. Only if engineers and R&D people totally leave the brief would there be any feedback to change something.
Posted By: KawaFanboi Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/18/22 01:33 PM
Originally Posted by puremusic
Yes, this is what I've heard more than once, but of course have not tried myself to see if that's how I personally feel about it. Realism really doesn't matter to me particularly, if I enjoy the feel and can adapt and control it well, I'll be happy enough with it. I know that some people prefer heavier actions, and feel that going from heavier to lighter is far easier than vice versa when they have to play other instruments, but this is not a significant factor for me. Rather, I'm more focused on preserving my ability to play in the first place as I have RSI issues -- lighter is better, and lighter means less wear and tear in the long term too. Just like walking, you walk on concrete all your life instead of grass, your knees will wear out quicker, I am a believer in keeping things as easy and stress free as possible as long as playability is good.

exactly the right attitude puremusic. the puritans on piano actions chase realism with no consideration for what that realism actually does. this is from both sides, the users who see it this way, but also corporations who arrange their product stacks that way to make more money.

I personally wanted to love the grandfeel, i think it feels good to play, but the unexpected loud note problem, along with the uneven let off had me really questioning the design. then stumbling across casio's similar design but without letoff and nord removing kawai's letoff, then the modartt forum post about uneven midi outout, clearly it's not just me.

Then I sat down at the Kawai's RHC, as someone with no bias other than a childhood with kawai, it was clearly easier to both play and control the sound. I admit this is an opinion, you might find it too light, or you actually miss having letoff for, reasons. crazy
Posted By: Doug M. Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/18/22 03:48 PM
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
Originally Posted by puremusic
Yes, this is what I've heard more than once, but of course have not tried myself to see if that's how I personally feel about it. Realism really doesn't matter to me particularly, if I enjoy the feel and can adapt and control it well, I'll be happy enough with it. I know that some people prefer heavier actions, and feel that going from heavier to lighter is far easier than vice versa when they have to play other instruments, but this is not a significant factor for me. Rather, I'm more focused on preserving my ability to play in the first place as I have RSI issues -- lighter is better, and lighter means less wear and tear in the long term too. Just like walking, you walk on concrete all your life instead of grass, your knees will wear out quicker, I am a believer in keeping things as easy and stress free as possible as long as playability is good.

exactly the right attitude puremusic. the puritans on piano actions chase realism with no consideration for what that realism actually does.

The attitude of the music companies depends very much on their USP.
Kawai particularly differentiate themselves from competition by the authenticity of their actions and their goal of similating the expressive nature of real acoustics. Their product line focuses on the more puritanical pianist who wants realism. Other manufacturers---Kurzweil, Dexibell, Korg, Nord etc---focus on the market segment that isn't focused on the most piano like experience. They have to because they can't afford the R&D to develop that level of piano action. Only Roland, Casio and Yamaha really have that action building technology; however, unfortunately, Roland are still improving their modelling, and it's not quite there for me---mainly the amplification and sound clarity, as well as a compressed dynamic range that seems to have plagued the pure-acoustic modelling engine.

I think all attitudes on this subject are fine; however, I guess Kawai will focus on their market segment---those who want a more piano-like experience as they pay more.

Some think that mimicking acoustic piano actions merely leads to actions that have the same limitations. They have a point; however, I don't think it's a bad thing to want an action which you can practice on in the evenings so next day you can work on your acoustic piano and not notice to much transition. Also, for the less classically trained, any action that's comfortable can be said to be great. So for all the use cases, I don't think there is a need for conformity to anyone else's view point. However, to realise that the manufacturers do follow that market segment which is looking for authenticity----this drives the price point.
Posted By: Chummy Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/18/22 06:20 PM
Speaking from experience, the RHIII (ES920) is so much better than the RHC (ES110) it's not even funny. On paper for sure, and when it comes to immitating a "real piano" (well let's face it it doesn't feel like a real piano but hey the ES110 is much further away).

The Roland wooden actions are quite great though, assuming the FP-90x is similar to what they put on the RD-2000 which to me feels legit.
I do hate with passion the action on the FP-60X, having played it in many theater rehearsals. I can hardly play the technical stuff I can easily pull off on an acoustic or even a ES920. Speaking of the FP-60X... What a god awful keyboard, clunkly user interface, menus, .. just the operation of recording onto a USB is a major headache and I haven't figured out how to do it consistently even after reading the manual. This machine doesn't vibe with me unfortunately.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/18/22 06:43 PM
Originally Posted by Chummy
Speaking from experience, the RHIII (ES920) is so much better than the RHC (ES110) it's not even funny. On paper for sure, and when it comes to immitating a "real piano" (well let's face it it doesn't feel like a real piano but hey the ES110 is much further away).

The Roland wooden actions are quite great though, assuming the FP-90x is similar to what they put on the RD-2000 which to me feels legit.
I do hate with passion the action on the FP-60X, having played it in many theater rehearsals. I can hardly play the technical stuff I can easily pull off on an acoustic or even a ES920. Speaking of the FP-60X... What a god awful keyboard, clunkly user interface, menus, .. just the operation of recording onto a USB is a major headache and I haven't figured out how to do it consistently even after reading the manual. This machine doesn't vibe with me unfortunately.

I have played the RD2000, Fantom 88 and LX708. These actions are competitive; however, on other aspects of performance---soundstage, audio-clarity, etc---they are definitely behind Kawai and Yamaha. There really was no comparison in the side-by-side trial I did. Even the ES8 sounded clearer, more expansive than the Roland LX708. The CLP685 was the best playing experience---although unfortunately, the CA99 wasnt released at the time I tested. I think amplification is a tricky and Kawai have really benefited from Onkyo's collaboration. It's such a shame Onkyo have gone bust.

Regarding ES110: it's action is remarkable for the price range. Twenty years ago, £600 would have brought a quite awful action which ever manufacturer you opted to buy from. Also, the FP30 action is quite decent for the price---my sister brought one for her children. I got to play it again---not bad.

Not that the PHAIV standard would have been my choice for the FP60X: the PHAIV premium action would have been a better choice.
Posted By: Jojovan Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/19/22 06:12 PM
Im comparing ES920 (nearest to ES520) to FP-90X (nearest to FP-90).

I owned 920 and sold to get my current 90x.

920 keybed is too loud (PM me, and i can send you a link if wanted) compare to 90X. 920 is also too bouncy when compared.

Realistic wise, 90x resembles more like the acoustic piano (i owned a few uprights and currently Yamaha C2X).

Most important is to try it and like it.

Hope it helps.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/19/22 06:45 PM
8
Originally Posted by Jojovan
Im comparing ES920 (nearest to ES520) to FP-90X (nearest to FP-90).

I owned 920 and sold to get my current 90x.

920 keybed is too loud (PM me, and i can send you a link if wanted) compare to 90X. 920 is also too bouncy when compared.

Realistic wise, 90x resembles more like the acoustic piano (i owned a few uprights and currently Yamaha C2X).

Most important is to try it and like it.

Hope it helps.

Bouncy issues is probably your muscle memory. It's definitely not bouncy as an action (the RHIII).

The key depression seems less than the Grand Feel, so if you go from an action with a deeper key depression and play on the RHIII, your brain thinks it needs to push down further than necessary.

If this was so, it would mean you'd keep pushing against a fully depressed key causing rebound. This is why I think people wrongly feel the action is bouncy. I've been playing the MP7SE for over 2 years now. The last thing that comes to mind is bouncy.

Also, in comparing the ES920 directly to the FP90X, Stu from Merriam Music---who is a fairly decent Jazz pianist---makes a fairly decent comparison of the actions at around 30 min of the review video.

Posted By: EVC2017 Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/19/22 07:05 PM
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Bouncy issues is probably your muscle memory. It's definitely not bouncy as an action (the RHIII).

Sorry to contradict but... Yes, it is bouncy. My ES8 is bouncy. One of the things that used to bother me. Currently I do not mind as much as the freaking clicks that plague mine. Maybe you were lucky and yours is not bouncy or maybe not bouncy enough to bother you.


FWI, some upright actions I tried long ago were as bouncy, so it may not be a big deal after all, at least not for most users. It does not invalidate the fact this bouncyness bothers other owners.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/19/22 07:21 PM
Originally Posted by EVC2017
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Bouncy issues is probably your muscle memory. It's definitely not bouncy as an action (the RHIII).

Sorry to contradict but... Yes, it is bouncy. My ES8 is bouncy. One of the things that used to bother me. Currently I do not mind as much as the freaking clicks that plague mine. Maybe you were lucky and yours is not bouncy or maybe not bouncy enough to bother you.


FWI, some upright actions I tried long ago were as bouncy, so it may not be a big deal after all, at least not for most users. It does not invalidate the fact this bouncyness bothers other owners.

It is possible different playing styles suit different actions, and that the style of playing technique clashes with the action mechanics. However, I have a later model MP7SE, so perhaps it's slightly different to the early ES8 actions.

I also played the RHIII on a Nord Grand and that wasn't to me feeling bouncy. Och well, we are both correct from our own perspectives.
Posted By: vagfilm Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/19/22 08:46 PM
If I remember correctly, I have read somewhere that the action on the mp7 is shallower than in es8 (and maybe es920) because of its stage uses.
Posted By: _sem_ Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/20/22 09:16 AM
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Bouncy issues is probably your muscle memory. It's definitely not bouncy as an action (the RHIII).

I'm also sorry to contradict you, but I didn't buy the ES8 exactly because the action was bouncy in store, specifically on fast key release. I know many other actions are also bouncy upon close inspection, but not to a bothersome level. What was more odd was that the then new CN39/29 with the same RHIII in the same store were not disturbingly bouncy. So I wouldn't dismiss bounciness complaints for the ES920, though I haven't tried one.
This is likely just an issue with a damping strip material...
Posted By: Doug M. Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/20/22 10:33 AM
Originally Posted by _sem_
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Bouncy issues is probably your muscle memory. It's definitely not bouncy as an action (the RHIII).

I'm also sorry to contradict you, but I didn't buy the ES8 exactly because the action was bouncy in store, specifically on fast key release. I know many other actions are also bouncy upon close inspection, but not to a bothersome level. What was more odd was that the then new CN39/29 with the same RHIII in the same store were not disturbingly bouncy. So I wouldn't dismiss bounciness complaints for the ES920, though I haven't tried one.
This is likely just an issue with a damping strip material...

Maybe it's a result of wear-n-tear on the demo units
Posted By: _sem_ Re: ES520 vx FP-90 action - 05/20/22 12:20 PM
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Maybe it's a result of wear-n-tear on the demo units

Maybe, but folks report bounciness also on new ES920.
Wear would probably affect middle octaves more.
© Piano World Piano & Digital Piano Forums