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Topic Options
#2067191 - 04/19/13 03:39 PM Opinion on VPC1 action for serious practising
titowsky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 54
Good evening everybody!

...a question for any pianist owner of the new VPC1: how do you consider it just for the action in order to do some daily serious practising at low volume, or even without volume?

Or... its purpose is too different for such an intended usage?

I would be interested in this device to have a portable solid keyboard which in case could allow me also to play a bit with good sounds; I have been disappointed by the NU1 for various reasons, and my opinion of the CA95 is much better.
So I am moving to a good acoustic, but I will miss the opportunity of some night practise...

Thank you for any opinion/advice.

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#2067202 - 04/19/13 03:59 PM Re: Opinion on VPC1 action for serious practising [Re: titowsky]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
I wish I knew by now...hopefully in the not so distant future. How much in a hurry are you ? My feeling says it will probably be the next best thing for practicing , apart from a real acoustic. Especially since the Kawai actions are known to be relatively quiet and your intention is to practice with low volume or 'dry'...

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#2067226 - 04/19/13 04:41 PM Re: Opinion on VPC1 action for serious practising [Re: titowsky]
titowsky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 54
I would really like to confirm what you assume.
I am not in a hurry: I am already investing a lot of money in giving back my NU1 (here for less than 2 months) for a good acoustic.

But I am looking with much interest in any personal experience with VPC1, unless I am not able to try it by myself somewhere...

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#2067367 - 04/19/13 10:47 PM Re: Opinion on VPC1 action for serious practising [Re: titowsky]
xorbe Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/12
Posts: 573
Loc: Mt View, CA
Has the vpc1 sysex pdf been released yet, detailing the settings inaccessible by front panel?

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#2067394 - 04/20/13 12:20 AM Re: Opinion on VPC1 action for serious practising [Re: titowsky]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9558
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
xorbe, there's a MIDI implementation chart on the VPC website, however no sysex information.

What kind of details are you interested? I can probably find out for you...

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2067469 - 04/20/13 06:21 AM Re: Opinion on VPC1 action for serious practising [Re: titowsky]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9558
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
titowsky, obviously I'm biased, however I believe the VPC1 is the best piano controller keyboard currently available, from any manufacturer.

If you are serious pianist, and searching for the most realistic keyboard action to pair with a high-end virtual piano package, the VPC1 is - in my opinion - the only option.

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2067534 - 04/20/13 09:22 AM Re: Opinion on VPC1 action for serious practising [Re: titowsky]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: titowsky
I would be interested in this device to have a portable solid keyboard which in case could allow me also to play a bit with good sounds;


Hi Titowsky ; a redundant remark, but I assume you DO realize the VPC1 is a controller only solution (no internal sounds) ? The "play a bit with good sounds" remark made me doubt that.

That said I second James reply above.

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#2067595 - 04/20/13 12:23 PM Re: Opinion on VPC1 action for serious practising [Re: titowsky]
airdis Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/22/13
Posts: 3
I'll chime in, as I own a VPC1. One of the main reasons I bought it _was_ for "serious practicing". It works wonderfully. Other weighted keyboards I'd tried always felt fake - this doesn't. It feels like a piano.

Now, I don't currently own an acoustic piano (I'm in a townhouse, so it's not worth it; I couldn't play freely) so the VPC1 is "my piano". I take lessons using a Kawai Grand, and certainly don't have the slightest problem going back and forth. Though I'll admit I am by no means an advanced player; we may have different criteria. But you asked for opinion from VPC1 owners, and it's new enough I don't imagine there's a lot of us just yet.

I suppose it's possible some people might not _like_ the action, just as some don't like, say, Yamahas. But I can't even _imagine_ anyone suggesting it couldn't be used for serious practice, particularly with the options of both the VPC touch curves and the customizability of whatever software you choose to use.

And yes, one of the benefits is if I feel like practicing (or even just noodling) late at night or early in the morning, I just turn the volume on my speakers down. The action on the VPC1 is quiet, so there's no mismatch between loud hammer sounds and quiet piano sounds. And if I do feel like fff'ing to my hearts content at 2am, there's always headphones.

However, I'd pick at one of your words here, I wouldn't exactly describe the VPC1 as "portable". It's "movable", sure, but I wouldn't want to try to manhandle this in-and-out of a cupboard on a daily basis; it's heavy.

Simon

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#2067607 - 04/20/13 01:04 PM Re: Opinion on VPC1 action for serious practising [Re: titowsky]
titowsky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 54
Thank you everybody for your clear answers.

@ Kawai James: you may be biased smile but I always appreciated your attitude reading other answers here on the forum. So your opinion is definately important for me!

@ JFP: yes, yes... I know, but thank you anyway. What I intended to say is that you can play silently as I am used to do for practising but when you want I can enyoj some customization and search for your favourite sound through a laptop... I am not experienced about similar devices, but it sounds funny smile

@ airdis: yes, movable not "portable": anyway it is an additional option... you can take it with care into your car and let it come with you. Absolutely an added value! Good that you seem enthusiast with it!

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#2067928 - 04/21/13 09:29 AM Re: Opinion on VPC1 action for serious practising [Re: titowsky]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 843
The VPC1 is definitely good for serious practicing short of an acoustic. I have yet to encounter a better action in digitals (bar the Kawai GF and Yamaha's Avant Grand action, but these are available only in much more expensive packages). I go back and forth between acoustic pianos and digitals every day, and with the VPC1, for the first time, I don't regret playing a digital action any more. (Now the sound is, as it must, the limiting factor when comparing with an acoustic grand.)

A brilliant keyboard for serious night (or otherwise silent) practice.

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#2068003 - 04/21/13 12:17 PM Re: Opinion on VPC1 action for serious practising [Re: titowsky]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
I am interested in pinning down understanding on this myself.
I'm going to make some statements which are somewhat questions. As I understand.
The only thing that the keys on the VPC lack in comparison to a Concert Grand is length. The VPC keys are the same as Grands lesser than Concert Grand length. Correct? This would be true for even up to a 7 foot Grand? The VPC keys are the same?

I'm also asking because I have a very good piano teacher who is on me to have a keyboard with full size keys. I'm not even sure my keys now are undersized. I'm sure they aren't as big as they can be.
_________________________
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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#2068024 - 04/21/13 01:06 PM Re: Opinion on VPC1 action for serious practising [Re: rnaple]
Temperament Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
We have just received the first direct
action comparison review RM3-II (VPC1,CA15) vs. GF (CA95/65,CS10/7)
over there.

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#2068028 - 04/21/13 01:17 PM Re: Opinion on VPC1 action for serious practising [Re: Temperament]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 843
I also played the GF action before buying the VPC1. It is a very nice and natural action. But actually I don't think it is much lighter. The longer pivot length of the keys is noticeable, though, and will give the impression of a lighter touch.

However in one respect I would contradict Barnie's post in the other thread. There is a striking difference between a 2-sensor action and a 3-sensor action in terms of fast playing and repetitions, i.e. the RM3-II is, very noticeably, better and more piano-like than the RM3 in the MP10.

A further feature of the VPC1 that should not be neglected in these discussions is the touch curve editor. It became clear to me (by simple inspection of the different touch curve presets in the VPC1) that the behavior and feel of an action is *strikingly* different for different touch curves, so that definitely needs to be factored in when talking about piano actions in any given setup. Whether or not a given action is pianistically usable will depend on the right curve being used to match the action to the sound generator.

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#2068051 - 04/21/13 02:01 PM Re: Opinion on VPC1 action for serious practising [Re: rnaple]
Temperament Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
Originally Posted By: Rnaple
The only thing that the keys on the VPC lack in comparison to a Concert Grand is length. The VPC keys are the same as Grands lesser than Concert Grand length. Correct? This would be true for even up to a 7 foot Grand? The VPC keys are the same?


The answer is Yes, but not for the RM3-II action of the VPC1 and CA15 but for the GF action with CA95/65 and CS10/7.

The keys are just of about the same length as the AWA Grand PRO (I-II) actions. The black keys are longer with RM3 and RM3-II, their pivot point is offset to the back of the keys.
(On other actions these differences are compensated by different hammer weighting for black/white keys.)

Some remarks:
1.) the visible and playable key geometry is quite standard in practically all pianos and DPs - there are no real variations.

2.) What matters, is the key length of the key bar from the front to the pivot point, this is the geometrical point around which the key bar is turning. If it is short, the pressure required to play differs more pressing the front part or the back part of a key.

3.) There is an attached fake hammer part with own weights end geometry, often this part is responsible for the interaction with the sensors. The behavior of the action is the result of the whole constructs. (On GF the back lever behind the pivot point is shorter, but the hammer part is larger obviously to compensate for this shorter lever.)

The implications of a short key length under 2. above cannot be compensated easily or effectively.

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