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#2144683 - 09/05/13 03:31 PM Physis Piano V-100
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
Now in stock and on demo at a dealer not so far away.

Asking price is € 6750 ("special introduction price" - but to my knowledge that's the exact factory price Viscount lists , so it's a bit funny. Not even street pricing).

Keybed:
V100 has the 'normal' TP40Wood keybed with ivory and triple sensor, whereas the H1 has a customized version especially made for Viscount. What the differences are - if any - is not known to me. Tried the old TP40wood without Ivory or 3rd sensor on a Kurzweil CUP2 and didn't like it very much. Hope the new version is better.

Sound:
that's the part I am really curious about; the way the speaker system performs and integrated with the instrument and how well it tries to persuade in giving the impression of a 'real' piano.


I'll check it out one of the coming days. Keep you posted.

PHYSISPIANO V100 First impression:
I had a short stint on the piano , but before I share my thoughts a few remarks have to be made:

1) The firmware was most probably very old or even a beta version , cause many functions we're still grayed-out and the interface response was pretty slow.
2) The DP was standing against a sort of cardboard wall with a large window, which was far from ideal, cause the wall could resonate and influence the perception of the sound.
3) I had only little time, so I went through some of the piano presets on both speakers and my headphones.

- Overall build quality: it was a white model and didn't look very flashy. I'm sure black PE would look much better, especially since the display is also dark black and would blend better in the cabinet. The white looked a bit cheap here and there. High end piano's of the competition have a more fine grained and detailed look (Lx-15, CS series, Yamaha 480PE). We'll ...they've got years of experience and this is the first Physis upright, so...But considering the price, I'd prefer the CS10, LX-15 for looks. Perhaps the black V100 would reverse my impression. Oh..and the pedals did their job, but we're not as sturdy as e.g. the set on an expensive Yammie or Kawai. Felt a bit too light and loose at times, compared to the real thing.

- Keys ; TP40W is OK, but not as good as the higher end models of the competition (RM3-II, GF, PHA-III, Graded NW). It was better than the old TP40 version of on the Kurzweil CUP2 and also I didn't notice clicking or other noises that the Kurz had. Funny detail is that the black keys have no special finish and look plastic.

- Sound; at first I was not so impressed, cause the sound system sounded quite diffuse. But after a while I got used to it and the sound was quite pleasant. Mid/bass range was over emphasized , but I'm not sure if that was the acoustic interference of the surrounding or the DP itself. All-in-all it does it's work, but there's no 'Ahah' effect. Nothing really special considering the price range, but not bad either. The headphone output had some distortion with my high impedance headphones (400ohm) ; 'normal' headphones pose less problems I assume.

- Piano presets: very inviting. The response and dynamics want to be played and the sustain is nice , natural and long. A bit too long at times , but considering the firmware I assume Viscount has tweaked that in current versions. It's a joy to play. I can confirm , going back and forth between the Physis and sampled piano's , what other's have stated. The delicate voicing control and dynamic interaction make up for any last touch of attack realism the sound may lack for some. One odd thing is that playing pp in the bass range produced a very distant , non-percussive sound ; not very realistic. But I would be surprised if that hasn't been solved in a later firmware version, cause it was immediately noticeable.

Conclusion so far:
- Physispiano definitely has some stark points in the response between keys and sound engine and the very dynamic piano engine it has. Although I rate the Kawai keybeds much higher, you tend to forget that once you start playing and feel the urge to continue playing - especially over headphones. Some improvements could be made to overall build-quality (finish, pedals), the headphones amp and coating for the black keys (!) , start-up time (long!) and have an option to switch off the display while playing ; once you've chosen your favorite preset, you want to play and not look at the christmas tree , how ever nicely done. Last but not least, the price. IMHO it's rather steep, it's basically a H1 in a cabinet with speakers. You pay up about € 2750 for the cabinet and speakers alone and the finishing touch on that could be better for that price difference. At € 5000 with a PE finish, it would make more sense to me. At almost € 7000 ....don't know



Edited by JFP (09/06/13 11:48 AM)

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#2144689 - 09/05/13 03:46 PM Re: Physis Piano V-100 [Re: JFP]
pianoxcape Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/08
Posts: 72
Loc: Cape Cod
I'd be interested to hear your feedback... I've been playing a "production sample" H1 (stage piano version) for a couple months now. It doesn't have the integrated speakers, so I'm real interested to hear how the V100 sound system is. I've been enjoying 'tweaking' some of the preset physical models - my favorite so far has been the "ITA Concert Grand". Just recently began digging into the Wurlitzer and Rhodes electric piano models. Let me know your impressions...

Kind regards,
_________________________
- Gary Girouard
Consultant for Viscount ("Physis" Physical-model piano; http://www.physispiano.com)
Pianist/Composer of "The Naked Piano" series (Free Music Samples http://www.garygirouardmusic.com)
Teacher, Entrepreneur...Parent

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#2144708 - 09/05/13 04:39 PM Re: Physis Piano V-100 [Re: JFP]
spanishbuddha Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2386
Loc: UK
That seems really expensive. I tried one in Germany recently and my, possibly faulty recollection, was €4,500.

They had another one there too, possibly a different model and I think it was listed at €3500.

It's a pretty interesting instrument, and you need someone to help you explore all the sound options before coming to a conclusion about the sound(s). It will be through the stores speakers unless you take your own headphones.

I did not like the keyboard. It was 'mushy'.

The vendor, who was not pushy at all, told me they had sold quite a few already.

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#2144727 - 09/05/13 05:17 PM Re: Physis Piano V-100 [Re: JFP]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
@spanishbuddha

Could it be that you're talking about the H1 stage piano ? V100 is a brand new cabinet DP and hardly listed or in stock anywhere ; it's almost impossible they already sold quite a few, that must be the H1 (or H2). Pricing is also more in H1 and H2 range ( € 3999 and € 3333 at the cheaper webshops). H2 has a totally different keybed by the way. Any idea which model you tested ?

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#2145069 - 09/06/13 04:20 AM Re: Physis Piano V-100 [Re: JFP]
spanishbuddha Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2386
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: JFP
@spanishbuddha

Could it be that you're talking about the H1 stage piano ? V100 is a brand new cabinet DP and hardly listed or in stock anywhere ; it's almost impossible they already sold quite a few, that must be the H1 (or H2). Pricing is also more in H1 and H2 range ( € 3999 and € 3333 at the cheaper webshops). H2 has a totally different keybed by the way. Any idea which model you tested ?

Yes apologies. It was a stage piano model or models. I was just browsing around the store and so surprised to stumble across the Physis that I did not take too much notice of some details. As I said it was quite interesting with lots of capability to change the sound. I played mainly the more expensive model, and so my comment about the keybed relates to that. I have to say that these days I am more used to a quite clunky key piano action, but even so and compared to the Casio PX5S I also stumbled across in the same store, I found the Physis action to be soft.

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#2145117 - 09/06/13 08:08 AM Re: Physis Piano V-100 [Re: JFP]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
Could you explain what you mean by the word 'soft' ; I know it's hard to describe a touch/feeling in words, but do you mean 'sluggish' - like with too much loose movement ? Some things are easy to compare , like:

- perceived weight (how 'heavy' it feels),
- resistance (pushing back of the mechanism ; the PX5 has some)
- repetition
- bottoming out (thumping like ROland, or more smooth like Kawai)
- Key travel
...

Don't know where to put 'soft' at this moment ;-) Thanks

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#2145336 - 09/06/13 03:07 PM Re: Physis Piano V-100 [Re: JFP]
spanishbuddha Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2386
Loc: UK
Mushy and soft are comparisons with what I am currently used to on an NU1 which is quite clunky where you can feel the mechanics behind the action. On the PX5S which I also played there, it is clearly a hammer action, as again you can feel the hammer behind the action. On the Physis I tried it was closer for me to something like a Yamaha GHS, but heavier, with less feel of the hammer and less tactile feedback. It seemed to me not a piano action and not a synth action but something in between. I just didn't like it *for piano* and it did indeed give an impression of sluggishness but someone else may just describe it as smooth. I think I'm digging a hole for myself here with inadequate words and it's best you try for yourself smile

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#2145340 - 09/06/13 03:19 PM Re: Physis Piano V-100 [Re: JFP]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
I did (just today ;-)

I agree there is a (huge) world between the NU1 action and the Physis. NU1 was actually standing right across the Physis. There was a nice Bechstein grand too.

To be honest the NU1 is definitely approaching the feel of the average upright, whereas the other DP's usually tend to feel more like a grand piano keybed, like the Bechstein they had nearby. It depends on what you're lookin for, although for representing a real upright in an upright cabinet like the v100 / Lx15/ CS series the NU1 mechanism is a more honest representation , but should then be paired with the sound of an upright as well (instead of grand piano presets).

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#2145402 - 09/06/13 05:36 PM Re: Physis Piano V-100 [Re: JFP]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9367
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
JFP, so what were your thoughts about the Physis?

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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#2145428 - 09/06/13 06:54 PM Re: Physis Piano V-100 [Re: spanishbuddha]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2635
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
On the Physis I tried it was closer for me to something like a Yamaha GHS, but heavier, with less feel of the hammer and less tactile feedback. It seemed to me not a piano action and not a synth action but something in between. I just didn't like it *for piano* and it did indeed give an impression of sluggishness ...


Yes, I think your description may be quite accurate as I had previously owned a Kurzweil Mark Pro 3i that had the Italian Fatar action and it was simply horrendous. Very sluggish as you say.

You would think (or, hope) that the new Physis models would have better actions (with a third sensor and all) but it still doesn't change the fact that most of the Fatar actions have pretty much the same mushy mechanical feel and bottoming out which is not realistic.

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#2145568 - 09/07/13 02:28 AM Re: Physis Piano V-100 [Re: Kawai James]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
JFP, so what were your thoughts about the Physis?

James
x


We'll, I thought my posting at the start summed of most of it. Keep in mind I only had little time, the placement of the DP wasn't ideal and the firmware probably very old or even beta. In white, it does't have the physical workmanship (finishing touch) of the high end PE piano's of the competition. Keys, pedals, looks; it's all the last 5 ~ 10% missing compared to a CS10, 480PE, LX15 etc. But it is the first line of this generation of piano's from Viscount, so I expect these details will be hammered out in the future. But the engine is really nice ; I already did like the playability of Pianoteq and the Physis sounds a bit more realistic to me and has enough options to tweak the sound. Also the variations in piano sounds are huge. There we're some oddities in the sound (playing soft bass note , too long/bit artificial sustain on some presets), but probably a newer firmware has solved that. So once you start playing you're not so much thinking about things like the keys that miss coating on the black keys, have no escapement and are not as good as GF , but simply can enjoy the great amount of control over expression and dynamics you have on the physis.

Problem for me is the price range. I understand that it's a niche marked , development costs must have been huge and building and shipping a DP is expensive, but if you buy a CS10 that looks and feels much nicer , hook up a good software piano and/or Pianoteq , you are still spending thousands less even including a computer. If money isn't really an issue, you should sure check out a physis (V100 / H1) . Make sure it's a black polished one; white didn't do it for me ;-) I think it's good that Viscount started with this range. Hope others will follow with more sophisticated sound engines


Edited by JFP (09/07/13 03:38 AM)

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#2145617 - 09/07/13 06:08 AM Re: Physis Piano V-100 [Re: JFP]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9367
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Thanks mate!
_________________________
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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