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#2266127 - Yesterday at 10:00 PM Kawai MP11 vs. Kawai VPC-1 Action / Key Length
jp2011 Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 04/23/14
Posts: 2
For those who have played both an MP11 and VPC-1:

1. How much of a difference does the extra key length in the MP11 make in terms of playability and expressing the nuance of certain notes or chords?

For those not in the know, the MP11 features the 'Grand Feel' action, which is the flagship action found in Kawai's Concert Artist digital pianos. It has the longest key length. In contrast, the VPC-1 features a nearly identical but slightly shorter key length called the 'RM3 Grand II' action.

The only difference that matters to me between the MP11 and VPC-1 is the slightly longer action in the MP11. I don't care about all the mod wheels or pitch benders on the MP11 (which are completely absent on the VPC-1).

Is it worth paying $2800 - $1800 = $1000 more for the slightly increased key length?

2. Any difference between the repetition speed of the keys? Do the keys from one model rebound slower (a deal killer for playing fast songs like Listzt's La Campanella)?

Liszt's La Campanella, an example of the song I want to play (starts at 1:57).

Summary: Basically I'm wondering if the VPC-1's shorter key length might make me hit an upper limit on the kind of songs I can play.

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#2266134 - Yesterday at 10:22 PM Re: Kawai MP11 vs. Kawai VPC-1 Action / Key Length [Re: jp2011]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10793
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
The short answer to your questions is the difference won't matter. You just have to work a bit harder when playing high up on the key (white keys in the area between the black keys). You can still play with nuance, it is just an adjustment you make.

If the only factor that matters to you is the difference in key length, then I don't think the MP11 is worth the difference in cost. If, however, there are other factors at play (i.e. onboard sounds, recording capabilities), then the longer key length may be enough to tip the scales in its favor. It was for me, but if those things aren't important then you will be very happy with the VPC1 as a means of playing advanced classical piano.

I went with the MP11 more because I wanted the convenience of onboard sounds and when I tried the GF action I was pleasantly surprised. I am an advanced classical player and while I noticed a difference between the RM3-II action and the GF action, I still really enjoyed the VPC1.

I'd say the difference is similar to playing on a heavy action piano and something less heavy. The VPC1 was almost identical to my Petrof concert grand, and the MP11 is slightly lighter than that when playing toward the top of the keys. There is NO difference in repetition of the keys. Trills are great on both.


Edited by Morodiene (Yesterday at 10:22 PM)
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2266138 - Yesterday at 10:31 PM Re: Kawai MP11 vs. Kawai VPC-1 Action / Key Length [Re: jp2011]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8427
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
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_________________________
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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#2266139 - Yesterday at 10:32 PM Re: Kawai MP11 vs. Kawai VPC-1 Action / Key Length [Re: jp2011]
jp2011 Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 04/23/14
Posts: 2
So would you say that, with either the MP11 or VPC1, that advanced classical pieces aren't limited by your piano (that is to say the piano does not limit your piano skill)?

I posted this on Gearslutz, and someone who played the MP11 commented that he wasn't able to play advanced classical pieces. Please tell me it's all okay!

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#2266144 - Yesterday at 10:38 PM Re: Kawai MP11 vs. Kawai VPC-1 Action / Key Length [Re: Kawai James]
GWILLY Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 03/17/14
Posts: 4
Morodiene, curious about another comparison between the two. Have you tried playing software p iano via your MP11? I'm wondering if it maps as expressively to the sounds (as the VPC) or has any of that functionality? smile

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#2266146 - Yesterday at 10:38 PM Re: Kawai MP11 vs. Kawai VPC-1 Action / Key Length [Re: jp2011]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10793
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: jp2011
So would you say that, with either the MP11 or VPC1, that advanced classical pieces aren't limited by your piano (that is to say the piano does not limit your piano skill)?

I posted this on Gearslutz, and someone who played the MP11 commented that he wasn't able to play advanced classical pieces. Please tell me it's all okay!


You tell me:

https://app.box.com/s/4bphqub8a8xa9qqauc5j

Really, a good pianist can make even an out-of-tune spinet sing. Of course, you want something better than a piano that makes you work for every subtlety.

I find that either Kawai DP gets very close to the feel of playing a good, large, grand piano. Close, but not there 100%. Much better than playing a good upright. If you want to play a good grand, you'll have to pay the money to get that. But for under $3k, well, that's pretty darn good, IMO.

I honestly don't know what could cause someone to be unable to play advanced classical pieces on the MP11, except the inability or unwillingness to adjust; something you'd have to when when performing on any instrument that is not your own - acoustic or digital. So it seems like that person took that extreme stance for shock value, or maybe they really have trouble adjusting to different actions.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2266151 - Yesterday at 10:40 PM Re: Kawai MP11 vs. Kawai VPC-1 Action / Key Length [Re: GWILLY]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10793
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: GWILLY
Morodiene, curious about another comparison between the two. Have you tried playing software p iano via your MP11? I'm wondering if it maps as expressively to the sounds (as the VPC) or has any of that functionality? smile
Great question! I haven't had the time to fiddle with it (especially since I've been pretty happy with the on-board piano sound thus far). I expect that once I settle into my summer place in a few weeks I'll be a bit more experimental on that front.

My initial guess is that the MP11 is just as capable a MIDI instrument as the VPC1. Perhaps James can shed some light on that in the meantime.


Edited by Morodiene (Yesterday at 10:40 PM)
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2266186 - 17 minutes 43 seconds ago Re: Kawai MP11 vs. Kawai VPC-1 Action / Key Length [Re: jp2011]
Marcos Daniel Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/13
Posts: 133
Loc: Punta Alta, Buenos Aires, Arge...
Originally Posted By: jp2011
So would you say that, with either the MP11 or VPC1, that advanced classical pieces aren't limited by your piano (that is to say the piano does not limit your piano skill)?

I posted this on Gearslutz, and someone who played the MP11 commented that he wasn't able to play advanced classical pieces. Please tell me it's all okay!


This guy does not have any problem with a Roland digital piano, and many of us believe that Roland actions are a little inferior compared to Kawai's.


Edited by Marcos Daniel (16 minutes 57 seconds ago)

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