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#2308015 - Today at 04:50 AM Best Digital Piano for Touch
JoeCPiano Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/14
Posts: 3
Loc: Northallerton, England
Hi Guys, I've been reading this website for years now and thought this was a good time to say hello.

I know this question likely has been asked to the absolute death but I'm after a little advice. I've been playing the piano a long time and never had an acoustic due to noise and space restrictions and unfortunately this is still the case.

I've currently got a Yamaha CP33 and the touch is dreadful when comparing against an acoustic piano. I'm using it primarily as a midi controller for ivory II.

I've done a little research and it seems to come down to the Kawai VPC1 or the Roland V piano. Possibly even a CA95.

Basically, whats the best for touch, sounds do not matter as I can use ivory if needs be.


Edited by JoeCPiano (Today at 04:51 AM)

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#2308018 - Today at 05:30 AM Re: Best Digital Piano for Touch [Re: JoeCPiano]
CarloPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/12
Posts: 166
IMHO, the very best digital piano touch I've never played is Yamaha's Avantgrand N3 (I didn't try N2 and N1). Second to this, it's the NU1. Then, in another league but also very good, are the Kawai wooden actions. I like a lot the feeling of the CA 65/95. But, at least for my way of playing and taste I guess, the most responsive action is Roland's PHA 4 of the HP-506/508 (the ones I tried) that can also be found on the RD-800. This one has as a characteristic that the keys are full plastic (I prefer wood) and quite lightweight (this could be a problem if you are going to play or practice on non concert grands, which use to be quite heavy).

I've never been too much fond of Yamaha's regular DP's actions in the past but the new NWX is quite promising, built on solid wood. It's on the Clavinova CLP-545, 475 and 585, as well as on the stage CP-4. I'm sure they worth a try... I'll do as soon as I can.

#2308027 - Today at 06:30 AM Re: Best Digital Piano for Touch [Re: JoeCPiano]
JoeCPiano Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/14
Posts: 3
Loc: Northallerton, England
Thankyou, I have just managed to have a good play on a CA65 and I think it's fantastic. I can't believe the difference in touch between my CP33 and it.

#2308029 - Today at 06:52 AM Re: Best Digital Piano for Touch [Re: JoeCPiano]
pmh Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 04/12/14
Posts: 12
Loc: South Coast UK
Hi JoeCPiano,

I'm also struggling to decide which digital piano to go for. For me the most realistic touch is provided by the Yamaha Avant-Grand's N2 and N3. I actually prefer the N2 but it is so expensive and for a similar price you could go for an excellent acoustic upright silent piano. Of the pure digitals up to around 3500 I also really like the Kawai grand feel action you mention above with the CA65 although all digital makes seem to have a decidedly compromised touch compared to real grand piano's. If you use the piano mainly as a controller for piano software then the Kawai VCP1 is a no brainer being the best choice for a pure controller. At the moment I am gravitating towards the Kawai CS10 which feels, sounds AND looks very nice indeed. Good luck with your search,

Paul H

#2308034 - Today at 07:15 AM Re: Best Digital Piano for Touch [Re: JoeCPiano]
JoeCPiano Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/14
Posts: 3
Loc: Northallerton, England
Hi pmh, I'm so torn between the CA65 and the Kawai VPC1. The CA65 felt fantastic and to be honest I didn't feel much difference between the action on the VPC1 and the CA65. My only worry is that I would hate my playing ability to be hindered just by cutting costs. I imagine this is a common difficulty in choice, it would be interesting to see what people have went for.

#2308044 - Today at 07:58 AM Re: Best Digital Piano for Touch [Re: JoeCPiano]
pmh Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 04/12/14
Posts: 12
Loc: South Coast UK
JoeCPiano, there is a very experienced pianist and teacher on the board who goes by the user name of Morodeine. She purchased the VCP1 and felt its touch was similar to her Petroff Concert Grand. I think she eventually opted for the Kawai MP11 stage piano as she needed the onboard sounds for her teaching. She also mentioned that in comparison to the RM3 Grand II hammer action of the VCP1, the grand touch was lighter in the higher octaves and suggested there was not much difference between the two. With regard to touch and developing technique, I think you will be fine with either. Besides many people seem to advocate supplementing digital practice in general with time spent each week on a real grand piano. There is a helpful discussion of views here,


Regards, Paul H

Edited by pmh (Today at 08:10 AM)
Edit Reason: Name Correction

#2308048 - Today at 08:07 AM Re: Best Digital Piano for Touch [Re: JoeCPiano]
fizikisto Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 295
Loc: Hernando, MS
I think the good news is that either of those choices will suit you well, and I suspect that you will be thrilled with whatever you pick for years to come.

A few questions to consider:

What did you think of the sounds on the CA65 when you played it? Some people just don't like the kawai sound very much, while others love it. Might you like the convenience of having sounds ready to play out of the box?

Are you going to need to move it? If you're a student not set in your career and will likely be moving several times over the next few years, then the portability might be a concern. If you're a retiree living in your own home that's unlikely to change, and plan to park the thing in your living room until the end of time, well then obviously not a concern (Also you might like the ability to cart it over to a friends house for a party or something at some point).

As far as cost goes, That should only be an issue if it's an issue. Can you pay it off and not have it be a financial burden? Are you going to need to finance it and pay it off over 18 months or whatever? My philosophy is that you should get the very best piano that you can afford (and that meets your needs as fully as possible). But I wouldn't want to go into debt for one...you never know when you might have a car in need of repair or a hospital bill or some other unexpected expense.

Anyway, those are my thoughts...offered just in case they might be useful. smile
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Yamaha P-250

#2308051 - Today at 08:18 AM Re: Best Digital Piano for Touch [Re: fizikisto]
BrianDX Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 382
Loc: Lewes DE
I personally owned a Kawai CN34 and I thought the action was pretty good. From what I've read the CA65 has an even better action.

Probably can't go wrong with either choice, but I admit a strong bias for Kawai.
2013 Yamaha C2X "Utsukushi kuro no piano"

Current Goal: "Teach my fingers to play what I feel"
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"

#2308056 - 52 minutes 32 seconds ago Re: Best Digital Piano for Touch [Re: JoeCPiano]
sjw985 Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/14
Posts: 1
So if I may tack on here...

I'm an adult learner but I'm taking my study very seriously - I have stuck with it for two years now and don't see myself slowing down.

Right now I'm using a Casio PX850 but I grew up with my mother's Baldwin grand and play it for a good long while whenever I go home to visit - I find it takes me about 10 minutes to adjust comfortably and then after 15-20 minutes I'm playing better/more expressively than on my Casio. the really good news is that I seem to do noticeably better each time.

Though it was great to start with, I am now feeling that the Casio is starting to limit my development. Based on floor space and the fact that I need to play with headphones sometimes, I want to replace it with the most grand-like DP I can with an eye to continuing studies for a few years and replacing with a real grand when circumstances allow (and skills justify) in maybe 5-10 years.

I was originally zeroing in on the LX-15E but decided to check out the Yamaha 585 before making a decision. Yesterday I had a chance to try the 585 and then immediately jump to the N2 for a while. It may have been circumstances and positioning within the room but I think I slightly preferred the sound of the 585, but the touch of the N2. It definitely felt more like my mom's piano, but was more predictable (her Baldwin is almost 30 years old and she has been using it to give lessons for the last few years).

I see a lot of Kawai support on this board, but living in the Atlanta metro area I'm not aware of anyplace I can go to try a CS10 or CA95.

Has anybody played all the top new pure-digital DPs from Kawai (CA95/CS10), Roland (LX-15E), and Yamaha (CLP-585)? Price differences aside, does any one significantly rise above the other, and which would translate training best to playing a real grand in the future? Of if cost were no object, would the hybrid N2 be worth the significant price premium?

JoeC, this post is not meant to hijack your thread and I apologize if you think this is pulling away from your original post... I was about to post separately when I saw yours, and I thought my question aligned fairly well with yours. I see a lot of discussion of this sort relating to the older models, but very little specifically relating to the newest models.


Edited by sjw985 (51 minutes 54 seconds ago)

#2308063 - 35 minutes 45 seconds ago Re: Best Digital Piano for Touch [Re: JoeCPiano]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8860
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
JoeCPiano, given your requirements, I believe the VPC1 is the best choice.

The keyboard action may not be quite as authentic as the MP11, however it's still vastly superior to your current board, and is arguably the 2nd-best action available in a portable form.

Kind regards,

ps. Lovely part of the world you're living in, by the way...
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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