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#2321948 - 08/30/14 05:24 PM Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch.
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1182
I'm looking to get a keyboard, possibly, that I can keep at our beach house during the summer and bring it home for silent practicing during the winter when it's not feasible to play my piano.

Last summer, I needed a keyboard to let me practice while abroad, and was warned against renting a keyboard that required me to use a computer to generate the sound. At the time, this made sense. I had no time to figure that out, and I just needed a plug-and-play solution. I rented a Roland V-Piano and it did the job.

But that thing is expensive. I probably would have gotten a keyboard ages ago if the V-Piano weren't so darn expensive! My sense is, however, is that quite a lot of its cost is that you're paying for a top-notch keyboard as well as the top notch software to drive it, all in one very clearly easy-to-use, standalone package.

Now that I have the time to figure everything out, I don't need to buy something that is entirely standalone. Not that I would argue with it if it were, but I don't need to pay a premium for it. In fact, I kind of wonder if divorcing the physical keyboard from the computer that runs it is a terrific way to future-proof myself... Of course, it's going to be a pretty steep learning curve at first, but I do like the challenge and am in no rush whatsoever.

Somebody want to give me a quick education on what I want and what's out there? To review, here are the priorities I have so far identified:

1) Acoustic feel and touch. Critical. My ideal digital keyboard is simply an actual grand piano action, minus, well, everything that extends out beyond that and that a computer processor can replicate.

2) Slab-style. Now, I don't care if it's impractical to move, but I don't need or want a console. It would be convenient if it had on-board speakers, but I'd be just as happy striking those entirely if it saves me space and/or money. I'm going to use this almost exclusively with headphones (that's the main point: if I could make noise, I'd use the acoustic), and I'm happy to buy a speaker or two at some later point if in the future I need it for some reason. Point is, this thing should only be as big as necessary to house the physical things I cannot compromise on and/or separate out in a modular fashion.

3) Price matters. I will spend what it takes to acquire a keyboard that physically replicates an acoustic instrument. In fact, the perfect keyboard would divorce EVERYTHING non-physically critical from it, and assign that role to the computer. This way, it seems to me, it makes it almost infinitely future-proofed. Everything else is optional, and ideally upgradeable. Did the v-Piano make me happy? Sure, but isn't that technically possible in a keyboard that a computer can run?

That's why my initial suspicion is that I'm going to be most happy with a keyboard that is intended to work with a computer. I can improve things as technology improves. I can tweak what I want without having to rely on some kind of firmware update on the keyboard itself. Sampled? Modeled? My choice now, right? Plus, I'm not paying a premium for those things already inside the keyboard. I know I will have to spend money on software, but I can also buy only what I want, right?

If I can save ANYTHING by simply being willing to figure out how to get a computer to do it for me, I am all for it. I can save money AND end up with a cool software project to figure out? Yes, please.

So...school me. What do I want?


Edited by TwoSnowflakes (08/30/14 05:27 PM)
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

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#2321955 - 08/30/14 05:53 PM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
spanishbuddha Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2342
Loc: UK
Starting point is Kawai VPC1, hook it up to PC/MAC. Or Kawai MP11 or Roland RD800 for built in sounds.

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#2321968 - 08/30/14 06:25 PM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1182
What about Yamaha CP4?
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

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#2321969 - 08/30/14 06:25 PM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
fizikisto Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 429
Loc: Hernando, MS
I concur with SpanishBuddha.

If you're willing to spend the money to get their top of the line pianos, Kawai and Roland have the most realistic piano action of the major brands. If you prefer a heavier, more substantial feeling action, than the Kawai pianos probably have the edge. If you prefer a lighter, more nimble action, then the Roland probably has the edge.

Kawai
The VPC1 is a piano controller. it has no onboard sounds. It needs to be connected to a sound source (like a computer running a virtual piano instrument) to generate sounds. If you already have a computer and don't mind going that route, it's probably the most economical choice (depending on what sound libraries you purchase)


The MP11 has their very best action, and their latest, best piano sounds (and quite a few others as well). Note: Best is a relative term though. while the MP11's action is their most advanced action to date, some people prefer the MP7/ES7. The feel of the piano is a very subjective thing. Also, the MP11 is really heavy for a modern digital piano. If portability is a concern the MP7/ES7, or the RD800 might be a better fit.

---------------

The Roland RD800 is roland's flagship stage piano. I'm possibly biased because I have one (I prefer a lighter action, and I adore their piano sounds). The RD800 has Roland's very best Supernatural pianos, electric pianos, and tone wheel organs. It has the largest library of on board sounds. And the action feels incredible.

You should note that any of those pianos can be hooked up to a computer for playing software instruments (only the VPC1 requires that). The ES7 is the only one I mentioned with its own speakers. The others will require either external speakers or a good set of headphones.

Listen to demos, and if you can, try to get your hands on them to play for yourself. But any of those choices would make for an excellent piano.
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2321970 - 08/30/14 06:32 PM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
fizikisto Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 429
Loc: Hernando, MS
TwoSnowflakes
The CP4 is another good possibility. I've read some mixed opinions about its action, but it's yamaha's best action to date, and some people really love it. It's probably worth trying just for the comparison, plus you might be one of the people who really loves it. I've not actually played a CP4 yet, but my impression from reviews that I've read is that like kawai, it tends to the heavier side of things.

Warm Regards.
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2321971 - 08/30/14 06:37 PM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: fizikisto]
Possum SP280Krome Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 621
Does anyone have any opinions of the F20? I played it and liked some things about; I thought the action was very good for the price ($900 before any potential coupons) and I enjoyed some of the piano variations as well as the rhodes sound.

However, i did not find a line out on it and found the volume okay, but am going to check what were the options if any besides the headphone jack
_________________________
Roland Juno Gi
Casio PX-130
Korg Krome 61
Korg SP280

Rokit KRK 6 monitors
MXL V67G microphone

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#2321973 - 08/30/14 06:44 PM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1182
Wow, the MP11 is 70 lbs! Good lord that's big, compared to the others (RD800 is 47lbs, CP4 is 38lbs). I wonder what the difference is and whether it matters in terms of sound quality/feel.

On the other hand, it's still almost 15 pounds lighter than the V-Piano and that wasn't so bad.

They're all nothing compared to my 6ft grand piano, after all! smile


Edited by TwoSnowflakes (08/30/14 06:48 PM)
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

Top
#2321981 - 08/30/14 07:13 PM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: fizikisto]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1182
Originally Posted By: fizikisto
I concur with SpanishBuddha.

If you're willing to spend the money to get their top of the line pianos, Kawai and Roland have the most realistic piano action of the major brands.



One of the things that prompted me to look into this at all was because I was considering having my piano retrofitted with a silent system--I haven't looked far into this to know all the things I need to know about them, but it has one advantage over other pianos in that I certainly do not have to worry that my keyboard will feel anything other than a grand piano keyboard.

But it's certainly going to cost me at least $1000 to do it, my sense is. If $2-3000 buys me a keyboard action that is within reasonable spitting distance of a real grand piano action, then the extra $1-2000 is effectively buying me the ability to have a second instrument entirely. I can use it to practice when I have to be silent just like if I'd put it on my regular piano, but I gain all the other advantages. For example, now two people can play, if it comes to it; every once in a while my daughter and I overlap on when we want to practice and there's plenty I can do that doesn't strictly require me to be on the acoustic. Plus, the portability.

Well worth the added cost.
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

Top
#2321987 - 08/30/14 07:26 PM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
Starboard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/03/14
Posts: 36
I'll echo spanishbuddha and fizikisto by saying that with price as a concern and a preference for slab-models, the best value for your purposes would probably be Kawai's VPC-1 (pure MIDI controller) or any of the other higher-end stage pianos. Your thought process is well-reasoned: the best sound comes from software instruments, and you can save money with a modular solution.

I bought an MP11 last month--so I can tell you first-hand that its keys are fantastic--but I'll also tell you that I'm nearing the end of its 30-day return period and I think I'm going to be exchanging it for either a VPC-1 or an MP7 (if I think I can't live without any onboard sound at all). I've been absolutely tickled by the premise of a VPC-1 + NUC setup, and while the VPC-1's keys are a slight downgrade from the MP11, the cost of a VPC-1, an outfitted NUC (add in RAM, SSD, and audio interface onto the base price), and a Pianoteq license is still less than that of an MP11.

And on the software end, Pianoteq 5 instantly converted me into a believer in fully modeled pianos. It's so immensely satisfying to play and I think it's a better overall sound than any sample library I've yet experienced (but I haven't tried the popular Ivory II; I don't care for iLoks).

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#2321999 - 08/30/14 08:11 PM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1182
Ok, just on specs alone, sounds like the MP11 is everything I want it to be, as long as the weight is not going to present an issue, but I don't think it will.

If one WERE looking to buy this as a replacement for a upright digital piano (i.e. one that has built-in speakers) how easy is that to do? At work, my teacher plays as a ballet accompanist for at least an hour or two a day on a pretty aging Yamaha Clavinova that was not top of the line even when new. If it's just a matter of a couple of good speakers and a stand to turn a slab keyboard into a one-to-one replacement of the Clavinova, then it's a possibility that we could get a massive upgrade under my teacher's fingers for less money than I think anybody suspects. I don't think anybody has wondered what digital piano technology has progressed to recently and basically assumes that even if it has gotten significantly better, it would be prohibitively expensive to upgrade. But this is not prohibitively expensive and feels like it would be an enormous upgrade in terms of a satisfactory playing experience. Sure, it looks less like a "real piano" than the Clavinova, but my sense is that it is much more of a real piano than the Clavinova.

How would, say, any of these keyboards (I guess the most straightforward comparison is with the CP4) compare to any of the current models of upright-style Clavinova, if the older Clavinova were to be replaced?


Edited by TwoSnowflakes (08/30/14 08:15 PM)
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

Top
#2322002 - 08/30/14 08:19 PM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: Starboard]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1182
Originally Posted By: Starboard
I'll echo spanishbuddha and fizikisto by saying that with price as a concern and a preference for slab-models, the best value for your purposes would probably be Kawai's VPC-1 (pure MIDI controller) or any of the other higher-end stage pianos. Your thought process is well-reasoned: the best sound comes from software instruments, and you can save money with a modular solution.

I bought an MP11 last month--so I can tell you first-hand that its keys are fantastic--but I'll also tell you that I'm nearing the end of its 30-day return period and I think I'm going to be exchanging it for either a VPC-1 or an MP7 (if I think I can't live without any onboard sound at all). I've been absolutely tickled by the premise of a VPC-1 + NUC setup, and while the VPC-1's keys are a slight downgrade from the MP11, the cost of a VPC-1, an outfitted NUC (add in RAM, SSD, and audio interface onto the base price), and a Pianoteq license is still less than that of an MP11.

And on the software end, Pianoteq 5 instantly converted me into a believer in fully modeled pianos. It's so immensely satisfying to play and I think it's a better overall sound than any sample library I've yet experienced (but I haven't tried the popular Ivory II; I don't care for iLoks).


To be clear, however, you are considering returning it purely from a cost perspective, yes? There's nothing inherently preferable about the VPC1 or MP7, am I correct? In other words, if cost was identical, would you still pick the VPC1 or MP7 over the MP11?
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

Top
#2322003 - 08/30/14 08:22 PM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1182
I wonder if the VPC1-NUC combo would work just as well with a MacMini? I have one lying around to dedicate.
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

Top
#2322004 - 08/30/14 08:25 PM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
petes1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 114
Shoot, all you need to do would be to add 2 monitors and a subwoofer, and the thing would sound great and would blow most DP's with incorporated speakers out of the water. Myself, I have a pair of PreSonus Eris E5 Powered Studio Monitor Speakers as well as PreSonus Temblor T10, all hooked up to my Roland RD800 and am as happy a tornado in a trailer park. This baby rocks, and makes my music sound good, which is quite an accomplishment I must admit.

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#2322005 - 08/30/14 08:26 PM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: Starboard]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1182
Originally Posted By: Starboard


And on the software end, Pianoteq 5 instantly converted me into a believer in fully modeled pianos. It's so immensely satisfying to play and I think it's a better overall sound than any sample library I've yet experienced (but I haven't tried the popular Ivory II; I don't care for iLoks).


I admit to being intrigued by this, too. The V-Piano was modeled, and while I still had no trouble hearing the difference, I wonder if I'd be in computer heaven getting under the hood with it for fun using Pianoteq. After all, I still have my acoustic.
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

Top
#2322008 - 08/30/14 08:33 PM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2072
Loc: Rocky Mountains
You could get a Ravenworks VPC. That's the name Ravenscroft uses for reworking new VPC's. I guess you could say they Blueprint them? Supposed to be pretty nice.

I sure would appreciate being told how to set pianoteq5 to sound so great? I'll try it. I have it. Still can't say it is as good as some sampled pianos.
_________________________
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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#2322024 - 08/30/14 09:40 PM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
Starboard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/03/14
Posts: 36
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
To be clear, however, you are considering returning it purely from a cost perspective, yes? There's nothing inherently preferable about the VPC1 or MP7, am I correct? In other words, if cost was identical, would you still pick the VPC1 or MP7 over the MP11?

Correct, my (probably soon forthcoming) decision to return the MP11 is based solely on cost. The MP11's keys are strictly superior to those of the VPC-1. No question, I'd pick the MP11 over the VPC-1 if their prices were identical.

Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
I wonder if the VPC1-NUC combo would work just as well with a MacMini? I have one lying around to dedicate.

If the Mac Mini has the CPU power for low-latency Pianoteq or the RAM/drive access speed for large sample libraries it absolutely could (not knowing the vintage of your own, I'll say that the current models would be easily capable based on a quick look at their specs). I enjoy neat little technical projects like setting up and customizing a NUC-style configuration--and you seem to as well, judging by your original post--so something about the efficiency incorporating a VPC-1 into such a setup really speaks to me. I can envision using a pair of strong magnets (one inside the NUC, one on an outer edge of the interior of the VPC-1's case) to affix the NUC in place on the back side or top of the slab. Or maybe a little removable nest/cradle that could be attached to a leg of the stand. The integration potential is just too neat!

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#2322032 - 08/30/14 09:51 PM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
fizikisto Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 429
Loc: Hernando, MS
The advantage of the MP11 or the Roland RD800 is that you get really great sounds out of the box. Plug in headphones (or speakers/monitors) and you're good to go. And they both really do sound amazing. The kawai MP11 samples actual kawai pianos. And the Roland uses it's proprietary Supernatural system (a combination of sampling and modeling) based on several different pianos (including a patch based on the V-piano grand which sounds awesome). You can of course add a Virtual piano like pianoteq or galaxy to either of them, but you may find that you simply don't need to. (On the other, hand, you may find that you simply want to. smile In any case, you've got a lot of options. That's a good thing. smile
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2322036 - 08/30/14 10:00 PM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9086
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
A review of Pianoteq running on a NUC here:

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/viewtopic.php?id=3196

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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#2322042 - 08/30/14 10:26 PM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
fizikisto Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 429
Loc: Hernando, MS
Nice Link Kawai James. Thanks much! smile
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2322058 - 08/30/14 11:06 PM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9086
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Yes, these tiny barebones systems are really great - they remind me a little of the 'Shuttle' barebones PCs I became interested in 10+ years ago, albeit on a much smaller scale.

Certainly, if I was considering a standalone VPC1 setup, I'd almost certainly go the NUC route.

That, or the 2x Muse Receptor Trio running Ivory II America D, used by Billy Joel. wink

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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#2322066 - 08/30/14 11:27 PM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: Starboard]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1182
Originally Posted By: Starboard


Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
I wonder if the VPC1-NUC combo would work just as well with a MacMini? I have one lying around to dedicate.

If the Mac Mini has the CPU power for low-latency Pianoteq or the RAM/drive access speed for large sample libraries it absolutely could (not knowing the vintage of your own, I'll say that the current models would be easily capable based on a quick look at their specs). I enjoy neat little technical projects like setting up and customizing a NUC-style configuration--and you seem to as well, judging by your original post--so something about the efficiency incorporating a VPC-1 into such a setup really speaks to me. I can envision using a pair of strong magnets (one inside the NUC, one on an outer edge of the interior of the VPC-1's case) to affix the NUC in place on the back side or top of the slab. Or maybe a little removable nest/cradle that could be attached to a leg of the stand. The integration potential is just too neat!


I'll have to see! It's worth the shot. The only other thing this Mac Mini is doing is really beneath it. It simply drives a monitor that I put on the piano desk like an open score. The monitor is pretty cool: it's a frameless, ultra slim, matte LED screen that is more or less the same size as an open Henle book. I have a pdf library of piano scores on the drive. Before playing, I use my regular laptop to navigate and choose from the score library by screen sharing. Anyway, I probably could have just used the laptop touchpad to turn pages, but that was no fun, and still necessitated removing a hand from the keyboard. Once I latched onto the idea of making this a fully hands-free experience during play, well, I couldn't leave well enough alone. I saw a few foot pedal solutions, but all were ugly and expensive. I thought it would be hilarious if it looked like a regular grand piano pedal and none did. So, I ended up getting an inexpensive but heavy duty single digital piano pedal, and soldering its jack to an arduino board I programmed to send simple commands via the mini's usb bus. So the mac mini is really just running a fancy page-turning device, hee hee: Push the pedal once, page down. Push twice within a half second, page back one. Push and hold, back to the beginning. The digital pedal sits next to my regular piano pedals as a fourth pedal. So, three do what piano pedals usually do, and the fourth has a funny cord running out the back.

Do I need help? Yes, yes I probably do. Or at least a hobby to keep me occupied. Maybe I should pick up playing the piano. I hear it's very satisfying. wink
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

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#2322094 - 08/31/14 01:28 AM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1182
Ok, so I spent a lot of time going into things tonight based on all the excellent information in this thread.

My guess is I am not going to be able to resist using some kind of software piano, so now the question really is if I'm giving anything up, sound-wise, by skipping on board options.

Viewed purely as VPCs and nothing more (i.e. ignore everything that the RD800, MP11, and the CP4 offer other than as a midi controller), are any of these keyboards clearly better than the other as an acoustic replacement? I ask because the VPC1 is the heaviest of all of them other than the MP11 and does the least. So it's possible the VPC1 really is the most "grand like" keyboard but just not really for everybody because it's not capable of being a standalone piano. Or, maybe it's just unnecessarily heavy and they all are basically as grand-action like as the next.

So, assuming I am willing (likely, even) to just get Pianoteq/True Keys/ivory II anyway, is there something still worth having in the on-board sounds other than convenience? Like, maybe no matter what I do, software-wise, there's just something you can't replicate about on-board processing. Because, hey, convenience? Pshaw. If I need an instrument I can sit in front of and play without having to boot and connect peripherals, I can sit in front my acoustic. It doesn't even have an on/off button! Genius!
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

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#2322145 - 08/31/14 07:06 AM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
eulerdisk Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/01/13
Posts: 13
Loc: Italy
@TwoSnowflakes

The Mac mini is perfectly fine. Unless you have a very old model, a recent Mac mini outperform the Intel NUC. In addition to that, in my experience OSX is better than Windows for audio latency issues.

For VPC1-MP11, I suggest you to try them both if you can. The longer keys of MP11 could make a big difference for YOU, especially if you are used to a grand piano.
Many people do not consider it a problem because they play a repertoire that does not require to go "up" on the keys. But if you play advanced classical music, it could be annoying, unless you have already a very good technique.

You can see ad interactive demo of the action here:
http://www.kawaivpc.com/en/features/
http://www.kawaimp.com/mp11/detail/touch/

For Pianoteq vs sampled libraries. Well Pianoteq is a hate/love topic on its own. Many love it because its responsiveness, many detest it cause its sound is objectively "artificial". Fortunately there' a free trial.
However in the software piano world, there's no a plug-and-play solution. The risk is that you will end up spending (losing) time and money on settings things up (velocity curves, reverbs ...) or buying different instrument.
If you have a grand piano and the digital is only you secondary instrument, I don't know if I would bother with a software piano.


Edited by eulerdisk (08/31/14 07:13 AM)

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#2322148 - 08/31/14 07:35 AM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
Enthusiast Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/13
Posts: 237
Loc: UK
I think the only real aspect of the MP11's action that's superior over the VPC1's is the longer pivot point. But the MP11's action is not just the VPC1's action with a longer pivot point they both feel quite different and have different key textures. Which feels more realistic is subjective. I prefer the action in the VPC1 as it feels more like a real piano to me but can't deny having that longer pivot point in the MP11 is nice.

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#2322150 - 08/31/14 07:40 AM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
fizikisto Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 429
Loc: Hernando, MS
Twosnowflakes
Really, you should try to play each of the models that you're considering, if possible. Each of them feel very realistic and offer as close to an authentic piano feel as you can currently find. But like any two acoustic grand pianos, they do feel different from each other. While you would probably be satisfied with any of them, the only way to really know which one best speaks to you is to try them out for yourself.

Warm Regards
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2322155 - 08/31/14 08:07 AM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: eulerdisk]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2072
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Twosnowflakes.... You're one of those that gets us thinking vicariously through you. Gee....if I could do anything....gee....

Originally Posted By: eulerdisk

If you have a grand piano and the digital is only you secondary instrument, I don't know if I would bother with a software piano.


This is one reason to have something with onboard sounds. Even if you use software piano most of the time. If you ever want to. It's easier to take it with you somewhere and use.
Yet, with the software piano. You can have different piano sounds. Basically different pianos. For instance; something good for Ragtime.

Basically.....I don't think you're losing anything as far as sound from a software piano. The sky is the limit and they just keep getting better.

Originally Posted By: eulerdisk


For VPC1-MP11, I suggest you to try them both if you can. The longer keys of MP11 could make a big difference for YOU, especially if you are used to a grand piano.
Many people do not consider it a problem because they play a repertoire that does not require to go "up" on the keys. But if you play advanced classical music, it could be annoying, unless you have already a very good technique...


I know I didn't like the PX-150 only for this reason. I'd already gotten used to longer keys. (I don't play anything advanced, yet.)
I do have to admit. I was playing on an old Roland at my lessons. It didn't bother me to translate from at home.
You really should compare and judge for yourself. The keys make a big difference. Again.... You really should find a way to try out that Ravensworks VPC. Might be well worth the money.
I can't help but think the Ravenworks has given Piano Technicians an idea. To offer refinement of the high end Kawai DP actions. Or customize them to your liking...weight, etc.
_________________________
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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#2322181 - 08/31/14 09:23 AM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: petes1]
Marko in Boston Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 885
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: petes1
Shoot, all you need to do would be to add 2 monitors and a subwoofer, and the thing would sound great and would blow most DP's with incorporated speakers out of the water. Myself, I have a pair of PreSonus Eris E5 Powered Studio Monitor Speakers as well as PreSonus Temblor T10, all hooked up to my Roland RD800 and am as happy a tornado in a trailer park. This baby rocks, and makes my music sound good, which is quite an accomplishment I must admit.


Ditto - literally! The Eris/Roland combo sounds incredible.

However, the MP11 might be the ideal board for your first requirements of action. As heavy as it is, you say you don't care if it's impractical to move. Lastly, you want future proof. Well, MP11 still can be a heck of nice controller 10 years from now.




Edited by Marko in Boston (08/31/14 09:25 AM)
_________________________
KAWAI ES7 | ROLAND RD-800 | TRAYNOR K4 | YAMAHA STAGEPAS 400i | PRESONUS ERIS 5 & T10 | SHURE SRH1540 | SENNHEISER HD380 | K&M OMEGA

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#2322202 - 08/31/14 11:11 AM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1182
On specs, it sounds like the Kawai stands the best chance of being my play, whether it be the MP11 or the VPC1.

I'm not entirely certain where I can go to demo it, though. Kawai is weirdly difficult to find around here. I'm familiar enough with the Roland through the V-Piano, assuming the keyboard is largely the same. I think for now I'm going to set aside the Yamaha as a choice. It doesn't appear to be lighting the world on fire and I'm not intrinsically a fan of Yamaha or anything.

One thing I could do is get the VPC1, set it up with True Keys Piano, and wait patiently for the VPC2, and/or get the MP11.
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

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#2322204 - 08/31/14 11:15 AM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
Silver Keys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/21/13
Posts: 91
Loc: Upstate N.Y.
You may want to consider checking out the Yamaha P-155 (or the new model, the P-255).

At the $1000.00 price point, I found its action to be superior to others in the store. It's on board speakers are kind of lousy, but it sounds great w headphones and it's not too heavy to pick up and carry.

EDIT--oh well! After seeing your last post which went up while I was in the middle of composing this one!


Edited by Silver Keys (08/31/14 11:20 AM)
_________________________
So much music and so little time!
-----------------------------------
1916 Mason & Hamlin BB
Yamaha P155

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#2322206 - 08/31/14 11:29 AM Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: Silver Keys]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1182
Originally Posted By: Silver Keys
You may want to consider checking out the Yamaha P-155 (or the new model, the P-255).

At the $1000.00 price point, I found its action to be superior to others in the store. It's on board speakers are kind of lousy, but it sounds great w headphones and it's not too heavy to pick up and carry.

EDIT--oh well! After seeing your last post which went up while I was in the middle of composing this one!


LOL, no worries! Believe me, I'm not rejecting it because I'm categorically against Yamaha, it's just that with the piano action being the important element here, it doesn't sound as if the CP4 is likely to win. Is the P255 somehow a better piano action than the action in the CP4 or the MP11?

I'm hampered by the general lack of familiarity with the different manufacturers' actions, and then the different actions within one manufacturer. Grand Feel, PHIII...it's difficult to figure them out, and there doesn't seem to be an easy way to compare them all.
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

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