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#2363283 - 12/18/14 11:40 PM The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign!
PianoManChuck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/05/12
Posts: 114
Loc: Los Angeles, California
I've had the pleasure to try out the new custom-modded Kawai VPC1 by Ravenworks Design (builders of Ravenscroft concert grand pianos). WOW!!!

Here's my review:
http://youtu.be/rIRI7rDR5js

If you're going to NAMM 2015 next month, you've definitely got to check this out at the Ravenscroft booth.... it'll just blow you away!

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#2363435 - 12/19/14 11:03 AM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: PianoManChuck]
lolatu Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 564
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: PianoManChuck

Here's my review:

"Infomercial" is the correct term, I believe.
_________________________
Kawai CA95 / Pianoteq Stage / Sony MDR-7506 / Steinberg UR22
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810

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#2363449 - 12/19/14 11:36 AM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: PianoManChuck]
dewster Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4366
Loc: Northern NJ
@ 1:25 you say the VPC "has the longest wooden key sticks in the industry". But in another video of yours you specifically point out the fact that Kawai's GF action (unfortunately not in the VPC1) is noticeably longer than the RM3 action (in the VPC1):



So who is right, PianoManChuck, or PianoManChuck?
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#2363457 - 12/19/14 11:46 AM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: dewster]
PianoManChuck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/05/12
Posts: 114
Loc: Los Angeles, California
No... the VPC1 has the longest keysticks (RM3/II) in the industry FOR A CONTROLLER! That's what this video is about.

The MP11 (Grand Feel) has the longest keysticks for not only a stage piano, but in general.

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#2363459 - 12/19/14 11:47 AM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: lolatu]
PianoManChuck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/05/12
Posts: 114
Loc: Los Angeles, California
Originally Posted By: lolatu
Originally Posted By: PianoManChuck

Here's my review:

"Infomercial" is the correct term, I believe.

LOL!! I wish it was an infomercial (that way I'd actually make some money with it)!

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#2363462 - 12/19/14 11:56 AM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: dewster]
PianoManChuck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/05/12
Posts: 114
Loc: Los Angeles, California
Originally Posted By: dewster
@ 1:25 you say the VPC "has the longest wooden key sticks in the industry". But in another video of yours you specifically point out the fact that Kawai's GF action (unfortunately not in the VPC1) is noticeably longer than the RM3 action (in the VPC1):



So who is right, PianoManChuck, or PianoManChuck?


By the way - in that same video that you reference, at 1:11 I also state that the VPC1 has the longest wooden keysticks in the industry FOR A CONTROLLER.

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#2363475 - 12/19/14 12:20 PM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: PianoManChuck]
emenelton Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 557
Does it have a built in computer?

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#2363496 - 12/19/14 01:14 PM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: PianoManChuck]
littlebirdblue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/14
Posts: 76
I do have a few questions but maybe I need to be contacting the manufacture:

• price
• warranty
• if something happens during transit, is a Kawaii tech going to know how to put things back according to he customization?
• Can we still use other software?

etc

I am curious to see if there is indeed a market for something like this.

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#2363504 - 12/19/14 01:30 PM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: PianoManChuck]
dewster Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4366
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: PianoManChuck
No... the VPC1 has the longest keysticks (RM3/II) in the industry FOR A CONTROLLER!

If you meant that then why didn't you state it clearly?
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#2363529 - 12/19/14 02:48 PM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: dewster]
PianoManChuck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/05/12
Posts: 114
Loc: Los Angeles, California
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: PianoManChuck
No... the VPC1 has the longest keysticks (RM3/II) in the industry FOR A CONTROLLER!

If you meant that then why didn't you state it clearly?

Hmmm... a few comments back, you went out of your way to find a previous video of mine about key lengths, then intentionally referenced a time (1:25) that appears to state something different than had you pointed to 14 seconds earlier (1:11)...
enough said.

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#2363531 - 12/19/14 02:53 PM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: littlebirdblue]
PianoManChuck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/05/12
Posts: 114
Loc: Los Angeles, California
Originally Posted By: littlebirdblue
I do have a few questions but maybe I need to be contacting the manufacture:

• price
• warranty
• if something happens during transit, is a Kawaii tech going to know how to put things back according to he customization?
• Can we still use other software?

etc

I am curious to see if there is indeed a market for something like this.

Those can be answered directly from the source. Their website is www.RavenworksDigital.com with contact information within.

I do know that Ravenworks is fully authorized by Kawai for this mod, and that both companies support the warranty.

As for other software, its still a Kawai VPC1 - you can do the exact same things with it as a stock VPC1 from Kawai.

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#2363533 - 12/19/14 02:54 PM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: emenelton]
PianoManChuck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/05/12
Posts: 114
Loc: Los Angeles, California
Originally Posted By: emenelton
Does it have a built in computer?

Its a controller, and like any other controller it does not have its own built-in sound source, if that's what you're asking. It needs to be plugged into an external sound source (other MIDI device, or virtual piano running on a computer).

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#2363538 - 12/19/14 03:05 PM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: PianoManChuck]
emenelton Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 557
Thanks PMC!

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#2363547 - 12/19/14 03:32 PM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: PianoManChuck]
dewster Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4366
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: PianoManChuck
Those can be answered directly from the source. Their website is www.RavenworksDigital.com with contact information within.

Too bad that site isn't functional yet, though there is contact info.

I'm not sure I'd want someone mucking around in my new VPC1, replacing OEM Kawai materials and altering key weights - what, Kawai doesn't know piano actions well enough to do them right in the first place? And if I were going this route, I'd want it performed on Kawai's best action (GF, which IIRC is comparable in key-to-pivot length to a short grand action). And I really wouldn't want painted birds flying all over the thing. I'm obviously missing the point of this (probably fairly pricy) mod.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#2363620 - 12/19/14 06:20 PM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: PianoManChuck]
PianoManChuck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/05/12
Posts: 114
Loc: Los Angeles, California
As long as we're on the topic of the Ravenworks modded VPC1, this video deals with how it handles triple-sensor technology:

http://youtu.be/z7heUyLkjCY

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#2363637 - 12/19/14 06:39 PM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: PianoManChuck]
dewster Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4366
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: PianoManChuck
As long as we're on the topic of the Ravenworks modded VPC1, this video deals with how it handles triple-sensor technology:

http://youtu.be/z7heUyLkjCY



00:43 - "the first sensor sending a note-on MIDI message"
01:20 - "basically the first one again is note-on"

No. In both the 2 and 3 sensor case, there is no MIDI note-on message sent until the key passes the bottom sensor and velocity is calculated.

If anything, the top sensor is note-OFF at full release of the key.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#2363669 - 12/19/14 08:25 PM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: PianoManChuck]
littlebirdblue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/14
Posts: 76
I managed to find pricing on the site. I didn't realize there was a link that took me to more info.

For me, at that price point (almost $5K for the controller alone), I'd rather patiently wait for Roland to release a new version of V-Piano.

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#2363696 - 12/19/14 10:22 PM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: dewster]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2725
Originally Posted By: dewster

Too bad that site isn't functional yet, though there is contact info.


@dewster:

I think you missed the blue button "Our Story" under "Click here for more info" which opens up this 20 page document:

"Our Story"

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#2363720 - Yesterday at 12:09 AM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: pv88]
dewster Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4366
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: pv88
@dewster:

I think you missed the blue button "Our Story" under "Click here for more info" which opens up this 20 page document:

"Our Story"

I clicked it earlier today but it didn't do anything but open an empty tab - but it seems to be working now, thanks.

Though it doesn't really give me much info. I guess I'm just supposed to trust them to somehow improve the VPC1 after Kawai (a large and respected AP company) did their level best? And give them a wad of cash for doing whatever this voodoo that they do is? (New felt to replace the new felt, some monkeying with the DID WE MENTION THAT THE WEIGHTS ARE NOT MADE OF LEAD?!?, a tacky paint job, etc...)

If they really cared, why didn't they wrangle a GF action into their own custom case? And if they really, really cared why didn't they get a Renner action or something and put continuous sensors on each key? I must be missing something central here, perhaps my definition of "new standard" is rather more than the new standard they claim to be committed to? It strikes me as frittering around the edges of an established product that isn't particularly in desperate need of a lot of frittering in the first place.

I mean, what, Kawai is competent to manufacture the controller in the first place, but not competent to set it up for proper use by musicians? It doesn't pass the smell test.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#2363729 - Yesterday at 12:59 AM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: dewster]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1508
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: dewster
I mean, what, Kawai is competent to manufacture the controller in the first place, but not competent to set it up for proper use by musicians? It doesn't pass the smell test.

+1 to all the above. The power of suggestion has a lot to answer for in colouring our sense impressions.

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#2363735 - Yesterday at 01:48 AM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: PianoManChuck]
McBuster Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/11
Posts: 278
Loc: St Paul Minnesota USA
Another +1. From what is seen, the Value Added is simply to Regulate the keyboard. For the eye. For the touch. Possibly so where each Note is struck is even from one key to the next. I did not see anything done to the electronics.

Sometimes it is fun to see what others are doing with a unit that is far less. Here is an example. Sounds pretty good too ... $800 and it has speakers too ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zp95Y4D-1k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrpsJt-C3S4

Hmmmmmm ...
_________________________
Jon ...

Kawai CA95
Sailor, Consultant, Gourmet, Dreamer

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#2363757 - Yesterday at 03:56 AM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: PianoManChuck]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3879
Loc: Northern England.
Moonlight sonata is played at the correct speed. That doesn't happen often. The guy is outstanding.
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2363758 - Yesterday at 03:56 AM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: PianoManChuck]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3879
Loc: Northern England.
Moonlight sonata is played at the correct speed. That doesn't happen often. The guy is outstanding.
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2363835 - Yesterday at 10:20 AM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: dewster]
PianoMan51 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/10
Posts: 21
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: dewster

I mean, what, Kawai is competent to manufacture the controller in the first place, but not competent to set it up for proper use by musicians? It doesn't pass the smell test.
With all due respect, I see this as a great step forward for MIDI controllers. Up til now, when you buy a controller it's a factory-built mechanism. This is the first controller that includes a master setup for a MIDI keyboard by people who build some of the best individual pianos in the world.

If you buy a new Steinway piano, or Collins guitar, or Gibson mandolin, the first thing you do is to have it professionally setup to your needs. They don't come from the factory with the fine-tuning necessary for concert play. And the difference after proper setup can be extraordinary.

The Ravenworks folks go beyond regulation to rework those parts of the VPC1 that they believe should be improved. Shelby used to do this with stock Fords, quite successfully. The $5k price is quite reasonable if they can, and this is yet to be proved, replace studio grands for session work.

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#2363858 - Yesterday at 11:24 AM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: PianoMan51]
McBuster Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/11
Posts: 278
Loc: St Paul Minnesota USA
Originally Posted By: PianoMan51
The Ravenworks folks go beyond regulation to rework those parts of the VPC1 that they believe should be improved. ... The $5k price is quite reasonable if they can, and this is yet to be proved, replace studio grands for session work.


Watching the documentary "Note By Note - The Making Of Steinway L1037" makes one appreciate what is involved in making a great keyboard.

I believe we must keep in mind, the limitations imposed by Kawai in the design and execution of their product. Limitations Ravenworks may not be able to rework, remake or refine.

There is only so much one can do to the mechanicals in the RM3/II or the GF keyboard. I believe Kawai gets these keyboards to the 90+ yard line and does that consistently on a production line basis. And, this is more than satisfactory for the marketplace they serve.

Those of us whose needs dictate the rework and tuning Ravenworks performs are few. And then, even fewer who would pay that level of money ($3000+) for refining just the keyboard.

As parts wear, the rework those adjustments must be performed again, to keep everything in tip-top shape.

ps: However ... It would be great fun to play the Kawai Before and the Ravenworks After, side by side. Teeheehee ...
_________________________
Jon ...

Kawai CA95
Sailor, Consultant, Gourmet, Dreamer

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#2363885 - Yesterday at 12:36 PM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: PianoMan51]
dewster Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4366
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: PianoMan51
If you buy a new Steinway piano, or Collins guitar, or Gibson mandolin, the first thing you do is to have it professionally setup to your needs. They don't come from the factory with the fine-tuning necessary for concert play. And the difference after proper setup can be extraordinary.

Setting up a real AP action or fretted instrument can be highly involved. But this a simple two lever DP action that doesn't have much going on in comparison. No escapement, no wippen, no jack, no back check, no springs - no nothing really but a hammer hitting a pad and a bit of weight somewhere on the key.

Guitar setup has been automated and taken to the next level by the PLEK process (which even Gibson uses): http://www2.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Gear-Tech/en-us/What-the-Heck-is-PLEK.aspx

I guess I've seen too many Steinway construction and general piano servicing videos as I now have a rather jaundiced eye for most technicians. Not saying what they're doing is easy by any means, but watching them work is rather like watching laws or sausage being made.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#2363958 - Yesterday at 04:17 PM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: PianoManChuck]
CouchPotatoJr Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/19/14
Posts: 4
@dewster - simple 2 lever dp? no escapement? for someone who doesn't know what their talking about you sure have a lot of negative comments in this thread.

this is the first controller of its kind thats even capable of undergoing the same type of regulation and refinement as a fine concert grand. it might even be a great substitute at studios for professional recording pianists.

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#2363966 - Yesterday at 04:28 PM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: CouchPotatoJr]
dewster Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4366
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: CouchPotatoJr
@dewster - simple 2 lever dp? no escapement? for someone who doesn't know what their talking about you sure have a lot of negative comments in this thread.

this is the first controller of its kind thats even capable of undergoing the same type of regulation and refinement as a fine concert grand. it might even be a great substitute at studios for professional recording pianists.

I'll agree with you that someone here doesn't know what they're talking about.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but AFAIK - outside of the Yamaha AvantGrand models - no DP action is more than a simple 2 lever deal (key lever + hammer lever) and none have real escapement. Once lengths, weights, weight positions, and mechanical ratios are picked for manufacture, there isn't much left to regulate / refine. Outside of silk screened birds of course.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#2363989 - Yesterday at 05:42 PM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: PianoManChuck]
lolatu Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 564
Loc: UK
dewster is correct.

Also the only thing that's "first of its kind" about the VPC1 is that it lacks controls and sounds, so can easily be re-branded. That's the real reason Ravenscroft have picked this up. The same basic design has been made by Kawai for at least 16 years since the MP9000 came out.
_________________________
Kawai CA95 / Pianoteq Stage / Sony MDR-7506 / Steinberg UR22
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810

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#2364108 - Today at 04:02 AM Re: The New custom-modded VPC1 by RavenworksDesign! [Re: PianoManChuck]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2470
Loc: UK
Yup Dewster is basically correct. Back to the couch couchpotato. There's a photo here. .

But even so no doubt Raven have made changes to the action that enhance it. This thread has drawn lots of negatives and the problem is the video is a gushing lot of nothing. Not one of the finest by pianochuckman. What we need is a more nuanced or critical or informative review by someone.

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