Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action?

Posted by: ClsscLib

Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 04/16/12 06:04 PM

I've talked about this in several threads, but as a new piano junkie who has to travel a lot on business, I'm frustrated by days away from my acoustic piano. For me, they're lost practice days.

It strikes me that some decent practice could be done on a 49-key digital piano that might also be quite portable (carry-on luggage for the overhead bins). Forget the speakers (headphone jack only), lose the sliders, knobs, and drum pads, etc. -- and you'd have something that looks like this:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/keyboards...CFUPf4AodfXwxkw

The problem is that, with the exception of one theoretical Studiologic MIDI controller that appears not to be for sale anywhere in the phenomenological universe, no 49-key DP or MIDI controller has weighted keys. I have the Line 6 product shown above, and it's good for what it is, but nowhere close to the touch of, say, a Yamaha p95.

I'd pay decent money for a light, small, keyboard with weighted keys that would serve only as a practice piano while on the road. If the keys were pretty good -- something like what we see on the better DPs -- I'd probably pay $500 or even more.

Would anyone else be interested in such an item?
Posted by: chrisbell

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 04/16/12 06:12 PM

Ok practice keyboard, no sound though.
http://www.pinkhampianos.com/pinkhampianos.nsf/Pianos/HomeDummyPracticeKeyboard
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 04/16/12 06:23 PM

Another thread on the topic, with one very interesting (albeit perhaps not cost-effective!) solution...


Want an engineer to make a 49-key weighted action digital keyboard
Posted by: piano_shark

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 04/16/12 06:41 PM

I was looking for the same since I travel a lot and I found but they don't do it any more I don't understand why. Studiologic VMK149 perfect for this purpose with fatar hamer like action
together with pianoteq on my laptop.

Posted by: ctnski

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/20/12 11:18 AM

Count me in.
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/20/12 11:55 AM

Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
I..
I'd pay decent money for a light, small, keyboard with weighted keys that would serve only as a practice piano while on the road. If the keys were pretty good -- something like what we see on the better DPs -- I'd probably pay $500 or even more.?


There is the problem. You want the keys from a "better" DP and the price from an entry level DP. And on a very specialized device that likely would never sell in high volume. Had you said "keys from a better DP and priced only slightly higher" then there might be a chance. The real problem with this, I'm sure is the low number of units that would be sold. Something like this would not sell at entry level price.

The problem is that a professional would simply ship a full size instrument in a shipping case. After all if you are doing a multi-city tour you can by definition afford to ship your gear. So who is the target market for a fully weighted "short" piano? Not a huge market there.

The easy and cheap solution is to learn to play a second instrument and practice that while you travel. As a pianist you might be able to play a synth action keyboard. Or maybe buy a 20-something key keyboard and learn how to build film scores with multi-tracked midi. There are many productive and interesting things to do.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/20/12 08:08 PM

Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
with the exception of one theoretical Studiologic MIDI controller that appears not to be for sale anywhere in the phenomenological universe, no 49-key DP or MIDI controller has weighted keys.

If anyone ever did come across one, I wonder how that VMK-149 feels. It does not use the same keybed (TP-40M) that the 161 and 176 use, it uses a TP8-PIANO keybed, and I don't know anything else that uses that.

As for the $500 price, well, Casio makes a serviceable weighted 88 in the CDP-120 that sells for $399, so I would guess they could make a 49 that would sell for $299... if they thought there were a market for it.
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/20/12 08:30 PM

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
I..
I'd pay decent money for a light, small, keyboard with weighted keys that would serve only as a practice piano while on the road. If the keys were pretty good -- something like what we see on the better DPs -- I'd probably pay $500 or even more.?


There is the problem. You want the keys from a "better" DP and the price from an entry level DP. And on a very specialized device that likely would never sell in high volume. Had you said "keys from a better DP and priced only slightly higher" then there might be a chance. The real problem with this, I'm sure is the low number of units that would be sold. Something like this would not sell at entry level price.

The problem is that a professional would simply ship a full size instrument in a shipping case. After all if you are doing a multi-city tour you can by definition afford to ship your gear. So who is the target market for a fully weighted "short" piano? Not a huge market there.

The easy and cheap solution is to learn to play a second instrument and practice that while you travel. As a pianist you might be able to play a synth action keyboard. Or maybe buy a 20-something key keyboard and learn how to build film scores with multi-tracked midi. There are many productive and interesting things to do.


I think you're ignoring the "or even more" part of what I wrote. If the keys played like a P95 or even better, I'd probably be willing to pay a good deal more than $500.

I don't know how big the market for this would be. My guess is that there are some other serious piano students who have to travel and who would like to be able to take a practice instrument on the road with them. God knows one sees many people in airports with those horrible little travel guitars.

By the way, I DO play a second instrument (it used to be my first instrument)... the double bass. smile
Posted by: Ozgur

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/21/12 03:55 AM

I know this isn't what you asked but I wanted to add my point of view about practising on road.

Practising on road is okey for composing purposes but can be unhealthy for pianists. Because you have to practise without using the correct sitting position, body and arm weight. And the road can get bumpy or loud. "Not practising", "thinking about the work or just reading the score" can be much more healthier.

We all know that some famous pianists used those keyboards. This is just my opinion.
Posted by: ctnski

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/21/12 04:32 AM

I would like a shorter, high-quality digital piano to take with me to the ship. When I go out on various relief jobs for 30 or 60 days, I can handle playing nothing but Bach while I'm away, but I want to play him on a hammer-action keyboard. Same thing going off for a weekend jaunt. I love my Roland (just upgraded to FP-7F), but it is such a hassle to lug through an airport, into a taxi, up a gangway and a few ship's ladders... you get the picture. Having the same level of performance in a 67 or 73-key machine would be just peachy, for me. But alas, it's just a wistful dream....
Posted by: zrtf90

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/21/12 05:56 AM

No. If I didn't have 88 fully weighted keys I simply wouldn't be interested.

I wouldn't be bothered much by the sound as long as there was a dynamic response that I could recognise. Other than that I'd take up the flute or something and accept it as the price I paid for travel.
Posted by: maurus

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/21/12 06:43 AM

OK, I've got an Electro 3HP so I am all set for traveling.

But let's take ClsscLib's challenge and speculate where one might go for pianist travellers for less money.

Let's start from the NE3HP. Strip away the organ and the sample section (or keep the latter for fun...). Improve the action a tiny bit (make it more 'equal'). Add a new (or user defined) velocity curve for harder response (point being to have more control in the ppp-mp range). Give us a new piano sample with higher dynamic range. Keep the rest as is (73 keys is fine for size reasons, 11kg is a great weight) and sell the whole thing for substantially less than the NE3HP.

In short, a Nord Piano 'Light'.
Posted by: ctnski

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/21/12 08:28 AM

Maurus, I'm liking it.

Forgot to mention price in my earlier posts. Since I gladly paid $1300 for my FP-4 and got several years' use out of it, and now paid $2k for my upgrade, which is indeed a major improvement in all things piano; I think $1500 for a really top-notch portable digital piano, a shortened version of a CP5 or FP-7F e.g., would be quite reasonable.

But in the absence of such a smart accessory, I plan to shell out twice as much for a VAX77, and put Pianoteq on my macbook.

Gonna love flying with my new best friend now.

Let you all know how it works out.

Over.
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/21/12 09:00 AM

Originally Posted By: ctnski
Maurus, I'm liking it.

Forgot to mention price in my earlier posts. Since I gladly paid $1300 for my FP-4 and got several years' use out of it, and now paid $2k for my upgrade, which is indeed a major improvement in all things piano; I think $1500 for a really top-notch portable digital piano, a shortened version of a CP5 or FP-7F e.g., would be quite reasonable.

But in the absence of such a smart accessory, I plan to shell out twice as much for a VAX77, and put Pianoteq on my macbook.

Gonna love flying with my new best friend now.

Let you all know how it works out.

Over.


Ctnski, does the VAX77 have piano-like keys? I've never seen one, and if it does, it might be my answer.

When will you get yours?

Please keep us posted!
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/21/12 09:21 AM

Originally Posted By: maurus
sell the whole thing for substantially less than the NE3HP.
...
In short, a Nord Piano 'Light'.

In a sense, an NE3HP is Nord PIano light.

I'm not sure taking out the organ (the only thing you definitely want removed) would make it that much cheaper (especially since you want them to add things, too).

If you want something that feels similar to the E3HP, has a good piano sound, and sells for substantially less, look at the Numa Piano. (Except it's almost 9" wider since it has the full 88 keys.)

Numa is coming out with what is essentially a lighter weight and lower cost version (the NumaComact), but are doing it by dropping the fully weighted action, as opposed to keeping the same action but dropping the # of keys.

As for the other things you'd like added to your 3HP, what do you mean by wanting the action to feel more "equal"? It's not a graded action to begin with, so I'm not sure what kind of change you're talking about. (Though since Nord doesn't manufacture their own actions, there are limitations to what alterations they can make.)

You might be able to make the adjustment you want to the velocity curve by getting a MIDI Solution Velocity Converter (turn Local Off on the Nord, send MIDI Out to the Velocity Converter, then go from there back into the Nord's MIDI In).

As for piano samples with more dynamic range, well, that's not model-specific... whatever Nord does in that respect would be a sample, which could as easily be loaded into a Nord Pianos or Stage 2. I imagine that, apart from programming, the issue they have to deal with in thinking about extending dynamic range of piano samples is how big the sample file may get (i.e. with more velocity layers) and also possibly limitations to the action that make it hard to more realistically map finger action to dynamics.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/21/12 09:23 AM

VAX77 is probably the best answer for a compact travel board for piano players. But it's $3,000. (And it doesn't even include any sounds, so you'd have to trigger something in you laptop or whatever.)
Posted by: maurus

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/21/12 11:56 AM

A few clarifications:

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
As for the other things you'd like added to your 3HP, what do you mean by wanting the action to feel more "equal"?


Well, mostly more precise production, no unevenly spaced keys, no unequal heights between of keys, such things. Perhaps a different felt for bottoming out.

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
You might be able to make the adjustment you want to the velocity curve by getting a MIDI Solution Velocity Converter (turn Local Off on the Nord, send MIDI Out to the Velocity Converter, then go from there back into the Nord's MIDI In).


Well, how fiddly is that for traveling? I would hope a simple firmware update could help? Don't know, however.

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
As for piano samples with more dynamic range, well, that's not model-specific... whatever Nord does in that respect would be a sample, which could as easily be loaded into a Nord Pianos or Stage 2. I imagine that, apart from programming, the issue they have to deal with in thinking about extending dynamic range of piano samples is how big the sample file may get (i.e. with more velocity layers) and also possibly limitations to the action that make it hard to more realistically map finger action to dynamics.


Well I don't know. Other producers (e.g. Yamaha) are on the other side of well-balanced dynamic range. I guess Clavia has opted for low dynamic range (and a compressor, by the way) since in gigging situations that's what you need. Several of us would prefer a more realistic dynamic range.

For traveling, 88 keys is too much. I think the things that I mentioned could all be done without too much trouble.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/21/12 12:21 PM

Originally Posted By: maurus
Well, mostly more precise production, no unevenly spaced keys, no unequal heights between of keys, such things.

Nord has limited control here since they don't manufacture the keybeds. These kinds of things could be unfortunate side effects of using a cheaper keybed than they use in their other weighted boards, so it may not be realistic to ask for both a better keybed and a cheaper product.

Originally Posted By: maurus
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
You might be able to make the adjustment you want to the velocity curve by getting a MIDI Solution Velocity Converter


Well, how fiddly is that for traveling?

The box is tiny, you could probably keep it permanently velcro'd and wired up to the Nord itself so it wouldn't add any complication to traveling.
Posted by: ctnski

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/21/12 06:48 PM

ClsscLib, please read through this link carefully. For me, traveling as much as I do, away from my grand as much as I am, this is the cat's meow.

http://www.nathanaeliversen.com/?p=298

As I am away now, I plan on getting it when I get home the end of June. I'll be sure to post here my impressions. Every review I've read notes the very high quality of construction, hand-made in Texas, USA. Also noteworthy is the exceptional level of product support accorded by Infinite Response. I think it's a company I would like to reward with my business.

On the Infinite Response website, under videos, you can see Stevie Wonder playing on stage on the Dr. Phil show, with Donny Osmond harmonizing alongside.

Pianoteq Stage, their simplest version, is available for 99 euros, about $130.

Cheers,
Posted by: ctnski

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/21/12 07:04 PM

Forgot to mention that, in the linked review above, the author ordered his VAX77 with the heavy keys. IR offers standard, heavy and ultra-heavy options, and most reviews I've read say that the heaviest most closely resembles a piano. That's what I'm getting, anyway.
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/21/12 07:36 PM

This was the type of comment that makes me want to play one before committing to that type of expense:

"...The VAX has a spring-loaded action, not a “hammer action” like keyboards that attempt to mimic a grand piano action. If you want to feel the escapement action of a piano, this is not for you. Look at a dedicated digital piano if you want “as close to piano as possible”. For me, that was a non-goal: when I want a piano, I turn around in my studio and play one. What I needed was a master controller with great expressive control for playing live and manipulating orchestral samples in the studio. For me, controllability far outweighs emulating a piano, and within 5 minutes, I completely forgot that I wasn’t on my piano and was playing music with similar dynamic control to what I enjoy on my acoustic piano.... "

For me, the ideal instrument WOULD emulate a piano. Unfortunately, my ideal instrument isn't being made by anyone, so I'm going to have to compromise somehow.

BTW, I visited a big music store in NYC tonight and got to play a lot of digital instruments I've only read about before. It shook up my thinking considerably.
Posted by: ctnski

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/21/12 09:02 PM

Yes, I noted that also. My grand offers performance without compromise, and I'm looking forward to the day when I can retire and play it every day, all day and all night if I so wish. But in the mean time:

My perfect travel piano would be 61 keys, F to F with middle C in the middle, graded hammer action, and Pianoteq installed, all in an integral case that neatly folds out to make a sturdy stand, and all meeting ATA standards for size and weight. But that doesn't yet exist and I'm done waiting for it, not enough people seem to want one; so I am willing to compromise and get something that meets my needs while away, something portable enough that I can really take it any where.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1767878/Re:%20A%20five-octave%20keyboard,%20F%20.html#Post1767878
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/21/12 09:13 PM

We want the same thing, so the level of demand is now at least two! Are you industry people paying attention?

I'm also happy with my grand at home. It's the constant business travel that's the problem!
Posted by: ctnski

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/21/12 09:58 PM

ClsscLib, I don't know what type of music you play, but for classical, early classical up to middle Beethoven (i.e. all of Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart - did I mention Beethoven?) would be playable on a 61-key portable piano if middle C were in the middle. But it seems demand for such a playable portable is just not enough to justify its development. It makes perfect sense to me, but I've given up hope getting anyone else on board. (Note all these musical puns? "Just," "perfect," "development," "board," (as in "keyboard") Hahaha.)

Let's keep knocking: maybe eventually they will open.
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/21/12 10:06 PM

Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
I..
I'd pay decent money for a light, small, keyboard with weighted keys that would serve only as a practice piano while on the road. If the keys were pretty good -- something like what we see on the better DPs -- I'd probably pay $500 or even more.?


There is the problem. You want the keys from a "better" DP and the price from an entry level DP. And on a very specialized device that likely would never sell in high volume. Had you said "keys from a better DP and priced only slightly higher" then there might be a chance. The real problem with this, I'm sure is the low number of units that would be sold. Something like this would not sell at entry level price.

The problem is that a professional would simply ship a full size instrument in a shipping case. After all if you are doing a multi-city tour you can by definition afford to ship your gear. So who is the target market for a fully weighted "short" piano? Not a huge market there.

The easy and cheap solution is to learn to play a second instrument and practice that while you travel. As a pianist you might be able to play a synth action keyboard. Or maybe buy a 20-something key keyboard and learn how to build film scores with multi-tracked midi. There are many productive and interesting things to do.


I think you're ignoring the "or even more" part of what I wrote. If the keys played like a P95 or even better, I'd probably be willing to pay a good deal more than $500.

I don't know how big the market for this would be. My guess is that there are some other serious piano students who have to travel and who would like to be able to take a practice instrument on the road with them. God knows one sees many people in airports with those horrible little travel guitars.

By the way, I DO play a second instrument (it used to be my first instrument)... the double bass. smile


No, please don't ask for a "travel double bass". They keep those right next to the folding tubas.

I still think the problem is the market size. A professional would simply ship a full size piano keyboard in an ATA case. Maybe even have two of them. But an amateur is not making a living with the instrument and can't justify the cost to ship an ATA case.

You might try and modify a Casio CDP-100. Take one apart and start removing the keys. You don't need the black plastic case. Toss out the speakers too. Then build a custom plywood shipping case where the lid flips up to expose the keys and make a music rest. It might work.
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/21/12 10:25 PM

I don't know the cdp100. I played the px130 tonight for the first time, and I was really surprised at how much I liked it.
Posted by: Sorgfelt

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 07/06/12 09:40 PM

I am concentrating on Chopin. There is no way any keyboard less than 88 keys will be acceptable. As far as weighting is concerned, I have discovered that, if you learn a piece really well on an electronic keyboard, the problems of adapting to a real piano are minimal. I have been slowly building an 88-key keyboard that folds in four and whose keys raise when the keyboard is unfolded. It's size when folded would be about 13 inches wide, 11 inches deep and 3 inches high. I would buy such a thing in a heartbeat if it was available and no more expensive than a usual electronic keyboard. As for weighting, the VAX77 uses magnets to approximate the feel of a real piano. I plan to do the same thing on mine (I thought of it before learning about the VAX77). Sorry about being so slow. I've been working on the design for a couple of years and only recently started putting things together. It will probably be another couple of years before I have a product, unless someone else beats me to the punch, in which case I'll probably just buy theirs.

For now, I am thinking of keeping a cheap, light Casio to ship to where ever I travel, so that it will be there waiting for me.
Posted by: analogdino

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 07/14/12 06:25 PM

Cruise lines should provide a couple of 88 key, fully weighted stage pianos with NO speakers for passengers to practice on-board (take your own head-phones.) No one should try to play the public pianos our of respect for other passengers.
Cheers,
Roger
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 10/15/12 02:30 PM

Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
The problem is that, with the exception of one theoretical Studiologic MIDI controller that appears not to be for sale anywhere in the phenomenological universe, no 49-key DP or MIDI controller has weighted keys.

The "Best EP" thread reminded me of this thread when I discovered that you can get a Vintage Vibe EP (weighted action) with 44 keys. The price and weight are in the range of the VAX77, but if you want the weighted keys, there's another possible solution!
Posted by: Sand Tiger

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 10/15/12 10:19 PM

Nice idea, however, there are any number of obstacles. Anything engineered for travel has to be built a lot tougher. Something with a simulated piano action has to have mechanical parts. Vibration, jostling, and possibly dropping and throwing are going to mean a short life expectancy, unless it is over engineered.

The other point many others have made is the likely tiny volume for such a unit. Pro pianists and top amateurs don't need it, because most have access to practice pianos where ever they travel. So while some maker might be able to make and sell it for $300 if it did as much volume as their 88-key models, the sales volume would likely be 1/10 as much jacking up the price, meaning an even lower sales volume. It might be a specialized and limited item, so if offered be prepared to pay much more than $500.

Some other options are to research more on practice pianos, and practice rooms, in places where a person spends a lot of time. If the stays are for months at a time, considering buying one of the 88-key models and shipping it from location to location.
Posted by: JFP

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 10/16/12 04:50 AM

Regarding the VMK-149 question: Kurzweil PC3 / PC3K7 have a TP8 keybed. So if you can try that somewhere - you would know how the TP8 handles.
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 10/16/12 12:43 PM

Originally Posted By: JFP
Regarding the VMK-149 question: Kurzweil PC3 / PC3K7 have a TP8 keybed. So if you can try that somewhere - you would know how the TP8 handles.


My bad for being insufficiently precise in earlier references. (A perfect illustration of why precision in language is so important!)

The Studiologic boards relevant to this thread are the (mythical) VMK-149 Plus and the VMK-161 Plus; they make "non-Plussed" versions of the same board.

The difference is that the "Plus" versions use the TP8Piano weighted-key keyboard, while the "non-Plussed" versions use the TP8 semi-weighted (spring--controlled) keyboard.

The Kurzweil models you mention use the TP8 semi-weighted keys, not the TP8Piano weighted keys.

If I could settle for semi-weighted keys, I'd probably just stick with the NP-11 I have now. It's no gem, but it's cheap, has 61 keys, and I can check it on airline flights in a decent soft case. (There's every chance, of course, that airline baggage handlers will smash it flat the next time I fly, but at the NP-11's cost of about $150, I'm willing to chance it.)

The real crave, though, is for a weighted-key 49 or 61 key board that might be carry-onable. If you see that, send it my way. smile
Posted by: emenelton

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 10/16/12 02:42 PM

I owned a VMK-161-Plus, it is a beast. I liked the action for playing software. I considered it very nice. However a Privia is much(by alot) easier to travel with!

The OS on the VMK is also quite primitive. I am only interjecting to offer a bit of 'common' wisdom.
Be careful what you wish for. It might just come true.
The non-plus version, I believe, uses water-fall style keys.
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 10/16/12 02:53 PM

Originally Posted By: emenelton
I owned a VMK-161-Plus, it is a beast. I liked the action for playing software. I considered it very nice. However a Privia is much(by alot) easier to travel with!

The OS on the VMK is also quite primitive. I am only interjecting to offer a bit of 'common' wisdom.
Be careful what you wish for. It might just come true.
The non-plus version, I believe, uses water-fall style keys.


When I first raised this question some weeks back, I was focusing primarily on the length of the board as a travel impediment. A 49-key board seemed like something that might be feasible as carry-on luggage. Everything I've heard about the VMK since then (including your post) suggests to me that the VMK won't address my needs -- especially since the 149 can only be purchased at shops that sell real unicorn horns.

Since I'm now reconciled to the idea of checking my travel piano as luggage (in a suitable hard case), and unless someone comes along with a weighted-hammer DP with 61 or fewer keys, I'm sticking with my NP-11 for now as my compromise travel piano. I expect that ultimately a Casio PX-x50 in a hardshell case will be the preferred solution.
Posted by: emenelton

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 10/16/12 03:13 PM

A VMK-149 Plus carry on would be funny, in a not so good way.
I have traveled on business trips in my car and taken a Privia and an ES6(not at the same time.
The ES6 is a beast, the Privia was wonderful(PX3), except for the sonics. I still own the ES6, but I don't travel anymore.
Posted by: Sand Tiger

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 10/16/12 11:16 PM

I'll repeat the possibility of shipping one of the 88-key models. Are the trips of short duration? If so, it doesn't seem much of a big deal to be without an instrument. If the trips are longer and at one destination, shipping might be the same or less money than checking luggage for a flight.

One factor is that the company might reimburse for the flight and any checked luggage, but not for shipping. That said, it would be a significant upgrade in instrument to have 88 keys with piano action vs. the 61-key NP11 with no action. Also with shipping, the instrument can be packaged better and likely to be handled more carefully.

If the NP11 is sufficient, maybe a downgrade to an Ipad with a keyboard attachment might be worth a look. Yes, even less of a "piano," and significant costs, but no package to check, and no bulky NP11 to lug around, and an instrument that one can take virtually anywhere.
Posted by: Andrew N

Re: Would You Buy a "Travel/Practice" Piano With Good Action? - 05/19/14 07:43 PM

Just wanted to follow up on this thread and let everyone know that there is currently an 88-key portable piano that separates into three-pieces to fit in carry-on luggage. With weighted keys as well. Here's what the main features plan to include:

88-key Graded Hammer Action Keyboard
Built-in speakers and high quality instrument sounds
Strong and lightweight carbon fiber casing
Rechargeable battery with up to 7 hours of play time.
4 color touch screen
3 pedal inputs, Audio line out, Headphone jack in the front
MIDI in/out, Wireless MIDI, USB
Music stand with a built-in LED light so you see it in the dark (great for orchestra pits and dark clubs)

If anyone is interested in staying up to date on the progress and when it will be available, please check out www.groovepiano.com and enter your email address. Links to the Facebook and Twitter at the bottom of that webpage as well.

The plan is to launch a crowd sourcing campaign (KickStarter) later this year to help put the piano into production.