Kawai VPC1

Matt Riley

Active Member
Could this in any way be related to my problem here? I haven't had an issue with stuck-on notes, but I do sometimes have a problem with notes not being assigned an articulation id for reasons I haven't figured out yet.
Wow that’s really weird! Yeah I wonder if it’s related. The keybed is fantastic but these MIDI issues are really annoying. Is yours an SE? Mine is the original mp11.
 
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ltmusic

Member
It is intended to emulate the action on a Piano. It actually has a Grand Piano keys (same size and action). If you're not used to that you will feel its heavy.
Yes its a good emulation..but far from the real thing. When you try to play fast repeated notes you can see that it doesn't react like a real piano. There is a VPC 1 modified version made by Ravensworks ..but it costs around 5799$!

For me the best digital keyboard that is close to a real piano is the Yamaha avant grand and the kawai novus.
 

proxima

Active Member
Wow that’s really weird! Yeah I wonder if it’s related. The keybed is fantastic but these MIDI issues are really annoying. Is yours an SE? Mine is the original mp11.
Mine is also the original.

Honestly, if I had to do over again, I'd try the NI 88 key keyboard. That said, I do like the built-in sounds on the MP11, as I can noodle around without loading anything up.
 

StillLife

Senior Member
I used to own a vpc-1, very classy look and feel. Played nice, but touch was a bit heavy. I traded it a few months ago for the new Fantom 8 from Roland. Couldn't be happier with the touch of these keys. The first real piano feel I encountered.
 

Nathanael Iversen

Active Member
I chose the new Nord Grand. It has a Kawai action - probably derived from the MP-7, so not the same as the MP-11/VPC. But it is still excellent. It is very close to my Kawai RX-7 grand piano. The real grand is a smidge heavier in the action department, but I play as expressively on both. The form factor is a lot better than the VPC. I do take the Nord Grand for playing out, and it is not my main desk keyboard. That is a Yamaha P515. Also a great action, but much heavier feeling than the Nord Grand or my RX-7. But it fits on the desk well. And for composing pretty much anything will work. I have the RX-7 with an optical rail in it if I want to record MIDI from my real piano.
 

woodslanding

Active Member
@Matt Riley

Do you refer to missing aftertouch? Would be surprising for a keyboard out of that price range.

Speaking off; I am afraid the MP11 is a bit overkill, resp. above my budget. Did you guys tried the Doepfer keyboards? Just wondering, as they have been praised a lot.

Cheers!
-Frederic
I believe doepfer use fatar actions. From what I've read not all fatars are created equal, though.

I use a yamaha action, and I like it pretty well. It's lighter than the casios I've used for decades, but I can still get good dynamics out of it.... It seems to be pretty indestructable. I've broken way too many keys on fatar actions, but the casios were 100% solid--never a problem over several thousand gigs. I feel like the yamaha should hold up well also, but I haven't been using it that long....
 

PaulieDC

1967 Bizzarini GT 5300 Strada
I hear so many stories how the Doepfler needs key maintenance a lot. Ugh. One day an 88 key controller will land on my desk. I keep gravitating back to the StudioLogic SL88 Grand. It has 3-point contacts for good response when playing lightly, Fatar TP40 wood keybed, aftertouch, not too huge in size or weight, costs under a grand, and has this shelf system that can be attached to the unit to hold a laptop, etc, in my case, the PreSonus FaderPort 8 for CC sliders. That's why the odd little joysticks don't bother me. There's also been several reviews saying it has a good piano feel but still works well for playing in string and brass lines, etc. TBH, sounds too good to be true.
 

Jerry Growl

Composing Music in the Plastic Dark Ages
I use the Kawai MP9500 since 2003, and yes the wooden keys and (pseudo-) hammer actions feels quite heavy.

I hear you guys when you say 'ooh, no the keyboard action was too heavy', but I think you are missing the point of having a heavier action. Yes it takes a bit more effort. And yes it takes a bit longer to get your 'feel' on these keybeds. But I think there's a reward for choosing the 'hard way' (not entirely referencing the 'Conan the Barbarian' -way). There's just more meat to it. Also it's easier to adapt to a lighter keyboard if you are used to heavier, compared to the other way round.

I have really grown into this keyboard and it never bores me. I also have a Nord Stage 2 and I absolutely hate it's touch. I tried Nord 4 in a shop and liked it much better already.
 

ptram

Senior Member
I feel the VPC-1 to have the same feel of a heavy piano action, like in some Schimmels I tried. I like it very much. I’ve no issue with ribattuto, even if how it works largely depends on the sample library.

The curved top is a shame, since it prevents one to put a controller firmly on top of it. A fake surface made with polystyrene, or even some folded cloth, could eventually solve this issue.

Paolo
 
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I feel the VPC-1 to have the same feel of a heavy piano action, like in some Schimmels I tried. I like it very much. I’ve no issue with ribattuto, even if how it works largely depends on the sample library.

The curved top is a shame, since it prevents one to put a controller firmly on top of it. A fake surface made with polystyrene, or even some folded cloth, could eventually solve this issue.

Paolo
Is the action of the VPC-1 comparable to a YAMAHA grand piano? If it is, the VPC-1 definitely doesn't do it for me. IMO nothing beats Steinway in this very regard, as they are neither too heavy, nor too light. One pro point on the other hand seems still that the piano action is very quiet, referring to the key noise.

So I am still seeking a master keyboard for around 1k USD (maybe with 1.3k USD as absolute maximum), but it should also fit onto a smaller studio desk, just as the VPC-1 seems to be so HUGE!

Monday I will check out the Native Instruments Kontrol S88 MK2 (live). Any experience with this one? I am kinda afraid that it will function maybe just a few years, due to the numerous buttons, faders, and display, while as I would expect it to work for 5-10 years, just like my Clavinova and the Fatar Numa I used to own.

Any ideas?

Best Regards!
-Frederic
 

ptram

Senior Member
Is the action of the VPC-1 comparable to a YAMAHA grand piano? If it is, the VPC-1 definitely doesn't do it for me. IMO nothing beats Steinway in this very regard, as they are neither too heavy, nor too light.
In general, the VPC-1 seems heavier than all the Yamaha grand pianos I could try. As for the Steinways, I’ve tried many of them, and there is too much difference between them to find the "average Steinway". I would say that the VPC-1 is heavier than the heaviest of them.

Fatar-based instruments are very different, so I couldn't compare them to the VPC-1.

Paolo
 

STMICHAELS

New Member
Is the action of the VPC-1 comparable to a YAMAHA grand piano? If it is, the VPC-1 definitely doesn't do it for me. IMO nothing beats Steinway in this very regard, as they are neither too heavy, nor too light. One pro point on the other hand seems still that the piano action is very quiet, referring to the key noise.

So I am still seeking a master keyboard for around 1k USD (maybe with 1.3k USD as absolute maximum), but it should also fit onto a smaller studio desk, just as the VPC-1 seems to be so HUGE!

Monday I will check out the Native Instruments Kontrol S88 MK2 (live). Any experience with this one? I am kinda afraid that it will function maybe just a few years, due to the numerous buttons, faders, and display, while as I would expect it to work for 5-10 years, just like my Clavinova and the Fatar Numa I used to own.

Any ideas?

Best Regards!
-Frederic
Frederic this is my first post here, however I am also looking at Weighted Controllers/Digital Pianos.

I wish the Kawai VPC-1 had the upgraded action similar to the MP11SE with the longer wooden keyes.

Let us know your thoughts on the Kontrol S88 MK2.

Seems like 88 weighted controllers is not being updated as regular or not as much emphasis given toward it. It's a pity as we have so many good piano VST's now.

I would think that we would have seen a Kawai VPC-2 or a Kawai MP12 by now. Even the new Roland A88 MKII and RD88 which I was very excited announced at NAMM 2020 only to find out that it still has the older keybed PHA4 VS the PHA 50 and the Studiologic SL has been out for a while too.

Wish there was a new weighted controller that was of good quality that is more updated with better keybed similar to the Kawai VPC in the $1000 - $1500 range. Seems like there is a VOID in this area. Thus now looking at some Digital Pianos.
 
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proxima

Active Member
Wish there was a new weighted controller that was of good quality that is more updated with better keybed similar to the Kawai VPC in the $1000 - $1500 range. Seems like there is a VOID in this area. Thus now looking at some Digital Pianos.
Yeah, I'm not sure about the market there at all. The stage piano market likes its built-in sounds. The 88 key weighted market now has Native Instruments, Doepfler, and various Fatar-based keyboards.

I'm always surprised at how many professional composers use synth-action, inexpensive controllers.
 

STMICHAELS

New Member
Yeah, I'm not sure about the market there at all. The stage piano market likes its built-in sounds. The 88 key weighted market now has Native Instruments, Doepfler, and various Fatar-based keyboards.

I'm always surprised at how many professional composers use synth-action, inexpensive controllers.
proxima good point. I don't think manufacturers see this as a market to target, however we know many use VST's in their studios. I like the MP11SE for example but I am paying for all the on board sounds etc. I dont want all that.

Just want a great quality weighted action controller where the cost is in equilibrium with my needs for VST Piano (not pay for on-board sounds) However Digital Pianos have the great keys but comes at a higher cost and has the sounds.

Also since some of these keyboards are over 4-5 years old like the VPC-1 I want to buy some newer model that can keep me going for the next 6 years as I don't purchase oft. If I bought a VPC-1 when it just came out I probably today would feel that I got my money's worth.

So unfortunately I am looking at the Digital Piano route to get that good keybed. We are spoilt!
 

proxima

Active Member
proxima good point. I don't think manufacturers see this as a market to target, however we know many use VST's in their studios. I like the MP11SE for example but I am paying for all the on board sounds etc. I dont want all that.
Without speakers, I can't imagine the headphone, audio out, and fairly basic on-board sounds adds more than $100-250 to the cost, and $200-500 to the retail price. I get that the MP11 is a lot more than the VPC-1, but there's more than just the sounds there.
 

Vik

Senior Member
VPC1 is (was) a little more heavy than my ideal keyboard, but that seems to have changed after 3-4 years of using it (or I have gotten used to it).

I wish it came with two cc faders, and that the leftmost pedal (it has three pedals) only sent out sustain on/off, and not all the levels between 0 and 127 (the end result doesn’t look good in Logic), so I use the middle pedal for sustain.

I also agree that it’s just a little to tall, but I use it with a chair with adjustable height.

Regarding comparison with Steinway Grands: forget it. But a good Steinway will cost you the price of 150 VPCs. Bottom line for me was that it was the best solution I could get for that price when I bought it.
 
Some excellent points here!

Yeah, I'm not sure about the market there at all. The stage piano market likes its built-in sounds. The 88 key weighted market now has Native Instruments, Doepfler, and various Fatar-based keyboards.

I'm always surprised at how many professional composers use synth-action, inexpensive controllers.
Yes, a plethora of third party master keyboards use the Fatar action - including the Native Instruments one (not sure on the Doepfher one??!)! But as there are so many different actions/keybeds from Fatar, one quickly gets confused. They are all a bit different.

Back then the white Fatar Numa was fantastic, and it lasted for almost 10 years + it looked fantastic! Then there was a broken key, and a bit later all keys weren't functioning anymore. The black Fatar Numa I bought after this had the same problems, but after maybe 3 years...and the workmanship was well...not really professional. E.g. some keys were lower than others. And of course there's the problem of midi controls (pitch wheel), which are ridiculously hard to reach, lol. Great keyboards though!!

What do you guys think of this list? https://www.amazona.de/charts/keys/masterkeyboards/
Very surprised here that the Arturia (never heard of them before) took the first place!

Cheers!
-Frederic
 

Snoobydoobydoo

New Member
I thought about buying a VPC1 too this year and decided against it, because there are many reports of uneven keys and action. And the pedal that the VPC1 is shipped with is low quality (but that could be exchanged).

What i did now, is just using my Yamaha 675 via Midi :) That keybed is much better (for me) and it has no flaws (again for me). There were no real options, i have looked at options from Doepfer to Kawai MP's and else.
The Yamaha CP88 would have been the best option for me if i wanted a smaller solution, but not too far from its price one could get a 675..