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Alternative to the Kawai VPC1? (Looking for a full size keys midi controller)

I bought a Yamaha P-45 as a midi controller to play piano. The fact that the keys are not full size bother me more than I thought.

Am I correct to say that the Kawai VPC1 is my only alternative at $2500 and less?

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Comments

  • This one may be an alternative for the price, but it's new so, no reel reviews.

  • heshes
    edited May 17

    @Montreal_Music said:
    I bought a Yamaha P-45 as a midi controller to play piano. The fact that the keys are not full size bother me more than I thought.

    Am I correct to say that the Kawai VPC1 is my only alternative at $2500 and less?

    I think that's the first I've heard that P-45 keys are not full size. Key size on pianos varies slightly. Why do you think the P-45 is not full size? There are lots of digital pianos and hammer-action weighted keyboard controllers out there with full size keys. Most of them, in fact.

  • As I understand it, Yamaha keys are a few mm thinner than the standard key, so I think the op is correct.

    I would never choose the vpc1 as I found the action sludgy, but piano enthusiasts seem to recommend it. I would recommend the Kawai MP7 se for a kind of upright action that is easy to play but gives some resistance (I have an ES8 with the same action). That action is also found in the Kawai 950, tho I don’t like the idea of a plastic case. If you can stretch a bit you might consider the MP11se. I had one and it is a gorgeous thing with wooden key sticks and very heavy as a result). The action is smooth, reasonably quiet and solid. The VPC1 is for players who plan to do nothing with the keyboard but play piano using virtual pianos (it has no sound on its own). It is a midi controller, but a very limiting compared to the others I mentioned.

  • @LinearLineman said:
    As I understand it, Yamaha keys are a few mm thinner than the standard key, so I think the op is correct.

    I would never choose the vpc1 as I found the action sludgy, but piano enthusiasts seem to recommend it. I would recommend the Kawai MP7 se for a kind of upright action that is easy to play but gives some resistance (I have an ES8 with the same action). That action is also found in the Kawai 950, tho I don’t like the idea of a plastic case. If you can stretch a bit you might consider the MP11se. I had one and it is a gorgeous thing with wooden key sticks and very heavy as a result). The action is smooth, reasonably quiet and solid. The VPC1 is for players who plan to do nothing with the keyboard but play piano using virtual pianos (it has no sound on its own). It is a midi controller, but a very limiting compared to the others I mentioned.

    The MP11se is my dream digital piano, but too expensive for my wallett. Worth the price I'm sure, but pricey.

  • I actually prefer the action on the mp7. They have gone up in price considerably over the past year.
    $2200. Go for it. If you love it return it. There’s also Arturia mkii 88 or the Studiologic, but I’m guessing the actions are not as enjoyable. The 7 is also 4 zone.

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MP7SEKawai--kawai-mp7se-88-key-stage-piano-and-master-controller

  • The VPC1 is 2900$ canadians dollars at my local store in Montreal.
    The VPC1 is 1444$ canadians dollars on Thomann + 80$ shipping.

    Anyone knows why? Is it safe to buy a heavy piano like this from the UK?

    New vs New

    Why the difference is so big?

    Never bought anything from Thomann, but I heard a lot of people saying that it's a good online store.

    Any informations are welcome. But I definitly wants to pull the trigger on that one.

  • Have you played a VPC1?

  • @LinearLineman said:
    Have you played a VPC1?

    Unfortunately no. I base my jugement on reviews. The VPC1 is on order only in Montreal.

  • I trust this forum and Reddit. Many people on Reddit talked about some sticky note on the MP7. If I had all the money in the world, the MP11 SE would be on my chart, but with my budget, it's VPC1 vs MP7 and overall, the reviews are better for the VPC1.

    Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you prefer lighter action. For my part, I prefer heavy action. The action of the VPC1 is heavier than the MP7.

  • The Studiologic controllers are very good in my opinion. I have an organ controller from them that is around 10 or 11 years old and is great feeling and has had no issues over that time. My wife has a piano based on their graded hammer action keybed (with the full wooden keys) that is around twenty years old now and still works and feels superb.

  • Yes, I do prefer a lighter action. There was an action problem in the past on the mp7 es8, but it has been corrected. Good luck with the VPC1.

  • You might want to check the pianoworld forum? I noticed there are some threads discussing the US/UK price difference on the VPC1, looks like people may have even ordered, maybe similar for Canada. And there are dozens of discussions on action and key size, don't know how useful they are.

  • edited May 18

    @circledsquare said:
    You might want to check the pianoworld forum? I noticed there are some threads discussing the US/UK price difference on the VPC1, looks like people may have even ordered, maybe similar for Canada. And there are dozens of discussions on action and key size, don't know how useful they are.

    Thank you, I will have a look. I know that there is some differences of prices around the world. For example, Montreal is famous in the guitar world community for Godin guitar's they are way cheaper in Montreal (you can understand why), but not 50% cheaper like the VPC1. Even with the shipping and all the fees that I can encounter, I will probably save 40% wich is mindblowing. I will probably buy it because now I trust Thomann, but I still not 100% understand why this piano is almost 3K$ in Canada and 1444$ in UK.

  • edited May 18

    Those Kawai prices are astounding. Thomann is a reputable company. The vpc1 price is $1125 on their US site.
    Not in stock, however.

  • Yamaha does the opposite. For instance, their half-pedaling pedal (FC3A) is 30 to 40 USD in USA, 70 Euros here in Germany (back when the Euro was worth something, that was more than twice as much). I am waiting for my next trip to the US. Admittedly nowhere near a 1600 Canadian difference, but the principle of it annoys me enough to wait.

  • @LinearLineman said:
    Those Kawai prices are astounding. Thomann is a reputable company. The vpc1 price is $1125 on their US site.
    Not in stock, however.

    We see the same thing. You seem like a wise man so, I think I'm not dumb to think that it's a good deal.

  • Thomann is good. We bought several things from Thomann in Germany when we lived in the UK. I don't think they had a UK operation at that point. The prices were great and everything was always delivered on time and in perfect condition.

  • edited May 18

    @NeonSilicon said:
    Thomann is good. We bought several things from Thomann in Germany when we lived in the UK. I don't think they had a UK operation at that point. The prices were great and everything was always delivered on time and in perfect condition.

    Thank you. I know that I will have to pay something like 300$ in fees in total for the shipping and taxes, but 2900$ vs 1444$ is enough to justify the trouble of ordering abroad.

  • I’m not very wise at all, but I love a good deal on a keyboard.

  • edited May 18

    I will> @LinearLineman said:

    I’m not very wise at all, but I love a good deal on a keyboard.

    For the fun of it, if you want, I will update you with my experience with the VPC1 on Thomann. I'm too old to sell and buy ad nauseum.

  • Yes, please do.👍🙏😎

  • @LinearLineman said:
    Yes, please do.👍🙏😎

    I wrote to Thomann for my order.

    Answer:

    Thank you for contacting us.

    Unfortunately we are unable to ship such items as Kawai VPC1 with the DHL/UPS services outside of the European Union, due to their dimensions and weight.

    We can arrange to transport this item with a Freight Forwarder, however, the shipping costs would increase to at least 800€. If you wish, we can provide you with an exact transport cost quote.

    Delivery would be to your nearest international airport/sea port and you would need to collect the shipment from there.

    Kindly note that in case the shipment is refused/not collected, we cannot refund the shipping costs and you will be charged the return costs.

    The shipping costs do not include import duties/taxes that will be applied by your Customs authorities upon delivery. We recommend you to check the costs and procedures for this with your local Customs Agency.

    Note that you will be required to hire a local Customs broker to complete the import process. This service is also not included in our prices.

    If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us.

    Kind regards,_

  • Damn, that’s a shame. You must feel very disappointed. The good news is that, IMHO, you were not going to ultimately like it as it is no more than a platform for playing a piano… I.e. not even pitch and mod wheels. I regret not getting the MP7 for that very reason.

    The VPC1 has not been updated since Jurassic Park and has a sloped top. The action, again IMHO, is not pianolike at all, hence I choose the MP7 action which, at least feels more like an upright.

    Now you can try out a keyboard with free returns, if I had to move on from what I have, which does the job quite nicely I would be interested in Studiologic or the Arturia MKll 88 first. I’m sure there are other choices. I had a Casio PSW3000 prior to getting the ES8. I could have made do with that as it was an elegant design, lightweight and, for me, the action was acceptable and did allow for easy rapid playing. I’m not suggesting that, but it is way better, I imagine than the P45 which is a pretty entry level piece of kit with Yamaha’s icky action.

    So, unless you want to move to Luxembourg, I suggest you believe the universe has spared you ultimate regret. Save up for a MP7se if the others don’t do it for you. I mean you’re an iPad guy, you really need more midi functionality than the VPC1 can deliver. And then there’s the sloping top. Ridiculous.

  • I've played a lot of different models because I'm very picky when it comes to weighted keyboard action.
    I've also played a Kawai MP11se and I was shocked how "muddy" the keyboard action felt compared to a real grand from Yamaha or Steinway.

    But I'm aware that people have different tastes and if I can give you a recommendation then by all means go to a store which has many different models and play them yourself.

    If I had to pick my absolute favorite, it would still be the Kurzweil K2500X 88-key weighted action keyboard. It's available second hand for rather low prices and its on-board sounds are quite usable, only the acoustic piano is better taken from your iDevice (Pure Piano, Ravenscroft etc).

  • @rs2000, I, too, was ultimately dissatisfied with the MP11 action, hence I prefer the Responsive Hammer lll action of the Kawai 7/ es8.

  • I personally buy overseas from Thomann A LOT. Id say on about 1/2 the stuff I buy its a significant price difference.
    The only thing to be concerned about is you're pretty much saying you're not going to return it. Can't imagine what you'd pay to ship a Kawai back.

  • @AlmostAnonymous said:
    I personally buy overseas from Thomann A LOT. Id say on about 1/2 the stuff I buy its a significant price difference.
    The only thing to be concerned about is you're pretty much saying you're not going to return it. Can't imagine what you'd pay to ship a Kawai back.

    My goal was to keep it EXCEPT if something were broken.

    Last year I received a new Korg D1 with a broken key. It was easy to return it for free on the Bezos's online store.

  • I asked Thomann if it's possible to ship a Studiologic 88 Grand to Canada since the piano is lighter and smaller than the VPC1. Will wait for the answer.

  • @Montreal_Music said:
    I asked Thomann if it's possible to ship a Studiologic 88 Grand to Canada since the piano is lighter and smaller than the VPC1. Will wait for the answer.

    Any possibility of a trip to New York? Actually, before I ask that question, are music stores still any good in NYC? It's been more than a couple of decades since I've been there.

  • Thomann told me that the Studiologic Grand is OK to ship to Canada. I had my hand on a Studiologic Studio and IMHO, the keybed feel plastic and cheap. The MP7SE is 22KG and the Studiologic Grand is 20KG. Now I'm torn between the Studiologic Grand and the MP7SE (900$ vs 1600$).

    The MP7SE is 2700$ in Canada.

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