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Suggestions for a top notch digital piano?

Have you looked into the new Nord Grand? It uses a Kawai hammer action key bed, although some people are disappointed with their choice as Kawai offers a couple options. You still get most of Nords’ sounds, although the Grand isn’t set up for organ (no drawbars). But if you’re mainly using piano patches and want to stay away from Fatar key beds that might be an option for you.

Edit: was late to the post as others have mentioned the Grand above. Best of luck with your choice!
 

SupremeFist

New Member
For touring or for home?

I have a Kawai CA-95 and it's about the greatest thing I could find. There's newer, better, and also lesser versions of it available.

When you get tired of its samples, it has stereo line ins to pump your VIs into its speakers and soundboard.

Fairly realistic touch and key carry, and even the onboard samples are pretty convincing when run through everything. You can tell when you've got headphones on, but otherwise it's as authentic as I've found in digital.
+1 to this, I have the CA97 and it's amazing. The resonating soundboard actually makes the keys vibrate under your fingers so that it feels physically more like a piano. That's when you're playing it out loud of course, but it's also a wonderful controller for piano VSTs/AUs, with pedals that send continuous sustain information etc.
 
OP
ein fisch

ein fisch

Dreamer
The Kawai VPC-1 is very nice, but if you are looking for the mechanism rather than the sounds, the StudioLogic Studio Grand 88 has a wonderful action and is still fairly portable.
Hey man thx for the suggestion. I already have the Studiologic SL88Grand and am really unhappy with it. Bad support, instability (2 keys broke over 1 year and i am supposed to pay repair costs). It would be a wonderful midi keyboard otherwise and the hammerweight feels awesome.

Now i'd rather go with a keyboard that has sounds itself. I also had a look at the korg kronos which i really like (over the nord stage 3). But im not sure yet if i want to go with the kronos or a digital piano that only focus on a realistic piano sound... literally 90% of my work contains piano so i think its time to have a good sounding one

Suggestions on both are appreciated. Thanks all
 

dsblais

Active Member
Hey man thx for the suggestion. I already have the Studiologic SL88Grand and am really unhappy with it. Bad support, instability (2 keys broke over 1 year and i am supposed to pay repair costs). It would be a wonderful midi keyboard otherwise and the hammerweight feels awesome.

Now i'd rather go with a keyboard that has sounds itself. I also had a look at the korg kronos which i really like (over the nord stage 3). But im not sure yet if i want to go with the kronos or a digital piano that only focus on a realistic piano sound... literally 90% of my work contains piano so i think its time to have a good sounding one

Suggestions on both are appreciated. Thanks all
Interesting. I've been lucky so far (only had mine about a year) but clearly need to keep my fingers crossed. Yikes! :)
 

S.M Hassani

CodeUltra Sounds
I'm gonna cast a +1 for the Kawai MP-11 SE. It probably has the best Piano Action Keybed you can find on any Digitial Stage Piano. Some people swear it feels better than many respectable uprights and even some of the baby grands they play on.

It also has some useful amenities if you want to use it as a programming keyboard. (MOD, Pitch Wheel ect...)

The folks who make the Ravenscroft Pianos, sell a $5,600 keyboard based on the -otherwise cheaper- Kawai VPC-1. The fact that Ravenworks based that conversion on Kawai's entry Hammer Action model, should tell you something about Kawai keybeds.

You can see it here: https://ravenworksdigital.com/product/the-studio-model-ii/

The best advice I can give you is this: When it comes to these types of purchases, always Try Before You Buy.

Good Luck!

BTW Jay, Those Dexibell products look very interesting!
 
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muk

Senior Member
The Dexibell Vivo S7 uses a Fatar keybed. To my fingers Roland/Kawai/Yamaha digital pianos felt way closer to a real grand piano. No comparison really to the Fatar keybeds which are widely used in masterkeyboards. If you want a keybed that feels at least slightly similar to a real piano, I would go with a top of the line digital piano from Roland, Kawai, or Yamaha, and steer clear of Fatar keybeds.
 

S.M Hassani

CodeUltra Sounds
Cool stuff Jay!

It's a shame movies are not made with same passion and artistry of that golden age. Alfie the movie, the song, the cast and their stories are still very much with us after all those years. How many of today's "Blockbusters" will be remembered like that in the future...?
 

Ashermusic

Senior Member
The Dexibell Vivo S7 uses a Fatar keybed. To my fingers Roland/Kawai/Yamaha digital pianos felt way closer to a real grand piano. No comparison really to the Fatar keybeds which are widely used in masterkeyboards. If you want a keybed that feels at least slightly similar to a real piano, I would go with a top of the line digital piano from Roland, Kawai, or Yamaha, and steer clear of Fatar keybeds.

It's not a standard Fatar keyed and the new S7 Pro is even better than the S7 I have.
 

muk

Senior Member
It's not a standard Fatar keyed and the new S7 Pro is even better than the S7 I have.
Well their homepage lists that they use the TP 40 M keybed, which is a standard Fatar keybed. In the S7 Pro they use the TP 40 Graded, which is the same keybed, but with the weights adjusted so that the treble keys have slightly less resistance than the bass keys. To my fingers these Fatar keybeds are not on the same level as the ones used in good digital pianos.
 

SupremeFist

New Member
To my fingers these Fatar keybeds are not on the same level as the ones used in good digital pianos.
I'm away from home currently so writing on a hired NI S88 (mk I), and the Fatar keybed on this model at least is light years from being as good as my Kawai CA piano. Basically it still feels like a synth, while the Kawai feels like a very decent upright at least.
 

Monkberry

Member
Nice job on "Alfie", Jay. Such an amazing composition from Bacharach & David. That song is timeless. I know this thread is about digital pianos but anytime I hear or see that song mentioned, I get excited. As Muk has stated somewhere above, Kawai, Roland PH-50 wooden key action(RD 2000 / new Fantom-8) and Yamaha wooden key action (CP-88 / P515) are more akin to acoustic piano feel and are solid actions. The question is if they are acceptable for playing organ and some other instrument sounds where a heavier-weighted keybed is not desirable. The Fatar action may be slightly more amenable for those situations and it is not a bad action by any means.
 

Mark Schmieder

Senior Member
Yep, I decided NOT to add the Dexibell to the list due to the Fatar action, as it seemed that the interested parties here had already decided that was a deal-killer. But they are an interesting company, have fairly good sounds overall, and are good value as well. Possibly a good placeholder at least?
 

Mark Schmieder

Senior Member
Ah yes, Note Off Velocity! I got criticized heavily in another forum when I insisted that repeated blindfold tests of takes with and without my played-in Note Off Velocity intact (vs. all zero, all-64, or all-80), gave FAR more musical results with Pianoteq!

Not many keybeds implement this feature, or implement it well. The worst is when it's all zeroes, as that can actually cause problems with some software, as a zero for Note Off can get confused with other triggers for note-to-note handling. So I ALWAYS edit those sequences for all-64, or maybe all-80 if the overall playing is more aggressive and/or percussive/staccato.
 

Mark Schmieder

Senior Member
The funny thing about Kawai, is that they were going to release a MIDI Keyboard Controller way back in the late 80's (maybe slightly earlier), but ran into technical issues (at least for the US market), so after 2-3 years of waiting for something that never came out, I settled on Fatar for a while.

I didn't like the wiggly action of the Kurzweil MIDIboard as it was too much of a compromise between the needs of pianists and those of organists, but it still probably has the fullest MIDI spec of anything, including Polyphonic Aftertouch -- if you don't mind the overall weight and upkeep!. I have skipped two opportunities to buy one used, on the cheap.

As I said earlier, there are some great boards that are long canceled, rare, and were never sold in the USA, such as Oberheim's (under the Viscount ownership era). Some like Roland's A80 (if I have that model name right). That one has proven elusive around here as well.

Anyway, back to Kawai, I love the feel of the CA98 for the vibrations, as it reminds me of the Mason & Hamlin that I grew up with (a unique bracing system vs. other manufacturers), but I have a feeling the Clavinova top-model actually has the best action (this is why I look forward to comparing side-by-side at the same place on the same day). The Clavinova felt BETTER to me than U-series acoustic uprights; a bit more like a Grand Piano. My recollection is that the CA-series felt like a really good upright.
 
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