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Retired Admin
After a 10 or 11 year hiatus, I've been playing the piano quite a bit lately and I think I can officially say the bug has bitten again. So much so, I'm about to pluck down some coin on a whole new rig: piano, synth, sound module, amps, mic, effects unit and a vocal processor. However, the largest drawback is the cost of the piano I'm most interested in - the Roland V Piano. The ability to create the sound of an 18' grand piano with triple strings wrapped in silver has enormous appeal but sadly comes with an emormous price tag. I wondering if anyone (coughbotchcoughpaulycoughsoundhoundcough) has heard any buzz about this keyboard.
That's pretty old school.

In my experience, most of the modern keyboardists are spending the dough on a realy darn good weighted keyboard (often a portable piano) and connecting it to their PC to make the sounds. That's what I do here, and the results are incredible because I have virtually unlimited top quality sounds all in my laptop.
I don't really know much about keyboards... Botch would probably be able to tell you a lot more. I have a Technics electric piano, which I got because it feels and plays like a real piano - weighted, touch-sensitive keys, real sampled grand piano sound, etc. It was far better in that respect than any Roland or any similarly priced Yamaha, I thought. I didn't get it for the synth ability, which it has none. But I got mine ~13 years ago; I assume Technics is still making them, though I wouldn't know anything about current models. Definitely check them out if you're looking for something that truly emulates a real piano. I paid around $3k for it at the time.

Flint's got a good point, it doesn't necessarily have to be built into the keyboard.
What exactly is old school about my approach...the several items like separate synth and sound module? For piano playing, I prefer a weighted key (as you alluded to) and I think the V Piano more than qualifies as a really darn good wieghted keyboard. However, for general keyboarding, I prefer the faster action of velocity keys like that which most synthesizers have.
Right, common gear - one weighted controller, one cheap unweighted or marely weighted controller, one laptop loaded with all the sounds you want, and an easy path to new sounds via downloadable tools.

I don't know many who own big fancy complex digital pianos anymore. More often it is the rich people pretending to be musicians who buy those ultra-expensive high end all in one fancy home console digital piano tools.

My mother, a classically trained pianist and organist who toured with Van Cliburn in the 50s, loved the ~$1,000 Yamaha stage pianos for their hammer action and says that's all her students need to become full-fledged pianists, especially when coupled with a killer sound module (like Native Instruments).

But it is just some advice from a single point of view. There is also value in having a stand alone, single power button piano as well.
What grabs me most about the V Piano is that there is no sampling whatsoever in its sounds. It's all modelling. And while there are a couple of significanty less expensive Yamaha pianos that offer modelling, nothing has the power of the V Piano. You can create a piano that doesn't even exist (hence my 18' triple silver string comment). Hell, you can even change the sounding board material from wood to glass.

As for downloading sound patches, I suppose I should look into that but the only sound module I'm interested in the Yamaha MOTIF rack unit, largely because it's a MOTIF. I'm guessing you just can't simply download all the MOTIF sounds you want.
Zing, do you intend to play just at home, or gig? I've gone both routes over the years, and I prefer the simplicity of sounds in the keyboard itself; using a laptop at a gig, especially an informal jam session, is a hassle. However, as Flint pointed out, your sound selection is unlimited and often better than strictly on-board sounds.
I've heard some of the later Roland pianos, they do sound incredible but Roland's unexcuseably sh*%ty f*&$cked up poorly translated Japlish owner's manuals made me boycott the brand about 15 years ago, haven't bought anything from them since.
It's hard to find a place that carries them, but be sure to try to listen to a Kurzweil before deciding (my piano of choice). Nord has a dedicated piano now too (extremely light and easy to carry) but people either love them or hate them (I haven't heard one myself, but I love both my Nord Lead and Nord Electro II (Hammond organ simulator).
Happy Hunting!
Home. And home recording. My gigging days are long gone. I was thinking that maybe some of your musician buddies have been either praising or criticizing this V Piano that you'd be privvy to. Naturally, everyone I talk with at Sweetwater and Musician's Friend is suggesting the V Piano (I wonder what their commission rate is).
Definitely try to find a place to try some of them out before shelling out multiple G's... I have a friend who manages a piano/keyboard store, I can ask him for his opinion on current models if you like. But what's your primary goal? To have something that feels like a real piano, or mainly something with synth and other goodies along with it (like track recording or...)?
In terms of the piano, I'm looking for realistic feel and playability as well as sound quality. Honestly, I couldn't care less if it had only 3 piano sounds as long as those 3 are stellar. I don't need my piano to have any features except to look, sound and feel like a piano.
The concept of modelling is sexy, but after a month you'll never use that stuff to it's potential ever again. You'll pick the piano you like and stick with it 99% of the time and ocassionally make a honky-tonk sound just for fun.
I have a Yamaha CP-33 Stage Piano. The feel of the weighted keys is very natural and the options for the voices are great.

I think that they run about $1K new. I bought mine back in 2007.

You should check it out.
^ I've already looked into the CP5 and have not ruled it out. Frankly, that's currently my #2 choice right behind the Roland.

Flint said:
The concept of modelling is sexy, but after a month you'll never use that stuff to it's potential ever again. You'll pick the piano you like and stick with it 99% of the time and ocassionally make a honky-tonk sound just for fun.
I think you're right about that. And that one sound that I'll stick with just might be the custom-modelled sound that I created.
heeman said:
I have a Yamaha CP-33 Stage Piano.

I think that they run about $1K new. I bought mine back in 2007.

You should check it out.
They still make it and it's still $1K.

Flint said:
Ten bucks says you choose some Steinway or Yamaha preset and go with that.
You're on! But I don't think Roland would offer a Yamaha sound like the S6. I do know that two of their presets are recreations of a Steinway and a Boesendorfer.
After agonizing over the choice between the Yamaha CP5 (along with a lot of other gear) and the Roland V Piano (along with little else), I took the plunge...into the DEEEEP end! :music-rockout:



I also took the liberty of purchasing a bench befitting of the piano.


And a pair of these 15" bad boys.


I'm done. For a LONG while. :handgestures-thumbup:
Cool, you can bring the V-piano to the GTG so I can try it out. :laughing: