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Thread: How to have a $275,000 concert grand for $3000

  1. #1
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    Default How to have a $275,000 concert grand for $3000

    I imagine this thread will grab the attention of many keyboardists who cannot afford the entry fee of $25,000 for a decent grand piano. I have owned a beautiful hundred year old Steinway B for thirty years and I thought there could never be an affordable way for most poor musicians to have such an instrument. A new B costs about $80,000. While it is a small number compared to what professionals pay for a quality stringed instrument, for example, it I should still unreachable by most players. I myself bought the carcass of my great asteinway for $10k and spent ten more to refurbish it to Steinway specs. I paid for it by using part of an inheritance.

    However, in today's hitech. world there is an incredible alternative. There are Yamaha digital pianos that come close to a real playing experience, but even those could cost ten grand. Here is what I have discovered in my pursuit of iOS music production. Kawai makes two superb slab, hammer action keyboards, the MP11se and the VPC1. The former is a full hammer action keyboard with full length key sticks, escapement, string resonance, three pedals and a beautiful acoustic feel. It also has some virtual instruments, strings, horns, bass, etc. but is limited as compared to a fully fledged workstation synthesizer such as the Roland FA08 (cost around $2000 new). The Kawai VPC1 is strictly a keyboard controller with quality hammer action. The MP11se cost as around $2500' the VPC 1 around $1700.
    Okay, now you have a great keyboard. How do you turn that into the near equivalent of a nine foot $275,000 custom made grand? First you buy a used iPad4 for around a $150 dollars. Then you buy an iOS app called the Ravenscroft 275 which is a seriously sampled piano based on the unique, titanium constructed Ravenscroft 275 concert grand for $36!!! You may not believe such a thing is possible. But the builder of the real RC has made a sublime simulacrum of his masterpiece. Put the VPC 1, which comes with a three pedal hitech system included, plug it into your iPad4 with the RC275 app, add decent headphones or monitors and you will be amazed at the sound. I am so enamoured with this setup that, though I had to sell my B recently, I have no regrets.

    Unfortunately I cannot post some sample recordings of this unique setup since I need ten posts before I can attach, but I will in the future. but there are many YouTube videos by accomplished pianists demonstrations pieces by Rachmaninoff and other great composers.

    If you are longing for a "real"concert grand experience but cannot afford the high cost, I implore you to investigate both the keyboards and the RC 275 app, or the Colossus piano app by Crudebyte which is a hugely sampled piano (13 gigabytes) which might be preferable to some. Cost, $50.
    Happy to answer any questions you might have about this wonderful alternative.

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    Currently I have an older model Yamaha digital piano and a six-foot acoustic piano (1951) by Grotrian-Steinweg. There’s no comparison . Digital pianos produce their sound without live strings vibrating so I referr to their sound production as two dimensional from speakers. Even though I don’t like the tonal characteristics of this particular Grotrian piano, it has live moving sound production from vibrating strings. And the sound is produced in a three dimensional aspect . I regard these two keyboards as two different instruments . I’m desperate to find an acoustic piano that fulfills tonal colors for my personal piano voice .

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    Fazioli by imperfect samples.

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    An electric keyboard is not a piano and never will be. Full stop.

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MelodicMi88 View Post
    ..Even though I don’t like the tonal characteristics of this particular Grotrian piano, it has live moving sound production from vibrating strings...
    What aspect don't you like? I have a G-S, albeit 30 years later and the next size up, and love it. Have you had it voiced by a competent technician?

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