I was splitted between VPC1 and PK88 but in the end I preffered the last. Not only for the price, but I mostly liked the concept that after more than 20 years of continous production is about to perfection. If VPC1 would have Kawai GF grand action (instead of RM3-II) maybe I would vote vice versa. But being put into a position to choose between two compromises I voted for the Doepfer.
The look is striking, housing made of 7mm plywood which is relatively lightweight and solid. Total weight is exactly 20 kilos, most of it being the keybed itself. The all thing is extremely compact and heavy, at the limit to which a man can carry it.
Concerning the keyboard I can compare it with the former Fatar TP/10MDS (which I have it into my Korg EC510) and Roland Ivory feel G (in A88) and S (FP-80) which I both demoed a couple days before. I can say that I prefer the feeling of TP/40GH as it seems more consistent to what I am expecting as a piano surrogate; it allows me better control of the pace and dynamics of my play.
In comparison, the old TP/10 was too light to proper balance me, especialy in low registers (not being graded at all) and ivory feel G being too frictional instead of inertial. I would say Ivory feel S being somehow similar to Doepfer's.
Key travel is 11.3mm and the finishing of the keys (both black and white) not too glossy and nice to feel. The key travel up to the keys is deeper that Ivory feel G and comparable to Ivory Feel S.
Conversion to midi is extremely well done, probably the most of what 2-sensor technology can offer. I can easily obtain for each of the keys all the midi values from 0 to 127 in a very controllable and consistent way. Connected to Pianoteq it is a truly pleasure to tasle from any of the piano varieties using mostly slight fast keyboard velocity curve or just liniar.
As for cons, I can say that:
- the front edge that covers the keybed is too narrow and a too much a portion of the keys are left to be seen.
- some keys seem shorter by a submillimeter or so which is visible from aside.
- I don't know if the sponge covering lid and top of the keys is durable enough and will not crumble after years.
After more than 3 months of extensive use I can say this keyboard is a good rehersal tool although not an ultimate playing one. But if you've managed good tremolos on it then surely you'll get brilliant ones on any piano on earth.
The relatively fast bottoming gives good feedback, tempo wise. Being also heavy on touch you get tired fast if you don't acquire relaxed hand. So, it seems to me like ideal tool for developing and maintaining good piano technique.