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Studiologic VFP-3-10 Triple Piano-Style Open Polarity Sustain Pedal with Mono and Stereo Connector, for Keyboards
- Triple piano-style sustain pedal
- Provides sustain for keyboards and MIDI Controllers
- Open polarity at rest
- Solid body construction with rubberized levers
- 6; 56-foot cable length; mono and stereo connectors
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The Studiologic VFP 3 10 is a triple piano style sustain pedal that is open at rest. It works with any synthesizer or digital piano and provides a quality, professional feel in a well built encasement. Relying on more than 40 years of tradition in the production of tactile interfaces for musical instruments, this pedal offers absolute perfect control. Its solid body construction is strong enough to last, while its rubberized levers feel just like the real thing. The VFP 3 10 features both a mono and stereo connector and a 6.56 foot cable. Studiologic is synonymous with high quality MIDI controllers and ground breaking digital pianos, organs, and pedals.
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One of the main problems people are having with this pedal set is with the connectors Studiologic/Fatar chose to put on it. There are only two phone plugs for 3 pedals. I'm not sure why Studiologic/Fatar chose to do it this way, but it makes it really inconvenient for people who don't happen to have that plug/jack configuration on their keyboard. There are a ton of keyboards out there that could really benefit from having this pedal set, but which are not set up to use this connector configuration. From reading the reviews on this, and other sites, a lot of people are stumped about what to do to make this pedal set work with their keyboard.
Here's how it is presently set up: As you can see from the photo, there are actually three cables emerging from the pedal unit, one for each pedal. (This 3 pedal unit is, essentially, simply an assembly of 3 of their individual pedal units.) For some reason StudioLogic (or Fatar, who makes the pedals) decided to merge these three cables down to only two plugs: One connector is a TRS (stereo) 1/4" phone plug for both the right and the middle pedal on the unit (-on a piano, the sustain and sostenuto pedal - or whatever function you want to assign to them), the other connector is a mono (TS) 1/4" phone plug for the left pedal (or the soft/una corda pedal. (-or again, whatever function you want to use it for.) However, this poses a real problem for those of us with separate mono (TS) 1/4" phone jacks on our keyboards for the pedals, rather than a stereo jack that the TRS/stereo plug on this pedal unit can plug into. (I have a Kurzweil K2600XS and I have 4 separate mono/TS 1/4" phone jacks on the back of the keyboard, for the "switch pedals". I have no stereo/TRS jack for switch pedals on the back of my keyboard. So without a workaround, I am stymied.
The workaround to this is actually quite simple: Buy a 1/4" stereo to mono splitter cable,1 TRS/stereo female jack to two TS/mono male plugs. There is one of these made by Hosa right here at Amazon, for under $5:
(Anyway, that is what I did, and it works just fine.)
Plug the TRS/stereo plug (-the one with two black rings on the tip instead of just one-) from the pedal unit into the splitter cable. This will resplit the stereo TRS plug back down to two color coded 1/4" TS/mono plugs. The remaining mono 1/4" plug from the pedal unit for the "soft pedal" (at least on the unit I got) has a metal (silver-colored) 1/4" phone plug. So once you have the Hosa splitter cable installed, you now have three conveniently color coded plugs, black (for sustain pedal), red (for sostenuto), and silver (for soft or una corda pedal.) On my Kurzweil K2600XS, I just plug these black, red, and silver phone plugs into switch pedal jacks 1, 2 and 3, respectively, on the back of the Kuzweil keyboard. Those jacks default, in the Kurzweil, to sustain, sostenuto, and soft (una corda). (-That is, unless you have rerouted/reprogrammed them elsewhere.) -No soldering, no removing and installing new plugs or jacks, -very simple. (So why doesn't Studiologic just provide one of these adapter cables with the pedals?)
Normally open or closed: The Kurzweil K2600XS, and I believe many or most of that manufacturer's other keyboards, have a nice feature built in: They are able to sense whether the switch pedal you just plugged in is normally open or normally closed, when the unit powers up, and will thus operate properly whichever type of pedal you happen to have plugged in. (-As long as you don't have your foot on the pedal when the keyboard is booting up, that is). I believe there are a number other keyboards out there now that also have this ability to detect whether the pedals are normally open or closed, and compensate for it. (If they don't, they should. Not everyone wants to be forced to use a company's proprietary pedals, or have to wonder whether the pedal they just bought is n.o. or n.c.). On the other hand, I ama aware that there are still plenty of keyboards our there that don't have this pedal polarity sensing ability.
(As far as proprietary pedals go, those that are made for Roland or Casio or Yamaha keyboards, -that provide graduated half-pedal or quarter-pedal effects, are another story altogether. These particular Studiologic/Fatar pedals I am reviewing here are simply "switch pedals". For those special pedal effects that you can get on selected keyboards, there seems to be no alternative except to buy the specific manufacturer's proprietary pedals, (which are much more than simply switch pedals, and usually contain special circuitry to enable a whole spectrum of pedaling gradations). If you need that type of pedal, these StudioLogic pedals will not do the job. (-Trust me.) These pedals will not do all the subtle gradations of half pedal or other pedal effects. These pedals are simply on, or off.)
If you have a keyboard that doesn't sense what type of pedal you have connected, but simply MUST have a specific polarity of pedal, either a normally open, or a normally closed contacts pedal, StudioLogic offers two different models of this three pedal unit. This one, the VFP-3-10, has normally open contacts (when the pedal is "up", in other words.) The model VFP-3-15 has normally closed contacts.
As you may know, or may already have guessed, these pedals are made by Fatar, in Italy. (It says "Made in Italy" three times, once for each pedal, on the bottom of my Studiologic VFP-3-10 pedal set. (A single Fatar pedal came original equipment with my Kurzweil keyboard, --and Fatar also makes the key assemblies for Kurzweil keyboards.) These are high quality pedals (accept no substitutes!) - I just can't understand why they have this strange setup with 2 plugs - one TRS, and one TS, when it seems the sensible thing to do would have been just to let all three pedals terminate in their normal mono/TS type phone plug, like pedal manufacturers (and also Fatar!) have been doing for decades. One reviewer even advocated unsoldering the TRS/stereo plug and soldering on two TS/mono type plugs. I really think Fatar/Studiologic should either include the splitter cable/adapter with the pedal set, -or at least explain in their literature what the workaround is. But to simply leave people hanging, wondering how in the world to hook these pedals up to their particular keyboard, -without taking the connectors all apart and installing new plugs and terminations-, -or having to research and purchase additional splitters and adapter cables that don't come with the pedals (-or worse yet, hooking the pedals up and wondering why they don't work with their keyboard) -is neither considerate, nor user-friendly, nor good business practice, IMHO.
I bought this 3 pedal unit because 1) the Fatar pedals are well-made, and very durable, 2) It is a more conventional piano-type pedal (instead of these cheap little 2" x 2" hockey-puck-sized things they are providing with keyboards these days that slide around on the floor and are never where you need them when you go to put your foot on them... 3) It has some weight, the three pedals are all connected together, and it will not tend to slide around like individual pedals that end up in all sorts of odd angles and orientations under the keyboard, where you have to go through various contortions to try and reach or use them. 4) I have had a lot of experience over the years with Fatar pedals, and they have never failed me or let me down. And 5) they feel much like a rea piano pedal.
The pedal set comes with little plastic covers for the pedals. I'm not sure why. If you tape them on somehow, they might stay. But otherwise they just come off, if you are doing any sort of serious pedaling. The picture here at Amazon shows black plastic covers on the pedals. Mine came with transparent plastic ones. The picture also shows black plastic molded 1/4" phone plugs. Mine were discrete metal plugs, with metal covers/shields, (whatever you call that back part of the phone plug that unscrews in order to gain access to the wires inside) (the plugs themselves were silver-colored, with red plastic separator rings between tip and ring, and ring and sleeve, -and a gold tip. -Very colorful.) (-Also a metal spring type cord strain relief.) (-YMMV.) (It seems they are always changing something about the product.) I actually prefer this type of discrete metal plug with the screw-on cover/back, -it actually makes more sense than the molded plastic plugs in the picture, which have to be cut off in the event you do have to change the connector, -rather than being capable of disassembly, like the metal plugs... (At least with the metal phone plugs you can unscrew the back, and take them apart and disconnect the wires in the event that you need to install new plugs to match your keyboard pedal jacks. Alas, the connections in these metal plugs are soldered - good for those who know how to solder, -bad for those who don't. For the latter, screw connections inside the plug would have been preferable. (So users can change connectors without having to know how to solder/unsolder.)
I deducted one star for the confusion Fatar/Studiologic has created by implementing this rather strange connector configuration on these pedals. And furthermore-, -for neither explaining their reasoning in doing so, nor explaining which keyboards their pedals ARE supposed to work with, -nor providing any workaround in their literature, for keyboards that don't fit the exact mold, and for making purchasers of their product have to guess or figure it out on their own in order to be able to use the product, -which, by the way, definitely merits being used. (Studiologic does provide schematic diagrams in the manual that comes with the pedals, -for those who still want to try to install or solder on their own connectors, -but not everyone can read schematics.) It's really otherwise a very good pedal setup, and works well, -with the above workaround, that is, -but Studiologic should really fire the engineer or project manager who decided on having one TRS 1/4" connector for 2 pedals-, and one TS 1/4" connector for the third pedal - which really seems to conform with very few keyboards I am familiar with.
The original factory pedals quit working after a few years and I couldn't find replacement pedal on the company's web-site (with the above configuration.)
The keyboard is about 20 years. Now it's like new (I had to modify the original metal pedal box for this one to fit into, but now fits well and works perfectly).