What is your rating of Vivo S1

Dexibell's Vivo S1 digital piano put to the test

The 9 kilogram lightweight
by Wolfgang Wierzyk,
(Image: Dieter Stork)

Looking for a digital piano for travel? Should it weigh less than 9 kg for the "small gig" or for a quick sample? Should the sounds be individually adaptable? And should that sound good too? Then the compact Dexibell Vivo S1 could be an option.

The stage piano comes without a loudspeaker in a simple aluminum housing. You won't find any operating elements on the upper cover plate, everything is functional without a lot of frills. The 68-key keyboard from A to e4 offers seven keys more than a 61-key keyboard, an additional minor third on the left and a major third on the right. The operating module to the left of the keyboard initially conveys the charm of a remote control - but it is very well designed. On the right side of the Vivo S1 there is a volume regulator and the power on / off button - the arbor is ready.

The shiny silver aluminum side parts are chiseled with an abstract pattern, and the light blue color of the cover plate looks quite stylish. Everything makes a stable impression, and the small electric piano is astonishingly light, handy and extremely robust. The included power supply (12V / 2A) is not a practical accessory for live musicians: the wide housing and thin power cable are only partially suitable for the stage. But what I really miss is a music holder (even if it's a stage piano) or at least a device for it. An included sustain pedal would also be a welcome service - but this can be ordered as an accessory, as well as a carrying case, switch, volume pedal and headphones. The operating instructions are in English - but they are presented in an appealing and clear manner.

Connection sought and found: The Vivo S1 offers two 6.3 mm jack mono audio outputs, three foot pedal / controller connections, one USB-B computer port and one USB-A memory port, one 3.5 -mm jack audio input and fortunately two headphone sockets (3.5 mm and 6.3 mm jack). Six AA batteries / rechargeable batteries can be inserted through a flap on the underside of the housing for travel or gigs in the great outdoors.

Where are the MIDI jacks? They are no longer necessary, because Dexibell has created the possibility of connecting USB instruments directly with the USB memory port - just like that. This works z. E.g. with USB master keyboards like the KORG Micro: Key plugged in, and the power supply via USB is already there. B. Control the layer or split sound from this small keyboard. This is particularly useful at gigs "with small cutlery" if you only want to lay a few surfaces or play simple riffs. Contact with the PC is also easy with plug & play. Last but not least, the Vivo S1 can also delight other instruments via USB with the help of its four MIDI master zones. E.g. with the Roland GAIA problem-free, with the Yamaha MOXF not - this feature should be tested beforehand. If necessary, MIDI devices can be connected via a USB-MIDI interface.

Sounds and keyboard: Out of bare curiosity, you can go into the noise without a manual. The basic user guidance should, in my opinion, be intuitive, and so it is commendably also the case with the Vivo S1. The six instrument categories are piano (15 sounds), e-piano (13), organ (11), ensemble (27), more (14) and user. The cursor keys are used to navigate through the sound lists - the Coupled (= Layer) and Lower (= Split) symbols self-explanatory lead to the familiar sound combinations. All settings are clearly shown on the display.

Overall, the keyboard responds well to dynamic variations.

The built-in pen keyboard contributes not insignificantly to the low weight of the Vivo S1 - there is no awesome keyboard. However, it is set so well that it can be played much more expressively than a synth or keyboard keyboard. Dexibell describes the dual-contact keyboard as "slightly weighted". In the case of nuanced pianing, due to the design, you miss the pressure point at which the hammer snaps upwards. Overall, the keyboard reacts well to dynamic variations and opens up a wide range of dynamic design options. The key surface feels a bit smooth and does not convey any grip like a keyboard with an ebony feel. I still had the impression that I could get used to this keyboard if it wasn't for pianistic hi-end requirements. For the latter, there are the larger models from Dexibell such as. B. the Vivo S7 with 88 keys and the S3 with 73 keys (10.5 kg).


The preset dynamic curves the sounds feel good, in the menu you can choose between eight velocity curves and set these separately for each of the 80 storable Performances. In addition, six favorites can be defined, which are immediately available when the six category buttons are pressed. With the volume, transpose and octave switches you are armed for quick interventions in these important parameters.

The good quality of the sounds is particularly noticeable with the important key sounds. The different piano variants sound authentic and have an appealing dynamic range - very nice that there is also a meaningful upright variant. With Rhodes and Wurlitzer the velocity switches between the samples are e.g. Sometimes clearly audible. With styles like funk, this can lead to desirable accents - personally, I would have preferred smooth velocity crossfades. But in terms of touch dynamics and fine-tuning of the sounds, a lot can be readjusted. I like the Clavinet department very much, the new wah-wah effect of the new 4.0 operating system can be used here. The other sounds such as organ, strings, wind instruments etc. cover the bread-and-butter palette well, although the wind section unfortunately drops off a bit. The string and pad sounds are good for layering.

With the effects, I have the impression that z. B. tremolo and overdrive affect the definition of the electric piano sounds - there is still room for improvement. However, if you use these effects sparingly and instead feature the virtual sound elements, the sound unfolds.

Rummage in the sound department. The T2L sound generation of the Dexibell Vivo S1 is based on the combination of authentic samples with controllable virtual sound simulations (modeling). By combining these two methods, the required proportions of typical hammer and pedal noises can be added to the authentic samples - such as B. String resonance when the fortress pedal is depressed. Certain sound characteristics, such as bell and growl with the Rhodes or click and percussion with the organ sounds, allow e.g. Sometimes quite dramatic enhancement of the already good basic sounds, which are based on up to 15 seconds long samples of the deep piano tones. In addition, the envelope and the effects - from EQ to overdrive - can be edited.

The advantages of this open system are obvious: Not only additional and possibly newer sounds, but also additional effects and improved global parameters can be improved with the new operating system update, as was recently the case with version 4. The slightly longer switch-on time of around 30 seconds for the Vivo S1 is not really important. 320 oscillators provide a kind of polyphony flat rate and deliver it in 24-bit / 48kHz sound quality.

The new Aqua operating system update Viva OS 4.0 offers as new DSP effects a WahWah (optionally via Expression Pedal or TouchWah), a cut filter with 12/24 dB that can be controlled via an expression pedal and last but not least a compressor which you can also compress or stretch the stop curves.

(Image: Dieter Stork)

Apart from the editable sounds and the 80 internal storage spaces provided for them, the sound wrenches among us can also load other sounds into the Vivo S1. A total of 3 gigabyte sound memory is available, divided into 1.5 GB internal sounds and 1.5 GB user sounds, of which only about 100 MB can actually be loaded into the main memory. The other sounds are ready to be reloaded. Sounds in Dexibell format with the DXS extension and the often freely available sounds in SF2 format (SoundFont) can be loaded as user sounds. The sounds or sound libraries stored on a USB storage medium in the Vivo S1 can be listened to beforehand. If you like, they can then be imported surprisingly quickly and "unbureaucratically", which immensely expands the range of applications of the instrument.

Getting Deeper. The Reverb parameters shown in the display and the two other usable effects FX-A and FX-B can be selected directly using the function buttons below. Otherwise, you can use the menu button to go to the lower-level menus, where further parameters such as For example, you can find the virtual modeling parameters, effects such as electric piano tremolo, equalizer, flanger, chorus, phaser, delay, overdrive and global settings.

Mention should also be made of the song player (mp3, wav, aiff / aif), which can be loaded from the internal or external memory and also enables overdub recordings to an existing audio song. A sophisticated virtual damper function, which automatically switches on when you play more than three or four keys, as well as editor software for the iPad and the arrangement software X MURE complete the package.


With a live weight of almost 9 kilograms, the Dexibell Vivo S1 is currently the lightest piano alternative with an acceptable keyboard. The open sound and software system with the option of updates, the effective, dynamically playable and editable basic sounds in the piano and e-piano area as well as the possibility to invite further sounds are further trump cards of the small piano, which can be had for just under 1,300 euros. Those who prefer a hammer keyboard will find it with the same sound range in the Vivo S3 and S7.


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