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#1552125 - 11/06/10 12:04 PM Just been to the Kawai shop..!!!
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
LONG POST alert...!!

Big day for me. Being in the situation a few of us are in here... Choosing a new DP. I went out on a massive testing day at my local shops.

I'm lucky enough to have two Kawai dealers in Bristol as well as another main stream seller of all things musical. I visited all three.

Mickleburgh's in Bristol had most of the Kawai stuff other than the MP range. The CN33 and usual CA63/93 stuff. They also had Yamaha's P155, a bunch of Casio stuff as well as Kawai's ES6. Pretty much all the stuff i've been reading about short the MP5/6/8/10. Shame. They were all busy drinking tea so didn't bother trying to assist me so I spent around half an hour using their demo stock and left them drinking their tea.

I went to the second shop (Swift Music, Bristol) which had amazing customer service as well as a young lady that tagged on to play the piano's properly for me (as i'm fairly rubbish on the Piano). As people know, my shortlist is the Mp6 or the Roland FP7-F.

I had a go on everything in the shop which included the Roland FP4 and FP7. The Roland HP307 (as apparently it has the same keyboard the FP7-F will have). I went through most of the Kawai range (again minus the Mp/anything..), played with the Yamaha stuff and then through the Roland stuff. Here are my conclusions so far..

Kawai CN33. I was really surprised how much I like this. It felt very good and sounded really reasonable. I had to check the price a couple of times whilst I was playing and eventually considered it a bargain..!

CA63. For me, not a hugely noticeable step up from the CN33 but very nice. It didn't have a very different piano experience to the 33 as I was expecting. Very honest and very mid range sounding compared to the competition. It sounded like a real piano but it had a very distinct sound that I had to concentrate on to work out whether it sounded like an acoustic in a room, or more to the point, the sort of piano sound I like. I didn't hear any sample looping whilst playing. You could make something out on individual keys but you had to sit there quietly trying to figure out whether there was a cycle going on or whether it was simply a fading note. I decided it wasn't something that really stood out as a deal breaker.

I played the Yamaha P85 and the P155 and didn't like either.. Sorry Yammy buyers but, after playing the Kawai stuff, they felt like they were more synthesiser type keys than piano ones. The sound was pretty good but not close enough to the Kawai's or the Roland stuff for me.

I tried the Roland HP307 directly after playing about four of the Kawai's and noticed straight away that the keyboard was excellent, in a different way than the Kawai's were excellent. I personally ended up preferring the Roland HP307 keybed (I am told it is the same one being used in the Roland FP7-F as well as having the same SuperNATURAL AP sounds). Not sure why but it just felt more natural to me. I swapped to and from both the CA63 and the HP307 quite a lot (and got the pretty Pianist to play some of her stuff on them).

So. I got down to headphones on the CA63 and the HP307. Both of them sound and feel lovely in very different ways. A bit like (for guitar players here...) jumping between a Gibson Les Paul and a Fender Stratocaster (the Kawai being the Les Paul and the Roland being the strat in my little weird comparison..!!). The Kawai sound was very specific and quite dark in certain areas. The HP307 SN was very clean and expressive. Tough choice at this stage..

I then went to my third shop that doesn't (and will not..) stock Kawai. I had a go on the V-Piano for about 20 minutes.. (WoW... help ). Bit out of my price range but the guy there told me the FP7-F will have the same keyboard, the same one I was really starting to like on the HP307. The V-Piano is amazing..

Tried a couple of the Yamaha's again (same P85 and P155). Decided they were nowhere near the piano feel I was getting from the Kawai and 307 and the sound wasn't as authentic to me. Quite bright and almost metallically sounding on the ears. I decided my favourite set of keys that day was the Roland HP307 (ignoring the V-Piano experience for a second!!). The sound from the speakers was reasonable. No better or worse than the CN33/CA63.. The sound on the headphones sort of sold me on Roland's SN sound. The keybed was very natural and piano like. Maybe not to everyones tastes but very acceptable to most I would expect but the sound is excellent..

I decided that I would be very happy with either the Kawai CN33 or CA63's keybed or the HP307 keybed although constant playing might draw me to one or the other. Both very nice.

I doubt my conclusions on the sound of any of the pianos i've tried today have been made on the basis of sample looping. I found the Roland FP7 (note* not the 7-F as it hasn't been released yet) to be pretty obvious with it's loop point. It was much harder to tell with the Kawai's to the point it didn't seem more than a minor issue to me personally. Roland's SN engine is very nice but it's not as WOW as some people make out. Whack the key down high range and it's quite zingy.. in an unnatural way to me. Overall though, it has that sound I think i'm looking for. It sounds more acoustic to me than all the others. Or maybe just more organic and real. The Kawai's surprised me. Nice machines with a great sound but, there is something about the SN sound that is very alluring.

I did play the FP4 (as mentioned earlier...), but at this stage, it felt like a toy piano. The original FP7 felt more real but still plasticky. I imagined whilst playing the FP7 that if it had the HP307 keyboard as well as it's sound engine, it would be the one I would almost have got my wallet out to buy. I therefore can't wait to see if all that good stuff turns up in the FP7-F as it will probably be an easy choice if it does.

I'd love to have played the MP6 but neither dealer said they would get one in to demo so a 'guess purchase' it at this stage, on the strength of a brochure picture with a care-less MP3 demo recording to go on, it's too much of a risk to choose over the FP7-F. I'm going to keep my options open for a few weeks until the FP7-F comes on a demo floor near me, and on the off chance a miracle happens and someone stocks the Mp6 for a demo (or someone records the output of the instrument 'professionally' and posts it for critical listening). But until then, I believe the FP7-F is going to be a hell of an affordable, and portable machine to beat. I didn't play anything today that promised to challenge it massively, other than the V-Piano but hey, that's a totally different price bracket..

If I buy an FP7-F, then i'll always be left wondering whether the MP6 was the better instrument. It has every chance of being as good for the right person. But i'm not guessing that I could better the potential FP7-F by risking buying the MP6 blind. Shame in some way but we all have to be realistic.

Regards. Rimmer

EDIT. I didn't much like the feel of the ES6. You get the sense that everything before the ivory touch idea had a certain slippery plasticky feel about the boards. Even the expensive ones.. Not sure if that's just me.. But it's an option i've decided to put behind me in favour of the ivory touch..


Edited by Rimmer (11/12/10 08:51 AM)

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#1552176 - 11/06/10 01:28 PM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Rimmer]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Interesting post to read. We seem to share a lot of the same impressions.

I also find the current Kawai keyboard surface much better and less plastic feeling than on the CA51 line. Much better.
I also like the SN sound but find it sometimes just a little too processed and artificial sounding.
The Kawai sound is clearer and more transparent but also less expressive in combination with the keyboard.
Playing the VPiano really does put the HP307 performance in perspective.
When one looks at the cabinet construction of the VPiano one cannot help but think that the actual key length on its PHAIII keyboard is much longer than on the 307. The connection with the sound engine is of course very direct, like it is reading your mind. My worry about spending money now on a 307 is that a 407 would come out soon that is more VPiano like

The MP6 should be available before the FP7F.
Why not order them both from places that have 100% 30 day return policy and audition them thoroughly at home?

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#1552186 - 11/06/10 01:37 PM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Rimmer]
Qbert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 328
Loc: Italy
Yes, nice post.

Please, take us informed on your final choice.

Regarding Yamaha, it's a pitty you didn't mention CP1/5 in your test.

Someone prefers CP1 to V-Piano.
_________________________
GEM Promega 3 (sold) - Yamaha CLP 170 (sold) - Acuna88 (sold) - Kawai VPC1 + BK7m

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#1552314 - 11/06/10 04:59 PM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Rimmer]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2323
Loc: UK
Interesting review, thanks for providing it. Looks like you're hanging out for the FP-7F then?

Just wondering which DP the young lady pianist thought had the best sound, the best action, and overall most to her liking?

AS a CN33 owner, I agree that it's a great DP in its price range, possibly one of the best.

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#1552337 - 11/06/10 05:52 PM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Rimmer]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1079
Loc: California
When the FP7F comes out, I'd really love to hear how it compares to the V piano. I am debating between those two and the 307.

I had the same reaction to the V that you did.

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#1552352 - 11/06/10 06:17 PM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Rimmer]
V_Piano_Man Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/25/10
Posts: 28
Hi Rimmer,

Thank you for your detailed chronicle . I was on the edge of my seat.

Particularly loved your first 'WoW' experience. The smile on my face remembering my moment in store. In my case - at that moment, my roll of cash jumped out of my pocket.

I have a feeling you will buy an FP7-f . Be sure in your comparison of the action with 307 and V piano. I believe you are correct theJourney I think the keys are longer but I am not certain. I think Nikalette you will have the same delicious fate as Rimmer.

I cant wait for the next chapter. I am enjoying your search.

V_Piano_Man.

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#1552380 - 11/06/10 07:11 PM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Rimmer]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8891
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Rimmer, many thanks for your interesting post.

Perhaps I am being overly cynical, however I too doubt that the keyboard actions in the V-Piano, HP-307, and FP-7F are all exactly the same (doesn't the FP-7F action have a slightly different name?) - why would the V-Piano weigh over 10kg more than the FP-7F, for example?

I don't know why the two Kawai dealers would be reluctant to stock the new MPs (did they stock the MP5/MP8II?), however I expect they will change their policy after receiving a handful more queries about these great boards.

Best of luck!

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1552600 - 11/07/10 02:10 AM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: theJourney]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Interesting post to read. We seem to share a lot of the same impressions.

I also find the current Kawai keyboard surface much better and less plastic feeling than on the CA51 line. Much better. I also like the SN sound but find it sometimes just a little too processed and artificial sounding. The Kawai sound is clearer and more transparent but also less expressive in combination with the keyboard. The MP6 should be available before the FP7F.
Why not order them both from places that have 100% 30 day return policy and audition them thoroughly at home?


I did play the CA51 but not for long purely due to what I now consider to be a lower quality key surface. The SN does sound processed in many ways, in some ways more than the Kawai which I think a lot of people might consider an odd conclusion to make. I generally put this down to the fact that we are listening to two different sample sets of two different pianos which are processed in a different way. If they were both sampling a Steinway then it would be an easier conclusion to come to.

Originally Posted By: Qbert
Yes, nice post.

Please, take us informed on your final choice.

Regarding Yamaha, it's a pitty you didn't mention CP1/5 in your test.

Someone prefers CP1 to V-Piano.


They didn't seem to have the CP1/5/50. I didn't notice them and to some extent forgot about them due to the comments I received from a couple of the guys who seemed to have written Yamaha off for the time being due to them believing they had some catching up to do. This sounds like it's not the case with the pianos you've mentioned so I will try and get a play on them this coming week.

Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
Interesting review, thanks for providing it. Looks like you're hanging out for the FP-7F then?

Just wondering which DP the young lady pianist thought had the best sound, the best action, and overall most to her liking?

AS a CN33 owner, I agree that it's a great DP in its price range, possibly one of the best.


She wasn't very vocal about either but I did ask her. She seemed to think they both (HP307 and CN63) weren't really like real pianos but thought they were both very piano like in sound and feel. She didn't point towards either as a preference which, was sort of my feelings. A bit like someone preferring the Les Paul or the Strat sound and feel (neither better or worse than each other at the end of the day as that's 'always' been a personal thing..). The CN33 was the best 'value' machine I played. The price was very keen and compared to the Yamaha stuff anywhere near the price point, much better. It has every reason to be a best seller. The HP307 was better to my feel and hearing, but not by a mile.. If I bought the CN33, I wouldn't be thinking about the HP307 whilst I played it as it was too nice for the price and very much a piano in feel and sound. The HP is over twice the price which isn't enough of a jump for the money IMO.

Originally Posted By: V_Piano_Man
Hi Rimmer,

Thank you for your detailed chronicle . I was on the edge of my seat.

Particularly loved your first 'WoW' experience. The smile on my face remembering my moment in store. In my case - at that moment, my roll of cash jumped out of my pocket.

I have a feeling you will buy an FP7-f . Be sure in your comparison of the action with 307 and V piano. I believe you are correct theJourney I think the keys are longer but I am not certain. I think Nikalette you will have the same delicious fate as Rimmer.

I cant wait for the next chapter. I am enjoying your search.

V_Piano_Man.


Heh. wink

The guy almost forgot that I said it was way out of my price bracket. It's too big for my physical space at home otherwise I would have been seriously tempted. The V-Piano was the only one with speakers connected to it which probably skewed the experience somewhat although I did play a load of keys i didn't mention through speakers. Namely the RD700GX (which is very nice but it was up against some stiff competition here). The RD300GX which has the toy like keyboard (sorry guys but that's the way it feels to me now..). The V-Piano was the most complete piano sensation for me. Not so much comparing it to a real piano as I think that's a very hard thing to do as real pianos sound different per room and to some extent need a decent space to breath. I think the real comparison between a real piano and a DP is to record it professionally, in a professionally considered space, then listen back to it whilst listening to a DP as the DP is essentially a recorded piano and not the real thing thumping away there. They can try as hard as they like to make DP's sound like the real thing by using wood speaker panels and the like, but it doesn't quite get there for me. But really, for someone that wants more flexibility than a piano offers, the current DP range offers a lot..

A real acoustic is a different animal altogether due to the experience you have with your one sound and a creaking chunk of wood with vibrating strings being whacked by a felty pad. I'm more in to accepting a DP for what it is, in this situation, and buying something that feels like a AC keybed and inspires with it's sounds. The V-Piano is the total package as far as my limited experience shows (got to keep away.. mad )

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Rimmer, many thanks for your interesting post.

Perhaps I am being overly cynical, however I too doubt that the keyboard actions in the V-Piano, HP-307, and FP-7F are all exactly the same (doesn't the FP-7F action have a slightly different name?) - why would the V-Piano weigh over 10kg more than the FP-7F, for example?

I don't know why the two Kawai dealers would be reluctant to stock the new MPs (did they stock the MP5/MP8II?), however I expect they will change their policy after receiving a handful more queries about these great boards.

Best of luck!

Cheers,
James
x


I pushed to try and find out whether the Roland keyboards were actual different in any way, despite being told they will be the same PHAIII technology. I didn't jump to and from the V-Piano and the HP307 to size that up. They said they had the same PHAIII board but I would say from memory that they did feel a bit different for some reason. Both very playable and both totally satisfactory, as were the CN33 and CA63 to me (still not the CA95 but not sure why.. ?!?).

It's a shame about the Mp stuff though as none of the shops said they carried them. They seemed to think they were more home piano shops (despite some of their stock being clearly stage based products) and merely expressed an interest in an MP based demo IF it was for purchase only. That said, I only asked one as I didn't want to interrupt the tea drinkers in Mickleburgh. I'll go back and hassle them on the subject and report back. None of the shops offered money back guarantees but maybe that's a UK/EU/USA type difference in customer service. Thomann however offer decent prices and a 30 day money back guarantee. That said, I try hard to support my local shops if they support me with affordable prices and demo models and are easier than Thomann type shops if you need to access the warranty, or send it back if you don't like it (a trial of sorts i'd imagine.. frown )

The usual technology shop that I use in Bristol claimed that they had tried to get a Kawai in for someone but the boss said that they would struggle keeping up with the warranty side of things if something went wrong. I consider this to be potentially a lazy answer but there might be something in it. If I were Kawai, i'd hit those sorts of shops and get the boss to consider a demo deal where they offered their machines for demo stock but also took on the responsibility of the warranty. Many UK dealers offer four year warranty on EVERYTHING they sell which is a really good deal. If Kawai offer the standard one year, then they need to come to an agreement with those shops to take on the additional three years those shops feel uncomfortable about taking on but the customers are growing to expect. Kawai clearly don't understand the European/US market place and need to stick their necks out to get on board. Something for the boardroom people i'd say..!

Last point on the FP7-F versus MP6 comparison. The CA63 and the HP307 are a real tough choice from listening to both of them side by side. The main reason I was using those machines is that they offer a virtual comparison between the FP7-F and the MP6 due to the comparisons with their keys and sound engine. However i've just realised that the FP7-F is going to use the same sound engine as the HP307 but the MP6 is using the PHI instead of the UPHI of the CA63 (just read up on the CA63)

As mentioned before, this 'may or may not' be a big mistake by Kawai. I personally haven't figured out which of the current models use the PHI so I can compare closer the individual sound experience with the UPHI models. If there is a big difference, then I think the MP6 is going to lag behind for the type of buyer that wants the most expressive sound from their new machine, purely as the FP7-F hasn't cut corners here. Experience is the key so I haven't closed the door on the MP6 yet. I still want to love it..

I'll probably pop down to the shops again this week as I have no work until the weekend so i'll happily take a list along of what people are interested in. Remember though I can play a couple of tunes on the piano reasonably badly but I have a good ear and reference things professionally and try and take in to consideration why some people may like or may not like certain aspects for individual reasons.

Cheers for reading...!

Rimmer

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#1552630 - 11/07/10 03:28 AM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Rimmer]
Qbert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 328
Loc: Italy
It would be nice to bring a recorder... 10 seconds with each piano would be enough!
_________________________
GEM Promega 3 (sold) - Yamaha CLP 170 (sold) - Acuna88 (sold) - Kawai VPC1 + BK7m

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#1552633 - 11/07/10 03:35 AM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Qbert]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
Thought about that although I don't know if I have enough of a rapport with the Kawai dealer to turn up with my Macbook Pro and RME Fireface. I'll work on it though as I would be more than happy to do that. I could get a proper 24bit 192khz (overkill on the Khz maybe) recording. Something that seems to be heavily missing on the internet but something many would benefit from I believe. Take the 'average quality' technology out of the sound recording and then people can decide on the sound without accepting degradation in the quality through lazy recording techniques.

Not trolling here.. just sticking with my original issues with the representation of the sound from ALL of the manufacturers.


Edited by Rimmer (11/07/10 03:39 AM)

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#1552641 - 11/07/10 03:49 AM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Rimmer]
reza Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/03/08
Posts: 77
Loc: Tehran, Iran
Thank you for sharing your experience.

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#1552811 - 11/07/10 10:19 AM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Rimmer]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
More babbling i'm afraid...!

The Kawai shops were closed today so I did a stint in the Roland/Yamaha/Korg shops (if you know what I mean..).

I played the Yamaha CP50/5/1 today. I took a set of headphones off the guy I know there and set about playing a few things.

I'm not sure how I feel about The Yamaha CP's. The keyboards seem very nice. A good weighty action and a natural bounce back from the keys. I couldn't comment on all the variables as i'm not a proper pianist so they might be some speed or other advantages over the competition, or maybe some minuses. I personally didn't care too much for the keys. The action was good but the feel of the keys didn't do it for me. The sound.. Well, I quite liked the piano sounds although it made for a rather flat and dull experience, despite the brashness of some of the samples the expression seemed dull to me. But hey, that could be just my lack of experience as a player. Definitely worth a play though.

Back to the HP307 (via the V-Piano for a walk by tinkle..!). I played this for around 20 minutes I think. I got much more of a feel for the sound and keyboard. I personally ended up on the 'Light' key setting as I found that although it felt like I was hitting the keys quite hard, I had to really thump them to get the sound to open up and sing in even the medium mode,(I accept this is something that will change as I progress onward with my playing but this setting is the best for me at the moment). When you did get the brightness to open up through a hard thump, it sounded very fresh and clear although it brought a slightly digital saw tooth sound to it which wasn't lovely in any way. More bright and brash and a little devoid of acoustic reality. That luckily is the only part of the sound i'm a bit confused about. It could do with a little eq'ing but very authentic and expressive overall.

I played the Roland FP4 again. It sounds and feels very similar to my friends RD700SX and is a really cute size. The speakers aren't great but useable and there was definitely something boring about the sound versus the HP307 (again, i'm using the HP307 as a comparison to what is offered by the FP7-F). I went to the standard FP7 and had a play. A more realistic keyboard to the FP4's for me although the sound is the same to my ears. Back to the HP307. A much better keyboard than the existing FP7. It feels more real and looks much more inviting. The sound is much more 'expressive', which is going to be a popular word for me here. It's the only way I can describe it.

To finish, I did a quick jump between the FP7 and the Yamaha CP5 as well and decided that the CP5 was closer in sound to the FP7 than the FP7 was to the HP307. In my opinion, the Yamaha just didn't sound as real to me. The decay sounded false more obviously than the Kawai CA63 (although I could hardly hear any false decay). Again, it's a different sample and I could believe some people might find it more enjoyable than the HP307 but for me, the expressiveness of the Roland SN with that PHAIII board is a bit of a winner. A different flavour from the rest and i'm still to preferring the whole experience i'm getting with the HP307 (and what will hopefully be offered in the FP7-F).

If you're in the same situation as me, then I would highly recommend holding out for a demo on the FP7-F before you jump elsewhere. If i'm lucky enough to get a go on the Kawai MP6 then i'll let you all know but at the moment, it's looking grim..

I'll shut up now.. !


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#1552864 - 11/07/10 11:36 AM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Rimmer]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3021
Loc: Oregon
Rimmer, yes, would you please shut up! You're just making my already violent vacillation worse!!!

Actually, your thoughts are really helpful, and both confirm and amplify the results from my trawling of the web.

Having already admitted on another thread - much to KawaiJames' dismay - that I've bought a used MP5 to try to evaluate the kind of thing the MP6 offers (after all, Kawai says that it's evolution not revolution), I'm wondering whether to try to hold out until NAMM to find out whether SN is to be rolled out to the FP-4 and RD-300. I doubt if I'll make it though, as I'd really like to have my new board in action before the New Year.

I tried to like the CP5 and 50, and they were OK, but seemed to suffer from the usual Yamaha problem of "cleaning" the sound to death. I'm coming round to the idea that I'd be prepared to accept a slightly less advanced technology, if it meant that more of the character of the original instrument was retained.

As for Kawai, I'm going to try the MP5 to see if I like the overall sound signature enough to consider the MP6. If not, I'll resell the MP5 and return to the fray. If I do like it, I'll swallow my pride and seriously consider buying the MP6, despite having berated Kawai for holding back on UPHI.
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

https://soundcloud.com/richards-recordings/sets/strange-charm-waiting-for-the/s-ppGuy

"can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say..."
[HisKidd, May 2014]

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#1553196 - 11/07/10 07:12 PM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Rimmer]
bluebilly Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: England
-
Same old same old, as did other forum members, I did the trudging around the piano retailers trying out DP's until my head was going to explode and finally settled on the Kawai CN-33. DP's aren't exactly a replacement for a good acoustic piano yet but so far the CN-33 is as good as it gets for a reasonable price. My advice .... Buy a CN-33 and learn to play it.
-

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#1553490 - 11/08/10 08:10 AM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: voxpops]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
Okay. I went to one of the Kawai shops in town and he said the Mp6 hadn't been released. I told him it had and that you could buy them online in the Uk. He made a phone call and said he'll have one in a couple of days and give me a ring so I could demo it... !!!!!!!!!!

He's got my number so i'm going to hopefully get a call by wednesday, maybe thursday. I'll give it a good going over and report back..

Regards. Rimmer

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#1553493 - 11/08/10 08:11 AM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: bluebilly]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: bluebilly
-
Same old same old, as did other forum members, I did the trudging around the piano retailers trying out DP's until my head was going to explode and finally settled on the Kawai CN-33. DP's aren't exactly a replacement for a good acoustic piano yet but so far the CN-33 is as good as it gets for a reasonable price. My advice .... Buy a CN-33 and learn to play it.
-


I tried to find the information (here, anywhere..!) about testing Roland SN and the Kawai stuff and didn't really find much. Hence my reason for the thread.

Regards. Rimmer..

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#1553572 - 11/08/10 11:00 AM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Rimmer]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4339
Loc: Northern NJ
Rimmer, this is a great thread!
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1553585 - 11/08/10 11:26 AM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Rimmer]
Jackie Apple Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/10/10
Posts: 12
Originally Posted By: dewster
Rimmer, this is a great thread!


Rimmer,

I'm coming out of my normal lurk mode to second Dewster's statement.

I'm trying to whittle down my shortlist and decide what to buy and your posts and comparisons are very helpful.

So, thank you! smile

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#1553617 - 11/08/10 12:28 PM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Rimmer]
Jake Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 577
Loc: Atlanta, GA
It's good that Sam Ash will be carrying the Kawai's. They already carry Roland and Yamaha, so once the Kawai pianos and the new Roland stage piano come in, we'll be able to go to one place to listen to all of them.

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#1553631 - 11/08/10 12:48 PM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Rimmer]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3788
Loc: North Carolina
Funny thing about that.

When I went shopping a couple of years ago, I stopped at Sam Ash. They had the Kawai keyboard action display unit ... the one in the clear plastic box showing the mechanism. But there were no Kawai pianos in sight, only Yamaha and Casio.

Later, at Guitar Center, I found one Kawai among the many Yamahas.

Is Kawai the Japanese word for "hen's teeth"?

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#1553639 - 11/08/10 01:04 PM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: MacMacMac]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Funny thing about that.

When I went shopping a couple of years ago, I stopped at Sam Ash. They had the Kawai keyboard action display unit ... the one in the clear plastic box showing the mechanism. But there were no Kawai pianos in sight, only Yamaha and Casio.

Later, at Guitar Center, I found one Kawai among the many Yamahas.

Is Kawai the Japanese word for "hen's teeth"?

Same here. At one of the largest guitar/keyboard stores in the centre they only sell Yamaha, Roland, Korg and Nord pianos yet they still have the Kawai action in the glass box to show customers how the actions work. Kawai dps may be next to impossible to audition, but you can get a look at the little model of their last generation action all over the place!

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#1553662 - 11/08/10 02:01 PM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Rimmer]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
Thanks for all the nice comments!

I was starting to wonder if I was just boring the rear end off everyone.. smokin

Voxpops. I was very close to buying an MP5 a couple of months back but the ad chap didn't get back to me. If it's the same AP sound as the ES6 then it should be reasonable. Maybe a little weedy compared to the other options i've heard from Kawai but, the functionality looks very good. That's one of the things I like the look of with the MP5/6. It offers good controller functions so is just gagging to get hooked up to a software Piano if you want to upgrade the sound or get more involved with soft synths..

Regarding the FP4-F (obviously fictional at this stage). I'm not sure i'm going to wait for this at the risk of going in to the UK's new 20% vat "it's a stick up!" tax. The FP7-F is a lot smaller than I had remembered from my first play a couple of months back so it suits the size/weight situation for me.

I would imagine however, that it would be a hell of a little machine it keeps the range's 'feature relationship' with the existing FP4/FP7, but adds the new keybed and SuperNatural AP's.


Edited by Rimmer (11/08/10 02:15 PM)

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#1553689 - 11/08/10 02:47 PM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Rimmer]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2323
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Rimmer

Regarding the FP4-F (obviously fictional at this stage). I'm not sure i'm going to wait for this at the risk of going in to the UK's new 20% vat "it's a stick up!" tax. The FP7-F is a lot smaller than I had remembered from my first play a couple of months back so it suits the size/weight situation for me.



This is a good point, for UK dwellers, but also consider the hypothetical FP-4F might be that much cheaper than the 7F and meet your requirements. I'm glad I'm not looking at the moment smile


Edited by spanishbuddha (11/08/10 02:48 PM)

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#1553706 - 11/08/10 03:15 PM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Rimmer]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
Here's my shortlist. It overlaps your list somewhat, therefore my special interest in this thread:

Kawai MP6
Roland FP7F
Kawai MP10

As you can see three different boards in features and in price range, but nevertheless one of them is going to be mine at the shortest term possible. As you can see the NX is missing from the list - my opinion is if I decide to move up from either the Mp6 or FP7, then the MP10 delivers much more bang for the bucks than the NX. Especially in the keybed sector (really like the RM3 touch and feel). Said in another way; in my view the NX is OK, but way overpriced.

So...anything you find out about one of these boards - please post !

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#1553835 - 11/08/10 06:24 PM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: MacMacMac]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
..They had the Kawai keyboard action display unit ... the one in the clear plastic box showing the mechanism. But there were no Kawai pianos in sight...


At my local Sam Ash they have the CE200. Nive key action but the sound is not competitive. I wonder why they even bother having both Kawi demo keys in the store?

I've never once seen a Kawai CN or CA in any store I've been in. I've been told there are special stores in secret locations that Googel can help you find, that do have these CN and CA pianos but you'd have to know about them and take action to hunt them down. Not a great marketing plan. If I were selling them I'd have a few in any store a potential costomer is likey to walk into or find on-line.

But perhaps the factory has limited capacity and is already selling all they can build. That could explain the lack of aggressive marketing.

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#1553836 - 11/08/10 06:26 PM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Rimmer]
Jackie Apple Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/10/10
Posts: 12
Originally Posted By: Rimmer
I'm not sure i'm going to wait for this at the risk of going in to the UK's new 20% vat "it's a stick up!" tax.


I’m also in the UK and want to make a purchase before the VAT increase because while I think some retailers may temporarily swallow the increase on some items if they need to stimulate sales, I’m not sure musical instrument shops will.

When the new Roland and Kawai offerings were announced, I was waiting for a Yamaha CP300 (as it can accept three pedals and I had read that the vibrations from the speakers added some realism) but I ended up cancelling my order while the dealer was still waiting for stock. Now I am considering the Roland FP-7F and RD-700NX as well as the Kawai MP10 (but probably not the MP6 as I think I'd prefer the RM3 action) although from all I have read so far I think my ideal would probably be a hybrid: the keys and feel of the Kawai, the third sensor of the Roland and the triple pedal unit of the Roland (although there may well be a similar three pedal set up for the Kawai MP10, I’m not sure). I am more concerned with action than with sound.

I telephoned Rose Morris in London as they stock Kawai, Roland and Yamaha, among others (although they don’t necessarily have every model in stock and available to try), and asked them where people’s preferences tend to lie when it comes to (realistic) action. The gentleman I spoke to said that most people who tried the different brands preferred the Kawai action.

So, I wish the Kawai MP10 had the third sensor (which I understand it does not) and a handy three pedal unit (which it may do).

A question for anyone feeling kind enough to answer it... leaving to one side any sensor-less escapement simulations that a digital piano may have, does the absence of the third sensor essentially mean that a digital piano will behave more like an acoustic upright rather than an acoustic grand? My understanding is that the third sensor gives the ability to play fast repetitions of notes without full key return in the way that one could on a grand but as one could not on an upright.

I am probably spending far too much time agonising over the decision as I’m sure they are all fine instruments and I would be delighted with any of them.

Thank you to everyone for all your helpful posts!

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#1553868 - 11/08/10 07:07 PM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Jackie Apple]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: Jackie Apple

A question for anyone feeling kind enough to answer it... leaving to one side any sensor-less escapement simulations that a digital piano may have, does the absence of the third sensor essentially mean that a digital piano will behave more like an acoustic upright rather than an acoustic grand? My understanding is that the third sensor gives the ability to play fast repetitions of notes without full key return in the way that one could on a grand but as one could not on an upright.


I think you are very close to correct.

Key velocity is measured by the bottom two switches in all cases (2 and 3 sensor pianos) The key must rise above the second from the bottom sensor if velocity is the be measured

The damper is always controlled by the upper most sensor

In a two sensor piano the top sensor must do double duty.

Typically the top sensor is not at 100% key height but maybe 80% so even with only two sensors the key only has to come up to about 80% to repeat a note. The difference is if the note must be damped before it can by replayed.


I think the only part of your statement that is not acuate was "full key return". it should have read "almost full return, at the point where note is damped".

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#1553878 - 11/08/10 07:25 PM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Rimmer]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2191
Loc: Sydney, Australia
I second ChrisA's response. However, in my piano tuner/technician's book, it does make the simplification that the strings are damped when the keys have "fully" returned. (but they really mean "almost fully returned", I guess)

Greg.

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#1553903 - 11/08/10 08:07 PM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: sullivang]
Jackie Apple Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/10/10
Posts: 12

Thank you ChrisA and sullivang for your helpful responses and clarification.

smile

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#1554084 - 11/09/10 02:05 AM Re: Just been to the Kawai shop..!!! [Re: Jackie Apple]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Jackie Apple
Originally Posted By: Rimmer
I'm not sure i'm going to wait for this at the risk of going in to the UK's new 20% vat "it's a stick up!" tax.


I’m also in the UK and want to make a purchase before the VAT increase because while I think some retailers may temporarily swallow the increase on some items if they need to stimulate sales, I’m not sure musical instrument shops will.


Boring UK VAT conversation alert...

The way I look at this VAT rise is. When the VAT went down to 15%, there didn't really seem to be a lot of difference to the consumer pricing as VAT is obviously taken through the whole trading process as well as at the till and during that whole process, traders were noted as taking full advantage of that 2.5% for themselves.

Even some of the shops I usually go in had exactly the same prices as before the VAT drop. Turn this the other way around and you can rest assured that the traders will be passing that 2.5% all the way along to the till at every given opportunity. That's capitalism i'm afraid and come January, i'm going to make sure that all the money I have stays with me as much as possible as we really don't know how much stuff is really going to rise..

Quick calculation for Uk purchasers. £1000 purchase plus 17.5% is obviously £1175 (£175 tax). If the manufacturer is charging 17.5% to the reseller then that amount rises to £1380 (£380). The same calculation with the 20% vat = £1440 (£60 more expensive than before). If there is a third process of VAT from the manufacturer to the customer then your looking at £1621.50 or £1728 @ 20%. That's a lot of money. Over a £100 rise in a £1000 pound item which is a 10% rise. But hey, i'm not an economist so I am speculating on if that third process is there in any situation or really if I understand the process at all..

Regarding the three pedal situation, I'm under the impression that there are 1/4" connectors on the MP6/10 for three pedals. Could be wrong on the MP6 but.. I don't think they throw them in when you buy though, if that's your point??


Regards. Rimmer

Originally Posted By: Jackie Apple
I am probably spending far too much time agonising over the decision as I’m sure they are all fine instruments and I would be delighted with any of them.



I always put myself through this painful investigative process with every substantial purchase I make. I think it's a sensible way to work as long as it doesn't become a constant sport (buy/sell/buy/sell). Once I have made my decision, I get to sit back and enjoy the result of all the hard work I put in to choosing the correct thing for me.. Each to their own but for me, it pays to trawl through the details..

Regards. Rimmer

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