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#1761249 - 09/28/11 06:02 PM Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6
toyboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 296
Loc: Vermont
I've decided to narrow my choice between these two pianos, in large part because I'm tired of driving myself crazy with choices and a general feeling of something lacking in nearly every digital piano.

The problem for me now is that I cannot play either of these. I did once play an FP4 and 7 (before the -F's came out) and though I didn't like either of them, they had their moments. Someone at Sweetwater waxed poetic about the Kawaii's but couldn't offer me an ES6. Apparently I would have to buy it through Kawaii's third party online dealer, and apparently with no return allowed.

My suspicion is that I would like the FP7F more, if only because you can fiddle with it more. I am ONLY interested in what either of these pianos can do with classical music, and especially impressionistic music that requires/demands a good sustain, and pedal, and pianissimo.

So, any response from anyone who has actually PLAYED either of these pianos, particularly in a demanding way, Id much appreciate it.
_________________________
"Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense."
Gertrude Stein

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#1761272 - 09/28/11 06:40 PM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: toyboy]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
If you didn't like the FP-7, I'd be hesitant about the FP-7F despite its improvements. Actually, I'd be hesitant about anything you couldn't play first.

I think someone who likes the FP-7 will probably like the FP-7F more, but someone who didn't like the FP-7, I don't know.

I enjoyed playing the FP-7F, but did not think it was the most realistic in its timbral dynamics and sustain... though it's very tweakable, and I didn't play with it in that respect. I thought the Kawai MP-10 sounded more realistic, though I don't like its action as much. I don't know anything about the ES6, i.e. whether it has the same piano sound as the MP-10.

Considering your classical music application, if you will be in a stationery location, I wonder if you might not be better served by just finding an action you like, and then driving a software piano.

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#1761281 - 09/28/11 07:10 PM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: toyboy]
Kawai James Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8384
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
toyboy, given your requirements, I would strongly suggest playing the instruments you are considering (in addition to Kawai's more recent models) for yourself, rather than simply relying upon the personal opinions of PianoWorld forum members.

Kind regards,
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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#1761290 - 09/28/11 07:24 PM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: Kawai James]
safari70 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/10
Posts: 28
Loc: Canada
+1 for trying the instruments first-hand... even better if you could find a store where you can rent them for a couple of days to get a real feel of the instrument...

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#1761297 - 09/28/11 07:32 PM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: safari70]
mitzysman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/10
Posts: 283
i agree - i almost bought the fp7-f about 8 months ago but I decided to play one first and I'm glad I didn't care for the sound! i know everyone else says they are great but I didn't care for some of the octaves. And I've had 2 other roland. So you really gotta try each instrument.
_________________________
Yamaha P-250 | Galaxy II Pianos | Galaxy Vintage D | The GIANT

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#1761309 - 09/28/11 07:51 PM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: toyboy]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
In general, the difference in tone in FP7 vs. FP7F may not be dramatic (it's still the typical Roland Piano sound), but the EXPRESSION is SIGNIFICANTLY better on the FP7F with the SN. That to me is a major consideration for Classical, particularly in control of dynamics.

So what I'm saying is that the FP7 does not give you that feel so having tried that model, it may not be meaningful comparison.

When comparing to other digitals, be aware of the new features relating to unlimited dynamic levels (some sort of dynamic modeling) found in FP7F, RD700NX, V Piano, CP5, CP50, etc. To me it makes a big difference.

Sorry I have no experience with Kawai's.



Edited by jazzwee (09/28/11 07:52 PM)
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Piano 88
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#1761317 - 09/28/11 08:08 PM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: jazzwee]
voxpops Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 2915
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
In general, the difference in tone in FP7 vs. FP7F may not be dramatic (it's still the typical Roland Piano sound), but the EXPRESSION is SIGNIFICANTLY better on the FP7F with the SN. That to me is a major consideration for Classical, particularly in control of dynamics.


That is so true. The FP-7F is ultimately a very playable DP. The sound is not perfect but it is VERY expressive in comparison with most other DPs (including my FP-4 and MP6). There is a fair amount of internal menu control as well, to get the sound the way you want it. In addition, the third sensor in the action makes for more realistic and controllable repetition.

From what I remember of the ES6 (which is very similar to the MP5, sound-wise) the dynamics are not quite as controllable as the FP-7F, and the action is not as good, lacking also the third sensor. It is quite a "mature" DP and is probably due for replacement quite soon. My vote has to go with the FP-7F.



Edited by voxpops (09/28/11 08:14 PM)

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#1761326 - 09/28/11 08:24 PM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: toyboy]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: toyboy
.I am ONLY interested in what either of these pianos can do with classical music, and especially impressionistic music that requires/demands a good sustain, and pedal, and pianissimo.


Yikes, I wouldn't depend on any DP for playing/interpreting something like Ravel or Debussy with any seriousness-at least long term.

That said- if I had no choice but to pick from those two-I'd go with the newer technology of the FP7-F. Rolands' in general have that kind of *soft, dreamy* sound to them to begin with.

Kawais have a mellow sound too but having played the ES6 only a few times ( and that was a few years ago so my memory's a little foggy ) I think the Roland just offers a better playing experience for Classical music. Now if it were Kawai's newest flagship model, the MP10- that would be a different story.

Also to echo what's been stated-you have try and play them for yourself or least buy from somewhere where you can exchange in case it doesn't work out.. One person's "mellow' is another's "harsh". smile
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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#1762348 - 09/30/11 01:20 PM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: toyboy]
toyboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 296
Loc: Vermont
I very much appreciate everyone's response. Let me clarify a few things. I'm not in a position that is either near any store or at least one that has either or both of these pianos. So, that is why I'm forced into this position of buying blindly, er, deafly. Of course, I'd rather not be.

Secondly, I'm already resigned to the fact that there will be shortcomings, and I'm just trying to find, within the money I want to spend, the least shortcomings vs the type of music I expect to be playing. My hope is that over time whatever shortcomings I might find, I will learn to accept or ignore.

As for a more standard/non-portable model, I already have that in my Estonia 190 (which, it bears saying has had its own problems, albeit largely in terms of stabilizing). I"m buying this to play in other settings and to share with a pianoless friend.

I did notice in the specs all the different tweaks one can do with the FP7F:
Open/Close Lid (0 to 6)
Cabinet Resonance (Off, 1 to 10)
Hammer Noise (-2 to 2)
Damper Noise (Off, 1 to 10)
Duplex Scale (Off, 1 to 10)
Damper Resonance (Off, 1 to 10)
String Resonance (Off, 1 to 10)
Key Off Resonance (Off, 1 to 10)

This looks very promising to me, at least in terms of getting "close" to a sound I can live with. Yes of course I understand playing "Debussy" on a piano like this has more than a whiff of nonsense to it. But my goal is not the concert stage. I simply have a smaller goal of being available to play in perhaps a small restaurant, or late-night joint of some sort, or even the waiting room of a bank. Call it niche performing. :o) And in such settings no one is going to be worrying too much about the sustain. Of course I will, and the main concern is whether I can learn to feel comfortable enough in playing such things on a piano like this, or whether I'll constantly feel like I'm fighting with the piano. Perhaps an unanswerable question until I just do it.
_________________________
"Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense."
Gertrude Stein

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#1762363 - 09/30/11 01:45 PM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: toyboy]
Lain Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/11
Posts: 613
Originally Posted By: toyboy
I am ONLY interested in what either of these pianos can do with classical music, and especially impressionistic music that requires/demands a good sustain, and pedal, and pianissimo. . . .I'm forced into this position of buying blindly, er, deafly.


Another vote for the FP-7F. Since you have to make your decision "blind," it might help to listen to some samples of the kind of music you want to play. Here's my attempt at playing Ravel on the FP-7F. I tweaked the EP (probably too much) so the upper registers would have a more sparkling quality. The FP-7F is able to respond to the demands of impressionistic music for a delicate touch, and as the above posters have mentioned, the dynamic gradations and realistic action make it a highly expressive instrument.
_________________________
"You are the music while the music lasts" - T.S. Eliot

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#1762381 - 09/30/11 02:17 PM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: Lain]
toyboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 296
Loc: Vermont
Thank you for this Lain. You play it beautifully and it is helpful to hear this. It shows that there is a good dynamic range on this, if nothing else, which is the other thing I've wondered about.

There is some digitally things I do hear, but that's the sort of thing I'm just going to have to shut up about.
_________________________
"Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense."
Gertrude Stein

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#1762382 - 09/30/11 02:19 PM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: toyboy]
Lain Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/11
Posts: 613
Originally Posted By: toyboy
Thank you for this Lain. You play it beautifully and it is helpful to hear this. It shows that there is a good dynamic range on this, if nothing else, which is the other thing I've wondered about.

There is some digitally things I do hear, but that's the sort of thing I'm just going to have to shut up about.


I have to shut myself up everyday. ha Someday I'll be able to afford an acoustic...
_________________________
"You are the music while the music lasts" - T.S. Eliot

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#1762402 - 09/30/11 02:53 PM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: Lain]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: Lain
Here's my attempt at playing Ravel on the FP-7F.


Very nice Lain, enjoyed that.
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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#1762406 - 09/30/11 03:04 PM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: toyboy]
toyboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 296
Loc: Vermont

Well, I just bought the 7P7, sight/sound unseen/heard and that is that. I just grabbed a one pedal thing (dp-10) which maybe was stupid. i didn't see a 3 pedal thing. but that's probably another thing, just how good/useful is a middle pedal with these, and how well does an unacorda pedal work? (what's una corda in digital language? una algorithma?)
_________________________
"Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense."
Gertrude Stein

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#1762423 - 09/30/11 03:41 PM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: Dave Ferris]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 753
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Yikes, I wouldn't depend on any DP for playing/interpreting something like Ravel or Debussy with any seriousness-at least long term.


+10!

As for the rest, I agree with the others: Play the instruments you're interested in for yourself.


Edited by maurus (09/30/11 03:41 PM)
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.

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#1762424 - 09/30/11 03:44 PM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: toyboy]
DazedAndConfused Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/10
Posts: 188
Loc: Greenwich, London, United King...
In the UK the DP-10 is included with the FP7-F as standard but you have to purchase the RPU-3 three pedal unit separately, which I haven't bothered with as yet.

I can also direct your attention to a thread where FP7-F owners have supplied their own piano settings:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post1719500

The on board speakers are acceptable but for best effect listen on a good pair of headphones or external speakers. The difference in quality is like night and day.

Anyway, good luck and I hope you enjoy your new instrument.
_________________________
Currently working on:
Debussy, Danseuses de Delphes
Ravel, Le Gibet
Poulenc, Mouvements Perpetuels
Shostakovich, Fugue no. 5
Beethoven, Sonata in F Op. 10 No. 2

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#1762464 - 09/30/11 05:17 PM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: DazedAndConfused]
toyboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 296
Loc: Vermont
Yes I've been told that before about headphones and speakers. I suspect I'll probably do one or both of those in the long run, but this is enough $$ to spend right now. Thanks for that link, sounds useful.
_________________________
"Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense."
Gertrude Stein

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#1762545 - 09/30/11 08:06 PM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: toyboy]
GoatRider Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/07
Posts: 460
Loc: Maple Grove, MN
I didn't try the Roland, but I'm pretty happy with my Kawai ES6. It has a very good dynamic range, but it's not as easy to control as my acoustic RX-2, probably because the action is lighter. The main reason for the ES6 was for silent practice while my wife is sleeping or studying, and it serves that purpose very well.
_________________________
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Kawai RX-2 #2555861 in Satin Walnut
Kawai ES6

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#1763574 - 10/02/11 08:11 PM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: toyboy]
jmcintyre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 228
Loc: Wash. DC area
Originally Posted By: toyboy

Well, I just bought the 7P7, sight/sound unseen/heard and that is that. I just grabbed a one pedal thing (dp-10) which maybe was stupid. i didn't see a 3 pedal thing. but that's probably another thing, just how good/useful is a middle pedal with these, and how well does an unacorda pedal work? (what's una corda in digital language? una algorithma?)


Congrats! I bought the FP-7F a few months ago and have been really pleased.

I'd definitely recommend Roland's RPU3 (three-pedal unit) - it works very well. It's heavy enough to be much more stable than the single pedal, which always skated away from my foot. The spring tension under each pedal seems to be a little stiffer than on the single pedal as well. Each of the three pedals sends a variable signal, depending on how far you press it down (as opposed to working like an on/off switch).

I think the continuous-pedal implementation works best with the damper pedal - things like half- and flutter pedaling work reasonably well in my opinion. The una corda effect is decent, although a bit too muted for my taste (and half-pedaling has very little effect here). Sostenuto works great, although as you suggest it's of limited use.

To get an idea of how una corda and sostenuto feel and sound on the FP-7F, you can connect the single pedal that you have to any of the three pedal jacks. If I'm not mistaken, that pedal also detects partial pedaling.
_________________________
I'd rather be practicing wink
Kawai K-3, Roland FP-7F
Now: Brahms Op. 118, Bach French Suite #5

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#1763631 - 10/02/11 10:33 PM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: jmcintyre]
far_star Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/17/08
Posts: 41
Loc: Redondo Beach, CA
I second the opinion on the RPU3. I bought it along with my FP-7F and it is a big jump from what I was used to. I never thought that I would get much use from the other two pedals, but I found out that one artist whose songs I was trying to learn used the soft/practice pedal to achieve a unique effect in parts of his songs.

Listen to the first minute of the first track of

Dionisis. The mark of Innocence http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-mark-of-innocence/id212665661

to see an example.

If you're getting the FP-7F I definitely recommend completing the setup with the RPU3

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#1763736 - 10/03/11 04:13 AM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: Lain]
bouleetbille Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/28/10
Posts: 19
Congratualtions, Really nice playing of the Sonatine; it's one of my favourite piano works. You show that the Roland can have a large range dynamic range with lots of expression.

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#1763796 - 10/03/11 08:05 AM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: toyboy]
bfb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/11
Posts: 531
Loc: Atlanta GA USA
.


Edited by bfb (10/03/11 09:56 AM)
_________________________

Steinway M; Roland V-Piano; Yamaha P250; Roland FP 5
Ivory II Grands, Italian, American D; Galaxy Vintage D; Alicia's Keys; Garritan Steinway; Galaxy Pianos; The Grand 3

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#1764389 - 10/04/11 06:51 AM Re: Roland FP7F vs Kawai ES6 [Re: toyboy]
moleskincrusher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/04/10
Posts: 169
Another benefit of the RPU-3 is being able to assign other functions to the sostenuto and una corda pedals. E.g., I change the sostenuto to Bend Down for grace notes in guitar patches (depress pedal just before striking key -- a primitive substitute for a pitch bend wheel).

Also, the 3-pedal unit doesn't wander under your feet as readily as a single pedal.

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