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#1934367 - 07/29/12 08:53 PM One more time! Roland FP7F vs. Kawai MP6
SirHuddlestonFudd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/12
Posts: 96
Loc: Cambridge, MA
I know this has been asked to death, but I'm pulling the trigger on one of these, and I wanted as much feedback as possible. The $500 price difference doesn't bother me, I just want the board with the

1. the most accurate action possible (i.e. closest to acoustic). I know that both appear to have escapment-like actions. That's important to me. I've heard the Roland bottoms out too early, but can't verify that.
2. a great grand piano sound is second but important also. I like Kawai acoustic pianos, but the Roland superNatural has received raves.
3. Ivory like keytops. I know the Roland has them and I've heard the Kawai has them too, but haven't compared.
4. Reliability. I've seen a thread about MP6 keyboard problems, but in general I think Kawai is a very reliable company, and I think Roland is too, but I'm leaning toward Kawai because I like their acoustic pianos.
5. Decent stand. I know the Roland has a "home-style" stand available, but I haven't seen one for the Kawai. I hate putting a great board on a shaky X-stand, but what other options are there?

So, once again, I'm pulling the trigger one way or another on Tuesday. Please add to my confusion by letting me know your opinions. Thanks!

Sir Hud.

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#1934372 - 07/29/12 09:05 PM Re: One more time! Roland FP7F vs. Kawai MP6 [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
Kawai James Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 10785
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
What about the ES7? It's closer to the FP-7F than the MP6.

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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#1934375 - 07/29/12 09:13 PM Re: One more time! Roland FP7F vs. Kawai MP6 [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
Dr Popper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/09
Posts: 1722
Loc: Hancock Park LA (not again)
On your points 1-5 the Roland is a clear winner but its a unfair comparison as these pianos do not compete in the same market and the Roland is not a true stage piano in that it has speakers. The MP6 is a pure stage piano and is the 2nd tier offering from Kawai. It should be compared with the Roland RD300NX or the Kawai ES7 with the FP4F not the MP6 vs FP7F.
_________________________
"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally associated with Arturia but my sentiments are my own only.

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#1934386 - 07/29/12 09:26 PM Re: One more time! Roland FP7F vs. Kawai MP6 [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
knotty Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 3015
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Yeah, why the MP6. Kawai has other models with great actions that have nice cabinets, and... speakers. The MP6 has no onboard speakers. It's a great stage piano.

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#1934397 - 07/29/12 09:48 PM Re: One more time! Roland FP7F vs. Kawai MP6 [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3195
Loc: Oregon
Both pianos have much to recommend them. Here are my 2 cents.

For straight piano, I prefer to play the FP-7F - both for action (marginal) and sound. The PHAIII action copes with fast repetition better than the MP6, but otherwise they are both very good. The new ES-7 should redress the slight imbalance between the brands.

I have said this before, but if you play a bunch of random notes or scales, the MP6 sounds more like a bright but real acoustic than the FP. However, for serious playing, the overall dynamic and harmonic response is better in the Roland, IMO. The FP's samples are not new, but the addition of the SN features makes a big difference compared with the previous generation. To me, the package is very playable. I find it less easy to "immerse" myself with the MP6's APs, and the upper-mids are a little strident. On the other hand, the FP has a slightly dull sound signature, and some complain of a metallic ring at high velocity (although the latter doesn't bother me).

The ES-7 with its new DA converters and DSP, may narrow the gap between the two, but I doubt whether the PHI Kawais will overtake the Roland SN series in terms of APs.

For EPs, forget the FP-7F - the MP6 eats it for breakfast.

For stands, there are plenty of sturdy offerings besides X-stands - have a look at what K&M has to offer, for example.
_________________________
"you don't need to have been a rabbit in order to become a veterinarian"

mabraman, 2015

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#1934406 - 07/29/12 09:56 PM Re: One more time! Roland FP7F vs. Kawai MP6 [Re: voxpops]
SirHuddlestonFudd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/12
Posts: 96
Loc: Cambridge, MA
Originally Posted By: voxpops
Both pianos have much to recommend them. Here are my 2 cents.

For straight piano, I prefer to play the FP-7F - both for action (marginal) and sound. The PHAIII action copes with fast repetition better than the MP6, but otherwise they are both very good. The new ES-7 should redress the slight imbalance between the brands.

I have said this before, but if you play a bunch of random notes or scales, the MP6 sounds more like a bright but real acoustic than the FP. However, for serious playing, the overall dynamic and harmonic response is better in the Roland, IMO. The FP's samples are not new, but the addition of the SN features makes a big difference compared with the previous generation. To me, the package is very playable. I find it less easy to "immerse" myself with the MP6's APs, and the upper-mids are a little strident. On the other hand, the FP has a slightly dull sound signature, and some complain of a metallic ring at high velocity (although the latter doesn't bother me).

The ES-7 with its new DA converters and DSP, may narrow the gap between the two, but I doubt whether the PHI Kawais will overtake the Roland SN series in terms of APs.

For EPs, forget the FP-7F - the MP6 eats it for breakfast.

For stands, there are plenty of sturdy offerings besides X-stands - have a look at what K&M has to offer, for example.


What do you mean, "for EPs"? What does that mean? As for the ES7, I didn't include it because 1) it seems hard to find, and 2) it's a new model, and I'd be worried about bugs, flaws, etc.

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#1934407 - 07/29/12 09:59 PM Re: One more time! Roland FP7F vs. Kawai MP6 [Re: knotty]
SirHuddlestonFudd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/12
Posts: 96
Loc: Cambridge, MA
Originally Posted By: knotty
Yeah, why the MP6. Kawai has other models with great actions that have nice cabinets, and... speakers. The MP6 has no onboard speakers. It's a great stage piano.




I picked the MP6 because people have raved and raved about this piano, specifically. People have also called the FP7F the best in its class, so I thought they would be my two choices. What would you suggest in place of either piano, limiting yourself to $2000 max?

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#1934410 - 07/29/12 10:05 PM Re: One more time! Roland FP7F vs. Kawai MP6 [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3195
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: SirHuddlestonFudd
What do you mean, "for EPs"? What does that mean?

EP = electric piano - i.e. usually an emulation of an electro-mechanical piano such as the (Fender) Rhodes or Wurlitzer EP-200A. It can also refer to the kind of "emulation of an emulation" as produced by the Yamaha DX-7 synth and later FM-synthesis derivatives.
_________________________
"you don't need to have been a rabbit in order to become a veterinarian"

mabraman, 2015

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#1934411 - 07/29/12 10:09 PM Re: One more time! Roland FP7F vs. Kawai MP6 [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3771
Originally Posted By: SirHuddlestonFudd
1. the most accurate action possible (i.e. closest to acoustic).

A big variable here is that actual acoustic pianos differ. For example, if the grand you're comparing to is a Baldwin, the Kawai is probably closer; if it's a Yamaha, the Roland is probably closer. As a whole, I think I find the Roland to feel more authentic (perhaps closer to a Yamaha than the Kawai is to a Baldwin, to use my example), but people's opinions here may differ. What's important is that you like the feel, that's more important than how "accurate" it is. I mean, if a given DP feels closer to a particular acoustic piano, but it's not an acoustic piano you like the action of, then that's not really a great benefit!

Originally Posted By: SirHuddlestonFudd
a great grand piano sound is second but important also.

I'm not the biggest fan of either of their sounds, but would probably pick the Roland over the MP6. OTOH, I'd pick the sound of the MP10 over the Roland. But again, this is very subjective, especially since different people are more sensitive to different "flaws" in DP reproduction, and also, even with acoustic pianos, you can't get everyone to agree about, for example, whether a Yamaha sounds better than a Steinway, or even about whether one particular Steinway sounds better than another Steinway. Only one person's opinion matters when it comes to which sound is better, yours.

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#1934420 - 07/29/12 10:25 PM Re: One more time! Roland FP7F vs. Kawai MP6 [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
Kawai James Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 10785
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: SirHuddlestonFudd
As for the ES7, I didn't include it because 1) it seems hard to find, and 2) it's a new model, and I'd be worried about bugs, flaws, etc.


The ES7 was only announced last month, and depending on your location it may be some time before the instruments arrived at dealers stores.

Regarding bugs/flaws, this is always a concern when transitioning over to new hardware (new action, new tone generator). However, in the case of the ES7 I believe the development team did an excellent job checking all operations thoroughly. And while I cannot guarantee that the ES7 software is 100% bug-free, I'm confident that the chaps will aspire to fix any user-reported issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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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#1934477 - 07/30/12 12:21 AM Re: One more time! Roland FP7F vs. Kawai MP6 [Re: Kawai James]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3195
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
And while I cannot guarantee that the ES7 software is 100% bug-free, I'm confident that the chaps will aspire to fix any user-reported issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.


I can vouch for this. In my experience, as soon as Kawai becomes aware of a bug, they work to produce a solution very quickly. I think that the technical staff at Kawai are some of the most responsive in the industry. Feedback through this forum is also helpful, as James monitors reports constantly and starts the bug-fix ball rolling straightaway.
_________________________
"you don't need to have been a rabbit in order to become a veterinarian"

mabraman, 2015

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#1934500 - 07/30/12 01:35 AM Re: One more time! Roland FP7F vs. Kawai MP6 [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
Dr Popper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/09
Posts: 1722
Loc: Hancock Park LA (not again)
I'd suggest for your application you are choosing between the ES7...


and the FP7F ....



I don't think you could lose with either one ....the Kawai looks nicer though.
_________________________
"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally associated with Arturia but my sentiments are my own only.

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#1934511 - 07/30/12 02:40 AM Re: One more time! Roland FP7F vs. Kawai MP6 [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1374
Loc: The Netherlands
I understand your dilemma , with the introduction of the es7 my personal dillemma between the two would be es7 better action (personal pref) and Roland better AP sound. You can replace the sound, you can't replace the action. My 50cts ...

Also, it's a matter of personal preference: I found the Roland lighter and easier to play fast than the KAWAI mp6, but with the RH II that gap might have been closed, although I assume the touch of both keybeds still feel very different. Really a matter of personal taste. That said, I think both boards are good.

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#1934523 - 07/30/12 04:07 AM Re: One more time! Roland FP7F vs. Kawai MP6 [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
Aidan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/08
Posts: 374
Loc: UK
As someone else has pointed out, you're really comparing apples to oranges. Until the ES7 arrives in the shops, the direct comparison with the Roland would be the ES6.

My primary question would be this: What are you going to DO with this piano? Will it go on gigs? Sit in your lounge? Be used in your home studio? All this can radically affect the most appropriate choice of model, stand options, speakers etc.

If you're gigging, bear in mind that that a nice wooden (well, chipboard) stand will weigh a lot more (and be far less convenient to transport) than a proper metal stage stand.

Unless you absolutely HAVE to have this now, I would suggest holding off for a month or so, by which time the ES7 will probably have started appearing and the new Casio Privia PX-350 should also be available, which could well be another contender for your shortlist. It's not a strategy I normally advise, but these models are both announced and imminent - so patience might just pay off.
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Yamaha CP4 | Hammond SK2 | Hammond SK1-61 | Kurzweil PC361| Yamaha MOXF6

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#1934647 - 07/30/12 10:55 AM Re: One more time! Roland FP7F vs. Kawai MP6 [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3493
Loc: Pennsylvania
By the way, one thing that has not been addressed by the others in this thread is the stands. I wouldn't give one piano a significant edge because it comes with a stand unless aesthetics are the major consideration. There are lots of inexpensive and exceptionally solid stands out there--more solid than the stand the FP7F comes with. Skip the rickety X-style stands, but you can get a nice Z-style or table-style stand for not too much.

Examples:

A Z-style stand

A table-style stand


Edited by gvfarns (07/30/12 10:55 AM)

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#1934936 - 07/30/12 08:11 PM Re: One more time! Roland FP7F vs. Kawai MP6 [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
jmcintyre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 228
Loc: Wash. DC area
For what it's worth, I have my FP-7F on a heavy-duty X-style stand and haven't had any stability issues whatsoever. That said, the "X" design does make legroom tight, and consequently pedal placement a little awkward.
_________________________
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Kawai K-3, Roland FP-7F
Now: Brahms Op. 118, Bach French Suite #5

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#1934951 - 07/30/12 08:45 PM Re: One more time! Roland FP7F vs. Kawai MP6 [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
Amaruk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 816
Loc: New England, USA
Sir Hud,

Options, options... Did you consider the 700NX? I love mine and I have a Roland KS-G8 stand for it. It is a very sturdy stand. Here is my set-up:








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