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#1996284 - 12/08/12 07:19 AM My New Kawai ES7 - Initial Reaction
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1686
Loc: Pennsylvania
I just got my ES7 yesterday and (of course) have been playing it ever since. My initial reaction is .... Superb !!!

For my taste, they could not have done better.

Oh, there are some things that I could find fault with but when it comes to the important features (playability and sound) they have outdone themselves this time.

The keybed is absolutely perfect. I cannot describe it any other way. Smooth as silk. I can produce a tone that is so fine you can hardly hear it and I can reproduce that same tone with relative ease. Don't ask me to comment on "let-off" or those types of things. Suffice to say it is absolutely the best key touch I have ever experienced.

And the sound ... wow ... Exquisite !!! It is soft and clear and consistent ... absolutely beautiful.

Of course, there is the usual caveat to that sound. It is the sound through my headphones.

The sound through the onboard speakers ... not the same ... but not bad.

Let me put it this way ...
I also own the Kawai CA-63 and although the sound on the CA-63 is pretty good also (through headphones) I could never accept the sound through the on-board speakers. That is not the case with the ES7. I can play and enjoy the sound through the ES7 speakers. But my first order of business for my sound through the air will be to invest in a much better sound system in order to deliver that equisite sound (through headphones) out into the air. A tall task, I have found, but now I am more motivated than ever to do it. The reward promises to be so great.

So, anyway ... that is all I really feel ready to comment on at this time. The other features (different sounds, rhythm secgtion, etc ...) will be something I need to spend more time with before I will really know much about. The user interface is functional ... not what I would call intuitive (or handy) for the complicated things anyway ... but it works.

None of that stuff matters much to me anyway. The sound and the playability are so good so as to reduce the other features to miniscule levels of significance.

Well Done, Kawai !

EDIT: I just realized that the sound I was describing was the sound I get after it passes through my MIXER (see below) and is EQd to my taste. So, I went back and listened through my phones plugged directly into the keyboard and found no significant difference. I just wanted to point that out. Why, you might ask am I running it through a mixer if it is so great ? Well, when I play through the external speakers I am experimenting with including more of a BASS sound which I can add through my Yamaha Monitors. Just experimenting ... nothing firm yet.

P.S. I am now officially finished with the computer software generated sound. No need for it. I now have the sound I have been looking for.




Edited by dmd (12/08/12 07:57 AM)
_________________________
Don

My current system: Kawai ES7 + Focal CMS40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, Mackie ProFX8 Mixer, Ravenscroft275, True Keys American Grand, Ivory II American Concert D, Steinway Basic, Galaxy Vintage D, True Pianos, Pianoteq, Alicia's Keys

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#1996315 - 12/08/12 09:19 AM Re: My New Kawai ES7 - Initial Reaction [Re: dmd]
Aeons Holle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 55
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Glad to hear you found your sound, and I hope that feeling persists! smile
Congrats, enjoy your new piano!
_________________________
Kawai CA95
VI Labs True Keys: Pianos
Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D, Italian Grand, Grand Pianos
Galaxy Vintage D, The Giant

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#1996324 - 12/08/12 09:34 AM Re: My New Kawai ES7 - Initial Reaction [Re: Aeons Holle]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1686
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Aeons Holle
Glad to hear you found your sound, and I hope that feeling persists! smile


I hear you .... lol

I have been through that.
My initial reaction to a sound has been great and then later on ... well, not so much.

This feels (and sounds) different.

As you say ... I hope it lasts, too.
_________________________
Don

My current system: Kawai ES7 + Focal CMS40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, Mackie ProFX8 Mixer, Ravenscroft275, True Keys American Grand, Ivory II American Concert D, Steinway Basic, Galaxy Vintage D, True Pianos, Pianoteq, Alicia's Keys

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#1996338 - 12/08/12 10:08 AM Re: My New Kawai ES7 - Initial Reaction [Re: dmd]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8382
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Good to hear you're enjoying the ES7 Don!

May I ask if you have any more thoughts about the user interface? In what respect do you find it un-intuitive?

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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#1996367 - 12/08/12 11:17 AM Re: My New Kawai ES7 - Initial Reaction [Re: Kawai James]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1686
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Good to hear you're enjoying the ES7 Don!

May I ask if you have any more thoughts about the user interface? In what respect do you find it un-intuitive?


Well, selecting the various sounds (piano1, piano2, etc...) is all quite simple and intuitive. However, the various menu options ... EXIT, MENU, up and down arrows, MENU and BALANCE, up and down arrows ... all get referenced as a way to select various settings. They will become natural after awhile but initially it takes some careful paying attention to figure out which button does what.

And that whole rhythm section with the various controls showing in the window gets confusing and will take awhile to get handy with it.

But, like I said .... those issues have been relegated to very minor when you play and listen to the instrument.
_________________________
Don

My current system: Kawai ES7 + Focal CMS40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, Mackie ProFX8 Mixer, Ravenscroft275, True Keys American Grand, Ivory II American Concert D, Steinway Basic, Galaxy Vintage D, True Pianos, Pianoteq, Alicia's Keys

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#1996384 - 12/08/12 12:14 PM Re: My New Kawai ES7 - Initial Reaction [Re: dmd]
btcomm Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/07
Posts: 273
Loc: California
Glad to hear you really enjoy the ES7. Maybe it's just me but I found that the action bottomed out a little hard like the Roland FP-7F did. I guess I've been playing the Roland FP-4 too long.

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#1996409 - 12/08/12 01:16 PM Re: My New Kawai ES7 - Initial Reaction [Re: btcomm]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1686
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: btcomm
Glad to hear you really enjoy the ES7. Maybe it's just me but I found that the action bottomed out a little hard like the Roland FP-7F did.


You know ... that was my initial reaction, also. I thought ... Oh, no ... I do not like this keybed. It seemed similar to the FP-7F only not quite as hard. But after playing it for a couple of days I now find it to be fine. I absolutely do not even notice it.

Part of the reason may be that I tend to play on the gentle side and this keyboard gives you a nice tone at that level. Hard, loud, tones are not its' strength and (I believe) are to be avoided.
_________________________
Don

My current system: Kawai ES7 + Focal CMS40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, Mackie ProFX8 Mixer, Ravenscroft275, True Keys American Grand, Ivory II American Concert D, Steinway Basic, Galaxy Vintage D, True Pianos, Pianoteq, Alicia's Keys

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#1996418 - 12/08/12 01:45 PM Re: My New Kawai ES7 - Initial Reaction [Re: dmd]
gvfarns Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
So let's be clear, do you prefer this keybed to the RM3 on your CA63?

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#1996439 - 12/08/12 02:37 PM Re: My New Kawai ES7 - Initial Reaction [Re: gvfarns]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1686
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
So let's be clear, do you prefer this keybed to the RM3 on your CA63?


You know, there really is very little difference between them in terms of physical touch and feel. The ES7 keybed is probably has a little firmer bottom, not much. However, I do believe the ES7 touch is more delicate ... enabling me to strike a more gentle tone consistently.

So, anyway ... Yes, I do prefer the ES7 keybed to the RM3 on the CA63.
_________________________
Don

My current system: Kawai ES7 + Focal CMS40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, Mackie ProFX8 Mixer, Ravenscroft275, True Keys American Grand, Ivory II American Concert D, Steinway Basic, Galaxy Vintage D, True Pianos, Pianoteq, Alicia's Keys

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#1996447 - 12/08/12 02:53 PM Re: My New Kawai ES7 - Initial Reaction [Re: dmd]
Temperament Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
Quote:
is very little difference between them in terms of physical touch and feel

It is very interesting, because the two keybeds have completely different structure. (RM3-Wooden key, one wooden block with pivot point in the middle, while the RHII - just being as RH mechanically) has a one-side lever key with a hammer mechanism on the same side.

I personally felt them very-very different, however found the RHII the more sympathical one too.

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#1996487 - 12/08/12 04:33 PM Re: My New Kawai ES7 - Initial Reaction [Re: dmd]
KarelG Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/18/11
Posts: 132
Loc: Czech Republic
May I have a question? If I very slowly press CA6x key down, the pressure should IMHO lower as you go down, while IMHO if you do the same the pressure needed to go should slightly go up on ES7. Is that right or am I just plainly wrong here? This idea comes from pictures of both actions where in case of CA6x you start with hammer in horizontal position and push it up which means the lever effective length is shorter when hammer is up and key down, this should mean a less force needed for continues push. In case of ES7 you should start with hammer down and while pressing the key you move it to the horizontal position which should mean more force should be used to continue movement.
Anyway, ES7 looks really interesting. Do you think its internal speakers and their quality is good enough for playing along side with acustic guitar or two? Thanks! Karel
_________________________
November 2011: piano entered into my life.

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#1996515 - 12/08/12 05:30 PM Re: My New Kawai ES7 - Initial Reaction [Re: dmd]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1317
Loc: The Netherlands
Pressure difference up/down tried it , not really noticeable. I would interpret it as being more pressure build up if you go lower, but to be really sure, one would have to measure it. To me it really doesn't matter and I don't fully understand why this should be important, other than being different between key actions.To dmd: the ES7 does indeed bottom out a bit harder than the previous RH and perhaps the RM3, but its not as hard as the PHAIII. It feels OK, just makes a bit more noise than the RH. When you play, it's not the biggest deal, only for people in the room there's more thumping to enjoy ;-)

Glad you like the ES7. personally I bought it to get rid of my monitor speaker setup, since the build in speakers are quite good ; funny enough you seem to move inthe oposite direction.

By the way : in terms of user interface - most stuff is easy to find and control, only in registration mode where you can play splits and layers I get lost very easily. But I am also spoiled by the completely intuitive interface of the MP6 I must admit...

Did you get the es7 stand and pedal set as well ??

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#1996526 - 12/08/12 05:49 PM Re: My New Kawai ES7 - Initial Reaction [Re: KarelG]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1686
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: KarelG
May I have a question? If I very slowly press CA6x key down, the pressure should IMHO lower as you go down, while IMHO if you do the same the pressure needed to go should slightly go up on ES7. Is that right or am I just plainly wrong here?


I do not really notice anything like that ... except, of course, on the ES7 you reach a point on the way down where you detect a slight obstruction which is some sort of simulation of an acoustic action.
I never really notice it when playing it ... just when analyzing it.


Quote:
Anyway, ES7 looks really interesting. Do you think its internal speakers and their quality is good enough for playing along side with acustic guitar or two?


Sure, I think so. Maybe not Carnegie Hall but otherwise ... fine.
_________________________
Don

My current system: Kawai ES7 + Focal CMS40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, Mackie ProFX8 Mixer, Ravenscroft275, True Keys American Grand, Ivory II American Concert D, Steinway Basic, Galaxy Vintage D, True Pianos, Pianoteq, Alicia's Keys

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#1996533 - 12/08/12 06:01 PM Re: My New Kawai ES7 - Initial Reaction [Re: JFP]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1686
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: JFP
I bought it to get rid of my monitor speaker setup, since the build in speakers are quite good


That was certainly a factor for me also.


Quote:
funny enough you seem to move inthe oposite direction.


I may or may not end up with external speakers. I am not a big fan of that scene. It will take a perfect duplication of the sound I get through my phones to drag me back to external speakers. I do find, at least at the moment, that if I connect my lineouts to my external speakers and EQ the sound to no treble and all bass (at low volume) it seems to fill out the sound of the ES7 speakers. I do that some.


Quote:
Did you get the es7 stand and pedal set as well ??


Yes, I did. Not bad looking. One thing I do like about this type of stand over the CA63 console type is that I can position the external speakers behind the piano and the sound will flow through nicely. This allows me to add that bass sound without the audience (my family and friends) picking up on those big speakers pouring out sound. Contributes to the ambience. smile
_________________________
Don

My current system: Kawai ES7 + Focal CMS40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, Mackie ProFX8 Mixer, Ravenscroft275, True Keys American Grand, Ivory II American Concert D, Steinway Basic, Galaxy Vintage D, True Pianos, Pianoteq, Alicia's Keys

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#1996756 - 12/09/12 06:12 AM Re: My New Kawai ES7 - Initial Reaction [Re: dmd]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1317
Loc: The Netherlands
Perhaps adding only a (decent) sub woofer for the lowest end will be sufficient to complement the internal speakers, leaving the rest of the setup small and elegant (sub hidden behind or underneath). It crossed my mind to try that sometime, because for me the internal speakers are sufficient, just lack the lowest end - due to their size (bass reflex can mask but not compensate for that). For now ill stick with the internal speakers - no extra wires and boxes in the way : nice and compact solution . Notice that the music stand that comes with the Kawai stand is translucent giving the ES an even less intrusive look in he room (no big black music stand blocking your sight at the wall or rest of the room).

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#1996865 - 12/09/12 10:58 AM Re: My New Kawai ES7 - Initial Reaction [Re: JFP]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1686
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: JFP
For now ill stick with the internal speakers - no extra wires and boxes in the way : nice and compact solution.


Well, I did some experimenting with the setup and I may be able to do the same thing.

I set my TOUCH to Heavy. My VOICING to Mellow1.

Set USER EQ Highs to -6, Mid Highs to -6

Now, I like the sound from the speakers just fine.

I think I will try to wean myself off of other equipment also.

Much neater, not to mention less expensive.
_________________________
Don

My current system: Kawai ES7 + Focal CMS40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, Mackie ProFX8 Mixer, Ravenscroft275, True Keys American Grand, Ivory II American Concert D, Steinway Basic, Galaxy Vintage D, True Pianos, Pianoteq, Alicia's Keys

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#1996942 - 12/09/12 01:44 PM Re: My New Kawai ES7 - Initial Reaction [Re: dmd]
Qbert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 328
Loc: Italy
What about pp,ppp and ff, fff?
_________________________
GEM Promega 3 (sold) - Yamaha CLP 170 (sold) - Acuna88 (sold) - Kawai VPC1 + BK7m

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#1996953 - 12/09/12 02:17 PM Re: My New Kawai ES7 - Initial Reaction [Re: Qbert]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1686
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Qbert
What about pp,ppp and ff, fff?


Well, as I suggested earlier ... I think the strength of the ES7 is in soft, gentle passages. Loud, not so much. And, of course, that is due mainly because of the small internal speakers. I am trying to stay away from the external speakers so I cannot really comment on how it might be with those.
_________________________
Don

My current system: Kawai ES7 + Focal CMS40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, Mackie ProFX8 Mixer, Ravenscroft275, True Keys American Grand, Ivory II American Concert D, Steinway Basic, Galaxy Vintage D, True Pianos, Pianoteq, Alicia's Keys

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