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#2005916 - 12/29/12 08:10 AM Kawai ES7 user thread
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
So here we go!
I'm having a great time exploring the possibilities of this instrument. Not a single issue, so far.
I've updated it to the latest version (1.12) in less than a minute. Kawai's site was very useful.
I'm 'feeling' the keys/sound more each time, though at low velocities I sometimes miss a note (it doesn't sound). That's a good emulation for a beginner, as in an upright it happens frequently.
The accompaniments are very funny and useful so as to practice scales and improvisation, and their sound is also great.
I still have to test many things: full blast, tweaking (just did something but not sure it improves the presets in therms of fidelity).
Well, not very much, I'm afraid, but it's my first experience with such a device.
Thanks again to everyone who would share their knowledge.I'll be posting here from now on to share anything that comes to my mind.
And here is the first: how to use the EQ properly, in order to avoid excessive brilliance? Sometimes, when using headphones, it's annoying. I have kinda dog ear.
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2005920 - 12/29/12 08:30 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
Marko in Boston Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 874
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts
Hi mabraman,

Thanks for starting this thread. Im am rapidly learning more about my ES7. I've had it for almost two weeks and enjoy it immensely every time I play it. Like you, it took me a while to get the right sound to my liking. It can get a little bright with headphones. I set my touch to "heavy". Go to Menu 2 Virtual Tech the press Value to 2-1 Touch Curve and set = heavy. I tend to hit this keys a little hard so this perfect for me.

FYI, You might not be on the latest version. you said 1.12 - there is a 1.13.

Kawai James posted me this link last week: http://www.kawai.co.jp/worldwide/support/updates.html

I did the update with no problem

Thanks again for starting the thread - Marko
_________________________
KAWAI ES7 | ROLAND RD-800 | TRAYNOR K4 | YAMAHA STAGEPAS 400i | PRESONUS ERIS 5 & T10 | SHURE SRH1540 | SENNHEISER HD380 | K&M OMEGA

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#2005928 - 12/29/12 08:51 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1819
Loc: Pennsylvania
I have had my ES7 for 3 weeks.

I find the sound, and the touch, generally, to be very good.

However, I have also discovered a few (2 or 3)keys which tend to make an audible "tinny" sound when struck with anything other than a light toucvh. This sound also comes through the phones, so it is being generated by the sound engine. It is not a big deal and I can live with it but I do intend to contact Kawai and ask them about it.

To get my sound "just right" I run my lineout through a mixer and reduce the highs, increase the lows and then back out through my Focal monitors at a low volume to accompany the sound coming from my ES7 internal speakers. That seems to work well, for me.

The one serious negative I experienced is with the 3-pedal unit that I purchased. I found it installed much too close to the front of the piano and I just could not adjust to that distance. I now use the sustain pedal that comes with the ES7 and that is fine for me.

The furniture stand I purchased for it works (and looks) fine.

All, in all, I am very happy with my purchase and I now have a digital piano I love to play and a sound I love to hear.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Racvenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#2006533 - 12/30/12 12:57 PM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
Today I've been testing some other functions:
-USB recorder: works fine, and it's a great help in some aspects beyond the obvious one.
-Touch curve (user): in addition to the different touch levels, there's one function that detects how you use the dynamics, and sets key sensitivity according to that. Interesting, but mine sounds worse than default settings. smile
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2006955 - 12/31/12 09:47 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
sandalholme Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 763
Loc: Dorset, UK
Just a 'holding' post to say that when I have surfaced from my travels and have got back to exploring my recently acquired ES7 - just installed the latest firmware - I will contribute my thoughts to this thread. So far I am very impressed with the ES7.

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#2007452 - 01/01/13 12:33 PM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
Marko in Boston Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 874
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts
FYI, Im using the Bose MIE2i Mobile Headset with my ES7. The sound is so incredible especially on the low notes. Go get a pair asap. I know it seems ridiculous for a DP but trust me on this one. Only $119 but well worth it (MIE2 under $100 just lacks controller on cord which you don't need for DPs). Worst case, you will have a nice set of headphones for your iPhone,ipda.ipod,droid, tab, mobile anything ;-)

update: dont forget to pick up a 1/4 adapter if you dont already have one. $3 radioshack


Edited by Marko in Boston (01/01/13 12:59 PM)
_________________________
KAWAI ES7 | ROLAND RD-800 | TRAYNOR K4 | YAMAHA STAGEPAS 400i | PRESONUS ERIS 5 & T10 | SHURE SRH1540 | SENNHEISER HD380 | K&M OMEGA

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#2008380 - 01/03/13 06:32 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
sandalholme Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 763
Loc: Dorset, UK
In an earlier post on the ES7 I mentioned distortion when playing recordings through my hi-fi. The fault was in the LH speaker of my ancient hi-fi system. The offending bass unit (one of 2 in each speaker) is so ancient it was coming adrift. Too much Bruckner? It has now been taped together and the sound is now distortion-free. So, no fault down to the ES7, to my relief. The only comment on recording to an MP3 file is that the level - even with +5db gain - is very low. Amplifying via Audacity, (with no clipping, Audacity generally sets the gain at around +18db) gets the volume up OK for headphones, but the hi-fi system needs over 50% on the dial. Normally cds etc are OK at less than 25% on the dial. Just as well I have a decent amp!

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#2008385 - 01/03/13 07:21 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
And what about that jingeling sound I haven't been able to tweak? No matter how mellow the voicings are, or how much bass boost added. It's not a problem just with this DP, but common to all that I've tested before purchasing ES7.
Could it be the headphones (Sennheiser hd-205)?
It's like an excess of high frequency sounds impacting against my eardrum. I usually play at low sound levels when using headphones, but that feeling is always there. And it's annoying.
Any suggestion?
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2008390 - 01/03/13 07:35 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9013
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
'jingeling sound'?

If this is something you are able to reproduce, perhaps you can upload a recording for us to check?

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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#2008395 - 01/03/13 07:44 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
Hey James, it´s not any particullar sound, but the overall feeling when playing with headphones. It´s just too much high frequency sound coming towards eardrums and, as I mentioned aboved, it happens to me with every DP I've played.
I guess it could be the headphones (I should try some with flat response) or, perhaps, that high sounds, wich give a good realistic feeling when playing, are annoying when you hear them too directly.
But it's something I want to solve.
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2008405 - 01/03/13 08:17 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9013
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Ah, I see, thank you for clarifying this point.

Other than reducing the highest frequencies of the onboard EQ, or selecting a different pair of headphones, I'm not entirely sure what else to suggest.

It almost sounds a little like a mild form of tinnitus, so perhaps a medical professional should be consulted?

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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#2008423 - 01/03/13 08:57 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
Don't mention The Beast!!!
It would be sad and cruel to suffer from tinnitus, now that I finally dare to study music.
But yes, I'll check it. First of all, let's do better EQ task, then phones...then lest's face The Beast. Thanks!
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2008907 - 01/04/13 09:48 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
Well, i've just purchased some new headphones, Vick Firth is the make. Some drummer advised me to get them, as they are solid as a rock, noise isolation is high and response is near to flat.Even with some high-end Sennheiser the problem was still there, and those weren't too expensive (80€).
And...it worked!!
In fact, it has worked a little too much, 'cause now the sound is lacking a bit of brilliance, but I prefer it as a starting point to tweak from. Now, reverb sounds useful (it was annoying before)and I'd try to do some EQ to gain highs if needed.
Lesson learned: never play a DP with too dynamic headphones.
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2008916 - 01/04/13 10:24 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
sandalholme Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 763
Loc: Dorset, UK
Interesting you mention reverb. I'm starting to explore this too. No definite conclusions yet, but like you, I had ruled it out at the beginning.

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#2008984 - 01/04/13 02:31 PM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
Hi Sandalholme. I'm still checking things, didn't get the righ tone yet but at least I have reduced some noise.
Anyway, today is one of those days that no matter what you try, it all sounds weird.
As we say in Spain, I feel more confused than an octopus into a garage. Too much reverberation...hope I didn't choose the wrong one sick
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2010187 - 01/06/13 06:48 PM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: sandalholme]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9013
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: sandalholme
The only comment on recording to an MP3 file is that the level - even with +5db gain - is very low. Amplifying via Audacity, (with no clipping, Audacity generally sets the gain at around +18db) gets the volume up OK for headphones, but the hi-fi system needs over 50% on the dial. Normally cds etc are OK at less than 25% on the dial. Just as well I have a decent amp!


My apologies for this delayed reply...

The USB audio recorder level is purposely set a little low to ensure that a broad dynamic range of playing (i.e. very soft to very loud) can be captured without clipping. This may be too low for recording very soft pieces, so the current generation of Kawai DPs feature a 'Recorder Gain' setting to help boost the recording level.

You note that at the +5 dB setting, the level is still a little low. Did you try increasing this further to the maximum +10 dB setting?

By the way, an alternative, less 'destructive' method of increasing the volume of recordings is to use a tool such as MP3Gain/ReplayGain. This software scans audio files and embeds additional tags informing the player software/hardware to boost or attenuate the signal, without actually changing the audio data itself.

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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#2011012 - 01/08/13 05:56 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
sandalholme Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 763
Loc: Dorset, UK
Many thanks James. I will do a few comparisons: no ES7 gain/max Audacity; max ES7 gain/min Audacity etc just to check whether there is any audible difference. In other words, which is the cleaner method.

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#2011403 - 01/08/13 07:24 PM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
Radion Romanovich Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 39
Hi,

I acquired an ES7 2-3 months ago and had to send it to repair because some keys where starting to make a rattling 'springy' sound which was mechanical and developed further with use. Technician said there was nothing he could do because of this, even though other Kawai units don't show this defect.

I can replace this unit with a new one, but first I would like to know of other ES7 users experiences with this (and potentially other) failures before taking the plunge. Otherwise I would resort to choose from another brand, but I do like the ES7, so I would like to know if this was a particularity of my unit.

The salesman showed me how other DP in store –including top-of-the-line KRONOS–, had this thing in some of their keys, and said it shouldn't be considered a defect, especially with stage slabs. Make of that what you will, but I wouldn't bet that many people here would settle for 2K DPs with rattling keys during the first months of use. I know that customers are not priority for some DP brands but this would be ridiculous.

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#2011405 - 01/08/13 07:29 PM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9013
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Radion, if there is a defect with your ES7 and you have the option of receiving a brand new replacement, I see no reason not to take it - especially given that you like the instrument.

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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#2011407 - 01/08/13 07:35 PM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: Kawai James]
Radion Romanovich Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 39
Yeah, it's just that I'm afraid of the salesman's suggestion that this is not a defect and in fact something to be expected from DP slabs, which I find somewhat odd. He also suggested that this might have to do with damage in transportation.

I'm interested to know about other people's experiences on this. By the way James, do you know if the current ES7 batch coming from Indonesia/Japan is still the first?

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#2011421 - 01/08/13 08:19 PM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
buladscot Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/08/13
Posts: 6
It is not a big deal and I can live with it but I do intend to contact Kawai and ask them about it.
_________________________
bulad scot

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#2011424 - 01/08/13 08:24 PM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: Radion Romanovich]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9013
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: Radion Romanovich
By the way James, do you know if the current ES7 batch coming from Indonesia/Japan is still the first?


I'm afraid I do not understand your question.

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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#2011442 - 01/08/13 09:10 PM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: Kawai James]
Possum SP280Krome Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 616
Hello, I use to play the ES6 on visits to Sam Ash in New York- really like the action and speaker layout.

In New Jersey is there a dealer or list of dealers that sell these?
_________________________
Roland Juno Gi
Casio PX-130
Korg Krome 61
Korg SP280

Rokit KRK 6 monitors
MXL V67G microphone

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#2011454 - 01/08/13 09:35 PM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9013
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Possum, there is a dealer locator on the Kawai America website:

http://kawaius.com/locator2012.html

You may also wish to drop them a line to enquire into dealers in your area:

http://kawaius.com/nav_links/contacts2010.html

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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#2011463 - 01/08/13 09:52 PM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: buladscot]
Radion Romanovich Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 39
Quote:
It is not a big deal and I can live with it but I do intend to contact Kawai and ask them about it.


From this I gather you do have some issues with key noises. Would you care to elaborate so we can understand the nature of your defect? For instance, a short description and time you've had these issues since your unit was new from the box.


Quote:
I'm afraid I do not understand your question.

James
x


I mean to say if you could tell us if Kawai is already producing a second or third line of ES7 digital pianos, in regards to manufacturing improvements that are expected from any kind of industry.

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#2011470 - 01/08/13 10:28 PM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: Radion Romanovich]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1819
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Radion Romanovich
Quote:
It is not a big deal and I can live with it but I do intend to contact Kawai and ask them about it.


From this I gather you do have some issues with key noises. Would you care to elaborate so we can understand the nature of your defect? For instance, a short description and time you've had these issues since your unit was new from the box.



That is a quote from my comment so I assume you are asking me to elaborate on an issue with my ES7.

I have noticed from time to time that certain keys (middle E, and 1 octave up from middle E) seem to sound quite "tinny" when struck with more than light touch. It is not always real noticable and I have been able to EQ it out through my mixer somewhat, but it definitely is there.

Some might say that I am being too picky, and maybe I am. I hear it but I cannot say that the casual listener would hear it in the context of playing a piece of music.

So, I am not sure if I will pursue it.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Racvenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#2011475 - 01/08/13 10:48 PM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: Radion Romanovich]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9013
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: Radion Romanovich
I mean to say if you could tell us if Kawai is already producing a second or third line of ES7 digital pianos, in regards to manufacturing improvements that are expected from any kind of industry.


I'm not aware of any 'second or third line' of ES7 instruments. To my knowledge, Kawai's digital piano facility produces instruments continuously everyone month.

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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#2011488 - 01/08/13 11:35 PM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: dmd]
Radion Romanovich Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 39
dmd:

I see we are not talking about the same problem. Since you're using an EQ to neutralize this effect this implies that your problem lies from the internal sound source. I have noticed this 'tinny' or brilliant quality you speak of, which is kind of tiring and reminds of of tinnitus when using my heapdhones(pun unintended) – I accept this as a sampling characteristic/handicap. Besides, I will always expect piano-in-a-box sound deficiencies from DPs.

My problem is mechanical and happens when the key is returning to its natural position. It sounds like the typical spring sound used in old cartoons, and I think it is the weight attached to the opposite side of the key (weighted hammer) bouncing onto something as it stabilizes to its resting position.



Have you experienced this? How old is your ES7? It would be cool if other users joined this discussion so we can see if this is expected behavior from the ES7. I think not and hope you haven't had this issue.

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#2011508 - 01/09/13 12:35 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2625
@mabraman,

You are not the only one here that might have this ailment of tinnitus as I have lived with the high pitched ringing in my ears ever since I was a teenager, and, a lot of it was due to middle ear infections I suffered as a youth (i.e., the subsequent surgeries I went through by being put under with ether gas that probably took away some brain cells along with the tubes they stuck into my eardrums to drain off fluid), so this is something you never get rid of.

The tinnitus I have contributes to the fuzzy and buzzing sounds I hear in the Kawai CA95's piano sounds, as others tell me they do not hear this when I make recordings in an attempt to illustrate it. The piano is apparently not at fault, but my ears are.

Would probably be better off to become completely deaf (like Beethoven) so that one no longer has to bear with the ringing in the ears and then can concentrate on only the music we hear in our heads, instead.

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#2011549 - 01/09/13 04:07 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
I don't have a full-time tinnitus, yet, though here and there I hear some whistle that (luckily) dies in some seconds. I know I'll have this issue some day, as it's hereditary. And I know once it starts you just can´t do anything but to live with it (well, there's some brain re-education/workout that can be done to "ignore" that sounds).
By means of this (and for my ear sensitvity is superb) I am very carefull when listening to music, specially with earphones. Usually, 20% power is enough for me, while others need much more to enjoy the music. I simply get sore ears when playimg loud.

Regarding high pitches on the ES7, during this first weeks I've concluded that is its sound signature. ES7 default sounds are crystalline, which is good, but for some ear they might be too bright. Even too electronic. It's a very dynamic piano, too, and needs an accurate touch. Mellow options are warmer but maybe too looped and confusing. Waiting for Dewster and his review.
Besides, when you play through earphones there's some kind of "shok wave" that is very annoying. You must be very carefull on the attack and touch, or even better, tweak the sound in order to get some safe-and-pleasant-through-earphones-sound. But listen, this is not an specific ES7 issue, it's about every DP out there. What is good to be played through speakers doesn't work directly into ears.

About ringy notes...maybe some of them are hard to control. And by the way, the mellow pianos have some flat or weird notes too, not a big problem but I'll try to identify them all and then submitt it to Kawai. This could be related to 88 key sampling, where unevenness is more likely to happen. But hope it can be fixed by an update.

About the keybed...mine works perfectly so far. Even height and space, nice responsiveness (way better than school upright). My wife says she can hear it from the next room, but...who cares? 3hearts

And last, my piano firmwear (purchased on December) was updated to 1.10 version, and I haven't had (proper) sound or key issues, so I asume it's not from "first generation".
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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by Enthusiast
08/21/14 04:06 PM
Rubinstein or horowitz couldn't play op 10 no 1?
by rov
08/21/14 04:05 PM
For Sale: PE-2 PIANO PEDAL EXTENDER
by TakomaRose
08/21/14 02:04 PM
How is this possible?
by kaanguner
08/21/14 02:03 PM
Questions About Piano Magic for Sheet Music Readers
by newbert
08/21/14 01:51 PM
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