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#2011555 - 01/09/13 05:10 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
Marko in Boston Offline
500 Post Club Member

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

I bought the Kawai ES7 last month and have a some very positive posts about it. However, I never mentioned that when I bought my ES7 and brought it home that night that the E4 key was dead - no sound. I immediately brought back to the dealer that night and he swamped it out for another new one without hesitation. Dealer said it's not uncommon that some of keyboards get damaged on delivery from manufacturer. The good news is Kawai (and my dealer) will resolve any issue in their power to make sure customer is satisfied. (... and no, i do not work for Kawai or any piano dealer.) or just simply run any Kawai issue by Kawai James first. He always has a quick response that puts you in the right direction.

note: After a month of playing the ES7 for hours each day, I like more than the day I got, especially because I learned most features that make the overall experience so enjoyable. Let me know if you have any questions.
_________________________
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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#2011574 - 01/09/13 06:27 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: Radion Romanovich]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1822
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Radion Romanovich
dmd:

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?


No, I can't say that I have ... thankfully. I purchased my ES7 a little over a month ago. I have to say that other than what I described on those few keys, the sound has been excellent. I really enjoy playing it. I go back to the CA63 from time to time and run the sound through the same process as I have the ES7 attached to ... just to see if there is a real difference and I have to return quickly to the ES7. The sound (my opinion, of course) is definitely better on the ES7 than on the CA63. I am very pleased with this purchase.


Edited by dmd (01/09/13 06:29 AM)
_________________________
Don

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

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#2012615 - 01/11/13 05:07 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
Yesterday I made some changes on the GC 1 sound: set touch to heavy, added some bass/mid bass (+3 db) and less trebble (-1db), choosed dynamic voicing...and I liked it more (through headphones).


Here are some things I intend to do this weekend:

-Piano sound layering. I've read a CA93 thread where they share custom settings, and think it would be fine to do the same here.
-Tests for some different Bass/mid bass/mid/trebble balances.
-Then I'll try to record them all, and upload/link here. I'm specially interested in you to hear the Mellow sound, that I find strange sometimes.
-Play more through speakers. I'm getting tired of headphones, where I honestly can't hear a better sound, despite everyone here says so. It's strange that I can listen to HI-FI recordings with both my headphones without saturation problems and I'm not being able to get a good experience on ES7. Wish I could record that sound, in order to show it's not a matter of ears.
Time to go to boxes!!

Please put all my comments in perspective: I'm a beginner, so what I feel or hear could be related to my short experience,not to the piano.

P.S.: I need to check one more thing. I've just recalled that, when listening to Mp3 piano sound recorded via usb, and then listening through headphones, the sound is better (not annoying) than when I just play. Could it be possible, or am I dreaming?



Edited by mabraman (01/11/13 06:41 AM)
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2012648 - 01/11/13 08:16 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
I PM-ed you some tests you could perform to find out what could be the cause of your bad headphone experience. I personally have no problem with the ES7 headphone output whatsoever..., but as always there could be something that has to do with your particular unit.

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#2012681 - 01/11/13 09:38 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
Hookxs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 247
Loc: Czech Republic
mabraman - I think I experience (on my CA95, very similar technology no doubt) the same phenomenon which you describe as "jingling". When listening though headphones, no matter how low the master volume it always feels too much, I hear the pitched jingling or ringing or saturation artifacts which are usually present when the volume is too high. I remeber the same thing when I playtested other Kawai pianos at store (CA65 + others). When I used different headphones (borrowed from the store), it vanished. I know I have some hearing problems and it may be related but I believe it is caused by the headphones or the piano-headphones combination. I plan to buy different headphones for this reason (now I have some mid/low level closed Sennheisers). Nevertheless, I enjoy the sound in headphones more than the speakers.

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#2012942 - 01/11/13 04:31 PM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
Thanks for your answers. This afternoon I've been trying some new combinations, then playing and recording in WAV for more than an hour in order to get the most of it.
Sound through onboard speakers is not as clear and detailed as through headphones (I could say it's bad but don't want to be unfair), anyway artifacts that Hookxs mentioned above are still obvious. Therefore I'll play more this way from now on, or with headphones at a very low level. I'm fed up with it.
A last try would be to test some open-bach headphones, or running the sound through some external amp. and then to monitors or even back to DP, as someone suggested.
Increasing the recording level on 4db has worked fine. No clicks so far, and sounds REALLY well (despite me) trough some Onkyo amp. and B&W speakers (even using a laptop to read the files). Half blast required. So my guess is, that some annoying sound could be due to the quality (ok, let's say personality) of DP's amp. combined with the quality of my own ears.
Next monday I'll upload some recordings.
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2013008 - 01/11/13 06:21 PM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
Hi,

I don't fully get all the different configurations you tried, but :

1) When you connect the output of the DP to your external receiver/amplifier and then listen to the headphone output of this amplifier , is then everything OK without any of the ringing / distortion you experience ? Using the same headphones of course.

2) when you record directly to USB stick in WAV format and play back this file on good external equipment over the same headphones , is then everything OK too ??

When both is a YES, the fault could be a bad headphone output on your ES7 unit.

When there is NO difference, then it's possible we're talking about the sound character of the AP sound of the ES7. So I also wonder if OTHER sounds then AP give the same bad experience over the ES headphone output, or even a reference recording you play back directly from USB stick on the ES ? If it is ONLY with the AP sound , chances are its the sound itself you may dislike....

These few tests will tell a lot about what's happening. By the way don't expect studio monitor quality sound from the internal speakers. They serve a different purpose and are in no way in the same perfect speaker body, shape, position and have a linear frequency curve. They are "build-in speakers"...they should be enjoyable and loud enough to play, not serve as a reverence.

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#2013208 - 01/12/13 04:28 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
Thanks again, JFP for such clever advice!!
I did what you suggested me to try, in order to determine if its my ears, or headphones, or amp...:

Clarification: just for solo piano sounds playing easy smooth pieces. Mechanical noises off. The rest set to default.

1.-Testing both headphone inputs: I'd swear that right side sounds slightly better than left, but honestly I was too tired, or influenced, to distinguish at that level of details. They both work fine, at least. Neither clicks nor scratches, or background noises.

2.-Recording some tunes (+4db gain;WAV format).

3.-Listening to them trough different headphones (sennheiser HD250; Vic Firth SI H1)on the ES7: sounds better to me with Vic Firth's. I don't know why. They have both the same impedance (32 ohm.)and almost the same sound pressure level, but Vic Firth's smooths the sound and lowers it. I guess, as they are designed for drummers, there must be some healthy filtering going on. Sennheiser sounds more clear and loud, therefore more noisy. Harsh might be the word. Saturation is obvious on both headphones, but defining it as "too much power for a certain membrane to bear"...it could be my eardrums and not the piano amp.

4.-Listening to them trough piano speakers: saturation (but hardly distortion) at max. volume is obvious, it sounds better from 3/4 down. Board is all plastic and metal and speakers are small and cheap, so no surprise (though it's not a cheap DP!!). Sounds less annoying than headphones, but there is something going wrong with it. I think that these piano sounds are very powerful, "realistic" and clear in some way (thats why we choosed Kawai)and the amp. inside just can't manage them properly. I'll work more in reducing high-pitched to see what I can do to make my daily practice more comfortable. But now I understand those saying Kawais sound harsh. It's not the sound engine, but the final product.

5.-Listening to them trough a laptop--->headphone input---->Onkyo Hi-Fi amplifier external input----->Bower & Wilkins speakers: you need half its power to reach a decent volume, and IT SOUNDS VERY WELL INDEED. Did my ears suddenly change?

6.-Listening through Onkyo amp. with headphones: rattly sounds when listening to +4db recordings, but it could be the headphone input of my amp. Despite of it, the sound was cleaner to my ears, I mean that excessive briliance vanished to bearable levels.

Don't bother, this boring/hilarious syntax post is about to end.

Conclusions:

a) The more headphones/external amp. strains it, the better (in terms of high-pitch) the sound is.
b) Maybe closed back headphones are not the best option, because some pitches need more room.
c)The internal amp. could be better to match its own piano samples. I realize it happens to almost every DP (cheap components), so much people ends using external amps or mixers, and VSTs.
d)This happens mostly with AP sounds (what a paradox!) and not with EP (which you expect to sound electronic),strings, choir or even vibs (this one sounds almost perfect, and it's strange in such a hard instrument to equalize due to hi-pitch). This also happens when you add reverb, exept with room. Strange again, when default sounds include small hall!
e)The accoustic piano sounds, therefore, are balanced in a way that can't satisfy certain ears. You'll need some extras to get the most out of it (like in most other DP's)if you are the kind.
f)what you hear in youtube official demos is not what you'll hear out of the box. Try some other videos and you'll hear some not so slight differences.
e)you need to join this kind of forums so as to learn the basics, because some DP's are setup to be bought, not to play music.

As music and sounds (and everything that regards to perception) can't be objectively judged, please put above words in perspective.
ES7 works very well, the only point it could be clearly better is just whistle the sound balance.



Edited by mabraman (01/12/13 06:07 AM)
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2013235 - 01/12/13 05:58 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9019
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
mabraman, I agree that sound cannot be judged objectively.

Originally Posted By: mabraman
Board is all plastic and metal


Which parts are plastic?

Originally Posted By: mabraman
f)what you hear in youtube official demos is not what you'll hear out of the box.


To my knowledge, the sound heard in the videos is recorded directly from the instrument - there is no additional processing.

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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#2013245 - 01/12/13 06:28 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
James, the whole case and a good part of the speakers are plastic made. I supposed that could give some colour to the sound trough speakers, but maybe I'm wrong, since I've always lived in a cave and never listened to music before (ironic mode off). Even headphones are plastic made. What a question!!
I'm not talking bad about ES7, I'm just a customer whose money was perfect "out of the purse". I come here to beg for some help in order to get the better sound, as I admit(from the very beggining of each post) that I know almost nothing.
But I'm not stupid. When I listen to official videos USING THE SAME HEADPHONES TROUGH A LAPTOP OR PC it sounds waaayyy better than my piano.It's not how they play, but how it sounds!! When I listen to any music it sounds well, too, I just need to adjust the power to suit my taste, either in my computers or hifi system or pc at work.
When I record what I play (wich sounded harsh and, I thought, was my fault as I'm a begginer player) and listen to it on other systems it sounds better ALWAYS, wether you and me like it, or not.
Believe me, as a player I'm a crap, but as a listener I'm 45 years experienced.
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2013248 - 01/12/13 06:42 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9019
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
I'll have to double check this with the designer, but I'm pretty sure the ES7 chassis is constructed from metal (aluminium and steel) and wood.

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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#2013253 - 01/12/13 07:01 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
My fault. It's DM made perhaps (knocking on it sounds woody) along with some plastic and metal. I lost breaks when I said it was plastic made.
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2013254 - 01/12/13 07:03 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
Marko in Boston Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 874
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts
Mabraman, I know this sounds like a joke, but I have several pairs of good headphones(ie Sennheiser HD380 and Ultrasone HFI-780) But I choose to simply use the Bose MIE2i Mobile Headset with my ES7. Yes, the same buds I use with my ipod. The sound is fantastic especially on the low notes. Almost seems like my real good headphone are too good for any DP and the cheap Bose is a perfect match. 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
_________________________
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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#2013256 - 01/12/13 07:13 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
Thanks Marko, you gave that same advice to me some time ago, I googled it and found those headphones are to be plugged inside ears. Am I wrong? I prefer not to use that kind, it hurts me (and is not recommended from a healthy point of view). Ears didn't evolve to listen to such a direct sound source(yes, neither to circumaural type).


Edited by mabraman (01/12/13 07:14 AM)
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2013260 - 01/12/13 07:32 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9019
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: mabraman
It's DM made...


I'm afraid I don't know what that means.
Nothing to do with the chunky footwear, presumably.

Originally Posted By: mabraman
I lost breaks when I said it was plastic made.


Sorry, 'lost breaks'? I'm afraid I don't understand that either.

Again, I'll have to clarify this with the designer, however I'm pretty sure the ES7 cabinet is made from metal and wood. The volume slider and buttons are plastic.

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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#2013284 - 01/12/13 08:34 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
DM (medium density) means bind (glued) toghether sawdust or wooden fibers without lignin. Ikea-like furnitures, if you prefer. I thought they were common initials for this material, but the english order of adjectives is different, sorry. Whats the english name for it? Guess MD.
Saying "I lost breaks" I meant "cool it, mabraman".

By the way, I've just been playing for a while and found mellow1 more pleasant. I'll play low level (a bit less than half the power) and figure it's ok.
How do you like that?
Thanks for your patience.
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2013320 - 01/12/13 09:50 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9019
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: mabraman
How do you like that?




Originally Posted By: mabraman
Thanks for your patience.


No problem. wink
I'm waiting for the football to kick-off in the UK...

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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#2013549 - 01/12/13 04:33 PM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
@Mabramam,

My thoughts on your story (and Kawai may hate me about this, or not…;-)

At first , the ES7 is a decent product in it's price range offering a nice package in a nice format that does most things pretty well. My remarks are made in context that I originally come from a studio engineering background and am quite perceptive to anomalities in sound quality. This is my first DP with build-in speakers and amp. Before that I always used external HQ audio equipment and studio monitors. Not a fair comparison; that is something to keep in mind ! I also know my ears and mind can play tricks with me , therefore some findings may be subjective and not be an issue with other people.

I too struggled a lot in the beginning with my ES7 because I thought there was some sort of distortion / ringing introduced in the AP piano sound. After many many tests and a lot of email exchanges between myself and several Kawai employees my conclusion was :

1) There is a certain buildup of resonances that is part of the PHI processing and algorithms . It's a matter of taste if you like and not a system fault. I decided to ignore it, once I knew what was going on. Knowing may ears weren't tricking me and nothing was wrong with the ES in this respect was a satisfactory answer to me.

2) There is a certain 'stress' and ringing of the sound when playing loud over the speakers. This happens from roughly 80 ~ 100% volume setting and with forceful playing. If you hit key combinations where the mentioned PHI processing will have peak resonances, the ringing effect will be most audible. Together with some Kawai Technicians we concluded that a piano cabinet like this will always have a slight resonance somewhere when going full-throttle , be it the speakers, the cabinet or both. The 'stress' however may indeed be introduced by the amp/speaker system that falls just slightly short of the ideal power and quality it may need for this kind of purpose (playing very loud). It's good and the loudness is sufficient , but it is not as clean and with same headroom as some 3rd party solutions. Note that the stress/ ringing effects are audible , but only very slightly and most people might not be bothered at all !

3) The headphone output is actually very good with my headphones (Grado / Sennheiser HD250 Linear MKII - both open types). Only at 100% with FFF playing some stress is introduced by the amp, but I normally never play that loud. I'd suggest nobody does , if you want to keep healthy ears for much longer.

4) The audio input signal path is usable , but lacks a correcting EQ for playback over the speakers and the input has no level control. You can overcome most of these shortcomings by keeping the signal path before the input as short as possible , use HQ gear and add a decent volume level controller. Still, there is a little coloring and stress on the sound, but it is within margin when you take the mentioned precautions.

5) The keybed is good. Some units have slight uneven spacing - like mine. But it does not have an effect on the playability - so it's purely cosmetic. E.g. the space between right side of G# and A is slightly bigger on several units I've seen and that I've heard of in another way (PM's etc).

6) Key travel is a little shorter than on previous RH. We measured it together and it's roughly 10 vs 11 mm. Some may find this more convenient , others may have to get used to it. No big deal, just a fact if you wonder that you feel a difference there ; yes you do ;-)

In many cases you may not notice any of these findings on your unit at all, or simply don't bother. This is basically the list of 'things' you 'might' encounter on an ES7. At least knowing these facts, you will not be puzzled by it and can enjoy the ES7 for what it is - instead of waste time looking for answers. It is a very nice piano for a decent price (in most countries) and the things I describe here are all minor details on this overall very wel functioning DP. Some people, like me and Mabramam and a few others may have some thoughts about the AMP/audio signal quality , but it's all within a certain margin and I don't think other DP's on the market with build in speakers will do better in this price range. I never play 100% Volume , so I decided not to be bothered by it either. I think in the cases where you DO need to go very loud, the little stress and ring it introduces are negligible in the surrounding where you are performing, which is I assume a live situation (gig / choir accompanist / playing outside / restaurant,…) However for future updates this could be a component where Kawai techies might make some improvement; it is good, it can be better.

I'm done with fine-tuning and examining my ES7 and prefer to play and enjoy it and take some things for granted. It's a good machine, not 100% perfect, but which DP is ?! Especially considering price. But I also hope Kawai takes notes and can improve their product even further by looking at customer feedback and take into consideration some of us may be overly critical and annoying , but also not crazy and some points pop up too often to be served off as total nonsense.

Kawai , keep up the good work and for all ES7 owners ; enjoy your DP !


Edited by JFP (01/12/13 04:57 PM)

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#2013671 - 01/12/13 09:36 PM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: JFP]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9019
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: JFP
6) Key travel is a little shorter than on previous RH. We measured it together and it's roughly 10 vs 11 mm. Some may find this more convenient , others may have to get used to it. No big deal, just a fact if you wonder that you feel a difference there ; yes you do ;-)


JFP, may I ask who is 'we' in this context?

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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#2013806 - 01/13/13 07:04 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
You are right, JFP, and I've learnt a lot of lessons from your speech. Main is to enjoy more and be more positive (but never unreasonably positive in the way some people tend to justify a purchase). I'm glad, too, now that I know my ears are not the main problem, and that my concerns had at least some objective basement. I can't say anything is going definitely wrong with ES7, but I understand that technicians reached some compromise solutions between sound engine/speakers/amp. It works, and fine by the way for most people, but if your ear is picky or just very sensitive you'd better go and use external improvement. ES7 can't match hifi quality. Again, this is nothing new, as we all read same comments in regards to other brands and models.
Here is interesting to know where you come from and what kind of sound you are expecting to hear.
JFP comes from a pro environment which gave him a high sound quality (and maybe unfair)point of comparison. My point of view is more common, I'm the tipycal grown-picky-listener-used-to-hifi quality who still can't happily accept that a 1240€ device need some extra expense (or even firmware updates) so as to sound properly. Perhaps I'm off-topic, so I'll stop it.
But I wonder (and it's no moan) how can I enjoy more some cheaper general devices such as laptops with average headphones where I listen to mp3 streaming sites? The same ES7 sounds better this way to my ears, therefore I asume I need to strain the sound. Done!
If anybody is in a similar situation, do as others adviced before: set the touch to heavy (so the sound is easier to control), voicings to dynamic (same reason), try different EQ balance and explore the "mellow zone".
ES7 has enough improvement margin (via Virtual Technician) so as to fight again its own weaknesses. I hope.
Now I'm going to play!
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2013828 - 01/13/13 09:08 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
sandalholme Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 763
Loc: Dorset, UK
Yes, the ES7 isn't perfect - it's not even claiming to be top of the range. It's just amazingly good value for money. I didn't expect the built-in amp/speaker system to be hi-fi standard, but when I was trying it in the showroom I hardly used my headphones, only to check that, as expected, the sound was better through them. Having now played mine for a few weeks - with large gaps because of Christmas/travelling etc, I am now settling in to enjoy playing it with settings that are stabilising. (I am an inveterate tinkerer)

Today for the first time I went back to my RX2......... Well, it's easier to play! I have spent quite some time adjusting to the touch/feel of a DP. Strengths and weaknesses? ES7 strengths: clarity, easy (and satisfying) to record from), facility to have different instruments for different composers; weaknesses: less authentic sound, poor touch more unforgiving than the RX2, eg a quick dab with the little finger on an isolated bass note octaves down the keyboard can come out too loud. RX2 strengths: the sound, the action; weaknesses: at the mercy of room acoustics, tuning and, some may be surprised to hear, a less solid bass than the ES7 - but the bass sound is still more authentic.

As I originally thought and wrote, they are just different beasts.

Just two (so far) concerns/requests for James when he wanders onto this thread. Why can you only reduce the pitch from 440 to 427? A full semitone to A = 415 would get us into genuine baroque pitch territory. Secondly, I have been trying out Pianoteq. Both line in to the ES7 cables I have used have produced a whistling tone, not loud, but clearly audible through speakers and headphones. Maybe there are technical requirements here I am not aware of.

Re Pianoteq. I have only tried it briefly but apart from the Bluethner there isn't a huge difference in sound, ie piano-like quality, compared to the native ES7 sounds. Certainly not worth my time to try and improve on them, except the Bluethner. I quite liked that sound.

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#2013868 - 01/13/13 10:54 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
Hi , I layer the ES7 with pianoteq from time to time. Works very well if you carefully balance the internal a d externl sound. Kawai has a better attack phase, pianoteq rules in the sustain phase.

The audio-in will produce a distorted tone when simultaneously used with a USB midi connection. Therefore the audio has to be decoupled / ground lifted. There are plenty of ground loop isolator extension cables on the marked. Perhaps that's what you re hearing ?

Also using very good cabling changes a lot. Well shielded and with decent (gold?) contacts.

Third thing is that most laptops / computers / mp3 players have a standard audio out on mini jack that has a changing impedance , depending on what you connect to it and the volume setting. This doesn't go we'll with the ES7 input. Use a decent audio interface with fixed line out levels and impedance. Or , like me, go digital out on your laptop, use an external DA converter and go line level from there into the ES7.

Hope this helps.

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#2014369 - 01/14/13 11:24 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
sandalholme Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 763
Loc: Dorset, UK
Many thanks JFP. Some more work to do at some time - it will be a while before I seriously bolt on Pianoteq, or any other software piano but it's good to know there's a solution.

Now, where's James when you want him. A = 415???

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#2014375 - 01/14/13 11:31 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 795
A=415?

Does the ES7 have a transpose function where you can transpose all keys by a given interval? If yes, just use this function to transpose down by a semitone, and then adjust pitch as needed.

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#2015285 - 01/16/13 05:32 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
Marko in Boston Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 874
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts
New short Kawai ES7 video. You think the sound is straight thru the on-board speakers? I see a lot of wires connected in the back. Just wondering.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ggXx9pArmo



Edited by Marko in Boston (01/16/13 05:33 AM)
_________________________
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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#2015327 - 01/16/13 08:02 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: Marko in Boston]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1822
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Marko in Boston
New short Kawai ES7 video. You think the sound is straight thru the on-board speakers? I see a lot of wires connected in the back. Just wondering.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ggXx9pArmo



That looks like the 2 lineouts and the damper hookups.

He is running the sound through external speakers and he does not have the 3-pedal attachment.
_________________________
Don

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

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#2015346 - 01/16/13 08:38 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: maurus]
sandalholme Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 763
Loc: Dorset, UK
Thanks maurus. Yes,it does, I found it eventually!

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#2016424 - 01/17/13 11:46 PM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1822
Loc: Pennsylvania
Can someone explain what WALL EQ actually does ?

My ES7 is positioned with its' back about 1.5 feet from a wall.

I have tried WALL EQ Off and on and do not really notice anything different.
_________________________
Don

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

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#2016510 - 01/18/13 03:55 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
I also don't know how it works. Mine is closer than yours to a wall, just a ¿palm?¿handspan? from a bare wall.The rest of the room is well dressed in wood and books. When I turn Wall EQ on it seems to have a slight effect on the sound which I couldn't describe with words, perhaps less reverberation and more warmth. Honestly, built-in speakers are not very precise so it's hard to tell.
But there are so many ways to modify sound signals that I don't know what is it working on.
As far as I've read, the most typical effect related to rooms is the echo. Sound waves, rebounding and then coming from walls, give some spaciality to the sound, which is desirable within a given margin. If the wave reaches you ear in 50ms. or less it won't be perceived as "negative" or "delayed". Our brain will fit it into the overall sound and this echo will make sense.
If you room is well dressed with furnitures or bookshells and carpets, you probably won't hear the difference (I'm asuming that you test it trough speakers).The echo will be absorbed.
But with regards to which frequency range is being modified by this EQ...I just don´t know.
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2016574 - 01/18/13 08:36 AM Re: Kawai ES7 user thread [Re: mabraman]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
Wall-EQ; haven't played a lot with it. Might be some adjustments in the low range specifically I guess, because of wall reflections. Reflections can also cause phase reversal , but I doubt the Wall-EQ will do some phase tricks as well , but again ; you never know.

I'm afraid it'll be trial and error to see if the Wall-EQ brings anything good for you when positioned at a wall. A little more info from Kawai wouldn't hurt...(assumed wall distance, what the EQ does, etc)

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