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#2157382 - 09/25/13 11:01 AM Action Comparison Roland FP-80 & Kawai ES7
Sound Searcher Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/24/13
Posts: 1
I have narrowed my choices to either the Roland FP-80 or Kawai ES7. I cannot find either of these locally, so I am posing the question to you. Which has the most responsive and lightest action? Because of an injury, it is important that I find a keyboard action that is not fatiguing.

Does anyone have experience with playing both of these?

Thanks for your responses.

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#2157385 - 09/25/13 11:06 AM Re: Action Comparison Roland FP-80 & Kawai ES7 [Re: Sound Searcher]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3153
I haven't played those particular models. But in general, Kawai actions are on the heavier side, and the FP-80 uses the action of the FP-7F which I played, and these are light actions. OTOH, some people complain about the Roland action having a hard bottoming out. So which is less fatiguing may be open to question regardless of heavy vs. light.

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#2157430 - 09/25/13 12:30 PM Re: Action Comparison Roland FP-80 & Kawai ES7 [Re: anotherscott]
Petro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 33
Loc: North Land
I had tried both before deciding for my lovely FP-80 finally 6 weeks ago. And I played the ES-7 recently for comparing again. No regret so far. FP-80 is a just little bit lighter and tougher IMO. Not a BIG difference.
Yes, there is something could be called as "hard bottoming" there, indeed. I guess that hardness is essential though for that push-off which will provide the boost in speeding. It works similar to a ball and a hard floor.


Edited by Petro (09/25/13 03:00 PM)

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#2157440 - 09/25/13 12:47 PM Re: Action Comparison Roland FP-80 & Kawai ES7 [Re: Sound Searcher]
cotte Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/13
Posts: 21
I personally own a Kawai ES-7. I would describe the action as heavy and hard bottoming. Matter of fact I have heard a lot of people referring to that DP that way.

I haven't tried the FP-80.

The wide variety of answers you get to your question shows that there is nothing better than testing them both side by side and making your own choice.
_________________________
English is not my first language, please be patient!.

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#2157464 - 09/25/13 01:44 PM Re: Action Comparison Roland FP-80 & Kawai ES7 [Re: cotte]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
Originally Posted By: cotte
I personally own a Kawai ES-7. I would describe the action as heavy and hard bottoming. Matter of fact I have heard a lot of people referring to that DP that way.

I haven't tried the FP-80.

The wide variety of answers you get to your question shows that there is nothing better than testing them both side by side and making your own choice.


Mmmmmmmmmmmmm...Heavy, compared to? When I switch from ES7 to a Kawai upright I always miss how light ES7' keys feel. In my opinion, Kawai and Casio are the best keybed manufacturers.
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2157474 - 09/25/13 02:21 PM Re: Action Comparison Roland FP-80 & Kawai ES7 [Re: Sound Searcher]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3480
Loc: Pennsylvania
Roland's action is lighter. Part of the hard bottoming thing probably has to do with the material that receives the impact, but much of it is likely due to people playing too hard because they are used to heavier actions.

My guess is with the Roland and maybe setting the touch to "light" you can adjust and get a relatively low impact activity. On the other hand, it may not be the best preparation for playing an acoustic.

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#2157514 - 09/25/13 03:37 PM Re: Action Comparison Roland FP-80 & Kawai ES7 [Re: cotte]
iceporky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/26/13
Posts: 149
Loc: Singapore
Originally Posted By: cotte
I personally own a Kawai ES-7. I would describe the action as heavy and hard bottoming. Matter of fact I have heard a lot of people referring to that DP that way.


Kawai ES7's key action is heavy and hard bottoming?! And a lot of people refer to ES7 that way?!

Hmm... I thought people usually say ES7's key action is silky smooth and a real pleasure to play on. Just search 'ES7' on this forum and see for yourself.
_________________________
Kawai CA95, ES7.

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#2157524 - 09/25/13 03:53 PM Re: Action Comparison Roland FP-80 & Kawai ES7 [Re: mabraman]
iceporky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/26/13
Posts: 149
Loc: Singapore
Originally Posted By: mabraman
Mmmmmmmmmmmmm...Heavy, compared to? When I switch from ES7 to a Kawai upright I always miss how light ES7' keys feel.


Same experience here. Tried the Kawai K3, K5, K6 and K8 at a showroom and find their key actions heavier and less smooth than the ES7. However, the K8 that I tried is much smoother and nicer to play on than the rest of the K-series.

But after playing them back and forth for a few rounds, I began to feel comfortable with their key actions.
_________________________
Kawai CA95, ES7.

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#2157558 - 09/25/13 04:49 PM Re: Action Comparison Roland FP-80 & Kawai ES7 [Re: iceporky]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3480
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: iceporky
Kawai ES7's key action is heavy and hard bottoming?! And a lot of people refer to ES7 that way?!

Hmm... I thought people usually say ES7's key action is silky smooth and a real pleasure to play on. Just search 'ES7' on this forum and see for yourself.


I was going to say the same thing. People typically talk about Kawai in exactly the opposite way as Roland: smooth, quiet, soft bottoming-out (relatively speaking). If anything, a higher dynamic weight.

I'm not saying it's better necessarily, but at least I can vouch for the kawai wooden action (which I own) bottoming out relatively quietly and gently.

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#2157635 - 09/25/13 07:29 PM Re: Action Comparison Roland FP-80 & Kawai ES7 [Re: Sound Searcher]
Kawai James Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8866
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Sound Searcher, as the broad range of responses in this thread clearly illustrates, the 'feel' of a piano keyboard action is incredibly subjective.

I would strongly recommend seeking out Roland and Kawai dealers in order to play-test both the FP-80 and ES7.

If you're prepared to inform us of your location, we may even be able to offer suggestions as to where these instruments can be played.

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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#2157636 - 09/25/13 07:36 PM Re: Action Comparison Roland FP-80 & Kawai ES7 [Re: Sound Searcher]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1778
Loc: Pennsylvania
I have never played the Roland FP-80 but I have played the Roland FP4F and after having played my Kawai ES7 I would have a difficult time adjusting to the action on the Roland FP4F because of the way the keys hit "hard" at the bottom. The FP-80 may be entirely different, I have no idea.

I do know that the ES7 action is very smooth and soft at the bottom. In my opinion, it has the best action of any digital I have owned. If the action is your primary concern, I cannot imagine you being disappointed with the ES7 digital piano.
_________________________
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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#2157828 - 09/26/13 05:56 AM Re: Action Comparison Roland FP-80 & Kawai ES7 [Re: Sound Searcher]
enzo.sandrolini Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 271
Loc: Europe - France
Hello Sound Searcher
I have a FP80, and also previoulsy owned an MP6 (I also have aNU1 at the moment :- ), which is closed to the ES7 in terms of action

I really like the Roland action, it is light and a pleasure to play
But you have to make your own test.

By the way, I wanted to add that the action is not 'everything'...the connection between the action and the sound is also a really important point, as well as the DP dynamic
On this point, I find that the Roland is unbeatable.
It is incredible what you can get from this board in terms of nuance

I also used Pianoteq (an other virtuals DP), although Pianoteq is close to the FP80 dynamic, I still prefer the Roland

Takes also that point in consideration when you are making your tests

Cheers


Edited by enzo.sandrolini (09/26/13 05:56 AM)
_________________________
Music is a lifestyle

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#2157835 - 09/26/13 06:23 AM Re: Action Comparison Roland FP-80 & Kawai ES7 [Re: Sound Searcher]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1091
I have played both Roland and Kawai instruments a lot, and in my experience Roland is lighter. They are both excellent. Kawai is closer to an acoustic piano in terms of key weight, but Roland is more 'playable', it repeats very well and is very comfortable. If I was choosing one for pure pleasure, I'd go with Roland. If I was choosing one for a study instrument, I'd go with Kawai or Yamaha. That's only my two cents so try for yourself and decide what you like.

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#2157841 - 09/26/13 06:35 AM Re: Action Comparison Roland FP-80 & Kawai ES7 [Re: joe80]
enzo.sandrolini Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 271
Loc: Europe - France
Originally Posted By: joe80
I have played both Roland and Kawai instruments a lot, and in my experience Roland is lighter. They are both excellent. Kawai is closer to an acoustic piano in terms of key weight, but Roland is more 'playable', it repeats very well and is very comfortable. If I was choosing one for pure pleasure, I'd go with Roland. If I was choosing one for a study instrument, I'd go with Kawai or Yamaha. That's only my two cents so try for yourself and decide what you like.

That is a good summary and the reason why I got the Roland => for pleasure
and the NU1 => for working....
I usually start to work on my NU1, once I am able to play it correctly, I switch to the Roland for the expressivness..what a pleasure then...
_________________________
Music is a lifestyle

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#2157844 - 09/26/13 06:45 AM Re: Action Comparison Roland FP-80 & Kawai ES7 [Re: joe80]
Marko in Boston Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 844
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts
I have palyed the Roland FP7F and own the ES7. IMO the Roland's action is very nice and slightly lighter than the ES7. However, both feel different and as mentioned you really need to try them for yourself (ES7 & FP80) It's a pleasure to play the ES7 every day, even for hours at time on some days without fatigue. The keys are very quiet and I do not feel any hard bottoming out as did with the FP7F.

DMD said it best and I agree with his statement: "I do know that the ES7 action is very smooth and soft at the bottom. In my opinion, it has the best action of any digital I have owned. If the action is your primary concern, I cannot imagine you being disappointed with the ES7 digital piano."

FWIW: check out this part of an ES7 review from AZPianonews.com regarding action. He does mention that it's a bit heavier:



Edited by Marko in Boston (09/26/13 06:49 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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#2157931 - 09/26/13 10:03 AM Re: Action Comparison Roland FP-80 & Kawai ES7 [Re: joe80]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3153
Originally Posted By: joe80
Kawai is closer to an acoustic piano in terms of key weight

I think that is an over-statement, because acoustic pianos vary tremendously.

Funny thing, the first time I played an MP-10, my thought was that it was heavier than just about any acoustic piano I'd ever played. Coincidentally, soon after, I played a gig where there was a supplied Kawai baby grand, and I saw where they got it from!

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#2157957 - 09/26/13 10:44 AM Re: Action Comparison Roland FP-80 & Kawai ES7 [Re: Sound Searcher]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 794
I agree with Joe, actually. I wonder, though, whether the 'average upright' (and I mean average, used uprights of different vintage) varies between Europe (where Joe80 and I are located) and the US. My old Pfeiffer has quite a substantial action, as did other uprights I played here, and as does the grand I own (admitting it's a Kawai). However, I know nothing about the average US upright of older vintage.

And of course we know you are happy with light actions... smile

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