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#2226057 - 02/04/14 10:52 PM Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here
gauguin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 23
Updated on Feb 6, 2014

Hi,

I am thinking about whether to get a Kawai ES100. I like the price-point, i.e. I don't want to go beyond $800 at the moment.

There haven't been many impartial reviews I could find on the internet. So I would like to invite you to

- post links to reviews you know
- if you are an owner share your experiences - what other model in the $500-$800 range should I think about?

Reviews
I am aware of these reviews/impressions (there are others here or there but these posts are the most comprehensive)

- http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2161106/Kawai%20ES100.html

- http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2210705/1.html

- http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2192390/Re_The_DPBSD_Project.html#Post2192390

- here is a nice and detailed review but it's in polish! I google translated it here.

- A partial review is on the wholesale webpage azpianonews here.

Issues?

- Hey no USB port?! No problem. It has a MIDI in and out so just get a MIDI to USB adapter like this on for under $6 with free shipping and you are sorted.

- Latency Kawai F-10H pedal have too much latency/delay. Daniel Richter, an ES100 owner, reports issues with very long delays.
Has this been sorted out yet in the new wave of ES100? May be Kawai James knows more? It would be good to know which model numbers have this issue so that we can check the model number before making a purchase. E.g. BHPhoto now has the ES100 in stock for $799 with free shipping and I would like to know whether they have the latency issue or not.

- Sticky keys Some models have sticky keys. Daniel Richter suggests here here to call Kawai and they can give instructions. Kawai seems to think it is not a permanent problem. Anybody else have this problem. Daniel Richter reports here that a friend got instructions to fix it. It would be good to know what they were. Will update as soon as I find out.

- Dying keys Carkar had a frustrating experience with unresponsive or dying keys. See his/her descriptions and videos here.. See also Carkar's post below.. In the end s/he opted to return the unit and went for a Yamaha P-255, however, this is a $500 step up when new. The Casio PX-350 is a strong substitute. On a personal note all else equal I prefer the esthetics of the ES100 to the Casio PX-350 (fewer buttons).

My analysis so far regarding these issues
Should we worry here about Kawai's production and quality control for an entry model like their ES100. Perhaps they lack experience or use different production lines and quality control on their cheaper models?
If early shipments have the latency, sticky keys, or dying keys problem it is more than likely that getting a replacement from the same store might suffer from the same problems. It would be a good idea to first call the store you bought it from to make sure the store gives you a more recent shipment. If they are not cooperative report the store here.


Feature discussions

- Key action technology. The ES100 benefits from the same key action tech as more advanced Kawais like the ES6, EP3 (US only), CN22, CN32, CN42, CL26, CL35, KDP80, KDP90, CN14, CP119. [Thanks Kawai James!].


I appreciate your support and comments. Given that Kawai ES100 is such a strong yet new product it would be good to have the impressions and reviews in one place.

Gauguin


Edited by gauguin (02/06/14 08:53 AM)

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#2226281 - 02/05/14 11:13 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
gauguin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 23
Videos

Some videos of people playing the ES100.

- Playing. Is it me or does it at times sound tinny? http://youtu.be/fB46HlmTs-M

- Testing key action, release noise and voices http://youtu.be/JuhpXgFsDqs


Edited by gauguin (02/05/14 01:17 PM)

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#2226506 - 02/05/14 06:22 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
carkar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/19/13
Posts: 64
I had owned the Kawai ES100 for about a month, until I returned it do to the pedal issue. While I had it, it was definitely a nice piano, then again, many DP's are. I was not so experienced in DP's and so I bought off of a reaction to an online review that raved about it. After I received, and it malfunctioned, I went out and tried MANY digital pianos. I would have to say that I preferred the Casio PX 350 to the kawai. Now, I just got my Yamaha P-255, which is in a different league than both of these, it is simply awesome.

Fun Fact: I joined this forum because of the ES100 (questions i had, etc), so something good definitely came out of it, because this site is awesome!

Here's a link to my post: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2205900/Help:_Dying_keys_on_digital_pi.html


Edited by carkar (02/05/14 06:25 PM)
_________________________
"The more I play, the more I am thoroughly convinced that the pedal is the soul of the piano. There are cases where the pedal is everything"
-Anton Rubinstein

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#2226841 - 02/06/14 08:49 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: carkar]
gauguin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 23
Hi Carkar,

thank you for sharing this. I updated the first post to reflect your experience. Let me know if I reflected it fairly or if I missed something. Comments welcome so I can update it.

Regards,

Gauguin

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#2226901 - 02/06/14 11:15 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
gauguin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 23
Regarding the issues mentioned above (sticky/dying keys and latency)...

I checked with BHPhotovideo com to see when they received there current batch of ES100 DPs and what the model numbers are to know if they are the first or more recent batches. The person on the customer chat told me:

"Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing.
If there are any issues with your keyboard, you can always exchange it. We would take care of shipping."

Hm....

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#2226909 - 02/06/14 11:24 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
grgisme Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/04/12
Posts: 7
Loc: California
I received this response from Kawai US:

"The pedal issue has been resolved and I think it would be doubtful that a
dealer would have an early model with the problem now. However it would be
impossible to check accurately given the number of dealers."

"So while it's unlikely you would get an affected ES100 at this point if you
did have any issues with the pedal they can be resolved through the dealer
or Kawai's service dept."


Edited by grgisme (02/06/14 11:25 AM)

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#2226920 - 02/06/14 11:35 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: grgisme]
gauguin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 23
Why no recall from Kawai for the "first" batch?
Thanks grgisme,
my message above from BHPhoto in a way confirms what you learned from Kawai directly.

Still one has to wonder: why didn't Kawai simply recall the first batch rather than us customers having to figure out whether the keyboard we just bought is a dud.

I am a little puzzled and disappointed as to the approach by Kawai here! Not in keeping with their reputation as being a worldclass piano builder.

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#2227444 - 02/07/14 12:56 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Blitzn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/04
Posts: 28
Loc: United Kingdom
Hi,

I have recently tried the ES100 and the Casio PX-350. My main criteria was the touch of the keys.

My thoughts:
I was underwhelmed with the PX-350. The action was just about acceptable to me and I didn't care much for the textured ivory and ebony feel which seems a bit tacky to me.

The ES100 had a much better feel and I felt it was a step up from the PX-350. The lack of a display did seem like it could be annoying when needing to edit functions.

The connectivity and USB recording functions on the PX-350 were enticing but I couldn't live with the feel - and the keys were very noisy on the PX-350 (this will drive my wife mad when I have my headphones in).

Hope that helps.
_________________________
Kawai ES100

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#2227458 - 02/07/14 01:17 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Blitzn]
gauguin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 23
Hey Bltizn,

greetings from PA to England (oh bugger oh crumpet)...

Thank you for sharing these impressions - I liked the approach you took on comparing the two.

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#2227549 - 02/07/14 04:47 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Blitzn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/04
Posts: 28
Loc: United Kingdom
Hi Gauguin,

Thanks for the greetings!

I haven't tried anything else in this price range that I feel comfortable playing. I was inclined to buy the more expensive Kawai ES7 but the ES100 will keep me happy in terms of playability.

I also tried the Korg SP250 and SP280 and I would rate them lower then the Casio. This is just for the action only. I never compared the speakers etc and all the finer details i.e. sympathetic resonance (which I don't feel qualified to comment on).
_________________________
Kawai ES100

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#2229230 - 02/10/14 09:10 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Squall21 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/13
Posts: 25
Here's a quick impression of the Kawai ES100 from my own personal experience of owning one. I'll just list what I like and dislike about it so far.

Likes

Style: As a slab-type piano, you really can't be that much different in terms of looks. I do, however, love the clean look of the dash as the buttons only appear on the left side of the board. I also like how the speakers aren't visible to ruin the 'acoustic' look.

Action: The action was very important when it came to finding a decent piano and having a low price point with it. Out of all the ones I looked at at my price point, I decided to choose this one and I haven't regretted since.

Sound: I couldn't have asked for a better sounding simulation of a grand piano and the strings sound amazing too. The speakers aren't crazy loud, but they're clear and it's sufficient for the living room.

Dislikes:

Lack of outputs: Other than the Midi-In, Midi-out, 2 headphone jacks, pedal, and power output, everything else is missing. It would have been very useful if I had a USB output and a Line-out as well.

Functions: it's impossible to change reverb, resonance, etc. without checking the manual. There's no screen to show you what piano sound you're on. Gotta keep my manual handy.

Overall: There are definitely compromises when looking at this piano with its price value, but Kawai does a good job with it by leaving the best parts in and the optional stuff out. 8/10.


Edited by Squall21 (02/10/14 10:20 PM)

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#2229243 - 02/10/14 09:28 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Blitzn]
fizikisto Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 550
Loc: Hernando, MS
Originally Posted By: Blitzn
Hi Gauguin,
I also tried the Korg SP250 and SP280 and I would rate them lower then the Casio. This is just for the action only. I never compared the speakers etc and all the finer details i.e. sympathetic resonance (which I don't feel qualified to comment on).


I recently had a chance to compare a korg SP250 and SP280 side by side in a shop. I was stunned at how horrible the action felt on the SP280. The older SP250 had a much better feel. Why would korg downgrade the action so terribly? I mean of all the places to pinch pennies, that's just about the worst choice they could make. I would also rate both of them lower than the current line of Casio's. I've yet to play any of kawai's digitals, but hope to get a chance to do so soon, because they really seem to put a lot of thought into the design of their actions.
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2230516 - 02/12/14 05:08 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Blitzn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/04
Posts: 28
Loc: United Kingdom
Squall21 - I couldn't agree more with you about your review of the ES100!

Fizikisto - The SP280 I tried was so terrible that I thought the display model must have been broken. I only later learned that they downgraded the action - I can't understand their logic on this one.
_________________________
Kawai ES100

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#2232010 - 02/15/14 11:31 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Blitzn]
gauguin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 23
Hi there,

thank you for those impressions and valuable reviews.
Regarding connections (only one MIDI out and two headphone outs) I see the argument that it would be more convenient to have a USB out straight out of the box but there are cheap and reliable MIDI to USB adapters.

My question then is: did the limited connections on the Kawai ES100 inhibit or restrict you from doing something so far? It would be great if you could share and report a scenario here you encountered.

Thanks,

Gauguin

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#2232250 - 02/15/14 08:05 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Squall21 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/13
Posts: 25
Originally Posted By: gauguin
Hi there,

thank you for those impressions and valuable reviews.
Regarding connections (only one MIDI out and two headphone outs) I see the argument that it would be more convenient to have a USB out straight out of the box but there are cheap and reliable MIDI to USB adapters.

My question then is: did the limited connections on the Kawai ES100 inhibit or restrict you from doing something so far? It would be great if you could share and report a scenario here you encountered.

Thanks,

Gauguin


I haven't gotten around to researching how the Midi-to-USB adapter would work and how much they cost. Unless I used software like Pianoteq or a synth, the connection is rather useless to me. From what I know, Midi-to-USB does not transfer the Kawai's audio sample so I technically cannot record using that connection alone. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

To answer your question, it isn't so much of a 'restriction' and more of an 'inconvenience'. I can still record my play to a computer, but the only way I can do that is through an headphone jack connected to the microphone jack of my computer. There are factors like the volume, quality of the jacks and cable that can contribute to how crisp my audio is going to sound.

I can still get the job done, but I'm sure you can see how having a USB-out would make this task a lot easier. I mean, I could spend another $400~ more for the p255 (probably more in Canada). Although it may be worth it, it's not another 400 I want to spend (at the moment).

Audio through the headphones sound great by the way. However, I was wondering if anyone else had the issue of some of the sound (instruments) not sounding properly through the headphones. For instance, one of the electronic piano sounds is simply too quiet for the headphones. It is completely fine through the buildin speakers. Let me know.

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#2232800 - 02/16/14 08:26 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9346
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Good morning,

Information regarding the ES100 pedal latency mentioned above can be found at the following page:

http://www.kawai.co.jp/worldwide/support/es100.html

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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#2238486 - 02/27/14 01:58 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Kawai James]
SJ88 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/27/14
Posts: 1
Hi,

I'm new here so bear with me. I've been looking for a piano that I can use at home and for occasional gigging and I've almost decided on buying an ES100 but I have some questions.

I haven't been able to try one out but I've tried the KDP90, which apart from being in a cabinet has the same action and sound source but better speakers (from what I understand). Is the KDP90 a fair reflection of what I can expect the ES100 to feel and sound like?

Another question I have is regarding the lack of line outs. I'm completely clueless technologically so could someone tell me with how much trouble would using the headphone outs cause me when connecting to external speakers, PA system..? I'm told the quality would suffer at least. On the subject of speakers, where are they in the ES100?

Finally, am I able to use a MIDI keyboard controller to connect to play the sounds from the ES100 and have them come out of the speakers or line outs of the ES100?

Thanks in advance.

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#2238552 - 02/27/14 03:11 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: SJ88]
pwl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/31/13
Posts: 202
Loc: Bay Area CA
Originally Posted By: SJ88
Another question I have is regarding the lack of line outs. I'm completely clueless technologically so could someone tell me with how much trouble would using the headphone outs cause me when connecting to external speakers, PA system..? I'm told the quality would suffer at least.

Using the headphone jacks is not ideal from a convenience standpoint, but the quality doesn't necessarily have to suffer. If you're not satisfied with the results, using a small, inexpensive mixer between the headphone output and the external speakers/PA system should provide an improvement.

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#2238554 - 02/27/14 03:20 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
blackspaven Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/27/13
Posts: 98
KDP90 and es100 felt the same to me, and the KDP only sounded a bit better cos of the obvious cabinet based reasons, so yes.

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#2238693 - 02/27/14 06:40 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: SJ88]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9346
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
SJ88, welcome to the forum.

Originally Posted By: SJ88
Is the KDP90 a fair reflection of what I can expect the ES100 to feel and sound like?


Yes, as you note, they share the same core keyboard and sound technologies.

Originally Posted By: SJ88
On the subject of speakers, where are they in the ES100?


They two speakers are directly below the top panel, on the left and right side.

Originally Posted By: SJ88
Finally, am I able to use a MIDI keyboard controller to connect to play the sounds from the ES100 and have them come out of the speakers or line outs of the ES100?


Yes. Conversely, you can also use the ES100's keyboard action to control another MIDI device.

I hope this helps.

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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#2255828 - 04/02/14 08:32 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Blitzn]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3286
Originally Posted By: fizikisto
I recently had a chance to compare a korg SP250 and SP280 side by side in a shop. I was stunned at how horrible the action felt on the SP280. The older SP250 had a much better feel. Why would korg downgrade the action so terribly? I mean of all the places to pinch pennies, that's just about the worst choice they could make.

Originally Posted By: Blitzn
Fizikisto - The SP280 I tried was so terrible that I thought the display model must have been broken. I only later learned that they downgraded the action - I can't understand their logic on this one.

It might be that they could not profitably sell a model with RH3 at the desired price point.

See http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2567780/2/Jerry_the_K_Mike_Martin_keyboa
and look for the posts by jerrythek and The Piano Man.

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#2256501 - 04/03/14 08:34 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Mac2010 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 31
I've been noticing alot of people are leaning toward the kawai es100 over yamaha. One question, would you purchase a Yamaha p155 (I know they have been replaced with the 255), if you had a Chance to? This will be my first digital piano.

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#2256544 - 04/03/14 10:09 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Mac2010]
lang15 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/14
Posts: 56
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mac2010
I've been noticing alot of people are leaning toward the kawai es100 over yamaha. One question, would you purchase a Yamaha p155 (I know they have been replaced with the 255), if you had a Chance to? This will be my first digital piano.


I bought a P155 last month and I love it. I never found a store to test the Kawai ES100, so I ended up going with the Yamaha. I really enjoy it, I play it a few hours every day. I would not hesitate to buy it again. I actually prefer the sound of it over the P255.

I was looking to get back into playing again a couple of months ago since I took about 5 years of lessons when I was a kid. I initially bought the Yamaha NP11 in December, but quickly found out that was a bad mistake as the piano sound was terrible (like a toy), the keys were unweighted, and I couldn't learn some songs I wanted because there weren't enough keys! I did a little research and then bought the Yamaha P105. Well it wasn't bad but I was not quite satisfied. The sound wasn't everything I hoped for and the bass notes did seem overpowering. I did some more research and listened to hours and hours of youtube videos and posted on this forum. I returned the P105 after 1 week and bought the P155.

Again, I never tested the ES100 but I absolutely love my P155 and have no regrets buying it.

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#2311924 - 08/06/14 12:30 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: lang15]
Sushi Hammer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/13
Posts: 58
Loc: Los Angeles
While this thread has not been active for quite some time, I could't help commenting because recently I've been shopping for a new digital piao to replace my Yamaha P-155.

After reading many reviews on this site and others, I've decided on getting on the Kawai ES100. It seems odd because, price point-wise, it seems like a step down.

But my biggest hang-up with the p-155 has been the action. While I have never had a problem actually playing it, most times I switch over to an acoustic, it seems I have to readjust because the action on the p-155 seems a tad heavy.

While, even though I live in L.A and can't find a Kawai ES100 to test out, I'm convinced that switching to the ES100 will be a step up for me, in terms of my needs.

I did consider the Kawai ES7 and the Roland F130R for awhile, but I don't need all the bells and whistles.

That said, I think the p-155 is great people with great sound. And I 100% agree that the P-105 (which I also previously owned) was really boomy on the lower keys).

But action, as subjective as it is, is not to my liking and I'm looking forward to my new relationship with the ES100.
_________________________
Roland F-130R
Formerly: Yamaha P-155 | Casio CDP-120 | Yamaha P-105 | Williams Allegro (had it for two weeks)

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#2311937 - 08/06/14 01:11 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Sushi Hammer]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1744
Loc: Portugal
Originally Posted By: Sushi Hammer
...... my biggest hang-up with the p-155 has been the action. While I have never had a problem actually playing it, most times I switch over to an acoustic, it seems I have to readjust because the action on the p-155 seems a tad heavy.

While, even though I live in L.A and can't find a Kawai ES100 to test out, I'm convinced that switching to the ES100 will be a step up for me, in terms of my needs.

I did consider the Kawai ES7 and the Roland F130R for awhile, but I don't need all the bells and whistles.

That said, I think the p-155 is great people with great sound. And I 100% agree that the P-105 (which I also previously owned) was really boomy on the lower keys).

But action, as subjective as it is, is not to my liking and I'm looking forward to my new relationship with the ES100.


But are you sure the ES100 will be less heavy than your Yamaha GH action? I may be wrong, but I thought Kawai's RH (on the MP6) to be heavier, if anything, than Yamaha GH. I know that the ES100 has an older action, called AHA IV-F which could be substantially different from RH, or not.

On the other hand, the action on the Kawai ES7, (RHII) is really nice, as is their pro-end GF action smile
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2311948 - 08/06/14 02:05 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3698
Loc: Northern England.
You'd be far happier with the es7.IMO. It's one of the few pianos l'd consider swapping mine for.
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes — but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2311953 - 08/06/14 02:21 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: toddy]
Sushi Hammer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/13
Posts: 58
Loc: Los Angeles
Hard to say for sure, since nobody in town has a ES100 for me to play around with. I'm just going by Tim's review at AZPianoNews. I realize that not everybody agrees with his opinions, but after spending many hours reading other peoples' impressions, it seems a good bet that the action of the Kawai is what I'm looking for.

If I'm wrong -- hey I still wind up with a great keyboard.
_________________________
Roland F-130R
Formerly: Yamaha P-155 | Casio CDP-120 | Yamaha P-105 | Williams Allegro (had it for two weeks)

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#2311954 - 08/06/14 02:22 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12043
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I have not played the ES7 or the ES100, so I cannot comment on the feel. However, you said something here that I'd like to address:

Quote:
I did consider the Kawai ES7 and the Roland F130R for awhile, but I don't need all the bells and whistles.


A lot of people say the same thing: they don't need all the other stuff, just a great action and sound. However, DPs are built to meet the desires of as wide a client base as possible. So with those people that are more demanding of the action and sound, they also may be more of a professional and thus do need the "bells and whistles" (really, what DP comes with these two sounds in particular, I have no idea :P ). At any rate, when you move up in price point, you will get a lot of what you may not need, but you also get the better action and sound that will not be found on lesser-priced models.

So yes, you end up paying for features you may never use, but it's unavoidable except in certain cases like the Kawai VPC1 which is as bare-bones as you can get and for a very specific market. So the only solutions are: go with a used DP so you spend less but get a couple years old top of the line model, bite the bullet and get the action and sound and then use as much of the other features to make yourself feel better about the cost if you have to, or compromise on your desires for a great action and sound.

Considering that your biggest gripe with the P155 was the action, I'd think long and hard about buying a DP without testing the action first. Only you can determine if the ES100 will be an improvement, or if you need to look at the ES7 and other models.
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#2311956 - 08/06/14 02:28 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: peterws]
Sushi Hammer Offline
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Yes -- in fact, I recently made friend over at Kawai and he says without a doubt, I would have zero regrets about spending a few more bucks on the ES7.

I was, in fact, very close to deciding in favor of the ES7, until I thought about the insanity of plunking down $2500 for something I can't try in person.

Hopefully, Kawai broadens their dealer network for digitals.
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#2311958 - 08/06/14 02:35 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
toddy Online   content
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That's a very well said general statement from Morodiene: the quality of digital pianos dramatically increases in basic qualities: piano sound and touch, as you go from basic/ budget models, up to the mid-range models. I believe most people on this site would consider the mid- and mid-high range to give the best satisfaction, quality and value for money in digital pianos.

Also, I would add that the common practice of almost denigrating 'bells and whistles' by new buyers may be a little misplaced. You might really benefit from well designed and implemented sounds, recording facilities, improved amplifiers and speakers and more professional interface options. These are, I take it, the famous 'bells & whistles' of which are so often spoken....


Edited by toddy (08/06/14 02:37 PM)
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#2311962 - 08/06/14 02:42 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: toddy]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: toddy


Also, I would add that the common practice of almost denigrating 'bells and whistles' by new buyers may be a little misplaced. You might really benefit from well designed and implemented sounds, recording facilities, improved amplifiers and speakers and more professional interface options. These are, I take it, the famous 'bells & whistles' of which are so often spoken....
Likewise a good point! You may never think you'll use or need something, but once you do, you may think why you didn't try it sooner.

Recording oneself can be extremely helpful in assessing how you sound as well as help prepare for a performance, share your love of music with others, learning to play with others by playing along with the accompaniments, or try your hand at composing/arranging. Having better speakers or connectivity with other equipment is another one of those hidden features that can make one's life much easier.

Until the time at which modular DPs can be purchased and you can add features a la carte, it's best to look at the DPs that have what you want, rather than focus on what they have that you don't want (or don't think you want/need). smile
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#2311963 - 08/06/14 02:42 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Morodiene]
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Thanks for the advice. What I do have available for testing are lots of other pianos and DPs I come across. Recently, on vacation I had the opportunity play a couple grands.

In traveling, I also spend time in Guitar Centers, Sam Ash's whenever I get a chance which gives me the chance to play Yamaha keyboards and keyboards of other brands.

So given that, I've formulated a general impression of Yamahas vs. other keyboards -- and that's what led me to consider the Roland's and Kawai's.

It's a bit of gamble, but I've tried as much as possible to stack the odds in my favor.


Edited by Sushi Hammer (08/06/14 02:43 PM)
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#2311964 - 08/06/14 02:47 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: toddy]
Sushi Hammer Offline
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The reason why I know the "bells and whistles" are not a big issue for me is that, I barely touch any of them on my P-155. eek

In fact, I spend about 99% of the time on "Grand Piano" and "Rhodes."
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#2311965 - 08/06/14 02:50 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
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Initially, I was concerned about getting something that is generally considered an entry level DP -- but after actually exchanging messages with highly experience players, as well as folks who use the ES100 for gigs (with amp of course), I gained confidence in this decision.

When I get my hands on it -- I'll let you guys know the outcome.
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#2312028 - 08/06/14 05:22 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Sushi Hammer]
Daniel Richter Offline
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I will confirm you one thing, the Kawai ES100 for sure have less heavier keys than Yamaha's GH. Some people actually prefer it heavy.

ES100 keys are not light nor heavy. I find it maybe slightly light, but very little. So in regard on low price and get lighter keys than the Yamaha P155, is good choice.

Going step up like Kawai ES7 would be better of course, not for bell and whistles, but because have better sound and key action. Although I would try it first because as far I hear Kawai ES7 have a bit heavier keys than Kawai ES100.

So, good choice. I think you should be happy with it, from what you tell us.

PS: If you get your ES100 and a USB to midi cable to connect to your computer, let me know so you can help me with some test I always wanted, but noone help me so far.
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#2312056 - 08/06/14 06:23 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Daniel Richter]
Sushi Hammer Offline
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Thank you Dan for your awesome insights. Indeed, your project, "Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$" was one of the factors that led me to settle with the ES100.

Aside from other sources, I also heard back from another owner of the ES100 who replied to my questions in Amazon Answers and said:

"I've played piano for 10+ years and I am very much pleased with this keyboard. As far as the "fullness" produced by the speakers - The warmth and color doesn't sound fake and cheap like other keyboards. When compared to my 6 foot grand Kawai, this keyboard has the best possible fullness that a keyboard can offer. I have 2 Yamaha Clavinova electric pianos and to be honest, I prefer the ambiance produced by my Kawai keyboard much better. Also, the keyboard's action is almost the same as the grand. Awesome product!"

So, I'm going Wow -- how can this be possible on such an inexpensive keyboard? But I keep hearing the same comments over and over again.
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#2312078 - 08/06/14 07:09 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Morodiene Offline
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Sushi: I purchased my Kawai MP11 somewhat blind as well, as I didn't have a dealer that carried it. I just understood the return policy with the vendor if I needed to do it, but I was pretty sure it was right for me. It sounds like you may be like this as well. I don't recommend buying blind, but if you understand what you're getting into and know how to return it if need be, then by all means, go for it! smile
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#2312111 - 08/06/14 08:52 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Sushi Hammer]
Kawai James Online   content
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Good morning Sushi Hammer,

Originally Posted By: Sushi Hammer
I was, in fact, very close to deciding in favor of the ES7, until I thought about the insanity of plunking down $2500 for something I can't try in person.


Please note that the ES7 retails for $1999.

Please use the dealer locator on the KawaiUS.com website to find Kawai dealers in your area. You may also wish to visit some of the pro-oriented stores, such as ER Piano/Music Gallery on West Olympic Blvd, or Pierre's Fine Pianos on West Pico Blvd. As always, remember to call ahead before you set-off to check that the store has the piano in stock and ready to play-test.

Finally, you can also call Kawai America (based in Rancho Dominguez, LA) directly to enquire into stores that carry the instruments you are consider.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
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#2312121 - 08/06/14 09:27 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: toddy]
anotherscott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: toddy
But are you sure the ES100 will be less heavy than your Yamaha GH action? I may be wrong, but I thought Kawai's RH (on the MP6) to be heavier, if anything, than Yamaha GH. I know that the ES100 has an older action, called AHA IV-F which could be substantially different from RH, or not.

FWIW, I found the P155 and MP6 to have roughly comparably heavy actions, and the ES100 to be lighter. I actually like the ES100 action best of the three.

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#2312165 - 08/06/14 10:59 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Morodiene]
Sushi Hammer Offline
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I guess that's reality of this era.

In my business, my closest business partners and friends are people I've never met face to face. Yet, we do joint ventures on a regular basis.

In the realm of digital pianos, I'm leaning on the opinions of people I've never met, yet whom I feel are trustworthy. Nothing wrong with that. I've bought a ton of expensive stuff from Amazon on the basis of that.
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#2312168 - 08/06/14 11:14 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Kawai James]
Sushi Hammer Offline
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Hi James -- I've touch-based with those stores -- as well as Knauer Piano in Agoura Hills which appears to carry a lot of Kawai.

But the stores that are really close to me, i.e. Sam Ash and Guitar Center, don't have Kawai, although I see Yamaha, Roland, and Korg -- and many others there. It's strange given that in the 1980s I was reading the album notes of David Benoit's Freedom at Midnight and noticed he played a Kawai Midi Grand. Kawai has pedigree that goes back decades and deserve a spot in these mega-giant stores.

Still...I've gone full bore on researching this. I'd love to get the ES7, but at the end of the day -- I have to remind myself that I don't utilize 80% of my bells and whistles (a taboo term around here grin )on my Yamaha p-155 so I probably don't need much of what the ES7 has to offer. yes, I do understand the action is probably more nuanced, but hey -- I'm confident that I'll like the ES100 more than my p-155.


Edited by Sushi Hammer (08/06/14 11:15 PM)
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#2312183 - 08/07/14 12:17 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Sushi Hammer]
Kawai James Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Sushi Hammer
Hi James -- I've touch-based with those stores -- as well as Knauer Piano in Agoura Hills which appears to carry a lot of Kawai.


Okay, I see. Did any of those dealers have an ES7, ES100, or Kawai digital piano with similar action/sound specifications that you could try?

Originally Posted By: Sushi Hammer
But the stores that are really close to me, i.e. Sam Ash and Guitar Center, don't have Kawai, although I see Yamaha, Roland, and Korg -- and many others there.


Yes, those 'big box' chains do stock Kawai DPs (such as the MP and ES ranges), however they are typically sold online rather in brick and mortar stores. This area of business is handled by Kawai America not Kawai Japan, so I'm afraid I'm not privy to why Kawai instruments are less visible in these chain stores.

Originally Posted By: Sushi Hammer
It's strange given that in the 1980s I was reading the album notes of David Benoit's Freedom at Midnight and noticed he played a Kawai Midi Grand. Kawai has pedigree that goes back decades and deserve a spot in these mega-giant stores.


I believe there are strengths and weaknesses to selling instruments in such stores. Kawai has its roots in acoustic pianos (the company was established in 1927), and has a strong network of acoustic piano dealers throughout the US. It's therefore natural for Kawai to also sell its digital pianos (especially the more home-oriented models) through the same established dealer network.

Originally Posted By: Sushi Hammer
I'd love to get the ES7, but at the end of the day -- I have to remind myself that I don't utilize 80% of my bells and whistles (a taboo term around here grin )on my Yamaha p-155 so I probably don't need much of what the ES7 has to offer.


The ES7 has some great features, however I wouldn't necessarily refer to them as bells and whistles. The fundamental qualities of the ES7 are excellent keyboard touch and excellent sound quality - that's really what you're investing in. Just because an instrument does offer additional functions, there is no obligation to use them.

Don't get me wrong, the ES100 is a great piano - arguably one of the best models in its price range. However, as others have suggested, I wouldn't expect it to be a considerable improvement over your current Yamaha. The ES7 on the other hand, would be a big step-up.

Best of luck with your purchase.

Kind regards,
James
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#2312553 - 08/07/14 05:09 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Kawai James]
Sushi Hammer Offline
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After numerous compelling suggestions to open up the field of candidates, I've launched this thread on Best Digital Keyboards for Under $2000 - Updated for 2014.
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#2312660 - 08/07/14 08:55 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Kawai James Online   content
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That's a good idea, although quite a lot of work given all variety of instruments available within that price range.

By the way, I'm still a little surprised that none of the stores you contacted had the ES100, ES7, or similar instruments available for you to play-test...

Cheers,
James
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#2313770 - 08/10/14 10:07 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
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I finally got to spend more time on an ES100, so I thought I'd add my impressions... and while I'm at it, mention a couple of things I wasn't sure about that maybe someone (James?) can clear up, just as points of interest...

In terms of piano sound, I think the sound itself is better than Casio's (PX150/350).

Action was pretty nice. I like it better than the Yamaha GHS. It's a tougher call against the Casios. The Casios do feel a bit more piano-authentic I think, and I like their matted finish, and they have the bonus of the third sensor. OTOH, the Kawai is not bad, is a little lighter/quicker and less sluggish, and I think better connects to its internal sounds. The expressivity from quiet to loud seemed closer to what I experience on a real piano with the Kawai than with the Casio. I also liked the variety and adjustability of the Kawai's piano sounds.

The Kawai speakers crank a bit more than Casio's too (also providing some nice visceral feedback through the fingers), though are not nearly as loud as my older Roland FP2 or FP4. (The ES100 speakers would still not be loud enough to play, say, a cocktail hour gig with, which you could do with those Rolands.)

Overall, I can say that I just enjoyed playing piano more on the Kawai than on the Casio.

Perhaps as a result of putting all the dollars into sound and feel, though, the Kawai skimps on interface, it's a pretty awkward piano to get around, with only 4 patch selection buttons, and no LED display or lights that indicate what sound you have selected. I liked that you could set up registrations, but again, there are only four of them, and no light to indicate current selection.

I did not play with the MIDI settings. But although obviously somewhat minimal as a controller, I did notice in the manual that the ES100 can send MIDI Program Change messages, and while the manual is unclear, it appears that you may be able to store that in a registration. This is (or would be) a great feature, though again hindered by the fact that you can only create four registrations. You could use it, for example, to more easily grab some extra sounds from something like an attached iPad/iPhone. (Though it would be nicer if the ES100 had line inputs.)

I did not play with the split/layer feature, though I did notice the absence of a feature I like on splits/layers, you cannot pan the individual sounds left and right. There is also no easy way to adjust the balance of the two split/layered sounds on the fly (you have to use keys, that gets back to the issue of skimping on interface). You can create and save preset balances, but again, you only have those four registrations to work with. Something else I didn't get a chance to check is how the sustain pedal affects split sounds. Ideally, if you're playing LH bass, you want the sustain pedal to affect your RH piano playing but not your LH bass playing... I don't know how the ES100 handles that.

A major disappointment in the ES100 is in the alternate sounds. I know, it's a piano first, but even as a piano, there are some obvious limitations. There's no honky tonk sound, and the Rhodes/Wurli are pretty disappointing. For one thing, they have chorus effects on them that cannot be disabled.

But if I simply wanted a sub-$1k DP just to play straight piano on (using self-contained sounds), the ES100 would probably be my pick. It sounds and feels good, and the piano sounds themselves are nicely varied and customizable. For VST use, lightest travel weight, or more bells and whistles, I'd look to Casio... and if you don't need speakers, particularly the PX-5S which is by far the most flexible in terms of what you can do both internally and externally, with a lot of very usable additional sounds, a lot of controller functions. Though even as customizable as the PX-5S, I suspect I would still find the ES100 more satisfying to play strictly as a piano.

I wish Kawai made something that was really capable and also light. I'd like to see an "MP7L" - a lightweight gigging version - that would simply be the current MP7 except with a 73 key version of the (presumably lighter) action that's in the ES100. With an external PSU if need be in order to get the electronics to fit into a smaller-than-88 enclosure and/or minimize the weight. Personally, if it were light enough (i.e. no heavier than the ES100), I would buy that even if it were the same price as the full MP7!

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#2313775 - 08/10/14 10:17 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Kawai James Online   content
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts Scott.

I didn't write the ES100 manual, so am less familiar with the interface than other models, however I will check your queries and respond when I have the answers.

I think your suggestion for an MP7L would be very interesting, however I'm not sure how easy it would be to produce a sub-88-key model with the existing action design.

Just out of curiosity, may I ask where did you play the ES100?

Cheers,
James
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#2313786 - 08/10/14 11:10 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Kawai James]
anotherscott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Kawai James
I think your suggestion for an MP7L would be very interesting, however I'm not sure how easy it would be to produce a sub-88-key model with the existing action design.

Well if you don't know, I certainly don't. ;-) My completely uninformed thought was that, since I don't care about it being any cheaper than the MP7, it would be okay for it to have the "expense" of an 88 action built into it, so maybe instead of tooling up to specifically manufacture a new 7x key action (which might require a significant initial investment), they could take one of their 88 actions and basically lop off a bunch of it to bring it down to 7x keys to fit into a smaller and lighter enclosure. But whether this is feasible at all (or which Kawai actions might lend themselves to this), I haven't a clue! But Nord has certainly shown that there is a market for good sounding, lightweight boards, even if they are pricey and/or less fully featured than the competition, or if they don't have the best actions. I think a 30-ish pound 7x-key MP7 would be a pretty hot board, even if the action were "only" as good as that of the ES100.

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Just out of curiosity, may I ask where did you play the ES100?

I picked up a used one and had it at my house for a while. Unfortunately, I ended up needing to travel a lot, and I didn't have quite as much time with it as I would have liked within its eligible-for-return period. If the speakers had been loud enough for me to do cocktail hour gigs with it, I might have kept it, even despite the shortcomings in interface and EPs and other sounds, because it was a bit lighter and also more enjoyable to play (again, strictly as a piano) than the Roland FP2/FP4 I've used for that purpose.

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#2313788 - 08/10/14 11:25 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: anotherscott]
voxpops Offline
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Originally Posted By: anotherscott
I wish Kawai made something that was really capable and also light. I'd like to see an "MP7L" - a lightweight gigging version - that would simply be the current MP7 except with a 73 key version of the (presumably lighter) action that's in the ES100. With an external PSU if need be in order to get the electronics to fit into a smaller-than-88 enclosure and/or minimize the weight. Personally, if it were light enough (i.e. no heavier than the ES100), I would buy that even if it were the same price as the full MP7!

+1

I thought long and hard about the ES100 as a "cocktail hour" keyboard. It's the right weight ballpark, has nice piano sounds from what I've heard on YouTube, and I recall the AHA IV action in the MP5 was very competent. But the low output from the speakers means that you can never use it standalone, and the lack of line-outs is slightly problematic. I could probably get by with four preset registrations for that kind of gig, but changes from the norm would be awkward. I know it's aimed squarely at the home market, but it would be great if there was something at that weight that would suffice for small coffee house type gigs.

At the moment, in the sub 40lbs with speakers sector, the Casios have inadequate amplification, the Roland FP-50's speakers distort with LH bass (as do the Yamaha P-105's), the Korg SP-280 has no bass samples and the action is subpar, and that just leaves the Kurzweil SPS4-8 (which I've not tried) and the Yamaha P-255 (which I have). While I didn't really warm to the sound of the 255, I have to say that it is an all-round competent contender in this category.
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#2313792 - 08/10/14 11:40 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: voxpops]
anotherscott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: voxpops
At the moment, in the sub 40lbs with speakers sector, the Casios have inadequate amplification, the Roland FP-50's speakers distort with LH bass (as do the Yamaha P-105's), the Korg SP-280 has no bass samples and the action is subpar, and that just leaves the Kurzweil SPS4-8 (which I've not tried) and the Yamaha P-255 (which I have). While I didn't really warm to the sound of the 255, I have to say that it is an all-round competent contender in this category.

I just know you're going to pick up another used FP-4 one of these days!

(And actually, I have one I intend to sell, except the balance knob is finnicky. When playing splits/layers, it has a tendency to only pass the main sound unless you get the knob in just the right position, or can hold it in place with one hand while playing. ;-) I guess that pot needs to be replaced. I wish I knew a competent keyboard tech nearby.)

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#2313811 - 08/10/14 12:44 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: anotherscott]
Digitalguy Offline
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Originally Posted By: anotherscott
But Nord has certainly shown that there is a market for good sounding, lightweight boards, even if they are pricey and/or less fully featured than the competition, or if they don't have the best actions. I think a 30-ish pound 7x-key MP7 would be a pretty hot board, even if the action were "only" as good as that of the ES100.


There is indeed a demand for a shorter and light instruments, with good sound and action, and I have said it too elsewhere. And not necessarily cheaper. As for shorter pianos, there is the RD64 and while 64 is not ideal (73/6 would be perfect), it has an extension on the left that makes it longer, so it partly loses the room gained with less keys... (buttons could have been put above the keys like on FP50). As for light ones (but not shorter) there are the privias, but the sound in my opinion is not on par with the competition. And of course, the Nord, but then it's the action that is not on par with the better competitors. I think there is no need to use the top actions, the ones on ES100, Privia and in my opinion also Feel G are good enough for this purpose and better than the Fatar, than GHS and than those implemented in some Korg keyboards (like the Kross 88). While good amplification would be ideal, it's probably asking too much from a light instrument, but there are now acceptable battery powered solutions, and who knows maybe we'll all be surprised one day by some manufacturer even on this point...
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#2313826 - 08/10/14 01:41 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: anotherscott]
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Originally Posted By: anotherscott
I just know you're going to pick up another used FP-4 one of these days!

You may well be right! I keep a weather eye out for a good example, and still regret parting with mine. It's nowhere near as sophisticated as the latest DPs, but if you accept its limitations, it just seems to be a good fit for certain types of gig.

In the same vein, I was listening to a jazz quartet the other day whose pianist was using a P-155. It sounded great (of course it helped that the guy was a great player as well!).
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#2314601 - 08/12/14 03:56 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: peterws]
Sushi Hammer Offline
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Originally Posted By: peterws
You'd be far happier with the es7.IMO. It's one of the few pianos l'd consider swapping mine for.


Just curious -- what piano you currently have?


Edited by Sushi Hammer (08/12/14 03:56 PM)
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#2319138 - 08/24/14 07:37 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
jtsn Offline
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Just got an ES100 (Made in China) an I'm quite impressed with it overall for the price I paid.

The key action feels great, although it requires a quite high minimum force (MIDI velocity 10-20), before it registers a sound and not just a silent note (MIDI velocity 0), which makes it hard to play pianissimo. I hope this is by design and not a defect. The highest MIDI velocity the keyboard registers is around 90, it doesn't get up to 127.

The piano sound takes some time to get used to (when coming from Yamaha), but it works. I especially like the editing/tuning options available. The noise effects (fallback noise, damper noise) feel a bit exaggerated, but they can be switched off. A thing I miss sound-wise is a good strings patch for layering ("Slow Strings" and "String Ensemble" don't do it).

The only real downside was the included German language manual, it has untranslated pages and mentions functions like 2 hours of classical piano demo pieces the device doesn't offer. Also the quick reference card could include MIDI functions (like Local Off etc.).

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#2319149 - 08/24/14 08:15 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
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jtsn
Can you adjust the touch settings for better pianissimo playing? Or is that midi velocity issue with the touch setting already altered?

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#2319162 - 08/24/14 08:57 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: fizikisto]
jtsn Offline
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Originally Posted By: fizikisto
Can you adjust the touch settings for better pianissimo playing? Or is that midi velocity issue with the touch setting already altered?

Tested the touch settings, they don't affect the minimum velocity required to get a sound, they only make the resulting sound louder or quieter (which may help, I test that later). All keypresses always register over MIDI, they are just sent as Note On velocity 0 (silent) below a specific force threshold, so I don't think it's a mechanical issue either.

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#2319164 - 08/24/14 09:07 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: jtsn]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: jtsn
Originally Posted By: fizikisto
Can you adjust the touch settings for better pianissimo playing? Or is that midi velocity issue with the touch setting already altered?

Tested the touch settings, they don't affect the minimum velocity required to get a sound, they only make the resulting sound louder or quieter (which may help, I test that later). All keypresses always register over MIDI, they are just sent as Note On velocity 0 (silent) below a specific force threshold, so I don't think it's a mechanical issue either.

This is by design, because acoustic pianos have inertia to overcome before the note sounds, and there is also the let-off that happens partway through pressing a key. If that isn't pressed with the right velocity, there will be no sound. If you have been previously playing on a piano that does not have this effect, then it will take some getting used to.
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#2319170 - 08/24/14 09:17 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
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Morodiene,
Ah yes, good catch! Though it seems like that might be something worth making into a tweakable setting. I mean, that's the power of digital pianos, we can emulate the real thing pretty well for those who want the most authentic experience possible, but we don't necessarily have to be constrained by their limitations, at least in principle.
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#2319177 - 08/24/14 10:02 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: fizikisto]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: fizikisto
Morodiene,
Ah yes, good catch! Though it seems like that might be something worth making into a tweakable setting. I mean, that's the power of digital pianos, we can emulate the real thing pretty well for those who want the most authentic experience possible, but we don't necessarily have to be constrained by their limitations, at least in principle.


There have been some on this forum who have disabled this in their DPs, (although I am not sure if they have on the ES100). Of course, that voids the warranty.

Personally, I think it's a great feature for piano sounds and not a limitation, but if you are playing non-piano sounds it would be nice to have that feature taken off.

PS- I would not call the let-off a limitation except to say it's a limitation of the player's technique that can easily be adjusted with a little effort :P
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#2319301 - 08/24/14 03:16 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Morodiene]
jtsn Offline
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Originally Posted By: Morodiene
This is by design, because acoustic pianos have inertia to overcome before the note sounds, and there is also the let-off that happens partway through pressing a key. If that isn't pressed with the right velocity, there will be no sound. If you have been previously playing on a piano that does not have this effect, then it will take some getting used to.

Interesting. My only comparison is a Hoffmann & Kühne upright acoustic piano owned by a family member, which doesn't seem to support this feature. wink But it also has a lighter action than the ES100, so the threshold may just be lower.

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#2319333 - 08/24/14 05:35 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: jtsn]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: jtsn
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
This is by design, because acoustic pianos have inertia to overcome before the note sounds, and there is also the let-off that happens partway through pressing a key. If that isn't pressed with the right velocity, there will be no sound. If you have been previously playing on a piano that does not have this effect, then it will take some getting used to.

Interesting. My only comparison is a Hoffmann & Kühne upright acoustic piano owned by a family member, which doesn't seem to support this feature. wink But it also has a lighter action than the ES100, so the threshold may just be lower.
Upright actions are different than grands. Most DPs try to emulate the feel of a grand. The ES100 is a lower-end model, so whether or not it successfully does this is up to debate (I have not played the ES100 to say either way).
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#2319407 - 08/24/14 10:17 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: jtsn]
anotherscott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: jtsn
All keypresses always register over MIDI, they are just sent as Note On velocity 0 (silent) below a specific force threshold

MIDI interprets Note On Velocity 0 as being identical to Note Off. Note On Velocity 1 may either be silent or very quiet, depending on how a manufacturer chooses to implement it. On a DP with string resonance, it may be possible to press the notes so quietly that they don't sound (using MIDI Velocity 1), yet still have those pressed keys generate resonances when other notes are subsequently played.

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#2319467 - 08/25/14 02:04 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: anotherscott]
doremi Offline
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Originally Posted By: anotherscott
I wish Kawai made something that was really capable and also light. I'd like to see an "MP7L" - a lightweight gigging version - that would simply be the current MP7 except with a 73 key version ...

Late to the party ... are we not back at that biz idea a while ago? Provide services to saw off not needed keys from customers' favorite DPs to reduce schlep weight? grin

+1000 to 73/76 keys with weighted actions, no kidding
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#2319492 - 08/25/14 04:19 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: anotherscott]
jtsn Offline
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Originally Posted By: anotherscott
MIDI interprets Note On Velocity 0 as being identical to Note Off. Note On Velocity 1 may either be silent or very quiet, depending on how a manufacturer chooses to implement it. On a DP with string resonance, it may be possible to press the notes so quietly that they don't sound (using MIDI Velocity 1), yet still have those pressed keys generate resonances when other notes are subsequently played.

It's indeed velocity 1 and not 0 for the Note On event. I missed that by just looking at the velocity graph instead of the actual numerical values.

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#2319522 - 08/25/14 06:38 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: doremi]
anotherscott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: doremi
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
I wish Kawai made something that was really capable and also light. I'd like to see an "MP7L" - a lightweight gigging version - that would simply be the current MP7 except with a 73 key version ...

Late to the party ... are we not back at that biz idea a while ago? Provide services to saw off not needed keys from customers' favorite DPs to reduce schlep weight? grin

Kind of... but in this case, for me, knocking keys off the MP7 probably still wouldn't make it light enough, so that's why I suggested pairing the MP7 electronics with a short version of the ES100 action instead, since it appears to be their lighter mechanism to begin with. Though I guess, if the actions are electronically compatible, someone could attempt to custom build such a thing out of the combination of an MP7 and an ES100! At least if budget is no issue... ;-)

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#2319525 - 08/25/14 06:43 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: jtsn]
anotherscott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: jtsn
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
This is by design, because acoustic pianos have inertia to overcome before the note sounds, and there is also the let-off that happens partway through pressing a key. If that isn't pressed with the right velocity, there will be no sound. If you have been previously playing on a piano that does not have this effect, then it will take some getting used to.

Interesting. My only comparison is a Hoffmann & Kühne upright acoustic piano owned by a family member, which doesn't seem to support this feature. wink But it also has a lighter action than the ES100, so the threshold may just be lower.

I don't think there is any acoustic piano where it is not possible to press a key so slowly that no sound occurs. (And again, if you do that, and hold those keys down while playing other keys, you will hear resonances from those undamped strings, so it is not necessarily useless to be able to do that... though for practical purposes, darn close. ;-) )

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#2319537 - 08/25/14 07:21 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: anotherscott]
jtsn Offline
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Originally Posted By: anotherscott
I don't think there is any acoustic piano where it is not possible to press a key so slowly that no sound occurs.

Of course, once I touch a key slight enough on the upright piano in question, there is no audible sound either, because the hammer doesn't reach the strings anymore. So I conclude this:

  • Digitals tend to provide heavier actions than some actual acoustic pianos (especially uprights not made in Japan). smile
  • Dynamic range is quite limited compared to an acoustic. There is a defined minimum volume the sound engine can produce before it drops off into silence.
  • On some Kawai digitals you can disable the let-off simulation, so all light keypresses produce a sound at minimum volume (which I don't think it's good idea for training piano technique).


Quote:
(And again, if you do that, and hold those keys down while playing other keys, you will hear resonances from those undamped strings, so it is not necessarily useless to be able to do that... though for practical purposes, darn close. ;-) )

Although the ES100 itself doesn't support string resonance or I just cannot hear it. But that is to be expected in this price range. The only resonance effect supported is the one heard by lifting all dampers using the pedal.

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#2319546 - 08/25/14 07:41 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: jtsn]
anotherscott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: jtsn
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
(And again, if you do that, and hold those keys down while playing other keys, you will hear resonances from those undamped strings, so it is not necessarily useless to be able to do that... though for practical purposes, darn close. ;-) )

Although the ES100 itself doesn't support string resonance or I just cannot hear it. But that is to be expected in this price range. The only resonance effect supported is the one heard by lifting all dampers using the pedal.

Right. I was describing what happens on an acoustic piano (and duplicated on some DPs), not what happens on the ES100.

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#2319547 - 08/25/14 07:43 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: jtsn]
bennevis Offline
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Originally Posted By: jtsn

[*]On some Kawai digitals you can disable the let-off simulation, so all light keypresses produce a sound at minimum volume (which I don't think it's good idea for training piano technique).
[/list]

Quote:
(And again, if you do that, and hold those keys down while playing other keys, you will hear resonances from those undamped strings, so it is not necessarily useless to be able to do that... though for practical purposes, darn close. ;-) )

Although the ES100 itself doesn't support string resonance or I just cannot hear it. But that is to be expected in this price range. The only resonance effect supported is the one heard by lifting all dampers using the pedal.

Are you sure? Try pressing down silently and holding down a C major chord with LH, then bang out something with RH, all without pedal. When you release your RH, there should be sympathetic resonance from that C major chord you're still holding down. If a DP has string resonance when the dampers are lifted, it surely should have the same when notes are held down silently (i.e. the dampers for those notes are lifted).
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#2319559 - 08/25/14 08:21 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: bennevis]
jtsn Offline
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Originally Posted By: bennevis
Are you sure? Try pressing down silently and holding down a C major chord with LH, then bang out something with RH, all without pedal. When you release your RH, there should be sympathetic resonance from that C major chord you're still holding down. If a DP has string resonance when the dampers are lifted, it surely should have the same when notes are held down silently (i.e. the dampers for those notes are lifted).

I'm quite sure, because I also have Pianoteq 5 on my PC which has clearly audible string resonance with individual dampers lifted. Pianoteq is a physically modeled virtual instrument which works great together with the action of the ES100 after a few velocity curve adjustments.

BTW: I don't see this as a problem. Do you know any sub-$1000 DP which simulates string resonance?

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#2319561 - 08/25/14 08:30 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: bennevis]
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Originally Posted By: bennevis
Try pressing down silently and holding down a C major chord with LH, then bang out something with RH, all without pedal. When you release your RH, there should be sympathetic resonance from that C major chord you're still holding down.


Yes, this occurs on Kawai DPs with String Resonance modelling, however as an entry-level instrument, the ES100 does not feature such functionality.

Cheers,
James
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#2319578 - 08/25/14 09:10 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: jtsn]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: jtsn

  • Digitals tend to provide heavier actions than some actual acoustic pianos (especially uprights not made in Japan). smile
  • Dynamic range is quite limited compared to an acoustic. There is a defined minimum volume the sound engine can produce before it drops off into silence.
  • On some Kawai digitals you can disable the let-off simulation, so all light keypresses produce a sound at minimum volume (which I don't think it's good idea for training piano technique).

I want to comment on the dynamic range point here. You had mentioned before about the velocity only going up to 90 instead of 127 on MIDI. You probably would never want to play higher than 90. I'm sure there are issues that happen to the speakers as a result and so they limit the velocity. But even on acoustic pianos, you never, ever, go to the max velocity. Or you shouldn't. It's a terrible sound, but one that I hear happen all too often lately even from professional pianists.
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#2319605 - 08/25/14 10:21 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Morodiene]
bennevis Offline
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Originally Posted By: Morodiene
But even on acoustic pianos, you never, ever, go to the max velocity. Or you shouldn't. It's a terrible sound, but one that I hear happen all too often lately even from professional pianists.

When someone like Ligeti writes ffffffff (L'escalier du diable), I think we can assume that the composer doesn't want a nice sound........

But Liszt and Rachmaninoff frequently wrote more than two f's, and I think they expect a sound that 'goes through the tone' when it's fff or ffff. Including in the latter's Op.3/2.
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#2319616 - 08/25/14 10:45 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
doremi Offline
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High MIDI values do not lead to any audio distortions, MIDI does not make any sound at all.

The usual culprit for audio distortions is too high audio volume for the speakers (assuming decent speakers, decent amp) just turn down the volume knob. The ES100 should have sufficient audio dynamic range for a typical living room.
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#2319677 - 08/25/14 01:00 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Morodiene]
jtsn Offline
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Originally Posted By: Morodiene
I want to comment on the dynamic range point here. You had mentioned before about the velocity only going up to 90 instead of 127 on MIDI. You probably would never want to play higher than 90. I'm sure there are issues that happen to the speakers as a result and so they limit the velocity. But even on acoustic pianos, you never, ever, go to the max velocity. Or you shouldn't. It's a terrible sound, but one that I hear happen all too often lately even from professional pianists.

In MIDI terms 127 is just the equivalent to "maximum velocity this MIDI implementation supports".

For a MIDI keyboard that means the maximum force its sensors can detect. And for a MIDI sound engine that means the loudest and/or brightest tone it can produce. This sound can be distorted like it's supposed to be on some vintage electric pianos.

There are also some older non-standard MIDI implementations, which only support values from 1-100.

BTW: An acoustic piano doesn't really have something like a "max velocity". You are limited only by your own strength and at some point strings or parts of the wood action start to break. wink

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#2319678 - 08/25/14 01:08 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: jtsn]
bennevis Offline
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Originally Posted By: jtsn

BTW: An acoustic piano doesn't really have something like a "max velocity". You are limited only by your own strength and at some point strings or parts of the wood action start to break. wink

That's why I find almost all DPs too limiting.

Having some 15 years of strength-training under my belt, I expect to be able to break a string when I feel like it, just like I did on acoustic pianos (which I never owned, of course grin).

Luckily, Roland's modeling technology came to the rescue, and I can make my DP sound like a string is about to break, when I want that particular sound (or more precisely, when the composer wants that particular sound - see my previous post).
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#2319770 - 08/25/14 06:10 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: bennevis]
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How would the es100 rate in the "touch" or "feel" department compared to my aging Roland FP-4 (which is supposed to simulate let-off, but does not feel very "authentic" to me)?

Not interested in sound, only in feel.

I use software piano samples.

JG

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#2319843 - 08/25/14 09:25 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: johnlewisgrant]
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Of course it is subjective, but I'd say that the ES100 feels better than the FP4. I like the FP4 for its loud built in speakers, better range of non-piano sounds, better interface, but strictly as a piano (not playing through its internal speakers), I'd prefer the sound and feel of the ES100 (though I understand the sound isn't an issue for you either). In the under $1k price range, as a controller, the ES100 is a nice choice, though I would also look at Casio.

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#2326736 - 09/12/14 11:10 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
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Question: If I'm gonna feed ES100 to a mixer, do I need DI box?

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#2326753 - 09/12/14 12:06 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: yeahyeah]
slowtraveler Offline
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Originally Posted By: yeahyeah
Question: If I'm gonna feed ES100 to a mixer, do I need DI box?

yeahyeah, I infer from your other posts that this instrument will be used at home and not for playing out at venues where you'd need to feed PA systems and the like.

If that's true, I don't think you necessarily need a DI box. If your mixer has unbalanced inputs and a decent amount of trim at the input stage, you should be able to make the connection from the ES100's headphone jack to your mixer using only an appropriate adapter cable.

What make/model of mixer do you have?

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#2326765 - 09/12/14 12:44 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
yeahyeah Offline
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Yes, primary use is just for home. However I will try lining out it through my PA tomorrow. I'm using Behringer xenyx 1202 through cheap powered speakers. Just worried about the impedance as my DI box is not around. And I am also not sure about the connections appropriate for digital pianos. I'm primarily a guitarist and my setup is Line6 HD500x multieffects which has built in DI.

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#2326804 - 09/12/14 03:24 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: yeahyeah]
slowtraveler Offline
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Originally Posted By: yeahyeah
Just worried about the impedance as my DI box is not around. And I am also not sure about the connections appropriate for digital pianos.

I can't find any published specs for the headphone output of the ES100. Your Behringer has a fair amount of trim range at its channel inputs, though. I'd go get a 1/4" TRS-to-dual 1/4" TS adapter cable (which you'll need anyway if you have to use a DI), plug that beast into two of the line inputs on the 1202, and see if you can dial in a satisfactory input level using the trim pots.

The impedance on the line inputs should be a reasonable match for headphones. Pan the two mixer channels hard left and right (unless you want to sum to mono), and I think it should work OK.

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#2327117 - 09/13/14 11:18 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
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Registered: 08/08/14
Posts: 13
Thanks man. I dont have yet TRS-to-dual TS adapter so looks like I'm gonna postpone the plan. I might also be able to borrow a keyboard amp with two inputs just for the sake of testing it out and i will surely need that adapter.

I initially thought you can consider (or convert) the two stereo headphone lines into left and right channels but I guess that's a wrong assumption.

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#2327163 - 09/13/14 02:09 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: yeahyeah]
slowtraveler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/12
Posts: 230
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Originally Posted By: yeahyeah
I initially thought you can consider (or convert) the two stereo headphone lines into left and right channels but I guess that's a wrong assumption.

You could do it that way, but you'd have to rewire a couple of existing 1/4" TRS cables to sort things out. Better to get an adapter, I think, which is less of a PITA and also leaves the second headphone output free for its original intended use.

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#2333619 - 10/03/14 05:35 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Jdjeb Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/02/14
Posts: 12
Hi,

New to the forum, but have just brought a ES100, and to tell the truth I'm a little upset with the quality control on a product that isn't pocket change.

The first one I had I opened the box to find six keys stuck down 2 black and the sandwiching white. So back to the shop which was disappointing, the owner proceeded to pull black keys out which sorted them but the sandwiching white keys were still mushy.

Now onto the replacement, we tried it in the shop
Prior to leaving as I did not want another journey back everything was ok, I was happy, but as of today 2 keys have started clicking on depression, release.

It is extremely frustrating that all I want is the product to function correctly and not feel like I have somehow got a shoddy product. I think it probably comes down to the factory production line not being fastidious enough when they are assembled and overlooking small details which cause inconvenience a for the customer and leave a bad impression of the company.

Do I want to make another trip to the shop or just put up with the quirks and hope it dose not get worse?

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#2333621 - 10/03/14 05:57 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9346
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Jdjeb, if you're not 100% satisfied with your purchase, you should return the instrument to the shop until you receive a product you're happy with.

Incidentally, may I ask where you're based?

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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#2333672 - 10/03/14 09:35 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3081
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: Jdjeb
The first one I had I opened the box to find six keys stuck down 2 black and the sandwiching white. So back to the shop which was disappointing, the owner proceeded to pull black keys out which sorted them but the sandwiching white keys were still mushy.


The AHAIV action is susceptible to shock. What happens is that individual keys can become dislodged at the pivot point. The good news is that this propensity to pop off the rail helps prevent breakage of the keys themselves, and it's a really simple fix - providing you can either open the case or gain enough "wiggle room" to snap them back onto the rail.

The later action in the MP6 (and presumably its 3-sensor variant in the MP7 and ES7 etc.) does not have this "open" method of fixing to the rail. There, the keys are held firmly in place, and there is greater potential for extreme shock to be transferred into the body of the keys. I once had to replace a number of broken keys in an MP6 that had been subjected to mistreatment. The keys had snapped at the thinnest part of the shank (close to the pivot point). Conversely, when I received an MP5 with AHAIV action, a couple of keys had become dislodged during shipping and it took me just a few minutes (once I understood the problem) to have everything back to normal.

I have noticed that keyboard dealer Kraft (here in the US) frequently offers customer returned ES100s for sale. They are commendably open about what issues these "open box" items have had. Some have had keys reseated. Presumably, the original customers will have opened the box to reveal an apparently damaged keyboard, and shipped the unit straight back, not knowing that the issue is a minor one.


Edited by voxpops (10/03/14 09:56 AM)
_________________________
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#2333741 - 10/03/14 03:02 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Jdjeb Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/02/14
Posts: 12
Jamie,

I'm based in Nottingham UK, I appreciate I can take it back, but it's a lot of hassle as I live in a upstairs flat, and have to borrow transport to take it to and from the shop, repackage and box each time, and then can't be 100% sure it will be right untill it is set up and has a few days play.

I've had around 4 different piano over 5 years and they have all been perfect out of the box, all I wonder is why these kawai pianos can't be the same or I'm I just unlucky.

P.s too the last poster, I don't expect to have to do any fixes to a product no matter how easy when it's new, maybe If there is a chance items can be affected by transportation kawai need to look at how they can package there products so they are not susceptible to problems and customers wouldn't feel upset when they get the item home.

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#2333783 - 10/03/14 05:45 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Mike407 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/14
Posts: 45
Loc: Florida, USA
Jdjeb - mine does none of that so I'd return it. I had to return my first one as the transformer was DOA. So it's just luck. It's a nice DP when you have one working right. I use headphones a lot or Pianoteq and I like the feel ok. At this price point I preferred it to others (a very personal decision).
_________________________
Mike

103 year old Schmoller and Mueller
Slightly newer Kawai ES 100

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#2333858 - 10/03/14 11:52 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: jtsn]
jtsn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/14
Posts: 32
Meanwhile I found an issue with the ES100 sound engine:

1. Play a chord loud and hold the keys down.
2. Depress the sustain pedal.
3. Release the keys.
4. Play the same chord silent and hold it down again.
5. Release the sustain pedal.

What happens: The ES100 immediately goes silent.

What should happen: The chord played at the beginning should still be heard, because the dampers are still lifted and never touched the strings.

I think, this test should become part of the DP test MIDI file. Pianoteq 5 gets it right BTW.

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#2333866 - 10/04/14 01:00 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: jtsn]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3698
Loc: Northern England.
I don't think you can expect this sort of feature at the price range. And even it it happened, practically speaking its of no worth IMO.
BTW have you tried Pianoteq half pedalling? Its not as good as with version 4.5. IMO. . .😁
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes — but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2333873 - 10/04/14 02:01 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: peterws]
jtsn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/14
Posts: 32
Originally Posted By: peterws
I don't think you can expect this sort of feature at the price range.

It's just an oversight/limitation in the state machine for the sustain modeling and I'm interested if other (and more expensive) models are affected by this issue, too.

Quote:
And even it it happened practically speaking its of no worth IMO.

I noticed it while improvising and practicing chords. If you hold down the keys all the way through the sustain pedal cycle, it works fine, of course. If you release the keys temporarily with the sustain pedal down to play different notes, the ES100 forgets about these earlier notes later on. You can get even more unrealistic with this:

1. Play a note/chord at ff and hold it
2. pedal
3. Play the same note/chord again at p (not silent) and hold it
4. release pedal

Now the ff note/chord is cut off and the p note/chord remains. It's not a show stopper, but it immediately reminds you, that you're just playing a synthesizer keyboard and not a piano. smile

Quote:
BTW have you tried Pianoteq half pedalling? Its not as good as with version 4.5. IMO. . .😁

The ES100 supports only six steps for the pedal, so I'm afraid there is not much to test for me...


Edited by jtsn (10/04/14 02:23 AM)

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#2333897 - 10/04/14 07:09 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Jdjeb Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/02/14
Posts: 12
Ive uploaded a Video of the offending key sound alongside the other keys. Is that acceptable?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2XtbzV7YvM&feature=youtu.be

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#2333899 - 10/04/14 07:20 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: jtsn]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3698
Loc: Northern England.
"The ES100 supports only six steps for the pedal, so I'm afraid there is not much to test for me..."

4 more than mine. And three more than I can detect practically speaking . . . smirk
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes — but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2333907 - 10/04/14 08:00 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Jdjeb]
jtsn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/14
Posts: 32
Originally Posted By: Jdjeb
Ive uploaded a Video of the offending key sound alongside the other keys. Is that acceptable?

My ES100 did clicking noises too on some keys. These have gone away later. I'm playing it for a month now and it still works just fine.

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#2333920 - 10/04/14 09:08 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
nickd100 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/06/14
Posts: 5
Hey jdjeb, I'm in Nottingham too and I also bought an ES100 last week. Small world, etc...

Thanks Kawai James for your answers to my questions earlier which helped me finalise my decision. Loving the ES100 so far.

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#2333980 - 10/04/14 01:16 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Jdjeb Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/02/14
Posts: 12
Nickd100 nice to hear from a fellow Nottingham resident, any clicky keys on your es100 as detailed in the video above.

Jtsn, I can't believe that the noise will disappear through play, it works ok outside of the annoying noise, sound like the key might need some grease, anybody know if this is possible? And how?

Cheers Jon

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#2334059 - 10/04/14 05:02 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
nickd100 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/06/14
Posts: 5
Jon, yes one key started clicking a little on Friday (intermittently). I'm just keeping an eye on it for now, to see if it does fix itself or get any worse...
Nick

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#2334132 - 10/04/14 09:52 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Jdjeb]
jtsn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/14
Posts: 32
Originally Posted By: Jdjeb
Jtsn, I can't believe that the noise will disappear through play, it works ok outside of the annoying noise

Slab DPs may be placed in the (incorrect) vertical position during shipping, so the keys can move sideways and then make some friction noises (just my own guesswork)

After setting up the DP in the correct horizontal position, gravity can do its work again. During play keys also get wiggled sideways slightly, so they may just correct themselves. Would speak for the quality of the action.

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#2334481 - 10/06/14 01:31 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: jtsn]
Daniel Richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 166
Loc: Venezuela
Originally Posted By: jtsn
Meanwhile I found an issue with the ES100 sound engine:

1. Play a chord loud and hold the keys down.
2. Depress the sustain pedal.
3. Release the keys.
4. Play the same chord silent and hold it down again.
5. Release the sustain pedal.

What happens: The ES100 immediately goes silent.

What should happen: The chord played at the beginning should still be heard, because the dampers are still lifted and never touched the strings.

I think, this test should become part of the DP test MIDI file. Pianoteq 5 gets it right BTW.


This was already known issue, and is already on the MIDI file test of The DPBSD Project, since forever. Dewster call it "silent replay test @ pedal up". I call it "Realistic key-pedal damper interaction".

Is already mention on my Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$.

Originally Posted By: peterws
I don't think you can expect this sort of feature at the price range. And even it it happened, practically speaking its of no worth IMO.


Actually some cheap digital pianos don't have this problem. Examples are Yamaha P-35 and Yamaha P-105, both cheaper than the Kawai ES100.

And is an annoying problem, in some moments, so I think should be fix. Also should be easy thing to fix. This DP are like computers with instructions. The programming of this instructions can be fix to tell sound to stay on even if key was release previously. Is a programming mistake, not a lack of resources or expensive electronics.

I create a program (for windows) a few years ago to simulate this kind of interactions between keys and pedals of a piano. Long story short, I success on replicating realistically this interaction with no issue. If I can, Kawai can.

Casio Privia have this problem too. Yamaha don't. Roland and Korg don't know yet.
_________________________
Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2335194 - 10/07/14 10:44 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
gauguin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 23
Strange echo on soft strike of D one octave above middle D.


Hi,

it's me again, gauguin, the person who started this thread. I was away from this thread for a long time and am so happy to see that it is still active! Really!

So after being busy with other things in life I finally bought the ES100. It is such a beautiful instrument to play and learn piano on. Every night I look forward to playing on it once I finally managed to put my two boys to bed.

Here is one thing I noticed. When softly striking D, the one which is one octave above middle D, there is a low echoing sound that comes on about a second after playing it. I hear it as I play with headphones. To describe this echo, imagine you sit under deck in a big ship and you hear that in some other part of the ship someone moves a heavy metal door in its hinges.
I only can hear it on that D and it is unlike any other echo or reverb on any other keys. So it is kind of annoying as it is out of place.
Has anybody else noticed this? Does it go away? If not should I get an exchange?

Thanks for your feedback and suggestions.


Edited by gauguin (10/07/14 10:48 PM)

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#2335204 - 10/07/14 11:32 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Daniel Richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 166
Loc: Venezuela
Would be better if you can record the noise.

I try to replicate the problem, but not sure I find what you find. I can hear very soft noise like a "muuuu", but I have to hit the note very very soft and noise is almost unnoticeable. Also, switching off reberb the noise goes away.

I doubt this is your problem because is so unnoticeable that I can't think someone can get annoy by it.

Could be that in your DP the noise is more accentuated than mine? Or maybe a setting increase noise? Or maybe is not the same noise than mine?

Switch reberb off and see if noise is there. If still there, make a recording so we can hear.
_________________________
Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2335208 - 10/07/14 11:58 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Daniel Richter]
gauguin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 23
Thanks. I will record the noise and will report back. It is only there when you play softly and is gone when I strike medium or hard. Main thing I wonder is if it might go away with time.

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#2335210 - 10/08/14 12:03 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9346
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: gauguin
Main thing I wonder is if it might go away with time.


gauguin, if what you're hearing is a characteristic of the piano sample (i.e. captured in the original recording), I don't believe it's something that will change over time.

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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#2335212 - 10/08/14 12:10 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Kawai James]
gauguin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 23
James,

yes I was wondering as well if it is due to the underlying sample but it is a little more complicated than that as it does not always come one. It only comes on when played "fairly" alone but then also not all the time. In my experience it is almost always there when you play piano. Turning the piano off and on again does help as well.
I just had it a lot today as I practiced the right hand of a soft piece today and then I had it almost every time when hitting D.


Edited by gauguin (10/08/14 12:11 AM)

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#2335214 - 10/08/14 12:24 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9346
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
gauguin, if you are concerned by this behaviour, my recommendation would be to report it to the store from where the instrument was purchased, and/or the Kawai distributor in your country (e.g. Kawai America).

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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#2335225 - 10/08/14 01:39 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
gauguin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 23
Hi James and Daniel,

Just a quick update. The echo is gone when I turn off reverb. I will make a recording tomorrow.

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#2335359 - 10/08/14 01:23 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Daniel Richter]
jtsn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/14
Posts: 32
Originally Posted By: Daniel Richter
I try to replicate the problem, but not sure I find what you find. I can hear very soft noise like a "muuuu", but I have to hit the note very very soft and noise is almost unnoticeable. Also, switching off reberb the noise goes away.

Can't reproduce it now, but I heard that "ghost" noise multiple times already during long practice sessions. Sounded like some digital aliasing, like there was a filter failing. Especially the Mellow Grand preset, which I use often, has a lot of reverb. Seems the reverb implementation doesn't interact well with that specific sample.

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#2335361 - 10/08/14 01:35 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Daniel Richter]
jtsn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/14
Posts: 32
Originally Posted By: Daniel Richter
This was already known issue, and is already on the MIDI file test of The DPBSD Project, since forever. Dewster call it "silent replay test @ pedal up". I call it "Realistic key-pedal damper interaction".

I really didn't expect that to be an issue...

Quote:
Actually some cheap digital pianos don't have this problem. Examples are Yamaha P-35 and Yamaha P-105, both cheaper than the Kawai ES100.

My $280 NP-31 Piaggero keyboard doesn't have that issue either and its AWM sound engine is from the stone age.

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#2335370 - 10/08/14 02:43 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Hans Meij Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 09/11/14
Posts: 4
Loc: The Netherlands
Hi,
Bought it yesterday and really like it.
My first (DP)piano.
Excellent help from local dealer.
Noticed a few minor things.
Have two extra monitors/speakers on a phones jack.
When selecting speakers on with phones output volume goes up (p45 manual).
This settings is not saved when saving settings (p47 manual)
Regards,
Hans

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#2335375 - 10/08/14 03:32 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Hans Meij]
jtsn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/14
Posts: 32
Originally Posted By: Hans Meij
When selecting speakers on with phones output volume goes up (p45 manual).

Indeed, speakers seem to go to maximum volume and the volume slider does almost nothing for them. Once you pull the phones out (even with the setting still on), everything goes back to normal.

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#2335688 - 10/09/14 08:01 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
gauguin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 23
Hi,

I made a recording of the strange echo I here when softly striking D4.
This uses the default reverb ("room"). Set your volume to low first as the recording is quite loud at first.
Here is the file:

https://upenn.box.com/s/r6nci6onu6g51uapj0r0

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#2335689 - 10/09/14 08:06 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Daniel Richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 166
Loc: Venezuela
I get the same noise. Is a soft "muuuh" after the note. Is hard to notes it. Not sure how you even find it.

I suppose only solution is turn off reverberation. Actually I always leave reverb off. Not because of this issue (since I didn't notes it before) but because I don't like the reverb effect on this digital piano.
_________________________
Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2335695 - 10/09/14 08:29 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Daniel Richter]
gauguin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 23
Thank you for confirming it. So I suppose it's an ES100 "feature". I will submit it to Kawai techs as well to see what they say.
I actually like the default reverb and don't want to switch it off. I

I found/noticed it as I practiced the Sarabande of Bach Partita #2 which starts of rather softly.

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#2335717 - 10/09/14 09:30 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9346
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
gaguin, I can hear the characteristic you're referringto, however I get the impression that you artificially boosted the volume of the recording considerably in order to emphasise this sound.

I shall pass this MP3 on to my colleagues, however I'm afraid I cannot promise that any action will be taken to adjust the sound.

I also encourage you to contact Kawai America to report the characteristic, to ensure it is correctly logged.

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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#2335722 - 10/09/14 09:43 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Kawai James]
gauguin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 23
Kawai James,

Were you able to reproduce it on your ES100, too?

You are right that this only happens when playing rather quietly and it disappears when playing more loudly. Yet it does not appear with other keys: only happens with or sometimes around D4.
Incidentally I did not boost the recording: I am not much of a specialist and the level was set automatically by my recording device.
I will submit to Kawai USA, too.


Edited by gauguin (10/09/14 09:44 PM)

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#2335727 - 10/09/14 10:11 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9346
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: gauguin
Were you able to reproduce it on your ES100, too?


I'm afraid I do not have an ES100 in my office for testing.

Originally Posted By: gauguin
Incidentally I did not boost the recording: I am not much of a specialist and the level was set automatically by my recording device.


Ah, I see. My apologies for doubting your intentions.

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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#2335735 - 10/09/14 10:31 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: Kawai James]
gauguin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 23
No worries KJames. Just wanted to explain what I did.

Just spent another hour practicing on my ES100. Just such a smooth piano keyboard!

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#2336044 - 10/10/14 07:38 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
gauguin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 23
Yesterday I sent an email to Kawai USA about this strange echo I hear after D4. Haven't heard back yet but I will let you know in case I hear back from them.

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#2338535 - 10/17/14 09:38 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
gauguin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 23
So I emailed Kawai about the echo/"moo" you can hear at times when pressing D4 softly.
They never got back to me. No matter, as Richter pointed out it is gone when you turn reverb off.

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#2338564 - 10/17/14 11:41 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9346
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
gauguin, which email address did you send your message to, may I ask?

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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#2338657 - 10/18/14 06:35 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
gauguin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 23
I sent it to
digital@kawaius.com

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#2339484 - 10/20/14 02:15 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: gauguin]
gauguin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 23
Originally Posted By: gauguin
I sent it to
digital@kawaius.com


Just a quick update. I heard back from Kawai USA regarding the sound caused by reverb when softly pressing D4 on the ES100. They sent me a kind email telling me they passed the question on to engineers in Japan. I will let you know in case I hear anything further.

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Staying in one position for too long - tension
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10/22/14 06:07 AM
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10/22/14 05:10 AM
recording digital piano
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