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#2255876 - 04/02/14 11:23 AM In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65
kuku1970 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/02/14
Posts: 15
Loc: Belgium
Dear all,
I'm still playing on my GEM (General Music) RP2 DP since 2000.
I think for that time period it was a real masterpiece, even with string resonance and escapement, but I really don't like the keyboard action, for me it is much too stiff.
In 2008 I lost in an accident my left index finger, and now I have to work harder with that hand and compensate that missing finger so I like the keyboard action soft and smooth.
Last week, was in local shop and played the new ROLAND HP 506 and HP 508. Keyboard action seems perfect for me. For me most natural piano sound is a priority and that sound was really good using my AKG headphone. Without headphone sound op HP 508 was way better than the HP506, but price was much higher too. But to be honest, most of the time, I'm using my headphone ... So maybe the speaker sound of the actual DP is less important. Side by side I played a YAM CLP420 (I think) and was quite dissapointed by the sound. Just playing a C2 and listening ... Roland had much richer sound ...
But ... I found a forum and read some test and I'm really charmed by the KAWAI CA65 (and CA95) and CS7 (and CS10). I like a nice piece of furniture but it is not that important. Knowing that I uses most of the time my headphone, I think the choice will be between a ROLAND HP506 and KAWAI CA65.
What are your thoughts about ... ? Thank you so much.

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#2255898 - 04/02/14 12:37 PM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: kuku1970]
kapelli Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 380
Loc: Poland
Take the one for which action and sound feels better to your ear. It's like comparing blondes to brunettes. I prefer the later, but dozens of mans the first ones wink

They are the same classical pianos, just made to differnt tastes.

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#2255900 - 04/02/14 12:46 PM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: kuku1970]
stamkorg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 60
You can also consider to take the one that has the best action and the best audio system for you. Don't worry to much about the sound. You can plug in a Synthogy or a VI Labs or a Pianoteq and have the best existing sounds under your fingers. Go for the best action an sound amplification.

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#2255907 - 04/02/14 01:04 PM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: kuku1970]
lolatu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 391
Loc: UK
If you're mainly using headphones then consider the Roland HP504 as well. That's probably the model that I would go for in your situation. It has a very nice, light keyboard action, and the same SuperNATURAL piano sounds as the rest of the range.
_________________________
Kawai CA95 / Roland FP3 / Pianoteq Stage / Tannoy Reveal Active / Sony MDR-7506 / Steinberg UR22 / K&M 18810

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#2255914 - 04/02/14 01:24 PM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: kuku1970]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2323
Loc: UK
It's OK to put the review and forum suggestions on your list to test and play, but the final choice has to be yours after your own testing and playing. You liked the 506, try out the CA65 95 or CS10 just because. If considering a CS10 why not the LX15e? (PS I'm a member of the 9 digits club too, and key action or feel is top of my list).

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#2255917 - 04/02/14 01:32 PM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: kuku1970]
kapelli Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 380
Loc: Poland
Spanishbudda, what is 9 digit club?

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#2255920 - 04/02/14 01:33 PM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: spanishbuddha]
kuku1970 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/02/14
Posts: 15
Loc: Belgium
Hahaha, 9 digits club, never heard that. Have to remember it. :-)
I have to find indeed some time to test the Kawais... Unfortunately it's not the same shop as the Yams and Rolands...

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#2255923 - 04/02/14 01:34 PM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: kapelli]
kuku1970 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/02/14
Posts: 15
Loc: Belgium
I lost my left index finger... So only 9 digits left... :-)

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#2255926 - 04/02/14 01:37 PM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: kuku1970]
lolatu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 391
Loc: UK
I thought he was referring to his salary shocked
_________________________
Kawai CA95 / Roland FP3 / Pianoteq Stage / Tannoy Reveal Active / Sony MDR-7506 / Steinberg UR22 / K&M 18810

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#2255935 - 04/02/14 01:51 PM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: stamkorg]
Hideki Matsui Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 787
Originally Posted By: stamkorg
You can also consider to take the one that has the best action and the best audio system for you. Don't worry to much about the sound. You can plug in a Synthogy or a VI Labs or a Pianoteq and have the best existing sounds under your fingers. Go for the best action an sound amplification.


I don't think this is such great advice. First of all, are you sure you can get the action to calibrate perfectly with 3rd party software? Furthermore, why not just get a controller and speakers? Also, are you sure a multichannel system like those found in the Roland is going to process a stereo signal the same way it does with the SN pianos?

There are also plenty of people who prefer the SN engine or Kawai's samples to what is available through software.


Edited by Hideki Matsui (04/02/14 01:53 PM)
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK5
Vintage Vibe 64
Roland LX-15e
Roland Jupiter 80

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#2255990 - 04/02/14 03:17 PM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: kuku1970]
kuku1970 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/02/14
Posts: 15
Loc: Belgium
Don't think that I will install a pc to my piano in the living room using software piano's... Second step is indeed to install another DP in my office with just good action (I like the action of the casio px350 fi) and eventually connect it with my pc for SW Piano's... But for now most important is the one in the living room... Or do you think my GEM RP2 is still to good to change?

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#2256087 - 04/02/14 06:09 PM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: kuku1970]
Joe Garfield Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/13
Posts: 152
Loc: Ohio, USA
The Kawai MP11 is basically the same as the CA65 without the console and speakers. The MP10 is the previous version that is just being replaced - which I just got and love. The MP7 is basically the same but with plastic keys as opposed to the heavier wood keys. Check them both out.

The MP7 is $1800 and in my opinion is the best instrument for the money there is.


Edited by Joe Garfield (04/02/14 06:09 PM)

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#2256129 - 04/02/14 08:16 PM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: kuku1970]
Digitalguy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 369
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: kuku1970
Or do you think my GEM RP2 is still to good to change?


Out of curiosity, is this based on the same engine as the RPX module? That is, 100% physical modelling, including a Steinway and a Fazioli emulation?
_________________________
Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, iPad Air, iLoud, Ivory II American, Galaxy Vintage D, Galaxy Steinway, VILabs Ravenscroft, TrueKeys American, Kawai-Ex Pro, The Grand 2, SampleTekk Black, Addictive Keys, Truepianos, Pianissimo, EzKeys, iGrand

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#2256131 - 04/02/14 08:28 PM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: kuku1970]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8872
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
First off, kuku1970 and spanishbuddha, I cannot imagine what it must be like to play with 9 fingers. However, the fact that individuals such as yourselves are able to overcome physical disadvantages to express their passion for music is very inspiring.

Regarding this point:

Originally Posted By: kuku1970
I have to find indeed some time to test the Kawais... Unfortunately it's not the same shop as the Yams and Rolands...


I would recommend visiting a Maene store - http://www.maene.be - I believe they stock instruments from Roland, Yamaha, and Kawai.

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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#2256169 - 04/02/14 10:36 PM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: Kawai James]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11443
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
First off kuku1970 and spanishbuddha, I cannot imagine what it must be like to play with 9 fingers. However, the fact that individuals such as yourselves are able to overcome physical disadvantages to express their passion for music is very inspiring.

+1 kuddos to both of you and any others who are pianists with extra challenges - I have a hard enough time with all my fingers! But like I tell my students, do the best with what you've got.

As for what works, it doesn't sound like great advice, but you really have to test out the pianos for yourself to determine what works best. Some people can know in a few chords if they like the feel and others it takes a while, so keep that in mind too, that you may need a few tries at an instrument before really getting a feel for it. I love the Kawai, but there are those who find the action too heavy. Do try it though, if you can.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2256200 - 04/03/14 03:08 AM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: Hideki Matsui]
stamkorg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 60
Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui
Originally Posted By: stamkorg
You can also consider to take the one that has the best action and the best audio system for you. Don't worry to much about the sound. You can plug in a Synthogy or a VI Labs or a Pianoteq and have the best existing sounds under your fingers. Go for the best action an sound amplification.


I don't think this is such great advice. First of all, are you sure you can get the action to calibrate perfectly with 3rd party software? Furthermore, why not just get a controller and speakers? Also, are you sure a multichannel system like those found in the Roland is going to process a stereo signal the same way it does with the SN pianos?

There are also plenty of people who prefer the SN engine or Kawai's samples to what is available through software.


For calibration, at least with Pianoteq, YES you can calibrate the velocity curve very precisely. There is also a calibration tool for that purpose.
For the controller + speakers question, I would't use this kind of stuf in my room because it is ugly.
Now, for the multichannel system, you are right, I don't know if a stereo in signal will be well amplified, but at my home I use Pianoteq on my HP-507 and honeslty it sounds very good. Most of time I use the Pianoteq instead of the internal Roland sounds. I am not saying that the Roland sounds bad, not at all, but to my ears, the Pianoteq is superior. This way, you can have the best of both worlds under your fingers.

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#2256211 - 04/03/14 04:49 AM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: kuku1970]
CarloPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/12
Posts: 167
¿HP 506 vs CA-65? That's a really tough choice.

I tried a few days ago a HP-506 in a store and I could compare it side by side to it's predecessor, the HP-505. I found the new action inside the HP-506 even smoother that the older one. I think it's a very smooth and easy action to play. But the wooden action of the CA-65 is simply terrific.

Almost three years ago I bought the two generations earlier model, the HP-305. But if I'd have to buy now a DP, I don't know which one would I decide for, but I probably would buy the CA-65 because of the wooden action and the heavier touch (as long as I usually play on an acoustic grand and I find it really heavy after playing on the HP-305 for a while). Just personal circumstances and taste, I guess.

An in person look and try cannot be substituted by any advice but as long as you asked for opinions, I think that if you are looking specifically for a comfortable action, the HP-506 would be my choice in that case as long as the sound is reasonably good on both models (with their differences, of course).

BTW, Byron Janis cannot play with one of his fingers since an accident happened during his childhood (he cut with a glass and lost mobility). Despite of this he overcame this difficulty and become one of the greatest pianists on history.

kuku1970, @spanishbuda, I really admire an respect infinitely your courage.


Edited by CarloPiano (04/03/14 04:57 AM)
Edit Reason: added info

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#2256223 - 04/03/14 06:04 AM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: stamkorg]
Hideki Matsui Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 787
Originally Posted By: stamkorg
Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui
Originally Posted By: stamkorg
You can also consider to take the one that has the best action and the best audio system for you. Don't worry to much about the sound. You can plug in a Synthogy or a VI Labs or a Pianoteq and have the best existing sounds under your fingers. Go for the best action an sound amplification.


I don't think this is such great advice. First of all, are you sure you can get the action to calibrate perfectly with 3rd party software? Furthermore, why not just get a controller and speakers? Also, are you sure a multichannel system like those found in the Roland is going to process a stereo signal the same way it does with the SN pianos?

There are also plenty of people who prefer the SN engine or Kawai's samples to what is available through software.


For calibration, at least with Pianoteq, YES you can calibrate the velocity curve very precisely. There is also a calibration tool for that purpose.
For the controller + speakers question, I would't use this kind of stuf in my room because it is ugly.
Now, for the multichannel system, you are right, I don't know if a stereo in signal will be well amplified, but at my home I use Pianoteq on my HP-507 and honeslty it sounds very good. Most of time I use the Pianoteq instead of the internal Roland sounds. I am not saying that the Roland sounds bad, not at all, but to my ears, the Pianoteq is superior. This way, you can have the best of both worlds under your fingers.


Ok, you and I differ on this because I think Pianoteq sounds pretty horrible compared to the LX-15e piano sounds and the internal speaker system does not project 3rd party software the same way it does with the SN engine. Also, I haven't had much success calibrating velocity curves to achieve the same precision and dynamics I get with the SN engine.
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK5
Vintage Vibe 64
Roland LX-15e
Roland Jupiter 80

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#2256228 - 04/03/14 07:01 AM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: Digitalguy]
kuku1970 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/02/14
Posts: 15
Loc: Belgium
Don't know. I read the sound is generated using 12 oscillators...
But I do only have a 'concert grand' preset as AC.

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#2256263 - 04/03/14 09:16 AM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: kuku1970]
minstrelman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/19/07
Posts: 241
Loc: buffalo
Regarding playing with additional challenges:
We musical instrument players are finger athletes, for sure.
And I am reminded of Django Reinhardt. Guitarist. Legend. Created a style, genre, and had to invent his own chords because of a super severe problem with his fretting hand. Read about him. Read about how he was missing fingers.
Incredible.

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#2256344 - 04/03/14 01:23 PM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: kuku1970]
GLR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/14
Posts: 42
I think the best advice given above is try them both out. It's one thing to read the gloss but it's best to head to the showrooms and play them.

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#2256350 - 04/03/14 01:32 PM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: GLR]
Nordomus Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/14
Posts: 30
I was torn between those two as well. I chose Roland at the end. I think Kawai might have better keyboard but only white keys(from what I've tested)and sound was deciding factor, I just liked Roland more. Kawai is much louder and brighter. Anyway I think both are really good and you should just decide which sound you like better, also Roland can use iPad which is small + for me because it extends possibilities for this piano.

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#2256360 - 04/03/14 01:53 PM Re: In serious doubt : ROLAND HP506 / KAWAI CA65 [Re: kuku1970]
lolatu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 391
Loc: UK
I hope Roland take the iPad integration a lot further in future models. It seems like there are a bunch of features that have been left out (e.g. rhythms, registrations, configurable buttons, ordering of favourite presets), presumably to avoid over-complicating the user interface. But an iPad mini would work like a large touchscreen and be infinitely configurable for people who want such things. Even better, publish a toolkit for third parties to produce apps to control the piano's functions. With a nice dock, or place where a dock could securely attach without sliding around, it could be awesome.

I much prefer hardware buttons, but a good screen would bring some much-needed flexibility. There could be a compromise by adding some assignable buttons, or allowing the iPad to control what the existing hardware buttons do.
_________________________
Kawai CA95 / Roland FP3 / Pianoteq Stage / Tannoy Reveal Active / Sony MDR-7506 / Steinberg UR22 / K&M 18810

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