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#2314891 - 08/13/14 08:38 AM Test Driving the Kawai MP-7 Piano sounds with some mods
ChefJumbo Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 08/12/14
Posts: 3
Hi guys,I am a piano/keyboard reviewer from Bangkok, Thailand. Kawai Thailand just sent me the demo unit weeks ago... and guess what, I havn't started reviewing it yet because I have had too much fun "playing" with the piano sounds, the new Rhode patches, the keys and all the features that it's got.

Although the new MP-7 might not be equipped with the "best" or the "most realistic" piano sounds around (I don't know if it's just me, but I think the main piano patch sounds too "perfect" and a little compressed, however, it gets better with reverb, string & damper resonance), the soul-key-sound connection is absolutely unbelievable. For the first time ever I could feel the "soul" in a digital instrument, in other word, it really feels like a musical instrument, not an electronic appliance that is capable of making sounds. The action seamlessly connects with the musicians due to extremely accurate response curve, you can go from the most delicate pianissimos to the thunderous fortissimos with ease. This actually changes your way of playing... How? it makes your playing more expressive, because you know that the instrument is capable of handling all the nuances of your playing, everything that your soul wants to say. This is what I mean by "soul-key connection", now what about the key-sound connection? In one word, superb. Good keyboard and great sounds don't make a great piano. It's the harmonization between the soul, the keys and the sounds that make a great piano. The MP-7 really excels in this department.

In short, Ivory II pianos may sound more realistic, hybrid grand actions may feel more realistic, but for MP-7, the whole is just greater than the sum of its part. Yes I will still be using Ivory II for recordings, but for leisure and pleasure
, the MP-7 wins, hands down!

These are my performances on the MP-7

Concert Grand 1 sound (damper resonance = 7, background strings = "beautiful strings", lead strings = external source and I added some external reverb effects)

Mellow Grand 2 (Damper Resonance = 7, Top Board = Open 2).

I hope you enjoy them! Full review is on its way, stay tuned!

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#2314929 - 08/13/14 10:16 AM Re: Test Driving the Kawai MP-7 Piano sounds with some mods [Re: ChefJumbo]
Maxpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 41
Loc: Italy
Interesting points, I tried the MP7 in a shop some time ago, I was positively impressed as well but some doubts on the acoustic piano sound (which, as discussed in this forum, probably needs some deep tweaking to fit personal tastes); thanks for sharing your pre-review, waiting for the full one! thumb

Edited by Maxpiano (08/13/14 10:17 AM)
'Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself' (M. Davis)

#2314977 - 08/13/14 11:38 AM Re: Test Driving the Kawai MP-7 Piano sounds with some mods [Re: ChefJumbo]
lophiomys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/14
Posts: 98
Loc: Austria, EU
as a "reviewer", which speakers/monitors are you using with your MP7?

#2314996 - 08/13/14 12:23 PM Re: Test Driving the Kawai MP-7 Piano sounds with some mods [Re: ChefJumbo]
ChefJumbo Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 08/12/14
Posts: 3
Choosing the right speakers/monitors is pretty tricky for the MP7, unlike Roland which sounds consistently warm or Yamaha which sounds consistently bright. The sounds of MP7 are greatly affected by the speakers that it runs through. At The Sound Chef, our references speakers are Yamaha NS-10M, Yamaha MSP-5, Roland DS-90 and, last but not least, the Kawai ES-7!!! (The last one is of course NOT our reference speaker, but since the ES-7 speakers do the fantastic job in reproducing the piano sounds in the ES-7 and the piano itself has a stereo line-in port, why not give it a try? smile )

#2315160 - 08/13/14 08:28 PM Re: Test Driving the Kawai MP-7 Piano sounds with some mods [Re: ChefJumbo]
lophiomys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/14
Posts: 98
Loc: Austria, EU
CheckJumbo, thank you very much for your infos.
/Lo PHi

#2319905 - 08/26/14 01:39 AM Re: Test Driving the Kawai MP-7 Piano sounds with some mods [Re: ChefJumbo]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9059
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
ChefJumbo, I'm a little late to this thread (okay, almost two weeks late...), but just wanted to thank you for your positive comments about the MP7!

I absolutely agree that the connection between the keyboard and sound is vitally important, yet often overlooked when comparing specification tables and feature charts.

I enjoyed watching and listening to your two performances on the MP7 (well played and shot), and shall look forward to the full review! The ES7 review (pts.1-3) looks great too - I don't understand Thai, unfortunately, but I really like the presentation style, amount of detail, and showing how the instrument sounds in a mix with vocals, etc. Great job!

Regarding the 'connection' felt when playing Ivory II, have you tried controlling this VI using the VPC1 and Synthogy approved touch curve? wink

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

#2321572 - 3 minutes 58 seconds ago Re: Test Driving the Kawai MP-7 Piano sounds with some mods [Re: ChefJumbo]
ChefJumbo Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 08/12/14
Posts: 3
Thanks for watching my video reviews! I wish I could do the whole thing in English but since most of my audiences are Thais I unfortunately have to stick with the majority. However, I will be adding subtitles in the very near future! I've recently made a new video explaining how a piano action (grand and upright) works, and how close the GrandFeel resembles the feel of a grand piano as opposed to its digital counterparts from a pure scientific standpoint, .
Check this out! http://youtu.be/y1vJXFHCq1w

Regarding the VPC1, yes, I tried it with the preset Ivory touch curve and it works like magic, no extra efforts required, I could basically forget about everything else and focus on playing. The response is very accurate and consistent all over the range. I remembered using Ivory for the very first time back in 2004, the controller that I used was the MP-9500. Getting the right curve was very tricky, if you program the curve in such a way that would allow you to play ppp with ease then it means you will have to bang the keys real hard to get fff. Now if you try to cheat it by altering the curve at the very end of the spectrum while keeping it intact for the pianissimo range, the whole response becomes weird and inconsistent. This is not the case with the pre-programmed curve. Thanks god the developers at Kawai were thoughtful enough to have included the ivory touch curve preset. I tried playing Ivory II American Concert D with the normal touch curve and it was a real disaster. This means that without the ivory touch curve preset, it would have taken me hours....days... or even forever... just to get the right curve.

I am now familiarizing myself with the touch of the VPC1. Although technically and physically superior in every aspect, I would have to admit that I'm not quite used to it yet. ES-7 has been my main board for the last 3-4 months (hint: it's the board that Kawai Thailand sent to me for review purposes but I ended up wanting it so bad that I didn't want to return it so I asked them to charge me) and the RH2 action has grown on me. For some unknown reasons I feel supercharged when playing the RH2, with RH2, I'm better, faster and more versatile!

This is how it looks like....


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