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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
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3290
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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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1744
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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Had I progressed to playing chords,
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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
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/14
Posts: 32
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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Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3290
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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Registered: 02/20/10
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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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Registered: 07/19/14
Posts: 32
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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Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5276
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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Registered: 07/19/14
Posts: 32
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]
Kawai James Offline
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Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9364
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
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
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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#2319578 - 08/25/14 09:10 AM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: jtsn]
Morodiene Online   content
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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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Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5276
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.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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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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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1744
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.
_________________________
I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked

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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
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/14
Posts: 32
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
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5276
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).
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2319770 - 08/25/14 06:10 PM Re: Kawai ES100: let's collect reviews and impressions here [Re: bennevis]
johnlewisgrant Offline
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Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 518
Loc: canada
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]
anotherscott Online   content
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Posts: 3290
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]
yeahyeah Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/08/14
Posts: 13
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
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/12
Posts: 230
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
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
Junior Member

Registered: 08/08/14
Posts: 13
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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Registered: 01/14/12
Posts: 230
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
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]
yeahyeah Offline
Junior Member

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: 14
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 Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9364
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 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3083
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: 14
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: 46
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).
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103 year old Schmoller and Mueller
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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 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3705
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. . .&#128513;
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