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#701356 - 05/26/02 11:17 PM Roland vs. Kawai
G-maw3 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/26/02
Posts: 4
Loc: Paducah, Ky
I am thinking of buying a digital and the Roland and Kawai brands are what's available locally. Does anyone have any input as to how they compare. I can drive a couple of hours to some areas where I would have more choices. In fact, a few months ago when I was just thinking about seriously looking I was in another area and the dealer there carried both brands. He liked the Kawai best but I seem to hear many good things about the Roland. How does Yamaha rate with these?

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#701357 - 01/16/03 03:39 PM Re: Roland vs. Kawai
BC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/03
Posts: 118
Loc: illinois
I have sold both for many years and i personally love the Kawai. I used to be an exclusive Roland Fan untill i got a good chance to play and do some recording on the Kawai. The Kawai seems to play more midi files than Roland. Not sure why.. but it does. Files that roland wont read Yamaha and Kawai will. I personally feel that the Kawai piano sound is the very best reproduction of a piano sound on a digital piano made today. Their harmonic imaging technology is good stuff! Also i like the feel of the kawai action. But feeling is up to you... if it feels good to you then good. The Kawai is much easier to get around on also in my opinion. Yeah roland has a touch screen but because of that they are limited in how much stuff they can put on the screen. This often times leaves you wondering what it is going to do. But Yamaha on the other hand puts EVERYTHING on their screens leaving you in the same state only a little more confused about what's going to happen. I like how Kawai puts the essential stuff on the screen. It's easy to use and fun. As far as sound the kawai will have a better sound system and the cabinet will be more sturdy. The quality of sounds will be about the same. Roland will have a little better wind instrument sounds in my opinion, but the kawai makes up for it in their Piano sound. I hope this helps you a little. good luck

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#701358 - 01/28/03 08:50 PM Re: Roland vs. Kawai
Mystic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/03
Posts: 160
Loc: Location removed to protect th...
I dunno, being that I represent both I am very partial to Roland.. Wooden action to me is just marketing, the real trick is weight and balance. I prefer having a 'springless' action that the Roland provides as well as 'progressive' rather than spring with wooden keys... Remember the wood is covered with plastic..

As far as the Roland not reading all midi files, the only files I know it won't read is Technics.. No big loss there... Roland does however have GS and KR mode that no other brand has.. ;\)

128 samples on each note using 'Steinway' as the sampled piano is a plus for Roland as well since Kawai has only one choice in what piano to sample.. 'KAWAI!!! Don't get me wrong, as I mentioned, I represent both on a retail level, Kawai digitals and accoustics, I think Kawai is a wonderful piano, especially the Shigeru Kawai..

I still prefer the sound, touch, features of Roland and as far as the touch screen, I have no problems navigating, it's quick and precise! Also, the KR-7 Roland gives you a VGA output so you can slap that cool flatscreen and have all the room you need..

\:D \:D \:D

The choice is yous, the best piano will always be the one 'YOU' buy... Nobody can change that... ;\) ;\)
_________________________
I'm a 'Professional' Sales Weasel!!

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#701359 - 01/28/03 10:14 PM Re: Roland vs. Kawai
snap25 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 4
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Excuse my ignorence....What is a Shigeru Kawai ?

Matt

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#701360 - 01/28/03 10:48 PM Re: Roland vs. Kawai
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
128 samples on each note using 'Steinway' as the sampled piano is a plus for Roland
I prefer Roland over Kawai as well, but I'm not sure you meant what you wrote here. There are not 128 samples on each note of any Roland product. Did you mean 128-note polyphony?
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PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#701361 - 01/28/03 11:34 PM Re: Roland vs. Kawai
Mystic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/03
Posts: 160
Loc: Location removed to protect th...
 Quote:
Originally posted by SteveY:
 Quote:
128 samples on each note using 'Steinway' as the sampled piano is a plus for Roland
I prefer Roland over Kawai as well, but I'm not sure you meant what you wrote here. There are not 128 samples on each note of any Roland product. Did you mean 128-note polyphony?[/b]
Various nuances [timbre-shift) are created using multiple samples, yes, 128 samples. When a hammer strikes the string, it pushes this string forward thus causing the 'twang' (for lack of discription) :p This 'twang' will vary depending on how hard the note is struck.. These various tones and color are created by using multiple samples.

And Yes, it's also 128 voice polyphonic..

-----> Matt:
Shigeru Kawai is the elite class Kawai grands, these are the hand-crafted models. Shigeru is the son of founder Koichi Kawai. Shigeru wanted to retire and leave behind a legacy piano carrying his name. The piano was Introduced in 2000 in limited numbers and only a few Kawai dealers have them.. ;\) Great piano!! Go try one! If you can find it down under.. :p
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I'm a 'Professional' Sales Weasel!!

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#701362 - 01/29/03 09:17 AM Re: Roland vs. Kawai
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
I'm sorry Mystic, but I'm afraid you are mistaken. I think we can both agree that Roland's sound engine technology is ahead of the curve. But 128 samples per note is simply cost-prohibitive and is well beyond the capabilities of the current sound engine. As you may know from these boards, I'm a frequent contractor for Roland as clinician and author. Unless something's changed since NAMM last week, I'm afraid that there must be a misunderstanding here.
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PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#701363 - 01/29/03 12:39 PM Re: Roland vs. Kawai
Mystic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/03
Posts: 160
Loc: Location removed to protect th...
 Quote:
Originally posted by SteveY:
I'm sorry Mystic, but I'm afraid you are mistaken. I think we can both agree that Roland's sound engine technology is ahead of the curve. But 128 samples per note is simply cost-prohibitive and is well beyond the capabilities of the current sound engine. As you may know from these boards, I'm a frequent contractor for Roland as clinician and author. Unless something's changed since NAMM last week, I'm afraid that there must be a misunderstanding here.[/b]
Steve, my apologies, I did a followup on this and researched through Roland DM.. Here's a quote from an e-mail I received this morning from Roland in regards to 'how many times...'

"My statement was that we sampled each note of the Steinway D at 128
different levels and stored that information in our master database.

There are varying numbers of samples per note, and varying sampling
frequencies, depending on the model of piano.

The specifics of memory utilization in any particular mode, however, are
proprietary." [/b]

[Senders name withheld...] I goofed! \:D Oh well, that's how we learn!! :p ;\)
_________________________
I'm a 'Professional' Sales Weasel!!

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#701364 - 01/29/03 01:55 PM Re: Roland vs. Kawai
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
There are varying numbers of samples per note, and varying sampling
frequencies, depending on the model of piano.
I'm even a bit puzzled that they'd tell you that 128 different samples are stored in the database. I'm wondering who this was that told you that? I'm not sure that's true. Did you get this from the corporate office in LA?

Also, sampling frequencies are extremely important in creating high quality piano sounds. In order to conserve memory & processing power, manufacturers (including Roland) often sample the source at a lower sampling rate and sometimes even a lower bit depth. As a result it's entirely probable that fewer samples per note taken at higher bit depths and sampling rates would yield higher quality results.

But we certainly can agree that Roland has great piano technology in their products. If I understand correctly that you're a dealer, that's really the bottom line for the consumer isn't it -- that the instruments sound good?
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PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#701365 - 01/29/03 02:26 PM Re: Roland vs. Kawai
Mystic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/03
Posts: 160
Loc: Location removed to protect th...
 Quote:
Originally posted by SteveY:
[QUOTE] I'm even a bit puzzled that they'd tell you that 128 different samples are stored in the database. I'm wondering who this was that told you that? I'm not sure that's true. Did you get this from the corporate office in LA?
[/b]
Steve, at this point,my apology was offered due to incorrect information. I don't see any reason to go into it further. The above e-mail was sent from a Roland rep and not necessarily the rep in my profile area.

The above was a cut and paste excerpt from that mailing I received this morning. the only thing I left out was the name of the sender and the sender advising me to call if I needed any additional info.

I choose not to divulge the name of the rep in respect for his/her privacy.
_________________________
I'm a 'Professional' Sales Weasel!!

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#701366 - 01/29/03 05:40 PM Re: Roland vs. Kawai
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
Hi Mystic,
I'm sorry to be pushy. I'm willing to let it lie. I was just concerned that a Roland rep might be spreading misinformation. I don't know the CK reps, only the MI reps so I wouldn't be able to determine your rep off the top of my head anyway. Certainly no big deal.

Again, I think it's enough to agree that we both like the product!
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PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#701367 - 02/27/03 06:46 PM Re: Roland vs. Kawai
iyi bir piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 664
Loc: USA
Originally posted by Mystic
 Quote:
I dunno, being that I represent both I am very partial to Roland.. Wooden action to me is just marketing, the real trick is weight and balance. I prefer having a 'springless' action that the Roland provides as well as 'progressive' rather than spring with wooden keys... Remember the wood is covered with plastic
Iím sorry to tell you. But I disagree with you on this one. Wooden keys are not really a marketing issue. They really reflect on the touch of the piano. I do understand the point you trying to make as far as weight.
The weight of wood is different than plastic. Yes you can take two materials and try to built something similar with each material and with the same weight. But depending on the properties of the material you will have more or less volume, or you will use less or more material. Therefore the distribution of the weight in the action of these pianos is affected by the materials they are built with. Considering that the plastics keys of Roland are empty inside. In order to reproduce the piano touch. They place all the weight at the other end of the key. When on an acoustic piano the key itself has some weight, because is built with a block of wood (it isn't just a shell) in some cases with pieces of led add to it to create better balance.
As far as the springs use in the Kawai and not use by Roland , the repetition in a digital piano it isnít totally related to it. So not having springs it doesnít represents a real benefit. Besides that they could probably not have the problem of getting weak keys because the spring worn out after so much use. Although the pads use for Rolandís action for support and contact they will most likely worn out faster than the springs.
I believe Kawai actions are far better than Roland.

On the quality of the tone. Even though Roland use a ďSteinwayĒ piano for sampling. Sampling is a lot more complex than the way you make it sound, requires a great deal of editing. And using a Steinway for sampling it doesnít necessary means that Roland digitals perform like Steinwayís pianos. Thatís marketing. It is like saying that Kawai also make acoustic pianos and Roland doesnít. Therefore they know better how to reproduce an acoustic piano in a digital. Both companies are pretty good. Although I liked the tone of Kawai better. It is not percussive and harsh as the Roland.

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#701368 - 02/27/03 11:09 PM Re: Roland vs. Kawai
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
I still prefer Roland sound and action to Kawai. Kawai digital products are a nonfactor in the music industry.
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PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#701369 - 03/01/03 06:57 PM Re: Roland vs. Kawai
liaos Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/23/02
Posts: 9
Loc: Maryland
Hi! Guys:

Great discussion here!!! ^_^

However, I am in the same delima right now, having to choose between a Kawai CA770 and a Roland HP7. I've listed the pros and cons I can think of, but still appreciate if anyone of you can give me some of your opinion.
(I want something that is around $2000, and has great, realistic heavy key action)

Kawai 770:
pro:
- a local dealer offered me for $2000 (new, orginally $4950)
- I like the key action, the wooden key and the sound

con:
- could be old model, don't know what year was CA770 first came out
- Kawai might depreciate more thank Roland?!!!

Roland HP7:
pro:
- the latest and top of the HP line
- Roland seems to be the most popular brand for digital piano

con:
- the best deal is at an European site: pianodepot.com. ($2024+shipping) Therefore, I probably won't get the warrantee in US
- I have only tried HP2 and HP337 so far - the key action is fine, but I prefer if it is heavier and the cabinet doesn't feel as sturdy as other brands

So, my questions are:

- is the KawaiCA770 a really old model?
- has anyone tried HP7? Is the key action heavier than HP337?
- which one will you choose?

Your input is greatly appreciated!!!!

Sincerely,
Sabrina

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#701370 - 03/03/03 07:02 PM Re: Roland vs. Kawai
iyi bir piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 664
Loc: USA
Dear Sabina,

As you just stated, you like the action and the sound. Look at it as what it is, a musical instrument, regardless if is not the latest Kawai model. For $2000.00 it is a bargain. As far as depreciation goes, no matter what brand you get, it wonít hold its value, digital pianos usually depreciate so much more than acoustic pianos.
As I already mentioned, buy it for what it is a good musical instrument that will serve the purpose and definitely justify what you paid for.

With this, Iím not telling you, that you wonít get something for it, when you are ready to sell it.
In the other hand, itís very risky & unpractical to buy an instrument from another country. Besides that you don't help our local economy.
Donít buy a fish that still swimming in the ocean.

Good luck.

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#701371 - 03/04/03 08:14 PM Re: Roland vs. Kawai
BC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/03
Posts: 118
Loc: illinois
i think that there may be some mistake. If Kawai is of no importance in the Digital world then why have they won so many awards?
*Top Digital Piano by SOLO magazine 1999
*Best in class by Keyboard Magazine2000
*Best Digital Piano by Musikmesse International Press 2000
*Key Buy Selection by Keyborad Magazine2000
*Best Design Award by Japan industrial Design 2000
*Digital keyboard of the Year by MMR Magazine 2000
*Electronic Product of the Year by German Music Dealers association 2001
*Degital Keyboard of the year by MMR Magazine 2001

I think you should take another look at them!

BC

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#701372 - 03/04/03 11:25 PM Re: Roland vs. Kawai
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
i think that there may be some mistake. If Kawai is of no importance in the Digital world then why have they won so many awards?
*Top Digital Piano by SOLO magazine 1999
*Best in class by Keyboard Magazine2000
*Best Digital Piano by Musikmesse International Press 2000
*Key Buy Selection by Keyborad Magazine2000
*Best Design Award by Japan industrial Design 2000
*Digital keyboard of the Year by MMR Magazine 2000
*Electronic Product of the Year by German Music Dealers association 2001
*Degital Keyboard of the year by MMR Magazine 2001
I think you should take another look at them!
This is obviously directed toward me. Sorry to see you're so miffed by this, but you're misunderstanding what I said. I'm saying that in the professional music industry, Kawai digitals are a non-factor. I've NEVER seen one in a recording studio, and with the exception of a colleague of mine who does work for them (and gets product for free), I don't know anyone who uses one professionally. All those awards don't change this reality.
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#701373 - 03/05/03 02:41 AM Re: Roland vs. Kawai
iyi bir piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 664
Loc: USA
 Quote:
I've NEVER seen one in a recording studio[/b]
They know you donít like them, so they put them away we you are around.
Come on Steve studios donít use home pianos. This thread is not about pro-boards.

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#701374 - 03/05/03 10:09 AM Re: Roland vs. Kawai
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
They know you donít like them, so they put them away we you are around.
Sounds like a conspiracy! ;\)

 Quote:
Come on Steve studios donít use home pianos. This thread is not about pro-boards.
I'm well aware that these are products for the home. I was challenging the notion that Kawai has best touch/tone. If that were so, the pros would be first in line to use them.
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PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#701375 - 03/05/03 05:02 PM Re: Roland vs. Kawai
OlderGuy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/02
Posts: 40
Loc: Ithaca, NY
>>I'm well aware that these are products for the >>home. I was challenging the notion that Kawai >>has best touch/tone. If that were so, the pros
>>would be first in line to use them.

SteveY: Yes and no. Who is using/buying them is also a question of marketing, name recongnition, assocation, etc. I have a Kawai ESX, and I spent months deciding between that one and a Yamaha P80. The are quite similar, but I liked Kawai's touch and styling a bit better. But, I would say the difference is not that great. Still: there are many more P80 sold than ESXs, obviously not in proportion of difference in quality. Marketing, "herd instinct" (others have that one so will I...), etc. play into this game.
Just my 2c worth....
Peter

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#701376 - 03/05/03 09:40 PM Re: Roland vs. Kawai
BC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/03
Posts: 118
Loc: illinois
i'm not miffed by your opinion. This board is full of opinions and I respect them all. Thanks for your opinions. This is a very good thread and i enjoy hearing all the differences of opinions!

BC

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