Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please

Posted by: kangolboy

Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/24/12 08:32 PM

Am having trouble deciding what DP to get, well sort of. Right now, am 80% leaning on the Kawai. I was 100% on Kawai until I found out that they are releasing a new model ca65. I've seen the spec and it looks like there's a few significant changes and would be worth the extra money over the ca63. I have tried the ca 63 and in my opinion the RM3 action is the best I've tried so far. I am a beginner and even I could feel Kawai ca63 RM3 action was close to the £50k-£100k pianos I tried in a shop in Central London. Am just wondering if the new action on the ca65, Grand Feel, I think it's called, would be guaranteed to be better than the RM3 action??? Anyone?

Recently, I have been looking at Roland pianos too, particularly, the hp 5xx series. Not really a big fan of Roland but some of their DPs get good appraisals, not only from people on this forum but from people on youtube as well. Just wondered how the action on the Roland hp505 (PHAIII)compares to the RM3?
£2000 question, which action is quieter? I know all keybeds make a bit of a noise but the RM3 action is a lot quieter than anything I ever played apart from the expensive pianos that I auditioned. For me, that will be the decider. I do not like the clunkiness of the keys and I do not like the noise that the keys make when they hit the bottom, and the noise the keys make when they return to their original postion when playing and that's why I have dismissed Yamaha CLP 4xx series.
Any help will be greatful. I haven't tried the Roland so would be good to get some info about the clunkiness of the keys.

Thanks
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/24/12 09:23 PM

kangolboy, you definitely need to try the latest Roland HP models. Given your location, it should be relatively easy to find a dealer with a selection of instruments to play-test.

Best of luck with your search!

Cheers,
James
x

ps. Completely off-topic, but will you be going to any of the Olympics events?
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/25/12 03:45 AM

The RM3 action on the CA63 is a lot quieter, and softer on the hands, than the PHAIII action on the 505. I can't say about the new action on the CA65 as I've not tried it.

Both are good actions, just different in feeling and also dimensions (edges, angles, spacing).
Posted by: kangolboy

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/25/12 11:38 AM

Hello Kawai James, thanks for the reply.
Surprisingly most dealers I've been to, are not Roland agents. They stock mostly Yamaha, almost as if they are just Yamaha outlets. And the ones that do Roland, they do not have the hp 505 on display, they say they can order it if I made a purchase but I can't test it because it is not in the shop.
I was lucky to find the Kawai on display, had to search the whole of London to find a dealer that had it on display.

I might just stick with Kawai as it's the instrument I tested but would have really liked a detailed comparison between the 2 based on key action alone.

And yes, I will go to the Olympics. Got tickets to the 100m men's sprinting final.


Thanks for the reply spanishbuddah.
What action would you recommend for a beginner, an adult beginner? The phaIII or the RM3 action?

Does anyone else agree with spanishbuddah about Kawai's RM3 being quieter and softer than Roland's PHAIII?

Thanks.
Posted by: ando

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/25/12 11:46 AM

Originally Posted By: kangolboy

Does anyone else agree with spanishbuddah about Kawai's RM3 being quieter and softer than Roland's PHAIII?

Thanks.


Yes, but it's not that extreme a difference. They both make plenty of noise if you have to listen to somebody playing with headphones.

I made the mistake of playing a Roland HP505 after playing a bunch of acoustic grands recently. My god, what a disappointment! Acoustics are so far in front it's ridiculous. The sound was dead and lifeless. Action ok, but no real touch sensitivity compared to a real grand. The only thing the DP had was a nice price tag. DPs have a long way to go. I'm looking for a grand now...
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/25/12 01:02 PM

Originally Posted By: kangolboy

Thanks for the reply spanishbuddah.
What action would you recommend for a beginner, an adult beginner? The phaIII or the RM3 action?

Both are fine. I ought to say that despite the PHAIII being slightly noisier than the RM3, it's hardly noticed by the player with sound volume at a decent level. As ando says it's probably more noticeable to a listener hearing the keys action when the player has headphones on and so the sound is muted.

If you like the CA65 and the key action then it's probably a good choice. But as KJ says it would be worth trying the Rolands. I know that Rose Morris had both high end Rolands and the CA63 about 2 or 3 weeks ago in the same room.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/25/12 03:19 PM

Originally Posted By: ando
I made the mistake of playing a Roland HP505 after playing a bunch of acoustic grands recently. My god, what a disappointment! Acoustics are so far in front it's ridiculous. The sound was dead and lifeless. Action ok, but no real touch sensitivity compared to a real grand. The only thing the DP had was a nice price tag. DPs have a long way to go. I'm looking for a grand now...


And a nice size/weight.

Just remember to use similar volumes when comparing a digital and acoustic. It's amazing how loud acoustic grands are and we all have an innate bias toward liking louder sounds and attributing more sensitivity, richness, etc when sounds are louder. I basically never crank a digital up as loud as an acoustic, and the impression of unresponsiveness or lack of detail is partially an artifact of this choice.

Having said that, I do agree that digitals have a ways to go.
Posted by: ando

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/25/12 03:30 PM

GV, I did have it cranked up plenty loud. I just found the HP 505 very muffled in its speaker design. I couldn't get it to sound like it was there with me - sort of like it was on the other side of a wall. Didn't worry me, I wasn't shopping for a DP anyway. I might have found it ok if I hadn't just been playing 6-7ft grands.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/25/12 05:50 PM

Yeah, makes sense to me. Just thought I'd put up a defense (weak, though it may be) for digitals. Everyone deserves a fair trial.
Posted by: kangolboy

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/25/12 07:41 PM

Thanks spanishbuddah for that place, I will definitely check it out next week. I've looked at their website and it looks like they have quite a range of DPs I could try out.
For now I think Kawai is still on top of my list, but if there any suggestions or alternatives to Kawai ca63/65, please let me know.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/25/12 08:50 PM

Originally Posted By: kangolboy
And yes, I will go to the Olympics. Got tickets to the 100m men's sprinting final.


Wow, that promises to be an incredible event!

James
x
Posted by: kangolboy

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/26/12 07:55 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: kangolboy
And yes, I will go to the Olympics. Got tickets to the 100m men's sprinting final.


Wow, that promises to be an incredible event!

James
x


Yeah can't wait
Posted by: kangolboy

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/28/12 06:05 PM

Thanks a lot Spanishbuddah. Today I visited Rose Morris and I had the opportunity to try out the HP503,505, 507, LX-15,RD700NX and RD300NX and Kawai ca63 and 93 and Kawai CS6, CS9, CN43, MP10 and MP6. I must have spent at least an hour and a half in the shop.
Here are my conclusions.

I started off with the Kawai CA63. I played most of the songs I know and even asked the sales guy to play something too while I listened for the clunkiness. Volume was completely turned off and it was considerably quiet.
After, I decided to test out the LX-15 which has the top of the range action on Roland. And I got to say, My God, Kawai have done a great, much better job on the key action than Roland. Kawai is much smoother, quieter and soft. I felt Roland was a little bit rigid and rough. I felt the difference straight away. I tried out the HP505 and 507 also, and on there it was worse. For me Kawai had the best action by far but am just an amateur(what do i know), I know some people love the Roland action but It's not for me as I think Kawai deliver more in that department.
In the Grand Feel on the Kawai CA65/95, I don't see how Kawai would improve something as good as the RM3. I really love the RM3 action but I really would like to test out the Grand Feel action on the CA65/95. If it is noticeably better than the RM3, I'd happily pay £3000 for it because I think it would be worth it. But then again, tha's just my opinion.

In terms of sound, both piano sound and other sounds, it all sounded the same to me. I liked the piano sound on my £120 61-key keyboard, so anything above that, well just sounds the same to me. Maybe it's because of my untrained ears.


Kawai James, would you reckon I wait for the CA65 or just go for the CA63? Will the action be considerably better in the CA 65? Apart from that, I should be getting my CA63 next week, or possibly the CS6, loved the look of the CS6.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/28/12 06:30 PM

Originally Posted By: kangolboy
Kawai James, would you reckon I wait for the CA65 or just go for the CA63? Will the action be considerably better in the CA 65?


Well, the 'RM3 Grand' action in the CA63 is certainly very well regarded. However, I also believe that 'Grand Feel' offers significant 'step-up', with longer keys, a longer pivot point, triple sensor, and let-off. And don't forget the CA65's superior sound and features.

I'm afraid I do not know when Rose Morris will be receiving their first shipment of the CA65, however it shouldn't be too far off. If you are not in a great hurry to buy, it may be worthwhile waiting to play-test both models side-by-side.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: kangolboy

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/28/12 06:47 PM

Kawai James,
That sounds good. But am in a little bit of a hurry. I think I will give it 10 days and I will then return to the shop to see if he has the new models. I could order the CA65 straight but to my preference, it might not be as good as the RM3 action in the CA63.

Well the CA63 that I tested is the actual one that I'd be getting if I bought it from him. He said he can get the new models CA65/95 just as soon as he sells the demo CA63/93 that he has in the shop. In fact he told me, if he sold the CA63 and 93 today, he'd have the CA65 and 95 by Thursday next week.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/28/12 08:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Well, the 'RM3 Grand' action in the CA63 is certainly very well regarded. However, I also believe that 'Grand Feel' offers significant 'step-up', with longer keys, a longer pivot point, triple sensor, and let-off. And don't forget the CA65's superior sound and features.


I assume you've had the chance to play the CA65 (or at least the GF action) thoroghly yourself. In your actual playing, did the longer keys and triple sensor make it a noticeably different experence than playing an RM3 piano? Just interested in your personal experience. The technological advancements are undeniable, but we haven't had people testing the two opinions and and saying whether in their opinion the difference in playability is subtle or large.
Posted by: kangolboy

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/29/12 07:24 PM

Apart from the polished cabinet, let off function, what advantages does the CS6 posses over the CA63?
I want to get the CS6 just because it looks better and theres a good deal on it and for some reason, I think it won't be far off from the CA65. As much as I think that the Grand Feel action will be a step up, I also think I might not like it as much as the RM3 Grand action.

Does the triple sensor in the CA65/95 really make a diference to an amateur, what are the advantages of the triple sensor as opposed to what is in the CA 63?

Thanks
Posted by: kangolboy

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/29/12 07:52 PM

Does the triple sensor in the CA65/95 really make a diference to an amateur, what are the advantages of the triple sensor as opposed to what is in the CA 63?
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/29/12 09:28 PM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
In your actual playing, did the longer keys and triple sensor make it a noticeably different experence than playing an RM3 piano?


Yes, I found GF to be more responsive and a little easier to play.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/29/12 09:46 PM

Originally Posted By: kangolboy
Apart from the polished cabinet, let off function, what advantages does the CS6 posses over the CA63?


There are some minor software changes (e.g. the addition of an 'Auto Power Off' function), however other than these, I believe you've highlighted the main differences.

Originally Posted By: kangolboy
I want to get the CS6 just because it looks better and theres a good deal on it and for some reason, I think it won't be far off from the CA65. As much as I think that the Grand Feel action will be a step up, I also think I might not like it as much as the RM3 Grand action.


If you like the 'RM3 Grand' action, I'm reasonably confident that you will also like the new 'Grand Feel' action - possibly even more so.

Originally Posted By: kangolboy

Does the triple sensor in the CA65/95 really make a diference to an amateur, what are the advantages of the triple sensor as opposed to what is in the CA 63?


As explained in the brochure:



So in summary, there are three main benefits:

- Improved responsiveness.
- Ability to play notes repeatedly without the sound of the previous note being lost.
- Greater range of expression when playing staccato or legato (because key-off speed is also taken into account).

Are these points significant to beginners? Well, possibly not. However, if you wish to purchase the best available, I would obviously recommend the latest models.

I hope this helps.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: kangolboy

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/30/12 04:50 AM

Thanks for the info Kawai James. Now I can make an informed decision.
Posted by: kangolboy

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/30/12 07:27 PM

Tomorrow morning I am going to possibly order my CA63. I think I will have to stretch my budget a little bit as I am now interested in the CS6. If I get a good deal on it, am definitely going for it.

I've read a few threads about 'bugs' in the CA63. Is that something to worry about or is it easily rectified by the latest firmware? And does the CS6 experience similar problems?
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/30/12 07:40 PM

If you are referring to the CA63 "resonance bug" thread, it hasn't been completely investigated and determined to be a bug. It's a bit early to worry at this point. For one thing, the piano has been around for years now and this is the first we have heard of this apparent bug (which, if true, is just an incorrect formula for sympathetic resonance), so it does not appear to be a show stopper.
Posted by: kangolboy

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/30/12 07:45 PM

Gvfarns, I take it you have the Kawai CA63? And if so, on a scale of 1-10, 1 being the least satisfied and 10 the most, how satisfied are you with it?
And have you had any major problems with it in terms of hardware and/or software?
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/30/12 07:51 PM

Sorry, I actually own the MP8, which is the predecessor to the MP10 and features the AWA PRO action (the predecessor to RM3). I haven't had any problems with it except a botched firmware upgrade when I first got it (my fault). But anyway, there are others in the forum that have the CA63 that can review it better. If I didn't own a DP there's a good chance I'd go for a CA63 or CA65. Or rather, I'd love to exchange my MP8 for a CA63.

I just re-read that thread more carefully. I take back what I said. I guess it is a bug. Still, not exactly a death sentence.

Personally I do not use onboard sounds, so that kind of bug wouldn't affect me anyway.
Posted by: kangolboy

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/31/12 06:17 PM

Oh ok I see Gvfarns. I have opted to go for the CS6, sort of had no choice because I started to notice minor issues with the actual demo CA63 I was about to purchase plus the dealer has given me a good deal on it, but I think I should have negotiated him further down but nonetheless, it's still a good price I think, as other dealers I went to quoted me much more and weren't willing to negotiate.
Dealer said he couldn't order anymore CA63 so I had to have the demo which am sure has been the demo since the CA63 model was released and a lot of hands have been on there, so I started to feel like I was getting a second hand piano for the price of a new piano so in the end I decided to go for the CS6.

When you say you use onboard sounds, are you referring to softwares like pianoteq?

Today I visited one of the largest retailers of Yamaha instruments in London. They had the Avant Grands. I tried them all N1,N2 and N3, they feel solid but the key action feels a little too heavy for me, after playing for about 15 minutes, my fingers started to ache. I must say, the £50k-£100k like Bösendorfer, Steinway, Kawai, Fazioli and others, didn't feel like the Avant Grands. The key action was heavy but soft at the same time, if that makes sense. They were just great to play on. The only thing that I liked about the Avant Grands was the 'let off' feature. It does feel really good on them, they've nailed that feature. The sound is probably good on there too but sound doesn't matter to my untrained ears, I think Roland sounds good, Kawai sounds good and I think Yamaha sounds good. I could'nt pick a favourite as they are similar sounding, there's obviously subtle differences but I think it's subjective. Just had to say this about the Avant Grands as they get so much hype and are apparently meant to be the best digital pianos that emulate the feel of Real Acoustic Pianos. To be honest, I'd go for the Modus model instead of Avant Grand,I thought that was really great.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 07/31/12 09:44 PM

Onboard sounds mean the ones that come on the piano. The ones you get when you just turn it on and play. Software pianos are the ones generated by a computer, like PianoTeq and Vintage D, which is what I use.

Congrats on your CS6! That seems like a great piano to me. Beautiful cabinetry, great action. Good idea not to take the CA63. You shouldn't buy anything that you have complaints about during the demo because whatever bothers you then will only bother you more when you own it.

With respect to the AvantGrand, I can empathize with your disappointment. Not that it's a bad machine, but the hype sort of makes you expect something transcendent when you play it. Actually when I played an N2 in the store I was a bit turned off by the loud, loud clunking of the action, and it just didn't feel $10,000 worth of special. It was like a loud, poorly regulated grand. There was actually a Yamaha NW action piano there that I was pretty impressed with, and that's a much-maligned action around here (it has wood in it just for decoration). One thing I did like about the AvantGrand were the onboard samples. They've taken some heat for using antiquated looping methods, but I felt like their samples were very good and detailed. Decidedly better than the other models I tried (that store only had Yamahas and I was using pretty nice headphones to demo them). Great sounding piano. Still, it's not as good as Vintage D and it costs an awful lot more.
Posted by: kangolboy

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 08/01/12 08:07 PM

Oh ok I see.

Yeah I love the polished ebony on it. Makes it look much more expensive.

I think Avant Grands are way too expensive compared to what they deliver. With Yamaha, I just feel like they don't put much effort in their DPs as they are already a good reputable company, so anything that carries the 'Yamaha' name, can be priced ridiculously and the justification would be because it's a Yamaha, and they use 'sleek' terminology to describe the most basic functionality that makes people think, its worth the money. That's why I had to go for Kawai or Roland because as competitors and smaller companies compared to Yamaha, they deliver and put so much energy in their DPs.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 08/01/12 08:17 PM

Regarding AvantGrand pricing, I agree to a certain extent that the N3 and N2 models are rather expensive. However the N1 and new NU1 offer an excellent piano-oriented package at very competitively prices. I have it on reasonably good authority that the NU1 is particularly good.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 08/02/12 05:28 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
I have it on reasonably good authority that the NU1 is particularly good.

Cheers,
James
x


Just reasonably good? wink
Posted by: ap55

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 10/12/12 01:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Regarding AvantGrand pricing, I agree to a certain extent that the N3 and N2 models are rather expensive. However the N1 and new NU1 offer an excellent piano-oriented package at very competitively prices. I have it on reasonably good authority that the NU1 is particularly good.

Cheers,
James
x


@Kawai James. At that price you could expect an ivory key top would be good for N1 and NU1? Then if you get it for 3600 this would be competitive.

What is particulary not good on the NU1?
Posted by: enzo.sandrolini

Re: Roland hp505 or Kawai ca 65? Help Please - 10/12/12 02:30 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
I have it on reasonably good authority that the NU1 is particularly good.

Cheers,
James
x


Just reasonably good? wink



I would not have said "just" grin but that is "just" my personal opinion cool