My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7?

Posted by: Marko in Boston

My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/12/12 10:42 PM

Hello all, I am new to Pianoworld forum and very grateful to amazing advice found here. I had to sign up because I want to learn more from you and grow in my skill – no better place than here IMO. So, with that in mind, this is my first post.

This is my story (sorry in advance for long post):

1. My desire: I have been shopping a home digital piano for about a year now. I have a budget between $2k-3K. This is a lot of money for me but it is worth every penny to feed my passion for piano.

2. My skill level: I have been playing piano for about 20 years, blessed to play by ear. I can’t begin to tell you how much pleasure it is to learn a song and play it for as many people as I can. A pro might be very judgmental of my talent, but my listeners seem very happy and impressed when I play. Either way – I don’t care, just love to play as much as can.

3. My situation: I have been playing a semi-old Yamaha P22 studio since 1997ish. Nothing fancy , but I loved that piano and had to give it up when I moved to Boston last year. I miss it so much past year that I started shopping for another the minute I moved here. Do to my situation; a digital piano is my best option. I never owned a digital piano before, so I have been reviewing and tested between Yamaha, Roland, and Kawai digital pianos. Wow, technology is amazing with all three!

4: Final choice: trying to make a long story short; after trying MANY digital pianos, I felt that Kawai digital pianos seemed to be the best (for me) in quality, action, and sound, especially the CA65 & CA95, but as you know – very expensive. The dealer said he would sell me the CA65 for $2,975. Pefect! In my price range, action the same, sounds exactly the same as CA95 (w/ headphones), etc. Done deal – so I thought…

5: Conundrum: So after playing the CA65 on three separate occasions totaling about 6 hours of play I was ready to purchase. I went to the dealer last Friday with cash in hand to purchase the CA65. The dealer was with a client so I had a little time to kill. I was poking around his shop and sat in front of the Kawai ES7. I thought it looked like a nice portable so I thought I would play it just to kill some time. Well, all I can say is HOLY S*** - THIS IS AWESOME! Action, sound, size, simplicity, technology, price ($1.899), etc, etc. I immediately bonded with this gorgeous piano and played it for a ½ hour. The dealer finished his meeting and met with me. I told him how much I loved the ES7 and he agrees Kawai did a great job upgrading from the ES6. I continued to play it for about another 90 minutes and did not want to stop.

6: Conclusion: I did not buy the CA65 or the ES7 because now I am so confused. I love both pianos. Don’t care about size, portability, or looks. Whatever I chose will permanently remain in my modest den. I told the dealer I will let him know next week and buy either or.

Help: please give me any thoughts if your own or familiar with either CA65 & ES7. I really cant decide. I don’t care about many feature such as rhythms and multiply sounds. Just want a great piano sound and feel in a solid digital piano. I truly appreciate your time. This is a big decision for me as I plan to have this piano for many years.

Thanks, Marko
Posted by: mitzysman

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! - 12/12/12 10:57 PM

i think you answered your own questions - sounds like the es7! Both are awesome - i think you are paying for the better action/speakers in the Ca65 - but both actions are good.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! - 12/12/12 11:07 PM

Hello Marko, welcome to the forum!

The ES7's specifications are very strong, however the CA65 is undoubtedly the superior instrument in terms of tonal quality and action realism. If you do not intend to use the ES7's rhythm section feature, nor require a portable instrument, the CA65 is arguably the better choice.

By the way, it sounds like the dealer in Boston is a great store! For me, the positive experience that you've had underlines the value of 'bricks and mortar' stores. Of course, buying online is all well and good, but when it comes to making decisions about a new piano on a subjective, personal level, there's absolutely no substitute for being able to sit down and play the instrument for an extended period.

Anyway, best of luck with your decision.

Cheers,
James
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Posted by: dmd

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! - 12/12/12 11:08 PM

I own the CA-63 and loved the action but not a big fan of the sound through the built-in speakers. I spent the last year trying to find a way to get a sound I like via software and/or external speakers. I got to a place that was fair but not what I really wanted.

A few days ago I purchased the ES7 and my initial reaction was similar to yours ... great key action and great sound.

After having played it for awhile I have come off that initial "high" and have found that the sound, although very good, is not as good as I play with more volume (loudness). It can begin to get a little thin. Considering the small onboard speakers, this is not to be unexpected.

I am now looking into additional components (equalizers, external speakers, mixers, etc ...) which may help with this.

That said, I could (and very well, may) leave it as is. The speakers are not bad as is. I will make one run at better and then leave it alone.

In all other respects, I like it very much ... especially the rhythms that come with the instrument. Also, I can insert a USB device containing MIDI accompaniments to play along with. That is very nice also.... for me.

Posted by: Marko in Boston

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/12/12 11:33 PM

Thank you all for quick response:

mitzysman: It does sound like I answered my own question, however, I might just be on the initial "high" that dmd mentioned.

dmd: it sure was a "high" playing that awesome board. You might have a point about loudness though. I like to crank it occasionally. I noticed a tiny bit of distortion when hitting lower keys loudly. Maybe a sub woofer would help the small-ish speaker sound.

Kawai James: I agree that the CA65 is the far superior of the two, but both are of the same ilk for sure. Both are so nice in overall quality , just different in class. ie. like comparing a Mercedes E class to a Mercedes C class - both near perfect just different size and features. Does that makes sense?
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/12/12 11:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Marko in Boston
Both are so nice in overall quality , just different in class. ie. like comparing a Mercedes E class to a Mercedes C class - both near perfect just different size and features. Does that makes sense?


Yes, that's a good analogy.

James
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Posted by: Marko in Boston

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/13/12 06:32 AM

Any other CA65 or ES7 owners out there want to chime in? Im interested in what your decision making process was just before you bought your Kawai. Also, your current experience like what dmd wrote about. I appreciate your help as I hope to make a purchase this weekend.
Posted by: Jeff Clef

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/13/12 06:46 AM

I think you had better go and play them some more. Take your own headphones this time; maybe, in preparation, download the user manuals from the Kawai website and pore over them a bit.

I use outboard speakers by Yamaha (plus a subwoofer) when I want to have the sound 'in the room,' with my MP8ii. Not everyone would care for the look, but it sure delivers.

Kawai is a fine make, with very good customer service. Just go back and play yourself blue in the face--- and if you still aren't sure, do it again another day. James' advice is well-considered, but you have to decide for yourself.
Posted by: Marko in Boston

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/13/12 07:24 AM

Thanks Jeff, that is great advice and exactly what I plan to do after work today. I did use my Bose headphones with me last few times. Both sound SO good - which makes so hard to choose. Funny, Im so caught up in playing both pianos that I did not even think of downloading manuals. Good call! Doing it right now.
Posted by: MagicK

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/13/12 07:59 AM

You should take the one that feels better regardless the price (within your budget of course :-)
The most important aspect of a digital is the keys. Everything else can be enhanced afterwards (active boxes, VSTi etc). The ES7 has the PH2, the CA65 the GrandFeel action. Both feel very different. I tried both at a local store and liked the PH2 more than the GrandFeel. That's a very subjective feeling and i'm not a very experienced player. Also my Teacher has an upright with a similar feel. Quite heavy action. In comparison the GrandFeel felt sluggish. If my Teacher had a Grand, i would have probably said the exact opposite :-)

Anyway i am perfectly happy with my CN34 (same action as the ES7). Lucky for me as the Ca65 was way beyond my budget :-)

So take the piano that feels right.
Posted by: dmd

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/13/12 08:07 AM

I apologize for contributing toward "Budget Creep" but I have to say I would certainly take a good hard look into the CA-95 before I purchased the CA-65. For someone with acoustic piano background the CA-95 soundboard might be very appealing.
Posted by: MagicK

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/13/12 08:13 AM

Database hickup and double post.
Posted by: Marko in Boston

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/13/12 09:29 AM

dmd: Love the CA95, but $4K+ ouch! Im just trying to pretend it doesn't exist. I really have to keep to my budget and $3K is pushing it hard.

MagicK: You might be on to something with the feel of the RHII vs Grand Feel. To quote myself regarding ES7 "I immediately bonded with this gorgeous piano.." The ES7 was so playable, easy and responsive you almost feel like you're cheating on an exam. Then something about CA65 felt more professional, genuine, and challenging that is would help me improve my playing. Sorry, im not very articulate in my explanations, but I completely understand that action is such a personal preference that no one can really say which is best for anyone.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/13/12 10:47 AM

If they both satisfy, buy the cheaper one. You will find something good to spend the extra thousand dollars on later.
Posted by: Marko in Boston

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/13/12 12:28 PM

You are right. ie a stand, bench, cover, maybe sub woofer. Using up that extra grand quickly if I go with ES7

Now that I think about it, I didn't ask dealer if a bench is included with CA65. If not,maybe a negotiating point for me.
Posted by: McBuster

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/13/12 12:50 PM

Bench is included.
Posted by: Marko in Boston

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/13/12 01:01 PM

Thanks McBuster. Are you pleased with you CA95? Did you consider CA65 when shopping?
Posted by: McBuster

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/13/12 01:48 PM

Scout through some of my older Posts. I have left alot of comments on the CA63 CA93 and the CA95.

You will find I am delighted with the CA95.
Posted by: JFP

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/13/12 03:32 PM

ES7 / CA65 ; not the same thing. Very important is which keybed you like the most and probably keep on liking in the long run. If you prefer RHII over GF - can hardly imagine, but it's possible - then the ES7 will save you a lot of money. However the speakers and sound engine on the CA-65 are better than on the ES7 . Both are very nice instruments, but hard to compare - one is a 'portable' , the other a cabinet DP and they are in a different price range - resulting in different specs.

Make a list: features you find most important on top and stuff your care less about below (price is also a feature ;-). Then put the specs of both piano's behind the list and find the best match.

Good luck !

P.S. I bought the ES7 while especially considering price, portability and space requirements . If these features are not important to you, the CA series seems to me a better choice. If you DO like the RHII very much AND still want a cabinet DP , the CN34 is perhaps an alternative ? Not that you can go very wrong with any of these three...- I personally would opt for the CA if price/ portability/ space are no issues...
Posted by: Qbert

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/15/12 06:18 AM

I'm in a similar condition. With few money more I would buy the semi-console version of ES7, with 3 pedals included, and a rhythm section as a bonus that CA65 miss.

Posted by: Marko in Boston

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/15/12 07:40 AM

Hi Qbert, I obviously love the ES7, but the stand w/ 3 pedal (HM4 & F301) is around $400-450. Plus will need a bench and maybe subwoofer. Yet, still cheaper than CA65.

ES7 total package is around $2,500
CA65 total package is $2,995

This is whats making my decisions so hard. Just as I lean towards ES7 I start thinking about $$ and CA65. For an extra $500 and very little compromise I can have a high end Kawai which also happens to be one of the best DPs on the market today.

I'll know more today when the Kawai dealer opens at 10am. Im planning to buy either one SOON if not today. Got $3k cash in hand. See if I can beat up the dealer a bit and get best deal possible. BTW, not sure if Pianoworld allows mentioning dealer's names in the forum, but this dealer is such an outstanding and knowledgeable guy. He has not put on ANY pressure whatsoever to buy, answers all my questions, and lets me hang out in his shop unattended for as long as I need to play. I also believe he is sincere and honest due to the fact that he encourage me to go play as many DPs as I can that he doesn't carry or sell. And I did, which is why I ruled out Roland, Korg, Nord, Casio, Kurzweil, and Yamaha (personal preference only - all make some incredible DPs that were pretty amazing to hear and play.) It will be my pleasure to give him my business and send him as many referrals as I can. Hopefully soon so I can just start playing again.
Posted by: Tony Maggio

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/15/12 08:48 AM

Check the "Prices Paid" thread on this forum. It will give you an idea of what is reasonable. Buying a pianos is fairly similar to buying a car -- you can make your own offer.
Posted by: McBuster

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/15/12 10:10 AM

I would kinda believe, the wholesale cost, to the Dealer of a CA65, is about $1750 +/- $100. Just from some of the numbers I see bantied about.

Think in those terms.

And yes, scour the prices paid. That, and this forum, is where I found how to save alot of money.
Posted by: mitzysman

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/15/12 04:10 PM

You can definately do better than 3000 on the ca65. Try telling them 2600-2700 and I think they will bite or somewhere around there.
Posted by: kangolboy

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/15/12 07:32 PM

I purchased the Kawai CA 65 about 3 and half months ago. I must say it is a good instrument, best in its price range. Nothing comes close, in my opinion. I learn about it everyday, it's got some pretty cool features. And the internal songs in the piano are a pleasure to listen to. 3 months on, it still amazes me.

For me, I was considering the Yamaha CLP 440, Roland Hp505 and Kawai CA65.
I quickly dismissed Yamaha because I felt it was too average and nothing too slick about it.
And I didn't like the clunkiness of the keys. I can't stand clunky keys.

So I started comparing the HP505 and th CA65. I must say tho that the Roland HP505 has a clunky keyboard too, perhaps louder than Yamaha but I'd happily take the Roland over Yamaha because it has woodtone keys. And it's got better speakers and is louder and just sounds better.

But for me the Kawai was the winner hands down. I just love the Grand Feel Action. It is by far the quietest board as far as clunkiness is concerned. The action is great, the sound is great too, of course all this is subjective, but all I'm saying is you won't regret your decision if you purchase it.

Also just a thank you to the forum, coz I was so close to buying th Yamaha, but found out about Kawai on this forum. I didn't even know Kawai did digital pianos until about 5 months ago.
Anyways good luck.
Posted by: StefaanBelgium

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/17/12 06:07 AM

I'm also the proud owner of the Kawai CA65 since a couple of months. I made the decision after searching the internet for reviews. Most reviews are very positive concerning the higher end DP's from Kawai. In the store they had other brands too ( Roland ), but those didn't have the same nice touch as the CA65/95.
I don't use all the bells and whistles that come with it, I just needed a good DP with an action as realistic as possible and with a good sound. And I'm happy with the choice I made. I'm still a beginner ( only Burgmullers Arabesque, Musette in D, Menuet 114 etc in my 'repertoire' smile ) so take my view with a big grain of salt...
Recently I played on the Kawai K3 accoustic and I was honestly a bit underwelmed by the sound I got from it. Probably my expectations were too high, but still, I appreciate the clear sound from my CA65 more. Maybe it's just because I'm used to that sound.
Posted by: pv88

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/17/12 06:14 AM

For everyone that has already purchased a Kawai...

Congratulations, on a very good choice! smile
Posted by: Marko in Boston

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/20/12 12:15 AM

Well, I finally made a purchase this afternoon. I loved this piano from the start in the store and now hopefully at home. It financially makes sense for what my needs are and skill level.

And the winner is.....

ES7!

Thoughts so far after 6 hours of nonstop play now in my house:

PROS:
- great deal - paid $1700 in tax free NH
- feel/action RHII is outstanding for portable
- 30 sounds - more than enough. only wanted a handful of piano sounds
- piano sounds absolutely amazing through Bose headphones
- size; can bring it with me anywhere. Fits perfectly in my den (and car when needed to travel.)
- 100 rhythm section sounds great. Did not think I wanted but liked immediately. Fun and authentic sounding,
- many nice features same as CA65&95 for $1,000 less. However, CA65 is superior in MANY ways only depending on what you want and/or need in a DP.

CONS
- speakers are ok at mid volume. Distortion in left speaker at lower keys especially D and A when hit hard and semi-loud. WT* Kawai? why only 15x15w speakers in such an amazing piano! The distortion is not as bad but similar to FP7F that I tested last month - which was one of several reason i ruled it out. Again, not as bad but still a bummer. I had to plug in my Polk subwoofer asap to see if it would make it better. Big help! However, my bad, I should have cranked it in the shop when I had the chance.

First impression: This is an absolutely amazing portable piano. Best sound and action of any portable Yamaha, Roland, Nord and Korg I tested. Yes, the speakers are weak but still sound pretty good at low levels. Subwoofer a must if you want to beef it up. I bought the ES7 mostly to practice with headphones and it sounds beyond my expectations. IMO better than Roland FP7f, 700nx, later Yamaha CPs and just as good as CA65/95... unless you have incredible dog-like hearing. Again, IMO only. Bottom line - If next ES(8?) uses CP300 speakers, Kawai just might have the best portable DP ever.

Ill keep you posted with detailed reviews on ES7 if you want. Let me know if you want me to start a new post or just continue w this post.

Mostly, Thanks to everyone in this forum who responded and helped me in my buying process.

In return, If needed, I will try to answer as many questions best I can about ES7 and other DPs I tested. Keep in mind Im not a pro pianist by any means. Just self taught performer that's been playing by ear for about 25 years. But I think I got the hang of it by now wink



Posted by: Kawai James

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/20/12 12:28 AM

Hi Marko, congrats on the new ES7!

Thank you for posting your comments too.

Regarding the distortion in the left speaker, have you discussed this with the dealer and/or Kawai America? I wonder if it's something that can be rectified?

Kind regards,
James
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Posted by: dmd

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/20/12 12:43 AM

Hi Marko,

Congrats on your ES7.

I am wondering about the speaker distortion you speak of.

I also have an issue with distortion but with mostly a single key (the E a 3rd up from middle C) and I am wondering if the distortion you speak of is only speakers or do you hear it with your phones also ?

I hear mine with phones, also ... so I do not think it has anything to do with the speakers.


Posted by: JFP

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/20/12 03:47 AM

@dmd: if you hear it on phones it's definitely not the speakers ;-) Could be the Progressive Harmonic Imaging engine that you hear. I Made that mistake myself as well before - hearing added resonances that are (most probably) part of the PHI algorithm and interpreting them as harmonic 'distortions'.

@Marko and other ES7 owners; I hear a bit of ringing / distortion when playing pretty loud (75% ~ 100% volume) and specifically with certain key combinations that resonate more (A +E) and therefore put more load on the speaker system. Some Kawai technical guys where here. They indicated that in such a small cabinet with relatively small speakers you will always hear just a little bit of distortion or case resonance when going full throttle. As long as it stays within limits. Although I don't have a second ES7 to compare , I think they may be right, since more people 'hear' something similar when playing loud but not so much that it completely distorts or spoils the fun. So in short ; if there is just a slight distortion of the sound only when going very loud, that's probably the way it is and I must admit that it is mostly audible to the critical ear. It's very likely that many people wouldn't even notice it. I wouldn't bother too much , unless you're experiencing something that is very different and looks more like a broken speaker. In that case talk to your dealer as James advised.

By the way I tried the ES7 with an added Subwoofer ; must say I'm not sure if I liked the results. It added more bottom to the sound, but simultaneously the sound became less defined and more muffled. Have to do some more testing to see if it's an improvement or not. Also keep in mind the audio outputs are fixed in Volume, so you have to adjust the volume of your sub when changing the volume of the ES7. Not a very nice solution, unless you always keep the ES7 Volume fixed at the same level. WOuld be great if you could choose between fixed or dynamic volume for the outputs in a setting ( or is it there and did I overlook this option?).

Congrats on your choice ; the ES7 is a great instrument ! Enjoy.
Posted by: sandalholme

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/20/12 04:37 AM

Congratulations on your ES7. Brought mine home a few days' ago and am amazed at the quality of the sound and its playability. Re the latter, I am still on a learning curve re DPs, having spent 6 decades playing APs, but I have been surprised how quickly I have adapted and am getting closer to the subtlety of touch of my RX2. No problems with distortion on headphones or speakers. The MP3 output is low (but what a useful feature)and I am still experimenting with increasing the gain and/or increasing gain in Audacity, but it's interesting that through my hi-fi system, the LH channel distorts sometimes - but this speaker is a bit dodgy anyway. A small techie problem hopefully.

It's an incredible piano, having great fun with it. Originally intended to go the software piano route with any DP I bought and will do so in due course, but there's no urgency about this with the ES7. Although I have played around with the harpsichord sound to create 3 (sort of) different registers (I am a former harpsichordist and really miss playing French baroque music) I will certainly go down the software route for playing harpsichord.

At present, being able to move back and forth between the ES7 and the RX2, my comment would be "they are different", not "the RX2 is so superior". As I get more accustomed to the ES7 sound I expect to notice more limitations versus the RX2, but I fully expected these to be blindingly obvious right from the start.

I am still in a state of amazement.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/20/12 07:10 AM

Originally Posted By: JFP
Also keep in mind the audio outputs are fixed in Volume, so you have to adjust the volume of your sub when changing the volume of the ES7. Not a very nice solution, unless you always keep the ES7 Volume fixed at the same level. WOuld be great if you could choose between fixed or dynamic volume for the outputs in a setting ( or is it there and did I overlook this option?).


There is a good reason why the Line Out level does not change with the Master Volume slider, however I'm afraid I cannot quite remember what it is at the moment.

However, there is the 'Line Out Volume' setting in the 'Basic Settings' menu which - as the name suggests - allows the line out volume to be adjusted directly from the instrument. You can also 'jump' to this setting temporarily by pressing and holding the EXIT button.

Cheers,
James
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Posted by: Kawai James

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/20/12 07:17 AM

sandalholme, congrats to you too, and thank you also for posting your positive feedback - it's very encouraging for myself and my colleagues to read that the instrument is bringing such enjoyment to so many people.

By the way, if you haven't done so already, please remember to download the latest software version from the URL below:

http://www.kawai.co.jp/worldwide/support/updates.html

Kind regards,
James
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Posted by: Marko in Boston

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/20/12 09:18 AM

Thank you JFP, dmd, sandalholme, especially you Kawai James; you are truly an asset to the Pianoworld community. I did the upgrade from 1.11 to 1.13 effortlessly.


This is my latest findings: I might have misspoke when I use the word "distortion." The distortion seems like it's NOT coming from the left speaker itself but maybe 3-5 inches just to the right of the speaker. So, I think distortion was the wrong word because the speaker seems to be fine, so now I believe it's more of a vibration sound than distortion. Now what is very interesting is the Concert Grand demo - played at almost full volume has virtually no vibration at all. So maybe it's a matter of adjustment. Also maybe it's my imagination but the vibration seems to be getting slightly less the more I play. Is there such thing as a break in period for digital pianos??

Also, JFP, you're kind of right. The subwoofer not best option after trying for over an hour to get it perfect. Although does add nice vibration on the keys like a real piano

The good news is that I am loving the ES7 the more I play it. Sound is virtually flawless with Bose headphones and Bose is not certainly not the best headphones out there, just maybe best in marketing ;-). The Grand Concert and Mellow1 just amazes me how good Kawai can reproduce such incredible sound (w headphones). Between sound and action I don't want to stop playing it!! But I think like any expensive new purchase of anything we tend to be most critical in the beginning. I will keep updating this post as I discover more things about the ES7 But I truly think I will still be in love even after the honeymoon.
Posted by: JFP

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/20/12 03:32 PM

I think we're talking about the same thing. The ringing I have is also next to the right speaker at loud volume when playing a piano preset. Especially with certain key combinations , like I said (a+e in my case). It seems to be a slight , metallic resonance of the case , or part of the es7 body. And it is indeed mysteriously absent when playing the demo songs at full volume, that was what was bugging my mind too. It's sort of a harsh edge at loud volumes, but not too present , so it's not a very big deal. Probably pushing the volume of a small portable piano (any digital with relatively small speakers and a cabinet that doesn't weigh a ton) will have some sort of material resonance in the end. So don't push it all he way up and you'll find he ES7 sound very enjoyable ;-)

James , good to know there is a shortcut to the Volume setting. The MP6 had its own volume slider which was even more convenient, but his will help too. That the line out is fixed as default makes sense. For a PA situation that is the best option. But a choice to set it to dynamic as alternative in a setup menu would have been nice. If that could be a firmware update option (outputs either fixed, or following the volume slider) than regard this as a request ;-)

Is there a firmware request link ? Got some other proposals for the arranger sounds that IMHO could enhance the experience without costing too much programming effort. For the rest the ES7 is pretty much complete . Some adjustments in arranger sounds & perhaps some extra pedal functionality and small user operation tweaks in a future update, but no much else to wish for. Nice work !
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/20/12 06:46 PM

Originally Posted By: JFP
Is there a firmware request link ?


Not officially, no. The best option would be to contact the distributor in your country, which is Kawai Europe. You'll note that the new pedal functionality introduced with the latest software update came about following user requests.

Cheers,
James
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Posted by: Marko in Boston

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/21/12 07:37 AM

Day 2: The more closely I scrutinize the ES7 it continues to amaze me beyond expectation.

(ES7 owners: Put on a REAL good set of headphones and play Piano Sonata No.14/Moonlight Sonata as passionately as you can - it will bring tears to your eyes. I just cant get over how near perfect the sound and touch of the ES7 can produce.)

Obviously, I am very happy with this piano with almost no exceptions. I cant recommend it enough for anyone shopping DPs under $2,000. I see that some might be disappointed that it only has 32 voices. However, if piano sound and action is your top priority, you just cant get better than this IMO. Kawai really hit a home run this year with ES7 and the CA series w/ new actions and 3 sensor PHI and HIXL. Keep in I tried dozens of the latest DPs from all makes past 3 months as mentioned in my 1st post.

Warning: Kawai ES7 can be more addicting than heroin. Yes, that good.
Posted by: sucroid

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/21/12 08:54 AM

Originally Posted By: Marko in Boston

Obviously, I am very happy with this piano with almost no exceptions. I cant recommend it enough for anyone shopping DPs under $2,000. I see that some might be disappointed that it only has 32 voices. However, if piano sound and action is your top priority, you just cant get better than this IMO. Kawai really hit a home run this year with ES7 and the CA series w/ new actions and 3 sensor PHI and HIXL. Keep in I tried dozens of the latest DPs from all makes past 3 months as mentioned in my 1st post.


Indeed. I tell my friends that ES7 is the best digipiano money can buy for under $2K. Too bad I already have a DP.
Posted by: KarelG

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/21/12 09:26 AM

Originally Posted By: Marko in Boston
[...](ES7 owners: Put on a REAL good set of headphones and play Piano Sonata No.14/Moonlight Sonata as passionately as you can - it will bring tears to your eyes. I just cant get over how near perfect the sound and touch of the ES7 can produce.)
[...]


Marco, you are playing Moonlight Sonata on ES7? Sorry for asking, I'm just pure beginner and Mr. Beethoven is nowhere on my musical horizon yet, but IIRC someone told me that Moonlight Sonata is good test for keys sensitivity when you go "into keys". I.e. grands do have natural advantage here with their long keys and far pivot point. So how have you manage sensitive playing "in keys" on ES7? Do you have any idea how long the keys on ES7 are? Honestly speaking, ES7 caught my eye since I'd like something portable, easy to play (not worry about cables etc.) and yet with as good as possible keyboard. The other option might be to wait on NAMN 2013 to see MP10 successor. I do have time as I need this to just complement my two APs to play in nights and with friends in band.
BTW: could you be so kind and make your moonlight record available somewhere for listening?

Thanks!
Karel
Posted by: McBuster

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/21/12 09:39 AM

Moonlight Sonata

This is a YouTube of a CA93 and Moonlight

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSQzTN4zb2Q
Posted by: sucroid

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/21/12 10:55 AM

Would love to hear the second movement on the ES7/CA95.
Posted by: KarelG

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/21/12 01:36 PM

Originally Posted By: McBuster
Moonlight Sonata

This is a YouTube of a CA93 and Moonlight

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSQzTN4zb2Q


Jon, indeed, this is very nice playing and using CA93 probably to its maximal capabilities -- layering of sounds following famous TADuchman's thread with CA93/63 presets, but CA93 is using RM3 keyboard while ES7 is using RHII keyboard which are not the same IIRC. So the question of the ES7/RHII key length and hence sensibility still remains open. At least to me.
Thanks!
Karel
Posted by: Gatsbee13

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/21/12 01:45 PM

still haven't tried the ES7 or CA-x5 series yet.. last kawai digital I played was the mp10 and ca93..

if I get into NAMM 2013, maybe I can try them out.
Posted by: McBuster

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/21/12 01:45 PM

I just uploaded the link as someone playing Moonlight on a Kawai Digital. Nothing more ...
Posted by: mabraman

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/27/12 02:59 PM

Hey, I'm also a newbie here!
I bought an ES7 too, last week, and it's a very good instrument for the price (shown in "prices paid").
Thank you everyone here for your helpful comments.
During this first week using it no real complications were found. I mean good sounds and rythms, perfect keybed (no clicks or misalignment)and no speaker's distortion. Nice pedal action, too.
Just a CON : spanish version of the user's manual is a little...how to say it? Not as bad as usual, but it could be better. At least for the crutial pages 34-35 (sound tweak storage) that took me some good couple of hours to understand. Well, maybe it's me to blame.
English version is about the same in that point.
Anyway, should we open a new ES7 user's thread, or something?
(I beg your pardon for my english, it's a long time ago since I last wrote something).
Posted by: Marko in Boston

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/28/12 06:23 AM

Hi mabraman, Congrats on your new ES7! I have been playing my ES7 for a week now and learned to navigate menu quickly and take full advantage of many features ES7 has to offer. It's pretty amazing how customizable this DP really is in addition to it's wonderful action, sound, and overall feel.

I will gladly contribute to a Kawai ES7 user thread. But Im a newbie too and should ask some senior members if good idea. What do any of you think JFP, Kawai James, dmd, sandalholme? Good idea or should we just send PMs?
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/28/12 01:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Marko in Boston
Hi mabraman, Congrats on your new ES7! I have been playing my ES7 for a week now and learned to navigate menu quickly and take full advantage of many features ES7 has to offer. It's pretty amazing how customizable this DP really is in addition to it's wonderful action, sound, and overall feel.

I will gladly contribute to a Kawai ES7 user thread. But Im a newbie too and should ask some senior members if good idea. What do any of you think JFP, Kawai James, dmd, sandalholme? Good idea or should we just send PMs?

We have had specific model threads on here before, when users exchanged settings, shared photos and such. The CA65/95 and CN33 come to mind as examples. I don't think they cluttered the forum as they tend to quiet down after a while.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/28/12 07:43 PM

mabraman, thank you for posting your feedback about the ES7.

Regarding this point:

Originally Posted By: mabraman
Just a CON : spanish version of the user's manual is a little...how to say it? Not as bad as usual, but it could be better. At least for the crutial pages 34-35 (sound tweak storage) that took me some good couple of hours to understand. Well, maybe it's me to blame.
English version is about the same in that point.


I agree that this process is a little complicated, partly due to the fact that there are four 'banks' (A, B, C, D) for each registration memory button. I tried to ensure that the owner's manual explanation for this point was a clear as possible, however even then, I can appreciate that the process may require a few attempts to understand fully.

Originally Posted By: mabraman
Anyway, should we open a new ES7 user's thread, or something?


It's entirely up to users, such as yourself. wink

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: mabraman

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/29/12 05:37 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James


I agree that this process is a little complicated, partly due to the fact that there are four 'banks' (A, B, C, D) for each registration memory button. I tried to ensure that the owner's manual explanation for this point was a clear as possible, however even then, I can appreciate that the process may require a few attempts to understand fully.

Originally Posted By: mabraman
Anyway, should we open a new ES7 user's thread, or something?


It's entirely up to users, such as yourself. wink

Cheers,
James
x


Please James, it's me who has to be thankful for all of your explanations here and in other threads. In fact, one of my reasons to choose this DP was I'm confident that you will be near if I (we) have any issue.
This said, there are a couple of thougts that I'm going to share with you, regardind pages mentioned above (but perhaps useful in every manual):
-Some words are automatically translated into (latin-american!)spanish misusing desinences, just the way it's done in (South and Central)America . For instance, "registration" becomes "registración", wich is usually fine...but in this particular case (and country)it doesn´t work, 'cause "registración" is not a real spanish world, but a borrowed english one, closer to spanglish.Proper word is "registro".It's not the end of the world, but for some people it could be disturbing as it all starts wrong from the very beginning.I figure that the States are you main target so this issue is just for spaniards. Am I too picky?
-In my opinion it would be very useful a more accurate overview about how the registration is organized, before explaining each possibility it offers to users.Maybe when I start the new thread whistle I'll try to do it.
But believe me, these are just details, and sometimes is more a user's-related issue (at least it could be my case).Why, if not, did it took me so much time to understand that I had to keep some buttons held (page 35) instead of tuching them once (p.34), so that I could record my sound and touch preferences? grin
Just think that manuals (please, I don't mean this one) are like airports: the worse part of a fantastic jouney.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/29/12 11:08 AM

mabraman, thank you for highlighting these points - I will have to raise this topic with our Spanish language translator.

Regarding the button press types (when to press and hold the button etc.), please refer to the 'Owner Manual Conventions', which should be printed on page 137 of the owner's manual.



Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Carlos-CR

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 12/29/12 01:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
mabraman, thank you for highlighting these points - I will have to raise this topic with our Spanish language translator.
[...]
Kind regards,
James
x


Hello,

as a spaniard I wholly subscribe what mabraman said about "registraciones". It's not an spanish word and to me it speaks low quality translation and I will immediately switch to the english version if available. smile
Posted by: gbitw

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 08/27/14 11:01 PM

Marko - I am considering getting an ES7. Are you still happy with your purchase?
Posted by: Marko in Boston

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 08/28/14 06:49 AM

Originally Posted By: gbitw
Marko - I am considering getting an ES7. Are you still happy with your purchase?



Extremely happy!! I put it through helll for a over a year at gigs that I never anticipated when i bought it (long story). Worked out great! Now it mostly stays in my office for daily practice as how I originally intended to use it. However, I still occasionally use it for small solo gigs at local elementary school, church, and a nursing home. Im happy to say that all is in perfect working order - especially the keys. The ES7 is by far the best sounding, action, and quality of any stage piano with on-board speakers available IMO. Try to demo it if you can.

OT: What have you looked at so far? What are your requirements?
Posted by: gbitw

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 08/28/14 08:33 AM

I have looked at Yamaha P-155/255, Casio PX350, and Roland (can't recall which model). My primary goals are high quality piano sound, nice action, portable. Speakers are a nice to have; however, I would nix those if it meant a major increase in quality.
Posted by: dmd

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 08/28/14 09:36 AM

Originally Posted By: gbitw
Speakers are a nice to have; however, I would nix those if it meant a major increase in quality.


I add +1 to Marko's comments.

I would also add that I do not believe you will find external speakers to give you a "major" increase in quality over the onboard speakers of the ES7. You may get more power but not much better quality.
Posted by: gbitw

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 08/28/14 08:08 PM

@Marko - Where did you buy your ES7 from? That is a great price!
Posted by: ColoRodney

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 08/28/14 11:06 PM

I think what gbitw meant was that by not getting speakers, perhaps he or she could get a better keyboard at the price (or weight). The Kawai MP7 comes to mind, which is alleged to have a better keyboard and certainly more sounds, but lacks the speakers. I'm an ES7 owner and quite happy; but piano sounds are my bread and butter.

I don't think I'd seen this thread before, but in reference to an earlier comment: I love that the volume slider only affects the internal speakers and not the line outs -- when I play on stage and use the speakers for monitors, it's really nice to be able to adjust the volume of the speakers without adjusting the level of audio I'm sending to the sound guy. It's the first keyboard I've owned that had that feature.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 08/29/14 12:11 AM

Originally Posted By: ColoRodney
The Kawai MP7...is alleged to have a better keyboard [than the ES7]


Please note that both the MP7 and ES7 utilise the same 'Responsive Hammer II' (RHII) keyboard actions.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Marko in Boston

Re: My Kawai love conundrum - help! CA65 or ES7? - 08/29/14 05:39 AM

Originally Posted By: gbitw
@Marko - Where did you buy your ES7 from? That is a great price!


Wonderful Kawai dealer in Salem, NH. Ask for John, the owner. Great guy!

http://www.londonderrypiano.com/