ES7 - One Key Louder

Posted by: Info2011

ES7 - One Key Louder - 02/08/13 01:56 PM

Just bought a new Kawai ES7 on Sunday.

Great feel, nice sound; great features.

I noticed last night when playing scales through headphones, that F3 is about 30-40% louder than the other keys -- but, only starting at about forte, on up. (When playing softly, it doesn't seem to happen.) It's most noticeable when playing scales, since 'all things are equal'.

So, kind of frustrating. Don't notice it as much when playing through the speakers (yes, if I'm looking for it now that I know about it). Only a recognizable problem through the headphones. When I purchased it I had played the unit in the store for about 15- 20 minutes, but not through headphones, so didn't notice it. So, guess I will try to exchange for a new unit if they'll let me (and hope the next unit is pristine). Part of me hates having to try to explain it to the salesperson since it's not a glaringly obvious problem. (On top of which, it's an hour drive to get there). But thinking better to get a new replacement (if I can), rather than have this one repaired (not sure about that though).

BTW, curious - anybody know the technical cause for this type of anomaly (especially since it's only forte and above)? Bad sensor? Key needs adjustment?, etc.

Thx.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: ES7 - One Key Louder - 02/08/13 02:04 PM

The action measures velocity by computing the time between rubber things depressing two sensors that are a known distance apart. If the rubber prongs have a manufacturing defect and are not the right size/shape you can get this kind of thing.

Do a quick check on it before you send it back. Transpose it by a step and make sure the same physical key produces the loud sound, rather than the same note. Otherwise the issue could be a combination of your headphones, ears, and imagination (happens very easily).
Posted by: JFP

Re: ES7 - One Key Louder - 02/08/13 03:53 PM

- Set touch curve to off and see if all notes sound equal. (Virtual technician first menu)
- Set touch curve to light and heavy and see what happens.
- Indeed try the transpose test gvfarns proposed. Furthermore, do a factory reset. Try to see if you have the latest firmware , if not: update.
- try the other presets; see if they have the same problem ! If not - then it's probably not the physical key mechanics.

For my correct interpretation:
I understand the piano sound (audio) is louder at this key , not the physical key itself (mechanical noise) right ?!
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: ES7 - One Key Louder - 02/08/13 07:35 PM

Yes, this is all good advice.

If you notice that the louder key changes when transposing the sound, I expect it's just a characteristic of the original recording, and probably not something that will be rectified in with a replacement instrument.

I would definitely inform the dealer of the problem, and perhaps even contact Kawai America's technical support for a second opinion.

Kind regards,
James
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Posted by: xorbe

Re: ES7 - One Key Louder - 02/08/13 09:12 PM

That transpose test is a brilliant idea! Differentiates the key or the sample.
Posted by: mabraman

Re: ES7 - One Key Louder - 02/09/13 05:55 AM

Some notes sound louder when you play through different settings. If you set damper/string resonance to high levels (say more than 7), which makes the sound fatter and causes a longer decay, and the reverb depht and lenght to more than 5, and play forte...you'll hear lots of sound artifacts and sometimes a louder note. This volume difference is more likely to happen with mellow pianos, from my experience. Obviously, you'll hear it all more clearly with headphones, and maybe the same "noises" won't be there when you record your playing. Some setups work fine through speakers, other trough headphones and other are better to record.
In my opinion, playing forte with this instrument requires a lot of experimentation to get a balanced sound, because the ressonance emulations make the sound weird, sometimes.
See our ES7 user thread for more information.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: ES7 - One Key Louder - 02/09/13 09:37 AM

Do a quick check on it before you send it back. Transpose it by a step and make sure the same physical key produces the loud sound, rather than the same note. Otherwise the issue could be a combination of your headphones, ears, and imagination (happens very easily).

I second that idea. What a great idea from gvfarns ... and why didn't I think of that?
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: ES7 - One Key Louder - 02/09/13 10:47 AM

FYI I'm just passing on the collective wisdom. I had this same issue a while back and this is the advice I got in this forum. The thing is, I was never able to determine whether the quiet note (in my case) moved up or not with the transpose. It was actually my imagination. That's why I wrote it the way I did. smile
Posted by: Temperament

Re: ES7 - One Key Louder - 02/10/13 04:22 AM

I second to gvfarns:
Quote:
...It was actually my imagination...

Once upon a time one asked the centipede, how can he walk in such a sophisticated manner having to coordinate all of his legs.
It began to speculate on this and was not able to walk anymore...

Once upon a time one asked Joseph Haydn how could he manage to compose so much beautiful music, and he answered: "Have not the slightest idea, how I do it". (But he didn't forget composing.)

Well, sound perception is a complex and deep experience end we delve into this phenomenon while playing an instrument.We can easily become obsessed with such things.

On the positive side, see this link about
the ability to have perfect pitch being not a musical but a physical process
Likewise space orientation is not an intelluctal but an inborn ability (Aborigines are much better at this.)

With other words, if You have such problems, you are perhaps just a good candidate for learnin perfect pitch.
Posted by: Info2011

Re: ES7 - One Key Louder - 02/11/13 04:39 PM

Thanks all for replies and suggestions.

Ok - so my results:

- volume difference on F3 still present when I transpose (i.e. still present on the physical F3 key, now playing a diff't tone than F)
- volume difference on F3 still present when alter touch curve from heavy to light, etc.
- volume difference on F3 still present when using diff't presets (but less obvious on "mellow grand")
- volume difference on F3 NOT present when I turn touch curve off

(Correct JFP - yes it's the audio sound/sample which is louder, not the mechanical noise)

FYI, I had done a factory re-set and updated to the latest firmware when I initially bought the piano (when I got home)

Also - I've uploaded a recording of the issue (using the internal recorder):

https://www.box.com/s/kvk6lrp8eswl0e6hza74

(I'm playing a 5 note scale, starting on C3, then moving up one octave and down one octave to compare difference, using the same hand and same fingering to rule out a technique issue.)

Any further thoughts appreciated.
Posted by: Temperament

Re: ES7 - One Key Louder - 02/11/13 04:47 PM

IMHO only a professional pianist can control her playing with a constant-consistent velocity. Do You have somebody (i mean a second one) in the vicinity (piano teacher or somebody alike) to let try it with Your instrument?
Posted by: Info2011

Re: ES7 - One Key Louder - 02/11/13 05:19 PM

I'm sure that's true; and my technique is minimal at best. No, there's no one else to try the instrument around.

(But, that was the reason I played the other octaves - to try to cancel out any consistent velocity/technique issue. And I don't hear the problem in the other octaves).
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: ES7 - One Key Louder - 02/11/13 06:29 PM

Info2011, may I ask what has been the response from the Kawai dealer/distributor?

Kind regards,
James
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Posted by: Info2011

Re: ES7 - One Key Louder - 02/12/13 03:09 PM

I just spoke to the dealer and they said they'd swap it out for me when they get a new one in stock in the next week or two.