Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ??

Posted by: Deerwood Dad

Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 02/27/07 11:36 AM

The characteristics I am looking for are:

--realistic acoustic piano touch

--excellent sound

--internal speakers

--portability

--reliability

--sub $2,000 price (approx $1500 plus or minus)

Thoughts on these models? The FP-4 (as I understand it) is new.
Posted by: Agent

Re: Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 02/27/07 12:27 PM

The first two are really subjective and I'd hate to start another *my sound and action are the only ones you'll like* thread so I'll leave those alone.

All three keyboards meet your other requirements quite well. You may also want to consider the new FP-7 that's coming out in March. It has a brand new action that no one has tried out yet (except for maybe the people that went to the NAMM show). Good luck!
Posted by: Deerwood Dad

Re: Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 03/01/07 01:01 PM

I went with the P140. The internal speakers are "ok" (my expectations were not that high), but with my Sennheiser HD600 headphones, this thing rocks. I have high hopes for this as a quality practice instrument along side my acoustic Kawai upright.
Posted by: Agent

Re: Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 03/01/07 01:55 PM

Congrats! Many people have purchased the same instrument and have been happy with it. I don't recall hearing any complaints. And at the price they're at now it's hard to go wrong.
Posted by: swingal

Re: Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 03/02/07 02:42 AM

I have bought a Kawai ES4 and am delighted with it. The only slightly difficult thing is the setting up of the mode you wish to use but I'm getting better at it.

The best part I find is the complete ease of the finguring which is so light that it means I can practice for a long time without damage to the thumb area with my arthritis. The tone and pitch are as digitals, perfect.

The acoustic piano is then much less strenuous having got the donkey work done on the Kawai.

Alan

PS; was asking the dealers to show me a P140 but nobody responded to my request (black mark!) but Kawai did and told me where there was one at a dealer near me.
Posted by: Jeruzalem

Re: Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 03/02/07 05:59 AM

Just a quick off-topic question I've got. How come the FP-7 seems to come out in March everywhere, and yet I have already tried one about a week ago here in a shop in Belgium? Are there different release dates in different parts of the world?

The one I tried was brand new and I saw it being unpacked myself (they unpacked it for me \:\) ), but still, they had it...
Posted by: Agent

Re: Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 03/02/07 02:02 PM

Awesome! Can you post in the thread that was started earlier? The link is below:

Link
Posted by: Jeruzalem

Re: Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 03/03/07 06:00 AM

Oh, but I didn't really try it out... I just hit one or two notes, that's it. I was too busy looking at the FP-5 at the time \:\)

But the guy from the shop who tried it out with headphones on had a real big smile on his face, so it seemed to be a quite allright piano \:\)
Posted by: swingal

Re: Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 03/04/07 12:11 PM

Just to add to my previous post above. Since then I have sorted out the settings as for an acoustic piano I have, got used to the light and highly responsive touch and set it at my optimum which is now ideal.

I like the piano tone very much as it is based on the Kawai large grand.

I was initally trying to find a dealer with a Yamaha P140, but to no avail inspite of them being part of a large buying group.No response to 2 emails, black mark to them! Zero replies to emails is very rude in my book.

Whereas, the Kawai depot in England told me of a dealer near me with a ES4 in stock, which is the one I now have.

Alan
Posted by: puff

Re: Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 03/04/07 07:25 PM

Swingal
How much did you pay for thr ES4? I think its listed at around £900(?)or is that the MRP?
Posted by: Swavek

Re: Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 03/07/07 06:54 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Deerwood Guy:
The characteristics I am looking for are:

--realistic acoustic piano touch

--excellent sound

--internal speakers

--portability

--reliability

--sub $2,000 price (approx $1500 plus or minus)

Thoughts on these models? The FP-4 (as I understand it) is new. [/b]
Posted by: Swavek

Re: Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 03/07/07 07:27 PM

I believe Yamaha P140 should be suitable for what you want. There was a lot of talk on the BB about Kawai ES4. So much, that I took time to find one and try it out. I was very dissapointed with ES4. It looks nicer than Yamaha P140 but that's where the advantages end. The action is quite reasonable but lighter and the sound nowhere near Yamaha. The sound is very "electronic" and it was so obvious to me from the first cord I played. Frankly, I can't figure out why this stage piano takes so much space in discussions. Probably it is its good looks.

I personally ended up buying Yamaha CP33 (similar to P140 but no internal speakers).

From what I tried in this price bracket (I have not tried FP-4) the Yamaha has the strongest, most realistic action which is quite similar to action of a real acustic piano. If you learn to play you pieces on P140, you will have no trouble playing them on any real piano. If your goal is to own and play a real piano one day, you will do fine with P140. CP300 has heaps better sound than P140, but it is not very portable (34kg?) and it cost much more than P140 (above your stated budget). I have real baby grand at home and use my CP33 to practice when I am away from home (I fly to work and come home every 10 days for 4 days). I like quality things and if I had to have only one keyboard, it would be Yamaha CP300. Since I have the real thing at home, I am happy with CP33. The truth is, nothing beats the real thing!!!
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 03/07/07 08:47 PM

I have the ES4 and find the grand sound to be excellent. The action is much more accoustic like than most others in my opinion. In fact the action can be adjusted from light to hard.
Posted by: swingal

Re: Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 03/10/07 05:37 PM

I agree entirely with Mark. The ES4 takes a little time to set up as you want it and once you achieve it then you can register the setting for all time. I could not fault it and I'm very sensitive to pitch as I play completely by ear.

I did not try a Yamaha P140 although I would have but no one had one in my area.

I still prefer the acoustic instrument for the acoustics of a stringed instrument and it's orchestral sounds and sensitivity. The digital has a great future though without doubt.

Sorry about our Australian friend above and his experience of the ES4, it was probably slightly incorrectly set up, which I found quite a difficult matter initially.

I'm very sure of what I need in the tone and pitch of a piano. Therefore I'm sure that I have found a suitable digital one.

Some one asked the price of a ES4 somewhere. In US $'s around $1850 including UK tax. Or £925 UK pounds. This is the bare keyboard, stand extra. Easy to make in wood at home and not so flimsy as the cross legged devices.

Hope that is helpful.

Alan (swingal)
Posted by: Michael_S

Re: Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 10/29/07 06:38 PM

swingal wrote:
 Quote:
The ES4 takes a little time to set up as you want it and once you achieve it then you can register the setting for all time.
Hello swingal and ES-4 owners,

I am also interested in the ES-4 and already downloaded its manual. I am not clear about one thing concerning these "Registration" (=saving up to 7 settings), and I would be glad if you or someone else amongst those ES-4 users could clarify this:

The ES-4 manual says:
 Quote:
A Registration is a setup that remembers most[/b] of the panel settings, such as[/b] sound selections and
effect settings, so that you can recall them at the touch of a button. Seven Registrations can be
memorized and saved.
Now, having read this, I am wondering which settings are really saved in such a registration, and which are not(?!?):

Are also the other, not-so-easily-accessible settings (function mode) saved in the registration, namely
- Brilliance
- Tuning
- Voicing
- Damper Effect
- String Resonance
- Temperament
- Lower Octave Shift?

And is the Touch response saved as well?

Or are only Sounds selections, Dual/Split settings, Effects, Reverb and EQ settings saved in the Registration?

For me it is important that really *all* settings that affect the sound are saved in such Registration.

Sorry if this is a stupid or paranoid question and if the answer is an evident "of course all of this is saved", but I would like to make sure that there is really nothing missing, since it would not be the first time that a high tech device contains some design bugs (just remember e.g. the "polyphony bug" of the ES-4 itself, as it was discussed about 1 year ago in various forums!).

Thanks a lot!

Michael
Posted by: MarkL

Re: Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 10/29/07 09:09 PM

I have a P140 which I really like, here's what's good and bad. I really like the touch, but there is more mechanical noise from keys than I'd like (no problem with headphones). I would rate the sound/speakers as acceptable, but not great. I run it through an amp to overcome that. I have had no reliability problems and I use it quite a bit, but I think all stage DPs are surprisingly reliable given the beating they take on the road. I got the yamaha L140 stand free with it, so I don't move it around. But it's as portable as my P90 if it weren't attached to the stand. I paid $999 including the stand, a good value at that price. I'm sure if you go up to $1500 you could find something that has better sound and features. Touch is very personal, not possible to say good or bad.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 11/02/07 12:48 AM

Michael_S,

I can confirm that the Registration function will indeed store the additional settings that you list.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: Michael_S

Re: Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 11/02/07 03:50 PM

I wrote
 Quote:
it would not be the first time that a high tech device contains some design bugs (just remember e.g. the "polyphony bug" of the ES-4 itself, as it was discussed about 1 year ago in various forums!).
I just found out that the ES4's polyphony bug still exists in today's new devices!

I visited 2 dealers in Stuttgart/Germany within the last 3 days: One had a device 1 year old, the other one device only 1 month old (he even checked the serial number to make sure this info is correct, and he could also hear the polyphony bug of course).

BOTH ES4s showed the same polyphony bug. I also heard from another ES4 owner in a german forum that much older devices of the ES-4 (at least more than one year old) apparently do not have this bug.

Here is how to reproduce easily the polyphony bug:

1) Press down the damper pedal and keep it down throughout this entire test.
2) Play a Cmaj accord (C2-E2-G2) in the second lowest octave.
3a) EITHER play a C maj accord (C6-E6-G6) in the second highest octave about 5 quick times in a row,
3b) OR play all white keys between C6 and C8 only once. You can play them even very softly, such that they produce no or hardly any tone.

--> After step 3a or step 3b you will hear that the lower tones are pretty "brutally" cut off.

I think at least the scenario 1-2-3a corresponds to a scenario which is not only theoretically. Such play will happen practically in many pieces.
Posted by: rintincop

Re: Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 11/05/07 05:32 PM

That's one of the real pitfalls of the ES4 and it really distracted me having notes drop out so quickly on pedaled arpeggios of such few notes. Their polyphony specs would have you believe otherwise and are quite deceptive.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 11/05/07 06:56 PM

Okay chaps, I shall have to look into this issue.

Thank you for the detailed reports.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: ctnski

Re: Kawai ES-4 vs. Yamaha P140 vs. Roland FP-4 vs. ?? - 11/05/07 10:47 PM

I voted with my wallet and got the Roland FP 4.

Craig