Buying advice for Adult beginner

Posted by: Andre Cavalcante

Buying advice for Adult beginner - 12/20/09 01:02 AM

Hi guys, I am sorry to post a topic with same subject of so many others. Unfortunately, none that I've read answered specifically to what I am looking for. I hope u guys understand. I could have started to learn the piano a while ago but I didn't cause I wanted to start with a good piano, the best experience I could have.
I am between three pianos, the Kawai MP5, Yamaha P-155 and Kawai ES6. Here in japan, the MP5 is around $300 more than the ES6 and $450 more than the P-155. I am not worried about the internal speakers because I'll have to use headphones anyway. I am also not worried about the piano voices they come with, pretty sure they come with good ones. What I am really worried about is which one offers the best key action, I would pay happily for the Kawai MP5 if I knew it would offer the best key action. Has someone of u guys played these three instruments?

Just one more question, someone told me that the MP5 is very fragile compared to other pianos, is that true?

Thank you guys!
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: Buying advice for Adult beginner - 12/20/09 04:34 AM

I own a P155 and I've played about 20 hours on a Kawai CN21.

I think the CN21 and MP5 share the same key action and sound. If they do then I thnk the MP5 and P155 key action is "close". Both are good.

But the ES6 has Kawai's newer action and newer 88-note sampled sound. SO I'd assume both are better.

The GP sound on the P155 is, I think more real sounding than the CN21 (and MP5) The kawai is not bad it sounds nice but the P155 has a better chance to fool someone. I've never heard the ES6.
Posted by: Huygens

Re: Buying advice for Adult beginner - 12/20/09 05:19 AM

Originally Posted By: Andre Cavalcante
I am between three pianos, the Kawai MP5, Yamaha P-155 and Kawai ES6. Here in japan, the MP5 is around $300 more than the ES6 and $450 more than the P-155.

. . .

What I am really worried about is which one offers the best key action, I would pay happily for the Kawai MP5 if I knew it would offer the best key action. Has someone of u guys played these three instruments?

Just one more question, someone told me that the MP5 is very fragile compared to other pianos, is that true?

The Kawai key action is as follows. Anything with AHA4, AHA4-F, AWA PRO or AWA PRO II will outperform the GH of the P-155. If you have the opportunity I would appreciate if you could go to a shop and compare the AHA4-F (the best of the AHA keyboards) with Roland "PHA II with Escapement" (it's important that it is "with Escapement" as the regular PHA II is not that fast on key repetition).

The MP5 has the older AHA4, which has less side stability compared to the AHA4-F.

I compared US prices and discovered that there was not that big price difference between the MP5 and the MP8II. The MP8II has the even better AWA PRO II key board, which most dominant feature is to mimic the "long swing" of the lever that pushes the hammer in an acoustic grand.

Noticeable is that some former MP8 owner likes the old MP8 key action better then the new MP8II key action. I don't know if this is because they are so used to their old MP8 keyboards or if the new (improved?) MP8II actually has worsened in its attempts to improve the mimicing of a grand acoustic's key action. My guess is that the MP8II with AWA PRO II (well, it should be better than AHA4-F) is an improvement, but you should try it out in a shop yourself to decide which is the better.

What you could look after (also when you compare with the Roland PHA II with Escapment) is, if possible there are 4-5 parts of the movement in the key action I would like you to try out, both slow, then fast, then soft and hard:

1. Initial resistance, the resistance where the key starts moving. It is light.
2. The drop, the lighter movement from the initial resistance down to the hammer
resistance. This second movement is probably the lightest.
3. The hammer resistance, the part where you increase force to make the fake hammer start moving.
4. The swing resistance, the movement where the fake hammer actually swings out to target the strings.
5. The escapement, the part where there is no more hammer resistance, this part should be as light as the drop, but I'm not sure as there might still be parts of the mechanism that creates resistance.

Then:

6. The movement up. If there is quality in the keyboard you should be able to start your next strike of the hammer when you reach the borderline between the drop and the hammer resistance, and be able to repeatedly push the key quickly.

I have not read anything about any wear & tear problems with the MP5. The only thing to my knowledge is the slightly more side instable AHA4 in the MP5, over the improved AHA4-F, which now is in the newer low-end Kawai keyboards..

Please, try this out, comparing the AWA PRO II, the AHA4-F and the Roland PHA II with Escapement, then come back and tell us. We would be most grateful.