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#1689722 - 06/03/11 06:44 AM Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else?  
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Heleen Offline
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London
Hi all,

I'm looking to buy a digital piano and would like your help.

First a bit of info about myself so you get an idea of what I'm looking for. I've been playing since I was about 8 (24 now so it's been quite some time). Mainly classical but also contemporary (pop/rock/jazz/film music etc). I also was a piano teacher for a few years whilst at uni in Belgium. I've been quite spoiled with pianos; my parents got me a Yamaha U3 series when I was 10, and when I moved to England I shared a house with a pianist for 2 years who had a Steinway grand in his living room that I practiced on.

I'm now living with a my boyfriend in a first floor flat in London with a fairly steep and narrow staircase; so unfortunately there's now way to get my Yamaha up there. Also I want to be able to play at night without disturbing the neighbours. So the only option left is a digital piano.

I want something that is as close to an acoustic piano as possible. I really don't care about all the bells and bling like different voices (organ, violin etc). What I DO care about is the action; the touch and feel, and also the sound.

I've had a look around on forums etc, and tried some pianos out as well. I've read a lot of good things about the Kawai MP10 and I'll be trying it out this weekend - I had to email Kawai to find a retailer that had it on show...

I really like the idea of wooden keys on a DP - I tried the 300 series Yamaha CLPs and quite liked the higher end ones (70&80). The new 400 series are out now so I'm going to give them a try this weekend too.

Which one do you think is the closest to the real thing? Or are there any other options?
In short, my criteria are: up to about £2,000; as realistic as possible; not too big (if it has legs / a stand they need to be able to come off as the stairs have narrow bend at the end and it won't get through it). Looks are less important.

Thank you so much for your advice!
Cheers
Heleen

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#1689732 - 06/03/11 07:22 AM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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I have no experience with it, but from what I've read on these forums, the MP10 is the closest to a grand action you can find in a portable DP. Some say it's even a tad heavier. Don't take my words on it though.


Nord Stage 2, Nord Lead 4, Rhodes MkII, Yamaha MOX6, Novation SL MkII
#1689793 - 06/03/11 09:52 AM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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You are definitely doing the right thing by playing the different options, as that's really the only way you're going to know for sure what's right for you! Everything will be a compromise compared to a Steinway (and indeed the U3), and all digitals in that price bracket will have bells and whistles, which you can obviously just ignore.

It sounds very like you may have to compromise on physical size because of the staircase situation. You might find that you can't actually get one of the 'furniture' Clavinova's (i.e. CLP370/470) up and in to your flat, and you don't want to be finding that out half way up the stairs! I believe they split into 2 sections for transportation, but do check this out first.

I never tried the Kawai MP10, but its action does let a lot of praise here. Since you are used to an acoustic Yamaha and already like the CLP range, you should probably also try the Yamaha CP5. Both of these stage pianos would need to be played through external amplification or headphones.

Happy hunting :-)


A shadow of my former self, but still the same Mac guy - designing, taking photos, talking tech, being creative and finally playing the piano again!
#1689794 - 06/03/11 09:53 AM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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I think Kawai MP10 would be a good choice if you're looking for a small piano with wooden keys and realistic action. I haven't played it so I'm only speaking from my research and reading on this forum, but I can't think of another DP that has wooden keys and action like M10 - that doesn't mean they're not out there. You'd also need a set of good headphones and/or powered speakers to go with it.

I'm an early beginner currently playing aging Yamaha CVP-103. Given that I only recently started practicing again, it's hard for me to spend more money, but when I convince myself that I'm in it for a long run I plan on upgrading to Kawai MP10 myself.





Yamaha Clavinova CVP-103
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#1689847 - 06/03/11 11:33 AM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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Heleen Offline
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Thanks all for your response; very helpful. I'll give that Yamaha CP5 a try as well and will keep you updated! :-)


Kawai MP-10
Yamaha U3
#1690061 - 06/03/11 06:31 PM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: mrmacmusic]  
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No matter how much you like it not to be true, the digital piano is a different instrument from an acoustic piano. They are closely related keyboard instruments. Once you start thinking like that then the MP10 is a "real" piano. Now what you are looking for is an expressive and musical intrument, NOT "a good fake piano". Just skip the part about it being "realistic" and think "is it expressive and easy to play?"

Quote
... You might find that you can't actually get one of the 'furniture' Clavinova's (i.e. CLP370/470) up and in to your flat, and you don't want to be finding that out half way up the stairs! I believe they split into 2 sections for transportation, but do check this out first.


The owners manual is on the Yamaha web site. Inside the manual are assembly instructions. The CLP is basically a portable on a stand. The stand assembles somewhat like Ikea furniture and is shipped flat.

Typically the dealers would assemble the piano then deliver it but I bet it could be assembled on site. See the user manual for the authoritative answer on how it breaks down. There are detailed drawing there.


Quote
I never tried the Kawai MP10, but its action does let a lot of praise here. Since you are used to an acoustic Yamaha and already like the CLP range, you should probably also try the Yamaha CP5. Both of these stage pianos would need to be played through external amplification or headphones.


That's true. Currently Yamaha'a best technology is in their line of stage pianos.

About wood keys. I don't think the material matters as much as the mechanical design.

You should also look at one of the Roland DPs that has(non-Alpha) PHA-III keys

Bring headphones with you to the shop. Some people really prefer Yamaha's sound. I like it. My P155 sounds like the CLP340, (same internal sound samples.) But Roland's "supernatural" is I think the best. Kawai has improved a lot. Their older "HI" sound was hard on my ears and a bit electronic. New Kawis are better. But play loud in headphones for 20 minutes of so and see if your ears can take it. For me the Roland has a listenable sound.

Getting some GOOD external seakers makes a huge difference in the sound. I mostly use headphones but I find I take them off and listen using larger external speakers to hear what it "really" sounds like. I can't get the dynamic right wout out hearing the sound in the room. real piano music needs to reverberate off the walls.

#1690089 - 06/03/11 07:30 PM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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Both of those are extremely close to an acoustic. Not the same acoustic but an acoustic. Which acoustic touch you prefer is up to you.

Do you want the light to the touch action of some grand, a heavy weighed down stiff action of a full upright? The choice is yours.

#1690209 - 06/03/11 11:58 PM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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MP10 plus decent speakers and a computer running various VST pianos would be the ideal situation.
You will not find a better action for feel then the MP10.


"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally associated with Arturia but my sentiments are my own only.
#1690326 - 06/04/11 09:49 AM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Dr Popper]  
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Heleen Offline
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This morning I tried out quite a few DPs, both stage pianos as well as cabinet DPs. I think I'm lucky to live in London as 2 shops (Rose Morris and Chappell of Bond Street) combined had a very large selection and only 10min walk away from each other.

After playing the MP10 I think I'll go for it. It had the nicest feel to it (for me). I thought the Rolands sounded all quite artificial and the touch was - to me - much too light, and the Yamahas were too "bright" for me. I tried them all both with and without headphones. The MP10 has - to me - a very realistic touch and nice sound.

I'll also need a stand to put in on - I was thinking of the Quiklok WS550. I had already seen it online and it was recommended to me in the shop as a cheaper option than the £600 (!) Roland stand they had it on in the showroom.

I've already got a good pair of headphones, so all I need are speakers and a stool. Stool's not so much of an issue - I know what I want. The problem are the speakers. I don't want to blow £300 on some speakers as the piano will only be used in my - not so massive - living room. I don't want them to be massive as they'll need to stand behind the piano as this will give the best effect and I don't have much room. Do you have any recommendations for make/type of speakers that would be suitable?

Thanks again for your honest opinions and help!
Heleen


Kawai MP-10
Yamaha U3
#1690380 - 06/04/11 11:45 AM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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A £600 stand ??? Got to be a mistake there ...what's it made out of ...gold ?


"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally associated with Arturia but my sentiments are my own only.
#1690500 - 06/04/11 04:01 PM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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It sounds like you had fun testing out the options, and well done for finding the right piano for you - I'm sure you'll be very happy with the Kawai.

I thought about getting active nearfield studio monitors to play my DP through (KRK Rokit 6's) but in the end simply didn't have the money. My solution was to keep an eye out on eBay for some bargain hi-fi kit. I used to have a seperates system with Denon amplifier and Mission bookshelf speakers that I occasionally played my old Roland stage piano through at home, and knew this setup had a good, full tone.

In the end I was lucky enough to find a nice pair of Mission 733i floorstanders for £40 and am currently borrowing a Teac amp to power them and have to say, even though with the speakers behind the piano I end up sat a bit too close to be in the sweet-spot, the sound is phenomenal. You might be lucky to find something similar along with an amp, and best of all, stick your iPod through it and your piano speakers will double up as a quality hi-fi for your living room!

Best of luck :-)


A shadow of my former self, but still the same Mac guy - designing, taking photos, talking tech, being creative and finally playing the piano again!
#1690751 - 06/05/11 04:57 AM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: ChrisA]  
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Originally Posted by ChrisA
Getting some GOOD external seakers makes a huge difference in the sound. I mostly use headphones but I find I take them off and listen using larger external speakers to hear what it "really" sounds like. I can't get the dynamic right wout out hearing the sound in the room. real piano music needs to reverberate off the walls.


Sorry for the slightly off-topicness, but I often read that using external amplification / speakers gives better result. Is it always so ? I mean, in a middle range DP like a Kawai CA 93, I would think they put decent speakers / amplification, and maybe it is adapted to piano sound. Also the places / orientation of the speakers is important too, and using your own speakers maybe is not optimal or makes the sound seem to not come from the piano. Now the CA 93 is not the best example because of that soundboard mechanism, but I'm wondering if someone tried to replace the CA 63 or LX10 sound system with something better and noticed an improvement. Now if you go that way you would probably take the cheaper portable version and build it from there I guess.

Last edited by Pierre P.; 06/05/11 04:57 AM.
#1690757 - 06/05/11 05:18 AM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: mrmacmusic]  
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Heleen Offline
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@ Dr Popper: it was this stand: http://www.guitarguitar.co.uk/digital_detail.asp?stock=10021911000513
On that website it's slightly cheaper although still a stupid price to pay IMHO but the shop I visited sell them at £600. Okay, it was very sturdy, but you can get a DP for that price!

@mrmacmusic: thanks for your advice. I'll keep an eye on eBay and Gumtree - might find something good.

I'll keep you guys updated smile Will probably order the MP10 the end of this month.
Cheers
Heleen


Kawai MP-10
Yamaha U3
#1690797 - 06/05/11 08:24 AM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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Heleen,

It sounds like you are going to be building the same workstation that I use! Here's a picture of my setup. I find the 550 stand to be pretty solid but it has a little "wobble" to it.

While the internal piano sounds of the MP10 are very good, I still use the Garritan Steinway and Ivory Steinway libraries on my computer.

Curt

#1690825 - 06/05/11 09:27 AM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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Jan Oliver Offline
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Originally Posted by Ithilien
After playing the MP10 I think I'll go for it. It had the nicest feel to it (for me). I thought the Rolands sounded all quite artificial and the touch was - to me - much too light, and the Yamahas were too "bright" for me. I tried them all both with and without headphones. The MP10 has - to me - a very realistic touch and nice sound.

I'll also need a stand to put in on - I was thinking of the Quiklok WS550. I had already seen it online and it was recommended to me in the shop as a cheaper option than the £600 (!) Roland stand they had it on in the showroom.

Hi Helen,

thanks for sharing! I just went through a similar process - I was just looking for the most authentic sound and feel, not gazillions of features. I posted a (way too long) review of the Roland V-Piano compared to some other high-end stage pianos here in the forums yesterday. I didn't try the MP10 myself, but have heard good things about it, so our posts nicely complement each other.

If you haven't already dismissed it, check out Roland's FP-7F stage piano. It has built-in speakers, sounds that get close to the V-Piano (which I liked best) and an excellent action, like the speaker-free RD-700NX.

Maybe the listening tips I shared there will help you find your perfect piano. It's a very personal choice.

Oh, and I know what stand you mean. I bought the Roland KS-V8 and my wallet is still smoking. But a wobbly keyboard really breaks the piano experience for me, and the KS-V8 is extremely sturdy. Check out it's little brother the KS-G8, it's much cheaper but looks similar. Neither folds easily though.

If you think you might ever take that piano to play elsewhere, a stage piano with built-in speakers is a wise choice.

Cheers,

- Jan



Yamaha YUS-5 SG; Roland V-Piano; Roland RD-800; Kurzweil RG-200; 1884 Bechstein upright
#1690837 - 06/05/11 09:47 AM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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Helen, I'm using a K&M 18953 table stand and find it to be very stable.
I believe it can be purchased online for under 100 Euros.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#1691174 - 06/05/11 11:35 PM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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Originally Posted by Ithilien
@ Dr Popper: it was this stand: http://www.guitarguitar.co.uk/digital_detail.asp?stock=10021911000513
On that website it's slightly cheaper although still a stupid price to pay IMHO but the shop I visited sell them at £600. Okay, it was very sturdy, but you can get a DP for that price!

Heleen



Yeah £600 or even £525 or whatever for a stand ....they must be smoking crack ! I've got a very similar Roland stand at home to that (looks almost the same but is a different colour) that I think that was about £100 retail value and even that seems like its over the odds for my thinking. Reminds me of Bentley charging £150,000 for a re badged Volkswagen and then asking another £850 for a rear view camera that costs them £30. It seems to me that some people get what they deserve rather then what they pay for I guess.



"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally associated with Arturia but my sentiments are my own only.
#1691788 - 06/07/11 04:48 AM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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Heleen Offline
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Hi all,

wow - thanks for the wonderful advice I'm getting from everyone.

Jan, re the V-piano. I haven't tried this - I did read your review and it looks good but it's too expensive for me (I just don't want to spend that much on a DP). Very thorough review though! I was impressed, especially compared to my lousy review smile

As for the FP-7F - I did try it but it didn't do it for me. I'm used to a Yamaha U3 with a rather heavy action. That's still my piano but can't get into my flat right now so is staying at my mum's for another few years. Hopefully we'll move somewhere bigger in a year or 4-5. To me it's important that any DP I buy has also a fairly heavy action; as it's easier to switch from heavy to light than the other way round and I still want to be able to play my Yamaha after a few years.

@ Curt: yes - it does look like I'm going for a similar set-up as you! Although my boyfriend got a bit worried when he saw the photo as he "will never get his hands on the laptop again", hehe. I'm new to using different sounds (like the Garritan Steinway and Ivory Steinway libraries you're talking about). Is there a way of playing these from a stick or the DP's internal memory? Or do you need to play it from a programme on your laptop? I'm sorry for these stupid questions - I really have no idea!

James, I might go for the K&M stand you were suggesting. The price seems okay (about £100 from a German site). How heavy is the piano you use it for? Does it move much when you play?

As for the speakers I've changed my mind. I looked at the package Denon DM38 DAB + Mission MX1 Speakers. As the Denon plays CD's and I can connect my iPhone to it, this could then just replace the ancient micro system I've got in the living room (Samsung thing which I got for my 13th Birthday present - it's even still got a cassette player!). It's more expensive than I was looking for but it seems a lot more versatile and it's got good reviews. Has anyone got any experience with this? Also - again a stupid question - what cable do I need to connect the Denon to the DP? The package I'm looking to buy includes good speaker cables to connect the Missions to the Denon but I still need to connect the Denon up to the MP10.

thanks again everyone! smile
(can't wait for the end of the month when I'll be ordering everything!)

Heleen


Kawai MP-10
Yamaha U3
#1691808 - 06/07/11 06:12 AM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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Kawai James Offline
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Originally Posted by Ithilien
James, I might go for the K&M stand you were suggesting. The price seems okay (about £100 from a German site). How heavy is the piano you use it for? Does it move much when you play?


The K&M stand is very stable, and does not move when playing. I'm only using a Nord Electro (approximately 10 kg), however I doubt the stability will change with a heavier instrument such as the MP10.

With regards to cables, the MP10 has L+R 1/4" TRS outputs, and I expect the amp will use standard L+R Phono connectors, so the cable below should do the trick:

[Linked Image]

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#1691812 - 06/07/11 06:28 AM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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Heleen,

Yes, you need a computer (and a pretty powerful one too) to play the Garritan and Ivory libraries (and the like). But the good thing about this is that with a computer always connected, you have immediate access to a recorder!! I run SONAR so whenever a cool idea is happening when just sitting at the piano and improvising, I reach up and tap the 'R' key on my PC and capture it.

I had to buy a dedicated one that you see in that photo (a dual hard drive i7 Dell XPS) for my piano. I can actually play BOTH the Garritan and the Ivory libraries at the same time for a nice blend of two Steinways. VERY impressive performance from this notebook PC!

But don't feel bad about your question! What you ask for is exactly where all of us would LOVE to see the technology of digital pianos go in the future!! How cool would it be to just load up your favorite library into any keyboard you want?? But for many reasons, we won't see this kind of functionality for a long long time (if ever!).

Curt

#1691831 - 06/07/11 07:55 AM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: curt88]  
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Of course a very good feature of the MP10 is that you can insert a UBS memory stick at the front RHS and easily record your music and save onto the USB stick. So it is simple to record your playing at any time even without a computer running.

#1704064 - 06/29/11 07:37 AM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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Heleen Offline
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Hi guys (is it me or are there no girls on the DP forum??)

I've ordered my MP10 yesterday night after work. They've ordered it from Kawai and will be delivered some time next week. I'm so excited!!!

Heleen


Kawai MP-10
Yamaha U3
#1704066 - 06/29/11 07:43 AM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: curt88]  
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Originally Posted by curt88
!

But don't feel bad about your question! What you ask for is exactly where all of us would LOVE to see the technology of digital pianos go in the future!! How cool would it be to just load up your favorite library into any keyboard you want?? But for many reasons, we won't see this kind of functionality for a long long time (if ever!).

Curt


It's OT but if you consider Nord then I'm not sure that's entirely correct.

Last edited by spanishbuddha; 06/29/11 07:44 AM.
#1704085 - 06/29/11 08:19 AM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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Originally Posted by Ithilien
Hi guys (is it me or are there no girls on the DP forum??)

I've ordered my MP10 yesterday night after work. They've ordered it from Kawai and will be delivered some time next week. I'm so excited!!!

Heleen


There are definitely Women on the forums. Not so much on the DP areas as that tends to attract us lads, but they're definitely about.



Nord Stage 2, VAX77
#1704086 - 06/29/11 08:21 AM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: spanishbuddha]  
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Siriosys Offline
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Siriosys  Offline
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Posts: 136
Auckland, NZ
Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Originally Posted by curt88
!

But don't feel bad about your question! What you ask for is exactly where all of us would LOVE to see the technology of digital pianos go in the future!! How cool would it be to just load up your favorite library into any keyboard you want?? But for many reasons, we won't see this kind of functionality for a long long time (if ever!).

Curt


It's OT but if you consider Nord then I'm not sure that's entirely correct.


+1 - That paragraph pretty much sums up the Nord philosophy!


Nord Stage 2, VAX77
#1704249 - 06/29/11 12:24 PM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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Posts: 263
Quito, Ecuador
Congrats Heleen on the MP10!!! I went through a similar decision just recently, and, lacking a local Kawai distributor, I ended up with the Roland FP-7F. That said, the MP6 received such glowing reviews everywhere that I'm sure you'll absolutely adore the MP10!

I also tested some speakers, and I have settled for the USD $300 M-Audio BX5a monitors, they seem to be working really good! Have power to spare, and the experience is certainly much nicer than using the on-board speakers or any multimedia tiny speakers!

About girls not hanging around here... I believe they are hidden behind the gender-less way of using the English language smile ... so much so, that in a recent post a girl had to add she was one.

Welcome, and hope to read your glowing review of the MP10 very soon,
Best regards,
Rafa.


Roland FP-7F
#1704296 - 06/29/11 01:33 PM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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bfb Offline
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Posts: 549
Atlanta GA USA
Heleen,

congratulations on your Kawai purchase. if you look at the signature blocks of the responders- you will see that many/most of them are collecting keyboards and software almost at the rate that golfers buy new drivers. so welcome to our addiction- the search for the perfect keyboard!


Steinway M; Roland V-Piano; Yamaha P250;
Ivory II Grands, Italian, American D; Galaxy Vintage D; True Keys American; UVI Yamaha C7; Ravenscroft 275; Garritan CFX
#1704439 - 06/29/11 05:17 PM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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Kawai James Offline
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Kawai James  Offline
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Posts: 13,250
Hamamatsu, Japan
Ithilien, congrats on the purchase of your MP10!

Females do occasionally post on the digital piano forum, however I agree that compared to the acoustic piano forum, it's a rather different demographic - I wonder why this is?

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#1704451 - 06/29/11 05:39 PM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: Heleen]  
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piRround Offline
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Yarmouth, Maine
Female here! I don't know why there aren't so many of us. Maybe some of us are a little intimidated by some of the geek talk (ie dsp comparisons, etc. Hello, what? I have no idea how to interpret Dewster's data but I try to read it hoping some of it will soak in.) Also, I have only one keyboard unlike many of you, AND it's a Casio besides. But I do dabble with synth modules. Does that count?


Sandy

#1704773 - 06/30/11 07:32 AM Re: Kawai MP10, Yamaha CLP 470, or something else? [Re: piRround]  
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Heleen Offline
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Heleen  Offline
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London
Haha, thanks everyone!

I'm not really planning on collecting keyboards/dp's/... sorry... My dream is to one day have a nice grand though, does that count? smile

@ piRround: thanks - I'm glad to see that I'm not the only girl here! smile


Kawai MP-10
Yamaha U3
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