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Ready to buy: Kawai CA63 vs MP10 #1805717 12/13/11 10:57 PM
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reflex65 Offline OP
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I am here looking for frank opinions on a few "finalists" in my DP search, for those who like to give an opinion!

I am a condo owner (acoustic is not an option), seeking either DP or keyboard for my family (surprise for Christmas). Partner is long-time piano player (though not for several years), and our daughter will likely start lessons in a year or two. Decision is whether to get a "packaged" product or just a keyboard and add the amp/stand. Note: I am NOT a piano player (but planning to learn), so I have only listened to these as demonstrated by dealers.

Yamaha CLP-380 PE in box for $4633 cash
Roland HP-307 PE in box for $4571
Kawai CA63 ebony in box for $3100

OR either Kawai MP10 or MP6 (would consider others)

I plan to buy this week -- so Yamaha 4xx not available for consideration, here. Kawai may be purchased sight-unseen!

We like to buy quality items that we will likely keep for awhile. I actually hate the fiberboard cabinets that come with these pianos, and actually like the idea of choosing my own amp/monitors. I am pretty sure my partner would love the look of the console, in contrast.

Any thoughts on the listed items? What would YOU do (pretend the cost is irrelevant)? Thank you for anyone willing to give this a few minutes of their time!!

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Re: Ready to buy: Kawai CA63 vs MP10 [Re: reflex65] #1805731 12/13/11 11:33 PM
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If cost is irrelevant, I think I'd pick up the CA-63. Only significant feature it misses that the MP10 has is letoff simulation, which I personally do not think is very important. I'm a big fan of the Kawai long-key wooden actions, though.

The MP10 has more stuff and looks cool and electronic. It has a lot of buttons and stuff, though. Harder to navigate in a home situation. I think my wife would prefer that CA-63 cabinetry. The Kawai sound is respectable.

The Yamaha is respectable as well. Middle of the road sounds, middle of the road action in my opinion.

The Roland has some great sounds. I've never been a fan of the actions I've tried, though. Some people love them, I'm not one of those.

So yea, if cost is no issue, CA-63. Otherwise MP10. After that, probably the Yamaha.

All great pianos, though. You can't go wrong with this lot.

Last edited by gvfarns; 12/13/11 11:34 PM.
Re: Ready to buy: Kawai CA63 vs MP10 [Re: reflex65] #1805735 12/13/11 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by reflex65
Kawai CA63 ebony in box for $3100


Please note that the 'Satin Black' CA63 is not the same as ebony polish.
If you require an ebony polish finish, you may wish to consider the Kawai CS6.

I believe all of the models listed above will be suitable for yourself and your family.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Ready to buy: Kawai CA63 vs MP10 [Re: reflex65] #1805737 12/13/11 11:46 PM
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We played all 3 of these, and ended up with the CA63. It had the best action and feel, the 307 had the best sound sampling quality, but not $2000 better (we paid $2300 for our new, assembled CA63 in rosewood). We really felt the Yamaha was Inferior in both regards (casios we tried were a distant 4th). If this DP was for me alone, I would have bought the Roland FP-7F; action and sound sampling (SN3) same as 307, but close in price to the CA63. In the end, the action and playability beat out the sampling and internal sound - as many here will testify, you can always use PC based sound samples down the road. If I had more money, I would pick the CA93 over the 307, and even more money, the avantgarde N2 (now that Yamaha is well worth testing out if you wish to continue the "pretend the cost is irrelevant" game :-)) If you do further consider the CA63, you should be able to negotiate a much better price than $3100 though..

My son (16 yrs old, 8 yrs of lessons /experience) and I (49 yrs old, 40 yrs of experience playing anything that makes noise), fight over keyboard time. The CA63 is extremely fun and simply a joy to play, we just love it!


Between the drums, guitars, and my CA63, I am in desperate need of more hands!
Re: Ready to buy: Kawai CA63 vs MP10 [Re: gvfarns] #1805775 12/14/11 01:03 AM
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Thanks for the input. I don't feel like I am in a position to negotiate CA63 price when they are so difficult to find here in the Bay Area. But, I think that may be the answer! Thanks, again.

Re: Ready to buy: Kawai CA63 vs MP10 [Re: reflex65] #1805821 12/14/11 03:44 AM
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CA63 ....easily


"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.
Re: Ready to buy: Kawai CA63 vs MP10 [Re: reflex65] #1805822 12/14/11 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by reflex65

...
We like to buy quality items that we will likely keep for awhile. I actually hate the fiberboard cabinets that come with these pianos, and actually like the idea of choosing my own amp/monitors. I am pretty sure my partner would love the look of the console, in contrast.

Any thoughts on the listed items? What would YOU do (pretend the cost is irrelevant)? Thank you for anyone willing to give this a few minutes of their time!!


I agree about the particle board cabinet. You pay between $1,000 and $2,000 for painted chip board. But it is nice paint and you say you don't need to care about price. But you really can have the same Roland "super natural" piano sound for $1,900 in a FP7-F I like the sound and feature set of the FP7. The key action is first rate, but all are at this level so I assume I'd like an FP7 in the $2,000 stand too. Kawai has good keys but I don't think the sound compares with Roland. With Yamaha their best technology is in their CP1 and CP5 stage pianos

Your problem is that, at this price price point they are all good and none is best. I'd say flip a coin but they are quite a bit different from each other. The Roland and Yamaha key action have very different feel and you just have to see which YOU like.

Re: Ready to buy: Kawai CA63 vs MP10 [Re: reflex65] #1805837 12/14/11 05:29 AM
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As an owner of CA63, I would recommend MP10. The speakers/amp of CA63 are of low quality and I am using headphones almost exclusively. Besides, there is a pinch of extra piano emulation features on MP10 missing on CA63, and also the Rhodes Piano in MP10 is light years ahead. MP10 is a professional instrument which is equal or better than CA63 in any respect, so it's only down to whether you need cabinet design with speakers. But believe me, you'll be better off with MP10 hooked to quality external amplifier rather than CA63. That said, I am not disappointed in CA63, I love it for its fantastic keyboard and playability but had I have the chance to choose, I would have gone for MP10 (not sure if my grammar in that last statement is correct, sorry for my English, those tenses are always difficult to me).

P.S. Sorry for the offtopic, but I would be glad if native English speakers can help me with the grammar in that last statement, so that I memorize it once for all smile Not that it's the only gap I have in my English laugh

Last edited by CyberGene; 12/14/11 05:34 AM.

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Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Ready to buy: Kawai CA63 vs MP10 [Re: reflex65] #1805845 12/14/11 05:49 AM
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CyberGene: your English is better than many natives, but, to answer your question, "had I have the chance to choose, I would have gone for" should be "had I had the chance to choose, I would have gone for"

Don't ask me to explain the rules!

But for your question I probably wouldn't have noticed the slip.

Re: Ready to buy: Kawai CA63 vs MP10 [Re: reflex65] #1805856 12/14/11 06:38 AM
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Thank you smile


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Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Ready to buy: Kawai CA63 vs MP10 [Re: reflex65] #1806026 12/14/11 01:35 PM
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Also it would sound better if you interjected "the" between "for" and "MP10"

Re: Ready to buy: Kawai CA63 vs MP10 [Re: reflex65] #1806157 12/14/11 05:06 PM
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reflex65 Offline OP
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Thank you, everyone, for your comments.

If it were just me, I am certain an MP10 would already be on order, and I would have fun finding the best stand and amp/speaker combination to make it sing.

However, I think that "pieces" of a piano clustered in the corner of our living room will be a deal-breaker for my partner. Given that, if I want Kawai, I am looking at the CS6, CA63, or the far-less expensive ES6 with a stand.

I will continue to ponder and call my local shops. Again, thanks!

Re: Ready to buy: Kawai CA63 vs MP10 [Re: reflex65] #1806235 12/14/11 07:00 PM
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Did you consider the Roland RD-700NX yet? It has the action of the HP307 but with more features and costs way less. I am in your exact situation at the moment...


My piano channel on YouTube: Link
Re: Ready to buy: Kawai CA63 vs MP10 [Re: Amaruk] #1806256 12/14/11 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Amaruk
Did you consider the Roland RD-700NX yet?


I thought about it. I was turned off by the reports of the ivory touch on the Roland having problems with discoloration over time. I like the design of the key movement on the Kawai better, too.

Re: Ready to buy: Kawai CA63 vs MP10 [Re: reflex65] #1806275 12/14/11 08:16 PM
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Might not dismiss the Rd700NX offhand. It's one of the highest regarded pianos here in the forum. And someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I had thought they fixed the problem with the discoloration.

Though I did try some older Rolands the other day (PHAII, not PHAIII) and I thought the Ivory simulation felt yucky. I'm happy with plastic (or if they could actually give us the synthetic ivory from acoustic pianos, which is better).

Anyway, I would suggest you try it yourself before dismissing it if you can.

Last edited by gvfarns; 12/14/11 08:23 PM.
Re: Ready to buy: Kawai CA63 vs MP10 [Re: reflex65] #1806342 12/14/11 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by reflex65
I will continue to ponder and call my local shops. Again, thanks!


Sent you a PM.

Re: Ready to buy: Kawai CA63 vs MP10 [Re: reflex65] #1808470 12/19/11 03:09 AM
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UPDATE from author of post

So, it isn't a surprise, anymore -- I revealed to my partner tonight my plan, as I was basically STUCK on what to buy, and didn't want to risk needing to return or exchange an item.

Yesterday, a dear friend (incredible with piano) tested the CA63 and ES6 and actually recommended EITHER as excellent choices (for different reasons). So, I landed on the satin black Kawai CA63 as our best option -- assuming my partner would want a cabinet.

I was right. Black -- either matte or shiny, will do. And, he likes the "name" and reputation of Roland -- feels like it is a safer bet over the long haul. We also like that they are assembled in the US, instead of Indonesia.

I really like the Kawai action. I love the 5/5 warranty. And I like the low-key sales environment (total contrast to Yamaha or Roland). I think Kawai has a much nicer satin finish than Roland, too (for plastic on MDF).

As of now, the choice is either the Kawai CA63 or the Roland HP-307. The current quoted price on the Roland with polished ebony is $4571 -- so I need to work on that, since it is coming in $2000 more than the Kawai -- though $750 of that is for the finish.

So, is the Roland HP-307 worth $1250 MORE than the Kawai CA63?

That certainly wasn't MY impression. Would anyone HERE pay significantly MORE for the HP-307 -- what looks like on average around $1000 based on those who have posted price paid in US$ here on the forums?

Last edited by reflex65; 12/19/11 03:21 AM.
Re: Ready to buy: Kawai CA63 vs MP10 [Re: reflex65] #1808474 12/19/11 03:52 AM
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Definitely not worth $2000 or 1250 more. CA63 is one of the most desirable pianos there is.

Roland has been a big player in electronic instruments for some time, but its name and reputation are not THAT valuable. Kawai and Yamaha have good reputations of their own, though they were earned largely in the acoustic piano world. They are both known to have good support and reliability. I certainly haven't seen any evidence here that Rolands last longer or are more easily repaired or that their customer service is better than either of the other two brands. So how would the long haul argument be relevant?

You and your friend both tested and liked the CA-63. I think that makes it a safer bet, almost by definition.

Last edited by gvfarns; 12/19/11 03:54 AM.
Re: Ready to buy: Kawai CA63 vs MP10 [Re: reflex65] #1808516 12/19/11 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by reflex65
UPDATE from author of post


So, is the Roland HP-307 worth $1250 MORE than the Kawai CA63?



No.

Don't let others persuade you otherwise by saying that the Roland sound is technically superior. That doesn't mean it sounds better or is worth that difference in price.

I may have missed it, but, what does your partner think?

Re: Ready to buy: Kawai CA63 vs MP10 [Re: gvfarns] #1808570 12/19/11 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by gvfarns
You and your friend both tested and liked the CA-63. I think that makes it a safer bet, almost by definition.


I failed to note that my pianist friend has been using a Roland 700-something stage piano for a decade and swears by it. She simply didn't meet me at the dealer who sells the Roland, so she couldn't comment on it.

My partner is probably typical: when I mentioned the DP idea, he said "No way we are spending a few thousand dollars on a fake piano." He has NEVER seen a DP in the past 20 years. Once I showed him photos, videos, and some of the technology -- he got more excited about the idea of a DP

He seems to lean towards the Roland (we own some Roland high-fidelity equipment, so it has brand-recognition with him). But, the key action of the Kawai was definitely drawing him in. His last comment before falling to sleep was: "What are the specs? Can we compare them?" I think he sees them as basically "equal" and was fishing for justifications for paying more for the Roland. I assume that the Roland (and Yamaha, for that matter) cost premium is due to the "name" and the (expensive) engine that keeps it going.

Of note, we decided what kind of car to buy and bought it in less than 24 hours just last month (VW Golf TDI -- nice AND practical). Why is buying a DP so much more difficult?

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