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Re: Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland
Clayman #2013990 01/13/13 04:12 PM
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I just bought the CA95 myself.
I didn't mind the 470, but the CA95 key action feels more authentic to me. I've grown up with playing a lot of yamaha, but the CLP series that I tried feels quite a bit different. The Roland keys just felt really fake to me, I just couldn't get over it.

CA95 was close enough that I can really immerse myself without feeling like I'm playing digital.

I got the 95 over the 65 - the soundboard made a surprisingly big difference in completing the AP experience. I personally thought it was worth the extra money.


Yamaha C6F
Kawai CA95
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Re: Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland
Dustin Spray #2013991 01/13/13 04:23 PM
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It is usually said that those three brands are the Big Three in digital pianos. However, in the Piano World, these three do not seem to be the same and this thread is a "proof." Kawai seems to be the most preferred and recommended brand, followed by Yamaha. Roland, once a venerable brand in the digital instrument world, seems to be falling behind these two brands while it is being pushed from the behind by Casio. This a general impression that I have gotten after reading various threads here. Of course, when we come down to specific models, any comparison will get complicated.

Re: Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland
Dustin Spray #2014019 01/13/13 05:32 PM
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Maybe ROLAND users do not come back so frequently to the forum´s DP board, because they are no more searching but only playing? The key action and the main piano sound, and how they are connected are just excellent for many people!

Well, the ROLAND piano sound is imitating the warm old european sound, which is preferably to be heard in classic and romantic music, but does not compare as well to the modern bright sound like used in Jazz/Blues/Country/Rock or Movie Track playing. It can´t strike through as good in band playing or in any other environment with background noise! It is more for playing solo.
Also, as we are hearing daily the brighter piano sounds on Radio or TV, nowadays even in Video Games, the brighter sound might because of this popularity be preffered by more people, nowadays.

Finally, everybody searching for more instrument than only a (digital) piano might be disappointed about the extras of the ROLDANDs. At least I am, especially about the 'other' sounds which are not the main piano sound, and I am also dissappointed about the metronome implementation.
Furthermore, it is not possible to deactivate (or decrease volume of) the hammer noise which is added (too loud) to the sound, and that it is not possible to chose if dampers for the highest 1 1/2 octave are applied or not. ...Yes, I know, there are different opinions here in the forum, how far the DP should imitate as close as possible an acoustic piano, or develope as well by its new electronic possibilities.

Anyway, I wouldn´t want to change from ROLAND to one of the bright sound pianos. For me playing mainly romantic piano solo style music, it is just the right choice!

So, let me assume that ROLAND users are more dedicated to classical and romantic music, also do not ask for the 'bells and whistles' as much, and once they found their instrument don´t worry much anymore about what´s new on the market. Thus their presence is lower on the DP board than it is in a buyers and players statistics?

Re: Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland
Dustin Spray #2014034 01/13/13 06:28 PM
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RE: Man of La Mancha's rank ordering as Kawai --> Yamaha --> Roland --> Casio ...

That does seem to be the trend in the postings here. In the end, though, there's no substitute for trying pianos and then deciding for yourself. Your own rank ordering is the only one that really matters.

Re: Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland
Man of La Mancha #2014041 01/13/13 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Man of La Mancha
It is usually said that those three brands are the Big Three in digital pianos. However, in the Piano World, these three do not seem to be the same and this thread is a "proof." Kawai seems to be the most preferred and recommended brand, followed by Yamaha. Roland, once a venerable brand in the digital instrument world, seems to be falling behind these two brands while it is being pushed from the behind by Casio. This a general impression that I have gotten after reading various threads here. Of course, when we come down to specific models, any comparison will get complicated.


Well...from what I can tell, the most preferred and recommended brand changes here faster than new models come out, which means it isn't always based on which brand has the best available pianos.

The opinion of just a few people on this forum can influence one's perception of the whole industry quite easily. And since the composition of the forum (or at least, the group of people actively posting) changes over time, you get fluctuations in forum consensus.

Just a few months ago I had the sense that the forum was leaning heavily Roland, perhaps with Kawai as a runner up. Kawai has come out with some pretty neat models recently, which earns lots of mojo, but the landscape isn't so totally changed that Roland is a distant third.

I'm pretty sure in numbers of digital pianos sold (overall, not just to forum members), Yamaha dominates Roland and Kawai--even people who don't play know what a clavinova is. And I suspect (based on availability) that Roland dominates Kawai by this measure. Casio probably sells a ton of pianos, but a large proportion of them are the unweighted keyboards you can pick up at walmart and the like, so I'm not sure if we count them. I don't expect that situation to change any time real soon--the DP market just isn't very fast moving.

I like pianos from all the brands, and appreciate their differences. In terms of recomendations, well, I can tell you my flavors of the month if you want... smile

Last edited by gvfarns; 01/13/13 06:44 PM.
Re: Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland
Man of La Mancha #2014042 01/13/13 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Man of La Mancha
Roland, once a venerable brand in the digital instrument world, seems to be falling behind these two brands...


Based on what? They have great APs and a great action. Not everyone will like what they produce, but that's different. To me, if at all, it's the other brands that are playing catch-up to Roland's SuperNATURAL. Roland stuff is usually well-built and reliable. The biggest criticism I have seen leveled at them is that they are less innovative in other areas than they used to be. That is something that both Yamaha and Kawai could also be accused of.

My own personal criticism of Roland recently is that they tend to ration their non-AP "extras" to the point of it almost being not worth including them in their DPs. Their EPs are frequently a joke. However, Kawai ration their best AP samples, and Yamaha seem to just tinker around with what they've been doing for the past twenty years.

I don't think ranking makes any real sense.


"you don't need to have been a rabbit in order to become a veterinarian"

mabraman, 2015
Re: Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland
Dustin Spray #2014045 01/13/13 06:52 PM
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I think you are right, voxpops. In my opinion:

* Yamaha has very much stagnated (which may mean they are just happy where they are) in action and sound. I exclude hybrids from this, because that was a great innovation.

* Roland made a great innovation with the SuperNatural, but that has been around a number of years now and I haven't seen it changed. I also haven't seen any innovation on the action side. I not yet played an Ivory-G piano, yet, though. So maybe my impression is wrong.

* Kawai seems to be the only one coming up with new actions regularly. I think it's kind of the niche they have chosen--authentic touch. All the Kawai pianos I've heard sound the same to me, so my personal feeling is that their sound engine has changed only the same way Yamaha's has: very incrementally or in some cases not at all.

Of course, in each case we are talking about changes (innovations) they have made. That's not the best measure for recommendations because it omits their starting point (Yamaha started out in a great place as basically the company that made digital pianos a household concept). It also omits their pricing (Yamaha does great again for the most part).

One note: Both Yamaha and Kawai mostly feature their own acoustic piano sounds in their digitals. In fact, they seem to make piano after piano with a "different" tone engine that draw from the same sampling session. This being the case, when a model sound just like the one it replaces, we shouldn't be surprised.

Last edited by gvfarns; 01/13/13 07:27 PM.
Re: Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland
Dustin Spray #2014055 01/13/13 07:13 PM
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Is there such a thing as brand loyalty in DPs? After all, unlike say, SLR cameras, you're not buying into a system. I don't know about computers - do you get locked similarly into a system when buying one?

I don't presume to know much about DPs (- I just treat them as acoustic pianos that need to be switched on grin) but from an occasional reading of the posts here in the DP forum (skipping all the technical threads which pass me by....), the consensus seems to be that if you want good non-piano sounds, you wouldn't go for Roland; if you want the most lifelike playing experience, Roland's SN DPs are your best bet; Yamaha seems to rely on its reputation too much rather than innovation, but remains by far the best seller; Kawai is too difficult to get hold of for many people, but seems to be the best bet if you want decent AP as well as EP and other sounds, as well as better key action than Yamaha.

Of course, all the above generalizations exclude the niche DPs like the Yamaha AGs and NU1, and Roland V-Piano/Grand.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland
Dustin Spray #2014057 01/13/13 07:15 PM
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I have a question concerning the Yamaha-Kawai-Roland discussion. I've been listening to tons of product demos and have found that all three companies have good sounding keyboards, but is there a way to determine which has the most reliability/less repairs needed.

I'm disabled and can't drive, so I really want to get one that I can set up and not worry about, and not need to load in any software patches.

Thanks in advance,
Kevin

Re: Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland
Dustin Spray #2014063 01/13/13 07:33 PM
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We almost never have discussions about reliability by brand. For the most part, digital pianos are completely hassle free. If there are issues, they don't seem to be pervasive across any particular brand.

Basically, they are all pretty reliable and when there are issues, all the major companies are pretty good at resolving them with minimal trouble for you.

Basically, they conform to the Japanese stereotype.

Last edited by gvfarns; 01/13/13 07:35 PM.
Re: Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland
gvfarns #2014066 01/13/13 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by gvfarns
We almost never have discussions about reliability by brand. For the most part, digital pianos are completely hassle free. If there are issues, they don't seem to be pervasive across any particular brand.

Basically, they are all pretty reliable and when there are issues, all the major companies are pretty good at resolving them with minimal trouble for you.

Basically, they conform to the Japanese stereotype.


Thanks, I appreciate it.

Re: Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland
Man of La Mancha #2014135 01/13/13 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Man of La Mancha
It is usually said that those three brands are the Big Three in digital pianos. However, in the Piano World, these three do not seem to be the same and this thread is a "proof." Kawai seems to be the most preferred and recommended brand, followed by Yamaha. Roland, once a venerable brand in the digital instrument world, seems to be falling behind these two brands while it is being pushed from the behind by Casio.

In my area it is hard to find Kawai, between Roland and Yamaha, Roland is represented more in stores IMO.
Casio cannot push from behind, as they are just in the different price range than Roland - they rather compete with cheap Yamahas.

And yes, I am quite happy with my Roland, however I will not go into every topic if this is everything I have to say - while those who would like to complain usually have more smile

Roland and Yamaha are just too different sounds, and it is matter of taste which to prefer. Kawai is closer to Yamaha, I believe.

Last edited by personne; 01/13/13 10:20 PM.

Roland HP-507RW | Yamaha U1 | Roland FP-90
Re: Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland
Man of La Mancha #2014190 01/14/13 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Man of La Mancha
Roland, once a venerable brand in the digital instrument world, seems to be falling behind these two brands while it is being pushed from the behind by Casio. This a general impression that I have gotten after reading various threads here. .


Try reading them again .... WTF are you smoking ? SN, PHAIII... not to mention the technically amazing V .... Roland are without doubt the current leader in DP design and technology.


"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: Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland
Dustin Spray #2014194 01/14/13 02:05 AM
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Regarding Roland -- I have ruled them out from my options pretty early actually. I had a shop assistant play one of the HP series for me the same day I was fooling around with the 470 and the sound didn't quite strike a chord with me. frown It felt sort of "sparkly" and too bright compared to Yamaha's more mellow, milder sound.

Now if I'm not mistaken, Roland use Steinway samples, which is fine and dandy, but I also seem to recall reading/hearing somewhere that they use different models for different tones/ranges, thereby creating some sort of super-piano. Also, Roland have a long history of producing quality electronic keyboards but they have never produced an acoustic piano before, unlike Yamaha and Kawai.

Mind you, this isn't to diss Roland products. I can clearly see that many people here like their touch and sound, but for someone who presumably looks for authentic sound and key action, it seems an odd choice to pick a Roland DP.


-- Zbynek N.

Learning to play the piano since 06/2013 on a Kawai CA-95.

Music is what feelings sound like. ~ Author Unknown
Re: Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland
Clayman #2014210 01/14/13 03:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Clayman
Regarding Roland -- I have ruled them out from my options pretty early actually. I had a shop assistant play one of the HP series for me the same day I was fooling around with the 470 and the sound didn't quite strike a chord with me. frown It felt sort of "sparkly" and too bright compared to Yamaha's more mellow, milder sound.

Are you kidding ? Yamahas are far far brighter then Roland's dark woody Steinway based tonality.

Originally Posted by Clayman

Mind you, this isn't to diss Roland products. I can clearly see that many people here like their touch and sound, but for someone who presumably looks for authentic sound and key action, it seems an odd choice to pick a Roland DP.

Not at all Roland currently offer a far more authentic sound and action then any other brand.


"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: Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland
Dr Popper #2014211 01/14/13 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr Popper
Not at all Roland currently offer a far more authentic sound and action then any other brand.


Sound, maybe.
Action, no way.

James
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Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland
Dustin Spray #2014213 01/14/13 03:24 AM
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Dustin Spray, maybe you become confused about what you wanted to say about the Roland and Yamaha sounds concerning their brightness? You would be the first to claim that Roland sounds are too bright compared to Yamahas. It is just the other way round, Yamaha (and Kawai) sound is much brighter than Roland sound.
Furthermore, the key action of the Rolands performs in the range of many key actions as you can find them on very nice grand pianos: light weighted. So, how can you state because of the key action it would be an odd choice to go for a key action of Roland DPs?

Last edited by Marco M; 01/14/13 04:43 AM. Reason: Sorry, didn´t see that others already answered on the original post, when I tried to make it more precise.
Re: Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland
Clayman #2014215 01/14/13 03:37 AM
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It might be of interest that Roland hasn`t produced natural pianos; they do not therefore have to consider conflicting financial interests. In which case - why haven`t they got longer keys?? And better samples for less money? SACK the MD!

Yamaha and Kawai sample their own pianos of course. They would do that wouldn`t they? . . . .My jaundiced view of things .


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Re: Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland
Wuffski #2014220 01/14/13 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Marco M
Dustin Speray, maybe you become confused about what what you wanted to say about the Roland and Yamaha sound concerning their brightness? You would be the first to claim that Roland sounds too bright compared to Yamahas. Almost everybody has just the opposite impression, that Yamaha (and Kawai) sound is much brighter than Roland sound. Some even claim that Roland sound would appear 'muffled'.
Furthermore, the key action of the Rolands performs in the range of many key actions as you can find them on very nice grand pianos, nicely light. So, how can you state because of the key action it would be an odd choice to go for a key action of Roland DPs?


No, definatly not. I thought the action of the Rolands appeared to be noisy when quietly played and the sound was muffled. I sampled the Roland HP503 & HP505. I thought I was sold on a Yamaha CLP470 when these fine folks on this forum recommended that I look at the Kawai CA series. Over the past weekend I visited a piano store and played on a Kawai CA65 and was sold. The sound was great and the action and feel was even better. Like I said, I was hung up on the Yamaha till I tried the Kawai. It was a real pleasure to play. I think I am going to call up the store and have them get me one ready for pickup next weekend! Im excited!!! grin

Re: Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland
Wuffski #2014226 01/14/13 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Marco M
Dustin Speray, maybe you become confused about what what you wanted to say about the Roland and Yamaha sound concerning their brightness? You would be the first to claim that Roland sounds too bright compared to Yamahas. Almost everybody has just the opposite impression, that Yamaha (and Kawai) sound is much brighter than Roland sound. Some even claim that Roland sound would appear 'muffled'.
Furthermore, the key action of the Rolands performs in the range of many key actions as you can find them on very nice grand pianos, nicely light. So, how can you state because of the key action it would be an odd choice to go for a key action of Roland DPs?


When people refer to Roland sound as muffled, they typically mean the speaker system. In headphones, it is not muffled at all. I agree that Rolands SN is mellower/warmer than Kawai/Yamaha. When played through speakers, from middle C up the sound just...isn't there - that would be my biggest complaint about the sound of Roland HPs (one of two complaints, the other is disbalance of key samples, possibly very subjective).
As for the action - if it were not so loud, I would love it, though I agree it feels less realistic that Kawai GF for example.

Marco M - you say that Roland SN is not suitable for jazz. From my modest attemps at little jazz pieces I would say it sounds pretty darn good. The bass and dynamic range are superb. What I found difficult was to carry a high melodic line over bass accompaniment, often present in romantic pieces. The melody either wasn't there from the beginning (as opposed to bass) or died too quickly. So my perception is very different from yours, which only shows how subjective are our opinions on which sound is better.

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