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#2126159 - 07/31/13 11:15 PM New Kawai Portable???  
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voxpops Offline
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Following various hints dropped, authorized or unauthorized leaks, and applications for asylum from airport transit zones, it appears that, just possibly, there could be a new 33lbs portable unveiled in Oz in a couple of weeks, bearing a Kawai-red logo. If so, that would be remarkable and welcome news, especially if there is no more rationing of sound quality. We'll see...


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

mabraman, 2015
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#2126175 - 08/01/13 12:13 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: voxpops]  
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I was able extract a close-up photo of the mystery DP from the Kawai R&D mainframe...


[Linked Image]

laugh

#2126176 - 08/01/13 12:17 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: voxpops]  
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Originally Posted by voxpops
welcome news, especially if there is no more rationing of sound quality. We'll see...

From the hints, it sounded like it will be low priced, lower than any current models. So I wouldn't expect it to sound like an MP10...

#2126184 - 08/01/13 12:47 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: anotherscott]  
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voxpops Offline
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by voxpops
welcome news, especially if there is no more rationing of sound quality. We'll see...

From the hints, it sounded like it will be low priced, lower than any current models. So I wouldn't expect it to sound like an MP10...

Don't burst my bubble, Scott - at least not yet! wink I like to live in hope (or blissful ignorance) for a little while until reality kicks in.

You never know, they may have decided that with Korg offering unlooped 88-note pianos in a $1k machine, Roland dropping full-quality SN into a $1.5k model, and Casio making giant inroads into the pro stage market, they need to pull out all the stops. For all we know, Yamaha may be about to release an Ivory-killer portable (OK, now I'm just being irrational, I know).


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

mabraman, 2015
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#2126191 - 08/01/13 01:09 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: voxpops]  
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33lbs?

More plastic junk with "improved" samples. Probably a weak effort to stop sales of P-155's and P-105's at Kawai dealers.

Last edited by StarvingLion; 08/01/13 01:10 AM.

I'm starting the solid wooden keys revolution in digital pianos. Get'em now or be square!
#2126194 - 08/01/13 01:13 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: Scott Hamlin]  
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voxpops Offline
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Originally Posted by Plinky88
I was able extract a close-up photo of the mystery DP from the Kawai R&D mainframe...


[Linked Image]

laugh

Well done, Plinky, a great bit of sleuthing! I can tell from the picture that it's using MOPHI (Mega Outstanding Progressive Harmonic Imaging) with ARGH (Almost Real Gee-whizz Hammer) action. wink


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

mabraman, 2015
#2126196 - 08/01/13 01:23 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: StarvingLion]  
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voxpops Offline
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Originally Posted by StarvingLion
33lbs?

More plastic junk
That happens to be a valid way to get the weight down - just like your P-105. But, believe it or not, Roland's 33lbs FP-4 is mainly metal, as is Studiologic's 24lbs Numa Piano. So why not wait and see?

Quote
with "improved" samples.

Hopefully yes, but why the need for the quotation marks?

Quote
Probably a weak effort to stop sales of P-155's and P-105's at Kawai dealers.

Kawai is a smaller company, but does that make their effort weak? Have you ever played a Kawai?

I thought I was cynical, but goodness, I've more than met my match here!


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

mabraman, 2015
#2126218 - 08/01/13 03:19 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: voxpops]  
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Hi Voxpops,

I hope you're right. Mp series is first in line for replacement IMHO, but it could also very well be an extension to the VPC line , offering a compact, lower weight / lower cost controller board. Something like an RH- light version in a case that has more plastic components (which doesn't have to be a bad thing !).

We'll see. In a few weeks you said: is there a specific event around then (Music exposition, meeting of music industry) ? Personally I expected any announcements not to arrive before September, but the earlier the better...

Last edited by JFP; 08/01/13 03:19 AM.
#2126224 - 08/01/13 03:52 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: voxpops]  
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Originally Posted by voxpops

Well done, Plinky, a great bit of sleuthing! I can tell from the picture that it's using MOPHI (Mega Outstanding Progressive Harmonic Imaging) with ARGH (Almost Real Gee-whizz Hammer) action. wink


- or it could be Simulated Harmonically Interpolated Tonal Extension...let's hope not.

Anyway, I'm currently running a fever on the decision over a VPC1 or an ES7, so this news could be very timely for me, thanks for the alert.

#2126225 - 08/01/13 03:55 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: voxpops]  
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Very interesting. Either an RH2-based controller or an update of the EP3 would be pretty big news around here. I guess the MP6 could use a refresh as well, though I wouldn't expect it to be super cheap as suggested above. We'll keep our eyes on this one for sure.

Did I miss the hints? I assume they weren't in this forum because I feel like I check it pretty regularly.

#2126229 - 08/01/13 04:03 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: JFP]  
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Originally Posted by JFP
Hi Voxpops,

I hope you're right. Mp series is first in line for replacement IMHO, but it could also very well be an extension to the VPC line , offering a compact, lower weight / lower cost controller board. Something like an RH- light version in a case that has more plastic components (which doesn't have to be a bad thing !).

We'll see. In a few weeks you said: is there a specific event around then (Music exposition, meeting of music industry) ? Personally I expected any announcements not to arrive before September, but the earlier the better...


If they do that now, a lot of VPC1 orders waiting to be filled will be cancelled. Doesn't make any sense to offer a lower priced unit when demand is out of this world.

Kawai doesn't have a cheap slab with market traction. The Yamaha's clean up in that space.

I bet the resident troll was right. This is the beginning of The Great Hardware Piano Pricing Crash. The star of the show will have to be Roland who has the most to lose. What will they do? They will make the most noise in the end.

Last edited by StarvingLion; 08/01/13 04:09 AM.

I'm starting the solid wooden keys revolution in digital pianos. Get'em now or be square!
#2126241 - 08/01/13 04:59 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: voxpops]  
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"The Great Hardware Piano Pricing Crash"

StarvingLion, you remind me of some random doomsayer on the streets that everyone ignores.

#2126243 - 08/01/13 05:04 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: Gijs]  
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StarvingLion has a bit of a brand bias and tends to caricature the whole thing but I think there’s more than a grain of truth in what he's saying.

I'm not ignoring him.

#2126245 - 08/01/13 05:11 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: Scott Hamlin]  
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Originally Posted by Plinky88
I was able extract a close-up photo of the mystery DP from the Kawai R&D mainframe...


[Linked Image]

laugh

Whau... Do you see those mysterious little black strips in between of the white keys? They probably mean the new RHIII-2F floating keybed recently invented. Can't help waiting...

#2126271 - 08/01/13 07:08 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: voxpops]  
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This is great news if true. Ive been reluctantly using my ES7 for gigs this summer. It's been working out great, but such a nice DP that I rather keep at home full time and use second board for the road (preferable Kawai). I almost pulled the trigger on a PX5S, then considered and MP6, but now I will absolutely wait and see.

Voxpops, any chance you can give a little more detail on the hints you heard? i.e. controller or dp? 76 or 88? If not, I understand. Regardless, I just hope Xmas comes very early this year.





KAWAI ES7 | ROLAND RD-800 | YAMAHA CP4 | YAMAHA STAGEPAS 400i | PRESONUS R65 & T10 | SHURE SRH1540 | SENNHEISER HD650 | K&M OMEGA
#2126275 - 08/01/13 07:40 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: Marko in Boston]  
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Originally Posted by Marko in Boston
Voxpops, any chance you can give a little more detail on the hints you heard? i.e. controller or dp? 76 or 88? If not, I understand. Regardless, I just hope Xmas comes very early this year.


Sorry, Marko, I'm only reiterating what's already been released into the public domain (mainly via Keyboard Corner), and I have no detailed inside knowledge. I suppose it could be a controller to compete with Roland's A-88, but although that's a growing sector due to the increasing use of software, weight is less of an issue for that market, and Kawai has it pretty much sewn up already with the VPC. I agree with Starving Lion that it doesn't make too much sense to throw in a competing unit at this stage of the VPC's life cycle.

This is what James said in a thread about entry-level (88-note) pianos:

"...if you're willing to wait a little while, there might be something suitable from Kawai exhibited at the Australian Musician Association Convention (AMAC) in a couple of weeks.

No Clav though, I'm afraid...
"


So, it does sound like a less expensive, pared-down instrument but with some onboard sounds. Maybe, as gvfarns pondered, it's the replacement for the EP3, which would hopefully retain the principal qualities of the ES7 in a more mobile package. That would be nice - very useful in fact, and a direct competitor to the Roland FP-50. And, if you go back and read the runes from a thread a few weeks ago (which one, I can't remember), it's also possible that the MP replacements could be with us before the end of the year.

Edit: As a footnote, I would add that I found it odd that the retailer, Kraft, released a new video to promote the EP3 a few weeks ago (their old one was done about 3 years ago). It occurred to me then that they were suddenly needing to shift stock.

Last edited by voxpops; 08/01/13 07:52 AM.

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

mabraman, 2015
#2126298 - 08/01/13 09:16 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: voxpops]  
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What if it's an organ controller? They have the piano controller tightly wrapped up...


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#2126306 - 08/01/13 09:35 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: voxpops]  
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AMAC...well , that's 10 ~ 12th of august. That's not such a long wait. Hope it ain't for nothing...

Perhaps James can do a viral like appearance of a single added detail every week; starting now. Like with the revelation of the VPC (and VPC website). A key a day, keeps speculation away ;-)

#2126307 - 08/01/13 09:38 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: StarvingLion]  
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"The star of the show will have to be Roland who has the most to lose. What will they do? They will make the most noise in the end."

Might be able to pick one up cheap . . .



"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#2126324 - 08/01/13 10:15 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: voxpops]  
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Originally Posted by voxpops
This is what James said in a thread about entry-level (88-note) pianos:

"[i]...if you're willing to wait a little while, there might be something suitable from Kawai exhibited at the Australian Musician Association Convention (AMAC) in a couple of weeks.


It's also worth noting that the person to which he was replying was asking for an entry level 88-key digital piano with built-in speakers, under 30 lbs, competitive with models like Yamaha P35/P105, Korg SP170, and Casio. KJ asked if 33 lbs would be too much. So I think it's a safe bet that it's we're talking about a 33 lb digital piano with built in speakers, low cost, possibly under or not far from $600, since that's where those others are.

#2126344 - 08/01/13 10:50 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: anotherscott]  
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
...possibly under or not far from $600, since that's where those others are.


I'd be very surprized if Kawai ever makes a piano that sells for near $600. At the moment their low end piano, the EP3, sells for $1100 or so. That's the price point I'm expecting if they come out with a new "entry level" 33 pounder. Although it's far more expensive than the pianos you just mentioned, it could still be considered a competitor if it weighs around the same and fulfills the same function.

Kawai doesn't have a cheap action like GHS to put in low-end stuff and they don't have the scale Yamaha has. They haven't manifested the cost-cutting ability of Casio. If we are thinking of $600 as entry level, I don't think Kawai will ever have an entry level piano.

#2126350 - 08/01/13 11:01 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: anotherscott]  
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Well, I'm going to stick my neck out and say that it's the EP3 replacement. That lacks the bells and whistles of the ES series, is significantly cheaper, and yet is a competent performer. If the new model is aggressively priced (well under $1k street) it will compete with the Yamaha P-105 and Casio PX-150, but it needs to be at least as good, and potentially better. The P-105 is already very good for someone who needs a simple lightweight piano and Rhodes board with line-outs and speakers, and so Kawai will have to provide something sonically excellent if they are to respond adequately. PHI with the new resonance algorithms but with lower polyphony than the ES7 may be sufficient. I accept that we'll probably not see anything better than PHI in this model, but I'll wager it has at least RH, if not RHII, action.

Now I expect I'll be proven completely wrong on all counts!

Last edited by voxpops; 08/01/13 11:03 AM.

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

mabraman, 2015
#2126356 - 08/01/13 11:16 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: voxpops]  
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One thing I forgot is that the EP series has been US only. In Europe, the ES7 is significantly cheaper than in the US where it seems artificially inflated to allow room for the EP3 (presumably to keep internet retailers happy and not concerned about competition from the ES). If this new piano is marketed worldwide, it may change the equation a little.


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

mabraman, 2015
#2126357 - 08/01/13 11:18 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: voxpops]  
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voxpops, I have read your post, here:

Following various hints dropped, authorized or unauthorized leaks, and applications for asylum from airport transit zones, it appears that, just possibly, there could be a new 33lbs portable unveiled in Oz in a couple of weeks, bearing a Kawai-red logo. If so, that would be remarkable and welcome news, especially if there is no more rationing of sound quality. We'll see...

_________________________________________________

I don't understand the post. There is excitement for some reason. Currently the P95 yam weighs 26 pounds 7 oz and costs $600 Canadian I bought a year ago. So dirt cheap for a digital piano. What don't I understand about the post?

cheers,

#2126363 - 08/01/13 11:37 AM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: Michael_99]  
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Originally Posted by Michael_99
voxpops, I have read your post, here:

Following various hints dropped, authorized or unauthorized leaks, and applications for asylum from airport transit zones, it appears that, just possibly, there could be a new 33lbs portable unveiled in Oz in a couple of weeks, bearing a Kawai-red logo. If so, that would be remarkable and welcome news, especially if there is no more rationing of sound quality. We'll see...

_________________________________________________

I don't understand the post. There is excitement for some reason. Currently the P95 yam weighs 26 pounds 7 oz and costs $600 Canadian I bought a year ago. So dirt cheap for a digital piano. What don't I understand about the post?

cheers,


It's simply that Kawai has not competed in the sub-40lbs market before (as far as I'm aware). For many people who would prefer Kawai to Casio or Yamaha but need to travel with their piano, it means they now have a choice. Kawai actions are generally superior, which is a big plus, and providing they use a better sample engine than is in the competing boards, they will be satisfying a lot of semi-pro and hobbyist players.

On the other hand, if they dumb everything down to meet a price point, it will not be remarkable at all, and they may lose support.


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

mabraman, 2015
#2126385 - 08/01/13 12:19 PM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: voxpops]  
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Originally Posted by voxpops
Well, I'm going to stick my neck out and say that it's the EP3 replacement....

....Now I expect I'll be proven completely wrong on all counts!


For what it's worth, I agree. So we might both be wrong. But the EP3 is conspicuously outdated now within the Kawai range and is long overdue for replacement.

#2126389 - 08/01/13 12:37 PM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: voxpops]  
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Shame. As someone who is thinking of jumping the PX-150 ship, this won't be a tempter for me at all.

But good news for the market, for competition, and for those still looking to buy. More choice is always good...

#2126390 - 08/01/13 12:37 PM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: HwyStar]  
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Originally Posted by HwyStar
What if it's an organ controller? They have the piano controller tightly wrapped up...

I truly hope it is an organ (or synth) controller of the same superb quality as the VPC1.


I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked
#2126391 - 08/01/13 12:38 PM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: voxpops]  
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Warning: OT swerve. Please talk among yourselves - back in a jiffy. wink

How's that CP1 working out for you, Steve. Not missing the MP10 etc?


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

mabraman, 2015
#2126406 - 08/01/13 01:13 PM Re: New Kawai Portable??? [Re: voxpops]  
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OK, here's what I'd like to see happen (although I can pretty much guarantee it won't frown ). Kawai takes their best sound engine, be it UPHI or HIXL, and marries it to RHII and a lightweight chassis with speakers. Voila! A 33lbs board that concentrates on great sounding and responding pianos and EPs with little else to get in the way. With such a product priced at somewhere between $1.3k and $1.8k, Kawai could get one into the hands of nearly every gigging piano player on the planet. Simple, no?

Of course the marketing gurus would put every obstacle possible in the way of such a straightforward strategy, citing competition for their other boards. What they will fail to realize is that Casio is pretty much trying to do just that, albeit with, arguably, lower-end samples - and winning. I'll stop now as I realize I'm in danger of siding with Starving Lion about a weak response where Kawai puts in the minimum level of technology they can get away with. We just don't know, so I'm going to stay cheerful and optimistic. smile


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

mabraman, 2015
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