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Kawai LS1- new to us? but launched in Japan in Nov/Dec 2013 #2209317 01/06/14 12:06 PM
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Pianofeet Offline OP
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http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71vvFaFodKL._AA1500_.jpg

A bit of my history. I bought my Technics PX7 (quickly followed by an Alesis Microverb) in 1987. Had great fun working up to Grade 5 over a few years (but only actually took grade 4), then got into DAWs and sequencing samples etc. Didn't use it for 10+years but dug it out of my study when my Mother in Law's piano playing friend visited us (the things we do for our mother in laws eh?....both good and bad! wink ) Of course I became interested again and got a 'second wind' (perhaps a final wind smile ) at the age of 68! Gulp!!.

The Technics still works but I'm looking out for another keyboard....I quite like the Yamaha P105/155 and like AZ Piano blog's appreciation of the Kawai pianos, not that Tim is, possibly, without self-interest of course. I'm no stranger to Kawai, having had a K1R back in the 80s and my music mistress had an electric Kawai grand with a unique sound...I guess like the Yamaha CP80?. Kawai always were a little off mainstream so I was pleased to see they are still at it. However, they are STILL quirky...having the unnecessary drums!!! and Magic play!!! and yet reverb with NO depth adjustment...and SINGLE track recorders!!!...even my 25yr old Technics is twin track!!!

So in the affordable/justifiable, to me, price range I'm stuck with the excellently reviewed Kawai ES-7 as being the lowest price Kawais to have adjustable depth on its reverb (I've downloaded and studied most of the manuals!! frown . This is an ABSOLUTELY essential feature, in my experience, as depending on mood and sound you do need to adjust this.....unless Kawai got the fixed reverb right for every taste!

Casio are the same and it is only Yamaha who have included the ability to adjust reverb depth in most of their pianos of any type...including the P105. Mark one up for Yamaha....and another mark for twin track recording....down to Yamaha's greater experience? The ES-7 is Tinkertastic for me but unfortunately in Dorset UK there are no shops which stock it...meaning a trip to Keysounds at Leicester...a couple of hours+ of water-planing in the current weather! smile The same goes for the ES100 which, stupidly, has the same reverb shortcoming but otherwise would be very suitable for me, I suspect.

Anyway, still looking around for a piano I came across the Kawai LS1 on the japanese website (it looks as if it was introduced there Nov/Dec 2013. This looks good to me but I'm still unsure, with the Google translation, whether the instrument has ADJUSTABLE DEPTH reverb. However, looking at the, albeit, Japanese manual it seems, as is common with Kawai, that it doesn't! Notwithstanding this; it is rather appealing and translating the current exchange rates it looks as if it could sell here for around £900..... PLUS the often seen UK rip-off factor! smile Of course I could get another outboard reverb unit as I had with my PX7 if the abilities of the Kawai models warrant it. That would open up the whole range to me but is a messy solution. I play mostly with headphones and that is probably why I'm droning on about adjusting the depth of reverb....Yamaha know what I mean..... wink

Here's some links Click on the squares to the right of the linked pages for further details....blame Google translate not me...still hugely better than no translation!:

some of the links aren't appearing in the 'Preview Post'....if the Japanese Amazon link doesn't come up, search for Kawai LS1 in Google and it'll be around two thirds down the first page.

http://www.kawai.co.jp/ep/products/ls1/?p=ep_top

[/url]

[url=http://www.kawai.co.jp/ep/products/ls1/?p=ep_top]


[/url]

[url=http://www.kawai.co.jp/ep/guide/pdf/manual/LS1_20131122.pdf]


[/url]

http://www.kawai.co.jp/ep...4%BB%95%E4%B8%8A%E3%81%92/dp/B00G8XAIUU]


[url=http://Www.Amazon.Co.Jp/dp/B00G8XAIUU][/url]



Product Description (Google translated)
Shine in a modern interior, electronic piano of full flat and compact design [feature] with ■ a "88-key stereo sampling" piano sound source reverb give a reverberation effect to ■ sound RHII keyboard to express until overlap of ■ delicate sound close to ■ ivory feel "ivory touch" soft fall keyboard lid of ■ relief click feeling you feel faintly ■ fingertips "let-off feel" lesson song of enhancement with a built-in ■ Bayer Burgmuller, Czerny reproduction "ground feel the pedals ■ grand piano Pedal System " [main specifications] ■ Maximum Polyphony: 192 ■ The number of the tones: 17 ■ Built-in music: 267 (speakers boxed), 12cm × 2 5cm × 2: ■ Speaker ■ amplifier output: 20W × 2 ■ Size (closed the keyboard lid) W137 × D31 × H78.5: (cm width × height × depth) 45 kg: mass ■ ■ Accessories: high and low freely chair, headphones, power cord, classical piano music book collection, other

I hope that this is of interest,

Frank

Last edited by Pianofeet; 01/06/14 12:55 PM.
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Re: Kawai LS1- new to us? but launched in Japan in Nov/Dec 2013 [Re: Pianofeet] #2209341 01/06/14 12:31 PM
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sandalholme Offline
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Haven't read all your post yet, but Ben Wheeler at Basingstoke stock Kawai. I got my ES7 from them. Good to deal with and it's a fantastic piece of kit.

(Now to carry on with your post)

Re: Kawai LS1- new to us? but launched in Japan in Nov/Dec 2013 [Re: sandalholme] #2209351 01/06/14 12:38 PM
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Thank you Sandy, if I may be so informal, for your helpful info. It just shows you....I have searched a lot but only have a faint feeling that I came across this supplier.....certainly quicker than water-planing all the way to Leicester although I liked the chap I talked to at Keysounds...a few days ago!

Will look now.

Thanks,

Frank

Re: Kawai LS1- new to us? but launched in Japan in Nov/Dec 2013 [Re: Pianofeet] #2209359 01/06/14 12:48 PM
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I just looked at Ben Wheelers website and yes, I'd been there before but dismissed them as they only keep the Kawai digital 'furniture' models, apparently, and seem concentrated on large and expensive 'proper' smile pianos. They'd probably tune your piano as soon as look at you. smile

Frank

Prom a digital Kawai piano prespective, they seem similar to Musicislife in Southbourne which is closer.

Last edited by Pianofeet; 01/06/14 01:00 PM.
Re: Kawai LS1- new to us? but launched in Japan in Nov/Dec 2013 [Re: Pianofeet] #2209869 01/06/14 10:51 PM
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Hello Frank,

Yes, the LS1 is a new 'compact' instrument, with good specifications and an integrated lid. However, this model is currently only available in Japan, and I'm not sure how much interest there is in an overseas release.

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: Kawai LS1- new to us? but launched in Japan in Nov/Dec 2013 [Re: Kawai James] #2209942 01/07/14 01:28 AM
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Could you route the DP's output to an outboard effects processor, and then back to the DP's loudspeakers?

Digital reverb units aren't very expensive, and aren't very heavy or bulky. And they have scads of adjustability.

. Charles


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Kawai LS1- new to us? but launched in Japan in Nov/Dec 2013 [Re: Kawai James] #2209981 01/07/14 04:47 AM
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"Yes, the LS1 is a new 'compact' instrument, with good specifications and an integrated lid. However, this model is currently only available in Japan, and I'm not sure how much interest there is in an overseas release."

Hello there James,

I've lurked on this website for a couple of weeks and have noticed how supportive and pro-active you are. I do hope that Kawai appreciate your efforts.

Thank you for your clarification of the future of the LS1....I was half expecting it to appear at NAMM or Frankfurt....I suppose this could happen still.

Following on from your comment do you have any English documentation? I like the spec, as far as I can interpret it, but, as ever, the interest will depend on the spec vs price. It DOES look very interesting....a compact quality piano with good touch and no adjustable reverb......sounds good! (except for the last point...if that's the case. smile

Thanks again for the follow up,

Frank
PS I'm slightly concerned with the posts regarding recent historic unreliability of Kawai keyboards/pianos and have noticed a number of these type of reports regarding the current ES100.

Re: Kawai LS1- new to us? but launched in Japan in Nov/Dec 2013 [Re: Charles Cohen] #2209986 01/07/14 05:07 AM
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Could you route the DP's output to an outboard effects processor, and then back to the DP's loudspeakers?

Digital reverb units aren't very expensive, and aren't very heavy or bulky. And they have scads of adjustability.

. Charles


Thank you for taking the time to help with your thoughts.

You may recall in my initial post that I had used an Alesis Microverb with my Technics PX7 for a long time. I prefer to practice and play using headphones (unless I have an undiscriminating audience available :)).

Interestingly or not...The PX7 was one of the first affordable and decent sounding digital keyboard (A damn site more expensive, in real terms, compared to what we pay today!).

Likewise the Alesis Microverb was definitely the first affordable digital reverb and I bought that around 24yrs ago. (unfortunately I gave it to my son's band so had to buy a nanoverb recently but haven't managed to get it to work as well so far). The microverb was a sensationally wonderful little box. I always had my headphones plugged into it and it made a huge difference to the sound.

For me, one of the great advantages of Digital Pianos is headphone playing; to be able to hear your playing sounding like a beautifully recorded piano....just gorgeous. Just for variety during practice and playing I enjoy altering the piano sounds and tone (I'm not interested in the other sounds as I have Cubase and some really good outboard samples already). I often transpose the key just for a change as well. It's great IMHO and I could also do this with the 'non adjustable reverb' Kawais.

Another advantage that I've recently discovered is a downloadable, printable music sheet company which permits printing in any key. Cmaj is advantageous to me as I'm a tall man with large fingers which won't always fit between the black keys! Sometimes this demands unusual fingering strategies!! smile You can use the transpose facility of digital pianos to restore the correct sound pitch for the piece.

I'll have to look at the Kawai manuals I've downloaded to see if they have the necessary connections available to run my reverb unit as you suggest.

Thank you for your help,

Frank
PS Maybe if I like the ES-7 the problem won't arise. smile

Last edited by Pianofeet; 01/07/14 05:59 AM.
Re: Kawai LS1- new to us? but launched in Japan in Nov/Dec 2013 [Re: Pianofeet] #2209991 01/07/14 05:22 AM
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Re Ben Wheeler. I found them when I was in the process of selling my Kawai RX2 grand. The organisation is divided into acoustic and digital. The DP side is run by Neil Sale (I hope I've remembered his surname accurately. If not, sorry Neil!) and not only did he make efforts to get the ES7 available to try but he has given good after-sales service re USB stick and pedal issues.

I also tried Musicislife in Boscombe. Perfectly OK "normal" music shop, but I would recommend you give Basingstoke a try: you get personal service.

Re: Kawai LS1- new to us? but launched in Japan in Nov/Dec 2013 [Re: Pianofeet] #2209992 01/07/14 05:26 AM
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Hello Frank,

Originally Posted by Pianofeet
I've lurked on this website for a couple of weeks and have noticed how supportive and pro-active you are.


Thank you. I've been away on holiday for the last couple of weeks (I returned to Hamamatsu this morning), so haven't been able to assist with all the Kawai-related queries in great detail.

Originally Posted by Pianofeet
Thank you for your clarification of the future of the LS1....I was half expecting it to appear at NAMM or Frankfurt....I suppose this could happen still.


The 'L' range of models have always been exclusive to the domestic Japanese market. I don't expect this situation to change in the near future.

Originally Posted by Pianofeet
Following on from your comment do you have any English documentation?


No, I'm afraid not. I believe the LS1 owner's manual is only available in Japanese.

Kind regards,
James
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Re: Kawai LS1- new to us? but launched in Japan in Nov/Dec 2013 [Re: sandalholme] #2209995 01/07/14 05:39 AM
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Thanks again Sandy. It sounds like you may have a rather bigger budget than me! I've hardly seen a grand....far less owned one! blush

I don't want a shop to get in a piano into stock just for me as that makes me feel more obligated. I'd rather go to a shop which has a larger range to try...including ES100 and ES7 and Yamaha DPs too, although I can easily try the latter, locally.

The atmosphere of the Ben Wheeler website does seems very upmarket to me....although I have been known to be wrong before.

Generally 'personal' service costs....I'd rather spend that on the piano.

Thanks again for your assistance.

Frank

Re: Kawai LS1- new to us? but launched in Japan in Nov/Dec 2013 [Re: Kawai James] #2209996 01/07/14 05:41 AM
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Thank you James.

I hadn't realised that the L range were Japanese only. I knew I'd learn something on this forum!

Cheers,

Frank

Re: Kawai LS1- new to us? but launched in Japan in Nov/Dec 2013 [Re: Pianofeet] #2210083 01/07/14 09:47 AM
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Frank, you are entitled to shop where you wish, but by "personal service`" I meant communication one to one, the one who runs (that side of) the business. Not with hired hands who may or may not be knowledgable. (Go to Absolute Sounds for good non-Kawai knowledge/range. I failed to persuade them to stock Kawai.) The price I paid for the ES7, with the 3 pedal unit stand, was competitive.

Unless the situation has changed recently, ES7's are still like gold dust to find. Neil was expecting delivery of just one a year ago. He let me know when it arrived, set it up that day for me to try, I drove up there, fell in love with it, bought it and took it away that day with an outstanding order for the stand. (It came of course with the 2 pedal unit) And I didn't pay anywhere near list price, even though he had a waiting list for people to try it.


No connection with the firm - indeed I failed to do business re selling my RX2 and went elsewhere - but I'm always happy to report good service.


Re: Kawai LS1- new to us? but launched in Japan in Nov/Dec 2013 [Re: sandalholme] #2210206 01/07/14 01:05 PM
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Thanks again Sandy. I know exactly what you mean about hired hands....and that's always been prevalent even in the 'Eddie Moors' days! The times I've listened to so called demos by salesmen who've learnt a few riffs, by rote, to suit each sound.....and then always default to modern jazzy chord piano playing which I detest. You still hear the same thing in almost all the YouTube videos.....horrendous!

By a strange coincidence I only got home a few hours ago, on the way back from Poole, and did actually drop into Absolute Music! It's really annoying and frustrating that Absolute Music don't keep Kawai products.

Although they are largely box shifters as you suggest they do have a merit in that they leave you to tinkle away to your hearts content, without interruption...although my 'tinkling' is pretty plodding now! To be fair, you could hardly expect salesman, these days, to memorise all the models from every manufacture and this is the case for almost everything these days.

I've always found that with the research I do I'm more clued up that the salesman. It's understandable....I've only got a few instruments to study but they've got ALL the pianos PLUS all the other equipment as well. I have found that the only way to find out what the pianos are capable of is to download and compare the manuals.

Although I've spent some time researching the current scene I've only just started to look at and try hardware. As regards the scarcity of ES7s I can only say that there are a few shops further north whose websites claim to have the ES7, ES100 and other Kawais in stock.

My next port of call will be Musicisn'tlife in Southbourne. This will be the first time I'll actually touch and listen to a Kawai DP. The whole thing about sound and feel is very personal and probably I've been silly to focus so much on the reverb as I could use an outboard 'box' as I used to and still do, somewhat, now. I'm very interested to hear the Kawais for the first time.

My great fear is wasting money by finding that I can't adjust tones when I get the piano home....in case I discover something about it that I don't like. I have many other interests other than piano playing so I don't want to spend too much; and the ES7 with stand would be around my piano pain threshold!

I appreciate your input,

Thanks

Frank

Re: Kawai LS1- new to us? but launched in Japan in Nov/Dec 2013 [Re: Pianofeet] #2210315 01/07/14 03:17 PM
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May be wrong but when I was in Dawson's in Reading, I'm sure I saw an ES7 on their back wall. Their keyboard department is huge in that store, so might be worth giving them a bell. They can do some pretty competitive prices as well on some things, Kawai being one of them.


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Straight up jackin'! ;0)
Re: Kawai LS1- new to us? but launched in Japan in Nov/Dec 2013 [Re: blackspaven] #2210718 01/08/14 03:49 AM
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Thank you Blacky. Yes Dawsons and many others are advertising them....just not around this area. To be honest I'm starting to get nervous about the reliability of Kawai stuff, having read more threads.

Cheers,

Frank

Re: Kawai LS1- new to us? but launched in Japan in Nov/Dec 2013 [Re: Kawai James] #2211046 01/08/14 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Hello Frank,

Yes, the LS1 is a new 'compact' instrument, with good specifications and an integrated lid. However, this model is currently only available in Japan, and I'm not sure how much interest there is in an overseas release.

Kind regards,
James
x


That seems very strange. Roland, Korg, Yamaha, and Casio all sell instruments in this very same form factor "overseas" so somebody must be buying them.

Last edited by ONfrank; 01/08/14 05:28 PM.
Re: Kawai LS1- new to us? but launched in Japan in Nov/Dec 2013 [Re: ONfrank] #2211305 01/09/14 06:41 AM
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I like your logic Frank....you would have thought that the Kawai marketing people would have spotted that! smile

Frank


Re: Kawai LS1- new to us? but launched in Japan in Nov/Dec 2013 [Re: Pianofeet] #2211307 01/09/14 07:04 AM
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I'm now considering the ES100 with an outboard reverb...does pretty much all that I want and although it's frustrating to have to use an outboard reverb if that saves 75% of the price of an ES7 then so be it. Still nervous about reliability and maybe I'm getting ahead of myself as I haven't even tried any Kawai yet...but will rectify that in the next week.

I'd rather like a lid, to be honest, after having mucked around with an unsightly dust cover for a long time on my Technics. Maybe I'll design a sit on lid assembly as an after market item....not rocket science....or even piano science! smile

Frank


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