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#2320532 - 08/27/14 08:28 AM Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7  
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gbitw Offline
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What is the quality, piano sound, action difference between the Kawai ES100 and MP7? Is the MP7 extremely better than the ES100 to justify the difference.

This is mostly for studio practice. My biggest concern with the ES100 is the built in speakers and lack of cable interfaces (USB, AMP, etc).

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#2320544 - 08/27/14 08:50 AM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: gbitw]  
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Have you tried them out yourself? What are your own impressions of the action and the sound? Myself, I've only tried an MP6 as no MP7 was available near me, but I was very impressed by both the sound and the action. I know that the MP7 is better than the MP6 and have reviewed its specs and am impressed. I know that you can't go wrong with it, especially if you ever decide to take it on the road with you.


Keys: Yamaha GC2, Casio Privia PX-3, Roland RD800, Alesis VI61, Pianoteq 6.0
My motto: Play and Let Play!
#2320556 - 08/27/14 09:11 AM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: gbitw]  
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The ES100 is an entry-level DP, whereas the MP7 is designed for the gigging musician. I have not played either, but jy assumption is that the MP7 is in every way superior to the ES100.

These two are quite a bit dissimilar in price. It's probably best to eastablish the mqximum you are willing to pay, and look for pianos at that price point, that way you are comparing DPs with roughly the same target market and features.

If you are trying to stay below $1000, then you may want to try out the Casio px350 or px5s in addition to the Es100.


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#2320561 - 08/27/14 09:19 AM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: gbitw]  
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gbitw, the ES100 is a good entry-level instrument, however the keyboard action, sound quality, user interface, and pretty much every aspect of the MP7 is far superior. The only downside is that it's 6kg heavier.

Originally Posted by gbitw
Is the MP7 extremely better than the ES100 to justify the difference.


That depends. If you're looking for a good quality, entry-level, no-thrills no-frills instrument on which to practise piano, the ES100 will be suitable for your needs. However, if you're able to invest in the MP7, I believe you will be glad you opted for the higher specification instrument.

I echo Pete's advice that you should definitely try to get some hands-on time with both models - this is really the only way of telling if an instrument will be right for you.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
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#2320573 - 08/27/14 09:49 AM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: gbitw]  
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Originally Posted by gbitw
My biggest concern with the ES100 is the built in speakers and lack of cable interfaces (USB, AMP, etc).

You don't have to use the speakers. Lack of USB is addressed with a cheap USB-to-MIDI adapter. You can use the headphone jack to go to an amp.

All that said, the MP7 is much more full-featured, especially if you have any interest whatsoever in any sounds other than acoustic piano. I have not directly compared the piano sound or action. Kawai clearly considers the MP7 better in these regards, but that can be subjective, and whether it is worth the $ difference is clearly something only you can decide. If nothing else, an x-hundred dollar difference is a lot more significant to someone who makes $75 a day than to someone who makes $75 an hour. Or to someone who makes $50 a gig vs. someone who makes $500 a gig. ;-)

#2320585 - 08/27/14 10:05 AM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: Kawai James]  
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Originally Posted by Kawai James

That depends. If you're looking for a good quality, entry-level, no-thrills instrument ...


LOL..perhaps you meant no-frills. No-thrills instrument isn't quite a good selling feature. laugh


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#2320588 - 08/27/14 10:10 AM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: gbitw]  
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Lol...time for bed! wink

James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#2320595 - 08/27/14 10:38 AM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: gbitw]  
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To the original poster, have you considered other keyboards, the Kawai ES7 is one that immediately comes to my mind, since it is one heck of a fine keyboard, and comparing this with the MP7 is a bit fairer I think.


Keys: Yamaha GC2, Casio Privia PX-3, Roland RD800, Alesis VI61, Pianoteq 6.0
My motto: Play and Let Play!
#2320719 - 08/27/14 03:21 PM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: gbitw]  
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Speaking to only the ES 100 and as a student, it works very well for piano practice. The feel is fine and sound okay but I do prefer to use it through Pianoteq for a better sound. I have an acoustic but also want to keep a DP around. If it were two years down the road or my only piano, I would have looked further and probably would have spent more money.


Mike

103 year old Schmoller and Mueller
Slightly newer Kawai ES 100
#2320800 - 08/27/14 07:22 PM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: Mike407]  
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Went and tried a MP6 and ES7 tonight. Seemed nice based on my limited experience. The key action is definitely lighter than something like the Yamaha P-255.

My biggest concern about the ES100 at this point is speaker quality and limited interfaces.

Does anyone have any experience with the ES7? It seems pretty expensive. Wondering what justifies the cost?

#2320806 - 08/27/14 07:30 PM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: gbitw]  
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Originally Posted by gbitw
Went and tried a MP6 and ES7 tonight. Seemed nice based on my limited experience. The key action is definitely lighter than something like the Yamaha P-255.

My biggest concern about the ES100 at this point is speaker quality and limited interfaces.

If those are your only concern, there are workarounds as someone posted earlier: Purchase a MIDI to USB cable like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Generic-USB-MIDI-Converter-Electronics/dp/B003KXEDVQ#

And use computer speakers or inexpensive powered monitors if you don't care for the speakers on the ES100.

As far as what justifies the cost, it is similar to your question about the MP7. The ES7 has better action, Ivory feel keys, better sound, better speakers, 3 pedals, more voices, more polyphony...just looking at the specs of each will tell you the reason for the cost difference.


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#2325230 - 09/08/14 01:58 AM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: gbitw]  
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(first post here so apologies if this has been asked already...!)

I'm looking for a DP to play in a jazz trio, so I need something that sounds good in an exposed setting (I don't need any sophisticated features or non-piano sounds). I tried out the ES100 and really like its combination of good piano sound, simplicity and light weight (I prefer the ES100 to MP6/MP7 as it's lighter).

But... I'm concerned about the ES100 using the headphone outs as the main connections to external speakers or PA.

Can anyone confirm they've used this and it works OK? Is the audio signal clean enough to run through a PA? Is the signal good quality? Is the connector robust enough?

And does anyone know what the ES100 sounds like in mono connected to one external speaker? Does the sound collapse to mono OK or are there phasing issues? I couldn't find any reference in the manual or online specs...

Thanks



#2325238 - 09/08/14 02:47 AM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: nickd100]  
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nickd100,

Originally Posted by nickd100
Can anyone confirm they've used this and it works OK? Is the audio signal clean enough to run through a PA? Is the signal good quality? Is the connector robust enough?


I believe the headphone output should be fine for connecting to a PA. There is also a setting to keep the onboard speaker output, providing a direct monitoring solution. As for the connector, again this should be fine, but if you're particular concerned about excessive wear and tear, you could perhaps leave a short male to female stereo chord plugged into the headphone socket, then plug the PA into this.

Originally Posted by nickd100
And does anyone know what the ES100 sounds like in mono connected to one external speaker? Does the sound collapse to mono OK or are there phasing issues? I couldn't find any reference in the manual or online specs...


I'm afraid I've never tried the ES100 connected in mono, however I believe the 'Modern Piano' and 'Rock Piano' are are arguably most suitable for playing in mono, due to the way those samples are created.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#2325240 - 09/08/14 03:08 AM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: Kawai James]  
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Thanks James, that was quick!

OK sounds good... I don't think the 'rock piano' sound will work for my band, but I liked 'modern piano'.

#2325243 - 09/08/14 03:25 AM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: gbitw]  
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nickd100, by all means, please do try the other acoustic piano sounds and let us know how you get on.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#2325248 - 09/08/14 03:56 AM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: gbitw]  
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James, I spent some time playing the ES100 at my local piano store this weekend, and I was definitely impressed - I've also recently tried out the Yamaha P105 and Privia 350, and the ES100 was my favourite in terms of sound and action.

#2355916 - 11/28/14 06:55 PM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: gbitw]  
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Hi James, can I just use a mono jack to connect the ES100 up to a mono amp? Or does it have to be a stereo to 2 x mono jack connecting e.g. the left?

#2355923 - 11/28/14 07:05 PM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: goettel]  
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Originally Posted by goettel
Hi James, can I just use a mono jack to connect the ES100 up to a mono amp? Or does it have to be a stereo to 2 x mono jack connecting e.g. the left?

The ES100 has no Mono Out, so you should merge both channels on the Stereo Headphone Jack via a mixer (if the amp doesn't have one built-in).

#2355944 - 11/28/14 08:15 PM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: JoeT]  
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Originally Posted by jtsn
The ES100 has no Mono Out, so you should merge both channels on the Stereo Headphone Jack via a mixer (if the amp doesn't have one built-in).


Yes, that's correct.


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#2361749 - 12/15/14 04:31 AM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: JoeT]  
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Originally Posted by jtsn
Originally Posted by goettel
Hi James, can I just use a mono jack to connect the ES100 up to a mono amp? Or does it have to be a stereo to 2 x mono jack connecting e.g. the left?

The ES100 has no Mono Out, so you should merge both channels on the Stereo Headphone Jack via a mixer (if the amp doesn't have one built-in).


Thanks, I've been using it in mono and noticed that gives a phased sound, guess I'll hook up a little mixer.

#2361843 - 12/15/14 10:57 AM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: gbitw]  
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I wouldn't add a whole new mixer to your set-up, unless you've already got one lying around. Just supply both lines to the main sound board and have them mixed to mono there before sending to the monitors and mains. You'll need a splitter cable that goes from stereo 1/4 (the headphone jack) to dual mono 1/4s at the other end, which is a fairly standard cable; and which you'll need for most of these solutions.

The sound folks may need two DI boxes if they're going from 1/4 to XLR, which most sound engineers do anyway. If you're using your own amp as mains, use two channels if you've got them, but have your amp treat them as mono signals to be mixed together.

I have a very nice passive DI box (the Radial AV1) that combines two 1/4 channels to a mono XLR, which would be perfect for what you're doing (and takes a lot less space and is less delicate than a mixer, and has less opportunity to muck things up by having knobs set wrong, since there are no knobs).

It is expensive compared to some other DI boxes (the Radial boxes are high-end and use a lot of wound copper) so there may be a cheaper solution, but this will give a very good sound.

Whatever solution you try, during sound check you should temporarily disable the ES100 speakers and play various notes through the sound system using the main piano sounds to see if you get issues with particular notes sounding wonky. And if it doesn't sound good on concert grand, try the modern and rock pianos as James suggested. He hinted at a recording technique that may make those work better when combined to mono -- I record my real grand piano using an x/y stereo mic for this exact reason, and maybe they did a similar near-point-source stereo micing for those sounds.


Rodney Sauer
Kawai KG-2E • Kawai ES8
#2361933 - 12/15/14 03:15 PM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: nickd100]  
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Originally Posted by nickd100
(first post here so apologies if this has been asked already...!)

I'm looking for a DP to play in a jazz trio, so I need something that sounds good in an exposed setting (I don't need any sophisticated features or non-piano sounds). I tried out the ES100 and really like its combination of good piano sound, simplicity and light weight (I prefer the ES100 to MP6/MP7 as it's lighter).

But... I'm concerned about the ES100 using the headphone outs as the main connections to external speakers or PA.

Can anyone confirm they've used this and it works OK? Is the audio signal clean enough to run through a PA? Is the signal good quality? Is the connector robust enough?

And does anyone know what the ES100 sounds like in mono connected to one external speaker? Does the sound collapse to mono OK or are there phasing issues? I couldn't find any reference in the manual or online specs...

Thanks




If your looking for a gigging board you should not get one that you have to rely on a headphone output.

#2365318 - 12/24/14 03:17 PM Re: Kawai ES100 vs Kawai MP7 [Re: ColoRodney]  
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goettel Offline
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Originally Posted by ColoRodney
I wouldn't add a whole new mixer to your set-up, unless you've already got one lying around. Just supply both lines to the main sound board and have them mixed to mono there before sending to the monitors and mains. You'll need a splitter cable that goes from stereo 1/4 (the headphone jack) to dual mono 1/4s at the other end, which is a fairly standard cable; and which you'll need for most of these solutions.

The sound folks may need two DI boxes if they're going from 1/4 to XLR, which most sound engineers do anyway. If you're using your own amp as mains, use two channels if you've got them, but have your amp treat them as mono signals to be mixed together.

I have a very nice passive DI box (the Radial AV1) that combines two 1/4 channels to a mono XLR, which would be perfect for what you're doing (and takes a lot less space and is less delicate than a mixer, and has less opportunity to muck things up by having knobs set wrong, since there are no knobs).

It is expensive compared to some other DI boxes (the Radial boxes are high-end and use a lot of wound copper) so there may be a cheaper solution, but this will give a very good sound.

Whatever solution you try, during sound check you should temporarily disable the ES100 speakers and play various notes through the sound system using the main piano sounds to see if you get issues with particular notes sounding wonky. And if it doesn't sound good on concert grand, try the modern and rock pianos as James suggested. He hinted at a recording technique that may make those work better when combined to mono -- I record my real grand piano using an x/y stereo mic for this exact reason, and maybe they did a similar near-point-source stereo micing for those sounds.


Just saw your post, thanks for the tips!


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