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Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: mordecai] #2273622
05/10/14 10:34 AM
05/10/14 10:34 AM
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Posts: 5,552
Melbourne, Australia
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Originally Posted by mordecai
Originally Posted by mordecai
After reading about the realism of the Kawai MP11's GF soundbed, I ordered one. Fresh out of the box, before even powering up, I found this:
http://youtu.be/zGLASJ-0Ehk
How on Earth can that pass through QC undetected. I'm really annoyed because of the awkwardness and weight involved in boxing it up, managing the stairs, repeating the whole thing with a replacement....
I really wish I'd ordered the MP7.


Well after powering up, I've found another problem with this keyboard. G5 (3rd G above middle C) sustains without a sustain pedal. I don't think it's another "key" problem because it plays a VST piano (Ivory ii) fine, with and without pedal. Have any other MP11 owners seen this with G5, or is it unique to mine?
I'm getting more and more cautious about Kawai's quality. I have to tell you, I've bought hardware and keyboards from Akai, Roland, Korg, Fatar, M Audio and Behringer, and I've not had a single problem with them, and never had to return an item. My very first Kawai and it's not good news :-(


Sigh. It's amazing how often this is reported as a fault when it's perfectly normal. Haven't you guys ever played a real piano? If your VST piano does cut off the high notes when you release the key, you should be reporting that as a fault.

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Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: toddy] #2273633
05/10/14 11:17 AM
05/10/14 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by toddy
Originally Posted by mordecai

....I've found another problem with this keyboard. G5 (3rd G above middle C) sustains without a sustain pedal. I don't think it's another "key" problem because it plays a VST piano (Ivory ii) fine, with and without pedal. Have any other MP11 owners seen this with G5, or is it unique to mine?


This is not a problem, if you mean G6. All DPs imitate this behaviour, which is how real pianos work: from around G6 (or third G above middle C) upwards, no strings are damped because they sustain so little, it's not worth it. Plus, it enriches the resonant quality of the piano as a whole when these high strings are left free to vibrate at all times.


Thanks for the explanation toddy. Sorry, yes G6. If the MP11 was designed this way, to emulate a real grand piano, I don't think it's particularly successful because sustain pedal still works after G6 (in fact, it sounds more like reverb kicking in rather than sustain, but whatever, it's not very nice). I've made a quick video of staccato notes and again with pedal after G6. I dunno, it just doesn't sound right to me. But maybe I'm too familiar with Synthogy's Ivory ii, which doesn't do this.
http://youtu.be/anF2HmVbyZ8

Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: lolatu] #2273639
05/10/14 11:33 AM
05/10/14 11:33 AM
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From that video, G6 does sound different from the A B C following, yes. It has less of the adharmonic ringing that you get with all the other notes.

But anyway, all the notes from G6 upwards should ring, unrestricted and in sympathy with each other. I'm very surprised to hear you say that Ivory ii doesn't do this - maybe the default behaviour has been disabled in your software.

Last edited by toddy; 05/10/14 11:40 AM.

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Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: toddy] #2273644
05/10/14 11:47 AM
05/10/14 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by toddy
From that video, G6 does sound different from the A B C following, yes. It has less of the adharmonic ringing that you get with all the other notes.

But anyway, all the notes from G6 upwards should ring, unrestricted and in sympathy with each other. I'm very surprised to hear you say that Ivory ii doesn't do this - maybe the default behaviour has been disabled in your software.


You're absolutely right toddy! Just checked Ivory ii and the notes do ring out (from G# though) but it's much less pronounced than the MP11, and adding sustain pedal doesn't change the sound much or add that horrible reverby sound that the MP11 does.

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Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: mordecai] #2273645
05/10/14 11:47 AM
05/10/14 11:47 AM
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Melbourne, Australia
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Originally Posted by mordecai
Originally Posted by toddy
Originally Posted by mordecai

....I've found another problem with this keyboard. G5 (3rd G above middle C) sustains without a sustain pedal. I don't think it's another "key" problem because it plays a VST piano (Ivory ii) fine, with and without pedal. Have any other MP11 owners seen this with G5, or is it unique to mine?


This is not a problem, if you mean G6. All DPs imitate this behaviour, which is how real pianos work: from around G6 (or third G above middle C) upwards, no strings are damped because they sustain so little, it's not worth it. Plus, it enriches the resonant quality of the piano as a whole when these high strings are left free to vibrate at all times.


Thanks for the explanation toddy. Sorry, yes G6. If the MP11 was designed this way, to emulate a real grand piano, I don't think it's particularly successful because sustain pedal still works after G6 (in fact, it sounds more like reverb kicking in rather than sustain, but whatever, it's not very nice). I've made a quick video of staccato notes and again with pedal after G6. I dunno, it just doesn't sound right to me. But maybe I'm too familiar with Synthogy's Ivory ii, which doesn't do this.
http://youtu.be/anF2HmVbyZ8


Again, have you ever played a real piano? The sustain pedal lifts all the dampers off the strings and allows them to resonate with those high notes. This is piano 101 - you really should know this stuff if you are going to criticise a product. In other words, if you are going to critique a simulated piano, you should play some real pianos - not compare it to another simulated piano which may have failed to well represent a real piano.

Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: mordecai] #2273647
05/10/14 11:57 AM
05/10/14 11:57 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,394
Boynton Beach, FL
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Originally Posted by mordecai


Thanks for the explanation toddy. Sorry, yes G6. If the MP11 was designed this way, to emulate a real grand piano, I don't think it's particularly successful because sustain pedal still works after G6 (in fact, it sounds more like reverb kicking in rather than sustain, but whatever, it's not very nice). I've made a quick video of staccato notes and again with pedal after G6. I dunno, it just doesn't sound right to me. But maybe I'm too familiar with Synthogy's Ivory ii, which doesn't do this.
http://youtu.be/anF2HmVbyZ8


You are incorrect. On an AP, there are no dampers on the notes G6 and above, so whether you use the damper pedal or not, it will still ring. The only way to dampen these notes on an AP is to physically stop the strings from vibrating with your hand (not recommended, unless you have treated your hands first). I'm sure Ivory has ways to adjust the sound, but this is not a dysfunction of the MP11, but rather a setting in Ivory. I'm not sure you'd be able to get rid of this effect, but the added reverb certainly. If you are talking about MP11, you can adjust this via the Virtual Technician. I had lowered the damper resonance across the entire piano to about 3 (the default I think was 5 or 6, which seemed way too much for me).

Last edited by Morodiene; 05/10/14 11:58 AM.

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Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: ando] #2273658
05/10/14 12:23 PM
05/10/14 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ando


Again, have you ever played a real piano? The sustain pedal lifts all the dampers off the strings and allows them to resonate with those high notes. This is piano 101 - you really should know this stuff if you are going to criticise a product. In other words, if you are going to critique a simulated piano, you should play some real pianos - not compare it to another simulated piano which may have failed to well represent a real piano.


Shamefully, no I didn't know that higher notes were un-dampened (thanks for enlightenment everyone!)
But yes, I've played on dozens of real pianos, none of which I ever noticed behaving like MP11 when using a pedal on upper notes. However.....

Originally Posted by Morodiene

If you are talking about MP11, you can adjust this via the Virtual Technician. I had lowered the damper resonance across the entire piano to about 3 (the default I think was 5 or 6, which seemed way too much for me).


DAMPER RESONANCE! Thank you Morodiene, that's totally the answer. Sorry for not investigating virtual technician before posting :-(

Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: rungabic] #2273662
05/10/14 12:29 PM
05/10/14 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by rungabic
Can anyone explain a little more and give pros/cons about the practical differences between the zone vs. section structures of the MP7 and MP11?


The four zones on the MP7 allow you to select any one of the sounds in the instrument individually for each zone. The three sections of the MP11 only allow you to select a single AP sound for the AP section, a single EP sound for the EP section, and a single SUB sound for the SUB section.

Therefore, if you're trying to customize the AP sound, for example, on the MP7 you could create four zones across the keyboard, select the same "Concert Grand" (or whatever you choose) sound for each zone, and then have the full flexibility of customizing the response separately for each zone. You could make adjustments to tone, touch response, volume level, EQ, or any other parameter separately for each zone. This allows the most subtle nuances to be carefully tailored to each user-specified zone on the keyboard.

By contrast, on the MP11, if you want to customize the "Concert Grand" sound, you have only a single "zone" which covers the entire keyboard. You cannot assign the Concert Grand sound to more than one separate keyboard zone. (You can restrict the Concert Grand sound to a limited range of keys, but then cannot assign the same sound to another range.)

Similar with layering. On the MP7, for example, you can layer the Concert Grand sound with the Mellow Grand sound and adjust the volume, and all other edit menu parameters, individually for each sound. On the MP11, you cannot layer two AP sounds at all. You can only layer sounds from different sections -- thus you can layer an acoustic piano sound with an electric piano sound, but cannot layer two acoustic piano sounds nor two electric piano sounds.

The ramifications of this are huge -- I have just given a couple representative examples of how limiting the architecture of the MP11 is relative to the MP7.

Personally, I bought the MP11 anyway, because I wanted the Grand Feel action, and I like that feature so much that I don't regret my decision. However, I would love to have the flexibility of customization of sounds available on the MP7, which I don't have on the MP11. There are many things I would like to do on the MP11 which I cannot do because of the huge limitations imposed by the "section" structure as opposed to the "zone" structure of the MP7.

I have brought up some aspects of this issue up on this forum before, and some users -- obviously less interested in customizing their sounds -- don't find the section structure of the MP11 to be a serious limitation. I do.

I spoke about this issue at length with a customer service representative from Kawai USA. He agreed with me about the superiority of the zone structure relative to the section structure, and said that the zone structure would be his preference also. He said that the section structure of the MP11 (and the previous MP10) was chosen to "keep things simple" for people who just want to turn on the instrument and play and not be bothered with too many options. I understand his point, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to me as even the MP11 has many editing and customization options, and advertises these capabilities. My opinion (which obviously a Kawai representative could not say "out loud" even if they agreed) is that the change from the zone structure to the section structure (on the MP10 and MP11) is enormously limiting and a huge step backwards -- a big mistake.

(I have worked extensively with both systems, having owned a MP9000, and currently own a MP9500, MP5, and MP11.)


Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: mordecai] #2273673
05/10/14 12:57 PM
05/10/14 12:57 PM
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Boynton Beach, FL
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Originally Posted by mordecai
Originally Posted by ando


Again, have you ever played a real piano? The sustain pedal lifts all the dampers off the strings and allows them to resonate with those high notes. This is piano 101 - you really should know this stuff if you are going to criticise a product. In other words, if you are going to critique a simulated piano, you should play some real pianos - not compare it to another simulated piano which may have failed to well represent a real piano.


Shamefully, no I didn't know that higher notes were un-dampened (thanks for enlightenment everyone!)
But yes, I've played on dozens of real pianos, none of which I ever noticed behaving like MP11 when using a pedal on upper notes. However.....

Originally Posted by Morodiene

If you are talking about MP11, you can adjust this via the Virtual Technician. I had lowered the damper resonance across the entire piano to about 3 (the default I think was 5 or 6, which seemed way too much for me).


DAMPER RESONANCE! Thank you Morodiene, that's totally the answer. Sorry for not investigating virtual technician before posting :-(


Great! I highly recommend playing around with all the features in the Virtual Technician just to see what they do, and tweak your sounds according to your tastes. I was really impressed with the range of options available.


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Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: Savante] #2273675
05/10/14 01:01 PM
05/10/14 01:01 PM
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Boynton Beach, FL
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Originally Posted by Savante
Originally Posted by rungabic
Can anyone explain a little more and give pros/cons about the practical differences between the zone vs. section structures of the MP7 and MP11?


The four zones on the MP7 allow you to select any one of the sounds in the instrument individually for each zone. The three sections of the MP11 only allow you to select a single AP sound for the AP section, a single EP sound for the EP section, and a single SUB sound for the SUB section.

Therefore, if you're trying to customize the AP sound, for example, on the MP7 you could create four zones across the keyboard, select the same "Concert Grand" (or whatever you choose) sound for each zone, and then have the full flexibility of customizing the response separately for each zone. You could make adjustments to tone, touch response, volume level, EQ, or any other parameter separately for each zone. This allows the most subtle nuances to be carefully tailored to each user-specified zone on the keyboard.

By contrast, on the MP11, if you want to customize the "Concert Grand" sound, you have only a single "zone" which covers the entire keyboard. You cannot assign the Concert Grand sound to more than one separate keyboard zone. (You can restrict the Concert Grand sound to a limited range of keys, but then cannot assign the same sound to another range.)

Similar with layering. On the MP7, for example, you can layer the Concert Grand sound with the Mellow Grand sound and adjust the volume, and all other edit menu parameters, individually for each sound. On the MP11, you cannot layer two AP sounds at all. You can only layer sounds from different sections -- thus you can layer an acoustic piano sound with an electric piano sound, but cannot layer two acoustic piano sounds nor two electric piano sounds.

The ramifications of this are huge -- I have just given a couple representative examples of how limiting the architecture of the MP11 is relative to the MP7.

Personally, I bought the MP11 anyway, because I wanted the Grand Feel action, and I like that feature so much that I don't regret my decision. However, I would love to have the flexibility of customization of sounds available on the MP7, which I don't have on the MP11. There are many things I would like to do on the MP11 which I cannot do because of the huge limitations imposed by the "section" structure as opposed to the "zone" structure of the MP7.

I have brought up some aspects of this issue up on this forum before, and some users -- obviously less interested in customizing their sounds -- don't find the section structure of the MP11 to be a serious limitation. I do.

I spoke about this issue at length with a customer service representative from Kawai USA. He agreed with me about the superiority of the zone structure relative to the section structure, and said that the zone structure would be his preference also. He said that the section structure of the MP11 (and the previous MP10) was chosen to "keep things simple" for people who just want to turn on the instrument and play and not be bothered with too many options. I understand his point, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to me as even the MP11 has many editing and customization options, and advertises these capabilities. My opinion (which obviously a Kawai representative could not say "out loud" even if they agreed) is that the change from the zone structure to the section structure (on the MP10 and MP11) is enormously limiting and a huge step backwards -- a big mistake.

(I have worked extensively with both systems, having owned a MP9000, and currently own a MP9500, MP5, and MP11.)

I agree, it seems like an odd limitation to put on there. I wonder if this could somehow be bypassed with using software? A more complicated set up, for sure, but if you have a particular sound you want, I'd think you could get it using a DAW.


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Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: Morodiene] #2273695
05/10/14 01:44 PM
05/10/14 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
I agree, it seems like an odd limitation to put on there. I wonder if this could somehow be bypassed with using software? A more complicated set up, for sure, but if you have a particular sound you want, I'd think you could get it using a DAW.


Of course you can get all kinds of additional options by purchasing more gear -- hardware, DAW, whatever.

My comments were specific to the point that you have much greater customization options on the MP7, without any additional gear, than you do on the MP11. I have given only a couple examples of what you can do creatively with individually tweakable split/layered zones on the MP7. The possibilities are truly vast. On the MP11 these capabilities are severely restricted -- though I've managed to come up with some nice AP/EP layers. But there are some AP/AP splits, and EP/EP layers that I would love to try but they are not possible on the MP11, while readily available on the MP7.

The original question to which I responded asked about pros/cons. I cannot think of any "pros" to the section system over the zone system. (Unless it's the reason why you can have a "brilliance" parameter on the MP11 and not on the MP7, but the Kawai rep said this had more to do with the way the effects are implemented. Weird.) From Kawai's perspective, perhaps a "pro" would be that this is a big area that can be improved and then be a selling point for the MP12 or MP13.

Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: lolatu] #2273721
05/10/14 03:20 PM
05/10/14 03:20 PM
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Posts: 1,131
UK
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Originally Posted by mabraman
Lolatu is sharing some experiences on his instrument, and showing all of us how to manage with those noises, just in case.
He never said that every,nor most CA's are like that.His is.

Was. smile


Kawai CA95 / Steinberg UR22 / Sony MDR-7506 / Pianoteq Stage + Grotrian / Galaxy Vintage D / CFX Lite
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Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: lolatu] #2273743
05/10/14 04:26 PM
05/10/14 04:26 PM
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I wanted to add that the OP has done a nice job in outlining ways in which to fix various issues on these Kawai's although why should we (i.e., the customers) be responsible for trying to do these repairs?

Also, I had some minor issues with my previously owned CA95 in which there were some key noises and key spacing issues that my local store's technician (who wasn't experienced in repairing digital pianos) messed up the sliding keyboard cover when putting things back together and did not address any of the key noises or key spacing issues that I had pointed out to him.

It is for these reasons that I traded in the CA95 for a Clavinova CLP-480 and haven't had a single issue with it since the swap. I also own an older CLP-990 and have found an experienced and reputable tech that knows Yamaha digital piano repair as he fixed and soldered a broken pedal plug and has adjusted a couple of sticking keys - both jobs, no problems!

I simply wasn't going to get that kind of experience with the local store techs where I purchased the CA95. My advice is to be sure you know a decent repair person before opening up your digital piano.

Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: pv88] #2273752
05/10/14 04:49 PM
05/10/14 04:49 PM
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In the context of the original subject of this thread -- repair issues for the Kawai Grand Feel keyboard, I would like to put in a good word for Kawai USA technical support. The day I got my new MP11, I was disappointed to find there was a sticking key (A5). I called Kawai tech support, and while waiting for a callback from the guy who they said could help me, I examined the problem closely myself. It looked like the key was binding on the keyslip. It looked like it would not be difficult to remove the keyslip, so I did that. This immediately freed up the sticking key, but "whoops" I inadvertently disconnected the headphone jack, and could not put it back together because the cable was too short to be connected while the keyslip was off. It looked like a big problem!

When I finally got connected with Juan at Kawai tech support, I told him I had created a bigger problem than the one I started with. He understood the problem immediately (saying he had done the same thing himself!) and patiently explained and walked me through the fix (for both problems -- the sticking key and the disconnected headphone jack). In short order my MP11 was back together, no sticking keys, and intact headphone jack. Juan was great in both his explanation and patience with me -- he stayed after-hours on a Friday to help me!

By the way, any sticking keys on the MP11 are most likely due to the key(s) binding on the key slip. You DO NOT need to remove the keyslip to fix this problem, and definitely should not do so. You can simply loosen the screws holding on the keyslip (don't remove the screws), and then firmly hold the keyslip away from the keys while you tighten the screws back down. There is enough play in the holes for the screws holding on the keyslip so that you can get a couple millimeters of clearance between the keyslip and the keys. It's really a very easy fix if you don't take the keyslip off, but just loosen it.

A few days later I had another very long conversation with another tech support person at Kawai about a number of issues of concern to me about the MP11. He was extremely patient, understanding, and helpful. Kawai USA tech support is a great resource for Kawai instrument owners in the USA!

Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: Kawai James] #2273753
05/10/14 04:54 PM
05/10/14 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
It's really interesting to see Kawai fans improving their instruments in this way. It's similar in many respects to the bespoke enhancements that Ravenscroft/Ravenswork are making to the VPC1.


James, could you please say a little more about how and why Ravenscroft are modifying the VPC1? Are they simply tweaking up the VPC1s they use to demo the Ravenscroft VI, or will they actually be licensed to resell the modified controllers? Is Kawai going to incorporate any of Ravenscroft's RM3 enhancements in original manufacturing going forward?

Kind regards,

Ben

Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: slowtraveler] #2273762
05/10/14 05:41 PM
05/10/14 05:41 PM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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Originally Posted by slowtraveler
James, could you please say a little more about how and why Ravenscroft are modifying the VPC1?


The arrangement is actually between Ravenscroft/Ravenworks and Kawai America (not Kawai Japan), so I'm not fully aware of all the details. However, PianoManChuck recently raised this topic in the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUC0xU7OX54

Originally Posted by slowtraveler
Are they simply tweaking up the VPC1s they use to demo the Ravenscroft VI, or will they actually be licensed to resell the modified controllers?


Again, I'm not 100% sure of the details, however it appears that Ravenworks are offering their modification services to existing VPC1 owners, although they may well be selling pre-modified VPC1s to end users. The important thing is that Kawai America's warranty will still cover VPC1 units modified by Ravensworks

Originally Posted by slowtraveler
Is Kawai going to incorporate any of Ravenscroft's RM3 enhancements in original manufacturing going forward?


I don't believe so.

I hope this a little. I expect the exact details will emerge in the near future once the Ravenswork website is online. Until then, my recommendation would be to contact Sales@Ravenworks-Design.com for more information.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: lolatu] #2273769
05/10/14 06:39 PM
05/10/14 06:39 PM
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St Paul Minnesota USA
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I have not read every post in this thread, but, the collective knowledge and fixes are a Good.

Kawai James - I for one can say your input to all the comments and issues presented for the past few years, is indeed, a Wonder. And a Good. To have an unbiased representative of a major manufacturer here and able to help us as you do so admirably, speaks well of you, and Kawai.

I think we all tend to forget what wonderful instruments we have available to us, not only Kawai, but all of the major brands. Each manufacturer has provided a very high quality product and features for actually, very little money. I for one, am so very grateful for the Grand Feel construction wherever it is used. And, at a price point between $3-5000us for a CA95? Is a bargain. I would believe, if the prices were doubled or tripled, then Kawai could even up the key spacing, use better plywood in the keys, better speakers and components. And, that would leave room for each distributor to open the box and ensure all is well.

At some point, there is a reasonable compromise between price and construction. And what I paid for my used CA63, new CA93 and now, my new CA95? An absolute bargain.

Someday, I will find out why that one note (not the key) resonates with something inside. Until then, I will enjoy enjoy enjoy.

So James, Five Stars for you today, and every day.
.


Jon ...

Kawai CA67
Sailor, Consultant, Gourmet, Dreamer
Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: Kawai James] #2273774
05/10/14 07:20 PM
05/10/14 07:20 PM
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Boston, MA USA
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by slowtraveler
James, could you please say a little more about how and why Ravenscroft are modifying the VPC1?

The arrangement is actually between Ravenscroft/Ravenworks and Kawai America (not Kawai Japan), so I'm not fully aware of all the details. However, PianoManChuck recently raised this topic in the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUC0xU7OX54


Thanks for that link. Very interesting project! PianoManChuck's description suggests that the Ravenworks mods are quite a bit more involved than anything the OP has described in this thread, and are specifically designed to make the VPC1's action resemble as closely as possible that of the Ravenscroft 275.

I do like the idea of an aftermarket for VPC1 mods. I'm very curious about pricing, and also whether the Ravenworks mods will be attractive to VPC1 users who don't necessarily intend to use the Ravenscroft VI.

Kudos to the OP, by the way, for the comprehensive (and very even-handed, IMO) exploration of issues with the CA95, including one or two that seem to have arisen in the course of taking apart and reassembling the instrument. I think the sample size of Grand Feel customers on this forum is too small to draw any reliable conclusions about manufacturing QC, but a couple of the problems described are pretty glaring.

My personal opinion is that shipping trauma rather than QC failures may be responsible for a decent fraction of the mechanical problems people encounter with new DPs. FWIW, I thought that my ES7's shipping carton would have been barely adequate to protect it from the rigors of ocean shipping and domestic trucking from terminal to distributor to retailer (though mine did arrive unblemished and in fine working order).

Cheers,

B.

Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: Savante] #2273791
05/10/14 08:25 PM
05/10/14 08:25 PM
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Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by Savante
In the context of the original subject of this thread -- repair issues for the Kawai Grand Feel keyboard, I would like to put in a good word for Kawai USA technical support. The day I got my new MP11, I was disappointed to find there was a sticking key (A5). I called Kawai tech support, and while waiting for a callback from the guy who they said could help me, I examined the problem closely myself. It looked like the key was binding on the keyslip. It looked like it would not be difficult to remove the keyslip, so I did that. This immediately freed up the sticking key, but "whoops" I inadvertently disconnected the headphone jack, and could not put it back together because the cable was too short to be connected while the keyslip was off. It looked like a big problem!

When I finally got connected with Juan at Kawai tech support, I told him I had created a bigger problem than the one I started with. He understood the problem immediately (saying he had done the same thing himself!) and patiently explained and walked me through the fix (for both problems -- the sticking key and the disconnected headphone jack). In short order my MP11 was back together, no sticking keys, and intact headphone jack. Juan was great in both his explanation and patience with me -- he stayed after-hours on a Friday to help me!

By the way, any sticking keys on the MP11 are most likely due to the key(s) binding on the key slip. You DO NOT need to remove the keyslip to fix this problem, and definitely should not do so. You can simply loosen the screws holding on the keyslip (don't remove the screws), and then firmly hold the keyslip away from the keys while you tighten the screws back down. There is enough play in the holes for the screws holding on the keyslip so that you can get a couple millimeters of clearance between the keyslip and the keys. It's really a very easy fix if you don't take the keyslip off, but just loosen it.

A few days later I had another very long conversation with another tech support person at Kawai about a number of issues of concern to me about the MP11. He was extremely patient, understanding, and helpful. Kawai USA tech support is a great resource for Kawai instrument owners in the USA!
I just traveled about 1400 miles with the MP11 in the bed of my truck (inside a soft case and under a bed cover) and have experienced no issues at all with the DP. I do think that sometimes travel can cause problems, but this is a stage piano, intended to be rugged enough to move around. It's a shame there are some issues, but I'm glad to hear that you were able to get them fixed up and not have to return the instrument.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: lolatu] #2274091
05/11/14 02:48 PM
05/11/14 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by lolatu
Originally Posted by toddy
Lolatu - either you got a Friday afternoon piano, or there are some serious quality control problems on the production line of CA65s! .....or you are very, very demanding. Now I don't know what to think..... confused

Well.... this thread isn't really for complaining about my woes, but to help people who have key noises that bother THEM. Different people will be bothered to different extents. Therefore I am including things that I don't necessarily care about or could be said to only annoy an OCD sufferer.

Things like the splinters and vibration sounds only occurred after attempting the first two fixes. It seems that pulling out keys and putting them on carpet can result in splinters forming or changing position slightly. The manufacturers could probably prevent this by sanding down the keys better, but I doubt they'll form under normal circumstances spontaneously. Still, it's conceivable that someone could have the problem from the outset.

I think the loose front rail could be put down as a quality issue. The balance rail click seems more like a design issue, since the back side is held down by an insufficient sticky strip, despite there being places along the back edge where screws could have been placed, which allows the back edge to lift by a fraction of a millimetre, causing a "snap". Well, that's my theory. I've just tried putting some glue on instead of silicone; we'll see if that works a bit better.

TL;DR: only major thing wrong with my unit in particular was the loose front rail, which I've now tightened and fixed. So I guess it's now "better than new".

Originally Posted by mabraman
Great thread Lolatu!!

Thanks!


I find it rather poor and unfair to Kawai that you did not mention on the initial posts of these problems that they were caused entirely by you trying to service the instrument yourself.

Maybe it was just an oversight on your part, but some posters in this thread seem to have overlooked this important info - and taken Kawai (and Kawai James) to task about quality control. That doesn't seem fair?

BTW, I'm no Kawai apologist, I don't even own a Kawai. But it seems that only ONE of the issues outlined in this thread are actually Kawai's fault... and yet we have people drawing parallels to Monty Python and such.

Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: Savante] #2274108
05/11/14 03:28 PM
05/11/14 03:28 PM
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pv88 Offline
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Originally Posted by Savante
In the context of the original subject of this thread -- repair issues for the Kawai Grand Feel keyboard, I would like to put in a good word for Kawai USA technical support.


I wanted to add that my experience with the CA95 had less to do with the quality of the instrument itself but specifically the tech who came out to service it. There are generally only a couple of options available to the customer in which to make adjustments and repairs on a digital:

1) Local store technicians - where the digital was purchased:

I would assume that most folks will tend to let a local store tech do adjustments and repairs (as I did) since that is where the piano was purchased from and the technician can usually make a home visit very quickly. I didn't have any way in knowing in advance that the tech they sent out was not a certified Kawai technician and was not experienced with repairs on the CA95.

2) Kawai technicians - from Kawai USA:

Does this option really exist?

I know that I had called Kawai USA and had e-mail/phone correspondence with at least three persons from different departments and yet the tech that came out to service my digital was not from "Kawai" but my local store. How does this qualify the poorly done job that was done on my CA95?

I wrongly assumed that I was going to receive a qualified and experienced "Kawai" technician from my local store - and, did not. So, where does one find and obtain a certified Kawai technician?

Please note:

When corresponding directly with Kawai I was told to contact my local store for setting up a technician visit. In other words, no one was sent from Kawai USA to do the work.

The results I had were obviously not good although others may have found or located better service.

Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: CharlieFreak] #2274129
05/11/14 04:03 PM
05/11/14 04:03 PM
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Posts: 282
Boston, MA USA
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Originally Posted by CharlieFreak
I find it rather poor and unfair to Kawai that you did not mention on the initial posts of these problems that they were caused entirely by you trying to service the instrument yourself.

Maybe it was just an oversight on your part, but some posters in this thread seem to have overlooked this important info - and taken Kawai (and Kawai James) to task about quality control. That doesn't seem fair?


In the OP's defense, I believe he did in fact mention that a couple of the problems he described were caused by his initial maintenance explorations (see posts #2273095 and #2273116, for example). I personally didn't think his comments were particularly biased against Kawai.

I agree that a few other posters seem to have overlooked that info, though smile

Kind regards,

B.

Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: lolatu] #2274741
05/12/14 10:07 AM
05/12/14 10:07 AM
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A few observations from a very satisfied Kawai newbie:

1. The OP did indeed mention that some his problems were a direct result of his own intervention. That crucial point was overlooked in subsequent commentary.

2. The OP also stated this was a USED instrument, exact provenance unknowable. I would think that fact alone would preclude meaningful discussion of manufacturer defect. Maybe he's not the first to open it up.

3. With DP's we have the unique possibility of scrutinizing the key mechanics without the music. Would many of us even know if our cherished AP's were exhibiting some of these small flaws?

4. Nonetheless, the OP has provided an amazingly well documented reference for those wishing to tinker with their used or out-of-warranty instrument. Nothing at all wrong with that.

5. James has been unfailingly civil and helpful, IMO.


Randy

Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: lolatu] #2399130
03/17/15 01:56 AM
03/17/15 01:56 AM
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Suburban Detroit, Michigan
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Hey lolatu, any fix for the "space between the 'C' and 'D' key issue on MP11?

I also notice a slight "thud" when the black keys go fully up to the top.

Your thoughts?

Thanks,

- Jeff


"Music Is Inherently Evanescent. Once You Play It, It's Gone In The Air" ~ Eric Dolphy

Selmer Mark VI Tenor Saxophone (1973), Selmer Mark VI Alto Saxophone (1956), Yamaha YSS-62 Soprano Saxophone (1987), Yamaha WX5 Wind Synth (2013), Kawai 11, Casio PX5S, Roland VR-09, Hammond E-112 (1969).
Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: lolatu] #2399138
03/17/15 02:29 AM
03/17/15 02:29 AM
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Posts: 14,348
Hamamatsu, Japan
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Hello Jeff,

If you have any hardware-related concerns with your MP11, I recommend contacting the retailer and/or Kawai America to seek assistance.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: lolatu] #2399886
03/18/15 10:03 PM
03/18/15 10:03 PM
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Suburban Detroit, Michigan
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Hi James -

I'll give them a call and report the results of my inquiry here. I'm not keen on sending it back for a replacement, as I purchased an "open box" at a favorable price (working, budget-conscious saxophonist here....).

Hopefully, it's either an easy, DIY fix or a local rep can come out and repair. However, these issues don't actually bother me; I'm merely a perfectionist and want all to be right with my new instrument, which is fantastic.

FWIW, I would liken the "Grand Feel" action on the MP11 to a "cherry," vintage Selmer Mark VI tenor saxophone (my axe of 42 years). Google "The Mark VI Room" at Roberto's in NYC to see what a bargain the MP11 is in comparison!


"Music Is Inherently Evanescent. Once You Play It, It's Gone In The Air" ~ Eric Dolphy

Selmer Mark VI Tenor Saxophone (1973), Selmer Mark VI Alto Saxophone (1956), Yamaha YSS-62 Soprano Saxophone (1987), Yamaha WX5 Wind Synth (2013), Kawai 11, Casio PX5S, Roland VR-09, Hammond E-112 (1969).
Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: lolatu] #2399991
03/19/15 05:03 AM
03/19/15 05:03 AM
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St Paul Minnesota USA
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Jon ...

Kawai CA67
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Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: Skyscrapersax] #2400181
03/19/15 02:15 PM
03/19/15 02:15 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,131
UK
lolatu Offline OP
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Skyscrapersax -

The balance rail sections go from C# up to C, hence in terms of white keys, the break is between C and D. It's probably not coincidence that this is where the gaps occur.

I had success using the hammer / dowel method in the video below on the balance rail pins. In terms of bending the front rail pins, I would guess from their lenticular cross-section that they're designed to be bent left-right. You could probably bend them (at the base!) using a pair of pliers and some cardboard for padding, to ensure the metal isn't scratched.

You could have a go yourself, but I heard that the MP11 isn't very easy to take apart since there are some complications with the headphones sockets.



Kawai James said that the key gaps were due to errors in the way the keyboards were assembled, and that "certainly, all wooden-key DPs produced since [the time of early MP10 units] should no longer have the noticeable C-D gap issue". I hope that is reassuring!


Kawai CA95 / Steinberg UR22 / Sony MDR-7506 / Pianoteq Stage + Grotrian / Galaxy Vintage D / CFX Lite
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810
Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: Morodiene] #2400237
03/19/15 05:20 PM
03/19/15 05:20 PM
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Twin Cities
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Originally Posted by Morodiene

You are incorrect. On an AP, there are no dampers on the notes G6 and above, so whether you use the damper pedal or not, it will still ring. The only way to dampen these notes on an AP is to physically stop the strings from vibrating with your hand (not recommended, unless you have treated your hands first). I'm sure Ivory has ways to adjust the sound, but this is not a dysfunction of the MP11, but rather a setting in Ivory. I'm not sure you'd be able to get rid of this effect, but the added reverb certainly. If you are talking about MP11, you can adjust this via the Virtual Technician. I had lowered the damper resonance across the entire piano to about 3 (the default I think was 5 or 6, which seemed way too much for me).


Now this is interesting information that I never knew since I have very little experience with playing acoustic pianos. This is why I read some of these threads even though I don't currently own a Kawai. I will have to try this on my DP.

Thanks...

Tony


Re: Kawai Grand Feel key clinic [Re: TonyB] #2400247
03/19/15 05:49 PM
03/19/15 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by Morodiene

You are incorrect. On an AP, there are no dampers on the notes G6 and above, so whether you use the damper pedal or not, it will still ring. The only way to dampen these notes on an AP is to physically stop the strings from vibrating with your hand (not recommended, unless you have treated your hands first). I'm sure Ivory has ways to adjust the sound, but this is not a dysfunction of the MP11, but rather a setting in Ivory. I'm not sure you'd be able to get rid of this effect, but the added reverb certainly. If you are talking about MP11, you can adjust this via the Virtual Technician. I had lowered the damper resonance across the entire piano to about 3 (the default I think was 5 or 6, which seemed way too much for me).


Now this is interesting information that I never knew since I have very little experience with playing acoustic pianos. This is why I read some of these threads even though I don't currently own a Kawai. I will have to try this on my DP.

Thanks...

Tony



I have fun memories of that since some months ago I realised something funny was going on while playing something and it threw me for the first time when I discovered it, so much so I thought it was perhaps a firmware bug at first on my Casio digital, then I did some reading and quickly found that in fact it is correct behaviour of a real piano, and it is implemented on the Casio AP-450 I own too, so it should be on the PX-5S as well in your sig, it has the same piano sounds. The V grand ... well you'd expect it at that price smile I doubt it should be hard to implement a feature like that, It is also implemented on the Ivory American D I use.

IIRC when I read about it, some grand pianos the dampers stop at different notes though, not always @ G6, or whatever the most common is.

Last edited by Alexander Borro; 03/19/15 05:50 PM.

Selftaught since June 2014.
Books: Barratt classic piano course bk 1,2,3. Humphries Piano handbook, various...
Kawai CA78, Casio AP450 & software pianos.
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