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Re: MP11 dead on arrival
Morodiene #2426388 05/29/15 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene

In all fairness, acoustic pianos have had centuries of refinement behind them to learn from, whereas a lot of DPs are using new technology and ideas that are relatively untested compared with acoustics. So I don't think it is fair to compare acoustics with digitals. The Yamaha U3 is a great instrument, so congrats on your purchase! smile


Actually, I'm not comparing acoustic with digital. I'm referring to my 2 previous Yamaha purchases (one digital, the other acoustic); that both arrived in tip-top condition.

Thanks, the Yamaha U3 is nice indeed. smile

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Re: MP11 dead on arrival
lolatu #2426391 05/29/15 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by lolatu

Do you know which part it was? Power supply maybe?


It has something to do with the power. I think he swapped out a small circuit board near the power supply.

Re: MP11 dead on arrival
iceporky #2426397 05/29/15 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by iceporky
Originally Posted by Morodiene

In all fairness, acoustic pianos have had centuries of refinement behind them to learn from, whereas a lot of DPs are using new technology and ideas that are relatively untested compared with acoustics. So I don't think it is fair to compare acoustics with digitals. The Yamaha U3 is a great instrument, so congrats on your purchase! smile


Actually, I'm not comparing acoustic with digital. I'm referring to my 2 previous Yamaha purchases (one digital, the other acoustic); that both arrived in tip-top condition.

Thanks, the Yamaha U3 is nice indeed. smile
Right, I was referring to your reference to acoustic, which really is a different thing altogether.

I would love to have a Yamaha upright to teach on someday. Really, they're the best uprights out there, IMO. wink


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Re: MP11 dead on arrival
Morodiene #2426423 05/29/15 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene

...
In all fairness, acoustic pianos have had centuries of refinement behind them to learn from, whereas a lot of DPs are using new technology and ideas that are relatively untested compared with acoustics. So I don't think it is fair to compare acoustics with digitals.
...


Morodienne,

So are you saying, that Kawai digital pianos are experimental electronics?
Probably risqué software, even relatively untested?

... IMHO you could have a point here. :)))


The inversion of the argument would be:
- that your LCD TV set would only turn on occasionally, or
- that fly-by-wire aeroplanes would be allowed to fall out of the sky, or
- that your electronic throttle in your car could have its own mind now and then.
Not to speak of composite platics in some actions of acoustic pianos!
... all this is relatively unrefined techology.

SCNR








Re: MP11 dead on arrival
lophiomys #2426440 05/29/15 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by lophiomys


The inversion of the argument would be:
- that your LCD TV set would only turn on occasionally, or
- that fly-by-wire aeroplanes would be allowed to fall out of the sky, or
- that your electronic throttle in your car could have its own mind now and then.
Not to speak of composite platics in some actions of acoustic pianos!
... all this is relatively unrefined techology.


A lot of automobile manufacturers have to issue recalls because of shoddy engineering/design defects that endanger people's lives. I think sometimes planes also have defects that will cause an entire line to be grounded by the FAA (or equivalent in other countries). And people do buy TV's that sometimes, for whatever reason, just don't turn on. No manufacturer has a 100% Quality Assurance rate. Sometimes design defects are the culprit, and sometimes it's just that there's an occasional bad component.



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Re: MP11 dead on arrival
Morodiene #2426442 05/29/15 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene


In all fairness, acoustic pianos have had centuries of refinement behind them to learn from, whereas a lot of DPs are using new technology and ideas that are relatively untested compared with acoustics. So I don't think it is fair to compare acoustics with digitals.


Morodienne, on one hand you are saying DPs can't be compared with APs, but then you do compare them in development terms with APs having gone through centuries of refinement where DPs haven't - thereby excusing the faults that DPs have. That suggests you think both APs and DPs need a similar trajectory to get things right. APs did go through many generations of refinement, but they weren't inherently unreliable. They did work and were not very susceptible to total breakdown.

There is another fallacy there too - the technology used in DPs is actually exceedingly simple. Leaving aside concerns like pianistic realism, things that are causing DPs to be DOA are not to do with young or experimental electronics. Printed circuit boards, integrated circuits, simple soldered connections and cautious design principles have been around for generations now. They are tried and tested. High quality examples of such things will function indefinitely. These simple breakdowns should not be happening in the numbers they are.

From what I know, Kawai does have some significant QC issues. It's fortunate that they are also very good with their customer service, but that doesn't entirely excuse their failure rate. I know a guy who runs a musical instrument service centre and he has confirmed to me that Roland and Yamaha gear very rarely comes into his store for repairs, but Kawai does. I know 3 people who have had parts fail on Kawais, be they action components or electronic components - sometimes several issues on the same DP. There is work to be done here. It's no coincidence that there are multiple threads and many posters on Kawai's reliability, but very few on Roland or Yamaha. Kawai is a product innovator, but so far, not a process innovator. It's up to them to judge whether the cost of servicing faulty units is cheaper than investing more in QC, but I think they should be careful because it can be very off-putting to prospective buyers or to people who have bought a Kawai before if they feel uncertain about the robustness and reliability of their new piano. At this stage, I think they have reason not to feel entirely confident. It's kind of ironic when a company gets a great reputation for warranty service - you'd hope to not have to be too acclaimed in that department. wink

Re: MP11 dead on arrival
ando #2426475 05/29/15 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by Morodiene


In all fairness, acoustic pianos have had centuries of refinement behind them to learn from, whereas a lot of DPs are using new technology and ideas that are relatively untested compared with acoustics. So I don't think it is fair to compare acoustics with digitals.


Morodienne, on one hand you are saying DPs can't be compared with APs, but then you do compare them in development terms with APs having gone through centuries of refinement where DPs haven't - thereby excusing the faults that DPs have. That suggests you think both APs and DPs need a similar trajectory to get things right. APs did go through many generations of refinement, but they weren't inherently unreliable. They did work and were not very susceptible to total breakdown.
It is this very reason - that DPs have not had centuries to be refined specifically, that one cannot compare them. That's like saying "you can't compare apples to oranges, because apples aren't oranges" and calling that a comparison. I'm not sure why this is hard to understand.

Quote
There is another fallacy there too - the technology used in DPs is actually exceedingly simple. Leaving aside concerns like pianistic realism, things that are causing DPs to be DOA are not to do with young or experimental electronics. Printed circuit boards, integrated circuits, simple soldered connections and cautious design principles have been around for generations now. They are tried and tested. High quality examples of such things will function indefinitely. These simple breakdowns should not be happening in the numbers they are.

From what I know, Kawai does have some significant QC issues. It's fortunate that they are also very good with their customer service, but that doesn't entirely excuse their failure rate. I know a guy who runs a musical instrument service centre and he has confirmed to me that Roland and Yamaha gear very rarely comes into his store for repairs, but Kawai does. I know 3 people who have had parts fail on Kawais, be they action components or electronic components - sometimes several issues on the same DP. There is work to be done here. It's no coincidence that there are multiple threads and many posters on Kawai's reliability, but very few on Roland or Yamaha. Kawai is a product innovator, but so far, not a process innovator. It's up to them to judge whether the cost of servicing faulty units is cheaper than investing more in QC, but I think they should be careful because it can be very off-putting to prospective buyers or to people who have bought a Kawai before if they feel uncertain about the robustness and reliability of their new piano. At this stage, I think they have reason not to feel entirely confident. It's kind of ironic when a company gets a great reputation for warranty service - you'd hope to not have to be too acclaimed in that department. wink


Circuitry, connections, etc. are not the things that are breaking down from what I've heard. What is perhaps the problem, is the design itself so that in shipping, certain parts are susceptible to breaking if not handled with care. At least, this is my view on the issue with them. I don't work with Kawai to know for sure what is causing the majority problems they are specifically hearing about.

As far as I know, Kawai's action is better than what Roland or Yamaha have to offer. And I personally have had issue with my Roland whereas I had no issue with the MP11 itself.

Kawai is spoken about a lot on this forum and often promoted as well. I'm not sure if this forum is a fair representation of the entire population of DP buyers. It could be, but maybe not.

Last edited by Morodiene; 05/29/15 12:35 PM.

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Re: MP11 dead on arrival
Lazerlike42 #2426510 05/29/15 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazerlike42
Shipping is really somewhat irrelevant here.
For one thing, the MP11 is a stage piano and so a part of it's design is to be moved on a regular basis and be able to withstand some reasonable level of physical "abuse" (though not actual and negligent abuse, of course). In fact, just how well a stage piano can stand up to the rigors of gigging is one of the defining characteristics that consumers use to make purchase decisions about these instruments. If a given stage piano were more prone to damage than others, then it would certainly get a very big negative mark on the pros and cons of a review or an individual's "which should I buy?" tally.



Gigging & travel: This is what concerns me most. The MP-7, CP-4, RD-800, etc., are all stage pianos and, as one poster said, should reasonably be expected to survive going in and out of vans, set-up and breakdown of stages, etc. If a piano cannot survive shipping, it is unlikely to survive road use on any level.The MP-11's weight, however, is at the outer limit of current generation stage pianos. Perhaps it needs a higher level of packaging, QA, etc.

Something for Nothing: I do think that we consumers often want something for nothing. We ask companies to put the highest level of sonic performance, key beds, features, and reliability into stage pianos, want them to weigh 25 pounds, and agitate for "more for less" in terms of price, and so on. I suspect that many of these units are not purchased by professional, working musicians but amateur ones, like me. We order from places like Sweetwater to get the best discounted price, free shipping, and no tax. What I'm saying is, while DOA complaints are valid, I think we consumers squeeze the envelope, and the manufacturers, and the retailers, and must in the end accept some failures.

The Shipping Problem: James commented that shipping in the UK is different vs. US. At the risk of enraging flag-waving players out there, I think no western country is as hostile to labor as the US. You need only pay close attention to the race sweaty UPS and Fed Ex drivers run with the clock to infer the pressure they are under. I have never seen more than one person on a truck (except during training), sometimes it's only one woman driver, and yet they have to load and deliver ungainly and heavy objects all day, every day. Just had to throw that in.

My Conclusion: My MP-7 has given me great pleasure from day one and for over one year now. It looks beautiful and works perfectly. However, it has never left my music room. After reading every post in this thread, and not being a pro with a road crew, I would not take my MP-7 out gigging. I am looking at ES-100, Casio P5S, Roland V09 and such for that. No, they are not as nice as the MP-7, but they are much lighter, easier to move, and less to weep over if they are damaged. If I were a pro, I would probably pay more and buy only Nords, which are both light and reputed to be bulletproof.

Last edited by jeffreyfranz; 05/29/15 01:48 PM.
Re: MP11 dead on arrival
Morodiene #2426518 05/29/15 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by MOrodienne

It is this very reason - that DPs have not had centuries to be refined specifically, that one cannot compare them. That's like saying "you can't compare apples to oranges, because apples aren't oranges" and calling that a comparison. I'm not sure why this is hard to understand.

IMHO it would be a better analogy to compare it to a sloppy piano builder, who also would produce an upsetting grand piano, despite centuries of refinement. The mechanics and electronics inside Kawai digital pianos (including the software) are quite simple and kind of "old" in their own realm. (A physical model on FPGA would be innovative, cf. HX3). It would just need more care, in order to sound more close to an actual acousitc piano or to avoid technical faults or humming transformers. I bet, what we are observing here, are the results of cost-cutting beyond reason, happening silently behind the scenes.


Re: MP11 dead on arrival
Alan Tripp #2426609 05/29/15 03:10 PM
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I know that this thread is about the MP-11, however, it's gotten my attention as I have a VPC-1 being delivered (by UPS) on Monday.

Based upon people's experience with Kawai, if a unit is going to fail is it usually a case of DOA? Or do units fail often enough later on so that purchasing an extended warranty would be advisable? (The online vendor I ordered from offered to sell me an extended warranty which I refused, but said that I have up to 30 days after delivery to order one should I change my mind about it....).

Come to think of it, what is Kawai USA's warranty policy?

Thanks!


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Re: MP11 dead on arrival
Morodiene #2426904 05/30/15 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
IIt is this very reason - that DPs have not had centuries to be refined specifically, that one cannot compare them. That's like saying "you can't compare apples to oranges, because apples aren't oranges" and calling that a comparison. I'm not sure why this is hard to understand.


The components used in DPs are not unique - such parts, both mechanical and electronic are found in many different products and have done for many years. They can be made robustly - provided the manufacturer selects high grade components and implement good design standards. In the action we are talking about plastics, pins, bearing surfaces, lubrication. In the electronics it's printed circuits, ICs, connectors, components. All of these things can be built to a price - and the longevity will generally match up with what was spent on them. I'd suggest Kawai is cutting corners in some areas.

Quote
Circuitry, connections, etc. are not the things that are breaking down from what I've heard. What is perhaps the problem, is the design itself so that in shipping, certain parts are susceptible to breaking if not handled with care. At least, this is my view on the issue with them. I don't work with Kawai to know for sure what is causing the majority problems they are specifically hearing about.


There is mention of Kawais being DOA due to breaking of solder joints near the power socket. That's poor design. There have been many posts talking of failed screens and motherboards too. And the action - well that has the most complaints of all. Too many failures. It's easy to say that it's an unfair sample size going by posts on PW because people mainly come here to complain rather than praise, but the other brands don't seem to attract the same complaints. My partner had the action in her Kawai go all "clicky", I have 2 other friends who have had action troubles. Also, as I mentioned, I have a contact who works in instrument repair and he has said outright that the Kawais have more problems than Yamaha and Roland. They just aren't as well built. Sure they have a nice action when all is right, but reliability is at least as important as having a good concept.
Quote

As far as I know, Kawai's action is better than what Roland or Yamaha have to offer. And I personally have had issue with my Roland whereas I had no issue with the MP11 itself.

Kawai is spoken about a lot on this forum and often promoted as well. I'm not sure if this forum is a fair representation of the entire population of DP buyers. It could be, but maybe not.
I don't rely purely on PW. I have other sources - and quite credible ones. But I don't think Yamaha and Roland are having issues as frequently as Kawai - there's no reason why one brand should be mentioned much more than its competitors in terms of reliability. I don't think it's an anomaly.

I like Kawai's ideas, but I think they need to lift their game on quality control. If Kawai thinks a lot of issues are caused by shipping, put some money into better packaging! Any problem can be solved.

Re: MP11 dead on arrival
Alan Tripp #2426942 05/30/15 02:14 PM
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And on the other hand when I went to one of the biggest DP repair shops in eastern NC and asked the head repairman which DP he'd recommend, without skipping a beat he mentioned Kawai and no others.

And if you ask a 3rd person in the know, you'd likely get a 3rd opinion, but without a true representative data set, that's all you'll have -- opinions. In my field, medicine, we have a saying, "the plural of anecdote is not data", meaning the validity of the result is directly related to the data acquisition methods, the subject pool and the controls, and if all you have are a collection of stories or opinions, then you'd best not rely on this information to make sound judgments.


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Re: MP11 dead on arrival
petes1 #2427049 05/30/15 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by petes1
And on the other hand when I went to one of the biggest DP repair shops in eastern NC and asked the head repairman which DP he'd recommend, without skipping a beat he mentioned Kawai and no others.

And if you ask a 3rd person in the know, you'd likely get a 3rd opinion, but without a true representative data set, that's all you'll have -- opinions. In my field, medicine, we have a saying, "the plural of anecdote is not data", meaning the validity of the result is directly related to the data acquisition methods, the subject pool and the controls, and if all you have are a collection of stories or opinions, then you'd best not rely on this information to make sound judgments.


It's more than anecdotes when you have a singular agency who does warranty work for all 3 brands and covers a wide geographical region. His is the only shop that does this work, he gets all the business in the area (lots of it). People are not going to ship away things this large for repair - shipping is too expensive in Australia for that. You'll probably call this a geographical anomaly which doesn't represent the whole world, but I take his word, and work volume seriously. I've been tempted by Kawai in the last few years, but I'm hesitant to pull the trigger due to reliability concerns.

Re: MP11 dead on arrival
ando #2427111 05/31/15 07:01 AM
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Ando,

Reliability and QA concerns that I read about in these forums really made it hard for me to jump in and get a Kawai DP. What was even worse, was the fact that the only Kawai dealer in Perth did not have either a MP7 or MP11 in stock. After many months, they finally got 2 MP7s into stock as a special order. Unfortunately the one I looked at instore had some minor issues, so I didn't buy it, and waited another 3 months for the next shipment. All the while, I kept reading more and more negativity about Kawai QA. This disturbed me greatly, as I really wanted to give the MP7 a fair go. In the end, I went ahead and bought an MP7. Has it been perfect? No,unfortunately it had a button that worked but was a bit dodgy. The Kawai product manager in Sydney has been excellent and been helpful in answering or obtaining answers from Kawai Japan to all my questions, and he has also arranged for the button to be replaced. Am I glad I bought the MP7...you bet! It is built like a tank, has a refined look, the keybed is awesome, the sounds are very good, and it also functions exceedingly well as a midi controller...and is well priced. I can't say that peoples' concerns about Kawai's QA are unfounded, but I can testify to the great support we have in Australia, and the fact that we have a generous 5 year warranty here, compared to other markets. All the best with your decision.


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Re: MP11 dead on arrival
Just Alan #2427113 05/31/15 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Just Alan
Ando,

Reliability and QA concerns that I read about in these forums really made it hard for me to jump in and get a Kawai DP. What was even worse, was the fact that the only Kawai dealer in Perth did not have either a MP7 or MP11 in stock. After many months, they finally got 2 MP7s into stock as a special order. Unfortunately the one I looked at instore had some minor issues, so I didn't buy it, and waited another 3 months for the next shipment. All the while, I kept reading more and more negativity about Kawai QA. This disturbed me greatly, as I really wanted to give the MP7 a fair go. In the end, I went ahead and bought an MP7. Has it been perfect? No,unfortunately it had a button that worked but was a bit dodgy. The Kawai product manager in Sydney has been excellent and been helpful in answering or obtaining answers from Kawai Japan to all my questions, and he has also arranged for the button to be replaced. Am I glad I bought the MP7...you bet! It is built like a tank, has a refined look, the keybed is awesome, the sounds are very good, and it also functions exceedingly well as a midi controller...and is well priced. I can't say that peoples' concerns about Kawai's QA are unfounded, but I can testify to the great support we have in Australia, and the fact that we have a generous 5 year warranty here, compared to other markets. All the best with your decision.


Yeah, I have to admit that Kawai does offset reliability problems with great service. I guess if you are willing to iron out a few kinks, it's not too big a risk. I'm glad you are so happy with your purchase. I'm still tempted by the MP7, despite what I've said. It's between the RD800 and the MP7 for me. Actually, I'd like to have the MP11 but I'm really bummed that it's missing all the voices that the MP7 has.

Re: MP11 dead on arrival
Just Alan #2427189 05/31/15 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Just Alan
...In the end, I went ahead and bought an MP7. Has it been perfect? No,unfortunately it had a button that worked but was a bit dodgy. The Kawai product manager in Sydney has been excellent and been helpful in answering or obtaining answers from Kawai Japan to all my questions, and he has also arranged for the button to be replaced. Am I glad I bought the MP7...you bet! It is built like a tank, has a refined look, the keybed is awesome, the sounds are very good, and it also functions exceedingly well as a midi controller...and is well priced. I can't say that peoples' concerns about Kawai's QA are unfounded, but I can testify to the great support we have in Australia, and the fact that we have a generous 5 year warranty here, compared to other markets. All the best with your decision.


+1 I'm with JustAlan all the way here.

Fortunately my MP7 arrived with only a minor modulation wheel issue that I was able to correct at home. The tech support via phone here in the US (Juan) was outstanding... patient and knowledgeable.

This Kawai DP is incredibly well-designed and plays and sounds better all the time (as I learn more about personal tweaks and advanced functionality). To read these posts, it's hard not to get the impression that quality control is a significiant issue for many, but as noted above, such anecdotes are often misleading to rely upon as data when it comes to assessing percentages and probabilities of having an issue. Since Kawai seems eager to resolve problems, that tends to mitigate the actual risk as we might otherwise perceive it.

If you get a good unit, you're NOT likely to be disappointed with the MP series keyboards. If you do experience a problem, it seems like you can reach a satisfactory outcome, one way or another. If anyone is on the fence, I certainly recommend taking the chance - these Kawai keyboards are outstanding enough to be well worth the effort.

Happy hunting! - OneWatt

Re: MP11 dead on arrival
OneWatt #2427206 05/31/15 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by OneWatt
Originally Posted by Just Alan
...In the end, I went ahead and bought an MP7. Has it been perfect? No,unfortunately it had a button that worked but was a bit dodgy. The Kawai product manager in Sydney has been excellent and been helpful in answering or obtaining answers from Kawai Japan to all my questions, and he has also arranged for the button to be replaced. Am I glad I bought the MP7...you bet! It is built like a tank, has a refined look, the keybed is awesome, the sounds are very good, and it also functions exceedingly well as a midi controller...and is well priced. I can't say that peoples' concerns about Kawai's QA are unfounded, but I can testify to the great support we have in Australia, and the fact that we have a generous 5 year warranty here, compared to other markets. All the best with your decision.


+1 I'm with JustAlan all the way here.

Fortunately my MP7 arrived with only a minor modulation wheel issue that I was able to correct at home. The tech support via phone here in the US (Juan) was outstanding... patient and knowledgeable.

This Kawai DP is incredibly well-designed and plays and sounds better all the time (as I learn more about personal tweaks and advanced functionality). To read these posts, it's hard not to get the impression that quality control is a significiant issue for many, but as noted above, such anecdotes are often misleading to rely upon as data when it comes to assessing percentages and probabilities of having an issue. Since Kawai seems eager to resolve problems, that tends to mitigate the actual risk as we might otherwise perceive it.

If you get a good unit, you're NOT likely to be disappointed with the MP series keyboards. If you do experience a problem, it seems like you can reach a satisfactory outcome, one way or another. If anyone is on the fence, I certainly recommend taking the chance - these Kawai keyboards are outstanding enough to be well worth the effort.

Happy hunting! - OneWatt
I totally agree. The thought that has been put into making DPs that make sense to the performer - especially in the stage pianos - was the first thing that impressed the moment I received my MP11. Compared with my Roland and Yamaha experiences, there was obvious thought into making something work better for the performer rather than stick with a design that performers have had to put up with in the past. Little things, some of them, they add up to an instrument that you don't have to struggle to work against or accommodate because the manufacturer didn't bother to find out what pianists like and don't like.

Roland does innovate, and Yamaha even less so, but I find Kawai at the forefront. When you do this, you take risks. Yamaha is safe because they don't change much. These are just my observations as a pianist - I know nothing about what actually goes into things, I just see and play on the results.


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Re: MP11 dead on arrival
Morodiene #2427212 05/31/15 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene


Roland does innovate, and Yamaha even less so, but I find Kawai at the forefront. When you do this, you take risks. Yamaha is safe because they don't change much. These are just my observations as a pianist - I know nothing about what actually goes into things, I just see and play on the results.


I agree, Kawai is a leader in the innovation stakes. I guess as long as their service backup continues to be excellent, people will forgive the problems that come up.

Re: MP11 dead on arrival
ando #2427216 05/31/15 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by Morodiene


Roland does innovate, and Yamaha even less so, but I find Kawai at the forefront. When you do this, you take risks. Yamaha is safe because they don't change much. These are just my observations as a pianist - I know nothing about what actually goes into things, I just see and play on the results.


I agree, Kawai is a leader in the innovation stakes. I guess as long as their service backup continues to be excellent, people will forgive the problems that come up.


One does hope, however, that these issues that come up will be changed in future iterations so that the service doesn't have to work so hard wink


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Re: MP11 dead on arrival
Alan Tripp #2427234 05/31/15 01:08 PM
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I wonder if Kawai is aware of this perception? I think it's pretty clear that as a company kawai really cares about providing value for its customers. I don't know if these perceptions of quality control issues are accurate or not (I assume kawai has actual data on what percentage of their products are serviced under warranty and possibly how that compares to the industry average). But either way I'm sure that this is not a reputation that they want to cultivate. So one hopes that they are aware of the issue and taking steps to improve (with better quality control, better communication, or whatever).



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