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Miserable Kawai keyboard quality - similar experiences?
#2490931 12/15/15 04:07 PM
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Let me share my experiences with you:
First Kawai: CA 63: One key was standing out
--> I had to return it and to get a new one. So second Kawai: The distances between the keys varied between 2 mm and 0,1 mm, but at least noc keys sticking out.

Third Kawai: ES 100: Another key sticking out.
--> returned it, got a new one

Fourth Kawai: Now the weight of the h1 key is wrong. It feels like the h key, so while playing its: light touch (g1), lighter touch(a1), heavy touch (h1), lighter touch (c).
--> I will return it again. I am fed up with the miserable quality of the keys of Kawai!

Anybody had similar experiences?

Last edited by jazzist; 12/15/15 04:08 PM.
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Re: Miserable Kawai keyboard quality - similar experiences?
jazzist #2490932 12/15/15 04:24 PM
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I am impressed that you can tell the difference in weighting between adjacent keys while playing. On topic: yes, I had (and have) experience with faulty Kawai equipment.

Re: Miserable Kawai keyboard quality - similar experiences?
Hookxs #2490936 12/15/15 04:52 PM
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I'd be interested in learning what you mean by a key "standing out". Do you mean that it physically sticks, or that the sound it makes "stands out" (ie too loud or harsh)?

I thought that I had an issue initially with my VPC1 in that a few keys physically stuck and/or felt differently than the rest of the keyboard. That was remedied by simply loosening and re-tightening the fallboard. It took about 5 minutes to do.

I would agree that the spacing between keys could be a bit more uniform though. FWIW, I also have one key in particular that sounds harsh in some VSTs under certain settings. But, since the VPC1 doesn't have it's own sound engine I would think that's an issue with the VST.


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Re: Miserable Kawai keyboard quality - similar experiences?
jazzist #2490938 12/15/15 05:05 PM
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Third Kawai and no problems whatsoever. Maybe it's a matter of luck though smile


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Miserable Kawai keyboard quality - similar experiences?
jazzist #2490941 12/15/15 05:08 PM
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No issues.


Kawai MP11 : JBL LSR305 : Focusrite 2i4 : Pianoteq / Garritan CFX

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. -Willy Wonka


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Re: Miserable Kawai keyboard quality - similar experiences?
jazzist #2490944 12/15/15 05:19 PM
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No issues on my VPC1 at all.

Re: Miserable Kawai keyboard quality - similar experiences?
jazzist #2490946 12/15/15 05:28 PM
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Two keyboards, no issues.


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Re: Miserable Kawai keyboard quality - similar experiences?
jazzist #2490950 12/15/15 05:51 PM
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Kawai might send their defectives to certain locations (dont ask me to explain that!) where they would expect a lower return rate. . . I had a cn 270 which had a nice light keyboard, loved it. But the sound was unpredictable. Took a year, they would do nothing until it malfunctioned in the presence of an engineer. . . I would expect these problems to be well sorted by now. Maybe they will be. . .tomorrow!


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Re: Miserable Kawai keyboard quality - similar experiences?
jazzist #2490961 12/15/15 07:07 PM
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A BIG yes.

I've owned 5 Kawai keyboards in the last five years.

3 of them needed repairs in the first year. And of those, 2 needed repair immediately (i.e. they shipped with a problem).

I just brought my ES100 in to the shop yesterday to have the pedal delay issue fixed. Very much wish they would have sent me a new unit, which at first they said they would do... but they demurred.

BTW - equally disappointed that Kawai allowed any of these units to be sold after the problem was discovered. I bought mine about 6 weeks after the issue had come to light, having read that all current (at the time) in-stock units should be fine. All they needed to do was identify the serial number of the unit. Really, these should have been pulled from all stores if the SN fell into the bunch that had the problem.

Additionally, while trying many pianos on the showroom floor(s) over the last 5 years, I can honestly say I've only seen problems on the Kawai units (1 with a key not coming back up, and two or three units where one key played louder than others). I've never saw either of these issues on other brands.

I would really appreciate it if Kawai took this a bit more seriously as far as upping the QA.


Re: Miserable Kawai keyboard quality - similar experiences?
jazzist #2490997 12/15/15 10:55 PM
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Touch and Feel

Ca63 Used - Nothing
Ca65 New - Nothing
Ca95 New - Nothing
Ca95 Exchange - Small Issue, Easily Fixed

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2418259/Re:_Kawai_Grand_Feel_Key_Spaci.html#Post2418259

Very happy with Touch and Feel of each of these Keyboards.


Jon ...

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A Tired, Retired, Dreamer ...
Re: Miserable Kawai keyboard quality - similar experiences?
jazzist #2490999 12/15/15 11:02 PM
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Hello jazzist, welcome back to the forum.

Please note that it's a difficult for me to comment on individual cases without knowing a little more background information. However, I shall try to respond to your points, where possible.

Originally Posted by jazzist
First Kawai: CA 63: One key was standing out


Does this mean the key had become unseated and was sticking up?
This can sometimes happen with Kawai's wooden key actions (and acoustic piano actions also, by the way...), as the key itself sits (unsecured) on a balance pin, rather than 'snapping' into place like most (all?) other digital piano actions. Usually it's possible to simply reseat the key on the balance pin.

Originally Posted by jazzist
--> I had to return it and to get a new one.


May I ask if you contacted your Kawai dealer and/or distributor (Kawai Europe?) to seek advice before returning the instrument? Again, I'm reluctant to comment on individual cases, but I wonder if the unseated key could have been reseated by a technician, thus preventing the need to return the entire instrument?

Originally Posted by jazzist
So second Kawai: The distances between the keys varied between 2 mm and 0,1 mm


Yes, I do recall a number of incidents with the earlier 'RM3 Grand' keyboard actions (particularly on the MP10), however this matter was improved with later production runs. It's not uncommon to see some variance in key gaps on wooden key instruments (both digital and acoustic), again, partly because the key itself is not physically attached to anything but sits upon a balance pin.

Originally Posted by jazzist
Third Kawai: ES 100: Another key sticking out.
--> returned it, got a new one


Again, I'm afraid I do not fully understand what you mean by 'sticking out', but if there was a problem with the instrument, a replacement was probably the best course of action.

Originally Posted by jazzist
Fourth Kawai:


Another ES100?

Originally Posted by jazzist
Now the weight of the h1 key is wrong. It feels like the h key, so while playing its: light touch (g1), lighter touch(a1), heavy touch (h1), lighter touch (c).


Keys within the same area should have a consistent weight. If you believe the weight of one key is much heaver (although the one octave difference between B0 and B1 should not be so noticeable), my recommendation would be to contact your Kawai dealer and/or distributor.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Miserable Kawai keyboard quality - similar experiences?
jazzist #2491004 12/15/15 11:23 PM
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Hello Hookxs
Originally Posted by Hookxs
On topic: yes, I had (and have) experience with faulty Kawai equipment.


For the sake of the thread, it may be useful to be a little more specific.

I recall that you did not appreciate some characteristics of the Kawai sound (confirmed by re-reading some of your posts from a couple of years ago), which ultimately led to you returning your CA95.

Your reply to jazzist suggests that you have since purchased another Kawai instrument, and are experiencing issues. If this is indeed the case, my recommendation would be to contact the Kawai dealer/distributor in your country to seek assistance.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Miserable Kawai keyboard quality - similar experiences?
peterws #2491007 12/15/15 11:31 PM
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Hello Peter,

Originally Posted by peterws
Kawai might send their defectives to certain locations (dont ask me to explain that!) where they would expect a lower return rate. . .


I expect you may have written that with your tongue somewhat in cheek, but just in case, may I assure you that this is not correct.

Originally Posted by peterws
I had a cn 270 which had a nice light keyboard, loved it. But the sound was unpredictable. Took a year, they would do nothing until it malfunctioned in the presence of an engineer. . . I would expect these problems to be well sorted by now.


I'm afraid it's a little difficult for me to comment on 'unpredictable sound'. However, it's not impossible for some dust or grease to get onto the rubber contact pads of an action, causing the key to either stop sounding, or for the sound of that note to play at 'unpredictable' volumes. This can happen with digital pianos from any manufacturer - it does not necessarily mean that there is a problem with one specific brand.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Miserable Kawai keyboard quality - similar experiences?
Info2011 #2491020 12/16/15 12:48 AM
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Hello Info2011,

Originally Posted by Info2011
I've owned 5 Kawai keyboards in the last five years.

3 of them needed repairs in the first year. And of those, 2 needed repair immediately (i.e. they shipped with a problem).


Again, for the sake of clarity within this thread, may I ask you to clarify which models, please?

As with Hookxs, I re-read your posts from a couple of years ago to refresh my memory on your experiences with Kawai DPs. Is the following summary of three different instruments correct?

- ES6 (clicky/ticky-tacky noise on several keys from new, deteriorated over time)
- ES7 (no key noise, but one key played louder than others...that unit was replaced, but replacement ES7 keyboard felt 'different', so original unit with malfunctioning key was fixed and returned...no further problems[?]).
- ES100 (early production unit with damper latency issue, fixed)

I would be grateful if you could explain which other Kawai instruments you have owned, and your experiences with those models.

Originally Posted by Info2011
I just brought my ES100 in to the shop yesterday to have the pedal delay issue fixed.
Very much wish they would have sent me a new unit, which at first they said they would do... but they demurred.


The damper pedal latency issue affected a relatively small number of early product units, and was corrected on instruments produced from October 2013 onward. Therefore I'm a little surprised to hear this matter being discussed at the end of 2015 - may I ask if you purchased your ES100 recently?

Originally Posted by Info2011
BTW - equally disappointed that Kawai allowed any of these units to be sold after the problem was discovered. I bought mine about 6 weeks after the issue had come to light...


Ah, okay, please disregard my previous query.

Originally Posted by Info2011
...having read that all current (at the time) in-stock units should be fine.


I have tried to search through my forum posts on this topic, however I cannot find any mention that 'in stock units should be fine'. I may have been referring to instruments sold in Europe, which were shipped from a later production after the issue had been resolved. Regardless, my apologies if I the information I posted was incorrect or misleading.

Originally Posted by Info2011
All they needed to do was identify the serial number of the unit. Really, these should have been pulled from all stores if the SN fell into the bunch that had the problem.


I appreciate your point, however as the slight pedal delay was not considered a major issue, it was decided that replacing units (rather than recalling them) was the preferred course of action.

Originally Posted by Info2011
Additionally, while trying many pianos on the showroom floor(s) over the last 5 years, I can honestly say I've only seen problems on the Kawai units (1 with a key not coming back up, and two or three units where one key played louder than others). I've never saw either of these issues on other brands.


Instruments on showroom floors can receive a fair bit of pounding during the lifetime of the display model, as such it's not uncommon to find broken keys, missing knobs/buttons, or other issues. I believe this affects all brands, however it's also possible that some brands have a faster rotation of stock/floor models than others, depending on the instrument.

Originally Posted by Info2011
I would really appreciate it if Kawai took this a bit more seriously as far as upping the QA.


I attend the monthly production/QC meetings here at the head office, along with staff from R&D, product distribution, sales, and of course manufacturing (with some participating via video conferencing). Suffice it to say, I am frequently impressed by the amount of testing and retesting that occurs at each stage of production, and the factory managers' desire to continuously implement new measures that minimise operator errors. That's not to say that mistakes will never ever happen, however when they do occur there are usually checks later in the production process that allow any problems to be rectified.

Issues that occur during production are vastly outnumbered by the frequency of issues that occur during shipping, especially in the US. However, as with manufacturing QC, the distribution department also work hard to ensure that packaging is strong enough to withstand rough handling, and in some cases revise/improve an instrument's packing materials to reduce potential shipping damage.

My apologies for the lengthy post (and consecutive replies to other forum members). This is obviously an important topic for me, my colleagues in R&D, and throughout the company, so I felt it necessary to respond in detail.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Miserable Kawai keyboard quality - similar experiences?
Kawai James #2491022 12/16/15 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James

Again, I'm afraid I do not fully understand what you mean by 'sticking out'


Thanks for your answer. In both cases the key physically "stood up", meaning it was raised over the rest of the keys for ca. 1-2 mm, which was equally noticable while playing as it was ugly.
Yes the fourth one is my second ES100.

Originally Posted by Hookxs
I am impressed that you can tell the difference in weighting between adjacent keys while playing.

Yes, otherwise I would not have recognized it. I have not searched for it, the key just felt unexpectedly hard to press while playing a song. I could not believe it so I took a stack of coins and measured how many coins are needed to press the key. It is 10 pieces of 20 Eurocents for the g1 and 11 pieces for the h1.

Last edited by jazzist; 12/16/15 01:52 AM.
Re: Miserable Kawai keyboard quality - similar experiences?
Kawai James #2491030 12/16/15 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Hello Peter,

Originally Posted by peterws
Kawai might send their defectives to certain locations (dont ask me to explain that!) where they would expect a lower return rate. . .


I expect you may have written than with your tongue in cheek, but just I case, may I assure you that this is not correct.

Originally Posted by peterws
I had a cn 270 which had a nice light keyboard, loved it. But the sound was unpredictable. Took a year, they would do nothing until it malfunctioned in the presence of an engineer. . . I would expect these problems to be well sorted by now.


I'm afraid it's a little difficult for me to comment on 'unpredictable sound'. However, it's not impossible for some dust or grease to get onto the rubber contact pads of an action, causing the key to either stop sounding, or for the sound of that note to play at 'unpredictable' volumes. This can happen with digital pianos from any manufacturer - it does not necessarily mean that there is a problem with one specific brand.

Kind regards,
James
x


James, you sure been kept busy tonight! My issues were dealt with ok eventually. Screwing handles onto the piano didnt help my case. . . -


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

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Re: Miserable Kawai keyboard quality - similar experiences?
jazzist #2491061 12/16/15 06:33 AM
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One used ca63 with rm3 action here and no problems, unless you consider the keys spacing a quality problem. But I sincerely don't, since i feel it as meant to be, and btw all the rest of the piano looks like top quality, up to the detail.


Kawai Ca63 - yamaha motif07 - Korg01fd
Re: Miserable Kawai keyboard quality - similar experiences?
Kawai James #2491070 12/16/15 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James

Issues that occur during production are vastly outnumbered by the frequency of issues that occur during shipping, especially in the US.


I would agree with this, having read the state some people received their piano in on these forums. Having an entire octave of keys completely off their pins, as one person reported, the box must have literally been thrown into the lorry. Its unacceptable, and nothing to do with the original manufacturer.

The box mine came in was pristine, and had clearly been handled with a lot of care during shipping. All 4 corners of the box were as sharply pointed as the day it left the factory. If you receive a box with dents, blunted corners, scuff marks, etc. you have to wonder how its been treated on its journey.

Zero issues with mine. Its beautiful.



Kawai CA97 black

Re: Miserable Kawai keyboard quality - similar experiences?
jazzist #2491071 12/16/15 07:27 AM
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My MP10 was flawless and served me well while I had it.


Nord Grand, Kawai MP11 (v1), iMac 2017, Yamaha HS8's, Sennheiser 650, Focusrite 2i4, Pianoteq 6.4.0, Steinway Model A, Mason and Hamlin Model AA, Piano Marvel: 3C
Re: Miserable Kawai keyboard quality - similar experiences?
jazzist #2491081 12/16/15 08:51 AM
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My VPC1 (for the ~month I had it) and my MP11 have been great. The only issue I had was with the pedal unit on the MP11, which was promptly replaced by Kawai, no problems since then.

Key spacing, as James pointed out, varies and is common on acoustic pianos as well. However, it's not a big enough issue to cause problems in playing.

For the OP regarding the difference in weight between two keys: I'm not sure one could feel the difference between 10 coins and 11. Even so, the accuracy of the coin-measuring technique is highly questionable, as discussed in this thread:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2489644/CLP_585_downweight.html#Post2489644

Coins cannot allow for velocity at all, so you're not really measuring what is needed to play a key.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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