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Re: Kaway CN-25/35 vs Roland HP504 vc Yamaha YDP163/CLP525/535 [Re: TiersenFan] #2613361
02/10/17 07:29 PM
02/10/17 07:29 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 13
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TiersenFan Offline OP
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TiersenFan  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 13
Ok, now I've spent the desired 30m to 60m with each piano. In the case of the Roland and the Yahama I was even able to use them on the same store and "quickly" switch to test similar settings and "see" the differences. I am lucky to live in a relatively small city (150 thousands on the city and suburbs) with relatively large music stores. One in particular has a special location with over 6000m2 just for pianos, include two areas of that part just for Roland and Yahama digital pianos.

[Linked Image]

Out of curiosity, and again, this is just my personal (and completely amateur opinion):

Key Action:
HP-504 > CN-35 > CLP-535
I felt more "at home" with the Roland and connected more with it. It felt "easier" on the hand, with the "correct weight" (I tested some acoustic pianos also). It just seem more "natural" to my hands. The Yahama was the "worst" (stil CLP is much better than the YDP line), because to me it felt harder, or stiffer. Kawai was in between, but it felt more "spongy" in a sense.

Piano Sound/Engine:
CLP-535 > HP-504 = Kawai CN-35
I think I'm biased, because "everyone" I know has a Yamaha and therefore I'm more used to it (my keyaboard is a Yahama PSR-200). Nevertheless, for the types of music I play (Yann Tiersen, Ludovico Einaudi) I enjoyed more the CLP sound. It just felt "richer" and "brighter". In any case, I could somehow mitigate the feeling a little by messing around with the configurations, reverb and brilliance of the Roland and Kawai, and by experimenting other piano sounds (not just the default).

Speakers:
CN-35 > CLP 535 > HP-504
I enjoyed more the Kawai (but beause it was on another store, the acoustics were also different, in a "smaller" room). It felt more powerful and more "involving" and "all around me". The Roland was the which I felt more "muddy" in some sense.

Headphones:
HP-504 > CN-35 = CLP-535
Headphones felt more rewarding (when comparing to speakers) in the Roland because I could much more clearly feel the dynamics and it did not feel too much as being with headphones (maybe due to their 3D technology?)


This may help to explain why I'm in a dilemma. The three factors that I tried to value more have different "winners". I would like a DP with Roland key action, Yamaha sound and Kawai 4 speakers smile

In the end, I'm leaning to the HP-504, because I felt more connection to action, which I feel as very important to me, as the player, although I think it may not be as enjoyable to someone listening when compared to the other two.

Does my opinion coincide with others, or do you think differently?

I should end by really emphasizing the most important message everyone in here was telling me: go and try for ourself! Forget the brand, the "raw" specs, the "advice" from the sellers, and just play it for yourself and feel. You also have your own goals, your own music preferences and your own budget. Everyone has their own preferences and for me, playing piano is something like an "organic" thing, and you should definitely try to see what suits YOU better.


Last edited by TiersenFan; 02/10/17 07:44 PM.
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Re: Kaway CN-25/35 vs Roland HP504 vc Yamaha YDP163/CLP525/535 [Re: TiersenFan] #2613561
02/11/17 03:38 PM
02/11/17 03:38 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 916
Germany
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Hendrik42 Offline
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I think it is no surprise that you like the CN35 speakers best, it has four speakers and that really beats the HP504 and CLP535, no surprise.

I like the CN35 action over the HP504, but I agree that the CLP535 is the worst of the three :-) But they are all good.

I also like the Kawai sound over Roland over Yamaha. I find the Yamaha sound too bright/brilliant. But the Boesendorfer sound of the CLP535 I like a lot as well.

Headphones, here I have not done much testing. But I know that when I moved from 30-40EUR headphones to the Sennheiser HP598, that was such as massive difference...

Looks like its going to be a hard decision for you :-) I have a friend with a HP504 and he is still very happy after 2 years and they Yamaha is good, too. You you can not really go wrong.


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
Re: Kaway CN-25/35 vs Roland HP504 vc Yamaha YDP163/CLP525/535 [Re: TiersenFan] #2613612
02/11/17 06:54 PM
02/11/17 06:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 33
S
Sekel Offline
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Sekel  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 33
I would start with dismissing Yamaha CLP-535.
1) You can play with sound setting of other pianos to adjust it more to your liking.
2) With virtual software piano you can get much better sound anyway.
3) Not buying Roland HP603 for 1700 EUR and buying CLP-535 for 1600 EUR instead is just kind of crazy.

To confuse you even more - I would suggest you to try new Kawai CN27. Comparing to CN35 - it has new SK concert grand and EX concert grand sounds + Spatial Headphone Sound feature which could matter in your case. And while it has only 2 speakers against 4 speakers of CN35, the overall speaker power is still bigger than in Roland HP504. Thomann eshop price 1329 EUR would comfortably fit into your budget even with some local store margin.

Now lets say that CN27 piano just does not work for you and you are left with HP504 and CN35, unable to decide which piano you like more:

- go with piano you like more. Somewhere inside of you - just behind all this feature comparing - is picture of the piano you actually WANT TO BUY.

- try to switch your logic and start to looking for things/features you just do not like. The "least irritating" piano wins.

- flip the coin

As I see it, you did good job with narrowing your selection. Now its time to stop waisting time. Its time to start playing. So grab the one of your choice and move on.
If you want a way better action or speaker power go with higher model pianos. In case you want a way better sound or headphone experience, go with VST pianos.
There is not much else to win...

Last edited by Sekel; 02/11/17 06:56 PM.
Re: Kaway CN-25/35 vs Roland HP504 vc Yamaha YDP163/CLP525/535 [Re: Sekel] #2613620
02/11/17 07:14 PM
02/11/17 07:14 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 13
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TiersenFan Offline OP
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TiersenFan  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 13
Thanks for the comments guys, and for all the good advices smile

Sekel, I only re-entered CLP-535 on the picture because they made me an offer of selling it for 1420€ on a "promotion" they are now doing.

Regarding CN-27, unfortunately it is not going to be a possibility, as the portuguese distribution, apparently, is not going to sell the new models (both 27 and 37) until the end of the year (or at least that is the story they told me). I could order online, but I would honestly prefer to buy it locally (both for boosting stores I've bought some instruments before, and because of possible "better" support).

In my mind I have already settled with the Roland HP-504 (unless the other store give me a very good offer on the Kawai CN-35), because, as I said, I connected more with it in terms of key action, but I wanted to share my thought process. My only hesitation now was the temptation to go a little bit further to the HP-603, but that would also open doors for other possibilities and 1400€ is already "over budget" for me.

In any case, any of the options, I'm sure, would be nice and would provide me with the perfect tool to improve over what I have at home right now (I don't have at the moment weighted keys and pedals). But it was nice to go the stores, try pianos, see the differences and learn a little bit. There were some high level acoustic pianos I tried that were just delightful to play in. Even in my completely amateur and novice level, the difference to the digital pianos was very noticeable. I asked them to let me play in their best acoustic piano in the house and I was mesmerized by the experience and the much more "organic" feeling of the sound...

Last edited by TiersenFan; 02/11/17 07:34 PM.
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Re: Kaway CN-25/35 vs Roland HP504 vc Yamaha YDP163/CLP525/535 [Re: TiersenFan] #2613627
02/11/17 08:29 PM
02/11/17 08:29 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,445
UK
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Alexander Borro Offline
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Alexander Borro  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,445
UK
My 2 additional cents, FWIW

As you say the key thing here is, anything with weighted keys will be a massive improvement for a start, whatever it is, I can't possibly imagine playing Tiersen or Einaudi without that so you'll enjoy that improvement.

I am in your boat in ways, while not played much Tiersen, quite a bit of Einaudi at a primitive level. Personally I do like the CLP sound engine more than the Kawai too when I tried them in shops, but to each their own, you can only make that choice for yourself.

I tried both in shops, the top end models, CLP 585 575 and CA 67 and HP 603, 605 LX series, but not the Kawai with the soundboard, so can't vouch for the lesser models and the CA97, but some of these are all well above your budget.

I leaned towards the yammies or roland, for me they excel in different ways in different areas of their sound engine, for example, for outright tone/timbre and rounded tone the yammies win for me, but then things like all resonances you get from the newer rolands, they win that battle.

and .. bad idea to get started with the acoustics .. or not laugh , I share your sentiment, but once you get a taste for those it is hard to look back. I just can't quite love any of the digital sounds to date enough for me to justify the price tag in my head for any of the top end models, at least compared to other options out there with software I have now at a fraction of the price. At least, for me that's true out of the the ones I tried to date, so the way to go at this point in time is software for piano sounds in terms of bang for buck, that's just my personal opinion however, many will say differently, and some will say the same around here.

If I had to pick an all in one box console solution today though, the roland LX17 or CLP 585 or the Casio GP Hybrid would all be serious contenders for me, but given your budget that's out.

If you don't mind a heavier feeling action, but a very nice feeling keyboard action, I'd also strongly suggest researching a bit more, something like a VPC1 kawai midi controller with software is in reach with your budget too. Assuming you already got a half decent computer to use, and some decent headphones, you 'll only need to buy a software instrument, an extra sort of 80 - 200 euros depending on what, and you can always add monitors/speakers later.

That said, whatever you buy out the list you already have, there is enough in there to have fun with and enjoy no doubt smile


Selftaught since June 2014.
Books: Barratt classic piano course bk 1,2,3. Humphries Piano handbook, various...
Kawai CA78, Casio AP450 & software pianos.
[Linked Image] 12x ABF recitals.
My struggles: https://soundcloud.com/alexander-borro
Re: Kaway CN-25/35 vs Roland HP504 vc Yamaha YDP163/CLP525/535 [Re: TiersenFan] #2614377
02/14/17 04:22 PM
02/14/17 04:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 33
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Sekel Offline
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Sekel  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 33
Originally Posted by TiersenFan

Regarding CN-27, unfortunately it is not going to be a possibility, as the portuguese distribution, apparently, is not going to sell the new models (both 27 and 37) until the end of the year (or at least that is the story they told me). I could order online, but I would honestly prefer to buy it locally (both for boosting stores I've bought some instruments before, and because of possible "better" support).

I absolutely support you with decision buying locally. Moreover, the price offers you got for Roland and Yamaha are pretty amazing. I was not able to get anywhere close. Such local store support is pure pleasure....
As for CN27, if your store will not sell it this year (no matter how strange that sounds) than thats it. I guess, after all your effort with piano testing, blind eshop buy seems unlikely :-)


Re: Kaway CN-25/35 vs Roland HP504 vc Yamaha YDP163/CLP525/535 [Re: TiersenFan] #2616760
02/21/17 05:34 PM
02/21/17 05:34 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 13
T
TiersenFan Offline OP
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TiersenFan  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 13
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who contributed in this topic.

I have now ordered the Roland HP-504 smile Perhaps as soon as next thursday I will already have it in my home... Can't wait for it!


Re: Kawai CN-25/35 vs Roland HP504 vc Yamaha YDP163/CLP525/535 [Re: TiersenFan] #2643759
05/15/17 03:17 PM
05/15/17 03:17 PM
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TiersenFan Offline OP
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TiersenFan  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 13
Two months and a half later, just wanted to share that I absolutely love the HP-504 and play on it daily smile

Obviously, I still think that the other options would also be good, but in my personal case I was really happy with the choice I made... Here is an example of me playing on it (a complete amateur, I know, but still I think music is about feeling, and how you can express it, even if you are a mere beginner)



Next I'll try to learn "Amar pelos Dois", Portugal's (my country) song that just won the Eurovision Song Contest in a beautiful melody consisting almost solely on voice and piano smile

Last edited by TiersenFan; 05/15/17 03:18 PM.
Re: Kawai CN-25/35 vs Roland HP504 vc Yamaha YDP163/CLP525/535 [Re: TiersenFan] #2643906
05/15/17 10:36 PM
05/15/17 10:36 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 324
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Rosewood17 Offline
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Posts: 324
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Thank you for following up with how you like your piano now that you have had it for a few months, and also for sharing your playing. It seems like you made a very good match!


Roland LX-7
Started lessons in April, 2017
In progress: Alfred's Adult All-In-One Course: Lesson-Theory-Technic: Level 2 | Fundamentals of Piano Theory - Level 2 | Hanon: The Virtuoso Pianist in 60 Exercises
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