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http://www.kawaimp.com/

I'd say that if they still introduce the MP11 and MP7 models, instead of MP11SE and MP7SE, in Kawai MP official website, it is pretty vulgar.

It seems like a statement from Kawai about their new models.
Do you think it is a message from Kawai, that the MP11SE\MP7SE will soon to be replaced by an MP12\MP8?

I'm planing to upgrade to MP11SE toward the end of the year, but if soon after that an MP12 will emerge it will be a real bummer.
The Grand Feel 2 action will probably be installed on a future MP12, which will probably be a bit better for me than the Grand Feel on the MP11SE, as it is a heavier action.

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Hello hag01, thank you for your post.

The KawaiMP.com website will be updated in the near future.

Originally Posted by hag01
I'd say that if they still introduce the MP11 and MP7 models, instead of MP11SE and MP7SE, in Kawai MP official website, it is pretty vulgar.


Yes, I can see your point. My apologies.

Originally Posted by hag01
Do you think it is a message from Kawai, that the MP11SE\MP7SE will soon to be replaced by an MP12\MP8?


No, definitely not.

Originally Posted by hag01
I'm planing to upgrade to MP11SE toward the end of the year, but if soon after that an MP12 will emerge it will be a real bummer.


The MPSE models were announced a few months ago - they will not replaced any time soon.

Originally Posted by hag01
The Grand Feel 2 action will probably be installed on a future MP12, which will probably be a bit better for me than the Grand Feel on the MP11SE, as it is a heavier action.


Maybe, but the possibility of that happening in a few years time should not preclude anyone from purchasing an MP11SE today.

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James
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Originally Posted by hag01
http://www.kawaimp.com/
Do you think it is a message from Kawai, that the MP11SE\MP7SE will soon to be replaced by an MP12\MP8?


There is a pretty good reason to believe KJ apart from the fact he's an honest chappie!

Pretty unlikely that the MP8/MP12 will be released soon: few reasons...
1) There is no direct competitor to the MP11SE in terms of the USP: top quality action in a slab! A complete redesign of the MP11SE case would be required to fit in a GFII action, and that would mean re-tooling the factories. As no slab piano competes with the GF action, this won't happen until a competitive product arises.
2) In terms of sound quality, GUI, price and functionality, the MP7SE/MP11SE currently compete very well against competitor products. There is no commercial pressure to create a brand new product.


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The title of this thread is very misleading. At first I thought Kawai US had been contacted and they had said "no, we're not going to be updating our website".

Talk about conspiracy theories! A bit of laziness or incompetence or both will be the reason the web pages have not been updated. There has been no refusal at all.

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Unless Kawai unexpectedly announces a new software engine with new sample sets, why would they release MP replacements any time soon. The MP11SE literally has zero competition and the MP7SE offers flagship digital piano sound and action in the stage piano market at $300 to nearly $1000 less than competitors. Kawai is in a good spot with both boards. I have played the GF and GFII actions and there’s a very small difference in feel. I would be comfortable buying and MP11SE at the end of this year. Outstanding sound and class leading action. That won’t change in the next few years. Even the MP7SE has a competitive action to all current flagship stage pianos and has the same sound engine as the MP11SE and essentially same sample sets as the Kawai NV10, so again, I would be very comfortable buying either board any time this year or next.


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PianoZac, while I agree with you generally, regarding sound engines you are a bit misinformed. Kawai doesn't have to unexpectedly announce a new sound engine that is better (or at least newer) than that of the MP11SE and MP7SE, because they already did - about half a year ago.
That being the new SK-EX Rendering engine that is currently only available in the NV10, CA98 and CA78. The MPxSE have "only" the previous generation HI-XL engine (same as CA97, CA67, CS11, CS8, ES8), which btw is included in the NV10, CA98 and CA78 too, as a second engine.
Which also means that the MPx11 does not have essentially the same sample sets as the NV10 - or more precisely, that is true only for one of the engines in the NV10 (the older one).

Last edited by JoBert; 03/05/18 05:46 PM.

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Originally Posted by JoBert
...the MPx11 does not have essentially the same sample sets as the NV10 - or more precisely, that is true only for one of the engines in the NV10 (the older one).


The way I see it is that they DO share the same sample sets but they do not share the same sound engine. The basic underlying samples are the same, same source pianos, same sampling sessions.

The newer sound engine (NV10, CA98 etc) appears to be about resonance implementation and new acoustic spacial effects (rendering), all applied to the same basic sample as the SK-EX piano in the Hi-XL engine.

That's my take anyway...

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According to the info from Kawai, the new SK-EX rendering engine uses multi channel sampling. To my knowledge that was never claimed for the HI-XL engine. To me that suggests that the sample sets are at least somewhat different, and that it is not just a case of better resonance modeling.


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Originally Posted by JoBert
Kawai doesn't have to unexpectedly announce a new sound engine that is better (or at least newer) than that of the MP11SE and MP7SE, because they already did - about half a year ago.
That being the new SK-EX Rendering engine that is currently only available in the NV10, CA98 and CA78. The MPxSE have "only" the previous generation HI-XL engine (same as CA97, CA67, ES8)

Yes, and that was one of the reasons why I called MP11SE "outdated already upon announcement" and biggest disappointed for me. It was here.

I have to add to my list of disappointments also missing of "Spatial Headphone Sound (SHS) technology to ensure the finest quality and most engaging listening experience, even when playing in privacy". Yes, this feature which is present already long time in other Kawai's console digital pianos is also missing in "new" MP11SE/MP7SE.

You can also notice that in my message (on which I gave the link above), I was talking about KawaiMP.com web-site, that it still haven't been updated. It was 3 months ago. And today I see another posts about this. This just proves for me how "serious" was that update and shows Kawai's level of priority to their professional digital stage pianos.


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Originally Posted by JoBert
According to the info from Kawai, the new SK-EX rendering engine uses multi channel sampling. To my knowledge that was never claimed for the HI-XL engine.


+1. We're left in the somewhat pitiful position of trying to tease out meaningful information in the marketing copy, but from a "truth-in-advertising" perspective, I would have to take Kawai's word that the new multi-channel sampling in SK-EX Rendering is a different base sample set than HI-XL, unless someone runs a spectral analysis or whatever the gurus do and is able to prove it wrong.

As to what it actually is, I dunno. I'd like to think it's akin to the 4-position sampling Yamaha does for the AvantGrands, but again that's really hard to prove.

The difference between the two engines is quite noticeable to my ears though, I think it's a worthwhile improvement.


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I stand corrected about the sound engines, and even I assumed that even with different sound engines, the base samples were from the same pianos and session etc. I still stand by the fact that I do not believe the MP11SE/MP7SE will be replaced any time soon. Just going by Kawai’s MP series history only. I have played the CS11 and CA98 back to back and did not notice a discernible difference with headphones on. Just my ears. The only thing that stood out was that they both sounded miles ahead of anything else I had heard, and certainly much nicer than the AvantGrand. smile


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
+1. We're left in the somewhat pitiful position of trying to tease out meaningful information in the marketing copy...


Gombessa, are you referring to the SK-EX Rendering explanation, here?

[Linked Image]

As you note, this new sound engine is used in the NV10 and CA98/CA78.

And to be absolutely sure, the MP11SE/MP7SE use the older Harmonic Imaging XL sound engine (which is still available in the NV10 and CA98/CA78 as 'Sound mode').

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
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Sound engines are one thing. Sample sessions are another.

Kawai used recordings from the same sample sessions for several of their sound engines...PHI, UHPI, Hi-XL etc for the older EX sound. The source was the same piano for all, captured during the same sampling sessions.

Multi-channel just means different microphone quantities and positions. I would expect each sampling session to use several different mic perspectives. This gives Kawai (or whoever) the chance to maximise the value and future expandability it derives from each sampling session. Sampling sessions are not to be undertaken lightly. They are very intense and time-consuming processes and there's no way Kawai, Yamaha or whoever is recording new samples every year or two. That wouldn't be good economics at all.

I'm guessing the new SK-EX sound in pianist mode (i.e., SK-EX Rendering) is using recordings from the same sample session as before.

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Originally Posted by EssBrace
Sound engines are one thing. Sample sessions are another.
...
I'm guessing the new SK-EX sound in pianist mode (i.e., SK-EX Rendering) is using recordings from the same sample session as before.

You may well be right with that. Actually, that would be my guess too.

In my eyes, it would be a sign of good forward planning and strategy, if Kawai did record more mic positions back then, than they actually needed (and used) for the HI-XL engine, so that they now had additional, "new to the world" sample sets to use for the SK-EX Rendering engine, without needing to do another expensive sample session.


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If Kawai used several mic pairs in a well-planned sample session, then they have years worth of samples which they can chage by mixing mic pairs, ramping up sample rates, incorporating improved effects, etc.

Kawai's cryptic marketing speak seems to imply they are dynamically changing the individual samples as a note ramps-up then decays, either at the recorded sample level or real-time inside the piano. The average user can't do that dynamically with a VI. Of course this could just be some simple plug-in effect. . .

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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by Gombessa
+1. We're left in the somewhat pitiful position of trying to tease out meaningful information in the marketing copy...


Gombessa, are you referring to the SK-EX Rendering explanation, here?



Thank you James!

Yes, I think that's what I had seen before (and you probably know where this is going when you have interested people looking for more data).

So multi-channel sampling does indeed involve multiple mics across different points of the piano. I think what we don't yet know are details such as:

1. Is each channel its own "stereo/surround" channel on an SK-EX Rendering DP? Or are these channels mixed into a mono/stereo sample to be played back in stereo (even if the DP has 4-7 speakers)? Does this differ for different pianos?

2. Is there any difference in sample lengths between SK-EX Rendering and HI-XL?

3. Is there any difference in sampling bitrate or frequency?

4. And of course, if it's really the same sampling session as used for HI-XL, why isn't there an SK-5 Rendering engine? You'd think if Kawai went to the effort of multi-micing one piano in a session, they'd do the same to the other piano used in the same session, no?

None of these are really Kawai-specific inquiries I demand real answers to. Just an illustration that there are always more questions that accompany these kinds of threads. And I of course wouldn't complain if Kawai or any other DP manufacturer went the open route and released a white paper on how they approach sampling/rendering smile


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Hello Gombessa,

Originally Posted by Gombessa
Yes, I think that's what I had seen before (and you probably know where this is going when you have interested people looking for more data).


Uh oh...

If you don't mind, I would prefer not to answer the first three questions. I appreciate that many customers love to read about these details, however I honestly don't believe that knowing this information will really enhance one's enjoyment of the CA98/CA78 or NV10.

However, as to why there is no 'SK-5 Rendering', I expect this may be because the SK-EX is Kawai's flagship acoustic piano, and therefore the natural choice of instrument to reproduce using the new sound engine.

Originally Posted by Gombessa
None of these are really Kawai-specific inquiries I demand real answers to.


Thank you, that's a weight off my shoulders. wink

Originally Posted by Gombessa
Just an illustration that there are always more questions that accompany these kinds of threads.


Yes, and that hunger for knowledge is arguably what drives forums like PianoWorld.

Anyway, sorry I cannot provide more detailed answers to your questions.

Kind regards,
James
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