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Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 #2730626
04/21/18 12:40 PM
04/21/18 12:40 PM
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JoeCB Offline OP
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Hello all,

I've been looking for an appropriate digital piano under the $2,000 range. I did a lot of reading (both on PianoWorld and elsewhere), and have some questions about the differences between the two.

Initially I was leaning towards an upright/furniture piece because the look is great, but it dawned on me after experiencing the ES8 in the store that a portable high quality DP would be fantastic for my needs and enjoyment.

My main question revolves around the respective sound of the two different pianos.

In the store, I feel as though the Yamaha sound a little better. But I have been using a Yamaha keyboard to get acquainted with playing (a very cheap, $100 keyboard, to ensure my prolonged interest in the piano and leading to my purchasing of a higher quality instrument).

The ES8 in the store sounds a little "muddled." It's hard to describe sounds with words, but it doesn't sound clear and crisp.

However, I don't really trust my ear all that much. I think I am used to how my cheap Yamaha keyboard sounds and I'm also not experienced with discerning between different pianos.

I understand that the ES8 has multiple tones and also has the technician where you can change how the piano sounds in many different ways, so that's intriguing.

--

Main uses of the digital piano are simple. I mostly play recent modern music songs (pop, rock, etc.), and also play a lot of original scores from movies, etc. I'm not sure if the Yamaha YDP-163 has a sound that lends itself to this more than the ES8. I'm feeling a little lost in comparing the two.

The major "pro" for the Kawai is that it's portable. That's huge. And I think the keys on the ES8 might be better, but I'm pretty new to weighted keys and don't know.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, and other recommendations are welcome under the $2,000 range, although I do like both of these pianos and will probably choose one of them.

Thank you!

Joe

PS I realize that the YDP-163 is $500 less than the ES8, so I'd naturally lean towards the ES8 being a higher quality, but I am trying to find out why my ears seem a little more receptive to the YDP. I have seen many reviews and comparisons where people say that the Kawai sound is superior, though I know this is subjective. Please help me to provide some insight so I can make a decision. Thank you!

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Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: JoeCB] #2730639
04/21/18 01:23 PM
04/21/18 01:23 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,166
Northern England.
peterws Offline
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Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,166
Northern England.
I would suggest you play test many other digital pianos, and a few acoustics for good measure; you'll get a feel for things under your fingers, and in your ears. The in-houise guy will be pleased to display the more important aspects; you don't have to buy immediately, he'll understand that.
You'll maybe want a Yamaha sound, and a Kawai keyboard . . . . .but at least you'll then make an informed decision! Have fun . . . .


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

"[Linked Image]"
Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: JoeCB] #2730794
04/22/18 04:57 AM
04/22/18 04:57 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 629
Valencia, Spain
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mabraman Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
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Valencia, Spain
ES8 hands down.


Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.Kawai K-200
Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: JoeCB] #2730800
04/22/18 05:36 AM
04/22/18 05:36 AM
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Pennsylvania
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dmd Offline
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I tried many digital pianos over a period of about 5 years before discovering and keeping the ES8.

Since purchasing the ES8 I have been very happy with sound and touch to the point that I have stopped searching for "something better".


Don

Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - Completed Chapter 5

Pianoteq, Spacestation v.3 Powered Stereo Monitor
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Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: JoeCB] #2730843
04/22/18 10:42 AM
04/22/18 10:42 AM
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Steve.L Offline
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I'm a big fan of the ES8 as well, but I recently purchased an ES110. I haven't read or heard anything about an ES8 replacement, but it's been out for about 3 years, same as it's predecessor, so I didn't want to spend $2k on "last years model". The ES110 plus cabinet was about $1200 less.

I'm retired and returned to the piano after lessons as a child. For where I'm currently at technically (Beethoven op.49, No.2 or Mozart K.385, e.g.), the ES110 is more than enough for learning and practice. If and when the ES8 is replaced, I'll sell the 110 and upgrade to whatever comes next.

Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: JoeCB] #2730844
04/22/18 10:50 AM
04/22/18 10:50 AM
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Posts: 95
USA
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Lotus1 Offline
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JoeCB, they are both excellent pianos but not really in the same price category. The Kawai ES8 does not come with a stand or three pedals, so Its price premium over the Yamaha YDP-163 will be more than $500 when you include the cost of these accessories. Their features don't exactly match and you would do well to compare specifications on their manufacturers' websites.

Regarding portability, note that the ES8 weighs 50 lbs without a stand. Yes, it is more easily moved than the YDP-163, but most keyboards considered "portable" weigh 25-30 lbs. If portability is important to you, there are several good "slabs" in the $500-1000 range (with stand and pedals) such as the Casio PX-160, Kawai ES110, Roland FP-30 and Yamaha P-115.

If you like the Yamaha sound, you might consider the DGX-660, which has useful accompaniment features for the pop/rock music that you play. It is an upgraded P-115 -- same key touch, but with 500+ tones, display screen and stand -- for around $800. Its weight is similar to that of the ES8, so not really portable.

If portability is not an important factor, there are several console-style pianos in the $1000-1500 range that may be of interest. The Kawai KDP110 comes to mind, but Casio has several Privia (< $1000) and Celviano (>$1000) models, Roland a few choices, and Yamaha other models in its Arius series in addition to the YDP-163.

I would not concern myself too much with tweaking settings through the virtual technician, at least at the beginning. All these instruments have several fine piano alternatives (tones) built-in, and I would be surprised if one of them does not meet your needs right away. Especially since you are upgrading from a $100 keyboard!

The prices above are the typical selling prices in the US, though percentage-off sales at major retailers are not unusual. Good luck with your decision!

Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: JoeCB] #2730845
04/22/18 10:54 AM
04/22/18 10:54 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 294
Arizona USA
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Finfan Offline
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Sound, feel, and how much you enjoy a particular digital piano are all totally subjective. As was said before you should try as many different pianos as you can before making a decision. If you want portable then look at the various slab pianos that are out there. Digital pianos are basically a "consumer electronics" which means that by the time you buy one somebody else will come out with something that is "better". There are many people who cannot stand not having the latest and greatest. I take that to mean that God is just telling them they have too much money. If you are not among that crowd them find one that you feel will meet your current needs and give you room to grow. I own an ES8 and think it will probably be all the piano I'll ever need. At least until it wears out and fails. It's up to you to judge your own requirements.


Kawai ES8
Yamaha P105
Yamaha YPT220

A lack of talent does not stop you from learning piano. It just takes longer and you have to work harder.

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Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: Lotus1] #2730853
04/22/18 11:26 AM
04/22/18 11:26 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,903
Pennsylvania
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dmd Offline
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Pennsylvania
Originally Posted by Lotus1
JoeCB, they are both excellent pianos but not really in the same price category. The Kawai ES8 does not come with a stand or three pedals, so Its price premium over the Yamaha YDP-163 will be more than $500 when you include the cost of these accessories.



Well, let's check that out ....

https://www.zzounds.com/item--KAWES8?siid=189688

https://www.zzounds.com/item--YAMYDP163?siid=186671

It appears at zzounds.com they are exactly $500 different.


Don

Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - Completed Chapter 5

Pianoteq, Spacestation v.3 Powered Stereo Monitor
Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: JoeCB] #2730856
04/22/18 11:34 AM
04/22/18 11:34 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,903
Pennsylvania
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dmd Offline
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Joined: Apr 2009
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Pennsylvania
Originally Posted by JoeCB
In the store, I feel as though the Yamaha sound a little better. But I have been using a Yamaha keyboard to get acquainted with playing (a very cheap, $100 keyboard, to ensure my prolonged interest in the piano and leading to my purchasing of a higher quality instrument).

The ES8 in the store sounds a little "muddled." It's hard to describe sounds with words, but it doesn't sound clear and crisp.

However, I don't really trust my ear all that much. I think I am used to how my cheap Yamaha keyboard sounds and I'm also not experienced with discerning between different pianos.

I understand that the ES8 has multiple tones and also has the technician where you can change how the piano sounds in many different ways, so that's intriguing.



I would suggest you make another trip to "the store" and play each while listening via headphones. That will eliminate the store acoustics and the placement of the digital piano within the store.

Those factors can make a huge difference in the sound you hear.

Then, go with your gut and start playing.


Don

Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - Completed Chapter 5

Pianoteq, Spacestation v.3 Powered Stereo Monitor
Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: dmd] #2730867
04/22/18 12:09 PM
04/22/18 12:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 95
USA
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Lotus1 Offline
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Joined: Dec 2017
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USA
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by Lotus1
JoeCB, they are both excellent pianos but not really in the same price category. The Kawai ES8 does not come with a stand or three pedals, so Its price premium over the Yamaha YDP-163 will be more than $500 when you include the cost of these accessories.



Well, let's check that out ....

https://www.zzounds.com/item--KAWES8?siid=189688

https://www.zzounds.com/item--YAMYDP163?siid=186671

It appears at zzounds.com they are exactly $500 different.





Yes, the ZZounds listing shows a picture of the Kawai ES8 with its stand and pedals, but the small print says "NOTE: Stand, Pedals, and Case not included".

The "Related Accessories" sidebar says the stand is available for $259 and the pedals for $169, so you will need to add $428 to the $1999 price of the ES8 slab, for a total of $2427.

Therefore, the difference in price with the Yamaha YDP-163 is $928. Not in the same price category, in my opinion.

Last edited by Lotus1; 04/22/18 12:19 PM.
Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: Lotus1] #2730886
04/22/18 01:15 PM
04/22/18 01:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,903
Pennsylvania
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dmd Offline
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dmd  Offline
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D

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,903
Pennsylvania
Originally Posted by Lotus1
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by Lotus1
JoeCB, they are both excellent pianos but not really in the same price category. The Kawai ES8 does not come with a stand or three pedals, so Its price premium over the Yamaha YDP-163 will be more than $500 when you include the cost of these accessories.



Well, let's check that out ....

https://www.zzounds.com/item--KAWES8?siid=189688

https://www.zzounds.com/item--YAMYDP163?siid=186671

It appears at zzounds.com they are exactly $500 different.





Yes, the ZZounds listing shows a picture of the Kawai ES8 with its stand and pedals, but the small print says "NOTE: Stand, Pedals, and Case not included".

The "Related Accessories" sidebar says the stand is available for $259 and the pedals for $169, so you will need to add $428 to the $1999 price of the ES8 slab, for a total of $2427.

Therefore, the difference in price with the Yamaha YDP-163 is $928. Not in the same price category, in my opinion.



Yes .... you are absolutely right.

I did not notice that.

Pretty sneaky.

I will have to think twice for future purchases with zzounds.


Don

Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - Completed Chapter 5

Pianoteq, Spacestation v.3 Powered Stereo Monitor
Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: JoeCB] #2730938
04/22/18 05:20 PM
04/22/18 05:20 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 191
Germany
T
Tyr Offline
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Tyr  Offline
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T

Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 191
Germany
I can't recommend the YDP-163. I had it for one day as a replacement for my P-115 at that time and I was disappointed. The sound and action was terrible compared to the P-115 and it's twice the costs. The low end home pianos tend to suck most of the money into the furniture instead of sound and action. This will change at 2.000€ and above.


Kawai Novus NV10
Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: Tyr] #2730942
04/22/18 05:40 PM
04/22/18 05:40 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 3,595
Portugal
T
toddy Offline
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Joined: Sep 2011
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Portugal
Originally Posted by Tyr
I can't recommend the YDP-163. I had it for one day as a replacement for my P-115 at that time and I was disappointed. The sound and action was terrible compared to the P-115 and it's twice the costs. The low end home pianos tend to suck most of the money into the furniture instead of sound and action. This will change at 2.000€ and above.


In terms of action, this is very curious because the p115 has the basic hammer action GHS (difficult to control precisely and lumpy in feel) while the Arius 163 has GH3 - Yamaha's midrange three sensor action. It is in a higher league altogether, I think, though admittedly not a state of the art DP action in 2018.


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

Reaper / Native Instruments K9 ult / ESQL MOR2 Symph Orchestra & Choirs / Lucato & Parravicini , trumpets & saxes / Garritan CFX lite / Production Voices C7 & Steinway D compact

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Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: Tyr] #2730944
04/22/18 05:48 PM
04/22/18 05:48 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9
J
JoeCB Offline OP
Junior Member
JoeCB  Offline OP
Junior Member
J

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9
@mabraman
@dmd

Thank you both for the insight. I've heard some really great things about the ES8 that echo what you've said.

@Steve.L

I've also wondered about how soon the ES8 replacement will arrive. I may consider the ES110 especially considering the much lower price, but -- $2k budget allowing -- I wanted something that is closest to an acoustic to practice on, and hopefully upgrade to an acoustic within the next 5 years or something.Thanks for the input!


Originally Posted by Lotus1
JoeCB, they are both excellent pianos but not really in the same price category. The Kawai ES8 does not come with a stand or three pedals, so Its price premium over the Yamaha YDP-163 will be more than $500 when you include the cost of these accessories. Their features don't exactly match and you would do well to compare specifications on their manufacturers' websites.

Regarding portability, note that the ES8 weighs 50 lbs without a stand. Yes, it is more easily moved than the YDP-163, but most keyboards considered "portable" weigh 25-30 lbs. If portability is important to you, there are several good "slabs" in the $500-1000 range (with stand and pedals) such as the Casio PX-160, Kawai ES110, Roland FP-30 and Yamaha P-115.

If you like the Yamaha sound, you might consider the DGX-660, which has useful accompaniment features for the pop/rock music that you play. It is an upgraded P-115 -- same key touch, but with 500+ tones, display screen and stand -- for around $800. Its weight is similar to that of the ES8, so not really portable.

If portability is not an important factor, there are several console-style pianos in the $1000-1500 range that may be of interest. The Kawai KDP110 comes to mind, but Casio has several Privia (< $1000) and Celviano (>$1000) models, Roland a few choices, and Yamaha other models in its Arius series in addition to the YDP-163.

I would not concern myself too much with tweaking settings through the virtual technician, at least at the beginning. All these instruments have several fine piano alternatives (tones) built-in, and I would be surprised if one of them does not meet your needs right away. Especially since you are upgrading from a $100 keyboard!

The prices above are the typical selling prices in the US, though percentage-off sales at major retailers are not unusual. Good luck with your decision!



Thanks for this comprehensive advice, Lotus1.

Am I losing a lot of quality going with the ES110? I've heard that the sounds are the same as the ES8, but the key action would be much worse? Insight there would be appreciated, thanks.

The 50 pounds I don't mind. Portability would be seldom, but I'd love to have the option versus having a console piano that takes breaking down to transport.

The DGX-660 sounds interesting, I will take a look, thank you.

Also, the KDP110 I will look at.

There are so many options that it can be confusing. The most important thing to me is probably the ability to play expressively with touch sensitivity. So whatever is the best bang for buck with that, is probably good for me. Again, coming from a $100 keyboard, it's the #1 thing that I don't have right now and want to develop that skill.

If there isn't much difference that someone like me would notice, it's hard not to go with a less expensive, $700-$1000 digital piano -- if the key action is similar enough. But I hate the idea of spending years on a digital piano to have to "relearn" certain things when I upgrade to an acoustic -- or more immediately, if I play on someone else's acoustic, to not be able to play well after all this practice.

I'm a little lost but will try to work through and figure out which is best for me. Thank you very much!

Originally Posted by Finfan
Sound, feel, and how much you enjoy a particular digital piano are all totally subjective. As was said before you should try as many different pianos as you can before making a decision. If you want portable then look at the various slab pianos that are out there. Digital pianos are basically a "consumer electronics" which means that by the time you buy one somebody else will come out with something that is "better". There are many people who cannot stand not having the latest and greatest. I take that to mean that God is just telling them they have too much money. If you are not among that crowd them find one that you feel will meet your current needs and give you room to grow. I own an ES8 and think it will probably be all the piano I'll ever need. At least until it wears out and fails. It's up to you to judge your own requirements.


I understand completely. I just want something that sounds amazing, has great touch/action to play expressively, and will last a long time. Whether or not something new comes out, as you stated, the ES8 or whatever is comparable is more than enough piano for me. Certainly for me personally (only been playing for a year), but I imagine for the type of music I like to play, I won't ever need much more than that. Thanks for the input.

Originally Posted by Tyr
I can't recommend the YDP-163. I had it for one day as a replacement for my P-115 at that time and I was disappointed. The sound and action was terrible compared to the P-115 and it's twice the costs. The low end home pianos tend to suck most of the money into the furniture instead of sound and action. This will change at 2.000€ and above.


Thank you Tyr, I will take that into consideration.

I really don't think I'm going to be getting the 163 or any console piano anymore. The portable is just too convenient, and I'd also just get a console stand for it for home.

Thanks everyone for your responses, I really appreciate the insight.

After hearing the opinions, I do think I might consider something in the $700-$1000 range to see if anything compares to what I need -- but I will def. take the recommendation and bring headphones along and playtest a few more times. I'd hate to get something that I want to upgrade from a year from now.

Thank you!

Edit: After Lotus1's recommendation on checking some more portable DP's, the ES110 looks pretty awesome. What am I going to be missing the most versus spending an extra $1300 on the ES8?

I am not asking anyone to read the stats and specs for me, I'm not trying to be lazy -- but I wish I understood the technical differences a little more. I assume the key action isn't going to be nearly as good?

Last edited by JoeCB; 04/22/18 05:52 PM.
Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: JoeCB] #2730947
04/22/18 06:26 PM
04/22/18 06:26 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 61
S
Steve.L Offline
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Steve.L  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 61
Originally Posted by JoeCB
@Steve.L

I've also wondered about how soon the ES8 replacement will arrive. I may consider the ES110 especially considering the much lower price, but -- $2k budget allowing -- I wanted something that is closest to an acoustic to practice on, and hopefully upgrade to an acoustic within the next 5 years or something.Thanks for the input!
FWIW, I closed my eyes and tried out both the ES8 and ES110 keyboard actions prior to making my purchase decision and found them to be very similar. The ES8 has triple sensors vs. double sensors for the 110, tho, which "in theory" should provide greater responsiveness. That said, I'm not at all an accomplished a player and I'm able to execute pretty realistic trills on the ES110, so I'm not sure how much I'm missing vs. the ES8.

Where the ES110 falls short compared to the ES8, IMHO, is in the quality of the sampled sounds, especially if you plan on relying on the built-in amplifier and speakers. The difference is not as great using headphones, to my ears. I had a Casio 860 prior to the ES110, and the sampled sounds were great. Better even than the ES8, to my ears. Problem with the Casio was with the relatively "clunky" action. Funny thing is I was OK with the Casio action, until I tried the Kawais.

Last edited by Steve.L; 04/22/18 06:28 PM.
Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: Steve.L] #2730948
04/22/18 06:31 PM
04/22/18 06:31 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9
J
JoeCB Offline OP
Junior Member
JoeCB  Offline OP
Junior Member
J

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9
Originally Posted by Steve.L
Originally Posted by JoeCB
@Steve.L

I've also wondered about how soon the ES8 replacement will arrive. I may consider the ES110 especially considering the much lower price, but -- $2k budget allowing -- I wanted something that is closest to an acoustic to practice on, and hopefully upgrade to an acoustic within the next 5 years or something.Thanks for the input!
FWIW, I closed my eyes and tried out both the ES8 and ES110 keyboard actions prior to making my purchase decision and found them to be very similar. The ES8 has triple sensors vs. double sensors for the 110, tho, which "in theory" should provide greater responsiveness. That said, I'm not at all an accomplished a player and I'm able to execute pretty realistic trills on the ES110, so I'm not sure how much I'm missing vs. the ES8.

Where the ES110 falls short compared to the ES8, IMHO, is in the quality of the sampled sounds, especially if you plan on relying on the built-in amplifier and speakers. The difference is not as great using headphones, to my ears. I had a Casio 860 prior to the ES110, and the sampled sounds were great. Better even than the ES8, to my ears. Problem with the Casio was with the relatively "clunky" action. Funny thing is I was OK with the Casio action, until I tried the Kawais.


Thanks Steve!

I am getting more and more intrigued with the ES110. If the keyboard action is similar (which is easy to believe since it's many years newer than the ES8?), then I can use some of the $1300 savings to get a decent speaker for it...

Someone recommended getting studios monitors for whatever DP I end up getting so that would work out well. I don't know anything about studio monitors (I didn't even know that meant "speaker system," lol) and will have to do research on that front next.

Thanks again, very helpful.

Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: JoeCB] #2730954
04/22/18 06:51 PM
04/22/18 06:51 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,903
Pennsylvania
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dmd Offline
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Joined: Apr 2009
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Pennsylvania
Originally Posted by JoeCB
Someone recommended getting studios monitors for whatever DP I end up getting so that would work out well. I don't know anything about studio monitors (I didn't even know that meant "speaker system," lol) and will have to do research on that front next.


Well, for what it is worth .....

I have some pretty high quality powered monitors and I prefer the built-in speakers in my ES8. They are excellent speakers.


Don

Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - Completed Chapter 5

Pianoteq, Spacestation v.3 Powered Stereo Monitor
Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: JoeCB] #2730958
04/22/18 07:13 PM
04/22/18 07:13 PM
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Posts: 95
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Lotus1 Offline
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JoeCB, I'm glad my earlier comments were of some help. The challenge is that the "best bang for the buck" is probably in the $700-1000 range, but a $2000 piano will clearly be better than one a third of the price, and feel closer to an acoustic piano. That said, no digital quite feels like an acoustic, acoustic uprights feel different from acoustic grands, and each acoustic feels different from another.

I highly recommend first trying the Casio PX-160, Kawai ES110, Roland FP-30 and Yamaha P-115, for touch and tone. They feel and sound different, but are all popular pianos as they are the entry-level weighted versions for each brand. Each has several piano choices built-in. If you want an "ensemble piano" with hundreds of instruments in addition to the piano tones, plus accompaniment options, then try the Casio PX-360 and the Yamaha DGX-660, which have the same touch and tone as their "straight piano" counterparts listed above.

I made a choice that would be considered unusual by many on this forum, considering my experience. I returned to the piano a few months ago after 40 years away, having studied it for 10 years as a child -- lessons 2-3x/week, several levels of British exams, etc. I chose the Yamaha DGX-660, despite its entry-level GHS key action, as the overall package met my needs very well. See my detailed review elsewhere (click on my name and look for other posts), if interested. That review includes a few comments on pianos from other manufacturers.

You cannot go wrong with any of the pianos named in this thread, by me or by others. After buying one, don't rethink your choice or consider upgrading for several years, just practice a lot on the one you have. I spend an hour or two on mine every day, see steady progress, and am content with my choice. Good luck!

Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: JoeCB] #2730967
04/22/18 07:34 PM
04/22/18 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeCB

Am I losing a lot of quality going with the ES110? I've heard that the sounds are the same as the ES8, but the key action would be much worse? Insight there would be appreciated, thanks.

The 50 pounds I don't mind. Portability would be seldom, but I'd love to have the option versus having a console piano that takes breaking down to transport.


I think the ES8's speakers and especially action are a big step up over the ES110. However, it's just barely portable at 49 pounds...


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
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Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: JoeCB] #2730975
04/22/18 08:34 PM
04/22/18 08:34 PM
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Yes, the ES8's sound, action, amp/speaker, and feature specifications are all superior to the ES110.

The ES110 is obviously a lighter instrument, and has the benefit of built-in Bluetooth functionality (although this can be added to the ES8 with a $50 adaptor).

If customers favour a lighter weight instrument, the ES110, along with the Roland FP30, Yamaha P-115/P-125, and Casio PX-160. Are arguably the best options. If weight is less of a concern, the ES8, Roland FP90, Yamaha P-255 are all superior to their small, lower price siblings.

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 ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: Kawai James] #2730991
04/22/18 09:38 PM
04/22/18 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Lotus1
The challenge is that the "best bang for the buck" is probably in the $700-1000 range, but a $2000 piano will clearly be better than one a third of the price, and feel closer to an acoustic piano. That said, no digital quite feels like an acoustic, acoustic uprights feel different from acoustic grands, and each acoustic feels different from another.

I highly recommend first trying the Casio PX-160, Kawai ES110, Roland FP-30 and Yamaha P-115, for touch and tone. They feel and sound different, but are all popular pianos as they are the entry-level weighted versions for each brand. Each has several piano choices built-in. If you want an "ensemble piano" with hundreds of instruments in addition to the piano tones, plus accompaniment options, then try the Casio PX-360 and the Yamaha DGX-660, which have the same touch and tone as their "straight piano" counterparts listed above.

You cannot go wrong with any of the pianos named in this thread, by me or by others. After buying one, don't rethink your choice or consider upgrading for several years, just practice a lot on the one you have. I spend an hour or two on mine every day, see steady progress, and am content with my choice. Good luck!


Thanks again, I am going tomorrow to test out the ES110 and FP-30 specifically, but will make sure to look at the others you all have mentioned. Congrats on coming back to the piano after 4 decades away, I'm sure it's a special and very nostalgic/welcoming experience.


Originally Posted by dmd
Well, for what it is worth .....

I have some pretty high quality powered monitors and I prefer the built-in speakers in my ES8. They are excellent speakers.


That's impressive. Good to know, thanks!


Originally Posted by Kawai James
Yes, the ES8's sound, action, amp/speaker, and feature specifications are all superior to the ES110.

The ES110 is obviously a lighter instrument, and has the benefit of built-in Bluetooth functionality (although this can be added to the ES8 with a $50 adaptor).

If customers favour a lighter weight instrument, the ES110, along with the Roland FP30, Yamaha P-115/P-125, and Casio PX-160. Are arguably the best options. If weight is less of a concern, the ES8, Roland FP90, Yamaha P-255 are all superior to their small, lower price siblings.

Kind regards,
James
x


Thank you James. I'm going to try the more portable line-up and compare to see which fits me best.

Thanks everyone, I've watched a dozen or so reviews on the various models and think it's come down to a piano in the $750-$1k range. I will update this thread when I've tried the lineup again.

Question: How does the action compare between the ES110 and FP-30? It seems that the ES110 has 2 sensors whereas the FP-30 has 3 sensors? Looking into this now...

Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: JoeCB] #2730999
04/22/18 10:07 PM
04/22/18 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeCB

Question: How does the action compare between the ES110 and FP-30? It seems that the ES110 has 2 sensors whereas the FP-30 has 3 sensors? Looking into this now...


How the action responds to your playing is certainly important, which is a big part of what the sensors do. But, how the action feels, independent of the sensors is also important. If you play, be sure to spend enough time practicing on the floor model to get a feel for it beyond just the first impression.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: JoeCB] #2731003
04/22/18 10:52 PM
04/22/18 10:52 PM
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Agreed.

How the action "feels" is not really something that one can appreciate from an online review or video, you really need to play the instruments with your own hands.

However, it's perhaps worth noting that the sensor on the ES110's RHC keyboard action is activated by a hammer, rather that directly by the key itself. This is not always the case on similarly-priced instruments.

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 ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: Kawai James] #2731103
04/23/18 09:31 AM
04/23/18 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
How the action "feels" is not really something that one can appreciate from an online review or video, you really need to play the instruments with your own hands.
Agree 100%. After doing a lot of research, I really thought triple vs dual sensor was going to be a notable step down in "playability". Have to say after living with the RH "compact" action for the past 6 weeks, that's not the case at all.

Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: Steve.L] #2731121
04/23/18 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve.L
Originally Posted by Kawai James
How the action "feels" is not really something that one can appreciate from an online review or video, you really need to play the instruments with your own hands.
Agree 100%. After doing a lot of research, I really thought triple vs dual sensor was going to be a notable step down in "playability". Have to say after living with the RH "compact" action for the past 6 weeks, that's not the case at all.


Thank you James & Steve.

Today I'll be playtesting some more.

Steve, did you ever look at the KDP110? Did you test it? Would love to know your thoughts especially the key action. Thanks!

Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: JoeCB] #2731136
04/23/18 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeCB
Steve, did you ever look at the KDP110? Did you test it? Would love to know your thoughts especially the key action. Thanks!
I didn't try the KDP110. Just spent a lot of time comparing the ES110 to the ES8.

I notice the KDP110 has an RHCII action, vs RHC for the ES110. Not sure if it's an "upgrade" or just different because of the overall piano structure. They sure look similar, based on the pics below. Maybe James can tell us how similar they are.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Steve.L; 04/23/18 11:31 AM.
Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: Steve.L] #2731151
04/23/18 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve.L


I notice the KDP110 has an RHCII action, vs RHC for the ES110. Not sure if it's an "upgrade" or just different because of the overall piano structure. They sure look similar, based on the pics below. Maybe James can tell us how similar they are.


Wow, there's already an RHCII? Kawai sure doesn't sit still on action refinement/variation, do they?

From a larger image on the KDP110 site, it seems the main difference is RHCII is triple-sensor, whereas RHC is two-sensor:

[Linked Image]


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50 || Kawai NV-10, MP11
Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: Steve.L] #2731179
04/23/18 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve.L
After doing a lot of research, I really thought triple vs dual sensor was going to be a notable step down in "playability". Have to say after living with the RH "compact" action for the past 6 weeks, that's not the case at all.


I was surprised by this as well. I didn't get a chance to test Kawai's RHC 2-sensor action, but found little difference between Casio's SHA-2 3-sensor, Roland's PHA-4 3-sensor and Yamaha's GHS 2-sensor actions in their ability to repeat notes quickly or play trills at my speed. I do not doubt that players with superior skills may feel the difference, but I could not -- and was quite surprised. Of course, these actions feel very different overall in terms of touch weight, action noise, escapement, etc.

I always think of this video when an entry-level 2-sensor action is dismissed, even for a beginner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rR-hGy3XIpA
(a college student playing the 1st movement of Mozart's K.284 on a $500 piano!)

Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: JoeCB] #2731280
04/23/18 09:39 PM
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Thanks all for your help.

I went back to test some of the models today that you all kindly recommended.

From the P115, to some Casios, as well as a few other brands I haven't heard of in the same price range.

It came down to the FP-30 and ES110, and I can happily say that the ES110 very conclusively fits my preferences for both touch and tone. It took a little while to compare the two side by side. Thank you for strongly recommending for me to go and thoroughly test them vs taking other's opinions above my individual impression.

I'll be picking it up this week and can't wait to learn and get used to a sustain peddle and the ability to play expressively.

Thanks again.

Does anyone have any good experiences with a simple amp to go along with it? Not for a huge audience, more for a little get together in a small backyard. Any insight would be great. I saw a Roland one for $200 when testing the pianos but don't know much about amps and that sort of thing. Thanks!

Re: Kawai ES8 vs Yamaha YDP-163 [Re: JoeCB] #2731283
04/23/18 10:20 PM
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Great choice, JoeCB!

The nice thing about the ES110 is that it comes with a metal-tongue continuous sustain pedal, so you won't have to upgrade from the plastic on-off sustain switches that come with many entry-level pianos. You can always add the optional three-pedal unit if you decide to get the optional wooden stand, but the other two pedals are rarely used, even in classical music.

I'm sure you're looking forward to your new piano. Best wishes for continued progress!

Last edited by Lotus1; 04/23/18 10:22 PM.
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