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Kawai MP11 Case/Bag #2645738
05/21/17 02:18 PM
05/21/17 02:18 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 11
Northallerton, England
JoeCPiano Offline OP
Junior Member
JoeCPiano  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 11
Northallerton, England
Hi Everyone,

I use my Kawai MP11 for gigging and I couldn't imagine using another instrument. However, the major downfall is the weight coming in at 33kg on its own. I have a swanflight case which is solid but I'm finding it too impractical to carry around due to the weight. I think the total weight with the keyboard is 50kg which as you can imagine is bordering on stupidity particularly for my solo work. It's got to the point where I only use the case when it's in the house and I just take it out to gig with unprotected which is an accident waiting to happen.

I've been looking for alternatives to my swanflight case and there doesn't seem to be much in the market that provides strength with lightweight design. The best I've managed to find is Soundwear stagebag XL available on thommann for a small fortune. I'd be happy with something weighing about 7kg but anymore and I've not reduced much weight off the total.

Any ideas?

Cheers.

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Re: Kawai MP11 Case/Bag [Re: JoeCPiano] #2645775
05/21/17 03:53 PM
05/21/17 03:53 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 339
England
P
propianist Offline
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propianist  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 339
England
I carry a Kawai MP8 to gigs in a Stagg KTC150 soft case.
Piano = 32kg, case = 11kg, total = 43kg.
Yes, it's heavy, especially going up flights of stairs & fire escapes, or carrying it a long walk over a muddy field to a festival stage, where you can't put it down in the dirt even to rest if you don't want all that sticky mud getting in the boot of your Mercedes, but on most clean ground you can roll it on wheels most of the time.

Possible solutions are...
1. Man up and grow some bigger muscles!

2. Get a roadie or somebody to help you, or someone at the venue you're working.

3. Buy a folding equipment trolley like this which will make the job easier.

4. Buy a lighter secondary keyboard like Kawai MP7 to use on "difficult" venues if you're really struggling with weight of MP11. Find out in advance where you're playing, and if the car park / loading bay is very near and easy access to ground floor location take the normal MP11, but if it's lots of spiral stairs or hotel service elevator, through the hotel kitchen, miles of corridors and heavy double fire doors, then take the MP7 to that particular venue and make life easier. I take doorstop wedges to gigs with me, and they can help the load / unload journey in some awkward venues.
Nobody in the audience will hear the difference between MP7 and MP11, but you'll surely appreciate the wooden keys more next time you do play them!
It might not be a bad idea to have a spare secondary backup emergency keyboard if you're regularly taking your MP11 out unprotected with no case, because even rain downpour or a nasty bang into a doorframe could break it and leave you scuppered. It is an accident waiting to happen as you say.

5. Work in venues where there is already a grand piano.

Most of my solo piano gigs are on a real grand piano, but I need my Kawai MP8 for band gigs where numerous other keyboard sounds are required too - brass / strings / Hammond / Rhodes / organs / flute / sax / woodwinds etc. depending on the band line up / songs, so I need the MP8 for it's wooden keys and 256 internal sounds. I cannot buy an MP11 because it doesn't have those vital 256 internal sounds thanks to Kawai's stupid R&D team removing them, and MIDI'ing up external modules / laptop is too much hassle at band gig, less reliable and requires extra mixer channels, and unnecessary given I have the MP8 already. I'll never buy an MP7 because I hate all plastic action keyboards and will never compromise to that.
Subtle details of piano sounds (in a band context) get swallowed up in the ensemble mix 99% of time, so internal pianos are good enough from either MP8 or MP11 for band work, whereas for serious exposed solo piano gig on digital keyboard if no grand piano is available at the venue, frankly neither MP11 or MP8 internal pianos are really up to the same quality level of my software pianos running on laptop, so I'd rather use software piano with Kawai's wooden action for solo piano gig.


There aren't many other ways to reduce the weight of the MP11 in any heavy duty enough flightcase worthy of protecting it. You could buy a thousand helium balloons, but you'd never fit them all in the car boot...!!!

Last edited by propianist; 05/21/17 04:15 PM.
Re: Kawai MP11 Case/Bag [Re: JoeCPiano] #2645899
05/22/17 01:19 AM
05/22/17 01:19 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,836
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Online content
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Kawai James  Online Content
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Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,836
Hamamatsu, Japan
JoeCPiano, I don't have a great deal of advice I'm afraid. However I can appreciate your dilemma or wishing to perform using the most realistic keyboard action, but worrying about accidents if not packing the board in a strong case.

In the pass I have seen 'chopped' MP8s with less than 88 keys...I think one was an MP9000 with just 44-keys...pretty cool, and presumably half the weight...although I accept that not everyone has the means (or desire) to modify their instrument in this way.

Cheers,
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: Kawai MP11 Case/Bag [Re: JoeCPiano] #2646336
05/23/17 11:34 AM
05/23/17 11:34 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,653
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Morodiene  Offline
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Boynton Beach, FL
I have the GK-88 for my MP11. It's a soft case with reinforced corners and has wheels. It's still a beast, but not as much as a hard case.

The only thing I don't like is that the pouch in front can't fit the pedal unit. I can get the music rest in there though and cables. So you may want to look at the pro version: http://gatorcases.com/products/keyb...yboard/88-note-keybaord-gig-bag-g-pg-88/ (nice typo, wonder if Gator knows about it)


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Kawai MP11 Case/Bag [Re: JoeCPiano] #2646473
05/23/17 05:18 PM
05/23/17 05:18 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 203
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pianomike Offline
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pianomike  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 203
Hi Joe, I have a soft gator case without wheels but I also have a dolly with rubber wheels that have air in them to soften the ride. They both fit in my Honda insight.

Re: Kawai MP11 Case/Bag [Re: Morodiene] #2646660
05/24/17 10:15 AM
05/24/17 10:15 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 11
Northallerton, England
JoeCPiano Offline OP
Junior Member
JoeCPiano  Offline OP
Junior Member

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 11
Northallerton, England
Thanks for the Suggestions. Morodiene, how do you find the height fits as the cases you have suggested are 1.5inches too short?

Cheers!

Re: Kawai MP11 Case/Bag [Re: JoeCPiano] #2646700
05/24/17 12:56 PM
05/24/17 12:56 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,653
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Morodiene  Offline
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Posts: 16,653
Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted by JoeCPiano
Thanks for the Suggestions. Morodiene, how do you find the height fits as the cases you have suggested are 1.5inches too short?

Cheers!

It fits, but it is tight. smile


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Kawai MP11 Case/Bag [Re: Morodiene] #2646965
05/25/17 02:50 PM
05/25/17 02:50 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,085
Glendale, Ca.
D
Dave Ferris Offline
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Dave Ferris  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,085
Glendale, Ca.
I don't have any suggestions but just wanted to give you a major tip of the cap for not compromising on your instrument.

From around 2007 into late 2010 (when the Yamaha CP5 was released ) I schlepped around the Yamaha CP300. I think the weight is close to identical to that of the MP11. I was age 54 to 58 during that time. Yamaha did make a soft bag that was actually pretty robust for the CP300 . I think it was the YBB 88. I have the smaller one now for my CP4 that was made for the CP33. Unfortunately they don't make them anymore.

I've heard nothing but excellent reports on the Soundwear heavy duty bags. I almost ordered one for the CP5 and then again for the CP4 but I found this Yamaha YBB one used for $75 and it's been holding up ok. I'll probably go with the Gator bag when it finally falls apart.

Since the early '80s I've moved my gear with a Gemini Jr. Magliner dolly. It's pretty beefy, rolls on all kinds of funky/uneven surfaces great. But it doesn't fold up compact like the Rock-in-Roller carts that are popular. It just goes into a hand truck type form. So you need a wagon, small SUV or some kind of cavernous hatchback to transport. I have a newer Subaru Forester, but most often I take our 2011 Prius to gigs and everything fits great. With the dolly I can usually get everything in one trip on it. Of course with stairs and other obstacles you encounter in older buildings in large cities , there are more logistical problems to deal with...that never make things easy.

I am happy with the CP4 , great action and sound aside. It's not the lightest and certainly not the heaviest at 38 lbs. But at almost 64 years old, I can handle it with ease on practically every gig I do.


https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D
Yamaha CP4, CP5
Re: Kawai MP11 Case/Bag [Re: JoeCPiano] #2647219
05/26/17 11:01 AM
05/26/17 11:01 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 11
Northallerton, England
JoeCPiano Offline OP
Junior Member
JoeCPiano  Offline OP
Junior Member

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 11
Northallerton, England
Thanks for all the advice. I bought the GK88 as recommended by morodiene. I looked at the professional one but it didn't have wheels or the supports at the back which I feel is a must for sufficient protection. I've just put the keyboard in the case and its snug but not stretched by any imagination. Great space for the stand at the front which is one less thing to forget. It seems quite well built, far more sturdy than expected. I can't imagine the handle would survive much use as it seems to be stitched on. The way I see it is it's a good mid point between my swanflight case and nothing.

Dave, I think I'm going to follow your advice and get a dolly. I did a gig in the centre of York last Christmas and I ended up making about 5-6 trips to get all my gear. It was a nightmare as I had to go through a kitchen, down a corridor, up a lift and down another corridor. Could of been much less painful had I used a dolly.

I'm looking at the rock n roller stuff currently but I'm going to look at the Gemini dolly as you have mentioned.

Thanks for all the advice. I wouldn't of bought the gator case without recommendation.

Cheers,

Joe

Re: Kawai MP11 Case/Bag [Re: JoeCPiano] #2647564
05/27/17 11:01 AM
05/27/17 11:01 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,653
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Morodiene  Offline
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Boynton Beach, FL
Glad you like it! I think a dolly makes a lot of sense too.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Kawai MP11 Case/Bag [Re: JoeCPiano] #2733352
05/01/18 06:04 PM
05/01/18 06:04 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 147
Suburban Detroit, Michigan
S
Skyscrapersax Offline
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Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 147
Suburban Detroit, Michigan
Hi guys ... I just ordered the GK 88 due to the above comments. I need to transport my Kawai MP 11 in my van 700 miles to NYC. Can I place it back side (not bottom) down on the cushy bed in my van in safety? That will save a lot of space. Thanks!


"Music Is Inherently Evanescent. Once You Play It, It's Gone In The Air" ~ Eric Dolphy

Selmer Mark VI Tenor Saxophone (1973), Selmer Mark VI Alto Saxophone (1956), Yamaha YSS-62 Soprano Saxophone (1987), Yamaha WX5 Wind Synth (2013), Kawai 11, Casio PX5S, Roland VR-09, Hammond E-112 (1969).

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