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Considered Kawai ES110 but noisy keyboard #2743251
06/09/18 04:52 PM
06/09/18 04:52 PM
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Seattle, WA. USA
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rmgrenley Offline OP
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I am just starting the process of looking for a compact and not too expensive DP for our vacation home. (Inherited a Chickering baby grand from parents that I took lessons on for years as a kid, and that is our home piano.) Now 63 and retired and wanting to get back to playing more. I do not care about "other" sounds and features, I just want the sound and action as close to an acoustic piano as possible, and ideally in a $1000 and under price range. Based on online and youtube reviews I was considering the Kawai ES110 vs the Roland FP30 vs the Yamaha P125...and based on reviews was leaning towards the Kawai ES110 but again this was without trying them out. Anyway, went to see the Yamaha but they did not have the 125 on display, but they did have the P115 on display, and it just did not feel very much like an acoustic in its feel or action.

Then found a store that had a Kawai ES110 and Roland FP30 side by side to compare. I was really turned off by how loud the keyboard "bounce back" was on the Kawai, if that is the correct term. Unless I was playing it at max volume, when I took by fingers off the keys, let's say releasing them off a chord with the left hand, the audible "THUD" was annoying to me. I realize that even acoustic pianos make some noise when the keys are released, but this was LOUD. I also noticed that the Roland FP30 was much much quieter in this regard and did not bother me at all.

Both actions felt OK to me, the Kawai lighter and the Roland a little heavier, but I am not sure that I could get used to that Kawai "thud". Somewhere on this forum I think I read some discussion of someone trying "fix" the Kawai action and this noisy "release" or "bounce back" by adding felt dampers, but this is more than I would want to deal with. Now I am having trouble finding that thread. Is this an issue with the next Kawai up, the ES8 as well?

I am surprised that in all the reviews of the Kawai, both online and on youtube, this keyboard noise is not usually mentioned. Is that because this was particularly noisy on this one demo unit I played at this dealer? Or am I paying too much attention to this noise when the keys are released and after a while people don't notice it? Was this degree of keyboard noise representative of this model?

I thought this was going to be an easier choice and i was just going to order the Kawai and be happy, but I am glad I got a chance to play it first. I am not sure I want to go up to a $2000 price range, though I might be talked into going a few hundred over $1000 if it made a huge difference. But we really have limited space in our vacation home, and depth is a major size factor, which is why I was looking at portable DP's on their wood stands in that roughly 11-12 inch depth rather than a larger console type unit. I am not going to be taking it to gigs, so I was looking at the portables more for size and ease of placement than portability.

Anyway, I would appreciate any advice, and any discussion of the keyboard noise issue with the Kawai that might help me in my decision making process.
Thank you!
Robert

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Re: Considered Kawai ES110 but noisy keyboard [Re: rmgrenley] #2743261
06/09/18 05:31 PM
06/09/18 05:31 PM
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Vadesriux Offline
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Hi. I am waiting for the delivery of my second ES110. Coming from a top of the line Roland RD2000. Confused? I can explain.

First things first. The thud you mentioned is totally normal on Kawai's digital (slab) pianos. I have tried the ES8, the MP7SE and the ES110, and all, in some way or another make that mechanism noise, which by itself, after some days playing it you wont notice anymore. The ES110 I have returned had a different noise on some keys, kind of a friction noise when playing. So I am waiting for the replacement.

Why did I trade a $2500 RD2000 for a $600 ES110? Well... Piano Sound! The Roland, with its miriad of different acoustic pianos had none that sounded so meticulously close to a real piano as the Kawai. It's really incredible but Kawai piano samples are THAT good. One thing I have to say about the RD though, is that the PHA-50 keybed is AWESOME. Very playable, comfortable and relatively quiet. I say relatively because it is Not quiet. It also makes a thud when hiting the keys. I also have had a Yamaha CP4 for trial, a great and much praised keybed if you read online, and it also had a noisy mechanism.

The ES110 boucing key return is present also on the ES8 and MP7SE. It is as I have said absolutely normal on Kawais and part of the RH2 and RH3 key mechanism and contributes to the speed of playing you may need when - or if you are - an advanced player already.

So you will be very well served with the ES110. Also, as a side note, if you prefer a lighter touch keybed you must choose the ES110 since the ES8 / MP7SE keybeds has conterweights on each keys and the static touch (force you have to apply to start moving the key) is a littler stiffer than on the ES110. Personally I prefer the lighter touch of the 110.

Hope to have helped!

Last edited by Vadesriux; 06/09/18 05:35 PM.

Eduardo
Re: Considered Kawai ES110 but noisy keyboard [Re: rmgrenley] #2743264
06/09/18 05:38 PM
06/09/18 05:38 PM
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Learux Online content
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Consider the Casio PX line they make great DP's for the price. I just sold my PX-870 and it was a great piano.



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Schimmel SP-182T
Re: Considered Kawai ES110 but noisy keyboard [Re: rmgrenley] #2743266
06/09/18 05:39 PM
06/09/18 05:39 PM
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There are some videos on YouTube of the ‘ES110 key noise’ where people are asking similar questions, and showing recordings they have made that you may be able to use as comparison. Most DP actions make some noise, some more than others. It can be hard to get past one that annoys you, once you hear it you may always hear it. My own one is quite clunky, but consistently so, and I have got used to it, but don’t use headphones and play at typical acoustic sound levels. If just one, or a few keys made a different noise that would annoy me. I would say get the DP, with key action, you like.

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Re: Considered Kawai ES110 but noisy keyboard [Re: Vadesriux] #2743270
06/09/18 05:57 PM
06/09/18 05:57 PM
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Is this true? Do Kawai keyboard make a thud, audible at all time unless the piano is set to max volume?
Originally Posted by Vadesriux
The thud you mentioned is totally normal on Kawai's digital (slab) pianos. ... After some days playing it you won't notice anymore.
If so I'd recommend looking for a different keyboard.

Now, I don't have a slab. And I don't have a Kawai. Mine is a Yamaha console.
But there is no thud. Not when new ten years ago, and not now.
And I've not noticed it in the shops when examining the Kawai CA consoles.

If there were a thud I'd surely not "get used to it".

Re: Considered Kawai ES110 but noisy keyboard [Re: rmgrenley] #2743283
06/09/18 07:21 PM
06/09/18 07:21 PM
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huaidongxi Offline
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rmgrenly, my age and employment status are similar to yours, and have also looked at digital pianos in that budget range for use outside our home. there's no substitute for playing as many different models as you can tolerate. every digital in that price range will make different compromises on the type of action they choose. in the higher price tiers the manufacturers go to greater expense (and weight) to approach normal piano keys and actions, including wooden keys in some instances. on a budget you have to figure out which compromises in a given model you'll be able to play through.

Re: Considered Kawai ES110 but noisy keyboard [Re: rmgrenley] #2743500
06/10/18 06:27 PM
06/10/18 06:27 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
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JazzBow Offline
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Having just gone through the stress of picking a new controller I can offer one piece of advice and that is don't assume that because the music store demo unit acts one way or the other that it's "normal". I tested the MP7 at one store and while I felt the quality was excellent, it was "thumpy" to me. Tried another one in a different store and it was much different. My conclusion is the first unit was beat to crap. Of course the argument that the unit doesn't hold up can be made, however, consider the fact that many people, lot's of kids, are pounding on these things every day. Some stores wrangle the little ones better than others.

I'm just restating the obvious.
I went with an RD-2000 BTW.

Re: Considered Kawai ES110 but noisy keyboard [Re: rmgrenley] #2743556
06/11/18 12:46 AM
06/11/18 12:46 AM
Joined: Jun 2018
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Seattle, WA. USA
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rmgrenley Offline OP
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Sat down at my Chickering baby grand that I have (rarely and intermittently) played over the past 55 years, and noted that it has a degree of key release or rebound “thud” that seems pretty close to the Kawai ES110 and I never noted it before...probably because the volume is louder than the Kawai on a quieter setting in the showroom. Hmmmmmmmm.

Re: Considered Kawai ES110 but noisy keyboard [Re: rmgrenley] #2746617
06/23/18 09:27 PM
06/23/18 09:27 PM
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Hello from the threads these 3 boards seem to be the ones most in contention in the $600-$700 range. Note that a certain retailer often offers 15%-20% as well. I apologize as I have this written in a few other threads today but this morning traded my Px-130 and Korg Sp-280 + leftover balance for a Kawai ES110. I currently have a Kawai ES8 but need something to play out with that is light and had speakers built in as well as a line out.

Kudos to Roland for the FP-30- i liked the action but it was 31 pounds and had no line outs- i don't want to line out from the headphone jacks with a y adaptor as that is what I was doing with the Casio.

I had a P95 years ago and thought the P125 was a nice steady improvement- it sounds good but the key action GHS doesn't really excite me. However i felt as though it was a good board.

I then decided on the ES110- true the action is a little lighter but it had the footprint and combination I was looking for. I think all keyboards make some sort of thump noise- I don't find it severe or that noticable on my ES8.

I was recently on a cruise ship (vacation) and played a lot- they had P255's in a shell. I thought the action was great and saw that one can be had sometimes for $1,040 .


Kawai Es8
Korg Krome 61
Yamaha P125
Re: Considered Kawai ES110 but noisy keyboard [Re: rmgrenley] #2746621
06/23/18 10:32 PM
06/23/18 10:32 PM
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Groove On Offline
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The Roland FP-60 is basically the FP-30 with the 1/4 Line Outs and 3.5mm Aux Stereo In. It is around US$600+ more than the FP-30.


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And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: Considered Kawai ES110 but noisy keyboard [Re: Groove On] #2746622
06/23/18 11:14 PM
06/23/18 11:14 PM
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anotherscott Offline
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Originally Posted by Groove On
The Roland FP-60 is basically the FP-30 with the 1/4 Line Outs and 3.5mm Aux Stereo In. It is around US$600+ more than the FP-30.

FP60 has way more sounds and way more controls and customization capabilities. Unfortunately, it weighs way more, too.

Re: Considered Kawai ES110 but noisy keyboard [Re: rmgrenley] #2746644
06/24/18 02:21 AM
06/24/18 02:21 AM
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Vadesriux Offline
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I can understand why you liked the ES110, owning also a ES8. And the reason is the Kawai piano sound. It is unbeatable in authenticity. Yamaha also.

As to the ES110 noisy keyboard. That is normal. I have a ES110 too and also a RD2000 for sale. The RD is 3 times more expensive and though it has a quality keybed the key mechanism is noisy too. Believe me.
So dont bother about the noise. It will only drag you to a painful and infinite search for the perfect noiseless keyboard. Which doesnt exists.


Eduardo
Re: Considered Kawai ES110 but noisy keyboard [Re: Vadesriux] #2746648
06/24/18 02:38 AM
06/24/18 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Vadesriux
So dont bother about the noise. It will only drag you to a painful and infinite search for the perfect noiseless keyboard. Which doesnt exists.


Well, they do exist. The wooden Kawai actions are an order of magnitude more quiet than their plastic actions. I had both MP7SE and VPC1 at home and the difference was VERY noticeable. ESP the "bounce back noise" really bothered me on the MP7SE and is completely absent on my VPC1.

Only problem is that neither the MP11SE nor the VPC1 are what I would call "portable". Them buggers are heavy!

So if you want portability above all else: yeah, you are out of luck as far as quiet actions are concerned.

PS: if you are sensitive to looped samples and can hear it, no built in sampled sound will satisfy you.

Last edited by Granyala; 06/24/18 02:39 AM.

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Re: Considered Kawai ES110 but noisy keyboard [Re: Granyala] #2746665
06/24/18 07:33 AM
06/24/18 07:33 AM
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anotherscott Offline
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Originally Posted by Granyala
PS: if you are sensitive to looped samples and can hear it, no built in sampled sound will satisfy you.

I believe Korg, Kurzweil, and Dexibell make keyboards with unlooped piano sounds.

Re: Considered Kawai ES110 but noisy keyboard [Re: rmgrenley] #2746669
06/24/18 07:48 AM
06/24/18 07:48 AM
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And Roland smile In its case no model has looped piano sounds since a coue of generations ago, if I'm not wrong.

Re: Considered Kawai ES110 but noisy keyboard [Re: anotherscott] #2746670
06/24/18 07:53 AM
06/24/18 07:53 AM
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clothearednincompo Offline
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
I believe Korg, Kurzweil, and Dexibell make keyboards with unlooped piano sounds.


And apparently Gewa and Blüthner.

And isn't Dexibell "almost unlooped" i.e. up to 15 seconds and then the looping starts but it's undetectable at that point(?)

Re: Considered Kawai ES110 but noisy keyboard [Re: clothearednincompo] #2746672
06/24/18 08:03 AM
06/24/18 08:03 AM
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anotherscott Offline
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Originally Posted by mcoll
And Roland smile In its case no model has looped piano sounds since a coue of generations ago, if I'm not wrong.

But Roland's unlooped decays are not sampled, they are modeled. (Granyala was specifically talking about sampled sounds.)

Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
isn't Dexibell "almost unlooped" i.e. up to 15 seconds and then the looping starts but it's undetectable at that point(?)

My understanding is there is no looping. Their spec of having samples of up to 15 seconds relates to the fact that one of their full, unlooped samples may last as long as 15 seconds. IOW, on the piano they are sampling, the loudest and lowest (i.e. longest lasting) notes don't exceed 15 seconds, so that's the max sample length. (Or maybe what's left after that is so quiet that they simply truncate it?)

Re: Considered Kawai ES110 but noisy keyboard [Re: anotherscott] #2746675
06/24/18 08:26 AM
06/24/18 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
isn't Dexibell "almost unlooped" i.e. up to 15 seconds and then the looping starts but it's undetectable at that point(?)

My understanding is there is no looping. Their spec of having samples of up to 15 seconds relates to the fact that one of their full, unlooped samples may last as long as 15 seconds. IOW, on the piano they are sampling, the loudest and lowest (i.e. longest lasting) notes don't exceed 15 seconds, so that's the max sample length. (Or maybe what's left after that is so quiet that they simply truncate it?)

That would be a pitiful piano they sampled, if the bass nodes had a sustain of only 15 seconds. A good piano easily exceeds 60s sustain for the bass notes. So I can't imagine that's true.

Last edited by JoBert; 06/24/18 08:27 AM.
Re: Considered Kawai ES110 but noisy keyboard [Re: JoBert] #2746679
06/24/18 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by JoBert
That would be a pitiful piano they sampled, if the bass nodes had a sustain of only 15 seconds. A good piano easily exceeds 60s sustain for the bass notes. So I can't imagine that's true.

Maybe someone here with a Dexbell can let us know what happens on the low notes. After 15 seconds, do they loop, or do they disappear? In my experience, even looped pianos' notes generally disappear within about 15 seconds anyway.

Re: Considered Kawai ES110 but noisy keyboard [Re: anotherscott] #2746682
06/24/18 09:30 AM
06/24/18 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by JoBert
That would be a pitiful piano they sampled, if the bass nodes had a sustain of only 15 seconds. A good piano easily exceeds 60s sustain for the bass notes. So I can't imagine that's true.

Maybe someone here with a Dexbell can let us know what happens on the low notes. After 15 seconds, do they loop, or do they disappear? In my experience, even looped pianos' notes generally disappear within about 15 seconds anyway.

Really? My Kawai DP's bass notes (which to my knowledge is indeed looped) sustain well beyond the 60s I mentioned, even if only played at a reasonable f. They would sustain even longer with brute force fff.

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