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Hello all, I'm a classical piano student at a conservatorium of music and I'm looking around at what could be some decent digital practice pianos. I don't want to spend an absurd amount of money - I don't have an absurd amount of money. Thus far, the Kawai ES8 looks like a great option. There's really only one negative review I've seen on the ES8, which you can find here (https://www.thomann.de/gb/kawai_es_8_b_reviews.htm?rating=3). It says that some keys of the action were "sticky" and didn't come back up to their resting place fast enough. Can any owners of the ES8 deny or confirm this? Is this just a factory or shipping defect that can be fixed? The problem is, the only piano dealers around me (I live in Tasmania) seem to only stock low-end Yamaha and Roland digital pianos, and this means I'll be buying the instrument sight-unseen and cannot test it beforehand. I've briefly played an MP7, which blew me away, so based on the research I've done, I think the ES8 is a good choice.

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Hi Revantu: I'm a happy Kawai ES8 owner since 1.5 year. No issues so far with anything and it sounds great especially with a decent pair of headphones.
Looking at the Thomann website I see that the ES8 and MP7 have the same RH3 action.
So I would guess that if you tried the MP7 the ES8 action should be ok for you.

Note that for every DP there is a risk of a quality issue. Since you only found one negative review one could assume that the issue is not occuring frequently.
For my level of playing (late beginner/intermediate level) the action is fine. If you compare it to an acoustic piano the action is different. The top of Kawai DP is the Novus 10 which I played recently in a store. It took my about 20 min to get used to that action. To me the Novus 10 action comes very close to playing an acoustic piano.
But to be honest the price difference compared to the ES8 is too high. It cost about 6 times more. Hope this helps a bit with your decision.

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Originally Posted by Revantu
Hello all, I'm a classical piano student at a conservatorium of music and I'm looking around at what could be some decent digital practice pianos. I don't want to spend an absurd amount of money - I don't have an absurd amount of money. Thus far, the Kawai ES8 looks like a great option. There's really only one negative review I've seen on the ES8, which you can find here (https://www.thomann.de/gb/kawai_es_8_b_reviews.htm?rating=3). It says that some keys of the action were "sticky" and didn't come back up to their resting place fast enough. Can any owners of the ES8 deny or confirm this? Is this just a factory or shipping defect that can be fixed? The problem is, the only piano dealers around me (I live in Tasmania) seem to only stock low-end Yamaha and Roland digital pianos, and this means I'll be buying the instrument sight-unseen and cannot test it beforehand. I've briefly played an MP7, which blew me away, so based on the research I've done, I think the ES8 is a good choice.


The MP7SE has the same action as the ES8: I presume you mean the second edition. Bear in mind that this board contains a lot more sounds and functionality you don't get with the ES8. The ES8 is meant primarily as a plug-n-play digital piano and doesn't come with all the amazing sounds and functions that the MP7 and MP7SE have. If you are only playing using headphones (or if you intend to use external amplification) then the MP7SE (RRP: ££1,239.00) is of similar price to the ES8 (RRP: £1,499.00 with stand) once you factor in the stand (a good option for the MP7SE is the K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand). In fact, the MP7SE with the iLoud micromonitors would be an option worth looking into, especially if you have the option to join a band (the iLouds you'd use for practice, not for gigging). I think the only benefit of the ES8 over the MP7SE is the aesthetic of the instrument with stand combination (although the MP7SE is a good looking instrument with the K&M stand).

Also, if you are considering portable pianos, there is the Roland FP90 and the new Yamaha P515 to consider as competing products.

Last edited by Doug M.; 09/25/18 08:16 AM.

Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
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I have owned my ES8 for a couple of years and am completely happy with it.

Prior to owning the ES8/ES7 (I owned the ES7, also), I was changing digital pianos frequently in search of a sound I liked.

Now, I spend my time practicing instead of swapping pianos.

I am sure you will be happy with the ES8.


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The addition of speakers into the chassis adds haptic feedback.. That is you get vibrations. This adds realism. So although for me the MP7SE is exactly right - gigging wise. If you're only interested in the reduced function set of the ES8, you'll probably find the haptic feedback provided by it's internal speakers adds an extra dimension to the simulation.


Piano Journey: 1930's Upright> Rhodes Mk2 73> Wurly EP200> Gebauhr 1905 6' Grand> Yamaha P250> Roland RD700SX,RD700GX> Nord Stage 2 HA88> Roland RD800> CASIO PX5s & Kurzweil Forte & Kawai MP7SE> Kronos 2 61, Roland RD2000
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ES8 is a very good choice for me, go ahead!

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I have owned my ES-8 for just over a year and i am very happy with it.

The piano sounds are great and seem well suited to classical music which i play the most.

The action is nice and allows for real expression and dynamics.

The sound through headphones is excellent and the built in speakers are more then adequate for private practice.

Put through a good external speaker system and this piano really shines.

A great choice in my opinion.


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If you can't try it out, I'd at least spend a few hours listening to the best online recordings you can find to make sure it is a good fit for your ears and that you don't find the sound(s) fatiguing.

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Don

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action aside as they're identical, the mp7se has more sounds, controller abilities and 1/4 linein with dedicated volume control. you can run a second instrument through it.

i don't own either but I'm leaning towards the mp7se paired with a good set of speakers

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If you live in a place where warranty help may be lacking, Kawai would not be my choice, although in all other respects, ES8 is excellent. That company still has quality issues which are, by all accounts dealt with well on places which are supported by such.

All digitals can have their problems, but Yamaha and Roland seem pretty much bullet proof.


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I will be a dissonant voice. I had problems with the two ES8 I owned (the second being a replacement for the first) from the right beginning. Clicky keys (annoying) with occasional lound sounding notes. I may have been awarded with units belonging to the first lot or to a deffective lot. I like the action and some or the sounds but I second what peterws said above.


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
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Revantu Offline OP
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Thank you all very much for your input!

As regards the MP7 & MP7SE - the DP I played was an MP7, and I can only assume an ES8 would be even better (RHII versus RHIII action). The MP7SE would have been my first choice, but its availability is even more scarce for me than the ES8, and it's actually about $200 more expensive (the ES8 will run me about $2,000AUD). I'm not going to be using any sounds except one of the main grand piano sounds, so the ES8 having less in that regard isn't a problem for me. I'll be using some studio headphones with the piano. I already have quite a good Z-frame stand.

Re Yamaha & Roland - the Roland FP90 is actually $500 more expensive for me than the ES8, so I'm not sure that's a sensible decision for me. The Yamaha is P515 is actually $200 cheaper than the ES8, but from what I've heard the action isn't as good as Kawai's RHIII.

Originally Posted by EVC2017
I will be a dissonant voice. I had problems with the two ES8 I owned (the second being a replacement for the first) from the right beginning. Clicky keys (annoying) with occasional lound sounding notes. I may have been awarded with units belonging to the first lot or to a deffective lot. I like the action and some or the sounds but I second what peterws said above.

Oh boy, this is exactly what I'm afraid of. I do hope yours was an isolated batch that isn't circulating anymore.
Originally Posted by peterws
If you live in a place where warranty help may be lacking, Kawai would not be my choice, although in all other respects, ES8 is excellent. That company still has quality issues which are, by all accounts dealt with well on places which are supported by such.

All digitals can have their problems, but Yamaha and Roland seem pretty much bullet proof.

I certainly see your point. I'll have a talk with an owner of several Kawai DPs that I know and see how his experience has been as regards customer support and such.

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Hi, assume you live in Australia as you mention Aussie $. I bought an ES8 last year. It required 3 under warranty fixes in the 1st 15 months. While that was annoying, the service was excellent! I live in Adelaide. 😁

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Originally Posted by Revantu
Thank you all very much for your input!

As regards the MP7 & MP7SE - the DP I played was an MP7, and I can only assume an ES8 would be even better (RHII versus RHIII action). The MP7SE would have been my first choice, but its availability is even more scarce for me than the ES8, and it's actually about $200 more expensive (the ES8 will run me about $2,000AUD). I'm not going to be using any sounds except one of the main grand piano sounds, so the ES8 having less in that regard isn't a problem for me. I'll be using some studio headphones with the piano. I already have quite a good Z-frame stand.

Re Yamaha & Roland - the Roland FP90 is actually $500 more expensive for me than the ES8, so I'm not sure that's a sensible decision for me. The Yamaha is P515 is actually $200 cheaper than the ES8, but from what I've heard the action isn't as good as Kawai's RHIII.

Originally Posted by EVC2017
I will be a dissonant voice. I had problems with the two ES8 I owned (the second being a replacement for the first) from the right beginning. Clicky keys (annoying) with occasional lound sounding notes. I may have been awarded with units belonging to the first lot or to a deffective lot. I like the action and some or the sounds but I second what peterws said above.

Oh boy, this is exactly what I'm afraid of. I do hope yours was an isolated batch that isn't circulating anymore.
Originally Posted by peterws
If you live in a place where warranty help may be lacking, Kawai would not be my choice, although in all other respects, ES8 is excellent. That company still has quality issues which are, by all accounts dealt with well on places which are supported by such.

All digitals can have their problems, but Yamaha and Roland seem pretty much bullet proof.

I certainly see your point. I'll have a talk with an owner of several Kawai DPs that I know and see how his experience has been as regards customer support and such.


I think if you're buying a new ES8, that issue with the keys is no longer affecting buyers---however, if a store has kept old stock of the ES8, then you might be unlucky if they ship you one of those.
The FP90 is more expensive because it is slightly newer tech (came out after the ES8) and has more amplification than the ES8. Regarding the P515, why not try it out anyway if you can? The RHIII action is good but another idea would be to look for an MP11 on the second hand market. This comes with the Grand Feel action and if action is high up on your list, you might benefit from a piano like that.

Last edited by Doug M.; 09/26/18 03:31 AM.

Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
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Originally Posted by Bett
Hi, assume you live in Australia as you mention Aussie $. I bought an ES8 last year. It required 3 under warranty fixes in the 1st 15 months. While that was annoying, the service was excellent! I live in Adelaide. 😁

Oh boy. Did you have to ship it back, or was there a store in your area?

Originally Posted by Doug M.

I think if you're buying a new ES8, that issue with the keys is no longer affecting buyers---however, if a store has kept old stock of the ES8, then you might be unlucky if they ship you one of those.
The FP90 is more expensive because it is slightly newer tech (came out after the ES8) and has more amplification than the ES8. Regarding the P515, why not try it out anyway if you can? The RHIII action is good but another idea would be to look for an MP11 on the second hand market. This comes with the Grand Feel action and if action is high up on your list, you might benefit from a piano like that.

I sure hope that won't be the case. I may contact Kawai Australia and ask what I would do should I find myself in such a situation, because there aren't any Kawai representative stores in Tasmania at all that I know of.
Ah, right. Those seem like good suggestions - though, as I mentioned, I don't think any stores near me carry anything except lower-end Yamahas and Casios; maybe some low end Rolands too, I can't remember. Certainly not the P515. There aren't any MP11s on any of the typical online second-hand marketplaces here (eBay, Gumtree, and Facebook marketplace) right now. There was one on auction not long ago though, and while I tried to get it, someone placed a really high maximum bid right at the end. I have a feeling that it may end up being a little difficult to find one of those for under $2.5k, even used.

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Actually - scratch that. I just found out there may actually be a Kawai retailer here! I thought the store had closed down, but apparently they may not have - awaiting confirmation!

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Originally Posted by Revantu
[quote=Bett]Hi, assume you live in Australia as you mention Aussie $. I bought an ES8 last year. It required 3 under warranty fixes in the 1st 15 months. While that was annoying, the service was excellent! I live in Adelaide. 😁

Oh boy. Did you have to ship it back, or was there a store in your area?

Originally Posted by Doug M.

I sure hope that won't be the case. I may contact Kawai Australia and ask what I would do should I find myself in such a situation, because there aren't any Kawai representative stores in Tasmania at all that I know of.
Ah, right. Those seem like good suggestions - though, as I mentioned, I don't think any stores near me carry anything except lower-end Yamahas and Casios; maybe some low end Rolands too, I can't remember. Certainly not the P515. There aren't any MP11s on any of the typical online second-hand marketplaces here (eBay, Gumtree, and Facebook marketplace) right now. There was one on auction not long ago though, and while I tried to get it, someone placed a really high maximum bid right at the end. I have a feeling that it may end up being a little difficult to find one of those for under $2.5k, even used.


The P515 isn't yet available in store to test as far as I know. Most online stores have it available to pre-order as it's due out later this year. Regarding the P515: guess you'll have to decide if you want a piano now or are prepared to wait a month or two.
Ebay Australia doesn't seem to offer the MP11 new either. Guess it's harder to get products in Aus.
I'd say regarding the Roland FP90, you can hear the sound on YouTube. The action on the FP90 is different but equally excellent compared to the Kawai RHIII action. So if you like the sound of the FP90, it's another option.
If you can get to a store to test the ES8, maybe you can get them to demo the unit you're buying so you can tell if they keys are good.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
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Hi Revantu, re warranty fixes..there is a local kawai authorised piano tech in Adelaide who fixed my kawai es8 3 times as home visits! As my es8 is housed in the optional stand, the tech decided it wasn't really "portable" , so convinced kawai a home visit was needed. After the first repair, I just contacted the tech, and he sorted the rest.

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didn't mean to steal this thread, but further to your advice I looked up the iloud micro speakers and I'm impressed.

the only issue for me is the distance between the speakers, 1.5mt is simply not enough.

do you know what extension cable I would need? I'm aware it's some sort of minidin connection, just not sure of the exact type

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