Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
What's Hot!!
PIANO TEACHERS Please read this!
-------------------
European Tour for Piano Lovers
JOIN US FOR THE TOUR!
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

Who's Online Now
89 registered members (90125, AssociateX, accordeur, 15shoes, A Guy, ArchLivingIt, AnnInMiami, AndyP, 18 invisible), 1,149 guests, and 7 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Kawai MP7SE user review #2767338
09/24/18 09:38 AM
09/24/18 09:38 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 21
Glastonbury UK
Steve Rose Offline OP
Full Member
Steve Rose  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 21
Glastonbury UK
Had my Kawai MP7SE for 2 months (July - Sept 2018). My professional career as a keyboard player started in 1977. In those last 40+ years I’ve had the great pleasure of owning and playing some of the most iconic keyboards made. In recent years I’ve owned a succession of stage pianos mostly Rolands (RD700SX, RD700GX, RD800) + the odd (heavy!) Yamaha P250, along with a Nord Stage 2 HA88, and most recently a Casio PX5s (10Kgs!!) and Kurzweil Forte. The Kawai MP7SE is the best digital piano I’ve ever played.

It goes without saying that the RHIII action is miles better than anything FATAR sold to Nord or Kurzweil! Lol What I wasn’t expecting is how much better it is than the RD800’s action.

I’d given up on virtual piano technology after totally hating the RD800’s thin, metallic, synthetic pianos. Live, I never got a good sound out of the RD800. Even in the studio I always had to use headphones to make it bearable. The reason I bought the Kurzweil Forte was because it had large samples that were simply switched with velocity – Absolutely no DSP modelling monkey business. True enough the Forte’s Steinway samples are pretty good, although they are heavily sanitised. In fact I’d say that most DP’s suffer from this problem to some degree. I’d guess in the old days there just wasn’t room for the samples needed to properly articulate the instrument’s character (including dynamic sympathetic resonance and soundboard/cabinet refelections etc). So DP’s like the Yam P250 and Roland’s RD 700SX were quite thin sounding and pretty lifeless. Albeit that that was the best there was back then (2004/5). Nord has championed different mic’ing positions to try and bring some life in, but really their tech just isn’t capable of the samples sizes or articulation needed. This plus the TP40 keybed made the Nord Stage 2 a piano heck. Ah.. but it’s Red!! lol

For me transferring from a real piano to DP has always been a sad and unhappy exercise. Great though the Rhodes 73 and Wurly EP2000 were they were not equal to the power and range of a real grand piano.

So when I plugged in the MP7SE, I was really quite amazed! Sure it’s not perfect, but then no real piano is either (- Hence PianoTeq’s hybrids :-))! Of course too, you have to accept that there in front of you is a very good simulation of Kawai’s best grand pianos. This isn’t a Steinway or Yamaha. It’s a Kawai. So you do have to open your ears and adjust your expectations. But boy does it play! The level of articulation and connectedness to the keybed is excellent. Way above anything a switched velocity system could achieve. The subtle nuances of this instrument just beg to be teased out. Both the SK Concert Grand and SK Studio Grand are different takes on what you might need. The concert grand is more beefy and alive, with more cabinet tones. The studio grand is cleaner and more stringy with a sharper solo edge.

Love the way Kawai have packed the whole sound of the piano into that box! It does sound exactly like you were sitting there in front of it, Rather than Nord’s rather distracting mic’ing that is probably great for recording or out in the audience but it just doesn’t sound like the living breathing beast is there in front of you. Similar problem with the Kurzweil Forte. It just doesn’t growl and sing in the way a real piano does! Yes all the notes sound lovely but when you’re playing dynamically it just doesn’t do the job like the Kawai does. And I have spent months and months re engineering the Kurzweil’s German grand programs. Ok great that you can go deeep! but sad that it just isn’t possible.

Something I’ve grown used to over the years is just how dysfunctional digital instrument interfaces can be! Roland’s RD700GX and RD700NX were supposed to be improvements of on RD700SX… They weren’t and the RD800 was just an awful miserly insult. So I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the MP7SE’s interface. It is fast, reasonably intuitive and pretty powerful. Haven’t had to spend time with my head in the manual much. The instrument is so well setup I’ve haven’t felt the need to dig into the piano technician features either.

Nor did I expect the extra sounds to add up to much.. But I’ve found myself using the EX guitars and brass/woodwind, the fretless and double bass and strings. Even the synth sounds are pretty gutsy! Makes me think Kawai should do an enhanced version with more in depth editing. It would give Kurzweil a run for their money! BTW Kawai basses are much better than Kurzweil’s (Oh dear!)

So it’s beautiful to play, a breeze to setup and sounds great without having spend hours twiddling eq etc.. So far I’ve used it live on a couple lounge gigs.. It’s a winner!


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
(ad) ROLAND

Click Here

Re: Kawai MP7SE user review [Re: Steve Rose] #2767385
09/24/18 01:09 PM
09/24/18 01:09 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 1
S
suarec Offline
Junior Member
suarec  Offline
Junior Member
S

Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 1
hi what settings do you use live, I still can not find a good live sound

Re: Kawai MP7SE user review [Re: Steve Rose] #2767391
09/24/18 02:12 PM
09/24/18 02:12 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 21
Glastonbury UK
Steve Rose Offline OP
Full Member
Steve Rose  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 21
Glastonbury UK
Both the frequency spectrum and dynamic range of a real DP instrument are huge. Way too big for most monitors to handle nicely. Once you’re playing with a live drummer or even at times with just a vocalist!! (lol) you’ll find you’ll be loosing much of your upper mid range in the ‘noise’ - I mean band!. Also the actual dynamic range that works live with a typical gig audience is really compressed into a much narrower band maybe 20 to 30dB. Unlike in a quite room which may handle twice that. Add a drummer and you’ll need to bring up your quite notes to maybe 80dB. So this means you need a stereo compressor or similar coz you’ll blow the lid with the FFF notes!(often with the PX5s and Forte I use a reduced velocity touch range – there’s a few in the Kawai out the box that fit this just fine) and you’ll need to push the 1.5kHz to 2.5kHz eq up to add some edge to fight the cymbals, guitar and vocals. Again the MP7SE has these ‘Pop’ pianos done nicely.

DP's need a stereo setup. Certainly any DP that has stereo piano samples or stereo modelling will not sound much good in mono. This is especially true in a gigging situation. So often FOH engineers will give you a mono monitor feed from one aux off the desk. If you have your own backline most often keyboard players opt for mono. Big mistake! Firstly if the DP output is stereo and the sound you’re playing is stereo, simply adding the left and right sounds crap because it causes phase cancellation of all those subtle but vital mid range frequencies. Using just the left or the right output will give you a very lame unbalanced sound too!

For work with a typical function band that has a live drummer, I use wired in-ear monitoring – in stereo!. This gives me an excellent sound and really controls the on stage noise.

For duo/trio jazz, ballads and unplugged lounge work I use pair of dB Technology ES503 line array systems. One is setup in stereo for my piano, to my right and left, just behind me facing forward. The other ES503 is setup as a mono array setup in front for the audience and vocal monitoring. This is a pretty good compromise. I find I can use the SK Concert Grand or SK Studio Grand more or less as is – albeit with a little 1.5kHz boost. You do have to site the system carefully and adjust the relative balance to get a good sense of being in front of the piano. Some venues can be harder than others.. Always playing outside is great (as long as it doesn’t rain!!) coz there aren’t any reflections or resonances.

Hope that helps..


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
Re: Kawai MP7SE user review [Re: Steve Rose] #2767393
09/24/18 02:19 PM
09/24/18 02:19 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 127
deep in the woods
S
Savante Offline
Full Member
Savante  Offline
Full Member
S

Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 127
deep in the woods
Can you say more about the action? How does it compare with Korg RH3 keyboard (which I have on my Kronos -- it's OK, but maybe not the best)? How does it compare with the Grand Feel action on the MP11SE?

My interest is in how suitable these actions are for acoustic piano type playing. I play all genres of acoustic piano including classical and popular styles.

Thank you.

Last edited by Savante; 09/24/18 02:23 PM.
(ad) SWEETWATER
Sweetwater - Lowest Prices on Gear
Re: Kawai MP7SE user review [Re: Steve Rose] #2767480
09/25/18 02:12 AM
09/25/18 02:12 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,104
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Doug M.  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,104
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Originally Posted by Steve Rose


Nor did I expect the extra sounds to add up to much.. But I’ve found myself using the EX guitars and brass/woodwind, the fretless and double bass and strings. Even the synth sounds are pretty gutsy! Makes me think Kawai should do an enhanced version with more in depth editing. It would give Kurzweil a run for their money! BTW Kawai basses are much better than Kurzweil’s (Oh dear!)

So it’s beautiful to play, a breeze to setup and sounds great without having spend hours twiddling eq etc.. So far I’ve used it live on a couple lounge gigs.. It’s a winner!


Have you tried the draw-bar organ presets out much? They were a nice surprise to me. The special presets function made them come alive (thought much better than the standard draw-bar patches)!


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Kawai MP7SE user review [Re: Steve Rose] #2767503
09/25/18 06:07 AM
09/25/18 06:07 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,491
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Kawai James  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,491
Hamamatsu, Japan
Hello Steve,

Wow, what a glowing review, thank you very much for that!

There's quite a lot to take in, so I will definitely re-read your detailed post tomorrow.

Thanks again!

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 MP7SE user review [Re: Savante] #2767506
09/25/18 06:42 AM
09/25/18 06:42 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 21
Glastonbury UK
Steve Rose Offline OP
Full Member
Steve Rose  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 21
Glastonbury UK
Hi Savante
I've only played a couple of Korg RH3 keyboards (An SV1 and a Kronos 2 88). They weren't the same as each other! But I've since read somewhere that Korg have changed the design subtley over the years. The overall impression I have of the RH3 is that it is quite stiff, reminds me a bit of the old Yamaha Graded Hammer action that was on the P-250. It's not a bad action, way better for playing pianistically than the TP40 on the Nord Stage/Nord Piano/Kurzweil Forte!! lol. In ranking I'd say the Roland RD700NX keybed was slightly better, My Casio PX5s is next roughly equal to the RD800 keybed (although quite different! lol) and the Kawai RHIII on my MP7SE is best. I've really not had enough time with the MP11SE to comment, more than to say the weight ruled it out.
I've found a good test for a piano keybed is to play the solo from Nina Simone's My Baby Just Cares. The final section in this is heck to play on a TP40 (It is really difficult to control accurately!) It works pretty well on the PX5s and is superb on the MP7SE .. You have just that much more control.


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
Re: Kawai MP7SE user review [Re: Doug M.] #2767514
09/25/18 07:18 AM
09/25/18 07:18 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 21
Glastonbury UK
Steve Rose Offline OP
Full Member
Steve Rose  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 21
Glastonbury UK
Doug M
I have to admit I’m a bit fussy about Hammond sounds, particularly the rotary effects. Maybe it’s coz back in the day I used to own an M102 with an L122. BUT.. My Nord Electro 3 changed all that. I know the NE3 wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Particularly the keybed!! but on stage I get a better sound from the NE3 than I ever did with the real thing!

The KB3 section on the Kurzweil Forte is quite good except for the KDFX rotarys which are pretty average especially on Tremolo – although I love the distortion. In fact I bought a Neo Ventilator II to cover for the rotary – The Vent II does an awesome L122 sim. Although I still prefer the NE3 overall – I’ve grown to love its L145 sim and that creamy C3 scanner/vib! (Oh dear!)

The MP7SE drawbar organ sim has one major weakness – The scanner/vibrato (C3/V3 etc) is awful! Replacing this effect with a suitably edited chorus effect helps to a degree. Nice that the MP7SE allows this! Rotary effects as preprogrammed are also pretty unusable in tremolo/fast, but this can be edited to improve the situation – I found adjusting the spread helped reduce the pitch modulation – KDFX gets this wrong too - trying to sound like a close mic’ed Leslie. Generally I found myself thinking over and over, whoever produced the MP7SE organ presets never played a real Hammond – or wasn’t given enough time/money to really get the best out of the instrument!

My view is I didn’t buy the MP7SE for it’s Hammond simulation. If I was gigging with the MP7SE in my main rig, I’d almost certainly bring along the NE3 as well! Although with some ‘out of the box’ / lateral editing you can produce something that would do for minor parts. But if you’re a serious Hammond player you need to look elsewhere..


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
Re: Kawai MP7SE user review [Re: Steve Rose] #2767537
09/25/18 09:07 AM
09/25/18 09:07 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 184
Mountain Brook, AL, USA
J
jeffscot Offline
Full Member
jeffscot  Offline
Full Member
J

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 184
Mountain Brook, AL, USA

nice post steve! thumb

sir kj has been taking a beating around here lately.
you made his day!


..... Jeff /// Yamaha P515 /// Roll Tide
Re: Kawai MP7SE user review [Re: Steve Rose] #2767539
09/25/18 09:43 AM
09/25/18 09:43 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 21
Glastonbury UK
Steve Rose Offline OP
Full Member
Steve Rose  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 21
Glastonbury UK
Lolololol Just felt some credit was due to Kawai. I think they've done a pretty good job. smile thumb


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
Re: Kawai MP7SE user review [Re: Steve Rose] #2767692
09/26/18 03:24 AM
09/26/18 03:24 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,104
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Doug M.  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,104
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Originally Posted by Steve Rose
Doug M
I have to admit I’m a bit fussy about Hammond sounds, particularly the rotary effects. Maybe it’s coz back in the day I used to own an M102 with an L122. BUT.. My Nord Electro 3 changed all that. I know the NE3 wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Particularly the keybed!! but on stage I get a better sound from the NE3 than I ever did with the real thing!

The KB3 section on the Kurzweil Forte is quite good except for the KDFX rotarys which are pretty average especially on Tremolo – although I love the distortion. In fact I bought a Neo Ventilator II to cover for the rotary – The Vent II does an awesome L122 sim. Although I still prefer the NE3 overall – I’ve grown to love its L145 sim and that creamy C3 scanner/vib! (Oh dear!)

The MP7SE drawbar organ sim has one major weakness – The scanner/vibrato (C3/V3 etc) is awful! Replacing this effect with a suitably edited chorus effect helps to a degree. Nice that the MP7SE allows this! Rotary effects as preprogrammed are also pretty unusable in tremolo/fast, but this can be edited to improve the situation – I found adjusting the spread helped reduce the pitch modulation – KDFX gets this wrong too - trying to sound like a close mic’ed Leslie. Generally I found myself thinking over and over, whoever produced the MP7SE organ presets never played a real Hammond – or wasn’t given enough time/money to really get the best out of the instrument!

My view is I didn’t buy the MP7SE for it’s Hammond simulation. If I was gigging with the MP7SE in my main rig, I’d almost certainly bring along the NE3 as well! Although with some ‘out of the box’ / lateral editing you can produce something that would do for minor parts. But if you’re a serious Hammond player you need to look elsewhere..


Nice post. Maybe someone from Kawai will read this and use it as constructive criticism.
With not having your experience on a Hammond, I thought they were great.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Kawai MP7SE user review [Re: Doug M.] #2767713
09/26/18 06:33 AM
09/26/18 06:33 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 21
Glastonbury UK
Steve Rose Offline OP
Full Member
Steve Rose  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 21
Glastonbury UK
Sorry Doug, there are many people out there that are totally happy with Kurzweil’s KB3+KDFX Leslie, David Weiser has lots of contented customers using his KB3 programs. In my opinion the Kawai MP7SE Drawbar Hammonds can be made to sound at least as good, if not slightly better than these. So could Roland’s RD700GX B3s, but they cut out their VK rotary effects module on the RD800 so it’s B3 sounded pants! I haven’t tried the RD2000 because after the RD800 experience I vowed never to buy another Roland RD piano until they dropped their fixation with VPiano and their dated Superdull EP’s!! lol I’m fussy, non of these B3 sims sing like my NE3 does, nor do any of the DP’s I’ve played sing like the MP7SE’s SK pianos. For me if there isn’t that subtle connectedness that allows the direct human expression, I’d rather not bother. But that’s just me!


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
Re: Kawai MP7SE user review [Re: Steve Rose] #2767717
09/26/18 07:11 AM
09/26/18 07:11 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,104
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Doug M.  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,104
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Originally Posted by Steve Rose
Sorry Doug, there are many people out there that are totally happy with Kurzweil’s KB3+KDFX Leslie, David Weiser has lots of contented customers using his KB3 programs. In my opinion the Kawai MP7SE Drawbar Hammonds can be made to sound at least as good, if not slightly better than these. So could Roland’s RD700GX B3s, but they cut out their VK rotary effects module on the RD800 so it’s B3 sounded pants! I haven’t tried the RD2000 because after the RD800 experience I vowed never to buy another Roland RD piano until they dropped their fixation with VPiano and their dated Superdull EP’s!! lol I’m fussy, non of these B3 sims sing like my NE3 does, nor do any of the DP’s I’ve played sing like the MP7SE’s SK pianos. For me if there isn’t that subtle connectedness that allows the direct human expression, I’d rather not bother. But that’s just me!


I don't think Roland will quit modelling. I suppose that technically, the modelling has far greater potential going forward (as they can refine the models to capture more and more aspects of the instrument). Seems that Roland are evolving their piano models about once every 5 years, so it may take a while. I agree with the opinion that current modeled pianos not yet as good tonally as the Kawai SK pianos. Also I totally agree with you about the Roland RD e-pianos, not my favourite eps and IMO, not a scratch on the MP7 eps.

I've not played the Kurzweil drawbar organ patches but I've heard them on YouTube (Forte, Artis models) and thought they were awesome.
Was a bit short sighted of Roland to remove their VK rotary effects from the RD800.
According to this keyboard magazine review of the RD2000,

Quote
Many tonewheel organ Tones have drawbar control with the nine faders behaving authentically (e.g., down equals louder). Flicking the pitch paddle toggles the speed of a rotary speaker simulation that’s deeply editable in Tone Designer: fast and slow speeds, transitions, rotor balance, stereo spread, overdrive, and more details can be adjusted. The “ping” of harmonic percussion is covered on the Tone Designer screen, but Harmonic Bar mode doesn’t assign this to any panel buttons. The Organ tones are meaty and the rotary simulation is quite credible, but the scanner vibrato/chorus—which was part of the organ, not the rotary speaker—is absent. In this way, the RD-2000 is a hair shy of the full “clonewheel” status of Roland’s VK- and VR-series keyboards.


So I guess the RD2000 still falls short.

Last edited by Doug M.; 09/26/18 07:13 AM.

Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Kawai MP7SE user review [Re: Doug M.] #2767917
09/27/18 07:14 AM
09/27/18 07:14 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 21
Glastonbury UK
Steve Rose Offline OP
Full Member
Steve Rose  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 21
Glastonbury UK
I don't think Roland's Vpiano tech as represented in the RD800 was anywhere near state of the art. It sounded one dimensional to my ears, sort of like a hologram - great from the front, but when you like round the side the illusion falls to pieces. My experience with the RD800 made me think virtual piano technology was well short of usable in most of the situations I perform in. It wasn't until someone insisted I try out PianoTeq's VP that I realised it was Roland that had failed and virtual piano technology could work well.

So when is an engine based on straight velocity switched samples and when is it virtual modelling? This question has been pondered over a lot on this forum. Manufacturers are understandably coy and vague about how their 'latest' tech works. Roland is one of the worst culprits here. They seem to have totally blurred the line from switched sample systems through sample interpolation (morphing between discrete sample levels) to proper modelling. This enables them to perpetually churn out the same old tech in a new case like its new! Shame really coz I think in its day the RD700SX was a great instrument. Things went downhill from then. Mind you looking at the NS3, Nord isn’t any better!

To my ears the MP7se uses a kind sample interpolation, much like the Casio PX5s, but with much better fidelity! Lol. What this type of system provides that Nord's and Kurzweil's and even Korg's don't, is a much more playable interaction. One that has few sudden shocks (discrete tonal jumps) where you're catapulted suddenly from mf to f etc.. Coz, let's face it keybed velocity isn't precise!. In other words it plays more like the real thing.

In the end (as so often said!) it's not the technical spec that matters, it is how the thing performs for you. To my ears, along side the nicely controllable dynamics and performer perspective mic'ing (thankyou!), there is also a very good sympathetic resonance and pedal simulation going on with the MP7se.


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
Re: Kawai MP7SE user review [Re: Steve Rose] #2767923
09/27/18 07:46 AM
09/27/18 07:46 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,104
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Doug M.  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,104
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Originally Posted by Steve Rose
I don't think Roland's Vpiano tech as represented in the RD800 was anywhere near state of the art. It sounded one dimensional to my ears, sort of like a hologram - great from the front, but when you like round the side the illusion falls to pieces. My experience with the RD800 made me think virtual piano technology was well short of usable in most of the situations I perform in. It wasn't until someone insisted I try out PianoTeq's VP that I realised it was Roland that had failed and virtual piano technology could work well.

So when is an engine based on straight velocity switched samples and when is it virtual modelling? This question has been pondered over a lot on this forum. Manufacturers are understandably coy and vague about how their 'latest' tech works. Roland is one of the worst culprits here. They seem to have totally blurred the line from switched sample systems through sample interpolation (morphing between discrete sample levels) to proper modelling. This enables them to perpetually churn out the same old tech in a new case like its new! Shame really coz I think in its day the RD700SX was a great instrument. Things went downhill from then. Mind you looking at the NS3, Nord isn’t any better!

To my ears the MP7se uses a kind sample interpolation, much like the Casio PX5s, but with much better fidelity! Lol. What this type of system provides that Nord's and Kurzweil's and even Korg's don't, is a much more playable interaction. One that has few sudden shocks (discrete tonal jumps) where you're catapulted suddenly from mf to f etc.. Coz, let's face it keybed velocity isn't precise!. In other words it plays more like the real thing.

In the end (as so often said!) it's not the technical spec that matters, it is how the thing performs for you. To my ears, along side the nicely controllable dynamics and performer perspective mic'ing (thankyou!), there is also a very good sympathetic resonance and pedal simulation going on with the MP7se.


Hi Steve,

The RD800 was a hybrid sound synthesis method combining sampling (that used in the RD700NX probably) with aspects of piano modelling (string resonance, damper resonance etc) to improve the overall package. I never liked the Roland piano sample that came with the RD300/700 series (found it not bright enough) and felt that the RD800 hybrid sample/modelling approach did lift the quality of the sampling but like you, I didn't find it perfect by any means---seemed to have a characteristic metallic whine.

They got rid of that whine in the RD2000, which has full piano modelling both from the LX17 piano modelling sound engine and from the V-piano. The LX17 actually competes in sound quality with Pianoteq; however, the modeled piano definitely benefits from the multi-speaker amplification system housed in the LX17. I'm sure with expensive monitors, the RD2000 modeled piano would sound half decent. However, I think Pianoteq gives you more variation. Both Pianoteq and Roland piano modelling still needs work in my view. Like all modelling systems, it's the detail you model into the system that counts. As modelling a piano is very difficult, it may take a decade for it to really become the defacto synthesis method.

Definately the fidelity of the MP7SE is high. Most piano manufacturers now use hybrid piano sampling/modelling including Kawai, Yamaha, Korg and Nord---usually the modelling does the string resonance bit. The interpolation in the velocity switching bit has improved a lot too with latest sample based instruments.

I would like to upgrade my MP7 to the MP7SE for the new action, but it's currently not the best use of money. Sounds like you're really enjoying it.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Kawai MP7SE user review [Re: Steve Rose] #2767957
09/27/18 12:08 PM
09/27/18 12:08 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,289
G
Gombessa Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Gombessa  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
G

Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,289
Originally Posted by Steve Rose
I don't think Roland's Vpiano tech as represented in the RD800 was anywhere near state of the art. It sounded one dimensional to my ears, sort of like a hologram - great from the front, but when you like round the side the illusion falls to pieces. My experience with the RD800 made me think virtual piano technology was well short of usable in most of the situations I perform in.


Of all the major DP makers, I think Roland has really leaned into marketing-speak at the expense of transparency, but I don't think we can really call the RD-800's SuperNatural Piano "V-Piano tech". There is a modeled decay (which works amazingly well IMO) but if anything, Roland has always reserved the V-Piano moniker for (some of) their fully-modeled engines, which IMHO tend to be a bit lacking compared to the ones that also use samples.

Originally Posted by Steve Rose
In the end (as so often said!) it's not the technical spec that matters, it is how the thing performs for you. To my ears, along side the nicely controllable dynamics and performer perspective mic'ing (thankyou!), there is also a very good sympathetic resonance and pedal simulation going on with the MP7se.


Agreed. The HI-XL in the MP7SE and MP11SE are really excellent piano engines. I do prefer the extra resonances in the newer SK-EX Rendering engine, but I'm fully convinced that the important base samples in HI-XL are exactly the same.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50 || Kawai NV-10, MP11
Re: Kawai MP7SE user review [Re: Steve Rose] #2768192
09/28/18 01:41 PM
09/28/18 01:41 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 21
Glastonbury UK
Steve Rose Offline OP
Full Member
Steve Rose  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 21
Glastonbury UK
This is an extract taken directly from Roland's US website:
Quote
The RD-800 features a large selection of grand piano sounds to suit any style, from solo performing to ensemble playing. There are 5 acoustic piano types and 34 variations to choose from, including a new Concert Grand tone derived from Roland’s flagship V-Piano Grand which features enhanced presence for cutting through in live situations. A newly developed upright piano is also provided, offering the unique short decay and up-close sound of a traditional upright instrument. Powered by Roland’s acclaimed SuperNATURAL Piano engine, the RD-800 delivers a truly authentic acoustic piano experience with seamless tonal color changes, natural note decay, and authentic key range behaviour.


I rest my case.. Doesn't matter how they made it work on the RD800.. It still sounded mono dimensional and thin, with an unnatural metallic edge and some quite nasty aliasing above C5. Try playing a C# major triad at C#5 ... sounds to me like scraping your nails down a black board.

Last edited by Steve Rose; 09/28/18 01:46 PM.

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
Re: Kawai MP7SE user review [Re: Steve Rose] #2770119
10/06/18 05:35 PM
10/06/18 05:35 PM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 83
V
varignet Offline
Full Member
varignet  Offline
Full Member
V

Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 83
Hi Steve, I'm glad you like it, I just got mine, I'm getting used to the action and loving it more and more.

Have you noticed any subtle horiz/vertical banding on your lcd screen?

pls see
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...-pre-purchase-questions.html#Post2770092

Last edited by varignet; 10/06/18 05:36 PM.
Re: Kawai MP7SE user review [Re: Steve Rose] #2770126
10/06/18 06:09 PM
10/06/18 06:09 PM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 389
Istanbul
I
IosPlayer Offline
Full Member
IosPlayer  Offline
Full Member
I

Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 389
Istanbul
Savante, the grand feel action, IMO ( and Kawai's) on the 11 is superior to the 7 for refinement and expression. The 7s are excellent but those long wooden key sticks on the 11 definitely make a difference for a real acoustic like experience. The 7 feels great, too, but maybe not as appropriate for the sensitivity desired in classical and jazz playing. I am guessing Steve is playing contemporary music which would work great with the 7. And there is the uneven in key playing issue Varignet has pointed out, Still, I personally am stuck because only the MP7se and MP11 are available in Turkey and I love the new piano sounds on the se series. Will try them both again tomorrow... And yes, I will play close attention to G4!


Jazz at www.newartistsrecords.com. Search Michael Levy. Use Safari for free tracks.
https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070
1915 Steinway B, Kawai MP11se, Casio AT5
Re: Kawai MP7SE user review [Re: Steve Rose] #2770148
10/06/18 08:54 PM
10/06/18 08:54 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 127
deep in the woods
S
Savante Offline
Full Member
Savante  Offline
Full Member
S

Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 127
deep in the woods
Thank you Steve Rose and IosPlayer for your intelligent and helpful responses to my question, and for all the excellent input in this thread. I am probably going for the Kawai MP7SE but somewhat intimidated by the reports of issues with the action with various "clicks and sticks" that I would probably find quite annoying. I hope these are rare issues, but I'm not sure...


Moderated by  Piano World 

(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Petrof
(ad)
Sweetwater - Keyboards
Sweetwater
ad
Jazz Piano Online
Jazz Piano Lessons Online

New Topics - Multiple Forums
What is the best sampled VST for classical piano?
by Tyrone Slothrop. 01/16/19 10:30 PM
Is Vassar College really as good as it looks in music?
by Forest_Hills_Daddy. 01/16/19 09:48 PM
Piano Music on i_heart_radio
by Handyman. 01/16/19 04:54 PM
How do you upload mp3 files?
by Vilhelm Moqvist. 01/16/19 04:17 PM
DGX-660 And Recording Vocal Track
by ndmuscutt. 01/16/19 03:56 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums40
Topics189,612
Posts2,782,582
Members92,127
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Please Support Our Advertisers
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

Sweetwater

PianoTeq Petrof
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2018 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.2