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Joined: Nov 2018
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Hi, I'm looking to buy a slab style keyboard. Something that is relatively portable, and has built in speakers for impromptu jamming, but also can hook into a better system when it's at home.

In terms of action, the GFII action in the Kawai CA98 is my favorite. Yamahas are too heavy with a too hard bottom for my enjoyment.

I tried the Kawai ES8 with Responsive Hammer III action, it was pretty good but not like GFII. The Roland FP 90 was also decent on first demo.

I'm wondering, is there anything higher up than the ES8 or FP90 that has built in speakers and action like GFII?

I see the MP11SE from Kawai, but it has no built-in speaker.

Thank you!

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At some point somewhere above 30 kg you reach the weight limit for a slab with a flight case and you have to decide what you want to include: A powerful monitor speaker amplification system (CP300)? A full wooden action (MP11)? You can't have it all.


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Personally, I do not think you can do better than the Kawai ES8 for portability, action and with built-in speakers.


Don

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I think the action in the FP-90 is the best digital action (apart from the Nuvus NV10 or Avantgrand). The speakers are ok, but the in-built sounds are divisive. Some people hate them. I don't really use them or the speakers.

Last edited by johnstaf; 03/13/19 01:13 AM.
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In the interest of balance, I should probably add that some people don't like the Roland actions at all.

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FP90 is better piano than ES8 and its action is far closer to GFII than action from ES8, and its significant step up from ES8. For sound it's personal thing, for me it's.not ideal, but neither the ES8 is, and it has also it's weak points.

If you like the sound buy FP90

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Thank you all for the feedback. I thought the sound on the FP90 was overall good, although this was just from a short 15 minute test in store. It sounds like the FP90 or the ES8 are the highest level options for me so I will continue to consider these two options.

Are there any resources on setting up a home speaker system to support them, or should I make a new post for that? I know almost nothing about electronics.

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I think Fp-90 sounds fantastic , watch and listen this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3XFMbidu3M and this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTvgT3POF_A

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Originally Posted by lvercaut
I think Fp-90 sounds fantastic , watch and listen this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3XFMbidu3M and this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTvgT3POF_A

Each to their own. To my ears the sound is nasal and synthetic, it's the worst piano sound Roland has offered in decades IMO. The kid plays great though smile


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Originally Posted by CyberGene
To my ears the sound is nasal and synthetic, it's the worst piano sound Roland has offered in decades IMO. The kid plays great though smile

Maybe so...but the response in terms of playability/dynamics one gets from Roland's Supernatural Modelling Engine along with the PHA50 action is second to none...it's the price one has to pay vs sampling... (edit: in that price range)

Last edited by jamiecw; 03/13/19 12:19 PM.
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Originally Posted by dmd
Personally, I do not think you can do better than the Kawai ES8 for portability, action and with built-in speakers.


LOL - a templated copy/paste response - you don't work for Kawai do you Don? smile

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I didn't mean for this to turn into a FP90 vs ES8 debate. They're both fine keyboards.

My question was whether there was something one step higher than this tier of keyboards, but it seems like there isn't.

I'll probably try each the FP90 and ES8 again and choose whichever one feels the best when I play.

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The next tier would probably be the MP11SE but only on the action front in that you will get wooden keys and a much longer key length with a better pivot allowing easier playability towards the back of the keys. Sound wise it’s debatable as that’s something your ears will tell you.

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Originally Posted by jamiecw
Originally Posted by dmd
Personally, I do not think you can do better than the Kawai ES8 for portability, action and with built-in speakers.


LOL - a templated copy/paste response - you don't work for Kawai do you Don? smile


Not an employee …. just a fan.

I have owned 2 ES8s. I previously owned a CA98 and now I own the MP11SE.

I think they are great instruments.


Don

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I have an ES8- I prefer the action to the FP90 which I found heavier- but like the speakers and sounds of the ROland as well.
Please note you can get an external speaker such as an Electrovoice and use it in conjunction with the regular piano spekaers


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Originally Posted by greensoybean
Hi, I'm looking to buy a slab style keyboard. Something that is relatively portable, and has built in speakers for impromptu jamming, but also can hook into a better system when it's at home.

In terms of action, the GFII action in the Kawai CA98 is my favorite. Yamahas are too heavy with a too hard bottom for my enjoyment.

I tried the Kawai ES8 with Responsive Hammer III action, it was pretty good but not like GFII. The Roland FP 90 was also decent on first demo.

I'm wondering, is there anything higher up than the ES8 or FP90 that has built in speakers and action like GFII?

I see the MP11SE from Kawai, but it has no built-in speaker.

Thank you!



Short answer: no, none.
The best action in a portable slab are the ES8 and FP90 actions---there are nothing currently at higher spec with onboard speakers.
The only better actions in slab format are the MP11/SE and the VPC1, neither of which come with speakers.

If you don't mind me asking: in jamming sessions with a band, do you really care that much about the piano action? Will you be playing a lot of prominent solo piano that requires a top action to get best control, or is a piano rock session?

Most gigging boards don't come with a great action because there is no call for it. For instance, the CP88 only has the NWX action despite it being Yamaha's latest board. The Nord Piano 4 has a modified Fatar action. The Kurzweil boards (professional giggers often play Kurzweil) have Fatar actions and the Korg Grandstage has only the RHIII korg action (which is really old tech now)---all these boards a designed for gigging.

The MP7SE is a good gigging board with a better action than the above (RHIII like the ES8)---easily enough for non-solo stuff, and is a lot more powerful with a better user interface for gigging than the ES8. Another is the RD2000 from Roland. I think if one is playing in a Jazz group, maybe an MP11 is worth it, but then, for that you might be good with monitors to get the kind of control over the sound that does it justice.

Kind regards,

Doug.

Last edited by Doug M.; 03/14/19 05:27 AM.

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Just a nit, but the CP88 actually has the NW-GH action, which I *believe* is equivalent to the NWX, minus the escapement feel. Also, what action from Yamaha is supposed to be better than NWX? I thought it was the top.

Greg.

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Originally Posted by sullivang
Just a nit, but the CP88 actually has the NW-GH action, which I *believe* is equivalent to the NWX, minus the escapement feel. Also, what action from Yamaha is supposed to be better than NWX? I thought it was the top.

Greg.


Thanks Greg, the NW-GH is what I meant to say if I had remembered.


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Originally Posted by sullivang
Also, what action from Yamaha is supposed to be better than NWX? I thought it was the top.


Yamaha GrandTouch in CLP-675 and above


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Oh right - so there's a longer pivot version of the folded GH3 style action. Thanks. Bit confusing because "GranTouch" is their old hybrid action!

Greg

Last edited by sullivang; 03/14/19 09:43 AM.
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