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Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) [Re: RyanThePianist] #2841860
04/24/19 07:07 AM
04/24/19 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by RyanThePianist
I could not tell if the keys were graded, as in heavier on the left and and lighter to the right. Perhaps this means they aren't graded. Maybe someone could give me input on this.

Yes, the keys are graded but only in blocks of 5 rather than individually. If you use all 5 fingers to push down the lowest 5 white keys and do the same for the highest 5, you will feel a noticeable difference.

Last edited by Beowulf; 04/24/19 07:08 AM.
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Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) [Re: RyanThePianist] #2841861
04/24/19 07:10 AM
04/24/19 07:10 AM
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Glastonbury UK
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I’ve had extensive experience with the Kawai MP7se (which I believe has the same RHIII action and piano sound engine as the ES8) and spent a whole lot of time on the Yamaha P515.
You need to play both and they need to level, playing a weighted keyboard at an angle will change the feel of the action because of your wrists and the action of gravity on the the keyboard mechanism.
I would suggest using a hi quality pair of headphones as a reference you can take from one machine to another. Often the environment in a music store is not ideal!!
Finally my view: For me the RHIII offers more expressive control as coupled to the Kawai piano action. They’ve set it up so you can really dig in there like you can on the real thing. I felt the NWX keybed was rather tame in comparison. The NWX action seemed quite shallow and kind of soft in comparison with the RHIII, it reminded me of my old EP200a. Although I’d say they’re both good actions compared to the older GH3 and Korg’s RH3. Piano simulation wise, although I liked the Bosendorfer samples, I thought the CFX was typically Yamaha trebly. Neither of them provides the depth of simulation you get on the Kawai. Which has some huge body and presence! Beautiful!


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
Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) [Re: RyanThePianist] #2842051
04/24/19 08:11 PM
04/24/19 08:11 PM
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And so, my little piano adventure continues, and will possibly end soon as I think I'm close to making a decision.

I was not able to find an ES8 on display in my city, but I was able to try to two Kawai CN-27 which have the same RHIII action as the ES8. This time the piano was located in a teaching studio at the store and I was able to play with my arms parallel to the ground.

The actions of the CN-27 on both pianos I tried were very light, and surprisingly so. My fingers were able to "fly" across the keys, and I had the impression that it was even too easy to play. The static/initial resistance when first trying to press the key was very low, so it was easy for the key to go down. Overall, I thought the keys felt like any other plastic action with just slightly better response. The keys were also very sweaty, but I figured this problem would be solved on the ES8 which has the synthetic keys. The pianos I played are highly used since this was a teaching studio.

I was able to find another store that had the Yamaha CP88, a stage piano with NWX action, but this time the keys were not angled like they were yesterday on the P515 I tried. The NWX keys felt very good, and I think the arm weight and key gravity working properly made a difference in my decision. This NWX felt very similar to the P515. The NWX is definitely heavier than the RHIII, but it is good for me as I've played many grand pianos and uprights before and the NWX mimics them well. The repertoire I played included Chopin Scherzo No. 2, Glinka's The Lark, Debussy's Arabesque No. 1, Chopin's Etude Op. 10 No. 5, Bach WTC P&F C Minor Book 1, Mozart K. 333, and all felt great under my fingers. I easily wanted to play the P 515 longer than the CN-27. What I do not know is if the action of the P515 and CP88 are different even in the slightest, but I will do just a bit more research as I think the difference is negligible anyway after my experience.

Thank you all for the help. I will contemplate my decision a bit more tonight and let you know what I proceed to do.

Last edited by RyanThePianist; 04/24/19 08:15 PM.

Novice Private Piano Teacher

BA Music, Biology Minor

Yamaha G3, Yamaha P-515
Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) [Re: RyanThePianist] #2842052
04/24/19 08:14 PM
04/24/19 08:14 PM
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I had my first opportunity to play the P-515 today. I sold my RD-800 a few days ago and thought that the P-515 would be my next DP. Now I'm not so sure. I've played the ES8 numerous times at length. FWIW, here are my impressions (just one man's opinion)...

The action itself felt pretty good. Neither too hard or too soft. It was my favourite part of the instrument. Key travel was good (medium). Very similar to the CLP-645, which I had right next to the P-515 and was able to easily compare back and forth. I'm not a huge fan of the texture of the top of the keys. While they weren't "plasticky" or smooth like the cheaper Yamaha DPs, and felt "good enough", to my mind they could have used a little more "grit" (for lack of a better term). To me, the ES8 action and feel of the keys are more "mature" and higher-end. (The whole wood thing of the NWX, seems like a marketing ploy. Whether made of wood or plastic (which I doubt the vast majority of players could tell the difference between in a "blind test"), it's the pivot point, design, mechanism, etc., etc. that matters. There's nothing magical about wood. The reason actions like Kawai's GFII are so great is due to picot point, length of the key, etc. The design). Perhaps (?) the wood helps in some ways, but the NWX's design, imo, is inferior to the RHIII's.

Two things really disappointed me: 1) the built-in piano sounds (CFX and the Bosendorfer). 2) (unsurprisingly) the built-in speaker quality.
I had listened to quite a few youtube videos of the P-515, and initially thought for the most part the piano sounds seemed very nice. Realistic. But after more listening, I had remarked to my wife that the piano sounds seemed a bit too clean and "lifeless" for my taste. Lack of expressiveness. The sound just doesn't seem to change according to the way you are playing. Over the long run, that can become quite monotonous. I've had various Yamahas throughout the years and the P-515 sound (and action) reminded me too much of those other Yamaha DPs from years ago. That's not a good thing. I was honestly surprised that the two main piano samples sounded so "ho hum" (through the speakers). I was expecting/hoping to be wowed. Yes, I know that through headphones or monitors it would sound much better (but not necessarily more expressive or connected). However, I am looking for that rare DP beast that sounds very good through the built-in speakers (I do not have much space for monitors and am getting tired of always using headphones). The ES8's internal speakers, to my ears, are impressively superior. And its samples/engine seem more expressive and alive to me. I was very much hoping that wouldn't be the case. I very much wanted to walk out with a P-515 today, but I just wasn't feeling it. I've played the FP90 a few times. The connection is the best of the 3, but the sound (and pedal) gets out of control and sounds very artificial at times.

I also had a problem with the damper pedal. The issue wasn't the pedal itself. It was as if the DP wasn't consistently picking up the pedal properly. Sometimes ti would act as you would expect, but other times it left me wondering if it hadn't temporarily become detached. Very weird. It kept cutting out every now and then. About 90% of the time, it was fine, but about 10% it left me high and dry.

Near the end of my playing, I turned the volume up to 100%, did the instrument finally start to come alive a bit and I felt at least some connection.

I can certainly understand why someone would like/love this piano. It has many good qualities and features. To each their own.

For me, I am likely going to wait for an ES9 to arrive on the scene. I don't think it'll be that long of a wait. In the meantime, if I can find a used ES8 in very good shape, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it. There's about a $400 difference between the P-151 and the higher-priced ES8 here in Canada. I think the difference is worth it. Hopefully when the ES8's successor is released the price won't go up much (or at all).




Last edited by slickvguy; 04/24/19 08:23 PM. Reason: typos
Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) [Re: RyanThePianist] #2842055
04/24/19 08:19 PM
04/24/19 08:19 PM
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Thanks for giving us your experience, slickvguy. Vastly different from mine! Though, I did not play an ES8, but rather a piano with the same action as it (see my post right above yours). I truly wish I could've tried the actual ES8. Have you played on grand pianos extensively?

Last edited by RyanThePianist; 04/24/19 08:20 PM.

Novice Private Piano Teacher

BA Music, Biology Minor

Yamaha G3, Yamaha P-515
Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) [Re: RyanThePianist] #2842056
04/24/19 08:27 PM
04/24/19 08:27 PM
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Hi all,

I've just noticed a distinction. The CP88 has "NW-GH (Natural Wood Graded Hammer) keyboard: synthetic ebony and ivory keytops" while the P515 has "NWX (Natural Wood X) keyboard: wooden keys (white only), synthetic ebony and ivory keytops, escapement". I thought they were both NWX. However, I'd say both pianos did feel better than the CN-27 RHIII.


Novice Private Piano Teacher

BA Music, Biology Minor

Yamaha G3, Yamaha P-515
Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) [Re: RyanThePianist] #2842060
04/24/19 08:36 PM
04/24/19 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by RyanThePianist
Thanks for giving us your experience, slickvguy. Vastly different from mine! Though, I did not play an ES8, but rather a piano with the same action as it (see my post right above yours). I truly wish I could've tried the actual ES8. Have you played on grand pianos extensively?


RTP, I believe that the CN27 doesn't use the same sound engine as the ES8. The ES8's is better. That has a lot to do with your overall playing experience. Also, when manufacturers say that it's the same key action in various models, I wonder if they are TRULY the *EXACT* same thing. I believe that they make enhancements/changes to different models. For example, I also played the baby FP10 today. Supposedly, it has the same action (PHA4) as the FP30. I've played the FP30 a number of times before, and had one right below the FP10. No way are those two actions the same. They might start with the same action, but either they are doing something different to them in addition, or maybe it's the weight/materials of the chassis??? I don't know the why or the how. But i do know that they are NOT the same. I've never played a CN27, so I can't comment about it.

No, I would not say that I've played grands "extensively", but I have played them a fair amount. We also had an upright in our house at all times (growing up), plus I've owned a few acoustics along the way (and owned/rented a number of synths and DPs).

I think the CP88 is very impressive. Those toggles are a riot. Unfortunately, it's VERY expensive in Canada, and I just don't want to spend that much. (I also want built-in speakers at this point. That's why I sold the RD-800). I had a Roland HP-508 a couple of years ago. Bought it at a very good price barely used. Had to sell it because I moved to a much smaller place. It was wonderful. The speaker system was terrific. I really miss that part of playing. If I move to a bigger place, I'll definitely get monitors, so that'll solve the speaker issue. But I just don't have the room to set them up here in this tiny condo. As it is, a slab takes up way more of the previous little free space I have available in this place.

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) [Re: RyanThePianist] #2842077
04/24/19 09:28 PM
04/24/19 09:28 PM
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Sao Paul, Brazil
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ES8 is so so. I would not buy it again.


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) [Re: RyanThePianist] #2842085
04/24/19 09:44 PM
04/24/19 09:44 PM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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Hello chaps, thank you for sharing your respective opinions.

I’m replying from my iPad today, so apologies for this brief response.

RyanThePianist, it’s unfortunate that you were unable to find a dealer that stocks the ES8 in your city. You mention playing a CN27 with “sweaty” keys (?) at a teaching studio inside the store. Does this mean that the dealer did not have any new CN27/CN37 models in the showroom available to play test?

As slickvguy mentions above (and as I believe I noted in our direct correspondence), the ES8 uses a higher specification (more expressive) sound engine than the CN27/CN37, however this should not have a significant influence over the feel of the keyboard action.

As you note above the P-515 and CP88 use different (albeit similarly named) keyboard actions.

slickvguy, I believe the P-515 and ES8 retail at the same price in the US. I don’t know why the Kawai should be more expensive in Canada.

Kind regards,
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 ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) [Re: Kawai James] #2842139
04/25/19 02:55 AM
04/25/19 02:55 AM
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Cheshire, UK
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Originally Posted by Kawai James

slickvguy, I believe the P-515 and ES8 retail at the same price in the US. I don’t know why the Kawai should be more expensive in Canada.

Kind regards,
James
x


From what I've read here, James, the P-515 is much, much more expensive in the US than it is in Europe. I bought my P-515 for £1299 (about $1500), a price which includes 20% VAT; I believe it costs more than $2500 before tax in the US!


Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) [Re: RyanThePianist] #2842147
04/25/19 03:24 AM
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Hi all,

I went ahead and purchased the Yamaha P-515. My budget was $2000, and when purchasing the furniture stand, bench, 3 pedals, and everything else that I needed for my skype lessons, the total skyrocketed quickly to just a little over $2000. Purchasing the ES8 with all the components would have been $2200 already not including everything else I needed for Skype, but I'm happy I at least tried the RHIII action.

Perhaps if this was my first piano, I would have waited to really test an ES8 somewhere or even waited for the aforementioned ES9 to release, but since I will likely spend most of my time still at the grand piano anyway, I figured this was the best choice for my budget. I'm happy I'll now have a piano for the occasional night practice sessions and online lessons.

Thank you all for the feedback. The piano is expected to be here on Saturday or Sunday, so I will give my first impressions in a few days.


Novice Private Piano Teacher

BA Music, Biology Minor

Yamaha G3, Yamaha P-515
Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) [Re: RyanThePianist] #2842150
04/25/19 03:27 AM
04/25/19 03:27 AM
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Cheshire, UK
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Excellent, Ryan - I really like my P-515. I'm sure you'll enjoy playing it.


Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) [Re: Cheshire Chris] #2842270
04/25/19 10:06 AM
04/25/19 10:06 AM
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Congratulations Ryan! I am sure you will love your P-515. It’s a wonderful instrument.

Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris
Originally Posted by Kawai James

slickvguy, I believe the P-515 and ES8 retail at the same price in the US. I don’t know why the Kawai should be more expensive in Canada.

Kind regards,
James
x


From what I've read here, James, the P-515 is much, much more expensive in the US than it is in Europe. I bought my P-515 for £1299 (about $1500), a price which includes 20% VAT; I believe it costs more than $2500 before tax in the US!


I purchased my P-515 online for $1499, which included free shipping and no tax. After looking at several retailers that seemed to be the standard price.


Yamaha N1X, P-515. Garritan CFX. Genelec 8331 monitors.
Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) [Re: Kawai James] #2842438
04/25/19 07:27 PM
04/25/19 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James

slickvguy, I believe the P-515 and ES8 retail at the same price in the US. I don’t know why the Kawai should be more expensive in Canada.
Kind regards,
James


The ES8 sells for $2,300 CAD in Canada. (You can find a couple of stores in Ontario that'll sell it for $2,200 - pick-up only). The P-515 sells for $1900 CAD. In the USA, the P-515 sells for $1,500 US and the ES8 has now been discounted to $1,650 US (a small difference).
Thus, the Yamaha represents an unusually good price in CAD versus the USD. Normally, you take the US dollar price, add about 40%, and you get your Canadian dollar price. But in this case, P-515 for $1,500 USD * 1.4 equals a projected price of app. $2,100 CAD...yet it sells for "just" $1,900. Again, that's quite unusual. (Did Yamaha hedge the CAD vs Yen?). However, when looking at the Kawais, the 1.4 multiplier (or greater) still applies. Same for Roland. e.g. FP-90 is $1,900 US...but it's a whopping $2,700 CAD here, i.e. 1.42 multiplier.

Last edited by slickvguy; 04/25/19 07:29 PM.
Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) [Re: RyanThePianist] #2842450
04/25/19 08:11 PM
04/25/19 08:11 PM
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So...a strange thing happened today. You will find the following amusing, strange, or perhaps just dumb if you read my previous post regarding the P-515.

There's a Yamaha dealer nearby a house in another city that I'm renovating. I've been meaning to pop in for almost a year, but never found the time. After yesterday's P-515 disappointment, I decided to go in just to see. One of the owners was there, and I discussed my situation with him. He recommended the higher-end Clavinovas, but I reminded him I simply do not have the space for a console DP in the condo I'm currently living in. However, my wife and I will likely be buying and moving into a larger place sometime soon, and maybe I'd go for another console piano at that point. But for now, slab it is.

Just for fun, I sat down and tried the P-515 again. Playing through the speakers...It sounded MUCH better than yesterday. I was really surprised. Why? Because of the acoustics in the room. The store is much smaller, has lower ceilings, wall-to-wall carpeted, etc. Yesterday, I played in a huge chain store, pianos all stacked and bunched very close to each other, hard floor, high ceiling, glass walls, etc. After thinking about it for all of 2 minutes, I decided to buy it. lol. It's not like it was a different instrument or anything like that, but it was FAR better this time around, and certainly good enough for a self-taught, lifetime-piano-playing hack like me. I stand by everything I wrote yesterday (what I see as the pros and cons of this instrument). I just decided to accept the reality of the situation and go forward with my best option at this time. I look forward to enjoying the experience thoroughly. I'm picking it up tomorrow. Went with the black due to its resale prospects (if/when I decide to flip).

While I do like the ES8 more, I didn't want to spend the extra money for it at this time because I'm convinced an ES-9 is going to be released in the coming months and it's going to be fantastic. If I'm wrong, or I end up really loving the P-515, so be it. For now, this is simply the least expensive, high-quality DP available.

Here's something interesting: the owner told me that they have a policy at the store that if you buy a Yamaha from them and want to return it within 6 months, that they will give you 100% (!) of what you paid against any other higher-priced Yamaha. Its' only for 6 months, but if I really don't like the P-515, or I move into a larger place, it gives me an opportunity to get either a CP88, or a Clavinova, or whatever... and they will apply your full purchase price. Of course, it won't help me when I flip it for an ES-9 wink - but it's a nice option to have.




Last edited by slickvguy; 04/25/19 08:13 PM.
Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) [Re: slickvguy] #2842531
04/26/19 04:20 AM
04/26/19 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by slickvguy

So...a strange thing happened today....

Just for fun, I sat down and tried the P-515 again. Playing through the speakers...It sounded MUCH better than yesterday. I was really surprised....

After thinking about it for all of 2 minutes, I decided to buy it...


I hear you, when I could not find the P515 to try, I tried the CLP-645 and my initial reaction (on the action) was meh! Went back to the same shop a few weeks later and the action started to grow on me...then another visit to the Yamaha store where they had the P515 and spend a fair bit of time on it and I was really digging it.

Coupled that with a 15% discount voucher I had, well the rest is history...fast forward 4-6 weeks and there are no regrets. Yes its not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but the action and CFX makes it an excellent practice instrument..I think this is why some advocate to not buy the first thing you play but to walk away and go back a second and even a third time...if you haven't made up your mind by that time than nothing you buy will suffice. smile

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Last edited by jamiecw; 04/26/19 04:22 AM.
Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) [Re: RyanThePianist] #2842554
04/26/19 06:04 AM
04/26/19 06:04 AM
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slickvguy, I did not find your story dumb.. in fact, it was hilarious (in a good way)! Congrats on the purchase! Let's continue to share our P-515 experiences.


Novice Private Piano Teacher

BA Music, Biology Minor

Yamaha G3, Yamaha P-515
Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) [Re: jamiecw] #2842562
04/26/19 07:20 AM
04/26/19 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by jamiecw
Originally Posted by slickvguy

So...a strange thing happened today....

Just for fun, I sat down and tried the P-515 again. Playing through the speakers...It sounded MUCH better than yesterday. I was really surprised....

After thinking about it for all of 2 minutes, I decided to buy it...


I hear you, when I could not find the P515 to try, I tried the CLP-645 and my initial reaction (on the action) was meh! Went back to the same shop a few weeks later and the action started to grow on me...then another visit to the Yamaha store where they had the P515 and spend a fair bit of time on it and I was really digging it.

Coupled that with a 15% discount voucher I had, well the rest is history...fast forward 4-6 weeks and there are no regrets. Yes its not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but the action and CFX makes it an excellent practice instrument..I think this is why some advocate to not buy the first thing you play but to walk away and go back a second and even a third time...if you haven't made up your mind by that time than nothing you buy will suffice. smile

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Hi Jamie,

Just like to point out that the Casio PX S3000 was released recently and this model is a portable like the Yamaha P515. Many have praised the new Casios, so they are worthy of being taken seriously.
Also, the Roland FP90 has a better action than the Yamaha and should be considered in any comparison with the ES8, the P515 and the PX S3000.

Kind regards,

Doug


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 ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) [Re: RyanThePianist] #2842572
04/26/19 08:01 AM
04/26/19 08:01 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 36
Bobby Simons Offline
Full Member
Bobby Simons  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 36
Quote
. . . they have a policy at the store that if you buy a Yamaha from them and want to return it within 6 months, that they will give you 100% (!) of what you paid against any other higher-priced Yamaha. Its' only for 6 months, but if I really don't like the P-515, or I move into a larger place, it gives me an opportunity to get either a CP88, or a Clavinova, or whatever. . .


An excellent way to make a move for a higher-ticket item without the wife blowing a gasket. If you're unhappy, keep it anyway for 5 1/2 months then layout the extra bucks for the upgrade. It won't seem nearly as bad as the total cost!

But I'm pretty sure I'll be keeping mine. Tracking it on the trip from Wisconsin to Long Island. Passed through Eaton, PA a few hours ago. C'mon, dude, drive faster!

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) [Re: RyanThePianist] #2842576
04/26/19 08:25 AM
04/26/19 08:25 AM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 100
B
Beowulf Offline
Full Member
Beowulf  Offline
Full Member
B

Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 100
I can never understand why a P-515 with full pedal unit cost only 73 bucks (USD) less than a CLP-645 in my country.

Last edited by Beowulf; 04/26/19 08:25 AM.
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