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MP11SE for a beginner #2849105 05/17/19 04:15 AM
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trevnopiano Offline OP
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Dear all
I began leaning the piano only a year or so ago. I live in a flat with very thin walls so an acoustic piano is out of the question and in fairness I only ever play with headphones on in order to get neighbor friendly volume to practice dynamics. I have an ES110 which I do like but which feels like a toy compared to the piano I receive lessons on. From online reading I see that the MP11SE is most piano like of all the digital keyboards. Is it a ridiculous idea to just replace what I have with essentially a pro keyboard? Would I be better waiting another year or so for a MP12 by which time I'd probably appreciate more of the features? The cost of the instrument isn't really an issue.

Any thoughts appreciated.
Thanks

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Re: MP11SE for a beginner [Re: trevnopiano] #2849107 05/17/19 04:25 AM
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Kawai James Offline
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Hello trevnopiano, welcome to the forum.

I'm a strong believer in the notion of "buying the best that you can afford". If you're fortunate enough to be in a position whereby the cost of an instrument is not a major factor, my recommendation would be to purchase the MP11SE, or another similarly-specced DP. Regardless of your level, if you enjoy playing and believe your practise would be enhanced by a higher quality instrument, go for it!

I am obviously a little biased toward the MP11SE, however you may also wish to consider other options. It's important to play-test as many instruments as possible before making your decision.

Best of luck!

Kind regards,
James
x

ps. Yamaha binaural sampling crew in 3...2...1...


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: MP11SE for a beginner [Re: Kawai James] #2849109 05/17/19 04:43 AM
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jamiecw Offline
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
..
I'm a strong believer in the notion of "buying the best that you can afford". If you fortunate enough to be in a position ...

+1

Re: MP11SE for a beginner [Re: trevnopiano] #2849111 05/17/19 04:55 AM
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Doug M. Offline
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Originally Posted by trevnopiano
Dear all
I began leaning the piano only a year or so ago. I live in a flat with very thin walls so an acoustic piano is out of the question and in fairness I only ever play with headphones on in order to get neighbor friendly volume to practice dynamics. I have an ES110 which I do like but which feels like a toy compared to the piano I receive lessons on. From online reading I see that the MP11SE is most piano like of all the digital keyboards. Is it a ridiculous idea to just replace what I have with essentially a pro keyboard? Would I be better waiting another year or so for a MP12 by which time I'd probably appreciate more of the features? The cost of the instrument isn't really an issue.

Any thoughts appreciated.
Thanks


Hi Trevnopiano,

You might expect Kawai James to advocate buying the most expensive piano being a Kawai rep; however, I would put it another way: you want to get the best action for your budget! This normally applies to when you first buy, with the exception of complete beginners...Why? Well, complete beginners might not last it out. Not much point in spending several 1000's of dollars if the user might give up in 6 months. Why buy the best action? Well, mainly because it's more enjoyable to play on a great action.

If you are sure you are going to take this up for the long-term, then yes, you might want a better action than that on the ES110.

With this in mind, the way to go is to set a budget: one in which you absolutely can't go beyond.
Then consider what's out there upto and including that max amount: both used and new models.

My test list for you would include the following:

Kawai MP11
Kawai VPC1
Kawai ES8
Roland RD2000
Roland FP90
Yamaha P515

Out of those, the RD2000 and the MP11 are my favourites---both have really good actions.
If you prefer a heavier action, the Yamaha P515 gives you that.

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: MP11SE for a beginner [Re: trevnopiano] #2849115 05/17/19 05:13 AM
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MacMacMac Offline
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Online reading is misleading. Confusing, distracting, deceiving, contradictory.
Instead, just try the MP11 for yourself and decide.
Originally Posted by trevnopiano
From online reading I see that the MP11SE is most piano like of all the digital keyboards.

If you've been at it for a year and still feel commitment then it makes perfect sense to get a better piano.
Quote
Is it a ridiculous idea to just replace what I have with essentially a pro keyboard?

But there's no need to wait for an MP12 ... or for any other new model.
Quote
Would I be better waiting another year or so for a MP12 by which time I'd probably appreciate more of the features?
Very little changes from one piano to its successor. Very little.

And don't be side-tracked by features. The only "features" that matter are touch and sound.

Re: MP11SE for a beginner [Re: trevnopiano] #2849128 05/17/19 06:04 AM
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AnthonyPaulO Offline
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Originally Posted by trevnopiano
Dear all
I began leaning the piano only a year or so ago. I live in a flat with very thin walls so an acoustic piano is out of the question and in fairness I only ever play with headphones on in order to get neighbor friendly volume to practice dynamics. I have an ES110 which I do like but which feels like a toy compared to the piano I receive lessons on. From online reading I see that the MP11SE is most piano like of all the digital keyboards. Is it a ridiculous idea to just replace what I have with essentially a pro keyboard? Would I be better waiting another year or so for a MP12 by which time I'd probably appreciate more of the features? The cost of the instrument isn't really an issue.

Any thoughts appreciated.
Thanks


I'm in the same position, I started learning a couple of months ago and had an MP6 which I purchased back in 2012, but a lot has changed, DP's have improved a lot, and I heard such great things about the MP11SE and decided to buy it. It's so awesome, so delicious to play and a huge upgrade, well worth it!

Re: MP11SE for a beginner [Re: trevnopiano] #2849129 05/17/19 06:06 AM
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Hecarim Offline
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Some might disagree, but in my mind better action creates better results. "I can't play La Campanella blindfolded whilst giving a speech on renewable energy, there's no point upgrading my P125" is an argument I do not agree with.

Sure, you can give Listsa and Lang Lang one of those piano toys with each key making an animal noise and they'll find a way to make the mooos and the meooows sound heavenly. I am not nor I want to become either of them. What I found, though, is that if I play the same thing on a PX160, on an FP90 and on an NV10 (and of course on an acoustic), the result is different. Significantly. I'm not talking about audio quality, but rather expressiveness, nuances, details. Are the better actions and engines covering for my average technique, as it's easier to express myself on those than on a PX160? heck yes, and I'm cool with it.

But equally, I can train my technique using an instrument that allows for a wider array of opportunities from the very start, as opposed to a less complete one. You can say it's cheating: if you become a monster on a PX160, imagine on a Steinway D! All good, but I'd rather start maybe not from a D, but on something that doesn't feel miles away from it and gives me the opportunity to absorb the right movements and subtleties since the very beginning. Maybe I have this viewpoint because my teenage studies were on an acoustic and I'm not a native DP guy.

Morale of the story: I'm totally on the "best you can afford" bandwagon.

P.s. Thanks James for making me lol with your binaural brigade thing laugh

Last edited by Hecarim; 05/17/19 06:07 AM.
Re: MP11SE for a beginner [Re: trevnopiano] #2849131 05/17/19 06:13 AM
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ShyPianist Offline
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Quote
Sure, you can give Listsa and Lang Lang one of those piano toys with each key making an animal noise and they'll find a way to make the mooos and the meooows sound heavenly.


There's a massive difference between making a piece somehow work on a terrible instrument and actually practising on one day in day out. You can 100% guarantee that Lisitsa and Lang Lang would not be where they are today if that's all they had to work with! That's what annoys me so much about those examples that get trotted out time after time when discussing the merits of different instruments. Learn to play La Campanella, by hook or by crook, on a dodgy upright and if you had to play it on a concert grand you'd be stuffed!

Last edited by ShyPianist; 05/17/19 06:14 AM.

Pianist, independent music arranger, violinist, mother
Re: MP11SE for a beginner [Re: trevnopiano] #2849138 05/17/19 06:42 AM
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trevnopiano Offline OP
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Thanks folks. Its also my birthday next week so this does look like a pretty good way to celebrate another lap round the sun.

Re: MP11SE for a beginner [Re: Doug M.] #2849148 05/17/19 07:01 AM
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Iaroslav Vasiliev Offline
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Originally Posted by Doug M.
Out of those, the RD2000 and the MP11 are my favourites---both have really good actions.

I totally agree with Doug M., this couple is the best what you can buy now. Try them both. I would say RD2000 is probably more beginner-friendly, it has lighter action that is absolutely joy to play, both classical music and jazz/pop/rock. MP11's action is significantly heavier, it is a kind of keyboard for professional classical training IMO.

Re: MP11SE for a beginner [Re: trevnopiano] #2849149 05/17/19 07:16 AM
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Happy Birthday Trevnopiano , I have both the RD 2000 and the MP11 , get the Kawai MP11 SE ,it is a lot more piano like than the Roland , the RD 2000 is a keyboard that can do about any thing you want it t to but for a great piano experience the MP11 SE will give you that .

Re: MP11SE for a beginner [Re: trevnopiano] #2849161 05/17/19 08:08 AM
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Why all discussion is just around slabs? Especially, that OP wrote that the cost of the instrument isn't really an issue. I would not recommend a slab for a flat. Had a bad experience with it.

Re: MP11SE for a beginner [Re: trevnopiano] #2849168 05/17/19 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by trevnopiano
... I only ever play with headphones ...


If this is true, the MP11SE is absolutely perfect for you.

You get a professional touch and sound now and you can add external speakers if the need arises.

The only issue that I think needs to be mentioned is weight.

The MP11SE is a bit on the heavy side (75lbs) so you will not want to be moving it around a lot.

It certainly can be moved but it takes a bit of effort.

Otherwise I highly recommend it for you.

It is the finest digital piano I have ever owned.


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used)
Re: MP11SE for a beginner [Re: MacMacMac] #2849192 05/17/19 09:34 AM
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Charles Cohen Offline
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
. . .
And don't be side-tracked by features. The only "features" that matter are touch and sound.


+1.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: MP11SE for a beginner [Re: ShyPianist] #2849274 05/17/19 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ShyPianist

There's a massive difference between making a piece somehow work on a terrible instrument and actually practising on one day in day out. You can 100% guarantee that Lisitsa and Lang Lang would not be where they are today if that's all they had to work with! That's what annoys me so much about those examples that get trotted out time after time when discussing the merits of different instruments. Learn to play La Campanella, by hook or by crook, on a dodgy upright and if you had to play it on a concert grand you'd be stuffed!


Aaahhh! The heavenly sound of truth.... 3hearts

Re: MP11SE for a beginner [Re: trevnopiano] #2849286 05/17/19 12:46 PM
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Exactly. Craftsmen might be able to work wonders with crappy tools. But that doesn't mean that they prefer crappy tools.

Re: MP11SE for a beginner [Re: ShyPianist] #2849358 05/17/19 04:38 PM
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Hecarim Offline
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Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Quote
Sure, you can give Listsa and Lang Lang one of those piano toys with each key making an animal noise and they'll find a way to make the mooos and the meooows sound heavenly.


There's a massive difference between making a piece somehow work on a terrible instrument and actually practising on one day in day out. You can 100% guarantee that Lisitsa and Lang Lang would not be where they are today if that's all they had to work with! That's what annoys me so much about those examples that get trotted out time after time when discussing the merits of different instruments. Learn to play La Campanella, by hook or by crook, on a dodgy upright and if you had to play it on a concert grand you'd be stuffed!


Amen.

Re: MP11SE for a beginner [Re: ShyPianist] #2849412 05/17/19 08:44 PM
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Zaphod Offline
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Originally Posted by ShyPianist

There's a massive difference between making a piece somehow work on a terrible instrument and actually practising on one day in day out. You can 100% guarantee that Lisitsa and Lang Lang would not be where they are today if that's all they had to work with! That's what annoys me so much about those examples that get trotted out time after time when discussing the merits of different instruments. Learn to play La Campanella, by hook or by crook, on a dodgy upright and if you had to play it on a concert grand you'd be stuffed!


Although I suspect not many people have a concert standard grand in their personal possession. Many piano teachers around my area, for example, including myself, actually, only have an upright. Not exactly a "dodgy" one, but you get my point. The pianos my teachers owned when I was young were uprights or one teacher that had a very dodgy grand. The uprights were better. Yet these teachers were accomplished pianists. You're talking Lang Lang standard. Ok, that's different. But one would assume Lang Lang has a piano by Kawai or Yamaha or something that he is sponsored by. I remember my violin teacher when I was young had a violin that was worth about £30,000 and the bow was worth £5000. This guy had nothing in his fridge.

The main difference in pianos I find is between uprights and grands. Different mechanism. Stands to reason. All the other differences are quirks, assuming they're not actually broken.

And yes, if you can afford an MP then go for it, the adage of buying the best you can afford is certainly wise when applying to musical instruments. Not least for longevity.

Re: MP11SE for a beginner [Re: trevnopiano] #2849496 05/18/19 05:32 AM
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+1 to Zaphod.

I know professional pianists who played on cheap casio slabs for their whole childhood. Practice and diligence and talent are much more important for attaining skill than the equipment used.

That said, better actions and better sound engines can increase the musical enjoyment and what you are able to extract from the instrument musically. I've spent way too much money om pianos myself for that reason.

Last edited by oivavoi; 05/18/19 05:33 AM.

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