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Re: Kawai Quality
cmlpires #2851500 05/23/19 12:46 PM
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It's also worth noting that in North America, the warranty on the MP series and VPC1 is only 1 year labor, 3 parts. Something that rather dampens the "oh, but the customer service is top-notch" point for me.

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Re: Kawai Quality
cmlpires #2851509 05/23/19 01:32 PM
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I agree that their quality control is worse than those of Casio and Roland.


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Re: Kawai Quality
Emery Wang #2851569 05/23/19 05:37 PM
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I have no information about how many pianos are sold.
The postings in the Prices Paid thread are nothing more than a sample.
Code
Year . . .Casio . Kawai . Roland . Yamaha
2007 . . . 11 . . . 19 . . . 29 . . .45
2008 . . . 17 . . . .4 . . . 20 . . .45
2009 . . . 23 . . . 12 . . . 29 . . .68
2010 . . . 28 . . . 43 . . . 40 . . .56
2011 . . . 10 . . . 55 . . . 27 . . .39
2012 . . . 22 . . . 38 . . . .8 . . .26
2013 . . . 19 . . . 47 . . . .7 . . .21
2014 . . . 21 . . . 43 . . . 14 . . .10
2015 . . . 17 . . . 42 . . . .3 . . .24
2016 . . . .3 . . . 27 . . . 19 . . .16
2017 . . . .6 . . . 26 . . . 18 . . .13
2018 . . . .5 . . . 22 . . . 10 . . ..9
2019 . . . .1 . . . 14 . . . .6 . . .21
Expressed as percentages:
Code
Year . . .Casio . Kawai . Roland . Yamaha
2007 . . . 11% . . 18% . . .28% . . .43%
2008 . . . 20% . . .5% . . .23% . . .52%
2009 . . . 17% . . .9% . . .22% . . .52%
2010 . . . 17% . . 26% . . .24% . . .34%
2011 . . . .8% . . 42% . . .21% . . .30%
2012 . . . 23% . . 40% . . . 9% . . .28%
2013 . . . 20% . . 50% . . . 7% . . .22%
2014 . . . 24% . . 49% . . .16% . . .11%
2015 . . . 20% . . 49% . . . 3% . . .28%
2016 . . . .5% . . 42% . . .29% . . .25%
2017 . . . 10% . . 41% . . .29% . . .21%
2018 . . . 11% . . 48% . . .22% . . .20%
2019 . . . .2% . . 33% . . .14% . . .50%
There is no reason to conclude that sales across the market follow those percentages.
But people might believe so!
Originally Posted by Emery Wang
Hi Mac. Love your screen name and logo, btw. So I wonder if part of your observations have something to do with the number of keyboards sold. If not many forum posters use Rolands, more buy Yamahas, and even more buy Kawais, then Kawais would have more complaints even if the percentage of bad keyboards was the same across all manufacturers. Any idea as to which brand is more common in the forum?


Re: Kawai Quality
cmlpires #2851571 05/23/19 05:55 PM
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Wow, nice job Mac. You've gone above and beyond.


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Re: Kawai Quality
cmlpires #2851580 05/23/19 06:44 PM
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Mac: you the real MVP

Also from what I gather kawai is not the highest selling based on your numbers so the argument that kawai digital has more users in this form thus more complaints can be discarded


Yamaha P155, Yamaha P515
Re: Kawai Quality
Jitin #2851581 05/23/19 06:54 PM
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Probably true ... but the data does not correlate the number of buyers to the number of complainers ...
Originally Posted by Jitin
Also from what I gather kawai is not the highest selling based on your numbers so the argument that kawai digital has more users in this form thus more complaints can be discarded

But no one knows whether the complainers have even posted their purchases in the Prices Paid thread.
And no one knows whether people who posted in Prices Paid have stayed around to post a complaint.

They don't even tell us the market split across the makers, never mind the relative quality of the brands.

Conclusion: The data is not adequate to reach conclusions beyond what the data represent.

Re: Kawai Quality
cmlpires #2851617 05/23/19 10:22 PM
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I've had my Kawai ES8 for over three years, and gig with it quite often, sometimes in dusty dance spaces. I have had no mechanical problems with it until recently, when one set of notes in the middle (highly used part) of the keyboard started not always sounding. This happened all the time on my Roland RD-200 back in the day, so I knew I likely needed to clean under the contact strips or replace them.

Using information from this site, I was able to open it up and clean below the rubber contact strips. This keyboard has a LOT more screws holding it together than the old Roland did!

Unfortunately, that did not solve the problem. I took it to the nearest Kawai authorized dealer, and once he heard my story, he said "sounds like you need new rubber contacts. Kawai Technical will send them to you. I could put them in at $60/hour in two weeks, or, since you know how to open it up, you could have them send the strips to you and do it yourself."

So I contacted the US Kawai Tech department, and they were extremely helpful. The rubber strips are on their way, and I'll be back in business soon after they arrive.

No complaints about Kawai build quality on this unit.


Rodney Sauer
Kawai KG-2E • Kawai ES8
Re: Kawai Quality
Emery Wang #2851690 05/24/19 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Emery Wang
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I, too, don't like the rants. But "these kind of things happen" is no excuse. There is no excuse for poor quality. None.

And think back over the last dozen years ...

Complaints about Rolands are rare (though they did go through a bad period with keyboard dandruff eight or so years ago)
Complaints about Yamahas have been rare.
Complaints about Kawai pianos are rife.

Kawai stands out. And cmlpires is screwed. I don't like the rant. But I sympathize with his situation.
Lucky for Jitin ... he chose avoidance.

Hi Mac. Love your screen name and logo, btw. So I wonder if part of your observations have something to do with the number of keyboards sold. If not many forum posters use Rolands, more buy Yamahas, and even more buy Kawais, then Kawais would have more complaints even if the percentage of bad keyboards was the same across all manufacturers. Any idea as to which brand is more common in the forum?

My MP11SE has been rock solid for 2 years, btw, with nary a squeak or wiggle.

I suspect this, but even if it's a case where Kawais are a bit more "finicky" I think it's well worth the trade off. My piano tech was in to work on my acoustic and saw my MP11 and asked to play it and he really loved it (he's also a classical concert pianist). I've owned mine since they first came out (was that 2014?) and it's been solid as well except for the pedal unit which they fixed with MP11/SE.


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Re: Kawai Quality
cmlpires #2851761 05/24/19 09:52 AM
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I suspect the same. I've owned all kinds of brands, and my Kawai VPC1 works flawlessly for several years now. I would suppose Kawai's wooden actions are quite reliable, and a joy to play... but so are Yamaha's better actions.

Re: Kawai Quality
cmlpires #2851763 05/24/19 10:01 AM
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Took delivery of a VPC1 yesterday so obviously I can't speak to the robustness over time - but initial impressions is that this thing is very, very well put together.

Re: Kawai Quality
cmlpires #2851777 05/24/19 11:03 AM
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I had a kawai mp7, with less than 1 year I began to have problems with their keys, exactly as you mention the keys that stopped ringing or that sounded very noisy, repaired and sold, I lost the confidence in the mp7 se play live, buy mp7 se thinking that this manufacturing fault would be corrected. I have been with mp7 for 4 months and I have problems with the 8 keys of the continuous nightmare. I think kawai should give an explanation to its users, for the most part it is a work tool.

My question is, when they repair the rubber sensors, do they put others exactly the same? Kawai did not solve this problem with better quality rubber sensors? In a few months I will have the same problem? it may end up changing the brand that pity

Last edited by suarec; 05/24/19 11:08 AM.
Re: Kawai Quality
MacMacMac #2851790 05/24/19 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I have no information about how many pianos are sold.
The postings in the Prices Paid thread are nothing more than a sample.
Code
Year . . .Casio . Kawai . Roland . Yamaha
2007 . . . 11 . . . 19 . . . 29 . . .45
2008 . . . 17 . . . .4 . . . 20 . . .45
2009 . . . 23 . . . 12 . . . 29 . . .68
2010 . . . 28 . . . 43 . . . 40 . . .56
2011 . . . 10 . . . 55 . . . 27 . . .39
2012 . . . 22 . . . 38 . . . .8 . . .26
2013 . . . 19 . . . 47 . . . .7 . . .21
2014 . . . 21 . . . 43 . . . 14 . . .10
2015 . . . 17 . . . 42 . . . .3 . . .24
2016 . . . .3 . . . 27 . . . 19 . . .16
2017 . . . .6 . . . 26 . . . 18 . . .13
2018 . . . .5 . . . 22 . . . 10 . . ..9
2019 . . . .1 . . . 14 . . . .6 . . .21
Expressed as percentages:
Code
Year . . .Casio . Kawai . Roland . Yamaha
2007 . . . 11% . . 18% . . .28% . . .43%
2008 . . . 20% . . .5% . . .23% . . .52%
2009 . . . 17% . . .9% . . .22% . . .52%
2010 . . . 17% . . 26% . . .24% . . .34%
2011 . . . .8% . . 42% . . .21% . . .30%
2012 . . . 23% . . 40% . . . 9% . . .28%
2013 . . . 20% . . 50% . . . 7% . . .22%
2014 . . . 24% . . 49% . . .16% . . .11%
2015 . . . 20% . . 49% . . . 3% . . .28%
2016 . . . .5% . . 42% . . .29% . . .25%
2017 . . . 10% . . 41% . . .29% . . .21%
2018 . . . 11% . . 48% . . .22% . . .20%
2019 . . . .2% . . 33% . . .14% . . .50%
There is no reason to conclude that sales across the market follow those percentages.
But people might believe so!


This would suggest strongly that people on this forum who buy, are influenced by the opinions of others strongly. 2018 was a depressing year for DP manufacturers here, few members recorded their sales. We must've slagged 'em all off . . . .Bet the VST lot did well!


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Re: Kawai Quality
peterws #2851806 05/24/19 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by peterws

This would suggest strongly that people on this forum who buy, are influenced by the opinions of others strongly. 2018 was a depressing year for DP manufacturers here, few members recorded their sales. We must've slagged 'em all off . . . .Bet the VST lot did well!


IIRC, for much of 2018, the "Prices Paid" thread was moved within a "Master Sticky Topics" thread. Which was well-intentioned, but resulted in being completely hidden, and thus, undiscoverable and unused. When it was moved back to its own sticky post, activity picked up again.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Kawai Quality
cmlpires #2851957 05/24/19 11:47 PM
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I too have had an issue with Kawai. My piano was finally replaced by the Dealer. At their cost. Not Kawai's. The new one was better. My current CA67 is all I need right now. And sounds great and plays great. I do miss the soundboard a little tho.

In their defense, with all the R/D that they have pursued and features brought to the marketplace, I think they have done a reasonable job to ship a good product. Designed in Japan. Manufactured in Indonesia. Shipped by sea all over the world. Then by truck(s) to parts unknown. One has to recognize these are not produced by the 100,000's. Some models not even more than a few thousand. Just these facts alone make it quite difficult to manage it all. Plus, have the instrument endure all the rigors of shipping. And, all the folks involved have to turn a profit. That means the margins Kawai experiences, may not be -that- great. Certainly not like an iPhone commands.

Here we tend to chatter of the many problems experienced. And if it were not for Kawai James involvement which makes the Kawai a popular discussion, Kawai would probably be no more discussed than any of the other brands. It begs the question how many happy owners do not even know of thos Board or even post of their satisfaction. That would be an interesting number to know.

Maybe one day, I will try out the Novus NV10. If one is going to lust for a thing, why not turn your attentions to something you can not afford. Tee hee ...

Last edited by McBuster; 05/24/19 11:48 PM.

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Re: Kawai Quality
David B #2851975 05/25/19 02:40 AM
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I must have missed this last week. Having now read it I respond now ...

This is pernicious in several ways ...
Originally Posted by David B
I like how Alan identifies the difference between design and quality control.
Quality control is bullcrap. I thought we got rid of that nonsense decades ago.

Quality is not controlled.
Processes are controlled.
And processes that affect quality extend far beyond a product and its manufacturing.

Processes that are relevant to quality must be everywhere in a company, not just in manufacturing ...
- Market evaluation
- Product conception
- Product design/development
- Product life-testing
- Supplier management
- Incoming inspection
- Field service/support
- and more
Consumers see only the product/result, and might falsely attribute product quality to this fictitious "quality control" department.
But it is not so. Quality flaws in a product or service can originate in any part of the maker's operations.
Quality is not a "department". Quality is the result of effective processes that span the entire operation.

Regarding the A+ you give to Kawai's actions ... You say these are great designs. But are they?
Why are there so many reported flaws? And are you sure that the defects can be attributed to manufacturing?
Well, it might be so ... but they might instead be design defects.
When a product is hard to manufacture correctly ... and it then fails often ... this is a DESIGN defect.
So maybe the B- you give their manufacturing should be raised, and the A+ design lowered.

But we cannot know because we cannot see behind the curtain.
Hence we ought to be reticent about where to assign praise and where to place blame.

Regarding the A+ you give their customer service ...
This seems to reflect the perception that when things go wrong Kawai makes things right. This is laudable.
But it's also expensive. And sometimes unsustainable.
Better would be to get things right the first time, with no need to make things right afterwards.

THAT'S THE MARK OF QUALITY.

This is not a rip on Kawai. It's a reaction to the misunderstanding of quality ... and of the myth called "quality control".

Re: Kawai Quality
MacMacMac #2852043 05/25/19 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Quality control is bullcrap. I thought we got rid of that nonsense decades ago.

Quality is not controlled.
Processes are controlled.
And processes that affect quality extend far beyond a product and its manufacturing.

---

This is not a rip on Kawai. It's a reaction to the misunderstanding of quality ... and of the myth called "quality control".

What you described in your post is quality assurance. However, quality control is not a myth. It's one of the processes under quality assurance.

Re: Kawai Quality
cmlpires #2852050 05/25/19 09:19 AM
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Sadly my experience of Kawai customer service here in the UK was very negative.


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Re: Kawai Quality
cmlpires #2852051 05/25/19 09:21 AM
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I'm think about Total Quality.
Quality in EVERY facet of an organization.
Even facility maintenance. Everything.

Quality assurance (QA) has been abused.
In the books it looks good. But in practice, these days, QA is just "testing".
That is, find defects after they've been baked into all of the preceding operations.
Then fix 'em ... at high cost.
Inadequate. Debilitating.

But quite suitable if yours is an undemanding market.
Even more suitable if you have little competition.

Re: Kawai Quality
jon123 #2852053 05/25/19 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by jon123

What you described in your post is quality assurance. However, quality control is not a myth. It's one of the processes under quality assurance.

Sorry, I was wrong on the last part. Quality control does not fall under quality assurance.

The better term to use for what Mac described would be quality management, which both quality assurance and quality control fall under.

Re: Kawai Quality
cmlpires #2852056 05/25/19 09:44 AM
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Interesting side note, Kawai's grand piano facility is ISO 9001 certified, but not it's digital piano facility:
http://www.kawai-global.com/company/history/

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