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Yamaha P515 v. Kawai Es8
#2962468 04/01/20 07:12 AM
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I am going to buy my first real DP. I am interested in sounds, playability and features. I have somewhat narrowed my choices to Yamaha P515 and Kawai ES8. I will use primarily at home. I would appreciate any thoughts on Important feature differences and on why I should buy one over the other. Given the Corona virus issues, I don’t have a way of trying them in person, and I want to buy one to play during the stay at home orders. Any comments would be appreciated.


Anthony Arena
Re: Yamaha P515 v. Kawai Es8
MacDaddyGator #2962473 04/01/20 07:45 AM
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They are both good. The ES8 should have a slightly lighter action. If you cannot try them directly, I suggest you to check how they sound on the tons of videos there are on youtube. Then get the DP with the piano sound timbre you like the best. Do you like more a bright, clean piano sound? Get the Yamaha. Do you like more a warm and round sound? Get the Kawai.

P.S.: if you will play almost always with headphones, I suggest you to consider the Kawai MP7SE too. It doesn't have internal speakers, but it has more features than the ES8, and the price should be the same.

Re: Yamaha P515 v. Kawai Es8
MacDaddyGator #2962476 04/01/20 07:52 AM
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so I own the p515, and have played the es8.
If you like a more in your face , bright kind of sound, you will prefer the p515, where as es8 is darker, mellower sound, the action is heavier on the p515 but harder to control , than the es8, but es8 can be too light at times.

Its really tough choice, but I bought p515 because rh3 while being a great action on the es8, wasn't good enough, to point where I can see past all the complaints of the rh3 action breaking down and developing sensor problems. Even if you buy warranty, I just don't want to deal with that and take out the time to deal with it.

Therefore, I went with Yamaha p515.

you can see my videos here of the p515, to hear samples of usb recording and speakers
Jitin's P515


Yamaha P155, Yamaha P515
Re: Yamaha P515 v. Kawai Es8
MacDaddyGator #2962482 04/01/20 08:13 AM
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P515!

Re: Yamaha P515 v. Kawai Es8
MacDaddyGator #2962487 04/01/20 08:28 AM
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Although I prefer the ES8 slightly as a piano, and definitely in terms of appearance, the Yamaha has more instrument voices, since you mention that as a priority.

I disagree strongly with Jitin that the ES8 action is too light.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Yamaha P515 v. Kawai Es8
MacDaddyGator #2962495 04/01/20 09:07 AM
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The ES8 is too light if you need to play on a real acoustic piano. You will have to work a little to adapt yourself.
That's what I am doing with my N1X now.


My pianos : Kawai ES8, Yamaha N1X
Headphone : Beyerdynamic DT 770 pro 80 Ω
Re: Yamaha P515 v. Kawai Es8
MacDaddyGator #2962500 04/01/20 09:20 AM
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I haven't played the 515, but I'm enjoying the ES8 I recently bought. I only got it over the MP7 due to the internal speakers. Since I wasnt going to be spending another $400+ on studio monitors, I wanted something with half decent speakers built in. It does a good job.

Re: Yamaha P515 v. Kawai Es8
magicpiano #2962514 04/01/20 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by magicpiano
Do you like more a warm and round sound? Get the Kawai.


Or play the Bosendorfer on the Yamaha.


C. Bechstein Model B | Roland RD-1000 | Kawai VPC1
Re: Yamaha P515 v. Kawai Es8
MacDaddyGator #2962516 04/01/20 10:03 AM
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If you're in doubt, wait for the ES9; it will be well worth it, imo. But having said that, I bought my 515 just before Xmas. The keyboard, whilst seeming heavy-ish at first feels hard to describe. It seems different, very good quality and right now, I find it good for my old fingers.
The Bosendorfer based "Warm Grand" is my all time favourite sound. A lovely woody sound which sparkles with increased impact and unlike any I've found on a DP.
It's excellent for playing single note melodies above a light accompaniment.
The Kawai will have extra tweaking capabilities.

Both excellent value. I got my 515 for £1150.


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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Re: Yamaha P515 v. Kawai Es8
MacDaddyGator #2962525 04/01/20 10:38 AM
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Set touch curve on P-515 to Soft 1 and the piano becomes more responsive, obviously remaining with mechanically heavy action, and it is good.


Yamaha P-515, Roland FA-07, Hammond XK-1c, Presonus Eris E5, AKG K271 MKII, Laney AH80
Re: Yamaha P515 v. Kawai Es8
MacDaddyGator #2962553 04/01/20 12:06 PM
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If ‘features’ are important then I think the P515 has a slight advantage (better recorder, more sounds). You can compare the user manuals


P-515
Re: Yamaha P515 v. Kawai Es8
MacDaddyGator #2962563 04/01/20 12:29 PM
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I just bought an MP7SE and I'm very happy with it.

I could have bought the P515 as well, but I definitely prefer the RH3 action. I own a 20 y.o. P80 and I saw that the P515's action is still the same they used at that time, they just made the white keys in wood for aesthetic/commercial purposes.

The MP7SE has more (excellent quality) sounds than you may ever need, some kick-ass Rhodes and Hammonds and a whole lot of features which would be too long to list here: consider that the manual is 156 pages...

On top of that, it's so pretty that sometimes I stop playing and just stare at it... smile

So that was my personal choice in the end.

I did not buy the ES8 and I wouldn't buy it.

Re: Yamaha P515 v. Kawai Es8
MacDaddyGator #2962564 04/01/20 12:30 PM
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I did listen to some comparisons using my Ipad and headphones. I really like the brightness of the Yamaha CFX, but I thought the sounds of almost all of the other pianos, organs, strings sounded better on the Kawai. I think I would be happy with the main piano sounds of both, but I am worried that the Yamaha might not sound quite as authentic as the Kawai in the other sounds.

I am not sure if I reached this conclusion because the review I watched was a little biased toward the Kawai ES8 or because my ears really liked the sounds of the Kawai better, with the exception of the CFX.

I am really laboring over this decision more than I think I should.


Anthony Arena
Re: Yamaha P515 v. Kawai Es8
MacDaddyGator #2962565 04/01/20 12:33 PM
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why the ES8, do you need onboard speakers?

Re: Yamaha P515 v. Kawai Es8
BachToTheFuture #2962567 04/01/20 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BachToTheFuture
The ES8 is too light if you need to play on a real acoustic piano. You will have to work a little to adapt yourself.
That's what I am doing with my N1X now.


I'm sorry, but I completely disagree with you, from my point of view as a professional classical pianist and university piano professor.

I play on various acoustic grand pianos daily as part of my job. It's easy to transition from the one to the other.
Most digital actions are unnecessarily and unrealistically heavy in terms of touchweight.

Having said that, the P515 may be a better choice for what the OP seems to value in a portable digital piano.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
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Re: Yamaha P515 v. Kawai Es8
MacDaddyGator #2962570 04/01/20 12:48 PM
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I always played on acoustic pianos and, so far, no electronic keyboard really compares to them. So one will always have to adapt in some measure, no matter what you buy, even the very best (and the RH3 is considered one of the best of not the best plastic keyboard on the market nowadays).

The RH3 feels quite ok, though.

Re: Yamaha P515 v. Kawai Es8
MacDaddyGator #2962571 04/01/20 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Ragtime2k
I just bought an MP7SE and I'm very happy with it.

I could have bought the P515 as well, but I definitely prefer the RH3 action. I own a 20 y.o. P80 and I saw that the P515's action is still the same they used at that time, they just made the white keys in wood for aesthetic/commercial purposes.

The MP7SE has more (excellent quality) sounds than you may ever need, some kick-ass Rhodes and Hammonds and a whole lot of features which would be too long to list here: consider that the manual is 156 pages...

On top of that, it's so pretty that sometimes I stop playing and just stare at it... smile

So that was my personal choice in the end.


I am considering the MP7SE, as suggested above. I have a great sound system in my house using a Yamaha mixer and QSC 12 tops with QSC 18 subs. I know that is overkill for a living room, but would I be able to enjoy playing the MP7SE at home through the big system as much as playing the ES8 through the installed speakers? Practicing, of course, it would just be me. I don't play in a band.


Anthony Arena
Re: Yamaha P515 v. Kawai Es8
MacDaddyGator #2962575 04/01/20 12:54 PM
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forget about the ES8 onboard speakers: they are made be light, portable, not performing.

you're better off with a set of good headphones, instead of them.

in other words: forget about the ES8

Re: Yamaha P515 v. Kawai Es8
BachToTheFuture #2962576 04/01/20 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by BachToTheFuture
The ES8 is too light if you need to play on a real acoustic piano. You will have to work a little to adapt yourself.
That's what I am doing with my N1X now.


My impression was that the P515 keys were more different to N1X kind of keys than ES8 keys. But also that there are big differences already among various Yamaha acoustic upright actions (never tried any of their grands). So that the degree of adaptation may depend a lot on the specific acoustic piano one is using.

Re: Yamaha P515 v. Kawai Es8
MacDaddyGator #2962585 04/01/20 01:05 PM
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are we taking about budget, here?

because of you wanna pay an unjustified amount of money for an electronic piano, there is better stuff around

Personally I would not be available to pay for a digital piano the same amount, or even more, with which I could buy a pretty decent used acoustic.

(But that's just me...)

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