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Kawai Keybed Reliability
#2973453 04/30/20 07:32 PM
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Hi all, it is not my intent to start a war with this thread. I’m looking to upgrade from my current piano (DGX-660) to a better digital. I have another thread where I was looking to upgrade to the P-515 but as the days have passed by and after doing a little more research, I have started looking at more expensive options.

I was considering getting the Kawai CA58 but it looks like I can get the CA78 PE for a very good price (low $3k) so leaning towards the CA78 (I really like the look of the PE). I also like the sound of the Kawai pianos. My only concern is reliability. It seems I can’t read a Youtube comment on a Kawai piano without a mention of keybed issues. I have also seen a few mentions here. I have only owned Yamaha and never had any issues. I have also not seen any reports so far of Yamaha keybeds having reliability issues.

My questions are:
1. Do Kawai digital pianos have keybed issues?
2. If they do, is this only limited to some actions?
3. Does the GFII action in the CA78 have reliability issues?
4. Will it be a mistake to buy the CA78? Is it a ticking bomb?


Currently: Yamaha P-515 | Kawai K300
Previously: Yamaha DGX-660
Re: Kawai Keybed Reliability
major_key_minor #2973465 04/30/20 08:10 PM
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Considering the you have a Kawai dealer in Houston .... I would not be worried about that at all.

If anything should go wrong .... a telephone call ... they pick it up or fix it in your home .... no problem.

I have had many Kawai digital pianos .... I have had some keyboard issues .... Kawai took care of it.

I would keep buying them if this was a serious systemic problem with their product.

On the other hand, Yamaha is a good product too ... but I would not shy away from the Kawai because of some youtube comments or comments at this site.


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), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Mackie MIX 5 Compact Mixer.
Re: Kawai Keybed Reliability
major_key_minor #2973469 04/30/20 08:22 PM
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My MP11SE has been rock solid after 2 years of daily playing.


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souped up Kawai GL10
Re: Kawai Keybed Reliability
dmd #2973481 04/30/20 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by dmd
Considering the you have a Kawai dealer in Houston .... I would not be worried about that at all.

If anything should go wrong .... a telephone call ... they pick it up or fix it in your home .... no problem.

I have had many Kawai digital pianos .... I have had some keyboard issues .... Kawai took care of it.

I would keep buying them if this was a serious systemic problem with their product.

On the other hand, Yamaha is a good product too ... but I would not shy away from the Kawai because of some youtube comments or comments at this site.


Sorry .... I mean't to say .... I would NOT keep buying them if this was a serious systemic problem with their product.


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), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Mackie MIX 5 Compact Mixer.
Re: Kawai Keybed Reliability
dmd #2973496 04/30/20 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by dmd
Considering the you have a Kawai dealer in Houston .... I would not be worried about that at all.

If anything should go wrong .... a telephone call ... they pick it up or fix it in your home .... no problem.

I have had many Kawai digital pianos .... I have had some keyboard issues .... Kawai took care of it.

I would keep buying them if this was a serious systemic problem with their product.

On the other hand, Yamaha is a good product too ... but I would not shy away from the Kawai because of some youtube comments or comments at this site.

The Kawai Piano Gallery Houston is actually very close to me, less than 2 miles. Unfortunately they are closed right now else I'll be looking to make the purchase from them. I suppose the 5 year warranty is long enough. I just don't want to deal with the inconvenience of it breaking down and having it fixed. Nevertheless, I'll keep an open mind.


Currently: Yamaha P-515 | Kawai K300
Previously: Yamaha DGX-660
Re: Kawai Keybed Reliability
Emery Wang #2973499 04/30/20 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Emery Wang
My MP11SE has been rock solid after 2 years of daily playing.

That's good to know.


Currently: Yamaha P-515 | Kawai K300
Previously: Yamaha DGX-660
Re: Kawai Keybed Reliability
major_key_minor #2973525 05/01/20 12:22 AM
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It seems that Kawai has heard enough about slipping felt and tape and has corrected this with the new GF-C and GF3 actions with the plastic/teflon caps at the end of the keysticks. Can you get a deal on a piano with either of those?

Re: Kawai Keybed Reliability
Tom Fort #2973672 05/01/20 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Fort
It seems that Kawai has heard enough about slipping felt and tape and has corrected this with the new GF-C and GF3 actions with the plastic/teflon caps at the end of the keysticks. Can you get a deal on a piano with either of those?

After doing a little more research, I think i'm going to pass on the GF2 action pianos. The youtube videos and multiple posts here reporting issues have not inspired confidence. For that amount of money, i want piece of mind for a few years at least. I subscribe to the notion: where there is smoke, there is fire. I don't buy the claim that the reports of failures are skewed. That is probably true to an extent but then i would also expect the same for Yamaha which i'm not finding.

Anyways, I've read the whole CA79/99 thread and even though it's a bit too soon, I haven't seen anyone report issues with the GF3 action so maybe Kawai has indeed fixed the reliability and QC issues for the GF3. I'm going to start shopping around for the CA79 or 99. I think i'm entering the price point where i would need to try them in person before buying. Will also consider the Yamaha CLP-645 and take a look at that one too. I think the Fort Bend Music center near me is accepting appointments.


Currently: Yamaha P-515 | Kawai K300
Previously: Yamaha DGX-660
Re: Kawai Keybed Reliability
major_key_minor #2973686 05/01/20 12:47 PM
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In the end, you have to be comfortable with your purchase; best of luck finding a DP that you can feel good about (within your price range, all the major choices are quality instruments).


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Kawai Keybed Reliability
major_key_minor #2973690 05/01/20 12:51 PM
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Every digital piano brand is prone to the possibility of an action problem. Kawai is no more so prone than the other brands. It is not a criteria I consider to be relevant. How the action plays and the piano sound are the paramount considerations when choosing.


Playing professionally since 1975. Style: Straight-ahead jazz. Gear: Kawai ES110 | Mojo 61 | 1966 Mason & Hamlin piano
Re: Kawai Keybed Reliability
major_key_minor #2973694 05/01/20 01:04 PM
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I don't blame you. So I wonder about the reliability of the grand action in the NV10. I might buy one ... or not ... depending on the reliability indicators.
Originally Posted by major_key_minor
After doing a little more research, I think i'm going to pass on the GF2 action pianos. The youtube videos and multiple posts here reporting issues have not inspired confidence. For that amount of money, i want piece of mind for a few years at least. I subscribe to the notion: where there is smoke, there is fire. I don't buy the claim that the reports of failures are skewed. That is probably true to an extent but then i would also expect the same for Yamaha which i'm not finding.

Anyways, I've read the whole CA79/99 thread and even though it's a bit too soon, I haven't seen anyone report issues with the GF3 action so maybe Kawai has indeed fixed the reliability and QC issues for the GF3. I'm going to start shopping around for the CA79 or 99. I think i'm entering the price point where i would need to try them in person before buying. Will also consider the Yamaha CLP-645 and take a look at that one too. I think the Fort Bend Music center near me is accepting appointments.

Re: Kawai Keybed Reliability
MacMacMac #2973702 05/01/20 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I don't blame you. So I wonder about the reliability of the grand action in the NV10. I might buy one ... or not ... depending on the reliability indicators.

I don't think there have been any major issues reported about the Millennium III action in the NV-10 (or the same action in their acoustics)? There have been a couple of cases of bobbling hammers (which is just a regulation matter affecting acoustics as well). I think both the NV-10 and the AvantGrands have had their share of one-off issues since release, and neither brand has had many complaints in the last few months here.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Kawai Keybed Reliability
major_key_minor #2973713 05/01/20 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by major_key_minor
I've read the whole CA79/99 thread and even though it's a bit too soon, I haven't seen anyone report issues with the GF3 action

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...i-ca79-ca99-owners-club.html#Post2971203

Re: Kawai Keybed Reliability
9190 #2973747 05/01/20 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rintincop
Every digital piano brand is prone to the possibility of an action problem. Kawai is no more so prone than the other brands. It is not a criteria I consider to be relevant. How the action plays and the piano sound are the paramount considerations when choosing.

I respectfully disagree. Reliability is something I take seriously when making any purchase, piano being no exception. I mean if we are talking about $1k pianos, probably no big deal but if i'm to spend over $3k on a piano, I definitely need it to be reliable. Especially in regards to a key component, such as the keybed.

Originally Posted by 9190
Originally Posted by major_key_minor
I've read the whole CA79/99 thread and even though it's a bit too soon, I haven't seen anyone report issues with the GF3 action

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...i-ca79-ca99-owners-club.html#Post2971203

Must have not read that far. Oh well.


Currently: Yamaha P-515 | Kawai K300
Previously: Yamaha DGX-660
Re: Kawai Keybed Reliability
major_key_minor #2973763 05/01/20 03:56 PM
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So very interesting change of events today. I went to the Kawai Piano store to take a look at the CA79/99. Thankfully they were open. They had the CA79/99 on display in addition to the CA78/98, CA48 among others. The sales person was super helpful and she showed me around and helped me try out all of them. I liked the CA79 and was going to go with that provided we could agree on a price and that's when things changed...

I have never played an acoustic before so I asked her if I could try out a few of the grands and the uprights they had on display. OMG, such a difference. The digital actions do not come close to acoustic action. There is a certain sponginess with all the digital actions that i tried that was not present on the acoustics. The feeling of the escapement from the acoustics compared to the digitals was night and day. There is a certain crispness with the acoustic action compared to the digital action that is really hard to put into words. You would have to experience this for yourself but i can tell you for a fact that you don't even need to be an experienced player to be able to tell (i'm not).

So she asked me why I was only looking at digitals. She said at the price points of the CA79/99, I could get a very nice acoustic and that I should take a look at them too. I told her i couldn't get an acoustic because i live in an apartment and don't want to disturb my neighbors and that's when she revealed the light-bulb moment. Apparently some of the Kawai uprights have a mode where you can flip the middle pedal and the sound volume reduces a lot. I tried it out and it was perfect. The silent mode will definitely not be an issue in my apartment. My sound system can get louder. She recommended at those price points, I should seriously consider getting an acoustic instead due to it being the real deal and also the longevity.

Anyways, with this light-bulb moment, I started trying out the acoustic uprights. Long story short, I have narrowed it down to mint condition K200 and K300 they had in stock. The numbers she run for me were very reasonable. Both models are actually the same price as the CA79 and CA99 respectively. I need to decide on the K200 or K300 tonight and will probably go back tomorrow and pick one of them. I do need to do my due diligence and also check out the Yamaha uprights before making the purchase but i liked the K200 and K300 a lot. I'm very glad i went into the store and actually try them out.

Is there an equivalent spreadsheet for the prices people have paid for acoustic pianos like there is for the digitals?


Currently: Yamaha P-515 | Kawai K300
Previously: Yamaha DGX-660
Re: Kawai Keybed Reliability
major_key_minor #2973775 05/01/20 04:14 PM
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Used acoustic piano prices vary tremendously, because it depends heavily on age and more importantly, condition. My guess is that a good condition K200 or K300 at $2-3k is a reasonable price (just doing a Google search on K300 price).

Though this is a digital forum, I don't think you'll find much argument here that there are tremendous benefits to an acoustic that digitals just can't match. On the flipside, consider that there are additional costs (tuning a few times a year) associated with an acoustic as well.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Kawai Keybed Reliability
rintincop #2973778 05/01/20 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rintincop
Every digital piano brand is prone to the possibility of an action problem. Kawai is no more so prone than the other brands. It is not a criteria I consider to be relevant. How the action plays and the piano sound are the paramount considerations when choosing.

One might judge this statement in the light of evidence . . . . .but the criteria is indeed relevant to most. M'Lud . . .


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

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Re: Kawai Keybed Reliability
major_key_minor #2973782 05/01/20 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by major_key_minor
Apparently some of the Kawai uprights have a mode where you can flip the middle pedal and the sound volume reduces a lot. I tried it out and it was perfect. The silent mode will definitely not be an issue in my apartment. My sound system can get louder. She recommended at those price points, I should seriously consider getting an acoustic instead due to it being the real deal and also the longevity.

Anyways, with this light-bulb moment, I started trying out the acoustic uprights. Long story short, I have narrowed it down to mint condition K200 and K300 they had in stock. The numbers she run for me were very reasonable. Both models are actually the same price as the CA79 and CA99 respectively.

Nice solution! You will enjoy playing either of those. I did; I was just too stingy to buy.


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

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Re: Kawai Keybed Reliability
Gombessa #2973788 05/01/20 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Used acoustic piano prices vary tremendously, because it depends heavily on age and more importantly, condition. My guess is that a good condition K200 or K300 at $2-3k is a reasonable price (just doing a Google search on K300 price).

Though this is a digital forum, I don't think you'll find much argument here that there are tremendous benefits to an acoustic that digitals just can't match. On the flipside, consider that there are additional costs (tuning a few times a year) associated with an acoustic as well.

Thanks. I'll do a search and also check out the acoustic thread on here.


Currently: Yamaha P-515 | Kawai K300
Previously: Yamaha DGX-660
Re: Kawai Keybed Reliability
peterws #2973791 05/01/20 04:51 PM
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Have you not read about the repeated problems with the teflon tapes?
Tapes fail ... get repaired under warranty ... fail again ... get repaired. Where does that leave the owner when the warranty runs out?
Originally Posted by rintincop
Every digital piano brand is prone to the possibility of an action problem. Kawai is no more so prone than the other brands. It is not a criteria I consider to be relevant. How the action plays and the piano sound are the paramount considerations when choosing.
I consider that highly relevant.

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