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James compares the ES110 to ES8
#2999118 07/05/20 03:21 PM
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My ES110 Piano #1 sound s the same as the Piano #1 samples as in the ES8. The ES8 exhibits more high-frequency detail probably because it uses a more expensive chip and has less compressed samples. But I hear the same samples. When I set my ES110 Touch Response to Light I then hear the high frequencies. The ES8 is 50 pounds and the ES110 is 26 pounds, far more portable. The action on the Es110 has easier to depress keys, if you play a lot it's less fatiguing and less likely to cause repetitive stress injuries. The ES110 has a hidden clean tone vintage Fender Rhodes Suitcase electric piano, it's the same Rhodes sample as in the ES8, but more compressed perhaps. Kawai simply hid it. Set the ES110 Rhodes Touch to Heavy and the jumpiness goes away. Turn Off the overdone Chorus and Vibrato effect and it cleans up nicely. It's the same Rhodes sample as the ES8 with a tiny bit less clarity. The ES8 uses a more powerful sound engine chip, thus a little more clarity on every sound. Playing live they are sonically indistinguishable.



Playing professionally since 1975. Style: Straight-ahead jazz. Gear: Kawai ES110 | Mojo 61 | 1966 Mason & Hamlin piano
Re: James compares the ES110 to ES8
rintincop #2999126 07/05/20 03:32 PM
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The Kawai ES110 is a very nice DP for it's price. ES8 isn't much better though in sound quality, like you said, making the ES110 very "worth-it".


Finally bought the P515
Re: James compares the ES110 to ES8
rintincop #2999177 07/05/20 05:07 PM
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And neither one can currently be had, so they have THAT in common, too...

BTW, have you used iPad Neo Soul Keys or computer (through Kontakt) Pianotec or Scarbee Rhodes? Killer, and the former is infinitely adjustable, the latter full of killer presets.

That's why I'm gong to do brain surgery on my ES110 (if it ever gets here) and add in audio in.

The Numa Compact 2x one ups it with audio over USB - only one cable needed. That was one thing I really dug about the Casio PXS3000 - Bluetooth audio in for Drum Genius on iPad, plus two cords to handle the computer sounds. I like mixing them with the ones on the board.


"Music Is Inherently Evanescent. Once You Play It, It's Gone In The Air" ~ Eric Dolphy

Selmer Mark VI Tenor Saxophone (1973), Selmer Mark VI Alto Saxophone (1956), Yamaha YSS-62 Soprano Saxophone (1987), Yamaha WX5 Wind Synth (2013), Kawai 11, Casio PX5S, Roland VR-09, Hammond E-112 (1969).
Re: James compares the ES110 to ES8
rintincop #2999198 07/05/20 06:00 PM
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Skyscrapersax, not sure I understand you. You need an Apple cck to get NeoSoulKeys onto your keyboard from an iPad, not an audio in. No surgery required!

Btw, apesoft just released an outstanding EP called Electric Vintage. Based on a Rhodes , highly sampled and highly malleable. $9.99. Both are great. Crudebyte’s Colossus also has very pure EPs, tho not very tweakable.


Jazz at www.newartistsrecords.com. Search Michael Levy. Use Safari for free tracks.
https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070 for jazz, classical, world, rock tracks
Kawai ES8, Casio PXS3000
Re: James compares the ES110 to ES8
rintincop #2999202 07/05/20 06:26 PM
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My own opinion re 110 v. 8. ... no comparison in touch, tho the 110 is a very good value. I got my 8 for $1299 tho it sells for $1649 in most stores. So, for an additional $500 it is also a very good value... when you can get them.

As for James’ noise comparison. I really don’t understand the implication that acoustic actions don’t make noise. You just can never hear their actions without the sound. I heard the noise on my erstwhile Steinway B when my tuner pulled the action... of course.

And the interest in the letoff feature is bogus in any DP. It is simply a nub the hammer slips off of. Absolutely no function as far as the hammer action is concerned. Hocus pocus marketing.


Jazz at www.newartistsrecords.com. Search Michael Levy. Use Safari for free tracks.
https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070 for jazz, classical, world, rock tracks
Kawai ES8, Casio PXS3000
Re: James compares the ES110 to ES8
rintincop #2999205 07/05/20 06:31 PM
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Ed Foote just posted this excellent explanation of let off mechanisms function...

The let-off distance is the amount of space through which the pianist has to throw the hammer to contact the string. The point of escapement marks the moment that control ends. The smaller the dead zone that must be crossed, the less distance to be judged by the pianist. With just the right amount of force, a hammer can cross a 1/2" let-off distance and arrive at the string with just enough force to sound, but that right amount is going to be difficult to judge. If there is a 1/16" gap that must be crossed, judgement of the amount of force needed for a given level of play is much easier. An analogy is trying to pitch pennies as close as possible to a wall, much more difficult from three feet than from from 2 inches.

Too close and the hammer can be trapped between the vibrating string, (in motion, strings are not a fixed height, as their vibration requires an excursion zone). The excursion zone is far greater on the lower bass strings than it is on the upper ones, hence, let-off needs to be greater in the bass. Without sufficient clearance, fast repetition can cause the bass hammer to contact the string at the string's lower limit of the zone while still impelled by the jack, resulting in broken shanks or horrible tone. Ideally, let-off would taper on a per note basis from bottom to top, but a consistent setting is more practical. The additional momentum found in the heavier bass hammers offsets the greater let-off needed, to a degree.

A critical aspect of let-off is the consistency from note to note, since the pianist's touch sensitivity can quickly adapt to whatever the let-off distance is, as long as there is only one. Nothing interferes more with careful voicing of chords and control of pianissimo passage work than having disparate notes requiring differing levels of force to sound evenly. Other factors, such as when the drop screws are contacted, spring strength, jack position, friction in the shank centers, and even damper timing, can cause inconsistency of resistance, but let-off tends to be the main contributing dimension to the ability of control at ppp levels.


Jazz at www.newartistsrecords.com. Search Michael Levy. Use Safari for free tracks.
https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070 for jazz, classical, world, rock tracks
Kawai ES8, Casio PXS3000
Re: James compares the ES110 to ES8
rintincop #2999218 07/05/20 07:02 PM
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One value I see in the "fake" let-off is to allow one to get used to that feeling, so that when they play a real piano, they will be better prepared. Without it, it's actually easier to play softly, because the fingers don't encounter a little "surprise" during the key travel. So, if you did a lot of practise without it, you may run into problems on real pianos, if you don't play real pianos very often.

There's also the advanced technique which we've discussed before - "playing at the let-off".

I don't play real pianos, so personally I don't have any interest in let-off simulation. I have it on my P-515, but I'd prefer it if it didn't have it.

Greg

Last edited by sullivang; 07/05/20 07:03 PM.
Re: James compares the ES110 to ES8
rintincop #2999247 07/05/20 09:26 PM
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(oops - I think it's "playing off the jack")

Re: James compares the ES110 to ES8
rintincop #2999293 07/06/20 01:54 AM
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So ES8 is not worth it. Just get the ES110, the cheapest piano in the line up. I wonder how it would compare to the CA-series and the NV-series. Wouldn’t be surprised if it also turns them redundant in a way.


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: James compares the ES110 to ES8
CyberGene #2999301 07/06/20 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
So ES8 is not worth it. Just get the ES110, the cheapest piano in the line up. I wonder how it would compare to the CA-series and the NV-series. Wouldn’t be surprised if it also turns them redundant in a way.

I guess it depends on the needs/expectations of the player. If an individual is satisfied with the action and sound of the ES110, higher specification models such as the ES8, or CA and NV series instruments may well be "not worth it".

Is that what you were trying to say? wink

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: James compares the ES110 to ES8
rintincop #2999303 07/06/20 02:21 AM
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Well, yes. If one needs a stage piano NV-10 is a no-no!


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: James compares the ES110 to ES8
CyberGene #2999306 07/06/20 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Well, yes. If one needs a stage piano NV-10 is a no-no!

Customer: "Hello, I'm looking for a lightweight 88-key digital piano."
Dealer: "Excellent sir, allow me to introduce to you the Kawai Novus NV10..."


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: James compares the ES110 to ES8
CyberGene #2999311 07/06/20 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
So ES8 is not worth it. Just get the ES110, the cheapest piano in the line up. I wonder how it would compare to the CA-series and the NV-series. Wouldn’t be surprised if it also turns them redundant in a way.

I Cannot tell if this is meant as a joke.

In any case, I believe they are slicing the product lines as thin as they can to be able to price discriminate to a high degree. If I had to guess, production costs Probably aren’t as radically different between instruments.

This is not as bad in things like the mp line (portable mp8 vs need a mule mp11), or even the e series (cheap portable vs premium portable), but once we get to cn and ca things seem to get crazier.

Re: James compares the ES110 to ES8
rintincop #2999368 07/06/20 08:05 AM
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No offence, but I believe some people are a little deaf if they say the ES110 and the ES8 sound almost the same with their respective main piano sounds. The ES110 main piano uses the EX Concert Grand samples. The ES8 main piano uses the SK-EX samples. They sound completely different, especially in the central octaves.

Some key aspects of the two different piano patches (both positive and negative aspects):

EX:
- slightly more percussive in general;
- more clean/glassy sound at middle and high velocities;
- much more muddy at lower velocities, like it uses an heavy (a little too much, to me) low-pass filter;
- I think that due to technical limitations (sample length, size, looping, etc.), they had to cut many high harmonics from the original samples, so it sounds more digital/artificial in general, more like an electric piano, especially in the central octaves;
- with headphones you feel more separation in the stereo field (and that's good to me).
- the 2 lower octaves sound a little too digital and dry, even compared to the older "Standard Grand" piano patch (the second main piano sound in the ES110). Maybe that's a nice thing in a mix but not very good for expressive piano solo playing.

SK-EX:
- more detail preserved from the original samples;
- much better sounding in the central octaves: it "sings" more, like some guys love to say about it...
- at lower velocities it sounds definitely richer compared to the EX;
- the higher octaves are detailed, but not so glassy and clean sounding... (that's a minus for my tastes, but many guys like more as they sound in the SK-EX);
- much more difficult to control in dynamics, because the default settings make very difficult to play very soft, especially in the 2 lower octaves, compared to the EX. I use a customized velocity curve to compensate;
- with headphones I feel less stereo separation in the SK-EX samples, so more muddiness in general, compared to the EX... I think with a little more stereo separation it would sound much better;
- generally the SK-EX has a very warm sound... But sometimes I think it's a little too much warm and mid-rangey, compared to the real acoustic SK-EX from which it's inspired. Again, IMHO that's the result of frequency cuts made on the original samples, maybe to make the samples more easy to compress and take less space inside the ROMs (or maybe to make a smoother transition from the attack part to the sustained looped part).

P.S.: I think that video doesn't make justice to the differences. If you play both of them you will know.

P.S.2: on the ES8, if you want, you can use the same piano patches of the ES110 (maybe with some more layers and slightly longer samples). Or you can use the SK-EX patch, or the new SK-5 rich and mellower piano sound. On the ES110 you have just some variants from the EX and an even older piano patch.

P.S.3: on my Kawai CN37 I modded the EX piano patch to make it sound less sparkling, more resonant and with a little more reverb. Now I think it sounds much better than default and I often prefer it to the SK-EX for some classical pieces.

P.S.4: I think the ES110 is a nice and light 88-keys DP and midi-controller. But the ES8 is definitely a better instrument for piano solo playing.

Re: James compares the ES110 to ES8
magicpiano #2999420 07/06/20 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by magicpiano
No offence, but I believe some people are a little deaf if they say the ES110 and the ES8 sound almost the same with their respective main piano sounds. The ES110 main piano uses the EX Concert Grand samples. The ES8 main piano uses the SK-EX samples. They sound completely different, especially in the central octaves.

This.

The SK-EX piano sound in the ES8 is light years better than the rather unpleasant EX.

SK-EX = Warm, dynamic.

EX = Raspy, metallic, uneven, harsh, unrefined.


C. Bechstein Model B | Roland RD-1000 |
Re: James compares the ES110 to ES8
rintincop #2999436 07/06/20 01:00 PM
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Also, they don't feel at all the same.
The use of the word "stunning" to describe a company's entry-level digital piano continues to be amusing to me.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: James compares the ES110 to ES8
rintincop #2999454 07/06/20 01:49 PM
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SK-EX on ES8 is the "Concert Grand" patch, right? I do not like it, at least through speakers. The only one that is OK to me is the SK-5.


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
Re: James compares the ES110 to ES8
terminaldegree #2999522 07/06/20 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Also, they don't feel at all the same.
The use of the word "stunning" to describe a company's entry-level digital piano continues to be amusing to me.
I think he used strong words in the title just to attract more visitors, as many youtubers do.

Re: James compares the ES110 to ES8
EVC2017 #2999525 07/06/20 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by EVC2017
SK-EX on ES8 is the "Concert Grand" patch, right? I do not like it, at least through speakers. The only one that is OK to me is the SK-5.
On the ES8 the SK-EX should be the first main piano sound of the instrument.

Re: James compares the ES110 to ES8
magicpiano #2999610 07/06/20 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by magicpiano
On the ES8 the SK-EX should be the first main piano sound of the instrument.

By default, yes.

The display will appear as:

[Linked Image]

Cheers,
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

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