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KDP110 vs. cn series/clavinova
#3012526 08/11/20 02:58 AM
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Surprised that this model has not been discussed here before.

I am considering purchasing the kawai KDP110 as a practice instrument. I own an accoustic Grand, but lockdown convinced me that I need a headphone option.

I play mostly advanced classical, and my concern is that after a few weeks, I will find I am disappointed with the touch and action of the KDP and regret not going after a more expensive model with better actions (simulated hammers, escarpment, better pedal sensitivity etc). Also, that I may pick up bad habits that don't "translate" well to an accoustic grand. Finally I have also found that I struggle to play some 20th century works on ANY digital (Messiaen, for example).

On the other hand, as this is only a practice Instrument, I don't want it to be ridiculously expensive, either.


I am wondering if there are any owners of the KDP who can share their experience.

Re: KDP110 vs. cn series/clavinova
almo82 #3012532 08/11/20 04:01 AM
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almo82, may I ask if you have played tested the KDP110, or the CN/Clavinova models?

If so, did you find any deficiencies with the keyboard action or any other aspect of the instrument(s)?

Kind regards,
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: KDP110 vs. cn series/clavinova
almo82 #3012560 08/11/20 06:54 AM
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The KDP does have hammers. It doesn't have the escapement simulation notch. Pedal sensitivity can mean many things. The pedal itself probably is similar to other Kawai digitals and it does have damper resonance and a reasonably long sustain, I suppose.

But people do often say that they can be much more careless with the sustain pedal on many digital pianos without making the sound muddy. So that's one thing to try out before purchase, if possible and if an important aspect. The damper resonance is adjustable and could be on a low setting on a show room model.

Re: KDP110 vs. cn series/clavinova
almo82 #3012596 08/11/20 10:46 AM
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Thanks for the responses. i did try the KDP: My biggest issue with it was that I couldn't get the piano to play softly enough. after a certain point, volume drops too quickly and therefore becomes to difficult to control. Therefore, pieces that require fine dynamic control in PP simply didn't "work" for me. The touch itself also felt a bit "springy".

@clothearednincompo is right - Digitals tend to be more foregiving on Pedaling, but, especially when practicing, I tend to under-pedal intentionally. Still, I got a very "muddy" sound on the KDP. That could well be a fault in my playing style (I am not a professional) - but it is an unexpected problem. trying to mitigate using half-pedaling did not seem to work - maybe I just need to get used to the pedal.

Another thing I noticed is that the Una Corda did not seem to have much effect: is there a setting that enables it that I'm missing?

I intend to go to a store later this week and try the CN29 or the CA series , but the CN's are significantly more expensive, and the CA's are probably more than I'm willing to spend on a practice instrument.

Again, I may be get used to these limitations in time - and they could stem from my personal playing style, but my concern is that I may NOT, which is why I am looking for inputs from current users.

To be fair: I tried Yamaha and Casio, and they're no better, at least at this price point, which is why I've opened this thread: I'm wondering if the next higher level (from any vendor) will actually solve the problem.

Last edited by almo82; 08/11/20 10:54 AM.
Re: KDP110 vs. cn series/clavinova
almo82 #3012696 08/11/20 02:12 PM
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Are you looking for specs or looks? CLP-645 is a nice instrument but you can get the same things in a P-515 for much cheaper.


Finally bought the P515
Re: KDP110 vs. cn series/clavinova
almo82 #3012904 08/12/20 03:18 AM
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Thanks Joe, I'm looking for a practice piano - so looks are largely irrelant, as is Portability |(though It may be useful to be able to move the piano around the house.|

I have not heard of the P515 - looks interesting: It seems to be comparable spec wise with the Clavinova = even has wooden keys - I'll need to try it.. Do you know which is the equivalent Clavinova model?

Last edited by almo82; 08/12/20 03:20 AM.
Re: KDP110 vs. cn series/clavinova
almo82 #3012930 08/12/20 05:21 AM
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Since the P515 has the NWX keyboard, the closest is the CLP645.


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
Re: KDP110 vs. cn series/clavinova
almo82 #3012983 08/12/20 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by almo82
Thanks for the responses. i did try the KDP: My biggest issue with it was that I couldn't get the piano to play softly enough. after a certain point, volume drops too quickly and therefore becomes to difficult to control. Therefore, pieces that require fine dynamic control in PP simply didn't "work" for me.
I cannot speak for Yamaha DPs, because I haven't tried them enough, but I think that current Kawai low/middle-range (so, HI or PHI engine) digital pianos with SK-EX piano sound are lacking in 2 areas:

(1) IMHO they don't have enough velocity layers to get a nice and round "pianissimo" sound timbre, and (2) the velocity curve is not perfectly calibrated, so, as you already noticed, you feel it's very difficult to play in the piano/pianissimo range of velocities with the normal touch curve.

To get a much better feeling on pianissimo playing, you should use an Heavy or Heavy+ curve, but then you would get a muddy sound when you want to play strong parts of a piece, because with an Heavy curve you could no longer reach the high velocity layers.

These are the reasons why on my CN37 I modded the default velocity curve to be heavier only in the range of the low velocities and now I can play with much better dynamics without losing the highest velocities. Unfortunately you cannot do that on a KDP110 or a CN29, but only on a CN37/39.

It's paradoxical but, regarding "dynamics", to me the old EX piano patch works much better than the SK-EX one (at least on the HI and PHI engines). The EX allows me to play easily with a much broader dynamic range and this is one of the reasons why I often prefer to play with it rather than with the default SK-EX.
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[...]I got a very "muddy" sound on the KDP. That could well be a fault in my playing style (I am not a professional) - but it is an unexpected problem. trying to mitigate using half-pedaling did not seem to work - maybe I just need to get used to the pedal.
About the general "muddiness" of the SK-EX sound, that is just the character of that piano patch but, in the HI and PHI piano engines, always IMHO, the muddiness is accentuated by the lack of velocity layers (so you feel more filtering in the samples), the shorter length of the samples and the long and strong (but looped) sustain of the SK-EX sound. The trick here is to learn to use the pedal more sparingly than normal, disable the Reverb and reduce or disable the Damper Resonance, because these effects could add more muddiness to an already muddy sound.
Quote
Another thing I noticed is that the Una Corda did not seem to have much effect: is there a setting that enables it that I'm missing?
You don't feel much difference because DPs use always the same samples for the Una-Corda too. What really changes is that with the left pedal depressed is like you set a slightly mellower voicing, so even if you play fff, you would get just an ff sound timbre and volume.
Quote
I intend to go to a store later this week and try the CN29 or the CA series , but the CN's are significantly more expensive, and the CA's are probably more than I'm willing to spend on a practice instrument.

Again, I may be get used to these limitations in time - and they could stem from my personal playing style, but my concern is that I may NOT, which is why I am looking for inputs from current users.

To be fair: I tried Yamaha and Casio, and they're no better, at least at this price point, which is why I've opened this thread: I'm wondering if the next higher level (from any vendor) will actually solve the problem.
You should try some recent Roland DPs too.

Re: KDP110 vs. cn series/clavinova
almo82 #3013217 08/12/20 08:34 PM
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[align:center][align:left]Thank you MagicPiano! Your analysis is insightful and makes sense: I intend to go to the shop again over the WE and try again - now that I know what to listen for.


Strange that you should mention Roland: I tried one today (a 102). And found I liked it -certainly more than the equivalent Yamaha/Kawai Models I tried. it’s sound system is low powered Though Which may partially explain why I couldn’t find harsh sounds when playing FF and good control when playing pianissimo - the low volume (even at Maximum) masks some issues. That said, to me it was better though Incoulent compared directly.

But here is the strange thing: I tried some of the more expensive Roland models and did not like them it all (700-series): I am wondering why that would be? Was there a change In the design? Perhaps my theory about low-powered systems holds true(I could put othe instrument at 50% of m
aximum volume)[/align].[align:left[/align]][/align]

Re: KDP110 vs. cn series/clavinova
almo82 #3013360 08/13/20 09:35 AM
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AFAIK, Roland uses "modeled" piano engines in their top models, but they use sample-based ones + some modeling on low/middle-range models, so the feeling could be very different between their products. Usually you would think the top model should sound the best, but it's not so simple with piano sounds. Some people prefer the sampled sound of old Roland engines, rather than the new modeled one.

Anyway I think most Roland pianos, especially the Roland LX series, have a very good playability and a warm sound in the low range of velocities (ppp/pp/p). Maybe they sound a little too 'harsh' in the high velocities, but their dynamic range is very large.

Re: KDP110 vs. cn series/clavinova
almo82 #3013645 08/14/20 02:13 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions MagicPiano,

I believe you are right about Roland: I tried the FP60 and liked it - For much the same reasons as I liked the previous one. I suspect the FP30 will do just as well for me (at half the cost I get the same action, and and same piano engine with less options):Unfortunately there wasn’t one available So I will need to find one to try.

Re: KDP110 vs. cn series/clavinova
almo82 #3013663 08/14/20 04:50 AM
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If you can, try them. The base sound engine is the same, but the FP-60 hardware is more powerful, so it has more polyphony and more customizations options of the piano sound (and a little more powerful internal speakers) and many more sounds available. Also, the FP-60 is compatible with the Piano Designer app, while the FP-30 is not. But if you like the piano sound from the FP-30 and don't feel the need to customize it, I think it could be a good choice as a practice instrument.

I suggest you to try a Kawai ES110 too. It is a low-range DP but it has a very nice playability, in the low velocities too. Here is a comparison of the P125, the ES110 and the FP30:



P.S.: new Kawai models should come out in September, so maybe it's better to wait a little more before buying...

Re: KDP110 vs. cn series/clavinova
almo82 #3014023 08/15/20 12:47 AM
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Thank you. I will consider this.


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