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Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
musicman100 #3025307 09/15/20 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by musicman100
Sorry I meant to say on the ES520 . You can save both wave and midi on the ES920 but why not do it on both like other manufacturers do!! It does cost that much and it is £1000 keyboard. I think kawai has made a big mistake with that.!!
I didn't know it was not possible on the ES520. I think that's so stupid... You keep the USB port on the device chassis, but don't give the user the ability to save MIDI/WAV/MP3? Utterly stupid... Thanks for the info.
Considering the actual prices of the ES520, IMHO an ES110 gives you much more value (and honesty) for its price.

Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
magicpiano #3025339 09/15/20 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by magicpiano
Originally Posted by musicman100
Sorry I meant to say on the ES520 . You can save both wave and midi on the ES920 but why not do it on both like other manufacturers do!! It does cost that much and it is £1000 keyboard. I think kawai has made a big mistake with that.!!
I didn't know it was not possible on the ES520. I think that's so stupid... You keep the USB port on the device chassis, but don't give the user the ability to save MIDI/WAV/MP3? Utterly stupid... Thanks for the info.
Considering the actual prices of the ES520, IMHO an ES110 gives you much more value (and honesty) for its price.

Thats what I feel Its shame I would gone for the ES520 the ES920 is to heavy and expensive for what it is so the ES520 would have been ideal for me with the weight but not having a midi file/wav i think is a massive oversight!!


http://www.scoreexchange.com/profiles/NigelFletcher

Dexibell P7 Kawai ES110 Yamaha PSR-S770
Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Gombessa #3025357 09/15/20 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by newer player
Oscilloscope makes do this too; some are so easy to hack that the makers must be giving a "bonus" to electronics hobbists. Professional labs will not hack the equipment as livelihoods depend on calibrated equipment, pros respect IP, and companies have less price sensitivity than consumers do.
Well, selling products to hobbyists taking apart and solder electronics and then expect them to treat their own product like a black box would be kinda contradictory. If these people would do that, they wouldn't buy an oscilloscope in the first place. So instead of throwing a hissy fit about paying customers, they give the "bonus features" away with a smirk while letting professionals shoulder the R&D cost.

Originally Posted by Gombessa
I think that's pure product differentiation. No reason why it's not possible, Kawai just disables some features that it wasn't too save for its more expensive models hoping that some people who need it will be upsold to the higher tier product.
According to spec the ES520 contains a much older sound engine than the ES920, which might simply not be able to process standard MIDI files. Is this engine even General MIDI compatible? Not according to the specs.

So what you accuse Kawai of is what they are actually not doing, but should start doing: Get rid of "HI" and "PHI" engines entirely, built HI-XL into everything and then differentiate via firmware and keyboard action.

My personal expectation would be a Pianist mode slab with a wooden action at a competitive price point (P-515) and a cheaper offer without it.


Richwood RD-17C-CE | LaMancha Rubi CM-N | Yamaha P-515
Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Kawai James #3025360 09/15/20 12:59 PM
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Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Kawai James #3025367 09/15/20 01:15 PM
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A keyboard example of that is that Kurzweil included the full PC3 ROM in later, cheaper derivative models. Even the SP4-7, for a while their entry model with 128 programs, had the ROM with the wave data for all 1074 PC3 Programs, it just had no way to select those programs. (This is why loading PC3 Programs into the 64 user slots of the SP4-7 worked.) But yes, it makes sense... it was apparently cheaper to use more of the ROM they already designed and manufactured than to design and manufacture new ROMs with less data. Making all 1074 programs available would have added *some* expense (there would have had to have been some system for navigating them), but it was presumably also a way to offer a high value board to those who wanted to spend less while maintaining further distinction from the high end boards that appeal to those able to spend more. Cannibalizing your own market for your higher profit products is not good for the bottom line. Companies aim to strike a balance of offering good value for the consumer on lower priced items while also making sure there are good reasons for people to spend more. Each set of features-per-price-point has to make sense for the buyer and the seller for the products and the company to be successful.

Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
JoeT #3025368 09/15/20 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeT
According to spec the ES520 contains a much older sound engine than the ES920, which might simply not be able to process standard MIDI files. Is this engine even General MIDI compatible? Not according to the specs.

Oh, that'a a good point. But I just did a quick check of another Kawai DP, the CN-39, which also uses the same PHI sound engine as the ES520: https://kawaius.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Kawai-CN39-Owners-Manual.pdf. That supports recording to MIDI as well as KS0 to USB (and MID playback too). Some older PHI DPs don't appear to have USB-to-device jacks, in which case they don't support MID recording. But as the ES520 has the feature, why would they use an old version of the PHI sound engine and modify it to support USB to device but not MIDI recording, when the current PHI sound engine already supports both the hardware and MIDI recording?


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
JoeT #3025374 09/15/20 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeT
[...]According to spec the ES520 contains a much older sound engine than the ES920, which might simply not be able to process standard MIDI files. Is this engine even General MIDI compatible? Not according to the specs.[...]
The PHI engine has nothing to do with the General MIDI compatibility. My CN37 uses the PHI engine and it's fully General MIDI compatible. And the MIDI compatibility, in the case of the ES520, should be just the bare minimum to record a piano track (you don't need to have all the 128 sound effects + 47 percussion sounds of the General MIDI Standard just to record/play a piano track).
Quote
So what you accuse Kawai of is what they are actually not doing, but should start doing: Get rid of "HI" and "PHI" engines entirely, built HI-XL into everything and then differentiate via firmware and keyboard action.
Personally, I think that the PHI and HI-XL use already almost the same hardware from many years. What differentiate them is the size of the ROM used to store the samples, much bigger on the HI-XL devices, because the main piano sounds have longer samples and 1 or 2 more velocity layers. And I'm not sure that the SK-EX Rendering Engine is used on DPs with better hardware, considering that the max polyphony is about halved when you use the Pianist mode, instead of the Sound mode (there are some thread were this was discussed and confirmed). At least this was on the CA78/98. I don't know if they improved the processing power in the CA79/99 series.
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My personal expectation would be a Pianist mode slab with a wooden action at a competitive price point (P-515) and a cheaper offer without it.
Considering the high prices of the current offers (ES520/ES920) I doubt Kawai will make in the near future another DP with wooden action and a price competitive with the P515. Actually the Yamaha DP has the best value for money (IMHO), but things could change if Kawai lower the prices.

Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Otavio #3025379 09/15/20 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Otavio
Nice video. It confirms to me that the new chassis looks cheaper and less refined compared to an ES8 (of course that's just my personal opinion).
And incidentally, it looks very similar to the design of that white FP90 in the video, especially the upper part with those rounded corners!

Anyway, the speakers sound almost decent in the video. Usually when you record a digital piano sound with a microphone the result is much worse.

Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
magicpiano #3025385 09/15/20 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by magicpiano
Originally Posted by JoeT
[...]According to spec the ES520 contains a much older sound engine than the ES920, which might simply not be able to process standard MIDI files. Is this engine even General MIDI compatible? Not according to the specs.[...]
The PHI engine has nothing to do with the General MIDI compatibility. My CN37 uses the PHI engine and it's fully General MIDI compatible. And the MIDI compatibility, in the case of the ES520, should be just the bare minimum to record a piano track (you don't need to have all the 128 sound effects + 47 percussion sounds of the General MIDI Standard just to record/play a piano track).
My educated guess would that the component, that makes a Kawai DP General MIDI 2 compatible is also the one that processes Standard MIDI files. That's clearly missing from CN29 and ES520 and the sound engine itself might only process KSO files.

Quote
Quote
My personal expectation would be a Pianist mode slab with a wooden action at a competitive price point (P-515) and a cheaper offer without it.
Considering the high prices of the current offers (ES520/ES920) I doubt Kawai will make in the near future another DP with wooden action and a price competitive with the P515. Actually the Yamaha DP has the best value for money (IMHO), but things could change if Kawai lower the prices.
Yamaha offering that convincing package in a slab was the only reason I chose to buy another slab. Otherwise I would have stuck with my ES100. I know that only the white keys are wooden, but it's still leaps and bounds ahead of any plastic action I tried back in fall 2018. I also know that some don't like the CFX sample, but I enjoy it and it was on par with the premium Clavinova models (which I tried using headphones) and that closed the deal.


Richwood RD-17C-CE | LaMancha Rubi CM-N | Yamaha P-515
Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Kawai James #3025393 09/15/20 02:39 PM
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Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
JoeT #3025396 09/15/20 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeT
My educated guess would that the component, that makes a Kawai DP General MIDI 2 compatible is also the one that processes Standard MIDI files. That's clearly missing from CN29 and ES520 and the sound engine itself might only process KSO files.

However, that doesn't account for the fact that there are already PHI DPs that include the USB to device port and MIDI recording to USB, that predate the ES520. So it doesn't seem likely to me that this was left out due to necessity.


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Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Kawai James #3025417 09/15/20 03:39 PM
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with the exception of potential keyboard issues being fixed, which is what they said about ca99, but it seems to be not have made a difference, the es8 still seems like a nicer more refined instrument.


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Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
JoeT #3025420 09/15/20 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeT
My educated guess would that the component, that makes a Kawai DP General MIDI 2 compatible is also the one that processes Standard MIDI files. That's clearly missing from CN29 and ES520 and the sound engine itself might only process KSO files.
It doesn't exists a "specific component" just to "save" a file in MIDI format. Whatever processor inside our DPs, even the most basic and cheap, is capable to save a file in standard midi format rather than a proprietary one. Come on, it's just a file format... It's not something that requires some heavy computations like it could be a reverb, a modeled resonance, a special filter, etc... The hardware of the ES520 is perfectly capable of saving a piano track in standard midi format. And consider it already does it (save a song in a file) but just in a proprietary file format (KSO), so there are no technical impediments to achieve the same thing but using another file format.
We have to accept the sad but very likely truth: they just "removed" the relevant part of the code or maybe they just "disabled" the option (as well as many others, I guess) inside the firmware of the ES520 (and maybe the code is always there, inside the eprom).
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[...]I also know that some don't like the CFX sample, but I enjoy it and it was on par with the premium Clavinova models (which I tried using headphones) and that closed the deal.
Well, personally, I think Yamaha has the most well balanced and clean, realistic (or less digital sounding, if you prefer) main piano sound between the 3 big manufacturers (Roland, Yamaha, Kawai). Roland piano sounds, usually, are too big in the low frequencies and a little metallic in the upper range. Kawai SK-EX (in DPs) is too midrangey and it sounds a little "dirty" at the highest velocities. All IMHO, of course.

Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
magicpiano #3025437 09/15/20 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by magicpiano
Nice video. It confirms to me that the new chassis looks cheaper and less refined compared to an ES8 (of course that's just my personal opinion).
And incidentally, it looks very similar to the design of that white FP90 in the video, especially the upper part with those rounded corners!

And the buttons too... highly influenced by the FP-90 design I would say wink

Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Kawai James #3025466 09/15/20 07:55 PM
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I've been waiting 2+ years for this update, and delaying buying an ES8.

This ES920 was going to be the one I was planning to buy. But now I'm swayed towards to the P515 which has the bright CFX also has the mellow Bosendorfer Imperial. However, the video above shows the EQ on the ES920 is quite nice.

Have to see what the price is as stock starts to come in. Since Corona, prices on many models has shot up and availability reduced. Also want to see some good reviews.

So maybe I'll be waiting a while yet!

Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Gombessa #3025498 09/16/20 02:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by JoeT
My educated guess would that the component, that makes a Kawai DP General MIDI 2 compatible is also the one that processes Standard MIDI files. That's clearly missing from CN29 and ES520 and the sound engine itself might only process KSO files.

However, that doesn't account for the fact that there are already PHI DPs that include the USB to device port and MIDI recording to USB, that predate the ES520. So it doesn't seem likely to me that this was left out due to necessity.

Can you point me to any Kawai model, which doesn't feature GM compatibility but stores SMF via USB To Device? Because I can't find one in the current product catalog.

For example going back to the CN33, the manual states:

Quote
The USB Play function recognises SMF (Standard MIDI File) format songs, however as the CN33 does not contain the full General MIDI/GM2 sound bank selection, some SMF song files may not be reproduced entirely accurately when played through the instrument

Needless to say, while a CN33 loads SMF files, it doesn't store recordings in SMF format. That feature appeared first in CN35, which does have full GM2 support. Let's have a look at the ES520 manual:

Quote
The ES520 digital piano also supports the playback of Standard MIDI File (SMF) and KSO file songs stored on a USB memory device, allowing a vast selection of widely accessible music to be heard through the instrument’s exquisite Progressive Harmonic Imaging sound engine.

Footnote:

Quote
* The ES520 digital piano does not contain the full General MIDI/GM2
sound bank selection. Consequently, some SMF song files may not be
reproduced entirely accurately when played through the instrument.

Conclusion: That's just older tech from Kawai's attic, no need to remove something, which has never been there.


Richwood RD-17C-CE | LaMancha Rubi CM-N | Yamaha P-515
Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
magicpiano #3025500 09/16/20 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by magicpiano
Originally Posted by JoeT
My educated guess would that the component, that makes a Kawai DP General MIDI 2 compatible is also the one that processes Standard MIDI files. That's clearly missing from CN29 and ES520 and the sound engine itself might only process KSO files.
It doesn't exists a "specific component" just to "save" a file in MIDI format.

That's wrong. The "specific component" is a software or hardware module, which is not present on the device.

Quote
Whatever processor inside our DPs, even the most basic and cheap, is capable to save a file in standard midi format rather than a proprietary one. Come on, it's just a file format... It's not something that requires some heavy computations like it could be a reverb, a modeled resonance, a special filter, etc... The hardware of the ES520 is perfectly capable of saving a piano track in standard midi format.

With my engineering background I'm able to make educates guesses, while you clearly don't have a clue what you're talking about. You seem to confuse a digital piano with a smart phone or any other general purpose computer. Please refrain from teaching someone about "heavy computations", that makes you look like a fool. DSP effects like reverb are processed by specialized hardware, which does that at ease for hundreds of samples in parallel, while being entirely useless for anything else.


Richwood RD-17C-CE | LaMancha Rubi CM-N | Yamaha P-515
Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
JoeT #3025516 09/16/20 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by magicpiano
Originally Posted by JoeT
My educated guess would that the component, that makes a Kawai DP General MIDI 2 compatible is also the one that processes Standard MIDI files. That's clearly missing from CN29 and ES520 and the sound engine itself might only process KSO files.
It doesn't exists a "specific component" just to "save" a file in MIDI format.

That's wrong. The "specific component" is a software or hardware module, which is not present on the device.
Well, you didn't specify that you could mean even a "software" component. Of course that's something missing in the ES520, that's obvious.
What I was saying is that the ES520 is perfectly capable, at hardware level, to save a song in a file format different from the Kawai internal one. Now, if you (the manufacturer) put an USB pendrive input port into the unit, and you let me save songs on it, I would expect (at least) to be able to save the songs in standard midi format as well. And, honestly, I would expect to be able to save in MP3/WAV too. Without these functions, that USB port IMHO is almost useless.
If I had bought this DP and only after purchasing it had I noticed this flaw (usually you don't read the entire owner's manual "before" buying the instrument), I would have returned it immediately.

Quote
Quote
Whatever processor inside our DPs, even the most basic and cheap, is capable to save a file in standard midi format rather than a proprietary one. Come on, it's just a file format... It's not something that requires some heavy computations like it could be a reverb, a modeled resonance, a special filter, etc... The hardware of the ES520 is perfectly capable of saving a piano track in standard midi format.

With my engineering background I'm able to make educates guesses, while you clearly don't have a clue what you're talking about. You seem to confuse a digital piano with a smart phone or any other general purpose computer. Please refrain from teaching someone about "heavy computations", that makes you look like a fool. DSP effects like reverb are processed by specialized hardware, which does that at ease for hundreds of samples in parallel, while being entirely useless for anything else.
I've an engineering background myself, I know well what DSP are and I don't understand from what you would have deduced that I don't know what they are. I never mentioned DSP because there was no need to in my previous reasoning about the standard midi file format.

I don't want to teach anyone anything, I was just stating my opinions and I choose to use simple words because this is not a forum for engineers. Sorry if I look a fool to you but please, don't offend people that you don't know. Thanks.

Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
JoeT #3025595 09/16/20 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeT
Can you point me to any Kawai model, which doesn't feature GM compatibility but stores SMF via USB To Device? Because I can't find one in the current product catalog.

I'm not as familiar with the product lineup in this range so I'm happy to concede this point. It still seems a bit odd to me that there are multiple SKUs of PHI that don't have USB-to-device, have it but only support KS0, and which have it and support MIDI write as well. I guess what seems somewhat unintuitive to me is that all of these keyboards clearly support MIDI format, provide for MIDI-IN/OUT and have some form of translating keystrokes into MIDI and outputting MIDI realtime, so it's odd that it wouldn't be able to output that same MIDI to USB. My guess is that Kawai may tie MIDI output to input requirements, and they want to ensure they can play back ANY MIDI file, including ones with other instrument tracks that could be included in a playback file (which I guess is your GM2 tie-in). But if that's the case, then why support partial playback with missing instrument sets in the 520?


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Gombessa #3025601 09/16/20 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by JoeT
Can you point me to any Kawai model, which doesn't feature GM compatibility but stores SMF via USB To Device? Because I can't find one in the current product catalog.

I'm not as familiar with the product lineup in this range so I'm happy to concede this point. It still seems a bit odd to me that there are multiple SKUs of PHI that don't have USB-to-device, have it but only support KS0, and which have it and support MIDI write as well. I guess what seems somewhat unintuitive to me is that all of these keyboards clearly support MIDI format, provide for MIDI-IN/OUT and have some form of translating keystrokes into MIDI and outputting MIDI realtime, so it's odd that it wouldn't be able to output that same MIDI to USB. My guess is that Kawai may tie MIDI output to input requirements, and they want to ensure they can play back ANY MIDI file, including ones with other instrument tracks that could be included in a playback file (which I guess is your GM2 tie-in). But if that's the case, then why support partial playback with missing instrument sets in the 520?

To me this does not matter at all playing back midi files is not the problem!!. I want a portable piano that i can gig with and also record my improvisations and playing and saving as a midi file (and wave) to take over to my computer and use them in my recordings and composing!!

Like magicpiano the usb is totalling useless if you cant do that. what use is having the KSO file format !! Unless any one knows how you can turn them into midi files without hooking the keyboard to a laptop or phone etc.


http://www.scoreexchange.com/profiles/NigelFletcher

Dexibell P7 Kawai ES110 Yamaha PSR-S770
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