Hi, so I've been looking for an MP11SE to be in stock in the US for the past half of the year without any luck (SW keeps pushing back stocks each month so I'm not sure if it's ever going to exist). I'm just wondering if I should just settle for the ES920. I'm not sure in terms of sound quality if it's better than that of the MP11SE but I'm sure the MP11 has better action. I'm not too concerned about the weight/size/lack of built-in speakers of the MP11SE just something I can still bring around and have great sound. Maybe there will be a new MP soon? Any advice?
Thanks guys in advanced!
These two instruments are aimed at different customers.
The challenge IMO for you is to fully define what it is you are looking for.
Let's start with action: The Grand Feel 1 action is one of the best actions, better than most if not all actions found in any portable piano or slab piano. The purchasers of the MP11/MP11SE are motivated by this, it tends to be a very popular instrument among classical pianists that need portability or are short of space.
The RHIII action on the other hand, this has clear benefits for the gigging musician. Although the ES920 is a portable rather than stage piano, it can be easily taken to wedding venues or private parties. For the one who wants simple quick easy operation for solo piano i.e., not a 4 piece band going through a PA, the ES920's RHIII action will be better than the Grand Feel 1 action at synth/organ parts.
Now, the MP11/MP11SE has stage functionality: better live control interface, more suited for live-setup (although, it's obviously not as good for that as the MP7SE due to the heavier action and it's weight being considerable). Perhaps if you are a pretty good pianist who wants a better action but still wants to go on stage, and you have Roadies to look after the MP11SE, then it's weight isn't an issue. You might have the MP11SE for piano parts, and another board for Synth/Organ etc.
Another market for the MP11SE is in the studio for piano: it's great action coupled with VSTs mean that this is a nice studio board.
On the other hand, let's say you're a student and are going to uni, you want a portable instrument to have in your room, but you want to take it across campus to play with some friends. The inbuilt speakers will serve your room, and the PA your friends have is good enough for you to plug and play..
So what I'm saying is: where do you align?
The MP7SE is a superior stage instrument for a few reasons: more parts, greater number of sounds, same more versatile action as the ES920. Maybe you should also consider this, if you have multiple uses listed above.
P.S. Although I don't know, my guess would be that any new MP instrument series will come at least a year after the new ES models, maybe more if Coronavirus continues in to a second year. In the past, the release of new MP instruments seems to lag behind the ES series. I imagine this is because they are far more complex to design and get right. Also, a lag allows Kawai to see how the customers like the improvements in the ES series.