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Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Gombessa #3025607 09/16/20 12:06 PM
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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).

There is "MIDI" and there "General MIDI" and "SMF" ("Standard MIDI File format"). Basic MIDI is just three byte messages over a serial wire, GM/GM2 is a complete hundreds-of-voices digital synthesizer implementation and SMF is a file format for a 16 track MIDI sequencer.

The accusation was that generating SMF is functionality deliberated removed from the ES520 while I pointed out, that it's completely consistent with what much older Kawai digitals offer. SMF playback has been tacked on obviously at some point, which is available on the ES520 as well, while the full recording/editing implementation is only available with Kawai's GM implementation. Even if it's hidden away like in the ES7 and ES8.

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But if that's the case, then why support partial playback with missing instrument sets in the 520?

Because that's what has been available on older Kawai digitals as well.


Richwood RD-17C-CE | LaMancha Rubi CM-N | Yamaha P-515
Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Kawai James #3025745 09/16/20 05:43 PM
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For anyone looking to buy the now hard-to-find "classic" ES8 . . . if you're in the SF Bay Area there's a nearly new one on CL for $1200 and the seller is "willing to discuss price".

Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Kawai James #3026410 09/18/20 02:22 PM
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Does the es920 have a built in audio interface? If so, why would that be a benefit?

Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Kawai James #3026474 09/18/20 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by musicman100
Also is there any demos of the 520 i have listened to the 920 ones.

Not yet, however I plan to edit and upload them tomorrow. The contents of the audio demos will be similar to those of other models that share the same sound engine, however the ES920 and ES520 include new sounds that are not found on any other instruments.

In addition to the "stock" demo songs, I hope to add some new tracks that showcase some of these new sounds.

As far as I know, unfortunately, still no demo recordings. I'm sure, James, there are good reasons for this (workload, etc.), but just wanted to let you know that there are people out (t)here that haven't forgot. :-)


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Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Tigris90 #3026475 09/18/20 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Tigris90
Does the es920 have a built in audio interface? If so, why would that be a benefit?
The main benefit is that you can send to a DAW on your PC what you play on your DP, without DAC/ADC conversions, so with the best audio quality. Another cool thing is that you can hear in the internal speakers of the DP what you play on your PC (for example, the audio from a youtube video) and of course you can continue to play the keyboard while it plays sounds from your PC. And with Bluetooth Audio you don't need to use USB cables.

Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
magicpiano #3026496 09/18/20 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by magicpiano
Originally Posted by Tigris90
Does the es920 have a built in audio interface? If so, why would that be a benefit?
The main benefit is that you can send to a DAW on your PC what you play on your DP, without DAC/ADC conversions, so with the best audio quality. Another cool thing is that you can hear in the internal speakers of the DP what you play on your PC (for example, the audio from a youtube video) and of course you can continue to play the keyboard while it plays sounds from your PC. And with Bluetooth Audio you don't need to use USB cables.


Thank you for the explanation. So does the ES920 have a built in audio interface? I searched the manual for keywords but couldn't determine.

Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Tigris90 #3026511 09/18/20 06:25 PM
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If it had one, I am sure Kawai would trumpet it. Yet another evidence of old technology in a new clothing.


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Tigris90 #3026512 09/18/20 06:29 PM
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None of these keyboards have built-in audio interfaces, but they can do some audio interface tasks. They will send midi data back and forth between the computer and the keyboard via USB or Bluetooth. And if it works at all like my ES8, you can record high-quality digital audio to a USB thumb drive and then copy that audio from the thumb drive to your computer.


Rodney Sauer
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Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Kawai James #3026523 09/18/20 06:51 PM
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I've got a question regarding the ES920's action (RH III), which, as far as I know, is the same as the ES8's action. Now, in a ES8/P-515 comparison video, JPS stated (and showed) that the RH III action is quite noisy – interestingly enough, especially when one is letting the keys bounce back (and much less when pressing them). You'll find the video segment I'm referring to here.

Can anyone who owns an ES8 confirm that this is true? Does it bother you? And could anyone, e.g. Kawai James, say whether this aspect of the RH III action was improved as well?


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Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Tigris90 #3026525 09/18/20 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Tigris90
Thank you for the explanation. So does the ES920 have a built in audio interface? I searched the manual for keywords but couldn't determine.
It doesn't have a built in audio interface, but it has Bluetooth Audio, so you can play the audio from a PC/smartphone/tablet and listen to it wireless on the ES920 internal speakers (or headphones)... But you cannot do the other way around, unless you connect with a cable the line-out of the ES920 to the line-in of your PC.

Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Kawai James #3026548 09/18/20 08:48 PM
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I read in a Piano Dreamer review that the 520 action is a little heavier than the 110 action. And the 520 is 6 pounds heavier to carry. Those two differences turn me of the 520.


Playing professionally since 1975. Style: Straight-ahead jazz. Gear: Kawai ES110 | Mojo 61 | 1966 Mason & Hamlin piano
Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Kawai James #3026702 09/19/20 10:12 AM
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Thomann Music (Germany, Switzerland, and UK) list the ES920 as "available shortly (2 to 5 days)", and the ES520 as "in stock within 5 to 7 weeks". So it's possible we'll get some early buyers's feedbacks very soon, at least for the ES920.

In the meantime, here's a video of some improvised playing on an ES920 (however, acoustic piano sounds only, which we already know):



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Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
RinTin #3026806 09/19/20 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rintincop
I read in a Piano Dreamer review that the 520 action is a little heavier than the 110 action. And the 520 is 6 pounds heavier to carry. Those two differences turn me of the 520.

While going from 14W to 40W in the speaker system, with only a 6 pound increase in weight, makes the 520 far more interesting to me than the 110. Fortunately for you, the 110 is still an option.


Rodney Sauer
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Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Kawai James #3027003 09/20/20 03:05 AM
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I have an ES110 which I think I will stick with. I don't want to change to a board with a heavier action and a heavier carrying weight.


Playing professionally since 1975. Style: Straight-ahead jazz. Gear: Kawai ES110 | Mojo 61 | 1966 Mason & Hamlin piano
Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
RinTin #3027063 09/20/20 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by rintincop
I read in a Piano Dreamer review that the 520 action is a little heavier than the 110 action. And the 520 is 6 pounds heavier to carry. Those two differences turn me of the 520.
I can't find the review you mentioned. Can you share the link?


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Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
RinTin #3027106 09/20/20 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by rintincop
I have an ES110 which I think I will stick with. I don't want to change to a board with a heavier action and a heavier carrying weight.
Yeah, IMHO there are no incredible benefits in upgrading from an ES110 to an ES520. And, above all, not with the current prices (2x an ES110)!

Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Mickey_ #3027292 09/20/20 08:24 PM
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I own the ES8 and the noise doesn't distract me. In the vid that you sent, one piano is flat and one is placed at an angle, which makes the comparison unfair. The acoustic pianos make noise too, it's just determining what you can live with. I have other issues with ES8 is that some keys have more noise than others and couple of them annoy me. I think Kawai became victims of their own success-when the keywork is so good than when something goes wrong, you notice it immediately and it might bother you. Unless you sit at night and play with the sound off, listening to the key noises, it should be fine when you play the piano when it's on. I came from an old Casio background and the key rattle is much worse, so I am enjoying the ES8 for now.


one musical washboard and a kazoo, Sennheiser HD598, Kawai ES8, Casio Privia Px 320
Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Mickey_ #3027703 09/22/20 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Mickey_
Thomann Music (Germany, Switzerland, and UK) list the ES920 as "available shortly (2 to 5 days)", and the ES520 as "in stock within 5 to 7 weeks". So it's possible we'll get some early buyers's feedbacks very soon, at least for the ES920.

I was surprised to see that Thomann Music list the ES920 as "available shortly (2 to 5 days)" while other dealers list it as available, possibly, in October or even November. So I sent an e-mail to Thomann's customer service. It is true: They do have the ES920 in stock.


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Re: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Kawai James #3027742 09/22/20 07:19 AM
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Hello folks,

I'm a little late to the party, but here are some responses to your comments/queries raised so far:

Originally Posted by Keys98
Is the es520 supposed to be a replacement for the es110 (seeing as the 110 has been on back order for months on dealer websites)? If so the price jump is ridiculous.

The ES520 is not a replacement for the ES110, but a new mid-range model that is positioned between the ES110 and ES920.

Originally Posted by musicman100
The one think putting me off is the saving of the inbuilt sequencer is that it saved it on to USB with the KSO type!! What is the point of that. Why not the midi file format which then can be used to put into sibelius or other programs.

I'm trying to clarify whether or not saving to SMF is possible, and the extent to which KSO differs from SMF.

Originally Posted by Jitin
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...

I'm not sure which posts you're referring to, however to my knowledge, all of the criticisms of the GFII action were addressed by GFIII. However, that's not terribly relevant to this particular thread.

Originally Posted by musicman100
Also is there any demos of the 520 i have listened to the 920 ones.

ES520 audio demos can be found on the ES520 product page of the Kawai Global site, here. The ES520 shares the same PHI sound engine with the CA49, so many of these stock MIDI-based demos will sound largely the same, although the recording process itself was a little different (ES520 demos captured from Line Out, CA49 demos captured from headphone output).

Originally Posted by Tigris90
Does the es920 have a built in audio interface?

No, however it does allow WAV and MP3 audio files to be recorded to a USB memory device.

Originally Posted by Mickey_
Is the RHIII action noisy? Has this aspect of the action been changed.
(paraphrased question)

I'm not aware of any changes to the RHIII action cushioning for the ES920. It's not perfectly silent, but I don't find it overly noisy. Some players are more sensitive to these things than others, therefore it's probably best to play the instrument in person and check for yourself.

Originally Posted by rintincop
I read in a Piano Dreamer review that the 520 action is a little heavier than the 110 action. And the 520 is 6 pounds heavier to carry. Those two differences turn me of the 520.

As with Mickey_ above, I would recommend playing the instrument in person, rather than relying too much on online reviews. The ES520 is 2.5 kilos heavier than the ES110 due to the larger case and more powerful speaker system, among other things.

Originally Posted by magicpiano
IMHO there are no incredible benefits in upgrading from an ES110 to an ES520.

This is a strange comment. Compared to the ES110, the ES520 offers: a superior keyboard action, superior piano sounds, superior non-piano sounds, a larger number of sounds, more powerful amp/speaker system, larger (more intuitive) control panel, OLED display, Bluetooth Audio, Line In, USB to Host/USB to Device connectivity, GFP-3 pedal support, and PianoRemote app support.

rintincop's needs are quite specific. He's obviously a big fan of the ES110's RHC keyboard action, enjoys the Kawai EX-based piano sounds, and requires the most portable instrument possible. For him, the additional 2.5kg in weight, and cost of part-exchanging his used ES110 for a brand-new ES520 may not be justified, however for other users, the ES520 would represent a significant upgrade over the ES110.

In preparing to write this post, I re-read the entire thread again, and noticed quite a lot of misinformed conjecture in your numerous posts. I believe you mean well, and wish to contribute useful information to this forum, however a considerable amount of what you've written in thread is incorrect and misleading.



Here are a few other general comments regarding other topics raised in this thread:

- Regarding price: Please note that the ES8 was announced 5 years ago, and its price has gradually fallen over time. The ES920 and ES520 have just been announced, are brand new, and in extremely high demand. I don't believe it's logical to make direct comparisons between the price of a product that's been on the market for 5 years, and one that was announced just a couple of weeks ago.

- Regarding technology: Please also note that just because the sound engine used by an instrument (e.g. HI-XL) has "not changed", it doesn't necessarily mean that the hardware inside the product is the same. For example, the ES920's CPU board is based on the CA59, which is completely different to that of the ES8. Comparing specification tables alone does not begin to tell the full story.

- Regarding "disabled features": The ES520 hardware is based on the CA49. That instrument does not support MP3/WAV audio playback, therefore this feature is not possible on the ES520. Suggesting that a feature has been purposely removed or disabled in the firmware simply to differentiate products is completely inaccurate and misleading.

- Regarding no "Pianist mode" on ES920: As noted above, the ES920's CPU board is based on the CA59, which also does not include "Pianist" mode. Unfortunately, the hardware required to run the "SK-EX Rendering" sound engine does not align with the target pricing of these instruments.

That's all for now. I hope this answers some (most?) of your queries. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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: Kawai announces ES920 and ES520 portable digital pianos
Kawai James #3027754 09/22/20 07:57 AM
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James, I noticed you did not comment on my comments.
I can’t say I’m happy about this, for I invested many hours researching, investigating, and deconstructing the available data in order to form an objective devoid of any subjective.

It seems like you’ve paid more attention to ‘anecdotal’ perspectives rather than the highly scientific and objective research presented by yours truly.

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