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How much has changed in digital pianos in the last 15 years?
#3041300 10/31/20 08:57 AM
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I have a Yamaha CVP-407 and am thinking about looking for a new digital piano.

Maybe a CVP-80X, maybe a CLP-785... or maybe even a Kawai CA-99.

But has much really changed in the last 15 years?

It will be months before I can go try a new digital but I wondered what people thought.

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Re: How much has changed in digital pianos in the last 15 years?
qpalzm #3041302 10/31/20 09:04 AM
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The quality of the case/cabinetry has gone backwards.

Used to be quality made in Japan aluminium cases... Now cheap plastic or chipboard junk.

Last edited by Burkey; 10/31/20 09:04 AM.

Piano is one of the best human inventions of the past 320 years - help evangelize the magic!
Re: How much has changed in digital pianos in the last 15 years?
qpalzm #3041306 10/31/20 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by qpalzm
But has much really changed in the last 15 years?

Well, since you asked, Will.i.ams has just transformed the entire industry by releasing an unlooped sample set taken from a short piano!

You see, the samples are recorded in their entirety:

“Long samples”, you say; but not so fast, Sherlock, for the samples are from a short piano; therefore, the samples are long but short!

I hope that answers your question!

Re: How much has changed in digital pianos in the last 15 years?
qpalzm #3041327 10/31/20 10:43 AM
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Pete, to soon to making tongue in cheek posts. smile


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
Re: How much has changed in digital pianos in the last 15 years?
Pete14 #3041328 10/31/20 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete14
Originally Posted by qpalzm
But has much really changed in the last 15 years?

Well, since you asked, Will.i.ams has just transformed the entire industry by releasing an unlooped sample set taken from a short piano!

You see, the samples are recorded in their entirety:

“Long samples”, you say; but not so fast, Sherlock, for the samples are from a short piano; therefore, the samples are long but short!

I hope that answers your question!

All I can think of when I hear that company name is me trying many of their junk keyboards in Guitar Center back in the day.

Then again, Kia used to be junk and now it makes pretty decent vehicles.

Re: How much has changed in digital pianos in the last 15 years?
qpalzm #3041336 10/31/20 11:18 AM
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Since 2002, when the CLP150, I can say the the keyboard has improved (NWX ou GrandTouch are far more pleasant than my CLP150 GH (2 sensors instead if 3).

On my old DP, I have only 3 velocity layers, not blended... now we don’t know how much velocity layers there are, but since they are blended, its is harder to count them.

Yamaha replaced its CFIIIS by a CFX+Bösendorfer pair. There are rythms in Yamaha’s DP (Clavinova).

The latest CLP7xx measure key velocity and acceleration (I guess we can have phrasing control like legierro/staccato/legato/portato/...), we also have note off velocity.


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: How much has changed in digital pianos in the last 15 years?
qpalzm #3041396 10/31/20 01:31 PM
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15 years ago, Kawai's flagship stage piano (the MP8) had 256 different built-in sounds - making it a fantastic stage piano for professionals who also work in bands and stuff like that.

Today, Kawai's flagship stage piano (the MP11SE) has only 40 built-in sounds - making it pretty damn useless for professionals working in bands and stuff like that.

Re: How much has changed in digital pianos in the last 15 years?
propianist #3041430 10/31/20 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by propianist
15 years ago, Kawai's flagship stage piano (the MP8) had 256 different built-in sounds - making it a fantastic stage piano for professionals who also work in bands and stuff like that.

Today, Kawai's flagship stage piano (the MP11SE) has only 40 built-in sounds - making it pretty damn useless for professionals working in bands and stuff like that.

This is misleading.
Kawai have simply added a different type of stage piano to their MP line.
The MP8's successor is the MP7SE, designed for stage and band gigging and is specifically designed to be ideal for that purpose.
The MP11SE is meant to be for the discerning player who specifically wants a great action, some stage piano functionality, but not a jack of all trades.

Completely different customers are being aimed at with the MP11SE than those who appreciate the MP7SE and MP8.
Try not to think of the MP11SE as flagship, because this IMO is totally misleading, when it is the MP7SE which carries greater functionality, more sounds, etc.
They are just different, and for different niches.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: How much has changed in digital pianos in the last 15 years?
qpalzm #3041451 10/31/20 04:06 PM
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Are you not at all, a little, or a lot unhappy with your CVP-407?

Having owned the CVP, do you find yourself wanting/needing its features (rhythms, arranger...) in your next piano?

Are you hoping for a better action? better samples? More updated arranger functions?

If you want the biggest improvement on the action and have a big enough budget, take a look at Kawai or Yamaha hybrids.

Re: How much has changed in digital pianos in the last 15 years?
djvu10 #3041549 10/31/20 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by djvu10
Are you not at all, a little, or a lot unhappy with your CVP-407?

Having owned the CVP, do you find yourself wanting/needing its features (rhythms, arranger...) in your next piano?

Are you hoping for a better action? better samples? More updated arranger functions?

If you want the biggest improvement on the action and have a big enough budget, take a look at Kawai or Yamaha hybrids.

Sound quality is the biggest issue. I can't get it to sound good enough for recordings without running it through Pianoteq. I'd love to get something that sounds good enough to not need Pianoteq or another VST.

Also the key weight is quite heavy. At this point I'm probably used to it though. Other than that some sensors and a key or two wearing out, it's been quite dependable for a long time.

I thought I would use the rhythms more but hardly ever do. I play piano solos 95% of the time, and play around with maybe 10 high-quality voices the other 5% of the time.

The Kawai NV5 does tempt me... the price isn't really bad, considering I paid as much for the piano I have when it came out. And having a realistic action is something I haven't had a chance to play on in many years.

Last edited by qpalzm; 10/31/20 08:30 PM.
Re: How much has changed in digital pianos in the last 15 years?
qpalzm #3041638 11/01/20 04:49 AM
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I have a 1990 Roland RD300s and a 2011 Roland RD 700NX.

For me the most important thing is feel.

The 300 made a sound no matter how slowly you depressed the key, the 700 doesn't.

The 300 had a smooth progressive and realistic feel, if weighted towards heavy.

The 700 has the after touch notch and the key surface is much less slippery, although by now the most used black keys are as slippery as the 300 smooth plastic. If you depress a key slowly there is no sound, like a real piano. Either way, none of this is or would be a deal breaker, in truth. I am as happy playing both and I accept the 700 feels far more accurate but still have no problem at all with the 300 keyboard.

The 300 has 8 voices, the 700 has something over 940, some of which are atrocious, "Crunch organs" for example.

I have NEVER experienced clipping with the 300 and its 16 voice polyphony, I have from the 700 and its claimed 128 voice polyphony when stressed with high intensity voices and the damper pedal. Thus spoke Zarathustra is particularly difficult, despite the video on You Tube showing it played impeccably.(Stay off that pedal!)

Other than that the 700 is massively more advanced with its 4 voice layering, live set storage, menus to change settings, 80 effects... it just goes on.

Both were leading instruments in their day and I am still happy with both, have both and use both.

BTW, the 300 was £1200, the 700 was £2000.

The first response to this thread criticised modern cabinets, my experience is that those comments are completely true. The 300 suffered a drop from about 4 foot high to the floor of a removal van, thanks to an idiot removal man, and, after fixing the B4 key, which had stopped working, the piano was still as good as new. That was in May 1998!

I haven't had the courage to see if the 700 is as substantial....

Re: How much has changed in digital pianos in the last 15 years?
Doug M. #3041685 11/01/20 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug M.
Originally Posted by propianist
15 years ago, Kawai's flagship stage piano (the MP8) had 256 different built-in sounds - making it a fantastic stage piano for professionals who also work in bands and stuff like that.

Today, Kawai's flagship stage piano (the MP11SE) has only 40 built-in sounds - making it pretty damn useless for professionals working in bands and stuff like that.

This is misleading.
Kawai have simply added a different type of stage piano to their MP line.
The MP8's successor is the MP7SE, designed for stage and band gigging and is specifically designed to be ideal for that purpose.
The MP11SE is meant to be for the discerning player who specifically wants a great action, some stage piano functionality, but not a jack of all trades.

Completely different customers are being aimed at with the MP11SE than those who appreciate the MP7SE and MP8.
Try not to think of the MP11SE as flagship, because this IMO is totally misleading, when it is the MP7SE which carries greater functionality, more sounds, etc.
They are just different, and for different niches.

Since you've owned MP7 and MP7se, you're the one to ask: Is the key dip on the latter 1 cm, or .7 like the former? I bought and returned the former for the MP11 due to the 1 cm key dip and longer keys / pivot (I have really large hands and long fingers). I need much lighter weight for gigging than a slab pushing 50 pounds, and the MP11 stays home (80 pounds). I have the ES-110 now (24.7 pounds). If I were in a Rock cover band with roadies, the MP7se would be great. All I really need for Jazz gigs are AC, EP and organ. Anything synth is fine from iPad.


Selmer Mark VI Tenor (‘73) & Alto Sax (‘57), Yamaha YSS-62 Soprano Sax (‘87), Conn Naked Lady Baritone Sax (‘52), Conn New Wonder Tenor & Alto Sax (‘24), Yamaha WX5 Wind Synth (‘13), Kawai MP11 & ES-110, Numa Compact 2x, Casio PX5S, Roland VR-09, Hammond E-112 (‘69).
Re: How much has changed in digital pianos in the last 15 years?
Skyscrapersax #3041699 11/01/20 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Skyscrapersax
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Originally Posted by propianist
15 years ago, Kawai's flagship stage piano (the MP8) had 256 different built-in sounds - making it a fantastic stage piano for professionals who also work in bands and stuff like that.

Today, Kawai's flagship stage piano (the MP11SE) has only 40 built-in sounds - making it pretty damn useless for professionals working in bands and stuff like that.

This is misleading.
Kawai have simply added a different type of stage piano to their MP line.
The MP8's successor is the MP7SE, designed for stage and band gigging and is specifically designed to be ideal for that purpose.
The MP11SE is meant to be for the discerning player who specifically wants a great action, some stage piano functionality, but not a jack of all trades.

Completely different customers are being aimed at with the MP11SE than those who appreciate the MP7SE and MP8.
Try not to think of the MP11SE as flagship, because this IMO is totally misleading, when it is the MP7SE which carries greater functionality, more sounds, etc.
They are just different, and for different niches.

Since you've owned MP7 and MP7se, you're the one to ask: Is the key dip on the latter 1 cm, or .7 like the former? .

Without pressing a key: from the metal case to the top of the key = 1.85 cm (using a metal ruler with half millimeter increments for the first 5 cm.
With key pressed: from the metal case to the top of the key = 0.8 cm

This suggests the key dip (if I understand this to be how far the key goes resting position to bottoming out during depression) is 1.05 cm.

Ideally, I'd be testing the MP7SE against:
The RD2000 with external headphone amp
The Dexibel vivo S7 / S9 pro
The Nord Grand.

The Nord Grand has the same key action but you can't feel the let-off simulation, so I assume is not there in the Nord version.

Of course, it's a lot lighter, which is one good reason for considering it, despite the price.
I found the RD2000 disappointing, but I didn't know it had a crap headphone amp when I tested it. With a good amp and set of cans, might be a lot better.
Dexibel looks good on paper, sounds good in demos. Probably the action isn't for me, but impressive piece of kit.

MP7SE is a great instrument IMO, but in your position, I wouldn't buy without testing against competitors.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: How much has changed in digital pianos in the last 15 years?
qpalzm #3041755 11/01/20 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by qpalzm
I have a Yamaha CVP-407 and am thinking about looking for a new digital piano.

Maybe a CVP-80X, maybe a CLP-785... or maybe even a Kawai CA-99.

But has much really changed in the last 15 years?

It will be months before I can go try a new digital but I wondered what people thought.
I know this might not help but for the prices of digital pianos i would say not enough has changed ,

Re: How much has changed in digital pianos in the last 15 years?
qpalzm #3041774 11/01/20 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by qpalzm
I have a Yamaha CVP-407 and am thinking about looking for a new digital piano.

Maybe a CVP-80X, maybe a CLP-785... or maybe even a Kawai CA-99.

But has much really changed in the last 15 years?

It will be months before I can go try a new digital but I wondered what people thought.

I think you need to spend some in-store time having a play of the newer instruments.
For one thing: you're buying, if you are buying!
You need to experience for yourself what it is like to play a modern digital.

I'm 42 years old---the answer to live, the universe and everything---and I've been visiting music stores since 1986. I've seen all the advances. With regards to the last 15 years, well, sampling has improved a lot; however, what's driven that is the use of modeling to incorporate string resonance and damper resonance effects. Yamaha have created a new sampling methodology called Binaural sampling. Now, whether that bears much relationship to binaural effect, I don't really know; however, the sound clarity has improved as a result on their pianos that use it.

Action wise, there has been a revolution in the last 15 years.
The introduction of real grand piano actions in to digital pianos: Avant Grands (N1X, N3X); Novus NV10 and NV5, and sort of the Casio GP510 and GP310 models.
If you've got more money than many, you can also play real acoustic pianos with digital piano at night (silent pianos) and even have pianos whose strings and sound-board are used to amplify the digital sounds (Yamaha Trans-acoustic). That's all new.

With regards to digital actions (non-hybrid), there are two sorts: folded and unfolded. Folded actions have undergone significant improvements since 2009: both Roland and Kawai have undergone incremental evolution in their folded actions in both beginner and intermediate models. Unfolded actions have also improved considerably: the Grand Feel 1 action by Kawai (which I don't think was around 15 years ago) was a big leap up. It's been superseeded twice, so the latest action (Grand Feel III) is pretty good (CA79 and CA99). Yamaha have also improved their actions a lot in the last 5 years, but are perhaps still behind Kawai and Roland in their digital action design (still too heavy down-weight wise), with the exception of their top-tier CLP lines.

Technologically, digital pianos no longer use disk drives: USB is now the preferred memory type. Bluetooth is available in digital pianos, and many mobile phone and tablet apps exist (which weren't around 15 years ago). Some pianos now include audio-interface cards.

Another area of improvements are sound changes: there is now a thing called seemless sound switching, so you no longer get glitches when changing sounds mid playing using a foot switch.

Casio have come onto the seen in a big way over the last 15 years, and other companies have sprung up to offer digital pianos: Dexibel (ex Roland), Viscount (Physis brand), Pianoteq (first modeled VST instruments for keyboard).

Weight: high-end stage and portable pianos are now available at much smaller weight. This has enabled gigging musicians to carry some the best gear around without Roadies.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: How much has changed in digital pianos in the last 15 years?
Burkey #3041880 11/01/20 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Burkey
The quality of the case/cabinetry has gone backwards.

Used to be quality made in Japan aluminium cases... Now cheap plastic or chipboard junk.
Yeah, but are DPs such that you want expensive cabinetry for them? They seem pretty disposable, like all electronics. It's like expecting your smartphone, tablet or laptop to have a nice mahogany cover. I'm not an expert and not really experienced with DPs over decades, but I'd say the actions on most makes are probably improved, along with the advances in software synthesizers and the like.

Re: How much has changed in digital pianos in the last 15 years?
rmns2bseen #3041926 11/01/20 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by rmns2bseen
It's like expecting your smartphone to have a nice mahogany cover.
That's the wrong analogy: I always expect my smartphone to survive a 3-foot drop onto concrete - that's the line between junk and quality!

Last edited by Burkey; 11/01/20 07:58 PM.

Piano is one of the best human inventions of the past 320 years - help evangelize the magic!
Re: How much has changed in digital pianos in the last 15 years?
Burkey #3041929 11/01/20 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Burkey
Originally Posted by rmns2bseen
It's like expecting your smartphone to have a nice mahogany cover.
That's the wrong analogy: I always expect my smartphone to survive a 3-foot drop onto concrete - that's the line between junk and quality!
But you're not likely to drop a DP 3 feet onto concrete. And anyway most could probably survive it as well as a laptop...and if not it would most likely be because the DP has more in the way of small parts inside. Maybe a titanium cover and built in shock absorption for the more rugged pianists out there. Sounds like a job for Casio...the G Shock Piano.

Re: How much has changed in digital pianos in the last 15 years?
rmns2bseen #3041932 11/01/20 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by rmns2bseen
Originally Posted by Burkey
Originally Posted by rmns2bseen
It's like expecting your smartphone to have a nice mahogany cover.
That's the wrong analogy: I always expect my smartphone to survive a 3-foot drop onto concrete - that's the line between junk and quality!
But you're not likely to drop a DP 3 feet onto concrete.
No I'm not myself, but our low-wage-earning removalists did in San Francisco, and my Roland FP-2 survived with only cosmetic damage smile

Also, I'm sure many people travel to gigs with their portable pianos.

Last edited by Burkey; 11/01/20 08:32 PM.

Piano is one of the best human inventions of the past 320 years - help evangelize the magic!
Re: How much has changed in digital pianos in the last 15 years?
Burkey #3041934 11/01/20 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Burkey
Originally Posted by rmns2bseen
Originally Posted by Burkey
Originally Posted by rmns2bseen
It's like expecting your smartphone to have a nice mahogany cover.
That's the wrong analogy: I always expect my smartphone to survive a 3-foot drop onto concrete - that's the line between junk and quality!
But you're not likely to drop a DP 3 feet onto concrete.
No I'm not myself, but our low-wage-earning removalists did in San Francisco, and my Roland FP-2 survived with only cosmetic damage smile
Well, there ya go. Good enough.

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