So, was it worth resurrecting this thread after over 3.5 years of silence and no news on a hypothetical Kawai MP12? 😀
Yeah? Nope? Yep? Ok?
Oh, well. Maybe next year...
Well, I certainly think in principle, it would be nice if Kawai built one.
Think at present, they need to up-spec the concept to separate the MP11SE replacement from the MP7SE replacement, so that the MP11SE morphes into a cross between the MP12 and an ES1200. The MP7SE should become the MP2000: a custom stage piano that is basically a cross between the RD2000, the MP7SE and the Dexibel Vivo S9 pro i.e., lets have some morphing, at least 16 parts instead of 4, and lots of improvement in the sound quality and realism. They really need to blow us away with R&D creativity and endeavor on the top-of-the-range stage piano, and also focus it for that need, but not to the extent Yamaha have---more the other way, towards the uber board.
I don't care if they wait another 3 years, if they bring out a replacement, better for it not to be a minor evolution in the sound quality and a minor evolution in the action: that's so uninspiring.
What would be cool is if they put the Grand Feel 3 or 4 in the MP12/ES1200, give it a kick-ass sound-bar internal speaker (on the ES version), and a set of bespoke Onkyo purpose built studio monitors as included in the MP version and optional for the ES version---also make them look aesthetically designed to match.
For the MP2000: we want a double evolution in the RHIII action---let's raise that bar for the RHIV---and a custom MIDI controller to add on the rack to control the organs and synth sounds of the MP (so that we don't have to wreck fingers on a piano action).
Let's get the Kawai MP series looking a match for any board, and really pushing the boundary of what's possible---something you would choose to take on stage rather than a Nord even if you had the money for a Nord: a) because it's miles more functionally capapble, b) because it sounds a million dollars, c) because it looks really awesome. Also, please avoid the plastic look, even if it means using composites to save weight---the plastic look of the P515 and the FP90 just doesn't aesthetically wow.
In short, the MP11SE should morph into a portable piano for the home/studio and become more of an action based portable---can include stage functionality and even be built like one---but if it gets pushed more into that niche, it is more of what people who already buy an MP11SE actually want. Make it deeper, heavier, but compact enough to suit people who don't have room for a cabinet model.
The MP7SE is already a great board for it's price but its replacement just needs the number one billing, and beefing up to out-compete the top rivals on all fronts. No pressure Kawai.
In current terms, I think if you want a great action without buying the Nord Grand, the MP7SE or MP11SE are still the main contenders---the CP88 really was a huge surprise and a bit of a damp squib. The Grandstage, SV2 are both cool, as is the Crumar, but not competing in the same niche. The Nord Grand is exactly what to buy if you want that sort of thing. The Vivo S9 pro on the other hand is a serious bit of kit, and with a decent action, would be certainly a big inspiration for my G.A.S. The RD2000 is both well designed and terribly designed in different ways---definitely a good board, but a tinkerers heaven.
I personally don't see that much competition currently stressing the MP7SE or MP11SE market.