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Hi everyone,

Does anyone have any idea why the Kawai prices are so high in the US but not the UK? I get there are supply issues and so on, but I assumed that's universal. Also, the UK has VAT and US doesn't. For example, the VPC1 is $2,399 at Sweetwater (basically the same anywhere else) but £1099 (~$1350) at Bonners. The MP11SE is $3500 at Sweetwater, etc. but £1899 (~$2345) at Bonners. Again the Bonner's prices include VAT! Any ideas why this is so lopsided?

Thanks for any insight.

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keep calm and play the piano :-)
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Hi Georg,

That is an interesting thread. It seems to devolve quickly, but I got through the first few pages. I know Kawai just had a major price increase in the US and I assumed elsewhere, too, but apparently not. I know that the last few years has really messed things up for the industry and that some companies are better situated to deal with the fluctuating conditions than others. In the thread you sent over, Jay mentioned a variety of factors but it was pretty vague. Also, the fact that Yamaha is cheap in the US and expensive elsewhere and Kawai is the opposite seems to run counter to many of those factors (regarding native currency's etc.). Thanks for sending that!

I do wonder if there are specific reasons that can be cited as well.

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Originally Posted by BMKE
Hi everyone,

Does anyone have any idea why the Kawai prices are so high in the US but not the UK? I get there are supply issues and so on, but I assumed that's universal. Also, the UK has VAT and US doesn't. For example, the VPC1 is $2,399 at Sweetwater (basically the same anywhere else) but £1099 (~$1350) at Bonners. The MP11SE is $3500 at Sweetwater, etc. but £1899 (~$2345) at Bonners. Again the Bonner's prices include VAT! Any ideas why this is so lopsided?

Thanks for any insight.

The good news is that you can pretty much go to the UK, pick one up, and come back and still save a bit.

If you can afford the MP11SE, that's got the better pedals and overall, it's fabulous.

Your other option is to trawl the used adverts and if necessary, go on a road trip/plane ride within the US.


Instruments......Kawai MP7SE.............................................(Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000)
Software..........Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand...............K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Piano stool.......K&M 14093 Piano stool
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Just checked thomann. Wow...

"We are quite disappointed with Kawai for preventing us from shipping to your country of choice. Please consider products of a different manufacturer or switch to another delivery country."

Given the $1500 price diff, you prolly could make a trip, enjoy the country, and bring it back. lol smh

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I wonder if the RD-2000 at $2800 is a better option than the MP11SE at $3500. I know the Kawai has a better action but probably $700 better?

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Originally Posted by BMKE
I wonder if the RD-2000 at $2800 is a better option than the MP11SE at $3500. I know the Kawai has a better action but probably $700 better?

As someone who just made a choice between the RD2000 and the MP11SE, I think questions like this ultimately come down to the individual. Do you just want a very good action, or one that feels the most like grand? If it's the latter, the MP11SE is almost certainly your best bet in a slab piano. I'm upgrading from a PX-560 which has served me very well, so I figure if I'm going to upgrade, I'm going to upgrade all the way. But yes, the US price sucks

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Originally Posted by BMKE
I wonder if the RD-2000 at $2800 is a better option than the MP11SE at $3500. I know the Kawai has a better action but probably $700 better?

It's not a matter of better: the two offerings target different market segments entirely.

Pianist who wants best action, best piano experience (with more accurate piano tone emulation), uses VSTs and doesn't need loads of sounds or clonewheel organ and who doesn't gig a lot = MP11SE

Keyboard player/Pianist who wants a powerful all in one board with lots of internal sounds, midi controller features, powerful effects section, etc = RD2000 (or Kawai MP7SE, which has also a better piano tone).

Other boards similar to the MP7SE and RD2000:
Kurzweil Forte
Dexibel Vivo S9 pro

These types of board contain similar functionality to the workstation without the massive onboard sequencer /arpeggios functionality.

If you want synth functionality too, then the Fantom 88, Montage 8 or Kurzweil K2700 go further than the above boards.

Last edited by Doug M.; 05/09/22 05:58 AM.

Instruments......Kawai MP7SE.............................................(Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000)
Software..........Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand...............K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Piano stool.......K&M 14093 Piano stool
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Here in Germany the price hasn't changed. It still costs around 2,200€


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Originally Posted by BMKE
I wonder if the RD-2000 at $2800 is a better option than the MP11SE at $3500. I know the Kawai has a better action but probably $700 better?

It's not a commodity, so it's impossible for someone else to say it's $xxx better. it's like asking if a Fendi purse is worth $6000 more than a Walmart purse. the material/ labor/shipping doesn't come anything close to the retail price, this is also true of digital pianos. the final retail price reflects primarily shipping and its own Fendi Tax. noticed LangLang wears alot of fendi nowadays. crazy

Last edited by KawaFanboi; 05/09/22 08:58 AM.
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And I'm somewhere in between. I've got a Arius 143 in the music room that I'd like to graduate from and a cheap keyboard controller that I use with Logic in a different area of the house that sucks for piano playing. I've play the PHA-50 action (in a Fantom 8) and it seems nice but I've never been able to get hands on with an MP11se. When I first started looking at them, no one in my area had one to try. Then the pandemic hit and no one had them period. I'm tryin to learn to play piano better as well as all of the music theory things I should have learned a long time ago, but I also enjoy crafting synth sounds, etc. in Logic. I'm not sure which segment I fall into.

If online review videos are to be trusted (they aren't), I prefer the sounds in the Kawai. That said, I know there is a ton of adjustments in the Roland products (and I use and look to expand my VST collection)

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Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
Originally Posted by BMKE
I wonder if the RD-2000 at $2800 is a better option than the MP11SE at $3500. I know the Kawai has a better action but probably $700 better?

It's not a commodity, so it's impossible for someone else to say it's $xxx better. it's like asking if a Fendi purse is worth $6000 more than a Walmart purse. the material/ labor/shipping doesn't come anything close to the retail price, this is also true of digital pianos. the final retail price reflects primarily shipping and its own Fendi Tax. noticed LangLang wears alot of fendi nowadays. crazy

Yeah, I know it's subjective. I wasn't really making a literal statement. It was more, "if I assume all other factors being equal (to me) is the action worth $700 more ( to me)." It was really just me thinking "out loud."

I have no emotional nor lifestyle connection to either product or brand so Im not sure the Fendi analogy really holds, but I take your point nevertheless. The problem is thatI am left about those subjective metrics because physical stores are a rarity and the supply chain is a bit uneven at the moment.

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Originally Posted by BMKE
And I'm somewhere in between. I've got a Arius 143 in the music room that I'd like to graduate from and a cheap keyboard controller that I use with Logic in a different area of the house that sucks for piano playing. I've play the PHA-50 action (in a Fantom 8) and it seems nice but I've never been able to get hands on with an MP11se. When I first started looking at them, no one in my area had one to try. Then the pandemic hit and no one had them period. I'm tryin to learn to play piano better as well as all of the music theory things I should have learned a long time ago, but I also enjoy crafting synth sounds, etc. in Logic. I'm not sure which segment I fall into.

If online review videos are to be trusted (they aren't), I prefer the sounds in the Kawai. That said, I know there is a ton of adjustments in the Roland products (and I use and look to expand my VST collection)

If you enjoy crafting synth sounds, both the MP7SE and RD2000 have lots of synth sounds.
The MP7SE can layer 4 internal and 4 external sounds ---total of 8 maximum layers---at once. The layers in the MP7SE are separate engines, hence you get 256 note polyphony for each part you layer.
With the RD2000, you get 2 engines: the V-piano engine (unlimited polyphony); the SN engine (max 128 notes). I'm not sure about the RD2000---someone may know---but for the Fantom 8, each part shares polyphony of the sound engine. For instance, if you layer the Supernatural acoustic pianos with the Supernatural string instruments and a SN pad, then those 3 parts share 128 notes of polyphony. This means that on the Fantom 8, you get note-drop-off when the sustain pedal causes too many notes to be played at once. You'll be ok when it's strings with the V-piano engine, as all the 128 notes of polyphony go to the one string sound.

[video:youtube]https://youtube.com/clip/UgkxwwEVz1MwvcPASQiUQ1K7XfkLGC7DUbd_[/video]

So "probably" (if the RD2000 is built similarly to the Fantom 8) whilst the RD2000 has over 1000 sounds compared to the MP7SE which has only 256 sounds, you won't get note drop-off so easily with the MP7SE, making it slightly better in that respect.

The RHIII action on the MP7SE is still a great upgrade compared to the Arius 143 action; however, the advantage is that with the MP7SE, you have yourself a much more versatile instrument than what the MP11SE offers you. The RHIII action is slightly different in feel to the PHA50 action, but both actions are very good and slightly less piano like (IMO) than the MP11SE.

Last edited by Doug M.; 05/09/22 11:49 AM.

Instruments......Kawai MP7SE.............................................(Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000)
Software..........Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand...............K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Piano stool.......K&M 14093 Piano stool
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Originally Posted by BMKE
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
Originally Posted by BMKE
I wonder if the RD-2000 at $2800 is a better option than the MP11SE at $3500. I know the Kawai has a better action but probably $700 better?

It's not a commodity, so it's impossible for someone else to say it's $xxx better. it's like asking if a Fendi purse is worth $6000 more than a Walmart purse. the material/ labor/shipping doesn't come anything close to the retail price, this is also true of digital pianos. the final retail price reflects primarily shipping and its own Fendi Tax. noticed LangLang wears alot of fendi nowadays. crazy

Yeah, I know it's subjective. I wasn't really making a literal statement. It was more, "if I assume all other factors being equal (to me) is the action worth $700 more ( to me)." It was really just me thinking "out loud."

I have no emotional nor lifestyle connection to either product or brand so Im not sure the Fendi analogy really holds, but I take your point nevertheless. The problem is thatI am left about those subjective metrics because physical stores are a rarity and the supply chain is a bit uneven at the moment.

I don't agree with the pricing of both RD-2000 and MP11SE, but what would make RD-2000 so good that you'd think it is worth it for the price it sells?


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[/quote]

I don't agree with the pricing of both RD-2000 and MP11SE, but what would make RD-2000 so good that you'd think it is worth it for the price it sells?[/quote]


Do you know of better options? Consensus seems to be mixed on the FATAR TP/40W or 400W based keyboards; the PHA-50 seems to be well received (though not to everyone's tastes); and the Grand Feel action in the MP11se seems to be regarded as the closest thing you can get to a piano feel in a keyboard. When the Kawai was a $100 less than the Roland it seemed like the obvious choice but now that they dramatically raised the price on the Kawai I feel disinclined to lean in that direction both for price and principle.

On a related note, NAMM is coming up in June so I may wait and see if anything new is announced.

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Originally Posted by BMKE
I don't agree with the pricing of both RD-2000 and MP11SE, but what would make RD-2000 so good that you'd think it is worth it for the price it sells?

Originally Posted by Abdol
Do you know of better options? Consensus seems to be mixed on the FATAR TP/40W or 400W based keyboards; the PHA-50 seems to be well received (though not to everyone's tastes); and the Grand Feel action in the MP11se seems to be regarded as the closest thing you can get to a piano feel in a keyboard. When the Kawai was a $100 less than the Roland it seemed like the obvious choice but now that they dramatically raised the price on the Kawai I feel disinclined to lean in that direction both for price and principle.

On a related note, NAMM is coming up in June so I may wait and see if anything new is announced.

It is unlikely that anything new will be announced due to the chip shortage making exploitation of new release products impractical.

Last edited by Doug M.; 05/09/22 04:36 PM.

Instruments......Kawai MP7SE.............................................(Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000)
Software..........Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand...............K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Piano stool.......K&M 14093 Piano stool
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Hi Doug,

I thought that the MP7SE maximum polyphony was 256 notes in total regardless of the number of parts activated. Are you sure about this? "The layers in the MP7SE are separate engines, hence you get 256 note polyphony for each part you layer."

Thanks


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Doug, you're probably correct but given it's only a month away it doesn't hurt to wait and see. I doubt we'd see anything from Kawai as they seem to be buried by the circumstances of the recent unpleasantness. I would think there could be a chance of an update to the RD-2000 only because it lags behind the FP-90X and the Fantom. I assume the chips that are in production and that they are getting from their suppliers are more likely to be what is in the 90/Fantoms and thus easily ported over into an RD-2000x (or whatever they'd call it)as opposed to a whole new product. That said, I'm merely speculating (and wish-thinking?).

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Originally Posted by Jupiter16
Hi Doug,

I thought that the MP7SE maximum polyphony was 256 notes in total regardless of the number of parts activated. Are you sure about this? "The layers in the MP7SE are separate engines, hence you get 256 note polyphony for each part you layer."

Thanks

That would be news to me as well. I assumed the 256-note polyphony was across everything in the HI-XL engine, from piano sounds to organs to guitars. Also, it's unclear to me whether 256 refers to single notes. Recall that some manufacturers define polyphony differently. A single note might take up two "units" of polyphony (one for the left channel, one for the right).

On Kawai's SK-EX engine, it's been generally confirmed that there is less polyphony available for just the piano than "256 notes."


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Originally Posted by BMKE
Doug, you're probably correct but given it's only a month away it doesn't hurt to wait and see. I doubt we'd see anything from Kawai as they seem to be buried by the circumstances of the recent unpleasantness. I would think there could be a chance of an update to the RD-2000 only because it lags behind the FP-90X and the Fantom. I assume the chips that are in production and that they are getting from their suppliers are more likely to be what is in the 90/Fantoms and thus easily ported over into an RD-2000x (or whatever they'd call it)as opposed to a whole new product. That said, I'm merely speculating (and wish-thinking?).

Maybe some high-priced low production volume instruments might be released. Something hardly anyone can afford that pushes some boundaries, creates some waves, and gives us all hope for trickle down into some later released models.


Instruments......Kawai MP7SE.............................................(Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000)
Software..........Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand...............K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Piano stool.......K&M 14093 Piano stool
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