2022 our 25th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
95 members (brennbaer, brdwyguy, achoo42, anotherscott, Animisha, Adem, 23 invisible), 710 guests, and 321 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
#3215661 05/12/22 08:10 AM
Joined: May 2022
Posts: 6
D
Dude X Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
D
Joined: May 2022
Posts: 6
Hi Folks,

New to the forum, been reading various threads for a while now and wanted to ask some questions to get your opinions on ES520 vs CN29. Apologies if this thread is posted in the wrong place.

I've been hammering on an old Roland E14 for a few years now and really have the itch to upgrade to a fully weighted 88 DP.
I'm a guitarist first and foremost, but recently have really gotten the piano bug and love transposing songs from guitar to piano. I have so much to learn but I'm loving it.
There aren't a lot of Kawai outlets in Scotland, so taking a leap of faith as I have watched almost all there is to watch on YouTube regarding Kawai, Yamaha, Roland etc. (more than once) Thank the lord for Stu Harrison and JPS.

I originally set out to get a P125 or ES110, but as times went by the more I want to move to the mid range and spend a wee bit more given the lifespans of the keys etc.
I've tried the P125 and liked the action more than the FP30x. The key depth felt better on the Yamaha for some reason. I've also had a short play on a Young Chang acoustic grand, which was amazing.

Anyway, after much deliberation and setting a budget I'm settled on the ES520 or CN29. Both use the same sound engine, but the CN29 has the RHIII vs RHCII on the ES520. Stu has mentioned that the key depth on the RHCII is less than the RHIII or at least the sense of depth. This concerns me a little as I thought the same about the PHA4 vs GHS.
Would love to hear your options on both.

ES520 seems more accessible and has audio line outs etc. which are all great and would suit me better, but the CN29 for similar budget adds the RHIII. Also considering spending more and moving to ES920, but I think at my level the ES520 / CN29 would be more than enough and a huge jump from the small Roland synth I've been playing.

Some questions I have are:
- Is the CN29 a better buy given the better action and full pedal set?
- Does anyone have a strong view / opinion on the RCHII key depth?
- Should I just forget these 2 models and wait a while and get the ES920?

Hoping you guys can put me out of my misery crazy

Thanks again for a great forum, makes for great lunch time reading.

Joined: Apr 2022
Posts: 135
K
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
K
Joined: Apr 2022
Posts: 135
Totally not biased as a 520 owner... but I truly believe from the bottom of my Kawai Loving Heart, that the RHC is kawai's most superior action. the let off rubber nub mechanism on most actions kawai or otherwise, is inconsistent and makes the keybed feel uneven over time. Not having letoff is such a bonus and makes dynamic control even more consistent. I get why they would put it in for marketing purposes, but from the actual utility standpoint, it's just not useful. casio in their "hybrid" and nord which uses kawai's rh3 action both went the OTHER way, removing the letoff bumper.

the keydepth measures 10-11mm on the es520 depending on how hard you press, that's well in line with regular pianos, I don't see a problem there.

in balance, I must say the chassis quality 520/920 is not as nice as the competition p515/fp60/90, it's hollow and kind of flutters on certain frequencies.

Last edited by KawaFanboi; 05/12/22 08:23 AM.
Joined: May 2022
Posts: 6
D
Dude X Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
D
Joined: May 2022
Posts: 6
Thanks for the feedback, good to know and much appreciated.
I don't really need let off / escapement at my level of playing.
ES520 sounds like the way to go.

Joined: Apr 2022
Posts: 135
K
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
K
Joined: Apr 2022
Posts: 135
you will not need letoff at any level of playing, it does nothing.

Joined: May 2022
Posts: 6
D
Dude X Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
D
Joined: May 2022
Posts: 6
I see from the other threads you have a sweaky key already?
Also see some others with 920's key issues too?
Do you think you were unlucky or are these common Kawai quality issues?

Maybe I've looked into this too much, but also noticed Tamir Orkoby on YouTube, who loved the ES110, but now moved to Casio as the the ES110 key's were clacking after 6months.

There is a 3yr warranty with the ES520, assume it's wise to keep the box.

Joined: Apr 2022
Posts: 135
K
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
K
Joined: Apr 2022
Posts: 135
these things are inevitable, even if it didn't happen to me in the month that I owned the 520, it would've happened within months/ years, it's merely the nature of mechanical things to need maintenance and lubrication. I do not consider this a deficit of quality.

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 9,759
9000 Post Club Member
Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 9,759
I've had the 110 for shprt of two years now. I'm not aware of noisy keys; they've never bothered me or 'er indoors, though I dare say theyre a tad noiser than the quietest actions around.
I like the action; it has a short pivot in line with most cheaper actions, but I find it beautifully light, which is important to me right now.
The dynamic range on this piano is huge. You cannot regulate this effectively; on the ES520 you will be able to.
Do try 'em out if you can, and don't limit yorself to two.
It's an enjoyable time looking for a piano.


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

"[Linked Image]"
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 182
J
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
J
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 182
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
these things are inevitable, even if it didn't happen to me in the month that I owned the 520, it would've happened within months/ years, it's merely the nature of mechanical things to need maintenance and lubrication. I do not consider this a deficit of quality.

i don't agree with this. it doesn't happen to all DPs within their lifespan.

i think it's less likely to happen than you get the impression on the web, because people who don't have this problem don't post threads or videos saying "my keys are still fine"

Joined: Apr 2022
Posts: 20
S
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Apr 2022
Posts: 20
Hey Dude X, I’m from Scotland too. Are you aware of Rainbow Music in Dundee? They have an ES520 on display the last time I was there a few months ago - might be worth a visit depending on where you’re based. It plays great and I fell in love almost instantly. In the end I bought an ES920 for the extra features and deeper keybed, but I think I would be just as happy with the 520 too

Joined: May 2022
Posts: 6
D
Dude X Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
D
Joined: May 2022
Posts: 6
Some great points there guys thanks.
@peter, that’s great feedback on the Es110, good to know it’s still going strong.

@jackopiano, I agree, we tend to only hear about the bad rather than the good.

@steve, yes I contacted rainbow music a while back, they only had the es110 at the time. I took the journey up one Saturday only to discover they were closed due to staff shortages. I was gutted. I might call them next week and head back up.
How’s your 920? No regrets?

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 9,759
9000 Post Club Member
Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 9,759
Originally Posted by steve2603
Hey Dude X, I’m from Scotland too. Are you aware of Rainbow Music in Dundee? They have an ES520 on display the last time I was there a few months ago - might be worth a visit depending on where you’re based. It plays great and I fell in love almost instantly. In the end I bought an ES920 for the extra features and deeper keybed, but I think I would be just as happy with the 520 too

If you worthy Scots could venture across the border, there re loads of piano shops. I live within a mile of a fairly large one. Promenade Music. Very helpful guys.


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

"[Linked Image]"
Joined: Apr 2022
Posts: 135
K
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
K
Joined: Apr 2022
Posts: 135
Originally Posted by steve2603
ES920 deeper keybed

I did not notice this when i tested the 920 alongside 520, but how much deeper is it steve, i measured my 520 at 11mm hard press, 10mm light press.

Joined: Apr 2022
Posts: 20
S
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Apr 2022
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by Dude X
Some great points there guys thanks.
@peter, that’s great feedback on the Es110, good to know it’s still going strong.

@jackopiano, I agree, we tend to only hear about the bad rather than the good.

@steve, yes I contacted rainbow music a while back, they only had the es110 at the time. I took the journey up one Saturday only to discover they were closed due to staff shortages. I was gutted. I might call them next week and head back up.
How’s your 920? No regrets?

How long ago did you contact them? They only recently got a 520 back in stock so it might be worth inquiring again. I visited around mid-april I think.

And no, no regrets! It plays beautifully and sounds great. Again, the 520 was just as enjoyable, but the action is noticeably lighter than the 920, though not too much. Your preference will really depend on what you're used to/your playstyle/skill etc. It's a tough one. And as Kawaifanboi shows, some even prefer that action over the supposedly more premium versions. For what it's worth, before my 920 I was using a MIDI controller with a Feytar keybed (without graded action too) which was suuuper heavy and fatiguing to play piano so in a sense I'm already quite used to a heavier action so I found the 520 perhaps a little too light in comparison, but again I don't think I'd have any trouble adjusting to it and I connected with it almost instantly (I had the opposite experience with the Yamaha P515).

Originally Posted by peterws
If you worthy Scots could venture across the border, there re loads of piano shops. I live within a mile of a fairly large one. Promenade Music. Very helpful guys.


Yea I definitely considered this – I still want to visit that beautiful store in Manchester at some point, Forsyths I think.


Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
Originally Posted by steve2603
ES920 deeper keybed

I did not notice this when i tested the 920 alongside 520, but how much deeper is it steve, i measured my 520 at 11mm hard press, 10mm light press.

Woops, I think I mixed terminology there – I meant instead 'heavier' action. Yes I don't think the keybed depth is too different from the 520.

Last edited by steve2603; 05/13/22 04:48 AM.
Joined: May 2022
Posts: 6
D
Dude X Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
D
Joined: May 2022
Posts: 6
Thanks for the info Steve, much appreciated.

I called Rainbow music today, they have an ES110, ES520 and a CN39 that I can try. Plan to go up next week. At least I'll be able to try all 3 actions and decide from there. They also have a CA59, but I think my other half would have something to say if I came home with that smile

I'll let you know how I get on.

Thanks again

Last edited by Dude X; 05/13/22 07:38 AM.
Joined: Apr 2022
Posts: 20
S
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Apr 2022
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by Dude X
Thanks for the info Steve, much appreciated.

I called Rainbow music today, they have an ES110, ES520 and a CN39 that I can try. Plan to go up next week. At least I'll be able to try all 3 actions and decide from there. They also have a CA59, but I think my other half would have something to say if I came home with that smile

I'll let you know how I get on.

Thanks again

Nice one! They’re lovely chaps up there, have fun and let us know your impressions.

Yes, I was tempted to give the console models a try but thought it was pointless given the prices haha

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 2,866
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 2,866
One of the problems with low to mid range cabinet digital piano is that the experience of playing through the speakers is poor.

The cabinet is a big blocker for sound, so if your digital cabinet piano has lower amplification or the placement of speakers is inefficient, then the playing experience can be worse than the experience of using a portable piano with lower amplification.

Also, it is hard--perhaps even impractical---to use extra monitors to improve the sound from a cabinet digital; whereas, using powered monitors or hifi, you can easily improve the experience of playing a portable piano.

In my opinion, the only justifications for buying a low to mid range cabinet digital are:
1) We prefer the look of a cabinet for our living room, &...
2) We mostly practice with headphones anyway.

These factors are IMO the main reasons to choose a cabinet over a portable at this price segment.


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
Joined: Apr 2022
Posts: 20
S
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Apr 2022
Posts: 20
^Good point. I got my first digital piano over a decade ago (it was some off-brand Chinese thing, I was quite young back then..) and yeah the sound was noticeably muffled. I’d have assumed modern console pianos would have fixed/improved that, but there you go.

Last edited by steve2603; 05/14/22 02:28 AM.
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 670
M
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 670
Originally Posted by Doug M.
One of the problems with low to mid range cabinet digital piano is that the experience of playing through the speakers is poor.

The cabinet is a big blocker for sound, so if your digital cabinet piano has lower amplification or the placement of speakers is inefficient, then the playing experience can be worse than the experience of using a portable piano with lower amplification.

Also, it is hard--perhaps even impractical---to use extra monitors to improve the sound from a cabinet digital; whereas, using powered monitors or hifi, you can easily improve the experience of playing a portable piano.

In my opinion, the only justifications for buying a low to mid range cabinet digital are:
1) We prefer the look of a cabinet for our living room, &...
2) We mostly practice with headphones anyway.

These factors are IMO the main reasons to choose a cabinet over a portable at this price segment.

Most furniture style models have nice flat tops that would be just fine for placing a pair of small powered monitors ?

Joined: Feb 2021
Posts: 1,227
H
1000 Post Club Member
Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
H
Joined: Feb 2021
Posts: 1,227
Originally Posted by Doug M.
One of the problems with low to mid range cabinet digital piano is that the experience of playing through the speakers is poor.

The cabinet is a big blocker for sound, so if your digital cabinet piano has lower amplification or the placement of speakers is inefficient, then the playing experience can be worse than the experience of using a portable piano with lower amplification.

Also, it is hard--perhaps even impractical---to use extra monitors to improve the sound from a cabinet digital; whereas, using powered monitors or hifi, you can easily improve the experience of playing a portable piano.

In my opinion, the only justifications for buying a low to mid range cabinet digital are:
1) We prefer the look of a cabinet for our living room, &...
2) We mostly practice with headphones anyway.

These factors are IMO the main reasons to choose a cabinet over a portable at this price segment.

In a search for a preferable action, I have tried many digital pianos over the last few weeks, all from either Kawai, Yamaha or Roland (plus the Casio GP510). Boy Oh Boy this poor sound experience notion is so true!

Cheers and happy playing,

HZ

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 9,759
9000 Post Club Member
Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 9,759
Originally Posted by HZPiano
Originally Posted by Doug M.
One of the problems with low to mid range cabinet digital piano is that the experience of playing through the speakers is poor.

The cabinet is a big blocker for sound, so if your digital cabinet piano has lower amplification or the placement of speakers is inefficient, then the playing experience can be worse than the experience of using a portable piano with lower amplification.

Also, it is hard--perhaps even impractical---to use extra monitors to improve the sound from a cabinet digital; whereas, using powered monitors or hifi, you can easily improve the experience of playing a portable piano.

In my opinion, the only justifications for buying a low to mid range cabinet digital are:
1) We prefer the look of a cabinet for our living room, &...
2) We mostly practice with headphones anyway.

These factors are IMO the main reasons to choose a cabinet over a portable at this price segment.

In a search for a preferable action, I have tried many digital pianos over the last few weeks, all from either Kawai, Yamaha or Roland (plus the Casio GP510). Boy Oh Boy this poor sound experience notion is so true!

Cheers and happy playing,

HZ

Some of us so obviously lack sophistication . . . .


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

"[Linked Image]"
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
Piano Buyer - Read the Articles, Explore the website
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Pianist Magazine back issues
by cstueart - 05/19/22 10:41 AM
Keith Jarrett Chord Progressions (video)
by indigo_dave - 05/19/22 10:07 AM
Rounded keytops
by zxac - 05/19/22 09:50 AM
Change of Screen Name
by Bart K - 05/19/22 09:46 AM
Most recorded piece
by pianoloverus - 05/19/22 09:27 AM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums43
Topics213,143
Posts3,192,827
Members105,315
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2022 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5