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Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659080
02/16/07 03:15 PM
02/16/07 03:15 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 129
People's Republic of Massachus...
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vitog Offline
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vladn,
You beat me to it, have just edited my post, I meant to say SMALLER

I thought SamAsh was on-line only (now I know they're not) thus never checked by calling in. Still, without looking at the thing in person I'd never buy it anyways.

Also, MP8 = 192 note polyphony, vs. CA-X = 96


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Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659081
02/16/07 06:26 PM
02/16/07 06:26 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 410
Montreal, CAN
bachmaniac Offline
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well guys, take one last look at the CA-X here:

http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/digital/ca_x/ca_x.html

My dealer in Montreal confirmed that it IS discontinued, though I can't figure out why. Maybe they lowered the price so much on the MP8 that they couldn't match that in proportion on the CA-X. Moreover they wouldn't allow mail-in houses to sell it, only certified piano dealers.

As Witold pointed out, it has 96 note polyphony, which is more than CLPs 240/230 and fully adequate, with 40 built-in sounds. It's an exact CA5, and coupling it to studio monitors makes it a lot more worthwhile (and cheaper!) than the latter. Of course, being a CA5, it offers no string/soundboard/sympathetic resonance.

But, what to do? This is especially surprising since it seems that Kawai doesn't have a new portable up its sleeve at the moment.

Maybe the few they sold will become collector's items, they're so good-looking... wink

Cheers,
Claude


K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7
Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659082
02/16/07 07:48 PM
02/16/07 07:48 PM
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Posts: 405
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I'm no marketing major but here's my take on the Kawai situation.

They are basing their whole business on their wood action keyboards. Since their R&D seems to be concentrated on that, they seem to have sacrificed other features such as voices (both Yamaha and Roland have their own midi implementations), integrated computer technology (touch screen and teaching devices), range of piano samples, and of course the weight.

Because of this it seems like they are targeting a very narrow market segment. Mainly the classical pianist. Worse yet, classical pianists who can't, for some reason, own their own baby grand or grand piano.

The other features mentioned would be desireable to adult beginners with limited computer knowledge, families with young children, gigging musicians, and recreational players, on a limited budget, who do not need the pinnacle in keyboard action technology but would appreciate the lighter weight for easier storage.

Since they can't compete in too many baskets they may start focusing their attention on their market segment, dropping support for older models, and triming down their digital inventory.

I just hope this doesn't affect prices in the future. Like Apple computers, once you target a limited market it's hard to be competitive in price. You already know that the people who are buying your products NEED the features for one reason or the other. I think that's why the other competitors don't bother to compete with Kawai on their wood action.

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659083
02/17/07 08:10 AM
02/17/07 08:10 AM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 466
Philadelphia, PA
Hugh Sung Offline OP
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frown A sad - and bizarre - ending to my local search for the MP8 (and the CA-X), at least for the moment...check out my blog at www.HughSung.com detailing my latest exploit, my impressions of the two Kawai digital pianos with AWA keyboard action, and the strange, strange ending to it all...

...sigh...

Thanks to everyone for their help!

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Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659084
02/17/07 08:39 AM
02/17/07 08:39 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 192
Cairns Australia
Mike Warren Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Hugh Sung:
frown A sad - and bizarre - ending to my local search for the MP8 (and the CA-X), at least for the moment...check out my blog at www.HughSung.com detailing my latest exploit,
Thanks for the post. It was a good read. I have seen sales people lose sales because of an unprofessional attitude so many times.


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Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659085
02/17/07 09:36 AM
02/17/07 09:36 AM
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Posts: 129
People's Republic of Massachus...
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vitog Offline
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You must have visited either a piano "pawn" shop or met with store's cleaning crew. The dual pedal F20 that gives you half-pedal function comes with the MP8 as standard. So it was in the same box the unit you tried came out of. The same pedal can be plugged into the CA-X for same purpose.


Kawai MP8
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Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659086
02/17/07 11:51 AM
02/17/07 11:51 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 200
Atlanta, GA
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The Pro Offline
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Good read and interesting blog. Sorry about the inept music store experience... we've all been there to one degree or another. It wouldn't hurt to send an email to the reps at Kawai US regarding your experience - in fact it would be a service to Kawai and future customers to let them help this store clean up it's act.

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659087
02/17/07 12:44 PM
02/17/07 12:44 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,242
Cape Cod
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hv Offline
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Cape Cod
Sorry to hear no Sam Ash near you is stocking an MP8. It's Piano2 sound is the primo one, btw (lights from the top being 1-2-A). I've heard the MP4 is pretty good too even though the keys are all plastic. If you've given up on Kawai, you might look to the Yamaha line. A few posters here favor their wooden-key actions and sound over Kawai.

If you're willing to travel a little further for a Sam Ash, if their store off of Kings Highway and the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn is still there, you might want to give them a call. Their store downtown near Manny's is also very well stocked but driving to it is tougher.

Howard

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659088
02/17/07 01:31 PM
02/17/07 01:31 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 410
Montreal, CAN
bachmaniac Offline
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Montreal, CAN
Hugh,

I am genuinely appalled and sorry for the treatment that the huns at KeyboardAmerica (yeah, let's give 'em a little publicity, here) inflicted upon you. They truly deserve to be one of those places where one tries out a keyboard only to order it online from someone else instead. I can't believe that you almost bought the instrument from them nevertheless, that wouldn't have made sense, what with the price and everything else. If you still want an MP8, you now know what to do!

There are two interesting quotes from your blog I would like to comment, if you'll allow me, for they go a long way IMHO into showing how subjective the appreciation of pianos can be:

"I found myself leaning towards the MP8's action, as it felt a bit heavier and more solid than the CA-X."

With all due respect, Hugh, the keybeds, keys and switches in both models are strictly the same. So what "feels" different stems from the somewhat different response one might get from each instrument. Open both units, unscrew the keyboards and transfer them between each of them, and be amazed at how those "differences" are suddenly and magically transplanted. Unless the units were from vastly different generations of manufacture, then perhaps, but I strongly doubt it.


"Both instruments sounded tinny and thin, even through my headphones (i brought them with me - a good suggestion from a PWF poster) - much like an acoustic Kawai, i suppose; not a good instrument to be modeling your sound after in the first place..."

I've owned an acoustic Kawai (a KG-2D) for more than a year now. I chose it over two Yamaha C3s that I previously liked until I heard this one. Comments I have had about it from several serious pianists including university piano majors were more than positive. I was in fact told that they would choose this KG anytime over ANY of the numerous grands (including Steinways) they practice on at the University of Montreal both action-wise and tone-wise. So I can't figure out how many examples of acoustic Kawais you actually tried before forming such an opinion about them...

Keep us posted!
Kind regards,
Claude


K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7
Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659089
02/17/07 06:39 PM
02/17/07 06:39 PM
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Posts: 405
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Hi Hugh,

Sorry to hear about your bad experience. My experience with a local Kawai dealer was eerily similar.

He tried to sell me his floor models at the new-in-box prices telling me "It costs me the same when I buy them." A further attempt to explain to him about my homework (thanks to these forums) on the going rates for those models and what I was willing to pay for it was met with irritation. Finally he ended the conversation by saying "Well, if you don't like it then go buy a Yamaha."

To top it off, as I was walking off, he says to my back, "Maybe we'll see you back here again."

Yeah......right......

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659090
02/17/07 09:47 PM
02/17/07 09:47 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 466
Philadelphia, PA
Hugh Sung Offline OP
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Hugh Sung  Offline OP
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Philadelphia, PA
Hi Claude - thanks for your insights into the acoustic Kawais - i have to confess, my exposure to them has been very limited up to this point - i own a refurbished Kawai that has really deteriorated rapidly (that's not a fair basis of comparison) and haven't come across more than a handful of small grands in other settings, all of which have been pretty poor examples. That being said, i've run across more lousy Steinway examples than i'd care to shake a stick at! It's an unfortunate reality that the 'name brand' of the piano doesn't guarantee its quality.

Getting back to the comparison between the CA-X and the MP8's actions - i know, i know, i was informed by the dealer and by reading the forums that the internal action was supposed to be identical - but call me loopy, the MP8 felt slightly (and i mean, ever so slightly) heavier. Given that one of the MP8's keys was also sticking up, could the AWA wooden action mean that it's also susceptible to the same problems that plague regular acoustic pianos? After all, you never really find two Steinways with identical actions, even if all the components are supposed to be the same...(shrug) just some food for thought...

BTW, i haven't really found any acoustic Yamaha's that i've been really crazy about either...and i'm not crazy about Boesendorfers....oh, did i say it's an incredibly rare find for me to find a Steinway i really like too? lol...the list really does go on, sadly...

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659091
02/17/07 09:49 PM
02/17/07 09:49 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 466
Philadelphia, PA
Hugh Sung Offline OP
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Philadelphia, PA
Oh, BTW, someone mentioned here the MP4 - they had one at that store, i ran my hands over the all-plastic keys, pretty blah action in my opinion...i think the Roland RD-700SX holds up much better...

Now, there was a Casio digital piano right below the MP8 that felt surprisingly good...wish i could remember the model name...

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659092
02/17/07 10:57 PM
02/17/07 10:57 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 410
Montreal, CAN
bachmaniac Offline
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Hello again Hugh,

I might have a hypothesis to suggest as to the MP8 example being slightly different: what if it's been there on display for quite a while, perhaps even being from the very first generation? What suggests this is that it's blemished, and also the fact that it seems to have come with the Fr2 pedal, which has been supplanted by the F20.

I would not worry about the raised key, could simply be some particle under it or a slightly bent spindle. Those keys are cut from a single plank of seasoned white spruce, and the wood in the mechanism is limited to these key levers themselves, which would never warp this badly unless submerged for a week. The hammers themselves are nylon-like plastic, with no little intricate wood parts like an acoustic's.

I heartily agree that an acoustic piano's brand name is no guarantee as to its quality. Of course there ARE brand names which guarantee you a lack of it, though, lol!

Take care,
Claude


K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7
Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659093
02/18/07 01:56 AM
02/18/07 01:56 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 65
NJ, USA
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AWA keyboard actually throws a weighted hammer in angular motion over substantial arc (unlike the majority of other digitals) therefore key response depends on the instrument tilt (it affects the gravity pull profile of a hammer). As I understand you have tested it mounted on the wall at some arbitrary angle and this may explain the difference you have felt between the two. You should really base you experience on a console AWA unit you've tried in the other store.

Unfortunately I was also not happy about Kawai piano sound trying CP-137 in the store but I thought it may be either the wrong settings or bad internal speakers.

As for Casio, I have extensive experience with PX100/PX110. They offer excellent value for the price but they are in a different class. The keys tend to get a bit sloppy with time. I also have a very dry palms that tend to slip too easy over shiny black keys and also the black keys are not tapered enough to get my fat fingers on G and A between those ;-).

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659094
02/18/07 03:43 AM
02/18/07 03:43 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 8
San Jose CA
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CCR96 Offline
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San Jose CA
Hugh and others. I recently purchased an MP8 and am very happy with it so far. I am mainly an acoustic player but needed a digital for practicing away from home. They had the unit in stock at my local Kawai dealer here in San Jose CA. I am currently looking for a hard case for it at a resonable price. Any suggestions?

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659095
02/18/07 09:12 AM
02/18/07 09:12 AM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 466
Philadelphia, PA
Hugh Sung Offline OP
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Philadelphia, PA
Hi CCR96 - i'm curious, how are you currently transporting the MP8? One thing that really concerns me is the weight - 70.5 pounds is a LOT of instrument to truck from gig to gig, so i'd love to hear what you do to carry it around.
On my website, you'll see a picture of a case i purchased for my Roland RD-700SX called Gig Skinz - it's a gorgeous soft case with faux velvet interior and rollerblade wheels. Haven't actually put it into action yet, but it looks very promising. Article URL is: http://www.hughsung.com/blog/index.php?itemid=685

Not 100% sure if the bag can actually accommodate the MP8 though, given it's larger than normal dimentions...

In the meantime, i happened to see a label on one of the Philadelphia Orchestra cases backstage from a company called Philly Case - http://phillycase.com/
Looks like they manufacture custom designed cases, so i'm sure they'd have no problem making one to order for your MP8! Let me know if this helps!

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659096
02/18/07 10:26 AM
02/18/07 10:26 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 410
Montreal, CAN
bachmaniac Offline
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hey guys,

take a look at this case offered by AMS. Expensive, but free delivery, very sturdy, got rollers like a pullman, perfect for a lone carrier... The larger model surely fits the MP8.

http://www.americanmusical.com/item--i-GAT-GK288R.html

Claude


K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7
Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659097
02/18/07 10:36 AM
02/18/07 10:36 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 129
People's Republic of Massachus...
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vitog Offline
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Claude,
That Gator case appears too shallow at only 6 5/8", MP8 is 7 1/2" tall. The other two dimensions look good.


Kawai MP8
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Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659098
02/18/07 11:14 AM
02/18/07 11:14 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 200
Atlanta, GA
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The Pro Offline
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I currently use a Kawai ES4 on stage a lot due to it's lightweight (45lbs) and handy internal speakers, and so I too was considering the Kawai MP8 for my studio controller/practice piano but now I've changed my mind and I'm leaning more towards the Yamaha CP300. The CP300's action is similar to the MP8 although not wood key, and the CP300 has internal speakers which make it handier for rehearsal. There are both soft and hardshell cases made by Yamaha specifically for the CP300. The form factor of the CP300 allows things like laptops, scores or even secondary keyboards to be placed on top the piano unlike the MP8 and any other sloped-top digital pianos. The CP300's sounds have a somewhat clearer tone than the MP8 IMHO... you can compare the factory MP3 demos here:

Yamaha CP300 demos

Kawai MP8 demos

One final thing regarding Casios - if you like the Privias (I do) then you'll be happy to know that Casio is coming out with a new 128-note polyphony model early in March called the PX-200 . At 26 lbs the Privias are probably the lightest and most transportable digital piano on the market and they have a reasonably good action too. The new PX-200 will reportedly sell for $699.

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659099
02/18/07 11:30 AM
02/18/07 11:30 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 410
Montreal, CAN
bachmaniac Offline
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oops...

really sorry, and thanks Witold for the help. Here's another try, this one is a lot less expensive and still has rollers. Hope 57"x18"x9" does it? (My apologies for the approximation, my own MP8 hasn't arrived yet)

http://www.americanmusical.com/item--i-SKB-KB88.html


Cheers
Claude


K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7
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