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Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659060
02/14/07 11:45 AM
02/14/07 11:45 AM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 466
Philadelphia, PA
Hugh Sung Offline OP
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Ok, ok, call me obsessed - or posessed - but suddenly i have a burning desire to try out the Kawai MP8. Yes, i purchased the Roland RD700SX, and i think it will do just fine (i have a bit of a time constraint - show coming up in 2 weeks, hence the quick purchase) - but if i had more time, i would've waited till i could've tried the MP8...problem is, i can't seem to find any dealers in the Philadelphia area that have the instrument in stock!
Rather than just risk $2000 + shipping to buy the instrument outright, does anyone have any suggestions or leads as to where i might be able to see this fabled instrument with my own eyes and hands in the Philadelphia area?

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Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659061
02/14/07 12:11 PM
02/14/07 12:11 PM
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Atlanta, GA
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Your nearest Sam Ash dealer may have one.

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659062
02/14/07 12:35 PM
02/14/07 12:35 PM
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Posts: 466
Philadelphia, PA
Hugh Sung Offline OP
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Sadly no - neither they nor Guitar Center deal with Kawai, for some reason...

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659063
02/14/07 01:02 PM
02/14/07 01:02 PM
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Atlanta, GA
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Follow this link and you'll see that not only does Sam Ash deal with the MP8 but at a pretty good price. The only question is whether a Sam Ash store in your area has one for you to try out.

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Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659064
02/14/07 01:04 PM
02/14/07 01:04 PM
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Montreal, CAN
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They're getting scarce...

Since they dropped the price some time ago (street price is now ±$1995), these things are really selling. I bought mine from the Montreal dealership last week, and they finally located one for me in Vancouver, only to find out that was already gone by the time they tried to order it. So now they're waiting for one from the US, where they got a confirmed order. Couple of weeks still to wait. Hot cakes go fast...


K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7
Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659065
02/14/07 01:18 PM
02/14/07 01:18 PM
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Cape Cod
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hv Offline
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Got mine at a Sam Ash. But I had to use their store locater to hunt one down.

http://www.samashmusic.com/stores/locator.asp

I think my nearest local store offered to have it moved but I really didn't want a guilt trip if I didn't like it.

Howard

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659066
02/14/07 01:21 PM
02/14/07 01:21 PM
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North Carolina
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i would imagine that there are kawai dealers in philly who carry the console style digitals, and i think they have the same action (AWA pro) as the MP8. then if you decide you prefer that action, mail order an MP8.

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659067
02/14/07 01:25 PM
02/14/07 01:25 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by bachmaniac:
They're getting scarce...

Since they dropped the price some time ago (street price is now ±$1995), these things are really selling. I bought mine from the Montreal dealership last week, and they finally located one for me in Vancouver, only to find out that was already gone by the time they tried to order it. So now they're waiting for one from the US, where they got a confirmed order. Couple of weeks still to wait. Hot cakes go fast...
Thing is, I don't think that's the issue though. Everyone seems to be dumping their inventories. I haven't been looking into this long enough to know why it's happening now but everything is selling for a cheap price now. The Kawai dealer in my area was dumping his old stock of CN2, CN3, CN4, ES4, and CA5s. Floor models and all. Roland dealers are also getting rid of their FP5s becuase of the new FP4 and FP7s.

Maybe the companies are getting ready for their Summer trade show? Can someone else weigh in on this?

Hugh, if you have the chance you may want to try out the new FP-4 as well. I got a chance to test drive one the other day and the action is stiffer than the RD700SX. It's more like the GH3 action of the Yamaha CLP series in my opinion. With the features you are looking for you may be more interested in the FP-7 when it comes out but at least you can get a feel for the action since they use the same PHAII. The FP-7 sounds like an RD700SX without the SRX card expansion ability, includes speakers, with a cheaper price tag.

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659068
02/14/07 02:43 PM
02/14/07 02:43 PM
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Posts: 466
Philadelphia, PA
Hugh Sung Offline OP
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I see the MP8 listed on various online stores (like Sam Ash), but the point is i'd like to try them out BEFORE plunking the cash down - i'd imagine there'd be a hefty restocking fee if i had to return one of those heavy monsters... wink

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659069
02/14/07 07:02 PM
02/14/07 07:02 PM
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NJ, USA
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It may be difficult to find MP8 in the showroom however as it was suggested try any Kawai console that has AWA Grand Pro keyboard action which to most is the determining factor in MP8 purchase.

Check ABC Piano Discounters in Wilmington, DE. They are a very large piano dealer (including Kawai) not far from Philadelphia and most likely have some Kawai console in the showroom with AWA Grand Pro keyboard. Take good pair of headphnes with you.

If you do try it I'd like to hear your professional opinion on the key action. In my amateur view, while it does have excellent feel and control it is weighted heavier than I'd like (certainly much heavier than RD700SX).

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659070
02/15/07 02:53 AM
02/15/07 02:53 AM
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Spain
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Ditto! If you do get a chance to try it, please let us know what you think. I'm considering it, but I would need to do a private import from Germany.

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659071
02/15/07 06:45 AM
02/15/07 06:45 AM
Joined: Jun 2006
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Philadelphia, PA
Hugh Sung Offline OP
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Will do - i'm going to call ABC Piano Discounters later on today to see if they have any AWA-capable digital pianos in stock. If they do, then i'll try to take a trip down Friday afternoon...i'll keep y'all posted on my findings! laugh

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659072
02/15/07 10:14 AM
02/15/07 10:14 AM
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North Carolina
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>i'd imagine there'd be a hefty restocking fee if i had to return one of those heavy monsters...<

you might be surprised ...

most of the big online retailers have a generous return policy of 30-45 days, and free shipping once you are over a certain purchase minimum, usually about $300. so, if you went this route, you could leisurely evaluate the instrument in your home instead of a busy showroom. if you didn't like it, you would be out return shipping which may not be as much as you think. i don't think the online retailers typically charge a restocking fee. thus your overall risk might only be $50 or so for return shipping, and the return would be not having take the time to drive to dealers, time to thoroughly evaluate, etc.

just something to think about.

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659073
02/15/07 10:28 AM
02/15/07 10:28 AM
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Atlanta, GA
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Quote
Originally posted by Hugh Sung:
I see the MP8 listed on various online stores (like Sam Ash), but the point is i'd like to try them out BEFORE plunking the cash down - i'd imagine there'd be a hefty restocking fee if i had to return one of those heavy monsters... wink
This brings up several issues...

Many of us do not live in major metropoliton areas so we often have to drive a good distance to try out keyboards (at least I do). In cases where we check out the specs of an instrument as thoroughly as possible and then decide that we are serious about owning one then buying online with the option of returning is realistic. Internet dealers understand this and I haven't heard of one charging a restocking fee (check with the dealer beforehand). Usually the shipping cost to return an instrument is at the customer's expense and that's expensive enough. The money to return an instrument is equivalant to what a long drive to try it out would cost. If you use the instrument professionally then these costs are tax deductable.

Second, we all know that we can buy instruments online cheaper than retailers can sell them for, especially by the time you add sales taxes. Retailers know this too and often won't carry instruments that can be bought online (except for dealers that sell online too such as Sam Ash, Guitar Center etc.). Mom & Pop dealers rightfully resent being the place where you try an instrument but don't buy it there. So you may not have a choice but to try out an instrument at home.

Something to consider.

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659074
02/15/07 08:56 PM
02/15/07 08:56 PM
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To shed some more light on the on-line purchase.

I bought my MP8 from kraftmusic.com with free shipping. Came with 20-days return guarantee. If I understand their return policy correctly, you pay shipping back to them plus they'll subtract their shipping charge from purchase price (even though you technically did not pay a penny for that part). Boxed MP8 weighs over 90 lbs. so you're looking at some $150-200 total charge to try it at home. My experience with kraftmusic was fine, but not without problems and nowhere near what I had expected, based on some retailer reviews I'd read prior to purchase (they do have some nicely priced bundles of other digital pianos, those are hard to beat).


Kawai MP8
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Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659075
02/15/07 09:01 PM
02/15/07 09:01 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 466
Philadelphia, PA
Hugh Sung Offline OP
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How do you like your MP8? I'm going to visit ABC Piano Discounters in Delaware tomorrow to check out a Kawai CA-X, apparently the newer model with the AWA action...i'd love to get your feedback nonetheless!

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659076
02/16/07 01:32 AM
02/16/07 01:32 AM
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NJ, USA
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CA-X indeed has the same keyboard as MP8 yet only a fraction of functionality and voices of MP8. CA-X is smaller than MP8 (although weights about the same) and from what I can see on the pictures is much prettier looking than MP8 monster. It should also be about $400 cheaper than MP8.

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659077
02/16/07 12:52 PM
02/16/07 12:52 PM
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BTW you can get full pdf manuals for all Kawai digitals here:
http://www.kawaius-tsd.com/pages/dp_om.html

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659078
02/16/07 01:50 PM
02/16/07 01:50 PM
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1. CA-X is actually only marginally smaller than the MP8

2. CA-X is indeed a nicer looking piano for home display, but MP8's pics on kawai's site do no do justice to its looks - it is far more impressive and great looking too. Very clean layout, simple yet well thought out. Small display is also far more informative than CA-X's 3-digit LED.

These pics are closer to the actual, especially the close up at top

3. CA-X is hard to find at most dealers, often it becomes a special order item and your barganing power is hugely limited.

It appears that CA-X has disapperaed from Kawai US site.


Kawai MP8
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Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659079
02/16/07 02:11 PM
02/16/07 02:11 PM
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NJ, USA
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vitog -
- from what I can MP8 is larger than CA-X not the other way around;
- last time I checked with samash about a month ago they could special order CA-X for USD1600;
- I did hear the rumors of CA-X being discontinued and yes you are right, it disappeared from kawaius site.

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659080
02/16/07 02:15 PM
02/16/07 02:15 PM
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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 05:26 PM
02/16/07 05:26 PM
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Montreal, CAN
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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 06:48 PM
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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 07:10 AM
02/17/07 07:10 AM
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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!

Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659084
02/17/07 07:39 AM
02/17/07 07:39 AM
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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.


Digital Fake Book
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Re: Looking for Kawai MP8 in the Philadelphia area #659085
02/17/07 08:36 AM
02/17/07 08:36 AM
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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 10:51 AM
02/17/07 10:51 AM
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Atlanta, GA
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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 11:44 AM
02/17/07 11:44 AM
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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 12:31 PM
02/17/07 12:31 PM
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Montreal, CAN
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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 05:39 PM
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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......

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