Piano World Home Page
Posted By: Alan Tripp MP11 dead on arrival - 04/07/15 02:48 PM
After over 2 months of waiting, I received my MP11 yesterday via FedEx yesterday morning. The box was in good shape. It was too much to carry upstairs by myself, so I waited until I had help this morning. We carried it upstairs, unboxed, set on the stand, plugged in, and NOTHING. Dead. Tried different power outlets. Nothing. I am either a huge moron or I have a dead unit. I'm inclined to believe the latter. Any ideas?
Posted By: dynamobt Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/07/15 02:54 PM
Did you hook it up to anything to produce sound? Try it with headphones. No built in speakers with the MP11.
Posted By: Alan Tripp Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/07/15 03:01 PM
Yes, I have the output jacks hooked up to my amplifier and speakers. The screen does not even power on nor any other lights, so it's more than just not producing any sound unfortunately.
Posted By: ando Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/07/15 03:17 PM
Bummer, that's a huge let down. frown Hope you get it sorted soon.
Posted By: Kbeaumont Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/07/15 03:20 PM
Then check the chord, if its good and fits tight in the socket then you probably have a bad unit.
Posted By: Alan Tripp Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/07/15 03:24 PM
Checked, and yes, I fear you are correct.
Posted By: Marcos Daniel Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/07/15 04:00 PM
(I suppose you are pressing the power on switch on the back panel, not just plugging the piano to AC)
Posted By: Alan Tripp Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/07/15 11:33 PM
My dealer contacted Kawai who contacted me this evening. Juan from Kawai told me that sometimes a cord/cable inside is set too tight when assembled and can partially dislodge during shipment. He told me that because the unit is portable I would need to bring it to a service center for repair. I advised that is unacceptable since the unit was purchased brand new from an authorized dealer. I waited 2 months to get it and it won't even turn on the first time. It is located up a significant flight of stairs and then in my studio room which has a few more steps. I cannot move it by myself without risking damage. I think it would fit in my SUV with the seats down, but again, it would require another set of hands and my pregnant wife does not qualify. I asked that a service tech be sent to my home to make the unit operational. Juan told me he would talk to his manager about it and get back to me, probably tonight. We will see.
Posted By: Kawai James Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/08/15 12:13 AM
Hello Alan,

I'm sorry to read that your MP11 appears to be dead on arrival.

Fingers crossed the matter is resolved shortly, and you're able to enjoy your new DP.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: Savante Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/08/15 11:56 AM
Originally Posted by Alan Tripp
My dealer contacted Kawai who contacted me this evening. Juan from Kawai told me that sometimes a cord/cable inside is set too tight when assembled and can partially dislodge during shipment. He told me that because the unit is portable I would need to bring it to a service center for repair. I advised that is unacceptable since the unit was purchased brand new from an authorized dealer. I waited 2 months to get it and it won't even turn on the first time. It is located up a significant flight of stairs and then in my studio room which has a few more steps. I cannot move it by myself without risking damage. I think it would fit in my SUV with the seats down, but again, it would require another set of hands and my pregnant wife does not qualify. I asked that a service tech be sent to my home to make the unit operational. Juan told me he would talk to his manager about it and get back to me, probably tonight. We will see.


Yes, you having to go to the inconvenience of returning it for repair should not have even been part of the conversation. You should not have to deal with a defective unit. Kawai, or the dealer, should immediately send you a new unit and have the shipping company pick up the defective unit at your home. Even so, this means a longer wait for the MP11 you have purchased.
Posted By: BubbaMc Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/15/15 04:01 AM
I would be demanding a new unit.

I recently received my MP11 back from an "authorised" technician that my dealer organised. Greasy fingerprints all over it, screws jammed into the wrong holes, and the initial problem remaining exactly the same was the result.

Originally Posted by Alan Tripp
My dealer contacted Kawai who contacted me this evening. Juan from Kawai told me that sometimes a cord/cable inside is set too tight when assembled and can partially dislodge during shipment. He told me that because the unit is portable I would need to bring it to a service center for repair. I advised that is unacceptable since the unit was purchased brand new from an authorized dealer. I waited 2 months to get it and it won't even turn on the first time. It is located up a significant flight of stairs and then in my studio room which has a few more steps. I cannot move it by myself without risking damage. I think it would fit in my SUV with the seats down, but again, it would require another set of hands and my pregnant wife does not qualify. I asked that a service tech be sent to my home to make the unit operational. Juan told me he would talk to his manager about it and get back to me, probably tonight. We will see.
Posted By: JEB NYC Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/15/15 11:04 AM
I had an encounter with with a salesman at Sam Ash in NYC that might be of interest here. The guy was insisting that you can't learn anything useful about digital pianos online (and being a bit of a jerk about it actually). As an illustration, he said something to the effect of: "Everybody talks about how great MP11s are, but three fourths of the ones that come into the store are DOA. But you never see anyone in the forums talking about that."

I'm not in the market for a stage piano, so he wasn't trying to talk me out of the MP11. (In fact we were mainly talking about the availability of the Roland DP90e -- the salesman was telling me that whatever impression Roland's web site might give, only the DP90Se was actually available). And I have absolutely no idea if what he said about the MP11 is true. (In particular, "three fourths" seems impossibly high to me. He may have been exaggerating, or I may be misremembering). But since the topic has come up, I just thought I'd throw this in.
Posted By: Morodiene Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/15/15 12:21 PM
Originally Posted by JEB NYC
I had an encounter with with a salesman at Sam Ash in NYC that might be of interest here. The guy was insisting that you can't learn anything useful about digital pianos online (and being a bit of a jerk about it actually). As an illustration, he said something to the effect of: "Everybody talks about how great MP11s are, but three fourths of the ones that come into the store are DOA. But you never see anyone in the forums talking about that."

I'm not in the market for a stage piano, so he wasn't trying to talk me out of the MP11. (In fact we were mainly talking about the availability of the Roland DP90e -- the salesman was telling me that whatever impression Roland's web site might give, only the DP90Se was actually available). And I have absolutely no idea if what he said about the MP11 is true. (In particular, "three fourths" seems impossibly high to me. He may have been exaggerating, or I may be misremembering). But since the topic has come up, I just thought I'd throw this in.


Interesting. Still, there have been many posts about the MP11 from people who have bought them from various places and very few mention the DOA issue. If it were such a big issue as this guy claims, why isn't it mentioned more from those who buy MP11s?
Posted By: lolatu Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/15/15 01:26 PM
I would be interested to know what happens to all these units that have minor problems, that get returned, or intercepted before they reach a customer. Are they repaired in the same country, then re-sold as new? Are they shipped back to Indonesia for recycling?

Quote
"Everybody talks about how great MP11s are, but three fourths of the ones that come into the store are DOA."

According to Wikipedia, as well as "Dead on arrival", i.e. doesn't power up, DOA can stand for "Defective on arrival". Maybe this is what he meant... and in that case the 3/4 number would not surprise me.
Posted By: Jeff Clef Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/15/15 03:29 PM
If you were having the conversation with Sweetwater, they would be shipping you a replacement unit, the FedEx truck would be picking up the original unit (you might be on your own regarding the stairs down to the street entrance), and if a unit was anything other than brand factory new it would be stated as such on their website, and offered at a discount. But, Australia is a l-o-o-o-n-g way from Indiana!

If you had a problem with the first unit, they might open the replacement and check it out thoroughly before shipping it to you. You would be told, if this were the case.

If 3/4 of the shipped units were bad, I doubt they would be carrying the brand. In any case, customers can post reviews of the gear on their site.

Don't know if Ash can say as much. Sounds like their guy was like most people trying to look like a big shot: liars.

We do get posts here when people run into trouble with defective gear, including Kawai's. It can happen. The retailer is expected to be the first one you turn to with service issues, but if it doesn't get resolved there, Kawai has your back. They're well-known in the trade for their customer service.

I would be asking for a brand new replacement unit, personally.
Posted By: Alan Tripp Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/15/15 07:58 PM
Juan called me back several days ago and said his manager made an exception (or something to that effect) and they are going to have the tech come to repair the unit at my home. I asked him to e-mail the information of the tech and confirmed the tech would call me. I didn't receive an e-mail or a call. Not a big deal since I was out of town for a few days anyways, but the follow-up was obviously lacking on Kawai's part. I found Juan's e-mail through a quick Google search. He called me later that day and made an excuse about the e-mail not being right (which he confirmed several times previously, so that's a bit hard to believe), but nevertheless, told me the tech was going to call me and Juan e-mailed me the info. The tech did call last night from Epperson Organ which is 20 minutes away from me. He told me he wasn't sure when he could come out and would call me tomorrow (today). He called this morning and asked that he could come Friday. I advised that was fine and gave him a window. He told me he would call to confirm on Friday.

I would "demand" a new unit if I didn't think it was going to take many more weeks and still involve me boxing and carrying it down stairs again. I will be supervising the repair and will obviously only accept a flawless unit functionally and cosmetically.
Posted By: Kawai James Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/16/15 12:15 AM
Hello Alan, thank you for the update.

I'm glad to read that you're being looked after. Fingers crossed the tech will find the problem and you'll be able to play your piano by the weekend.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: Kawai James Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/16/15 12:18 AM
Hello BubbaMc,

Originally Posted by BubbaMc
I recently received my MP11 back from an "authorised" technician that my dealer organised. Greasy fingerprints all over it, screws jammed into the wrong holes, and the initial problem remaining exactly the same was the result.


If you are not satisfied with the service you have received, my recommendation would be to raise this matter with the dealer, and if necessary bring it to the attention of the local distributor (Kawai Australia).

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: Alan Tripp Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/25/15 12:52 PM
So, the update is that the tech came Friday 4/17 at the request of Kawai. With my help, he took it apart and removed one of the boards. Apparently, Juan told him that there is a transistor on a board on the back of the unit that is very close to the vertical rear face of the keyboard and that the only report of problems with the MP11 arise from damage to that transistor. The tech removed the board and you could see that the transistor, in fact, must have been impacted down with force sufficient to push the pins through the board and break the traces. The continuity, however, seemed OK. The tech repaired and soldered the board on site and checked continuity but the unit would not power on. Juan told him he would send a whole new board as well as a whole new board where the processor is that apparently has something to do with controlling power as it pertains to the momentary switch.

It seems ludicrous to me that Kawai would engineer things to be that tight inside the back of the unit that a physical impact to the fairly-rigid metal of the back of the unit (while packaged, no less) would be sufficient to impart enough force to damage delicate electronics. It's not like we're talking about adding an extra millimeter of clearance to something like an iPhone here. The depth is already 453 mm for crying out loud. Would another mm or two really made a negative difference?

Moving on, I was out of town on business this week and back on Thursdsay afternoon. The tech returned Friday morning with a box from Kawai in hand. He swapped both boards, plugged it in, and NOTHING.

At this point, I've had the piano in my house for 3 weeks not functioning and it has been almost 16 weeks since I ordered it. I've wasted 4 hours combined standing around helping the tech and watching him.

I told the tech to tell Juan on the phone that I wanted a new unit shipped to me. Of course, I'm inferring what Juan is saying from hearing what the tech is saying. At first, I'm relieved to hear that Kawai is not going to "fight" sending me a whole new unit but when I ask if they would ship it out today (it was early Friday morning PST), the tech says "oh you need to receive this one back before you can ship a new one?" Needless to say, I was incredulous. The tech told Juan to call me as he didn't want to be in the middle of it (understandably). John Epperson, the tech, was very nice, helpful and apologetic. Obviously, this isn't his fault but he felt bad nonetheless.

Juan did call me a few minutes later and initially told me the same thing about needing the unit back before shipping the replacement. I told him that if he wanted my credit card info as security, I didn't care, I just wanted my piano. What the heck am I going to do with this non-functioning unit? Try to scrap it for parts? Give me a break.

Thankfully, he did confirm that they had an MP11 in the warehouse they could ship me (I feared I would have to wait for another shipment). I was transferred to a credit card processor who confirmed she was going to actually charge my card (rather than place a hold or something). Whatever, it's not that I need the available credit, but to me, it's the principle of this whole thing. Regardless, she charged the card and confirmed someone would send me an e-mail with a return label.

I did get the return label in an e-mail later in the day. I did not get a shipment notification. I replied to that e-mail asking for a tracking number and was told my order was "processing" and that it should probably go out Monday...I refrained from responding via e-mail with my thoughts.

Posted By: lophiomys Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/25/15 01:55 PM
Welcome to the World of Kawai Support. It is a world of pain. I made a similar experience in Europe, which some less drastic defects on my MP7.

It is outrageous, especially for a high-priced instrument as the MP11 and the tech person present at your home twice. The only acceptable action after the second failed repair attempt, would have been to expedite courier a new MP11 to your house door, with a return pickup voucher! This way it would have been cheaper for Kawai, better for The Customer, and better for Kawai's reputation in the market.
The way Kawai support decided to handled it, you risk to pay twice, if something goes wrong with the return shipping of the totally defective return-unit.

I am waiting for the first account of a MP11 or MP7 failing live on stage, just because the guitar player bumps his guitar into the back of the stage piano and destroys this flimsy electronic part at the back. I am all positive about it. wink




Posted By: Morodiene Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/25/15 03:03 PM
Well, compare with Roland's tech support, who refused to send a tech to me at all while my DP was under warranty. They said I would have to ship it back to them with the original box - which was destroyed in shipment, or drive to a tech that was a couple of hours away. When I contacted the technician, they refused to work on it since I didn't buy the unit from them, and I asked them, "So let me get this straight so I can pass this along to Roland for you: you don't do warranty service for Roland digital pianos?" He hemmed and hawed a bit but I was so frustrated after all the runaround I got.

I think in comparison with my experience, Kawai support has done a great job. They've sent a guy out twice to try and resolve the issue and get your unit up and running ASAP. It would be nice if they could trust you to be honest and return the defective unit and not have to charge you for a new one, but I'm sure the other option would be to send this one back and wait until they receive it before sending you a new unit which would take longer. A pain for you, yes, but I don't really see a way around it.

When I had to return my FC-3 pedal unit because it stopped working correctly, they sent me a new one right away and I used the box that came in to ship it back to them. But with an entire DP, they stand to lose a lot more should the customer decide to keep the old unit.

Personally, I see this more as an issue of the packaging than the design. When moving DPs, the most likely parts to get beat up are on the ends, not in the back, so I'd be very surprised if something like that would happen. But I do think they should revamp their packaging to ensure that the instrument is well-protected in shipping.
Posted By: Jack Elliott Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/25/15 04:02 PM
My first MP11 was broken at least physically (slammed key into wood side) by I think a combo of poor Kawai packing and rough fedex shipping. It did not power on so back it went. My second one arrived yesterday with upgraded packing, thanks to Mr. Sam Ash, but did not power on:( So, I too called Juan. He was able to walk me through the fix - which is crazy for me to be doing. He also sent me an upgraded board..The problem is this electronic component on the board, which has three long legs, poke through and those legs touch the top case. If you hit the top case it will break the strap welds causing the unit to not power up. The upgrade design has the component in at an angle so it does not touch the case. OK. So I did get the unit to power up and it is all they say it is. Here is a pic of the component and the broken strap weld, which are stupid in my opinion and just asking to be broken...

[Linked Image]
Posted By: McBuster Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/25/15 04:31 PM
Here's a thought ...

Seeing that Kawai is completely aware of this dilemma, and it might be safe to say, they do not sell 100's of these a day, would it not be wise, to forward the correct board to their Dealers to patch units they have? And then, before shipping from their Warehouse, they do the fix?

Wouldn't that proactive approach buy them nothing but good will? And, am I the first one to mention this? Even if they brought in Temps to do the work.

Excuse me, but, Duuuuh!
Posted By: Alan Tripp Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/25/15 05:43 PM
Jack, that is what mine looked like as well, though this "upgrade design," I'm fairly sure, is just Kawai carefully bending the component since it takes up less vertical space at a ~45 degree angle than a 90 degree angle.
Posted By: krikorik Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/25/15 06:19 PM
A bullet proof packaging for such an instrument will not fit trough your door. Kawai is responsible for delivering the unit to you, but the carrier company seems to be the one giving a rough treatment to the unit. The type of damage you show confirms that, unless you dropped the unit. Hopefully you wrote on the delivery document that the box shows damage, then Kawai can workout with the carrier for the costs. These units should have a shock sensor on the box the same way that perishable merchandise has disposable temperature or humidity sensors
Posted By: BetterAtGuitar Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/25/15 06:41 PM
hi guys! i found this post by googling "MP11 won't power on". i ordered mine the first week of february (from a kawai dealerhip here in columbus, ohio) and supposedly due to a dock workers strike in long beach that held up a big shipment of MP11s, i didn't get it until this thursday (4/23). unfortunately mine was DOA too. but my kawai dealership has been very understanding and helpful. they have arranged the shipment of a new keyboard (without charging me for another one or waiting until the old one gets shipped back), which should be coming within days of the first one's arrival. i'll keep you posted, but i just wanted to add my story to the record. sounds like they have a design issue to fix, but at least in my experience so far, kawai is doing everything they can to fix the situation for me.

matt
Posted By: Jack Elliott Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/25/15 08:00 PM
Originally Posted by Alan Tripp
Jack, that is what mine looked like as well, though this "upgrade design," I'm fairly sure, is just Kawai carefully bending the component since it takes up less vertical space at a ~45 degree angle than a 90 degree angle.


yessir - that is what Juan told me a 45 and I agree with you, but, if it were to bend it it would break the other side. There has to be continuity between the top and where the strap connects on one side and then on the other side as well. I'll post a pic of my new one when it arrives,, and I'll post a pic of my solder job on the old one. I did add a new dimension to my MP11 with my solder job that will hopefully go away with the new board. It just says good bye on the display but wont actually turn off. To turn it back on (and to get rid of the goodbye) I must actually unplug it. Believe me you don't want me soldering your circuit board!
Posted By: Jytte Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/26/15 10:39 PM
I guess the morale of this story is: Only buy a piano from a reputable store.

I got my DP from a good store in a nearby city. They have acoustics, uprights as well as grands (even 2 Steinways in the showroom, that I got to try as well), and they have Yamaha, Roland and a few more DPs. They were extremely helpful at the store, as I was trying out different pianos. The owner is also a tech, and does tuning, repairs etc on the acoustics himself. It was also the owner, who delivered my DP, and it was set up in my home where I wanted it, and thoroughly checked after that. Everything was A OK, and frankly, spending a considerable amount on an instrument, I'd expect nothing less. Best part, I spent less than I would have from an online store (where I wouldn't dream of buying a DP anyway).
Posted By: Alan Tripp Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/26/15 11:50 PM
This really has nothing to do with the dealer. I would venture to guess that 99% of the purchasers of MP11s received it in a box just like me.
Posted By: Morodiene Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/27/15 01:45 AM
Originally Posted by Alan Tripp
This really has nothing to do with the dealer. I would venture to guess that 99% of the purchasers of MP11s received it in a box just like me.


Well, that's a made-up statistic, but obviously when you buy online, you are taking that risk. Sometimes (often? usually?) that never comes into play: you get your instrument and you are happy. But then there are those who have a problem and it's more hassle to deal with on their own rather than have a good dealer as the go-between.
Posted By: spanishbuddha Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/27/15 06:55 AM
Originally Posted by Alan Tripp
This really has nothing to do with the dealer. I would venture to guess that 99% of the purchasers of MP11s received it in a box just like me.

My last two DP's were delivered to my home by my local dealer, 'box opened', tested and working, and even case polished.

Comparing the service you have received remotely from Kawai versus that from the local dealer that BetterAtGuitar used reinforces Jytte's point

This aspect of the debate is veering OT, except that were I to purchase an MP11, I know how I would go about it.
Posted By: lophiomys Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/27/15 07:57 AM
The root of the problem remains in existence, no matter how well prepared a local showroom shop would be:
there is a serious quality problem with some electronic parts and there is obviously no sufficient Quality Assurance.
On top of that the Kawai support seems to be starved of funds and lost sight of customer satisfaction.
After all we are talking about basics here.


Posted By: peterws Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/27/15 09:15 AM
These manufacturers all insist on making HEAVY pianos. And then pack em inadequately. My DGX is heavy, it came double boxed delivered from the local storage facility of our piano music shop. And it cost a third of the price of an mp11.
Posted By: Kawai James Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/27/15 09:48 AM
lophiomys, your post is incorrect.

The MP11 is a large, heavy instrument. Due to its size and weight, the carton box for an MP11 can be cumbersome for shipping agents to handle alone. As a result, customers may notice damage to the delivered instrument's packaging, and, unfortunately, in some case damage to the instrument itself.

However, as this thread demonstrates, Kawai dealers and distributors have an excellent track record of assisting customers who report such damage. Every effort is taken to ensure that our instruments are securely packaged to withstand rough handling. In the event that a customer does receive a damaged product, every effort is also taken to ensure that the matter is resolved as efficiently as possible, and that they are fully satisfied with the service provided.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: Kawai James Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/27/15 09:52 AM
Originally Posted by peterws
These manufacturers all insist on making HEAVY pianos. And then pack em inadequately. My DGX is heavy, it came double boxed delivered from the local storage facility of our piano music shop.


With the greatest respect Peter, distribution and shipping in the UK is very different to that of the US - regardless of the instrument or its price.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: Lazerlike42 Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/27/15 10:57 AM
Shipping is really somewhat irrelevant here.

For one thing, the MP11 is a stage piano and so a part of it's design is to be moved on a regular basis and be able to withstand some reasonable level of physical "abuse" (though not actual and negligent abuse, of course). In fact, just how well a stage piano can stand up to the rigors of gigging is one of the defining characteristics that consumers use to make purchase decisions about these instruments. If a given stage piano were more prone to damage than others, then it would certainly get a very big negative mark on the pros and cons of a review or an individual's "which should I buy?" tally.

Therefore, it really should not matter what kind of shipping or packaging was used, provided that it is at least somewhat reasonable. Certainly, if a dealer took it out of the box and wrapped it in newspaper for shipping then that would be a problem, but if it's packed in it's comfy Styrofoam and corrugated cardboard, then it should be abel to stand the shipping, because that is better packaging than its ever going to have again as it travels all over creation.

However more importantly, I think in this case there does seem to be a quality assurance problem. I don't think that we can judge the customer service of an entire worldwide company off of one or two cases, but it does seem from the reports here as well as the corroboration of Jaun the CS agent that this particular transistor is installed in a questionable way. I could understand this kind of problem happening if a unit here or there were damaged in shipping so much so that they arrived with dented cases. However, barring this it's beyond unreasonable that a product design could allow a lesser impact of a unit to push an electronic component out of it's seating.
Posted By: lophiomys Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/27/15 11:30 AM
Hello Kawai James,

With due respect my post is correct, and you obviously seem to exercise your marketing duties here.

If the MP7 is a heavy and pricey keyboard, it would Kawai's job to provide some strong protective packaging with handles, so that it would not fall down easily. Not a thin cardboard box. I am talking from experience after packaging and returning to the post office 3x MP7's with a gross weight of 29kg in a difficult to grab and slippery cardboard box. (The MP11 has a net weight of 32kg).

Second, a stage piano is supposed to be build and designed sturdy. What we see is a device, which destroys itself when falling down a bit, because some electronics part hits the casing.

Third, what I can conclude from the picture seeing the electronics parts, does not induce any comfort. Technically, that is a cheap board and poorly finished, prone to fault in portable device.


The OP would not have raised the issue on this forum here, if the DOA MP11 would have been fixed quickly and complaisantly for him. In your place I would see to get better electronics boards inside the MP11 and alleviate the inconveniences of the affected customers.

Kind Regards,
Lo PHi
Posted By: McBuster Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/27/15 11:51 AM
Point well taken. It is a unit whose destiny will be slid into the back of a van, dropped once or twice, always being brought somewhere at the last minute. The design must accommodate constant transport.

As these are getting broken on transit, I would ask, is the case itself getting bashed in and popping that component or, upon impact, are the internals giving way? I suspect the latter.

All shipping venues handle packages every day that are larger and heavier than this one. Every driver that comes to my door also has a two wheel cart. And now in 2015, no matter what form the packaging takes, this is no longer rocket science.

QA at the factory is doing their job. But the inherent design is at fault.

In the end, average packaging, a known design flaw, a company that is more than aware of the issue yet keeps shipping units that can be broken. Either in shipment or in use.

Think "Stage Piano" ...
Posted By: peterws Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/27/15 12:16 PM
"QA at the factory is doing their job. But the inherent design is at fault"

QA involves design too.
Posted By: TonyB Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/27/15 12:58 PM
This is not a comment about Kawai, but instead a comment about the QA process in the development of any quality product (at least on the commercial/military side). QA happens all the way through the design, development, and manufacturing process. In the design phase, there is design for manufacturability. What this means is can we consistently make thousands of this product and not just a few engineering prototypes. Also, there is design for testability, insuring that the product can be adequately tested to insure quality. This involves providing good and thorough diagnostics, which also means that the hardware design allows access to various registers and components by diagnostic software, providing hardware test points, etc.

There is physical testing, what we often call "shake and bake". This involves physical "drop testing" (i.e. drop the item from some distance, typically three feet), time in an environmental chamber, vibrating the product on a table designed for that purpose, etc. In the environmental chamber, we see if the mechanical engineering for component, module, and unit cooling is sufficient, whether the individual components can hold up within the specified temperature ranges, whether the device handles power drops correctly, etc.

There is testing for software/firmware "corner cases" in which various combinations of button presses and conditions that might cause the software to malfunction are checked, along with whether the software performs according to spec for the product.

All during the manufacturing process, samples are selected and tested to insure that there are no DOA deliveries.

After the product ships to customers, feedback on the sorts of issues discussed frequently in this forum are constantly reported back to the continuation QA group, and appropriate changes made to the next product design and development process in a continual process improvement. If necessary, changes are made to the current product where necessary in its design and manufacture to address serious issues.

The process is quite thorough and involved - and therefore expensive. Also, there are career engineers whose sole purpose is to perform these activities. Again, highly skilled and - expensive. I have glossed over these processes, giving a "50,000 foot view" and not mentioned any of the details or myriad processes that make for the total QA processes within software, hardware, or manufacturing.

I have not worked on the consumer side of engineering, so I don't know if any (or all) of these sorts of things are attended to when making these products, and to what extent. I suspect that if they were attended to at the level of commercial and military products, the number of people owning DPs would be much smaller. Therefore, there must be some sort of balance between affordability and overall product quality.

Back to the direct subject...

Based on what James says, I believe he is filtering the discussion here into real, solid information that is fed back to the people within Kawai responsible for the processes I glossed over in this post. Also realize that a relatively small sampling of the total customer base is represented in this forum, and those who are having problems are coming here to discuss them. It is likely that the extent of the problems across Kawai's product line are greatly amplified here as a result.

Tony

Posted By: Lazerlike42 Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/27/15 01:29 PM
Tony, generally I'd agree - especially regarding the tendency for forum complaints to over represent negative experiences. However, the particular nature of this problem really makes it hard to give too much leeway. There's no way that this kind of flaw should ever make it through the QA process.
Posted By: lophiomys Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/27/15 01:38 PM
Tony,

IMHO this kind of thorough QA process, as you describe it, is obviously not happening at Kawai's Indonesian assembly pant and beyond, aggravated by some design flaws documented above. The reports are numerous, underpinned by conversations with other participants in the DP market outside this forum. We are discussing real world problems of real people here, not company statistics across a product line, which are kept secret anyway. As an affected customer, I couldn't care less about a CEO's view point, being not bothered about just 0.5% in profit loss, because of some QA hiccups somewhere.

Another way to tackle the problem of missing quality standards would be, to have an effective and customer friendly network of technicians (who you need anyway and are standard in the AP business). The reality described in the post above: two failed repair attempts in two separate cases, and still no proactive customer service offering a real quick exchange, instead bothering the hassled customer with technicalities of shipping and payment for an overdue replacement unit.

Kind Regards,
Lo PHi
Posted By: TonyB Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/27/15 01:59 PM
My view on what should happen with the design flaw discussed in this thread is that Kawai would determine the exact nature of the problem and make a "recall" action if it really is that. Everybody who has this particular product should be able to get the fix applied in that case at no charge.

As to discussing real people and real world problems, yes I can see that perspective too. It is human nature that when something bad happens to us or somebody we know, it becomes real. When it happens to somebody we don't know, it is largely a matter of passing interest. Most of us are not seriously upset when we hear about something bad happening somewhere else in the world. Well, some people are and they will become participants in the resolution of the problem by going to help out, initiating or participating in fund raising to help those affected, etc. But most of us give it a passing thought and move on with our lives.

I know how I would feel if something bad happened to my DP, so it is a rather awkward position to be in saying anything here on my part. As long as the company handled the matter efficiently and within the terms of the warranty, that is probably the best I could hope for. If it really is true that one company is having far more of these issues than others at the same price point, I personally would go with one of the other companies the next time. Really, that is pretty much the choices we have in this sort of situation.

The point of my post is not that these aren't real problems, but that the kind of quality and support we are demanding is expensive enough that it would probably substantially increase the cost of the product beyond our means. So I would expect Kawai to address the individual issues, but not necessarily do all the QA activity that a government can afford for its military or a large corporation is willing to pay for products critical to its ongoing operations.

Tony

Posted By: Jack Elliott Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/27/15 02:46 PM
My experience with 2 mp11s was:
Both boxes had noticeable outside damage
Both boxes had extensive internal styrofoam damage
Both would not power up

From what I read, sounds aside, the only problem with these is the power up issue with the joints on one board. There is enough room in the mp11 case to put air conditioning, so when I get my new circuit board I might consider raising the stantions that board sits on and putting some rubber bumpers on. I think the piano is well prepared for the rigors of the road and if it lives in a case all the better.


All of this has been a minor inconvenience, but the end result is worth it, and in the end, you get to know your piano really really well. I look forward, very forward, to my upcoming years with this bad boy!
Posted By: BetterAtGuitar Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/29/15 09:14 PM
Quick follow-up: In under a week (6 days), I received my second MP11 and it's home and working perfectly. Solich Piano in Columbus, OH was awesome and really went the extra mile by reaching out to their personal contacts at Kawai to get me a replacement so quickly. I would definitely recommend them (or any other reputable dealer) over an online retailer if you're thinking about buying an MP11 right now because a good dealer will make the replacement process a lot smoother and less costly if you get a DOA unit (which apparently is happening more frequently lately).
Posted By: Kawai James Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/30/15 12:10 AM
BetterAtGuitar, thank you for the update. I'm glad to hear that your dealer responded quickly, and that you're now able to enjoy the MP11.

A big +1 for local piano dealers! wink

Kind regards,
James
x

Posted By: Alan Tripp Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/30/15 12:39 PM
My replacement was shipped Monday from California and is scheduled to arrive Friday/tomorrow.
Posted By: lolatu Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/30/15 02:02 PM
Originally Posted by Alan Tripp
My replacement was shipped Monday from California and is scheduled to arrive Friday/tomorrow.

Perhaps we should start a book for whether it's going to require technician attention or not...
Posted By: McBuster Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/30/15 04:39 PM
Now, now, let's play nice ...

+++

On another Note ...

So far, the Dealer in Mpls/StPaul has not seen a CA97. Or, they want to sell the 95's first.

So. You folks will have to wait a bit for my Detailed Revue and Expert Voice Evaluation.

Tee hee hee ...

+++

WAIT!!! Hold The Phone!!! My SalesGal just called!!! They have one in stock!!! I will be there about suppertime!!! Full Review To Follow!!!

Any bets to see if Kawai James will stay up late, with baited breath, to read my Review?

I will lay 10:1 for starters. 20:1 if the Book gets full.
Posted By: lolatu Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 04/30/15 09:39 PM
Originally Posted by McBuster
I will lay 10:1 for starters. 20:1 if the Book gets full.

A bargain. I'll put 100 imaginary $ on that! (I'd have bought at evens.)
Posted By: Kawai James Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/01/15 01:14 AM
Originally Posted by lolatu
Originally Posted by Alan Tripp
My replacement was shipped Monday from California and is scheduled to arrive Friday/tomorrow.

Perhaps we should start a book for whether it's going to require technician attention or not...


I hope not.

With any luck the shipping agent will have been asked to ensure that the package arrives in one piece.

James
x
Posted By: Kawai James Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/01/15 01:21 AM
Originally Posted by McBuster at 08:39 AM
So far, the Dealer in Mpls/StPaul has not seen a CA97. Or, they want to sell the 95's first.

So. You folks will have to wait a bit for my Detailed Revue and Expert Voice Evaluation.

Tee hee hee ...


...

Originally Posted by McBuster at 08:40 AM
WAIT!!! Hold The Phone!!! My SalesGal just called!!! They have one in stock!!! I will be there about suppertime!!! Full Review To Follow!!!


You managed to take a phone call and then return here to edit your post all within the space of one minute?

Impressive stuff, Jon!

Seriously though, as an owner of previous generation instruments, it certainly will be interesting to hear your impression of the latest CA models.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: McBuster Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/01/15 04:16 AM
James

My Response is in the Thread - Anyone actually played a Kawai CA-97?

Posted By: Kawai James Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/01/15 05:09 AM
Thank you Jon.
Posted By: JoeAudette Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/28/15 10:46 PM
I just received an mp 11 doa as well (wouldn't power on). The shipping box had a hole poked right in the middle of the top and was torn open in several corners and along the seems. When I got it out of the box I saw it was scratched pretty good on the glass display and 2 of the keys had small scuff marks on the front edges. Other than the scratches the unit doesn't look banged up but I guess it has the same problem others have reported here.

Fortunately Amazon is very good about these things, with a few clicks I had approval for a refund and a shipping authorization for ups to pick it up tomorrow, so I just put it back in the box and taped it up as best I could.

Was really looking forward to playing it, I guess I will order another one after the refund goes through.
Posted By: Kawai James Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/28/15 11:47 PM
Hello JoeAudette, welcome to the forum.

I'm sorry to read that your MP11 would not power on. I expect whatever caused the damage to the shipping box was to blame.

Am I correct in thinking that you are based in the US? If so, it may also be worth reporting the damage and instrument serial no. to Kawai America for logging.

Fingers crossed the replacement arrives free of damage.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: iceporky Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/29/15 01:39 AM
In terms of reliability, my personal experience is that Yamaha is much better than Kawai.

My CA95 has a clicky key, which cannot be resolved after 2 visits from my dealer's technician. The replacement set arrived and it too had a clicky key. After using the replacement unit for less than 4 months, it died suddenly one morning. The repair came up to USD$110 and I need to pay for it because the warranty only covers my 1st CA95 and that warranty is already over. It seems to me like a known issue because the dealer immediately ordered the parts without probing further. Once the parts were swapped, the replacement unit came to life.

I felt I had enough of Kawai (and digital pianos, in general) and started to look elsewhere. My first DP was a Yamaha P155 and it was delivered to me in perfect condition. So, I went ahead and bought a Yamaha U3 (I have it for close to 6 months now). Again, the product was delivered to me without a flaw. Everything works as one would expect. I'm not sure if I'm just lucky with Yamaha, or that they just have better QC than their competitors.

I always thought an acoustic piano would be too loud for my apartment. Turns out that it's actually quite easy to play softly on my Yamaha U3. I'm not sure if I'll go back to a digital piano again, but if I do, I don't think Kawai would be my first choice.
Posted By: Just Alan Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/29/15 09:59 AM
Hi JoeAudette, Sorry to hear that your new MP11 was DOA. Sounds like it had been very roughly handled in transit, and that may well be the culprit in your case, but if you read the earlier posts on this subject/thread (of new MP11's not powering on), you'll see that there was quite a bit of discussion about some wires on the internal power supply being very close to the metal case. Not saying that's what's happened to you, but it does make for interesting reading.

One thing is for sure, once you receive a MP11 that is undamaged and working properly, you shold find that it is a very satisfying experience...it is a superb instrument.
Posted By: Morodiene Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/29/15 11:08 AM
Originally Posted by iceporky
In terms of reliability, my personal experience is that Yamaha is much better than Kawai.

My CA95 has a clicky key, which cannot be resolved after 2 visits from my dealer's technician. The replacement set arrived and it too had a clicky key. After using the replacement unit for less than 4 months, it died suddenly one morning. The repair came up to USD$110 and I need to pay for it because the warranty only covers my 1st CA95 and that warranty is already over. It seems to me like a known issue because the dealer immediately ordered the parts without probing further. Once the parts were swapped, the replacement unit came to life.

I felt I had enough of Kawai (and digital pianos, in general) and started to look elsewhere. My first DP was a Yamaha P155 and it was delivered to me in perfect condition. So, I went ahead and bought a Yamaha U3 (I have it for close to 6 months now). Again, the product was delivered to me without a flaw. Everything works as one would expect. I'm not sure if I'm just lucky with Yamaha, or that they just have better QC than their competitors.

I always thought an acoustic piano would be too loud for my apartment. Turns out that it's actually quite easy to play softly on my Yamaha U3. I'm not sure if I'll go back to a digital piano again, but if I do, I don't think Kawai would be my first choice.


In all fairness, acoustic pianos have had centuries of refinement behind them to learn from, whereas a lot of DPs are using new technology and ideas that are relatively untested compared with acoustics. So I don't think it is fair to compare acoustics with digitals. The Yamaha U3 is a great instrument, so congrats on your purchase! smile

PS: there are some people who have received Kawai DPs without any hassle or issue. What that ratio of satisfied customers who have no issue is to those who do have issues I can't say.
Posted By: lolatu Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/29/15 12:02 PM
Originally Posted by iceporky
In terms of reliability, my personal experience is that Yamaha is much better than Kawai.

There are 2 separate issues: 1) quality of the instrument, which is global, and 2) quality of post-sales service, which is dependent on what particular dealer you used. We can generalize about Kawai in the first case because all the instruments are made in the same factory, but not in the second, because there's no such thing as "Kawai service" - it depends on who your dealer is.

Quote
After using the replacement unit for less than 4 months, it died suddenly one morning. The repair came up to USD$110 and I need to pay for it because the warranty only covers my 1st CA95 and that warranty is already over. It seems to me like a known issue because the dealer immediately ordered the parts without probing further. Once the parts were swapped, the replacement unit came to life.

Do you know which part it was? Power supply maybe?
Posted By: iceporky Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/29/15 02:11 PM
Originally Posted by Morodiene

In all fairness, acoustic pianos have had centuries of refinement behind them to learn from, whereas a lot of DPs are using new technology and ideas that are relatively untested compared with acoustics. So I don't think it is fair to compare acoustics with digitals. The Yamaha U3 is a great instrument, so congrats on your purchase! smile


Actually, I'm not comparing acoustic with digital. I'm referring to my 2 previous Yamaha purchases (one digital, the other acoustic); that both arrived in tip-top condition.

Thanks, the Yamaha U3 is nice indeed. smile
Posted By: iceporky Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/29/15 02:16 PM
Originally Posted by lolatu

Do you know which part it was? Power supply maybe?


It has something to do with the power. I think he swapped out a small circuit board near the power supply.
Posted By: Morodiene Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/29/15 02:44 PM
Originally Posted by iceporky
Originally Posted by Morodiene

In all fairness, acoustic pianos have had centuries of refinement behind them to learn from, whereas a lot of DPs are using new technology and ideas that are relatively untested compared with acoustics. So I don't think it is fair to compare acoustics with digitals. The Yamaha U3 is a great instrument, so congrats on your purchase! smile


Actually, I'm not comparing acoustic with digital. I'm referring to my 2 previous Yamaha purchases (one digital, the other acoustic); that both arrived in tip-top condition.

Thanks, the Yamaha U3 is nice indeed. smile
Right, I was referring to your reference to acoustic, which really is a different thing altogether.

I would love to have a Yamaha upright to teach on someday. Really, they're the best uprights out there, IMO. wink
Posted By: lophiomys Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/29/15 03:46 PM
Originally Posted by Morodiene

...
In all fairness, acoustic pianos have had centuries of refinement behind them to learn from, whereas a lot of DPs are using new technology and ideas that are relatively untested compared with acoustics. So I don't think it is fair to compare acoustics with digitals.
...


Morodienne,

So are you saying, that Kawai digital pianos are experimental electronics?
Probably risqué software, even relatively untested?

... IMHO you could have a point here. :)))


The inversion of the argument would be:
- that your LCD TV set would only turn on occasionally, or
- that fly-by-wire aeroplanes would be allowed to fall out of the sky, or
- that your electronic throttle in your car could have its own mind now and then.
Not to speak of composite platics in some actions of acoustic pianos!
... all this is relatively unrefined techology.

SCNR







Posted By: fizikisto Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/29/15 04:06 PM
Originally Posted by lophiomys


The inversion of the argument would be:
- that your LCD TV set would only turn on occasionally, or
- that fly-by-wire aeroplanes would be allowed to fall out of the sky, or
- that your electronic throttle in your car could have its own mind now and then.
Not to speak of composite platics in some actions of acoustic pianos!
... all this is relatively unrefined techology.


A lot of automobile manufacturers have to issue recalls because of shoddy engineering/design defects that endanger people's lives. I think sometimes planes also have defects that will cause an entire line to be grounded by the FAA (or equivalent in other countries). And people do buy TV's that sometimes, for whatever reason, just don't turn on. No manufacturer has a 100% Quality Assurance rate. Sometimes design defects are the culprit, and sometimes it's just that there's an occasional bad component.

Posted By: ando Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/29/15 04:11 PM
Originally Posted by Morodiene


In all fairness, acoustic pianos have had centuries of refinement behind them to learn from, whereas a lot of DPs are using new technology and ideas that are relatively untested compared with acoustics. So I don't think it is fair to compare acoustics with digitals.


Morodienne, on one hand you are saying DPs can't be compared with APs, but then you do compare them in development terms with APs having gone through centuries of refinement where DPs haven't - thereby excusing the faults that DPs have. That suggests you think both APs and DPs need a similar trajectory to get things right. APs did go through many generations of refinement, but they weren't inherently unreliable. They did work and were not very susceptible to total breakdown.

There is another fallacy there too - the technology used in DPs is actually exceedingly simple. Leaving aside concerns like pianistic realism, things that are causing DPs to be DOA are not to do with young or experimental electronics. Printed circuit boards, integrated circuits, simple soldered connections and cautious design principles have been around for generations now. They are tried and tested. High quality examples of such things will function indefinitely. These simple breakdowns should not be happening in the numbers they are.

From what I know, Kawai does have some significant QC issues. It's fortunate that they are also very good with their customer service, but that doesn't entirely excuse their failure rate. I know a guy who runs a musical instrument service centre and he has confirmed to me that Roland and Yamaha gear very rarely comes into his store for repairs, but Kawai does. I know 3 people who have had parts fail on Kawais, be they action components or electronic components - sometimes several issues on the same DP. There is work to be done here. It's no coincidence that there are multiple threads and many posters on Kawai's reliability, but very few on Roland or Yamaha. Kawai is a product innovator, but so far, not a process innovator. It's up to them to judge whether the cost of servicing faulty units is cheaper than investing more in QC, but I think they should be careful because it can be very off-putting to prospective buyers or to people who have bought a Kawai before if they feel uncertain about the robustness and reliability of their new piano. At this stage, I think they have reason not to feel entirely confident. It's kind of ironic when a company gets a great reputation for warranty service - you'd hope to not have to be too acclaimed in that department. wink
Posted By: Morodiene Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/29/15 05:31 PM
Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by Morodiene


In all fairness, acoustic pianos have had centuries of refinement behind them to learn from, whereas a lot of DPs are using new technology and ideas that are relatively untested compared with acoustics. So I don't think it is fair to compare acoustics with digitals.


Morodienne, on one hand you are saying DPs can't be compared with APs, but then you do compare them in development terms with APs having gone through centuries of refinement where DPs haven't - thereby excusing the faults that DPs have. That suggests you think both APs and DPs need a similar trajectory to get things right. APs did go through many generations of refinement, but they weren't inherently unreliable. They did work and were not very susceptible to total breakdown.
It is this very reason - that DPs have not had centuries to be refined specifically, that one cannot compare them. That's like saying "you can't compare apples to oranges, because apples aren't oranges" and calling that a comparison. I'm not sure why this is hard to understand.

Quote
There is another fallacy there too - the technology used in DPs is actually exceedingly simple. Leaving aside concerns like pianistic realism, things that are causing DPs to be DOA are not to do with young or experimental electronics. Printed circuit boards, integrated circuits, simple soldered connections and cautious design principles have been around for generations now. They are tried and tested. High quality examples of such things will function indefinitely. These simple breakdowns should not be happening in the numbers they are.

From what I know, Kawai does have some significant QC issues. It's fortunate that they are also very good with their customer service, but that doesn't entirely excuse their failure rate. I know a guy who runs a musical instrument service centre and he has confirmed to me that Roland and Yamaha gear very rarely comes into his store for repairs, but Kawai does. I know 3 people who have had parts fail on Kawais, be they action components or electronic components - sometimes several issues on the same DP. There is work to be done here. It's no coincidence that there are multiple threads and many posters on Kawai's reliability, but very few on Roland or Yamaha. Kawai is a product innovator, but so far, not a process innovator. It's up to them to judge whether the cost of servicing faulty units is cheaper than investing more in QC, but I think they should be careful because it can be very off-putting to prospective buyers or to people who have bought a Kawai before if they feel uncertain about the robustness and reliability of their new piano. At this stage, I think they have reason not to feel entirely confident. It's kind of ironic when a company gets a great reputation for warranty service - you'd hope to not have to be too acclaimed in that department. wink


Circuitry, connections, etc. are not the things that are breaking down from what I've heard. What is perhaps the problem, is the design itself so that in shipping, certain parts are susceptible to breaking if not handled with care. At least, this is my view on the issue with them. I don't work with Kawai to know for sure what is causing the majority problems they are specifically hearing about.

As far as I know, Kawai's action is better than what Roland or Yamaha have to offer. And I personally have had issue with my Roland whereas I had no issue with the MP11 itself.

Kawai is spoken about a lot on this forum and often promoted as well. I'm not sure if this forum is a fair representation of the entire population of DP buyers. It could be, but maybe not.
Posted By: jeffreyfranz Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/29/15 06:48 PM
Originally Posted by Lazerlike42
Shipping is really somewhat irrelevant here.
For one thing, the MP11 is a stage piano and so a part of it's design is to be moved on a regular basis and be able to withstand some reasonable level of physical "abuse" (though not actual and negligent abuse, of course). In fact, just how well a stage piano can stand up to the rigors of gigging is one of the defining characteristics that consumers use to make purchase decisions about these instruments. If a given stage piano were more prone to damage than others, then it would certainly get a very big negative mark on the pros and cons of a review or an individual's "which should I buy?" tally.



Gigging & travel: This is what concerns me most. The MP-7, CP-4, RD-800, etc., are all stage pianos and, as one poster said, should reasonably be expected to survive going in and out of vans, set-up and breakdown of stages, etc. If a piano cannot survive shipping, it is unlikely to survive road use on any level.The MP-11's weight, however, is at the outer limit of current generation stage pianos. Perhaps it needs a higher level of packaging, QA, etc.

Something for Nothing: I do think that we consumers often want something for nothing. We ask companies to put the highest level of sonic performance, key beds, features, and reliability into stage pianos, want them to weigh 25 pounds, and agitate for "more for less" in terms of price, and so on. I suspect that many of these units are not purchased by professional, working musicians but amateur ones, like me. We order from places like Sweetwater to get the best discounted price, free shipping, and no tax. What I'm saying is, while DOA complaints are valid, I think we consumers squeeze the envelope, and the manufacturers, and the retailers, and must in the end accept some failures.

The Shipping Problem: James commented that shipping in the UK is different vs. US. At the risk of enraging flag-waving players out there, I think no western country is as hostile to labor as the US. You need only pay close attention to the race sweaty UPS and Fed Ex drivers run with the clock to infer the pressure they are under. I have never seen more than one person on a truck (except during training), sometimes it's only one woman driver, and yet they have to load and deliver ungainly and heavy objects all day, every day. Just had to throw that in.

My Conclusion: My MP-7 has given me great pleasure from day one and for over one year now. It looks beautiful and works perfectly. However, it has never left my music room. After reading every post in this thread, and not being a pro with a road crew, I would not take my MP-7 out gigging. I am looking at ES-100, Casio P5S, Roland V09 and such for that. No, they are not as nice as the MP-7, but they are much lighter, easier to move, and less to weep over if they are damaged. If I were a pro, I would probably pay more and buy only Nords, which are both light and reputed to be bulletproof.
Posted By: lophiomys Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/29/15 07:02 PM
Originally Posted by MOrodienne

It is this very reason - that DPs have not had centuries to be refined specifically, that one cannot compare them. That's like saying "you can't compare apples to oranges, because apples aren't oranges" and calling that a comparison. I'm not sure why this is hard to understand.

IMHO it would be a better analogy to compare it to a sloppy piano builder, who also would produce an upsetting grand piano, despite centuries of refinement. The mechanics and electronics inside Kawai digital pianos (including the software) are quite simple and kind of "old" in their own realm. (A physical model on FPGA would be innovative, cf. HX3). It would just need more care, in order to sound more close to an actual acousitc piano or to avoid technical faults or humming transformers. I bet, what we are observing here, are the results of cost-cutting beyond reason, happening silently behind the scenes.

Posted By: newbert Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/29/15 08:10 PM
I know that this thread is about the MP-11, however, it's gotten my attention as I have a VPC-1 being delivered (by UPS) on Monday.

Based upon people's experience with Kawai, if a unit is going to fail is it usually a case of DOA? Or do units fail often enough later on so that purchasing an extended warranty would be advisable? (The online vendor I ordered from offered to sell me an extended warranty which I refused, but said that I have up to 30 days after delivery to order one should I change my mind about it....).

Come to think of it, what is Kawai USA's warranty policy?

Thanks!
Posted By: ando Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/30/15 04:41 PM
Originally Posted by Morodiene
IIt is this very reason - that DPs have not had centuries to be refined specifically, that one cannot compare them. That's like saying "you can't compare apples to oranges, because apples aren't oranges" and calling that a comparison. I'm not sure why this is hard to understand.


The components used in DPs are not unique - such parts, both mechanical and electronic are found in many different products and have done for many years. They can be made robustly - provided the manufacturer selects high grade components and implement good design standards. In the action we are talking about plastics, pins, bearing surfaces, lubrication. In the electronics it's printed circuits, ICs, connectors, components. All of these things can be built to a price - and the longevity will generally match up with what was spent on them. I'd suggest Kawai is cutting corners in some areas.

Quote
Circuitry, connections, etc. are not the things that are breaking down from what I've heard. What is perhaps the problem, is the design itself so that in shipping, certain parts are susceptible to breaking if not handled with care. At least, this is my view on the issue with them. I don't work with Kawai to know for sure what is causing the majority problems they are specifically hearing about.


There is mention of Kawais being DOA due to breaking of solder joints near the power socket. That's poor design. There have been many posts talking of failed screens and motherboards too. And the action - well that has the most complaints of all. Too many failures. It's easy to say that it's an unfair sample size going by posts on PW because people mainly come here to complain rather than praise, but the other brands don't seem to attract the same complaints. My partner had the action in her Kawai go all "clicky", I have 2 other friends who have had action troubles. Also, as I mentioned, I have a contact who works in instrument repair and he has said outright that the Kawais have more problems than Yamaha and Roland. They just aren't as well built. Sure they have a nice action when all is right, but reliability is at least as important as having a good concept.
Quote

As far as I know, Kawai's action is better than what Roland or Yamaha have to offer. And I personally have had issue with my Roland whereas I had no issue with the MP11 itself.

Kawai is spoken about a lot on this forum and often promoted as well. I'm not sure if this forum is a fair representation of the entire population of DP buyers. It could be, but maybe not.
I don't rely purely on PW. I have other sources - and quite credible ones. But I don't think Yamaha and Roland are having issues as frequently as Kawai - there's no reason why one brand should be mentioned much more than its competitors in terms of reliability. I don't think it's an anomaly.

I like Kawai's ideas, but I think they need to lift their game on quality control. If Kawai thinks a lot of issues are caused by shipping, put some money into better packaging! Any problem can be solved.
Posted By: petes1 Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/30/15 07:14 PM
And on the other hand when I went to one of the biggest DP repair shops in eastern NC and asked the head repairman which DP he'd recommend, without skipping a beat he mentioned Kawai and no others.

And if you ask a 3rd person in the know, you'd likely get a 3rd opinion, but without a true representative data set, that's all you'll have -- opinions. In my field, medicine, we have a saying, "the plural of anecdote is not data", meaning the validity of the result is directly related to the data acquisition methods, the subject pool and the controls, and if all you have are a collection of stories or opinions, then you'd best not rely on this information to make sound judgments.
Posted By: ando Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/31/15 03:18 AM
Originally Posted by petes1
And on the other hand when I went to one of the biggest DP repair shops in eastern NC and asked the head repairman which DP he'd recommend, without skipping a beat he mentioned Kawai and no others.

And if you ask a 3rd person in the know, you'd likely get a 3rd opinion, but without a true representative data set, that's all you'll have -- opinions. In my field, medicine, we have a saying, "the plural of anecdote is not data", meaning the validity of the result is directly related to the data acquisition methods, the subject pool and the controls, and if all you have are a collection of stories or opinions, then you'd best not rely on this information to make sound judgments.


It's more than anecdotes when you have a singular agency who does warranty work for all 3 brands and covers a wide geographical region. His is the only shop that does this work, he gets all the business in the area (lots of it). People are not going to ship away things this large for repair - shipping is too expensive in Australia for that. You'll probably call this a geographical anomaly which doesn't represent the whole world, but I take his word, and work volume seriously. I've been tempted by Kawai in the last few years, but I'm hesitant to pull the trigger due to reliability concerns.
Posted By: Just Alan Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/31/15 12:01 PM
Ando,

Reliability and QA concerns that I read about in these forums really made it hard for me to jump in and get a Kawai DP. What was even worse, was the fact that the only Kawai dealer in Perth did not have either a MP7 or MP11 in stock. After many months, they finally got 2 MP7s into stock as a special order. Unfortunately the one I looked at instore had some minor issues, so I didn't buy it, and waited another 3 months for the next shipment. All the while, I kept reading more and more negativity about Kawai QA. This disturbed me greatly, as I really wanted to give the MP7 a fair go. In the end, I went ahead and bought an MP7. Has it been perfect? No,unfortunately it had a button that worked but was a bit dodgy. The Kawai product manager in Sydney has been excellent and been helpful in answering or obtaining answers from Kawai Japan to all my questions, and he has also arranged for the button to be replaced. Am I glad I bought the MP7...you bet! It is built like a tank, has a refined look, the keybed is awesome, the sounds are very good, and it also functions exceedingly well as a midi controller...and is well priced. I can't say that peoples' concerns about Kawai's QA are unfounded, but I can testify to the great support we have in Australia, and the fact that we have a generous 5 year warranty here, compared to other markets. All the best with your decision.
Posted By: ando Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/31/15 12:10 PM
Originally Posted by Just Alan
Ando,

Reliability and QA concerns that I read about in these forums really made it hard for me to jump in and get a Kawai DP. What was even worse, was the fact that the only Kawai dealer in Perth did not have either a MP7 or MP11 in stock. After many months, they finally got 2 MP7s into stock as a special order. Unfortunately the one I looked at instore had some minor issues, so I didn't buy it, and waited another 3 months for the next shipment. All the while, I kept reading more and more negativity about Kawai QA. This disturbed me greatly, as I really wanted to give the MP7 a fair go. In the end, I went ahead and bought an MP7. Has it been perfect? No,unfortunately it had a button that worked but was a bit dodgy. The Kawai product manager in Sydney has been excellent and been helpful in answering or obtaining answers from Kawai Japan to all my questions, and he has also arranged for the button to be replaced. Am I glad I bought the MP7...you bet! It is built like a tank, has a refined look, the keybed is awesome, the sounds are very good, and it also functions exceedingly well as a midi controller...and is well priced. I can't say that peoples' concerns about Kawai's QA are unfounded, but I can testify to the great support we have in Australia, and the fact that we have a generous 5 year warranty here, compared to other markets. All the best with your decision.


Yeah, I have to admit that Kawai does offset reliability problems with great service. I guess if you are willing to iron out a few kinks, it's not too big a risk. I'm glad you are so happy with your purchase. I'm still tempted by the MP7, despite what I've said. It's between the RD800 and the MP7 for me. Actually, I'd like to have the MP11 but I'm really bummed that it's missing all the voices that the MP7 has.
Posted By: OneWatt Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/31/15 04:02 PM
Originally Posted by Just Alan
...In the end, I went ahead and bought an MP7. Has it been perfect? No,unfortunately it had a button that worked but was a bit dodgy. The Kawai product manager in Sydney has been excellent and been helpful in answering or obtaining answers from Kawai Japan to all my questions, and he has also arranged for the button to be replaced. Am I glad I bought the MP7...you bet! It is built like a tank, has a refined look, the keybed is awesome, the sounds are very good, and it also functions exceedingly well as a midi controller...and is well priced. I can't say that peoples' concerns about Kawai's QA are unfounded, but I can testify to the great support we have in Australia, and the fact that we have a generous 5 year warranty here, compared to other markets. All the best with your decision.


+1 I'm with JustAlan all the way here.

Fortunately my MP7 arrived with only a minor modulation wheel issue that I was able to correct at home. The tech support via phone here in the US (Juan) was outstanding... patient and knowledgeable.

This Kawai DP is incredibly well-designed and plays and sounds better all the time (as I learn more about personal tweaks and advanced functionality). To read these posts, it's hard not to get the impression that quality control is a significiant issue for many, but as noted above, such anecdotes are often misleading to rely upon as data when it comes to assessing percentages and probabilities of having an issue. Since Kawai seems eager to resolve problems, that tends to mitigate the actual risk as we might otherwise perceive it.

If you get a good unit, you're NOT likely to be disappointed with the MP series keyboards. If you do experience a problem, it seems like you can reach a satisfactory outcome, one way or another. If anyone is on the fence, I certainly recommend taking the chance - these Kawai keyboards are outstanding enough to be well worth the effort.

Happy hunting! - OneWatt
Posted By: Morodiene Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/31/15 04:53 PM
Originally Posted by OneWatt
Originally Posted by Just Alan
...In the end, I went ahead and bought an MP7. Has it been perfect? No,unfortunately it had a button that worked but was a bit dodgy. The Kawai product manager in Sydney has been excellent and been helpful in answering or obtaining answers from Kawai Japan to all my questions, and he has also arranged for the button to be replaced. Am I glad I bought the MP7...you bet! It is built like a tank, has a refined look, the keybed is awesome, the sounds are very good, and it also functions exceedingly well as a midi controller...and is well priced. I can't say that peoples' concerns about Kawai's QA are unfounded, but I can testify to the great support we have in Australia, and the fact that we have a generous 5 year warranty here, compared to other markets. All the best with your decision.


+1 I'm with JustAlan all the way here.

Fortunately my MP7 arrived with only a minor modulation wheel issue that I was able to correct at home. The tech support via phone here in the US (Juan) was outstanding... patient and knowledgeable.

This Kawai DP is incredibly well-designed and plays and sounds better all the time (as I learn more about personal tweaks and advanced functionality). To read these posts, it's hard not to get the impression that quality control is a significiant issue for many, but as noted above, such anecdotes are often misleading to rely upon as data when it comes to assessing percentages and probabilities of having an issue. Since Kawai seems eager to resolve problems, that tends to mitigate the actual risk as we might otherwise perceive it.

If you get a good unit, you're NOT likely to be disappointed with the MP series keyboards. If you do experience a problem, it seems like you can reach a satisfactory outcome, one way or another. If anyone is on the fence, I certainly recommend taking the chance - these Kawai keyboards are outstanding enough to be well worth the effort.

Happy hunting! - OneWatt
I totally agree. The thought that has been put into making DPs that make sense to the performer - especially in the stage pianos - was the first thing that impressed the moment I received my MP11. Compared with my Roland and Yamaha experiences, there was obvious thought into making something work better for the performer rather than stick with a design that performers have had to put up with in the past. Little things, some of them, they add up to an instrument that you don't have to struggle to work against or accommodate because the manufacturer didn't bother to find out what pianists like and don't like.

Roland does innovate, and Yamaha even less so, but I find Kawai at the forefront. When you do this, you take risks. Yamaha is safe because they don't change much. These are just my observations as a pianist - I know nothing about what actually goes into things, I just see and play on the results.
Posted By: ando Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/31/15 05:01 PM
Originally Posted by Morodiene


Roland does innovate, and Yamaha even less so, but I find Kawai at the forefront. When you do this, you take risks. Yamaha is safe because they don't change much. These are just my observations as a pianist - I know nothing about what actually goes into things, I just see and play on the results.


I agree, Kawai is a leader in the innovation stakes. I guess as long as their service backup continues to be excellent, people will forgive the problems that come up.
Posted By: Morodiene Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/31/15 05:05 PM
Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by Morodiene


Roland does innovate, and Yamaha even less so, but I find Kawai at the forefront. When you do this, you take risks. Yamaha is safe because they don't change much. These are just my observations as a pianist - I know nothing about what actually goes into things, I just see and play on the results.


I agree, Kawai is a leader in the innovation stakes. I guess as long as their service backup continues to be excellent, people will forgive the problems that come up.


One does hope, however, that these issues that come up will be changed in future iterations so that the service doesn't have to work so hard wink
Posted By: fizikisto Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/31/15 06:08 PM
I wonder if Kawai is aware of this perception? I think it's pretty clear that as a company kawai really cares about providing value for its customers. I don't know if these perceptions of quality control issues are accurate or not (I assume kawai has actual data on what percentage of their products are serviced under warranty and possibly how that compares to the industry average). But either way I'm sure that this is not a reputation that they want to cultivate. So one hopes that they are aware of the issue and taking steps to improve (with better quality control, better communication, or whatever).

Posted By: bennevis Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/31/15 06:12 PM
Originally Posted by ando

I agree, Kawai is a leader in the innovation stakes. I guess as long as their service backup continues to be excellent, people will forgive the problems that come up.

I had no idea of any QC issues with any DP brand until I came upon PW (just after I bought my DP). Probably naïvely, I just assumed that whatever I bought would be reliable, as reliable as all the other electronic stuff I had then (hi-fi separates, TV, DVD and video recorder, cassette-tape Walkman, SLR film cameras - I had no computer then) - which had been working with no problems for well over a decade; in the case of my Canon cameras and lenses, over two decades of hard and regular use. None of them had ever let me down.

I didn't buy a Kawai, but the stuff I've been reading here would have totally put me off buying one: my tiny apartment is four floors up a narrow staircase, and there is no lift (elevator). Anything big I buy would have to stay put. People here have done minor 'repairs' on their DPs to avoid hassle, even when still under guarantee; I had, and still have, absolutely no idea how I'd go about doing diagnostic tests and repairs on my DP.

When I was unable to put in the upgrades into my DP, and instead nearly fried the electronics in my botched attempts, Roland sent their own van and two strong drivers to collect my DP to take back to their HQ for repairs and to install the upgrades - the same people who delivered it several months previously. They knew the score, but I still had to pack the 84 lb slab myself back into its box for them to carry it downstairs from my apartment (and then unpack and put it back on its stand when I got it back).

Over five years on, and now out of warranty, I've never had to repeat the ordeal. It's not something I would ever care to repeat.......
Posted By: OneWatt Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/31/15 06:53 PM
Originally Posted by bennevis
I had no idea of any QC issues with any DP brand until I came upon PW ...I didn't buy a Kawai, but the stuff I've been reading here would have totally put me off buying one... People here have done minor 'repairs' on their DPs to avoid hassle, even when still under guarantee...


No doubt, some of the stuff you read here definitely scares folks - which is understandable since the experiences being shared are presumably all based on facts. That's why it's helpful sometimes to maintain some perspective.

Notwithstanding my own minor repair to my MP7, frankly I've spent a whole lot more time working under the hood of our Boston grand piano (with tuning, etc). And my brother devoted many months to tweaking his harpsichord, after he built it.

I suspect that tweaking one's musical gear is a long-established tradition that dates back to Bach's time... even after he had "well-tempered" those scales of ours. smile

- One Watt
Posted By: bennevis Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/31/15 07:04 PM
Originally Posted by OneWatt
frankly I've spent a whole lot more time working under the hood of our Boston grand piano (with tuning, etc). And my brother devoted many months to tweaking his harpsichord, after he built it.

I suspect that tweaking one's musical gear is a long-established tradition that dates back to Bach's time... even after he had "well-tempered" those scales of ours. smile


I have no problems 'tweaking' mechanical contraptions - a few decades ago, when I was working at a place which had an ancient, clapped-out grand in its common room, I bought a tuning fork and tuning wrench, and set to work on it: removing the broken strings, tuning it, adjusting the actions. All without recourse to any help from a book, or advice from any tech (obviously, the internet was still decades from being invented).......

I even discovered that by tuning it to B flat = 440 (instead of A), it kept its tuning much longer. I 'celebrated' by playing Liszt's Liebestraum No.3 on it, once it was sufficiently in tune thumb.

But anything with microchips is totally out of my league......
Posted By: lophiomys Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/31/15 07:35 PM
It is out of anyone's league, simply because you cant touch it anymore.
Even the few experts, who would know the architectures of those customized microchips and be able to reverse engineer the software, would carefully check, if it would be worth the effort.

On the other hand, we all have payed for for a working product ...
Posted By: OneWatt Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 05/31/15 07:42 PM
Originally Posted by bennevis
... I 'celebrated' by playing Liszt's Liebestraum No.3 on it, once it was sufficiently in tune thumb.

But anything with microchips is totally out of my league......


Hats off to you, sir! While I'm comfortable tuning the piano, opening up electronics, and even building hand-crafted instruments, I'm afraid Liszt's Liebestraum No.3 is currently out of MY league. wink
Posted By: iceporky Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 06/01/15 02:13 AM
Originally Posted by newbert
... Based upon people's experience with Kawai, if a unit is going to fail is it usually a case of DOA? Or do units fail often enough later on so that purchasing an extended warranty would be advisable? ...


I think that's my point. We shouldn't worry whether our product to be delivered is going to have some issue; it just kills the joy of spending. What we bought should come to us in tip-top condition.

I recently bought 3 new Dell 24" monitors. I was thinking that the chance of getting one with a dead or super-bright pixel might be on the high-side; since I'm getting 3 monitors. Guess how many of such pixels were found? None.

There really shouldn't be any excuse; like the product was man-handled during delivery. My Dell monitors were packed so meticulously that I was perspiring so much while trying to get them out. 90% of my effort in setting them up is spent in getting the monitors out of the boxes.

To me, just like power is nothing without control, innovation is nothing without reliability.
Posted By: Just Alan Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 06/01/15 08:38 AM
[/quote] I'm still tempted by the MP7, despite what I've said. It's between the RD800 and the MP7 for me. Actually, I'd like to have the MP11 but I'm really bummed that it's missing all the voices that the MP7 has.[/quote]

Ando, For me, the choice was between a Roland RD800, and Yamaha CP4 and a Kawai MP7. There were aspects of each of them that I really liked. The Roland was the most expensive, and the MP7 was the cheapest, and yet the MP7 can do just about everything the RD800 can do, and more. The Yamaha CP4 was the lightest to carry, but the already good Yamaha piano sounds just really didn't seem to have been improved upon from previous models. I have a friend who loves his CP4, but the keys have become rather uneven when you look along the top of them.

I was like you initially, favouring the MP11, but it is heavy (32kgs) and as you have realised, does not have all the extra sounds that are on the MP7. The Kawai product manager in Sydney could not guarantee a perfect keyboard, but he did say that Kawai is committed to customer service. I have found that to be the case, however, as you can tell from reading the PW forums, there are many Kawai owners who have experienced problems, which can be rather disconcerting, but Kawai's strong customer service helps make up for that. A few months ago I helped a friend by a Casio PX5-S. I've got to say that I was very impressed with it's all-round capabilities, and how light it is, and great price. Despite a few niggly issues with my MP7, the more I play it, the more I really like it, and I have the peace of mind of good backup and a 5 year warranty. Again I say, I wish you well in your choice.
Posted By: ando Re: MP11 dead on arrival - 06/01/15 12:36 PM
Originally Posted by Just Alan
[/quote] I'm still tempted by the MP7, despite what I've said. It's between the RD800 and the MP7 for me. Actually, I'd like to have the MP11 but I'm really bummed that it's missing all the voices that the MP7 has.


Ando, For me, the choice was between a Roland RD800, and Yamaha CP4 and a Kawai MP7. There were aspects of each of them that I really liked. The Roland was the most expensive, and the MP7 was the cheapest, and yet the MP7 can do just about everything the RD800 can do, and more. The Yamaha CP4 was the lightest to carry, but the already good Yamaha piano sounds just really didn't seem to have been improved upon from previous models. I have a friend who loves his CP4, but the keys have become rather uneven when you look along the top of them.

I was like you initially, favouring the MP11, but it is heavy (32kgs) and as you have realised, does not have all the extra sounds that are on the MP7. The Kawai product manager in Sydney could not guarantee a perfect keyboard, but he did say that Kawai is committed to customer service. I have found that to be the case, however, as you can tell from reading the PW forums, there are many Kawai owners who have experienced problems, which can be rather disconcerting, but Kawai's strong customer service helps make up for that. A few months ago I helped a friend by a Casio PX5-S. I've got to say that I was very impressed with it's all-round capabilities, and how light it is, and great price. Despite a few niggly issues with my MP7, the more I play it, the more I really like it, and I have the peace of mind of good backup and a 5 year warranty. Again I say, I wish you well in your choice. [/quote]

Thanks Alan, and good to get your thoughts. I think I need to go play them again and think about what I value most in a DP. I do sometimes get sidetracked about having features that I don't end up even using. Narrowing it down to 2 models makes it not too much of a decision. Hopefully the winner will clearly emerge next time I play them. Luckily there's a shop near me that carries them both. Cheers.
© Piano World Piano & Digital Piano Forums