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Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action)

Posted By: RyanThePianist

Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/22/19 09:13 PM

Hi all,

I'm a classically trained piano teacher looking for a piano to have primarily in my room to do lesson planning and practice at night, but I also wanted the flexibility of carrying the keyboard for the occasional gig. I've done extensive research and have narrowed down my choices to the Kawai ES8 and the Yamaha P515. I'm specifically wondering about the action and feel of the two keyboards rather than the sound which I believe both to be very good. The Kawai has a plastic Responsive Hammer III (RHIII) graded action while Yamaha has a Natural Wood (NWX) wooden action. Unfortunately, all the major music stores I know in my city do not have these pianos on display and only have them available as online purchases; thus, I cannot try out the action first-hand. This is why I come to seek recommendations and experiences here.

I own a Yamaha 6'0" G3 and have played on various other Yamaha and Steinway grand and upright pianos so I know how the action of an acoustic piano feels. I also expect to play anything from beginner music to advanced standard classical repertoire such as Bach WTC, Chopin Etudes, etc.

Please let me know what you think if you own or have played these keyboards. I will list some information below to help.

-----

Kawai ES8: http://kawaius.com/product/es8/

Specs:

- Grade-weighted hammers
- Ivory Touch white key surfaces
- Let-off simulation
- Triple sensor key detection
- Counterweights

Yamaha P515: https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical_instruments/pianos/p_series/p-515/index.html

Specs:

- NWX (Natural Wood X) keyboard:
- wooden keys (white only)
- synthetic ebony and ivory keytops
- escapement
- Sensitivity: Hard2/Hard1/Medium/Soft1/Soft2/Fixed
Posted By: RyanThePianist

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/22/19 09:25 PM

Update 1: I managed to find one store who has the Yamaha P 515 but no store has the Kawai on display. I plan to play the 515 this week. Any type of experience from either piano is worth hearing about still.
Posted By: RichieBill

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/22/19 09:47 PM

Hi
For sure, you need to find ES8 somewhere to try them and to compare with P515. ES8 sound and action is completely different. Both are worth to interested.
Which one will you choose? Your experienced ears, hands and your musician taste will tell you the best, because how many users, so many opinions.
Regards
Posted By: RyanThePianist

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/22/19 09:50 PM

Thank you Richie. I will try to find other stores.
Posted By: JJHLH

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/22/19 11:18 PM

I own the Yamaha P-515 and am very pleased with it. I’m a beginner, but it has become a bit of an addiction over the past month. I can’t speak about the Kawai as I’ve never tried one. Please let us know your impressions when you play the P-515.
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/23/19 01:35 AM

Hello Ryan,

May I ask where you are based, please?

I can contact my colleagues in the US to enquire into the nearest Kawai dealer that has the ES8 available to play-test.

Please feel free to send me a private message if you would rather not reveal your location publicly.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: Gombessa

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/23/19 02:33 AM

Unfortunately, I don't think you're going to get a lot of value out of other people's experiences here. They're both high quality digitals, and you're clearly experienced enough to know what feels right to you. As James suggests, I think your top priority should really be to try to find an ES8 to play first hand.

Originally Posted by RyanThePianist
The Kawai has a plastic Responsive Hammer III (RHIII) graded action while Yamaha has a Natural Wood (NWX) wooden action.


I wouldn't overstress this detail. While the Yamaha does have wooden cores in the white keys, the rest of the key mechanism (hinge, keytops, hammer connection point, stop rail contact points, etc.) is all plastic, and nearly identical to their GH/GH3 action. Like the Kawai, it's a folded lever with hammers underneath the keys, so not a "full length wooden keystick" in the same sense as Kawai's Grand Feel or Yamaha's older Natural Keyboard. But none of these details really matters if you're just looking for an action that feels right, as either the NWX or RHIII may.
Posted By: Cheshire Chris

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/23/19 04:31 AM

I have a P-515 and really like the keyboard action. As I'm sure you know, it's the same keyboard that's used on the Clavinova CLP-645 cabinet piano.
Posted By: Doug M.

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/23/19 07:28 AM

Originally Posted by RyanThePianist
Hi all,

I'm a classically trained piano teacher looking for a piano to have primarily in my room to do lesson planning and practice at night, but I also wanted the flexibility of carrying the keyboard for the occasional gig. I've done extensive research and have narrowed down my choices to the Kawai ES8 and the Yamaha P515. I'm specifically wondering about the action and feel of the two keyboards rather than the sound which I believe both to be very good. The Kawai has a plastic Responsive Hammer III (RHIII) graded action while Yamaha has a Natural Wood (NWX) wooden action. Unfortunately, all the major music stores I know in my city do not have these pianos on display and only have them available as online purchases; thus, I cannot try out the action first-hand. This is why I come to seek recommendations and experiences here.

I own a Yamaha 6'0" G3 and have played on various other Yamaha and Steinway grand and upright pianos so I know how the action of an acoustic piano feels. I also expect to play anything from beginner music to advanced standard classical repertoire such as Bach WTC, Chopin Etudes, etc.

Please let me know what you think if you own or have played these keyboards. I will list some information below to help.

-----

Kawai ES8: http://kawaius.com/product/es8/

Specs:

- Grade-weighted hammers
- Ivory Touch white key surfaces
- Let-off simulation
- Triple sensor key detection
- Counterweights

Yamaha P515: https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical_instruments/pianos/p_series/p-515/index.html

Specs:

- NWX (Natural Wood X) keyboard:
- wooden keys (white only)
- synthetic ebony and ivory keytops
- escapement
- Sensitivity: Hard2/Hard1/Medium/Soft1/Soft2/Fixed


Hi Ryan,

Both are good actions, it's going to be down to personal preference I'm afraid.
There are other ways of testing the ES8 action (RHIII action): the following Kawai models have the RHIII action: CN25, CN35, CN27, CN37, MP7SE.
Also, when Nord wanted a better action for their Nord Piano 4 replacement, they went with the Kawai RHIII action, so you can try it on the Nord Grand also (if indeed anybody has one of those in store yet).

Kind regards,

Doug
Posted By: Bobby Simons

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/23/19 09:26 AM

When you snooze, you lose: I ended my endless research and went to order a P515 “home bundle plus” - and now the home furniture stand is backordered until late June. They are offering a free X stand until then. Not sure I want another of those, maybe I can get them to make it a Z stand.
Coincidentally, I got to play an ES8 yesterday. Was very impressed with the action and the robust speakers.
Posted By: LarryK

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/23/19 09:47 AM

Originally Posted by Bobby Simons
When you snooze, you lose: I ended my endless research and went to order a P515 “home bundle plus” - and now the home furniture stand is backordered until late June. They are offering a free X stand until then. Not sure I want another of those, maybe I can get them to make it a Z stand.
Coincidentally, I got to play an ES8 yesterday. Was very impressed with the action and the robust speakers.


I thought I would have to wait until June for the furniture stand but it showed up about a month after I ordered the P-515. Now, I have to sell my OnStage Z stand after I rearrange my apartment to put the P-515 in its final place.
Posted By: Darkwasp

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/23/19 10:02 AM

In my humble opinion action in P-515 is better. I've tried Kawai ES8 and Yamaha CLP-645 (it has the same action as P515) in store and went for 645 without any second thoughts. But of course, you may have totally different impression, and it's very much worth it to visit a store that has those models in display, so you can play on all these actions yourself.
Posted By: Jitin

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/23/19 10:48 AM

I have tried the es8 in a store, and bought the p515 without trying, having owned previous piano yamaha's, but I had tried the clp545/645 which is same action as p515.
The p515 is heavier action by a slight bit, but I also think it will be more reliable in the long run as es8 's RH3 is known to develop issues.

Also, I liked the sound better of cfx (p515), but I also thought the speakers are far better in p515, though I only tried es8 in store and p515 at home. The p515 speakers are VERY impressive to me..
Posted By: CyberGene

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/23/19 10:59 AM

I've owned a RH1 piano (MP6) and then a RH2 (ES7) and have also tried RH3 (ES8) many times. Mechanically they feel almost the same (with the exception being bass counterweights added to RH3). When I first tried P515, and while still owning the ES7, I found it kind of sluggish and the infamous initial key resistance put me off. However I have switched to Yamaha NU1X (using real upright action) and then N1X (using real grand piano action). Initially I felt these real actions heavy and substantial feeling but ultimately I quickly adapted to that and because of the higher momentum they are easier to control dynamics precisely. When I test a Kawai now it feels way too light. That might be good for a staging piano, for gigging duties, etc. since it won't strain your arms and will allow for "easy" playing but IMO that comes at the expense of expressivity and fine control over dynamics. If one is after solo piano repertoire with ultimate dynamics control needed, a heavier/sluggish action is the way to go IMO.
Posted By: nicknameTaken

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/23/19 11:05 AM

Originally Posted by CyberGene
I've owned a RH1 piano (MP6) and then a RH2 (ES7) and have also tried RH3 (ES8) many times. Mechanically they feel almost the same (with the exception being bass counterweights added to RH3). When I first tried P515, and while still owning the ES7, I found it kind of sluggish and the infamous initial key resistance put me off. However I have switched to Yamaha NU1X (using real upright action) and then N1X (using real grand piano action). Initially I felt these real actions heavy and substantial feeling but ultimately I quickly adapted to that and because of the higher momentum they are easier to control dynamics precisely. When I test a Kawai now it feels way too light. That might be good for a staging piano, for gigging duties, etc. since it won't strain your arms and will allow for "easy" playing but IMO that comes at the expense of expressivity and fine control over dynamics. If one is after solo piano repertoire with ultimate dynamics control needed, a heavier/sluggish action is the way to go IMO.


Doesn't strain come at the cost that you can't practice as much and if you don't have strain it's the opposite?
So owning the N1X now means that you can put more expression?
Posted By: CyberGene

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/23/19 11:26 AM

One gets used to strain, it's like getting used to run longer distances without getting tired. However some people have conditions such as carpal tunnel, etc. In that case there's no (easy) way to overcome strain and in such a case it's better to get a lighter action. However in any other case, and of course IMO, a heavier action is better.
Posted By: Jitin

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/23/19 12:11 PM

Originally Posted by CyberGene
When I first tried P515, and while still owning the ES7, I found it kind of sluggish and the infamous initial key resistance put me off. .



I noticed this in the GH action of p155 or p255, but I don't feel as such on NWX.
Posted By: nicknameTaken

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/23/19 12:22 PM

Originally Posted by CyberGene
One gets used to strain, it's like getting used to run longer distances without getting tired. However some people have conditions such as carpal tunnel, etc. In that case there's no (easy) way to overcome strain and in such a case it's better to get a lighter action. However in any other case, and of course IMO, a heavier action is better.


I'm in the need of 40g *mechanical keyboard* weight, because on the old rubber dome ones, with time they got too heavy.
Since I type all day, it was a necessary step. Now that I'm used to the mechanical one, I touch type. And I can type very fast with only gently hitting the keys.
Because before, I would develope injuries. Only with time comes better technique. I'd rather increase the weightage over time, and not start out heavy.
Posted By: pawelsz

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/23/19 05:12 PM

Played both actions in the store, own Yamaha with NWX. Kawai is lighter but something like "shallower"? Both actions are quite fast, maybe Kawai a little slower at fall-back movement. Both are good. It's a matter of personal preference. I prefer NWX.
Posted By: RyanThePianist

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/24/19 04:56 AM

Thank you for all the input thus far. I was able to play a Yamaha P 515 today and my first impressions were mostly good.

The P 515 I played was on the wall, so it was slanted slightly downwards so I couldn't have my hands parallel to the ground. Thus, my first impressions may be skewed a little bit because of this since the weight of my hands weren't going straight down. The piano was still playable, although it wasn't exactly comfortable. The key action and feel had a noticeable difference to the cheaper models. I agree there's an initial weight/resistance when pressing the key which is only slightly a concern to me. Grand piano action does not have this initial resistance. However, after this initial point, I do think the action is medium overall. Also, I feel it's something that I can get used to. When playing fast scales with more white keys, I did notice the keys were a bit sluggish compared to the grand. It was likely a mix of the key not going up fast enough and passing the initial resistance point. I think my expectations may be too high. I do not think this is a deal breaker for me as it still felt great to play on overall.

I will also say that this action is far superior from any cheaper Yamaha piano. The wood gives it a lighter feel, and any plastic key felt like a toy. I also like the synthetic black keys as it prevented my fingers from feeling "sticky". I felt I had better control on these keys.

The CFX sound and Bosendorfer are really great. I played a little bit with the Piano Room which allowed me to change the "sensitivity" of the keys. I think the Soft 1 option really hit the spot.

I could not tell if the keys were graded, as in heavier on the left and and lighter to the right. Perhaps this means they aren't graded. Maybe someone could give me input on this.

Overall, I would purchase this if I didn't find the Kawai ES8 to my liking. This keyboard will simply be for lesson planning, the light practice at night, and possibly online lessons. Most of my practice and lessons are on the grand piano I have. Thanks to Kawai James, he suggested that I play Kawai pianos that have the RHIII action, so I may do this tomorrow and decide then.

Posted By: Beowulf

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/24/19 11:07 AM

Originally Posted by RyanThePianist
I could not tell if the keys were graded, as in heavier on the left and and lighter to the right. Perhaps this means they aren't graded. Maybe someone could give me input on this.

Yes, the keys are graded but only in blocks of 5 rather than individually. If you use all 5 fingers to push down the lowest 5 white keys and do the same for the highest 5, you will feel a noticeable difference.
Posted By: Steve Rose

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/24/19 11:10 AM

I’ve had extensive experience with the Kawai MP7se (which I believe has the same RHIII action and piano sound engine as the ES8) and spent a whole lot of time on the Yamaha P515.
You need to play both and they need to level, playing a weighted keyboard at an angle will change the feel of the action because of your wrists and the action of gravity on the the keyboard mechanism.
I would suggest using a hi quality pair of headphones as a reference you can take from one machine to another. Often the environment in a music store is not ideal!!
Finally my view: For me the RHIII offers more expressive control as coupled to the Kawai piano action. They’ve set it up so you can really dig in there like you can on the real thing. I felt the NWX keybed was rather tame in comparison. The NWX action seemed quite shallow and kind of soft in comparison with the RHIII, it reminded me of my old EP200a. Although I’d say they’re both good actions compared to the older GH3 and Korg’s RH3. Piano simulation wise, although I liked the Bosendorfer samples, I thought the CFX was typically Yamaha trebly. Neither of them provides the depth of simulation you get on the Kawai. Which has some huge body and presence! Beautiful!
Posted By: RyanThePianist

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/25/19 12:11 AM

And so, my little piano adventure continues, and will possibly end soon as I think I'm close to making a decision.

I was not able to find an ES8 on display in my city, but I was able to try to two Kawai CN-27 which have the same RHIII action as the ES8. This time the piano was located in a teaching studio at the store and I was able to play with my arms parallel to the ground.

The actions of the CN-27 on both pianos I tried were very light, and surprisingly so. My fingers were able to "fly" across the keys, and I had the impression that it was even too easy to play. The static/initial resistance when first trying to press the key was very low, so it was easy for the key to go down. Overall, I thought the keys felt like any other plastic action with just slightly better response. The keys were also very sweaty, but I figured this problem would be solved on the ES8 which has the synthetic keys. The pianos I played are highly used since this was a teaching studio.

I was able to find another store that had the Yamaha CP88, a stage piano with NWX action, but this time the keys were not angled like they were yesterday on the P515 I tried. The NWX keys felt very good, and I think the arm weight and key gravity working properly made a difference in my decision. This NWX felt very similar to the P515. The NWX is definitely heavier than the RHIII, but it is good for me as I've played many grand pianos and uprights before and the NWX mimics them well. The repertoire I played included Chopin Scherzo No. 2, Glinka's The Lark, Debussy's Arabesque No. 1, Chopin's Etude Op. 10 No. 5, Bach WTC P&F C Minor Book 1, Mozart K. 333, and all felt great under my fingers. I easily wanted to play the P 515 longer than the CN-27. What I do not know is if the action of the P515 and CP88 are different even in the slightest, but I will do just a bit more research as I think the difference is negligible anyway after my experience.

Thank you all for the help. I will contemplate my decision a bit more tonight and let you know what I proceed to do.
Posted By: slickvguy

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/25/19 12:14 AM

I had my first opportunity to play the P-515 today. I sold my RD-800 a few days ago and thought that the P-515 would be my next DP. Now I'm not so sure. I've played the ES8 numerous times at length. FWIW, here are my impressions (just one man's opinion)...

The action itself felt pretty good. Neither too hard or too soft. It was my favourite part of the instrument. Key travel was good (medium). Very similar to the CLP-645, which I had right next to the P-515 and was able to easily compare back and forth. I'm not a huge fan of the texture of the top of the keys. While they weren't "plasticky" or smooth like the cheaper Yamaha DPs, and felt "good enough", to my mind they could have used a little more "grit" (for lack of a better term). To me, the ES8 action and feel of the keys are more "mature" and higher-end. (The whole wood thing of the NWX, seems like a marketing ploy. Whether made of wood or plastic (which I doubt the vast majority of players could tell the difference between in a "blind test"), it's the pivot point, design, mechanism, etc., etc. that matters. There's nothing magical about wood. The reason actions like Kawai's GFII are so great is due to picot point, length of the key, etc. The design). Perhaps (?) the wood helps in some ways, but the NWX's design, imo, is inferior to the RHIII's.

Two things really disappointed me: 1) the built-in piano sounds (CFX and the Bosendorfer). 2) (unsurprisingly) the built-in speaker quality.
I had listened to quite a few youtube videos of the P-515, and initially thought for the most part the piano sounds seemed very nice. Realistic. But after more listening, I had remarked to my wife that the piano sounds seemed a bit too clean and "lifeless" for my taste. Lack of expressiveness. The sound just doesn't seem to change according to the way you are playing. Over the long run, that can become quite monotonous. I've had various Yamahas throughout the years and the P-515 sound (and action) reminded me too much of those other Yamaha DPs from years ago. That's not a good thing. I was honestly surprised that the two main piano samples sounded so "ho hum" (through the speakers). I was expecting/hoping to be wowed. Yes, I know that through headphones or monitors it would sound much better (but not necessarily more expressive or connected). However, I am looking for that rare DP beast that sounds very good through the built-in speakers (I do not have much space for monitors and am getting tired of always using headphones). The ES8's internal speakers, to my ears, are impressively superior. And its samples/engine seem more expressive and alive to me. I was very much hoping that wouldn't be the case. I very much wanted to walk out with a P-515 today, but I just wasn't feeling it. I've played the FP90 a few times. The connection is the best of the 3, but the sound (and pedal) gets out of control and sounds very artificial at times.

I also had a problem with the damper pedal. The issue wasn't the pedal itself. It was as if the DP wasn't consistently picking up the pedal properly. Sometimes ti would act as you would expect, but other times it left me wondering if it hadn't temporarily become detached. Very weird. It kept cutting out every now and then. About 90% of the time, it was fine, but about 10% it left me high and dry.

Near the end of my playing, I turned the volume up to 100%, did the instrument finally start to come alive a bit and I felt at least some connection.

I can certainly understand why someone would like/love this piano. It has many good qualities and features. To each their own.

For me, I am likely going to wait for an ES9 to arrive on the scene. I don't think it'll be that long of a wait. In the meantime, if I can find a used ES8 in very good shape, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it. There's about a $400 difference between the P-151 and the higher-priced ES8 here in Canada. I think the difference is worth it. Hopefully when the ES8's successor is released the price won't go up much (or at all).



Posted By: RyanThePianist

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/25/19 12:19 AM

Thanks for giving us your experience, slickvguy. Vastly different from mine! Though, I did not play an ES8, but rather a piano with the same action as it (see my post right above yours). I truly wish I could've tried the actual ES8. Have you played on grand pianos extensively?
Posted By: RyanThePianist

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/25/19 12:27 AM

Hi all,

I've just noticed a distinction. The CP88 has "NW-GH (Natural Wood Graded Hammer) keyboard: synthetic ebony and ivory keytops" while the P515 has "NWX (Natural Wood X) keyboard: wooden keys (white only), synthetic ebony and ivory keytops, escapement". I thought they were both NWX. However, I'd say both pianos did feel better than the CN-27 RHIII.
Posted By: slickvguy

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/25/19 12:36 AM

Originally Posted by RyanThePianist
Thanks for giving us your experience, slickvguy. Vastly different from mine! Though, I did not play an ES8, but rather a piano with the same action as it (see my post right above yours). I truly wish I could've tried the actual ES8. Have you played on grand pianos extensively?


RTP, I believe that the CN27 doesn't use the same sound engine as the ES8. The ES8's is better. That has a lot to do with your overall playing experience. Also, when manufacturers say that it's the same key action in various models, I wonder if they are TRULY the *EXACT* same thing. I believe that they make enhancements/changes to different models. For example, I also played the baby FP10 today. Supposedly, it has the same action (PHA4) as the FP30. I've played the FP30 a number of times before, and had one right below the FP10. No way are those two actions the same. They might start with the same action, but either they are doing something different to them in addition, or maybe it's the weight/materials of the chassis??? I don't know the why or the how. But i do know that they are NOT the same. I've never played a CN27, so I can't comment about it.

No, I would not say that I've played grands "extensively", but I have played them a fair amount. We also had an upright in our house at all times (growing up), plus I've owned a few acoustics along the way (and owned/rented a number of synths and DPs).

I think the CP88 is very impressive. Those toggles are a riot. Unfortunately, it's VERY expensive in Canada, and I just don't want to spend that much. (I also want built-in speakers at this point. That's why I sold the RD-800). I had a Roland HP-508 a couple of years ago. Bought it at a very good price barely used. Had to sell it because I moved to a much smaller place. It was wonderful. The speaker system was terrific. I really miss that part of playing. If I move to a bigger place, I'll definitely get monitors, so that'll solve the speaker issue. But I just don't have the room to set them up here in this tiny condo. As it is, a slab takes up way more of the previous little free space I have available in this place.
Posted By: EVC2017

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/25/19 01:28 AM

ES8 is so so. I would not buy it again.
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/25/19 01:44 AM

Hello chaps, thank you for sharing your respective opinions.

I’m replying from my iPad today, so apologies for this brief response.

RyanThePianist, it’s unfortunate that you were unable to find a dealer that stocks the ES8 in your city. You mention playing a CN27 with “sweaty” keys (?) at a teaching studio inside the store. Does this mean that the dealer did not have any new CN27/CN37 models in the showroom available to play test?

As slickvguy mentions above (and as I believe I noted in our direct correspondence), the ES8 uses a higher specification (more expressive) sound engine than the CN27/CN37, however this should not have a significant influence over the feel of the keyboard action.

As you note above the P-515 and CP88 use different (albeit similarly named) keyboard actions.

slickvguy, I believe the P-515 and ES8 retail at the same price in the US. I don’t know why the Kawai should be more expensive in Canada.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: Cheshire Chris

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/25/19 06:55 AM

Originally Posted by Kawai James

slickvguy, I believe the P-515 and ES8 retail at the same price in the US. I don’t know why the Kawai should be more expensive in Canada.

Kind regards,
James
x


From what I've read here, James, the P-515 is much, much more expensive in the US than it is in Europe. I bought my P-515 for £1299 (about $1500), a price which includes 20% VAT; I believe it costs more than $2500 before tax in the US!
Posted By: RyanThePianist

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/25/19 07:24 AM

Hi all,

I went ahead and purchased the Yamaha P-515. My budget was $2000, and when purchasing the furniture stand, bench, 3 pedals, and everything else that I needed for my skype lessons, the total skyrocketed quickly to just a little over $2000. Purchasing the ES8 with all the components would have been $2200 already not including everything else I needed for Skype, but I'm happy I at least tried the RHIII action.

Perhaps if this was my first piano, I would have waited to really test an ES8 somewhere or even waited for the aforementioned ES9 to release, but since I will likely spend most of my time still at the grand piano anyway, I figured this was the best choice for my budget. I'm happy I'll now have a piano for the occasional night practice sessions and online lessons.

Thank you all for the feedback. The piano is expected to be here on Saturday or Sunday, so I will give my first impressions in a few days.
Posted By: Cheshire Chris

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/25/19 07:27 AM

Excellent, Ryan - I really like my P-515. I'm sure you'll enjoy playing it.
Posted By: JJHLH

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/25/19 02:06 PM

Congratulations Ryan! I am sure you will love your P-515. It’s a wonderful instrument.

Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris
Originally Posted by Kawai James

slickvguy, I believe the P-515 and ES8 retail at the same price in the US. I don’t know why the Kawai should be more expensive in Canada.

Kind regards,
James
x


From what I've read here, James, the P-515 is much, much more expensive in the US than it is in Europe. I bought my P-515 for £1299 (about $1500), a price which includes 20% VAT; I believe it costs more than $2500 before tax in the US!


I purchased my P-515 online for $1499, which included free shipping and no tax. After looking at several retailers that seemed to be the standard price.
Posted By: slickvguy

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/25/19 11:27 PM

Originally Posted by Kawai James

slickvguy, I believe the P-515 and ES8 retail at the same price in the US. I don’t know why the Kawai should be more expensive in Canada.
Kind regards,
James


The ES8 sells for $2,300 CAD in Canada. (You can find a couple of stores in Ontario that'll sell it for $2,200 - pick-up only). The P-515 sells for $1900 CAD. In the USA, the P-515 sells for $1,500 US and the ES8 has now been discounted to $1,650 US (a small difference).
Thus, the Yamaha represents an unusually good price in CAD versus the USD. Normally, you take the US dollar price, add about 40%, and you get your Canadian dollar price. But in this case, P-515 for $1,500 USD * 1.4 equals a projected price of app. $2,100 CAD...yet it sells for "just" $1,900. Again, that's quite unusual. (Did Yamaha hedge the CAD vs Yen?). However, when looking at the Kawais, the 1.4 multiplier (or greater) still applies. Same for Roland. e.g. FP-90 is $1,900 US...but it's a whopping $2,700 CAD here, i.e. 1.42 multiplier.
Posted By: slickvguy

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/26/19 12:11 AM

So...a strange thing happened today. You will find the following amusing, strange, or perhaps just dumb if you read my previous post regarding the P-515.

There's a Yamaha dealer nearby a house in another city that I'm renovating. I've been meaning to pop in for almost a year, but never found the time. After yesterday's P-515 disappointment, I decided to go in just to see. One of the owners was there, and I discussed my situation with him. He recommended the higher-end Clavinovas, but I reminded him I simply do not have the space for a console DP in the condo I'm currently living in. However, my wife and I will likely be buying and moving into a larger place sometime soon, and maybe I'd go for another console piano at that point. But for now, slab it is.

Just for fun, I sat down and tried the P-515 again. Playing through the speakers...It sounded MUCH better than yesterday. I was really surprised. Why? Because of the acoustics in the room. The store is much smaller, has lower ceilings, wall-to-wall carpeted, etc. Yesterday, I played in a huge chain store, pianos all stacked and bunched very close to each other, hard floor, high ceiling, glass walls, etc. After thinking about it for all of 2 minutes, I decided to buy it. lol. It's not like it was a different instrument or anything like that, but it was FAR better this time around, and certainly good enough for a self-taught, lifetime-piano-playing hack like me. I stand by everything I wrote yesterday (what I see as the pros and cons of this instrument). I just decided to accept the reality of the situation and go forward with my best option at this time. I look forward to enjoying the experience thoroughly. I'm picking it up tomorrow. Went with the black due to its resale prospects (if/when I decide to flip).

While I do like the ES8 more, I didn't want to spend the extra money for it at this time because I'm convinced an ES-9 is going to be released in the coming months and it's going to be fantastic. If I'm wrong, or I end up really loving the P-515, so be it. For now, this is simply the least expensive, high-quality DP available.

Here's something interesting: the owner told me that they have a policy at the store that if you buy a Yamaha from them and want to return it within 6 months, that they will give you 100% (!) of what you paid against any other higher-priced Yamaha. Its' only for 6 months, but if I really don't like the P-515, or I move into a larger place, it gives me an opportunity to get either a CP88, or a Clavinova, or whatever... and they will apply your full purchase price. Of course, it won't help me when I flip it for an ES-9 wink - but it's a nice option to have.



Posted By: jamiecw

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/26/19 08:20 AM

Originally Posted by slickvguy

So...a strange thing happened today....

Just for fun, I sat down and tried the P-515 again. Playing through the speakers...It sounded MUCH better than yesterday. I was really surprised....

After thinking about it for all of 2 minutes, I decided to buy it...


I hear you, when I could not find the P515 to try, I tried the CLP-645 and my initial reaction (on the action) was meh! Went back to the same shop a few weeks later and the action started to grow on me...then another visit to the Yamaha store where they had the P515 and spend a fair bit of time on it and I was really digging it.

Coupled that with a 15% discount voucher I had, well the rest is history...fast forward 4-6 weeks and there are no regrets. Yes its not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but the action and CFX makes it an excellent practice instrument..I think this is why some advocate to not buy the first thing you play but to walk away and go back a second and even a third time...if you haven't made up your mind by that time than nothing you buy will suffice. smile

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Posted By: RyanThePianist

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/26/19 10:04 AM

slickvguy, I did not find your story dumb.. in fact, it was hilarious (in a good way)! Congrats on the purchase! Let's continue to share our P-515 experiences.
Posted By: Doug M.

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/26/19 11:20 AM

Originally Posted by jamiecw
Originally Posted by slickvguy

So...a strange thing happened today....

Just for fun, I sat down and tried the P-515 again. Playing through the speakers...It sounded MUCH better than yesterday. I was really surprised....

After thinking about it for all of 2 minutes, I decided to buy it...


I hear you, when I could not find the P515 to try, I tried the CLP-645 and my initial reaction (on the action) was meh! Went back to the same shop a few weeks later and the action started to grow on me...then another visit to the Yamaha store where they had the P515 and spend a fair bit of time on it and I was really digging it.

Coupled that with a 15% discount voucher I had, well the rest is history...fast forward 4-6 weeks and there are no regrets. Yes its not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but the action and CFX makes it an excellent practice instrument..I think this is why some advocate to not buy the first thing you play but to walk away and go back a second and even a third time...if you haven't made up your mind by that time than nothing you buy will suffice. smile

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Hi Jamie,

Just like to point out that the Casio PX S3000 was released recently and this model is a portable like the Yamaha P515. Many have praised the new Casios, so they are worthy of being taken seriously.
Also, the Roland FP90 has a better action than the Yamaha and should be considered in any comparison with the ES8, the P515 and the PX S3000.

Kind regards,

Doug
Posted By: Bobby Simons

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/26/19 12:01 PM

Quote
. . . they have a policy at the store that if you buy a Yamaha from them and want to return it within 6 months, that they will give you 100% (!) of what you paid against any other higher-priced Yamaha. Its' only for 6 months, but if I really don't like the P-515, or I move into a larger place, it gives me an opportunity to get either a CP88, or a Clavinova, or whatever. . .


An excellent way to make a move for a higher-ticket item without the wife blowing a gasket. If you're unhappy, keep it anyway for 5 1/2 months then layout the extra bucks for the upgrade. It won't seem nearly as bad as the total cost!

But I'm pretty sure I'll be keeping mine. Tracking it on the trip from Wisconsin to Long Island. Passed through Eaton, PA a few hours ago. C'mon, dude, drive faster!
Posted By: Beowulf

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/26/19 12:25 PM

I can never understand why a P-515 with full pedal unit cost only 73 bucks (USD) less than a CLP-645 in my country.
Posted By: jamiecw

Re: Kawai ES8 vs. Yamaha P515 (Action) - 04/26/19 12:55 PM

Originally Posted by Doug M.

Hi Jamie,

Just like to point out that the Casio PX S3000 was released recently and this model is a portable like the Yamaha P515. Many have praised the new Casios, so they are worthy of being taken seriously.
Also, the Roland FP90 has a better action than the Yamaha and should be considered in any comparison with the ES8, the P515 and the PX S3000.


Thanks Doug - yeah I was monitoring the PX-S3000 but it was taking it's time to be released (& truth be told having owned the AP-470 last year and sold only after a few months, I wasn't converted to the Casio fan base).

Also, having used an SL88 Grand with wooden action, the NWX grew on me plus I am still keeping my HP605 with its PHA50 which I like a lot so I have a few options..the P515 is my practice slab now and I like that the action is a little on the heavy side which makes the transfer over to acoustic actions easier.

Cheers,
J
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