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Hmmm...

paid 6,000
if purchased today 20,000

eaten by termites...well that wouldn't happen with the economy digital.

See the digital benefits?...just endless.




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Originally Posted by KAWAI James
MacMacMac, in actual fact I do work within the marketing section, however our responsibilities primarily involve developing owner's manuals, brochures, and other materials. The kind of decisions that dewster wishes to pursue are typically made by the product development team, who work in another building.

Kind regards,
James
x


KAWAI James, you are johnny-on-the-spot when someone has a minor issue with a KAWAI foot pedal or whatever, offering to help them with quality issues or feedback to the factory and such. Which is great, I'm sure people here really appreciate the direct company contact and all.

But what about critical sound quality issues with KAWAI DPs? Sample looping and stretching are not necessary any more, so why does KAWAI continue to use these outdated compression methods, even on your top-of-the-line models? Doesn't it bother KAWAI that customers spend lots of money on your products, but then have to turn to third party software running on a PC when they want an acceptable sound, relegating their DP to mere controller status?

I've replied to you many times. But you haven't addressed this issue once, even though I've directly and repeatedly asked you about it. The only way I can get a response out of you is by being uncivil. I promise to be more civil if you to stop rudely ignoring this issue.

Could you please talk to the engineers about this and get back to me? Toss me a bone here, man.

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Originally Posted by dewster
I've replied to you many times. But you haven't addressed this issue once, even though I've directly and repeatedly asked you about it. The only way I can get a response out of you is by being uncivil. I promise to be more civil if you to stop rudely ignoring this issue.


He did respond, you even quoted his response. Those decisions are made elsewhere. The manufacturers are improving their DP's, Roland is experimenting with modeling, Yamaha is including full acoustic actions. Each manufacturer has their own reasons for the directions they chose, some (directions) are driven by technology, some economics. Having to be "uncivil" to elicit a response is a thin excuse at best. Hoping that people die and dancing (or worse) on their graves simply because you don't like the product they produce (when you have plenty of other options to choose) is childish in the extreme.

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If I may - I would like to get back to the original question "Anyone else try to settle down with a DP and not been able to make it work?"

I have tried but failed.

I used to love my Yamaha P120 - but I was missing something, or a combination and I was not that comfortable when playing on an acoustic.
Then I had the opportunity to acquire a (used) Yamaha acoustic Grand (C3) at a very attractive price. And I happened to have the room for it.
Of course, it is not like an electronic device. It had to be tuned, regulated about 4 weeks after it came in the house.
And then it needed to acclimate to its new location (my house). This specific process takes about 2 years. But in the mean time it very usable.
In a matter of weeks after the acoustic was tuned and regulated, I could not really stand my P120 lack of dynamics anymore. I was hooked to the acoustic bad.
I have sold my Yamaha P120 on Craigslist, and I have purchased a Casio PX-320 for practice when the family sleeps, or when we travel. The Casio is lightweight and fairly expressive, at least compared to the P120, and the action is good enough to me.
That current setting fits all my needs and wishes perfectly.

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Originally Posted by dewster
Originally Posted by KAWAI James
MacMacMac, in actual fact I do work within the marketing section, however our responsibilities primarily involve developing owner's manuals, brochures, and other materials. The kind of decisions that dewster wishes to pursue are typically made by the product development team, who work in another building.

Kind regards,
James
x


But what about critical sound quality issues with KAWAI DPs? Sample looping and stretching are not necessary any more, so why does KAWAI continue to use these outdated compression methods, even on your top-of-the-line models? Doesn't it bother KAWAI that customers spend lots of money on your products, but then have to turn to third party software running on a PC when they want an acceptable sound, relegating their DP to mere controller status?



It's worth noting this is a thread started by a Kawai DP owner who has come to be dissatisfied with his instrument.

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Originally Posted by bitWrangler
He did respond, you even quoted his response.

Yes he has responded to my incivility, but he hasn't responded to my sample compression questions even once. I didn't bring up the subject of civility, but to me that is being rude.

Originally Posted by bitWrangler
Those decisions are made elsewhere.

Yes, but someone on the forum from frikin' KAWAI should be able to at least discuss it, the engineers are a stone's throw from his desk. Yet KAWAI Jim clams up when I ask him about these things. I suspect he doesn't have any real authority (not his fault, who does in a modern corporation?) and is afraid he might reveal some proprietary information and catch heck for it. Nothing wrong with that and I can fully understand that scenario, but he could do the honorable thing and at least say that that is the case rather than just leave me hanging.

Originally Posted by bitWrangler
Having to be "uncivil" to elicit a response is a thin excuse at best. Hoping that people die and dancing (or worse) on their graves simply because you don't like the product they produce (when you have plenty of other options to choose) is childish in the extreme.

I was being metaphorical with the death thing. I'm sure those guys are great to have a beer with and all, and I personally wish them no ill-will, but I will rejoice when the influence they exert over current products comes to an end.

Would you call Rosa Parks uncivil? I would. Incivility is not necessarily childish.

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Originally Posted by LS35A
It's worth noting this is a thread started by a Kawai DP owner who has come to be dissatisfied with his instrument.


Thank you.

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The fella I buy some of my vintage synths from is a Yamaha clinician way up there in Canada. He tells me that he had to sign an NDA, which stands for Non Disclosure Agreement.

No doubt Kawai James is held by the same or similar agreement.

If you don't like the product, write the company yourself.

I don't think James comes here to promote his product or to be taking guff from someone that's not happy with digitals as they are..I think he's just like the rest of us and has a passion for, and an interest in, digital pianos in general.

Snazzy


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dewster, a detailed reply would be OT, but suffice it to say that your "uncivil" behaviour has gotten you no further than any claimed civil behaviour. Also, evoking images of Rosa Parks to somehow justify your behaviour is beyond "missing the point" and doesn't do much for supporting your cause.

To the OP, the cool thing about this forum is that you will find folks that fall into both camps. Those like you that took the DP plunge, didn't like it, and jumped back into the "other" pool. At the same time, there are plenty of folks here who jumped in and actually prefer it to the other pool (gyro perhaps being one of the most famous). So the fact that one falls into one camp or the other (or the third that goes either way) isn't too surprising. The reasons of course are varied and range from eminently practical to frustratingly ethereal.

Perhaps what I find most interesting is to observe the specific instruments involved and the characteristics of the folks themselves. Like the OP not being satisfied with their ES4. Would another DP work better for them perhaps? Are all DP's being painted with the same brush based on a relatively small sampling (sometimes just 1)? It's also evident that different folks have different tolerance levels for different short comings. For instance, I often hear about the headache of maintaining an acoustic. We get our acoustic tuned twice a year, hardly what I'd consider a headache and actually an event that we rather enjoy. However I can see how even two tunings (and the associated cost and time spent while out of tune) would be unacceptable to some.

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Bit,

If it ain't one thing, it's another.

Just a few observations.

The OP states that he loves his ES4, but that he doubts he can ever be happy with a DP. That's a contradiction. I can't see any reason to respond to it.

To say that what's available is "so far from state-of-the-art that it's criminal" means that someone is hiding something somewhere that could earn him money, fame, or both.

Pyrotechnic displays on this forum are quite colorful, but fortunately burn out quickly.



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Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
I don't think James comes here to promote his product

I think he does. Check his name.

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Originally Posted by WannaB
Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
I don't think James comes here to promote his product

I think he does. Check his name.


That's true, WannaB.

Well, perhaps James can explain why he is here, and why his user name is such.

I can imagine if you're working for a company, it's hard to be unbiased.

Snazzy


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Originally Posted by turandot
To say that what's available is "so far from state-of-the-art that it's criminal" means that someone is hiding something somewhere that could earn him money, fame, or both.

The technical hurdles involved in making a real sounding, recording quality DP are not that great, and the final cost could easily be around that of a mid-level DP. Why KAWAI doesn't offer this product right now is what I would like KAWAI James to comment on - I seriously don't understand the conspicuous absence of this entire product category.

turandot, I'll save you the trouble of replying - [insert text saying if I'm so smart why don't I just build it myself].

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Originally Posted by dewster


turandot, I'll save you the trouble of replying - [insert text saying if I'm so smart why don't I just build it myself].


Nah, that's not important. You're too busy here. You can get to that later. grin

I think compression of the sound is a huge issue affecting the dynamic and the tonal range. It's just that your way of bringing attention to it is a little extreme. When someone starts writing about dancing on other people's graves, he often winds up dancing on his own dungheap while adding to it at the same time.


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Originally Posted by Vincent L.
If I may - I would like to get back to the original question "Anyone else try to settle down with a DP and not been able to make it work?"

I have tried but failed.


I settled down with a DP, but I realized that to make it work, I would have to give up on anything that used samples. DPs are romplers (samples burned to rom). Connecting discrete samples recorded with limited velocity layers to achieve a smooth interactive sound is essentially impossible (but they keep trying).

To quote a user from another forum, "The problem with samples is that's all you've got - a snapshot of a particular element at one point in time. There's no interaction between any two disparate elements."

Physmod produces an extremely playable sound and although the sound is not quite up to a nine foot grand, it's quite passable, it's better than any DP I've ever tried. With physmod, I strongly suspect that within a year or so, we'll have a very convincing sound.

A quick search of my posts will reveal what I use (if anyone is interested).

Glenn

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LS35A, please allow me to apologise in advance for the off-topic nature of the post that I am about to write. However, there are a number of points that I would like to address.

Originally Posted by dewster
KAWAI James, you are johnny-on-the-spot when someone has a minor issue with a KAWAI foot pedal or whatever, offering to help them with quality issues or feedback to the factory and such.


Thank you. This is perhaps the main reason for my participating in this forum - to answer questions about KAWAI digital piano instrument, and to assist KAWAI customers with any issues that they may be experiencing.

Originally Posted by dewster
But what about critical sound quality issues with KAWAI DPs? Sample looping and stretching are not necessary any more, so why does KAWAI continue to use these outdated compression methods, even on your top-of-the-line models?


Since the ES6 was launched last August, all new KAWAI digital pianos (with the exception of the EP3 - essentially a reduced specification version of the ES6) feature 88-key piano sampling as standard. Therefore, the process of 'pitch shifting', 'spreading', or 'stretching' piano samples is no longer necessary. Incidentally, I believe this is also true of most Roland digital pianos.

Originally Posted by dewster
Doesn't it bother KAWAI that customers spend lots of money on your products, but then have to turn to third party software running on a PC when they want an acceptable sound, relegating their DP to mere controller status?


I believe the majority of digital piano customers - regardless of brand - are perfectly satisfied with the sound produced by their instruments. However, I accept that the number of players using Pianoteq, Ivory, Garritan, and other software piano packages is growing, and therefore fully expect to see more products aimed at these users in the future.

May I ask if you are familiar with the DP1, KAWAI's premium digital grand piano instrument launched a few years ago. It utilises PC-based hardware (running a custom Linux kernel), and offers unstretched, non-lopping piano samples, a button-less touch panel interface, and 5.1 speaker S/PDIF output. It delivers exactly the kind of technical innovation that you are requesting. This instrument commands a premium price-tag, certainly, however its very existence suggests that my engineering colleagues are somewhat more knowledgeable of emerging technologies than you are prepared to acknowledge.

Originally Posted by dewster
I suspect he doesn't have any real authority (not his fault, who does in a modern corporation?) and is afraid he might reveal some proprietary information and catch heck for it.


You're absolutely right. However, divulging confidential information can also have wider implications (see below).

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
The fella I buy some of my vintage synths from is a Yamaha clinician way up there in Canada. He tells me that he had to sign an NDA, which stands for Non Disclosure Agreement.

No doubt Kawai James is held by the same or similar agreement.


Correct. In addition, because KAWAI (Japan) is a listed company, there is the possibility - however remote - that my contributions to this forum may influence the price of the company's stocks and shares. In an effort to combat insider trading, all Japanese listed companies are expected to enforce strict rules upon their employees.

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
I don't think James comes here to promote his product or to be taking guff from someone that's not happy with digitals as they are..I think he's just like the rest of us and has a passion for, and an interest in, digital pianos in general.


You're spot-on Snazzy! I have a genuine interest in digital pianos/keyboards (I grew up around them) and count myself very fortunate to work within this terrific industry. Participating in the forum allows me to enjoy communicating with others who share my passion for making music. Yet, it also offers an opportunity to learn about the broadening needs of digital piano consumers, and to improve the materials that I am responsible for creating.

Originally Posted by snazzyplayer
Well, perhaps James can explain why he is here, and why his user name is such.


I believe this was covered in a previous post here. However, in summary, the reason for highlighting KAWAI in my username and signature is to ensure that other forum members are aware that I am employed by the company. This is one of the PianoWorld forum rules.

Quote
I can imagine if you're working for a company, it's hard to be unbiased.


There is an element of truth in this, certainly. KAWAI will always hold a special place in my heart, however you will note that I currently do not own nor play a KAWAI instrument (although I expect this will change next year...). Regardless, I do strive to maintain a degree of objectivity in my forum posts, often recommending non-KAWAI models to prospective buyers or assisting customers of Yamaha or Roland instruments with technical queries.

Okay, well I believe this covers everything. If anyone has any further queries or comments, I would encourage them to send me a private message directly.

Kind regards,
James
x


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James:

You may be interested in this:

http://www.georgekolasis.com/best-pianos.html

Although it deals with acoustic pianos, it's interesting to note this technician's rating of the world's great pianos. Not surprising, he puts Fazioli at the top, but his comments on the Shigeru Kawai make me wonder if he wouldn't rate the Kawai second - high praise indeed.

A surprising omission is the NY Steinway (although he gives his reasons).

Clicking on the Kawai link is very interesting reading.

Glenn

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Originally Posted by dewster

Anyway, do you have a set of good headphones? Speakers are notoriously bad at sound reproduction, and 99% of those built-in to DPs are an abomination in my ears. I recommend AKG K-271 (sealed) or AKG K-240 (semi-open). They won't get you around the scandalously obvious compression artifacting in what passes for even a very good DP sample set these days, but they can vastly improve the listening experience.


I do have a pair of very good headphones, Denon D5000. I listened to them tonight on my DP. Result? Horrendous sound. I noticed the same thing when I bought external monitors and hooked them up to my keyboard....it sounded worse. Plastic and unnatural and nothing like a piano. I'm afraid better speakers (including headphones) just allow me to hear exactly how bad a medium-priced DP sounds.

Everything was fine for about nine or ten months. Until I started taking lessons and heard a real piano every week.

I'm afraid 'better' DP's, CA93, HP307, etc, will just be a temporary fix and after ten months of hearing one I would 'acclimate' to it's sound and then it would sound nothing like a piano to me.

I'd like to be wrong about that. I'd like to think a 'high-end' DP is a practical alternative to having a four hundred pound beast in my living room. But I'm getting more skeptical all the time.

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Originally Posted by LS35A
I'd like to think a 'high-end' DP is a practical alternative to having a four hundred pound beast in my living room. But I'm getting more skeptical all the time.


A high end DP still utilizes prerecorded samples.

I'll repeat what I said above:

To quote a user from another forum, "The problem with samples is that's all you've got - a snapshot of a particular element at one point in time. There's no interaction between any two disparate elements."

A sample is just a part of the entire sound, not the whole sound. Hence it's not connected to other sample sounds. Only computer trickery can make them sound somewhat connected, but they really aren't.

When I listen to demos on sample sites I hear anomalies in the sound, or discontinuities. Standard DPs have done a better job at interconnecting the sounds, but the quality of the sounds is not good because really good samples would require a horrendous amount of storage space.

Roland has raised the bar with the V-Piano, and my personal take is that in time, the others will follow, or be left behind. Putting a fake soundboard with speakers with a shape that attempts to look like a grand (but is even shorter and more ridiculous looking than a baby grand) isn't going to save their bacon I think.

James stated that "the majority of digital piano customers - regardless of brand - are perfectly satisfied with the sound produced by their instruments." I was for too many years - convenience kept winning over the acoustic - but in the end I gave up on the sample concept.

I would have given up sooner if there had been a workable alternative - I tried the physmod program two years ago, but my DP was still as good - then a year ago I discovered that physmod had improved enough to win. In October of this year, another version came out. "Mr. Roland, I apologize for not using your sounds, but you do make a nice action."

James also said, "I accept that the number of players using Pianoteq, Ivory, Garritan, and other software piano packages is growing, and therefore fully expect to see more products aimed at these users in the future." DP users are slowly recognizing reality, and the software products are getting better faster than are the standard DPs (when price is inevitably factored in).

Glenn

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Originally Posted by Glenn NK


Putting a fake soundboard with speakers with a shape that attempts to look like a grand (but is even shorter and more ridiculous looking than a baby grand) isn't going to save their bacon I think.



If you're referring to the Avant Grand, their bacon is doing remarkably well....sizzling actually.

My buddy Zeke has sold two since I bought mine, and apparently elsewhere, the instrument is selling far beyond expectations. It is an esthetically beautiful, and richly rewarding instrument to look at and to play.

The V-Piano seems to be very slow coming out of the gate.

Friend Zeke liked the Roland when he saw it at it's unveiling, as did a lot of dealers, but very few are willing to take in such a niche product and end up getting stuck with it. Roland has approached him and may put one on the floor at their risk.

It doesn't have the look that people want in a very pricey piano; it looks just like another Roland digital...and, it doesn't feel any different than Roland's top end digitals...in fact, it doesn't sound a whole lot better either. The mids are very plasticky.

Probably it will end up as a studio instrument, and maybe it will be purchased (or given to and endorsed by) some high profile performers, but it is hardly something someone will use in a band that doesn't have roadies. It's too heavy and bulky for one person to move and set up.

The home market is where the money is; pros are the intended market for V-Piano, but, most pros are using VSTs, which are much cheaper.

I guess time will tell if it will be a success, and I hope for Roland's sake it is. They've discontinued several high profile products, including their mid and high end arrangers, and it seems they might have put all their feed in the V-Pig V-Piano. wink

Let's hope it doesn't turn out to be a pig in a poke.

Snazzy



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