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Hello, how are you? smile

June, 2012
New model ES7. Kawai America is pleased to unveil the latest generation of its popular ES Series portable digital pianos.


August, 2015
ES8 Portable Digital Piano announced by Kawai Japan.


Do you expect/accept that this year ES8's successor could be announced?

If so (or even if not so) what could we expect to see in it? Let's take the most important factors: action and sound. ES8 brought the new keyboard action: Responsive Hammer III (ES7: RHII). And new sound source: Harmonic Imaging XL (ES7: Progressive Harmonic Imaging). So, both keyboard and sound have got improvements.

And here I see an interesting thing: RHIII action is still Kawai's top plastic/folded action (which doesn't mean that improvements aren't necessary of course). So how could it be improved?
1) New wooden Grand Feel Compact action?
2) New type of plastic/folded action?
There's one more, the worst option: just to leave it as it is (RHIII).

And there's another interesting thing. Sound. ES8 already had samples of SK-EX Concert and medium-sized SK-5 Studio grand pianos, which just recently appeared in MP7SE/MP11SE.

Similar story was before: Kawai announced MP7/MP11 with only one main Kawai EX sampled grand piano tone, and MP7 had RHII action. And after some period of time they announced ES8, which in addition to EX had two new piano samples (SK-EX, SK-5), plus new RHIII action, which made this offer even more interesting for many pianists than "more professional" MP7.

So here comes the question: will Kawai add the new SK-EX Rendering piano sound engine with multi-channel sampling and resonance modelling in ES8's successor? If no, and if keyboard also won't be upgraded, then there's no sense for such a successor. That's why this question is quite interesting for me. What could be improved? And can we even expect "ES9" this year?

Do you have some thoughts about ES8's successor? Would be interesting to read.

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Beefier speakers / Cosmetic changes / Changes to menu layouts etc.
Maybe SK-EX rendering.

Honestly? I think the chances for an immediate successor are slim.

I doubt that we will see an ES9 with a wood action. Too heavy for it's target group.


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I wrote earlier about a hypothetical ES9:

- Bluetooth (MIDI)
- SHS spatial sound (for headphones)
- A full General MIDI 2 sound set
- even better speakers
- a different design, something inspired by the MP7/MP11 SE models perhaps

Probably it would still have the "Harmonic Imaging XL" sound source and the "SK-EX Rendering" is reserved for higher models.

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Originally Posted by Granyala

Honestly? I think the chances for an immediate successor are slim.


Yes, but Kawai could release an SE model to maybe upgrade the speakers, do some useful changes to help it out compete the FP-90----maybe as an intermediary advancement to test out new tech.

As we saw with the MP7/11 SE, the modifications would be limited by the compatibility with existing case design and stock components, plus a desire not to make the VPC1 irrelevant.

TBH, Kawai have already good reputation in the stage and portable piano market. It would seem premature to spend much money on upgrades to the ES series when in the short term, it might be more prudent to see what Roland and Yamaha do in that market space before pitching a new version that offers suitable competition.

Look at where Kawai are less prominent: no real footprint in the workstation market to compete with instruments like the Kronos or Montage.


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Originally Posted by AlexBltn
Do you have some thoughts about ES8's successor?


I don't have any thoughts/comments about this topic, however this recent comparison video from Bonners Music seems to suggest that the ES8 is still a very competitive instrument.

Kind regards,
James
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I think Kawai ought to adapt the Grand Feel Compact action in to the ES8 successor and the SK-EX Rendering, and add ability to use the new GFP-3 pedal. There’s nothing else it needs to improve on outside of incrementally upgraded cosmetics and speaker upgrades. As James points out, listening side by side to the other competitors, it’s still class leading or at worst very competitive. The competition has really just now caught up.


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I assume the GFC weighs close to the RM3 Grand 2, and the keybed and frame needed to support that would result in a DP weighing close to the VPC-1 (70lb) PLUS extra weight for built in speakers smile


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Assuming an ES8 successor is in the works, will be interesting to see how it compares to the new $2K Yamaha P515 with its natural wood keyboard.

Last edited by Steve.L; 07/25/18 07:39 PM.
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After thinking about this, it seems more likely that further improvements to their existing action are likely. These can be done relatively cheaply; that and some stronger speakers should do it.
They could consider improving the connectivity of their CA48. Many may have rejected that model on account of that.


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Originally Posted by AlexBltn
Hello, how are you? smile

June, 2012
New model ES7. Kawai America is pleased to unveil the latest generation of its popular ES Series portable digital pianos.


August, 2015
ES8 Portable Digital Piano announced by Kawai Japan.


Do you expect/accept that this year ES8's successor could be announced?

If so (or even if not so) what could we expect to see in it? Let's take the most important factors: action and sound. ES8 brought the new keyboard action: Responsive Hammer III (ES7: RHII). And new sound source: Harmonic Imaging XL (ES7: Progressive Harmonic Imaging). So, both keyboard and sound have got improvements.

And here I see an interesting thing: RHIII action is still Kawai's top plastic/folded action (which doesn't mean that improvements aren't necessary of course). So how could it be improved?
1) New wooden Grand Feel Compact action?
2) New type of plastic/folded action?
There's one more, the worst option: just to leave it as it is (RHIII).

And there's another interesting thing. Sound. ES8 already had samples of SK-EX Concert and medium-sized SK-5 Studio grand pianos, which just recently appeared in MP7SE/MP11SE.

Similar story was before: Kawai announced MP7/MP11 with only one main Kawai EX sampled grand piano tone, and MP7 had RHII action. And after some period of time they announced ES8, which in addition to EX had two new piano samples (SK-EX, SK-5), plus new RHIII action, which made this offer even more interesting for many pianists than "more professional" MP7.

So here comes the question: will Kawai add the new SK-EX Rendering piano sound engine with multi-channel sampling and resonance modelling in ES8's successor? If no, and if keyboard also won't be upgraded, then there's no sense for such a successor. That's why this question is quite interesting for me. What could be improved? And can we even expect "ES9" this year?

Do you have some thoughts about ES8's successor? Would be interesting to read.


The only thing the ES8 lacks in comparison to the FP90 is amplification.
This is easily rectified with the IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
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Monitors or even one PA speaker can blend with the stereo well


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Originally Posted by AlexBltn
Hello, how are you? smile

June, 2012
New model ES7. Kawai America is pleased to unveil the latest generation of its popular ES Series portable digital pianos.


August, 2015
ES8 Portable Digital Piano announced by Kawai Japan.


Do you expect/accept that this year ES8's successor could be announced?

If so (or even if not so) what could we expect to see in it? Let's take the most important factors: action and sound. ES8 brought the new keyboard action: Responsive Hammer III (ES7: RHII). And new sound source: Harmonic Imaging XL (ES7: Progressive Harmonic Imaging). So, both keyboard and sound have got improvements.

And here I see an interesting thing: RHIII action is still Kawai's top plastic/folded action (which doesn't mean that improvements aren't necessary of course). So how could it be improved?
1) New wooden Grand Feel Compact action?
2) New type of plastic/folded action?
There's one more, the worst option: just to leave it as it is (RHIII).

And there's another interesting thing. Sound. ES8 already had samples of SK-EX Concert and medium-sized SK-5 Studio grand pianos, which just recently appeared in MP7SE/MP11SE.

Similar story was before: Kawai announced MP7/MP11 with only one main Kawai EX sampled grand piano tone, and MP7 had RHII action. And after some period of time they announced ES8, which in addition to EX had two new piano samples (SK-EX, SK-5), plus new RHIII action, which made this offer even more interesting for many pianists than "more professional" MP7.

So here comes the question: will Kawai add the new SK-EX Rendering piano sound engine with multi-channel sampling and resonance modelling in ES8's successor? If no, and if keyboard also won't be upgraded, then there's no sense for such a successor. That's why this question is quite interesting for me. What could be improved? And can we even expect "ES9" this year?

Do you have some thoughts about ES8's successor? Would be interesting to read.


Low ES8 stocks being reported at various outlets I have tried recently and "Kawai are also waiting for new units" says one dealer. Not sure if that signifies anything but we can hope..

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Does anyone have current information, opinions or rumors regarding the release of an ES9 ???


Kawai ES110 --> Ivory II American Concert D

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No. Buy the ES-8.

wink

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There’s currently nothing Kawai can offer for a new ES instrument without cannibalizing the other models. Their rendering engine is considered too premium and new and is used even in NV10, so they can’t afford bringing it to the masses. And the RH3 is among the best plastic actions so there’s no need to update that either. I would expect a new ES probably next year or even many years after that because Kawai are most probably in a hurry to introduce binaural sampling, extended USB functionality, etc which they need to offer on more premium instruments first. For instance P515 appeared after CLP-640.


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Also, there will be a delay from now to ES9 announcement, limited store availability, when you can actually buy it. I try to wait a few months after release of new products for "beta tester" reports on issues.

So if you want a particular digital piano now, there is a good case for buying it now. There always will be something new around the corner. . .

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Originally Posted by CyberGene
There’s currently nothing Kawai can offer for a new ES instrument without cannibalizing the other models. Their rendering engine is considered too premium and new and is used even in NV10, so they can’t afford bringing it to the masses. And the RH3 is among the best plastic actions so there’s no need to update that either. I would expect a new ES probably next year or even many years after that because Kawai are most probably in a hurry to introduce binaural sampling, extended USB functionality, etc which they need to offer on more premium instruments first. For instance P515 appeared after CLP-640.


Exactly, I second that. There is nothing that Kawai can add to make ES9 really better instrument than ES8

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One thing I can recommend is getting on the mailing lists of certain large retailiers (like MF or GC) - I had gotten a 20% discount off my ES8 when it came out- now a days the pianos are at $1,649 and I would think you could get a discount as well.


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Many thanks to clothearednincompo, CyberGene,  newer player,  MrKaramba and PossumES8Krome61 for the info!


Kawai ES110 --> Ivory II American Concert D

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Well, I don't want to be held liable for making a wrong prediction laugh Who knows, maybe an ES9 will be announced tomorrow.


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Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
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