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Originally Posted by pianistje
I love the action of my MP11SE and enjoy it every day. But....the internal piano sounds are ...i don’t know how to put it without offending anyone....the sounds are dated , flat, looped, compressed and non pleasing. I use VSL, Embertone, Garritan ,Simple Sam and at first i was skeptical towards software and fully enjoyed hardware. Nowadays it is the opposite and i am truly baffled how mediocre hardware sounds and that the big companies get away with it. I guess their largest consumer base is not familiar with vst pianoworld and think a console with cheap speakers and limited piano memory is how digitals sound from default.

Every now and then posts like this shows up. Let's clarify few things first:

Compressed: What do you mean by compressed?
Dated: Compared to what? Have you listened to a Kawai grand before?
Looped: I sincerely cant detect looping with my ears (I have absolte ears: can play a note exactly buy hearing it)

No let me tell you that you're missing the point of a hardware. A very BIG one:

1- you need a decent pc
2- you need a decent a low latency audio interface
3- you need an operating system
4- you need to wait at least 5 mins for the OS, DAW and VST to load
5- your set up can crash and you should start 3 from the scratch
6- This set up is questionable for live on demand/performance

By the time your vst is up, I have played 1 song (My MP7SE loads in 3 secs).

The above is how hardare manufacturers are getting away with it.

I am very familiar with VSTs and I have played with gazzilions of them. I also have 3 headphones which worth around 1200 USD in total and I have listened to my MP7SE and compared them VSTs (Garritan, Ivory and Pianoteq) through ADAMs, Yamahas and my own crappy Behringers. I found VSTs:

1- good sounding VSTs are very few
2- they require too much time to load
3- kill my mood by the time they are up
4- will never sound like the actual piano
5- sampled in questionable studios
6- the list goes on

So to clarify this and sum it up, I will never replace my MP7SE with a VST when playing live. Hope you got the point!

Last edited by Abdol; 10/19/20 11:18 AM.

Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
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Originally Posted by Narroo
I have to agree: I recently got an MP11SE to replace my Korg D1, and while the Kawais sound fine in a store, once you play with a decent pair of headphones the MP11SE is disappointing. It's hard to put my finger on it, but it's like it's slightly muffled; it lacks energy. I did a bunch of comparisons and tests, and I notices that at higher volume settings the MP11SE generates transient noise, so that might be an issue. It produces the transient noise even when playing another keyboard and simply routing the audio through the MP11SE, so it's not the sounds themselves, it's the internal amps. It's also worth noting that giving a firm tap to the MP11SE on the chasis produces a loud hiss, implying something might be loose.

I'm not saying MP11SE sounds good, but buddy in the store they have the crappiest pair of headphones and usually DPs are hooked to mono amps. Can you elaborate what you mean by "fine"?!

What headphones are you using at home? Muffled sound or lack of energy seems more like a monitoring hardware issue to me rather than MP11SE.

I have no idea what transient noise is... never heard of this before. Again what headphones are you using!


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Originally Posted by Abdol
What headphones are you using at home? Muffled sound or lack of energy seems more like a monitoring hardware issue to me rather than MP11SE.

That's a really good point.

#1. I never used phones out on any gear since years back - not my MP7SE either.
I always use line out to a mackie mixer, which has really good phone outs with lots of headroom.


Before I had 4 yamaha DP's, and volume on phones out were so low - no presence at all when playing. You need volume for it to feel dynamic enough. Playing fortissimo you should almost feel it's too loud, then you have dynamic range.

#2. Manufacturers usually don't put even $1 on chips of phones. Cheapest op-amps they find is maybe $0.20 or so.

There are limitations recommended in mW how much ears should have for long term listening, which I find are in the lower scale and not enough. So many manufacturers stick to this since it requires less expensive chips to drive.

#3. Also depending on impedance on phones it may be even worse result.
Sounding much too low, and also create holes in frequency curve to not sound right if phones are above like 70 ohms or so. Then you start demanding more of phones output even more driving higher quality phones(which often are higher impedance).

My general monitor phones HD280 Pro is 70 ohm I think and easily driven. My HD650 require a separate preamp to work properly, if it is 250 ohm or something.


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Originally Posted by Narroo
It's also worth noting that giving a firm tap to the MP11SE on the chasis produces a loud hiss, implying something might be loose.

In this case, I would recommend that you contact your Kawai dealer/distributor for assistance.

Kind regards,
James
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Sorry for not answering individually to each one of you who have adressed me directly with questions. During the week I barely have time due to my job...

I just want to confirm what I said last time: the sound has improved a lot once I switched from the Roland KC to the Yamaha speakers so I feel really relieved with the purchase because the piano sounds now feel really different. So again, thanks for everybody´s help. To be true I expected an almost 100% "fidelity" on the piano sounds from the MP11SE but now it works for me and I´m enjoying a lot the key action which I think is superb... I have a Rhodes Mark I and I prefer the MP11Se action.

Regarding VST, a term I heard here for the first time (to give you a clue about how lost I´m in tech issues about keyboards) I wouldn´t know where to start but I will dig into it to see if using VST I could be able to find better piano sounds.

About the question of delivery time: I purchased it in Madrid - Spain - on Kawai´s official dealer and it took two days for delivery.

Regards to everyone!

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Thanks for the update Pol piano!

Cheers,
James
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FWIW, I use AKG 271 Mk. II headphones ($250) and they sound great with digital pianos.

As to amps, I have Vox and Roland keyboard amps (the latter battery operated) and both sound great as well.

However....

The speakers that I will eventually buy are two QSC. I auditioned them in the store and they blew everything away by a wide margin. Way overkill for at home, but they are the REAL DEAL. 10" or 12", they make a couple of different models. Not buskable at all, these are pro speakers for the gig when not taking public transportation.

As to internal DP sounds versus VST, etc:

It's sit down at piano and play versus fiddle with computer etc. And I get bored with any of the sounds; it's nice to switch between internal, VST and Pianotec (and the many sounds that it has). Which is weird, considering that I have the same tenor sax sound for about half a century. The Kawai internal sounds are fine; I tweak my MP11 just a little (more resonance); my ES-110 is fine out of the box for AC but see posts here on the forum "Hidden Rhodes" for EP.


Selmer Mark VI Tenor (‘73) & Alto Sax (‘57), Yamaha YSS-62 Soprano Sax (‘87), Conn Naked Lady Baritone Sax (‘52), Conn New Wonder Tenor & Alto Sax (‘24), Yamaha WX5 Wind Synth (‘13), Kawai MP11 & ES-110, Numa Compact 2x, Casio PX5S, Roland VR-09, Hammond E-112 (‘69).
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Originally Posted by Skyscrapersax
AKG 271 Mk. II headphones ($250) ...
$250 ist too much... Here they are 86€, I bought mine some years ago for about 100€...
I really like them :-)


keep calm and play the piano :-)
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Originally Posted by Skyscrapersax
Originally Posted by IosPlayer
Mess with the EQ and reverb to start. Then the Virtual Technician. I love Kawai, and prefer the EX over the SK... the bass in both is a bit muddy. For sure the action is much better than the Nord, IMO.

I own the MP11 ... which has (I think) the EX, not the SK (which I think is the MP11se).

Are you saying the MP11 > MP11se (in your view), for sound?
I cannot speak to the MP11. While there will always be subjective preferences for different tone colorations, I consider the SK-EX sound in the HI-XL piano engine to be objectively superior to the EX sound in the HI-XL sound engine based on the sustain capability and of the SK-EX and resulting support for playing with a singing tone.

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