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Joined: Apr 2021
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James H Offline OP
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Hi all,

New member here, looking to resume my mediocrity on keyed instruments. I'm particularly interested in the MP7SE, MP11SE, and ES920. I previously owned an MP6 which at the time was the best 'compromise' board I could find for anywhere near that price which worked for solo practice. On the MP6, the connection between finger and ear was particularly nice, the core acoustic piano character acceptable if unspectacular. I only passed it on due to living arrangements.

First, can anyone offer any info on the Rhodes sounds on each of these newer boards, and how they compare to the MP6? Struggling to find much detail (youtube demos always sound nice even if a cheap board is being played!). How many different sample sets are there, and what do they sample? How big, how many layers etc? I recall the MP6 one was pretty good and nicely responsive, but it has been a while and it wasn't my main focus when I bought it. I'm not super knowledgeable about Rhodes, but I /think/ what I like is a Mk I sound that's fruity in the middle, sonorous when played softly but with a nice wild bark when you dig in. Late 60s/early 70s Herbie Hancock and Chick on Return to Forever is what I love sonically.

Second, regarding the acoustic pianos, I grew up with a very old upright Bluthner and an early 20th C Steinway Model M. Both have beautiful clear voices in the midrange, they 'sing' in a way that I have never heard from e.g. a Yamaha, and the Steinway in particular is rich as well. The MP6 didn't have this sweet, rich clarity, but it was noticeably closer than any Yamaha I've played acoustic or digital. What I didn't like, though, was what sounded very much like a velocity-sensitive low-pass filter which closed down on the sample as the notes decayed, like a lo-fi curtain between me and the piano, obviously artificial in nature. Much more apparent upon playing it oneself than listening in a mix. For anyone who knows what I mean(!), is this still evident in the most recent models? And how does that all-important midrange sound vs the MP6?

I may look at other brands (I remember the Roland 700NX felt nice, and Nord are tempting for the sample libraries) but for now the action and general build of my old MP6 is drawing me back. At the end of the day more features are tempting, the organs/clavi/Wurlis of a stage piano are nice bonuses, but what I REALLY want is that direct finger connection to one musical, expressive piano sound and one beautiful, expressive Rhodes sound. I'm not into using VSTs unless I can load them into the board and treat it like hardware.

Thanks in advance!

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I owned ES8 and it was the greatest Rhodes sound I experienced in digital piano. Korg Grandstage was also very nice, having much more variety (Mark I, Mark II, Mark V). Here is ES7 Rhodes, but ES8/MP7SE also has this sound:


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Hello James, welcome to the forum.

The MP7SE/MP11SE and ES920 all have superior acoustic and electric pianos than the older MP6, with the latest ES920 featuring improved acoustic piano and new electric piano sounds.

The MP7SE has a wider selection of sounds, and allows for more detailed adjustment.

If you have the opportunity to do so, I would strongly recommend visiting a few musical instrument retailers and piano dealers to play-test the latest models from Kawai, Yamaha, and Roland, to see which instruments take your fancy.

Kind regards,
James
x


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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Hello James, welcome to the forum.

The MP7SE/MP11SE and ES920 all have superior acoustic and electric pianos than the older MP6, with the latest ES920 featuring improved acoustic piano and new electric piano sounds.

The MP7SE has a wider selection of sounds, and allows for more detailed adjustment.

If you have the opportunity to do so, I would strongly recommend visiting a few musical instrument retailers and piano dealers to play-test the latest models from Kawai, Yamaha, and Roland, to see which instruments take your fancy.

Kind regards,
James
x

What about ES520 compared to ES920?

Also, can you get an answer to what wave the auto-pan effect use (Rhodes calls it Stereo Vibrato?) From the web, most agree it is a trapezoidal.


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You seem like an excellent candidate for going in and trying it out yourself. Try actual piano stores, they are more likely to have this particular model then Guitar Centers. And if electric pianos are really your jam, you should probably also check out the Korg SV2.


Rodney Sauer
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James H Offline OP
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Originally Posted by ColoRodney
You seem like an excellent candidate for going in and trying it out yourself

I guess things must be different in the US(?) but here everything is shut and will continue so for some time, otherwise I would have already!

Thanks for the answers so far - I didn't realise the es920 EPs were different again from the latest MP series. Have listened to all the youtube clips I can find, and I think the es920 IS a little more characterful in the lower-middle register Vs the mp11se, but it could just be the players. Can anyone offer more concrete Infor on how the EPs have been 'improved', is the Rhodes a brand new sample? It sounds pretty good, but maybe still a bit 2D/sanitised compared to the real thing..

Also no mention of the apparent filter that I heard from my mp6 on piano sounds... Am I the only one who hears it that way?


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