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Hi smile

I'm an formerly classic piano student looking for a Kawai DP (I love their sound and actions, so not really looking into other brands), but I can't decide between MP11se and CA79/99. I'm going to be playing mainly classic repertoire, including Chopin etudes and other "heavy" pieces, so action is really important for me. I'd go for the CA99 or CA79... if it wasn't because I'm going to leave it at my parents, where a MP11se can be packed and removed from the living room when I'm not there (most of the year). Is the GF (I) enough for this kind of high level classic repertoire, or is it going to be destroyed in a few months?

I've read that GF I and II tend to need repairing (sticky keys) at some point because of the screw mechanism they have compared to the GF III, which I imagine it can accelerate with heavy use.

Has anyone used an MP11se for the last years of conservatory/music school? Is it worth looking into it, or just go for a CA79/99?

Also... I might look into a less expensive model with RHIII (e.g. CN39) for my "other house" (with the aim or reselling it before moving out). Is the action that light compared to the GF actions? Is it really unsuitable to bang Chopin's Op. 10 no 1 and the likes on it?

Thanks in advance.

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Hello srodrigo, welcome to the forum.

MayI ask where you are based, and which of these pianos you have play-tested already?

Kind regards,
James
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Hi James, thank you!

I'm based in UK, but my family is from Spain, when I'm currently spending a few months and might move back next year (this is why I might end up getting a second, cheaper instrument in UK, but maybe not).

I've only play-tested the MP11se (2.100e), which left me with a great feeling. I think I might be able to test the CA79 (3.000e) or CA99 (3.700-3.800e) too at a local shop, I'll see if I can arrange for this weekend.

I wanted to know people's opinions before going to the local shop, where I'm not sure I'll get the best advice specially regarding actions. The space/remove instrument issue makes me be more inclined towards the MP11se anyway, but I'm not sure it'll be adequate for playing heavy classical music. I've got an upright at home, so it's probably a good improvement anyway in terms of action.

I didn't look into something like the NV 5s/10s because I'd rather save that for when I've got a more stable base and my own flat. So for now, I was looking into a bit cheaper options.

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Sergio

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FWIW --

Aren't the actions in all three DP's (MP11se, CA79, CA) close cousins? Why would you expect more problems from the MP11se, than from the other two?

Another way to look at this:

The MP11se is designed and sold as a "professional stage piano". I suspect good stage performers give their pianos just as hard a life, as a classical pianist.


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> Is the GF (I) enough for this kind of high level classic repertoire, or is it going to be destroyed in a few months?

Good enough? I think the GFI doesn't feel worse, but it isn't an acoustic action and IDK how sensitive you are to the difference.
I understand there will surely be issues within a few years, check the Grand Feel Key Clinic thread, related reddit stuff etc frown It is repairable but it isn't simple. Considering the revised GFIII in CA79/99, the MP11SE seems "dated".

> Also... I might look into a less expensive model with RHIII (e.g. CN39) for my "other house" (with the aim or reselling it before moving out). Is the action that light compared to the GF actions? Is it really unsuitable to bang Chopin's Op. 10 no 1 and the likes on it?

The RHIII isn't "that light", but it has different dynamics (mechanical response) and shorter key pivot. You should really try it to decide for yourself. An additional issue that different RHIII don't feel the same. In the store where I was trying, those in the CN29 and CN39 were quite nice, but the one in the ES8 was annoyingly bouncy on key return. Maybe it was just worn felt strips or a different batch...
Slabs (like the ES920) may be easier to resell. Due to the speakers, the CN39 sounded much better than the ES8, but good external speakers are likely much better than any of these.

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Thanks @Charles Chohen, I was asking because, from some other threads and video reviews, it looked like the GF III was more durable as they fixed some earlier versions problems. But I agree that it's built to be durable, so it should be fine. My acoustic piano got hard work for a decade and it's pretty much fine (but not sure how they'd compare).

Thanks @_sem_, I'll check the Clinic thread. I might just have to go try them out to see what it feels nicer to me. I might end up with the MP11se anyway, it's not fair to leave a(nother) non-removable piece of furniture unused for months at my parents. But I like weighting all pros and cons.
The ES920 was my favourite for a second, resellable piano smile I read it's got an upgraded RHIII that solves some issues found in earlier versions. Not sure whether this is accurate though. I'd definitely try it out before buying it if I get to that stage.

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Originally Posted by srodrigo
Also... I might look into a less expensive model with RHIII (e.g. CN39) for my "other house" (with the aim or reselling it before moving out). Is the action that light compared to the GF actions? Is it really unsuitable to bang Chopin's Op. 10 no 1 and the likes on it?
I'm not sure the weight is the biggest difference. I tried a VPC1 when I bought my ES7 (RH2) and I found the weight to be quiet similar. I suppose they have less static weight and more dynamic weight but it's just a supposition and it didn't feel THAT different at first touch, in weight only I mean (it wasn't even turned on)
of course RH action is more than suited to play any Chopin piece !
try both and make your choice
can't comment on durability either. We all know Kawai is not the best brand in terms of quality assurance, only time will tell if GF3 will better stand the test of time (most issues are "fixable" btw)
I'm amazed Kawai still sell the VPC1 and MP11SE with those old keybeds though...

Last edited by Nigo; 12/10/21 04:41 AM.
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if you ask me a NEW ES920 is a better buy than a NEW MP11SE. Second hand market is a different thing entirely
but a NEW FP90X is also a better buy than a ES920. Don't quote me on this

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Originally Posted by Nigo
Originally Posted by srodrigo
Also... I might look into a less expensive model with RHIII (e.g. CN39) for my "other house" (with the aim or reselling it before moving out). Is the action that light compared to the GF actions? Is it really unsuitable to bang Chopin's Op. 10 no 1 and the likes on it?
I'm not sure the weight is the biggest difference. I tried a VPC1 when I bought my ES7 (RH2) and I found the weight to be quiet similar. I suppose they have less static weight and more dynamic weight but it's just a supposition and it didn't feel THAT different at first touch, in weight only I mean (it wasn't even turned on)
of course RH action is more than suited to play any Chopin piece !
try both and make your choice
can't comment on durability either. We all know Kawai is not the best brand in terms of quality assurance, only time will tell if GF3 will better stand the test of time (most issues are "fixable" btw)
I'm amazed Kawai still sell the VPC1 and MP11SE with those old keybeds though...

I just came from the piano shop and completely forgot about the RHIII :| Damn...

The GFIII feels amazing. I tried the MP11se again but they got some small speakers that made it pale compared to when I tried it somewhere else. The action felt good, but not as good as the GFIII.

Originally Posted by Nigo
if you ask me a NEW ES920 is a better buy than a NEW MP11SE. Second hand market is a different thing entirely
but a NEW FP90X is also a better buy than a ES920. Don't quote me on this

One of the things that puts me off of the MP11se is that it's kind of old already... I barely found any on ebay, but I found a couple of ES920. Definitely a better option for reselling.

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plus, good luck finding a MP11 that was used at home (sometimes) and not by a professionnal musician 5 days a week, moved here and there
which is why, as Charles said, they're actually not that weak
you can also looks for Concert Artists with GF2 : CA65, 67, 95, 97... or RM3 : CA13, 15, 17, 63

Last edited by Nigo; 12/10/21 04:04 PM.
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Originally Posted by srodrigo
One of the things that puts me off of the MP11se is that it's kind of old already... I barely found any on ebay, but I found a couple of ES920. Definitely a better option for reselling.

Well... Another way of looking at it is ES920 owners were not as satisfied. smile Have you wondered why a brand new DP is so easily found on sales sites? smile There's a joke around here, some things give you two joys in life, when you buy them and when you sell them. smile

On a serious note, buying a piano based on the thought of selling it does not seem the wisest thing to me. You should buy it based on what it may provide you with in terms of practice, learning and pleasure.


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Really enjoying my MP11SE which I bought new a few months ago. I preferred the GFIII action in the CA99 but given that I mostly use headphones, the cabinet would’ve been wasted on me. Also, happy to have the extra FX controls and to not have to mess around with an annoyingly buggy touchscreen.

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Originally Posted by EVC2017
On a serious note, buying a piano based on the thought of selling it does not seem the wisest thing to me. You should buy it based on what it may provide you with in terms of practice, learning and pleasure.

Hello,

Very well said!

Cheers and happy purchases,

HZ

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I owned a CA99 for a while, liked it, but had issues from day 1 and others that kawai wouldn't fix for me. I got rid of it in the end, amazingly I'm now torn between getting new speakers for my es920 (adam t7v) or just getting another CA99 again!

I think strangely enough, the es920 SK main sample is crazy good and more fun to play on as a piano overall than CA99, the action on the es920 is actually faster and more accurate than the GF3, it's just the GF3 feels much better to play, but I'm almost positive the keys return faster on the RH3 and allows more virtuosic playing. I also hate the touchscreen on CA99 and the ease of use on es920 is wonderful in comparison.

Should i drop £3000 on a new CA99 and possibly face more issues that won't be resolved, but have the convenience of cabinet speakers and soundboard (i play mostly without headphones) and a gorgeous feel keyboard or just stick with my es920, so far no real issues to mention, apart from slightly grinding keys at F notes, which I don't notice anymore, and buy some decent speakers?

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I am actually looking at the MP11se, I am somewhat a beginner and have been playing a semi-weighted Kurzweil pc3x, getting more serious and was looking for more realistic action so was thinking about the MP11se. Have also been looking at acoustics including used Steinway's. The whole process of dealing with the piano sales people and stores have been pushing me towards the digital world. At least with digital pianos you know exactly what you are getting and an exact price.My only reservation about the Kawai is the MP11se has been out for a while and I have a feeling an updated version is coming sooner than later.

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Originally Posted by echo44
I am actually looking at the MP11se, I am somewhat a beginner and have been playing a semi-weighted Kurzweil pc3x, getting more serious and was looking for more realistic action so was thinking about the MP11se. Have also been looking at acoustics including used Steinway's. The whole process of dealing with the piano sales people and stores have been pushing me towards the digital world. At least with digital pianos you know exactly what you are getting and an exact price.My only reservation about the Kawai is the MP11se has been out for a while and I have a feeling an updated version is coming sooner than later.
I was in a similar position and just decided to get regardless. A successor doesn’t seem forthcoming and if it is, it may well have the touchscreen of the current line, which I dislike anyway.

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Comparing the touchscreen in the CA line to the likelihood of it appearing in the MP line is completely wrong. They are completely different instruments, designed for different tasks. And even if a touchscreen appeared in the MP line, it is quite obvious that there would still be physical controls, not just a touchscreen like in the CA line.

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Originally Posted by EVC2017
Originally Posted by srodrigo
One of the things that puts me off of the MP11se is that it's kind of old already... I barely found any on ebay, but I found a couple of ES920. Definitely a better option for reselling.

Well... Another way of looking at it is ES920 owners were not as satisfied. smile Have you wondered why a brand new DP is so easily found on sales sites? smile There's a joke around here, some things give you two joys in life, when you buy them and when you sell them. smile

On a serious note, buying a piano based on the thought of selling it does not seem the wisest thing to me. You should buy it based on what it may provide you with in terms of practice, learning and pleasure.


Good point. Or maybe there are more ES920 around because it's cheaper and less niche. I don't know.
The only reason why I was thinking about resellability is in case I get one for a few months in my other location. Or just not play at all for 3-5 months smirk

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Originally Posted by 9190
Comparing the touchscreen in the CA line to the likelihood of it appearing in the MP line is completely wrong. They are completely different instruments, designed for different tasks. And even if a touchscreen appeared in the MP line, it is quite obvious that there would still be physical controls, not just a touchscreen like in the CA line.

I sincerely hope you are right; having only a touchscreen would be awful on a stage piano. I guess they could go down the route that the Yamaha Montage did - lots of faders, knobs and buttons for performance tweaking, but with a big touchscreen in the middle for programming. I’d love more hardware knobs; the four assignable encoders on the MP11SE are handy but I do sometimes miss the dedicated knobs of my old Nord.

I imagine that part of the reason that there hasn’t been a replacement yet is that there’s quite a lot of thought required about how to implement the controls in light of Kawai’s more recent UI.

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Originally Posted by srodrigo
Good point. Or maybe there are more ES920 around because it's cheaper and less niche. I don't know
MP11 is a VERY specific thing. Way too heavy to be a real stage piano (there is MP7 for that), way too complex/ugly to be a portable home DP (the CA65 didn't cost much more), doesn't have speaker and more importantly, (almost) not updated for a decade
the ES920 is the "new" thing. When the MP11 came out the ES6 was still around

Last edited by Nigo; 12/14/21 09:02 AM.
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