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A year ago, after a lot if research, we bought a CA79 for the GFIII action. Six months later, we needed something portable with the best action we good get. By that, I mean the least difference in force between the key tip and the fallboard.

I could only try what was available locally. We bought an ES920. For 2x to 3x the price, of course the GFIII is better, but we're happy with the ES920.

If you've ever tried a Yamaha P-515, I wouldn't take one for free.

I do wish the ES920's black keys had the same texture as the CA79.


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Originally Posted by Pachi
EDIT: Actually, nevermind on the second question. Sweetwater confirmed what the Kawai sales rep told me (which I didn't take at face value the first time I heard it). Kawai has suspended the making of this piano until July of next year 2022.


Interesting. And more if we put it in relation with some ES920 users claiming that they have buzz, distorsions with their left speaker. Since i do not have this problem with mine (and seems it is also the case with other users), may be Kawai has faced some productions problems.
Kawai James, could you (if possible) give us some insights??

Thanks in advance,


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Originally Posted by Pachi
1) My main concern is how easy it is to press keys near the fall board. Of course the more expensive GF actions are better but I was wondering how the RHIII fares.

For this you should be able to find data on key pivot length. The MP11SE is likely your best choice among slab DPs, if you don't find it too heavy to move around and don't mind external speakers. I think the Roland PHA50 (FP90X) feels better than the RHIII. I preferred the ES8 over the P515, but coming from a Yamaha you might like it.

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I have two questions regarding the Kawai ES520.
I’m buying my first DP as a senior beginner and it will most likely be the ES520.
It is currently unavailable at the Thomann store but is still available from a local distributor in Croatia.
Does this unavailability mean that the newly produced models may come with some improvements?
Guess, I know, but if so, it's worth the wait, especially since Thomann is 100 euros cheaper.
And second, is the used ES8 better than the new ES520?
Does it have better piano sounds?
In the store I briefly tried the ES920 which has the same keyboard as the ES8 and the one on the ES520 suits me better.
But I am a beginner and I can hardly assess it properly.

Regards

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It’s my understanding that the shipment of ES520/920 is suspended because of - purportedly - production issues due to microchips shortage.

Considering that these two models are rarer new, I believe that no improvement will be made when the production will restart.

Last edited by WTF Bach; 12/15/21 01:54 PM.
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the suspended production of es920 is an interesting one, i ordered the es920 in November, and they are saying it will be here in December some time, but the ship ment dates got pushed back a few times (by few weeks at a time).

I hope i don't have to wait until july and get it this month. When i talked to kawai, they said there is no way of them knowing if i'll get it, and if the ETA could be july or not... frown


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Originally Posted by Pachi
1) My main concern is how easy it is to press keys near the fall board. Of course the more expensive GF actions are better but I was wondering how the RHIII fares.

Not always true. The Yamaha NU1 and NU1X both employ an adapted upright piano keyboard action which doesn't have a long pivot.
The action is highly acclaimed. I wouldn'y worry overmuch about such; a long action means greater inertia which just adds to the weight effect. There's a balance which often takes some time to work out for each individual.


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Originally Posted by peterws
Originally Posted by Pachi
1) My main concern is how easy it is to press keys near the fall board. Of course the more expensive GF actions are better but I was wondering how the RHIII fares.

Not always true. The Yamaha NU1 and NU1X both employ an adapted upright piano keyboard action which doesn't have a long pivot.
The action is highly acclaimed. I wouldn'y worry overmuch about such; a long action means greater inertia which just adds to the weight effect. There's a balance which often takes some time to work out for each individual.

Are you saying there may not be 100% correlation between key stick length and ease of playing close to the fall board? If so, fine, but that's not the issue. If an action is hard to play near the fall board, it's hard to play near the fall board. Although not often mentioned, the vertical distance that a pressed key makes near the fall board where you press is a big part of the feel, IMHO. The CA79 travels about twice as far as the ES920 near the fall board.

I own both a CA-79 with the GFIII, and an ES920 with the RHIII. I had the CA79 for several months before deciding I also need a portable. I asked here and elsewhere for opinions on the comparison of the two actions, but at the time nobody said they had tried both. I did get a chance to try out the ES920 before buying it, and it seemed fine (good enough). I've had it for some months now. It was in a remote location so I've never had them side-by-side, but I will in a week or so. I'm happy with the RHIII. I like it better than Roland's PHA-4, but I've never been able to play their PHA-50 at the same time as any Kawai action. The FP-90x with PHA-50 was several hundred dollars more than the ES920, and 15 lbs heavier.

At some point I decided I could never purchase a keyboard that I couldn't test drive first, or at least a different model with the same action.


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Randyman, wallyworld17,
(Sorry for not being here for so long time.)
Usually a big church organ is equipped with as many voices as I meant (approx.40). A small church organ has usually from 8 to 20 voices. In church organ each voice is different sound (different timbre).

Small church organ usually has no 16" voice on manual (keyboard) (though exceptions do exist). But the pedal keyboard engages 16" voice on every church organ. It means 16" voice sounds seldomly when melody is played on manual while all the time 16" voice sounds when melody is played on pedal. Using 16" voice on electronic organ or harpsichord is a historic traddition in order to produce rich sound.

I agree with you, wallyworld17, electronic organ (and sounds of electronic organ on DPs as well) tries to sound similar as a Hammond organ.
I would personaly appreciate if every DP equipped with electronic organ sound had possibility to mute 16" voice of electronic organ sound.

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Ricky, sending a pm

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Hello.
I got my ES920 today. All set up, firmware updated. All looks good.
Coming from my ES8 I need to spend some time playing with settings until I find the sound I like. At default I find the SK-EX slightly over processed and Warm grand slightly too mellow.
In terms of trying the piano with pianoteq on my laptop, but playing the samples through the 920s speakers, I assume it would be a 'midi to USB' cable to the laptop, and 3.5mm cable from laptop audio out to the piano line in?
Thanks


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Yes, except if you mean a USB adapter for the 5-pin MIDI jacks, you don't need that. You can just use a USB cable cable directly for the midi.


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I meant to add that the master volume slider doesn't affect the LINE IN volume, so you can just turn that down rather than messing with the LOCAL OFF setting.


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There might be a ground loop when you use USB MIDI and line inputs from the computer. I had it with my ES8. I bought a Roland UM-ONE Mk II USB-MIDI converter that solved that problem. There are other ways to break this ground loop but I will leave to others that know it better to comment on that.


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Originally Posted by RickM
Yes, except if you mean a USB adapter for the 5-pin MIDI jacks, you don't need that. You can just use a USB cable cable directly for the midi.

Originally Posted by RickM
I meant to add that the master volume slider doesn't affect the LINE IN volume, so you can just turn that down rather than messing with the LOCAL OFF setting.

Originally Posted by EVC2017
There might be a ground loop when you use USB MIDI and line inputs from the computer. I had it with my ES8. I bought a Roland UM-ONE Mk II USB-MIDI converter that solved that problem. There are other ways to break this ground loop but I will leave to others that know it better to comment on that.

Thanks for the really helpful tips guys πŸ‘


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Originally Posted by stevedoz
Originally Posted by EVC2017
There might be a ground loop when you use USB MIDI and line inputs from the computer. I had it with my ES8. I bought a Roland UM-ONE Mk II USB-MIDI converter that solved that problem. There are other ways to break this ground loop but I will leave to others that know it better to comment on that.

Thanks for the really helpful tips guys πŸ‘

Just in case (as apparently you have already figured it out), the ground loop may cause audio noise. I heard it as a low volume high pitch sound (still annoying) when I connected the output of my AG-06 to ES-8's line input and laptop to ES-8 with a USB A-B cable. UM-ONE solved this issue.

Of course, before buying a converter, you should try it yourself, maybe it is not necessary in your case. If you decide to get the converter, get a quality one. Those cheap converters you find on Amazon and elsewhere may not work properly (they may not have the optoisolator on the MIDI IN, for example).


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Originally Posted by EVC2017
Originally Posted by stevedoz
Originally Posted by EVC2017
There might be a ground loop when you use USB MIDI and line inputs from the computer. I had it with my ES8. I bought a Roland UM-ONE Mk II USB-MIDI converter that solved that problem. There are other ways to break this ground loop but I will leave to others that know it better to comment on that.

Thanks for the really helpful tips guys πŸ‘

Just in case (as apparently you have already figured it out), the ground loop may cause audio noise. I heard it as a low volume high pitch sound (still annoying) when I connected the output of my AG-06 to ES-8's line input and laptop to ES-8 with a USB A-B cable. UM-ONE solved this issue.

Of course, before buying a converter, you should try it yourself, maybe it is not necessary in your case. If you decide to get the converter, get a quality one. Those cheap converters you find on Amazon and elsewhere may not work properly (they may not have the optoisolator on the MIDI IN, for example).

Many thank. I will test that ASAP. Cheers


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Originally Posted by EVC2017
Originally Posted by stevedoz
Originally Posted by EVC2017
There might be a ground loop when you use USB MIDI and line inputs from the computer. I had it with my ES8. I bought a Roland UM-ONE Mk II USB-MIDI converter that solved that problem. There are other ways to break this ground loop but I will leave to others that know it better to comment on that.

Thanks for the really helpful tips guys πŸ‘

Just in case (as apparently you have already figured it out), the ground loop may cause audio noise. I heard it as a low volume high pitch sound (still annoying) when I connected the output of my AG-06 to ES-8's line input and laptop to ES-8 with a USB A-B cable. UM-ONE solved this issue.

Of course, before buying a converter, you should try it yourself, maybe it is not necessary in your case. If you decide to get the converter, get a quality one. Those cheap converters you find on Amazon and elsewhere may not work properly (they may not have the optoisolator on the MIDI IN, for example).

Can I just clarify something please?
I don't have a USB A-B cable. My arrangement is a cable which has standard 5 pin midi In and Out cables at one end and USB at the other end. I use this to connect the piano to the laptop. I then loop the sound back with a standard 3.5mm audio cable.
It definitely has sound/interference issues.
If I bought the UM-ONE or similar, can you tell what this would replace in my current set up?
Thank you.


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It would replace your "cable which has standard 5 pin midi In and Out cables at one end and USB at the other end" with something identical made by Roland, which perhaps will work better.

The USB A-B cable is a "common printer cable". You might have one you can test with attached to a printer in the house, or the box that the printer came in (if you connect it wirelessly). They're cheap to buy.

If the "sound/interference issues" go away when you disconnect the MIDI, then an A-B cable is worth a try, or the Roland replacement might help.

Probably just dumb luck that I've never had and noise problems with several different cables, pianos, computers and USB audio interfaces. I know of one person (with a Kawai of some model) who finally got rid of the noise by using an optical audio link somewhere between the computer and the piano's AUX IN audio.

I wish Kawai would add built-in USB audio interfaces!


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Originally Posted by RickM
It would replace your "cable which has standard 5 pin midi In and Out cables at one end and USB at the other end" with something identical made by Roland, which perhaps will work better.

The USB A-B cable is a "common printer cable". You might have one you can test with attached to a printer in the house, or the box that the printer came in (if you connect it wirelessly). They're cheap to buy.

If the "sound/interference issues" go away when you disconnect the MIDI, then an A-B cable is worth a try, or the Roland replacement might help.

Probably just dumb luck that I've never had and noise problems with several different cables, pianos, computers and USB audio interfaces. I know of one person (with a Kawai of some model) who finally got rid of the noise by using an optical audio link somewhere between the computer and the piano's AUX IN audio.

I wish Kawai would add built-in USB audio interfaces!

Many thanks Rick.
I used to have several of those cables but my printers have been wireless for years so I think I've chucked them out lol. I'll have a dig around.
It does seem as though kawai are behind the likes of Roland and Yamaha in not having built-in USB audio.
I have managed to get the main piano sound a lot more to my liking with various setting changes in the virtual technician etc. but I'd still like to see what a good VST is like.
Much appreciated again.


Kawai ES920
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