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Originally Posted by RinTin
The only feature I had hoped for that was not included was an Audio In jack.

That was my reaction. Seems like you have to go to at least the ES520 to get that (albeit analog).

I was surprised even the new CNs just announced don’t have it.

The cheaper pedal is unfortunate but at least you can still buy the better pedal after the fact.

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Originally Posted by RinTin
The louder speakers are also a welcomed advantage as is the USB Midi jack.
USB jack is nice, and I like when a board has both, but if a board is only going to have one, I'd much prefer 5-pin MIDI. 5-pin MIDI can be adapted to USB very easily, reliably, and cheaply. The reverse, not so much. So if you want to use your piano to also trigger sounds in a second board at a gig, or an external sound module, USB becomes an impediment. 5-pin MIDI can always be made to work with little-to-no hassle. But apparently the market has spoken.

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It is my understanding that Midi USB to a computer or tablet requires no conversion. But, Midi 5 Pin Din to a computer will require a conversion that adds about 2-3 ms. So the new USB jack should improve my Garritan CFX computer recordings. I can feel a difference between 2-3 ms although I'm told most folks cannot.


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In case you didn't know, 5 Pin Din sockets are only for mid+ instruments. I believe it's the trend among all manufacturers.

I just did a quick research and figured out that CLP-725 doesn't have MIDI In/Out/Through which is crazy for its price.

The same goes for CN 201 and 301. You pay thousands of dollars and you get instruments that lack compatibility with your older instruments...

I don't think Kawai should follow Yamaha (or any other manufacturer) lead at least in the MIDI connectivity.


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Originally Posted by RinTin
It is my understanding that Midi USB to a computer or tablet requires no conversion. But, Midi 5 Pin Din to a computer will require a conversion that adds about 2-3 ms. So the new USB jack should improve my Garritan CFX computer recordings. I can feel a difference between 2-3 ms although I'm told most folks cannot.

That can't be right. 2-3 ms is an eternity to convert so little data.

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Originally Posted by Abdol
In case you didn't know, 5 Pin Din sockets are only for mid+ instruments. I believe it's the trend among all manufacturers.
Yes, increasingly so, and Kawai is joining that movement. It's an unfortunate step backwards in what had once been essentially universal compatibility and professional calibre features in lower priced gear. USB has less secure connectors, it's not ground isolated (prone to noise), it's not compatible with as much other gear, and not as capable of running longer distances. And if you must add some kind of host in order to connect one piece of USB gear to another, you will have more latency compared to a direct 5-pin connection, and jitter as well. That's not to say USB doesn't also have advantages, but you shouldn't ignore what you're losing.

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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Yes, increasingly so, and Kawai is joining that movement. It's an unfortunate step backwards in what had once been essentially universal compatibility and professional calibre features in lower priced gear. USB has less secure connectors, it's not ground isolated (prone to noise), it's not compatible with as much other gear, and not as capable of running longer distances. And if you must add some kind of host in order to connect one piece of USB gear to another, you will have more latency compared to a direct 5-pin connection, and jitter as well. That's not to say USB doesn't also have advantages, but you shouldn't ignore what you're losing.

+1. When the ES110 was released, a big selling point was the DIN MIDI support and how well suited it was for gigging musicians. It's sad to lose that feature (speaking as someone who doesn't gig, but constantly dealt with ground loop issues due to USB-MIDI and eventually solved the problem with DIN MIDI).


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Personally, I no longer have a need for a 5-pin Midi connector, I used those in the '80s and '90s but not for the last 20 years. Nowadays I only control my computer's virtual piano or I play the internal piano of my Kawai. So, I prefer USB to USB because it apparently saves me 2-3ms of latency.


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Originally Posted by RinTin
Personally, I no longer have a need for a 5-pin Midi connector, I used those in the '80s and '90s but not for the last 20 years. Nowadays I only control my computer's virtual piano or I play the internal piano of my Kawai. So, I prefer USB to USB because it apparently saves me 2-3ms of latency.
Maybe. I’m not convinced it saves you the latency. I think it just moves the MIDI -> USB conversion into the piano.


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Originally Posted by anotherscott
USB has less secure connectors, it's not ground isolated (prone to noise)

I don't think midi has isolation either. if you had both connected to a "pc" you'd get the same noise as usb. at least with usb you can buy filters, there's nothing like that for 5-pin midi.

Last edited by KawaFanboi; 06/03/22 12:09 AM.
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Hello anotherscott,

Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by RinTin
The louder speakers are also a welcomed advantage as is the USB Midi jack.
USB jack is nice, and I like when a board has both, but if a board is only going to have one, I'd much prefer 5-pin MIDI. 5-pin MIDI can be adapted to USB very easily, reliably, and cheaply. The reverse, not so much. So if you want to use your piano to also trigger sounds in a second board at a gig, or an external sound module, USB becomes an impediment. 5-pin MIDI can always be made to work with little-to-no hassle. But apparently the market has spoken.

Thanks for your comment, it's always interesting to read your perspective.

Personally, I would have preferred the ES120 to have had USB-MIDI *and* retained the MIDI IN/OUT connectors (meaning that all ESx20 models have the same USB-MIDI and DIN-MIDI spec) for the reasons that you identified. It's perhaps worth noting that I control my Nord Electro using the wooden key action of an old (but still good) MP8II, thanks to the MIDI connectors on both.

However, at the end of the day, I honestly wonder what percentage of ES110/ES100 are really taking their piano to gigs in order to trigger sounds on another board via MIDI? Probably not so many. I would argue that the percentage of (future) customers wishing to connect their ES120 to a laptop is considerably larger.

Cheers,
James
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by Abdol
In case you didn't know, 5 Pin Din sockets are only for mid+ instruments. I believe it's the trend among all manufacturers.
Yes, increasingly so, and Kawai is joining that movement. It's an unfortunate step backwards in what had once been essentially universal compatibility and professional calibre features in lower priced gear. USB has less secure connectors, it's not ground isolated (prone to noise), it's not compatible with as much other gear, and not as capable of running longer distances. And if you must add some kind of host in order to connect one piece of USB gear to another, you will have more latency compared to a direct 5-pin connection, and jitter as well. That's not to say USB doesn't also have advantages, but you shouldn't ignore what you're losing.

+1!!

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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by anotherscott
Yes, increasingly so, and Kawai is joining that movement. It's an unfortunate step backwards in what had once been essentially universal compatibility and professional calibre features in lower priced gear. USB has less secure connectors, it's not ground isolated (prone to noise), it's not compatible with as much other gear, and not as capable of running longer distances. And if you must add some kind of host in order to connect one piece of USB gear to another, you will have more latency compared to a direct 5-pin connection, and jitter as well. That's not to say USB doesn't also have advantages, but you shouldn't ignore what you're losing.

+1. When the ES110 was released, a big selling point was the DIN MIDI support and how well suited it was for gigging musicians. It's sad to lose that feature (speaking as someone who doesn't gig, but constantly dealt with ground loop issues due to USB-MIDI and eventually solved the problem with DIN MIDI).

+1!!

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Hello Abdol,

Originally Posted by Abdol
I just did a quick research and figured out that CLP-725 doesn't have MIDI In/Out/Through which is crazy for its price.

Perhaps Yamaha's market researcher team identified that CLP-x25 customers do not use MIDI DIN connectors?

Originally Posted by Abdol
The same goes for CN 201 and 301. You pay thousands of dollars and you get instruments that lack compatibility with your older instruments...

May I ask you to estimate what percentage of (future) CN201 or CN301 customers you believe will be actively connecting their piano to an older instrument via MIDI?

Kind regards,
James
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Seems to me that the ES120, as a good all-rounder, is as good as it gets. But if you want to use multiple MIDI stuff, professionally, then you obviously need more specialist equipment. That's what its there for.


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So does the action bounce less on this model than the ES110? If that’s a yes, I really can’t find a negative. I know the pedal seems upsetting for some people, but in truth I already have a great pedal and don’t mind using the cheap one for my portable travel rig. I really can’t see a negative if the one action flaw of the previous model (for my hands) is fixed and it has a bunch of upgrades…. In fact I’ll likely sell my Yamaha as I would have bought the ES110 if the action didn’t bounce like a diving board. I don’t see anything in this price range that competes.

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Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
I don't think midi has isolation either.

My understanding is that MIDI connections should always be opto-isolated and therefore avoid ground loops.

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Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
I don't think midi has isolation either.

My understanding is that MIDI connections should always be opto-isolated and therefore avoid ground loops.

Yes, it is (or should be - maybe some cheap implementations such as some branchless USB adapters are not). See, for example, this document with full MIDI 1.0 specs pages 33-34.


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I see it is posted at Bonners


https://www.bonnersmusic.co.uk/products/kawai-es120-digital-piano-black

but no price!! and saying delivery in August.

I dont understand announcing a new product but not having it in the shops!!!

Any idea on the price?


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Originally Posted by Johnny English
So does the action bounce less on this model than the ES110? If that’s a yes, I really can’t find a negative. I know the pedal seems upsetting for some people, but in truth I already have a great pedal and don’t mind using the cheap one for my portable travel rig. I really can’t see a negative if the one action flaw of the previous model (for my hands) is fixed and it has a bunch of upgrades…. In fact I’ll likely sell my Yamaha as I would have bought the ES110 if the action didn’t bounce like a diving board. I don’t see anything in this price range that competes.

"The ES120’s improved RH Compact action incorporates grade-weighted hammers, and utilises upgraded cushioning material that helps to reduce action noise when keys are released."

You'll probably have to wait until it is spotted in the wild to see how the marketing speech translates into your subjective sensation.
I assume the improvement is a thicker/different stopper felt.

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