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Posted By: Dude X Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/12/22 12:10 PM
Hi Folks,

New to the forum, been reading various threads for a while now and wanted to ask some questions to get your opinions on ES520 vs CN29. Apologies if this thread is posted in the wrong place.

I've been hammering on an old Roland E14 for a few years now and really have the itch to upgrade to a fully weighted 88 DP.
I'm a guitarist first and foremost, but recently have really gotten the piano bug and love transposing songs from guitar to piano. I have so much to learn but I'm loving it.
There aren't a lot of Kawai outlets in Scotland, so taking a leap of faith as I have watched almost all there is to watch on YouTube regarding Kawai, Yamaha, Roland etc. (more than once) Thank the lord for Stu Harrison and JPS.

I originally set out to get a P125 or ES110, but as times went by the more I want to move to the mid range and spend a wee bit more given the lifespans of the keys etc.
I've tried the P125 and liked the action more than the FP30x. The key depth felt better on the Yamaha for some reason. I've also had a short play on a Young Chang acoustic grand, which was amazing.

Anyway, after much deliberation and setting a budget I'm settled on the ES520 or CN29. Both use the same sound engine, but the CN29 has the RHIII vs RHCII on the ES520. Stu has mentioned that the key depth on the RHCII is less than the RHIII or at least the sense of depth. This concerns me a little as I thought the same about the PHA4 vs GHS.
Would love to hear your options on both.

ES520 seems more accessible and has audio line outs etc. which are all great and would suit me better, but the CN29 for similar budget adds the RHIII. Also considering spending more and moving to ES920, but I think at my level the ES520 / CN29 would be more than enough and a huge jump from the small Roland synth I've been playing.

Some questions I have are:
- Is the CN29 a better buy given the better action and full pedal set?
- Does anyone have a strong view / opinion on the RCHII key depth?
- Should I just forget these 2 models and wait a while and get the ES920?

Hoping you guys can put me out of my misery crazy

Thanks again for a great forum, makes for great lunch time reading.
Posted By: KawaFanboi Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/12/22 12:17 PM
Totally not biased as a 520 owner... but I truly believe from the bottom of my Kawai Loving Heart, that the RHC is kawai's most superior action. the let off rubber nub mechanism on most actions kawai or otherwise, is inconsistent and makes the keybed feel uneven over time. Not having letoff is such a bonus and makes dynamic control even more consistent. I get why they would put it in for marketing purposes, but from the actual utility standpoint, it's just not useful. casio in their "hybrid" and nord which uses kawai's rh3 action both went the OTHER way, removing the letoff bumper.

the keydepth measures 10-11mm on the es520 depending on how hard you press, that's well in line with regular pianos, I don't see a problem there.

in balance, I must say the chassis quality 520/920 is not as nice as the competition p515/fp60/90, it's hollow and kind of flutters on certain frequencies.
Posted By: Dude X Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/12/22 04:38 PM
Thanks for the feedback, good to know and much appreciated.
I don't really need let off / escapement at my level of playing.
ES520 sounds like the way to go.
Posted By: KawaFanboi Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/12/22 04:42 PM
you will not need letoff at any level of playing, it does nothing.
Posted By: Dude X Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/12/22 05:30 PM
I see from the other threads you have a sweaky key already?
Also see some others with 920's key issues too?
Do you think you were unlucky or are these common Kawai quality issues?

Maybe I've looked into this too much, but also noticed Tamir Orkoby on YouTube, who loved the ES110, but now moved to Casio as the the ES110 key's were clacking after 6months.

There is a 3yr warranty with the ES520, assume it's wise to keep the box.
Posted By: KawaFanboi Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/12/22 06:09 PM
these things are inevitable, even if it didn't happen to me in the month that I owned the 520, it would've happened within months/ years, it's merely the nature of mechanical things to need maintenance and lubrication. I do not consider this a deficit of quality.
Posted By: peterws Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/12/22 07:59 PM
I've had the 110 for shprt of two years now. I'm not aware of noisy keys; they've never bothered me or 'er indoors, though I dare say theyre a tad noiser than the quietest actions around.
I like the action; it has a short pivot in line with most cheaper actions, but I find it beautifully light, which is important to me right now.
The dynamic range on this piano is huge. You cannot regulate this effectively; on the ES520 you will be able to.
Do try 'em out if you can, and don't limit yorself to two.
It's an enjoyable time looking for a piano.
Posted By: jackopiano Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/12/22 08:35 PM
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
these things are inevitable, even if it didn't happen to me in the month that I owned the 520, it would've happened within months/ years, it's merely the nature of mechanical things to need maintenance and lubrication. I do not consider this a deficit of quality.

i don't agree with this. it doesn't happen to all DPs within their lifespan.

i think it's less likely to happen than you get the impression on the web, because people who don't have this problem don't post threads or videos saying "my keys are still fine"
Posted By: steve2603 Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/12/22 09:52 PM
Hey Dude X, I’m from Scotland too. Are you aware of Rainbow Music in Dundee? They have an ES520 on display the last time I was there a few months ago - might be worth a visit depending on where you’re based. It plays great and I fell in love almost instantly. In the end I bought an ES920 for the extra features and deeper keybed, but I think I would be just as happy with the 520 too
Posted By: Dude X Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/13/22 01:46 AM
Some great points there guys thanks.
@peter, that’s great feedback on the Es110, good to know it’s still going strong.

@jackopiano, I agree, we tend to only hear about the bad rather than the good.

@steve, yes I contacted rainbow music a while back, they only had the es110 at the time. I took the journey up one Saturday only to discover they were closed due to staff shortages. I was gutted. I might call them next week and head back up.
How’s your 920? No regrets?
Posted By: peterws Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/13/22 05:35 AM
Originally Posted by steve2603
Hey Dude X, I’m from Scotland too. Are you aware of Rainbow Music in Dundee? They have an ES520 on display the last time I was there a few months ago - might be worth a visit depending on where you’re based. It plays great and I fell in love almost instantly. In the end I bought an ES920 for the extra features and deeper keybed, but I think I would be just as happy with the 520 too

If you worthy Scots could venture across the border, there re loads of piano shops. I live within a mile of a fairly large one. Promenade Music. Very helpful guys.
Posted By: KawaFanboi Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/13/22 05:38 AM
Originally Posted by steve2603
ES920 deeper keybed

I did not notice this when i tested the 920 alongside 520, but how much deeper is it steve, i measured my 520 at 11mm hard press, 10mm light press.
Posted By: steve2603 Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/13/22 08:41 AM
Originally Posted by Dude X
Some great points there guys thanks.
@peter, that’s great feedback on the Es110, good to know it’s still going strong.

@jackopiano, I agree, we tend to only hear about the bad rather than the good.

@steve, yes I contacted rainbow music a while back, they only had the es110 at the time. I took the journey up one Saturday only to discover they were closed due to staff shortages. I was gutted. I might call them next week and head back up.
How’s your 920? No regrets?

How long ago did you contact them? They only recently got a 520 back in stock so it might be worth inquiring again. I visited around mid-april I think.

And no, no regrets! It plays beautifully and sounds great. Again, the 520 was just as enjoyable, but the action is noticeably lighter than the 920, though not too much. Your preference will really depend on what you're used to/your playstyle/skill etc. It's a tough one. And as Kawaifanboi shows, some even prefer that action over the supposedly more premium versions. For what it's worth, before my 920 I was using a MIDI controller with a Feytar keybed (without graded action too) which was suuuper heavy and fatiguing to play piano so in a sense I'm already quite used to a heavier action so I found the 520 perhaps a little too light in comparison, but again I don't think I'd have any trouble adjusting to it and I connected with it almost instantly (I had the opposite experience with the Yamaha P515).

Originally Posted by peterws
If you worthy Scots could venture across the border, there re loads of piano shops. I live within a mile of a fairly large one. Promenade Music. Very helpful guys.


Yea I definitely considered this – I still want to visit that beautiful store in Manchester at some point, Forsyths I think.


Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
Originally Posted by steve2603
ES920 deeper keybed

I did not notice this when i tested the 920 alongside 520, but how much deeper is it steve, i measured my 520 at 11mm hard press, 10mm light press.

Woops, I think I mixed terminology there – I meant instead 'heavier' action. Yes I don't think the keybed depth is too different from the 520.
Posted By: Dude X Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/13/22 11:37 AM
Thanks for the info Steve, much appreciated.

I called Rainbow music today, they have an ES110, ES520 and a CN39 that I can try. Plan to go up next week. At least I'll be able to try all 3 actions and decide from there. They also have a CA59, but I think my other half would have something to say if I came home with that smile

I'll let you know how I get on.

Thanks again
Posted By: steve2603 Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/13/22 06:27 PM
Originally Posted by Dude X
Thanks for the info Steve, much appreciated.

I called Rainbow music today, they have an ES110, ES520 and a CN39 that I can try. Plan to go up next week. At least I'll be able to try all 3 actions and decide from there. They also have a CA59, but I think my other half would have something to say if I came home with that smile

I'll let you know how I get on.

Thanks again

Nice one! They’re lovely chaps up there, have fun and let us know your impressions.

Yes, I was tempted to give the console models a try but thought it was pointless given the prices haha
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/14/22 02:08 AM
One of the problems with low to mid range cabinet digital piano is that the experience of playing through the speakers is poor.

The cabinet is a big blocker for sound, so if your digital cabinet piano has lower amplification or the placement of speakers is inefficient, then the playing experience can be worse than the experience of using a portable piano with lower amplification.

Also, it is hard--perhaps even impractical---to use extra monitors to improve the sound from a cabinet digital; whereas, using powered monitors or hifi, you can easily improve the experience of playing a portable piano.

In my opinion, the only justifications for buying a low to mid range cabinet digital are:
1) We prefer the look of a cabinet for our living room, &...
2) We mostly practice with headphones anyway.

These factors are IMO the main reasons to choose a cabinet over a portable at this price segment.
Posted By: steve2603 Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/14/22 06:28 AM
^Good point. I got my first digital piano over a decade ago (it was some off-brand Chinese thing, I was quite young back then..) and yeah the sound was noticeably muffled. I’d have assumed modern console pianos would have fixed/improved that, but there you go.
Posted By: Morten Olsson Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/14/22 03:11 PM
Originally Posted by Doug M.
One of the problems with low to mid range cabinet digital piano is that the experience of playing through the speakers is poor.

The cabinet is a big blocker for sound, so if your digital cabinet piano has lower amplification or the placement of speakers is inefficient, then the playing experience can be worse than the experience of using a portable piano with lower amplification.

Also, it is hard--perhaps even impractical---to use extra monitors to improve the sound from a cabinet digital; whereas, using powered monitors or hifi, you can easily improve the experience of playing a portable piano.

In my opinion, the only justifications for buying a low to mid range cabinet digital are:
1) We prefer the look of a cabinet for our living room, &...
2) We mostly practice with headphones anyway.

These factors are IMO the main reasons to choose a cabinet over a portable at this price segment.

Most furniture style models have nice flat tops that would be just fine for placing a pair of small powered monitors ?
Posted By: HZPiano Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/14/22 03:27 PM
Originally Posted by Doug M.
One of the problems with low to mid range cabinet digital piano is that the experience of playing through the speakers is poor.

The cabinet is a big blocker for sound, so if your digital cabinet piano has lower amplification or the placement of speakers is inefficient, then the playing experience can be worse than the experience of using a portable piano with lower amplification.

Also, it is hard--perhaps even impractical---to use extra monitors to improve the sound from a cabinet digital; whereas, using powered monitors or hifi, you can easily improve the experience of playing a portable piano.

In my opinion, the only justifications for buying a low to mid range cabinet digital are:
1) We prefer the look of a cabinet for our living room, &...
2) We mostly practice with headphones anyway.

These factors are IMO the main reasons to choose a cabinet over a portable at this price segment.

In a search for a preferable action, I have tried many digital pianos over the last few weeks, all from either Kawai, Yamaha or Roland (plus the Casio GP510). Boy Oh Boy this poor sound experience notion is so true!

Cheers and happy playing,

HZ
Posted By: peterws Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/14/22 06:09 PM
Originally Posted by HZPiano
Originally Posted by Doug M.
One of the problems with low to mid range cabinet digital piano is that the experience of playing through the speakers is poor.

The cabinet is a big blocker for sound, so if your digital cabinet piano has lower amplification or the placement of speakers is inefficient, then the playing experience can be worse than the experience of using a portable piano with lower amplification.

Also, it is hard--perhaps even impractical---to use extra monitors to improve the sound from a cabinet digital; whereas, using powered monitors or hifi, you can easily improve the experience of playing a portable piano.

In my opinion, the only justifications for buying a low to mid range cabinet digital are:
1) We prefer the look of a cabinet for our living room, &...
2) We mostly practice with headphones anyway.

These factors are IMO the main reasons to choose a cabinet over a portable at this price segment.

In a search for a preferable action, I have tried many digital pianos over the last few weeks, all from either Kawai, Yamaha or Roland (plus the Casio GP510). Boy Oh Boy this poor sound experience notion is so true!

Cheers and happy playing,

HZ

Some of us so obviously lack sophistication . . . .
Posted By: KawaFanboi Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/14/22 06:10 PM
Originally Posted by peterws
Some of us so obviously lack sophistication . . . .

is peterws saying the cabinet is unrefined or the slabs are ?
Posted By: Dude X Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/14/22 06:28 PM
I tried an older Yamaha YDP131 today. Sounded plenty loud to me. Also tried an older Casio Privia slab, action felt great too. Lighter than the Yamaha, but the sound from the Yamaha cabinet was much more satisfying I have to say. Especially in the bass notes.
More food for thought.
Posted By: MoltoDiletante Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/14/22 07:30 PM
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
Originally Posted by peterws
Some of us so obviously lack sophistication . . . .

is peterws saying the cabinet is unrefined or the slabs are ?

I think he’s saying he doesn’t mind the sound from his slab (ES110). Self-deprecation.
Posted By: KawaFanboi Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/14/22 07:57 PM
Originally Posted by MoltoDiletante
I think he’s saying he doesn’t mind the sound from his slab (ES110). Self-deprecation.

/salute, I also think es110 sounds great, not the new $900 great, but $500-700 definitely great.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/15/22 09:39 PM
Originally Posted by Dude X
I tried an older Yamaha YDP131 today. Sounded plenty loud to me. Also tried an older Casio Privia slab, action felt great too. Lighter than the Yamaha, but the sound from the Yamaha cabinet was much more satisfying I have to say. Especially in the bass notes.
More food for thought.

It's less to do with loud, more to do with amplification quality.
What I'm saying is that with any like for like slab /cabinet pianos ---- pianos which are of the same level e.g., 2 beginner pianos, 2 intermediate pianos etc.----if you add monitors to the slab, it will sound better than the cabinet piano. The exception to that is when you buy a cabinet in the top range e.g., CLP785, CA99 etc., or the hybrids.
Posted By: Dude X Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/19/22 09:00 PM
Well I finally got to try an ES110 and CN39 today.
Unfortunate the ES520 had been sold before I got there.
ES110 was amazing, YouTube doesn’t do it justice, action heavier than I expected too which was a nice surprise.
CN39 was also amazing and felt much more like playing a real piano. Actions were similar, the let off wasn’t that noticeable to me which was also a good thing too.
In short I’d have both, but think I’m going to go for a CN29. It suits my budget and I think I like the cabinet format more than the slab.
I’ll update again once I have it.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/19/22 09:36 PM
Originally Posted by Dude X
Well I finally got to try an ES110 and CN39 today.
Unfortunate the ES520 had been sold before I got there.
ES110 was amazing, YouTube doesn’t do it justice, action heavier than I expected too which was a nice surprise.
CN39 was also amazing and felt much more like playing a real piano. Actions were similar, the let off wasn’t that noticeable to me which was also a good thing too.
In short I’d have both, but think I’m going to go for a CN29. It suits my budget and I think I like the cabinet format more than the slab.
I’ll update again once I have it.

That's entirely because you're comparing the beginner entry level slab with the CN39. They are not comparable.

The ES520 would have been a better comparison. I suspect had you played that, you'd be thinking more about this.
Posted By: _sem_ Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/20/22 09:06 AM
> They are not comparable.

Well they aren't exactly beyond compare, despite the different "level". I think the ES110 feels quite good for entry level, though the CN29/39 sure seemed better to me. I wasn't so sure the CAs were much better, despite next higher "level" and price.
I understand the ES520 and KDP110/120 should be quite similar to the ES110 (but the latter having double sensor only).
The odd thing was that the ES8, presumably same RHIII as the CN29/39 in the same store, was quite different, still nice but quite annoyingly bouncy on key return. Maybe due to batch variation or age/wear. Similar variation might also be present in the entry range.
Posted By: Dude X Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/20/22 11:18 AM
Originally Posted by _sem_
> I wasn't so sure the CAs were much better, despite next higher "level" and price.


I agree, I also tried the CA59 for a short stunt, but didn't really notice the difference from the CN39. I'm sure the wooden action is worth it for more experienced players, but at my level even the CN39/CN29 RHIII is already a huge step up for me.


Originally Posted by Doug M.
> The ES520 would have been a better comparison. I suspect had you played that, you'd be thinking more about this.

Maybe so, but it wasn't there, I could only compare what was there at the time. I'm sure the ES520 would be just as good as the CN29, but with no where to compare them I have to base my decision on what I know and have tried for myself. If my budget was tighter I'd have no hesitation buying the ES110, but hopefully the CN29 will last a bit longer before needing replaced / repaired.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/20/22 11:38 AM
Originally Posted by _sem_
> They are not comparable.

Well they aren't exactly beyond compare, despite the different "level". I think the ES110 feels quite good for entry level, though the CN29/39 sure seemed better to me. I wasn't so sure the CAs were much better, despite next higher "level" and price.
I understand the ES520 and KDP110/120 should be quite similar to the ES110 (but the latter having double sensor only).
The odd thing was that the ES8, presumably same RHIII as the CN29/39 in the same store, was quite different, still nice but quite annoyingly bouncy on key return. Maybe due to batch variation or age/wear. Similar variation might also be present in the entry range.

Point being that if you were choosing between a slab versus a cabinet piano, these are the correct comparisons by action.

ES920, ES8, MP7SE <------------>CN29/CN39 [RHIII action]
ES520<---------------------------------->KDP120 [RHCII action]
ES110<---------------------------------->KDP110 [RHC1 action]
Posted By: Kawai James Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/20/22 12:02 PM
Originally Posted by _sem_
>
The odd thing was that the ES8, presumably same RHIII as the CN29/39 in the same store, was quite different, still nice but quite annoyingly bouncy on key return.

_sem_, I think 90% of your posts on PW include this observation...

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: _sem_ Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/20/22 12:10 PM
Originally Posted by Doug M.
...
ES110<---------------------------------->KDP110 [RHC1 action]

KDP110 specs say RHCII, triple sensor.
KDP120 also RHCII but release notes said improved or whatever.
There's a KDP70 with double-sensor RHC, likely matching the ES110.

> I also tried the CA59 for a short stunt, but didn't really notice the difference from the CN39.

I think there are many subtle differences, after all the construction is totally different, I just wasn't sure the CA was much better overall.
Posted By: _sem_ Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/20/22 12:12 PM
Originally Posted by Kawai James
_sem_, I think 90% of your posts on PW include this observation...

Hehe I keep nagging because we still didn't get any meaningful answer from you, please take it personally smile smile smile
Posted By: KawaFanboi Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/20/22 12:21 PM
Originally Posted by _sem_
Originally Posted by Kawai James
_sem_, I think 90% of your posts on PW include this observation...

Hehe I keep nagging because we still didn't get any meaningful answer from you, please take it personally smile smile smile

I've come to realize kawai james is not allowed to answer all types of questions especially if the answer may not cast a positive light on kawai products. we should be understanding _sem_ that's just how the world works.

my es520 rhc bounces as much if not more than the es920 rh3. I haven't found that it interrupts my playing in any way, but i agree it's possible on the off chance that your finger catches a key at exactly the moment after rebound, but I don't think music rhythm is precise enough for this to matter.
Posted By: _sem_ Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/20/22 01:22 PM
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
I've come to realize kawai james is not allowed to answer all types of questions especially if the answer may not cast a positive light on kawai products. we should be understanding _sem_ that's just how the world works.

Hehehehe do know he isn't allowed answer everything. Yet he feels free to bug me for pointing it out repeatedly, which I do because folks come up with this bounciness again and again. I think we're here to point out the odd issues the companies don't say, and I think key action is a biggie with DPs. I know how the world works, so I didn't buy the ES8 then. I don't have so much understanding for bouncy keys wink
Posted By: 36251 Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/20/22 01:49 PM
I have an observation and a question, as I read through these threads for casual reading.

- Seems people should be practicing more and writing here less. My posts usually take a bit of time writing and reviewing before posting; Anyway...it's good entertainment.

- Question on the bouncing issue people talk about. Does it get in the way of your development and practicing? or is it just an annoyance when you stop and explore the flaws and features of a DP.

Personally, I can't ever remember in my 40+ years of playing gigs and practicing that I ever stopped to notice a bounce. A sluggish attempt at a weighted action similar to an acoustic grand, IMHO, is what riles me

It has been said before, acoustic pianos have lots of noises and stuff that most people don't notice cause you can't muffle the sound.
Posted By: peterws Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/20/22 01:57 PM
Originally Posted by 36251
I have an observation and a question, as I read through these threads for casual reading.

- Seems people should be practicing more and writing here less. My posts usually take a bit of time writing and reviewing before posting; Anyway...it's good entertainment.

- Question on the bouncing issue people talk about. Does it get in the way of your development and practicing? or is it just an annoyance when you stop and explore the flaws and features of a DP.

Personally, I can't ever remember in my 40+ years of playing gigs and practicing that I ever stopped to notice a bounce. A sluggish attempt at a weighted action similar to an acoustic grand, IMHO, is what riles me

It has been said before, acoustic pianos have lots of noises and stuff that most people don't notice cause you can't muffle the sound.

Some guys here wouldn't know an acoustic piano until it hit 'em in the face . . .
And if they played one that bounced . . . .they'd call it "lively"
My ES110 bounces; so did my old DGXs. They were and are indeed the liveliest of the keyboards then and now.
I mean, how quick is the action when the activated key, having returned, has kindly decided to assist you in repeating it, if you so desired!
Posted By: _sem_ Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/20/22 03:14 PM
> I mean, how quick is the action when the activated key, having returned, has kindly decided to assist you in repeating it, if you so desired!

I think the bouncing on key release is clearly a side-effect of the aim to make the key return up as fast as possible for fast repetition, upon hitting a hard stop. The RHIII in the CN29/39 seems to show this can happen without too much bounce. The RHIII in that ES8, that bouncing may feel overdone even in the "same" action. None of the acoustics I've played bounced as much, though sure there may be more "lively" examples. It'd be great if somebody posted advice on how exactly to tame a "lively" RHIII, which damping tape or something, can't be rocket science.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/20/22 04:05 PM
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by _sem_
>
The odd thing was that the ES8, presumably same RHIII as the CN29/39 in the same store, was quite different, still nice but quite annoyingly bouncy on key return.

_sem_, I think 90% of your posts on PW include this observation...

Kind regards,
James
x

I've noticed this before on a number of occasions too...Before he mentioned it, I don't recall a single post on the issue.
Posted By: terminaldegree Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/20/22 04:46 PM
Originally Posted by _sem_
I think the bouncing on key release is clearly a side-effect of the aim to make the key return up as fast as possible for fast repetition, upon hitting a hard stop. The RHIII in the CN29/39 seems to show this can happen without too much bounce. The RHIII in that ES8, that bouncing may feel overdone even in the "same" action. None of the acoustics I've played bounced as much, though sure there may be more "lively" examples. It'd be great if somebody posted advice on how exactly to tame a "lively" RHIII, which damping tape or something, can't be rocket science.

Though it contradicts your “cut and paste” du jour, I noticed it, seven years ago with the CN25:
https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/review-kawai-digital-pianos-cn25-ca97-and-cp2/

But it doesn’t bother me on the ES8 I own, nor the ES920 we have at the university. In retrospect, I may prefer that over the “spongy” bottom of the GFII, though I didn’t find it objectionable in the CA97 review (which was my first experience with that action).
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/20/22 05:15 PM
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by _sem_
I think the bouncing on key release is clearly a side-effect of the aim to make the key return up as fast as possible for fast repetition, upon hitting a hard stop. The RHIII in the CN29/39 seems to show this can happen without too much bounce. The RHIII in that ES8, that bouncing may feel overdone even in the "same" action. None of the acoustics I've played bounced as much, though sure there may be more "lively" examples. It'd be great if somebody posted advice on how exactly to tame a "lively" RHIII, which damping tape or something, can't be rocket science.

Though it contradicts your “cut and paste” du jour, I noticed it, seven years ago with the CN25:
https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/review-kawai-digital-pianos-cn25-ca97-and-cp2/

But it doesn’t bother me on the ES8 I own, nor the ES920 we have at the university. In retrospect, I may prefer that over the “spongy” bottom of the GFII, though I didn’t find it objectionable in the CA97 review (which was my first experience with that action).

Yeah, I've heard that Kawai have addressed that spongyness in the GFIII, but I also prefer the bottoming out character of the RHIII compared to the GF and GFII. Other aspects of the GF actions are lovely though.
Posted By: terminaldegree Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/20/22 05:19 PM
The GFIII has solved that shortcoming for me, definitely, compared to its predecessor. I also like the upgrade to the materials, and we haven’t been hearing about the one durability issue that is sometimes noted here.
Posted By: Dude X Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/24/22 10:53 PM
CN29 arrived today. Blown away.
The SK EX sound is amazing. Mellow grand also very cool.
RHIII feels great to play.
I know it’s all new and I need to live with it for a while before making proper judgments, but my initial impressions are all positive.

If I had one complaint, the self tapping screws to secure the foot pedals to the sides were a real pain in the @ss. Other than that it was fairly easy to put together.

Anyway, finally own a Kawai and couldn’t be happier. smile
Posted By: Kawai James Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/25/22 01:48 AM
Congrats!
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Kawai ES520 or CN29? - 05/25/22 10:02 AM
Originally Posted by Dude X
CN29 arrived today. Blown away.
The SK EX sound is amazing. Mellow grand also very cool.
RHIII feels great to play.
I know it’s all new and I need to live with it for a while before making proper judgments, but my initial impressions are all positive.

If I had one complaint, the self tapping screws to secure the foot pedals to the sides were a real pain in the @ss. Other than that it was fairly easy to put together.

Anyway, finally own a Kawai and couldn’t be happier. smile

Congratulations 🎊
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