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Joined: Nov 2010
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Hi, I'm looking for a practice piano at home. I have a grand piano already, but needed something to practice on in evenings that won't wake up the whole house smile

I was all set to purchase a CA79, after trying out all the Kawai CA models at my local dealer, but when I came back the next week, the prices had jumped up... currently, my local dealer is asking $5899 ($6400 with sales tax). The CA49 is the only option still in my budget, although even that one jumped up in price quite a bit too, and the action was definitely not as nice as the other models. I haven't seen any used models popup on the west coast in the past couple months either, except for one CA79 that I got outbid on. All the dealers I've tried calling in other states have said they're not able to ship the Kawai digital pianos.

I've also tried the Yamaha digital pianos, but was really not a fan of the action.

Any other options that I have (new or used), in the $3-5k range? Would love to find something this summer before I start taking lessons again. Thanks!

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If you was opted for a CA79, a used CA78 is maybe a option


Casio AP250 - Kawai CN24 - Kawai CA65 - Kawai CA67- Roland FP30 - Roland FP7X
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As you already have an acoustic piano and you will only use the digital for practicing at quiet hours i think you should lower your budget and go for something more entry level. I think your best option is kawai es 110.

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Yamaha p515. With frame and triple pedal, it is a great practice instrument. I also have a Yamaha Nu1x but prob above your budget.

Last edited by APianistHasNoName; 05/06/22 05:27 PM.

Working on:
Bach Italian Concerto
Chopin Nocturne Op 48 No1
Ravel Jeux D’eau

Practicing on:
Yamaha NU1X
Yamaha P-515

Playing on:
C. Bechstein Concert A192

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Yeah, the Yamaha Avantgrand or Kawai Novus pianos look great, but way more than what I want to spend (and ideally, I'd like something with a smaller footprint and easier to move).

How do the portable models (like ES-110 or P-515) compare to the non-portable entry level models, like Kawai CN29 or Yamaha CLP series? I tried the CLP-745 and 785, and really did not like the action (felt a bit heavy, not very nuanced or responsive), I definitely preferred the CA49. I haven't had the opportunity to try the P-515 but is it better than the CLP series in that regard? Also curious about the Kawai ES or CN series, relative to the CA49. The CA49 is within my budget (just barely), so that might be the best option for me, just wish it was still at the $2299 price I was quoted last month.

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The best bet is to hop down to the music store, or various music stores to actually see what is available there - on display - and for trying out.

That's only because just mentioning models isn't going to help if you're after particular features - including touch/feel/behaviour of the key mechanism. That is - you're the only one that can make the decision - by heading to the store to try-before-buying. And each brand site has a list of the available models of the sort of instrument you're after ------ as in model names. And they will obviously have spec sheets - such as dimensions etc. And there will usually be a whole bunch of reviews online as well - as in light touch, heavy touch, responsiveness etc.

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I've been to the local Kawai and Yamaha dealers, due to chip shortages there's a lot of models they don't have on the floor. But I was able to spend quite a bit of time with the CA49, 59, 99, and the Yamaha CLP-745 and 785. I went to the local Guitar Center, and they didn't have any Kawai models on the floor, they did have Yamaha (the P-125 but not the P-515). Based on my experience, the CA49 is in a whole 'nother league above the P-125. I think with the P-125, I'd definitely be yearning for a lot more. These are all the models I've been able to try so far.

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Thanks for mentioning the chip shortage. I got a surprise this morning when my sis told me that car dealerships are having issues too - with getting new cars. They're facing the same issue ----- chip shortage, so the cars being manufactured can't get completed in time. So car customers are waiting a few months, or even 6 months or more for their ordered car. The crazy covid issue plus other stuff going on is really messing up lots of things.

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TESLA:

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I'm not convinced the GF3, GFC are better than RHC. they're slightly easier to play at the very top 1/5 of the key which isn't used often if at all. the rhc also plays extremely evenly whereas the gf3/c behaved like a piano that needed regulation.

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The RHC are the ES520 and KDP series pianos, correct? Unfortunately, I don't think anywhere in my area has those available to try out. Kind of unfortunate.

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I think a Kawai MP11/ MP11Se would be well within your budget. Sweetwater has it for $3,500 US.

It doesn't have any loudspeakers or power amps -- but you'd presumably be using headphones, so that wouldn't be a problem. It _does_ have a good action, and good piano sounds built in:

. . . It would truly be a "silent piano".

Even after adding the cost of an adequate stand, you'd be well within budget.


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+1 for the MP11SE.


Kawai: NV5 | Yamaha: CLP-745R
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I would also say the MP11SE.

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Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
they're slightly easier to play at the very top 1/5 of the key which isn't used often if at all.
Not used by whom? This is nonsense that only a beginner would write. You don't use black keys? I do. I play very often in the deepest part of the keys, and clearly feel this disadvantage of keyboards with short-pivot keys.

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Kawai. I like the ES110


Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.
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Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
I'm not convinced the GF3, GFC are better than RHC.

Crucially, I expect customers of instruments that utilise GFIII and GFC actions may not share your opinion.


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
I'm not convinced the GF3, GFC are better than RHC.

Crucially, I expect customers of instruments that utilise GFIII and GFC actions may not share your opinion.

From extensive hands-on testing only a few days ago, according to my taste and preference, I'd say:

Apart from the Millenium actions in NV5(S) and NV10(S), the Grand Feel III clearly tops all other Kawai actions. I found it a nice tie with Casio/Bechstein's wooden GP action, if I were to choose between the two I'd have a hard time deciding. It is also a significant improvement over the original Grand Feel as found in the MP11SE.

I wasn't convinced by Grand Feel Compact much, which surprised me. I had expected to like it more than I actually did. Again, gauging from personal preference.

Cheers and happy decision making,

HZ

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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
I'm not convinced the GF3, GFC are better than RHC.

Crucially, I expect customers of instruments that utilise GFIII and GFC actions may not share your opinion.

With respect Kawai James,

When I demoed all of these actions, prior to selecting RHC, the units clearly had uneven letoff bumps, some there, some missing, the same with RH3 in the 920. the gf3 and c also exhibited odd responses on some keys, some louder/ softer than expected. could it be because these were demo units and required calibration of sorts, yes, but this is where I felt they behaved like pianos that needed regulation. Ontop of this unevenness the keys were slower to rebound, I can't see this affecting general use, but it was noticeable. later on upon researching the vpc1, I stumbled across a modartt's thread on uneven midi velocities in kawai's wood actions. This semi confirmed what I felt in the field, but I concede that it's not 100%, the units I demoed and discussed in that thread could be flukes.

James have you seen that thread? have you heard about the uneven midi problem in your support chain ?

Last edited by KawaFanboi; 05/07/22 09:22 AM.

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