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Some questions for kawai James


agitato

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I currently (and for the last 10 years) play (many gigs, solo and two different style bands, r and b for one and classic and current rock,for the other) on a kawai es4. It has served me (and continues to do so) very well. That said,do you think that the new es110 would be a logical step up, from the 4? Have been considering the 8, but it is 4 lbs heavier and deeper than the 4. Not really concerned with the cost difference, mostly the size and weight. I'm sure based on what you've said about the RHC action being better than the AHA4F of the 100, it should be worlds better than the AHA on the 4. With the 110, one could carry it in a soft bag without the need for wheels, also would take up less trunk space. Am really concerned though, that it (the 110) might not hold up as well as the 4 did/does, and that the 8 would, which a has a similar, but slightly larger shell than the 4. Your honest, knowledgeable, about the kawai line, opinion, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for being on this and the piano world forum.
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Hello agitato, thank you for your question, and for your kind words!

 

I'll try to answer this over the weekend.

It's almost 8:30pm over here - need to get, grab some dinner, and practise some keys before bed ahead of a band get-together tomorrow morning.

 

Thank you in advance for your patience! ;)

 

Cheers,

James

x

Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

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I've been bar gigging with an ES100 for just over a year. We play a lot of jump blues, honky-tonk, rock-a-billy, and straight up rock n roll, and I pound the heck out of the thing. It seems super durable for as light as it is. Sounds great, too (with a little on-board tweaking for a brighter tone). Very tempted by the 110 for real audio outs and USB. Maybe in a year or so.
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Bluetooth MIDI, would be good for home/studio use, I guess, but I wouldn't use it for live use.

Triton Extreme 76, Kawai ES3, GEM-RPX, HX3/Drawbar control, MSI Z97

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Hello agitato,

 

My apologies for this delayed response, I didn't get around to answering your query at the weekend after all...

 

I currently (and for the last 10 years) play (many gigs, solo and two different style bands, r and b for one and classic and current rock,for the other) on a kawai es4. It has served me (and continues to do so) very well.

 

I'm glad to hear that you've been happy with the ES4, and that it continues to serve you well.

 

That said,do you think that the new es110 would be a logical step up, from the 4?

 

In terms of piano sound keyboard action quality, yes, I believe so.

The ES4's piano sounds do not utilise 88-key sampling, and will therefore be based on an older sound set than that of the ES110. The ES100/ES110 actually use the same 88-key piano samples as the ES6, which was the successor to the ES4, and the first ES board to feature 88-key sampling.

 

The ES4 utilised the AHAIV action, however I believe this would have been an older revision than the keyboard found in the ES100. Regardless of the version, the ES110's new 'RH Compact' action is superior to AHA IV-F, as it is based on the more modern 'Responsive Hammer' action design, whereby the hammer is located at the back of the key.

 

I've never actually tried the ES4, however I would expect the ES110's EP and organ sounds to be more realistic, while the maximum polyphony spec is double that of the ES4 at 196 notes.

 

Have been considering the 8, but it is 4 lbs heavier and deeper than the 4.

 

Yes, that's true, unfortunately.

But it's undoubtedly a much better piano (action, sound, features).

 

With the 110, one could carry it in a soft bag without the need for wheels, also would take up less trunk space.

 

Yes, the ES110 would be just over 19 lbs lighter than your current ES4, so definitely more portable and compact.

 

Am really concerned though, that it (the 110) might not hold up as well as the 4 did/does, and that the 8 would, which a has a similar, but slightly larger shell than the 4.

 

When you say "might not hold up as well" are you referring to the overall strength/rigidity of the case, or the quality of sound/touch? If the former, I can appreciate your concerns. I believe the ES4 exterior is made from steel, with a wooden base and side arms (same as the ES8). The ES110 meanwhile is all plastic - hence the near 20 lbs weight reduction. It's obviously been well engineered and properly stress tested, but it's not as solid as the metal+wood combination of the ES4/ES6/ES7/ES8.

 

Your honest, knowledgeable, about the kawai line, opinion, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for being on this and the piano world forum.

 

I'm confident that either the ES110 or ES8 will play and sound better than your ES4 (albeit with less speaker power in the case of the ES110). It ultimately comes down to priorities. The ES110 delivers a good overall package for the price, and is very lightweight and portable. However the ES8 is undeniable the superior board - and you'd expect it to be, for the price and weight.

 

If you're mainly looking for a portable instrument with a decent action and a good selection of sounds that you can thrown on the backseat, the ES110 is difficult to beat. However, if you're looking for something more refined, with a more realistic action, upgraded sounds, and useful additional features - at the expensive of more bulk - I'd go for the ES8.

 

The other option might be to buy both - the ES8 for home and for the longer gigs that would benefit from the Rolls Royce action and sound, and an ES110 in a gigbag placed in the trunk for when you just want to get in and out, and portability is more important.

 

It goes without saying that I strongly recommend play-testing both boards, along with other models from Roland, Yamaha, Casio, etc. to truly get a feel for how they play and sound (and portability when lifted). By all means, please give Kawai America a call to speak with their guys too - they may be able to offer some additional insights, and suggest a local dealer with boards available to play-test.

 

I hope this helps - best of luck!

 

Cheers,

James

x

Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

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Hi brenner13,

 

As tfort mentioned, the ES110 does not feature a USB port, but does have MIDI IN/OUT jacks. Those can easily be connected to USB with a $10 adaptor. The Bluetooth MIDI works best on iOS/macOS, although it's also compatible with Android 6 (provided your device and OS supports it)...however there's not a great deal of MIDI apps available.

 

Ah, I misunderstood the bluetooth thing. Will be nice to have access to the piano technician app on the new one.

 

The Virtual Technician app will shortly be updated for the recently released CN27/CN37 console DPs only. We're hoping to add support for the ES110 in the future, however I'm reluctant to say exactly if and when it will happen.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Kind regards,

James

x

Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

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Just another question, James. On the 110, is it possible to run the classic ep (rhodes) sound,(and save in a registration) through the classic chorus which is assigned to the modern ep (fm)sound? Again, thank you kindly, for being so informative to all of us, on this and the pw forum, on the Kawai line, and dps, in general.
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Hello agitato,

 

On the 110, is it possible to run the classic ep (rhodes) sound,(and save in a registration) through the classic chorus which is assigned to the modern ep (fm)sound?

 

No, I'm afraid not (however I like your way of thinking!).

The ES110 currently only allows the preset effects to be turned on/off for each sound, not for offer effects to be assigned, unfortunately.

 

Theoretically, this kind of functionality might be possible using a controller app, however it's not something that I can promise at the moment, unfortunately.

 

Kind regards,

James

x

Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

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