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Kawai ES7 vs. Roland FP-7F (Read 29589 times)

Offline kippler

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Kawai ES7 vs. Roland FP-7F
« on: September 22, 2012, 01:47:19 AM »
This afternoon I was at a retailer (just west of Toronto, on the border between Mississauga and Oakville) trying both of these instruments. I walked in pretty much convinced I wanted to get the Roland FP-7F, but I had gone in to try the Kawai ES7, a model which is only a couple of weeks new. I walked out in a very different frame of mind.

No comparison. Or, comparatively, the FP-7F was uncomfortably muddy-sounding in the lower end, and the rubber-based key noise with the volume off was noticeably thuddy, whereas the ES7 has wool under the keys (like an acoustic piano).

There are 8 piano sounds in the ES7, the first of which is their 9' EX grand. The Roland's supernatural piano sound and the EX are simply in two different leagues. The EX is somewhat brighter sounding and clearer, and the same is true for all of the ES7's piano sounds, but there's plenty of substance to it, and there is no doubt at all about whether one is hearing a good quality piano sound; whereas the Roland generally sounds warmer to the point of being mushier and, as previously said, muddier. They have to be heard side by side to understand what I'm saying. At the same time the ES7 does have mellower piano sounds than the EX (one of which two different salesmen said they personally preferred, and I can see why, but I don't necessarily agree with them; or perhaps a mellower one for practice and the EX sound for public performance), and a "technician" capability for modifying the sound quality. I didn't really explore that menu, but the salesman showed me that it is there. At this point I wasn't even interested in finding out things like this about the FP-7F.

With the volume control cranked all the way up, the Roland seemed to me to be marginally louder. The speaker system on both instruments is quite good, but I suspect that the Kawai has the better of the two.

The ivory feel of the keys was more agreeable on the Kawai, and the salesman mentioned that the key travel distance is ever so slightly less for the Kawai than for the Roland. Under the hand, I just felt more at ease with the Kawai.

Last week I was very impatient to just go out and get an FP-7F. Now, I'm awfully glad I didn't.

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Kawai ES7 vs. Roland FP-7F
«Reply #1 on: September 22, 2012, 08:37:46 AM »
I'm not at all surprised, I've only heard the new Kawais online but they are rich. I can't find a local dealer to be able to try one out..

Additionally, I believe that new ES7 has a 256 note polyphony, very compact and imagine it attached to a home entertainment center or church pa system or through an amp and speaker setup vs just it's own speaker system !
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline kippler

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Re: Kawai ES7 vs. Roland FP-7F
«Reply #2 on: September 22, 2012, 05:56:52 PM »
The 256 note polyphony is correct. The owner's manual (see p. 134) is available at

www.kawaius.com/main_links/digital/ES7/OM/ES7_EN_20120308.pdf

Kawai has done an interesting things with the pedals, presumably to try to restrict the customer to purchasing its own pedal set(s). A single damper pedal comes with the unit. They offer a two-pedal set, damper/una corda. There is also a three-pedal set, but only two jacks for pedals on the back of the unit. The retailer did not have a three-pedal set for demonstration.

As it happened, there was a Roland three-pedal set plugged into the FP-4F, so I tried the damper plug in the ES7 damper jack. It worked, but in reverse. A simple adapter reversing the polarity would rectify that.

The trick is with the jack for the other two pedals. The Kawai two-pedal set plugged (stereo plug) into the other jack did not produce a sostenuto/una corda pair, but only a damper/una corda pair. Apparently, to get the sostenuto pedal, one does have to purchase the three-pedal unit, which is quite a bit pricier than the Roland three-pedal unit.

However, since I already own a Roland three-pedal unit, and if I do actually purchase the ES7, I'm first going to try making my own adaptors.

Church organ sounds: two on the ES7 (a very tasteful combination of principals, and full organ); the FP-7F has three (principals, full, and a nazard/flute solo stop, which I happen to like very much). Both instruments have harpsichord, but only the FP-7F has coupled manuals. For those interested in church organ sounds, have a look at



and

http://www.johannus.nl/en-eu/collectie/eu/products/accessoires/midi-sequencer/

http://www.organworks.com/web/products/products.asp?productid=115&categoryid=2&category=Console%20Products

Offline lexigone

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Re: Kawai ES7 vs. Roland FP-7F
«Reply #3 on: January 04, 2013, 07:05:44 PM »
Muddy and thuddy sounding of Roland FP7F may come from the key touch setup. Medium strength is default value. If you change the setting to Superlight, certainly you will notice the volume is up and lively. (I bought FP7F over 2012 Christmas Holiday. I am very happy with the color of grand piano sound. I would say that its sound is even better than the acoustic Yamaha U3 at home.)

Offline bluescreendive

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Re: Kawai ES7 vs. Roland FP-7F
«Reply #4 on: August 11, 2014, 03:34:44 PM »
Hi everyone,

I hope somebody here has Kawai ES7 within hand's reach;)

I've just bought new one... only to discover that one particular key sounds harder than the surrounding keys, it's D# on the 4th octave.

The rest of keys sound homogeneous, but this one is clearly harder.
I wonder if that's true for all ES7s or is mine factory-flawed?

I'd appreciate if anyone could check this key on his/her Kawai ES7 and let me know.

Thanks!

Offline aslak

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Re: Kawai ES7 vs. Roland FP-7F
«Reply #5 on: August 13, 2014, 09:01:32 PM »
I have an es 7, and I haven't noticed any disturbing difference in the sound on any key. I think they sound slightly different in each register, and I guess it is because every tone is sampled one by one. It is not bothering me.
Have you tried out your instrument with headphones? If the problem still are there, I would have contacted the retailer. It should no be like this. If the problem occures only by using the build in speakers, it may be some resonance in the room you play in that causes it. Try to move it, and see if the sound changes.

Aslak

Offline dkpoul

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Re: Kawai ES7 vs. Roland FP-7F
«Reply #6 on: September 01, 2015, 11:05:39 AM »
@bluescreendive: hi, I recently tested the es-7 and was very impressed, not least by the keys.

Until I hit the D# you mention. To me, it is a problem in head phones, but seemingly not on speakers. Is it the same according to your experience? I simply dropped the piano and now waiting for the es-8 and hope the problem has gone. However, I tried the es-100 and it was the same problem! Very odd...

Best regards fro Denmark
Poul