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Kawai MP7 88-key Stage Piano and Master Controller
- "88 keysHarmonic Imaging XLRH2 Action with Let-off, Ivory Touch and TripleSensor DetectionUSB Audio - play and record MP3 and WAV files256 Note Polyphony256 Sounds256 User Setups256 User Memories4 Internal/External ZonesVirtual TechnicianSustain pedal sold separately"
- Harmonic Imaging XL
- "RH2 Action with Let-off, Ivory Touch and Triple"
- Sensor Detection
- USB Audio - play and record MP3 and WAV files
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||$79.95||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Item Dimensions||53.3 x 13.3 x 6.8 in||59.88 x 18.78 x 10.55 in||14.41 x 57.48 x 9.06 in||51.6 x 11.2 x 5.7 in||59.06 x 17.72 x 10.04 in||13.78 x 7.28 x 53.54 in|
|Number of Keys||88||88||88||88||88||88|
In the market for a new stage piano/MIDI controller? The Kawai MP7 is da bomb. It sports Kawai's amazing 88-note Responsive Hammer II weighted action with let-off, so it feels like a real grand. It's also loaded with 256 Harmonic Imaging XL sounds that are simply mouth-watering. Sculpt your masterpiece patches with six onboard reverbs and 129 effects. The MP7 is also a masterful controller keyboard, with four MIDI zones, traditional DIN ports, USB to host, pitch and mod wheels, an expression pedal jack, and an onboard USB recorder. If fabulous feel, sound, and versatility are on your must-have list, the Kawai MP7 delivers.
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The Kawai MP7's action is not quite as heavy as the Studiologic/Fatar keybed, but it is smoother and has a better sense of control (for those who know acoustic pianos, it's more Bechstein than Steinway. While the key action varies (as do acoustic grands) from lower to upper octaves, the action is very well regulated, feeling as smooth and responsive in the lower octaves as the high. Unlike the Fatar, there is no side to side key wobble. The touch is faster than my fingers. The keyboard does not get in the way of fast 32nd note runs, trills and repetitions. The company says that its three sensor action helps this. I just know it works.
Though I use this as a keyboard controller in my studio as a composer, I'll note that its internal sounds are very usable. The default piano is a rich Grand that sounds a bit lighter than a Steinway, but much better than any acoustic Yammer or for that matter Kawai instrument I've heard. The MP7 also offers a variety of sample based instruments ranging from lighter jazz style (read imatatio Yamaha) to a variety of electronic piano styles. The implementation of organ sounds is good- in addition to the standard fare of Leslie and Hammond, the MP7 also offers a (limited) variety of Baroque, Romantic and even Stage organ stops. The keyboard can be changed electronically to on/off (as opposed to velocity sensitive) for organ work- a welcome ability that make organ play much more realistic.
The user interface is split between a menu driven setup system and button based presets. Out of the box, it never takes more than three key touches to reach an instrument. Using the menu based system you can create multiple single button presets, each creating multiple layers or zones of instruments, efx and reverb parameters along with keyboard touch and voicing.. It's more than I need, but I can see its usefulness in a stage or club setting. Overall its a well designed and implemented system, but oh, for a touch screen. It flies now, but with a well designed touch screen this beast would soar!
REVERB & EFX
Each layer or zone can be individually set for Reverb using a system that reminds me a bit of Logic's "Space Designer." Its very straightforward and quite capable. Likewise a variety of EFX and filters (chorus, flange, phaser, various equalisers etc) can be applied locally by zones or layers or globally.
MIDI implementation is very solid offering up to 4 zones or layers and reasonable controls. It may be wired through MIDI ports and/or USB. It was not designed to be the be-all and end-all of midi controllers- but its MIDI capabilities are very useful and functional out of the box. You can also go under the hood and customize a variety of MIDI implementations. I supplement with a dedicated controller when mixing on Logic, but for composing or performance it more than capable.
MIDI and MIDI via usb are both available (and can be used simultaneously), the addition of a MIDI Through port is a great addition. The built in recorder can write via a dedicated port to a USB flash drive as either MIDI data or decent quality WAV. There are 1/4" ports for a true 3 pedal piano foot unit, plus an "expression" controller, though only single pedal is supplied (: . There is an additional stereo set of 1/4" line level analog signal inputs.
It's big, a bit heavy and the fit and finish is superb. The case is metal with wood end caps. Buttons are backlit and have just enough "click." Sliders are smooth and predictable in response. The rotaries are small, but have a good feel. My only complaint is that the lcd screen is a bit small for a keyboard with this set of capabilities. I would have paid a few hundred more to have a 7 or 8 inch touchscreen.
I can't imagine any pianist looking for a stage or studio instrument who would be unhappy with the MP7. The MP7 is very, very well done in terms of fit and finish, and light years ahead of the competition in terms of touch. It offers a solid implementation of sampled pianos and organs along with a usable variety of pads and other instruments. No, it doesn't offer two thousand, mostly unusable voices. There are no kiddy additions. I've found nothing that I can't imagine being used in a club or stage situation. It's MIDI implementation is generous. As a classically oriented composer, with the addition of a small controller (I use a Novation SL) the MP7 is more than adequate for my work with Logic X. Working in Finale or Notion, it needs no help. It makes a great single keyboard for controlling Hauptwerk (pipe organ samples) allowing me to split the keyboard with 2/12 octaves as the pedal and the remainder as two or three alternating or layered manuals with an organ-like on/off keyboard (albeit with a piano touch).
Am I impressed? Absolutely. Kawai deserves its growing reputation as a builder of fine keyboards.
One benchmark I use to judge a product like this is the quality of the accessories. You can tell right away where a company is cutting corners and by how much. When I pulled out the included damper pedal, my eyes lit up. Even the music stand! Both these accessories are rock solid, pro construction. A METAL music stand? Who does that? Kawai is not cutting ANY corners that I can see.
The body of this thing is nuts. It really is built like the proverbial tank. And GORGEOUS. The wood side panels really elevate the look above anything else I've seen. The "Ivory Touch" keys feel AMAZING. Just one of those details you rarely think about but coming from the Privia, holy smoke, I realized how much my fingers were slipping around after I got cooking and that DOESN'T HAVE TO HAPPEN with a digital piano, clearly.
Now, the action, I'm not gonna lie, I really don't know much about pianos and I really didn't think I'd notice a ton of difference. I was so wrong. I'd just opened the box and set it up and was playing the thing, thinking "Yeah, feels good", when I played in a higher octave very quietly. The hair stood up on the back of my neck, it felt so REAL. I'm still not sure how they did that, and it's difficult to describe - it's like you can feel the jacks disengaging or something!
My ears aren't what they used to be after 20 years of drumming, but AGAIN the MP7 rocked my world by demonstrating what's possible. Just to scrape the tip of the iceberg, the "Virtual Technician" features are mind-blowing. I'm hearing almost infinite qualities I'd never even considered in a digital piano, like the vibration of the strings, overtones, PEDAL NOISE for the love of God, all adjustable. Which, I might add, is entirely unnecessary out of the box. But how cool is it that you CAN?
I'm definitely a plug-and-play guy, so even the supposedly limited features some have contrasted the MP7 to it's big brother the MP11 with, man, I'd never know. To me, it's not a synthesizer, it's a piano I can carry around. Speaking of, it's a fine weight - I wouldn't want it to be one more pound, to be sure, but it's totally portable for jobbing with a gigbag. Nonetheless, I learned my lesson from the Privia and got a monster case for it Gator Cases GKPE-88-TSA 88 Note Keyboard Case with wheels TSA Latches which brings it up to what I'd describe as "a do-able challenge" to move. Anyway, Kawai has not let me down on my desire for a portable piano.
It's just so refreshing to see a product made at this price range with, as I said, no cost-cutting that I've found yet. I'll let you know with a review update after I've hauled it around for a while and played it drunk enough times. To sum up after just a few weeks and a couple gigs:
BUILD: Super solid, from chassis to controls to power cable.
ACTION: Hair-raising. Not too deep, not to loose, just right (at least for me, comparing to, on one end of the scale, the PX-330 and, on the other, my Charles R. Walter 1520 - speaking of, who else manufactures a digital piano with UPRIGHT sounds? That you actually want to use, I mean. Personally, I adore that I now own a digital instrument that, out of the box and with virtually limitless capacity for customization, can get me closer than I thought possible to the acoustic instrument I play at home). Apparently sweat-absorbing lol
SOUND: How much detail to you expect to hear through the house PA? How much do you really even need from the monitors? Kawai gives you much, much more. That's what I call value. It's a STAGE PIANO, if you want samples to record with, buy a library (or play a freaking PIANO lol) - although this would be a magnificent controller for that purpose. I'd still pit it's sounds against any artificial piano sound I've heard. I'd actually prefer them over a few real pianos I've owned. You know what I miss when I can't play a real piano? The physical feedback. Onboard speakers are never gonna come close. When I set up the MP7, I realized I'd lost my bench in a move, so I sat on my amp. That works!
CONTROLS: Again, I want a piano I can put in the car. But at a recent show with a blues band, I thought an organ might be fun for a tune. So intuitive, BOOM, organ on fly by the downbeat. But...are you KIDDING ME, virtual DRAWBARS?! Great, my woodshedding time at the piano is destined to be reduced by time I'll spend learning to play organ. Because I kind of HAVE one now! Well, many more than one.
IO: First, for me, make it tough. I briefly mentioned the power cord, it's pro like I wanted, no freakin' adapter wall wart toy nonsense, a CORD. But I do like that it isn't hardwired. Everything else I want is on there in back and, THANK YOU Kawai, labelled on the top where I can see it sitting at the instrument. Now I don't have to get up and weave through everybody's cables and stands using my phone to illuminate the ports only to realize, after sitting back down, that the pedal is in the sostenuto jack instead of the damper jack. I'm not going to apologize for these being the kinds of things I deal with lol
Cheap, no. Value, a thousand times YES. I'm confident the MP7 will serve me well for a long, long time. Even after I get lazy and start taking it in a gig bag.
Most recent customer reviews
I've had this piano for 3 days and can't stop playing it. For a hobby play in a duo myself and a drummer.Read more