Finally...a gorgeous, rich piano sound...
This piano is to replace my Roland FP7. I've owned another bigger Roland keyboard, the Motif 8 and General Music's Pro 88 key ~ that's the only size I get because I use it for classical practice. I was quite disappointed with SupraNatural keys as it lacked the power in the low register and was thin in the highest register. The Motif 8 had everything else besides a good piano. And the General Music keyboard is so long ago that I don't recall what it sounded like, although I don't recall a bad experience, just the the keyboard quit working and there was no place to get it fixed.
I also entertained the Vicount Physis pianos, but the nearest place for me to walk in and play it is Toronto. I spoke to a rep at another store who was a pianist to narrow down the field. I was trying to narrow the field between Korg, Roland and Physis. I didn't want to get burned with another Yamaha that could do everything except give me a sweet grand piano sound. So, imagine my surprise when he mentioned the ES8 ~ yes, the same one that sold out the same day Sweetwater sent me the email that it was back in stock. I started researching the ES8 -- it had a whole lot of features I wanted, specifically great piano sound, great touch and the ivory feel, and the ability to key in a part of a sample track to practice to repetitively. I've put my hands on an ivory feel Kawaii feel keyboard a couple years ago and it is indeed realistic.
But...I did not want to make another $2 grand mistake. So I looked down the Kawaii line for something PORTABLE - heck, lugging that FP7 around the country was a royal pain - and I've done it for what, five years, and other monsters like my Motif 8 for decades. I needed a lighter piano for sure for travel practise. That is when I found the ES100. OK...at 35 pounds, that is light. I can bring my folding german stand or the Z stand - no problem. I liked 196 polyphony (the ES8 has 256) and I liked that other buyer who mainly play piano have commented that it has a good piano sound. OK...you tell me I can get all that at this CHEAP price? Please PINCH me.
OK...so I ordered one and made sure I got the custom stand and foot pedals for home use. I plugged it in after assembly and briefly scanned the manual.Then it dawned on me what it didn't have -- a screen. Oh groan. I didn't have a clue how I'd figure out exactly where the sound is. Good thing there's a pull out card. Now I got why the price point, sort of.
So I put on my headphones and started playing. WHAT??? No that can't be. What effused from the headphones was a rich, gorgeous piano sound. The upper register enthralled me. And although the lower register could have a little more presence, I am thrilled. I know from the manual that there is a way to change the touch and a whole lot of other things, but this played WELL straight from the box. I haven't even wanted to turn on my FP7 since receiving this -- and the FP7 cost 3 times as much.
I am beyond pleased with this purchase. It has got to be the best keyboard purchase I've made in well over 2 decades. It has also made the next purchase -- that of the ES 8 -- a sure bet. To protect this when traveling, I did order the Gator GKB 88 Slim case.
The only other downside to this keyboard, beside the lack of a screen, is that the speaker are more than a little weak. Good thing I practice to headphones.The sound is so sweet on my Audio-Techinica ATH T22