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Kawai MP6 88-key Stage Piano and Master Controller Reviews

4.5 stars based on 16 customer reviews
  • from Bedford, TX November 28, 2013Music Background:
    Professional Musician and Recording Engineer

    Kawai MP6 Keyboard

    I purchased the MP6 to replace my worn field keyboard. After using it in my studio, hearing its sounds and just feeling a connection to it(lol). I can't bring myself to take it out on gigs! This is, by far, the best piano sound I've experienced in a standalone board. I'm a piano player, first and foremost. I've been extremely happy with the the sound and feel of this board. I've used it in many productions and recordings. I have several great vst keybords but when I'm serious about a piano sound-apart from recording my real baby grand- I use the MP6. My only regret is that I didn't purchase the MP10. btw, there was an issue (physical defect) with the first unit I received. That is when I discovered the professionalism of Sweetwater. They sent a replacement-immediately-with no hassles! I play for national acts-not bragging but I just wanted to emphasize how important quality and reliability is to me.

  • from Avery,TX. June 26, 2012Music Background:
    Weekend Player 30+ years

    Fantastic board

    I absolutely love my Kawai MP6! I have been playing multi-keyboards since 1978. I have played in classic rock / country cover bands and owned Roland boards, the Yamaha DX-7, Ensoniq, and Alesis (still use my Alesis QuadaSynthPlus) but this keyboard is a wonderfully thought out and skillfully crafted instrument and midi controller.
    I highly recommend you purchase the Yamaha FC-7 expression pedal to fully appreciate the midi controller capabilities of this instrument in a live performance situation. I primarily use it as a volume controller for some of the zones and it works like a charm. (I attempted to use the Roland EV-5 expression pedal and was disappointed with it's capability in interfacing with the MP6... could be a polarity issue but I attempted to change polarity and had similar results so not sure what the trouble is.) So glad Sweetwater had the MP6 in stock and could get it to me so quickly... I don't know why the Kawai MP series boards are so hard to come by but I am so glad I purchased mine. I was looking heavily at the Roland RD-700NX saved about 1K. Thanks Kawai!

  • from Iowa USA June 13, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    One Great Keyboard

    I just received the MP6 keyboard, excitedly unpacked it that evening and connected it to my Roland amp. I admired its beauty and the simplicity of the control panel. Selecting the piano setting, I played a few music selections. I was "Living the Dream." After spending the majority of my life searching (and purchasing) what I thought would be the best piano sounding and best keyboard action stage piano, I would eventually realize there was something better and make another purchase. Then I found the MP6. If you want a true acoustic piano feel and the most real acoustic piano sound...the MP6 is your best bet. It also has great additional features that make it fun to play. Thanks to Sweetwater and particularly Dan V, my sales engineer, for going the extra mile for making this a pleasant purchasing experience. At this price the Kawai MP6 is a steal!

  • from philadelphia, PA March 3, 2012Music Background:
    Pro musician

    Kawai mp6

    Awesome piano, touch sensitivity is magnificent, grand piano sound the best I've ever had. Just a pleasure to practice with

  • from Indiana November 1, 2011Music Background:
    serious hobbyist musician

    Sounds great, feels great

    Picked this up several months ago, and I like it more all the time. It's got an acoustic or electric piano for every situation, and the action excellent. The organ sounds are also very good. The synth sounds are sometimes useful, but they're just along for the ride -- buy this if you're looking for an amazing stage piano.

  • from Ireland August 3, 2011Music Background:
    Songwriter/ Musician

    Fantastic!

    I took a chance on this and ordered from Germany when it was just on the market with only the company review/ spec available to me. It seemed like just what i was looking for! I researched many after using a technics for stage, but wanted a the most authentic piano sound and feel available that was a reasonable weight for gigs and great for recording, etc. Lots of musicians I know (and don't know) are raving on about Yamaha and the new Roland FP series but they clearing haven't tried this baby! Yes, you really have to try this piano to appreciate it! It's an all round smashing piano! :-)

  • from Hughesville, MD July 10, 2011Music Background:
    30 years gigging

    KAWAI MP6 a Winner!

    I challenge anyone to find a better quality package for the money. This unit has the meat and potatoes a gigging musician needs with special attention to Real Pianos, Electric Pianos, and Pads). The ivory keys are awesome with nice sturdy action and the unit weighs in at around 47 pounds. The operating system is logical and intuitive. You wonít sit there wasting a whole practice session scratching your lost in menus. I love the 4 zone layout that allows you to quickly dial in 4 sounds that you want to use together. Typical set up of piano in zone 1, strings, in zone 2 is easy as pie. Donít want the strings to play? Simply click the light button off the strings zone and they are gone. Want to control sting volume from expression pedal? Simple plug in pedal and set expression pedal for zone 2 to volume control. Highly recommend this unit. Kawai should be very proud of the effort they have put into the MP family of digital pianos. I have owned MP5 and MP6.

  • from usa May 27, 2011Music Background:
    pro musician

    the best stage piano!

    this piano is the one.it's the the only stage piano that feels and
    sounds like a real piano.don't let roland and yamaha etc fool ya.
    don't take my word for it,just play one for your self!

  • from NY May 16, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Decided on the Kawai over the Roland 300NX and the Yamaha CP50....see why!

    I needed a reasonably affordable stage piano that was high quality and portable. Priced at $1499 (from Sweetwater, no taxes and free shipping), it was the only choice. It is a very solid playable stage piano with great AP's and EP's (that are tweak-able), plus some very good: strings, synth pads, brass, etc. It has: 192 note polyphony, solid sturdy action (with Ivory and escapement simulation), internal power supply (the only one out of the three between the Roland and the Yamaha) and an included sturdy music rack (not an option for the Roland and must be purchased separately for the Yamaha). Also, there is an OS update that fixes a problem with the AP sounds on the softer velocities....when you play as softly as possible you can still trigger a sound, not right! (BTW the CP50 has the same problem and no OS update available yet) However, after contacting Kawai's customer service they sent me an OS update file that fixes this problem. Now when you play a piano tone as softly as possible, you DO NOT trigger a sound, just like an actual acoustic! In combination with the simulated escapement, it truly is accurate and brought new life into my playing. While I do miss some of the sophistication of tweaking abilities on both the Roland and the Yamaha, the Kawai is a solid high class stage piano out the box. Highly recommended!

  • from Jenison, MI August 28, 2013Music Background:
    Pro musician

    Responsive playing, great sounding and nice feature set

    In my search for a replacement 88-key board, I happened to run into this online in my search. Well, I've owned it for about two months now and have been very pleased. I've owned and/or played a Motif 8, Roland RD-300 and more recently, a Korg M50. I love the feel of the Kawai MP6 and have really found it more enjoyable to play. The texture of the keys is great and really does help with sweaty fingers and no stickiness while playing.

    I've tweaked the jazz piano sound with little effort to create a piano I'm pleased with wherever I play, and I've found a couple electric piano, string and synth sounds that have worked for me playing live. One of the highlights for me, is when layering the sounds (a prime example being piano and strings) and using the damper pedal (high quality Kawai pedal included with board), the strings will fade out in a nice fashion leaving the piano sustaining. I've noticed other little nuances like this with other sounds layered together - pretty thoughtful of the programmers in my opinion. The MP6 also has some great functionality hooking up and controlling an external synth/module and integrating the sounds of the MP6 with whatever synth/module is connected. I've found it very reasonable to lug around to various gigs.

    Also, to assist anyone interested in a soft/rigid case for this, I purchased a Gator GK-88 SLIM case and it has worked great! Just ever so slightly snug to zip because of the height, but otherwise a near perfect fit. Thanks to Paul Rowan for testing this out for me before shipping and for the great service! I'll keep coming back to Sweetwater.

  • from Chicago, IL August 5, 2013Music Background:
    15yr student of piano, hobbyist

    Great value for an 88-key weighted electric piano

    I have had this piano for two years now, and couldn't be happier with the quality and value. The action is superb for the price--there is a very satisfying weight to the keys, and a very reasonable repeat speed for fast players.

    This is a good piano for those just getting into the "wonkery" of electric keyboards. You can customize just enough of the keyboard's responses without needing a separate computer to do it. For those who just want to play, though, there are at least 10 standard piano sounds that are easily distinguishable and fun to test against each other.

    A few notes: you need to buy quality speakers to go with this piano. I have Alesis M1 520 Active monitors, and they are extremely crisp and tight. They are more than capable of filling up a medium-size room, and the keyboard itself works with them seamlessly.

    More notes: while the case is extremely sharp looking and would, in my opinion, add to a room, it seems to gather more dust than the surrounding furniture. I keep it covered at all times when I'm not using it.

    Be sure to purchase a sturdy stand for it. I got an On-Stage Keyboard Platform Stand, and while not disappointed with it for the price, wouldn't go any less sturdy for the size and weight of the MP6--especially if you are a spirited player.

    Overall, this is well worth the asking price (and more!), and I would highly recommend this keyboard to anyone who wants a piano-replacement that has computer and MP3 interface functionality, tone modulation functionality, but realistic action and piano sound.

  • from United States March 1, 2012Music Background:
    songwriter

    MP6

    A very good piano for the price. I was looking for a full size digital piano with acoustic action ... and this has it. It plays a little stiffer than my baby grand, but response and action are very much like it. Very well made, and great feel. I also like the selection of sounds (from acoustic to electric keyboards) as well as the organ and synth offerings. As I use this only for recording, I can't comment on the live use aspect, but there are many variations available (from layering to eq) that I have not really explored yet. I was unable to play this at a music store first, but it totally meets my expectations.

  • from United States February 13, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist / composer

    Great stage piano

    I bought the MP6 as a replacement for my acoustic upright piano, since it's easier for me to play standing up.

    Overall, a month later, I'm really pleased with the MP6. Action and sound quality are just as good (if not better) than my upright, with just a hint of artificiality to the resonance with the damper pedal fully pressed. Nice to have multiple pianos to choose from based on what I'm playing - concert grand (classical) to studio grand (rock) to mellow (new age) to jazz (jazz, of course). The other tones are good too; harpsichord and organ are particularly well done. Could have more variety of lead/pad sounds, but that's what synth modules are for. Solidly built, but light enough (~50 pounds) that I can move it off my standing desk and store it in the corner. Music rack is sturdy and removes easily.

    I haven't played around much with its more advanced features (sequencer, tweaking sound envelopes, effects, etc.).

    Note that the MP6 doesn't have built-in speakers. I think that's a plus, since any speakers you could cram into the case wouldn't do the sound quality of the MP6 justice, and would just raise the weight and price. I play mostly with a good pair of studio headphones (where it sounds phenomenal) and a mediocre set of 5.1 powered speakers (less so; they muddy the bass).

  • from Huntsville, AL August 18, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Church Musician for 20 years

    Excellent touch

    Very good acoustic piano sound, excellent supplemental keyboard sounds like Rhodes, FM piano, B-3.

    But I absolutely love the feel and control of the keys.

  • from DFW, TX December 16, 2012Music Background:
    Professional keyboardist with national acts, Recording Engineer, Producer, Electronic Tech

    Kawai MP6

    I needed to replace my stage piano and decided to go with the MP6 based on the many positive reviews. I normally use 2 boards, one for piano and electric piano-type sounds and another for organ/synth/orchestral type patches. However, on less grandiose gigs, I prefer to use one keyboard that can cover all the bread and butter patches. The MP6 is perfect. Quick access to numerous patches is much less convoluted than the typical Motif OS and the ability to save many different splits and layers fits my way of working very well. The piano/electric piano, clav and Wurlitzer sounds are, in my opinion, more realistic than any other board in this price range. I've used Roland and Yamaha exclusively for years because I've never been a fan of the plastic Korg piano sounds. I believe I have a new loyalty now. In addition to the sounds, I would be happy to use this board as a controller also. I really like the feel and response of the actual keys. The unit is well built and looks inviting to play-maybe not a big deal to some but it affects my creativity somewhat. Based on my experince with the MP6, I'm considering going with the MP10 when I'm ready to replace my main studio controller.

  • from Iowa December 21, 2011Music Background:
    Concert/gigging pianist who hasn't quit his day job

    An amazing stage piano

    I had only two criteria for my choice: An amazingly realistic piano sound and keyboard action. The Kawai MP6 fills the bill. Built solid. Definitely road worthy. The default concert grand patch is bright and steely for my tastes, but the "Mellow Concert Grand" is out of this world. I close my eyes, and thanks to an impressively realistic keyboard action, I'm at the grand piano of my dreams - for a fraction of the cost. Highly functional layout with great effects control and layering capabilities. Why did I subtract a star? While the keyboard boasts 256 sounds, some (ex. "Orch Hit") are hopelessly dated and others (ex. cello) just aren't that impressive. However, that's not what I bought the instrument for, so no big deal to me.

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