Kawai MP 11 SE review: When it comes to quality Digital pianos one of the most under-rated brand you always encounter is "Kawai".
The reason of being so un-common is that Kawai does not manufacture musical instruments for consumer level entry players. And the Kawai MP 11 is one of them.
The MP Series of Pianos is designed for Stage performers, and MP 11 is a Stage Digital Piano.
I was quite hyped when I first heard the launch of Kawai MP 11 model in mid 2017 and at the beginning of 2018 luckily I got my hands on the stage piano for more than 10 days.
But as of now (2020) MP 11 has been upgraded into MP-11 SE.
And below is my feedback / experience with the digital piano so lets find out was is worth the wait ?
Kawai MP 11 stage piano has been designed and built to fulfill the highest demands of professional players.
The touch and tone of the MP11 is simply superb and are much much better than the predecessor Kawai MP 7 SE.
Each and every note of the Kawai MP11 is sampled from their flagship EX grand piano. Those samples are extra-long so they capture 120 % more and provide quite rich and high quality sound.
Kawai MP 11 SE is a perfect stage piano and is centered around performers for sure.
MP 11 gives a tough competition to Yamaha CP 73 and 98 digital piano but cost a bit more than them. No Doubt Kawai MP 11 SE is one of a kind digital stage piano for classical pianist and it delivers what it promises.
Now, lets take a closer look at what MP 11 SE has to offer to us.
Kawai MP 11-SE Features and Specs
The awesome keys of Kawai MP11
The key action of Kawai MP11 has a triple sensor in it. So it can recognize the touch of the keys through the stroke when you hit the bottom.
This great combination of multi sampling every single note and triple sensor provides a smooth transition during your play without hindering in between.
As I said earlier that the key action of MP11 is remarkably realistic and to provide the best experience and feel Kawai has implemented long wooden key stick (as long as of grand pianos).
It has the longest pivot point as compared to any other digital pianos in the market. (as of 2014)
Like of grand pianos the counterweight is at the back end of the keys on the same position where the hammer is on a real grand piano.
These small details that Kawai MP 11 takes care of is why the Kawai keyboard brand is giving a tough competition in this competitive keyboard market.
The Wood keys, ivory field key tops simply reflects that Kawai has done their best to make it the most resemblance feel to grand pianos.
Check The Wonderful Sound of Kawai MP11 in the above video
As you know that grand pianos needs a technician to tune it and voice it.
They setup the board according to your wish like adjusting hammer harder or software for a brighter or darker tone.
But on MP11 you does not need any technician to adjust these settings.
You can also fine-tune strings and bring in mechanical noises that you experience on a real grand piano, like the sounds that hammer makes or the sounds that pedals make.
These are the thing you can incorporate into the sound of your MP11 from right on the board.
What Kawai MP 11 offers and What makes it stand of the rest
MP11 has 12 built-in pianos sounds and most of them are of grand pianos.
These custom designed piano sounds are for specific types of music like pop, jazz, classical like dark piano or bright piano, upright piano, monophonic piano.
The preset samples is ready to go with just a push of a button.
In addition to the acoustic piano sound you are also going to get some electro mechanical pianos, reed pianos and Kawai’s original grand piano sounds.
In addition to the global EQ you are going to find a variety of hundred different effects built into the MP11.
One feature I like the most is the built in amplifier simulation. Beyond Piano sound the other sounds it offers are of strings, pads, mallet instrument and some bass sounds.
It also allows you to split the piano and can add layers too.
For splitting the keyboard you just have to select the split point and it’s done.
You can control the volume of your split or your layer independently of each voice with the onboard sliders.
Now coming to body. The built quality of the Kawai MP11 is excellent. The body is crafted of metal chassis, wood end caps which are reinforced underneath MP11. It is built like a tank and feel like an authentic grand piano.
Even the built in recorders offer so much option that lots of pianos fails to deliver.
The built in recorder is an audio recorder and MIDI recorder. You can record your music in different extensions like WAV or mp3.
MP11 can also be used as MIDI controller. The killer MIDI controller is simply perfect for your home or studio stage setup.
With the 88 grand piano key action, the pitch, the mod wheel, 4 zones for MIDI (MIDI in/out and through on the back panel as well as MIDI over USB) you can transmit MIDI data over both, the MIDI ports and USB simultaneously, which is quite cool.
Another notable feature is that you can save your settings of split, layers, MIDI settings and other stuff in one of the 96 memory locations.
MP11 is not only has your standard quarter-inch output on the left and right but also offers balanced XLR outputs. SO you don’t need your DI box any longer. You can directly export the music into your mixer thanks to the XLR outputs.
MP11 also features 2 quarter inch input. It also has a slider on the top of the keyboard to control the volume of that input.
MP11 comes with heavy duty triple pedal unit which you can connect to the back of the instrument. There’s also an input for an expression pedal which can be assigned for a variety of purposes including volume control.
My Experience With Kawai MP 11 Digital Stage Piano
Kawai MP11 is a remarkable instrument and close to none. MP11 SE offers so much variety to mix and play that only sky is the limit.
I have been playing keyboard instruments my whole life long and have put my hands on wide varieties of them. Whether it’s a digital piano or an acoustic piano or an organ I have played it all.
I also own a real acoustic grand piano and I can say for sure that playing MP11 gives me about as close of an experience as to playing a real grand piano as possible.
So, that's all from our end. Did you find this Kawai MP11 SE Review Helpful ?
Did we missed anything or do you have different opinion regarding MP11 SE then let us know in the comments below.
Your comments keeps us motivated to bring more detailed review of musical instruments.
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10 thoughts on “Kawai MP11 Stage Piano Review”
This review inspired me to buy myself a Kawai MP11SE as I finally decided on the instrument I want to invest all my time into.
Initially I went with an acoustic guitar as I mostly play solo at home.
However I really want to get into music theory and I’ve found that guitar is a lot more difficult to do so on. Besides that I’ve looked trough my library of music, and I’ve found way more piano tracks than acoustic guitar tracks. Acoustic guitar also generally requires a voice to be added to sound absolutely brilliant solo.
The desire for music theory, sheet music, ability to improvise on harmonies, scales, etc, and the ability to have the most versatile and best sounding completely solo instrument have driven me to invest in to this digital piano and start my musical journey from scratch again as a ‘piano player’ instead of a ‘tabs’ guitarist.
I can’t wait for it to get delivered and get started.
On a side note, if you have any recommendations for books to buy / follow as a beginner pianist that doesn’t simply want to copy youtube or play along to synthesia, please let me know 🙂
You Don’t Know How Glad Your Comments Made Me. I will surely recommend you something worth your money and time. Meanwhile, have a look at our piano coaching posts. https://www.doomsquadmusic.com/category/online-piano-learning-courses/
My MP11SE has ruined me for other stage pianos, i.e. the Nords, Yamahas, Korgs, and Rolands of the world.
I can agree with you on this.
Thanks for this overview, How’s the strength of the inbuilt speaker ? Does it have any projection system kind of thing. Can I consider this as a worship style keyboard.
Hey Vinayak, No Kawai MP 11 SE does not have a sound projection unit which is generally found on Casio digital pianos.
However, the sound are really fantastic and very perfectly sampled. BTW you cannot categorize it under worship style keyboard but I don’t see any point why you should not use it for that purpose.
Even the sound is good enough to cover a small auditorium without any further amplification.
Mp 11 is a wonderful stage piano but it is not for seasonal pianists. Unless you are paid decently for your gigs I don’t think you need to invest a hefty sum on this.
Somewhat true Jarret. It’s for those who are professional (BTW, it’s written on the piano name – “Stage Piano”) and for those who don’t compromise when it comes to Quality no matter the price tag ($2800).
Can you point me to audio samples of Mp11SE ?
Sure Carmella, Here’s some sound sample of the SE model, You can find other sound samples too on the Kawai MP Series website, Click Here.