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AZ PIANO REVIEWS – The #1 Most Trusted Digital Piano Review & News Blog in the world! LOWER PRICES than Amazon and internet music stores! Free ship, no tax on most items. Don’t order anywhere until you check with Tim & Erik Praskins 1st! Email us at or call 602-571-1864

Kawai MP11SE & MP7SE Review

? UPDATED REVIEWS – Feb 1, 2023 – Kawai MP7SE and MP11SE | The  Kawai piano company has had these newer models out for a while which replaced their previous MP7 & MP11 stage pianos. The newer versions are called the MP7SE piano-orchestra ($2199 internet discount price) and the MP11SE grand piano model ($3499 internet discount price). Both of these models have a few very important upgrades over the previous versions which I will explain below. 

If you want one of these stage digital pianos then I suggest you do not wait because Kawai keeps selling out of the both of these models since they were released and especially now with a big surge of demand  After reading this review if you feel that one of these models is right for you, I recommend you don’t wait long to order or you may not get one until summertime due to a huge demand out there for these instruments.

Kawai MP7SE & MP11SE review -

Kawai is a famous piano company headquartered in Hamamatsu, Japan and all they make are acoustic and digital pianos and are regarded in the top 3 of all digital & acoustic piano brands. They build hand-made 9 foot concert grand pianos all the way down to $700 portable digital pianos and have made a big name for themselves worldwide. Schools, universities, recording studios, piano teachers, pro musicians churches, and many others own and play Kawai pianos. In fact, Kawai has proprietary innovations they use in their acoustic and digital pianos that no one else has which puts them ahead of the pack in many cases. The Kawai name has a higher resale value than most and they are overall very reliable instruments.

Kawai MP11SE & MP7SE Digital Pianos

Kawai MP11SE & MP7SE picturesOK, so what is different in these newer models as compared to the previous models? The things that ARE new are what I consider to be the most important features in a piano and that is new upgraded key
Kawai MP11SE & MP7SE pictures
actions in the MP7SE along with new piano chip sound realism, and the same new piano sound chip is in the MP11SE along with more responsive pedaling because of a proprietary new optical sensor triple pedal system. I have played both of these models thoroughly and am impressed with what Kawai has done. Kawai currently has another model digital piano called the ES920 stage/home
Kawai MP11SE & MP7SE pictures
piano ($1799 internet price) that uses the MP7SE key action and that action is called the RH3 key action. 

The newer RH3 key action more closely approximates what a real good acoustic piano feels like along with having counter-weights built into each each (left pic) so that the key return response is more accurate and that the key returns faster after it is depressed. Keyboard counterweight technology is found in all acoustic pianos and a some digital pianos, but most digital pianos don’t have it. So the newer MP7SE key action now has counter-weight technology in the keys and also the keys have a better “piano-like” feel to them. Just to be clear, the MP11SE is for someone who doesn’t really want many “bells & whistles” and mainly wants to play piano and have it be the best piano playing experience possible and as close to a real acoustic grand piano as possible with full size real wooden grand piano keys installed in the same way as in a real acoustic grand piano. 
The MP7SE is $1500 less than the MP11SE and has more of an semi-upright/grand key action using lighter-weight plastic keys and that model also provides hundreds of instrument sound options and many “bells & whistles” for the person who would be interested in using them. The MP11SE instead focuses on the best piano playing experience and does not have near as many sounds or bells & whistles as the MP7SE.

Kawai MP11SE & MP7SE pictures

Kawai MP11SE & MP7SE picturesThe MP11SE key action has not changed at all from the previous model (which is a good thing) and it still has the very popular and well regarded Kawai “Grand-Feel” wood key action which has longer individually installed keys that offers a different and more precise fulcrum and pivot point than the MP7SE RH3 key action. The longer wooden key not only moves up & down much more like a real full size acoustic grand piano (it can be difficult to tell the difference it’s so good), but the transition in key weight and finger pressure needed to press the key down from one key to the next on the MP11SE is almost seamless. It feels pretty much the same whether pressing the white keys, black keys, playing towards the back of the keys or front of the keys, the transitions are really smooth and realistic. Even the black wooden keys have an organic wood feel on the sides of the keys just like a real grand. I know many people who own and play great acoustic grand pianos such as Steinway, Kawai, etc and they buy MP11’s so they can practice with headphones so as to not disturb other people in the home, which they obviously cannot do on a real acoustic piano. The MP11SE key action is quiet and expressive and that’s what advanced players require of a digital piano so they can practice in privacy and yet still enjoy their piano playing.

Kawai MP11SE & MP7SE pictures

So what else is different and improved on these 2 new models? Well, both of them have Kawai’s top model piano sound chip with extended memory piano sampling. This piano sound chip offers a noticeably more natural and responsive piano tonal dynamic range and more organic elements of a real acoustic grand. There is a distinct difference in piano sound realism in these new models for the acoustic piano sounds as compared to the previous models. This change is on the MP7SE and MP11SE and the new piano sound chip comes from the Kawai home digital piano model called the CA59 which sells for $3799. Among other things this new piano sound chip offers 4 distinct individual sampled grand and upright piano sounds along with additional variations of those sounds so there is plenty of acoustic piano variety on the new models which is a welcome upgrade. It also offers precise piano editing control with the popular Kawai Virtual Technician feature that has many editing parameters to customize your piano sounds from within the piano.  Kawai also has created a dedicated app for your tablet so you can more easily and intuitively make those custom Virtual Technician changes to your sounds and then save them.

Kawai MP11SE & MP7SE pictures

The other upgrades and changes on these newer models are that the MP7SE & MP11SE now both have redesigned side panels that are polished black wood rather than the more traditional dark mahogany wood tone side panels that were in the previous models. This is a more subjective change and I like both colors but
Kawai MP11SE & MP7SE pictures
the new black panel design which is also more flush with the keyboard itself along with the black color does make them look sleeker with a matching look to the rest of the piano. The new side panel redesign also added about 3 lbs more weight to the MP11SE. The other and last change to mention is that the new MP11SE has a redesigned proprietary and upgraded triple pedal unit called the GFP-3 as compared to the previous model pedal unit on the MP11. 

The triple pedal unit which comes standard with the MP11SE (optional for the MP7SE) now has advanced optical sensors built in instead of traditional sensors/contacts so that the pedal calibration and response is more precise and expressive. Some people will notice this change if they were to play both models (MP11 and MP11SE) both many people may not notice the difference. Nevertheless, the new triple pedal that comes with the MP11SE is more durable, more responsive, and adds another element of authenticity to your overall playing on this new model. The MP7SE comes with one sustain-damper pedal and that pedal is extremely durable and expressive so there was no change need for that one.

Kawai MP11SE & MP7SE pictures

Apart from the changes I just mentioned between the previous MP7 & MP11 models and these newer ones, everything else is identical in terms of function, features, digital controls, user interface…all of these things are the same and have Kawai MP11SE & MP7SE picturesnot changed. Everyone that I know of (and there are many) who had purchased the previous models was very satisfied by their experience of those models and enjoy playing them. The main things that shoppers of digital pianos want to be sure of is that they will enjoy the “piano playing experience” of the model they have chosen and the MP7SE & MP11SE certainly rise to the occasion for most people. With these upgraded newer key actions, piano sound chip, and pedaling (MP11SE) in the new models, these pianos are now more realistic than ever when it comes to replicating what a real quality acoustic piano does when you play it. Achieving a higher quality of piano authenticity is always a good thing and I believe that is what Kawai has done here.

Kawai MP11SE & MP7SE pictures

Kawai MP11SE & MP7SE picturesI recommend you read my previous reviews of the prior MP7 and MP11 at the links below and then you’ll know (if you don’t already) what these new versions actually do in terms of functions, features, and their ability to offer a very satisfying user experience with being able to control those pianos in ways that make playing keyboard/piano very enjoyable. I highly recommend these newer upgraded “SE” models and have had great enjoyment playing and listening to them. By the way, just so everyone knows, I do try to look for negative things that I don’t like about new digital pianos when they come out and I mention these things if and when they come up. But aside from the fact that piano sound, key action, and pedaling are generally a bit subjective and that some people may like or dislike one or more of those things as compared to someone else, I really have nothing to complain about on these newer current models and in fact am very impressed overall. 

However, the new models do not have user LCD touch screens, they don’t have Bluetooth capability, they do not have built-in speakers, Kawai does not make wooden type stands for them, and the MP11SE is somewhat heavy and bulky. These are a few things that some people may want to see changed or added in these pianos and I might agree with them. But the lack of these features definitely does not take away from what they can do in their price range, and in my opinion nothing else out there comes close in terms of stage type pianos that look great, feel great to play, sound great, and have just the right balance of features that can make a believer out of just about anyone looking for a great piano playing experience without “breaking the bank.” Check out my prior review of the MP7 and MP11 models (not SE) because the internal functions and features are the same in those models as they are in the newer models, aside for the new improved key actions, piano sound chip (engine), and cabinet construction of the SE models. Prior Kawai MP7 Review – Kawai MP11 Review

If you want more info on new digital pianos and LOWER PRICES than internet discounts, please email me at or call direct at 602-571-1864.

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0 Responses

  1. Tim, thanks for your up-to-date and knowledgeable review of the new SE models. Always appreciate your detailed information. You mentioned the new counterweights in the MP7SE; I guess the MP11 already had that feature?

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