Yamaha CP88 vs Kawai MP11SE

Piano is arguably the most popular instrument to learn and to play for various reasons which is why the offer for a good stage piano is also crucial for musicians to perform their music. There are many you can find in the market such as Yamaha CP88 Vs Kawai MP11SE which not only sound good but also ideal for traveling people who need a convenient instrument. If you consider one of the two, do check which of them will be your best choice below.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • Why Piano is Very Popular
  • What are Yamaha CP88 and Kawai MP11SE
  • What Yamaha CP88 and Kawai MP11SE Look Like
  • How are the Keys on Yamaha CP88 and Kawai MP11SE
  • How are the Sound of Yamaha CP88 and Kawai MP11SE
  • What else Yamaha CP88 and Kawai MP11SE can offer
  • Yamaha CP88 Vs Kawai MP11SE

Popularity of Piano

The first thing comes to people’s mind when you mention music is probably “fun” or the favorite song of the person you just talked with. Music is indeed fun and plays a huge role in many people’s lives because we can always relate certain songs to certain memories. Without realizing it we grew up with music whether you actually learn it or just casually listening to them. Personally they are the color to our days, the back sound to every activity we are doing both that we enjoy and don’t. 

Talking about music means talking about instruments as well because this is what the majority of musicians use to compose their music and the choice can vary depending on what suits best on their ears or taste. Among those we commonly heard in songs be it the popular type we often listen on radio or those that seems nobody knows about, piano is an instrument that was always there. Not all songs have piano sound in it but you can distinguish how popular this instrument is.

Back then in the 17th century people probably won’t have any idea that the newly invented instrument will continue its charm to this day and probably will stay like this for the foreseeable future. There are probably different reasons when it comes to answer why this instrument is so well-liked and favored by many. Looking from a beginner and in general, maybe it is one of the simplest to start with, proven by how people with no experience can start playing right away.

Of course people won’t be a master in any instrument in a short time but, any student at any age can start learning piano by pressing the keys and making sound. Compared to other popular instruments such as viola, students need to learn a more complicated fingering or even the technique to hold the instrument itself first. Another common reason beside the familiarity which plays a role in exposing more people to the instrument is actually how piano offers harmony.

Yamaha CP88Kawai MP11SE
Product Dimensions51.1 x 14.3 x 5.56 inches
60 x 24 x 10 inches
Shipping Weight1 pounds
49.9 pounds
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Harmony is giving piano a significant advantage over many other instruments and the ability to let you play a complete chord also gives an instant appeal for people who want to learn. Piano sound is very rich, letting you play both the melody and accompaniment at the same time, giving a different satisfaction especially for beginners. Additionally, the fundamental concepts of music theory are easier to see on piano than in other instruments such as when learning half steps, scales and chords.

About Yamaha CP88 and Kawai MP11SE

While the real instrument is probably the best to learn and to play with depending on your personal taste. In modern days it is difficult to bring along or even purchase a real instrument, moreover like piano as they can get quite expensive. The instrument is also pretty delicate that you have to treat and probably pay for a professional mover in order to prevent any damage. This is why an electric or digital variant will be more convenient for many players including professionals.

If you are here then we assume that you are also currently looking for a new piano and this piano must be able to accompany your journey. There are many professional pianos on various price ranges but for those who want to save the time checking out every piano manufacturer out there, it is convenient to look at brands like Yamaha and Kawai. These two are very popular brands that you can rely on for their good quality products.

There are lots you can find from these brands from the beginner, affordable pianos to those high-end stage models with all their bells and whistles but if you also need to keep the budget low, Yamaha CP88 and Kawai MP11SE are two amazing variants you may want to consider. Both of them are popular stage piano and among the best too in their respective lines. In comparison we do think there is no bad option between the two but there will be few differences.

The two are not really new again, especially MP11SE which was already entering the market in 2017 as an upgrade of its original version. These brothers have some difference both on the design and the sound while CP88 is a new addition to Yamaha’s CP line back then in 2019 along with another option CP73. Both of them seem to continue the style of their predecessors with convenient controls and less cluttering interface. Overall, Yamaha CP88 and Kawai MP11SE are equally promising with their own technologies.

Yamaha CP88 and Kawai MP11SE Design

Moving further, let’s check how these pianos look like first and starting with Yamaha, this CP88 is built with an aluminum chassis which means now we get both durability as well as lightweightness which means travelling musicians can go convenient with this instrument. It is a full size 88-key style weighing at 41 lbs. and measured at 51.1 inches wide, 14.3 inches deep, and 5.5 inches tall. What’s most important is probably the front control panel and here everything is separated based on the section, making it easy to understand.

As for the MP11SE, this piano is very much the same as the older MP11 but now has new side panels as your piano is featured with ebony panels. It has a small display in the middle while all the buttons are grouped together yet probably can be quite small for some people. It is very classic and the retro styling may attract your attention if you are into this fashion. The piano is measured at 54.3 inches wide, 18 inches deep, and 7.5 inches tall weighing at 74 lbs. 

Yamaha CP88 and Kawai MP11SE Keys

Now after the design what you may want to pay attention to is the instrument itself and as a piano, both Yamaha CP88 and Kawai MP11SE are very well made. In Yamaha, this piano is using Natural Wood Graded Hammer with partial wooden construction of the keys which means you can get the experience or heaviness of the keys similar to an acoustic piano due to the additional wood below the plastic shell of each key. It also stimulates the heavy and light feel across the keys with ebony and ivory keytops.

Similarly MP11SE from Kawai also has these long wooden keys and what’s attractive is the pivot point length is actually the same to what we can find inside a traditional grand piano thus, it can give a more control over the expression from the player themselves.

Yamaha CP88 and Kawai MP11SE Sound

As good as how the instrument was designed, their sound is what matters the most as they are what we will be using and be creative about. Yamaha CP88 and Kawai MP11SE are also a bit different here with Yamaha only using samples so everything is purely sampled here. However, this brand is always known for their beautiful sound of acoustic piano with the famous CFX voice which has a balanced tone throughout the frequency spectrum and is versatile in different music fashion.

On the other hand CP88 is coming with three engines for each sound so there will be piano, electric piano, and sub section. This is pretty standard compared to high-end models such as Roland RD 2000 Vs Korg Kronos but they are working seamlessly. Many love the sound of this piano especially when it comes to capturing the subtle nuance of the real instrument as you can definitely hear a level of depth and clarity to them. In comparison however, Kawai offer 40 sounds while Yamaha triple this number.

Yamaha CP88 and Kawai MP11SE Features

The last part we want to talk about is their features and just as other stage pianos, none of them will have any speaker in the unit so you will be relying on line out or headphone jack. You can find typical functions such as layering and splitting the piano into half in which you can play different sounds at once. What’s more convenient is you can record directly in MP11SE while CP88 only offers recording via USB or MIDI.

Yamaha CP88 vs Kawai MP11SE

These stage pianos are equally amazing and capable while also sound pleasant with a lot to unearth. They have lots of sound collection and are also beautifully capturing each category especially on the acoustic section. In comparison Yamaha has more collection and for the control panel we also think that it is easier to use than the smaller buttons of MP11SE. In addition, MP11SE can record in the instrument while also has more polyphony than CP88.

- 88 Natural Wood keys with Synthetic Ebony and Ivory Key Tops and Graded Hammer (GH3) Action
- Three premium grand pianos, two upright pianos and five electric pianos
- Master delay, reverb and EQ effects with dedicated realtime controls
- Seamless Sound Switching: change sounds while holding notes without sound cutoff
- Class-leading Grand Feel wooden-key keyboard action
- Stunning SK-EX, SK-5, and EX acoustic grand piano sounds
- Strong selection of realistic electric pianos and other sounds
- Wide variety of Virtual Technician sound editing parameters


Overall there is no bad option between the two and it is also difficult to choose one as they are equally capable but, we do like the CP88 better, not only because it is currently cheaper but also because it has a more modern and comfortable control panel.