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Kawai CA-51/ 71
#1218164 06/16/09 03:33 PM
Joined: May 2008
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worov Offline OP
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Hi, everybody !

I intend to buy a digital piano in the near futur (September). I have tried several instruments : Yamaha's CLP series, but didn't like their action. Roland has a much better action, but their sound is maybe a bit too warm, too mellow for me.

Then I tried Kawai CA-51. And then I thought : "My God ! That's what I'm looking for !" The action almost felt to me like a acoustic piano (well at least like the piano I've practicing on during the last 15 years). The sound was perfect for me.

CA-51 was the only KAWAI digital piano in the store. So I could not try CA-71. Nevertheless, I have compared specifications on Kawai US website:

here's CA-51 :
http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/digital/CA_07/ca51.html

and CA-71 :
http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/digital/CA_07/ca71.html

As you may see, there are few differences between the two instruments. But there is something that I don't understand. KAWAI James, are you there ? I need you.

Polyphony is 96 for CA-51 while 192 on the CA-71. I may be an idiot, but what does this mean ? What is polyphony on a keyboard ?

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by worov; 06/16/09 04:06 PM.
Re: Kawai CA-51/ 71
worov #1218385 06/16/09 09:46 PM
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Hello worov,

To answer your question, 'Polyphony' is a term used to refer to the number of tones that can be generated simultaneously before other tones start cutting out.

The CA51's 96 note polyphony is a reasonably good specification. I believe the more modern digital piano instruments from Roland and Yamaha offer 128 note polyphony, while as you are aware, some KAWAI instruments feature 192 note polyphony as standard.

It's important to remember that polyphony is not necessarily the number of keys that can be played simultaneously - after all, a piano only has 88 keys, thus one might think that 88 note polyphony would be sufficient for any performance.

However, this is not true. First, when playing stereo piano sounds, the polyphony is immediately halved. In addition, many instruments offer 'Dual' and 'Split' modes, allowing two or more sounds to be layered together, or the keyboard to be divided in two. The damper/sostenuto pedal also affects polyphony significantly, as keys are sustained while other are pressed. Finally, there are often additional effects applied to improve the authenticity of the sound, such as damper resonance, string resonance, and key-off samples.

As with most specifications quoted by manufacturers, polyphony is really just a number. While it is certainly important, I would personally be more concerned about the keyboard touch, piano tone, quality/power of speakers, and additional functions that add value to an instrument. In this respect, there is quite a lot more to distinguish the CA51 and CA71 than just the polyphony specification.

Now, without wishing to complicate matters, if you appreciate the touch of the CA51 and CA71, and are looking for an instrument intended solely for piano playing, I would strongly recommend that you also consider the CA18.
[Linked Image]
http://www.kawai.de/ca18_en.htm

While the number of sounds and other features have been considerably reduced compared to the CA51, the polyphony and wooden key action are identical. In addition, the CA18 features an improved speaker system, more attractive, compact cabinet, and most importantly, the new 88-key piano sampling process.

I hope this information is useful.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Kawai CA-51/ 71
Kawai James #1218546 06/17/09 09:09 AM
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However there is a slight difference in the two - The CA51 has Midi capability, meaning you can connect it to your computer. A digital piano connected to a computer can do several things like, practicing in a "Guitar Hero" style XD with Synthesiagame.com or you can get other piano sounds with programs like Akoustik Piano or Synthology Ivory. You can also record your performance through the Line in stuff and listen to it again from a CD or computer or anything.

The CA18 however has in my opinion a better looking cabinet, it just looks better. either way if you choose the CA51 you will end up with more connectivity abilities and sounds. if you choose CA18 it will be more simplistic, yet it does nor feature any connectivity options except headphones.

If you choose CA71, you will be choosing a slightly more expensive digital piano, it will be the same sound and touch as 51 but it just features a bit more impressive specifications, not that it matters too much.

The CA91 is not simplistic but has the same cabinet as CA18 but in my opinion, having the buttoons show in an angle ruins the whole look. a few Yamaha digital pianos and roland have the panel flat. having it at maybe 45degrees pointing up makes it look so messy. but thats my opinion.

Re: Kawai CA-51/ 71
Oblacone #1218996 06/18/09 03:29 AM
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worov Offline OP
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Thank you both of you for your answers.

I intend to play Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Debussy. Is a 92 polyphony sufficient for those ? Or do I need the 192 polyphony ?

I will give a try to the CA-71, and see if those specifications (besides polyphony) worth the extra money. I don't care that much about the cabinet. I care especially about sound, touch, action.

Last edited by worov; 06/18/09 03:29 AM.

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