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Kawai CA-93 soundboard: does it really make a difference? #1439874
05/19/10 05:44 PM
05/19/10 05:44 PM
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(I hope I'm not being repetitive here - I am new to the forum so I hope I'm doing things the right way...)

I was able to try a CA-93 this weekend and have to say I left a little disappointed... Although the action and feel were pretty good, I really did not hear the effects of the soundboard system - and that was one feature that really attracted me to this DP. While I was playing it, it was very obvious to me that the sound was coming out of speakers, something that I did not feel while playing the Roland HP-307 and HP-305. I also tried a CP-179 and thought the sound was much better (obviously because it has more speakers, but I thought the CA-93 soundboard would make up for the difference).
Both pianos were right against the wall at the store.

So I was wondering: does the soundboard really work??

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Re: Kawai CA-93 soundboard: does it really make a difference? [Re: MzrtFan] #1440070
05/20/10 01:58 AM
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If you mean by "works" that it gets another 900 euros out of the pocketbook of people who choose buy it, then yes, it works. So far, AFAIK there have been no reports on this forum of anyone who has bought the CA93 after having auditioned it.

Re: Kawai CA-93 soundboard: does it really make a difference? [Re: theJourney] #1440080
05/20/10 02:18 AM
05/20/10 02:18 AM
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I wonder what they do differently on the CA-93 to get this soundboard effect (if anybody can tell the difference in the first place). Whether it's processed sound, or placement of speakers, or what??? And what are you supposed to hear? Less directed sound and more overall encompassing sound?

Re: Kawai CA-93 soundboard: does it really make a difference? [Re: Volusiano] #1440081
05/20/10 02:26 AM
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Well, they apparently are doing something similar as in the Yamaha AvantGrand (who one of our members here claims licenses the patented technology from Kawai) using transducers to excite an actual wooden soundboard. The question is the degree to which this has a successful effect not only for the piano sounds but for the other sounds on the CA93.

If you listen to the CA-111 side by side to say the Roland LX-10, then IMO the Kawai CA-111 sounds more like an in your face real piano (although that could also just be the fact that the volume was turned higher or have to do with microphone placement).

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Re: Kawai CA-93 soundboard: does it really make a difference? [Re: theJourney] #1440161
05/20/10 08:43 AM
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I could definitely feel these effects when I played the AvantGrand, but not the CA93... Of course the AvantGrand uses more advanced technology and therefore costs a lot more than the CA93.

I found the CA93 in NJ for a good price (at least compared to here in VA: CA93 was $3995 in NJ, while a CA91 was selling for the same price here in the DC area) and I thought if it really sounds that much better than comparable Rolands and Clavinovas, I'll definitely buy it. Maybe I'll try it again side by side with a CA63 (which they did not have at the store in NJ) and see if there is really a difference...

Re: Kawai CA-93 soundboard: does it really make a difference? [Re: MzrtFan] #1440169
05/20/10 09:04 AM
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Please let us know how the side by side comparison of the CA63 and CA93 goes. I know that I am not the only one who would be very interested in hearing your impressions.

Re: Kawai CA-93 soundboard: does it really make a difference? [Re: theJourney] #1440200
05/20/10 10:03 AM
05/20/10 10:03 AM
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I compared CA63 and CA93 side by side. I was not too much impressed about the realism gain by CA93, but then it was in the noisy environment of a crowded music store, so I can not really tell. Anyway, my self set budget was only about 2.000 Euro, and I intended to play mostly using headphones, so the choice was clear.


<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>
Re: Kawai CA-93 soundboard: does it really make a difference? [Re: mucci] #1443830
05/26/10 05:28 AM
05/26/10 05:28 AM
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Yes, the soundboard makes quite a difference in the bass range (up to about 180Hz), especially at moderate to high-volumes. But don't focus on the soundboard only, the 6-speaker system with better placement of the CA93 is just as important for a more acoustic experience at any volume level. Please note that Kawai has also patented the whole 6-speaker and soundboard design as an integrated system.


K A W A I ..... R O L A N D ......... E - M U
C A - 9 3 ......... A X - 7 ...... X B O A R D - 4 9
Re: Kawai CA-93 soundboard: does it really make a difference? [Re: TADutchman] #1443833
05/26/10 05:37 AM
05/26/10 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mucci
I compared CA63 and CA93 side by side. I was not too much impressed about the realism gain by CA93


You were at least able to audition and compare before making your judgement and purchase decision. It would be very interesting to hear some feedback from someone on the forum who purchased the CA93 after side by side comparisons and what the key differentiating factor was from the audition.

Originally Posted by TADutchman
But don't focus on the soundboard only, the 6-speaker system with better placement of the CA93 is just as important for a more acoustic experience at any volume level. Please note that Kawai has also patented the whole 6-speaker and soundboard design as an integrated system.


I understand that Steinway also patented the teflon bushings they used for some time in the grand pianos. Whether or not a patent exists does not tell us much about whether or not a given configuration or solution is superior nor if it has consumer benefits on which it is worth spending 900 euros.

Re: Kawai CA-93 soundboard: does it really make a difference? [Re: mucci] #1443855
05/26/10 07:13 AM
05/26/10 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by mucci
...it was in the noisy environment of a crowded music store, so I can not really tell...


As soon as I find the time, I just may perform some home recordings with a pro-microphone set-up of the KAWAI CA93 at several distances, which should give some more quality insights to potential buyers than the mediocre (at least so far) standard demo-files without real 'at home' environment on the website (which do not even differentiate between CA93 and CA63).


K A W A I ..... R O L A N D ......... E - M U
C A - 9 3 ......... A X - 7 ...... X B O A R D - 4 9
Re: Kawai CA-93 soundboard: does it really make a difference? [Re: TADutchman] #1443858
05/26/10 07:29 AM
05/26/10 07:29 AM
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TADutchman, thanks for trying to help people judge the sound of CA93, but I guess this is not really helpful. It's in any case only a recording where you can't really tell the difference of the soundboard, especially since you don't have a recording of a CA63 in the same environment and using the same recording setup. It will surely sound worse than direct recording using line-out. I guess you really have to test drive both instruments live to tell the difference.


<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>
Re: Kawai CA-93 soundboard: does it really make a difference? [Re: mucci] #1443907
05/26/10 09:41 AM
05/26/10 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by mucci
It will surely sound worse than direct recording using line-out.

Actually, this is exactly the point: according to my ears the real live sound in a home environment is much better than what you get with line-out or USB recordings (where there is no difference between CA63 and CA93). If a properly positioned microphone set-up can capture the full sound signature (including real ambience) that is now reaching my ears that would give an impression doing justice to the CA93 experience. cool


K A W A I ..... R O L A N D ......... E - M U
C A - 9 3 ......... A X - 7 ...... X B O A R D - 4 9
Re: Kawai CA-93 soundboard: does it really make a difference? [Re: TADutchman] #1443918
05/26/10 10:00 AM
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...yes, but still the claimed feeling that you're surrounded by sound and the vibration of the whole keyboard so that you have the feeling that the strings are actually vibrating can't be recorded / reproduced by any standard means...


<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>
Re: Kawai CA-93 soundboard: does it really make a difference? [Re: mucci] #1444003
05/26/10 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mucci
...yes, but still the claimed feeling that you're surrounded by sound and the vibration of the whole keyboard so that you have the feeling that the strings are actually vibrating can't be recorded / reproduced by any standard means...


Beam me up, Scotty. It is holodeck time.

Re: Kawai CA-93 soundboard: does it really make a difference? [Re: theJourney] #1444012
05/26/10 12:46 PM
05/26/10 12:46 PM
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mucci Offline
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?? What do you want to tell us with your wise words ??
crazy cool smirk


<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>
Re: Kawai CA-93 soundboard: does it really make a difference? [Re: TADutchman] #1444028
05/26/10 01:08 PM
05/26/10 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by TADutchman
Originally Posted by mucci
...it was in the noisy environment of a crowded music store, so I can not really tell...


As soon as I find the time, I just may perform some home recordings with a pro-microphone set-up of the KAWAI CA93 at several distances, which should give some more quality insights to potential buyers than the mediocre (at least so far) standard demo-files without real 'at home' environment on the website (which do not even differentiate between CA93 and CA63).


It will not work. The problem is that anyone who listens you your recording will be hearing it over his own speakers.

It would be like making a TV commercial for a new TV set and trying to show how good the picture will be but the viewer sees it on his old set. It just does not work

If yo do try, make a recording at the same time from the DP's line-out.

Re: Kawai CA-93 soundboard: does it really make a difference? [Re: ChrisA] #1444123
05/26/10 03:59 PM
05/26/10 03:59 PM
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It can work. Just show an old TV and the new TV at the same time for comparison.

Now in the morning, when I wake up I hear a radio station that preferably sends classical music. (SWR2 for the insiders here)

Quite often there is piano music and I think "Wow that piano sounds wonderfully".

It is a small and cheap clock radio that wakes me up in the morning.
So dont say, the sound of an acoustic cannot be transported through speakers.
Maybe it cannot be faked by a small Mono speaker, but it can be partially and beautifully reproduced.



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Re: Kawai CA-93 soundboard: does it really make a difference? [Re: hpeterh] #1444264
05/26/10 07:21 PM
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Quote
So dont say, the sound of an acoustic cannot be transported through speakers.


I think the sound of the piano can be transported through speakers, within limits. But the sound of your speakers can't be transported through speakers.

Re: Kawai CA-93 soundboard: does it really make a difference? [Re: ChrisA] #1444474
05/27/10 01:45 AM
05/27/10 01:45 AM
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This is very hard question to answer as having any objective observations would require getting a ca63 and ca93 side-by-side or someone who has extensive experience of both (and who's opinions one trusts). I will make one point, coming from an audiophile background, I find the sonics of the ca93 very coherent (on scales and runs and such and in the sense the sound is coming from one solid source), espeically below middle C. There are accoustic pianos (e.g. cheap older ones) out there that do worse and are just plain wonky. I plan to do duets in house and have no trouble imagining it will mesh well with live violin in my living room at life-like grand piano volumes. It's interesting how far DP technology has come: The texture of the sound at life-like grand piano volumes are very well replicated. What the ca93 doesn't capture, I feel, is the complex hamonies of real accoustic pianos. Something I still deeply miss. frown

As to whether it is worth - value-wise - the difference between the ca63 I would NEVER hazard to guess as that is just too personal a judgement.


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Re: Kawai CA-93 soundboard: does it really make a difference? [Re: wower] #1444501
05/27/10 03:17 AM
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That's a pretty accurate observation, wower. Currently, for the sake of 'augmented reality', I'm experimenting with layering two acoustic piano/grand patches, using dynamic layering and quite some other settings, to evoke even more complexity in sound. I'm already quite happy with some of the intermediate results. Will keep you updated...


K A W A I ..... R O L A N D ......... E - M U
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