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#1474117 07/14/10 11:12 AM
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We are very close and narrowed our choice to CA63 and CA93. They are identical except build in speakers and soundboard speaker. This concept sounds cool but we were not able to compare them side by side because our dealer didn’t have CA63 in stock.
They installed smaller speakers to CA93, so SA63 may sound very close. Did someone test both of them? Does this soundboard speaker worth extra $500?
Thank you

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Another two differences besides the souundboard is that the keyboard on the CA93 has a simulation of escapement to more accurately mimic the working of a grand piano and there are more included voices on the CA93.

If you are not interested in the extra voices, are not used to a grand piano or in need of the escapement feature and/or will often play with headphones, then the CA63 would be a better value choice than the CA93. You can always add a pair of near field monitors later for around $200 if you want more oomph out of the CA63.

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As a Kawai DP owner, for me personally the CA93 even has a slightly better value for money than the CA63, because of:

* Construction: the CA93 is factory-assembled, checked and delivered (instead of DIY).

* Design differences: the CA93 Soundboard gives the look and feel of an Acoustic upright and the CA93 has a better, more ergonomic pedal board placement.

* Samples: the CA93 has more sounds on board which can make sound design more creative (not important for everyone).

* Speaker-system: the CA93 incorporates a unique audiophile grade hi-fi system and it's not just the sound board giving more pressure and spatiality, but also the six speakers and a kind of large bass port openings directed towards the front of the piano, hidden below the keyboard (if some speakers are smaller then it's because they don't have to stretch into the bass range, as the soundboard and bass port openings take care of that, which is actually a big advantage). The CA93 soundboard is not something you can easily replicate with a CA63 and (low-end) external monitor speakers, which probably also don't look very nice at home.

* Action: the let-off mechanism (if desired) is noticeable and helpful for pianissimo parts, and it is only there if you want to, by adjusting your playing technique accordingly.

* I keep hearing everywhere that the CA63 sounds best with high-end headphones. My experience with the CA93 however, is that it sounds much more authentic over the speaker system than with high-end headphones (over headphones the CA93 and CA63 sound identical).

Whether you want to spend some extra money is up to you, but i.m.h.o. it's a bargain whichever one you choose (more features and a better design for a lower price than the previous generation).


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Very good points from both theJourney and TADutchman there.

Kind regards,
James
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I'd like to add, I think the CA63 sounds good with or without headphones. I think I prefer it without headphones. I like the way the keys vibrate with the sound and that it sounds good enough to me. - I really disliked the sound of Yamahas when I was buying dps.

Thanks to living in a flat and practising quite late at night I don't get the chance to play it without headphones as often as I would like. I chose the CA63 over the CA93 because I couldn't tell the difference at low volumes or with headphones.

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Originally Posted by AndyT
I chose the CA63 over the CA93 because I couldn't tell the difference at low volumes or with headphones.

That makes sense to me: you don't need high-end for low volumes!

There are more differences though: I guess everyone can interpret/test the value of those for themselves, together with the amount of live playing at moderate practicing volumes where the CA93 difference becomes clearly audible (and performances at acoustic grand level that are simply stunning).

Something else
Until now, most sales guys don't even seem to know/care about all the details shared in this thread. This could result in making a clear purchase decision a little more difficult. Rephrased in other words: the actual Kawai top of the line products are much better than their current marketing material implies. This can be quite refreshing and very satisfying for customers after purchase, getting more than you thought you paid for, especially compared to some other DP manufacturers.


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Thank you for all your inputs. Finally we bought CA93 which was delivered today. It was in stock and we will use it mainly without headphones. I wanted to keep it simple, without any external speakers or computers, so I wanted the best sound.
Thanks to this forum, I was able to choose a great product without any knowledge in piano and music in general.
I agree with TADutchman that marketing department in Kawai is way behind engeneering one. I was not able to find any professional reviews or awards not only on Kawai site but even on Internet. I'd advice Kawai to list them on product pages.
Piano sounds very nice (at least to me) but I think soundboard has one disadvantage -- whole cabinel constraction should be very solid because it sends move vibrations. Right now I hear minor mechanical buzzing playing one key.
I also found an issue playing Old man organ but I want to update firmware and test it again before reporting here (I have 1.03 now).

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Originally Posted by SnowBarS
I think soundboard has one disadvantage -- whole cabinel constraction should be very solid because it sends move vibrations. Right now I hear minor mechanical buzzing playing one key.
I think it's inevitable that a vibrating soundboard will cause some minor mechanical buzzing somewhere, no matter how solid the cabinet construction is. That's just the fact of life that resonant frequencies to objects around the vibration will happen. Sometimes this happens to some part of the piano, other times it happens to external objects nearby. Acoustic pianos suffer the same problem, even more so given that the soundboard is their only sound generating device. So if you only have 1 minor buzzing so far with 1 key, consider yourself lucky. I think it's worth the minor nuissance to get that soundboard effect overall.

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Congratulations on your purchase, SnowBarS!

You just reminded me of two small table lamps I have bought for my wife and placed on the CA93 a few weeks ago, causing strange vibrations. The CA93 cabinet itself actually had nothing to do with it, except for generating resonance in the thin solid metal lamp poles, but it took me quite some time to figure that out and come up with a simple solution: fixing some tape to the inside of the lamp cover connected to the poles. blush


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Indeed Congratulations on your purchase SnowBarS! May I ask which finish you selected?

Please do feel free to post a photograph or two of your new instrument.

TADutchman, I would like to see a picture of you CA93 too (complete with lamps on either side)!

Kind regards,
James
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
TADutchman, I would like to see a picture of your CA93 too (complete with lamps on either side)!


Allright James, here it is: smile

[Linked Image]


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That's really lovely - I almost want to sit down and have a quick tinkle myself! wink

The lamps work very nicely on top of the cabinet too.

One query though, may I ask what is attached to the right side of the instrument, beside the power lamp?

[Linked Image]

Cheers,
James
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
I almost want to sit down and have a quick tinkle myself!

Oh my goodness, isn't this a family forum? wink

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Hurrah for Carl Humphries' The Piano Handbook!

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Good spot TheJourney, me and my wife both play the piano, but she has a background of organ playing so then this book also comes in handy. At the same time, I'm a little disappointed that you didn't mention the dealers' logo, just kidding. grin

@Kawai James: given that I received excellent support from my Kawai dealer, I guess he deserved it to keep his name in place (and we like the small personal touch), even though he indicated after delivery that he wouldn't mind if we would prefer to remove his logo.
http://www.vanoldenielpiano.nl/home

By the way, you're welcome to come and play, whenever you're in the neighbourhood. cool


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It looks very nice, congratulations. I'm also curious about the thingy next to the power light. Where did you get the bench/stool?

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Originally Posted by theJourney
Hurrah for Carl Humphries' The Piano Handbook!

Well yes, or maybe, can you expand?

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There is an excellent book of the above name which gives a wonderful introductory survey of the piano and piano music which is on TADutchman's piano and in my library. A beautifully designed and executed book for anyone of any experience level interested in the piano, but a particularly appropriate gift for adults who are exploring or returning to the piano.

http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Handbook-Complete-Guide-Mastering/dp/0879307277

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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
It looks very nice, congratulations. I'm also curious about the thingy next to the power light. Where did you get the bench/stool?

Thanks, spanishbuddha. Here's another somewhat more detailed picture showing the logo:
[Linked Image]

The quality adjustable bench was a special request of mine and included in the negotiated package deal, together with the Sennheiser HD595. During installation, there appeared to be a choice of two different seat materials (exchangeable). I let my wife decide about this detail, which sometimes can be a wise decision. wink


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dewster,

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tinkle_the_ivories

TADutchman, ah I see. Van Oldeniel Piano clearly have a very satisfied customer. wink

Thank you for the offer, by the way. I have never visited Holland, but gather it's a beautiful country - I shall certainly have to bear both yourself and theJourney in mind should I ever receive a business trip to Europe. wink

Cheers,
James
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... and they're second in the World Championship! Germany's only third. BTW, what about England...


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No comment.

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Originally Posted by mucci
... and they're second in the World Championship! Germany's only third. BTW, what about England...

Bah! Humbug! :-)

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Again, a picture says more... wink

[Linked Image]


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New and happy owner of the CA93 here since last week!

I really like the feel of the keyboard (was the most important thing for me) and the sound is also excellent. I'm still undescided about the "touch" setting. Should I put it on Normal or Heavy? I find that if I put it on Heavy the sound isn't as clear as it is on Normal. Choices, choices... smile
But all in all, a very big improvement over my last DP (Roland HP-2e).


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Congratulations Cryptkeeper, welcome to the club!

Concerning the touch settings: you can also make your own custom touch settings and store them (just check out the user manual, which was made by Kawai James).

If you'd like to explore some more timbres of your CA93 then you can have a look here (or contribute some settings yourself of course):
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1476400/1.html


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Indeed, congratulations on your new CA93 Cryptkeeper!

If you have a moment to take a picture of the piano in your home, it would be really great to see it.

Kind regards,
James
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Nice pics TAD! I use the same headphones! Though I 100% perfer using the speakers. Reminds me I need to get my pics up eventually. My 93 is in a room with big windows. I love practing and entertainig there.

Last edited by wower; 07/20/10 02:08 PM.

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Oh, in case anyone is interested in a picture of my CA63...

[Linked Image]

The sheet music is from my 9 year old daughter.


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I love that music art you have on the wall there, Mucci! It looks like a very nice spot for the piano with the 2 long red drapes on the sides!

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Originally Posted by Cryptkeeper
New and happy owner of the CA93 here since last week!

I really like the feel of the keyboard (was the most important thing for me) and the sound is also excellent. I'm still undescided about the "touch" setting. Should I put it on Normal or Heavy? I find that if I put it on Heavy the sound isn't as clear as it is on Normal. Choices, choices... smile
But all in all, a very big improvement over my last DP (Roland HP-2e).
Congrats on your CA93! I don't own one, but I just want to say that I prefer a lighter (more sensitive) setting on my AvantGrand N3 because it feels more realistic. The settings don't really change the physical feel on the keys, but they really affect how hard you want to strike the keys to get the volume you want out of it. While it depends on your playing style and types of music, I think the lighter setting would more closely resemble the higher sensitivity of a real acoustic piano. And the lighter setting is more suitable if you like to play at lower volume, too.

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Nice shot mucci!

The musical notes etched onto the wall are a nice touch - at first glance I wondered if they were perhaps Photoshopped into the picture...

Cheers,
James
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Indeed, nice pic Mucci!!

TADutchman - yeah, I saw the thread with all the sample combinations. I'm going to try them out in the coming days.

Yesterday I started playing the piano with the touch setting on "heavy" and later switched to "normal" and it instantly felt more comfortable so I'm going to stay with the "normal" setting. Again, I really love the feel of the keyboard.

Oh, and here's a pic. It's not as "glamorous" as the other pics in this thread but I am limited with the space in my appartment.
One low quality mobile phone pic coming up...

[Linked Image]



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Hi Cryptkeeper, I like your close-up helicopter view, it makes me think of something:

I am wondering what the distance of your CA93 is to the wall and whether you have the Wall EQ setting on or off. Maybe you've already done so, but optimizing this distance could enhance your whole sound experience! (even one inch can make a difference).


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Originally Posted by Volusiano
I love that music art you have on the wall there, Mucci!


+1

Is that a custom motif?

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Thanks! smile

That's a so called wall tattoo... my wife bought it. We also have a cat installed in one of our daughters rooms, sometimes you can mix it up with our real black cat smile


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I love that shot, mucci--- so inviting and comfortable. The little touches really make the difference. Home-like and relaxing, yet still so elegant.

My music room has gotten to be a little scary; it always says, "You've got a lot of work to do, Buddy."


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Originally Posted by wower
Nice pics TAD! I use the same headphones! Though I 100% perfer using the speakers. Reminds me I need to get my pics up eventually. My 93 is in a room with big windows. I love practing and entertainig there.

Thanks, wower! I'm quite curious what your CA93 room with a view looks like! whistle


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... but the sharps?!
They shouldn't be on C and F?!
smile

Anyway, where can I find a comparison with CN33? Is the sound and touch so different?


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Originally Posted by Qbert


Anyway, where can I find a comparison with CN33? Is the sound and touch so different?
Dewster's DPBSD project has tested both, so you can view the reports and listen to the samples.
DPBSD

You can compare product specifications here:
http://www.kawai.de/digitalpianos_en.htm

There are demo's for both on You Tube.

Best thing is for you to try them for yourself though and compare side by side, sound, action, how they fit your own requirements, ability, mood, and pocket. I've tried both, and they are excellent products.

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Some differences related to sound and touch for CN33 compared to CA63:

- Short plastic keys vs long wooden keys.
- Less sounds on board: 36 vs 60.
- Similar sound signature, but sample dynamics and length slightly less good (especially in the bass range).
- Simpler speaker system and lower output power.
- Missing equalizer, dynamic layering and hammer hardness (voice intonation) parameters, making tweakability very limited, so basically the factory standard should do.

What the CN33 and CA63 share is an excellent price-performance ratio in their own class! thumb


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CA 63 miss the let-off, that CN33 has


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Thanks, making a complete list apparantly is too difficult for me this Friday grin wink

...maybe the CA18 should also be considered...


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Originally Posted by Qbert
CA 63 miss the let-off, that CN33 has


Can you provide more details on this?

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Sorry? I'm simply reading the fetures on Kawai site (CA63):

CA93
Keyboard: 88 wooden keys with Ivory Touch key surfaces
Action: RM3 Grand with Let-off

CA63
Keyboard: 88 wooden keys with Ivory Touch key surfaces
Action: RM3 Grand

CN33

Action: RH Action with let-off, 88 weighted keys with Ivory Touch key surfaces

Last edited by Qbert; 07/30/10 04:29 AM.

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TADutchman, the CN33's 'Dual' function allows two sounds to be layered together. It is also possible to adjust the volume ratio of the two sounds using the balance slider.

Cheers,
James
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I know James, that are 'static layer' settings, but I'm referring to 'Layer Dynamics' which in my experience are essential to really match two dual layered sounds together.

Looking for a quote, Page 67 of your CA93/CA63 manual states the following: wink

4 Layer Dynamics
When using Dual mode, sometimes simply adjusting the volume balance between the two layered sounds is not enough to create the desired sound character, especially if both sounds are very dynamic. Layering two equally dynamic sounds can prove difficult to control and play comfortably.

The Layer Dynamics Function allows the dynamic sensitivity of the layered sound to be reduced, in order to improve the blend between the two combined sounds. In addition to reducing the volume of the layered sound, limiting its dynamic sensitivity also allows the layered sound to be controlled more easily in relation to the main sound.


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TADutchman, thank you for clarifying this point.

It is true that the CN33 does not feature the Layer Dynamics control.
The CN42, however, does offer this functionality.

Cheers,
James
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Last edited by Steve Deutsch; 09/27/10 02:19 PM.

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Cozy.

I'm eagerly waiting for mine to arrive.


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Originally Posted by Steve Deutsch


Concerned piano owners don't let their children drink pints of pale ale next to the keyboard.

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Nice shot, Steve. thumb

By the way, looking at your signature, I'm still wondering what YOU do actually. smile


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Steve, do you have any gap between the piano and the wall?

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Lovely picture, thanks Steve!

Congrats on your new piano!

Cheers,
James
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Originally Posted by theJourney
Concerned piano owners don't let their children drink pints of pale ale next to the keyboard.

Not to worry - the child's quaff is probably far enough away not to be endangering the DP.

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Originally Posted by Pinipon
Steve, do you have any gap between the piano and the wall?

In case of the CA93 you can optimise the amount of acoustic (surround) experience this way and I'm not only talking about the soundboard, but also the 4 mid-range speakers that are positioned upwards; what about the CA63?


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Originally Posted by TADutchman
Originally Posted by Pinipon
Steve, do you have any gap between the piano and the wall?

In case of the CA93 you can optimise the amount of acoustic (surround) experience this way and I'm not only talking about the soundboard, but also the 4 mid-range speakers that are positioned upwards; what about the CA63?


- There isn't a wall setting on the CA63 like there is on the CA93.

- With any speakers, its always best to leave at least a small gap between the speaker and the wall to counter bass boom. My ca63 sounds fine to me (sat at it) with about an inch between it and the wall. I don't know what it sounds like for anyone listening though...

Andy T

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Originally Posted by AndyT
Originally Posted by TADutchman
Originally Posted by Pinipon
Steve, do you have any gap between the piano and the wall?

In case of the CA93 you can optimise the amount of acoustic (surround) experience this way and I'm not only talking about the soundboard, but also the 4 mid-range speakers that are positioned upwards; what about the CA63?


- There isn't a wall setting on the CA63 like there is on the CA93.

- With any speakers, its always best to leave at least a small gap between the speaker and the wall to counter bass boom. My ca63 sounds fine to me (sat at it) with about an inch between it and the wall. I don't know what it sounds like for anyone listening though...

Andy T


I think as the CA-63 does not have soundboard and the speakers are facing downwards there is no need for a gap between the instrument and the wall.

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Originally Posted by Belger1900
Originally Posted by AndyT
Originally Posted by TADutchman
Originally Posted by Pinipon
Steve, do you have any gap between the piano and the wall?

In case of the CA93 you can optimise the amount of acoustic (surround) experience this way and I'm not only talking about the soundboard, but also the 4 mid-range speakers that are positioned upwards; what about the CA63?


- There isn't a wall setting on the CA63 like there is on the CA93.

- With any speakers, its always best to leave at least a small gap between the speaker and the wall to counter bass boom. My ca63 sounds fine to me (sat at it) with about an inch between it and the wall. I don't know what it sounds like for anyone listening though...

Andy T


I think as the CA-63 does not have soundboard and the speakers are facing downwards there is no need for a gap between the instrument and the wall.


At first time, my CA63 was against the wall and I heard a little noise in the right woofer when I pressed D2 and D#2: I though it maybe caused by a wire or by the woofer grid (bad fixation) confused ; bass was not so deep as I expected and loud very "hard" and bright. I think this is easily explained because the wall don't let the instrument to vibrate freely, damp the low frequency vibrations and increase the high frequencies. It also cause multiple vibration interferences (because of mechanical vibration reflections phenomena) inside the instrument which can lead some parts to reach a resonance frequency.

As Andy T, now I have 5cm between the piano and the wall: no more noise can be heard, the bass are really deep, the loud are not so bright and the overall timber is better smile

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Thanks for the nice replies all!

Regarding the ale, Caitlin really prefers wort before it's boiled, hopped and fermented, no worries. That finished product (indeed a pale ale) is mine (different hobby). I can tell you it is handy having a nice little drink shelf that doesn't endanger the gear.

Regarding the sound and placement, it's unfortunate but I experience a buzzing noise coming from the speakers when in the lower registers. It's a definite problem and I have Kawai support coming out to look at it. The piano's not carrying anything that vibrates, it's a solid 3 inches away from all walls (about 7.5 cm), and it really seems to be coming from the speakers themselves.

If support can't fix it I think I might upgrade to a CA93. Seems like that has a better sound system?


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Oh, and to answer a query: I support the web sites run by Lands End. Computer stuff.


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Update on my 'buzzing' noise. Warranty guy came out, opened up the case, and found a couple of loose screws that were causing sympathetic vibration. he tightened them up, and a few other screws, and the problem was solved. The hardware components themselves were fine.

I noticed buzzing a couple days later, and just by repositioning the piano (pulling it out of the corner a couple of feet), the noise went away. And the overall sound got better. Piano guy said best place for a digital is in the middle of the room :-)

So, buzzing or off-color noises can happen with these units, and room placement (say in a tight corner) can be a factor.

He also indicated I could look out for other loose objects, cords, pictures etc. as a source of future sympathetic vibration, and to call support if I can't find the cause again.


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That's interesting to hear about the loose screws. It's good that this vibration can be fixed that easily and that it is not something depending on the speaker design or so.


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Hi folks,
here is a pic of my dp:

[Linked Image]

Andy T

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Hey, what a nice model railroad (and a nice DP too)! smile And you also have the same headphones (DT770 if I'm correct) as myself!
And you seem to be an astronomy fan! smile
And this thing behind your chair looks like the bavarian flag! smile


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That's no moon!

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Yeah, I know, but it looks like something that is in space...


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Thanks for the pic Andy!

Is your CA sat below a window, or is that a really, really big TV?

Cheers,
James
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Its a window, unfortunately. smile

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A window is actually a very big, very high resolution realtime TV. Only one drawback: You only have one channel.


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Originally Posted by mucci
A window is actually a very big, very high resolution realtime TV. Only one drawback: You only have one channel.

crazy

And no mute button.


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Originally Posted by elecmuse3
Originally Posted by mucci
A window is actually a very big, very high resolution realtime TV. Only one drawback: You only have one channel.

crazy

And no mute button.


You can close the window...


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Nice, thanks for sharing.

Oh, and I like the model railway too, especially if it's for YOU! smile

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yep its mine smile.

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