Many reviews have pointed out that Kawai is really good at producing keyboards, but the keyboard is not all.
Maybe that was a correct remark back in the year 2005. Here's an in-depth August 2010 review of the new Kawai CA93
I've been so kind as to also provide you guys with the English Google translation, which is quite funny to read here and there because of wrong interpretations (maybe somebody wants to make a decent translation as some wrong conclusions can be drawn), but you get the idea:
[Author: Dirk De Paepe] [Edition: Nr.260 - August 2010]
DIGITAL UPRIGHT PIANO
(The'article is found in Meet Music Magazine issue 260, you can get for free at over 650 distribution points in Benelux.)
The CA93 is a new high-end series of digital pianos by Kawai home. It's a piano in the first place, but with many additional features and sounds, it is also a very versatile instrument. The CA93 thus looking for a very broad target group of musicians with demanding home.
The stability of the furniture is really impressive: the C-93 is a rock, even at the most daring.
The panel found its place on top of the instrument, exactly where we like to see. There are no obstacles in the game The desk is supported by three metal spikes that do not, apart from the prone position, only one bank (even if this type of instrument, we might even have to think several angles of inclination). The construction is solid, friendly controls. With a width of 784mm, you can ask up to four pages of score. The leather trim base increases the stability of scores. The height of 195mm is perfect for partitions 'official' if you use loose-leaf copies, you have any interest in placing something hard in the back.
The cover slides easily into the cabinet, and it also offers no obstacle to the game Again, one is impressed by the quality of construction.
Wooden keys of the keyboard are covered with a plastic 'Ivory Touch: which absorbs perspiration and provides an excellent grip. It is therefore a good compromise. For CA-93, Kawai has used a mechanical RM3 Great, a construction very seriously and frankly reliable, without the keys. The buttons allow themselves to first push 9mm (standard travel), if we push aggressively, we arrive at an amplitude of 12mm, so that - for example - in case of acoustic grand Kawai RX2, it reaches only 10mm. Taking into account the force you apply to the button to get to 12mm, I see no problem with fear.
The pedals are obviously mounted permanently in the cabinet, as in the case of a conventional upright piano. For furniture, you can choose from three finishes: rosewood, cherry, mahogany or black satin.
For the amplification system, we chose four speakers and two 7cm 1.9cm, supplemented by a system Soundboard Transducer, which handles the bass response through the soundboard, which is mounted in the back of the cabinet . Everything is powered by two 50W amps and another 35W for the Transducer.
To the right of the keyboard, there is the on / off button and volume control. At the left are all the other commands, and an LCD with 2x16 characters.
To the left of the keyboard, it has the connections, and a hanger for your headphones.
Kawai clearly displays offer this as an instrument CA93 upscale, and it is immediately to the quality of the finish. Everything is perfect from every angle, and all moving parts (console lid, pedals, buttons ...) work as one might expect of an instrument of this level, exactly as they should.
A French manual is available from distributors, they can get in digital format via Kawai. This manual count 96 pages and is built up logically, with explanations and illustrations on all that is necessary to know.
While Kawai does not profit from the popularity of Yamaha and Roland, he is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in digital pianos for the connoisseurs. Their 80 years experience in the construction of acoustic pianos is obviously something.
The polyphony reached 192 channels without problem.
80 sounds are available, divided into several categories: Piano 1, Piano 2, E. Piano, Organ, Organ Church, HARPSI & Mallets, Strings, Vocal & Pad, Bass / Guitar.
You have much more adjustment options than we can imagine a whole series of effects (reverb, chorus, delay, tremolo, rotary, EQ), keyboards modes (dual, split, four hands), dynamic adjustment impactor, a series of tuning in all genres, and a MIDI recorder 90,000 notes, a metronome, and a very large section Virtual Technician (especially for intonation and resonance). All these functions are of excellent quality. Their scope is often obvious, but sometimes it goes a little look far. In all cases, they offer to take charge of this instrument in great detail. Section Virtual Technician is really worth to be discovered, because it offers some special opportunities that can truly influence the character of this instrument (for example, vary your instrument in a concert grand piano that comes be granted and an old dance hall gambling background).
You can save the sounds you have adapted yourself. It can even save them on external support. But let's be honest, who will need to do this one day?
There is also a function lesson, provided with a series of educational works and numerous songs demos.
There are simply too many opportunities for all details. You can find them in full on www.kawai.de.
For connections, too, I prefer to refer you to the website, but do not worry we have everything you need on hand plus outstanding two USB (TO HOST and TO Device).
In fact, I can not tell you about the possibilities via USB. When you insert your key, the recorder will automatically recognize and transform itself from a MIDI recorder audio recorder! This is how extremely simple as you can make real audio to mp3 or wav, uncompressed format. Of course, you can also return to the recording MIDI with the key in the port. Kawai is currently the only manufacturer to offer this technology, and I'm sure it will delight many musicians. In addition, you can also provide genuine audio. Super, right?
And to conclude this chapter, a word for something that is missing: General Midi. Is not it an indispensable instrument of this kind? No. Because for those who insist orchestrate instruments GM (or GM files to play on) is what I advise: use a module from GM and connect with an audio output. Very easy to use and perfect. If you would like for CA93 everything else, do not bother with such details.
The keyboard is typical of those found on digital pianos with an attack and therefore lighter than that found on acoustic grand pianos. It does not have what is called a dual exhaust, and so we did not second resistance. There is no more than zero, that is what it always has at least one of its extremely light, even when you press the button very slowly. What are the consequences? A little less control shades extremely quiet (basically anything that is below the pianissimo) and a repeat button just under extremely fast. That is, we must say what we should say. But how serious are these consequences? Again, we must be honest. This concept keyboard is largely determined by the target group that will acquire the instrument. Everyone except those who want to benefit from the potential extremes of a classic grand piano (as well say an overwhelming majority of musicians) in CA93 find the best possible keyboard. The resistance of the keys offer excellent feel and the action is perfectly equal. It responds incredibly well to all sorts of nuance legato, staccato and martellato. The vast majority of musicians will also virtuoso with this type of keyboard than a piano, precisely because of this attack lighter and perfect mechanical properties. Because that, as regards the possibility of repeating a little lower ', nobody will complain forever (even Chopin preferred the Pleyel pianos that had no dual exhaust) and just between us, nobody will play so quietly that the keyboard can not follow. And as regards the absence of zero point: who knows an application that piano is to press a button without making any noise at all? In addition, in high volume, the tone continues to evolve to the point where you type like crazy on the keyboard. Coverage of key Ivory Touch provides an excellent contact / button finger. In short, there is a keyboard that belongs to what is best for digital pianos. I am convinced that many think is the best market.
For the pedals, the same goes for the keyboard, a resistance a bit lighter than a piano, but otherwise all conditions are met. While here I think the resistance would have been a little stronger. The sustain pedal resonances add good sound and flitre correctly in the fast movements (first treble). In the end strength, we feel that it has provided 128 degrees. The sostenuto pedal operates 'simple', that is to say that the keypresses are still ringing, so no effect on the resonances. But this poses no problem on this concept of piano. Pedal u.c. works on both harmonics than volume. What more? Maybe a little more subtlety, though I think most musicians will keep this basic setting.
The imitation of the sound on sampling or synthesis is a phenomenon in itself. When one remembers the beginnings of this technology, we already said that they were "very close to the original, so that the sounds contained only a few basic characteristics of 'the real thing. After a while, we started to regret some things to say and needed further research and add what was initially considered as 'noise' sound to make the experience more credible and pasting characteristics of the instrument. For piano, it is among other noises of all mechanical movements and keystrokes mechanics. But the interplay between resonances is also a serious challenge for the sound technicians. Because of its mechanical complex, the sound of an acoustic piano is very complex, it therefore requires serious knowledge and a huge memory for the return. And the second generation has arrived, with the addition of sound characteristics 'secondary', then the third, etc.. Until the very advanced technologies that we encounter today.
In this series C, Kawai uses an innovative technique of sampling and sophisticated, the Progressive Ultra Harmonic Imaging sampling (Uphie), we had already heard in the X Anytime (MMM 256 www.meetmusic.com
our archives) and which is a major improvement over the previous generation. I feel it especially in the field of play ultracomplexe resonances they have made significant progress. In such an extent that I can not imagine today what (s) area (s) the sound could be further improved. What struck me most is that - at different volumes - the sound follows faithfully the harmonic construction of a grand piano. Very impressive!
Another area in which digital sound can be distinguished from noise, and in which Kawai played a pioneering role, is the way the sound fills the space. In acoustics, the distribution is done in all directions, while for the digital, everything goes through the speakers, who by definition have some limitations in the dispersion of sound, thus offering a very limited capacity to listen to people who are not in the dispersion angle of the speakers. And very often, digital pianos that sound good for the musician, sound much worse for the spectators. In case of limited distribution, the natural reverberation of sound in space where the instrument is also very limited. So you can play in a space with excellent acoustics, they will simply not used. And if you play in a process that combines digital and acoustic instruments, such as a digital piano and violin, one gets the impression that the instruments are not in the same room. And add reverb to the piano will bring a drop of water, because the difference always exist, and may even increase.
Kawai has long understood that proper disposal of speakers already permitted to provide solutions. A few years ago, they even incorporated a soundboard for their high-end models, and this is in fact one of the most important in spreading the sound of acoustic pianos. These techniques have not missed their target. I let someone else play on CA93, while I wandered around to check the differences in quality, depending on the listening position. Well, there is virtually none. In the space where I listened to the space, the acoustics were really well used, with virtually no difference with what you hear, and feel with acoustic piano RX2 which is next. Listening happening naturally without applying any effect-as it should. Some lovely work from Kawai!
Regarding the amplification system, amps and speakers do their job very well. And there was no real difference between what we hear with our Sennheiser HD650 and with the speakers, which is saying something! But there was indeed a reservation. The noise level is more realistic (compared with the RX2 grand piano) is achieved with the volume slider in the middle of his race. Be careful not to damage your ears when listening through headphones. Furthermore, with the cursor fully open and playing power chords, there is distortion in the speakers. Just a slight vibration, which I can not really say if it came from the instrument or a paper that was lying in the corner. I also suspect the latter. In all cases, the CA93 really stands out in this area. Because it must be said, opening the volume turned up leads to noise levels really exaggerated.
This amplification system, combined with the quality of sampling, ensures a perfect sound definition.
Let us briefly review some basic sounds. Concert Grand: This contains all the main characteristics of a concert instrument with warm and deep bass. But also a very rich harmonic construction, which subtly and naturally follows the nuances in the game The decay is over 30 seconds (the worst record), disappears in a very homogeneous and also means that Typical and subtle expiry sinusoidal resonance, which manifests itself in the acoustic grand pianos. Simply impressive. Pop Piano: a narrower spectrum, especially under low and more aggressive, which means it will get easier in the mix of a pop song without taking the place of other instruments. Organ: jazzy with a percussive effect is dominant for each attack, as legato. Very recognizable. Low: jazzy bass very usable with lots of definition. Nylon Guitar Finger: very nice and realistic, but still uneven color changes in the game in arpeggios. A little damage. Vocal: color changes also irregular, but it's less annoying here, however, since voice naturally changes color permanently. HARPSI & Mallets: excellent in their register. Note that many sounds are in the same style, which will consist of sets very uniform.
If it is better not to add effects to the Concert Grand, they will be very useful to those wishing to experiment creatively. They are very efficient and excellent quality. Despite the limited number of buttons, their order is very logical and many musicians can enjoy their full potential.
The suggested retail price of CA93 is 3690 euro (gross retail price, including VAT) and is entirely justified. Really, it's not expensive for an instrument of this quality. If it is above your budget, you can also take a look at his little brother, the CA63.
Well, here comes a beautiful Kawai proof of his expertise. For this type of concept, the CA93 is what you can find better yet: in most areas, it is the absolute top in other areas (sound and audio recording) is alone in the lead . The remarks by certain professional pianists will definitely (see above), are outside the concept, and are therefore not relevant. There's just a slightly greater resistance of the pedal would have been welcome. But I can hardly speak, so it is minimal. The keyboard is excellent, the sampling is excellent, the speaker system is excellent, the soundboard provides real added value, the many effects and settings contribute to a real custom sounds, the finish is very high and audio recording capabilities, as Kawai is currently the only one to offer, are the icing on the cake ... You can draw your own conclusions. But what concerns me: that is how a digital piano to be built today.
• Quality of sample with a fantastic set of harmonics in the sounds of piano
• Excellent keyboard
• the soundboard initiates real acoustic characteristics
• simple implementation of a real audio recording possibility of restitution
• many opportunities for artistic creativity
• highly customizable
• the resistance of the pedal could be better
• No General MIDI
• transitions to irregular sound Nylon Guitar Finger