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Re: New Kawai home piano: CA-13 [Re: LaRate] #1525396
09/30/10 03:42 AM
09/30/10 03:42 AM
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I have discussed with professional pianists and they have similar findings compared to mine: the plastic and wooden keyboard are about the same, no real difference. What else can it be but a marketing gimmick?

This kind of marketing is ignoble and will not be left unnoticed. This is how manufacturers screw with amateurs like me. Make sure you understand that you are not buying a piano albeit the manufacturers want you to think you are. You are buying a cheap computer. And they want to confuse you with concepts like "Grand Action", "Graded Hammer" and whatnot. LMAO. Manufacturers just love you to be lost in minutia; you start to compare insignificant features as if they made a real difference. And that will 'help' you with your post-purchase rationalisation when you come back here posting 'I love my new dp'.

I am still going to buy CA63. Not because it is significantly better than my 4 years old yamaha (which I've already sold), but because I am vain.


Arno H

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Re: New Kawai home piano: CA-13 [Re: LaRate] #1525397
09/30/10 03:58 AM
09/30/10 03:58 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
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Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
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Originally Posted by theJourney
Can you point us to any objective studies or comparisons that prove that the RM3 wooden keyboard from Kawai is superior to its own plastic RH keyboard or to the plastic PHA-III keyboard from Roland? In specifically which areas is it's performance superior?

As you could have seen earlier, there's nothing objective about the comparison between 100% long wooden action and short 'plastic fantastic', solid wood just feels so much better! cool whistle



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: New Kawai home piano: CA-13 [Re: LaRate] #1525414
09/30/10 04:54 AM
09/30/10 04:54 AM
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Having tried the RM3 and PHAIII and others, I must say the RM3 really feels good to me personally. If that is due to the wood inside (perhaps subtile minor deviation from key to key, because it's more organic in nature than almost 100% equal industrial plastic keys) we will never know for sure. Can only compare side by side . RM3 is the winner IMHO , but I doubt if that really makes RH , PHAIII and other complete rubbish or unusable. Also I don't know how long the RM3 will live without problems compared to synthetic material. All in all I think RM3 is great, but you have to add up all other features as well to see if it will fit all your needs. CA-13 doesn't have audio-in , so you have to live with the lower grade PHI or use external amp. If you can live without the piano cabinet design the FP7F seems a hard to beat opponent to me, considering all the features it has (and better SN sound).

Re: New Kawai home piano: CA-13 [Re: JFP] #1525418
09/30/10 05:12 AM
09/30/10 05:12 AM
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Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
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Originally Posted by JFP
RM3 is the winner IMHO , but I doubt if that really makes RH, PHAIII and other complete rubbish or unusable. Also I don't know how long the RM3 will live without problems compared to synthetic material.

If necessary, after years of very intensive (either professional or home) use, the RM3 action can even quite uniquely be serviced just like the action of an acoustic grand. Plastic action in that case could be very well beyond repair.


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
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Re: New Kawai home piano: CA-13 [Re: theJourney] #1525423
09/30/10 05:35 AM
09/30/10 05:35 AM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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Originally Posted by theJourney
Both keyboards are quite far from an actual wooden acoustic keyboard.


Unfortunately you are once again completely wrong.

Remove a single key from a Kawai 'RM3 Grand' action and a single key from a Kawai acoustic grand piano action and place them side by side - you will see that they share the following characteristics:

- Each key is Crafted from a single, long piece of wood
- Each key has a 15.5 cm moisture absorbent Ivory-like key surface attached to the front half
- Each (bass) key has a counter-weight added to the front
- Each key has a guide pin at the front
- Each key pivots on a central balance pin
- Each key moves in a 'see-saw' motion
- Each key is softly dampened at the front and back with felt-like material

While in my previous post I was happy to quote Evelyn Beatrice Hall, I'm afraid on this occasion I simply cannot defend your right to post rubbish. Indeed, I am obliged to educate you and highlight exactly why you are so wrong.

Quote
Can you point us to any objective studies or comparisons that prove that the RM3 wooden keyboard from Kawai is superior to its own plastic RH keyboard or to the plastic PHA-III keyboard from Roland?


The keyboard engineering section undertake numerous studies whenever a new or revised keyboard action is introduced to ensure that it improves upon the previous generation hardware. This typically involves inviting professional and semi-professional pianists to blind-test a range of current and previous generation keyboard actions, whereupon they are asked a series of questions to assess the quality of each.

I am obviously not going to detail the results of these tests on a public forum, however I expect it should be quite obvious that 'RM3 Grand' and 'RH' outscored their previous generation counterparts - if they didn't, the actions wouldn't have been approved and wouldn't have made it to market.

But honestly, why this obsession with objective tests? Surely you realise that playing the piano is a unique experience for each individual? This is the magic of the instrument.

Kawai has been producing digital piano instruments that utilise wooden-key technology for 25 years. If we didn't believe they made a difference to an individual's playing experience, and - more importantly - consumers didn't believe they made a difference to their playing experience, don't you think we would have scrapped the whole idea a long, long time ago?

Always a pleasure theJourney.

Cheers,
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: New Kawai home piano: CA-13 [Re: LaRate] #1528100
10/04/10 02:43 PM
10/04/10 02:43 PM
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James, certainly you are not claiming that the RM3 keyboard is to the CA series what the acoustic C3 grand action is to the Avantgrand just because the RM3 contains some short, stubby keys that happen to be made out of wood with a cheaper and inferior covering on them are you?

If wood is really materially better than plastic, then why on earth is Kawai marketing the plastic RH keyboard? It seems to be self-contradictory or evidence that it doesn't really matter.

Last edited by theJourney; 10/04/10 02:45 PM.
Re: New Kawai home piano: CA-13 [Re: LaRate] #1528209
10/04/10 06:15 PM
10/04/10 06:15 PM
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Good morning theJourney,

Quote
James, certainly you are not claiming that the RM3 keyboard is to the CA series what the acoustic C3 grand action is to the Avantgrand...


No, because I don't believe we we're actually talking about the Avantgrand action.

We were in fact comparing the 'NW' and 'RM3 Grand' keyboards - you stated that "both keyboards are quite far from an actual wooden acoustic keyboard", and I provided a list of reasons why you were completely wrong.

Quote
If wood is really materially better than plastic, then why on earth is Kawai marketing the plastic RH keyboard?


Because wooden key actions are very expensive to produce, and unfortunately not everyone can afford to spend ~1400 Euros on a digital piano. Therefore, in order to offer more affordable instruments (sub-700 Euros in the case of the CL25) it makes perfect marketing sense for Kawai to develop lower cost plastic alternatives.

Always a pleasure theJourney, thank you for your continued interest in Kawai instruments.

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: New Kawai home piano: CA-13 [Re: Kawai James] #1528211
10/04/10 06:21 PM
10/04/10 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
I provided a list of reasons why you were completely wrong.

No, you talked about the keys being made of wood, which we knew. But left out the fact that they are very far from being an actual acoustic wooden keyboard action, which was my point. Perhaps you could explain how the RM3 action is the same or different from the RX-2 action?

Quote
If wood is really materially better than plastic, then why on earth is Kawai marketing the plastic RH keyboard?

Originally Posted by Kawai James

Because wooden key actions are very expensive to produce, and unfortunately not everyone can afford to spend ~1400 Euros on a digital piano. Therefore, in order to offer more affordable instruments (sub-700 Euros in the case of the CL25) it makes perfect marketing sense for Kawai to develop lower cost plastic alternatives.

x


But according to your post, the RM3 is not a wooden key action but a digital piano action with wooden keys. Certainly wood is not more expensive than space age materials such as ABS?

Last edited by theJourney; 10/04/10 06:23 PM.
Re: New Kawai home piano: CA-13 [Re: theJourney] #1528250
10/04/10 08:06 PM
10/04/10 08:06 PM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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theJourney, we appear to be going around in circles somewhat.

Originally Posted by theJourney
Perhaps you could explain how the RM3 action is the same or different from the RX-2 action?


Well, referring specifically to the keyboard - which is the part of the action we were originally discussing - the following shared characteristics should be clearly visible:

Originally Posted by myself

- Each key is Crafted from a single, long piece of wood
- Each key has a 15.5 cm moisture absorbent Ivory-like key surface attached to the front half
- Each (bass) key has a counter-weight added to the front
- Each key has a guide pin at the front
- Each key pivots on a central balance pin
- Each key moves in a 'see-saw' motion
- Each key is softly dampened at the front and back with felt-like material


There are a number of additional characteristics that the 'RM3 Grand' action shares with an acoustic grand piano action, however I believe the above points cover the similarities that relate specifically to the keyboard.

Originally Posted by theJourney
But according to your post, the RM3 is not a wooden key action but a digital piano action with wooden keys.


'RM3 Grand' is a digital piano action that utilises wooden keys - this is correct, yes.

Originally Posted by theJourney
Certainly wood is not more expensive than space age materials such as ABS?


I'm afraid I don't quite understand the point you are trying to make.


To clarify, you queried why Kawai continues to develop digital piano actions that utilise plastic keys, and I attempted to explain that this was to allow more affordable instruments to be developed. I would also like to add that there are instances where using a plastic key action is more suitable, such as in instruments that are designed to be compact (CL25, CL35) or portable (ES6, MP6).

I hope this post answers your queries. Once again, many thanks for your continued interest in Kawai instruments.

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: New Kawai home piano: CA-13 [Re: Kawai James] #1528381
10/05/10 03:07 AM
10/05/10 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
theJourney, we appear to be going around in circles somewhat.

That's usually pretty good evidence that someone is evading answering the questions.

Originally Posted by theJourney
Perhaps you could explain how the RM3 action is the same or different from the RX-2 action?


<crickets>

Originally Posted by Kawai James

Originally Posted by theJourney
But according to your post, the RM3 is not a wooden key action but a digital piano action with wooden keys.


'RM3 Grand' is a digital piano action that utilises wooden keys - this is correct, yes.

Therefore my original point remains undisputed, namely that the Kawai RM3 and Yamaha NW "wooden piano keyboard actions" (outside of the Yamaha Avantgrand) are just digital piano keyboards with varying degrees of wood used as the interior material for keys and therefore representing more of a marketing gimmick impact than an impact on performance or playing.

Originally Posted by Kawai James

Originally Posted by theJourney
Certainly wood is not more expensive than space age materials such as ABS?


I'm afraid I don't quite understand the point you are trying to make.

x


The point is that if a manufacturer uses a material that offers minimal or no cost savings, its claims that it is doing so to save costs is not credible. Just like the claim that features are disabled on a common circuit board on lower end models is done to save costs is often disingenuous. In both cases they are examples of differences done for marketing reasons rather than cost. If it was just about cost savings the difference in price at the consumer level would be a couple of tenners instead of hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Kawai likes to portray unique benefits such as eliminating the centuries-old tradition of using wood in its acoustic piano actions and replacing it with varying degrees of plastic.

For its top of the line digital pianos it takes the same tactic in reverse and instead of using stable, durable plastics in its keys as well as the other action parts it chooses to use old-fashioned wood which is subject to environmental factors such as humidity leading to swelling and keyboard unevenness or the need for repair or maintenance (as the various posts on this and the piano forum over the years have attested).

Upon further examination, it would appear that the digital piano actions with keys made of wood on the Kawais actually provide less for more.

Re: New Kawai home piano: CA-13 [Re: LaRate] #1528392
10/05/10 03:24 AM
10/05/10 03:24 AM
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theJourney,

Once again, I appreciate your continued interest in Kawai instruments. However, it's clear that we both hold opposing viewpoints on a number of topics raised within this thread, so for the sake of other PianoWorld visitors, I think it's best if we just agree to disagree.

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: New Kawai home piano: CA-13 [Re: theJourney] #1528398
10/05/10 03:33 AM
10/05/10 03:33 AM
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Originally Posted by theJourney

Upon further examination, it would appear that the digital piano actions with keys made of wood on the Kawais actually provide less for more.


No. I think there is a common consense among users and testers that the Kawai wooden action is very good and probably the best on market. Of course tastes differ, some body might like another keyboard more.
It is probably the best part of Kawai pianos and it is a pity that this is not available in 3 sensor configuration.

It is clear that basically the same mass inertia could be achieved with a plastics construction. But not the noise and the bounce back behaviour.

I give you an example:
1) I strike the key hard and hold it. In this case I feel almost no bounce back. Almost the whole bounce back energy is eaten up by this soft pillow that is at the end of the key.

2) I strike the key hard and release it immediately. The key bounces back fast.

In case 1) the key has to capture a lot of force. In that moment where the key is hold, the hammer bounces back and the energy is destroyed just in the same way as if the "Fänger" (dont know the english word) in a real action would eat the energy by friction.

The Kawai keyboard hammer-key connection is constructed differently but acts similar. When there is a hard stroke the friction will increase and destroy so much energy that periodic bouncing is avoided.

You will probably not find this behaviour on a plastics keyboard because plastics cannot withstand these dynamic forces. They would have to use carbon or glass fiber plastics for a similar behaviour. Plastics key have more bounce back, they cannot capture the forces.

Thats only one example. The wodden keys can absorb much more energy and have for this reason much better characteristics.

This all is of course possible with plastics too, but not with those cheap keys that are made in the moulding press.

Peter



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Re: New Kawai home piano: CA-13 [Re: hpeterh] #1528402
10/05/10 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by hpeterh
Originally Posted by theJourney

Upon further examination, it would appear that the digital piano actions with keys made of wood on the Kawais actually provide less for more.


No. I think there is a common consense among users and testers that the Kawai wooden action is very good and probably the best on market.

Agreed that it is very good.
Originally Posted by hpeterh

Of course tastes differ, some body might like another keyboard more.
It is probably the best part of Kawai pianos and it is a pity that this is not available in 3 sensor configuration.

It is clear that basically the same mass inertia could be achieved with a plastics construction. But not the noise and the bounce back behaviour.
...You will probably not find this behaviour on a plastics keyboard because plastics cannot withstand these dynamic forces. They would have to use carbon or glass fiber plastics for a similar behaviour. Plastics key have more bounce back, they cannot capture the forces.

Thats only one example. The wodden keys can absorb much more energy and have for this reason much better characteristics.

This all is of course possible with plastics too, but not with those cheap keys that are made in the moulding press.

Peter



For me the above underlined points are among the most salient about this entire debate.

The Kawai RM3 based instruments:

+ seem quieter qua thumping and
+ feel more realistic in their physical bounce back on key release,

but

- provide less performance in terms of speed of repetition,
- are more maintenance and adjustment sensitive,
- give a subjectively less organic-feeling-connection between keyboard articulation desired and tones generated and
- the realism of the piano sound (and other sounds) produced including resonance and decay is inferior.

Last edited by theJourney; 10/05/10 03:44 AM.
Re: New Kawai home piano: CA-13 [Re: theJourney] #1528410
10/05/10 04:02 AM
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Those people that preferrably play synth sounds, fast runs and arpeggios that repeat forever with constant volume are better served with a halfweighted or nonweighted plastics keyboard.
These have their specific advantages too.

BTW if you want a good and affordable synth action with aftertouch then get a used Kawai K3 Synth on ebay. ;-)

Of course the kawai wooden keyboard is not good for this, but for example the action of a real grand would not be good for this also.

I think you compare aspects that cannot been compared.
Another aspect is hard bottom out.
Most plastics keyboards suffer from this, or they bottom out much too soft.
This also has the reason that the plastic keys cannot absorb as much force as the wooden keys. They cannot implement a force-dependant friction because the plastics key does not withstand the forces.

Anyway, you will not find an action that can do everything and fullfills everybodies wishes.

Last edited by hpeterh; 10/05/10 04:56 AM.

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Re: New Kawai home piano: CA-13 [Re: LaRate] #1533711
10/12/10 09:22 AM
10/12/10 09:22 AM
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What an amazing forum,
I spent a lot time on the forum but i have learned a lot. Thanks for everyone sharing their know-how and experiments, which are really priceless.
Especially i would like to ask Kawaijames, if he shares his opinions; maybe some will be repeat. Now i would like buy a DP for my 7 year old son. Because of some conditions we have to go for dp instead of acoustic.
I searched a lot, and my priority is best acoustic feeling; and don't wanna have problem when he passes to acoustic. The other features are less important.
I figured out that Kawai CA series wouıld be the one of best alternative for my looking. Anyway, i am now on o choise between CN32 and CA13. The thing i am curious about is:

1. As far as i know All Ca series uses same tech. in terms of key (RM3). So do other expensive alternatives (63 and 93) differ from 13 interms of acoustic feeling and keys.
2. CN series does not provide RM3 action, and has plastic keys; but anyway do CN series quite differ from CA series in terms acoustic feeling and keys?
3. Do other ca series quite differ from CA 13 in terms of sound quality. If not can we say that the major difference is the features on them?


Best Regards,

Last edited by FBM; 10/12/10 10:42 AM.
Re: New Kawai home piano: CA-13 [Re: LaRate] #1534410
10/13/10 06:11 AM
10/13/10 06:11 AM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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FBM, welcome to the forum!

With regards to your queries:

Quote
1. As far as i know All Ca series uses same tech. in terms of key (RM3). So do other expensive alternatives (63 and 93) differ from 13 interms of acoustic feeling and keys.


The CA13, CA63, and CA93 all utilise the same 'RM3 Grand' wooden-key keyboard with 'Ivory Touch' key surfaces, however the CA93 keyboard action adds 'let-off' simulation.

Quote
2. CN series does not provide RM3 action, and has plastic keys; but anyway do CN series quite differ from CA series in terms acoustic feeling and keys?


The CN series models utilise a plastic key keyboard action, with the current generation CN23 and CN33 instruments featuring the brand new 'RH' action. While perhaps not as authentic as the 'RM3 Grand' action, 'RH' still offers a very convincing acoustic piano playing experience.

Quote
3. Do other ca series quite differ from CA 13 in terms of sound quality. If not can we say that the major difference is the features on them?


Yes, the CA93/CA63 utilise UPHI sound technology, while the CA13 and CN series models utilise PHI sound technology. The differences between the two sound technologies are subtle, however UPHI requires a larger amount of sample memory and therefore delivers a superior sound. There are of course a number of other differences between the CA93/CA63 and CA13, however UPHI vs PHI has the greatest impact over the sound quality.

I hope this helps.

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: New Kawai home piano: CA-13 [Re: Kawai James] #1534414
10/13/10 06:20 AM
10/13/10 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Yes, the CA93/CA63 utilise UPHI sound technology, while the CA13 and CN series models utilise PHI sound technology. The differences between the two sound technologies are subtle, however UPHI allows gifted players to perform with more expressiveness.


James, it has been fun to see your explanations of Kawai's fantasy names evolve. This last one would certainly qualify you for promotion from the user manual department to the marketing department!

Last edited by theJourney; 10/13/10 06:21 AM.
Re: New Kawai home piano: CA-13 [Re: theJourney] #1534416
10/13/10 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by theJourney
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Yes, the CA93/CA63 utilise UPHI sound technology, while the CA13 and CN series models utilise PHI sound technology. The differences between the two sound technologies are subtle, however UPHI allows gifted players to perform with more expressiveness.


James, it has been fun to see your explanations of Kawai's fantasy names evolve. This last one would certainly qualify you for promotion from the user manual department to the marketing department!


Yeah good stuff, nimble footwork. (tongue work?) smile

Re: New Kawai home piano: CA-13 [Re: theJourney] #1534422
10/13/10 06:42 AM
10/13/10 06:42 AM
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Damn, too slow with the Edit button!

Actually, I think that line about expressiveness is indeed straight out of a brochure, although I believe I probably worded things a little more elegantly on that occasion. But hey, give me a break - its 7:30pm, I'm tired and hungry...

Originally Posted by theJourney
This last one would certainly qualify you for promotion from the user manual department to the marketing department!


Check my profile - same person, same department.

Cheers,
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: New Kawai home piano: CA-13 [Re: LaRate] #1534429
10/13/10 07:30 AM
10/13/10 07:30 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 3
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FBM Offline
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Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 3
KawaiJames, very valuable infos...Thank you very much...
I suppose i'll go for CA13, maybe a simple piano but at least very similar to acoustic in terms of key. I also believe that the sound quality will satisfy me; i wish i could afford to 63 or 93 but infact i will be over my budget by going to ca13 instead of cn33.
I will share the details whenever i have and experience it...
Thanks for all...
Best

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