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#1713693 - 07/15/11 06:25 AM Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues  
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I just purchased a Kawai CA-63 and absolutely love the sound when using headphones. However, I do not believe I can live with the sound I get through the external speakers. It just seems way over-the-top with vibration and resonance. I have tried various modifications without success, so far.

I am wondering if I might have better success by just purchasing a pair of additional speakers / monitors and plug them in to my Kawai and eliminate the Kawai speakers entirely.

And, if so ... what recommendations might you have for the speakers / monitors to purchase.

Thanks for any replies ...


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
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#1713702 - 07/15/11 06:55 AM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: dmd]  
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I have a CA-93 and had significant resonance and vibration when I first got it. I moved it away from the wall about 16 cm and the problem went away. Hope this helps!


Yamaha CP4, Kawai CA93, EV ZXA1
#1713712 - 07/15/11 07:22 AM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: dmd]  
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Of course, I have a CA-63 ... which is a whole different animal (no soundboard) but it is worth a try. I will move it completely away from the wall and see what happens. Thanks for the input.

I also seem to notice that the sound is less "tinny" when coming through the headphones. If I could get the headphone sound through the speakers it would be awesome.



Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#1713766 - 07/15/11 09:12 AM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: dmd]  
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Yes, that's really the ultimate goal, but without some massive hi fi system it's hard to do - maybe impossible. Obviously, tweaking the EQ and the touch response can help things a bit. I've also seen other posts that suggest the sound dynamics of the room itself (in addition to the wall idea) can significantly affect the sound. The other thing that I've found is that the transition from headphones to speakers is disappointing, but once I play through the speakers for awhile, I adjust to the different sound.

Good luck


Yamaha CP4, Kawai CA93, EV ZXA1
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#1713778 - 07/15/11 09:43 AM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: Coker]  
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Originally Posted by Coker
Yes, that's really the ultimate goal, but without some massive hi fi system it's hard to do - maybe impossible. Obviously, tweaking the EQ and the touch response can help things a bit. I've also seen other posts that suggest the sound dynamics of the room itself (in addition to the wall idea) can significantly affect the sound. The other thing that I've found is that the transition from headphones to speakers is disappointing, but once I play through the speakers for awhile, I adjust to the different sound.

Good luck


I am wondering what you mean by MASSIVE HI FI SYSTEM. Does that mean that a pair of KRK Monitors will not be better than what I already have ?


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#1713798 - 07/15/11 10:30 AM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: dmd]  
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dmd, I've already confirmed in another topic that I am not satisfied with the sound from the speakers too. I love it with headphones though. In fact, I thought I had written my post in your topic here but due to the two topics on the main page with CA63 in the title I had mistakenly answered in the other one where the issue is more about resonances.

Anyway, I play mostly around midnight when the neighbours wouldn't allow me to play with speakers so it's not an urgent issue for me but I would still be interested in options to improve the sound with the speakers.


https://myspace.com/evgenykumanov/music/songs
Currently: Kawai ES7 -> Garritan CFX Lite
Previously: Kawai MP6, Kawai CA63, Roland RD-700SX, Roland FP-5, Yamaha P90, Korg SP-200, Casio CDP-100
#1713809 - 07/15/11 10:48 AM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: dmd]  
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SDmd - sorry about perhaps exaggerating with the "massive hi fi system." I actually tried some KRK6s, second generation, and was blown away by the sound at first. Then I noticed the bottom seemed just a tad muddy and concluded that getting sound as good as headphones at a reasonable price might be a tad elusive. Even my CA-93 was a compromise in sound. The sound is very good, but some really good powered monitors are probably better. I just didn't want the "dorm room" look that I had 35 years ago - all the wires, speakers, etc. - in my living room.


Yamaha CP4, Kawai CA93, EV ZXA1
#1713825 - 07/15/11 11:13 AM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: Coker]  
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Originally Posted by Coker
SDmd - sorry about perhaps exaggerating with the "massive hi fi system." I actually tried some KRK6s, second generation, and was blown away by the sound at first. Then I noticed the bottom seemed just a tad muddy and concluded that getting sound as good as headphones at a reasonable price might be a tad elusive. Even my CA-93 was a compromise in sound. The sound is very good, but some really good powered monitors are probably better. I just didn't want the "dorm room" look that I had 35 years ago - all the wires, speakers, etc. - in my living room.


Well, you know I am actually starting to catch on to the fine tuning of the sound on the CA-63. I am having some success with dual sounds where the two sounds are set as 1-9 with the 9 being a MELLOW sound. That and a HEAVY touch seem to quiet things down without it sounding muffled ... so I am encouraged, at this point, that I might be able to find something I can live with.

If not, I will certainly throw a couple of good monitors on it and see what happens. It only will cost "shipping" if it doesn't work.


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#1713849 - 07/15/11 11:40 AM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: dmd]  
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You might want to take a look at the other string that talks about various CA-93 settings. I assume they are also valid for the CA-63. Good luck!


Yamaha CP4, Kawai CA93, EV ZXA1
#1713864 - 07/15/11 11:58 AM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: Coker]  
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Originally Posted by Coker
You might want to take a look at the other string that talks about various CA-93 settings. I assume they are also valid for the CA-63. Good luck!


Yes, I have and they were helpful in my getting started with this.

I do now believe that, over time, I will develop a set of fine tunings which will suffice for my needs.

Thank Goodness !!! I was afraid I had purchased a fancy conversation piece.


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#1714261 - 07/16/11 12:15 AM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: dmd]  
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by Coker
You might want to take a look at the other string that talks about various CA-93 settings. I assume they are also valid for the CA-63. Good luck!


Yes, I have and they were helpful in my getting started with this.
Thanks for your positive feedback. thumb

This is under the assumption that you guys are referring to this thread with specially developed CA93 and CA63 compatible dual voice mode presets (by the way, specific CA93 only presets are clearly marked): cool http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubb...0for%20KAWAI%20CA93/CA6.html#Post1448603

For convenience (but without background info), CA93/CA63 owners can easily download the entire CA93/CA63 presets list to be found at the bottom of the first post there. 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
#1714336 - 07/16/11 06:54 AM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: TADutchman]  
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Originally Posted by TADutchman
For convenience (but without background info), CA93/CA63 owners can easily download the entire CA93/CA63 presets list to be found at the bottom of the first post there. whistle


I have done that and the list is sitting on my CA-63 ready for reference. Very helpful. There appears to be considerable effort that went into that. A labor of love, I assume. smile


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#1714376 - 07/16/11 09:22 AM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: dmd]  
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Well, I think I have reached a tuning position I can live with for the moment anyway. It is pretty simple, I like simple.

I will just put it out here for thoughts by whomever. Someone may have a suggestion or it may help someone with their tuning.

Here it is ..

Concert Grand
Low: -2 Mid: +5 High: +5

Damper Reso. 2
String Reso. 2
KeyOffEffect: 2
Touch: Heavy

Reverb: Room2 On


There you have it ... As you may notice, I do not like a lot of Dynamics and Resonance. I increased the MID and HIGH values to help get the melody to cut through the HEAVY touch setting. It seems to work. And I do not want the LOWs dominating, thus the reduced LOW.

Anyone with suggestions, I welcome other considerations.




Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#1714461 - 07/16/11 12:03 PM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: dmd]  
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hmmm... weird setting, not my taste at all... But of course YMMV. Seems like you don't need any damper / resonance effects at all. Maybe you're more accustomed to a Yamaha sound, it's much more brilliant, and, if you don't turn on the resonance effect (a special knob) then you also have a quite "simple" (non-resonant) sound.


<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>
#1714751 - 07/16/11 09:23 PM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: mucci]  
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Well, sad to say I am back to square one.

I tried (and I am still trying) to find a way to adjust the sound I am getting on my CA-63 but I am coming to the conclusion that I just do not like the sound period. It is weird, because I have seen so much written about how "fantastic" the Kawai sound is. A very well respected instrument. I love it also, in every way EXCEPT the sound that comes out of it.

Now, my question to whomever is ...Is this fixable ? Is it possible to plug something into the LINE OUTS (L/R) that will give me a sound that I will like ?

The problem is, I do not even know how to describe the sound that I like. But I will try ... Clear, not buzzing, not muffled, Rich, Not tinny, not like a giant guitar.

I know I am not completely nuts on this because I have seen others who mention that they only play it with headphones and they know that without headphones the sound is not the best.

Again, is this fixable or would I probably just be pouring more money down the rathole ?



Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#1714767 - 07/16/11 09:46 PM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: dmd]  
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Don, the Kawai sound is good (technically speaking it's very good...), however the tonal character is not for everybody. If you've been playing a Clavinova for a number of years, it's possible that your ears are more 'tuned' towards the Yamaha sound.

The quality of the output that you are hearing could well be improved by using an external amplifier and speakers, however if you are not keen on the inherent character of the Kawai, I doubt you will ever be truly satisfied.

Do you find the sound to be agreeable when listening though a pair of good quality ($100+) headphones? If so, external amplification may be worth pursuing. If not, perhaps you may wish to consider alternative options from Roland or Yamaha, or possibly even a software (computer based) instrument such as Ivory.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#1714769 - 07/16/11 09:47 PM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: dmd]  
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It's just a personal preference thing. I liked the CA63 quite a lot. I think you should start looking at what you want to trade it for. I think you've given it a good go, it's probably just not for you. When you first bought it, were you unconvinced?

#1714863 - 07/17/11 02:12 AM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: dmd]  
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Originally Posted by dmd
... Clear, not buzzing, not muffled, Rich, Not tinny, not like a giant guitar.

That's quite a challenging description, Don smile wink

After having a go at it, also listening to what you where trying to do in single voice mode, here's what I came up with in dual voice mode: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1714861.html#Post1714861

Do let me know your experiences with this preset, Don & other CA63 owners (and tell me which voicing you prefer)!


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
#1714953 - 07/17/11 09:08 AM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: TADutchman]  
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TA:

Thanks for the custom preset.

I went with Dual Balance 3-7

I tried 7-3 and found it to be too sharp / biting.

My voicing preference is either Mellow1 or Mellow2

This preset sounds pretty good with headphones but with speakers it sounds a little too muffled at times and is difficult to get any volume out of it. I have my master volume set at 50%. I understand that the muffled sound probably comes with less "RINGING".

I have saved it to my default memory so I can continue to play with it a modify various parts.

I wish I understood how all of these factors interact with one another. Then I might be able to make intelligent modifications instead of just blindly changing something and seeing what happens.

For example, I would have thought that raising the resonance values, as you have, would have added to the "ringing" effect that I am trying to quiet down. But it hasn't done that. You have apparently modified something else (probably the voicing) to keep that under control.

Since, you seem to have this stuff in your genes, you may wish to consider "teaching us to fish" instead of "feeding us". Just a thought ...

Thanks again for your effort to help.

Oh, as a final attempt to deal with this ...

I have a pair of Yamaha HS80M Studio Monitors on order. At least I am going to find out if that does anything.

After that, watch Craigslist for a bargain ... LOL ...



Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#1714987 - 07/17/11 10:06 AM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: Kawai James]  
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
or possibly even a software (computer based) instrument such as Ivory.

Kind regards,
James
x


From what I have read about IVORY, etc ... I probably would love something like that. However, it appears that going in that direction involves a lot of complicated devices and/or great expense. If I could get IVORY into my piano for less than $1000 I would strongly consider it, but not $3000 or more.



Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#1714999 - 07/17/11 10:36 AM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: dmd]  
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Update: I just set my system to ...

Concert Grand 2 + Mellow Grand (5 - 5)

with HEAVY touch

Master Volume at 50%

and it sounds very good through my headphones.

Through speakers, the lows sound a little muffled.

But, I suppose that bodes well for running things through the Yamaha Studio Monitors. I can hope, anyway.

The journey continues ...




Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#1715001 - 07/17/11 10:37 AM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: dmd]  
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Originally Posted by dmd
Through speakers, the lows sound a little muffled.

Two questions:
1. What headphones are you using?
2. Is the muffled sound gone and do you get better volume out of it when you choose a brighter voicing or change the low EQ with speakers (instead of optimizing for headphones use)?


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
#1715005 - 07/17/11 10:42 AM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: dmd]  
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Originally Posted by dmd
Since, you seem to have this stuff in your genes, you may wish to consider "teaching us to fish" instead of "feeding us". Just a thought ...

Nice thought (I may prepare a paper in the near future), but in the meantime you can study my thread, as there are a lot of hints and explanations already, and ask specific questions over there. 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
#1715030 - 07/17/11 11:26 AM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: TADutchman]  
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Originally Posted by TADutchman

Two questions:
1. What headphones are you using?


Yamaha RH10MS

Quote

2. Is the muffled sound gone and do you get better volume out of it when you choose a brighter voicing or change the low EQ with speakers (instead of optimizing for headphones use)?


Yes, it does ... especially taking off the MELLOW. Changing the low EQ doesn't have much of an effect but some.

For your information, as I mentioned earlier ... I have found that Concert Grand 2 + Mellow Grand (5 - 5) with HEAVY touch seems to work as well as anything. That seems to keep the individual notes sounding clearer and is not overwhelming with resonance. That is through headphones. Through speakers it sounds a little too muffled and weak.



Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#1715054 - 07/17/11 12:06 PM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: dmd]  
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Okay Don, you're starting to get the hang of it. thumb
By the way, experimenting with custom touch could again boost your sound and playing experience.

Just for reference, some patches in the presets list with the same choice of dual voices, Concert Grand 2 + Mellow Grand, can be found by looking for: Classical Piano Collection (4x)


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
#1715067 - 07/17/11 12:31 PM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: dmd]  
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I can't speak to this or really any other digital pianos sound, but I will offer some advice about playing (and tweaking) the sound of a digital instrument through headphones and speakers.

I would strongly suggest coming up with a preset for use with headphones and a preset for use with speakers. In the world of guitar amp modeling, it's a definite no-no to set up patches with headphones that you're going to use live. They will sound awful. You should also set up the patches at the volume you're going to be playing at. As a good example, when you're playing through headphones you may want to add reverb so that it feels like the sound is reverberating around the room. Obviously it can't do that when you are using headphones, but it can do that when you're listening through speakers. I've set up a patch for guitar before that had really had a nice live feel to it and when I played it through speakers it sounded like I was playing at the bottom of a well. Your volume is also going to change the sound because of the dynamics of the room. You may want to EQ things differently at louder volumes, where you would do something very different when you were playing through headphones.

If you're setting up something that you like through headphones and then trying to listen to it though speakers, you might be your own worst enemy. Just throwing it out there....

Last edited by Lefty Chev; 07/17/11 12:34 PM.
#1715072 - 07/17/11 12:48 PM Re: Kawai CA-63 - Speaker Issues [Re: Lefty Chev]  
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Lefty: Good points. I will consider them as I move through this. Thanks.


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors

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