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Brief Kawai Ca-63 Review
#1739939 08/24/11 07:20 PM
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Ok so i took delivery of my new DP today and i have to say that i am impressed.... very impressed actually!
I believe the action to be very good,'thud-less' which is very welcome, very responsive when the right touch is selected (heavy for me) and of fantastic quality.
Its certainly true that the piano sounds respond best to a certain volume. I found that when too low they were a tad lifeless and synthetic but somewhere along the same volume as an acoustic the piano samples sing in a very expressive way, i was pleasantly surprised, and you can feel the vibrations of the cabinet which is extremely desirable. I have to say that its not the piano sound i am used to hearing but it has a unique beauty that works for me.
The virtual technician makes this sound even more adaptable and this instrument is also capable of some truly wonderful user defined piano tones (as rendered by TADutchMan).
The build quality is excellent, packaged well for delivery ( I now have enough cardboard to frankenstein a tree) and the manual clear and concise, not the usual collection of senseless waffle that i have become used to reading over the years with manufacturers anxious to blind you with their newest techno babble.... ( Maybe im just thick :-)
This is a DP for a pianist and whilst no DP will ever compare to an acoustic for obvious reasons, an acoustic will never compare to the functionality of a good DP, so as an all rounder, convenience, (i live in 3rd floor apartment so cant be a noisy neighbour) and the fact i can integrate it easily into my studio set-up, the CA-63 has my vote.
In summary, anyone reading this that cant decide on a DP, should seriously consider this Piano/Brand as much as any of the 'Household' named brands of Yamaha or Roland etc.
Top marks KAWAI!!!

Re: Brief Kawai Ca-63 Review
Bibster #1739946 08/24/11 07:30 PM
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So glad to hear Bibster! That's a terrific piano you've got there...one of the best digital pianos to me. Kawai is a great company and they've really been putting out some quality DPs lately.

Play away!


Kawai MP7SE w/ GFP-3
Re: Brief Kawai Ca-63 Review
Bibster #1740130 08/25/11 12:25 AM
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Congrats Bibster!

I think you have a winner there and should be proud of it! Don't forget to ice your hands after 4 hours of playing...

It really is fun to get "just five more minutes" of playing time in; on a new board, right before you hop into the car to head for work in the morning... Or is this just me?





Nord Grand, Kawai MP11 (v1), iMac 2017, Yamaha HS8's, Sennheiser 650, Focusrite 2i4, Pianoteq 6.4.0, Steinway Model A, Mason and Hamlin Model AA, Piano Marvel: 3C
Re: Brief Kawai Ca-63 Review
Bibster #1740193 08/25/11 04:30 AM
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Congrats, Bibster! CA63 is a fine instrument which will grow on you, I am sure. I love mine more and more every day. Be sure to also buy quality headphones (I am using Sennheiser HD-595) because the speakers and the amplifier could have been be better.

HwyStar, it's me too smile Glad that I work as a software engineer and we don't have strict working time (we have to finish our tasks on time instead of following strict working hours) and sometimes I go late to work just because I play on my piano at the morning and can't stop playing smile

Last edited by CyberGene; 08/25/11 04:43 AM.

My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Brief Kawai Ca-63 Review
Bibster #1740292 08/25/11 10:16 AM
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Same here Gene. Bugs, bugs, bugs... Enhance, enhance, enhance... The "keyboard actuators" never stop leaving us alone so that we can play piano...



Nord Grand, Kawai MP11 (v1), iMac 2017, Yamaha HS8's, Sennheiser 650, Focusrite 2i4, Pianoteq 6.4.0, Steinway Model A, Mason and Hamlin Model AA, Piano Marvel: 3C
Re: Brief Kawai Ca-63 Review
Bibster #1740341 08/25/11 11:37 AM
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[offtopic]

You've got to adopt the approach a colleague of mine uses on new QA-s:

QA: When I click on that button, there is an error...
Programmer: Then why the heck do you click on it?!

He says that as a joke of course but with a really serious look and poor guys usually stare at him in horror not knowing what else to say laugh

[/offtopic]


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Brief Kawai Ca-63 Review
HwyStar #1740361 08/25/11 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by HwyStar

It really is fun to get "just five more minutes" of playing time in; on a new board, right before you hop into the car to head for work in the morning... Or is this just me?





Nope, not just you and CyberGene. smile My wife has to kick me off the N1 almost every morning!


Kawai MP7SE w/ GFP-3
Re: Brief Kawai Ca-63 Review
Bibster #1740612 08/25/11 08:36 PM
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Bibster, thank you for posting your positive review.

Assuming that you haven't done so already, you may wish to double-check that the CA63 is using the latest software version (v1.07). To check the current software version, press and hold the ORGAN, HARPSI&MALLETS, and STRINGS buttons, then turn on the instrument.

If the display shows v1.07, then you already have the latest version running in your instrument. If the number is lower, head over to Kawai Europe to download the update:

http://kawai.de/downloads_en.htm

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: Brief Kawai Ca-63 Review
Bibster #1744509 09/01/11 01:22 PM
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I have mine since friday and required the help of a nephew to assemble it, it is quite heavy ! smile
So far I am really, really happy and it is a joy to play on it. The keys feel natural so quickly!

Not had time to play with the tweaking possibilities yet smile

Kawai James, only a small point of attention: in the french user manual, page 91, the "parts description" at 9 it should say "Vis taraudeuse (courte argentée)" (silver) instead of "Vis taraudeuse (courte noire)" (black)

Enjoy yours Bibster wink


Re: Brief Kawai Ca-63 Review
Naxos #1744772 09/01/11 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Naxos
Kawai James, only a small point of attention: in the french user manual, page 91, the "parts description" at 9 it should say "Vis taraudeuse (courte argentée)" (silver) instead of "Vis taraudeuse (courte noire)" (black)


Thank you for highlighting this error.

I was not closely involved with the French language translation of this owner's manual, however I shall make a note that the above mistake be corrected for the next print run.

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: Brief Kawai Ca-63 Review
Bibster #1744964 09/02/11 08:42 AM
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You're welcome! Keep on the good work, the CA63 is a fine DP smile

Re: Brief Kawai Ca-63 Review
Bibster #1745008 09/02/11 10:18 AM
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Hi All
I've just bought the Kawai CA93 after trying the CA63 and the new CS6. I have to say the CS6 I didn't like at all. Despite having exactly the same specs as the CA63 plus let-off, the sound was totally different. Whereas the CA63 was 'open' (for want of a better decription), the CS6 sounded really confined. My wife didn't like sound of the CS6 either, even though it looks like a better piece of 'furniture' with its traditional black high-gloss finish, she preffered the CA63. In the end I got a good price match deal on the CA93 including delivery and a stool from a local dealer in Manchester, UK.
Cheers
Martin

Re: Brief Kawai Ca-63 Review
Bibster #1745047 09/02/11 11:39 AM
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So delighted to read Bibster's review. I've been researching "higher end" DPs now for about three weeks and am going to try out one of these today, as well as a CS6 (which I believe is pretty much the same as the CA93 but with fancier cabinet, as noted above, and both have the so-called "let off" action).

Would you be willing to share the price of the CA63? I've seen retail prices on this forum at $3,795.00 with actual sales prices under $3K. But the dealer quoted me a retail price of $4K and considerably more for the CS6.

I would REALLY love to have an AvantGrande N1 or N2, but reportedly Yamaha has just raised the prices on these (or so I'm told), pushing the N1 price to nearly $9K. Oy.

Laurie

Re: Brief Kawai Ca-63 Review
Bibster #1745059 09/02/11 12:03 PM
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sorry - posted to wrong thread...

Last edited by mitzysman; 09/02/11 12:05 PM.

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Re: Brief Kawai Ca-63 Review
Bibster #1747668 09/06/11 06:44 PM
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Hi All
My CA93 arrived today, and I am absolutely delighted with the action and sound. My piano tutor has Steinway and Yamaha grands, I play the Yamaha and this Kawai has as close an action and sound to an acoustic grand as you could get, believe me. My ageing Clavinova is going to one of my grandsons. It's incredible how far technology has come in the last 12 years. Now I can hear all my duff notes with total accuracy! Onwards and upwards
Cheers
Martin

Re: Brief Kawai Ca-63 Review
Bibster #1747688 09/06/11 07:24 PM
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Congrats Martin!

May I wish you many more years of musical enjoyment sat at your new CA93!

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: Brief Kawai Ca-63 Review
Bibster #1747701 09/06/11 07:40 PM
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Congratulations Martin!

Let us know what you think of the CA93 after you have had it for a week. Make sure to program a few of the layered settings that TADutchman and ripe_md have posted at: Kawai CA93/CA63 Custom Dual Voice Mode Presets Lists



Nord Grand, Kawai MP11 (v1), iMac 2017, Yamaha HS8's, Sennheiser 650, Focusrite 2i4, Pianoteq 6.4.0, Steinway Model A, Mason and Hamlin Model AA, Piano Marvel: 3C
Re: Brief Kawai Ca-63 Review
Bibster #1767347 10/09/11 03:06 PM
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Just got our CA63, love it! Action is superb, sounds much improved thanks to TADutchman and friends :-)

Of all the Yamahas, Rolands, and Kawai's we played, this was by far the best compromise, although the sounds in the Roland 305/307 are arguably better.

I am working through the patches and will update the custom settings thread, but wanted to echo the positive experience we have, and also the price - $2300 USD with bench (I added this to the price paid thread as well).

Although preference is varied and highly subjective, I don't think you can possibly go wrong with the CA63 - If you don't like the preset sounds, change them! If you don't like the audio reproduction, use headphones, powered speakers, amps or PA! If you don't like the minimalist midi recording capability, connect to your PC recording software. What you can't change of course is the keyboard response, and in my opinion, the CA63/93 is the best I have found.


Between the drums, guitars, and my CA63, I am in desperate need of more hands!
Re: Brief Kawai Ca-63 Review
Bibster #1767690 10/10/11 01:46 AM
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Jamvector, congratulations to yourself and your son on purchasing a new piano - I hope the CA63 brings you both many years of musical enjoyment.

Assuming you haven't done so already, be sure to check your instrument's firmware and, if necessary, update to the latest available version. Software updates can be downloaded from the following URL:

http://www.kawai.co.jp/worldwide/support/updates.html

Kind regards,
James


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: Brief Kawai Ca-63 Review
Kawai James #1767820 10/10/11 09:11 AM
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Thanks James; from your previous posts, I already had the necessary information. The CA63 came loaded with 1.08, I'm in no hurry to upgrade to 1.09 based on the reported changes - unless you think otherwise.

We're too busy playing to screw around with firmware upgrades; bad news for my son as he has to kick his dad off the CA63 all the time now (even though there are three other keyboard options in the house) :-)

Not to be overly patronizing, but seeing a Kawai technical representative actively involved on this forum was one of the other reasons I leaned toward Kawai - thanks again!

Last edited by Jamvector; 10/10/11 09:12 AM.

Between the drums, guitars, and my CA63, I am in desperate need of more hands!
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