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Need Advice: CA95 vs V-Piano
#1948527 08/24/12 02:09 PM
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Hi.
I am new to the forum and I need some good advice to buy a new digital piano.
Currently, I own a KAWAI CA-93. I love my piano and as many of you may know, its action is good and its sound is even better.
But I need a piano with better response and I was wondering which is the best option.
I live in Costa Rica, and unfortunately there are no KAWAI dealers here. Actually I had to buy my CA-93 from musicstore.de since there are no online stores in US that sell these models.
Also, the ROLAND dealers here don't have any V-piano so I can test them.

Now, the reason why I am looking a DP is because many times I practice late at night, so my question is, since I have no chance to test these pianos in my country, which is better for a serious pianist? Which will be the most adequate to play any classical music (specially Liszt and Chopin)?:

-KAWAI CA-95
-ROLAND V-PIANO (NOT the "grand" version)

Also how different is the RM3 action vs GF action? Is GF better? I've read somewhere that is is lighter than RM3, and I don't like that at all.
And how is PHA-III in the V-piano better than any of KAWAI pianos' actions?

Thanks

Re: Need Advice: CS9 vs CA95 vs V-Piano
Pelota #1948546 08/24/12 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Pelota
Also how different is the RM3 action vs GF action? Is GF better? I've read somewhere that is is lighter than RM3, and I don't like that at all.
And how is PHA-III in the V-piano better than any of KAWAI pianos' actions?


I'm afraid we do not have a ton of reviews of GF yet, so it's hard to say. GF has a three-sensor action while RM3 has two, so if you are an accomplished pianist you might find it more responsive. How true this is in practice is kind of an open question at this point. There was one person who said in this forum that it was lighter, but usually we wait until either many people say something like that or a very respected forum member says it. Neither have happened yet, so we can't be sure on that.

PHA-III is also a three-sensor action found in the V and also in the RD700NX and FP7F. It's considered light, quick, and responsive. It is well-beloved but some people feel it is too light (so that it's easier to play than an acoustic). If you can play an RD700NX or FP7F (or one of several expensive consoles) you can get a feel for it yourself.

The V piano is a very contentious piano because some people love its tone and others hate it. However, I think everyone pretty much agrees that it is responsive and pianistic.

By the way, you say you want a more responive piano but not one with a lighter action than your current one. To some degree responsive and heavy are opposites in digital pianos--I guess that depends on your definition of responsive, though. If actual key mass is not an issue, you might be able to get more responsiveness by tweaking the velocity curve and/or using a differnt tone engine like a software piano. Beyond that, only a triple sensor could help.

If you really don't want lighter than your current Kawai, I would exclude all Rolands.

Last edited by gvfarns; 08/24/12 02:55 PM.
Re: Need Advice: CA95 vs V-Piano
Pelota #1948614 08/24/12 04:57 PM
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@Pelota:

1) Roland V-Piano

I can tell you without a doubt that you can't go wrong with the PHA-III action in the V-Piano, as it is very smooth, is nicely weighted (not too light in my opinion as others have been saying) and allows for very fast repetitions.

Also, the connectivity of the sounds and action for what you will hear is quite remarkable as you can play anything you want from "pp" to "ffff" with no problem whatsoever. It is great for classical music.

Here is a recording I have made which demonstrates the V-Piano:

https://www.box.com/s/ur243tggb8gkdonr5az2

2) Kawai CA95:

If you already like your CA93, then the new CA95 might be what you are looking for as it will have a triple sensor "Grand Feel" action, as it may (or, may not) give you the "better response" you are looking for.

It's probably a tough call to make if you are choosing between the PHA-III of Roland, or, the new three sensor action in the Kawai. Unless you can try them yourself it is difficult to make a recommendation.

Re: Need Advice: CA95 vs V-Piano
Pelota #1948631 08/24/12 05:37 PM
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Ca-93 to ca-95 upgrade. Be carefull that you don't get dissapointed. Differences might not be that big to make it worth it, or the GF may not be you're cup of tea. Some like it heavier and others easier on the fingers. Also RM3 is already pretty good in itself. Pitty you can't first try for yourself somehow.

keybeds; I found the PHA-III on the FP7f pretty light and easy to play. The Kawai was a bit heavier, but I found the touch of the RM3 much better and more realistic for an acoustic grand. That's personal , I know. The new RH II of the Kawai ES7 I found quite similar to the PHA-III. There will probably be a whole new range of KAWAI's on the horizon that utilize that keybed. If you prefer PHA-III over RM3 and Kawai sound over Roland sound, I would suggest you try new KAWAI's with RH II when they become available. Might save you a whole lot of money compared to the GF based top line. All in all for classical music I would prefer the Kawai RM3 and GF over PHA-III by a slight margin , but the Roland sound is more expressive on the V-piano (and SN boards) , due to physical modeling. Tough choice. Sticking with the Ca-93 is no option ? It's no that bad , is it ...?

Re: Need Advice: CA95 vs V-Piano
Pelota #1948632 08/24/12 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Pelota
Also how different is the RM3 action vs GF action?


The new 'Grand Feel' action offers the following enhancements over the previous 'RM3 Grand':

- longer key length
- longer key pivot length
- triple-sensor system
- counter weights added to most keys (not just bass region)
- structural improvements

Regarding dealers in Costa Rica, I will need to confirm this with my colleague responsible for Central America on Monday, however according to the Kawai Worldwide Distribution list, Allegro Music in Moravia, San Jose, is the official distributor for Kawai instruments in your region.

Kind regards,
James
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Re: Need Advice: CA95 vs V-Piano
Pelota #1948641 08/24/12 05:48 PM
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Is hinted to stick to your CA-93 because I'm just jaleous ;-) Would love to own a 65 / 95 too, but if I already had a CA-93 that would make it a harder choice. There must be specific reasons to upgrade and it must be enough reason to make it a viable purchase. For me it would be the triple sensor, but what's your main reason - you feel it's too slow in repetition , or doesn't it connect good enough with the sound ( other kind of response) ? Just curious...

Re: Need Advice: CA95 vs V-Piano
pv88 #1949179 08/26/12 12:32 AM
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First, I would like to say: Thank you all for your answers.

@pv88:
Wow, very nice recording, congrats!
And yes, it is hard to decide. The thing with the ROLAND dealers here is, they don't have any DP with PHA-III, so I can't even compare it to my RM3.


Originally Posted by Kawai James
Regarding dealers in Costa Rica, I will need to confirm this with my colleague responsible for Central America on Monday, however according to the Kawai Worldwide Distribution list, Allegro Music in Moravia, San Jose, is the official distributor for Kawai instruments in your region.

I can't believe I missed that. Thank you very much
But I would appreciate if you confirm that, please. I will also call there on monday to check if they still distribute KAWAI DPs and if they have any CA-65/95 available or when they will arrive.


Originally Posted by JFP
Is hinted to stick to your CA-93 because I'm just jaleous ;-) Would love to own a 65 / 95 too, but if I already had a CA-93 that would make it a harder choice. There must be specific reasons to upgrade and it must be enough reason to make it a viable purchase. For me it would be the triple sensor, but what's your main reason - you feel it's too slow in repetition , or doesn't it connect good enough with the sound ( other kind of response) ? Just curious...

Well, the problem is just in repetitions.
I love everything else from my CA93. But if the GF action is better but not lighter and the GF Pedal actually gives more control, I would buy a CA95 without hesitation.
At first, I was worried because I thought it was a problem with my technique, but after doing some fast repetitions with both hands and after asking my teacher to try it (he played a bit of Hungarian Rhapsody 2), we knew that it was the keyboard.
I don't feel RM3 slow, but there is something weird with repetitions. Repetitions begin without problems, but after a few seconds, the key does not return fast enough.
I also thought the piano needed some maintenance, but I don't believe it's that, I mean it's 8 months old, but I didn't have any problems until I started studying Liszt.

Re: Need Advice: CA95 vs V-Piano
Pelota #1949182 08/26/12 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Pelota
Well, the problem is just in repetitions.
I love everything else from my CA93. But if the GF action is better but not lighter and the GF Pedal actually gives more control, I would buy a CA95 without hesitation.
At first, I was worried because I thought it was a problem with my technique, but after doing some fast repetitions with both hands and after asking my teacher to try it (he played a bit of Hungarian Rhapsody 2), we knew that it was the keyboard.
I don't feel RM3 slow, but there is something weird with repetitions. Repetitions begin without problems, but after a few seconds, the key does not return fast enough.
I also thought the piano needed some maintenance, but I don't believe it's that, I mean it's 8 months old, but I didn't have any problems until I started studying Liszt.


@Pelota:

Thanks, as I am glad you liked the recording. As you can hear the V-Piano is a fantastic instrument for both control of dynamics of the sounds and the action, and, I believe that you should be able play just about anything you want on it.

Here is a V-Piano Grand recording of the same piece you mention:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0-dC7eT_Oo

And, since the action of the original V-Piano has the same PHA-III action as the V-Piano Grand, then the repeated notes should not be a problem!

No one here has yet played on the new Kawai CA95 with the triple sensor action, although I know that your CA93 only has two sensors...

That is why repeated notes were not as responsive.

Were you aware of this, in the CA93?

Re: Need Advice: CA95 vs V-Piano
pv88 #1949184 08/26/12 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by pv88

That is why repeated notes were not as responsive.


Possibly, but not necessarily. My Casio has a triple-sensor action, yet it suffers from exactly the same problem - it repeats well for a while, but if you keep repeating, it starts missing repeats. It's like there's a mechanical resonance which takes a few seconds to build up. I feel that my old two-sensor Kawai MP9000 is better in this regard. It would be interesting to see what Pelota thinks of the triple-sensor Kawai action though.

Greg.

Last edited by sullivang; 08/26/12 01:21 AM.
Re: Need Advice: CA95 vs V-Piano
pv88 #1949204 08/26/12 02:42 AM
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Originally Posted by pv88
Were you aware of this, in the CA93?

Yes, and I think it's exactly what sullivang says.

Originally Posted by sullivang
It would be interesting to see what Pelota thinks of the triple-sensor Kawai action though.

If I get to test it, I'll definetly talk about it here.
Hopefully the guys Kawai James mentioned have a CA65/95 in stock.

Re: Need Advice: CA95 vs V-Piano
Pelota #1949213 08/26/12 03:23 AM
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Fortunately for my sake long vigorous repetitions aren't very important. Much more common is playing just two very rapid repeats, where my finger pretty much stays in contact with the key for both repeats. The Casio (PX-330) is working fine for that, and it takes less effort than it does on the Kawai. I haven't attempted to determine how frequently I'm using the third sensor for this style of playing. I think it's mostly the lighter action that I appreciate more than the third sensor.

Greg.

Re: Need Advice: CA95 vs V-Piano
Pelota #1949253 08/26/12 08:03 AM
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Perhaps it has been mentioned somewhere before, but since in this thread the issue of maintaince was brought up (perhaps the RM3 needs some maintaince...) , I was wondering if the RM3 and GF keybeds do indeed need maintainance once on a while, just like acoustic piano's ? It's a wooden keybed that has been made to closely mimic an acoustic keybed after all, and those acoustic mechanics do need maintainance.

I have a little self interest here, since I'm deciding between a es7 with pedal unit and stand, or - if I can scrap enough money together - a CA65. Maintainance can be another issue that can be an advantage of disadvantage to one of those KAWAI's. I assume the more synthetic RH II doesn't need maintainance. For the GF I don't know ?

Re: Need Advice: CA95 vs V-Piano
Pelota #1949317 08/26/12 11:08 AM
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pv88, thanks for posting both of those recording links.

I really liked the piece you recorded -- beautifully played! What is that piece?


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Re: Need Advice: CA95 vs V-Piano
ClsscLib #1949585 08/26/12 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ClsscLib
pv88, thanks for posting both of those recording links.

I really liked the piece you recorded -- beautifully played! What is that piece?


It is an original composition, "Rhapsody," by Victor H. Morales.

Re: Need Advice: CA95 vs V-Piano
JFP #1949603 08/26/12 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by JFP
Perhaps it has been mentioned somewhere before, but since in this thread the issue of maintaince was brought up (perhaps the RM3 needs some maintaince...) , I was wondering if the RM3 and GF keybeds do indeed need maintainance once on a while, just like acoustic piano's ? It's a wooden keybed that has been made to closely mimic an acoustic keybed after all, and those acoustic mechanics do need maintainance.


Maintenance may be necessary for RM3 / GF in regards to the parts that are common to a grand piano (replacement of compressed felts, lubrication of guide pins, adjustment capstan screw height), but there are far more parts to a grand action that can go out of regulation, not to mention wear out and need to be replaced altogether, compared to RM3 / GF which is largely simplified in comparison.


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Re: Need Advice: CA95 vs V-Piano
Kawai James #1949828 08/27/12 01:24 PM
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Just spoke with Allegro Music from here, but they do not have any of the Concert Artist series available. And they don't have any idea of when and if they will have any of those available.
Since they're the only KAWAI dealers here, they told me that they could import it for me, but ONLY if I was going to buy it, of course.

That probably means that I will have to wait until we get some serious reviews about the new GF action and serious comparisons between GF and RM3.

I don't doubt that GF is better, but I am concerned about the weight of its keys.

Re: Need Advice: CA95 vs V-Piano
Pelota #1949931 08/27/12 04:49 PM
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Hello Pelota,

Thank you for the update. Yes, this is essentially what my colleague told me yesterday, unfortunately.

Kind regards,
James
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Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
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Re: Need Advice: CA95 vs V-Piano
Kawai James #1949944 08/27/12 05:04 PM
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It is ok.
Thanks for your amiability smile
Let's hope we find the info I'm looking for soon.

Re: Need Advice: CA95 vs V-Piano
Pelota #1957731 09/12/12 04:01 AM
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I do believe you will find the "Grand Feel" triple sensor action in the CA95 to be much improved over the CA93's two sensor action.

Also, it is going to have much longer piano samples (Harmonic Imaging "XL") along with "Virtual Technician" modeling settings that allow you to increase the "Decay time" as well as many other parameters.

Re: Need Advice: CA95 vs V-Piano
Pelota #1958254 09/13/12 11:56 AM
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@pv88 is your opinion above about the ca95 sensor improvement from first hand experience?

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