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#1982736 - 11/04/12 07:12 PM DP choice at around €1000 thinking of kawai  
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 12
brammooij Offline
Junior Member
brammooij  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 12
Hi,

I have started piano playing (taking lessons) a while back and find my current practising situation unsatisfactory (some old cheap yamaha keyboard without touch sensitivity). So I want to upgrade to a decent digital piano. I am still a beginner but have a serious motivation to continue for a long while. I have a budget of around €1000 and it happens to be that a store somewhat nearby is having quite a sale.

I have already spent a lot of time reading on these forums about many different piano's but somehow my eyes always focused on the kawai ones. I have my mind set on the CN23 (for 814 euros) and am choosing this above the CL36 mainly because of looks and because it looks more like a piano.
1 euro = 1.2826 US dollars
However there are different choices available and if it would really be a big improvement I could stretch my budget a bit. My main concern is whether the piano plays like a piano, the sound is of less importance (though not insignificant). I will be playing with head phones (AKG K601) on most of the time so the speakers are of less importance to me.

The list I can choose from (including euro prices) is:

Kawai CL36 satin black €710,-!!
Kawai ES6 black + stand + pedals €1072,-!!
Kawai CN23 cherry €814,-!!
Kawai CN33 rosewood €1108,-!!
Kawai CA18 satin black €1116,-!!
Kawai CA63 satin black €1439,-!!
Kawai CA93 rosewood €2099,-!!

Roland RP201 rosewood €839,-!!
Roland HP302 rosewood €1154,-!!
Roland HP305 rosewood €1399,-!!
Roland HP305 satin black €1399,-
Roland HP307 rosewood €1959,-
Roland HP307 satin black €1959,
Roland RP301 rosewood €879,-
Yamaha YDP135 rosewood €615,-!!

Would the CA18's action be worth the extra 300 euro's? Or should I nearly double what I had in mind initially and even get a CA63? Or is maybe one of these rolands a better deal?

I look forward to your comments and hope you can help either reinforce my current preference or help me find something that suits me better.


Kawai CN-23
1937 Bluethner 122cm upright
Burghardt b-500 H bench
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#1982738 - 11/04/12 07:31 PM Re: DP choice at around €1000 thinking of kawai [Re: brammooij]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 13,073
Kawai James Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Kawai James  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 13,073
Hamamatsu, Japan
Hello brammooij,

Assuming that you've played the various models, which instruments do you believe offer the most realistic playing experience?

Some comments about the Kawai actions:

- ES6 uses the older 'AHA IV-F' keyboard action, while the CL36, CN23, and CN33 all use the more modern 'RH' keyboard action.

- The CA18 uses the older 'AWA Grand Pro II' keyboard action, while the CA63/CA93 use the more modern 'RM3 Grand' keyboard action. The CA13 (if available) would perhaps be a better option as this uses the 'RM3 Grand' keyboard action.

The CL36 and CN23 are largely identical in terms of features (keyboard action, sound technology), however as you note, the CN23 offers the larger cabinet and slightly more powerful speaker system.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#1983028 - 11/05/12 01:58 PM Re: DP choice at around €1000 thinking of kawai [Re: Kawai James]  
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 12
brammooij Offline
Junior Member
brammooij  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 12
This last post was after reading a big bunch of forums reviews etcetera but now that I actually played some of these instruments (I couldn't find a kawai dealer near at first), I am even more lost as to what I should buy. I played the CL36 and CN23 and didn't really like them, the sound was good, but there was something about the keyboard I can't quite put my finger on, perhaps the matte plastic look and feel put me off too much. The store did not have any piano's from Kawai's artist series but I have found a store connected to the importer which is likely to have at least the CA63 I reckon.

The CA13 is already sold out, so there is no chance of getting that. The prices mentioned in my last post are very low for holland, as the normal price of a CA 63 is 2000 euros here. That is also why I put on this list, because it is the list of all things I can get cheaply, I should have pointed that out more clearly.

I played the Roland RH302 (which I can get for a little over 1100 euros) and liked it instantly, I also found that I like the Yamaha YDP-141 and its brothers the 161 and 181. At the moment I am still learning how to play piano and still have along way to go, so I am wondering if maybe I am just too under skilled too choose the right piano. I wouldn't want to be buying a piano now which I will regret next year or so. Is the YDP-141 known as being a good buy (its 850 euros and I just found out the cheap store sells the 161 for 850)?

Maybe a part of my liking the yamaha and roland better is that the keyboards looked more like that of an actual piano which caused a placebo effect why I found it better to play as well. I was totally baffled by this experience considering I had been looking at the CL36 for a long time and thinking that it should be the one to buy.

So I definitely want to check out the CA63 and the CA18 before I buy anything. Is the CA63 and CA18's keyboard the same as that on an acoustic piano? Or is there still a big difference?

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

Kawai CN-23
1937 Bluethner 122cm upright
Burghardt b-500 H bench
#1983055 - 11/05/12 03:03 PM Re: DP choice at around €1000 thinking of kawai [Re: brammooij]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,181
MacMacMac Offline
5000 Post Club Member
MacMacMac  Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,181
North Carolina
After years of trying to get the "right" piano, I've come to these conclusions:

The sound from digital pianos is not good. The cheapest ones are horrible. The mid-priced ones are simply poor. The expensive ones are merely okay. It takes an external piano tone generator (and an external sound system) to produce a truly good piano sound.

Given that, if I were to start over today I would choose a piano with the action and appearance that most suited me, sound be damned. Then I'd add PC-based piano libraries.

If you like Yamaha actions, choose the low-end Clavinova CLP430.

If you like Roland or Kawai actions ... ask someone else here what those actions are called. There's RM3 and LMNOP and all manner of alphabet soup. I don't keep up with that.

Regardless ... try some pianos, find one that feels right, find out the name of the action, find out the cheapest piano of that brand that carries that action, and buy it.

After you add the piano library and sound system, you'll have the best possible solution.

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#1983130 - 11/05/12 06:10 PM Re: DP choice at around €1000 thinking of kawai [Re: brammooij]  
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 43
1John Offline
Full Member
1John  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 43
Adelaide, Australia
In Yamaha, in spec the YDP-161 is a significant step up from the YDP-141 with the GH instead of GHS key action. The 161 is pretty good for its price point.

I thought the YDP-161 and Yamaha CLP-430 were quite similar in action, but for some subjective reason, for me the CLP-430 did just feel nicer to play than the other digitals is these price ranges. It's probably out of your budget though.

The YDP-161 or HP-302 are both quite well regarded though, and safe choices so long as you like the feel of them.

#1983523 - 11/06/12 06:25 PM Re: DP choice at around €1000 thinking of kawai [Re: brammooij]  
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 12
brammooij Offline
Junior Member
brammooij  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 12
I plqyed the kawai ca13 as well and thought it was very good. So i am still deciding between the ca18 ca63 and the ydp161 and roland.rh302. Somewhere this week i will havw q chance to play them sidd by side and reqch a conclusion.


Kawai CN-23
1937 Bluethner 122cm upright
Burghardt b-500 H bench
#1983538 - 11/06/12 07:09 PM Re: DP choice at around €1000 thinking of kawai [Re: brammooij]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,033
spanishbuddha Offline
3000 Post Club Member
spanishbuddha  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,033
UK
Originally Posted by brammooij
I plqyed the kawai ca13 as well and thought it was very good. So i am still deciding between the ca18 ca63 and the ydp161 and roland.rh302. Somewhere this week i will havw q chance to play them sidd by side and reqch a conclusion.

CA63 is much better than Roland HP302, if that's the model you meant? Need to compare with a 307. Both models had new replacement releases this year.

#1984106 - 11/08/12 11:38 AM Re: DP choice at around €1000 thinking of kawai [Re: brammooij]  
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 12
brammooij Offline
Junior Member
brammooij  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 12
Hey,

I am aware that the CA63 is much better than the Roland HP302, however there is quite a price difference to consider as well. Today I played all the piano's of my interest for about three hours and I found that the problem I had with the Kawai's was mainly the finish on the keys. They immediately feel like something different from a piano. However, when you play for longer you get used to it. And comparing with real piano's I found that for me the Kawai CN23 and CL36 came the closest to the real thing (compared to the Rolands and Yamaha's) and the CA63 is probably a bit out of my league at the moment. I could always upgrade in the future. So I decided to go with either the CL36 or the CN23. I contacted the local store and they will see whether they can match the prices in my first post, so then sometime soon I will be the happy owner of either the CN23 or the CL36. Considering we have a cat running around the house maybe the one with the keyboard lid is the best for me. Thanks for all your replies and sorry for having such inconsistent thoughts about the piano's, playing too many in one day just doesn't work.

The YDP-161 was very close to the win, but in the end I didn't like the first part of pressing in the key where it is a little bit heavy, this makes it more difficult to play ppp.


Kawai CN-23
1937 Bluethner 122cm upright
Burghardt b-500 H bench
#1984427 - 11/09/12 01:14 AM Re: DP choice at around €1000 thinking of kawai [Re: MacMacMac]  
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 34
playmeasong Offline
Full Member
playmeasong  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 34
GA
Originally Posted by MacMacMac


Given that, if I were to start over today I would choose a piano with the action and appearance that most suited me, sound be damned. Then I'd add PC-based piano libraries.

After you add the piano library and sound system, you'll have the best possible solution.


Can you elaborate? I'm ignorant about this stuff. So like, if I were to buy a CN33 and wasn't completely thrilled with the sound, how would I go about setting up this new sound system?

#1984430 - 11/09/12 01:34 AM Re: DP choice at around €1000 thinking of kawai [Re: brammooij]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,181
MacMacMac Offline
5000 Post Club Member
MacMacMac  Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,181
North Carolina
There's another, current thread on the board called How to connect Ivory II?

Have a look at that.


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