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Okay, that moment of commitment has come... INDEED! #2088671 05/25/13 03:57 PM
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Clayman Offline OP
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...and I have bought my first digital piano -- a brand spanking new Kawai CA-95 with the Premium Rosewood finish. Yay! grin It will be a few days before it is delivered but hopefully I should have it before the next weekend since it was in stock and I had made my reservation earlier on.

That was the TL;DR version of the story. smile Now to expand on that a little...

I went to Treppendorf, Germany this morning to visit Thomann. It's indeed a pretty huge store with several floors filled with almost any kind of instruments you could possibly desire. Of course I headed straight to the piano section after my arrival, which was a large (~400 sq.m.) room filled to the brim with pianos from all over the world. I took my time at first and just walked around among all those beautiful concert grands and uprights. Most were from Yamaha, Bluethner and Steinway and with the polished ebony finish (and prices in the tens of thousands of euro btw). There was also one Steinway baby-grand (?) with a beautiful polished mahogany finish but that unit had already been sold so I didn't find out its asking price. To tell you the truth, I was really sad when I realized that I can't play the piano yet because it may be years before I get a chance to sit again at any of those beauties I just met laugh but of course, they all sounded exceptional.

Either way, then I headed to the DP section, which was the smaller part of the room but still pretty big, with all sorts of Yamahas (from the basic YDP series all the way up to the NU/N series models), some Rolands (the HP-507 and a few others) and of course the Kawai -- iirc, there was the CA-95 (Rosewood) on display there along with the CA-15 and one other model (probably the CN24 but I'm not absolutely sure). When I finally found the CA-95, I just looked at it for a bit and I had to admit that it really is a great-looking instrument. I was a little worried in the past about the color of the front speakers above the keyboard (they stood out a bit in the pictures I had seen) but when I finally sat down at the piano, I didn't even notice them. Another good point about the looks of the piano is the small control panel on the left-hand side of the keyboard. Unlike the Yamaha CLP pianos, which have quite a few buttons above the keybed, this small, decent control panel does help a fair bit to sort of hide the fact that it's a digital piano and not an acoustic.

Anyway, after a minute or two of "playing" with headphones and getting a feel for the GF keyboard, I unplugged the cans, started a demo tune and let the soundboard do the work instead (as I also wanted to compare the tone of the CA-95 and the CLP-470, which had been the runner-up in my decision process). The CLP really had a considerably more mellow tone by default, whereas the CA-95 was sort of brighter and more "striking" in sound. My brother who was there with me told me he liked the sound of Yamaha a bit more but that changed when I picked the "Mellow Grand" preset on the CA-95 and let it do its thing. smile And naturally, the soundboard made a huge difference and made the Kawai piano sound strong and "present" while the Yammy felt a little "weak" or "distant". At this point I also asked one of the shop assistants to play the same short phrase for me on both pianos. He did and went on to describe to me the basic differences between these two models. Of course, with a half-year of research under my belt, I learned nothing new but it never hurts to reiterate I guess. smile

At that point it was no contest anymore. I knew it had to be the Kawai so I went to one of the shop assistant and made payment. It was maybe a bit of a spine-tingling moment laugh because I realized how much work it's going to be to learn to play that thing but I'm darn happy now and just can't wait to start. grin

That's the long of it. As you can see, I'm still full of impressions on what I experienced today laugh so sorry if I was waxing eloquent needlessly. Thanks for reading and I hope to see some of you in the "Adult Beginners" forum. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to pay my dues and add my bit to the "Prices paid" thread. wink

Clay

Last edited by Clayman; 06/12/13 06:30 AM. Reason: Changed title

-- Zbynek N.

Learning to play the piano since 06/2013 on a Kawai CA-95.

Music is what feelings sound like. ~ Author Unknown
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Re: Okay, that moment of commitment has come... [Re: Clayman] #2088684 05/25/13 04:12 PM
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you are a lucky man! smile i am sure you made you a gift for many many years of musical pleasure.

(as there is no more VPC1 on sale actually...)
i may take a look at the CA 65 cause the keyboard seem really very good.

aaah! if i had enough money to buy the CA 95 cry


Kawai VPC1/Synthogy American D/Pianoteq 5 Pro/Galaxy Vintage D

"Remember to take the time ... before time takes you"
Re: Okay, that moment of commitment has come... [Re: Clayman] #2088705 05/25/13 04:38 PM
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You`ll enjoy your piano and the adult beginners forum! See ya over there . . . . have fun!


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Re: Okay, that moment of commitment has come... [Re: Clayman] #2088753 05/25/13 05:38 PM
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Welcome to the club laugh. My CA95 arrived about a week ago now. I'm absolutely loving it.
Will post a proper review with videos at some point.

Re: Okay, that moment of commitment has come... [Re: Clayman] #2088763 05/25/13 06:03 PM
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Congrats Clayman,

it had to be a tie between us this long run for purchasing: I have ordered my CA65 just yesterday (and also payed for it) which is due to arrive in just 2 weeks.

I seriously considered to get a Kawai GF keyboard with a soundboard (CA95 and at last even the upcoming CS10), but last week I made an appointment with a professional jazz pianist, an owner of a CS-9 (the predecessor of CS10 with the earlier soundboard variant.) This time I took my laptop with audio interface and Genelec 8020 monitors with, and we could compare the internal sound and sound system of the CS9 with VintageD and Pianoteq v4.5. It was a huge difference - the SW Pianos with the Genelecs sounded much better with both programs - this was evident for all of us.

There were some circumstances to be mentioned: both the CS9 internal sound engine (UPHI vs. PHI XL) and sound system were improved by Kawai since the CAx3/CS9 with the CA95/CS10; the instrument stood very close to the wall(obviously not an optimal placement for the soundboard.)

But even without my sub, the monitors alone made such a big improvement, that I think the new system with soundboard cannot bring much better results (if better at all) than my external sound configuration, so I decided to stay with the CA65.

The Genelec monitors + sub do cost definitely more than the price difference between the CA65 and CA95, but I have all this gear already. The CS9 cabinet is very stylish, looks a lot better
IMHO, but the professional pianist does need this look much more then I would (he gives piano lessons on the instruments while I am playing for myself most of the time.) The lack of the soundboard has even an additional small advantage: the placement of my instrument wouldn't allow a desirable distance from the wall behind for a soundboard, either.

I have got an extended warranty of 5 ys. from the distributor.

(And finally should be a major update in the next few years by Kawai I can see a better chance to opt for a replacement when the relative amortisation loss is limited.)

This was the important climate to my DP story in the last year, so I couldn't help breaking silence.... I'll let you know my experiences after the beast arrives...

Re: Okay, that moment of commitment has come... [Re: Clayman] #2088793 05/25/13 06:58 PM
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Clayman and Temperament, congrats on your respective purchases. It's particularly interesting to read about your detailed shopping experiences.

Kind regards,
James
x


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Re: Okay, that moment of commitment has come... [Re: Clayman] #2088974 05/26/13 12:13 AM
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Congrats on your purchases. I recently bought a CA65 and have been very happy with the unit so far. Please share your experiences when you receive them.

Re: Okay, that moment of commitment has come... [Re: Clayman] #2088998 05/26/13 02:37 AM
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Thanks a lot, guys! smile It was an amazing experience to just stand among all those beautiful instruments in the shop. If there's heaven for pianists, I hope it looks exactly like that. wink

Anyway, here's hoping the delivery will be hassle-free and I will be sure to take and post pics when the stuff arrives. thumb

Originally Posted by Temperament
Congrats Clayman,

it had to be a tie between us this long run for purchasing: I have ordered my CA65 just yesterday (and also payed for it) which is due to arrive in just 2 weeks.
...


That's just unbelievable. laugh We couldn't have planned it better if we tried. Congratulations on your purchase too, Temperament. smile One of the reasons I bought the piano at Thomann was the 3-year warranty they offer. Your extended 5-year warranty is definitely a big plus. What finish is your instrument btw? smile


-- Zbynek N.

Learning to play the piano since 06/2013 on a Kawai CA-95.

Music is what feelings sound like. ~ Author Unknown
Re: Okay, that moment of commitment has come... [Re: Clayman] #2089024 05/26/13 04:38 AM
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The finish is rosewood, which is best harmonizing with the ambience of my room.

I myself made through a very "scientific" decision process, which involved creating a rather simple but useful decision calculator. It wasn't just for buying a DP (last week I also bought a car in just some hours for a sum 5 times higher than that of the CA65, and that most impulsive decision seems to be a very furtunate one). But it was motivated rather by modelling and analysing creating a model for the decision process itself, for which this hobby object was a very appropriate one to experiment with.

Very clever, Clayman, your posts are pulling me truly back to the forum, you have induced a true club feeling in my soul. smile

Re: Okay, that moment of commitment has come... [Re: Temperament] #2089028 05/26/13 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Temperament
The finish is rosewood, which is best harmonizing with the ambience of my room.


thumb The colors in my living room where the piano will stand are also more on the warm side of the spectrum, with orange and light brown most prevalent. The Satin Black variant of the CA-95 would surely look good in that place as well as black can go with pretty much anything but I also happen to have a coffee table that appears to have rosewood finish so the rosewood variant of the piano seemed to be a better fit overall.

Originally Posted by Temperament

I myself made through a very "scientific" decision process, which involved creating a rather simple but useful decision calculator. It wasn't just for buying a DP (last week I also bought a car in just some hours for a sum 5 times higher than that of the CA65, and that most impulsive decision seems to be a very furtunate one). But it was motivated rather by modelling and analysing creating a model for the decision process itself, for which this hobby object was a very appropriate one to experiment with.


That's an interesting way to approach such a purchase. I didn't do anything like that in this case. For me it was mostly just hours of studies combined with trying out anything I could get my hands on and using the elimination method to prune out what did not work for me.

If I was buying a car, however, I'd most likely end up making a similar list that would help me decide.

Originally Posted by Temperament

Very clever, Clayman, your posts are pulling me truly back to the forum, you have induced a true club feeling in my soul. smile


Hah laugh Yeah, well, what can I say? I like having you around. wink Just hoping to see you pop in either here or in the "Adult Beginnners" forum every now and then. You'll always be welcome here. smile


-- Zbynek N.

Learning to play the piano since 06/2013 on a Kawai CA-95.

Music is what feelings sound like. ~ Author Unknown
Re: Okay, that moment of commitment has come... [Re: Clayman] #2089720 05/27/13 04:55 AM
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Congrats on your purchase Zbynek, I hope and believe that you will be satisfied with the piano and piano playing in general, few things in life are better;-)
Can I ask why you decided to buy the piano in Germany and not for example in Praha Music City? Also, did you also try Rolands and didn't like them for some reasson or did you discard them beforehand based on your internet research?
I agree that official photos of the rosewood finish look worse than the piano "in person". I think they are taken in overlighted conditions and do not give good impression of how the piano looks like in normal lighting. I noticed same problem with Yamaha promo pictures.

Re: Okay, that moment of commitment has come... [Re: Clayman] #2089722 05/27/13 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Clayman
... along with the CA-15 and one other model (probably the CN24 but I'm not absolutely sure).


Have you tried the CA15 too? I'm interested in keyboard comparison with CA65/95, since I'm going to buy the VPC1 that mounts the same action.

Last edited by Qbert; 05/27/13 05:14 AM.

GEM Promega 3 (sold) - Yamaha CLP 170 (sold) - Acuna88 (sold) - Kawai VPC1 + BK7m
Re: Okay, that moment of commitment has come... [Re: Clayman] #2089732 05/27/13 05:49 AM
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Hey Hookxs, and thanks. smile I think there were several reasons behind this decision. One was that Thomann already had the piano in stock and on display and I didn't have to create an order for them to supply a test unit, and an order I might have had to cancel later on if for any reason I would have chosen a different model.

The other important thing was that although I know Music-City are one of the very few places that at least offer Kawai pianos even though they don't usually keep them in stock (well, the higher-end models anyway), when I talked to the other local distributors, it was obvious that most don't care at all about Kawai pianos and I didn't feel like finding out how much Music-City do. For all I know, they might have them on offer only for the "freaks special cases" like me and you who don't go with the flow[*]. Everyone sells Yamahas and Rolands in droves but Kawai? "Nah, not interested, nobody buys them anyway." That's pretty much what I have been told.

Plus, I think it was you who had (or maybe still has?) trouble with their unit and you mentioned Music City was slow to resolve them. I'd like to avoid that as much as possible even with the added complexity of having to ship my unit abroad if necessary. Thomann do sell Kawai pianos on a regular basis, they keep them in stock and I believe that the biggest online music store in Europe is trustworthy enough when it comes to the quality of customer service. That was all I needed to know.

And as for Roland pianos -- I did try a few models from the HP series personally but I didn't like the loudness of the key action. It felt almost like the hollow thuds were purposely transmitted to the headphones I was using. I realize they are good pianos and the amount of Roland users on this very board speaks clearly for that but they didn't work for me.

* I know I may be a little harsh here but having talked to most distributors around here, I have sort of lost my trust in them.

EDIT:
Originally Posted by Qbert
Originally Posted by Clayman
... along with the CA-15 and one other model (probably the CN24 but I'm not absolutely sure).


Have you tried the CA15 too? I'm interested in keyboard comparison with CA65/95, since I'm going to buy the VPC1 that mounts the same action.


Sorry, I was there mainly for the CA-95. frown I have only noticed the CA-15 while looking for the 95.

Last edited by Clayman; 05/27/13 06:14 AM.

-- Zbynek N.

Learning to play the piano since 06/2013 on a Kawai CA-95.

Music is what feelings sound like. ~ Author Unknown
Re: Okay, that moment of commitment has come... [Re: Clayman] #2089925 05/27/13 01:23 PM
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Congrats! I haven't been able to try one myself but I'm sure the CA-95 is a fine instrument. I'm intrigued by the design of adding a soundboard to the mix.


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Re: Okay, that moment of commitment has come... [Re: Clayman] #2090057 05/27/13 04:44 PM
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Do you feel the "strong" and "bright" sound is due to those speakers pointing directly at the user?

I haven't checked to see exactly where the Yamaha 470 speakers are, but I suspect they are not directly pointed at the user. I have read some complaints from users of pianos where the monitors are right in your face. Is that not an issue here?


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Re: Okay, that moment of commitment has come... [Re: Clayman] #2090415 05/28/13 12:42 AM
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Thanks, Vid! smile

Originally Posted by Daniel Corban
Do you feel the "strong" and "bright" sound is due to those speakers pointing directly at the user?
...


Hmm, I think it really is the nature of the sound rather than the position of the speakers. When I toyed with the CLP-470, the sound felt kind of soft but very pleasant to the listener. I'm convinced that it was designed to be like that and as I have mentioned in the original post, my bro did like it somewhat more than the more "defined" sound of the Kawai's "Concert Grand" sound. I'm sure I too would have easily gotten used to the sound of the Yamaha but the key action of the CA-95 felt so much better and there's also the "Mellow Grand" sound preset in the Kawai piano that to me sounds very much like the default grand piano sound of the Yamaha. I didn't have to think twice even though the price difference is fairly significant.

Originally Posted by Daniel Corban
...
I haven't checked to see exactly where the Yamaha 470 speakers are, but I suspect they are not directly pointed at the user. I have read some complaints from users of pianos where the monitors are right in your face. Is that not an issue here?


That didn't seem to be the case when I playtested it in the store. Since the piano also has the soundboard system, I wonder if the front speakers are the "hi-end tweeters" mentioned in Kawai's promo video, in which case they would be used primarily for high tones. I will try to post more impressions when I get the piano although it probably won't be a proper "review" per se since I have to actually learn to play it to make the most of it. smile


-- Zbynek N.

Learning to play the piano since 06/2013 on a Kawai CA-95.

Music is what feelings sound like. ~ Author Unknown
Re: Okay, that moment of commitment has come... [Re: Clayman] #2096256 06/05/13 01:28 PM
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Okay, guys, time for a little update... Fancy another story? (and I guess you can already tell I'm not celebrating).

Here goes... At about 12:30 PM today I got a call from the driver that came to deliver my package. Since he came straight to my home address without any prior notice, I was at work at that time and fairly frustrated as to why he hadn't contacted me earlier to tell me he was going to show up because I needed to get in touch with the movers that were supposed to lift the package to my flat, and tell them the time at which I would need them. I told him to come again at 3 PM, took home office for the afternoon and went home to wait for him. Since the movers were unable to come on such a short notice, I decided that I would not accept the package and will tell the driver to come again tomorrow at a certain time that would suit the movers more.

He showed up again at about 2:30 PM (!) so I went down to the parking lot and jumped into the delivery truck as he was about to prepare the goods for unloading. I told him that I cannot take the package at the moment and wanted him to come again tomorrow at the given time. He kind of objected but then he told me that he would let me talk to the dispatcher (as he obviously wouldn't be the one delivering the goods the next day). As he started trying to call him, I decided to inspect the package for any visible damage. The front looked fine...

...but as I turned the thing around, I immediately spotted fairly severe damage of the packing carton in the bottom right corner on the back of the box. Now, the box with the piano was sitting in a "tub" (excuse the lack of a better word) made of fairly strong and durable carton for extra protection of the bottom part of the box. Well, that part of the protective carton in that corner was almost completely torn off and heavily warped.

The worst part however was that the "piano box" itself was torn through as well at the very bottom, just above what seemed like a wooden plate on which the piano stood in the box. The hole seemed like a cut rather than fall damage or punch against another object, there were no secondary tears as far as I could tell. However, this "cut" was wide enough for me to be able to stick my hand inside and basically touch the piano from the outside.

Now I was not sure if the piano had been damaged but I no longer cared. I told the driver with a straight face that I was not going to accept the package -- today, or tomorrow -- and that they can ship it back to Thomann. I realized that if I accepted the package and found out later on that the piano had been damaged, it would be my responsibility to get it back to Germany. I simply was not willing to take that risk. The message printed by Thomann in big, fat, red letters and stuck on the packing foil telling me to return the box in case of any visible damage on any part of the shipment made that decision a lot easier (if not exactly pleasant).

I have already gotten in touch with Thomann and got a brief reply that they will investigate the matter and will get in touch ASAP. I have no idea how long that may take but it seems it's going to take a while so no piano for me in the next few (or several?) weeks.

Gotta love Murphy and his laws. If something can go wrong, it most certainly will. frown


-- Zbynek N.

Learning to play the piano since 06/2013 on a Kawai CA-95.

Music is what feelings sound like. ~ Author Unknown
Re: Okay, that moment of commitment has come... [Re: Clayman] #2096313 06/05/13 02:33 PM
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I am so sorry to read that frown I can very easily imagine how disappointed you must be, I know I would be (and very angry too). It seems to be more and more common that things arrive damaged, I don't know if it's because people have to rush more and more or it's just because they just don't care but when you have been waiting impatiently it's so hard to see the truck go back and you being empty ended frown


- Please, forgive my bad English smile

Jean-Luc
Re: Okay, that moment of commitment has come... [Re: Clayman] #2096314 06/05/13 02:34 PM
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Sorry for all that trouble You have to make through, Zbynek, but it was a wise and rational decision on Your part.

I am particularly susceptible to wishful thinking in such situations (like "the package might seem badly damaged from the outside, but internally it want't be any problems anyway").
So Your experiences may help a lot...

Some more weeks after that many months would pass faster than you would think, I hope Thomann will do their best...

Re: Okay, that moment of commitment has come... [Re: Clayman] #2096317 06/05/13 02:36 PM
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Well ...join the club. You're bringing back some bad memories. That's how I got my first 4 Kawai's delivered from Thomann in the past and why I decided to never order such a big instrument from them or another remote retailer again.

To be honest Thomann itself doesn't throw around these boxes or stick frames through the packaging (happened to me too , right till it damaged the Kawai surface itself). I think that can be cause by the forklift the transportation company uses. But in the end they are still responsible. Why they never opted for a better / more reliable transport service is beyond my understanding. If they get so much damaged packages back, the additional cost of a better suited transport company would be well spend and save them money in the end. Perhaps it's all insurance business and they don't care. Still a waste of everybody's time and unnecessary destruction of capital though.

I hope they send you a new CA-95 on short term and that the second one will be undamaged. It took me 6 deliveries, hope you're more fortunate. Pity you probably can't get a CA-95 delivered and installed by a local dealer with own means of transport. It would make it a lot easier.

Hope for the best ! The CA-95 is most likely worth the wait...

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