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Any CA-95 owner got an answer... #2138892
08/25/13 05:04 PM
08/25/13 05:04 PM
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JFP Offline OP
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I hate to bring this subject up again, but because a CA seems to be crossing my path and possibly a next inhabitant of our living, I'd like to know one thing. I know I put this question forward several times before, but have so far found no answer, so:

Situation:
On the Kawai DP's with integrated speakers there's a digital EQ between the sound engine and the amp/speaker system to correct for the non-lineairities that a cabinet + speaker system introduces in the frequency range. When playing over headphones this EQ is by-passed, cause most headphones are pretty much linear already. Now , when you connect an audio source to the audio input , like a software piano, the question is if this audio signal is running through the correction EQ as well, when playing over the speaker system.

As far as I know , the models where the audio-input is added in the analog signal path have no correction. But the CA-95 / CS-10 seem to add the audio-input signal to the digital signal path (AD converter). Therefore these models might run the audio-input signal through the digital correction EQ and the playback is as good as it would be as when you play it from an USB stick directly on the Kawai. Or not...

So...does any owner know by experience if a signal fed into the audio-in sound just as good as the signals that come from the internal engine when listening to the speakers ? Easy to check by having the same audio file as WAV on a USB stick and played over the audio-in. Make sure the volume levels are the same and perform an A/B comparison. If the sound is the same, the audio-in is also EQ-ed. If i's quite different and the audio-input sounds "off" , it is uncorrected.

It would be great to have software piano's running alongside the build-in sounds and have them sound equally well over the good speaker and soundboard system of the CA/ CS

Edit: Im currently in no position to test it somewhere, otherwise I wouldn't bore you with this subject (again)...


Last edited by JFP; 08/25/13 05:05 PM.
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Re: Any CA-95 owner got an answer... [Re: JFP] #2138905
08/25/13 05:31 PM
08/25/13 05:31 PM
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Pete14 Offline
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It would be nice to get an answer from KAWAI. Perhaps a simple yes/no; if per se, they do not want to go into any details. Many people would prefer running a virtual piano through the CA95/CS10 internal system; and yes, while we all know this is possible, we are not certain if we are indeed taking advantage of the full potential of the instrument's soundboard-speaker system (via virtual pianos).

Re: Any CA-95 owner got an answer... [Re: JFP] #2138920
08/25/13 06:13 PM
08/25/13 06:13 PM
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MacMacMac Offline
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Why not just try it out? If the sound suits you, you're done. If not, insert an equalizer between the software piano and the piano's audio input and alter the tone to suit. Equalizers can be had on Ebay for $20 and up.

Re: Any CA-95 owner got an answer... [Re: JFP] #2138924
08/25/13 06:19 PM
08/25/13 06:19 PM
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Marko in Boston Offline
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Hi JFP, the CA95 and CS10 seem amazing as is. Is it a deal breaker for you if the answers are no? Maybe just use your VPC1 for the situations that the CA95/CS10 cant handle. Just asking because Im considering a CA95 for home, practice, and entertaining and use my ES7 for road and home studio. I want to make sure I make the right decision as well.


KAWAI ES7 | ROLAND RD-800 | YAMAHA CP4 | YAMAHA STAGEPAS 400i | PRESONUS R65 & T10 | SHURE SRH1540 | SENNHEISER HD650 | K&M OMEGA
Re: Any CA-95 owner got an answer... [Re: MacMacMac] #2138992
08/25/13 10:22 PM
08/25/13 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Marko in Boston
Is it a deal breaker for you if the answers are no?


Not per se; but it is a factor in the equation. If the CA95 / CS10 offer the best sound due to the EQ for external sources, that would be an extra reason to choose these over the CA65 / CS7. Note that if your happy with the sound of your ES7 , the CA will be a tremendous step up and won't disappoint you. I'm just trying to find out , cause in my case I will be using software along side the internal sounds right from the start. That's my personal decision and I'm sure most people won't touch an audio-in at all, cause the sound is completely satisfying already. Which it probably is; just want to keep all options open.

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Why not just try it out? If the sound suits you, you're done. If not, insert an equalizer between the software piano and the piano's audio input and alter the tone to suit. Equalizers can be had on Ebay for $20 and up.


We'll, don't have any standing nearby ;-) But seriously, I did try EQ-ing myself on previous Kawai's I owned and it's practically impossible to get it right. The curve is very delicate and unknown, so you'd have to use endless trial and errors and still not get the right result. Also a simple graphic EQ with fixed frequency bands won't do; a phase linear parametric EQ with many bands will do the job perhaps, but a good one is very expensive ! And yet another thing to add to the chain and spoil the simplicity of the setup (not elegant, more boxes and wires). By the way; a software solution like a 'matching EQ' adds too much latency, even on a pretty fast PC.

If I do get to try and test a CA95 myself in the near future and am able to check how well it goes with external audio over the system, I'll post it here. In the meantime , some owner may already have the answer available, that's why I asked.

Last edited by JFP; 08/25/13 10:29 PM.
Re: Any CA-95 owner got an answer... [Re: JFP] #2139005
08/25/13 10:59 PM
08/25/13 10:59 PM
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semo Offline
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In my opinion, Kawai(and other vendors) would tune the internal sound source and the speakers to give the best audio results for the combination. This would be especially true for the CA95 as the soundboard is not an ordinary speaker. Any external sources would need to EQ to match the internal speakers.

My experience with pianoteq running on a MacMini and connecting the output directly to the CA95 line-in sounded terrible. It sounded thin and with some odd harmonics. Using a Presonus AudioBox 22VSL as pianoteq's audio out and plugging into the CA95 line-in produce only a slightly better result. However, listening to pianoteq using the AudioBox headphone output on my Senn 598 headphones was a couple magnitudes better in terms of audio quality and was quite enjoyable.

At the end of the day, however, I think the CA95's grand piano sound, with headphone or thru the soundboard, was better than pianoteq--my 2 cents.


CA95, Sennheiser HD598
Re: Any CA-95 owner got an answer... [Re: JFP] #2139040
08/26/13 02:24 AM
08/26/13 02:24 AM
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JFP Offline OP
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If the internal sounds were tuned to the speaker system, they would sound very odd over headphones, which they don't. So I guess the EQ jumpes in when you play over speaker and is by-passed when played over headphones.

But your answer sort of says it already: sound is weird over audio-in + speakers , so: no EQ.

Thanks !

Re: Any CA-95 owner got an answer... [Re: JFP] #2139075
08/26/13 05:52 AM
08/26/13 05:52 AM
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Hookxs Offline
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I cannot do the test any more but I know that Pianoteq sounded much better over headphones than internal speakers while internal sounds are good either way so I suspect you are right - no correcting EQ for audio in. I cannot give a more definitive answer though.

Re: Any CA-95 owner got an answer... [Re: JFP] #2139077
08/26/13 05:54 AM
08/26/13 05:54 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
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Raleigh, North Carolina
MacMacMac Offline
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JFP: I don't understand your points. Since you don't yet know whether the piano applies EQ to the aux inputs, how can you say this:
Originally Posted by JFP
I did try EQ-ing myself on previous Kawai's I owned and it's practically impossible to get it right.
I presume you're referring to some other Kawai. The CA95 is (for now) an unknown ... until and unless you get an answer from Kawai.

Also, the process is not endless ...
Originally Posted by JFP
The curve is very delicate and unknown, so you'd have to use endless trial and errors and still not get the right result.
How does the differ from any audio situation? Just listen and adjust to taste.

Also, I don't think you'll need a top-end EQ.
Originally Posted by JFP
Also a simple graphic EQ with fixed frequency bands won't do; a phase linear parametric EQ with many bands will do the job perhaps, but a good one is very expensive!
But even if you want a two-channel 31-band EQ, you can get that brand new for $300-$400, or less with used equipment.

Originally Posted by JFP
And yet another thing to add to the chain and spoil the simplicity of the setup (not elegant, more boxes and wires).
Any (current) software solution involves boxes and wires. If you want elegance, you need to use the piano in its native state, and forego the software pianos.

Re: Any CA-95 owner got an answer... [Re: JFP] #2139289
08/26/13 03:52 PM
08/26/13 03:52 PM
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We'll ; the process is quite endless; you keep on tuning and retuning the curve and never get it quite right or to your satisfaction. Doing measurements in an an-echoic chamber with noise bursts and the right measuring equipment and performing correct EQ matching would probably work, but that's not really an option.

Of course Kawai has already done something similar to get the curves themselves, but they remain a secret that is a matter of national security or keeping the world piece, cause it's not going to be made public for any Kawai model. Beats me what could possibly harm the Kawai sales if we knew the exact specs of these correction curves; it will only increase the value of the instrument, cause you can get the best sound possible for external audio sources by applying that EQ curve yourself and enjoy the DP even more.

Perhaps the argument is that people may (!) stick to their current model longer and refrain from upgrading, cause they can potentially replace the internal sound with a SW solution in the future instead of buying into the next incarnation of Harmonic Imaging. That is a big 'if' , but seriously the only possible argument I can come up with. Would imply that for keeping up hardware sales a 'not-so-perfect' audio performance over speakers for external sound is a wanted feature. A long throw, but the only marketing argument I can come up with.

Whatever; I have my answer and am done with the subject. Won't raise it again and don't let anyone be put of a CA purchase by any of this; for 99% of the people I guess it's a non-issue cause they buy it as a DP for the internal sounds anyway, which is a good thing. It's just my personal derailment that was triggered again by some sudden CA offers that crossed my path...

@Hookxs: you sold yours ? Was it a CA65 or CA95 ? Any specific reason ?

Re: Any CA-95 owner got an answer... [Re: JFP] #2262288
04/15/14 05:56 PM
04/15/14 05:56 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
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lolatu Offline
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This is an old thread, but looking at the CA93 block diagram, which I assume has similarities to the CA95, it goes something like this:

Code
Sound gen --> Volume -->      
Line In ---------------> Mix ---> HP amp --> Line out
                             |           --> Headphones
                             | 
                              --> EQ --> Power amp --> Speakers 


It shows an EQ applied to the signal directly before it's fed into the power amp that goes to the speakers, so Line In input will be properly EQed for the speakers on the CA93.

There must be some differences, however, because I did some tests and on the CA95
a) the Volume also affects the Line In
b) Tone Control (User EQ) applies to the Line In, and can be heard on both speakers and headphones
c) Line In is captured when recording WAV / MP3 (which is itself interesting because it suggests that WAV / MP3 recordings are not perfect digital recordings and have gone via the DAC, then re-sampled)

But since the EQ still needs to be different for speakers and headphones, it's very probable that the EQ step before the Power amp remains, and will still affect Line In.


Kawai CA95 / Steinberg UR22 / Sony MDR-7506 / Pianoteq Stage + Grotrian / Galaxy Vintage D / CFX Lite
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810
Re: Any CA-95 owner got an answer... [Re: lolatu] #2262340
04/15/14 08:18 PM
04/15/14 08:18 PM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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Yes, the CA95 and CS10 support recording Line In audio to WAV/MP3, which requires AD conversion, and means that the signal passes through the instrument's digital EQ.

Originally Posted by lolatu
c) Line In is captured when recording WAV / MP3 (which is itself interesting because it suggests that WAV / MP3 recordings are not perfect digital recordings and have gone via the DAC, then re-sampled)


If no audio devices are connected to the Line In jacks (i.e. there is no signal) the WAV/MP3 recordings will be purely digital (i.e. no AD conversion). If a device is connected to the Line In jacks, the analogue signal will be converted to digital and mixed with the instrument's sound. In this case, the recordings will obviously no longer be purely digital, due to the addition of the analogue input.

Cheers,
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: Any CA-95 owner got an answer... [Re: JFP] #2262345
04/15/14 08:30 PM
04/15/14 08:30 PM
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^ That is good to hear, James!

Also, important to know, that I'll get better quality if I disconnect the Line-In from my audio interface if I want to record the CA95's internal sounds!

Last edited by lolatu; 04/15/14 08:34 PM.

Kawai CA95 / Steinberg UR22 / Sony MDR-7506 / Pianoteq Stage + Grotrian / Galaxy Vintage D / CFX Lite
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810
Re: Any CA-95 owner got an answer... [Re: JFP] #2262348
04/15/14 08:36 PM
04/15/14 08:36 PM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Just doing my job (albeit unofficially). wink

I should perhaps add that the MP10 and now MP11/MP7 also support Line In recording/mixing to WAV/MP3.

Moreover, I recall that there's a noise gate when the Line In level fader is set to the lowest position, so even with a device connected to the Line In jacks the recording will be purely digital. I expect it's the same situation with the Line In knob on the CA95/CS10.

Cheers,
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: Any CA-95 owner got an answer... [Re: JFP] #2262496
04/16/14 08:11 AM
04/16/14 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by JFP
We'll ; the process is quite endless; you keep on tuning and retuning the curve and never get it quite right or to your satisfaction. Doing measurements in an an-echoic chamber with noise bursts and the right measuring equipment and performing correct EQ matching would probably work, but that's not really an option.


In any case, I think this kind of stuff could be the right solution for what you need.

http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/arc/

Last edited by stamkorg; 04/16/14 08:11 AM.
Re: Any CA-95 owner got an answer... [Re: JFP] #2262534
04/16/14 10:02 AM
04/16/14 10:02 AM
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JFP Offline OP
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Didn't know this subject was revived. I already have my 95 for quite a while and had my questions answered. Line in works fine for sounds over the speakers. One of the advantages of the 95 over the 65 (or Cs10 over cs7). If you plan to use other sound sources over the speaker system of the DP, keep that in mind.

Re: Any CA-95 owner got an answer... [Re: JFP] #2263095
04/17/14 02:20 PM
04/17/14 02:20 PM
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Canada
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Hey JFP,

How did you get your line-in to work optimally?

I've finally can use my Vintage D through the line-in without sounding like crap now that I have a ground loop isolator.

But I still find that the Line-In sounds, sounds like it's coming from the top speakers only, whereas the internal sounds sounds a lot more full and multi director. It's almost as if the line-in doesn't activate the transducer very well...

Or maybe I need to set the equalizer better on my Vintage D?


Yamaha C6F
Kawai CA95

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