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WITH AND WITHOUT HEADPHONE COMPARISIONS
#2159405 09/28/13 10:50 PM
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I'm comparing the Kawai CN 24 digital piano played with headphones with the Yamaha NU1 hybrid played with headphones. Both instruments are set to Concert Grand with no layering and both are at medium volume. I find the sound of the Kawai without phones to be absolutely terrible--anemic and tinny. However, the sound using phones on the CN 24 is much fuller, more acoustic-like, and much more pleasing. The phones on the Kawai definitely improves things tremendously (the headphones are a modest pair of Sony digital phones). I've only tried the NU1 without phones and it surely produces a nice, full sound without phones. However, I've not tried the NU1 with phones and I would like to know if the NU1 sounds better, about the same, or worse with phones relative to it being played without headphones. Any comments will be appreciated.

Re: WITH AND WITHOUT HEADPHONE COMPARISIONS
BOREGARD #2159477 09/29/13 04:13 AM
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All DP's sound better with good quality headphones, compared to their inbuilt speakers. That's my experience so far and I've tried lots. The only thing missing is the resonance or vibration of the cabinet, or surroundings. If you prefer that then you won't agree with me.

Re: WITH AND WITHOUT HEADPHONE COMPARISIONS
BOREGARD #2159489 09/29/13 05:08 AM
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I would agree with Spanishbuddha but I would add that, the fact that one DP (or any sound producing system for that matter) sound better with the integrated speakers than another doesn't mean the hierarchy will not be reverted using a good headphone so you are right to want to test. While, according to your experience, the speakers of the NU1 produce a more enjoyable sound, it's very possible that, when using headphones, the sound engine of the Kawai gives a better result (I know my CA65 which has, as far as I know the same sound engine as the CN24 is very pleasing with a headphone but I have no experience with the NU1 so I can't be more precise).


- Please, forgive my bad English smile

Jean-Luc
Re: WITH AND WITHOUT HEADPHONE COMPARISIONS
Jean-Luc #2159586 09/29/13 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Jean-Luc
...I know my CA65 which has, as far as I know the same sound engine as the CN24...


The CA65 sound engine is HI-XL.
The CN24 sound engine is PHI.

HI-XL is much better than PHI, hence the CA65 is more expensive than the CN24.

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: WITH AND WITHOUT HEADPHONE COMPARISIONS
spanishbuddha #2159597 09/29/13 11:16 AM
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Thanks to all on this.

Re: WITH AND WITHOUT HEADPHONE COMPARISIONS
Kawai James #2159648 09/29/13 01:07 PM
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Oups, sorry James blush I thought the main difference was the GF keyboard, I never really thought of the sound engine itself frown


- Please, forgive my bad English smile

Jean-Luc
Re: WITH AND WITHOUT HEADPHONE COMPARISIONS
spanishbuddha #2160471 10/01/13 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
All DP's sound better with good quality headphones, compared to their inbuilt speakers. That's my experience so far and I've tried lots. The only thing missing is the resonance or vibration of the cabinet, or surroundings. If you prefer that then you won't agree with me.


I disagree completely. Every digital piano I have tried sounds better without headphones.


Playing: Yamaha GC2
Re: WITH AND WITHOUT HEADPHONE COMPARISIONS
Daniel Corban #2160492 10/01/13 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel Corban
Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
All DP's sound better with good quality headphones, compared to their inbuilt speakers. That's my experience so far and I've tried lots. The only thing missing is the resonance or vibration of the cabinet, or surroundings. If you prefer that then you won't agree with me.


I disagree completely. Every digital piano I have tried sounds better without headphones.

Time to upgrade your headphones (no smiley).

Re: WITH AND WITHOUT HEADPHONE COMPARISIONS
BOREGARD #2160799 10/02/13 10:37 AM
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I'll ignore the condescending and insulting response.

I find that digital pianos sound too artificial with headphones. I don't think the piano sound is intended to be piped directly into stereo headphones. Even when testing top of the line headphones with top of the line pianos, I still don't fully enjoy it. The Avant Grand sound is the best I have heard so far, but still vastly superior sounding from the speaker box. I haven't personally tried a V-Piano, so maybe it is more realistic.


Playing: Yamaha GC2
Re: WITH AND WITHOUT HEADPHONE COMPARISIONS
Daniel Corban #2160805 10/02/13 10:51 AM
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Hi,

As far as I know, Yamaha is selling silent pianos with binaural recordings, which are supposed to be optimal for headphone listening.

Did anybody have a chance to try one of those out?

Ciao,
Paolo


Yamaha CLP-970
Roland JV-1080
Re: WITH AND WITHOUT HEADPHONE COMPARISIONS
Daniel Corban #2160817 10/02/13 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel Corban
I find that digital pianos sound too artificial with headphones. I don't think the piano sound is intended to be piped directly into stereo headphones. Even when testing top of the line headphones with top of the line pianos, I still don't fully enjoy it. The Avant Grand sound is the best I have heard so far, but still vastly superior sounding from the speaker box. I haven't personally tried a V-Piano, so maybe it is more realistic.


Odd...I guess my opinion is like the rest of those in this thread and elsewhere. Digital piano speakers are almost always very inferior instruments. I can't say I've ever played a digital that sounded better through speakers than through headphones. I think instead of taking offense you might give some thought to the comment above about headphone quality.

Re: WITH AND WITHOUT HEADPHONE COMPARISIONS
Daniel Corban #2160818 10/02/13 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel Corban
The Avant Grand sound is the best I have heard so far, but still vastly superior sounding from the speaker box. I haven't personally tried a V-Piano, so maybe it is more realistic.


The AG N2 and N3, and Roland V-Piano Grand are the only DPs I've played that sound better via their own speakers than through my AKG K271 MkII (which is a good, but hardly top-of-the-range headphones). I'm talking merely about the sound quality (frequency response, distortion etc) of course, not about the the spatial aspect of sound projection, which may be what's more important to you. Also, when I test a DP, I don't hold back, and I put the volume up to realistic levels - and many DPs struggle even to achieve that, while others distort at fortissimos.

I also played the V-Piano in the store from which I bought mine, connected to what looked like an expensive quadraphonic monitor speaker system (the V-Piano has no speakers but is designed for a quadraphonic speaker set-up), but the sound from that still didn't match up to that from my headphones.

However, the N3 and the V-Piano Grand both have excellent dedicated multi-speaker system in their grand cabinets designed to simulate the sound projection from an acoustic grand, and no headphones, however expensive, can match that.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: WITH AND WITHOUT HEADPHONE COMPARISIONS
BOREGARD #2160819 10/02/13 11:30 AM
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I find that the AG N2 is better without phones. In fact, it does not sound very good with phones. Using headphones, my RD-700NX (though phones) is better than my AG N2 (though phones).


Steinway B
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Roland RD-700NX
Re: WITH AND WITHOUT HEADPHONE COMPARISIONS
BOREGARD #2160837 10/02/13 12:46 PM
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It might be helpful for the rest of us if people mention the brand and model of the headphones used and how does that compare to the internal speakers of the specific DP(ie. more highs/lows, thinner/fuller, crisper sound, etc)


CA95, Sennheiser HD598

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