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My buyer's journey comes to an end... with a Kawai CS10 :)
#2179493 11/09/13 08:36 AM
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Hi,

just wanted to share my experiences as a new and very happy owner of a Kawai CS10. I've written occasionally on these forums before concerning my doubts and agonies as a prospective buyer of a DP, and five days ago I finally received the CS10. To sum it up: This instrument really makes me very very happy.

Quick recap of my DP story:
- approx. two years ago: I have to sell my acoustic upright, since the neighbors in my apartment building were complaining about too much noise (I have a hard time understanding how someone could dislike hearing improvised piano jazz late at night, but I realize that people have different tastes). I decide to buy a DP
- I start trying out different DPs. Then I try the avantgrand N2, and I shouldn't have done that... it simply blows me away, and I realize that no other DPs could even come close to that experience. Because of that I make a somewhat strange decision: I figure that since all other DPs pale in comparison to the N2, and I couldn't afford the N2, then I could just as well buy one of the cheaper ones. So I buy the Casio Celviano 620
- But: When I start playing the Celviano 620, it just... doesn't do it for me. I'm not enjoying it. I get no real sense of interaction with the instrument. I find myself almost not touching it. So after a few weeks I sell it, at a considerable loss. I get grumpy.
- Then I start saving up for a N2, and I'm occasionally trying out other DPs in stores
- And finally: Two weeks ago, my local piano store here in Norway has received a Kawai CS10. I sit down to play, and... I realize that this was the DP I'd been waiting for. I enjoyed playing it just as much as I enjoyed playing the N2. So I bought it on the spot, and got it delivered five days ago.

What do I like about it? I'll try to put it down (I'm afraid I don't know all the right tecnical terms though):
- First, the action. It's responsive and smooth, but still has enough "texture" (can you use that word about piano actions?) and resistance to make playing interesting. Compared to the actions on the avantgrands, it's smoother and not as hard. But I realized that it was perfectly suited to my rather sensitive and "emo" playing style.
- The sound system: The soundboard and the speakers really makes playing interactive. When I play something, soft or hard, high or deep notes, etc, the sound "matches" what I play in a very good way. Furthermore, there is a sense of vibrations and resonance in the instrument, which is also really nice.
- The polish and the cabinet: This cabinet, an exact replication of the upright K2, is simply stunning. It is SO pleasing to look at, which adds to the playing experience, at least for me. (a short note: I previously tried out the CA95 very shortly, and didn't fall in love. Since the action on the CA95 is the same as on the CS10, and the sound output should be roughly the same, I suspect that this might have been a kind of cognitive/visual illusion: The visual appearance of the CA95 didn't feel as "real" or "acoustic" as the CS10, and that might have influenced how it felt playing it)
- The bells and whistles: I am just starting to explore the settings and possibilities on this DP, but so far I'm very pleased with all the extras it has to offer. The virtual technician, the different sounds (I was sure I would only use the regular piano sounds, but I've actually grown fond of some of the organ sounds for example), that it's easy to connect to my mac with USB, etc.

Do I have any reservations? The would have to be about the inbuilt piano samples. They are decent and more than good enough for most of my needs, but they are still not quite on a par with some of the VSTs that I've tried. I suspect that I miss some warmth in the sound, perhaps? I find especially the deep bass somewhat lacking. For my taste it's not "raw" enough: Sometimes when I pound the bass - and I do mean pound - I want it to produce a kind of raw and aggressive sound. I can't get that out of the inbuilt piano samples from Kawai.
Still, this is a minor complaint: It's easy to connect the DP to a VST should I want that (for prolonged playing sessions for example), and when I just want to sit down for a while and strike some notes (without starting up my mac), then the inbuilt sounds are more than good enough.

To sum it up: Since receiving the CS10 I've been playing hours on end, with or without headphones, and it's giving me a deep sense of musical enjoyment. As I said initially, I was sure that I would have to save up for the N2 in order to find an instrument that would really please me. But - the CS10 has convinced me otherwise. I'm sure that I will keep the CS10 for years to come, and that it will become a dear companion.

(I haven't uploaded pictures to this forum before, but I might upload a couple of pictures later)

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Re: My buyer's journey comes to an end... with a Kawai CS10 :)
oivavoi #2179522 11/09/13 10:10 AM
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That was a very interesting read. Id like to know how well your VST's sound over the CS10's speakers and which ones they are.

Re: My buyer's journey comes to an end... with a Kawai CS10 :)
oivavoi #2179535 11/09/13 10:37 AM
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Great choice. thumb Congratulations on your new piano, oivavoi.


-- Zbynek N.

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

Music is what feelings sound like. ~ Author Unknown
Re: My buyer's journey comes to an end... with a Kawai CS10 :)
oivavoi #2179537 11/09/13 10:38 AM
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Congratulations ! BTW since you also tried the CA-95 , did you notice any difference in sound from the speaker / soundboard system between the two, or are they quite similar ? Technically the seem the same, but for the looks, but perhaps there was some real difference in acoustic sound to distinguish ? or do you think the sound was roughly the same and the difference was more the psychological effect of sitting behind a DP that actually looks like a real upright ?

Just curious, enjoy the new baby !

Re: My buyer's journey comes to an end... with a Kawai CS10 :)
oivavoi #2179689 11/09/13 05:00 PM
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... ennnvyyyyyy....

grin

Congratulations, it must be a true joy to play that piano. I'm sure that your neighbours are also very happy... funny people...



Serious since Dec 2013. March 2014, Kawai CA95!

Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted

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Re: My buyer's journey comes to an end... with a Kawai CS10 :)
JFP #2179921 11/10/13 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Enthusiast
That was a very interesting read. Id like to know how well your VST's sound over the CS10's speakers and which ones they are.


Glad it was helpful! To be honest I haven't tried out any VSTs with the CS10 yet, perhaps I wasn't clear about that. I'm just assuming that it will run smoothly (have only used it with GarageBand so far). When I had the Celviano 620 I used Vintage D, Alicias Keys and Neo Soul Keys. After I sold it I let a friend borrow them since I didn't need them without a DP... But getting them back this week, so I can try it out and let you know how it sounds.


Originally Posted by JFP
Congratulations ! BTW since you also tried the CA-95 , did you notice any difference in sound from the speaker / soundboard system between the two, or are they quite similar ? Technically the seem the same, but for the looks, but perhaps there was some real difference in acoustic sound to distinguish ? or do you think the sound was roughly the same and the difference was more the psychological effect of sitting behind a DP that actually looks like a real upright ?

Just curious, enjoy the new baby !


Hm, good question:) I only tried out the CA95 briefly in a store, so I can't say for sure. On paper, at least, the sound should be roughly the same. Still, it FELT different. My hunch is, however, that you wouldn't be able to hear or feel any difference in a blind test, playing or listening with your eyes closed and without knowing which one it was.

Last edited by oivavoi; 11/10/13 03:57 AM.
Re: My buyer's journey comes to an end... with a Kawai CS10 :)
oivavoi #2180265 11/10/13 06:56 PM
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oivavoi, thank you for your post, and congratulations on your new piano!

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: My buyer's journey comes to an end... with a Kawai CS10 :)
oivavoi #2180300 11/10/13 08:17 PM
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oivavoi, thank you for a great review of the CS10!

I understand you are norwegian? Can I ask where you bought it, and what price you paid?

Did you somwhere along in the review process try the Roland LX15 or the Yamaha NU1?


Kawai CS10
Re: My buyer's journey comes to an end... with a Kawai CS10 :)
Morty #2180854 11/12/13 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Morty
oivavoi, thank you for a great review of the CS10!

I understand you are norwegian? Can I ask where you bought it, and what price you paid?

Did you somwhere along in the review process try the Roland LX15 or the Yamaha NU1?


Thanks, Morty. Yap, I'm Norwegian, I'll send you the details by PM smile

Concerning the NU1 and the Roland LX15: I never tried the LX15. The reason is that early on in the process I simply ruled out all the Rolands because of their action/touch, which I found to be inferior to the Kawais or the most expensive yamahas (even though I preferred their inbuilt piano samples to the other brands).

The NU1: I actually tried this DP several times, and was seriously considering it as a cheaper alternative to the N2 or N1. However, I never really enjoyed playing it. One thing is that the action replicates an upright, not a grand. I prefer the feeling of playing a grand. Furthermore, I think the sound system is much better on the CS10 - the sound simply comes out in a better way. I don't know exactly how or why this is, but after trying several NU1s in several stores, I'm pretty confident in this assessment. My purely subjective experience is that the CS10 is a more "lyrical" instrument, in a way: Compared to the NU1, it allows for greater sensitivity and range of expression while playing, even though the keys in the NU1 should be more authentic.

Re: My buyer's journey comes to an end... with a Kawai CS10 :)
oivavoi #2180874 11/12/13 05:17 AM
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LX-15 is now on sale at some places (probably because of next gen DP's coming from Roland, like the 508/506). Still wouldn't touch it, cause of the thumping keybed. Shame , it's suddenly very affordable ( € 1400 off...).

Re: My buyer's journey comes to an end... with a Kawai CS10 :)
oivavoi #2180876 11/12/13 05:37 AM
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The NU1 uses a speaker set-up similar to the CA65. Two full range speakers, and two tweeters. In the CA65 the full range speakers are firing downwards (I'm not sure of the NU1). This set-up is very limited in comparison to the CS10's superb sound-board system. The CA65 sounds boxy and distant; If you crank up the volume then the sound is more present from the player's perspective, but still not very convincing. IMHO, the Kawai soundboard system is even better than that of the (speaker-based ) AvantGrands.


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