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#2679762 - 10/05/17 01:20 AM Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos  
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Hello folks,

Here's some new product information that you may be interested in:

Quote
Kawai Japan is proud to announce the CA98 and CA78, the latest high-performance additions to the popular Concert Artist series of digital pianos, and successors to the highly successful CA97 and CA67. These updated models feature the brand new SK-EX Rendering piano sound engine with multi-channel sampling and resonance modelling, the industry’s leading Grand Feel II wooden-key keyboard action, premium amplification and speaker technologies developed in collaboration with audio specialists Onkyo, built-in Bluetooth® MIDI and Audio connectivity, and a stunning 5″ LCD touchscreen display embedded within the instruments’ left cheekblock. Incorporating a variety of modern technologies, the impressive CA98 and CA78 combine ultra-realistic touch with premium quality sound to deliver the concert grand experience in the comfort of your home.

Read more...


Kawai Global website: CA98 product page
Kawai Global website: CA78 product page
(full content coming soon)

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
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#2679763 - 10/05/17 01:22 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
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CA98/CA78 New Features & Improvements (compared to CA97/CA67)

  • New: SK-EX Rendering piano sound engine (88-key multi-channel sampling + 88-key resonance modelling)
  • New: Premium Onkyo audio and amp technologies (1-bit DSD processing, dual DACs, DIDRC, premium amps, Discrete SpectraModule)
  • New: Premium 6-speaker configuration featuring Onkyo speaker drivers (CA98 only)
  • New: 3rd generation TwinDrive Soundboard Speaker system featuring Onkyo transducers (CA98 only)
  • New: Integrated Bluetooth® MIDI and Audio for wireless communication with smart devices
  • New: Modern 5″ LCD touchscreen display with intuitive swipe operation
  • Improved: Chopin 'Etudes: Opus 10' lesson book added
  • Improved: Full General MIDI sound bank for improved SMF playback
  • Improved: 6-position adjustable music rest (previously 3-position) with 'composer's desk' angle
  • Improved: Modernised cabinet design (thinner toeblock, repositioned KAWAI badge, cover-less front speaker openings)



CA98/CA78 Audio Demos

https://www.kawai.de/products/digitalpianos/caserie/ca98/
(click the 'Klangbeispiele' link to expand the demos)

https://soundcloud.com/kawai-australia/sets/kawai-ca78-ca98-audio-demos

CA98/CA78 Videos







Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#2679766 - 10/05/17 01:26 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
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CyberGene Online content
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Cool! Is this SK-EX Rendering engine fully modeled?
P.S. Opened the website so apparently multi channel sampling and resonance modeling (improved).

Last edited by CyberGene; 10/05/17 01:33 AM.

https://myspace.com/evgenykumanov/music/songs
Currently: Kawai ES7 -> Garritan CFX Lite
Previously: Kawai MP6, Kawai CA63, Roland RD-700SX, Roland FP-5, Yamaha P90, Korg SP-200, Casio CDP-100
#2679767 - 10/05/17 01:26 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
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Awesome - Thanks for sharing the announcement James! Super-excited to try these out in person. Any idea as to when these should be on the floor of the piano dealers in US?

Thanks,
Osho

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#2679774 - 10/05/17 03:29 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
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Awesome! Some questions:

1) Can you share technical details of the new "piano sound engine"? Is it just an evolutional improvement or is it a rather dramatic change? Any chance for full-length (unlooped) samples?

2) The press release / announcement seems to say that both models use Onkyo technology, but your list says that only the CA98 features Onkyo speaker drivers. Can you clarify how much of the audio system in the CA78 is Onkyo based?

3) Have you had a chance to test play the CA78/98 yet? If so, can you comment on your impressions on whether the Onkyo tech makes an audible difference?

4) Not sure if you can comment on this, but is this the same sound engine the Novus will also use? Or will the Novus have something even newer/better?

5) Not sure if you can comment on this, but I really like the CS design. Do you have any guestimate of when the CS series might be updated with the new sound engine, Onkyo tech etc?

Thanks! smile

#2679783 - 10/05/17 04:42 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
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Regarding CS series, I have always wondered why they get treated so late after the CA-series. The premium pianos and users are put behind smile Not that I am complaining and I am in the market to upgrade my home piano, so CA98 or CA78 are good candidates. But it's the opposite of the proper business model smile


https://myspace.com/evgenykumanov/music/songs
Currently: Kawai ES7 -> Garritan CFX Lite
Previously: Kawai MP6, Kawai CA63, Roland RD-700SX, Roland FP-5, Yamaha P90, Korg SP-200, Casio CDP-100
#2679786 - 10/05/17 04:55 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: CyberGene]  
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Cool! Is this SK-EX Rendering engine fully modeled?
P.S. Opened the website so apparently multi channel sampling and resonance modeling (improved).


It doesn't seem to be fully modeled, but seems to be more than just sampling with some modeled resonance. It seems that the piano now has two modes: "Pianist Mode" and "Sound Mode".

Sound Mode seems to be the same as we know from the previous generation: "Harmonic Imaging XL (HI-XL)" engine, 88-key stereo sampling, damper/string/undamped string/cabinet resonances, reverb, 88 voices (including SK-EX, EX and SK-5). So it's essentially a CA97 inside of your CA98 (or CA67 inside of the CA68).

The "Pianist Mode" is new. It essentially seems to simulate "only" one piano, the SK-EX: A new "SK-EX Rendering" engine with 88-key multi-channel sampling, damper/string/undamped string/aliquot resonances, ambience (instead of reverb), and 10 different "rendering characters" (all based on the SK-EX, I assume?).

Plus both modes have the same versatile Virtual Technician as before (at least it looks the same, although there may be small differences). EDIT: Actually, the new pianist mode has fewer VT options than the sound mode. I guess those missing settings (e.g. damper resonance, string resonance, decay time, etc.) are now instead governed by the "rendering characters"?

Personally, I'm excited to see (or rather hear) what this new "SK-EX Rendering" engine brings. Mainly because I'm assuming that the Novus will come with the same engine, and that's what I have my eyes on... smile

EDIT: Some more info on the 10 "rendering characters" of the pianist mode (from the manual):

Classic A standard grand piano sound with a broad dynamic range.
Romantic A mellow grand piano sound with soft hammers.
Full A big grand piano sound with a strong bass and bright character.
Jazz A clean grand piano sound that is suitable for jazz.
Brilliant A bright grand piano sound with emphasised treble.
Rich A rich grand piano sound with emphasised resonances.
Ballad A clear, light grand piano sound that is suitable for ballads.
Pop A strong grand piano sound with emphasised attack that is suitable for pop music.
Vintage A soft grand piano sound with a vintage character.
Boogie A small grand piano with a detuned character.

EDIT 2: Some other clues that the two engines (modes) are indeed quite different:
  • Sound layering, dual keyboard mode, split mode, 4-hands mode, etc. are only available in the "old" sound mode.
  • MIDI recordings in the internal recorder are only possible with the "old" sound mode too. (Or rather, the internal recorder then records the internal Kawai format, that however can be exported as MIDI/SMF on a USB stick). In the new pianist mode, the internal recorder can only record in MP3 format. At least that's how I read the manual...

Last edited by JoBert; 10/05/17 05:26 AM.

Kawai CA 97 | previously: Yamaha P-115 | years ago: Roland HP-800
My piano recordings on YouTube
#2679788 - 10/05/17 05:22 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
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The prodigal sons (re)appear smile
I remember reading a suggestion for a setting to have the touchscreen completely off when not in use, with a time-out, of course. I hope that has been heeded.

The 88 note sampling + resonance modelling sounds very interesting. I expect a good sound with lots of customization options and great sustain/ response and hopefully very lifelike resonances (given it is modeled). Something similar with Roland's Supernatural approach in previous generations, only most likely with more samples and a more evolved modelling engine.

I'm very much looking forward to testing these, as an upgrade in the near future is in the books for me as well. It will probably be between the CA78 and the HP605, depending on price and sound (and maybe impressions on the action, although I like both a lot). Or maybe I'll just go with the HP601 and monitors and software instruments. That's a though choice.

Edit: "The screen can also be set to turn off automatically while playing, thus preserving the instruments’ acoustic piano-like appearance, and minimising any visual distractions to the performer." Bravo, Kawai. A simple, yet very important feature. No more tape on screens and buttons.

Last edited by mcoll; 10/05/17 05:26 AM.
#2679791 - 10/05/17 05:37 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: mcoll]  
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Originally Posted by mcoll
I remember reading a suggestion for a setting to have the touchscreen completely off when not in use, with a time-out, of course. I hope that has been heeded.

Yest, there is an "Auto Display Off" setting.

Originally Posted by mcoll
The 88 note sampling + resonance modelling sounds very interesting. I expect a good sound with lots of customization options and great sustain/ response and hopefully very lifelike resonances (given it is modeled).

Well, the customization options for the new engine seem to be limited. In pianist mode (the mode that uses the new SK-EX Rendering engine), it seems you cannot customize the resonance options (not even in the virtual technician advanced mode). You only have the 10 "rendering characters" that influence these parameters (as I listed in my "EDIT" in my previous post).

To me it seems, that the new pianist mode is not simply a vehicle for the new engine, but that it is targeted at those people that simply want to play the piano. You know, those people that come here and make a post of the type "Please help me find the most realistic and acoustic-like digital piano in my budget. I don't care about bells and whistles, I don't care about multiple 'voices' I just want it to sound and feel like a real piano.".

Seems to me that this is what the pianist mode is targeted at, seeing that it does away with a number of "bells and whistles" (like VT parameters, MIDI options, keyboard splitting, sound layering, etc.).

Last edited by JoBert; 10/05/17 05:40 AM.

Kawai CA 97 | previously: Yamaha P-115 | years ago: Roland HP-800
My piano recordings on YouTube
#2679793 - 10/05/17 05:47 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: mcoll]  
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Originally Posted by mcoll


The 88 note sampling + resonance modelling sounds very interesting.


They've been doing that for many years. There is no detail at present to tell us whether there is anything substantially new about the sound engine of the new Kawais. I mean, it's not even logical terminology to describe a sampled piano as being "rendered". The Modelling component is rendered, the sampled part is just sample playback with whatever filtering they add to it to change the tonal characteristics. Or are we calling normal signal processing "rendering" now? The worst thing about this industry is all the mysterious terminology that makes it impossible to compare things properly. On the other hand, all we really need in a piano is to like it - so in that sense, who cares what any of this stuff is called. That's what annoys me, I guess. If you are going to have descriptions of the technology - they should mean something. If you're not going to describe it properly, I'd rather they leave it out and invite people to come and try your "new whiz bang model". At least then people have no recourse other than to assess it on what they hear and feel. (I hate marketing...)

#2679794 - 10/05/17 06:03 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
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I've been reading through the manual for the last 10 minutes and find it really odd that they decided to extract the new "Pianist mode" as an entirely separate engine from the old-one. In other words this is not merely an improved Hi-XL engine but is something much more different. It would appear that it's just sampling + modeling which isn't new for Kawai, however it doesn't make sense to separate those two engines.

Here's my theory: they sampled the SK-EX with multiple microphones at various places. Those are later used to change the "rendering character", i.e. to upmix the channels in a specific way accenting on specific feature such as initimate close to hammers miking character, or another one that is rather clean (no close hammer sound), etc. This is in fact very similar to Garritan CFX microphone perspectives. And of course they apply the resonance modeling on top of that.

I hope the fact hey have multi-channel samples isn't a justification for short samples... Hopefully we have long unlooped attacks. But as you know Kawai (James) won't uncover details for that and will instead say that one should better play and decide whether the sound is OK smile And I would agree. If they managed to make a convincing sound, then does it matter if it is looped or whatever.

Last edited by CyberGene; 10/05/17 06:06 AM.

https://myspace.com/evgenykumanov/music/songs
Currently: Kawai ES7 -> Garritan CFX Lite
Previously: Kawai MP6, Kawai CA63, Roland RD-700SX, Roland FP-5, Yamaha P90, Korg SP-200, Casio CDP-100
#2679795 - 10/05/17 06:06 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
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I see the word 'rendering' as being a means of saying that it is the SK-EX placed into different 'scenes' or 'settings' according to the needs of the player...always assuming that there is a 'rendering' that meets those needs. By that I mean each 'scene' or 'setting' (rendering) will combine a sense of acoustic space with the sense of the piano sounding and behaving as per the expectations given by the various descriptions in "pianist mode'. For this they will combine appropriate acoustic projection and directionality (derived by the multi-channel sampling), EQ, velocity response and all the modelled resonance parameters for each 'rendering'.

That's my guess anyway.

I reckon this will go a fair bit beyond a smattering of reverb and a bit of sympathetic resonance. It's all very interesting.....

#2679806 - 10/05/17 06:48 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: EssBrace]  
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
I see the word 'rendering' as being a means of saying that it is the SK-EX placed into different 'scenes' or 'settings' according to the needs of the player...always assuming that there is a 'rendering' that meets those needs. By that I mean each 'scene' or 'setting' (rendering) will combine a sense of acoustic space with the sense of the piano sounding and behaving as per the expectations given by the various descriptions in "pianist mode'. For this they will combine appropriate acoustic projection and directionality (derived by the multi-channel sampling), EQ, velocity response and all the modelled resonance parameters for each 'rendering'.

That's my guess anyway.

I reckon this will go a fair bit beyond a smattering of reverb and a bit of sympathetic resonance. It's all very interesting.....

If they go to the trouble of a multi-sample scene selection, which would require a considerable memory boost, one would hope they are also going the whole hog and bringing in new, and unlooped samples.

#2679809 - 10/05/17 07:06 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
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It seems like these pianos are basically sampled with some modeled aspects (resonances). The older Rolands used sampling for the initial attack and modeling for the resonances and the decay.
The big difference between these approaches being the utmost important decay. From a technical standpoint, I prefer the Roland approach (older models).

#2679822 - 10/05/17 08:08 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
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Good evening chaps,

I will try to respond to some of your queries tomorrow.

Until then, here is some coverage of the new models courtesy of Japanese portal ascii.jp:

http://weekly.ascii.jp/elem/000/000/405/405352/

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#2679835 - 10/05/17 08:50 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
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"On October 5, Kawai Musical Instruments Co., Ltd. (KAWAI) announced the series "Kawai Digital Piano CA 98" , an electronic piano "Concert Artist" series capable of high performance sound reproduction, attached with a specially designed vibrator"

Interesting inclusion.... whome


Kawai CA97 (soon to be CA98)
#2679836 - 10/05/17 08:56 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
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Pianos should bring joy, right? wink


https://myspace.com/evgenykumanov/music/songs
Currently: Kawai ES7 -> Garritan CFX Lite
Previously: Kawai MP6, Kawai CA63, Roland RD-700SX, Roland FP-5, Yamaha P90, Korg SP-200, Casio CDP-100
#2679847 - 10/05/17 09:36 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: JoBert]  
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Originally Posted by JoBert
. . .
EDIT 2: Some other clues that the two engines (modes) are indeed quite different:
  • Sound layering, dual keyboard mode, split mode, 4-hands mode, etc. are only available in the "old" sound mode.
  • MIDI recordings in the internal recorder are only possible with the "old" sound mode too. (Or rather, the internal recorder then records the internal Kawai format, that however can be exported as MIDI/SMF on a USB stick). In the new pianist mode, the internal recorder can only record in MP3 format. At least that's how I read the manual...


I hope you're wrong about that! If you're right, it was a really, really, really dumb engineering (or marketing) decision.

I'm sure that KJ (welcome back!) will weigh in on the question.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
#2679848 - 10/05/17 09:39 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
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The new engine is probably so good that they are afraid rogue companies might use the audio recorder to export their samples as WAV-files and use them for free wink

Last edited by CyberGene; 10/05/17 09:41 AM.

https://myspace.com/evgenykumanov/music/songs
Currently: Kawai ES7 -> Garritan CFX Lite
Previously: Kawai MP6, Kawai CA63, Roland RD-700SX, Roland FP-5, Yamaha P90, Korg SP-200, Casio CDP-100
#2679853 - 10/05/17 09:56 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
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"Pianist Mode" and "Sound Mode" ... I suppose Kawai is moving to a new sound processor but they decided not to migrate the old sounds to this new platform (due to time-effort considerations.) This is similar to what Roland did where their new modeling sound engine applies to only the first four piano sounds. The difference is that Kawai makes the end user to switch manually between these two processors ... while Roland tries to hide it and does the switching on piano tone selection.


Yamaha U1|Roland HP506+JBL LSR305
#2679857 - 10/05/17 10:18 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
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And now a question for Kawai James about the headphone modes.

Does the new SK-EX Rendering piano sound engine (or Pianist Mode) apply to headphones?

I personally noticed that the CA97 headphone mode had quite different pedalling characteristics to the speaker mode (after a reset to defaults). Have there been any changes to align the experience between headphones and speakers?

#2679861 - 10/05/17 10:27 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: ori0n]  
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Originally Posted by ori0n
"On October 5, Kawai Musical Instruments Co., Ltd. (KAWAI) announced the series "Kawai Digital Piano CA 98" , an electronic piano "Concert Artist" series capable of high performance sound reproduction, attached with a specially designed vibrator"

Interesting inclusion.... whome


I assume the attached vibrator can be detached for practical purposes?
Please let me know. I'm considering buying one of these pianos.

#2679863 - 10/05/17 10:29 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: CyberGene]  
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Pianos should bring joy, right? wink


We are talking about spiritual joy, right?

#2679880 - 10/05/17 11:26 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: ando]  
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I have a somewhat similar and somewhat different take on this ...
Originally Posted by ando
There is no detail at present to tell us whether there is anything substantially new about the sound engine of the new Kawais.
...
The worst thing about this industry is all the mysterious terminology that makes it impossible to compare things properly. On the other hand, all we really need in a piano is to like it - so in that sense, who cares what any of this stuff is called.
...
If you are going to have descriptions of the technology - they should mean something. If you're not going to describe it properly, I'd rather they leave it out and invite people to come and try your "new whiz bang model". At least then people have no recourse other than to assess it on what they hear and feel.
You're right about the BS marketing terminology.
And about the vague descriptions of the techno innards of the pianos.
And you're right about "just try the piano". I would add "that's all that matters". I'll try it and evaluate it myself.

I try to ignore all their talk, whether in person on in print. Ignore ignore ignore.
Because I don't care about claims of ...
- 1-bit DACs
- Onkyo premium audio amplification
- Rendering engines
- 6-speaker configurations
- 6-position music rests
- Grand Feel actions
- Spatial Headphone Sound for enhanced depth
Don't care, don't care, don't care.

I only care about how it looks, feels, and sounds ... as evaluated by me. smile

As for this ... me too!
Originally Posted by ando
I hate marketing.

#2679881 - 10/05/17 11:31 AM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
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The 'new sound' just needs to be heard in person to really make any serious judgement about it. Only so much one can get from the specs. Very excited to do so in near future!

Overall, kudos to Kawai for customer orientation! A lot of previous feedback has gone into making this product better - I wish more companies were as attentive to customers as Kawai.

Osho

#2679893 - 10/05/17 12:06 PM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 353
karvala Offline
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karvala  Offline
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Posts: 353
Originally Posted by Kawai James
CA98/CA78 New Features & Improvements (compared to CA97/CA67)

(1) New: SK-EX Rendering piano sound engine (88-key multi-channel sampling + 88-key resonance modelling)
(2) New: Premium Onkyo audio and amp technologies (1-bit DSD processing, dual DACs, DIDRC, premium amps, Discrete SpectraModule)
(3) New: Premium 6-speaker configuration featuring Onkyo speaker drivers (CA98 only)
(4) New: 3rd generation TwinDrive Soundboard Speaker system featuring Onkyo transducers (CA98 only)
(5) New: Integrated Bluetooth® MIDI and Audio for wireless communication with smart devices
(6) New: Modern 5″ LCD touchscreen display with intuitive swipe operation
(7) Improved: Chopin 'Etudes: Opus 10' lesson book added
(8) Improved: Full General MIDI sound bank for improved SMF playback
(9) Improved: 6-position adjustable music rest (previously 3-position) with 'composer's desk' angle
(10)Improved: Modernised cabinet design (thinner toeblock, repositioned KAWAI badge, cover-less front speaker openings)


There is an episode of "Yes, Prime Minister" where he gives a TV broadcast to the nation. He is advised that if he doesn't really have anything new to offer, he should use busy-sounding modern music and a contemporary light-coloured suit, to hide the absence of content. I note the incremented model number from 67 not just to 68 (as in the 97/98), but to 78 suggesting big changes. I think the Prime Minister's advisers have been hard at work. wink

So (1) is new; that's fair enough, though not relevant to VST users and applies to only one piano sound, and looks essentially like a separate add-on. The other mode is pretty much the old sounds as they were. (2) Okay but unlikely to make much noticeable difference to the audio. (3,4) CA98 only and also not relevant to headphone users. (5) If you really want to do battle with Bluetooth and hate wires then I guess this is nice, for most people one cable from piano to computer is no big deal so not a huge change. (6) Makes no tangible difference to playability or sound so very minor update; I wonder about the menu organisation after criticism of previous models. (7-10) not related to using it as a piano, so again fiddling at the edges.

I think CA 67.5 might have been a more appropriate model number. That's not a big criticism; there wasn't too much wrong with the previous model, but let's be honest: same action, mostly same sounds, same functionality, it's hardly a revolutionary change.

Last edited by karvala; 10/05/17 12:09 PM.

Broadwood, Yamaha U1; Kawai CA67; Pianoteq Std (D4, K2, Blüthner, Grotrian), Garritan CFX Full, Galaxy Vintage D, The Grandeur, Ravenscroft 275, Ivory II ACD, TrueKeys Italian, AS C7, Production Grand Compact, AK Studio Grand, AK Upright, Waves Grand Rhapsody; Sennheiser HD-600 and HD-650, O2 amp
#2679897 - 10/05/17 12:16 PM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 126
madshi Offline
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madshi  Offline
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Posts: 126
@karvala, I think it's too early to judge. We've all complained about the sound engine and speaker quality of most of today's DPs, haven't we? These 2 things do seem to be improved on by Kawai in the CA98/78. Whether it's an incredibly small (barely noticeable) improvement, or a big dramatic improvement, or something in between, is a key factor in judging whether the new model should be named CA67.5 or CA78. And I doubt that either you or me can judge that right now, by just reading the marketing bla.

FWIW, the touchscreen has one big advantage: It can be turned off, which may hopefully make the piano look more like a real piano and less like a DP. The button panel in the CA67 is always there and can't be hidden, so that definitely takes away from the feel of an acoustic piano. For me, that's an important improvement. But how much of an improvement? It depends on how "invisible" the touchscreen becomes when it's turned off.

#2679899 - 10/05/17 12:18 PM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 433
newer player Online content
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newer player  Online Content
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Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 433
USSR
There is a big push in Japan to provide part-time and contract work for the retired, super experienced engineers in Japan.

These Kawai pianos are just the type of difficult audio projects which Onkyo could load up with their all-stars from the golden age of electronics rather than 2017 neophite engineers. All standard tech (DACs, Amps, Speakers) but really tough to engineer together for a convincing piano sound.

These new Kawai + Onkyo pianos might not sound any better than the prior generation did. But we should keep an open mind as they could be a nice leap forward.

#2679907 - 10/05/17 12:37 PM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 7
Kawaifan2 Offline
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Kawaifan2  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 7
I just wonder if they made the main piano sound more involving and corrected the boimy bass response from previous series.

Still waiting for any youtube videos or sound samples

UK Kawai site is not updated yet.

I am just upset, that they didn't improve the look to be more modern (look how the keyboard part is attached to the main body) - in Roland and Casio it looks like a Real upright /grand. Kawai is stillniw looking more moden, while a bit of smart engine ring could have done a wonderful job and make the keyboard sides more with a rounded ends on both sides.

#2679908 - 10/05/17 12:44 PM Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: madshi]  
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 353
karvala Offline
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karvala  Offline
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Posts: 353
Originally Posted by madshi
@karvala, I think it's too early to judge. We've all complained about the sound engine and speaker quality of most of today's DPs, haven't we? These 2 things do seem to be improved on by Kawai in the CA98/78. Whether it's an incredibly small (barely noticeable) improvement, or a big dramatic improvement, or something in between, is a key factor in judging whether the new model should be named CA67.5 or CA78. And I doubt that either you or me can judge that right now, by just reading the marketing bla.


Up to a point I agree with you; the proof is always in the testing. But I'm specifically referring to the CA78 (not the CA98) and in that case, there is no speaker upgrade for that model (the specs are the same, and no changes are listed here), so the only change is the audio amps and DACs, which can make a slight difference, but they're not bad already on the CA67 so that can only be a marginal change that many people won't notice at all. A change to the speakers would certainly be much more noticeable and significant, and the CA98 might indeed be quite substantially improved. As to the new sound engine - maybe, but it's definitely only for one sound, and the old mode is exactly the same, so at best the total sound change is one newly-modified piano sound, which isn't a big change really, even if it sounded totally different. Again, I think new/better sampling would make a much more substantial change to the sound, but there's no suggestion of any new sampling at all here.

So we know, even without testing, that the speakers are the same, the action is the same, all but one of the sounds are the same, and the main changes apart from cosmetic things (in which I include the touchscreen) are an improved DAC/amp which I very much doubt will make much difference, and one new processing mode for one existing piano sample. And that's it. It would have to sound absolutely amazing to justify that model number.


Broadwood, Yamaha U1; Kawai CA67; Pianoteq Std (D4, K2, Blüthner, Grotrian), Garritan CFX Full, Galaxy Vintage D, The Grandeur, Ravenscroft 275, Ivory II ACD, TrueKeys Italian, AS C7, Production Grand Compact, AK Studio Grand, AK Upright, Waves Grand Rhapsody; Sennheiser HD-600 and HD-650, O2 amp
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