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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
CyberGene #2683167 10/18/17 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
I'm not sure there's anything analog in the sensor. The sensors read the rate at which light patterns rotate. There might be some analog circuitry in the light threshold activation that determines whether you have light or shadow but it's ultimately a binary pattern. At least that's how I remember someone explaining the optical sensors in AG, might be wrong though.


I thought they were just small beams of light and associated sensors. When part of the hammer passes in betwee, the light gets blocked (like my garage door safety mechanism). Probably there are two per key to provide the behavior we associate with triple sensors in mechanical switches. I'm pretty sure this is the way PNOscan works as well.

But anyway, as you and MacMacMac have said, all digital is correct.

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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
gvfarns #2683186 10/18/17 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by gvfarns
Originally Posted by CyberGene
I'm not sure there's anything analog in the sensor. The sensors read the rate at which light patterns rotate. There might be some analog circuitry in the light threshold activation that determines whether you have light or shadow but it's ultimately a binary pattern. At least that's how I remember someone explaining the optical sensors in AG, might be wrong though.


I thought they were just small beams of light and associated sensors. When part of the hammer passes in betwee, the light gets blocked (like my garage door safety mechanism). Probably there are two per key to provide the behavior we associate with triple sensors in mechanical switches. I'm pretty sure this is the way PNOscan works as well.

But anyway, as you and MacMacMac have said, all digital is correct.

No this is incorrect. They are grids with increasing opaqueness. The signal from the sensor varies with position and so also speed. The signal can be adjusted by a technician before going to the DAC.

Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
karvala #2683557 10/20/17 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by karvala

That's quite a radical departure, I must say, and as I'm in wild speculation mode today, I'll suggest two possible reasons why. One might be that in Kawai's perception, the limitations of the midi format are now interfering with achievable sound quality, perhaps in combination with other limitations inherent in the format (i.e. limited sample size). The second is that they have imported some of the hybrid technology from the Novus which is designed around a real piano action (albeit with optical sensors instead of strings, in the usual hybrid fashion), and for which an audio rather than midi representation makes more sense.


Just wanted to congratulate myself laugh grin. The Novus details have now been released, and sure enough the new SK-EX Pianist Mode engine is indeed powering the sound in the Novus. That certainly explains the changes here. I'd put money on the fact that it was developed for the Novus first and transferred across to the CA*8 afterwards. You could argue that the CA78 is a cheap way to get something not far off the Novus, especially as the GF2 action is pretty good.

Last edited by karvala; 10/20/17 12:08 PM.

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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawai James #2683822 10/21/17 10:38 AM
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I found the price in Japan web(Rakuten)

CA78 : around 279,000 JPY
CA98 : around 345,000 JPY

CA78 almost same price as CLP-675 (in case of japan)

Actually, I live in S.Korea and I can get CLP-675 here at better price than Japan.
CA78 will be more expensive than japan, I guess..

Which one is better choice..?

Last edited by chopoong; 10/21/17 10:44 AM.
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawai James #2684018 10/22/17 04:21 AM
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The one which you feel better with. I would purchase Kawai, but here are Yamaha fana as well.

Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawai James #2684044 10/22/17 08:21 AM
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There definitely is a Yamaha fana going on around here. We need to eradicate the fana before it becomes contagious!

Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawai James #2684424 10/23/17 01:17 PM
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James,

This might be clear for others possibly from previous models of the series, but I have just started picking my future digital piano, and I have not found this explicitly anywhere: do I gather correctly that the ‘only’ difference between the two models is the sound board engine? Can you comment on the difference in their resulting sounds: not sure if you could say more, but all I have found so far was marketing generalities?

(Might this difference be also an indication for the future of the Novus series?)

Cheers.

Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
winnyec #2684534 10/23/17 07:45 PM
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Hello winnyec, welcome to the forum.

Originally Posted by winnyec
...do I gather correctly that the ‘only’ difference between the two models is the sound board engine?


The CA98 and CA78 share essentially the same hardware in terms of sound generation and processing. However, the sound delivery hardware is rather different. Referring to the speaker specifications:

CA98
TwinDrive Soundboard Speaker System
7 cm x 4 (top speakers)
1.4 cm x 2 (dome tweeters)

CA78
13 cm x 2 (woofers)
(8 x 12) cm x 2 (top speakers)
5 cm x 2 (tweeters)

We can see that both instruments feature 6 speakers, however the configuration/positioning of these speakers is different for each model. The new TwinDrive Soundboard Speaker System is undoubtedly one of the main strengths of the CA98, however the speaker drivers (produced by Onkyo) are also of a very high quality. I believe this is an important point - the CA98 is not just a CA78 with a soundboard - the entire speaker system is superior.

Originally Posted by winnyec
Can you comment on the difference in their resulting sounds...


When heard through headphones, the CA98 and CA78 will sound identical. However when heard through their built-in speakers, the CA98 will deliver a superior sound.

Originally Posted by winnyec
(Might this difference be also an indication for the future of the Novus series?)


I'm afraid I don't understand your question.

Kind regards,
James
x


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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawai James #2684540 10/23/17 08:28 PM
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Hey James,

Thanks a lot for your response. Yes, the main use case for the digital piano in my case is the headphone (besides wanting to have a grand-like touch without the space for one). Yet I feel hesitant about the soundboard sound even because of the odd headphoneless occasions.

[It is a little off topic in this thread, but:] All I meant that a soundboard could be a straightforward upgrade to NV10, and its announcement is implicitly clear about that Novus is intended to be a line of products. (Possibly the whole system replacing the speakers on the top of the cabinet, which look a little out of place to my eyes that start to get used to the usual DP arrangements.)

Thanks again.

Last edited by winnyec; 10/23/17 08:54 PM.
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
winnyec #2684572 10/24/17 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by winnyec
Thanks a lot for your response. Yes, the main use case for the digital piano in my case is the headphone (besides wanting to have a grand-like touch without the space for one). Yet I feel hesitant about the soundboard sound even because of the odd headphoneless occasions.


I can understand your thought process.

If the majority of playing time will be spent using headphones, the lower priced CA78 is perhaps the more sensible choice. However, I can recall a few occasions where customers considering the previous generation instruments (e.g. CA67 vs CA97, or CA65 vs CA95) decided to opt for the more expensive model, and were glad they made the extra investment. They initially planned to use the instrument with headphones exclusively, but gradually found themselves using the built-in speaker more and more, and to the point where they appreciated the higher quality sound delivery.

Kind regards,
James
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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawai James #2684576 10/24/17 02:14 AM
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James, so the speakers in CA78 are not made by Onkyo? How about the amplifiers? At least were Onkyo involved in the sound equalization and configuration in CA78 or only in CA98? I’m asking because I’ll probably upgrade to one of the two models and a complaint I’ve had with CA6x series is the boomy sound. I would assume Onkyo would be able to eliminate that problem if involved. If not, I’d probably go for the CA98.

Last edited by CyberGene; 10/24/17 02:15 AM.

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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawai James #2684635 10/24/17 09:44 AM
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Have to say that there doesn't seem to be quite enough of a price difference between the CA78 and CA98. Bonners has the 78 at £2559 and the 98 at £3139 for the white models.

I know £500 is £500. But still... The 78 feels slightly too expensive to me. The 98 is probably ok price wise... But then it comes in a very limited range of colours!

Really wish that light oak (or whatever it was you said James that was available elsewhere) was available.

Not sure I can bring myself to buy a non-ebony black piano, or a white one.

Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawai James #2684731 10/24/17 04:03 PM
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Hi! While I eagerly wait to test the new CAx8 models, I have some questions regarding the CA98, especially regarding its sound setup - the questions likely apply to the older CA9x models and to the CS11 as well.

- A sound board on an acoustic piano is specifically designed to amplify and change the timbre of the sound produced by the vibrating strings. It is much more than a sound amplifier or "audio speaker". But I started to have some doubts about the role of the sound board on the CA98 since the Novus NV10 has none and its speakers should be reproducing the output of the sound engine which is the same in the CAx8 and NV10. So, is the sound board system acting as an actual sound board (i.e. not only amplifying but also changing the timbre of the sound) or is it just a general purpose low-frequency speaker that does not change the timbral character of the sound at all?

- Related to the question above. Is the sound board system always active or is it just active for piano sounds? If it is always active and it does indeed change the timbre of the sound I wonder how it responds to non-piano sounds, especially non-decaying sounds such as organs and synth-pads whose sound should be reproduced "as is", without the timbral changes introduced by an acoustic piano sound board.

- Is the sound board active when playing audio from an external source (line-in, bluetooth audio)?

- Do the Tone Control settings (i.e. the EQ settings described on chapter 3 of the CA98 manual) apply only to internal digital sound sources or do they apply as well to the external analog sound sources (line-in, bluetooth audio)?

- There is a list of General MIDI tones on the CA98 manual (appendix, pp. 98, English version). What is their actual role? Can they be used. i.e. selected as an instrument?

Many thanks!

Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
CyberGene #2684769 10/24/17 07:07 PM
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Hello CyberGene,

Originally Posted by CyberGene
James, so the speakers in CA78 are not made by Onkyo?


No, the Onkyo speakers are available on the CA97 only.

Originally Posted by CyberGene
How about the amplifiers?


Both the CA98 and CA78 share the same Onkyo audio processing and premium amp technology. However, the CA98 utilises a third amplifier for the soundboard.

Originally Posted by CyberGene
At least were Onkyo involved in the sound equalization and configuration in CA78 or only in CA98?


I'm not involved in the development of these instruments, so that's not something that I can answer with confidence, I'm afraid. However, I do know that since the business alliance with Onkyo was formed two years ago, Kawai and Onkyo engineers have spent a considerable amount of time visiting each other in Hamamatsu and Osaka, sharing their know-how, equipment, and prototype hardware. If you look at the main CPU board used for the CA98/CA78 (and NV10), the left side is occupied by Kawai technology, while the right side is occupied by Onkyo technology, so it's clear that the two companies were (literally) working side-by-side on the development of these instruments.

Kind regards,
James
x


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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
arc7urus #2684775 10/24/17 07:26 PM
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Hello arc_turus,

Originally Posted by arc_turus
A sound board on an acoustic piano is specifically designed to amplify and change the timbre of the sound produced by the vibrating strings. It is much more than a sound amplifier or "audio speaker". But I started to have some doubts about the role of the sound board on the CA98 since the Novus NV10 has none and its speakers should be reproducing the output of the sound engine which is the same in the CAx8 and NV10. So, is the sound board system acting as an actual sound board (i.e. not only amplifying but also changing the timbre of the sound) or is it just a general purpose low-frequency speaker that does not change the timbral character of the sound at all?


That's also a tough one to answer, as I'm not an engineer. I expect the soundboard is serving more as a speaker than a means to change the timbral character of the sound. As you may know, the CA98's 'TwinDrive' soundboard is the 3rd generation of the technology. There's a nice slide (which I'll send you via a PM shortly) in the product overview presentation prepared for dealers which highlights the gradually expanding frequency range of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation soundboards, to the point where the latest 'TwinDrive' system (so-called because there are now two transducers attached to the soundboard) is capable of reproducing not just low frequencies, but mid-low and mid-high frequencies also.

Originally Posted by arc_turus
- Related to the question above. Is the sound board system always active or is it just active for piano sounds?


The soundboard speaker is always active - i.e. it will be used for all sounds, not just acoustic pianos.

Originally Posted by arc_turus
- Is the sound board active when playing audio from an external source (line-in, bluetooth audio)?


Yes.

Originally Posted by arc_turus
- Do the Tone Control settings (i.e. the EQ settings described on chapter 3 of the CA98 manual) apply only to internal digital sound sources or do they apply as well to the external analog sound sources (line-in, bluetooth audio)?


The Line In and Bluetooth Audio sources are both mixed with the internal sound digitally, which allows those sources to be captured by the USB Audio recorder. I believe this means that the EQ settings will also apply to the external audio sources.

Originally Posted by arc_turus
- There is a list of General MIDI tones on the CA98 manual (appendix, pp. 98, English version). What is their actual role? Can they be used. i.e. selected as an instrument?


I believe those sounds are exclusively for MIDI playback (either playing an SMF file from a USB stick, or receiving MIDI data from an external sequencer), and cannot be selected from the panel...at least, not with the current software.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
x


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Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawai James #2684780 10/24/17 08:00 PM
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Dear James: many thanks for your reply!

Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawai James #2684787 10/24/17 08:39 PM
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No problem, happy to help.

I'm sorry that I'm not always able to answer all of your questions in great detail.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawai James #2684803 10/24/17 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
No problem, happy to help.

I'm sorry that I'm not always able to answer all of your questions in great detail.

Kind regards,
James
x

On the contrary, James - your posts are very generously detailed. We understand you have some constraints due to your position. But thanks for all your efforts. smile

Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawai James #2685023 10/25/17 09:47 PM
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Hello folks,

Here's an English language version of the touchscreen UI overview video, as requested a week or so ago.



Cheers,
James
x


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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawai James #2685029 10/25/17 10:53 PM
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Thanks James!

A proper touchscreen interface is really going to make it so much easier to navigate through the options and experiment with new settings! As it is now, I rarely ever bother. Navigating with arrow and inc/dec keys is so...1978.


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