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Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? #2693899
12/03/17 08:58 AM
12/03/17 08:58 AM
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Alexmos Offline OP
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Hello! I choose between three models: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300. To try Kawai and Yamaha - there is a possibility. Interested in your opinion. How far does the mechanic of Casio outperform other applicants? Is the difference in authenticity so great? And of course the sound. Who had the opportunity to play on these models? And what would you choose for yourself?

Last edited by Alexmos; 12/03/17 08:59 AM.
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Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: Alexmos] #2693907
12/03/17 09:41 AM
12/03/17 09:41 AM
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Do you play mainly with headphones? Because speaker-wise, the CLP 685 is a step above the other two (price wise too) so they are not really comparable. The more comparable ones would be the CA98 and GP 500. Which one you prefer of those is up to you - no one can relieve you of trying and comparing them yourself.

Regarding the "outperformance" of the Casio mechanic, imo that's not a thing. The Casio is marketed as a hybrid action, but it isn't one, actually (if you define a hybrid action as an only slightly adapted acoustic action like in the AvantGrands and the Novus NV10). It's a purely digital action, more similar to Kawai's GF/GFII than to an acoustic action. It being touted as "hybrid" is pure marketing.

Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: JoBert] #2693917
12/03/17 10:23 AM
12/03/17 10:23 AM
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Alexmos Offline OP
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JoBert, I play mostly with headphones. Yes you are right, CLP 685 more expensive Kawai CA 78, but in my country, this difference is not so great. Therefore, they approximately in one price category. I have little experience of playing on an acoustic instrument, so the keys CA and CLP looks the same to me. I almost don't see the difference. I would like to consult with experienced people.

Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: Alexmos] #2693951
12/03/17 11:37 AM
12/03/17 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Alexmos
JoBert, I play mostly with headphones. Yes you are right, CLP 685 more expensive Kawai CA 78, but in my country, this difference is not so great. Therefore, they approximately in one price category. I have little experience of playing on an acoustic instrument, so the keys CA and CLP looks the same to me. I almost don't see the difference. I would like to consult with experienced people.


You have some main features to chose between.
1) Mainly headphones Y/N
If NO, amplification is an issue,
If Yes, amplification isn't an issue.
2) Sound: Which tone do you prefer (will depend upon what style of music you like to play and on your previous instrument history).
3) Action: which do you prefer. You will need to try out these actions to be aware.

If you can't play the actions to compare them, then say so, and you can be pointed to discussions that talk about these actions.

Also, you should try out the Roland LX7 too.

With cabinet models, the sound choice has two components: a) Tone, b) Dynamic response/resonance. If tone is more important for you than dynamics and expressiveness, you'll maybe like sampled pianos better. If expressiveness, dynamics and better string resonance is your cup of tea, then the modelled pianos will be of more interest to you.

Again, you need to try them if you can because everybody here has their own experiences and we can't really know which of us you will agree with once you've tried out these models for yourself.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
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Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: Alexmos] #2694094
12/03/17 11:49 PM
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Among the 3 you mentioned, I have only played CLP-685 briefly.

I currently have CA67 (older version of CA78) - that has the same action as CA78. I also recently played CLP-685 in a store. My personal preference is that Kawai CA67 action is much better than CLP-685 action.

Osho


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Kawai Novus NV10 + Garritan CFX/Pianoteq 6
Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: Alexmos] #2694119
12/04/17 02:26 AM
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Bought the CA 78 over the weekend. My reasons for choosing it is in the long thread about CA 78/98 started by Kawai James, but briefly, I liked both the sound and the action, and especially the fact that they seemed to be integrated well.

While I was in the shop, I also happened to play a Casio GP (don't remember which model number). I thought it had fine action, a tad lighter than the GF2 of the CA 78. It also has a choice of three principal piano sounds (meant to be Hamburg Steinway, Bechstein and Bösendorfer, I think). None won me over as the SK-EX rendering did; though this was really a matter of personal preference.

I think the Casio GP is a worthy alternative to the Kawai CA, but it doesn't "outperform" or is more "authentic" than the latter.


Kawai CA 78 / Sennheiser HD 559

Current projects
Bach, Prelude and Fugue in F sharp minor BWV 883 (WTC2)
Mozart, Sonata in E flat major K282
Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: Alexmos] #2694129
12/04/17 03:26 AM
12/04/17 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Alexmos
Hello! I choose between three models: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300. To try Kawai and Yamaha - there is a possibility. Interested in your opinion. How far does the mechanic of Casio outperform other applicants? Is the difference in authenticity so great? And of course the sound. Who had the opportunity to play on these models? And what would you choose for yourself?


I have a CA98 for almost one week now and spent some time testing models in that price bracket, including the models you refer. You should also include the CA98 in that short list as it costs approximately the same as the CLP-685. The advantage of the CA98 over the CA78 is the sound system. If you plan to use the DP only with headphones then the extra investment is likely not worth it. Otherwise, it would be an option to consider if you have the budget. The best sound system is likely the one on the CLP-685, at least in the (noisy) store. Nevertheless, this weekend I listened to some of the piano demos on the CA98 and then to some real acoustic piano recordings of the same pieces on my hifi system and I was deeply impressed by the sound quality. Apart from the speaker setup, the SK-EX sound rendering on the new Kawai is, IMO, superior to the Yamaha sound, especially in terms of resonance. The Casio is not at the same level, IMHO. With headphones the Kawai was a clear winner to me, but it will all depend on the piano sound you prefer or are used to.

Regarding the action, and as already said, the Casio GP is definitely not an out-performer and it has no hybrid action at all - that is just (great) marketing. For an actual hybrid action have a look at the new Kawai NV10 or the Yamaha AvantGrand N1, N2, N3. Updated AvantGrand models are probably going to be introduced at NAMM 2018. So it would be wise to wait a couple of months if you are in the market for a Kawai or Yamaha hybrid. You may actually enjoy Yamaha's new action on the CLP-675/685 but IMHO it does not feel like an acoustic grand. The action on the older CLP-5x5 models was more convincing. The Casio GP action is not that bad as well, but I was not impressed by it. The GF-II action on the Kawai was the one I enjoyed the most, by far. So, in my case, the decision for the Kawai was mainly based on its action and then on the sound rendering. I also think the extra investment on the CA98 is worth it since this DP sounds really good. Anyway, spend some time in a couple of showrooms and test all these models. If you have the chance to compare them side-by-side with a real acoustic grand even better.

Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: arc7urus] #2694134
12/04/17 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by arc_turus
Nevertheless, this weekend I listened to some of the piano demos on the CA98 and then to some real acoustic piano recordings of the same pieces on my hifi system and I was deeply impressed by the sound quality.

This is interesting. Have you tried to listen to recordings through the speakersysten of the CA 98, and maybe some other kind of musik beside solopiano? It would be interesting to know how the sounboardsystem works in that regard.

Last edited by johanibraaten; 12/04/17 04:20 AM.
Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: Alexmos] #2694188
12/04/17 10:27 AM
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I played the three pianist mode demos as well as some of Bach's Inventions and Chopin's Études using the CA98 speakers. Then I listened to recordings of those pieces using my hifi system. I also played these recordings (as mp3 files) using the CA98 media player and speakers. As far as I know, the pianist demos (either recorded with or rendered through the "pianist mode") available on the CA98 are Chopin's Polonaise in A-flat major, Debussy's Suite Bergamasque, Mozart's Turkish March. There are also the "official" SK-EX demos on Kawai's website. I believe that the other pieces on the CA98, such as the "Lesson Songs" and "Classical Piano Collection" are MIDI/SMF files rendered through the old "sound mode" and not through the new SK-EX engine.

I was surprised for two reasons. First, the CA98 demos/pieces (even the "sound mode" files) when rendered through the CA98 and its speakers sound much better than what I was expecting. If it was not for the very obvious differences in terms of the performance/interpretation of these pieces, it would not be that straightforward to say which one was the rendered version and which one was the recording of a real acoustic played through the hifi speakers. The second big surprise was playing the solo piano recordings through the CA98 speakers. It is not that they sounded "better" than the hifi system (and I have a pretty good set of speakers + amp). The thing is that through the CA98 these recordings sounded like someone was actually playing the piano right in front of me. The experience is very similar to the one I have when I sit back and listen to my piano teacher playing his acoustic grand. With the hifi speakers the experience is different. The sound is more spatial/wide but it is also less intimate. It sounds like listening to a piano being played at some distance.

I have yet to play back other music recordings than solo piano. I only played some crappy multi-instrument MIDI files to test the GM bank and a couple of iOS software synthesizers to test latency using Bluetooth MIDI - the synth sounds actually sounded good since the low frequencies produced a lot of resonance. The other sounds on the CA98, such as organs, EPs, strings and pads also sound good through the speakers. But my guess is that playing back non-solo piano music will not be a good experience. The CA98 speaker setup seems to be designed to simulate the sound-stage of sitting close to an acoustic piano. Playing back, let's say, chamber, orchestral, jazz or pop music would require a spatial reproduction (wider and deeper) of the sound-stage. A soundboard is not designed to provide such spatial imaging but to simulate some of the resonance responses of an acoustic. Anyway, I will test test it out and report back!

Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: arc7urus] #2694210
12/04/17 12:50 PM
12/04/17 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by arc_turus
I played the three pianist mode demos as well as some of Bach's Inventions and Chopin's Études using the CA98 speakers. Then I listened to recordings of those pieces using my hifi system. I also played these recordings (as mp3 files) using the CA98 media player and speakers. As far as I know, the pianist demos (either recorded with or rendered through the "pianist mode") available on the CA98 are Chopin's Polonaise in A-flat major, Debussy's Suite Bergamasque, Mozart's Turkish March. There are also the "official" SK-EX demos on Kawai's website. I believe that the other pieces on the CA98, such as the "Lesson Songs" and "Classical Piano Collection" are MIDI/SMF files rendered through the old "sound mode" and not through the new SK-EX engine.

I was surprised for two reasons. First, the CA98 demos/pieces (even the "sound mode" files) when rendered through the CA98 and its speakers sound much better than what I was expecting. If it was not for the very obvious differences in terms of the performance/interpretation of these pieces, it would not be that straightforward to say which one was the rendered version and which one was the recording of a real acoustic played through the hifi speakers. The second big surprise was playing the solo piano recordings through the CA98 speakers. It is not that they sounded "better" than the hifi system (and I have a pretty good set of speakers + amp). The thing is that through the CA98 these recordings sounded like someone was actually playing the piano right in front of me. The experience is very similar to the one I have when I sit back and listen to my piano teacher playing his acoustic grand. With the hifi speakers the experience is different. The sound is more spatial/wide but it is also less intimate. It sounds like listening to a piano being played at some distance.

I have yet to play back other music recordings than solo piano. I only played some crappy multi-instrument MIDI files to test the GM bank and a couple of iOS software synthesizers to test latency using Bluetooth MIDI - the synth sounds actually sounded good since the low frequencies produced a lot of resonance. The other sounds on the CA98, such as organs, EPs, strings and pads also sound good through the speakers. But my guess is that playing back non-solo piano music will not be a good experience. The CA98 speaker setup seems to be designed to simulate the sound-stage of sitting close to an acoustic piano. Playing back, let's say, chamber, orchestral, jazz or pop music would require a spatial reproduction (wider and deeper) of the sound-stage. A soundboard is not designed to provide such spatial imaging but to simulate some of the resonance responses of an acoustic. Anyway, I will test test it out and report back!


Thanks. This is very interesting. There has been some other threads in the forum indicating that the Kawai CA demo songs may have a separate gain/other audio path to make them sound louder. From what you are describing, the demo songs may also have custom reverb or some other sound processing done to it.

I would be curious to know what you thought of Bluetooth MIDI latency.

Osho


Mason & Hamlin BB
Kawai Novus NV10 + Garritan CFX/Pianoteq 6
Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: Osho] #2694273
12/04/17 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Osho

Thanks. This is very interesting. There has been some other threads in the forum indicating that the Kawai CA demo songs may have a separate gain/other audio path to make them sound louder. From what you are describing, the demo songs may also have custom reverb or some other sound processing done to it.

The many MIDI-based demos and pieces that come with the CA98 play through the "sound mode" engine with the instrument, sound settings and effects that are selected. I am not sure if the three pieces used to demo the SK-EX engine are recordings of actual performances or if they are being rendered in real-time using some internal file format. Maybe Kawai James can help on this...

Those three SK-EX demos either use amplification gain and/or bypass the volume setting. However, one can produce the same sound signature just by cranking up the volume. There is no special reverb or resonance on those demos. They are just played louder than the current volume setting. The recordings on the Kawai site that demo the different "renderings characters" also sound like the default settings of the SK-EX rendering. So, I would say there is no extra post processing on those demos apart from the amplification/volume gain.

Originally Posted by Osho

I would be curious to know what you thought of Bluetooth MIDI latency.

I tested connecting the CA98 to an iPad and experienced no detectable latency. I still have to connect the CA98 to my laptop but I also do not expect problems as I have been successfully using BT LE to connect it to other DPs. BTW, I also tested using MIDI over BT and BT Audio at the same time to get the sound back into the CA98. In this case the latency was far from acceptable. BT Audio works fine to play back audio but not for real-time playing. But I am yet to find a BT Audio device that does not introduce significant latency. So, I just used a cable to get the sound from the iPad through the CA98 line-in port.

Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: arc7urus] #2694398
12/05/17 06:04 AM
12/05/17 06:04 AM
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Hi, so I made a purchase recently, I went for the CLP-685, full on polished ebony, not cutting any corners there smile. I am a concert pianist, mind you, not with a huge international career, but relatively well established in my home country of Slovakia and its surroundings. I have an acoustic grand and practise on a lot of different pianos (5-10 different ones). Unfortunately, my beloved grand could not follow me to my current home, thus the need for a digital. I had a borrowed V-Piano for the last year and a half and finally decided to drop the cage and purchase a new one.

I tested all the flagships - CS11, GP500, CLP-685, LX-17. First, I really liked the Kawai, the feel from the action was really authentic combined with a massive body and the polished finish. The sound was a bit dull and muffled, even with the wall EQ on. Anyway, it was my favourite at the time, the Yamaha felt sluggish and heavy in the top of the key movement although the sound was much better than the CS11. Roland had a good sound engine, way more refined than in the ages of the V-piano, but the action was too light for me and the keys felt somewhat hollow compared to the full wooden keys. The Casio certainly made a statement with their new action, but the sound is still behind and there are details like a very poor headphone amplifier (it could barely power my 250ohm BeyerDynamics).

This was all in the summer when I have not practised the usual amounts of time I am used to. I made a second trip to the shop some two months later, when in full practise mode for my upcoming recitals. The Yamaha started making sense. Its action is on the heavier side even comparing with the acoustics, but for an aspiring pianist, it is the only way, the new Yamaha action gives nothing for free, but in the end provides me with a dynamic and expressive range I have not yet encountered on a digital. The feel is somewhat similar to a full sized concert grand Petrofs we have at the academy. (that is a thing - I do not even like the light acoustic actions in the small baby grand pianos).

So to give it and end. I understand why there is no applause for the new Yamaha action. But for me, it is a first digital piano, where using the weight technique is somewhat similar to the real thing. Previously, you could achieve all the dynamics there is by wrist technique or even fingers, using the whole arm did not make sense, there was no more sound. For a hobby player though, or a gig player, I would be happy with a Roland or Kawai, for an advanced classical music, I think the CLP-685 is the only way at the moment (not counting the hybrids of course).

Here is a short demo I made for you. Recorded on an iPhone, but still acceptable.

https://youtu.be/c58PUAKFup4

Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: petzzo] #2694402
12/05/17 06:39 AM
12/05/17 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by petzzo
Hi, so I made a purchase recently, I went for the CLP-685, full on polished ebony, not cutting any corners there smile. I am a concert pianist, mind you, not with a huge international career, but relatively well established in my home country of Slovakia and its surroundings. I have an acoustic grand and practise on a lot of different pianos (5-10 different ones). Unfortunately, my beloved grand could not follow me to my current home, thus the need for a digital. I had a borrowed V-Piano for the last year and a half and finally decided to drop the cage and purchase a new one.

I tested all the flagships - CS11, GP500, CLP-685, LX-17. First, I really liked the Kawai, the feel from the action was really authentic combined with a massive body and the polished finish. The sound was a bit dull and muffled, even with the wall EQ on. Anyway, it was my favourite at the time, the Yamaha felt sluggish and heavy in the top of the key movement although the sound was much better than the CS11. Roland had a good sound engine, way more refined than in the ages of the V-piano, but the action was too light for me and the keys felt somewhat hollow compared to the full wooden keys. The Casio certainly made a statement with their new action, but the sound is still behind and there are details like a very poor headphone amplifier (it could barely power my 250ohm BeyerDynamics).

This was all in the summer when I have not practised the usual amounts of time I am used to. I made a second trip to the shop some two months later, when in full practise mode for my upcoming recitals. The Yamaha started making sense. Its action is on the heavier side even comparing with the acoustics, but for an aspiring pianist, it is the only way, the new Yamaha action gives nothing for free, but in the end provides me with a dynamic and expressive range I have not yet encountered on a digital. The feel is somewhat similar to a full sized concert grand Petrofs we have at the academy. (that is a thing - I do not even like the light acoustic actions in the small baby grand pianos).

So to give it and end. I understand why there is no applause for the new Yamaha action. But for me, it is a first digital piano, where using the weight technique is somewhat similar to the real thing. Previously, you could achieve all the dynamics there is by wrist technique or even fingers, using the whole arm did not make sense, there was no more sound. For a hobby player though, or a gig player, I would be happy with a Roland or Kawai, for an advanced classical music, I think the CLP-685 is the only way at the moment (not counting the hybrids of course).

Here is a short demo I made for you. Recorded on an iPhone, but still acceptable.

https://youtu.be/c58PUAKFup4



Interesting...

I also hesitate between the 685, 98 or 78....

Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: petzzo] #2694425
12/05/17 09:13 AM
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Wow a great review! And thank you especially for putting a demo together. Had I read / heard this beforehand, and had the CLP 685 not been beyond my budget, I could have seriously considered it.

Just out of curiosity (since I bought a Kawai, which shares the same action as the model you played): was your issue with the CS 11 mainly sound? Or action as well?


Kawai CA 78 / Sennheiser HD 559

Current projects
Bach, Prelude and Fugue in F sharp minor BWV 883 (WTC2)
Mozart, Sonata in E flat major K282
Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: Alohaneko] #2694440
12/05/17 09:39 AM
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The action on the Kawai felt good, the materials felt authentic, but it had an unnatural bounce in the upper registers that felt “mushy?”. It was also too light. it feels great at first but then passages start to be uneven and I feel out of control of my fingers in fast tempos. There was also a CA97 next to it and I am not sure if it is just a feeling but the sturdier the cabinet, the action feels better, there are less thumping noises on the downstroke. That is also something I like about the Yamaha, it is noisy, yes, but in a more authentic way. Especially on the upstroke. On an acoustic, you never hear the action on the downstroke since there is always sound, but then you hear all the parts move back as you let off the key fast. That feeling I also have with the Yamaha. It feels like a lot of parts are moving there, not just “thump-thump”

Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: petzzo] #2694474
12/05/17 11:20 AM
12/05/17 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by petzzo
(snipping the long and insightful comment) https://youtu.be/c58PUAKFup4


petzzo, thank you so much for posting this discussion of how you made your choice. We don't often get the perspective on digitals from classical professionals, so I think this is invaluable information, especially how you weighed one make versus the other. In all seriousness, you would probably get a pretty good following if you wrote reviews like this of other DP's smile I see you've been a long time member but an infrequent poster, but I guess when you decide to post you have something important to say laugh



Currently learning: Beethoven "Easy" Sonata Op 49 No 2, JS Bach WTC Prelude No 2 in C minor
Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: squidbot] #2694500
12/05/17 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by squidbot
[ In all seriousness, you would probably get a pretty good following if you wrote reviews like this of other DP's


Indeed -- My question would be, what's the best available action in a slab digital?


-- J.S.

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Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: petzzo] #2694543
12/05/17 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by petzzo
This was all in the summer when I have not practised the usual amounts of time I am used to. I made a second trip to the shop some two months later, when in full practise mode for my upcoming recitals. The Yamaha started making sense. Its action is on the heavier side even comparing with the acoustics, but for an aspiring pianist, it is the only way, the new Yamaha action gives nothing for free, but in the end provides me with a dynamic and expressive range I have not yet encountered on a digital. The feel is somewhat similar to a full sized concert grand Petrofs we have at the academy.

Hi Petzzo.

Thank you for your review and beautiful playing on the demo. It's good to hear some positive thoughts about Yamahas GrandTouch action. I'm considering the CLP 685/675 my self, and my impression of the action is very much similar to what you describe when you tried it the first time. I've not tried the Kawai GF2 yet so I can't compare them, but my experience of most DP actions (some worse than others) is that you don't get the feedback or "help" from the action in the same way as from the action on a good acoustic instrument. One exempel is when you play octave passages or similar technique like let's say Rachmaninov op. 23 no 5 in g minor. On a DP action I feel there is often no supportive "bounce" which makes me work too hard. How do you think the CLP685 works in that regard? Have you also tried the CLP675 and if yes, how do you think it stands up against the CPL685?

Last edited by johanibraaten; 12/05/17 04:42 PM.
Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: petzzo] #2694580
12/05/17 07:04 PM
12/05/17 07:04 PM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Online content
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Originally Posted by petzzo
Hi, so I made a purchase recently, I went for the CLP-685, full on polished ebony, not cutting any corners there smile.


Congratulations on your new piano, and thank you very much for explaining your thought process!

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: Alexmos] #2694581
12/05/17 07:05 PM
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Thank you for the replies, I’m not sure I can answer all the question but I’ll try.

So, I did indeed compare the 685 and the 675. The 685 does have the additional counterweights, which aren’t noticeable when playing in moderate to fast tempo or higher dynamics. It does give you however a lot more control throughout the downstroke when playing softly and reduces the “heavy at the top” feel of the action. Playing on the 685 in low dynamics and tempo is thus more predictable. If the price difference is worthy for everyone, I can’t answer, but bear in mind that also the sound system on the 685 is superior. I tested the 675 only briefly, so I can’t fully recall the speaker quality, but although the number of speakers is the same (6), the positioning is I believe slightly different. On the 685 they are further back and the tweeters are a bit higher. On the other hand, you gain a full gran-like music rest, so pick your choice. The thing I particularly hate on the DP with shorter cabinets is the sound going from “underneath the rug”, so having a taller cabinet and the amplifiers positioned further apart is always a plus. Yes, the sound on an acoustic also goes down from the soundboard, but that is only when the piano is fully closed and that’s not very enjoyable in my opinion. But that’s just a general thought.

About the octave playing. A thing I encountered on some DPs is that when playing octaves (for example), you have to hit the keys as straight downwards as possible, if not, the playing becomes “edgy” (as if the edges of the keys were sharper). When playing faster octave passages, there is a lot of side movement (if you want to play them fast, the main goal should be playing as much horizontally as possible, only gliding through the correct notes). I think all the flagships manage this well enough nowadays. What I think Kawai has done better in GF2 is the cushioning of the keybed with real felt. I don’t know what Yamaha uses, but I suppose it’s some king of rubber. When hitting the lowest notes really hard, the impact feels a bit “unhealthy “.

That leads me to an another general thought. That is the usage of weight technique. It’s still irrelevant when reaching the highest dynamics - highest sound layers. When I want to achieve a full, broad, maestoso sound, I am used to using the weight of my whole arm and hitting the key evenly rather than with just a sharp, fast acceleration. On the real thing, the sound is more round, but the volume is still high, on a DP the highest layer/dynamic can be achieved with a swift wrist movement. That should be I think the next big step for DPs, the instrument adapting under the type of playing and displaying the slightest nuances of the keyboard touch in the sound projection.

What I would also like is some recommended volume, or pro setting or something like that. One touch and the piano starts itself in the volume comparable to a standard grand piano. If you hear the noise of the action as it’s hitting the keybed, you volume should go up!

Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: Alexmos] #2694640
12/06/17 01:59 AM
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Thanks for your very thoughtful and well-informed review. Were you able to compare with any of the Yamaha AvantGrand pianos: N1, N2, N3?


”Mister Upright,” Yamaha YUS5.
Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: Alexmos] #2694648
12/06/17 02:41 AM
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Thanks Peter for the reply, and I was also fascinated to read your CLP 675/685 comparison. About the "sturdiness" and the weight technique: I wonder if the limitation isn't that a console digital's cabinet is simply not massive enough. I just checked: the CLP 685 weighs 89kg in polished finish and 675 weighs 71kg (and my Kawai CA 78, 75kg). In contrast, even the most basic Yamaha b1 upright weighs 193kg and most uprights top 200kg, not to mention the grand pianos.

I can see in your videos that you are not a massive person, but even then, the weight of a grown man's arms bearing down on something that weighs less than 100kg would likely cause some movement of the cabinet. Since the optical sensors measure the movement of the action relative to the cabinet, this may be where inaccuracies creep in.

A solution may be to attach something - maybe an accelerometer - that can measure the movement of the cabinet itself; maybe the digitals already have that?


Kawai CA 78 / Sennheiser HD 559

Current projects
Bach, Prelude and Fugue in F sharp minor BWV 883 (WTC2)
Mozart, Sonata in E flat major K282
Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: Alexmos] #2694668
12/06/17 05:20 AM
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A very interesting review from someone who prefers a 'heavy' action. Yes - the problem of 'rocking' digitals when playing loud is noticeable. Actually not true on my latest piano - just tried it.

Last edited by Colin Miles; 12/06/17 08:22 AM. Reason: additional comment

Roland LX7

South Wales, UK
Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: Alexmos] #2694674
12/06/17 05:40 AM
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Pettzo, I also want to add my thanks for the explicit post with your reasoning, comparison, and context. We rarely get to know the ability and education of the persons posting and sometimes it can be very relevant. Good luck with your career and I hope you'll enjoy using the instrument you chose.

PS. It would've been interesting to hear your impressions on the CA98 with the new sound engine or an upcoming CS12. Also, just out of curiosity, impressions on the Avangrand N1 and Novus NV10 would be interesting, despite them being in a whole different price range.

Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: Alexmos] #2694683
12/06/17 06:51 AM
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Pettzo, my thanks as well. It was a pleasure and very insightful to read a review from a professional pianist. This is why so many discussion around the "best" and "most authentic" action on a DP are non-productive. There is no such thing as an ideal action nor such thing as a standard feel on a real acoustic. The best action is the one that fits the needs and skills of the player.

Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: arc7urus] #2694698
12/06/17 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by arc_turus
Pettzo, my thanks as well. It was a pleasure and very insightful to read a review from a professional pianist. This is why so many discussion around the "best" and "most authentic" action on a DP are non-productive. There is no such thing as an ideal action nor such thing as a standard feel on a real acoustic. The best action is the one that fits the needs and skills of the player.



Absolutely.


Roland LX7

South Wales, UK
Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: Alohaneko] #2694766
12/06/17 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Alohaneko
: I wonder if the limitation isn't that a console digital's cabinet is simply not massive enough.


Perhaps that could be tested merely by adding a lot of weight to it -- just stack a lot of books on top.


-- J.S.

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Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: JohnSprung] #2694795
12/06/17 01:19 PM
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ha Maybe worth an experiment? If there's one thing I have in great abundance, it's books.

(It was the move last year, in which I had to sell my Yamaha U3, that brought home just how many *** books I have.)

But then - I can visualise this disaster scene in which an edifice of books, piled high on top of my Kawai, tumble and fall to the thunderous chords of the Chopin C-minor Prelude eek


Kawai CA 78 / Sennheiser HD 559

Current projects
Bach, Prelude and Fugue in F sharp minor BWV 883 (WTC2)
Mozart, Sonata in E flat major K282
Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: Alohaneko] #2694796
12/06/17 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Alohaneko
But then - I can visualise this disaster scene in which an edifice of books, piled high on top of my Kawai, tumble and fall to the thunderous chords of the Chopin C-minor Prelude eek

I had the very same image in my mind when I read his proposal. laugh

Also, be careful, we don't know whether the top of a DP is built sturdy enough to carry 20+kg of weight.


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 6 Std / Pearl Alto Flute 201
Re: Kawai CA 78, Yamaha CLP 685 and Casio GP 300 what to choose? [Re: Alexmos] #2694798
12/06/17 01:51 PM
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Well, my HP504 seems to be holding up quite well. It had 2 LSR305 monitors + 6kg worth of display for 2 years. Now it has the Eris e8 (twice as heavy), and soon 6.7kg display (when I find a long enough cable). Hope I won't have any surprises, but that hasn't been the case so far. Or maybe I should just get some wall mounts to be on the safe side...

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