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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: MacMacMac] #2696783
12/13/17 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I don't see any reason for a piano to use MIDI internally. The raw key and pedal inputs are from switch contacts. Key velocities have to be computed from the raw switch timing. (Computed in software, or by dedicated interface hardware? Not sure.)

In any case the tone generator doesn't need MIDI data to do its job. So why feed it MIDI data? It just need key/velocity data.


Raw inputs seems to be the consensus and could provide highest performance.

But suppose Kawai designs an action and MIDI encoder together. Then just a few standardized sound modules that simply read MIDI information could be dropped into a variety of models, many actions, and several generations.

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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: newer player] #2696786
12/13/17 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by newer player

But suppose Kawai designs an action and MIDI encoder together. Then just a few standardized sound modules that simply read MIDI information could be dropped into a variety of models, many actions, and several generations.


It seems like that would be an unneeded level of abstraction for Kawai, which controls the entire hardware and software stack in their products; they very well ingest the raw key/velocity data across numerous models/generations, as they design both the output and the input.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50 || Kawai NV-10, MP11
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Gombessa] #2696882
12/14/17 06:22 AM
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I think thhe major point: using MIDI with respect to Pianist mode could lead to loss of information that was originially in the input.
Either raw sensor data or some calculated velocity data seems to have far more detailed information on dynamics of a key press than MIDI.


Kawai KDP-90
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #2696949
12/14/17 12:01 PM
12/14/17 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I don't see any reason for a piano to use MIDI internally. The raw key and pedal inputs are from switch contacts. Key velocities have to be computed from the raw switch timing. (Computed in software, or by dedicated interface hardware? Not sure.)

In any case the tone generator doesn't need MIDI data to do its job. So why feed it MIDI data? It just need key/velocity data.


I suspect there's a bit of conflation between actual midi data and data that is simply equivalent to MIDI in terms of content.

There is potentially more you can do with the raw on/offs than is possible to infer from note on/off with a velocity. For example the first sensor is somewhat representative of the damper position, if you get a note off then the note starts to be damped but that damping should really be ceased as soon as the that sensor goes on again, not wait until 2/3 are both activated to establish a 'note on' and corresponding velocity. That detail is lost from MIDI style data. There have been some suggestions of a greater feel of 'connectedness' in the pianist mode which would point to something about the timing or similar being more accurate.

Or this is just rubbish, early testers are suffering from placebo and kawai couldn't be bothered to work a midi interface into the chip schematic for the pianist mode. smile

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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #2697219
12/15/17 03:53 PM
12/15/17 03:53 PM
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Kitsap County, WA
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Just got a note from our local Kawai dealer in the greater Seattle area that they just got the CA-78 and CA-98 and they'll be setting them up today. Hoping to check them out this weekend, but may need to wait for the XMas break. Very excited to try them out, may have an early present smile

Last edited by squidbot; 12/15/17 04:09 PM.


Currently learning: Beethoven "Easy" Sonata Op 49 No 2, Clementi Sonatina Op 36 No 1
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #2698178
12/19/17 12:06 PM
12/19/17 12:06 PM
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Celestis
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Being in the shop today, suddenly my mother asked me "what is this one, it says KAWAI too".

CA98. ... I didn't want to turn it on, because I know that it's waaay out of my budget.... but mom gave me the curious puppy eyed look, so I did.

Man, this thing sounds and feels fantastic. Esp the bass region let the keys vibrate and filled the rather large show room with ease.
I definitely envy everyone rich enough to afford such a fine piece of technology.

Well done KAWAI!


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 6.1 / Pearl Alto Flute 201
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #2698597
12/20/17 09:49 PM
12/20/17 09:49 PM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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Hello chaps,

My colleagues at Kawai Europe uploaded a 'playing only' version of the CA98/CA78 product video. This is quite a nice way to hear the various sounds of the CAx8 without being interrupted by the German commentary or English narration in the other clips.



Watching and listening to this clip, we can hear a good selection of piano sounds - some using the SK-EX Rendering sound engine (aka 'Pianist mode'), others using the existing Harmonic Imaging XL sound engine (aka 'Sound mode').

Can you hear which pieces use which sound?

It's perhaps also worth noting that the audio in this video was captured from the instrument's Line Out connectors, thus bypassing the 'Spatial Headphone Sound' enhancements applied when listening to the instrument through headphones. So, while this video (and other audio demos) provides a good example of the CA98/CA78's capabilities, it doesn't quite capture the true experience of listening to the instrument through headphones.

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 announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #2698682
12/21/17 05:03 AM
12/21/17 05:03 AM
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Valencia, Spain
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Originally Posted by Kawai James


Can you hear which pieces use which sound?


x

The first song it sounds like always, I mean good but electronic in some aspects.
Around 2:20 it sounds fuller and better to my ears. Same with Tchaikowsky. But I listen to it with cheap in-ear headphones.


Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.Kawai K-200
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #2698689
12/21/17 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Watching and listening to this clip, we can hear a good selection of piano sounds - some using the SK-EX Rendering sound engine (aka 'Pianist mode'), others using the existing Harmonic Imaging XL sound engine (aka 'Sound mode').

Can you hear which pieces use which sound?

I always like to hear him play, thanks for providing a version w/o comments!

Have to admit defeat, while I can state that there was a Bass, an EP and an Organ in there, I do not stand a chance when asked to differentiate between the acoustic piano samples. :X


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 6.1 / Pearl Alto Flute 201
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #2698694
12/21/17 06:39 AM
12/21/17 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
...
It's perhaps also worth noting that the audio in this video was captured from the instrument's Line Out connectors...

Any recordings captured by microphones to hear the difference between between CA78 and CA98?

I know that it depends from many parameters but it would be still interesting.


Kawai CA98, Technics SX-PX 201 with homemade multitrack MIDI recorder based on an Arduino
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: paf] #2698847
12/21/17 08:12 PM
12/21/17 08:12 PM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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Originally Posted by paf
Any recordings captured by microphones to hear the difference between between CA78 and CA98?

I know that it depends from many parameters but it would be still interesting.


I'm not aware of any good quality recordings of the CA98/CA78 captured with microphones.
By the way, did you see my post here?

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 announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #2698977
12/22/17 02:33 PM
12/22/17 02:33 PM
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Bonners have published a video on CA78/98 yesterday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOIfQfD_0LE


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Hendrik42] #2699546
12/25/17 08:30 PM
12/25/17 08:30 PM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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Thanks for the link Hendrik!

A nicely presented overview of the new models from Tony and the folks at Bonners.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #2699982
12/27/17 06:35 PM
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Couldn't find any side by side comparison yet if the Ca78 sound noticeably better over speakers than the CA67 in some way because of the Onkyo stuff that is now involved. Any info on that ? Is there a difference at all in that respects or is the sound the same - speaker-wise...?

Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #2700038
12/28/17 05:41 AM
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If I remember correctly, only the headphone amp is Onkyo. The speakers are not.
The 98 has both HP amp and twin soundboard speakers designed by Onkyo.


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 6.1 / Pearl Alto Flute 201
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #2700047
12/28/17 06:33 AM
12/28/17 06:33 AM
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Need we care that the speakers are designed by Onkyo?
Isn't it likely that this "feature" is merely a marketing ploy to embellish the piano with a brand name?

Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: MacMacMac] #2700051
12/28/17 06:57 AM
12/28/17 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Need we care that the speakers are designed by Onkyo?
Isn't it likely that this "feature" is merely a marketing ploy to embellish the piano with a brand name?

Well, it is reasonable to assume that there is a price difference between the Onkyo speakers in the CA98 and the no-name speakers in the CA78, because if there were none, then I'm sure Kawai would have put the Onkyo speakers into the CA78 too (if the costs were the same), simply to be able to claim Onkyo speakers on the CA78 specs sheet too. But they didn't, and a difference in the price is the only explanation (except if you would assume that Onkyo is unable to deliver the required number of speakers if they have to outfit both models, which I find hard to believe).

So the question is: Are the higher priced Onkyo speakers actually better than the lower priced no-name speakers?

One would hope so, but of course sometimes you just pay for the name, not an actual quality difference. If this is the case here, I cannot say. But again, I would certainly hope for quality brand speakers to actually be better than no-name speakers.

Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: JoBert] #2700053
12/28/17 07:11 AM
12/28/17 07:11 AM
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This is possible, but unsubstantiated ...
Originally Posted by JoBert
It is reasonable to assume that there is a price difference between the Onkyo speakers in the CA98 and the no-name speakers in the CA78, because if there were none, then I'm sure Kawai would have put the Onkyo speakers into the CA78 too.
Products are sold in tiers, and the maker needs to differentiate the high-tier product from the low-tier. We would hope that the high-end item is better in some tangible way. But often the only difference is in branding. Or marketing-speak. Or glossy finish. (Or chrome tail fins.)

Yes, this is the question:
Originally Posted by JoBert
The question is: Are the higher priced Onkyo speakers actually better than the lower priced no-name speakers?

Originally Posted by JoBert
Sometimes you just pay for the name ... If this is the case here, I cannot say.
That's exactly the reason I posted the question a moment ago. smile It remains unanswered.

Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: MacMacMac] #2700081
12/28/17 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Need we care that the speakers are designed by Onkyo?
Isn't it likely that this "feature" is merely a marketing ploy to embellish the piano with a brand name?

That depends on whether the Onkyo equipment is better than the 0815 no name El-Cheapo stuff they would build into the consoles otherwise.

Only personal listening sessions can answer that question.

I listened to quite a few consoles and barring the CA98 none of them made any memorable impression. They didn't sound "bad" as in: "cheap stuff that distorts" or anything. They just failed to connect/impress.

But years of DT880 made my ears pretty snobby. It's hard to impress them. Your mileage may vary. ^^


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 6.1 / Pearl Alto Flute 201
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #2700102
12/28/17 11:01 AM
12/28/17 11:01 AM
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Do other high-end Kawai pianos have "El-Cheapo" speakers? (At $3000 to $6000 I sure hope not!) smile
Do those pianos sound bad because of the "El-Cheapos"?
What exactly are these "El-Cheapos"? (I don't think El-Cheapo is a brand. But somebody manufactures them. Who??)
What difference is there between "El-Cheapo" speakers and Onkyo speakers?

Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: JoBert] #2700120
12/28/17 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by JoBert
So the question is: Are the higher priced Onkyo speakers actually better than the lower priced no-name speakers?


The only way to know is to listen.

Audio companies (e.g. Bose, JBL, Mark Levinson) have been partnering with auto manufacturers for a long time to provide integrated audio solutions (speakers, amps, EQ customized to a specific car's interior). These are expensive. This is a "engineering services" rather than an "equipment" pitch. Professional measurements of a given car's interior & (precisely lol) matching up the speakers, amps, EQ. I suspect the hardware is "lower priced" but some of these systems sound very good.

Originally Posted by Granyala
But years of DT880 made my ears pretty snobby. It's hard to impress them. Your mileage may vary.


Over the past few years, Onkyo has released some high-quality portable headphone amps and players that are rather expensive and very popular in Asia; they sound good to my ears. I hope this Onkyo headphone team designed the Kawai headphone amp.

Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #2700146
12/28/17 01:40 PM
12/28/17 01:40 PM
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A lot of speculation in this thread about the speakers. Here is what we know from the official sources:

Announcement
Quote
Main Features

- Brand new SK-EX Rendering piano sound engine (multi-channel sampling + resonance modelling)
- Industry-leading Grand Feel II wooden-key keyboard action
- Premium audio processing, amplification, and speaker technologies powered by Onkyo
- 3rd generation TwinDrive Soundboard Speaker system featuring Onkyo transducers (CA98 only)
- Integrated Bluetooth® MIDI and Audio for wireless communication with smart devices
- Modern 5″ LCD touchscreen display with intuitive swipe operation
- Flexible Virtual Technician function with 19 adjustable parameters
- Built-in Burgmüller, Czerny, Beyer, Chopin etudes and Alfred lesson songs
- Convenient WAV/MP3/MIDI file record and playback via USB memory
- Attractive cabinet designs available in three different wood finishes


Note that the line that says "speaker technologies powered by Onkyo" - does not have CA98 only distinction. Only the Twin Drive Soundboard Speaker System has that. Also, it doesn't say 'speaker by Onkyo' - it says 'speaker technologies powered by Onkyo' - so my reading is that this refers to parts of the electronics that powers the speakers, rather than the speakers themselves. I might be incorrect and it may actually refer to speakers. But, either way, the same 'Onkyo-ness' applies to both CA78 and CA98 to speakers/systems that are not the soundboard transducers.

From CA-98 specs:
Quote
Speakers TwinDrive Soundboard Speaker System
7 cm x 4 (top speakers)
1.4 cm x 2 (dome tweeters)
Output Power 135 W (45 W x 3)


From CA-78 specs:
Quote
Speakers 13 cm x 2 (woofers)
(8 x 12) cm x 2 (top speakers)
5 cm x 2 (tweeters)
Output Power 100 W (50 W x 2)


So, CA-98 and CA-78 has very different speaker configurations. So they certainly do not have the 'same' speakers. CA-98 has Onkyo transducers on the soundboard speaker (with a woofer and a tweeter - 2 transducers). The other speakers are of different sizes between the two. My reading from the official announcement regarding the non-transducer speakers is:
  • All speakers are powered by Onkyo amps. CA-98 has 135 W total Onkyo amps. CA-78 has 100W total Onkyo amps.
  • All non-soundboard speakers are of 'similar quality' - but different sizes, irrespective of whether they are made by Onkyo or another generic manufacturor.


Also, the headphone specs for both are identical:

Quote
Headphone Enhancements Discrete SpectraModule™ headphone amplifier
Spatial Headphone Sound
Headphone Type
Headphone Amplifier

So, both have exact same Onkyo Discrete SpectraModule headphone amp. Given that both have the exact same action and Pianist/sound mode - there should be *zero* difference in experience between the two when playing with headphones.

Now, we wait Kawai James to set us all straight smile.

Osho


Mason & Hamlin BB
Kawai Novus NV10 + Garritan CFX/Pianoteq 6
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: MacMacMac] #2700148
12/28/17 01:44 PM
12/28/17 01:44 PM
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Celestis
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
What difference is there between "El-Cheapo" speakers and Onkyo speakers?

Engineering know how, quality of the materials used, different refinement / tolerances in manufacture / assembly and subsequently different frequency responses / THD levels.

Kawai can either buy some no name speakers and plant them into the cabinet as they see fit or they can hire experts to figure out where and what is needed. HiFi companies like Onkyo surely know more about that than a piano manufacturer, so it makes perfect sense to collaborate. The result should (in theory) be: improved sonic performance across the entire range of the instrument.


The CA78 German spec sheet on Kawai.de seems to be a wee bit more precise:
"1-Bit Processing, Dual DAC Signal Conversion and DIDRC Filtering of Onkyo"
So basically the electronic guts are from Onkyo

"2 x 13cm in separater Box
+ 2 x 8x12cm TopSpeaker
+ 2 x 5cm Tweeter;"

Speakers seem to be generic stuff

"ONKYO Amp,
ONKYO SpectraModule™ HPamp,
ONKYO Signal Processing"
More Onkyo goodnes.

Interestingly enough, the twin drive does not get an extra "Onkyo" thrown in either, not sure how to view that, since I darkly remember frequency graphs of the previous versions and a statement that Onkyo helped them to improve on it.

Last edited by Granyala; 12/28/17 01:52 PM.

The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Osho] #2700157
12/28/17 02:00 PM
12/28/17 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Osho
- Brand new SK-EX Rendering piano sound engine (multi-channel sampling + resonance modelling)
- Industry-leading Grand Feel II wooden-key keyboard action
- Premium audio processing, amplification, and speaker technologies powered by Onkyo
- 3rd generation TwinDrive Soundboard Speaker system featuring Onkyo transducers (CA98 only)
- Integrated Bluetooth® MIDI and Audio for wireless communication with smart devices
- Modern 5" LCD touchscreen display with intuitive swipe operation
- Flexible Virtual Technician function with 19 adjustable parameters
- Built-in Burgmuller, Czerny, Beyer, Chopin etudes and Alfred lesson songs
- Convenient WAV/MP3/MIDI file record and playback via USB memory
- Attractive cabinet designs available in three different wood finishes
Translation:
- SK-EX piano sound (somehow different from the previous generation?)
- GFII wooden keys
- Amplifiers and speakers (what a great feature!)
- Soundboard speakers (same as before, but we tout the name Onkyo as if it matters. If it matters to YOU, then don't you now feel bad about owning the last generation product. The one that had non-Onkyo 'ducers?)
- Bluetooth
- LCD touchscreen (same as before)
- Virtual Technician (same as before)
- Built-in lesson songs (same as before)
- Recording and playback (same as before, and same as nearly every other piano)
- Three colors

Just strip out most of the adjectives and it's the same old thing. (No slight to Kawai, though. They all spew the same market-speak nonsense.)
So I just ignore the claims and I ignore the specs. My eyes, ears, and fingers tell me all I need to know.

This is a good point.
Quote
Note that the line that says "speaker technologies powered by Onkyo" - does not have CA98 only distinction. Only the Twin Drive Soundboard Speaker System has that. Also, it doesn't say 'speaker by Onkyo' - it says 'speaker technologies powered by Onkyo' - so my reading is that this refers to parts of the electronics that powers the speakers, rather than the speakers themselves. I might be incorrect and it may actually refer to speakers. But, either way, the same 'Onkyo-ness' applies to both CA78 and CA98 to speakers/systems that are not the soundboard transducers.
But at the core of this you have to wonder: Exactly what is "Onkyo-ness"?
It's just a brand name! It means "you can expect sound ... actual sound! ... to come from this here piano!"
Woweee! I'm overwhelmed!
(not)

Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #2700162
12/28/17 02:21 PM
12/28/17 02:21 PM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 319
Celestis
Granyala Online content
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Granyala  Online Content
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Posts: 319
Celestis
I agree with mac in the regard that the whole "ermagawd DAC / amp is so uber" thing is Marketing BS.
A good amp does one thing: make stuff loud w/o imprinting it's own signature. Meaning no matter the brand any amped signal should (ideally) be the same.
A DAC converts digital input into a sine wave signal. Nothing more, nothing less.

Unless Kawai did use really, I mean REALLY crappy DACs and amps, there should not be any audible difference.
This isn't exclusive to digital pianos though. Nearly every audio hardware that markets DAC as sth special and boast some arbitrarily high S/N ratio makes me cringe.

However, considering that there is more going on in a digital piano than mere playback of audio, possibly Onkyo proprietary signal processing might make a notable difference.

As for the Soundboard transducers: thanks Mac, I knew those were Onkyo.
These could definitely sound better, again your ears need to be the judge of that.

Last edited by Granyala; 12/28/17 02:23 PM.

The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 6.1 / Pearl Alto Flute 201
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #2700175
12/28/17 03:22 PM
12/28/17 03:22 PM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,381
Germany
JoBert Offline
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JoBert  Offline
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Germany
Originally Posted by Osho
Now, we wait Kawai James to set us all straight smile.

No need to wait, because James already gave this information when starting the thread we are in. From the second post at the very beginning of this thread:

Originally Posted by Kawai James

  • New: Premium 6-speaker configuration featuring Onkyo speaker drivers (CA98 only)
  • New: 3rd generation TwinDrive Soundboard Speaker system featuring Onkyo transducers (CA98 only)


And he later confirmed this again in this very thread:

Originally Posted by Kawai James
However, only the CA98 utilises Onkyo speakers and transducers (for the TwinDrive soundboard).

Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: JoBert] #2700185
12/28/17 04:28 PM
12/28/17 04:28 PM
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Posts: 797
Portland, OR, USA
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Osho Offline
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Osho  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2017
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Portland, OR, USA
Originally Posted by JoBert
Originally Posted by Osho
Now, we wait Kawai James to set us all straight smile.

No need to wait, because James already gave this information when starting the thread we are in. From the second post at the very beginning of this thread:

Originally Posted by Kawai James

  • New: Premium 6-speaker configuration featuring Onkyo speaker drivers (CA98 only)
  • New: 3rd generation TwinDrive Soundboard Speaker system featuring Onkyo transducers (CA98 only)


And he later confirmed this again in this very thread:

Originally Posted by Kawai James
However, only the CA98 utilises Onkyo speakers and transducers (for the TwinDrive soundboard).


Glad you pointed that out. Thanks.

So, CA98 has these advantages in speaker system over CA78: Soundboard with Onkyo transducers + higher wattage amps + different/better speaker configuration + Onkyo speakers vs. generic.

Osho


Mason & Hamlin BB
Kawai Novus NV10 + Garritan CFX/Pianoteq 6
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #2701765
01/03/18 02:06 PM
01/03/18 02:06 PM
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Posts: 900
Germany
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Hendrik42 Offline
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Germany
So I made it to JustMusic in Hamburg today and was able to play the CA98 they had!

I was not really able to judge the new sound system, amplifier, speakers and soundboard due to the CA98 being flat against a board/wall and the shop acoustics not being so great. I mostly played with my Sennheiser 598.

I must say that I am quite impressed. The new Pianist Mode sound engine is significant better in resonances than HI-XL. I also think that it is a tad better than the Roland LX-17 which was my previous benchmark for resonances. Having better resonances makes the overall sound experience more acoustic-piano-like and in my opinion every little bits helps :-)

There are resonances between all the keys and for example the resonances with the undampened most-right notes increases as you go from left to right etc.

So, from what I can tell, the CA98 is a real and significant upgrade over the previous model.


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #2702037
01/04/18 10:24 AM
01/04/18 10:24 AM
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Tommy S Offline
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Strictly from a sound production perspective, I'm very pleased with the CA98 capabilities. The new Pianist mode and the existing Sound mode does very well strictly evaluating them from the "how well does it sound". "How good do the highs and low's sound/what the level of bass depth/etc". I spent a lot of time in music shops evaluating other digital pianos, which is of course colored by the room and other factors. I did have an afternoon in a very well stocked music showroom just by myself, so at least no other interfering sounds of others playing (think "Guitar Center"! ).

Where I've been equally if not more impressed with the CA98 sound system is with other sound sources. I tried a wide variety of soft synths I have, along with Pianoteq, and was really impressed with the depth and overall richness of the CA98 sound system. Especially the bass reproduction, it has a lot of clarity along with a real presence.

I know from decades of guitar playing that my good non-laminated acoustic guitars sound far better after a number of years of getting played-in and you have a similar effect with acoustic pianos. I'm curious how the the CA98 will sound after a few years as well, especially given the soundboard approach they've taken with the Onkyo system.

On a side note, I'm still finding the Pianist mode is my go-to piano. If you spend a little time adjusting the EQ, you can really dial in a great sounding piano.


Kawai CA98 / Behringer Deepmind 12
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #2703184
01/08/18 01:25 PM
01/08/18 01:25 PM
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bradhapa Offline
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I just purchased the CA 78 over the weekend... delivery in a few days! Very excited.

I went to an authorized Kawai dealer and played both the CA 78 and 98, plus several acoustic pianos. I'm replacing a CA 13. I love the CA line because of its i) great keys, ii) great piano sound, iii) very easy to use, iv) attractive cabinet , and v) inspiring to play.

My observations:

Both the CA78/98 are beautiful instruments and I'm confident will feel inspiring to play. As with prior models, the keys are incredibly similar to an acoustic piano.
I did feel that the keys on the new models are slightly heavier to press compared with the prior generations of the CA series. But compared to a large upright or grand they felt similar. The sound is noticeably better compared to my CA13 (and I was quite happy with that piano). The visual / touch interface is incredibly easy to use and very intuitive. The sound system output on both models was excellent. I don't play at loud volumes so I can't speak to how either piano performs at the higher end of their ranges. (But I suspect they both sound excellent even at louder volumes.) In terms of the sound board on the CA98, you definitely get vibrational feedback from the piano with that. If this is something that is important to you then you should consider the 98. This was not a factor for me and because I live in an apartment I actually wanted to avoid any extra deep rumbling.

After I've had a chance to play at home for a bit I'll follow-up with more thoughts.

Thanks!

Brad

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