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Good morning:

Here another Novus delivered in mid-June in Spain with the same symptoms that you describe:
-Buzzing and hissing as a distortion with numerous sounds or combinations of them through the upper speakers (naturally, having discarded the noises of " damper "or" fall back "...). It is unacceptable in an instrument with these characteristics.
-Also, interference noise on the lower speaker with a frequency of 5 "noise / 5" mute with the Novus audio bluetooth on (disappears turning it off).
-On the other hand, excessive slack in the right pedal that was momentarily solved by a felt by the assembly technicians I hope it will be regulated properly by Kawai. (I have seen excellent tutorials here to find solutions to this last, but I understand that it should be the technical service who should do it). All this has been duly explained and justified in an email addressed to my local vendor, which today will be sent by them to the distributor in Spain, "Bilbao-Trading".

We will see what happens from this moment. I will be attentive to this magnific thread, and I will inform you if I have any news ...

Best regards,

mbernardofdz

Last edited by mbernardofdz; 08/22/18 03:49 AM.
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Ok, I almost don't dare to ask, but could someone give me a "TL;DR" of this...
What are people thinking about this, is the action the best out there?
Did they manage to get the menu issues under control? Last time I checked this thread there were problems with favorites not saving, crashes upon inserting a headphone plug etc..
Is anyone using this as a MIDI controller to play VSTs, and how is that working out for you?

Last edited by Grazilerimba; 08/22/18 05:15 AM.
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Originally Posted by Grazilerimba
What are people thinking about this, is the action the best out there?


That really depends on acoustic action preference. It's a kawai millenium III action, if you think those are the best, then yes, if you prefer one from a yamaha grand, then no, it isn't smile

The keybed appears to be (my opinion, no official info on this) from a gl10 or gl30 so has longer pivots than the avantgrands but standard glossy keys while the AGs have synthetic matteish keytops. It also has a functioning damper mechanism which the AGs lack (though being pedantic this is only linked up to the damper pedal and not the middle sostenuto one).

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Originally Posted by Bambers
standard glossy keys while the AGs have synthetic matteish keytops


Only some of the AGs have Ivorite keytops. The N1 and NU1/NU1X have glossy keys, the N2, N3 and N3X have Ivorite. The pedal mechanism and feel also different between the AGs, but none of them have real damper mechanisms like the NV10.


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Originally Posted by Grazilerimba
Ok, I almost don't dare to ask, but could someone give me a "TL;DR" of this...
What are people thinking about this, is the action the best out there?


For me, I think it speaks volumes that despite an abhorrent buzzing problem, I'm nevertheless growing very fond of my NV10 in basically every regard possible.

You know, some people cannot even hear the buzzing noise when I play to them as they stand over my shoulder, whereas I can hear it 5+ meters away easily if someone else is playing, so I'm tempted to suspect that some owners here may suffer from the issue and not even realize it due to their ears not picking up the frequency. This is possibly why the issue made it past Kawai's quality check - Because perhaps their team happens to not hear the buzzing.

I certainly don't want to give up on it because it's a fantastic instrument, leaps and years ahead of my old Clavinova. If Kawai never bothers addressing the issues it would be pretty devastating.

Want to thank some of you who record and upload your buzzing issues as this will surely help Kawai know what to troubleshoot.

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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by opus64


I hear a hissing noise at the beginning and end of the recording, but assumed this is just the noise captured by the mic - i.e. not the instrument.

It would be useful to hear the sound captured by the mic before any notes are played (and after the notes have finished sounding), in order to have a reference point for what is actually being produced by the piano.


Hi James, the sound is not before or after the notes it is a "hiss" or aliasing noise audible when the notes are playing, generated by the notes themselves. Again, the symptom is practically identical to the aliasing effect when the samplerate is below 44khz.

The issue is not present once the notes decay because it is generated by the piano sound itself.

If you haven't already I recommend using headphones and going back and forth between the 2 samples. I hear everything the mic captured in person, although in a room woth all the speakers going and the ambience, it really sounds extremely digital due to this aliasing issue. Other than this I think the piano sound is superb(certainly over headphones/lineout).

Last edited by opus64; 08/22/18 10:19 AM.
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Originally Posted by opus64
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by opus64


I hear a hissing noise at the beginning and end of the recording, but assumed this is just the noise captured by the mic - i.e. not the instrument.

It would be useful to hear the sound captured by the mic before any notes are played (and after the notes have finished sounding), in order to have a reference point for what is actually being produced by the piano.


Hi James, the sound is not before or after the notes it is a "hiss" or aliasing noise audible when the notes are playing, generated by the notes themselves. Again, the symptom is practically identical to the aliasing effect when the samplerate is below 44khz.

The issue is not present once the notes decay because it is generated by the piano sound itself.

If you haven't already I recommend using headphones and going back and forth between the 2 samples. I hear everything the mic captured in person, although in a room woth all the speakers going and the ambience, it really sounds extremely digital due to this aliasing issue. Other than this I think the piano sound is superb(certainly over headphones/lineout).

Even so, it's difficult to make out much with the speaker recording as the sustain pedal is down and the notes all run into each other, and also there are other artifacts intruding from the microphone, room acoustics and signal processing, which might include compression.

You need to be able to define and screen out all the additional distortions first. Some period of silence followed by individual notes fading into silence, played at different dynamic levels would give a much clearer demonstration of the issue.


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I'm wondering whether the problem has anything to do with the new 1-bit Onkyo processing engine. To my understanding the 1-bit processing implies delta-sigma modulation (think DSD or SACD) rather than PCM (think WAV or CD). However delta-sigma is a tricky one and it could have easily been messed up resulting in aliasing artifacts, etc. Just as an example, DSD demodulation produces high-frequency noise which is usually filtered out by low-pass filters on SACD players. We're talking about much higher than audible junk though. I've heard some dogs were freaked out by ultrasound junk produced by early SACD players smile But my line of thought here is, 1-bit isn't as simple as PCM for quality reproduction but Onkyo supposedly have the know-how.

Another consideration is that 1-bit requires that original sampling is done in the 1-bit domain. It is possible to convert a PCM stream into 1-bit delta-sigma stream but that would introduce unnecessary artifacts which would actually explain the issue. Kawai would never acknowledge that though smile Many audiophile SACD records are done straight DSD because DSD is difficult for post-processing such as adding effects, remastering, etc. which is why it's used on audiophile records to focus on the transparent recordings and as few alterations as possible. However here we have digital piano samples that are most probably looped, cleaned-up, etc. and also the various characters might still be some EQ-ing and other DSP effects applied on top of the 1-bit stream and how that is implemented is a matter of debate smile

There are many possibilities but I'm wondering how widespread is that issue. As someone suggested maybe it's present on all pianos, however some customers can't hear it. Or maybe it has been alleviated through an EQ-firmware?


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Ok no problem, I will record individual notes, but there is no compression anywhere or microphone artifacts. I know that it is a logical initial reaction to mentally catalog the issues as mic artifacts, but thats the point, any issues you hear are coming from the NV10 not the mic, and the lineout sounds way better. The quality of the sound in person from one of the speakers is pretty well represented by the recording, as I said if anything the aliasing is more objectionable in person. The reason I recorded multiple notes with sustain is because the aliasing builds up when you play normally and it is most objectionable then. Playing single notes is not how we use this product.

This was recorded near the front(closest to player) right top speaker. If the quality of the sound from your unit doesn't sound similar to the recording I think it already says something about the variability of the issue across units.

I should also make something very clear because we are all very passionate about trying to get this fixed:
1.)Besides the aliasing over speakers the piano sound is phenomenal
2.)Even with this problem I would definitely buy the NV10 again. It is that good.

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Originally Posted by Grazilerimba
Ok, I almost don't dare to ask, but could someone give me a "TL;DR" of this...
Is anyone using this as a MIDI controller to play VSTs, and how is that working out for you?


I record using Ivory II. Before the custom firmware, I was furious about the weird noise produced each time I press a key no matter what setting I adjust. The noise was constant. Now, after the custom firmware patch, the noise is almost 1% and only barely appears if I press 10 keys or more at the same time. The fix is not perfect but unless I try to find the noise then it is virtually impossible to hear it. An example is my record at https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=Jio8DKFOu7I


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Originally Posted by CyberGene
I'm wondering whether the problem has anything to do with the new 1-bit Onkyo processing engine. {....}


Interesting thoughts CyberGene. My first thought was some type of bug as well. It is not unusual on a first release, I just hope it is fixable or even if it isn't that we get a clear indication that it is not fixable instead of left hanging.

However, the more I look at how the unit is built and the other issues users have encountered, I'm inclined to think that it is a grounding/signal integrity issue. The unit is very well built but it is made out of wood and has many, many discrete boards inside that talk to each other. There is clearly an effort made to filter noise and create decent ground planes so I think this was a challenge.

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Originally Posted by Grazilerimba
Is anyone using this as a MIDI controller to play VSTs, and how is that working out for you?

I am using it almost exclusively as a controller for VSTi ( VSL CFX mostly) and it is so much better than the N1 I had before.

The action of the Novus, compared to the N1, has very little inertia. At first I wasn't sure if I liked it - the N1, having more inertia goes through the whole action cycle very smoothly and feels more solid and secure.
On the Novus the very low inertia makes the keyboard much more responsive, but also initially more difficult to control. But once I got used to it, at one point I literally felt directly the hammer accelerating from the key - and it's a great feeling because it follows so closely your intentions (especially using a VST with enough velocity layers like the VSL CFX or Pianoteq).
It was an exhilarating moment when I discovered the subtlety possible in phrasing while playing on this Millennium action - and on a virtual piano, not an acoustic! And I've always preferred Yamaha actions over Kawai's before.

Also, the Novus has a longer key pivot distance (26cm against 23cm for the AvantGrand and 25 cm for the C3 acoustic grand) which makes it easier to play closer to the fallboard - which is unavoidable in classical pieces and really solves a lot of fingering problems (for example you can use the thumb on black keys more often).
I experienced this going back and forth between the N1 and the C3, and it's the main reason behind my decision to trade the N1 in for the Novus (+ quite a bit of money!)

The implementation of the MIDI engine is also better compared to the N1 - on the lighter settings on the Novus you can use the whole gamut of 127 velocities while the N1 was limited to 100 (and so was the V-Piano I had before, just a little better than the N1).
Also the N1 didn't have a smooth transition from velocity 1 to 100 - it didn't feel very linear - and there was a "bump" I always had to compensate on the velocity curve between 70 and 85 - that is I was playing mf and just playing a little harder would go to much louder with little in-between. All this compared to the acoustic grand.
The Novus, on the other hand, feels very linear with no obvious irregularities.

If I sound enthusiastic about the Novus (as a controller for VSTi) is because I am!

There are also things I don't like about it: the sustain pedal is way too hard (I am going to fix that with a different spring in the mechanism inside) and the front legs are too flimsy for my taste. Also I don't care for the internal sound - but I don't like AvantGrands piano sound either.


Originally Posted by vancedo
I record using Ivory II. Before the custom firmware, I was furious about the weird noise produced each time I press a key no matter what setting I adjust. The noise was constant. Now, after the custom firmware patch, the noise is almost 1% and only barely appears if I press 10 keys or more at the same time. The fix is not perfect but unless I try to find the noise then it is virtually impossible to hear it. An example is my record at https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=Jio8DKFOu7I

So is this firmware patch available somewhere?


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Originally Posted by Grazilerimba

Originally Posted by vancedo
I record using Ivory II. Before the custom firmware, I was furious about the weird noise produced each time I press a key no matter what setting I adjust. The noise was constant. Now, after the custom firmware patch, the noise is almost 1% and only barely appears if I press 10 keys or more at the same time. The fix is not perfect but unless I try to find the noise then it is virtually impossible to hear it. An example is my record at https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=Jio8DKFOu7I

So is this firmware patch available somewhere?


After a continuous call and email to Kawai, a technician came to my house and installed it so that firmware is custom and not available anywhere else. This is a relief makes me believe that the next official firmware update may fix, hopefully, all kind of problem that we are all having.


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Originally Posted by vancedo
firmware is custom and not available anywhere else.

Yeah, they probably say that to every complaining customer to whom they install that firmware AKA the EQ-firmware wink


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So my Novus finally arrived in the store and is to be delivered next week, so I think I'll pay a visit over the weekend and try to see if I can find and address any issues that I see people here mentioning. So far it seems like people have had issues with buzzing, pedal looseness, bad UI? Is there anything else I'm missing?

Last edited by rach3master; 08/22/18 05:47 PM.

Youtube piano recordings (classical music/video games/anime): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh9N3Xirs86USDQXE1WiwXg
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Thank you Opus64 for the clear recording of the issue. The problem is clearly audible to me when using a proper headphones and playing it at a bit high volume.

The artifacts are quite high frequency so I can imagine some people can't hear it. Either because their ears are less sensitive to higher frequencies or because their ears are less 'trained' in hearing.

I agree with you that in real life the hissing sounds more pronounced, the recording doesn't completely capture how bad it sounds, but still the problem is clearly there.

It would be great to hear from Kawai whether they have reproduced the issue themselves.


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Hello opus64,

Originally Posted by opus64
Hi James, the sound is not before or after the notes it is a "hiss" or aliasing noise audible when the notes are playing, generated by the notes themselves.


I'm referring to the white noise heard at the very beginning (and end) of your speaker recording, before any notes are played. Here is the noise I hear, looped for convenience:

recording noise.wav

Due to the presence of this noise at the beginning of the recording, before any notes are played, it's impossible to tell if/when noise is produced by the instrument itself when notes are played.

Please note that I'm not trying to dismiss your concerns, and certainly, if you are not fully satisfied with your piano, I strongly recommend contacting your Kawai dealer and/or distributor (Kawai America, in this case) to discuss the matter. However, I'm also keen to ensure that any reports posted on this forum are as detailed and accurate as possible, in order to prevent misunderstandings from occurring.

Kind regards,
James
x


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Hi Guys,

I am wondering what the best way to test whether I have the 'buzzing' noise that everyone is talking about.

Is it so noticeable that there i no way I could miss it? I have had the Novus for approx 3 months now.

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Originally Posted by abarax
Hi Guys,

I am wondering what the best way to test whether I have the 'buzzing' noise that everyone is talking about.

Is it so noticeable that there i no way I could miss it? I have had the Novus for approx 3 months now.


While turning on both bluetooth and connect them to computer, adjust and test all kind of setting, especially Velocity, Fall-off, Damper, Brilliant, by playing at max volume for few hours. Try to picky at much as you could.
By the way, I want to cut off anyone saying thing like "be happy with default presets" then what is point for all those adjustment lying there waiting to be play around?


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Hello abarax,

Originally Posted by abarax
I am wondering what the best way to test whether I have the 'buzzing' noise that everyone is talking about.


"Buzzing noise" is a rather vague term, which can refer to a variety of different things...

Unfortunately, there are quite a few inconsistencies in the reports posted by some NV10 owners in this forum. It's possible that some NV10 owners are using different words to describing the same sound, or the same words to describe different sounds. Forum members attempting to describe an issue using a language that may not be their native tongue can also further complicate the situation.

For these reasons, it is strongly recommended that customers contact their local Kawai dealer and/or distributor in order to have their concerns investigated (ideally by a visiting technician).

Originally Posted by abarax
Is it so noticeable that there i no way I could miss it? I have had the Novus for approx 3 months now.


If you have owned your NV10 for 3 months and have not encountered any issues, I don't believe it's necessary to contact your dealer/distributor.

Kind regards,
James
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