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Every time a new Kawai CA model is released, about a year or so later that model is housed in a glossy ebony cabinet that is designated as a 'CS' model. The price is substantially higher for the CS version, but for those who buy into it they're rewarded with a truly beautiful piano, and perhaps a slightly better speaker system. But I have to wonder if the 2018/2019 line of these models may see a difference in pricing points, or even the elimination of the CS series altogether.

The culprit here (if that's what we'd want to call it) is the recently-released Novus. That may alter the landscape considerably. Let's look at what I mean:
Using Kawai's suggested on-line prices, we have the CA98 going for $5,400 USD (in rosewood), and the polished ebony CS11 (based on the CA97 build) logging in at $8,500. But if I've correctly read various sources on the Novus, I'm getting prices of around $10,000. I don't know if I've made a mistake in my figures, but if they're correct, I'm not sure how a glossy ebony Kawai CS12 can comfortably and profitably fit in here.

As we all know, the Novus is for the most part gaining top reviews because of its acoustic grand action, combined with the CA98 engine. And that it's presented in a very attractive polished ebony case is wonderful icing on the cake. Now, I don't know about anyone else, but if I had to choose between a CS12 at $8,500 and the Novus at $10,000, it wouldn't be hard for me to make that decision.

My initial thought here is that my math isn't accurate. I suspect that the Novus is really retailing for $12,000 to $13,000, in which case the CS12 becomes an attractive option for people who want a more attractive cabinet than is found with the CA98, and are willing to pay several thousand dollars more to get it.

But if indeed the Novus can be bought for $10,000 (no doubt with a lot of dealer wrangling), a CS12 model would either have to retail for quite a bit less than $8,500, or be eliminated from Kawai's stable altogether. I could see a CS9 (based on the CA78) for about $5,400, with its purely digital piano base form, but I can't see a CS12, even if it mimics the build of an acoustic upright.

What do you think? Is my thinking making any sense, and if not, what do you think the future holds for a possible CS12?

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I've generally come to the conclusion that KawaiUS's list prices are just bonkers, they don't seem to fit much with what's going on in the RoW or general reason for that matter!

If you look at the £/€ prices (which are generally pretty close to what is actually paid) there's still plenty of space for a CS variant.

Not to mention that the CS variants are typically only £400 or so more expensive than the equivalent CA piano, largely in line with the premium yamaha charges for shiny black finish.

Currently in the UK the actual advertised prices (this includes both the VAT (sales tax) @ 20% and the 10-15% or so automatic discount off the never used 'RRP') are:

CA78: £2,479.00
CA98: £3,039.00
CS8: £2,459.00
CS11: £3,299.00
NV10: £7,829.00

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I don't think the CS11 street price is anywhere near $8,500. Probably more in line with $4,500, so there is still a significant gap between it and the Novus.


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Based on the history, pretty sure that there will be CS12 - just a matter of time.

Osho


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If Kawai could put a K300 millennium action in a CS11 cabinet, with CA98 software? Wow, sell it for $7500 compared to the NV10 selling at $9750, it would be a real winner. Especially if they modernized the K60 upright sound to a newer K500 sound.



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Originally Posted by Osho
Based on the history, pretty sure that there will be CS12 - just a matter of time.

Osho


Normally I would agree with you, but the release of the Novus NV10 throws everything off balance, as I said in my OP.

I believe that when a piano is originally released, Kawai's suggested retail price is pretty close to what a dealer will charge and accept, with only a little bargaining with a potential customer. If we use that reasoning as a premise, I think we would see the CA98 Rosewood model being sold at $5,400 USD (and a number of retailers in my state and surrounding states have told me that that's exactly what they're selling it for, and that bargaining wasn't an option). And using the older CS11 as an example, we should see a sales price of the CS12 of around $8,500, at least.

But with that reasoning, we would seem to have a problem because of the Novus, if what I've read is any indication. What I've seen are USA sales (stated by customers on the internet) of anywhere from $9,700 to slightly over $10,000 for the Novus. But that would put a potential CS12 in a bind. I don't know what anyone else thinks, but if I was willing to drop $8,500 for the CS12, why in the world wouldn't I plunk down a few more dollars for the Novus? You don't have to be Einstein's clone to figure out that a true acoustic grand action is certainly superior to simulated action, GFII or not.

I see only two possibilities for these two pianos to exist on the same planet. Either the CS12 will have to sell for much less (perhaps $6,999) or the Novus is really retailing for a much higher USA price than I've read, possibly around $12,000 to $13,000.

Okay, what's my hidden agenda for even creating this post to begin with? In another thread I had stated that because of my senior age and health problems I wanted to buy a high end DP that would last for the rest of my life. But after consulting my doctor his opinion is that with a proper exercise regimen, nutrition and sleep, and by faithfully taking my medications, there shouldn't be a radical difference in my condition in the next five years. With that, I've decided that my best option in that time span is to buy the best mid-level DP I can find, and see how I feel five years from now. Needless to say, the CA98 is an attractive option.

Still, if a potential CS12 is really only selling for $6,999 because of the Novus, I think I'd be smart to wait until spring 2019 to finance, rather than now with the CA98. I'd have no trouble doling out an extra $1,500 for a beautiful glossy ebony upright cabinet that would be a showpiece in my home for at least the next five years. The problem is, I just don't know what the future holds, and so my only option is to wait until a CS12 is announced, with pricing released.

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You are still thinking too US centric. Kawai is a Japanese company with lots of other markets. Why would they plan their models according to the prices in one market, which also is the one with most out of whack prices (with strangely high MSRPs and huge vendor discount)?

As said before, the European prices give a much better picture about the model tiers:

CA98: 3400€
CS11: 3800€
NV10: 9000€

(Current German prices from Thomann, including tax. As posted above, other European prices are similar).

There's lots of room there for a CS12. If the past is any indication, it will be at 4000-4500€.

Last edited by JoBert; 04/29/18 02:21 PM.

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Originally Posted by TomLC
If Kawai could put a K300 millennium action in a CS11 cabinet, with CA98 software? Wow, sell it for $7500 compared to the NV10 selling at $9750, it would be a real winner. Especially if they modernized the K60 upright sound to a newer K500 sound.



I think Kawai K300 AUREUS is exactly this. The price even should be in the same ballpark. Upright action, with even acoustic sound, and then the digital part with touchscreen. If I recall correctly, they also have ATX3 silent which doesn't have the transducer/soundsystem thing, so you're limited to headphones on the digital side (but likely a bit cheaper than AUREUS).

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It will cost a bit more than the NV10 I should think. I meant without the strings. Just the CS11 cabinet and speakers but with updated software and a real keyboard and pedal action. That could be in the right price range. Anyway, we shall see.



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Originally Posted by JoBert
You are still thinking too US centric. Kawai is a Japanese company with lots of other markets. Why would they plan their models according to the prices in one market, which also is the one with most out of whack prices (with strangely high MSRPs and huge vendor discount)?

As said before, the European prices give a much better picture about the model tiers:

CA98: 3400€
CS11: 3800€
NV10: 9000€

(Current German prices from Thomann, including tax. As posted above, other European prices are similar).

There's lots of room there for a CS12. If the past is any indication, it will be at 4000-4500€.

When I look at the price of things in the US, sometimes I feel like the rest of the world is subsidising their prices! wink

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+1

See Apple products, HP, Dell, gas prices etc.

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Let me resurrect this thread, because I am really wondering about the CS12.

Why, you ask?

I wonder, because Kawai just released the CA78 and the CA98 in Ebony Black / Polished Ebony. That did not used to be an option, right?

I wonder, because the Kawai Japan Website does not even have a section for the CS series anymore. Kawai UK etc. are still listing the CS8 (which I think is mostly not available in shops) and the CS11 (which is available in shops at a very attractive discount of about 1000 Euros and below the price of the CA98 EB/PE).

On the other hand, the CS11 just got a limited edition in white (at about 300 Euro up from CA98 EB/PE list price, 500 street).

Anybody any rumors or anything? Next stop for any major announcements would be NAMM 2019 in January? On the other hand, Roland announced the LX 700 series unrelated to any music fair, right?


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Originally Posted by Hendrik42

I wonder, because Kawai just released the CA78 and the CA98 in Ebony Black / Polished Ebony. That did not used to be an option, right?

My guess would be that Kawai is taking another road with the successor of the CS11. Maybe they'll put out a direct competitor to the Yamaha NU1X with an upright action as at part of the Novus line...


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On the subject of next year's piano releases ... you might find some rumors here, but no facts.

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Hello Hendrik,

Originally Posted by Hendrik42
Kawai just released the CA78 and the CA98 in Ebony Black / Polished Ebony. That did not used to be an option, right?


Correct. The last CA model to be produced in ebony polish was the CA51, almost 10 years ago.

Originally Posted by Hendrik42
I wonder, because the Kawai Japan Website does not even have a section for the CS series anymore.


Are you referring to the Japanese language Kawai Japan site? If so, this is normal, because the CS models were never marketed to the domestic Japanese market. The CS11 and CS8 are listed on Kawai Japan's English language site (aka Kawai Global), here:

http://www.kawai-global.com/product/c/digitalpianos/cs-series/

Originally Posted by Hendrik42
On the other hand, the CS11 just got a limited edition in white (at about 300 Euro up from CA98 EB/PE list price, 500 street).


Also correct.
http://www.kawai-global.com/product/cs11/#t028

I hope this answers your queries.

Kind regards,
James
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Originally Posted by ADWyatt
Every time a new Kawai CA model is released, about a year or so later that model is housed in a glossy ebony cabinet that is designated as a 'CS' model. The price is substantially higher for the CS version, but for those who buy into it they're rewarded with a truly beautiful piano, and perhaps a slightly better speaker system. But I have to wonder if the 2018/2019 line of these models may see a difference in pricing points, or even the elimination of the CS series altogether.

The culprit here (if that's what we'd want to call it) is the recently-released Novus. That may alter the landscape considerably. Let's look at what I mean:
Using Kawai's suggested on-line prices, we have the CA98 going for $5,400 USD (in rosewood), and the polished ebony CS11 (based on the CA97 build) logging in at $8,500. But if I've correctly read various sources on the Novus, I'm getting prices of around $10,000. I don't know if I've made a mistake in my figures, but if they're correct, I'm not sure how a glossy ebony Kawai CS12 can comfortably and profitably fit in here.

As we all know, the Novus is for the most part gaining top reviews because of its acoustic grand action, combined with the CA98 engine. And that it's presented in a very attractive polished ebony case is wonderful icing on the cake. Now, I don't know about anyone else, but if I had to choose between a CS12 at $8,500 and the Novus at $10,000, it wouldn't be hard for me to make that decision.

My initial thought here is that my math isn't accurate. I suspect that the Novus is really retailing for $12,000 to $13,000, in which case the CS12 becomes an attractive option for people who want a more attractive cabinet than is found with the CA98, and are willing to pay several thousand dollars more to get it.

But if indeed the Novus can be bought for $10,000 (no doubt with a lot of dealer wrangling), a CS12 model would either have to retail for quite a bit less than $8,500, or be eliminated from Kawai's stable altogether. I could see a CS9 (based on the CA78) for about $5,400, with its purely digital piano base form, but I can't see a CS12, even if it mimics the build of an acoustic upright.

What do you think? Is my thinking making any sense, and if not, what do you think the future holds for a possible CS12?


The Novus is bound to be the model to go for if you can afford it---what you have to pay for a good action!.
IMO, the fact that the CS11 looks like a proper upright (not a short version of one like the CA97/8) and seems to project the sound better is it's main selling point. The LX708 has just come out and maybe Kawai will assess this model and decide if they wish to produce CS12 to push the boat a little further. I like the CA98 but it's not as pretty as the CS11, even with ebony finish.


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Hi all, thanks for the comments.

Originally Posted by johanibraaten
My guess would be that Kawai is taking another road with the successor of the CS11. Maybe they'll put out a direct competitor to the Yamaha NU1X with an upright action as at part of the Novus line...


Yeah, it occurred to me yesterday evening that the successor to the CS11 may be a smaller Novus. When the Novus came out, it was said/hinted that there would be more models. And I would love the Novus Pedal approach in the chassis of a K200/300 or so upright. I can not make room for a Novus 10.

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
On the subject of next year's piano releases ... you might find some rumors here, but no facts.


I am ok with that :-)

Originally Posted by Kawai James
Are you referring to the Japanese language Kawai Japan site? If so, this is normal, because the CS models were never marketed to the domestic Japanese market. The CS11 and CS8 are listed on Kawai Japan's English language site (aka Kawai Global) [...]


Ah, right, I should have thought about that. Just out of curiosity: do you (or anyone) know why? Like, are polished ebony uprights not a thing in Japan?

Btw. on price-point-portfolio I agree with JoBert, there is definitely room for a CS12 (or equivalent) between CA98 PE (EUR 4270/4080 list/street) and the Novus 10 (EUR 9890/8950 list/street).

Coming back to the release time question: any other candidates than NAMM 2019?

Given that we already have end of October, if Kawai would announce anything tomorrow, it would probably not be in stores by Christmas anyway, so they can take their time, right?

Last edited by Hendrik42; 10/31/18 04:47 AM.

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Originally Posted by Hendrik42
Just out of curiosity: do you (or anyone) know why? Like, are polished ebony uprights not a thing in Japan?


I'm afraid I have no idea why Kawai Japan's domestic division opted not to market the CS models. I could speculate, but I don't want to get into trouble. wink

Cheers,
James
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by Hendrik42
Just out of curiosity: do you (or anyone) know why? Like, are polished ebony uprights not a thing in Japan?


I'm afraid I have no idea why Kawai Japan's domestic division opted not to market the CS models. I could speculate, but I don't want to get into trouble. wink

Cheers,
James
x


I'm guessing here but the Japanese per-say (especially in cities) value compactness - the CA98 in ebony being smaller than the CS11.


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I think you may be right, Doug. Apartments in Japan are small (and very expensive). Quarters are VERY tight.

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