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CA98 volume settings (with and w/o headphones) #2777310
11/01/18 04:14 PM
11/01/18 04:14 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 47
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paf Offline OP
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paf  Offline OP
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Hello everybody

I'm struggling to find the right volume settings for my Kawai CA98:
- using the integrated loudspeakers as well as
- using my Sennheiser HD558 headphones (50 ohm, SPL=112dB at 1kHz and 1Vrms)

Now I use 4/6 with loudspeakers and 2/6 with headphones, but I find the high frequency resonances very disturbing when playing loud, especially with headphones. I begin to suspect that the volume setting is too low, causing me push too strongly on the keys and increasing those resonances.

Which volume settings do you think I should use to copy the loudness of a real grand piano? What is your experience?

Any advice will be appreciated.

Thanks and regards
Patrick


Kawai CA98, Technics SX-PX 201 with homemade multitrack MIDI recorder based on an Arduino
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Re: CA98 volume settings (with and w/o headphones) [Re: paf] #2777515
11/02/18 02:10 PM
11/02/18 02:10 PM
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GoldmanT Offline
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I don't know what mode you're using but on my CA67 I had to switch off the Undamped String Resonance because it just didn't sound musical - this is the constant resonance of the top octave and a half of strings, very high pitched and annoying.

Also switched off the cabinet resonance because it seemed like some odd early-reflection delay effect.

Damper resonance and string resonance are both awesome though. smile

Re: CA98 volume settings (with and w/o headphones) [Re: paf] #2777655
11/02/18 11:25 PM
11/02/18 11:25 PM
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Tommm777 Offline
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I had the same problem. Try sound mode instead of pianist mode for headphones and mess around with the settings. What GoldmanT suggested above is a good start

Re: CA98 volume settings (with and w/o headphones) [Re: paf] #2777701
11/03/18 05:38 AM
11/03/18 05:38 AM
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arc7urus Offline
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I have a CA-98 and use it with Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro 250 Ohm open headphones. With speakers I have the volume slider on dot 5 out of the 7 dots (on the third dot from the top). With headphones I leave the volume around the same level, never lower than 4. I have the headphone volume set to “high” and type “open”. So, the volume you are using with headphones may be too low. At least, it should be significantly lower than what you are experiencing through speakers.

Be aware that ambiance/reverb may heavily distort the sound with headphones. Set the metronome to 8 beat rock/modern rock 1 and then test different levels and types of ambiance/reverb. Also try the different SHS modes. These effects create weird delays and reflections.

To get rid of the high pitched ringing you need to use sound mode, which is more headphone friendly. The resonance in pianist mode works fine with speakers but the lack of control over it makes it harder to use with headphones. So try sound mode as well, as others have suggested.

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Re: CA98 volume settings (with and w/o headphones) [Re: paf] #2778290
11/05/18 03:04 AM
11/05/18 03:04 AM
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paf Offline OP
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Interesting that some of you are suggesting that the pianist mode is not good for headphones... I thought I was the only one to believe that and that everybody except me found the pianist mode absolutely fabulous with headphones!

Anybody else who could tell me what their volume settings are with / without headphones (and the headphone model)?

Thanks, Patrick


Kawai CA98, Technics SX-PX 201 with homemade multitrack MIDI recorder based on an Arduino
Re: CA98 volume settings (with and w/o headphones) [Re: paf] #2778500
11/05/18 05:17 PM
11/05/18 05:17 PM
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arc7urus Offline
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Originally Posted by paf
Interesting that some of you are suggesting that the pianist mode is not good for headphones... I thought I was the only one to believe that and that everybody except me found the pianist mode absolutely fabulous with headphones!

Anybody else who could tell me what their volume settings are with / without headphones (and the headphone model)?

Thanks, Patrick

Just a remark: I do enjoy and use the pianist mode through headphones especially because of the resonance :-) But some “ambiance” effects and “characters” seem they were designed to be used just with the speakers as they do not work as expected with headphones (Romantic character is one example).

However, the OP said he finds the resonance to be disturbing. The resonance in pianist mode can be clearly heard even with its level at minimum. Actually I find the difference between its minimum and maximum level to be minimal: there are some changes to the amount of damper and string resonance but almost no change to undamped string and duplex scale sympathetic resonance. It is possible to attenuate the resonance using the vt and sound settings but that will also change the overall timbre and sound. So, if the resonance is disturbing, then, IMO, the easiest and most effective way to control it is using sound mode.

Re: CA98 volume settings (with and w/o headphones) [Re: arc7urus] #2778615
11/06/18 01:45 AM
11/06/18 01:45 AM
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paf Offline OP
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I have tried many settings yesterday evening, both in pianist and in sound mode, to reduce the high-frequency resonance I hear when playing the upper part of the keyboard. The results were:

  • the "resonance" in pianist mode has no significant effect on the resonance
  • the "undamped strings resonance", strings resonance and so on in sound mode have no significant effect, but overall the resonance are less disturbing in sound mode than in pianist mode
  • SHS mode has no effect. Anyways, I never liked that effect which makes the sound "blurry"
  • replacing my Sennheiser HD558 headphones with 30 years old AKG 260 (which are much less loud) clearly reduces the resonances
  • the unpleasant feeling in my left ear when playing with headphones also occurs with the AKG
  • pushing the volume slider up and pushing more gently on the keys also reduces the resonances

I guess I will have to revert to my old headphone and live with the resonances... just as I try to live with the terrible GUI.


Kawai CA98, Technics SX-PX 201 with homemade multitrack MIDI recorder based on an Arduino
Re: CA98 volume settings (with and w/o headphones) [Re: paf] #2778662
11/06/18 07:50 AM
11/06/18 07:50 AM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 519
Europe
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arc7urus Offline
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Originally Posted by paf
I have tried many settings yesterday evening, both in pianist and in sound mode, to reduce the high-frequency resonance I hear when playing the upper part of the keyboard. The results were:
...
I guess I will have to revert to my old headphone and live with the resonances... just as I try to live with the terrible GUI.


A couple more suggestions:
  • Lower the overall brilliance level or set the tone to mellow 1 or 2 .This will "soften" the resonance.
  • Use the EQ to reduce the gain on the mid-high and high frequencies.
  • Use the VT key editor to reduce the brilliance and volume on the 5-6th octave keys (this will be cumbersome because of the GUI and inability to edit favourites).
  • Set the touch curve to normal or heavy/heavy+ (depending on your playing style) and increase the master volume as you have already tried. This will limit the dynamics and therefore the resonance.
  • Reduce the ambiance level. Also test other reverb types than "natural" as they dampen/reflect the resonance differently.

Re: CA98 volume settings (with and w/o headphones) [Re: paf] #2779431
11/09/18 01:38 AM
11/09/18 01:38 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 47
Switzerland
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paf Offline OP
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paf  Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2017
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Switzerland
Thank you arc7urus for your ideas.

In summary, the things which work against the resonance are:

  • Changing EQ settings, touch curve and so on: efficient but making the sound muffled. Not a solution.
  • Setting the volume slider higher and play less loud: works well, but not really practical. Partial solution, I will try more.
  • Using sound mode: limited efficiency. I will use it from now on, it is better than nothing.
  • Other headphones: limited efficiency. I will try as many different headphones as I can.

Thanks to all
Patrick


Kawai CA98, Technics SX-PX 201 with homemade multitrack MIDI recorder based on an Arduino

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