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Need advice: Kawai NV10 vs K-500 AURES #2852217
05/25/19 09:31 PM
05/25/19 09:31 PM
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Hello!

First, thank you for taking the time to read this, and second, here's some background story:

I currently own a Kawai CA93, I've had it since 2011 and I think it's time for a better piano.

The problem is, I took the risk to blindly import my piano from MusicStore.de at that time. Reason why? I live in Costa Rica and there are no Kawai dealers here. At that time there was supposed to be one in the entire country, however the communication with them was atrocious and weren't willing to import the CA93. Apparently they closed now because nobody sells Kawai here.
As crazy as it is, that blind decision was worth it, But I've gotten to a point where I need something even better.

Thus, my dilemma:
I cannot test any of these pianos myself because, again, nobody in my country sells them.

I am now determined to import it from thomman but I'm having a hard time deciding between the K-500 AURES and the newer NV10.

I like the idea of a true hybrid like the K-500 (no matter what they say and how it's advertised, i simply cannot consider the NV10 to be more than an improved digital), however, if I'm not mistaken, the action on the NV-10 is superior (based on what I've read).

I would like to know if anyone here has tried them both and tell me which you prefer and why.

The main factor I'm looking for is a piano with the best action possible.
I considered a baby grand from Kawai's GL series, but I simply don't have enough room for it, so it has to be either an upright or a digital.

So here is the one specific thing that I'd like to find out from your experiences:

  • Which piano has a better action, specially in terms of key repetition? I understand there's a subjective "feel" to the action, but I need to know which is more responsive with fast key repetitions (which is an objective question).


Part of me feels like going with the K-500 because I was really turned off by the fact that the NV10 has acrylic/phenol key covers instead of NEOTEX or "Ivory feel".... and I love the ivory feel on my CA93 so I have every reason to believe that the K-500's NEOTEX feels just as good or better.

But even without that, if the NV10 has a better action, I'd purchase it.

Again, thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to read this, and to those who can share their thoughts and experiences.

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Re: Need advice: Kawai NV10 vs K-500 AURES [Re: Pelota] #2852273
05/26/19 04:49 AM
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The NV10 has a better action than the K-500. But the K-500 is nevertheless much more enjoyable to play, because it's a large acoustic which creates a more encompassing and organic playing experience. You simply feel a better connection with the instrument, and it sounds better.

If you're really picky about actions, I would also be a bit skeptical about going for a silent piano, which may impact the ability to play ppp. Most amateur pianists don't notice this, but some do.

I would say that the best solution is to go for a K-500 - or another acoustic of similar quality - AND a VPC-1 with Pianoteq. That would cost roughly the same as the NV10, wouldn't it? The NV10 has a better action than the VPC-1, but the action of the VPC-1 is more than good enough to allow practice and training of technique which is transferrable to real grands and acoustic instruments.

Re: Need advice: Kawai NV10 vs K-500 AURES [Re: Pelota] #2852275
05/26/19 05:00 AM
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The NV-10 has a grand action. Rapid-fire repetition is better on a grand, so if that's the criterion on which you judge it, the NV-10 has the better action. It's a fundamental difference in action design.

Re: Need advice: Kawai NV10 vs K-500 AURES [Re: Pelota] #2852282
05/26/19 05:38 AM
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So it's a choice between:


Piano 1 - Fine action, Acoustic and digital

Piano 2 - Even better action, but this action is only connected to digital sound production.


For me, piano 1 would be a *very* easy choice between these 2, except for if I was a really high level piano player, and needed a grand action repetition.

I don't know how skilled you are, and if you need the repetition, but don't underestimate how much joy an acoustic can give you, it's just real and alive.

Re: Need advice: Kawai NV10 vs K-500 AURES [Re: U3piano] #2852285
05/26/19 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
So it's a choice between:


Piano 1 - Fine action, Acoustic and digital

Piano 2 - Even better action, but this action is only connected to digital sound production.


For me, piano 1 would be a *very* easy choice between these 2, except for if I was a really high level piano player, and needed a grand action repetition.

I don't know how skilled you are, and if you need the repetition, but don't underestimate how much joy an acoustic can give you, it's just real and alive.


I agree with this.

If it's possible given the inevitable constraints on space and money that afflict most of us, I would say that the even better choice is to go for a pure acoustic complimented by a pure digital slab, to get the absolute best of both worlds. But if that's not possible, then option 1 is hands down the obvious choice for me.

Re: Need advice: Kawai NV10 vs K-500 AURES [Re: Pelota] #2852295
05/26/19 07:10 AM
05/26/19 07:10 AM
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How is the bass on k500?


Yamaha P155, Yamaha P515
Re: Need advice: Kawai NV10 vs K-500 AURES [Re: Jitin] #2852309
05/26/19 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Jitin
How is the bass on k500?


On those I've tried (three instruments I think) it's been very good.

Re: Need advice: Kawai NV10 vs K-500 AURES [Re: Pelota] #2852315
05/26/19 08:35 AM
05/26/19 08:35 AM
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Still, the K-500 is an upright action. And while Kawai uprights are very nice, they're still limited by the mechanics of uprights. The NV10 is an actual grand piano action. So it has the same characteristics as a grand as far as the action goes.

Since you’re asking specifically about repetitions, I think you’ll be disappointed in the K-500 in this regard.

Also something to consider is that the acoustic will need tuning and regulation - regular maintenance of an acoustic piano.


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Re: Need advice: Kawai NV10 vs K-500 AURES [Re: Pelota] #2852323
05/26/19 09:09 AM
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I went to see and play an Auris, especially as I like the K-600 and my MP 11. To put it bluntly: I was kind of underwhelmed.
The K-600 Auris with the electronics switched off is NOT a K600 without electronics. And its action behaves partially different due to miniscule design changes.

I`m not convinced of the NV-10 either, so I`ll keep my MP-11 and save for a K-600 without powercord (which might be much more expensive than many of the mighty mini grands of the uptight action bashers).

Kind Regards

Re: Need advice: Kawai NV10 vs K-500 AURES [Re: Chordo24] #2852328
05/26/19 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Chordo24
I went to see and play an Auris, especially as I like the K-600 and my MP 11. To put it bluntly: I was kind of underwhelmed.
The K-600 Auris with the electronics switched off is NOT a K600 without electronics. And its action behaves partially different due to miniscule design changes.

I`m not convinced of the NV-10 either, so I`ll keep my MP-11 and save for a K-600 without powercord (which might be much more expensive than many of the mighty mini grands of the uptight action bashers).

Kind Regards

I’m curious since I own an MP11 too, what is the difference in the feel between that and the MP11? Or are you not sure about the NV10 due to other reasons?


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Re: Need advice: Kawai NV10 vs K-500 AURES [Re: Pelota] #2852329
05/26/19 09:21 AM
05/26/19 09:21 AM
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The action on the K500 will be better than the CA93. It’s a big sound. The overall experience will be better than the NV10. The Aures, IMHO, is the best choice. However, you could just keep the CA93 and get the K800? Now you have a piano with great bass from what I’ve heard.


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Re: Need advice: Kawai NV10 vs K-500 AURES [Re: Pelota] #2852339
05/26/19 10:21 AM
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Not to make things more difficult, but...


May I ask why the only options you are thinking about are Kawai piano's?

Even while there obviously are much more good piano's to choose from, if you really HAVE to order without playing/testing i think a new Kawai is probably a solid choice, price/quality wise. But when looking at digital hybrids, i'd say the Yamaha avantgrand models are certainly worth considering also.

Re: Need advice: Kawai NV10 vs K-500 AURES [Re: Chordo24] #2852358
05/26/19 11:39 AM
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Here's my opinion/experience on this:

Originally Posted by Morodiene
Still, the K-500 is an upright action. And while Kawai uprights are very nice, they're still limited by the mechanics of uprights. The NV10 is an actual grand piano action. So it has the same characteristics as a grand as far as the action goes.

Since you’re asking specifically about repetitions, I think you’ll be disappointed in the K-500 in this regard.


Originally Posted by Chordo24
I went to see and play an Auris, especially as I like the K-600 and my MP 11. To put it bluntly: I was kind of underwhelmed.
The K-600 Auris with the electronics switched off is NOT a K600 without electronics. And its action behaves partially different due to miniscule design changes.


IME silent pianos do feel slightly different. The difference is very slight, but it's there. The difference is bigger with silent grands than with grand uprights. Silent uprights can feel totally fine, and a well-regulated silent upright can be just as enjoyable to play as 95 percent of all decent uprights.

But I have yet to play a silent upright which reaches the same perfection in the feel of the action as the very best non-silent uprights. The very best uprights - the rare ones which have been expertly regulated to perfection - can have a speed and a control that is almost on a par with good grands (even though it's only a very select number of high-end uprights with particular actions that really are comparable to grands in that regard - see this thread here on the acoustic sister forum for example). It's like you whisper with your fingers, and the piano responds. I have yet to play a silent piano which responds in this very subtle way.

Is this difference between silents and non-silents important? To some people, it may be. It is to me, TBH, given that the bulk of my playing is expressive improv where the nuances available to me are quite important. Will it be imporant or noticeable to my wife, who has been learning for a year? No. Will it be important to my mom, who has been playing classical pieces on a decent level for 50 years, but who's not a perfectionist? Nah. Will it be important to most amateur players? I suspect not. So for quite a lot of people, a silent upright can make a lot of sense.

Now concerning the upright vs grand debate: Yes, a very good grand will have a better action that almost all uprights (with some exceptions). But uprights can still be excellent instruments, which will suffice for most people. An upright with good regulation will have a better action than a grand with bad regulation.

Then there is the issue of acoustic vs digital. I just don't think there's any competition there, to be perfectly honest. An acoustic with nice tone and good action provides a playing experience that digitals can't match. If I could either have a K-500 with silent option or a NV-10, I would easily choose the K-500, even though the NV-10 has a better action which is even more responsive to touch. But it still doesn't offer the same tonal or tactile response as a good upright. But given the choice and option, the ideal for me remains to have it both ways - to find an upright with great action and perfect regulation (within my budget), and a DP with headphones for silent practice.

Re: Need advice: Kawai NV10 vs K-500 AURES [Re: oivavoi] #2852382
05/26/19 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by oivavoi

Then there is the issue of acoustic vs digital. I just don't think there's any competition there, to be perfectly honest. An acoustic with nice tone and good action provides a playing experience that digitals can't match. If I could either have a K-500 with silent option or a NV-10, I would easily choose the K-500, even though the NV-10 has a better action which is even more responsive to touch. But it still doesn't offer the same tonal or tactile response as a good upright. But given the choice and option, the ideal for me remains to have it both ways - to find an upright with great action and perfect regulation (within my budget), and a DP with headphones for silent practice.


I have come to the same conclusion. I want both and I don’t have room for a grand. Let me know which upright you wind up getting. I’m not going to get an acoustic for a number of years but it’s good to do my research.

How do I convince my Russian piano teacher that my DP, my gadget as she calls it, does not play notes that die immediately, that it does have some sustain? It will never sound like her Steinway but it’s not as bad as she thinks, I hope.


Yamaha P-515, Pianoteq Standard 6
Re: Need advice: Kawai NV10 vs K-500 AURES [Re: LarryK] #2852384
05/26/19 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by LarryK


I have come to the same conclusion. I want both and I don’t have room for a grand. Let me know which upright you wind up getting. I’m not going to get an acoustic for a number of years but it’s good to do my research.



Will do!

Last edited by oivavoi; 05/26/19 01:22 PM.
Re: Need advice: Kawai NV10 vs K-500 AURES [Re: johnstaf] #2852441
05/26/19 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
Not to make things more difficult, but...


May I ask why the only options you are thinking about are Kawai piano's?

Even while there obviously are much more good piano's to choose from, if you really HAVE to order without playing/testing i think a new Kawai is probably a solid choice, price/quality wise. But when looking at digital hybrids, i'd say the Yamaha avantgrand models are certainly worth considering also.


The first reason is because here in Costa Rica the acoustic piano market is dominated by Yamaha, and while I can appreciate, understand and respect the reasons why so many people like those, my experience with Yamaha is that of an excessively heavy action with an overly bright tone. I much prefer the warm tone of Kawai because (IMHO) it suits more with most classical music (I'm currently studying Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt, and i mostly play music from classical and romantic period) and, to my perception, Yamaha is more suitable for baroque music, a certain minority of classical music, and perfect for modern/popular music (all of this might be of course subjective, but please don't open a never-ending discussion about it, it's not my intention).
Here, there are nice Roland pianos and some Casio, however none of them are high end, so they're completely out of the question.
The second reason: it's what I can afford.

Besides, my experience with the CA93 has been overwhelmingly positive, but I've got to the point where the action doesn't cut it.
I thought i was doing something wrong, but when I got to play a Yamaha C2X from a store I confirmed it was the action. Unfortunately, the sound was not my cup of tea, and the action heavier than I consider necessary (I've played a Fazioli and an old Sohmer grand piano and they didn't feel that heavy, yet they provided enough weight to have great control).

Where i study, they imported a Kawai SK-2, and i just found its action to be the most perfect I've ever touched. It was really easy to play simply the sound as I imagined; which gives me even more reasons to choose Kawai.

Originally Posted by oivavoi
The NV10 has a better action than the K-500. But the K-500 is nevertheless much more enjoyable to play, because it's a large acoustic which creates a more encompassing and organic playing experience. You simply feel a better connection with the instrument, and it sounds better.

If you're really picky about actions, I would also be a bit skeptical about going for a silent piano, which may impact the ability to play ppp. Most amateur pianists don't notice this, but some do.

I would say that the best solution is to go for a K-500 - or another acoustic of similar quality - AND a VPC-1 with Pianoteq. That would cost roughly the same as the NV10, wouldn't it? The NV10 has a better action than the VPC-1, but the action of the VPC-1 is more than good enough to allow practice and training of technique which is transferrable to real grands and acoustic instruments.

Originally Posted by johnstaf
The NV-10 has a grand action. Rapid-fire repetition is better on a grand, so if that's the criterion on which you judge it, the NV-10 has the better action. It's a fundamental difference in action design.


Thank you for reminding me. I'd like to clarify: I am aware of the essential differences on both actions and the limitations uprights have in comparison to grands, so based on action only, it may seem like the question had an obvious answer. The reason I still asked is because I was worried about the "resposiveness differences" between an acoustic grand and the digital couterpart of the NV10.

Now, I am indeed a perfectionist, and i try to make use of every little detail I can get from the instrument, therefore, those little "nuances" are important to me.

As i mentioned before, I only have room for one piano, so eventually the CA93 will be gone.

And of course, as any serious pianist, i understand the incomparable immersion and connection you get with an acoustic that simply isn't quite there with a digital (although I must admit my CA93 does a pretty convincing jub, but knowing the real thing, i can tell the difference). However, i insist that the action is the most important thing here, since the instrument is meant for daily study and it needs to be as similar as possible to whatever is offered on stage.

So, if you all agree (correct me if I'm wrong): the NV10, while having obvious advantages by having a grand piano action, is it still a better choice over the K-500 (again, based only on action response), even though the NV10 is digital?

Last edited by Pelota; 05/26/19 04:23 PM.
Re: Need advice: Kawai NV10 vs K-500 AURES [Re: Pelota] #2852469
05/26/19 05:33 PM
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Ok, I see that you already know fairly well what you want and what you like! smile
I agree with you concerning the difference between Yamaha and Kawai btw.

I'm not "you all", but after having played these instruments several times, I have no doubt that the NV10 has a better action than the K500. If that's all that matters then indeed, the NV10 will probably be the better choice for you.

In terms of getting "the most action for your buck" within your budget, the other two options could be:

- finding a used grand of reasonable size in your area in good shape which is not too expensive, which could probably be regulated to even better results than the NV10. I recently played one such used 170 Schimmel grand for example, about the same price as the NV10, which far surpassed it in the action department. But probably no space for that, I guess!

- the other option is the "Vienna model 123" upright from Feurich. This piano is supposed to have an action with a speed and control which is comparable to a good grand. There are very few reports about it online, but the reports that have surfaced almost uniformly claim that this piano indeed has a speed and control which is comparable to good grands. Have yet to play it, will try it out later this week. But Thomann doesn't stock it, so it's probably more difficult to get it shipped to Costa Rica... and then again the silent option would make it more expensive, and possibly less responsive in the action.

Anyways, perhaps I'm just confusing you know - you'll probably be very happy with the NV10!

Re: Need advice: Kawai NV10 vs K-500 AURES [Re: Pelota] #2852476
05/26/19 05:46 PM
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I would think it's best to practice on the same type of piano your offered on stage, if playing as good as possible on that is your goal.

I think there are things you can do with the keys on an acoustic that change the sound, you simply can't do on a digital, because the sound is produced mechanically. This is just something im starting to realize since having my first acoustic for some months. On a hybrid the action might be real, but it still triggers recorded samples. These samples don't change if you touch the keys in a different way. (Besides velocity layers, etc)

I always loved the Garritan cfx vst, and still do, and still use it for quiet practice. But since i have an acoustic it just seems way less expressive than i thought it was before. (Although i must admit my controller is a yamaha cp33, which is of course nothing compared to the realism of a kawai NV10 action)

It might seem as if im trying to make digitals look bad. Im not, im actually considering trading in my acoustic in for a hybrid digital for neighbour reasons, but i think these might be good things to realize.

If you play digital piano's on stage, then i think an acoustic won't be more beneficial to practice on.




Re: Need advice: Kawai NV10 vs K-500 AURES [Re: oivavoi] #2852497
05/26/19 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
I would think it's best to practice on the same type of piano your offered on stage, if playing as good as possible on that is your goal.

I think there are things you can do with the keys on an acoustic that change the sound, you simply can't do on a digital, because the sound is produced mechanically. This is just something im starting to realize since having my first acoustic for some months. On a hybrid the action might be real, but it still triggers recorded samples. These samples don't change if you touch the keys in a different way. (Besides velocity layers, etc)

I always loved the Garritan cfx vst, and still do, and still use it for quiet practice. But since i have an acoustic it just seems way less expressive than i thought it was before. (Although i must admit my controller is a yamaha cp33, which is of course nothing compared to the realism of a kawai NV10 action)

It might seem as if im trying to make digitals look bad. Im not, im actually considering trading in my acoustic in for a hybrid digital for neighbour reasons, but i think these might be good things to realize.

If you play digital piano's on stage, then i think an acoustic won't be more beneficial to practice on.

I totally agree with you. I just wanted to point out: the instrument I use on on stage usually isn't my decision because I don't move myy piano around and I usually use whatever there is, unless the instrument is really low end. And since I'm much odf a perfectionist, I just can't bring myself to play on something unless it's decent. Sometimes it's a Yamaha, sometimes Steinway, sometimes Fazioli, and sometimes a digital piano. So when I say "as similar as what's offered on stage" i mean it on a general sense, asuming that it's going to be a grand piano most of the times.

Originally Posted by oivavoi
Ok, I see that you already know fairly well what you want and what you like! smile
I agree with you concerning the difference between Yamaha and Kawai btw.

I'm not "you all", but after having played these instruments several times, I have no doubt that the NV10 has a better action than the K500. If that's all that matters then indeed, the NV10 will probably be the better choice for you.

In terms of getting "the most action for your buck" within your budget, the other two options could be:

- finding a used grand of reasonable size in your area in good shape which is not too expensive, which could probably be regulated to even better results than the NV10. I recently played one such used 170 Schimmel grand for example, about the same price as the NV10, which far surpassed it in the action department. But probably no space for that, I guess!

- the other option is the "Vienna model 123" upright from Feurich. This piano is supposed to have an action with a speed and control which is comparable to a good grand. There are very few reports about it online, but the reports that have surfaced almost uniformly claim that this piano indeed has a speed and control which is comparable to good grands. Have yet to play it, will try it out later this week. But Thomann doesn't stock it, so it's probably more difficult to get it shipped to Costa Rica... and then again the silent option would make it more expensive, and possibly less responsive in the action.

Anyways, perhaps I'm just confusing you know - you'll probably be very happy with the NV10!

Not confusing me at all! Thank you for your input smile
Unfortunately, my ciscumstances are limited in terms of room for the piano, so I don't really have a suitable place for a grand piano. Otherwise, I would've bought the Kawai GL-10 without a doubt.
I don't know much about Feurich pianos and it does indeed sound interesting, so I'll take a look at it.
Also, the "silent piano" option is sounding less and less appealing now that's been mentioned several times how the action is affected.

I'll take a look at Feurich and see if there is a reasonable way to get it here, otherwise I'll get the NV10.

I'll miss the "ivory feel" covers, but I can deal with it as long as the action is better cool

Re: Need advice: Kawai NV10 vs K-500 AURES [Re: Pelota] #2852550
05/26/19 11:34 PM
05/26/19 11:34 PM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 237
Bangkok, Thailand
siros Offline
Full Member
siros  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 237
Bangkok, Thailand
If the OP is at the point that features like key repetition is so important that even a decent upright like K-500 doesn't cut it, would a hybrid really be the right answer?
I can imagine piano teachers recommend only a grand piano in this situation.

Apart from key repetition, I think connection between key action and sound is at least as important, if not more.

I may not be at that level. I just enjoy playing an acoustic, even an upright, more than a digital.
Unless NV10 makes you feel like you're sitting in front of a real grand piano (I doubt it would), it is still a compromise.
So you just have to pick which compromise you would take.

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