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Kawai NV5 #2912117 11/14/19 08:57 PM
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pppianomarc Offline OP
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On Monday I received my Kawai NV5. I ordered it right away in early August when the announcement was made. Unseen and without trying it, yet it promised to be almost exactly what I was looking for. Now it stands in front of me I am absolutely happy with it!

About me:

I started learning piano just two years ago. My previous piano is a Kawai CN37, and once per week I get to play on my teachers acoustic Yamaha upright. The motivation to upgrade my piano was to make it look and feel more like an acoustic one.

Unfortunately I can't own a real acoustic right now, and getting one with a mediocre silent system feels like a downgrade to me. So, about one year ago, I decided to get the best in digital now, and complement it with a good acoustic later when time comes. However I couldn't decide which model is best for me. On my final list were Kawai CS11, CS98, NV10, and Yamaha N1X. But each of them had disadvantages, too, or wasn't enough of an upgrade. So I kept waiting for a new model, or for my living situation to change.

Why I chose the NV5:

When the NV5 was announced, it checked all the boxes. In particular it tops the other candidates because of the real piano action, the soundboard, the size, the polished finish, and it comes with the same two voices that I use on my old CN37.

I also set my expectations about the weak points and unknowns. I didn't mind the upright action, although some consider it inferior to a grand action. Around here most pianos are uprights, and I was looking for realism, so there. I also knew the touchscreen is quirky, but most alternatives have usability issues too. I didn't expect any serious audio quality problems, because the CA98 uses similar technology (and there were lessons learned with the NV10). The same goes for the hammer attachment which is said to be slightly different in the NV5.

My only remaining worries were if there was a lot of mechanical noise from the action, and whether or not I would like the touch.

My first impressions:

It turns out I like the touch, at least as far as I can tell from the short time I had with it so far. It is a bit heavier than expected. I enjoy how I can feel what is going on inside, and I instantly got better control over dynamics compared to my CN37. On the other hand, the upright action is less forgiving to my lazy RH 4 that sometimes doesn't lift all the way up. The NV5 will help me improve my technique a lot.

Of course the mechanism is noisier than the CN37, but still surprisingly quiet.

Anticipating other questions that you might have: The white keys are glossy, the black keys matte. The touchscreen backlight does not turn off. The damper pedal is quite heavy, heavier than the other two pedals. The key-off velocity is not being measured (one of the few things my CN37 did better). The KAWAI logo is on the inside of the keyboard cover, right under the music stand, and is only visible when the music stand is stowed.

Ask me anything.

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Re: Kawai NV5 [Re: pppianomarc] #2912121 11/14/19 09:05 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online Content
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Welcome to PW and congrats on your NV5. Glad to see you are happy with it.

Question, you listed the N1X, but not the NU1X, which is the closest Yamaha competitor to the NV5, as unlike the N1X, the NU1X has an upright action. Why did you not consider the NU1X?

BTW, seems like you have started the official NV5 thread. JoBert's NV10 thread has over 3700 posts. I wonder how many this one will get smile


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Kawai NV5 [Re: pppianomarc] #2912123 11/14/19 09:13 PM
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robinlb Online Content
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Wow, congratulation!
How fast you got it!
I'm concerned about its cabinet resonance comparing with CA98, and I think it's better even though the built in audio is almost the same.


CA98~~RME ADI2 DAC
VSL CFX&D274&Bluthner1895, Ivory2 ACD, Galaxy VintageD&StD, Bechstein DG, Embertone 1955Walker
Re: Kawai NV5 [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2912127 11/14/19 09:28 PM
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pppianomarc Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Why did you not consider the NU1X?


I considered it once, but then discarded it. Mostly because of the loud note issue, which at the time did not have any fix (except maybe a hacky MIDI filter). I also tried an NU1 in the past and it didn't make me want to buy it. There is probably a subjective and emotional aspect to this decision, too.

Re: Kawai NV5 [Re: pppianomarc] #2912131 11/14/19 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by pppianomarc
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Why did you not consider the NU1X?
I considered it once, but then discarded it. Mostly because of the loud note issue, which at the time did not have any fix (except maybe a hacky MIDI filter). I also tried an NU1 in the past and it didn't make me want to buy it. There is probably a subjective and emotional aspect to this decision, too.

Aha. And I suppose the emotional aspect made you not consider the NU1X even after there was a loud note fix.

What did you feel the major disadvantages of the N1X were, as compared to the NV5?


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Kawai NV5 [Re: pppianomarc] #2912132 11/14/19 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Why did you not consider the NU1X?


Originally Posted by pppianomarc

Why I chose the NV5:

When the NV5 was announced, it checked all the boxes. In particular it tops the other candidates because of the real piano action, the soundboard, the size, the polished finish, and it comes with the same two voices that I use on my old CN37.


I think those are the answers. Soundboard speaker and Kawai sound source, these are two things NU1x does not have.


CA98~~RME ADI2 DAC
VSL CFX&D274&Bluthner1895, Ivory2 ACD, Galaxy VintageD&StD, Bechstein DG, Embertone 1955Walker
Re: Kawai NV5 [Re: pppianomarc] #2912140 11/14/19 10:25 PM
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Congrats on your new DP. The NV5 looks great.


Yamaha NU1X, Sennheiser HD 599 headphones, dabling with PianoTeq
Formerly known as oneilt130
Re: Kawai NV5 [Re: pppianomarc] #2912141 11/14/19 10:28 PM
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How does it sound -- does the soundboard help?

Re: Kawai NV5 [Re: pppianomarc] #2912164 11/15/19 12:00 AM
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Gombessa Offline
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Congrats!

Here's my question:

Can you post some pics and videos? smile


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Kawai NV5 [Re: pppianomarc] #2912175 11/15/19 12:49 AM
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pppianomarc, congrats on your new piano!

Also, as the saying goes, "pics, or it didn't happen". wink

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Kawai NV5 [Re: pppianomarc] #2912194 11/15/19 02:25 AM
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Congratulations to your new piano pppianomarc!

it seems like a great choice and the looks are stellar.


"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein
Re: Kawai NV5 [Re: pppianomarc] #2912212 11/15/19 04:19 AM
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I scrolled, and I scrolled, and I scrolled, and I reached the end of the thread and ... no pics! shocked

wink (joking)

Congratulations! I wish you a lot of enjoyment with it!

But still, pics would be great!

Re: Kawai NV5 [Re: JoBert] #2912292 11/15/19 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by JoBert
I scrolled, and I scrolled, and I scrolled, and I reached the end of the thread and ... no pics! shocked

wink (joking)

Congratulations! I wish you a lot of enjoyment with it!

But still, pics would be great!


I agree! If this is to be the official thread of the NV5 for years and years to come, it will not do for new shoppers to see any entire first page of the thread without a single pic! 😉

BTW, to insert pictures, upload your pics over here, then follow these instructions.

You can insert the resulting pic URL ending in ".jpg", ".png", ".gif" or other standard graphics file extension, between a matching pair of IMG tags like so:

[img]http://someurlofyourNV5lookinggreat.jpg[/img]

And because we can't have the official NV5 thread be pic-less forever, here one of the original marketing communication shots by Kawai from their announcement:

[Linked Image]

Now show us yours, pppianomarc! 😀


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Kawai NV5 [Re: navindra] #2912294 11/15/19 07:31 AM
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pppianomarc Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
What did you feel the major disadvantages of the N1X were, as compared to the NV5?


The N1X was a strong contender. The disadvantages that I perceived were its depth (it wouldn't fit into the same place as my old one), its user interface, and the voices (in the past I chose my CN37 over a CLP635/645 because of the voices). When it was announced, it first struck me in a similar way as the NV5, but I didn't feel confident enough about it to buy it unseen. Until today I didn't have the opportunity to actually try it. Who knows, maybe it would have convinced me?


Originally Posted by navindra
How does it sound -- does the soundboard help?


It sounds great! The Pianist Classic voice is very pleasing, and it also comes with my other two favourite voices.

The soundboard makes the piano more inmersive, you get to feel it vibrate with the lower notes. Of course there isn't that tactile feedback of an acoustic where the key vibrates while it damps the string, but still. It also looks good, like a real piano rather than IKEA furniture, at least on that day you move it.



Originally Posted by Gombessa
Can you post some pics and videos? smile


Here is a picture: Kawai NV5

[Linked Image]


Last edited by pppianomarc; 11/15/19 07:33 AM. Reason: inline picture
Re: Kawai NV5 [Re: pppianomarc] #2912298 11/15/19 07:39 AM
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JoBert Offline
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Very nice!

And you know: If this were the acoustic piano forum, one of the next comments would be warning you about putting the piano right next to a radiator, and to never ever switch on this radiator ever again (or the world will explode!). No such concerns for you! smile

Re: Kawai NV5 [Re: pppianomarc] #2912300 11/15/19 07:53 AM
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robinlb Online Content
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Very Nice, maybe more pics would be better.
Btw, leaves the back plate away from the wall at least 20cm will be good effect for soundboard speaker.


CA98~~RME ADI2 DAC
VSL CFX&D274&Bluthner1895, Ivory2 ACD, Galaxy VintageD&StD, Bechstein DG, Embertone 1955Walker
Re: Kawai NV5 [Re: pppianomarc] #2912302 11/15/19 07:58 AM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online Content
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Originally Posted by JoBert
And you know: If this were the acoustic piano forum, one of the next comments would be warning you about putting the piano right next to a radiator, and to never ever switch on this radiator ever again (or the world will explode!).

What? You mean I didn't necessarily need to move my N1X from in front of the radiator? (I had the interior designer rush my interior re-design project just to get the piano away from the radiator before they were activated for the winter, and she made it by 3 days!)

I think radiators are still not great for electronics, especially if they get very hot.

pppianomarc, you might check if the area of the touch panel is getting very warm.

Originally Posted by pppianomarc
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
What did you feel the major disadvantages of the N1X were, as compared to the NV5?
The N1X was a strong contender. The disadvantages that I perceived were its depth (it wouldn't fit into the same place as my old one), its user interface, and the voices (in the past I chose my CN37 over a CLP635/645 because of the voices). When it was announced, it first struck me in a similar way as the NV5, but I didn't feel confident enough about it to buy it unseen. Until today I didn't have the opportunity to actually try it. Who knows, maybe it would have convinced me

Understandable. But if you mostly play piano without headphones, I'm guessing that even if you had tried it, you would have been blown away by the immersive quality of the NV5 soundboard and chosen it instead.

Originally Posted by pppianomarc
Here is a picture: Kawai NV5

[Linked Image]

Looks great! Fit's perfectly in that spot. But what about the window? Doesn't that angle cause glare off the white keys?

And what is that little painting of the harvest field, to the right?


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Kawai NV5 [Re: pppianomarc] #2912321 11/15/19 09:08 AM
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Well, the radiator makes for wider (and extreme) humidity and temperature swings, which is bad for 1) tuning stability, and 2) wooden parts. You don't have to worry about 1, but for 2, the soundboard could strain, dry out or crack prematurely, the action parts might swell or shrink and affect affecting the touch and regulation, and the chassis may also start shifting, which could lead to creaks or affect the smoothness of the finish.

None of these have as much impact on a DP of course, bit imo it makes sense to not invite abuse (but those acoustic guys can be insanely over the top with their daily humidity measurements and what not).



Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Kawai NV5 [Re: pppianomarc] #2912331 11/15/19 09:56 AM
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Jitin Online Content
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how much is the nv5? and how does servicing it work, what type of technicians would service it?

i assume even though it has regular action, it would not be acoustic piano technicians

Last edited by Jitin; 11/15/19 09:57 AM.

Yamaha P155, Yamaha P515
Re: Kawai NV5 [Re: Jitin] #2912332 11/15/19 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Jitin
how much is the nv5?

The list price in Japan on introduction is given here.

pppianomarc, can you update the prices paid thread with what you paid for your new baby to help those that come after?

Originally Posted by Jitin
and how does servicing it work, what type of technicians would service it?

i assume even though it has regular action, it would not be acoustic piano technicians

TomLC is getting a full keyboard action regulation on his Kawai NV10 from a technician associated with his Kawai service center. I'd assumed this is an acoustic piano technician who has been trained on their hybrids, but TomLC might come and clarify this.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
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