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KAWAI CA28 CA30 and CA33, what are they? #2947010 02/15/20 12:55 AM
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Eugene911 Offline OP
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First of all, English is not my mother tongue, so please excuse me if there’s anything that I couldn’t describe properly. And then I would like to thank this wonderful forum, I’ve learnt a lot, especially before I bought my beloved CN29 not long ago.

Now the real question. Has anyone ever heard of these models? I know for a fact that these are available in the mainland China market, and based on the features, the going price for them seem to be very reasonable.

I would put together all the info I’ve gathered and hopefully someone would chime in and share their thoughts on these.

To make it clear, I’m definitely not trolling, the whole purpose of me posting this is because I’m currently residing in Ontario Canada where I keep my CN29. But I do have another home in China that I go back on a regular basis, and I would like to have a DP available there for me to play as well. The CA28 and CA33 are two strong contenders if I were to buy a DP back in China, especially the CA33. I would really hope to get some help in identifying these models, to confirm where they were made, what QC standards they follow. since quality and durability would be my main concerns when the price is reasonable, or is it? (Please read the urban myth part at the very bottom just so you understand my concerns)

Now onto the meaty part:

Apparently, these are market-specific models, some of the features sound ridiculous at their price point. E.g. sound board speakers with wooden keys at the price of USD 1,714. Note, all the price that I quote are ongoing internet price, not MSRP. And these prices tend to go even lower with various promos.

CA28, based on the marketing language in Mandarin, is almost identical to CA48 in our market here in North America.
Action: Grand Feel Standard wooden keys with let off
Tone: PHI with SK-EX, SK-5, EX sampling etc. 19 in total, exactly the same as CA48
Polyphony: 192
Other: virtue technician, Bluetooth midi, 40w 4 speakers(2 at the bottom+2 tweeters on top)
Weight: 57kg
Price: CNY9999 (USD1=CNY7), so USD1428. Bear in mind, there’s no GST/HST/VAT in Chinese consumer market, price you see is price you pay
http://www.kawaipiano.cn/goods/dp_ca/ca28.html

CA30, a true market-specific model exclusively made for the mainland China market, not even available in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Action: RM3 Grand II
Tone: PHI WITHOUT SK-EX (I figure it’s the old set of sampling only features Ex concert grand) total 21, in which 13 are traditional Chinese musical instrument sounds, think of Chinese Zither and similar stuff. 4 piano tones and 4 other(organ string harps chord? maybe)
Polyphony: 192
Other: sound board speaker! 18w*2(regular?) 10w*1(soundboard?). NO virtue technician, NO Bluetooth midi, NO USB to host
Weight: 72kg
Price: CNY11999=USD1714
http://www.kawaipiano.cn/goods/dp_ca/ca30.html

CA33. This is the one that really grabbed my attention.
Action: Grand feel standard
Tone: same as CA28, 19 in total
Polyphony: 192
Other: it has it all! Sound board speaker, Bluetooth midi, virtue technician, pretty much all standard features on CA48 plus the sound board
Weight: 72kg
Price: CNY12549=USD1793
http://www.kawaipiano.cn/goods/dp_ca/ca33.html

Words on street: the sound board on both CA30 and 33 are from CA93, so pretty old. All the 3 models are specifically made for Chinese market, QC standard can be a hit or miss, although they were manufactured in the same facility in Indonesia as all other Kawai DPs. Or are they? Cause I know Kawai has their manufacturing facility in China as well.

Urban myth: Japanese main stream brands, no matter which industry, tend to reserve their best products/technologies for JDM(Japanese domestic market), and the next best thing would go to Europe and North America, whereas the rest of the world is receiving some maybe out-of-date, or not-made-with-care products.
I personally experienced these different standards in the cars that I’ve owned. HONDA Accord, probably one of the best selling sedans in the car industry, has so many various models. But the JDM models are, without a doubt, the best of all. I’m not talking about different model year or trim level. the same 2006, highest trim accord that I’ve had in China (2008), New Zealand(Japan import)(2012) and Canada/US were so different. In a way, that’s almost a shame for HONDA to sell such “low-standard” products in China while they were more than capable to come up with cars that were way more advanced. Try googling Honda inspire avanzare, and you’ll know exactly what I was talking about. That was the car I’ve owned in New Zealand, where they could import used Japanese cars. When I bought that 2006 accord, or inspire I should say, i was so amazed. Bear in mind this was a 2006 model. It had radar-based cruise control (automatically maintain distance), lane-departure warning and auto correction, automatic braking when approaching too fast or too close to an object in front, automatic cylinder shut off during highway cruise (3 out of the 6 cylinders will be shut off to save gas). The 2006 accord I’ve bought in China, on the other hand, had none of the above feature, I mean none, not even traction control, At lease the US models had that.

Well, if you’ve read through my entire post, thank you so much for spending the time, and any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you. smile

Btw, on a side note, I bought my CN29 for CAD2100, which is USD1579, whereas they sell those in China for CNY7500=USD1071 cry

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Re: KAWAI CA28 CA30 and CA33, what are they? [Re: Eugene911] #2947037 02/15/20 03:03 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
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CyberGene Online Content
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If you just keep these pianos in an isolated room for two weeks they will restore their initial price.

Last edited by CyberGene; 02/15/20 03:03 AM.

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Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: KAWAI CA28 CA30 and CA33, what are they? [Re: Eugene911] #2947780 02/16/20 07:57 PM
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Kawai James Offline
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Hello Eugene911,

I believe your assessment of these "China-only" models is quite accurate, however there are a few points I would like to address:

Regarding the "base" models of these instruments:

- CA28 is the China-only version of the CA48.
- CA30 is the China-only version of the CA15 with a soundboard speaker and alternative sounds.
- CA33 is a China only model and is essentially a CA28 (CA48) with a soundboard speaker.

All three models are produced in China.

Please note that the soundboard speaker used by the CA30/CA33 is smaller than that found found on the CA9x instruments. I believe this soundboard was originally developed for the America-only CA61, so is also quite a few generations older that the latest TwinDrive soundboard used by the CA98/CA99 and NV5.

Originally Posted by Eugene911
Urban myth: Japanese main stream brands, no matter which industry, tend to reserve their best products/technologies for JDM(Japanese domestic market), and the next best thing would go to Europe and North America, whereas the rest of the world is receiving some maybe out-of-date, or not-made-with-care products.


I'm afraid I do not have much experience in the Japanese automotive industry, however this is not true for digital pianos. In regards to the instruments listed above, the CA48 for Japan and CA28 for China are both produced in the same factory. The CA48 for all other markets is produced in Indonesia.

Kind regards,
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 CA28 CA30 and CA33, what are they? [Re: CyberGene] #2947781 02/16/20 07:58 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
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Kawai James Offline
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
If you just keep these pianos in an isolated room for two weeks they will restore their initial price.


I don't understand your point.


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 CA28 CA30 and CA33, what are they? [Re: Kawai James] #2947839 02/17/20 12:03 AM
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Eugene911 Offline OP
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Hi James

Thank you so much for your detailed clarification. I was expecting you to chime in with your inside knowledge, and I appreciate your input greatly.

What would be your opinion regarding the older generation soundboard? With it, Would the ca33 sound better than the CA28? Or that’s mostly for show? If it does sound better, which I would assume it does, would you think it’s worth the extra $400?

For now I would pick either the CA28 or the ca33, and I would make the purchase the next time I go back (hopefully the outbreak thing will be over soon). I wouldn’t mind spending $400 for the sound board as long as the improvement is worth it.

Again, thank you so much, James!

Have a great day

Originally Posted by Kawai James
Hello Eugene911,

I believe your assessment of these "China-only" models is quite accurate, however there are a few points I would like to address:

Regarding the "base" models of these instruments:

- CA28 is the China-only version of the CA48.
- CA30 is the China-only version of the CA15 with a soundboard speaker and alternative sounds.
- CA33 is a China only model and is essentially a CA28 (CA48) with a soundboard speaker.

All three models are produced in China.

Please note that the soundboard speaker used by the CA30/CA33 is smaller than that found found on the CA9x instruments. I believe this soundboard was originally developed for the America-only CA61, so is also quite a few generations older that the latest TwinDrive soundboard used by the CA98/CA99 and NV5.

Originally Posted by Eugene911
Urban myth: Japanese main stream brands, no matter which industry, tend to reserve their best products/technologies for JDM(Japanese domestic market), and the next best thing would go to Europe and North America, whereas the rest of the world is receiving some maybe out-of-date, or not-made-with-care products.


I'm afraid I do not have much experience in the Japanese automotive industry, however this is not true for digital pianos. In regards to the instruments listed above, the CA48 for Japan and CA28 for China are both produced in the same factory. The CA48 for all other markets is produced in Indonesia.

Kind regards,
James
x

Originally Posted by Kawai James
Hello Eugene911,

I believe your assessment of these "China-only" models is quite accurate, however there are a few points I would like to address:

Regarding the "base" models of these instruments:

- CA28 is the China-only version of the CA48.
- CA30 is the China-only version of the CA15 with a soundboard speaker and alternative sounds.
- CA33 is a China only model and is essentially a CA28 (CA48) with a soundboard speaker.

All three models are produced in China.

Please note that the soundboard speaker used by the CA30/CA33 is smaller than that found found on the CA9x instruments. I believe this soundboard was originally developed for the America-only CA61, so is also quite a few generations older that the latest TwinDrive soundboard used by the CA98/CA99 and NV5.

Originally Posted by Eugene911
Urban myth: Japanese main stream brands, no matter which industry, tend to reserve their best products/technologies for JDM(Japanese domestic market), and the next best thing would go to Europe and North America, whereas the rest of the world is receiving some maybe out-of-date, or not-made-with-care products.


I'm afraid I do not have much experience in the Japanese automotive industry, however this is not true for digital pianos. In regards to the instruments listed above, the CA48 for Japan and CA28 for China are both produced in the same factory. The CA48 for all other markets is produced in Indonesia.

Kind regards,
James
x

Re: KAWAI CA28 CA30 and CA33, what are they? [Re: Kawai James] #2947847 02/17/20 12:59 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,886
CyberGene Online Content
4000 Post Club Member
Online Content
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,886
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by CyberGene
If you just keep these pianos in an isolated room for two weeks they will restore their initial price.


I don't understand your point.

Well, bad attempt at Coronavirus humor...


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: KAWAI CA28 CA30 and CA33, what are they? [Re: Eugene911] #2947849 02/17/20 01:18 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,029
Kawai James Offline
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Posts: 16,029
Hello Eugene911,

Originally Posted by Eugene911
What would be your opinion regarding the older generation soundboard? With it, Would the ca33 sound better than the CA28? Or that’s mostly for show? If it does sound better, which I would assume it does, would you think it’s worth the extra $400?


I haven't actually heard the CA33 in person, however I assume that the soundboard speaker does improve the sound over the CA28 - it's certainly not simply "for show".

Kind regards,
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 CA28 CA30 and CA33, what are they? [Re: Eugene911] #2947854 02/17/20 02:07 AM
Joined: Jan 2016
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newer player Offline
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Originally Posted by Eugene911
Urban myth: Japanese main stream brands, no matter which industry, tend to reserve their best products/technologies for JDM(Japanese domestic market), and the next best thing would go to Europe and North America, whereas the rest of the world is receiving some maybe out-of-date, or not-made-with-care products.
I think the export policy of Japanese companies is a bit more subtle but after living there for some time, I saw the logic.

IME, Japanese companies are exporting top-tier products globally. For sure, Japanese are marketing luxury goods to large, wealthy countries. And they are marketing popular goods to smaller, less wealthy countries.

Japan is a very wealthy country with some unique tastes, so some products just are not easily exported in volume.

- Where else could one market $1,000 rice cookers? Or 2kg bags of "new" rice in normal supermarkets for $50+?

- US people like pickups and SUVs, so there is not a market for those ultra luxury Toyota Alphard vans IMHO. Those diplomatic cars look like they are from the 70s and are only made RHD.

- Japanese luxury clothes might not fit the sizes and tastes of tall Nordics.

- Nobody outside of Japan, as a general matter, will be buying a $10,000 Accuphase T1200 FM tuner (there is a guy in Newer England with one but that is the exception).

- Most of us don't need ultra-precise pens, pencils and erasers but the Hanzi characters are complex so better writing instruments are helpful in a few countries, particularly in Asia and the Arab world.

Finally, following the war, the Japanese saw breakneck growth with rebuilding infrastructure and excellent export trade policy. The Plaza Accord in the 1980s put the brakes on that party, so the banks and exporters have been somewhat less ambitious since. It is also difficult to compete globally with countries that ignore basic slavery, environmental, and intellectual property standards.

Re: KAWAI CA28 CA30 and CA33, what are they? [Re: Kawai James] #2948562 02/18/20 01:12 PM
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Eugene911 Offline OP
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Hi James

Thanks again. I guess I may ahead with the 33, then. I would personally think a CA48 with soundboard for USD1800 a good deal, unless the QC is significantly subpar, which you said it shouldn’t be.

Re: KAWAI CA28 CA30 and CA33, what are they? [Re: newer player] #2948565 02/18/20 01:18 PM
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Eugene911 Offline OP
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A lot of valid points here. Thanks for your local insight. I find the $1000 rice cooker odd, who would have spent that much on a rice cooker is beyond me. But I’d say the Toyota Alphard very lovable, much better than the soccer mom’s van in North America.

And just wow! $10k FM TUNER?! You made me speechless.

Originally Posted by newer player
Originally Posted by Eugene911
Urban myth: Japanese main stream brands, no matter which industry, tend to reserve their best products/technologies for JDM(Japanese domestic market), and the next best thing would go to Europe and North America, whereas the rest of the world is receiving some maybe out-of-date, or not-made-with-care products.
I think the export policy of Japanese companies is a bit more subtle but after living there for some time, I saw the logic.

IME, Japanese companies are exporting top-tier products globally. For sure, Japanese are marketing luxury goods to large, wealthy countries. And they are marketing popular goods to smaller, less wealthy countries.

Japan is a very wealthy country with some unique tastes, so some products just are not easily exported in volume.

- Where else could one market $1,000 rice cookers? Or 2kg bags of "new" rice in normal supermarkets for $50+?

- US people like pickups and SUVs, so there is not a market for those ultra luxury Toyota Alphard vans IMHO. Those diplomatic cars look like they are from the 70s and are only made RHD.

- Japanese luxury clothes might not fit the sizes and tastes of tall Nordics.

- Nobody outside of Japan, as a general matter, will be buying a $10,000 Accuphase T1200 FM tuner (there is a guy in Newer England with one but that is the exception).

- Most of us don't need ultra-precise pens, pencils and erasers but the Hanzi characters are complex so better writing instruments are helpful in a few countries, particularly in Asia and the Arab world.

Finally, following the war, the Japanese saw breakneck growth with rebuilding infrastructure and excellent export trade policy. The Plaza Accord in the 1980s put the brakes on that party, so the banks and exporters have been somewhat less ambitious since. It is also difficult to compete globally with countries that ignore basic slavery, environmental, and intellectual property standards.


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