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Todays "ODD" experience testing CA78, 98 and CA79 and 99.
#3013148 08/12/20 05:41 PM
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Hello all!
So on my quest to move from the Young Chang Y185 to a digital piano, I settled on Kawai and today went to test all the models I was considering plus the CA99.
All pianos where in the same smaller room area (although no closed doors) instead of the main big open room.
The CA78 and CA99 were on one side next to each other and the CA79 and CA98 where on the opposite wall (probably like 14feet or less from wall to wall).

The "odd" part is that I did NOT like the soundboard sound over the others as I was expecting. First, the CA98 was lacking bass, maybe something is wrong with it because the bass tones were just too thin compared to the others which to me makes no sense but that is how it sounded. I was REALLY thinking the CA98 was going to be THE one for me.
The CA79 for some reason seemed to have a bit less beefiness to the bass vs the CA78 but could have been the room location cause I thought they had the same sound system. Still the overall sound was better than the CA98 for me.

The CA99 had good bass and the tactile part which I like BUT, it has this boxy sound that I just could not deal with. I tried pulling it away from the wall like at least 1 foot, but still comparing side by side to the CA78, the sound was just boxy where the CA78 was just giving me the sound I like with openness, detail (yet nothing harsh) and enough bass to make me happy.
Action wise going from the CA78 to the CA99, it was close but I kind of like the CA99 better which was confusing since the CA79 was feeling a bit too light for my liking.

So, anyone else prefers then non-soundboard versions as I do after today's test? What about the lighter touch of the CA79 vs the 99? They use the same action so I was confused by that.
Anyways, at this point, I am getting the CA78 or CA79 (if I can make sure the action is not as light as I felt there). I guess I can adjust to either but just in case.
Still surprised about the boxy sound from the CA99 and CA98 even after pulling them away from the walls. Guess that configuration just does not fit my preferences after all. smile

What you guys think?


*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)
Re: Todays "ODD" experience testing CA78, 98 and CA79 and 99.
shaolin95 #3013150 08/12/20 05:49 PM
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Did you also take your own headphones and listen to them via your headphones?

I suspect room dynamics had a lot do with the sound you were hearing.

In relation to the action being light I don’t think you can get away from that really. I suspect you would learn to adjust to the action. You can also adjust the touch curve but that doesn’t change the physical weight behind the keys.

So you have to evaluate whether you think you can adjust.

Last edited by KevinM; 08/12/20 05:49 PM.
Re: Todays "ODD" experience testing CA78, 98 and CA79 and 99.
KevinM #3013155 08/12/20 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
Did you also take your own headphones and listen to them via your headphones?

I suspect room dynamics had a lot do with the sound you were hearing.

In relation to the action being light I don’t think you can get away from that really. I suspect you would learn to adjust to the action. You can also adjust the touch curve but that doesn’t change the physical weight behind the keys.

So you have to evaluate whether you think you can adjust.

No, only wanted to test with the actual speakers.
I guess my concern is why did the CA79 feel lighter when it is supposed to be the same as the CA99...
But one thing is for sure, compared to my experience with the Yamaha 675 and 735, I am surely going with Kawai at this point.


*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)
Re: Todays "ODD" experience testing CA78, 98 and CA79 and 99.
shaolin95 #3013171 08/12/20 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by shaolin95
No, only wanted to test with the actual speakers.

Did you do a factory reset before testing? There are some of sound/VT settings that impact the bass or other tonal ranges, such as equalizer, Wall EQ, dynamics, speaker settings, custom curves, etc.

Originally Posted by shaolin95
I guess my concern is why did the CA79 feel lighter when it is supposed to be the same as the CA99...

They do have the same action. It might have been a different touch curve on one (going back to factory reset), or possibly per-unit variation in assembly. I don't think there have been reports of one model being lighter than the other as a rule.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Todays "ODD" experience testing CA78, 98 and CA79 and 99.
shaolin95 #3013205 08/12/20 08:04 PM
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I agree with Gombessa completely. Now that you've been able to narrow your search to those 4, come back more prepared to compare all of them at the same settings. Have fun!

Re: Todays "ODD" experience testing CA78, 98 and CA79 and 99.
shaolin95 #3013212 08/12/20 08:20 PM
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Hello shaolin95,

The majority of customers who play-test the CA7x and CA9x typically prefer the soundboard models. However, not everyone has the same pair of ears. If you preferred the sound of the CA7x, you can purchase the less expensive instrument with confidence and spend the money saved on something else.

The keyboard action of the CA79 and CA99 is identical, and should therefore feel the same.

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: Todays "ODD" experience testing CA78, 98 and CA79 and 99.
Kawai James #3013221 08/12/20 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Hello shaolin95,

The majority of customers who play-test the CA7x and CA9x typically prefer the soundboard models. However, not everyone has the same pair of ears. If you preferred the sound of the CA7x, you can purchase the less expensive instrument with confidence and spend the money saved on something else.

The keyboard action of the CA79 and CA99 is identical, and should therefore feel the same.

Kind regards,
James
x
Then I won't worry about the floor CA79 touch since I did like the CA99 touch as it felt really good (as did the CA78). Yeah for my ears, at least in that room, no soundboard is my choice for sure. I did notice the Grand says something like Rendering on the CA79 and CA99 and I don't think I read that on the CA78..is that some new feature/enhancement?
Thanks!

Last edited by shaolin95; 08/12/20 08:43 PM.

*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)
Re: Todays "ODD" experience testing CA78, 98 and CA79 and 99.
shaolin95 #3013228 08/12/20 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by shaolin95
I did notice the Grand says something like Rendering on the CA79 and CA99 and I don't think I read that on the CA78..is that some new feature/enhancement?

The CA98/CA78 and CA99/CA79 both feature two sound engines: SK-EX Rendering and Harmonic Imaging XL. On the CA98/CA78, SK-EX Rendering is only available on the "Pianist" mode screen, while Harmonic Imaging XL is only available on the "Sound" mode screen. On the CA99/CA79, it's possible to access either sound engine from the "Piano" screen. Moreover, the SK-EX Rendering sound engine has been improved overall on the CA99/CA79.

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: Todays "ODD" experience testing CA78, 98 and CA79 and 99.
Kawai James #3013231 08/12/20 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by shaolin95
I did notice the Grand says something like Rendering on the CA79 and CA99 and I don't think I read that on the CA78..is that some new feature/enhancement?

The CA98/CA78 and CA99/CA79 both feature two sound engines: SK-EX Rendering and Harmonic Imaging XL. On the CA98/CA78, SK-EX Rendering is only available on the "Pianist" mode screen, while Harmonic Imaging XL is only available on the "Sound" mode screen. On the CA99/CA79, it's possible to access either sound engine from the "Piano" screen. Moreover, the SK-EX Rendering sound engine has been improved over all on the CA99/CA79.

Kind regards,
James
x
Thanks a lot for the information!


*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)
Re: Todays "ODD" experience testing CA78, 98 and CA79 and 99.
shaolin95 #3013278 08/13/20 01:34 AM
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I cannot speak for the CA78 or CA98 but I also didn't like the CA99 sound, despite the soundboard! To clarify further, it probably sounded better to me than the CA79 but not enough to justify the cost and also potential moving cost hehe. With headphones, there was no difference between the CA79 and CA99 for me. The K-300 AURES was, of course, far superior in digital mode but the soundboard is 2 or 3 times the size as is the cost v the CA99 haha.

So much of this piano buying business is subjective, it all depends on your use case. I honestly don't think you could make a "wrong" decision with any of the pianos you have suggested, they are all top of the line.


Kawai K-300 Aures
Re: Todays "ODD" experience testing CA78, 98 and CA79 and 99.
shaolin95 #3013311 08/13/20 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by shaolin95
What you guys think?

Diffusion of the sound and speakers system is the major limitation of all digital pianos in this price range.
Did you consider to play your DP only with headphones?
I do only play with headphones for 3 years now, alternating between the sound of my old Roland and some VSTi.
This gives me clearly the best sonic experience in comparison with the speakers of my DP.

If I had to change now, I'd go for the cheapest model that has the best keyboard, for example the Kawai CA79

Re: Todays "ODD" experience testing CA78, 98 and CA79 and 99.
polarcharm #3013375 08/13/20 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by polarcharm
I cannot speak for the CA78 or CA98 but I also didn't like the CA99 sound, despite the soundboard! To clarify further, it probably sounded better to me than the CA79 but not enough to justify the cost and also potential moving cost hehe. With headphones, there was no difference between the CA79 and CA99 for me. The K-300 AURES was, of course, far superior in digital mode but the soundboard is 2 or 3 times the size as is the cost v the CA99 haha.

So much of this piano buying business is subjective, it all depends on your use case. I honestly don't think you could make a "wrong" decision with any of the pianos you have suggested, they are all top of the line.
I agree that it is hard to go wrong but at least based on yesterday, CA78 or CA79 it is for me. I am going to go again and make sure to reset all pianos before testing just in case but would be a great concidense that both of the soundboard ones had some setting causing it to sound boxy to my ears. smile


*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)
Re: Todays "ODD" experience testing CA78, 98 and CA79 and 99.
stamkorg #3013376 08/13/20 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by stamkorg
Originally Posted by shaolin95
What you guys think?

Diffusion of the sound and speakers system is the major limitation of all digital pianos in this price range.
Did you consider to play your DP only with headphones?
I do only play with headphones for 3 years now, alternating between the sound of my old Roland and some VSTi.
This gives me clearly the best sonic experience in comparison with the speakers of my DP.

If I had to change now, I'd go for the cheapest model that has the best keyboard, for example the Kawai CA79

I liked the sound of the CA78 and CA79 so my issue was with the soundboard models. Headphones will be used ONLY when too late for me to play without them or other speficic times. I am indeed leaning towards the 79 or 78. Soundboard is not for me smile


*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)
Re: Todays "ODD" experience testing CA78, 98 and CA79 and 99.
shaolin95 #3013406 08/13/20 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by shaolin95
Originally Posted by KevinM
Did you also take your own headphones and listen to them via your headphones?

I suspect room dynamics had a lot do with the sound you were hearing.

In relation to the action being light I don’t think you can get away from that really. I suspect you would learn to adjust to the action. You can also adjust the touch curve but that doesn’t change the physical weight behind the keys.

So you have to evaluate whether you think you can adjust.

No, only wanted to test with the actual speakers.
I guess my concern is why did the CA79 feel lighter when it is supposed to be the same as the CA99...
But one thing is for sure, compared to my experience with the Yamaha 675 and 735, I am surely going with Kawai at this point.

Part of the reason I brought up headphones was because they can be helpful at diagnosing sound problems. If the 79 and 99 sound the same with headphones you know for sure that all relevant sound generation settings are the same so you can quickly determine if you are testing like for like when listening to the sound from the speakers/speakers+soundboard.


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