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NV 10 vs NV 5 vs NU1X
#3013236 08/12/20 09:20 PM
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Hello Everyone...

I am sorry for the long post...

I need your help please.

I want to buy a digital piano with the best action keys I can get. I am choosing between the NV 10, NV 5, and NU1X.

INTRODUCTION:

- I live in Kuwait, the options here are very limited. None of the pianos I am considering is on display. I tried every piano available on display in Kuwait to try to judge and make a decision.

- We have very strict travel restrictions, and it is totally unknown when I may be traveling to a city where I can try the models in mind. Either I want 6-12 months, or I buy based on the information I have.

- I talked to the dealers in Kuwait, and they have no intention to bring these models anytime soon.

- I will buy it from a store in Europe and have it shipped to Kuwait. That’s why I am sticking to a digital piano.

- I am fond of Pianoteq, and I intend to connect the DP to my mac via USB, then the line out of my audio interface to the DP’s line it. I don’t think I will use the DP’s internal sounds, unless I liked them more than Pianoteq’s Steinway Model D and the Steingraeber. smile


PIANOS THAT I TRIED:

- I tried the K200 and K300, and I liked the feel and the touch. It felt solid, and I enjoyed the time I spent on it.

- I tried the Kawai CS7 (Grand Feel) and the Casio GP500 (Bechstein action) and both felt too soft and closer and not as solid build like the K200.

Forgive my poor ability to describe this: The CS7 action key felt like it has a low and single resistance until it is pressed all the way down. Unlike the K200 and a typical acoustic action, that has a certain resistance until the mid-way, and then another resistance until the end of the travel distance. I like this feeling, and I didn’t find it in the CS7’s Grand Feel action. Is there a proper term to describe this mid-way clickiness or resistance?

- I tried Yamaha 645, 665, 685, and 695... They all felt terrible. As if the key travel distance was too short, there was a awkward clicky feeling when they are fully pressed. They felt far from a real acoustic piano action. Most importantly, I did not enjoy the time I spent playing them. I don’t think I would be happy playing these pianos.

- I tried the Yamaha U1 and JU109, and they felt OK, but not nearly as good as the K200. I tried the Yamaha C7X, and it felt really good.

PIANOS THAT I AM CONSIDERING:


NV 10:
- It has the Milennium III action that I am fond of (but the grand version), so I assume I will like it.
- I like it’s look, sound system, connectivity.
- I like it’s form factor. I can have my computer’s monitor above the piano at a decent viewing angle. It is easier to move when detached from the leg base.
- While I can afford it, I still believe it is very expensive.
- I don’t know how it’s action will compare to the K200/K300. If it is the same but a very little bit lighter/less resistance, that would be a dream come true.

NV 5:
- It has most of the benefits of the NV10 except the form factor.
- Do you think the action is identical to the K200/K300?
- Is it right to think of it as something that has 95% of the values of the NV 10, but for 60% of the price?
- If yes, I will be happy to save some cash, and I can live with the form factor of a typical upright.
- If the action of the NV 10 is superior to that of the NV 5, I will make the investment in the NV 10.
- Can you help me understand the difference between the actions? Since I am totally unable to try them out?


NU1X:

- While I was not happy with any digital piano from Yamaha, I am wondering if the NU1X’s real upright action would feel good.
- The only benefit of the NU1X is that it is 75% of the price of the NV 5.
- Saving money is not my priority, the best action is my priority. But if the NU1X and NV 5 are similar in the action quality, I am happy to save money.


Aures:

- Since I liked the K300, it maybe normal to go for the K300 Aures. But since I will ship it from Europe, it will cost a fortune, and it will not be covered by warranty, and I will have difficulty tuning and maintaining it on my own.
- Also when it’s time to go back to my home country, it was way much more difficult to ship an acoustic piano than a digital piano.

MY KIND REQUEST TO YOU
- Anyone of you who might have tried the models I mentioned, maybe able to help me decide.
- Should I go all the way up to the NV 10? Or save a little bit and get the NV 5? Is the difference in action worth an additional $3000, almost 50% extra?
- Again, saving money is a nice to have thing for me. But the priority is to get a great piano action.

Thank you so much in advance.


Kawai NV10
Casio AP-470
Pianoteq
Re: NV 10 vs NV 5 vs NU1X
Seif Maher #3013238 08/12/20 09:38 PM
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I don't know that you will be able to successfully ship pianos of these sizes to Kuwait. It sounds risky. Assembly may also be required.

Out of all the pianos you have listed, the NV10 incontestably has the best action -- it's one of Kawai's best grand actions. If you want the best action and you can afford it, you should buy it.

However, if you want to pay less, then you should consider the Yamaha N1X (not NU1X) which also has a grand action.

Regarding your plan to pipe VST audio back to the piano, several of us do this happily with the NV10. You may have to solve ground loops which might mean not using the USB-B interface.

N1X has an audio interface built-in, however, I don't know of many N1X owners who pipe audio back in as they appear to prefer using external speakers or headphones.

Re: NV 10 vs NV 5 vs NU1X
Seif Maher #3013276 08/13/20 01:25 AM
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I am looking at the K300 and K500 acoustics at the minute but also along the way played the CA79 and CA99 as well as the NV10 and NV5. In my naive and amateurish opinion, the NV5 action was the best of the digitals. The NV10 felt sloppy to me, whereas the NV5 was precise and confidence inspiring. I would compare it to the difference in feel I had between the GL20 and GX3 - e.g. significantly and noticeably better.

IIRC, the NV5 has the transducer-through-soundboard tech of the AURUS, whereas the NV10 has no such soundboard, so I don't think the NV5 is "settling" for less - the sound it produces will be far better than the speakers of the NV10. Whether the action is better is up to you, but I highly recommend that you try them if you are able to.

Steve.


Kawai K-300 Aures
Re: NV 10 vs NV 5 vs NU1X
polarcharm #3013312 08/13/20 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by polarcharm
I am looking at the K300 and K500 acoustics at the minute but also along the way played the CA79 and CA99 as well as the NV10 and NV5. In my naive and amateurish opinion, the NV5 action was the best of the digitals. The NV10 felt sloppy to me, whereas the NV5 was precise and confidence inspiring. I would compare it to the difference in feel I had between the GL20 and GX3 - e.g. significantly and noticeably better.

IIRC, the NV5 has the transducer-through-soundboard tech of the AURUS, whereas the NV10 has no such soundboard, so I don't think the NV5 is "settling" for less - the sound it produces will be far better than the speakers of the NV10. Whether the action is better is up to you, but I highly recommend that you try them if you are able to.

Steve.

Thank you Polacharm,

I would attribute the improvement in action of the NV5 that you found to two things. 1) Maybe subjectively, your personal taste is more towards uprights. 2) Objectively, the NV5 being newer... you see the hammer of the NV5 looks newer and nicer on photos... smile


In my opinion, and according to my humble knowledge about sound systems, you can generate the sound energy using a woofer driver or a transducer attached to a soundboard. The quality depends on the and quality of the components you use. Maybe the sound board helps in producing low frequencies in a very slim profile cabinet.


Kawai NV10
Casio AP-470
Pianoteq
Re: NV 10 vs NV 5 vs NU1X
navindra #3013313 08/13/20 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by navindra
I don't know that you will be able to successfully ship pianos of these sizes to Kuwait. It sounds risky. Assembly may also be required.

Out of all the pianos you have listed, the NV10 incontestably has the best action -- it's one of Kawai's best grand actions. If you want the best action and you can afford it, you should buy it.

However, if you want to pay less, then you should consider the Yamaha N1X (not NU1X) which also has a grand action.

Regarding your plan to pipe VST audio back to the piano, several of us do this happily with the NV10. You may have to solve ground loops which might mean not using the USB-B interface.

N1X has an audio interface built-in, however, I don't know of many N1X owners who pipe audio back in as they appear to prefer using external speakers or headphones.

I asked a few shipping companies and I asked Bonners Music, and it seems possible to ship it.

You feedback it encouraging me to disregard the Yamaha AG altogether... The difference in price between the NV 10 and N1X, is not worth sacrificing the my assumed better quality of Kawai Novus.

I like the audio interface feature on the N1X but it is not a priority at all, since I can use any audio interface with the Novus including my existing wonderful Motu M4.


Kawai NV10
Casio AP-470
Pianoteq
Re: NV 10 vs NV 5 vs NU1X
Seif Maher #3013316 08/13/20 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Seif Maher
In my opinion, and according to my humble knowledge about sound systems, you can generate the sound energy using a woofer driver or a transducer attached to a soundboard. The quality depends on the and quality of the components you use. Maybe the sound board helps in producing low frequencies in a very slim profile cabinet.
For whatever it's worth, most reviewers I've seen (on this forum and elsewhere) have agreed that the NV5 sounds noticeably better than the NV10. I suspect the next version of the NV10 will incorporate a soundboard, because it really does add a degree of realism.

As for grand vs. upright action, it's such a personal choice that it's hard for anyone to help. I will say that the NV5 has a very, very good upright action, and IMO felt identical to the K200/300. If you enjoyed them, I think you'll enjoy the NV5. You mentioned the CS7. I wasn't able to test the GFI, but I did demo the GFII and GFIII. The NV5 action is a tier above either of those, IMO, despite being transplanted from an upright.

Last edited by schismal; 08/13/20 05:48 AM.
Re: NV 10 vs NV 5 vs NU1X
Seif Maher #3014546 08/16/20 12:12 PM
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So I got the chance to try a Kawai RX1, that has a Grand Millennium III action, and without any hesitation I like it more than the K200/300’s Upright Millennium III action.

Case closed. smile

Thanks to you all for the valuable advice...


Kawai NV10
Casio AP-470
Pianoteq
Re: NV 10 vs NV 5 vs NU1X
Seif Maher #3014557 08/16/20 01:01 PM
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Then you certainly need to buy an NV10!

Re: NV 10 vs NV 5 vs NU1X
Harpuia #3014671 08/16/20 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Harpuia
Then you certainly need to buy an NV10!

Sure thing.

That’s the plan now. I just need to arrange the logistics of shipping it from Europe using a forwarding agent.


Kawai NV10
Casio AP-470
Pianoteq
Re: NV 10 vs NV 5 vs NU1X
Seif Maher #3014732 08/16/20 11:10 PM
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Sounds like a great decision! I simply lack the ability to "appreciate" a grand action over an upright, that's where I'm at in my own piano journey.

Hope the shipping goes well, and don't forget to post pics!


Kawai K-300 Aures
Re: NV 10 vs NV 5 vs NU1X
polarcharm #3014974 08/17/20 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by polarcharm
Sounds like a great decision! I simply lack the ability to "appreciate" a grand action over an upright, that's where I'm at in my own piano journey.

Hope the shipping goes well, and don't forget to post pics!

Thanks Polarcharm,

In my case, I never had regular access to a grand piano before. I grew up playing on upright pianos. And only 2 years ago I decided to buy a digital piano, because I no longer had access to any acoustic piano. I bought a Casio AP-470 which is meant to be like a grand piano action.

Comparing it to my grandmother’s not well maintained 70+ years old upright piano, it felt overall much better. All keys are properly weighted, no keys have friction or get stuck, and such things...

Recently I started practicing much more seriously than before, and I started feeling the limitations of the AP-470. It was a good entry level choice, but it’s now much less than what I aspire for.

I believe the two years I spent on the Casio changed my taste towards the grand piano action.

I am even optimistic and wishfully assuming that the NV10’s action will be even better than the Kawai RX1 that I tried, just because that RX1 was an old showroom unit that is not well maintained.


Kawai NV10
Casio AP-470
Pianoteq
Re: NV 10 vs NV 5 vs NU1X
Seif Maher #3015005 08/17/20 10:24 PM
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Comparison video of the NV5 & NV10

By Stu at Merriam Pianos



~Lucubrate


Bösendorfer 280VC
Steingraeber 130

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.“ ~Epictetus
Re: NV 10 vs NV 5 vs NU1X
Seif Maher #3015074 08/18/20 05:29 AM
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What a great review.


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Re: NV 10 vs NV 5 vs NU1X
Seif Maher #3015100 08/18/20 07:54 AM
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My take on Stu’s perspective: his favorite child is hands-down the NV-5, but as any decent parent would do, he has to say he loves them both equally; only in different ways.

He mentioned something about the upright key-bed (NV-5?) being shallower, and the first thing that came to mind was whether this aspect could aid in faster repetition simply because the key needs less travel back to its resting position.

So yes, the NV-5’s keys have to come fully up to allow for repetition, but I ask, if the keys need less time to travel to their resting place as compared to keys housed in a deeper key-bed (NV-10?), could this not ‘shorten’ the actual difference in key repetition rate between the two instruments?

I’d love to see someone comparing ‘key repetition rate’ between these two instruments under ‘normal’ playing circumstances; in others word, playing musical yet demanding repertoire that is not based on robotic, machine-gun, mindless, and unmusical repetition.

I just feel that repetition is not all it’s cranked up to be (same goes for long pivots) smile

Re: NV 10 vs NV 5 vs NU1X
Seif Maher #3015109 08/18/20 09:10 AM
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On an acoustic piano action, key dip is adjustable. I assume it is no different here.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: NV 10 vs NV 5 vs NU1X
Seif Maher #3015118 08/18/20 09:49 AM
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If that’s the case, I’ll take my key dip on the shallow end; thank you, very much!

If anything, I wouldn’t mind a key dip so shallow that the keys barely, if at all, move (touch-sensitive).

Unlike some ‘round here, my hands have been involved in lots of intensive manual labor outside of the piano.

They’ve been beaten down, my hands; they’ve been cuffed, my hands; they’ve seen better days, my hands. So now I want to spare them, my hands, from further pain and suffering!

Bring it on, Yamaha; touch-sensitive keys!

“They don’t move, our touch-sensitive keys, but they will move you in ways unimagined. Simply touch them and they will react to your most inner-emotions in ways no moving key/action can do”. wink

Re: NV 10 vs NV 5 vs NU1X
Pete14 #3015132 08/18/20 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete14
My take on Stu’s perspective: his favorite child is hands-down the NV-5, but as any decent parent would do, he has to say he loves them both equally; only in different ways.

He definitely prefers the NV5. Have you watched his NV5(-only) review? Quite emotional, to be honest. :-)


Kawai Novus NV10; Yamaha P-515

Adult beginner
Hugh Sung, Popular Piano course (in progress)
Re: NV 10 vs NV 5 vs NU1X
Seif Maher #3015138 08/18/20 10:51 AM
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Yes, I saw that review, and he seems to genuinely be in love with the NV-5. Granted, he does mention -on this new video- that he owns an upright, and I assume he probably grew up on uprights, so that might be the reason why he prefers the NV-5 (I speculate).

Re: NV 10 vs NV 5 vs NU1X
Seif Maher #3015139 08/18/20 10:57 AM
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IMO, for people who don't prefer one action to the other and play very often on speakers may be inclined to get the NV5 or NU1X over the NV10 or N1X. Having the sound projecting right towards the player makes it sound significantly less muffled than listening from a more distant perspective.


- Yamaha AvantGrand N1X
Re: NV 10 vs NV 5 vs NU1X
Seif Maher #3015143 08/18/20 11:05 AM
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Are you saying the N1X is muffled? Surely, I must’ve misinterpreted that.
I apologize in advance if this is not what you meant.

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