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Re: Kawai Novus NV5 - Hands On
Tyr #3011059 08/07/20 05:04 AM
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If have been following this thread with high interest, thank you.
I had a very disappointing experience with the Kawai CA98, but indeed trying the NV5 and NV10
in a store but a big smile on my face. My "problem" is that as a student, the NV10 is really a problem with its high price, but the NV5 I could afford (somehow).

Ok, I play very fast pieces too. For example Kapustin's Toccatina Op.36, Ravel's Alborada del grazioso repetition passages or Gaspard de la nuit, Czerny's Op.299 School of velocity at the
written tempo marking (!), Alkan, Liszt, Chopin Etudes. Pieces of transcendental virtuosity.
Clusters in modern music, Renaissance harpsichord pieces (pianoteq). Bach, Mozart, Yann Tiersen and Andre Gagnon and then completely atonal russian avantgarde from fin du siecle.
Basically everything.

Of course there is never the perfect instrument but: Given that long list of styles,techniques,characters,...,
will I notice over long time a significant upgrade in the (also simply on a psychological level) control I have while playing,
from the nv5 to the nv10? I am talking about "that" feeling of feeling superior playing the piano while playing virtuosic pieces and
completely "trusting" and "cooperating" with the keyboard in all the extremes of the music demanded from
the player, which I have been honestly longing for years. The ca98 (for me) was like the opposite of this feeling.
I always felt like arguing, discussing and fighting against it. Often I would stand up very upset in the middle of a piece and think "never will I play on it again".
(I think generally I do prefer lighter touch).
Or can NV5 completely satisfy this described feeling. Because often I don't "just play", but I take playing piano extremely seriously, or, I try to be a perfectionist often.

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Re: Kawai Novus NV5 - Hands On
Gamma1734 #3011109 08/07/20 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Gamma1734
If have been following this thread with high interest, thank you.
I had a very disappointing experience with the Kawai CA98, but indeed trying the NV5 and NV10
in a store but a big smile on my face. My "problem" is that as a student, the NV10 is really a problem with its high price, but the NV5 I could afford (somehow).

I have not tried either Novus, and I am nowhere close to your extremely impressive repertoire and technique (congratulations!!!) but I am putting here my $0.02

The CA series has a "fake" action. We can argue if it's "good enough" for a purpose or not, but it's different than any acoustic piano. Both the Novus have a "real" action. We can argue if either or both have a "good" acoustic action (since there are a plethora of variations) but they are like acoustic instruments, action-wise.

To get where you are now, you certainly have played a number of acoustic instruments. Have you ever found an upright which was not only "unsatisfying" but also "bad and inadequate" for your playing, to which you reacted similarly to your CA98? Was that a Kawai upright? If yes, likely you'll have the same reaction with the NV5. If not, you will likely not (but no guarantee). Ditto for the NV10 and the Kawai grands.

Of course there's more: particularly the sounds and the "connection" between the sounds and the action which will be different than on acoustic instruments.

Another option: if you like some DIY, consider Cybrid (see a different thread in this forum about it)

Last edited by Del Vento; 08/07/20 08:43 AM.
Re: Kawai Novus NV5 - Hands On
Del Vento #3011121 08/07/20 09:40 AM
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Thanks for your comment, I will reflect on that. Indeed I tried the K200,K300 and K500 already and I was always quite happy with the touch. I thought to notice
a difference to the NV5 but I think that was because of the "connection" between the sounds, as you said it.

Thanks for the DIY tip as well; for the price of a NV10 I would already get a pretty nice used grand rather, but my situation is that
I will not be able to accomodate this for the next 2 years... Hence I am looking for a very reliable solution.
I also thought I am done with electronic instruments after the CA98 experience, but to be honest, playing very loudly and virtuosically on a
K300, say, was also pretty disappointing. It starts to sound kind of... confined very quickly. So apparently the NV5 seems really very suitable. Will have
to test it again (for like the 5th time) very extensively in the store (always searching for new stores, haha!).


The NV5 is also very new right? No need to fear a new model in the next year?

Re: Kawai Novus NV5 - Hands On
Gamma1734 #3011137 08/07/20 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Gamma1734
Thanks for your comment, I will reflect on that. Indeed I tried the K200,K300 and K500 already and I was always quite happy with the touch. I thought to notice
a difference to the NV5 but I think that was because of the "connection" between the sounds, as you said it.

Thanks for the DIY tip as well; for the price of a NV10 I would already get a pretty nice used grand rather, but my situation is that
I will not be able to accomodate this for the next 2 years... Hence I am looking for a very reliable solution.
I also thought I am done with electronic instruments after the CA98 experience, but to be honest, playing very loudly and virtuosically on a
K300, say, was also pretty disappointing. It starts to sound kind of... confined very quickly. So apparently the NV5 seems really very suitable. Will have
to test it again (for like the 5th time) very extensively in the store (always searching for new stores, haha!).


The NV5 is also very new right? No need to fear a new model in the next year?

You are most welcome. In exchange you can send me some karma to get 10% (or even just 5%) of your skills laugh

I think given the money involved (and their profit margin smile if you do not try to squeeze the price too much) the stores would not mind you testing it several times.

You do not have to worries at all about a new model from Kawai!! In the next year for the NV series?? Certainly not! There may be a competitor (Cybrid, if we push hard enough, LOL, but that's a DIY), but certainly not Kawai and unlikely from Yamaha too. Either NV will be the top of its category for a decade, I think (and certainly for several years if not a full decade).

Last edited by Del Vento; 08/07/20 10:46 AM.
Re: Kawai Novus NV5 - Hands On
Del Vento #3011276 08/07/20 04:13 PM
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Sounds good! Btw, about pushing the price, do you think 5% to push the price down is a lot too much or reasonable? Or rather 2,3 %
Because that would be over 300 dollar...

Re: Kawai Novus NV5 - Hands On
Gamma1734 #3011298 08/07/20 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Gamma1734
Sounds good! Btw, about pushing the price, do you think 5% to push the price down is a lot too much or reasonable? Or rather 2,3 %
Because that would be over 300 dollar...

Hard for me guessing what the margins are for your dealer, and if they are more of a "shoot-high and give you the discout" kind or the "advertise low to get people, but then don't bulge" one. Best way is to check what others around the world have paid for their NV5 (perhaps too new to get lots of statistics) or similar instruments (NV10 above all, but perhaps even CA-9x). See http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/1201029/digital-piano-prices-paid.html#Post1201029 for that information. If you are in an obscure location with high overhead, you will need to be resigned to pay more than the average. After all you are taking advantage of your dealer existence, and they need to make a living to exist. If you are in a popular location (when many similar instruments are sold) and with low fixed expenses for dealers, you might strike a deal closer to the minimum price paid by other, since they can spread their income among more buyers.

Best

Re: Kawai Novus NV5 - Hands On
Tyr #3012925 08/12/20 03:48 AM
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I went to my local shop, primarily looking at the CA79/99. I'm used to a Roland PHA-50 action, and I was disappointed that the GFIII on the latest Kawai models just didn't feel like that much of a step forward. Better, yes, but they still feel like a digital piano action with all the artificiality that entails. I was expecting more, so there was some initial disappointment with the feel.

Then I tried the NV5, and it was just night and day. It felt like playing an acoustic. I was very biased against the "upright action," but the NV5 was hands down the best playing experience I've ever had on a digital. Sadly, there was no NV10 available for comparison.

Also, Kawai's soundboard is not a gimmick. The CA79 sounded empty compared to the CA99. I've played on a digital for so long that I wasn't even aware that I missed the vibratory feedback through the keys and pedals. Yet somehow, even though they're using a similar speaker setup, the NV5 sounded to me a little more full than the CA99. Is it $2-3k better for the sound and action? Eh, that's a personal choice. But I'd urge people not to be put off by the upright action in the NV5. In 5-10 years, all high-end digitals will be hybrids like the Novus series -- the playing experience is just that much better.

Re: Kawai Novus NV5 - Hands On
Tyr #3013163 08/12/20 05:11 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.

Seif


Kawai NV10
Casio AP-470
Pianoteq
Re: Kawai Novus NV5 - Hands On
Tyr #3014158 08/15/20 08:55 AM
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Hi Seif,
I have not tried all the model you mentioned, but I have tried the NU1 (which I own) and Kawai K200 (on a store) as well as several other uprights and grands (unfortunately not the U1 nor any Kawai grand). I did try the Yamaha Clavinovas and the Kawai CS and I agree, they are on a much lower league, so let's assume they do not exist for this purpose. FWIW, I also owned an upright piano and I now own a low quality grand.

I like the NU1 and I occasionally use it with PianoTeq demo as you describe, with a MacBook Pro. The improvement in sound is only marginal, so I don't do it often. The only advantage is that you can change the voicing, tuning and temperament which you can't do that much on the NU1. But not worth the hassle in my opinion.

In the past I had a Kawai CA piano and while the action was definitely not at the level of the NU1, from a software/sound point of view I think Kawai gets it better.

I am eager to try the Kawai NV myself, but I can't at the moment because of the pandemic. Given my experience which I summarized above, and what people who tried the Kawai NV and other instruments wrote (check e.g. the post right above yours), I think your best option is the NV5. Why?

- action, many have reported it better than the NU1x's one. In the end is a personal choice, but sensors at the hammers rather than the key arguably give it more connection to the attack sound (and less connection to the release sound, i.e. how to raise the dampers, but that's less important).
- soundboard (see post before yours)
- sounds (I know you said you want to use PianoTeq, but the NV5 has a great piano sound and many non-piano sounds which are useful, e.g. organs -- many dismiss that, but they are useful for harmony exercises, for baroque music, for jazz and many more things)
- cost

Why not the NU1x? I think you'd be quite happy with the action, but it's not perfect. Moreover, the speaker quality (which you'd use even with PianoTeq) is good, but not fantastic. Since money is no objection, why go there?

Why not the NV10? You do gain a slightly better action, but you lose the soundboard, and spend more. Plus it's heavier, so even more expensive/challenging to deal with given your current and future situation.

Why not the acoustic? Well, if you really want to go that route I'd first try an inexpensive one to hone your skill as a piano tuner. You can certainly learn the basic IF YOU WANT IT, but it needs wills and time. Do you have it? If so, that can be a viable route, but not starting from a mid-level instrument as you are thinking: you should start with something at the bottom (say Yamaha b1 or its equivalent in Kawai's line, possible second hand) to make sure you learn the skills on an instrument which you don't mind too much to damage.

Hope this helps.

Re: Kawai Novus NV5 - Hands On
Del Vento #3014186 08/15/20 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Del Vento
I am eager to try the Kawai NV myself, but I can't at the moment because of the pandemic. Given my experience which I summarized above, and what people who tried the Kawai NV and other instruments wrote (check e.g. the post right above yours), I think your best option is the NV5. Why?

Why recommend something you haven't tried yet?


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Re: Kawai Novus NV5 - Hands On
terminaldegree #3014193 08/15/20 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by Del Vento
Why recommend something you haven't tried yet?

Isn’t that what we do ‘round here?

Recommend or bash what we have not yet tried! grin

Re: Kawai Novus NV5 - Hands On
terminaldegree #3014194 08/15/20 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by Del Vento
I am eager to try the Kawai NV myself, but I can't at the moment because of the pandemic. Given my experience which I summarized above, and what people who tried the Kawai NV and other instruments wrote (check e.g. the post right above yours), I think your best option is the NV5. Why?

Why recommend something you haven't tried yet?

Excellent question, given that I clearly did not explain it correctly. I thought I did exactly in the snippet you quoted, but I haven't, so let me clarify.

Given the background (introduction) that Seif made and given what I know about digital and acoustic pianos myself, and given what I have heard from others on this forum and on public (youtube) and private (zoom) recordings, this is what I would do myself if I were in Seif's shoes (no decent instrument at the moment and more than enough money for the more expensive NV10): in that context buying a NV5 is what I'd buy myself (without having tried it, and having tried the NU1) given the limitations of current situation. Obviously, if there was opportunity to try in person (several times!!) all or at least most of the options, that would be the best before taking any decision. But since that is impossible for the time being and the alternative is nothing for now, wait for when the pandemic will be over, which may be a year or more, the NV5 is the best choice in my opinion.

Re: Kawai Novus NV5 - Hands On
Tyr #3014264 08/15/20 01:36 PM
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Why one needs to learn how to tune if buying an acoustic piano? This doesn’t make sense to me unless there are no tuners around.


Piano: Yamaha N3X
VST(preference in order): VSL Synchron Pianos, Vienna Imperial, Garritan CFX, VI Labs Modern U, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq
Re: Kawai Novus NV5 - Hands On
Tyr #3014265 08/15/20 01:37 PM
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Well, even here, there are probably only a small handful of people who've played all of these. The shop I went to didn't have an NV10 or Aures on display.

I did try the NU1X, and the action felt nice. I think the NV5 was a bit nicer to play, but I think you're getting to the point where personal preference starts to overwhelm any objective differences. I imagine most would agree that both hybrids are a noticeable step up from even the best digital piano actions. I'll be honest: I didn't spend too much time on the NU1X because my partner and I both prefer Kawai's sound over Yamaha's (although I do quite like the Bösendorfer), and having a good on-board sound was important to us.

It sounds like Seif is asking if it's okay to "settle" for the NV5 over the NV10. I don't think that's the right way to look at it. The NV10 has a nice grand piano action, but it lacks the acoustic soundboard on the NV5, which others have said gives the NV5 noticeably more presence when playing live. So it's not a clear-cut upgrade, and the question of which is best will depend on your priorities. For me, the NV5 action felt very solid, very connected, and very expressive. And after playing quite a few speaker-only digital pianos, I think I would miss the absence of the soundboard had I gone with the NV10. Granted that we're still in the honeymoon period, but I have the NV5 in my living room and I couldn't be happier.

Re: Kawai Novus NV5 - Hands On
Seif Maher #3014294 08/15/20 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Harpuia
Why one needs to learn how to tune if buying an acoustic piano? This doesn’t make sense to me unless there are no tuners around.

I guess that's how I interpreted Seif's text

Originally Posted by Seif Maher
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.

which to me sounds like in that area there aren't tuners around (or at least not anybody trusty enough to hire, for somebody not native of the place)

Re: Kawai Novus NV5 - Hands On
Tyr #3014438 08/16/20 03:27 AM
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Quote
It sounds like Seif is asking if it's okay to "settle" for the NV5 over the NV10. I don't think that's the right way to look at it.

If you want a grand action at all costs, there is no choice between these two. The NV5 Action is excellent and i think she's good enough for the majority of pianists. I know that i won't be able to reach a level where the fast repetition of a grand action is needed so it's a question between "nice to have" and "need to have". Apart from the form factor (which i really miss) there is no other reason to choose the NV10 over the NV5. I have mine since January and i'm still happy without any regrets.

Last edited by Tyr; 08/16/20 03:34 AM.

Kawai Novus NV5 | Yamaha P-115
Pianoteq 7 Pro | Garritan CFX Full | Minigrand | VI Labs Modern U
Re: Kawai Novus NV5 - Hands On
Tyr #3014444 08/16/20 04:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyr
The NV5 Action is excellent and i think she's good enough for the majority of pianists. I know that i won't be able to reach a level where the fast repetition of a grand action is needed so it's a question between "nice to have" and "need to have".

While I'm sure the nv5 has a fantastic upright action, and I agree that it's probably more than good enough for most pianists, It seems like people mostly just talk about repetition rate when comparing grand to upright actions, which is probably a mistake.

I'm no technician, nor do I have much experience with grand piano's, but I think from what i have learned, especially from this forum, is that grand actions offer more control compared to an upright action. And other than that, there's of course the gravity vs springs factor that could become an important factor especially over time, since gravity stays even at all times, while springs wear out, can be regulated, but will always be less even compared to gravity.

Long story short, I think grand actions offer advantages that are more important for most pianists than repetition rate, but to me it seems they are often overlooked, as people mostly talk about the repetition rate only.

Re: Kawai Novus NV5 - Hands On
Tyr #3014451 08/16/20 04:40 AM
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If I were spending large on a new piano (and I soon will be), I'd not choose a piano with an upright action.
The NV5 and NU1X are off the menu for me.
It'll be NV10 or N1X. Or one of their successors, if such exists next year.

Any of the above would be an improvement over my mid-2000s Clav.

But they don't make that crap anymore.
Today's choices are CLP/CA series, or upright "high-brid", or grand "high-brid".

The terraced choices seem like hamburger, double cheeseburger, or steak.
What I have now is less than hamburger. Only the steak is a worthy upgrade for me.

Re: Kawai Novus NV5 - Hands On
Tyr #3017238 08/24/20 04:57 AM
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Regarding availability: I know someone here in Switzerland who ordered an NV5 in June – and whose dealer has now told him that delivery will not be before December. Wow!


Kawai Novus NV10; Yamaha P-515

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Re: Kawai Novus NV5 - Hands On
Tyr #3018069 08/26/20 06:36 PM
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Recently, I've run several VSTs back through the NV-5's internal speakers. Ravenscroft, Modern U, Garritan CFX. I'm admittedly a VST novice, so hopefully these opinions aren't too provocative:

In terms of feel + sound, I actually prefer Kawai's SK-EX rendering engine over all of them. It sounds fantastic, and obviously plays perfectly. I haven't done anything other than enable the wall EQ.

Next is Garritan, which feels just as dynamically predictable as the native Kawai sound, basically right out of the box. The character of the CFX isn't my favorite, unfortunately, but the playing experience is fantastic. To me it sounds very neutral, almost reserved, compared to the more lively SK-EX. The half-pedaling is a bit more aggressive than Kawai's, but I might be able to modify that via software.

Third would be Ravenscroft, which I have a love/hate relationship with. It does have a very unique, beautiful sound -- its lower octaves come alive on this soundboard -- but I just hate how foreign it feels to play. The half pedaling occasionally does unexpected things, and it has required more tweaking than I was anticipating. Maybe I'll be more bullish once I figure out how to customize more settings and EQ down the piercing high octaves. I just wish I had this sound packaged in the Garritan software.

The Modern U plays and sounds like a fine upright. I thought I wanted an upright VST, but maybe I didn't. The sounds, the resonance, it all just feels a little bit more... limited? than any of the other options, so I'm not sure I'd personally ever load this up over the Garritan if I wanted a break from the Kawai engine.

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My opinion of builtin speakers vs monitors
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Is it worth upgrading my FP-10 to RP501 or RP102?
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