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Re: Kawai Novus NV10 - Hands On
ambrack #3026221 09/18/20 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ambrack
This might have been addressed somewhere in the previous 146 pages of this thread, and apologies if this question doesn't really fit here but I've been spending some time looking for good quality acoustic piano (new or used) and tbh i've been so exasperated at times I've thought about ditching the entire thing and simply buying a Novus NV10. One thing that I'm interested about is what people think the life expectancy of this hybrid is. Not in terms of it's built components as such but rather in terms of the thing in comparison to the 'real' piano(s) it sounds like? I mean, in 5-10 years will the NV10 hold any residual value or will it have been superseded to such an extent as to be nearly worthless, or is it so close to the 'real' thing that it holds some value because for all intents and purposes the possible improvements in coming years will be by definition be so minor as to be virtually inconsequential?

I guess many of us share this concern about such an investment being outdated too soon. If Kawai could allow us to replace the digital components in the future, when a new generation is released. So we get to keep the same action, cabinet, and the speakers/amplifier, this could be a guarantee of being future proof. I believe this will encourage many people to buy a hybrid Novus without hesitation. I know that this will not happen smile

Otherwise, I don’t think it is a big deal if after 3-5 years, I find myself having to keep a computer running a newer generation VST. Of course I find it much easier to press one power button, and interact with the Piano from a small touch screen, that is 100% dedicated to playing piano user interface. But this also “may” be solved by VST makers, if they give us an intuitive touch screen interface. Or I would just accept the compromise of interacting with a less convenient/streamlined full computer user interface. Maybe in the future we can run a complete VST on an iPad app.

This brings me back to a previously discussed point. The NV10 should have had a decent integrated audio interface. And it should have had much better speakers. This is something that would have made it more future proof, and would encourage more people to buy it. It will also disappoint some first NV10 owners when it is released in newer generations.

Last edited by Seif Maher; 09/18/20 01:51 AM.

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Re: Kawai Novus NV10 - Hands On
JoBert #3026228 09/18/20 02:32 AM
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The keyboard action will stay up to date for another 100-200 years 😀 People buy hybrids mostly for the action and not so much for the sound which is the usual DP stuff.


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Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Kawai Novus NV10 - Hands On
JoBert #3026237 09/18/20 03:00 AM
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Hi all, first post here (though I have been lurking on this thread for a loooooooong time already smile

I'm strongly considering the Novus NV10 as a replacement for my grand. I'm somewhere at the late beginner level.

When the Estonia arrived at home 4 years ago, I was in heaven. For a couple of weeks. It was simply a joy to play known pieces and learn new ones on it. The sound was gorgeous, pressing the pedal would surround me in a ocean of overtones. I enjoyed the instrument so much and believed that it was the perfect one to learn piano on.

But now, I have a different opinion, sadly. The piano still sounds as great, looks even gorgeous as when I saw it the first time BUT I think it IS not the right instrument for me. Not because of eventual deficiencies, but simply because of my environment and situation. Reality caught me back: the piano is in a part of the living room, not a separate room, of a row house. When I play piano, it's impossible for my wife and daughter to watch TV properly. My wife also suffers from chronic migraine and needs total silence when a crise bursts out. After 9pm I also feel reluctant to play, especially repetitive stuff, as it's already so quiet in the neighborhood (sound insulation is almost non-existent, as I can hear neighbors from both sides pretty well as soon as they speak a bit loudly).

For all those reasons, I feel like I can barely enjoy playing the grand (30-45'/day and not even every day). I almost end up playing much more often my first (digital) piano. It doesn't have the sound of the grand, nor its action, but at least I can play on it without disturbing anyone. But then it feels like I've purchased the grand for almost "nothing", as it's most on time standing as nice furniture, unplayed. There's a also a really strong chance I will have to move to a flat in another city in the coming months.

So I'm now looking for an option which could have the advantages of both: headphones playing, compactness of a digital, great action and sound of a grand. I'm conscious many others before me have looked for that holy grail smile Hardware-wise, what matters most to me is the action. A good sound engine would be appreciated, but I know I can fall back on better sound options through VSTs/Pianoteq. Sound projection through speakers is totally secondary.

Though it's not perfect, the Novus NV10 currently comes the closest to what I'm looking for. I tried many digitals at the store: NU1X, N1X, MP11SE, NV5, some Rolands too. I kept being drwan back to the NV10's action *every single time*. It simply had the action I enjoyed the most of all digitals I tried. The keyboard just fooled me I was playing a grand. The N1X's action also clearly felt like a grand one, quite similar to a C2 I could play on times ago, but I didn't like it as much as the NV10's. Unfortunately (not surprisingly? :p) the NV10 is also incredibly expensive.

Minor things (thought not really relevant to me) to comment on the NV10: sound projection through speakers underwhelmed me. Even with volume maxed out, I still had the feeling there was not that much "power" and that the sound was coming out of a box. Totally not comparable to the volume I get when playing the grand, even with lid down and piano cover. Of course, it's a bit unfair to compare a digital speaker system to a 6'3" grand with soundboard, but the fact is the NU1X had a much more powerful and natural-sounding projection. With the NU1X, I just thought: wow, this just sounds like an upright! Through headphones (my own Senn HD-558), the Novus internal sounds sounded really okay. At first listening, good enough to eventually bypass the VST path. I struggled a bit to model the sound through the LCD panel.

Things I'm more concerned about the Novus: I don't plan to sell it if I purchase it (thought the same about the grand... oops), but given the price point, I'd like it to be durable at least. I would HATE to have to buy another one (or another hybrid) in 10 years when for some reason the Android on-board system acts up and messes with the other electronics (just speculating, I'd hope the UI is a completely separate subsystem which can't hurt the rest.

Last thing: at the current state of piano sampling, I don't really expect to have as a gorgeous sound experience with the Novus or any other digital option as with the grand, even with VSTs. Without pedal, I really enjoy Imperfect Samples Fazioli. But it doesn't come a little bit close to the resonance and overtones I get with the grand. With Pianoteq otoh, I miss the harshness when playing ff, and generally doesn't enjoy that much its specific tone signature. I hope for the technology to improve in the coming years however. PS: Haven't tried the Garritan CFX yet, which seems to be really appreciated by some forum members here. Looking forward to be positively surprised by it... when I have again enough budget for virtual instruments :P


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Re: Kawai Novus NV10 - Hands On
floknot #3026273 09/18/20 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by floknot
Hi all, first post here (though I have been lurking on this thread for a loooooooong time already smile

I'm strongly considering the Novus NV10 as a replacement for my grand. I'm somewhere at the late beginner level.

When the Estonia arrived at home 4 years ago, I was in heaven. For a couple of weeks. It was simply a joy to play known pieces and learn new ones on it. The sound was gorgeous, pressing the pedal would surround me in a ocean of overtones. I enjoyed the instrument so much and believed that it was the perfect one to learn piano on.

But now, I have a different opinion, sadly. The piano still sounds as great, looks even gorgeous as when I saw it the first time BUT I think it IS not the right instrument for me. Not because of eventual deficiencies, but simply because of my environment and situation. Reality caught me back: the piano is in a part of the living room, not a separate room, of a row house. When I play piano, it's impossible for my wife and daughter to watch TV properly. My wife also suffers from chronic migraine and needs total silence when a crise bursts out. After 9pm I also feel reluctant to play, especially repetitive stuff, as it's already so quiet in the neighborhood (sound insulation is almost non-existent, as I can hear neighbors from both sides pretty well as soon as they speak a bit loudly).

For all those reasons, I feel like I can barely enjoy playing the grand (30-45'/day and not even every day). I almost end up playing much more often my first (digital) piano. It doesn't have the sound of the grand, nor its action, but at least I can play on it without disturbing anyone. But then it feels like I've purchased the grand for almost "nothing", as it's most on time standing as nice furniture, unplayed. There's a also a really strong chance I will have to move to a flat in another city in the coming months.

So I'm now looking for an option which could have the advantages of both: headphones playing, compactness of a digital, great action and sound of a grand. I'm conscious many others before me have looked for that holy grail smile Hardware-wise, what matters most to me is the action. A good sound engine would be appreciated, but I know I can fall back on better sound options through VSTs/Pianoteq. Sound projection through speakers is totally secondary.

Though it's not perfect, the Novus NV10 currently comes the closest to what I'm looking for. I tried many digitals at the store: NU1X, N1X, MP11SE, NV5, some Rolands too. I kept being drwan back to the NV10's action *every single time*. It simply had the action I enjoyed the most of all digitals I tried. The keyboard just fooled me I was playing a grand. The N1X's action also clearly felt like a grand one, quite similar to a C2 I could play on times ago, but I didn't like it as much as the NV10's. Unfortunately (not surprisingly? :p) the NV10 is also incredibly expensive.

Minor things (thought not really relevant to me) to comment on the NV10: sound projection through speakers underwhelmed me. Even with volume maxed out, I still had the feeling there was not that much "power" and that the sound was coming out of a box. Totally not comparable to the volume I get when playing the grand, even with lid down and piano cover. Of course, it's a bit unfair to compare a digital speaker system to a 6'3" grand with soundboard, but the fact is the NU1X had a much more powerful and natural-sounding projection. With the NU1X, I just thought: wow, this just sounds like an upright! Through headphones (my own Senn HD-558), the Novus internal sounds sounded really okay. At first listening, good enough to eventually bypass the VST path. I struggled a bit to model the sound through the LCD panel.

Things I'm more concerned about the Novus: I don't plan to sell it if I purchase it (thought the same about the grand... oops), but given the price point, I'd like it to be durable at least. I would HATE to have to buy another one (or another hybrid) in 10 years when for some reason the Android on-board system acts up and messes with the other electronics (just speculating, I'd hope the UI is a completely separate subsystem which can't hurt the rest.

Last thing: at the current state of piano sampling, I don't really expect to have as a gorgeous sound experience with the Novus or any other digital option as with the grand, even with VSTs. Without pedal, I really enjoy Imperfect Samples Fazioli. But it doesn't come a little bit close to the resonance and overtones I get with the grand. With Pianoteq otoh, I miss the harshness when playing ff, and generally doesn't enjoy that much its specific tone signature. I hope for the technology to improve in the coming years however. PS: Haven't tried the Garritan CFX yet, which seems to be really appreciated by some forum members here. Looking forward to be positively surprised by it... when I have again enough budget for virtual instruments :P

Hi Floknot,

I am sorry for your wife's migranes, I hope she gets better soon.

I think your case is clear. You eliminated all other options of cheaper DPs and other brand hybrids because you like the NV10's action the most.

If I were you, I would narrow down my options to:
1) NV10
2) Keep the the Estonia as is, and pair it with a VPC1 for the quite times, and pay much less. I know the action is not as good as the NV10, but it will be your secondary instrument.
3) Consider replacing the Estonia with an GX, or even SK if the budget allows, with ATX.

Good luck,

Last edited by Seif Maher; 09/18/20 05:30 AM.

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Re: Kawai Novus NV10 - Hands On
JoBert #3026274 09/18/20 05:33 AM
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I would never part with a nice Estonia! (I’m actually considering moving into a house to be able to have my own grand 😁)

Cases like yours make me wonder if and how many people would be interested in a commercially manufactured Cybrid.


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Re: Kawai Novus NV10 - Hands On
CyberGene #3026283 09/18/20 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
I would never part with a nice Estonia! (I’m actually considering moving into a house to be able to have my own grand 😁)

Cases like yours make me wonder if and how many people would be interested in a commercially manufactured Cybrid.
I take your point, but they already exist in the form of silent piano systems. What would be your USP?

Re: Kawai Novus NV10 - Hands On
JoBert #3026286 09/18/20 06:39 AM
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Installing a silent system might interfere with the piano IMO. There needs to be stop rail that has to be engaged in a certain way. Since the stop rail would be before the strings that also means the escapement distance has to be longer. Which will certainly affect the piano behavior when in acoustic mode. Doing that to a nice piano might not be very good. But I may be wrong.


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Re: Kawai Novus NV10 - Hands On
JoBert #3026289 09/18/20 06:53 AM
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I've came across pictures and mentions of the Cybrid occasionally, but am not yet acquainted enough to tell what sets it apart from a "regular" hybrid (wild guess: a VPC-like controller but with a real grand action? That would be stunning indeed!)

Seif, thanks for your kind words! Your post on the Novus assembly was also priceless. Just made me realize there is absolutely NOOO WAY I could transport and assemble it on my own xD.

Parting from the Estonia will be difficult, but I'm not there yet... The fact is there's 90% chance I'll need to move to a flat in a more expensive city, with even less rooms and square meters for the budget I have.

Disregarding the space issue, it just feels incredibly silly to have spent that many euros on a grand, and only be able to play it between 8 and 9pm, at best. That's why I've completely ruled out acoustics (even with silent system): what's the point in having an acoustic able to deliver a thunderous bass, gorgeous overtones, and yet spend most of the time practicing on a digital? Not that I don't like having a grand, but it feels like a bad return on investment.

If I were able to bend the ratio in favor of acoustic playing, then it would maybe make sense to have/keep the acoustic.


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Re: Kawai Novus NV10 - Hands On
CyberGene #3026317 09/18/20 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Installing a silent system might interfere with the piano IMO. There needs to be stop rail that has to be engaged in a certain way. Since the stop rail would be before the strings that also means the escapement distance has to be longer. Which will certainly affect the piano behavior when in acoustic mode. Doing that to a nice piano might not be very good. But I may be wrong.

Actually when I bought the Estonia, I asked about installing a silent system. The store owner (who's also a piano technician) recommended me against doing that. Not recalling everything exactly but I'm pretty sure he told me the silencing rail modifies the action significantly, even when *not* playing silently. I perceived that as something undesirable and which would actually affect the value of the instrument.

A few years ago, I also played two Yamaha B1's side-by-side, one with silent system and one without. I found the action much less enjoyable on the one with silent system. It just felt as a totally different action!

For some reason, the store owner *did* recommend me Yamaha grands with an original silent system (not retrofitted) if I really wanted one. I couldn't test one, so I can't really tell if the impact of these silent systems was less impairing on non-silent playing.

Last edited by floknot; 09/18/20 09:02 AM.

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Re: Kawai Novus NV10 - Hands On
JoBert #3026348 09/18/20 10:40 AM
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floknot, This sounds like the salesman's marketing. He probably has access to a Yamaha with a silent system and would like to sell it. Any two B1's will feel different. That may or may not be from the silent system installed. I don't play classical music. However, I believe that one would have to be an advanced player to feel the difference. I have a friend (passed last year) who was a professional jazz musician, high school music teacher, cruise ship music director. His trio played in clubs on all kinds of pianos; upright, digital, grands. He made great music regardless of the type of keyboard. If I could get a grand piano, it would have a silent system installed. Even the NV10 would be sold so I could play the grand whenever I wanted to. YMMV of course. wink



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Re: Kawai Novus NV10 - Hands On
JoBert #3026357 09/18/20 10:59 AM
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There’s not a lot in jazz that requires subtlety of touch and precision in action regulation. Most of the jazz piano technique is a rather percussive playing which can be executed well on any digital piano or even a synth. Lighter actions are preferable. That’s why they demo DP-s with jazz and pop so often, because you hear only the first 0.5 seconds of the forte samples and they call it a day.

Last edited by CyberGene; 09/18/20 11:00 AM.

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Re: Kawai Novus NV10 - Hands On
JoBert #3026367 09/18/20 11:14 AM
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Jazz: Listen to Bill Charlap playing "It's the Nearness of You". This is what I mean by jazz. But you may disagree. Stardust - Peter Washington

Last edited by ˆTomLCˆ; 09/18/20 11:24 AM.


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Re: Kawai Novus NV10 - Hands On
CyberGene #3026369 09/18/20 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Cases like yours make me wonder if and how many people would be interested in a commercially manufactured Cybrid.

You can count me as the first person interested in a Cybrid piano.

If this is achievable I would like to ask:
1) What would be the cost range of this product? To make it easy, apart from the cost of the action used, what would be the cost of the digital modifications?
2) Are there different grades of the digital components? Or it is just 0s and 1s?


Thanks,


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Re: Kawai Novus NV10 - Hands On
floknot #3026372 09/18/20 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by floknot
Seif, thanks for your kind words! Your post on the Novus assembly was also priceless. Just made me realize there is absolutely NOOO WAY I could transport and assemble it on my own.

You are welcome Floknot, I am glad you found the photos helpful.


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Re: Kawai Novus NV10 - Hands On
ˆTomLCˆ #3026373 09/18/20 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by ˆTomLCˆ
Jazz: Listen to Bill Charlap playing "It's the Nearness of You". This is what I mean by jazz. But you may disagree. Peter Washington - Stardust
Yes, that’s nice, jazz ballades are something that’s closer to classical piano indeed. On the other hand, from the same album there’s the first track called Jubilee that’s exactly the percussive style I meant.

I still think the classical piano has the highest demands from the instrument which is why you’d rarely see (if at all?) classical pianists using digital pianos in concerts or recitals, not even hybrid pianos. And they use DP-s mostly for silent practice at home. Of course one may argue there’s still prejudice and snobbery in the classical world which would explain why that is and that’s probably true to some degree.

Last edited by CyberGene; 09/18/20 11:26 AM.

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Re: Kawai Novus NV10 - Hands On
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I agree that any two pianos of the same model can feel different. Even between Steinway concert grands.

Originally Posted by floknot
For some reason, the store owner *did* recommend me Yamaha grands with an original silent system (not retrofitted) if I really wanted one. I couldn't test one, so I can't really tell if the impact of these silent systems was less impairing on non-silent playing.

This probably goes to the Yamaha silent grand system that is supposed to keep the regulation the same between silent- and non-silent-equipped system. I also don't know if it actually is exactly the same or not, but it's nice that it's important enough of an issue for them to address directly in the design.


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Re: Kawai Novus NV10 - Hands On
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I changed the link to a Youtube link because I really wanted to share his introduction. Which I find beautiful. I do not like"Jubilee" at all.

Your point is well taken, though. But wouldn't a classical pianist need to be pretty advanced to feel the difference when playing in digital mode vs acoustic mode?



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Re: Kawai Novus NV10 - Hands On
ˆTomLCˆ #3026452 09/18/20 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ˆTomLCˆ
floknot, This sounds like the salesman's marketing. He probably has access to a Yamaha with a silent system and would like to sell it. Any two B1's will feel different. That may or may not be from the silent system installed. I don't play classical music. However, I believe that one would have to be an advanced player to feel the difference. I have a friend (passed last year) who was a professional jazz musician, high school music teacher, cruise ship music director. His trio played in clubs on all kinds of pianos; upright, digital, grands. He made great music regardless of the type of keyboard. If I could get a grand piano, it would have a silent system installed. Even the NV10 would be sold so I could play the grand whenever I wanted to. YMMV of course. wink

Could have been a marketing trick, indeed smile Sure, no acoustics of the same model have exactly the same action.

At that time, I too thought a grand with silent system was the holy grail and maybe it could have been the case. There were unfortunately no Estonia's equipped with such a system in the store. I didn't dare to let install one on mine just to realize I don't like the action anymore and have it removed. So I'll never know unless I stumble upon an Estonia with exactly the same action as mine and a silent system (chances are low).

Gombessa, now you say it, I remember it was about Yamaha having gone extra miles for their grand silent system. I'm unable to tell if it's actually more than just marketing, since I never tried those.

I think the reason why we never see digitals being used for classical concerts is there are still simply no match for a well-regulated fine acoustic, from any perspective. Their action is several steps up from that of a Novus of AvantGrand, which gives the pianist the control and precision she/he needs. The other obvious reason would be that the sound produced by the strings of a fine grand is also still unmatched by any speaker system / sound engine (either sample-based or modeled). But yeah, snobbery and the looks of a 9-foot grand sure come into play too :p

I'm a mere beginner and I'm sure many here are playing a lot better than me, but I definitely feel a huge difference between my Casio+VST, the upright I'm playing occasionally and the grand. There's so much more resonance on the grand that it punishes me right away if my pedaling is a bit inaccurate. On the digital or the upright, it doesn't make that much of a difference. At a much more advanced level than mine, playing with those overtones becomes part of the palette a pianist has to give nuance and color to his/her playing. I'm not sure if playing in digital mode allows experimenting and playing with that. It's no concern for me however as I don't think I will ever reach that level laugh


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Re: Kawai Novus NV10 - Hands On
CyberGene #3026504 09/18/20 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
I still think the classical piano has the highest demands from the instrument which is why you’d rarely see (if at all?) classical pianists using digital pianos in concerts or recitals, not even hybrid pianos. And they use DP-s mostly for silent practice at home. Of course one may argue there’s still prejudice and snobbery in the classical world which would explain why that is and that’s probably true to some degree.
Usually in a classical recital, whether it's a concert pianist on tour or a college student or professor performing on stage at a university, 90%+ of the time it will be on a Steinway D or occasionally another 9 ft grand like Yamaha. So, not even mid-sized grands are generally used for solo performances at university or professional concerts by classical pianists (except maybe at some smaller colleges).

Re: Kawai Novus NV10 - Hands On
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Regarding silent systems: in order for the hammers not to get jammed against the silencing bar, the let off needs to be regulated to occur earlier. A good technician would never regulate the let off so early on a normal action, as it affects the action feel negatively. But with the silencing system, it is done as a compromise. Unfortunately, with most silencing systems, this early let off is independent from the Mode you play in, i.e. the action suffers from it even if you play in acoustic mode.
Yamaha Grands with the Factory silent system are indeed the only ones I’ve hear of that address this. The have some sort of dual let off, that changes when the silencing bar is engaged or not, supposedly eliminating the system‘s impact on the acoustic mode.
So this was indeed not just marking bull by the sales man.

Also to answer your question about the Android touch module: That module is indeed self contained. This has been proven by a user here who posted about his project where he reverse engineered the protocol between the UI unit and the piano and then replace the UI with one he built himself, that looks like a mini computer keyboard from the 80s. If you search, you can find the thread.

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