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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I don't understand your numbers. You mentioned 2900 EUR (=3386 USD) for the CA99.
But before that you mentioned 3699. Is that dollars or EUR? If it's EUR, then that's = $4319 USD.
I think 2900 € is when you don't have to pay the VAT (value added tax = sales tax). The VAT is about 19% - 21!% or so, in some EU countries - a bit less, in some more.

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Originally Posted by Parkher
Originally Posted by John62
I've read a few posts on here about users with key noise issues, but I've not noticed how they get on with trying to fix it.
There was a post here in this thread about how clicking keys were fixed by a technician.
He took the keys out, put some white grease somewhere, then put the keys in again - and the noise was gone.
There already was that white stuff in the keyboard, he only added some more of it to the problematic keys.
That makes me wonder if it is a ticking bomb - that white stuff might dry out eventually.
That white stuff is grease and while it probably wont dry out during instrument lifetime it CAN reposition to wrong place again. Roland has same problems with their digital pianos. That's why acoustic pianos use cloth materials for dampening key movements.

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good morning.
Today a friend arrived and helped me carry the piano up the stairs.
Generally when I buy an electronic instrument, I open the rear panel to make sure everything is ok.
This also allowed me to lighten the piano: I pulled out the back and top panels. A very simple operation, just disconnect the two upper speaker connectors and unscrew 8 screws. In this way the piano has been lightened by many kg, and has made transport easier.
I was also able to verify the build quality.

[Linked Image]

I start from this last verification. the piano is just perfect. I checked the quality of the assembly, the connection of the various panels and the type of materials. The assembly is perfect, even the various pieces that make up the stand are cut with very tight tolerances: when assembled, all the spaces are closed without having to force the various parts, it was enough just to tighten the screws at the first attempt to have the stand complete with all elements perfectly aligned.
The materials are of good quality. The side panels, the panel that supports the keyboard, and also the top and front panel, are made of MDF, which could also be HDF. The side panels are made up of three superimposed and glued panels, making the structure very very rigid.
[Linked Image]

The pedal board and the lower panel that contains the two woofer / tone generation board's are made of LDF: a choice that does not affect the overall quality. Some users have noticed poor quality control in their CA79, but I have to say that my instrument is really perfect in assembly, and all the elements are perfectly aligned.
I checked that the Kawai lettering on the front was aligned, and I noticed a misalignment of about 1mm on the right side. For me it is absolutely negligible and does not cause me problems. Generally my eye focuses on other construction details, and I must say that no element in the quality of the materials and assembly is open to criticism.

The various internal boards are installed neatly and the wiring is also neat. There is a care in the shielding: the internal panels are covered with shielding aluminum sheets, and there is a great use of ferrites. This attention to detail is a sign of great care in the electronic design.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

I can't comment on the electrical circuitry because I don't have the wiring diagrams, but I thought I saw separate power supplies for the analog and digital section (a linear and a switching power supply).
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

The transformer is fixed to the panel with four anti-vibration rubber pads.
There are two amplifiers (D class?),
[Linked Image]

and also an independent headphone amplifier module.
[Linked Image]

All these details make me think that the designers did their best to get the best possible sound.
Perhaps the only detail I feel like observing is the absence of some damping material above the large electrolytic capacitors in the power supply. This is a practice that is very often seen in high quality audiophile amplifiers and serves to limit induced and external vibrations to large electrolytics (which means less distortion). However, if the engineers have decided not to put any damping on the capacitors, maybe that's okay.

The keyboard.

It is very beautiful indeed. It is very well built. I like the fact that it is pivoted like in acoustic pianos, this also allows me to be able to adjust it, over the years, just like on an acoustic piano.
The tactile sensation is very pleasant. Today I didn't have much time to play, also having tired arms from transport, but in the next few days I will be able to check the tactile response more carefully.
But I can say that the keys are cut with great precision, like on a high-quality acoustic piano.

The sound, as it comes out without any custom parameters, is very nice. There is a certain boost in the region from C2 to C3, which makes the sound very similar to an acoustic piano, but it lacks the "visceral" gravity in the first octave that is heard in a real grand piano. However, the speakers are new, and should do at least 50/100 hours of break in to soften the suspension of the speakers, so it is not excluded that in a few weeks of use the speakers will be able to have a more extended and "realistic" frequency response.

The piano had firmware 1.04, as soon as I turned on I checked that everything was working correctly, and then I immediately updated to the latest version 1.08. I have not noticed the white noise problem as some users have noticed, but I will wait for the tweeters break-in to see if it will arise in the future.


In the coming weeks, I will more fully evaluate all aspects related to sound and functions. However, today I can say that I am extremely satisfied, I am very happy with this piano!

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Hi Gianluca

Thank you for your brilliant post and internal photos of your instrument. This is exactly the information I have been hoping for as I nervously await the arrival of my CA99 this week after a five month wait here in Australia. I have organised with my Kawai dealer to unpack the DP together in store, so that I can be sure all is OK before I have it delivered to my home 1 hour from the dealership. I will update the firmware in store if necessary.

This forum has made me somewhat nervous, but it is also good to hear that some posts here are positive also. Your information is very helpful to me as a technician and I do like what I see from the photos. Onkyo is present as expected and I see generally good layout inside. I will follow your future posts with great interest.

avss01

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Originally Posted by Nordomus
Originally Posted by Parkher
Originally Posted by John62
I've read a few posts on here about users with key noise issues, but I've not noticed how they get on with trying to fix it.
There was a post here in this thread about how clicking keys were fixed by a technician.
He took the keys out, put some white grease somewhere, then put the keys in again - and the noise was gone.
There already was that white stuff in the keyboard, he only added some more of it to the problematic keys.
That makes me wonder if it is a ticking bomb - that white stuff might dry out eventually.
That white stuff is grease and while it probably wont dry out during instrument lifetime it CAN reposition to wrong place again. Roland has same problems with their digital pianos. That's why acoustic pianos use cloth materials for dampening key movements.

Thanks for the replies, guys. It somehow helps to learn it is not just a problem of mine. I haven’t spoken to the dealer yet since technician left. I would see if things get better or worse for some time, then ask for another technician if needed.

Things like this can quite frustrating to anyone, considering it is brand new and costs thousands of dollars from your saving/credit.. But I still love my CA79 especially its warm sound and overall key actions. And like I said the clicking sound is pretty subtle some technician might even deny its existence. lol At this stage, I can focus more on the beauty of the music it creates and see if the clicking sound might go away or get worse at a later date. Hopefully things inside settle down(?) and the clicking noice can go away naturally, I’d pray for. Fingers crossed for everyone!

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Originally Posted by avss01
Hi Gianluca

Thank you for your brilliant post and internal photos of your instrument. This is exactly the information I have been hoping for as I nervously await the arrival of my CA99 this week after a five month wait here in Australia. I have organised with my Kawai dealer to unpack the DP together in store, so that I can be sure all is OK before I have it delivered to my home 1 hour from the dealership. I will update the firmware in store if necessary.

This forum has made me somewhat nervous, but it is also good to hear that some posts here are positive also. Your information is very helpful to me as a technician and I do like what I see from the photos. Onkyo is present as expected and I see generally good layout inside. I will follow your future posts with great interest.

avss01

🤞

Good morning.
Yes, from what I have noticed, the piano is impeccably built, with high quality materials and with great care inside.
The Onkyo branding is actually present in the electronic boards and speakers.
Personally I cannot say that there is negligence in quality control, mine is practically perfect.
The misalignment of the front logo honestly for me is not a defect, but I understand that other people may have a different evaluation criterion. Generally I focus on other technical details, quality of materials, structural assembly, mechanical and electronic design. And none of these elements, in my piano, seem objectionable. Everything is as it should be for an object that costs 3000 euros.

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Hi there all! My first post on this forum. I'm Richard, living in The Netherlands.
Recently I picked up playing again after I stopped when I was 20. Had a long break of almost 20 years of nearly non-playing. Now I'm 40, so let's see if I can pick off where I stopped.

To support this endeavor, I bought the CA99!

My goal eventually is to own a Kawai GL-30 in a few years when I have the space for it, but till then I think I will be very happy with the CA99. I cannot wait for it to arrive!

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Hello everyone.

I have been lurking here for months before I finally had my CA99EP delivered last week.
I thank everyone on this thread for the informative debate that helped me in choosing my new piano.

I have experience of learning the piano around 30 years ago when I was a child, but since then never made any serious efforts to pick it up again.
Around 6 or 7 years back I decided to get a Yamaha P-105 to play around with some sheet music, but skills never really progressed since I did without any lessons or serious practice input.
Finally, few months ago I decided to take lessons and that is when I decided I needed a new digital piano.

I am no expert but a novice piano player, without any experience on expensive grand pianos or such, and to me CA99 is just marvelous.
The touch, the sound feels to me like playing on a superbly regulated instrument.
I have played on regular uprights from time to time, and the CA99 feels to me in many ways do not fall behind those accoustic pianos I had played.
The soundboard is fantastic. Sound itself is on another level compared to just having conventional speakers. To me the difference is real.
Besides the sound, I really enjoy the haptic vibration coming from the soundboard. I feel as if the instrument is really speaking to me.
I have read every reply on this post but I don't remember anybody mentioning about the smell of newly crafed wood coming from the action as I play.
To people like me who have been playing on the plastic made keyboards, the smell of wood is something of a new sensation. It's just such a joy.
Once I sit down in front of the piano, I just cannot stop playing. Sometimes, literally for hours. laugh

My CA99 does have some fallbacks and issues as well.
I have the infamous 'rattle' or 'buzz' noise coming from the left speakers.
It is very distinct, I can hear it really regardless of volume when playing bass notes. It is just really apparant when I have the volume over 40-50% and playing bass notes.
I first thought it was an assembly issue and was thinking of calling the dealer to have the screws tightened,
But after carefully reading this thread and taking cautious examinations to the sound I am 95% sure the 'buzzing' sound is produced by the piano signal itself.
Reason for that, the buzzing sound itself and the pattern of the buzzing sound is very reproduceable, and is directly coming out of the speakers when I put my ear on top of it,
and I can hear it on my headphones as well. Not as distinct on the headphones, but it's there.

I saw many people having this same issue in my local forums (I'm in Korea), and I hope there will be an official update to fix this fast, as it is to my understanding
some users have solved this issues by installing the beta version of the firmware distributed by @KawaiJames, and I just hope it can fix my problem as well.
The buzzing sound, is actually REALLY annyoing, it's true. I imagine depending on a person's sensitivity to register sound, it can definitely be an unacceptable defect.

Other than that, I feel that the pedals are too small. I don't know whether that's the standard for grand pianos, but they do discomfort my feet a little. Not a huge issue though.

The CA99 to me is a fabulous instrument. With the resolution of the buzzing sound issues, to a novice player like me, I feel I have years of joy ahead of me.
I hope my reply here is help to other novice player like me!


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Hello MAGWI, welcome to the forum, and thank you for sharing your positive thoughts about your new CA99EP.

Regarding the noise that you are experiencing, if you would like to receive the beta firmware for testing, may I kindly ask you to send me a PM with your contact details, along with the serial number of your piano.

Thank you in advance.

Kind regards,
James
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I had a technician come by to replace the touchscreen on my CA79, since the old touchscreen didn't register a touch very easily. I'm happy to report that the new touchscreen is working great, so much better than the old one. When you touch the screen, it registers, so I'm good to go.

It was also fun to see the inside of the keyboard, and it wasn't easy to replace the touchscreen. Seems like they could have designed that part of the piano a little better to make it easier to replace, it took the technician about two hours. So many pieces to take off.

All in all, I couldn't be happier with the CA79 or Kawai's customer support. Both are equally excellent.

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@KawaiJames, As I have told in some earlier post, I too have the noise problem in my CA99. It's indeed bugging me but on the other hand I have learned to live with it, so I can without too much pain wait for final release. Nevertheless, I just wanted to ask though, would you appreciate more testing for the beta? I can provide beta feedback if it's needed still.

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Hello Gianluca, thank you for your positive and very detailed posts!

Kind regards,
James
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by daz100
Wish kawai had made the Ca99 at least 5cm taller and then my sheetmusic would not keep flopping backwards...

I believe this was mentioned elsewhere in the forum, however the recommendation for single sheets of music is to place some stiff cardboard behind the paper. I believe this applies to most if not all piano music rests, not only the CA99.

I did not experience any problems placing my 9.7" iPad on the CA99 music rest, however I have not tried an iPad Pro.

Kind regards,
James
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@ daz100 & @Kawai James
As advised by another member in this forum back in April/May when i purchased my ca99, i have bought Katz Klip (small mechanical stopper that you clip on the music rest. It's not very expensive, quite nice looking and works perfectly (my music sheets do not move anymore).
Link to the website: https://katzklip.co.uk/


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Originally Posted by ag_jazz_piano
@ daz100 & @Kawai James
As advised by another member in this forum back in April/May when i purchased my ca99, i have bought Katz Klip (small mechanical stopper that you clip on the music rest. It's not very expensive, quite nice looking and works perfectly (my music sheets do not move anymore).
Link to the website: https://katzklip.co.uk/

Ah, good call!

Yes, the Katz Klip are really nice!

James
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Originally Posted by mwf
Thanks for that, i am in touch with the shop i bought it from who should act on it.

My first impressions on the ca99:

1. Touch/action is near perfect for a dp in this price range, beats everything else hands down. It's an absolute pleasure to play on, i can't fault it.. (my unit does has a defective key though). I find it almost impossible to get off the piano because it feels so good under the fingers, so so good in fact I think im in love with it.

2. Sound is a strange one overall, it's definitely growing on me, speakers seem good, but unless i have the master volume above half way the sound seems to come from the back of the unit only and sounds flat, dull and boxy, however volume turned up more makes the piano immediately spring to life! I have to say it's LOUD! Too loud for my room/house in fact. The soundboard is great and i love the haptic feedback. The main sk-ex rendering is gorgeous and I'm in complete awe of the resonances that are produced by everything working together so well. I hear very rich tones from this piano and it has surprised me how good they are. Some odd sounding notes, like the A and D in treble but overall excellent.

3. Some critisms: pedals are a little too small, touch pad is terrible and unresponsive (android app eliminates this though completely).

4. Want to end on this criticism if anyone can explain: why does the main default sk-ex rendering voice not have reverb, but has ambience instead? My issue is the reverb you can apply on the other piano voices is more noticeable and effects the tone far more than the weak ambience setting does on the rendering mode. I want concert hall reverb on the sk-ex rendering voice not some weak ambience setting like natural or large room setting which hardly adds anything to the main tone. I prefer the sk-ex concert setting with reverb, the piano sounds more alive and vibrant like it should. Yes i know you can alter the depth of the ambience, but it's still nothing compared to the reverb effect, a simple way of testing is to play staccato notes/chords and listen to that ringing out/spatiousness effect.

I also don't hear any difference between sk-ex rendering and sk-ex concert for example... Only if the sustain pedal is pressed, then its very different, far more resonances going on.

In summary, this piano is growing on me day by day, it is very much a pure piano alternative... Its meant for playing piano nothing else, kind of like the opposite of a yamaha CVP model and even more piano orientated than a CLP model... If that makes any sense. Its geared for serious piano players and concert artists.


Haven't been on this forum for a while ...
After using my CA99 EP for now almost 6 months already, this is the description i feel closest to.
I keep enjoying playing on my CA99 and actually it really motivated me to practice a lot more than before and to start practicing new pieces.
I play both classical and jazz but i must say i now play more and more classical on this piano as the touch and sound feel so good (don't know if this is my current mood, age or the piano itself !).
This is definitely a great piano, and i am a classic-educated pianist.
Most of the time i use the default piano setting SK-EX rendering which sounds the best for me.
I enjoy the quality of the sound both with and without speaker.
On speaker i use a Bose Quiet Noise cancelling and it is perfect.
I have tried once with the new Montblanc noise cancelling bluetooth headphones and the sound was very disappointing (to a point that it changed my feeling of the touch of the piano) -> this is to say that the quality and match of the headphones with the piano is really important and can make a huge difference.


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So I kept saying that my CA99 keys were fine, but not anymore. And I was not playing much.
A couple of keys are sort of creaking, there is a screeching sound and a scratching feeling when pressing the key. Something is touching something somewhere.
As far as I can see, the visible part is not touching anything. Also, trying to push the key to a side does not help.
This is a minor issue so far, it is not possible to hear it or feel it when playing, only when pressing the key down very slowly, or when the piano is switched off.
Another minor issue is that a few keys now have a dull sound upon release (of the hammer hitting something?). The sound is similar to the sound when hitting the key down.
Again, I cannot hear it while playing, only when testing with the piano switched off. But most of the keys do not have that sound.
And one key has a louder thinner sound when hitting it down, especially when hitting harder. Quite standing out from all the other duller sounding keys.
But not always, sometimes it sounds just like the other keys, but mostly - differently. Again, I cannot hear it while playing. Only when the piano is switched off.
But it is sort of a hammering a nail sound (I am exaggerating) , it might be quite annoying to others when playing with headphones.

So it seems that there is no reason to expect a good durability of the keyboard.
Therefore, I would like to know how to get access to the internals of the keyboard.
Do I need to disassemble the CA99 from the back? Or is it possible to remove just the front board somehow?

What I would like to have is the service manual of CA99. And I think I have the right to have it as an owner of a CA99.
I have the service manual of my other digital piano, GEM RPStudio. It is very helpful.
Also, I would like to know what exactly that white grease is, I would like to order some of it.
And perhaps some spare parts for the keyboard action. And some spare velocity sensors.

Last edited by Parkher; 11/03/20 08:52 AM.
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Good morning.

In these two days, I put the piano in automatic playback for several hours, to allow a faster speaker break-in, and I navigated through the various functions to better understand all the parameters.

I start by saying that as I suspected, after a short speaker break-in, the piano sounds much more complete and realistic. The first octave has gained a strength and gravity that is truly impressive, and even the midranges and tweeters now reproduce "ambience" in a very special way. Beautiful!
The various sample loops seem to be implemented very well, and note decay is quite natural. Perhaps in the lower notes (which are also those with a slower decay) there is a bit of artificiality in the decay, but you really need to concentrate to hear it. In normal use it is not noticeable. The various effects of the virtual technician are implemented with a very realistic effect and only a few parameters require in my opinion a different implementation (I will explain this later).
My opinion: this is a VERY SERIOUS INSTRUMENT, of the highest quality. A big applause goes to Kawai for recreating such a realistic instrument. I am sure it will improve further in the coming days when the speakers finished break-in, and I also do not rule out that future updates may implement further improvements to the sound.


Now some considerations on general use, software, and audio engine.

The touchscreen is very nice. I set the display to turn off automatically after 30 seconds, but I noticed that in reality the backlight is still active. Too bad .. turning off the backlight would have allowed to have an instrument in "total acoustic" mode without distractions (however, reading the forum, it seemed to me that I understood that this will be implemented in the next updates).

The touch is quite sensitive, but it is not always fast. I'm pretty sure it's a software (not hardware) issue as the "tap" works, but some windows open late. The scrolling of the menus (right/left and up/down) is very sensitive at any point on the screen, but some virtual sliders that require dragging sometimes do not work correctly. The most problematic one I found is the "Display Scale" slider. When set to the maximum size, it becomes very difficult to be able to adjust it again. I also tried to adjust another slider by putting it in the same position as the display and it works fine, so it means the touchscreen has no hardware issues and works fine.

Even the adjustment of some parameters is not consistent with the length of the sliders.
For example, the "Display Scale" parameter always has only three or four different values, while the "LCD Brightness" parameter has a continuous adjustment range over the entire slider and allows a more accurate adjustment.

I still don't understand the functionality of the "Startup Setting --> current" . I also noticed that by setting it to "power off" and turning it back on, the settings are stored but not loaded (bug?).
I would also like all the changes made to all piano voices (reverbs, virtual technician parameters, etc.) to be stored automatically and persisted even when turned off. On the other hand, when the instrument is switched off, all these parameters are reset to the factory values ​​(excluding the sound used at the moment of switching off, using the startup setting -->power off function).

The SK EX rendering sounds very good, but it lacks some parameters that are instead present in HI XL. Above all, "Key off effect" is missing, which for me is essential to recreate a correct release of the sound when the key is released slowly.

In the HI XL this parameter is present, however in my opinion the keys should have many more levels of release speed on the lower first three octaves, where this effect is particularly noticeable in acoustic pianos.


Some parameters, such as the "Hammer noise", are not calibrated well in the slider, so in the values ​​from 1 to 7 there is little variation, and from 7 to 10 a greater change is concentrated;
I noticed the same thing for example in the "Release time": from the value 4 to 5 there is too big a change. The effects of the change should therefore (in my opinion) be better distributed over the entire length of the slider for some parameters.

It would be useful if the possibility of adjusting all the parameters for each single note was implemented, in order to have total control over the voicing. It could also be a way to differentiate the larger CA99 / 79 models from the smaller ones.

example: CA79/99 all voicing parameters note by note; CA49/59 few voicing parameters note by note.

Summing up, here's what I'd like to find in the next updates:

1 Correction of "Display Scale" slider operation

2 Correction of some sliders of virtual technician (homogeneous variation of the parameter over the entire length of the slider)

3 More levels of key release velocity in the first three octaves, to better implement the key off effect

4 Insert absent parameters (such as "Key Off Effect") also in SK EX rendering

5 Implement to adjust all virtual technician parameters note by note.

6 Store all changes (in the Piano window) of the virtual technician parameters, reverb, etc. for each single piano (SK EX, EX, SK5 etc.) automatically. These changes should remain even when the instrument is turned off and be available when the instrument is turned back on.

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Gianluca,
Note by note volume (loudness) control and voicing control is promised in an update this year.
Also custom temperaments and custom (stretch) tuning.
I really would not mind also having note-by-note custom velocity curve, just in case something goes wrong with velocity sensors for some keys. Although volume and brightness (via voicing) note-by-note adjustments are promised, so those would help in that case.

Gianluca, did you try various distances from the wall? And also wall1, wall2, wall off settings. There is also bass boost and more equalizing options (damping various ranges) in the virtual technician. They are sort of not quite note-by-note volume adjustments, but still something. Sometimes useful with headphones, depending on the frequency response of your headphones.

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Oh, sorry, I'm not sure if some of those things are applicable to CA79, such as the wall parameter, the distance from the wall, etc.

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Hello Parkher, yes I also tried the various equalizations (in the CA79, however, there are no wall 1/2, they are probably necessary implementations for the soundboard).
Each equalization adds a particular character, but in my environment the "flat" position is the best ...

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Hey y'all, here's my best solo recording
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