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Joined: Nov 2019
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Originally Posted by jeffcat
Where is the sensor on the nv5, if it's before the escapement stage, then it can't have trouble with trills, if it's after the escapement, and the action is not properly regulated, then trill problems can happen.

The sensor rail detects a small "wing" or "fin" that sits on every hammer butt. It passes through the detection point(s) as the hammer butt rotates (with the hammer flying). I posted this photo last year, where you can see it:

[Linked Image]

I have not examined the sensor rail, but I suspect that the same optical hardware works in two phases. First, it detects the hammer velocity (on key-down). In the second phase it detects key release (without velocity information). To do the latter, the backcheck needs to hold the hammer in a position that still covers (one of) the sensor(s) in the rail.

Since there is no measured note-off velocity information, I suppose that it's the last sensor of the return travel which remains covered while the key is kept down (IF there are multiple sensors).


On my NV5 I found that the note plays right before the hammer actually escapes. I don't know if this is an inherent requirement of the sensor rail or if it's only how my NV5 happened to come from the factory. I need to release the key quite a bit before it detects the release (note-off). Without having done exact measurements, the let-off completes maybe at about 75% down, and note-off happens at about 50% up or so.


These are the mechanical details. I'm curious what you'll extrapolate from them.


About the decision NV5 vs CA99: If I didn't have either, I'd clearly go for the NV5. See the thread that I initiated about it to know more about why. I considered the CA98 at the time. Note that I have the NV5 for over a year now and it keeps motivating me to practice every day.

BUT since you already have the CA99, it really depends on how much you "need" accurate acoustic touch. Some features (very few, but still..) are better on the CA99, so you're not 100% upgrading with the swap. Unless you're all-around unhappy with your CA99, you should really try the NV5 before committing. For example, the plan of "fixing" a potentially heavier action with software settings is contrary to the idea of getting a real (!) acoustic action. In the end you might just have different complaints after the swap.

To me personally, the most important differences would be:

- The weight of the keys when they are already down, i.e. the force that my fingers have to apply to keep them down. Should be low so that I can partially relax the fingers.

- By extension, the force profile that "fights" against my finger while it travels from top to bottom. It should be mostly equal during the travel and low near the bottom (after escapement).

- Is there remaining inertia that I need to overcome when I want to repeat a note shortly after playing it already? On digitals, you can observe "key bounce" when you release a key. The more and the longer they bounce, the higher the impact of it for playing repeated notes.

I haven't tried any CA9x recently, so I can't tell. But it's night and day on my old CN37 vs the NV5.

Last edited by pppianomarc; 12/25/20 05:10 PM.
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pppianomarc,

What you describe is essentially how the NV-10 works as well, and think it's an accurate description. Of note, Kawai's patent describes how their hammer sensor system is compact enough to work for both grand and upright actions (the implication is that Yamaha's hammer sensing system is only for their grand actions, the uprights and NU-series only use the key sensors.


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That's the last stage of the action, assuming there are no other sensors, if the action is not regulated properly, this could indeed cause repetition problems if the hammer is not resetting properly at the rated speed.

For example if they put an optical sensor rail on the key stick instead, the hammer would still function to provide the key feel, but then the repetition detection would work independently of the rest of the action. <I surmise this wasn't the goal> They wanted to be as authentic as possible by detecting the end stage. This of course then adds all the dependencies of the other parts. Assuming everything's equal, the action would require regulation like a acoustic pianos, where all the compression of felts/ soft parts/ humidity impact the timings in the system.

I read something about yamaha's detection system where they polled 3 places ? It was in a brochure so it didn't have a diagram or anything.

Perhaps the kawai also polls multiple places.

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similar dilemma i had, a beginner, wishing training, what action to train on (then comes the price consideration). principle is, CA99 is simulated acoustic action, NV5 is (95%? or very highly) real acoustic action.

the question was, train for what - if we believe our future doesn't require acoustic - then it no longer matters. train on a digital piano (DP) action, play on DP. in future, if you encounter acoustics for some reason - in schools, in friend's homes, just try to adapt to it, press harder etc.

if u want/need to train for traditional exams, notice that exams have also changed, especially due to covid. ABRSM digital piano exams were possible before covid (theoretically to grade 8 i believe), but most may not have done it. but now with covid, u really are encouraged to record your grade 8 exams, and u can do so with a DP that is recognised.

if u want/need to train for traditional acoustic skills + exams on acoustic-type piano, then the NV5 fulfills that, not the CA99. (then comes considering the price, and competing NV10 choice).

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Demo for Kawai CA99.


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Originally Posted by kailord
similar dilemma i had, a beginner, wishing training, what action to train on (then comes the price consideration). principle is, CA99 is simulated acoustic action, NV5 is (95%? or very highly) real acoustic action.

the question was, train for what - if we believe our future doesn't require acoustic - then it no longer matters. train on a digital piano (DP) action, play on DP. in future, if you encounter acoustics for some reason - in schools, in friend's homes, just try to adapt to it, press harder etc.

if u want/need to train for traditional exams, notice that exams have also changed, especially due to covid. ABRSM digital piano exams were possible before covid (theoretically to grade 8 i believe), but most may not have done it. but now with covid, u really are encouraged to record your grade 8 exams, and u can do so with a DP that is recognised.

if u want/need to train for traditional acoustic skills + exams on acoustic-type piano, then the NV5 fulfills that, not the CA99. (then comes considering the price, and competing NV10 choice).


Exactly, well said! There has to be a threshold of how far you take it based on cost and need and we will all be different in that respect. And then be happy with our choice and not question it

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I feel like that too, if I end up going over 4,000 then I could buy a car instead which actually serves a function as opposed to piano which for me is just a hobby (albeit one that I will be devoting many hundreds of hours to)

Last edited by InspiredByKawai; 02/19/21 12:01 PM.
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The last few posts is the right way to approach this. If you have deep pockets and only the finest will do then limit yourself to the hybrids. Nothing wrong with that but the higher end digital pianos are still very nice to play on.

As a side note; the last two churches I played at had digital pianos instead of acoustic pianos. So you might be training on the right instrument by buying a digital laugh


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
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Is there really THE accoustic action. Isn't it completely different based on the piano.
And as a beginner if i would have a NV5 instead of a CA-79 would it really make a big difference based on what a beginner play?
If you play already 10-20 years piano and you want to have an accoustic but you can't buy one because of your living situation ofc it makes really sense to get a hybrid. But sometimes i'm just confused if the suggestions here in the forum are not overkill for the planned usage.

Last edited by DaveX; 02/20/21 05:57 AM.
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Originally Posted by DaveX
Is there really THE accoustic action. Isn't it completely different based on the piano.
And as a beginner if i would have a NV5 instead of a CA-79 would it really make a big difference based on what a beginner play?
If you play already 10-20 years piano and you want to have an accoustic but you can't buy one because of your living situation ofc it makes really sense to get a hybrid. But sometimes i'm just confused if the suggestions here in the forum are not overkill for the planned usage.
If you switch to and play regularly on acoustics, then a hybrid is for you. If playing an acoustic is rare, then there is nothing wrong with a good normal digital. Just be aware it doesn't feel or respond like an acoustic no matter what the marketing or this forum says. A good digital will allow you to progress and make music. But, you'll likely be surprised first time you try to play, control, an acoustic coming from nothing but digital.

What happened to your FP30X bundle?

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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
[quote=DaveX]
What happened to your FP30X bundle?

You mean FP90X... wink Have to wait like nearly any other piano is currently sold out. And btw after i could get hands on a Kawai I changed my order to a CA79ep eek...

but back to topic. i just mean we had e.g. an accoustic upright piano as i was a child and even this felt completely different to the piano in our music school. If i read here often its not like an accoustic piano i just ask my self which accoustic? Does every accoustic piano has a perfect key action? Does every accoustic grand or upright feel the same? And if i learn beginner pieces why should i get a problem on "real" accoustic pianos?
I even don't had a problem switching between my FP30 and the accoustic in my music school. But ofc i don't play Rachmaninoff 3rd or sth like that.

Last edited by DaveX; 02/20/21 10:38 AM.
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