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Joined: Oct 2019
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sigul Offline OP
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Finally, my research seems arrived to an end. I am still consider to look for some silent, but playing mostly with headphones it make sense to look for a digital piano. I have to go to play and choose between Kawai CA99, top digital piano from Kawai, or a Yamaha NU1 hybrid, old model.

Kawai pro and cons: released 2020, soundboard, great sounds (especially jazz, that is what I am studying), bluetooth audio to play on basis from iPad such as iReal o MTH or even listening to the online guided practice and play without relying on a second app and cables, great grand piano action. Price € 3,500 + my Casio AP470. But it appears it has lots of small bugs in the software and some quality issue with the hardware (but this should be covered by warranty, hopefully)

Yamaha NU1 pro and cons: real vertical piano action, CFX sound but not much more, released in 2010 and discontinued for NU1X (priced at €5400). 3y old piece, comes at € 2,500 + my casio.

Kawai has tone rendering while Yamaha sampling. Not sure of the difference, but rendering should be better. Also more powerful in amplification, but I will use it with headphones or in a very small room with piano, two desk, 1 char and mostly nothing more.

The alternative would be an acoustic with a recent silent such as Kawai 200 with Atx3 (€ 5850) or an hybrid (Kawai NV-5S at € 5590) but this would be a bit out of budget, or an acoustic with Genius silent (4000 generally) and definitely not as good as the digital with headphone and for the digital part.

I'd go with Kawai CA99: do you agree?
Should I consider investing in the Novus NV-5S or Yamaha NU1X? Or committing to an old silent plus iPad with Korg or Ravenscroft (Mac on the piano is not comfortable) even if I will play 90% with headphones for some years?

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Presumably, if you bought the Kawai or the Yamaha digitals, you'd not want to acquire, or use, a VST and associated junk? If you're going to use it 90% on h'phones, you might as well forget about the expense of buying and maintaining an acoustic.
NV5, NU1X would be a better more distinct choice, if you can sit down and compare both for sound - and touch.
I've been happy enough with Pianoteq after a long haul setting it up, but if I had one of those two, I'd most likely ditch it in a heartbeat and just . . . play..


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Would an MP11se, and a pair of good powered monitors, and headphones, do the job?

Last edited by Charles Cohen; 12/01/21 12:22 PM.

. Charles
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I just bought a CA99 and it had to be delivered over 300 miles in a trailer since the CA99 comes fully assembled. It was out of the box already so it got bounced around quite a bit on the way here. I've had it just a week. It came with the second-latest firmware, not the Oct. 2021 update that was just posted that has some "built-in" problems. So far zero issues at all mechanically or with the basic operation.

I read every post in the "CA79/CA99 Owners" thread and came away with this conclusion: http://forum.pianoworld.com//ubbthr...i-ca79-ca99-owners-club.html#Post3170964

Some people agreed, like this person: http://forum.pianoworld.com//ubbthr...i-ca79-ca99-owners-club.html#Post3171148

Remember, some people here are vastly experienced and others, like me, are not. Things that are showstoppers to some people are a non-issue to me.

I like the fact that I can use headphones and I can link my iPad apps to the piano using Bluetooth instead of dangling wires. I like the feel of the keyboard.

My wife's aunt was here last week and has played piano longer than I've been alive. She graduated college with a music major before I was even born in the 1950's. She came in the front door, saw the new CA99 that was delivered the day before, took her coat off and sat down and began playing. She really liked the sound and the keyboard and that's good enough validation for me.

Last edited by NXR; 12/01/21 12:39 PM.

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sigul Offline OP
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Well… it’d not be a piano, I don’t know. I will give it a look, but… I want a piano not a keyboard… although there’s probably not a big difference with a digital one.

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A Kawai VPC1 plus VSTs is the solution I found to be really flexible and close enough to the real thing. YMMV


Yamaha U3H
Kawai VPC1
...plus some other DPs, synths, controllers and VSTs

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VPC1 has key dimensions like any other cheap keyboard, but still weighs 25kg. If you are playing silently anyways, go with MP11SE. Essentially the same keyboard as CA99, but also half the price. It's also not as bulky. Though, if you need warranty service, you have to bring it to some authorized repair shop yourself. Because it's less bulky, you can also put additional stuff under or over it. That's hard to do with CA99. See the pic in my footer. Also, if you play silently for the most part, CA99 won't offer much over CA79.

Last edited by Marc345; 12/01/21 07:05 PM.

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SW: Garritan CFX, Ravenscroft 275, Modern U, Noire, Absolute 5, Acousticsamples B5
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I owned a CA (not the 99) and I currently own an NU1 (which I am selling, PM me if anybody is interested), so here are my impressions with both. Full disclosure: I'm selling the NU1 just because I bought a fantastic acoustic grand and I am not utilizing it much, so I cannot "justify" to my wife the money "sitting" there and taking up square footage. If I had not bought that grand (before I had a cheaper acoustic grand), I would have kept the NU1, which is still a great instrument,

On an action perspective, the NU1 wins hands down compared to the CA, for me. However the CA is the best action that you can buy that is not a hybrid one.... Some people disagree with me, because they think the "real upright action" is inferior to the "simulated grand action". Instead of starting a endless moot discussion, let's agree that it is a personal preference. You try both and see what *you* like best.

On features perspective, the CA99 should be better, however how many of those features are you really going to use and need? How many will become obsolete in X years? How many will you replace with computer-based virtual instruments such as Pianoteq and/or sample-based VST? Only you can tell. My Concert Artist (one without the soundboard) became "old" too soon for me from this point of view, and I upgraded to the NU1.

On sound perspective, theoretically the CA99 should be better because it's newer and it has the soundboard. For the number of sounds etc see previous questions. For the soundboard only you can tell: listen to both with and without headphones and make your decision. Mine did not have the soundboard, so my comparison is a moot point, but I liked the NU1 better.

If it were me, I value the action more and I like the simplicity and the lack of distractions, so if I were you I'd buy the NU1 and save the money. In fact I bought it and as I said I would have kept it if it weren't for that grand being "too good". But it's you, and you may like to fiddle with the settings more than I do, or like the "simulated grand action" better than the "real upright action", and not have problem with the higher price so if you go for the CA99 I cannot tell that your choice is wrong.

What I can tell you is that the price differential between the NU1 and the NU1x is excessive. The two models are almost identical, and the price difference is excessive (I understand there is also the new vs old issue).

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PS: I never played a Novus, so I can't tell anything about that. I played and ATX once and the acoustic was fine, but the digital was underwhelming. It could be that I was having a bad day, or that it was not properly regulated, but based on that I would not spend that much money on one, **especially** if you care mostly about the digital

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Originally Posted by Del Vento
I owned a CA (not the 99) and I currently own an NU1 (which I am selling, PM me if anybody is interested), so here are my impressions with both. Full disclosure: I'm selling the NU1 just because I bought a fantastic acoustic grand and I am not utilizing it much, so I cannot "justify" to my wife the money "sitting" there and taking up square footage. If I had not bought that grand (before I had a cheaper acoustic grand), I would have kept the NU1, which is still a great instrument,

On an action perspective, the NU1 wins hands down compared to the CA, for me. However the CA is the best action that you can buy that is not a hybrid one.... Some people disagree with me, because they think the "real upright action" is inferior to the "simulated grand action". Instead of starting a endless moot discussion, let's agree that it is a personal preference. You try both and see what *you* like best.

On features perspective, the CA99 should be better, however how many of those features are you really going to use and need? How many will become obsolete in X years? How many will you replace with computer-based virtual instruments such as Pianoteq and/or sample-based VST? Only you can tell. My Concert Artist (one without the soundboard) became "old" too soon for me from this point of view, and I upgraded to the NU1.

On sound perspective, theoretically the CA99 should be better because it's newer and it has the soundboard. For the number of sounds etc see previous questions. For the soundboard only you can tell: listen to both with and without headphones and make your decision. Mine did not have the soundboard, so my comparison is a moot point, but I liked the NU1 better.

If it were me, I value the action more and I like the simplicity and the lack of distractions, so if I were you I'd buy the NU1 and save the money. In fact I bought it and as I said I would have kept it if it weren't for that grand being "too good". But it's you, and you may like to fiddle with the settings more than I do, or like the "simulated grand action" better than the "real upright action", and not have problem with the higher price so if you go for the CA99 I cannot tell that your choice is wrong.

What I can tell you is that the price differential between the NU1 and the NU1x is excessive. The two models are almost identical, and the price difference is excessive (I understand there is also the new vs old issue).
thanks a lot for the feedback. What I really like of CA99 is that I can connect my iPad via Bluetooth and play over backing track from iReal/other apps or the audio of the interactive practices from Open Studio Jazz I am following, both in headphones and not. NU1 would require to connect it via usb and play with an iPad app, and this would work only with headphone (unless you connect some speakers to the iPad)

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Originally Posted by sigul
thanks a lot for the feedback. What I really like of CA99 is that I can connect my iPad via Bluetooth and play over backing track from iReal/other apps or the audio of the interactive practices from Open Studio Jazz I am following, both in headphones and not. NU1 would require to connect it via usb and play with an iPad app, and this would work only with headphone (unless you connect some speakers to the iPad)
I often connect my iPad to my NU1 and also connect the iPad headphone socket out to the NU1 line in. That all works just fine.

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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Originally Posted by sigul
thanks a lot for the feedback. What I really like of CA99 is that I can connect my iPad via Bluetooth and play over backing track from iReal/other apps or the audio of the interactive practices from Open Studio Jazz I am following, both in headphones and not. NU1 would require to connect it via usb and play with an iPad app, and this would work only with headphone (unless you connect some speakers to the iPad)
I often connect my iPad to my NU1 and also connect the iPad headphone socket out to the NU1 line in. That all works just fine.
Didn’t think to use line in, interesting.

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Originally Posted by sigul
Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Originally Posted by sigul
thanks a lot for the feedback. What I really like of CA99 is that I can connect my iPad via Bluetooth and play over backing track from iReal/other apps or the audio of the interactive practices from Open Studio Jazz I am following, both in headphones and not. NU1 would require to connect it via usb and play with an iPad app, and this would work only with headphone (unless you connect some speakers to the iPad)
I often connect my iPad to my NU1 and also connect the iPad headphone socket out to the NU1 line in. That all works just fine.
Didn’t think to use line in, interesting.

You are most welcome!

I occasionally do the same as spanishbuddha. Only thing is to lower the NU1 volume before messing up with cables (or better yet, do it before turning the instrument on), otherwise the speakers would "cry". The NU1 has also MIDI-over-USB, so if your app supports that you can do that too (both directions with one cable). For example I tried it with Piano Marvel and it worked great.

Last edited by Del Vento; 12/02/21 08:36 AM.

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