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#3230425 07/05/22 11:33 AM
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I am new to this forum. I am now the owner of the new, upgraded Kawai Novus 10S. After a few weeks of working through this wonderful instrument, I can share a few thoughts.
But first, I am a retired Professor of Music and have played numerous grand pianos in a variety of settings throughout my 38 year career at a college.
We will soon be downsizing to a townhouse with neighbors on both sides. My large grand piano is not only worn out from 45 years of use, but is too big for our new space, and too loud for the neighbors. (I enjoy playing late at night.). So, in considering a new piano, a hybrid was certainly an option.
When I heard a music store near me just received the Novus 10S, I immediately drove there.
My priorities were basic but necessary—the action must be a real grand action, and the piano sounds must be adequate. ( I didn’t and don”t care much for strings, voices, and other instrument sounds.)
You all know the Kawai Novus 10 and 10S have the same action as Kawai’s concert grands. I instantly realized how great it is—as good as any grand action I ever played. The sound through the speakers is certainly adequate, but it still sounds like a piano sound coming through speakers—which is certainly the nature of the beast. But through good quality headphones (I have four of them)—wow—beautifully authentic.
I have experimented with altering the sound in many different ways, including settings for the lid (on full stick or closed), various degrees of warmth, mellow, bright, default settings, etc. I experimented with the placement of the piano, whether up against wall or in the middle of the room. Everything changes the sound a bit. I created three different presets (favorites) for playing through the speakers and three different presets for playing through headphones (yes—each vehicle sounds different).
The versatility of the instrument is impressive and I look forward to growing with his new Novus 10S as we get to know each other better.
So far, it’s pretty awesome and fits my retirement needs beautifully.
Thanks for reading!
Ron A

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Welcome, Ron! A superb instrument indeed, and great to hear it's doing its job replacing a real acoustic grand.

Since you're extremely familiar with an authentic piano tone and response, you might want to consider adding a laptop or PC to run a VST. VSL, Garritan and Pianoteq are very popular replacements for the built-in sound generators of any digital piano, and can add to the realism and depth to better match the authentic grand piano action.


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Congrats, I've been waiting a year for a 10S to show up around here so I can try it.


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Hi Ron, from a fellow academic.
Please post every now and then so we can see how your ownership experience goes, what adjustments it might need, etc.

Did you consider any of the other competing products from other manufacturers?

I think the NV-10s action, as a whole, is more similar to a smaller GL-series grand than it is to the SK-EX concert grand, but of course they share a lot of the same technologies.


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Thanks! I’ve played many solo piano faculty recitals at my college and at several other colleges as a guest artist and thus have experience on many concert grands. Of course, every piano was different in feel and sound, and every piano had some sort of compromise to make as far as my preferences went. So, entering retirement and switching to the Novus 10S from my acoustic experiences will definitely challenge my willingness to compromise in certain areas. After only having it in my home a short time, I feel there is no need to compromise on the action (which, of course, can also be adjusted using the Virtual Technician) and that’s from playing everything from a Chopin Nocturne and Ballade, to a Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody. I feel the sound through my headphones is very good. The sound through the speakers is where I need to compromise the most. But I simply need more time to simply “live with it” before deciding whether I’ll venture into using Pianoteq or something along those lines.

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Welcome to the forum Ron,

Glad you're enjoying the instrument. It is indeed very hard to beat good headphones using amps and speakers. It can be particularly difficult in these larger hybrids.

There are certain headphones which are more compfy and lighter to wear. These can improve the experience of longer practice sessions.

Glad you're enjoying the Kawai tone. I myself haven't felt much need for VST sounds but my model is still fairly current.

One of the main benefits of a VST piano is that you can have different models of piano without upgrading the hardware---some very accurately sampled---ie, to mix thing up for the brain. After 5 years or so, things move on technology wise.

Pianoteq also provides a modelling experience which whilst tonally less accurate, can better simulate the feel of playing from a dynamic control and resonance point of view.

Some people have very tastefully upgraded their Novus (without masses of wires) using this approach. Whilst I appreciate you're not going to want to dive into VSTs anytime soon, this post by Navindra might be of interest if you do one day:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...omised-to-show-long-ago.html#Post3222063

In the mean time, hope you enjoy exploring what the Kawai can do.


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Congrats on the new piano. I almost bought an NV10 a couple of years ago but hesitated and it sold. We just had a used N1X pop up here in Atlanta that I am thinking about going to look at.


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Hello Ron,

Welcome to the forum, thank you for sharing your interesting background, and congratulations on the recent purchase of your Novus NV10S.

Kind regards,
James
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Originally Posted by Ron A
The sound through the speakers is where I need to compromise the most.
Curious if you had a chance to try the NV5S, many people say it has better sound than the NV10S. It's too bad they didn't put the soundboard in the instrument with the grand action.


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MarkL:
I did not have a chance to try the NV5S, but I would not have purchased one anyway. For me, a real grand action was a requirement—and the 10S action is wonderful—fast, versatile, and completely responsive. As I mentioned earlier, the l0S sounds great through my headphones—spacious and full, and adequate through the speakers. It”s the “adequate” I will probably find ways to improve upon in the future.

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check out professional pianist and PW forums member Philip_Johnston. he went "all digital" (which you reminded me of) and has some amazing videos demonstrating VSTs

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2390249/%22Real_Enough&quot.html
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2365609/1.html
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2366657/Real_enough?_-_Part_2.html
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2374786.html




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Congratulations on purchase, I may be getting a NV10S in time... However in UK they have gone up in price to £8500! Which is bordering on ridiculous for a digital piano.

However like you I've played on many different grand pianos over the course of many years and they got the feeling and responsiveness spot on, it handles any virtuosic piece with ease like a grand should.

I think it must have the same samples as the CA99? and the older NV10 had the ones from CA98... it's this right kawai James would know?

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Originally Posted by mwf
I think it must have the same samples as the CA99? and the older NV10 had the ones from CA98... it's this right kawai James would know?

Yes, that's correct.

In terms of sound generation:

CA98 = NV10/NV5 = ATX3/AR
CA99 = NV10S/NV5S = ATX4/AR2

Cheers,
James
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I believe the NV10 or NV10s has an overall more realistic action than the Yamaha actions in the AvantGrand series because it emulates the reduction in down weight when the damper pedal is depressed by having faux dampers that are held up so that a key press does not require the additional force to raise the damper when the damper pedal is used.

Alternatively, we could view this as adding the down weight of a faux damper to lift when the damper pedal is not engaged.


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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
I believe the NV10 or NV10s has an overall more realistic action than the Yamaha actions in the AvantGrand series because it emulates the reduction in down weight when the damper pedal is depressed by having faux dampers that are held up so that a key press does not require the additional force to raise the damper when the damper pedal is used.

Alternatively, we could view this as adding the down weight of a faux damper to lift when the damper pedal is not engaged.

Nothing to do with that extra feature, it helps sure but it's still far superior regardless of that feature.

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Originally Posted by mwf
Congratulations on purchase, I may be getting a NV10S in time... However in UK they have gone up in price to £8500! Which is bordering on ridiculous for a digital piano.
Digital pianos are pricier than they were two years ago. In 2019, a Kawai MP11SE had a street price of $2800 in the US. Today, it is $3500. It is a similar story with most digital pianos. Yamaha prices seem to have gone up a little less so far.


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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Originally Posted by mwf
Congratulations on purchase, I may be getting a NV10S in time... However in UK they have gone up in price to £8500! Which is bordering on ridiculous for a digital piano.
Digital pianos are pricier than they were two years ago. In 2019, a Kawai MP11SE had a street price of $2800 in the US. Today, it is $3500. It is a similar story with most digital pianos. Yamaha prices seem to have gone up a little less so far.

$2800? I recall people reporting $2100-2200 for the MP11SE back in the pre-COVID days.


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The street price was $2800 in mid-2019. When Guitar Center had their sales, it sometimes would drop to $2300. I’m sure it was even lower prior to that.


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It seems like we're talking about a bygone era. But I think $2800 was more of the MSRP than the street price, which if you check the Prices Paid thread, was usually much lower.


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Currently, the MSRP of an MP11SE is $4199:

https://kawaius.com/product/mp11se/

Currently, the advertised street price of an MP11SE is $3499:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MP11SE--kawai-mp11se-88-key-professional-stage-piano

Those are the types of price quotes I’m referring to by MSRP and street price.

In June 2019, $2799 was the advertised street price, and well below MSRP. There probably was some wiggle room there. When Guitar Center had their 20% off sale that month, Kawai was not excluded, and the MP11SE could be ordered for $2299 (discounts were limited to $500).

To bring this back to the thread topic, it begs the question: are hybrids like the the NV10s marketed in the US like acoustic pianos where it is customary to negotiate heavily on the price, or more like portable/stage instruments where the street price advertised at mail order outfits is more rigid, maybe with a little bit of wiggle room sometimes, but not always?


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