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Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting)

Posted By: Marcel M

Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/12/18 04:50 PM

I am no big audiophile, but I enjoy nice, clean and bright sound of any music/instrument. I am new owner of Kawai CA48, and I noticed (unfortunately after I damaged the box so I cannot return it) a quiet sharp noise, like resonance or vibration, when playing most of the notes when using headphones. First I though it is resonance coming from the headphones, but it is there with any headphones.

This noise is extreme when I set brilliance to +10. Then it is also noticeable form the speakers and during playing all notes every time. When I set up brilliance to 0, the noise is still noticeable from headphones, not always, from the speakers it is less noticeable. When the brilliance is set to some lower, negative numbers, the noise is not noticeable, but then the piano sound is bad... because of luck of brilliance.
Other setting does not do anything to the noise. It is there with virtual technician turned and other selections off, with any sounds...

I was in a shop and tried CN27, CN37, all have the same problem. Is it a feature or what? Now I really notice it a lot even with low brilliance setting, because I know it is there.

What is going on? That is so bad... Are other owners of KAWAI experiencing the same?
Posted By: MacMacMac

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/12/18 04:58 PM

It could be your ears. Get a second opinion. Another person might not hear these artifacts. (At my advanced age I'll bet I would not hear it.)

Anyway ... don't let a damaged box prevent you from returning the piano. The box has no value. So talk to the dealer and arrange an exchange or a substitute piano.
Posted By: JoBert

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/12/18 06:03 PM

It is possible that this is a normal piano sound. A good digital piano (and the CA48 certainly is a first step into the high end range) simulates all kinds of resonances and overtones. It may be something like that.

Does the CA48 have an adjustable setting for the "undamped string resonances"? If so, then try adjusting it to the minimum. If not, does it have any adjustable resonances settings? Try setting those to a minimum.

Do you still hear the same noise?
Posted By: Marcel M

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/12/18 06:31 PM

CA48 has I limited settings options of the sound. Per the manual there is a ipad app that should allow more options. (I dont have an iPad) Anyway, I turn all to minimum but the noise is there when the brilliance is set to higher values. What about your NV10? When you set brilliance to +10, is the sound clear without any disturbing "vibration sounds?"

Edit: by limited settings I mean this is all that is there: http://www.kawai-global.com/data/manuals/CA48_EN_Operation_Guide.pdf
Posted By: JoBert

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/12/18 07:24 PM

The NV10 has a different sound engine than the CA48 so it's not really comparable. Also I don't know what exactly you mean by "disturbing vibrations" so I can't really say if I hear them on my piano or not.

From the doc you linked, the CA48 has a simple virtual technician. Compare the "Deep Resonances" setting with the "Light Resonances". Do you hear a difference regarding the noise?

Or can you make a recording (on which you hear the effect) and post it?
Posted By: Marcel M

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/12/18 07:58 PM

Here is the recording: soundcloud
The sound is obviously too bright, brilliance set to +10, others turned off. It is not as noticeable as live, but in 12-15seconds that is no mic issue or anything, that is what is coming out from the piano.
NO difference between "Deep Resonances" setting and the "Light Resonances" setting, noise-wise.
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/13/18 12:10 AM

Hello Marcel, welcome to the forum.

Originally Posted by Marcel M
I noticed...a quiet sharp noise, like resonance or vibration


I expect this is a natural characteristic of the original SK-EX concert grand piano.

Originally Posted by Marcel M
This noise is extreme when I set brilliance to +10.


Using a maximum Brilliance setting will almost certainly accentuate certain high frequency characteristics - this is to be expected. I personally would not recommend using such extreme settings.

Originally Posted by Marcel M
I was in a shop and tried CN27, CN37, all have the same problem. Is it a feature or what?


Again, I expect it's a characteristic of the original SK-EX piano sound, so not a problem.

As JoBert notes, the CA48 features the 'Smart Mode' Virtual Technician presets. In order to access the individual parameters of 'Advanced Mode' an iPad will be required.

Originally Posted by Marcel M
NO difference between "Deep Resonances" setting and the "Light Resonances" setting, noise-wise.


Okay, what about using the 'Noiseless' preset?
If you like a bright piano sound, I would recommend trying the 'Brilliant' preset with the Brilliance setting set to 0.

I have listened to your Soundcloud recording, but cannot hear any problems - it sounds like a very bright SK-EX sound recorded using a mobile phone.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: rolex67

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/13/18 01:42 AM

Hi!
If you are not satisfied with the CA 48 sounds,
You also have the possibility to try a VST, hoping this DP has a midi plug.
Posted By: Marcel M

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/13/18 05:05 AM

Thanks guys for the input. If the Soundcloud sample really sounds OK, then there is simple something wrong with my ears.

Juste note, that my previous Yamaha YDP141 (1/3 of the price CA48) sounded super clear.
I personally like piano sound with "deep resonance" and bigger reverb (small hall), but brilliance has to be set to -4 so there is not buzzing noise. Second piano sound (Kawai EX) is more bright so it sound better with negative brilliance setting. But I would love SK-EX sound with brilliance +3 without buzzing.
Posted By: arc7urus

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/13/18 12:59 PM

Originally Posted by Marcel M
Thanks guys for the input. If the Soundcloud sample really sounds OK, then there is simple something wrong with my ears.

Juste note, that my previous Yamaha YDP141 (1/3 of the price CA48) sounded super clear.
I personally like piano sound with "deep resonance" and bigger reverb (small hall), but brilliance has to be set to -4 so there is not buzzing noise. Second piano sound (Kawai EX) is more bright so it sound better with negative brilliance setting. But I would love SK-EX sound with brilliance +3 without buzzing.


Marcel M: one suggestion, go to the Kawai website and listen to some recordings made with the CA98. Do you also hear the "buzzing noise" in any of the CA98 demos? Although the CA98 has a different sound engine than the CA48, the "noise" you may actually be hearing may be the resonance or just the effect of a very high brilliance setting. You will find the demos under "Klangbeispiele" (Pianist modus): https://www.kawai.de/products/digitalpianos/caserie/ca98/
Posted By: mabraman

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/13/18 01:56 PM

Ca48 comes with old PHI sound engine, same as in my ES7.
Do you hear such a noise in this track below?.
It's Concert Grand1+string resonance at 9/10+brilliant1 voicing+Heavy touch. No EQ (in the ES7 you have no brilliance knob, but can increase or lower it via EQ and voicing).
https://soundcloud.com/mabraman/edvard-grieg-arietta-op-12-n1

It's a little bit harsh sometimes but not noisy.
Posted By: Marcel M

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/14/18 08:08 PM

mabraman, piano sound in your recording is very clean and beautiful, there is some background recording noice, otherwise it is clean. Here is my another recording using line-in instead of mic. The noise I am talking about should be more hearable from this one:

https://soundcloud.com/marcel-m-615275674/kawai-brilliance-noise-2
Posted By: mabraman

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/15/18 07:07 PM

I can't hear any strange noise, other than excesive brilliance. As headphones, I'd suggest that you buy some Sennheiser HD 558 or similar. They work well to darken the sound and mask kawai's typical harshnesh. CA48 has no great speakers, but you will get used to its sound.
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/16/18 02:46 AM

Hello Marcel,

Originally Posted by Marcel M
mabraman, piano sound in your recording is very clean and beautiful, there is some background recording noice, otherwise it is clean. Here is my another recording using line-in instead of mic. The noise I am talking about should be more hearable from this one:

https://soundcloud.com/marcel-m-615275674/kawai-brilliance-noise-2


I listened to your recording, but like mabraman, cannot hear anything strange...other than an excessive amount of brilliance.

I'm sorry that I cannot help further.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: karvala

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/16/18 08:54 AM

Nor me, listening on HD650 headphones. I should add that background noise ("hiss") is high frequency in general, and increasing brilliance increases high frequencies, so some small increase in background noise is inevitable when you increase brilliance to very high levels, but I certainly couldn't detect any obvious or excessive noise in this.
Posted By: Marcel M

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/16/18 11:03 AM

Guys, you have to be kidding me.
When I play those recordings through iphone or laptop speakers, they sound OK, even on default iphone earbuds, but on any better headphones the noise is very noticeable on higher volume. Even on my old porta pro... I asked also my audiophile colleagues and they certainly can hear the noise and though that it is a recording problem. But it is not. That is actually what comes out from the piano.
Posted By: arc7urus

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/16/18 02:50 PM

Originally Posted by Marcel M
Guys, you have to be kidding me.
When I play those recordings through iphone or laptop speakers, they sound OK, even on default iphone earbuds, but on any better headphones the noise is very noticeable on higher volume. Even on my old porta pro... I asked also my audiophile colleagues and they certainly can hear the noise and though that it is a recording problem. But it is not. That is actually what comes out from the piano.


I have listened to your recording (https://soundcloud.com/marcel-m-615275674/kawai-brilliance-noise-2 ) with BeyerDynamics DT-990 headphones which tend to be quite transparent when it comes to noise. And I hear no noise whatsoever. As said above, there is some high frequency "hiss" but that is expected. There also seems to be some distortion/clipping at around the 12 second mark (when you play the bass notes) but that is likely the result of recording through the line out port and/or an artefact from audio compression.

I do hear resonance effects around the 9 and 11 second mark (right after a high octave note is played and sustained for a second or so). Is the resonance the noise you are referring to?


Posted By: Marcel M

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/16/18 03:23 PM

I have here DT-990Pro, even without amp (they have 250Ohms) on Iphone (max VOLUME of course) the noise is there everytime the notes are played, On 7th second and 12- it is extreme...
Posted By: Bambers

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/16/18 03:39 PM

The only 'noise' I can hear at the 7th second is a dissonance between the notes being played.

At the 12th second the chord played seems to have some fairly obvious resonance.

Does the noise persist with reverb turned off?

What about if VT is set to clean or noiseless? Or if you have access to an idevice, use the smart mode and adjust the resonances directly.
Posted By: Marcel M

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/16/18 04:04 PM

The only option that affect that noise is brilliance. Nothing else.
Posted By: redfish1901

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/16/18 04:24 PM

Just to add to the confusion further, I hear a high frequency, shrill, "ringing" when listening to the recording made through the speakers, most noticeable when higher notes are played. It is much less noticeable to me in the line-out recording. I have also noticed this ringing in person in CA97, 98, 78 at the store.

I notice a dissonant "bzzzz" in the times Marcel_M indicated, but that sounds like normal piano dissonance to me.
Posted By: GoldmanT

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/16/18 05:31 PM

I came across some odd digital artefacts on my Kawai a few times, and narrowed it down to the key-on/key-off noise getting messed up in the reverb, giving a bit of a digital artefact. That wouldn't necessarily match with what you're describing though, but you could try turning off the key-noise effects in Virtual Technician to see if that changes what you're hearing.
Posted By: Marcel M

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/16/18 05:37 PM

Thanks guys for finally confirming that there is something wrong with kawai sound. I noticed it also in cn 27/37. It surprise me that something like this happens also on such a expensive piano like ca97.
Posted By: GoldmanT

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/16/18 05:40 PM

What noise did anyone confirm? Lots of people couldn't hear anything untoward in your recording....
Posted By: Marcel M

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/16/18 05:42 PM

actually just redfish1901
Posted By: GoldmanT

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/16/18 05:44 PM

[edited]

I'll try to post up a recording of the artefacts I (thought I) heard, see if anyone can hear them. Ears are deceptive though.
Posted By: Marcel M

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/16/18 05:57 PM

I cannot understand how people cannot hear any noise on my recordings.
I showed it to some people in my work, and all confirmed that there is some noise (or shrill, whatever it means) in the recordings that definitely should not be there. I am always talking about listening with higher volume on good headphones.
Posted By: GoldmanT

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/16/18 06:47 PM

If you turn up brilliance to max and listen to it loud it's going to be shrill, but then a bright acoustic piano played loudly is going to be shrill.. Did all the people say 'that noise shouldn't be there' or was that your words interpreting what they were saying? Were they qualified to say it 'shouldn't be there' based on their experience of recording and listening to recordings of acoustic pianos?
Posted By: JoBert

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/16/18 06:52 PM

Originally Posted by Marcel M
I cannot understand how people cannot hear any noise on my recordings.
I showed it to some people in my work, and all confirmed that there is some noise (or shrill, whatever it means) in the recordings that definitely should not be there. I am always talking about listening with higher volume on good headphones.

I listened too (several times), from my tablet, with HD 599 headphones, at maximum volume. I also cannot hear anything that I wouldn't expect in a piano sound with such exaggerated brilliance.

I think people are actually hearing the same thing you hear, we simply interpret it differently. What you interpret as noise is interpreted as normal dissonance, overtones and resonances by others (amplified by the excessive brilliance, of course).

I think it is a case of you just not liking the Kawai piano sound very much. And in addition, you have now trained yourself to notice this sound in particular, that you perceive as faulty. I don't think anyone here will now be able to convince you that the sound is normal (and simply unexpected by you). If possible at all, you should probably return the piano (a destroyed box should be no hindrance). If you indeed cannot return it, then maybe you have the option of using a VST via a computer at least for a while? Something like Pianoteq or Garritan CFX? Maybe you can then "untrain" yourself from hearing the sound as "wrong".
Posted By: redfish1901

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/16/18 08:15 PM

I also wondered if what I'm hearing is real, so I made a spectral plot of the two sound files.

speakers: https://imgur.com/a/kICJD
line in: https://imgur.com/a/gjWUn

The speaker recording has much louder high frequency resonance, which is not really present in line-out recording.

So, there is something actually there. It could be the settings, the room acoustics, or maybe even the hardware. It could also be that some people are just more sensitive. I'm certainly in the camp that's sensitive.
Posted By: mabraman

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/16/18 08:28 PM

Originally Posted by Marcel M
I cannot understand how people cannot hear any noise on my recordings.
I showed it to some people in my work, and all confirmed that there is some noise (or shrill, whatever it means) in the recordings that definitely should not be there. I am always talking about listening with higher volume on good headphones.

Believe me, get get some 100€ Sennheiser OPEN cans and forget about those things. Set touch to heavy to make it mellower. DON'T set headphones to high volume, it's not natural.
There are some imperfections in PHI engine but It is musical enough if you play carefully. If you bang it and use bad settings, it's gonna sound bad.
You found my recording beautiful sounding, so it's not a problem with Kawai sound. And by the way those settings were chosen to be played via speakers, so It sounds a bit harsh on headphones.
Posted By: arc7urus

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/16/18 09:18 PM

Originally Posted by Marcel M
I cannot understand how people cannot hear any noise on my recordings.
I showed it to some people in my work, and all confirmed that there is some noise (or shrill, whatever it means) in the recordings that definitely should not be there. I am always talking about listening with higher volume on good headphones.


Can you please have a listen at these four recordings? https://soundcloud.com/ac-635715790/sets/ca98-samples

I tried to reproduce your example on the CA98 with brilliance at a high level using the HI-XL engine and the new "pianist mode". These were recorded directly to USB in MP3 format. I am curious if you are able to detect any noise or artefacts on these recordings as well. Note that I am aware that your Kawai features the older PHI sound engine.
Posted By: arc7urus

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/16/18 09:45 PM

Originally Posted by redfish1901
I also wondered if what I'm hearing is real, so I made a spectral plot of the two sound files.

speakers: https://imgur.com/a/kICJD
line in: https://imgur.com/a/gjWUn

The speaker recording has much louder high frequency resonance, which is not really present in line-out recording.

So, there is something actually there. It could be the settings, the room acoustics, or maybe even the hardware. It could also be that some people are just more sensitive. I'm certainly in the camp that's sensitive.


The speaker recording was done with a smartphone which means it not only captured the audio from the DP but also all the ambient noise. Moreover, the microphones on such devices are not to produce a decent audio recording. So, it is very likely that the higher frequencies and "noise" you are detecting on the plot are artefacts introduced by the the low quality of that microphone.

Note that the OP is also able to hear noise on the "line out" recording, while the only thing I hear is resonance and what sounds like some clipping when the last chord is played. Anyway, this is an interesting but a completely subjective discussion :-)
Posted By: redfish1901

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/17/18 01:46 AM

Originally Posted by arc_turus

The speaker recording was done with a smartphone which means it not only captured the audio from the DP but also all the ambient noise. Moreover, the microphones on such devices are not to produce a decent audio recording. So, it is very likely that the higher frequencies and "noise" you are detecting on the plot are artefacts introduced by the the low quality of that microphone.


I disagree because 1) Most smart phone microphones are quite good between 150Hz-16KHz, and 2) I heard the very same artifacts in person listening to other Kawai CA models. On multiple occasions I visited the shop, I heard them. Maybe it's the room (which I said was possible), but I doubt it's being introduced by the recording equipment.

Originally Posted by arc_turus

Note that the OP is also able to hear noise on the "line out" recording, while the only thing I hear is resonance and what sounds like some clipping when the last chord is played. Anyway, this is an interesting but a completely subjective discussion :-)


Rightly so.
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/17/18 02:15 AM

Originally Posted by redfish1901
I also wondered if what I'm hearing is real, so I made a spectral plot of the two sound files.

speakers: https://imgur.com/a/kICJD
line in: https://imgur.com/a/gjWUn


Hmm...I'm not entirely sure this illustrates a great deal, beyond the fact that two differently performed passages recorded at separate times under different conditions result in different spectral analysis images. I believe there are too many variables involved to allow any kind of conclusions to be drawn.

Honestly, I'm inclined to agree with JoBert. There does not appear to be a problem with the instrument, however if the OP dislikes the sound it produces for whatever reason, it's probably best to (try to) return it to the store, or consider alternative sound generation options.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: arc7urus

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/17/18 06:12 AM

Originally Posted by redfish1901
Originally Posted by arc_turus

The speaker recording was done with a smartphone which means it not only captured the audio from the DP but also all the ambient noise. Moreover, the microphones on such devices are not to produce a decent audio recording. So, it is very likely that the higher frequencies and "noise" you are detecting on the plot are artefacts introduced by the the low quality of that microphone.


I disagree because 1) Most smart phone microphones are quite good between 150Hz-16KHz, and 2) I heard the very same artifacts in person listening to other Kawai CA models. On multiple occasions I visited the shop, I heard them. Maybe it's the room (which I said was possible), but I doubt it's being introduced by the recording equipment.


Do you hear those artefacts on these recordings made with one CA98? These were recorded directly to usb in mp3 using high brilliance settings as well.
https://soundcloud.com/ac-635715790/sets/ca98-samples

And it is not only about the frequency range that the mic on a smartphone can capture. It is also about how these mics handle sound source directionality, signal/noise and other parameters . I have never heard a decent recording of an acoustic or digital piano made through the microphone of a smartphone. So, you cannot be sure what characteristics of that recording are actually part of the sound source, what is being introduced by the ambient environment and what is the impact of the recording hardware and software.I would say that the line-out recording eliminates some of these variables and therefore is more objective.
Posted By: mabraman

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/17/18 07:19 AM

From my experience with PHI, some "artefacts" may indeed happen and they usually, but not always, come from modelling:

-Resonance model is (of course) imperfect, to keep some compromises. It has its own "signature" (like real pianos have) and some people find it "ringing".
-Touch, when set to heavy or heavy+, makes the sound almost muffled when playing mf.
-Mellow voicings produce noise.(but a real piano, fully closed, does it too)
-Brilliant voicings tend to be piercing and ringing, when the piano is not a mellow one.(idem)
-Dynamic voicings sound fake (but sometimes work well).
-Some (many!) settings, when high or very low values are selected, don't work well toghether and produce "artefacts". This is to be expected as they are deviations from a mean.
-Cues are looped and it sounds weird specially in the bass, mostly if you play with pedal.
-Some dissonances sound really weird and fake, this is the only thing that is,indeed, close to a "buzz", but you simply get used to it. When it buzzes you know you have made a pedalling mistake.

But, all things above being true...sit and play on a not-so-cheap vertical and tell me what you hear!! Lots of strange noises that you end getting used to.

And most important, the brain is an active processor: depending on where you come from, it perceives sound in a way or another, until it just finds the way to "hear" well.
Posted By: Marcel M

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/17/18 03:38 PM

Originally Posted by GoldmanT
If you turn up brilliance to max and listen to it loud it's going to be shrill, but then a bright acoustic piano played loudly is going to be shrill..

I don't thing that any shrill like this would be coming from an acoustic piano. Actually it remind me when I play piano at my parents house, they got lots of stuff placed on piano, so it resonate like crazy when I play... Maybe that is the purpose of it, to simulate it:)

Originally Posted by GoldmanT
Did all the people say 'that noise shouldn't be there' or was that your words interpreting what they were saying? Were they qualified to say it 'shouldn't be there' based on their experience of recording and listening to recordings of acoustic pianos?


It does not require high school to hear that there is something in the sound that is disturbing and should not be there. And yes they were qualified (musicians and sort of audiophiles)
Posted By: Marcel M

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/17/18 03:49 PM


Originally Posted by arc_turus

Do you hear those artefacts on these recordings made with one CA98? These were recorded directly to usb in mp3 using high brilliance settings as well.
https://soundcloud.com/ac-635715790/sets/ca98-samples


Yes, of course, extremely disturbing... Are you saying that it is clear beautiful piano sound?
Posted By: peterws

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/17/18 03:56 PM

Originally Posted by mabraman


But, all things above being true...sit and play on a not-so-cheap vertical and tell me what you hear!! Lots of strange noises that you end getting used to.

And most important, the brain is an active processor: depending on where you come from, it perceives sound in a way or another, until it just finds the way to "hear" well.


Well said! And, it's just as easy to find fault with a top line grand. Room, room location, furnishings, lid position, cabinet rattle maybe; indigestion, headache. . . hangover . . .
And you can't send one of those back without a fight!
Posted By: Granyala

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/17/18 04:08 PM

Quote
I don't thing that any shrill like this would be coming from an acoustic piano.

On an acoustic you don't force an artificial brilliance setting to the max either. Well you could do it in post processing software and the result would be similar in hideousness. Stuff like brilliance and other settings are precision tools not sledgehammers.

Go close to the max into either direction and your sound WILL become more and more unrealistic.

Originally Posted by Marcel M
It does not require high school to hear that there is something in the sound that is disturbing and should not be there. And yes they were qualified (musicians and sort of audiophiles)


Apart from looping samples and a general harshness I can't hear any obvious distortion or foreign elements in your second recording, the first one I wont comment on because it sounds horrible either way.

Sounds like a piano to me.
Maybe you simply dislike the SK-EX sound signature.
Try a VST so you can rule out any of your other sonic equipment.
Posted By: arc7urus

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/17/18 05:24 PM

Originally Posted by Marcel M

Originally Posted by arc_turus

Do you hear those artefacts on these recordings made with one CA98? These were recorded directly to usb in mp3 using high brilliance settings as well.
https://soundcloud.com/ac-635715790/sets/ca98-samples


Yes, of course, extremely disturbing... Are you saying that it is clear beautiful piano sound?


Ah! Now we are getting on the same page :-) I believe you prefer a very clean and clear piano sound. However, a clean and clear sound is something that you will never get from any acoustic piano due to resonance, ringing overtones, harmonic beating, mechanical noises and all other acoustic phenomena happening inside and outside the piano.

The CA98 - and to some extent your CA48 - are trying to simulate these effects. If the sound is "beautiful" or not is a subjective matter. But you are definitely not hearing noise. This video from Paul Barton shows some examples of resonance (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHWex94-mHg&feature=youtu.be&t=442). You would hear the same effects on a good quality recording made with an acoustic.

I also believe you would have the exact same complaints with any DP or VST that is trying to simulate these acoustic effects. For example, have a listen at Pianoteq's demos. The first one ("The Places We Knew") is a good example. Do you consider it to be "noisy" as well? https://www.pianoteq.com/listen_by_instrument

So, you should try to understand if you do not like how Kawai is trying to simulate these effects, if you do not like the SK-EX tone or if you simply do not like the "unclean" sound of an acoustic piano along with all of its imperfections...

Posted By: JoBert

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/17/18 06:14 PM

Originally Posted by Marcel M

Originally Posted by arc_turus

Do you hear those artefacts on these recordings made with one CA98? These were recorded directly to usb in mp3 using high brilliance settings as well.
https://soundcloud.com/ac-635715790/sets/ca98-samples


Yes, of course, extremely disturbing... Are you saying that it is clear beautiful piano sound?

Yes. Ignoring the ramped up brilliance, this is a normal, beautiful piano sound. Well, "beautiful" if you like the Kawai sound signature (which I do, someone else may think otherwise). But it certainly is "normal". There's nothing in there (again, except the brilliance) that is not typical and normal for a piano sound. Is it also a "clear" piano sound? To me, yes. But I suspect that you have a different interpretation of "clear" in mind, because you obviously don't characterize it so.

Now, please don't misunderstand the following. It is meant in a constructive and hopefully helpful way. You mentioned that your previous piano has been a YDP 141, and that it had the "super clear" sound that you like. This YDP 141 is an 8 year old model that even when it was new was a model in Yamaha's entry level line with technology that wasn't new even back then. Certainly it had a much simpler sound engine than your CA48 has, with much less resonances and the like. I wonder if maybe playing this instrument has, over time, somewhat skewed your perception of how a piano is supposed to sound? So that you now perceive the rather "plain" and (excuse the honesty) boring sound of that piano as your "clear" ideal piano sound, and find the more realistic sound of the CA48 unnatural.
If you have the opportunity, go to a shop and play a lot of other recent DP models (the more high end the better), not only Kawai, but Roland, Casio and Yamaha too. And download the free trial for Pianoteq and play it. Maybe also play some (preferrably not so cheap) acoustics at a shop. Everything to "reset" your baseline of how a piano is supposed to sound. Then maybe you can learn to accept, or even like, the CA48 too.

Of course you may end up still not liking it. Then you have a problem if you indeed cannot return it. Because one thing seems to be clear: Your piano does not have a defect that Kawai can fix for you. It sounds exactly as designed.
Posted By: redfish1901

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/17/18 09:46 PM

Originally Posted by JoBert
I wonder if maybe playing this instrument has, over time, somewhat skewed your perception of how a piano is supposed to sound?


I'm not the original poster, and am going clearly off topic, but this hits home because it happened to me.

Until recently, I hadn't played a real piano in like 20 years. Even though I could still play intermediate-advanced classical music from memory, and learn new pieces, I only had access to a digital, so it was a shocking discovery that I had effectively forgotten how to play the real thing.

As I started shopping for a new digital recently, I got to play real pianos again in the stores, and discovered that my playing has lost sensitivity and expressiveness, and my pedaling has become sloppy. The lesser digitals hid these defects, but the better ones (AvantGrands) were revealing. I'm slowing getting better as I continue to play acoustics while shopping for a new piano, but now instead of looking for a good digital, my minimum bar has become hybrids and maybe stretch my budget for a used grand.

There is an old forum member who advocates modeled pianos and playing at realistic volume levels (I believe bennevis). I strongly agree with this now. Pianoteq goes further than most digitals, but even it has limitations. (Here is a very interesting pteq forum thread related to this: http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/viewtopic.php?id=3427)

I'm not advocating everyone only use acoustic instruments. People have different needs and means, and making and enjoying music is the real goal here. But at the same time, it's possible that people without access to a real acoustic piano (and in tune and good working order) may have a difficult time determining what "good piano sound" is supposed to be like.
Posted By: GoldmanT

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/17/18 10:11 PM

The flip side is that a lot of the acoustic pianos out there in the wild (not brand new ones in shops) just aren't very good, or need constant tuning to keep them sounding good. An upright action always feels spring-loaded to me (it probably is?) so I never have much control over the softer end of the spectrum, there's no resistance there, and a grand piano to play on is a rarity outside of a teacher's piano or staying in some well-to-do hotel or access to a university department - no-one I know even has the space for a grand piano, let alone be able to afford a decent one.

A few weeks ago we were in a café with a nice looking upright piano with a sign saying 'do not play unless authorised' and an advert for the local music shop on top of it. When the 'authorised' guy finally came to play it, I was really underwhelmed - it didn't sing, it was muddy and reminded me of old folks homes. A mid-priced digital sounds good (like 'studio recording of acoustic piano' good, not 'like an acoustic piano is in your room' good) and can be turned down enough not to disturb the neighbours.

One thing I've done recently though is increase the note decay time on my digital so it more closely resembles the longer decay of an acoustic - I know some manufacturers must reduce the decay so their sample looping doesn't become obvious, but also maybe to make players not sound as bad when they jam down the damper pedal.
Posted By: mabraman

Re: Kawai CN/CA pianos sound noise (brilliance setting) - 04/18/18 07:27 AM

Did the OP turn pedal noises off, by the way?
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