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Kawai CA98

Posted By: Nordomus

Kawai CA98 - 03/20/19 08:24 PM

I wish there would be subforum with pinned topics about all major digital pianos, but until then here I come with another topic.
This time it's Kawai CA98. As some of you know I've decided to go with Kawai this time around(my 5th digital piano in few years) and I got it today so I figured I'm gonna post my first and next impressions here as well as compare this piano to the other ones I've played. Here I go smile


Firmware update

Soon after I got piano I wanted to upgrade firmware because of lots of bugs it has fixed and here is first bad thing- update is VERY badly made. It forces user to copy 3 files separately and initialize update procedure 3 times, for 1 update(!), not only that, update itself takes over 1 hour total time. Just for comparison update on all Rolands always required only one action from user and it took few minutes tops. Don't get me wrong, this is small thing nevertheless because it doesn't influence usage itself but I figured it is worth mentioning, I don't recall anyone writing about this.

Sound

Still I was able to play for a few hours and I must say I'm not disapoited by the sound at all. I still like it more on new Rolands but Kawai has it's own character and pretty good resonances for a sampled piano engine. I looove some of the mid notes, nice and vibrant. Bass is really good and soundboard transmits vibrations to pedals and keyboard really nice, actually whole thing is so powerful my whole room is vibrating smile I think treble is worse, some notes loudness seem unbalanced(might be just me though). Sound is nice overall and this piano actually can "sing" at times and I think this is one of the most important things.

"Boxy sound"

I've played both CA78 and CA98 and I don't hear much difference there in terms of sound character. Honestly I don't hear this problem on either on them. Ok- classic default piano is a bit "boxy" but I'm like 80% sure it is just it's natural characteristic, a lot of acoustic pianos sound close to this. Clearer sound needs much more force to be used. It's close to Bechstein acoustic I've played last year. So again- for me there is no problem at this moment. It sounds ok.

Keyboard

Not much to say. I don't think there is anyone that dislikes this keyboard. One of the best keyboards in digital pianos right after true hybrids. But I've found something interesting, this keyboard is really mushy when pressing key to the end, might be even more than on Casio GP series where people were writing about this multiple times. So it's funny noone mentioned it about Kawai GF2.
Aaaanyway it doesn't really matter to me, keyboard is amazing and I can actually play trills a lot easier than on Rolands. And it is not just impression, I'm 100% sure of that since I've played the same music piece on Roland not so long ago. I was very surprised, didn't expect that at all since keyboard in Roland LX708 seemed really good in terms of mechanics.


Overall I think it is pretty good piano with great keyboard. I don't feel I'm gonna need some Pianoteqs or Garritans any time soon.
I have one problem with Kawai overall and that is that I still don't know if they work on improvements listed for example in this topic: http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2828513/1.html
I really hope they can deliver those "features" as they should be in basic firmware(IMHO). That would be big + for Kawai from me.

I think that's it for the first impressions. As usual feel free to ask me anything. I hope I gave you all a bit more info about those pianos.
Posted By: Gombessa

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/20/19 08:47 PM

Congrats on getting your CA98!

Originally Posted by Nordomus

Soon after I got piano I wanted to upgrade firmware because of lots of bugs it has fixed and here is first bad thing- update is VERY badly made. It forces user to copy 3 files separately and initialize update procedure 3 times, for 1 update(!), not only that, update itself takes over 1 hour total time. Just for comparison update on all Rolands always required only one action from user and it took few minutes tops. Don't get me wrong, this is small thing nevertheless because it doesn't influence usage itself but I figured it is worth mentioning, I don't recall anyone writing about this.


You only have to go through that crazy process if the UI needs to be updated. Most of the more recent firmware updates have been fast, single-file/single-action affairs. It's been discussed before smile

Originally Posted by Nordomus

But I've found something interesting, this keyboard is really mushy when pressing key to the end, might be even more than on Casio GP series where people were writing about this multiple times. So it's funny noone mentioned it about Kawai GF2.


This has also been discussed extensively as well. Yes, the Grand Feel/Grand Feel 2 action has a bit of a mushy stop, which is the only thing about it that I think is unlike an acoustic piano. But I think it's that stop that makes the GF2 the quietest DP action available.
Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/20/19 08:58 PM

Thanks, I think I've missed those posts then smile Yeah the action is pretty quiet.
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/21/19 02:28 AM

Hello Nordomus, thank you for sharing your thoughts on the CA98, and congrats on your new piano.

As Gombessa notes, the lengthy 2nd and 3rd stages of the software update are only necessary if the instrument is running older touchscreen software. Assuming that you piano was already running v1.0.2 of the touchscreen software (indicated at the bottom of the Settings menu) only the first step is necessary.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/21/19 08:24 AM

Originally Posted by Kawai James
Hello Nordomus, thank you for sharing your thoughts on the CA98, and congrats on your new piano.

As Gombessa notes, the lengthy 2nd and 3rd stages of the software update are only necessary if the instrument is running older touchscreen software. Assuming that you piano was already running v1.0.2 of the touchscreen software (indicated at the bottom of the Settings menu) only the first step is necessary.

Kind regards,
James
x

Thanks. Yeah I get that, although it still should be 1 automatic step for user and shorter update overall.

BTW One more thing in terms of comparisons- I consider GF2 keyboard to be on par with Casio GP keyboard, hard to chose the winner in this one, both are awesome.
Posted By: Mauw

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/21/19 08:32 AM

Hi all,

Let me quickly introduce myself. I'm an adult beginner, taking lessons for half a year now. I'm progressing quite slowly since I never had any music education. I started to learn to play the piano because I'm in love with its sound, and prefer simple pieces, like Erik Satie and Dirk Maassen, so that's more important to me than playing some crazy Rachmaninoff stuff.

Anyway, I'm at the end of my kawai CA48 renting period and need to buy a piano now. I would love to have an upright but my budget simple does not allow it right now and I need to be able to play silently, so a digital it is. I've got a deal at the place I'm renting the kawai and can buy the Kawai CA98, CLP 685 or Roland LX 706 for around 3000 euros. The Yamaha is already off the list because of the weird key action. I'm going back and forth between the Roland and the Kawai for a few weeks already, so this post by Nordomus is like a gift from heaven to me smile

What's most important to me is the sound; looks and action is ok for me on both piano's so that's a draw.
I'm in love with the resonant sound of a "real" piano, very apparent in for example this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXPlibmcUxU

Ideally I would like the piano that comes the closest in sound. My problem is that the Roland indeed has very lively resonances, but doesn't give me the warm, cozy feeling the Kawai does when playing lower notes. However I feel like the sound of the Kawai is something you get bored of quite quickly, like I already have now with the CA 48. Is there a way on the Roland to make the low notes "thicker" and more apparant? Is there a kind of equalizer? How are the bass notes compared to the Kawai?

I did test them a few times in the shop but the pianos are not located against the wall as they will be at my house. Thanks for helping me out with this struggle.

Best regards
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/21/19 08:43 AM

Originally Posted by Mauw
Anyway, I'm at the end of my kawai CA48 renting period and need to buy a piano now. I would love to have an upright but my budget simple does not allow it right now and I need to be able to play silently, so a digital it is. I've got a deal at the place I'm renting the kawai and can buy the Kawai CA98, CLP 685 or Roland LX 706 for around 3000 euros. The Yamaha is already off the list because of the weird key action. I'm going back and forth between the Roland and the Kawai for a few weeks already, so this post by Nordomus is like a gift from heaven to me smile

Through an accident of fate (apparently, literally wink ) Nordomus has owned both LX708 and CA98 now. But Nordomus, can you say anything positive about the LX708 any longer after your recent experience, or are you totally burnt now on Roland?
Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/21/19 09:32 AM

I try to be objective here. Yeah I had terrible experiences with Rolands but sound on those pianos is the best of the best IMO.
Anyway I really liked bass sound a lot on Roland LX 708, it should be similar on LX706. There are some changes you can make to the sound(like character, briliance etc.) but if you don't like the core of it then I don't think you can tweak it enough to your taste.
BTW you say you got bored of CA48 sound but you know that on CA98 there is different sound engine? Might be not so boring in long term, I'm not sure yet.
Yamaha put me off by keyboard weight as well, otherwise I think I would went for it, CLP 685 is great piano.
So try and tweak LX706 but if you won't reach the sweet spot then the answer is suprisingly simple in your case, go for CA98.

BTW
Something funny for today- I have faulty key in my CA98 smile
https://youtu.be/RJ3xWFN0GrA
Sounds like loose rubber or something? No idea, already reported it so now I will see how fast Kawai is.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/21/19 09:40 AM

Originally Posted by Nordomus
BTW
Something funny for today- I have faulty key in my CA98 smile
https://youtu.be/RJ3xWFN0GrA
Sounds like loose rubber or something? No idea, already reported it so now I will see how fast Kawai is.

Are you serious?!?!?! shocked eek I'm trying to determine who has had the worst string of luck on this digital forum - you or Markuska... It's a close race!

(BTW, have you ever heard the English expression: "watching a train wreck in slow motion"?)
Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/21/19 09:44 AM

I've literally laughed when I've discovered this problem, I'm on the verge of sanity laugh
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/21/19 09:47 AM

Originally Posted by Nordomus
I've literally laughed when I've discovered this problem, I'm on the verge of sanity laugh

Both you and Markuska have had independent flaws on consecutive pianos. Although since he also had a shipping problem on top of this, I would say he is one point ahead of you still.

EDIT: Maybe not. Perhaps your massive delay in product replacement matches his shipping problem and therefore you two are tied at 3-3.
Posted By: Mauw

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/21/19 09:54 AM

Thanks for your reply and best of luck with the repairs! Another question on the bass then, does it pack a punch in a normal living room? I mean can you really feel the low notes, like you would with a real subwoofer? I couldn't really in the store because of the open space there. I'll go back to the store anyway on Saturday for another trial and then pick one laugh
Posted By: Markuska

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/21/19 10:05 AM

Originally Posted by Nordomus


BTW
Something funny for today- I have faulty key in my CA98 smile
https://youtu.be/RJ3xWFN0GrA
Sounds like loose rubber or something? No idea, already reported it so now I will see how fast Kawai is.


I almost cried by reading this XD
But at least, regarding all I have read on this forums - Kawai Customer-Service seems to be amazing, so I hope it gets resolved very quickly smile
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/21/19 10:07 AM

Originally Posted by Markuska
I almost cried by reading this XD
But at least, regarding all I have read on this forums - Kawai Customer-Service seems to be amazing, so I hope it gets resolved very quickly smile

Yes, horror but hopefully the change from Roland to Kawai will make all the difference for Nordomus!

And you sir, have to do everything right to make sure your next piano, ES8 or CN37, is a keeper! smile
Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/21/19 10:15 AM

Originally Posted by Mauw
Thanks for your reply and best of luck with the repairs! Another question on the bass then, does it pack a punch in a normal living room? I mean can you really feel the low notes, like you would with a real subwoofer?

More I'd say. Everything in the room vibrates. I think whole building vibrates laugh But seriously it gives very good sensation and all vibrations are coming to your body, pedals and keyboard. Unlike Roland LX708 where bass is amazing but vibrations are conveyed mostly in speaker direction(obviously)
Posted By: arc7urus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/21/19 10:44 AM

Originally Posted by Nordomus
I've literally laughed when I've discovered this problem, I'm on the verge of sanity laugh

Well, on my CA98 the mechanical noise produced by different keys is not the same across the keyboard and it is not far from what you have recorded. Some keys produce a damped/muffled noise, while several others produce a pronounced mechanical noise. I actually contacted Kawai about this soon after buying the CA98 and they said this was "normal". I disagreed but I did not manage to convince them to send over a technician. I have not pursued this matter further because it has no noticeable effect on the touch and I cannot normally hear it while playing.

Here is a (low quality) recording of that, alternating between a "muffled" and a "noisy" key.
https://soundcloud.com/ac-635715790/ca98-key-noise/s-vLxbD

Note that in order to produce this noise systematically I have to press the keys staccato or at a slight angle. It is difficult to produce it when pressing the keys deeper, like you are doing.
Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/21/19 11:50 AM

Originally Posted by arc7urus

Note that in order to produce this noise systematically I have to press the keys staccato or at a slight angle. It is difficult to produce it when pressing the keys deeper, like you are doing.

I know this problem, I have no idea what is causing this though. It was present on Casio GP as well. Anyway Kawai should adjust it anyway IMO. I hope they will do it for me.
Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/21/19 06:02 PM

One thing about included manual. I think Kawai has best manual from all pianos I had so far. It contains soooo much information. I love that for example there is actual graph for touch characteristics showing how sound behaviour will change when changing this setting.
Posted By: JoBert

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/21/19 07:16 PM

Originally Posted by Nordomus
One thing about included manual. I think Kawai has best manual from all pianos I had so far. It contains soooo much information. I love that for example there is actual graph for touch characteristics showing how sound behaviour will change when changing this setting.

James will be happy to hear that. IIRC, he writes those manuals (or is responsible for them, or something like that).
BTW, I totally agree. The manual is certainly complex, but so is the subject matter, and the manual deals with that complexity well, imo.
Posted By: Grandman

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/22/19 12:05 AM

Originally Posted by Nordomus
I try to be objective here. Yeah I had terrible experiences with Rolands but sound on those pianos is the best of the best IMO.
Anyway I really liked bass sound a lot on Roland LX 708, it should be similar on LX706. There are some changes you can make to the sound(like character, briliance etc.) but if you don't like the core of it then I don't think you can tweak it enough to your taste.
BTW you say you got bored of CA48 sound but you know that on CA98 there is different sound engine? Might be not so boring in long term, I'm not sure yet.
Yamaha put me off by keyboard weight as well, otherwise I think I would went for it, CLP 685 is great piano.
So try and tweak LX706 but if you won't reach the sweet spot then the answer is suprisingly simple in your case, go for CA98.

BTW
Something funny for today- I have faulty key in my CA98 smile
https://youtu.be/RJ3xWFN0GrA
Sounds like loose rubber or something? No idea, already reported it so now I will see how fast Kawai is.

Hey, Nordomus, glad to hear your situation was handled to your satisfaction and that you are enjoying the Kawai. I'm sure the CA 98 will bring you much joy.
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/22/19 12:42 AM

Originally Posted by Nordomus
One thing about included manual. I think Kawai has best manual from all pianos I had so far.


Thank you for the positive feedback. wink

Originally Posted by Nordomus
James will be happy to hear that. IIRC, he writes those manuals (or is responsible for them, or something like that).


Only the English versions - the translations are prepared by an agency.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/22/19 08:47 AM

Originally Posted by Grandman

Hey, Nordomus, glad to hear your situation was handled to your satisfaction and that you are enjoying the Kawai. I'm sure the CA 98 will bring you much joy.


One situation handled but another awaiting reaction from retailer. Hopefuly I will get some info soon.

Originally Posted by Kawai James

Only the English versions - the translations are prepared by an agency.


Yeah I was talking about english version. Also I'm guessing other languages are simple translations and layout is the same.
Posted By: arc7urus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/22/19 10:01 AM

Originally Posted by Nordomus
Originally Posted by Grandman

Hey, Nordomus, glad to hear your situation was handled to your satisfaction and that you are enjoying the Kawai. I'm sure the CA 98 will bring you much joy.


One situation handled but another awaiting reaction from retailer. Hopefuly I will get some info soon.

Originally Posted by Kawai James

Only the English versions - the translations are prepared by an agency.


Yeah I was talking about english version. Also I'm guessing other languages are simple translations and layout is the same.


I agree that the User Manual is very good.

But we definitely need KJ to write a proper MIDI reference manual. Just compare the ref manual from Yamaha and Kawai (page 172)...

It would also be great if the usability and quality of the User Manual were matched by the GUI smile

Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/22/19 10:44 AM

Originally Posted by arc7urus
I agree that the User Manual is very good.


Wow, thank you arc! blush

Originally Posted by arc7urus
But we definitely need KJ to write a proper MIDI reference manual. Just compare the ref manual from Yamaha and Kawai (page 172)...


Yes, I see your point. I will try to improve this for the CA99 owner's manual. wink

Cheers,
James
x

ps. I recommend referring (linking) to the owner's manuals stored on the Kawai Global server, as they're guaranteed to be the most up-to-date versions.
Posted By: lolatu

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/22/19 01:14 PM

Ah, the ol' front rail problem strikes again. There's a long piece of flexible white plastic that has the front rail pins embedded in it. It has a tendency to slap against the metal chassis and make clunks and clicks on random keys. Kawai will blame [transportation / you / the bogieman / anyone but their dodgy design] for this common problem that should have been fixed years ago. Using a nice piece of wood like piano makers have done for hundreds of years would probably solve it, but I guess it's a cost-saving measure.

I fixed mine by basically taking the whole key action apart, putting it back together a couple of times, and hoping for the best. Seemed to work - but I don't really recommend it.

Edit: looking at the video again, it could also be the middle pin rail, which is a similar kind of situation, with a plastic rail strapped to the metal. With this one, I found that it would make clicks the first time I played that key, then not again until I played a different key. The rail was clearly shifting / bending slightly between two positions. Again, could be fixed with a wooden rail.
Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/22/19 01:29 PM

Well technician will come next week so I will see for myself what is the problem.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/22/19 03:06 PM

Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by arc7urus
But we definitely need KJ to write a proper MIDI reference manual. Just compare the ref manual from Yamaha and Kawai (page 172)...


Yes, I see your point. I will try to improve this for the CA99 owner's manual. wink

Roland also has good and thorough MIDI manuals, even for their low-end DPs. For example, here is the separate MIDI manual for their entry-level FP30.
Posted By: Mauw

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/22/19 09:30 PM

Hey Nordomus,

One last question about the sound. I've been in a shop today where they had the Roland GP607.
This one has the same sound engine as the older generation Rolands (HP603/605, LX7/17). I'm totally in love with the second sound, the "ballad piano".
I don't know if you ever played on the previous generation but do you think you can replicate this one using the piano designer on the LX706/708 since it is more or less the same technology?

Thanks!
Posted By: Terry Michael

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/23/19 04:58 AM

Another vote for Kawai James manuals. I’m an old fart whose owned a lot of synths over the last 40 years or so and all of my KAWAI manuals are well done. The CS10 manual is awesome and very very well done. Thanks James!
Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/23/19 09:08 AM

Originally Posted by Mauw
Hey Nordomus,

One last question about the sound. I've been in a shop today where they had the Roland GP607.
This one has the same sound engine as the older generation Rolands (HP603/605, LX7/17). I'm totally in love with the second sound, the "ballad piano".
I don't know if you ever played on the previous generation but do you think you can replicate this one using the piano designer on the LX706/708 since it is more or less the same technology?

Thanks!


Well my sound memory is a little fuzzy but I think you can get close enough to it. Mind that core sound engine is different so it might be hard. But I actually had HP 605 and like you I've used ballad piano almost exclusively and I was happy with European Grand 2 sound on LX 708. I think you will love it.

Back to CA98. After few days of usage I'm in love with this soundboard, even middle C vibrates so nice, it's incomparable to any speaker system. Now I wonder why in the world they did NOT use soundboard in Novus NV10? Great technology. And after using Wall EQ resonances are tempered enough for it to be less overwhelming. It's still scary how powerful it is, good scary.
Posted By: arc7urus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/23/19 11:15 AM

Originally Posted by Nordomus
...Back to CA98. After few days of usage I'm in love with this soundboard, even middle C vibrates so nice, it's incomparable to any speaker system. Now I wonder why in the world they did NOT use soundboard in Novus NV10? Great technology. And after using Wall EQ resonances are tempered enough for it to be less overwhelming. It's still scary how powerful it is, good scary.

If you have an iOS device, download AudioKit's SynthOne and Digital D1 (https://audiokitpro.com/synth/). Connect the device to the DP via BT and the audio via line-in. Turn up the volume. Try the different instruments. Enjoy :-) Your neighbours probably won't.
Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 03/23/19 01:30 PM

Originally Posted by arc7urus
Originally Posted by Nordomus
...Back to CA98. After few days of usage I'm in love with this soundboard, even middle C vibrates so nice, it's incomparable to any speaker system. Now I wonder why in the world they did NOT use soundboard in Novus NV10? Great technology. And after using Wall EQ resonances are tempered enough for it to be less overwhelming. It's still scary how powerful it is, good scary.

If you have an iOS device, download AudioKit's SynthOne and Digital D1 (https://audiokitpro.com/synth/). Connect the device to the DP via BT and the audio via line-in. Turn up the volume. Try the different instruments. Enjoy :-) Your neighbours probably won't.

Haha will do, not gonna push it too far though smile
Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 04/14/19 07:36 PM

Few weeks after:

Still waiting for keyboard fix, probably next week.

I still love the soundboard, maybe even more smile I'm also still amazed that Kawai did not use this design in NV10. Also strange that other DP manufacturers did not use this idea as well. Anyway it's very different feeling of sound than simple speaker setup. I was surprised myself that it makes such difference.

Sound engine grew a bit on me but I still think treble is a bit uninteresting. But it is very small thing. I've tried some VST pianos but honestly Kawai sound engine is good enough for me. Overall it's sound is sweet and deep, and the resonances make pretty nice vibrations.

UI itself is OK, but there are some annoyances like the fact that romantic preset is set with echo effect and that default value can't be changed, even by saving via favorites. Or that soundboard wall EQ should be on by default because like 95% of people put piano near the wall not in the middle of the room, seriously who in Kawai thought that setting this to off will be good idea?

Overall I'm happy, or rather as long as the keyboard issue will be resolved I will be happy,
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Kawai CA98 - 04/14/19 07:40 PM

Originally Posted by Nordomus
Few weeks after:

Still waiting for keyboard fix, probably next week.

Long suffering Nordomus. You deserve a good outcome my friend! thumb

How do you think the action and sound compare between the LX708 & CA98?
Posted By: mwf

Re: Kawai CA98 - 04/14/19 07:57 PM

Would I be right in saying a new CA range is due next year? Also a new yamaha clp range.. Im interested in both ranges so I'll wait until they're revealed.
Posted By: Pete14

Re: Kawai CA98 - 04/14/19 08:22 PM

Is it fair to say that the new CA/CLP will be better than the current offering?
Based on thickfingers’ theorem they will be unplayable, but I want to remain optimistic and hope for a better tomorrow. shocked
Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 04/14/19 08:56 PM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

Long suffering Nordomus. You deserve a good outcome my friend! thumb

How do you think the action and sound compare between the LX708 & CA98?

Thank you my friend smile

Well in comparison it's like that:
LX708- more advanced sound simulation, even sound throughout keyboard, great speaker system, plastic keyboard which has pretty nice mechanics but the feel and noisyness is not good.
CA98- pretty good sound simulation(close to Roland's), some sounds in treble range a bit too loud for me, amazing soundboard system(IMO the best sound system in DPs), great wooden keyboard which is very reponsive and has nice feel to it.

Not an easy choice I'd say. If LX 708 had wooden keyboard then it would be close to perfection, but still CA98 is very good as well AND has much better keyboard. I'm sticking with it for the time being. Will see what next generation of DPs will bring.
Posted By: McBuster

Re: Kawai CA98 - 04/15/19 02:36 AM

The Kawai Soundboard renders tremendous tactile feedback to your fingers. I have the CA67 and miss it ...
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CA98 - 04/15/19 02:42 AM

Hello Nordomus,

Originally Posted by Nordomus
UI itself is OK, but there are some annoyances like the fact that romantic preset is set with echo effect and that default value can't be changed, even by saving via favorites.


I believe preset ambience types for the various Rendering Characters is part of the instrument's specification, however it should be possible to store custom values to a Favorite memory. Can you confirm that this does not work for you? Have you already updated to the v1.0.2g system software released at the beginning of the month?

Originally Posted by Nordomus
Or that soundboard wall EQ should be on by default because like 95% of people put piano near the wall not in the middle of the room, seriously who in Kawai thought that setting this to off will be good idea?


It should be possible to store the preferred Wall EQ setting using the Startup with Favorites function.

Originally Posted by Nordomus
some sounds in treble range a bit too loud for me


You might wish to adjust the Key Volume setting - the "High Damping" preset (which gradually reduces the volume of notes towards the treble end) is suitable for this.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 04/15/19 06:54 AM

Thank you James, once I test those things I'm gonna get back to you. Wall EQ is stored in favorites and this works, I'm just saying it should be on by default. I tested ambience with favorites but it didn't work, I had 1.0.2f at the time though, gonna update in free time and get back to you about that as well.
Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 04/15/19 07:35 AM

Updating, shame I can't see changelog anywhere smirk
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CA98 - 04/15/19 07:38 AM

v1.0.2f --> v1.02g changelog:

Quote
- Improved: Changes to sound processing parameters that may reduce distortion
- Fixed: Virtual Technician "Store to Sound" function could fail in some cases
- Fixed: Electric Piano key-off noise could stop sounding in some cases
- Fixed: Performing Concert Magic songs could result in "stuck" notes in some cases
- Fixed: Sound mode internal song recorder could store incorrect data in some cases
- Fixed: USB audio file playback could delay sound of played notes in some cases
- Fixed: Damper pedal events could not be detected in some cases
- Fixed: Strange sound could occur when switching from Concert Magic to Favorites screen and starting the recorder
- Fixed: Pianist mode recorder did not apply ambience level correctly
- Fixed: Gradual increase in metronome volume when alternating between Pianist mode and Sound mode
Posted By: JoBert

Re: Kawai CA98 - 04/15/19 08:54 AM

Originally Posted by Nordomus
Wall EQ is stored in favorites and this works, I'm just saying it should be on by default.

From how you write this I'm not sure if you are aware that you can also make it a default that is also active if no favorite is selected (if you use the "startup with favorites" option properly), so I thought I'd mention it again.

Originally Posted by Nordomus
I tested ambience with favorites but it didn't work, I had 1.0.2f at the time though, gonna update in free time and get back to you about that as well.

That is strange. Because 1.0.2f definitely had a fix for an ambience/Romantic related bug. That bug had the effect that if your changed the ambience for Romantic (for example to Natural instead of Echo) and tried to save this as a favorite, the favorite would then not use the Romantic character at all (so while it didn't have Echo ambience, it also wasn't Romantic). But I had reported this bug to Kawai and the fix for it was included in 1.0.2f. I know, because I tested it, and I've had a Romantic-with-Natural-Ambience favorite in my list since then, and it works as one would expect.
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CA98 - 04/15/19 09:10 AM

JoBert, thank you for clarifying. Yes, I also recall you confirming that the ambience/Romantic bug had been fixed.

It's possible that there has been a regression in the v1.0.2g update, however I no longer have access to a CAx8 in this office, so am unable to check this point for myself.

Nordomus, can you confirm the issue you are referring to, please?
I wonder if you were perhaps referencing one of paf's or arc7urus' older posts?

Kind regards,
James
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Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 04/15/19 09:55 AM

Ok so the ambience is remembered along with sound character and when I power on instrument then it on Romantic/chosen ambience. But as soon as I change to classic and back to romantic it's echo again.
Posted By: JoBert

Re: Kawai CA98 - 04/15/19 10:16 AM

Originally Posted by Nordomus
Ok so the ambience is remembered along with sound character and when I power on instrument then it on Romantic/chosen ambience. But as soon as I change to classic and back to romantic it's echo again.

I think I understand what you mean.

Yes, if you are not on the favorites screen but in normal pianist mode, then whenever you change the rendering character (by swiping left/right) the new rendering character that you select will fall back to its defaults, both regarding the ambience and BTW also regarding the resonances level. AFAIK, there's no way to change this fallback-to-default-ambience-and-resonances behavior when swiping left/right in pianist mode.

If you want to have easy access to a permanently changed ambience or resonances, you need to create a favorite. That's why I have a favorite for Romantic with Natural ambience. If I want to play with the Romantic character, I select that favorite.
Actually, that's the reason why I have stopped using the normal pianist mode screen altogether, because in addition to wanting a different ambience for Romantic, I also want slightly higher resonances (I want 8, the default is 6).
So I created favorites for the 8 rendering characters that I am likely to use (well, I use Classic 95% of the time, but sometimes I use others, but only 8 of the total of 10 - I don't like Pop or Boogie, so I didn't create favorites for those) where each favorite has the resonances set to 8. And Romantic also has the ambience changed to Natural.

And when I want to switch through the different characters, I do so by selecting the matching favorite, not by swiping the pianist mode screen.

TBH, I too would prefer if there were a way to change the default ambience and resonances (for each rendering character) on a permanent basis, so that the piano would recall them when swiping in pianist mode and I wouldn't have to use favorites. But I guess this is one of those "not the most ideal behavior, but works as described in the manual, so not a bug" things, so I don't have any hopes that this will be changed (for this generation at least).
And as I said, 95% of the time I'm using Classic anyway, via my startup favorite, so it isn't really a big annoyance to me. I just power on the piano, wait the few seconds for it to boot, and then start playing, without even touching the control panel (which automatically goes dark after 10 seconds anyway, so it doesn't bother me that it's currently showing the rather bland favorites screen, and not the more flashy/colorful pianist mode screen).
Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 05/18/19 01:38 PM

Ok I have one more disapointment. I discovered today that in pianist mode you can't change tuning and temperament smirk I was looking to playing with this a bit. Those options are only avaivle for sound mode for some reason.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Kawai CA98 - 05/18/19 01:42 PM

Originally Posted by Nordomus
Ok I have one more disapointment. I discovered today that in pianist mode you can't change tuning and temperament smirk I was looking to playing with this a bit. Those options are only avaivle for sound mode for some reason.

From reading this forum, it appears there are many limitations in pianist mode, including not generating MIDI output, I believe.
Posted By: MacMacMac

Re: Kawai CA98 - 05/18/19 01:46 PM

Does anybody play the piano? It seems that much time is spent playing the knobs and buttons instead. Or expressing despair for the lack of knobs and buttons.
Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 05/18/19 01:51 PM

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Does anybody play the piano? It seems that much time is spent playing the knobs and buttons instead. Or expressing despair for the lack of knobs and buttons.


What? What do you mean "play the piano"? You can play the piano? I thought it's all about knobs and buttons wink
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Kawai CA98 - 05/18/19 01:56 PM

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Does anybody play the piano? It seems that much time is spent playing the knobs and buttons instead. Or expressing despair for the lack of knobs and buttons.

Just to prove you wrong, check out the second link here. I think he touches the keys a few times! laugh
Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 05/18/19 02:08 PM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Does anybody play the piano? It seems that much time is spent playing the knobs and buttons instead. Or expressing despair for the lack of knobs and buttons.

Just to prove you wrong, check out the second link here. I think he touches the keys a few times! laugh

Haha, good one smile
Posted By: JoBert

Re: Kawai CA98 - 05/19/19 01:56 PM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Nordomus
Ok I have one more disapointment. I discovered today that in pianist mode you can't change tuning and temperament smirk I was looking to playing with this a bit. Those options are only avaivle for sound mode for some reason.

From reading this forum, it appears there are many limitations in pianist mode, including not generating MIDI output, I believe.

In that you believe wrong. Pianist mode outputs MIDI just fine.
Controlling pianist mode with MIDI (i.e. feeding it MIDI control signals) is a different story. It generally works too, but a few of the advanced pianist mode features are then inactive (e.g. you don't get the modelled string resonances or the hammer fallback noises).
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Kawai CA98 - 05/19/19 02:00 PM

Originally Posted by JoBert
From reading this forum, it appears there are many limitations in pianist mode, including not generating MIDI output, I believe.

In that you believe wrong. Pianist mode outputs MIDI just fine.
Controlling pianist mode with MIDI (i.e. feeding it MIDI control signals) is a different story. It generally works too, but a few of the advanced pianist mode features are then inactive (e.g. you don't get the modelled string resonances or the hammer fallback noises).[/quote]
Thanks for the clarification! thumb
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CA98 - 05/20/19 12:49 AM

As JoBert notes, MIDI Output functions as normal on the CA98 (and all other instruments that share the same hardware platform), however MIDI Input does not generate resonances, as the DSP does not respond to MIDI Input.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: Schuberto

Re: Kawai CA98 - 05/20/19 05:14 AM

Originally Posted by Kawai James


Yes, I see your point. I will try to improve this for the CA99 owner's manual. wink

Cheers,
James
x


Kawai hereby announces soon to come new model CA-99. 😀😀😀
Posted By: walshj

Re: Kawai CA98 - 06/24/19 02:02 PM

Hello!

I recently purchased a Ca-98 DP.
Just wondering... Is the green light coming from under the keys normal? Left side of the piano, around the control panel area. Best noticed with low-dark ambient lighting.

Thank you.
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CA98 - 06/25/19 01:41 AM

Hello walshj, welcome to the forum.

I expect what you're seeing is some light leaking from the backlight of the LCD panel. Please contact your dealer to discuss this matter - the store's technician may be able to add some additional material to block-out the light.

Kind regards,
James
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Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 07/10/19 03:01 PM

I've been waiting for about 2 months for any information about my noisier keys and I'm yet to hear anything about that from Kawai/shop. Kawai James can you help me with that? This takes ridiculously long time.
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CA98 - 07/11/19 01:26 AM

Originally Posted by Nordomus
Kawai James can you help me with that?


i'm a little reluctant to get involved, especially if you are already in contact with your Kawai dealer and/or distributor.

May I ask you to clarify which companies you have contacted, please?

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: MacMacMac

Re: Kawai CA98 - 07/11/19 10:05 AM

Waiting for two months is like waiting for Godot.
Originally Posted by Nordomus
I've been waiting for about 2 months for any information about my noisier keys and I'm yet to hear anything about that from Kawai/shop. Kawai James can you help me with that? This takes ridiculously long time.
That is ... if it really has been two months, then I suspect you'll never hear anything. The ball has been dropped. Your issue is not in anyone's queue. You'll have to follow up with your dealer ... or just live with the problem.
Posted By: Nordomus

Re: Kawai CA98 - 07/11/19 12:53 PM


Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Waiting for two months is like waiting for Godot.
Originally Posted by Nordomus
I've been waiting for about 2 months for any information about my noisier keys and I'm yet to hear anything about that from Kawai/shop. Kawai James can you help me with that? This takes ridiculously long time.
That is ... if it really has been two months, then I suspect you'll never hear anything. The ball has been dropped. Your issue is not in anyone's queue. You'll have to follow up with your dealer ... or just live with the problem.

Actually I’ve talked with local technician today and it seems my case is stuck in Kawai Japan. But he said due to the expired deadline he opted for new instrument for me. Will see how it goes. I’m gonna push them harder.
Posted By: walshj

Re: Kawai CA98 - 07/17/19 08:41 AM

Thank you for your message, Kawai James.
Do you know if a certain degree of light leaking there is to be expected anyway?
You can see it when ambient lights are off or faint.

Best regards
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Kawai CA98 - 07/17/19 09:57 AM

Hello walshj,

Originally Posted by walshj
Do you know if a certain degree of light leaking there is to be expected anyway?
You can see it when ambient lights are off or faint.


Yes, it's possible.

I'm afraid I have played a CA98/CA78 in low light conditions (just in the office), so have never experienced any light leak.

Kind regards,
James
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