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Posted By: cebeema Kawai CS8. Still a good purchase in 2019? - 12/13/19 07:31 PM
Hi,

I've been looking into a digital piano for several months now, and I've pretty much decided I'm buying the kawai ca78 due to its awesome keyboard action, which I fell in love to when I tested it in the store.

However, lately I've been looking at the CS8. I can buy it new at the same price of the CA78, and I'd just trade the LCD screen (I don't care) and the Pianist mode (I don't know if it's that relevant) for the polished finish of the CS8 (which I really like). Do you think a CS8 is a good purchase in December 2019 even if it has been 3-4 years in the market? Would you wait to NAMM January 2020 to see if something new appears? I'm scared of buying now a 3-4 years old piano and getting a new one released in a short amount of time. At the same time, I don't know if there's something new to be expected for 2020.

Any ideas? Thank you!
To be honest, I really like the pianist mode. But I also like the sound mode, which is what you will get in the CS8, as well. The EX concert sounds like a big grand piano. The SK5 sounds like a piano you may have in your home. The Pianist sound engine is overall better. No doubt and doesn't the CA78 in polished ebony look just as nice? I would expect the CS8 to be discounted pretty heavily. Play them both and go with your feelings.
I'm surprised the CS8 is equal in price, and would agree with TomLC, the CS8 should be at a discount. Personally, given the action and sound updates, and having played both, I would not choose the CS8 over the CA78, the CA78 is "much more like a piano" smile
Yeah, they're both new and have the same price in Spain online sellers (about 2700€). I don't know the original CS8 price, but I suspect it's been already heavily discounted. However, the CA78 in polished ebony is 500€ more, which I find too much of a jump.
You should be able to get a CS11 for almost the same price as a CA98 if you negotiate properly. Or I believe you can also get a CA98 in gloss black now which they were willing to discount to the usual CA98 price.

I recently tried pretty much every Kawai keyboard from Cn27 on up, including CA78, CA98, and NV10. I originally purchased the CA78 because it is such a great value for headphone listening and I did prefer the updated sound engine significantly with the SK Ex sound. However, there were "muted keys" in the c2 to c4 range that made it unplayable to my ear in the Ca78 i purchased and I ended up returning it.. The CA98 and NV10 did not have that, and I realized with my goal of learning classical piano on an instrument that I could play with headphones due to my living situation, I went all in with the NV10 which is superior action by far but likely out of your price range. All that to say, be careful with the CA78 as many have had the same issues with muted keys and it greatly altered the expression and playing enjoyment. The CS and CA98 may be better purchases due to quality control issues with the 78 it appears (it seems the issues is in the touch pad sensor on them and is not fixed by the latest updates), or the CS8 in your case which will also be an excellent digital piano with the EX sound.
Posted By: JoBert Re: Kawai CS8. Still a good purchase in 2019? - 12/14/19 10:56 AM
Originally Posted by Pianoguy723
All that to say, be careful with the CA78 as many have had the same issues with muted keys and it greatly altered the expression and playing enjoyment. The CS and CA98 may be better purchases due to quality control issues with the 78 it appears (it seems the issues is in the touch pad sensor on them and is not fixed by the latest updates)

Maybe I misunderstand you, but you make some dubious, and not very logical claims here.

First you say that the CA78 may have problems with muted keys (which I can't remember reading about at all) and then you say that the CS and CA98 won't have that. But they have the same action as the CA78, so why does this alleged "muted key" problem exist only with the CA78?
Then you say it's because of quality control issues, which you claim affect only the CA78, not the CA98 (where have you heard that?) and that these issues are with the touch pad sensor and haven't been fixed in the latest update. First of all, any issues with the touch pad would not result in "muted keys", so how is that even related? Second, if there are issues with the touch pad, then these issues would definitely affect also the CA98 and even your own NV10, because CA78, CA98 and NV10 have the same touch pad hardware and touch pad software.

All in all, you are raising a scare about the CA78 that doesn't seem to have any backing in facts (at least not in facts that wouldn't also affect the CS8/CS11/CA98, if we speak about the action, or the CA98/NV10, if we speak about the touch pad).

Oh, and BTW: Congrats on your NV10! Welcome to the club! Have you seen our "NV10 Hands On" mega thread?
Posted By: JoBert Re: Kawai CS8. Still a good purchase in 2019? - 12/14/19 11:02 AM
Oh, and about OP's question: Personally, I would buy the CA78 over the CS8. The pianist mode is worth it, more so than the polished ebony finish (if the budget can't be streched to have both).
Good morning Pianoguy, I completely understand your reasoning to justify your NV10 acquisition. wink (Maybe to the wife?) Welcome to the club. 🤣

Cebeema, Why are you buying on-line? You said you have played them all at a dealers store. Talk to the dealer. He may give you a deal. He’ll go out of business fast if folks play his pianos to compare, and then buy on-line from a website. It’s better to deal with a human. Anyway, offer to buy his floor model if he has one to sell. Especially if you decide on the CS8. And he may match the on-line price no matter which model you choose.

One more thought: if you are willing to buy an older model, did you look at the Yamaha NU1? If you can find It. That may fit your wish list.

Good sound. Nice cabinet. Real acoustic action.
Thank you all for the replies.

TomLC, I'd buy online because the store here only has the newer models (78,98). In fact, they're better priced than in the online websites I'm talking about (because they include shipping and bench). Maybe they can also order the CS line, but there's no store near here that has them, so I cannot test in person.

Wow, lots of replies praising the Pianist mode... I started aiming at the CA58 and now I'm thinking about the CA78 polished... whistle
Originally Posted by cebeema


Wow, lots of replies praising the Pianist mode... I started aiming at the CA58 and now I'm thinking about the CA78 polished... whistle


That sounds like the best option. And I suppose you can get it from the dealer. Make an offer at the unpolished price for the polished piano. Check in hand.

They will likely accept it.
Yeah, it seems it's the option that ticks all the boxes (if namm january doesn't offer anything better). But wow, I'm not used at all to make deals like that, and I don't know if they are. I get the feeling that they're going to laught at me grin
I am also waiting for NAMM in January until I decide if I go for CA78 or not. It is no longer on stock on several internet shops in Europe which could be a sign that something else might be announced soon. Then it will be the NAMM in Germany in April...But I won’t wait that long.
Yeah, I'll do the same. Just one month grin
Originally Posted by JoBert
Originally Posted by Pianoguy723
All that to say, be careful with the CA78 as many have had the same issues with muted keys and it greatly altered the expression and playing enjoyment. The CS and CA98 may be better purchases due to quality control issues with the 78 it appears (it seems the issues is in the touch pad sensor on them and is not fixed by the latest updates)

Maybe I misunderstand you, but you make some dubious, and not very logical claims here.

First you say that the CA78 may have problems with muted keys (which I can't remember reading about at all) and then you say that the CS and CA98 won't have that. But they have the same action as the CA78, so why does this alleged "muted key" problem exist only with the CA78?
Then you say it's because of quality control issues, which you claim affect only the CA78, not the CA98 (where have you heard that?) and that these issues are with the touch pad sensor and haven't been fixed in the latest update. First of all, any issues with the touch pad would not result in "muted keys", so how is that even related? Second, if there are issues with the touch pad, then these issues would definitely affect also the CA98 and even your own NV10, because CA78, CA98 and NV10 have the same touch pad hardware and touch pad software.

All in all, you are raising a scare about the CA78 that doesn't seem to have any backing in facts (at least not in facts that wouldn't also affect the CS8/CS11/CA98, if we speak about the action, or the CA98/NV10, if we speak about the touch pad).

Oh, and BTW: Congrats on your NV10! Welcome to the club! Have you seen our "NV10 Hands On" mega thread?


It is dubious and logically questionable to you because you are operating on some false premises that cloud your ability to reach a valid conclusion in this case.

1)http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2779482/kawai-ca78-grand-feel-2-problems-with-action.html
There are many cases of this issue with the ca78, this is one thread but I have read more. Some people tried adjisting the individual key volumes, some people talked in detail with kawai and no solution could be reached, some people tried in vain to update to the newest software, one person out of australia in detail analysed the individual velocity numbers with a separate program and found marked variation and convinced them to replace the sensors and once the touchpad sensor was replaced this fixed the problem (the only known resolution for the issue). I noticed this issue on the showroom floor, but they convinced me the update would fix it (there was an updated ca98 on the floor that did not have this issue and had a very even velocity registration and tone. The NV10 is superior to either of those in eveness of playing and expression.

2)https://www.kawai.co.uk/products/hybridpianos/hybriddigitalpianos/nv10/
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/ubb/printthread/Board/6/main/187685/type/thread.html
The nv10 uses optical sensors tracking the position for the hammers of the millenium 3 action not the touchpad of the grandfeel2 in the CA series. I believe the optical sensors are more similar to the atx3 hybrid uprights (which are fantastic to play in digital mode).

3)the ca78 i tested (and purchased) had this problem with "muted keys" in the c2 to c4 range that dramatically affected the expression of the keyboard, even after updates. The CA98 did not. The NV10 is about as close as you can get to the feel of a real grand as you know, and was even more even and consistent (likely due to the optical sensor system). I decided I didnt want to mess with the ca78 issues or have major surgery performed on it, and decided to just go all in on the nv10.

I have found no reports of CA98 or CS muted keys and my own experience on several 98s confirmed they didnt have the issue, so my advice was to go up to a 98 or CS where the quality control might be better, or of course nv10 or atx3 are better still. But if getting a ca78 would definitely test it for muted keys before purchase at a minimum, or to be safe just avoid it all together and get one of the superior CS or CA98 instruments.

So that is the longer less stream of consciousness version of what I was trying to say.


Originally Posted by TomLC
Good morning Pianoguy, I completely understand your reasoning to justify your NV10 acquisition. wink (Maybe to the wife?) Welcome to the club. 🤣



Haha yes exactly, it actually worked out well because it effectively split the cost of it up so it wasnt as shocking. I believe when I brought it up to her I mentioned that the upgrsde would be a "little bit more expensive". Needless to say when she saw the bill she questioned my understanding of what "a little bit" means. But hey its in the house now so... smile
Posted By: JoBert Re: Kawai CS8. Still a good purchase in 2019? - 12/15/19 08:40 AM
Pianoguy, believe me, I am well aware of the differences between the CA/CS action and the NV10 action (please note my signature below) and I never questioned that.

Also that thread that you link under 1) (a thread that I was indeed aware of, seeing that I even participated in it)? There's people complaining about the CA78's keyboard in that thread, but also people complaining about the CA98's and CA97's (and even the CA58's, which has a different action). From that thread, if one wants to, one may come to the conclusion that the GFII action has a QA problem as such, but I see nothing in that thread that suggest that such QA issues are limited to the CA78. I still find that conclusion dubious, even if you add your own anecdotal evidence as mentioned in 3).

So, a recommendation of "get an NV10 instead of a CA78, it has a better action"? - yes, I can get behind that.

But a recommendation of "get a CA98 or CS8 instead of a CA78, they have better QA"? - I find that dubious. I think that, if the CA78 has QA issues (and I'm not saying it does), then the CS models and the CA98 have them too.
This is the a driver for using common designs and common components across a line of products.
Sameness it the goal. Variation is the enemy. Achieving that helps produce better quality at lower cost.
Originally Posted by JoBert
I see nothing in that thread that suggest that such QA issues are limited to the CA78. I still find that conclusion dubious, even if you add your own anecdotal evidence as mentioned in 3). ... But a recommendation of "get a CA98 or CS8 instead of a CA78, they have better QA"? - I find that dubious. I think that, if the CA78 has QA issues (and I'm not saying it does), then the CS models and the CA98 have them too.

Perhaps you guys are at odds because people are prone to draw large conclusions from small data sets.
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
This is the a driver for using common designs and common components across a line of products.
Sameness it the goal. Variation is the enemy. Achieving that helps produce better quality at lower cost.
Originally Posted by JoBert
I see nothing in that thread that suggest that such QA issues are limited to the CA78. I still find that conclusion dubious, even if you add your own anecdotal evidence as mentioned in 3). ... But a recommendation of "get a CA98 or CS8 instead of a CA78, they have better QA"? - I find that dubious. I think that, if the CA78 has QA issues (and I'm not saying it does), then the CS models and the CA98 have them too.

Perhaps you guys are at odds because people are prone to draw large conclusions from small data sets.


Nv10 dont have same touchpad sensors: it uses optical sensors not touchpads.
Well in that case if it can be any of the gf2 pads, be sure to test it out if you buy any Kawai keyboard as quality control is suspect since there are significant variations between boards.

Combining mine and joberts, knowledge, i can only safely say get the NV10 wink
1. The CA98, CA78, CS11, and CS8 (now discontinued) all share the same Grand Feel II keyboard action, and all undergo the same QC checks before being cleared for shipment.

2. I think the term "touchpad" is confusing to some members. I believe Pianoguy723 is referring to the "key switch" that is triggered by the hammer when a key is pressed, and not the "touchscreen" that is embedded in the left cheek block and used to control the instrument's operation.

Kind regards,
James
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