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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Granyala #2703203 01/08/18 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Granyala
I agree with mac in the regard that the whole "ermagawd DAC / amp is so uber" thing is Marketing BS.
A good amp does one thing: make stuff loud w/o imprinting it's own signature. Meaning no matter the brand any amped signal should (ideally) be the same.
A DAC converts digital input into a sine wave signal. Nothing more, nothing less.

Unless Kawai did use really, I mean REALLY crappy DACs and amps, there should not be any audible difference.
This isn't exclusive to digital pianos though. Nearly every audio hardware that markets DAC as sth special and boast some arbitrarily high S/N ratio makes me cringe.

However, considering that there is more going on in a digital piano than mere playback of audio, possibly Onkyo proprietary signal processing might make a notable difference.

As for the Soundboard transducers: thanks Mac, I knew those were Onkyo.
These could definitely sound better, again your ears need to be the judge of that.


Theoretically you are absolutely right, but experience shows that in audio reproduction there is ni such thing like pure gain and pure conversion. Even high-end pro amplifiers and converters varies between them a lot. From light and clean to heavy and dark, and everything between, including rich and detailed, which is of course best way.
There are huge differences between amplifiers, converters, cables and so it.

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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawaifan2 #2703218 01/08/18 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawaifan2
Theoretically you are absolutely right, but experience shows that in audio reproduction there is ni such thing like pure gain and pure conversion. Even high-end pro amplifiers and converters varies between them a lot. From light and clean to heavy and dark, and everything between, including rich and detailed, which is of course best way.
There are huge differences between amplifiers, converters, cables and so it.

Off topic:

Of course there are tiny differences. After all, we cannot build ideal equipment due to tolerances, necessary rounding errors etc.
Also, please keep in mind, that a signature to the equipment is often wanted. Many swear on tube amps, for example, because they sound warm / softer than their solid state counterpart. However that warm/soft is, essentially, an unnecessary change to the signal.

I would question anybody who maintains that he can hear differences between cables though. Unless one of the cables was inadequate for the load or had other signal degradation due to insufficient shielding or damage, cables are cables.

Yes I know there are so called "golden eared audiophiles" that claim to be able to hear the difference, but so far they all failed in double blind tests.
/off topic

None of that matters for DPs "out of the box sounds" though. The weakest link in the sound quality chain are the looped samples.


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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawai James #2703636 01/10/18 07:33 AM
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Hello chaps, a gentle thread bump to let you know that the CA98/CA78 product pages on the Kawai Global website have been updated with more information.

http://www.kawai-global.com/product/ca98
http://www.kawai-global.com/product/ca78

Other the speaker system explanations, the content is largely the same on both pages.

Kind regards,
James
x


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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawai James #2703645 01/10/18 08:14 AM
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Very small speakers ?


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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Granyala #2703671 01/10/18 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Granyala

Yes I know there are so called "golden eared audiophiles" that claim to be able to hear the difference, but so far they all failed in double blind tests.
/off topic


They usually fail with amps too, providing that amps stay within their limits.

Amps can vary but mostly in how loud they can go and how gracefully they fail when pushed beyond that limit. Thus there may have been scope for improvement from new amps if it were the case that the previous models were clipping a bit before or at max volume.

Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawaifan2 #2703687 01/10/18 12:01 PM
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This is just the sort of bunk that snake-oil salesmen spew.
Originally Posted by Kawaifan2
Even high-end pro amplifiers and converters varies between them a lot. From light and clean to heavy and dark, and everything between, including rich and detailed, which is of course best way.
What exactly is light and clean sound? What is heavy and dark sound? Meaningless drivel !

Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawai James #2703730 01/10/18 03:30 PM
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I spent time again today back at the Kawai dealer and played a CA98 for a while. Awesome instrument with great sound and fantastic action. If the MP11SE plays and sounds like that, which it should p, even with GF and not GFII, then I should be very satisfied with it. Kawai has come a long way with their sampling.


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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
PianoZac #2703736 01/10/18 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoZac
I spent time again today back at the Kawai dealer and played a CA98 for a while. Awesome instrument with great sound and fantastic action. If the MP11SE plays and sounds like that, which it should p, even with GF and not GFII, then I should be very satisfied with it. Kawai has come a long way with their sampling.

The CA98 has two sound engines. The default "pianist mode" engine is new and not included in the MP11SE. The CA98's "sound mode" engine is the same as the engine in the MP11SE though (called HiXL or so, also the same engine as in the predecessor CA97/CA67/CS8/CS11 models). So to actually make a comparison, I hope you tested the "sound mode"?

Of course the HiXL engine is also already a very good engine, imo. I'm certainly very happy with it in my CA97. smile I think you will be happy with it in your MP11SE too.


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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
MacMacMac #2703753 01/10/18 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
]What exactly is light and clean sound? What is heavy and dark sound?

Mostly treble happy / bass happy.
Esp tube amp often color the sound towards the bass region, what many people consider "warm".


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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
PianoZac #2703789 01/10/18 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoZac
I spent time again today back at the Kawai dealer and played a CA98 for a while. Awesome instrument with great sound and fantastic action. If the MP11SE plays and sounds like that, which it should p, even with GF and not GFII, then I should be very satisfied with it.


Zac, JoBert's summary is spot on.

Moreover, the CA98 (and other models, such as the CS11) utilise 'Spatial Headphone Sound', which improves the depth/ambiance of the sound when listening though headphones. This feature is not available on portable/stage models such as the MP11SE.

Kind regards,
James
x


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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawai James #2703804 01/10/18 08:12 PM
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Thanks James and JoBert. I think the MP11SE should be close enough in both sound and feel to make an informed decision. Would you both agree? There was a moment today where I found myself playing through Claire de Lune with my eyes closed. To me, that’s what good instruments should do.


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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawai James #2703939 01/11/18 11:09 AM
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I'm looking for a replacement for my aging Kawai MP8, which I use almost exclusively with software instruments (mainly Vintage D). I played a CA98 yesterday for about half an hour but, after having my expectations raised by this thread, was overall underwhelmed. My two main problems were a perceived "boxy" sound and a rubbery bottoming of the keys. I really wanted to like the instrument but couldn't. In contrast the AvantGrand N3X next to it blew it away (of course, at 5x the price), but even the Yamaha CLP-675 gave me a much more playable experience with its more open sound and a firmer keybed. So the CA98 is not for me, but I'll be waiting on the NV10 before making any decisions.

Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawai James #2703989 01/11/18 01:27 PM
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That's the impression I got a year ago playing a CA97 at a dealer. The sound was boxy and indistinct.

That's not necessarily off-putting for me because I mainly listen with headphones. So I could be happy with the much cheaper non-soundboard CA-6x piano.

I don't remember any "rubbery bottoming", though. It's been over a year so I just don't remember everything about that experience.
Or it could be that the CA97 has a different version of keyboard? Maybe that one is non-rubbery? Dunno.

Ya know what I really want? A VPC with Kawai's best action (instead of the VPC's middle-of-the-line action.
KJ ... Could I impose upon you to say whether such a thing lies in Kawai's future plans?

Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
MacMacMac #2704006 01/11/18 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
That's the impression I got a year ago playing a CA97 at a dealer. The sound was boxy and indistinct.

That's not necessarily off-putting for me because I mainly listen with headphones. So I could be happy with the much cheaper non-soundboard CA-6x piano.

I don't remember any "rubbery bottoming", though. It's been over a year so I just don't remember everything about that experience.
Or it could be that the CA97 has a different version of keyboard? Maybe that one is non-rubbery? Dunno.

Ya know what I really want? A VPC with Kawai's best action (instead of the VPC's middle-of-the-line action.
KJ ... Could I impose upon you to say whether such a thing lies in Kawai's future plans?


I wonder if some models when played in a bit, the felt compresses slightly reducing the bounce over time. I've heard it said people trying out the CA97 in shops, presumably older models will have been played quite a bit and said the CA78/98 felt bouncier. I dunno, just speculating, technically, they should be the same when new.

I doubt James would say, but my GUT tells me for some reason if there is going to be a VPC2, it will be announced at NAMM possibly, which is not far away. If not then who knows. I also suspect ( not what many want to hear) it will have the GFC compact action, not GF2 and will come with the new improved pedal unit the same as in the MP7/11SE.

I've yet to try a CA48, but I am curious to find out one of these days, just because GFC is a level below GF 2, it may still be a very nice action, so I wouldn't rule it out outright, just because a few have said, the pivot is shorter and can't live with it, it is longer than what's in the VPC1 after all. The longest pivot in the world is not everything ... or whether one can repeat notes at the rate of knots on isn't everything, as long as it is not limiting your playing.

If you have lived with a Casio AP 450 as I have with a very short pivot, most actions are a luxury when it comes to that aspect how easy it is to press the keys near the fallboard, so I am probably rather more easily satisfied, as I am used to that action and can still live with it. For the more advanced players such differences may be more of an issue, but for intermediate players/ late beginners and I'd suspect for many of the advanced too, both of these Kawai action are more than good enough (for me) and would serve me well for a long time.

It's not that I even feel I desperately need a new action in my case, but I fancy something a bit more acoustic like in feeling one of these days to use as a regular workhorse, but I can wait a bit, it's not a case of, I need it now, there is plenty joy to be had in the Casio action I have right now smile

If a VPC2 is announced at NAMM, likely I'll buy/order one as soon as it is available, unless GF 2 convincingly wins me over compared to GFC, I may rethink that.


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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Alexander Borro #2704019 01/11/18 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Alexander Borro
I wonder if some models when played in a bit, the felt compresses slightly reducing the bounce over time. I've heard it said people trying out the CA97 in shops, presumably older models will have been played quite a bit and said the CA78/98 felt bouncier. I dunno, just speculating, technically, they should be the same when new.


I can't really speak to the effects of age, but I have absolutely noticed this effect. On my MP11, if I bottom out the keys, I can very easily apply a bit more pressure and have it travel another mm or more down "into" the felt. That doesn't happen on acoustics. I remember looking into this and reading in Kawai's materials for the Grand Feel that they use the same type of green felt on the front rail as they do in their acoustics (though it's a felt strip and not buttons slipped over the pins).

My guess is that the felt is thicker intentionally, because DPs can be played silently and the key presses need to be as quiet as possible (and the Kawai wooden actions are honestly the most silent actions I've ever used). And if your cushioning is thicker, that extra damping is going to result in more movement under pressure.


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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Alexander Borro #2704077 01/11/18 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Alexander Borro
I also suspect ( not what many want to hear) it will have the GFC compact action, not GF2 […]

Kawai extended the pivot point in Grand Feel Compact action making it more compact than Realistic Materials, Motion and Mechanism II (RM3 II) action at the same time. So I was wondering if it's possible to make the same trick with Grand Feel series action. If so, then we could get even longer pivot point (if there's sense?) staying in the same size of the action, or reduce a bit the size of the action, but with the same pivot point length.


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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Smaug #2704100 01/11/18 07:36 PM
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Hello Smaug, thank you for your feedback.

Originally Posted by Smaug
My two main problems were a perceived "boxy" sound...


I wonder if the instrument had the software update loaded, which includes EQ improvements?

Originally Posted by Smaug
...and a rubbery bottoming of the keys.


This is not a criticism I'm familiar with.

Kind regards,
James
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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
MacMacMac #2704103 01/11/18 07:39 PM
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Hello Mac,

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Ya know what I really want? A VPC with Kawai's best action (instead of the VPC's middle-of-the-line action.
KJ ... Could I impose upon you to say whether such a thing lies in Kawai's future plans?


I expect the VPC1 will be updated at some point, but I'm not aware of any immediate plans to do so.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Smaug #2704174 01/12/18 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Smaug
I'm looking for a replacement for my aging Kawai MP8, which I use almost exclusively with software instruments (mainly Vintage D). I played a CA98 yesterday for about half an hour but, after having my expectations raised by this thread, was overall underwhelmed. My two main problems were a perceived "boxy" sound and a rubbery bottoming of the keys. I really wanted to like the instrument but couldn't. In contrast the AvantGrand N3X next to it blew it away (of course, at 5x the price), but even the Yamaha CLP-675 gave me a much more playable experience with its more open sound and a firmer keybed. So the CA98 is not for me, but I'll be waiting on the NV10 before making any decisions.


The boxy sound drove me away from the CA98. With headphones on, the sound is very good.


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Re: Kawai announces Concert Artist CA98 and CA78 digital pianos
Kawai James #2704180 01/12/18 06:13 AM
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For some unrelated reason, I recent decreased the volume on my CA97 to a point below the half way point (i.e. less than 50%). I normally use it at around 75%/80% of the volume slider. When I adjusted the volume down and began playing, I felt as if I had cotton balls in my ears. It seemed to me, that not only was the piano less loud, it also was somehow strange. That's the first time I could relate to the people who called the sound "boxy", because this "strange" through-cotton-balls sound could indeed be described as "boxy". Thing is, that I never feel that way when playing with the higher (proper?) volume. Maybe this is a "feature" of the soundboard speaker, that it is just not as good on lower volumes as it is on higher volumes?
Is it possible that when you experience the sound as boxy, you have the volume rather low? Does the impression change when you put the volume at 75%?
Seeing what Smaug wrote about testing in a shop, I can image that in such an environment you would rather not set the volume too high, so that you don't disturb other people, which could then give a less favorable impression of the sound. But Tyr, at home you probably have the volume higher, do you?


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