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Hi,

Perhaps you have read my previous thread with the same title as this one, a thread where I complained about the sound in the new Kawai CA63. I made that statement after I had tried the piano at the very first time in the store and I was absolutely sure that I wouldn't buy a Kawai, never.

Even if I was very disappointed about Kawai I thought it could be possible to use it with a piano software, Pianoteq for example. Although I wasn't impressed at all about the CA63 I thought it was mediocre, perhaps with a slightly better keyboard than comparable but still with poor sound.

With this intention in mind I bought it from Thomann.de and received it yesterday. I have now played it for two days and WOOOOW smile I'm so excited. I can now say that my complaint was absolutely unjustified, this piano is so fantastic. The first thing I noticed when I unpacked the carton was the extraordinary quality, the quality if so superior to what I have seen in other digital pianos. The sound is not bad at all it is actually very good and the new keyboard is absolutely the most qualitative keyboard available in this price range on the market. I will not buy a computer based piano software, it's not necessary anymore.

My explanation to this "U-turn" is that I couldn't make a satisfactory assessment in the local store due to noise from other customers etc. You can never understand the product until you have it at home.

If I have to make a very short summary I can say that I'm so impressed of Kawai, I could never imagine they were so good. I think it's sad that Kawai doesn't promote their products in a larger scale, they deserve it and customers deserve to try these pianos out. If Kawai would be available in a larger scale I'm sure that both Roland and Yamaha would have met strong competition for DP customers.

KAWAI James, I want you to send a greeting to the developers of the CA63 (including yourself of course) and tell them they have made a FANTASTIC job

For speculative customers of a digital piano, buy KAWAI CA63, you will not be disappointed.

/Andrée

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Andrée, nice feedback on the build quality and sound! Music stores are the worst, aren't they? The guitars and drums pounding always give my wife a headache - I honestly don't know how the workers there maintain their sanity.

It is fully (or nearly fully) sampled, the looping is fairly well done, and the velocity layers are nicely blended.

Kawai should also be commended for doing things people seem to really like, such as the very straightforward user interface on the MP8. What do you think of the controls / UI on the CA63? How do the other sounds strike you? Are there decent church organs, strings, harpsichord?

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Andree,

I'm glad it has worked out for you. I'm amazed though that after your first impression that you went ahead and ordered one...very brave because you would have had no certainty that your negative impressions were due solely to a noisy shop environment.

Anyway, enjoy it!

Steve

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I'm also interesting in CA63, despite being initially interested in the Yamaha CLP340. The local dealer will receive one next month (in satin black). I can't wait to make my "test drive": by reading your comments, I'm sure I will take it!

Andree: can you check your firmware version?? Do you have updated the topic
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1201029/1.html
??

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Congrats! That's a great choice! Now I guess you understand why I love my CA63!


<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>
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Hello Andrée,

Thank you for your positive feedback - I'll certainly pass on your kind words to the CA63/CA93 team on Monday.

I have to say though, like Steve above I'm rather surprised that you decided to take the plunge, despite your negative impression upon visiting the dealer. Your experience completely undermines my 'try before you buy' mantra that I advocate throughout the forum!

Anyway, glad to hear that you're enjoying your new DP. Ah, and don't forget to download the latest software from kawai.de (fixing the crackling sound bug reported by kawaian).

Cheers,
James
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dewster, the control interface is good, I have nothing more to say about it. When we are talking about the other sounds built in they are OK, not perfect but on the other hand I don't care. I bought a piano, not a synthesizer.

Another point I forgot to tell is that the connection between the player and the piano is very good in the CA63. It responds very authentic in my opinion and you have a very large dynamic range.

KAWAI James, I also forgot to tell you that you have made a great work with the instructions, very easy to understand.

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I still would like to try out a CA63 or CA93. However, unfortunately, I live in a disadvantaged, small town with no music and piano culture (NOT) with no stocking Kawai dealers to serve a greater metropolitan population of 7 million. I would have to take a six hour round trip, $75 train ride to audition one of them. What a joke!

If one has to go through this much trouble to buy one, can you imagine what would happen if you had problems updating to a firmware version that actually works or when you started to get the old CA91 kind of maintenance problems with sticking keys and uneven keyboard problems that tend to crop up in these wooden keyboards after one year or if you actually wanted to sell it for a halfway decent price used?

The Kawai would have to offer dramatically better action and sound and price to make up for the lack of any kind of professional sales, distribution and service capability. From the reviews I have read so far, that is not the case.



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Originally Posted by Andree
KAWAI James, I also forgot to tell you that you have made a great work with the instructions, very easy to understand.


Thanks Andrée! Yes, I'm rather proud of the CA93/CA63 documentation, and intend to use the same layout style for future models.

Cheers,
James
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Well Holland isn't the only country that doesn't get any Kawaii products. I couldn't find any dealer that has Kawaii DPs in Poland either and I will not travel to Germany to test a DP... So Roland won wink

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theJourney, I can understand your frustration. Indeed, it frustrates me that residents of large cities such as Amsterdam are unable to play-test the full range of KAWAI instruments.

I'm afraid my only recommendation would be to raise this matter with KAWAI Europe and/or KAWAI Japan directly.

Kind regards,
James
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zaba19, according to www.kawai.eu, 'Silesia Music Centre' is responsible for distributing KAWAI instruments throughout Poland.

They list a number of KAWAI DPs on their website, and I expect the CA93/CA63 will also be available shortly.

Congratulations on your new HP-307, by the way! wink

Kind regards,
James
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Can you CA63 owners say something about the CA93, too? Did you have a chance to test the CA93? I'm asking because the CA93 has a "soundboard" design, which the CA63 has not. Could you hear much of a difference? Or is the CA63 plenty good in terms of speaker/amp setup?

@James, is there any difference between CA63 and CA93 in terms of back-to-wall placement? I mean, does the CA93 soundboard need more air at the back than the CA63? How near can I place either instrument to the wall (I don't have much space in my living room)?

Thanks!

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madshi, I believe both the CA63 and CA93 can be placed snug against a wall, however it may indeed be worthwhile to leave a small gap for the CA93's soundboard to 'breathe'. There is also a setting to adjust the EQ of the soundboard speaker, depending on the placement of the instrument.

Aside from the soundboard, the CA93's speaker configuration is a little different to that of the CA63.

Cheers,
James
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Thanks James. How would you rate the difference between the CA63 and CA93 speaker systems? Do you like the CA93 speaker configuration a lot more than the CA63 or would you say the difference is subtle?

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When talking about speakers I can say that the speakers in the CA63 is more than enough for home use. I think they are at 50W each and when I have the volume at 40% the sound is amazing, to my ears the piano acts like an acoustic. You can really feel that the whole piano vibrates when you're playing notes in the bass.

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Originally Posted by madshi
Thanks James. How would you rate the difference between the CA63 and CA93 speaker systems? Do you like the CA93 speaker configuration a lot more than the CA63 or would you say the difference is subtle?


To be perfectly honest, I haven't really had a great deal of opportunity to play both instruments side-by-side. The owner's manual was written while working on a prototype, and I don't believe this unit had the production spec. speakers.

If I had to chose between the CA63 and CA93 (and money was not a consideration), I'd obviously opt for the more powerful CA93.

Cheers,
James
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Originally Posted by theJourney
I still would like to try out a CA63 or CA93. However, unfortunately, I live in a disadvantaged, small town with no music and piano culture (NOT) with no stocking Kawai dealers to serve a greater metropolitan population of 7 million. I would have to take a six hour round trip, $75 train ride to audition one of them. What a joke!


I wonder if this phenomena has to do with the production capacity at Kawai? If you compare the quality of Kawai DP with Yamaha DP for example, you will quite soon notice that Kawai spends a lot more time to produce their pianos than Yamaha does. This is not just what I think I have actually heard it from a piano dealer, selling both Yamaha and Kawai. The consequence of this might be that due to the capacity it's not possible to increase the market share for Kawai yet.

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Originally Posted by Andree
I wonder if this phenomena has to do with the production capacity at Kawai? If you compare the quality of Kawai DP with Yamaha DP for example, you will quite soon notice that Kawai spends a lot more time to produce their pianos than Yamaha does. This is not just what I think I have actually heard it from a piano dealer, selling both Yamaha and Kawai. The consequence of this might be that due to the capacity it's not possible to increase the market share for Kawai yet.

No, I really think it has to do with the fact that Yamaha is a huge, $5 billion multinational conglomerate specialized in consumer products marketing and distribution and with deep knowledge and experience in how to build and manage channel strategies and dealer networks. Kawai, on the other hand, is a relatively small $564 million company that builds wonderful acoustic pianos that are sold through traditional channels and dabbles a bit in high end digital pianos that leverage their strength as builders of one of the most innovative and high performance piano actions in the market but that lag in the innovations in sound production that Yamaha has pioneered.

...on the other hand thomann.de is sold out of the new Kawai models.
However, does that reflect on Kawai or on their local importer?

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Well, I have tried to discuss the issues, but both of those posts have been deleted by someone....

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