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Congrats on your new piano. You will be super happy ...the hardest part is the research, and now you get to enjoy..look forward to hearing about it all.


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Congrats on your purchase Back2Black!

If you have any queries regarding the instrument's operation, please feel free to drop me a line.

Kind regards,
James
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First off, enjoy your new piano. The touch and feel is remarkable.

CA99

Maybe, a sparkly new Sound System by Bose. Amps, speakers, tuning etc. Maybe a real spruce soundboard instead of plywood/vinyl. Maybe a better transducer for same. Maybe some #$@%#$ handles in the back so moving it is easier. Possibly removeable. Maybe a taller music stand so paper sheets do not fall backwards. With optional light. Maybe a Shigeru version personally signed by Kawai James on the soundboard. Maybe 200 amps per channel, instead of 50 or so.
Howzzatt?


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I thought the CA97 soundboard was "real spruce".



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Yes it is spruce according to these links (from a quick Google):

http://www.kawai.com.au/product/CA-97 "solid spruce soundboard"
http://www.kawaius.com/digital/CA/brochure/CAxx7US-32615-Download.pdf "a genuine spruce soundboard"

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It is spruce. The word "plywood" gives us an image of the stuff builders use in houses and such. I asked about this before buying my CA97 because I was also worried about fragility. There are layers, placed in a particular manner in regards to the grain, but thin layers, which then gives the right degree of rigidity and stability and also flexibility without there being too much. Maybe somebody can dig up the thread. The discussion went far afield into such things as how flexible or rigid the housing of a speaker needs to be, the role and placement of transducers etc. (I learned a lot in that thread).

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Is CA97/CS11 less boomy in the bass compared to CA67? Has anyone compared them side by side?


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Spruce Soundboard

The CA93 and CA95 had a vinyl covered sort of thin plywood. I saw no reason Kawai would change it for the CA97. If the underlying wood is layered spruce strips, a form of plywood, my deepest apologies ...

Those with a CA97, is the outer layer vinyl, or spruce with a clear wood finish?


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It looks like wood and feels like wood. The growth rings go closer or further apart, and are felt as ridges. Does vinyl do that? If by "finish" you mean some kind of lacquer or coating, it feels like wood with nothing on it.

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Congrats on you new piano!! :-) so was it delivery today....

Do let us all know how you get on with the Kawai CA97, thats if you can take yourself away from playing it, I know it can be addictive.. ;-)

Its always great to hear user experience on the forum.

Regards,
Stephen



KAWAI CS11 - Yamaha P115 - Yamaha MotifXS, - Yamaha SY99,CS6x,EX5r - Novation Supernova II, - Access Virus Ti2 - Yamaha 02R96 - NS10 - Focal Twin BE6 - (years ago a Clavinova PF P-100)

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So piano received on Saturday \o/, so far I’m really happy, it’s a real pleasure to start playing again, doesn’t feel like I’ve been away this long ! Some comments & first impressions.

- the piano sounds exactly the same as it did in store. Just mentioning because I was worried acoustics might be different in house. Makes testing the pianos in store all the more important.

- I realise I actually really like the look of the CA97. I felt if I wanted something to look like an acoustic, I would buy an acoustic (maybe silent). The CS11 feels like “almost as good as an acoustic”, whereas the CA97 feels “unbelievably amazing for a digital piano”. I can appreciate this is subjective, and actually probably not that common, but for me there is an element of expectation vs. reality which works in favour of CA97.

- 4 days in and I don’t have any issue with the ebony key texture anymore. The keyboard is a joy to play on. I can still feel that it’s a tad too heavy, but I think that’s a good thing for practice so I’m fine with that.

- It feels more like a piano at home, when I was in store, I was listening to all the little sound and key action subtleties, at home, you just get into your songs, I don’t really notice any of the small faults (like slight boominess) I did in store, not because they’re not there, but because I don’t look for them anymore, it just sounds and feels like a piano. I think this means you shouldn’t worry too much about making the perfect choice, I feel many of the high end DPs will give you similar enjoyment in the end (although I'm still happy I got this one ^^).

- My favourite sound is Kawai EX, which is the one that was in the previous generation, so if you’re thinking about older models (CS7/10 or CA65/95) but worried about having less sound samples, you should definitely try them out, it might not be a big problem for you.

To answer CyberGene’s question about boominess, I’m sure you can find other opinions elsewhere, but I did test the three extensively and my own experience is that CA97 is less boomy than CA67 and CS11 is less boomy than CA97. I feel the reason might be that in the CA97 you have the extra soundboard, and in the CS11 you have extra cabinet space, which both add natural sound, so if you put the volume at what feels like the same level, the actual volume coming from the speakers is progressively lower and this might reduce boominess. I felt the CA97 went a long way (but not all the way) to eliminate the boominess of the CA67, for me it is definitely worth the extra cost if you can afford it, even if you don’t intend on playing it loud.



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Bach2Black, congrats on your new piano, sounds like you're really enjoying it! smile

Regarding the sounds, I've only tested those pianos in the stores and have listened to demos online but I share the same opinion: the "old" Kawai EX sounds best to me. The SK EX had something in it that made it slightly dull and unnatural whereas the SK-5 is overly dark and muffled and even more unnatural to play.

Thanks for your confirmation about the CA97 being less boomy. I've played a CS11 and although I couldn't compare it directly to CA67/97 I never felt it was boomy.


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Originally Posted by Bach2Black
So piano received on Saturday \o/, so far I’m really happy, it’s a real pleasure to start playing again

Congratulations!

Originally Posted by Bach2Black
4 days in and I don’t have any issue with the ebony key texture anymore.

I never mention this when someone posts here in the forum that when testing in the store, they didn't like the ebony texture, because this is so subjective, but I had the same experience as you: Well, it's not as if I had "an issue" with the texture before buying, but during testing in the store, the texture sometimes was a bit "irritating" (simply because one isn't used to it). Only a short while after the piano was at my home, I was already used to it, and these days I actually enjoy it. I don't think that anyone should be deterred by this texture, because it's really not an issue. But as said, this is so subjective, I usually don't attempt to convince people. smile

Originally Posted by Bach2Black
The keyboard is a joy to play on. I can still feel that it’s a tad too heavy

Try setting the touch to "Light". I did that after a few weeks.

Originally Posted by Bach2Black
My favourite sound is Kawai EX

It will be interesting to see if it stays that way. For me it always oscillates between the SK-EX and the EX (with the SK-5 always on third place). Some days I prefer the one, other days the other. And on top of that, there are pieces that I prefer to play with the SK-EX and other pieces where I prefer the EX - and even others where I actually do prefer the SK-5. And I've recently branched out from these "big three": I started with a simply blues/jazz piece where I found that the "Old School Jazz" (but with Touch set to "Light") fits best.


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Originally Posted by JoBert

Originally Posted by Bach2Black
My favourite sound is Kawai EX

It will be interesting to see if it stays that way. For me it always oscillates between the SK-EX and the EX (with the SK-5 always on third place). Some days I prefer the one, other days the other. And on top of that, there are pieces that I prefer to play with the SK-EX and other pieces where I prefer the EX - and even others where I actually do prefer the SK-5. And I've recently branched out from these "big three": I started with a simply blues/jazz piece where I found that the "Old School Jazz" (but with Touch set to "Light") fits best.


I tend to flick between EX and SK-5, my girlfriend almost always plays on EX. Neither of us really use the SK-EX one, I find it a tad dull and lifeless.

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Back2Black, congrats on your new piano, and thank you for your positive feedback! wink

Cheers,
James
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JoBert, you are right, I have started changing sounds to match the style I am playing, so I am using other sounds than EX, although it is still my favourite. One thing I find is the two other main sounds SK-EX and SK-5 are both quite muddled in the base so if the piece I am playing has some very low notes, I always stick with EX. I would recommend Kawai to actually put EX as the default sound, I feel having SK-EX as the base might contribute to the initial impression of boominess for users who don't scroll through all the sounds when they test.

I have also played with other instruments, overall I find they are good but not amazing, I think if that is important to you, other brands might be better, Roland comes to mind, but I personally don't mind, if I want to start exploring that, I would probably get external software.

In terms of keys being heavy, changing the setting to light does help a bit, but it can go only so far, as the heaviness I feel comes from the physical construction of the key. This is something that would be an amazing feature to add in a new DP model, a way of changing the weight of a key, maybe a mechanical knob on the side or perhaps electronically with some magnetic resistance. Different people with different preferences could play on the same piano, you could evolve as you grow and build muscle, you could change your mind as to what you like, etc....




Last edited by Bach2Black; 11/06/16 07:53 AM.
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Originally Posted by Bach2Black
One thing I find is the two other main sounds SK-EX and SK-5 are both quite muddled in the base so if the piece I am playing has some very low notes, I always stick with EX.

I agree. If I want a strong and meaty bass, I always use the EX.

But I've also used the Virtual Technician to adjust the bass of the SK-EX a bit, to make it a slight bit more brilliant:

I've set "Voicing" to "User" and then I've voiced the lower registers as follows:

Starting from the C4 (=middle C) downwards:

C4 down to C#3 is set to +1,
C3 down to C#2 is set to +2,
C2 all the way down to A0 is set to +3

so now the bass gets progressively more brilliant the further you get into the lower registers. Of course this is only very subtle. But I want it to be subtle. It shouldn't be something that you notice consciously. But it still makes a nice difference, imo.

Maybe you can try something similar...


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I mostly play with the SK-EX voice. I don't like the EX. But I set the SK-EX voicing to "Bright" now. That seems perfect on my CA17. Not to muddled. Much nicer sound than the EX on "normal"

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On the CS10 I don't think I have the EX. It just says "Concert Grand". I usually prefer the "Mellow Grand" or "Upright" voices wink

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Originally Posted by gnuboi
On the CS10 I don't think I have the EX. It just says "Concert Grand". I usually prefer the "Mellow Grand" or "Upright" voices wink

The Concert Grand from the ca65/95/cs7/10 models became the EX on the ca17/67/97/cs8/11 models, I believe.


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