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@James: re: 10 second auto screen off, I understand that this setting needs to be enabled every time one turns the piano on. Is there a firmware update planned to make it sticky between power cycles (especially for NV10 - that I understand shares the same software)?

Thanks,
Osho


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Originally Posted by Bambers
I'd agree with the clips part. I think yamaha has only just added them in the CLP 600 series and roland DPs do not have any.


It's nothing new for Yamaha. At least some models in the early 2000's CLP-1XX range had those. They have just omitted them from several recent cheaper models. Many Roland models also have them. Even the relatively "low end" RP-501R does.

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Ah, I'd couldn't recall noticing many when I was shopping for a piano a while back. Having a poke around it seems my mix up with yamaha is that they've added them to the 685 and 635 where previously the 500 series versions of those did not have them. The 575/45/65 did have them.

That said, the clips they've added to the 685 look too short to be of much use, most books that are problematic will have no problem pushing past that.

Roland seem rather sporadic, of their current premium line, the HP605 has clips but neither the 603 nor the LX7/17 have them.

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Two comments:

1/ It strikes me that the clips part is simply a design challenge. I imagine the reason they don't include them is because they snap off etc, and so it has been felt they cause extra support. That is the only 'valid' reason not to include them that I can see. It isn't however sufficient. The answer is to put some effort in and design them better! Clips on a stand are a very basic requirement. They should be included in every piano. It may simply be that you need to go back to the design drawing board, and come up with a material and design that doesn't have issues.

2/ No PE version - Sorry. I still don't get this. What is the reason for not offering this in a PE version? Even if its the exact same design.

You aren't going to affect sales of the others. The CS11 is a different cabinet design entirely. And the Novus is in a different price bracket entirely. I see no good reason why you wouldn't supply this in the colour that most people actually want?

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I think the answer to the clips problem - and I agree with you that extra support costs related to when they snap off is most likely to be the reason - is the make the clips detachable. That way people can choose to have them on or not (some might prefer the look when they're not on), and when people break them they can be sent replacement ones with an engineer needing to attend. Could also make them more robust; I've used countless metal music stands over the years and never once broken any of the metal clips.

I think the lack of PE version is related to the CS11. Even though the design is different, there are going to be people who want a PE finish no matter what, and if no CA98 exists with that, they'll pay extra for the CS11. At least, I imagine that's the reasoning.


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Originally Posted by Kawai James

The CS11 offers the same headphone settings (SHS Mode, Phones Type, Phones Volume), however the CA98/CA78 obviously has the additional benefit of using Onkyo's Discrete SpectraModule for the headphone amplifier.


You surely should not forget about all the other sound generation component. Besides the Discrete SpectraModule (which I have no idea what it does other than is advertised as something great for the headphones), the quality of the DA converter, the filters, and the amps ought to be also apparent. But these should be present in the speaker system too… just as the impact of the Discrete SpectraModule without any setting tweaks, no?

What is Discrete SpectraModule actually? Does it mean that it is not a preprocessor but the headphone amplifier itself?

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According to this page http://www.eu.onkyo.com/en/products/a-9150-140041.html

"Discrete SpectraModule Produces High Instantaneous Voltage for Immersive Soundstaging, Improved Instrument Separation, and Lively Transient Response"

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Originally Posted by karvala
I think the lack of PE version is related to the CS11.


It has nothing to do with the CS11. It's the CS series itself. Take a look at the CS8. It's the same cabinet as the CA98, but with polished ebony finish:

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I don't get the complaints about the clips - there are plenty of relatively inexpensive after market solutions that work.

Osho


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Originally Posted by Osho
I don't get the complaints about the clips
Osho


Admitting to my complete ignorance here, I've also never seen clips on a piano, digital or acoustic. I must be missing out on something really great!


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Not sure if it has been posted already, here I found a Soundcloud page with multiple examples for the new pianist mode:
https://soundcloud.com/kawai-australia/sets/kawai-ca78-ca98-audio-demos

Cheers...

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I own a CS11. Never really missed the ciips. Got used to making a copy of music that's in books that don't stay open. Maybe I don't play enough different stuff.

What I do wonder about is the soft-fall keyboard cover. All of Kawai's acoustics seem to have this feature, but it's not present on the CS11 or any other kawai digitals I tried. My kid closed the keyboard cover the other day and it landed with a slam that put my teeth on edge from several rooms away. I saw no damage but it's a big annoyance and something that will undoubtedly happen in the future. The keyboard cover is very heavy and it's easy for people to close without making adequate preparation to catch it. Moreover the front edge folds under so that it hits the keys and side of the keyboard, rather than the front edge, where there is a rubber impact spacer. Very bad design decision to leave off the soft-fall.

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Originally Posted by gvfarns
What I do wonder about is the soft-fall keyboard cover.


Not really trying to make a point, but as a curiosity: Medeli's and Dynatone's much cheaper digital "upright pianos" do have soft-fall keyboard covers.

(And of course they are otherwise "less good" products than the CS11. Probably...)

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac


About £5 a pair. Any piano shop will have them. Brass or chrome.


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Originally Posted by MacMacMac


Clips? Is this practical, when I need to turn pages ever 2 to 3 min???? I wonder....

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Originally Posted by Schuberto
Clips?
Yes, clips:
[Linked Image]
click to see full size of YAMAHA Clavinova CLP-340 (2009)

Originally Posted by Schuberto
Is this practical
Absolutely, and works better, then options, offered by Osho few posts above, half of which won't work at all on digital piano's stands by the way, and others will work worse (they should be completely removed from book to be able to turn pages, while with clips on the pictures you still able to turn pages without fully removing them).

Originally Posted by Schuberto
when I need to turn pages ever 2 to 3 min????
Usually you don't need to turn pages every 2 or 3 minutes, when you learn new piece. When you learned the piece, you don't need sheets. Between these two states yes. But again, with these clips it faster and easier than some offered options few posts above.

Regarding furniture shape of digital pianos. I would never go for CS11 type cabinet just because of its upright style music holder, which is located very low and close to hands. When I was practicing in musical college, academy etc., I always avoided to practice on uprights, because I felt "tight" in front of them and my hands couldn't "fly" and "breathe" just because of that stand, that my hands were constantly hitting from the bottom (and from the top actually as well, catching with fingers). And that upright appearance just reminds me about those unpleasant feelings. There are also just practical moments for me: unnecessary height/dimensions weight and lack of ability to separate it on two parts for easier transportation and carrying. So, I'm completely on the side of those, who prefer CA98 (actually also can't be separated on two parts, but still doesn't have that problem with music stand), CA78 etc. For me they look great. But anyway, as I wrote already before, I'm not going back to any furniture style digital pianos.


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Originally Posted by Schuberto
Originally Posted by MacMacMac


Clips? Is this practical, when I need to turn pages ever 2 to 3 min???? I wonder....


There's a bit of a knack but it's easy enough when you're used to it.

It's not possible (doesn't look so anyway) with the altenative osho linked to.

Originally Posted by 9190
I would never go for CS11 type cabinet just because of its upright style music holder, which is located very low and close to hands. When I was practicing in musical college, academy etc., I always avoided to practice on uprights, because I felt "tight" in front of them and my hands couldn't "fly" and "breathe" just because of that stand, that my hands were constantly hitting from the bottom.


Yes, never been a fan of the stands on modern uprights. Older ones used to have a flip down affair that folded into the top board when not in use and was much higher up.

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Just spend a good 2 hours in a big store and compared various DPs. Here are my impressions:

Let me start by saying that I've had a couple years classical training, but that was like 30 years ago, and have used a terrible non-weighted action for many years now, so I might not be the best judge for how realistic different actions are, or how realistic sound is, but I'll post my impressions, anyway, just take them with a pinch of salt.

I started with Roland LX17, and didn't like it too much, to be honest. The action was ok, but I wasn't really happy with the sound. Can't even say why exactly, just didn't sound that great to me.

Then I switched over to the Kawai CA78, and spend quite a while carefully comparing the new Pianist mode to the older sound engine. My impression is that the Pianist mode is a very noticeable improvement. The old sound engine sounds somewhat flat, naked and digital in comparison. The Pianist mode sounds richer and more "interesting". At first I thought it might just be a higher reverb setting, but increasing reverb in the old sound engine sounded just bad, so it wasn't that.

Afterwards I tried some Yamaha DP model (non-Avantgrand) which cost 6k EUR, don't remember the model number. But I didn't like it much. I think the action was worse than the Roland, not sure about the sound, wasn't blown away by that, either.

And then I made a grave mistake: I sat down at a Yamaha NU1X, and then N3. I *really* shouldn't have done that. Now I'm screwed.

To me the action of the NU1X and N3 feel noticeably "different" to any of the others I tried before. It's like the difference between a racing gear stick and a normal gear stick: The racing gear stick has shorter ways and is more precise. The other actions all feel a bit "rubbery" in comparison. However, when I turned off the sound, playing the NU1X action felt weird. It felt like the way from not-pressed to pressed was far too short, and how could I play with different dynamic with such a "short" action? But when I turned the sound back on, it played/felt very well. The N3 had a somewhat similar feel to it as the NU1X, but more refined, and felt better without sound.

I'm not completely sure: Are the actions of the NU1X and N3 simply much better? Or is it rather a different kind of feel? Maybe a Kawai acoustic Grand feels similar to the CA78? I don't really know, unfortunately the shop didn't have any acoustic pianos to compare to. However, the other Yamaha actions (non Avantgrand) were rather bad, noticeably worse than the Kawai.

My rating for piano sound (through headphone) would be:
1. Kawai Pianist mode and Yamaha Avantgrand.
2. Kawai old sound engine.
3. Roland.

I'm not completely sure about whether I liked the sound of the Pianist mode more or less than the Avantgrand sound. I fear that the great Avantgrand action might have influenced my impression on sound. So it's possible that the Kawai Pianist could be the best sound.

I'd really like some experienced piano player, who has also experience with high quality VST pianos, to try Kawai's Pianist mode and post his impressions. I could imagine being happy with that without needing a VST piano, but I'm not really sure because I don't have much experience with VST pianos.

My rating for action is:
1. N3.
2. NU1X.
3. Kawai.
4. Roland.
5. Yamaha non-Avantgrand.

I've compared everything with headphones. Tried speakers on CA78 and NUX1 and wasn't really convinced by either of them. Maybe I simply didn't turn volume loud enough, didn't want to disturb the other people in the shop. But I fear I might need good external speakers to make me happy.

Now I'm really not sure what I should buy. I was thinking a CA17 on discounted price might be a good option, and leave me with some cash for external speakers, and maybe even a used MacBook for VST pianos. But I really liked the Pianist sound. But spending SO much more just for that and the minor improvement in action quality? The CA78 is too expensive for what it offers, IMHO. The NU1X costs more than I planned to spend, even if I drop the external speakers and MacBook purchase. And then I just read about the NU1X problem with loud notes. So maybe I should get an N1? But it's even more expensive than the NU1X. <sigh> As I said, I'm basically screwed now. I think I'm going to end up with either CA17+speakers+MacBook, or alternatively with a used N1.

P.S: Forget to say: I tested the CA78 LCD screen "auto-off" setting, and it did *not* get lost when powering off/on! So far so good! Didn't test pulling the power plug, though. And to be honest, the LCD screen isn't really black when it's off, so it doesn't really look all that great in off state. Hopefully next generation (or the one after) might switch to an OLED display, so the display gets truely invisible when turned off?

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Madshi, be aware that the N1 has an acoustic grand action, while the NU1X has an acoustic upright action. The two are quite different, and there’s a current thread about the problems of the latter.


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