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#2810401 02/04/19 02:15 AM
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I've searched the forum for discussions covering the Kawai CA58 and most of them are based on early descriptions and in-store tests just after it came available in early 2018. Now that it's been available for awhile, I would appreciate impressions from owners. Have you had any problems that required service? Anything you wish you'd known beforehand to make the experience better?

I think I'm down to a CA58 or a CLP-645, so your thoughts are appreciated.

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Is the CA78 above your budget? The CA58 features Kawai's older sound engine (HI-XL), so you might prefer the acoustic pianos and resonance on the CLP-600, especially over headphones. The CLP-645 also supports USB Audio and Yamaha's Smart Pianist app, in case you consider these features important. The big point in favour of the CA-58 is the action (GF-Compact). But with the CA78 you would get the GF-II action, which is one step above the GF-C as well as the latest SK-EX samples and resonance model (but still lack of app and USB Audio support).

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IMO, the only reason to choose the CA58 over the CLP-645 is the lighter (and some would say better) touch. Everything else is better on the CLP-645.


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Unfortunately the CA78 is not in my budget. I'm already stretching beyond my original budget by buying a CA58 or CLP-645 as I was originally planning to buy a CLP-635 but I wasn't thrilled after trying it. I also tried a CN27 (as a preview of a CN37) and the texture of the keys bugs me. My kids are new to piano so I don't know how much we will need more than the piano qualities. If stepping up in price is not worth the money, perhaps I could go with the CA48. Since we don't have an acoustic, I want it to be as close as I can get for the budget in terms of action and sound.

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If you're on a budget, you could consider the Yamaha P-515. It shares action and sound with the CLP-645 at a $1500 price point.


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Bambooninja, if on a tight budget and not set on the conventional acoustic piano look, you might want to consider the Yamaha P-515 with its optional wooden stand and three-pedal unit. It is an excellent value at a lower price point, with the same NWX action as on the CLP-645.

Be aware that the Kawai CA48 does not have the USB recording option, so cannot save music to a flash drive to share with a piano teacher or friends.

Please check a pm I sent to you. In case you've not used private messaging on this forum, it is the red/white envelope icon on the top right of your screen. Best wishes, Lotus

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Thanks all. I did see mention of the P-515 in other threads and had checked it out. I think we prefer a more piano-like cabinet, and frankly I need a real cover for dust protection. My kids are lazy about covering the one we have now.

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For possible problems with CA58 maybe its not a bad idea to look at this video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqzgVHv_D7U

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LONG POST

I've had the Kawai CA58 a couple of weeks now and will share my journey to it and impressions.

In my digital piano shopping I played up and down the Kawai line, some of the Rolands, and a couple of Yamahas, but the Kawais overall sounded and felt the best to me so I narrowed my search to the Kawai line.

I first seriously considered the ES8. But I didn't need portability and really wanted something that would look more like a piano in my house. I grew up playing an upright. By the time I would have added the furniture stand and pedals to make it look more permanent the cost would have brought me well into the digital console price tier and the sound from the portable slab speakers would have left me unimpressed.

I next tried the CA98 and CA78. Both sounded amazing and I enjoyed feeling the bass rumble on the CA98 when I combined some Warm Strings and Piano together. But, I wasn't impressed with the price. The CA78 and CA98 was putting me close to the price range of used uprights. Given the choice between an Acoustic or Digital I wod take an acoustic, but practical purposes (late night practicing, recording options, maintenance) was why I was looking at digital options. I just couldn't justify that much money for a digital that would lose value and become more obsolete each year. This made me focus my price range between the CN37 , CA48, and CA58.

The CA48 being the lowest price was looked at for a bit, but the lower polyphony of 192 notes, older PHI sound engine, lower powered speakers that made the piano sound a bit thin, limited connectivity, and slightly difficult for me to navigate control interface were turn offs.

The CN37 was better. It had connectivity and lots of sounds which I potentially could use for recording purposes. But it still had a low power output, the same old PHI sound engine, and the RM3 action which to me felt a tad too bouncy/springy when I played.

The CA58 turned out to be the best middle ground for me. It has the Grand Feel Compact action which is wood and felt very similar to the higher quality action of the CA78 and CA98. It has 100 watts of output power just like the CA78, although it is missing the tweeters. It also has the HI-XL sound engine which I actually preferred on the CA78 and CA98 instead of the new sound engine. Plus enough connectivity to keep me happy.

Maintenance:
I have had zero maintenance issues since arrival, although it has only been a couple of weeks.

Sound
The piano out of the speakers sounds authentic and rich. I play about half of the time with and without headphones and both experiences are great.

But I do wish it had more bass, not for the piano, but for when I play music through the line in. The bass for playing back recorded music just isn't there. The music sounds thin. But for pure piano sound the bass sounds good.

Also even though I wanted a piano replacement I know that it is not a real piano and as close as it mimics, it does not sound completely organic like a piano. But it is close enough for my purposes and it grows on me daily.

Action
I find the action quiet and realistic. In fact my hands and wrists have been sore which is due to how out of practice I was. It feels like the real deal to my out of practice hands.

Appearance
I chose the Rosewood which compliments the decor in my home. If I didn't know better it looks like a small upright. I love that the look combined with the touch and sound can trick me into being back at an acoustic.

Overall satisfied with my purchase. I found it to be a good product at a decent price that checked off many of my boxes. I will probably hide a small sub woofer behind it to fill out the sound for line in music.

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What a great first post from Docpaddock!

And particularly useful as the CA58 is difficult to find in local stores. Mine jumps straight from the CN37 to the CA78, not mentioning or displaying anything in-between. I think this is because the CA48 and CA58 are the only two of Kawai's Concert Artist line carried by online stores, and thus subject to direct price competition. It's a pity because the CA58 looks to have a great set of features, but who would risk buying a piano in this price range without trying it first?

Thanks for explaining your thought process and experience hitherto. I'm glad you are happy with your purchase and hope that continues for years to come!

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Thanks Docpaddock! Your details are incredibly helpful. I'm very much in similar situation not wanting the acoustic due to maintenance but still wanting a piano look. There's always going to be something better, newer, and more expensive, and it sounds like you found a happy balance of what you need for the price. Enjoy!

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Hello docpaddock, welcome to the forum, and thank you for sharing your initial thoughts on the CA58.

Regarding this point:

Originally Posted by docpaddock
But I do wish it had more bass, not for the piano, but for when I play music through the line in. The bass for playing back recorded music just isn't there. The music sounds thin. But for pure piano sound the bass sounds good.


It might be worth trying the "Tone Control" setting to adjust the instrument's speaker EQ. I believe the Line In sound should be processed by this setting, providing the ability to boost lower range frequencies using one of the presets, or by adjusting the User EQ.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
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Hello Lotus1,

Originally Posted by Lotus1
And particularly useful as the CA58 is difficult to find in local stores. Mine jumps straight from the CN37 to the CA78, not mentioning or displaying anything in-between. I think this is because the CA48 and CA58 are the only two of Kawai's Concert Artist line carried by online stores, and thus subject to direct price competition.


Yes, I believe this might well be the case in North America. In other markets, the pricing structure is perhaps more transparent.

Kind regards,
James
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Originally Posted by bambooninja
Thanks all. I did see mention of the P-515 in other threads and had checked it out. I think we prefer a more piano-like cabinet, and frankly I need a real cover for dust protection. My kids are lazy about covering the one we have now.

The design furniture stand with transparent music rack fits my modern style apartment better, but I accept that your taste might be different.

Though I don't see any reason for a dust cover. I used an ES100 without a cover for almost five years and after opening it for repairs (due to wear and tear), I found no dust inside it. I also didn't put much effort in cleaning the instrument, just occasionally wiping the keyboard and case with a moist cloth was all I did.

When I was practicing up to multiple times per day, there was no point in covering it anyway.


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I finally had a chance to watch the video that Slobajudge posted. I don't recall running into dead spots when I tested pianos, but I was not playing a lot of chords. How common is this? I have not come across a mention of this on the threads I've read.

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I'm sure some of you have listened to this. I don't think my ears are that keen, but I picked out the CA58 and CLP-675 as my preferred two.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFmDkp6vSag

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Even at a $1000 more I think the CA78 is a much better deal than the CA58. It has better action, better speaker setup, better tone generation e.t.c.If you buy the CA58, you'll probably still want to upgrade later to a CA78/98. If you buy a CA78, you won't need to upgrade as your playing gets better, unless you are rich and can afford an Kawai NV-10 or Yamaha Avantgrand. Also you can negotiate a larger discount on the CA78 than on the CA58. My advice is to hold off the purchase and save a bit more, then go buy a CA78.

Last edited by halherta; 02/05/19 10:30 AM.


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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Hello docpaddock, welcome to the forum, and thank you for sharing your initial thoughts on the CA58.

Regarding this point:

Originally Posted by docpaddock
But I do wish it had more bass, not for the piano, but for when I play music through the line in. The bass for playing back recorded music just isn't there. The music sounds thin. But for pure piano sound the bass sounds good.


It might be worth trying the "Tone Control" setting to adjust the instrument's speaker EQ. I believe the Line In sound should be processed by this setting, providing the ability to boost lower range frequencies using one of the presets, or by adjusting the User EQ.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
x


I tried adjusting the EQ, but it wasn't giving me enough. But I didn't buy the CA58 to be a high fidelity stereo. I bought it to be a realistic piano experience. It succeeds at doing this. So while I wish there was more bass, it doesn't fail in it's primary objective.

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Originally Posted by halherta
Even at a $1000 more I think the CA78 is a much better deal than the CA58. It has better action, better speaker setup, better tone generation e.t.c.If you buy the CA58, you'll probably still want to upgrade later to a CA78/98. If you buy a CA78, you won't need to upgrade as your playing gets better, unless you are rich and can afford an Kawai NV-10 or Yamaha Avantgrand. Also you can negotiate a larger discount on the CA78 than on the CA58. My advice is to hold off the purchase and save a bit more, then go buy a CA78.

I think there is no need upgrade from a CA58 to another digital. From there you upgrade to an acoustic and keep that forever.


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Originally Posted by JoeT
I think there is no need upgrade from a CA58 to another digital. From there you upgrade to an acoustic and keep that forever.

I actually agree with halherta. Not everyone is going to be able to keep an acoustic.


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