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#2988476 06/06/20 02:29 PM
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I have budget for either, and have narrowed my choices down to either the NG or CA99 after long and studied thought, months I've spent thinking and I've pretty much had enough lol.

I've played on both several times... I like them both in different ways.

I am thinking most forum members will steer me towards the kawai for obvious reasons, it has the better keyboard action and built in speaker system/soundboard. However i dont feel the sampling is the best and it sounds very average recorded when you listen back, YouTube videos etc.. Playing the piano live is a great experience though.

The NG sampling i feel is superior and has a better choice of pianos and looks cool in red. It also sounds better than anything ive heard (even vsts) recorded. Live playing probably not on par with the kawai though due to poorer speakers (I would use nord piano monitors and have tried them already in shop). I think the action is nice enough and very fast and responsive, certainly doea not compete with the ca99 though.

I would prefer the portability of the nord also and not having to have a one piece cabinet piano in my house. I also like to do a lot of recording so the quality is important to me in that respect. However i do like the thought of having a top wooden action... Its just an impossible decision.

Do i go with the better action/touch or, in my opinion, the better quality pianos on offer and portability? Not completely happy with the ca99 sound wise, absolutely love the touch though, i do play garritan cfx vst through my current yamaha cp4... Do i need a second portable piano.. Should I get a cabinet piano... Its never ending mind, slowly driving me crazy.

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I would say get the ca99, I think for a home piano having the internal speakers in a cabinet would be better, Nord sounds great I’m sure , but I’m not so sure I would want to play it with monitors at home. Also, the samples of kawai our top notch similar to other competitors, albeit not the best, AND you get amazing action.


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NG!

Best sounding piano samples in digital pianos.
Nice action.
A very nice sound collection besides pianos.
Mellotron samples are delightful.
Had a Stage 2.
Lovely sounds

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For me, and for at-home use, the cabinet and action we’re both very important. I got the Kawai CS11 because I feel like I’m playing an elegant instrument that feels great. But I use MIDI and play through a computer.

If I was playing “out” I’d probably get a Nord.

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Buy the CA99 and add a Nord sound module later on if you still feel the need to??? smile

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Nord piano library on Kontakt

Sounds nice.

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Originally Posted by djvu10
Buy the CA99 and add a Nord sound module later on if you still feel the need to??? smile

As above but replace CA99 with MP11SE. It gives you a top Kawai action and logistically you can more easily sit a second keyboard on top.

I wanted to love the Nord Grand but played it twice in stores and could never get over the action. Re the Kawai sound, I did have some reservations on purchase but am now very happy with it. I don't know if that's just time needed to adjust to what you're familiar with.

I'd add if you want to be able to easily tweak sounds on the fly I don't think a cabinet piano is ideal. So focus on how you want to use the instrument.

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Originally Posted by dhts
As above but replace CA99 with MP11SE. It gives you a top Kawai action

MP11SE has GF1 action. The current top Kawai action is GF3, the one in CA99. GF3 is "considerably improved" compared to GF2 in the words of Kawai James himself. Let alone compared to GF1.

Last edited by CyberGene; 06/07/20 04:33 AM.

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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by dhts
As above but replace CA99 with MP11SE. It gives you a top Kawai action

MP11SE has GF1 action. The current top Kawai action is GF3, the one in CA99. GF3 is "considerably improved" compared to GF2 in the words of Kawai James himself. Let alone compared to GF1.

I think that's why I said "a top" rather than "the top". I'd suggest the differences between the GF generations are relatively minor compared to the differences between the long wooden action of the GF1 versus the folded plastic action of the Nord Grand. Or he could wait for the MP12...

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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by dhts
As above but replace CA99 with MP11SE. It gives you a top Kawai action

MP11SE has GF1 action. The current top Kawai action is GF3, the one in CA99. GF3 is "considerably improved" compared to GF2 in the words of Kawai James himself. Let alone compared to GF1.
Kawai James is a great person , but i never understand this ongoing marketing gibberish.
Of course each rendering is a bit different, but ‘considerably improved’ ???. Their team of experts did try to make the best placebo piano action from day 1 with the Kawai MP9000 and hardly left something on the table at the time...with the idea in the back of their minds that they can ‘considerably improve’ upon their first mediocre attempt from a future marketing perspective. Yes sensor amount and detection improved and therefor the overal feel.
But there are at least 10 rounds of ‘considerably improved’ actions between the Kawai MP9000 and the CA99 according to the Kawai marketing.

I go to a lot of piano shops and they use the same PR talk. The most expensive grands have the best actions and the best everything the sales persons claim. While from a certain price point every piano builder uses top materials....the best of the best actions etc... only certain brands can charge almost twice the price for their grand. I have no problem at all with paying for a certain name....i have a problem with the assumption that brands a cut below the big names supposedly don’t use equal materials or simply are lacking somewhere.
Some time ago i played on a used Yamaha S6 and it was a bargin compared to the new Bechsteins in the showroom. But i liked it more and there was nothing...nothing at all ‘superior’ in the Bechsteins apart from personal taste.

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So, to summarize your post, pianistje ... You ignore hype. You ignore specs. You ignore marketing drivel.

You rely solely on your own judgement.

Perfect!

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Hi mwf,

here is my own judgement (with a nod to MacMacMac wink ). First some background: I have owned both wooden Kawai actions and various Yamahas and Nords, and I still own Kawai actions (in my grand, no contest to all the digitals, and in a VPC1) and a trusted Nord Electro.

In terms of owner satisfaction in the digital domain nothing competes with the Nords, for me. As long as they are played from a good action, and in a good audio chain (minimum: high quality phones) the quality of their sound library is just amazing and I dare say the only collection of sampled sounds I have not been tired of after a fairly short while. The direct user interface of the Nords is equally amazing (provided one wants to have an interface for changing sounds or effects at all), and they are built to last. Added bonus, as you say: You can carry them around.

Now the Kawai CA99 surely is an amazing instrument, too, and its action is superior to the Kawai action in the Nord Grand. So there is clearly a trade-off between action quality and sound quality, or should I say: Action satisfaction and sound satisfaction. Only you can decide where you feel best.

Again, and just for me: The variety and quality of the sounds, coupled with the immediacy of the user interface, won me over to the Nords.


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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
So, to summarize your post, pianistje ... You ignore hype. You ignore specs. You ignore marketing drivel.

You rely solely on your own judgement.

Perfect!
Wow your post is much better focussed on the essence....why couldn’t i think of that. Ahhhh i like to post irrelevant filling at times...
grin

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
So, to summarize your post, pianistje ... You ignore hype. You ignore specs. You ignore marketing drivel.

You rely solely on your own judgement.

Perfect!
Pretty much. It's all noise. 5 minutes alone with the piano tells you what you need to know.

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Originally Posted by maurus
In terms of owner satisfaction in the digital domain nothing competes with the Nords, for me. As long as they are played from a good action, and in a good audio chain (minimum: high quality phones) the quality of their sound library is just amazing and I dare say the only collection of sampled sounds I have not been tired of after a fairly short while. The direct user interface of the Nords is equally amazing (provided one wants to have an interface for changing sounds or effects at all), and they are built to last. Added bonus, as you say: You can carry them around.

Now the Kawai CA99 surely is an amazing instrument, too, and its action is superior to the Kawai action in the Nord Grand. So there is clearly a trade-off between action quality and sound quality, or should I say: Action satisfaction and sound satisfaction. Only you can decide where you feel best.

Again, and just for me: The variety and quality of the sounds, coupled with the immediacy of the user interface, won me over to the Nords.

Exactly !

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Hello mwf,

Originally Posted by mwf
I would prefer the portability of the nord also and not having to have a one piece cabinet piano in my house.

In that case, go for the Nord Grand, and pair it up with something like a VPC1 or MP11/MP11SE.

...but then, if you're only going to use the Nord Grand as a sound generator, I believe you can probably pick up a second hand Nord Piano 3/4 with more or less the same functionality.

...or you can go for the CA99, and also grab a second hand Nord Electro! wink

Kind regards,
James
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MP11SE + laptop + virtual piano.


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I haven't played the CA99 but for me there's a lot to be said by just hitting the *on* switch and start playing, with no phones, no computer. Like Joe Garfield said, I like the player/instrument connection of a self-contained unit for home playing.

I liked the Nord Grand on a short first play in a noisy NAMM environment. A huge step up from the Fatar on their Nord pianos for certain. I'm not sold on the Nord monitors, mainly from an aesthetic pov. The way they are mounted look just wonky to me. I'd opt for better quality studio monitors on traditional monitor stands with more separation. Plus throw in that WAY overpriced red stand and you're getting up there price wise.

I do see the NG as an instrument that in 2-3 years might be out dated and replaced by the latest and greatest. I guess you could say that about the Kawai too though, except if it does play well and sound good, with a nice cabinet, it seems more long term then the Nord.

Hard call. I guess it depends how enthralled you are with the Nord piano sounds....and the Nord vibe or aesthetic. Personally for me, either one of these are a pretty hefty investment and you're getting not far off from Avant Grand N1X territory. I'd save my dough and get something like that - or the Kawai hybrid- and have something that realistically you would keep for a solid ten years , maybe longer.

If you want portable, my CP4 still serves me well...and I don't use VSTs. Or get the P-515 or a comparable DP in that price range. Just my thoughts fwiw.


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Just to add another few thoughts- I'm coming at this totally from a pianist perspective emulating a practice piano for Jazz and Classical. That's why for me, the AG or hybrid is my preferred choice.

If you want to play with the mellotron, strings, rhodes, wurli and other sounds from Nord library, experiment layering sounds or multi-track recording -- that's a whole other thing. Yes definitely go with the Nord.

I can see Nord coming out with a refined and more elegant home version of the Nord Grand in the future. It would feature a good integrated sounding speaker system with an attractive cabinet. I'm guessing it would be in the 5-6K price range. It would be a pretty radical departure for them but given how embedded their products are now with gigging musicians, with more people staying home and making music by themselves, I do see a market there, given how popular the brand is with younger generations, and how willing they seem to pony up the dough. Personally it would be too much red for me. laugh


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I would never buy an expensive DP because of its sounds. They are outdated in a couple of years anyway. Thats why I bought the VPC1. On the other hand the VPC and the MP11 are much too heavy (in weight) to be a real giggling DP. You always need 2 persons to carry it. Why not buying a MP7 (if you like the action on the NG) +soundmodules or ipad? There is no DP that is perfect for every situation. For the home I would only choose the DP with the best action.

Last edited by aphexdisklavier; 06/08/20 06:37 AM.
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