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Joined: Jun 2020
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Hi there ...Long time lurker...

My current setup:
Kurzweil Artis. Hooked up to iMac, The Grandeur VST, sound output to Marantz HD-DAC1, headphones Beyerdynamic T5 & Amiron. I mainly play with headphones due to cumbersome studio monitor setup, but headphone sound will remain very important.

My initial plan: wait for Yamaha CLP 700series and compare to Kawai CA99

Today I went to Kirstein and tried out the CA-99. Much to my surprise I didn’t care for the headphone output at all. Rather mushy. The action was ok but not quite what I’d wanted.

Then I tried the Yamaha NU1X. At first, the action seemed a bit rough but I got used to and liked it after a bit. Better headphone sound but still not on par with my VST setup. Bit tinny. So it seems I’d be happiest with a nice hybrid action and the sound of a VST. Also ogling a few others like Keyscape.

They didn’t have the NV5. Given that it’s the CA-98 sound engine afaik, I don’t hold out much hope for the headphone sound. I’m curious about the action, is it a bit harder going than the CA-99?

I’ve read here that the NU1X has a USB audio interface and the Kawai doesn’t. Could I still run my current Mac-VST-Marantz setup on the Kawai ? Could I use it with the Yamaha ? What’d be different ?

Many thanks !

Last edited by LuxPerpetua; 06/12/20 08:38 PM.

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It actually sounds like you should be looking at any piano but those two. they don't measure up through headphones.
If they don't, despite their price, then what might?
Might not be the best time to try pianos out, but you'll have to wait until you can, by the looks of things.
Good luck in your search.


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Originally Posted by peterws
It actually sounds like you should be looking at any piano but those two. they don't measure up through headphones.
If they don't, despite their price, then what might?
Might not be the best time to try pianos out, but you'll have to wait until you can, by the looks of things.
Good luck in your search.
I don’t have an issue with running Pianoteq or other VST through iMac and headphone amp. What I don’t know/understand is if the Kawai can do it.

Stores are open in Germany, so it’s not an issue. I certainly like hybrid actions and the more solid feel of the entire keyboard compared to the Kurzweil Artis.


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Yes, the NV5 can do that. Instead of the Kurzweil, you hook up the NV5 to the iMac.
I assume that by this "hookup" you mean MIDI.
Any digital piano can be hooked up with MIDI like that, the NV5 is no exception.
The MIDI connection can possibly be via USB or via native MIDI. All digital pianos support MIDI via at least one of those two options. Many offer both. The NV5 is one of those DPs that support both.
Some DPs even offer a third MIDI connection type, via Bluetooth. The NV5 does too. However, Bluetooth MIDI is often not satisfactory for playing a VST because of the additional lag. So you may want to stick with one of the two wired options.


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Thanks 😁
Now I just need to find an NV5 to test....
In Germany, the NU1X costs 4400€, the NV5 6000.
That’s a big price difference to justify ...


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When you ask for a price directly at the dealer, you'll see that he can make a better price for the NV5.
At least this was the case when I asked last week here in Vienna.
While the price for the Yamaha was more or less fixed, there was another 250 Eur discount for the NV5.
Actually most of the dealer had both on stock.


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Weirdly, I don’t see any in stock, neither NU1X in black nor NV5, on the German sites I visited.


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Checked on Musicstore.de

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2032 😂
I found some in stock at Bauer Music now.


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That reminds me of Ronald Reagan's joke about a person being quoted a delivery date on his new car ... ten years in the future.
Originally Posted by Tyr
Checked on Musicstore.de
https://i.imgur.com/KL9e1JO.jpg

The man goes to the official agency, puts down his money and is told that he can take delivery of his automobile in exactly 10 years.

"Morning or afternoon?" the purchaser asks. "Ten years from now, what difference does it make?" replies the clerk.

"Well," says the car-buyer, "the plumber's coming in the morning."

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Originally Posted by LuxPerpetua
Weirdly, I don’t see any in stock, neither NU1X in black nor NV5, on the German sites I visited.

My dealer (here in Switzerland) told me that he doesn't have any NV5s in stock either. Next delivery is supposed to be in August (2020, not 2032 :-)). Apparently, demand is very high! While other shops decided to sell their showroom units, he was smart enough not to do that. According to him, potential clients have been coming to his shop from quite far away because they have the chance to test-play the NV5 there – and if interested, they then order from him. That's well deserved: He's a great guy.


at home: Kawai MP11SE; Yamaha LG800; Yamaha HS7; Ultimate MS-100B; Sennheiser HD558 | office: MP7SE; K&M 18820; Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro

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Originally Posted by LuxPerpetua
Weirdly, I don’t see any in stock, neither NU1X in black nor NV5, on the German sites I visited.

Even though the NV5 is a great piano, you should try it anyway before buying.


Just playing my NU1X.
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Originally Posted by dima5222
Originally Posted by LuxPerpetua
Weirdly, I don’t see any in stock, neither NU1X in black nor NV5, on the German sites I visited.

Even though the NV5 is a great piano, you should try it anyway before buying.
I bought mine without seeing but i was quite confident that it beat my old Casio. I had tried Yamaha hybrids but NU1X action didn't feel substansial enough. I have to say that my interest for owning a non-hybrid digital piano went to zero afer playing a week with the NV5. I like how you can feel the acceleration of hammers with your fingers. I'm only a beginner though.

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Interesting. I thought the NUX1 action was quite heavy, esp. compared to the CA-99. I found it pleasant after a few minutes though. Really curious what the NV5 feels like. May have to take a considerable road trip.


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NU1X feels more substantial than the GF2 which in turn feels very light. Unless they changed the weighting in GF3, which I doubt, that would apply to it too.


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Originally Posted by LuxPerpetua
Interesting. I thought the NUX1 action was quite heavy, esp. compared to the CA-99. I found it pleasant after a few minutes though. Really curious what the NV5 feels like. May have to take a considerable road trip.

Do it if you can. You might (or rather: will?) be happy with any of these pianos. But you will most definitely prefer one over the other. Unfortunately, specs alone will not help much, as touch and sound (and aesthetics :)) are quite subjective criteria. Plus, it is fun playing both - so...


at home: Kawai MP11SE; Yamaha LG800; Yamaha HS7; Ultimate MS-100B; Sennheiser HD558 | office: MP7SE; K&M 18820; Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro

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Originally Posted by LuxPerpetua
Interesting. I thought the NUX1 action was quite heavy, esp. compared to the CA-99. I found it pleasant after a few minutes though. Really curious what the NV5 feels like. May have to take a considerable road trip.

I had sent you a PM 2 days ago...


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Originally Posted by LuxPerpetua
Interesting. I thought the NUX1 action was quite heavy, esp. compared to the CA-99. I found it pleasant after a few minutes though. Really curious what the NV5 feels like. May have to take a considerable road trip.
I tested with coins that on my NV5 middle-C key requires around 80 grams to go all the way to the bottom and 55 grams to slightly move when not pressing the pedal. With pedal down i think its a bit lighter. It doesn't feel too heavy to me.

Last edited by JackFi; 06/15/20 07:52 AM.
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Originally Posted by JackFi
I tested with coins that on my NV5 middle-C key requires around 80 grams to go all the way to the bottom and 55 grams to slightly move when not pressing the pedal. With pedal down i think its a bit lighter. It doesn't feel too heavy to me.
You are supposed to measure with the pedal down, and just for the key to start moving, so then numbers you've posted look about right to me. Kawai probably has the key dialed in with a static weight of around 50g for middle C.


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Originally Posted by LuxPerpetua
In Germany, the NU1X costs 4400€, the NV5 6000.
That’s a big price difference to justify ...

It seems that, for sound, you prefer a VST configuration despite the inconvenience and fragility that sometimes comes with that. Apart from the other differences like aesthetics, touch, and price, there are also some differences in the hybrid action itself.

As for mechanical differences, the NV5 conserves (part of) the real damper mechanism. Your fingers can feel wether or not the pedal is down (the keys become lighter because they don't have to move the dampers). This is definately an advantage over the NU1X when you are seeking a realistic emulation of an acoustic piano.

Differences in the sensors are important, too. The NU1X uses key sensors, leading to the dreaded "loud note" issue where it senses misleading data in those rare situations where key and hammer are out of sync (supposedly improved by better filter logic in the latest firmware). The NV5 uses hammer sensors which, again, are more realistic (in my opinion). However, they also not free of disadvantages. In particular the NV5 doesn't sense "note-off velocity". Neither does it sense a key-down event when you press it reeaaally slow (and the hammer barely moves). Some rare pieces contain silent notes for their associated resonances. You can play those pieces but it is a bit more difficult to find a velocity that is fast enough to work yet slow enough to be inaudible.

Obviously there are more differences, but they are less objective. All in all, I think the NV5 is better than the NU1X in every respect, despite its issues. Disclaimer: I say this as an NV5 owner who went through the comparison dilema already. Make up your own opinion! You could also consider the N1X, which solves some of the NU1X issues.

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