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Thanks timitalia great summary. Is there really evidence that there would be a soundboard version of an Nv10? I too myself struggle between Nv5 and Nv10 because the Nv10 in my mind was a bit lacking in ambient depth of sound. I don’t know if it’s a speaker issue or a settings issue but I do desire the grand action.

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You could add speakers or monitors to the NV10. Others here have done just that with just about any piano discussed here.
Originally Posted by dng
Thanks timitalia great summary. Is there really evidence that there would be a soundboard version of an Nv10? I too myself struggle between Nv5 and Nv10 because the Nv10 in my mind was a bit lacking in ambient depth of sound. I don’t know if it’s a speaker issue or a settings issue
but I do desire the grand action.
I say that because:

1. I've done that.

2. I'll be in the market for a new high-end piano soon. I want a grand action first and foremost.
But sound matters, too. And the lack of a soundboard on the candidate pianos (NV10 and N1X) won't stop me.
I won't suffer the lesser upright action of the NV5 just to get a soundboard.

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Originally Posted by timitalia
III. Soundboard of the NV5
The reviewer has the impression that the wooden soundboard of the NV5 leads to a warmer, more natural tone and a more appealing ambient sound compared with the NV10 not having such a soundboard.

IMO, the other benefit of the soundboard is the tactile feedback it gives me when playing lower octaves, which makes the experience a lot more... immersive? Interactive, even? Whatever the adjective, it's satisfying. When I strike a low cord on the NV5, the keyboard and pedals vibrate like a real upright and it really gives the illusion that I'm sitting with an acoustic instrument, even while wearing headphones. I hammered away on a passive, lifeless digital piano for years and it never spoke back to me like that. I honestly wasn't expecting it from the soundboard because it's not something you can hear in a video review, but I can't ever go back to a piano that lacks that feedback.

I didn't have a chance to try the NV10, so I'm not sure if the speaker system is able to impart that same kind of visceral sensation. But when I tried the CA79/99, the soundboard added a physical component that just made the experience far more engaging as a player.

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I try to give online reviewers a bit of slack, since they're rarely ever as obsessed as we are about the instruments they speak about (they have to review dozens, after all, and don't always get to choose which they review.

A few things about this review that bear some correction, though:

1. He has the speaker layout on the NV-10 wrong. It's not "four dome tweeters on the top and two large woofers on the bottom." It's four (4") on top, two (0.5") additional high-frequency tweeters on top facing the player, and one woofer (6") on the bottom.

2. He says SK-EX Rendering is Kawai's answer to Roland modeling, and that a computer model generates most of the sound. While he doesn't outright say it, it's heavily implied that this is a fully modeled engine, which clearly it's not. Its mainly a sampled action, with larger, longer and multi-channel samples compared to HI-XL. The resonances that accompany the samples are modeled, though.

3. He says SK-EX Rendering gives infinite polyphony. What?! Where did this come from? We know from reports here that SK-EX has significantly lower note polyphony than the 256-note max claimed by Kawai. When it comes to pedal-down polyphony, someone had measured it at around 70 notes max (it may be more in some other cases). Which isn't saying it's not enough for real playing. I just find it odd that Kawai never anywhere claims infinite polyphony for any of its products (even its acoustics :)) so why this claim is being made is a mystery to me!

I really loved his playing and thought the rest of the comparison was very well done.

Originally Posted by schismal
IMO, the other benefit of the soundboard is the tactile feedback it gives me when playing lower octaves, which makes the experience a lot more... immersive? Interactive, even? Whatever the adjective, it's satisfying. When I strike a low cord on the NV5, the keyboard and pedals vibrate like a real upright and it really gives the illusion that I'm sitting with an acoustic instrument, even while wearing headphones. I hammered away on a passive, lifeless digital piano for years and it never spoke back to me like that. I honestly wasn't expecting it from the soundboard because it's not something you can hear in a video review, but I can't ever go back to a piano that lacks that feedback.

I didn't have a chance to try the NV10, so I'm not sure if the speaker system is able to impart that same kind of visceral sensation.

I haven't tried an NV-5 so I can't draw a direct comparison (maybe Tyr can), but I can definitely say that the NV-10 has this feeling as well. IMO it comes from two sources--the first is the 6" woofer on the bottom, when playing from the speakers you can definitely feel the vibration in the keys and it feels very authentic. The second source is from the damper mechanism; as you pedal, you can feel it in the keys (and as you play you can feel it in the damper pedal too). It's a mechanical connectedness that really feels acoustic-like IMO, and even better you still feel it when playing through headphones.


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I agree MacMacMac. Current plan is to wait for Amazon to ship HS7’s and pair with an NV10 if I can finally find a great price for an Nv10

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Originally Posted by Gombessa
I haven't tried an NV-5 so I can't draw a direct comparison (maybe Tyr can), but I can definitely say that the NV-10 has this feeling as well. IMO it comes from two sources--the first is the 6" woofer on the bottom, when playing from the speakers you can definitely feel the vibration in the keys and it feels very authentic. The second source is from the damper mechanism; as you pedal, you can feel it in the keys (and as you play you can feel it in the damper pedal too). It's a mechanical connectedness that really feels acoustic-like IMO, and even better you still feel it when playing through headphones.

Thanks! I'm glad that sensation is present on the NV10 as well -- it really does add to the playing experience. I'm also curious if Tyr noticed much of a difference between the two models.

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Hello. A few questions:

1) Is the hybrid development pipeline a secret? My concern is that I buy an NV10 this year and something better is released by Kawai or Yamaha in the next year or two.

2) Do these hybrids have good trade-in value if something better is released soon?

3) Will heat an humidity ruin the action.... should room always be kept climate controlled?

4) So is the video below an official promotional video from Kawai for the NV10? It sounds nice.



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Originally Posted by kevin5540
Hello. A few questions:

1) Is the hybrid development pipeline a secret? My concern is that I buy an NV10 this year and something better is released by Kawai or Yamaha in the next year or two.

2) Do these hybrids have good trade-in value if something better is released soon?

3) Will heat an humidity ruin the action.... should room always be kept climate controlled?

4) So is the video below an official promotional video from Kawai for the NV10? It sounds nice.


That's the Garritan CFX VST being played through Kawai Novus. Whoever made that video clearly has a few screws loose...

Last edited by rach3master; 08/18/20 10:57 PM.

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Originally Posted by dng
Thanks timitalia great summary. Is there really evidence that there would be a soundboard version of an Nv10? I too myself struggle between Nv5 and Nv10 because the Nv10 in my mind was a bit lacking in ambient depth of sound. I don’t know if it’s a speaker issue or a settings issue but I do desire the grand action.
Dng, nothing but bare rumours so far. I mean, it's fair to assume that the development of their hybrid grand piano line will continue. But again, I think if the next model has a soundboard it will be probably much bigger in size and also much more expensive. And the question will be when that will even be. No idea what the product cycles are like here.

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Originally Posted by kevin5540
Hello. A few questions:

3) Will heat an humidity ruin the action.... should room always be kept climate controlled?
I'm in the UK, pretty high humidity year round, although lower indoors in winter with central heating (hot water radiators). I don't notice any change throughout the year with my hybrid's action, now owned for 8 years. No other climate control. YMMV

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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
I'm in the UK, pretty high humidity year round, although lower indoors in winter with central heating (hot water radiators). I don't notice any change throughout the year with my hybrid's action, now owned for 8 years. No other climate control. YMMV

+1. Like with anything wooden, if you abuse it or expose it to wide swings in temp/humidity, you'll likely run into regulation issues earlier than if you don't. But 1) a lot of the Kawai action is ABS-Carbon, and 2) much of the traditional concerns of humidity (e.g., tuning, sound) aren't so much in the action as the string/soundboard, which the NV-10 at least lacks. I wouldn't spend any extra thought or money on controlling humidity for a hybrid; just treat it as you would any furniture piece you care to keep in good shape (not sitting up against a radiator/heater, against a sunlit window, etc.

Btw, yesterday was a good day for hybrids here. It seems like we had 4-5 active threads on upright and grand hybrid discussions? laugh


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In a move to improve authenticity ... will Kawai or Yamaha make their digital pianos go out of tune with extremes of humidity? smile

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Originally Posted by rach3master
That's the Garritan CFX VST being played through Kawai Novus. Whoever made that video clearly has a few screws loose...

Not at all. It's a masterpiece!

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I was intending to loop back here and update a little on my musical journey with the Novus.

Some time ago, I had requested feedback on the Boogie rendering character of the Novus. Everyone, including myself, agreed that it was not the best.

However, I discovered that it actually worked very well for certain styles and beat the Upright pianos in Sound mode. I was pretty confident here, ready to record, and give props to whoever designed Boogie -- they knew what they were doing as it can certainly be made to sing.

Then Pianoteq happened and Boogie could not beat the U4. Sad; I still have hopes of making Boogie sing some day.

My plans are still on for recording something with the Romantic rendering character. laugh

On the plus side, I got Pianoteq to work well with the Novus. I'm pleased with the Novus sound system here and don't find the need for any external speakers or headphones. I'm also not making any adjustments to the velocity curves. Ground loops remain a problem. I'm currently using MBP unplugged but the fun starts when I plug in.

Here's my latest Novus recording sans Boogie:


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A quick question: Does the NV10's damper pedal react more or less like an acoustic grand piano's damper pedal?

The reason I'm asking: I have a NV10 (at home), and a P-515 (at work, I've got my own office). Taking Hugh Sung's Popular Piano course, I usually work on my pieces at work, during breaks, and then I play them, already a bit advanced, at home. That, at home, is also where I prefer to shoot the videos I need for Hugh's feedback. Now... I have the impression that the damper pedals of the NV10 and the P-515 respectively react very differently – and I don't mean the hardware (springs etc.). For example, notes played can be extended almost endlessly on my P-515, and chords sound so much fuller (my untrained ears would say "nicer"), both contrary to the NV10. So adjusting to the NV10 takes quite a while...

Can anyone comment on the NV10 and/or on the P-515's damper pedal's "realism"? Or do the differences I mentioned exist in acoustic pianos as well, so in fact, both are "realistic"?


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Originally Posted by navindra
Here's my latest Novus recording sans Boogie:

Sounds great, navindra. Keep those videos (and the stories behind them) coming!


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by KennyR
As I've said, difficult to explain and even questioning my own musicality! - I just find it difficult to understand how a single note can jar with my hearing so much as opposed to maybe a specific range of notes in different sections of the keyboard that can be perceived to vary in tone as a group. I much prefer playing in Pianist mode so my current 'fix' is to simply reduce the volume of the D6 key!

While I don't think you need to doubt your musicality, one possible explanation is that you may have a particular personal sensitivity to this frequency. Believe it or not, it frequently comes up that someone hears a particularly grating tone, eliminates environmental factors, speakers, unit-specific mechanical noise, and produces a clean, digial sound file where they hear the sound but nobody else can. The only real explanation in that case is that the user may be particularly sensitive to that frequency.

I'll listen on the NV-10 again but I don't recall hearing anything specific about D6.


Many thanks for your response Gombessa - it's an interesting theory - my initial thought is that if I had a personal sensitivity to the D6 note on the SK-EX voice of the NV10 would I not possibly have the same issue with other voices on the piano? - which I haven't noticed. Additionally, I've not noticed this on previous keyboards I've owned, the last of which was a Yamaha P-300?

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Originally Posted by KennyR
Many thanks for your response Gombessa - it's an interesting theory - my initial thought is that if I had a personal sensitivity to the D6 note on the SK-EX voice of the NV10 would I not possibly have the same issue with other voices on the piano? - which I haven't noticed. Additionally, I've not noticed this on previous keyboards I've owned, the last of which was a Yamaha P-300?

I'm definitely not an expert here, but from what I've seen, that's also fairly common (in the sense that it's people sometimes come here with a specific complaint about one piano tone, and they don't hear it on their instrument's other patches, or on other instruments). I don't know whether it's something like a "subcomponent" or "inner harmonic" of the tone or any other Star-Treky explanation, but it does happen.

I think rather than try to quantify it or arrive at a clear physiological explanation, it's more like "personal preference," in the sense that you may like one of five very similar piano sounds, you may also find that one has some quality that stands out in a negative way (and other people may like or dislike different sounds or different notes within those sounds). After going through several rounds myself of "Wait, you don't hear that? It's so glaring to me!," I think there's a strong element of everyone's ears being different when it comes to this.


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by KennyR
Many thanks for your response Gombessa - it's an interesting theory - my initial thought is that if I had a personal sensitivity to the D6 note on the SK-EX voice of the NV10 would I not possibly have the same issue with other voices on the piano? - which I haven't noticed. Additionally, I've not noticed this on previous keyboards I've owned, the last of which was a Yamaha P-300?

I'm definitely not an expert here, but from what I've seen, that's also fairly common (in the sense that it's people sometimes come here with a specific complaint about one piano tone, and they don't hear it on their instrument's other patches, or on other instruments). I don't know whether it's something like a "subcomponent" or "inner harmonic" of the tone or any other Star-Treky explanation, but it does happen.

I think rather than try to quantify it or arrive at a clear physiological explanation, it's more like "personal preference," in the sense that you may like one of five very similar piano sounds, you may also find that one has some quality that stands out in a negative way (and other people may like or dislike different sounds or different notes within those sounds). After going through several rounds myself of "Wait, you don't hear that? It's so glaring to me!," I think there's a strong element of everyone's ears being different when it comes to this.

Thanks for your comments - maybe I just need to learn to accept that and move on!!

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