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Hello everyone,
I‘m new to the forum, I have been a silent Reader for a while and since these forum threads helped me a lot I wanted to share my opinion on my new Kawai CA79.


My Purchase Background:
I wanted to buy a new digital with main focus on sound and action. I play the piano for around 10 years and used to practice at home on my old CA13. At classes I practice on various baby and concert Grands like once a week. I‘m no professional musician and I would consider myself an intermediate level Player.
Since I realised that I had trouble with my CA13 doing certain accents in fast pieces I decided to go for an Update.

My experience with the CA79:

I only tested the instrument in the shop out of curiosity actually I wanted to go for the CA59 but after a played some pieces on the CA79 I really felt a clean diffrence in tone and Touch quality and since the diffrence in Price in my Region is „only“ around 300€ I decided to go for the CA79.

The 59 surely is a great instrument honestly I even think the sound itself of the CA59 is way More balanced than in the 79, but the CA79 felt way more „alive“ and „breathing“ to me. Especially the ressonance rendering in the CA79 is really really good and adds a lot of color to the overall playing experience.

The action of the CA79 is great aswell. It feels a Little light at first (compared to my old RM3 Keyboard) but certainly not lighter than most grands I practiced on.

My Problems with the CA79:
Unfortunately my CA79 is having the speaker issue a lot of you reported. I already contacted my Dealer (direct partnershop of Kawai) and he came around and located the buzzing Sound on the topboard speakers. He already ordered new ones and if these won‘t solve the problem, I will get the entire Instrument replaced.
The speaker issue really upset me in the beginning, now after 10 days I got used to it and barely recognize it anymore. If they solve my Problem I will update you all.

What I also did not like on the CA79 is the lack of a lot of user Settings the Ca59 has and the CA78 had like User touch curve or 88 key edit.
One Note on my Ca79 e.g. Is slightly louder an more sensible then the others. The technician had a look on the sensors they were Fine and when I virtually shifted the octave the sensible key shifted as well so he was sure its a Software/ sample problem, but in general this is only a minor issue.

And honestly the touchscreen is something I don‘t really like, it is laggy buggy and just is downgrade to the otherwise high quality Piano.

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Originally Posted by GaiaImpact
My Problems with the CA79:
Unfortunately my CA79 is having the speaker issue a lot of you reported. I already contacted my Dealer (direct partnershop of Kawai) and he came around and located the buzzing Sound on the topboard speakers. He already ordered new ones and if these won‘t solve the problem, I will get the entire Instrument replaced.
The speaker issue really upset me in the beginning, now after 10 days I got used to it and barely recognize it anymore. If they solve my Problem I will update you all.

Sorry to hear of your problems with CA79. Yet another report of Kawai quality control slipping.

Osho


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Kawai Novus NV10 + VST + Genelec 8050B monitors.
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Here's another video from Stu Harrison (Merriam Music), this time comparing the CA79 with the LX705.



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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Does/did the (hissing?) sound issue also apply to headphones?


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Originally Posted by Marc345
Does/did the (hissing?) sound issue also apply to headphones?

I would say no, given that the EQ change in the beta firmware is applied only to the speakers.


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I like Stu's reviews. To compare with the LX705 makes sense because of the similar price, but I'd like to see a comparison with the Grand Hybrid action on the Roland LX706/708.


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I'm starting to worry that we will never see another UI update for the CA79/CA99. They put out the initial release and 4 updates in 4 months, and now nothing for 9 months. I've never seen anybody sit on active development of minor point releases for that long.

Somebody please assure me otherwise?


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@RickM
the Kawai technician who came to me to check the buzzing told me that Kawai is already working on another update including some bug fixes and an extended Language package. I told him about the missing user settings and he told me that he doesn‘t know if the update will include new features, but he wanted to ask the developper Team and tell me when he comes to replace my speakers.

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For a certain number of us who are considering the possible purchase of the CA79 at some point this year, the quality issue can be a bit uncomfortable. As noted in previous posts, I live in a small town that has only one music store, and in its digital line it sells only Yamaha. I was heartened to learn that Kawai had authorized the store chain's repair center to do warrantied work on Kawai pianos, but fixing a possible speaker issue may be something that only a Kawai repair technician could do. If that's true, would a Kawai technician travel hundreds of miles just to fix my piano, or would I have to ship the unit to an authorized repair center? If the latter, who assumes the cost?

Common sense tells me that it's better to ask questions like this before travelling hundreds of miles to test a CA79 this March or April. If anyone would like to give any input on this, I'd appreciate it.

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Originally Posted by ADWyatt
For a certain number of us who are considering the possible purchase of the CA79 at some point this year, the quality issue can be a bit uncomfortable. As noted in previous posts, I live in a small town that has only one music store, and in its digital line it sells only Yamaha. I was heartened to learn that Kawai had authorized the store chain's repair center to do warrantied work on Kawai pianos, but fixing a possible speaker issue may be something that only a Kawai repair technician could do. If that's true, would a Kawai technician travel hundreds of miles just to fix my piano, or would I have to ship the unit to an authorized repair center? If the latter, who assumes the cost?

Likely you.

If you don't have a local Kawai dealer, I would suggest to get the best Yamaha you like.

Osho


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Originally Posted by GaiaImpact
@RickM
the Kawai technician who came to me to check the buzzing told me that Kawai is already working on another update including some bug fixes and an extended Language package. I told him about the missing user settings and he told me that he doesn‘t know if the update will include new features, but he wanted to ask the developper Team and tell me when he comes to replace my speakers.

Which are bugs and which are new features? Editing volume of individual keys? Deletion of individual saved user files, prompt when overwriting existing user files? Not processing the first screen tap that wakes up the screen when it has gone blank? James has been saying for months that all of these and more will be included.


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Yes, a new update will be released still in 2020, according to Kawai James.
It will include editing of volume and voicing of individual keys, custom temperaments and custom tuning, among other things.
So I assume it is still 2020 then. Perhaps in Japan? When is New Year in Japan? The same as Chinese?

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Originally Posted by Thelycandraven
So I guess a lot of mechanically related issues can be fixed DIY if you are a bit technical.
It would be great to get the service manual. Unfortunately, it was not leaked yet, it seems.
The closest I can find is the CS8 service manual.
Hopefully, we can bribe some Kawai technician and get that pdf from him.

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Originally Posted by Parkher
Yes, a new update will be released still in 2020, according to Kawai James.
It will include editing of volume and voicing of individual keys, custom temperaments and custom tuning, among other things.
So I assume it is still 2020 then. Perhaps in Japan? When is New Year in Japan? The same as Chinese?

In Japan, the new year starts on the 1st January, the same date as the rest of the world.

Software updates planned for the CA99/CA79 unfortunately had to be postponed, for various reason.
However, while I cannot provide any fixed schedule, I am hopeful that updates should be released in the months ahead.

Kind regards,
James
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"Months ahead" does not sound good.
Could be 9 months. Could be more than 12 months. More than 24?
I need to fix the volumes across the keyboard. A few keys in higher octaves are especially loud, perhaps thanks to resonance inside my head.
Come to think of it, it is easy to check. I have other digital pianos and keyboards and stuff.
On the other hand, I still need the per-key volume adjustments, no matter why those keys appear to sound louder.

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I have the same key volume issue. On my keyboard it‘s the d#5 which Sounds horribly off ab Loud. Which one is it on your keyboard.
Yesterday I realised that some of my keys make the clicking noise which I find really disturbing since I cant overhear them playing with low volume, which I need to do most of the Time due to the speaker issue.

Yesterday I contacted my Dealer once again, reported the cumulation of all these problems which occured only after 10 days of ownership yet and kindly asked him for a refund, instead of a reapair/replacement. At this Point I am honestly disappointed with Kawais Quality and I regret havingbought this imstrument.

Somehow funny my 8.5year old ca13 was a way better instrument than my new Ca79 which is double the Price...

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Originally Posted by Osho
Originally Posted by ADWyatt
For a certain number of us who are considering the possible purchase of the CA79 at some point this year, the quality issue can be a bit uncomfortable. As noted in previous posts, I live in a small town that has only one music store, and in its digital line it sells only Yamaha. I was heartened to learn that Kawai had authorized the store chain's repair center to do warrantied work on Kawai pianos, but fixing a possible speaker issue may be something that only a Kawai repair technician could do. If that's true, would a Kawai technician travel hundreds of miles just to fix my piano, or would I have to ship the unit to an authorized repair center? If the latter, who assumes the cost?

Likely you.

If you don't have a local Kawai dealer, I would suggest to get the best Yamaha you like.

Osho


As much as I may hate the idea of saying this, it appears that circumstances will force me to upgrade only to a Yamaha digital piano. The CLP-745, while certainly not in the class of the Kawai CA79, seems to be a decent enough DP for intermediate players, and its cost of $3,500 is well within my maximum $4,200 limit. The CLP-775 would have been a preferable competitor for Kawai, but my dealer can't even find the price of this unit, let alone have one shipped to him. So, apparently, the 745 is it. I get the feeling the 775 would probably be close to $5,000 anyway.

I called our store chain's repair center, about 50 miles away, regarding repair work on a Kawai, and they said that while fixing sticky keys was one thing, more complex work on Kawai pianos was something they wouldn't attempt, warranty or no warranty. That left me to call our state's only authorized Kawai dealer, 130 miles to the west, and they confirmed that any work would have to be done in their shop, and that I would be responsible for all transportation costs. That would involve two trips and 520 miles driving, along with renting out a U-Haul to ensure the piano's safe condition. A definite no-go.

This is all really too bad. Although I haven't been fortunate enough to play the CA79, I have a feeling that I would have loved it. Still, Yamaha really isn't all that bad, and in three years I should be able to step up to the successor of the 775.

Now of course, it will seem strange that I'm talking about a competitor in a room devoted to Kawai, but I would urge a prospective buyer of any new digital piano to take into account all possible scenarios. Kawai does not have the wide distribution network that Yamaha does, and this is something it would be wise for people in rural areas to take into account.

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Originally Posted by GaiaImpact
I have the same key volume issue. On my keyboard it‘s the d#5 which Sounds horribly off ab Loud. Which one is it on your keyboard.
Yesterday I realised that some of my keys make the clicking noise which I find really disturbing since I cant overhear them playing with low volume, which I need to do most of the Time due to the speaker issue.


I don't have any clicking key noise.

I checked my D#5. I use the free "MIDI-Ox" program on Windows to check velocities. If you set the filters so just NOTE ON events are shown in the monitor, it's easier to see the numbers as they scroll up the window. The D35 velocity is the same as the others. However, the note does stand out, but not exactly in the sense of being louder. It resonates the left side of my skull if I sit at the center of the piano. If I slide far over to the left or right, that loud resonance pretty much goes away. It isn't really noticeable with headphones, or on other than the SK-EX. So, is it my ears, brain, skull, piano, phase issue?

Also on SK-Ex, but not other pianos, the D#3 is VERY mellow compared to the notes around it. In fact, if I hold down the soft pedal for the notes around the D#3, they match EXACTLY the tone of the D#3 without the soft pedal. Amazing. Is that a bug/error, or was the original piano used for sampling that way? It's so obvious, I'm thinking other people should be able to duplicate this one.


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I've been playing with saving user settings.

I created four. When selecting them and moving about the menus (to USB music player for example), then going back to Recently Played, only the first one I created is shown there with the name that I gave it. The others register the original piano name that I edited, for example "Upright Piano | Classical", or "SK-EX Rendering". If you go to the USER list, the currently selected sound is not highlighted. Everywhere in the Sounds menu, the original name such as "Upright Piano | Classical", or "SK-EX Rendering" is shown at the bottom of the screen, not the name I gave it. In the Music menus, the current selection is never shown.

The end result is that if you have multiple custom settings you don't know which is currently selected unless you start playing and they are unique enough to tell by playing, or you go select it again. OK, OK, is somebody going to tell me that if I can't tell the difference by playing that I have no business making custom settings? That's no reason for an unfriendly UI.

Oh, a small item, but it took me awhile to realize that the blank space at the bottom of the screen when you're presented the keyboard to name saved settings is a spacebar.


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Hello GaiaImpact,

Originally Posted by GaiaImpact
I have the same key volume issue. On my keyboard it‘s the d#5 which Sounds horribly off ab Loud.

Assuming that you are using the default "SK-EX Rendering | Classic" sound, may I ask if you hear this characteristic with other piano (and non-piano sounds), or the other rendering characters such as "Romantic", "Full", "Rich" etc.?

Also, if you use the Transpose setting to increase or decrease the pitch of the note by 1 semitone, do you the same loud characteristic when playing the D#5 key, or only when playing the shifted D#5 note?

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
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