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And no further Problems until today.

I still LOVE my CA99.

Today I can report, that my CA99 offers so much more than just the perfect digital piano sound:

Fantastic samples, outstanding keyboard and an Onkyo sound system with hifi sound second to none.

Galuwen

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It's amazing how you don't experience any of the sound/speaker imbalances that plagues the forum.

Is there a particular distance from the wall that enhances the sound experience for you?

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Hi

I have had no problems at all with my Kawai (knock on wood) and I am very happy with it.

Where I bought it, the owner is a friend of mine. They have sold 60 and only one had a problem with the touchscreen unit and they just replaced it. He said it was quite easy.

First, I would like to say that making a decision based on forum gripes is pointless. Most people who like their pianos will not comment on forums, so yes,there will be lots of negativity here. It does not mean Kawai makes a bad piano. Although that being said, it worried me and still worries me with my Kawai. I think Yamaha and Roland have better production and manufacturing capabilities and for that they have the better product. Kawai has made great headway, especially in the last 3 to 4 years and quite frankly, although they are still behind the other two, the difference is no where near what these forums make it out to be.

As for sound, I agree the sound is more even on the Roland and the Yamaha and if you like the digital, even sound on a piano, then that is great. For me, it was a big turn off. It sounded like a computer. I have never played a piano that has even and perfect sound. You are not buying a 60 000 $ grand piano here. Stop trying to make it so. Again, this is preference, but I truly believe the sound on the Kawai is much better then the Yamaha and Roland, even with the muddy middle keys.

As for action, as far as Digital pianos are concerned, there is no other match for the Kawai. It is a step above and where the Kawai shines above all others.

If all you care about is piano playing, like me, then I don't understand why you would be getting something else.

Where Kawai takes a major downturn is with the software. The software is simple, almost amateurish and insulting in 2021.
Actually, I was very disappointed by all makers on this point, but I also get it. There is no way they can compete with a keyboard plugged into a computer with an array of sound making and recording possibilities. The better solutions lay elsewhere then on a digital piano trying to be a upright or grand piano

I will say that I found the differences between all three makes to be minuscule. (I never tried the High end Casio)
and it was not an easy decision to make.

Ron

Last edited by ronlefebvre; 03/20/21 02:35 PM.
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For how long have you had your CA99 so far? I have not cancelled my order yet but I am very close. Something inside me still wants this model.

Regarding the issues, yes I understand that people mostly go on forums only if they have issues with product. But in my first post I already said why I think this phenomenon does not apply here. Because I find it extremely remarkable that no negativity can be found about the Yamaha models, even when directly searching for it. This is especially weird considering the Yamaha models are being sold a lot more than Kawai (according to my dealer). If we assume the Kawai failure rates to be average, then we should be finding at least as much negativity on the internet about the Yamaha models. This is what let me to believe that this thread is a reasonably reliable guideline to assume that the newest Kawai DPs are, on average, quite unreliable.

Last edited by Arjen B; 03/20/21 04:32 PM.
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And just to clarify my position with the CA99

I love it, because it is solidly made, and a beautiful piece of furniture with a small footprint. To me it has a fantastic action, and sounds fantastic through good headphones. It has a powerful sound output, I love the visceral feel in the keys in the lower register due to the soundboard. I have tamed the speaker sound via the global EQ settings (which sadly do impact headphone output also) but I have got it sounding OK with the SK EX rendering. I appreciate the move to a touch interface. I think this is the new norm today, and is a great improvement on deeply nested menus and tiny LCD or OLed displays. I have no marks, no squeaks, no crooked badges or faulty pedals. I also have no distortion, or rattles.

I like the silver hinge and writing and yes I even like the black felt!

My CA99 is 30cm away from the wall, and it sits in an alcove so I have wall EQ turned off. I do not play loudly.....my volume is never above 50% and I achieve dynamics through touch.

I turn it on, and play. I am about the making of music and the joy of playing piano. I sold my acoustic upright so that I could play even quieter if I want to or practise at night with headphones. My 20 year old upright had plenty of mechanical noises and squeaks and annually required tuning and adjustments.

I use BT audio to play along with some very talented YouTubers, and it works a treat. I could not care less about the other samples in the instrument as I just want it to sound like a piano...of course that is just me.

I love it. I think the sound engine is quite good. I preferred it to the earlier Yamahas at the time I ordered mine in May last year. I could go on but you get the idea.

Now....

The software behind the interface is fundamentally flawed in so many ways that many of the features are unusable or flakey.

This is my concern. Kawai have a nice instrument ruined by shocking UI software.

This can be fixed ..... the hardware is good to excellent.......the software is not fit for purpose.

avss01

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My CA99 is placed just half meter in the centre of my sound studio...

But it's far more than just simple the very best digital grand piano in the world:

Hint for the weekend:

Activate your personal "Wurlitzer" electric piano and groove around with ray charles.

I just added some 60s drums from Native instruments and voila...

JAAAAAM SESSSION TIME!!

Really love the in depth professiancy of our friends from KAWAI.

Ray Galuwen C. :-) :-) :-)

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On 17 July 2020 Kawai James states he was reporting the issues back to Kawai claiming fixes will be made to the PianoRemote software - nothing since!

"The reported bugs have been logged and will be fixed with a forthcoming software update" and:

"Again, this will be implemented with a forthcoming software update." also:

"....and bugs reported for the CA99/CA79 will also be fixed. Please don't worry."

Kind regards,
James


PianoRemote Thread

Although I'm happy with my CA79, the basic software deficiencies people are describing such as turning off the screen, being able to delete individual recordings and user settings without wiping the whole lot should be easily fixed with a software update, yet none seems to be forthcoming which is baffling. This thread must be putting off quite a few potential customers.

I really hope Kawai pull their fingers out and listen to their customers.

John

Last edited by John62; 03/21/21 06:42 AM.

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Did anybody already try the open source firmware update? What are the results with the software issues, such as screen off and deleting individual recordings? What about any sound issues?

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Originally Posted by John62
On 17 July 2020 Kawai James states he was reporting the issues back to Kawai claiming fixes will be made to the PianoRemote software - nothing since!John

And on January 11, 2018, request was passed to the CA development team for consideration about backlight is still on, even when the display is "auto-off". Since then, "new" models have come out with the same problem, and in general, more than three years have passed. I'm shocked.

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If i should choose again i would choose again the CA79 EP. All other (better) options would be much more expensive. And i really like the action.

But you can see clearly that software development is not their strength. It reminds me on my company which started to create just hardware and still struggling now to make good software.

Last edited by DaveX; 03/21/21 08:14 AM.
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CA99 SK-EX Rendering default settings: I'm getting a wierd sound on the E one octave and a bit above middle C. It sounds like there is a distortion, I don't think it is speaker related as it happens even if played quietly, and it doesn't happen on the notes around it. Bad sampling/rendering ??

Anyone else got this ?

D

Last edited by Dave Milne; 03/21/21 08:37 AM.

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Originally Posted by DaveX
If i should choose again i would choose again the CA79 EP. All other (better) options would be much more expensive. And i really like the action.

But you can see clearly that software development is not their strength. It reminds me on my company which started to create just hardware and still struggling now to make good software.

So here's the thing. Building their embedded app/PianoRemote app is not trivial from a technical perspective. However, all of the things I have seen others complaining about (and the things I complain about) are basic bits of functionality. Spotting a USB drive isn't there is easy, as is showing an error dialog, implementing basic file management etc. Their developers (if indeed they did develop it as opposed to outsourcing it if they did not regard it as being their core competency), are technically ok. They have succeeded on all the hard bits, and failed on so many easy bits such as a bare minimum usuable subset of functionality, and implementing something which is intuitive, and doing basic testing. Let us also not forget that this is not the first version - this is their 6th attempt at this. I think the problem goes deeper than their developers, it goes to the heart of Kawai's quality control both in specifying what is required and testing what is delivered. It should not be up to the end users to find their weaknesses for them. I would expect to be fired if I wrote software that bad. They have clearly no idea on how to maintain software - if they had they would have implemented wifi, automated checking for updates etc.


Time for a bit of "Genchi Gembutsu" (go and look for yourself) from Kawai methinks.


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Originally Posted by Dave Milne
CA99 SK-EX Rendering default settings: I'm getting a wierd sound on the E one octave and a bit above middle C. It sounds like there is a distortion, I don't think it is speaker related as it happens even if played quietly, and it doesn't happen on the notes around it. Bad sampling/rendering ??

Anyone else got this ?

D

Also seems to happen on the EX Concert, and the SK-5 piano sounds on that note.


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Originally Posted by Dave Milne
Originally Posted by Dave Milne
It would also be nice if Kawai released a software development kit (SDK), so that those of us who are more motivated than they are, could write a better app, even if that app were unsupported.

Ooh ooh oooh !! Looks like they might even have released the whole damn lot under opensource !
https://www.kawai-global.com/data/manuals/GPL/ca99_ca79_oss_build.pdf
Does that include the mobile app, or just the piano firmware?

Last edited by Burkey; 03/21/21 09:39 AM.

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Originally Posted by Arjen B
I would actually be interested in knowing if there are people who have been playing this instrument for a year and have had zero problems since the beginning? I know you usually don't find these people on forums, but let's see.

I've not had my CA79 for a year yet, just a few months.

However, aside from the UI and software issues that have been highlighted numerous times in this thread, everything else is excellent.
It's true that we have an overwhelming ratio of negative statements on these threads but that's survivor's bias (you won't say if nothing's wrong).

I'm reaaally hoping Kawai gets their ducks in a row and releases their promised software update soon to fix a lot of the quirks that were raised. Maybe their software development is impacted by Covid, maybe they're putting it off to include as many of the newly-discovered bugs (some bugs are still being found out). Who knows ? In any case, their radio silence on any release date is starting to tire out a lot of current owners, and it's not encouraging potential customers either.

Originally Posted by avss01
I am going to lodge a support request via Kawai Global’s WEB site, with a list of some of the worst operational bugs and was just wondering if anyone else either has or is intending to do the same. As great as this forum is....I don’t think anything will ever come of our complaints here. All we are doing is confirming that we all have the same below standard user experience. No?
I'm planning on doing that.
If all the owners here report the bugs to their request system, even if some of them are currently being addressed/solved in the update (fingers crossed), they should take notice of just how much the poor software impacts our experience. All of this is fixable !! I agree with a post I read earlier saying Kawai nailed all the hard parts of the instrument while screwing up a lot of basic elements of the UI ...

Maybe we should write a common request text here featuring all the bugs so that owners only have to copy it into their request ?


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It is very noticeable that James is being very quiet over all the issued highlighted and he may have been gagged by head office??????

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I just wanted to report that Kawai has a huge delay for their CA99. I ordered it and the dealer is expecting it to arrive in the summer, so it's at least 3 months away. The Yamaha models can be delivered in 2-3 weeks. I wonder what's up with Kawai right now, and whether it's just corona or they are holding back their models until they're fixed and updated?

Also, can somebody please tell me what bugs we are talking about exactly? I am going back to the dealer tomorrow and I am very curious. So far I have found:

- Bluetooth connectivity issues
- Not able to delete an individual recording

But I'm not sure what else is wrong software wise.

Last edited by Arjen B; 03/22/21 07:59 AM.
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Originally Posted by Meap6
Maybe we should write a common request text here featuring all the bugs so that owners only have to copy it into their request ?

I've made a shared notepad with a draft for this and added some of the bugs I noticed/read from here.
Please do contribute and add yours to the list !

https://semestriel.framapad.org/p/kawai-ca79ca99-ui-amp-system-issues-9mga

Let's get all of these together and report all we can.


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I noticed 2 problems.

1) If i have my IPad Pro connected to the line in i have somtimes some "tick" sounds. If i turn off the volume of the line in its gone. And sometimes its worse sometimes better... is this normal?
2) If i modify the SK EX Rendering i cannot save my settings. If i click on save sound it will always be SK EX Concert instead of rendering... is it not possible to save SK EX Rendering settings (including VT Settings)?

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Originally Posted by Burkey
Originally Posted by Dave Milne
Originally Posted by Dave Milne
It would also be nice if Kawai released a software development kit (SDK), so that those of us who are more motivated than they are, could write a better app, even if that app were unsupported.

Ooh ooh oooh !! Looks like they might even have released the whole damn lot under opensource !
https://www.kawai-global.com/data/manuals/GPL/ca99_ca79_oss_build.pdf
Does that include the mobile app, or just the piano firmware?

Looks like it might include both.


2021 Kawai CA99, 1896 Bechstein
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