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This isn't an important post, but perhaps some of the members here, in an idle moment, might be interested in giving their opinions.

I was all set for a summer purchase of the Kawai CA79 PE, and I have no doubts that I would have loved it. Unfortunately, cancer got in the way, and I've been forced to build a new deck for my house. After prostate surgery, the prognosis looks better, and if the PET scan in September shows only a slow growth, chemo and radiation might just cure me completely, although at my age of 72 we'd always have to keep a close check on things.

Now I'm looking at a possible autumn 2022 or spring 2023 purchase plan, and I think I can make that. If everything goes well, I could actually go back to work by next year, part-time, and bring in a thousand dollars a month. Assuming that possible scenario comes true, I have to wonder what my best future purchase options might be.

Of course no one knows the future, and so we can do no more than speculate. I'll have to wonder if buying a CA79 PE, at what should be a reduced price, is in my best interests, or if waiting for the next generation might be the best option. If the more expensive next-gen looks more attractive, I have to wonder what refinements and features it will have that will make it the best choice. And so I will ask the readers in this forum: What improvements and/or innovations in Kawai's future-generation CA releases would cause you to pay hundreds of dollars more for that series rather than buying into the current CA79/99 line?

Yes, I'm aware that this is a waste of everyone's time, but if you're so inclined, by all means give free reign to your imagination. I've learned from experience to respect the opinions of the members of this forum.

Thanks in advance for all opinions and advice.

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Take care of your health number one ADWyatt. Now if you can go back to work part-time and it isn't a strain on your budget I would seriously look at the NV5 upright as you only live once smile


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
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Best wishes for a full recovery. Why CA series? I would be looking at my dream piano, either acoustic or hybrid. Have you considered the NV5S or 10S.

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As other have said, make sure you are paying attention to your health and best wishes for that.

As somebody who has owned very old Kawai CA series digital and then a NU1 and also inexpensive and expensive acoustic pianos (upright and grand) my suggestion is: GO FOR IT.

Yes, the hybrid are better ones, if you can afford them. The Kawai CA are quite remarkable for their price point, and the improvement from one model to its successor are very minor (of course the store prefers you to think otherwise to sell the new one which is more expensive and in stock, vs the old one which you can find second-hand).

So my suggestion is: buy what is reasonable for you to afford without stretching too much, and buy it sooner rather than later: time flies!

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Many people have Protate cancer and live for many years after it; things have greatly improved over the years.
But I would wait for nothing. I would buy now, the best I could get my hands on.
A 350 Harley.
The wife might grant me a Lambretta . . .

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ADWyatt, I agree with the others. And I’ll add, I wouldn’t wait for the next years’ model to come out. Like the others said, the improvements with each new model are modest refinements (and possibly will arrive with their own issues that will need some time for correction like we’ve seen the last few years… i.e. speaker distortion that require firmware updates). Anything revolutionary and the marketeers would be sure to create a new model/series with much fanfare. I don’t know what you are playing on today, but enjoy it and keep playing! Ping me if you are ever in Texas!


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Instruments at Home or Office | Pianos: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-795, Wurlitzer baby grand, Winter & Co. baby grand, Everett studio | Keyboards: Roland Fantom, Yamaha PSR-275 | Organ: Lowrey Prestige
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Originally Posted by ADWyatt
What improvements and/or innovations in Kawai's future-generation CA releases would cause you to pay hundreds of dollars more for that series rather than buying into the current CA79/99 line?

Yes, I'm aware that this is a waste of everyone's time...
Firstly, don't ever think you're wasting other people's time. If they are adults, then they need to know how to manage their own time - don't make excuses for their incompetence! (Sorry for channeling Warren Buffett!)

As for Kawai, I too am eagerly awaiting the CA80 and CA100 models.

They had better implement USB Audio smile
Every other brand has it - most have had it for several years. In the software product world it's referred to as a 'table stakes' feature.

If they throw in a microLED screen (instead of these decades out of date 1990s technology ugly LCD screens in the CA79/CA99) then take my money smile

And if they were to remove that crappy defect-prone fake let-off/escapement then it would be hands down the best digital piano on the market!

Last edited by Burkey; 07/02/21 10:37 PM.

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I'm wondering how you would use USB Audio. Is it for feeding the piano's audio to another device? Or for feeding audio from another device to the piano?

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USB Audio means you only need 1 single USB cable for all 3 of these:
1. Sending MIDI to your computer
2. Sending VST/synthesizer audio to your piano
3. Sending piano audio to your computer (e.g. if you don't have a VST/synthesizer running and you want to record the sound of the piano - this is much easier and more enjoyable user experience than connecting a USB drive to your piano).

And with #2 and #3 you don't lose audio quality via attenuation and distortion that you do if you use analogue cables.

Last edited by Burkey; 07/03/21 12:25 AM.

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Hello,

@ADWyatt, Get well soon!

While reading your post, the Kawai Novus NV5S immediately sprang to mind as a dream of a piano that you probably deserve to definitely allow yourself in this stage of your life.

Actively find out how to minimize your delay, get it and Enjoy!

Cheers and happy recovery,

HZ

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Originally Posted by HZPiano
Hello,

@ADWyatt, Get well soon!

While reading your post, the Kawai Novus NV5S immediately sprang to mind as a dream of a piano that you probably deserve to definitely allow yourself in this stage of your life.

Actively find out how to minimize your delay, get it and Enjoy!

Cheers and happy recovery,

HZ

Let me first of all thank everyone who was kind enough to reply to my post and give really good suggestions. I feel a little foolish belaboring the point, but at this stage I'm really upbeat about my prognosis. I had surgery on May 4, and a PET scan on June 17. It has now been fully two months since surgery and I have regained much of my strength. I'm having no pain, and I have to think I suffer from fatigue simply because I'm not out there working. With just two months to go until my next PET scan, I strongly feel we're going to climb the mountain!

A number of respondents have asked me to consider the future purchase of the NV5S, and it might actually be possible to purchase it at the end of 2022. I have quite a number of valuable art works that are sitting in my closet, as well as other costly items that I'm no longer using. Combined with my savings and the income of perhaps six months' employment, on top of my pension and social security, buying the NV5S may not be that difficult. But would it be wise?

Kawai's current suggested purchase price for the NV5S in America is $10,000, and I think with bargaining that might be reduced to no more than $8,000, especially at such a late date as the end of 2022. But beyond that, I have to wonder if the NV5S would be overkill in my situation. My piano room is 13'x13', opening into the living room and dining area, and since the NV5S uses the same sampled tones as the CA99/79, I have to wonder if the tonal quality of the NV5S would be all that much better than the CA99/79, so far as listeners are concerned. If there is a difference, would it be worth the additional financial investment?

And of course, I would have to consider touch. I know that the acoustic upright action of the Yamaha NU1X was rather pleasing to me, although I'm also quite pleased with the lighter action of a simulated grand. The NV5S is the competitor for the NU1X, so I have a feeling I might actually like the feel of it, but the action of GFIII on the CA series is something I should at least take into consideration.

As for looks, that's a no-brainer. All-in-all, if the price of the NV5S could compete directly with the NU1X by the end of next year, I might look at it very closely indeed. Even if I was 20 years younger, knowing all repairs would be possible, I think that would be my piano for life.

In closing, thanks again to everyone for being kind enough to give me your opinions and advice.

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Wise? Be foolish… you earnt it for climbing the C mountain. I am learning to live life first and if nothing I have learnt: not thing is g’teed in life and with planning, I minimize to very short horizon.


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Originally Posted by Burkey
USB Audio means you only need 1 single USB cable for all 3 of these:
1. Sending MIDI to your computer
2. Sending VST/synthesizer audio to your piano
3. Sending piano audio to your computer (e.g. if you don't have a VST/synthesizer running and you want to record the sound of the piano - this is much easier and more enjoyable user experience than connecting a USB drive to your piano).

And with #2 and #3 you don't lose audio quality via attenuation and distortion that you do if you use analogue cables.

If you have audible distortion or attenuation from analogue cables, the problem is with your configuration. In fact, having the DAC in the piano shared by the internal piano and external VST almost surely means that there is a digital mixer component in the piano to combine the signals. This will be a source of digital noise from floating point roundoff errors that you would not have if the digital output of the VST were routed to an outboard DAC, amp, and speakers.

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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Originally Posted by Burkey
USB Audio means you only need 1 single USB cable for all 3 of these:
1. Sending MIDI to your computer
2. Sending VST/synthesizer audio to your piano
3. Sending piano audio to your computer (e.g. if you don't have a VST/synthesizer running and you want to record the sound of the piano - this is much easier and more enjoyable user experience than connecting a USB drive to your piano).

And with #2 and #3 you don't lose audio quality via attenuation and distortion that you do if you use analogue cables.

If you have audible distortion or attenuation from analogue cables, the problem is with your configuration. In fact, having the DAC in the piano shared by the internal piano and external VST almost surely means that there is a digital mixer component in the piano to combine the signals. This will be a source of digital noise from floating point roundoff errors that you would not have if the digital output of the VST were routed to an outboard DAC, amp, and speakers.
I'm living in the 21st century.

Unless you're using the instrument for gigging in venues that only support analogue audio, there is no valid nor logical reason to be using inferior 20th century out of date analogue cables.

A USB cable - even USB-C - costs less than USD $1 from AliExpress. High quality analogue cables are not cheap. Why on earth would anyone choose to pay extra to use a cable that provides inferior audio quality?!

And obviously having to have multiple cables plugged into your piano and computer is just silly when you shouldn't need to. And if you also require a DAC/ADC adapter than is even more unecessary junk to purchase and plug in - a completely illogical option.

USB Audio is a table stakes feature - and it only costs manufacturers a couple of dollars per unit to install so there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever.

Last edited by Burkey; 07/04/21 12:38 AM.

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If the digital audio goes to an outboard DAC, there is no analog signal leaving the computer. The output of the DAC is analog that flows to an amp over an analog wire. The output of the amp is an analog signal that flows to a speaker. These configurations are still present if the DAC, amp, and speakers are inside the digital piano.

But routing the digital outout of the VST to the piano will add the extra noise of a mixer insidevthe piano to the audio path. Digital mixers will generate broadband noise.

There is no magic that happens because the DAC is inside the piano. And if it were not for the fact that the inside of a computer case is a noisy environment, there would be ZERO downside of converting to audio inside the computer and running an analog wire out to an amp. The problem of the inside of a computer being noisy is solved by havibg the DAC/soundcard being external to the computer, not specifically by having it hosted in the midi controller (which is a point of convenience).

The number of digital and analog connections does not change based on which cases house which components. It just affects which wites are visible to you and which are not.

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@Burkey: USB has its limitations. USB 2 cable length is limited to 5 meters. USB 3 to 2 meters. USB 3.1 to 1 meter. So sometimes analog makes sense.

As for cables ... do you really recommend the $1 cables from Ali Express? I would never. Their stuff is bottom-drawer junk.

As for audio quality ... I haven't noticed problems with analog audio cable.

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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
If the digital audio goes to an outboard DAC, there is no analog signal leaving the computer. The output of the DAC is analog that flows to an amp over an analog wire. The output of the amp is an analog signal that flows to a speaker. These configurations are still present if the DAC, amp, and speakers are inside the digital piano.
Wrong.

Using an outboard DAC means you have extra analogue cable in between the DAC and the piano.

Using digital USB avoids this extra attenuation and distortion.

And going the other way from the piano to the computer with USB there is no digital to analogue to digital conversion required at all. Whereas using an outboard ADC the piano converts digital to analog use and then the ADC converts that analogue to digital - a ridiculously unecessary process.

Last edited by Burkey; 07/04/21 04:32 AM.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
@Burkey: USB has its limitations. USB 2 cable length is limited to 5 meters. USB 3 to 2 meters. USB 3.1 to 1 meter. So sometimes analog makes sense.
The longer the analogue cable, the worse the attenuation and distortion - at a logarithmic rate. You'd be nuts to expect high quality audio from a 10 metre analogue audio cable!

Also, you can easily extend USB range to hundreds of feet!
https://www.datapro.net/products/usb-long-range-extender-hub.html

This is the 21st century folks.
Digital pianos should have digital I/O... Sure allow analogue ports as well for gigging or luddites, but it's not a real digital piano if it doesn't support digital I/O.

Heck even my 1995 MiniDisc recorders and stereo have digital optical I/O.

Last edited by Burkey; 07/04/21 04:41 AM.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
As for cables ... do you really recommend the $1 cables from Ali Express? I would never. Their stuff is bottom-drawer junk.
This one on the left was the $1 AliExpress USB-C cable:
[Linked Image]

It's been working fine for the past 6 months. I've never had any USB cables break on me in the past 20 years - I look after my cables (although I suspect our new Siberian kitten may have other ideas!)

It's also worth noting that AliExpress give a USD $3 or $4 voucher when you sign up a new account. A little known feature of Gmail for the past 13 years is it lets you add unlimited number of aliases to the same account - e.g. a.burke, ab.urke, abu.rke all arrive in your one aburke@gmail.com Gmail account and obviously can be used to register thousands of AliExpress accounts. I've saved thousands of dollars across many different online stores using this trick smile

(You have to enable this Gmail 'alias' feature but it only takes a couple of clicks)

Last edited by Burkey; 07/04/21 05:35 AM.

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I've run 50 feet without problems. That's about 15 meters.
Originally Posted by Burkey
You'd be nuts to expect high quality audio from a 10 metre analogue audio cable!

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