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mrklaw Offline OP
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Hi,

we have an old Casio AP45 which we’ve had for over 10 years I think. Wife has started playing more regularly during lockdown and we’d like to upgrade. Budget it fairly flexible but ideally I’m thinking CA79/99 rather than NV5/10 money.

One thing I noticed with pianos like the CA99 and NV5 having soundboards and various high quality speakers etc - we’ll mostly play using headphones and only play using the onboard speakers occasionally. Does that change things significantly?

Eg does the CA79 become a potentially better option if the CA99 differences are mainly in the onboard speakers? The action and processing appears to be the same. This could save us some money without too much compromise.

How many of you use headphones the majority of the time, and has that affected which model in a range you went for?

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Before someone post a more profounded answer, let me add 2 cents:

Just talking about practicality, I'd go for the 79 over the 99. It has a sliding cover and you can leave your sheet music on the rest. With CA99 you are forced to put it away every time you stop playing. I guess this could end up with leaving the lid open more often because of lazyness. This leads to more dust on and under the keybed. This leads to a probably shorter lifespan.

If you said "we have an...". I assume you are not alone at home and you want to use headphones because you don't want to disturb the other people in your household. In this case I think 79 could be superior over the 99 because all the mechanical key-press noises could be amplified by the soundboard. And the 99 could still be superior over the Novus line, because on a hybrid there is much more mechanic going on with every keystroke. (Just thinking, haven't tested it)

Is this reason enough to make a buying decision? Certainly not! It is just brainstorming in vacuum. On the other hand, maybe you don't like the speaker sound of the CA79 and if this leads to buying into additional monitor speakers later on, a model with a soundboard could be the better choice. Less cables, a nicer look, and probably even cheaper. I never compared the sound of both and even if I did, it doesn't matter because the only thing that counts is your liking.

Short note:
I am right now thinking about buying good monitors for my digital because in this price range the speakers sound just dull. Especially compared to capable headphones. I don't just buy any cheap speakers - I want to have some that are really really better than the built ins. And I don't want them to be huge. Basically this leads me to a pair of Genelec 8030 (plusminus the next size) and those costs the same as my piano did. And if I have those, I will for sure play over 90% with headphones, because I have neighbors over, under and next to me. But still, I want them! So don't feel guilty if you go for CA99 or a Novus, even if you know you will rarely make use of the soundboard.


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Big love here for my 8020s :-)


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Originally Posted by mrklaw
. . .

Eg does the CA79 become a potentially better option if the CA99 differences are mainly in the onboard speakers? The action and processing appears to be the same. This could save us some money without too much compromise.

FWIW --

I think your logic is sound:

. . . Get the CA79,

. . . If you decide you need better bass, and use the speakers enough
. . . enough to justify the cost,

. . . get a pair of monitor speakers --

. . . or get a subwoofer with really good bass extension.

This is a process of "successive approximations" to the Ultimate Sound. It may stop quickly, or it may just spread your spending out, over time.

You'll find good company, here. Not everyone agrees with that approach, though.


. Charles
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Yes, using piano 90% with headphones also affects piano choice - more expensive models tend to have better amplifiers / sound in headphones - can be different sample size, too - for example Roland Supernatural on FP-30 is far cry from old expensive models with this engine. Ideally listen to different model starting from cheaper that you are looking for, and trying more expensive than you normally buy in headphones - you can find a sweet spot for your budget.


Roland HP-507RW | Yamaha U1 | Roland FP-90

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