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I'm selling my year old CA79 (in the Long Beach, CA area) for $3,299 - it will be posted in the "For Sale" section soon. It plays and sounds perfectly, let me know if you're interested!

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I have some MIDI "play-along" track on a USB flash drive that I used to play on my CN34 to practice jazz improve. The CA99 can play the MIDI files from the flash but they are way too quiet. There is a volume control for that but even at full volume they play back too low. Any ideas? Is there some other setting menu I need, or reformat the flash drive and reload the MIDI files?

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I found this just now, so I have never tried it. It's a free online tool to modify the volume of MIDI files. You just upload your file and do it online.

https://www.ofoct.com/audio-converter/change-midi-volume.html


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Rick M, thanks for the info. My MIDI files are extracted from songs I notated in Finale so I can just go back to the source and change the volume to FF. It's just that in the CN34 these same files played back at more than sufficient volume. Also, if you increase the note volume in the MIDI code eventually you will max out the volume parameter.

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I only tried playing a midi file once on our ca-79. Since it doesn't have a full General MIDI set, I was curious how it would handle a backing track MIDI file. It seemed to play okay though. I intended to compare the instrument list on the piano to the GM spec to see what is missing, but I haven't gotten around to doing that. Have you noticed any issues yet?


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I own a Kawai CA99 and would like to know a little about the line out ports.

There are left and right line out ports but are they balanced (TRS) or unbalanced (TS)?

I'm a novice when it comes to jack types and cables etc. but I looked in the owners manual and there didn't seem any info so maybe this is obvious. But I know balanced ports and cables are better and I could have longer cables without picking up noise ingress so kinda hoping they are balanced (TRS).

thanks for reading.


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Unless you have long cable runs, eg from a stage to a control booth, balanced vs unbalanced makes no difference. So don’t worry.

If you get the right cable you can connect balanced to unbalanced in either direction. Don’t plug an unbalanced TS cable into a balanced out. But you can use a balanced TRS cable in an unbalanced out.


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The manual on page 82 has a diagram that shows unbalanced TS plugs.


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Thanks, I guess page 82 might give a clue. The computer I want to connect to is actually about 10m away in a different room so I would connect it up when I wanted to record etc. I could use my laptop close to the piano but it's not as capable. It's all amateur purposes and my setup might change depending on how things go but means either 10m USB or 10m audio cable.

I'm buying a usb audio interface to connect up the digital piano so been looking at the different jack types and balanced/unbalanced connections.

Might contact the piano dealership about the TRS/TS port because I'm curious. :-)


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The dealership said they didn't have definitive answer about the line out ports because Kawai don't specify this. But they said it most likely to be a TS connections because this is less expensive to produce and if they were balanced TRS connection you would expect them to document this in the specs.


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Hello hugo,

All Kawai DPs use unbalanced Line Out connectors.
The only exception is the MP11SE which also has balanced XLR outputs.

This information is indicated on the spec table, here:

https://www.kawai-global.com/product/ca99/#spec

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
x


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Connections are the kind of thing that often leaves even professionals confused. Some
notes:

- The USB limit is 3m. Beyond that, the signal degrades so as to drop. Yes, it's all digital, but there's no such thing as a digital signal: there is an analog signal with digital data, and loss of signal leads to loss of data. So digital protocols
include recovery mechanisms, and those can work beautifully to overcome any loss... but not in the very specific case of real-time, which is our concern here.

- The solution (and it works) are 'active' USB cables. Those aren't mere cables, they include signal reinforcement, and I have a 12m one working flawlessly between a mixer (X32 rack) and the computer.

- You may avoid the problem
entirely by covering most of or all of the distance with audio cables rather than USB.

- I'd love it if everyone used XLR outputs/inputs, but that's not the case here. However, being line-level, the Kawai's outputs probably have a large enough SnR ratio that makes it moot that they're unbalanced.

- It's possible to 'convert' unbalanced to balanced by using a DI box or stage box near the outputs - if that's a concern.

- Everywhere you look now, for any question anyone has, everyone answers 'audio interface!'. An audio interface per se is the solution for very few things. Every computer out there already has a built-in audio interface in its motherboard, usually with line and mic inputs. It's probably not the best possible interface, but it's important to understand that an interface by itself will never improve anything, it's only ever a middleman. Yes, the interface may have effects or filters, but that's another matter. For someone starting out, it's imo an entirely optional part of the setup.

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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Hello hugo,

All Kawai DPs use unbalanced Line Out connectors.
The only exception is the MP11SE which also has balanced XLR outputs.

This information is indicated on the spec table, here:

https://www.kawai-global.com/product/ca99/#spec

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
x

Thanks for confirming this, glad it's documented somewhere.


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Originally Posted by entonio
Connections are the kind of thing that often leaves even professionals confused. Some
notes:

.....

- Everywhere you look now, for any question anyone has, everyone answers 'audio interface!'. An audio interface per se is the solution for very few things. Every computer out there already has a built-in audio interface in its motherboard, usually with line and mic inputs. It's probably not the best possible interface, but it's important to understand that an interface by itself will never improve anything, it's only ever a middleman. Yes, the interface may have effects or filters, but that's another matter. For someone starting out, it's imo an entirely optional part of the setup.

Yes I've been considering using the "line in" port of my computer, the MSI motherboard inside is meant to have decent audio so will be worth trying out. Once I get some audio cables to connect to the computer I'll be able to see how the signal carries and what the power is like from the "line out" ports. I'll likely get an audio interface at some point and certainly if I get an XLR mic but can try without for now.

thanks for your response, Hugo


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Dear James,
On behalf of the Single Sided Deafness community, would it be possible to send a Mono signal to the headphones? I currently either hear too much of the treble or too much of the bass notes wink

Thanks for your consideration!
Dennis

Last edited by FlyingDutchman; 09/04/21 11:28 PM.
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Hello Dennis,

Thank you for your suggestion.

However, with the greatest respect, I do not think adding such an option would benefit a significant number of owners.

In my opinion, it would probably be easier to achieve this using a stereo to mono adapter in between your headphones and the digital piano. However, summing stereo to mono will result in a very narrow, nasally sound.

Kind regards,
James
x


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On the subject of headphones when I play the bass notes it almost sounds like they are out of tune and I can't really discern the notes that well. Is this more likely a feature of my headphones? The piano sample is in perfect tuning on vt.

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I have to say, with huge disappointment, that Kawai is really trying my patience. I went ahead and ordered a CA59 last summer, about a year ago. I took more than 6 months to deliver due to the high surge in demand from Covid19. I enjoyed it for about a month when it started to develop clicky keys and a squeaking F3 key. Due to C19 restrictions they couldnt send a technician over, but anyways ultimately decided to get me a new action bed. I was thrilled at first when after 3 months a new action bed arrived from Kawai, but to my huge disappointment it turned out to be even worse than the first one. The diagonal cuttings at the backside of the keys (around the cutouts for the black keys) looked like they have been gnawed off or cut with a dull saw, even more keys were clicking and some of the black key cutouts werent even perfectly straight. So I made a dog-trade and trade in against a CA79 that they had in the showroom (since a new one would take another 3-5 months). I lost about 800$ of value in that transaction, but whatever, I was always eyeing the CA79.

And imagine what - few clicky keys, even if not that bad and.... a strong buzzing in the low-range speakers, which is really distracting while playing. Waiting for Kawai to respond, but its really frustrating and I would hate having to switch to another brand. Get your quality control together Kawai!!!! At this point I couldnt recommend it to anyone in good conscious.

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Originally Posted by flowing
I have to say, with huge disappointment, that Kawai is really trying my patience.


You think about the patience of all those people like me who have the CA79 with defective software for a year, and we will never know if and when it will be fixed. And I can't even resell it because by now this story is known.
Think of the regret I can feel for having spent 3000 euros for a defective product.

Last edited by Gianluca; 09/06/21 07:18 AM.
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Same here, I am waiting now since one year for an official update. Although I am checking daily, I have given up hope that there will be any updates for the CA79. I hope I am wrong though. The Beta Software sure reduces the buzzing issue so you might want to try this but it also alters the sound when playing without headphones and after testing for a long time I decided to change back to the non beta software. Still I am waiting for a satisfying fix for this issue. Since an official update was not only promoted in this forum but also by kawai Germany a year ago I did not return the instrument. I have grown used to the buzzing now but I would not buy kawai again.

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