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Joined: Oct 2011
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I recently purchased a KDP-120 as I was lucky enough to find one in stock locally. I played the floor model and liked it well enough but noticed that D6 to about G6 has a weird, tinny, almost overdriven sound. I figured it was just my ears and I'd get used to it but after buying it and having it for about a month it bothers me any time I play those notes. In particular the actual D6 and G6 sound so bad to me, with the notes in between less so.

This can't just be my ears right? I listened to demos online and tried to pick out when they played those notes but everything sounds fine in general. I know this piano is newish but wondering if there are any other owners out there that can confirm this? Am I just like missing a frequency in my ears? I feel like I'm crazy, but I just cannot get used to those notes and the way they sound.

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Is this due to the speakers? Have you checked these notes with quality headphones?

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Originally Posted by _sem_
Is this due to the speakers? Have you checked these notes with quality headphones?

It's not just the speakers, I play with Sony MDR-7506 studio monitor headphones. It appears to be inherent in the sample itself, but I'm looking for a sanity check.

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Since the problem exists with headphones, it's _not_ caused by the room.

If it's your ears, you should get the same effect if you use a VST, instead of the Kawai's sound generator.

So connect your DP to a computer, download a demo copy of Pianoteq (one of the few VST's with free demos), and see if the problem goes away with headphones (or speakers, if you have a pair). (If the Kawai supports MIDI-over-USB, you'll need a USB "printer cable". If it uses 5-pin mini-DIN MIDI jacks, you'll need a MIDI-to-USB adapter -- I use an M-Audio "Uno", which is not expensive.)

If the problem disappears, you can reasonably blame the KDP-120 samples. In which case, you might want to buy Pianoteq (or some other DSP).

If it stays, you might blame your ears.


. Charles
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Hello,

@didyougethathing, Tests/comparisons as @Charles Cohen suggests are very useful to do and may tell you more about what is going on.

In addition to that, the ears cannot be ruled out (yet) as a possible cause. I'm saying this because in about that same note range (maybe two notes to the right from your area) I experience weird effects as well (with an entirely different piano than the KDP120). On some days, those notes sound round, full and beautiful; on others, some sound almost unbearably thin and somewhat distorted. Throughout the rest of the note range, I do not experience such day to day differences.

The first time I noticed this phenomenon (and started doubting everything -- my equipment in particular) was when listening to a beautiful CD with classical solo piano (the pianist playing a Bösendorfer Imperial). I guess the piano tone is of such complexity that it can play all kinds of tricks on us.

In any case, I hope your experiments will give you clarity on what is actually causing what.

Cheers and happy playing,

HZ

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Originally Posted by HZPiano
Hello,

I experience weird effects as well (with an entirely different piano than the KDP120). On some days, those notes sound round, full and beautiful; on others, some sound almost unbearably thin and somewhat distorted. Throughout the rest of the note range, I do not experience such day to day differences.

The first time I noticed this phenomenon (and started doubting everything -- my equipment in particular) was when listening to a beautiful CD with classical solo piano (the pianist playing a Bösendorfer Imperial). I guess the piano tone is of such complexity that it can play all kinds of tricks on us.

In any case, I hope your experiments will give you clarity on what is actually causing what.

Cheers and happy playing,

HZ

One might need to revise one's eating, drinking or smoking habits . . . . smile


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Originally Posted by didyougethathing
I feel like I'm crazy, but I just cannot get used to those notes and the way they sound.

"Those notes" I suppose are in the last octave. My Kawai documentation at least starts counting the octaves from -1 i.e. the three bass notes before the full octave starting from C0 are "-1".

They are "difficult" notes on any piano. They don't necessarily sound that great on acoustic pianos either.

From what kind of an experience base are you approaching this? Have you played other digital pianos or acoustic pianos?

At least Kawai is supposed to use 88 key sampling, so those notes have been recorded from a real piano and not pitch shifted from lower notes for example.

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+1 on what Charles Cohen suggested...

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To answer several questions:

- I've played pianos my whole life, and just got rid of a Yamaha MX88 which sounded completely fine
- I had used the pianoteq demo before your suggestion as I was looking into VSTs, and can confirm the steinway D and others sound fine as well

I can only conclude it's specific to the KDP 120 sample. I think it really sounds awful, and I should revise my original statement to say D6, E6 and G6 sound the worst.

Just so it's clear what keys we're talking about, here is an image i used to name those keys:

https://www.liveabout.com/thmb/14qGxNTZJDeTSYJEeIqBBF5kQUs=/768x0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/Scientific-Pitch-Notation_large-56a72cde3df78cf7729306a2.png

I was hoping someone else had the KDP120 and could confirm a similar reaction to those notes. When I was originally testing the floor model, I was also playing a Yamaha YDP 144 and everything sounded "normal" on it. I kind of regret not getting a Yamaha but after hearing all these rave reviews about Kawai (and mostly liking what I heard) I decided to change it up. Oh well.

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One more thing - h

Have you done a "factory reset" on the Kawai?

Try that, before giving up.


. Charles
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
One more thing - h

Have you done a "factory reset" on the Kawai?

Try that, before giving up.

Ah this is a great suggestion. However I don't see anything in the manual about a factory reset, nor after googling. I also searched for how to reset the KDP110 since they're very similar, with no luck.


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