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Originally Posted by Doug M.
Originally Posted by JosephW
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
I've tested everything kawai makes, es110's action RHC is handily their best product in terms of evenness, control, and smoothness.

lol oh wow

A handy delusion, as these models are also conveniently cheap.

I was more surprised than anyone. i went to the store only months back, ready to buy the best digital piano they had, cuz the most expensive one from my online research is still rather trivial in price compared to even an average acoustic.

it's been 10+ years since i last played a digital, i drove to the store, didn't even look at the cheap pianos, sat down at the ca99 first, played a ditty, sat there for a good 5 minutes arms crossed thinking, that's it ? what's so great about this thing. then moving onto the nv5/nv10 yamaha nu1x, same impression. at that point, i finally went down, ca49, 39, kdp70, es110. right about here i was quite sure that sonically these devices were certainly convincing enough but not so amazing considering their asking price. and it was only the RHC action which felt amazingly to taste, if only acoustic pianos played like this, the evenness, unlike the rest of the actions with uneven letoff bumpers, and the errant midi response which i later found out were regulation issues on the wood type actions along with design flaws leading to calibration drift. kawai's rhc plays almost exactly like how the pedal down feels on a well regulated acoustic, but of course it's also impossibly even whereas even the best acoustic has some errant friction and larger touch weight differentials.

only after i got home, got on this forum and many others doing research did i come to the conclusion that the market as a whole, both digital and acoustic has stagnated due to rapidly depleting user base.

Last edited by KawaFanboi; 08/05/22 02:12 PM.
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Originally Posted by Doug M.
Originally Posted by JosephW
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
I've tested everything kawai makes, es110's action RHC is handily their best product in terms of evenness, control, and smoothness.

lol oh wow

A handy delusion, as these models are also conveniently cheap.

And what was this thread about? A top ranking product that has deluded the poster by false prestences, into buying one! Consider, if you will.
An acoustic upright; say, k15, k200. Kawai's bottom end stuff. The actions are short pivot, and what with the complexities of a wooden acoustic mechanism, one cannot expect a linear key response within strict constrants. You just won't get it.
The Steinway, on the other hand, will have. For it's price one would expect that, and more.
So, when you buy an NV5, you get an acoustic action on it, derived from guess what?
Not the Steinway!
More likely the k200; that much vaunted Millenium Action (for uprights).
So, the spin off is pretty obvious.

But on the other hand, the entry level digital slab could be expected to be far worse than the almost flagship NV5.
But, as has been painstakingly shown by K.fanboi, the reverse is true!
True to the degree that the evenness of the response gives it a clinical feel, like most non-hybrid digitals.
This unfortunately, makes it feel and sound less like an acoustic.

it could therefore be concluded that the ES110 action might well be nearer to a Steinway grand than that on the NV5 in one respect.
Purely because it has a precise response.

I'll let y'all know if this is true, next (first) time I play a Steinway . . . .


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Originally Posted by peterws
it could therefore be concluded that the ES110 action might well be nearer to a Steinway grand than that on the NV5 in one respect.
Purely because it has a precise response.

I'll let y'all know if this is true, next (first) time I play a Steinway . . . .

Well written peterws, your cognitive inference engine is functioning optimally, that is exactly my discovery and surprise when i auditioned the kawai RHC, king of actions in terms of evenness, control, and smoothness.

Last edited by KawaFanboi; 08/05/22 03:58 PM.
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Another blind digital or acoustic piano test featuring the NV5, K300 Aures, CA99


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Originally Posted by peterws
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Originally Posted by JosephW
Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
I've tested everything kawai makes, es110's action RHC is handily their best product in terms of evenness, control, and smoothness.

lol oh wow

A handy delusion, as these models are also conveniently cheap.

And what was this thread about? A top ranking product that has deluded the poster by false prestences, into buying one! Consider, if you will.
An acoustic upright; say, k15, k200. Kawai's bottom end stuff. The actions are short pivot, and what with the complexities of a wooden acoustic mechanism, one cannot expect a linear key response within strict constrants. You just won't get it.
The Steinway, on the other hand, will have. For it's price one would expect that, and more.
So, when you buy an NV5, you get an acoustic action on it, derived from guess what?
Not the Steinway!
More likely the k200; that much vaunted Millenium Action (for uprights).
So, the spin off is pretty obvious.

But on the other hand, the entry level digital slab could be expected to be far worse than the almost flagship NV5.
But, as has been painstakingly shown by K.fanboi, the reverse is true!
True to the degree that the evenness of the response gives it a clinical feel, like most non-hybrid digitals.
This unfortunately, makes it feel and sound less like an acoustic.

it could therefore be concluded that the ES110 action might well be nearer to a Steinway grand than that on the NV5 in one respect.
Purely because it has a precise response.

I'll let y'all know if this is true, next (first) time I play a Steinway . . . .

If you can afford an NV5S and don't test all the options carefully before buying, that's unfortunate for the buyer to do that and more unfortunateif they did do that and still suffer buyers regret.

I would love to be in that dilemma to be unhappy with such a good instrument. If you're so good at piano that the NV5S is disappointing, the only way up from there is to buy something like a steinway grand, which could mean remortgaging.


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Kawai ES 520, "Buzzing like crazy today!" James Pavel Shawcross, at about 5 min 30 secs.

Go to 6 mins 50 secs for the distortion on a ES920 and ES520 plus demonstration of signal clarity.

I haven't watched the rest.


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Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
Originally Posted by peterws
it could therefore be concluded that the ES110 action might well be nearer to a Steinway grand than that on the NV5 in one respect.
Purely because it has a precise response.

I'll let y'all know if this is true, next (first) time I play a Steinway . . . .

Well written peterws, your cognitive inference engine is functioning optimally, that is exactly my discovery and surprise when i auditioned the kawai RHC, king of actions in terms of evenness, control, and smoothness.

My psychanalytical processes are suspect, though. Instead of seeking out that Sreinway D for comparison, I did better than that.
Firstly, I played the ES110 through headphones, with its own voices. They sounded ok as they do, but . . too well tuned, and digital sounding because of the clininicity.
The thing also felt like I was playing a digital piano; it too had a medical feel to it. No grit, no germs, no rougage. No character.

BUT When I plays the PTeq Blu(e)thner through it, with identical headphones and de-tuned somewhat, it was like chalk and cheese
The sound was organic! Rich in animal depositions of every description. Dammit, you could almost smell the difference! An older piano, with history, and too, I felt the difference in the keys.
To me, I was playing a real piano. i suppose the beauty of Pianoteq is they are modelled from actual pianos, and the discepency from the key action translating to audio is also largely present, although it's appreciated some normalisation (regulation?) takes place in the finishing off operations.
So there you have it!
I have introduced perceived discrepancies in the ES110's perfect action. And I like them!


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Originally Posted by Doug M.
I would love to be in that dilemma to be unhappy with such a good instrument. If you're so good at piano that the NV5S is disappointing, the only way up from there is to buy something like a steinway grand, which could mean remortgaging.

The disappointment of the NV5s has nothing to do with being a good pianist.

The speaker/Audio system is poorly specced and/or of low quality. Out of the box it has hugely bloated low frequency and high levels of distortion across the whole frequency range.

Being a good pianist has nothing to do with detecting those flaws.

The action on the NV5s is however very nice as expected. That's something a good pianist can appreciate.

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Originally Posted by Cyph3r
Originally Posted by Doug M.
I would love to be in that dilemma to be unhappy with such a good instrument. If you're so good at piano that the NV5S is disappointing, the only way up from there is to buy something like a steinway grand, which could mean remortgaging.

The disappointment of the NV5s has nothing to do with being a good pianist.

The speaker/Audio system is poorly specced and/or of low quality. Out of the box it has hugely bloated low frequency and high levels of distortion across the whole frequency range.

Being a good pianist has nothing to do with detecting those flaws.

The action on the NV5s is however very nice as expected. That's something a good pianist can appreciate.

The NV5S amplification seemed pretty good for a digital piano when I recentlyplayed it---better than the NV10S and significantly nicer than the N1X and CLP785. It's possible that you just expect more than what digital manufacturers are currently willing to offer. If you're an audiophile and also able to use a set of acoustic tools, maybe you can improve the system. Some have tried to improve cabinet digital sound with extra monitors and failed. There are many posts outlining these efforts. I think it's far easier to upgrade slab piano sound than a cabinet piano.

Getting the digital sound through a large cabinet has always been a challenge and I haven't played a digital that has ever managed to match a decent acoustic piano on external sound.

Then again, evenings on an NV5S are always going to sound better through high-end cans compared to the speakers.

If you don't need to restrain yourself to headphones, then maybe the silent pianos or TransAcoustic type would be a better fit for you.

Last edited by Doug M.; 08/07/22 07:23 AM.

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I just purchased a Kawaii CA99 and after playing it for two weeks or so, I agree with some others here that it seems too "perfect/ clinical" to be an acoustic and therefore my subconscious will not accept it as an acoustic.

Do I have to purchase other voices such as PianoTeq's to be able to feel like it is acoustic?


Thanks!


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into the rabbit hole you go....


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You can adjust the tuning and the volume for each individual key.

So you might start by messing that up a bit.


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Purdyd: Is there a suggested procedure to illustrate how this should be done?

Thanks!


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Regarding the comparison video at the start of this thread, I can't really compare them since the volume level between the two was so different. The digital was low and the acoustic was much louder.

Last edited by ErnieAd; 08/11/22 03:23 PM.

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Originally Posted by Cyph3r
The speaker/Audio system is poorly specced and/or of low quality. Out of the box it has hugely bloated low frequency and high levels of distortion across the whole frequency range.

I disagree completely with your assessment of the NV5S and will try to explain why. (I will assume we are discussing a perfect sample of the instrument, not the one you had with apparently some faults. Mine is pristine.)

I wish to assess the NV5S for what it is: a Digital Piano costing around € 6300, and not an acoustic of the same price; and a cabinet instrument, not a rig built up of assorted slabs, VST's, amplifiers and speakers.

I have in my music room a new Steinway "A" grand. I therefore use the Kawai when I specifically wish to play on a digital for practical reasons. Usually into headphones, or at a lower volume than a grand when using its built-in sound system, for the purpose of not annoying my household when practicing, and keeping within my own bubble.

The NV5 is a cabinet aiming at emulating a mid-market acoustic upright (identical action). A cabinet instrument is a self-contained extension of one's body. As a flute is an extension of the mouth, a violin an extension of cheek, shoulder and arm, a cabinet piano is an extension of the fingers. This is a sensual relationship, completely different from controlling an electronic machine through switches. This is why I find comparisons with High Fidelity systems irrelevant.

My High Fidelity rigs are state of the art (McIntosh/Bowers+Wilkins) but I regard them as machines dedicated to reproducing music from Idagio or Netflix, not assistants in making my own. I accept that Kawai in designing an audio system for the NV5 wanted to emulate within a cabinet the sound of an acoustic and cheated on hi fi principles to do so, voluntarily introducing distortion, and using a soundboard as an additional driver, an idea that would sound ridiculous to Bowers+Wilkins.

The NV5 is a digital engine first and foremost. Sure it is matched to a keyboard, amplifier and drivers all enclosed in a cabinet to create a unitary instrument. But the two latter components (amps and drivers) can and are often replaced by headphones. Now headphones can be costly, from $200 to €2000, but they work wonders. All the DP pianos manufacturers, slabs or cabinets, knew they had zero chances to fit affordable amp/drivers that could match headphones performance. They focused on better and better piano sound engines, sampled or modelled or both, and ignored the sound systems : the cheaper the better. They knew the slab guys would tinker their rigs, and the cabinet guys use headphones most of the time.

Kawai boldly bucked the trend with the NV's, and decided to upgrade to serious sound systems, as a first real challenge to the full acoustic upright. They modestly decided they were not up to the task and dealt with Onkyo. They decided the market was ready to invest about €3000 of a DP's worth into its amps/drivers, including a soundboard. And I regard it a huge success. When I compare my former Roland LX 706 (which I have kept) and the NV5S, on their sound systems, at full large room volume, the NV5S triumphs. And that is how it should be compared.


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Originally Posted by ErnieAd
Purdyd: Is there a suggested procedure to illustrate how this should be done?

Thanks!

I might try randomly adjusting some keys up or down in tuning and up or down in volume.

You might check out the ca 79 99 owners thread and ask the same question

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...i-ca79-ca99-owners-club.html#Post3238317


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Vikendios

I think your assessment of the instrument is accurate and well stated. We really do have to keep in mind what we are actually judging here.

I had an acoustic upright which my Son learnt on and I began playing again after retiring. It needed regulation and tuning and after getting that done it was still too loud for my comfort and that of my neighbours (in my mind).

I changed this out for a CA-99 and from a player’s and musical standpoint am very happy. It will always be a compromise to a real acoustic, but at the same time I can…..

Play along with other pianists via bluetooth
Adjust the volume to suit the time of day
Practice in complete privacy via headphones
Record myself for critical listening (not the most convenient system to use)
Never have to worry about usual maintenance.

Of course I really dislike the UI implementation and the limitations imposed on saving and erasing files etc but that is a different topic altogether.

I am an “audiophile” with a nice sound system but never compare the two in terms of sound quality. I just think how close to a grand piano which I could never afford, this can sound. Not perfect….it’s NOT an acoustic, but with good headphones I am transported into a state of complete contentment. I just wish the organic vibrations could be preserved when using headphones, but everything is a compromise in one way or another.

I will say this though….

When I attached a pair of external monitor speakers to either the phone or line outputs, the sound was improved but not enough in my mind to break the self contained cabinet topology. Also, because of the extra binaural effects they have built into the headphone output, it remains my preferred means of playing just sans the soundboard vibrations which I also enjoy.

Cheers
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Originally Posted by Vikendios
I accept that Kawai in designing an audio system for the NV5 wanted to emulate within a cabinet the sound of an acoustic and cheated on hi fi principles to do so, voluntarily introducing distortion, and using a soundboard as an additional driver, an idea that would sound ridiculous to Bowers+Wilkins.

No, this isn't true.

Voluntarily introducing distortion is utterly pointless and counterintuitive - Kawai haven't done this (don't believe me? Ask them). The distortion exhibited at certain volumes and frequencies and with various reverb effects is 100% unintended. Rather, it is a consequence of a speaker and amplification setup that cannot adequately handle the source under all conditions.

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Originally Posted by DeckardWill
No, this isn't true.

Voluntarily introducing distortion is utterly pointless and counterintuitive - Kawai haven't done this (don't believe me? Ask them). The distortion exhibited at certain volumes and frequencies and with various reverb effects is 100% unintended. Rather, it is a consequence of a speaker and amplification setup that cannot adequately handle the source under all conditions.

You are right, and when I re-read myself I also thought the word "voluntarily" was unappropriate. However there is a high probability that Kawai did apply some equalisation.


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