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 Post subject: my review on Kawia digital CA5
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 9:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:38 am
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Hi guys..
I went to the shop last weekend just to try out my "performance" on Kawai grand and digital.

The new ca5 and ca71 is very similar. The keys are actuall kawai wooden keys so as its arm action.
The principle is the same. You can also ajust the keys in side ways when the "hole " is getting too wobbery(its a long way yet). I tried the touch and played few songs so as recording. It turned out to be one of the best one I have ever tired.

Ay one else???


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 7:00 am 
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Well, I have bought the Kawai MP9500. That has same wooden key action as CA5 or CA71 and it was praised anywhere because it's good action. This praise I cannot understand.

My experience in direct comparision to a real grand is that the digital piano sound is very well captured, I have the feeling of a 2.70 m long concert grand (the bass notes sound very deep and the treble notes are brillant).

However what bothers me the most is that those wood key make friction noise to a large extend, even a Kawai service man who came could not remedy that satisfactorily.
Furthermore, the keys are still not perfectly balanced, the keydownweight differs sometimes for 20 gram or more between keys - I believe it is because of the friction of the keys. The service man could not solve that problem either completely.
So the only single one advantage I see is to practise with headphone, but because of the friction noise as well as the hammerweight substitute bouncing noise one cannot play without disturbing others in the same room.
Those digital piano stuff simply cannot substitute a real upright or grand regarding key feeling. The keys are very heavy, and the Kawai's can sound very dynamic, but the keys respond that tenacious that fast trills are not really possible, the keys come up too slowly compared to a real action.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 6:51 pm 
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MindenBlues wrote:
Well, I have bought the Kawai MP9500. That has same wooden key action as CA5 or CA71 and it was praised anywhere because it's good action. This praise I cannot understand.

My experience in direct comparision to a real grand is that the digital piano sound is very well captured, I have the feeling of a 2.70 m long concert grand (the bass notes sound very deep and the treble notes are brillant).

However what bothers me the most is that those wood key make friction noise to a large extend, even a Kawai service man who came could not remedy that satisfactorily.
Furthermore, the keys are still not perfectly balanced, the keydownweight differs sometimes for 20 gram or more between keys - I believe it is because of the friction of the keys. The service man could not solve that problem either completely.
So the only single one advantage I see is to practise with headphone, but because of the friction noise as well as the hammerweight substitute bouncing noise one cannot play without disturbing others in the same room.
Those digital piano stuff simply cannot substitute a real upright or grand regarding key feeling. The keys are very heavy, and the Kawai's can sound very dynamic, but the keys respond that tenacious that fast trills are not really possible, the keys come up too slowly compared to a real action.


woah, Thanks for the response.

what an analysis. I did not know all that untill you tested it out. So the actions is too slow...

But you can always enjoyed the quiteness of the recording thru midi-sample file....The only advantage I can think off??


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 8:01 pm 
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johnmar78 wrote:
But you can always enjoyed the quiteness of the recording thru midi-sample file....The only advantage I can think off??


Yes, it sounds clean, but anyhow I prefer if I hear e.g. also how an interpret starts to breath deep or even the action and damper noise, it sounds more natural to me that way. When I listen to a Rubinstein Chopin-interpretation, there are often dynamic passages before Rubinstein breaths deep. I think, all that puts the listener closer to the interpret, and anyhow I like that. But just my single opinion.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 11:35 pm 
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[ . The keys are very heavy, and the Kawai's can sound very dynamic, but the keys respond that tenacious that fast trills are not really possible, the keys come up too slowly compared to a real action.[/quote]

Olaf, this pharse captured my attention. You were saying the Kawais keys are heavy. So now you can imagine, my yamaha grand(modified weghted keys). Is already 10% heavier than Kawai digital. So I dnt think you like to play my grand??? Do you think I should remove 2 small pieces of lead(I had 38g (5 pieces).on each).


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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 5:49 am 
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johnmar78 wrote:
Olaf, this pharse captured my attention. You were saying the Kawais keys are heavy. So now you can imagine, my yamaha grand(modified weghted keys). Is already 10% heavier than Kawai digital. So I dnt think you like to play my grand??? Do you think I should remove 2 small pieces of lead(I had 38g (5 pieces).on each).


The downweight was up to 70gram, on the keys with friction problems up to 90 gram on the Kawai. My Steinway has downweights from 47 to 49 grams. It is an easier going action, and the hammers are new but in the same style as it was original in the 1935' time. Those times the hammers were lighter and smaller as nowadays. This has nothing to do with downweight, but with dynamic responsiveness. So new pianos have in general heavier actions when mine, that's why you better should compare with actions from new pianos.
However, a little bit heavier action don't worry me, but the uneveness in the Kawai MP9500 action is what bothers me, and foremost the tenacious behaviour how the keys respond (they come back so slowly).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:30 pm 
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Quote:
... the Kawai's can sound very dynamic, but the keys respond that tenacious that fast trills are not really possible, the keys come up too slowly compared to a real action.

I disagree. I own a CA71 and I think the repetition is perfect. Although it's been a while since I last played a grand, I don't see any limitations regarding repetitiveness. And compared to an upright - the keyboard of the digital is far superior to the keyboard of my (Yamaha) upright.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 7:25 am 
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Syntaxerror wrote:
Quote:
... the Kawai's can sound very dynamic, but the keys respond that tenacious that fast trills are not really possible, the keys come up too slowly compared to a real action.

I disagree. I own a CA71 and I think the repetition is perfect. Although it's been a while since I last played a grand, I don't see any limitations regarding repetitiveness. And compared to an upright - the keyboard of the digital is far superior to the keyboard of my (Yamaha) upright.


Well, I can only speak about my Kawai MP9500. Of course it should be clear that such a rudimentary key construction cannot substitute a highly elaborated real grand piano action. See only the double escape mechanism - on my grand piano Renner action the keys need to be released only for 2 Millimeters or so and a repetition is possible.

But even if we let aside that missing double escape mechanism the poor piano action surrogate the MP9500 has, it is so that at least on the MP9500 the keys come back much slower than a good grand piano key. A good grand piano action gets a key back with a weight difference of not much more than 20 grams. That means, about 50 grams are needed to press the key down (measured on keytip with pressed sustain pedal), and with 30 grams or more the keys goes up again.

Beside, that some keys on my MP9500 need unbelievable 70 to 90 grams to go down, the difference to go up again is much higher - that means up to 50 gram difference. That is probably the main reason that I have the feeling of pressing almost in foam rubber on the Kawai MP9500, tenacious key feeling it is.

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Olaf Schmidt


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:05 am 
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Quote:
... I have the feeling of pressing almost in foam rubber on the Kawai MP9500 ...

Interesting. I see from the Kawai homepage that there´s only one step of development between the keyboards of the MP9500 and the CA71 (AWA I and II resp.). Could this make such a big difference?

Maybe the fact that I think so highly about my digital´s keyboard lies in the fact that I played on a ... let´s call it "lower class" upright for many years. Of course a real grand piano is something completely different. But with regard to the keyboard (the sound aspect is something else of course) I would recommend anyone to take rather a good digital than an average upright.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 4:24 pm 
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I don't know the action difference between the MP9500 and the CA71. As I bought the MP9500 I looked for a keyboard as practising tool, the sound was second rank and the key feeling first rank. To be honest, that time I did not know much about the different digital pianos (and still don't know), but the MP9500 was praised because of its key feeling, wooden keys and so on. Maybe it is not bad in comparison to other digital pianos, but it is bad in comparison to a good grand action.

Syntaxerror wrote:
Maybe the fact that I think so highly about my digital´s keyboard lies in the fact that I played on a ... let´s call it "lower class" upright for many years. Of course a real grand piano is something completely different. But with regard to the keyboard (the sound aspect is something else of course) I would recommend anyone to take rather a good digital than an average upright.


That's interesting, I see it almost the other way round. The MP9500 sounds like a grand size XXL, super large - the bass notes ring like a very long grand, much better than my real 1.80 Steinway Grand. I could understand that someone buys such a digital keyboard because of better sound regarding an upright or small grand and to play silent, but especially regarding action I would still prefer a real piano, also an upright. There must be a reason that the action of a grand OR upright is that difficult, by comparision to the rudimentary action a normal digital keyboard has.

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