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#1182331 - 04/17/09 03:20 PM Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42
Oblacone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 344
Loc: Norway :D
Hey people on digital piano forum!
I just took a look (o that rhymed)
at the newest european Kawai DPs then new CN line. Now i know that few have tried them maybe and maybe not to many know about these (both Ca.18 and cn 42) european models but i just need to know what i get the most out of as they both are on the same price range. Here are the links with specs and demos:

Kawai CA-18 - http://kawai.de/ca18_en.htm

Kawai CN-42 - http://kawai.de/cn42_en.htm


Touch - is the most important factor to me and i did... oddly not like the CLP 340 tough soo much (GH3)

Look - Id like it to be a console and i like the cabinetry when it has those two legs. Also the look of the keys must not bee so shiny and plasticy.

Sound - i know little about sound, all i know is i dont like the Roland HP 203 sound too much, its too bright..

Weight - ... doesn't matter

Price - 2400$ is MAXIMUM DELUXE budget

ANy suggestions? other than those i chose?

to summarize:

Which do i get the most out of
CN42 or CA 18
Any other suggestions? any brand!
_________________________
Kawai KG-2C - my 5'10" of sheer happiness and joy!

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#1182377 - 04/17/09 04:31 PM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Oblacone]
Oblacone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 344
Loc: Norway :D
Inpatient bump
_________________________
Kawai KG-2C - my 5'10" of sheer happiness and joy!

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#1182408 - 04/17/09 05:05 PM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Oblacone]
Oblacone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 344
Loc: Norway :D
extremely impatient bumb ... maybe so impatient that it becomes annoying!
_________________________
Kawai KG-2C - my 5'10" of sheer happiness and joy!

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#1182422 - 04/17/09 05:20 PM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Oblacone]
buck2202 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 216
Loc: Cleveland, OH
I actually liked the Roland sound a lot when I was shopping for my DP. I ended up going with Yamaha based on the touch. But I'm surprised that you say you thought the Roland was too bright, but didn't mention the Yamaha sound. Yamahas are generally regarded as being much brighter than Rolands.

The sound of the Roland HP's can be customized in many many ways, so I wouldn't rule it out based on being "too bright" without playing around with the piano designer settings and a good pair of headphones.

What didn't you like about the feel of the Yamaha? "tough soo much"? The keyboard feel is a very personal choice and there's no "best" answer in that area, but I'm curious what you didn't like about it.

I can't comment on Kawai...I wanted to try them out when I was searching, but couldn't find anyone that kept them in stock.

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#1182475 - 04/17/09 06:24 PM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: buck2202]
sieg66 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/09/08
Posts: 138
Loc: paris
Roland isn't known to be bright, it's the contrary. CN 42 seems to be a good new DP, I'll try it as soon as I can. CA 18 is a CA 51 with less functionnality. I think the difference is essentially in key touch with cn 42. If cn42 is more or less like CN 21, CA51 has a heavier touch, but less reactive.

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#1182886 - 04/18/09 10:59 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: buck2202]
Oblacone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 344
Loc: Norway :D
Buck2202 -

I dont know about the roland sound too much, maybe someone had changed some things about it, ill go check them out again when i can. The yamaha CLP340 action felt like it .. umm pulled down my fingers, like the weight took over instead of me having to press it down. it made it easier to play but then Im a student play alot on a grand.

I liked the roland tough a bit more but it was lighter - only a sliiiiiight bit and i have never tested a Kawai.. I live in a small town with only ONE music store and it has very little to chose from. However! the Roland EP880s touch was awesome but that is a keyboard frown
_________________________
Kawai KG-2C - my 5'10" of sheer happiness and joy!

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#1182889 - 04/18/09 11:01 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: sieg66]
Oblacone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 344
Loc: Norway :D
less reactive? what do you mean by that? does that mean that the AHA IV or something has a better respose to preassure on the keys?
_________________________
Kawai KG-2C - my 5'10" of sheer happiness and joy!

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#1183059 - 04/18/09 06:34 PM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Oblacone]
sieg66 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/09/08
Posts: 138
Loc: paris
I mean that awa pro II can feel somewhat sluggish. But the overall feeling is more like a real piano than AHA IV.

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#1183065 - 04/18/09 06:55 PM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: sieg66]
AryReisin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/20/06
Posts: 78
Loc: Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Hi, I tried the model CA18, ES6, CL35 and CL25. None of them were to my liking. Not heavy and realistic enough for my subjective feeling. That order goes from heavier to lighter. The CL25 being the lightest. The ES6 -I think it was this model- I tried had a problem with dynamics, unnatural change from piano or mezzo forte, to forte. The CA18's speakers sounded wrong, perhaps one of the speakers was not functioning well, or the sound is just not to my liking, it was noticeable and not with the other models.
I also tried a Kawai K3 in the same store, an acoustic upright. Very nice indeed. I was spoiled by a reconditioned very tall upright that I tried before, which had one of the most beautiful, mellow and at the same time clear and defined tones I heard on an upright. It was like 54" perhaps.

I would like to try the MP8 or CA7 for example, which are said to have a different action that some people prefer substantially to the new one the CA18 uses. Very improbable I will find one in my area.

Also, I didn't find the sound of any of these as good as what you can get with software via MIDI. Perhaps some of the harpsichords or organs were good. In any case I intend to use with software with a mini notebook.

I remember the Casio Privias, the Roland FP4 and the Yamahas CP33, being heavier action wise, but I didn't compare them side by side. Kawai models have better response in dynamics than the Casio's and other cheaper brands though. Personally I like an action not ligther than a Casio Privia or Yamaha GHE action. I don't own any digital yet.

Remember this is subjective and there is no judging here. Try as many as you can, even if you have to commute or travel a little further than you'd like.
Best regards,
Ary

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#1183274 - 04/19/09 04:46 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: AryReisin]
Oblacone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 344
Loc: Norway :D
hmmm.... scary ... there is no way i can try the CA18 because i cant buy it in anystore around here in NORWAY as far as i know, I really want to try the action frown im so worried because I am thinking of buying it but! i have ti order it online... And in norway the CLP340 is round about 2600$ (18000 NOK) ...the Kawai CA18 is 2000$ but then i can also get the CN32 which is like the CN42 just with a little less features for round about 1500$ ... so really if i buy the CA18 and dont like the action but do like the CN32 ... i might commit suicide! or sell the CA18 to buy the CN42...
_________________________
Kawai KG-2C - my 5'10" of sheer happiness and joy!

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#1183283 - 04/19/09 05:11 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Oblacone]
AryReisin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/20/06
Posts: 78
Loc: Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Hey, I suggest you try before you buy to be sure, or at least be confident you'll be able to sell it well, meaning you would be able to recover most of the money and soon. Otherwise I strongly suggest you start looking for other models you can try in stores. Sometimes it is hard to sell something that people don't know so much like a specific model of a digital piano. At least in my country it is this way.
What are the reasons an acoustic upright isn't an option? If it is noise related maybe I can help. It is expensive to soundproof a room, but there are alternatives.
Regards,
Ary

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#1183484 - 04/19/09 01:27 PM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: AryReisin]
Oblacone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 344
Loc: Norway :D
well here are the reasons i cant have an upright :
1 its too heavy to lift up a spiral stair case - problem can be solved

2- i need to be able to adjust the volume so i dont disturb otrhers - silent pianos can solve that problem

3 - i dont have the money to tune a piano - cash can solve that problem but i cant get cash.

4 - Id prefer something that is light - quiet - cheap and good... so its a digital piano for me
_________________________
Kawai KG-2C - my 5'10" of sheer happiness and joy!

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#1183766 - 04/19/09 09:01 PM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Oblacone]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8869
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Oblacone, the CA18 and CN42 are indeed similarly priced, however, as you correctly note, the two products are somewhat different in terms of specifications.

The following comparison chart has been extracted from sales materials for new products, and may prove useful in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the two instruments:



As you can see, the major strength of the CA18 is its wooden key action. This instrument does not offer a great deal of additional features, and is really intended as a purists digital piano for musicians who will be spending 90% of their time playing piano pieces.

The CN42 on the other hand utilises a plastic key action (which is still considered a very good action, I might add!), yet offers a wide range of sounds and additional features such as USB load/save, 16 track SMF record/playback etc. This instrument is ideally suited to musicians who will be spending the majority of their time playing piano pieces, but also wish to experiment with other sounds, drum rhythms, and multi-track recording.

Regardless of which instrument you decid to purchase - be it the KAWAI CA18, CN42, or an instrument from Roland, Yamaha, or even Casio, I would strongly recommend play-testing all models as much as possible before making your final decision. Buying a digital piano is a considerably different process to that of purchasing another electrical item such as a television or computer - it's essential that you see the instrument 'in the flesh'; playing the keys with your own hands, and listening to the sound with your own ears!

Good luck!

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1183995 - 04/20/09 10:35 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Kawai James]
Oblacone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 344
Loc: Norway :D
:S hmm this is hard. there is no way for me to test the DPs but.. i guess ill be happy anyway... but the thing is which to choose from... i mean both of them are great...well we'll see when it comes to decision time!
_________________________
Kawai KG-2C - my 5'10" of sheer happiness and joy!

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#1433380 - 05/10/10 05:32 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Oblacone]
Simon GIRARDEAU Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/09/10
Posts: 9
Loc: Bordeaux, France
Hello,

I am new to this forum and I went through your discussion with much interest, as I consider buying a good digital piano, and was looking at the Kawai CA18.

I tried it at a local store and liked the touch very much. I have been classicaly trained on a Feurich upright, and would like the touch to get as close as possible to a natural acoustic keyboard.

It sounded great too ! But I have a question regarding CA18 & CN42 sound specifications :
The CN42 has Progressive Harmonic Imaging (even the new CN23), but the CA18 doesn't.
So I suppose that the CN42 sound generation should be better than the CA18 (except for amplification and speakers).
This seems strange to me, as the CA series is "higher up" than the CN series.
Also, I thought that the CA18 concept was a digital piano for purists, looking for a very good touch and very good sound, with few additional functions.
So I think that the CA18 deserves Progressive Harmonic Imaging ! (CA63 & CA93 have Ultra Progressive Imaging).

Perhaps Kawai James has an explanation about it ?

Regards,
Simon.







Edited by Simon GIRARDEAU (05/13/10 07:32 AM)

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#1433396 - 05/10/10 06:43 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Simon GIRARDEAU]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8869
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Hello Simon,

As noted previously (well, over twelve months ago...), the CN42 and CA18 are similarly priced yet appear to 'crossover' in terms of their specifications.

The CN42 offers 'Progressive Harmonic Imaging' and a more powerful amplifier/speaker combination, yet the CA18 features a wooden-key keyboard action.

Choosing between the two instruments is certainly tricky. Do you go for the superior keyboard action of the CA18, or the superior sound, features, and connectivity of the CN42?

To complicate things further, the new CN23/CN33 models were unveiled at Frankfurt Musikmesse earlier in the year (PDF brochure here), and should begin appearing at European dealers' stores shortly. As you note, these instruments offer Progressive Harmonic Imaging sound technology (albeit with a weaker speaker/amplifier combination than the CN43) and a brand new plastic key action. If you are prepared to delay your purchase, my recommendation would be to wait to play test the latest CN models alongside both the CN42 and CA18.

Quote:
This seems strange to me, as the CA series is "higher up" than the CN series.


True, however it's important to note that the CA18 was launched before the CN32/CN42 (the first models to utilise Progressive Harmonic Imaging).

Quote:
Also, I thought that the CA18 concept was a digital piano for purists, looking for a very good touch and very good sound...


Yes, you're quite right.

Quote:
So I think that the CA18 deserve Progressive Harmonic Imaging !


Yes, I agree. wink

I hope this helps - good luck with your purchase.

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1435593 - 05/13/10 07:31 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Kawai James]
Simon GIRARDEAU Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/09/10
Posts: 9
Loc: Bordeaux, France
Thank you Kawai James for all this pianistic wisdom !

Following your advice, I will delay my purchase in order to try out the new CN23 ... But I really like wooden keys !

In the future, I suggest that Kawai organizes their piano series this way regarding their 3 levels of sound technology :
> CL : harmonic imaging
> CN : progressive HI
> CA : ultra PHI.

So the successor of the CA18 might be worth waiting ! That's my guess ...

Cheers,
Simon.

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#1435648 - 05/13/10 09:32 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Simon GIRARDEAU]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8869
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Hello Simon,

Well, your recommended differentiation for each product range is already in place. However, I think it's rather unlikely that a future CA18 successor - intended as an entry-level wooden-key DP - will be using the same sound technology as the top of the range CA models, however.

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

Top
#1437850 - 05/16/10 03:21 PM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Kawai James]
Simon GIRARDEAU Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/09/10
Posts: 9
Loc: Bordeaux, France
Hello James,

Thank you for your quick response.
I have one last question in mind : do you have any idea of when a successor of the CA18 might appear ? I don't know when this model came out, and if there is any clue about its replacement.

Regards,
Simon.

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#1437858 - 05/16/10 03:36 PM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Kawai James]
hpeterh Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 824
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Hello Simon,

Well, your recommended differentiation for each product range is already in place. However, I think it's rather unlikely that a future CA18 successor - intended as an entry-level wooden-key DP - will be using the same sound technology as the top of the range CA models, however.

Cheers,
James
x


If this had MIDI Out (USB or MIDI Through/In connectors are not required) and Line IN and if it where flat enough to place a laptop or a keyboard on top of it, then this would be the model of my choice ;-)

Peter
_________________________
1929 Galaxy Blüthner Baby Grand
acer aspire m3300 AMD Phenom II X6


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#1437919 - 05/16/10 05:50 PM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: hpeterh]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8869
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Hello Simon,

The CA18 was launched in Europe at the beginning of 2009.

Quote:
do you have any idea of when a successor of the CA18 might appear ?


Yes, however I am reluctant to talk specifically about products that have yet to be officially announced by Kawai Europe.

Kind regards,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

Top
#1461679 - 06/23/10 02:23 PM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Kawai James]
Simon GIRARDEAU Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/09/10
Posts: 9
Loc: Bordeaux, France
Hello James,

Thanks. There is something else that remains uncertain for me : from what I read on KAWAI site, there has been 2 generations of harmonic imaging technology. The CA 18 has the latest, harmonic imaging II, right ?

Will it be possible to upgrade the CA 18 to progressive harmonic imaging (I suppose not) ?

At last, I would also like to know about the MIDI connection.

Kind Regards,
Simon.





Edited by Simon GIRARDEAU (06/23/10 03:40 PM)

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#1461921 - 06/23/10 07:32 PM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Simon GIRARDEAU]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8869
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Hello Simon,

Quote:
...from what I read on KAWAI site, there has been 2 generations of harmonic imaging technology.[/quite]

Actually, there have been more, although this depends on how you classify 'generation' and 'revision'. I would argue that there have been three 'generations' of Harmonic Imaging:

1st gen.: Harmonic Imaging
2nd gen.: Harmonic Imaging II
3rd gen.: Harmonic Imaging, 88-key piano sampling (including Progressive and Ultra Progressive Harmonic Imaging)

[quote]The CA 18 has the latest, harmonic imaging II, right ?


Well, if we were to reference the list above, the CA18 utilises the latest generation 'Harmonic Imaging, 88-key piano sampling'.

Quote:
Will it be possible to upgrade the CA 18 to progressive harmonic imaging (I suppose not) ?


No, I'm afraid not.

Quote:
At last, I would also like to know about the MIDI connection.


Unfortunately the CA18 is not equipped with MIDI connectors.

I hope this answers your query.

Kind regards,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

Top
#1471622 - 07/10/10 09:56 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Kawai James]
Simon GIRARDEAU Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/09/10
Posts: 9
Loc: Bordeaux, France
Hello James & everyone on the forum,

Thanks for your answers.
I am still hesitating ... I tried a CA 18 & a CA 63 at a local store in Bordeaux (but no CA 93), and couldn't decide what to buy. Choosing an instrument is a long process.
I am looking for a digital piano in this price range (2000 euros), featuring wooden keys, a realistic action, a realistic sound (good electronic, amplification & speakers), few options (no display, USB or midi connections are needed) and a nice appearance.
The CA 18 is close to my wills, but I think I am going to wait until Kawai introduces its successor. Perhaps will it feature RM3 action & progressive harmonic imaging ...
The extra point would be a nice Jazz organ sound (no such sound in CA18) and improved amplification / speakers.
Could you tell people at Kawai to design a new piano just like this ? I would buy it right away ! :-)

Kind regards,
Simon.

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#1471628 - 07/10/10 10:21 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Simon GIRARDEAU]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8869
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Quote:
Could you tell people at Kawai to design a new piano just like this ?

I think you may overestimate my influence within the company. wink

However, please do remain patient... wink

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

Top
#1472735 - 07/12/10 06:41 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Kawai James]
AndyT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/09
Posts: 120
Loc: Cambridge, UK
I took a while to decide between the CA18 and CA63. Eventually I decided on the CA63. I found the sound the same, but the action and the fact that the CA63 had midi connections won it for me.

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#1566239 - 11/29/10 08:03 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Oblacone]
Simon GIRARDEAU Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/09/10
Posts: 9
Loc: Bordeaux, France
Hello James & everyone,

It's been a long time since my last post, and I finally set up my mind on a CA93 !
I have been able to play test this model in a new store downtown Bordeaux, and I really loved the soundboard ! I should have it delivered by the end of the week.
Still, I would like to use Scarbee on my iMac in order to use vintage electric piano sounds (I don't like e-pianos sounds in the CA93 so much). How should I proceed ? Is it possible to send the signal back to the piano in order to use the CA93 amplification system ? I don't know what kind of cable I need to buy ...

Thanks,
Simon.

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#1566244 - 11/29/10 08:14 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Oblacone]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
Sure, you can send the audio signal to CA93 line-in. You will need some cheapo adapters for this. I do this kind of sound tweaking from time to time, and it works flawlessly. You can even combine internal and external sounds and adjust them accordingly since the line-in level is adjustable.
_________________________
<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

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#1566258 - 11/29/10 08:31 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Simon GIRARDEAU]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
Hi

I recommend you spend a decent amount of money on any cables or connectors. Cheap ones work but there has never been a good reason to buy cheap cabling unless you simply can't afford them.

That's a great piano with an obviously steep financial outlay so I wouldn't cheap on interconnects at this stage..

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#1566270 - 11/29/10 08:49 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Simon GIRARDEAU]
TADutchman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 760
Loc: Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: Simon GIRARDEAU
It's been a long time since my last post, and I finally set up my mind on a CA93!
Congratulations Simon, excellent choice! thumb

I agree with your statement on the standard EP preset. Before buying any cables, you first might want to check out the much more exciting and dedicated 'soundboard shaking' dual voice EP's in this thread for free:
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post1448603


Here are the names of the currently available CA93-optimised EP presets*:
1. Involving E-Piano
2. Dreamy Tremolo Hybrid
3. Warm Rhodes Overdrive
4. Fast Attack Fender Rhodes
5. Wurlitzer E-Piano - rare model
6. Kawai EP-308 Electric Grand
7. Yamaha CP70/CP80 Electric Grand
8. The Electric Grands Collection
9. Percussive Crystal Electric Piano
10. Herbie Hancock's Suitcase Rhodes
11. Supertramp 'Dreamer' Wurlitzer
12. Heavy Amped Vintage Rhodes

*) Except for 7 and 10, they will also run on a CA63.


Your feedback and suggestions would be highly appreciated in the CA93/CA63 Custom Settings thread. smile
_________________________
K A W A I ..... R O L A N D ......... E - M U
C A - 9 3 ......... A X - 7 ...... X B O A R D - 4 9

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#1566336 - 11/29/10 12:05 PM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Rimmer]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
Originally Posted By: Rimmer
I recommend you spend a decent amount of money on any cables or connectors. Cheap ones work but there has never been a good reason to buy cheap cabling unless you simply can't afford them.

That's a great piano with an obviously steep financial outlay so I wouldn't cheap on interconnects at this stage..


I have to comment on this since this often has been the cause of misunderstandings. I would pay money for things that really influence the sound quality. Cabling (if it's not about extremely bad quality) doesn't influence the sound quality in an audible way. So a cable and adapters with decent quality is absolutely sufficient. No "premium" quality necessary, believe me.
_________________________
<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

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#1566353 - 11/29/10 12:44 PM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: mucci]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: mucci
Originally Posted By: Rimmer
I recommend you spend a decent amount of money on any cables or connectors. Cheap ones work but there has never been a good reason to buy cheap cabling unless you simply can't afford them.

That's a great piano with an obviously steep financial outlay so I wouldn't cheap on interconnects at this stage..


I have to comment on this since this often has been the cause of misunderstandings. I would pay money for things that really influence the sound quality. Cabling (if it's not about extremely bad quality) doesn't influence the sound quality in an audible way. So a cable and adapters with decent quality is absolutely sufficient. No "premium" quality necessary, believe me.


I'll agree to disagree then smirk

Cabling does very much affect the sound quality, albeit in mostly a subtle way. The quality of the materials right through the build, length, gauge etc are all factors.

That said, I tend not to get silly about the amount I spend on cable, but I always try my best to get the best cable (or quite often make it myself) I can for the job. I never buy anything cheap...

Regards. Rimmer

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#1566406 - 11/29/10 02:16 PM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Oblacone]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
List of significance for sound:

1. Loudspeakers / Headphones
.
.
.
.
.
2. Quality of sound source (if it's at least a decent soundcard)
3. Sound setup (EQ, other effects, technically correct volume settings...)
4. Quality of amplifier
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
5. Quality of analog audio cable
.
.
.
.
.
9999. Other Voodoo stuff like quality of digital audio cable which has 0% influence on sound quality
_________________________
<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

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#1566563 - 11/29/10 06:56 PM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Oblacone]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3788
Loc: North Carolina
"Cabling does very much affect the sound quality, albeit in mostly a subtle way."
What way is that? I've never heard any such difference. Voodoo, indeed! smile

In a cheap cable, under that plastic jacket .. there's wire.
In an expensive cable, under that plastic jacket ... there's wire.
The only real difference is in the connectors.

Cheap cables have connectors that are pure crap (as in flimsy connectors and flimsy strain reliefs). Not good. Aside from that, there's not much difference.

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#1566882 - 11/30/10 05:16 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: MacMacMac]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
"Cabling does very much affect the sound quality, albeit in mostly a subtle way."
What way is that? I've never heard any such difference. Voodoo, indeed! smile

In a cheap cable, under that plastic jacket .. there's wire.
In an expensive cable, under that plastic jacket ... there's wire.
The only real difference is in the connectors.

Cheap cables have connectors that are pure crap (as in flimsy connectors and flimsy strain reliefs). Not good. Aside from that, there's not much difference.


I can only recommend that you guys therefore buy cheap copper compositions. There is nothing more wrong in my opinion in ignoring the differences in the quality of a signal chain and cabling considerations. How do you guys feel about the flow of electrons when it comes to cable marked with a direction arrow? Everything from the stuff used on hifi interconnects or speaker cable to the stuff they lay for telecommunications? Just interested more than anything.



Regards. Rimmer

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#1566935 - 11/30/10 07:50 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Rimmer]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
Originally Posted By: Rimmer
I can only recommend that you guys therefore buy cheap copper compositions. There is nothing more wrong in my opinion in ignoring the differences in the quality of a signal chain and cabling considerations.


Mac is right, only the connectors matter, they should be firm and not loose, there must be a good contact.

Originally Posted By: Rimmer
How do you guys feel about the flow of electrons when it comes to cable marked with a direction arrow?


Voodoo. How do electrons know in which direction they need to flow?

Originally Posted By: Rimmer

Everything from the stuff used on hifi interconnects or speaker cable to the stuff they lay for telecommunications? Just interested more than anything.


We're talking about short interconnections. Small length - almost no impact; long length (not relevant for inhouse conncetions) - some impact.

Not to mention digital signals - for digital signals there is only a "does work" or a "does not work", no decrease in quality possible.
_________________________
<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

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#1566944 - 11/30/10 08:07 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Oblacone]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2323
Loc: UK
I wasn't going to join this part of the discussion because it's OT from the starting subject.

I don't have any real experience and don't buy into the argument that oxygen free speaker cables are better as loved by so many audiophiles.

I do know from experience that more expensive cables used for analogue signals are superior to cheaper cables, usually because of the connectors, wire gauge, construction - pair twists, separation, and screening.

Then comes the digital discussion. There are different grades of 'category' types of data cable, examples CAT3, 5, 7 and so on, with different construction to provide for the different bandwidths. As you may guess the higher spec CAT cables are more expensive.

So my guess is that all cables are not equal.

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#1566991 - 11/30/10 09:35 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Oblacone]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3788
Loc: North Carolina
CAT 3/5/etc cables are a different story. The signal frequencies are VERY high, in a range where cable characteristics influence the ability to carry the signal. There is a difference between CAT 3/5/etc. Rightly so, because they're intended for different purposes (10 Mbps vs. 100 Mbps vs 1000 Mbps).

But the discussion here focused on analog audio signals, where frequencies are ultra-low. A cable's transmission-line characteristics are negligible in these circumstances (low-frequencies, short cables, low impedances).

Have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-end_audio_cables

As for oxygen-free copper cables ... Wiki claims a difference of about 0.1% in conductivity. That's beyond negligible. The claimed benefits of oxygen-free copper is a marketing fantasy, invented to spur sales of high-priced goods by preying on ignorance. When your business stands before people who have lots of money and little information, you can pocket a tidy sum.

When buying cables, just be sure the cable is rugged enough to endure in your intended application. A band on the road needs to use rugged cables because they'll be pulled, twisted, stepped on, and otherwise abused. At home, when wiring a piano to an amplifier, the cables may go untouched for months or years, so ruggedness is no issue.

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#1567001 - 11/30/10 09:53 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: mucci]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: mucci
Originally Posted By: Rimmer
I can only recommend that you guys therefore buy cheap copper compositions. There is nothing more wrong in my opinion in ignoring the differences in the quality of a signal chain and cabling considerations.


Mac is right, only the connectors matter, they should be firm and not loose, there must be a good contact.

Originally Posted By: Rimmer
How do you guys feel about the flow of electrons when it comes to cable marked with a direction arrow?


Voodoo. How do electrons know in which direction they need to flow?

Originally Posted By: Rimmer

Everything from the stuff used on hifi interconnects or speaker cable to the stuff they lay for telecommunications? Just interested more than anything.


We're talking about short interconnections. Small length - almost no impact; long length (not relevant for inhouse conncetions) - some impact.

Not to mention digital signals - for digital signals there is only a "does work" or a "does not work", no decrease in quality possible.


Again. I'll agree to disagree. Buying quality cable does make a difference on a number of levels other than durability. The gauge of speaker cable for instance will vary the frequency spectrum. The shielding on unbalanced cable will make a difference. The length of the cable (and this should be discussed when claiming all cables are equal) makes a lot of difference.

The whole cable making industry aren't trying to have everybody over. Granted there are times where spending £100 on a meter of monster cable will be a waste of time if the equipment you are using is incapable of benefitting. Spending £10 on a cable from a crap electrical shop that sells at a 500% profit is another example of a waste of money. Buying a crappy length of thin gauge cable and saying it's exactly the same as a quality screened equivalent is not good advice... wink

Regards. Rimmer

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#1567277 - 11/30/10 04:14 PM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Rimmer]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
Originally Posted By: Rimmer
Buying a crappy length of thin gauge cable and saying it's exactly the same as a quality screened equivalent is not good advice... wink


Yes, it is. It is good advice because it helps you to keep your money for things that really matter.
_________________________
<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

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#1567361 - 11/30/10 06:05 PM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Oblacone]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3788
Loc: North Carolina
Rimmer, I don't think anyone is trying to compare two different kinds of cable.

There's no point in comparing expensive shielded cable with cheap unshielded.
Nor is there any point in comparing dirt-cheap shielded cable with expensive unshielded.

Instead, compare cables with like-functions.

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#1644917 - 03/20/11 09:46 PM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Oblacone]
Forever13 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/10/09
Posts: 1
Hi, an old thread I know, but a very interesting one!

To the original poster, Oblacone, did you get the CN42? I did, and I've been so very happy with it. The new action and sound modelling Kawai brought in with the CN series is really very good - the differential key weighting between bass and treble is particularly nice. And the sustain is awesome - hit a hard chord with sustain on the CN and listen to the decay - you get 15+ seconds - it's great.

There are negatives on the whole, but it's a top digital piano. Weirdly, the replacement CN43 I think is not good - the build, detail, finish and the 'ivory' key feel seem to me a bit of a step backwards.

Anyway, CN42 - two main negatives - the control interface is really a bit dire - it works, but it's not intuitive by a long chalk, and very awkward on the fly. And given it's got a USB jack I think that the sequencer should really allow step recording (bar by bar, note by note). A smaller negative is that the left pedal dampens way too much (this is definitely an opinion thing - others may disagree!).

I've had Roland before (heavy and plodding), and Yamaha (don't like the feel - well, at this price point, £1000-1500) - Kawai wins for me.

The other discussion here is with cables - someone mentioned that electrons don't know where they're going - absolutely right. I build my own amps (hifi amps) and cabling for me is all about RFI rejection and amp output impedance - the problem is that the two somewhat fight each other. If you choose a more expensive cable it really should be to manage these two aspects better than cheap cables - but even then, you need to know what source and speaker characteristics the designer expected to be attached to his amp! I personally like NVA cables (Nene Valley Audio).

Anyway, Kawai CN42 very good! Oblacone - what did you go with?

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#1645046 - 03/21/11 03:34 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Oblacone]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8869
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Forever13, congrats on the purchase of your CN42!

Regarding the CN42 vs. CN43:

Originally Posted By: Forever13
There are negatives on the whole, but it's a top digital piano. Weirdly, the replacement CN43 I think is not good - the build, detail, finish and the 'ivory' key feel seem to me a bit of a step backwards.


The CN42 and CN43 share the same finishes (although black has replaced cherry as the third finish type) and offer very similar cabinet designs. As for the Ivory Touch key surfaces, I actually prefer the appearance (slightly creamy colour) and texture of the new RH keyboard action, but this is obviously a very personal point.

Anyway, glad you're enjoying your piano.

Cheers,
James
x


Edited by Kawai James (03/21/11 03:35 AM)
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1645101 - 03/21/11 09:01 AM Re: Kawai CA 18 vs. CN 42 [Re: Forever13]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2323
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Forever13
And the sustain is awesome - hit a hard chord with sustain on the CN and listen to the decay - you get 15+ seconds - it's great.



Glad to hear you're enjoying your CN42. But, that statement sounds odd. Unless it's a chord in the upper scale range perhaps? If I hit a chord hard with sustain pedal in the lower register on my CN33 it goes on for more than 1 minute. Faintly after about maybe 30 40 seconds, but it's still..............going.................................................................................still.....................there........................................and......................yup....just

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