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#1364284 - 02/02/10 07:57 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: theJourney]
mezzo-poor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 47
TheJourney,
sorry, this post becomes long.
As you know, there are so many factors to evaluate pianos. At first let me say it was a very hard task for me to summarize these factors to just a few ratings.
Let me describe what I did to make this rating. Yodobashi-Akiba had all these three models, so I could tried all of them side by side. I played following pieces for each model.

Fantaisie-Impromtu (Chopin)
Intermezzo op.118 no.2 (Brahms)
Jardins sous la Pluie (Debussy)
Clair de Lune (Debussy)
Autumn Leaves (ad lib)
Thriller (M. Jackson)
a Japanese rock
a Japanese animation song

Due to noisy environment, I gave up evaluating the sound from loudspeakers. I used my noise-canceling headphones.

Originally Posted By: theJourney
Is it fair to say, assuming you are familiar with the superceded models, that the Yamaha 380 had a better sound than the HP207 but that Roland has now caught up/leap frogged?

At first I should say CLP380 and HP307 have different colors of sound. CLP380 has bright sound. HP307 has mellow sound. It is difficult to compare different colors. However...
I felt the CP380's change of tones in the range ppp-mp was good while HP307's was just a little insufficient. In HP307 they adopted the new technology to interpolate the sampling-layers called "SuperNATURAL" however I still felt CP380's change of tones around pianissimo was better. CP380 has 5 layers. Does HP307 have 4 layers?
On the other hand, I felt HP307's sound has higher resolution than CP380's. In other words, I felt more detail from the sound of HP307 than from CLP380. Finally I voted HP307.

Originally Posted By: theJourney
And, that Kawai's sound remains its achilles heel despite an amazing keybed?

About the heaviness of touch, I felt
my upright > CA93 > HP307 > CLP380.
So I voted CA93. I thought CA93 was good for practice for playing acoustic pianos.
However playing some rapid passage on the piano which has heavy touch becomes difficult. The number of repeated notes (on middle C) per second I felt easy to play was
my upright (9.5) < CA93 (10) < HP307 (10.5) < CLP380 (11).
So I thought CLP380 was good for recording rapid pieces.
About the sound of CA93, comparing to CLP380, I felt that the change of tones in the range ppp-mp was insufficient. And I minded the quality of the attack of sound. In acoustic pianos, non-linear and transient phenomena happen when a hammer strikes strings. These non-linear transient attacks make piano sound more realistic. However I felt CA93's attack was too smooth. In other words, I felt something like listening to someone who didn't pronounce consonants clearly. This was not improved by tweaking the parameter of hammer hardness.

However I thought CA93 was good for accompaniments. Easy to play constant backing. Last week, I listened to a singer played Kawai MP9500 while he sang. I felt MP9500 and CA93 has similar tendency of sound. And its sound supported the vocal very well.

Finally, what I wrote was just what I felt. I'm looking forward to other one's reviews. Many reviews will make the trustworthy statistics.

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#1364367 - 02/02/10 10:10 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: theJourney]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
Originally Posted By: theJourney
So are you rating the Kawai ahead of the Yamaha on sound?


Yes, definitely for my specific taste. I like the smoothness and quite subtle and intimate sound of the CA-63, something I was missing with the CLPs I tested. The sound of CLP is sharp and clear, with lots of highs. You might get some fatigue of the sound over time.
_________________________
<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

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#1364395 - 02/02/10 10:40 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: mezzo-poor]
Nguyen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 430
Loc: Massachusetts
mezzo-poor,
Great review. Thanks for all the time and dedication! One question, if you were to get one of the 3, which one would you get?
_________________________
Nguyen - Student Pianist

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#1364442 - 02/02/10 11:22 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: Nguyen]
mezzo-poor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 47
Nguyen, it's a very difficult question.

case 1) Since I like its touch, I get a CA93 and use software pianos.
case 2) Since I like its resolution of sound, I get a HP307.
case 3) Since I like its bright sound, which is my type, I get a CLP380.

All cases are possible.
# However CLP380 is so expensive that the case 3 has less probability.

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#1364528 - 02/03/10 03:12 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: mezzo-poor]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Thanks mezzo-poor. That was very helpful.
Let's hope we get some more reviews in to compare.

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#1364558 - 02/03/10 03:58 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: theJourney]
madshi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 62
@mezzo-poor and kawaian, I know this is slightly OT, but since the next Yamaha Avant Grand might get the new Yamaha SCM sound technology, I was wondering whether you were able to test play a CP1? Also have you had a chance to test the Avant Grand? How would you rate these two (CP1 + AG) in comparison to the CA93/HP307/CLP380?

Thanks!

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#1364595 - 02/03/10 06:00 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: madshi]
mezzo-poor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 47
Madshi, I have tried AvantGrand N3 in an other store. I tested the same menu in my previous post.

The touch of N3 was exactly the touch of a grand piano. N3's sound was closer to a grand piano's than any of CA93/CLP380/HP307. However, I felt somehow not-interesting because it was just a closer COPY of an acoustic grand piano.
And
  • In N3, you can just adjust the touch and the reverb while you can tweak various parameters in CA93/CLP380/HP307.
  • N3 has just 5 instruments (Grand piano 1,2, E-piano 1,2 and Harpsichord).
  • N3's string resonance was a little insufficient compared to a C3 (acoustic grand) in the same store.

A Yamaha's staff secretly said "You can buy a silent grand with the price of N3". Of course a silent grand requires expensive maintenance but a silent grand + a software piano might be a better solution for me.

I haven't tried CP1 yet.

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#1364598 - 02/03/10 06:11 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: mezzo-poor]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: mezzo-poor
Madshi, I have tried AvantGrand N3 in an other store, I tested the same menu in my previous post.

The touch of N3 was exactly the touch of a grand piano's. N3's sound was closer to a grand piano's than any of CA93/CLP380/HP307. However, I felt somehow not-interesting because it was just a closer COPY of an acoustic grand piano.
And
  • In N3, you can just adjust the touch and the reverb while you can tweak various parameters in CA93/CLP380/HP307.
  • N3 has just 5 instruments (Grand piano 1,2, E-piano 1,2 and Harpsichord).
  • N3's string resonance was a little insufficient compared to a C3 (acoustic grand) in the same store.

A Yamaha's staff secretly said "You can buy a silent grand with the price of N3".
Of course a silent grand requires expensive maintenance but a silent grand + a software piano might be a better solution for me.

I haven't tried CP1 yet.


My preference would also be to buy a Yamaha C2 Silent above the Avant Grand (which is apparently where they got their idea for the instrument).

Beyond the real action, what most impresses one about the Avant Grand is the FORTE part of pianoFORTE, namely VOLUME, but the sound does not sound alive as it does from a real acoustic.

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#1364684 - 02/03/10 10:15 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: theJourney]
Nguyen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 430
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: mezzo-poor
case 1) Since I like its touch, I get a CA93 and use software pianos.
case 2) Since I like its resolution of sound, I get a HP307.
case 3) Since I like its bright sound, which is my type, I get a CLP380.

mezzo-poor thanks again. From a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the 3?

CA93 – Touch: Sound: Overall:

HP-207 – Touch: Sound: Overall:

CLP-380 – Touch: Sound: Overall:

If you need one for practice and leisure, all in one package, using its own built-in speakers and amplification, without software or additional gadgets, ignore its cost for now-meaning you can afford anyone one of them but not both or 3, which one would you get?

Again, I know it’s not an easy question, but that’s what I’m going to have to do in a few weeks when the HP-307 and CA93 are in stores here in the US. Based on your taste and preference, which of the 3 you would get and be happy to sacrifice what you’d miss from the other 2?


Edited by Nguyen (02/03/10 11:07 AM)
Edit Reason: CA91 to CA93
_________________________
Nguyen - Student Pianist

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#1364699 - 02/03/10 10:49 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: Nguyen]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Nguyen, I assume you meant CA93 above...

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#1364714 - 02/03/10 11:06 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: theJourney]
Nguyen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 430
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Nguyen, I assume you meant CA93 above...
Yes...! Thanks for pointing that out. smile Let me edit it.
_________________________
Nguyen - Student Pianist

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#1364731 - 02/03/10 11:29 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: theJourney]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: mezzo-poor
Madshi, I have tried AvantGrand N3 in an other store, I tested the same menu in my previous post.

The touch of N3 was exactly the touch of a grand piano's. N3's sound was closer to a grand piano's than any of CA93/CLP380/HP307. However, I felt somehow not-interesting because it was just a closer COPY of an acoustic grand piano.
And
  • In N3, you can just adjust the touch and the reverb while you can tweak various parameters in CA93/CLP380/HP307.
  • N3 has just 5 instruments (Grand piano 1,2, E-piano 1,2 and Harpsichord).
  • N3's string resonance was a little insufficient compared to a C3 (acoustic grand) in the same store.

A Yamaha's staff secretly said "You can buy a silent grand with the price of N3".
Of course a silent grand requires expensive maintenance but a silent grand + a software piano might be a better solution for me.

I haven't tried CP1 yet.


My preference would also be to buy a Yamaha C2 Silent above the Avant Grand (which is apparently where they got their idea for the instrument).

Beyond the real action, what most impresses one about the Avant Grand is the FORTE part of pianoFORTE, namely VOLUME, but the sound does not sound alive as it does from a real acoustic.


On the topic of buying a Yamaha silent grand for the price of an N3, a C2S SMP in the Fine book is already $29K. Even a C1S is $26.4K SMP. So even if you take 30% off of the cheapest Yamaha silent grand C1S SMP, it'd still be $18.5K. This is compared to $11K for the N3 (30% off the Fine SMP of $15.7K). So based on the same calculations to arrive at street prices (30% less than Fine's SMP), the N3 costs only 60% of the C1S, 54% of the C2S, and 42% of the C3S.

So if the N3's sound is a little bit less resonance compared to the C3S, I'd still pick the N3 because it costs only 42% of the C3S. Not to mention it'll always be in perfect pitch and I'll never need to pay for twice a year tuning for the rest of its life.

As for the comment about the N3 not having the volume to sound alive like a real acoustic, if the N3 volume was not set at maximum when the comparison was done, it probably wouldn't be an apple to apple comparison. The real test is to find references of how it sounds in a large hall. See this thread where the post at the end by Frederrich may give another perspective from someone who's had a chance to perform it in a hall that seats 400 people.

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#1364733 - 02/03/10 11:34 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: Volusiano]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
The last thing my neighbors and family are looking for is an instrument that is designed to perform in a hall that seats 400 people -- whether it is acoustic or digital. I could just continue to play on the RX-2 night and day otherwise.

But I understand your point on pricing. The digital discounts in Europe appear to be less leaving the N3 and C2s closer.

I also believe that 20 years from now I could recover half the nominal price of the C2S but I am not so confident about the N3, especially since the sound generation technique used may already be obsolete on the market by next year.


Edited by theJourney (02/03/10 11:34 AM)

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#1364754 - 02/03/10 11:54 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: theJourney]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Originally Posted By: theJourney
I also believe that 20 years from now I could recover half the nominal price of the C2S but I am not so confident about the N3, especially since the sound generation technique used may already be obsolete on the market by next year.


I truly believe on the other hand that 20 years from now, even acoustic grands will be considered dinosaurs and they won't have the ability to hold their market value like they did in the last 100 years or so.

The only reason acoustic pianos have been able to hold their values up until now is because nobody so far has been able to come close to replicating the entire touch/feel/sound of the acoustic for less money. Well, not until now, finally, starting with the Avant-Grand. Sure, maybe the N3 is only 95% close enough, and maybe it's only half the cost of a comparable silent grand at this point. But from here on, any newer/better digital piano that will come even closer and for even less money will not only depreciate the N3, but will depreciate any other acoustics just the same. Nobody is going to want to buy the real thing anymore when the next best thing is >95% as good for less than half the price. I'm a living testament of this type of people with this reasoning. It's really a no-brainer to decide, actually.

And by the way, have you done the math? In the next 20 years, you'll be spending $6000 more in tuning ($150 a pop twice a year) on your acoustic. So let's say if you can sell your C1S for half what you paid for (around $9K from your purchase cost of $18K) 20 years later, don't forget to subtract $6K for your tuning cost, which will net you $3K after the tuning cost. So even if my N3 depreciates 73% after 20 years, compared to your C1S 50% depreciation, I still net $3K for my N3 just the same as your C1S, and I get perfect pitch the whole 20 years without having to put up with 40 tunings. And my total ownership cost after 20 years will be $11K-$3K= $8K, while your total ownership cost will be $18K+$6K-$9K= $15K (not counting any compound interest loss in the up front $7K higher purchase cost of $18K on the C1S over 20 years compared to my cost of $11K on the N3).

Maybe I won't even be able to get $3K for my N3 (let alone $9K for yours) 20 years from now because the latest digital piano will be only $3K and is ten times better and newer than ours. In this case, although we both can't even sell our pianos against a $3K brand new digital anymore, I will at least have enjoyed my N3 for $11K over 20 years, while you'll have enjoyed your C1S for $24K ($18K+$6K tuning).

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#1364799 - 02/03/10 12:54 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: theJourney]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: theJourney

I also believe that 20 years from now I could recover half the nominal price of the C2S but I am not so confident about the N3, especially since the sound generation technique used may already be obsolete on the market by next year.


Don't even think about resale values. First off in 20 years even if you were to sell the piano for $20K you'd only be getting pocket change. $20K will be a down payment on a new car or a really nice racing bicycle in 2030. But you will not get 1/2 the new price for a 20 year old grand piano. The market is flooded with used pianos today and they are cranking out pianos in China now and all of these will hit the used market in 20 years. We will be chest deep in used pianos by 2030.

As for a 20 year old digital piano. I've not yet seen an example where one has sold for even $1,000. What will drive the AG price down is that in 5 or 10 years someone in China will make a piano that is even better and sell it new for $5K. Either that or Yamaha stops making parts and then one of the chips fails. An AG with a broken sound chip is nothing but non-repairable scrap.

You buy these things in both cases because you like them and can afford expensive toys. Either that or because they are tools of your trade an you need them to make a living. In that case feel lucky that your trade uses such cheap tools. A plumber would spend double that about to outfit his plumbing truck.

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#1364867 - 02/03/10 02:06 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: Volusiano]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Volusiano

I truly believe on the other hand that 20 years from now, even acoustic grands will be considered dinosaurs and they won't have the ability to hold their market value like they did in the last 100 years or so.

The only reason acoustic pianos have been able to hold their values up until now is because nobody so far has been able to come close to replicating the entire touch/feel/sound of the acoustic for less money. Well, not until now, finally, starting with the Avant-Grand. Sure, maybe the N3 is only 95% close enough, and maybe it's only half the cost of a comparable silent grand at this point. But from here on, any newer/better digital piano that will come even closer and for even less money will not only depreciate the N3, but will depreciate any other acoustics just the same. Nobody is going to want to buy the real thing anymore when the next best thing is >95% as good for less than half the price. I'm a living testament of this type of people with this reasoning. It's really a no-brainer to decide, actually.

I don't agree. Certainly not within 20 years.
20 years is the blink of an eye for the piano and its precursors.

The reality of the simulation does not negate demand for the real thing:
Rubber dolls have unprecedented levels of realism, yet men still date, get married, pay for hookers and shell out for expensive drinks and dinner.
If flight simulator is so popular on the PC, why do people skill want to learn to fly in real airplanes?
One can listen to amazing recordings in the comfort of the home, yet people still want to experience live performances.
BTW: Ever try to play your N2/N3 with candles when the electricity is out (or no longer affordable after the energy crisis) or after an electrical short or electronic blip years after the thing is no longer in production? How many PCs are still working after 5 years? 10?


Originally Posted By: Volusiano

And by the way, have you done the math? In the next 20 years, you'll be spending $6000 more in tuning ($150 a pop twice a year) on your acoustic. So let's say if you can sell your C1S for half what you paid for (around $9K from your purchase cost of $18K) 20 years later, don't forget to subtract $6K for your tuning cost, which will net you $3K after the tuning cost. So even if my N3 depreciates 73% after 20 years, compared to your C1S 50% depreciation, I still net $3K for my N3 just the same as your C1S, and I get perfect pitch the whole 20 years without having to put up with 40 tunings. And my total ownership cost after 20 years will be $11K-$3K= $8K, while your total ownership cost will be $18K+$6K-$9K= $15K (not counting any compound interest loss in the up front $7K higher purchase cost of $18K on the C1S over 20 years compared to my cost of $11K on the N3).

Maybe I won't even be able to get $3K for my N3 (let alone $9K for yours) 20 years from now because the latest digital piano will be only $3K and is ten times better and newer than ours. In this case, although we both can't even sell our pianos against a $3K brand new digital anymore, I will at least have enjoyed my N3 for $11K over 20 years, while you'll have enjoyed your C1S for $24K ($18K+$6K tuning).


But on the other hand, you will have been activating statically, looped, extrapolated, manipulations of pre-recordings of someone else playing the piano all those years while the owner of an acoustic grand will have been enjoying total control over the tonal palette and making alive music with his own hands and feet.

One thing I will give you, the N2/N3 keyboard does smell like a real piano.

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#1364889 - 02/03/10 02:36 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: theJourney]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Some people are able to live with their acoustic piano slowly drifting out of tune with itself and other instruments.

Some of us cannot...so we buy a digital piano.

Doesn't matter what the acoustic piano costs, or what name brand it is...it goes out of tune, and those of us blessed (or cursed) with sensitive and accurate hearing don't need to put up with the drift in tuning, calling the tuner, waiting for the tuner, paying the tuner, and listening to the tuner chuckle as he leaves the house, knowing you are as dependant on him as a crack user is on his/her dealer.

The last thing on most people's minds when the power goes out is playing the piano....romantic as it sounds, I'm not sure it is an activity actually indulged in, as much as it is imagined by those needing another dubious reason to have an acoustic.

Snazzy


_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1364926 - 02/03/10 03:22 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: snazzyplayer]
Nguyen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 430
Loc: Massachusetts
Both sides have good points but I can’t help thinking, are we going overboard defending our own opinions/agendas?

I mean so what if my HP-307/Avant N3 is worth nothing; or your Acoustic Grand serves as firewood in 20 years?

What matter is, as of today, we can justify owning an N3 or that Steinway Grand for our personal purposes. In 10 or 20 years, if they go out of style or become obsolete, we will certainly upgrade if we can afford.

Ever own a Mercedes or Camry hoping to resale at half its cost in 10 years? You’d be lucky if you can get half back in 5, regardless of inflation or deflation. Of course we still have to get one, some for necessity, others for pleasure. They cost a lot more than an Avant or Acoustic Grand, and wear out a lot faster too, but we don’t sit here debating whether their costs justified.

Digital or Acoustic, they are both good for different purposes/tastes and will eventually get old… outdated. We just have to get what we want/need can afford now and enjoy. If you think too far ahead, life would be really really boring.

I know I will enjoy my 4k DP when I get it in a few weeks/months.

Let’s get back to debating the playoff of the 3 mentioned flagships.

Cheers,
Nguyen
_________________________
Nguyen - Student Pianist

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#1364940 - 02/03/10 03:36 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: Nguyen]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Well said Nguyen...I agree wholeheartedly.

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1364955 - 02/03/10 03:58 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: snazzyplayer]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Yeah, after all, we are all in the market for a digital, including me!
And, I still think the N2 would be a valuable addition to the list. It even smells right.

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#1364997 - 02/03/10 05:02 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: theJourney]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Agree that it's more productive to compare DPs vs DPs, especially in this forum and on this thread, as opposed to engage in the forever argument of DPs vs acoustics.

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#1365114 - 02/03/10 08:27 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: Nguyen]
mezzo-poor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 47
Originally Posted By: Nguyen

If you need one for practice and leisure, all in one package, using its own built-in speakers and amplification, without software or additional gadgets, ignore its cost for now-meaning you can afford anyone one of them but not both or 3, which one would you get?

Difficult question again. OK, Summarizing so many factors into just 9 scores, I would give:

CA93 touch(8) sound(5) overall(5)
HP307 touch(7) sound(8) overall(7)
CLP380 touch(6) sound(7) overall(6)

where (10) is the best and (1) is the worst. In your setting, I can't add anything to improve properties which I don't like, I would take maximin(maximize the minimum gain) strategy so the overall scores equal to min(touch, sound) for each model.
Then I will get a HP307.

You wrote "using its own built-in speakers" in the setting. But due to noisy environment, I mainly used my headphones in the test. I played just 8 bars or so with built-in speakers for each model. However I didn't feel CA93's speakers were far better than other two's. Actually, I felt Roland LX10 in the same store had better speakers than CA93 had.

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#1365192 - 02/03/10 09:35 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: mezzo-poor]
Nguyen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 430
Loc: Massachusetts
mezzo-poor, well done. We appreciate all the hardwork. Many thanks!
_________________________
Nguyen - Student Pianist

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#1365359 - 02/04/10 03:47 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: Nguyen]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Thanks mezzo-poor. I hope to find a shop with the Kawai within driving distance so I can add my results as well. Interesting to see that you take the "weakest link in the chain" approach to your overall scores (lowest rating on touch or sound determines overall). I realize that you were answering a question directly, but for you personally, will there be no other factors that you feel will be relevant to your decision (e.g. connectivity, recording capabilities and playback, etc.) If any, could you share your findings with us?

Finally, we both have Kawai instruments now and are looking at a second, digital instrument, presumably to be used primarily for silent practice.

If one is interested in the best touch or most similar touch to your acoustic and still wants to enjoy better sound, shopping for a good deal on the CA63 and seeing how seamless a connection with say, your PC running Pianoteq, would be, might be a reasonable approach. Assuming one already has the PC setup, it might result in a savings of 900 euros over the HP307. For me, it would not work so well due to my living situation, but for others this might be a good approach. Who knows, Kawai might also issue a sound upgrade similar to what Roland is doing today with their SuperRealistic upgrades to the RD700GX.




Edited by theJourney (02/04/10 03:59 AM)

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#1365383 - 02/04/10 06:07 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: theJourney]
mezzo-poor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 47
Originally Posted By: theJourney
will there be no other factors that you feel will be relevant to your decision (e.g. connectivity, recording capabilities and playback, etc.)

It might be included "3. Stability and strength" as you wrote, I think "long-term reliability" is an important factor, but no one can review it for a new model. confused
And
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Kawai might also issue a sound upgrade similar to what Roland is doing today with their SuperRealistic upgrades to the RD700GX.

this updatability will be an important factor for DPs in the next generation (CA95,CLP480,HP407?).

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#1365392 - 02/04/10 06:53 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: mezzo-poor]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
I bought a CA-63 mostly because of the key action.

My overall rating is different than mezzo-poors, but I have a different weighing:

My priorities:
60% Key Action
30% Onboard Sound Quality
10% Other features (with some must-haves: e.g. MIDI-Capability)

The most important is the key action since I don't want to upgrade my DP every 2-3 years: For now I'm happy with the sound quality of the CA-63, but in future I might want to play through an external software solution. My current software-solution for the masterkeyboard is TruePianos, really good, but CA-63 piano sound is definitely better.

So, actually, I would in almost all circumstances choose the DP with the best key action, and don't need no external speaker gimmicks like in the CA-93, so this time it was an easy decision.
_________________________
<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

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#1365396 - 02/04/10 07:19 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: mucci]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: kawaian
I bought a CA-63 mostly because of the key action.

My overall rating is different than mezzo-poors, but I have a different weighing:

My priorities:
60% Key Action
30% Onboard Sound Quality
10% Other features (with some must-haves: e.g. MIDI-Capability)

The most important is the key action since I don't want to upgrade my DP every 2-3 years: For now I'm happy with the sound quality of the CA-63, but in future I might want to play through an external software solution. My current software-solution for the masterkeyboard is TruePianos, really good, but CA-63 piano sound is definitely better.

So, actually, I would in almost all circumstances choose the DP with the best key action, and don't need no external speaker gimmicks like in the CA-93, so this time it was an easy decision.


I tend to agree you with on weighting the key action heavier in the evaluation.

I am also interested if we know how both the CLP-380 and the HP-307 stack up on your critique from another thread:

Originally Posted By: kawaian
Just some impressions from my recent experience with CA-63:
...I went to the dealer and played CA-63 for as long as 2 hours. Result: Absolutely amazing! Significantly better than the CA-51/CA-71: The keyboard feels a little bit stronger (which is better in my taste since I also like the strong keyboard of the CLPs). The keyboard also has the new Ivory-feel which is also a big improvement in my opinion. The touch is really great, it's faster than the touch of teh CA-51 (which was also good, but a little wobbly), repetition is easier. In general a significant improvement.
...
On the downside: There were some limitations with the resonance effects with the former CA-Series, these are still not solved:

1) Press a key very loudly with sustain-pedal down, then press the same key very soft and then release the sustain pedal --> Only the second, very quiet sound will be played! That's definitely not the behavior of a real piano.

2) Also the String-resonance is not absolutely perfect: It only works if you don't press the sustain pedal. So after playing notes holding down the sustain pedal, and then releasing the sustain pedal with holding down a key that was not actively played but should have some string resonance, there is no string resonance.

That's a pity: What's so difficult to solve these limitations / defects? But I think these are only very subtle effects which are not really noticeable during "normal" play, so for me it's a minor issue.

But to come to an end: I didn'T hesitate and immediately ordered one CA-63! Next week it will be delivered! I'm desperately looking forward having it at home!

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#1366256 - 02/05/10 10:04 AM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: mezzo-poor]
madshi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 62
Originally Posted By: mezzo-poor
Madshi, I have tried AvantGrand N3 in an other store. I tested the same menu in my previous post.

The touch of N3 was exactly the touch of a grand piano. N3's sound was closer to a grand piano's than any of CA93/CLP380/HP307. However, I felt somehow not-interesting because it was just a closer COPY of an acoustic grand piano.
And
  • In N3, you can just adjust the touch and the reverb while you can tweak various parameters in CA93/CLP380/HP307.
  • N3 has just 5 instruments (Grand piano 1,2, E-piano 1,2 and Harpsichord).
  • N3's string resonance was a little insufficient compared to a C3 (acoustic grand) in the same store.

A Yamaha's staff secretly said "You can buy a silent grand with the price of N3". Of course a silent grand requires expensive maintenance but a silent grand + a software piano might be a better solution for me.

I haven't tried CP1 yet.

Thank you!

If you do try out the CP1, please let us know your impressions, that'd be nice!

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#1369462 - 02/09/10 12:35 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: madshi]
Nguyen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 430
Loc: Massachusetts
The HP-307 has finally arrived in our US Dealers. I'd like to revive this thread hoping there will be more testing reviews.

Thanks,
Nguyen
_________________________
Nguyen - Student Pianist

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#1369514 - 02/09/10 01:53 PM Re: The "Official" Top of Line Digital Piano Playoff Thread [Re: Nguyen]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
I notice somebody on this forum complains about a cracking noise problem when the damper effect is used on the Kawai CA-63 on that thread. So I just thought I'd pass it along here in case people interested haven't come across that thread, and whether the same issue exists in the Kawai CA-93 or not. The owner of the CA-63 said he tried both his and the store's demo and the problem exhibits on both units.

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