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#1883316 - 04/20/12 11:25 PM Kawai CA93 First Impressions
McBuster Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/11
Posts: 278
Loc: St Paul Minnesota USA
(Note: I sold my CA63 Wednesday and upgraded to the CA93 Friday. Outside of "In-Store" impressions, here are my first impressions of the CA93 and some comparisons to the CA63 I had for two+ months.

+++

- Any impressions/comparisons drawn in a store, pale beside those in your own home. Where you are At Ease and can take the time without having someone trying to sell you something, nearby.

- Both pianos have their keyboards and electronics in a cabinet either seperate, or kinda seperate, from the "Chassis" of the Piano.

- The CA63 and CA93 have the Tweeter to the left and the right, directly above the keys behind some fabric.

- The CA63 has the two Mid/Low Range speakers pointed downward from under the keyboard near your knees and the sound comes through two 6" holes behind screen.

- The CA93 has a "Box" chamber under/behind the keyboard about six inches thick. All the way from the top of the piano to the floor. From one side to the other. The back of that Box is the Soundboard. The front has four slots behind fabric under the keyboard area. Two kinda narrow at each side, and the other two rather long each side of the middle. All four are horizontal. At the top of that chamber, at the top of the piano, facing up and at the back, are four holes about 2" in diameter, behind fabric. All the sound eminate from this chamber thru these slots/holes and SoundBoard. I believe the four MidRange Speakers face down into the chamber from under the keyboard.

- The SoundBoard does not produce a whole lot of anything unless the Volume Slider is above 40%. I have not taken time to adjust Low/Mid/High Range settings yet which may affect that.

- The CA93 is -Heavy- compared to the CA63. I miss the rear Hand Holds from the CA63.

- One can feel the Sound from the keyboard into their fingertips in the CA93. That is not quite as apparent in the CA63 - if at all.

- It is nice having a Five Year Warranty which a Used Piano does not have.

- I understand the Music Rack will be reworked in the next generation. It would be really nice if that was a retro unit. If you have one or two sheets of music, it falls down in the slot between the base and the rack. Aggrevating it is.

- For me, the "Sound" in the CA93 is worth the extra $1k. The sound of the CA93 is a 10+. The CA63? Quite good, but about a 7.

- The "Let Off" is about the same feel as 3-4 Steinways I fiddled with at the store. ie: Same delicate touch, vertical placement, resistance. And, noticeable when playing soft.

- One can lay this down on its back for transportation in the back of a Ford Expedition without creating any issues. Use a fair amount of moving blankets under it tho.

- Having a small 120volt receptacle port in the bottom-rear is far "Cleaner" than having the Speaker and Power cords dangling from the keyboard in the back of the CA63.

- The "Feel" of the Keyboard is the same for both - excluding the Let-Off.

- The SoundBoard is not solid Spruce laid up in strips. It has a plastic surface and appears to have some form of plywood core. The ribs appear to be solid wood. I wonder what difference there would be in the sound if the plywood is replaced by real spruce with a crown and thin near the edges.

- A (used) medium sized Steinway, played softly, produces a rich, voluminous sound - at Ten+ Times the cost. Some day, our Digitals may come close to that, but only if we let go of all the speakers and use Transducers with a same-sized Soundboard.

+++

My "Dream" started last June. When I went to the local Steinway/Kawai/Yamaha Dealer to compare pianos. I was the only Nerd in their entire History that brought a Spreadhseet laden with features etc to their Showroom.

For me, and our Budget, the CA93 is the culmination of almost a year of Research, Testing and Waiting. And well worth it too.
_________________________
Jon ...

Kawai CA95
Sailor, Consultant, Gourmet, Dreamer

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#1883398 - 04/21/12 02:04 AM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: McBuster]
fourseasons123 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/18/12
Posts: 1
boring guy

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#1883402 - 04/21/12 02:13 AM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: McBuster]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9679
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Congratulations on the upgrade McBuster, and thanks for writing your impressions compared with the CA63.

Just out of curiosity, would it have been possible to trade the CA63 in for the CA93 at your dealer? Or did you perhaps get a better deal with the private sale?

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

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#1883403 - 04/21/12 02:19 AM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: fourseasons123]
Manolios Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/10
Posts: 130
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: fourseasons123
boring guy


Why?

I honestly don't think so. Mostly valuable information.

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#1883432 - 04/21/12 04:13 AM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: fourseasons123]
10fingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/09
Posts: 298
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: fourseasons123
boring guy


And with that comment you kicked off your relationship with this forum.

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#1883434 - 04/21/12 04:15 AM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: McBuster]
10fingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/09
Posts: 298
Loc: CA
McBuster, thanks for your thoughtful observations. It sounds like a worthwhile upgrade, and makes me really want to try the '93.

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#1883443 - 04/21/12 04:55 AM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: McBuster]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2469
Loc: UK
Congrats Jon. We don't believe you however without pics.

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#1883451 - 04/21/12 05:17 AM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: fourseasons123]
sandalholme Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 783
Loc: Dorset, UK
Boring response

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#1883469 - 04/21/12 06:57 AM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: Kawai James]
McBuster Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/11
Posts: 278
Loc: St Paul Minnesota USA
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Just out of curiosity, would it have been possible to trade the CA63 in for the CA93 at your dealer? Or did you perhaps get a better deal with the private sale?

As I noted in the Prices Paid Thread, I bought a used CA63 in Wisconsin for $1850. In Minnesota, that piano sells for $3745 new. I sold the CA63 here for $500 more and went back to Wisconsin to fetch a CA93 for $3200 which was priced at $5560 here. Add in 7% Sales Tax in Minnesota and the prices are $4020 and $5960 respectively. What an amazing difference indeed.

With that scenario, making a trade to the Wisconsin Dealer did not make sense as I would have (probably) lost money.

When geographically possible, it pays to shop around. Another Dealer in Iowa had prices halfway between Minnesota and Wisconsin.


_________________________
Jon ...

Kawai CA95
Sailor, Consultant, Gourmet, Dreamer

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#1883482 - 04/21/12 07:21 AM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: McBuster]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9679
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Ah, I see.

Well, by all accounts it sounds like you got yourself a great deal!

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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#1883489 - 04/21/12 07:47 AM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: spanishbuddha]
McBuster Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/11
Posts: 278
Loc: St Paul Minnesota USA
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
Congrats Jon. We don't believe you however without pics.


Proof? Okay ...





Here is the CA63 purchased in February

Note the absence of the Speaker Grill on the top of the piano along the back edge.









And the CA93 from yesterday.

Here we see the Speaker Grill on the top of the piano along the back edge.

Imho, the main feature that sets these two apart, is the Sound Chamber behind and below the keyboard. It does make a difference. Imho ... Of course ...

Oh, I have a Jansen Standard Artist Bench on order and will be delivered next week. At my age, comfort is a necessity. And, a Jansen is comfy.



And, for those without a Sense Of Humour.

Liberace had his candlesticks. Others have mini lamps. I, like Mickey Mouse.

Do not take these things too seriously. Life, is way too long to live like that.

Tee Hee Hee ...
_________________________
Jon ...

Kawai CA95
Sailor, Consultant, Gourmet, Dreamer

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#1883707 - 04/21/12 02:13 PM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: McBuster]
Ozgur Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/12
Posts: 99
Loc: Turkey
CA93 looks great smile Congratulations! Wish you an inspirational music making on your new instrument.

And thanks for the detailed impressions!
_________________________
Ozgur Unaldi, pianist

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#1883847 - 04/21/12 06:21 PM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: McBuster]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2469
Loc: UK
Good stuff. Congrats. Great lamp too.

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#1883851 - 04/21/12 06:29 PM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: McBuster]
scriabinfanatic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/23/12
Posts: 32
Loc: Maryland, USA
Originally Posted By: McBuster

- The SoundBoard does not produce a whole lot of anything unless the Volume Slider is above 40%. I have not taken time to adjust Low/Mid/High Range settings yet which may affect that.


Funny, but I've had my new CA-93 for a few weeks now, and until I read your post, I had never yet played my CA-93 above 40 percent volume. I play at about 35% volume. I'm not sure what you mean about the soundboard. Isn't it the primary source of sound at all volumes? I just tried playing at 50% volume, and to me the only difference is that it's louder.

Originally Posted By: McBuster

- The CA93 is -Heavy- compared to the CA63. I miss the rear Hand Holds from the CA63.


Yes, I don't know why they didn't put some kind of handle-grips on the rear like on a real upright piano. When lifting the CA93, the inner lip of the soundboard is all there is to grab, and that's pretty narrow.

Originally Posted By: McBuster

- I understand the Music Rack will be reworked in the next generation. It would be really nice if that was a retro unit. If you have one or two sheets of music, it falls down in the slot between the base and the rack. Aggrevating it is.


Not only that, but it would be nice if they would add those flip-up page stays that the Yamaha CLP-series music rack has. I really liked those.

Originally Posted By: McBuster

- For me, the "Sound" in the CA93 is worth the extra $1k. The sound of the CA93 is a 10+. The CA63? Quite good, but about a 7.


I tried out the CA93 and CA63 side-by-side. To me, the CA93 sound was better in three ways: 1) it gave more of the impression of a real piano, 2) the sound system had a warmer, higher-quality sound strictly from an audio-system standpoint, and 3) the relative nondirectionality/diffuseness of the sound was easier on my ears. The third one really clinched it for me, because my ears are hypersensitive to certain types of loud/directional/piercing sounds, and during my piano shopping I was having trouble finding a piano that had no issues for me in this area.

Originally Posted By: McBuster

- One can lay this down on its back for transportation in the back of a Ford Expedition without creating any issues. Use a fair amount of moving blankets under it tho.


That's how I transported my CA-93 from the store too -- on it's back with protection laid down underneath. Yes it's much heavier than my previous digital...but less than half the weight of my acoustic upright before that!

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#1884012 - 04/21/12 11:42 PM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: scriabinfanatic]
McBuster Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/11
Posts: 278
Loc: St Paul Minnesota USA
Originally Posted By: scriabinfanatic
Originally Posted By: McBuster

- The SoundBoard does not produce a whole lot of anything unless the Volume Slider is above 40%. I have not taken time to adjust Low/Mid/High Range settings yet which may affect that.


Funny, but I've had my new CA-93 for a few weeks now, and until I read your post, I had never yet played my CA-93 above 40 percent volume. I play at about 35% volume. I'm not sure what you mean about the soundboard. Isn't it the primary source of sound at all volumes? I just tried playing at 50% volume, and to me the only difference is that it's louder.


I view the soundboard as the LowRange source, the four medium sized speakers for the MidRange and the small tweeters, as the HighRange.

Try this. Play a low note, middle C and a high note all the while placing your hand on the Soundboard. I would venture that only the low note and possibly middle C vibrate the board.

Imho, the soundboard played at the lower volymes just does not vibrate that board enough to make much difference. PLace your hand on it and play some notes ...
_________________________
Jon ...

Kawai CA95
Sailor, Consultant, Gourmet, Dreamer

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#1884339 - 04/22/12 02:24 PM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: McBuster]
Rich W Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 31
Loc: St. Louis, MO
Knowledge is power and you have used it well!
_________________________
Kawai CA93, Lowrey Sterling

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#1884418 - 04/22/12 04:29 PM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: McBuster]
Bogs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/17/10
Posts: 133
Quote from page 6 Kawai CA93/63 User Manual: "Caution! Do not use the product in front of [..] areas, such as those near windows, where the product is exposed to direct sunlight [..]. Using the product in such areas may result in product breakdown."

I don't know if it refers to possible body discoloration or some other type of damage. Anyway, windows are much more reflective surfaces than walls, so I think you should get a better sound by putting the piano against a wall or just in an open space in the room.
_________________________
old Gaveau upright & Kawai CA63; previously Korg SP250

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#1884468 - 04/22/12 06:02 PM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: Bogs]
McBuster Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/11
Posts: 278
Loc: St Paul Minnesota USA
Originally Posted By: Bogs
Quote from page 6 Kawai CA93/63 User Manual: "Caution! Do not use the product in front of [..] areas, such as those near windows, where the product is exposed to direct sunlight [..].


The window does not get any direct sunlight winter, or summer. I thought of that too, but all will be fine.

Thanks for your concern, and the Tip.
_________________________
Jon ...

Kawai CA95
Sailor, Consultant, Gourmet, Dreamer

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#1888986 - 04/30/12 05:55 PM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: McBuster]
Dewdman42 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/11/04
Posts: 3
Thanks a lot for your excellent review. I'm thinking a lot about getting this piano. I'm having a hard time deciding between this and an actual acoustic upright, like say a used U3 in about the same price range. I realize the sound of this will probably be way superb to the upright, but its the feel Im wondering about. Specifically, how does the vibrating soundboard feel compared to a real piano. I know when I play real pianos, most times uprights sound poor, a few expensive ones sound good. A grand piano is not even close to an option for me for a number of reasons. I own already a kawai MP-9000 which I can use with excellent sound sources on the computer. But it does not have its own speakers for one thing. The sound always sounds like its coming from somewhere else. And aside from the tactile feel I get from playing on wooden keys, there is no tactile feel from the sound itself, unlike a real piano that really feels so organic. I can play for hours on an acoustic but get easily tired playing my digital stuff, I think partly from ear fatigue from the samples, but also perhaps due to the fact that there is no vibration from the piano itself like an acoustic.

So the question is whether this CA-93 produces an authentic kind of sensation when the soundboard sends vibrations to your fingers. I realize it will be "something". Something that other digitals don't have. The question is whether that feeling is authentic or is it rather kind of different, perhaps even distracting? Its difficult for me to get to a dealer to try one, but based on many reviews, it seems a lot of people are quite happy with this one and may provide a pretty darn authentic practice piano, perhaps feeling almost as good as an upright and sounding considerably better. But please give me your thoughts related to the vibrating soundboard.

thanks

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#1889011 - 04/30/12 07:08 PM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: McBuster]
McBuster Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/11
Posts: 278
Loc: St Paul Minnesota USA
Dewdman42

I am not really qualified to answer your question. My experience playing any piano is just not in-depth enough. And, with something as subjective as the vibrations given back to the fingers? And the fact that is totally an individual's to measure?

Does it make some vibration when the volume is one half and louder? Yes. Is it subtle? Yes. Very subtle.

My advice? Find one. Play it. Experiment with the volume. Decide for yourself.
_________________________
Jon ...

Kawai CA95
Sailor, Consultant, Gourmet, Dreamer

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#2050262 - 03/18/13 01:59 PM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: McBuster]
Mental Nomad Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/17/11
Posts: 6
McBuster - try bringing the piano out from the wall. It notice you have it tucked up pretty close. I've found with my CA93 that putting it up against the wall really dampens (in a bad way) the work that the soundboard does.

I actually discovered this in a music store when auditioning instruments - it had been pushed right up to the wall, and it made a HUGE difference when I pulled it back. I was about to write the CA93 off when the salesperson said it's top of the line; I'm glad I double-checked what was going on. I think some of their staff were unaware of the sound board.

At home, I played with it in various arrangements, and found that room placement makes a huge difference. I actually got the very best sound experience when I pulled it in enough to be six feet from the wall - which means it was as far from the wall as a living room grand might have been, but also that I was sitting much closer to the sonic center of the room. So, no surprise, it sounded incredibly good.

But the room has to still be my living room, and there's no space for that arrangement... in the end, I settled on putting it much closer to the wall, in a corner. One end is about 12" from one wall, and the other end is about 6" from the other wall, and the large corner gap is behind the piano. The space works out beautifully for the sound it gives me as I play, but also the sound I get in the room when my wife plays.

I've been able to tuck my home theater subwoofer into the corner without harming the sound of the piano.

Eventually, I put a floor-standing lamp on top of the (large) subwoofer, which serves as an unusual but effective music light and room light.

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#2050661 - 03/19/13 06:56 AM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: McBuster]
McBuster Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/11
Posts: 278
Loc: St Paul Minnesota USA
Nomad

Thanks for concerns and thoughts. It is actually 8" from the lower wall and, kind of has to be that way for the size of the room etc. For my complete lack of talent, it sounds fine. Usually thru headphones.

The 93 has been replaced by a 95, same position. Had a party last Sat night. My sister teaches music, piano included, and we hired a student to provide some background. The young lady did wonderfully well, and all involved enjoyed the warmth of the music throughout our home.

Thanks
_________________________
Jon ...

Kawai CA95
Sailor, Consultant, Gourmet, Dreamer

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#2050664 - 03/19/13 07:05 AM Re: Kawai CA93 First Impressions [Re: McBuster]
Clayman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/13
Posts: 300
Loc: Prague, Czech Rep.
An exhausting summary but very valuable to anyone who might be interested in this piano. Congratulations on your new "toy", McBuster. Have a lot of fun playing it. wink
_________________________
-- Zbynek N.

Learning to play the piano since 06/2013 on a Kawai CA-95.

Music is what feelings sound like. ~ Author Unknown

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