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#1993617 - 12/02/12 11:36 AM Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95)
Dragon777 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 27
Hello,

I am picking up piano again (played when I was a child) and I am looking for a digital piano that gives me a realistic feel to practice on so that I won´t have any problems switching to an acoustic instrument every now and then.

I have tried almost the whole Yamaha line at the dealer, but did not like any DP below the NU1. I really liked the feel and touch of the NU1 action, though it seemed to require more effort to play it compared to the lower-end Yamaha DPs. The looks of the NU1 are stunning with its gloss finish. The sound with headphones was nicely transparent and clear, maybe a tad bit too bright for my taste. Sound through speakers was good, but a bit boxed sounding and lacking the deepest bass (it´s still a digital after all). I had a bit of a hard time playing forte on the NU1, because it took me quite some effort. But that may have just been my untrained hands (has been a long time since I played).

I played some notes on a N1, but I do not consider it because it is out of budget. NU1 ist the absolute max I could spend. Therefore I tried not to fall in love with the N1. ;-)

The dealer had no higher-end Kawai models to try. But I came across a CS9 yesterday at a restaurant. It looked almost as good as the NU1 (same glossy finish). I pressed some keys and it felt quite nice and very easy to play fast. But it was not turned on, so I don´t know if the feel translates into sound. So maybe the CS9 could be an (even cheaper) alternative to the NU1. But it seems like it´s an older model and the CA95 is more up-to-date with newer action and newer sound-engine. And I would not want the dull wood finish of the CA95 in my living room - CS9 and NU1 are much better looking. But I fear, I would pay a lot of money for an outdated model with the CS9, just for the looks of it (compared to the CA95).

What do you think about the comparison between the Yamaha NU1 and the Kawai CS9/CA95? How does the sound through speakers compare (I have not heared the CS9/CA95)? NU1 has a real action, but it is an upright action, while the Kawais sport a simulation of a Grand action. I wonder what is better in the long run. Do you think I will face some limitations with the NU1 upright action once my skills get better compared to a Grand action/simulation?

Thanks for help
D

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#1993700 - 12/02/12 02:52 PM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: Dragon777]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2320
Loc: UK
I play tested a CS9, CA93 (not 95), NU1, N1 when I was on the search for an upgrade. I too wanted a change from the shape of most cabinet DP's to something more like the CS9 and NU1 shape.

The CS9 and NU1 sounds are different but comparable. It's a question of taste. The NU1 bass can easily be boosted by adding a subwoofer if desired for home performance, but it's hardly necessary for most practice. The NU1 is slightly quieter at full volume than the CS9, but is still close to acoustic volumes.

The main difference, of course is the key action. Do you want a nice smooth but fake action, or a clunkier but more realistic piano action? The former then a CS9 might be for you even though it does not use Kawai latest technology; the latter then the NU1 is better although not a grand action - and neither is the CS9 (or the GF on a CA95).

The NU1 though is mainly just a piano, whereas the CS9 and most other DP's in that price range and below have lots more 'voices' , functions, and features. Then it becomes a choice of an acoustic versus the NU1, or the plethora of high end cabinet DP's from all the manufacturers, although maybe they don't have a such a nice looking cabinet as the CS9 or NU1. Did you try a Yamaha CLP480 for example?

Aways play test, more than once, before buying, especially at this price level, so find a dealer with a CS9 or CA95 , or also equivalent Roland , so you can compare.

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#1993754 - 12/02/12 04:25 PM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: spanishbuddha]
Dragon777 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 27
I did not try the 480 but the 470 and found it´s action much worse than the one of the NU1. NU1 feels a lot more "right" and real in comparison.

I don´t care much about all the voices. I just need one great Piano sound. So I think it really comes down to the action (and it´s connection to the sound, of course). When you say the CS9 and CA95 actions are fake but smoother, does this mean that I will run into any deficiencies with the NU1 with better skill level? Or is it better to practice on a less smooth action in order to be able to play on regular acousic pianos without much adaption? You say the Kawais do not have grand actions, though their marketing is claiming so? Are there any real advantates and disadvantages of those two action styles or is it a matter of taste in the end?

I phoned all Piano dealers in my region, but none of them has a CS9 or CA95 for testing. They all seem to be quite Yamaha focused around here.

Thanks
D

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#1993760 - 12/02/12 04:39 PM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: Dragon777]
Aeons Holle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 55
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
I have recently upgraded from an 8 year old Clavinova (CLP 170) to a CA95, and did face basically the same choices as you.

Quick story of mine: In my youth I had learned to play the piano on a Steinway upright (my father's) and Steinway grand (my teacher's), then bought the Clavinova for use in my apartment when I left home. That was my main practice instrument until recently.
This year I started to rent a music room with a beautiful old Blüthner grand once a week and quickly realized I needed to upgrade my DP because the difference between the grand and my CLP was so big that it killed my motivation to practice at home. The lack of resonance and sustain in the CLP led to me using too much pedal; I also had problems with pianissimo playing on the grand because the inferior GH3 action had a high initial resistance when striking a key.

I tried every DP I could find, including the Yamaha NU1 and the Kawai pianos you mentioned. I also intentionally waited until the CA95 became available in September.
Out of the NU1, CS9 and CA95 I liked the CA95 action the most, then the NU1 action, and the CS9 action least.
The NU1 of course feels the most realistic but also different because it's an upright action, but I actually liked the GF action of the CA95 more. To me it actually felt closest to the Blüthner patented action, which is very light and responsive, lighter than most other acoustic grands as well.
Since I got the CA95 I immediately noticed I could now switch very effortlessly between my DP at home and the grand at the practice room.

Another reason to go for the CA95 was that to me it has more resonance and sustain than the NU1, which is important for my pedaling technique. I also liked its sound better than the NU1, plus it has WAY more options to shape the sound. With the NU1 you are pretty much stuck with one sound which is already quite bright as you said. The second piano voice is even brighter!

Unfortunately, despite being quite fond of it at the dealer, when I got the CA95 home I found that even with all the EQ, virtual technician settings, dual mode and so on, I couldn't get it to sound how I wanted it. So I currently use software pianos with it and am quite happy with that.

I can't say much about the speakers in the DPs because I play with headphones exclusively at home. At the dealer, playing over speakers always sounded worse to me, so I always brought my own headphones. I can say that I did actually cringe when I tried the NU1 over its speakers instead of my headphones. Very boxy and midrange-heavy, not enough bass.

In case you decide against the NU1, I think you really ought to try the CA95 before you commit to the CS9. While it seems to use the same base samples as the CS9, the sound engine is definitely better (mainly concerning resonance, plus you can increase the sustain setting on the CA95!). And from my personal experience I can recommend the GF action over the RM3.
And last but not least, the CS9 is more expensive despite being older. It is of course unfortunate that you don't like the finishes of the CA95...
I wonder if Kawai intends to bring out a new CS model with GF action and Harmonic Imaging XL engine in the future. But as long as they don't announce it, I suppose there is not much sense in waiting for it to happen.
_________________________
Kawai CA95
VI Labs True Keys: Pianos
Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D, Italian Grand, Grand Pianos
Galaxy Vintage D, The Giant

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#1993763 - 12/02/12 04:42 PM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: Dragon777]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
It's simply way to much depending on personal preference to judge high-end keybeds only on paper specs or what is said in the media or an online forum. Testing yourself is really the only right way to know for sure if you'll like and keep on liking a certain touch or not. Sounds can be replaced (SW piano), the keybed can not. So if you're ready to spend several thousands on a DP, I wouldn't order one blindly.

Perhaps someone in the neighborhood has a CA65 or CA95 (same keys) and is willing to let you try - if there's really no dealer around that carries them ? It may help if you post your location here; who knows theres a Kawai CA owner not too far away...

Note: CA63 (RM3) and CA65/95 (GF) are simply not the same , so don't judge a CA95 on your experience with a CA63, you'll have to test a 65/95 to be sure.

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#1993817 - 12/02/12 06:26 PM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: Dragon777]
Kawai James Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8854
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: Dragon777
I phoned all Piano dealers in my region, but none of them has a CS9 or CA95 for testing. They all seem to be quite Yamaha focused around here.


Dragon777, may I ask where you're based?

If you would rather not say, perhaps you can contact Kawai Europe (assuming you are in Europe), to enquire about dealers/distributors in your country.

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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#1993939 - 12/03/12 12:39 AM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: Kawai James]
Dragon777 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 27
Hi James,

I am from north-west Germany.
I will try my luck again, to lay my hands on a CA65/95 and try one myself. It is some weeks since I phoned those dealers, maybe they have one now.

Best
D

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#1993946 - 12/03/12 01:07 AM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: Dragon777]
Kawai James Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8854
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Dragon777, as you are based in Germany, I recommend using Kawai Europe's online dealer locator:

http://kawai.de/dealers_de.htm

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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#1994180 - 12/03/12 02:45 PM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: Dragon777]
ap55 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/03/12
Posts: 79
Loc: Germany, Bremen
Dragon777, what is north-west exactly, is there a bigger town close to ? For shure JustMusic in Hamburg hass the Ca95 and probably the others you talked about. If you are in Niedersachsen, so the Niedersachsenticket would serve you well to have a trip to Hamburg, but anyway you have to spend the time for the trip.

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#1994187 - 12/03/12 03:17 PM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: Dragon777]
Aeons Holle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 55
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Yes, last time I was there (about two weeksa ago, when ordering my CA95) JustMusic had the NU1, CS9 and CA95 on display.
If by north-west you mean less north and more west than Hamburg, you could also consider a trip to MusikProduktiv in Ibbenbüren. According to their website they have the CA95 available.
_________________________
Kawai CA95
VI Labs True Keys: Pianos
Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D, Italian Grand, Grand Pianos
Galaxy Vintage D, The Giant

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#1994197 - 12/03/12 03:37 PM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: ap55]
Dragon777 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 27
I phoned around today and finally found a dealer with a CA65 (CA95 was not available) and had the chance to do an in-depth comparison between the Kawai CA65 and the Yamaha NU1. Here are my findings:

The Grand Piano sound of the Kawai sounded nicer and more appealing in the beginning. It´s clearer and with more bass and more brilliant heights. Though the sound of the NU1 is much more precise. On the CA65, the bass is a bit too much and not tight enough. Sounds impressive on a powered chord and it may suit some musical styles very well, but for classical music, it is too wet and missing contour. The discant is full of brilliance, but it´s also a bit too much and too metallic when played loud. Overall sound of the Kawai was quite metallic. On the other hand, the Yamaha NU1 sound very wooden. It´s still quite bright, even brighter than the Kawai, but it´s not metallic at all but a very wooden sound - maybe even a bit boxy (like small acoustic pianos sound wooden and boxy). To my taste, the NU1 sound is not as impressive and less appealing than the CA65´s, but it is much more precise. It is very evenly balanced from the lowest to the hightest notes, while the CA65´s bass and discant are way overemphasized. But I noted some unpleasant sharpness in some higher notes of the NU1 at full volume - not sure if that was caused by the speakers or the room the NU1 was in. I think the Kawai is sugarcoating the piano sound a bit which is impressive at first, but not very honest in the long run. The NU1 sounds more like a real acoustic. Though the boxiness of the sound bothers me a bit. From a tonal perspective, both seemed like extreme ends of a scale and my ideal piano sound would be somewhere in the middle. In addition to that, the dynamic range on the NU1 is much wider than on the Kawai. Both can be quite loud (the Kawai is even louder), but the gentlest notes on the NU1 are much lower and more muted.

Now about the action. When I played the first notes on the Kawai CA65, I really liked the feel and touch of the action. It is very easy to play on and you can shape dynamics quite effortlessly. It still feels fake in a way, but I enjoyed the overall touch very much. And yes, it reminds me a bit of the touch of an acoustic Grand. The NU1 on the other hand is not as smooth as the CA65 and is harder to play. But the NU1 feels absolutely real, just like a good Yamaha upright piano, with excellent rebound but higher keyweight. But there was one very strange phenomenon that distinguished those two significantly. On the CA65, I was not able to play gently at all. It feels like the dynamics start with p and upwards. It is absolutely not possible to play pp or even ppp on the CA65 action. I had some other quite skilled customers around me try it in oder to rule out my limited skills as the source, but nobody in the room was able to play pp or below on the Kawai. You can try with one finger slowly - the first sound that comes up is quite loud. The Yamaha NU1 did not suffer from such a problem. The dynamic range is very good on the NU1 and you can play ppp without problems. Though this is an upright piano action and therefore it´s harder to play ppp than on an acoustic Grand (at least that´s my impression). But it´s absolutely possible and someone trained in acoustic upright actions should have no problems using the whole dynamic range.

That said, this test was quite ambiguous. None of the two is perfect, but I think I will get the Yamaha NU1. It´s almost double the price of the CA65, but it´s clearly more of a serious musical instrument than the Kawai. The fact that pp or ppp was not possible on the CA65 ruled it out for me. And I think the NU1 is the better tool to train on if you want to be able to play on acoustic instruments as well. I would assume that learning to play on the Kawai would give you a hard time switching to an acoustic, as the CA65 is a lot easier to play. And the looks-division is won by the NU1, anyway - big time. I really hope that I can get used to the sound of the NU1 and won´t regret it.

Best
D


Edited by Dragon777 (12/03/12 03:41 PM)

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#1994200 - 12/03/12 03:40 PM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: Dragon777]
enzo.sandrolini Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 270
Loc: Europe - France
Hello Dragon777
I can just tell you that I previously had a CA93 (and a Roland HP307 before) and trade it for a NU1 because I wanted a more "authentic" keyboard feel
Since I changed my DP, I have the feeling I really improved my technics as the CA93 was a way too "easy" to play..it was really problematic when I went on my teacher's piano which is an upright

Now, the sensation are quite similar between my teacher's piano and my NU1

But in any case, I find that the NU1 provides much more pleasure to play
Ok, everything feeling is personnal and you have to test it by yourself, but I am convinced (after having played on the Kawai and the Roland for almost 2 years) that you cannot learn decently on a non-hybrid (or a not real) piano.
Cheers
_________________________
Music is a lifestyle

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#1994225 - 12/03/12 04:45 PM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: Dragon777]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
Hi - at first I hope you will enjoy your NU1 (if you have made your decision yet). Just a few questions came into my mind, by reading you comparison:

1) we're you comparing the two on headphones or speakers ? This is very important, because the headphones will tell you exactly what the piano preset sounds like. A speaker / cabinet and room acoustic combination will blurr the experience and also make the CA65 more pale in comparison to the NU1. In that respect it's more equal to compare the CA95 with better speaker + the soundboard system to the Yamaha and then judge from that. For purely getting a grip on the AP preset, I would start all candidates on headphones first...

2) Could it be that the touch curve was not in factory default on the CA ? It's quite easy to mess around with the settings on the Kawai piano's in terms of acoustic effects and touch response, so a factory reset is always the best way to start with before comparing the DP's. I once had to test a Kawai that sounded awful and then later got told all effects parameters were turned to 10 by some customer before...

Don't mean to make things fuzzy - but for a fair judgement I think this small checklist is important.

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#1994227 - 12/03/12 04:53 PM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: Dragon777]
kapelli Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 380
Loc: Poland
Dragon,
The CA65 and 95 have different keyboard and sound engines and speaker systems,
so I would reccomend you also to try the CA95.

I am interested in this because I also will have the issue as you and each opinion is valuable.
And one question - why not Roland HP507?


Edited by kapelli (12/03/12 04:54 PM)

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#1994257 - 12/03/12 06:02 PM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: JFP]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2320
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: JFP
A speaker / cabinet and room acoustic combination will blurr the experience and also make the CA65 more pale in comparison to the NU1. In that respect it's more equal to compare the CA95 with better speaker + the soundboard system to the Yamaha and then judge from that. .


This doesn't make sense at all. The NU1 uses speakers, not a soundboard and in this respect is just like a CA65.

Originally Posted By: JFP

2) Could it be that the touch curve was not in factory default on the CA ? It's quite easy to mess around with the settings on the Kawai piano's in terms of acoustic effects and touch response, so a factory reset is always the best way to start with before comparing the DP's. I once had to test a Kawai that sounded awful and then later got told all effects parameters were turned to 10 by some ...

Yes this is true and has come up before with the older CA63. I also had a similar problem on the CN33 and switched to the heavier velocity setting. But it's a poor compromise over technique, and the NU1 key tactile feedback is superior when it comes to accessing the full range of dynamics, and is better if you are learning to play (acoustic) piano.

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#1994261 - 12/03/12 06:07 PM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: kapelli]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2320
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: kapelli
Dragon,
The CA65 and 95 have different keyboard and sound engines and speaker systems,
so I would reccomend you also to try the CA95.

I am interested in this because I also will have the issue as you and each opinion is valuable.
And one question - why not Roland HP507?

I have briefly played a 507 and was not impressed compared to the earlier 307. Reports on here from others are that the sound is 'muffled'.

The PHAIII action, whilst highly respected has its own problems with noise, hardness and pushback. It certainly is not 'piano-like' which is what the OP is after.

You or the OP should make your own minds up though.

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#1994290 - 12/03/12 07:12 PM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: kapelli]
Kawai James Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8854
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: kapelli
The CA65 and 95 have different keyboard and sound engines and speaker systems, so I would reccomend you also to try the CA95.


Actually, the CA65 and CA95 share the same keyboard action.
The previous CA63 and CA93 models differed in that the CA63 keyabord action did not include let-off functionality. However, with the latest generation instruments (CNx4, CAx5, ES7), all models include let-off.

On a separate note, I agree that a CA95 would be a closer match to the NU1 than a CA65. But regardless, congrats to Dragon on his/her 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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#1994323 - 12/03/12 07:51 PM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: Dragon777]
Vid Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 804
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Thanks for the clarification James. I tried the CA65 recently but the store didn't have a CA95 to try so I was curious what the difference would be.
_________________________
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#1994444 - 12/04/12 03:08 AM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: Dragon777]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
@spannishbudda; well considering that the NU1 is about twice the price of a CA65, it seems more fair to compare it to a CA95 which has a better sound system. The CA65 is competing in another league in that respect. Best would be if there was a CS9 follow up with GF keybed to compare to the NU1 , but it isn't there (yet?).

For keybed comparisson and comparing the basic sound over headphones the CA65 is fine, since that is the same as on the CA95. So if the AP presets were indeed compared over headphones , Dragon777 was able to make a fair decision on which he liked better. If done on speakers, then things may have turned out different with a CA95 and its different sound system. Also where the pianos are positioned will play a role (room acoustics etc).

The NU1 seems a very nice instruments to me (looks nice as well!) , but if I'd spend € 4500 or more on a DP , I'd rather be sure I checked all alternatives in a proper way, perhaps even a Roland LX15 ?

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#1994446 - 12/04/12 03:16 AM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: Vid]
Dragon777 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 27
Hello,

no, I have not yet made a purchase, but I strongly tend towards the NU1.

I have played both instruments through speakers and through headphones and those issues I mentioned were evident both ways. I would not consider the speakers of the CA65 significantly inferior to the ones on the NU1. I think the differences are more "by design". It could very well be that the speakers of the CA95 are even better (though I doubt that the sound needs even more bass through a soundboard), but I can´t imagine that the different speaker system will make-up for the deficiencies in the dynamic range as those were evident with headphones as well. As headphone-sound on the CA65 was a bit less blurred in the bass than through speakers, the bass performance may be more defined and controlled on the CA95 through speakers. But it won´t change the overall tendencies because the differences between CA65 and NU1 were quite vast.

To be honest, I have not checked whether all settings on the CA65 were factory (didn´t check on the NU1, either), but to me it sounded like stock. Didn´t play around with touch-curve, though. I tried the CS9 and CN34 as well and both had the same metallic characteristic of sound (even more metallic) and suffered from the same deficiencies in dynamic range.

Nonetheless, I think the CA65 is an amazing instrument at it´s price point. Given it´s half the price of the NU1, I would really have considered it, if it was equally able to reproduce a wide dynamic range like the NU1 did. And for anybody who does not care about playing pp or ppp, the CA65 should be great. But my intent is to learn piano in a most honest way and to be able to subtlely control an acoustic instrument as well. And for this purpouse, I think I am forced to spend the bigger bucks on the NU1, though it is not perfect, either.

Best
D

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#1994460 - 12/04/12 04:39 AM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: Dragon777]
Temperament Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
Hi, Dragon, I have very thoroughly compared CA65 and CA95. I have once decided to buy the CA95 over the CA65 because of its
- wonderful soundboard (a real boost of realility)
- the much clearer sound quality from the Amp System/Boxes
- despite of opposite claims I thought to hear out a clear advantage with my Sennheiser HD650 headphone in favor of CA95. The difference was not that pronounced as over built in boxes, but I felt definitive to hear less distortions on the CA95.(Would be interesting to hear Jame's feedback to this).

My original intention was (and remains) to replace my 4-5 ys. old CA51, but mainly because of major health issues recently (cancer operation + serious herniated disk in the neck with chances to get paralysed in the right hand) I am now reducing my budget for my hobbies - so I will probably take the lower CN34 for its also excellent RHII keyboard, which seems even more comfortable to me now than the GF on the CAx5. (I am using the DP primarily with PC instruments with Genelec Monitors + Bass or with headphones so internal sounds are not that important - amp+boxes on CN34 are audibly weaker than above).

The Yamahas actions NU1 and GH3 I found both precise but a little too hard the bottom.

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#1994469 - 12/04/12 05:05 AM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: Temperament]
KarelG Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/18/11
Posts: 145
Loc: Czech Republic
Originally Posted By: Temperament
[...]
- despite of opposite claims I thought to hear out a clear advantage with my Sennheiser HD650 headphone in favor of CA95. The difference was not that pronounced as over built in boxes, but I felt definitive to hear less distortions on the CA95.(Would be interesting to hear Jame's feedback to this).
[...]

Perhaps this means not only amplifier for speakers, but also amplifier for the headphones are different. The thing with HD650 is that they do have quite high impedance IIRC for which you need a little bit better amplifier.
_________________________
November 2011: piano entered into my life.

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#1994483 - 12/04/12 05:51 AM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: Dragon777]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1336
Loc: The Netherlands
"I have played both instruments through speakers and through headphones..."

That's what I wanted to know - if you had taken enough time to judge them on headphones too. Seems you like the NU1 very much and since you've tried it and know what you'll get that makes it a balanced choice. I think the LX-15 might be worth considering too - since it's in the same league in price and design (if you bargain a bit ;-). Then I think you have tried most options in this quality / price range.

To complete the list; in Wezep East Netherlands - which may not be too far away from your location - they also make Digital Classic Piano's http://www.digitalclassic.nl
It's all Yamaha stuff in a very classy look and with very good amp + speaker set. If think you might take a look to get your list complete.

So far what I understand from your list and your own impressions (added German Thomann Prices, just for comparison):

1) NU1 (€ 4429 incl 19% tax) - your preference for key action and sound
2) CS9 (€ 3799 incl 19% tax) - also very nice, but misses the latest GF keybed - successor coming ??
2) CA95 (€ 3129 incl 19% tax) - unfortunately not in the shop to try
3) CA65 (€ 2269 incl 19% tax) - tried , but sound is a bit overdone (Hi / Low) and sound from speaker/cabinet not as good as NU1, keybed good but not as natural as NU1

Possible alternatives:
4) LX-15 (€ 5199 incl 19% tax) - have you seen it / can you try it somewhere ?
5) Digital Classic Superior XT (€ 4895 inc 21% tax) - look at their site , or if not to far away give it a try.
6) Digital Classic Elite XT (€ 3895 incl 21% Tax) - roughly the same but with other keybed.

I think you should be able to buy Classics for 0% tax and then pay your local 19% taxes , which would make the 'Classics' a bit cheaper than the Dutch price.

Anyway good luck with your choice. I think neither of the listed piano's is bad in any way, so see what fits you best....

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#1994494 - 12/04/12 06:37 AM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: KarelG]
Aeons Holle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 55
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: KarelG
Originally Posted By: Temperament
[...]
- despite of opposite claims I thought to hear out a clear advantage with my Sennheiser HD650 headphone in favor of CA95. The difference was not that pronounced as over built in boxes, but I felt definitive to hear less distortions on the CA95.(Would be interesting to hear Jame's feedback to this).
[...]

Perhaps this means not only amplifier for speakers, but also amplifier for the headphones are different. The thing with HD650 is that they do have quite high impedance IIRC for which you need a little bit better amplifier.


From my own experience, comparing CA65 and CA95 in the store with my AKG-501, I can attest to this.
The CA95 on exact same settings sounded somehow better to me than the CA65. Which is the main reason I decided to get the CA95 over the CA65, although I play exclusively over headphones at home and have no need for the soundboard at all.
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#1994496 - 12/04/12 06:56 AM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: Dragon777]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2320
Loc: UK
I do think the LX15 is worth considering.

But IMHO, after play testing as a comparison to CS9 and NU1, it is just a very nice, expensive, posh looking cabinet version of a modified FP7F/RD700NX/HP507, with all the same drawbacks associated with the keyboard and SN mid-range. So I skipped it. But YMMV. Someone else on this forum complained about its muffled sound (same as HP507).

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#1994502 - 12/04/12 07:25 AM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: Dragon777]
EssBrace Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
I had the HP-307 and I found it muffled. I know I've said this before but from across the room it was really astoundingly good but to the player it was a very unsatisfactory experience and "muffled" is as good a word as any to describe it. They really lack clarity through the onboard sound system.

Now being the owner of a real upright piano (not a particularly bright one - a medium/mellow one actually) I can say that the way sound emanates from an upright even with lid down and front panel on (where you might expect a certain lack of clarity or some muffled character) just isn't like that at all; it is a vivid and enveloping experience. Taking the front panel off males it louder and brighter and more immediate of course but there is no trace of it being muffled in any circumstances. So Roland have their consoles, even including the LX10/15 etc, wrong. I think they need to revisit speaker quality and placement and the cabinet's acoustic design.
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Yamaha CP1

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#1994507 - 12/04/12 07:49 AM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: EssBrace]
Dragon777 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 27
Hi guys,

thanks for your further recommendations.

If the Digital Classic models feature the same action as the regular Yamaha DPs, I fear I would not like it at all. Talking about fake actions, I preferred the feel of the Kawai GF over the Yamahas. Though the Yamaha 470 I tried was indeed capable of pp and ppp notes (unlike the Kawai CA65).

I have not tried any Roland models as the dealers I visited seemed not to stock them. The LX-15 looks good, but it´s even more expensive than teh NU1 and I don´t want to look into this category as budget is already off-limit with the NU1 (where I can use a trade-in upgrade-bonus by Yamaha and get interest-free financing). Do you feal that dynamic range control is superior on the Rolands than on the hige-end Kawais?

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#1994527 - 12/04/12 08:34 AM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: Dragon777]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2320
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Dragon777
Do you feal that dynamic range control is superior on the Rolands than on the hige-end Kawais?

As a comparison I can't really say. But the dynamic range, access to it and varying tones (attack, decay, harmonics) from the keyboard is very good for those models with the SN piano sounds and PHAIII keys. Probably the best, but that's just an opinion.

Of course you would have to like the SN sounds, and I don't. The thin mid-upper range has a whining metallic twang that is difficult to get right even with the piano designer function. The keyboard is very good, but was too hard bottoming for me, and tiring (pushback), and still not close to a real action as the NU1/N1.

If you have not tried one, a high end Roland, perhaps you should. That then leads onto the v-piano, but maybe outside budget.


Edited by spanishbuddha (12/04/12 08:35 AM)

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#1994534 - 12/04/12 08:50 AM Re: Yamaha NU1 or Kawai CS9 (or CA95) [Re: spanishbuddha]
EssBrace Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
Originally Posted By: Dragon777
Do you feal that dynamic range control is superior on the Rolands than on the hige-end Kawais?

As a comparison I can't really say. But the dynamic range, access to it and varying tones (attack, decay, harmonics) from the keyboard is very good for those models with the SN piano sounds and PHAIII keys. Probably the best, but that's just an opinion.

Of course you would have to like the SN sounds, and I don't. The thin mid-upper range has a whining metallic twang that is difficult to get right even with the piano designer function.


I completely agree with this.
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