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#2120242 - 07/19/13 04:53 PM Questions about the Kawai CA65 please.
ADWyatt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/13
Posts: 90
In the early 1990s I was a fairly serious student, but because of heavy work commitments I stupidly gave up the piano. I'm now retired, and am again learning to play. Having been away from the piano for some 20 years, to me it only made sense to buy a fairly inexpensive keyboard, and then move up to a serious instrument after a few years. And so I purchased the Kawai CN34, a fine DP for its price range.

Unfortunately(?), my skills have kicked back in a bit faster than I thought they would, and I've outgrown the 34. A month ago, before I decided to upgrade, I stopped into an out-of-town music store and tried out the Roland LX-15 and the Kawai CA95. As you might expect, both models ran circles around my 34, as they should have. For my personal taste, the Roland had a wonderful bass sound, but the middle and upper octaves were too shrill, and the salesman couldn't adjust to my satisfaction. The CA95, while not as deep in the bass range, had superb tone balance, and better action and weight than the Roland, at least in my personal opinion. (This store did not have a Yamaha license, but I wasn't crazy about upgrading to a DP that only had five accompanying sounds.)

I haven't been able to find any upper-range DP that is perfect; they all have their downsides. But I do know that the CN34 is just not cutting it for me any more, and so I'm starting to consider the step-down model from the CA95, and that of course is the CA65.

I'm considering the 65 for several reasons. First, the cabinet wood colors of the 95, satin black and rosewood, are very unattractive to me. The mahogany color of the 65 is acceptable. (Yes, the CS7 is the 65 in polished ebony, but I only plan on keeping one of these models for three years, before upgrading to a next-gen piano that will be better than today's higher-end DPs, and so it makes no sense to pay all that money for looks alone.) Secondly, I only play the 40 watt CN34 at half-volume, partly because it loses equalization after that point, and partly because I don't need the loudest sound in my living room. I can't imagine that I would play the 100 watt 65 any louder, and so I have to wonder if not having the sound board that is in the CA95 is really going to be much of a loss.

The two most important questions I want to ask are: 1)How good is the wav concert grand recording quality, recorded on USB? I'm aware that these pianos are not going to have the same quality as keyboards built just for that purpose, but the CN34 is dreadfully bad in this area. I would think the CA65 would have to be noticeably better, and if you own the CA65/95, I'd like to hear your opinion; 2)From what I could tell, in every way the sound and feel of the CA95 was quite superior to my CN34, and so the 65 should be as well, but since I'm not able to test out the CA65, I'd like to hear your opinion of the differences if you happen to own this model.

Thanks in advance for everyone's opinions and advice.

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#2120251 - 07/19/13 05:10 PM Re: Questions about the Kawai CA65 please. [Re: ADWyatt]
Clayman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/13
Posts: 300
Loc: Prague, Czech Rep.
Hey ADWyatt.

Regarding your questions, I'm afraid I cannot help you with the first one since I'm just starting out with playing and I'm just not ready for the big time yet laugh but as for the second question -- the only real difference between the CA-65 and its somewhat advanced sibling is the upgraded sound system including the soundboard and a few more sounds to boot. The key action is the same and the sound engine is the same as well.

Many fellow forumers who couldn't have justified the extra expense have picked the CA-65 and are generally very happy with it. smile You certainly won't go wrong with it.
_________________________
-- 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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#2120318 - 07/19/13 07:52 PM Re: Questions about the Kawai CA65 please. [Re: ADWyatt]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8858
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: ADWyatt
1)How good is the wav concert grand recording quality, recorded on USB? I'm aware that these pianos are not going to have the same quality as keyboards built just for that purpose, but the CN34 is dreadfully bad in this area.


May I ask you to elaborate on why you believe the WAV recorder on the CN34 is bad?

This is a direct digital recording of the sound produced by the CN34 tone generator. The CA95/CA65 employ the same recording technique, albeit with more detailed HI-XL samples.

Regarding your second question, Clayman's response is largely correct.

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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#2120442 - 07/20/13 06:45 AM Re: Questions about the Kawai CA65 please. [Re: ADWyatt]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
Well, the usb recorder works fine (although with ocassional fails/drops/jumps).
The only problem is it's low recording level WHEN YOU PLAY RECORDINGS THROUGH HIFI OR PC.
You need to edit the sound an add some gain, and perhaps an external sound card to avoid usb electronic noises.
If I were asked on this subject after just recording for the first time my ES7 (same than CN34) I'd have said it's bad, too. It's not always a plug and play thing, it just doesn't work without later edition, James, at least with home PC.It sounds dull, distant and dirty, and each time you hit a chord there is a noise, no matter you disabled mechanical sounds.
This said, if you record directly on the DP or play your usb stick through Kawai own sound system, it works perfectly to me, so far.
Edit: instead of usb, for quality recording I'd go for a digital recorder plugged into the line out.

So: it's good but it could obviously be better, just like everything in that segment. And listen, if only you advertised this details in the manual instead of selling it as a gem...Is there any chance for the marketing to be honest?



Edited by mabraman (07/20/13 07:15 AM)
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2120682 - 07/20/13 07:49 PM Re: Questions about the Kawai CA65 please. [Re: ADWyatt]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8858
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
How about adjusting the recording level/gain in the ES7 settings?

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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#2121056 - 07/21/13 02:49 PM Re: Questions about the Kawai CA65 please. [Re: ADWyatt]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
How about making it better in your factory, so that we could record decently and without clicks or jumps, just by plugging the usb stick in it?
I already mentioned the level/gain, by the way.
And I asked you to make it (even) better, but perhaps your absolute lack of self-criticism made this incomprehensible to you.
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2121077 - 07/21/13 03:18 PM Re: Questions about the Kawai CA65 please. [Re: mabraman]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2322
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: mabraman
How about making it better in your factory, so that we could record decently and without clicks or jumps, just by plugging the usb stick in it?
I already mentioned the level/gain, by the way.
And I asked you to make it (even) better, but perhaps your absolute lack of self-criticism made this incomprehensible to you.

Ouch. Guess you don't have many friends!

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#2121149 - 07/21/13 05:12 PM Re: Questions about the Kawai CA65 please. [Re: ADWyatt]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8858
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
mabraman, the MP3/WAV audio recording level is purposely set a little low to prevent clipping when playing very loud passages. I believe most customers would prefer to have a quieter recording without clipping, than a louder recording that is spoiled by distortion.

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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#2121376 - 07/22/13 05:18 AM Re: Questions about the Kawai CA65 please. [Re: spanishbuddha]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
Originally Posted By: mabraman
How about making it better in your factory, so that we could record decently and without clicks or jumps, just by plugging the usb stick in it?
I already mentioned the level/gain, by the way.
And I asked you to make it (even) better, but perhaps your absolute lack of self-criticism made this incomprehensible to you.

Ouch. Guess you don't have many friends!


This is not about how many friends I have, but about the recording quality in the CN34 model. James asked the OP to explain better why he thinks it's bad. Asuming that ES7 has the same engine, I told James what I thought that could be a reasonable complaint FOR A NON EXPERIENCED RECORDER, and offered the OP some possible solutions.
It all had been discussed in other threads, btw.
And then James, that is often very, very kind and helpful, showed us his android face, which is unable to asume any weak point in Kawai products and chooses, instead, to treat some people as if they were idiots. In a very polite and british way, of course.First he asks someone to explain something better, and when the time comes he adresses him to the user manual. Kawai never fails (in public).
I figure he's clever enough to, after having mocked anyone who thinks their DPs are improvable, use this information and share it with the company.
In this case, what he calls 'a little low' recording level is really too low to be well heard. And if you rise the recording level you do it at the risk of having clips and undesired peaks of sound.
So, if whatever you do can't offer completely good results, how could the system (by itself, with no further edition) be completely good?
Please tell me.
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2121637 - 07/22/13 07:25 PM Re: Questions about the Kawai CA65 please. [Re: mabraman]
Marcos Daniel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/13
Posts: 154
Loc: Punta Alta, Buenos Aires, Arge...
I think (I'm not an expert) that what you want is not possible.
There is a full range of sound level, going from ppp to fff. Suppose that Kawai set the recording level higher, so a pp passage could be audible, then when you go fortissimo, there would be distortion.
Perhaps (but raising the price of the instrument) you would be happy with "audio compression", with this procedure the difference between a loud and a soft sound becomes smaller.
I think that you should try audio "compresion" and "normalization" with a program called "Audacity", it is free software and you can download it here: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
And remember always to record your files in wav format, to avoid loss of sound quality
I hope it helps, greetings


Edited by Marcos Daniel (07/22/13 11:30 PM)

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#2121781 - 07/23/13 03:31 AM Re: Questions about the Kawai CA65 please. [Re: ADWyatt]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
Gracias, Marcos.
I already use Audacity on that purpose, normalizing up to -1db (though I've been said it's not ideal, because it adds ground noise to the track) or amplifying 'til the level is fine. This is why I said that the USB recorder can't work fine without further edition.
I keep thinking it should be advised in the manual, as many other things that the customer has to learn or discover by himself, or here in the forums (Audacity, by the way, was recommended to me by James, and I'm very thankful for that and other things).
To each his own.
I would like to hear from those who play other brands or models. How does the usb stick work? Any jumps or clips, does it cut during long recording attempts? How is the recording level by default?
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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