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#2317358 - Yesterday at 02:47 PM Kawai pianos - overloading headphones?
*windowlicker* Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 5
Loc: Oxfordshire
I've just spent the last couple of ours in my local shop trying out the kawai es7 using my trusty headphones AT-m50s

I found that with the kawai range (was able to test es7/cn34/es100) when played at maximum force that it sounds like the headphones are almost being 'overloaded' (not sure what the correct term is), almost a crackling/tinny sound as if i was using really cheap bad headphones at a very loud volume where they just couldn't resolve the sound.

This is especially noticeable on the D above middle C and when lots of notes are playing all at once at maximum force...

Obviously my first thought was, my headphones are bad however I found this problem was:

- Audible on the internal speakers, albeit only at a much louder volume (and had no problems with the yamaha p255)

- Audible at lower volumes on my headphones (although to a lesser extent)

- Still audible on a different pair of headphones the piano shop had (these were very bad quality so difficult to conclude anything)

Just wanted to know if any kawai owners had noticed something similar? Is there anyway to eliminate it as I just love the action and piano sounds of the es7 (far better than the p255 imo) however I could see this potentially annoying me in the long term, especially as I plan to use headphones nearly all of the time!

Of course you could argue that you shouldn't be hammering away anyway, however the other brands (yamaha and roland) don't seem to have this issue and this might be just how the kawai acoustics sound? I've Never tried one!

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#2317360 - Yesterday at 02:51 PM Re: Kawai pianos - overloading headphones? [Re: *windowlicker*]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11676
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
It could be that the sensitivity was set too high on the DPs you tried. Did you try adjusting that to a heavier setting? That might just do the trick. I have not experienced that on my MP11, and I'm using cheap headphones.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2317363 - Yesterday at 02:59 PM Re: Kawai pianos - overloading headphones? [Re: *windowlicker*]
*windowlicker* Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 5
Loc: Oxfordshire
Thanks for the suggestion, yep I did have a flick through the settings however I admit I didn't spend long on the touch sensitivity settings. From what I do remember, it didn't completely eliminate the issue

I also did a factory reset on the es7 incase there was an errant setting affecting it.

Next time I go back, I plan to be armed with a range of different headphones and I'll definitely try the touch sensitivity settings more comprehensively

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#2317379 - Yesterday at 04:04 PM Re: Kawai pianos - overloading headphones? [Re: Morodiene]
Savante Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/14
Posts: 78
Loc: deep in the woods
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
It could be that the sensitivity was set too high on the DPs you tried. Did you try adjusting that to a heavier setting? That might just do the trick. I have not experienced that on my MP11, and I'm using cheap headphones.


I don't experience a problem with my MP11 through headphones either. I use Sony MPR-7506, which are fairly inexpensive but a well-known and popular studio headphone. The MP11 sounds great through them. However, I do have to keep the audio output volume of the MP11 set quite low. (The internal volume setting for the setup is at maximum.) This is especially the case with the new OS which has a higher volume output. I still get plenty of volume through the headphones, which are pretty efficient.

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#2317386 - Yesterday at 04:17 PM Re: Kawai pianos - overloading headphones? [Re: *windowlicker*]
Savante Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/14
Posts: 78
Loc: deep in the woods
Originally Posted By: *windowlicker*
Thanks for the suggestion, yep I did have a flick through the settings however I admit I didn't spend long on the touch sensitivity settings. From what I do remember, it didn't completely eliminate the issue

I also did a factory reset on the es7 incase there was an errant setting affecting it.

Next time I go back, I plan to be armed with a range of different headphones and I'll definitely try the touch sensitivity settings more comprehensively


There should also be an internal volume output setting, which is digital volume. You might want to lower that a little, and if necessary raise the final analog output volume to compensate if you need the volume in the headphones. This might avoid any possible digital distortion (which doesn't sound good!).

Generally, I go the other way -- keep the digital volume high to take advantage of maximum digital resolution, and make any final necessary adjustments with the analog volume output. But besides the touch sensitivity, which in combination with other settings could overdrive the overall digital volume, be sure to check EQ, internal volume, effect settings, and any other setting that might be pumping the digital volume up too high.

I remember a discussion I had with Alan Palmer of Kawai USA. He told me that at one time the Kawai engineers were pretty fanatic about making the keyboards "idiot-proof" -- impossible to overdrive the digital volume and produce distortion. But in doing so, they were limiting editing options that might be useful to an experienced user. I think we were talking about overlapping EQ ranges in this context. So under some pressure from some of the player-employees of the company, some options were restored to give the user more flexible editing options. But this means that with certain combinations of settings, it is definitely possible to overdrive the digital volume and produce distortion.

If this is the case, no lowering of the final analog output volume will eliminate the distortion. You have to edit the settings to properly "gain stage" the parameters which affect the digital volume to eliminate the distortion. This really shouldn't be difficult to do, but it helps to know the instrument.


Edited by Savante (Yesterday at 04:29 PM)

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#2317392 - Yesterday at 04:33 PM Re: Kawai pianos - overloading headphones? [Re: *windowlicker*]
emenelton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 462
It's possible your reacting to the metallic sound some keys samples exhibit at max velocity.

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#2317398 - Yesterday at 04:45 PM Re: Kawai pianos - overloading headphones? [Re: emenelton]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11676
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: emenelton
It's possible your reacting to the metallic sound some keys samples exhibit at max velocity.
This is something that I meant to note. Whatever is "max velocity" you shouldn't ever play with that. No piano should ever be at this level - in acoustics and digitals that are good mimics of acoustics there is a certain point that once you go beyond that velocity you get a bangy quality. Even something marked [i]ff[/f] should be under this max level (and everything else relative to that).
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2317403 - Yesterday at 04:55 PM Re: Kawai pianos - overloading headphones? [Re: Savante]
*windowlicker* Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 5
Loc: Oxfordshire
Originally Posted By: Savante


But this means that with certain combinations of settings, it is definitely possible to overdrive the digital volume and produce distortion.

If this is the case, no lowering of the final analog output volume will eliminate the distortion. You have to edit the settings to properly "gain stage" the parameters which affect the digital volume to eliminate the distortion. This really shouldn't be difficult to do, but it helps to know the instrument.


This makes sense to me, I'll have a read through the es7 manual to familiarise myself with all the settings to lower the digital volume and see if this has he desired effect. Thanks for the suggestions smile

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#2317482 - Yesterday at 09:10 PM Re: Kawai pianos - overloading headphones? [Re: *windowlicker*]
*windowlicker* Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 5
Loc: Oxfordshire
Thanks for the replies, just to let anyone else reading this know I've actually found other users describing this exact problem in the es7 user thread! http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2005916/Kawai%20ES7%20user%20thread.html


Edited by *windowlicker* (Yesterday at 09:32 PM)

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#2317599 - 41 minutes 15 seconds ago Re: Kawai pianos - overloading headphones? [Re: *windowlicker*]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1817
Loc: Pennsylvania
A while back, I was a member of a health club which was advertising that they were soon to be open 24 hours each day.

I enquired at the main desk if I came at 2 in the morning ... if I would be able to get in (it was now noon). The attendant was not entirely sure but he asked me ... "Are you coming at 2 in the morning ?" I sheepishly replied... "I guess not".

Somehow, this thread reminds me of that experience.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Racvenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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