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#2354575 - Yesterday at 11:21 AM KAWAI CS10 ISSUES
AndyJoe Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/24/14
Posts: 3

I have seen other posts on forums about the Kawai sound. I have been similarly unimpressed with the quality of some of the piano sounds. I know what people mean when they refer to the buzzing sound. It is a kind of metallic jarring that seems to underscore a lot of the piano sounds.

I was in a music store the other day and even one of the piano sales people agreed that there is an unpleasant jarring element to the sound.

However, some I have spoken to think it is fantastic so I guess it is personal taste.

A more serious problem I have experienced is that it is very difficult to play very softly - a problem I think others have eluded to on forums. Also, my CS10 has inconsistent balance between certain notes. For example, the F sharp and G above middle C on all the voices under the piano 1 bank are noticeably more jarring in tone than the keys around them - even when played softly there is a very harsh tone that comes across as dominant and loud because of the tonal characteristic. Same problem with b flat below middle C on voices in the piano 2 bank. I know that the virtual technician allows you to change the volume of individual notes, but that is not the solution because it is the disproportionate out of balance harshness of these individual notes that set them apart. Lowering their volume in relation to the keys around them does not change the character of the tone produced.

I've had this looked at and an engineer couldn't understand the dirty condition of the contacts on a brand new piano. When they were cleaned it seemed to alleviate the problem, but it is now back. Speaking to Kawai again today to get them back, but I am not hopeful because they failed to resolve this first time round - the engineer I refer to above was an independent one who came in after the one provided by Kawai failed to identify the problem. He wouldn't even acknowledge there was anything wrong. Fobbed me off by saying it was the string resonance function that was causing the harsh sounds - rubbish of course because it is still the same with the function switched off. Very unimpressive performance.

I would be interested to know if anyone else has had similar problems, and if and how it was resolved.

The feel of the piano keyboard is great and if I can resolve these problems and get a good even tone across the entire keyboard I will be happy even though I have to agree that the Kawai sound is a little harsh for my liking. But if I cannot get this resolved I will be going back to Yamaha because my CS10 cannot be played properly without becoming frustrated with these problems- it takes all the enjoyment away.

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#2354657 - Yesterday at 02:23 PM Re: KAWAI CS10 ISSUES [Re: AndyJoe]
McBuster Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/11
Posts: 243
Loc: St Paul Minnesota USA

An easy way to determine if a specific Key's Electronics are at fault is to Shift the Notes up or down from the one in question. That way, the original note can be played on another Key and, the Note that replaced it, will be affected.

Key Transpose is the feature. Page 61 (in the CA95 manual)

The F# and G above Middle C are a known issue. In fact, I am working with Kawai as we speak of this very thing.

No one has mentioned to me it may be a dirty contact. I will move the Note and see what happens and let you know.

Here are some Threads you may find useful.


The CS10, CA95, CA65 and MP11 share the same Sound Samples and Keyboard. The Sound Engine is the same for the CS10 CA95 CA65. It may be the same as well for the MP11. The CS10 and CA95 share the same Amps and Speaker setup.

If this starts to irritate you, do not waste time. Let your Dealer know to call Kawai and start a Repair Ticket.

Hope this is helpful.
Jon ...

Kawai CA95
Sailor, Consultant, Gourmet, Dreamer

#2354716 - Yesterday at 04:58 PM Re: KAWAI CS10 ISSUES [Re: AndyJoe]
AndyJoe Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/24/14
Posts: 3
Hi Jon,

Thanks for getting back to me on this. Glad to know I'm not the only one with this problem. I was beginning to get very downhearted, especially when I hear Kawai being spoken of so highly by both dealers and customers. You start to think it's you that's in the wrong.

I've tried transposing and the faulty F sharp and G move up and down the keyboard as you do so which means it's obviously something wrong with the sample rather than the keys. I think the dirty contacts I had exacerbated the problem and the cleaning resulted in an improvement. However, the underlying problem is still present.

Funnily enough the problem I have with the dodgy b flat in the piano 2 voices doesn't seem to transpose so I guess there is a problem with the contact and it's just not as obvious with the other voices. It's like the key is too sensitive when compared to its neighbours.

I've spoken to Kawai this afternoon and after meeting a little resistance (they tried to fob me off to the dealer)they have agrede to send an engineer.

I'm really glad I put this post up and got a response from someone with the same problem because it backs me up. You start to doubt yourself when you aren't getting anywhere - I've even visited a few stores and tried out the CA95 and another CS10 and found they were fine. I would gladly swap mine for any of the Kawai models I've tried in store. It's obviously a sporadic problem affecting a limited number of pianos I presume.

Please let me know if you get any answers from Kawai and I will do likewise. I have noticed that the Kawai Europe website has a download for the CS10 which has appeared since the last time I looked but the list of faults it purports to cure doesn't include this problem. I'm going to try the download in any case just in case it reboots the system and somehow cures it. I doubt it but it's worth a try I suppose.

I'll have a look at the other threads you've referred to also.



#2354764 - Yesterday at 07:37 PM Re: KAWAI CS10 ISSUES [Re: AndyJoe]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9551
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Good morning Andy,

First, I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing some difficulties with your CS10.

You have obviously done the right thing in reporting these issues to your local dealer and - assuming you are based in the UK - to Kawai UK. Indeed, as you are already corresponding with my colleagues at Kawai UK, I do not believe it is necessary for me to get involved in this particular matter.

However, I shall offer my opinion regarding the points you raise.

1. Keyboard contacts

I'm afraid I do not know the reason why the CS10's keyboard contacts (actually sealed rubber switches) required cleaning so soon after the piano was purchased. This is a very rare case, and unless the instrument is placed in a very dusty/dirty environment, should not happen.

I even wonder if the independent technician that you hired was simply 'looking' for a job to do, and cleaned the action regardless of the condition it was in? As you note, the cleaning alleviated the issue only temporarily, and transposing the sound up/down also shifts the tonal characteristic you are hearing. Both points suggest to me that the keyboard contacts are not the problem.

2. Metallic sound

As you have found, some individuals love the sound of Kawai pianos, while others do not. I believe this is a personal preference. Kawai samples all 88 keys of the grand piano, which means each note has its own unique characteristics. Sometimes one or two notes sound more prominent than others, however these characteristics can be be adjusted by using the Virtual Technician functions, such as the User Key Volume setting that you refer to.

You mentioned that the first technician provided by Kawai suggested that String Resonance may contribute to the characteristics of the sound you are hearing. I am actually inclined to agree with this point, and would add that Kawai's Damper Resonance modelling can also 'excite' certain characteristics of the sampled sound. I don't believe this technician was purposely trying to fob you off - he was offering an explanation as to why some notes may have more prominent characteristics than others.

In addition, you mention that the CS10 and CA95 instruments you have played at your dealer's store do not exhibit the characteristics of the CS10 at your home. However, these pianos all share the same sound hardware and samples, which suggests to me that the location/placement of the instrument may actually be a factor. May I ask if the characteristics you are hearing are also prominent when listening to the piano with headphones? If not, I wonder if there are any objects/surfaces in the room that are resonating with certain frequencies of the sound? It may even be worth checking that all of the piano's screws are firmly tightened. Years ago, I had a pair of old Wharfedale speakers, one of which would 'buzz' whenever a specific bass note of a particular song would play - it plagued me for months. I eventually isolated the problem to a single screw on the front of the speaker, gave it a 1/2 turn, and never heard the buzz again!

Finally, regarding software updates, I do not believe the characteristic you are hearing will be affected by updating the software, but you're obviously welcome to try downloading the latest version from the Kawai Europe or Kawai Japan website at the URL below:


I hope this helps.

Best of luck!

Kind regards,
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

#2354911 - Today at 04:53 AM Re: KAWAI CS10 ISSUES [Re: AndyJoe]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 327
Loc: Valencia, Spain
Andy, the inconsistent tone and character between adjacent keys is a well known issue in this particular 88 key sampling from Kawai. It affects other models who run PHI sound, so it's probably in the sample, which is supposed to be the same for them all. My ES7 has similar issues.
You could try to record those single notes and import the recording into Audacity, so that you can see the waveforms.That's a good way to prove your ears are not fooling you (they aren't).
The only way to solve it is to adjust the keybed sensitivity to heavy or heavy+, but this will affect the tone of the whole piano and the dynamic range.
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

#2354985 - 10 minutes 30 seconds ago Re: KAWAI CS10 ISSUES [Re: AndyJoe]
Brometeo Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/11
Posts: 62
Loc: Madrid (Spain)
Originally Posted By: AndyJoe

A more serious problem I have experienced is that it is very difficult to play very softly - a problem I think others have eluded to on forums.

I have played Kawai CA95 for many months now after owning a CA93. When I purchased the new model, felt same as you with soft playing. After trying some acoustics, I saw that was an expected behaviour for a piano.

From then, I have enhanced my playing abilities, and now I am very happy with results. Getting pianissimo is not easy on a good piano, so in CA95. Touch is very good, full of little nuances and detail, but enjoying it is an acquired taste. Now I am able of producing subtle dynamic in my CA95, with very soft passages, and in future I expect better results.

Hope it helps you smile
Kawai CA95


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