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#682228 - 01/06/05 08:14 AM Kawai CA5, Yamaha, Roland?
DavidPJ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 47
Loc: Ohio
I'm very grateful for finding this excellent forum. I'm shopping for a new digital piano for my 5 year daughter to begin lessons. I've pretty much made the big decision of going with a digital vs. acoustic piano. I would like to keep this piano for a good period of time, so I don't want to buy a low end throw away. We also want a model with a cabinet as opposed to just a keyboard or stage model.

I've been looking mostly at Kawai, the models CN390 and CA5. I liked the CN390 and price, but suprisingly it doesn't have a USB port, which I think is a must. The next step up is the CA5, which gives USB, 4 speakers, wood keyboard, and 96 polyphony.

I haven't actually seen the CA5 yet, the dealer didn't have one on display. What do you think of it? What would be a comparitive model in Yamaha and Roland?

The number 1 criteria for me is keyboard touch, followed by price, then sound quality. I want to stay in the $2-3K range. I think touch is the most important so my daughter can easily transition to an acoustic piano someday if she so desires.

Lastly, are there authorized online sources for these pianos?

Thanks for your suggestions.

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#682229 - 01/06/05 10:04 AM Re: Kawai CA5, Yamaha, Roland?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
for Yamaha, CLP150 might fit your needs and price range.

#682230 - 01/06/05 11:28 AM Re: Kawai CA5, Yamaha, Roland?
CMS Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/14/02
Posts: 99

If you liked the Kawai CN390, you might want to check out Kawai ES3/5. They are stage pianos that have the exact same action as the CN390 and probably the same samples. Both have USB connectivity. Of course, they are both much cheaper than the furniture oriented CN390. They also look quite good, sans the furniture.

I have an ES5 and I highly recommend it.

#682231 - 01/06/05 11:46 AM Re: Kawai CA5, Yamaha, Roland?
Kenpcola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 86
Loc: Pensacola, FL
CA5, obviously, is a newer model with more instrument sounds. Said to have newer keybeds. You really have to try playing both of them first before making decision. USB is just add on. You really don't need to have USB on digital piano models. It is just a convenient feature you have to buy with $$$. That USB port is just a second Midi interface. You can buy USB-Midi cable unit for $45 if your digital piano don't have USB port.
There are many online digital piano dealers. You can contact Kawaii directly and they can give out authorized online dealers too(preferred way).

#682232 - 01/06/05 12:42 PM Re: Kawai CA5, Yamaha, Roland?
fogwall Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/04
Posts: 160
Loc: Sweden
As the CA-5 has a new keyboard touch, which is supposed to be better (I haven't been able to try it myself), you should definitely try that one also.

As said, USB is not necessary.

#682233 - 01/06/05 02:48 PM Re: Kawai CA5, Yamaha, Roland?
CMS Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/14/02
Posts: 99
Kawai CN-5s have their premium digital piano action, which used also to be in the now-discontinued MP9500 stage piano. It is rumored to be the best action in any digital, but you should check it for yourself. Some find that it makes a disconcerting clunk, when the key is fully depressed.

#682234 - 01/06/05 04:46 PM Re: Kawai CA5, Yamaha, Roland?
DavidPJ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 47
Loc: Ohio
Thanks for your comments. I've also starting reviewing the Yamaha CLP-150 and PF500. The CLP-150 seems to be directly competitive in features and in price to the Kawai CA5. I wish I could find a dealer that sells both so I could compare them side by side.

Any comments the Yamaha CLP-150 vs the Kawai CA5?


#682235 - 01/06/05 09:50 PM Re: Kawai CA5, Yamaha, Roland?
Kenpcola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 86
Loc: Pensacola, FL
They both gonna compete each other in Original sound only.
I prefer Kawaii sound over Yamaha sound.
You are right. You should compare those two side by side. Take time. You may repeat the comparison several times before making any decision.

#682236 - 01/07/05 04:54 AM Re: Kawai CA5, Yamaha, Roland?
saw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/04
Posts: 100
Loc: Florida
I have a PF-500 and am very happy with it so far. I recently tried a Kawai CA-1200/1000, predecessor to the CA-5 and CA-7. I liked the key feel very much - wooden keys and action felt very authentic and "right" to me. I also liked the warmth of the tone produced, and the simple layout. These instruments provide what you need and just that. One thing I noticed that was a concern to me is the dynamic reproduction. Kawai uses a proprietary technique called Harmonic Imaging to reproduce the dynamic range of the keys. However, my experience was that, if I experimented with playing soft to loud, there was a point at which the tonal character of the note would totally change, from a more mellow to a brighter tone. The sales person, seemingly knowledgeable in pianos, suggested that is intentional to mimic acoustics. However, I found it to be surprisingly abrupt, and therefore not natual. I am an adult beginner, so possibly my ear needs more training here. Otherwise, I like the Kawai line, even though I purchased a Yamaha. Good luck.

Celebrate and enjoy the journey!

#682237 - 01/07/05 11:27 AM Re: Kawai CA5, Yamaha, Roland?
fogwall Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/04
Posts: 160
Loc: Sweden
If going for a CA-7 you will get brand new piano samples and some nice modelling features which is described in detail at http://www.kawai.de/index2.html (click on Digitalpianos, Audio Demos, CA7 and listen to Saitenresonanzsimulation and Dämpfereffekt).

#682238 - 01/08/05 09:03 AM Re: Kawai CA5, Yamaha, Roland?
csmith1978 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 34
Loc: Pennsylvania
David -

I would encourage you to atleast try the Yamaha CLP150. It is in your price range. FWIW, I believe Yamaha has a 5 year part and labor warranty on their digitals. Just in case.

As noted in another thread, I have not played the latest Kawai digitals to comment.

#682239 - 01/08/05 06:47 PM Re: Kawai CA5, Yamaha, Roland?
DavidPJ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 47
Loc: Ohio
Thanks everyone for your comments.

csmith1978, yes the Yamaha warranty is as you said, 5 years parts, 1 year labor. The Kawai warranty is 3 years parts, 1 year labor.

A few days after I started this thread I started another to specifically address pricing on the CLP-150 and CA5. However, this thread and the another became very similar. To avoid duplication, I'll refer you to my newer post entitled "Price for Yamaha CLP-150 & Kawai CA5" at http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/6/806.html for further comments. Thanks again.


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