Yamaha CLP-470 vs. Kawai CS 6 & CA

Posted by: Jan Sk

Yamaha CLP-470 vs. Kawai CS 6 & CA - 06/11/11 03:14 AM

Hello all,

I'm going to buy digital piano and I would like to ask you for help with my decision.

I've been playing piano 20 years and looking for instrument for practicing. My priority is obviously to resemble real instrument as much as possible. My budget is not strictly restrained, but should be along the lines of 2K-4K EUR.

I'm considering the following options:
Yamaha CLP-470
Yamaha CLP-480 - is GP Soundboard Speaker, tri-amp system worth the price vs. CLP-470?
Kawai CA 63
Kawai CA 93 - is let-off, speakers, Soundboard Speaker System worth the price vs. CA 63?
Kawai CS 6 - what is difference vs. CA 93? only design?
(Yamaha Modus R01 - rejected due to high price for design)

I read many advantages of Kawai vs. Yamaha, however, I suppose the comparison was done vs. older Yamaha models. Does this still apply vs. new CLP series?

Particularly, I would like have clarified the following areas:
1) Ultra Progressive Harmonic Imaging Sound Technology VS. RGE (Real Grand Expression)
2) RM3 Wooden-Key, Graded-Hammer Action w Let-Off VS. Linear Graded Hammers (do the Kawai "key-independent" hammers matter that much?)
3) Do Kawai series have damper resonance, string resonance, smooth release, etc. as CLP?
4) 192 polyphony VS. 256 polyphony (is Kawai cracking noise bug fixed already?)
5) Soundboard Speaker System at Kawai = GP Soundboard Speaker at Yamaha?
6) Are both Kawai and Yamaha delivered disassembled (or is it possible to disassemble them)?
7) Can I expect new CA models from Kawai in the nearest future (I would like to avoid buying current model with new series coming in one month)?

Thanks a lot for your help.
Jan
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Yamaha CLP-470 vs. Kawai CS 6 & CA - 06/11/11 03:59 AM

Hello Jan, welcome to the forum.

Some answers to your Kawai-related queries:

Originally Posted By: Jan SK
Kawai CS 6 - what is difference vs. CA 93? only design?


The CS6 shares essentially the same technical specifications as the CA63, however the keyboard action features let-off simulation. The design of the cabinet is also more attractive (polished ebony finish, numerous other acoustic-piano characteristics).

Originally Posted By: Jan SK
3) Do Kawai series have damper resonance, string resonance, smooth release, etc. as CLP?


I'm not familiar with 'smooth release' (I've yet to try the new CLP-400 range), however the CA93/CA63/CS6 alll feature string and damper resonance, in addition to other Virtual Technician parameters such as Voicing, Key-Off Effect etc.

Originally Posted By: Jan SK
4) 192 polyphony VS. 256 polyphony (is Kawai cracking noise bug fixed already?)


Yes, the cracking noise was fixed a couple of weeks after being reported.

Originally Posted By: Jan SK
6) Are both Kawai and Yamaha delivered disassembled (or is it possible to disassemble them)?


The Kawai CA63 and CS6 leave the factory in a flat-pack form and must be assembled either by the customer or the dealer - depending on how/where the instrument is purchased. Because of its integrated soundboard speaker, the CA93 leaves the factory pre-assembled.

Originally Posted By: Jan SK
7) Can I expect new CA models from Kawai in the nearest future (I would like to avoid buying current model with new series coming in one month)?


Well, new instruments are constantly in development, however there are no plans to replace the current CAx3 instruments just yet. The CS9 should be arriving at dealers' stores soon, however you may find that this instrument will exceed your maximum budget.

I hope this helps.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Jan Sk

Re: Yamaha CLP-470 vs. Kawai CS 6 & CA - 06/12/11 05:35 AM

Thank you James.

Yesterday I tried CA 63, CA 93, CLP-470, CLP-480 (also Roland 307) and I'm leaning towards Kawai. CLP-480 has better sound (not case with CLP-470 - probably due to tri-amp system on 480) than Kawai, but I think keyboard action is more important for me (and Kawai sound is not bad at all).

Yamaha keyboard feels a bit artificial compared to Kawai, which is obviously due to independent hammers. I was wondering why Yamaha don't introduce similar hammer action on CLP series as Kawai. I think they want to protect AvantGrand series, otherwise CLP would partially cannibalize on them.

Regarding the Kawai let-off simulation: I saw the mechanic inside and this effect is created by a piece of rubber (or something similar). How long will this rubber survive? Are there any claims on that?

Thanks,
Jan
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Yamaha CLP-470 vs. Kawai CS 6 & CA - 06/12/11 06:38 AM

Hello Jan,

I don't know how long the rubber component that you are referring to will last, although I know that the R&D chaps expose the prototype keyboard actions to some pretty rigorous playing (using a stressing machine) to ensure that the mechanism maintains its stability.

It's perhaps worth noting that the let-off mechanism can be adjusted by a technician to increase/decrease the level of resistance. If you feel that the let-off becomes a little too soft over time, it should be possible to arrange for a technician to adjust the mechanism to suit your preferences.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: macinfosys

Re: Yamaha CLP-470 vs. Kawai CS 6 & CA - 11/17/11 11:07 AM

James,

I understand that the CS6 is essentially the same unit technically as the CA63 other than the visual difference and the Let-Off action. One thing that concerned me was another forum member stated when he played the the CS6 and the CA63, the CS6 sounded very much different and was not impressed. Could that be because of the cabinet ? I believe the CA63 has speakers facing you also?, does the CS6 have the same speaker layout/placement as the CA63 ? Unfortunately no dealer locally has any CS6 for me to play and experience the audio for myself.
Posted by: Glowry

Re: Yamaha CLP-470 vs. Kawai CS 6 & CA - 11/18/11 01:36 AM

Dear you have huge knowledge about the instrument The PX-555 combines beautiful tone and first-rate piano touch with Auto Accompaniment I think px-555 is good for you good luck...
Posted by: Svendsen

Re: Yamaha CLP-470 vs. Kawai CS 6 & CA - 11/22/11 11:09 AM

What is the difference between CS 9 and CA 93?
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Yamaha CLP-470 vs. Kawai CS 6 & CA - 11/22/11 12:37 PM

Mostly looks. Also one of them has a "piano technician" functionality that the other lacks I believe.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Yamaha CLP-470 vs. Kawai CS 6 & CA - 11/22/11 07:51 PM

gvfarns, both models feature 'Virtual Technician' functions, however the CS9 offers some additional controls (from the MP10) not found on the CA93.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: jojopiano

Re: Yamaha CLP-470 vs. Kawai CS 6 & CA - 01/29/12 08:25 AM

James,

I bought the CA63 about 8 months ago and really love it.

My brother tried it and was interested in buying a similar piano. I looked at the Kawai website and saw the CS6.

In looking over the stats, the CS6 looks almost identical to the CA63, with the exception of the fact that it has the RM3 keyboard with the let off feature. Other differences in the specs that seemed to matter were the speaker set up: both have 50 W x 2 power but the CS6 has only 2 13 cm speakers whereas the CA63 has 4 13 cm speakers (both have 2 5 cm speakers) and the fact that the CA63 comes in different cabinet colors.

Is the MRSP the same or is the CS6 a little higher? Are there any real differences when playing it (other than the let off on the action)? When I looked at the CS3, with the plastic keys, lower line action, and 96 note polyphony etc. I thought the CS line would be a lower line as compared to the concert artist series. The line doesn't seem all that clear at this point...

Thanks for the info.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Yamaha CLP-470 vs. Kawai CS 6 & CA - 01/29/12 08:52 AM

Hello jojopiano,

Originally Posted By: jojopiano
In looking over the stats, the CS6 looks almost identical to the CA63, with the exception of the fact that it has the RM3 keyboard with the let off feature.


Correct, this is essentially the only mechanical/technical difference between the CS6 and CA63. The main sales point of the CS6 is the ebony polish finish and more impressive cabinet.

Originally Posted By: jojopiano
...the speaker set up: both have 50 W x 2 power but the CS6 has only 2 13 cm speakers whereas the CA63 has 4 13 cm speakers...


I believe this is a mistake on the Kawai America website - the CA63 speaker system features two 13cm speakers, not four. The CA63 and CS6 speaker systems are identical.

Originally Posted By: jojopiano
Is the MRSP the same or is the CS6 a little higher?


The CS6 is the more expensive instrument, largely due to the premium finish.

Originally Posted By: jojopiano
Are there any real differences when playing it (other than the let off on the action)?


In theory, no (the action and sound technologies are the same), however in practise, some prefer playing a polished ebony instrument.

Originally Posted By: jojopiano
When I looked at the CS3, with the plastic keys, lower line action, and 96 note polyphony etc. I thought the CS line would be a lower line as compared to the concert artist series.


The CS range of instrument are marketed as luxury, ebony polish digital pianos (CS = 'Classic Series'). The CS3 is a premium version of the CN23 (adding let-off and a superior speaker system), while the CS6 and CS9 models are premium versions of the popular CA63 and CA93 instruments.

For more information, please refer to Kawai Japan's CS Series brochure.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: jojopiano

Re: Yamaha CLP-470 vs. Kawai CS 6 & CA - 01/30/12 05:50 PM

James,

Thanks for the info. I was fooled by the specifications on the website regarding the speakers and the fact that the CS3 was lower in price than the CA63, at the time I was looking for a piano. The CS3 has the lower line action and plastic keys. I see now that the CS line is the sort of suped up version of the other lines with nicer cabinetry.

I might have payed just a bit more for the let off feature and the high end cabinet (still minus the wooden sound board) if the CS6 had been available at the time. I really did want the CA93, I just couldn't justify the extra cost. Given my space at home, I didn't need the extra wattage in the speakers and--at least in the music store--I didn't hear so much of a difference with the wooden sound board. So escapement escaped me...

My guess is that the difference in the sound of a hybrid instrument like the CA93 or CS9 is more subtle. It'd probably be easier to really hear the difference in a quieter environment (like a home and not a music store) where the vibration of the wood might lend an even more natural tone to the instrument. The wooden sound board not only added heft to the instrument, however, it pushed the price out of my acceptable range.

Thanks so much for the information

J
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Yamaha CLP-470 vs. Kawai CS 6 & CA - 01/30/12 06:23 PM

Originally Posted By: jojopiano
Thanks so much for the information


No problem, happy to help.
Thank you for drawing attention to the CA63 speaker specs error.

Kind regards,
James
x