First digital piano, burning question

Posted by: Mark J S

First digital piano, burning question - 09/23/12 11:00 AM

Hello,
This is my first post on this forum, so please accept my apologies if this is not the right place for this post.
I want to get a digital piano for my 6-year old and to get a little more involved in music myself. I played the piano and cello a looooong time ago, and once owned a Gem S2 that I sold more than a decade ago.
I am considering to buy a Kawai CA65, but would like to use the keyboard as a master controller, have a computer generate sounds, and then play it again on the CA65 (without its "native" sound). Is this possible?
Any other important points about the CA65, good or bad, are of course welcome.
Best regards,
Mark
Posted by: Amaruk

Re: First digital piano, burning question - 09/23/12 12:21 PM

Hi Mark,
Welcome to Piano World. For a piano to control a software piano you need MIDI out on the piano and most digital pianos have that (including CA65). If you then want to use the speakers in the piano to play the sound you need audio inputs on the piano and the CA65 has that too but not all digital pianos have this. I also think you should be able to mute the native piano while playing but I am not sure about this as I dont have that DP myself. Others here should be able to confirm this as that is a very popular and respected DP around here.
Posted by: wouter79

Re: First digital piano, burning question - 09/23/12 03:42 PM

Make sure you check with the teacher as well.
Posted by: Mark J S

Re: First digital piano, burning question - 09/23/12 04:09 PM

Thanks Amaruk and Wouter79. I will visit a dealer and check there.
Wouter, what should I check with the teacher (which I do not have yet)? The choice for digital you mean?
Thanks again,
Mark
Posted by: wouter79

Re: First digital piano, burning question - 09/25/12 04:24 AM

Yes some teachers have specific suggestions for the piano. Some even don't teach students playing DP.

I recommend going for acoustic, DP sounds do not invite me to play at all.
Posted by: JFP

Re: First digital piano, burning question - 09/25/12 04:43 AM

I think a Ca65 for just the keybed and not the sound engine is overkill. If you have the time , I would suggest to look for another option , or perhaps wait for some new Kawai product(s) that are coming up. Unless I don't understand your question and you will indeed use the internal piano sounds for piano practicing, then the ca is a great choice.
Posted by: bajabill

Re: First digital piano, burning question - 09/25/12 09:45 AM

I think you need to explain a little more detailed what and why you are outlining the above process.

If you are sending the midi data out from the nice keyboard (good idea) to a computer that can create better piano sounds to your ears (good idea) then do not send them back to a digital piano speaker/amp system. You can easily better the sound recreation with equipment designed just for that. Search here for similar topics.

I think with the CA65 you are paying for Kawai's "better" sound data (which you do not like) and speakers (which I think you can do better). The keypad is probably worthy of the money, but you may be able to find just that for a lot less money.

And if a teacher does not want to teach a beginner 6 year old because the student does not have either a crappy or concert quality accoustic piano, then look for the next teacher. That breed should die out in due time - and not soon enough in my not so humble opinion.
Posted by: AshwayGap

Re: First digital piano, burning question - 09/25/12 10:14 AM

Originally Posted By: bajabill
And if a teacher does not want to teach a beginner 6 year old because the student does not have either a crappy or concert quality accoustic piano, then look for the next teacher. That breed should die out in due time - and not soon enough in my not so humble opinion.


Agree absolutely!
Posted by: dmd

Re: First digital piano, burning question - 09/25/12 10:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark J S
Hello,
This is my first post on this forum, so please accept my apologies if this is not the right place for this post.
I want to get a digital piano for my 6-year old and to get a little more involved in music myself. I played the piano and cello a looooong time ago, and once owned a Gem S2 that I sold more than a decade ago.
I am considering to buy a Kawai CA65, but would like to use the keyboard as a master controller, have a computer generate sounds, and then play it again on the CA65 (without its "native" sound). Is this possible?
Any other important points about the CA65, good or bad, are of course welcome.
Best regards,
Mark


The first thought is ... Why do you wish to go right to computer generated sounds immediately instead of trying for a DP which sounds good right out of the box ?

And, second ... If you run that sound right back into the DP and out the DP Speakers you may very likely not get the best sound because of the limitations on the DP speakers.

If you are willing to go for the CA65, it is my understanding that the CA95 provides a very nice native sound due to the presence of a physical sound board. You may very well like that sound just the way it is.

Also, if you do decide to go with the computer generated sounds, as others have said, you may not need the expense of the CA65. All, you are buying is the keybed. You may be able to find a less expensive DP which has a very nice keybed. Any of the lesser Kawai DPs might be adequate.
Posted by: Mark J S

Re: First digital piano, burning question - 09/25/12 11:23 AM

Thank you all for the answers. Very useful.

It's not that I want to go straight to a complicated setup with external source, but I would want to know if it is possible. To be honest, my plan is to just play (and have my son play) the ca65 and stick with that. When I do get the idea that technology has advanced enough for better sounds, I want to have the option to loop it back to the DP.
That said, I have a very nice hifi setup, which may be better suited for output. I really don't know yet. Just want to keep the options open!

BTW, I tried the CA65 today and I love the action! The dealer had many acoustic uprights and grands, as well as several Kawai and Roland digitals. I much prefer the Kawai. Sound is also very nice. Should be even better through the hifi system, but would the sound not be too far "to the back"?
Posted by: dmd

Re: First digital piano, burning question - 09/25/12 12:42 PM

I have the Kawai CA63 and everything works very well for using software piano sounds ... so I am assuming the CA65 would be fine also. I still would suggest a taste of the CA95 just to see if you like the sound of it better. That soundboard is supposed to give it more of the sound coming from an acoustical piano. Of course, you would have to actually try it to hear if that is true ... and worth the extra cost to you.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: First digital piano, burning question - 09/25/12 02:58 PM

Originally Posted By: JFP
I think a Ca65 for just the keybed and not the sound engine is overkill. If you have the time , I would suggest to look for another option , or perhaps wait for some new Kawai product(s) that are coming up.


Problem is, there aren't any other options. If what you want is the best sound and the best action, you have to buy a digital that has the best action (in your view) and expensive but mediocre sounds and then add to it a software piano. The best software pianos are better than the best hardware pianos for tone generation and there are no really high quality MIDI controllers.

It's a shame, but to have the best you have to waste whatever electronics manufacturers put into digital pianos to give them "good" sounds.

The exception is those people who prefer the V piano sound (doesn't include me) to all software pianos and prefer PHA3 to all other actions (also doesn't include me). Those are a lucky bunch in one sense, but they pay through the nose for it.

Will Kawai or other manufacturers ever put out a future product that is a high quality MIDI controller or a digital piano with their very best action but cheap sounds? It would be awesome, but I'm not holding my breath. That would be like admitting that their proprietary sounds are not the best available, and I don't see them doing that. Ever. Just like Kawai and Yamaha DP's will never have a Steinway or Bosendorfer as their primary piano voice even though most customers would prefer that. It would mean admitting that their acoustics are not the best in the world.
Posted by: Mark J S

Re: First digital piano, burning question - 09/25/12 04:55 PM

gvfarms, those are exactly my considerations (although you put them to words a lot better than I could smile ). I love the action, and (merely) like the sound. For my beginner ears it's not a big deal though. And I am not waiting for a controller that may or may not be marketed at some point in the future!
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: First digital piano, burning question - 09/25/12 06:58 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark J S
gvfarms, those are exactly my considerations (although you put them to words a lot better than I could smile ). I love the action, and (merely) like the sound. For my beginner ears it's not a big deal though. And I am not waiting for a controller that may or may not be marketed at some point in the future!


Yeah, I'd like to upgrade too. I'd probably even pay whatever the replacement for the MP10 will cost if it has GF action. I don't really want to shell out for the speakers and sounds of the CA65 or 95. But in my fantasy world Kawai comes out with a GF controller for $1000 and I buy two, just to have a spare.

Maybe instead my fantasy world should include me earning a lot more money and not caring if some of it is wasted on Ultra Progressive Harmonic Imaging sounds. smile

Unfortunately, I'm not entirely sure Kawai will even make a GF stage piano since GF is heavier and larger than RM3 and the MP10's portability is already questionable. Kind of like Yamaha makes no stage pianos with GH3 or regular NW actions. Sad, really. I'm a slab man, and slab men (and women) get no respect from the manufacturers.
Posted by: Mark J S

Re: First digital piano, burning question - 11/09/12 05:56 AM

Just a little update. Today, a CA65 was delivered. I did not have the chance to listen to the CA95 (dealer said they don't move, so not in stock). Not a big deal, I don't think I would be prepared to pay the premium anyway, given my limited experience and the fact that the only other player would be a 6-year old :-)

So, when I get home tonight, I'll be putting the CA65 together!
Posted by: StefaanBelgium

Re: First digital piano, burning question - 11/09/12 06:04 AM

Ooh, I bet you're anxious to get home as soon as possible then smile Just take your time to put it together !
Posted by: Mark J S

Re: First digital piano, burning question - 11/09/12 11:01 AM

You bet. Can't wait... thumb