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Just wanted to give an update as I joined here a month ago and posted a series of negative experiences with a faulty speaker on a new CA99.

A Kawai service engineer visited and replaced one of the four top speakers and now the piano is pretty much perfect. :-) It took about ten minutes after diagnosis and pretty much anybody could do it.

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I am pleased to confirm the same experience with my ca99.
New speakers put in today and now it sounds wonderful.
But still a droning bass speaker sound which technician said is just "mains hum" and is expected?

Last edited by InspiredByKawai; 11/12/21 11:48 AM.
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https://youtube.com/shorts/A2AnIIiWjB4?feature=share

Here is a clip of the offending electrical droning sound.

Is this sound present on other people's ca99? Thanks

Last edited by InspiredByKawai; 11/13/21 07:54 AM.
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Originally Posted by InspiredByKawai
https://youtube.com/shorts/A2AnIIiWjB4?feature=share
Here is a clip of the offending electrical droning sound.
Is this sound present on other people's ca99? Thanks

Part of this humming noise could be caused by the electricity transformer, that transports it's vibrations trough the wooden cabinet. This problem can largely be solved by using silicone washers. They absorb almost every resonation produced by the transformer.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019O46D1...Y2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=


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The transformer is on the bottom right side of the piano though? This sound comes from the far left and left mains speaker. Thanks

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Originally Posted by InspiredByKawai
The transformer is on the bottom right side of the piano though? This sound comes from the far left and left mains speaker. Thanks

That' why I wrote: "a part of the humming noise could be caused by the transformer". There may be other aspects in play. But don't exlude transformer resonation.


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Think I found the culprit...

Not one but TWO broken bass speakers. Both rattling at half volume.
I never discovered this before as I only had volume at quarter way.

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After reading all the issues listed, to be honest it seems to me things that you can discover only after testing and that could/should be fixed with a release update. the bad news seems to be kawai is slow in doing that.

Are you happy anyway?
Would you buy again Kawai?

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Originally Posted by sigul
Are you happy anyway?
Would you buy again Kawai?
Me personally? Yes! Absolutely! I've bought mine with a 30d return policy to be sure that in case of a faulty unit, I could test it thoroughly, but mine is pretty much faultless. I've opted for the EP finish and it's stunning, the appearance is gorgeous, the feel is excellent and the sound is outstanding. I wouldn't trade it for anything else.

I absolutely dislike the update pace (and find it unacceptably slow) but since it's the same software found in the Novus and (new) Anytime range, I nevertheless expect some usability and bug fixing updates down the road (judging from the current track record in a year or two). The reason I might be as happy as I am may be that I'm not one to change settings often. I like the SK-EX with some custom tweaks very much (more so than a CFX or an Imperial) and am using the DP more like a dumb instrument where I can play in silence or change the volume. If you're interested in a specific opinion about something I'd be happy to elaborate more.

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Is there any way to turn Bluetooth audio on by default when it's powered on? Annoying having to flip it every time. CA79.

Last edited by Tupac; 11/15/21 12:31 AM.
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Originally Posted by fr34k
If you're interested in a specific opinion about something I'd be happy to elaborate more.

I am really interested in the option to have my music played by the piano via bluetooth and playing over it. And also the drums rythm:how are them? Thanks for the feedback!

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Originally Posted by sigul
After reading all the issues listed, to be honest it seems to me things that you can discover only after testing and that could/should be fixed with a release update. the bad news seems to be kawai is slow in doing that.

Are you happy anyway?
Would you buy again Kawai?
As someone who returned their CA-99, I would think twice before buying any digital piano with such an array of complaints about it smile
30d return policy is great -- keeping the boxes and arranging the moving out of a heavy slab isn't that great.

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Quote
As someone who returned their CA-99, I would think twice before buying any digital piano with such an array of complaints about it smile

I've read through literally every post here in anticipation of getting a CA79 if they ever become available in the USA again.

From what I can tell, very few if any of the complaints have to deal with the actual playability of the instrument. A few deal with sound problems such as the recent "rattles" and electrical interference. Almost all seem to deal with the "non-piano" functions of the software such as recording, settings savings, backlight, etc.

Is that an accurate impression?

I need to move to something with a "real-feeling" keyboard for home from the 25+ year-old Kawai X-150D keyboard my kid learned on when she was 8 years old (she is now 30). I dragged it out of the basement and have been using it daily for various exercises such as learning sight reading and finger placement to see if this is the instrument I want to learn in retirement. I think it is. But that plastic keyboard leaves more than a bit to be desired. smile

Why jump to something of the CA79's pricing? I'm definitely in the "Buy once, cry once" camp. Unfortunately, where I live, there are just a handful of music stores within 50 miles, most deal with school rentals, and of the three Kawai dealers, two have "open by appointment only" limited hours and do not return phone calls or respond to emails. The third one is a school instrument rental place and said they never stock Kawai instruments but they'd be happy to order one for me. smile They usually sell Casio but only have a few portable keyboards in stock for school rentals. Even the local Sam Ash and Guitar Centers have no real stock from any "brand name" manufacturers to try out so I'm kind of doing this the non-recommended way.

The good news is that at my skill level it probably doesn't matter because I have almost nothing to compare the CA79 to. smile

I spent a few decades in the technical side of I.T. and I've learned to tolerate or work-around a whole lot of software issues. The ones I've read of here, at my current and foreseeable skill level, are not concerning to me. I also have decades of experience dealing with electromagnetic interference so those are just kind of things I've dealt with a lot.

Thanks,

Ray


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Originally Posted by sigul
Originally Posted by fr34k
If you're interested in a specific opinion about something I'd be happy to elaborate more.

I am really interested in the option to have my music played by the piano via bluetooth and playing over it. And also the drums rythm:how are them?
For a "HIFI"-speaker-setup it's too localised to one spot if you're not sitting directly in front of it, but using it to play alongside your favourite tracks is very nice (where you can enjoy the stereo separation). AAC and aptX are supported so quality-wise there is nothing to complain about. The latency might be a bit too high if you're looking at a pianist's hands in a video, there I can only recommend a wired audio connection. Using BT-MIDI for practicing (e. g. with flowkey to check one does not neglect some notes or chords) works incredibly well, but playing alongside using BT-Audio isn't as lag-free as one might have hoped. This might be due to iOS and some apps I'm using since some apps simply shift the video to match the latency (e. g. YT), but e. g. flowkey does not. For a proper wired playback, record and MIDI connection I'm expecting a Motu M4 to arrive any day now.
I haven't used the drum rhythms very much, but having gone through all of them once: There are plenty and they also sound HQ.
Originally Posted by sigul
Thanks for the feedback!
I'm happy to help where I can anytime.

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Originally Posted by NXR
[quote]From what I can tell, very few if any of the complaints have to deal with the actual playability of the instrument. A few deal with sound problems such as the recent "rattles" and electrical interference. Almost all seem to deal with the "non-piano" functions of the software such as recording, settings savings, backlight, etc.

Is that an accurate impression?
I've had the same conclusion a semester ago, which is the reason I gave KAWAI a try. I haven't regretted it since. It's been a joy using my CA99 every day for months now.

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There are numerous key sound issues reported which I'd argue affects playability, but to my knowledge there is no complaints with the touch of the action. The action is probably the best on a digital, but don't expect it to feel exactly like a real grand action.

Last edited by InspiredByKawai; 11/15/21 12:25 PM.
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Originally Posted by fr34k
I've had the same conclusion a semester ago, which is the reason I gave KAWAI a try. I haven't regretted it since. It's been a joy using my CA99 every day for months now.

Thanks for the feedback.

Originally Posted by InspiredByKawai
There are numerous key sound issues reported which I'd argue affects playability, but to my knowledge there is no complaints with the touch of the action. The action is probably the best on a digital, but don't expect it to feel exactly like a real grand action.

Thanks, in that case it should be OK for me. Not only have I never played a grand piano, some of my hearing is "diminished" due to age and occupational exposures. Works for me... smile


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They definitely solved the spongey key bottom feel, and I like a lot that you can play just as effortlessly at the very back of the key as the front. It feels authentic in that regard. This is thanks likely to the longer key length.

Last edited by InspiredByKawai; 11/15/21 02:40 PM.
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Originally Posted by NXR
Quote
As someone who returned their CA-99, I would think twice before buying any digital piano with such an array of complaints about it smile

I've read through literally every post here in anticipation of getting a CA79 if they ever become available in the USA again.

From what I can tell, very few if any of the complaints have to deal with the actual playability of the instrument. A few deal with sound problems such as the recent "rattles" and electrical interference. Almost all seem to deal with the "non-piano" functions of the software such as recording, settings savings, backlight, etc.

Is that an accurate impression?

I need to move to something with a "real-feeling" keyboard for home from the 25+ year-old Kawai X-150D keyboard my kid learned on when she was 8 years old (she is now 30). I dragged it out of the basement and have been using it daily for various exercises such as learning sight reading and finger placement to see if this is the instrument I want to learn in retirement. I think it is. But that plastic keyboard leaves more than a bit to be desired. smile

Why jump to something of the CA79's pricing? I'm definitely in the "Buy once, cry once" camp. Unfortunately, where I live, there are just a handful of music stores within 50 miles, most deal with school rentals, and of the three Kawai dealers, two have "open by appointment only" limited hours and do not return phone calls or respond to emails. The third one is a school instrument rental place and said they never stock Kawai instruments but they'd be happy to order one for me. smile They usually sell Casio but only have a few portable keyboards in stock for school rentals. Even the local Sam Ash and Guitar Centers have no real stock from any "brand name" manufacturers to try out so I'm kind of doing this the non-recommended way.

The good news is that at my skill level it probably doesn't matter because I have almost nothing to compare the CA79 to. smile

I spent a few decades in the technical side of I.T. and I've learned to tolerate or work-around a whole lot of software issues. The ones I've read of here, at my current and foreseeable skill level, are not concerning to me. I also have decades of experience dealing with electromagnetic interference so those are just kind of things I've dealt with a lot.

Thanks,

Ray
Hi,

I'm a software engineer myself and I'm used to tolerate stuff like UI bugs. I don't care about those imperfections. That is just how the world works.

However I returned my CA-99 because some keys would make a clicking noise. Technician confirmed that it's not my imagination, too.

When you're paying so much for an instrument you expect no such annoying flaws in key action, starting on day 2 of owning it.. to me it's a major point and not something I can get used to -- this issue was getting worse by the day. Why spend thousands on a DP that can have issues like this, and I'm not the only one?

Best regards,
K

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Originally Posted by NXR
Quote
As someone who returned their CA-99, I would think twice before buying any digital piano with such an array of complaints about it smile

I've read through literally every post here in anticipation of getting a CA79 if they ever become available in the USA again.

From what I can tell, very few if any of the complaints have to deal with the actual playability of the instrument. A few deal with sound problems such as the recent "rattles" and electrical interference. Almost all seem to deal with the "non-piano" functions of the software such as recording, settings savings, backlight, etc.

Is that an accurate impression?

.....

Ray

Pretty much. CA79/CA99 are great pianos, period. That's why I chose it. Even with some issues I've had with the underside chipboard panels, I don't think I could have done better than a CA79 for the next several years or next decade, as there is hardly any competition at this price range, or even several times higher, without paying US$10K for a true hybrid (for a grand action, not upright action). I don't remember trying the Roland's "Hybrid Grand" action, but all the Roland action I've tried are usually keyboard-like. Casio GP is close, but felt more like an upright to me. Yamaha's Grantouch is a folded action with a longer pivot. When there is not much competition in this space, and Kawai still continues to innovate on their hardware, there's not much we can ask for, except for much more demand leading to more competition. Perhaps buy the whole company, or build a better product with a startup, if at all possible. The lower-end digitals enjoy much more competition, and it shows how much more variety there is, and the tech is lot more mature and products are more uniform in quality.

There may be certain quality control issues, likely caused by trans-continental shipping, or mishandling during shipment. It's a risk we take for buying anything this big or complex. Go for second hand, like I usually do if you want something that's been tried and tested, and not wanting to deal with warranty. Unfortunately, in a niche market like this, second hand may not be an option. In terms of software, I don't think it's a big deal, a few people here tend to exaggerate many of the quality of life (QoL) improvements that could be implemented, as issues. There are a few annoying things, like not being able to delete custom sounds, or not letting us capitalise letters, or not disallowing identical names for them. I agree that, anyone looking for a digital piano for purely digital features or specific functions to be used on a regular basis, should be comparing those features across different brands and consider alternatives, and not focus their reasons for purchase merely on what the CA series are best at - emulating acoustic pianos. There's always a trade-off, even when you have unlimited amount of money. People who buy the very best, still have many things to complain about what they buy, it's not like every problem can be solved by throwing more money at it.

Speaking of not expecting it to feel like an acoustic grand piano, I tried quite a few expensive grand pianos in the stores earlier this year (to get a sense of what volume to aim for in my CA79). There was a poorly regulated Steinway grand, that felt so bad that it felt fake (or even worse than fake), and I was certain I'd prefer lower end DPs with folded action to it. Don't expect any product to feel like any other product, even of the same type of product, even the same model. Every draw is a random draw. We may be able to reduce the variability quite a bit, by going for a reputable store, reputable brand, and a reputable model, but at the end of the day, it's still a risk. Don't buy anything at all if any risk is too much to take. That's my philosophy in life, anyway.

When you've already paid the money, it's a sunk cost anyway. You might as well enjoy what you've got, or don't, perhaps sell it, or throw it away as junk (better yet donate it), no need to torment yourself continually by holding on the hope that Kawai will somehow magically solve all your complaints in the next software update.

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