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Joined: Feb 2021
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Hi there,

Received my NV5 a couple weeks ago and was originally quite excited but now I don't know what to feel.

Let me get right to it -- is the NV5 supposed to sound like this?



This is a recording of simple key presses (at "normal" force) of the Pianist Mode made to USB storage. Converted the MP3 sound file to a video in order to upload to youtube, but the sound is faithful to what I hear -- there is a strong fluttering (clipping?) in the lowest notes, which reduces but doesn't disappear even into the second octave.

At first I thought it was a problem with my Sennheiser HD 599 headphones (I play with headphones exclusively) but since the problem is in the MP3 file as well when I play on regular speakers, it's clearly not a headphone issue. For what it's worth, I had brought the phones to the dealer in Hong Kong to try them on other Kawai digital pianos. They didn't have an NV5 on display (it had taken 3 months to get mine import-to-order from Japan) but they did have a CA99 which I understand has the same (perhaps slightly upgraded) Pianist sound engine. The notes there were infinitely clearer, with no distortions or fluttering.

I have asked for a technician to come over though they said it will be late March before they have anyone available. In the meantime, can someone please tell me if this is normal for the NV5?

While I have you here -- I have a question on the Damper Noise. I have turned them off in the menu, but pressing (and releasing) the damper pedal will still generate that artifical noise about 1 in 5 times. Lowering the line in volume to -10 db (I always have a line in plugged in from my computer) will get rid of them further but that charactieristic short burst of "hisssss" still comes up every, hmm, maybe 30 or 40 seconds of play, especially in the lower octaves. Is there a way to get rid of Damper Noise completely?

Finally - last question I promise - is there a physcal knob for Line In volume? From p129 of the manual:

Quote
The NV5 hybrid digital piano provides two methods of adjusting the level of the Line In audio: the Line In LEVEL knob (located beside the Line In connector on the jack panel), and the Line In Level setting. The LEVEL knob is used to adjust the analogue volume of the sound entering the instrument, while the Line In Level setting adjusts the digital volume of the sound once it is “inside” the instrument.

I am asking this because I pipe in music from the computer via Line In, and the background noise / hiss is very significant even after I have turned the "Line In Level" slider all the way down to -10 db. On the CA99 at the dealer, I saw the knob was right next to the jack, but I couldn't find a knob on the NV5 in spite of what it says in the manual.

Sigh .. that's it. Coming from the Roland HP 704, the piano action really cannot be better, and the sound sampling/modeling in the middle or higher registers is fantastic, but that fluttering in the lower notes and random hissing sound is disappointing.

My apologies for the long first post and the many questions. I really want to love this piano after reading and watching all the reviews. But I really am not there yet.

[Linked Image]

PS. Firmware has been upgraded (came with 1.02k) to the latest 1.02m.

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Sounds just like my Kawai ES-100 and very close to the Pianoteq VST's "K2" grand.

I don't hear anything weird, but I don't have access to an acoustic Kawai grand.

They are (recordings of) bass strings. They have a very low component in their vibration. I guess you experience it as a "flutter".

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...and a potential problem in digital piano technology is sample looping which is still a thing in 2021 and may of course introduce some unnatural sounding artefact.

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Sorry for you, but I don't hear anything strange. Listened to your sound sample trough a Sennheiser HD 600 connected with a Marantz HD-DAC1 headphone amplifier.


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Thanks both, and yes, I will admit I wasn't entirely sure what sound to expect having played Roland's for quite a while smile

But I (really) think I'm not referring to the vibration of the strings. If you turn up the volume, there is this "raspiness" in the sound, isn't there? It sounds like audio clipping or a hoarse recording. And this raspiness / hoarseness slowly reduces as I move upwards.

Last edited by Marcus Lai; 02/20/21 07:16 AM.
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Certainly doesn't sound right to me. Send a pm to Kawai James and ask him what he thinks.


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Have you compared it to the sound samples on the Kawai NV5 page? It does sound harsher to me than the Full Character SK-EX rendering there. The others are harder to compare. Then there's recording and YT compression. What rendering did you record?

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Originally Posted by Marcus Lai
...I pipe in music from the computer via Line In, and the background noise / hiss is very significant even after I have turned the "Line In Level" slider all the way down to

This could be the dreaded ground loop problem. If you have both USB and analog audio running from the NV5 to your laptop you have a classic ground loop situation so will hear alot of noise pickup on the audio. Best solution is to break the loop by using an opto-isolated midi to USB cable or interface box. Then the noise should disappear since there will be only one GND path between the two devices.

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I think there is nothing strange about those samples in the low octaves. But maybe I'm old and my ears don't hear what the OP hears? Or maybe the OP was too much used to its Roland sound character?

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I don't hear anything awkward here. It's how the Kawai Samples usually sound.


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It sounds normal to me. Maybe you are familiar with the sound of ur original Roland. Cuz NV5 has the same sound engine as my CA98.
But if you don't like or are not used to the sound, you can try Pianoteq or other VSTs in the future.


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I don't hear anything anything out of the ordinary in the above recording.

Kind regards,
James
x


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To me it sounds artificial. Somehow it makes me think of as though the same signal is duplicated and mixed but there's some phasing issues or something.

P.S. Make sure you have disconnected any cables from the piano. For example, make sure there's no USB and MIDI cables connected to the piano that might go into a computer that does a pass-through and returns the MIDI back to the piano. That would eventually result in duplicated notes, which would sound exactly like what you have recorded. Also, make sure there's no Audio-in connected that contains the same signal from the piano output? Again, disconnect absolutely every cable from the piano and try to record the same notes and see whether the same sound will be recorded. But I clearly hear your problem and I believe it's some phasey/duplicated audio signal.

Last edited by CyberGene; 02/22/21 06:31 AM.

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I played the NV5 at the dealer and I can remember that the sound was very nice.
As Cybergene already stated, this sample above sounds very artificial to me. This was my first thought also.


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I clearly do hear the rattle in the Lower notes. Does not sound „intended“ to me. I would recommend you contacting your dealer, maybe test the showroom model to find out if this is an issue related to your model only or with the entire line.

my CA79 made the same weird noise in the low notes so I returned it in time to get my refund, cause that rattle sound annoyed me. My girl friend didn’t hear it for a long time, but once she got what noise I mean she couldn’t unhear it either. So trust your ears.

Last edited by GaiaImpact; 02/22/21 10:37 AM.
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Some clearly hear rattle, artifical noise, something like phasey or duplicated signal, or a degraded ground loop, some think its weird and so annoying it even demands refund - well and some don't hear anything out of the ordinary, nothing awkward, and find it sounds normal. So what to conclude, if one and the same sonical situation is regarded so totally different?

Well, may be there is something unusual, cause you may never know... But then, lets remember a well proven psychological effect of imagination, which is the base for a lot of believings, even false believings if something can be proven to be uncorrect. The reason for freedom to believe anything is, there a limits to the possibility to proove something incorrect: you cannot prove the non-existence of something. You can prove the existence of something, but not the opposite. And that dilemma guarantees the ongoing rumors for UFOs, Astrology, Homeopathie, Voodoo, and so on - you name it.

So everytime I'm confronted with a situation like above, I suspect, it might be a bit sort of the UFO thing, which is something that has to do with our mind and with that logical dilemma concerning existence that Bertrand Russell ilustrated with his famous " tea pot". He said, let us imagine a tea pot orbiting anywhere in space in our sun system. Then I might claim: "There is a tea pot near Jupiter, and anyone who doesn't believe in this should give me a proof, that I'm wrong and a proof that there is none. In principle we could detect that tea pot, so proof me that I'm wrong."

And then some may respond and say oh yes, we cannot exclude that possibility, so let us convince NASA to examine that question with a spacecraft project.... and so on. So in practise, you will never be able to find out, because there is no limit to the effort you would need and you will never be able to systematically or logically or in any way else disprove the existence of something imaginated.

To me, the piano in that video sounds very good. That said, I don't claim I could tell for sure, that there is nothing unusual to hear and no reason to complain in the video example above. But to my impression this looks more like one of the typical cases when we become victims of our imagination and then learn to condition ourselves to any imaginated effect and then blow it up by endless repeating and (wrong) re-assuring... and then we urge our friends or forum memebers to conclude that we have extraordinary abilities to detect unusual things many others are not aware of...

But please, to all the golden ears: don't feel upset... just ask yourself questions...

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Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
Sounds just like my Kawai ES-100 and very close to the Pianoteq VST's "K2" grand.

I thought the same. It has a Kawai signature almost if that's the right term. It might've been modelled from a digital sample . . . .


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Comparing your recording with my Galaxy Vintage D I can't hear anything wrong with it. Listen to your first four notes in comparison: NV5 vs Vintage D.mp3

The spectrum of the file also does not show anything strange for me:

[Linked Image]


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Originally Posted by Thomas B
Comparing your recording with my Galaxy Vintage D I can't hear anything wrong with it. Listen to your first four notes in comparison: NV5 vs Vintage D.mp3

The spectrum of the file also does not show anything strange for me:
Indeed they both sound the same, but to me they are both 'wrong' and not what I would regard as acceptable or anything like the acoustics that I have played or listened to But obviously others hear different.


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I think once you heard the rattle in person when sitting in front of the Instrument you will more likely recognize the rattle in the Recording aswell.
Maybe to some the sound might be fine. To the owner apparently it isn’t.
But honestly comparing someone’s complaints about an expensive instrument with people believing in ufos is a bit off I think and does not really help the one being bothered by the sound.

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