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Joined: Mar 2021
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JonnyMK Offline OP
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Hi all. First post, but listened to this great forum a lot on the way to buying a CA79 as an interim before going back to acoustic grand. Thanks.

Two months in. Firstly the positives. Beautiful looking, nice enough action, good music stand height. Sound not great, but ok.

Problems:

- Instrument has several clicky keys. I have had a kawai endorsed technician visit (I won't name them), who basically said 'put up with it: all hybrids make noises. They are rubber contacts, and some click'. I've asked the retailer to escalate to Kawai. I've only had Yamahas before (no clicks), and don't see why at £3k I should have to listen to clicky keys. Plus if it's a thing, why is it only certain keys?!
- USB recording low quality. Try this link.https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UmZu2rgenatjbJnoT9kJp2wAz0rDK5Bh/view?usp=sharing
- USB drive I have to format every time I record a new piece?! If I don't, my mac won't recognise the device. Don't understand this
- Because of the only average sound, I want to use a virtual piano. But USB midi is output only, won't play back into CA79 speakers. WTF? So I have to output to external sound set-up?

Overall, disappointed, and already looking at returning/trading in. Can anybody give thoughts on this stuff?

Thanks

Jonny

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I don't think rubber contacts absolutely have to make a noticeable sound. Like you say some of them don't.

What's "low quality" about the USB recording? It may be quiet, but that's different and it needs to be quiet enough so that if you decide to play at the maximum velocity the audio doesn't distort. You can "normalize" the audio in some audio editing app.

USB drive issue must be an issue with a specific USB drive that doesn't work for both Kawai and Apple.

USB MIDI isn't audio. MIDI in general isn't audio. The CA79 does have an analog stereo audio input that you can use.

USB audio has only recently started to become more common in digital pianos. There are still many models missing it.

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JonnyMK Offline OP
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Thanks clothearednincompo. Low quality in USB to me means it doesn't sound like it does live. Weedy, even through a great stereo set up. I've recorded a piece - maybe you can see what I mean? Sounded rich through the headphones when I played it. Thanks for tips on USB/midi. OK, so maybe just a line back in will be the option.

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Originally Posted by JonnyMK
- Instrument has several clicky keys.
You're probably playing it at very low volume. Acoustic actions make a lot of noise too (a lot more than quiet clicking), they just get covered up by the music.
Originally Posted by JonnyMK
- USB recording low quality.
It sounds fine to me. 256kbps mp3. Maybe tell us what you think is wrong with it?

Originally Posted by JonnyMK
- USB drive I have to format every time I record a new piece?! If I don't, my mac won't recognise the device.
Once it's been formatted by the digital piano, the same drive should keep working without further formatting. Maybe detail what messages/errors you are seeing?



Originally Posted by JonnyMK
- Because of the only average sound, I want to use a virtual piano. But USB midi is output only, won't play back into CA79 speakers. WTF? So I have to output to external sound set-up?
Virtual pianos add more complexity. Most people here who tried feeding the sound from the virtual instrument back into the digital piano doesn't like the sound at all. See all the other "speaker setup" threads in this forum. This "problem" has been going on for decades.

Originally Posted by JonnyMK
Overall, disappointed, and already looking at returning/trading in. Can anybody give thoughts on this stuff?

I am guessing this is your first digital piano? It is a thing full of compromises. It's a matter of living with the compromises.

The only "no-compromise" solution is a piano with a silent and/or trans-acoustic. And those things don't cost anywhere near $4000.

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JonnyMK Offline OP
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Thanks redfish1901.

Not quite first DP. Had midi keyboards and various virtual samples, and Yamaha p35 before this. Can't really explain usb drive problem, other than to say unless I format it each time (ie for each fresh recording) it is invisible to my computer. I'll try changing to a new usb drive from a different maker. Re sound qual: sounds worse to me (thinner?) even than a free patch in Reason 3, my last music software suite.

Understand that it's a new journey in compromise. I'm probably one of those people who actually wants a piano, and hoped that that the DP would be a bit nearer to the really thing than it turned out to be.

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Recordings from Kawai DPs on USB pendrive are always at a low-volume. Maybe it's to make the overdubbing function work without adding distortion at each overdub, I don't know...

Here is a normalized version (with Audacity: Effect -> Normalize):

CLICK TO PLAY

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JonnyMK Offline OP
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That's really interesting. Thanks magicpiano. Didn't think about that. Despite a little experience in digital recording and acoustic recording, sounds like I need to practice with this thing. Was kind of hoping it would be awesome out of the box. But happy to go back to virtual sounds and play about a bit.

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Hi Johnny,

Sorry to hear about your issues with your CA79... Maybe I can give you some pointers/ideas to solve some of them.

First of all (maybe you've already seen it), there's a thread for CA79/CA99 owners, where a lot of things have already been discussed. I invite you to pop in and have a look/share your further comments there smile

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2952850/112.html


Originally Posted by JonnyMK
Sound not great, but ok.
There's really a lot of settings you can play with (e.g with the virtual technician), are there really no configurations you find suitable ?

Originally Posted by JonnyMK
- Instrument has several clicky keys. I have had a kawai endorsed technician visit (I won't name them), who basically said 'put up with it: all hybrids make noises. They are rubber contacts, and some click'. I've asked the retailer to escalate to Kawai. I've only had Yamahas before (no clicks), and don't see why at £3k I should have to listen to clicky keys. Plus if it's a thing, why is it only certain keys?!
If you mean an actual 'click', there has been mention of this in an early post of the thread I linked above. The user (Galuwen) got in touch with his piano dealer and they sent a Kawai technician to fix it, here's the post where he mentions the fix, you can go back up the thread for details and videos of the clicking sound.
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...i-ca79-ca99-owners-club.html#Post2978725

If you mean the 'thump' of the action, I agree with redfish1901 that all pianos (digital or not) have action noise. The thing with DPs is that you can lower the volume enough to hear it more clearly.


Originally Posted by JonnyMK
- USB drive I have to format every time I record a new piece?! If I don't, my mac won't recognise the device. Don't understand this

Other users in the thread have had issues with USBs but I recall switching to another USB solved the issue. I don't think iOS should have any issues with FAT/FAT32 formatting, have you tried formatting it to one of those formats from your computer and then recording on it (rather than formatting form the piano itself) ? (note formatting an USB will delete the contents, so make backups !)

Originally Posted by JonnyMK
- Because of the only average sound, I want to use a virtual piano. But USB midi is output only, won't play back into CA79 speakers. WTF? So I have to output to external sound set-up?
As I mentioned above there's a lot of parameters to play with, but multiple users have mentioned using VSTs (still in that thread). eg:
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...i-ca79-ca99-owners-club.html#Post3010333
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...i-ca79-ca99-owners-club.html#Post3035683
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...i-ca79-ca99-owners-club.html#Post3026564


Kawai CA79 (Jan 2021), Casio Privia PX-870 (Jun 2017)
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JonnyMK Offline OP
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Thanks so much Meap6!!!! I'm going to follow your links and dig into some other members' experience. I've ordered a new USB, so I'll try that. The clickiness I've tried to capture here if you are interested.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/12RCuPGFFJUiKZGQnsl8adkoPmbK_RvuZ/view?usp=sharing


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