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Someone in another thread noted that Onkyo, the storied Japanese audio company, has just declared bankruptcy. It appears they’re dissolving the company altogether, rather than just reorganizing (though I’m no expert on Japanese bankruptcy law).

https://www.strata-gee.com/final-curtain-falls-as-main-onkyo-company-declares-bankruptcy/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/marksp...ly-files-for-bankruptcy/?sh=6d73ed4a6f1c

My question is, how will this affect the business of Kawai, which had partnered with Onkyo on some of its digital piano technology?

I have a vested interest here, since I recently put down a deposit on and have been awaiting delivery of a Novus NV10S, which Kawai advertises as an Onkyo-partnership product. With Onkyo no longer existing, will Kawai be able to keep manufacturing this product to fulfill new orders like mine, or are people in the queue just out of luck? I would try to get my deposit back and settle for a Yamaha N1X (my second choice) if the NV10S will not be forthcoming at any reasonable point in time. But perhaps Onkyo’s role in the NV10S was complete at the time the product was designed, and Kawai is perfectly able to carry on manufacturing the product without Onkyo, according to the existing designs?

Any insights would be appreciated (from KawaiJames especially). Thanks!

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onkyo's factory / ip will still exist, might have different owners or same owner restructured. it won't disappear, we might get a delay.

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Kawai James is likely to see this thread and reply. If not, I would send him a PM


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Presumably they've known about Onkyo's problems for some time and have a plan B for such an eventuality.

Assuming Onkyo's assets will be sold off? In which case maybe Kawai could even buy the remains of the business, potentially.

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Presumably this impacts the CA and Aures/ATX as well as the NV series? But even if it does, my guess is that Kawai's DP business is minuscule compared to general home audio, and the volumes needed to maintain production for the NV won't immediately dry up. It'll be interesting to see whether they just drop the branded partnership in the future though (Kawai was doing just fine without that for the older series DPs, I don't see how they couldn't just going back to OEM components)...


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Presumably this impacts the CA and Aures/ATX as well as the NV series? But even if it does, my guess is that Kawai's DP business is minuscule compared to general home audio, and the volumes needed to maintain production for the NV won't immediately dry up. It'll be interesting to see whether they just drop the branded partnership in the future though (Kawai was doing just fine without that for the older series DPs, I don't see how they couldn't just going back to OEM components)...

It would also be interesting to know how much of that partnership was actual R&D and manufacturing, and how much of it was marketing and mutual brand recognition.

Not meant as a criticism - the sound on the Novus is pretty good.

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If I remember, I’ll ask them at the NAMM show.


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I suspect the OEM business (audio partnerships with Porsche, Infiniti, Kawai, etc.) has a separate team and is focused on engineering and design. That seems like a much better business than cut-throat consumer audio equipment. For those reasons, I would not be surprised to see these partnerships continue, perhaps under a new umbrella.

Else, there are plenty of other partners Kawai could engage or just bring all the electronic audio back "in-house", which was pretty good before IMHO.

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the other problem is replacement parts for existing owners of the onkyo based CA models. makes me weary of spending too much money on digital piano in this economic climate, if medium sized companies can fold like that.

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I hadn't even thought about replacement parts in case the Novus comes, but has issues with the audio components down the line. That's an important point too! Hopefully the other posters in this thread are right and Kawai will be able to have someone else manufacture these parts, or manufacture them itself, without too much trouble or delay. I reached out to the dealer I paid the deposit to for the Novus to see if he has heard anything from his Kawai contacts and will let everyone know what I hear.

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Onkyo's collaboration with Kawai was just maturing nicely. Seems to me Kawai should incorporate the department that have helped them. Wonder if there is too much debt to entice buyers?


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I imagine they'd specify an acceptable alternative speaker of the same dimensions for minimum fuss. And we'd never notice!


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My guess is there is some pre-existing inventory for supplies/repairs already, and I agree drivers should be a pretty easy drop-in replacement. Maybe even the soundboard transducers too.

But as to the electronics/amp, who actually builds this? Kawai or Onkyo? Does the bk impact the IP licensing, if Kawai needs to order more for service, will they be able to?

[Linked Image]

I think if supplies are in fact so constrained that they don't have enough and can't source more, they would have to stop selling certain models to ensure that their remaining supply is sufficient for future service forecasts (just a guess).


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OOops! Not good for business, Gombessa! Might be the truth, but maybe there's a time to be economical with it . . . . smile


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eek


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
My guess is there is some pre-existing inventory for supplies/repairs already, and I agree drivers should be a pretty easy drop-in replacement. Maybe even the soundboard transducers too.

But as to the electronics/amp, who actually builds this? Kawai or Onkyo? Does the bk impact the IP licensing, if Kawai needs to order more for service, will they be able to?

I think if supplies are in fact so constrained that they don't have enough and can't source more, they would have to stop selling certain models to ensure that their remaining supply is sufficient for future service forecasts (just a guess).

The parts photographed look to me like standard off the shelf chips. Just google the part numbers:

AK4137EQ - https://www.akm.com/eu/en/products/audio/ak4137eq/
AK4490EQ - https://www.akm.com/eu/en/support/customer-care/eol/ak4490eq/

'DIDRC Filter circuit' is a photo of basic capacitors.
'Premium Power Amplifiers' photo shows a PSU coils and heatsink/capacitors

'Spectramodule' photo shows more standard capacitors.

I think whether this causes problems for Kawai in any way comes back to whether any of the parts are indeed custom and not off-the-shelf, or where an off-the-shelf replacement will suffice (the photos aren't of custom parts).

It's plausible that the partnership was in fact one of R&D or advice, in which case Kawai already have everything they need to continue manufacturing.

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This is great news! Now Kawai won't be able to continue making cabinet and portable digital pianos and will concentrate on slab digital pianos. There's finally a chance that the successor to the MP11SE will come out at some point. smirk

Just kidding. However, I've never seen the benefits of Kawai and Onkyo collaboration. On the contrary, as soon as this collaboration began, there were massive complaints from users about the infamous hissing and rattling from the speakers.

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There are chips with Onkyo's logo printed on them in there, but they could just be rebadged off the shelf chips. the problem remains though, when the company downsizes the guy who worked on the board might've customized the firmware somehow, and when he leaves the company, they might not know how to fix things. this happens quite often, companies end up selling products with known defects and such because they don't have anyone who knows how to fix it.

Last edited by KawaFanboi; 05/19/22 10:12 AM.
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As an aside, wonder if we'll end up seeing Onkyo liquidated stock appearing on eBay and the like. That's actually how I picked up my Mordaunt Short Mezzo 1 bookshelf speakers, which are lovely and only cost me £150.

Think the Mordaunt Short company name is now owned by some other audio firm.

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I am in the same position waiting for delivery of a Novus n5s expected sometime in June in the UK. I hope Kawai James can pick this up and provide some clarity to give reassurance. If not, I may have to dig deeper in my pockets and switch to the Yamaha N1X.

KP NUTS

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