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Topic: Kawai CA91 with real soundboard?

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  1. #1

    Kawai CA91 with real soundboard?

    Anyone played one of these? Makes me wish, again, that someone would produce a basic cabinet with a good spruce soundboard and room for speakers that could be faced towards the soundboard. There are several companies that make piano "shells" for concerts, but none of them have soundboards. Of course the alternative is to find a gutted piano, but then the weight becomes a factor. Seems as though it wouldn't be hard to create something like this that had a good sound, was solid, but under 50 pounds--the soundboard itself would be most of the weight.

  2. #2

    Re: Kawai CA91 with real soundboard?

    I'm curious, why would you want a soundboard? It seems to me that since the sound of a softsynth includes the soundboard resonances, adding another soundboard would make the sound less real. Kind of like EQ on EQ, or in this case, resonance upon resonance. Despite what they imply, a speaker is not going to interact with a soundboard the way a string does so there is no simple equivalence.

    As far as shells go, here is the solution I came up with: www.ohernie.com/pianobar. Not suitable for concerts but it was a lot cheaper, is very portable, and makes a hell of a piano bar.

    Ernie

  3. #3

    Re: Kawai CA91 with real soundboard?

    The goal would be to get a better sense of playing an actual piano--of hearing and feeling the resonances coming from a much larger "oscillator" than the monitors or headphones. I'd be using either PianoTeq, which lets you control the amount of soundboard resonances, or editing samples to minimize the soundboard resonance. In any case, this new Kawai is getting good reviews. The soundboard and the action appear to be good.

  4. #4

    Re: Kawai CA91 with real soundboard?

    The fact that they know what a sostenuto pedal does is an amazing feat these days.
    I'm just about to the point where I might buy one since developers of VSTi's and sample libraries can't seem to get that feature yet.

    I'm banking on a DSP developer who actually plays a Piano to save me.
    JimmyV

  5. #5

    Re: Kawai CA91 with real soundboard?

    Quote Originally Posted by scope4live View Post
    I'm just about to the point where I might buy one since developers of VSTi's and sample libraries can't seem to get that feature yet.

    I'm banking on a DSP developer who actually plays a Piano to save me.
    I own a Yamaha Clavinova CLP-240 which has sostenuto and proportional pedaling (half-pedaling).

    Regarding VSTi's, you might want to know that the older piano VSTi's (Ivory, NI Akoustik) has already perfected implementation of sostenuto and catch-pedal. I own both. ...The newer ones don't have it right-- truly a step backwards, eh?

  6. #6

    Re: Kawai CA91 with real soundboard?

    There's a number of companies that make these digital baby grands. They even used to sell them at Costco. They're failry expensive, in the 3-5 grand range as I recall. They're fairly large monstrosities, that look like a real baby grand, but of course have speakers, electronics, and what not. I never understood who would want to buy one of these, but it sounds like it might work for the author of this thread.

  7. #7

    Re: Kawai CA91 with real soundboard?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Johnson View Post
    Anyone played one of these? Makes me wish, again, that someone would produce a basic cabinet with a good spruce soundboard and room for speakers that could be faced towards the soundboard. There are several companies that make piano "shells" for concerts, but none of them have soundboards. Of course the alternative is to find a gutted piano, but then the weight becomes a factor. Seems as though it wouldn't be hard to create something like this that had a good sound, was solid, but under 50 pounds--the soundboard itself would be most of the weight.
    Hi Jake,

    This is a highly personal opinion from my side. I tried the CA-91 at the Frankfurt Musikmesse last year and found that I could really feel the instrument vibrating from the 'soundboard', evoking a very acoustic feeling to it. It might be a bit exaggerated but still a very nice and unique feature. What I understand, the 'soundboard' is in fact just a vibration that gets intense if playing loudly, it will sort of tickle your finger tips and also your feet when using the pedals.
    Niclas Fogwall
    Pianoteq sales & support
    www.pianoteq.com

  8. #8

    Re: Kawai CA91 with real soundboard?

    Hire a couple of friends and go pick a real piano from someones house for hundreds instead of thousands.
    120 USD for a tuning.
    300 USD for a pair of decent mic's and use an M/S recording plug. Brainrox makes an excellent VST version of the DSP plug I use.
    The sound can easily be manipulated in the DAW, and the pedals will actually work..............imagine that.
    As far as a virtual Piano doing the above to use w/ a controller, I still haven't found one.
    I understand your quest. I am using a CN21 provided by the Entertainment Director which is as disappointing as the virtual Pianos we are plagued with. The sos actually works, but the sound eminating from the speakers is nowhere as good as the libraries and romplers I have collected.
    I predict by NAMM 2009 GAS will function as advertised....If not, I will continue to cringe as I smile. Sadly the people who listen have no clue, but total happiness has escaped me for years. Well at least until I go home and play a real Piano.
    JimmyV

  9. #9

    Re: Kawai CA91 with real soundboard?

    My impression is that there is an actual soundboard (spruce, I think) that acts just like a soundboard on a conventional acoustic piano. Not sure how the speakers are positioned, however. Pointed towards the soundboard?

  10. #10

    Re: Kawai CA91 with real soundboard?

    So the duty of the soundboard is more that of a monitor i.e. for the satisfaction of the performer rather than the audience?

    Ernie

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