Anna’s take

It’s no secret that I am a fan of Kawai pianos and the new Novus NV10 Hybrid is, for me, the best digital you can buy. It does, however, come at a high price of around £7,650. Is it worth the high price? Read on to find out why I think the answer is a resounding YES!

Millennium III Hybrid grand piano keyboard action, with optical hammer sensing system

The NOVUS NV10 is the first digital piano to incorporate Kawai’s leading acoustic grand piano keyboard action technology, renowned for its extended spruce key sticks, and innovative ABS Carbon components that are stronger, lighter, and more dimensionally stable than conventional wooden parts.

The specially adapted Millennium III Hybrid keyboard action utilised by the NV10 replaces traditional felt hammers with new ABS equivalents that are individual graded in weight from bass to treble, while high-precision optical sensors take the place of metal strings, accurately reading the subtle movements of each hammer as the corresponding keys are played.

Grand Piano Damper Mechanism for authentic pedal control

In addition to featuring a full acoustic grand piano keyboard action, the NOVUS NV10 is the first hybrid instrument to also incorporate a real grand piano damper mechanism. While there are no strings inside the NV10 to require physical damping, this unique feature replicates the true weighting of a grand piano damper pedal, while also mechanically easing the keyboard action’s touch weight as the pedal is pressed.

Shigeru Kawai SK-EX concert grand piano reproduced with latest SK-EX Rendering sound technology

The magnificent tone of Kawai’s flagship Shigeru Kawai SK-EX full concert grand piano is at the heart of the NOVUS NV10 hybrid digital piano. Widely regarded as the ‘premier pianos of Japan’, Shigeru Kawai instruments grace the stages of concert halls and musical institutions throughout the world, and are prized for their tonal clarity and exceptional dynamic range.

In order to faithfully reproduce the stunning sound of a Shigeru digitally, Kawai has developed SK-EX Rendering – a brand new piano sound engine that blends multi-channel, 88-key sampling with the latest resonance modelling technology. Multi-channel sampling captures the sound from different points of the Shigeru Kawai concert grand piano, allowing a broader range of tonal characteristics to be reproduced, and providing a more lively, authentic response to changes in dynamics. This naturally expressive sound is further enriched by newly developed resonance algorithms, which physically model the complex tonal interactions produced by the strings, pedals, and various other parts of an acoustic piano, giving players the impression that they’re sitting at a living, breathing instrument.

Alternative acoustic piano sounds and a strong selection of additional instrument voices

In addition to the latest SK-EX Rendering piano sound engine, the NOVUS NV10 hybrid digital piano also incorporates Kawai’s highly regarding Harmonic Imaging XL technology, showcasing a variety of alternative acoustic piano sounds and a strong selection of additional instrument voices. The Kawai EX full concert grand piano has frequently been selected by professional pianists in such prestigious events as the Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and Rubinstein international piano competitions, while the Shigeru Kawai SK-5 chamber grand and Kawai K-60 upright, allow performers to enjoy the contrasting tonal characteristics of various different piano sizes and voicing configurations.

Supplementing these realistic acoustic piano voices, the NOVUS NV10 hybrid digital piano also features an excellent selection of additional instrument sounds, ranging from electric pianos and drawbar and church organs, to strings, human choirs, and even atmospheric synth-style pads, inviting musicians to add greater variety to their performances. Furthermore, the Dual playing mode also allows two different sounds, such as grand piano and strings, to be layered together, while the Split and 4Hands playing modes divide the keyboard into two independent sections.

USB to Device functionality, with MP3/WAV file recording and playback

The NOVUS NV10 hybrid digital piano is equipped with USB connectors that not only allow the instrument to be connected to a computer for MIDI use, but also to load and save data to USB memory devices directly. This ‘USB to Device’ feature allows recorded songs stored in internal memory to be saved to USB for posterity, or standard MIDI files (SMF) downloaded from the internet to be conveniently played back without additional hardware.

USB memory devices can also be used to play back MP3 or WAV audio files, allowing musicians to learn the chords or melody for a new piece, or to simply play along with their favorite songs. It is even possible to save performances as MP3 or WAV files for emailing to friends and family, listening to on the move, or for further editing using an audio workstation.

Premium audio hardware, powered by Onkyo

Developed in collaboration with Onkyo, one of Japan’s leading premium audio equipment manufacturers, the NOVUS NV10 hybrid digital piano is one of the first Kawai musical instruments to utilise specialist components designed for high-end audio reproduction.

With cutting-edge technologies such as 1-bit processing, dual DAC signal conversion, and Onkyo’s DIRDC filtering, the NV10’s optimised power amplifiers reproduce the Shigeru Kawai grand piano sound with stunning clarity, richness, and power, while the high-performance Discrete Spectra Module headphone amplifier ensures the finest quality listening experience, even when playing in privacy..

Full-colour touchscreen display for intuitive, button-less operation

The NOVUS NV10 is the first instrument of its kind to feature a full-colour 5” touchscreen display. Discreetly embedded within the left cheekblock, this high resolution touchscreen allows sounds and settings to be selected from an attractive user interface with the swipe of a finger. The display can also be set to turn off automatically while playing, thus preserving the NV10’s acoustic piano-like appearance, and minimising any visual distraction to the pianist.

Cabinet

The NV10’s stunning grand piano-like cabinet is finished from top to bottom in a luxurious ebony polish finish. Gleaming with silver-chrome fittings and an exposed pedal trap-work design. The NV10 is simply beautiful.

Available from Gear4Music

Kawai NV10 Hybrid Digital iano

Gear4Music don’t have a service whereby I can display live stock and price info but this amazing piano in Polished Ebony is usually available from them at around £7,650.

See on Gear4Music website

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