New Product: Kawai NOVUS NV5

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The NOVUS NV5 is the latest hybrid piano from Kawai Japan. It joins the award-winning NOVUS NV10 in the catalogue. And in simple terms, the NV5 is the “upright”, and the NV10 the “grand”.

Front and Side Views of the NV5

Front and side views of the new Kawai NOVUS NV5

Kawai introduced the NV10 in October 2017. Since then, the instrument has received much critical acclaim. The new NOVUS NV5 will appeal to those who found the NV10 just out of their budget. It is approximately three-quarters the price. But as the comparative spec sheet below shows, the NV5 has virtually all the digital features of its elder brother.

The main difference between the two instruments, however, is the keyboard. The NV5 uses Kawai’s Millennium III upright keyboard action. This is a hybrid of the action from Kawai’s “K” Series of professional upright pianos. High precision optical sensors meticulously capture the exact movements of the hammers, and use this information to control the piano’s digital sound engines.

The Kawai Millennium III action fitted with ABS hammers

Incidentally, the hammers here are made of ABS rather than felt, as they don’t actually strike any strings. They are also individually graded in weight from bass to treble to ensure a more realistic touch.

A hybrid piano is generally considered to be a digital piano fitted with something akin to a traditional acoustic piano action. There are no strings as the sound is produced electronically. Some hybrids, instead of simple speakers, have a soundboard to which a series of transducers are fitted. These convert the output signal from an instrument’s digital sound engine into physical vibrations of the soundboard. Much like the bridge of an acoustic piano conducting the vibrational energy of the strings to the soundboard.

Kawai regularly collaborates with leading Japanese audio equipment manufacturers Onkyo on the design of the output and the amplification stages of their high-end digital instruments. And the NOVUS NV5 has a powerful Onkyo six-speaker system. This works in conjunction with Kawai’s new TwinDrive soundboard technology. Here the speakers handle the higher frequencies, whilst a real wooden soundboard amplifies the lower bass elements of the sound.

Kawai's TwinDrive soundboard is used to amplify bass frequencies.

Kawai’s TwinDrive active soundboard is used to enhance bass frequencies.

Onkyo have also developed a special headphone amplifier for the NV5. This is used in conjunction with Kawai’s Spatial Headphone Sound (SHS) to give the best possible private listening experience.

Different Dimensions

As a result of using an upright action, the relative dimensions of the NV5 differ from those of the NV10. The width is much the same, but the NV5 is taller and not as deep (which you would expect of an upright). The music rests and soft-closing fallboards also styled as on grand and upright instruments.

The KAwai NOVUS NV10 and the new NOVUS NV5

The Kawai NOVUS NV10 (left) and the new NOVUS NV5 (right)

Otherwise, the digital specifications are essentially the same. Both instruments have two basic modus operandi – Pianist Mode and Sound Mode. Pianist Mode employs Kawai’s SK-EX Rendering Engine to emulate the sound and response of the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX concert grand piano. All the digital processing resources focus on delivering the best possible piano experience.

Sound Mode, by contrast, utilises Kawai’s Harmonic Imaging XL Sound Engine. This offers a greater range of tones and more functionality. Here you can layer and split a typical collection of digital piano and other acoustic voices.

The NOVUS NV5 brings Kawai’s excellent hybrids to a wider customer base. Those familiar with the NV10, or in fact anyone who has used any of Kawai’s other hi-end digital pianos, will instantly feel at home with the NV5. The appearance of the NV5 now raises the question, “What will be the next model to appear in the NOVUS range?”

The Kawai NOVUS NV5 from above

The Kawai NOVUS NV5 is controlled by the 5-inch touch display to the left of the keyboard

Price and Availability

The NOVUS NV5 has a Japanese retail price of 650,000 JPY (approx. $6,200.00) and will be on sale from October 2019. Prices and delivery dates for other territories are not yet available.

The spec. sheet (below) provides more information, as does the Kawai website.

Kawai NOVUS NV5 and NOVUS NV10 Specifications

 Kawai Novus NV5Kawai Novus NV10
KeyboardMillennium III Hybrid upright piano action
- 88 wooden keys
- 88-key graded ABS hammers
- IHSS contact-less optical sensors
- Upright piano damper mechanism
Millennium III Hybrid grand piano action
- 88 wooden keys
- 88-key graded ABS hammers
- IHSS contact-less optical sensors
- Grand piano damper mechanism
Pedal- Damper (with half-pedal support)
- Soft
- Sostenuto
- Damper (with half-pedal support)
- Soft
- Sostenuto
Piano SoundPianist mode: SK-EX Rendering
- 88-key multi-channel sampling
- SK-EX recording

Sound mode: Harmonic Imaging XL (HI-XL)
- 88-key stereo sampling
- SK-EX, SK-5, EX recording

256 note maximum polyphony
Pianist mode: SK-EX Rendering
- 88-key multi-channel sampling
- SK-EX recording

Sound mode: Harmonic Imaging XL (HI-XL)
- 88-key stereo sampling
- SK-EX, SK-5, EX recording

256 note maximum polyphony
Piano ResonancePianist mode: Resonance Modelling
- Damper Resonance
- String Resonance
Undamped String Resonance
Aliquot Resonance

Sound mode: Acoustic Rendering
Damper Resonance
String Resonance
Undamped String Resonance
Cabinet Resonance
Pianist mode: Resonance Modelling
- Damper Resonance
- String Resonance
Undamped String Resonance
Aliquot Resonance

Sound mode: Acoustic Rendering
Damper Resonance
String Resonance
Undamped String Resonance
Cabinet Resonance
Piano AdjustmentVirtual Technician (19 parameters)
- Touch Curve (incl. User Touch Curve)
- Voicing (incl. 88-key User Voicing)
- Damper Resonance
- Damper Noise
- String Resonance
- Undamped String Resonance
- Cabinet Resonance
- Key-off Effect
- Fall-back Noise
- Hammer Delay
- Topboard Simulation
- Decay Time
- Minimum Touch
- Stretch Tuning (incl. 88-key User Tuning)
- Temperament (incl. User Temperament)
- Temperament Key
- Key Volume (incl. 88-key User Key Volume)
- Half-Pedal Adjust
- Soft Pedal Depth

Virtual Technician Smart Mode (10 presets)
Virtual Technician (19 parameters)
- Touch Curve (incl. User Touch Curve)
- Voicing (incl. 88-key User Voicing)
- Damper Resonance
- Damper Noise
- String Resonance
- Undamped String Resonance
- Cabinet Resonance
- Key-off Effect
- Fall-back Noise
- Hammer Delay
- Topboard Simulation
- Decay Time
- Minimum Touch
- Stretch Tuning (incl. 88-key User Tuning)
- Temperament (incl. User Temperament)
- Temperament Key
- Key Volume (incl. 88-key User Key Volume)
- Half-Pedal Adjust
- Soft Pedal Depth

Virtual Technician Smart Mode (10 presets)
No. of SoundsPianist mode: 10 rendering characters
Sound mode: 88 voices
Pianist mode: 10 rendering characters
Sound mode: 88 voices
ReverbPianist mode: Ambience (10 types)
Sound mode: Reverb (6 types)
Pianist mode: Ambience (10 types)
Sound mode: Reverb (6 types)
BrillianceYesYes
Other Effects24 types24 types
SpeakersTwinDrive Soundboard Speaker System
8 cm x 4 (Onkyo top speakers)
2 cm x 2 (Onkyo dome tweeters)
10 cm x 4 (top speakers)
1.4 cm x 2 (dome tweeters)
16 cm x 1 (woofer)
Output Power135 W (45 W x 3)135 W (45 W x 3)
Headphone EnhancementsDiscrete SpectraModule™ headphone amplifier
Spatial Headphone Sound
Headphone Type
Headphone Amplifier
Discrete SpectraModule™ headphone amplifier
Spatial Headphone Sound
Headphone Type
Headphone Amplifier
Display5" LCD touchscreen (480 x 800 pixels)5" LCD touchscreen (480 x 800 pixels)
Key CoverUpright piano fallboard with Soft Fall systemGrand piano fallboard with Soft Fall system
Music RestUpright piano typeCollapsible type (6 angle adjustability)
DIMENSIONS
Width (cm)149148
Depth (cm)4664.5
Height (cm)11099.5 (not including music rest)
Weight (kg)113.0127.0 kg
Available FinishesEbony PolishEbony Polish
Basic FunctionsDual
Split
Four Hands
Transpose
Tuning
Favorite
Dual
Split
Four Hands
Transpose
Tuning
Favorite
INTERNAL SONGS
Sound Demo39 songs39 songs
Piano Music29/42 songs *29/42 songs *
Concert Magic176 songs176 songs
Lesson SongsBurgmüller 25 (25 Etudes Faciles, Opus 100)
Czerny 30 (Etudes de Mécanisme, Opus 849)
Czerny 100 (Hundert Übungsstücke, Opus 139)
Beyer 106 (Vorschule im Klavierspiel, Opus 101)
J.S. Bach: Inventionen
Sonatinen Album 1
Chopin Walzer (Chopin waltzes series)
Chopin Etudes (Opus 10)
Alfred’s Premier Piano Course Lesson 1A
Alfred’s Premier Piano Course Lesson 1B
Alfred’s Basic Piano Library Lesson Book Level 1A
Alfred’s Basic Piano Library Lesson Book Level 1B
Alfred’s Basic Adult Piano Course Lesson Book Level 1
Burgmüller 25 (25 Etudes Faciles, Opus 100)
Czerny 30 (Etudes de Mécanisme, Opus 849)
Czerny 100 (Hundert Übungsstücke, Opus 139)
Beyer 106 (Vorschule im Klavierspiel, Opus 101)
J.S. Bach: Inventionen
Sonatinen Album 1
Chopin Walzer (Chopin waltzes series)
Chopin Etudes (Opus 10)
Alfred’s Premier Piano Course Lesson 1A
Alfred’s Premier Piano Course Lesson 1B
Alfred’s Basic Piano Library Lesson Book Level 1A
Alfred’s Basic Piano Library Lesson Book Level 1B
Alfred’s Basic Adult Piano Course Lesson Book Level 1
INTERNAL RECORDER
Total MemoryPianist mode: approximately 10 mins. per song
Sound mode: approximately 90,000 notes
Pianist mode: approximately 10 mins. per song
Sound mode: approximately 90,000 notes
No. of SongsPianist mode: 3 songs
Sound mode: 10 songs
Pianist mode: 3 songs
Sound mode: 10 songs
PartsPianist mode: 1 part
Sound mode: 2 parts
Pianist mode: 1 part
Sound mode: 2 parts
METRONOME
Time Signatures1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, 3/8, 6/8, 7/8, 9/8, 12/81/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, 3/8, 6/8, 7/8, 9/8, 12/8
Drum Rhythms100 patterns100 patterns
Bluetooth *Bluetooth (Ver. 4.1; GATT compatible)
Bluetooth Low Energy MIDI Specification compliant
Bluetooth Audio
Bluetooth (Ver. 4.1; GATT compatible)
Bluetooth Low Energy MIDI Specification compliant
Bluetooth Audio
USB AUDIO RECORDER
Record/PlaybackMP3
WAV
SMF
MP3
WAV
SMF
Other FunctionsOverdubbing
Line In recording
Overdubbing
Line In recording
CONNECTOR JACKS
Headphone1 x 1/4", 1 x 1/8" Stereo jacks1 x 1/4", 1 x 1/8" Stereo jacks
MIDIMIDI IN, MIDI OUTMIDI IN, MIDI OUT
Line Out1 x 1/8" Stereo [unbalanced]1/4" L/MONO, R [unbalanced]
Line In1 x 1/8" Stereo [unbalanced]1/8" Stereo (with volume adjust knob) [unbalanced]
USB to HostYesYes
USB to DeviceYesYes
Power Consumption60 W60 W
PowerPower cablePower cable
BenchFixed-height or height-adjustable bench *Fixed-height or height-adjustable bench *
HeadphonesHeadphone hookHeadphone hook
Sheet MusicClassical Piano Collection *
Classical Lesson Scores *
Finger Exercises
Classical Piano Collection *
Classical Lesson Scores *
Finger Exercises
OthersWarranty Card *
Owner's Manual
Internal Song Lists
Warranty Card *
Owner's Manual
Internal Song Lists
* dependent on territory

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