The NV5S is the latest addition to the Novus range, and successor to the award-winning NV5 hybrid piano. This updated model retains the industry-leading Millennium III Hybrid upright piano keyboard action and unique real damper mechanism of its predecessor, while upgrading a number of sound, delivery, and operation characteristics.
The Novus NV5S is the perfect blend of tradition and innovation. A stunning hybrid instrument that combines a full acoustic piano keyboard action and damper mechanism, with the latest digital sound and amplification technologies. Designed for and tested by professional pianists, the NV5S provides the unmistakable feeling of playing a premium quality acoustic instrument, with all the practicality and convenience of a modern digital.
Introducing the Novus NV5S – a hybrid piano that delivers the true acoustic experience.
The Millennium III Hybrid action represents the latest milestone in Kawai’s rich legacy of piano innovation, and serves as the centrepiece of the Novus NV5S. Based on the ‘K’ series’ proven action design, Millennium III Hybrid retains the composite parts and extended key sticks of its acoustic cousin, while replacing the traditional felt hammers with individually-weighted ABS equivalents. As a hybrid piano, there are no metal strings inside the Novus for these hammers to physically strike when the keys are played, therefore their precise movements are
instead captured using high-resolution optical sensors mounted over the action. Millennium III Hybrid delivers all of the benefits of a premium Kawai upright piano action within a digital instrument. This feat of modern engineering allows pianists to enjoy the unmatched feeling of playing an acoustic piano, regardless of the time of day, or the size of their home.
The Millennium III Hybrid keyboard action comprises over 6,000 individual parts, each playing a crucial role in allowing the performer’s fingertips to express feeling and emotion through music.
The Novus NV5S’s precision-engineered ABS hammers have been designed for structural stability and optimum keyboard touch-response. Each individual hammer is grade-weighted to mirror the heavier bass and lighter treble hammers of an acoustic piano, ensuring that the NV5S’s key touch-weight feels the same as a well-regulated acoustic instrument.
The precise movements of each hammer are measured using high-resolution optical sensors, providing greater accuracy than conventional key-based sensor systems. This more advanced approach closely reproduces the mechanical flow of an acoustic piano, and allows rapid pianissimo passages with mordents or trills to be performed with greater fluency.
The Novus NV5S’s beautiful chrome plated pedals are sourced from the same ‘K’ series instruments as the premium Millennium III keyboard action. Moreover, in addition to featuring a full acoustic piano action, the Novus NV5S also incorporates a real acoustic piano damper mechanism. Again, there are no metal strings inside the Novus to require physical damping, as the instrument’s sound is produced digitally. However, in order to reproduce every aspect of playing an acoustic piano, the NV5S retains the damper mechanism behind the keyboard action, replicating the extra load of traditional wood and felt parts, as the keys and pedal are pressed.
This innovation allows pianists to not only hear how the damper pedal affects the Novus’ generated sound, but also feel the various mechanical interactions through their hands and feet. Such attention to detail is unprecedented in a digital instrument, and further reinforces the NV5’s objective of delivering a true acoustic piano playing experience that is indistinguishable from the real thing.
The spirit of the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX concert grand piano is at the heart of the Novus NV5S. Each world-class instrument is hand-crafted by Master Piano Artisans (MPAs), utilising the finest available materials to ensure optimum touch, tone, and artistic expression. Widely regarded as ‘the premier piano of Japan,’ the SK-EX graces the stages of concert halls and musical institutions around the globe, receiving universal acclaim for its magnificent tonal clarity and exceptional dynamic range.
Shigeru Kawai is also frequently provided for official selection at some of the world’s most prestigious music competitions, including the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in Japan. At the 10th edition held in November 2018, three of the six grand finalists selected the SK-EX throughout the competition, including 1st prize winner Can Cakmur.
In order to reproduce the stunning tonal qualities of the Shigeru Kawai concert grand piano digitally, the Novus NV5S incorporates Kawai’s latest SK-EX Rendering technology. This advanced piano sound engine combines the well-established process of sampling with the modern approach of physical modelling, to produce a piano sound that is both rich in natural acoustic character, and dynamically responsive to the player’s musical desires.
Developed in collaboration with Onkyo, one of Japan’s leading premium audio equipment manufacturers, the NV5S features specialist filtering and amplification components designed for high-resolution sound reproduction. These technologies improve tonal clarity throughout the dynamic range, while helping to preserve the unique harmonic characteristics of the Shigeru Kawai piano. Finally, this high-fidelity sound is delivered through the NV5S’s powerful speaker system, which combines Kawai’s exclusive TwinDrive soundboard technology with six premium quality Onkyo speaker drivers. The result is a remarkably authentic playing experience that immerses the performer, and faithfully eproduces the tonal ambience of an acoustic piano.
The Novus NV5S’s stunning ebony polish cabinet is crafted in the same piano production facility as Kawai’s ‘K’ series upright instruments, ensuring exceptional build quality and an immaculate mirror-like finish. Its exterior appearance is undoubtedly inspired by classic piano design, thanks in part to the handsome fallboard and wide music rest, providing a sense of stability and reassurance when sitting at the instrument. However, this traditional character is refined and refreshed by the NV5S’s gently curved edge lines, elegantly tapered legs – free of the customary, weighty toe-blocks – and various other details that lift and modernise the instrument’s presence.
Indeed, despite housing an acoustic piano keyboard action and damper mechanism, the NV5S is a remarkably compact instrument, occupying a depth of just 46 cm – far smaller than a conventional upright. This slim profile allows pianists to enjoy an authentic, acoustic piano playing experience, in confined spaces previously limited to a standard digital piano.
The Novus NV5S’s upward facing topboard speakers project mid-range frequencies outward, closely reproducing the sound field of an acoustic piano. These speakers are protected from dust and other foreign objects by fabric created by esteemed Danish textile house, Kvadrat.
Established in 1968, with deep roots in Scandinavia’s design tradition, Kvadrat is Europe’s leading supplier of high-quality contemporary textiles, crafting beautiful and inspiring fabrics for some of the world’s foremost architects, designers, and premium consumer brands.
The NV5S’s topboard speaker cover features an original Kvadrat material, customised to meet Kawai’s specifications, with a woven mesh composition optimised for musical clarity and tonal projection. Its soft, dark-grey yarn with pearl-like highlights, contrasts with the lustrous sheen of the NV5S’s ebony polish cabinet, elevating this musical instrument to the level of a piece of fine furniture, destined to become the centrepiece of any room it occupies.
While the Novus NV5S’s core features are unquestionably derived from an acoustic piano, the instrument neatly incorporates various additional technologies that provide the modern conveniences of a premium digital piano. These features are primarily controlled through the NV5S’s touchscreen LCD, which is discretely embedded within the instrument’s left cheekblock. This high resolution touchscreen allows sounds and settings to be adjusted from an attractive user interface simply by tapping or swiping the display with a finger. For piano purists, the screen can be set to turn off automatically while playing, thus preserving the Novus’ classic appearance, and minimising any visual distraction to the performer.
Unlike an acoustic piano, the Novus NV5S provides a variety of options for connecting to other devices, with audio jacks that allow the instrument to be amplified in halls and other large settings, and USB and MIDI ports for transferring music data to and from a computer. The NV5S even supports Bluetooth®, providing an effortless way to connect and enjoy smart devices wirelessly.
Copyright Kawai Europa GmbH