01 Jul Kawai Digital Pianos – REVIEW | $900-$15,000 | All Models Update
By: Professor Tim
Kawai Digital Pianos – REVIEW | Under $1000 up to $15,000 | All Models for 2023 | LOWER PRICES HERE | The Kawai Piano company has 16 distinct models of digital pianos for 2023. The models are called ES120, KDP75, KDP120, ES520, ES920, MP7SE, MP11SE, VPC1, CN201, CN301, CA401, CA501, CA701, CA901, DG30, NV5S, and NV10S.
Two of the models are under $1000, 4 of the models are between $1000-$2000, 4 of the models are between $2000 – $3000, 2 models are from $3000 – $4000, 1 model is from $4000 – $5000, 1 model is from $6000 – $7000, 1 model is at $8500, and 1 model is at $14,500 discount price. The newest Kawai digital pianos are called the NV5S hybrid upright piano using an actual Kawai acoustic upright key action and the NV10S hybrid “style” digital piano that uses an actual Kawai “grand piano key action” from their top acoustic grand pianos.
Kawai is in the top tier of all piano companies for both acoustic & digital pianos. Kawai began to build acoustic pianos way back in 1927 so they are almost 100 years old as a company. Mr Kawai actually first worked as an apprentice to Mr Yamaha prior to the start of the Kawai piano company and in fact both Mr Kawai and Mr Yamaha were neighbors in the same city in Japan where the both companies currently have their international headquarters…interesting facts!
Through the decades the Kawai company began to distinguish themselves in how they designed and built their pianos as compared to everyone else along with having a distinct piano sound that other acoustic piano companies like Yamaha did not have. These days the Kawai piano company is famous around the world to top musicians, universities, piano teachers, and other music professionals for producing high quality acoustic and digital pianos.
Besides Kawai’s more entry level plastic key actions which are still very good and work well, the higher priced Kawai digital pianos use proprietary custom built key actions, piano sound chips, and digital technology that no other digital piano company has at this point. One of those special components in many of their digital pianos over $2000 are proprietary “longer key” wood key actions that replicate the feeling of playing a real grand piano in terms of key weight, key movement, key balance, etc.
There is only one other top name piano company out there that has this type of key movement, especially with longer length wood keys installed individually over a metal “center pin” and that company is Casio with their newer GP-310 and GP-510 digital pianos. In fact, the Casio company also uses a simulated moving hammer system connected to the keys that mimic what an acoustic piano key action does.
When it comes to cutting edge digital pianos with impressive key actions, piano sound, and pedaling response, Kawai definitely has them with 16 models starting at about $900 and going up to their “hybrid” digital pianos.
Kawai ES120 digital piano – REVIEW | $949 internet price | The Kawai ES120 portable piano for 2023 (stand & tripe pedal optional) is the lowest priced piano that Kawai makes. It has an 88-key piano weighted plastic key action (all digital piano key actions under $2000 are plastic) that plays quite nicely and is on the lighter side of piano weighted keys and those keys move very fast and mimic a real acoustic piano upright piano key action.
The piano tone is sampled from a real Kawai grand piano and each note of the 88 keys is individually sampled as opposed note stretching like some other digital piano companies do. The ES120 has 192-note maximum piano polyphony and you can layer 2 instrument sounds together with no problem. The ES110 is lightweight at just 26 lbs and is compact to be easily transported. The ES120 has dedicated buttons to select instrument tones through tone group buttons and 4 favorite sound settings can be stored in the instrument.
This model has recently come out and it does have a direct USB output connection and along with Bluetooth wireless connectivity for both MIDI and Audio streaming. We highly recommend this model if you are looking for one of the best and most realistic piano playing experiences under $900 in a portable digital piano.
Kawai KDP75 digital piano – REVIEW | $999 internet price | The Kawai KDP75 is a newer model digital piano for Kawai in 2023. The KDP75 is basically a cabinet version of the portable ES120 with a few important differences such as the ES120 having more acoustic piano sounds and those sounds have upgraded piano sound technology over this KDP75. The KDP75 does have a full furniture cabinet with sliding key cover, stand, cabinet, triple pedal unit, and small bench so it does look and work more like a piano in that way.
The KDP75 has 16 watts of audio power for its speaker system as compared to the ES120 having 20 watts which is more powerful. Also, the ES120 is more flexible in being about to take it with you and play it with a single pedal or get the optional furniture stand and triple pedal unit like the KDP75 has. Overall the KDP75 is a good entry level furniture cabinet digital piano and it comes in a standard simulated rosewood cabinet.
Kawai KDP120 digital piano – REVIEW | $1499 internet price | The Kawai KDP120 is an upgraded cabinet version of the ES120 and next cabinet piano above the KDP75. It has 40 watts of speaker power which is almost 3 times as powerful as the KDP75. The cabinet is similar to the KDP75 only upgraded.
It is a very nice piano and is much like the KDP75 in some ways and has been a good seller for Kawai. Unlike the KDP75, the KDP120 has a 3-sensor key action instead of the 2-sensor key action found in the models below it and a much more powerful 40 watt speaker system.
However, the user operating system can get somewhat cryptic at times and definitely not as intuitive to use as other digital piano user interfaces. There are some specific function buttons on the left side of the piano but they are limited.
Normally you would mostly need to look in the owners manual to figure out how to use the functions in this model and to select the sounds. However, Kawai has a new app called “Piano Remote” for iPad or Android tablet that can definitely help you have a much better user interface experience in selecting functions and features. So if you enjoy using external devices like an Android or iPad tablet (or phone), then the user interface experience will definitely be an enjoyable way for you in controlling the many features & functions in the KDP120 and it works well and looks good too.
The KDP120 does have USB output connection so that is a nice upgraded feature over the previous models. We highly recommend this model for an enjoyable piano playing experience with regard to key action, piano sound authenticity, pedaling, and internal speaker system.
Kawai ES520 top and back view
Kawai ES520 digital piano – REVIEW | $1399 internet price (furniture stand & triple pedal optional) | The Kawai ES520 portable digital piano occupies a spot in the middle of the lower price ES120 and the higher price ES920. After thoroughly playing this new model for many hours I am very impressed with it in many ways.
As with all digital pianos my main concern is how realistic it is with regard to a more authentic piano playing experience that would be satisfying even to a skilled pianist. Bells & Whistles are always fun to have and depending on what and how good they are and I personally like playing those added instrument sounds as long as they are high quality, using rhythmic percussion patterns for playing pop, rock, jazz, Latin, country, Big Band, and other types of music, and being able to record and playback my piano playing, and the ES520 does all of that very well.
Also for me personally, the better the internal speaker system is, the more I like playing the piano because even if you were to have a reasonably good piano sound engine inside the piano, if the internal speaker system cannot get that sound out in a convincing and full way, then the playing experience can be very lacking.
The ES520 has an amazing stereo 40 watt internal speaker system positioned with speakers on the top so the sound comes out evenly and naturally and is easy to hear. This piano also puts out a quality sound given that Kawai combined forces with the Onkyo audio company to produce the impressive speaker system in the ES520 so it needs no other help in that way. It can sound very big and very full and the dynamic range of piano tone is easily heard no matter what volume you have set up…soft, medium, or loud…it is all very balanced and natural especially for its lower price range.
The key action and how it moves is almost always the most important component to any digital piano and that is typically where the greatest cost will be for the manufacturer. What some manufactures try to do is put in a real “cheap” piano type action in their piano because as long as there are 88 black and white keys that move up & down, then to most shoppers out there it looks like a piano keyboard so therefore it must be good.
But that is the furthest thing from the truth because inside (and outside) the action components and materials can differ in a huge way from one brand or model to another…so don’t get fooled because it can be easy to do. The ES520 key action moves smoothly and easily but is solid with accurate touch control.
The average acoustic grand piano that has its action setup correctly has a key weight movement on middle C of approx 55 grams so that the key can move down quickly but yet respond correctly so that your hands, fingers, and wrists do not become fatigued. On the ES520 the down-weight on middle C is 56 grams of static touch-weight, which is nearly perfect.
The key action touch weight on a competitive model by Yamaha called the P-515 ($1599 internet price) is approx 85 grams of static touch weight measured on middle C which is noticeably heavier than the Kawai ES520. Having a heavy key action movement is definitely not a good thing in our experienced opinion, but Yamaha has made it that way although other keys actions on higher priced Yamaha digital pianos are noticeably lighter in touch.
We see good changes coming in the future for Yamaha in having a better, more responsive key action but for now, we don’t recommend it just for that reason. But the new ES520 triple sensor responsive key action is a pleasure to play and is something you can enjoy and grow into instead of growing out of it. Oh yeah…the ES520 key action does not have the “escapement” feature that some digital pianos now have to try and recreate a slight notch hesitation as you push down the keys about half-way.
You can feel that sensation in a real grand piano but only playing at very slow speeds. In a digital piano, in our opinion that feature is not as necessary not necessary for most people and it is only a simulation so not actually real. But the ES520 doesn’t have it so you don’t have to worry about it and your playing will still be impressive.
There is one more important ingredient to any good digital piano and that is “ease of use” and being intuitive to operate. Pretty much all digital pianos take a little bit of time to figure out but some of them are really just not user friendly and take way too much work to operate and use. The ES520 is the opposite of that with easy to reach control buttons that feel good to the touch and a larger easy to see OLED display screen located in the center of the control panel.
If you press the piano button you get the first piano sound (SK), and then if you press that button again you’ll get the next piano sound (EX), and so on and that is the same navigation control for all sound categories. You can also skim through the instrument and sound menu using the main menu value buttons to move back and forth between sounds and other functions. Other digital pianos can be much more confusing so I like the fact that Kawai made the ES520 an intuitive instrument in many ways.
When you compare the realism of the piano and instrument sounds, the very responsive key action, the ease of use, and all the cool functions & features, for its $1199 internet discount price, we think new Kawai ES520 is actually a real bargain for the price in my opinion.This model is normally on back-order these days days because of acute product shortages at the factory, lack of computer chips to make these pianos, and the high demand of consumers during the pandemic and continuing on through today.
If you think this piano sounds good to you and it fits your price range then we suggest you get one on order ASAP to reserve it so that you don’t have to wait as long. As with all brands and models, please contact us so we can help you get one for even less money than internet/Amazon price including free shipping, no tax, full warranty, brand new.
Kawai ES920 digital piano | REVIEW | $1899 internet price (furniture stand and triple pedal lyre optional) | The Kawai ES920 portable digital piano is a new model for Kawai under $2000 and is already a “best seller” for them in 2023.
The reason this model is already very popular is because it offers the most authentic piano playing experience as compared to all other brands and models of portable digital pianos under $2000 when it comes key action authenticity, piano sound realism, and pedaling response in our opinion. In other words it plays more like a real piano than any other brand or model under $2000 at this point.
It has a smooth piano weighted key touch that is neither too heavy or too light and the piano sound realism is pretty amazing with organic stereo grand piano tones and sound nuances that are hard to believe coming from this compact instrument especially as compared to what Yamaha and Roland has to offer right now.
Key actions are the main part of any digital piano that you should be most concerned about. When the touch is physically too heavy it can cause hand, finger, and wrist fatigue after a while and you definitely do not want that to happen. The average touch weight on the middle C in a real acoustic grand piano that is setup correctly averages around 55 grams of down weight force.
The Kawai ES920 is approx 58 grams of weight which is excellent. However as a comparative example, the Yamaha P515 portable digital piano ($1599) key weight measured on the middle C key is approx 85 grams of down-weight force which makes the Yamaha key action substantially heavier than not only the Kawai ES920, but also normal acoustic piano key weight. There are certainly some good things to like about the competitive Yamaha, but the key action movement is definitely not one of them in our opinion and I just wanted to point that out.
Pedaling response in the ES920 is very good whether you are using the deluxe single piano sustain pedal or the optional triple pedal and sustain quality and duration is also impressive with nice tonal range and expression throughout. The ES920 also has a lot of user friendly digital features and functions to make your piano playing even more enjoyable like Bluetooth wireless audio and MIDI connectivity, audio recording capabilities, and interactive style accompaniments.
The powerful new 40 watt stereo internal speaker system is also a highlight of this model because of the big, quality natural piano sound that it puts out through its upward facing integrated speakers.
The non-piano instrument sounds such as vintage electric pianos, strings, choirs, organs, etc are also as impressive as the acoustic piano sounds, and that is not an easy thing to do so I was very impressed to see and hear that. Unfortunately there has been a product shortage due to very high demand for this model. The factories have not totally caught up yet. So if you want this model and it is in stock and available, then you should grab one while you can.
We highly recommend this model because we know from 1st hand experience how good it feels and sounds as a piano, and that is what really counts. The other features, as nice as they are…they are just “frosting on the cake.” For us it is always about the piano playing experience and this newer model has done an excellent job in that way. If you want one, and for less money, please contact us.
Kawai MP7SE digital piano – REVIEW | $2299 internet price | The Kawai MP7SE is a stage piano with synthesizer capabilities and is a popular model for the Kawai company. The key action and piano sound chip is actually identical to what is in the ES920, however everything else is different and suited for someone who likes to experiment doing extra things like using many sounds together in a variety of ways and also editing and “tweaking” each of the 256 instrument sounds inside this model.
It may look a bit more complex to use and figure out than something like the new ES920, but it is actually simpler to use than it would appear. We like it because we can do musical things on it that few other portable digital stage or studio” pianos can do in this price range and yet still play it like a real piano if you choose to do it that way. It has recording and playback capabilities which are nice and it’s great for live performance, recording studio use, pro stage work, or just to play at home. It has been a good model for Kawai and we anticipate there will be no changes to it in the year 2023.
Kawai VPC1 portable “controller” digital piano
Kawai VPC1 portable “controller” digital piano | REVIEW | $2399 internet price | Description review coming soon
Kawai CN201 digital piano – REVIEW | $2299 internet price | The Kawai CN201 is a big upgrade over the former CN29. The key action remains the same but the piano sound engine has been upgraded and sounds more realistic as compared to the previous model. I really like the key action in this model because it is balanced and weighted correctly and has a quick and accurate response and much more playable than Roland or Yamaha in this price range as compared to a high quality acoustic piano. Key action is the most important aspect of any piano and the CN201 has an impressive key movement.
Kawai changed the internal speaker system and upgraded the quality of that system with new audio technology so now the piano sound comes out of its 40 watt speaker system more naturally. 40 watts is definitely adequate in this piano but it’s the quality of the sound that was improved. Kawai also improved the user interface with new button features and an OLED display screen and more navigation choices.
The CN201 is available in 3 cabinet colors including matte/satin black, rosewood, and white so more people will be able to fit it into their decor. With the same nice playing piano key action and improved piano sound engine and internal speaker system, this newer CN201 has been upgraded in a good way so it’s definitely worth the $2199 in our opinion.
Kawai CA401 – $3099 price in satin black, satin rosewood, or satin white – Review
The Kawai CA401 “concert series” home digital piano has a proprietary “longer key” wood key action which no other brand or model has in this approx $3000 price range.
The CA401 “Grand Feel Compact” wood key action is one of the main reasons people want this model. It outplays any of the Kawai plastic key actions such as what is in the CN201 and other digital pianos under $3500. Beyond that, the CA401 also has a very enjoyable stereo grand piano sound going through a 40 watt 4-speaker improved internal sound system which is similar to the CN201, only with 4 speakers instead of 2 speakers.
This model also has Bluetooth audio and MIDI wireless streaming which can be very useful, especially with regard to streaming your music from an external device into the piano speaker system. We also really like the looks of the cabinet for this model because it has a much more elegant “piano appearance” than other models in this price range.
The CA401 is focused mostly on the “piano playing experience” and does not have a lot of frills or bells & whistles, as some people call it. There are some other instrument sounds like strings, organ, harpsichord, etc which are quite realistic on the model and the cabinet looks attractive and comes in satin rosewood, black, or white with a matching padded bench. For the money this is definitely the one of the finest digital pianos we have played under $3500 (if not the best) when it comes to authentic key action movement as compared to a real piano.
Kawai CN301 digital piano | REVIEW | $2999 internet price | The Kawai CN301 is a new model for 2023 and will definitely go through the year 2023 and well beyond for a few years. The CN301 is an upgrade to the previous model CN39 and much different in functions and features compared to the lower priced CN201 in number of ways although there are some similarities. The CN301 and CN201 share the same higher end plastic key action called RH3 along with the same piano sound chip and pedaling system. So the piano playing fundamentals are the same.
However the CN301 has a lot more digital functions and features along with an upgraded internal speaker system. In terms of the CN301 upgrades over the previous model CN39, the CN301 has the better internal speaker system, a new and improved user control panel with bright OLED display screen, a few new piano and instrument sounds, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, and a few more tonal features.
The CN301 cabinet is larger and takes up a slightly bigger footprint. For those people who want some very cool fun features with extra “bells & whistles” along with a digital piano that can be enjoyable for just pure piano playing, the CN301 would be a great option and it comes in a rosewood, black, or white cabinet. However, with all of our experience in piano instruction, teaching piano, and playing professionally for many years, the key action is the #1 thing to be concerned about in any piano so with that in mind we recommend this model for its superior plastic key action, piano sound, and pedaling.
Kawai MP11SE stage digital piano | REVIEW | $3499 internet price | The top model stage piano MP11SE is the epitome of portable, high quality digital pianos when it comes to offering the most authentic acoustic piano playing experience you can get in a portable digital piano.
This piano has the proprietary extra long wood key “Grand Feel Action” that puts it way above any other portable digital piano on the market today. We have played this model many times and although there are many other very good brands out there, nothing comes close to this model for pure piano performance including the impressive stereo acoustic piano sound and very responsive triple pedal unit with optical sensors which is included with this model.
The MP11SE does not have speakers built in which is typical for stage pianos so you would need to purchase a separate pair of speakers or powered monitors for piano sound. Of course you can also listen to this piano through a good pair of stereo headphones for private practice.
The control panel of the MP11SE is set up intuitively so that you have 3 main instrument sections where sounds can be accessed and you can use one sound from each section individually or put together (mix) 2 of 3 sounds at one time (1 from each section) and you can also set up 3 separate zones or splits for those sounds as well. There is a huge array of editing and recording features on board along with user friendly setups for easy storage and access of all your favorite sounds.
The MP11SE looks great, plays like a dream with its amazing key action, and has very convincing grand piano sounds. Even though this model has been out for a little while we see it going on through the year 2023 because of its continued popularity and the fact that no other portable digital piano (regular or stage) comes close.
Kawai CA501 digital piano – REVIEW | $3999 internet price | satin rosewood, satin black, and satin white
The Kawai CA501 is a unique digital piano in the “concert series” line of digital pianos because it has some great piano sound using a high level proprietary sound chip through a powerful 100 watt internal 4 channel speaker system and it incorporates that special “Grand Feel Compact” extra long wooden key key-action that is also found in the lower priced CA401.
This key action has 100% black & white keys and the white keys are extended length 12″ long and they are installed with a metal center pin for each key. This is the same way as keys are installed on real acoustic pianos and the other brands don’t do this type of key action installation, especially in this price range. They s move quickly and also mechanically quiet.
Essentially the CA501 is a CA401 on steroids because other than the key action and pedaling being the same, everything else in this new CA501 model is upgraded in a big way and it is really for someone who not only wants the great key action of the CA401 but also wants the best piano playing experience they can get in the “under $4000 price range” in terms of a natural, expressive acoustic quality stereo piano sound.
Plus, there are many more additional useful features the CA401 does not provide such as MP3 and wav file audio recording & playback, drum rhythm patterns for rhythm and timing training and fun play-along, more instrument sounds, and a number of other features including a lot of useful hardware connectivity such as audio ins/outs, USB flashdrive slot, MIDI, USB output, audio inputs, etc.
In this price range the Kawai CA501 is one of our top choices for people who want and great looking cabinet and to focus on the best piano playing experience they can get under $4000 while also having some very cool digital technology. This includes additional impressive features, functions, and connectivity.
Kawai CA701 digital piano | REVIEW | $4899 price matte rosewood, satin black, satin white | $5599 internet price polished ebony | The Kawai CA701 is near the top of the “concert series” line of pianos from Kawai. What sets this piano apart from all the competition at this price is Kawai’s proprietary all-wood key-action called “Grand Feel 3.”
The actual length of the white keys on this model is just under 14″ long which is what helps makes actual acoustic grand pianos so special…the key construction & content as well as the key length…and those keys are much longer than other brands with the exception of the Casio GP-310 hybrid digital piano which sells for $4299. In other popular brands such as Roland, not only are their keys mostly plastic with thin wood slats on each side of the key, but the key length on the newest and best Roland home digital piano selling for over $6000 is just over 10″ long for total key length.
The CA701 uses all white-sprucewood black & white keys with grand piano weighted hammer action using counter-weights in all white keys. The extra long key length gives this piano the same key touch-weight whether playing towards the back of the keys or the front of the keys which then allows for grand piano playing technique which is what all good piano players, piano students, and advanced pianists look for when trying to play piano music at optimum levels.
It’s not that you can’t play music well on digital pianos with shorter keys and/or plastic keys, it’s just that the balance and fulcrum points of shorter keys physically normally cannot key up with longer keys and that’s why you’ll never see a pro piano player play an upright piano on stage because those keys are not only shorter than in grand pianos, the keys are not balanced up & down like grand pianos are.
When you consider its 100% natural longer wood keys that are one of the longest key lengths of any new digital piano under $6000, the Kawai Grand Feel 3 wood key action is pretty amazing. Then you have new proprietary acoustic grand piano sound with 2 distinct piano sound technologies offering 17 different grand piano sounds from a variety of actual Kawai acoustic grand pianos.
Compare that technology and grand piano sounds to some of the competition (such as Roland) which offers just 4 piano sounds with one type of piano technology and there really is no comparison. All of those piano sounds come through a new upgraded Kawai internal speaker system with new speaker electronic producing 110 watts of stereo power going through 6 specially designed speakers placed in strategic parts of the piano cabinet.
Kawai also offers the coolest internal user interface control panel that we have seen in a piano like this with an android based large color touch screen having touch and swipeable feature selection to quickly get to functions and features you want to use. The CA701 has a big array of interactive usable piano features, educational piano practice technology, Bluetooth audio and MIDI wireless connectivity, and all kinds of recording functions to do most anything you would like to do.
There are a bunch of other impressive features on the CA701 but there are other brands of digital pianos in this price range with equally nice digital features. But the “star of the show” in this model is the key action, stereo acoustic grand piano sounds, and responsive pedaling with a more advanced, more natural, higher level piano playing experience. Beyond that, the cabinet design looks very attractive in all of the colors offered, especially the more expensive polished ebony cabinet.
Kawai CA901 digital piano | REVIEW | $6399 internet price | satin rosewood, satin black, satin white | $7299 internet price polished ebony | The Kawai CA901 is the top of the line “concert series” home digital piano. This is Kawai’s premier digital piano with the extra long key “Grand Feel 3” 100% wood key action which is the same key action as in the lower priced CA701.
The reason Kawai offers this upper end model is mainly because of a more authentic piano cabinet construction process and the addition of an acoustic piano soundboard system in the back of the piano just like a real acoustic piano adding more natural piano tonal qualities and resonances to the overall piano sound. No other digital piano on the market has an acoustic sound board. The sound system also has 3 separate internal audio amplifiers custom designed by Kawai along with 35 watts more power than the CA701.
Kawai CA901 continued – With regard to the acoustic piano soundboard in the CA901 which you can see in the photo above, when the piano sound is produced through the normal stereo speaker system inside the piano, the sound vibrations travel through the natural spruce wood grains in that acoustic soundboard and those natural vibrations in the wood are then picked up by special transducer microphones placed on that soundboard.
Those vibrations are then audibly heard from the soundboard along with the stereo piano piano coming from the regular stereo speakers inside the piano. The resulting sound is a much fuller, much louder, and much more naturally resonating piano sound than the CA701 or just about any other brand of digital piano in this price range.
We have personally played these pianos and heard them and that soundboard absolutely makes a huge difference in the tone quality and resonation and it is very apparent. It’s like comparing a small upright piano to a grand piano, there is that much difference in tone, bass response, and frequency range. The piano cabinet is a “1-piece” cabinet that is permanently built just like a real piano so there is no need for piano assembly…it comes permanently assembled unlike most digital pianos that need to have the stand assembled.
This cabinet is more contemporary and elegant to look at because of being one continuous cabinet instead of a separate stand with the piano screwed down to the stand like the others. The CA901 is all one permanently assembled piano just like a real acoustic upright piano. The only downside to that is that is if you ever needed to move this piano any far distance or disassemble it, you could not disassemble it like the CA701 or other models..so it just depends what is more important to you.
The cabinet measurements of the CA901 are 57″ x 19″ x 40″ as compared to the CA701 cabinet measurements at 57″ x 19″ x 38″ tall, and the entire CA901 piano only weighs 182 lbs in the satin finishes or 201 lbs in the polished ebony finish. So it’s really not that heavy. The CA901 has a total of 96 sounds which is the same as in the CA701. Otherwise the CA901 and CA701 are identical in every other way. But the difference in the piano sound coming out of the 135 watt speaker system of the CA901 & wood soundboard at the same time is noticeable and makes the higher price for the CA901 over the CA701 justified in my opinion.
Kawai DG30 Digital Micro Grand Piano
Kawai DG30 Digital Micro Grand Piano | REVIEW | $6099 polished ebony store discount price | Description review coming soon!
Kawai Novus NV5S “Upright Hybrid” Digital Piano – REVIEW | $9000 approx store discount price | Kawai has a new type of digital piano that combines the electronics and many of the features of the newer CA901 with an actual Kawai acoustic upright piano key action called “Millennium III” in a specially built acoustic type piano cabinet from one of their best selling “K” series acoustic upright pianos.
The idea behind the new NV5S is that there are some people who are willing to pay a premium price to get all the practical aspects of a digital piano like no tuning, quiet play, headphone silent practice, recording features, extra instrument sounds, USB and Bluetooth wireless connectivity combined with a real upright key action with all the action moving parts a real piano would provide.
The NV5S has a premium concert grand piano sound engine so that when you play the NV5S it is using special optical sensors which determines the movement and speed of the “unique hammers” in the Millennium III key action and translates that information in real time to the digital “brain” of the NV5S to produce a realistic, natural piano sound.
The piano sound comes out of a proprietary Kawai multi-channel sound system within the NV5S cabinet which directs the sound towards the player along with sending the sound out of projection speaker ports in the cabinet. The end result is that you get a top of the line upright piano with an actual advanced upright key action from a real Kawai acoustic piano with full length wood keys combined with Kawai’s digital grand piano sound cengine along with a real acoustic piano pedal system rail for all three pedals.
If you have always wanted a real acoustic piano with a premium high definition key action and you like the digital features of the Kawai CA901 including the special spruce-wood soundboard in the back of the piano (just like real upright pianos have), then with the new Novus NV5S you get that and more in a compact polished ebony cabinet at only 18″ depth from the wall. The NV5S has not been out very long in the USA and is also in short supply from what we hear. If you want one we suggest you get in line because you’ll likely have to wait. Please contact us for more info on this model.
Kawai Novus NV10S “Grand Hybrid” Digital Piano – REVIEW | $14,500 approx store discount price | The Kawai NV10S grand hybrid digital piano has been for just a few months and it’s likely to be a very successful top model based on the previous NV10 model for the Kawai piano company. The NV10S is the “grand piano key action” version of the NV5S upright piano.
Grand piano key actions are larger and much more complex than an upright piano and therefore have a higher cost than upright piano key actions. The special grand key action combined with a larger and noticeably upgraded piano cabinet brings the price up significantly higher than the NV5S…but you do get what you pay for.
The NV10S has a new and improved 7 speaker, 3 channel Kawai sound system projecting the sound in different directions giving you the surround sound feel of a real grand piano. The piano case itself is not a :grand shape” configuration but it does look elegant and has a depth from a wall of about 25″ although it does not need to go up against a wall. The NV10S has all the digital features of the NV5S but with the inclusion of a real, full size Kawai Millennium III grand piano action that is found in the 20,000 to $30,000 Kawai acoustic grand pianos.
For a number of people the NV10S would be a perfect combination of traditional piano playing with the latest piano sound digital technology along with all the convenience features such as no tuning, private practice playing with headphones, Bluetooth wireless connectivity to use with music streaming, connection to computer or tablets for music education, and music playing enjoyment. We see this model continuing well beyond 2023 and for some years after that.