Casio

Casio USA
570 Mount Pleasant Ave.
Dover, New Jersey 07801
973-361-5400
www.casio.com

Kashio Tadao established Casio in 1946. Originally a small subcontractor factory that made parts and gears for microscopes, Casio built Japan's first electric calculator in 1954, which began the company's transformation into the consumer-electronics powerhouse it is today. Perhaps best known for its calculators, digital cameras, and watches, Casio entered the musical instrument business with the launch of the Casiotone in 1980. Casio's current line of digital pianos consists of three vertical and three slab models. The Privia line's PX-120 and PX-320 slabs are the least expensive ensemble models, and offer an optional stand-and-pedal module that turns them into three-pedal pianos with support for half-pedaling. The PX-120 also shares, with the non-ensemble CDP-100 model, the title of lightest digital piano. Casio digital pianos are available at music retailers, consumer-electronics and club stores, and online. Casio has more models under $1,000 than any other manufacturer.


Galileo

Galileo Music Corporation
P.O. Box 633
Falmouth, Massachusetts 02541
508-457-6771
www.galileomusic.com

Galileo is the digital piano brand of Viscount, an Italian company that traces its roots back to accordion builder Antonio Galanti, who built his first instrument in 1890. The Galanti accordion factory was opened in 1898 by Antonio's son Egidio Galanti, whose own sons, Matteo and Marcello, respectively became the driving forces behind Generalmusic (see below) and Viscount. Viscount began manufacturing electronic organs in the 1960s, with digital pianos following in the late 1980s. Today, Viscount is run by the fourth generation of the Galanti family, Marcello's son Mauro and daughter Loriana.

Galileo digital grand pianos use a 19-ply wood rim like that of an acoustic grand. Galileo offers its Concerto model in the most ornate traditional wood cabinet currently available. With the exception of the two least expensive models, all Galileo actions have wooden keys and feature escapement feel.


GEM

Generalmusic Corporation USA
605H Country Club Dr.
Bensenville, Illinois 60106
630-766-8230
www.generalmusic.us

As in the case of Galileo above, the story of Generalmusic begins with the Galanti family. Galanti Egidio Mondaino s.r.l. (GEM) was established in 1959 by Matteo Galanti, and initial production consisted of a line of electronic organs. GEM was renamed Generalmusic in 1994. In 1995 the Realpiano line was launched, the first application of physical modeling as an element of tone production in digital pianos.

Generalmusic did not respond to requests for information.


Kawai

Kawai America Corporation
2055 East University Dr.
P.O. Box 9045
Compton, California 90224
310-631-1771, 800-421-2177
productsupport@kawaius.com
www.kawaius.com

For company background, see the Kawai listing in the "Brands and Company Profiles" for acoustic pianos.

Kawai entered the electronic organ market in 1960, and produced its first digital piano in 1985. Today, Kawai's lineup features 23 models, totaling, when different finishes and variations are included, 40 different offerings. Kawai's digital piano line comprises three groups: the Concert Performer (CP) ensemble pianos; the standard digital piano line, consisting of the Concert Artist (CA), CL, CN, and ES models; and Professional Products, including the CE, EP, and MP lines. The Kawai CA-91 was the first digital piano to use a transducer-driven soundboard for a more natural piano sound, and its CP models remain the only ensemble pianos with built-in CD recorders. The top-of-the-line CP207D ensemble grand is also available with three different levels of factory-installed PianoDisc player-piano system. If you're after a huge number of voices, the models at the upper end of the CP line come with over 1,000.

Kawai uses three different actions in its digital pianos: Advanced Hammer Action III (AHA III); Advanced Hammer Action IV (AHA IV), found in more expensive models; and the top-of-the-line AWA PRO II, with wooden keys.

 

FALL 2009 -- page 253

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