Kawai uses five different actions in its digital pianos. The two newest ones—the Responsive Hammer (RH) and top-of-the-line Realistic Material, Realistic Mechanism, Realistic Motion (RM3) actions—can be found in the CN, CA, CP, CS, and MP piano models. The RM3 action has wood keys, Ivory Touch (simulated ivory) keytops, and, on the MP10, CA93, CS6, CP209, and CP179 models, simulated escapement.
Kawai has initiated on its website an online store that allows customers to purchase certain models of digital piano formerly sold only through bricks-and-mortar piano dealers. The pianos are delivered by the closest stocking dealer. In Europe it has been possible for some time to purchase name-brand home digital pianos online; this marks the first time this arrangement is being tried in North America.
1510 Bath Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11228
Italian producer Ketron, established in 1981, began by making portable organs. The company introduced its first digital pianos in 1998, and expanded that product line in 2002. Ketron currently offers five models, including slabs, verticals, and a grand.
Ketron did not respond to requests for information.
Korg USA, Inc.
316 South Service Road
Melville, New York 11747
Korg was founded in 1962 to produce its first product, an automatic rhythm machine, and in 1972 entered the electronic-organ market. The LP-10 stage piano appeared in 1980, and its first digitally sampled piano, the SG1, was introduced in 1986. Korg now offers seven models of digital piano, including the new entry-level model SP-170 at only $499. Following Kawai's lead, Korg recently announced plans to sell its home digital pianos online (see Kawai, above).
Kurzweil (Young Chang)
Kurzweil Music Systems
19060 South Dominguez Hills Drive
Rancho Dominguez, California 90220
Legendary inventor Ray Kurzweil, perhaps best known for having developed a reading machine for the blind, launched Kurzweil Music Systems in 1983, following conversations with Stevie Wonder about the potential for combining the control and flexibility of the computer with the sounds of acoustic instruments. The result was the Kurzweil K250, launched in 1984. In 1990, Kurzweil Music Systems was purchased by Young Chang, which continues to operate the division today.
The new X-PRO series, which includes a vertical and a mini-grand, and the new MP series, are based on Kurzweil's powerful PC3X professional keyboard. Most Kurzweil products are now available through a combination of musical instrument dealers, piano dealers, and online sources. Most Kurzweil models employ Italian Fatar actions.
5795 Martin Rdoad
Irwindale, California 91706
M-Audio (formerly Midiman) is a business unit of Avid Technology, Inc., founded in 1987. Avid also operates Digidesign, producer of the recording-industry standard Pro Tools software, the popular and powerful Sibelius notation software, and professional video-production products. M-Audio makes and sells a wide variety of music-production hardware, including audio/MIDI computer interfaces and monitor speakers. The company has withdrawn from its brief sojourn in the home digital piano market, leaving only the ProKeys88 slab model.