Kurzweil (Young Chang)
Kurzweil Music Systems
6000 Phyllis Drive
Cypress, California 90630
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, in 1984, was the Kurzweil K250, recognized as the world’s first digital piano. 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 Road
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 The company has withdrawn from its brief sojourn in the home digital piano market, leaving only the ProKeys88 slab model.
American Music & Sound
22020 Clarendon Street, Suite 305
Woodland Hills, California 91367
The Nord Piano 2 HA88, successor to the Nord Piano 88, is a professional stage piano that comes with a library of more than 1,000 sounds on a DVD, or downloadable from the Nord Piano website to the instrument via USB. Nord Keyboards are made in Sweden by Clavia DMI AB.
Piano Empire, Inc.
3035 E. La Mesa Street
Anaheim, California 92806
Omega is the brand name used in the U.S. for Kaino digital pianos. Kaino, located in Guangzhou, China, began making portable keyboards in 1986, and digital pianos in 1997.
Roland Corporation U.S.
5100 South Eastern Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90040
To simply say that Roland Corporation was established in 1972 would be to ignore one of the most compelling stories in the realm of digital pianos. Ikutaro Kakehashi started down the path to Roland Corporation at the age of 16, when he began repairing watches in postwar Japan. His enthusiasm for music soon evolved into repairing radios in addition to watches and clocks. At the age of 20, Kakehashi contracted tuberculosis. After three years in the hospital, he was selected for the trial of a new drug, streptomycin, and within a year he was out of the hospital.