Kawai America Corporation
2055 East University Drive
Rancho Dominguez, California 90220
For company background, see the Kawai listing in the "Brand and Company Profiles" for acoustic pianos.
After 50 years as a piano builder, Kawai entered the market with its first digital piano in 1985. Today, Kawai's lineup for North America features 16 models, many of them new. Kawai's digital piano line comprises four groups: the Concert Performer (CP) ensemble pianos; the standard digital piano line, consisting of the Concert Artist (CA), Classic Series (CS), C, and CN models; the ES and EP portable instruments; and a Professional Products line, including the MP series stage pianos, CE220 digital piano, and the VPC1 virtual piano controller.
Kawai created the first digital piano to use a transducer-driven soundboard for a more natural piano sound, a feature that is available on the flagship CA95. The CP ensemble models have undergone a complete makeover, with all models now sporting touchscreen technology and USB audio. The top-of-the-line CP209 ensemble grand is also available with two 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 a variety of actions in its digital pianos. Four of them — the Grand Feel (GF), RM3, RM3II, and the AWA PROII — feature wooden keys with a unique fulcrum design, and can be found in the CA and CP series, and in the models MP10, CE220, and VPC1. The Responsive Hammer (RH), RHII, and AHA-IV actions use an industry-standard design with plastic keys, and can be found in the lower-cost models in the CN, CP, CS, and CL series, as well as the portable EP3 and ES7 models.
Kawai digital pianos are sold by a network of authorized dealers, with certain models also being available through Kawai's online store. Instruments purchased online are delivered by the closeset stocking dealer. Kawai Professional Products are sold through a combination of authorized local dealers and independent online retailers.
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 four models of 88-key digital piano, including the entry-level model SP-170 at only $500, plus several models with shorter keyboards. Following Kawai's lead, Korg recently announced plans to sell its home digital pianos online (see Kawai, above).