For company background, see the Kawai listing in the “Brand and Company Profiles” for acoustic pianos.
A renowned builder of acoustic pianos for over 90 years, Kawai entered the digital piano market in 1985. Today, Kawai’s digital pianos comprise four main model lines: Concert Performer (CP), Concert Artist (CA), Classic Series (CS), and CN Series. Other digital models include the CE220, CL26, and KDP110. Portable digitals include the ES8 and ES110, and professional models include the MP Series stage pianos and the VPC1 virtual piano controller.
Kawai created the first hybrid digital instrument to use a transducer-driven soundboard for a more natural piano sound, a feature available in the CS11 and the flagship CA98. Many Kawai models offer USB digital audio recording and playback. Recently, Kawai introduced the first of its Novus line of hybrid instruments, the NV10. This new model features an actual grand-piano action, with modified hammers and optical sensors.
Several different types of action appear in Kawai digital pianos. Kawai is well known for its wooden-key actions for digital pianos, the current versions of these being the Grand Feel (GF), GFII, RM3II, and AWA PROII, these actions available in upper-end models. The Responsive Hammer II (RHII), RHIII, and RH-Compact actions use an industry-standard graded hammer design with plastic keys, and are found in the lower-cost and portable models.
Kawai’s main lines of digital piano are sold through a network of authorized local dealers; several models are also available from Kawai’s online store. Professional products and other digitals are sold through a combination of authorized online and bricks-and-mortar retailers.