The Concert Grand experience in the comfort of your home
Kawai has been crafting musical instruments for 85 years, maintaining traditional processes while embracing original ideas. These decades of experience afford our engineers a wealth of knowledge from which to create stunning digital instruments, in a quest to perfect the art of the piano.
A digital piano that will transform enthusiastic players into accomplished pianists, and modest homes into grand concert halls. This is the ambitious philosophy behind the Concert Artist digital pianos – a premium instrument that captures the essence of playing a magnificent concert grand piano, and inspires musicians to realise their true artistic potential.
To achieve this ambition, every aspect of the new Concert Artist has either been redeveloped or significantly improved, ensuring that this flagship instrument provides the most authentic playing experience of any digital piano.
The instrument’s new Grand Feel keyboard action reinforces Kawai’s reputation as an industry leader, utilising real wooden keys with luxurious Ivory Touch surfaces, and incorporating premium features such as Let-Off simulation and triple-sensor key detection.
This class-leading keyboard action is bolstered by powerful new digital audio technologies that faithfully reproduce the exquisite sound of Kawai’s magnificent EX concert grand piano.
With the latest Harmonic Imaging XL sound sampling, remarkable 256 note polyphony, and brand new reverberation and resonance modelling effects, the new Concert Artist delivers unparalleled acoustic realism that is guaranteed to enthral performers and audience members alike.
Yet despite the abundance of powerful technology on the inside, the Concert Artist still manages to deliver a remarkably traditional piano playing experience. This is thanks to the instrument’s concealed control panel and handsome cabinet design, with a selection of distinctive grand piano-like characteristics that celebrate Kawai’s rich, classical pedigree.
Unrivalled grand touch, breathtaking acoustic tone, distinctive traditional design, and inspirational modern features. Concert Artist from Kawai – the concert grand piano experience in the comfort of your home.
The Touch of a Grand Piano
The keyboard action of an acoustic grand piano is composed of black and white keys, graded hammers, and numerous other components working in harmony when each note is pressed. This beautifully designed mechanism allows gifted pianists to express a wealth of feeling and emotion in their music, as they appreciate and respond to the tactile nuances transmitted through the keyboard.
Translating the piano action’s intricate movements to a digital instrument, while retaining these acoustic-like subtleties is a stunning achievement – one which has drawn upon 85 years of experience in building some of the world’s finest pianos.
Grand Feel keyboard action
Embracing many of the long-established principles associated with an acoustic piano, the new Grand Feel keyboard action utilised by the latest Concert Artist combines realistic materials, motion, and mechanism to recreate the exceptional touch of the finest concert grand pianos.
All eighty-eight black and white keys are crafted entirely from long pieces of wood, with finely textured ivory-like surfaces applied to absorb moisture and assist control. Each wooden key pivots smoothly on a balance pin – the ends rising and falling to replicate the familiar ‘seesaw’ motion of an acoustic piano action. When pressed, the back of the key lifts, triggering a grade-weighted hammer to strike a pressure switch. The amount of force applied to this switch is then measured, and the corresponding note played with authentic tonal character and volume.
Additional counter-weights placed at the front of the bass keys help to lighten their heavier touch during pianissimo passages, with let-off simulation also reproducing the delicate ‘notch’ sensation felt when playing the keys of a grand piano very softly.
These subtle characteristics allow discerning pianists to practise their expanding repertoire with confidence, and ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises when called upon to perform using the finest acoustic grand pianos.
Ivory Touch key surfaces
The exceptional Concert Artist features Kawai’s highly regarded Ivory Touch key surfaces as standard. This finely textured material gently absorbs fingertip perspiration and oils to assist playing control, and possesses a natural, matte finish that is smooth but not slippery.
Furthermore, this moisture is absorbed without dirt or grease permeating the surface, allowing the keytops to be wiped clean easily using just a damp cloth.
Triple-sensor key detection
Complementing the grand piano-class key pivot length, the Grand Feel action also features a new triple-sensor key detection system for enhanced playing realism. The third sensor improves responsiveness when playing the same key repeatedly, and also allows the sound of a single note to be gradually ‘layered’ without the previous tone being lost.
In addition, improvements to the Concert Artist’s sound hardware also permit the speed at which keys are lifted to influence the release character of piano sounds, providing a greater range of expressive detail between staccato and legato playing.
Longer keys, extended pivot length
In addition to having the longest keys of any digital piano, the new Grand Feel keyboard action also boasts the longest key pivot length – matching that of a Kawai grand piano.
This improvement ensures a more evenly balanced key touch weight from front to rear, and is particularly beneficial when playing complicated chords with fingers positioned towards the back of the keyboard.
The significance of real wooden keys
Wood has been the preferred material for acoustic piano keys for centuries, and was first introduced in Kawai digital pianos over 25 years ago. Yet despite the countless improvements to acoustic and digital piano action technologies in recent years, engineers still recognise that wood remains the best material for the keyboard.
Unlike plastics and most other man-made substances, wood possesses unique characteristics that allow it to absorb a degree of movement energy and flex slightly when compressed. This means that when a pressing a wooden key it reaches the cushioned felt keybed with a natural, reassuring stop, rather than a jarring, noisy halt.
Wood’s outstanding resonance properties are widely accepted, making it an ideal choice for string instruments such as guitars, violins, and of course pianos. Wooden piano keys are also known to vibrate, subtly channelling the sound energy of the instrument back through the fingertips, and enhancing the musician’s playing experience.
Finally, wooden keys are inherently special. The look, feel, and even the smell of wooden keys furnish the Concert Artist with an organic quality that helps the player to feel a closer connection with their piano. And it is this important personal connection that ultimately allows pianists to relax, and lose themselves in the joy of making music.
The Sound of a Grand Piano
The Kawai EX concert grand piano is widely regarded by professional pianists and piano technicians as one of the finest instruments within its class. Hand-built by Master Piano Artisans at the Shigeru Kawai Piano Research Laboratory in Ryuyo, Japan, each EX instrument undergoes a meticulous regulation and refinement process within a specially designed anechoic chamber.
Following this lengthy crafting period, the completed EX concert grand piano receives a final series of rigorous quality inspections, before eventually taking centre stage in the world’s most prestigious musical institutions and concert halls.
88-key Piano Sampling
The beautiful sound of the Kawai EX concert grand piano is at the heart of the new Concert Artist, with all eighty-eight keys of this world-class instrument painstakingly recorded, meticulously analysed, and accurately reproduced as high-fidelity digital waveforms.
Recording each key individually in this way – as opposed to stretching the same tone over several different notes – preserves the rich harmonic character of the EX concert grand piano, and guarantees that the sound heard when playing any one of the Concert Artist’s wooden keys is a faithful representation of the original acoustic source.
Harmonic Imaging technology
When playing a fine piano, the amount of pressure applied to the keyboard affects not only the volume of the sound produced, but also the unique tonal character of each note. Therefore, in order to construct a realistic acoustic portrait of the EX concert grand piano, not only is each key recorded individually, but also at various different volume levels, ranging from gentle pianissimo to thunderous fortissimo.
The new Concert Artist offers a highly detailed acoustic portrait, with Harmonic Imaging XL technology ensuring smooth tonal transitions across the keyboard and throughout the entire dynamic range.
Extra-Long Sampling (hi-xl)
With expanded piano sound memory, the new Concert Artist boasts the largest sample size of any Kawai digital piano. This ‘eXtra Long’ standard of Harmonic Imaging technology extends the important attack portion of the piano sound by up to 120%, articulating the natural detail and resonance characteristics of each note more clearly, and improving the instrument’s organic tonal quality overall.
Acoustic Piano variety
The Concert Artist showcases a variety of Concert, Studio, Jazz, Modern, and Pop grand piano sounds that are suitable for a wide range of musical periods and styles. In addition, a traditional Kawai upright piano sound is also included for pieces that suggest a feeling of nostalgia, or call for a slightly more intimate tonal character.
Improved Virtual Technician
The Concert Artist’s improved Virtual Technician functions invite discerning musicians to shape aspects of the selected piano’s character to suit their preferences.
Players can perform touch and voicing adjustments, regulate hammer and key release noises, and fine-tune string, lid, and damper resonances. It is even possible to adjust the precise tuning and volume of individual notes – all in real-time. Then, with the desired refinements complete, save the fully prepared instrument to an onboard registration memory or USB device, or exchange favourite settings with other Concert Artist owners online.
Redeveloped Effects & Reverb
The Concert Artist’s powerful new digital effects engine further enhances the instrument’s superior core sounds, applying additional layers of detail and realism that bring performances to life.
Studio quality chorus, tremolo, delay, and auto-pan effects can be used to tailor a sound’s character and feeling, with modelled amplifier/speaker simulations applying vintage warmth to electric pianos and trademark growl to drawbar organs. The depth of a performance can then be transformed using the Concert Artist’s updated reverb features, allowing pianists to position themselves within one of six acoustic environments, ranging from a small practise room to an inspirational grand cathedral.
Superior speaker system
The Concert Artists feature high fidelity speaker systems that have been specially designed to deliver deep bass and crisp treble frequencies, with the flagship CA95 piano also incorporating an improved version of Kawai’s highly-regarded Soundboard Speaker System.
As with the original design, this unique audio technology embraces the rich, harmonic qualities of wood, channelling sound energy onto a spruce soundboard to produce an organic tone. The redeveloped system further advances this concept, utilising longer soundboard ribs that broaden the frequency range and volume of the resonating sound. The result is a remarkably authentic playing experience that immerses the performer, and faithfully reproduces the tonal ambience of an acoustic piano.
The Variety of a Digital Piano
Complementing the instrument’s class-leading Grand Feel keyboard action and stunning Harmonic Imaging XL grand piano sound, the Concert Artist also offers a strong selection of digital features that further enhance one’s musical enjoyment.
USB audio recording and playback, Dual, Split, and Four Hands keyboard modes, and a rich assortment of customisable instrument voices add greater variety to players’ performances, while the convenient metronome function and integrated classical etudes or Alfred course books1 ensure that regular practise is both productive and engaging for aspiring pianists.
Rich Sound Selection
Supplementing the beautiful acoustic piano voices, the Concert Artist also features an excellent selection of additional sounds, ranging from electric pianos and drawbar or church organs, to strings, brass, and woodwind instruments, inviting musicians to add variety to their performances.
Furthermore, the Dual playing mode also allows two different sounds, such as grand piano and strings, to be layered together, while the Split and Four Hands modes divide the keyboard into two independent sections. The volume balances and other settings for each playing mode can also be adjusted quickly and easily using the real-time panel controls.
Lesson & Finger Exercises
The Concert Artist’s convenient lesson function allows aspiring pianists to learn piano with classical Czerny, Burgmüller, Beyer and Bach etudes, or a collection of songs from the popular Alfred Basic, Adult, and Premier course books1. With a strong emphasis on acoustic piano realism, both models also feature traditional finger exercises, scales, and warm-up drills, and include a companion book of printed scores to further aid one’s practise.
Grand Feel Pedal System
einforcing the Concert Artist’s reputation as the most realistic digital piano is Kawai’s Grand Feel Pedal System. This new development accurately replicates the individual weighting of the sustain, soft, and sostenuto pedals of a Kawai EX Concert grand piano to further enhance the Concert Artist’s acoustic piano authenticity.
Moreover, it is also possible to adjust the half-pedal sensitivity of the damper pedal, and effectiveness of the soft pedal using specially engineered Virtual Technician parameters, allowing musicians to personalise the instrument’s response to match their preferred pedalling technique.
The new Concert Artist utilises modern, energy efficient components that reduce electricity consumption by 50% (compared to previous models), while the instrument’s optional power saving feature can also turn off the piano automatically after a specified period of inactivity.
Flexible USB Connectivity
The Concert Artist is equipped with modern USB connectors that not only allow the instrument to be connected to a computer for MIDI use, but also to load and save data to USB memory devices directly.
This latter USB to Device functionality allows favourite instrument settings, registrations, and memorable recorder songs stored in internal memory to be safely preserved on USB, or standard MIDI files (SMF) downloaded from the internet to be listened to using the instrument’s exquisite Harmonic Imaging XL sounds without additional hardware.
MP3 Audio Playback & Record
USB memory devices can also be used to play back MP3 or WAV audio files, allowing musicians to learn the chords or melody for a new piece, or to simply play along with their favourite songs. It is even possible to record entire performances (including external line-in audio*) directly as MP3 or WAV audio files for emailing to family and friends, or casual listening away from the piano.
Useful Connectivity Options
In addition to USB to Host and USB to Device connectors, the Concert Artist also features standard LINE-level audio and MIDI jacks. These useful connectivity options allow the instrument to be enjoyed in larger settings such as churches or school halls, and provide greater flexibility when using computers and other audio devices.