Down Beat Magazine reviews the CA93

As far as authenticity goes, the Kawai CA93 digital piano has two distinct advantages working in its favor. First would be the company’s 80 years of experience building fine acoustic upright pianos and grands. The other is an actual wooden soundboard that disperses the instrument’s tone and makes it ring out just like a real piano being played on stage or in your living room

While digital instruments typically utilize cone speakers that generate a highly directional sound, acoustic instruments like pianos, guitars and violins harness the properties of wood to produce a tone that resonates evenly in all directions. In the CA93’s 135- watt Soundboard Speaker System, sound energy from six speakers is channeled by an electronic transducer onto a wooden soundboard, which in turn vibrates to create ambient soundwaves. The resulting non-directional sound is a detailed acoustic portrait—about as close as you can get to an actual piano, with deep, resonant bass frequencies and clean, crisp trebles.

Ultra Progressive Harmonic Imaging sound technology ensures smooth tonal transitions across the keyboard and throughout its dynamic range. All 88 keys of a high-end Kawai EX grand were sampled multiple times to achieve a super accurate and subtly nuanced piano sound on the CA93.

Kawai CA93 Digital Piano

For realistic touch, the CA93 uses the new RM3 grand action with let-off feature, which re-creates the subtle “notch” sensation felt when playing gently on the keys of a grand piano. This action uses real wooden keys with incredibly real-feeling Ivory Touch key surfaces along with a mechanical design that closely resembles the motion of Kawai’s grand piano actions. Counterweights are placed at the front of the bass keys to provide the natural balance of an acoustic piano action.

In addition to about two dozen beautiful acoustic and electric piano sounds, the CA93 has a broad selection of studio-quality instrumental sounds including 16 organs (jazz, drawbar, pipe, etc.) a handful of harpsichords and mallets, orchestral strings, vocals/pads and guitars/ basses—80 sounds in all. Any two sounds can be played on the keyboard simultaneously, and there is a split mode where two different instrument sounds can be played on opposite sides of the keyboard. The keyboard’s 192-note polyphony is simply astounding.

USB-to-device and USB-to-host capabilities provide a world of opportunity, including recording and playing digital audio, storing songs and playing song files, and connectivity to computers. Users can save, play and load songs recorded in the CA93’s internal song format as well as play standard MIDI, WAV and MP3 files. Other useful jacks include two headphone jacks, MIDI connections and audio input/output jacks for connecting to sound equipment and recording systems.

There are several educational features on the CA93 that make it appealing to beginners and novice players, and it even plays a decent selection of classic piano pieces and standard religious hymns all on its own. But this a fine, expressive instrument with a beautiful conservatory design and exceptional concert sound, fit for a true artist’s touch. And remember, this is no portable keyboard: You’ll want to dedicate a space for it in your theater, home, church or studio. — Ed Enright   (Download PDF Version)

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