Kawai announces new Concert Artist CA901 & CA701 digital pianos
Kawai Japan is delighted to announce the CA901 and CA701, the latest high-performance additions to the popular Concert Artist series of premium digital pianos, and successors to the award-winning CA99 and CA79.
These updated models retain the leading Grand Feel III wooden-key keyboard action of their predecessors, while introducing a brand new SK-EX Competition Grand piano sound, reproduced using Kawai’s advanced multi-channel SK-EX Rendering sound engine. Complementing the existing SK-EX Concert Grand, this latest recreation of the flagship Shigeru Kawai piano uses all new sample data, specifically recorded from the player’s perspective, and possess a bright and clear tonal character with a distinctive attack.
The CA901 and CA701’s stunning Shigeru Kawai SK-EX piano sounds are processed using new audio hardware which incorporates a high performance DAC system and custom developed piano filter. This high-fidelity sound is then delivered through the instruments’ impressive speaker systems, with the flagship CA901 featuring a redesigned 6-speaker configuration comprising new front facing direct speakers and more powerful TwinDrive soundboard speaker transducers. Both models also feature upgraded 360° top speaker diffusers, resulting in an exceptionally rich and authentic musical experience for players and listeners alike.
The CA901 and CA701’s unique cheekblock touchscreen display features an improved anti-glare panel, with a smooth matte surface that reduces overhead reflections for enhanced visibility. The instrument’s user interface has also received various updates, including the ability to turn-off the LCD display after a defined period, thus minimising any visual distractions to the performer. Wireless connectivity has also been refreshed, with Bluetooth MIDI and Bluetooth Audio components both adopting the latest v5 standards, ensuring ultra-low latency, improved reliability, and superior sound quality when paired with the latest mobile devices.
Finally, the latest Concert Artist models have also received numerous cabinet design and geometry refinements, with the CA701 boasting a taller, more impressive upper body and new score support pins, and the CA901 benefiting from optimised pedal and music rest placement, affording pianists a more comfortable playing position and an even more enjoyable piano experience overall.
CA901/CA701 Main Features
- Industry leading Grand Feel III wooden-key keyboard action
- Stunning SK-EX Concert Grand and new SK-EX Competition Grand piano sounds
- Premium audio processing, conversion, and amplification technologies
- High performance 6-speaker delivery system with 360° diffuser panels
- Unique 3rd generation TwinDrive Soundboard Speaker (CA901 only)
- Integrated Bluetooth® MIDI and audio using latest v5 standards
- Anti-glare 5" LCD touchscreen display with intuitive user interface
- Support for Kawai’s latest PianoRemote and PiaBookPlayer apps for iOS/Android
- Flexible Virtual Piano Artisan (formerly Virtual Technician) function with 20 parameters
- Built-in Burgmüller, Czerny, Beyer, Chopin etudes and Alfred lesson songs
- Convenient WAV/MP3 audio file record and playback via USB memory
- Attractive cabinet designs available in wood grain and ebony polish finishes
Shigeru Kawai SK-EX Concert and Competition grand piano sounds reproduced with SK-EX Rendering technology
Widely regarded as the ‘premier pianos of Japan’, Shigeru Kawai instruments grace the stages of concert halls and musical institutions throughout the world, and are prized for their tonal clarity and exceptional dynamic range. The magnificent tone of Kawai’s flagship Shigeru Kawai SK-EX grand piano is at the heart of the CA901 and CA701, with the latest models featuring two distinctive recreations of this peerless instrument. The SK-EX Concert Grand piano sound has gained a reputation as one of the most authentic reproductions available in a digital piano, characterised by its warm, sensitive tone, and wide attack with rich reverberation. This elegant voice is complemented by a brand new SK-EX Competition Grand piano sound, accurately representing the latest generation SK-EX-L instruments that have received widespread acclaim and success at the Hamamatsu, Chopin, and Sendai international piano competitions in recent years. The SK-EX Competition Grand piano sound possesses a bright, clear tonal character, with a distinctive thick attack, and is specifically recorded from the pianist’s position for the ultimate performance experience.
In order to faithfully reproduce the stunning sound of a Shigeru digitally, Kawai has developed SK-EX Rendering – a piano-focussed sound engine that blends multi-channel, 88-key sampling with the latest resonance modelling technology. Multi-channel sampling captures the sound from different points of the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX grand piano, allowing a broader range of tonal characteristics to be reproduced, and providing a more lively, authentic response to changes in dynamics. This naturally expressive sound is further enriched by advanced resonance algorithms, which physically model the complex tonal interactions produced by the strings, damper, and various other parts of an acoustic piano, giving players the impression that they’re sitting at a living, breathing instrument.
Grand Feel III wooden-key action with Ebony & Ivory Touch key surfaces, counterweights, and ‘Let-Off’ mechanism
Articulating these superb SK-EX grand piano sounds is the industry leading Grand Feel III wooden-key keyboard action, which draws upon Kawai’s 95+ years of acoustic piano craftsmanship to provide an exceptionally realistic playing experience. As with a grand piano, all of the Grand Feel III action’s eighty-eight black and white keys are crafted entirely from long pieces of wood, and pivot on a central balance pin with a smooth, seesaw-like motion. This natural movement throws grade-weighted metal hammers located at the back of the keyboard, with their individual velocities precisely measured using triple-sensor technology for improved responsiveness and realism.
The Grand Feel III action’s extended wooden keys also boast an extra-long pivot length – matching that of a Kawai acoustic grand piano. This provides a more consistent touch weight when playing towards the rear of the keyboard, while additional counterweights placed below each key help to further balance the weight of the action during pianissimo passages. Finally, the Grand Feel III keyboard action also features Kawai’s Ebony & Ivory Touch key surfaces that gently absorb moisture to assist playing control, and possess a natural, matte finish that is smooth, but not slippery.
Premium audio processing, amplification, and speaker technologies
Developed by Kawai R&D’s highly experienced audio engineering team, the CA901 and CA701 digital pianos utilise specialist components designed for high-end audio reproduction. High performance DAC (digital analogue conversion) components that utilise a unique filtering process specially developed for acoustic piano sounds, combine with the Concert Artists’ high specification power amplifiers to reproduce the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX sounds with stunning richness and clarity.
Both instruments feature powerful 6-speaker delivery systems that utilise premium driver units, and custom-engineered diffuser panels which help to expand the pianos’ tonal projection in all directions. These additional components create a 360° sound field around the instrument, ensuring a natural piano sound for both the player, and for those listening elsewhere in the room. In addition to conventional speakers, the flagship CA901 also incorporates Kawai’s latest TwinDrive soundboard speaker system. This unique acoustic projection technology harnesses transducer components to channel sound energy onto a real wooden soundboard, resulting in an even richer, more organic piano tone that faithfully reproduces the ambience of an acoustic piano.
Finally, the CA901 and CA701 also incorporate an audiophile-grade discrete headphone amplifier, which combines with Kawai’s Spatial Headphone Sound technology to ensure the finest quality and most engaging listening experience, even when playing in privacy.
Integrated Bluetooth® MIDI and Audio connectivity
In addition to a standard USB-MIDI port for connecting to computers, the CA901 and CA701 digital pianos also feature the latest Bluetooth® MIDI and Audio v5 technology, allowing these instruments to communicate with supported smart devices wirelessly. Once paired to a phone, tablet, or laptop, Concert Artist owners can enjoy a wide variety of exciting music-related apps that enhance their learning and playing experience, or stream high quality, low-latency audio directly through the instruments’ premium amplifier and speaker systems without the need for any cables.
Full-colour touchscreen display for intuitive, button-less operation
The CA901 and CA701 digital pianos feature a full-colour, anti-glare 5" touchscreen display discreetly embedded within the instruments’ left cheekblock. This high resolution touchscreen allows sounds and settings to be selected from an attractive user interface simply by tapping or swiping the display with a finger. This screen can also be set to turn off automatically while playing, thus preserving the instruments’ acoustic piano-like appearance, and minimising any visual distraction to the performer. As with all new Kawai models, the CA901 and CA701 fully support the PianoRemote and PiaBookPlayer apps for iOS and Android devices, providing an effortless way to control the instrument wirelessly from a smartphone or tablet, or to study the notated scores for many of the built-in classical etudes and piano pieces from the comfort of an armchair.
Modern cabinet designs, available in a choice of finishes
The CA901 and CA701 are housed within premium quality wooden cabinets, with tapered legs and rounded edge details contributing to the instruments’ light and modern character. As the flagship model of the series, the CA901 adopts a classic upright piano-inspired cabinet design, featuring a broad, simulated-leather lined music rest and Kawai’s Soft Fall closing mechanism. The CA701 maintain a more contemporary digital piano cabinet design, with a 6-position music rest and score support pins which can be raised to hold the pages of thicker notated scores securely in place. Both instruments are available in Premium Rosewood, Satin Black, and Satin White wood-grain finishes, as well as classic Ebony Polish, allowing musicians to coordinate their piano with a range of traditional or modern interiors.
Stunning grand piano sounds, an ultra-realistic wooden-key keyboard action, premium audio, amplification, and speaker technologies, convenient Bluetooth connectivity, and a modern touchscreen interface. The new Kawai CA Series: Feel inspired.