■ Class-leading Grand Feel Compact wooden-key keyboard action
■ Ivory Touch key surfaces, triple sensor, let-off, counterweights
■ Harmonic Imaging XL sound engine with 88-key sampling
■ Brand new SK-EX Competition Grand piano sounds
■ Powerful 100W, high-fidelity 4-speaker+diffuser delivery system
■ Latest Bluetooth® MIDI and Audio v5 wireless connectivity
■ MP3/WAV/SMF playback, record, and overdub to USB
■ Built-in classical etudes and Alfred lesson books
■ Spatial Headphone Sound for enhanced depth and realism
■ Premium cabinet with cheekblock control panel and OLED display
A piano that will encourage enthusiastic players to become accomplished pianists, and transform living rooms into grand concert halls. This is the ambitious philosophy behind Kawai’s latest Concert Artist series – premium instruments that capture the essence of playing a magnificent concert grand piano, and inspire musicians of all ages and abilities to realise their true artistic potential.
The Touch of a Grand Piano: Grand Feel Compact wooden key action
The CA501 is the latest Kawai digital piano to utilise the superb Grand Feel Compact wooden-key keyboard action. As its name suggest, the GF Compact action has been designed to reproduce the authentic touch weight characteristics of the industry-leading Grand Feel keyboard actions, within a smaller form factor.
This action retains the long wooden keysticks used for all 88 black and white keys, and the familiar ‘seesaw’ mechanism employed by acoustic grand piano actions for centuries. However, despite its smaller unit size, GF Compact features an extended key pivot length, providing a more consistent touch weight when playing towards the rear of the keyboard. This crucial detail, along with various other acoustic piano-like characteristics, ensures the CA501 delivers the most realistic playing experience in its class.
Bass key Counterweights
In addition to grade-weighted hammers, the Grand Feel Compact keyboard action also features counterweights attached towards the front of the bass keys.
As with an acoustic piano, these finely balanced weights help to lighten the touch of the keyboard during pianissimo passages, while adding a feel of greater substance when playing with force.
Triple sensor key detection
The Grand Feel Compact keyboard action utilises an accurate triple-sensor key detection system for enhanced playing realism.
The added third sensor improves responsiveness when playing the same key repeatedly, and unlike conventional two sensor keyboard actions found in many digital pianos, allows the sound of a single note to be gradually ‘layered’ without the previous tone being lost.
In addition, Kawai’s action technology also monitors the speed at which each key is lifted, influencing the release character of piano sounds, and providing a greater range of expression between staccato and legato playing.
Ivory Touch key surfaces
The impressive CA501 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.
As the most authentic digital piano keyboard action in its class, Grand Feel Compact even reproduces the ‘let-off’ characteristic of acoustic piano actions.
This subtle ‘notch’ sensation can be felt when playing the keys of a grand piano very gently, and may be used by experienced pianists to aid control when playing pianissimo passages.
The Sound of a Grand Piano: Shigeru Kawai SK-EX
Eponymously named after the company’s second president, the Shigeru Kawai range of luxury grand pianos were conceived as the next step in evolving the art of the piano. Each world-class instrument is hand-crafted by experienced piano artisans, using the finest available materials to ensure optimum touch, tone, and artistic expression.
Widely regarded as ‘the premier piano of Japan’, the flagship SK-EX grand piano graces the stages of concert halls and musical institutions around the globe, receiving universal acclaim for its tonal clarity and exceptional dynamic range. The magnificent tone of the SK-EX is at the heart of the CA501, with this new model featuring the latest SK-EX Competition Grand recreation of this peerless instrument.
SK-EX Competition Grand sound
The brand new SK-EX Competition Grand captures the sound of the latest generation SK-EX-L instruments, that in recent years have achieved success at the Chopin, Hamamatsu, and Sendai international piano competitions.
This piano sound possesses a brilliant, clear tonal character, with a distinctive thick attack, and is specifically recorded from the pianist’s position for the ultimate performance experience.
Full 88-key stereo piano sampling
The rich, expressive sound of the SK-EX concert grand piano is at the heart of the CA501, 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 grand pianos’ unique harmonic character, and guarantees that the sound heard when playing any one of the CA501’s wooden keys is a faithful representation of the original acoustic source.
Variety beneath your fingertips
In addition to the latest SK-EX Competition Grand sound, the CA501 also features reproductions of the SK-5 mid-size studio and original EX concert grand pianos, showcasing a selection of Jazz, Pop, and Modern sound variations suitable for a range of musical genres. 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.
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 each grand piano, not only is each key recorded individually, but also at a wide variety of different volumes, ranging from gentle pianissimo to thunderous fortissimo.
The CA501 offers a highly detailed acoustic portrait, employing Kawai’s proprietary Harmonic Imaging XL sampling technology to ensure smooth tonal transitions across the keyboard and throughout the entire dynamic range.
Extra Long sampling (HI-XL)
Taking full advantage of its expanded sample memory, the CA501’s Harmonic Imaging XL standard 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.
Personalised piano adjustments
The knowledge and skill of an experienced piano technician is essential to bring out the best of a fine acoustic piano. In addition to tuning each note, the technician also performs numerous regulation and voicing adjustments that allow the instrument to truly sing.
The CA501’s powerful Virtual Technician function simulates these refinements digitally, allowing discerning musicians to shape aspects of the selected piano’s character to suit their personal preferences.
Perform touch weight and voicing adjustments, regulate hammer and key release noises, and fine-tune string, damper, and cabinet resonances. It is even possible to adjust the precise tuning, volume, and character of individual notes – all in real-time.
Powerful Effects & Reverb
The CA501’s powerful digital effects engine enhances the instrument’s superior core sounds, applying additional layers of detail and realism that bring performances to life.
Studio-quality reverb allows pianists to position themselves within one of six acoustic environments, ranging from a small practise room to an inspirational grand cathedral.
Premium audio technologies
Developed by Kawai R&D’s highly experienced audio engineering team, the CA501 features a redesigned motherboard and speaker system that incorporates unique 360° diffuser panels. These components combine to deliver best-in-class audio quality, producing an extremely rich, clear sound with minimal distortion.
High quality sound hardware
The CA501 motherboard and sound hardware is engineered for precise signal conversion and optimum sound quality. Advanced low-noise circuit designs and premium audio components combine to ensure crystal clear, high-fidelity sound with minimal distortion.
Powerful 4-speaker output system
The CA501 boasts a powerful 100W, 4-speaker output system that closely mirrors the sound projection of a grand piano, with lower-range frequencies delivered through the underside of the instrument, and mid to high-range frequencies projected outward via top-mounted speakers.
360° Speaker Diffusers
In addition to utilising high quality driver units, the CA501 top-mounted speakers also feature custom-engineered diffuser panels, which help to expand the piano’s 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 those listening elsewhere in the room
Impressive speaker system
(with Low Volume Balance feature)
The CA501’s stereo speaker system delivers an impressive 100W of output, providing more than enough power to fill a medium-sized room with it’s beautiful Shigeru Kawai grand piano sounds.
Moreover, when playing through speakers at a reduced volume setting (so as not to disturb family members), the CA501’s Low Volume Balance feature intelligently adjusts keyboard touch and piano tone characteristics, allowing pianissimo passages to be played smoothly and more naturally.
Superior headphone experience
The CA501’s Spatial Headphone Sound (SHS) technology enhances the depth and realism of the instrument’s sound when listening through headphones or earphones. The player can select one of three different acoustic presets that adjust the spatial positioning of the sound, while also helping to reduce auditory fatigue when using earphones or headphones for extended periods of time.
In addition, the CA501 also allows players to select a variety of headphone types (Open, Semi-open, Closed, In-Ear, Canal, etc.) for an optimised listening experience.
The Variety of a Digital Piano: Convenience & Flexibility
Complementing the instrument’s class-leading Grand Feel Compact wooden-key keyboard action and Harmonic Imaging XL piano sounds, the CA501 also offers a strong selection of digital piano features that further enhance one’s musical enjoyment.
Wireless Bluetooth® connectivity, USB audio record/playback, Dual, Split, and Four Hands keyboard modes, and a rich assortment of instrumental voices add greater variety to players’ performances, while the convenient metronome function and integrated lessons ensure that regular practise is both productive and engaging for aspiring pianists.
Integrated Bluetooth® connectivity
In addition to a standard USB-MIDI port for connecting to computers, the CA501 also features integrated Bluetooth® MIDI and Audio technologies that allow the instrument to communicate with supported smart devices wirelessly.
Once paired with a phone, tablet, or laptop, CA501 owners can enjoy a wide variety of exciting music-related apps that enhance their learning and playing experience, or stream audio from songs and videos directly through the instrument’s impressive speaker system without the need to connect additional cables.
* Availability of Bluetooth® function may vary depending on market area.
* For more information please refer to the Bluetooth MIDI Information support page.
Rich sound selection
Supplementing the beautiful acoustic piano voices, the CA501 also features an excellent selection of additional sounds, ranging from electric pianos and drawbar or church organs, to strings, human choirs, and synth pads, inviting musicians to add greater variety to their performances.
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 latter feature is particularly useful in learning environments, allowing teacher and student (or student and student) to play together at the same time using a single instrument.
The latest CA501 is compatible with Kawai’s latest PianoRemote control app for iOS and supported Android devices. This app connects to the piano wirelessly via the Concert Artists’ integrated Bluetooth feature, providing an effortless way to change sounds, adjust settings, or enjoy the vast array of built-in music content from the comfort of an armchair.
Flexible USB connectivity
In addition to wireless functionality, the CA501 is also equipped with USB ports that allow the instrument to be connected directly to a computer for MIDI use, or to load and save data to USB memory devices.
This latter USB to Device functionality allows favourite instrument settings, registrations, and memorable recorder songs stored within internal memory to be safely preserved on USB flash drives, or for standard MIDI files (SMF) downloaded from the internet to be played back and enjoyed using the instrument’s exquisite Harmonic Imaging XL sounds without additional hardware or cables.
MP3/WAV 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 and overdub entire performances directly as MP3 or WAV audio files for emailing to family and friends, or casual listening away from the piano.
Grand Feel Pedal System
Reinforcing the Concert Artists’ reputation as the most realistic digital pianos in their price range is Kawai’s Grand Feel Pedal System.
This unique feature accurately replicates the position and individual weighting of the damper, soft, and sostenuto pedals of a Shigeru Kawai SK-EX concert grand piano to further enhance the CA501’s acoustic piano-like authenticity.
Built-in lesson function
The CA501’s convenient lesson function allows aspiring pianists to learn piano with classical Czerny, Burgmüller, Beyer, Bach, and Beethoven etudes, or a collection of songs from the popular Alfred’s Basic, Adult, and Premier course books.
With a strong emphasis on acoustic piano realism, the CA501 also features traditional finger exercises, scales, and warm-up drills, and includes companion books for all classical scores to further aid one’s piano development.
* Included score books dependent on market location.
* Alfred lesson books sold separately.
Grand performance within a modern, attractive cabinet
Sitting down at the Concert Artist, the first thing that strikes the player is the instrument’s flat fascia and tall upper board, giving the impression of a traditional grand piano and immediately elevating the musical aspirations of the performer. The distinctive KAWAI logo – representing over 90 years of acoustic piano crafting excellence – adorns the CA501’s fallboard, its metallic finish glimmers in the light, capturing the graceful movements of the player’s hands below.
Broad, adjustable music rest
The CA501’s broad music rest is engineered to accommodate the most ambitious musical works, with smoothly rounded edges and a sturdy base for supporting large score books.
As with a grand piano, the viewing angle of the instrument’s music rest can be adjusted to suit the performer’s playing position, or laid flat for convenience when notating scores or sketching musical ideas.
Score support pins
The CA501’s music rest base also incorporates score support pins, which can be raised to hold the pages of thicker score books securely in place.
The smooth, rounded edges and gently tapered design give the score support pins a high quality, premium feel, while their crystal-like transparent finish also helps to prevent obscuring the notation behind.
Easy to use interface with OLED display
The CA501 features an easy to use control panel neatly embedded within the left cheekblock, with a high resolution OLED display providing information about the currently select sound, function, or setting.
The CA501’s various sounds and functions can all selected directly from the control panel, with clear labels printed onto each button ensuring an intuitive, modern, and uncluttered appearance.
The CA501 is available in a choice of three attractive cabinet finishes: Premium Rosewood, Premium Satin Black, and Premium Satin White, allowing musicians to coordinate their piano with a range of modern interiors.
* For a visual representation of the piano in each finish, please refer to the Gallery function at the top of this page.
* Cabinet finish availability dependent on market location.