■ Industry-leading Grand Feel III wooden-key keyboard action
■ Ivory & Ebony Touch key surfaces, 3-sensor, let-off, counterweights
■ Brand new and exclusive SK-EX Competition Grand piano sounds
■ Premium audio processing and amplification technologies
■ High-performance speaker system with TwinDrive soundboar
■ Latest Bluetooth® MIDI and Audio v5 wireless connectivity
■ Modern 5″ LCD touchscreen display embedded within cheekblock
■ MP3/WAV/SMF playback, record, and overdub to USB
■ Spatial Headphone Sound for enhanced depth and realism
■ Contemporary upright cabinet design with Soft Fall fallboard
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 to realise their true artistic potential.
The Touch of a Grand Piano: Grand Feel III wooden key action
Embracing many of the long-established principles associated with an acoustic piano, the Grand Feel III keyboard action utilised by the CA901 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 and ebony-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.
Extra-Long Key Length, Extra-Long Pivot Length
In addition to featuring extended, fully wooden keys, Grand Feel keyboard actions also boast some of the longest key pivot lengths – matching that of a Kawai grand piano.
This extended key pivot length provides a more evenly balanced touch weight from the front to the rear of each key, allowing greater fluency and expressive control, while also minimising the need to readjust one’s technique when playing an acoustic grand piano.
88-Key Graded Counterweights
In addition to grade-weighted hammers, the Grand Feel III action also features metal counterweights, attached beneath each key, and graded across the length of the keyboard.
As with an acoustic piano, these additional weights help to balance the touch of the keyboard during pianissimo passages, while providing a feeling of greater substance and solidity when playing with force.
Triple Sensor Key Detection
The Grand Feel III keyboard action also features 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 & Ebony Touch Key Surfaces
The exceptional CA901 features Kawai’s highly regarded Ivory Touch white 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.
To complement these premium white keys, Kawai has also developed Ebony Touch, a special black key material that reproduces the finely-textured grain and rich lustre of real ebony wood. The result is a keyboard surface that looks and feels as luxurious as some of the world’s finest grand pianos, inspiring musicians of all levels to become better pianists.
As the most authentic digital piano keyboard action, Grand Feel III 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.
In addition, the Grand Feel III action supports playing notes from the let-off point (sometimes referred to as playing ‘off the jack’), allowing the most advanced piano techniques to be performed.
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 CA901, with the latest model featuring two distinctive recreations of this peerless instrument.
SK-EX Competition Grand
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.
SK-EX Concert Grand
The SK-EX Concert Grand captures the sound from an earlier SK-EX instrument, and is characterised by a warm, sensitive tone, and wide attack with rich reverberation. The tonal elegance of the SK-EX Concert Grand neatly complements the brilliance of the latest Competition Grand incarnation, allowing performers to enjoy the contrasting qualities of both sounds.
SK-EX Rendering Sound Engine
In order to faithfully reproduce the stunning sound of a Shigeru Kawai grand piano digitally, Kawai has developed SK-EX Rendering. This special, piano-only sound engine focusses the Concert Artist’s DSP power, combining multi-channel, 88-key sampling with the latest resonance modelling technology to deliver pure acoustic piano authenticity. When SK-EX Rendering is selected for either the Competition Grand or Concert Grand sounds, players can choose five differently prepared piano characters including Classic, Romantic, and Vintage.
While digital pianos typically employ single-point stereo sampling, the SK-EX Rendering engine’s multi-channel sampling captures the sound from different points of the Shigeru Kawai concert grand.
This modern technique not only allows a broader range of tonal characteristics to be recorded and reproduced, but also improves the connection felt between the keyboard and piano sound, resulting in a more lively and authentic response to changes in dynamics.
Full Resonance Modelling
This naturally expressive Shigeru Kawai sound is further enriched by newly developed resonance algorithms, which physically model the complex tonal interactions produced by the strings, dampers, and various other parts of an acoustic piano.
Unlike other resonance simulations, SK-EX Rendering generates resonances for the damper pedal and all 88 keys progressively (i.e. in gradual amounts, not simply on or off), allowing the Concert Artist to behave – and therefore be controlled – more like an acoustic piano.
Harmonic Imaging XL Sound Engine
Accompanying the dedicated SK-EX Rendering pianos, the CA901 also features the flexible Harmonic Imaging XL sound engine, which offers a broader selection of instrument voices, and the ability to combine sounds. Harmonic Imaging XL also showcases a selection of alternative acoustic pianos captured with full 88-key stereo sampling.
The Kawai EX full concert grand piano has frequently been selected by professional pianists in such prestigious events as the Tchaikovsky and Rubinstein international piano competitions, while the Shigeru Kawai SK-5 chamber grand and Kawai K-60 upright allow performers to enjoy the contrasting tonal characteristics of various different piano sizes and voicing configurations.
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 CA901’s powerful Virtual Piano Artisan 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.
Rich Sound Selection
Supplementing the beautiful acoustic piano voices, the CA901 also features an excellent selection of additional instruments, 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.
Furthermore, the Dual playing mode also allows two different sounds, such as grand piano and strings, to be layered together for a richer, more luscious tone, while the Split and Four Hands modes divide the keyboard into two independent sections with separate sounds for each. The volume balances and other settings for each playing mode can also be easily adjusted using the instrument’s intuitive touchscreen interface.
Premium audio technologies
Developed by Kawai R&D’s highly experienced audio engineering team, the CA901 utilises specialist components designed for high-end audio reproduction. A high performance dual DAC system combines with the Concert Artist’s high specification power amplifiers to reproduce the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX sounds with stunning richness and clarity.
Advanced DAC System
The CA901’s high performance Dual DAC (digital analogue conversion) system features audiophile-grade components that process the left and right audio channels separately to ensure the finest quality sound.
In addition, the DACs utilise a custom sampling filter process that is specifically tuned for Kawai acoustic piano sounds, preserving the unique characteristics of the SK-EX concert grand.
Premium Power Amplifiers
Three separate amplifier modules that deliver sound energy with maximum efficiency. These custom designed developed amplifiers utilise high specification components for improved richness and presence, with a vast dynamic range that is free of distortion.
Discrete Headphone Amplifier
A unique headphone amplifier developed using the latest audio technologies. This class-leading amplifier features a 500 V/µs slew-rate, ensuring ultra-fast response to rapid changes in sound level, fully reproducing the piano’s dynamic characteristics.
As the flagship model of the Concert Artist series, the CA901 features a powerful hybrid speaker configuration that combines premium driver units with Kawai’s highly-regarded soundboard speaker technology, delivering crystal clear treble frequencies and warm, resonant bass.
Powerful speaker drivers
In addition to premium audio processing and amplification hardware, the CA901 also features a high specification speaker system, developed by audio specialists. Premium speaker drivers were selected for their flat frequency response and ultra-low distortion characteristics, ensuring the most accurate reproduction of the original Shigeru Kawai SK-EX grand piano, while diffuser panels help to disperse the sound more evenly.
The two top-mounted speakers project mid-range frequencies with clarity, and expand the perceived depth of sound to recreate the length of a grand piano. In addition, two front facing speakers and two tweeters placed behind the upper board provide a feeling of proximity and presence for the player, and allow the authentic resonances generated by the SK-EX Rendering sound engine to sparkle and shimmer just like an acoustic instrument.
360° Speaker Diffusers
In addition to utilising premium driver units, the CA901 top-mounted speakers also feature 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 those listening elsewhere in the room.
TwinDrive Soundboard Speaker System
Complementing the premium quality drivers, the CA901 also incorporates the latest version of Kawai’s highly-regarded soundboard speaker system. This unique audio technology embraces the rich, harmonic qualities of wood by using transducers to channel sound energy onto a large soundboard, in order to produce a more natural, organic tone. Long wooden ribs securely attached to the soundboard further broaden the frequency range and volume of the resonating sound, resulting in a remarkably authentic playing experience that immerses the performer, and faithfully reproduces the tonal ambience of an acoustic piano.
The TwinDrive system represents the third generation of Kawai’s soundboard technology, and features an improved primary transducer redesigned to deliver more power and volume.
In addition, a secondary transducer, mounted towards the treble end of the instrument, helps to further expand the tonal range produced by the soundboard beyond the existing low frequencies, allowing mid-low and even mid-high ranges to also benefit from the warming, acoustic properties of wood.
The Variety of a Digital Piano: Convenience & Flexibility
Complementing the instrument’s class-leading Grand Feel III keyboard action and stunning SK-EX Rendering piano sound engine, the CA901 also offers a strong selection of digital features that further enhance one’s musical enjoyment.
Full Bluetooth® V5 connectivity and USB audio record/playback allows musicians to extend the functionality of their piano, or play-along with their favourite artists, while the convenient metronome and integrated lesson functions, featuring classical etudes and Alfred course books, ensure that regular practise is both productive and engaging for aspiring pianists.
All functions are accessible from the CA901’s 5″ anti-glare touchscreen display, which allows sounds and settings to be selected from an attractive user interface simply by tapping or swiping the display with a finger.
The screen can also be set to fade out automatically while playing, thus preserving the instruments’ acoustic piano-like appearance, and minimising any visual distractions to the performer.
Integrated Bluetooth® Connectivity
In addition to a standard USB port for connecting to computers, the CA901 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, Concert Artist 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 instruments’ premium amplifier and speaker systems 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.
The CA901 allows the user-friendly touchscreen interface to also be accessed via the dedicated PianoRemote app for iOS and supported Android devices. The app connects to the piano wirelessly via the Concert Artists’ integrated Bluetooth, providing an effortless way to change sounds, 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 Concert Artist 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 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 simply enjoy playing along with their favourite songs. It is even possible to record entire performances (including external Line In and Bluetooth audio sources) as MP3 or WAV audio files for emailing to family and friends, or casual listening away from the piano.
Built-In Lesson & Finger Exercises
The CA901’s convenient lesson function allows aspiring pianists to learn piano with classical Czerny, Burgmüller, Beyer, Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin 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 Concert Artist 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 Feel Pedal System
Reinforcing the Concert Artist’s reputation as the most realistic digital piano 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 the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX concert grand piano to further enhance the CA901’s acoustic piano-like authenticity.
Moreover, it is also possible to adjust the half-pedal sensitivity of the damper pedal, and effectiveness of the soft pedal using dedicated Virtual Piano Artisan parameters, allowing experienced pianists to personalise the instrument’s response to match their individual pedalling technique.
Superior Headphone Experience
The CA901’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 CA901 also allows players to specify the type of headphones connected (Open, Semi-open, Closed, In-Ear, Canal, etc.) to ensure an optimal listening experience.
Premium quality upright piano cabinet
The latest Concert Artist instruments 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 contemporary upright piano-inspired cabinet design, featuring a broad, simulated-leather lined music rest and Kawai’s Soft Fall closing mechanism.
Slimline design, solid construction
Sitting down at the CA901 gives the player the impression that they are sat in front of a small Kawai upright piano.
The compact size also extends to the depth of the instrument, with the CA901 measuring just over 47 cm from front to back. This allows the CA901 to be used in relatively small spaces, and even considered as an alternative to an acoustic upright piano, for players seeking a familiar appearance.
Unlike most digital pianos that consist of separate stand and keyboard pieces joined together, the CA901 is produced as a single-body instrument. This not only provides superior rigidity compared to conventional digital pianos, but also contributes to the CA901’s full-bodied sound, with the unique soundboard speaker creating vibrations that resonate throughout the entire body of the instrument.
Soft Fall fallboard
The CA901’s premium quality cabinet adopts many of the modern design cues of Kawai’s ‘K’ series professional upright piano instruments, including the traditional fallboard.
This attractive keyboard cover incorporates Kawai’s Soft Fall system, ensuring a smooth, ultra-slow shutting motion that protects both the player’s hands and the instrument’s finish from a jarring close.
The CA901 is available in a choice of four attractive cabinet finishes: Premium Rosewood, Premium Satin Black, Premium Satin White, and luxurious Ebony Polish, 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.