First Impressions - Kawai CA501

New from Kawai's acclaimed Concert Artist Series is the exciting CA501. This innovative instrument captures the essence of playing a magnificent concert grand piano while inspiring musicians to realize their true artistic potential.

Positioned as the replacement for the Kawai CA59, the Kawai CA501 brings several new and improved features.

  • The CA501 now includes the SK-EX-L (Competition Grand), the latest generation of the SK-EX-L instruments. This sound possesses a brilliant, clear tonal character, with a distinctive thick attack, and is specifically recorded from the pianist's position for optimum realism.
  • One additional piano sound (up to 19 from 18)
  • Additional advanced parameters in Virtual Technician
  • Thanks to clearer printing and font selection, the control panel inside the left cheek block is easier to read and navigate.
  • Two diffusers added to speakers
  • Bluetooth Audio has been added to allow music streaming from your device.
  • The music rest now includes score support pins that help keep your books open.
CA501 front-left view in home setting
Closeup of CA501 control panel

Kawai's highly acclaimed sound engine technology is called Harmonic Imaging. Simply put, it's a blend of technology and techniques aimed at producing the most realistic digital creation of Kawai's 9-foot concert grand piano.

Each key of an acoustic piano has its own unique tonal characteristics. From the number of strings being struck to the differences in hammer felt shape and density, these and other factors create subtle differences in tone from one note to the next. By sampling and recreating each key individually (rather than "stretching" a smaller number of samples), the unique tonal character of each note is preserved.

Starting with the new Concert Artist series, Kawai will roll out Harmonic Imaging XL with 88-key sampling. Standing for "extra-long", HI-XL extends the length of the critical attack portion of the sound by up to 120%, articulating the characteristics of each note more clearly and organically.

The majority of an acoustic piano's 10,000 parts are found within the action. Translating the piano action's intricate construction to a digital instrument is a challenging task. Kawai's latest "Grand Feel Compact" wooden-key keyboard action achieves this goal by drawing upon Kawai's 95+ years of piano craftsmanship and experience. This beautifully designed mechanism inspires beginners and allows gifted pianists to express their feelings and emotions as they would with an acoustic piano action.

All 88 keys within the Grand Feel Compact action are crafted entirely out of long pieces of wood, rather than a plastic shell with glued-on wooden sides. This ensures that weight is distributed evenly throughout the length of the key and guarantees an efficient transfer of movement energy when played. Each wooden key pivots on a metal balance pin replicating the familiar motion of an acoustic piano action.

Person playing CA501 with headphones
Closeup of CA501 USB to DEVICE port and headphone jacks

The CA501 features a 100-watt multi-speaker delivery system that utilizes premium driver units and custom-engineered diffuser panels, helping 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.

Headphone outputs allow you to enjoy the piano without disturbing anyone. Bluetooth MIDI and Audio are included enabling the piano to connect to apps and other software. You can also stream music from your Bluetooth-equipped devices for listening or playing along.

Onboard lesson song content from composers and publishers such as Burgmuller, Czerny, Chopin and Alfred can all work with Kawai's PianoRemote app for practice and teaching scenarios. Use the onboard recorder to save your performances and transfer them to a USB flash drive for sharing.

With the CA501, you'll be impressed with its world-class keyboard action, wide variety of sounds, impeccable speaker system and technological advancements all working together to provide the authenticity, performance and reliability you've come to expect from Kawai. Available in rosewood, satin black or satin white finishes, the CA501 also includes a matching bench and Kawai's 5-year warranty with in-home service (some restrictions apply). Please contact a Kraft Music Sales Advisor at 800-783-3368 with any questions or to place your order.

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