Kawai's range of portable digital pianos is one of their most flexible ranges yet – a level of flexibility much welcomed after the uncertainty of the last year.
The Japanese makers have included three new models in the ES Series: the ES110, the ES520 and the ES920.
These new models have been released at a welcoming time, just as Covid restrictions are being lifted across the UK and things are starting to reopen. Some of you may be heading back to the stage to perform after months away, or perhaps you are heading to University after the summer and are in need of a flexible piano to take with you. You may even have picked up playing the piano at home during the multiple lockdowns.
All three models are extremely portable, with a designer stand and triple pedal bar available at an added cost. This portability makes any one of the three pianos an ideal choice for either the travelling pianist or the play-at-home pianist.
Let's take a closer look at the reasons why.
Portability and flexibility
The ES110 model
As mentioned, all three models – which all have the standard 88 keys – give the player the option of either hitting the road or setting up camp.
For active musicians that perform regularly and are often on the move, the lightweight nature and size of the piano will be highly beneficial (height – 14.5 cm, width – 131.2 cm, depth – 28.6 cm, weight – 12kg).
For those that want to set up camp, both the HM-5 designer stand and the F-302 Grand Feel pedal bar are optional extras. The stand is crafted from wood and metal, making it a sturdy and attractive alternative to uninviting keyboard stands. The digital piano is secured onto the stand using four manageable thumb screws, allowing the instrument to be easily decoupled and taken on the road.
The pedal bar aims to take the piano to the next level by replicating the individual weighting of the damper, soft, and sostenuto pedals of a Kawai SK-EX Concert grand piano.
Power and panache for the gigging pianist
The ES920 (left) and the ES520 line up next to each other
Despite being compact, the ES series pianos really do pack a punch. The ES110 model features 2 x 12cm speakers, while the ES520 and ES920 models both feature 2 x (8x12) cm speakers, giving them the edge over the ES110. Likewise, the ES110 offers 14 W of output power, whereas the ES520 and ES920 models offer a much larger 40 W of power. This level of power is ideal for pianists that need to play with groups without the need for extra amplification.
However, if you want further amplification, all three models come equipped with stereo audio and MIDI out.
Not only are the pianos equipped with strong amplification, but they are also installed with the sounds of some of Kawai's top grands. The top end ES920 model captures the magnificent tone of two Shigeru Kawai instruments, the flagship SK-EX Concert and medium-sized SK-5 Studio grand pianos, allowing musicians to enjoy the contrasting properties of each. It also features the distinctive sound of Kawai’s highly acclaimed EX concert grand piano, which has frequently been selected by professional pianists in such prestigious events as the Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and Rubinstein international piano competitions, among others.
The ES520 captures the SK-EX grand as well as the EX concert grand, while the ES110 captures just the EX.
Compatibility with Kawai's FREE PianoRemote app
The PianoRemote app
Both the ES520 and ES920 models are compatible with Kawai's new PianoRemote app, which is available for compatible iOS and Android devices. The app connects to the piano wirelessly via the instrument’s integrated Bluetooth MIDI feature, and provides an effortless way to change sounds, adjust settings, or enjoy the vast array of built-in music content.
Think one of these three pianos might be for you? Find out more on the ES Series here.
Try out the ES Series for yourself and find your nearest dealer here.
All images: ©Kawai