What makes this digital piano so great?
We’re going to start with the touch because of course that’s what stands out about this instrument the most for people when they start researching possibilities in the $2000 -$2500 price range. All of a sudden the Kawai CE220 comes up again and again and everybody seems to be talking about the wood keys. So what exactly are they talking about?
Kawai has several different action types that they have throughout their digital line. They have some which are plastic, some which are wood, some designed professionals, some designed for beginners. One of the types they’ve got as mentioned are the wood key actions and their several different classes.
The Kawai CE220 has really been catching people’s attention. For its price range, this might just be the only digital piano in the market to offer a true full length wood key action. What I mean by full length wood key, is that the key that you’re looking at right here is actually exactly the same size and exactly the same geometry as what you’re going to find in a full-size upright.
This is unique because several other manufacturers have taken action designs such as this composite action which is a fairly conventional graded hammer action.
This is a type of configuration the industry is been using for several decades. They’ve simply placed a little piece of plastic with a big piece of wood, but fundamentally the geometry and the structure of the action hasn’t changed much from most digital actions seeing as the’re still utilizing a counterbalance. Here they’ve still got their sensor directly underneath the key, so there are lots of impact points and there are lots of moving parts.
The wood does help to create a better weight sensation. However, It really doesn’t necessarily help the durability issue. By cutting down on the number of moving parts, totally eliminating any springs, there’s no hinges in the wood action, and the impact points are designed in exactly the same way as an acoustic piano. They’ve created an action but doesn’t just feel more like an instrument, it actually lasts more like a real piano. This is important for people who are looking at digitals as more of a long-term investment now, they don’t want to hear that a plastic action might only give them 5, 6 or 7 years of use before it starts to click, or before it starts to loosen up. Something like this wooden key action is going to take a series pounding over as much as a 15 year period without giving anyone any problems. The design is simple, it works really well, and it’s proven. The really unique thing is that in its price range the CE 220 is the only instrument on the entire market from Kawai, Roland or Yamaha have any sort of an action that compares to this.
Kawai has taken their harmonic imaging concept (which is sort of a blend of both sampling and modelling technology) and they put her through a couple of great amplifiers. They’ve also upped it from a two speaker system, to a four speaker system for the CE220. This is one notch from what you normally get in this price range. It’s very typical for most digitals in the $2000 range to have two speakers positioned on the bottom the instrument the basically just point down at the ground. What Kawai’s done with the Kawai CE220 is they’ve added two additional speakers which are the tweeters on the front and on the right and the left. They are responsible for giving you that extra crispiness, that extra detail, right in front of the instrument. It sounds a lot more like if you’re playing an upright piano with the with the front face off. You’re getting all of that clarity back, and it is right in your face!
The CE220’s details are fantastic! Anytime you’re playing any instrument where you feel like you’re getting more feedback from the piano you’re inspired to play better. The Kawai CE220 offers a really nice standard set of features, however it is not over loaded with features, but that’s the point! If you were to take the wooden key action, the 4 high fidelity speakers, and its high quality construction and THEN add two or three hundred of the latest features on top, I’m sorry were talking about a $5000- $6000 piano. They do have them, but for people who are really trying to keep the budget nice and low, in around the $2000 range, the Kawai CE220 Digital Piano is going to offer an unparalleled sound and touch experience. The only compromise that you’ll get, is the standard set of features. For most,that is definitely a worthwhile, and very logical compromise for people to make. You’re still getting about 20 great high quality sounds to play on. Your getting a nice standard basic recorder functionality, and you still have full connectivity to any device that you want to hook up to that is midi compatible. This can be hooked up to an iPad, or a laptop and gives you a lot of options to use the Kawai CE220 as a full controller.