Kawai Digital Pianos is one of three dominant brands in the digital piano industry, along with Yamaha and Roland. They manufacture a wide array of home digital pianos, although their participation in the electronic music instrument market is limited to this category. They have focused their design and manufacturing exclusively on home digital pianos, and have enjoyed double digit sales increases since 2009 as their reputation and level of innovation continue to increase. Up until the mid-2000’s, Kawai was primarily known as a builder of high-quality acoustic pianos, approaching market dominance in many price points and quality levels with instruments such as the Kawai K3 upright, the Shigeru Kawai Concert Grand and SK2, the RX2 / RX3 / RX6, and their wood-key action stage pianos. They were also known for their digital products, but less positively; they were actively competing against Roland and Yamaha in maintaining full product lineups, from portable keyboards, to stage pianos, arrangers, digital grand pianos, midi sequencers, tone generators, and more. A refocusing was in order, and after attracting some high-profile talent from the competition, Kawai began to laser in on the home digital piano market. Even though they represented a relatively small percentage of the overall electronic piano industry, Kawai knew they would do well since piano building was their first and primary passion.
Focus On Home Digitals
With the elimination of virtually all other products from their lineup, Kawai Digital steamed ahead with their plan to focus (and stay focused) on the home digital piano category, investing substantial sums of money into piano sound technologies, new key action designs, rugged and long-lasting cabinets, and simple but effective interfaces. Early successes included the CA5, the MP8, the CP115, and the CN2. As Kawai Digital continued to push forward with its Harmonic Imaging technology, AWA action, and long-lasting construction, further model development yielded even greater successes. The latest batch of instruments contains many of the internet’s most talked-about digital pianos: the CE220, the CN24, the CS10, the MP10, MP6, ES7, ES100, and CA65/95. The influence that the internet has had on Kawai’s success cannot be understated; in fact, Kawai has never actively promoted its product at the same level as Yamaha and Roland. Instead, Kawai relies on a fiercely loyal and well-equipped dealer network to get the word out. However, with the inclusion of web research into almost every single customer’s buying habits, word-of-mouth of Kawai has gone viral.
Kawai’s facilities are operating at 100% capacity, producing pianos for orders and back-orders all over the world. Merriam Pianos is fortunate and honoured to carry the Kawai lineup of digital pianos, and has been lucky enough to win Kawai’s prestigious Dealer-Of-The-Year award 13 times in a row. Kawai currently has models listed as top picks or staff favourites on virtually every major keyboard website and digital piano shopping guide, and is in the process of building an entirely new facility to accommodate the huge increase in demand for the product.