The Kawai CN series takes another step forward with the new CN-201 home digital piano and continues the tradition of providing customers with a true ‘bang for your buck option. Fusing Kawai’s highly regarded Progressive Harmonic Imaging sound engine with an improved version of the already top-of-the-class Responsive Hammer III action and adding upgrades like Bluetooth Audio and an improved user interface, the CN-201 is an affordable option equipped to handle the needs of beginners and professionals.
The Kawai CN series has been a staple throughout Kawai’s lineup for almost 20 years, with widespread critical acclaim and an overflowing trophy case to show for it. The CN2* series of products has always served as the entry point to the line and has consistently provided piano shoppers with an option more musically capable than a mid-range instrument, yet much more affordable than a flagship top-of-the-line model.
It’s precisely this combination of performance and price that has made instruments like the CN27 and CN29 personal favourites of ours over at Merriam Pianos, and why for many people, our top recommendation just so happens to end up being the latest CN2* product based on their needs.
Rather than reinventing the wheel, Kawai CN201 brings back everything that was great about the CN29, but with a handful of key improvements. The class-leading Responsive Hammer III keyboard action is back but with upgraded key cushioning that levels up both the feel and long-term durability.
A redesigned OLED display cheek block control panel makes navigating the CN201 easier than ever and added Bluetooth Audio means it’s easier to take advantage of the CN201’s superb speaker system by allowing you to stream music directly from a smart device to the piano.
Capping everything off is Kawai’s legendary sound technology courtesy of the Progressive Harmonic Imaging engine that faithfully captures and recreates the stunning nuance and dynamism of the Shigeru Kawai SK EX concert grand piano.
Whether you’re a beginner looking for something better than a mid-range option, or an experienced pianist seeking a capable practice companion, the CN201 is a high-quality option that has few true competitors.
Kawai has once again chosen to feature the Responsive Hammer III (RHIII) action in their CN series. However, this is not the same version that was used in the CN29, but rather a new and improved version featuring improved key cushioning.
The improved key cushioning reduces action noise, makes the response more closely resemble an acoustic piano, and actually improves the long-term durability of the action.
Everything else that made the action universally applauded returns, including ivory touch key surface, let-off, counterweights and triple sensor key detection. This list of specifications is what makes this action so well-liked for even advanced classic repertoire.
The previous version of the RHIII was already widely regarded as the top plastic digital piano action currently available, further evidenced by the fact that Nord even features it in one of their top available stage pianos.
The improved key cushioning only reinforces RHIII’s status in the overall market. This is as good as it gets better taking the leap to a wood-based action.
There are a lot of reasons to choose a CN201 for your home, but historically, one of the biggest reasons why many people have gone with a CN series product is due to the piano sound. At all price points, Kawai tends to stand out for delivering the most authentic concert grand piano sound in the class.
This holds true with the CN201 and is a critical reason why someone might choose a CN201 over a comparable Yamaha or Roland product.
The CN201 features Kawai’s Progressive Harmonic Imaging (PHI) sound engine with 88-key individual note stereo sampling. Added Damper Resonance and String Resonance engines bolster the playing experience to the point that you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re hearing an acoustic piano.
For those of you that like to customize and tweak your piano sounds, Kawai’s Virtual Technician feature is present once again via Kawai’s PianoRemote App giving you free rein over 18 distinct sound-related parameters.
Polyphony is more than adequate at 192 notes, and while the modest stable of 19 onboard sounds might seem like a low number, Kawai makes up for this in quality as there is not a single dud in the lot.
A premium, 40-watt speaker system is driving the bus here, ensuring that the potential of the sound engine is maximized.
Other notes on the sound system include Kawai’s Spatial Headphone Sound which improves the sonic experience when playing with headphones, and a low volume balance feature automatically adjusts the EQ for optimized performance when playing at lower volume levels.
Bluetooth MIDI is of course back in the fold, and this is of course how you can connect to an iOS or Android smart device to access apps such as the PianoRemote and PiaBookPlayer apps.
The added Bluetooth Audio connectivity is a very nice bonus however that was not present on the CN29. Bluetooth Audio lets you stream music and play it through CN201’s excellent speakers, whether for playing along with your favourite songs or simply listening.
USB MIDI and dual headphone ports round the connectivity. There are no discreet line-out jacks, so if you’re looking for something well equipped for a performance space, such as a Church or music institution, you may want to consider jumping to the CN301.
Key upgrades over the CN29 include an upgraded version of the Responsive Hammer III action with improved key cushioning, the addition of Bluetooth Audio, and an improved user control interface.
The CN201 in three beautiful finishes; Premium Rosewood, Satin Black and Satin White.
- NEW: Responsive Hammer III Action with Improved Cushioning
NEW: Improved OLED User Control Interface
NEW: Bluetooth Audio Connectivity
- Progressive Harmonic Imaging Tone Engine with 88-Key Stereo Sampling
- Ivory Touch Key Surfaces
- Grade Weighted-Hammers with Counterweights
- Bluetooth MIDI Connectivity (Ver. 4.1; GATT compatible)
- 19 Preset Instrument Tones
- Dual, Four-Hands Mode. Transpose
- 192-Note Polyphony
- Built-in Lesson Function with Alfred, Czerny 30 (Etudes de Mécanisme ), Burgmuller and Beyer Lesson Songs
- Grand Feel Pedal System with the soft pedal, sostenuto, and damper pedal with half-pedalling
- Sliding Key Cover, Matching Bench, and Music Rest
- Concert Magic
By seamlessly picking up the torch from the CN29 to bring the CN series into the next generation, the CN201 is a worthwhile successor to one of the most critically acclaimed digital piano lines of our time.
Kawai CN201 Related Resources
|Keyboard||88 keys, Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard Ⅱ, Simulated ebony and ivory keys, 3 sensitivity levels,|
|Tones||Sound Source : Multi-dimensional Morphing AiR
Polyphony (maximum) : 128
Number of Built-in Tones : 19
|Simulator||Hammer Response, Damper Resonance, Damper Noise - (ON / OFF)|
|Digital Effects||Hall Simulator / Reverb - 4 (Reverb), Chorus - 4, Brilliance - (-3 ~ 0 ~ 3), DSP - (Preset for some tones)|
|Songs||Concert Play - 10 songs, Controller - Start / Stop, Mode - Listen / Lesson / Play, Music Library - 60 Songs, Song Expansion (User Songs) - 10 songs (max.) Up to approximately 90 KB / song|
|Additional Features||Connection to app, Lesson Function - Part ON / OFF, Lesson Part Select - Right hand, Left hand, MIDI Recorder - 2 tracks, 1 song, Approximate Data Capacity - Approximately 5,000 notes total, Duet Mode, Octave Shift - ±2 octaves, Metronome - 0 to 9 beats; tempo range : 20 to 255, Pedals - 3 built-in pedals (damper, soft, sostenuto)|
|Key Transpose||2 octaves (-12 semitones ~ 0 ~ +12 semitones)|
|Tuning Control||A4 = 415.5 Hz ~ 440.0 Hz ~ 465.9 Hz|
|Number of Preset Temperaments||17|
|Others||・GRAND PIANO 1 button ・ELEC PIANO button ・Slide-type keyboard cover ・Auto Power Off: Off after approx. 4 idle hours (default setting)|
|Connectivity and Storage||PHONES/OUTPUT, Connector for 3-Pedal Unit, USB TO HOST|
|Speakers Size||4.72" x 2|
|Amplifiers||8 W + 8 W|
|Dimensions||54.76" x 11.77" x 31.42"|
|Included Accessories||AC Adaptor, Music Stand|
|Dimensions||60 × 16 × 16 in|
Satin Black, Rosewood, Satin White
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