Kawai Japan is delighted to announce the CA99 and CA79, the latest high-performance additions to the popular Concert Artist series of premium digital pianos, and successors to the highly regarded CA98 and CA78.
These updated models incorporate the new Grand Feel III wooden-key keyboard action, delivering a firmer, faster, and even more grand piano-like touch feeling, while the improved SK-EX Rendering multi-channel sound engine features enhanced acoustic piano samples, with new Virtual Technician parameters to precisely control the attack, release, and sustain characteristics of each piano. The CA99 and CA79 retain the high fidelity audio processing, powerful amplification, and rich speaker delivery of their predecessors, while also introducing new speaker diffuser panels. These specially developed components expand the pianos' tonal projection in all directions, creating a 360° sound field that allows the instruments to sound natural for listeners everywhere in the room.
The CA99 and CA79 cheekblock touchscreen display features a brand new user interface that is optimised for pianists, while providing easy access to additional sounds and functions that inspire musical creativity. Kawai's redesigned communication standard allows this new user interface to also be accessed as an app for iOS and supported Android devices, with all settings and adjustments recalled automatically every time the instrument is powered on. Complementing this modern connectivity, the CA99 and CA79's Bluetooth Audio feature now supports the advanced aptX algorithm, allowing high quality audio to be streamed through the pianos' superb amplifier and speaker systems wirelessly, with minimal latency. Finally, the appearance of both instruments has been modernised for 2020, with the flagship CA99 adopting a contemporary upright piano-inspired cabinet design, which also incorporates Kawai's Soft Fall closing mechanism.
- Brand new Grand Feel III wooden-key keyboard action
- Advanced SK-EX Rendering multi-channel piano sound engine
- Premium audio processing, conversion, and amplification technologies
- High performance 6-speaker delivery system with 360° diffuser panels
- Unique 3rd generation TwinDrive soundboard speaker (CA99 only)
- Integrated Bluetooth® MIDI and audio with low latency aptX support
- Modern 5″ LCD touchscreen display with intuitive swipe operation
- New communication system with dedicated Piano Remote iOS/Android app
- Flexible Virtual Technician function with 21 adjustable parameters
- Built-in Burgmüller, Czerny, Beyer, Chopin etudes and Alfred lesson songs
- Convenient WAV/MP3/MIDI file record and playback via USB memory
- Attractive cabinet designs available in wood grain and ebony polish finishes
Shigeru Kawai SK-EX concert grand piano reproduced with SK-EX Rendering sound technology
The magnificent tone of Kawai's flagship Shigeru Kawai SK-EX full concert grand piano is at the heart of the CA99 and CA79 digital pianos. Widely regarded as the 'premier pianos of Japan', Shigeru Kawai instruments grace the stages of concert halls and musical institutions throughout the world, and are prized for their tonal clarity and exceptional dynamic range.
In order to faithfully reproduce the stunning sound of a Shigeru digitally, Kawai has developed SK-EX Rendering – a piano-focussed sound engine that blends multi-channel, 88-key sampling with the latest resonance modelling technology. Multi-channel sampling captures the sound from different points of the Shigeru Kawai concert grand piano, allowing a broader range of tonal characteristics to be reproduced, and providing a more lively, authentic response to changes in dynamics. This naturally expressive sound is further enriched by advanced resonance algorithms, which physically model the complex tonal interactions produced by the strings, damper, and various other parts of an acoustic piano, giving players the impression that they're sitting at a living, breathing instrument.
Grand Feel III wooden-key action with Ebony & Ivory Touch key surfaces, counterweights, and 'Let-Off' mechanism
Articulating this beautiful SK-EX sound is the brand new Grand Feel III wooden-key keyboard action, which draws upon Kawai's 90+ years of acoustic piano craftsmanship to provide an exceptionally realistic playing experience. As with a grand piano, all of the Grand Feel III action's eighty-eight black and white keys are crafted entirely from long pieces of wood, and pivot on a central balance pin with a smooth, seesaw-like motion. This natural movement throws grade-weighted metal hammers located at the back of the keyboard, with their individual velocities precisely measured using triple-sensor technology for improved responsiveness and realism.
The Grand Feel III action's extended wooden keys also boast an extra-long pivot length – matching that of a Kawai acoustic grand piano. This provides a more consistent touch weight when playing towards the rear of the keyboard, while additional counterweights placed below each key help to further balance the weight of the action during pianissimo passages. Finally, the Grand Feel III keyboard action also features Kawai's Ebony & Ivory Touch key surfaces that gently absorb moisture to assist playing control, and possess a natural, matte finish that is smooth, but not slippery.
Premium audio processing, amplification, and speaker technologies
Developed in collaboration with Japan's leading premium audio equipment specialists, the CA99 and CA79 digital pianos utilise specialist components designed for high-end audio reproduction. With state of the art technologies such as 1-bit DSD processing, dual DAC signal conversion, and exclusive Onkyo DIDRC circuitry, the Concert Artists' optimised power amplifiers reproduce the Shigeru Kawai grand piano sound with stunning richness and clarity.
Both instruments feature powerful 6-speaker delivery systems that utilise premium driver units, and custom-engineered diffuser panels which help to expand the pianos' 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 for those listening elsewhere in the room. In addition to conventional speakers, the flagship CA99 also incorporates Kawai's latest TwinDrive soundboard speaker system. This unique acoustic projection technology harnesses transducer components to channel sound energy onto a real wooden soundboard, resulting in an even richer, more organic piano tone that faithfully reproduces the ambience of an acoustic piano.
The CA99 and CA79 also incorporate the high-performance Onkyo Discrete SpectraModule™ headphone amplifier, which combines with Kawai's Spatial Headphone Sound technology to ensure the finest quality and most engaging listening experience, even when playing in privacy.
Integrated Bluetooth® MIDI and Audio connectivity
In addition to standard USB and MIDI jacks for connecting to computers or other instruments, the CA99 and CA79 digital pianos also feature integrated Bluetooth® MIDI and Audio technology that allows these instruments to communicate with supported smart devices wirelessly. Once connected to a phone, tablet, or laptop, Concert Artist owners can enjoy a wide variety of exciting music-related apps that enhance their learning and playing experience, or stream high quality, low-latency aptX audio directly through the instruments' premium amplifier and speaker systems without the need for any cables.
Full-colour touchscreen display for intuitive, button-less operation
The CA99 and CA79 digital pianos feature a full-colour 5″ touchscreen display discreetly embedded within the instrument's left cheekblock. This high resolution touchscreen allows sounds and settings to be selected from an attractive user interface simply by tapping or swiping the display with a finger. This screen can also be set to turn off automatically while playing, thus preserving the instruments' acoustic piano-like appearance, and minimising any visual distraction to the performer. The latest Concert Artist instruments adopt a new communication system, allowing all functions of the piano to also be controlled via a dedicated app for iOS and Android, with settings and adjustments recalled automatically every time the instrument is powered on.
Modern cabinet designs, available in a choice of finishes
The CA99 and CA79 are housed within premium quality wooden cabinets, with tapered legs and rounded edge details contributing to the instruments' light and modern character. As the flagship model of the series, the CA99 adopts a contemporary upright piano-inspired cabinet design, featuring a broad, simulated-leather lined music rest and Kawai's Soft Fall closing mechanism. Both instruments are available in Premium Rosewood, Satin Black, and Satin White wood-grain finishes, as well as classic Ebony Polish, allowing musicians to coordinate their piano with a range of traditional or modern interiors.
Stunning multi-channel grand piano sounds, an ultra-realistic wooden-key keyboard action, premium audio, amplification, and speaker technologies, convenient Bluetooth connectivity, and a modern touchscreen interface.