Kawai CA48 review: High Quality Kawai Digital Piano?

Kawai CA48 review

The Kawai CA48 is an elegant, great-sounding digital piano. In this article, we will take a closer look at this digital piano’s features and specs before comparing this Kawai digital piano to other digital pianos on the market. 

And to better help you, please take a moment to view the interactive table below, which allows you to directly compare the Kawai CA48 to other notable digital pianos on the market.

Yamaha YDP-145

Yamaha YDP-165
Casio PX-870
Casio AP-460Casio AP-470
Yamaha YDP-184

How Much Does the Kawai CA48 Cost?

The Kawai CA48 is currently available for $2,099. This price may seem a bit steep to first-time buyers, but this digital piano comes with features that are hard to find on lower-priced digital pianos. 

Also, keep in mind that acoustic pianos would cost thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) more.

How Many Keys Does the Kawai CA48 Have?

The Kawai CA48 has a full 88-key keyboard. In the beginning stages of your piano-playing journey, it is really important to have access to a full keyboard. Although you probably won’t be using all 88 keys when you first start playing, practicing on a full keyboard will better prepare you for playing an acoustic piano. An 88-key acoustic piano might seem a little daunting if you start learning on a 61-key or 73-key digital piano

Below, please take a moment to view some of the best selling digital pianos available online (and see how they compare to the Kawai CA48, as well):

1) Casio PX-770
2) Yamaha YDP-145
3) Roland RP-701
4) Yamaha YDP-165
5) Casio PX-870

What Is the Kawai CA48’s Keyboard Like?

Essentially, the Kawai CA48 is an 88 key weighted digital piano, but Kawai takes it a little further than that. The Kawai CA48 uses the brand’s Grand Feel Compact action to replicate the feel of an acoustic grand piano’s keyboard. 

An acoustic piano’s keys feel heavier in the piano’s low end than in its high end because of a variety of hammer weights, and the Kawai CA48’s keyboard imitates this feeling by using different hammer weights for each playing range.

As such, this Kawai digital piano will help you to develop the proper finger technique that is necessary for playing the piano. Getting used to a weighted hammer action keyboard now will make it much easier for you to transition to playing on an acoustic piano someday.

The Kawai CA48’s keyboard also uses triple sensor key detection to make the keys more responsive to your touch. This triple sensor key detection makes it possible for you to go from playing fortissimo passages to pianissimo passages without worrying about the keyboard not picking up on the dynamics of your playing. Basically, you can’t go wrong with this graded hammer action keyboard.

Learn more about graded hammer action keyboards and other types of keyboards here.

How Many Sounds Does This Keyboard Come With?

The Kawai CA48 comes with nineteen onboard sounds. 

Its sounds are as follows:

  • SK Concert Grand
  • EX Concert Grand
  • Upright Piano
  • Studio Grand
  • Studio Grand 2
  • Mellow Grand
  • Mellow Grand 2
  • Modern Piano
  • Classic Electric Piano
  • Modern Electric Piano
  • Jazz Organ
  • Church Organ
  • Harpsichord
  • Vibraphone
  • String Ensemble
  • Slow Strings
  • Choir
  • New Age Pad
  • Atmosphere

From this list, we can see that eight of the nineteen sounds are acoustic piano sounds, two of the sounds are electric piano sounds, and there are two synth sounds to play around with.

Ten piano sounds might seem like overkill, but each of these sounds has a different character. Thus, whatever you play will sound a bit different when it is played in any of these voices.

The Kawai CA48 comes with a dual mode function that allows two sounds to be layered on top of one another. For example, you can layer the SX Concert Grand sound with the String Ensemble sound to make it sound as if you are being accompanied by a group of string instruments.

This Kawai digital piano also has a four hands mode function that allows you to split the keyboard into two identical halves. Four hands mode makes it possible for you to play along with someone else on the same keyboard. This function comes in really handy when your piano teacher has to show you how to play something. 

How Much Polyphony Does the Kawai CA48 Offer? 

This digital piano has 196-note polyphony. I always recommend getting a digital piano with at least 120-note polyphony, and the Kawai CA48 is well beyond that.

With 196-note polyphony, you should not have to worry about note dropout at all. Note dropout refers to when a digital piano does not have enough polyphony to support your playing and it does not sound all of the notes you are playing. 

Although it is impossible to play more than 88 notes on a piano, polyphony gets used up by stereo sounds and by any effects that you apply to your sound output, so it easier to run out of polyphony than you might think. 

However, like I mentioned earlier, you will be safe from note dropout with the Kawai CA48’s 196-note polyphony. 

What Kind of Effects Does the Kawai CA48 Have to Offer?

The Kawai CA48 comes with a brilliance effect and six types of reverb. 

Brilliance helps you to achieve a sharper, more defined tone. Learn more about brilliance here.

The Kawai CA48’s six reverb settings are as follows:

  • room
  • lounge
  • small hall
  • concert hall
  • live hall
  • cathedral

Reverb affects your sound output by making it sound as if you are playing in different-sized spaces. For example, you can use the cathedral setting to make it sound as if you are playing in a large cathedral while you practice in your living room. Or if you are playing onstage in a small bar, you can make it sound as if you are playing in a concert hall.

What Else Should I Know About the Kawai CA48?

This digital piano has a library of built-in classical etudes and songs from the Alfred piano course books. You can adjust the tempo of these built-in lessons to slow them down as you first start to learn and to speed them up as you start to get the hang of them. You can also practice the right and left hand parts separately to fine-tune each hand’s part.

The Kawai CA48 has Bluetooth capabilities, too. Thus, you can connect your smart devices to your digital piano. This lets you play audio from your smart devices through the Kawai CA48’s speakers. This comes in really handy when playing along with an audio or video lesson.

The Kawai CA48 was built with Spatial Headphone Sound technology, which makes the experience of playing with headphones better than it is on most other digital pianos. With the Spatial Headphone Sound technology, the sound quality is improved by making it sound as if the audio is coming from within the digital piano rather than from inside your headphones.

Kawai CA58 vs Kawai CA48

The Kawai CA58 is currently available for $2,999, so it costs nearly a thousand dollars more than the Kawai CA48. 

This model has 42 onboard sounds, which is a vast improvement over the Kawai CA48’s sound offering. Still, if you are only looking to practice with piano sounds, the Kawai CA48 has plenty to offer.

The Kawai CA58 has 256-note max polyphony. This amount of polyphony absolutely eliminates the fear of note dropout, so this is definitely a win!

This Kawai model also offers many more effects than the CA48. 

The CA58’s effects include:

  • six types of reverb
  • three types of delay
  • three types of chorus
  • three types of tremolo
  • two phaser effects
  • brilliance
  • rotary

Both the Kawai CA48 and the Kawai CA58 have weighted hammer action keyboards, Bluetooth capabilities, and built-in lessons. The only other major difference between the two digital pianos is the Kawai CA58’s split feature. With this feature, you can split the keyboard between two sounds; for example, you can use a piano sound with your right hand and a bass sound with your left hand.

Kawai CA48 vs Kawai CN27

The Kawai CN27 costs $1,899, so it is a bit cheaper than the Kawai CA48. 

There are not many differences between these two Kawai digital pianos. Both offer the exact same onboard sound selection and reverb settings.

The Kawai CA48 offers just slightly more polyphony than the Kawai CN27’s 192-note polyphony. Still, both instruments have graded hammer action keyboards, Bluetooth capabilities, and built-in lessons. 

If you are looking to shave just a little bit off of the Kawai CA48’s price, the Kawai CN27 is definitely the best option for you.

Yamaha CLP-645 vs Kawai CA48

This digital piano is currently available for $3,499.99, so it is considerably pricier than all of the other digital pianos included in this article. 

The Yamaha CLP645 comes with 36 onboard sounds, so it has more than every other digital piano included here apart from the Kawai CA58. 

This digital piano has 256-note polyphony, which puts it on par with the Kawai CA58 in that regard. 

Like all of the other digital pianos included in this article, the Yamaha CLP645 has Bluetooth capabilities. 

Overall, the Yamaha CLP645 does not have any features that you cannot get with the cheaper Kawai models. 

Which Piano Is the Best Bargain?

The Kawai CA48 earns 3.6 out of 5 stars. However, the Kawai CN27 is the best deal out of all of the digital pianos included in this article. 

The Kawai CN27 comes with the exact same sounds as the Kawai CA48, so you are sure to enjoy the same sound quality despite the lower price. 

Like the Kawai CA48, the Kawai CN27 comes with built-in songs that you can use to build your repertoire as you learn how to play the piano. Again, the majority of these songs come from the highly-respected Alfred piano course, and they are sure to help you as you begin learning how to play the piano.

If you go with the Kawai CN27, you will not have the brilliance effect that is included with the Kawai CA48, but you get the same reverb selection. If you know you will not miss the brilliance effect all that much, the Kawai CN27 is a safe bet.

The Kawai CA48 has 196-note polyphony, and the Kawai CN27 is not too far behind with 192-note polyphony. With either instrument, you are sure to be free of note dropout because both the Kawai CA48 and the Kawai CN27 come with an extremely adequate, flexible amount of polyphony.

Although the Kawai CN27 is the ultimate winner here, the other digital pianos included in this article are great instruments, too. The Kawai CN27 offers the most bang for your buck, but its price is not all that different from the Kawai CA48.

However, if you are looking for something with the features that you need to get started plus just a few extra luxuries here and there, the Kawai CN27 is the way to go.

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