Kawai CE220 review
Kawai is one of the most respected manufacturers of pianos in the entire market. Founded in 1927 by Koichi Kawai, the corporation has worked hard over the years to become one of the most established and trusted names in the piano business.
The Kawai CE220 is a digital piano that thrusts itself into the conversation of quality machines available on the market. Any Kawai digital pianowill be a good buy in terms of quality and exquisite design, and the CE220 is a continuation of that legacy. By combining elegance and tonal quality, along with the feel of an upright or acoustic grand piano experience, I must say I’m very impressed.
Our Piano Buying Guide
Below, please compare the very affordable Kawai CE220 to other pianos in its class:
|Yamaha YDP-144||GHS action, CFX Grand Piano Voice|
|Yamaha YDP-145||GHS Weighted, Graded Hammer Action|
|Yamaha YDP-165||GH3 Weighted, Graded Hammer Action|
|Casio PX-870||Redesigned Cabinet, Speaker System|
|Roland RP-102||Works w/Roland Piano Partner 2 app|
|Casio AP-470||256 Note Polyphony|
|Yamaha YDP-184||Graded Hammer 3 Action (GH3)|
A Beautiful Piano to Look At
When you first take a look at the body of the CE220, you will no doubt be mesmerized by the look and finish of the machine. The piano rests in a cabinet fixed with a sliding cover, with a sturdy wooden-like frame complete with a music rest and a pedal frame.
The entire machine has a premium satin black finish that will sell many a customer just on the look and feel of the piano alone. The piano is a full 88 key digital piano, so there’s no lack of a full grand piano experience. It’s also 54 inches long and 20 inches deep, with the full model resting at 35 inches off the ground.
With these dimensions there will be no problem fitting in with any room or home décor, but you certainly won’t be moving it around a lot. This bad boy weighs in at a whopping 126 pounds! Certainly that is a deterrent to the traveling musician or the customer not looking for a lot of shipping and handling hassle.
The interface of the piano is pretty simple, something that will be appealing to the normal digital piano customer. There is a very small three character LED display in the middle of the interface, with buttons for all of the voice and tone selections, along with the rhythms and other features.
The gold plated “Kawai” letters on the center of the console are a nice graceful touch, and they match the gold plated pedals as well. It must also be mentioned as well that the CE220 contains the rare combination of the three pedal system – soft, sostenuto, and sustain – with a half-damper function readily available. This is significant to note, as many digital pianos sometimes do not even come with a pedal at all.
Below, please take a look at some of the best selling digital pianos (upright pianos, to be specific) that are still available online:
|1) Casio PX-770|
|2) Yamaha YDP-145|
|3) Roland RP-102|
|4) Yamaha YDP-165|
|5) Casio PX-870|
A Modest Selection of Voices and Tones
The voices and tones on the CE220 are a great find, as well. Kawai brings a lot of notoriety from the success of their grand pianos, upright pianos, electric pianos, and synthesizers. The engineers have successfully maneuvered to bring that same sound to the digital platform, and they’ve implemented their own proprietary technology to do so.
That technology is called Progressive Harmonic Imaging, which incorporates sampling of every single note from actual grand pianos and layering them with a harmonic imaging system which responds to the user with a delicate and responsive touch. There are 22 internal voices housed on the machine, with everything ranging from grand piano sounds to church organs to harpsichords and strings.
Engineering With a Real Feel to It
Kawai shows determination not to be left behind in the sector of digital piano key action by implementing their graded hammer system, infused into the CE220. The name given to this key action is the 88-key AWA PROII wooden key graded hammer action.
This hammer action system has been uniquely designed to give the digital piano console a real, natural feel to it. This system certainly can be compared to similar systems implemented in Casio and Yamaha models as well. Along with engineering present, the CE220 also features an unprecedented 192 notes of polyphony, something not usually seen on most digital pianos.
Many digital pianos limit themselves to 48, 64, and even 128 notes of polyphony. The most polyphony I’ve ever seen or researched was 256 notes, so 192 notes is more than enough.
Most of the people searching for a piano like the CE220 are mostly concerned with the touch and feel of other digital pianos on the market. Many models shortchange the user on the experience, many times with companies looking to make a quick dollar. Fortunately, the CE220 does not do that at all.
It’s rare to find such a quality piano with wooden keys (there just aren’t that many out on the market) which can be combined with such a great sound. This piano is comparable to some of the higher end Yamaha models like the Arius YDP-V240.
By comparison, the YDP is no match at a measly 64 notes of polyphony, a lesser tone generation and sound source system in Dynamic Stereo Sampling AWM, and a Graded Hammer Action key system which doesn’t match up with the AWA PROII. The Kawai also beats the YDP in cost as well.
The CE220 has a number of desirable features that come with being a digital piano. First, there are a number of effects that can be applied to the voices, tones, and rhythms, and also can be used in conjunction with the recording feature. These effects include five different reverbs, chorus, delay, tremolo, and 2 rotary functions.
There are also Dual and Split keyboard functions, which will allow the user to play different voices or tones in both hands or layer them on top of one another. The piano also comes with a transpose and tuning function, along with a new Virtual Voicing feature which allows you to change the tone samples housed on the machine. Kawai has modernized many of their models by including a class compliant USB, which will allow you to save created songs or even connect to any computer and studio production setting.
The Kawai CE220 certainly doesn’t come cheap. A list price of around $2200 would make many cringe, but the machine can easily be found for very affordable prices on Amazon.com.
If this piano doesn’t fit your taste, here’s a list of digital pianos that might:
- Kawai KDP-90 review
- Kawai ES8 review
- Kawai ES-100 vs Yamaha P-115: Comparison Review
- What Are the Best Digital Piano Accessories?
- What’s the Best Yamaha Upright Digital Piano?
Be sure to read more of our reviews to find the best digital piano for you!