AZ PIANO REVIEWS!: REVIEW - Kawai CE200 Digital Piano - Overall very nice! - Digital Piano Reviews

May 19, 2010

REVIEW - Kawai CE200 Digital Piano - Overall very nice!


Updated REVIEW - January 25, 2012 - This model is now discontinued and replaced by the new CE220. Please go to the following review link to read about this new piano. CE220 Review

Kawai is famous for making great acoustic pianos, especially their Grands. Lots of individuals, musicians, piano teachers, churches, schools, and other venues own them. So I expected their new lower priced CE200 ($1699 discounted internet price) digital home piano would be equally as good in the digital world. After playing this piano and putting it through it's paces, I do know one thing for sure, and that is the Kawai CE200 is a solid, well built instrument and able to reproduce a very nice acoustic piano sound with lots of sustain and resonance in an attractive cabinet. There are many different kinds of acoustic pianos in the world with various kinds of piano sounds. Some are brighter, some are sharper, some are full & resonate, some are more muted and mellow, and some piano tones vary with degrees of downward key pressure. This piano can do all of that and more with many extra useful features.

The CE200 has 20 excellent instrument tones incl acoustic & electric pianos, symphonic strings, church pipe organs, guitars, and lots more. It also has a digital metronome and 30 useful drum rhythms for music education to learn better timing & rhythm (great for in-home practice) and has a user friendly control panel (very nice) with buttons across the top which allow a person to change the sounds from acoustic piano to digital piano, to strings, to guitars, and so on, very easily. There is a LED display that shows the number of the sound you are on in the appropriate sound bank and it also displays other functions as well. I also like the fact that that this piano has many extra features so that you can "grow into it" instead of growing out of it such as a USB connection to computer, 4-handed piano play so two people can play the same thing on the piano at the same time by splitting the piano into a duet mode and creating two separate 44 note piano keyboards. It has recording features, layering and splitting of tones, and other cool educational and creative things that make the piano fun. It's an instrument you can keep for a long time with so many ways to make music. And Kawai is a very prestigious brand so resale value on this instrument will probably be higher than most.

When it comes to touch and response, it seems that everyone who plays piano has an opinion, and they're not usually the same. Personally I think the Kawai CE200 has a very fine piano key action (AWA Pro II - above left pic) with a medium weighted feel which is very nice for many types of piano playing styles. The interior of the keys are actually made out of real wood which comes from the Kawai acoustic upright pianos, and this is an upgraded feature over other digital pianos because it gives the piano player a more natural, organic playing experience. You won't find wood keys in a furniture cabinet digital piano until you get to the more expensive models and brands (well over $3500). So it really is amazing to me that Kawai can offer this kind of a key action for under $2000. Also, the keybed that's underneath the keys is quite solid and the movement of the action is smooth and quiet going up & down no matter how aggressively you play, unlike many "off-brand pianos" that I have played which are clunky and noisy. Even some of the nice new Roland pianos (a very good brand) in higher price ranges that I have played are not near as quiet with regard to key action as this Kawai CE200.

However, at the end of the day, as long as the key touch feels and responds good to you (assuming you know what a good key action touch feels like), then that's what really counts. The Kawai CE 200 is very nice and I highly recommend it. As far as a replacement for an upright acoustic piano goes, in the under $2000 price range for a new furniture cabinet model digital piano, I believe this is the best instrument out there if you want something sturdy and attractive with real wooden keys and fully progressive weighted piano touch without an excessive amount of frills. And in a head to head comparison with Yamaha's best digital piano under $2000, which is the YDP181 ($1799 - above left pic), the Kawai CE200 in my opinion is the clear winner in almost every way and costs $100 less money. And the CE200 is only $200 more (internet price) than the Yamaha YDP161 which is a much more basic digital piano. To get a Yamaha digital piano that comes close to this one, you have to go up to the new Clavinova CLP430 which is generally being sold for over $2000 in most Yamaha piano stores and you still won't get the wood keys or many of the other Kawai features. The Kawai CE200 is a real winner in this price range and if you haven't seen it or are not familiar with Kawai pianos, please take a look at the link below.

If you go to the following link you will see the specs for the CE200 piano on the Kawai piano web site:
http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/digital/PRO/ce_200-specs.html

If  you go to the following link you will see a nice video demo on the CE200:
http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/digital/PRO/ce200_demovid.html

Go here for a my review on the Yamaha YDP161 & YDP181 digital pianos:
Yamaha YDP161 & YDP181 piano review

Kawai obviously makes some great pianos but in a lower price range you should also consider the new Casio AP620 Celviano digital piano (pictured below left). Although tone & touch are subjective, I believe the new Casio AP620 is one of the best new digital pianos for families right now in the lower price ranges, and all for a discount price of less than $1399. The AP620 stereo acoustic type piano tone and touch is surprisingly very nice for it's low price, the functions are easy to use with a nice LCD display, it has 250 voices or tones, 128-note polyphony, 360 educational accompaniment backgrounds, an SD memory card slot with 4 banks of separate memory for storage of songs and lessons using General MIDI song files, satin ivory feel keys (makes for a nicer key feel), front cabinet stabilization legs, and much more. And you can even connect it directly to an Apple iPad with Casio's built-in CoreMIDI software for instant plug and play using the latest intuitive music software for exciting educational and composition tools.

If you don't know about the Casio AP620, then you should check it when you get time. I have written a couple of articles about the Casio AP620 on this blog along with videos and other detailed info. 

 If you want more info on these and other pianos and LOWER PRICES than internet discounts, please email me at tim@azpianowholesale.com or call direct at 602-571-1864.

2 comments:

  1. I compared the Kawai CE200 to the Casio AP620 over the Internet. I can't interact with them in person. My kids are beginners, but show promise. Is the Kawai worth the extra money for the wooden keys and the better speakers? Does the polyphony really make a difference? It appears that both can layer sounds, split sounds and have duets. It appears that they both have the same jacks, including USB. The Casio seems to have more sounds than the Kawai, but that isn't important. Which one has the better tone?

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  2. Thank you for your comments and questions. I will be glad to answer these questions but ask you to contact me direct by email or phone and I will be happy to give you advice to make a good piano decision.

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