Kawai CA58 / REVIEW / Digital Piano / Wood Keys / Impressive!

photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano
Kawai CA58 / REVIEW Updated / Impressive! / Lower Prices Here - Digital Piano Article: In the world of digital pianos the Kawai piano company from Japan is a "big player." Kawai has made acoustic and digital pianos for decades and is known throughout the world for high quality concert and home grand pianos, upright pianos home digital pianos, and pro stage pianos. Kawai only makes pianos. The Kawai name comes from its founder Mr Kawai and has long been photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano synonymous with high quality musical instruments. However, they are not as mainstream in terms of name recognition as is Yamaha, Roland, Casio, etc because Kawai only produces pianos and not all the other products such as guitars, clarinets, computer music products, synthesizers, watches, calculators, motorcycles, etc. They just concentrate on 2 things...acoustic pianos and digital pianos. But that level of product focus has propelled the Kawai company past its competition in many cases offering the best digital piano for the buck in a number of price ranges. The new CA58 ($2999 satin rosewood, $3099 satin black or satin white) is one of those digital piano models that has become very popular for Kawai and voted #1 in a short amount of time mainly because it puts out a lot of high quality piano sound with an amazingly realistic proprietary wood key action that no other digital piano brand or model has been able to reproduce.

photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano
The CA58 digital piano (CA stands for "Concert Artist" series) is a perfect example of a category killer in my opinion for digital pianos under $3000 down to about $2000. There are several reasons for this but first and foremost is key action authenticity. I have played the CA58 a number of times and the proprietary key action that Kawai built for this model which they call "Grand Feel Compact," sets it apart from all other brands and models of digital pianos in this price range. There are no furniture cabinet digital pianos under $3000 that have real 100% wooden keys except for the Kawai company who made all of the white keys in the CA58 out of real spruce wood and those keys are "all wood" and not just photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano wooden sides. The bass octave keys also have "counter-weights" built into them to give the heavier bass keys a quicker movement to the action which helps the overall playability of the piano. Most white keys in other brands of digital pianos under $3000 are relatively short in length and measure about 7" to 9" long but the Kawai CA58 wooden keys measure 12" inches in length which is quite long for digital piano keys. In real acoustic pianos, photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano especially grand pianos, the keys are even longer and this is because the longer the key length is from front to back of the entire key (the part you can see and the part behind the key cover that you cannot see) the more evenly balanced the key movement becomes. An even key movement and touch weight from the front of the key to back of the key as well as from one key to the next is very important when it comes to playing technique and your ability to express yourself musically. So the 12" Kawai wooden keys are pretty amazing when it comes to key length, particularly when compared to the newest and best Roland upright digital piano models which sell for $6000 at discount price. Those keys are called "hybrid grand" keys but in reality they are not really hybrid nor are they grand. The white keys in these top of the line new Roland digital pianos are not quite 10.5" long and the only wood they use in the keys are small, thin slats of wood glued onto the sides of the plastic key. Those keys play fine but in my opinion do not come close to these all-wood longer keys in the Kawai CA58 in realism and movement. Kawai also has upgraded models above the CA58 called the CA79 (approx $4200 discount price) and CA99 (approx $5700 discount price) and those keys are nearly 14" in length which is about as good as it gets in reproducing a real grand piano key action "feel" for digital pianos in that price range.

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photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano
So when it comes to key action movement and authenticity which is the most important thing in a digital piano and for that matter, any piano, for about $3000 discount price) the Kawai CA58 is a real winner because of its balanced movement up & down the keyboard and from the front of the key to the back on both the white and black keys. To add even more realism to the the key action movement, Kawai has regulated that 12' (white) wooden key action to have some very impressive and realistic down-weight (aka:static touchweight) as well as upweight key return. In other words, the amount of force needed from the fingers to press down the keys photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano from key resting position and then the amount of force pressing against the fingers when the key is coming back up is critical for best piano playing technique whether you are a beginner and especially if you are an advanced player. Some piano keys are very "heavy" and require a lot of finger force to press down on the keys and if that force (measured in grams) is too high then your fingers, photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano hands, and/or wrists can become fatigued after awhile and that's not good. You want a comfortable and enjoyable piano playing experience and the way the keys move up and down is very important and need to have the proper key weight measurement. In a real grand piano the middle C key typically has a touch-weight of approximately 55 grams and an up-weight (key return weight) of about half that much or maybe a little more. In fact the touchweight (keys going down are comfortable when the force measures somewhere between 50-60 grams of finger force pressure on the photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano keys. As an example, there is a popular brand and model digital piano between $2500 -$3000 which a key action that not only has much shorter keys and all-plastic keys, but the touch-weight in that piano at middle C key measures about 90 grams of force to get the key to go down and about 45 to 50 grams of key return force. However, in this Kawai CA58, the touch-weight (aka: down-weight) finger force needed is about 53 grams (much lighter and closer to a real acoustic grand piano) and the upweight (key return) photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano force of of the keys coming back up is about 33 grams which is also very good because then the keys are not coming up too hard against your fingers. Based on my playing experience with the CA58 and my personally having taken key weight measurements, I can say that the way these keys feel to play will make even a seasoned piano player think that they are playing a high quality acoustic piano. This key action is also very quiet and sturdy when those keys are moving up & down. There are many digital pianos out there with noisy keys and that noise can be heard, especially when you turn down the piano volume coming out of the speakers...that's when you can really hear the key movement noise. All key actions make some noise including acoustic pianos, but the quieter the key action is the better off you will be. Also, when you use headphones and want to play privately so that you don't disturb other people in your home, then the quietness of the key action can be more important because you want that experience to be as pleasant as possible for other people nearby so they don't have to listen to keys making too much noise when those keys are going up & down. But in the Kawai CA58, the keys are noticeably quiet when they are moving up & down and for me that is very important, In my opinion this Grand Feel Compact key action gets 5 big stars or 10 out of 10 when it comes to producing a key action that is way out in front of everyone else.

photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano
Not to overdo my discussion on key action, but Kawai also a couple other things that make their key action more enjoyable to play and that is the key "let-off" (aka: escapement) feature and the synthetic ivory key tops and satin black key tops. The let-off feature is found in real grand pianos and the way that works is when you are playing grand piano keys very slowly, as the key goes down about 1/2 way photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano or a bit further you will feel a slight hesitation, notch, or bump as the key moves downward. This "feeling" is something which occurs on all grand pianos but is generally not felt on upright acoustic pianos. That key movement escapement feeling can give you more control over your piano playing, especially if you are a more advanced player and are used to playing grand pianos. It feels fairly realistic on the Kawai CA58 with that Grand Feel Compact key action but at the end of the day it is just a simulation and not the photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano real thing so for me is not a deal-breaker if it is not there...but it is nice to have. Under each key are key sensors to sense the key movement as you are playing the piano so that your piano sound comes out smoothly and correctly when the keys are repeating the notes slow or fast. Each key has 3 key sensors which is typical in this price range and it's a good thing because it more accurately senses the repeating note regardless of where the key is located in its key travel from resting position to fully depressed or in the middle and regardless of if the key is going down or coming back up. The proprietary material that Kawai uses on its white keys gives those keys the "feel" and "look" of real ivory from acoustic pianos of years ago when real, organic elephant ivory was actually used on the tops of the white keys. As for the black keys, those key tops used to be made out of ebony from real organic ebony trees from Africa, India, and other countries with ebony trees. Since it is illegal to harvest ebony trees, Kawai is using a matte black finish to give those black keys a better "feel" than the normal shiny black plastic finish on other key actions. The result of this synthetic ivory and matte black keys is a better "finger feel" while being able to absorb sweat from the fingers due to the material being more porous than pure plastic, and the look of those keys is classier and less bright & shiny. So Kawai has also done a great job in making the keys look good and feel good based on my experience playing this key action many times.

photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano
It seams that just about everyone who is shopping for digital piano mentions to me that they want a digital piano that actually "sounds like" a real acoustic piano...but that is easier said than done for a lot of these digital pianos. It takes special piano sound reproduction technology to really make you think your hearing a real piano when playing these digital pianos. The CA58 has 42 instrument sounds divided info 8 separate categories. There are a total of 10 piano sounds in that list with 8 of them being grand piano tones, one being an upright piano sounds, and the other somewhat more electric in tone. The other instrument sounds include strings, organs, vintage electric pianos, harpsichords, mallets, synths, choirs, guitars, and bass sounds. There are no horns, reeds, woodwinds, banjos, accordions, etc in the instrument sound library, just these primary sounds. But it's the grand piano sounds that most everybody is interested in and how "real" they are. Given that there are 8 usable acoustic grand piano sounds, that is actually quite a lot compared to other digital pianos in this price range where some of them have only 4 selections to choose from. But it is the quality of those piano sounds that really count and how organic and natural they are from when you first press down the key, to way the sound rings out, changes expression, and what it sounds like when using your sustain pedal and the natural sympathetic string vibrations, overtones, and/or resonances you hear when playing that piano sound.

photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano
In the CA58 Kawai uses sampled recording technology to capture a real grand piano tone and this particular piano sound chip in the CA58 is the same one they use in their most expensive upright model called the CS11. It is called the HI-XL stereo sampling piano sound chip with individual 88-key note reproduction and 256-not polyphony piano power. What that all photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano means is that this chip has more memory content and capability than the Kawai digital pianos below this model and therefore the piano sound will have a higher definition resolution to the piano sound than other digital pianos also with plenty of polyphony power to play even more complex pieces of music without what is known as "note-dropout" which can occur when playing a lot of piano notes (in stereo) and not having enough polyphony power to photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano handle those notes. For people who have experience playing real grand pianos or you know what a good grand piano actually sounds like, then you could likely tell the difference between the realism of the piano sound on CA58 as compared to other brands in this price range and also to some lower priced Kawai digital pianos such as the CN39 or CA48. The amount of dynamic piano tonal range variation from soft to loud and mellow to bright as you play the keys more softly and then play the keys with more force, is very photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano impressive. There are also big differences in each of the acoustic sound selections with some being noticeably brighter, some being more mellow, some being being a combination of bright and mellow depending on how you are playing the music. The other part of the piano sounds that I enjoy when playing this model is that you don't get the impression that the piano sound is artificial as you would with some other brands and this was very apparent to me. photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano Kawai has done a great job with their recorded sampling technology in capturing a lot of nuances and organic content of what real acoustic grand pianos actually sound like and it is apparent in the CA58 when you play it. It is expressive and natural all at the same time. It is true that the piano sound recordings are indeed "recordings or samples of the real thing and then when you play the keys you hear the sound through internal speakers in the cabinet. So in that way it is artificial because it is being artificially photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano amplified through speakers and there's nothing you can do about that. But this is true for all other digital pianos so it's no different for any other brand or model. For most people they will be more than satisfied with the result of the piano sound in the CA58 because Kawai has been able to optimize all of it to sound fairly natural as a real piano would sound and for me personally, I actually really enjoyed it and there are so many good acoustic piano variations that there is definitely something for everyone. That's the upside to having more piano sound choices in this model than in other brands and models that only have 3 or 4 of them because you can find a great piano sound for all kinds of styles of piano music including classical, jazz, pop, ballads, rock, pop, etc.

photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano
When it comes to the "other" instrument sounds in the CA58, I was impressed with almost all of them and that's something I was surprised about because usually I'll find just a small handful of sounds that I like in these digital pianos and the rest sound fake and artificial to me. Withe the CA58 I felt like just about all of them were very high quality and definitely musically satisfying. Whether the sounds were string symphonies, pop, jazz, or church organs, the vintage electric pianos from the 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's, and other instrument tones, whether using them separately or mixing 2 of them together or splitting 2 of those photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano sounds, they were really good and made the piano more fun to play...and its a good thing when these digital pianos can be more fun to play and own. I also like the fact that it's pretty easy to navigate the sounds in the display screen and select them as well as quickly and easily layer and split them with another sound. The user display screen and control panel to the left side of the keyboard has an operating system that's fairly intuitive to use once you play around with it a few times and press a few of the navigation buttons to select what you want to get. Some of these new digital pianos have a proprietary app to use on a tablet (iPad, etc) where you can control the piano functions from the color touch screen of your external device. The Kawai CA58 does not have an app so you will need to use the piano control panel buttons and interface user display screen. But as I said, once you use it for a short time then you'll get the "hang of it" and be able to easily navigate the functions and features to get what you want out of the piano. The screen is large enough to display good information and it is a back-lit screen to see the information more easily.

photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano
The 3 pedals on a piano are important and if you a beginner then the only pedal you'll likely be using for a long time if the right sustain pedal. The other 2 pedals is the center sostenuto pedal (a specialty piano rarely used anymore), and the left soft pedal which momentarily dampens or softens the  volume of the notes being played. The right sustain pedal is by far the most important pedal because it sustains (holds out) the piano notes for a certain amount of time until those piano sounds naturally fade out and disappear.  The amount of time it takes for those piano sounds to fade out on the CA58 is approx 35 seconds which is a very long photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano time and close to what real acoustic pianos do when holding down the sustain pedal when playing a piano note in the middle to lower octaves and letting the notes sustain for as long as possible. The sustain pedal also triggers "half-damper" pedaling which means you photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano can get a variable amount of sustain depending where the pedal is when pressing it down...in other words the pedal sustain is not just on & off. On some other digital pianos I have played the "decay sustain time" and decay volume level tend to be very short (sometimes less than 10 seconds of decay time) and sounds quite artificial and choppy. The CA58 in my opinion has a more natural pedal sustain response along with good "soft pedal" response and the normal sostenuto pedal functioning when needed. The pedals also feel good to press down with them not being too hard or too easy to press down. So the feel of those pedals is good along with being relatively quiet when those pedals move up & down. A lot of people don't really consider the pedals as something to think about when shopping for a digital piano but actually the pedals are very important to the authenticity and outcome of the piano sound when you play it. The 3 fundamental parts of any piano is key action, piano sound realism, and pedal movement and sustain control, and the CA58 pedals work very well so I am happy to see that.

photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano
There are some other cool digital features on the CA58 which can make the piano playing experience even more exciting which allows for editing the piano sounds to customize them in different ways along with digitally changing the touch sensitivity of the key action and all kinds of other things and the following list is just some of the other things this piano can do: Basic Settings, Headphone  Settings to adjust stereo sound position i photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano n your ears when wearing headphones, Key Transpose to change keys up or down, Song Transpose to change key of recorded songs playing back, Tone Control to change EQ settings of piano sound, Speaker Volume, SHS Mode, Phones Type, Phones Volume Line In Level, Tuning, Damper Hold, Split, Four Hands setting, Bluetooth MIDI, LCD Contrast, Startup Setting, Factory Reset, Auto Power Off , Virtual Technician Settings to edit and change piano sound parameters including Touch Curve (light+, light, normal, heavy, photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano heavy+), Voicing: (mellow, right, dynamic), Damper Resonance, Damper Noise, String Resonance, Undamped String Resonance, Cabinet Resonance, Key-off Effect, Fallback Noise, Hammer Delay, Topboard Simulation, Pedal decay time adjustment, Minimum Touch, Stretch Tuning adjustments and on/off, Temperaments, Key Volume, Half-Pedal Adjust, Soft Pedal Depth, and lots of other things. Kawai also has a dedicated Virtual photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano Technician app for iOS (iPad) where you can visually see all many of these functions and be able to use and trigger them from your color touch screen in a more intuitive way that helps with wanting to try out these functions. The CA58 also has 6 different types of reverb effects that allows you to enhance the piano sounds and overall instrument sounds in a positive way by adding some extra "richness and spaciousness" to the sounds that would not be there with out those effects. Many digital pianos have "reverb effects" but a lot of those reverb./ambience selections are more toy-like in there sonic reproduction and not like the more professional HD quality studio effects you would find on the CA58. There are so many ways to edit the piano sounds to customize them to "your tastes" and I like the fact that not only can you control that process from the piano but that you can also control it from the Kawai proprietary Virtual Technician app for iPad.

photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano
However, there are a lot of people who buy a digital piano mainly to play piano and with that in mind having to 'customize" the piano sounds to further enhance your piano playing experience is not necessarily what most people like to do. So if you are one of those "plug & play" people who just wants to have a great selection of impressive piano sounds and setups, Kawai added what they call  "The Smart Mode" which which has factory edited "piano set-ups" already designed by the pro musicians at Kawai. What the Smart Mode does is take those Virtual Technician editing parameters/features and puts them altogether in a variety of "customized" Smart Piano settings that add even more piano realism to your playing rather than you having to figure out how to do it. In other words, you get customized touch, effects, and resonances applied to the piano sounds that give you more types of piano settings to choose from. So not only do you have 10 acoustic piano sounds with 8 of them being different grand pianos, one of them being more pop sounding, and the other being an upright piano, but you also get 10 additional piano setups which really makes a total of 20 different piano settings in the CA58 which is a huge variety and more than any other brand or model in this price range.

photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano
Kawai also has ways to save your favorite set-ups so that you do not have to set them up all over again. There is a "registration" feature which stores 16 of your own customer setups including layers of 2 sounds, splits of two sounds together, added special effects such as reverbs, chorus, delays, etc, and other things that you nay have saved for a favorite setting. After saving your setup then you can instantly recall it whenever you want. If you happen to have a favorite piano sound out of the 10 total pianos sounds in the CA58 and you also have a favorite key to play it in that you want to electronically transpose it to, and you maybe want to layer a beautiful concert string symphony  sound with that stereo grand piano and you want to have the piano always come up that way when you power up the piano, then you can do that. Kawai has what is known as a "power-up" memory mode where you can save your most favorite setting, regardless of what sounds(s) you want it to be, and then every time you turn on the piano, that sound will come up. This great for people who have a favorite piano sound or just love to use a layered sound often and you prefer the piano to be that way each time it powers up. It's a cool feature and on that can definitely be useful.

photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano
The CA58 has some impressive recording functions for people who want to do recording of their music which can be useful if you are a beginner student and want to hear how you're doing on your piano practice independently for both left & right hand practice or if you are an advanced player and want to make a serious digital audio recording of your music or composition. There is a standard 2-track MIDI recorder for left & right hand recording and playback and uses MIDI instrument format to record the sounds in the piano to playback your song. You can record one sound or layer or spilt 2 sounds and that's the most you can do in the MIDI format. You cannot take that recording off the CA58 and play it on an external device and expect it to sound like it does in the CA58, because it won't do that. The more authentic photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano sound recording and playback are audio files and the CA58 has both formats...uncompressed wav file recording and also compressed MP3 recording (iTune type audio files). Most digital pianos that have audio file recording and playback capabilities are limited to 1-track or just a one time recording with whatever sounds you choose from your digital piano. The CA58 also has "over-dub" recording capabilities for the audio file recording so that you can layer a new recording(s) with the same sound or another instrument sound on top of the first recording (and so on) to create your own personal arrangement or multi-track  recording. This is a really cool feature and one that can add additional authenticity to your music, and once you are done doing the recording you can save it to a USB thumb-drive for storage and later playback. Using the recording features is fairly intuitive and you can see what's going on within the user LCD display on the piano. Beyond the sounds that are in the CA58 for you to use in your recordings, you can also import other instrument sounds and effects from external devices through the stereo audio input of the CA58 and trigger those sounds while you play the CA58 keys and hear what is coming into the CA58 through the internal speaker system of the CA58. You can then record any of those "outside" sounds into your CA58 audio recording and make them a part of your song. That is pretty sophisticated technology and removes the limitations that many other digital pianos would have in terms of recording and playback flexibility. The CA58 does not have a full-blown 16-track MIDI recorder like a few other brands do, but the 16-track type of recorder is limited to only the sounds within that piano and those sounds and then when you have made that recording you cannot export it to another device and have it sound the same, because it won't. With audio song files you can play them on any audio wav or MP3 song player (computer, iPhone, iPad, Andoid, etc) and they will play and sound the same as they do on the CA58.

photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano On Kawai certain digital piano models they have had included a special proprietary fun educational learning system for many years that has been great for beginner students and for people who may play the piano but just want to have some added musical enjoyment. This exclusive feature is called Concert Magic it is designed to let a person (even with no piano playing experience whatsoever) play along with familiar songs that are built into the CA58, but in a way which offers extensive rhythm and timing training while not having to play the "correct notes" for those songs to sound good. In other words...you can be a bad player but still sound good! In the basic learning mode of the Concert Magic system, a person can play any key on the keyboard and get the correct left hand chord and the correct right hand note of the chosen song...all by pressing one note at a time anywhere on the keyboard, sounds a bit silly but it photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano works and helps non-players understand what timing and rhythm is all about. The point is to press the key(s) in a steady constant beat beat without having to worry about playing the right note or even at the right time. When you can play any note on the keyboard in a constant fashion and have the song sound correct and be recognizable (hearing both left and right hand notes come out in the one key you are pressing, then that encourages you to want to play more because it sounds so good! You can also learn to play the key photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano in the correct rhythm time so that it (the beat) comes out correctly and still not have to know the actual notes of the song yet. This takes a bit of getting used to, but once you do its super fun and it makes even 2 year old children sound good and it's fun for the entire family. There are 176 different well known songs from different eras and music categories within the Concert Magic Music Library along with different modes of learning including Easy Beat, Melody Play, and Skillful. I have played with this Concert Magic photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano feature a number of times on a variety of Kawai digital pianos and I always have fun doing it. So whether you are an adult or child beginner or a more advanced piano player like me, I guarantee you'll have great fun using the Concert Magic system and you'll be especially impressed in how interactive you can be with the song library in making creating a fun learning environment for your family while you learn the fundamentals of rhythm & timing in a way that no other digital piano brand can do. I know that not everyone will want to use this feature, especially if you are purchasing the piano to play in a regular way and you already know how to play. But for a lot of people, especially children, I believe you will enjoy this Concert Magic feature quite a bit. Also, when it comes to rhythm and timing and learning more about it (which as a long-time piano teacher I consider very important), most digital pianos like the CA58 have a digital metronome built in that helps you count out the beat and gives you a variety of beats/time signatures to choose from so that you can follow it and count more accurately. Digital metronomes are very useful and necessary in my opinion. However, drum rhythm patterns like real drummers would play also help with learning rhythm & timing in a more "real-world" way because drummers play actual musical style such as jazz, waltz, rock, pop, Latin, country, blues, big band, swing, ballad, march, etc. The CA58 not only has a variety of metronome settings but it also has 100 fairly realistic drum rhythm patterns/styles such as the ones I mentioned and variations of them that make playing your piano lessons (and songs in general) a lot more fun. You can control the volume and tempo of those drum rhythm styles so they fit in with your music better. They really do help you play "with the beat" so that you could eventually successfully play along with a real drummer...perhaps in a band or orchestra or just when playing the CA58.

photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano
In addition to those learning functions, Kawai also has built-in piano lesson songs in the CA58 which are derived from well known piano lesson curriculum that teachers use all over the country. So what you can do is purchase the actual lesson books at a music store for these piano lesson songs and then when you are learning to play piano, you can actually hear the songs live on the CA58 as well as slow down the tempo of those songs while you're learning and practicing them, and also listen to the left hand and photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano right hand parts separately so you can better understand what is actually going on. It's a very cool feature and extends over to a number of lesson books that teacher's use and this system is found only in Kawai digital pianos. The lesson songbooks and curriculum included in the CA58 include the following: Burgmüller 25 (25 Etudes Faciles, Opus 100)Czerny 30 (Etudes de Mécanisme, Opus 849), Czerny 100 (Hundert Übungsstücke, Opus 139)Beyer 106 (Vorschule imKlavierspiel, Opus 101)J.S. Bach: Inventionen, photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano Sonatinen Album 1, Chopin Walzer (Chopin waltzes series), Alfred’s Premier Piano Course Lesson 1A, Alfred’s Premier Piano Course Lesson 1B, Alfred’s Basic Piano Library Lesson Book Level 1A, Alfred’s Basic Piano Library Lesson Book Level 1B, Alfred’s Basic Adult Piano Course Lesson Book Level 1. I think that some people will take advantage of these hundreds of songs, especially if they are taking lessons from a teacher who uses some or all of these lesson and songbooks. But regardless, it's a cool feature that if taken advantage of can be a big help in hearing the song and playing along with it when you have that music as opposed to only having the music and books but not necessarily understanding what that song sounds like or the way it really moves. This type of things also can train "the ear" to better recognize musical patterns in a song by listening to the song in real-time and this CA58 feature can go a long way in helping you understand what it's like to also "play by ear" which is a great thing to learn with the help of the Kawai CA58.

photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano
The connectivity inputs and outputs of the CA58 is fairly extensive and definitely an upgrade from the lower price model Kawai CA48. The features include USB MIDI output, USB flashdrive input, Standard MIDI input and output, two 1/4" photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano line out audio jacks with volume control knob, 1/8" stereo line input jack with volume control knob, 1/4" and 1/8" stereo headphone jacks, and Bluetooth MIDI wireless connectivity. There are different Bluetooth types of connectivity on digital pianos and the CA58 has Bluetooth MIDI and not Bluetooth audio. Bluetooth audio wireless is when you can stream songs from an external song library in your device (iPhone, iPad, Android, etc) to hear that music come through the speakers of the digital piano. The photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano CA58 cannot do that but you could add that capability by purchasing an optional Bluetooth audio receiver and plugging it into the MIDI ports of the CA58 and then the piano will receive a Bluetooth audio signal from an external device. The Bluetooth photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano MIDI wireless connectivity is so you can wirelessly connect with your iPad and use the Kawai proprietary apps called Virtual Technician and Sound Museum to control some aspects of the piano and control them from the color touch screen of your device. This a cool feature so that you would not need a special cable to do that connection. However, you could also get a special USB to device cable and plug in your external device to the piano USB port so that you could connect with your device and use those apps in that way...so you would not necessary have to use the Bluetooth MIDI if you did not want to or for some reason the Bluetooth wireless wasn't connecting properly. There are other USB apps available in the app store which lets you connect with some cool interactive piano lessons and other things these apps can let you do. So when it comes to how you can connect with this Kawai CA58 piano, overall it does a very good job and if you need more connectivity, as I mentioned, you can add it later in a few different ways.

photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano
Every digital piano out there should have an adequate internal speaker system and the CA58 is no exception. In this price range the audio power should be at least 100 watts and have 4 internal speakers. Sometimes there are 2 power amplifiers powering the speakers and sometimes there are 4 separate amplifiers, one for each speaker. The CA58 has a total of 100 watts of audio power powered by two 50 watt amplifiers all going through 4 speakers. Two of those four speakers are larger than most of the other digital pianos in this price range that have 4 speakers so coupled with the 100 watts of audio power and 4 higher quality larger speakers, there is plenty of volume that comes out of this model and very good bass response, even at lower volume levels. photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano So in terms of the speaker system pushing out a healthy amount of sound, it does a good job although I would have preferred to see 4 amplifiers in this model instead of two, but it works fine and still sounds good. There is a speaker projection grill just to back of the piano top which allows the sound to come up and out of the top back of the piano. This is a cool feature which I have not seen on any other brand of piano in this price range. The sound coming through stereo headphones is also powerful and can be adjusted from the piano for the 'stereo field" of the headphones as far as how you hear it and the projection of that sound all around your ears. Kawai calls that feature "spatial headphone sound" and it can make a big (positive) difference in your piano playing experience when using a good pair of stereo headphones. I like the way Kawai implemented this virtual spatial technology in enhancing the headphone piano listening experience.

photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano
The Kawai CA58 cabinet is attractive and well designed with nice geometric lines and curves that give it a bit of subtle elegance without looking boxy and old. The cabinet finishes are well done and come in satin (matte) black, dark black rosewood, and satin white along with a standard size matching padded benches with music storage. The cabinet finishes have a bit of a "sheen" to them but they are not the glossy polished finishes available in other models. The key covers in this model work nicely sliding back and forth to cover up the keys and the music racks that support the sheet music are adjustable, can even lay flat if needed, photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano and they work well. The measurements of the cabinet are 57" wide x 18" deep x 36" tall with the music rack folded down so it is overall fairly compact for what it is. The weight of the piano fully assembled is 161 lbs such there is some substantial weight to it without being too heavy. The piano is fairly easy to assemble and there are assembly videos on-line to show you how to do it. Personally after my own experience playing the Kawai CA58 for many hours, there is a lot to like about and very little to dislike. The piano sound chip is amazing given the price range of this piano, the pedals work and respond well, and most importantly the key action photo of Kawai CA58 digital piano is absolutely superior in every way as compared to all the other major brands out there in this price range and even beyond this price range. When you put this all together and add a competent internal speaker system, some impressive and usable digital features, great connectivity all put into a very nice looking cabinet, this piano is a real winner. Kawai offers a 5-year parts and labor warranty with in home service on this model so it is well protected. In fact, I doubt you would ever need to use this warranty because judging from what I know so far, this model has had virtually no issues in terms of operation or cabinet and should last for many, many years. I certainly would recommend this piano over just about any other model out there to anyone wanting an "upscale" digital piano without moving up much over $3000 to the $4000 range and beyond that. These pianos are available in local Kawai piano stores in the US and also at a couple of on-line internet dealers as well. But before you buy anywhere please contact me as I can show you how you may be able to purchase for even less than internet or store price including free shipping, no tax, brand new, and this is true of many other brands and models of digital pianos.

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

2 comments:

  1. Hello,

    Thank you very much for your comprehensive reviews.

    I was to buy the Yamaha CLP645 piano when I checked your review of the Kawai CA58.

    To me the touch is good in both pianos. Would you recommamd to buy the Kawai piano instead?

    ReplyDelete
  2. how does this compare to key action of CA48? is it a significant upgrade?

    ReplyDelete