Kawai digital piano model CN33 review.

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The Kawai digital piano model CN 33 is just one of many excellent instruments manufactured by the 80 year old Kawai company.


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Not only has the sound of the authentic piano been captured, on the Kawai digital piano but also the touch, key weight and expression of the best of acoustic pianos. This guarantees both listening and playing pleasure without the size, weight and noise restrictions of an acoustic instrument.

I had a chance to play the CN33 for a good long time as I had a weekend gig at a small restaurant that had one in the dining room.

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Tone Quality

In my opinion the piano sound was excellent in tone quality from the lowest to the highest notes. The sample comes from the Kawai 9 foot EX grand piano. All 88 notes are individually sampled at different volume levels to give realistic tone both when played softly or fortissimo. Many digital pianos of lesser quality sample one note and then stretch it over a few notes.

Touch and feel.

Another thing I really liked about the CN33 is the "touch" or "feel" of the keys. Having a realistic feel can be important to someone who is used to regular acoustic piano action. This instrument uses a really neat and innovative system of “hammer grading” in which the weights of the hammers mirror the heavier bass hammers and lighter treble hammers of an acoustic piano. This is a feature that I have yet to find in a digital piano in this price range.

Extra sounds.

The Kawai CN33 has 36 different sounds and my favorites are the Grand piano, strings, and some of the modern electric piano sounds. It also had a pretty realistic Hammond Organ sound complete with the rotary "leslie" speaker sound. You can assign one of the three pedals to go from slow to fast. I just don't like playing organ on a piano keyboard. The rest of the sounds were "okay" if you can find a place to use them. The pipe organ sound is pretty good as well if you are considering this instrument for a church.

Other interesting features.

I really lied the fact that there is a slider switch on the control panel to adjust the volume levels between layered sounds. I use piano and strings a lot and on some instruments you have to adjust each sound individually and cannot change the levels without stopping and pressing several buttons.

There is the obligatory 15,000 note two track, 3 song, sequencer which can be a good learning aid and can be fun as well.

USB to Device

The CN33’s USB to Device capability allows for the storage of performances to USB memory devices like a flash drive. You can play previously recorded performances and MIDI files from USB.

There are a few gimmicky features like concert magic and the Alfred lessons which are things that are more geared to less serious students.

Two headphone jacks are provided and that is useful for teachers and parents that want to listen in with out disturbing others.

If there is a down side in my opinion it is the speaker system. While the piano sounds good sitting in front of it, as you move away from the front the sound dissipates.

Value for the price.

The Kawai CN33 digital piano has a suggested retail price of $2,795. but I have seen it as low as $2,199. on sale. Excellent value for the money!

Check out this video demo!

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After checking out dozens of home study courses that teach you to play by ear and focus on chord progressions I am convinced that the folks at Hear and Play have the best, most well rounded program available for just about all styles of music from Gospel to Jazz. Read my review or visit Hear and Play for more information.

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