Kawai ES100 Digital Piano Review

The Kawai ES100 digital piano is one of the best instruments in the brand’s ES-series. It is the first digital piano in the series to have 88-keys and weighted hammer action.

The keyboard action used here is known as the Advanced Hammer Action IV-F. Additionally, to effectively mimic the acoustic piano sound, the ES-100 uses Harmonic Imaging Sound Sampling Technology.

It has a maximum polyphony count of 192-notes that ensures none of the notes you play get immaturely clipped. The piano also has 19 preset voices and 100 drum rhythms, which allows you to enhance your expression.

Read on this Kawai ES-100 review to find out more about this digital piano.

Features of the Kawai ES100 Digital Piano

On the features section, we are going to tell you more about the Kawai ES100 specs, the design, keyboard playability, sound quality, and connectivity capabilities.

Specs

  • 88 Weighted Keys
  • Advanced Hammer Action IV-F (AHA IV-F)
  • Harmonic Imaging (HI), 88-key piano sampling
  • 18 Voices
  • Polyphony – 192 Notes
  • Keyboard Modes – Dual, Split (Volume Balance Adjustable)
  • Internal Recorder – 3 Song / 1-Track Recorder, Approximately 15,000 notes memory
  • Speaker System – (8 x 12 cm) x 2, 7 W x 2
  • Reverb: Room, Small Hall, Concert Hall
  • Settings – Touch Curve, Voicing, Damper Resonance, Damper Noise, Fall-back Noise, Temperament
  • Metronome – 1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, 3/8, 6/8, 7/8, 9/8, 12/8 (Volume/Tempo adjustable)
  • 100 Rhythms
  • 12 Sound Demo Songs
  • Other Functions: Transpose, Table EQ, Tuning, User Memory, Factory Reset, Split Balance, Dual Balance, MIDI Channel, Local Control, Transmit PGM#, Multi-timbral Mode, Auto Power Off, Speakers On/Off
  • Jacks – MIDI (IN/OUT), Damper (for F-10H), Headphone x 2
  • Included Acc. Music Rack, F-10H Damper Pedal (with half-pedal support), AC Adaptor, Owner’s Manual
  • Options – ES Bag (soft case w/casters), HML-1 Stand, F-350 Stand
  • Dimensions: 51.6″ (W) x 11.2″ (D) x 5.7″ (H)
  • Weight: 33 lbs.

Design

Kawai ES100

The Kawai ES100 88-key digital piano comes in a pretty lightweight chassis that weighs in at 33 pounds. The lightweight chassis makes this piano hassle-free to handle, considering that it is an 88-key instrument with Advanced Hammer Action.

Only a few digital pianos can include such features and still have a reasonable amount of weight. Its dimensions make the piano more convenient to fit into more compact spaces as well.

The piano’s interface consists of a clean look, with only the necessary buttons included. On the top part, you’ll find both the power switch and the volume slider. There are also buttons for Function, Lessons, and Play/Stop with an addition of three more buttons to switch between the built-in sounds of the ES100.

On the front panel, there is a slot for the music rest, and alongside are two powerful 7 Watts speakers. The Kawai ES100 digital piano is available in a stylish black finish.

Keyboard

The Kawai ES100 keyboard features both a responsive and realistic key action. It has weighed and graded keys that have a close feel and touch to those in acoustic pianos. Also, this piano comes with Kawai’s Advanced Hammer Action IV-F keyboard action.

The AHA IV-F is an earlier version of the brand’s top-of-the-line keyboard actions that now offers superior touch in entry-level Kawai digital pianos. Due to their smaller size/weight and lower cost, plastic key actions are found on Kawai digital pianos, where the instrument’s overall size, weight, or cost is a consideration.

However, Kawai individually sampled all notes of the 88 keys to give you the ultimate tone of the piano and at the most affordable price. Additionally, the heavier and lighter weight on opposite sides of the keyboard gives the piano a natural feel to aid learning pianists to adapt to the form needed when playing an acoustic. At the price range, we think the ES100 has one of the best-weighted actions in digital pianos.

Sound Quality

Kawai combines the Harmonic Imaging sound engine with the Advanced Hammer Action, and as a result, the ES100 lives up to expectation in its sound capabilities.

On top of that, this piano features 88-key piano sampling that creates impressive piano sound. Simply put, Harmonic Imaging is a blend of technology and techniques aimed at producing the most realistic recreation of Kawai’s 9-foot concert grand piano possible.

Each key on the Kawai ES100 digital piano has its unique tonal characteristics. Some have only one string, others two and still others three, for instance. There are also differences in hammer felt shape and density.

These and other factors create subtle differences in tone from one note to the next. By sampling and recreating each key individually (rather than “stretching” a smaller number of samples), the unique tonal character of each note is preserved.

There are 19 different sounds on this piano, with 8 of them being piano tones. Here’s how the sound library of the ES100 looks like:

  • Concert Grand, Studio Grand, Modern Piano, Rock Piano, etc.
  • 2 Organs
  • 3 Electric Pianos
  • Vibraphone
  • Harpsichord
  • 2 Bass Presets
  • 2 Strings

The piano’s polyphony count reaches a maximum of 192-notes, which is the highest value available at the Kawai ES100’s price range. Also, this piano comes with multiple sound effects that help you create more unique sounds.

There are the Reverb and EQ effects together with many more, which enable you to balance the sounds and alter the mellowness as well. Moreover, the ES100 comes with an easy to use 3-Song built-in Recorder, ideal for self-evaluation or capturing a moment of inspiration.

Connectivity

The piano comes with MIDI jacks useful for connecting with other musical instruments and computers, plus two headphone jacks that allow a teacher, parent, or duet partner to listen in.

One thing we loved about the ES100 is that it comes with a Damper Pedal. It is a solid piano-style pedal that also brings with it the half-pedal functionality. Since the pedal comes with the piano, you get to save on hundreds of bucks.

Extra Features

The ES100 features lesson songs from Alfred Publishing’s most popular first-year children’s method book.

There’s also the Kawai ES100 Metronome feature that comes with a variety of adjustable time signatures as well as tempos to make practicing sessions better.

The Kawai ES100 digital piano also comes with both the Dual and Split keyboard modes. With the Dual Mode, you can play two voices at a time while the Split Mode allows you to play on two halves of the keyboard.

Benefits of Owning the Kawai ES100

The ES100 is a portable digital piano and can be easily transported to and from gigs thanks to its lightweight feature.

Unlike its competitors, this digital piano cuts across two factors and makes it easy to use by either a beginner or an advanced player. Beginners can practice and compose on the ES100 with the help of either the 15,000 notes or the three-track recording option.

Also, with a polyphony count of 192-notes, the Kawai ES100 digital piano can facilitate any complex music piece that you may want to play.

The Graded Hammer action on this piano is one of the most realistic available within the same price range. It utilizes the company’s Advanced Hammer Action IV-F that provides a similar touch response like in acoustic pianos.

Reasons You Should Buy the Kawai ES100

Affordable – If you are looking for a budget-friendly digital piano that doesn’t sacrifice on top-quality, then the Kawai ES100 is the way to go. At a sub $1000 price tag, you can get this musical wonder and get on with your creative and enjoyable playability.

Excellent sound quality – The Kawai ES100 offers more than you can imagine in its sound department. It has eight piano tones together with other impressive instrument sounds that genuinely compliment the pianos sound library. Additionally, the keyboard uses the Harmonic Imaging sound engine that produces some of the most realistic sounds in a digital piano.

Lesson function – For beginners, Alfred Publishing’s lesson function enables you to set the needed foundation into becoming a pro pianist. The lesson function is a proven and trusted feature that has helped more than 6.5 million pianists gain the knowledge required to professionally this work of art.

Who Is the Kawai ES100 Built for?

As earlier pointed out, the ES100 has plenty of features that make it easy for any level of pianist. It is a sophisticated yet straightforward digital piano capable of being used by beginners and pro pianists as well.

The piano’s lightweight design amongst the keyboard action and sound capabilities makes it a quick choice for most out-gigging musicians. Other than that, novice players have the option of learning side by side with their instructors using the Split mode.

So, Kawai wanted to include both parties without biasing or hindering features that may be needed by any level of pianist.

Buyers Guide

In this section, we’ll look at various accessories that come with the Kawai ES100 as well as the piano’s warranty information.

So, the Kawai ES100 price is one of the factors that make this piano a much-admired one. Only a few moderately priced digital pianos come with the ES100 comes with. More interesting are the accessories you get when you purchase this digital piano.

The ES100 comes with an optional designer stand attaches to the bottom of the ES100 to create an elegant look suitable for any décor. Also included in the box is everything that you could ever need to facilitate a proper playing experience with this instrument.

You as well get 3 Year Parts and Labor Warranty on the Kawai ES100.

How to clean the Kawai ES100 Digital Piano

  • Take a small bowl and add some boiled and precooled water
  • Dampen a lint-free, soft, and clean fiber cloth in the solution
  • Make sure it slightly dampens and not soaking wet
  • Use the material to wipe back and forth on top of the keys and edges (do not wipe from side to side)
  • Using another cloth of the same attributes, wipe any moisture that left on top of the keys

Pros and Cons of the Kawai ES100

Before we conclude since we’ve already looked at the ES100’s essential features. Let’s summarize the information above and look at this piano’s pros and cons.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Fantastic keyboard action
  • High-quality sound engine
  • Portable
  • User-friendly interface and design
  • 192-note maximum polyphony
  • Alfred Publishing Lesson Function
  • 3-Song built-in Recorder

Cons

  • Lacks an LCD
  • Doesn’t have a USB port

Conclusion

In conclusion, we think that the Kawai ES100 digital piano offers more value than at the price it’s going for. The keyboard provides top-quality usability in a compact, lightweight chassis.

Suitable for both learners and professional pianists, the ES100 is an affordable digital piano with plenty of needed features to provide you with fantastic playing experience.

And after going through the in-depth review, you can confidently and vividly make your decision on purchasing the ES100.

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