New Digital Pianos at NAMM 2018

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This year’s winter NAMM show has just finished. This is the world’s biggest musical instrument trade fair, and here most manufacturers show off some of the instruments they will be releasing throughout the forthcoming year.

The following is a brief summary of the new digital pianos that were announced at this year’s show.

CASIO Computer Co. Ltd

Casio Celviano AP-490 Digital Piano

Casio Celviano AP-470 Digital Piano

Casio unveiled the Celviano AP-470 on their stand. This cabinet style digital piano replaces the AP-460 and features two main preset timbres… a classical grand and a jazz/pop grand. Casio’s sound engine is known as the Multi-dimensional Morphing Air Sound Source, and offers 256 note polyphony.

Casio say they have improved their String Resonance and Hammer Response technologies with this model, resulting a more responsive and natural sound. The action has three sensors per key. These help reproduce authentic attack-phase timings of acoustic pianos.

The AP-470 sits in the middle of the Celviano range, and features a 20W stereo amplifier with 2x12cm and 2x4cm speakers. It offers iOS/Android connectivity in conjunction with the Chordana Play app.

UK availability: March 2018
UK price: £1,099.99
US price/availability: tbc
More information: Casio Celviano AP-470


ROLAND Corporation

Roland GP609 Grand

Roland GP609 Digital Grand

Roland’s new piano is the GP609 Digital Grand. This uses Roland’s acclaimed SuperNATURAL Piano Modelling technology to give a rich natural acoustic piano timbre. This not only sounds like an acoustic instrument but also captures the aesthetic of a traditional piano. The lightweight but elegant design of the 6-foot case belies the fact that this is a digital instrument.

Roland have gone to great lengths to incorporate a multi-channel audio system that simulates the sound projection of the acoustic’s soundboard. Roland hope that this instrument will appeal to the domestic user, and be equally at home in larger venues, hotels, restaurants, etc. The GP609 offers Bluetooth connectivity to Roland’s Piano Partner 2 app.

US price/availability: tbc
More information: Roland GP609





NORD Keyboards 

Nord Electro 6

Nord Electro 6 HP Stage Piano

Clavia Digital Musical Instruments AB, the Swedish manufacturer of NORD Keyboards, have released three versions of the Electro 6 Stage Piano: (i) with a 73-note hammer action keyboard; (ii) with a 73-note semi-weighted keyboard; and (iii) the compact 61-note semi-weighted keyboard. The Electro 6 builds on the legacy of the Electro 5, and incorporates the latest grands, uprights, electric pianos and digital pianos from Nord’s impressive piano library.

Nord have enhanced their “Advanced String Resonance” technology, and also incorporated new dedicated piano filters. As with most other digital pianos the Electro 6 also features a wide range of acoustic, electro-mecahnical and abstract sounds.

US price/availability: tbc
More information: Nord Electro 6 Stage Piano


KORG

We have already taken a look at Korg’s new D1 digital piano.





YAMAHA Corporation

Yamaha CLP 695DG

Yamaha Clavinova CLP-695DG

Amongst countless other new products, the giant Yamaha Corporation revealed a new flagship Clavinova, the CLP-695GP, which they state, “combines an exquisite grand piano cabinet with state of the art technology to deliver unprecedented sound quality and luxury.”

The CLP-695GP recreates the sound of the Yamaha CFX and the Bösendorfer Imperial concert grands. The CFX’s sound is captured using a binaural sampling system, which, when experienced using headphones, is truly immersive.

The CLP-695GP has an impressive 300W sound system, and interestingly the Clavinova’s Spruce Cone speakers are made from the same wood used for Yamaha’s grand piano soundboards.

US price/availability: tbc
More information: Yamaha CLP-695GP


KAWAI Musical Instruments Manufacturing Co., Ltd

Kawai featured more new digital piano products than most other companies this year.

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The KDP110 digital piano is the replacement for the KDP90. It is “cabinet-styled” with many new features. These include the new Shigeru Kawai SK-EX piano sound (the SK-EX is Kawai’s flagship acoustic grand), and an improved keyboard action (the Responsive Hammmer Compact II system), which gives an improved response to lighter playing styles. The 40W amp/speaker system has been upgraded, and the KP110 connects to Kawai’s Virtual Technician app.

US price/availability: tbc
UK price:
£899.99.
More information: Kawai KDP110

Kawai announced the MP11SE and MP7E stage pianos back in October, but this is the first show at which they’ve made an appearance. These are professional instruments designed primarily for stage use (no onboard amplification/speaker).

More information: MP11SE and MP7E

The Kawai CA58 is the latest addition to the Concert Artist (CA) series. It combines the company’s new Grand Feel Compact wooden-key keyboard  with the Harmonic Imaging XL sound engine which again recreates the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX piano.

Kawai CA58

Kawai CA58 Digital Piano

The premium quality wooden cabinet houses the powerful 100W 4-speaker output system and this compliments the package. Connectivity to Kawai’s Virtual Technician app is also provided.

US price/availability: tbc
More information:
Kawai CA58


 

I will look at some of the other new piano related products from this year’s NAMM show in the next post.

 

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