Value and Quality
Jul 1, 2001 (Updated Jul 1, 2001)
Review by NewsView
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Natural upright acoustic piano sound and feel.
Cons:Keys produce a thumping sound which may be undesirable.
The Bottom Line: Nearly all teachers or students will appreciate the realistic sound and value of Kawai. As with any digital device, Kawai recommends a surge protector (in the $10+ range).
Recommend this product?
When searching for a digital piano in 1997, the PN series was a relatively new offering by Kawai.
Both the PN-70 and PN-300 feature 88 weighted keys, natural action, the warmth of an upright and the subdued (not overly bright) tone of a finely tuned acoustic piano.
The PN-300, being slightly more desirable than the PN-70, ultimately won out due to the presence of a complete 3-pedal complement and better overall tone and aesthetics.
In four years this piano has continued to work well. The finish is another matter. One must be very careful because scratches appear white on the brown (almost black) walnut laminate.
The tone, as my music-major-honors-graduate piano instructor stated, "Is better than my Yamaha [acoustic upright]."
Because the PN-series is digital, there's never a need for tuning and the volume can be adjusted to avoid disturbing others.
The PN-300 features dual headphone inputs so teacher and student can work in tandem, the unit also includes two built -in speakers for normal listening. At 130 lbs., it is not portable but neither is it unwieldy.
The digital sampling is superb as are the options for light, heavy and normal touch curve. Chorus and reverb settings, including normal, room, hall and stage, 32-note polyphony, the ability to record, transpose, adjust tempo, change temperaments and practice via a built-in metronome, round out the feature list.
In the bells-and-whistles category is a mode called "Concert Magic" which enables the player to belt out any one of the 88 or so pre-programmed classical and traditional songs, ranging from simple to complex, without musical notation. MIDI in, out and through hookups are also included. Last but not least is a choice between piano 1, piano 2, e-piano, church organ, harpsichord, vibraphone and strings. With exception of the strings, each sounds amazingly accurate due to the studio-grade instruments that Kawai has sampled. Finally, two sounds (in addition to chorus) can be blended for a unique effect.
Kawai corporate, in my experience throughout 4 years, has been responsive to all written and e-mail communication and is a reputable company with a long history building pianos of the acoustic and digital type. They're a great value for the money and the tonal quality has done nothing but improve with each successive generation. The only thing equivalent or better, depending on point of view, is the much more pricey Clavinova series by Yamaha.
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