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Kawai KDP80 Reviews

Graham Howard, Piano Advisor
"The following reviews are from owners of the Kawai KDP80. The most
recent review is at the bottom of this page", Graham Howard, Piano Advisor

1) "I am very happy with my new Kawai KDP80 digital piano"

Your advice from your website was useful as I researched the subject. I had started out looking for a used digital piano, but as I tried them out, I gravitated towards a new one, not only to get the newer technology, but more authentic sound.
I tried both a 10-yr old and a brand new Clavinova, the Kawais, a very nice Roland RP301, and a Casio Cleviano. The Roland, with its concert grand having been recorded from a Steinway concert grand, was really nice, but the Kawai shone, with its concert grand recorded from a 9-ft Kawai concert grand. I used to own a Yamaha G1 baby grand acoustic piano, and the Kawai's touch was remarkably realistic. The acoustic resonance was a feature, and the graduated key weight effect very good. It was the only one I played that had total consistency of touch throughout the entire keyboard.
I was not looking for a lot of "bells and whistles" so the 15 voices provided were more than adequate for my living room. The sound through headphones is exactly the same as for models costing much more, since the speaker size is irrelevant then.

Review by Barry Birkett, Ottowa/Orleans, Canada (13/12/2011)

2) "I was so impressed with the KDP80"

Thank you very much for your excellent guidance and website. In the end I chose a Kawai KDP80, which oddly was the cheapest but I thought sounded best in the range of our budget. I would have bought a more expensive model but was so impressed with the KDP80 I let my ears choose for me. We are all extremely pleased with it and the sound is wonderful.

I bought it for our children, 6 and 8 who are studying Grade 1 and have had to make do at home with a simple keyboard with no sensitivity or hammer action until now. I'm trying to follow them so am a complete beginner but was musical at school.

We visited your shop as initially I was going to purchase the Classenti CDP1 or CDP2. Thank you for your patience and help and for allowing us to spend so much time there just playing on each piano. After a while my beginner's ears began to hear the difference between models and then we moved onto the acoustic pianos you have in order to compare the hammer action of the keys.

Those Classenti acoustic pianos were incredible! They had so much character that we had smiles breaking out on our faces just playing one note. I think I fell in love with their wonderful sound and hope one day I can buy a 'real' piano.

Unfortunately the one available spot in our small flat is just too narrow and we can only fit in a digital one for now.

My son couldn't be persuaded to like the Classenti digital CDP1 at the time and both of us found the keyboard hard work for our weak fingers.

I then tried the Yamaha YDP 141 and 161 in another shop closer to home and went back 3 times to try both with and without headphones. Although the sound was adequate it didn't move me much, and even when I pounded the keys it still had a muffled quality. The Classenti also sounded slightly muffled on the day I tried it. Perhaps it's the room, or my weak fingers?

By chance I noticed just one digital model in Jaques Samuel on Edgware road near where we live and I went in to try. Immediately I liked the sound, which was very clear and loud even with the volume on half. It did move me this time. I tried again on another occasion and had to choose this one (the KDP80) as it sounded too good. This despite knowing I "should" be preferring the Classenti or Yamahas. I would have paid their higher price if I had felt they sounded better, or if I could have detected a better keyboard feel.

The Kawai won on secondary features too. It has a sliding keyboard cover, which the CDP1 does not and each of its 15 voices sound pleasant and useful whereas the Yamaha voices did not. My wife likes the classic appearance and the dark rose wood colour was less 'red' than the Yamaha and looks smarter.

It doesn't have a USB port, but does have MIDI IN and OUT. The two stereo jacks are further back than with the Yamaha but I can live with that.

It being digital the 'gimmicks' are fun. The 'Concert Magic' feature let's you bash out many well known tunes with the correct note played no matter which key you hit. A gimmick yes, but also an inspiration for the novice player too. It can record what we play but only one track and one song but that is enough.

I delivered it myself, hiring a Zipvan for£10 for one hour. The 50Kg box definitely needed two of us and gardening
gloves to handle and again both of us were required to lift the main unit onto the legs in the final assembly step,
although it is lighter than most models.

We're all thrilled with it and I'm glad I let my ears choose.

Review by Andrew Temple, London, UK (16/01/2012)

3) "It is worth the price"

The Kawai KDP-80 is a great sounding piano which has many features and functions that enable the piano to be played thoroughly.  The internal sounds are realistic which includes upright piano, grand piano, church organ, harpsichord and other sounds such as strings and you can record on the piano to hear what you sound like.  The recording function is a useful feature as it enables you to write down any compositions you have just created by playing the music saved on the piano. 

It is worth the price and I am sure that if anyone considers buying this model it will certainly give them hours if not years of pleasure. It has also personally renewed my appreciation for piano music.
Review by Andrej (31/03/2012)

4) "Keyboard was OK but nothing special"

This was an ex-demo and I reckon it had been demo'd in Afghanistan, what a mess. I'd have been embarrassed to sell this. It was way overpriced IMO and not for me.

Ignoring it's condition, sound thru speakers was best of all piano's (but less impressive thru headphones).

Keyboard was OK but nothing special and the build had an overall quality feel to it.

The unit looked great, very minimalist however this was it's ultimate downfall. How can you operate this piano without referring to the manual? Push this button, together with that one whilst holding down the other? Intuative it was not. The display was equally confusing. An LED displaying numbers is useless unless you know what those numbers represent.

The 13 year old Technics I sold was vastly superior in everyway to this Kawai, I wouldn't have bought the Kawai for£799 brand new. It did however have best positioned headphone sockets – every manufacturer should take note.

Review by Ron Martin (19/01/2013)

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