- Authentic Responsive Hammer Compact II keyboard action
- Matte key surfaces, triple sensor hammer detection
- Progressive Harmonic Imaging sound engine with 88-key sampling
- Shigeru Kawai SK-EX and Kawai EX grand piano sounds
- Hardware developed in partnership w/Onkyo, 40W speaker system
- Integrated Bluetooth® MIDI and Audio wireless technology
- Standard MIDI, USB to Host/Device, Audio In/Out connectivity
- Spatial Headphone Sound for enhanced depth and realism
- Intuitive control panel layout with high quality OLED display
- Modern, lightweight case with matching stand and triple pedal unit
The Touch of a Grand Piano: Responsive Hammer Compact II keyboard action
The ES520’s Responsive Hammer Compact II (RHCII) keyboard action has been developed to represent the distinctive touch of an acoustic grand piano. Based on the highly-regarded RH keyboard action design, its spring-less technology and sturdy construction delivers consistent upward and downward motion for a smooth, natural, and highly authentic piano playing experience.
Acoustic piano key weighting
Just as acoustic pianos utilise heavier bass hammers and lighter treble hammers, the RHCII keyboard action also employs different hammer weights, appropriately graded for each playing range. Such details provide greater stability during fortissimo passages, while preserving delicate pianissimo control, to satisfy the demands of even the most discerning pianist.
More realistic & responsive
The Responsive Hammer Compact II keyboard action utilises an accurate triple-sensor key detection system for enhanced playing realism.
The added third sensor improves responsiveness when playing the same key repeatedly, and unlike conventional two sensor keyboard actions found in most portable pianos, allows the sound of a single note to be gradually ‘layered’ without the previous tone being lost.
In addition, Kawai’s action technology also monitors the speed at which each key is lifted, influencing the release character of piano sounds, and providing a greater range of expression between staccato and legato playing.
The Sound of a Grand Piano: Two world-class instruments
Earning a reputation as the ‘premier pianos of Japan’, Shigeru Kawai instruments grace the stages of concert halls and musical institutions throughout the world, and are prized for their outstanding tonal clarity and exceptional dynamic range.
The ES520 captures the magnificent tone of the flagship Shigeru Kawai SK-EX concert grand piano. This peerless instrument is hand-built by Master Piano Artisans at the Shigeru Kawai Piano Research Laboratory in Ryuyo, Japan, and widely regarded as one of the finest instruments in its class.
In addition, the ES520 also features the distinctive sound of Kawai’s highly acclaimed EX concert grand piano, which has been selected by professional pianists in such prestigious events as the Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and Rubinstein international piano competitions, among others.
Both the SK-EX and EX are faithfully reproduced with full 88-key sampling using advanced Harmonic Imaging™ sound technology, to establish a new standard in digital piano tonal quality, and allow musicians to appreciate the contrasting properties of each.
True character in every note
The rich, expressive sound of the SK-EX and EX concert grand pianos is at the heart of the ES520, with all eighty-eight keys of these world-class instruments painstakingly recorded, meticulously analysed, and accurately reproduced as high-fidelity digital waveforms.
Recording each key individually in this way – as opposed to stretching the same tone over several different notes – preserves the grand pianos’ unique harmonic character, and guarantees that the sound heard when playing any one of the ES520’s weighted keys is a faithful representation of the original acoustic source.
Rich, dynamic, expressive
When playing a fine piano, the amount of pressure applied to the keyboard affects not only the volume of the sound produced, but also the unique tonal character of each note. Therefore, in order to construct a realistic acoustic portrait of each grand piano, not only is each key recorded individually, but also at a wide variety of different volumes, ranging from gentle pianissimo to thunderous fortissimo.
The ES520 offers a highly detailed acoustic portrait, employing Kawai’s proprietary Progressive Harmonic Imaging sampling technology to ensure smooth tonal transitions across the keyboard and throughout the entire dynamic range.
Personalised piano enhancements
The knowledge and skill of an experienced piano technician is essential to bring out the best of a fine acoustic piano. In addition to tuning each note, the technician also performs numerous regulation and voicing adjustments that allow the instrument to truly sing.
The ES520’s powerful Virtual Technician function simulates these refinements digitally, allowing discerning musicians to shape aspects of the selected piano’s character to suit their personal preferences.
Perform touch weight and voicing adjustments, regulate hammer and key release noises, and fine-tune string and damper resonances. It’s even possible to adjust the precise tuning, volume, and character of individual notes.
Studio quality effects & reverb
The ES520’s powerful digital effects engine enhances the instrument’s superior core sounds, applying additional layers of detail and realism that bring performances to life.
Tailor an instrument’s character and feeling with a range of studio quality chorus, tremolo, delay, and auto-pan effects. Add vintage warmth to electric pianos and trademark growl to drawbar organs using the dedicated Amp Sim speaker models.
Then adjust the instrument’s reverb controls to position yourself within one of six acoustic environments, ranging from a small practise room to an inspirational grand cathedral