The Kawai ES8 is a digital piano produced in 2016 but later a re-releasing in 2019 after minor improvements on the original ES8 keyboard. Es8 is one of the best digital pianos liked in the market.
Special features make the piano accessible. The RHIII action with a let-off simulation and triple sensor, the speaker systems are unique and are highly efficient. The keyboard is also lovely by its special gloss black finishing.
Other unique features that rank it best are the best designer stands, a world-class tone generator, and onboard accompaniment styles. ES8 is a first digital piano that well equips any musical occasions, in the studio, in the pulpit, or even your home.
An Overview of Kawai ES8 Digital Piano
Kawai ES8 Specs
- An authentic 88 key great-sounding digital piano for any occasions
- Weighted action: RHIII Graded-Hammer Action
- Sound: Harmonic Imaging XL & Captured from Kawai SK-EX Concert Grand Piano
- Touch sensitivity: 6 levels and off
- Polyphony: 256 notes
- Voices: 34 Exceptional Instrument Sounds
- Modes: Dual, Split, Four Hands
- Recording Function: Built-in 2-track recorder
- Sound effects: 6 types of Reverb, 11 types + 4 combination effects + amp simulator
- Metronome: Built-in Metronome
- Connections: USB to Host, USB to Device, Line In/Out, MIDI In/Out, 2 Headphone Jacks
- Speakers: (8 x 12) cm x 2
- Amplifiers: 6 W x 2
- Weight: 49 lbs
- Dimensions: 54″ wide x 14-1/2” deep x 6” high
- Accessories: AC Adaptor, F-10H Damper Pedal, Music Rest, Warranty Card
General Review of Kawai ES8 Digital Piano
- Number of keys: 88 Key
- Action: Graded-hammer
- Key size: Full
- Aftertouch / Velocity: Velocity Sensitive
ES8 piano has a harmonic imaging chipset. The chipset feature technology ensures the sound from the keyboard if real and fancy. The sound of the ES8 digital piano brightens more with volume build-up. Compared to other pianos in the market, ES8 stands to produce a competitive tone.
ES8 continues to stand out as the best piano in sound production because also of the 256-note polyphony feature. The feature ensures that the digital piano does not run out of 256, even if you are running through a MIDI triggered accompaniment track. The sound remains fancy and precise.
The speakers’ system boxes have been designed for super efficiency. A piano is a self-contained unit with two-way speakers inside the box. Air inlets are also equipped at the bottom of the keyboard, and you can quickly view them.
RHIII is the responsive keyboard action of the ES8 piano. The RHIII enables the piano to have a triple sensor system. The triple sensor is best, especially if you are using the keyboard for recording songs or production. The system allows you to have minimal editing of velocity when recording, to save on time.
The piano allows you to get into the sound system and edit any parameter. Like hammer sound, how much the piano lid should be opened, damper resonance, string resonance, key-off sounds, and many others.
ES8 digital piano has a 2-track recorder that allows you to directly record USB audio into MP3 when the USB key has been plugged in. The sound recorded on USB may be of high quality and more precise.
ES8 also has a discrete audio line out where you can run into an amplifier or a PA system without affecting the speakers.
Main Features of Kawai ES8 Digital Piano
Kawai ES8 digital piano comes with a harmonic imaging XL sound engine, which is the most advanced sound chip of Kawai Company. The harmonic imaging is found at the end of the piano as CA-98 and CA-78.
Additionally, it’s equipped with 256-note polyphony, which is the maximum sound note you can get in a keyboard. The 256 allows you to hear the loudest sound without cutting off notes or voice stealing.
The 2 x 15W onboard speakers deliver a beautiful sound. The speakers ensure that the music remains clear and best, even at maximum volume. Individual settings on the keyboard called Wall EQ automatically optimizes the sound of the piano regardless of the position.
The RHIII responsive hammer action with a let-off simulation is the most effective plastic essential action best in the market today. The RHIII uses different hammers that produce mechanical movement found on a digital piano.
RHIII action also enables a triple sensor for capturing every keystroke and facilitates the playing of fast trills and passages with lots of note repetition. The system allows you to play a note repetitively, even if the key has not returned to resting position.
Kawai ES8 has a keyboard with ivory touch keytops. The keys are touch-sensitive, and they respond differently depending on how soft or hard you play the keys. The manual also has six preset touch sensitivity settings that allow for the adjustment of the keys’ sensitivity to suit your playing preferences.
MIDI and Audio Recorder
The onboard MIDI recorder enables you to record and store in MIDI format up to 10 songs. For every song, you can record two tracks separately, which can then be played as one track.
Besides, you can also record the audio or sounds and save on a USB flash drive. You can easily record clear sounds without actually requiring to have additional equipment. The two formats available for audio recording are mp3, 192 Kbit/s, and WAV 1,411 Kbit/s.
Three Keyboard Modes
ES8 has three keyboard modes with particular parameters you can rarely find on other digital pianos. Dual-mode allows you to lay together any of the two 34 voices and play as a single and complex tone. The mode also enables you to achieve excellent results by combining piano with an organ sound or strings.
Split mode allows you to divide the keyboard into two sections, assigning each different section tones. For example, you can decide to play the piano with your right and bass tone with your left hand.
Four hand mode is fundamental in a class when performing piano duets. When you enable the four-hand way, the keyboard will split into two sections with similar playing ranges. And each section will have its middle C and the same octave range.
16 x 2 LCD Screen
The LCD screen displays all the information on the currently selected sounds, style, and other parameters. In addition to LCD, the piano has a LED indicator that lights up when you choose a sound form or a function. The indication helps you to figure out which settings are in use.
The virtual technician feature allows you to tailor the sounds of the selected tone. You can adjust to get an exact sound you require using the following parameters.
The keyboard touch curve allows you to adjust the touch sensitivity of the keyboard to suit your playing preferences using six preset settings, including heavy, normal, and light.
Voicing setting allows you to change the tonal character for any music genre. Damper resonance occurs when you play with the sustain pedal depressed, allowing the strings to vibrate, providing a natural sound. Damper noise, which occurs when you press and releases sustain pedals.
Other parameters for virtual technician sound settings include key-off effect, string resonance, fallback noise, hammer delay, top board decay time, temperament, minimum, touch, and stretch tuning.
Kawai ES8 Bundle
Kawai ES8 comes with accessories like the owner’s manual, which explains and shows you the warranty and how to assemble the piano, F-10H sustain pedal, AC power adapter for connection to a power source, and music rest.
The bundle is to boost and ensure 100% workability of the machine when playing.
Stand and Pedals
The sustain pedals are of high quality, which feels similar to a real piano pedal. The pedal supports half-pedal operation to allow you to control better the amount of sustain to apply.
The stand comes with a music rest with a glass-like look. Both the stand and the pedal are costly. When purchasing, try and look for a portable position for easy mobility.
The bag comes with the piano to help you when moving around and during transportation. Mostly Gator keyboard bags are the best because of the durable nylon material and padded straps to hold the piano.
Headphones are convenient, especially if you would like to have a private practice. You are solely concentrating on your playing without interrupting other people around. A good headphone helps you get a clear and more comprehensive sound compared to onboard speakers’ sound.
Kawai ES8 Digital Piano Review
Kawai ES8 Overall Score: 8.2/10
- Great for both stage and home use
- Virtual technician feature with fifteen adjustable parameters
- Harmonic Imaging XL sound engine
- 256-note polyphony
- RHIII action keyboard with let-off simulation
- Powerful recording features
Watch out for
- No Bluetooth connectivity
- Not many in-built sounds
Kawai ES8 vs. ES100 Digital Piano
ES100 weighs about 33 pounds, which makes it easy to carry. The piano got a few technologies that were later improved on the ES110 model. The techniques include advanced hammer action that ensures a feeling of the real piano sound is produced.
The piano also has inclusive piano lessons. The lessons would assist you in sharpening your keyboard playing skills.
Main Features of Kawai ES100 Digital Piano
1. Tone – Kawai ES100 uses the harmonic imaging sound engine technology, with a 88 essential piano sampling for an effective and clear piano sound.
2. Keyboard – The keyboard of ES100 has 88 weighted keys. The modes in the manual are only the dual modes and slip modes. Compared to ES8, which has three modes, including dual, split, and four-hand modes.
3. Voice Settings – ES100 has six-voice settings, including temperament, fall back noise, damper noise, damper resonance, voicing, and touch curve to set the play note to your preferred voice. Compared to ES8, which has 15 voice settings.
The additional settings are advanced to make ES8 more potent than its predecessors. Other configurations are key-off effect, string resonance, hammer delay, top board decay time, minimum touch, and stretch tuning.
4. Connection – ES100 comes with a midi jack to help in connecting with other musical instruments and computers. In addition to that, two headphone jacks are also available to enable you to listen to the sound.
5. Song Recorder – ES100 has an in-built three-song recorder. The recorder is ideal for evaluating yourself and capturing an inspirational moment. Compared to ES8, which has a midi and USB recorder of up to 10 songs. Es8 allows you to record ten songs and stores in the USB drive disc.
6. Note Polyphony – ES100 has 192 note polyphony compared to ES8, which has a maximum sound at 256 note polyphony. Meaning the ES8 cannot run out of 256 music, unlike the ES100, which has less.
7. Memory Function – The ES100 has an inbuilt memory function used to save your favorite settings and sounds for faster recalling at any time you want to use the machine. Contrary to es8 which has no these memory function features, but rather an LCD screen to display all chosen settings
Pros of ES100
- ES100 digital piano is moderate in price
- It has an easy to use interface
- Light in weight hence easy to transport
- It does not come with a music rest
Cons of ES100
- ES100 has a relatively limited range of functions
- The sound quality of tones lacks a little bit
The Kawai ES8 digital piano is a machine that any other person can admire to have. The weighted features make it useful and most appealing in the market. The keyboard has been improved technologically by Kawai manufacturers to meet the needs of many people.
The improvement of sound and tone, recording and production ability of songs, display of settings on the LCD screen, use of sustain pedal, voice settings, and recording of many songs makes ES8 digital piano continue appearing among the top keyboards currently in the market.
The ES8 might be quite expensive in the market, but you can never regret purchasing it because the functionality is so impressive, and you can adjust your preferences using the settings available.