- CS8 Ebony Polish
Impeccable touch, breathtaking sound, luxurious appearance.
Featuring Kawai's advanced Grand Feel II action with extended wooden keys, rich, expressive Shigeru Kawai grand piano sounds reproduced using Harmonic Imaging XL technology, and a handsome polished ebony cabinet, the CS8 is an exceptional instrument that plays as beautifully as it looks.
A digital piano that will transform enthusiastic players into accomplished pianists, and modest rooms into grand concert halls. This is the ambitious philosophy behind Classic Series pianos – premium instruments that capture the essence of playing a magnificent concert grand piano, and inspire musicians to realise their true artistic potential.
Embracing many of the long-established principles associated with an acoustic piano, the Grand Feel II keyboard action utilised by the CS8 combines realistic materials, motion, and mechanism to recreate the exceptional touch of the finest concert grand pianos.
All eighty-eight black and white keys are crafted entirely from long pieces of wood, with finely textured ivory and ebony-like surfaces applied to absorb moisture and assist control. Each wooden key pivots smoothly on a balance pin – the ends rising and falling to replicate the familiar ‘seesaw’ motion of an acoustic piano action. When pressed, the back of the key lifts, triggering a grade-weighted hammer to strike a pressure switch. The amount of force applied to this switch is then measured, and the corresponding note played with authentic tonal character and volume.
In addition to having the longest keys of any digital piano, Grand Feel keyboard actions also boast the longest key pivot length – matching that of a Kawai grand piano.
This improvement ensures a more evenly balanced key touch weight from front to rear, and is particularly beneficial when playing complicated chords with fingers positioned towards the back of the keyboard.
In addition to grade-weighted hammers, the Grand Feel II keyboard action also features graded counterweights attached towards the front of all 88 keys.
As with an acoustic piano, these finely balanced weights help to lighten the touch of the keyboard during pianissimo passages, while adding a feel of greater substance when playing with force.
The Grand Feel II keyboard action also features 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 stage 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 attractive CS8 features Kawai’s highly regarded Ivory Touch white key surfaces as standard. This finely textured material gently absorbs fingertip perspiration and oils to assist playing control, and possesses a natural, matte finish that is smooth but not slippery.
To complement these premium white keys, Kawai has also developed Ebony Touch, an all-new black key material that reproduces the finely-textured grain and rich lustre of real ebony wood. The result is a keyboard surface that looks and feels as luxurious as some of the world’s finest grand pianos, inspiring musicians of all levels to become better pianists.
As the most authentic digital piano keyboard action, Grand Feel II even reproduces the ‘let-off’ characteristic of acoustic piano actions. This subtle ‘notch’ sensation can be felt when playing the keys of a grand piano very gently, and may be used by experienced pianists to aid control when playing pianissimo passages.
In addition, the Grand Feel II action supports playing notes from the let-off point (sometimes referred to as playing ‘off the jack’), allowing the most advanced piano techniques to be performed.
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 new Classic Series models capture the magnificent tone of two Shigeru Kawai instruments, the flagship SK-EX Concert and medium-sized SK-5 Studio grand pianos, allowing musicians to enjoy the contrasting properties of each.
In addition, the CS8 also features the distinctive sound of Kawai’s highly acclaimed EX concert grand piano, which has frequently been selected by professional pianists in such prestigious events as the Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and Rubinstein international piano competitions, among others.
All three instruments are faithfully reproduced with full 88-key sampling using the latest Harmonic Imaging™ sound technology, to establish a new standard in digital piano tonal quality.
The rich sound of the SK-EX, SK-5, and EX grand pianos is at the heart of the CS8, 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 CS8’s wooden keys is a faithful representation of the original acoustic source.
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 CS8 offers a highly detailed acoustic portrait, with Harmonic Imaging XL technology ensuring smooth tonal transitions across the keyboard and throughout the entire dynamic range.
Taking full advantage of its expanded sample memory, the CS8’s Harmonic Imaging XL standard extends the important attack portion of the piano sound by up to 120%, articulating the natural detail and resonance characteristics of each note more clearly, and improving the instrument’s organic tonal quality.
Alongside the classically voiced SK-EX, SK-5, and EX grand piano sounds, the CS8 also showcases a selection of Jazz, Pop, and Modern variations suitable for a range of musical genres. Traditional Kawai upright piano sounds are also included, for pieces that suggest a feeling of nostalgia, or call for a slightly more intimate tonal character.
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 CS8’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, damper, and cabinet resonances. It is even possible to adjust the precise tuning, volume, and character of individual notes – all in real-time.
The latest Classic Series instruments feature high fidelity speaker systems that have been specially designed to deliver deep bass and crisp treble frequencies.
The high specification CS8 boasts an improved 6-speaker output system, with lower range frequencies delivered through the underside of the instrument, and mid and high frequencies projected outward via top-mounted and front-facing speakers. The result is a broad, resonating tone that closely mirrors the immersive sound field of a grand piano.
Complementing the instrument’s class-leading Grand Feel II keyboard action and stunning Harmonic Imaging XL grand piano sound, the CS8 also offers a strong selection of digital features that further enhance one’s musical enjoyment.
USB audio recording and playback, Dual, Split, and Four Hands keyboard modes, and a rich assortment of customisable instrument voices add greater variety to players’ performances, while the convenient metronome function and integrated classical etudes and Alfred course books ensure that regular practise is both productive and engaging for aspiring pianists.
Supplementing the beautiful acoustic piano voices, the CS8 also features an excellent selection of additional sounds, ranging from electric pianos and drawbar or church organs, to strings, human choirs, and synth pads, inviting musicians to add greater variety to their performances.
Furthermore, the Dual playing mode also allows two different sounds, such as grand piano and strings, to be layered together, while the Split and Four Hands modes divide the keyboard into two independent sections. The volume balances and other settings for each playing mode can also be easily adjusted using the instrument’s intuitive panel controls.
The Classic Series is equipped with modern USB connectors that not only allow the instrument to be connected to a computer for MIDI use, but also to load and save data to USB memory devices directly.
This latter USB to Device functionality allows favourite instrument settings, registrations, and memorable recorder songs stored within internal memory to be safely preserved on USB flash drives, or for standard MIDI files (SMF) downloaded from the internet to be played back and enjoyed using the instrument’s exquisite Harmonic Imaging XL sounds without additional hardware or cables.
USB memory devices can also be used to play back MP3 or WAV audio files, allowing musicians to learn the chords or melody for a new piece, or to simply play along with their favourite songs. It is even possible to record entire performances (including external line-in audio) directly as MP3 or WAV audio files for emailing to family and friends, or casual listening away from the piano.
The CS8’s convenient lesson function allows aspiring pianists to learn piano with classical Czerny, Burgmüller, Beyer, Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin etudes, or a collection of songs from the popular Alfred’s Basic, Adult, and Premier course books.
With a strong emphasis on acoustic piano realism, the Classic Series also features traditional finger exercises, scales, and warm-up drills, and includes companion books for all classical scores to further aid one’s piano development.
* Included score books dependent on market location.
* Alfred lesson books sold separately.
Reinforcing the Classic Series’ reputation as the most realistic digital piano is Kawai’s Grand Feel Pedal System. This unique feature replicates the individual weighting of the damper, soft, and sostenuto pedals of the SK-EX and EX concert grand pianos to further enhance the CS8’s acoustic-like authenticity.
Moreover, it is also possible to adjust the half-pedal sensitivity of the damper pedal, and effectiveness of the soft pedal using specially engineered Virtual Technician parameters, allowing pianists to personalise the instrument’s response to match their individual pedalling technique.
Connecting the CS8 to an iPad using a USB cable allows players to extend the instrument’s functionality with a wide range of education, performance, and scoring apps.
A dedicated Virtual Technician app is also freely available, providing an enjoyable way to learn about and adjust the Classic Series’ various characteristics from an attractive touch interface.
The CS8’s Spatial Headphone Sound (SHS) technology enhances the depth and realism of the instrument’s sound when listening through headphones or earphones. The player can select one of three different acoustic presets that adjust the spatial positioning of the sound, while also helping to reduce auditory fatigue when using earphones or headphones for extended periods of time.
In addition, the CS8 also feature a dedicated, high fidelity headphone amplifier, utilising the same premium hardware found in audiophile music devices. This technology significantly improves sound quality when using headphones, and allows players to select a variety of headphone types (Open, Semi-open, Closed, In-Ear, Canal, etc.) for an optimised listening experience.
In addition to USB to Host and USB to Device connectors, the CS8 also features standard jacks for MIDI and LINE-level audio.
These varied connectivity options allow the instrument to be enjoyed in larger settings, such as churches and halls, while also providing greater flexibility when using computers, tablets, and other digital audio devices.
Standing proudly amongst other items of fine furniture, a piano is often considered the centrepiece of any room it occupies. With elegant cabinetry, striking brass accents, and a luxurious high-polish finish, the exterior appearance of a piano contributes more to the overall aesthetic of playing and listening to music than arguably any other instrument.
This shared belief inspires Kawai’s digital and acoustic piano designers to work together, combining modern ideas with traditional philosophies to conceive truly stunning musical instruments.
Rather than simply replicate Kawai’s existing digital pianos in a polished ebony finish, the Classic Series design team decided to take a rather different approach.
They began by studying acoustic pianos – evaluating the characteristics that define an instrument’s personality, before modelling the Classic Series cabinets around these core qualities.
The impressive CS8 adopts a number of subtle acoustic piano design cues that heighten one’s emotional attachment to the instrument. The upper panel details that adorn either side of the keyboard, for example, suggest traditionalism, yet also serve to balance the cabinet’s sleek, modern appearance.
The gentle curve towards the crown of the legs offers a gracious, humanistic touch, while the disciplined combination of straight and rounded edges charm surrounding light, enhancing the instrument’s gorgeous polished ebony veneer.
|Keyboard||・ Grand Feel II action
- 88 wooden keys
- Grade-weighted hammers
- Ivory Touch white key surfaces
- Ebony Touch black key surfaces
- Let-off simulation
- Triple sensor key detection
- 88-key Counterweights
|Pedal||・ Grand Feel Pedal System
- Damper (with half-pedal support)
|Piano Sound||・ Harmonic Imaging XL (HI-XL)
- 88-key stereo sampling
- SK-EX, SK-5, EX recording
- 256 note maximum polyphony
|Piano Resonance||・ Acoustic Rendering
- Damper Resonance
- String Resonance
- Undamped String Resonance
- Cabinet Resonance
|Piano Adjustment||・Virtual Technician (19 parameters)
- Touch Curve (incl. User Touch Curve)
- Voicing (incl. 88-key User Voicing)
- Damper Resonance
- Damper Noise
- String Resonance
- Undamped String Resonance
- Cabinet Resonance
- Key-off Effect
- Fall-back Noise
- Hammer Delay
- Topboard Simulation
- Decay Time
- Minimum Touch
- Stretch Tuning (incl. 88-key User Tuning)
- Temperament (incl. User Temperament)
- Temperament Key
- Key Volume (incl. 88-key User Key Volume)
- Half-Pedal Adjust
- Soft Pedal Depth
・Virtual Technician Smart Mode (10 presets)
|No. of Sounds||60 voices|
|Other Effects||24 types|
|Speakers||13 cm x 2
(8 x 12) cm x 2
5 cm x 2
|Output Power||100 W (50 W x 2)|
|Headphone Enhancements||Spatial Headphone Sound
|Display||128 x 64 pixel LCD with backlight|
|Key Cover||Sliding type|
|Music Rest||Collapsible type (3 angle adjustability)|
|Height||96 cm (not including music rest)|
|Available Finishes||Ebony Polish|
|Internal Songs||Sound Demo||37 songs|
|Piano Music||29/42 songs *|
|Concert Magic||179 songs|
|Lesson Songs||Burgmüller 25 (25 Etudes Faciles, Opus 100)
Czerny 30 (Etudes de Mécanisme, Opus 849)
Czerny 100 (Hundert Übungsstücke, Opus 139)
Beyer 106 (Vorschule im Klavierspiel, Opus 101)
J.S. Bach: Inventionen
Sonatinen Album 1
Chopin Walzer (Chopin waltzes series)
Alfred’s Premier Piano Course Lesson 1A
Alfred’s Premier Piano Course Lesson 1B
Alfred’s Basic Piano Library Lesson Book Level 1A
Alfred’s Basic Piano Library Lesson Book Level 1B
Alfred’s Basic Adult Piano Course Lesson Book Level 1
|Internal Recorder||Total Memory||approximately 90,000 notes|
|No. of Songs||10 songs|
|Metronome||Time Signatures||1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, 3/8, 6/8, 7/8, 9/8, 12/8|
|Drum Rhythms||100 patterns|
|USB Audio Recorder||Record/Playback||MP3, WAV|
Line In recording
|App Functions||Virtual Technician app (iOS)|
|Connector Jacks||Headphone||1 x 1/4", 1 x 1/8" Stereo jacks|
|MIDI||MIDI IN, MIDI OUT|
|Line Out||1/4" L/MONO, R (with volume adjust knob) [unbalanced]|
|Line In||1/8" Stereo (with volume adjust knob) [unbalanced]|
|USB to Host||✔|
|USB to Device||✔|
|Power Consumption||45 W|
|Bench||Height-adjustable bench *|
|Sheet Music||Classical Piano Collection *
Classical Lesson Scores *
|Others||Warranty Card *
Internal Song Lists
* Depending on market location. Specifications are subject to change without notice.