The Touch of a Grand Piano: Responsive Hammer III keyboard action
The ES920’s highly-authentic Responsive Hammer III keyboard action recreates the supreme touch of a fine acoustic grand piano, with its realistic movement and rigid, springless design providing a smooth and natural piano playing experience.The instrument’s triple-sensor hammer detection system enhances responsiveness and accuracy, while structural reinforcements throughout the action assembly help to minimise noise and key wobble during staccato and fortissimo passages.
The weight of the keyboard is appropriately graded to mirror the heavier bass hammers and lighter treble hammers of an acoustic piano, while let-off simulation recreates the subtle 'notch' sensation felt when softly playing the keys of a grand piano. These important characteristics allow discerning pianists to practise their expanding repertoire with confidence, and ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises when called upon to perform using the finest acoustic grand pianos.
Superior playing control
In addition to grade-weighted hammers, the Responsive Hammer III keyboard action also features counterweights embedded within each black and white key.
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.
More realistic & responsive
The Responsive Hammer III 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.
Premium key surfaces
The impressive ES920 features Kawai’s highly regarded Ivory Touch 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.
Furthermore, this moisture is absorbed without dirt or grease permeating the surface, allowing the keytops to be wiped clean easily using just a damp cloth.
Grand piano action authenticity
As one of the most authentic digital piano keyboard actions in its class, Responsive Hammer III 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.
The Sound of a Grand Piano: Three 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 ES920 captures 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 ES920 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 proprietary Harmonic Imaging™ sound technology, to establish a new standard in digital piano tonal quality.
True character in every note
The rich sound of the SK-EX, SK-5, and EX grand pianos is at the heart of the ES920, 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 ES920'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 ES920 offers a highly detailed acoustic portrait, with Harmonic Imaging XL technology ensuring smooth tonal transitions across the keyboard and throughout the entire dynamic range.
Extra Long sampling (HI-XL)
Taking full advantage of its expanded sample memory, the ES920'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.
Variety beneath your fingertips
Alongside the classically voiced SK-EX, SK-5, and EX grand piano sounds, the ES920 also showcases a selection of Jazz, Pop, and Modern variations suitable for a range of musical genres.A traditional Kawai upright piano sound is also included, for pieces that suggest a feeling of nostalgia, or call for a slightly more intimate tonal character.
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 ES920’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 is even possible to adjust the precise tuning, volume, and character of individual notes – all in real-time.
Studio quality effects & reverb
The ES920’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.
Premium audio technologies, Powered by Onkyo
Developed in collaboration with Onkyo, one of Japan’s leading premium audio equipment manufacturers, the ES920 features a redesigned motherboard, amplifier, and audio delivery system.These premium components combine to deliver best-in-class audio quality, producing an extremely rich, clear sound with minimal distortion.
Onkyo designed sound hardware
The ES920 motherboard and sound hardware is designed for precise signal conversion and optimum sound quality.Onkyo's unrivalled knowledge and experience in producing premium audio components ensures clear, high-fidelity sound with minimal distortion.
Room-filling resonance & tonal clarity
The ES920’s impressive 40W output system utilises speaker box enclosures that deliver a rich, expansive sound to rival much larger console digital pianos.This design allows for a compact, portable instrument, capable of enthralling medium-sized audiences without the need for additional amplification.
The Variety of a Digital Piano: Convenience & Flexibility
Complementing the instrument’s highly-authentic Responsive Hammer III keyboard action and stunning Harmonic Imaging XL grand piano sound, the ES920 also offers a strong selection of digital piano features that further enhance one’s musical enjoyment. Wireless Bluetooth® connectivity, USB audio record/playback, Dual, Split, and Four Hands keyboard modes, and a rich assortment of instrumental voices are just some of the features accessible from the piano’s intuitive control panel and large OLED display, while the convenient Rhythm Section provides 100 professional backing accompaniments spanning a wide range of musical genres.
Integrated Bluetooth® connectivity
In addition to standard USB and MIDI jacks for connecting to computers or other instruments, the ES920 also features integrated Bluetooth® MIDI and Audio technologies that allow the instrument to communicate with supported smart devices wirelessly.
Once paired with a phone, tablet, or laptop, ES920 owners can enjoy a wide variety of exciting music-related apps that enhance their learning and playing experience, or stream audio from songs and videos directly through the instrument’s powerful speaker system without the need to connect additional cables.
Additional instrument sounds
Supplementing the beautiful acoustic piano voices, the ES920 also features a strong selection of additional sounds.
Vintage electric pianos, drawbar organs, and warm synth pads allow this portable piano to serve as a convenient gigging board, while church organs, strings, and graceful choir voices ensure that the versatile ES920 is equally at home in places of worship.
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, with volume balances adjustable in real-time from the front panel.
Professional backing styles
In addition to the standard Dual and Split playing modes, the ES920’s Rhythm Section feature offers solo performers a selection of professionally arranged backing accompaniments at the touch of a button, complete with musically intelligent full-keyboard chord recognition.
Whether you need a practice partner, some quick ideas for a new song, or a backup band at a live performance, you’re sure to find the perfect accompaniment among the 100 pop, rock, jazz, funk, and Latin styles.
Real-time 4-band EQ faders
The ES920 provides a variety of sound customisation options, ranging from the authentic Virtual Technician function to the flexible Reverb, Effects, and Amp Simulator controls.
For live performers, the addition of 4-band EQ faders to the upper panel are particularly convenient, allowing players to easily tailor the instrument's sound for certain acoustic environments, or quickly boost frequencies in order to cut-through the mix when taking a solo.
Superior headphone experience
The ES920’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 ES920 also allows players to select a variety of headphone types (Open, Semi-open, Closed, In-Ear, Canal, etc.) for an optimised listening experience.
Flexible USB connectivity
The ES920 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.
Convenient MP3 record & playback
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 performances directly as MP3 or WAV audio, which can be used in video projects or shared with friends on social media.
Uncluttered appearance, lightweight body
The ES920 adopts a brand new exterior design, utilising a molded unibody construction.Its smoothly rounded edges and clean lines complement the flat, uncluttered panel surface, with elegantly recessed buttons that depress with a satisfying click.Lightweight and portable, the ES920 weighs just 17 kg – almost 6 kilos less than its predecessor, while retaining a stylish, professional quality that players can trust.
Available in a smooth, matte Black or matte White finish, the ES920’s clean design is appropriate for both traditional and contemporary spaces.And with matching designer stand and triple pedal options, the instrument can be easily transformed into an ultra-compact piano replacement for the lounge, studio, or bedroom.