Are you in the market for a digital piano and torn between the Kawai ES520 Vs Kawai ES8 models? Look no further as we compare the two digital pianos in detail to help you make an informed decision. These digital pianos share many similarities and some differences, including the design and portability so you may prefer one better over the other.
In this comparison, we will talk about the following:
- What are the Kawai ES520 and Kawai ES8?
- How is the Design of Kawai ES520 and Kawai ES8?
- How is the Keyboard Action in Kawai ES520 and Kawai ES8?
- How is the Sound Quality from Kawai ES520 and Kawai ES8?
- What are the Features of Kawai ES520 and Kawai ES8?
- Which Digital Piano to Buy?
|56.5 x 18.4 x 11 inches
|59 x 18 x 13 inches
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About the Kawai ES520 and Kawai ES8
The Kawai ES520 digital piano boasts an 88-key Responsive Hammer Compact II keyboard that mimics the touch of playing on an acoustic piano, complete with graded hammers and matte key surfaces. Additionally, it incorporates Kawai’s Progressive Harmonic Imaging (PHI) sound technology, leveraging samples from their SK-EX and EX grand pianos to create a sophisticated, well-defined sound. With an array of integrated features, such as a recorder, metronome, and a diverse range of instrument sounds, the ES520 is a versatile instrument suitable for practicing and performing.
The Kawai ES8 also features an 88-key keyboard with graded hammer action, and it includes Kawai’s Responsive Hammer III action with let-off simulation and triple sensor key detection for a more realistic playing experience. The ES8 uses Kawai’s Harmonic Imaging XL sound engine, which includes samples from Kawai’s Shigeru Kawai SK-EX, SK-5, and Kawai EX grand pianos to produce a rich, expressive sound. The ES8 also includes a variety of features, such as a built-in recorder, metronome, and a selection of instrument sounds, as well as Bluetooth connectivity for use with smartphones and tablets. Read also: Kawai ES520 Vs Roland FP 60X here.
The Kawai ES8 features an elegant and simple design with a glossy finish that gives it a classic look. It has a compact size, making it easy to move around and transport at approximately 52 x 14 x 5 inches. On the other hand, the Kawai ES520 has a sleek design with a matte finish that gives it a modern and sophisticated look. It is slightly bulkier than ES520 at 53 x 14 x 6 inches and also heavier at 22 kg versus 15 kg.
Keyboard Action and Sensitivity
Both digital pianos come with Kawai’s Responsive Hammer keyboard action, which accurately reproduces the feel of an acoustic piano. However, the Kawai ES8 has an advantage over the ES520 in terms of keyboard performance regarding authentic playing. Both keyboards have Ivory Touch surface on the keys, which absorbs moisture from your fingertips to prevent slipping. The difference is that Kawai ES8 has the more advanced keyboard with let-off simulation and counterweight, making it more similar to an actual acoustic piano.
Both models feature Kawai’s Harmonic Imaging sound technology, which produces rich, expressive, and detailed sound. However, the Kawai ES8 has a slight edge over the ES520 in terms of sound quality due to its Harmonic Imaging XL (HI-XL) which adds the SK-5 recording which is highly rated for its quality. But, surprisingly Kawai doesn’t increase the amount of built-in tones in the ES8 as you still get 34 tones to play with. Additionally, the ES520 actually has a slightly more powerful 40W sound system compared to the 30W on the ES8.
As for the polyphony or number of notes a digital piano can produce simultaneously, the Kawai ES8 has a maximum polyphony of 256 notes, while the ES520 has a maximum polyphony of 192 notes. This means that the ES8 can produce more complex and layered pieces of music without any notes being cut off or interrupted.
Both digital pianos come with a range of features that enhance the playing experience. The Kawai ES8 and ES520 have other effects like Reverb and Brilliance that can be applied to your sound. There is a slight difference because ES520 offers 16 types + amp simulator (3 types) while the ES8 has 11 types + 4 combination effects and amp simulator. Both digital pianos have an intuitive user interface, which makes them easy to navigate and customize. We do love the ES520’s thoughtful design that puts the USB port at the top for convenience. Check our other comparison in: Kawai Es8 vs Yamaha P515 here.
Kawai ES520 Vs Kawai ES8
The Kawai ES520 and Kawai ES8 digital pianos share some similarities, but there are also several key differences between the two models. Here are some of the main differences:
- Keyboard Action: Both the Kawai ES520 and ES8 feature fully weighted 88-key keyboards with graded hammer action, but they use different technologies to achieve this. The ES520 features Kawai’s Responsive Hammer Compact II action, while the ES8 features Kawai’s more advanced Responsive Hammer III action with let-off simulation and counterweight. The ES8’s action provides a more realistic playing experience and is generally considered to be more advanced than the ES520’s action.
- Sound Engine: The ES520 uses Kawai’s Progressive Harmonic Imaging (PHI) sound technology with 88-key piano sampling, while the ES8 uses Kawai’s more advanced Harmonic Imaging XL sound engine, which includes samples from Kawai’s Shigeru Kawai SK-EX, SK-5, and Kawai EX grand pianos. The ES8’s sound engine is generally considered to be more advanced and expressive than the ES520’s sound engine.
- Polyphony: The ES520 has a maximum polyphony of 192 notes, while the ES8 has a maximum polyphony of 256 notes. This means that the ES8 can produce more complex and layered sounds than the ES520.
- Features: Both models have a variety of features, including a built-in metronome, recorder, and a selection of instrument sounds. However, the ES8 improves these features such as more built-in songs and a bigger internal memory to record directly on the piano; you can only record 3 songs on the ES520, but the ES8 can store up to 10 songs.
- 88-key Digital Stage Piano with Responsive Hammer Compact II Action
- 40-watt Onkyo Stereo Speaker System
- Bluetooth MIDI pts
- 192-note Polyphony
- Harmonic Imaging XL Sound Technology with 88-Note Piano Sampling
- RHIII Graded-Hammer Action
- 34 Exceptional Instrument Sounds
- USB Digital Audio - Play / Rec WAV and MP3 Files
In conclusion, both the Kawai ES520 and ES8 are high-quality digital pianos that offer an authentic and immersive playing experience. The choice between the two comes down to personal preferences and needs. If you prioritize realistic keyboard and sound quality, the Kawai ES8 is the better choice. However, if you want a modern and sleek design and do not mind compromising on sound quality, the Kawai ES520 is still an excellent choice.