Basket
Total £0.00
Checkout Your Basket

Kawai KDP120 Review

Kawai KDP120 Review

Posted at 12.20 - 22 October - Tony White

The new KDP120 is the successor to the highly-respected KDP110. Much of the success of that model can be attributed to the immersive sound produced by its 40 Watt amplification system.

With that in mind, fans of the KDP110 will be pleased to hear that the KDP120 has retained that system, but builds on those solid foundations by introducing a range of new features.

For the first time, it’s also available in three different colour options - rosewood, satin black and satin white. But let’s kick off our review with how the KDP120 sounds.

A Wonderful Concert Piano Voice

Thankfully, Kawai has opted for the same piano voice employed in previous models - the excellent Shigeru Kawai SK-EX Grand Piano. In this price category, there’s few better.

As well as the sound of the Concert Grand Piano, the KDP120 features three additional acoustic piano voices.

The Studio Grand is a smaller grand piano sound that’s also a little brighter than the Concert Grand, making it ideally suited to Jazz and Pop performances.

The second additional voice is a lovely, mellow piano sound that’s perfect for light classical music.

Finally, the third additional voice is a more rock and pop-orientated sound that’s also bright, with plenty of bite, and just great if you enjoy playing a bit of Elton John or any modern, dance-pop tracks.


Wide Range of Sounds

Sold out

In addition to the acoustic piano voices, there’s a whole range of other keyboard sounds. These include a fantastic Suitcase Electric Piano sound, which recreates the famous Fender Rhodes style that was popular in the 1970s and is well matched to ballads and more soulful tunes. There’s also the Modern Electric Piano voice, which produces a wonderful ‘80s sound that’s most readily associated with Whitney Houston.

Among this wide range of voices, there are a few other stand-out sounds. In particular, the KDP120 does an excellent job of reproducing the traditional jazz organ’s distinct rotary speaker sound. A tap of the soft pedal alters the voice, introducing that iconic spinning speaker sensation and leaving you sounding like the next Larry Young or Jimmy Smith. Just as impressive are the Church Organ and String Ensemble sounds.

In total, the KDP120 puts 15 different voices at your disposal. 


A Fantastic Feel + Tried and Tested Action

Just as important as the sound of the piano is the feel of the keyboard. The KDP120 is equipped with the Responsive Hammer Compact II keyboard, which is somewhat similar to the keyboard found on the KDP110.

However, Kawai has made several improvements. Most notably, foam pads have been added to the mechanism, resulting in a far quieter playing experience. This is particularly beneficial if you’re playing with headphones and don’t want to disturb others in the room with the sound of the keys returning to a neutral position.

At this price point, plastic keys are far more common than wooden keys. While wooden keys do make for a slightly different feel, the KDP120’s plastic weighted keyboard is still a pleasure to play. Finally, just like a grand piano, the KDP120 is equipped with three pedals - a sustain pedal on the right, a soft pedal on the left and the sostenuto pedal in the centre.


Feature-Rich and Perfect for Learning

One of our favourite new features on the KDP120 is its compatibility with Kawai’s Piano Remote App, which is available for both iOS and Android devices. The piano connects seamlessly to any Bluetooth-enabled device and the Kawai app certainly improves the overall experience.

Not only do you enjoy an intuitive, on-screen representation of all the piano functions, but you can also manipulate them via your device, bypassing the somewhat basic control panel on the piano itself. Of course, if you don’t have access to an appropriate touchscreen device, you can still control the piano using the traditional, built-in controls.

The KDP120 includes a recording feature that doubles as a brilliant learning tool.

Many newer players learn pieces by first practising the left-hand part, then the right-hand part, before finally putting the two together. By allowing you to record what you play with your left hand, then playback that recording while you practice your right hand, you get a feel for how the two go together, without having to play them both.

Of course, you can also use the recording feature to play duets by yourself. Impressively, the piano also allows you to layer two voices. Creating new combinations not only sounds great but is a lot of fun, too.

One of the main reasons people choose a digital piano is the ability to turn down the volume or use headphones. However, in the past, many players have commented that, when digital pianos are played at low volume, you need a slightly different response to get the same level of enjoyment from the piano. Kawai has listened to this feedback and introduced a fantastic new feature that alters the tone, feel and response of the piano when you turn it down low.

The KDP120 includes two headphone jacks. When headphones are used, Kawai’s Enhanced SHS headphone technology gives you a lovely ambient, surround sound quality, further enhancing the playing experience. If you think you’ll be playing regularly with headphones, you may also want to take a look at Kawai’s SH-9 headphones. Boasting excellent sound quality, they’re a good investment if you’re looking for a pair of headphones that are purpose-built for Kawai pianos.


Summary: A Top Entry-Level Piano That Sounds Fabulous

The KDP120 is one of the best digital pianos on the market, thanks to its outstanding sound quality and unbeatable price point.

Building on the success of the KDP110, Kawai has kept the fantastic touch and full-bodied amplification system that made the older model such a joy to play, while also introducing a host of new features that bring it right up to date.

So, if you’re looking for an entry-level piano that sounds, looks and feels fabulous, you won’t get much better than the outstanding KDP120.


Shop the KDP120 Collection

Sold out

Sold out

Sold out

See the KDP120 in action

Share Article