Kurzweil is a brand that has been around for many years, producing some fantastic keyboards and digital pianos.
Far from being an entry-level piano, the KA130 is aimed at intermediate to advanced players.
In this review, we will discuss what it has to offer, who it suits, and value for money.
Our verdict on the Kurzweil KA130
In some ways, the KA130 deserves a higher rating; it is a high-quality instrument. It delivers some exceptional sounds and fantastic build quality. Our score simply reflects the level of competition at this particular price point.
Don’t write it off because the KA130 has the potential to be the perfect piano for the right user. But we believe there are some more well-rounded options.
The KA130 offers a selection of 16 sounds, including various grand pianos and electric pianos.
First, we should say that the grand piano voices sound great. Our only complaint about them is a lack of versatility.
The grand piano voices have a lovely warm tone, and they lend themselves well to Pop, R&B, and Soul music.
We would have liked to hear more variation and perhaps something more focused on Classical and Jazz music.
Secondly, while we feel there is a lack of versatility, we should be clear that the KA130 offers more voices than many other digital pianos. It’s just a similar story across the board, with some great voices but a lack of variation.
The KA130 has a max polyphony of 32 notes, which is quite disappointing, especially if you were interested in more complex classical music.
The built-in speaker system in this digital piano is very good. It features two 6″ speakers powered by two 30 W amplifiers.
So, we’ve got good-sized speakers and plenty of power, relatively speaking.
The sound quality is very impressive and delivers crystal-clear articulation, especially at the high-end.
There is something that we don’t like, although it doesn’t detract from the quality at all, and that’s the placement of the speakers.
Many manufacturers prefer to have the speakers facing out towards the player, but we feel that they could have been better concealed in this case.
The Kurzweil KA130 comes with 88 weighted hammer-action keys with touch response.
The weight of the keys is pretty accurate, and the action is responsive.
Again, we would say it’s better suited to some playing styles than others. More advanced classical players may struggle to get the articulation they want from the keys.
We would be inclined to rate the keyboard much higher if it wasn’t for the relatively expensive price tag.
As it stands, we can say the keyboard feel is good, but we would expect more.
Like many mid/high-end digital pianos, the KA130 focuses more on the piano experience than an abundance of features.
The KA130 offers various keyboard modes that allow you to transform your sound.
Layer mode allows you to layer two voices to create a new hybrid voice and works very well for piano/strings ballads.
Split mode lets you create a split zone on the keyboard and utilize a different voice in each hand.
The KA130 is loaded with demos and practice songs. It comes packed with 50 demo songs and over 200 practice songs.
Practice songs are often an overlooked feature, but anything that can add some structure to practice sessions is good.
Every pianist, beginner or professional, should get used to recording themselves for critical listening.
It’s not just about sharing songs you’ve written; it’s a crucial part of musical development and cutting out bad habits.
The KA130 comes with a built-in five-song MIDI recorder.
The KA130 comes with a reasonable selection of built-in effects including eight reverb types, 12 types of chorus, and a two-band EQ.
This feature isn’t a huge deal, but it’s something that many digital pianos don’t have.
When you have any selections that go into the hundreds, in this case, it’s practice songs, a screen always makes it easier to find the right thing.
We have been harsh but fair with the KA130, and it’s all because of the price. So, let’s start with the positives.
If you are someone who plays a lot of Pop music or even a singer-songwriter, it could be a great digital piano for you.
It’s easy-to-use with a simple interface and LED screen, and it does sound very good.
We just struggle to see it beating the competition when it comes to serious Classical/Jazz pianists.
We are glad to say this area is one where the KA130 shines. In fact, Kurzweil consistently produces instruments that showcase fantastic build quality.
The KA130 has a robust wooden stand and cabinet with a rosewood finish. It also has a very realistic-feeling three-pedal system.
It’s not likely to take any substantial bumps or knocks, but you can be assured that the KA130 is built to take it.
In any way that matters, we can’t fault the build quality at all. The stand, controls, lid, music stand all feel solid.
Our slight complaint is that it doesn’t look as attractive as possible. Kurzweil is known to value substance over style, and that’s a good thing, but we feel they could have made a few better decisions aesthetically.
There are positives and negatives with the connectivity from this digital piano.
Firstly, it has stereo audio inputs and outputs, which is excellent. The negative is that Kurzweil has gone for RCA rather than 1/4″ inputs/outputs that many users might prefer.
It offers two 1/4″ headphone jacks, which is a really nice feature. Lastly, you get a USB (Type-B) connection.
Compared to other digital pianos
As we always say, when you are spending a lot of money, it pays to consider all your options.
Kurzweil KA130 vs. Kawai KDP120
The Kawai KDP120 is quite a bit cheaper than the KA130, and in our opinion, it’s a better buy.
Kurzweil KA130 vs. Casio AP-470
Casio’s Celviano range features some gorgeous digital pianos. The AP-470 has a luxurious feel and sound for the money.
Kurzweil KA130 vs. Yamaha YDP-164
Yamaha’s Arius range covers beginners to intermediate players, and the YDP-164 is a good bridge between mid and high-end pianos.
Who is the Kurzweil KA130 best suited for?
It suits pianists who play popular music and singer-songwriters who like a warm, midrange-heavy piano.
- Solid build quality.
- Easy-to-use interface.
- Warm grand piano sound.
- Lots of practice songs.
- Lacks versatility.
- Not the best value for money.