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Re: Calling Kawai "cheap plastic" is ignorance [Re: Inlanding] #1255473 08/24/09 08:20 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 692
Seeker Offline
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Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 692
Originally Posted by Inlanding

Same can be said of my 1917 O. When the humidity starts to drop a bit, this piano takes on this incredible tonality. Whether it is the most excellent sound board, the well-voiced hammers, or the superbly regulated action, it is truly mesmerizing to play. In fact, it sounds so good to me that I get distracted by it when practicing/playing, whether it is to obtain the softest pianissimo or most percussive fortissimo, it is a joy to play. It's dynamics, tone, tactile responsiveness are simply incredible!

Carbon fibre action parts on newer pianos I am sure will have their place, and I will go play a Kawai configured that way just to see/feel what it's like.
I look forward to playing a modern Kawai.

Glen - odds are, you will love the Kawai, and if not a vanilla Kawai, a Shigeru-Kawai. I played a number of pianos on a tour recently, a Yamaha cIII-s, 2 Hamburg Steinway D's, an aged Kawai concert grand, and a Shigeru-Kawai SK-7.

All the pianos with the exception of the older Kawai concert grand (it had many years of deferred maintenance to be done and absolutely zero after-touch), all the pianos were a joy to play. Each brand was different, and the experience of playing a particular piano and the sound that came from it, were influenced greatly by the basic sound and feel of the type of instrument, just like your Steinway O.

The two pianos I have played in my life that were the most controllable, most luxurious feeling, were the SK-7 previously mentioned and a Fazioli F212. A new Yamaha C7 from the Yamaha C&A reserve, with some extra prep from a Yamaha School House trained tech in Frederick, MD, follows as a close 2nd. None of those pianos sounded like a Steinway, they had their own distinctive sounds.

Do get out and play some of the competition. I love the Steinway sound, myself, but it's nice that there are other pianos today, really of equal caliber (my opinion, please don't shoot me dear readers), that we can play and enjoy.

Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")
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Re: Calling Kawai "cheap plastic" is ignorance [Re: Seeker] #1255605 08/25/09 01:17 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,935
Inlanding Offline
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Hi Andrew,
I have yet to play any piano that comes close in terms of tactile responsiveness, dynamics, exhuberance, richness, and clarity of my 1917 O, save perhaps a few D model Steinways very well maintained, and one Mason Hamlin. Yes, that O is a reference point - I am spoiled and have become accustomed to the atmosphere it generates when played.

However, that is not to say I don't enjoy playing my girlfriend's substantive Bluthner. It's just a different animal, and if they were side-by-side in my house, the Bluthner would remain idle. The Conservatory performance Yamahas I've been fortunate to play simply lacked a richness, while the action was just fine. Dare I say they were lacking a "soul"? I just did not get that connected feeling from the physical component of playing the notes to the sound that hits my ear.

Regardless of the manufacturer of the instrument and they year it was produced, playing a piano is an experience.

The enjoyment obtained from playing a piano is multi-faceted and on so many levels.

It seems it is the overall "experience" of playing the instrument is what leaves an indellible impression on the player and is what separates one instrument from another, don't you think? Whether a piano has carbon fiber action parts and a synthetic sound board might be irrelevant for some, but for others it is relevant.

I am looking forward to getting in front of one of those Kawais this weekend, if not sooner, to check out the "relevance" factor {;>)

Regardless...I like to play and I like to listen to others playing.

Thanks for your enouragement!


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Re: Calling Kawai "cheap plastic" is ignorance [Re: Brent B] #1255906 08/25/09 02:16 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,654
Barb860 Offline
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Originally Posted by Brent B
This post is actualy in response to the thread "Help Buying a Boston GP-178." I didn't want to hijack that thread just to vent my frustration so I started a new one.

It's just unfortunate that so many Steinway/Boston dealers have to put down Kawai. Kawai manufactures the piano for cryin' out loud--have some respect.

I can't imagine that the Steinway/Boston company itself is telling dealers to say these things and I'm sure they would not condone such behavior. OR......maybe they do.......many of their dealers seem to be spewing the same anti-brand B propaganda.

Sure there are differences between Boston and Kawai, and maybe Boston is a slightly better piano (I really don't know--haven't spent much time with a Boston), but dealers need to explain the REAL differences between the products. Saying that Kawai is just cheap "plastic" is not only inaccurate, it's IGNORANT.

Sure, they'll draw in quite a few uneducated buyers with their nonsense, but they will also turn away many educated buyers. The first piano dealer I went to when I started my search several weeks ago was a Steinway/Boston/Essex dealer. I played the Boston and Essex (and Steinway for fun, of course), both very nice pianos, and then asked him if he carried Kawai. He then proceded to give me his Kawai is "cheap plastic" routine and that no serious pianist should ever consider a piano that uses such parts. That was the moment I knew I would not buy a piano from this man. If I know for a fact he is completely uninformed about competing brands, how can I trust that he is honest about the quality of the brands he carries?

I just think a piano dealer should have a little more class than a used car salesman.

Keep in mind, I'm not saying these things because I own a Kawai--I DON'T. Kawai is a front-runner in my search so far, but this is not just me trying to justify a purchase that I've already made

A Steinway dealer recently told me that Boston pianos are far superior to Kawai's because, and only because, of the Kawai plastic parts. I was told that the plastic parts will break over time. Personally, I enjoy playing an upright Kawai more than its comparable Boston. Kawai has a nicer tone, IMO.

Piano Teacher
Re: Calling Kawai "cheap plastic" is ignorance [Re: Barb860] #1256105 08/25/09 07:24 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,178
Marty in Minnesota Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014
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Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,178
Hi Barb,

I found this a very interesting statement:

I was told that the plastic parts will break over time.

Wood parts will bread over time, also. That doesn't mean that they are superior or inferior. It is nothing more than salesman babble to get a commission.

Both pianos have their merits and it is up to each purchaser to make a decision. The bottom line is that one isn't "better than the other." It is just that they are different instruments which appeal to different ears and hands.

Marty in Minnesota
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