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#2122054 - 07/23/13 07:42 PM Shigeru Kawai recent MPA visit experiences  
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 78
Amy B Offline
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Amy B  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 78
San Francisco Bay Area
Hello All,

I had my MPA visit by Mr. Otanake last week. He said that he's been in the country for three months, so I'm assuming that there are others on the forum that have had their visit. I thought I would post my thoughts/experience, and encourage others to do as well.

Simply said, my piano sounds even more amazing than it did (although I had been on vacation for four weeks, and it had been very hot, so it was fairly out of tune!). I've heard people say that the MPA visit turned their piano from a caterpillar into a butterfly. It took me a few hours of playing to really start to hear all the differences, but I would say that that statement is true! Some of the main things I noticed are:

1) The upper registers sound so much better. They sound like soft bells....very clear, but not too bright. Chopin, Debussey sound great up there....

2) Any little buzzing, funny noise, etc is completely gone. Just pure clean piano.

3) The lower registers always sounded good, but of course are even better. Beethoven hangs out in this area and now sounds even more deep and moody!

What have others' experience been? If it's been a few months, have the adjustments held? I feel like I want to play it as much as possible, and I hope this great sound doesn't go away too fast!! I know it will need to have it's regular tuning, but wondering how the voicing/regulating holds up.

If you're in the SF Bay Area and are interested in a Piano Party, let me know. I love having people play it, so I can sit back and listen. smile


Shigeru Kawai SK6 (as of 10/22/12!!)
Ivers and Pond upright
MTNA, CAPMT
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#2122067 - 07/23/13 08:45 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai recent MPA visit experiences [Re: Amy B]  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,663
Robert 45 Offline
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Robert 45  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2006
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Auckland New Zealand
That's wonderful, Amy. May I ask if you had any input into how you wanted the piano to sound and how long did Mr Otanake spend working on your piano?

Thank you,

Robert.

#2122113 - 07/24/13 12:21 AM Re: Shigeru Kawai recent MPA visit experiences [Re: Amy B]  
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 78
Amy B Offline
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Amy B  Offline
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Posts: 78
San Francisco Bay Area
My apologies....it was Mr. Otake (not Otanake). I thought about double checking before I posted!

He did ask if I liked a bright tone, or a warmer tone. I said the latter, as I'm not fond of the bright/brassy tone. He was here for almost 7 hours, and worked non-stop!


Shigeru Kawai SK6 (as of 10/22/12!!)
Ivers and Pond upright
MTNA, CAPMT
#2122127 - 07/24/13 01:16 AM Re: Shigeru Kawai recent MPA visit experiences [Re: Amy B]  
Joined: Oct 2010
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Gatsbee13 Offline
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Gatsbee13  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 595
Los Angeles
youtube seems to have videos of virtually everything.. don't know why I haven't found any videos on a shigeru kawai MPA visit. would love to see this on video as I probably wont ever in person..

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#2122357 - 07/24/13 02:17 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai recent MPA visit experiences [Re: Amy B]  
Joined: Jun 2013
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pogmoger Offline
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pogmoger  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 210
Norway
Hello Amy,

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I'm hoping to try out a Shigeru Kawai soon, as I've never played one. The idea of getting a visit from a travelling Japanese piano technician really is fascinating. Plus they are about 50% of the price of other handmade piano brands I'm currently considering (Steinway and Bosendorfer.)

I was actually at my local Kawai dealer today, who was expecting delivery soon of two Shigerus, but unfortunately the ship transporting them sank somewhere in the Indian ocean!! Considering only 200 of these pianos are produced every year that really is quite a loss for all concerned.

Luckily they have a model coming from Germany which should arrive in August, so I'll get to try one out soon enough.

#2122372 - 07/24/13 02:55 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai recent MPA visit experiences [Re: pogmoger]  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,663
Robert 45 Offline
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Robert 45  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2006
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Auckland New Zealand
Originally Posted by pogmoger
Hello Amy,

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I'm hoping to try out a Shigeru Kawai soon, as I've never played one. The idea of getting a visit from a travelling Japanese piano technician really is fascinating. Plus they are about 50% of the price of other handmade piano brands I'm currently considering (Steinway and Bosendorfer.)

I was actually at my local Kawai dealer today, who was expecting delivery soon of two Shigerus, but unfortunately the ship transporting them sank somewhere in the Indian ocean!! Considering only 200 of these pianos are produced every year that really is quite a loss for all concerned.

Luckily they have a model coming from Germany which should arrive in August, so I'll get to try one out soon enough.



A sad loss indeed. I believe that precious pianos should be air-freighted which is probably less stressful on the piano and is safer. The air-freighting costs are higher, but that is preferable to losing a consignment of pianos.

I hope that the Shigeru Kawai from Germany arrives safely.

Best wishes,

Robert.

Last edited by Robert 45; 07/24/13 03:03 PM.
#2122377 - 07/24/13 03:15 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai recent MPA visit experiences [Re: Amy B]  
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 422
Carbonblob Offline
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Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 422
Los Angeles, Ca.
congrats Amy,

I've only played a few Shigeru's but so far they're my favorite piano. How fun to have an MPA visit!


KAWAI RX-3 BLAK
YAMAHA GRANTOUCH GT1
#2122381 - 07/24/13 03:21 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai recent MPA visit experiences [Re: Amy B]  
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,365
BornInTheUSA Offline
1000 Post Club Member
BornInTheUSA  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,365
Wow sank in the indian ocean? Crazy.

#2122384 - 07/24/13 03:28 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai recent MPA visit experiences [Re: Amy B]  
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 391
Allan W. Offline
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Allan W.  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 391
Maryland
Shouldn't they go over the Pacific?


1980 Yamaha C7 from Rick Jones (http://imgur.com/a/duLJb)
Kawai MP-10
Previously: 2012 Young Chang Y175, which was quite impressive for the price
#2122392 - 07/24/13 03:46 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai recent MPA visit experiences [Re: Amy B]  
Joined: Sep 2006
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Supply Offline
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Supply  Offline
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Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
A loss like that is actually not an entirely bad thing for the piano industry. The cargo is insured, and the insurance pays for the new replacement pianos. For the factory, it is as if they actually sold the instruments that were lost.

I have heard stories of sunken containers with pianos before. Much later, it turned out the loss had been staged and the pianos essentially stolen.

There is probably much more cargo theft and piracy going on than ships going down.

#2122424 - 07/24/13 04:35 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai recent MPA visit experiences [Re: Supply]  
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 210
pogmoger Offline
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pogmoger  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 210
Norway
I'm sure such frauds do happen, but this article I found seems to match the story I was told today:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-...k-into-sea-after-ship-cracks-in-two.html

#2122426 - 07/24/13 04:38 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai recent MPA visit experiences [Re: Amy B]  
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 210
pogmoger Offline
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pogmoger  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 210
Norway
Anyway, apologies for sending the thread off topic. If anyone else has had an MPA visit, I would also be curious to hear about it.

#2122453 - 07/24/13 05:51 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai recent MPA visit experiences [Re: pogmoger]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,031
schwammerl Offline
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schwammerl  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,031
Belgium
Quote
The idea of getting a visit from a travelling Japanese piano technician really is fascinating.


pogmoger,

I am sorry I will have to disappoint you but the MPA service visit does not apply in Europe.

schwammerl

#2122462 - 07/24/13 06:08 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai recent MPA visit experiences [Re: schwammerl]  
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 210
pogmoger Offline
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pogmoger  Offline
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Posts: 210
Norway
Really? Where do you get this information from exactly? I've read several places that it applies worldwide, and I've been told that the Norwegian Academy of Music will be getting a visit in a few months.

#2122470 - 07/24/13 06:47 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai recent MPA visit experiences [Re: Amy B]  
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 904
phacke Offline

Gold Supporter until November 11 2014
phacke  Offline

Gold Supporter until November 11 2014


Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 904
CO, USA
Hello Amy B-
Glad to hear of the good and inspiring results.
Best wishes,


phacke

Steinway YM (1933)
...Working on:
J. S. Bach, Sonata No. 1 in B minor (BWV 1014)
#2122491 - 07/24/13 07:41 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai recent MPA visit experiences [Re: Amy B]  
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 78
Amy B Offline
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Amy B  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 78
San Francisco Bay Area
No other MPA visits to share?.....


Shigeru Kawai SK6 (as of 10/22/12!!)
Ivers and Pond upright
MTNA, CAPMT
#2122528 - 07/24/13 09:16 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai recent MPA visit experiences [Re: Amy B]  
Joined: Aug 2006
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Robert 45 Offline
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Robert 45  Offline
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Posts: 1,663
Auckland New Zealand
Shigeru Kawai pianos have not been around for so long and as the number made is quite small, it may be difficult to get testimonies of the MPA visit.

I think that the post purchase MPA visit targets primarily the American market. From what I know of the situation here in New Zealand, a local technician who has been "trained" at the Shigeru Kawai factory is a kind of MPA substitute. Having a real MPA seems to me a much better deal.

Robert.

Last edited by Robert 45; 07/24/13 09:17 PM.
#2122553 - 07/24/13 10:08 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai recent MPA visit experiences [Re: Amy B]  
Joined: Aug 2012
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Wzkit1 Offline
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Singapore
Mr Terry Otake worked on my SK6 as well, and as Amy described, after around 4-5 hours of work on an already well maintained (but somewhat voiced down) piano, he managed to brighten it up a tad, and in doing so, enhance the dynamic range, particularly in the treble, where the description of "soft bells" is quite apt.

That said, as with all kinds of voicing work, its never permanent. However, having build a good "base" from which my regular technician could work with, the Shigeru does sound more "dynamic" than before.

Interestingly he was quite interested in my Sauter Delta just next to the Shigeru, which at that time had its action removed for some major regulation work. He said he had been to the Sauter factory in Spaichingen if I recall...


Sauter Delta 185, Shigeru Kawai SK6, Ibach F III 215

Recordings on the Ibach and Sauter here: https://soundcloud.com/kit-wei-zheng
#2122620 - 07/25/13 01:47 AM Re: Shigeru Kawai recent MPA visit experiences [Re: Amy B]  
Joined: Jul 2012
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rlinkt Offline
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Posts: 321
CA
Great to hear that the piano has been fine tuned to your liking! This is the response instruments of this caliber should evoke!

If you ever host your piano party, I would love to take my daughter there.

#2123063 - 07/26/13 12:28 AM Re: Shigeru Kawai recent MPA visit experiences [Re: Amy B]  
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 72
LFL Offline
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I'll share part of my PM that I had with Amy prior to her MPA visit (SEE BELOW). Mr. Otake also worked on my SK5 a month ago. There are at least a couple of others who have had their MPA visit recently who I've communicated with and may want to chime in. I think we all echo Amy's glee and comments. The MPA visit is only available to US customers--Don Mannino has confirmed that on this forum previously. It may be somewhat of a marketing "gimmick", but it is a great service and clearly improves the sound and the playing. It was fascinating indeed to watch Mr. Otake "do his thing". Please remember that the MPA's are not "any ol' Japanese technicians". They actually build the pianos... I hadn't heard about any ship sinking??? If Don is reading, please confirm?

"I PM'd with others that had Terry Otake as their MPA. As "advertised" he's all business, but in a pleasant way. Not talkative--I would have liked to have had more conversation with him. Spent 5 1/2 hours here. I played just a couple of minutes for him, then he asked me if I wanted a more mellow or brighter tone, and about the action. I talked to him about some buzzing--like you've noticed on your piano. He began by listening to the underside of the piano... He tightened up support blocks inside the piano (I didn't know they existed). These seemed to be surprisingly loose. Also tightened up the lid screws. Spent most of the time voicing (needling and sanding) the hammers; and tuning. My 2 upper octaves finally sound correct. He spent a fair amount of time leveling the keys. I knew that some were not level, but now that I see the final result, I think that there were many that were offset. He also adjusted screws on the underside of the entire keyboard--they may help to level it. He made sure all the hammers were freely moving. Finally, he adjusted the pedals. I think I mentioned to you a while back that I was having to adjust how I pedal with their dual-action mechanism. Well, I think it was that the mechanism was catching. He said it was squeeking--I think the rods were rubbing on the guides. Problem now solved on that! I think that since you and I got our pianos fresh "out of the box", there are some issues with things "loosening up" in transit that never got a chance to be prepped. So, I think you'll find that you have a better instrument once you get your visit."


Shigeru Kawai SK5L

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