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Re: Shigeru Kawai Comments by Piano Tech [Re: Gene Nelson] #2749991
07/07/18 11:33 AM
07/07/18 11:33 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,867
Michigan
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kpembrook Online content
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Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,867
Michigan
Originally Posted by Gene Nelson
You might be able to tell the difference simply by looking carefully at the ribs.
A typical rib for a rib (radius) crowned board should be taller than it is wide because it is designed to support a calculated bearing load from the strings as well as deflect a calculated amount under this calculated string bearing load. This rib is a machined structural member. Also, the grains would be oriented vertically.
A typical rib for a compression crowned board should be wider than it is tall because it is designed to prevent the board from expanding as it takes up moisture after drying and glue-up, these ribs need to flex with the board when it takes up moisture and arches, creating compression and crown. this rib is not specifically designed to support a bearing load and does not have a radius machined into its surface.


And then there are the boards that are significantly dried but have cut crown in the ribs -- which is the way I've been doing it for 40 years... learned from someone who had been doing it that way for decades previously.


Keith Akins, RPT
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Re: Shigeru Kawai Comments by Piano Tech [Re: Floyd G] #2749995
07/07/18 11:42 AM
07/07/18 11:42 AM
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kpembrook Online content
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Originally Posted by Floyd G
Here at the University we have a 36 year old Kawai GS-30 in the practice rooms. In 2013 is was restrung, and while the plate was out I attempted to improve belly function by servicing the bridge (see PTJ August 2015 - Spurlock)and improving the impedance of the soundboard (see PTJ August 2002 "Last Resort Soundboard Repair" - Fandrich). I've set it up with Ronson Wieckert hammers, and we have no complaints at all about the vitality of the tone. This piano exhibits nice power and clarity.

In fact, for me, re-engineering older Kawai grands has become somewhat of a "growth industry" . I have re engineered pianos ranging from older KG series to several GS models to (at the time) a two-year-old RX-6. The results have been extremely positive to the owners. The RX-6 owner's reaction was "Now I don't have to buy a Bøsendorfer".

It's true that older Kawai action parts are seriously "klunky". But that can be remedied. Kawai hammers have the limitations typical of high-volume mass-produced hammers. And older Kawai pinblocks are inferior and will not do well with oversize pins. But that can be remedied, also. In addition, there are other engineering refinements that can enhance the performance. So far, I've not needed to replace the board to achieve overwhelmingly positive customer response.


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
Editor Emeritus, Piano Technicians Journal
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