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Kawai K300 vs Yamaha U1 #2717287
02/26/18 05:28 AM
02/26/18 05:28 AM
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Insainous Offline OP
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So,

Not long ago i posted a topic about buying a roland instead of a yamaha, but i've passed that.

Now my thoughts is about either a Yamaha U1 or a Kawai K300.

In terms of mechanics, wich is better? What about action? I've heard about the ABS carbon of the kawais, but aint sure if it really is that much of a difference.

And finally - What about sound?

I'd like tou read you guys opinions,

thanks in advance.

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Re: Kawai K300 vs Yamaha U1 [Re: Insainous] #2717288
02/26/18 05:48 AM
02/26/18 05:48 AM
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huaidongxi Offline
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are you considering the purchase of brand new instruments ? yamaha has a reputation for consistency, but there have been differences between U1's over the many years of its production. both the yamaha and kawai are mass produced, my guess the total of the yamahas out in the world and in dealers considerably outnumbers the kawai's. both have die hard constituencies and advocates, and nearly all, and the non partisans, would say, the differences you perceive after thoroughly testing and auditioning them are the ones that matter.

Re: Kawai K300 vs Yamaha U1 [Re: Insainous] #2717341
02/26/18 11:47 AM
02/26/18 11:47 AM
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Phoenix, Arizona
Carey Offline
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I recently purchased a new Kawai K-500. Action is the same as the K-300. Extremely responsive - allowing for greater speed and ability to play pianissimo (compared to other uprights I tried). Overall the tone is quite warm. The 500 has greater richness of tone than the 300 due to duplex scaling in the treble and longer strings in the bass. My experience with Yamaha U1's is that they tend to sound brighter. Didn't play one for comparison this time around.


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: Kawai K300 vs Yamaha U1 [Re: Insainous] #2717354
02/26/18 01:34 PM
02/26/18 01:34 PM
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Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
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It's sort of like saying, "Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla?"
Most everyone has an opinion that they truly form after a test drive, and then decide if their dealer experience/terms were satisfactory enough to make a purchase.
On paper and by reputation, they're pretty well-matched. But they are not identical.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
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Re: Kawai K300 vs Yamaha U1 [Re: Insainous] #2717355
02/26/18 01:41 PM
02/26/18 01:41 PM
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Arkansas
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supersport Online content
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If you look at list prices, the larger K 500 is in the same price range as the U1. That might have bearing on your decision as well. Maybe someone can comment on the equivalent street prices of these two for you.


David



Re: Kawai K300 vs Yamaha U1 [Re: supersport] #2717361
02/26/18 02:14 PM
02/26/18 02:14 PM
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Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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Originally Posted by supersport
If you look at list prices, the larger K 500 is in the same price range as the U1. That might have bearing on your decision as well. Maybe someone can comment on the equivalent street prices of these two for you.


One might be able to comment on the equivalent street prices if one knew the location of the OP.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Kawai K300 vs Yamaha U1 [Re: huaidongxi] #2717380
02/26/18 03:40 PM
02/26/18 03:40 PM
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Insainous Offline OP
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Originally Posted by huaidongxi
are you considering the purchase of brand new instruments ? yamaha has a reputation for consistency, but there have been differences between U1's over the many years of its production. both the yamaha and kawai are mass produced, my guess the total of the yamahas out in the world and in dealers considerably outnumbers the kawai's. both have die hard constituencies and advocates, and nearly all, and the non partisans, would say, the differences you perceive after thoroughly testing and auditioning them are the ones that matter.


Yes, i intend buying a new piece.

Re: Kawai K300 vs Yamaha U1 [Re: Insainous] #2717382
02/26/18 03:47 PM
02/26/18 03:47 PM
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Insainous Offline OP
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by supersport
If you look at list prices, the larger K 500 is in the same price range as the U1. That might have bearing on your decision as well. Maybe someone can comment on the equivalent street prices of these two for you.


One might be able to comment on the equivalent street prices if one knew the location of the OP.

Regards,


I live in Brazil, so the U1j is about $9570 and the K300 is about $10800. The U1 is about $14000. The K500 is about $17300

Re: Kawai K300 vs Yamaha U1 [Re: Insainous] #2717404
02/26/18 05:53 PM
02/26/18 05:53 PM
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huaidongxi Offline
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Insainous, do you play popular/jazz or 'classics' or both ? most yamahas sound brighter and brasher than kawai's, but that is usually favored by pop/jazz practitioners who often play in ensemble with amplified instruments and drum kits, or seeking a sound like pop/jazz piano recordings, which often use yamaha. many users would also contrast the feel and actions of the two makes, another important aspect where your preference is the only one relevant. did you play the two versions of the U1 ? that is a considerable price difference between them. my contrarian opinion, the success, marketing and branding of yamaha often means a premium imposed on the consumer for new pianos for the 'brand name.' something like an asian counterpart to steinway and sons.

Re: Kawai K300 vs Yamaha U1 [Re: Insainous] #2717408
02/26/18 06:05 PM
02/26/18 06:05 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,196
Phoenix, Arizona
Carey Offline
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Originally Posted by Insainous
Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by supersport
If you look at list prices, the larger K 500 is in the same price range as the U1. That might have bearing on your decision as well. Maybe someone can comment on the equivalent street prices of these two for you.


One might be able to comment on the equivalent street prices if one knew the location of the OP.

Regards,


I live in Brazil, so the U1j is about $9570 and the K300 is about $10800. The U1 is about $14000. The K500 is about $17300


Is this in Brazilian currency or US currency?


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: Kawai K300 vs Yamaha U1 [Re: Insainous] #2717409
02/26/18 06:08 PM
02/26/18 06:08 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 230
Norway
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Skjalg Offline
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The Kawai K300 and K500 have more legroom than the Yamaha U1. If you are tall that may make a difference. The K500 has duplex, the K300 does not. As far as I can remeber there are more platic parts in the Yamaha than the Kawais.

Re: Kawai K300 vs Yamaha U1 [Re: terminaldegree] #2717437
02/26/18 08:44 PM
02/26/18 08:44 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,653
USA
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8 Octaves Offline

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USA
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
It's sort of like saying, "Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla?"
Most everyone has an opinion that they truly form after a test drive, and then decide if their dealer experience/terms were satisfactory enough to make a purchase.
On paper and by reputation, they're pretty well-matched. But they are not identical.


Pretty good analogy because after owning both the Honda and the Toyota, I cannot understand why I believed it when told they are the same thing. I can say I'd not be buying one of those brands again. As for Yamaha and Kawai, I've play both extensively and will not buy one of them despite everyone saying that are the same. They are not. It does really come down to personal preference, and if you let someone else convince you which one is better, you'll be buying someone else's preference. At least with a car, it has shorter lifespan and there's a big market for used Civics and Corollas. I'd not want to be stuck with a piano I didn't love, since it's hard to get rid of and you lose a lot of money when you do.

Re: Kawai K300 vs Yamaha U1 [Re: Skjalg] #2717443
02/26/18 09:05 PM
02/26/18 09:05 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
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Insainous Offline OP
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Insainous  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2018
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Originally Posted by huaidongxi
Insainous, do you play popular/jazz or 'classics' or both ? most yamahas sound brighter and brasher than kawai's, but that is usually favored by pop/jazz practitioners who often play in ensemble with amplified instruments and drum kits, or seeking a sound like pop/jazz piano recordings, which often use yamaha. many users would also contrast the feel and actions of the two makes, another important aspect where your preference is the only one relevant. did you play the two versions of the U1 ? that is a considerable price difference between them. my contrarian opinion, the success, marketing and branding of yamaha often means a premium imposed on the consumer for new pianos for the 'brand name.' something like an asian counterpart to steinway and sons.


I play Classic the most. I feel that somehow the Kawai has a lighter action, wich a consider good for Chopin pieces, among others. The difference between U1j and U1 is that the first is built in Indonesia.

Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Insainous
Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by supersport
If you look at list prices, the larger K 500 is in the same price range as the U1. That might have bearing on your decision as well. Maybe someone can comment on the equivalent street prices of these two for you.


One might be able to comment on the equivalent street prices if one knew the location of the OP.

Regards,


I live in Brazil, so the U1j is about $9570 and the K300 is about $10800. The U1 is about $14000. The K500 is about $17300


Is this in Brazilian currency or US currency?


I converted REAL to US dollars. There are a lot of import taxes in Brazil.

Originally Posted by Skjalg
The Kawai K300 and K500 have more legroom than the Yamaha U1. If you are tall that may make a difference. The K500 has duplex, the K300 does not. As far as I can remeber there are more platic parts in the Yamaha than the Kawais.


I'm actually a short person...

Re: Kawai K300 vs Yamaha U1 [Re: 8 Octaves] #2717478
02/27/18 12:25 AM
02/27/18 12:25 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,196
Phoenix, Arizona
Carey Offline
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Carey  Offline
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Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted by 8 Octaves
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
It's sort of like saying, "Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla?"
Most everyone has an opinion that they truly form after a test drive, and then decide if their dealer experience/terms were satisfactory enough to make a purchase.
On paper and by reputation, they're pretty well-matched. But they are not identical.
Pretty good analogy because after owning both the Honda and the Toyota, I cannot understand why I believed it when told they are the same thing. I can say I'd not be buying one of those brands again.
I've bought three Hondas (one Civic and two Accords) during the past 16 years. All three are still in the family and going strong. Two have 95K and one has 150K. The next car will be a Honda - and yes, they are different than Toyotas. smile
Quote
As for Yamaha and Kawai, I've play both extensively and will not buy one of them despite everyone saying that are the same. They are not. It does really come down to personal preference, and if you let someone else convince you which one is better, you'll be buying someone else's preference. At least with a car, it has shorter lifespan and there's a big market for used Civics and Corollas. I'd not want to be stuck with a piano I didn't love, since it's hard to get rid of and you lose a lot of money when you do.
Quite true about pianos. Ideally you should always buy one you love or at least like a lot !! I happen to really like the Kawai K-500 and it was the best new upright piano I could find within my budget.


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: Kawai K300 vs Yamaha U1 [Re: Insainous] #2717480
02/27/18 12:39 AM
02/27/18 12:39 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,196
Phoenix, Arizona
Carey Offline
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Originally Posted by Insainous
I live in Brazil, so the U1j is about $9570 and the K300 is about $10800. The U1 is about $14000. The K500 is about $17300.........I converted REAL to US dollars. There are a lot of import taxes in Brazil.
The price difference between the K300 and K500 seems unusally large compared to the difference between the two in the US. Those import taxes must be killers !


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: Kawai K300 vs Yamaha U1 [Re: Insainous] #2718891
03/04/18 04:40 PM
03/04/18 04:40 PM
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Posts: 518
New Zealand
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yok Offline
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New Zealand
There is an Indonesian made K300 in some markets. We get that one here in NZ and possibly Brazil does too. This makes for a bigger price gap between the K300 and K500 - here the K300 retails for $NZ10000 and the K500 for $NZ16000 which is a similar differential to the one Insainous quotes.

Re: Kawai K300 vs Yamaha U1 [Re: yok] #2718924
03/04/18 07:37 PM
03/04/18 07:37 PM
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Phoenix, Arizona
Carey Offline
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Originally Posted by yok
There is an Indonesian made K300 in some markets. We get that one here in NZ and possibly Brazil does too. This makes for a bigger price gap between the K300 and K500 - here the K300 retails for $NZ10000 and the K500 for $NZ16000 which is a similar differential to the one Insainous quotes.
Thank you for the clarification. I have noticed the variation of information on the web regarding "country of origin" for the K300. Quite frankly, I'm surprised that Kawai builds the K300 in two different countries as it obviously causes some confusion in the international market. I understand that the popular K200 is built exclusively in Indonesia. I have to wonder whether the Indonsian built K300 is really all that different (quality wise) from the one built in Japan - in which case it probably is a very good deal at the lower price !!


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: Kawai K300 vs Yamaha U1 [Re: Insainous] #2718971
03/04/18 11:44 PM
03/04/18 11:44 PM
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Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Online content
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Seattle, WA USA
I don't often see newer vertical pianos because I mostly tune Grands. But I recently tuned a K300 that was about three years old. It was the only new piano I have seen that came from the factory with the V-bar perfectly shaped. It tuned up very cleanly and the tone was excellent. If Kawai is shaping all the V-bars on it's pianos like this one, they are on the correct path and any buyer can be assured that no plain wire string buzzes will ever occur and the strings will endure use better than if the V-bar was shaped to a U-shape which is typical of the industry.


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Re: Kawai K300 vs Yamaha U1 [Re: Insainous] #2719125
03/05/18 03:28 PM
03/05/18 03:28 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 181
raleigh, nc
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raleigh, nc
The U1 is *the* standard to which all manufacturers strive to achieve in building upright pianos. There is no question about this fact.

I am so tired of hearing about Yamaha's being bright. The quality of tone is not fixed in a piano. The quality of tone is something that you and your technician "bring about" in your instrument through voicing. Any piano can be made to be as bright or as mellow as you desire. I don't think the public realizes this.

In the past 50+ years, Yamaha has produced one model of 48" upright: the U1. In that time Kawai has produced countless different model numbers of 48" instruments that are impossible to track which prevents consumers from being able to determine the quality, consistency and reliability of these instruments. This should tell you something about how each manufacturer stands behind their product.


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Re: Kawai K300 vs Yamaha U1 [Re: JazzPianoOnline] #2719197
03/05/18 06:17 PM
03/05/18 06:17 PM
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Phoenix, Arizona
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Originally Posted by JazzPianoOnline
The U1 is *the* standard to which all manufacturers strive to achieve in building upright pianos. There is no question about this fact.
Larry Fine states that the U1 is "the standard against which every 48" vertical is inevitable compared." That's not quite the same thing. In fact, the Yamaha YU series is supposed to be better than the U series - correct??? So perhaps the YU series should be the new standard.

Quote
I am so tired of hearing about Yamaha's being bright. The quality of tone is not fixed in a piano. The quality of tone is something that you and your technician "bring about" in your instrument through voicing. Any piano can be made to be as bright or as mellow as you desire. I don't think the public realizes this
Point taken.

Quote
In the past 50+ years, Yamaha has produced one model of 48" upright: the U1. In that time Kawai has produced countless different model numbers of 48" instruments that are impossible to track which prevents consumers from being able to determine the quality, consistency and reliability of these instruments. This should tell you something about how each manufacturer stands behind their product.
Or perhaps it tells you something about which manufacturer is constantly striving to improve their products through innovation. smile I appreciate your love of Yamaha, but I think what you are implying about Kawai is a bit unfair. And what about the popular Yamaha B3 48" upright? Quite honestly, I've been equally baffled by the numerous nomenclature changes of models by BOTH Kawai and Yamaha over the years.



Last edited by Carey; 03/05/18 06:18 PM.

Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
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