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recording kawai k300
#2820405 02/26/19 04:22 PM
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I was curious, has anyone tried the kawai k300, k500 amd k800?

How does each compare and price difference?

Which would be the yamaha competitors for each kawai model above?

Also, did anyone have any recordings of their work on these pianos, i would love to hear them?


Yamaha P155, Yamaha P515
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Re: recording kawai k300
Jitin #2820467 02/26/19 07:30 PM
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While shopping for my first acoustic around a year ago I tried the k200, k300, k500, u1 and u3. The only Kawai/Yamaha dealer near me did not have a k800 or YUS series on the floor which is probably a good thing since they are more than I was willing to spend. I would compare the k300 to the u1 and the k500 to the u3, so Kawai seems like more value for money. Of all of these the k500 was the clear standout to my ears so that is what I bought. On the Yamaha side, the u3 is a step above the u1 but for whatever reason I found the tone of the u1 more agreeable. The dealer tech claimed all were in good tune when I tried them. I do not have enough experience to evaluate that claim. Still being quite new to this, it did not occur to me to record myself while trying these pianos.

Re: recording kawai k300
Jitin #2820496 02/26/19 09:03 PM
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I played all 3 when I was shopping about a year ago. (I also played the silent version of the K500. The silent version feels noticeably different in silent mode than in normal mode, so I only briefly entertained that as an option.) The actions of all feel the same, no surprise there. The difference in sound is noticeable between the K300 and the other two models. The difference in sound between K5 and K8 was not as distinctive, but they were in different spots in a very large showroom that was acoustically less than optimal. My memory is fuzzy but I believe the K300 was $7900. I can't recall the pricing on the other two models but I know the K800 was so much more expensive I was not able to even consider it. I ended up with a GL-10 because I like the action of a grand better, even though I don't think it sounds as good as the K500 or K800. Again it was hard to compare tone because of the environment they were in.


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Re: recording kawai k300
Jitin #2820522 02/26/19 10:21 PM
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I purchased a Kawai K-500 for $8,000 (plus tax) one year ago, and have made the following four recordings on it.

The K-500 (at least mine) has a rather dark, mellow tone (which I like), and seems to sound best with pieces where the overall texture isn't too heavy or thick. The action is very responsive for an upright. I'm anxious to record Mozart and Bach on it in the future. I was told by the dealer that the tone could be brightened somewhat by a technician, but I haven't felt the need to pursue that.

Scott - Danse Negre Opus 58 No. 5
https://youtu.be/aj9B1tHdqGo

Grieg - Butterfly Opus 43 No. 1
https://youtu.be/qIqnXVibA9U

Schubert - Moment Musical Opus 94 No. 3
https://youtu.be/0xmT5pCSaWQ

Schumann - Arabeske Opus 18
https://youtu.be/zhlAXq1SbXk

The bass on the K-300s I played didn't compare well to the bass of the K-500, The K-500 was definitely a step up. Unfortunately, the dealer didn't have a K-800 on the showroom floor at the time - but since I already own a 7 foot grand (and had a limited budget to purchase an upright) I didn't feel motivated to try one. Granted, the K-800 has some higher end features (agraffes and full duplex scale, etc.) but I didn't feel those features justified the significant price difference between the K-500 and K-800.


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: recording kawai k300
Carey #2820625 02/27/19 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Carey

I purchased a Kawai K-500 for $8,000 (plus tax) one year ago, and have made the following four recordings on it.

The K-500 (at least mine) has a rather dark, mellow tone (which I like), and seems to sound best with pieces where the overall texture isn't too heavy or thick. The action is very responsive for an upright. I'm anxious to record Mozart and Bach on it in the future. I was told by the dealer that the tone could be brightened somewhat by a technician, but I haven't felt the need to pursue that.

Scott - Danse Negre Opus 58 No. 5
https://youtu.be/aj9B1tHdqGo

Grieg - Butterfly Opus 43 No. 1
https://youtu.be/qIqnXVibA9U

Schubert - Moment Musical Opus 94 No. 3
https://youtu.be/0xmT5pCSaWQ

Schumann - Arabeske Opus 18
https://youtu.be/zhlAXq1SbXk

The bass on the K-300s I played didn't compare well to the bass of the K-500, The K-500 was definitely a step up. Unfortunately, the dealer didn't have a K-800 on the showroom floor at the time - but since I already own a 7 foot grand (and had a limited budget to purchase an upright) I didn't feel motivated to try one. Granted, the K-800 has some higher end features (agraffes and full duplex scale, etc.) but I didn't feel those features justified the significant price difference between the K-500 and K-800.




When I went to listen to your four pieces, I found I had already "liked" and listened to three of the pieces. Just "liked" the other one as well. Well done!



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Re: recording kawai k300
Jitin #2820662 02/27/19 10:11 AM
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THe playing is nice . But as far as the piano is concerned, i think it might be tooo mellow for me, especially since i've been playing yamaha digitals.
If recording comes out mellow, usually means it is even more mellow in real life.


Also, how do these kawai upright actions compare to that of clavinova type digitals? I read in the other threads , someone people really favor the clavinova and kawai digitals actions over the k200...

its such a tough call, because these uprights have resonances that digitals don't but the digitals have fuller lower end/bass end and according to some better actions

Last edited by Jitin; 02/27/19 10:19 AM.

Yamaha P155, Yamaha P515
Re: recording kawai k300
Jitin #2820680 02/27/19 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Jitin
THe playing is nice . But as far as the piano is concerned, i think it might be tooo mellow for me, especially since i've been playing yamaha digitals.
If recording comes out mellow, usually means it is even more mellow in real life.


Also, how do these kawai upright actions compare to that of clavinova type digitals? I read in the other threads , someone people really favor the clavinova and kawai digitals actions over the k200...

its such a tough call, because these uprights have resonances that digitals don't but the digitals have fuller lower end/bass end and according to some better actions


Neither a K500 or the equivalent Yamaha U3 I have will sound mellow and muffled like that, likewise the bass they both have is (subjectively) louder, more extended and more vibrant not only than those on that recording but more so than any digital you are likely to play. You really have to listen to, and play, an acoustic piano yourself rather than listen to a recording, even a high quality professional studio recording.

Then you can make your own mind up :-)

Last edited by gwing; 02/27/19 11:06 AM.
Re: recording kawai k300
Jitin #2820691 02/27/19 11:31 AM
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Just my opinion here: It seems Kawaii and Yamaha uprights sound different and have a somewhat different feel to the action. It’s literally impossible to judge second hand from a recording.
Go play the pianos you are interested in. Play each piano with different pieces that use lots of high treble and low base notes. Play difficult for you pieces. Bring a recorder and take notes on each. The recording won’t bring out the nuances well but it will trigger your memory of the nuances. Record or take copious notes. Go back (if possible) several times and before making your own selection. Most piano dealers do want to close the sale before you leave but DONT hurry the selection.
Yamaha and Kawaii are fierce competitors but they go about the competition differently. I enjoy both but they sound and feel different. I’m attracted to the “Yamaha sound” because the C7 was used in recording studios for years so when I play rock ballads, the voice of my C3 rings true. Again, play as many pianos as you can before deciding.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
I save far better than I play!
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Re: recording kawai k300
gwing #2820776 02/27/19 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by gwing
Originally Posted by Jitin
THe playing is nice . But as far as the piano is concerned, i think it might be tooo mellow for me, especially since i've been playing yamaha digitals.
If recording comes out mellow, usually means it is even more mellow in real life.

Also, how do these kawai upright actions compare to that of clavinova type digitals? I read in the other threads , someone people really favor the clavinova and kawai digitals actions over the k200...

its such a tough call, because these uprights have resonances that digitals don't but the digitals have fuller lower end/bass end and according to some better actions

Neither a K500 or the equivalent Yamaha U3 I have will sound mellow and muffled like that, likewise the bass they both have is (subjectively) louder, more extended and more vibrant not only than those on that recording but more so than any digital you are likely to play. You really have to listen to, and play, an acoustic piano yourself rather than listen to a recording, even a high quality professional studio recording.

Then you can make your own mind up :-)

Jitin asked for recordings, so that's what I provided. I can tell you that my K-500 doesn't sound quite as "mellow" as it does in the home recordings - and, of course, I have no idea what any of you are actually "hearing" through the speakers on your home computers. grin So, for purposes of comparison, here's another K-500 recording by a dealer in the UK. He also has a similar demo video for the K-300 if you want to compare the sound.

https://youtu.be/us7924Tne1E

When I purchased my K-500 there were two other K-500s on the showroom floor. Both had been worked over by the store's techs and had a brighter sound that the one I selected. Also - I know that the tone of my piano will brighten over time. Also - none of the four recordings I provided emphasized the bass range of the instrument - which is much more resonant and powerful than that of the smaller K-300.

I agree with Gwing that purchase decisions should not be made through recordings - or based on the opinions of others. smile

Regarding Jitin's specific concerns:

I tried several Clavinovas before I made the decision to purchase my Kawai CA65 digital piano back in 2013. At the time I felt the Kawai's "Grand Feel action with let-off" was superior to the Clavinova's action. HOWEVER, I believe the Millenium III actions in the current Kawai K series uprights are even more responsive.

Digitals can be wonderful - and useful for silent practice. I've had fun practicing and recording on mine. But (IMHO) there is nothing like the sound and feel of a well regulated, tuned, quality acoustic - grand or upright.


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: recording kawai k300
NobleHouse #2820777 02/27/19 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by NobleHouse
When I went to listen to your four pieces, I found I had already "liked" and listened to three of the pieces. Just "liked" the other one as well. Well done!
Thank you. smile.


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: recording kawai k300
Carey #2821569 03/01/19 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by NobleHouse
When I went to listen to your four pieces, I found I had already "liked" and listened to three of the pieces. Just "liked" the other one as well. Well done!
Thank you. smile.

Yes I loved the Arabesque,one of my favourite Schumann pieces !

Re: recording kawai k300
Jitin #2821708 03/01/19 10:16 PM
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I once tried the K300 and K500 .Yes the latter was a big improvement
The new Yamaha U1's are also nice .My one was too new from the
warehouse and even though it was prepped it would have needed voicing if we kept it .
I tried a few U3 's but one day came across one in the dealer which had been there a while .It was really nice .This Yamaha model is comparable to the K500 .

Re: recording kawai k300
Lady Bird #2821716 03/01/19 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by NobleHouse
When I went to listen to your four pieces, I found I had already "liked" and listened to three of the pieces. Just "liked" the other one as well. Well done!
Thank you. smile.
Yes I loved the Arabesque,one of my favourite Schumann pieces !
Glad you liked it. I recall you mentioning in another thread that you also play the Arabeske. smile


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: recording kawai k300
Jitin #2821719 03/01/19 11:23 PM
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Yes I do ., I would not dare record .I just have my cell phone and it records very badly .I think my rubarto is a bit more extravagant (alla Horowitz gone wrong !)
One day perhaps .You have inspired me !(I do not have a U1 anymore either)

Re: recording kawai k300
Carey #2821767 03/02/19 03:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Carey

Also - I know that the tone of my piano will brighten over time.


My K-2 did indeed get quite bright but it responded well to voicing.

At my lessons I played both a K-3 and a K-5 and while the K-3 was nice, the K-5 was a big step up, IMO.

edit: My tech, bless her heart, did a great job on that K-2. If I was half as smart as I think I am, I'd still have that little piano.

Last edited by Plowboy; 03/02/19 03:43 AM.

Gary
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Re: recording kawai k300
Jitin #2821839 03/02/19 10:10 AM
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so I have yet to try these pianos, but I have to say, I'm coming from a digital and I have tried Yamaha c2 piano and kawai gl10, and I was not that impressed in the show room. SO I'm also wondering how others fair, like the kXXX series and Yamaha YUS series , but the bigger /taller end uprights, compare to the baby grand

I know few have mentioned that baby grand would have better action, but I'm wondering what specific repertoire would require that fast of repitition. I consider my self and intermediate in technical terms, but constantly listen advanced music, and nothing comes across that I can think of requiring extreme repitition


Yamaha P155, Yamaha P515
Re: recording kawai k300
Jitin #2821848 03/02/19 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Jitin
so I have yet to try these pianos, but I have to say, I'm coming from a digital and I have tried Yamaha c2 piano and kawai gl10, and I was not that impressed in the show room. SO I'm also wondering how others fair, like the kXXX series and Yamaha YUS series , but the bigger /taller end uprights, compare to the baby grand

I know few have mentioned that baby grand would have better action, but I'm wondering what specific repertoire would require that fast of repitition. I consider my self and intermediate in technical terms, but constantly listen advanced music, and nothing comes across that I can think of requiring extreme repitition


when I say I was not impressed, mainly referring to the sound


Yamaha P155, Yamaha P515
Re: recording kawai k300
Carey #2821935 03/02/19 01:51 PM
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Phil,

Enthralling playing on all four pieces.
thanks,

Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: recording kawai k300
Jitin #2821952 03/02/19 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Jitin
[...]I know few have mentioned that baby grand would have better action, but I'm wondering what specific repertoire would require that fast of repitition. I consider my self and intermediate in technical terms, but constantly listen advanced music, and nothing comes across that I can think of requiring extreme repitition


It's not just a question of the rapidity of the action of a grand over that of an upright, but also a definite sense of greater control over the action which translates to greater control over the dynamics and the expressiveness of one's playing.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: recording kawai k300
Jitin #2821988 03/02/19 03:52 PM
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There are uprights which compair well or better against many small grands .The YUS5 is a very nice instrument with a wonderful sound
Of course if possible consider a tall Seiler ,Sauter ,Steingraeber, Bechstein ,August Forster or Schimmel. These uprights are Ideal and the action easily allows all the expression you need .
They are expensive new but perhaps a lightly used one .

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