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Re: So tell me about Kawai K15 or 506N Studio [Re: PianoWVBob] #2863838 06/29/19 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoWVBob


I'm not sure if it will change anything but I'm interested to see how the actions compare with each other. The K200 and up have the Millennium III action. I"m not sure about Yamaha...I guess I should investigate it just to know.


My humble opinion - The difference between Yamaha and Kawai actions - Yamaha spends a tremendous amount of time sourcing their woods, including spruce and maple, looking for proper stability within the wood, orienting the grain properly so the parts will not check over time, and carefully building the action.

Kawai makes injected molded composites which take little to no preparation (big difference in cost). They are consistent from part to part, with occasional flaws in the casting. This is to be expected. Here is the issue. Traditional action manufacturing materials (high quality woods), when carefully chosen, rarely cause an action issue in typical play. However, wool felt that expands and contracts with changes in humidity do. Kawai still uses these materials. Please see the photo of a grand with the Millenium III action.

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I have circled 4 places on this action where traditional materials will cause an issue if there is are fluctuations in humidity (sorry I should not have used black on this photo). They include 2 bushing points within each key, 3 bushing points within the wippen, and a traditional knuckle that will change shape over time from use. These are the points that need to be commonly addressed because of changes in humidity and temperature that a piano has to deal with.

My company has a large outside service department and we regularly service Kawai pianos in the field. Kawai has also sent us several warranty issues that we happily repair (I suppose the local Kawai dealers are not very tech. savvy). I also have a friend in the industry who maintains a large university's pianos in the Southwest USA. He has a variety of instruments, including Kawai and Yamaha and sees little to no difference in how they hole up and react to humidity issues.

I applaud Kawai for seeking out 21st century materials. The parts themselves should be consistent and, in the long run, it is much cheaper to make composite parts than to go through the trouble of sourcing and working traditional wood. But this does not mean these actions are impervious to humidity changes.

Bottom line - choose the piano you love. Do not choose it simply because it has a composite action.

My 2 cants,




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Re: So tell me about Kawai K15 or 506N Studio [Re: PianoWVBob] #2863858 06/29/19 08:00 AM
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Rich Galassini - Thank you so much for posting this. Fascinating. I enjoyed seeing the Millennium III action displayed like that! But I do still love the traditional Yamaha action.


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Re: So tell me about Kawai K15 or 506N Studio [Re: PianoWVBob] #2863860 06/29/19 08:14 AM
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Rich, thanks so much for posting that explanation and the photo! It's super interesting!

I have long been partial to Yamaha over Kawai, partly because my very first acoustic piano was Yamaha U1 that I had in my house in Japan where the humidity levels were a constant roller coaster. That piano was so stable, so consistent, and I loved how it sounded. I had it for 8 years and only sold it because I couldn't get it on the plane when we moved back to the US. frown

Back to the subject of Kawai vs. Yamaha, I'm trying to give Kawai a chance in my grand search, so in the next few weeks when I visit some dealers that have Kawai inventory, I'll play whatever Kawai grands are available.

Sorry for the thread drift PianoWVBob! But if you have the chance to play a Yamaha upright, esp. a U1, definitely do! I'll be curious to see what you think either way.


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Re: So tell me about Kawai K15 or 506N Studio [Re: ShiroKuro] #2863863 06/29/19 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Rich, thanks so much for posting that explanation and the photo! It's super interesting!


You are absolutely welcome, ShiroKuro.


Rich Galassini
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Re: So tell me about Kawai K15 or 506N Studio [Re: PianoWVBob] #2863887 06/29/19 09:52 AM
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Yes, thanks Rich! That was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time to educate me.

Re: So tell me about Kawai K15 or 506N Studio [Re: PianoWVBob] #2865417 07/03/19 06:11 AM
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Oh man...only one more day!!! Tomorrow is the day I get to play a bunch of acoustic pianos for the first time!

I'm very excited and also a bit sad for my meager skills so far. I hope my wife doesn't tire of the same stuff I will play over and over. smile

I'm planning on bringing a few things that I practice so that I don't blank out and not know what to do while I'm there.

I've also decided in my mind that it's ok if I walk away from this trip not having ordered anything...it will (at the very least) be an opportunity to see what I really want and if I want it now.

Re: So tell me about Kawai K15 or 506N Studio [Re: PianoWVBob] #2865425 07/03/19 06:42 AM
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Bob
You use the phrase ‘not order anything’ tomorrow. If you are talking about a possible acoustic, please do not order. Every acoustic, even the same brand and model, will be slightly different. You want to buy the exact piano you have played.

Don’t forget to write down the brand, model, year and serial number so you will know exactly what you tested

Have fun!!!!! We are all excited for you.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Re: So tell me about Kawai K15 or 506N Studio [Re: dogperson] #2865428 07/03/19 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Bob
You use the phrase ‘not order anything’ tomorrow. If you are talking about a possible acoustic, please do not order. Every acoustic, even the same brand and model, will be slightly different. You want to buy the exact piano you have played.

Don’t forget to write down the brand, model, year and serial number so you will know exactly what you tested

Have fun!!!!! We are all excited for you.


Yes, that's what I meant, I just meant that I wouldn't be putting it in the back of my truck and hauling it home! smile

I have a clipboard ready with the street prices of ones that I think I'd want, I have a "1 page per shop" plan ready to go. I plan on taking notes on every piano I play that's in my price range or is desirable. I will note the serial, and condition or anything else that I need to remember when deciding.

I MIGHT just make the rounds and play all of the candidates and then take a few hours the second day to make a decision after digesting the days' events. I'm sure I'll be all pumped up and overwhelmed after all of that.


Last edited by PianoWVBob; 07/03/19 06:47 AM.
Re: So tell me about Kawai K15 or 506N Studio [Re: PianoWVBob] #2865439 07/03/19 07:37 AM
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I am so excited for you!!

Don’t forget that you can also ask the salesperson to play for you. I would do that after finding one or two that I especially liked, and then stand back and listen. That can be very educational as well.


Started piano June 1999.
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Re: So tell me about Kawai K15 or 506N Studio [Re: ShiroKuro] #2865442 07/03/19 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
I am so excited for you!!

Don’t forget that you can also ask the salesperson to play for you. I would do that after finding one or two that I especially liked, and then stand back and listen. That can be very educational as well.

Thanks for the reminder! I know that I'll have a more objective idea of the tone if I'm not concentrating on playing.

Re: So tell me about Kawai K15 or 506N Studio [Re: PianoWVBob] #2865476 07/03/19 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Oh man...only one more day!!! Tomorrow is the day I get to play a bunch of acoustic pianos for the first time!

I'm very excited and also a bit sad for my meager skills so far. I hope my wife doesn't tire of the same stuff I will play over and over. smile

I'm planning on bringing a few things that I practice so that I don't blank out and not know what to do while I'm there.

I've also decided in my mind that it's ok if I walk away from this trip not having ordered anything...it will (at the very least) be an opportunity to see what I really want and if I want it now.

Sounds like fun, Bob!

As for your piano playing skills, they will improve as you play more. Having a nice piano that you love makes you want to play more, which improves your playing skills.

As for me, I think my piano playing skills were better years ago, and are on the decline now; I watched one of my YT music videos from years ago yesterday and thought to myself, wow, that was good! What happened between then and now? But then I got to thinking I was just a bit younger and better looking back then... smile

Wishing you all the best in your piano shopping endeavors! thumb

Rick


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Re: So tell me about Kawai K15 or 506N Studio [Re: Rickster] #2865490 07/03/19 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Oh man...only one more day!!! Tomorrow is the day I get to play a bunch of acoustic pianos for the first time!

I'm very excited and also a bit sad for my meager skills so far. I hope my wife doesn't tire of the same stuff I will play over and over. smile

I'm planning on bringing a few things that I practice so that I don't blank out and not know what to do while I'm there.

I've also decided in my mind that it's ok if I walk away from this trip not having ordered anything...it will (at the very least) be an opportunity to see what I really want and if I want it now.

Sounds like fun, Bob!

As for your piano playing skills, they will improve as you play more. Having a nice piano that you love makes you want to play more, which improves your playing skills.

As for me, I think my piano playing skills were better years ago, and are on the decline now; I watched one of my YT music videos from years ago yesterday and thought to myself, wow, that was good! What happened between then and now? But then I got to thinking I was just a bit younger and better looking back then... smile

Wishing you all the best in your piano shopping endeavors! thumb

Rick

Thanks Rick!

I'm trying to get the "the one thing I can play reasonably well" that I can play on each piano as a comparison. Right now I'm going through stuff like ii-V-I in all keys and so that's sort of what I do every morning. I JUST got to the last key (G)...it's been 12 weeks of this. I also work on other things and I understand a lot of what's BEHIND the tunes or whatever, it's the execution of it. I played guitar for 30 years and so there is a LOT of transferrable knowledge but my coordination....that's a different story entirely! smile

I know from playing guitar that there will be breakthroughs, there already has been, and so I look forward to more.

I would dearly love to be able to learn to sing reasonably well and accompany myself so that I could sing to my wife.

Re: So tell me about Kawai K15 or 506N Studio [Re: PianoWVBob] #2865493 07/03/19 10:01 AM
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Are the stores open on the 4th?


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Re: So tell me about Kawai K15 or 506N Studio [Re: terminaldegree] #2865496 07/03/19 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Are the stores open on the 4th?

Lol...I got too excited! I didn't realize tomorrow was the 4th. I meant Friday the 5th.

I'll be going on Friday not tomorrow. smile

Re: So tell me about Kawai K15 or 506N Studio [Re: PianoWVBob] #2865542 07/03/19 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Thanks Rick!

I'm trying to get the "the one thing I can play reasonably well" that I can play on each piano as a comparison. Right now I'm going through stuff like ii-V-I in all keys and so that's sort of what I do every morning. I JUST got to the last key (G)...it's been 12 weeks of this. I also work on other things and I understand a lot of what's BEHIND the tunes or whatever, it's the execution of it. I played guitar for 30 years and so there is a LOT of transferrable knowledge but my coordination....that's a different story entirely! smile

I know from playing guitar that there will be breakthroughs, there already has been, and so I look forward to more.

I would dearly love to be able to learn to sing reasonably well and accompany myself so that I could sing to my wife.

I know what you mean about playing the stringed instruments, Bob. I too was a guitar player of sorts, along with the 5-string banjo and the violin/fiddle (depending on what kind of music you play on it:-) for many years before I started learning to play the piano.

Your musical knowledge and experience playing the guitar will definitely help you with transfering/applying the musical fundamentals and principles to the piano. It has helped me a lot. I dug this vid up on my YT channel the other day and enjoyed listening to it. I'm thinking those glory days are gone as well. smile
"Old mountain dew" on the 5-string banjo

All the best,

Rick


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Re: So tell me about Kawai K15 or 506N Studio [Re: PianoWVBob] #2865546 07/03/19 11:28 AM
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That was great!

I'm also in awe of banjo players smile

Re: So tell me about Kawai K15 or 506N Studio [Re: terminaldegree] #2865591 07/03/19 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
I’m pretty sure the “guts” of the K-2/K200 are the same as a UST-9.


No, sorry, this is not correct - the K200 is a 44" piano, the UST-9 / ST-1 is a 46" and a completely different scale design.


Don Mannino, MPA
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Re: So tell me about Kawai K15 or 506N Studio [Re: PianoWVBob] #2865598 07/03/19 12:41 PM
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PianoWVBob, forgive me if you've already thought of and/or discussed this before, but do you have "routine" in mind for trying out the pianos?
Here's what I do when I sit down to play/test out a piano:
1. play each note (key) starting from the lowest bass note, moving slowly all the way up to the highest treble note. I strive to make my playing here very even so that the exercise works as intended.
2. play octaves up the keyboard from bass to treble. When I do this I tend not to play every single note, although doing so would also be good, but I do make sure to play both white and black keys while doing things
3. Play some three-finger chords, first major chords, then minor.
4. Play my "testing" repertoire. This is a set of 7 pieces that I picked for some specific reasons. First, they are all pieces I can play without thinking about them. Next, they are in different keys, and each of them have concentrations in one spot on the keyboard. And they each have dynamics and rhythmic qualities distinct from each other. I tend not to play each piano from beginning to end (mainly because it would take too long). But in each piece I try to play the hardest part, the fastest part, the quietest part, the part with big chords, the part with the trills, etc.

I always do these steps in the same order at each piano (my poor husband has to put up with this!) and I've found that it helps me to feel confident that I'm evaluating the instrument thoroughly. And having a set routine helps me pay attention to what I'm doing, i.e. evaluating an instrument, and avoid feeling nervous (which I would if I were thinking "oh I'm playing for all the people in the shop")

I've also found that doing it this way really helps me to feel like I've gotten to know the piano, and in some, I've found the piano's spots of concern. For example, I've found a sour note, or a harsh note, or a dead note for some of the used pianos etc. or actions that feel stiff but that I might not have noticed without all the variety in my testing routine.

You might not feel like you have enough pieces to play to do something like this, but there's no reason you can't play two measures from one score, two measures from another, etc.

Anyway, just a suggestion. smile


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Re: So tell me about Kawai K15 or 506N Studio [Re: ShiroKuro] #2865603 07/03/19 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
PianoWVBob, forgive me if you've already thought of and/or discussed this before, but do you have "routine" in mind for trying out the pianos?
Here's what I do when I sit down to play/test out a piano:
1. play each note (key) starting from the lowest bass note, moving slowly all the way up to the highest treble note. I strive to make my playing here very even so that the exercise works as intended.
2. play octaves up the keyboard from bass to treble. When I do this I tend not to play every single note, although doing so would also be good, but I do make sure to play both white and black keys while doing things
3. Play some three-finger chords, first major chords, then minor.
4. Play my "testing" repertoire. This is a set of 7 pieces that I picked for some specific reasons. First, they are all pieces I can play without thinking about them. Next, they are in different keys, and each of them have concentrations in one spot on the keyboard. And they each have dynamics and rhythmic qualities distinct from each other. I tend not to play each piano from beginning to end (mainly because it would take too long). But in each piece I try to play the hardest part, the fastest part, the quietest part, the part with big chords, the part with the trills, etc.

I always do these steps in the same order at each piano (my poor husband has to put up with this!) and I've found that it helps me to feel confident that I'm evaluating the instrument thoroughly. And having a set routine helps me pay attention to what I'm doing, i.e. evaluating an instrument, and avoid feeling nervous (which I would if I were thinking "oh I'm playing for all the people in the shop")

I've also found that doing it this way really helps me to feel like I've gotten to know the piano, and in some, I've found the piano's spots of concern. For example, I've found a sour note, or a harsh note, or a dead note for some of the used pianos etc. or actions that feel stiff but that I might not have noticed without all the variety in my testing routine.

You might not feel like you have enough pieces to play to do something like this, but there's no reason you can't play two measures from one score, two measures from another, etc.

Anyway, just a suggestion. smile

Actually I haven't and that's good information!

I'll definitely approach it that way. I know in the excitement I'd probably not be very methodical so this is a good checklist for me.

Re: So tell me about Kawai K15 or 506N Studio [Re: PianoWVBob] #2865611 07/03/19 01:04 PM
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Glad to be of use! And I know what you mean about excitement getting the better of you! smile

Oh and as an aside, when I played the Feurich grand (that I wrote about in an earlier post), I really didn't like it at first. But I thought, well, I still need to go through all the steps in my testing routine, so I plunked along. By the time I was on the third piece, the piano started to grow on me, and it turned it to be one my favorites so far. I ended up playing a few of my test pieces from beginning to end because I liked it so much. Had I not had that routine, I might have just moved on without getting to know it enough to realize how much I liked it.


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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