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How do Kawais sound so mellow with hard hammers?
#2919063 12/02/19 02:08 PM
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Making this its own thread as my question about this in the other thread at the tech forum may have gotten buried. Japanese hammers tend to be hard, and the ones on my new Kawai are no exception. However, my piano has a very rounded and mellow sound. Not at all bright and harsh. Why is this so? I thought the harder the hammers, the brighter the sound. As far as I know, no voicing had been done on the hammers at the dealer.

Thanks.


Daily driver: Kawai MP11SE
First crush: 2018 Kawai GL10
Current fling (and it's getting serious): 1999 Petrof III
Foster child: 1927 Kurtzmann upright
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Re: How do Kawais sound so mellow with hard hammers?
Emery Wang #2919081 12/02/19 02:54 PM
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Its possible it was voiced at the dealer. The tuner who did my first tuning was from the store where I bought it. He said he does most of the setups on new pianos. For pianos like mine that go out on the floor, he needles the hammers, especially in the upper registers, to take some of the zing out of the sound. Not sure if your store might have done the same thing or not.
I think the higher level Kawais probably are subject to some kind of key pounding machine at the factory, but I doubt thats done on entry level models like ours.


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Re: How do Kawais sound so mellow with hard hammers?
Emery Wang #2919095 12/02/19 03:38 PM
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Thanks Mark. Based on the posts about hammers I've seen on PW, it seems it's all people can do to needle their hard Renner or Abel hammers often enough to keep them from getting too bright. Yet Kawais are known for their mellow tone despite hard hammers, and I for one have not had to chase them with any needling over the 2 years I've owned mine. The tone just seems to stay mellow on my piano, and is that way on most Kawai's I've played. I can't imagine all Kawai owners are constantly getting their hammers needled.

One local tech told me the mellow Kawai sound is due to the strike point on the strings instead of the hammers. Maybe that's it. In any event, Kawai's hard hammers seem to buck the trend of "hard hammers = bright tone."


Daily driver: Kawai MP11SE
First crush: 2018 Kawai GL10
Current fling (and it's getting serious): 1999 Petrof III
Foster child: 1927 Kurtzmann upright
Re: How do Kawais sound so mellow with hard hammers?
Emery Wang #2919106 12/02/19 04:31 PM
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Someone on here replaced the felt on their celeste with a thin piece of felt in order to change the hardness of their hammers without having to resort to needling. Since I have a rental piano, I’m going to try it with a thin piece of felt I buy from the Garment District and a curtain rod to hang the felt over the strings.

Last edited by LarryK; 12/02/19 04:32 PM.
Re: How do Kawais sound so mellow with hard hammers?
Emery Wang #2919131 12/02/19 05:24 PM
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I have an 1984 Kawai (KL502 )which is very mellow.
Kawai does make Boston pianos which are very mellow
yet very different in tone to Kawai pianos.
In the 80's Kawai made pianos for Scheidmayor, an
important European piano maker. One technician has
mentioned that during that time some Kawai pianos
had a tone that sounded similar to Scheidmayor.
I would say Kawai really have worked it all out when it
comes to tone.Is it just the hammers,I do not know ?
With the GL series ,the GL10 is a mellow tone., some
slightly larger ones to me sound rather bright ,yet when
comparing the 5' 8"(not sure of the exact size ?)it then
was more to the mellow side again.

Re: How do Kawais sound so mellow with hard hammers?
Emery Wang #2919147 12/02/19 06:12 PM
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Thanks Lady Bird. I'm toying with the idea of acquiring an old KG3, and may need to replace its hammers. However, I don't want to lose that great Kawai mellow tone when I do. I know I can choose softer hammers, but since Kawai hammers are hard, I'm thinking I should look for a similar style of hammer like an Abel natural or something. Just hope I don't end up making the piano sound like some of the overly bright Yamahas I've tried!


Daily driver: Kawai MP11SE
First crush: 2018 Kawai GL10
Current fling (and it's getting serious): 1999 Petrof III
Foster child: 1927 Kurtzmann upright
Re: How do Kawais sound so mellow with hard hammers?
Emery Wang #2919168 12/02/19 07:16 PM
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Emery
You might want to post this question in the tech forum


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Re: How do Kawais sound so mellow with hard hammers?
Emery Wang #2919696 12/04/19 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Emery Wang
Making this its own thread as my question about this in the other thread at the tech forum may have gotten buried. Japanese hammers tend to be hard, and the ones on my new Kawai are no exception. However, my piano has a very rounded and mellow sound. Not at all bright and harsh. Why is this so? I thought the harder the hammers, the brighter the sound. As far as I know, no voicing had been done on the hammers at the dealer.

Thanks.

Just another amateur guess but I will be corrected if wrong. I’ve read that if you take hard heavy hammers and then needle the surface in voicing it, actually results in a much warmer sound rather than taking soft hammers and then chemically making the surface harder to brighten the sound. Perhaps that explains the mellow voice.


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Re: How do Kawais sound so mellow with hard hammers?
Emery Wang #2919890 12/04/19 09:32 PM
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KAWAI's hammer felts have a feature . soft exterior tight and rigid on the interior so not bright enough

Last edited by chen; 12/04/19 09:33 PM.
Re: How do Kawais sound so mellow with hard hammers?
Emery Wang #2919922 12/05/19 12:00 AM
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Emery, How do you know your Kawai has "hard" hammers?


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Re: How do Kawais sound so mellow with hard hammers?
chen #2919945 12/05/19 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by chen
KAWAI's hammer felts have a feature . soft exterior tight and rigid on the interior so not bright enough

I see you are from Parsons Music. Regarding Ronisch pianos, I did not know you made any of these pianos? Is just parts for Ronisch or is it strung backs?
The same goes for Kawai .Which Kawai pianos do you make ? We would be interested if you could provide us with information.
Regards, LB

Last edited by Lady Bird; 12/05/19 01:26 AM. Reason: Missing word
Re: How do Kawais sound so mellow with hard hammers?
Emery Wang #2919959 12/05/19 02:32 AM
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I am asking the above question because our local Kawai dealer in Richmond BC sells
Kawai and Ronisch pianos and it just seems coincidental that Kawai and Ronisch are
mentioned under Parsons.(in Chen's profile)
I thought Ronisch pianos are all totally made in Germany ?
Sorry Emery this is rather OT.
I am not sure if you are from Parsons or Kawai in China ?

Last edited by Lady Bird; 12/05/19 02:35 AM. Reason: Missing word
Re: How do Kawais sound so mellow with hard hammers?
Emery Wang #2919965 12/05/19 03:20 AM
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1, We made KAWAI KU siries,and for sale in China.not for export your local kawai should be made in japan or indonesia
2, what models of Ronisch had you seen? About Ronisch ,i don't know much ,sorry
3 obviously ,I come from parsons music

Last edited by chen; 12/05/19 03:22 AM.
Re: How do Kawais sound so mellow with hard hammers?
Emery Wang #2919966 12/05/19 03:33 AM
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I have not seen any Ronisch personally but the different models are on the website
of our local Kawai dealer.I presume if one were interested one would order a Ronisch
model from them.(I am not interested in buying another piano)
I do see on your profile that Ronisch pianos are mentioned under Parsons. Piano Buyer talks about
them being made in Germany.(Bluthner ) ?

Re: How do Kawais sound so mellow with hard hammers?
chen #2919970 12/05/19 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by chen
1, We made KAWAI KU siries,and for sale in China.not for export your local kawai should be made in japan or indonesia
2, what models of Ronisch had you seen? About Ronisch ,i don't know much ,sorry
3 obviously ,I come from parsons music

It has been removed from your profile ? OK I do know it was there !
Very odd !!!

Last edited by Lady Bird; 12/05/19 04:00 AM. Reason: Missing word
Re: How do Kawais sound so mellow with hard hammers?
Lady Bird #2919978 12/05/19 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird

It has been removed from your profile ? OK I do know it was there !
Very odd !!!


I thought I saw Ronisch too. Maybe the forum is playing tricks on us Lady Bird!

Re: How do Kawais sound so mellow with hard hammers?
Lady Bird #2919979 12/05/19 04:25 AM
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profile toooooooooooo old ,so i need to update hahaha we had produced Ronisch long ago ,just sale for china ,not for export. now i think we dont produced anymore (maybe still have .. dunno ). that's not my business.

Re: How do Kawais sound so mellow with hard hammers?
johnstaf #2920033 12/05/19 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by Lady Bird

It has been removed from your profile ? OK I do know it was there !
Very odd !!!


I thought I saw Ronisch too. Maybe the forum is playing tricks on us Lady Bird!

Must be .........?
.

Re: How do Kawais sound so mellow with hard hammers?
Lady Bird #2920046 12/05/19 08:09 AM
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must be what ? dont tell me you guys can't edit profile yourself

Re: How do Kawais sound so mellow with hard hammers?
Ed McMorrow, RPT #2920173 12/05/19 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Emery, How do you know your Kawai has "hard" hammers?


Hi Ed. My tech tried needling some hammers and he said they were so hard he couldn't do it, would have to return with a needling tool that had some sort of lever on it so he could put more force on the hammerhead without damaging the flange. Later I did some side needling with a single needle per Keith Akin's PTG article and the hammers did seem hard to me, but I was able to penetrate with the single needle. Plus, I've read that Japanese hammers are hot pressed and tend to be harder.

Have you found that to be true with stock Kawai hammers yourself?

Thanks.


Daily driver: Kawai MP11SE
First crush: 2018 Kawai GL10
Current fling (and it's getting serious): 1999 Petrof III
Foster child: 1927 Kurtzmann upright
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