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Hello folks,

I don't tend to post in the acoustic piano areas of PW, as my role within Kawai is almost exclusively related to digital pianos. However, I recently posted an "off-topic" thread in the digital piano forum regarding a beautifully produced video about the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX, and was encouraged to also make a thread in this forum.

Here is the original post (please expand the video to fullscreen if it squashed by the comment box):

Originally Posted by myself
My colleagues at Kawai Europe recently produced and uploaded an absolutely wonderful video entitled "Introducing the Shigeru Kawai EX concert grand piano". The content of this video isn't strictly related to digital pianos (it's perhaps more suitable for the acoustic piano forum), but it's a beautiful produced and performed video that's well worth watching.




Here is the second video, again featuring pianist Ivan Ilić performing on a Shigeru Kawai instrument:



Here is the third video:



Here is the fourth video:



Here is the fifth and final video in the series:



Kind regards,
James
x
Interesting. Thanks for sharing.
Wonderful playing - beautiful sound !!

(Now if just had an extra $200K......) ha
Beautiful concert grand and a great recording. Does the Piano have the Millennium action? The bass definition is wonderful. I personally would like a clearer ie. fewer overtones, in the treble after 4.55. But that’s just personal taste. Here’s an interesting comparison to a C. Bechstein D https://youtu.be/h4I4zIrIR1U. They’re like two bottles of fine wine, you just can’t say one is better, and this is something I love about pianos.
Both sound outstanding, though different.
Interesting video and terrifc playing. But I'm puzzled by the video's title. Hasn't the Shigeru concert grand been around for quite a long time? Or is this a new version?

I remember hearing Earl Wild play one at Mannes, and I think that was around 10 years ago. I played one in the Bechstein store on 58th Street in Manhattan a long time and thought it was sensational. I think PW's Can Cakmur played this piano in his final concerto performance in the just ended Hamamatsu Competition where he won the gold medal.
Really enjoyed that, thanks so much for the share. I want one!
I recently played a Shigeru Kawai EX Concert Grand side by side with a Yamaha CFX, 2 different Steinway D's and a C. Bechstein concert grand @ Piano Solutions in Carmel Indiana, and I really liked the Kawai much better than the Bechstein and CFX. I preferred the color palette and I love the Millenium III action which closely resembles the WNG action that I put in my Steinway model B. I did like one of the Steinway D's the best of their fleet of concert grands that day, but the Kawai was amazing. The other D just recently came into their used inventory and needs a little work. I didn't get to compare the SK EX to their Bosendorfer Imperial Grand since it was out on rental on that particular day, but I have played it on several other occasions and have never been overly impressed with that particular piano.

Piano Solutions in Carmel, Indiana is a great place to visit, b/c they have a large inventory from so many different brands and models in their inventory for so many manufacturers around the world. One can really get a feel for them side by side. In most cases, one can't even compare to Steinway D's at a local dealer side by side, much less compare it to 4 or 5 different makes of concert grands. If any of you are ever in our area, I highly recommend you pay them a visit!
It's a beautiful piano - I have to say that Kawai has excelled itself with the SK-EX. I've played several and they are sonorous and powerful.
It's a shame that, in my experience, Kawai is not pro-active in promoting these pianos - well, in the UK, that is - and there is very little interest (again speaking from personal experience) of getting these wonderful pianos on to the stages of major venues.

I think the SK-EX could be a real potential 'threat' to several other widely concert grands if the company actually decided to push them.
Nice video and recording. I'm noticing the mic placements and see at least 4. I'm curious about the equipment used. The SK-EX is certainly a fine piano, and a tremendous improvement over the previous Kawai EX.
Originally Posted by precise
It's a beautiful piano - I have to say that Kawai has excelled itself with the SK-EX. I've played several and they are sonorous and powerful.
It's a shame that, in my experience, Kawai is not pro-active in promoting these pianos - well, in the UK, that is - and there is very little interest (again speaking from personal experience) of getting these wonderful pianos on to the stages of major venues.

I think the SK-EX could be a real potential 'threat' to several other widely concert grands if the company actually decided to push them.


That may be true. My guess, however, is that they are "pushing them" just as hard as they want to.

If I may give you a parallel example - I inquired about the seeming lack of distribution and lack of aggressive marketing in N America for a certain high-end brand of piano (in this case a German brand) and when told how many instruments they wished to sell on this continent I was shocked that it was so low. I was told that they simply were near the limit as to their production capacity. I had no idea.

I suspect that the Shigeru line in its entirety (which I happen to love) is at maximum capacity at this point as well. I think they only produce something on the order of 300 - 350 instruments annually - all sizes. My guess would be that the SK-EX would be perhaps 10% of that figure. Just a guess. It may actually be fewer.

That is the thing about Steinway - as a high-end brand they produce far, far more instruments in both factories than any of the other "Top 6" brands by a huge margin.
Quote
They’re like two bottles of fine wine, you just can’t say one is better, and this is something I love about pianos.


A true wine lover would say "I'd like not 2 - but 20 bottles of wine" [tasting]
With pianos, this IMHO is even more so the case.
Love to have some 9' Grotrians, Steinways, Bosis, Estonias and Steingraeber thrown into the mix.
Comparisons are always hard when the "next bottle" is not right besides the other one.
In real life of course, you might simply enjoy what you happen to have!
And this is not so much intended as comparison but presentation of a very nice piano indeed - great sound!

Norbert smile
Nice - thank-you.
Good afternoon folks,

Thank you very much for your positive feedback.

Kawai Europe has added a follow-up video, again featuring pianist Ivan Ilić performing on a Shigeru Kawai instrument that I thought many of you would enjoy:



I've yet to visit the Kawai store in Hamburg, but it looks absolutely wonderful!

Kind regards,
James
x
Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
The SK-EX is certainly a fine piano, and a tremendous improvement over the previous Kawai EX.


Then the SK-EX must really be something. I played a K.Kawai EX at a recital and was just stunned by the piano. It was a dream to play. If I ever hit the lottery...
Good afternoon folks,

Kawai Europe has uploaded the third video in their series featuring pianist Ivan Ilić performing on the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX:



Kind regards,
James
x
Kawai opening their new store in Hamburg kind of reminds me of the Church of England opening a church within the walls of the Vatican.

What a glorious sounding piano though! From the video it seems they've really got this right.
Good afternoon folks,

Here are the fourth and fifth (and final) videos in this excellent series:





Kind regards,
James
x
Really gorgeous sounding!
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