Which Piano is Right for You: Yamaha Vs. Kawai?
Question: “I am considering both Yamaha and Kawai pianos and they seem similar. What are some of the differences?”
Yamaha pianos are often near the top of the list when pianists begin looking for a good piano. If you are looking at the purchase of a new Yamaha piano, the consideration of a piano manufactured by Kawai may be in your best interest. Founded in 1927 by Koichi Kawai, Kawai endured ninety years of history to become one of the leading piano makers in the world. They continue to produce high-quality pianos at a price point that is hard to beat—even for Yamaha.
Kawai and Yamaha pianos are often compared due to a number of similarities. They are both based in Japan and have decades of experience in the crafting of both upright and grand pianos. They are also both leaders in the digital piano world. Their factories are some of the most advanced on the planet and they pride themselves on a consistency of construction. Both of the companies build an incredibly high number of pianos each year. This high production capacity combined with truly good quality has made both brands the choice of musicians, students and piano lovers around the globe. That being said, Kawai, in our opinion, has some significant advantages over Yamaha pianos which has allowed them to be the leader of innovation in the piano industry while maintaining competitive pricing for their high-quality pianos. So what separates Kawai pianos from Yamaha pianos?
1: Higher Stability
Kawai pianos, especially their grand pianos, have undergone steady and constant improvements in their design and workmanship over the years. Today, Kawai pianos come standard with their industry leading Millennium III ABS-Carbon Fiber action. Several decades ago, Kawai made the bold decision to begin the production of piano action components utilizing ABS-Styran. This change from wood was shocking to the traditional piano industry and initially was widely dismissed. The many years since have proven the stability and accuracy of their new parts, which today, are widely accepted and credited by the piano industry. In fact, America’s Mason & Hamlin through their subsidiary Wessel, Nickel and Gross have recently switched to similar, composite components with raving reviews. Currently, the new Millennium III action parts are made of ABS infused with Carbon Fiber for added strength and rigidity. These actions are utilized in both Kawai grand and upright pianos.
2: Quality of Tone & Touch
Kawai pianos offer a warmer, fuller quality of tone when compared to a normal piano built by Yamaha. This has made them the preferred choice of many classical pianists. The stereotypical sound of a Kawai is broad with a rich fullness which is quite pleasant and lacking unwanted harshness. This results in a piano that does not become straining to the ears over hours of practice and performance. The touch has also been improved. One of the primary reasons a full-size concert grand plays so well is the addition of longer keys. The majority of new grand and upright pianos built by Kawai also offer longer keysticks. Combined with the responsiveness and stability of the Millennium III action, this allows for the pianist to play with much more expression and ease.
3: Exceedingly Good Value
Yamaha is one of the most well-known brand names on the planet today—rightly so. Although they began as a musical instrument maker (as referenced by their logo which is made up of three, interlocked tuning forks) today, they manufacture everything from motorcycles to golf carts. This incredible name recognition has allowed them to price their pianos at a high price point. Kawai’s singular focus is on musical instruments, specifically, pianos. This specific focus has allowed them to produce instruments of the same or better quality and bring them to market at a more than reasonable price. Although both Yamaha and Kawai pianos are priced higher than some of their lower end competitors, nothing can substitute for good build quality and careful attention to detail. Kawai offers a Ten Year Factory Warranty with each of their new acoustic pianos. The combination of good value, craftsmanship, and embrace of technology has made the Kawai piano the choice of many.
The Pianists’ Choice
In conclusion, it must be recognized that each piano is different and only you the pianist can select the piano that is right for you. You certainly would be pleased with the craftsmanship of Kawai or Yamaha pianos. If you are interested in the purchase of a Kawai grand, upright or digital piano, feel free to get in touch with us today. (We also stock a selection of refurbished, pre-owned Yamaha grand pianos and upright pianos for sale in order to offer as many options to you as possible.)
Our piano showroom is located in Goshen, IN and is open for private appointment. This allows you to play and select from a number of these fine Japanese built pianos along with a number of historic, fully rebuilt pianos. As piano rebuilders for over forty years, we can help you find the grand or upright piano that is right for you. With a selection of brands including Mason & Hamlin, Kawai, Yamaha and Steinway & Sons, we are confident you will find your dream piano here at Chupp’s!
Chupp’s Piano Service, Inc. | New Kawai Grand, Upright & Digital Pianos | Restored Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
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