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#2025523 - 02/01/13 06:59 PM New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013
Rafterman Offline
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Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 407
Loc: New York


Edited by Rafterman (02/01/13 07:23 PM)

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#2025524 - 02/01/13 07:01 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Rafterman Offline
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Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 407
Loc: New York
[img:center][/img]

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#2025527 - 02/01/13 07:09 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Rafterman Offline
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#2025529 - 02/01/13 07:11 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Rafterman Offline
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#2025530 - 02/01/13 07:12 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Rafterman Offline
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#2025531 - 02/01/13 07:13 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Rafterman Offline
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#2025532 - 02/01/13 07:14 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Rafterman Offline
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#2025534 - 02/01/13 07:19 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Rafterman Offline
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#2025536 - 02/01/13 07:20 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Rafterman Offline
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#2025537 - 02/01/13 07:21 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Rafterman Offline
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#2025539 - 02/01/13 07:24 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Rafterman Offline
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Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 407
Loc: New York
So now there will be a "GX" series to replace the RX series. They are really nice.

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#2025545 - 02/01/13 07:34 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Robert 45 Offline
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Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 1227
Loc: Auckland New Zealand
Have you played them? Can you tell us how they sound and what the touch is like?

Thank you for the photos. The Shigeru with the fancy finish looks fabulous.

Kind regards,

Robert.

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#2025552 - 02/01/13 07:47 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
PianoWorksATL Offline
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Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2707
Loc: Atlanta, GA
They debuted the "Harlequin" S.Kawai in 2011. Back then, they used a red veneer on the inner rim that was less of a contrast than the quilted maple. I can't remember, but that may have been quilted maple stained red or perhaps something similar.
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#2025555 - 02/01/13 07:51 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: PianoWorksATL]
turandot Offline
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Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7191
Loc: torrance, CA
I see Kawai's point in calling it harlequin..

I'm going to hold out for Tartan plaid or houndstooth.
_________________________
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#2025627 - 02/01/13 10:16 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
terminaldegree Offline
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Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2676
Loc: western Wisconsin
Weren't there several signs inside their booth asking people not to take photos?
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#2025640 - 02/01/13 10:47 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Rafterman Offline
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Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 407
Loc: New York
I didn't see any signs banning photos. If there were signs saying that ......I would probably have pictures of that too. I am a huge Kawai fan. Nobody asked me to stop. I wasn't the only one. Are the Kawai police after me? wink

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#2025650 - 02/01/13 11:24 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
turandot Offline
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Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7191
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Rafterman
I am a huge Kawai fan.


From your posts here I figured you were considerably overweight.

Under these circumstances, I think you should stay away from the Harlequin look. Go with vertical candy stripes or a dark solid color, maybe black or brown.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#2025659 - 02/02/13 12:00 AM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Rafterman Offline
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Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 407
Loc: New York
Turnadot you're back! How I have missed you so. When are you going to come to NYC?

You flatter me! So you imagine me as an extremely overweight person running through your dreams? Fat fetish old boy?


Edited by Rafterman (02/02/13 12:08 AM)

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#2025669 - 02/02/13 12:43 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Norbert Offline
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Very pretty!

Norbert smile
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#2025813 - 02/02/13 10:14 AM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
CHAS Offline
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Registered: 11/25/03
Posts: 521
Loc: Ski Country of Colorado
"pinblock fitted to plate flange" Is that the same as Bosendorfer and Estonia?
If not, what is it that Bosendorfer and Estonia do that transmits the vibration to the keys?

Just found it. Keyboards built into the rim is what Bosendorfer and Estonia do.


Edited by CHAS (02/02/13 10:17 AM)
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#2025902 - 02/02/13 01:00 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: CHAS]
Rich Galassini Offline
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Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9223
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: CHAS
"pinblock fitted to plate flange" Is that the same as Bosendorfer and Estonia?
If not, what is it that Bosendorfer and Estonia do that transmits the vibration to the keys?

Just found it. Keyboards built into the rim is what Bosendorfer and Estonia do.


Maybe you were confused or using the wrong term, but neither of those "features" have anytyhing to do with transmitting vibration, Chas.

Vibration begins at the hammer strike of course. The vibration of the string goes through the bridge (which acts as a transducer) and then into the soundboard, which vibrates and moves the vibrations into the air and, eventually, into our ears.

The soundboard is needed because it comes in direct contact with much more air than the string itself, therefore we hear it better.

After writing this, I am thinking that you meant to say something completely different. If so, please repeat it dufferently because I did not understand. smile

All the best,
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#2026247 - 02/03/13 10:29 AM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
CHAS Offline
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Registered: 11/25/03
Posts: 521
Loc: Ski Country of Colorado
ok
What is done differently by Bosendorfer and Estonia that is said to causes the keys to vibrate giving the player a sensation much like playing a cello or other vibrating instrument.
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#2026250 - 02/03/13 10:36 AM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rich Galassini]
Ori Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 1703
Loc: Stamford CT, New York City .
Originally Posted By: Rich Galassini
Originally Posted By: CHAS
"pinblock fitted to plate flange" Is that the same as Bosendorfer and Estonia?
If not, what is it that Bosendorfer and Estonia do that transmits the vibration to the keys?

Just found it. Keyboards built into the rim is what Bosendorfer and Estonia do.


Maybe you were confused or using the wrong term, but neither of those "features" have anytyhing to do with transmitting vibration, Chas.

Vibration begins at the hammer strike of course. The vibration of the string goes through the bridge (which acts as a transducer) and then into the soundboard, which vibrates and moves the vibrations into the air and, eventually, into our ears.

The soundboard is needed because it comes in direct contact with much more air than the string itself, therefore we hear it better.

After writing this, I am thinking that you meant to say something completely different. If so, please repeat it dufferently because I did not understand. smile

All the best,



Rich,

I believe that CHAS meant the following.

The vibrating energy of the strings is not just about movement of the soundboard.
Higher quality manufacturers go through lengths to preserve and/or direct the energy stemming from the vibrating strings.

Quality pianos often transmit the vibrations underneath the keys (hence the spruce surface underneath the keys) and feel it provides the player a better connection with the music.

It is a rather pronounced affect in most quality grand pianos although players may take it as 'granted' or may be unable to pinpoint/explain the better connection...but it certainly makes a difference.

I find this affect very pronounced Steingraeber pianos, for example...and at times had seen people refer to playing one as almost 'playing on the strings'.

If you have a piano with the action out simply pluck a string while placing your hand on the spruce surface and you'll feel the same vibration which is transmitted to the fingers.
_________________________
Ori Bukai - Owner/Founder of Allegro Pianos - New York City and Stamford CT showrooms.

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Bluthner, Bosendorfer, Steingraeber, Estonia, August Forster, Haessler, Kawai.

Restored Steinway pianos.

www.allegropianos.com

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#2026524 - 02/03/13 08:44 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Peter B Offline
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Registered: 11/19/12
Posts: 22
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Rafterman
Are the Kawai police after me? wink

Depending on when you stroke. No signs the first day but the following days. Only exhibition with No Photo signs as far as I discovered. Great pictures and grands in any case.

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#2027061 - 02/04/13 06:22 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Rafterman Offline
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Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 407
Loc: New York
I tell you the pianos they had on display were well regulated. The Shigeru SK6 action was just amazing. I look forward to seeing the GX series on the East Coast.

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#2035027 - 02/17/13 10:49 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
panche23 Offline
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Registered: 11/28/07
Posts: 51
Loc: Arizona/Calif
How about a picture of the Artist bench with pneumatic control.

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#2036149 - 02/19/13 11:22 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
KawaiDon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/02
Posts: 1225
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Rafterman
I tell you the pianos they had on display were well regulated. The Shigeru SK6 action was just amazing. I look forward to seeing the GX series on the East Coast.


Thank you. That is a very nice complement to David Reed and myself.

The GX pianos will begin arriving in North America towards the end of March, but most dealers will wait until they have reduced their inventories of RX grands before ordering many.
_________________________
Don Mannino, MPA
Kawai America

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#2036618 - 02/20/13 08:46 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2061
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Mr. Mannino,
Your mention earlier of the new Kawai's bright, shiny metal tuning pins has been following me these days. Care to illuminate on their exact composition? Are they Stainless or Titanium alloy?
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In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2036622 - 02/20/13 09:00 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
backto_study_piano Offline
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Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 426
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: Rafterman
I tell you the pianos they had on display were well regulated. The Shigeru SK6 action was just amazing. I look forward to seeing the GX series on the East Coast.


It makes an amazing difference to a piano when they're well regulated. Pity dealers/distributors don't realise that when pianos are put on display in stores - at least here.
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Alan from Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert - she's 7'4" long and ebony) & 2 Allen Organs [long story - the first is for sale] - MDS312 and CF-15.

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#2039972 - 02/27/13 04:27 AM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Acca Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/12
Posts: 67
Does anyone know more information about the GX series pianos?

- Has it already been released in Japan?
- Will there be a simultaneous rollout in all parts of the world in March? (USA, Europe, Asia, Oceania?)
- Are the extra length keys all the same no matter the size of the piano (GX-2 to GX-7?)
- Does the extra length really make the difference that is claimed? Does it make the action lighter? Heavier? More responsive for PPP passages? Louder for FFF passages?
- Is the action still considered M-3 Ninja or some new variant?
- Is this a quantum leap forward or should I consider getting an RX on runout sale?

Inquiring minds need to know!


Edited by Acca (02/27/13 04:30 AM)

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#2040070 - 02/27/13 10:12 AM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Acca]
PianistInJapan Offline
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Registered: 01/12/13
Posts: 32
Loc: Japan
Acca,

I have played a GX-1 in a Kawai shop in Japan, so it is safe to say it has been released here. I also received a brochure of the GX-line.

I think it is not a quantum leap over the latest RX's. Actually I did not like the sound of the GX-1 that much. Touch was good, but I did not experience much difference with a new RX.

In Japan producers generally do not make quantum leaps; they rather improve their products gradually over the years. The GX-line should be seen in the same light. I heard that the GX-line has some features of the SK-line, though, so it certainly should have potential. I am very hopeful for the GX-2 and higher.

If I were you I would snap up a new RX. The GX may be somewhat better, but it is also somewhat more expensive. Now is probably the time to get a good deal on a new RX.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Kawai PN390 digital

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#2040361 - 02/27/13 07:42 PM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Acca Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/12
Posts: 67
Thanks for the insights, PianistInJapan. Weren't there any larger size GX's in the store to test? Interesting that you couldn't really tell the difference that the "longer keys" made. Did you do the comparison side to side with an RX?

Seems to me Kawai has been following the old 4 year car companies cycle lately for introducing upgrades: 2004 was Millennium 3, 2008/2009 was the "ninja" upgrade, 2012/2013 is the GX... Just trying to sort out the marketing hype from actual improvements.


Edited by Acca (02/27/13 07:43 PM)

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#2040539 - 02/28/13 04:26 AM Re: New Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Acca]
PianistInJapan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/13
Posts: 32
Loc: Japan
Acca,

No, there weren't any larger GX's in the store unfortunately.

There were the following models, though, all of which I played: RX-2 (new and second-hand), RX-3, SK-2, SK-3, Boston (forgot which type, but it was a smaller one, probably similar size as RX-2).

The GX-1 was not to my taste, so I did not play extensively on it. I tried to notice a difference in the touch, but could not easily distinguish it. The keys are only 1 cm (half an inch) or so longer, so the difference would not be dramatic anyway. If there is a difference at all, it should be most easily felt to the inside where the black keys are. But as said, even when consciously trying to notice, I did not find it much lighter than the other new grands (the second-hand felt a bit heavier).

Then again, my impressions are just one data point biased by personal preferences and my own technical inadequacies, so I encourage everyone to make up one's own mind.

Kawai has updated the RX-line many times, while keeping the RX name. Even when changing to carbon action, they did not change the name. The changes this time are probably smaller than before, but maybe the marketing department recommended the launch of the GX-line.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Kawai PN390 digital

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#2041741 - 03/02/13 06:53 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
PianistInJapan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/13
Posts: 32
Loc: Japan
I went to the Kawai store again today, and played the GX-1 once more to check my former impressions.

First of all, the touch is indeed lighter than the RX's in the store, and the keys are actually 2 cm longer than those of the RX-line. At this point it becomes a matter of personal preference. The touch of the RX-line is already very nice, and every time I play an RX I am truly impressed by the speed of the action. Really amazing! Fast passages and trills with which I struggle on my old digital Kawai become suddenly so easy. smile
Of course, the GX inherits all that, and adds a somewhat lighter touch.

Another difference between the RX and GX is the thickness of the board separating the keys from the pin block. Compared with the RX, this board is twice as thick in the GX, like in the SK-line. This gives the pin block more stiffness, making the piano hold its tune better.

I still wasn't charmed by the tone of the GX-1, but some tuning might make that better.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Kawai PN390 digital

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#2041761 - 03/02/13 08:43 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Acca Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/12
Posts: 67
Thanks for the first hand insights, PianistInJapan. My observation is that you are comparing the tone of a 1 series in the GX vs 2 or larger in the RX line, kinda unfair IMO. However the touch should be the same since I would think the keyboard assembly is identical across the series ( differing only in length of strings and casing and soundboard, which would obviously affect tone ). Maybe I should wait a couple more months for GXs to be available before making my decision... I would be looking at a GX-2 anyway.

Actually one of the supposed advantages of a longer key length is that it makes the touch more consistent along the whole length of the key, did you find much of a difference between the RX and the GX in that regard?


Edited by Acca (03/02/13 08:58 AM)

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#2043636 - 03/05/13 10:44 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
KawaiDon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/02
Posts: 1225
Loc: Orange County, CA
The touch difference is quite noticeable, especially in the smaller grands. The added inch (approx) in the key length has more affect in the smaller pianos.

The keys are the same amount longer than the equivalent RX of the same model. So the GX-6 keys are about an inch longer than the RX-6, etc. The way you can feel the improvement is to play the keys repeatedly (not especially fast, just repeat at a comfortable speed) and move your finger from front to back on the key. There is always a difference in touch resistance in piano keys from front to back, but with longer key lengths the difference becomes smaller. This is one reason pianists prefer to have a 7-foot sized grand for practice if possible. So in the smaller grands (GX-1, GX-2, GX-3) you get the most benefit of the longer keys. If you do this test on an RX, then move to the equivalent GX you can feel the difference.

The structure is substantially stronger in the front area of the piano with the GX pianos, and the rims are made of a blending of 2 different very hard woods, one a northern grown closed pore hardwood, the other a tropical grown open grain wood of equal hardness.

The soundboard is also slightly different in how it is tapered, and the string scale has been changed slightly to improve sustain.

So the pianos are fairly substantially different than the RX grands, and that is why it was decided to change to a new model designation. This is similar to when the KG grands were changed to RX back in 1995 - the design had been changed a lot at that time, too.

I hope this helps.
_________________________
Don Mannino, MPA
Kawai America

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#2043775 - 03/06/13 06:14 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: KawaiDon]
Acca Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/12
Posts: 67
Thanks Don. Want. One. Now. cry

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#2043827 - 03/06/13 08:41 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: KawaiDon]
PianistInJapan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/13
Posts: 32
Loc: Japan
Thanks for clearing that up Don. I made an appointment at the Osaka Kawai shop to try out an GX-2 and GX-3 next Saturday.

Looking forward to it. smile

BTW, in what aspects differs the GX-line from the SK-line? I get the impression that they are closer than the RX and previous version of SK.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Kawai PN390 digital

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#2045249 - 03/08/13 07:59 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Radio.Octave Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 440
It seems like there are an awful lot of "new lines" of Kawais coming out lately. In the grand scheme of things, the RX series really isn't that old, is it? Very recently, the BLAK series was released, and now the GX? This is becoming as bad as the iPhone, where a new model is released every other week.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the GX line, but this seems like marketing more than anything else.
_________________________
Kawai RX-6 BLAK

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#2045305 - 03/08/13 11:33 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
AJF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 1620
Loc: Toronto
Why would you think that it's just marketing when just a few posts above KawaiDon clearly outlined the tangible improvements made to the line? What's wrong with a company improving their products? It doesn't make your RX any less of an instrument then it was when you bought it.

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#2045402 - 03/09/13 08:19 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
PianistInJapan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/13
Posts: 32
Loc: Japan
Today I played the GX-1, GX-2, and GX-3. These models were pretty well tuned and prepped. The touch is indeed quite light, certainly lighter than the RX-2 in the same store, and even a bit lighter than the SK-2 they had, though that difference was subtle.

The on-site technician explained that the strings in the GX-line are thicker than those in the RX-line and the SK-line. This gives the GX a more powerful sound than the RX.

Now about the tone: As expected the bigger the piano, the fuller the bass, and I preferred the GX-3. That said, to be honest the tone of the GX-line is not my favorite. I had the same issues as I had with a recent second-hand RX-2: when the volume went above a certain level I heard ringing or a kind of metal-plate sound (see this thread). I am fully aware that it could be me, so probably 99% of the people would not hear it, but I do. A tuner told me that there are some Kawai owners who have similar issues with their instruments, but they are just a few, so I am probably part of this minority. I suspect that it is an overly enthusiastic sound-board resonance feeding back to the duplex scaling. Interestingly, other RX-2's do not seem to have this issue, or much less. I played another second-hand RX-2 today that had it much less than the second-hand RX-2 I played before. And some of this resonance gives a piano its character, so it is not all bad as long as it is not excessive. I found it a bit too much in the GXs, though: it could be me, the acoustics of the room, or these particular batches of the instruments, I don't know. It kind of leaves me scratching my head. I would love to hear others' opinions about this issue.

Did anyone notice that the price of the GX is not that much different from the SK? (I am speaking about the situation in Japan; maybe it is different elsewhere) The SK-2, for example, is just 30% more expensive than the GX-2. What you get for this difference is a very subtle and beautiful tone, dampers that are easier to control, wood that has weathered longer, the service of Kawai's top-tuners, etc. So, if I would be in the market for a GX, I would seriously consider an SK of a smaller size to remain within a certain budget.
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#2045462 - 03/09/13 10:45 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Justplay Offline
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Registered: 09/14/05
Posts: 237
That is so disappointing. Me and quite of few others have had that same issue with the Kawai Pianos. I was so hoping that this new GX would have fixed the issue. If you dig, on the internet, you will find that MANY have the issue with the Kawai pianos. I was even willing to upgrade to the SK line, but I still heard that horrible ringing and piercing overtone.

I went through 3 RX pianos (with the same issue) and I have a friend in Australia that went through 3 RX's himself. He settled for a RX6 but still hears that horrible overtone and is constantly trying to fix it (5 years) and NOTHING fixes it.

I so was hoping Kawai would have listened to consumers on this issue, but it appears it is only worsened on the new GX. I have saved my $ for the new GX and now I won't even bother. I Love, Love the action on the Kawai's and the beauty of their finish, but that horrible ringing overtone in the RX ans SK's and now even worse in the GX is disappointing beyond belief. Except for that issue, which is a deal breaker for me and many others, the Kawai pianos are simply the best!

There has been much conversation on this forum and others about this issue and the solutions tried have been from hammers, strings, voicing etc. etc., but I always said the problem is in the plate. I'm no tech, but I've done my research and I'm probably wrong since the GX uses a different plate, but I know it's not the strings or hammers or scale design as it is in EVERY one of their pianos, some worse, some not so bad, but if this GX has made that issue worse, you can keep your piano Kawai. It truly is a shame.

I'm now going to try to find a piano that plays as nice as the Kawai, but doesn't sound like one!


Edited by Justplay (03/09/13 10:52 AM)

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#2045502 - 03/09/13 01:23 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Justplay]
Robert 45 Offline
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Hang on! I think that you are jumping to conclusions on the new range of Kawai GX pianos which you have not even played and based on someone else's opinion.
I am not disputing your right to express your opinion about Kawai pianos or any other pianos, but I believe your stating "the problem is in the plate" is speculative and unsubstantiated.

Kawai pianos in general are both well respected and very popular with the majority of piano professionals and piano enthusiasts on this forum.

If you really love the touch of Kawai instruments, but want a top class sound, then you should be considering the Shigeru Kawai range.

Robert.

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#2045607 - 03/09/13 05:56 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: AJF]
Radio.Octave Offline
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Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 440
Originally Posted By: AJF
Why would you think that it's just marketing when just a few posts above KawaiDon clearly outlined the tangible improvements made to the line? What's wrong with a company improving their products? It doesn't make your RX any less of an instrument then it was when you bought it.


Well, salesmen will tell you anything. Adding new "features" to a piano doesn't necessarily make it better. Not knocking Don at all, but he works for Kawai.

Nothing wrong with improving a product, but from some of the reviews on this thread, it sounds like the tone on the GX is nothing spectacular, although I'm sure the price is.

How long has the Steinway Model D been the Model D? You don't see them coming out with a DX, D2, R2D2 or whatever, although I'm sure there have been improvements made.

I'm not bad rapping Kawai (heck, I have one) but I'm just commenting on what seems like the latest craze. Everything's always "new and improved", but is it, really?
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#2045610 - 03/09/13 06:04 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Justplay]
PianistInJapan Offline
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Justplay, it is too early to draw conclusions on the GX series based on my experiences. The GX was improved in many aspects over the RX, but I noticed this sound when I played them in this particular room. It will be good to hear the experiences of others before jumping to conclusions.

Regarding the SK series, I played several of them in several shops, and I never had any issues with them. They are wonderful instruments!
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#2045625 - 03/09/13 06:25 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Radio.Octave]
AJF Offline
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Originally Posted By: Radio.Octave
Originally Posted By: AJF
Why would you think that it's just marketing when just a few posts above KawaiDon clearly outlined the tangible improvements made to the line? What's wrong with a company improving their products? It doesn't make your RX any less of an instrument then it was when you bought it.


Well, salesmen will tell you anything. Adding new "features" to a piano doesn't necessarily make it better. Not knocking Don at all, but he works for Kawai.

Nothing wrong with improving a product, but from some of the reviews on this thread, it sounds like the tone on the GX is nothing spectacular, although I'm sure the price is.

How long has the Steinway Model D been the Model D? You don't see them coming out with a DX, D2, R2D2 or whatever, although I'm sure there have been improvements made.

I'm not bad rapping Kawai (heck, I have one) but I'm just commenting on what seems like the latest craze. Everything's always "new and improved", but is it, really?


I guess you'll just have to play one and decide for yourself.

The Steinway example you site is interesting. One of the ways Steinway has continued to market their instruments is by stating that their instruments are (without a doubt) the very best and perhaps that their instruments don't need improvement as they are already as perfect as they can be. To me this is arrogant.
On the other hand, Japanese companies seem to generally take a stance of continued research and continued improvements. Yamaha does it too.
But as I said initially, its up to the individual to decide whether or not said improvements are real and tangible or just marketing. I can't imagine though that a company like Kawai would have garnered such a great reputation over the last however many decades with marketing ploys not backed up with real results. kawai's 'plastic' actions from 30 years ago actually hurt their reputation initially but because it was a technology they believed in they stayed the course and it has paid off.
Also based on KawaiDons excellent reputation for honesty and a mostly objective stance on subjects which has been well established on this site over the years, I think its safe to say that your assumptions about his biases are ignorant. Go ahead and read over his past posts and you'll see what I mean.


Edited by AJF (03/09/13 06:26 PM)

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#2045645 - 03/09/13 07:13 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: PianistInJapan]
Robert 45 Offline
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It may be helpful for us to remember the old adage: "You get what you pay for." The high volume production pianos of Yamaha and Kawai are but a third, maybe even a quarter of the price of the comparable model of the highest quality instruments and I believe they represent excellent value for money. However, there will be compromises in the quality of the build and the components when you compare these instruments to the best that money can buy.

Dissatisfaction arises from unreasonable expectations-when we become aware that our piano Y does not have the brilliant, glittering treble or the powerful, growling bass of the same sized, top tier piano X. Both Yamaha and Kawai piano have their distinctive voice and provide a different playing experience from their European competitors.

As with people, I think we should be able to celebrate a kind of "cultural diversity" among pianos. The range and choice of instruments available today should be able to gratify every taste and preference, although, unfortunately, not every bank balance.

Robert.

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#2045672 - 03/09/13 08:19 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Radio.Octave]
musicpassion Offline
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Originally Posted By: Radio.

How long has the Steinway Model D been the Model D? You don't see them coming out with a DX, D2, R2D2


Oh - you haven't seen that model? It's the one with the trash can shaped case. And it's tonal range was really limited. Not surprised you haven't seen one.
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#2045682 - 03/09/13 08:49 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Norbert Offline
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The great pianos of the world have all been designed by a small number of top people.

In every case I know, these people have always very distinct tonal outcomes in mind not just doing engineering for engineering sake.

A good example of this was the late Joseph Pramberger who set out to design a piano not only with similar features to Steinway but [hopefully] also being similar in tone and performance.

One can certainly discuss if and to which extent these efforts have been successful [I did with Joe..] but without knowing what was to be accomplished, it's very hard to judge anything.

Unless companies state specific goals in re-designing their pianos, it's next to impossible to make a judgement if and to which extent they have been successful.

In similar cases, for example like the G-and C-series Yamahas, many people still don't agree that the C's are indeed automatically superior to G's, at least not across the board.

Suspecting that same is happening with the new models by both Kawai and Yamaha, notwithstanding the fact that they are very nice pianos either way.

If noticeable tonal and performance differences are not consistently to be found between old and "new" models, "new design", at least to me, is more of a word than reality.

From what has transpired so far in this thread, the jury still seems to be out to which extent "new" is also always "better" and most importantly - "noticeably so"

My one cent.

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (03/09/13 08:56 PM)
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#2045683 - 03/09/13 08:50 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: musicpassion]
AJF Offline
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Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 1620
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: musicpassion
Originally Posted By: Radio.

How long has the Steinway Model D been the Model D? You don't see them coming out with a DX, D2, R2D2


Oh - you haven't seen that model? It's the one with the trash can shaped case. And it's tonal range was really limited. Not surprised you haven't seen one.


smile

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#2045753 - 03/10/13 01:32 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Radio.Octave]
terminaldegree Offline
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Loc: western Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: Radio.Octave

Well, salesmen will tell you anything. Adding new "features" to a piano doesn't necessarily make it better. Not knocking Don at all, but he works for Kawai.


Although I understand your skepticism and am very wary of the hype posted by manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and even over zealous owners, I can add one data point.

Got to play the entire GX range at NAMM. Then I got to try two 5'5" models, back to back; one with the new action, one with the previous one. Although the room was too crowded and noisy to make a detailed observation of the tone, I could definitely feel a difference in the actions and prefer the response of the new design. The difference was most easily perceived at the moment the key was set into motion- less effort and better control over the descent of the key.

The tone of the 7,6,5 models seemed nice, and then less enveloping as I progressed to the smaller models, though I made the mistake of starting with the largest pianos first.
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#2045807 - 03/10/13 05:58 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
debrucey Offline
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Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
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Are improvements to tone and performance the only conceivable improvements that can happen to a piano?

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#2045844 - 03/10/13 10:11 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: debrucey]
Steve Cohen Offline
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Originally Posted By: debrucey
Are improvements to tone and performance the only conceivable improvements that can happen to a piano?


Great question.

How about improvements that increase tuning stability or longevity?
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#2045845 - 03/10/13 10:19 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Steve Cohen]
PianistInJapan Offline
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That were exactly improvements made to the GX series, as it is equipped with bigger and stronger pin blocks.
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#2045847 - 03/10/13 10:22 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
pianoloverus Offline
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Aesthetic improvements are improvements also IMO.

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#2045865 - 03/10/13 10:50 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Jethro Offline
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Registered: 10/07/07
Posts: 236
Are there any out there who have upgraded from the RX-2 to a GX-2. The new piano interests me. Any dealers out there know what the typical trade in value of an RX-2 (2006) should fetch me and are there any Kawai dealers in the Tampa area so I can try one out? The tone on my current RX-2 is exceptional which worries me to replace it, but the new key size change and improved construction intrigues me.


Edited by Jethro (03/10/13 11:02 AM)
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#2045978 - 03/10/13 02:55 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Norbert]
LFL Offline
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Registered: 12/06/12
Posts: 72
Originally Posted By: Norbert
If noticeable tonal and performance differences are not consistently to be found between old and "new" models, "new design", at least to me, is more of a word than reality.

From what has transpired so far in this thread, the jury still seems to be out to which extent "new" is also always "better" and most importantly - "noticeably so"

My one cent.

Norbert


Well stated.
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#2046101 - 03/10/13 06:26 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Hakki Offline
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Posts: 2560
I have an 2005 RX-2.

Besides the ringing treble issue stated above, which my piano also has -especially with the f#5, g5, g#5, a5 and a#5 notes- the tuning stability of these notes (some more, some less) are worse than the rest of the piano.

Therefore, IMO, they have made a good decision by trying to improve the tuning stability.

Though I find my piano's action just perfect, my brother who prefers a lighter action finds it a bit on the heavy side. So, again, making the key lengths longer and somewhat lighting up the action is a good decision too.

I don't see anything wrong or to be ashamed of improving their products on their side.

But, also the what you get for what you pay argument is also very true.

That said, IMO,the Kawai RX pianos are well build, good quality pianos for the money they are asking. I am one of a happy owner.
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#2046200 - 03/10/13 09:48 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Justplay Offline
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Registered: 09/14/05
Posts: 237
Kawai makes an incredible action! I only wished they would address the ringing/overtones on their pianos. Also, this is not the first I heard of unstable tuning stability. I've come to resign to the fact that the harsh overtones is indicative of the Kawai's and some may not notice or it won't bother them. And then there are those like Hakki that do notice it but still love the piano.

Here's to Kawai for an incredible piano action!

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#2047088 - 03/12/13 04:43 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Justplay]
Radio.Octave Offline
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Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 440
Originally Posted By: Jethro
Are there any out there who have upgraded from the RX-2 to a GX-2. The new piano interests me. Any dealers out there know what the typical trade in value of an RX-2 (2006) should fetch me and are there any Kawai dealers in the Tampa area so I can try one out? The tone on my current RX-2 is exceptional which worries me to replace it, but the new key size change and improved construction intrigues me.


Well, I upgraded from an RX-2 to a RX-6 BLAK. There is a significant size difference, so it was definitely worth it. If you've already got an RX-2 you're happy with, I doubt it's worth it to go to a GX-2 of the same size. If you can play one, give it a shot and see what your ears and hands tell you. When I upgraded to my RX-6, the dealer gave me back the full amount I originally paid for the RX-2. So, if you find a GX that you like, who knows, maybe they'll make you a good deal.

I actually just bought a Dawson string cover, and if I'm not mistaken, he runs a Kawai dealership in Sarasota. I PM'd you a link. Might be worth checking out.




Originally Posted By: Justplay
Kawai makes an incredible action! I only wished they would address the ringing/overtones on their pianos. Also, this is not the first I heard of unstable tuning stability. I've come to resign to the fact that the harsh overtones is indicative of the Kawai's and some may not notice or it won't bother them. And then there are those like Hakki that do notice it but still love the piano.

Here's to Kawai for an incredible piano action!


My Kawai definitely has overtones, but all pianos do. When I first got it, the treble was way too bright, but it's been responding well to voicing. I recently got a string cover, and it actually seems to tame the higher frequency sounds a little bit (if that's what bothers you). It almost sounds like I had the hammers voiced. It's a subtle effect, but I definitely notice it.
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#2047124 - 03/12/13 05:33 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Steve Cohen Offline
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Has anyone here who is experiencing overtones that they find objectionable tried muting the duplex scale?
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#2047542 - 03/13/13 09:13 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Steve Cohen]
PianistInJapan Offline
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The tuner in the Kawai shop tried that on a second-hand RX-2 of which I found the overtones objectionable (muting by putting felt in between the strings in the duplex scale). It didn't work out.
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#2047551 - 03/13/13 09:36 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Radio.Octave Offline
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I can't say that I've had a lot of trouble with the RX-2 and RX-6. Although, back when I had the GM-12, there was this ringing overtone in the bass ( a G-note, I think) and several techs just couldn't get rid of it. They eventually concluded that it was inherent in the piano. I heard it on other GM-12s, too.

I guess the overtones are just a part of the Kawai sound?
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#2047558 - 03/13/13 09:58 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Jeff Clef Offline
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Not my RX.
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#2047653 - 03/13/13 12:48 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Steve Cohen]
Jethro Offline
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I've heard of these purported offensive "overtones" by one other member on these boards a couple of years back. I did an internet search as suggested and the google search came up with one thread on PW about Kawai overtones, he blasted Estonia pianos with the same claim- it all seemed like a bunch of nonsense to me at the time and I never heard about em since. My RX-2 doesn't appear to generate any offensive overtones, I think the overall tone is fabulous- but that doesn't make it an infallible piano. We have an accomplished pianist above who pointed out some registers on his piano that could be more stable.

Norbert brought up a point in his thread on how one measure improvements. I think was very difficult to "improve" upon the RX-2 to begin with, at it's price point IMO it's probably the best piano out there. How do you improve upon something that's nearly perfect for the people it was designed for? The improvements will only be slight and incremental.


Edited by Jethro (03/13/13 12:49 PM)
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#2047659 - 03/13/13 01:01 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Norbert Offline
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Instead of discussing the pros and cons of "redesign" the magic bullet to noticeably improve a pianos tone [and touch..] IMHO is often a first class technician.

People forget that, with very few exceptions, pianos are not complete products when shipped from factory.

It's nice to have a "new design" but the underlying question is always what exactly has been "improved".

Unless one starts out from a pretty scrappy base,the increments of improvements are not always universally noticeable.

If it was otherwise, a discussion like the above would not be necessary.

My 1 1/2 cents.

Norbert smile
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#2047679 - 03/13/13 01:43 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Norbert]
Radio.Octave Offline
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Originally Posted By: Norbert
...

People forget that, with very few exceptions, pianos are not complete products when shipped from factory.




One of the few products I can think of that are like that. It's pretty sad when the manufacturer expects us to buy their (incomplete) product for anywhere from $1K - $100+K.

I agree, a good tech can do wonders.
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#2047871 - 03/13/13 08:44 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: KawaiDon]
Jethro Offline
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Originally Posted By: KawaiDon
The touch difference is quite noticeable, especially in the smaller grands. The added inch (approx) in the key length has more affect in the smaller pianos.

The keys are the same amount longer than the equivalent RX of the same model. So the GX-6 keys are about an inch longer than the RX-6, etc. The way you can feel the improvement is to play the keys repeatedly (not especially fast, just repeat at a comfortable speed) and move your finger from front to back on the key. There is always a difference in touch resistance in piano keys from front to back, but with longer key lengths the difference becomes smaller. This is one reason pianists prefer to have a 7-foot sized grand for practice if possible. So in the smaller grands (GX-1, GX-2, GX-3) you get the most benefit of the longer keys. If you do this test on an RX, then move to the equivalent GX you can feel the difference.


Just to elaborate my last post. I felt the change from my 2005 RX-2 to the current RX-2 Blak was an incremental change- so I was not interested in upgrading to the blak series.

But as Don describes the changes to the GX line IMO appear substantial- which is why I asked if anyone who has owned the RX-2 got to compare the GX and RX so I can make a better informed decision whether or not to consider upgrading. From Don's post above they are not going to be available in showrooms until late March.

I'm interested in the longer key lengths in the new GX line. The way I see it Kawai kept the action pretty much the same but by extending the key length an inch they are giving the pianist a substantial mechanical advantage by lengthening the lever arm so the pianist can generate more torque as he strikes the key. In physics class we learned that Torque= Force applied X lever arm. In this case the lever arm is the length of the key. A good analogy is trying to loosen or tighten a nut with a socket wrench that has a 10 inch handle versus the 14 inch handle. The 14 inch handle gives you mechanical advantage of a longer lever arm so the force required is less. As Don also pointed out above, it is also true that most graduate students prefer to play the larger grands during practice- simply because it more closely approximated the feel of the larger grand once in concert. All things being equal the touch should be lighter and more even with the piano with longer keys. (Correct me if I'm wrong, but is this not the basic concept or have I simplified it too much?)

I see the GX line as (possibly) a welcoming addition for the serious pianist who wants or needs the action of a concert grand but doesn't have space (or maybe money) to house a 7 or 9 foot grand. The lengthened keys may IN THEORY make it easier for a pianist to play more physically demanding pieces. They already had a phenomenal action there was no reason to "reinvent the wheel" just to produce a lighter action. Yet at the same time by lengthening the keys it gives the added advantage of replicating the feel and dimensions of the keys a performer might feel while on stage. Pretty forward thinking if you ask me.

And very intriguing, but at the same time kind of risky eh? - for a line of pianos that have been so successful? Seems like its kind of a radical change if anything- thus the new name? Questions remain: will most pianists like the "improved" touch- playing a 5'11 grand with the illusionary feel of a 7 foot grand. I'm sure Kawai did extensive marketing research with professional pianists or at least I hope so. While not necessarily as revolutionary thinking as utilizing carbon fiber in their actions this again represents Kawai's commitment to innovation- hopefully in the right direction. I can't wait to try one of these babies out!
_________________________
Kawai RX-2

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#2048028 - 03/14/13 03:38 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
As a very happy pre-Millenium III RX-2 owner, I really don't see any reason to upgrade to another RX. My piano holds its tune extremely well, has a wonderful tone with an amazing bass for such a short piano, has a firm and wonderfully responsive action that allows you to articulate whatever you want and can, looks great and is paid for. Why would I want to trade and wind up with something that is potentially less satisfying? I find myself more and more attached to my instrument.

Is my RX-2 ownership experience such an exception to the rule?

I would think that the market for these things is more people looking for their first grand rather than obsessive-compulsive gear acquisition and replacement syndrome based on incremental improvements. Maybe I'm wrong.

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#2048129 - 03/14/13 10:37 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Jethro]
Radio.Octave Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 440
Originally Posted By: Jethro
Originally Posted By: KawaiDon
The touch difference is quite noticeable, especially in the smaller grands. The added inch (approx) in the key length has more affect in the smaller pianos.

The keys are the same amount longer than the equivalent RX of the same model. So the GX-6 keys are about an inch longer than the RX-6, etc. The way you can feel the improvement is to play the keys repeatedly (not especially fast, just repeat at a comfortable speed) and move your finger from front to back on the key. There is always a difference in touch resistance in piano keys from front to back, but with longer key lengths the difference becomes smaller. This is one reason pianists prefer to have a 7-foot sized grand for practice if possible. So in the smaller grands (GX-1, GX-2, GX-3) you get the most benefit of the longer keys. If you do this test on an RX, then move to the equivalent GX you can feel the difference.


Just to elaborate my last post. I felt the change from my 2005 RX-2 to the current RX-2 Blak was an incremental change- so I was not interested in upgrading to the blak series.

But as Don describes the changes to the GX line IMO appear substantial- which is why I asked if anyone who has owned the RX-2 got to compare the GX and RX so I can make a better informed decision whether or not to consider upgrading. From Don's post above they are not going to be available in showrooms until late March.

I'm interested in the longer key lengths in the new GX line. The way I see it Kawai kept the action pretty much the same but by extending the key length an inch they are giving the pianist a substantial mechanical advantage by lengthening the lever arm so the pianist can generate more torque as he strikes the key. In physics class we learned that Torque= Force applied X lever arm. In this case the lever arm is the length of the key. A good analogy is trying to loosen or tighten a nut with a socket wrench that has a 10 inch handle versus the 14 inch handle. The 14 inch handle gives you mechanical advantage of a longer lever arm so the force required is less. As Don also pointed out above, it is also true that most graduate students prefer to play the larger grands during practice- simply because it more closely approximated the feel of the larger grand once in concert. All things being equal the touch should be lighter and more even with the piano with longer keys. (Correct me if I'm wrong, but is this not the basic concept or have I simplified it too much?)

I see the GX line as (possibly) a welcoming addition for the serious pianist who wants or needs the action of a concert grand but doesn't have space (or maybe money) to house a 7 or 9 foot grand. The lengthened keys may IN THEORY make it easier for a pianist to play more physically demanding pieces. They already had a phenomenal action there was no reason to "reinvent the wheel" just to produce a lighter action. Yet at the same time by lengthening the keys it gives the added advantage of replicating the feel and dimensions of the keys a performer might feel while on stage. Pretty forward thinking if you ask me.

And very intriguing, but at the same time kind of risky eh? - for a line of pianos that have been so successful? Seems like its kind of a radical change if anything- thus the new name? Questions remain: will most pianists like the "improved" touch- playing a 5'11 grand with the illusionary feel of a 7 foot grand. I'm sure Kawai did extensive marketing research with professional pianists or at least I hope so. While not necessarily as revolutionary thinking as utilizing carbon fiber in their actions this again represents Kawai's commitment to innovation- hopefully in the right direction. I can't wait to try one of these babies out!


I think this is a very complex problem. There are so many variables in play, it's hard to say how much of an effect a 2cm increase in key length will have. What is the the original key length? Is the fulcrum in the same place? The lever arm is not the total key length; it's the length from the fulcrum to the applied force. Also, longer keys (presumably) mean more mass, so more inertia to overcome.

You mean to tell me it took all these years of piano making to realize that the keys should've been 2 cm longer? Maybe there is a significant difference, but maybe not. With it's 10,000 moving parts working in harmony, a piano is a very complex mechanical device. How does one know that by changing key length, other aspects of the piano aren't affected? Hopefully Kawai put a lot of research into this, but in our "bigger is better" society, you have to be a little skeptical.
_________________________
Kawai RX-6 BLAK

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#2048132 - 03/14/13 10:39 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: theJourney]
Radio.Octave Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 440
Originally Posted By: theJourney
As a very happy pre-Millenium III RX-2 owner, I really don't see any reason to upgrade to another RX. My piano holds its tune extremely well, has a wonderful tone with an amazing bass for such a short piano, has a firm and wonderfully responsive action that allows you to articulate whatever you want and can, looks great and is paid for. Why would I want to trade and wind up with something that is potentially less satisfying? I find myself more and more attached to my instrument.

Is my RX-2 ownership experience such an exception to the rule?

I would think that the market for these things is more people looking for their first grand rather than obsessive-compulsive gear acquisition and replacement syndrome based on incremental improvements. Maybe I'm wrong.



Agree.
_________________________
Kawai RX-6 BLAK

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#2048136 - 03/14/13 10:46 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Radio.Octave]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7431
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Radio.Octave
You mean to tell me it took all these years of piano making to realize that the keys should've been 2 cm longer?

Key lengths have varried greatly throughout the history of piano building. It is not that the concept was just figured out, it just was a manufacturer who decided to provide a longer key in shorter models of grands, to match the action of their concert grands. The physics of the modern piano action have been understood for a long time.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2048247 - 03/14/13 02:53 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2560
Here is a recording of my RX-2 problem notes:

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Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

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#2048268 - 03/14/13 03:31 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Hakki]
Radio.Octave Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 440
Originally Posted By: Hakki
Here is a recording of my RX-2 problem notes:





Did you have it voiced? Tell your tech to really have at it. When I had an RX2, my tech did quite a bit of voicing.

I've actually had a lot of voicing done on my RX-6. The entire upper half of the keyboard needed it. The first few times, it didn't seem to last long at all. Not sure if it is the Kawai hammers, or what, but my tech was needling away last time, and he noticed some brightness returning right after he worked on them. He also commented that some of the hammers were very hard. Every time I've had it tuned, I've also had him voice down large sections in the treble. When I had an RX-2, it needed a lot of voicing at first, too.


Edited by Radio.Octave (03/14/13 03:32 PM)
_________________________
Kawai RX-6 BLAK

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#2048271 - 03/14/13 03:36 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10479
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
This sounds like a tuning and voicing problem to me.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

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Since 1937.

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My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#2048278 - 03/14/13 03:46 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Steve Cohen]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2560
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
This sounds like a tuning and voicing problem to me.


A problem unsolved since 2005 shocked
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

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#2048284 - 03/14/13 03:53 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Hakki]
Radio.Octave Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 440
Originally Posted By: Hakki
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
This sounds like a tuning and voicing problem to me.


A problem unsolved since 2005 shocked


Time for a new tech or tuner? cool
_________________________
Kawai RX-6 BLAK

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#2048362 - 03/14/13 06:28 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Radio.Octave]
Jethro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/07
Posts: 236
[/quote] You mean to tell me it took all these years of piano making to realize that the keys should've been 2 cm longer? Maybe there is a significant difference, but maybe not. With it's 10,000 moving parts working in harmony, a piano is a very complex mechanical device. How does one know that by changing key length, other aspects of the piano aren't affected? Hopefully Kawai put a lot of research into this, but in our "bigger is better" society, you have to be a little skeptical. [/quote]

I thought the same thing- in principle it all seems like a pretty straight forward concept, but people also thought the only thing man needed to fly was a pair of wings. It took the Wright brothers and possibly some obscure Brazilian to actually make it work. Maybe Kawai figured out how to make- what on the surface appears to be an easy concept- actually work. They're betting their top piano lines on it, so I imagine they're pretty confident it will take off.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2

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#2063923 - 04/13/13 09:50 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
PianistInJapan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/13
Posts: 32
Loc: Japan
So, did anybody already try out a GX? They should be in showrooms in the US too by now, I suppose?
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Kawai PN390 digital

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#2063958 - 04/13/13 10:53 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Hakki]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2061
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
This video shows that your piano need phasing of hammers and strings (fitting hammers to strings so all three are struck at the same time), and a good solid tuning. Then some judicious needling of the hammers.

Some of what you are hearing though is inherent to the state of the art of duplex scales. You might be interested in searching for my PW posts about my new invention called the "Fully Tempered Duplex Scale" which solves these issues.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2064228 - 04/13/13 08:58 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Justplay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/14/05
Posts: 237
Ed. if I wanted you to service my piano with your "Fully Tempered Duplex Scale" invention... how do I go about it?

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#2064318 - 04/14/13 02:00 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Justplay]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2061
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
I would have to replace your strings and modify the casting at a minimum. I have only done it on pianos receiving extensive rebuilding so far. Where are you located?
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2064593 - 04/14/13 05:21 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: PianistInJapan]
patH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 563
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: PianistInJapan
So, did anybody already try out a GX? They should be in showrooms in the US too by now, I suppose?
I was at the Musikmesse yesterday. Kawai had a GX-3 and a GX-6 at their stand.
I tried them both (briefly), and I liked them. I haven't played on a Kawai for a year, but if memory serves, the GX series is an improvement over the RX.

I liked the action and the feel of the keys. The sound was not too mellow (something I didn't like on the RX-2).
What I don't know is if there will be a GX with Anytime option. There were three Anytime models at the Kawai stand; the GE-30, GM-10, and an upright, but no GX.

Another thing: Kawai has not updated its webpage. The GX models are not listed. Pity.
_________________________
Everything is possible, and nothing is sure.
XXXI

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#2097757 - 06/07/13 10:41 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
Enrico Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 72
Loc: NJ
Ok I know I haven't played any gx series Kawais yet, but I do see a marketing aspect to this of course. Yamaha comes out with cx series so kawai has to come back with something hence the gx series. I also see a way for Kawai to charge more for less. This thicker stretcher bar and longer key will ultimately give you a shorter piano. right? If the stretcher bar is 2 inches thicker then before, then the pinblock starts back further thus giving you a smaller piano. A 5'5" becomes a 5'3" which could explain why some of the testers did not like the gx1 tone very much. Are we sacrificing tonal quality for a slightly lighter action? If so, and if I wanted to buy a Kawai, I would quickly go out and buy an RX series instrument and get a couple inches more piano for my money. Kawai actions have always seemed light to me, so lighter in my opinion is not a good thing. Many times coming off of a Kawai and then playing a Steinway in concert requires quite a bit of adjustment that quite frankly I don't like to have to make. This is my 2 cents and no I have not seen one yet.
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Worldwide Piano
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#2097856 - 06/07/13 12:55 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Enrico]
Voltara Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/09
Posts: 126
Originally Posted By: Enrico
Ok I know I haven't played any gx series Kawais yet, but I do see a marketing aspect to this of course. Yamaha comes out with cx series so kawai has to come back with something hence the gx series. I also see a way for Kawai to charge more for less. This thicker stretcher bar and longer key will ultimately give you a shorter piano. right? If the stretcher bar is 2 inches thicker then before, then the pinblock starts back further thus giving you a smaller piano. A 5'5" becomes a 5'3" which could explain why some of the testers did not like the gx1 tone very much. Are we sacrificing tonal quality for a slightly lighter action? If so, and if I wanted to buy a Kawai, I would quickly go out and buy an RX series instrument and get a couple inches more piano for my money. Kawai actions have always seemed light to me, so lighter in my opinion is not a good thing. Many times coming off of a Kawai and then playing a Steinway in concert requires quite a bit of adjustment that quite frankly I don't like to have to make. This is my 2 cents and no I have not seen one yet.


I guess that's one way to look at it, but different people have different priorities. My wife and I tried several examples of the Kawai RX-BLK series including the RX-2, and we both agreed that while we liked how they sounded, the action was much too heavy for us. So for us, the lightened touch of the GX series would actually be a welcome change.

The idea that the redesign gives you less piano for your money seems just a bit absurd. Schimmel uses the same keyboard and action in their 7' model as in their 6'3" and 5'7" models - are they guilty of depriving us of precious piano inches as well? Maybe so, if we were in the market of "an A0 speaking length" rather than "a musical instrument".

Of course, if Kawai did indeed overly compromise the musical qualities of the GX pianos by adding two inches to the front-end, well... there's no shortage of competition out there.

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#2097983 - 06/07/13 04:13 PM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Voltara]
Robert 45 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 1227
Loc: Auckland New Zealand
I have neither seen nor played any models of the new Kawai GX series and I do not know if the length of the strings has been shortened to accommodate the longer keys and the stronger stretcher bar.

However, we must also consider that the composition of the rim has been changed, which according to Kawai, gives more tonal power. There is also the strengthening of the stretcher bar and pin block which Kawai also claims enhances the tonal response of the piano.

Of course, one can say that this is just promotional or marketing talk from the manufacturer. Will the changes in design in the new GX series compromise its tonal qualities? I would think not, especially from a company with the nous and reputation of Kawai. String length is indeed one of many critical aspects of piano design, but does the longer string itself make a better sounding instrument? Good piano design is in the skill in balancing many compromises for the best total result.

I am really looking forward to playing one of these new Kawai GX grand pianos to see and hear for myself.

Robert

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#2105272 - 06/20/13 10:16 AM Re: New GX Kawai Pianos and Shigeru from NAMM 2013 [Re: Rafterman]
ZBGM0 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 97
I don't think that strings were shortened. New GX are little longer then old RX overall, GX-2 is not 5'10" but 5'11", GX 3 is not 6'1" but 6'2" etc. GX-2 is now also official grand (180 cm is the line)lol

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