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#251399 - 07/31/04 11:08 AM Yamaha vs. Kawai
Hannibal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/01/04
Posts: 171
Loc: Sydney, Australia - Cologne, G...
Today my piano got tuned (oh gosh it's so lovely again) and I had an interesting talk with my technician about different piano brands.
Somehow we started talking about the differences of Kawai and Yamaha and I asked him about his preferences. Surprisingly he said that he would always prefer the Yamaha over the Kawai. He pointed out that this statement was solely based on the quality of their products. He used to work for a Kawai dealer a few years ago and said that after a few years you could literally throw them away.

What's your opinion on that? Has the quality of Kawai improved in recent years?

RG TL
_________________________
Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.

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#251400 - 07/31/04 11:49 AM Re: Yamaha vs. Kawai
Eric F Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 518
Loc: La Quinta, CA
Your tuner's malice can be explained by stupidity. What he stated in not true. I don't sell either Kawai or Yamaha, but the facts are the facts. They are both well made, dependable piano lines that are used by restraunts, hotels, sound stages, universities, and millions of families around the world. Any tech who tells you that after a few years, Kawai's need to be 'thrown away' should be himself discarded in the trash heap where he belongs.
_________________________
Eric Frankson
"Music comes first from my heart, and then goes upstairs to my head where I check it out." - Roberta Flack

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#251401 - 07/31/04 01:06 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Kawai
Jeff Bauer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/03
Posts: 1718
Loc: Los Angeles
I have found over the years that people are pretty passionate about their opinions on pianos. It's a personal thing. Teachers and Tuners, especially, tend to over do it with their love for or against a certain brand.

People tend to exxagerate their opinions with such hefty statements as "It needs to be thrown away in a few years". Take it with a grain of salt (and a lime chased with a shot of Jose Cuervo).
_________________________
Jeff Bauer | Keyboard Concepts

Yamaha | Schimmel | Bösendorfer | Knabe | Seiler | Restored Steinway

BauerHouse Productions

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#251402 - 07/31/04 01:30 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Kawai
skbpen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/15/04
Posts: 6
Unfortunately even some technicians fall into the brand bashing because of one reason or the other. It is sad because there are a lot of great brands of pianos available today. Kawai and Yamaha happen to be two.
The differences are minor though very significant. Namely the Kawai action - ABS/Carbon fiber is more durable and consistant than the traditional wood. Kawai almost always sounds warmer than a Yamaha, which is prefered in the home. And the players I've had on Kawai preferred the feel as it didn't "get away from them."
_________________________
Passion is doing what you like best!

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#251403 - 07/31/04 02:24 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Kawai
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
Kawai makes a nice piano, maybe you should throw your current tech away. It sounds to me like he could be grinding an axe against a former employer.

I like Kawai.
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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#251404 - 08/01/04 07:24 AM Re: Yamaha vs. Kawai
cps Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 171
Loc: Sydney, Australia
I have a bias towards Yamaha, but I'm not stupid enough to say that Kawais are crap and need to be thrown away after a couple of years! I've worked for a Yamaha dealer for about 6 years, so am very comfortable with the product. I usually don't get along with Kawais as well, but I've certainly tuned plenty of very nice Kawais. Uprights and grands. That ABS action has been the cause of many problems I've come across in Kawais though, and I wouldn't say a timber action isn't "durable". They both have their good points, and bad points. Another matter of personal choice me thinks.

Greg
_________________________
Yamaha accredited tech (Japan & Australia)
Technician for www.loganspianos.com.au

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#251405 - 08/01/04 01:11 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Kawai
cnoblejr Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/04
Posts: 95
Loc: lake Forest, IL
I played a Yamaha C7 several times and a bunch of Kawai grands & also their premium Shigeru brand. I ended up buying a 9'2 Bosie (280) wich was a bit more money (although less than the 9' concert versions of those -- because mine was "used" at Orchestra Hall)

I thought all were very well made & had a great sound & the touch is wonderful. FWIW, my tech/tuner says that both brands are extremely well made & very easy to tune & keep up.

To me the difference between Kawai, Yamaha & the European pianos is that (in the tenor & bass) the latter seem to "open up" more with increased volume and have a bit richer sound. Not saying that is better, just different.

See the "Bluthner vs Estonia vs others" posts. Lots of excellent comments that helped me a lot.

Bottom line: The K & Y pianos (if boughtfrom a reputable dealer) are first class.

Cheers,

Carl

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#251406 - 08/02/04 04:22 AM Re: Yamaha vs. Kawai
Hannibal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/01/04
Posts: 171
Loc: Sydney, Australia - Cologne, G...
My tech is quite passionate and sure enough his remark was exaggerated.
Still I was surprised to hear such a negative comment since the general attitude on this board seems to be in favour of Kawai - at least tonally.
However it's been at least 10-15 years since he worked for the Kawai dealer and according to him they were problematic most of the time whereas the Yamahas he worked with were trouble free.
Therefor I enquired whether Kawais have improved in the last years.

BTW he made the 'throwing away remark' about Kawais in institutional environments. The Kawai was finished after 4-5 years. The university also had a Yamaha grand which was heavily abused. For instance they poured nails on the soundboard during Jazz sessions to create special sound effects and still it seemed to be indestructible. A bit of tuning was all the piano needed.

RG TL
_________________________
Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.

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#251407 - 08/02/04 04:55 AM Re: Yamaha vs. Kawai
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
 Quote:
Originally posted by Hannibal:
. . . they poured nails on the soundboard during Jazz sessions to create special sound effects . . .[/b]
Oh Man!

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#251408 - 08/11/04 08:47 AM Re: Yamaha vs. Kawai
DougC Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 1
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I'm not sure what or which Kawai your tech was talking about but I'm almost positive he has to have more of a personal reason for the dislike of a Kawai.

I grew playing in a Southern Baptist Church locally here in Atlanta. The first time I sat down to play the Kawai 5'4" grand, I knew that this was my dream piano. Like everyone always has a dream house or a dream car....Kawai was my dream piano. I loved the clarity, the touch, the tone, etc. There wasn't anything about the Kawai I didn't love. Anyway, this was about 22 yrs ago that I played the church piano. The church as all most Southern Baptist churchs constantly had gospel singings with various professional southern gospel quartets and groups coming in. This piano was played by not so well pianists and some that could actually make this Kawai get up and walk up and down the aisles of the church. It was pampered by some piano players, and then abused and beaten by others. This piano still sounds as good today as it did 22 yrs ago. The church has it tuned regularly every 3 months. The keys are still perfectly aligned visually and as I said the tone quality is as it was the first time I ever played it.

Kawai in my opinion is right up there with Yamaha. I prefer the Kawai's tone over the Yamaha. However, when I purchased my used KG-2 a couple of months ago, I had them voice and lighten the touch for me. It's perfect for my taste and style of playing. But both are beautiful well made instruments. The touch and feel on both are adequate in my opinion. But to say that Kawai should be thrown away after a few years....well, he needs to get a reality check.

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#251409 - 08/11/04 10:49 AM Re: Yamaha vs. Kawai
Schiedmayer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/04
Posts: 21
Loc: france
("the french guy") My Schiedmayer-kawai is 12 years old and i had no trouble with it. Kawai pianos sound warmer than yamaha's which have a lighter action. It's great for recitals ! The Kawai action is "louder" and make our fongers work well !! Kawai at home, Yamaha for recitals ?

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#251410 - 08/11/04 11:13 AM Re: Yamaha vs. Kawai
pianojuggler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/04
Posts: 1515
Hannibal,

Your Kawai is a piece of junk. You should throw it away immediately. Just haul the beast out to the curb on trash day. Please send me a private message and let me know your exact address and what day they come to collect your trash.

This message also applies to any Kawai owners in the Northwet corner of the U.S. as well.

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