Kawai is one of the two major piano manufacturers in Japan, second only in size to Yamaha. One of the major points that sets Kawai pianos apart from many other brands is their innovative use of ABS Styran plastic in the action parts.
While plastic parts in a non-digital piano sound questionable, they’ve developed this technology over 40 years with extensive research and testing, giving more responsive action and more consistent play than wood regardless of humidity or temperature changes. In recent years, Kawai has even been making composite action parts with ABS and carbon fiber.
While this science looks great on paper, let’s see what real people have to say about the current Kawai pianos, both digital and traditional. We’ve scoured the internet for reviews from real Kawai users to see what they have to say, and quoted some of them below for you to read.
This review comes to you from Carey in Phoenix, Arizona by way of the Piano World forum, where another forum user had inquired about the sound and action of the Kawai pianos;
“I recently purchased a new Kawai K-500. The action is extremely responsive – allowing for greater speed and ability to play pianissimo (compared to other uprights I tried). I found the tone to be quite warm, offering a greater richness in sound due to the duplex scaling in the treble and longer strings in the bass.”
Just another quick note from that same Piano World forum post, another Kawai user from Norway:
“The Kawai pianos have more legroom than some other brands, so if you are taller, this may be very helpful.”
Dave in Surrey, England, via a thorough YouTube video review, covers the details of the current lineup of Kawai upright K series pianos. Here’s a summary of what he said:
“Kawai has pioneered the use of aluminum action rails and ABS action parts. These innovations have resulted in a durable and strong action, which is light and responsive to play. Each of the K series upright models offer excellent dynamic range, even the most compact, entry model, the K15e. The K600 offers a tone that will rival many grand pianos, with duplexing across both upper and lower registers. With added height and longer strings, along with sympathetic harmonics across the keyboard thanks to that duplex scaling, really make this a truly impressive piano.”
You can watch the full video here:
A commenter on a YouTube video featuring the Kawai K3 upright piano being played by Bob “Chaz” Baker remarks:
“The sound of the Kawai is so crisp, with each key holding its own sound. The vibrations don’t run into each other. There is no flatness in any of the key’s sound. The Kawai Company doesn’t cut any corners, respect to their workmanship and craft. I own one of their pianos and I’m always impressed with their style.”
Another commenter on this same YouTube video, Derik, is a happy Kawai user:
“I recently purchased a Kawai K20. It is an absolutely amazing piano. The Kawai K20 has a feel and sound similar to a Steinway, outstanding for both playing and performing.”
Moving into the digital world, where mechanical precision and realistic sound is a huge selling point, Kawai digital pianos also receive glowing reviews. Lucas Welter of Piano Dreamers raves about the Kawai ES8:
“The truly impressive Kawai ES8 is one of the most realistic digital pianos you can find for under $2000. It’s received universal acclaim from pianists for its incredible piano sound and natural keyboard action. The feel and touch of the keyboard are extremely important if you want to get as close as possible to a true piano experience, and the Kawai ES8 doesn’t disappoint. The RH3 action found in the ES8 uses differently weighted hammers that reproduce mechanical movement found on a real acoustic piano. Metal counterweights are embedded in the keys to balance the weight of the hammers and make the action quicker (better key return) and more responsive. What’s more, the touch sensitivity is adjustable, with 6 preset settings to suit your playing style.”
CMuse reviewed some more popular Kawai digital piano models, and had this to say:
“The Kawai MP11 gives you the feel of a real grand piano. Praiseworthy action and touch-sensitive keys, user-friendly operation and amazing audio, it is one of the best choices for a stage piano.
The MP6 is a remarkable instrument, delivering world-class performance. It’s designed to give excellent stage performance.
The Kawai VPC1 (MIDI Controller) features marvelous design and keyboard action and is known to be THE best MIDI controller on the market. It features the RM3II keyboard with triple sensor technology that makes is super responsive.”
Many of the reviews praise Kawai’s responsiveness and clear tone. Many reviewers comment on the exceptional amount of craftsmanship and engineering that goes into the Kawai brand.
Overall, most people find the Kawai piano to be a great choice, particularly if you are looking for a warm, clear sound. If you would like to compare the Kawai pianos to other brands on the market, make an appointment for an individualized demo to try out some of our in-stock pianos from various manufacturers.