Lets take a look at the Kawai K300 upright piano, and most importantly what they’ve done to update the Kawai K300 from the Kawai K-3. A good amount of people who are looking at Kawai Upright pianos these days are very familiar with the K-3 (Kawai’s previous 48 inch piano) and the number one question I’ve been getting these days is how is the Kawai K3 different from the Kawai K300?
One of the most innovative things that the K300 has is done this year is the extended length of the keys. I’ve obviously not just talking about the white section of the key that you can actually see, this would be the part of the key that sits inside of the piano and actually connects with the rest of the action. This is been extended by Kawai to experiment with the principle of giving a greater level of control, and a greater level of speed and power to the key. I definitely notice a difference in how solid and how crisp the K300 feels when I’m really playing at top speed.
The second thing they’ve done to update the K300 upright piano from the K-3 is they’ve decided to use a mahogany double felted hammer. What this is going to give the player has to do with the complexities in sound when you’re playing in the upper dynamic range. When you’re really pushing the piano, that double felted hammer is going to prevent distortion and is going to increase the tonal complexity even when you’re hammering the piano playing something like Rachmaninoff or even when you’re digging into some really heavy blues.
The third thing that they’ve done is they’ve tapered the soundboard a little bit differently on the K300. What you’ll notice is an increased responsiveness of the piano right across the range. The Kawai K-3 was still well above market average, and for its price point pretty much un-beatable when Kawai was still manufacturing it. However, those who have had a chance to play the K-3 as well as the K300 will notice the evenness across the range of the K300 is far more pronounced, and the tonal control is remarkable.
Kawai has also updated the case for the Kawai K300, and my goodness is it beautiful. For anybody who’s got an eye for furniture, or an eye for design you’re going to notice its subtle clean lines that they’ve updated. Kawai has moved to using a slightly flatter bevel, and has focused on a very clean and sophisticated look. It fits in with a lot of other modern decor, and I’ve seen this look stunning in condos and contemporary homes, open concept homes, and even commercial spaces.
The last thing I’ll mention is the resale value. Because the K-3 hundred is a brand-new model, it’s a little bit difficult to actually get information on how exactly is going to do in the resale market. Of course when you’re buying an instrument that’s up in the $7,000 – $10,000 range it’s always a questions on people’s minds; Am I going to be able to sell this? What can I trade this in for again down the road? Certainly we can look to the K-3 for some cues as to how well it’s going to do in the resale market. When I look at a K-3 and I compare it to another bellwether model in the market such as Yamaha U1, it’s pretty clear that given their starting point to where they’re selling on open markets like eBay or Kijiji, the proportion of depreciation is almost equal and is still very strong. Still to this day (2015) it is not possible to beat a Japanese piano for resale or depreciation factors for anything outside of a handmade performance level piano which continues to make this instrument a really really strong performer. So looking to the K-3 for those cues one can definitely assume that having increased the strength and the length of the key, improved the geometry and the action, still being produced in a very high quality case, using solid brass hardware and of course the quality control which still leads the industry, certainly it’s quite reasonable to assume that the K-3 hundred might even beat some of the depreciation factors that people are already seeing on the K-3. I would say that the Kawai K300 is a sound investment, and a really great responsive piano for the money.