Today we’ll be discussing an instrument that has a very personal past to me, the Kawai K15 Continental Console. I grew up with many instruments in my home, but when I graduated from University, the Kawai K15 Continental was actually the very first instrument that ever graced my own home, bought with my own money. I had it for 9 years before I upgraded to a different upright, and I can tell you it was a fantastic, regret-free experience. Because of that experience, I’ve confidently sold and recommended this Kawai Continental Console to several friends, colleagues, and professional players. Here are the reasons why it’s still something I very much believe in still to this day.
For the price – let’s say $5000 or less – the Kawai K15 Continental has to be the most consistent, well-rounded upright I can possibly think of on the market. Whether you’re a parent who’s looking for starter instrument for your child, a professional student or a player in need of something fairly low cost but really consistent and satisfying to play, the Kawai K15 has to be on your list. You need to play the instrument to try the action, and you need to experience the tone first hand.
The Kawai K15 Continental Console uses it ADS action. This is a very strong, very light, and very fast composite action that was developed all the way back in the 1970s. It uses composite materials to replace some of the wood components of the action to improve its stability in climate changes, as well as an increase in repetition speed because of the reduction in weight. This is something you can really feel and notice especially when you’re playing other uprights and in the $3000 to $5000 price range. It is often taken for granted that an upright should behave exactly the same way in July as it would in January, or that playing the very top C to the bottom A will behave in the same way. That just something most would often expect. However, as the price point comes down and you get closer and closer to that $3500 and $3000 mark these don’t become things to take be taken for granted- they literally become luxuries. One of the nicest parts about the Kawai K15 Continental is that all of the elements you would expect in a professional upright are still very much present without having to feel any compromise. The action on the instrument is light, fast, easy to play, and it is very easy to control.
The sound of the Kawai K15 Continental would definitely be the second thing that comes to mind for me because of how it compares to other instruments in it’s price range. Comparable instruments like the B series from Yamaha, maybe some of the nicer Samicks, and even some of the Young Changs have a similar tone profile. As you look at all of these uprights across this price range and you’re listening to the clarity and fullness of the sound in uprights of this size, you’ll hear some noticeable differences. How these pianos deal with the break between the mean trouble bridge the baseboards makes a huge difference in the tonal qualities. When you compare the Kawai K15 to all of those other instruments you’ve got an instrument that certainly is of a rounder, and has far more midrange tone. It also plays very similarly no matter where it whether you’re on the base bridge, the mid tenor, or the or the treble sections.
The Kawai K15 Continental Console is a 44 inch upright which definitely makes it one of the shorter instruments, but this is by no means was this a downside at all. When I first bought the K15 Continental Console I was living in a condo, and I know that this Kawai is exactly 58 3/4 inches wide which is good to fit into a lot of smaller situations. The fact that it’s also 44 inches means that it’ll fit under the majority of windowsills, and the fact that it’s legless and a little bit more shallow means that it’s taking up a slightly smaller footprint. For people like me who were in an urban living situation, the smaller footprint is definitely to be an asset, and in some cases this is really no bigger than a lot of digital pianos.