KAWAI

Piano Manufacturers of The World

Piano Brands Of The World:

KAWAI

Company Website: KawaiUS.com
Owner: Kawai Musical Instruments Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
Country of Origin: Hamamatsu, Japan 
Year Established: 1927
Related Brands: Yamaha, Fridolin Schimmel, Ed Seiler, Boston

Warranty: 10 years parts and labour, transferable to future owners

Kawai Pianos

HISTORY AND BACKGROUND

To trace the history of Kawai, one must look roughly 20 years into the past before Kawai’s 1927 founding, to a fateful day when a struggling Japanese organ builder, Torakusu Yamaha, met a very young Koichi Kawai – a child prodigy in engineering. This day marked the beginning of a partnership that would forever change the shape of piano manufacturing. Koichi Kawai would go on to head Yamaha’s R&D department and become the first person in Japan’s history to design and build a complete piano action. After the death of Torakusu Yamaha and the onset of new management in 1927, Koichi Kawai and seven like-minded individuals set out on their own, forming the Kawai Musical Instrument Research Laboratory with a singular goal in mind – to one day build the world’s finest piano.

Fast forward 90 years, and Kawai is one of the largest piano manufacturers in the world today. Still a family run business under third-generation ownership, Kawai is widely regarded as one of the most innovative piano manufacturers today. Chief among Kawai’s innovations is undoubtedly their pioneering of composite action parts to replace more traditional wooden action parts.

Wooden action parts have been problematic for piano manufacturers since the birth of the piano, as wood is prone to swelling and shrinking with humidity fluctuations, which can result in frequent maintenance requirements. Kawai’s use of ABS Styran plastic in place of wood greatly reduces this problem, and Kawai’s current generation action, Millennium III, available in all grand piano and most upright models are now reinforced with carbon fiber, resulting in an action that is 10x stronger than wood. Carbon fiber is also lighter than wood which has the potential to speed the action up and offer greater responsiveness to the player. Although the piano industry as a whole was initially resistant to such a fundamental change in design and manufacturing, and Kawai was heavily criticized, Kawai has since been vindicated, as the superiority of composite action parts is widely accepted today.

Kawai makes several sizes of upright pianos, assembling their lower-priced options in Indonesia, and several sizes of grand pianos in 3 differing lines of quality (*See Shigeru Kawai profile for more information). 

Popular Indonesian assembled uprights include the K-15 (44”), ND-21 (48”, a reissue of the famous K-25 model), and the smallest K series model, the K-200 (46”). The remaining K series uprights starting with the K-300 are completely built and assembled in Japan. 

Some of the K series most notable features include Millenium III action (carbon fiber), extended length keysticks (greater control, closer to a grand piano action in feel), tapered solid sikta spruce soundboard, extended bass strings, and mahogany hammer mouldings. Since its release in 2014, the K-300 has extended the legacy of its predecessor the K-3 as one of the most popular upright pianos in Canada, garnering extensive recognition and numerous industry accolades.

The GL and GX series grands represent Kawai’s production version grand pianos. All models with the exception of the 5’0 GL-10, are entirely manufactured in Japan. The GL line features 5 sizes of grand pianos from 5’0 to 6’2”, whereas the 6 GX grand offerings start at 5’5” with the GX-1, and proceed up to the GX-7 at 7’6”. The GX line, which is the recent upgrade to the RX line, is essentially the premium version of the GL line, though the two lines share several important design features. Some of the notable overlaps include Millenium III action, extended length keysticks, duplex scale (excluding GL-10), and a stretcher overlap frame (increased tuning stability). This trickle-down effect of design features led to the GL line being named the 2016 product of the year in MMR magazine – the first time an acoustic piano has ever won the award.

The most meaningful differences between the GL and GX lines can be found in the rim and bridge designs. The GX rims feature alternating layers of open and closed pour maple and mahogany hardwoods for better tonal projection and sustain, whereas the GL line features a single variety hardwood rim. With regards to the bridge, the GX line features a vertically laminated bridge with cap, as opposed to the solid capless bridges of the GL line.

Renowned for their high build quality, innovative design, and warm sound, Kawai pianos should be strongly considered by those seeking a professional instrument for a fraction of the price of a European alternative.

KAWAI ACOUSTIC PIANOS

KAWAI DIGITAL PIANOS

KAWAI MODELS & PRICE

MODELSIZEDESCRIPTIONMSRP (USD)
KAWAI UPRIGHTS
K-1544″Polished Ebony$5,495
Polished Mahogany$5,695
506N44.5″Satin Ebony/Mahogany$5,495
50844.5″Satin Mahogany$6,195
60744.5″French Renaissance Satin Cherry$7,495
Queen Anne Satin Mahogany$7,495
K-20045″Satin and Polished Ebony$7,495
Satin and Polished Mahogany$8,195
K-200NKL45″Satin and Polished Ebony with Nickel Trim$7,895
K-200 ATX-CA45″Polished Ebony w/CA Sound$11,695
UST-946″Satin Ebony/Oak/Walnut/Cherry$7,995
907N46.5″English Regency Satin Mahogany$10,695
French Provincial Satin Cherry$10,695
K-30048″Satin and Polished Ebony$11,195
Satin and Polished Mahogany$11,995
Polished Snow White$12,195
K-300NKL48″Satin and Polished Ebony with Nickel Trim$11,595
K-300 ATX-SS48″Polished Ebony w/Soundboard Speaker$16,495
K-40048″Polished Ebony$11,995
K-400NKL48″Polished Ebony with Nickel Trim$12,195
K-50051″Satin and Polished Ebony$14,695
Polished Sapele Mahogany$16,495
K-80053″Polished Ebony$23,195
KAWAI GRANDS
GL-105′Satin and Polished Ebony$15,095
Polished Ebony with Nickel Trim$15,995
Polished Mahogany/Snow White$16,795
French Provincial Polished Mahogany$17,895
GL-205’2″Satin and Polished Ebony$20,395
Polished Sapele Mahogany$23,895
Polished Snow White$22,895
GL-305’5″Satin and Polished Ebony$27,295
Polished Sapele Mahogany$32,895
Satin Dark Walnut$32,895
Polished Snow White$31,595
GL-30 ATX-SS5’5″Polished Ebony w/Soundboard Speaker$30,195
GX-1 BLK5’5″Satin and Polished Ebony$36,695
Polished Dark Walnut$42,995
GL-405’11”Satin and Polished Ebony$32,295
Polished Sapele Mahogany$38,095
Satin Dark Walnut$38,095
GX-2 BLK5’11”Satin and Polished Ebony$42,495
Satin Walnut/Cherry/Oak$46,995
Polished Walnut/Sapeli Mahogany$48,995
Polished Snow White$45,195
CR40-PL6’1″Plexiglass Crystal Piano$231,495
GL-506’2″Polished Ebony$36,995
GX-3 BLK6’2″Satin and Polished Ebony$54,495
GX-5 BLK6’7″Satin and Polished Ebony$61,695
GX-6 BLK7′Satin and Polished Ebony$69,195
GX-7 BLK7’6″Satin and Polished Ebony$80,195
EX-L9’1″Polished Ebony$218,995
SHIGERU KAWAI GRANDS
SK-25’1″Polished Ebony$64,000
Polished Sapele Mahogany$73,800
SK-36’2″Polished Ebony$74,800
Polished Sapele Mahogany$85,800
Polished Pyramid Mahogany$99,500
SK-56’7″Polished Ebony$86,000
SK-67′Polished Ebony$97,000
SK-77’6″Polished Ebony$108,000
SK-EX9’1″Polished Ebony$239,000

KAWAI PIANO SERIAL NUMBERS

DATE OF MANUFACTURESERIAL NUMBER
JAPANESE PRODUCTION
19274200
19306000
19358350
19409600
194512000
195014200
195215000
195316200
195418600
195520590
195621300
195722500
195823200
196026000
196134500
196275760
196385622
1964132307
1965163178
1966203433
1967251660
1968303686
1969369088
1970425121
1971488834
1972558216
1973633601
1974718768
1975785568
1976844362
1977904384
1978973490
19791067130
19801126366
19811219355
19821300000
19831380000
19841475000
19851550000
19861630500
19871706250
19881781250
19891856250
19901950000
19912000000
19922050000
19932100000
19942160743
19952197503
19962244232
19972279943
19982314043
19992350000
20002380000
20012410000
20022430000
20032466000
20042495000
20052518000
20062543000
20072566000
20082585000
20092602000
20102615000
20112628000
20122639000
20132651000
20142664000
20152675000
USA PRODUCTION
1989A7500
1990A10200
1991A21300
1992A30515
1993A39267
1994A49071
1995A56689
1996A64000
1997A74000
1998A81000
1999A90000
2000A96000
2001A100000
2002A104000
2003A111000
2004A115300
INDONESIAN PRODUCTION
2004F002200
2005F004700
2006F010600
2007F018700
2008F030500
2009F040085
2010F049000
2011F057700
2012F067900
2013F080000
2014F092000
2015F102000
1978973490
KX MODELS CANADIAN PRODUCTION
200734000
200836800
200937900
201038900
201140000
201241000
201342000

Frequently Asked Questions

Kawai uprights list pricing ranges from $5,595 USD to $21,590. Kawai grand piano list pricing ranges from $15,590 USD to $180,695. Shigeru Kawai grand piano list pricing ranges from $57,400 USD to $197,595.

While which Kawai is ‘best’ will come down to personal opinion, the best selling Kawai upright is the K-300, and the best selling grand is the GL-10.

Kawai and Yamaha are genuinely rated as equals by several consumer publications. That said, Kawai upright and grands incorporate more modern technology, design and best manufacturing practices when compared side-by-side, model-to-model, with Yamaha pianos.

Like the acoustic pianos, Kawai and Yamaha digital pianos are typically rated equally. But also like the acoustic pianos, many would argue that Kawai digital pianos deliver more value for the dollar than Yamaha digital pianos.

Kawai acoustic pianos are built to last anywhere from 50-100+ years depending on the model.

Kawai digital pianos are built to last anywhere from 5-20+ years depending on the model.

Kawai branded pianos are not considered handmade (despite lots of handwork occurring during the manufacturing process), however, Shigeru Kawai branded instruments are extensively handmade.

Kawai baby grand piano list pricing ranges from $15,590 USD to $33,590.

Kawai makes excellent, highly regarded digital pianos at many price points and quality levels.

The Kawai KDP110 is universally regarded as one of, if not the top mid-range home digital piano.

The Kawai K-300 lists for $10,990 USD.

For upright pianos, you can find the model number by opening up the lid, and the model number will be stamped on the back metal plate. For grand pianos, you can find the serial number above the keys, also stamped on the metal plate.

Kawai is pronounced ‘Kuh-Wai’.

When considering what would be the most realistic sounding digital piano currently available, a strong argument could be made in favour of the Kawai Novus NV-5 and Novus NV-10.

Kawai actually builds all Boston uprights and grands in their Japanese and Indonesian facilities (with the exception of two models made by Samick in Indonesia). They are ranked equally in all consumer guides.

Kawai piano keys are made out of synthetic materials that replicate the touch and feel of genuine ivory.

Kawai is one of the world’s top digital piano producers, along with Roland, Casio and Yamaha.

To find out the age of your Kawai piano, find the serial number. Once you have the serial number, you can look up the age further above on this page.

Kawai is one of the leading piano manufacturers world wide, winning many important industry awards, and earning accolades from students, teachers and some of the world’s finest pianists.

Kawai upright pianos weigh between 420 lbs to 620 lbs.

The value of your used Kawai piano will be determined by several factors, but importantly the age, model and overall condition. Contact us today for a free verbal estimate of value.

Like any other acoustic piano, Kawai piano keys can be cleaned with a mixture of light vinegar and water, or with designated piano key cleaner.

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Oakville

2359 Bristol Circle, Unit #200
Oakville, ON L6H 6P8
(416) 639-2186
pianosoakville@merriammusic.com

Vaughan

3175 Rutherford Rd, Unit #75
Vaughan, Ontario L4K 5Y6
(416) 639-2187
pianosvaughan@merriammusic.com

Toronto

943 Eglinton Ave E,
East York, ON M4G 4B5
(416) 423-0434
info@merriammusic.com