The Boston Piano Company
Distributed by Steinway, Built by Kawai
In the 1990’s Steinway and Sons saw a downward trend in the high-end piano market. In order to stay viable and relevant in an ever-competitive market place they decided that it was in the interest of their shareholders to start selling lower priced, higher value pianos. At first Steinway thought that it would be best to build their own factory in China or Korea, but then realized that it would be more cost effective to contract an existing manufacture to build pianos for them. In 1992 Steinway signed an OEM agreement with Kawai Musical Instrument Company to built Boston pianos. This agreement is still in place today and the full line of Boston piano models are built in Japan or Indonesia by Kawai.
This has created a lot of controversy among piano buyers and technicians who ask the questions “why would I pay 20% more for a Kawai with a Boston logo on it”? Although Boston piano models do share a lot of the same design characteristics and components with Kawai, the cosmetics changes to each model are extensive and they do offer a quality trade program to customers who would like to eventually own a Steinway piano one day.
The Boston piano model GP156 is the smallest and most popular model from the Boston piano line and is a very nice piano. This model shares the same frame material and design with the Kawai GE20 model (now only sold in Japan) but uses an older more tradition style action and a different hammer. This model has a nice full sound for a baby grand and is considered one of the better quality small pianos on the market. The Steinway model S has always been considered the “worst” Steinway grand and most people in a blind taste test would actually choose the Boston piano model 156 over the Steinway.
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