The Kawai GX-2 is a 5’11” (6’ class) professional grand piano that is a part of the GX line of Grand Pianos and it’s made entirely in Japan by the Kawai Musical Instrument Corporation. It evolved primarily from the Shigeru Kawai Concert Series, sharing several design features and components, although material quality and selection & construction techniques remain quite different between the two. The new standard of grand piano design is beyond imagination. Combining state-of-the-art technology with traditional craftsmanship.
The GX Grand Line from Kawai is one of the most well-prepared and consistent grand piano lines we’ve ever encountered here at Merriam. It’s one thing to tout a manufacturer’s claims of quality and sell an instrument to a high-demand user based on those claims…it’s entirely another to have to see how those expectations are met over an extended period of time under heavy use and in multiple situations. The GX has been extraordinary in these special features:
- Exceptional tuning stability
- Durable hammer voicing
- Excellent scratch resistance on the polyester
- Low oxidation on strings
- No known soundboard cracking on any GX sold by Merriam to date
- Excellent performance in institutional and commercial settings
- Multi-angle piano lid props and Kawai’s original ‘Soft Fall’ Fallboard closing system
- Premium Neotex coating for white and black keys
- Solid Brass Agraffes – For even string spacing and easier tuning
The Kawai GX2 grand piano uses the Millennium III action like ‘Ninja’, which is a 3rd generation Millennium III grand piano action, featuring ABS-carbon fiber-reinforced composite repetition parts, carbon-strengthened hammer shanks, and concert-grand length key-sticks. The action is the same as what can be found in the GL grand series, the rest of the GX series, as well as the Shigeru pianos. The primary difference between the three instances are the hammers (quality, felt type, and voicing level), and the amount of regulation time.
The GX-2 has a beautifully balanced and highly controlled action which gives the tactile impression of playing a much larger piano. It doesn’t feel heavy, simply substantial, with lots of room for creating multiple dynamic levels from PPP and up.
The repetition speed is great, and it’s virtually impossible to even try and simulate a missed strike. One of the world’s great piano actions, without a doubt.
The Kawai GX2 grand piano is a very well-balanced scale, with a Steinway-Esque mid-tone through the tenor and lower treble, an extremely complex and prominent treble with excellent sustain, and a supportive bass. The piano was designed for versatility, and it shows. There is enough clarity and projection for contemporary material, but enough color and depth to serve highly discerning classical players.
By comparison, the GX3 adds about 10% more overall volume, with a similar sustain, with the biggest difference in the bass clarity and projection. However, for most small-to-medium-sized rooms, the GX2 should be more than sufficiently full in tone.
Something that sets the GX2 apart from many other 6 foot pianos in its class is the hammer selection – while most grand pianos in this quality class use Maple hammers, the GX2 features Mahogany, which is typically reserved for handcrafted instruments. Mahogany is denser yet lighter than Maple resulting in a quicker keystroke, and thus less potential for a distorted piano tone. The hammers are also double felted which increases the warmth.
By the time we get to the soundboard, a fairly compelling picture has already been drawn showcasing why the GX-2 is arguably the top piano in its class, but the soundboard design and materials actually enhance this picture further; not only does the GX-2 feature a AAA solid spruce Sitka soundboard, but the soundboard also undergoes the process of tapering to improve its acoustic potential. Again, this level of refinement is not common for the class.
It would be impossible to talk about the GX-2 without highlighting the rim. The GX-2 features Kawai’s Konsei Katagi rim design, which uses a blend of distinctive hardwoods to achieve a wide variety of tonal colours. The inner rim uses small-pore hardwoods that facilitate brightness and projection, combined with large-pore hardwoods for warmth and depth.
Another thing worth noting about the GX-2 is how easy it is to get the entire structure resonating. One of the main reasons for this is Kawai’s CORE system, or “Convergence for Optimum Reflected Energy.” This refers to the way the piano’s critical structural elements—the rim, v-pro plate, and underside beams— are focused on the central part of the instrument. This results in an incredibly strong structural foundation that maximizes the inner rim’s ability to reflect energy, leading to enhanced projection and remarkable sustain.
GX series pianos also feature another significant design feature with regards to the frame, what Kawai refers to as SOLID construction, short for Stretcher Over-Lap Integrated Design. This refers to the pinblock and stretcher bar being integrated as a single structure and anchored to the rim as one. The stretcher bar is very thick, which helps ensure stable tuning and structural integrity over time. The multi-laminated keybed and keyslip are both steel reinforced for added assistance in this area, not to mention the soft fall fallboard which further reduces the risk of sticky keys.
Kawai GX-2 Related Resources
5'11" (180 cm)
|Width||5'1" (152 cm)|
|Height||3'4" (102 cm)|
|Weight||714 lbs. (324 kg)|
|Touch||White Key Surfaces||NEOTEX™|
|Black Key Surfaces||NEOTEX™|
|Action||Millennium III Action with Carbon Fiber|
|Sound||Soundboard||Solid Spruce, Tapered|
|Agraffes||1st - 54th Key|
|Duplex Scaling||Fore & Back|
|Exterior Design||Pedals||Damper, Sostenuto, Soft|
|Fallboard||"Soft Fall" Closing System|
|Music Rack||Position||5 Position|
|Other Features||Stretcher Over-Lap Integrated Design (SOLID)
Steel-Reinforced Keyslip & Keybed
Vertically Laminated Treble Bridge
Konsei Katagi Rim with Blended Dense Hardwoods