Kawai K800 Upright Grand Piano
The Kawai K800 Upright Grand Piano is one of the few “true” upright grands to come out of Asia. Built in Japan entirely by Kawai, the K800 has full sostenuto, premium hand-selected spruce soundboards, premium double-felted mahogany hammers, oversized music desk, and grand-like key sticks for a super high level of accuracy and speed.
Video Overview & Demo
The Kawai K-800 is the ultimate vertical piano from Japan by many accounts, bringing to bear Kawai’s full engineering and manufacturing prowess in a single model
It features Sostenuto, Agraffes, premium solid spruce soundboard (tapered), Millennium III Upright Action with ABS-Carbon Composites, Royal George Felt Hammers w/ Mahogany cores, oversized music desk with a Grand-Style “Hard Finish” Music Rack, heavy-duty solid brass casters, and much more. It has also a NEOTEX key surface material made with cellulose fiber that offers the smooth, understated texture of natural ivory and ebony—and a semi-porous, silica-filled surface to absorb the hand’s natural oils and perspiration that can cause slipping.
The Kawai K800 Upright Grand Piano is Kawai’s imposing upright piano flagship, developed and built in Japan to give the best possible playing and listening experience in an upright cabinet and also is the epitome of upright piano craftsmanship. The K-series piano offers a level of tonal quality and performance to compete with many grand pianos.
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The tone of the Kawai K800 is colorful, warm, and dynamic that makes an elegant form and exceptional tone that will fulfill the needs of any professional teaching studio or intimate performance setting. It has a huge volume range and a widely varied tonal palette throughout that range. The bass is big, subtly brassy, and sustaining. The instrument has virtually no ‘meow’ in the mid-range; by that, I mean that it’s bloom is extremely short and almost undetectable – it reaches its full projection almost instantly and then sustains with remarkable evenness throughout the range of the instrument.
The action feels fluid and grand-like, and double-hits and missed notes are non-existent. A testament to both excellent factory prep as well as good geometry on the action.
The sound is bolstered by duplex scaling – both front and rear – on the entire upper half of the piano. The front duplexing is provided by the capo bars themselves, where the rear is unbraided. This allows for plenty of textural harmonics and really helps to simulate a treble normally only achieved on a grand model.
The K800 uses the Carbon-Fibre reinforced Millennium III action, an action that has received near-universal acclaim as one of the best actions on the piano market today, regardless of price point. Although I tend not to be a fan of super tall cap-stand designs in larger uprights, Kawai somehow manages to achieve a level of control and responsiveness that I would normally expect out of a 48-50”, without giving up the dynamic response one expects from a 53”.
The keys are solid, the travel distance is neither deep nor shallow, and the repetition speed is consistent or better than another premium 52 and 53” uprights.
Outside of the top capo bars which provide the duplex scaling, the mid and bass ranges of the piano use Agraffes to control distortion, false beating, and tuning stability and to ensure accuracy in string alignment, spacing and angles to produce greater uniformity, enhanced tone, smoother tuning and consistent speaking length for each note.
The piano is also equipped with sostenuto, a nice addition to higher-level classical players. The normal middle pedal function of muting is relegated to a lever under the left gable and is easily reachable and equally easy to use in which makes as a Double Felted, Mahogany Core Hammers.
The piano certainly delivers lots of sounds, with a responsive action, and plenty of colors. Missing from the K800 is a sense of intimacy that I enjoy on some of my most favorite upright pianos…but in speaking with many pianists, I’m in the minority on this – the closer to a grand experience they can get on an upright, the better. And in this regard, the K800 comes the closest in terms of touch and overall tonal response than I’ve witnessed from any upright outside of the Steingraeber or C. Bechstein top-end uprights. Mind you, now we’re tripling the price over the K800.
53” (134 cm)
|Width||60” (153 cm)|
|Depth||26” (65 cm)|
|Weight||626 lbs (284 kg)|
|Touch||White Key Surfaces||NEOTEX™|
|Black Key Surfaces||NEOTEX™|
|Action||Millennium III Upright Action with ABS-Carbon Composites|
|Hammer Felts||All Underfelted|
|Sound||Soundboard||Solid Spruce, Tapered|
|Speaking Length of No.1 String||50.4" (1280 mm)|
|Duplex Scaling||Fore & Back|
|Exterior Design||Pedals||Soft, Sostenuto, Damper|
|Front Casters||Double, Brass|
|Fallboard||Grand Style (41" L x 13" H), "Soft Fall" Closing System|
|Other Features||Grand Piano Style Music Rack (Hard Finish)
Steel Reinforced Keyslip & Keybed
Sostenuto Pedal Model Is Available Depending on Market Area.