Handcrafted in Japan with remarkable passion by a non-paralleled force of Master Piano Artisans, the Shigeru Kawai series of grand pianos provide a Japanese alternative in a part of the market traditionally dominated by pianos from the United States and Europe. And with an in-home visit within a year of ownership by one of the Master Piano Artisans from Japan, the Shigeru Kawai experience as a whole is simply unmatched.
The Shigeru Kawai SK-7 grand piano is the second largest piano among the 6 entries in the Shigeru lineup. At 7’6″, this Semi-Concert grand is intended for the most demanding professional and institutional settings.
Along with its brethren, the SK-7 displays a host of design and material specifications that leaves almost every other piano lacking – an action that’s literally changed the industry, ultra-exclusive Ezo soundboard spruce naturally dried over decades, and hand-wound bass strings, just to name a few. For those who thought a Japanese Semi-Concert grand could never stand beside such as Hamburg Steinway Model C or C. Bechstein C234, the Shigeru Kawai SK-7 simply needs to be experienced.
“An action that’s literally changed the industry?” Indeed, and this isn’t hyperbole. Kawai’s Millennium III action with ABS-Carbon has started the trend away from wood-based actions due to the inherent maintenance and performance-related advantages of Carbon Fiber. Much stronger and more resistant to changes in humidity than wood, Carbon Fiber is also lighter making for an action with potentially fast repetition speed.
Kawai has also lengthened the key-sticks to match the length of those found in the 9′ Shigeru Kawai EX Concert Grand Piano, meaning there’s no sacrifice from a touch perspective when choosing the SK-7.
Warmth and dynamicism are the first words that come to mind after hearing an SK-7 in person. While there’s no doubt that Kawai’s, in general, are known for their warmth, the Shigeru Series takes this to the extreme with one of the warmest, lushest tonal profiles of any piano, contrasted to the relative brightness of Yamaha’s CF series. It’s incredibly dynamic throughout the whole range too, at home in a number of different musical styles.
Hand-wound Temaki bass strings and Concert Agraffes are just two of the specific reasons why the SK-7 not only sounds so warm, but incredibly clean.
You’ll find only the best hammers throughout the Shigeru Series, and the SK-7 is no different with Kawai’s double felted mahogany Shiko Seion hammers. With substantially more voicing time than on the GX series hammers, the Shiko Seion hammers truly deserve the “Ultimate Voicing” title they bear.
These hammers are cold-pressed without any added heat or chemicals for optimized dynamic range.
Every Shigeru Kawai piano features a soundboard that is custom-tapered and made solely from stockpiles of rare Ezo spruce. Aged by the traditional kigarashi method for decades for a state of natural balance, these are some of the most exclusive and painstakingly prepared soundboards in existence.
A piano’s rim is very important both for its longevity, as well as for maximizing its acoustic potential. The SK-7 uses Kawai’s Konsei Katagi rim which combines multiple laminations of hardwood Maples and Mahoganies of different pore sizes in both the outer and inner rims to amplify the widest possible range of frequencies for a maximally dynamic tonal palette.