Compare Steinway Grand Piano vs. Yamaha Grand Piano vs. Shigeru Kawai Grand Piano

The Art of The Piano

A grand piano is made up of over nine-thousand precision parts... wood, metal, fiber, resin, and many other materials. Just assembling them into the mere form of a grand piano is, by itself, an immense undertaking. But the process of crafting them into a precision instrument capable of translating the subtle expressions of the soul into the language of music... creating an instrument that can truly “sing”... is an art.

Shigeru Kawai vs. Steinway vs. Yamaha - Piano Sound Quality Comparison

Shigeru Kawai SK-EX Concert Grand (278 cm) – Japan
Steinway & Sons D 274 Concert Grand – Germany
Yamaha CFX (275 cm) – Japan

Sound was recorded during 17th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw Symphony Concert Hall. Microphones settings and position of pianos on the stage is the same for each recording. Samples of Frederic Chopin pieces are played by different pianists! Please take into consideration different style of playing which may affect the tone.

The Shigeru Kawai Concert Grand is Outperforming Steinway and Yamaha
in International Competitions Throughout the World

The Shigeru Kawai SK-EX Concert Grand Piano is Preferred by Many International Piano Artists

1st Place Prize Winner Alexander Gadjiev Selects
Shigeru Kawai SK-EX Full Concert Grand Piano

The 9th Hamamatsu International Piano Competition

The Shigeru Kawai EX Concert Grand is outperforming Steinway and Yamaha Concert Grands in Superb Tone, Touch Responsiveness and Piano Selection by Top International Competition Performing Finalists.

The world's finest pianists finalists have made the Shigeru Kawai EX Concert Grand Piano their top instrument of choice for performances. In International Competitions throughout the World, the Shigeru Kawai EXL Concert Grand Piano is outperforming Steinway and Yamaha Concert Grands at The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (USA), The Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition (Russia), The International Chopin Piano Competition (Poland), The Ferrucio Busoni International Piano Competition (Italy) and other prominent concert venues worldwide. The Shigeru Kawai EXL Concert Grand is at the pinnacle as the Concert Grand Piano of the World.

About the Shigeru Kawai EX Concert Grand Sound

Shigeru Kawai EX Concert Grand Piano quantities are limited because the soundboards inside are made of rare 200-year-old Ezo spruce trees from the northern island of Hokkaido. The soundboards are aged for five years, compared with one year of aging for an ordinary piano soundboard. The custom-tapered soundboard in a Shigeru piano is made exclusively from the finest spruce, aged by the traditional kigarashi process that uses only the forces of time and nature to allow the wood to attain a state of natural balance. It is this lengthy and painstaking process that gives Shigeru pianos their uniquely rich tonal quality.

About the Kawai Touch

Kawai uses No Wood or Teflon Fluorinated Plastic in the non-musical mechanical action parts of a piano such as has Steinway and other lesser known brands. Wood or Teflon Fluorinated Plastic used in the high velocity mechanical action section of a piano, requiring ultra-response key touch and fast repetition, is obsolete, outdated and troublesome. Mechanical Piano Action Technology has changed for the better.

Just as the Wright Brothers built the first aircraft in 1903 using giant spruce wood as their construction material, modern Aerospace Craft use different improved space-age materials for improved technology of flight.

Kawai pianos use exclusively only Kawai-designed, “space-age” components of ABS-Carbon, carbon fiber infused into ABS Styran piano action parts for the non-musical mechanical action, for proven durability and heightened responsiveness and control, to maintain the fastest action in the world. Kawai uses no Teflon Fluorinated Plastic and No Wood action parts such as Steinway still does, susceptible to wearing, cracking, shrinking and swelling dramatically with changes in climate with temperature fluctuations, causing wood parts to warp, twist, shrink and swell with the seasons, weather, humidity and temperature changes in the room environment. This inherent inconsistency of Wood or Teflon Fluorinated Plastic parts and lubricant can impair a piano’s tone and touch—and has always lead to costly repairs and maintenance.

Kawai’s ABS-Carbon action parts are more durable than conventional wooden action parts and over 50% stronger. ABS-Carbon makes the Millennium III Grand Action 25% faster. Keys depress and return more swiftly, providing increased repetition and playing speed. (This a major reason why Concert Piano Artists worldwide are shifting and choosing the Kawai Piano Action over Steinway and Yamaha piano actions). The Kawai Piano is ever more deliberate and responsive to the music they are creating in performance. The Millennium III Grand Action attribute allows the ability to play not only thundering fortissimos, but also the most delicate whisper and sensitive pianissimos.

Why ABS-Carbon for mechanical piano action parts and not Wood or Teflon? The Answer: Superior strength and stability. Every 21st Century major industry is using it today for increased strength, speed, lightweight character, materials stiffness and ability to endure stress, lightweight speed and resistance to breakage, swelling and the benefit is better long-term durability and performance longevity. Who uses ABS Technology: The Aircraft-Aerospace-Defense Industry, Boeing 777 and 787 Aircrafts, Airbus 360 Aircraft, Formula One Race Cars and Tour de France World Class Racing Bikes to mention just a few industries.

ABS Styran: More than a quarter-century of research in space-age materials led to the use of ABS Styran in the Kawai action. ABS Styran is used in high-stress areas such as hammer flanges and high-friction areas such as key frame guide plates of the piano. ABS Styran is a high-stress polymer composite material proven to be superior to wood in certain critical areas of the piano action. It is:

•    Durable and stress-resistant
•    Highly stable...will not expand or contract due to climate
•    Resistant to cracking, brittleness and warping
•    Able to minimize friction
•    Isotropic...possessing equal strength in all directions
•    Made with a molding process that ensures absolute precision with each part

The Exclusive Kawai “Black Jack" Controls the Power and Repetition of Each and Every Keystroke

ABS Styran and the Kawai ‘Black Action Jack’ controls the power and repetition of each and every keystroke of the Kawai Piano. The jack is the pivotal link between the key and the hammer that controls the power and repetition of each and every keystroke. To fulfill this essential role, Kawai developed the exclusive "Black Jack" made of carbon and polyacetal, virtually indestructible, will not warp due to humidity, and requires no lubrication...all of which reduces the need for maintenance. The Black Jack is specially molded as a single piece using Kawai's patented "Tapered Core Design" which offers benefits of minimum weight, maximum directional strength, and greater sensitivity and optimum responsiveness, superior in every way to the traditional wooden jack. A microscopic surface texture dramatically increases control during pianissimo passages. These attributes make the Kawai Carbon Action Jack far more advanced than the conventional old style and out dated glue-jointed wooden jacks found on most other pianos including Steinways.

Shigeru Kawai SK-EX Full Concert Grand Piano
and Shigeru Kawai SK Concert Series Overview

'The Piano Company' has been selling 'Used Steinway' and 'Used Yamaha' pianos to consumers in the
Tysons Corner, Bethesda, Richmond, Baltimore, Fairfax, Rockville, Beltsville, Frederick,
Washington, DC, MD, VA and Metropolitan Area for over 30 years

Compare Steinway Grand Piano vs. Yamaha Grand Piano vs. Shigeru Kawai Grand Piano.
Shigeru Kawai Grand Piano v.s. Steinway Grand Piano v.s. Yamaha Grand Piano  - Piano Sound Quality Comparison