BACKGROUND & APPEARANCE
The Kawai piano K 400 is a 48 inch professional upright piano, made completely in Japan. The visual presentation of the instrument is highly reminiscent of the older style upright – grants from European and American piano manufacturers. The finishing is impeccable, and the lines are contemporary and subtle. The K400 features their award winning Millennium 3carbon fiber action, hand – selected quarter sawn spruce for their soundboard, lengthened keys for added control and sensitivity, and premium double felted hammers (all new design). it is the same height as the Kawai K300, though it is deeper because of the difference in cabinet style and key length.
The Kawai sound is one of complexity and depth, and is frequently contrasted to the characteristic brightness of the Yamaha piano. The K 400 is consistent with this reputation, and yet it brings something more. Although Kawai does not publish this information, several sources have noted that this far more limited production model receives increased preparation time at the factory, as well as hand selected spruce versus that of the K 300. And you can hear it. The balance of overtones is sublime and the harmonic blend unmatched in this price range. true aficionados will be pleased with the sustain on the instrument – although still not at the level of a $20,000 German upright from Grotrian or Bechstein, is hard to believe what you get for the price. For those players without the reference point of a German upright piano. The K 400’s sustain will be nothing short of heavenly.
PIANO KEYBOARD ACTION
Two very big and consistent complaints of upright piano actions is always the repetition speed, and the control at lower dynamic levels. The very nature of upright piano actions means that at very low speeds, most of the force required to return the hammer to its resting position is coming from a spring, rather than gravity or ricochet. this inevitably results in missed strikes, double hits, and poor control. It also reduces the return speed of the action, often referred to as repetition speed. However, if you’ve never tried an upright piano, simply play the K 400 and you won’t have a clue about any of the things I just talked about – those deficiencies are virtually eliminated with the longer key length, and impeccable, stable regulation of the carbon fiber action. Control of the volume at lower levels is extremely good – something akin to a 5.5 foot grand piano.
LONGEVITY / QUALITY
The K- series from Kawai is a well-made piano. Any reasonable prediction puts the lifespan of these pianos at or beyond that of the Yamaha U series in their heyday. Kawai piano’s fit and finish is legendary, and their factory preparation is consistent and professional. The increasing use of carbon fiber for the PNO actions in the piano industry is a nice trend to see. Kawai is certainly not the only one, and any manufacturer choosing to utilize this material will produce pianos and actions which require less maintenance over time, and can be more finely regulated. Even at high levels of use, the Kawai K 400 should get 40 to 50 years of excellent use before any major component requires replacement or service.