Friday, 15 May 2015

Yamaha U1 vs Kawai K300 – A Comprehensive Comparison

The K-3 is a brand-new design from Kawai. It just came out in 2014 following up on it very successful K-3 model. The K-3 and the K 300 are two models that more often than any other piano on earth get compared to the Yamaha U1 and it's pretty obvious why. Both pianos are from Japan, they're both 48 inches tall, and both companies lead the industry and quality control and value. We're not just going to be looking at the similarities between the K-3 hundred and the U1, but specifically what the differences are to help you as a shopper decide which direction might make more sense for you. One of the biggest difference between the K-3 hundred and the U1 on a technical level is the action design. The U1 uses what at this point could probably be described as a fairly traditional design that uses a combination of wooden synthetics to activate the jack and hammer. The Kawai model specifically with the K-3 hundred continues the tradition of replacing its wood parts with carbon fibre components. Many experts have commented and agree that this is a stronger material and a lighter material than wood. Kawai did this of course for a couple of reasons. One was maintenance, the other was musical performance. The lack of weight has actually sped the action up, and the lack of maintenance has reduced the cost to own Kawai's product versus maybe some other upright pianos that require little bit more maintenance. With the Yamaha you're getting a really well-built, well designed but fairly traditional action. This creates the potential for a few problems through some seasonal changes, but generally speaking it is going to be a good reliable action which produces a nice bright tone, and it is easy to get a high volume out of that action. On the contrary, Kawai uses a carbon fibre action which is is has the potential to lower piano maintenance costs, and it also has potential to speed the action up. Depending on the style of playing you do, this could have a minimal effect, but it could also have a fairly dramatic effect- you have to decide. You definitely want to feel these instruments out because they definitely don't feel the same, and one might appeal to a lot more than the other. It might surprise you which action you prefer. TONE Because Kawai uses a slightly longer string than the Yamaha, and because they taper the soundboards in a slightly different way than the Yamaha, the tone of the two pianos certainly not the same. What you have on the Kawai is a slightly deeper, slightly warmer, and slightly richer sound. That owes to the longer string and a different tapering of the soundboard. In the Yamaha you've got a slightly brighter sound and slightly sharper attack. So again this is a very subjective stylistic preference from player to player. You really can't say necessarily that one is better than the other, [...]

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