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Learn about Premium vs. Standard features.

Grand Feel III Action

The ultimate Hybrid action. This updated action features Longer Keys. The part you touch is the same size, but the key-stick extends further into the piano, provide optimal leverage, speed and control. A genuine, SOLID WOOD KEYBOARD provides pianists with the most authentic feel possible. Solid-wood keys have a unique physical mass that travels and beds down in a way that pianists learn to expect as they …more

135 Watts 6 Premium Onkyo Speakers and Soundboard

This piano can satisfy the most discerning ears! A Genuine Sitka Spruce TwinDrive Soundboard Speaker system with new 360° speaker diffuser panels converts the piano's digitally created vibrations into acoustic sound waves in exactly the same way an acoustic piano converts vibrations from the strings. Powerful enough to fill a mid-size hall without additional amplification, this piano provides big grand-piano sound in a vertical cabinet. Kawai …more

Touch Display

The Kawai touch display is the most elegant interface to date. Sound selections are represented by beautifully rendered images of the various instruments, enabling the user to scroll through dozens of grand pianos, organs and orchestral instruments. Core features like the metronome, recorder, and even advanced features like the Virtual Technician are accessed through seamless scrolling menus. This luxurious interface adds to the premium musical experience of the …more

Spatial Headphones Sound

Headphones are very useful in busy households because they enable the player to block out the rest of the world and concentrate on what is being played. New SPACIAL HEADPHONES SOUND technology greatly enhances the depth and realism of the piano sound. 1/8" and 1/4" jacks are included, so you can use your favorite headset or earbuds. Both jacks can be used at the same time, so a parent can listen to a child practice or duet partners can play …more

Bluetooth midi and audio

Bluetooth AUDIO enables you to wirelessly play music files or video clips through the premium speaker system of your piano. You can play along or simply enjoy your Kawai piano as a central part of your home audio system. MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface and Bluetooth enables your Kawai digital piano to connect wirelessly to your favorite Bluetooth capable tablet or computer. Enjoy countless music applications, games, apps for recording and …more

Educational Features

Integrated educational features cn help a student along during practice sessions. The METRONOME promotes good rhythm and counting. While a built-in RECORDER enables students to listen critically to what they have played or practice duet pieces on their own. Various INSTRUMENT SOUNDS, like organ, electric piano, harpsichord can make playing a piece over and over less monotonous and can promote longer and more …more

Kawai Virtual Technician

This is the feature that makes Kawai Hybrid pianos able to satisfy the most discerning musicians. Just as a concert pianist consults with a master technician to make fine adjustments to the touch and tone of a concert grand piano, the Kawai user consults the Virtual Technician to customize the piano sound to taste.  Standard adjustments for lighter and heavier touch and brighter or mellower tone are just the beginning. The Virtual Technician regulates hammer and key release …more

Always In Tune

This piano is always in tune and therefore always ready to train students' ears to recognize proper pitch. Because the sound is recorded from a concert grand piano and processed digitally, it is impossible for this piano to go out of tune. The added benefit is, of course, that there is NO TUNING OR MAINTENANCE COST after purchase.

Grand Feel Pedal System

In addition to training a student's fingers, a student's feet must learn to properly operate the pedals. This piano's THREE METAL PEDALS are the same size and proportion as those found on a grand piano. Each pedal has it's own UNIQUE RESISTANCE FACTOR that accurately trains proper pedaling muscle memory. Portable keyboards and cheaper keyboard instruments will have a square box pedal or plastic pedals that simply do not …more

Proper Piano Bench

Included with this piano is a bench that is set to the proper height for the keyboard, promoting good posture and technique. Too often, portable keyboards are put on adjustable stands that are too high or too low. Students that practice for extended periods of time under these conditions never develop proper technique and SOMETIMES SUFFER INJURY from having their wrists in the wrong position.

What makes a piano great?

In the 300+ year history of the piano, there have been some specific advances  in design and construction that we know will make a piano perform better and last longer. Most manufacturers treat these as step-up features to justify price differences between models. We are proud that in each line of Steinway & Sons, Boston, and Essex pianos, EVERY MODEL IS MADE THE SAME and never are features left out simply to cut costs. Even the most affordable, small Essex upright has EVERY PREMIUM DESIGN FEATURE.   

Premium vs. Standard Features


Premium Solid Spruce Soundboard

All the finest pianos have premium solid-spruce soundboards, but spruce soundboards are not created equal. A premium soundboard will be made of straight-grain solid spruce (not laminated) with a minimum of 8 grains per inch and be free of knots and irregularities. These qualities ensure overall structural integrity and even distribution of vibrations. Most manufacturers do not specify anything beyond solid vs. laminated, allowing for a wide variance in wood quality.

Standard Solid Spruce Soundboard

This manufacturer does not publish specifications for the soundboard material for this model beyond the species of wood. Model to model, these soundboards may have variances in grain density, irregularities, knots, or areas where material was cut out and filler material was glued in to take it's place. We inspect the soundboards of every piano we sell and encourage shoppers to inspect the soundboard of any piano they may consider purchasing to determine the quality of the soundboard …more

Tapered Soundboard Construction

To promote flexibility, the soundboard is sanded down to be thinner from treble to bass. Because the board is able to vibrate more freely, bass notes sound richer and fuller and overall tone and dynamic range is improved.

One-Dimensional Soundboard

A one-dimensional soundboard (top) is the same thickness across its width.  This piano does not have a tapered soundboard or this manufacturer does not specify whether or not the soundboard is tapered on this model. However, if a piano has a tapered soundboard, it is generally something that a manufacturer would want a shopper to know. All else being equal, a tapered soundboard will provide deeper, richer tone and longer sustain. All Steinway, Boston, and Essex …more

Vertically Laminated Bridges

Originally patented by Steinway in 1880, this groundbreaking design is now found in nearly every high-performance piano in production. The solid bridge is replaced with multiple layers of wood, like a layer-cake on its side. This design transfers vibrations from the strings to the soundboard most efficiently and with the least loss of energy. This improves every aspect of tone, projection, sustain, and dynamic range.

One-Piece Bridges

Bridges conduct the vibrations from the strings into the soundboard. This piano has bridges made of one piece of wood and may have a maple cap. Most uprights and entry-level grands have one-piece bridges. Nearly all performance grands include vertically laminated bridges to improve tone, sustain, and dynamic range.

Hammers with Underfelt

Dense under-felt is applied before the white hammer felt is glued and fastened to the hammer molding. This reinforcement will help the hammer retain its shape through years of impact with the strings. Often overlooked and not something that will cause an issue right away, this is a feature many manufacturers will eliminate in order to cut costs.

Hammers no Underfelt

This manufacturer did not include under-felt on this piano. Instead, the white hammer felt is glued directly to the wooden hammer-head. Under-felt is a layer of very dense felt that is applied first. This helps the hammer take shape at production and retain shape over years of impact with the strings.

5-Post Backframe

A 5-post backframe is the first indicator that a manufacturer has taken the design of a piano seriously. However, the thickness of the individual back posts matters. A cross sectional surface area of 400cm2 or more provides massive support year after year for the the soundboard's crown and the nearly 40,000lbs of tension from the strings. The CSA is calculated by multiplying the width and depth of a post, times the number of posts, …more

4 Post Back Frame

If the posts are thick, a 4-post backframe can be solid, but nearly all premium uprights have 5 posts. The back-frame of a piano is responsible in large part for a piano's longevity and performance later in life. Inspect the back-frame of every upright you consider purchasing, because the thickness of the back-posts will be one of the first indicators of an upright piano’s quality.

Dense, Maple Wood Rim

The rim of a grand piano is primarily responsible for maintaining the crown, or curvature, of the soundboard. This curvature is absolutely critical to a piano's ability to project sound and maintain a tuning to proper pitch. As such, strong, rigid, dense wood makes for solid rim construction. Steinway pianos have a unique one-piece, continuous bent, hard-rock MAPLE rim, Boston pianos have a hard-rock MAPLE inner rim and the outer rim …more

Unspecified Rim Material

Some manufacturers often use terms like "select hardwoods" and "carefully selected wood based on its acoustic characteristics" to describe their materials. Most often in the piano industry, this can be interpreted as "may change without notice." This manufacturer either does not provide specifications for rim material, uses non-specific terms to describe rim materials, or, in the case of some older pianos, the information was not able to be …more

Duplex Scale Design

Originally patented by Steinway in 1872, similar designs are now implemented in countless performance grands. Each treble string is sectioned into three separate vibrating lengths. The longest is in the middle and this is the main note we hear. The duplex sections on either end are tuned to upper harmonics of the main note. This design greatly enhances the complexity and richness of the tone and increases the strength of the very highest notes. 

No Duplex Scale

This manufacturer did include duplex scale design on this model. Instead, felt (red in this example picture) is used to prevent the length of string that extends beyond the bridge from vibrating. Duplex scale-design is used to improve the complexity and harmonic content of a piano's tone.

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