We have decided to take a closer look at the Kawai GE 30 grand piano, a popular model in the Kawai GE series. It combines the benefits of a grand piano with an affordable price and size a that won’t require a concert hall to house it in. This is a combination that has been very attractive to our customers here at the Piano Shop Bath, and we’d like to share with you a few of the features that could make this an option for you.
Buying a smaller grand piano usually has compromises when it comes to tone. At 5’5″ feet/inches you would not expect the bass strings to produce the kind of deep growls you usually associate with an instrument over 6 feet in length. Grand pianos over 6 foot will have space for longer bass strings, and as a general rule of thumb, the longer the strings the better the tone. While the Kawai GE-30 might not be as resonant as a larger grand piano, it definitely is not compromising on the overall tone. The bass notes have a very pleasing growl that is not muddy, but rather resonating with a nice rich pitch of the note being played. Often on smaller grands the bass notes have growl, but they lose definition of the actual note being played. This is not the case with the Kawai GE 30. The middle of the piano is extremely pleasing, with a very warm tone. The notes here can be emphasised with ease, and without losing the warm character of the tone within a chord. The una corda pedal to the left gives chords a wonderful dreamy sound. Applying to the treble register on the piano gives lovely soft tones; when lifting off the pedal to return to normal playing, the sound is sparkly but without that nasal twang you sometimes hear on smaller grand pianos. All in all, a lovely feat of engineering that gives rich tonal depth to the player within a smaller package.
The Kawai GE 30 features the universally praised Millenium III action. Featuring ABS carbon parts, this piano action is super responsive to the quickest and lightest of playing. Fast runs come off easily, while delicate chords can picked out with ease and without fear of not sounding the notes. If you play this grand piano for a while you will also notice the benefit of the NEOTEX material on the key surfaces. Perfectly mimicking the soft feel of ivory and ebony keys, the keys are also a semi porous surface that absorb the hands natural perspiration that occurs when playing, giving you more control. It is also resistant to fading over the years and static-resistant to prevent build up of dust, a common problem in any home or studio.
The soundboard is solid spruce, the wood of choice for fine instruments used for centuries. Its resonant qualities have long been prized and this why you will see it being used on other high end stringed instruments such as violins. The soundboard gives projection an resonance to the piano strings which would otherwise not quite have the projection needed for a piano. In addition, the strings utilise a Duplex Scale. This is an excellent feature for any grand piano, which maximises the full vibration of a string. When a string vibrates, there will be sections on either end of the string which are almost ‘waste’ areas with little vibration. The Duplex Scale effectively minimises this area and ensures that a larger part of the string is vibrating, which in turn gives better tone. This is especially evident on the treble strings of the Kawai GE 30, which have excellent tone.