The Piano Shop Bath are delighted to announce that an old favourite will be returning to our showroom! This particular Kawai K6 was bought by local musician and composer 3 years ago and is now looking for a new home owing to relocation. We are very happy to have the opportunity to present this fabulous upright piano for resale, if anyone is looking for a grand quality upright piano this flagship Kawai model is definitely worth considering. The quality and craftsmanship that you would expect from a Kawai piano is all here, the solid spruce soundboard creates a rich full sound, the millennium iii action is light and responsive and the extra long bass strings give both depth and richness of tone. What is really nice about this piano is that is has been very well loved and well cared for by local musician Leigh Haggerwood. The relationships that form between pianists and their pianos are fascinating and below Leigh has kindly offered us his take on the Kawai K6;
I first discovered Kawai musical instruments as a teen in the mid 1980’s. The Kawai K1 was a revolutionary synthesiser that kick-started my music career and became the heart of my band and Songwriting aspirations. I soon learned that this Japanese company had a long history of innovation alongside Yamaha, which began in the early 20th century. As I ventured into more and more professional recording studios in the 1990’s, I noticed that many of them had Kawai pianos and I was always impressed by them.
A few years ago I formed ‘The Florin Street Band’ which is based on a group of musicians in a story I created, set in the late 19th century. The style of music is quite organic in the sense that all of the instruments are live, and there are folk and Celtic elements in the sound. As a writer / producer with a keen interest in sound engineering, it was always my intention to record the musicians and mix the songs myself. So I decided to get an upright piano that I could leave permanently miked up in my studio, and I set about looking for something that had all of the characteristics I needed; a great sound and character with a smooth and quiet action, and I found exactly what I needed at The Piano Shop Bath.
Grand pianos are often chosen for recording purposes because microphones can be placed further away from the action. Fingers clicks, hammer thuds and general mechanical noises can be a pain when it comes to recording piano, and this is where the Kawai K6 – often referred to as a studio upright – has some great advantages. I was impressed by the warm tone of the K6, and was equally impressed by its action which is one of the best I’ve played. The keys flow gracefully, and the mechanisms are so quiet that I’ve been able to place microphones directly above the hammers to capture the brightest sound, without fear of picking up too much mechanical noise. One of Kawai’s great innovations is to use a special Carbon fibre material within the action parts which is lighter and stronger than wood. Wood is known to swell in humidity, and this can create all kinds of problems when you work in a hot studio environment. The lighter weight also gives a more fluid keyboard action, and as a result, the K6 is joy to play.
Along with several other productions, I’ve recorded numerous Florin Street songs with the K6, close-miking the piano with a stereo pair of Schoeps MK4’s which were connected to a Prism Orpheus audio interface. The sound is full and rich by comparison to even the best Steinway grand samples I have in my software collection. The resulting recordings were used for two Florin Street Band music videos which were later filmed in Bath and the surrounding areas, although old piano props were used in the videos to keep with the Victorian theme.
As I developed the song structures, I was able to lay down piano parts very quickly at my home studio. The upright nature of the piano meant that I had plenty of space, and the quiet action meant that the resulting recordings would fit easily into some very complicated mixes. I’m pleased to have won the UK Songwriting contest with these songs, and I’m in the process of finishing an entire musical based on my Florin Street story, which is destined to become a feature-length animation and stage show.
Considering this particular Kawai K6 is only 3 years old it has already had quite an eventful life. If you are interested in a high end upright piano we strongly recommend a viewing of the Kawai K6 as it is unlikely to stay on our shop floor for very long.