Kawai vs Yamaha: Difference and Comparison

Walking or travelling alone, feeling down, cleaning your room, or working out, there is a long list of boring things to be done. This boredom can be neutralized with music.

A piano is one of the major elements used in making music. But the great sound comes with great quality. Here is the comparison between Kawai and Yamaha for perfect pitch.

Key Takeaways

  1. Kawai and Yamaha are renowned Japanese manufacturers of musical instruments, with Kawai specializing in pianos and Yamaha producing a diverse range of instruments, including pianos, guitars, and drums.
  2. Kawai pianos are known for their innovative designs, use of advanced materials, and focus on tonal depth. In contrast, Yamaha pianos are praised for their consistent quality, durability, and bright, clear sound.
  3. Both brands cater to various skill levels and budgets, but Kawai is considered a more niche, premium piano brand. At the same time, Yamaha is more versatile and widely recognized in the global music industry.

Kawai vs Yamaha

Kawai is a piano that boasts of a warm and fuller quality of tone, that is preferred for classical music. Kawai sound is broad with a rich fullness, and lacking unwanted harshness. A Yamaha piano, is a piano that has a rich, bright, clear tone, which is preferred by rock or pop musicians.

Kawai vs Yamaha

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Koichi Kawai, founder of the Kawai Musical Instrument Research Laboratory. Started his journey as an apprentice in the Yamaha research and development team.

Due to the death of the Yamaha company, which underwent some restructuring, Kawai left the company and started his own company to make pianos in 1927.

Yamaha, also known as Torakusu Yamaha, was founded as the Nippon Gakki Co. Ltd. in 1887. The world’s largest manufacturer of the piano was started with piano and reed organ manufacture.

The first decent piano was made by this company in 1900 and started the grand production in 1902.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonKawaiYamaha
TechnologyThe action mechanism is made up of synthetic carbon-based composite materials.The action mechanism is made up of traditional handcrafted methods with wood and other materials.
FeaturesHave longer keys for easy navigation during play. Have technological advances intervened with traditional mechanisms, making them exclusive.
Durability More durable due to a carbon-based body.Not so durable due to wood crafted body, needs proper maintenance.
Tone Warm tone, suitable mostly for classical music.Clear, rich, and bright tones are preferred by rock or pop musicians.
SpecialtyProvide variety with digital customization without compromising on sound quality. Have a strong background in technology related to music, resulting in quality products. 

What is Kawai?

Kawai Musical instruments manufacturing co.Ltd. is a pianos and keyboard manufacturing company situated in Japan.

Koichi Kawai is the founder of the company used to work as an apprentice in the Yamaha research and development team. 

Due to his death and restructuring of the company, he left the company and started his own piano manufacturing facility in 1927.

To date, Kawai has manufactured tonnes of acoustic and digital pianos and distributed them to over 80 countries. 

This company is popular for its grand pianos, upright pianos, and digital pianos. Also famous for its electronic keyboards and synthesizers.

But they also manufacture hybrid pianos, drum machines, organs and MIDI controllers. 

They manufactured synthesizers under Brand Teisco.

In the ’80s, they stopped using the name Teisco and released the K series. They produce organs under the name “Dramatone” and own the Lowrey organs, in which they offer MORE series of home organs. 

Personalized digital customisation without sound quality compromisation, long durability with a quite long manufacturing warranty and carbon composite body makes the Kawai quality brand to trust.

On top of that, special features like long keys to play the grand piano effortlessly and a natively warm tone it is suitable to play classic pieces.


What is Yamaha?

Yamaha corporation was founded as Nippon Gakki Co. Ltd. by Torakusu Yamaha in 1887. It was first established as a reed organ manufacturer.

The company started manufacturing pianos in 1900, now the world’s largest piano manufacturer. It expanded from musical instrument manufacturer to motorcycle manufacturer during WW2.

Currently, it manufactures drums, guitars, woodwinds, violins, violas, etc., along with pianos. 

It also manufactures semiconductors, computer related products, sports goods, home appliances, robots, etc. In 1988 World’s first CD recorder was shipped by Yamaha.

German audio software manufacturer Steinberge by Pinnacle Systems was also owned by Yamaha in 2005.

Their corporate mission is denoted by the Japanese word “Kando”, meaning emotionally touching or gratifying, describing their supreme quality.

Yamaha Music Foundation was founded in 1966 in order to propagate music education. 

Currently, they manufacture a vast list of products such as reed organs, pianos, furniture, harmonics, audio equipment, guitars, motorcycles, sports goods, semiconductors etc.

Yamaha Jubilo is a famous Rugby team, and the Jubilo Iwata football team is owned and sponsored by the Yamaha Corporation.

yamaha piano 1

Main Differences Between Kawai and Yamaha

  1. Kawai has an action mechanism made up of strong carbon-based composite material, while Yamaha uses traditional methods with wood to manufacture the action mechanism.
  2. Kawai provides longer keys in almost every grand piano to confirm the ease and confidence to play difficult pieces. Yamaha pianos are advanced with modern facilities collaborating with traditional mechanisms, making them exclusive. 
  3. Kawai pianos have more durability due to carbon composite body structure, while Yamaha pianos are not that durable due to wood-based body structure and require proper maintenance and care.
  4. Kawai produces pianos with slightly warmer tones, making them suitable for classical plays. While Yamaha produces pianos with rich, bright, and clear tones, making them popular with pop or rock artists. 
  5. Kawai manufactures pianos that can be digitally customized according to the user without compromising on sound quality. Yamaha has a history with music technology and combines that technology with their traditional methods making every Piano design exclusive. 
Difference Between X and Y 2023 07 18T190407.166
  1. https://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/wglt_interviews/50/ 
  2. https://researchmap.jp/a_ishikawa/published_papers/16348512/attachment_file.pdf 

Last Updated : 18 July, 2023

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