The sound of hammers striking strings, resonating through solid spruce. Warm vibrations that illuminate a room, leaving its audience enchanted. The natural voice of an acoustic piano is truly unmistakable.
A fine piano entices musicians to perform with spontaneity and passion, yet such unbridled expressiveness may not always be appropriate.
Indeed, in certain environments, an acoustic piano can prove disruptive; the diligent tones of children practising scales are unlikely to be welcomed by other family members wishing to watch television, while even the most gentle, soothing chopin preludes have the potential to irritate neighbours if performed after an acceptable time.
Fortunately, AnyTimeX instruments incorporate an acoustic muting feature with powerful digital audio components, allowing pianists to continue enjoying the distinctiv feeling of a traditional piano, while listening discreetly using private headphones.
Exceptional touch, optimum responsiveness, digital flexibility:
The new range of AnyTimeX hybrid pianos from KAWAI.
The soundboard and ribs are considered the most important sound-producing components of a piano, with both the materials used and the manner in which they are assembled, greatly affecting volume and tonal quality. K Series soundboards are produced using the finest quality straight-grained spruce, carefully selected and scientifically tested to exceed KAWAI's demanding resonance standards, ensuring exceptional dynamic range and outstanding tonal balance across the entire sound spectrum.
In addition, the K-2 and K-3 soundboards utilise longer strings and a greater number of ribs - further exceeding the specifications of other pianos to provide improved power and resonance. And with hard rock maple pinblocks, nickel-plated tuning pins and sturdy, multi-layered back posts, the completed back assembly of a KAWAI upright piano boasts outstanding structural integrity and enhanced tuning stability, providing decades of reliable performance.
In 1971 KAWAI revolutionised piano technology by introducing ABS action parts within the fine workings of the piano action. This rigid, atmospherically stable compound material, addressed many of the problems associated with wooden components, such as breakages under continual high stress, and shrinking and swelling due to changes in climate. The introduction of ABS action parts proved a significant development in modern piano design, and rapidly earned high praise from pianists and technicians worldwide.
The Millennium III Upright Action, unveiled in 2006, has been developed to enhance the three performance elements that professional pianists most desire - speed, control and power. The introduction of stronger ABS Carbon materials has allowed KAWAI scientists to develop lighter action parts without sacrificing durability, further optimising key repetition and response speed for a truly unparalleled playing experience.
Standing proudly amongst other items of fine furniture, the piano is often considered the centrepiece of any room it occupies. The exterior appearance of a piano contributes more to the overall aesthetic of playing and listening to music than arguably any other instrument. All K Series AnyTimeX models offer elegant lines and delicate cabinet accents that enhance their outward beauty, with meticulous attention to detail ensuring a stylish, well-balanced design for each instrument.
The K-2, K-3 and K-5 AnyTimeX models feature front castors, fashioned in an attractive brass, while the exceptionally wide music rest - capable of accommodating multiple musical scores, utilises simulated leather to prevent pages from slipping during performance. Finally, KAWAI's integrated "Soft Fall" system lowers the weighty fall-board gracefully, protecting both the pianist's fingers and the luxurious cabinet finish from a jarring close.
With the acoustic components muted, KAWAI AnyTimeX pianos employ a unique digital technology, developed and refined at the Shigeru Kawai Research & Development Laboratory in Ryuyo, Japan, calling upon the finest hand-crafted KAWAI EX Concert Grand piano to deliver an unmistakably warm, authentic tone.
Placed inside a purpose-built anechoic chamber, free of audio reflections, the rich sound of this world class instrument is meticulously analysed and recorded by our Master Piano Artisan pioneers. The acoustic portrait of each note is later transformed into a highly precise three dimensional digital representation, employing KAWAI's proprietary Harmonic Imaging™ technology. This unique process faithfully reproduces the broad dynamic range of the original grand piano, while also providing the source for a rich selection of additional high-quality instrument sounds.
IHSS Sensor System
A fine acoustic piano entices musicians to perform with enthusiasm, spontaneity and passion. Yet, the satisfaction that one enjoys when hammers strike the strings is often diluted by traditional piano silencing techniques. Sensors located below the keyboard struggle to accurately interpret the subtleties of musical expression, which is why AnyTimeX pianos integrate sensors within the fine workings of the piano action, reading the precise movements of each hammer.
Whether performing rapid passages that demand the same key be played repeatedly before returning to its natural starting position, or pianissimo pieces desiring the very softest of key strokes, the Integrated Hammer Sensing System (IHSS) represents the elaborate nuances of every note. Pianists can finally enjoy the convenience of absolute privacy, without sacrificing the responsive touch and authentic expression of a traditional acoustic piano.
KAWAI designers believe that the conspicuous presence of modern technology diminishes the enjoyment of playing and listening to a traditional acoustic instrument. The AnyTimeX control box is therefore discretely placed below the keybed, providing convenient access to useful functions without devaluing the piano's appearance. In addition, the K-2, K-3, and K-5 AnyTimeX models feature an innovative slide-out control panel, with a gentle push revealing an LCD display and array of function buttons.
Digital operation greatly extends the capabilities of the AnyTimeX piano beyond that of a traditional acoustic instrument, with convenient transpose and tuning facilities, a metronome and song recorder, and a selection of high fidelity sounds suitable for various musical occasions. Dual headphone sockets provide greater flexibility for academic institutions, while MIDI and Line-Out connectors allow a range of creative music-making opportunities.