Soundboard & Ribs
The most important sound-producing parts of a piano are the soundboard and ribs. Both the materials used and the manner in which they are assembled greatly affect the volume and tonal quality. At Kawai, we use only top-quality, straight-grained spruce to ensure excellent dynamic range and superb tone across the entire spectrum of sound.
The cast iron plate, or “harp,” of a properly tuned upright piano is subject to forces of up to 20 tons. To withstand this kind of pressure, we construct our plates to the most exacting specifications, and factor the natural resonance of the plate into the overall design to ensure outstanding acoustical performance.
The important job of transmitting vibrations from the strings to the soundboard is handled by the bass and treble bridges. To assure you of superior sound, we use hard Rock Maple to construct our bridges, and carefully notch them to eliminate “wild strings,” buzzing and tinniness.
The back posts of an upright piano support the plate and help keep it true over the life of the piano. On Kawai upright pianos, the sturdy, multi-layer construction of the back posts assures outstanding structural integrity and enhanced tuning stability for decades of reliable performance.
The pinblock is one of the most important components in a piano, and must be constructed and finished to the highest quality standards to ensure maximum tuning stability. At Kawai, we make our pinblocks from the finest hard Rock Maple, and drill each tuning pin hole with meticulous care. We also use rust-resistant, sure-grip tuning pins that are spiral-grooved for easy tuning.
The keys on every Kawai upright piano are individually weighted and balanced to assure that key touch is uniform, with excellent repetition and response. In addition, some models feature an exclusive ivory-like synthetic keycover material. Developed by Kawai engineers as an ecologically responsible alternative to real ivory, it is derived from natural cellulose, yet offers the feel and absorbency of real ivory. It is also extremely resistant to cracking, discolouration and brittleness.