From initial design, to the selection of the finest materials, to the handcrafted assembly by Master Piano Artisans, each Shigeru piano is a work of uncompromising craftsmanship, a symbol of unending devotion – a profound expression of pride and honour.
These pianos, on the market since 2000, are ranked among the world's finest instruments, and are frequently used in international piano competitions. Having achieved prominence among educators and prestigious venues around the globe, Shigeru pianos have been selected by many of the leading musical institutions and conservatories all over the world.
For Shigeru Kawai, there could be no other way.
Identical to those used on our renowned EX Concert Grand Piano, Shigeru Kawai Concert Agraffes are individually machined from billet brass rods to assure maximum precision and strength. The result is clear, powerful and impressive tone.
Spruce is the ideal material for the keys – light, yet extremely strong for its weight. It responds with minimal flex and exceptional consistency, transmitting every subtle nuance of the pianist’s performance while remaining stable through years of heavy use. The length of each key has been extended to make playing easier and provide more even response from the front to the back of the playing surface.
Spruce is known for its outstanding ability to conduct and conserve sound energy. However, it is generally considered too precious for use as a structural material. For the Shigeru pianos, all of the underside beams are made entirely of the highest quality spruce.
Meticulous attention to the needs of professional performers is evident in every feature of the Shigeru piano. One example, originally developed for our Shigeru Kawai EX Concert Piano, is the unique dual-pivot damper design that allows smoother half-pedal control for delicate tonal expression.
The exclusive Konsei Katagi rim uses a blend of distinctive hardwoods to achieve an ideal balance of tone. For the inner rim, small-pored hardwoods that provide superior brightness and projection are interlaminated with dense, large-pored hardwoods offering warmth and fullness. This synergy of structurally divergent hardwoods produces a powerful, well-rounded richness of tone that is the hallmark of the Shigeru piano.
The Millennium III Action features components made of ABS-Carbon, a composite material created by the infusion of carbon fiber into our renowned ABS Styran. ABS-Carbon is incredibly sturdy and rigid, which allows the creation of action parts that are lighter without sacrificing strength. The result is a stronger, faster action that offers more power, better control and greater stability than conventional all-wood actions.
Shiko Seion hammers, which take their name from the Japanese words for “ultimate voicing”, are the exclusive province of our Master Piano Artisans who oversee their formation from beginning to end. Every hammer is meticulously hand-pressed without the application of heat and carefully voiced without artificial hardeners to ensure outstanding dynamic response and expression.
The process of winding copper wire around the bass strings requires highly-refined skills. In this process, KAWAI’s skilled craftsmen wind each wire carefully and precisely by hand to ensure the highest possible quality.
Boxwood is an extremely hard wood that is particularly effective in transferring higher tonal frequencies through the bridge to the soundboard. Boxwood bridge caps help to ensure treble projection that complements the more powerful bass sound of larger pianos.
The custom-tapered soundboard in a Shigeru piano is made exclusively from the finest spruce, aged by the traditional kigarashi process that uses only the forces of time and nature to allow the wood to attain a state of natural balance. It is this lengthy and painstaking process that gives Shigeru pianos their uniquely rich tonal quality.
Stretcher Over-Lap Integrated Design (SOLID) creates an exceptionally rigid foundation to support string tension. With SOLID construction, the pinblock is hand-fitted to the plate. The pinblock and over-lapping stretcher bar are then integrated into a single structure and solidly anchored to the rim. The resulting framework possesses outstanding strength and rigidity to ensure stable tuning and powerful tone.