Kawai BL71 Upright Grand Piano Review



If you are looking for a grand piano but do not have a space for it, then this is your perfect choice. This is the full size Kawai Professional Upright Grand Series that sounds like a grand which doesnt take any more room than a shorter console pianos. BL series is one of the most successful series ever built by kawai, which consist of BL11, BL12, BL31, BL51, BL61, BL71 and  the BL82 which is very unlikely to be found in the piano market. Kawai’s has a very unique way of presenting their signature,  where they like to introduce one upright grand in every series such as K series K48, KU series KU5, BL series BL71 and US series. 

1. The Power of Upright Grand

The BL71 is similar to a Yamaha U3, for a slightly more affordable price. I am not biased against both Brands but in order to compare apple to apple,  we can only compare YAMAHA U3A or UX to BL71 and you might need to fork out another RM2000 to RM3000 in order to get the same built quality for YAMAHA. It has a larger cabinet compare to Yamaha U3A & UX, which has a longer bass strings that give a richer overall tone, as well as bass notes that are very robust in sound. 



You might be able to find mahogany color or walnut color BL71 and mostly its special edition. We also custom made white colors as Kawai NEVER produce white color for its upright piano. All white Kawais are custom made by our professional piano technician to bring a “fairly tale” like piano to your house. 

The BL71 generally got a very nice aesthetic grand piano feel, they changed the lines and shape of the book rak compare to previous model KU5 and overall style on the gables, toe blocks, as well as the pedals.


2. Specification

Size 132 x 153 x 65 cm
Action First Gen composite action
SoundBoard Material Solid Spruce
Back Post 6
Tuning pin Nickel Pin 
Key Surface Neotex
Hammer maple
Duplex Scale
Center pedal practice pedal
Music Rack Grand Style
Fallboard Grand Style

With a 132cm Upright, you are actually getting a string length that’s even longer than what you getting in your typical 5 foot baby grand. So, from a clarity standpoint, from a tonal standpoint, there is actually many benefits to go with upright grand than a baby grand. This is a strong option where you actually gets longer string, without having to increase the budget to baby grand. 


6 back post


Grand piano style Music Rak and Fallboard

3. Tonality and Voicing

The Hammers 

Kawai Bl71 comes with double-felted mahogany hammers, which creates extra harmonics, and it thickens and strengthens the treble tone out of the piano. Mahogany has long been prized by piano manufacturers for its strength and lightweight values. Stapled around the mahogany core moulding are double felt hammers, which will hold their shape over many years of heavy playing. This is why BL series can have a very long life span even after 40 years of usage, after our restoration, still can last you a good 15 to 20 years. I have emphasise again on the extra long bass string, it is so dark, so powerful and will definitely blow you away. Moving to the top of the range, there are an abundant colors there than you typically get in an normal upright piano, where it can be clear but feel shallow and blur. 

The actions  

The millennium 1 is quick and responsive to the slightest touches. You can really feel how good a piano action is when you play some music that is very soft in character. Some BL71 without proper regulation will feel empty and shallow when you play but this will definitely not gonna happen on our professionally regulated pianos. With professional regulation, the energy transfers from your fingertips will be more concentrated and provide greater control. This is why i always said, not all used piano are restored equally and all used piano comes with grades. 

Grade A, Grade B, Grade C pianos has different cost and the cost will reflect different selling price. This is why you can see some BL71 are selling less than RM9k In the market and some seller can sell up to RM15K still people willing to pay for it. 

4. A Masterpiece that will last you a good 15 to 20 years without depreciation.

For a fraction of price, you get one of the greatest Kawai model that can last you easily another 15 to 20 years. It is a very good investment as we offer 60% buyback within 10 years. However, if you taken good care of it, you might be able to sell it with the price you actually bought it 10 years back. Used piano market is a very interesting market. Take this as an example, my dad sold BL71 for RM8K during 2000 and during 2018, the selling price of BL71 shoot up to RM9-10K due to YEN appreciation and inflation. Therefore, you can still sell it around RM7K and make only 1k losses. 

5 . Conclusion – The Beginner Choice. 

So all in all, the BL71 from KAWAI is a very capable instrument. Who is the ideal customer? I think that BL71 is for those students who are really committed in completing grade 8 and planning to go for diploma, degree who are in need of a very reliable, consistent instrument that can deliver a big range of tone and dynamics. Lets be honest, i would say the BL71 is going to deliver a broader musical experience than a typical baby grand. 

We have got the Kawai BL71 upright in both locations at our showrooms in Klang and Seri Kembangan all the time. So if you are in that area, come and visit us but remember to call me la because i not always free one. I need to shoot video, edit video, do research and send pianos all the time one. ok so thats all for today ok ? 

Wrote this on Easter day 12 April 2020. Thanks so much for reading and we will see you back for another review ! Remember subscribe my channel ok ? Stay home during COVID 19 and practice piano ! 



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