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Sound quality of new models (upright, grand) of Yamaha? #1261546
09/03/09 03:01 AM
09/03/09 03:01 AM
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LA, USA
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hoola Offline OP
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I visited an authorized Yamaha dealer this afternoon in Garden Grove, CA. The saleswoman showed me new models of Yamaha, upright and grands and explained that the new models of this year have new scale and longer strings (ex: base string's length of T118 = base string's length of old U3, I also saw difference in C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6).

Please give comments on the sound of new models in comparison to models of previous year.

Thanks

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Re: Sound quality of new models (upright, grand) of Yamaha? [Re: hoola] #1261550
09/03/09 03:17 AM
09/03/09 03:17 AM
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Chris H. Offline
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How can the strings of a 118cm piano be as long as those in a 132cm piano?


Pianist and piano teacher.
Re: Sound quality of new models (upright, grand) of Yamaha? [Re: Chris H.] #1261554
09/03/09 03:31 AM
09/03/09 03:31 AM
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hoola Offline OP
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The saleswoman showed me 2 OPEN-from-the-front pianos 1 old U3 and 1 new T118, side by side, so customers can see inside, she then showed me the FRAME of the new T118 with complete new design, and this new design allowed string to be longer.

I saw these by my own eyes, and I also saw that the so-called new T118 is about 13 cm lower than the so-called old U3. I did not check the U3 or T118 on the frame, but I know the lady, she is very honest (2 of my friends bought pianos from this shop), and I don't believe that she would have given me wrong info on U3 or T118.

Re: Sound quality of new models (upright, grand) of Yamaha? [Re: hoola] #1261558
09/03/09 03:40 AM
09/03/09 03:40 AM
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Chris H. Offline
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I have never played the T118 but it has had good reviews here on the forum. Some of the industry professionals here will be able to help you with these questions. Don't take my word for it, I am just a piano teacher!

As far as I know the design of the U series pianos hasn't changed much over the last 9 years. I have a U1 built in 2000 and I really like it. I do play and teach on an older U3 at one of my schools and it's a powerful beast with a very strong bass. Did you get a chance to play both the T118 and the older U3 and if so how did you think the sound compared?


Pianist and piano teacher.
Re: Sound quality of new models (upright, grand) of Yamaha? [Re: hoola] #1261849
09/03/09 01:18 PM
09/03/09 01:18 PM
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thumper49 Offline
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Originally Posted by hoola
The saleswoman showed me 2 OPEN-from-the-front pianos 1 old U3 and 1 new T118, side by side, so customers can see inside, she then showed me the FRAME of the new T118 with complete new design, and this new design allowed string to be longer.

I saw these by my own eyes, and I also saw that the so-called new T118 is about 13 cm lower than the so-called old U3. I did not check the U3 or T118 on the frame, but I know the lady, she is very honest (2 of my friends bought pianos from this shop), and I don't believe that she would have given me wrong info on U3 or T118.


Interesting. I have been pondering this very question as I consider a choice between a 131 cm Pramberger and the T118. The specs for the T118 show string 1 as being 46.65 inches long, and the Pramberger is 47 inches. In my location, the price difference between the two instruments is $2300 (Canadian)with the T118 being the less expensive one. I'm strongly leaning toward the T118.


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Currently working on: Suzuki Piano School, book 5, second half
Re: Sound quality of new models (upright, grand) of Yamaha? [Re: thumper49] #1261869
09/03/09 01:45 PM
09/03/09 01:45 PM
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A little OT but I'm in sound check for a concert tonight and to my delight they've got a Yami S6 and I've been warming up on it for about an hour. This is without a doubt a Tier 1 instrument. Perfect action and beautiful range of colours with a very warm rich tone. Maybe not the same level of fit and finish as a Fazioli, Shgeru, or Bosendorfer but it plays as good as any of those instruments for my tastes.



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Disclaimer: Shigeru Kawai Artist
Re: Sound quality of new models (upright, grand) of Yamaha? [Re: AJF] #1261880
09/03/09 02:06 PM
09/03/09 02:06 PM
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charleslang Offline
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Some of these ultra-long string pianos are made by making the plate literally go to the floor by cutting out part of the bottom of the frame of the piano, and another thing you'll notice is that the cheeks are often wider. By making the whole piano wider and making the bass strings at an angle they can squeeze a longer string in there.


charlessamuellang.com
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Tuesdays 5-8:30 at Vince's West Sacramento, California
Re: Sound quality of new models (upright, grand) of Yamaha? [Re: thumper49] #1261896
09/03/09 02:39 PM
09/03/09 02:39 PM
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hoola Offline OP
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To Thumper49,

The saleswoman emphasized that only new model of this year (2009? or 2010?, I'm not sure what she meant by saying "this year", I came to her shop at closing time and did not have much time to ask for more precise info) have longer strings and new scale.

So ask for T118 new model.

I visited Hanmi Piano, Garden Grove, California, I'm a beginner so I can not play and judge the sound quality by myself. Real pianists, when you have time, please go to any Yamaha authorized dealer, play them and give your opinion.

Thanks


Re: Sound quality of new models (upright, grand) of Yamaha? [Re: hoola] #1262008
09/03/09 06:13 PM
09/03/09 06:13 PM
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Los Angeles, CA
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I'm not aware of any revisions to the original T118 design. I don't know exactly what the length of the bass string was on the older U3's, maybe it's the same. The T118 does share the plate and thereby scale design (string length of bass string #1) as the present U1. At any rate, the length of the #1 bass string does not a great piano make.


Former salesperson for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe, Kimball, Charles R. Walter, Mason & Hamlin, Roland and Korg.
Re: Sound quality of new models (upright, grand) of Yamaha? [Re: Pianohero] #1262055
09/03/09 07:50 PM
09/03/09 07:50 PM
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hoola Offline OP
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I asked for technical documentations from the saleswoman at Hanmi Piano, she did not give me, then I told her that I will look for technical spec online, she told me that Yamaha website would reflect these in a few weeks, not now.

I did see that the frame on new pianos are really different and have different geometry and shape.

I checked Yamaha website and Hanmi is official authorized Yamaha dealer.

Re: Sound quality of new models (upright, grand) of Yamaha? [Re: hoola] #1262188
09/04/09 01:55 AM
09/04/09 01:55 AM
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Hampshire, England
ChrisVenables Offline
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In 1999 Yamaha changed their scaling on several uprights and increased the width of the pianos, U1 and U3 by about 1.5 inches. As the bass strings run diagonally top left to bottom right the change in width combined with the new frame scaling increased the lower bass strings by around 2.5 inches. That, combined with a slightly greater soundboard area, improved the overall tone and bass register significantly. As the T118 has the U1 frame, the saleslady is right that a T118 has a similar length bass string to an old U3.

Other improvements Yamaha have made from 1999 on several models are:

1. Better bass strings and string gauges (most models) to give a more European tone
2. Redesigned hammer heads, ditto
3. Floating top edge of soundboard on U3(as per many grands)
4. Improved treble bridge cappings on most grands, increases sustain and power.

Although I agree up to a point with the cadillackid that a long no.1 bass string does not a great piano make, it's a step in the right direction. Combined with the additional length in the majority of the other bass strings, there is a noticeable benefit to the overall tone. Quite audible when those bass strings are vibrating in sympathy with other notes being played in the mid and treble sections, especially when the sustain pedal is in use.


Tech. & Partner: Venables Pianos
Yamaha Piano UK main dealer and Grand Piano Centre
Stocking new Yamaha, Petrof and Venables & Son
Re: Sound quality of new models (upright, grand) of Yamaha? [Re: ChrisVenables] #1262196
09/04/09 03:06 AM
09/04/09 03:06 AM
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hoola Offline OP
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ChrisVenables,

Is that true that the longer strings and new scaling are on new models starting year 2009 (on uprights as well as on C grand piano)? or they are a continual improvement since 1999 as you wrote above?

Hanmi Piano in southern California just acquired the official Yamaha dealership very recently, so maybe the saleslady talked about the difference between new pianos and used pianos that her shop sold before, and maybe I would have misunderstood the saleslady?!

Thank you very much.

Re: Sound quality of new models (upright, grand) of Yamaha? [Re: hoola] #1262203
09/04/09 03:49 AM
09/04/09 03:49 AM
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Padova, Italy
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Hello,
in my search for a piano I visited a couple of dealers who told me of the new Yamaha C improvements.
They spoke mainly about the sound quality, without going in detail regarding strings.
One of them had a new (he had received it in june 2009) C3 M Conservatory, in which he told me Yamaha put, among other improvements, a renewed action, not present in the Studio model and in C1s and C2s.
My impression was actually of a better sound than older C3s I tried (there was also a new C3 L Studio, and its sound was nearer to the one I recalled from previous tests).
The sound of the C3M was, in my opinion, more balanced, less bright and metallic than I remembered, with more presence on the bass and crystal clear treble notes. I could say...more "european", maybe.
The action was really beautiful, even if not such as the Kawai RX's.
I must say that befor trying this C3 I didn't like much that particular kind of piano (while I loved a couple of C5 I tried), while now I think this could be a serious contender.


Kawai RX 5
Yamaha Clavinova PF P100
Roland FP4-f
Re: Sound quality of new models (upright, grand) of Yamaha? [Re: hoola] #1262243
09/04/09 07:53 AM
09/04/09 07:53 AM
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Hampshire, England
ChrisVenables Offline
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Originally Posted by hoola
ChrisVenables,

Is that true that the longer strings and new scaling are on new models starting year 2009 (on uprights as well as on C grand piano)? or they are a continual improvement since 1999 as you wrote above?



String length has remained the same on upright and grand models since 1999. In 2007/8 C1 and C2 had improved treble bridges to bring them in line with C3 and above. Other 'improvements' were mainly cosmetic to the cabinets and upgraded keytops on C1 and C2, again to bring them in line with the rest of the C series.


Tech. & Partner: Venables Pianos
Yamaha Piano UK main dealer and Grand Piano Centre
Stocking new Yamaha, Petrof and Venables & Son
Re: Sound quality of new models (upright, grand) of Yamaha? [Re: ChrisVenables] #1262461
09/04/09 02:33 PM
09/04/09 02:33 PM
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Take a tape measure and check it. It's not hard.

Re: Sound quality of new models (upright, grand) of Yamaha? [Re: asd123321] #1262522
09/04/09 04:26 PM
09/04/09 04:26 PM
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hoola Offline OP
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1/ Agree with asd123321, but the problem is the dealer is not big enough to carry for example: U3 of 2008 and U3 of 2009 so we can measure and compare them.

2/ Yamaha website don't explain this either (yes, they can but maybe they prefer not doing this, because it would harm the sale of new pianos which were manufactured previous years).

That's why I ask people here who are more unbias

Re: Sound quality of new models (upright, grand) of Yamaha? [Re: hoola] #1262555
09/04/09 05:46 PM
09/04/09 05:46 PM
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Kurtmen Offline
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I have a slightly different opinion. Even though Yamaha made a few changes;- the signature sound of their pianos have not a change at all. When you play a Yamaha you know is Yamaha. And I say this as a positive remark meaning that Yamaha pianos have identity.

I could be wrong but to truly change the tonal qualities of their pianos they will need to do modifications to things such as down bearing, soundboard tensions and other important elements, and as far as I know these specifications have not changed recently.

In my opinion these changes are more oriented into marketing than the core sound of the piano. In other words* brochure changes*; this is the part where manufacturers play a numbers game with lengths, square areas and sizes in general.

I've noticed a change in Yamaha approach to voicing that actually is well balanced. Again nothing negative about the tone of the piano but in my opinion these changes don't affect directly the tonal quality of Yamaha pianos.


Last edited by Kurtmen; 09/04/09 05:47 PM.

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