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#148039 - 01/14/08 01:48 PM Yamaha S Series  
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There's not much real point to this post...other than to say... Holy Cow!

I was at the Yamaha store today and spent an hour messing with CLP's. Chatting with the manager, he invited me to play an S4 (he had just sold his only S6, which is how it came up). Oh my god, what a beautiful piano! It had such a delicate, responsive touch. And such a nice tone. I loved it.

Of course, I am not worthy!

One question -- those wooden black keys, with a rough grain, felt so nice, and my fingers didn't slip off of them easily. Is that a common feature on more expensive pianos?

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#148040 - 01/14/08 02:01 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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I agree.
The S series are killer pianos.

I was blown away when I played an S6.

#148041 - 01/14/08 06:42 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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I found a new S6 a few months ago in a store and it is a very nice piano for sure. It was tagged at $10K higher than a NY Steinway B so it appears to be pricey. That said, I don't know what it really sells for. Yamaha is like that with it's pricing...

As for the sharps, the new Baldwin Ls have a similar wood-grainy look and feel to them.
Very classy.


Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
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#148042 - 01/14/08 07:26 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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Don't all tier 2 or 3 and up pianos have real ebony sharps? - or at least real wood?

I don't remember the last time I saw a grand with plastic sharps.

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#148043 - 01/14/08 08:05 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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These felt different to me. I don't know why, but I liked them.

#148044 - 01/14/08 09:04 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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The difference is in the finish. It's a matte finish that looks and feels different from the high gloss finish on most piano sharps. Both are nice.


Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
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#148045 - 01/14/08 09:46 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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The keytops are probably composite; Yamaha previously used real ebony. How do I know that? When they replaced the deteriorating Ivorite keys on our C3 they put in a complete set of new keysticks.

For many years all Steinways used plastic sharps.

And yes, there is a quality piano with plain old plastic keytops, supplied by Kluge. I cannot speak the name here, since it is spoken much too often...

#148046 - 01/14/08 09:50 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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They were not composite.

#148047 - 01/14/08 10:39 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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Actually - they are a composite.
"WPC" sharps, what ever that means.
They ARE wood, but a wood composite. They certainly look like real wood, but if you look close you will see that the grain is so incredibly consistant, giving some indication that they are a composite.
It made them no less attractive to me when I was looking at pianos. I found the Yamaha keys to be one of the best looking keys on any paino.

As for being "worthy" of owning an S6 - I had my lesson tonight and I don't feel worthy of a casio!

It is awfully sweet to play on such a nice piano daily.

Mike


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#148048 - 01/14/08 10:55 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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I digged a bit further into the key material question.

Keys are made from spruce.

White keys are toppped with Ivorite - synthetic material; registred name by Yamaha.

Black keys are coverd with WPC - wood plastic composite.

Yamaha is not the patent holder of WPC. This composite has many application (flooring, garden furniture etc.). There are apparently two major groups: majority is a polyolefin (PE, PP) composite, the other a PVC composite, both with their specific benefits. An example of a typical PVC-WPC is: 69% wood powder, 23% PVC, 5% CaCO3 en 3% others.

Those intersted in chemistry: http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?wo=2007050324&IA=WO2007050324&DISPLAY=DESC

According to Yamaha's catalogues, both Ivorite and WPC are now being used on the C3 grands and above.

schwammmerl.

#148049 - 01/14/08 11:19 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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As to the piano itself, the S4 at the dealer here was very interesting, with a European sound, but more powerful.

Why does Larry Fine rate this lower than a Shigeru Kawai?

#148050 - 01/14/08 11:19 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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Well I'll be damned. It sure felt like wood. Apologies for my ignorance. Anyway, the piano was incredible. Whatever they are using to make it is fine by me. I'm saving my pennies....

#148051 - 01/14/08 11:21 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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A bit of clarification schwammerl; I don't think that the black keys are "covered" with WPC. I believe that the keys are "topped" with WPC, so that the entire key part above the white keys is of this material.
It is amazing though that they actually have a grain. The side of the key looks like wood and the end of the key looks just like woods end grain. If I did not know that WPC is what is used I would be completly fooled - and I am a carpenter.

Mike


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#148052 - 01/14/08 11:45 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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I only noticed because there was an immediate comparison with the old ebonies. So I asked the technician, who formerly worked for Yamaha in California. It has more woodgrain feel than real wood!! Maybe that was the tipoff.

Don't ask about the composite used in certain rims. The technician calls it paper.

#148053 - 01/15/08 09:43 AM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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When did Yamaha switch from ebony wood to Wood Composite? I was thinking that my C3 uses ebony (thought I'm not at all sure).


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#148054 - 01/15/08 10:25 AM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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Quote
Originally posted by MarkS:
As to the piano itself, the S4 at the dealer here was very interesting, with a European sound, but more powerful.

Why does Larry Fine rate this lower than a Shigeru Kawai?
I like the S series a lot. I agree with Mark that the Shiguru Kawais and Yamaha S series should be side by side. It seems that Kawai is doing a bit more on the marketing of their more expensive pianos, and maybe this had some effect. I like Yamaha S series pianos much much more than several of the higher rated German/ European pianos. In a sense, I am dissapointed that they get so little representation and respect. I have said it before, if Yamaha and Kawai went with a Toyota/Lexus Honda/Acura Nissan/ Infiniti type marketing approach, it is possible that their higher end pianos would get more recognition and respect. On the rare occassion that someone is even aware of these instruments, I hear " it is just a Yamaha".
Of course, I don't really want to have to change people's perceptions about a piano I don't carry.


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#148055 - 01/15/08 10:31 AM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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Yeah I think Yamaha should market the S series as it deserves to be marketed, then it should probably garner the respect it deserves.
It certainly is a fine piano

#148056 - 01/15/08 01:36 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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[Linked Image]

Here is a close up of my S6 Black keys.

Mike


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#148057 - 01/15/08 01:37 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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Dang - Double post. mad
Mike


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#148058 - 01/15/08 01:56 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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I love the S6/S4 pianos. I still play an S6 regularly at my teacher's studio. But it is definitely a European sound, much much cleaner sounding than a Steinway. Depending on my mood, sometimes it sounds too clean, but sometimes I prefer it.

It is such a contrast to the Steinway sound.


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#148059 - 01/15/08 02:13 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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#148060 - 01/15/08 02:30 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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Interesting comment Dave F. My teacher, as you know is on his second S6, and he does have it voiced down a lot. So maybe there's a pattern here. But I know he won't give up the S6 for let's say a Steinway because he likes that particular tone of it.

As a contrasting story, when I was checking out an S400 ('90s), I didn't find it to be bright or have action issues, but the piano showed signs of heavy heavy use (worn down ebony keys). I thought it aged particularly well actually. It sounded great (consistent with a new S4). It wasn't a rebuild.


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#148061 - 01/15/08 03:03 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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#148062 - 01/15/08 05:36 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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df,

Teacher uses the S6 for recordings so he was very picky about it being a particular level of quality at all times. And even new, he's always constantly voicing the hammers down. I know what you mean about comparing it to the Hamburger. My ears are so attuned to the difference now that I now realize why I didn't pick an S4. But teacher does get a great sustained sound out of it. I think he likes it because it's like a signature sound for him.

You're 'Mr. Voicings' yourself so I can see why you'd lean to the D. I think Steinway is more suited for harmonic texture in Jazz, while the Yammie S6/S4 is great for playing the piano like a horn.


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#148063 - 01/15/08 09:19 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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#148064 - 01/16/08 01:04 AM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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The Yamaha S-series are very nice pianos indeed! thumb

Real ebony sharps seem to have a bit of a comeback also on some much less expensive pianos, for example all Brodmann 6' grands up have them.

Not to be misconstrued as a 'reason' to choose a particular piano of course.....

But it does feel nice to 'walk on wood'....if offered as an extra bonus "for free"....

Norbert smile


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#148065 - 01/16/08 02:32 AM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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Yamaha upgraded the C1 & C2 recently with the ivorite keytops, WPC sharps, and vertically laminated bridges (and a couple other things I forget ATM) to make them similar to the C3 and higher grands. Look for these changes on these models with a serial # of 6.2 mil or newer.


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#148066 - 01/17/08 04:22 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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Dave,
On balance, 3-4 hours a day is not common in home use. A similar sized new Steinway B would need significant voicing and action work at 10 years of this kind of use IMO. Of course your 2 yo S&S D is at its peak and will stay there longer in that it is a foot longer and you play it easier to get the same effect.

IMO the Yamaha S6 is a tremendous piano and will reguire no more or no less voicing or regulating or rebuilding than most other models in its size or catagory.


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#148067 - 01/17/08 11:40 PM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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In a parallel thread, opinions were tossed up that the CFIIIS is an attempt to clone the Steinway D.

Is the S6 (or C6) an attempt to clone the Steinway B?


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#148068 - 01/18/08 12:02 AM Re: Yamaha S Series  
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IMO in the S6 they got come aspects better.

A B is still a B.


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