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My Yamaha C5 Story #149428
12/31/04 08:06 PM
12/31/04 08:06 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 6
Orlando, FL
J
Jaybee Offline OP
Junior Member
Jaybee  Offline OP
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J

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 6
Orlando, FL
Well:

Went out to look at pianos today. I had posted a few months ago; had fallen in love with a Boston piano that was just over 6-feet in size (I forget). Anyway, I was with my wife, and we had moved from San Jose California to Orlando Florida recently, and promised that we'd buy a piano once we got to Florida (we left a small Young Chang grand behind with the new owner of our townhouse).

Anyway, I was playing a Yamaha C5, comparing it to some similar Yamaha and Kawai pianos (which I mention 'cause I normally like the action of the Kawai pianos, and the Boston was just perfect). My wife, who loves Yamahas went and put a deposit down on the Yamaha C5 while I was playing it... she thought I really enjoyed playing it. I like it; but am not sure if I'm in love with it. Plus I wanted to go through the whole search and study process for my next piano.

Now, the C5 is really nice, but can anyone out there give me any advice from here. We are able to get our deposit refunded if we walk away - I got about a week to make up my mind. I'm just not really sure about the piano. It sounded rather bright in tone, but the touch of the ivorite keys was great, the action was stable but not as "buttery" as the Boston I played a few months back. Overall, it was an excellent piano, but wondering if anyone can think of something better or just plain psychological advise.

I guess I'm just a little shocked that my wife decided to buy the piano while I was still playing it. Well that's my story...

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Re: My Yamaha C5 Story #149429
12/31/04 08:17 PM
12/31/04 08:17 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 77
NJ
BlingBling Offline
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BlingBling  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 77
NJ
Well, C5 is an excellent piano. But so is Kawai/Boston. It all comes down to your personal preference at this point. You're spending a lot of $$$ so make sure you both agree and be happy with the purchase!

Re: My Yamaha C5 Story #149430
12/31/04 08:44 PM
12/31/04 08:44 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 77
NJ
BlingBling Offline
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NJ
Oh I forgot, this might help you! Did you try the C3 at all? How about C6?

C6 owner:

"Yamaha C5 (6' 7", $28,290 list)

Caught in the no-man's land between the 6-foot and 7-foot range, the C5
isn't as big an improvement over the C3 as I expected, despite the 6 inches
and the extra design freedom the longer length offers. The biggest im-
provement is (no surprise) in the bass region, with more of that "big piano"
feel to it. This is due, it is said, largely to the direct bass bridge on
these larger grands (the C5 and up.)

However, playing the C3 and C5 side by side in the Chopin Nocturnes, I
found I could barely tell the difference unless I listened hard, or played
loudly on the bass notes. This is not an indictment of the C5; the C3s are
just plain that good.

The C5 is the last of the small and medium sized Yamaha grands. Al-
though at 6' 7" it is getting up there in size, it still has the look
and feel of a mid-size grand. The C5 is the last piano with bass break
at Bb 26, and the last one with the 40" height and the 59" width (the
larger grands have heftier frame structures to support the increased weight.)

Yamaha grands are known for their nearly perfect quality control, but I did
play on one "flaky" instrument at a dealer. The voicing was all wrong, harsh
and strident, as if it had been sitting, uplayed, atop a heating duct for 10
years or so. However, other C5s I've played are simply wonderful.

Despite these lukewarm-sounding comments on the C5, I almost bought
one, especially when I saw the breathtaking cost of the C6 I was plan-
ning to order. In retrospect, I don't think I would have been much
worse off with the C5, at least in my room. Older versions are 6' 6".
Also, do not confuse the C5 with the older G5, which, although nice,
has an inferior scale design and isn't quite as desirable. The C5
doesn't share action assemblies with any of the other models."

You can find all of his reviews at:

http://www.scopereviews.com/piano.html

Re: My Yamaha C5 Story #149431
12/31/04 09:44 PM
12/31/04 09:44 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,051
K
kenny Offline
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kenny  Offline
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K

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,051
Please buy a Yamaha, Steinway, or Baldwin only AFTER playing and pricing the many other pianos that, in the opinion of many, are better and less expensive.
Those 3 brands are considered by many to be among the worst values because of their wide name recognition.
They charge that much for their pianos because the can.

Near your price range please seek out and play Estonia, Charles Walter, August Forster, Sieler, Sauter, Schulze Pollmann, Petrof, and Schimmel.
Maybe try Mason and Hamlin; it does list much above your budget but after negotiating who knows.
Like me you may feel the added expense is worth it.
(I stretched my budget and bought one.)
What brands am i missing?

Take your time.
Many salespeople will tell you this superduper price is for one day only.
That's bull.
A superb deal can be negotiated 365 days of the year.

Oh, and you must buy, The Piano Book, by Larry Fine.
It is the essential Piano101 course.
The best $20 you will spend.

AFTER playing all of these if Yamaha is still your favorite, buy it
It is certainly a reputable piano, and technicians love it.

Re: My Yamaha C5 Story #149432
12/31/04 09:51 PM
12/31/04 09:51 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 494
CSG Offline
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CSG  Offline
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Posts: 494
If you don't feel 100% about it, isn't that all you need to know? I'd also throw the newer Prambergers onto Kenny's list.

There are lots of pianos out there. The right one will reveal itself to you when the time comes.


Pramberger JP-185 Bubinga
Kawai CP155
Yamaha P-120
Re: My Yamaha C5 Story #149433
12/31/04 09:55 PM
12/31/04 09:55 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 494
CSG Offline
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CSG  Offline
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Posts: 494
Bling, thanks for the link to Ed's piano page! I know him from the astronomy world but had no idea he was a piano player too.

He has good taste in refractors but pianos are a whole different animal and far more subjective.


Pramberger JP-185 Bubinga
Kawai CP155
Yamaha P-120
Re: My Yamaha C5 Story #149434
01/01/05 04:16 AM
01/01/05 04:16 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 172
Sydney, Australia
C
cps Offline
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Posts: 172
Sydney, Australia
IMHO, the C5 is one of the best mass produced pianos on the market. However, the Yamaha sound is not to everyone's liking. And if you aren't in love with it, don't buy it.

The brightness you referred to can be removed with voicing, but you need to be happy with the tone *before* you take the piano. Fine adjustments can also be made in your home.

Adjustments can also be made to the touch. I've come across the term "buttery" (meaning the same as "creamy" usually) before. It may be you want a slightly softer aftertouch. Again, this should be adjusted to your liking before you take it.

Anyway, I've drifted a bit. I think the C5 is a great piano, but everyone's tastes are different. For the money you're spending, you really need to *connect* with the piano. Doesn't seem to me that this is the one. You never know what will be. Maybe even another C5 wink

Good luck,

Greg


Yamaha accredited tech (Japan & Australia)
Technician for www.loganspianos.com.au
Re: My Yamaha C5 Story #149435
01/01/05 06:12 AM
01/01/05 06:12 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 6
Orlando, FL
J
Jaybee Offline OP
Junior Member
Jaybee  Offline OP
Junior Member
J

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 6
Orlando, FL
Thanks to all for you replies:

I really like the size of the C5. Certianly, no one could laugh at this great mid-range piano. I'd love to try an Estonia; but have no idea who carries them in Central Florida.

I've tried YC's Pramburgers before; they were good but almost nothing to write home about (the best way to describe it is less stability of the keyboard as my main complaint). The Boston GP-178 was the last piano I played that truly was perfect. The price range was some $10K+ over the cost of this C5 ($14K-15K range). I think the bass was naturally better on the C5, and I'm willing to pay the extra to get the bass on the C5 over the C3. I did get to play a C6 or C7, and it was simply too big for the house I'm building. So, I feel I'm almost at a good situation.

I recall playing a Vogel - thought it had some "personality", but not really good feel. Ditto with the Schimmel.

The Kawai's I played recently were'nt as good as the ones I've played in the past; they did have a Kawai RX-A to try out (with ivory keys) that was pretty incredible but probably overkill with the amount of control I need, and the bass wasn't as big.

Re: My Yamaha C5 Story #149436
01/01/05 07:00 AM
01/01/05 07:00 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,195
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Axtremus  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,195
Jaybee,

Like cps, I like the C5 and think it's a very good piano. But from your post, it really doesn't sound like it's "the one" for you. Do continue to shop around and find one that you really like, if that happens to be a Boston again, fine. But no need to settle so soon. I'm sure you can find a gentle way to break this to your loving wife. (Man, I'm fantasizing one day giving my wife a big diamond that costs as much as the C5 and she turns around and tells me: "Honey, let's return it to the store for now because I really want to spend a few more months shopping around to find a diamond that I really like." whome )

<hr>
Quote
Quoting Kenny:

Please buy a Yamaha, Steinway, or Baldwin only AFTER playing and pricing the many other pianos ..."
You can substitute any other brand names in the place of Yamaha, Steinway, and Baldwin and Kenny's wise statement would still constitute sage advise. wink

<hr>
Quote
Quoting BlingBling quoting from Ed's piano review web page:

However, playing the C3 and C5 side by side in the Chopin Nocturnes, I found I could barely tell the difference unless I listened hard, or played loudly on the bass notes. This is not an indictment of the C5; the C3s are just plain that good.
I have enjoyed reading Ed's review in the past and I would agree with him that a C3 is also a very good piano. But Chopin Nocturnes are not exactly the kind of pieces that can easily expose the differences between a good C3 and a good C5. Ed has already hinted that the difference lies in the bass, which I agree. So, among the popular/well-known pieces, try Chopin's Opus 53 Polonaise in A-flat, try Beethoven's sonatas (the popular ones like Waldstein 1st mvmt and Appasionata 1st mvmt and Moonlight 3rd mvmt will do), and try Rachmaninoff's way-too-popular C# minor Prelude. wink

If you don't have any favorite piece that need a big bass, then perhaps there is no need to pay extra to get a piano with a big bass.

[p.s. I wrote the above then saw Jaybee's post saying he's willing to pay extra to get the bigger bass. laugh ]

Re: My Yamaha C5 Story #149437
01/01/05 10:06 AM
01/01/05 10:06 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 6
Orlando, FL
J
Jaybee Offline OP
Junior Member
Jaybee  Offline OP
Junior Member
J

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 6
Orlando, FL
Thanks Axtremus:

My practice peice on the new pianos is Chopin's Polonaise in A-flat, and then I switch to some Nocturnes to see if I can control the sound well. If I had music with me, I'd play Bethoven's Adagio Cantibile to check control even further, but I don't have it memorized yet.

The C5 did well, trills were relavtively easy, the bass was necessary for my level of playing (and I like to play loud and low). Overall, the C5 is great, is a relatively great piano, is big and impressive, satisfies my wife, and mostly satisfies me. The only thing that could be better is the Boston. I think if my playing adjusts to the more mechanical feel of the Yamaha, I could be a better pianist. I'm mostly a sloppy player, and the Boston's touch seemed to help me out. Hope this make sense to anyone.

Re: My Yamaha C5 Story #149438
01/01/05 10:09 AM
01/01/05 10:09 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,051
K
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member
kenny  Offline
7000 Post Club Member
K

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,051
I certainly agree with Axtremus.
What I forgot to emphasize is that many many people have only heard of the big 3.
Steinway, Yamaha, Baldwin.
When it is time to shop the masses automatically consider ONLY the big 3.

Even if you read this forum and are fixated on, say, Estonia or M+H or Bosie only, when it is time to shop you owe it to youself to play everything out there first.

Don't form prejudice.
Develop postjudice.

Re: My Yamaha C5 Story #149439
01/01/05 10:12 AM
01/01/05 10:12 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 301
Bellevue, Washington
SusieQ Offline
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SusieQ  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 301
Bellevue, Washington
Great advice Kenny

Re: My Yamaha C5 Story #149440
01/01/05 10:24 AM
01/01/05 10:24 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,918
idaho
T
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member
teachum  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
T

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,918
idaho
Kenny said it all - don't cheat yourself!


You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany
Re: My Yamaha C5 Story #149441
01/01/05 10:41 AM
01/01/05 10:41 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,386
Maine, U.S.
R
RachFan Offline
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RachFan  Offline
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R

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,386
Maine, U.S.
In choosing a piano, its ability to sustain tones is an important consideration. Here is a useful test concerning tone decay. Play any note on the Yamaha C5 or other Yamaha model, or any other Asian built piano, and keep that note depressed without pedal. Time how long in seconds the note sustains itself before completely dying away. Then walk over to a Baldwin, Steinway or Mason & Hamlin and perform the same test playing the same note with the same amount of power, no pedal. You'll notice that any of the three American pianos have noticeably longer sustaining ability. Jazz pianists are perfectly ok with the clipped sound of Asian pianos, since it fits that musical genre, so there is usually no issue there.

Most accomplished classical pianists, however, who must generally create legato phrasing in the cantabile or bel canto mode of playing, quickly walk away from instruments that demonstrate short tone decay characteristics. Is that to say that artists don't play Yamaha? Then how would you explain Andre Watts, for example? No--that's why I said "most" artists, not all. You need to keep this factor of tone decay in mind as you shop for pianos, depending on the style of music you play.

Re: My Yamaha C5 Story #149442
01/01/05 01:05 PM
01/01/05 01:05 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,866
Massachusetts
R
Roy123 Offline
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Posts: 1,866
Massachusetts
I have a slight disagreement with a previous post--the brightness of Yamahas is not always fixable by hammer voicing. There's often a stridency in the tenor that just doesn't want to go away. Just my opinion...

Re: My Yamaha C5 Story #149443
01/01/05 06:37 PM
01/01/05 06:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,386
Maine, U.S.
R
RachFan Offline
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Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,386
Maine, U.S.
Hi Roy,

While I certainly agree with your point on brightness and stidency in the tenor of Yamahas (and would also add that the woody bass is not too pleasant to every listener either), my point was really not related to the matter of hammer voicing. Rather I was addressing the inability of Yamaha to sustain a tone as long as American pianos can. That is is actually a function of the woods used in the construction of the piano.

Re: My Yamaha C5 Story #149444
01/01/05 07:23 PM
01/01/05 07:23 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,730
Stamford CT, New York City .
Ori Offline
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Ori  Offline
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Posts: 1,730
Stamford CT, New York City .
I think that Roy’s statement was quite correct.
Pianos can be voiced mellower then they usually are but some will just not sound as pretty voiced this way.

I got many calls in the past from Yamaha owners that their techs tried to voice their pianos “down”…often resulting in a tone that was less then pleasing to the owners. They usually refer to the sound as “muffled” or “choked”.

Rachfan was also quite correct in his observation, but it’s not just the sustain that is shorter, it’s the relation between the attack and the decay that is different.

Certain pianos tend to have a strong and percussive attack, followed by a decay that is much less powerful.
Voicing the piano mellower (using needles to soften the hammer) will reduce the persuasiveness and volume of the attack to a level closer to the weak decay.
Many times though, unfortunately, the owner is displeased and calls the sound muffled.

Other pianos have a much deeper and longer tone with a much more substantial amount of sound in the decay.
These pianos will take more favorably to softening of the hammers and a mellower sound.
The difference in the tone of these pianos comes from the design of the instruments and the way that they are built.
I’m sure that many readers here heard before that “Yamahas are called to be bright”, and this is quite true too.
Yamahas take better to be voiced on the brighter side.
If one likes this kind of sound then it’s great and there is nothing wrong with it.


Ori Bukai - Owner/Founder of Allegro Pianos - NY and CT.

One can usually play at our showroom:

Bluthner, Steingraeber, Estonia, August Forster, Haessler, Kawai, Steinway, Bosendorfer and more.

www.allegropianos.com
Re: My Yamaha C5 Story #149445
01/02/05 05:36 AM
01/02/05 05:36 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 6
Orlando, FL
J
Jaybee Offline OP
Junior Member
Jaybee  Offline OP
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J

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 6
Orlando, FL
Well, I do prefer the brighter tone, but not too bright. Thanks for everyone's voicing advise, I'll have to consider this once I get my new piano into the space, and go from there whether it's too bright. I definitely don't want to get something muffled-sounding.

Perhaps the hammers could be lightly voiced. Anyone have a comment on whether this is a good idea to do and how to explain it to a tech?

Re: My Yamaha C5 Story #149446
01/02/05 12:00 PM
01/02/05 12:00 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 172
Sydney, Australia
C
cps Offline
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Posts: 172
Sydney, Australia
If you find a good tech, it should be as simple as saying, "I'd like the tone a bit more mellow in this area..." and they shouldn't have a problem.

I wouldn't encourage you to buy the piano if you aren't happy with the sound *before* it's delivered though. Voicing may not accomplish the tone that you like, and you could end up dissappointed. I would say though that as with any new piano the sound is going to improve over the next few years as you tune it, so if you like it now just wait for a few years and you'll love it smile

Greg


Yamaha accredited tech (Japan & Australia)
Technician for www.loganspianos.com.au
Re: My Yamaha C5 Story #149447
01/02/05 12:07 PM
01/02/05 12:07 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 806
Melbourne, Florida USA
TomtheTuner Offline
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Melbourne, Florida USA
I NEVER serviced a Boston that I liked as much as a Yamaha C5, or C6 Or C7. Bostons are Not as stable.


Maker of the TCHAMMER
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