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Yamahas
#159767 06/10/03 04:32 PM
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zorro Offline OP
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No one seems to like Yamahas, is there a reason?
I thought they were right behing Steinway. Are they bad?
zorro
P.S.: What does "bright tone" mean?


"I love Beethoven, especially the poems."
Ringo Starr
Re: Yamahas
#159768 06/10/03 04:53 PM
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Well, I'll say it (since I know few other people will, and since I don't play, folks are welcome to beat up on me rather than address the point):

Yamahas sound bad. Not mediocre. Bad. Okay, now let's get the exceptions out of the way. I have heard an absolutely remarkable C-7 -- it was really, really wonderful. I've never heard a C-6.

Most of what I have heard are C-1, C-2, and C-3s, and a whole bunch of GHs and GC, and G-whatevers. They all sound bad. The trebles are like nails on chalkboards; the basses lack fullnesses, the middles don't speak. I have seen good techs try to change things -- and they can, they really can -- they voice 'em down, they needle hammers, they lacquer hammers, they do what techs do. The fixes never stay (see, I can overgeneralize, as if you haven't noticed), and since not all the notes change back at the same time, within 6-9 months, there's always a mess. (well, not always...) Bad.

What's worse about them is that they are sturdy. They are well-constructed. Pieces don't break off in your hands. Peddles don't fall off. The finishes are impermeable to cats. Owners can't find a good excuse to get rid of them.

And they are overpriced! Compare them to Prambergers (better, in my judgment.)

And some people LOVE THEM. And I wish them well. After all, that's what makes a market. Whatever you do, don't take my word for it. cool

Disclosure: I am neither buying nor selling anything, and so I am totally free! wink

Re: Yamahas
#159769 06/10/03 04:57 PM
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I've heard a couple of S-4's recently, both of which sounded very, very nice. Even tonal quality top to bottom and nice depth to the sound.

Not at all like the usual Yamaha sound, which I don't much care for, either.

Re: Yamahas
#159770 06/10/03 05:01 PM
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There are plenty of people who like Yamahas! After all, they are the one of the highest-selling makes of pianos in the world! Among those who post here at Piano World, you may see lots of comments about them - some saying they do not like the tone. And these people generally comment that they find the tone too bright (perhaps heavy on the upper harmonics). This, of course, is a matter of preference, and is almost always couched in terms of personal, home use.

Yamahas (more specifically, Yamahas built in Japan) are generally considered to be well built instruments, with remarkable consistency and good quality control. (Yamahas produced elsewhere, such as Indonesia or the US, are frequently of lesser quality.)

Yamaha grands are quite common in recording studios and concert venues. Recording engineers seem to like them because of the upper harmonics. The saying goes that an engineer can filter out things, but can't add things that weren't there to begin with. They are also popular in ensemble music because the tone enables it to be heard over other instruments that might overpower a piano with mellower tone.


Sacred cows make the best hamburger. - Clemens
Re: Yamahas
#159771 06/10/03 05:02 PM
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Apparently Shant is off his medication again. Yamahas are NOT bad pianos.

Their Japanese made models with very few exceptions are, on the contrary, considered very good. The U1 upright is one of the most respected 48" uprights on the market. The C Series grands are also very widely respected. BTW, they are my biggest competetor now, but I was a dealer for them for 37 years. (I have every reason to say bad things about them. smile )

Yes they are bright, but many fine players like their tone. It is particularly popular with Jazz and Pop players.

I too, prefer the Pramberger in this price range, which is why I no longer carry Yamaha. But Shant's diatribe is way off base...as usual.


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Re: Yamahas
#159772 06/10/03 05:08 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Steve Cohen:
Apparently Shant is off his medication again. Yamahas are NOT bad pianos.

And as usual, you can't read. I didn't say they were bad pianos. I said: 1) they sound bad; 2) they are well-constructed; 3) they are overpriced, and 4) some people LOVE them.

I'm glad you are not in a profession that requires literacy. cool

Re: Yamahas
#159773 06/10/03 05:13 PM
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What is a bright tone? I like to think of it this way.

Open up the piano lid and look at the middle treble strings. Imagine taking a rubber ball and bouncing it off the strings. That's a MELLOW tone.

Now imagine taking a quarter and bouncing it off the strings. That's a BRIGHT tone. Perhaps no louder in volume, but it sure hurts the ears.

In short, Yamaha's (except for the mucho-priced S's) tend to be bright. Yes, their quality is world-renowned. But as shantinik pointed out, that's a BAD thing for those of us who would rather not have to listen to Yamahas any longer than necessary.

As for Yamaha being right behind Steinway (generally a mellow piano), you may be right. But there are MANY on this board who wouldn't exactly rank Steinway as #1. Not everyone cares for the sound, the quality is not always consistent, and the price...all I can say is, good luck there.


Disclosure: adult self-teacher ~RCM 8. ~~ Must - Get - Off - Everquest ~~
Re: Yamahas
#159774 06/10/03 05:16 PM
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Shant, you old provoker you...... laugh

No folks, Yamahas are NOT bad, and you know it!!

That's like saying 'Yamaha motorbikes are bad' ...just because they don't roar like a Harley!

And are they the only kids on the block?

Yeah.

With THAT name! laugh

norbert


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Yamahas
#159775 06/10/03 05:29 PM
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(getting off-topic and on-soapbox)

I know Shant has a bad rap among some members, but I don't see him saying that Yamahas are bad pianos in this thread; in fact he has said quite the opposite in terms of their construction. Just urging people to respond to the post rather than the poster.

(off-soapbox and back to your regularly scheduled topic)


Disclosure: adult self-teacher ~RCM 8. ~~ Must - Get - Off - Everquest ~~
Re: Yamahas
#159776 06/10/03 05:35 PM
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(off soapbox -- Well, I did say folks were welcome to beat me up rather than address the point, didn't I....? :p )

P.S. Yamahas sound bad.

Re: Yamahas
#159777 06/10/03 05:37 PM
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Is there a reason we don't like Yamaha? That's an awfully good question. We should--except for maybe a few unplayable disgraces--like pianos.

Re: Yamahas
#159778 06/10/03 05:38 PM
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Yamaha DO NOT SOUND BAD! Their tone qualities are rightly appreciated by many fine players but not by all. Butter Pecan ice cream...not that tastes bad (to me.)

A bad sounding line of pianos that are admittedly overpriced would be one of the best selling pianos in the world. (Much to my chagrin).


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Re: Yamahas
#159779 06/10/03 05:40 PM
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Part of a lot of people's disdain for Yamahas may be partially a result of laziness on the part of dealers. A lot of Yamahas move through showroom floors each year, and many dealers (as mentioned on another thread, but not with specific references to Yamaha) don't bother to prepare or sometimes even tune them. I tried out a couple of Yamahas right after a salesman finished telling me how much he liked them and how they are the best value around, and it was miserable. The first one I tried was so out of tune that I had to stop playing after about 5 seconds. The next one wasn't much better. The third one was in tune enough that I could play it a bit, but I didn't like the touch, and I knew almost immediately that I liked the sound less than almost every other piano I'd played thus far in my search. To me it sounded somewhat twangy, for lack of a better term.

I think it is possible for a Yamaha, when well-prepared and well-tuned, to be what some people like. If that's the case, then I have no problem with them buying a piano they like. But I will not be buying a Yamaha.

Deborah

Re: Yamahas
#159780 06/10/03 05:41 PM
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some people say that their apparent decline in quality and incline in prices could be the reason why "we" don't like them. I personally think that they are a great piano. I would recommend them (or Kawai for that matter) to anyone looking for quality piano.

BC


Estonia 168
Working on Dohnanyi Rhapsody 3
Chopin Ballade 4
Re: Yamahas
#159781 06/10/03 06:06 PM
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Zorro:

You asked what a "bright tone" means.

JDWooWoo has given a good definition; here's another:

A year ago, when I began to look for a new piano, I did not like the way some of them sounded. I wanted to say that they sounded "sharp," but that word has a specific meaning in music. Then I used words like "harsh" and "shrill" to describe the sound that I didn't like, and the dealer to whom I was speaking said, "Oh, it's the 'brightness' of this piano that you don't like."

The very opposite of "bright" sounds to my ear as if it were muddy, or unclear. Somewhere in between those extremes is the sound I like.

Re: Yamahas
#159782 06/10/03 07:03 PM
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I am just learning about pianos but when shopping the other day the salesperson was showing the difference between the Petrof (which she grew up playing) and a used Yamaha baby grand - don't know the model number. She hit, oh let's say the g two octaves above middle C and it actually hurt my ear. Not as in disturbing, but went to the very inside and tweaked the inner ear a bit. We didn't have to rush me any where but the sound was so far beyond bright it went all the way to piercing.

Very unscientific and very singular piano but the harshness of that piercing tone has left me really cold towards Yamahas and most specifically how I am told they age into the harshness I heard.

I have also heard one larger grand played that sounded quite nice to me but my untrained ear and my 'too soon to jump to conclusions' bias is leading me away from Yamahas.

It's a shame in a way because I wil probaly miss out on a few very good pianos.


Humbly Yours
Re: Yamahas
#159783 06/10/03 07:04 PM
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Yamahas DO sound bad.

I agree with Shant...

Be fair and put them up against other pianos, that (we) might consider good. Now what do you find? Not much that pleases the senses.

Bright? Heck yeah, Lack sustain? Obviously. Extra light action? Don't let it get away.. oops there it goes...

C'mon, you're defending it because its become such a familiar name, it surely can't be all bad.
McDonalds is also a familiar name (barf, barf)

In its own piano class, I wouldn't have anyone buy it. Get a YC, Pramberger, Samick, Petrof...Estonia; something else.

I, personally have never played a Yamaha that I enjoyed. (Including the one I work on at my church, C7)

Manitou


Manitou - Pianist - Technician
Re: Yamahas
#159784 06/10/03 07:12 PM
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I've said to many a customer(pehaps Yamaha owners as well)that I consider the Yamahas be a fine generic sort of piano. This simply means it's well suited for recording sessions, clubs, and even general home use. I do think that more discriminating or fastidious classical players aren't particularly enamored of them though(but I'm thinking here of the "C" series). That may explain why Andre Watts went back to using the Steinway after having been a Yamaha "artist", this because he was(from what I've heard)rather disenchanted with the Steinway service in the various cities he toured in(but I'll stand corrected if someone really knows exactly why he defected to Yamaha for awhile).

The exception to this though is the "S" series. They're constructed in such a way that to my ear they're as close sounding to a Steinway than they are to the "C" series. This was probably the main reason I bought one for myself five years ago.

Mark Mandell
www.pianosource.com
Restoration & Sales in Pasadena, Calif.

Re: Yamahas
#159785 06/10/03 07:21 PM
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Good post, reblder.


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Re: Yamahas
#159786 06/10/03 08:24 PM
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I've played several Yamaha grands in the past. Last week I walked into a music store which also sells Yamaha pianos. There was only a puny C1 on the floor but I played it anyway, as it was in tune at least. Dreadful! It had that characteristic tangy, tinkly, tinny treble. The bass was more powerful than I would have expected for a baby grand, but the sound was brash, not rich. The lack of sustaining tone (fast tone decay) was typical of the brand from my prior encounters. After a few minutes of that I left. Yamaha, while enthralling technicians with its pull out action in a drawer, has never been a great instrument for the classical pianist, myself included. Jazz pianists might well view the piano quite differently, and that's fine. That's what America's all about--choice.

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