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Not Liking Yamaha Pianos?
#1733877 08/15/11 10:11 PM
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I have noticed that some people don't like Yamaha pianos. Is there any particular reason why this is?

Regards,

TonalHarmony


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Re: Not Liking Yamaha Pianos?
TonalHarmony #1733878 08/15/11 10:12 PM
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The sound of most Yamaha grands never did anything for me at all.
I found them harsh and too bright for my liking.

Re: Not Liking Yamaha Pianos?
Sparky McBiff #1733882 08/15/11 10:15 PM
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So what kind of piano sounds best to you?


Currently playing:

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Re: Not Liking Yamaha Pianos?
TonalHarmony #1733888 08/15/11 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by TonalHarmony
So what kind of piano sounds best to you?

There is no "kind" I just know that I never really heard a Yamaha that impressed me.

Re: Not Liking Yamaha Pianos?
TonalHarmony #1733907 08/15/11 10:58 PM
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Well the tone is subjective. I like some Yamaha pianos that I've come across but not all.

Beyond that, just some silly reasons. For example, we talk about how there are many competitive piano brands out there from Korea and China priced for much less while Yamaha continues to bask in its immense popularity, sales, mind share, and price increases. It's so popular that its greatest competition is the used/gray market (like Steinway!). That can really bother the way some people think.

I was one of those shoppers who started with, hey, I want a C3 just like my friend's... Then I looked at some ads and saw that you can buy rebuilt Steinways for less than a C3! Then I shopped some more (but probably could have taken more time).

Last edited by gnuboi; 08/15/11 10:59 PM.
Re: Not Liking Yamaha Pianos?
TonalHarmony #1733908 08/15/11 10:59 PM
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Don’t know that I ever met any real piano whose tone I absolutely didn’t like. My last grand piano, a Japanese made Tokai G-180 (5’10”) had a rather bright and nasal tone with a thin low bass, but I didn’t realize it when I bought it… I wanted a grand piano and it was for sale locally and well within my price range; so, it sounded and played great at the time.

As my desire for a richer, better sounding piano grew, I came across a 1978 vintage Yamaha C7 (7’6”) that was within my price range and it has satisfied my hunger for a richer, better sounding piano quite well. The tone is hard to describe, but I suppose it could be described as somewhat brightish, but mellowish/darkish at the same time… bold, yet refined; powerful, yet controllable. It can bark pretty loud, yet whisper quietly, and the low bass is superb. I’m really proud of it and figure it will keep my appetite for tonal quality satisfied for a long time to come.

Although I was really disappointed and dissatisfied with a new P90 Yamaha digital piano, I’m thinking their acoustic pianos are quite good.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Not Liking Yamaha Pianos?
TonalHarmony #1733913 08/15/11 11:05 PM
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I played many grand pianos in my search, and Yamahas were at the bottom as far as sound in my preference. It's not that they were bad, I can't say what it is, but definitely didn't do anything for me. And it's not just their so-called "brightness", some weren't even all that bright. I also recall the actions seemed less natural to me than others. I just knew after playing several that they weren't the piano for me.

Once I played a Yamaha upright (sorry I don't know the model, but it was around 48") and it sounded truly terrible compared to the Baldwin 5000 next to it.

But everyone who is searching should play many, many pianos, even of the same make and model to find the one that sings to you!


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Re: Not Liking Yamaha Pianos?
TonalHarmony #1733919 08/15/11 11:11 PM
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A nice C7 or S series Yamaha is hard to beat. Well regulated they have excellent action and a very responsive tonal palette.
Any piano left uncared for can start to sound bright and harsh over time and feel uneven. I've played neglected Steinways, Bosendorfers, Schimmels, Kawais, and Bechsteins that could easily give any Yamaha a run for it's money in the bright and harsh department.
More people have played bright Yamahas thou because they are more abundant in clubs, churches, schools and studios than most others.
The more opportunities I have to play a wide variety of pianos, the more I realize that most generalizations about any brand don't really apply. The only truly accurate generalization I know of is that if any piano is neglected long enough it will eventually sound and play like crap smile

Last edited by AJF; 08/15/11 11:15 PM.


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Re: Not Liking Yamaha Pianos?
TonalHarmony #1733942 08/15/11 11:49 PM
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In general terms (because each piano is an individual) I like the way a C7 sounds, not so much a C3 or most Yamaha uprights. However, you will win more bets going into a venue blind by taking the "They have a Yamaha Piano" line than any other. We get conditioned to sounds and for the most part we hear a lot of Yamaha's. So I would imagine when people go out to buy a piano (like I did) they prefer the Yamaha sound over something else. Only when you can sit down side by side and play dozens (or more) of instruments can you appreciate the tonal differences. Add on top of that conditon of the Hammers, strings, etc. and you then have to make a decision based on very subjective conditions. At that point there is only one way to go, find one that sings to you. It might be crying out from beneath a full rebuild candidate or the showroom floor, you just never know.


Quid est veritas et mendacium, cum orbis terrarum.
Re: Not Liking Yamaha Pianos?
TonalHarmony #1733978 08/16/11 12:38 AM
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In undergrad, we had a bunch of Steinways, some Yamaha uprights and a C7. The C7 was universally despised by all of the piano majors. It played like a truck and we all thought the sound was just plain ugly. In a word, I would have called it undistinguished.There was also a Mason and Hamlin concert grand available for practice. In grad school we had a bunch of Bosendorfers, Yamahas and Steinways all grands. All were well-played. The Yams tended to go quite strident, whereas the Steinways, though bludgeoned as hard, never were able to produce the downright ugly but brilliant and sterile sounds that the Yamahas could. My home practice piano was a model A Baldwin grand. My preference after playing what I thought was a decent variety of instruments at that time tended towards large American pianos and hasn't changed much since. My tech side tells me that this preference is likely due to hammer selection, but I haven't rebuilt any Yamahas and tried some less aggressive hammers.

It is all a matter of taste. Yamahas have quite a following. Part of that is marketing of course, but they are a quality instrument that has stood the test of time.

Re: Not Liking Yamaha Pianos?
TonalHarmony #1733986 08/16/11 12:53 AM
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I love some, hate some, depending on what that particular Yamaha sounds like at the time I play it. It all depends on the individual

Re: Not Liking Yamaha Pianos?
TonalHarmony #1734016 08/16/11 01:51 AM
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Yamaha has a lot of popular models, but no brand enjoys universal appeal.

At several levels, preferences for pianos is like preferences for food.


Sam Bennett
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Re: Not Liking Yamaha Pianos?
TonalHarmony #1734100 08/16/11 06:51 AM
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I like Yamahas. I equally love and hate all pianos! It's true that some find the Yamaha sound a bit bland, but you know, so what? You can still make beautiful music on them and thats what counts.

Some of the concerts I've played, I'd have been glad of a C3 in I tell you!

Re: Not Liking Yamaha Pianos?
TonalHarmony #1734114 08/16/11 07:43 AM
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This kind of discussion, although interesting, is very frustrating for a newbie, beginner piano player/buyer like me. Some days, all pianos sound great... even my little portable Yamaha digital. My daughter's teacher's Yamaha sounds fabulous in her living room. On the showroom floor, Yamaha's sound less appealing to me. Steinways I generally like, even when they sound like crap. There seems to be a richness in the tone that pervades all the details, like tuning, voicing, neglected-ness... to my neophyte ear anyway... And there are some junkyard uprights that can look and sound very cool. Personal taste, style of music ... budget ... even a "cheap" piano is expensive! Whatever I buy will be my first and last piano ... I am neither horse trader nor spring chicken... Maybe I just need to hire a piano teacher AND a piano technician to go shopping with me!

Re: Not Liking Yamaha Pianos?
TonalHarmony #1734122 08/16/11 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by GEB77
Whatever I buy will be my first and last piano ...


Initially, I felt this way too. But, as my playing improved, and I realized how much I enjoyed attempting to play a piano and having a nice piano in my home, I changed my mind.

Never say never… laugh

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Not Liking Yamaha Pianos?
Rickster #1734128 08/16/11 08:08 AM
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I suppose that somewhere, someplace there is a nice Yamaha piano. After all, they are the absolute darlings of the technical community. There must be something good about them. However, in forty years I've never heard or played a single instrument of that make that I liked, in any way.

Re: Not Liking Yamaha Pianos?
TonalHarmony #1734130 08/16/11 08:16 AM
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Thanks guys that was helpful. wink


Currently playing:

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata
Mozart Sonate
Mozart's 21st Concerto Mov.3
Maple Leaf Rag
Re: Not Liking Yamaha Pianos?
TonalHarmony #1734152 08/16/11 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by TonalHarmony
Thanks guys that was helpful. wink


No, not really. Success breeds contempt, which is why you'll find so much bashing of Yamaha and Steinway on this board.

Can you imagine how competing dealers feel? Having to settle for less profit with other brands. One northeast dealer on this board lives to bash Steinway, and every post of his reeks of sour grapes.

The only person any piano has to please is you. In your search, don't reject any piano because of what you read here.

I purchased a piano for my girlfriend, and ended up buying an Essex. Try to find something positive about Essex on this board. But that piano has a nice sound and a nice touch, a little light, but even. I have no regret buying it.

Pianos are living creatures. They vary from day to day, so try any piano you are considering several times, and enjoy shopping.


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
Re: Not Liking Yamaha Pianos?
TonalHarmony #1734175 08/16/11 09:46 AM
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I've liked a lot of the Yamaha grands I've played, although there have been a few (mostly the smaller ones) I really could care less about. Most of the time, though, given similar-size Yamahas vs Steinways (CFX vs D, C6 vs B, C3 vs A) I'd take the Yamahas over the Steinways in most cases.

As for the uprights, though, I've liked a much smaller percentage of Yamaha uprights than I have of their grands. I have occasionally played a few that I've thought were ok, but nothing to write home about.

I know there are some Baldwin Hamilton lovers here... but I'm thinking I'm probably the only person on Earth who actually PREFERS the sound that Hamiltons built in the 1950s typically now have. I'll take that sound over just about any Yamaha upright.... even the 52" Yamahas, unless I'm comparing the older 242 scale (built until 1956) instead of the newer 243 scale (built from 1956 to I-don't-remember-when-Del-changed-it-again).

I don't know if they used Yamaha pianos, but I really don't care about the tone of the pianos used in many popular music recordings made in the past few years. Yes, I do like bright pianos, but those sound sterile. I prefer, like I said, the older Baldwin uprights - they seem to have more character, for lack of a better way to say it.
I do also like a softer tone too, sometimes. Some that I've liked are some of the ballads recorded in the 50s and 60s in 12/8 time (or 4/4 with triplets, I'm not sure which it is). I really enjoy hearing the tone of those pianos (a couple example songs are When I Fall In Love and The Way You Look Tonight by The Lettermen) and I love the 12/8 ~72-80bpm style... btw anyone know what that genre is called?


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Re: Not Liking Yamaha Pianos?
Plowboy #1734176 08/16/11 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Plowboy
Originally Posted by TonalHarmony
Thanks guys that was helpful. wink


The only person any piano has to please is you. In your search, don't reject any piano because of what you read here.

I purchased a piano for my girlfriend, and ended up buying an Essex. Try to find something positive about Essex on this board. But that piano has a nice sound and a nice touch, a little light, but even. I have no regret buying it.

Pianos are living creatures. They vary from day to day, so try any piano you are considering several times, and enjoy shopping.



I am looking at upgrading my piano (a Samick SIG 50) - working diligently on another thread here - this is one of the best suggestion / comment I have come across - thanks!

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