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#1935838 - 08/01/12 01:21 PM Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ?  
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ec Offline
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I've just received the green light from my life partner to replace my beloved but aging Yamaha G-2 (we live in the Los Angeles area). My budget is about 30k, so I can't really consider new off the lot unless for a Yamaha C-3 or its ilk. Earlier this summer, I tried a pre-owned Shigeru SK-5 - really loved it but ground to a halt when my tuner/technician (whom I worship for his unwavering support of my G-2) voiced grave reservations about Shigeru pitch stability and Kawais in general. I played a new C-7 at Summerkeys (piano workshop in Maine) last week and loved everything about it. Just beginning my research, I discovered there are lots of preowned C-7s out there but we don't have quite enough room, and many of those are already almost as old as my 1987 G-2 frown What are your thoughts on Yamaha C-6?? Would you choose a new Yamaha C-3 over a pre-owned C-6? Any other suggestions from the common wisdom as I launch my research?


ec
Long Beach, CA
*********************

Chopin - Nocturnes, Op. 62
Schumann - Fantasiest├╝cke, Op 12; Kreisleriana (dabbling)

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#1935860 - 08/01/12 02:15 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ec]  
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Originally Posted by ec
I've just received the green light from my life partner to replace my beloved but aging Yamaha G-2 (we live in the Los Angeles area). My budget is about 30k, so I can't really consider new off the lot unless for a Yamaha C-3 or its ilk. Earlier this summer, I tried a pre-owned Shigeru SK-5 - really loved it but ground to a halt when my tuner/technician (whom I worship for his unwavering support of my G-2) voiced grave reservations about Shigeru pitch stability and Kawais in general. I played a new C-7 at Summerkeys (piano workshop in Maine) last week and loved everything about it. Just beginning my research, I discovered there are lots of preowned C-7s out there but we don't have quite enough room, and many of those are already almost as old as my 1987 G-2 frown What are your thoughts on Yamaha C-6?? Would you choose a new Yamaha C-3 over a pre-owned C-6? Any other suggestions from the common wisdom as I launch my research?


I played a very well preserved 1997 C6 last week, it was gorgeous. It didn't quite have the thunderous bass of the C7 but had a more pleasing tonal balance to my ears. One of the nicest pianos I've played - and I've played at least 60 in the past 3 weeks. The C6 sounds different to any of the other C pianos. It's got a more European sound, it that can be said. I would definitely take a nice preowned C6 over a C3, no comparison.

#1935862 - 08/01/12 02:21 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ec]  
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Originally Posted by ec
I've just received the green light from my life partner to replace my beloved but aging Yamaha G-2 (we live in the Los Angeles area). My budget is about 30k, so I can't really consider new off the lot unless for a Yamaha C-3 or its ilk. Earlier this summer, I tried a pre-owned Shigeru SK-5 - really loved it but ground to a halt when my tuner/technician (whom I worship for his unwavering support of my G-2) voiced grave reservations about Shigeru pitch stability and Kawais in general. I played a new C-7 at Summerkeys (piano workshop in Maine) last week and loved everything about it. Just beginning my research, I discovered there are lots of preowned C-7s out there but we don't have quite enough room, and many of those are already almost as old as my 1987 G-2 frown What are your thoughts on Yamaha C-6?? Would you choose a new Yamaha C-3 over a pre-owned C-6? Any other suggestions from the common wisdom as I launch my research?


Get another opinion regarding Kawais and especially Shigerus - your tech may be an object of worship, but is wrong.

C6? Love 'em

C6 vs C3? No comparison - find a good C6

My humble opinions. (or is the plural opinia?)


#1935863 - 08/01/12 02:22 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ec]  
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Originally Posted by ec
...Earlier this summer, I tried a pre-owned Shigeru SK-5 - really loved it but ground to a halt when my tuner/technician (whom I worship for his unwavering support of my G-2) voiced grave reservations about Shigeru pitch stability and Kawais in general...


Maybe I am missing this critique, but I never hear anyone complain about this. I am curious if others have this problem.

Anyone want to add to this with their experiences?


Currently working on/memorizing...
"It's You" from Robotech
"He's A Pirate"
"Crazy Bone Rag"
"What The World Needs Now"
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#1935864 - 08/01/12 02:26 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ec]  
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Oh - one other thing.

Play a lot of other brands - unless you are dedicated to buying a Japanese piano.

There are a lot of choices out there in your price range that may surprise or even shock you.


#1935883 - 08/01/12 02:54 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ec]  
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I would also recommend reconsidering the Shigeru and Kawai grands. Especially the Shigerus. I've never heard that kind of criticism your tech expressed about those grands since I've been here.

BTW - heading to Summerkeys next week and look forward to playing the new C-7.

Last edited by Rich D.; 08/01/12 04:22 PM.

Retired at the beach (well maybe not completely)

Anton Rubinstein said about the piano: "You think it is one instrument? It is a hundred instruments!"
#1935916 - 08/01/12 04:19 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ec]  
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I recently found a very good article on Shigeru Kawai below......

http://www.georgekolasis.com/shigeru-kawai.html

Also, if you look at the rest of the site, there is a lot of really good info there.

I really enjoyed the SK.....it's currently at the top of my list of pianos I've played in the last few weeks, since starting my search.


Shigeru Kawai SK6 (as of 10/22/12!!)
Ivers and Pond upright
MTNA, CAPMT
#1935920 - 08/01/12 04:23 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ec]  
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I am curious to know what others think of Yamaha's action. I played several new ones, and a couple of used, and felt that the action was fairly heavy and stiff for me. I felt like I would be pretty tired after playing any of them for more than 30 min. I am also playing many other new/used pianos, and haven't gotten that feeling from other pianos.

Wondering if that's a characteristic of Yamaha's that others have experienced?


Shigeru Kawai SK6 (as of 10/22/12!!)
Ivers and Pond upright
MTNA, CAPMT
#1935928 - 08/01/12 04:46 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: Amy B]  
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Originally Posted by Amy B
I am curious to know what others think of Yamaha's action. I played several new ones, and a couple of used, and felt that the action was fairly heavy and stiff for me. ...

Wondering if that's a characteristic of Yamaha's that others have experienced?


I have a C-3... it is heavy. I have played a fair amount of Yamahas: they all seem similar. While there is nothing particularly BAD about Yamahas, I find nothing exceptional aside from the solid construction of the C-series. They are true work horses.

My Yamaha is not enjoyable, but it is functional. It is in excellent condition, but the modern Kawais are about 3x more awesome in action and tone. That I have played.

I'd love to have a longer Hailun over my Yamaha. Yamahas are, to me, half-way to torture. Keep them well and they will always work and look great and last beyond your life, but who would desire to play one when there are much better sounding/feeling pianos for the same or less? Playing should be enjoyable. I'd imagine older people with weakening joints and muscles, perhaps mild arthritis, would be put out to pasture by a typical Yamaha.


Currently working on/memorizing...
"It's You" from Robotech
"He's A Pirate"
"Crazy Bone Rag"
"What The World Needs Now"
#1935994 - 08/01/12 07:05 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ec]  
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Regardless of your varied search, Don't buy a new C3. You old one is not THAT old, but you will thrill from the sound of rich bass in a larger piano. Unless a piano brand is badly thought of by Techs, for pleasure ongoing, buy the one that turns you on, not considering the brand as long as it has a good track record in general.
But, then again, "what do I know" LOL


Marriage is like a card game, you start with two hearts and a diamond, later you wish you had a club and a spade!
Yamaha G7 Yamaha CVP75 digital, Allen 3500 theater organ
#1936023 - 08/01/12 08:17 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ec]  
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ec, you're in an enviable position, being an experienced player and having a budget which will allow you to move up the piano food chain and get something nice--- even something new.

Your disadvantage is in your tech's bad advice regarding the Kawai marque, but he or she is certainly entitled to have his opinion. It can only harm you if it influences you to disregard candidates that might suit you. After all, it's you and not him, that the new piano has to satisfy. I would set it to the side and play lots of pianos, both those which are in your price range and also outside it.

I bought a Kawai RX-5 about five years ago for about the amount you mentioned. Things have gone up since, but today's market is favorable to buyers who are willing to negotiate for a fair deal, and who have done enough homework to know what that is.

"...I tried a pre-owned Shigeru SK-5 - really loved it but ground to a halt when my tuner/technician (whom I worship for his unwavering support of my G-2) voiced grave reservations about Shigeru pitch stability and Kawais in general...."

Sorry, ec, but this is bunk, according to my personal experience. You very likely know that any new piano needs as many as four tunings a year for the first year or two, and some adjustments (nothing drastic) as the instrument is played-in and adapts itself to your touch and playing style. This care in the early part of its life helps it to settle into a very nice tuning and very stable playability. My tech says it's a very nice piano to work on. Besides that, if you get a new Shigeru you will have a technician from the factory--- people who build the piano--- come to your home and spend most of a full day voicing and regulating it to perfection. It will be as close to what you prefer as they can make it. If you think of how much such a visit would cost (but it is included with your purchase price), it may help you to think the price is not so out-of-reach. For of course, we need to budget for the instrument's care and maintenance as well as its purchase price.

I didn't quite dare spend the money for the Shigeru--- I was dying for that seven-and-a-half foot piano they had in the store--- and instead got the RX-5 and a very good tech, who has gotten the best out of it. I will never so much as grow into that much piano, never mind outgrowing it. And the truth is, the six-and-a-half foot grand is plenty of piano for the size music room I have; maybe more than plenty.

The only time the tuning stability had varied more than I expected was when I had in-home lessons with a very accomplished pianist, who wanted to really hear that big piano voice, top open all the way, and playing full-out. He was very forceful, used to the concert hall and large churches. After six months of that, the piano required a pitch raise. Big deal, it was worth it; maybe it even needed it. Tech fixed it up, no excursions afterward.

Some people find the touch firmer than they like, but I think it's just right. I bought it partly because I loved the medium-weight, and very even touch.

These are things only you can say, and only after you wear out some shoe leather--- sorry; L.A.; I meant to say, brake linings--- testing, testing, and testing some more. I have a feeling you will know when you find it. I have a feeling you are going to have some very good luck.



Clef

#1936218 - 08/02/12 07:30 AM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: thetandyman]  
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Originally Posted by thetandyman
Regardless of your varied search, Don't buy a new C3.


unless it's a C3XA, one of the most beautifully balanced pianos i've ever played. in fact, it completely turned my opinion of yamahas around, to the point that i ended up purchasing a used C7 (it was just too good a deal to pass up). i also love the action of the C7, and the Ivorite key tops provide just the right amount of grip & feel.

here's an example recording of my C7: https://www.box.com/s/0lia1ms5c3ri0l735409


#1936275 - 08/02/12 10:12 AM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ec]  
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Re Kawai stability. My RX2 is now nearly 7 years' old. It gets played daily, sometimes for many hours per day. Because there were a few odd noises in the first few months, Kawai sent (foc) a master technician for a day to completely regulate and voice the instrument. It has always been stable and I live in an old house - solid earth walls no less - with central heating, no aircon or humidifiers/de-humidifiers. It gets tuned 3 - 4 times per year. This time around it was 6 months from the last tuning for various reasons. It was more than playable and the technician said it was still up to pitch, just a general tidying up tuning needed.

Kawai and Yamaha both provide solid reliable instruments: the choice is a personal one. Forget ill-informed advice, from whatever source and trust your own ear when it comes to comparing Yamaha and Kawai.

#1936350 - 08/02/12 12:56 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ec]  
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My tuner always says that my Kawai is only slightly off-pitch when he comes (twice a year). Still, it bugged me enough to call him over and tune it wink

#1936489 - 08/02/12 06:08 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: gnuboi]  
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Thanks to everyone who chimed in on this discussion! I should add that I'm the founder of an adult amateur piano group that meets monthly, meaning 20 or more performances, more often than not at my home. Some of the more accomplished members are inclined to strut their stuff pretty assertively, and that translates into somewhat more wear and tear than would result from my daily practice. Furthermore, I hope to retire within a year or so in order to learn all that rep I've never had time to conquer yippie All of that should explain why I'm concerned about sturdiness and stability as well as beauty of tone and touch. I'll be launching the search shortly, and, of course, open to endless possibilities as well as serendipitious discoveries!


ec
Long Beach, CA
*********************

Chopin - Nocturnes, Op. 62
Schumann - Fantasiest├╝cke, Op 12; Kreisleriana (dabbling)

#1936577 - 08/02/12 09:07 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ec]  
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I feel your pain in the search. I am debating a Kawai RX6 vs. a Shigeru.

I was able to play a Kawai RX6 side by side with a Shigeru SK5.

I really loved the tone of the Kawai RX6. I am still a developing pianist so I am torn between those long bass strings of the Kawai.

If I had to pull the trigger today I would get the RX6 but I am afraid of the buyer's remorse if my taste changes to the Shigeru sound. I am looking for the safe bet! I still need to hear a Shigeru SK7.

#1936655 - 08/02/12 11:13 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ec]  
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Just be done with it Rafter! Get the Shigeru EX! smile


My music_website at http://www.OdysseyofaG.com
#1936675 - 08/03/12 12:09 AM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: Rafterman]  
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Originally Posted by Rafterman
I feel your pain in the search. I am debating a Kawai RX6 vs. a Shigeru.

I was able to play a Kawai RX6 side by side with a Shigeru SK5.

I really loved the tone of the Kawai RX6. I am still a developing pianist so I am torn between those long bass strings of the Kawai.

If I had to pull the trigger today I would get the RX6 but I am afraid of the buyer's remorse if my taste changes to the Shigeru sound. I am looking for the safe bet! I still need to hear a Shigeru SK7.


A lot of that Shigeru magic is in the extra touches with the extra voicing and regulation done, and the additional amount done in your home by the master technician. Also, the more mature wood selection makes a difference. But after an RX plays in and matures, plus some fine attention by a good tech and an RX starts to bridge the Shigeru gap. If you have the patience, you can achieve Shigeru-like results for less money. Second-hand can get you the poor man's Shigeru!

#1936700 - 08/03/12 12:53 AM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ando]  
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Originally Posted by ando


A lot of that Shigeru magic is in the extra touches with the extra voicing and regulation done, and the additional amount done in your home by the master technician. Also, the more mature wood selection makes a difference. But after an RX plays in and matures, plus some fine attention by a good tech and an RX starts to bridge the Shigeru gap. If you have the patience, you can achieve Shigeru-like results for less money. Second-hand can get you the poor man's Shigeru!


I wonder how true this is. I believe the sound board and the hammers and strings are significant upgrades as well, so age won't improve any of those things on an RX. As for the fine attention by a good tech, yes this will get any piano to play its best, but only within the limitations of the design and materials. In this case, the design being identical (I believe) between the RX and the Shigeru, it will be the materials that will provide the richer/larger/etc tonal palate that the RX may somewhat lack.
But like others have said about pianos, if you can't tell the difference, then always buy the cheaper one. I for one have preferred every Yamaha C7 to every NY Steinway B that I've tried--so I'm pretty happy about THAT savings if I ever get a bigger piano.


Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.


#1936712 - 08/03/12 01:15 AM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ec]  
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Last edited by backto_study_piano; 08/23/12 05:36 AM.

Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-15)).
#1936713 - 08/03/12 01:18 AM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ando]  
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#1936722 - 08/03/12 01:44 AM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: Dave Ferris]  
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I just wanted to hear more opinions on Kawai RX series vs. Shigeru.

I think the Kawai RX series are a great value for the money.

I am glad someone tweaked one on hear and was very satisfied.

I am still going to try other brands. Taking my time this time around.

#1936728 - 08/03/12 02:12 AM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ec]  
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Last edited by backto_study_piano; 08/23/12 05:35 AM.

Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-15)).
#1937698 - 08/05/12 12:06 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: backto_study_piano]  
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Originally Posted by backto_study_piano
Did you consider Grotrian. Much more satisfying piano than a Shigeru - and less outlay. I'm loving my new Grotrian Concert (7'4")


I played a concert a while back with two other pianists on a stage with a Fazioli, Shigeru, and a Grotrian. We took turns playing selections on all three instruments (solo, duet and trio) At the end of the concert we talked backstage and everyone agreed that the Shigeru was the favorite piano of the three. All three were prepped to the nines and in perfect tune. Everyone thought the Shigeru had the richest and most balanced tone of the three and took the least effort to produce the sounds desired by the player. All three pianos where a dream to play. So do be aware that your opinion that the Grotrian is "much more satisfying piano than a Shigeru" is a highly subjective statement.



Pianist, Composer
Disclaimer: Shigeru Kawai Artist
#1937704 - 08/05/12 12:25 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ec]  
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AJF:

Were these all the same size pianos?

Norbert smile


www.heritagepianos.com
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604-951-8642 www.eliteheritagepianos.ca Edmonton, Alta dealers for Estonia,
Brodmann 780-405-8908
#1937723 - 08/05/12 12:57 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ec]  
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Yes. They were all in the 6 footer range.
Im just trying to illustrate that opinions are soooo subjective when it comes to pianos. So its great that there are so many options out there.



Pianist, Composer
Disclaimer: Shigeru Kawai Artist
#1937746 - 08/05/12 01:44 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ec]  
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Thanks AJ!

Off to camping now...long weekend in B.C.!

Norbert thumb


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604-951-8642 www.eliteheritagepianos.ca Edmonton, Alta dealers for Estonia,
Brodmann 780-405-8908
#1937758 - 08/05/12 02:04 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ec]  
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Entheo Offline
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Entheo  Offline
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chicago, il
well yes of course when it comes to preferences it's subjective but my general rule of thumb is that where commercial affiliations exist to take that subjective opinion and divide credibility by 2.

#1937762 - 08/05/12 02:14 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: ec]  
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Jeff Clef Offline
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Jeff Clef  Offline
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San Jose, CA
"...I played a concert a while back with two other pianists on a stage with a Fazioli, Shigeru, and a Grotrian. We took turns playing selections on all three instruments..."

This is just the concert we would like to have a recording of, as discussed in another thread regarding properly recorded examples of different pianos. This would provide a pretty fair basis for comparison (as far as a recording of any piano could do so), fairly well even out confounding variables of recording quality, acoustic environment, and the personal factor of the player.

It's not every day that such a concert is played on any stage or studio. Better than a recording, I would have liked to be there!


Clef

#1937853 - 08/05/12 07:17 PM Re: Yamaha vs. Shigeru and new vs. pre-owned ? [Re: Jeff Clef]  
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AJF Offline
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AJF  Offline
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Joined: May 2006
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Toronto
Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
"...I played a concert a while back with two other pianists on a stage with a Fazioli, Shigeru, and a Grotrian. We took turns playing selections on all three instruments..."

This is just the concert we would like to have a recording of, as discussed in another thread regarding properly recorded examples of different pianos. This would provide a pretty fair basis for comparison (as far as a recording of any piano could do so), fairly well even out confounding variables of recording quality, acoustic environment, and the personal factor of the player.


It's not every day that such a concert is played on any stage or studio. Better than a recording, I would have liked to be there!


It was a very cool experience (even though I was quite nervous playing alongside some of my favourite pianists in this neck of the woods).
Too bad it wasn't recorded. I would like to have had the opportunity to listen back.



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