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#2141228 - 08/30/13 07:53 AM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: sinophilia]  
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peterws Offline
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Northern England.
It takes a brave lady to resist a piano salesman`s charms . . . they know what they`re doing, don`t they? Especially when they offer big discounts "if you buy it now"


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#2141341 - 08/30/13 12:08 PM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: sinophilia]  
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btb Offline
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hi Sinophilia,

Glad to hear I was "spot on" picking up that you were pretty fresh to the game of piano-playing ... for what it's worth Fur Elise (70%)is quite a good exercise in
developing the art of arpeggio playing ... the fast bits can be tackled later.

I spent some hour, with the help of the Internet in visiting the charming city of Verona ... way back as a student crossing the top of Italy on a motorbike on my way to an architect's mecca Venice, I looked in on breath-taking Verona.

However, spending 4 days in Rome was a star-turn ... having studied all the architectural gems during my studies at the University of Cape Town ... it was a dream come true within the precincts of Roman treasures ... remember being secreted
under the vaults to the Colosseum and suddenly cottoning on to how the Romans
created their bold forms ... the Romans used a shuttering of brickwork into
which they infused their concrete.

Forgive my blathering on ... if I can be of any help in prospering your studies
in keyboard music ... just call.

#2141521 - 08/30/13 07:30 PM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: sinophilia]  
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rnaple Offline

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rnaple  Offline

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Rocky Mountains
I keep reading this thread. Thinking...Here's a thought...

Have you considered getting a Kawai VPC? There are some pretty good software piano's out there to go with it. They will keep getting better. No it's not easily transportable for you. It's something like 63 pounds. The keyboard itself is great. You probably have a decent stereo. Just play through it.
I can say as a beginner. To have better keys. More touch. Responsiveness. It means alot. I'm learning much better with what I have now.


Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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#2141596 - 08/30/13 11:11 PM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: sinophilia]  
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FarmGirl Offline

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Yamaha upright tends to be bright. Be careful. I grew up with both Yamaha and Kawai.



1) Bach c minor fantasy
2) Beethoven sonata g major 14 No. 2 (re do)
3) Chopin a flat major Ballade (schubert Impromptu A flat D935 No2)
4) Scriabin op11 prelude #2 and #14 (Re do #2, new #14)
5) Bartok. 4 old tunes and Scherzo)
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#2141651 - 08/31/13 03:18 AM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: sinophilia]  
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leel Offline
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Lacey WA
QUOTE I'm not even at the Fur Elise stage. On one hand it is intimidating, on the other hand it could be stimulating.

I identify w/ what you'e saying. I'm just about at the same stage as you. I had a small piano for almost 2 years, and it was sstarting to sound tinny to me. My ear was becoming educated:D , and I found a used Yamaha P2, which is a studio height, in perfect condition in and out (affirmed by my technician). So I bought it. You could look forever & not find a piano you liked better. Just get that second opinion.


#2141663 - 08/31/13 04:25 AM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: FarmGirl]  
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sinophilia Offline

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Italy
Originally Posted by FarmGirl
Yamaha upright tends to be bright. Be careful. I grew up with both Yamaha and Kawai.


Knowing about the brightness of Yamaha pianos, I was expecting an ugly sound - I thought I'd like warm and mellow. Well, I loved that Yamaha tone! Besides, they're all different. The store also had a W106 (=U3) and that sounded not only louder but also warmer. It was nice but it's too tall and the polished red wood case was really awful. Then the salesman played me a U2, saying it was a bit in the middle, and I found the tone quite flat. Of all the pianos he had there between 2k and 4k, including some non-Yamaha, when he sat at the W110 he said, this is really a nice little piano, this is the one I like the most. I had to agree, since he gave chills up my spine. Bright, yes, but very pleasing.

I've only heard Kawai's online, so I can't compare, but they sounded muffled and confused, while the Yamaha's were all very clean even in videos. I pressed some keys on a new Petrof at the other store but it was so badly out of tune that I couldn't figure out how it sounded.


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia
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#2141664 - 08/31/13 04:29 AM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: rnaple]  
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sinophilia Offline

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sinophilia  Offline

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Italy
Originally Posted by rnaple
Have you considered getting a Kawai VPC?


No, not really... If I don't get an acoustic, I'll stick to my little Casio that's good enough through headphones, or get a PX-850 or AP-450 just for the better speakers and new sound technology. But then, yes, digital pianos are like computers, they get obsolete so quickly, and you're always looking to get something better than what you have. I guess that happens with acoustic pianos too, but if the piano is good enough you might also keep it forever.


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia
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#2141665 - 08/31/13 04:31 AM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: leel]  
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sinophilia Offline

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Italy
Originally Posted by leel

I identify w/ what you'e saying. I'm just about at the same stage as you. I had a small piano for almost 2 years, and it was sstarting to sound tinny to me. My ear was becoming educated laugh ...


That's a big problem, one's ear gets better faster than one's hands (and brain)! I got to a stage where I kind of know how I'd like something to sound, but there is no way I can make it happen.


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia
[Linked Image]
#2141683 - 08/31/13 07:16 AM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: sinophilia]  
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Northern England.
"but if the piano is good enough you might also keep it forever."

Or expensive enough . . .!


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#2142041 - 09/01/13 12:07 AM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: sinophilia]  
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If you love the sound, then it's your piano. Maybe people have already told you this but bring a tuner, teacher and anyone else who can give you an educated third opinion, just to assess general health of the piano. An unaffiliated technicians can give you an unbiased opinion. They will check the soundboard (it could've cracked and mended with special glue) and the serial number (it may have a metal label says made in 1995 but serial no reveals the true date was 1905). Both instances are actual examples that my friends experienced with their grand piano purchase. Not saying your dealer will do this, but they may not notice everything. It's a good idea to protect yourself.

Last edited by FarmGirl; 09/01/13 12:08 AM.


1) Bach c minor fantasy
2) Beethoven sonata g major 14 No. 2 (re do)
3) Chopin a flat major Ballade (schubert Impromptu A flat D935 No2)
4) Scriabin op11 prelude #2 and #14 (Re do #2, new #14)
5) Bartok. 4 old tunes and Scherzo)
#2142091 - 09/01/13 02:53 AM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: sinophilia]  
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Don't delay too much on the Mozart ...
The Chopin Nocturne Opus 27/2 is a knockout.

#2142115 - 09/01/13 04:58 AM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: sinophilia]  
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rnaple Offline

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Rocky Mountains
I'm getting tired of hearing about this. If you don't go out and buy it. I'll go out and buy a reconditioned yamaha upright myself. Where I'll find one? How I'll get it up three flights of stairs to my apartment? That's irrelevant! All that's important is; if you don't buy it, I will!


OH Lord! Won't you buy me a reconditioned Yamaha upright.
My friends all play digitals. I must make amends.
Worked hard all my lifetime. No help from my friends.
So Oh Lord! Won't you buy me a reconditioned Yamaha upright.


Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
[Linked Image][Linked Image]
#2142131 - 09/01/13 05:41 AM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: rnaple]  
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sinophilia Offline

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LOL! No worries Ron, that's what I will probably do grin

I'm just trying to be a tad more sensible than I usually am. Tomorrow I will go to my local official Yamaha dealer so I can at least listen to a few more U1's.


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia
[Linked Image]
#2142293 - 09/01/13 02:35 PM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: sinophilia]  
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Anne H Offline
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New Orleans
If you love it, get a tech to check it out and get it! I have a used Steinway console and I love it. I was really nervous when I first found it, but the independent tech who checked it out told me it was basically brand new since it hadn't been played much but had been kept up well, had all the original parts, etc. I got a really great piano at a really good price as a result.

I also live in an apartment/duplex and share a wall with my neighbors, so I understand your worries on that front. My neighbors actually seem to have enjoyed the sound and give me lots of compliments! Just be cognizant of not playing late at night, too early in the morning, etc. We're actually getting new neighbors soon so I hope they'll feel the same way about it.


[Linked Image]
Works in Progress:
Rachmaninoff: Prelude Op 23 No 4

#2142511 - 09/01/13 09:42 PM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: sinophilia]  
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Hi sinophilia,

I just purchased a used Yamaha upright this weekend (here in Canada) -- and by coincidence, I'm exactly at the "Fur Elise" level, studying it as part of the Canadian RCM Grade 7 requirements. I've been using an older Roland digital keyboard and I feel that I'm at a stage where not practicing on a real acoustic piano is starting to negatively affect my playing.

From my research, the W-series were very good pianos, comparable to upgraded U-series pianos. The ones you're looking at were likely sold in the Japanese market, before being resold as used, then reconditioned by a used piano dealer/broker (probably not by Yamaha or their subcontractor) -- and then shipped to Europe where used pianos fetch higher prices as compared to in Japan.

Reconditioning can mean many things, from small repairs to a full rebuild. As others have mentioned, only a check by an independent technician can confirm the true condition of a piano.

About the sound, just be aware that the acoustics at the piano shop will be different from the acoustics of your apartment. Often, pianos will sound brighter in apartments. Another consideration is the size of the room at your country house vs. your apartment. A piano that might seem "too big" for an apartment might be "too small" for a larger room.

On tuning stability -- other than the condition of the piano, the biggest factor affecting tuning (and the overall health of the piano) is humidity. For example, if the humidity in your area fluctuates a lot between summer and winter, then you will probably need to tune the piano twice a year for the best performance. Where I live, the air gets really dry here in the winter, so I will have to put a humidifier nearby my piano.

It seems like you've found a piano you really like. I would agree with Anne H above... have it checked out and get it!

I have to make a confession: I did not have an independent technician check the piano I just bought. Yes, I gather that is considered a mortal sin by pianoworld standards. I did look up the serial number (mine is a 1997), played on it for awhile, and did some cursory checks myself (everything looked pristine to me, especially being a ~15 year old piano instead of a ~30 year old one). The dealer also has a good reputation and provided a 10-year warranty.

My search began with used U1s, then to U3s, then the one I finally purchased is a U300SX (basically a U3 Silent). Used Yamaha Silents are hard to find here, so that was one reason why I quickly "closed the deal" once I saw the piano I wanted.

Sorry for the long winded response and good luck with your piano search!

Last edited by peekay; 09/01/13 09:43 PM.

Working on RCM Grade 8
#2142548 - 09/01/13 10:56 PM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: sinophilia]  
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Anne H Offline
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One note from my experience - if you do really love it and it's truly in good condition then you may have to make a quick decision or risk losing out. After I bought mine, I found out that they had already sold three others in similar condition in less than 24 hours after they were brought in. I'm glad I made up my mind so fast, or I wouldn't have gotten it.


[Linked Image]
Works in Progress:
Rachmaninoff: Prelude Op 23 No 4

#2142630 - 09/02/13 02:39 AM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: sinophilia]  
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sinophilia Offline

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Italy
Thank you Anne and peekay.

Yes, I'm a bit worried that this piano might find another buyer very quickly, so I plan to go back to the store by the end of the week to have another look at it, and possibly give them a deposit. If they already sold it, well then it wasn't meant to be!

About the independent technician - I must admit I don't think it's absolutely necessary for such a small expense, and with the 5-year warranty and buy back option and all. But yes, it might spare me trouble. I contacted a company that offers this consultancy service and they'll tell me how much it would cost me. I've never owned an acoustic piano before, so I don't have "my technician" yet.


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia
[Linked Image]
#2142747 - 09/02/13 10:26 AM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: sinophilia]  
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malkin Offline
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Sino, it's exciting that you are smitten by this piano!


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2142839 - 09/02/13 02:36 PM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: malkin]  
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sinophilia Offline

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sinophilia  Offline

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Originally Posted by malkin
Sino, it's exciting that you are smitten by this piano!


It is! Now I must go back and play it again to make sure it wasn't just a fleeting impression!

Today I played more pianos at the official Yamaha dealer, including an old UX3 and a brand new U1. The UX3 was nice, with beautiful bass and a warm tone... but it's from 1979 and they ask 4,500 euro for it! The weird thing is, the salesman underlined the fact that his pianos are OLD, not reconditioned. He meant that as a good thing, because in his opinion reconditioned pianos may have been rebuilt with parts that are not from Yamaha. This makes sense, but I can't help thinking that a 34-year-old upright with all its original parts is more likely to need some fixing in the next few years. Still, they provide a 10-year warranty on that old UX3, so they clearly believe that it will last. What can I say, there are as many opinions as there are sellers!

At the end of my afternoon I also tried a Celviano AP-450. At least I'm sure of one thing now: I won't buy another digital!


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia
[Linked Image]
#2142922 - 09/02/13 04:21 PM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: sinophilia]  
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Anne H Offline
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I'm starting to have more respect for older pianos that haven't been reconditioned now that I've talked to my tuner about them. It sounds like it's really dependent on what kind of use they've gotten and what sort of climate controlled environment that they've been stored in. For instance, my tuner says that he works on a Steinway grand in my neck of the woods that is 105 years old and hasn't even gotten close to needing a part replaced!


[Linked Image]
Works in Progress:
Rachmaninoff: Prelude Op 23 No 4

#2142996 - 09/02/13 06:14 PM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: Anne H]  
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Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by Anne H
I'm starting to have more respect for older pianos that haven't been reconditioned now that I've talked to my tuner about them. It sounds like it's really dependent on what kind of use they've gotten and what sort of climate controlled environment that they've been stored in. For instance, my tuner says that he works on a Steinway grand in my neck of the woods that is 105 years old and hasn't even gotten close to needing a part replaced!


Well, I do find that hard to believe, and it's probably an exception. Plus, I'm sure it wasn't the lowest end model of Steinway piano, which means it has top-notch quality in it. Not saying Yamaha in chintzy, but an upright, even high-end, won't have the highest quality materials.

Since the OP is looking at uprights, I would be very concerned with buying OLD just as much as buying reconditioned. Either way, I'd have a tech look at it, because they are pros and know what to look for.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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#2143151 - 09/02/13 10:51 PM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: Morodiene]  
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I'll confess, I'm looking forward to hearing this piano (or another upright, eventually) in a future recital, so I'm completely biased towards you buying an acoustic to replace your digital.

I'm also wondering -- given that this is "such a small expense", might you have cash to spare to send my way towards refurbishment of "Mabel"? smile whistle


"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

[Linked Image]XXIX-XXXII
#2143160 - 09/02/13 10:59 PM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: Morodiene]  
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Anne H Offline
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Originally Posted by Morodiene


Since the OP is looking at uprights, I would be very concerned with buying OLD just as much as buying reconditioned. Either way, I'd have a tech look at it, because they are pros and know what to look for.


I totally agree. I think a tech is always helpful, as it can be hard to tell the junk from the gems. I love my older piano, but I definitely did my due diligence before I bought it.


[Linked Image]
Works in Progress:
Rachmaninoff: Prelude Op 23 No 4

#2143191 - 09/03/13 12:44 AM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: aTallGuyNH]  
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sinophilia Offline

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sinophilia  Offline

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Italy
Originally Posted by aTallGuyNH

I'm also wondering -- given that this is "such a small expense", might you have cash to spare to send my way towards refurbishment of "Mabel"? smile whistle


Fine, send your Paypal address! grin

It's small compared to what most people spend for pianos wink


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia
[Linked Image]
#2143262 - 09/03/13 04:54 AM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: aTallGuyNH]  
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sinophilia Offline

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sinophilia  Offline

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Originally Posted by aTallGuyNH
I'll confess, I'm looking forward to hearing this piano (or another upright, eventually) in a future recital, so I'm completely biased towards you buying an acoustic to replace your digital.


oh no, I will have to buy a microphone! I was having the time of my life with MIDI recordings! grin

btw, I'm going back to the store tomorrow... maybe I can get a discount for my imminent birthday wink


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia
[Linked Image]
#2143336 - 09/03/13 09:19 AM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: sinophilia]  
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Starr Keys Offline
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Originally Posted by sinophilia
Originally Posted by rnaple
Have you considered getting a Kawai VPC?


No, not really... If I don't get an acoustic, I'll stick to my little Casio that's good enough through headphones, or get a PX-850 or AP-450 just for the better speakers and new sound technology. But then, yes, digital pianos are like computers, they get obsolete so quickly, and you're always looking to get something better than what you have. I guess that happens with acoustic pianos too, but if the piano is good enough you might also keep it forever.


Be careful!! I heard a professional jazz pianist say that he and his friends (also pros) got tendonitis playing Casios and I'm pretty sure that I did. I've read that this is a risk you face playing exclusively on many DP's. If you don't need to play the DP much, it probably wouldn't be problem, but if you do, then I agree with NMaple, you might want to consider the VCP1.

#2144421 - 09/05/13 01:56 AM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: sinophilia]  
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sinophilia Offline

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Okay, there's no way I can keep my mouth shut until it actually gets into my house, so here it is... I own an acoustic smile

Yesterday I spent the whole afternoon in Treviso trying the piano I liked and chatting with the store owner, who is a piano teacher at the local conservatory and couldn't stop telling stories about music and musicians. He even took us for a quick tour of the city center.

We looked inside the piano. They don't know what was done to it before it left Japan, but it's clear that all felt parts are brand new. It has new underfelted U1 hammers. The action is perfectly even; the keys are noticeably lighter where the strings have no dampers, or with the damper pedal pressed, but I checked this on several other uprights and they are all the same. I can somehow play pianissimo - although I can see that it will take me some time to adjust my touch. The outside is not 100% perfect - a few tiny scratches here and there and a couple of polished spots around the Yamaha logo and the lock on an otherwise satin finish, but I can live with it. I managed to get the price down by 400 euro, so it's about the same price as an ordinary U1. A tuner will be present to check on the piano after delivery, even though they swear the tuning won't move a bit.

In the end, I didn't bring a technician. I decided to trust this people, that's all. I called a cousin of mine who is an organist and piano teacher in Padua and she said good things of this store. If something goes wrong, feel free to say "We told you!" wink

[Linked Image]


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia
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#2144428 - 09/05/13 02:14 AM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: sinophilia]  
Joined: May 2011
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Recaredo Offline
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Recaredo  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,095
Granada (Spain)
Lovely piano, congratulations Sinophilia.

#2144432 - 09/05/13 02:31 AM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: sinophilia]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,607
4evrBeginR Offline
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4evrBeginR  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,607
California
Congratulations! You will soon discovered what all former digital players discover. The difference is beyond day and night.


Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci
#2144433 - 09/05/13 02:32 AM Re: Should I buy a reconditioned Yamaha upright? [Re: sinophilia]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,206
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014
rnaple  Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,206
Rocky Mountains
Congrats Diana...

I think you did good.

EDIT: Microphone? A good ole SM57. You'd be impressed how good they do with a good pre-amp. A pair for stereo.
Definitely think about experimenting with the distance from the wall for sound quality. Or even sound treatment of the wall. That wall will effect the sound quality greatly.


Last edited by rnaple; 09/05/13 02:59 AM.

Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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