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Kawai GX-2 or Estonia 168 #2438448
07/04/15 11:27 AM
07/04/15 11:27 AM
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gokelly Offline OP
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I would appreciate any insight into my two piano options. Kawai GX-2 (5'11") for $20,500 or Estonia 168 (5'6") for $25,000. (Both are in walnut finish so prices are slightly higher than traditional black.) I'm satisfied that both offered prices seem very fair. Also, you all will be quick to point out that the the Kawai GX-1, at 5'6", may be the better lenght comp to the E168. Price there is $18k in walnut. But i'm focused on value/price between GX-2 and 168.

I understand that that both pianos are different lengths and piano selection comes down to tonal preferences. But this piano is for my young children who have yet to develop an opinion so I’m trying to pick the better of the two options that they can grow into. I'd really appreciate any opinions. (Feel free to be direct and blatantly honest). Thanks so much.

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Re: Kawai GX-2 or Estonia 168 [Re: gokelly] #2438459
07/04/15 12:21 PM
07/04/15 12:21 PM
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maurus Offline
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Which one do you like better while playing and listening?

Re: Kawai GX-2 or Estonia 168 [Re: gokelly] #2438474
07/04/15 01:16 PM
07/04/15 01:16 PM
Joined: May 2006
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Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
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Welcome to the forum. Either one of these pianos is far better than any piano I had from the time I started playing at the age of 5, to the time I entered a conservatory as a piano performance major at 18. Neither would provide any limitations to any pianist from beginner to quite advanced. Both instruments are of high enough quality that, with normal care/use/maintenance, they will last for generations.

I agree with maurus, above. Thanks for supporting your children's music education.


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Re: Kawai GX-2 or Estonia 168 [Re: gokelly] #2438496
07/04/15 02:16 PM
07/04/15 02:16 PM
Joined: Aug 2006
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Auckland New Zealand
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Robert 45 Offline
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In this part of the world, Estonia pianos are virtually unknown, but from the accolades of Estonia owners on this forum, especially in the USA, I believe that they are beautiful pianos. While a piano's length is not the only determiner in its performance, the extra 5" of the Kawai GX-2 would probably add extra fulness to the bass response in comparison with the Estonia 168. The Estonia may have the edge on the Kawai in terms of quality, but it is an extra $4,500 and a smaller piano.

I agree completely with the opinions of both Maurus and terminaldegree. It probably comes down to a tight contest between the two pianos.

Kind regards,

Robert.

Last edited by Robert 45; 07/04/15 02:17 PM.
Re: Kawai GX-2 or Estonia 168 [Re: gokelly] #2438502
07/04/15 02:38 PM
07/04/15 02:38 PM
Joined: May 2001
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Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
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Estonia 168... hands down.

The Kawai is a very nicely built piano but it is not designed or built on par with the Estonia.

Having said that, if YOU prefer the touch and tone of the Kawai, know that the piano will hold up fine and perform well.

My 2 cents,


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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Re: Kawai GX-2 or Estonia 168 [Re: Rich Galassini] #2438511
07/04/15 03:08 PM
07/04/15 03:08 PM
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Usa
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Grandman Offline
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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
Estonia 168... hands down.

The Kawai is a very nicely built piano but it is not designed or built on par with the Estonia.

Having said that, if YOU prefer the touch and tone of the Kawai, know that the piano will hold up fine and perform well.

My 2 cents,


I'd be very interested to know your thoughts on build quality between the kawai gx and the cunningham grand of same size. If you find this awkward to respond publicly, feel free to send me a private messge, Rich.

Re: Kawai GX-2 or Estonia 168 [Re: gokelly] #2438534
07/04/15 05:43 PM
07/04/15 05:43 PM
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Seattle Area
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Markarian Offline
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I would go bigger and Chinese at that price point if I had the space. But the Kawai and Estonia are both excellent choices. I echo the sentiments above that you should go with what sounds the best to you and feels the best to your kids. Good luck!


2012 NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Nord Stage 3 Compact | Moog Sub 37 | Behringer DeepMind 12 | Sequential Circuits Prophet 6 | Korg Prologue
Re: Kawai GX-2 or Estonia 168 [Re: gokelly] #2438552
07/04/15 07:06 PM
07/04/15 07:06 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,107
Midwest USA
Stubbie Offline
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An inch or so of the GX-2 length is due to the longer keys/keysticks Kawai put on the GX series, so the length difference between the two pianos isn't quite the 5 inches the specs would indicate.


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Re: Kawai GX-2 or Estonia 168 [Re: gokelly] #2438553
07/04/15 07:09 PM
07/04/15 07:09 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,432
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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The comparison between Kawai or Estonia would be quickly decided if a serious player was involved. This is not to take away from Kawai's excellent built quality but these are 2 entirely different instruments.

In the case of your children as beginners either piano would be more than sufficient.However, we have also had many 'beginners' who easily did detect the difference.

As they progress the possibility for them to upgrade to Estonia would be a distinct possibility - we've had many cases.

Hoping not to overstate my point by saying this would never happen the other way around. [anybody knowing a case?]

However, somewhat curious about the price of the Estonia.
This could hardly be a brand new instrument?

If it is, you're on to a truly exceptional deal.

The dealer must either be closing or have financial difficulties.
We can't get enough of these pianos.

best wishes

Norbert

Last edited by Norbert; 07/04/15 07:13 PM.

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Re: Kawai GX-2 or Estonia 168 [Re: gokelly] #2438637
07/05/15 03:40 AM
07/05/15 03:40 AM
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BornInTheUSA Offline
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Well, the two Estonia dealers say Estonia is better than Kawai. I actually don't know because I've never played an Estonia, but there are a lot of serious players who play Kawai grands. Just look on their website under Kawai artists.

I might suggest though, if your budget is $25K, why not consider the GX3? I notice a lot of improvement in sound every step up in size on Kawai's.

Re: Kawai GX-2 or Estonia 168 [Re: BornInTheUSA] #2438654
07/05/15 05:40 AM
07/05/15 05:40 AM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 596
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Grandman Offline
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Originally Posted by michaelha
Well, the two Estonia dealers say Estonia is better than Kawai. I actually don't know because I've never played an Estonia, but there are a lot of serious players who play Kawai grands. Just look on their website under Kawai artists.

I might suggest though, if your budget is $25K, why not consider the GX3? I notice a lot of improvement in sound every step up in size on Kawai's.


But michael, as a kawai owner, you also are not unbiased in your opinion. The piano buyer ranks estonia above kawai gx and the kawai artists play the shigeru kawai, not the gx, in concerts (at least no to my knowledge). I think the shigeru is more comparable to the estonia.

Last edited by Grandman; 07/05/15 05:54 AM.
Re: Kawai GX-2 or Estonia 168 [Re: Grandman] #2438663
07/05/15 06:49 AM
07/05/15 06:49 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,247
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
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Originally Posted by Grandman

I'd be very interested to know your thoughts on build quality between the kawai gx and the cunningham grand of same size. If you find this awkward to respond publicly, feel free to send me a private messge, Rich.


I don't want to highjack this thread, Grandman. I will try to PM you later today.



Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for great content every week:
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Re: Kawai GX-2 or Estonia 168 [Re: terminaldegree] #2438729
07/05/15 11:46 AM
07/05/15 11:46 AM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 4
G
gokelly Offline OP
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thank you Maurus, terminaldegree, Robert 45, Rich Galassini, Grandman, Marakian, Stubbie, Norbert, michaelha for taking the time to share your thoughts. much appreciated. I think we'll take out teacher to play both and make a decision based on sound. thanks again!

Re: Kawai GX-2 or Estonia 168 [Re: gokelly] #2439202
07/06/15 10:14 PM
07/06/15 10:14 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 206
Fayetteville, GA
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mivaldes Offline
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Fayetteville, GA
I know I'm pretty much a beginning player, but the Estonia's I've had the chance to play sounded like heaven to me....

Marcus


Marcus Valdes
Fayetteville, GA
Kawai RX-5, Kawai CA78
Re: Kawai GX-2 or Estonia 168 [Re: gokelly] #2445010
07/27/15 09:24 PM
07/27/15 09:24 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 4
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gokelly Offline OP
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UPDATE: we had all our favorite professionals add the Yamaha GC2 to the mix. All chose the GC2 after playing it so we removed the Kawai GX series from our potential options. Then, we made the mistake of playing the yamaha C1X right next to the GC2. The C1X blew everyone away. It's only 5'3" but sounded bigger than the 5'8" GC2. Everyone, including me, preferred the C1X to the Estonia 168 (5'6"). The professionals had very technical reasons for their opinions. I just preferred the way it sounds. Thanks again to all.

Last edited by gokelly; 07/27/15 09:25 PM.
Re: Kawai GX-2 or Estonia 168 [Re: gokelly] #2445068
07/28/15 03:55 AM
07/28/15 03:55 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 647
Los Angeles/Burbank
Glenn Treibitz Offline
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Los Angeles/Burbank
Interesting decision. Good luck with it. Sort of like preferring production line Toyota (Yamaha) over hand built Bugatti (Estonia).


Glenn Treibitz

Hollywood Piano Co. - Est.1928
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http://www.facebook.com/HollywoodPiano

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Grotrian, Mason&Hamlin, Estonia,Schulze Pollmann,Albert Weber,Baldwin,Brodmann,
Ritmuller,Weber,Hardman,Roland,Casio,Used Steinway,Yamaha,Kawai
Re: Kawai GX-2 or Estonia 168 [Re: Glenn Treibitz] #2445098
07/28/15 07:59 AM
07/28/15 07:59 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 2,182
First Town, First State
BrianDX Offline
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Originally Posted by Glenn Treibitz
Interesting decision. Good luck with it. Sort of like preferring production line Toyota (Yamaha) over hand built Bugatti (Estonia).

If in the mind and hands of the driver of the production line Toyota prefers that car over the hand built car, who cares?

I think the implication of your quote is that such a thing simply can't happen, assuming the buyer of the car is sufficiently knowledgeable and sophisticated.


Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
Curriculum: Faber Developing Artist (Book 3)
Current: German Dance in D Major (Haydn) (OF); Melody (Schumann) (OF)
Re: Kawai GX-2 or Estonia 168 [Re: gokelly] #2445115
07/28/15 09:45 AM
07/28/15 09:45 AM
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Danville, California
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Furtwangler Offline
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Just proves that old adage:

"There is no accounting for taste"


Amateur Pianist and raconteur.
Re: Kawai GX-2 or Estonia 168 [Re: gokelly] #2445116
07/28/15 09:48 AM
07/28/15 09:48 AM
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joe80 Online content
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It can happen. In fact when I was living in London, about 10 or 12 years ago now, Blüthners had taken in a mahogany Yamaha C3 on PX for a Blüthner Model 4. The technicians in store had worked on the C3, regulating it. In fact, it had never been played by the owner and the reason for the upgrade to a Blüthner by the seller was simply that he had to have the best in his house - the piano was going to be decorative (fine, the piano was sold, that's good for business).

The Yamaha was given a price tag of £8000, and sat on the shop floor for about a week before it was sold. The thing is, that this piano sounded much better than some of the new Blüthners next to it. There could be various reasons for this - the first reason is that it was a particularly good example of a C3. The second is that Blüthners seem to have this need to spend a couple of years in maturation if you like, maybe 3 to 5 years, and then when the piano is serviced after that time it sounds beautiful. When they're absolutely new though, they can have a tendency to sound a bit raw. I have absolutely no idea why that is the case. It may be the case in comparison that a Yamaha will sound harsher and brighter sooner, but not necessarily if it's set up properly. It may be the case that the Blüthner will give a more honest account of the pianist's performance (which can be frustrating actually), but again, not necessarily.

Sometimes the production line C series pianos can turn out an instrument that for whatever reason, just shines above the rest, and sounds far more beautiful than the competition. It's like, if Fazioli, Blüthner, Steinway, Beckstein are given 100 out of 100, Yamaha C series is usually given say, 50 out of 100, and Brodmann is given, say, 30 out of 100 (not a slight on any of the pianos, just that there are some really special and hugely expensive pianos in the top tier) - sometimes a Yamaha C series will come off the production line, be prepared for sale, and for some reason end up feeling like a 90 out of 100. Same with a Brodmann, sometimes they can knock out a piano that would come up to a 60 or 70.

I made up the marking system for the sake of the argument to illustrate a point, and I deliberately set the scores in a way that would prove the point, so I'm not saying in real life I'd mark Yamaha 50/100 or Brodmann 30/100. It would depend what I thought of each individual piano.....

Re: Kawai GX-2 or Estonia 168 [Re: Furtwangler] #2445119
07/28/15 09:53 AM
07/28/15 09:53 AM
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Ed A. Hall Offline
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Originally Posted by Furtwangler
Just proves that old adage:

"There is no accounting for taste"


Or, the loudest piano is usually what sells.

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