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Kawai GX1 or Steinway S baby grand ?
#2489891 12/11/15 11:14 PM
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I have played on numerous pianos and have owned Tokai, Yamaha and Lowrey upright pianos. The Yamaha has a somewhat bright tone while the Lowrey and Tokai have a warmth tone. They are all great pianos. Looking to upgrade to a baby grand piano for a fuller, richer sound and for the long term. Currently considering the Steinway S model and the Kawai GX1 model baby grand. Would like to hear from someone who have owned any of these for comparison purposes in term of sound, touch, durability and maintenance costs. Personally, I'm leaning slightly towards the Steinway; the price is higher though, and not sure if it's worth the difference. Any comment would be much appreciated!

Re: Kawai GX1 or Steinway S baby grand ?
Rontan #2489941 12/12/15 05:30 AM
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They're two completely different pianos with a different sound and touch. So it seems to me that you have a space issue rather than a price issue here.

Personally I have always found the Steinway S to be a bit of a damp squib. Yes, it's very high quality, very well built and has a recognisable Steinway sound and action, but it's so very expensive and lacks so much for the money that I would prefer to put the same money into something not a Steinway but larger. In Britain for the same money as a Steinway model S you can buy a Bluthner model 6, a Shigeru Kawai SK7, a Yamaha C7X and have a lot of change, a Kawai GX7 and have a lot of change, a Sauter Delta 185 and have change, a Bechstein B228 is cheaper than a Steinway model S, and they are all musically superior pianos to the Steinway S.

Price aside, the Steinway does have an edge over the Kawai, but I don't think that it's worth four times the price as it seems to be in Britain. If you can fit a larger piano into your space, you should consider taking that route. In fact a Bechstein Model 8 Upright, a Schimmel Konzert 132 or a Steinway Model K might even suit you better than a Kawai GX1 or Steinway model S. They may well provide you with a superior tone.

Re: Kawai GX1 or Steinway S baby grand ?
Rontan #2489968 12/12/15 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Rontan
I have played on numerous pianos and have owned Tokai, Yamaha and Lowrey upright pianos. The Yamaha has a somewhat bright tone while the Lowrey and Tokai have a warmth tone. They are all great pianos. Looking to upgrade to a baby grand piano for a fuller, richer sound and for the long term. Currently considering the Steinway S model and the Kawai GX1 model baby grand. Would like to hear from someone who have owned any of these for comparison purposes in term of sound, touch, durability and maintenance costs. Personally, I'm leaning slightly towards the Steinway; the price is higher though, and not sure if it's worth the difference. Any comment would be much appreciated!
Please clarify - are these pianos NEW or USED ???


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Re: Kawai GX1 or Steinway S baby grand ?
Rontan #2490154 12/12/15 11:06 PM
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For less the price of a new Steinway "S" you should be able to get a new 6' Yamaha C-3 or Kawai RX-3 which would probably be a better choice. There are just too many compromises at that length, no matter how well the piano is built.

Last edited by Thrill Science; 12/12/15 11:07 PM.

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Re: Kawai GX1 or Steinway S baby grand ?
Rontan #2490159 12/12/15 11:35 PM
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Rontan, The Steinway "S", when voiced across the tenor/bass break properly, can be an amazing instrument. The scale is well balanced, very versatile, and much fun to play. Keep in mind that as with all Steinway models, no two are created equal, so you have to judge each piano on its own merit.

I'm defending the Model "S" because I do like the model and it can be an excellent choice for you. "Damp squib" is a bit harsh but I do agree with the rest of what joe80 suggests. Shopping at new price ranges, there are many other options worth considering. To the suggestions from joe80 and Thrill Science, you can add Shimmel K series and Estonia to the list of pianos that will be fun to audition.

There is a lot of interesting things happening in piano manufacturing and remanufacturing these days. It's a fun time to shop for pianos.



Enjoy.



"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
Re: Kawai GX1 or Steinway S baby grand ?
Rontan #2490164 12/13/15 12:08 AM
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I'm a die-hard Steinway fanboy and I think the Model S is, as stated above, an exceptionally poor value for the money. It's a good sub-baby grand in its own right, but for that kind of dosh you can move your sofa and get something way better.

I'm assuming if you're stacking it against Lowrey and Tokai you are buying used, in which case we would always advise you to consult the services of an independent piano technician in evaluating any instrument before you purchase.


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Re: Kawai GX1 or Steinway S baby grand ?
Markarian #2490319 12/13/15 02:49 PM
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I wouldn't call the S a sub baby grand, my own Paul Newman 4 footer was what I'd call a sub-baby grand. Of course I don't think you guys is the USA had anything that small (there was a Kimball 3'9 apparently).

I agree with others though that for the price of an S there are many more options out there but it really depends on what you like.


Sam The Bam
Re: Kawai GX1 or Steinway S baby grand ?
Rontan #2490325 12/13/15 02:55 PM
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I would suggest posting your question on the tuner/technician forum. The Steinway S is poorly rated, due to the scaling, by many posters there historically.


Re: Kawai GX1 or Steinway S baby grand ?
Rontan #2490332 12/13/15 03:18 PM
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Steinway is one of the best pianos in the world you can get, but I personally believe that model S is a piano with the worst "price/what you get" ratio of all pianos in the world. If there would be competition of "most overpriced piano", mode S is an absolute definitive winner.

The only reason I see someone would buy S is if you have a lot of money, you don't play, you don't care for the sound and you only want to decorate your living room with a very nice expensive piece of furniture with a prestige name on a fallboard in order to impress other people who visit you.

155 cm piano will be 155 cm piano.

Just honest opinion.

Last edited by ZBGM0; 12/13/15 03:20 PM.
Re: Kawai GX1 or Steinway S baby grand ?
Joseph Fleetwood #2490749 12/14/15 11:05 PM
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Yes i do have a space constraint limited by the size of the elevator as my apartment is on the 8th floor:)

Agree that the Steinway S costs a lot more than the Kawai so i was actually hoping to get a good used Steinway S. In the states here, most UK models are not available. Almost immediately, i loved the touch and warmth of the sound when i first played on one upright Steinway years ago in a music school; thought the S model would be better. Thx for the feedback.

Re: Kawai GX1 or Steinway S baby grand ?
Rontan #2490756 12/14/15 11:52 PM
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If you can find one, try a Baldwin M.


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Re: Kawai GX1 or Steinway S baby grand ?
ZBGM0 #2490765 12/15/15 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ZBGM0
Steinway is one of the best pianos in the world you can get, but I personally believe that model S is a piano with the worst "price/what you get" ratio of all pianos in the world. If there would be competition of "most overpriced piano", mode S is an absolute definitive winner.

The only reason I see someone would buy S is if you have a lot of money, you don't play, you don't care for the sound and you only want to decorate your living room with a very nice expensive piece of furniture with a prestige name on a fallboard in order to impress other people who visit you.

155 cm piano will be 155 cm piano.

Just honest opinion.


I've played only a couple of Steinway Model S grands, so my opinion may not hold much weight, but based on my limited experience, I agree with all of the above.

Regards,


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Re: Kawai GX1 or Steinway S baby grand ?
BruceD #2490862 12/15/15 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceD


I've played only a couple of Steinway Model S grands, so my opinion may not hold much weight, but based on my limited experience, I agree with all of the above.


Some might disagree.


Gary
Re: Kawai GX1 or Steinway S baby grand ?
Rontan #2490962 12/15/15 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Rontan
Yes i do have a space constraint limited by the size of the elevator as my apartment is on the 8th floor:)
Is the limiting factory the elevator? The stairs? Or the apartment itself? I'm sure there is an upper limit within your apartment, but let's attack the problem of size correctly. What are the elevator dimensions (door, width, depth & height)?

Also, the Kawai GX-1 measures at 5'5". If you include pianos up to 5'5", your choices expand considerably.

For the silent fans of Steinway's model S, within its limits and rough edges, it can have a very pleasing tone in the right size room. I can understand why someone would prefer this characteristic tone over the Kawai, though I don't think it is objectively better or, if tested side by side, even preferred by a majority of shoppers. For the locked-and-loaded critics of the Steinway S, there are objectively better small pianos and objectively better values among new instruments, among them is a new GX-1. However, given Steinway's name recognition, a used S might fare better than some in the value quotient.

While trying not to cross the line of self promotion, we have a used Steinway S here. It's from the mid-1970's. Lightly refurbished but mostly original, original teflon parts, and the cabinet condition is a "B or B+". You can critique the older action parts, and some of the notes aren't "clean", but the piano does sound very good and is easy to play.

We don't represent it as a "better" choice or with any heavy-handed Steinway romance, but I think it is a unique value for an experienced player who knows what they want and simply enjoy it. I would certainly pick it over a Steinway upright.


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Re: Kawai GX1 or Steinway S baby grand ?
Rontan #2490973 12/15/15 07:48 PM
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I guess I should throw on here that a Model S is the rarest of currently produced Steinway models. So if you're selling one, people are at least going to raise their eyebrows. No one here is saying the S is a bad piano for the size, its just a bad piano for the money, all things being equal. If you can pick up a killer S under $12000 then I'd say it's a pretty good value.

Rontan let's talk numbers. How much are each of the pianos at their asking price and how much can you spend? It might help put things into perspective.


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 GX1 or Steinway S baby grand ?
PianoWorksATL #2490998 12/15/15 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
would certainly pick it over a Steinway upright.


That is interesting information.


phacke

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Re: Kawai GX1 or Steinway S baby grand ?
Rontan #2491742 12/18/15 11:50 AM
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I can't comment on the S but Pianiste mag in France did a pretty favorable review of the GX1 and it was rated above other "affordable" baby grands (the Yamaha C1X was not well rated), amongst other things because the bass is decent for the size.


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Re: Kawai GX1 or Steinway S baby grand ?
Rontan #2491824 12/18/15 05:45 PM
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The Steinway S is a darn good piano for such a small scale design. There are so many problems when trying to build a piano that small especially in compensating for inharmonicity. Without the new retail price to consider, it is in my opinion the best piano of it's size. Unfortunately the price is crazy high and one cannot ignore it. It's such a shame the MSRP is so high because it kills the comparisons. I remember reading somewhere that the Steinway S was Josef Hoffman's favorite piano.


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Re: Kawai GX1 or Steinway S baby grand ?
Rontan #2491834 12/18/15 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Plowboy
Some might disagree


I enjoyed watching the YT video, Plowboy. And, you are right, the small piano sounded almost as good as the big piano.

However, I'm sure the quality of the recording set up had a lot to do with the sound I was hearing through my PC speakers.

Both sounded great, and Hugh Sung seems like a very nice fellow, as well as a great pianist! Now that Rich fellow, I'm not so sure about. (just kidding, Rich smile )

Rick


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Re: Kawai GX1 or Steinway S baby grand ?
Ralph #2491876 12/18/15 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Ralph
I remember reading somewhere that the Steinway S was Josef Hoffman's favorite piano.
Perhaps you read this....

1936 was the first year for the Steinway Model S and a great many were produced. “Josef Hofmann was so enthusiastic,” writes Richard Lieberman in Steinway & Sons (Yale University Press, 1995), “that he bought 50 such pianos for the Curtis Institute.”

Hoffman was 60 in 1936 - so he probably had another "favorite" prior to the introduction of the S. grin


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