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Yamaha CX vs Kawai GX Grand Piano. #2554921 07/07/16 01:06 PM
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wabbit Offline OP
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I did a search and didn't find too many discussion comparing between these 2 newer models. (I'd thought it'd be a popular topic considering these are 2 very popular brands & models in the mid priced range)

Hoping to get some experienced inputs.
I am shopping for my first grand piano...beginner level. My 9 years old niece will also play it. Budget is around $20K
We are mainly looking at the Kawai GX2(5'11) and Yamaha C2X(5'8) now.
-The prices we got quoted are pretty much the same between the 2.
-Both piano sounds equally nice, but unfortunately, I can never play them side by side to compare the difference. (stores in different city)
- Action feels heavier and tighter on the GX2, the Yamaha actually feels very light compare to a few others I've tried.
-Other than that, I don't know what else to look for and it seems like everything is pretty much a draw between the two for me.

The only thing I can think of is the Kawai being 3" longer than the Yamaha. (I want a bigger piano to fill my empty room grin)

Is there other considerations I should be looking at?
And Which one would you guys recommend? (e.g., resale price, reliability...etc)

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Re: Yamaha CX vs Kawai GX Grand Piano. [Re: wabbit] #2554930 07/07/16 01:29 PM
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You are looking at two pianos of similar quality, but each brand will have its supporters and detractors.
It may be helpful to try a new, unsold Kawai RX-2 if you can find one and compare that to the Kawai GX-2. A well regulated Kawai RX-2 can have a gossamer lightness of action. The string length of the RX-2 is the same as the GX-2 and you could save money too.
Try as many of the models you are considering as you can and compare them.

Good luck!

Robert.

Re: Yamaha CX vs Kawai GX Grand Piano. [Re: wabbit] #2554934 07/07/16 01:46 PM
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I purchased my piano a year ago. I played the Kawai GX series and the Yamaha CX series on the same day on three occasions, which was the best I could do with respect to playing them side by side. I liked the feel and touch of the Yamaha CX series better. For the pianos I played, the action on the GX series pianos did not feel as solid as on the Yamaha CX's. Mr. Stubbie, who also plays, had the same impression. The overall sounds of the two brands (pianos of the same approximate length) were comparable.

My piano teacher, who has at least 30 years of experience teaching, judging, and playing on a variety of instruments, recommended Yamaha over Kawai based on how well the pianos held up over the years. Is this still true? I have no way of knowing--one will only know that at some point in the future--but I do value her experience.

As you can see from my signature line, I went the with C3X. The C2X was a close second.


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Yamaha C3X
In summer, the song sings itself. --William Carlos Williams

Re: Yamaha CX vs Kawai GX Grand Piano. [Re: wabbit] #2554936 07/07/16 01:55 PM
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I think you should wait until you can tell the difference before you spend $20K. A lot of people who like the Yamaha don't like the Kawai and vice-versa.

Re: Yamaha CX vs Kawai GX Grand Piano. [Re: BornInTheUSA] #2554940 07/07/16 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by michaelha
I think you should wait until you can tell the difference before you spend $20K. A lot of people who like the Yamaha don't like the Kawai and vice-versa.
um..you made the same comments in the other thread...
and I thought about buying a cheap piano to practice on first..
but grand piano is bulky, very hard and expensive to move..

So I rather spend an extra $10K to make sure what I buy will last me good 10 years+ then to buy a cheap one only to realize 2 years down the road I wanted a better one...

plus I think cheap, stencil piano tends to have very poor resale...so buying a cheap 10K piano might cost me about the same or even more to own over 10 years than a $20K ones where the resale value is much higher... (that's my thinking anyway...)

Re: Yamaha CX vs Kawai GX Grand Piano. [Re: Robert 45] #2554947 07/07/16 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert 45
You are looking at two pianos of similar quality, but each brand will have its supporters and detractors.
It may be helpful to try a new, unsold Kawai RX-2 if you can find one and compare that to the Kawai GX-2. A well regulated Kawai RX-2 can have a gossamer lightness of action. The string length of the RX-2 is the same as the GX-2 and you could save money too.
Try as many of the models you are considering as you can and compare them.

Good luck!

Robert.


Originally Posted by Stubbie
I purchased my piano a year ago. I played the Kawai GX series and the Yamaha CX series on the same day on three occasions, which was the best I could do with respect to playing them side by side. I liked the feel and touch of the Yamaha CX series better. For the pianos I played, the action on the GX series pianos did not feel as solid as on the Yamaha CX's. Mr. Stubbie, who also plays, had the same impression. The overall sounds of the two brands (pianos of the same approximate length) were comparable.

My piano teacher, who has at least 30 years of experience teaching, judging, and playing on a variety of instruments, recommended Yamaha over Kawai based on how well the pianos held up over the years. Is this still true? I have no way of knowing--one will only know that at some point in the future--but I do value her experience.

As you can see from my signature line, I went the with C3X. The C2X was a close second.

Thanks, I didn't see any RX line in the Kawai showroom. They have the GL line which I can hear a noticeable difference in tone. (doesn't sound very good tbh, especially side by side with the GX)
What other brand model would you recommend I try btw? (Tried Young Chang Y185, Essex EGP-173, also few cheaper piano i see in the store like Perzina, Gehr. Steinberg, Ritmuller)
The Perzina & YC was okay, didn't like the G.Steinberg and Ritmuller
I actually like the Essex, but it was only $4K cheaper than the GX2 and C2X ..
the Yamaha and Kawai salemen were bashing it pretty hard too...lol
And Essex seems to rate 1-2 notch below the GX and CX from my research....so $4K seems like a very small difference.


Also, what built date should I expect to get when I buy a new piano? I notice the serial number on the piano in the showroom are often built 2014/2015.
The salesman said I would be getting a new piano from the warehouse, not the floor model btw.

Re: Yamaha CX vs Kawai GX Grand Piano. [Re: wabbit] #2554968 07/07/16 04:08 PM
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My own personal preference between a Kawai GX2 and a Yamaha C2X (both pianos I have played) is the C2X because I feel the treble sings better.

They're both pretty good pianos though, one probably isn't better than the other. It's just I prefer the Yamaha.

Oh, take a showroom model over a warehouse model any day, you want to play the piano you will actually buy, and hopefully it'll be one that's had some attention in the showroom previously. Buying a new piano that was made in 2014/2015 probably puts you at an advantage over one that was made in the last few months because much of the settling has already taken place, it'll have been played a bit, regulated, and the tuning will be more stable (provided it has been tuned regularly....)

Re: Yamaha CX vs Kawai GX Grand Piano. [Re: wabbit] #2554983 07/07/16 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by wabbit
Originally Posted by michaelha
I think you should wait until you can tell the difference before you spend $20K. A lot of people who like the Yamaha don't like the Kawai and vice-versa.
um..you made the same comments in the other thread...



LOL, I noticed that, too. It's not exactly helpful. I happen to like both Yamaha and Kawai grands, I guess I'll be waiting for the rest of my life! smile


Lisa

Playing RCM 7 & 8 repertoire
Kawai UST-9, Yamaha CLP565GP & CLP645

"Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer, and pour out my despair at the piano!" - Frederic Chopin
Re: Yamaha CX vs Kawai GX Grand Piano. [Re: wabbit] #2555070 07/07/16 11:07 PM
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I hear that kawai grand used to have mellower sound compared to yamaha.

Is this still true with their recent grand pianos?

Re: Yamaha CX vs Kawai GX Grand Piano. [Re: wabbit] #2555080 07/08/16 12:09 AM
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Hi,

I'd like to post my impression of Kawai GX-3 as I happen to have a privilege to play a brand new Kawai GX-3 on regular basis, Yamaha C3 and Kawai GS-50 occasionally.

I have played Kawai SK-2 as well in the past, but GX-3 is quite different from traditional Kawai sound. It does have mellower tone but it has clearer attack and deeper sustain. It's still in the break-in period (only a half year old) but I started to notice the change in tonality. High end is getting more open and brighter while bass register feels more responsive. Overall I find the tonality of GX-3 beautiful, somewhat dark but the clarity in attack phase and deep mellow sustain makes it a nice contrast and blends nicely. Authentic classical piano sound to my ears.

The keys feel heavier compared to Yamaha or older Kawai. I played a half year old Yamaha C1TD and the difference was evident, Yamaha felt much lighter. But they are both a half year old, the keys on GX-3 are getting smoother but it's taking time.

If I were OP, I'd choose Kawai GX-2 but I'm biased. Regards to reliability, they are both great manufacturers. Maybe the resale value would be higher with Yamaha as they are a little more famous (Yamaha pianos tend to have higher resale value) but who knows how people evaluate GX-2 and C3X in 20-30 years or later time?

I'd suggest to play the pianos a bit more until you find the answer!

Re: Yamaha CX vs Kawai GX Grand Piano. [Re: wabbit] #2555090 07/08/16 01:11 AM
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Is gx-2 better than rx-2?

Re: Yamaha CX vs Kawai GX Grand Piano. [Re: wabbit] #2555092 07/08/16 01:25 AM
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Pianos are like people. No two are alike. Some people like you, others don't. These conversations are a waste of time. Trust your judgement, and if you can't, find someone whose judgement you trust to make the choice for you. Asking a bunch of potentially biased strangers on an Internet forum is a waste of your time, and a possible source of much misinformation.



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Re: Yamaha CX vs Kawai GX Grand Piano. [Re: wabbit] #2555100 07/08/16 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted by wabbit
Originally Posted by michaelha
I think you should wait until you can tell the difference before you spend $20K. A lot of people who like the Yamaha don't like the Kawai and vice-versa.
um..you made the same comments in the other thread...
and I thought about buying a cheap piano to practice on first..
but grand piano is bulky, very hard and expensive to move..

So I rather spend an extra $10K to make sure what I buy will last me good 10 years+ then to buy a cheap one only to realize 2 years down the road I wanted a better one...


Yeah, I've been spending more time on acoustic guitar forums lately. People there play for years before they start thinking about going from a $400 guitar to a $1200 guitar. And to spend $3000, oh man...usually that's reserved for the pros or people who get high blowing money.

So yeah, over here in the PWorld where beginners are spending $20K starting out...

But I still agree with myself. There's nothing objectively better about either Yamaha or Kawai. They're both built really well and are great pianos if you like their characteristics. But they're pretty different. They sound totally different. They feel totally different. They're really for different styles of music I think. Usually people love one, sort of hate the other, or at least love one and not love the other. If you're Ok with spending $20K on a piano that you potentially won't love then flip a coin.

So you might end up spending $20K and figuring out in a couple years you wanted a better one.

Moving a grand piano is easy as pie. All you have to do is find your checkbook and write a "2" or "3" and then a couple zeros behind it. Let the movers deal with all the details. Unless you need to knock out a window and crane it in/out- it's really no big deal. Our new house, which is pretty typical, they had it off the truck and setup in 10-15 minutes. Our old house had a tight corner so that took maybe an extra 10-15 minutes. All I remember is I wrote a check and my piano went from one place to the other. It's like that transporter technology they have in Star Trek. Magic.

I wouldn't suggest getting some low-end grand either. What do you play now?



Re: Yamaha CX vs Kawai GX Grand Piano. [Re: wabbit] #2555124 07/08/16 05:17 AM
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My 2 cents,

First, I think that you should buy the piano that YOU love.

Having said that, I do have an opinion. In the past I have enjoyed a bit warmer sound from Kawai and did not like the brighter sound of the Yamaha.

Yamaha has since changed scaling and materials and I quite like the Cx series.

Good luck with your decision.


Rich Galassini
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Re: Yamaha CX vs Kawai GX Grand Piano. [Re: wabbit] #2555127 07/08/16 05:30 AM
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Just my 2 cents. Since you have a 9 year old player, the weight of the keys should be considered as well. Heavy keys are not good for small fingers.

Re: Yamaha CX vs Kawai GX Grand Piano. [Re: tirta] #2555142 07/08/16 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by tirta
Is gx-2 better than rx-2?


Perhaps this will help:

http://www.pianobuyer.com/PDFarchive/2014_KawaiGXandYamahaCX.pdf


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
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Re: Yamaha CX vs Kawai GX Grand Piano. [Re: wabbit] #2555189 07/08/16 11:04 AM
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Thanks for all the helpful input. My plan is to go try the Yamaha again and see what it feels like since I didn't spend too much time there last time. (One thing I recall I like about the C2X is the texture of the black keys...)

Btw, price wise, am I getting a much better deal on the Yamaha C2X vs the Kawai GX2 if they are being sold at the same price?
When I check the pianobuyer, the C2X SMP is $5000 more than the GX2. ($39K vs $34K)

Last edited by wabbit; 07/08/16 11:05 AM.
Re: Yamaha CX vs Kawai GX Grand Piano. [Re: wabbit] #2555195 07/08/16 11:24 AM
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On paper the GX2 has "better" technology so I would think it would be the Kawai that is a better deal. Both companies try to out-market each other so at minimum you can consider them to be about the same.

Don't buy for the "deal", you have to live with this piano, you know. Buy the one you love like Rich said.

Also, unless side-by-side, I can't really tell the difference between a C3 and an RX-3. These are all relatively small differences, not enough to truly base a decision on.

Re: Yamaha CX vs Kawai GX Grand Piano. [Re: wabbit] #2555214 07/08/16 12:38 PM
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Quote
First, I think that you should buy the piano that YOU love.


IMHO this sums things up.

Norbert


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Re: Yamaha CX vs Kawai GX Grand Piano. [Re: wabbit] #2555216 07/08/16 12:40 PM
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There should be a shortcut button on PW that says "Buy the piano that sounds and feels great to you." It's 100% true and 100% useless at the same time.

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