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Re: Kawai vs Yamaha [Re: ando] #2596820
12/21/16 10:00 AM
12/21/16 10:00 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 652
Minneapolis
SonatainfSharp Offline
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SonatainfSharp  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 652
Minneapolis
Originally Posted by ando
[quote=SonatainfSharp]You may have been somewhat influenced by the difference in action.

Just like moving an upright away from the wall makes the action feel lighter, and fastening a blanket to the back of an upright makes the action feel sluggish, yes.

I often have other people play whatever they can before I play a piano sometimes, so that I am not influenced by the action, etc. smile

As far as seeing an audiologist, I have for other reasons. I can hear dogwhistles. I can hear the electronics of the TV's whining when I walk into a Best Buy. It's no fun. Maybe the "brightness" I hear is other parts of the piano resonating on a Yamaha that doesn't on a Kawai?


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Re: Kawai vs Yamaha [Re: leel] #2596857
12/21/16 11:38 AM
12/21/16 11:38 AM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,734
Auckland New Zealand
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Robert 45 Offline
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Joined: Aug 2006
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Auckland New Zealand
Hello SonatainFSharp,
Indeed! In fact it would seem that your sensitive ear and extensive music background would make you better qualified than most of us to express your opinion on piano tone.

Merry Christmas!

Robert.

Last edited by Robert 45; 12/21/16 11:48 AM.
Re: Kawai vs Yamaha [Re: Dave Ferris] #2596898
12/21/16 02:27 PM
12/21/16 02:27 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 5,597
Melbourne, Australia
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ando Offline
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ando  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 5,597
Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted by Dave Ferris
[quote=ando]

Kawais are outstanding pianos as well. Can't recall that I've ever played a bad grand, or even an upright, with their name on it. Tonally, it's just not my thing - that is given the choice between the two.

That pretty much describes my feelings on the matter. I think Kawais are very nice pianos, but tonally they aren't quite the right fit for me. A great Yamaha just feels more tonally sweet than a great Kawai for me. I also find the feel of the Yamaha action is more to my liking. I get more tired playing Kawai actions. I love the liquid touch of a well regulated Yamaha. A lot of that is based on what we grew up learning to play - a preference for heavier actions is almost always the result of playing heavier actions during the early phases of learning. I also had problems with tendonitis for a while and during that time, playing a Kawai was very aggravating for me, where the Yamaha wasn't. Still, I recognise that these are very personal needs and preferences and don't apply to everybody.

Re: Kawai vs Yamaha [Re: ando] #2596919
12/21/16 03:47 PM
12/21/16 03:47 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 158
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Jason74 Offline
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Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Interesting, I just played a bunch of new Yamaha and Kawai grands a few weeks ago, and aside from one abnormally bright Kawai GL40 (I think the dealer let the "new guy" screw with it), the Yamahas were still much brighter than the Kawai pianos...so unless my information was outdated as of three weeks ago, I do still find them brighter.

I used to teach for a studio with many campuses, all having Yamaha grands. I never liked one. These weren't high-end Yamahas, though, mind you.


If you haven't played the CX series grand pianos, you really don't have a basis for making an opinion on Yamaha's new direction. The CX are Yamaha's most recent designs and carry their latest tonal ethos. If you were playing uprights and low-end consumer grands, they are not part of the new tonal ethos.




I think this is true, although while you say "if you were playing uprights", i'd suggest that it largely depends on what uprights you were playing. I have a YUS5, and tonally it's a very different animal to the U3, despite sharing much of the same architecture. There's much more depth and warmth to the sound, especially at the lower end, and I'd suggest that the approach around the YUS series generally has a lot in common with the CX series grands

Originally Posted by Norbert
Quote
Kawais are outstanding pianos as well. Can't recall that I've ever played a bad grand, or even an upright, with their name on it. Tonally, it's just not my thing - that is given the choice between the two.


I recently played and quite liked the new GX series and was equally impressed with the new Yamaha CX series.

They are really all very nice pianos but if actually "buying" I would spend more time comparing them to everything else in same/similar price range.

For example, there may even be some higher rated pianos "close by" or
some 7' grands for same price.

So, comparing only one or two options rarely ever really make the cut.

How else does one really know getting the piano of your dreams?

Norbert


I'd completely agree with this too. There are so many more good choices for the piano buyer now than 20 years ago. When I bought my first piano in the mid 90s, it was almost true to say that if you didn't have a tier 1 budget, there weren't many companies other than Kawai and Yamaha who were building pianos that wee actually any good. Now there's so much more choice. There are some good choices coming out of Eastern Europe, and some of the better Chinese pianos now offer really good value in a way that wasn't the case not that long ago.

If someone is looking to spend a lot of money on a piano (and I think for most buyers, the purchase is a lot of money to them regardless of the price point they're buying at) they really do need to look at all of the options before splashing the cash. It just so happened that for me, having spend six months searching, a Yamaha was the right choice. . . . . . .which I suppose also says where I stand on the subject of this thread.

Re: Kawai vs Yamaha [Re: Norbert] #2597011
12/21/16 11:27 PM
12/21/16 11:27 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,946
Michigan
K
kpembrook Offline
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Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,946
Michigan
Originally Posted by Norbert
Quote
I think AJF hit the nail on the head. The most significant advantage that the Kawai action has is when it is in an unstable environment, such as a church, school, or other commercial location.


Let's not pollute a buyer's mind with hype.

Where are all the Yamaha owners [or those of others] complaining here about the instability of their pianos?

P.S. Evrybody knows it's not the action but the soundboard that creates the most obvious changes for pianos in tough climates. Especially with large changes in humidity.

Actions,especially when built right, are hardly ever affected by this, at least outside tropical climates.

Norbert


No.
Wooden actions are affected by humidity which affects hammer wear and responsiveness. Also, as we know, "every piece of wood is different". This means that every single action component responds slightly differently to varying circumstances of either play or climate.

In contrast, composite materials are much more stable. In universities, WN&G parts are something like heroin to resident piano techs: there's no going back to wood once they have given the composite parts a try. They find the differences dramatic, not incidental.

Side note: Kawai does NOT have composite hammer shanks (at least not last time I checked.)



Keith Akins, RPT
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Re: Kawai vs Yamaha [Re: SonatainfSharp] #2597020
12/22/16 01:02 AM
12/22/16 01:02 AM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 1,756
Toronto
A
AJF Offline
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AJF  Offline
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Joined: May 2006
Posts: 1,756
Toronto
Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Originally Posted by ando
[quote=SonatainfSharp]You may have been somewhat influenced by the difference in action.

Just like moving an upright away from the wall makes the action feel lighter, and fastening a blanket to the back of an upright makes the action feel sluggish, yes.

I often have other people play whatever they can before I play a piano sometimes, so that I am not influenced by the action, etc. smile

As far as seeing an audiologist, I have for other reasons. I can hear dogwhistles. I can hear the electronics of the TV's whining when I walk into a Best Buy. It's no fun. Maybe the "brightness" I hear is other parts of the piano resonating on a Yamaha that doesn't on a Kawai?


This actually contradicts my experience in comparing Yamaha and Kawai as Kawais typically emphasize a LOT more pronounced overtones in their sound than Yamahas which definitely emphasize the fundamental tone more. Your description of your own hearing suggests to me that Kawai's sound should bother you a lot more than Yamaha's.
But then who knows. We're all different.



Pianist, Composer
Disclaimer: Shigeru Kawai Artist
Re: Kawai vs Yamaha [Re: leel] #2597022
12/22/16 01:10 AM
12/22/16 01:10 AM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 3,942
Finland
O
outo Offline
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outo  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 3,942
Finland
I think one's individual hearing has a lot to do with it. I find some pianos almost intolerable due to the disturbing overtones, while other people find them lovely. Yet my hearing is not perfect according to medical examination, certain frequencies I hear a bit more poorly with the other ear.

Last edited by outo; 12/22/16 01:11 AM.
Re: Kawai vs Yamaha [Re: Steve Cohen] #2597733
12/24/16 10:02 AM
12/24/16 10:02 AM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 231
UK
Frankni Offline
Full Member
Frankni  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 231
UK
Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
I liken them to Lexus and Infinity. (I'm an infinity man!)


I would consider Yamaha to be the Toyota under the pianos (with its high class models to be the Lexuses) while Kawai is more like Nissan. Personally, I haven't met a Kawai I liked, it is not my cup of tea, while some Yamahas are pretty good and reliable on their level. I can't say much about the Shigeru Kawai (the higher level Kawais) so I would reserve judgement on those. Obviously, there are brands which I would consider above both families.


Yamaha C3, Sauter Delta 185
Re: Kawai vs Yamaha [Re: leel] #2597785
12/24/16 02:51 PM
12/24/16 02:51 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 791
Dublin
J
johnstaf Online crying
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Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 791
Dublin
Kawai and Yamaha currently make some of the finest high-end hand built pianos in the World. There is no step above the Yamaha CFX or Shigeru Kawai SK-EX. I like the fact that Yamaha don't change the name of their cheaper pianos, as I dislike the type of brand snobbery based on the price of a company's cheapest piano.

Re: Kawai vs Yamaha [Re: leel] #2598750
12/28/16 03:08 PM
12/28/16 03:08 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 154
London
J
jazzpianist Offline
Full Member
jazzpianist  Offline
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J

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 154
London
Surely they're level-peg gears and, having just recommended a C7 (after loads of playing in new CX models) I'd go with Yamaha. They are sometimes still set up 'bright', it seems to me, but are inherently more mellow than a new C7M was back in the day.

I am a jazzer. Yamaha action and sound seems to suit me.

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