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Re: Kawai GL50 versus Yamaha C3X [Re: Classical Pianist] #2623832
03/15/17 12:47 AM
03/15/17 12:47 AM
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Phoenix, Arizona
Carey Online content
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Carey  Online Content
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Originally Posted by Classical Pianist
The same Kawai dealer has also offered me $35969 USD including taxes, delivery, prep, and two tunings for a new SK3 polished ebony, which I initially played on and didn't like, but which I am now considering since I believe at this fairly reasonable price I may be able to get myself a high quality/performance top tier piano. I must have played on more than 50 instruments since I started my search over a month ago. However, I haven't felt this good about an offer on a piano that I actually thought was worth the price.
That's a REALLY good price on the SK3. Also - I assume this would include the home visit by the Kawai tech after a period of time to fine tune the piano to your unique needs. Yes - the overall quality of the Shigeru Kawai is superior to that of the mid-tier Yahama and Kawai - BUT don't buy it unless you truly love its touch and sound.


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Re: Kawai GL50 versus Yamaha C3X [Re: Carey] #2623834
03/15/17 12:58 AM
03/15/17 12:58 AM
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BC, Canada
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Classical Pianist Offline OP
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Thank you Carey for your feedback!

Yes, the price includes a visit by a Kawai's technician. I do find the offer on SK3 to be VERY reasonable! It is almost 40% off SMP. Unbelievable! Very tempting!

I will be back to the store this weekend to play on it a bit more and see how I feel about it.

I am just learning so much about the different pianos and how they are different in terms of tone, touch, action, and character.

Re: Kawai GL50 versus Yamaha C3X [Re: Classical Pianist] #2623850
03/15/17 03:12 AM
03/15/17 03:12 AM
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you need your new piano to be a faithful source of affirmation and joy. play a wide variety of music on whichever instruments you're still considering and take your time. on a practical level you might think in terms of narrowing things to just two final candidates. from your earlier comment it sounded like there's something about the shigeru that bothers you. tone wise, a degree of modification is possible but not if there's something unpleasant. if you can delineate for yourself what bothers you about it your decision might come a bit easier, and why giving it some solid work to do might help.

Re: Kawai GL50 versus Yamaha C3X [Re: Classical Pianist] #2623889
03/15/17 08:01 AM
03/15/17 08:01 AM
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Hi Classical Pianist,

IIRC when I play gx-7 and sk-5, I find gx-7 has brighter sound compared to sk-5, more similar to yamaha.
Sk-5 feels very even but also very heavy for my fingers to the point I can not play forte at all.
but gx-7 feels a lot lighter and easier to play, more similar to yamaha touch.
However since I like mellow sound, I like sk-5 sound better.
So it is very different compared to your experience.

It seems the difference between one piano to another, even in the same type and brand is rather huge,
even with kawai and yamaha, and these brands are supposedly have the most stable quality control?

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Re: Kawai GL50 versus Yamaha C3X [Re: tirta] #2623890
03/15/17 08:17 AM
03/15/17 08:17 AM
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Florida
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Originally Posted by tirta
Hi Classical Pianist,

IIRC when I play gx-7 and sk-5, I find gx-7 has brighter sound compared to sk-5, more similar to yamaha.
Sk-5 feels very even but also very heavy for my fingers to the point I can not play forte at all.
but gx-7 feels a lot lighter and easier to play, more similar to yamaha touch.
However since I like mellow sound, I like sk-5 sound better.
So it is very different compared to your experience.

It seems the difference between one piano to another, even in the same type and brand is rather huge,
even with kawai and yamaha, and these brands are supposedly have the most stable quality control?


Not only is it different between pianos, it is also different in the impressions of two different pianists.
My piano teacher thinks my piano's action is too stiff...and hers is just right
I think hers is stiffer than mine smile We each own what we personally love and wouldn't trade

The Goldilocks principle-- that is why a piano should be bought based on each person's personal evaluation

Re: Kawai GL50 versus Yamaha C3X [Re: Classical Pianist] #2623898
03/15/17 08:57 AM
03/15/17 08:57 AM
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Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
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Quite right - people's opinions vary based on their preferences and abilities. Also, many people tend to have broad-brush opinions about brands and models after only playing one of them, which can also dilute the reliability of the information offered.

Classical Pianist, just because the LF book and others "rate" the Shigeru piano higher doesn't mean it's the right choice for everyone, or that it's a better choice than a "lower" rated CX series Yamaha or other brand, FOR YOU. I think Mr. Fine explains this to some extent in the introduction to the Map of the Market/Ratings section, though few bother to read this important disclaimer...

If you're a serious player, and are going to use the instrument a lot and keep it for a long time, buy the piano, not the deal.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Kawai GL50 versus Yamaha C3X [Re: terminaldegree] #2623949
03/15/17 12:05 PM
03/15/17 12:05 PM
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Melbourne, Australia
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Originally Posted by huaidongxi
you need your new piano to be a faithful source of affirmation and joy. play a wide variety of music on whichever instruments you're still considering and take your time. on a practical level you might think in terms of narrowing things to just two final candidates. from your earlier comment it sounded like there's something about the shigeru that bothers you. tone wise, a degree of modification is possible but not if there's something unpleasant. if you can delineate for yourself what bothers you about it your decision might come a bit easier, and why giving it some solid work to do might help.
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Quite right - people's opinions vary based on their preferences and abilities. Also, many people tend to have broad-brush opinions about brands and models after only playing one of them, which can also dilute the reliability of the information offered.

Classical Pianist, just because the LF book and others "rate" the Shigeru piano higher doesn't mean it's the right choice for everyone, or that it's a better choice than a "lower" rated CX series Yamaha or other brand, FOR YOU. I think Mr. Fine explains this to some extent in the introduction to the Map of the Market/Ratings section, though few bother to read this important disclaimer...

If you're a serious player, and are going to use the instrument a lot and keep it for a long time, buy the piano, not the deal.


I think these two quotes say it all. These are all fine pianos - they will outlive all of us with decent care. Don't fear that you might buy a lemon. Buy the piano that speaks to your heart. You will spend a great deal of time with your musical companion - make sure it's a special union.

Re: Kawai GL50 versus Yamaha C3X [Re: Classical Pianist] #2623972
03/15/17 01:39 PM
03/15/17 01:39 PM
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San Jose, CA
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I would get the Shigeru. If, after a trial period of, say, five years or so, you decide you could do better, you would would not have a great deal of trouble selling it for a favorable price. After five years, it will still have five years of Kawai's transferable warranty, which has a cash value all its own.

My personal experience suggests that the maker includes features which are not all apparent immediately, but which reveal themselves as you become more intimately familiar with the instrument and grow as an artist.

50 pianos! Well, no one can accuse you of impulse buying. Sleep on it; pray over it, if you are of a praying disposition--- after all, what could it hurt. And take action, as it seems good to you. I would not imagine that playing another 50 is going to help anything.


Clef

Re: Kawai GL50 versus Yamaha C3X [Re: Classical Pianist] #2624050
03/15/17 05:59 PM
03/15/17 05:59 PM
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Classical Pianist,

If this were a database decision, and all pianos of a given model type played exactly the same, it would be easy.... one would get the Shigeru SK-3. But each instrument IS unique. You can play two dozen pianos of the same model, in the same room, and hear and get different impressions of each. My favorite example of this is can be seen in Leif Ove Andsnes' Hamburg Steinway D-274 Selection for his "Beethoven Journey" Tour, back in 2014 - amazing number of concert grands in one room!:

Steinway D-274 Selection with Leif Ove Andsnes

You are getting some excellent advice from Carey, Ando and terminaldegree and please heed the comments by Norbert, huaidongxi, and dogperson, as well. I am both a Yamaha 6'1" C3 and Mason & Hamlin 7' BB owner and love both my instruments... having chosen each of them from amongst many peers during the selection process of each. The Yamaha C3, was my first grand piano and is now 37 years old. At time of purchase (from an authorized Steinway & Yamaha dealer) I chose it from amongst three Yamaha C3s and two G3s, two new 'CBS-era' Steinways and some rebuilt Steinways. It's ringing tone spoke to me like it's peers did not, and it was the best value. The C3 is an extremely reliable, bright and well-built piano that has served me well for many years, with the exception that the hammer felt used in 1980 was not like that on today's C3X series and became hard and brittle after almost four decades of rehearsal & practice; even with proper maintenance. This has since been rectified with newly installed Abel Natural hammers w/ WNG carbon-fiber shanks/ composite knuckles, and voicing/regulation completed last fall. The C3 still exhibits it's original singing tone, albeit with less metallic quality than before; i.e. the C3 has longevity, and still serves me well as a wonderful second practice piano.

Yamaha C3 w/ WNG Carbon-Fiber Shanks & Abel Natural Hammers

Although I do not own either a Shigeru or a K. Kawai, I have had the good fortune of rehearsing and performing on a number of Kawai instruments over the years; this included one exceptional singing GS-70 7' 5" instrument I performed on in 1987 that I just loved. As with every make, within the same model line you will identify standouts that are just better; not just a product of voicing and tone regulation - although this often makes a big difference. In general, all Kawai's are wonderfully built instruments, in which I have generally found the tone to be a little darker and the action to appear to have more 'resistance' than on a Yamaha C3 - at least from my perspective. Can I say that one make is better than another? No. In each case, it was usually a particular instrument that I was taken with, not just the model or it's "premier" reputation.

Most recently I had a similar experience with my purchase of my new M&H BB. Over past decade, I had played over two dozen new and rebuilt semi-concert grand pianos including: NY and Hamburg Steinway B, Shigeru Kawai SK-6/-7, Yamaha C6/C7, Schimmel K213/217 and M&H BB's, but none struck my fancy until one particular M&H tour visit to the Haverhill, MA factory in the fall of 2015. At the end of this visit, I played three BB's, one CC-94 and two AA's, and two instruments really stood out for me... two of the BB's. Had I only played the other BB, or one of the other instruments mentioned, I would have just returned home. But these two instruments both initially captivated me, and after a couple hours of playing, one stood above the other. In the end, the combination of a piano that I loved to play, it's quality and reputation, and great acquisition price all came together. I do not regret this purchase, and am eager to play my new BB every day! And isn't that what counts in the end?

My New Mason & Hamlin Model BB 7'0" Semi-Concert Grand Piano

Mason & Hamlin BB: Optimal Tone Regulating & Concert Voicing

Good luck in your decision!


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7aJcfJZZvg&list=PLkP65I5BsNirTcv-nAHm4BXXsCbB_EbAJ
Mason & Hamlin Artist
Re: Kawai GL50 versus Yamaha C3X [Re: Classical Pianist] #2631467
04/09/17 03:10 AM
04/09/17 03:10 AM
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BC, Canada
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Classical Pianist Offline OP
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I would like to thank everyone who posted here to help me with my decision to get myself a suitable piano. All of your input and expertise was of tremendous value to me and definitely put me in the right path to choosing the best piano for myself.

Being a professional player/teacher, I never had the means or the space to get myself a grand piano until a few months ago when I finally thought that the time was right. Having played on Yamaha uprights (all Japanese) all my life and being pleased with their quality, sound and touch, I went into this knowing what I wanted to buy: a new or like new Yamaha mid-size grand over 6' with a silent function as a bonus feature.

Nevertheless, trying to be an informed buyer, I didn't want to focus on just one brand because of my bias, but rather allowed myself to explore and play on as many different pianos as possible to get a sense of what is available out there in terms of touch and tone that would be within my price range. In the process, I played on some 50 pianos, some of which high performance pianos beyond my budget like a few brand new Steinway As & Bs, a few brand new Bosendorfers 185, 200 and 214 models and one Fazioli F183, and some within my budget like a Shigeru SK3, an SK2 , 3 restored Steinway Bs and 1 used Estonia L190. In the process, I also played on several mid-range Japanese pianos like a new floor model DC5M4, a C5X, a C3X, a C2X, a GX2, a GX3 and a GL50, all new, and a few Bostons models GP 178 and 194.

Having played on all these instruments, some very different than the others, I learned so much about myself and my taste for a piano. Knowing that all these instruments were great pianos, for me it all came down, as most of you guys mentioned in your posts, to my preference for the touch and tone. When I played on these instruments, I clearly preferred one over the other right away, but I gave myself time to go back for multiple visits to audition them again and again to see if my preference stayed the same or if it changed with each visit.

What I learned from all of this was that I have a clear preference for pianos with light-medium action that have clear and transparent tones. For instance, amongst the high performance pianos, I preferred Bosendorfers, pretty much all sizes of them, to the Shigeru Kawais, another great instruments, and to almost all Steinways, even the best of them, which were the new Bs and As. The new Fazioli 183, in my opinion, had the best action and touch of all instruments that I tried and if I could afford it that would have definitely been my choice of piano, followed by Bosendorfers models 214 and 200.

Amongst the mid-range pianos, I fell in love with the action and tone of DC5 and C5X, but found the tone of the C5X warmer and richer than the DC5, its predecessor. Overall, I found the Yamaha CX series to have similar tone and action to that of Bosendorfers, with Bosendorfers having slightly smoother action and higher level of tone clarity. In short, I found the Yamaha CX series to be the economy version of Bosendorfers, just as I found the Bostons with their warm and round tones to be the budget version of Steinways.

In the end, I followed what my heart told me to do and that was to go for the C5X, slightly over my budget, with a factory built-in silent system, which I decided would be a necessary feature for my situation. I figured that the additional cost to get a C5X with the built-in silent system is definitely worth it since many of the after-market silent systems that I tried were simply not of high quality and the sound quality in them compared to the factory built-in systems was simply poor, something that I thought could be a hindrance to my practicing in the silent mode, which I have found myself to do more often than not. The C5X SH will be a special order since the dealer did not have it in stock, but I have been guaranteed in writing that once the piano arrives, it will be completely prepped (regulated and voiced) to my preference before it gets delivered to my house. I will also get two tunings after the delivery and the piano will come with a factory warranty of 10 years. Knowing that the Yamaha’s quality control is pretty much consistent across the board, I decided to take the risk and trust that the piano will have similar action and tone to those of the C5X floor models that I tried and that any inconsistencies will be addressed and solved after the piano has been prepped by the dealer or serviced by the technician during the two home visits.

Thank you again all of you for your feedback and expert opinions. Thanks for sharing your experiences. They were invaluable to me as they helped me decide to choose the piano that spoke to my heart and not choose one for its rating or for what others or the majority would go for.

There is a reason why there are so many piano manufacturers and options out there; it is because there are so many of us players out there who have different tastes and budgets. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be as many choices as we see there are today.



Last edited by Classical Pianist; 04/09/17 04:13 AM.
Re: Kawai GL50 versus Yamaha C3X [Re: Classical Pianist] #2631559
04/09/17 11:55 AM
04/09/17 11:55 AM
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ando Offline
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Wonderful, CP! Nobody could say you didn't do your due diligence. I'm sure you'll be very happy with your new piano. Congrats!

Re: Kawai GL50 versus Yamaha C3X [Re: ando] #2631894
04/10/17 01:14 PM
04/10/17 01:14 PM
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Thank you Ando! I just want to let you know that your feedback definitely affected my decision to go for what I love. At the end of the day, what matters most is the enjoyment and pleasure you would get out of playing your instrument! That should be the most determining factor!

I believe I did the right thing to go for what I loved and thought was best for me. The only downside is that I have to wait a few months before I get to play on it! However, I think this piano is definitely worth the wait.

I will post a photo of it once it arrives.

Re: Kawai GL50 versus Yamaha C3X [Re: Classical Pianist] #2632044
04/10/17 09:33 PM
04/10/17 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Classical Pianist
Thank you Ando! I just want to let you know that your feedback definitely affected my decision to go for what I love. At the end of the day, what matters most is the enjoyment and pleasure you would get out of playing your instrument! That should be the most determining factor!

I believe I did the right thing to go for what I loved and thought was best for me. The only downside is that I have to wait a few months before I get to play on it! However, I think this piano is definitely worth the wait.

I will post a photo of it once it arrives.

I look forward to the photos and hearing how you enjoy it. smile

Re: Kawai GL50 versus Yamaha C3X [Re: Classical Pianist] #2632118
04/11/17 07:43 AM
04/11/17 07:43 AM
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A nice choice. Well done- congratulations!


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Kawai GL50 versus Yamaha C3X [Re: Classical Pianist] #2632206
04/11/17 02:53 PM
04/11/17 02:53 PM
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Thank you Terminaldegree! Your feedback and expert opinion was very helpful in my decision! I truly appreciate it!

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