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Looking for opinions - Yamaha G3 vs GB1K purchace... #2653683
06/15/17 02:20 AM
06/15/17 02:20 AM
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Upland, CA
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my58vw Offline OP
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I live in Southern California, and am in the final decision process for purchasing a piano for my upstairs condo. I am currently renting a GB1K, and can buy it with a rental credit at 9k + rental credit, so more like 10.5k. The store offers a 4ish year return for full credit towards a higher end piano (my goal would be a C3 or C5 (probably the C3 due to condo space). I went to living pianos today and played a wonderful G3 (http://livingpianos.com/pianos/yamaha-model-g3-grand-piano-f5070192/) with a very solid action, and top quality sound. The piano would be around 14k delivered, and I would get back 600 out of my original rental contract, so more like 13.4k.

With the G3 I would likely not want to upgrade anytime soon, but the GB1K will be gone for a G3X soon enough (3 - 4 years). Is their really a big enough difference between the G3 and C3X to justify a 20k+ difference? Essentially, pay about 3k more now, and get a much higher end piano that I will be happy with, or get the GB1K and upgrade it is 2 years for a G3X which will cost 3k more...

Thanks!


1991 Yamaha G3 Grand Piano
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Re: Looking for opinions - Yamaha G3 vs GB1K purchace... [Re: my58vw] #2653737
06/15/17 09:09 AM
06/15/17 09:09 AM
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Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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I've read and heard that the biggest difference between the C series Yamaha grands and G series, is the weight of the cast-iron plate. The plate/harp is apparently a bit heavier on the C than the G. For all practical purposes, I would imagine the G series would be fine for a home piano, where the C would be geared more toward the professional institution environment, or home.

I have not read raving reviews about the GB model... but I have no personal experience with them. You would likely find a similar G3 via private sale for less money, but piano dealers are in business to make a profit. And, if they put some professional prep into the piano, that adds value as well.

Personally, I'm not a fan of the future "trade-up" policies. You can only trade-up if you spend a lot more money on a more expensive piano, with not much opportunity for negotiations. The ball is basically in the dealer's court on that one...

Good luck!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Looking for opinions - Yamaha G3 vs GB1K purchace... [Re: my58vw] #2653875
06/15/17 04:16 PM
06/15/17 04:16 PM
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huaidongxi Offline
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there's another way to look at the choice between the pianos. time. getting the used G3 gives you immediate gratification with a piano you really enjoy. a brand new C3 might hypothetically be a higher quality piano, but if you played this G3 you like and the new C3 blind, not knowing the price difference, could you say for sure you'd pick the C3 ? who knows, maybe your musicianship develops over the next few years with the G3 and you decide then you want a $30 k. piano. you probably won't have a problem trading or selling the G3, and find something you like even more than a new C3. in your market, with your budget, you have huge options with used grands, and there aren't great advantages to get locked into buying a brand new yamaha, because there are many used yamaha grands in your market.

Re: Looking for opinions - Yamaha G3 vs GB1K purchace... [Re: my58vw] #2654381
06/17/17 03:24 PM
06/17/17 03:24 PM
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California, USA
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musicpassion Offline
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To me, there is a very big difference between the G series and the C series. I like the C series very much, but I don't most of the G series pianos.

But that's just me, and it's not me buying the piano.

I think you can do better than the prices you are describing in the Southern CA market. That price sounds high for a G series Yamaha. I would expect you could find a nice C3 from a private party for less.


Pianist and Piano Teacher
Re: Looking for opinions - Yamaha G3 vs GB1K purchace... [Re: my58vw] #2654421
06/17/17 06:50 PM
06/17/17 06:50 PM
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Upland, CA
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my58vw Offline OP
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I am pretty sure I am going to pass on both of the pianos...

Right now I am looking at a few Baldwins (including a Howard-Baldwin, made by Kawai for Baldwin) from Living Pianos.

There are two I am seriously considering:
http://livingpianos.com/pianos/baldwin-howard-art-case-grand-piano-model-550-169645/ (I LOVE the case, and sound of this piano)
http://livingpianos.com/pianos/baldwin-artist-series-baby-grand-model-m-185594/ (Another Baldwin option in my price range).


1991 Yamaha G3 Grand Piano
Re: Looking for opinions - Yamaha G3 vs GB1K purchace... [Re: my58vw] #2654425
06/17/17 07:27 PM
06/17/17 07:27 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,201
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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I guess I'm out of touch with dealer prices on used pianos. I agree with Musicpassion that the private seller is usually the better deal in terms of price. But if you're looking for a nice piano and not just a good deal, Livingpiano's prices may be on par with the used piano market.

Good luck!

Rick

Last edited by Rickster; 06/17/17 08:24 PM. Reason: I decided some of my comments were not helpful.

Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Looking for opinions - Yamaha G3 vs GB1K purchace... [Re: my58vw] #2654428
06/17/17 07:32 PM
06/17/17 07:32 PM
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Upland, CA
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my58vw Offline OP
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I have been to 15 stores in the last 3 months, and these prices are on par with everyone else.

I understand you can buy a Baldwin or similar grand from a private seller for 20 - 30% of showroom prices, but you might be getting a project, or a beautiful piano ready to go. Another factor is you can not really finance a piano through a private seller if that is your thing. In my case I am going to layaway the piano, so again same idea.


1991 Yamaha G3 Grand Piano
Re: Looking for opinions - Yamaha G3 vs GB1K purchace... [Re: my58vw] #2654436
06/17/17 08:07 PM
06/17/17 08:07 PM
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huaidongxi Offline
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you've been diligent with your shopping to get to fifteen stores. it removes lots of uncertainties about a decision, at worst it gives you more than one top candidate. art cases certainly aren't for everyone, but if the Howard is a solid kawai beneath the label, the case makes it somewhat unique. did you prefer the sound/tone of the longer Howard over the Baldwin M ? which shops other than livingpianos would you recommend to other piano shoppers ?

Re: Looking for opinions - Yamaha G3 vs GB1K purchace... [Re: huaidongxi] #2654446
06/17/17 09:03 PM
06/17/17 09:03 PM
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Upland, CA
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my58vw Offline OP
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I really liked SoCal Piano, a bit corporate, but very patient and kind staff. Honestly I like Living Pianos because not only do they have a very solid selection of older pianos, but they have the knowledge to help you pick the right model.

I love the art case style pianos, they have a Steinway Model A 1893 Art Case piano that Inwould Buy in an instant if Incould afford it.


1991 Yamaha G3 Grand Piano
Re: Looking for opinions - Yamaha G3 vs GB1K purchace... [Re: my58vw] #2654466
06/17/17 10:23 PM
06/17/17 10:23 PM
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California, USA
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musicpassion Offline
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Originally Posted by my58vw
I have been to 15 stores in the last 3 months, and these prices are on par with everyone else.

I understand you can buy a Baldwin or similar grand from a private seller for 20 - 30% of showroom prices, but you might be getting a project, or a beautiful piano ready to go. Another factor is you can not really finance a piano through a private seller if that is your thing. In my case I am going to layaway the piano, so again same idea.

Dealer prices are always higher. Some dealers certainly provide a very high value to their customers. For myself, I guess I tend to be a bargain hunter, and there are bargains to be had in Southern CA.

For those who purchase used from a private party, you certain can "know what you're getting", and in much greater detail than purchasing a used piano from a dealer. You simply hire a trusted technician to evaluate it for you.

I think it's good idea to do that if you're purchasing a used piano from a dealer also. If I were purchasing a piano from Living Pianos, I would have my technician evaluate it. That's not a statement against Robert Estrin. My technician knows more about the technical side of a piano than any dealer (most dealers hire their own technicians), and my technician doesn't have the bias of a salesperson.


Pianist and Piano Teacher
Re: Looking for opinions - Yamaha G3 vs GB1K purchace... [Re: my58vw] #2654570
06/18/17 11:24 AM
06/18/17 11:24 AM
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Posts: 450
Chicago
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Bob Estrin seems to be a decent guy and I enjoy watching his videos, but $13k for a 52 year old Howard seems quite high. Similar issue with the Baldwin R. Have these pianos been refurbished in any way? Baldwin Rs routinely sell for half that price around here. Of course, a dealer charges more to cover operating costs, delivery, prep, etc., but I am still surprised by these prices.


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Re: Looking for opinions - Yamaha G3 vs GB1K purchace... [Re: my58vw] #2654604
06/18/17 01:04 PM
06/18/17 01:04 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,201
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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Originally Posted by Duke of Dunning
Bob Estrin seems to be a decent guy and I enjoy watching his videos, but $13k for a 52 year old Howard seems quite high. Similar issue with the Baldwin R. Have these pianos been refurbished in any way? Baldwin Rs routinely sell for half that price around here. Of course, a dealer charges more to cover operating costs, delivery, prep, etc., but I am still surprised by these prices.

I agree. Based on those excessively high prices for much older pianos, although good models back in the day, I'd take a look at the new Hailuns or Ritmulers. I've read and heard good things about those brands, in terms of cost/value.

On the other hand, as others have mentioned, the higher prices at the dealers for much older pianos could be justified if extensive renovation/refurbishment has been done. The only way to know that for sure is to have an independent tech not associated with the seller to look at it.

Good luck!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Looking for opinions - Yamaha G3 vs GB1K purchace... [Re: my58vw] #2657351
06/28/17 10:03 PM
06/28/17 10:03 PM
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Philadelphia area
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Dave B Offline
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Getting back to the Yamaha C3X, it is an amazing instrument with expressive pianissimos.


"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: Looking for opinions - Yamaha G3 vs GB1K purchace... [Re: my58vw] #2657604
06/29/17 09:07 PM
06/29/17 09:07 PM
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Upland, CA
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my58vw Offline OP
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I ended up with the G3... I will post pics when it arrives in a few days smile


1991 Yamaha G3 Grand Piano
Re: Looking for opinions - Yamaha G3 vs GB1K purchace... [Re: my58vw] #2657621
06/29/17 10:38 PM
06/29/17 10:38 PM
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Georgia, USA
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Congratulations!

The Yamaha G3 is a fine piano! I wish you many years of happy piano playing with it!

All the best!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Looking for opinions - Yamaha G3 vs GB1K purchace... [Re: my58vw] #2657625
06/29/17 10:49 PM
06/29/17 10:49 PM
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huaidongxi Offline
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if you decided on the piano you mentioned with your first post, your initial impression was confirmed by the many other candidates you played. a major improvement from the entry level smaller yamaha, my guess, for not much more than what purchasing the small grand would have been. enjoy many years of music ; you will probably find yourself spending more time at the piano and getting more satisfaction from playing.

Re: Looking for opinions - Yamaha G3 vs GB1K purchace... [Re: my58vw] #2657782
06/30/17 12:19 PM
06/30/17 12:19 PM
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my58vw Offline OP
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The G3 really does have a great sound, a slightly more mellow sound compared to the C3, and is great to play. I am going to keep this piano for a long time, then hopefully upgrade to a beautiful vintage steinway or mason in the future.


1991 Yamaha G3 Grand Piano
Re: Looking for opinions - Yamaha G3 vs GB1K purchace... [Re: my58vw] #2657855
06/30/17 03:29 PM
06/30/17 03:29 PM
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Is it the G3 video in your first post? That had a lovely sound, at least as transmitted by recoding. Congratulations and enjoy!

Last edited by dhull100; 06/30/17 03:30 PM.
Re: Looking for opinions - Yamaha G3 vs GB1K purchace... [Re: my58vw] #2657953
07/01/17 12:11 AM
07/01/17 12:11 AM
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my58vw Offline OP
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Yes, it is the G3 in the video... getting delivered tomorrow morning!

Thanks!


1991 Yamaha G3 Grand Piano

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