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Yamaha C vs. CX vs. CF series? #2762467
09/01/18 12:18 PM
09/01/18 12:18 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 215
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Piano90X Offline OP
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Piano90X  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 215
How would you describe the differences between these different series?

I know that C is the "conservatory" and least expensive of the bunch and that CF is the concert model that the pros use during concerts and competitions.

But how would you practical describe the differences without getting abstract (i.e., "the CF has a broader range of color")?

Is it some magical difference that only professionals can perceive? Everything I've read is too abstract.

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Re: Yamaha C vs. CX vs. CF series? [Re: Piano90X] #2762478
09/01/18 01:45 PM
09/01/18 01:45 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,968
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joe80 Offline
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joe80  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2009
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I haven't played any CF pianos except for the CFX, which has a very rich and perfumed tone. If you can imagine a 19th Century Bechstein or something, and imagine what a modern version of that sound might be, with more power, but with that Yamaha clarity.

The C series is no longer made, and it was replaced by the CX series. I've also played one new S series piano, an S5X. I find the latest Yamaha pianos in the CX and SX series to be absolutely beautiful. The CX series is already excellent and good enough for pretty much all study, the SX series has all the precision and characteristic build quality you'd expect from the CX series, but builds on it by being even more refined and having some of the qualities of a beautiful vintage piano.

The CF series, or at least the CFX I played, is a concert standard instrument worthy of any performance situation, so I can imagine that the CF4 and CF6 are made to that standard as well, and have a price which is not much less than a Fazioli or Hamburg Steinway.

With each level of quality you open a door to a wider dynamic range, a greater colour palette, and an altogether more responsive playing experience. It's not the case with the CX vs SX vs CF that it's cheap, good, best, it's more now that it's excellent, wonderful and phenomenal..... That said, for about 30 years now the C3 has been the piano of choice for many studios and teaching rooms and that is no accident, I've played many over the years and I've always been impressed with their quality.

Re: Yamaha C vs. CX vs. CF series? [Re: Piano90X] #2762484
09/01/18 02:06 PM
09/01/18 02:06 PM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 83
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mcontraveos Offline
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Posts: 83
Hi Piano90X,

This is a good question, and one that's hard to answer without quoting advertising material. I own a C6 and am familiar with the CF6. I am not a tech, and haven't taken apart or studies both pianos side by side.

To me, the difference is that in the CF6, personnel at the Yamaha factory spend considerably more time working out things like action geometry; getting the right amount of friction in each individual key; working out the strike point for each hammer more exactly; hand-winding strings; working the soundboard and bridges more exactly.

These ends result in a piano with, for example, a quicker (not nec. heavier or lighter) action; more balance in action responsiveness across the whole piano; more fluid pedal action. Regarding the sound, there are objective measures of improvement, like fewer false beats in strings or less inharmonicity and a closer match to the ideal Yamaha sound (whatever they decide that should mean).

What inspired you to ask? Are you considering buying either of these pianos?

best wishes,
MC

Re: Yamaha C vs. CX vs. CF series? [Re: Piano90X] #2762623
09/02/18 12:27 AM
09/02/18 12:27 AM
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 91
Adelaide, South Australia
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CharlesXX Offline
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Joined: May 2017
Posts: 91
Adelaide, South Australia
I agree. This is a good question.

About 2 years ago, I bought an early 80's C7, and I love it. Prior to that, I was struggling with a 1986 Grotrian 189 (or 186 - can't recall) I purchased from new. Superior build quality, but the heavy action and muddy bass got too much for me. When I tried the C7 in the music shop, I wasn't even intending to buy a different piano. It was love at first sight, and life is too short etc etc.

The other day, I was back in the same shop trying a 2001 M280 Bosendorfer, and by chance right next to it was a C7 of about the same age. They really did compare very favorably, and I came away very content with my C7.

Just out of interest, the shop C7 had a heavier action than the Bosendorfer. The Bosie I found very similar to my C7, both of which I like.

I may go back soon and try the Bosendorfer again. I didn't fall in love with it, as I feared I might, which is just as well. However, I am interested in trying a new C7 or whatever they are called now.

Explaining to my wife is another story. Bosie asking price $100,000, C7 asking price $25,000 (Australian $'s) Worth the price difference?

Re: Yamaha C vs. CX vs. CF series? [Re: Piano90X] #2762649
09/02/18 03:21 AM
09/02/18 03:21 AM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 306
Maryland, USA
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Davdoc Offline
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Maryland, USA
Originally Posted by Piano90X
How would you describe the differences between these different series?

I know that C is the "conservatory" and least expensive of the bunch and that CF is the concert model that the pros use during concerts and competitions.

But how would you practical describe the differences without getting abstract (i.e., "the CF has a broader range of color")?

Is it some magical difference that only professionals can perceive? Everything I've read is too abstract.


Yamaha still makes a "TD" line of C-series pianos (C1TD, C3TD) but those are likely only available in Japan. I've seen those at Yamaha's Ginza (Tokyo) flagship showroom but I didn't try it. I suspect if you see any C-series pianos outside Japan, they will be the "older" (relatively speaking) models.

I would also try to answer your question in a contrarian way that any other's responses to your questions will always be somewhat abstract. The reason is that a piano's specification, although very "objective" (if the manufacturer fully discloses it), is only part of the equation. Other people's playing experience has its limit in terms of being translatable to yours. Description of tonal quality, from my own reading of other's posts, can be quite confusing and contradictory.

With that said, I am a proud former owner of C5 (from the 1990s). Also fairly recently I had tried, although very briefly, a CF4 (in the Tokyo showroom) and a CF6 and C6X. I never had the fortune to try their older S or newer SX series. But I think it's fair to say that Yamaha's C and above series are all quite well made. The CF4 I tried in Tokyo, without using too many confusing adjectives, was one of the best pianos I have ever tried. The CF6 is also a fantastic instrument. And I was very happy with my C5.

Eventually if these are the pianos you are looking, only you can decide whether there is any meaningful difference to your playing experience (and whether the price difference is justified).

One thing Yamaha makes it harder is that all these models, except for expected size differences, look essentially the same.


1969 Hamburg Steinway B, rebuilt by PianoCraft in 2017
2013 New York Steinway A
Kawai MP11

Previously: 2005 Yamaha GB1, 1992 Yamaha C5
Re: Yamaha C vs. CX vs. CF series? [Re: joe80] #2762666
09/02/18 04:47 AM
09/02/18 04:47 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,252
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
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Rich Galassini  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,252
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted by joe80
I haven't played any CF pianos except for the CFX, which has a very rich and perfumed tone. If you can imagine a 19th Century Bechstein or something, and imagine what a modern version of that sound might be, with more power, but with that Yamaha clarity.


I have never heard an explanation like this of the CFX piano tone. It is spot on, Joe. Thank you!


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for great content every week:
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Re: Yamaha C vs. CX vs. CF series? [Re: Piano90X] #2762731
09/02/18 11:08 AM
09/02/18 11:08 AM
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 903
Moscow, Russia
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Iaroslav Vasiliev Offline
500 Post Club Member
Iaroslav Vasiliev  Offline
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Joined: May 2016
Posts: 903
Moscow, Russia
CX has much more mellow tone then C.

I heard a rumor that a couple of important Steinway patents had expired and Yamaha has used it to design their new CX series. (Don't know if it's true or not, just a rumor from Steinway-related person.)

Re: Yamaha C vs. CX vs. CF series? [Re: Piano90X] #2762916
09/02/18 09:27 PM
09/02/18 09:27 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,081
Glendale, Ca.
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Dave Ferris Offline
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Dave Ferris  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,081
Glendale, Ca.
I've owned two Yamahas- an '88 C7e and a '97 S6- for a combined 20 years. Looking back if I had it to do over again, I would have just held onto the C7. On the other hand, I was able to practically recoup what I paid for the S6 almost 10 years later by selling to a private party. Very lucky there.

Today, both the CX and CF pianos play and sound far superior to either piano I used to own. I haven't played the SX model yet.

With regard to 7'ers - my three favorites are the NY Steinway B, Fazioli 212 and Yamaha CF6. If I were fortunate enough to be able to choose a new one for the house , I think overall and long term, the B would speak to me on all levels most consistently. However there are attributes about the CF6 that I like more then any of the pianos.


https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D
Yamaha CP4, CP5
Re: Yamaha C vs. CX vs. CF series? [Re: Iaroslav Vasiliev] #2763043
09/03/18 09:22 AM
09/03/18 09:22 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,252
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
Platinum Subscriber
Rich Galassini  Offline
Platinum Subscriber

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,252
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
CX has much more mellow tone then C.

I heard a rumor that a couple of important Steinway patents had expired and Yamaha has used it to design their new CX series. (Don't know if it's true or not, just a rumor from Steinway-related person.)


No truth there Iaroslav Vasiliev.

Also, IMHO there have been no important Steinway patents in more than a century.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for great content every week:
https://www.youtube.com/user/CunninghamPiano
Re: Yamaha C vs. CX vs. CF series? [Re: Piano90X] #2763078
09/03/18 10:56 AM
09/03/18 10:56 AM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 230
Norway
S
Skjalg Offline
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Skjalg  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 230
Norway
Here is a list of Steinway patents up to year 2000
Steinway patents


The term of patent (how long it can be enforced) is 20 years from the filing date.

All but two patents have thus expired. Those are
1999 Piano Escapement Action Further design of a knuckle assembly for an escapement action.
2000 Piano Sustenudo Assembly

Many companies create patents for the sake of creating a patent. Either for use in marketing, or as is often the case in technology, when someone sues you, you sue them back, and they end up measuring who has the greatest number of registered patents.

Of the more “interesting” Steinway patents, is
1939 Design for a Piano Case l. Special design for White House piano case for Franklin D. Roosevelt.


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