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Steinway vs. Clavinova? #2830542 03/23/19 05:48 PM
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Munn14464 Offline OP
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Hello All,

I have an original condition 1912 Steinway Model M that I've enjoyed for the last 4 years. It was a well cared for instrument for much of its life, but is showing its age for sure. It has never been able to be tuned to A440 since I've had it, and it's tuning pins are starting to slip. I had it tuned in December, and by the first week in February, the C#4 D#4 are horribly out of tune. I've called Lindeblad and a couple of local piano restoration companies for quotes. I'm just not sure if I want to invest that kind of money into it right now (and quite frankly, money that I do not have). Also, I'm just renting an apartment and am not planning on staying here much longer. The thought of spending $500 dollars to move it doesn't appeal to me either. I'm really thinking of parting with it and getting a high end Clavinova for the time being. I've played the new CLP685 and CLP695 in the store and was very impressed. I guess I'm just looking for thoughts. I've always been a "realist" and have preferred the real thing as far as pianos go. But I was impressed so much with the new line of Clavinovas. I teach K-12 General/Vocal Music in a small public school and we have nice Clavinovas in each music classroom. It would be nice to record things at home, save them to a jump drive and bring them to work.

I don't know what to do. Am I delusional? Getting rid of a Steinway for a digital? It does seem more practical for me right now. Plus, I really like playing along with recordings (like the Music Minus One editions) and it's impossible when your instrument isn't at A440. Plus, the Steinway M isn't my dream....I'd much rather have an O or an L. I primarily play classical and church music. Would it make me less of a musician to have a digital as my primary instrument at home? It just scares me to put $20k+ into the Steinway not knowing if I'll even like the sound/touch of it when it's all rebuilt. Thoughts, please!

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Re: Steinway vs. Clavinova? [Re: Munn14464] #2830568 03/23/19 06:52 PM
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If you are headed in the direction of a bigger grand, why keep the M that isn't working for you? The Yamaha is a perfectly practical option. Even after you get your bigger grand, you can still practise on the Yamaha at night. Like many people here, I use my digital all the time, even though I bought an acoustic.

Re: Steinway vs. Clavinova? [Re: Munn14464] #2830588 03/23/19 07:45 PM
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joe80 Offline
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A good Yamaha Clavinova is a good musical instrument in its own right. Clavinovas are used frequently by players of all standards, right up to concert pianists.

Your Steinway is no longer holding its tune, which is indicative that it definitely needs a new pin-block. I would be shocked if it didn't require a new soundboard or at least some pretty extensive work on the original soundboard and bridges, and it most probably needs extensive work on the action or a new action. If you have the money to do this, you'd most likely love the resulting rebuild, but it's a huge commitment.

From what you say it's not like you're replacing a good quality functional Steinway with a cheap digital, it's that you are replacing a piano that no longer functions nor serves its purpose, with a piano that is of very good quality, does function and does serve a purpose.

Having a digital piano as your own piano at home will not make you less of a musician. While it would be lovely to always have the highest quality grand piano at home, money often doesn't allow that situation. Get the Clavinova and feel guilt free.

Re: Steinway vs. Clavinova? [Re: Munn14464] #2830611 03/23/19 09:29 PM
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Learux Offline
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Unless you have extreme sentimental value to this Steinway, it sounds like it is time to let go.

If I was you, I would buy a good DP that will last you 10 years and start saving and looking for the Grand Piano you want!

I love practicing on my acoustic, my wife loves it even more when I practice on my DP!

To be honest your ears can only take so much it is nice to be able to practice and turn the volume down.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Re: Steinway vs. Clavinova? [Re: Learux] #2830613 03/23/19 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Learux
I love practicing on my acoustic, my wife loves it even more when I practice on my DP!

I LOL'ed at that! laugh


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Re: Steinway vs. Clavinova? [Re: Munn14464] #2830651 03/24/19 01:27 AM
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Hakki Offline
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If you decide that it is time to let go, IMO it might be better to buy an acoustic piano with a silent system.
This way you can enjoy both worlds.
Frankly I play my digital rarely. It simply is not the real thing.

Re: Steinway vs. Clavinova? [Re: Hakki] #2830665 03/24/19 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Munn14464
and quite frankly, money that I do not have

Originally Posted by Hakki
If you decide that it is time to let go, IMO it might be better to buy an acoustic piano with a silent system.

I believe the OP is say they can't afford a new or new old acoustic yet, with or without silent system.


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Steinway vs. Clavinova? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2830675 03/24/19 05:00 AM
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Hakki Offline
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Clavinova CLP 695 is about $7500 and Kawai K200 ATX3 SMP is listed as $10990 in pianobuyer.com. I thought it might be possible to find a used one for $7500.

Re: Steinway vs. Clavinova? [Re: Hakki] #2830745 03/24/19 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Hakki
Clavinova CLP 695 is about $7500 and Kawai K200 ATX3 SMP is listed as $10990 in pianobuyer.com. I thought it might be possible to find a used one for $7500.


I thought the same thing. Good suggestion Hakki.



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Re: Steinway vs. Clavinova? [Re: Munn14464] #2830795 03/24/19 10:52 AM
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Learux Offline
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I would not spend that much money on a digital piano if the plan is to buy an acoustic later on.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Re: Steinway vs. Clavinova? [Re: Munn14464] #2831163 03/25/19 08:29 AM
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Have you discussed the option of trading the piano in with a rebuilder like Lindeblad? Steinway pianos do hold more value than other brands. You might come out pretty good on that end, depending upon the condition of the case and finish. It depends on how much work someone like Lindeblad will have to put into it. Maybe you could find the S&S L or O your looking for. You might also be able to pull enough for the your piano to buy something like a nice Baldwin L or R or a Yamaha C3, or a Kawai RX2 or RX3 in the process. Just some thoughts to consider.

I have a Yamaha CP300 which I love along with my Steinway B. The CP300 is the latest in a line of stage pianos which started out as the P100 back in the 1990's in the Clavinova line. They have advanced a lot, and I love the convenience of a digital instrument, BUT there is absolutely no comparison to an acoustic piano in my opinion. It would be really hard for me to give up my Steinway, but if it's not holding a tune and you can't afford the rebuild or trade in right now your options are limited.

What does your tech say about the pin block? Is there a low cost option to get it to hold a tune for a while like CA glue. Is the issue just a few pins/strings, or is it wide spread? What condition is the piano in otherwise? Have you had other technicians look at it? I'm rambling just a bit, but just some thoughts.

Re: Steinway vs. Clavinova? [Re: Munn14464] #2831186 03/25/19 09:48 AM
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I don't know how the $ would work out, but you might opt for a hybrid grand - either an N2 or the later model of it from Yamaha, or a Novus NV-10 from Kawai. We have one of each at our university, and they are terrific instruments. They have the feel and touch of a grand piano, pedals that work pretty much the same way. I've played Clavinovas and the CA-78 from Kawai (similar to a mid range Clavinoa I would say with wooden keys), and the touch is different, though the sounds can be very good.

Your Steinway should still get you a nice trade in on one of those (least hassle), or you sell it yourself, hopefully pocketing some additional cash to buy the hybrid.


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Re: Steinway vs. Clavinova? [Re: Munn14464] #2831193 03/25/19 10:27 AM
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GC13 I appreciate your post, but there is a couple of things I disagree with:

Steinways don't necessarily hold more value than other brands, and the prices of Yamaha and Kawai pianos at auctions attest to that. It used to be the case that shoppers would take a hit buying a new premium make that wasn't Steinway, and that's kind of changing a bit now too.

Secondly, the CP300 is an excellent digital piano, but it was released in 2006, so it's old technology. It undoubtedly has a great touch and tone and in fact I have one, but it's not comparable in touch and tone to the latest models which are far superior. The latest models are not comparable to a grand piano, true, but they are far more suited to practice than even the CP300 was/is.

(Feel free to disagree with me, it's OK by me and I mean no offence at all)

A hybrid might be the route to go, the Steinway should have some value even if the pin block is shot. Core Steinways still command a good price on the market.

Re: Steinway vs. Clavinova? [Re: GC13] #2831246 03/25/19 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by GC13
I have a Yamaha CP300 which I love along with my Steinway B. The CP300 is the latest in a line of stage pianos which started out as the P100 back in the 1990's in the Clavinova line.

CP and P series don't belong to the Clavinova line, the latter are designated as CLP.

The P series marks Yamaha's lower end "portable pianos" while the CP series is for the higher end stage pianos.


Yamaha P-515 | Kawai ES100 | Steinberg UR22 | Sony MDR-7506
Re: Steinway vs. Clavinova? [Re: Munn14464] #2838263 04/12/19 02:43 AM
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FWIW, I don't think you're delusional. As people have noted, the Clavinova will do what you need now. Then later perhaps you can get another, newer acoustic that's not a project. The newer digital pianos are pretty darned good, especially for what they cost. I'd much rather play one of those than a badly worn acoustic, like my clunker Story&Clark baby grand. I have a 6 year old Steinway B on its way to me now, but even after it's here, I will still use my little, Pianoteq equipped MIDI keyboard a lot, both to maintain family tranquility and to save the Steinway from the repetitious, boilerplate practice work that can be done on practically any keyboard.

Re: Steinway vs. Clavinova? [Re: BigIslandGuy] #2838402 04/12/19 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by BigIslandGuy
, I will still use my little, Pianoteq equipped MIDI keyboard a lot, both to maintain family tranquility and to save the Steinway from the repetitious, boilerplate practice work that can be done on practically any keyboard.


Don't worry about the piano, your hands and ears will be hurting before you put any wear and tear on that instrument.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Re: Steinway vs. Clavinova? [Re: Munn14464] #2838404 04/12/19 10:43 AM
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An old, failing piano isn't doing anyone any favors. If you are not in position to comfortably restore it fully, better to let it be someone else's piano. There are quite a few things that are good, but less than a full restoration including high-end digitals, uprights, or small grands from other brands. I would think in terms of how you will benefit from a digital vs. acoustic and work on what your comfortable budget it, then go shopping. It doesn't have to be a quest, and when you go shopping, you may be surprised by what grabs your attention. Without a general idea of budget, it's hard to shop effectively.


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Re: Steinway vs. Clavinova? [Re: Learux] #2838585 04/13/19 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Learux
Originally Posted by BigIslandGuy
, I will still use my little, Pianoteq equipped MIDI keyboard a lot, both to maintain family tranquility and to save the Steinway from the repetitious, boilerplate practice work that can be done on practically any keyboard.


Don't worry about the piano, your hands and ears will be hurting before you put any wear and tear on that instrument.


LOL, point taken. I'm probably being too cautious after beating my Story & Clark to death. I guess it wasn't built to take the punishment of hour-upon-hour practice. But, I still have to keep the family peace. I don't think my other half will appreciate me banging away at 1AM on a big grand. She's a a saint, but even saints have their limits. smile

Re: Steinway vs. Clavinova? [Re: Munn14464] #2839130 04/14/19 01:31 PM
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Munn14464, I'm not sure how much a new Clavinova CLP 685 and CLP 695 costs where you are in the world but have you thought about a new Yamaha AvantGrand NU1X? Or even the N1/1X, N2 or N3X? At least that way you have the feeling of playing a real acoustic piano combined with the sound of a digital.

I'm currently in the process of buying an NU1X and as a die-hard acoustic piano fan, this is a really great middle-ground for me. You may be confused as to why I'm buying one when I'm a die-hard acoustic fan - cut a long story short, the hybrid/digital piano suits me better at the moment in terms of practicality! I will have an acoustic again one day...

I would also be keen to hear anyone else's thoughts on the NU1X.

Good luck in your piano search though! Having been through a few pianos now, one piece of advice I would give is don't rush. Pianos (typically) aren't cheap so make sure whatever you're buying is right for you.


Yamaha AvantGrand NU1X
Re: Steinway vs. Clavinova? [Re: williambonard] #2839224 04/14/19 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by williambonard

I would also be keen to hear anyone else's thoughts on the NU1X.


I would buy the CLP685 before the NU1X. The short key pivot on the NU1X would rule it out for me. Then there's the loud note issue that has been written about at length on the forum.

Last edited by johnstaf; 04/14/19 08:34 PM.
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