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Boston 178 vs Kawai GX2 vs Yamaha C3X? #2867375 07/08/19 12:25 PM
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crownano Offline OP
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Hi, I am trying to pick one among these three.

Quotes I got are (does not include tax or delivery)
Boston 178: $31K. Salesman says there is no bargain for all Steinway (including Boston) pianos. Is that true?
Kawai GX2: $25K.
Yamaha C3X: $33K.
I have not started negotiating for Kawai or Yamaha yet, so probably can get a couple thousands off for these two?

Yamaha is known to have a brighter tune. Some other Yamaha's is too bright, which I do not like. But the C3X I played is actually OK. I liked the touch of the C3X keys initially, because I did not need to push hard to play a song nicely and smoothly, but later I recognized that it was probably because Yamaha's keys are lighter than Kawai or Boston's.

Therefore for now I am more inclined to Boston or Kawai. As an amateur, I could not tell too much of a difference between the two. Some people say Boston has a richer sound.

I hope to hear more opinions and suggestions here. Thanks a lot!

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Re: Boston 178 vs Kawai GX2 vs Yamaha C3X? [Re: crownano] #2867432 07/08/19 04:27 PM
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Lady Bird Offline
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To me Boston pianos are mellow but very different to
Kawai which are darker yet also mellow in tone.
All three are great pianos.
Some piano teachers advise a stronger key resistance ,some feel the touch of Yamaha is fine.So it is up to you.

Re: Boston 178 vs Kawai GX2 vs Yamaha C3X? [Re: crownano] #2867433 07/08/19 04:32 PM
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Carey Offline
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From a quality perspective, all three pianos are pretty much in the same ballpark.

In terms of the best deals.....

The 5'10" Boston is a $31K piano (MSRP and SMP) selling for $31K

The 5'11" Kawai is a $37K piano (SMP) selling for $25K

The 6'1" Yamaha is a $52K piano (SMP) selling for $33K.

The Kawai and Yamaha are already very good deals, and I doubt the dealers will go much lower.

I encourage you to read the following carefully...….

Piano Pricing
https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/about-piano-prices/

Boston
https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/boston/

Kawai
https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/kawai/

Yamaha
https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/yamaha/


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
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Re: Boston 178 vs Kawai GX2 vs Yamaha C3X? [Re: crownano] #2867439 07/08/19 04:50 PM
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Hakki Offline
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Kawai has the Millennium III action. It has carbon reinforced parts. Yamaha and Boston have wooden actions. Kawai claims their actions are less influenced by humidity shifts.
Kawai and Yamaha have different tone and touch. So it is a personal preference. Yamaha might have a better resale value.
Quality wise they all are reliable.
Boston might have an advantage if you later decide to buy a new Steinway grand.

Re: Boston 178 vs Kawai GX2 vs Yamaha C3X? [Re: crownano] #2867440 07/08/19 04:53 PM
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Those prices sound reasonable. I have played a kawai gx2 and yamaha c2x on the same day at different locations - both were awesome, but overall, I felt that the Kawai was a bit better value. The Kawai action is very precise and the heavier/deeper feel and is very gratifying to play. By contrast the Yamaha seemed lighter and 'flighty' to me, and would take some getting used to. Regarding the tone, the bass on the kawai really spoke to me since I am currently playing on an upright . On the Yamaha, the treble really spoke, and the registers seemed more well-defined from one another, but this may have been due to differences in room acoustics. I have not yet tried a Boston, but this is on my list.

Last edited by kdr152004; 07/08/19 04:54 PM. Reason: typo

"Play Bach constantly. That will be your best means of progress." -F.Chopin
Re: Boston 178 vs Kawai GX2 vs Yamaha C3X? [Re: Hakki] #2867446 07/08/19 05:20 PM
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crownano Offline OP
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thanks everyone!
Hakki, I did see some people complaining their Boston needs to be tuned many times a year, while Kawai needs little tuning work.
Some people think Boston is better but you need to know exactly what you want, and hire an excellent technician to tune the piano to exactly how you want the piano to perform. If not, then Kawai is a better choice for an average player.
Is that true? As an amateur I don't think I am that good...

Re: Boston 178 vs Kawai GX2 vs Yamaha C3X? [Re: crownano] #2867448 07/08/19 05:29 PM
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Hakki Offline
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New pianos need at least 4 tunings the first year. And 2 tunings/year for home use. Tunings get stable after a dozen tunings. Tuning is also affected by humidity temperature and how frequent and how hard the piano is played.

Re: Boston 178 vs Kawai GX2 vs Yamaha C3X? [Re: crownano] #2867466 07/08/19 06:24 PM
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First thing, the comparable model of Kawai with C3X is GX3, not GX2. If you prefer Kawai, I would suggest you add a little more budgets to a 6 feet GX3, because the infrastructure determining the action and color would be very different, while CX/GX 1 and 2 do not make much difference.

Second, the good thing of Boston is it's single tone quality, and you can keep the value since Steinway can let you trade up with full price within 10 years (actually many stores allow you to trade up the other brands for a new one too...), but for me it's not good reaction of dynamics as c3x or gx3, the latter which are more important to professional players.

Also, please DO NOT rely too much on MSRP / SMP. For non-European pianos, take a look at the store in France, Germany for example, and you can expect there would not be much difference in final price than in the U.S.

Here's an example of price FYI:
https://www.demmer-piano.de/fluegel/hersteller/yamaha/


Steinway B, 1890
Yamaha C3X TA2
Yamaha U1 SHTA
Roland FP-30

MSRP/SMP is tricky!
Re: Boston 178 vs Kawai GX2 vs Yamaha C3X? [Re: Ukihune] #2867472 07/08/19 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Ukihune
Also, please DO NOT rely too much on MSRP / SMP. For non-European pianos, take a look at the store in France, Germany for example, and you can expect there would not be much difference in final price than in the U.S.

Here's an example of price FYI:
https://www.demmer-piano.de/fluegel/hersteller/yamaha/
I'm not sure what you are saying here. For pianos sold in the USA, the MSRP and Pianobuyer's SMP are helpful guides. Of course, prices are going to fluctuate depending on the dealer and other factors.


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
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Re: Boston 178 vs Kawai GX2 vs Yamaha C3X? [Re: Ukihune] #2867482 07/08/19 07:01 PM
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crownano Offline OP
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Thanks Ukihune. I will check out Kawai GX3. The reason I checked GX2 is because I saw many others are also choosing between GX2 and C3X/Boston 178.
Is Boston 178 a fair comparison to GX3 and C3X then? or should it be Boston 193?
I know Steinway claims their Boston grands have this "wide tail" design which makes the sound of the 5'10 Boston 178 like a 6'2 Grand, so maybe it is ok to compare Boston 178 with the other two?

Last edited by crownano; 07/08/19 07:08 PM.
Re: Boston 178 vs Kawai GX2 vs Yamaha C3X? [Re: crownano] #2867511 07/08/19 10:00 PM
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Boston 178 is 178 cm long.
Kawai GX2 is 180 cm long, but their key sticks are longer by an inch these days, so it's equivalent to 178 cm.
Yamaha C3X is 185 cm long. Their C2X is 173 cm long, so there is a larger difference in sound board area between C2X and C3X.

If you can't tell the difference between something cheaper and something more expensive, then it's not wrong to go with the cheaper option. The GX2 has been Piano Buyer's recommended for a long time because of its tone and touch. I think it really hits a sweet spot between price, performance, reputation and quality. And the extra $8K you could save is substantial. To me, the GX2 and the Boston 178 were very similar in tone, and the Kawai's action felt better.

Having said that, I find the C3X Yamahas to have broader tonal color between pp and ff than the Kawai GX2 and the Boston 178. In my opinion, the best pianos have this quality, and Yamaha has finally got it too. Yes, the Yamahas are tonally brighter than the Kawais in general, but the broader tonal color is more useful in expressiveness. But this is a personal preference and individual piano thing, so your mileage may vary.

PS. All 3 of these pianos have been chosen by professional pianists as their lifetime pianos, so you don't have to worry about out growing them. They are all very good instruments.

Last edited by redfish1901; 07/08/19 10:07 PM.
Re: Boston 178 vs Kawai GX2 vs Yamaha C3X? [Re: crownano] #2867512 07/08/19 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by crownano
thanks everyone!
Hakki, I did see some people complaining their Boston needs to be tuned many times a year, while Kawai needs little tuning work.
Some people think Boston is better but you need to know exactly what you want, and hire an excellent technician to tune the piano to exactly how you want the piano to perform. If not, then Kawai is a better choice for an average player.
Is that true? As an amateur I don't think I am that good...


I think if you play pieces after Beethoven more often, then the color and action will be more important so CX/GX would be better; if you play Baroque (besides polyphony pieces) and classical more often, then Boston


Steinway B, 1890
Yamaha C3X TA2
Yamaha U1 SHTA
Roland FP-30

MSRP/SMP is tricky!
Re: Boston 178 vs Kawai GX2 vs Yamaha C3X? [Re: crownano] #2867516 07/08/19 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Ukihune
Also, please DO NOT rely too much on MSRP / SMP. For non-European pianos, take a look at the store in France, Germany for example, and you can expect there would not be much difference in final price than in the U.S.

Here's an example of price FYI:
https://www.demmer-piano.de/fluegel/hersteller/yamaha/
I'm not sure what you are saying here. For pianos sold in the USA, the MSRP and Pianobuyer's SMP are helpful guides. Of course, prices are going to fluctuate depending on the dealer and other factors.


Piano market in the U.S. is not transparent like Europe. Different brand, different model have different final price. Pipeline products like CX offer you at around 55-65% of MSRP, but YUS you may only get 70-75%. Steinway series usually don't discount too much or just give you a couple thousand $ off MSRP. So the SMP/MSRP actually only tells you what level of a model is but the final price can vary pretty much.


Steinway B, 1890
Yamaha C3X TA2
Yamaha U1 SHTA
Roland FP-30

MSRP/SMP is tricky!
Re: Boston 178 vs Kawai GX2 vs Yamaha C3X? [Re: crownano] #2867519 07/08/19 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by crownano
Thanks Ukihune. I will check out Kawai GX3. The reason I checked GX2 is because I saw many others are also choosing between GX2 and C3X/Boston 178.
Is Boston 178 a fair comparison to GX3 and C3X then? or should it be Boston 193?
I know Steinway claims their Boston grands have this "wide tail" design which makes the sound of the 5'10 Boston 178 like a 6'2 Grand, so maybe it is ok to compare Boston 178 with the other two?


I would say C3X/G3X is between 178 to 193. Also, the line "Designed by Steinway" adds up some sales price.


Steinway B, 1890
Yamaha C3X TA2
Yamaha U1 SHTA
Roland FP-30

MSRP/SMP is tricky!
Re: Boston 178 vs Kawai GX2 vs Yamaha C3X? [Re: crownano] #2867811 07/09/19 09:25 PM
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Thank you Ukihune. Very helpful info! I'm inclined to Boston 178 now since I play classical mostly. But will definitely check out GX3 before making a decision.

Re: Boston 178 vs Kawai GX2 vs Yamaha C3X? [Re: Ukihune] #2867911 07/10/19 07:22 AM
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I would like to chime in a few things said here and offer my perspective:

Originally Posted by Hakki
Kawai has the Millennium III action. It has carbon reinforced parts. Yamaha and Boston have wooden actions. Kawai claims their actions are less influenced by humidity shifts.


When has anyone here had a typical action issue (sticking note, slow return, etc.) that was due to having a wooden action in a quality piano? Unless you live underwater I think the answer would typically be never.

The Kawai action is still bushed with traditional cloth bushings and they use traditional bushing pins. That is where the typical issues come from, particularly from a new-ish piano. When a manufacturer carefully chooses, ages, and prepares the chosen wood in an action there should be virtually no issues related to that wooden action.

Originally Posted by crownano
thanks everyone!
Hakki, I did see some people complaining their Boston needs to be tuned many times a year, while Kawai needs little tuning work.


While there has been a serious tuning stability problem with some Boston uprights, I do not think there has been the same with their grands. All new pianos need 4 tunings the first year or 2. After that you could settle into twice each year.


Originally Posted by Ukihune

I think if you play pieces after Beethoven more often, then the color and action will be more important so CX/GX would be better; if you play Baroque (besides polyphony pieces) and classical more often, then Boston


I am sorry, but I respectfully disagree with this statement. A pianist of any style is looking for expression, color, dynamics, and possibilities to bring their music to life. Less color is less desirable to any pianist who is looking for control and expression when they play. It is the major downfall of Boston pianos, IMHO.

My 2 cents,


Rich Galassini
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Re: Boston 178 vs Kawai GX2 vs Yamaha C3X? [Re: crownano] #2867931 07/10/19 08:56 AM
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Rich, so just to confirm:

Quote
Less color is less desirable to any pianist who is looking for control and expression when they play. It is the major downfall of Boston pianos, IMHO.


So do you mean that you think the Boston grands are not as good in this regard compared to the Kawai or Yamaha models?

I am particularly interested since I recently played a Boston GP163 and am planning to test-play some Kawai grands in similar sizes (mid-5 foot up to 6ish sizes) on my next dealer-visit.


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Boston 178 vs Kawai GX2 vs Yamaha C3X? [Re: Rich Galassini] #2867975 07/10/19 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini


I am sorry, but I respectfully disagree with this statement. A pianist of any style is looking for expression, color, dynamics, and possibilities to bring their music to life. Less color is less desirable to any pianist who is looking for control and expression when they play. It is the major downfall of Boston pianos, IMHO.

My 2 cents,


What is your definition of color in this context?

Re: Boston 178 vs Kawai GX2 vs Yamaha C3X? [Re: Rich Galassini] #2867977 07/10/19 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini


The Kawai action is still bushed with traditional cloth bushings and they use traditional bushing pins. That is where the typical issues come from, particularly from a new-ish piano.

Hi Rich. What problems are you finding with cloth bushings and traditional pins on newer pianos? Do they tend to be tight? Good to know if so, but it would suck having to re-bush the pins on a new piano.

Thanks.


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Kawai GL10
Re: Boston 178 vs Kawai GX2 vs Yamaha C3X? [Re: crownano] #2867979 07/10/19 11:39 AM
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Can I just say I don't agree that colour is more important after Beethoven than before. Colour (by which we really mean the balance between the notes) is important through all music, and can be achieved fairly easily on any good, properly regulated piano.

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