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Yamaha GH1 vs. ?
#2871989 07/23/19 04:55 PM
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I'm not a piano player. My daughter (13 years old) plays at a "advanced for her age, but not any kind of prodigy" level. For the past few years we've lived in a small house and she's made do with a very decent Yamaha electric piano - it was all that we could fit. We just moved into a larger house and she would like a real piano. There is no $$$ to spend on an expensive instrument, so we're going to have to get a piano off craigslist for a few hundred dollars. I've been scouring the craigslist ads every day, but all I find in our price range are old old uprights.

Yesterday I happened to be at a newly bought building that will be renovated starting next week. The building came with a Yamaha GH1 and when I asked what they were going to do with it, they told me I could have it if I got it out of there this week. So now I have a dilemma. I've read all the bad reviews of GH1s - that they are hard to tune and that they don't have great sound. My question is: Should I take a free GH1 (keys all worked, strings were all there) or hold out for something better to come along in the $0-$750 range? Are GH1s so bad that just about anything is better? Or is it more that a GH1 is not a great piano among good pianos, but is better than whatever upright I can get for a few hundred dollars?

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Re: Yamaha GH1 vs. ?
henryh #2872000 07/23/19 05:17 PM
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shocked
Where do you live? If you don't take it, I will! grin

In all seriousness though, forget the people who like to complain about these small Yamahas, this is an amazing opportunity! You're not likely to find a decent used grand for under $1000 (or more like, for under $3000). For this one, you're looking at $50-100 for an inspection, $300-500 for professional movers, and $150 ish for first tuning....

I don't suppose you took a photo of the inside where the serial number is??

I have played a fair amount of Yamaha G variations (unfortunately I get their naming convention mixed up, this is the 5'3" one, not a 5' one right?) Anyway, they are perfectly fine instruments, and some of them can be very nice. Assuming this one doesn't have any major issues needing repair, this would be an awesome step up from a digital piano.

Would you have time to have it inspected by a piano tech? And time to get professional movers?


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Yamaha GH1 vs. ?
henryh #2872021 07/23/19 07:04 PM
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I am not a fan of the GH1, but I can say with 99.9% certainty you won’t find something nicer in the $0-750 category.

Just take it. You can flip it and make money on the piano (including moving costs) even if you don’t like it later, as there’s always a market for small used Yamaha grands. Do not “cheap out” on the service aspect— if it needs a pitch raise and tuning, and a little touch up of the voicing and regulation (a couple extra hours of work), go ahead and do that so it will perform as well as it can, as your daughter progresses. I do have one of these which I service for a client that tunes up nicely and sounds and feels okay...while others I didn’t like as much—the model did suffer from cost cutting measures.


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Re: Yamaha GH1 vs. ?
henryh #2872022 07/23/19 07:04 PM
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Can you have your daughter play the piano? That would help a lot because she would at least know if the keys worked properly and if it sounded reasonable. If it passes the daughter test, try to get a piano tech to look at it, but if you can't in the short time left, I'd take a chance and pay to have it moved. If this falls through, you might look at this piano "adoption" site. They're all free and occasionally something good will come along.


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Re: Yamaha GH1 vs. ?
henryh #2872026 07/23/19 07:12 PM
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Just to add to what TerminalDegree said above, if you do take this piano, plan to have it tuned say every 5-6 months, and you will likely end up with a piano that sounds a lot better than when you first got it.

Also, again to back up TD's comment, I am searching for a grand right now and have been chatting with piano dealers and they really stress that the 5'3" size used pianos sell really well, and in this size, Yamaha is definitely the most well-known name. So you kind of can't go wrong if you have the opportunity to get this piano for free.


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Yamaha GH1 vs. ?
henryh #2872027 07/23/19 07:19 PM
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Take it. If you don’t particularly care for it, trade it in for something your daughter does like. Even bigger, newer Yamahas seem to thrive with tuning twice a year. The only money on the line is getting it moved to your house and it’s tunings and maintenance thereafter.


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Re: Yamaha GH1 vs. ?
henryh #2872045 07/23/19 08:17 PM
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This situation does sound like an easy decision. Take it!



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Re: Yamaha GH1 vs. ?
henryh #2872047 07/23/19 08:23 PM
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OK. I'm going to tell them that I'll take it - I'll report back as soon as I can.

For what it's worth, I won't be able to get a tech in to look at it and I can't hire a professional mover because they won't let me bring anyone into the building who doesn't work for our company for liability reasons. So I have a few people who I work with who will help with the move, but I have some piano moving experience: I worked for a college grounds crew for a while and once we moved six concert grands from various locations to the campus for a music festival, then moved them back a couple weeks later. So I'm familiar with the process: remove the top cover, the keyboard cover, the music stand, remove the front leg on the flat side, tip the flat side onto a long dolly, remove the other legs and pedal column, wrap it in moving blankets and loosely strap the blankets on, "pack" it into the truck instead of "strapping" it into the truck. And I can use a lift-gate truck from work, so I should be able to manage.

Thanks for the advice.

Re: Yamaha GH1 vs. ?
henryh #2872054 07/23/19 08:41 PM
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Do not remove the lid, the fallboard, or the music desk. Pro piano movers don’t do that. Be careful with the pedal lyre (it’s not designed to take the weight of the piano, or to have force exerted on it at sideways angles), and be sure to reassemble the pedal mechanism properly (sometimes the pitman gets knocked out of place). Completely clean moving blankets, a roll of moving cellophane (stretch wrap) wrapped around corners and moving blankets, and a skid board are your friends.

Professional piano movers typically have a lot of liability insurance, fwiw.


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Re: Yamaha GH1 vs. ?
henryh #2872150 07/24/19 06:51 AM
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I have GH1 for almost 30 years now.
yes, it is in the lowest end of almost all yamaha grand pianos.

Originally it sounds a little too bright for my taste, then I have the hammers needled almost every 5-6 months.

So after proper regulation and voicing, now it sounds and plays better than most grand pianos of similar size.

And from my experience, it keeps the tuning really well, around 6 months to 1 year.

Re: Yamaha GH1 vs. ?
henryh #2872194 07/24/19 09:45 AM
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If a mover carries 1 million in liability coverage, why wouldn't your company allow them in? How was the piano delivered in the first place?

I say ask again. Good luck to you!


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
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Re: Yamaha GH1 vs. ?
henryh #2872225 07/24/19 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by henryh
OK. I'm going to tell them that I'll take it - I'll report back as soon as I can.

For what it's worth, I won't be able to get a tech in to look at it and I can't hire a professional mover because they won't let me bring anyone into the building who doesn't work for our company for liability reasons. So I have a few people who I work with who will help with the move, but I have some piano moving experience: I worked for a college grounds crew for a while and once we moved six concert grands from various locations to the campus for a music festival, then moved them back a couple weeks later. So I'm familiar with the process: remove the top cover, the keyboard cover, the music stand, remove the front leg on the flat side, tip the flat side onto a long dolly, remove the other legs and pedal column, wrap it in moving blankets and loosely strap the blankets on, "pack" it into the truck instead of "strapping" it into the truck. And I can use a lift-gate truck from work, so I should be able to manage.

Thanks for the advice.


I live in a co-op apartment building in New York City and I’m required to have a certificate of insurance submitted to my building’s management company if I have an outside company do any work for me. This involves having the company add my building owner’s corporation and management company as additional insured on the certificate of insurance. I will be going through this process with the piano rental company that will be delivering a piano to me in the near future. Why can’t you do this so that you can hire professional piano movers?

Last edited by LarryK; 07/24/19 11:20 AM.

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Re: Yamaha GH1 vs. ?
henryh #2873147 07/27/19 08:35 AM
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As much as I dislike the GH1, I tend to agree that free is too good a deal to pass up. At least in terms of the resale value of the piano.


Anthony Willey, RPT
PianoMeter
Willey Piano Tuning

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