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Kawai or Yamaha?
#2891036 09/16/19 03:57 PM
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I’m trying to decide between two piano models. One is a Yamaha CLP 645 and the other is. Kawai CS 8. I know they’re not exactly equal in their features and components, etc. The Kawai would be about $500 more than the Yamaha. I’ve played both and like them both, but I might like the Kawai a little bit better. Unfortunately, they are at two different dealers and I cannot test them side-by-side. The Yamaha gives a 5 year warranty while Kawai only gives a 3 year warranty. Anyone have any thoughts about my situation? I could use some advice. Thanks!

Re: Kawai or Yamaha?
Dkrs60 #2891039 09/16/19 04:02 PM
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What prices were you quoted?
I've not yet seen a CS8.
But I've saw the CLP645 for around $2800 at Sam Ash.

Re: Kawai or Yamaha?
Dkrs60 #2891047 09/16/19 04:21 PM
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The touch is quite different between them so you may prefer one. The CS8 has Kawai's best GF2 action which is highly praised on this forum. The 645 has Yamaha's mid-level NWX, although some claim it feels better than the GrandFeel action on the 675/685. (Not including hybrid actions as they're not being considered).

Sonic beauty is in the ear of the beholder; both use sampling (as opposed to Roland's modelling) but sample different grand pianos.

I suspect any defect covered by warranty will have been discovered within 3 years. Longer-term wear and tear issues likely aren't covered anyhow. There have been concerns about Kawai reliability on this forum but I have no first-hand knowledge.

Note that if you like the 645, the P-515 is essentially a slab version of the 645 at a lower price, and you can get a stand and 3-pedal unit for it. Worth considering if you don't need a big piece of furniture or speaker system.

Re: Kawai or Yamaha?
MacMacMac #2891049 09/16/19 04:31 PM
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Prices quoted were about $4000 for the 645 with a polished ebony finish. The Kawai was about $4500.

Re: Kawai or Yamaha?
Dkrs60 #2891052 09/16/19 04:37 PM
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That’s too much for a 645 even if it’s polished ebony.


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Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Kawai or Yamaha?
Dkrs60 #2891070 09/16/19 05:19 PM
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+1. You can get a CLP-685 for that kind of money.
For all it’s worth, Winter is coming (new Clavinovas).

Re: Kawai or Yamaha?
Dkrs60 #2891071 09/16/19 05:19 PM
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What do think a fair price would be then? This would be brand new, not used. This is what they cost in the US. I understand that prices may be less in Europe.

Last edited by Dkrs60; 09/16/19 05:20 PM.
Re: Kawai or Yamaha?
Dkrs60 #2891078 09/16/19 05:37 PM
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Hmm, you’re right. That’s weird. I thought things are cheaper in the US than in Europe or at least that’s how it used to be but seems like 645 PE is indeed $4000 on many big US stores. Is this a Yamaha policy for the US? The same PE model is €2569 which converts to $2826. What’s going on?


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Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Kawai or Yamaha?
Pete14 #2891079 09/16/19 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete14
+1. You can get a CLP-685 for that kind of money.
For all it’s worth, Winter is coming (new Clavinovas).


685 - probably not (in the US), but 675 for $4000 is quite possible.
645 - GC sells them for $3500, probably $3000-3200 would be the right price.

Last edited by VladK; 09/16/19 05:42 PM.

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Re: Kawai or Yamaha?
Dkrs60 #2891081 09/16/19 05:41 PM
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The asking price is just the asking price, not the selling price. Don't ever pay the asking price. smile

As I said earlier, I've seen that CLP645 for $2800 at Sam Ash here in NC. If I were buying I'd offer less.
The prices paid thread shows one CS8 sold two years ago in LA for $3000, and another in Canada last year for the equivalent of around $2500.

You might want to look here for more selling-price information:
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/1201029
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwdESI8nPDtaQzhZeUh6UlBRZlk/view

Re: Kawai or Yamaha?
Dkrs60 #2891082 09/16/19 05:42 PM
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I will say it one more time, you can get a CLP-685 for that (4\4.5K) kind of money.
3K max for the CLP-645. Personally, I would not pay more than 2.5K!

Re: Kawai or Yamaha?
Dkrs60 #2891086 09/16/19 05:50 PM
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I think Pete may be correct. His $4000 offer for a CLP685 is aggressive, but not unreasonable.
Anyway ... that one is not on the OP's list.

Re: Kawai or Yamaha?
Dkrs60 #2891126 09/16/19 08:54 PM
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Thank you for the advice. You’ve given me some things to think about!

Re: Kawai or Yamaha?
Dkrs60 #2891133 09/16/19 09:32 PM
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Two years ago I paid $3000 for the 645 Rosewood finish including tax and delivery from the local Yamaha dealer. I think the PE adds about 500 to that.
I have been totally happy with the 645. I like the action. I have no problem switching between the 645, my Boston and a Steinway B I play sometimes.
I would consider how easy it is to get service though. I did have one issue with a key about two months ago, but the dealer came out promptly and fixed it.

Re: Kawai or Yamaha?
Dkrs60 #2891711 09/18/19 02:07 PM
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Kawai sounds more natural to me. Way above Yamaha. Even MP5 sounds better than what Yamaha is offering today:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CmWmQBvkoU

MP5 in this clip sounds like a professionally mixed and mastered instrument recording. Beautiful mids (that do not ring like a bell) and expressive lows and nicely resonating highs are the unique characteristics of MP5 in this clip. At the time MP5 was released (more than a decade ago), all of Yamaha's digital piano weren't even close to MP5.

Sound and touch of Kawai (which I translate it to presnese and expressiveness) are above Yamaha, and MP7SE and MP11SE they both sit beautifully in the mix, better than Yamaha.


Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
Re: Kawai or Yamaha?
Dkrs60 #2892069 09/19/19 03:44 PM
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Here is a comparison:

I haven't done research to see what Yamaha grand Yanni is playing, but here you go:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WECMgGG8dg

Compare this to Kawai MP5 and whatever Yamaha was offering a decade ago... specifically in the mids, and lows Yamaha digital pianos either ring (due to lack of samples) or they lack bass.


Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
Re: Kawai or Yamaha?
Dkrs60 #2893100 09/22/19 02:01 PM
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Thank you, StillNotFamous, for cueing me in to the P-515. I ended up ordering this instead of the 645 for much less money. You saved me a couple of thousand dollars.

Re: Kawai or Yamaha?
Dkrs60 #2893103 09/22/19 02:08 PM
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Great choice! Enjoy your new piano smile


Now learning: Chopin C# minor Nocturne (posth) and C minor Prelude (big chords), Mozart Sonata in C K. 545
Instruments: Yamaha N1X, Kawai ES110, Roland GO:PIANO
Re: Kawai or Yamaha?
Dkrs60 #2893104 09/22/19 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Dkrs60
Thank you, StillNotFamous, for cueing me in to the P-515. I ended up ordering this instead of the 645 for much less money. You saved me a couple of thousand dollars.


Great! I prefer the look of the P-515 too.

Re: Kawai or Yamaha?
Dkrs60 #2893190 09/22/19 06:42 PM
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I think the 645 is a slightly better piano ... but not $1000 better. Others here have had the same idea.
Originally Posted by Dkrs60
Thank you, StillNotFamous, for cueing me in to the P-515. I ended up ordering this instead of the 645 for much less money.


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