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Get a new Kawai GX-2 ?
#2998807 07/04/20 07:48 PM
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My wife is a piano player and my 14-year old daughter as been taking piano lessons since about the 1st grade and is getting quite advanced with the types of piano pieces that she is playing. (I, on the other hand, have no musical skills and have never played the piano or any other musical instrument - which is why I'm asking for advice here.). We have had a Kawai GM-10 baby grand for about the last 10 years, and I'm wondering if my daughter is outgrowing it and whether we should be considering getting a new piano.

The piano I'm thinking of right now which from the advertising literature seems to be a significant step up in terms of technology, build quality, etc., is the Kawai GX-2. Certainly, the price is a significant step up from our old Kawai GM-10 so I'm thinking (perhaps naively) that it must be a significant step up in performance. Questions running through my mind are "Would a new GX-2 offer considerable better 'key action' when playing fast melodies than a GM-10?" and "Would a new GX-2 offer noticeably better sound?".

Certainly, we will have to make a trip to the local piano store (we bought our GM-10 at DC Piano in Berkeley) so my wife and daughter can try out a GX-2 and other pianos before coming to any final decision, but I would appreciate some thoughts on how a GX-2 (or maybe other new pianos in that price range) compares with a GM-10 so I can get some bearings on how significant of a step-up something like a GX-2 would be from a GM-10. Thanks.

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Re: Get a new Kawai GX-2 ?
Sammy111 #2998850 07/04/20 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Sammy111
Questions running through my mind are "Would a new GX-2 offer considerable better 'key action' when playing fast melodies than a GM-10?" and "Would a new GX-2 offer noticeably better sound?".......

..... I would appreciate some thoughts on how a GX-2 (or maybe other new pianos in that price range) compares with a GM-10 so I can get some bearings on how significant of a step-up something like a GX-2 would be from a GM-10. Thanks.

Welcome Sammy!

I can’t speak specifically to the difference in ‘key action’, but generally speaking - Going from a 5’ baby Grand, to a 6’ Grand - You’re going to upgrade in sound quality. More tones & better balance. The longer the Grand, the better sound You can expect to have.

Aside from playing different models & brands, I’d encourage You to get as Big as a Grand, as You can fit, & would be willing to pay for

~Lucubrate


Bösendorfer 280VC
Steingraeber 130

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.“ ~Epictetus
Re: Get a new Kawai GX-2 ?
Lucubrate #2998868 07/05/20 12:07 AM
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Lucubrate-
OK, thanks for the info. So it's really the sound more than anything else that we're paying for if we upgrade to something like a GX-2. Will visit the piano store and see if the improvement in sound quality is enough to justify the trouble and expense of making an upgrade.

Re: Get a new Kawai GX-2 ?
Sammy111 #2998954 07/05/20 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Sammy111
Questions running through my mind are "Would a new GX-2 offer considerable better 'key action' when playing fast melodies than a GM-10?"
Yes, the GX uses a newer style action called Millenium 3, and the keys are a bit longer than the GM-10. So there would be an improvement in repetition speed and control. The touch will also feel different.

Quote
"Would a new GX-2 offer noticeably better sound?".
Yes, for a number of reasons, not the least of which it's a longer piano.

Given the experience level of your family, I would not limit your search to Kawai products. Have them try every brand that's accessible and see what they like best.


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Re: Get a new Kawai GX-2 ?
Sammy111 #2998962 07/05/20 09:07 AM
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The bigger the piano especially the sound quality of bass notes will improve.
The keys will be longer and provide more control on soft passages.
Generally the build quality of a larger grand will be better than an entry level baby grand.

Do not restrict your options to Kawai. Play many different brand pianos that are within your budget.
Also play pianos that have much higher price tags than your budget just to compare.

Re: Get a new Kawai GX-2 ?
Sammy111 #2998975 07/05/20 10:00 AM
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Hi Sammy - what you should get depends upon what your daughter and wife love to play and practice on, what your budget is, how big a piano will fit, and what’s for sale in your area. What do you plan to do with your GM-10? Most piano dealers offer trade in options and offer the most for their own brand piano. Assuming we’re talking the same Kawai dealership would probably let you trade in your GM10 and put the money towards the purchase price of the GX2. Unfortunately that is also the most expensive route. With trade ins, there’s less negotiating room on the price of buying the GX2.

You can buy a new piano of whatever brand your daughter and wife both love and sell then GM10 on your own. That way your daughter always has a piano to use while you’re selling the older one. The main problem with that is you have to make room for two grand pianos. Or you can sell the old piano first then shop for a new one but there is some lag time between and would mean the mother and daughter piano team would have to practice on something else. I do like the idea of a mother/daughter piano team out shopping for pianos.

I would recommend you read Larry Fine’s Piano Buyer - you can find it online, and let your daughter and wife try as many different pianos as they can. There is a whole world of used pianos to look at. Before deciding on any used piano, have it inspected by an independent piano technician. You can certainly use the same person who maintains your present piano.

Best Wishes on your family’s musical journey.

Last edited by j&j; 07/05/20 10:01 AM.

J & J
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Re: Get a new Kawai GX-2 ?
Sammy111 #2999000 07/05/20 11:18 AM
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Sammy, Yes there will be a substantial improvement in both the action and the sound. I have seen young pianists get really inspired by getting a larger piano!

The GM-10 did not have the current Kawai action, and the keyboard had very short keys - definitely compromised in terms of action sensitivity and control compared to the bigger models.

The GX2 will have the new action, plus much longer keys that will enable your daughter to learn much to control the sound much better.

Tonally, the tone of the longer piano is much more balanced from bass to treble, with a deeper sound in the low areas.

As others have mentioned, longer is always better - so try not to restrict things to just the 5'11" size.

Another suggestion: involve your daughter in the choice if at all possible! Let her go along, spend some time playing different pianos, and see if she expresses a preference. She may go straight to a concert grand . . . so you'll have to let her know the realities of the budget. But you might be surprised how sensitive she is to the sound of different pianos.


Don Mannino, MPA
Kawai America
Re: Get a new Kawai GX-2 ?
Sammy111 #2999200 07/05/20 06:19 PM
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Thanks everyone for all of the advice and tips. Appreciate the information on the GX-2 having longer keys and newer action than our current piano which may help with repetition speed and control. Also appreciate the input that a bigger piano of the GX-2 class and above should have significantly better tonal quality. I guess the main take-away is that upgrading to a new piano involves a lot of subjective judgement about how a new piano sounds and feels. So as opposed to our piano buying experience of 10 years ago in which just my wife's opinion was important, we'll now also be taking our (very opinionated) 14-year old daughter to the piano store to get her input. Thanks again.


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