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Muffled sounding Yamaha C2X
#3002714 07/15/20 01:45 AM
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So, I think I am getting close to purchasing a new Yamaha C2X... It's a floor model that's on post-COVID-19 sale, with excellent action (as dependable as Yamaha comes).

The sound, well, it is probably the best I can affort and much better than my current C108 (but nothing compared to Bosendorfer, or even larger Yamahas... maybe next time!).

That said, the first time I tried it, it had a bit of a muffled sound, as if I was playing in an echo-y hall. I needed significantly less sustain pedal than usual. I'd go crazy, practicing on such a piano, with all the sounds ringing! It was as if all of the felts were just slightly malfunctioning...

The second time I tried it, the dealer had moved it away from the large glass windows. The echoy aspect had improved, but the sound seemed still somewhat muffled. (But to be fair, I wasn't feeling great that day, and can't remember a lot of details.)

I will be trying it for the third time later this week. The dealer has contracted one of the best technicianas in my town to concert-prep the piano and it will be in the recital room. If these can't fix it, I am not sure what could...

So, my question to you is: Are there other reasons than the room/windows why a new Yamaha would sound echo-y, other than the room? I am concerned, as a pianist acquaintance of mine bought a new Kawai which seems to have similar ringing sound problem and can't get the sound to become clean despite trying all kinds of tricks in her living room...

Thanks!


Public servant by day, pianist and choir conductor by night
Yamaha upright piano C108 (1988) and Yamaha digital piano P120 (2019)
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Re: Muffled sounding Yamaha C2X
Soojin #3002748 07/15/20 05:45 AM
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If you play a different piano in the same dealers room and location does it have the same problem?

Re: Muffled sounding Yamaha C2X
Soojin #3002881 07/15/20 09:24 AM
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It sounds like your dealer is going to great lengths to make this a piano you'll want. If it doesn't sound good with concert prep in their recital hall then there's a problem. As for it being muffled sounding that doesn't sound like the typical Yamaha. Being close to a window would reflect more high frequency sound back to you. That could make it sound more echo-y but the reflections would be too quick to really sound like an echo, but the window would tend to make the piano sound brighter not muffled.

You asked, "Are there other reasons than the room/windows why a new Yamaha would sound echo-y, other than the room?" The answer is no. Reverberation is produced by the environment. If the piano sounds muffled that's because of voicing and can be adjusted. Usually Yamaha's are voiced to have an incisive sound, with a fairly sharp attack and relatively brilliant sound. However, they can be voiced down or voiced up. If your C108 is more than a few years old and has been played hard you may be used to a very bright sound. I might suggest listening to some soft piano music before you play the C2X to acclimate your ear to something softer.

Re: Muffled sounding Yamaha C2X
Steve Chandler #3002905 07/15/20 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Chandler
It sounds like your dealer is going to great lengths to make this a piano you'll want. If it doesn't sound good with concert prep in their recital hall then there's a problem. As for it being muffled sounding that doesn't sound like the typical Yamaha. Being close to a window would reflect more high frequency sound back to you. That could make it sound more echo-y but the reflections would be too quick to really sound like an echo, but the window would tend to make the piano sound brighter not muffled.

You asked, "Are there other reasons than the room/windows why a new Yamaha would sound echo-y, other than the room?" The answer is no. Reverberation is produced by the environment. If the piano sounds muffled that's because of voicing and can be adjusted. Usually Yamaha's are voiced to have an incisive sound, with a fairly sharp attack and relatively brilliant sound. However, they can be voiced down or voiced up. If your C108 is more than a few years old and has been played hard you may be used to a very bright sound. I might suggest listening to some soft piano music before you play the C2X to acclimate your ear to something softer.

+1 thumb

The only other thing is my C3 had really great sustain. Also, when it was first delivered the dampers on two keys were a bit sticky. It did make it sound a bit more “echoing” than my previous piano but my technician fixed the sticking dampers. Best Wishes. A new C2X is quite exciting.


J & J
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Re: Muffled sounding Yamaha C2X
Soojin #3002916 07/15/20 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Chandler
It sounds like your dealer is going to great lengths to make this a piano you'll want. If it doesn't sound good with concert prep in their recital hall then there's a problem. As for it being muffled sounding that doesn't sound like the typical Yamaha. Being close to a window would reflect more high frequency sound back to you. That could make it sound more echo-y but the reflections would be too quick to really sound like an echo, but the window would tend to make the piano sound brighter not muffled.

You asked, "Are there other reasons than the room/windows why a new Yamaha would sound echo-y, other than the room?" The answer is no. Reverberation is produced by the environment. If the piano sounds muffled that's because of voicing and can be adjusted. Usually Yamaha's are voiced to have an incisive sound, with a fairly sharp attack and relatively brilliant sound. However, they can be voiced down or voiced up. If your C108 is more than a few years old and has been played hard you may be used to a very bright sound. I might suggest listening to some soft piano music before you play the C2X to acclimate your ear to something softer.

+2 thumb

Typically, all brand new pianos may sound muffled/mellow due to the softer hammers. I've never owned a brand new piano, but have played quite a few. The hammers always get harder and the tone brighter over time, however.

Good luck!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Muffled sounding Yamaha C2X
Soojin #3002917 07/15/20 10:13 AM
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If the C2X seems muffled to you, and not to your liking, find the best C2 you can, without the “x”. It will be much cheaper to buy.


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Re: Muffled sounding Yamaha C2X
Soojin #3003354 07/16/20 01:20 PM
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Thank you so much, everyone. When I go tomorrow, I will check for dampers, manage my ears' expectations that are used to a 30-year old C-108 (yes, piercingly bright!), understand that this C2X may have great sustain (and how I dis/like that), and understand that newer pianos have softer hammers (duh! - thanks for pointing that out, Rick). It's so exciting and nerve-wracking to be shopping for a piano. Will report back.


Public servant by day, pianist and choir conductor by night
Yamaha upright piano C108 (1988) and Yamaha digital piano P120 (2019)
Re: Muffled sounding Yamaha C2X
Soojin #3003427 07/16/20 05:16 PM
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I have played 1 brand new and a few 10-15 years old c2x and c2 at different dealers. I didn’t notice any muffled tone, although they sounded fuller and richer than much older mid size Yamaha grands. New pianos with new hammers sound muffled even typically clear toned Yamaha.
I have a feeling that the particular c2x just needs to be played. Also, a piano technician could voice it to hasten the process of compacting the hammer felt without the use of chemicals. Just to make sure, you could try a few newer used c2 for comparison in tone.

Re: Muffled sounding Yamaha C2X
Soojin #3003799 07/17/20 09:46 PM
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So.......I paid my deposit!!!!! I can't believe it, but I bought my first (and probably forever) grand piano!!!

Thank you everyone. All your advice was incredibly valuable. My ears were way too used to the old C-108, and once I acknolwdged that, I was able to listen to the C2X differently. I still loved its perfect action (oh, the trills!), its middle and bass sound and character (not bad at all for a C2!), but the higher notes I think will just need to be played a bit more to be able to bring out those melodies. I don't know if I was dreaming, but I felt some notes had cleared up just a bit while I was playing it today (I have banged on it probably for a total of 2 hours or so, over my three visits in the past few weeks... smile.

That said, I still preferred the brighter yet richer sound of CFX to the C2X, as played them next to each other in the recital room... sigh. The CFX was on hardwood floor while C2X was on carpet, though, and mine will also be on hardwood floor once in my house. That CFX is so strong and delicate, it melts my heart...

As a last favour, the dealer will let me try their next C2X (Ottawa market is relatively small, so they only get a new one after they have a guarantee that one will be sold, I guess), and let me choose between the two. A bonus for me, as I will be able to ensure, as K8KT proposed, that the muffled sound is not specific to this piano.

And very conveniently, the dealer let me know that Yamaha (Canada?) is offering an extra $1000 rebate starting in August, so that made the deal easy to seal, especially as they had already lowered the price quite a bit (at least by Ottawa standard, to the point of approximating the Montreal pricing; final price is CDN $28,200 + taxes).

:)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) Jumping up and down with a huge smile all night!


Public servant by day, pianist and choir conductor by night
Yamaha upright piano C108 (1988) and Yamaha digital piano P120 (2019)
Re: Muffled sounding Yamaha C2X
Soojin #3003805 07/17/20 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Soojin
So.......I paid my deposit!!!!! I can't believe it, but I bought my first (and probably forever) grand piano!!!
:)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) Jumping up and down with a huge smile all night!

Congratulations!!

Post some pics after it arrives


~Lucubrate


Bösendorfer 280VC
Steingraeber 130

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.“ ~Epictetus
Re: Muffled sounding Yamaha C2X
Soojin #3003907 07/18/20 10:00 AM
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Congratulations on your new C2X! Yay!!!! I’m still smiling at comparing the C2X to a CFX in the recital hall. That’s shooting for the moon. But it does give you an idea of what Yamaha is striving for in all their pianos. How exciting! Please post pics after delivery.


J & J
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Re: Muffled sounding Yamaha C2X
Soojin #3003919 07/18/20 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Soojin
As a last favour, the dealer will let me try their next C2X (Ottawa market is relatively small, so they only get a new one after they have a guarantee that one will be sold, I guess), and let me choose between the two. A bonus for me, as I will be able to ensure, as K8KT proposed, that the muffled sound is not specific to this piano.

This is a really nice gesture by your dealer, and it's pretty unusual.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
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Re: Muffled sounding Yamaha C2X
terminaldegree #3003973 07/18/20 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by Soojin
As a last favour, the dealer will let me try their next C2X (Ottawa market is relatively small, so they only get a new one after they have a guarantee that one will be sold, I guess), and let me choose between the two. A bonus for me, as I will be able to ensure, as K8KT proposed, that the muffled sound is not specific to this piano.

This is a really nice gesture by your dealer, and it's pretty unusual.

Thanks for that context, Terminaldegree. I will make sure to thank them again and provide good references in the community in the future. They are Ottawa's Yamaha dealer, very knowledgeable and accommodating, and not pushy at all.


Public servant by day, pianist and choir conductor by night
Yamaha upright piano C108 (1988) and Yamaha digital piano P120 (2019)
Re: Muffled sounding Yamaha C2X
Soojin #3003976 07/18/20 01:52 PM
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Dear Soojin,

Happy New Piano! You will be thrilled!


Rich Galassini
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Re: Muffled sounding Yamaha C2X
Soojin #3003977 07/18/20 01:54 PM
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That's awesome, Soojin. I'm so sorry the border is closed as we typically celebrate our anniversary in Ottawa, otherwise I'd invite myself over to try it!


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Re: Muffled sounding Yamaha C2X
terminaldegree #3003985 07/18/20 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
That's awesome, Soojin. I'm so sorry the border is closed as we typically celebrate our anniversary in Ottawa, otherwise I'd invite myself over to try it!

terminaldegree, there is a standing invitation for you and yours to come over and play and talk piano at my place anytime! (No wonder you knew all about the Rideau canal skating, et al, despite your location as Georgia, USA.)


Public servant by day, pianist and choir conductor by night
Yamaha upright piano C108 (1988) and Yamaha digital piano P120 (2019)
Re: Muffled sounding Yamaha C2X
Soojin #3003991 07/18/20 02:33 PM
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Eh, if I want to stay married, I should probably not spend most of that annual trip, talking pianos!
Getting to spend a night or two at that "little" hotel next to the canal on Rideau Street, bike the trails over to Dow's lake, walk and eat my way through the Byward Market, and wandering through the National Gallery (or whichever one we want to enjoy for free on a Thursday afternoon) are a huge part of every summer. I'm really missing it in these pandemic times...


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Re: Muffled sounding Yamaha C2X
terminaldegree #3003995 07/18/20 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Eh, if I want to stay married, I should probably not spend most of that annual trip, talking pianos!
Getting to spend a night or two at that "little" hotel next to the canal on Rideau Street, bike the trails over to Dow's lake, walk and eat my way through the Byward Market, and wandering through the National Gallery (or whichever one we want to enjoy for free on a Thursday afternoon) are a huge part of every summer. I'm really missing it in these pandemic times...

Here's a modified offer to take that important aspect - marriage - into account: We are just 5km west of that little hotel, on Island Park Drive, i.e., just a short, beautiful riverside bike ride away, where the real hot restaurants are popping up (by Ottawa standard). Rendez-vous next summer for a short piano session for you and mingling with the locals for yours! (Just to make you really jealous and make sure you return next summer, I spent Canada Day on that hotel's "terasse" bar/resto, overlooking the canal and Parliament ;-). Please send an email, as I may not be on this forum as frequently by then.


Public servant by day, pianist and choir conductor by night
Yamaha upright piano C108 (1988) and Yamaha digital piano P120 (2019)
Re: Muffled sounding Yamaha C2X
Soojin #3003998 07/18/20 02:56 PM
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Congrats on your exciting purchase! I bought my brand new G2 at that same dealer near Billings Bridge and have nothing but good words for them, very professional and accommodating before and after the sale. In fact I still use the tuner/technician they were using at the time to this very day.

Many years of piano enjoyment are ahead of you smile

Re: Muffled sounding Yamaha C2X
Soojin #3004011 07/18/20 03:44 PM
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Woohoo, congratulations on your new piano, soojin!!!

I just remembered that years ago when my mom bought a G2 from a dealer, my aunt who is a piano teacher tried 3 different G2 (all brand new) and picked out the one with the most balanced tone. I don’t remember the details but to them the sound difference was quite prominent so it’s great that the you’ll have an opportunity to choose the one you like better!

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