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Yamaha C1 vs G1
#3011858 08/09/20 10:24 AM
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Hi! We are looking to buy a baby grand around 5'3", most likely pre-owned since we want to stay under 10K. We played on a Yamaha C1 2003 (private sale) and G1 1980s (dealer) and really liked both but there is a $5000 different in price and the G1 is much older. Both barely played like new condition. Will the G1 need a lot of work sooner than the C1 because of the age of the piano? Any comparable pianos you would suggest trying out before making this decision? We did play on a couple Boston and Kawai but preferred these two Yamahas. Young children are taking piano lessons but adults in the house also play. Thanks!

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Re: Yamaha C1 vs G1
lj3 #3011862 08/09/20 10:39 AM
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Hello, and welcome to Piano World!

I too am a fan of Yamaha acoustic pianos.

As for the differences between the C series and the G series, I'm no authority, but have come across bits and pieces of info over the years while researching various pianos. From the info I've come across, the biggest difference, in my view, is that the cast iron plate on the C series is a bit heavier and more robust that the G series.

Hence, the G series is more suited for residential/home use, whereas the C series in more robust and somewhat heavier duty, and more suited for institutional use, as well as home use.

I'm sure there are more subtle differences, and maybe the pros will chime in with their input.

Quite honestly, I would not be afraid to buy either piano, depending on the overall condition of the individual piano. As far as whether the G1 will need more work sooner than the C1, due to the age difference, it depends entirely on the the condition to start with. Typically, Yamaha acoustic pianos are tough and durable, as well as being very nice sounding/playing instruments.

I would suggest having a qualified piano tech not affiliated with the dealer, or private seller, to evaluate the piano you decide to go with.

Good luck, and keep us informed of your decision!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Yamaha C1 vs G1
lj3 #3011867 08/09/20 10:56 AM
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Despite the good condition of the older piano, I would still recommend buying the newer piano. It is likely that the older piano might need more work. Wait, have you had both pianos examined by an independent tech? I think that's your first step, again for both pianos.

In any case, I still would recommend the 2003 C-series, how much wiggle room do you have in your budget? Since it's a private seller, perhaps you can negotiate a lower price? Having said that, I have the impression that pianos of that size sell fairly quickly because they work for people with size restrictions. That depends on the region though as well.

BTW last summer I bought a Yamaha C2 that was built in 2000, so very similar age to the C1 you're looking at. I absolutely love it! If you like the Yamaha and it's for sale now, there's not a strong reason to hold out/wait while you try other brands. Esp. if you think the piano you plan to buy will see quickly.

Best of luck and keep us posted about what you decide to do!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Yamaha C1 vs G1
lj3 #3011869 08/09/20 11:02 AM
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Get an independent tech inspection of the piano you're leaning toward more, prior to purchase. When you really start digging around and looking at things under the hood, a realistic combination of "barely used" and "like new condition" is technically unlikely with pianos that are used and 17-40 years old. Since your budget for a grand piano is on the low side, the tech inspection is especially important since you don't have additional funds to repair or replace many things if problems are found after purchase and delivery.


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Re: Yamaha C1 vs G1
lj3 #3011871 08/09/20 11:14 AM
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Go with the C-1. It's a better deal and a better and newer piano.


Professional Piano Technician serving the Tampa bay area. website: mckaigpianoservice.com
Re: Yamaha C1 vs G1
Bill McKaig,RPT #3011889 08/09/20 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill McKaig,RPT
Go with the C-1. It's a better deal and a better and newer piano.
Depending on condition of course.
Do not feel too tied to Yamaha, those other two pianos are also good brands.Take your time you may find a good used American or European brand piano as well.The more pianos you try, the more you will learn about tone and response.

Last edited by Lady Bird; 08/09/20 12:15 PM. Reason: spelling
Re: Yamaha C1 vs G1
lj3 #3011939 08/09/20 02:07 PM
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The C1 was an evolution of the G1. And the G1 itself had several evolutions as it progressed. Late in the run an extra plate crossbrace was added to the G1 that is still on the C1 and C1x. So you might notice slight differences between your G1 and the C1. But basically they are the 'same'. The actions are the same (after late 1970's). Look at the wound strings. Older pianos can become quite tarnished which can deaden the bass. And any hammers that have been 'reshaped' are candidates for complete replacement.

I personally would prefer a G1 that was lightly used in home over a C1 that was heavily played or moved man times. Condition matters more than age in my book.


-Bill L.
Re: Yamaha C1 vs G1
lj3 #3012102 08/09/20 10:18 PM
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Thank you for all of your comments! It is very helpful. I have a tech checking out the pianos this week.

Re: Yamaha C1 vs G1
lj3 #3012224 08/10/20 10:10 AM
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I’m late to the party as usual. Off hand, I’d give more Twinkies (Bill Stephen’s rating system from Mecum Auctions) to the C1 because it’s newer. Private sales are indeed usually less expensive than dealers BUT buying from a private seller you are completely on your own regarding purchasing and delivery. Plus it is unlikely that the private seller has had the piano tuned and prepped to sell. Best Wishes on your piano adventure.


J & J
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Re: Yamaha C1 vs G1
lj3 #3012230 08/10/20 10:15 AM
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The GC2 is a good price, provided you actually like the piano. I don't really see many of them out in the field, so I can't comment on how they are after some use, comparatively. If the piano required more than a little regulation or voicing touch up, it's doubtful it's from a low-use, private home situation.

Is there some reason you're only considering used pianos from one brand?


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Re: Yamaha C1 vs G1
lj3 #3012232 08/10/20 10:24 AM
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I have been trying other brands as well but keep coming back to the Yamaha C1 I played on as my favorite at my price point so far....

Re: Yamaha C1 vs G1
lj3 #3012235 08/10/20 10:31 AM
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It looks like the most important things have been highlighted - love this forum! Provided that both instruments pass the required tech's assessment with flying colours (and they should, if both were barely played and stored decently, as implied by OP), the ultimate price difference is something to be considered (due to moving/tuning; you can also use the fact that private sales don't come with a warranty when dealer's do - usually for 5 years, to negotiate with the private seller). Other factors to help decide may include: OP's and their children's preference in the piano's sound & action. Resale value is another factor, should one of the children or adults advance and require a bigger and/or better piano. I am not an expert, but I wonder what people think - is C1 worth the extra $5K now from a resale perspective? Finally, if possible, I'd recommend that you choose a tech that you want to keep working with (to care for your piano), so to best align interests. Good luck - how exciting for the whole family! I love the fact that the piano will be played by all of the family.


Public servant by day, pianist and choir conductor by night
Yamaha C2X (2020) and Yamaha P120 (2019)
Re: Yamaha C1 vs G1
lj3 #3012237 08/10/20 10:34 AM
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Hello everyone! I'd like to add a GC2 to the conversation --- 2011 picked up by a dealer from the original owner so they did some work on it but it was still like new. How would you compare the Yamaha GC2 (2011) vs C1 (2003) and where can I find out what a reasonable fair price is for either of these? Still need a tech to check them out to confirm but waiting to try a couple more pianos including some Kawai today.

Re: Yamaha C1 vs G1
lj3 #3012280 08/10/20 01:00 PM
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Re: Yamaha C1 vs G1
lj3 #3012580 08/11/20 09:49 AM
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I copied this description from Yamaha explaining the new GC2. “ The beautiful new GC2 combines the duplex scaling and rich tonal character of the coveted C2 grand with cost-saving advantages in materials and production to create an instrument that's both exceptionally expressive and uncommonly affordable.”

So the GC2 is a bit bigger than the C1 which is good but they do use “cost saving advantages in materials and production” which IMHO is not as good. Depending on your taste, playing experience, and ears a GC2 could be a nice option. In all the cases you’ve mentioned, you’re looking at used not new, so condition is everything. Plus, you’re going to try Kawai’s which are a somewhat different breed. Take your time and you’ll figure out what you want.

I did try both a GC2 and a C1 in the showroom in 2012. I bought a heavily discounted C3 at that time. I did prefer the C1 to the GC2 if I remember correctly.


J & J
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Re: Yamaha C1 vs G1
j&j #3012587 08/11/20 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by j&j
I copied this description from Yamaha explaining the new GC2. “ The beautiful new GC2 combines the duplex scaling and rich tonal character of the coveted C2 grand with cost-saving advantages in materials and production to create an instrument that's both exceptionally expressive and uncommonly affordable.”

So the GC2 is a bit bigger than the C1 which is good but they do use “cost saving advantages in materials and production” which IMHO is not as good. Depending on your taste, playing experience, and ears a GC2 could be a nice option. In all the cases you’ve mentioned, you’re looking at used not new, so condition is everything. Plus, you’re going to try Kawai’s which are a somewhat different breed. Take your time and you’ll figure out what you want.

I did try both a GC2 and a C1 in the showroom in 2012. I bought a heavily discounted C3 at that time. I did prefer the C1 to the GC2 if I remember correctly.

I agree with you re: the “cost saving advantages in materials and production”, j&j. In my view, the materials and production is what makes for a very nice acoustic piano.

I wonder if the GC2 is built in Indonesia or Japan? If Indonesia, that's probably one of the cost saving materials/production.

I remember years ago, another member of PW contacted me and said they had a friend in Macon Ga, a medical Dr., who had a practically new Yamaha C1 for sale for $6K. At the time, I just didn't need or want another piano, although the deal was very tempting. The family who bought the C1 used the same piano mover that I use, and in a conversation with the piano mover, he said the Yamaha C1 did indeed look brand new, and still had the dealer tag attached to the piano.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Yamaha C1 vs G1
lj3 #3012597 08/11/20 10:47 AM
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It's really interesting to consider a comparison between a GC2 and a C1... Because I would have thought that the extra size of the GC2 would give it a boost over the C1 in terms of sound quality....

I guess I sort of assumed that the differences between the G-series (or GC?) and the C-series, especially this close in size, would be observed not so much in sound quality in the moment, but in tuning stability and general stability/reliability over time. But perhaps not.

IIRC during my grand piano search, I didn't play any GC-series pianos. I did play a G1 (that was maybe 40 years old??) and another iteration of G1 (I don't remember exactly).

Anyway, the point is, the G-series 5'3" Yamaha grands that I played were all a good bit older than the C2 I ended up buying, so it's probably not a good comparison, and it's hard to know whether it was the extra 5 inches, the build quality, or age/condition, that caused the differences I heard.

Also, IIRC I played a brand new GB1K (that one is only 5') and it was definitely under-whelming. In the same dealership, I played an older Yamaha C3 and within a few days of that visit, I played the C2 I bought. So yes, that 5' Yamaha was definitely not impressive, but you would expect that when comparing a 5' piano to a 5'8" or 6'1" piano, so it's hard for me to figure out how relevant it is that that new Yamaha was the GC line as opposed to C-series... (And I recall that I liked my 20 y/o C2 much better than the almost 40 y/o C3, so...)

Too many variables!!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Yamaha C1 vs G1
lj3 #3012608 08/11/20 11:03 AM
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Our friend Rich Galassini can correct me if I’m wrong but I think the GC2 Is made in Japan as is the entire C series. For whatever that’s worth in the decision.

It seems that some very nice pianos are made in locations other than Japan, the US, and Germany. That topic alone can be bring pages and pages of debate among forum members smile


J & J
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Casio Privia PX-330
Life is too short to not have a great piano.
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Re: Yamaha C1 vs G1
lj3 #3012664 08/11/20 01:03 PM
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The GC series uses lower grade casing materials. The key bed is a plywood/composite whereas the G and C are solid lumber. The rims are less sturdy and the structural posts are thinner..

This might not affect real world use.

Also. if it matters, the GC has a bass sustain instead of full sustenuto.

I think there may be some youtube videos out there showing some of the differences.


-Bill L.

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