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Help me choose: Yamaha GC2 vs Boston 163
#3027991 09/22/20 07:05 PM
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Our family has only beginner pianists so its hard to assess a piano’s touch or responsiveness but hope to get a grand that we won’t be likely to grow out of as the kids grow.

Yamaha GC2 - seems like a great value for a 5’8” piano and could really tell a difference between this and the GC1. Would we be likley to be limited if one of the kids became advanced and wished we had gotten the CX2 which is quite a bit more expenaive?

Boston 5’4” - at this size it is still a few thousand more expensive than the yamaha. we prefer the classical sound of Boston in general but are afraid the smaller size compared to the yamaha might not be the best tradeoff in sound quality. Unfortunately the store only has on display the 5’10” which was awesome but a vit out of our price range and the 5’1 which was a bit puny in comparison.

Thanks for your help!

Re: Help me choose: Yamaha GC2 vs Boston 163
suncouch #3027994 09/22/20 07:20 PM
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It sounds like you didn’t actually try or see a Boston 163, is that correct?

If you keep after the maintenance, either piano would not be a serious limitation to anyone short of a very advanced/professional level player.


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Re: Help me choose: Yamaha GC2 vs Boston 163
terminaldegree #3027996 09/22/20 07:22 PM
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Thats correct- we were just extrapolating what we might think from the Boston 5’1” and 5’10”.

Re: Help me choose: Yamaha GC2 vs Boston 163
suncouch #3027998 09/22/20 07:28 PM
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Welcome to PW! smile You are looking at two brands of pianos that I like a lot!

Are both of these pianos new instruments?

Re the Yamaha, I have a C2 which I bought used last year (it's 20 y/o), and I absolutely love it. I don't remember the differences between the C-series and the GC-series pianos.... Did you read the info at the Piano Buyer? If not:
https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/yamaha/

And as long as I'm posting links:
https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/boston/

Re the Boston, do you mean that you haven't actually played the 163, only the 178?

When I was piano shopping, I played several different Boston grands (new pianos) and I really loved them. I even liked the 163 (although at this point I can't meaningfully compare it to the 178, or my Yamaha C2 because too much time have passed).

Nevertheless, it's best not to buy a piano that you have never played. What if you played the Boston 163 and decided you preferred the Yamaha GC2? You can't know that without being able to try both.

Having said all of that, I should probably go back to your original question.

I don't think your children will "grow out of" a 5'8" Yamaha.... Would they grow out of a 5'4" Boston? That's a trickier question and one hopefully someone else here can address more meaningfully.


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Re: Help me choose: Yamaha GC2 vs Boston 163
suncouch #3028003 09/22/20 07:31 PM
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Hi Suncouch, welcome to the forum. I'd go with the Yamaha GC2 since price is an issue. The larger size is a huge plus in sound quality (your kids will appreciate that later), and Yamahas are well made. I'm sure it will be fine for your kids for quite some time. I did all my lessons until the end of high school on a Lester Spinet that never got tuned or regulated the entire time, so compared to that, your kids are spoiled.

If they reached more advanced levels later on, you could always get the piano regulated and voiced then. Done properly, that piano should sound even better, and play better, than it does now. A well-maintained GC2 should be fine for all but the most advanced students. I say get it regulated and voiced later because your kids will likely not appreciate the fine tuning yet. I've spend a lot of time regulating and optimizing my grand pianos, and my kids always wonder what the fuss is all about. Mine are in grade school and have taken lessons for a couple years, and the music at that level will play fine on just about any piano that isn't broken.

Good luck!


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Re: Help me choose: Yamaha GC2 vs Boston 163
ShiroKuro #3028006 09/22/20 07:34 PM
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Thanks so much for some good things to thinks about!

Yes both would be new. Unfortunately we dont play so our judgement isnt worth much!

The main thing giving me pause about the Yamaha is if the GC2 as a more value line, would that make a difference in the long run compared to a yamaha cx2 or a Boston even if that meant having to get the 163.

Re: Help me choose: Yamaha GC2 vs Boston 163
suncouch #3028008 09/22/20 07:38 PM
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What are you being quoted on the pianos for a price?
Alternatively, have you considered making an offer on the 178 which you seemed to prefer the tone of, and described as “awesome”?


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Re: Help me choose: Yamaha GC2 vs Boston 163
suncouch #3028009 09/22/20 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by suncouch
Would we be likley to be limited if one of the kids became advanced and wished we had gotten the CX2 which is quite a bit more expenaive?

If the concern is purely "being limited by the piano", I kind of feel like it's more saleman BS than solid facts.
You can buy a small upright and probably not really be limited by the piano for the purposes of practicing and improving their skillset.

If this is purely a financial investment for the kids, I would be more concerned about where the kids' own interests may lie in the future.

Anyways, you're looking at two Japanese made pianos at a similar price point with comparable quality. Just pick the one you like more. If you think you will like a Boston more, try to find one that you can play first before making the decision. If not, well, it's always going to be a bit of a gamble to buy a piano unseen directly from the warehouse.

Re: Help me choose: Yamaha GC2 vs Boston 163
suncouch #3028018 09/22/20 08:05 PM
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The Boston 163 would be about $26k and the yamaha gc2 $22k. Unfortunately the Boston 178 was about $32k so hard to imagine even if we prefer it that we may never truly get that much value from it for such a subjective thing

Re: Help me choose: Yamaha GC2 vs Boston 163
suncouch #3028020 09/22/20 08:12 PM
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Suncouch, just based on those prices, I would say the Yamaha GC2 is a much better value. It's a larger piano, made by a very well-regarded company. I don't think you need to be concerned about it being the GC-series and not the CX-series.

Alternatively, (I don't know your budget) but maybe tell the dealer you're interested in the Boston 178 and what kind of deal could they come up with for you? Maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised, and if not, you can buy the GC2 and go home with a very nice instrument.

I am guessing you don't want to try to buy a used piano?


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Re: Help me choose: Yamaha GC2 vs Boston 163
suncouch #3028021 09/22/20 08:15 PM
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Piano pricing info for each is here:
https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/boston/
https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/yamaha/

You're being offered a moderate, but not stupendous discount on the Yamaha (unless that price includes sales tax and delivery), and almost no discount on the Bostons, just FYI.


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Re: Help me choose: Yamaha GC2 vs Boston 163
terminaldegree #3028026 09/22/20 08:26 PM
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We’d like to buy new since there seems to be no “like new” in the used market around here. Everything seems to be 20-25 years old and doesnt seem like enough discount for the hassle.

Thanks for the feedback on prices. Thise are without tax or delivery. I had read that Bostons dont typically get discounted much so wasn’t sure I’d even try if it would only make a few hundred difference. Worth a try?

And to clarify- the Boston 163 looks discounted at 26k. The 178 was more expensive than list because its a special silver model they had in stock and salesperson indiciated the standard would be a little less.

Last edited by suncouch; 09/22/20 08:30 PM. Reason: More detail
Re: Help me choose: Yamaha GC2 vs Boston 163
suncouch #3028028 09/22/20 08:35 PM
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The thing about Bostons not likely to be discounted is frustrating (I've heard it too)... I don't get it, is it the Steinway connection? I mean, if you and your family liked the Boston sound a lot more, you might as well ask... but which I mean, figure out how much you could pay, and ask if the dealer would sell it to you for that price (with in reason of course). If the discount is only a few hundred dollars, than it's still over your budget right?

Where in the country are you? can you take a little day trip to visit a different dealership?

Anyway, if you do decide to go with the Yamaha GC2, see if the dealer will include sales tax and delivery in the price?

Getting back to your original question, as I and others have said, the GC2 will be more than suitable for your children and will not hold them back in terms of their development/learning.

And, the resale value on the Yamaha GC2 will probably be higher than on the Boston should you find yourself wanting to sell the piano or upgrade.


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Re: Help me choose: Yamaha GC2 vs Boston 163
suncouch #3028033 09/22/20 09:08 PM
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$22k is a healthy budget for a piano for the kids. You could spend a little more than 1/2 that and get a decent used Yamaha C3 or Kawai RX3, get it well-regulated and voiced, and still have money left over. But, that would take some time and some looking around. If you're not sure if your kids will stick with piano but you don't want the hassle of buying used, a nice upright or a smaller Chinese-made grand could be just fine and save you thousands of bucks. For reference, my first acoustic purchase was a new 5'0" Kawai GL10 for less than $8k, and my kids would have been fine practicing on that until they graduate high school.

I think you could get a fine new piano for your kids' lessons for half of what you're budgeting.

Last edited by Emery Wang; 09/22/20 09:09 PM.

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Re: Help me choose: Yamaha GC2 vs Boston 163
suncouch #3028034 09/22/20 09:11 PM
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Why not try a "take it or leave it" 20% discount from the tag price on the 178, and see what happens?
You might be surprised...despite occasional stories to the contrary, the most "action" in the piano industry seems to be in used, entry-level, and digital pianos at this time. There might be more pricing flexibility in new midrange inventory than you think.


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Re: Help me choose: Yamaha GC2 vs Boston 163
suncouch #3028035 09/22/20 09:14 PM
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You don't mention what kind of piano you currently have. What do you find lacking about it? Have you and/or your kids had a chance to play a wide variety of brands and models?

Many dealers will let you rent a piano and apply the rent to a purchase if you decide to buy. You could also drive farther to a different dealer, generally you'll get a better deal in a larger metro area where there's more competition and sales volume. You could also look online, I know the dealer I bought from does a large part of their business selling online, I just happen to live close. I would lean in the direction of waiting until you have enough experience to be sure you're picking a piano you really like for the long haul, even if it means living with what you have for awhile. Since the kids are just beginning, time is on your side.


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Re: Help me choose: Yamaha GC2 vs Boston 163
suncouch #3028044 09/22/20 09:50 PM
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Have you tried Kawai? It has a mellower tone than Yamaha and slightly less expensive for the comparable models of Yamaha. Their GL30 (5’5”) and GL40(5’11”) are worth considering if you are looking into Yamaha GC2. I too agree that a longer grand has fuller sound while cx2 may be an overkill if it’s only for the young learners. You can always trade in for an upgrade in the future if needed.

Re: Help me choose: Yamaha GC2 vs Boston 163
suncouch #3028070 09/23/20 01:47 AM
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The GC2 is an excellent choice. It’s more like the previous C2 but very close in scale and design to the C2X.


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Re: Help me choose: Yamaha GC2 vs Boston 163
suncouch #3028149 09/23/20 09:30 AM
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Also, it just might be worthwhile to check out a new Kawai in the 5’8” size and price range. The sound is different from Yamaha and Boston. In fact, the Boston pianos are made by Kawai so it would give the OP another option.

I played a new GC2 and found it very satisfying. I have not recently played any Boston’s.

Best Wishes on finding your piano.

Last edited by j&j; 09/23/20 09:31 AM.

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Re: Help me choose: Yamaha GC2 vs Boston 163
j&j #3028338 09/23/20 06:32 PM
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Thanks everyone for so many viewpoints! What a helpful group. Ive reached out to see if the Boston price is negotiable. Perhaps that will get us closer to a decision. Will update!

Thanks!

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