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1989 Yamaha C7. Is this a good "vintage" of C7?
#3028732 09/24/20 09:50 PM
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I'm considering buying one that appears to be in excellent condition. Very little wear. Consistent tuning.

Yes, I'm going to hire a professional technician to inspect it first!

But I wanted to ask the forum if there are any known problems with late 80s/early 90s Yamaha C7s. I occasionally read comments on this forum about how Mason & Hamlin pianos are best before 1929 and after 2005, that Estonia pianos are best after 2005, that certain vintages of Steinway grands had problems with their bushings, etc.

So is there anything to worry about with a 1989 Yahama C7?

Thanks for your insights.

Re: 1989 Yamaha C7. Is this a good "vintage" of C7?
Piano90X #3028751 09/24/20 11:19 PM
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I'm no pro, but I don't think I've ever read anything negative, disparaging or problematic about any Yamaha C7, regardless of age or particular model designation. I've only read good things about them.

I have an older model C7, from 1978, and I love it. It is 7'4" instead of 7'6" like the later models that came soon after the 1978 model. Also, the tail curvature of my C7 is a bit eccentric and not symmetric, like the later models. The model designation of my C7 is the "B" model (serial # starts with "B").

I think the next model designation was the "E", which included the changes of being 2" longer in length and the smooth, symmetrical tail curvature.

My C7 has some wear, but is still in excellent, original condition. I play it hard, and often, and it never disappoints! I've played a few newish Steinway Bs and Ds that didn't sound that much better, to my old ears anyway.

I'm sure you will get more info on your enquiry, but I doubt you would be disappointed in the C7. smile

Good luck!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: 1989 Yamaha C7. Is this a good "vintage" of C7?
Piano90X #3028754 09/24/20 11:29 PM
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Thanks for your thoughts, Rick.

For reference it is an "F" model C7, if that makes any difference.

Re: 1989 Yamaha C7. Is this a good "vintage" of C7?
Piano90X #3028759 09/25/20 12:02 AM
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I bought the C7e new in '88 and owned it for 9 years before trading it in on an S6 in '97. Looking back, I probably should have kept the C7. Although I was able to command a higher price when I sold the S6 in 2005 to offset the cost of the Steinway.

The E was a solid piano with excellent tone. As always, the skill of your tech ( and techs that have worked on it during its past lifetime) have a lot to do with how the tonal quality and overall player impression. I had top people in LA servicing the piano during my time of ownership.

Depending on usage, it might need new hammers and strings after 31 years. My S6 needed new hammers when I sold it after only 7 years but I was practicing a lot during that time..

I recall reading an article out there somewhere years ago comparing the E and F models. The reviewer definitely preferred the F model if I remember.

Last edited by Dave Ferris; 09/25/20 12:11 AM.

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Yamaha CP4
Re: 1989 Yamaha C7. Is this a good "vintage" of C7?
Piano90X #3028771 09/25/20 01:43 AM
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I don’t think Yamaha has a specific year model to be avoided. The brands you’ve mentioned had gone through significant business structure and the manufacturing process changes in the recent past, hence some year models have less than optimal design and/or qualities.

If you like the piano in person and it checks out, it should be fine. 1989 isn’t too old (I wouldn’t exactly call it vintage!) as long as it’s in good condition.

Last edited by K8KT; 09/25/20 01:44 AM.
Re: 1989 Yamaha C7. Is this a good "vintage" of C7?
Piano90X #3028953 09/25/20 02:25 PM
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I believe the C7F is one of the shortest-lived variations on the C7 because it did not resonate as well with artists or perhaps dealers. I do not believe it is a criticism of the build quality or reliability at that time. It's 30 years later, so its current condition is what matters.

Also, I would re-adjust your "best era" for Mason & Hamlin. Late 1990's and early 2000's are some of the better ones I've seen and continuing on through the mid-2000's.

All manufacturer's have quirks, some have wilder variations in QC, but Yamaha has been particularly consistent in the build quality of the C7's even during the various model versions. As time passes, it's more difficult to evaluate the musical differences of the different versions. If you like it, then have it checked thoroughly. Many C7's do go to musicians or institutions, meaning on average, they tend to receive more than average wear than the average piano might. We see many that were well made, but are heavily worn and need rebuilding.


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
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Re: 1989 Yamaha C7. Is this a good "vintage" of C7?
Piano90X #3029068 09/25/20 07:55 PM
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Three years ago I bought an early 80's C7 and I love it. The action and hammers would benefit from some work, but not enought to stop me enjoying it. I play classical BTW - Bach, Rachmaninov transcriptions, Mozart at the moment.

I traded from a 1986 Grotrian 186 which I bought new. The Grotrian had a heavy action that I struggled with for too long and by comparison had a muddy sound/tone. It's a difficult decision to move on from what was my dream piano for so long, but it just wasn't pleasant to play. None of my pianist friends liked it much either.

One thing I miss is the build quality of the Grotrian, which is by far superior to the C7. The finish, the wood-work on the Grotrian was beautiful whereas the woodwork on the C7 is a bit rough by comparison, especially under the piano. When I'm playing, I don't think about it. However, for example the 3 pedals on the C7 just don't work as accurately or effectively as the Grotrian.

Overall, no regrets in moving to an older C7.


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