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Grand Piano Recommendation in a small apartment
#3048217 Yesterday at 09:40 AM
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Hi,

Would like to get your views and recommendations for a grand piano in my small apartment, preferably below 7ft with budget constraints.

Have short-listed these:

- Yamaha C3X - dealer offers a reasonable discount on a 2-year old showroom unit, which edges closer to a new Kawai GX2. Doesn’t sound too bright as a typical Yamaha, but I do notice a bit of “yellowish” keys, which dealer said it’s normal.

- Kawai GX2, brand new but likely need to wait for at least 2 month shipment. Will need to be back to dealer to carefully test the GX2 to see how well it pit against C3X. The correct comparison will be GX3 but given the C3X discount and budget constraints, a new GX2 will probably be my max. I have also seen some mixed reviews in this forum about GX2. So just wanted hear more from those who owned or experienced this model.

- Kawai GX1, also brand new and have to wait for shipment. Have tried the GL20 but felt GX1 sound better with more quality neotex keys. Need to weigh if GX2 will be a more substantial upgrade in terms of sound quality.

Grateful for any expert comments or recommendations. Thanks very much!

Last edited by Dick Tracy; Yesterday at 09:45 AM.

Dick
Re: Grand Piano Recommendation in a small apartment
Dick Tracy #3048224 Yesterday at 10:22 AM
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Welcome to PW, DickTracy! I will start by giving you the third degree! grin

So, are you committed to buying new?
Is there a reason you're only looking at Yamaha and Kawai so far?
How big is the room where the piano will go?
What are you playing now?
Where are you located? (If US, what region?)

Ok, having said (asked) all that... Yamaha and Kawai make very nice pianos. I am not fond of the Kawai action, but that is personal preference and not a statement about the quality of the pianos. Nevertheless, I don't recommend that you purchase one you haven't played (I mention that because of your comment about waiting for a piano to ship).

As to the size, those pianos are all reasonable sizes but where will the piano be placed?

I have a Yamaha C2 (5'8") in an approximately 11 x 18 foot room (there are two doorways as well, so that also plays a role in the sound). In any case, I could fit a C3 in here, but then I'd never be able to get around the back (tail) end of the piano, so for me and how this room is laid, the 5'8" size is perfect. And it sounds great, though that has to do with the placement in the room as much as the sizes of the piano and room.

Piano shopping and talking about piano shopping are some of my favorite things to do, but I'll stop here. smile


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Grand Piano Recommendation in a small apartment
Dick Tracy #3048236 Yesterday at 11:09 AM
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I’ll add to ShiroKuro’s excellent advice. Typically piano dealers carry “stencils” on fabric that outlines the sizes for all the different grands. You can lay it on the floor to see where and how it fits. You can have two people hold it at piano height to “see” it in 3D. I’ve borrowed one after I closed on my house. Besides Kawai and Yamaha, I don’t know your budget, maybe Boston by Steinway? An Estonia L168 could be beautiful. Plus, those brands used could be a nice find after your piano technician inspects it and gives it the OK. The possibilities are exciting. Play as many different brands to see what’s out there and what you want. Another brand I nearly forgot is Schimmel and William Schimmel. Petrof also. Have fun exploring. It will be more difficult during Covid-19 but take your time. Best Wishes!


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Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
I don’t play well but I play far better than I sing.
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Re: Grand Piano Recommendation in a small apartment
Dick Tracy #3048268 Yesterday at 12:46 PM
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You mentioned waiting for shipment. Most of us would recommend against buying a piano you haven't played. Don't know your location or how many options you might have nearby. If a long drive might get you to dealers with more instruments on the floor, it might be worth it.

Re: Grand Piano Recommendation in a small apartment
Dick Tracy #3048294 Yesterday at 01:54 PM
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The highest value in grand pianos is to by one rebuilt by a highly skilled rebuilder. You don't mention where in the world you are located and many portions of the world do not have fine rebuilders available.

Some rebuilders offer technology that new makers don't use or even understand. Issue like properly shaped V-bars and string holes in agraffes. Carbon fiber action parts. Light hammer, high leverage action designs. Hybrid Wire Scales and Fully Tempered Duplex Scales.

All of these methods lead to superior performance and far superior durability.


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According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
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Re: Grand Piano Recommendation in a small apartment
Dick Tracy #3048324 Yesterday at 03:13 PM
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I will add the same caveat that some others have mentioned:

Unless it's impossible to do otherwise, don't buy a piano that you have not played. Because of the organic parts that comprise much of what contributes to the sound of a piano, there can be variants from one piano to another even among the same make and model. You may like the sound and feel of one model of brand X in the dealer's showroom, but may not like nearly as much another piano of the same brand and model.

Unless, as I wrote, you cannot do otherwise, it is a risk buying a piano that you have not played, used or even new. If you do buy from a dealer, make sure you note the serial number of the piano you like, that the serial number is on the bill of sale and that the piano that arrives on your doorstep has the same serial number.

Yes, it can be that critical - at least for some of us.

All the best in your search.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Grand Piano Recommendation in a small apartment
Dick Tracy #3048385 Yesterday at 07:09 PM
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I do not give any further comments on brand selection because other persons gave the very right ones already. I just would like to share my knowledge on the piano placement. Because you mentioned that you live in a small apartment (same as me), I wonder whether you read “Ten ways to voice a room” in the website Pianobuyer.com. It is quite helpful for choosing the right piano size and placement.
In my case, I followed the rule in the article: length of my piano is lesser than the length of all walls (1.57m vs 18meters). However my piano is still “overpower” to the room (especially bass sound), maybe I put it too close to the corner.

Wish you will be happy with your new piano. It is always an inspired and memorable memory to us.


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