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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
That's the YouTube way, I guess.
He's the piano world's equivalent of a cosmetics influencer girl.

I'm not even kidding. There's some good explanations out there on how the production and revenue streams for influencing vids work. Someone recently compared them to the product placement galore in American Psycho's satirical morning routine. It's a shallow run down of a product disguised as a review, but you've just watched an ad - and more likely than not, a paid-for ad.

Your point that he gets "invited" to certain dealerships is right on the money - literally.

Last edited by Windjammer; 02/03/21 09:24 AM.

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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
But, he's become quite popular and is invited by private owners and dealers to play some pretty amazing pianos. That's the YouTube way, I guess.
The dealers and owners know they will get a free very positive review of their pianos.

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Larry Fine places the Yamaha SX series in the "Notable" section along with Schimmel, but below the "distinguished", "renowned" and "iconic" categories.

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I tested (should I say tasted?) two new Steinway B in the Steinway house and two Yamaha S6 at other locations. Based on these rare occasions with brand new pianos, the Yamahas had everything the Steinways were missing. A clear step up for these particular pianos. However, having played lots of used Steinways, the variation is quite extreme and there were some Hamburg models from the 80s that I´d prefer over the Yamahas.
Sadly, when it comes to used pianos, I only played older Yamaha C versions which are solid and reliable, but of course not playing in the same league. But no S or CF versions. I do think Steinway is outrageously overpriced and overrated when it comes to current pianos and their prices at least from the ones displayed at their store (and they should be representative, shouldn´t they?). I am not sure if the Steinway premium is worth it. Maybe the new ones need more break-in time, but then why could other producers display so much better grands?

Having compared US and Hamburg Steinways about twenty years ago (!), I had a preference for the Hamburg versions as the ones in the Steinway house in New York seemed more muddy for us, preferring the crisper Hamburg versions. But as of today, they were too crisp, soulless and uninspiring. I hope my judgement is not representative...

Last edited by Long Louis; 02/03/21 02:04 PM.

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So.... buy an S7X now or keep saving for a Fazioli 228 or a Bosendorfer 225?

The thing is, I'm not sure I would want to buy either of those because if I was going to spend a lot of money on an ultimate piano, both of those models are inferior to the corresponding concert grands.

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I enjoy James Shawcross videos. He has certainly had the opportunity to play a lot of different pianos, and that has to be worth something when it comes to him forming at least an initial impression of an instrument. And I’m OK with him playing his test piece and Bach Chorale on most of his videos since that makes comparison a little easier, realizing of course there will be large differences in acoustic environments from place to place which will influence the sound.

When I was looking at acoustic pianos I had the opportunity to play an S7X. It is a phenomenal instrument. I’m only a beginner so my opinion doesn’t mean much, but I could tell this piano was something special. It actually impressed me as much as the more expensive instruments I tried.

If you have an opportunity play one yourself please come back and share your opinion.


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Originally Posted by Sonepica
So.... buy an S7X now or keep saving for a Fazioli 228 or a Bosendorfer 225?

The thing is, I'm not sure I would want to buy either of those because if I was going to spend a lot of money on an ultimate piano, both of those models are inferior to the corresponding concert grands.
Presumably the Yamaha dealer also has access to the Bosendorfers? A possibility for a trade-in down the line.

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Larry Fine places the Yamaha SX series in the "Notable" section along with Schimmel, but below the "distinguished", "renowned" and "iconic" categories.
Again what really matters is where the Yamaha SX series sits in your own ranking of pianos. What and why should it matter where I rank it? Or anybody else’s opinion?


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Originally Posted by j&j
Originally Posted by Sonepica
Larry Fine places the Yamaha SX series in the "Notable" section along with Schimmel, but below the "distinguished", "renowned" and "iconic" categories.
Again what really matters is where the Yamaha SX series sits in your own ranking of pianos. What and why should it matter where I rank it? Or anybody else’s opinion?

That’s the sole purpose of a forum like this one: learning about other people’s opinions on various issues.

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Originally Posted by zeitlos
Originally Posted by j&j
Originally Posted by Sonepica
Larry Fine places the Yamaha SX series in the "Notable" section along with Schimmel, but below the "distinguished", "renowned" and "iconic" categories.
Again what really matters is where the Yamaha SX series sits in your own ranking of pianos. What and why should it matter where I rank it? Or anybody else’s opinion?

That’s the sole purpose of a forum like this one: learning about other people’s opinions on various issues.

Some people on this forum strongly believe "de gustibus non disputandum“ (aka it’s futile to argue about aesthetic preferences because they are deeply personal to the person whose preference they are).

And others believe something more along Hume‘s lines, that taste for the good things in life, while never universal, can gravitate around a consensus of quality.
https://web.csulb.edu/~jvancamp/361r15.html

I honestly don’t know which side is correct, but I greatly enjoy learning about other people’s experiences with and predilections for certain pianos even if I don’t share them.


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Originally Posted by Windjammer
but I greatly enjoy learning about other people’s experiences with and predilections for certain pianos even if I don’t share them.

So do I. It’s interesting that one always finds this pattern in Internet forums again and again. In another thread I started (best upright) I was told various times that I had to play the pianos myself and then decide. I don’t know who often I had to reply that this goes without saying. But I wasn’t interested in hearing my opinion, I wasn’t even really looking for a new piano, I just wanted to hear other people’s opinion. As soon as I had stated this the next person told me that only I could answer this question for myself ...

I often learn new things along the way, often “unintended” side issues which suddenly turn out to be helpful in a way.

Last edited by zeitlos; 02/04/21 02:07 AM.
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Many would argue that the Yamaha CF6 is their closest offering to the Steinway, as the CF is their premium handmade range, which is priced accordingly. I don't think it's all that simple, and I love the C7X, which is a step below the S7X.

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very nice sound of those treble notes!
if you can not stand his treble piece, skip to 3:11.

How do you describe it?
it is purely my personal preference,
but this is one the reason I like yamaha sound better than kawai.

a question for Rich Galassini:
does s6x also have the same treble sound like this s7x?

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The variability among instruments could mean that any particular Yamaha is better or worse than any particular Steinway to any particular pianist. You have to try them all for yourself and decide what you like. Shawcross is hoping to sell youtube views and advertisements (nothing wrong with that). His views on particular instruments may or may not have any relevance to different instruments (same model and mfg) or different pianists.

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I think Shawcross makes some very good observations (like S-series and SX-series being totally different sounding) and obviously have a solid experience playing probably every piano on the market.

Sure he is a bit annoying at times and certainly doesn't play like Sokolov, but who does? And how many hours do you have to play an instrument to find out if it's good? 5 mins is plenty for me.

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Originally Posted by kre
I think Shawcross makes some very good observations (like S-series and SX-series being totally different sounding) and obviously have a solid experience playing probably every piano on the market.

Sure he is a bit annoying at times and certainly doesn't play like Sokolov, but who does? And how many hours do you have to play an instrument to find out if it's good? 5 mins is plenty for me.
Saying pianos sound "totally different" doesn't say very much and is his personal opinion. How do they sound different?

I think experience without much knowledge about pianos(other than what's available from the dealer or the internet), playing skill(yes, it's relevant although not the only important factor), or the ability to verbalize clearly isn't significant by itself. To see what I'm talking about contrast JPS's comments with some of the detailed reviews of specific brands in the Piano Buyer, the lengthy ones that appear as single separate articles in many of the editions.

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Originally Posted by kre
I think Shawcross makes some very good observations (like S-series and SX-series being totally different sounding) and obviously have a solid experience playing probably every piano on the market.

Sure he is a bit annoying at times and certainly doesn't play like Sokolov, but who does? And how many hours do you have to play an instrument to find out if it's good? 5 mins is plenty for me.
Saying pianos sound "totally different" doesn't say very much and is his personal opinion. How do they sound different?

I think experience without much knowledge about pianos(other than what's available from the dealer or the internet), playing skill(yes, it's relevant although not the only important factor), or the ability to verbalize clearly isn't significant by itself. To see what I'm talking about contrast JPS's comments with some of the detailed reviews of specific brands in the Piano Buyer, the lengthy ones that appear as single separate articles in many of the editions.

I do think JPS probably helps popularize pianos which is a very good thing and probably does love many of the pianos he raves about. But he shouldn't be presenting himself as some kind of expert.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
To see what I'm talking about contrast JPS's comments with some of the detailed reviews of specific brands in the Piano Buyer, the lengthy ones that appear as single separate articles in many of the editions.

Does anyone have a set of objective and/or subjective criteria for assessing grand pianos beyond length, touch and tone? Is there such a list in Piano Buyer, or would one have go through some or all those lengthy reviews to compile one?

Last edited by Withindale; 02/04/21 01:10 PM.

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Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
To see what I'm talking about contrast JPS's comments with some of the detailed reviews of specific brands in the Piano Buyer, the lengthy ones that appear as single separate articles in many of the editions.

Does anyone have a set of objective and/or subjective criteria for assessing grand pianos beyond length, touch and tone? Is there such a list in Piano Buyer, or would one have go through some or all those lengthy reviews to compile one?

https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/a-map-of-the-market-for-new-pianos-ratings/

Pianobuyer has a subjective listing here.

They put Steinway well above Yamaha SX series.

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Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
To see what I'm talking about contrast JPS's comments with some of the detailed reviews of specific brands in the Piano Buyer, the lengthy ones that appear as single separate articles in many of the editions.

Does anyone have a set of objective and/or subjective criteria for assessing grand pianos beyond length, touch and tone? Is there such a list in Piano Buyer, or would one have go through some or all those lengthy reviews to compile one?

I would say build quality is important - granted that's one for the technicians and not necessarily the pianists. Finish is important and by that I don't mean the finish of the cabinet, but things like can you tell that the parts have all been put together without sloppy glue joints or threaded screws, does everything line up where it should, are there any creaks and squeaks where there shouldn't be? Is the final regulation and voicing good enough to play the piano without difficulty? I don't mean concert level regulation necessarily but if the piano is in a rough shape from the factory it's quite possible that other things have been hastily put together.

I remember looking at one piano at NAMM, it was a new piano, and I could see that the bridge had been notched in the wrong place then re-cut and used again....It was of a very cheap brand that I'm sure nobody here will come across. Needless to say the tone of this piano was also dire. That's an extreme example, of course.

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