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We're trying to narrow down our piano options and went by the piano store again today. I thought I was going to have to convince my wife to go for the bigger C3X vs the C2X. Instead, I have nearly fallen in love with the Schimmel C189. The key bed, the action--incredibly nice. The sound I think was a little bit more warm or colored than the Yamaha. The price was comparable for both (mid-$40K).

The biggest issue seems to be the headphones. With a Yamaha, we can get the silent piano option. We have a 16-month old who takes naps, and a 10-year-old who needs to practice early in the mornings. We are currently using an old Clavinova CLP-240 which has developed clacking keys. If we go with the Schimmel, we'd probably keep the Clavinova for the silent practice. I'm pretty handy, so I should be able to fix the clacking myself. If we get the Yamaha, we'd get the silent option with it. OTOH, the need for quiet practice, won't be as important in a couple of years.

In the store, they were at opposite ends of the showroom. The Yamahas was in a carpeted room. The Schimmel in a tiled room. Obviously, the reverb on the Schimmel was magical, but apart from that, it seemed to have a nicer tone, and the keys seemed much easier to play quickly (my daughter agreed). It sang. Going back to the Yamaha from that, the keyboard just felt heavier. The C3X they had was already sold, so if we want that, it will be a 2-3 month wait. The Schimmel I could have next week.

I think I'd be happy with either one, but this is a long-term investment.

What are your thoughts? What about maintenance? Will the Schimmel by anything like what I hear about Steinways--always needing looked at to keep in condition? Thoughts on tone/color? Anything else? So hard to decide...

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So the Schimmel TwinTone system is not available for the C189?

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Based on Your comments - The Schimmel seems to be the One

As noted, You can use the Clavinova for silent practice

Regarding maintenance, depending how long the Schimmel has been on the floor, it probably would require less initial follow up tunings, than a C3X, straight from the Crate

Personally, I’ve always thought Schimmels had a pretty sound


~Lucubrate

Last edited by Lucubrate; 02/06/21 06:40 PM.

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Any good piano will need regular maintenance. I don't know of any reason why either of your choices would need significantly more or less than the other. Both have earned an excellent reputation among technicians for serviceability.

Between the 2 instruments, I would choose the one you prefer as an acoustic piano. Since you have a digital piano, leave the silent play option separate. The biggest reasons to combine rather than keep separate are...not room for 2 instruments OR...strong personal preference for working (composers, pros, etc) at the grand.

Yamaha's silent system is a very good system, but for the cost of the addition, you could replace your old clavinova. The inclusion of the silent system may also affect your wait time.

Looking at the CLP420, the model is over 15 years old. Given the technology curve, a current Yamaha Arius YDP164 (street price $1,499) equals or surpasses the CLP420's technology and piano features. That's just one concrete example to consider while your are also considering repairs to your clavinova...there are quite a few reasons to look at current digital pianos from Yamaha, Roland, Casio & Kawai.


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Originally Posted by zeitlos
So the Schimmel TwinTone system is not available for the C189?
Rare as hen's teeth in the US. Assuming the OP is in the US because mention of prices.


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It's interesting that the piano you felt had easy, crisp action was on a tiled floor, while the piano you felt had heavier action was on carpet. Those acoustical factors could be influencing your judgement--it's a pretty well known effect, actually. Some of the piano techs around here can go into more detail than I can from an action standpoint, but it's been said many times on these forums, and it has been my personal experience as well, that deader acoustics will make the action feel heavier, all else being equal. Perhaps the seller would be willing to move the Yamaha to the tiled area adjacent to the Schimmel so you could level the playing field.

Last edited by Wes Lachot; 02/06/21 06:51 PM.

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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
Originally Posted by zeitlos
So the Schimmel TwinTone system is not available for the C189?
Rare as hen's teeth in the US. Assuming the OP is in the US because mention of prices.

Yes, we're in the NW part of the US.

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Yamaha's remarkable consistency apart, remember that no two pianos even of the same make and model are identical, so you would be buying a piano you had not tried were you to order the Yamaha. There is no doubt that it would be highly satisfactory, it just might be slightly different in touch and tone from the Yamaha at the dealer's, particularly since the in-store Yamaha may have had some prep and some tuning(s).

I would recommend that you base your decision on the pianos you have tried.

Regards,


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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
...

Between the 2 instruments, I would choose the one you prefer as an acoustic piano. Since you have a digital piano, leave the silent play option separate. The biggest reasons to combine rather than keep separate are...not room for 2 instruments OR...strong personal preference for working (composers, pros, etc) at the grand.

...


I think this is good advice. It's easy to conflate too many variables.

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I would also recommend having the dealer move both pianos to either carpet or tile-- depending on what's closest to your home acoustic situation. It makes a big difference in how you perceive the touch and tone!


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Originally Posted by twocats
I would also recommend having the dealer move both pianos to either carpet or tile-- depending on what's closest to your home acoustic situation. It makes a big difference in how you perceive the touch and tone!

I am writing the dealer right this second about this exact thing. I'd like him to move them side by side on the carpet.

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Good luck! One of our local dealers has a showroom that's mostly concrete and I don't think it shows off their pianos very well. But next door they have a little house and if you're a serious buyer they can move a piano in there for you to try! I'm not sure if they really advertise this but I thought it was pretty awesome smile


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I am not a fan of bolting electronics on any acoustic piano.

Like Sam said, instead of spending the money on a silent system(That will fail several times before the piano is ready to retire).

for the same money buy a digital piano. In my opinion a much better choice.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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I agree with Learux. A technician shared with me that the newly installed electronic system doesn’t run smoothly as pre-installed one (installed by the manufacturer at the same time with the piano is built). Possibly there is not a well trained technician on the electronic system in my area.
I also prefer Schimmel rather than Yamaha. For a long-term using item like piano, I think we should buy the one we like the best (of course in our affordability smile

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I would also go for the Schimmel piano. I like their rich tonal spectrum.
I'm not that familiar with Yamaha pianos. However, I am sure that they are very solid instruments. But if given the choice, Schimmel would be the one for me. Also from a long term perspective.

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I’ve owned my Schimmel Classic grand since 1989. It’s an extremely stable piano and I get it tuned once every two years. I live in the Pacific NW, so maybe if you live in a climate that has a lot of humidity or wide temperature swings you would be facing different circumstances. Both of my long-term technicians have remarked on the stability and colorful palette of this piano. I have never had any major work done on the piano. Good luck with your decision.



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Same here. I just have an upright from Schimmel (130T) but it’s incredibly stable.

Last edited by zeitlos; 02/08/21 03:53 AM.
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Well, I took the plunge. Went back to the store today. They had moved the Schimmel onto a carpeted/wood room like I asked. It changed the reverb immensely (honestly, you could have put a toy piano in that tiled room and it would have sounded awesome). I also played it mostly with the lid closed. But I still loved it. Night and day difference between the Yamaha and the Schimmel. I also tried an Estonia, a Cx7 (Just for fun...it's too big), Steinway S (my least favorite...worst than the Yamahas somehow!), and a Bosendorfer (if I had twice the budget...). So I bought the Schimmel.

Thank you for all your guidance!

(P.S. I always want to see what people actually pay for things, so here are my numbers for future searchers. Schimmel C189. MSRP: $71,895. Final sale price: $42,940.63 (plus 10% sales tax...ouch). Still feels a bit expensive, but it's hard to have any leverage when you obviously prefer one over the other. I live outside of Seattle, WA, USA.)

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Happy piano!


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Congrats!! I'm pretty sure I know which store you went to. The technician there is really good!


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