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EB5AGV Offline OP
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Hi all,

Yesterday was the first birthday of my U3H ownership laugh . And, what a year it has been!. We were on hard lockdown from 13th March to 1st June and then on different level restrictions. An excellent period on the other hand to play at home.

But, returning to piano matters, I wonder, being on my third year of playing, being an average learner but determined to keep pushing, how many years I can expect to need an upgrade to a grand. I know this may be futile and completely impossible to answer, but perhaps your experience could help me to trace a years-long project on my piano adventures thumb

Now I have mainly the Yamaha U3H and the Kawai VPC1 to practice, so I am set on the VST field, which is nice for night practice. I can easily transfer my playing from the VPC1 to the upright, which is very good. I would say playing a grand won't be too different, but lack first hand experience on that.

All in all, which has been your trip from upright to grand?. Any hint on that process?

Thanks!

Jose


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When I bought my upright last year, I promised myself I would get a grand after I pass my grade 5 RCM exam. It’s been 14 months since I’ve had my piano and I’m really enjoying it, so much so that I’m not so sure I want to upgrade to a grand after grade 5. I simply don’t think I need to at that point and I’m not feeling the desire to either. Maybe I’ve fallen in love with my piano and can’t bear to trade her in!


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A grand piano is nice, but so is a high quality upright. I think sometimes we get that "grass is greener" syndrome and we want to move up the better piano ladder, just because. And, there is nothing wrong with that. I've done it myself.

That said, I was cruising the posts on Facebook not long ago, and a video of Lang Lang came up. It looked like he was at home, and he played what looked like a 46" studio upright piano, although I couldn't tell what brand it was. The piano was actually a little out of tune, which surprised me, with it being Lang Lang, but he still made it sing! smile

As for playing abilities and skills, I'm afraid I'm kind of a rogue oddity, following a non-traditional path to learning to play. But when I see small children, 8, 10, and 12 years old, playing the piano as well as Lang Lang, I loose all my ambitions of becoming a master pianist and settle for just enjoying what little I can play, and try to improve upon that. smile

All the best!

Rick


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Personally I don't think there's enough of a difference anymore between high end uprights and grands to ever turn a "want" into a "need." That said, "wants" are perfectly acceptable things!

Last edited by Sail26; 02/19/21 01:32 PM.

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Originally Posted by EB5AGV
All in all, which has been your trip from upright to grand?. Any hint on that process?

Thanks!

Jose
Keep in mind that a lot of uprights are better than grands. *Especially* when talking about shorter grands; uprights will have longer strings and sound better, and even longer keys in some cases!

I am having that debate myself...do I get a really, really nice upright and keep it tucked away in my studio for the next 100 years where I can do whatever I want whenever I want, or do I get an okay-ish used grand that I can show off in front of my windows and when we have people over?


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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Originally Posted by EB5AGV
All in all, which has been your trip from upright to grand?. Any hint on that process?

Thanks!

Jose
Keep in mind that a lot of uprights are better than grands. *Especially* when talking about shorter grands; uprights will have longer strings and sound better, and even longer keys in some cases!

I am having that debate myself...do I get a really, really nice upright and keep it tucked away in my studio for the next 100 years where I can do whatever I want whenever I want, or do I get an okay-ish used grand that I can show off in front of my windows and when we have people over?


Your ears will give you the answer, won’t they?


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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Originally Posted by EB5AGV
All in all, which has been your trip from upright to grand?. Any hint on that process?

Thanks!

Jose
Keep in mind that a lot of uprights are better than grands. *Especially* when talking about shorter grands; uprights will have longer strings and sound better, and even longer keys in some cases!

I am having that debate myself...do I get a really, really nice upright and keep it tucked away in my studio for the next 100 years where I can do whatever I want whenever I want, or do I get an okay-ish used grand that I can show off in front of my windows and when we have people over?


Your ears will give you the answer, won’t they?
Ears and fingertips, for sure! But then there is some "practicality" and "logic" involved in there somewhere. Not sure where, but it's there. Cost. Location. Family trying to get things done while I bang away on modern music if the piano is in the open instead of tucked away downstairs. Those boring things to consider. laugh


I do music stuffs
Yep, I have a YouTube channel!

Current:
1998 PETROF Model IV Chippendale
LEGO Grand Piano (IDEAS 031|21323)
YAMAHA PSR-520

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2017 Charles Walter 1500 in semi-polish ebony
1991 Kawai 602-M Console in Oak
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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Ears and fingertips, for sure! But then there is some "practicality" and "logic" involved in there somewhere. Not sure where, but it's there. Cost. Location. Family trying to get things done while I bang away on modern music if the piano is in the open instead of tucked away downstairs. Those boring things to consider. laugh

I agree with the practicality and logic aspect. My concern, although maybe a bit premature I'll admit, is what will happen if I have a grand and in my older age, I want or need to downsize into a condo? If I buy a really nice grand and I fall in love with it, would I have to trade it in for an upright or digital? I think that will break my heart.

I still might end up buying a grand but there are so many things to consider for sure.

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 02/19/21 02:05 PM.

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Originally Posted by EB5AGV
Hi all,

Now I have mainly the Yamaha U3H and the Kawai VPC1 to practice, so I am set on the VST field, which is nice for night practice. I can easily transfer my playing from the VPC1 to the upright, which is very good. I would say playing a grand won't be too different, but lack first hand experience on that.

All in all, which has been your trip from upright to grand?. Any hint on that process?

Thanks!

Jose

Hi Jose, sorry to hijack this topic. I am actually going to try some acoustic pianos instead of going midi way directly again. And my eye is on the Yamaha H3 or Kawai K500 series... But I started my search to replace my V-Piano, as I didn't like the keys and the aging of the digital instrument (vs computer software like pianoteq which has actually gotten upgrades).

So my question to you is, as you seem to be happy with both. And I would love a god honest answer ;-) How does the feel and experience from the VPC-1 compare to the U3? I know the action is quite different, but i have no possibility to try the VPC-1 near.

Thanks smile


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About 4 decades give or take a few years smile. I started on a stencil upright that was 110cm tall. It wasn't a great piano and had a truly horrific tenor bass break, keys that were short and the first notes of the break had a completely different feel. In those days I didn't know better and never asked my parents if it could be fixed and the tuner never mentioned it most likely because we never brought it up. It took me all the way to ABRSM grade 8 (distinction) and my then piano teacher muttered something about trying the Diploma but by then I was leaving for uni and the piano was to take a back seat in my life.

I continued piano less till the kids came along 12 years ago. By then I shopped around a little more and understood pianos a little better and shopped for a good upright. There was a tall Grotrian (a concertino I think?) that was really stood out but it was beyond my budget. There was also Schimmel and Seller uprights that caught my senses but in the end I ended up with one of the last British made Kembles. A limited edition Kemble Chopin essentially a Yamaha U1 with some upgrades e.g. European Strunz soundboard and a more mellow voicing. I loved the sound but the action was definitely a compromise and as good as I could find for my budget.

Sometime around June last year, I realised the kids were really taking to the piano and showing the kind of dedication that I started thinking of switching to a grand. It was always something I'd wanted. I'd spent many afternoons trying grands at the various dealers in London when I was there over the years but really couldn't justify buying one for the little time I actually spent playing. But with the kids running quickly through the early grades and showing a real interest, a restless desire to have a grand was becoming increasingly hard to ignore. I realised that unless I wanted to do without a new car I wouldn't be able to easily afford a new grand that was at least 6 feet long from a top tier brand. Downsizing on the new car would free up enough for a youngish used grand. Along the way I considered a Shigeru (SK2) and a couple of Schimmels (both a K and C 189). In the end though I found a Grotrian 225 that we (kids and me) all loved and that is a rambling account of my piano journey from upright to grand. Having lived with the Grotrian now, I can honestly say that I won't be buying another piano ever wink.

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EB5AGV Offline OP
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Originally Posted by WingNL
Originally Posted by EB5AGV
Hi all,

Now I have mainly the Yamaha U3H and the Kawai VPC1 to practice, so I am set on the VST field, which is nice for night practice. I can easily transfer my playing from the VPC1 to the upright, which is very good. I would say playing a grand won't be too different, but lack first hand experience on that.

All in all, which has been your trip from upright to grand?. Any hint on that process?

Thanks!

Jose

Hi Jose, sorry to hijack this topic. I am actually going to try some acoustic pianos instead of going midi way directly again. And my eye is on the Yamaha H3 or Kawai K500 series... But I started my search to replace my V-Piano, as I didn't like the keys and the aging of the digital instrument (vs computer software like pianoteq which has actually gotten upgrades).

So my question to you is, as you seem to be happy with both. And I would love a god honest answer ;-) How does the feel and experience from the VPC-1 compare to the U3? I know the action is quite different, but i have no possibility to try the VPC-1 near.

Thanks smile

Well, I am not an expert, just three years playing piano. But since I got the VPC1, I switch back and forth from it to the U3H and have no need to adapt my playing (of course, touch is not identical). And, with a responsive VSTs as Pianoteq or the VSL Synchron series, for example, I can get good dynamics out of the VPC1

I like the idea of being able to update piano sounds easily as the virtual instruments variety is nowadays astounding.


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A good size grand is nice, but so is U3. I don’t think a well regulated U3, or any equivalent quality upright, would hold anyone back. Of course, if you have the space and finances for a grand, you could consider it as an option... not as a necessity. What’s more important to me is having a decent digital in addition to an acoustic piano.

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EB5AGV Offline OP
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Originally Posted by K8KT
A good size grand is nice, but so is U3. I don’t think a well regulated U3, or any equivalent quality upright, would hold anyone back. Of course, if you have the space and finances for a grand, you could consider it as an option... not as a necessity. What’s more important to me is having a decent digital in addition to an acoustic piano.

Yes, sometimes I think that the U3 and the VPC1 along the nice VSTs I have are more than enough for me for several years. I can't fit a grand now and don't know when and where I will be able to. But dreaming is free grin


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