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#3086506 02/25/21 04:57 AM
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Hello! I'm new to the forum. Nice to see a place to chat about piano. smile

I'm in search of a new upright piano. I played piano since I was a kid and my first and only piano is Kawai upright (which is about 40 years old now). Can't remember the model but it's wood veener and I always love it. However, the only problem is , it wasn't tuning for about 10 years . Basically it was really out of tune.

Fast forward to now, I finally have a technician come over to turn it last summer. My kid is also learning piano now. But I think since I haven't tune it for so long, I still think it's not as good as before....

And since we pretty much we did everything "online" now (including piano lesson, exam, even music festival), I am planning to get a new piano. Well, first to allow better dynamic for my kid to practice, and also hopefully better recording for the competition/exam etc...And of course for my own enjoyment too.

I'd like to have a grand but space is an issue.

I"m eyeing on Yamaha U1 but quite impressed with U3 and YUS5. Price-wise I think U2 and YUS5 are not too big of a jump. But U1 and U3 is big difference (U1 about half price of U3).

Petrof P125 G1 is similar pricing of U3.

So question is, between Yahama U3 and Petrol P125 G1, which one would you pick?
Is YUS5 worth the $5K jump from U3 price?

I also tried Sauter (I forgot the model) I really love it, except when I see the price tag , it's 40K list price. I think for 40K I'd save up and get a grand instead. The sales mentioned if I don't mind open box I can get it at price close to 30K but still it's a lot. So sadly it's out of question.

So what do you think Yamaha U1 , U3, YUS5 and Petrof P125 G1 any opinion on them? Appreciate any comments!

Thank you !

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Since you did not tune your piano for 10 years, you shouldn’t expect that one tuning 8 months ago would be enough to have it ‘sound as good.’ I would have the tech come back to retune it and check what other work needs to be


If you need to buy a new piano, I hope you will consider a digital that does not need ongoing maintenance.


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Petrograd uprights are impressive to me. I also have liked some Yamahas as well. I agree that ongoing maintenance is required, but I would chose doing that over digital anything. If you can’t have the piano maintained at least twice a year, digital will be better.

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If you have the budget for a YUS5 go with a grand. Maybe a Kawai GL-30.

You might find a solution to the space issue for a 5’5” grand.

It will be much more inspiring both for you and your kid.

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I would also consider Kawai uprights, K500, or up since you are considering the YUS5. I think as a generality a quality upright can match or exceed a baby grand. I would not consider an out of box new piano, this is a musical instrument that you should try first and all pianos, even new ones from the factory are different.

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I meant petrof above. Not Petrograd. Autocorrect strikes again, sorry about that

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Welcome to the forums fibbi. Trying to answer your questions:


"So question is, between Yahama U3 and Petrol P125 G1, which one would you pick?
Is YUS5 worth the $5K jump from U3 price?"

I would pick the Petrof over the U3, but that is just a personal preference as I like the tone of the Petrof. I'm not suggesting that the Petrof is in any sense better than the U3, you have to see which *you* like the most.
For me the YUS5 isn't worth the jump from the U3 but I really liked the Yamaha SE132 which is more expensive again but to me worth the difference.

"So what do you think Yamaha U1 , U3, YUS5 and Petrof P125 G1 any opinion on them? Appreciate any comments!"

They are all good pianos, you won't go wrong with any of them, but you need to play them and discover your preference.
The U1 to U3 is a big price gap but there is also a big difference in the piano as well. YUS5 I didn't find that much different to the U3, SE132 changed the tone quality and was really nice putting it in a mid place between the typically brighter Yamahas and the typically more mellow Petrofs.


Re grands/uprights. If you have space for a grand there is an overlap in the sort of 10K->20K range where you can get either a really good upright or a budget grand so another choice to make there. Above 20K there is still an overlap but it is only with the really special 'exotic' uprights in that price category so the balance of value perhaps shifts to the grands, but again it is still a choice.

Good luck and happy piano hunting.

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Originally Posted by dhull100
I meant petrof above. Not Petrograd. Autocorrect strikes again, sorry about that
There was I thinking that it was a Russian brand I hadn't heard of...

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I am going to go out another direction here. You say you have always loved your current upright. Get it tuned a few times in close succession and have a tech see what they can do with the voicing and regulation if they determine that it's worth it to try. You don't know the model of the Kawai upright, but some of them back then were incredible, outstanding instruments (and some weren't as much). Depending on model, 40 years could mean it still has 10-15-20 years left.

As far as recording...that is a different conversation and different skillset. With the right microphones and placement, your current piano could sound just wonderful with a stable tuning and even the slightest voicing.

As others have said, a good upright beats out a budget grand in your price range. I would go for a good upright because a grand that would fit in a limited space (as you said yourself) is going to be small, and even studio uprights beat out small (baby-baby) grands in sound and sometimes even key length (massive generalization regarding the key length).

I don't want to get into a Kawai vs Yamaha cage-match, but definitely look at Kawai as well as Yamaha. I don't know prices where you are, but if you are looking at Yamaha's U-series, then check out Kawai's K-series (either the older K-3/8/et al or current K-200/300/et al).

Since you looked at a Sauter and loved it, you could also look at Seiler SE upright models or mid-line ED upright models. These are German (Sauter; SE) or German-designed (ED) very high end (Sauter; SE) or upper-mid-range (ED) brands with a sound very, very different from Kawai and Yamaha. You love them or hate them; most people love them, but they are not going to sound like a Kawai.

I would take the Petrof "on paper" any day over everything you listed yourself, but that depends on how the action is prepped and how it sounds, of course.

I am old-school in that I only recommend digital pianos if you really, really, really must go down that route. Yes, I know there are some digital pianos that rival acoustics, but that is a whole set of information I don't know enough about (other than shoot-out recordings where I can always pick out the digital, no matter how good and who makes it and the price range and who is playing it; but you can't also get a sense of feel in a recording).


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Yep, I have a YouTube channel!

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

Past:
2017 Charles Walter 1500 in semi-polish ebony
1991 Kawai 602-M Console in Oak
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Oh, oops, I forgot to push a Charles Walter 1500 Studio down your throat, too. smile Yes, I am actually getting rid of mine, but that is for reasons unrelated to 99% of everyone else. They are very high quality, and they aren't that expensive compared to some of the models you have listed. They have long string lengths and big soundboards, the key length rivals grand pianos, and if prepped right, you can close your eyes and swear up and down that you are hearing and feeling a grand piano. They are heirloom quality, possibly-100-year pianos, to boot.

I, personally, prefer the 1990s models with Langelier actions and design, but the current models are probably better on paper and more than wonderful for most people (but I am the only weirdo here who would get rid of a Walter instead of looking for one). They are hard to find used because people rarely sell them once they get their hands on them. I don't know how common new Walter dealers are in Vancouver, if you can even get a Walter in Canada. I never thought about that before...


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

Past:
2017 Charles Walter 1500 in semi-polish ebony
1991 Kawai 602-M Console in Oak
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I vote thumbs up on SonatainfSharp's recommendation about Charles Walter Studio pianos. I purchased a new Studio model in 1995 (it has the Langer action) and it's still fantastic. Everything about it (specs, tone, feel, etc) rival many grands that I have tried over the years. It's built to last. I keep it tuned & maintained and have had no major problems. Last May my technician did a complete regulation; we also did some reshaping & minor revoicing of the hammers and replaced the rest rail felt. What a delight to play!

For complete disclosure, back in the '90's when I was looking for a piano I found that I *wanted* to like the Charles Walters but wasn't finding one that "had what it took" for me. With perseverance I eventually found the one I bought - illustrating how every piano is an individual regardless of make/model. Let me also give a shout out to Rich Galassini at Cunningham Piano. He was extremely patient & professional with my multi-year search and over time got to know what I liked & didn't like. One day he called and said he thought he had found "my piano." I went over to Cunningham's showroom; he had 3 Charles Walters in a row for me to try (it was a test ... nudge, nudge, wink, wink). Two of them felt & sounded the same as all the others I had looked at but as soon as I hit the first note on the third one I instantly knew it was my piano. I bought it on the spot.

Also for complete disclosure I am now looking for a grand piano ... but I am keeping my Charles Walter!

Last edited by Pianosearcher; 02/25/21 10:57 AM.
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fibbi Offline OP
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The reason that I didn’t tune is that since I pass all the exam I only play piano for enjoyment so I don’t practise 4 hours a day . I thought I didn’t need to tune that often . And time just pass by quick without tuning. But now since my kid is having lesson I will tune it in schedule.

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My 3 favorite ~10k or under uprights right now would be the Seiler ED, the K300/500, and the Yamaha U series. From left to right in "mellow" to "bright." Kawai was a nice happy medium and they have the best action imho. Both other pianos are also excellent though. The Seiler overall had the nicest build/cabinet.


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Originally Posted by fibbi
The reason that I didn’t tune is that since I pass all the exam I only play piano for enjoyment so I don’t practise 4 hours a day . I thought I didn’t need to tune that often . And time just pass by quick without tuning. But now since my kid is having lesson I will tune it in schedule.
Ya, the general consensus is to tune it once a year if it is just sitting there or hardly played; twice a year if it's played regularly and fits within your budget.

A tech can voice and regulate things here and there, too, instead of all at once, *as long as it's at a good baseline to start with.*


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

Past:
2017 Charles Walter 1500 in semi-polish ebony
1991 Kawai 602-M Console in Oak
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fibbi Offline OP
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And thank you all for your insightful comments! Thank you very much!!
I will keep those model in mind. But the problem is, I don’t know if any local dealer actually carries them . I personally haven’t seen Kawai sold here. But may be I just didn’t research enough.

As for the old piano I should give it another tune. Hopefully it would be better too.

Yes grand piano is out of the question no one in the house wants to give up the living room 😞 . One day if I move then yes will plan the grand.

In the showroom I like the Petrof sound but I have no experience with this brand , I was told it’s made in Cezch republic. And the sales rep seems to favour Yamaha over petrof but she could be just trying to sell her Yamaha in her lot.

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If you happen to have a 12' by 15' room that would be okay for a grand of about 5'5" size.

If the ceiling is higher than 8 ft and the room has an opening to another area, than a smaller room would be okay too.

You have waited for 40 years, you deserve a grand.

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The Yamaha dealer wants to sell a Yamaha. Most people have heard of Yamaha. They make thousands (upon thousands?) of pianos a year. The dealer will use this to favor the Yamaha for sure.

Petrof is an amazing brand, though. Not as many people have heard of it. It could clearly be your strongest contender if you like the sound so much! I re-read your first post: are these all new pianos you are looking at?

I, personally, think trying to squeeze in a 5'5" grand will be a huge waste; a U3 or that Petrof will outshine (any? most?) 5'5" grands. This is all on paper, of course. Your real life mileage may vary.


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

Past:
2017 Charles Walter 1500 in semi-polish ebony
1991 Kawai 602-M Console in Oak
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fibbi Offline OP
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All new piano I was referring to. I try not to go through the hassle of finding old piano because way more research I have to go through. Also the logistic .

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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
I, personally, think trying to squeeze in a 5'5" grand will be a huge waste; a U3 or that Petrof will outshine (any? most?) 5'5" grands. This is all on paper, of course. Your real life mileage may vary.

I respectfully disagree.

A grand is a completely different experience. Both sound wise and touch wise.

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It all depends on how much you want the piano to chew up the space. If this is to be a living area that gets played in, an upright. If a practice studio with a few extra chairs, a grand.

Still, I have to wonder: if your current axe were tuned and regulated, would it be much worse than the models we are speaking of? I don't know the answer, as I have no idea what your Kawai is like. But it is worth having the tuning done and ask the tech what can/must be done with the rest of the piano. You might solve your real problem for less than $1,000.

Last edited by Maestro Lennie; 02/25/21 04:12 PM.
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