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First, I’ll preface by saying I’m an intermediate (at best) piano player. I enjoy playing all types of music, from Chopin to Brubeck. I played most of my life and then stepped away for a good 15 years just due to burnout and the pressure. I play for myself now and that’s it. I’ve come back to my piano and am really enjoying it, wished I hadn’t stepped away for so long. But perhaps that’s the only way I could enjoy it again. Moving on ...

All that said, I desperately need a new piano.

I have begun my search and was liking the Yamaha CX series, much to my surprise. Yamaha has usually sounded far too “bright” for my tastes. But the C5X is a lovely instrument. I also got to try the C7X and all I can say is WOW! The bass is incredible! I don’t believe the C7X is what is best for my living space so am at the C5X. I also tried a C3X and while lovely, I think the extra size on the C5X makes for better sound. I’ve read a number of threads commenting on the same. My piano technician said he would recommend this piano and thinks it would be an appropriate investment. Curious to hear any additional thoughts from those here on this forum.

I did a really dumb thing and sat down at a few Bösendorfers as well. By far, the loveliest instruments I’ve ever played in my life. I fell in love with a 185VC. While I tried a 170, I feel like if I’m even going to entertain a Bösendorfer, I’ve got to at least start at the 185. I tried a non-VC 185 and didn’t care for the sound quite as much in the upper registers. The VC really “sings” - so heavenly. My issue here is, while I would cherish the 185VC, I feel like my ability doesn’t justify me owning this piano. I don’t need to ask opinions on Bösendorfer but I would like to know thoughts specifically on the 185VC as it is more on the new side.

I don’t see a lot of other options in the piano stores but am not brand loyal so would be open to other suggestions of things to look for/try. Happy to answer any clarifying questions.

Thanks!

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You might read pianobuyer.

SMP for 185 VC is listed as $127k, whereas C5X is $58k. 185VC is 6 inches smaller.

At that price point you might also consider:

Yamaha CF6. About $120k SMP. It is a 7 ft piano.

Or a Yamaha CF4 (6’3”) for $106k SMP.

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Though it will still write Yamaha on fall board even if it is a CF4.

So you might go with the Bosendorfer 185 VC for prestige instead.

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I’ve played a 185VC & Loved it

Wonderful tone & touch - Just Beautiful

I wouldn’t worry about Your current ability vs the Piano’s capability

I didn’t let That stop Me, from buying My Dream Piano,... nor would I recommend You, let It either

Besides - You can look forward to growing into Your Dream Piano, for Years to come


~Lucubrate


Bösendorfer 280VC
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“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.“ ~Epictetus
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ps - Not sure if You’ve seen the YouTube video below

Obviously, it’s a Marketing/Sales Piece, by Bösendorfer

However, I enjoyed It,... & if You haven’t seen It,... & are in the market for a 185VC, perhaps You’ll enjoy It, too




~Lucubrate


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It does sing!

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Originally Posted by Maestro Lennie
It does sing!

thumb

Far better than I ever will!

Good to see You ML - Hope All is Well in Your World


~Lucubrate


Bösendorfer 280VC
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“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.“ ~Epictetus
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If you can afford an expensive piano without undue hardship and without compromising other priorities and can play just a single note and appreciate the tone of that piano, then you don't have to worry if your ability justifies the more expensive piano.

In this case you a typical trade off between a very good and longer piano vs. probably a better quality but shorter piano. You will probably get arguments on both sides and only you can decide.

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Have you considered Yamaha's SX series? They are more expensive than the CX series but less expensive than Bosendorfers.

When I played the Bosendorfers at the local dealer I actually preferred the non-VC to the VC. I feel like the resonating rim is what gave Bosendorfer its unique, delicate sound. By thickening the rim to produce a more powerful piano, I feel like they have moved away from what made Bosendorfer so special in the first place towards a more conventional sounding piano. Plus, for home use people usually have the problem that the piano is too loud for the space, rather than not loud enough.

However, that was just my impression after playing two particular bosendorfers. It could have just been those particular pianos. But that was how it seemed to me.

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Originally Posted by Lucubrate
I’ve played a 185VC & Loved it

Wonderful tone & touch - Just Beautiful

I wouldn’t worry about Your current ability vs the Piano’s capability

I didn’t let That stop Me, from buying My Dream Piano,... nor would I recommend You, let It either

Besides - You can look forward to growing into Your Dream Piano, for Years to come


~Lucubrate

This is wonderful advice, would wholeheartedly echo. If money is no object, having a dream piano can actually accelerate your growth as a player. You still want to make sure there is a strong affinity between the piano and you. In my experience (and others' on this forum), that can be a tricky personal issue where outsiders can only help so much.

By way of a comparison between the larger grands, my favorite comparison of all time, showing the strengths off each, and using wonderful recording quality, please see this video by a Viennese chamber musician:



Please be extremely wary of instrument comparisons by professional Youtubers. Some of the most famous ones are disguised advertising and should not be taken seriously by the aspiring or accomplished musician.


"Ein Buch ist ein Spiegel, aus dem kein Apostel herausgucken kann, wenn ein Affe hineinguckt." Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799)
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Originally Posted by Windjammer
You still want to make sure there is a strong affinity between the piano and you. In my experience (and others' on this forum), that can be a tricky personal issue where outsiders can only help so much.

Agree 100%

That affinity & connection with a certain piano, should supersede most other criteria (brand, length, etc). And It’s a distinctly personal realization/assessment


Quote
By way of a comparison between the larger grands, my favorite comparison of all time, showing the strengths off each, and using wonderful recording quality, please see this video by a Viennese chamber musician:


A favorite of Mine, too - Watched it more than once!


~Lucubrate


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Interesting comparison! To my ear, each piano sounds best for one of the pieces. Although the Steinway is probably the best-suited for the group.

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Update: Spent more time with the Yamaha C7X and now it’s between that and the Bösendorfer 185V. I think I just wrote off the C7X because of its size but I have the room so I gave it more of a chance today.

I absolutely love the bass on the Yamaha, so much fun to dig in. However, the upper register doesn’t sing like the Bösendorfer. I was told there’s potential to voice either to get what I’d like (more bass on the Bösendorfer and more treble on the Yamaha).

I love the Yamaha for standards and some jazz. But much prefer the Bösendorfer on the classical pieces and when I need the higher notes to sing over the bass (as it’s much easier).

We’re talking about a difference of $37,000. No small amount. That said, it won’t break the bank and this is my forever piano. I can’t make a “wrong” choice but this sure is tough.

I haven’t tried the SX series by Yamaha, will have to try and find one. Had no idea! Thank you for the suggestion!

As to the comment on the Bösendorfer VC series vs the traditional Bösendorfer ... while they were different lengths, I personally preferred the VC to the others (the VC being the shortest at 185). Ironically, one non-VC sounded too bright and loud while the other sounded a bit too what I’d call “under water” sounding for me and it was the largest at, I believe, 7’. But interesting your comment about the VC being overpowering for a home ... I could easily see that happening (even with the shorter Bösendorfer VC compared to the Yamaha C7X).

And thank you to the comparison video! I’m always hesitant of comparison videos but that was quite pleasant.

I love reading all the comments and discourse. I haven’t talked about pianos in recent years and didn’t realize how much I missed it. It’s enjoyable to read each player’s unique perspective.

Last edited by WSherlock80; 03/01/21 10:53 PM.
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The SX series are the same size and look very similar to the corresponding CX pianos, except I believe the SX series have a gold plate instead of bronze. The SX pianos have had Yamaha's Acoustic Resonance Enhancement (torrification) done to the rims which gives the piano a warmer, richer sound. They also have different hammers, a different soundboard I believe and hand-wound bass strings. The action also undergos a much more exacting regulation I think.

Interestingly, in one of his videos James Pavel Shawcross commented that the SX pianos seemed to have less resonance than other pianos. That is, when you put the pedal down and press a note the other strings have less sympathetic resonance. I noticed that one commenter mentioned here on PW that he found the S7X a bit "dry". I'm not sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing or whether it is also true of the CX series?

Last edited by Sonepica; 03/01/21 11:01 PM.
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Originally Posted by Lucubrate
ps - Not sure if You’ve seen the YouTube video below

Obviously, it’s a Marketing/Sales Piece, by Bösendorfer

However, I enjoyed It,... & if You haven’t seen It,... & are in the market for a 185VC, perhaps You’ll enjoy It, too




~Lucubrate

I'm quite disturbed by the fact that I don't see any mikes in those lovely Bösendorfer marketing videos. So obviously we are not hearing what we are seeing.

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Originally Posted by kre
I'm quite disturbed by the fact that I don't see any mikes in those lovely Bösendorfer marketing videos. So obviously we are not hearing what we are seeing.

I heard that on the Bösendorfer videos they actually use a recording of a Hailun.

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Originally Posted by kre
I'm quite disturbed by the fact that I don't see any mikes in those lovely Bösendorfer marketing videos. So obviously we are not hearing what we are seeing.

It doesn't sound like the mics are near the piano.

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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by kre
I'm quite disturbed by the fact that I don't see any mikes in those lovely Bösendorfer marketing videos. So obviously we are not hearing what we are seeing.

It doesn't sound like the mics are near the piano.

True, they are not on top of hammers inside the lid, but based what I'm hearing they are definitely close enough to be visible in the video. Why do they need to do this, I don't get it?

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by kre
I'm quite disturbed by the fact that I don't see any mikes in those lovely Bösendorfer marketing videos. So obviously we are not hearing what we are seeing.

I heard that on the Bösendorfer videos they actually use a recording of a Hailun.

Some ridiculous conspiracy theory or is this from a reputable and quotable source?

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I have played many Bösendorfers and heard many played. They are among the finest in the world and allow seemingly infinite variation in tone and volume production. All pianos of course do this to a greater or lesser degree, but Bösendorfers are exceptional. I don’t necessarily think you should choose one over the other. You will know when you know. Just spend time with both. I am sure either would serve you very well.

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