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Estonia Pianos
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Joined: Mar 2021
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...these are the two options for a small enough grand that also fits my budget. The selection in present day Sweden is extremely narrow, most dealers went bust in the flood 1990-2010 of used pianos. Now, only Yamaha, Kawai and Steinway have dealers with new instruments in stock and a new Steinway is far too expensive for me. There are also 2-3 decent used dealers with a very uneven stock of used grands and pianos. Among the available 165-180cm grands only 2-3 fit my budget and requirements.

So, I've tested a nice (but a bit soulless) new Yamaha C2X and also a nice, well-sounding S&S M170 from the mid 50-ties. I am also thinking about a silent system that could either come with the C2X or be retrofitted to the M170 (heresy!).

So, how to think about future value, hassle free ownership etc etc? Could a 50-ties M170 turn out to be a lemon? What questions do I need to as the dealer that put the M170 into shape? Or should I go for the CX2 with present day tech and warranty? This will most probably be my second and last piano purchase.

FYI, I am a dilettante trying to play mostly Bach/Haydn/Brahms/Scriabin/Rachmaninoff with limited success.


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Why would you even consider a piano you consider to be ‘soulless’??

Please don’t consider any piano to be a financial investment; they just aren’t. If you truly like the sound and touch of the S & S, have it inspected by a tech that you hire so that you avoid the ‘lemon’ factor. If you don’t really like playing it, just patiently keep looking.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Sometimes I think I'm a bit of a novelty on this forum because I don't really believe pianos have souls, and while I understand what you mean, I like to keep things very straightforward and say the soul of a piano lies inside the pianist. Oh for sure, it's easier to play closer to your intentions on some instruments than on others, and we can prefer the sound of some instruments over others, but as far as souls are concerned I keep them to living things. Why do I approach the subject in such a frosty manner? Well, simply put you're about to spend hard-earned cash, and that cash represents time you've invested in whatever job you've done, and we want to make sure we spend our money as wisely as possible!

OK back to the pianos. Normally I would say a Hamburg Steinway is above a Yamaha C2X, and for the most part, equivalent sizes from each make prove this to be the case. I've also found, however, that this stops with the Model A. Below the Model A size, or below the C3X size, Yamaha is much better in every way. The design is much better, the bass strings are longer, the piano is clearer sounding and more even.

That's not to slate the Steinway M, there are people on this forum with Steinway Ms and they love them, they love that sound world. I understand that. The Steinway M is also an exceptional piano, the Steinway action is incredible, but so is the Yamaha's.

In this particular case, you're also comparing a piano that is around 70 years old with one that is new. There is no comparison. A new Yamaha C2X will outperform virtually every 70 year old piano, regardless of make and size, unless that old piano has been extensively restored by a technician who understands the instrument. That restoration should at least include the replacement of the pin-block, action, and strings, and possibly the soundboard depending on the situation. Not all pianos require new soundboards during the rebuilding process, if the soundboard functions properly/can be rescued.

My verdict on this is, either go with the Yamaha or keep shopping.

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Thanks for the extremely valuable input! The Yamaha then is the main alternative.

There actually are two other options available for new grands - if I stretch the budget a little: Shigeru Kawai SK-2 (which after checking is a little cheaper than I expected) or a Bechstein Academy A175. I thought Bechsteins were out of question but they are being re-introduced in our market so I might get the price down to match the Kawai.

Including those two, I have ran out of local options (unless our local renovators find a yet unknown 165-180 grand to start working on, highly unlikely).

Any quick opinions on either of these, compared to a C2X? I think I would enjoy playing on any of the three options but it is a huge investment for me and I really want to make a resonably rational decision.


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I think they're all good options and it would come down to which piano you like the most smile


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Originally Posted by ColonelBogey
Thanks for the extremely valuable input! The Yamaha then is the main alternative.

There actually are two other options available for new grands - if I stretch the budget a little: Shigeru Kawai SK-2 (which after checking is a little cheaper than I expected) or a Bechstein Academy A175. I thought Bechsteins were out of question but they are being re-introduced in our market so I might get the price down to match the Kawai.

Including those two, I have ran out of local options (unless our local renovators find a yet unknown 165-180 grand to start working on, highly unlikely).

Any quick opinions on either of these, compared to a C2X? I think I would enjoy playing on any of the three options but it is a huge investment for me and I really want to make a resonably rational decision.
Since you were not enthralled with the C2X and the Steinway likely has age related issues, I think both the Shigeru and Bechstein are certainly worth trying and many would say potentially superior to the Yamaha and the Steinway.

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I've played several used Steinway M. While used Steinway pianos tend to be all over the place, in the end it all depends on the individual piano. I found that most of the M I've played does not have a balance sound especially in the notes that are below middle C. However, I've played one Steinway M that has been rebuilt in 2006 here at the Bay Area by a well-known technician. This M has the best bass of any Steinway M I have ever played, and it even plays better than the Steinway A3 in the same room.

The owner of the store created a video of it.



FYI I don't have affiliation with the seller.


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The Bechstein A175, Shigeru SK2, and the Yamaha C2X are three entirely different pianos. Much will depend on the regulation and voicing, but the pianos themselves each have a different tonal quality even with good voicing.

At this level there probably isn't one that's better than the other, although the Bechstein does kind of pique my interest more than the others. It really depends what sound world you're looking for, and which comes closest to your ideal within your budget. Is one objectively better than the other? Probably not. We can talk for ages about how the Bechstein has a particular action, the Kawai another type, and the Yamaha another type, and we can talk about specification, etc, but at the end of the day it'll really come down to taste.

I'd be happy with any of these pianos.


Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

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