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Estonia Pianos
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metta Offline OP
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Hello!
I am still searching for a grand piano! What would you choose among these?

Kawai GL 40, 50, GX series: They are brand new and will be shipped in a crate via freight: Won't be the one I tried on the floor. Would that be okay? The dealer will include a inhome tuning and 10 year warranty.

GXs are much better in qualities but the dealer voiced GX muffled so I didn't like it as much so I am hesitant to buy GX. I was quoted 24K CAD plus tax and shipping for GL 40.

Another contender is a 8yr old Estonia L190 for 30000 CAD by a private seller. I haven't tried it yet though. I have tried this model at a shop but where the log was cracked so it will sell cheaper, maybe around 17000 CAD. Is it okay to have a crack on the exterior?

OR I can wait for about 20-25 yr old yamaha C3 for a similar price. I have a decent digital right now so no big rush to buy one.

I am quite neutral in terms of liking one over another. I love Estonia's tone particularly at the middle, upper middle register and the bass. At high register, it sounded a bit too bright. And one of the key stuck. But the shop was still working on it when I tried it. This is the one that had a crack.

I am learning Jazz if it matters. These pianos are 4 hours away from my home so I am leaning towards buying a new Kawai. But a piano tech I know recommends Yamahas as they are more consistent and rugged in terms of build. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

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I second your tech's opinion that Yamaha is more consistent. I owned a brand new Kawai K300 before and recently traded up to a brand new Yamaha C2X. My K300 required tuning almost every quarter during its first 2 years and slowly stabilized after that. Plus it was delivered to me with some action regulation problem that I ended up hiring an independent tech to do the regulation for it. Also, It was frustrating that few notes were easier to go out of tune that the other. So at the end, I bought a tuning wrench myself to do the basic maintenance. Compared to my new Yamaha, it came in to my home perfectly in tune and perfectly regulated and still held up in tune even after a month. I guess its their seasoning process for local market makes such big difference.


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metta Offline OP
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Interesting. A few salesperson told me that there is no difference between Yamaha’s made for North America and for Japan as North America has different climates as well. And no other brand has these kinds of distinction so it is made up story...Not true?

Last edited by metta; 07/12/21 11:47 AM.
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Originally Posted by metta
Interesting. A few salesperson told me that there is no difference between Yamaha’s made for North America and for Japan as North America has different climates as well. And no other brand has these kinds of distinction so it is made up story...Not true?

I also heard similar argument on Youtube. I am also not Sure is it true or not but from my personal impression of 2 new piano purchases, I think it is does make some difference. Or it could be that Yamaha's manufacture process is just better.


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Originally Posted by metta
[...]
Kawai GL 40, 50, GX series: They are brand new and will be shipped in a crate via freight: Won't be the one I tried on the floor. Would that be okay? [...]

That is not a choice that I would make. Even among the same models of the same make there can be enough difference in tonal character that one should purchase the piano that one has tried - and liked.

Originally Posted by metta
where the log was cracked so it will sell cheaper, maybe around 17000 CAD. Is it okay to have a crack on the exterior?
[...]

What do you mean "the log" was cracked?

Regards,


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I would guess the OP mistyped leg. Metta- get a piano that you’ve seen and played. If it’s used, get an independent technician to inspect.

On that note - I absolutely LOVE my Estonia L190.


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Originally Posted by j&j
I would guess the OP mistyped leg. [...]

That was my thought, too, but I wanted it confirmed. Depending on where and how much of a crack there is, whether it's a surface scratch in the finish or something deeper, it could have significance to the integrity of the instrument.

Regards,


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Originally Posted by JerryFan2000
Originally Posted by metta
Interesting. A few salesperson told me that there is no difference between Yamaha’s made for North America and for Japan as North America has different climates as well. And no other brand has these kinds of distinction so it is made up story...Not true?

I also heard similar argument on Youtube. I am also not Sure is it true or not but from my personal impression of 2 new piano purchases, I think it is does make some difference. Or it could be that Yamaha's manufacture process is just better.

Why don't you guys buy one and find out! Be sure and let us know.

It seems like you're more concerned with the number, no matter what you go home with. It's a little bizarre. But if I could offer any piece of advice, stay away from the GL series, it's a complete waste.

Last edited by itsfreakingmeout; 07/12/21 04:39 PM.
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Originally Posted by j&j
I would guess the OP mistyped leg. Metta- get a piano that you’ve seen and played. If it’s used, get an independent technician to inspect.

On that note - I absolutely LOVE my Estonia L190.
Surely no dealer would sell a grand piano with a cracked leg? It could be dangerous? 😳

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Originally Posted by itsfreakingmeout
But if I could offer any piece of advice, stay away from the GL series, it's a complete waste.

And I think this is an example of bad advice with no specifics to back it up.


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Originally Posted by tre corda
Originally Posted by j&j
I would guess the OP mistyped leg. Metta- get a piano that you’ve seen and played. If it’s used, get an independent technician to inspect.

On that note - I absolutely LOVE my Estonia L190.
Surely no dealer would sell a grand piano with a cracked leg? It could be dangerous? 😳

I would hope a dealer wouldn’t sell an 800 lbs piano with a crack that would affect the structural integrity. Piano legs can be replaced.


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metta Offline OP
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Sorry I meant there were cracks over the logo of Estonia on the side of the piano, not log or leg!

Last edited by metta; 07/12/21 07:26 PM.
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I would love to know if I should avoid kawai GLs. They sounded pretty good.

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Originally Posted by metta
I would love to know if I should avoid kawai GLs. They sounded pretty good.

Not at all, Kawai are a very consistent and reliable brand and there is no reason to avoid them. The GL series are a regular recommendation here as they are a good piano at a reasonable price, you may of course prefer a GX or a Yamaha or something else entirely as everyone has different preferences but if your choice is a new GL there is no reason at all not to go for it.

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Originally Posted by metta
I would love to know if I should avoid kawai GLs. They sounded pretty good.
You will always find someone on the internet who will tell you to avoid a particular car brand, or religious leader, or brand of tool, or piano. If there were a market consensus that people should avoid Kawai pianos, or any other brand, they wouldn't be in business.
As far as buying the piano you try, that is the best way to do it. But sometimes you will get the piano you liked in the store in your home and it will sound really different. There are people on the forum who have described that experience, sometime to their joy and sometime to their disappointment. So buying the piano you played won't guarantee you'll like the sound in your house, it will just increase the odds a bit. It also depends on your experience level and ear sensitivity. My experience is that a particular brand and model has pretty consistent touch, it's the sound that varies from one piano to another. So you can do an experiment for yourself, go to the piano store where you've been shopping and put a blindfold on. Ask the sales person to play 5 pianos a few times and see if you can consistently pick the same one whose sound you like the best. If you can't, then it probably doesn't matter which one you buy and it probably won't matter which one you get from the factory. If your ear is good enough to consistently identify your favorite piano blindfolded, then you probably don't want to order one without playing it.


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Originally Posted by MarkL
Originally Posted by metta
I would love to know if I should avoid kawai GLs. They sounded pretty good.
You will always find someone on the internet who will tell you to avoid a particular car brand, or religious leader, or brand of tool, or piano. If there were a market consensus that people should avoid Kawai pianos, or any other brand, they wouldn't be in business.
As far as buying the piano you try, that is the best way to do it. But sometimes you will get the piano you liked in the store in your home and it will sound really different. There are people on the forum who have described that experience, sometime to their joy and sometime to their disappointment. So buying the piano you played won't guarantee you'll like the sound in your house, it will just increase the odds a bit. It also depends on your experience level and ear sensitivity. My experience is that a particular brand and model has pretty consistent touch, it's the sound that varies from one piano to another. So you can do an experiment for yourself, go to the piano store where you've been shopping and put a blindfold on. Ask the sales person to play 5 pianos a few times and see if you can consistently pick the same one whose sound you like the best. If you can't, then it probably doesn't matter which one you buy and it probably won't matter which one you get from the factory. If your ear is good enough to consistently identify your favorite piano blindfolded, then you probably don't want to order one without playing it.

I don’t know this for sure but I’d be willing to bet that the GL series are Kawais best selling grand pianos. They can be very nice pianos for the money.


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Originally Posted by MarkL
Originally Posted by metta
I would love to know if I should avoid kawai GLs. They sounded pretty good.
You will always find someone on the internet who will tell you to avoid a particular car brand, or religious leader, or brand of tool, or piano. If there were a market consensus that people should avoid Kawai pianos, or any other brand, they wouldn't be in business.
As far as buying the piano you try, that is the best way to do it. But sometimes you will get the piano you liked in the store in your home and it will sound really different. There are people on the forum who have described that experience, sometime to their joy and sometime to their disappointment. So buying the piano you played won't guarantee you'll like the sound in your house, it will just increase the odds a bit. It also depends on your experience level and ear sensitivity. My experience is that a particular brand and model has pretty consistent touch, it's the sound that varies from one piano to another. So you can do an experiment for yourself, go to the piano store where you've been shopping and put a blindfold on. Ask the sales person to play 5 pianos a few times and see if you can consistently pick the same one whose sound you like the best. If you can't, then it probably doesn't matter which one you buy and it probably won't matter which one you get from the factory. If your ear is good enough to consistently identify your favorite piano blindfolded, then you probably don't want to order one without playing it.
An interesting "test" but also risky. Much better for anyone to choose a piano at a dealership. At least starting with something you like when listening from the bench(listening to other people play gives a sound experience that's not nearly as critical) gives you the best chance of ending up with a piano you'll like in your home.

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Originally Posted by metta
Hello!
I am still searching for a grand piano! What would you choose among these?

Kawai GL 40, 50, GX series: They are brand new and will be shipped in a crate via freight: Won't be the one I tried on the floor. Would that be okay? The dealer will include a inhome tuning and 10 year warranty.

GXs are much better in qualities but the dealer voiced GX muffled so I didn't like it as much so I am hesitant to buy GX. I was quoted 24K CAD plus tax and shipping for GL 40.

Another contender is a 8yr old Estonia L190 for 30000 CAD by a private seller. I haven't tried it yet though. I have tried this model at a shop but where the log was cracked so it will sell cheaper, maybe around 17000 CAD. Is it okay to have a crack on the exterior?

OR I can wait for about 20-25 yr old yamaha C3 for a similar price. I have a decent digital right now so no big rush to buy one.

I am quite neutral in terms of liking one over another. I love Estonia's tone particularly at the middle, upper middle register and the bass. At high register, it sounded a bit too bright. And one of the key stuck. But the shop was still working on it when I tried it. This is the one that had a crack.

I am learning Jazz if it matters. These pianos are 4 hours away from my home so I am leaning towards buying a new Kawai. But a piano tech I know recommends Yamahas as they are more consistent and rugged in terms of build. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
As years have gone on I realize that oftentimes I run across the same questions that I've heard before and maybe I had made an effort to share my point of view in detail. I reviewed a couple of Estonias back in 2008 and used my then Kawai RX-2 as a reference point. The GX series replaced the RX-2 series a few years later but I would say they are similar in many ways with the GX-2 being even more refined most notably the longer keysticks which afford the pianist better control. So here's the post. I think I discussed my preference for styles of music with these pianos and since you are studying jazz you might want to take that into consideration. All pianos can play all genres of music but you might have a preference for which tone suits your music best. (sorry that the pics don't show up anymore in the post- it's from 2008).

Estonia 168, 190, and RX2


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Since you have reviewed the Estonia in 2008, is that review relevant to new models?


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Originally Posted by dogperson
Since you have reviewed the Estonia in 2008, is that review relevant to new models?
My understanding is that they haven't changed much other than a slight improvement to the Renner action they should be be pretty much the same. And the OP is looking at an 8 year old 190 so that's not new either. So is the question relevant?

Last edited by Jethro; 07/14/21 12:46 PM.

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