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TD;DR
I need recommendations for something simple to play to find the piano I like

Hi eek
I'm about to buy my first piano. I am 34 y/o and playing for two months. I love playing my digital organ and want to advance to a real piano.
I can afford a nice piano but no space for grand piano.
I've visited the local shops (in Israel), and I mostly judge the piano based on how it sounds when the seller plays it and how it felt playing some chords or incomplete parts from pieces I know.
The price gaps here are massive (U3 is 150% price of U1), and the issue is that I felt it when I played the U3. And suddenly, all other pianos felt empty. but It's hard for me to justify the expense just based on that
I need something to play with, so I can compare them myself, without the help of the salesman.
Next, I will visit a Kawai distributor and check out the K series.

Thank you for the help heart

Last edited by The Dreamer; 12/27/21 04:23 PM.
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Originally Posted by The Dreamer
TD;DR
I need recommendations for something simple to play to find the piano I like
There is no point learning something new just to try out your new piano, because you'll be concentrating on playing accurately rather than judging the piano.

You should just play what you can already play and know well. A few chords in all registers, a chromatic scale (if you can play one, otherwise a normal scale) to check the gradation and evenness of key action and the change in timbre as you move up & down the keyboard etc will do.

Maybe ask the salesman to play something you know. For instance, as I'm into classical music, if I couldn't play, I'd ask the salesman (or maybe a helpful classical pianist checking out the pianos there) to play a classical piece in order to judge the sound - I wouldn't be able to if he thumped out some noisy jazz with zero nuances and voicings.


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A U3 is taller and therefore will be suitable for larger rooms. If your apartment is not big , you may prefer a U1.
Two U1 pianos can feel and sound totally different. So it’s not only the model that affects what you felt.
You can decide on your piano based on sound (mellower/softer or brighter)- you can do this just by listening to someone else , and try to feel the touch - lighter vs heavier. After a few visits to stores you will start to understand what is your personal preference. You can also ask your teacher -he/she may agree to help you choose (paid, of course).
I also recommend you to take an independent piano technician that will check the piano you chose even if you buy from a dealer(store).

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You really can't go wrong with a Yamaha or Kawai. I always thought the Kawai actions were heavier. I had a U1 for a couple of years and loved it. Tried the U3, but thought it was too loud and expensive. I bought used from a dealer. Eventually I upgraded to grand(s).

Bear in mind that the piano will sound different in your home. I had to experiment with the piano placement when I had the U1, even placing a sound absorbing panel near the piano. I probably obsessed about the sound too much back then. I am much more tolerant now with a grand.

Sam


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Dreamer, I think you are doing just fine and I agree with bennevis that it doesn’t make sense to try to learn pieces just for the sake of piano shopping.
You are buying a piano to bring you pleasure and joy. You should decide on a budget — how much you are willing to pay — and then buy the piano that you like best, that is within your budget. If your budget does not extend to the U3, then pass on it. But if you can afford the U3 and you like it more than other pianos, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with splurging. You will enjoy it more than the other pianos, which likely means you will spend more time with it.
Play and listen to as many pianos as you can. Think about what you like about the different pianos. If you start looking at used pianos and are seriously interested in one, you will want to hire a technician to inspect the piano. Have fun, and good luck shopping!

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I own a U1 and tested a U3, not much difference IMO, not worth the extra cost. As a starter piano I think the U1 is hard to beat. My advice, go for it ! Go on and test the Kawais also, they have a good reputation. Don' get too fixated on the sound, as a beginner your priority should be the action IMO. Precise, consistent, not too heavy not too light. You should feel a pleasure of sorts in pressing the keys.

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Originally Posted by marklings
Don' get too fixated on the sound, as a beginner your priority should be the action IMO.
I used to think the same but now I disagree. There is a feeback loop between what you play and what you hear and playing the piano well is largely about controling this feedback loop. Here is an anecdote from one of my lessons. When I started playing on my teacher's grand piano I thought the action was very heavy. He told me that in fact it's rather light compared to other Yamaha pianos and that it's because of the accoustics of the room. Then, when he moved to another place suddently the exact same piano felt much lighter. I asked him if he did anything to it and he said no. Simply changing the accoustics of the environment affected how heavy I perceived the keys to be. This experience convinced me that the sound is just as important as the action in your overall feel for the piano.

Since then I have experimented with various pianos and found that the higher quality pianos with more nuanced undertones have much greater sound possibilities. Beginner or not it's much better to learn to hear and control a greater range of colors than to play on an instrument with a flat sound and not even be aware of what you are missing.

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For what it’s worth, we picked out our piano with just a few basic pieces from a Faber & Faber level 1 book. Almost 2 years later we’re still happy with our 1986 Yamaha G2. It felt and sounded nicer than anything else in our price range.

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I am of the school that you should pay attention to the sound. The simple reason is that you will be listening to it every time you practice, a a bd a beautiful sound is inspiring. The more complicated reason was written by Qzsedcft in the post above. I agree with his perspective.

My childhood piano was certainly not a top-tier piano, but it was capable of producing any sound nuance I was able to make. I learned a lot during my years of hearing it.

Best wishes for finding the piano you love.

Last edited by dogperson; 12/28/21 09:36 AM. Reason: Typos and addition
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I would consider other brands too...You can't get any more generic than a Yamaha or Kawai. And when we're talking about music, generic isn't a term you want to connotate anything musical. It boils down to your personal taste, but please, do yourself a favor and educate yourself on the piano industry. If you don't you'll miss out on some really spectacular instruments.

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A Kawai K500 is a very nice piano which is cheaper too than a U3.Otherwise a good used upright which has an attractive tone and response.Something that will inspire you to practice and just play.


My piano's voice is my voice to God and the great unknown universe, and to those I love.In other words a hymn.That is all, but that is enough.Life goes on, despite pain and fear.Music is beautiful,life is beautiful.


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Thank you all for helping out
I finally decided to get the U3.
I found it to better to my ears and to my touch, I Felt the deep bass and was able to discern the notes when playing both hands together.
Also its a beautiful piano, and when popping the cover, just wow!
The Kawai btw felt too blend for my ears, I actually liked the k200 more than the k500,
Again thank you all!


[img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/p...i_ScsdDp9DogbNRg1zZZI_TBg=w1023-h1363-no[/img]

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Great decision! I'm sure you will not be disappointed. 👍

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The U3 is an excellent piano, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it very much. Congratulations! 🙂👍


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Congratulations! 🎉🎈🎊 . The U3 is a great piano, and I see many years ahead of for you of music making with your new musical partner!

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U3's can be wonderful musical instruments.Congratulations on your piano.


My piano's voice is my voice to God and the great unknown universe, and to those I love.In other words a hymn.That is all, but that is enough.Life goes on, despite pain and fear.Music is beautiful,life is beautiful.



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