Piano World Home Page
Posted By: New to piano Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/19/14 06:34 PM
Still looking for a baby grand for my 8 years daughter.

Now we narrow down of our choice to Essex EGP 155 (5'1") and Yamaha GB1K (5'). My daughter felt both have similar touch and similar tone. The EGP 155 is about $1500 more than the GB1K.
Which one will you pick?


Posted By: terminaldegree Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/19/14 06:45 PM
If you like both a lot, and like them equally, and like the dealer you're working with, and have access to a decent technician in your area, then I guess I'd take the less expensive piano.

I have not played an EGP 155, so I can't comment on it in a meaningful way.
Posted By: Jonathan Alford Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/19/14 07:29 PM
When I was shopping I was able to play the next larger Essex the EGP173. I liked it better than the Boston 156 that was supposed to be a nicer piano.

I did not like the smaller Yamahas at all.

I guess what I am saying is I would go with the Essex. But, your daughter does not see a difference.

Tough choice!
Posted By: BornInTheUSA Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/19/14 07:38 PM
Originally Posted by New to piano
Still looking for a baby grand for my 8 years daughter.

Now we narrow down of our choice to Essex EGP 155 (5'1") and Yamaha GB1K (5'). My daughter felt both have similar touch and similar tone. The EGP 155 is about $1500 more than the GB1K.
Which one will you pick?




What happened to?

Originally Posted by New to piano

Hello all, I think my questions turn into two separated questions or choices:
1. Choose Kawai Yamaha 5" baby grand or a larger Ritmuller, Hailun, Young Chang piano.
2. Differences between different lines of a same manufacturer, e.g., Rit GH170r vs Pearl River GP170, Young Chang vs Weber.


How old is your daughter, and how many years has she been playing? Maybe get whatever until she can decide.

edit: ...or wait until you can decide.

Looks like you edited your original question. If you look at the original thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2288029/1.html

Btw...master never provided a difference between the Pearl River and Ritmuller and seems like he didn't want to go on record on a public forum to explain the differences. Perhaps there aren't any.

FYI...Essex is also made by Pearl River, but it feels different than a Pearl River or Ritmuller to me. The key dips seemed shallower which might be a Steinway spec.
Posted By: New to piano Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/19/14 08:18 PM
She is 8 years old and have played for two years. I never paly piano so could not choose one for her. We currently have a used upright Kawai but she seems to grow out of that a little bit according to her teacher.

We tried quite a few pianos in recent weeks.
she did not like Kawai GM10 & GM12, Perina, Young Chang (she did not try Weber but I guess would be similar t Young Chang). She tried Boston but felt the keys are too heavy. She likes Steinway but I could not afford that:-)

She played Essex EGP 173 as well, which sound very bright for me, but she still would prefer EGP 155. She tried a used Kawai RX2, but did not like it.
Posted By: BornInTheUSA Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/19/14 09:29 PM
Originally Posted by New to piano
She is 8 years old and have played for two years. I never paly piano so could not choose one for her. We currently have a used upright Kawai but she seems to grow out of that a little bit according to her teacher.

We tried quite a few pianos in recent weeks.
she did not like Kawai GM10 & GM12, Perina, Young Chang (she did not try Weber but I guess would be similar t Young Chang). She tried Boston but felt the keys are too heavy. She likes Steinway but I could not afford that:-)

She played Essex EGP 173 as well, which sound very bright for me, but she still would prefer EGP 155. She tried a used Kawai RX2, but did not like it.


What do you have now? Why do you need to upgrade to a grand right now?

Pianos are very personal so you can't really buy one based on specs or internet reviews.

Seems like she likes a brighter tone, nothing wrong with that. That might change later, it might not. It's hard to say if her opinions are going to stick or if it's just because she's a beginner.

I say either get whatever she likes or wait if you don't trust her opinion right now, but unless you trust us anonymous people on the internet, I wouldn't listen to us. We've already bought the pianos that we like, but this is for her.





Posted By: New to piano Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/19/14 09:43 PM
Great inputs! Thanks a lot!
Posted By: master88er Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/20/14 12:00 AM
Originally Posted by Jonathan Alford
When I was shopping I was able to play the next larger Essex the EGP173. I liked it better than the Boston 156 that was supposed to be a nicer piano.

I did not like the smaller Yamahas at all.

I guess what I am saying is I would go with the Essex. But, your daughter does not see a difference.

Tough choice!


Actually, the piano that Jonathan Alford chose, after comparing all of those instruments, was a Ritmuller 170. As suggested in your other thread, you might want to try these instruments to compare to those you have already tried.

If you have questions about the specific comparisons, I would be happy to answer them through PM.
Posted By: turandot Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/20/14 06:10 AM
Originally Posted by michaelha

Btw...master never provided a difference between the Pearl River and Ritmuller and seems like he didn't want to go on record on a public forum to explain the differences. Perhaps there aren't any.



Oh, come on. You keep carrying on baiting your Master and he's likely to pop you on the head with a tuning hammer!

You seem to be suspicious of Ritmuller because Pearl didn't put its own name on its better line of pianos. There are two good reasons for that decision.

(1) Pearl originally got a niche in North America by offering the cheapest new piano on the market. That niche eroded when other Chinese makers started offering comparable and in some cases better pianos at the same price levels. Flash back six years or so, Pearl's business was drying up in North America. Dealers were cancelling. Pearl's NA distribution channel was constipated with inventory it couldn't sell. The Pearl distributor at that time told me that Pearl was going back to the drawing board with the idea of making a piano that was good enough (not cheap enough) to compete successfully in overseas markets. Pearl obviously wasn't trying to protect its brand name. In the North American market,it needed to run away from the image its name was burdened with.

(2) In committing its resources to building a better piano rather than the cheapest one, Pearl would need to charge higher wholesale prices. How would dealers react to yet another Pearl River product -- this one with a higher price? Let's imagine for a minute that you're a rep for Pearl and your job is to convince retailers to take on your new line. Try telling the guys who cancelled you that you've got a new line of Pearl River pianos for them that are much more expensive. How many containers do you think they'll order?

When the new Ritmullers first became available in CA, I tried a couple and liked them. Hailun was getting all the hype at that time, but in many ways the Rits had more appeal (at least to me).They were certainly far more musical than the old Pearls. I mentioned this to a sales guy at LA's largest dealer chain and asked him if they would consider the line. They had earlier stocked Pearl as their entry-level piano and subsequently cancelled in favor of Yamaha's Chiense Cable Nelson and T series. He told me they never wanted anything to do with Pearl in the future regardless of what name was on the fallboard. That's how bad things had gotten.

Every maker, especially a genuine maker, is entitled to its own scheme for naming. The Euro makers like fancy European names for their Asian contract stuff. Steinway has a fondness for Massachusetts names. The Japanese makers put their own name on everything they sell and differentiate through model numbers. For Pearl it's about turning things around with a better piano at a bigger price, getting enough sizzle to become respectable again, and building out from there. I suppose they could have called it Guangzhou, but what the hey?
Posted By: BornInTheUSA Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/20/14 06:37 AM
turandot,

Thanks for the info & history. It is interesting, but not that surprising.

Just that when I visited a Pearl River dealer, where I also bought my Kawai, they said the new PR's are "basically" the same as Ritmuller. That's all I'm trying to confirm. If you can get a Pearl River for 20+% less than a Ritmuller and they're the same, why not?

But Master and Norbert keep saying how they're fundamentally different, different scale design, different strings, different soundboard, different everything. but the PDF's in my other thread and them on paper exactly the same minus the hammers and some beams. But master keeps insisting they're different, how he has all this information invisible to us, but refuses to share any specifics. Only to PM him, which I did, asked for my super-personal, much guarded email address so he can send me a spreadsheet with 100+ differences, which I provided, still nothing. It doesn't make sense. if they are different and you have the data there, then share it.

Again, all I'm saying is if the PR is just as good as the Ritmuller, and it's cheaper, why not get the PR?

Or if the Ritmuller really is different and has all these features or materials the PR, then why not share it and score some points for Ritmuller?


Posted By: AZNpiano Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/20/14 06:37 AM
You should ask your daughter's teacher.
Posted By: PhilipInChina Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/20/14 09:10 AM
Are these new?
Posted By: Rich Galassini Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/20/14 12:38 PM
Frankly, neither is a tremendous piano. If she plays classical I would definitely avoid the Yamaha GB1K, which has no sostenuto pedal.

However, both are entry level pianos. Just curious, have you played the Ritmuller or Hailun product?
Posted By: Minnesota Marty Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/20/14 02:42 PM
Are you near Philadelphia? If so, you should visit Rich (above) and check out the Cunningham pianos.
Posted By: master88er Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/20/14 08:30 PM
Originally Posted by michaelha

Again, all I'm saying is if the PR is just as good as the Ritmuller, and it's cheaper, why not get the PR?


I agree with Mickey: If you can't hear, feel and appreciate the difference (as he obviously can't) between comparably sized Pearl River labeled product and the Ritmuller products, buy the Pearl River. Similarly, if you can't tell any difference between, say, comparably sized Steinway and Boston, or for that matter Bosendorfer and Yamaha, buy the cheapest one(as Mickey did). But don't be surprised if, as your taste evolves and your playing improves, you begin searching for a replacement (as he obviously is from his posts).

Originally Posted by michaelha

Btw...master never provided a difference between the Pearl River and Ritmuller and seems like he didn't want to go on record on a public forum to explain the differences. Perhaps there aren't any.


Actually, the OP of that thread did PM me and I did answer all questions posed.

Originally Posted by michaelha

FYI...Essex is also made by Pearl River, but it feels different than a Pearl River or Ritmuller to me. The key dips seemed shallower which might be a Steinway spec.


I am sure the Steinway dealer will give you a good trade in value for your Kawai.

@Turondot - William, great to see you back at the forum!
Posted By: Norbert Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/20/14 08:41 PM
Quote

Btw...master never provided a difference between the Pearl River and Ritmuller and seems like he didn't want to go on record on a public forum to explain the differences. Perhaps there aren't any.


Perhaps not.

To be frank, it's becoming a little tiring...

Luckily somebody else out there has a slightly different take on same subject:

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/RITMUELERLARRYFINE.jpg

Norbert
Posted By: BornInTheUSA Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/21/14 06:03 AM
Originally Posted by master88er

Similarly, if you can't tell any difference between, say, comparably sized Steinway and Boston, or for that matter Bosendorfer and Yamaha, buy the cheapest one(as Mickey did).


Classy Master88er.

Hey OP, @New to Piano, know that master88er will continue to belittle you for picking such low quality piano like an Essex or Yamaha GB1K. I mean, a Kawai RX5 is considered a cheap piece of trash to him, so everything else below must be like the goo that leaks from the trash bags.

Pretty pathetic that a "professional" has to get so low and start calling names, literally. Calling me "mickey."

As he said, he's a paid consultant of Pearl River and no doubt one of his tasks is to invade web forums and solicit Ritmuller's.

Anyway, if you decide to get a Ritmuller, know these are the thugs you're dealing with.

Posted By: Norbert Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/21/14 06:51 AM
Quote
Anyway, if you decide to get a Ritmuller, know these are the thugs you're dealing with.


You're identity is known to several dealers and I would be a little careful writing stuff like that.

Since you're hellbent to publicly discredit certain lines by certain dealers - for personal grudges as is known - please also include Sauter, Grotrian, Estonia, Steingraeber, Kayserburg and few more.

Beating constantly on lowly Ritmuller is becoming boring.

Please also write to Larry Fine that his judgement is a little out of line.

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/RITMUELERLARRYFINE.jpg

Mr.Fine apparently appreciates continial professional feedback from those in the know..

Norbert
Posted By: BornInTheUSA Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/21/14 07:41 AM
Originally Posted by Norbert
Quote
Anyway, if you decide to get a Ritmuller, know these are the thugs you're dealing with.


You're identity is known to several dealers and I would be a little careful writing stuff like that.


Be careful of what? Been watching too many Al Pacino movies lately?

How is asking for the difference between a Ritmuller and Pearl River discrediting it? It's a simple question.



Posted By: WimPiano Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/21/14 07:44 AM
@Michaelha please lay your differences with master88er aside. It's really starting to be annoying as is your senseless bashing of otherwise fine pianos.
Posted By: Bosendorff Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/21/14 03:52 PM
Originally Posted by wimpiano
@Michaelha please lay your differences with master88er aside. It's really starting to be annoying as is your senseless bashing of otherwise fine pianos.


+1
Posted By: PhilipInChina Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/21/14 03:57 PM
Maybe another thread to be closed. It seems a shame when it could be so interesting.

I wonder how many newcomers are put off by this kind of thing.
Posted By: rlinkt Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/21/14 03:59 PM
I am not a moderator, and so not in a position to be making this statement -- but I will make it anyway.

Michaelha, your relentless tirade against the Ritmuller specifically, and Chinese pianos in general, is getting exteremely tiring. Please stop it. I have owned a Rit GH170 for a couple of years. Its a lovely piano. If they were not to your taste -- that's perfectly understandable. Its perfectly fine to say that you did not think much of them. But stating them like an absolute truth at every opportunity, and in a way that's derogatory to people or dealers who like them -- that's tiring, and not necessarily providing useful information to the people looking for information.
Posted By: BornInTheUSA Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/21/14 07:27 PM
Apologies everyone, seriously. I'll ignore master88er and hopefully he'll ignore me.

rllinkt, sorry for offending you and the piano you own. I'll use more diplomatic language but at the same time I think novice shoppers who come here looking for others' opinions are better served if we tell them what we think whether it's good, bad, ugly...

Either way, I'll turn it down so this thread doesn't get locked smile
Posted By: Ken Knapp Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/21/14 10:22 PM
Originally Posted by michaelha
Apologies everyone, seriously. I'll ignore master88er and hopefully he'll ignore me.


Thank you! smile
Posted By: otherside Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/22/14 12:34 AM
After hearing a youtube clip on each, I would perhaps go for the Yamaha, it seems very balanced, and refined to me.
You don't need a sostenuto pedal to play classical by the way.
Posted By: Minnesota Marty Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/22/14 12:52 AM
Originally Posted by otherside
You don't need a sostenuto pedal to play classical by the way.

Could you explain your reasoning on this?
Posted By: otherside Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/22/14 01:23 AM
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Could you explain your reasoning on this?

Do you suggest an 8 year old would be in trouble for having no sostenuto pedal?
Posted By: Minnesota Marty Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/22/14 02:17 AM
Originally Posted by otherside
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Could you explain your reasoning on this?

Do you suggest an 8 year old would be in trouble for having no sostenuto pedal?

Well, she won't be 8 forever. If a student continues with classical piano, it will be needed.
Posted By: otherside Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/22/14 11:24 AM
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted by otherside
[Do you suggest an 8 year old would be in trouble for having no sostenuto pedal?

Well, she won't be 8 forever. If a student continues with classical piano, it will be needed.

You are a connoisseur of course, yet most classical players will never use it.
Posted By: WimPiano Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/22/14 11:42 AM
Sure we aren't mixing up the sostenuto and the sustain pedal? Otherwise most uprights would be useless because they typically don't have a sostenuto pedal
Posted By: otherside Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/22/14 01:39 PM
Originally Posted by otherside
After hearing a youtube clip on each, I would perhaps go for the Yamaha, it seems very balanced, and refined to me.

Currently I would probably go for the Essex, since the sound is perhaps more large and pleasant.
You can actually recognise the Steinway signature.
Posted By: Minnesota Marty Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/22/14 01:43 PM
Originally Posted by wimpiano
Sure we aren't mixing up the sostenuto and the sustain pedal? Otherwise most uprights would be useless because they typically don't have a sostenuto pedal

Wim - Those are grands.
Posted By: WimPiano Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/22/14 01:54 PM
Just to see if I understand correctly:
It's missing this middle pedal right?
[Linked Image]
So it has a sustain/damper pedal and a soft pedal?
Posted By: Minnesota Marty Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/22/14 02:10 PM
According to the info provided by Rich Galassini, yes (sort of).

The middle pedal on an upright is designed to do a number of different things, like a "practice pedal" which lowers a felt strip between the hammers and the strings, or a "bass sustain" which acts like a damper pedal for the bass section only. I am sure there are other specific uses available from various manufacturers in different eras.

A few of the very high-end builders offer a true sostenuto on a vertical. Very expensive pianos, to say the least.

What I'm not sure is if the piano Rich referenced, has two or three pedals. It may be that there are three pedals, but the middle pedal does not function as a true "sostenuto."
Posted By: A454.7 Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/22/14 02:41 PM
A sostenuto pedal is not all that important. I would love it if more concert artists used it--for artistic reasons--but on the typical american concert grand it is so unreliable, that most never even consider it as an option...unless they have to use it, which is compositely extremely rare.

Regardless of the girl's current age, she could go on to the finest music schools in the world and finish a doctorate in piano performance without ever touching the sostenuto pedal once. That is how important the sostenuto pedal is.

I, however, use it all the time--as a tuner--but that is a completely different issue altogether.
Posted By: Minnesota Marty Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/22/14 02:58 PM
I'm sorry, but a pianist who gets to the level of a DMA in piano performance wouldn't have gotten there without extensive study of Ravel and Debussy. If one is taught correctly from the beginning, the use of the sostenuto will be employed throughout the literature.

Ya gotta start somewhere.
Posted By: A454.7 Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/22/14 03:10 PM
An extensive study of Ravel and Debussy does not require the use of the sostenuto pedal, neither does a DMA in piano performance.

Again: I think it should be used, and I have tried to encourage concert pianists to use it almost ever chance I get (i.e., I see sooooo many extended uses for it), but ├╝bermajority of pianists simply do not want anything to do with that pedal. It is unreliable in concert, especially if the piano is of american design.
Posted By: Minnesota Marty Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/22/14 03:25 PM
I just can't accept these grand sweeping pronouncements which have no basis in fact.
Posted By: A454.7 Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/22/14 03:39 PM
You disagree, you've stated your opinion, with no fact or experiences to support your statements, and you've already started to dismiss my experiences. I can, and am willing to discuss facts with you, but this--in the past--has lead to further insults and personal attacks from you. I want to avoid that. So, lets just drop it...
Posted By: BDB Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/22/14 04:53 PM
The sostenuto pedal is a better pedal to start with than the damper pedal. Proper use of the damper pedal is almost always the same as the sostenuto pedal: play the note, then press the pedal. The sostenuto pedal will only work that way, while the damper pedal will also work if you press the pedal first, but that results in a muddy sound. So a sostenuto pedal is desirable. Only the cost, complexity, and tradition has made it less available. But ultimately, the decision is up to the buyer.

If I were to offer options on pedals, the one that I would leave off is the soft pedal. Of the three commonly used pedals, that one is the least consistent, and the least useful. Maybe I should say four commonly used pedal. The bass sustain is more useful than the soft pedal, too.
Posted By: BornInTheUSA Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/22/14 05:23 PM
If this is the long term piano, then I'd probably get one with the pedal. Actually, if this was the long-term/permanent piano, I probably wouldn't get either of these pianos.
Posted By: WimPiano Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/22/14 06:17 PM
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted by wimpiano
Sure we aren't mixing up the sostenuto and the sustain pedal? Otherwise most uprights would be useless because they typically don't have a sostenuto pedal

Wim - Those are grands.

Of course, I was asking since older grands (top tier) more regularly lack a edit: sustain sostenuto pedal. In any case I agree that these piano's might not be the best choices and would prefer to have a sostenuto pedal when shopping for a grand..
Posted By: A454.7 Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/22/14 06:36 PM
...lack a sustain pedal?!? I'm confused, how do all the dampers go up then? That is the most important pedal.
Posted By: WimPiano Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/22/14 06:39 PM
typo wink Sostenuto. Bl├╝thners, Bechsteins, Steinways, plenty of 'm without sostenuto pedal.
Posted By: Spuds Re: Essex EGP 155 or Yamaha GB1K? - 06/23/14 01:14 AM
If I could pass on any advice after recently purchasing another piano it would be buy what you think you might like in a few years, not what will "do" for now. If piano is something your daughter intends to keep at, purchase a good quality product now. I tried the GB1K and was not as impressed as I had hoped. It was OK, but not fabulous. I did purchase a Ritmuller UH 132 after trying out many others including Essex, Kawai, Hailun, Yamaha U1 and new U3. Boston was out of my price range. I love my Ritmuller UH 132, and would have loved the small Ritmuller GB148 and the 170 sounded wonderful to me. I will stress I liked the sound, and the price. But there are lots of great pianos out there. I also loved the Yamaha U3 for an upright. Really either of these pianos for a beginner will be fine, and if you love the GB1K and it works for you, buy what fits your wallet. A lot of this will be personal preference. Look at Larry Fine's online book for reviews. I bought what I could afford at a few years ago and then upgraded and hopefully someday when I have more space will upgrade again. Welcome to Piano World and as you may have noticed there are many here with strong opinions, but also much knowledge and expertise. Are there any "bad" pianos out there for a beginner? The piano review books state that most manufacturers are making pretty decent products, it depends on your budget, space, and what sound you prefer. Hailun is another piano that has some good reviews. Check them out too. Good luck!
© Piano World Piano & Digital Piano Forums