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Joined: Feb 2019
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I've narrowed down my search to a '96 RX-1 and a '94 G2, both under $10,000 from private sellers.

Length: RX-1 = 5/5, G2 = 5/8
Touch: The Kawai is more stiff, which I prefer. The Yamaha touch is not bad, though. Neither had the depth/control that I've experienced with other Yamahas or Kawais.
Tone: The Yamaha 'rings' better (as they are known for). Neither was 'mushy', but the Yamaha was particularly 'clear'. There were noticeable 'breaks' in the lower octaves of the Kawai. The Yamaha seemed fairly consistent throughout.
Wear: Kawai was supposedly 'low mileage'. Hammers had string dents, though. Yamaha owner claimed he never used it, simply tuned it once a year. It looked pristine.
The lock plate on the Kawai's fallboard was tarnished. Did Kawai not use brass on their RX-1's? Or is this not the original case?

Hoping to make a decision in the next few days, after checking another store or two. Any thoughts?

I appreciate this website so much! Thank you!

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You must have the piano thoroughly checked by an unbiased qualified technician before making the final decision.

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wait, you PREFER the stiffer action?

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It would depend on the condition of the piano, but either would be a great choice.

Based on my limited experience, the Kawai does have a slightly heavier action, as a general rule, than Yamaha; but, as you say, some people like a firmer action. I have an older Howard 550, made by Kawai, and it does indeed have a firmer action than my Yamaha grand. But I play the Yamaha a lot more and have come to love the feel of the action on the Yamaha.

I would suggest that you have the piano you decide to buy inspected by a qualified piano technician. Or, have them both inspected and you'll have more info to help with your decision.

Good luck!

Rick


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When piano shopping, we tend to emphasize touch, action, and feel as much as sound and condition. Your piano tech’s report on condition on the competing used pianos is critical. The sound to your ears is critical. If the Kawai’s action is slightly heavier than the Yamaha’s but the condition and sound of the Kawai beats the Yamaha, you will find you can adapt to the heavier action without even realizing it. We generally adapt to our pianos action. The piano’s condition might just haunt the new owner and will really disappoint now and later unless serious money is spent. The sound of the piano needs to please the buyer.
The piano’s condition as verified by your tech and it’s sound are really key. If the action is a bit heavier, your fingers and hands will adapt. If the action is really annoying, move on. Best of Luck!


J & J
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Originally Posted by Buxtehudejoy
I've narrowed down my search to a '96 RX-1 and a '94 G2, both under $10,000 from private sellers.

Length: RX-1 = 5/5, G2 = 5/8
Touch: The Kawai is more stiff, which I prefer. The Yamaha touch is not bad, though. Neither had the depth/control that I've experienced with other Yamahas or Kawais.
Tone: The Yamaha 'rings' better (as they are known for). Neither was 'mushy', but the Yamaha was particularly 'clear'. There were noticeable 'breaks' in the lower octaves of the Kawai. The Yamaha seemed fairly consistent throughout.
Wear: Kawai was supposedly 'low mileage'. Hammers had string dents, though. Yamaha owner claimed he never used it, simply tuned it once a year. It looked pristine.
The lock plate on the Kawai's fallboard was tarnished. Did Kawai not use brass on their RX-1's? Or is this not the original case?

Hoping to make a decision in the next few days, after checking another store or two. Any thoughts?

I appreciate this website so much! Thank you!

From your forum name I would have thought you would prefer this
Ian
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I appreciate all your comments. I'm used to a very light touch on my old upright, but I play a Kawai at church, and really enjoy the control afforded by a firmer touch. Once I can practice on a grand at home, I won't get thrown off so much, playing on other grands. I plan to teach piano students, though, so don't want to frighten them with an overly stiff touch.

And yes, I love baroque and am studying organ smile

Just curious, in the ceaseless Yamaha/Kawai debate, which is better for baroque music? That is, in the absence of a harpsichord smile

Thanks again everyone!

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Funny finding this thread here...since it's my RX-1. So I'll echo what everyone else said and what I told you in person: hire a tech to check out the pianos and then decide based on your preference and the assessed condition.

Also, as far as the brass on the lock, it's just tarnished. I'll polish it with some brasso and it'll look new smile


Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
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For those reading Piano World posts, piano makers have been in fierce competition since the beginning of piano-making. It makes piano shopping now rather complex, BUT the competition is fabulous for the piano buyer. Kawai and Yamaha have been in fierce competition since the beginning. Again, the great news is fierce competition between two companies on the small island of Japan, means both Kawai and Yamaha have to strive to make a slightly better piano than their competitors over the years and deliver it to their customers.
If elves suddenly switched my 7 year old C3 for an equivalent 7 year old 6’1” Kawai one morning, once I got over my surprise, I’d go about finding out all the pleasant nuances in the sound and how to play the Kawai to its best advantage. So, in conclusion, if your tech says both pianos are equivalent condition, it’s just your choice on what you buy. Either piano can deliver years of musical enjoyment.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
My piano’s voice is beautiful!
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Originally Posted by Sam Rose
Funny finding this thread here...since it's my RX-1. smile
Hi Sam - We met at a piano party in Phoenix several years ago. I thought you owned a Yamaha grand. smile


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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Sam Rose
Funny finding this thread here...since it's my RX-1. smile
Hi Sam - We met at a piano party in Phoenix several years ago. I thought you owned a Yamaha grand. smile


We did! I remember you (and still have your Chopin Etude notes). I had just a Yamaha C3 then. Now I have a collection of pianos (a few Kawais, an old Erard, and old Steinway L and M, and my main baby, which is an 80s Hamburg Steinway D). So I guess a lot has changed since (I think it was) 2013 laugh


Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
"You can play better than BachMach2." - Mark_C
Currently Butchering:
Rachmaninoff Prelude in C# Minor
My Piano Diary: http://www.youtube.com/sirsardonic
♪ > $
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Originally Posted by Sam Rose
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Sam Rose
Funny finding this thread here...since it's my RX-1. smile
Hi Sam - We met at a piano party in Phoenix several years ago. I thought you owned a Yamaha grand. smile

We did! I remember you (and still have your Chopin Etude notes). I had just a Yamaha C3 then. Now I have a collection of pianos (a few Kawais, an old Erard, and old Steinway L and M, and my main baby, which is an 80s Hamburg Steinway D). So I guess a lot has changed since (I think it was) 2013 laugh
That "main baby" of yours sounds pretty terrific !!! Still playing the Ballade No. 1? smile


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Sam Rose
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Sam Rose
Funny finding this thread here...since it's my RX-1. smile
Hi Sam - We met at a piano party in Phoenix several years ago. I thought you owned a Yamaha grand. smile

We did! I remember you (and still have your Chopin Etude notes). I had just a Yamaha C3 then. Now I have a collection of pianos (a few Kawais, an old Erard, and old Steinway L and M, and my main baby, which is an 80s Hamburg Steinway D). So I guess a lot has changed since (I think it was) 2013 laugh
That "main baby" of yours sounds pretty terrific !!! Still playing the Ballade No. 1? smile


It is pretty terrific! I'll PM you a clip of something I'm working on. Sadly I shelved the Ballade and didn't do much piano for the last few years, but I'm trying to get myself back into it!


Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
"You can play better than BachMach2." - Mark_C
Currently Butchering:
Rachmaninoff Prelude in C# Minor
My Piano Diary: http://www.youtube.com/sirsardonic
♪ > $

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