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I may well finance a new mid-range digital piano this summer or fall, and the two models that I'm seriously considering are the Kawai CA79 or Yamaha CLP-775. Both are no doubt superb instruments within their price range, but there appears to be quite a price difference between the two, and I'm wondering why.

I may be wrong, but I believe the CLP-775 is the direct competitor for the CA79, while the CLP-785 would be the competitor for the CA99. If that's the case, I have to ask what accounts for the differences in features or quality between the 775 and 79 that would justify the price difference between the two models.

Bargaining aside, the advertised dealer price for the Yamaha CLP-775 Rosewood is $4,700 USD. The advertised dealer price for the Rosewood CA79 is $4,200. None of this is a secret, and can easily be viewed at dealer web sites. That $500 difference in suggested retail pricing may not seem like much, but in the mid-priced market I believe it is substantial.

When I study the spec sheet of both pianos, and view the YouTube ads, I come away with the feeling that the Kawai is a better overall value. Its GFIII action, supposedly better touch screen and greater number of voices would seem to make it the model to beat. Of course, the piano that feels and sounds better to me will get the sale, but if I choose Kawai I will always wonder why the Yamaha is the more expensive model.

For the moment I'm going to guess that there may be one of two reasons. First, the Yamaha might be a better-built model. It's hardly a secret that Kawai has had its issues with quality, more so it would seem than Yamaha. But that impression may be deceptive. Here at Piano World the most favored digital piano company, by far, is Kawai, with little mention of Yamaha pianos. I suspect that if both companies were given equal exposure, Yamaha wouldn't fare quite so well.

The second reason makes more sense to me. Yamaha, in the United States at least, is unquestionably far more popular than Kawai, with a much greater number of retail outlets and repair centers. Big cities will stock both brands, but smaller towns, such as the one I live in, can only afford to stock one company's models, and I believe Yamaha is almost always the de facto choice. Effectively, Yamaha may feel it doesn't really have any competition in the Western Hemisphere, and doesn't have to price its products in a competitive fashion. It certainly is obvious that Yamaha's lineup can be quite expensive.

But these are just guesses on my part, and I may be wrong in my thinking. I would ask readers here to offer their opinions on the price differences between Yamaha and Kawai. This is important to me, because I may be overlooking something.

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For comparison, in the UK the CA79 is available for under £2600 online including tax and delivery (about $3600). The CLP-775 is around £3100 ($4300).

I know which I would get.

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@ADWyatt: Keep in mind that the price is not the price.
The quoted price is just the asking price.
The actual price appears only when the sale is made.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
The quoted price is just the asking price.
The actual price appears only when the sale is made.
grin I am waiting for the day when someone mentions anything about asking prices and there is no comment from MacMacMac...
Once in a music store (in Germany): me looking at the price tag (with just a list price when the street price was already much lower); sales clerk: of course that's just a number... we can talk about the price when you're interested.

Last edited by Martinez; 02/18/21 06:24 PM.
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That will only happen when MacMacMac is no longer with us wink


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
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Where I live it is reversed. The CA79 is 5000+ CAD and 775 is around 4000 CAD.


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Originally Posted by TomW123
For comparison, in the UK the CA79 is available for under £2600 online including tax and delivery (about $3600). The CLP-775 is around £3100 ($4300).

I know which I would get.

Converting pounds to dollars, if the only determinant between these models for me would be price, and here in America I could buy the CA79 Rosewood for the all-inclusive price of $3,600, that candidate might well win my vote. But I believe that Kawai, pretty much like all companies, has different price structures for their products, depending on which region they're selling to.

I haven't checked Canadian exchange values, but mareg states that the CA79 costs 5000+ CAD. If that's lower than the American price, it still would do me no good. For me, the wonderful city of Quebec might as well be in another galaxy.

But to stick to the original theme, my question is why there is a suggested price difference between these two models. I have no interest--yet--concerning bargaining; I would just like to know why Yamaha has priced the CLP-775 some $500 higher in America than the Kawai CA79. There could very well be something about the 775 that I haven't been able to see that would merit the higher price for Yamaha.

Last edited by ADWyatt; 02/18/21 07:38 PM.
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Keep in mind that the price is not the price.
The quoted price is just the asking price.
The actual price appears only when the sale is made.

MacMacMac, I have a feeling that you have written this in a nice wooden plank and hung it in the wall of your new home somewhere smile

Seriously though - this is right on the mark - especially in high-end DP business.

Osho


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Current VST favorites (in the order of preference): Pianoteq 7/VSL Synchron Concert D//Garritan CFX/Embertone Walker D Full

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Originally Posted by Osho
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Keep in mind that the price is not the price.
The quoted price is just the asking price.
The actual price appears only when the sale is made.

MacMacMac, I have a feeling that you have written this in a nice wooden plank and hung it in the wall of your new home somewhere smile

Live.
Laugh.
The dealer wants my money more than I want his piano.


at home: Kawai MP11SE; Yamaha LG800; Yamaha HS7; Ultimate MS-100B; Sennheiser HD558 | office: MP7SE; K&M 18820; Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro

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Here you can get maybe 3-5% off not more especially in the time everything is sold out (clp 775 has about 6 months delivery time! except maybe the polished color for xxx€ more.)
The price of the 775 is currently at the same level as the CA99. I was confused about this as well why the Yamaha is so much more expensive.

Last edited by DaveX; 02/18/21 08:58 PM.
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It seems I've made a bit of an impression in this forum, eh? smile
Originally Posted by Mickey_
Originally Posted by Osho
MacMacMac, I have a feeling that you have written this in a nice wooden plank and hung it in the wall of your new home somewhere smile
Live. Laugh. The dealer wants my money more than I want his piano.

Originally Posted by Martinez
I am waiting for the day when someone mentions anything about asking prices and there is no comment from MacMacMac.

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Here in Brazil the CA79 is about 1500 USD more expensive than the CLP-775...


Yamaha GB1K baby grand; Roland FP-80 & FP-7F; Garritan CFX; Yamaha AG-03; Sennheiser HD 579 & HD 569; Zoom H5.
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Originally Posted by ADWyatt
There could very well be something about the 775 that I haven't been able to see that would merit the higher price for Yamaha.

Originally Posted by ADWyatt
The second reason makes more sense to me. Yamaha, in the United States at least, is unquestionably far more popular than Kawai, with a much greater number of retail outlets and repair centers.

In Canada Yamaha is also very popular, may be even more popular than in the US. In the acoustic market, it probably #1 brand, and digital Yamaha pianos are presented in stores on par or just slightly behind Roland. While Kawai is a niche and harder to find, only a few stores handle it. Yet Yamaha is cheap here compare to the US prices, and probably was like this for quite a while (I purchased a U1 in 2014, and I remember from forum post, it was much more expensive in the US).

I would not try to make sense from it. It is just like this - some goods cost more in Canada, some goods cost more in the US, in the US dollar equivalent.
I guess they just charge this because they can smile


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There might be better quality control in the Yamaha factory, which adds cost (but so do warranty claims!). But I don’t think the prices are really based on manufacturing cost so much as what they can get people to pay for them. Yamaha likely can charge a premium in many locations due to greater brand awareness and loyalty.

No idea why the situation is so different in Canada and Brazil - it seems odd that Canada should be different from the US and UK in having Kawai so much more expensive, given its proximity both geographically and culturally.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
It seems I've made a bit of an impression in this forum, eh? smile
Most certainly smile

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My experience in the UK is that on the CLP range the dealers act as agents for Yamaha and have to charge RRP. I couldn't get a penny off my CLP785 anywhere. Kawai was easier to get a discount on (CA99) - maybe 7% off.

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https://ec.europa.eu/competition/antitrust/cases/dec_docs/37975/37975_91_5.pdf details a substantial fine that Yamaha had to pay back in 2003 for violating EU regulations - they seem to have form in anti-consumer practices like non-transferable warranties, price fixing, etc.


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