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Joined: Apr 2021
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Hi,

I've been shopping for a new piano and comparing different models (Steinway Model M Spirio vs Yamaha C2X Disklavier).

I wonder if the condition of the store affects your piano shopping experience? Specifically, one piano that I was playing was in a store with no AC and the C2X just didn't "sing" to me, whereas the Steinway of course was in a very nice shop and the piano sounded very nice. I don't want my decision biased by the quality of the shop though. I don't want to think the Yamaha "sucks" just because it wasn't well conditioned. At the end of the day, I can always tune/voice it the way I like it at my home. But I wish I can do an accurate test before I make the purchase.

So, tl;dr, how do you take into account of the shop's quality (temp/humidity control) in your piano buying decision?

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Not sure about anyone else but it would say to me how much
they care for their Pianos.

The way the pianos are presented would tell me how they take care of their pianos.

Just Sayin'


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I don't think one should buy any piano hoping one can make it more to one's liking after buying it. So whether or not the Yamaha's sound not pleasing you is caused by lack of AC would not be relevant for me. Can you find other Yamahas to try out?

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Originally Posted by lct14558
Hi,

====SNIP===. At the end of the day, I can always tune/voice it the way I like it at my home. But I wish I can do an accurate test before I make the purchase.====SNIP====
There be dragons there!
It is equally likely that you will NOT be able to make the piano you bought into the piano you wanted. It's risky, and on a new piano, particularly one with a player on it, I doubt you would be able to recoup your investment.

I bought my current piano based on potential that I heard in it when I first saw and played it. It was thoroughly out of regulation playing like a truck at over 70g of down weight, and it had overly soft hammers which gave it a muffled sound. BUT --- the piano sang (if softly) from A440 up an 8ve and a half, the bass had a muffled growl, and the dreaded tenor/bass break was okay.

So, yes, I knew the piano would PROBABLY come up with a new set of hammers, and could be regulated to play better. Bottom line was that I liked the way it sounded.

You've written that you don't like the sound of the Yamaha you auditioned, and you liked the Steinway. Me, I'd find another store in another city, and audition an identical Yamaha there. If it sounds the same you know you don't like that sound, buy the Steinway.

Free advice, hopefully worthwhile. cool


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Thanks for the insight!

My impression (from reading all the comments in this forum) is that Steinways can be hit or miss, whereas Yamaha is very consistent piano over piano.

I definitely want to go test out several C2Xs. The one in the store that I tested has been there for 3 years per the sales person. And if it's been in an non-AC show room (not sure if it was just that day or it's like that everyday for 3 years), I wouldn't buy it for sure. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, there's been no shipment (or rare) of Yamaha to here.

I guess I gotta wait till the whole pandemic blows over and try out more C2Xs before I make a decision.

BTW, I also read from this forum that Steinway Model Ms suck and it's their model to suck money out of the general population, and that's why I want to go hunt for a similar sized CX2. What are your thoughts on that impression?

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I can only say that I have not played enough Steinway M's to make a recommendation, although the ones I have played have never impressed me.

Regards,


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I’ve seen new pianos get damaged in a less-than ideal showroom environment, more than once. No A/C? Maybe for a showroom in Alaska…ugh.


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Originally Posted by lct14558
BTW, I also read from this forum that Steinway Model Ms suck and it's their model to suck money out of the general population, and that's why I want to go hunt for a similar sized CX2. What are your thoughts on that impression?
That's just a silly statement by whoever made it. I think the overwhelming majority of pianists on the planet would be beyond thrilled to own an M if they could afford it. That doesn't mean I think an M is the best piano of that size and price, which is a very different statement. I knew the former pianist for the NY Philharmonic who played an M all her life.

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Originally Posted by BruceD
I can only say that I have not played enough Steinway M's to make a recommendation, although the ones I have played have never impressed me.

Regards,

I agree with you —- and I remember others here saying Ms are their least favorite Steinway


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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by BruceD
I can only say that I have not played enough Steinway M's to make a recommendation, although the ones I have played have never impressed me. Regards,
I agree with you —- and I remember others here saying Ms are their least favorite Steinway
1. Bruce's saying the model M didn't impress him is light years from saying that model "sucks". And we have no idea about the age or condition of the M's Bruce played.
2. Larry Fine states that the M one of Steinway's most popular models and "Its medium size makes the tone in certain areas slightly less than perfect, but it’s an excellent home instrument."(my bold)
3. When comparing the M to the models other than the S one would expect it would come up short due to its comparative length.
4. I guess the pianist for the NY Philharmonic who owned an M I mentioned had poor taste in pianos.

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From the two models you discussed, I’m guessing that you have a size constraint that’s limiting you to a piano that’s around 5’7”/5’8”. If not, you should definitely check out some longer models and see if you like them any more.

Going back to be problem you posed… You describe the Model M sounding nicer to you, and my sense from your post was that you enjoyed it quite a bit. I’m not inclined to overanalyze these things. You liked how it sounded, and you didn’t like how the C2X sounded. I suspect that rather than the decor of the dealership or whether the AC was on or off, you were responding to something real about the sound of the instrument. Those two instruments do not sound the same. It’s possible that the C2X was not in tune, which would definitely affect your listening experience, or that it was placed in an acoustically disadvantaged location in the showroom. But it also could just be that you didn’t like it as much.
Are both pianos in your budget? If so, and if these pianos are at the top end of your size limit, you might check out another C2X just to satisfy your curiosity (and feel that you have done due diligence with such a big purchase) but I suspect you’ll still end up preferring the Model M.

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I can't imagine a piano shop not having AC if AC was needed. What part of CA are you in? For example, I lived in Monterey for 3 years, and never had AC at home or work, and got a great deal on a used car because the AC "didn't work" (fortunately, when I drove home to GA a couple years later it only needed a shot of refrigerant). When I lived in WA, no one had AC at all.

AC is the norm in SoCal, of course.

Anyway, as others have noted, buy a plano you already like. Don't guess as to what it will be under other circumstances.


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It was a rough show room. It was warm and the C2x they had was ~3 years old. Who knows, maybe they have AC on normally but that day I went it was hot in SoCal and the C2x sounded less impressive than my 5' baby grand at home...

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I don't think one should buy any piano hoping one can make it more to one's liking after buying it. So whether or not the Yamaha's sound not pleasing you is caused by lack of AC would not be relevant for me. Can you find other Yamahas to try out?
Exactly!
My experience at my Yamaha dealer was extremely different. I would try the C2X and a few other models at a different Yamaha dealer before writing Yamaha off my list.
If a different C2X and C3X doesn’t sing to you, then most likely you don’t like Yamahas. You should also try a few Kawais.
Best Wishes on your search!


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Our OP, lct14558, would probably be best served to try out a lot of different pianos--- as he or she states as his/her intention in the topic sentence. Take notes, make some recordings, read the available research materials (e.g.. https://www.pianobuyer.com/ or https://www.sweetwater.com/, both rich sources of information about music and musical instruments). You should realize that you are also evaluating the dealership at the same time, which is important because the seller is usually the agent of the maker for warranty service, information, and follow-up situations like local technicians who offer regular care.

How important is having the installed recording device? They can have the effect of placing a much higher level of wear on an instrument, and they are an expensive add-on, compared to the same instrument without one. One can make very nice recordings with any of several outboard devices.

If it comes down to not buying the piano you want solely because of a lack of space, well, you could move. Or, you could kick the couch and the entertainment center to the curb. Values; priorities. In any case, while you're sounding out the market, do take the opportunity to listen to pianos outside the length you have in mind, and outside the price point. This can be very useful and interesting knowledge, and it can help you interpret what you read here, posted by your fellow PW members.

Here's wishing you the very best of luck--- even with the best preparation in the world, there is still a role for good fortune.


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