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#3139952 07/23/21 10:19 AM
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Seeking your opinions about the choice between a 1992 Yamaha C3 in very good condition (with price of 19K) versus a new Yamaha CX2 (usual sales price in my area, around 33K). I can't consider the new CX3 because of price. Any reason to prefer one over the other? BTW I will have a tech evaluate the 1992 C3 for hidden flaws, but it seems to be quite nice.

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Originally Posted by MusterMark
Seeking your opinions about the choice between a 1992 Yamaha C3 in very good condition (with price of 19K) versus a new Yamaha CX2 (usual sales price in my area, around 33K). I can't consider the new CX3 because of price. Any reason to prefer one over the other? BTW I will have a tech evaluate the 1992 C3 for hidden flaws, but it seems to be quite nice.

Welcome to the PianoWorld Piano Forum. The choice is entirely up to you. The advantage of a new piano is it comes with a 10 year warranty and has very little wear and tear. The downside to buying new is it costs more up front. Also, new pianos take extra time becoming stable and new pianos require more frequent tuning the first couple years. The used C3 is bigger. The C3 has been and still is a popular size choice. Play both and try your repertoire on both. Whichever one you prefer should be fine as long as your tech checks the C3 thoroughly.

Best Wishes on your search!


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Depending on the tech's evaluation, since the C3 is so much less expensive you would have a lot of "extra" money left over even if it needed some work. I can only suggest playing the two piano more if you have trouble deciding. And try to get the best tech to help you evaluate the pianos. It's always difficult to balance out the positives and negatives of each choice.

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Oh, I forgot the advantage of the C2X is that Yamaha upgraded the C series to the CX model. There were some changes and improvements. I tried a regular C3, which I bought, and the new C3X side by side. I could tell a small difference in the sound but it just wasn’t enough to warrant a 25% price increase. The new CX sound is less bright. To me it sounds a bit warmer than the previous C series. So definitely try both.


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Hi, welcome to the forum. Have you tried both pianos and do you have a preference for one? If you don't have a preference, I would go with the C3 (provided your tech gives it the green light) for the larger size and smaller price tag. But for me, I have a very strong preference for the CX series so I would (and did) cough up the money for the C2X. But not everyone feels that way, as j&j points out.


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OP here. Thanks everyone for your input. I have played both pianos but will go back and play each one again before buying anything. The C3 touch and feel was much better in my opinion. The new C2X felt a bit stiff. Will it loosen up with time?

The tone of both was good, not too bright, and it was possible to play classical music quite expressively, lots of dynamic range and color.

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I own a C2 that I bought used, I think it's now 22 years old. I absolutely LOVE it, it's a great piano! I played some used C3s as well during my search, but all were more like 30-35 years old, and I could tell. They sounded and felt sort of worn out.

In the absence of other information, and assuming you could afford it, I would recommend the C2X. But:

Quote
The C3 touch and feel was much better in my opinion. The new C2X felt a bit stiff. Will it loosen up with time?

Hmm, I would guess that the action will loosen up over time. Did you ask the dealer about that?

I suggest you go back and play both again and pay close attention to tone, sound, touch, feel.... And see if you can tell what's different about the stiff feeling on the C2X...

I was not able to play a new Yamaha C2X (or other sizes) during my search, but I did play a lot of other brand new pianos of various makes and models. I didn't find new pianos to be stiff, but I did find older pianos to be loose, sometimes overly so, to the degree that it was a deal breaker on some pianos.


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No dealer is going to guarantee the action will loosen up, and that would be purely subjective anyway. A dealer will generally tell you what they think will result in a sale. An independent tech would give a better assessment on that. After playing the piano for a week or several months it might not feel stiff anymore. It might not feel as stiff after only an hour. You could also ask the dealer if they can improve the stiffness. Sometimes this can be accomplished very easily.

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No dealer is going to guarantee the action will loosen up, and that would be purely subjective anyway. A dealer will generally tell you what they think will result in a sale. An independent tech would give a better assessment on that. After playing the piano for a week or several months it might not feel stiff anymore. It might not feel as stiff after only an hour. You could also ask the dealer if they can improve the stiffness. Sometimes this can be accomplished very easily.

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sent u a pm


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Firstly, it's actually difficult to separate the action from the hammers and the resulting sound. The brand new CX series will have softer hammers (by virtue of being new, and also because the CX series do have softer hammers anyway) which will impact your perception of the action. But I think actions do loosen up over time. My old U3 has a much lighter, looser action than a brand new U3 (without commenting on whether this is good or bad).

While the CX series may have some tonal advantages over the C series, a C3 will have some advantages over a C2X due to being larger (especially in the bass). Is there any reason why you are limited to those two pianos? I don't know how much space you have. For the price of that C2X (33k) you could get a second hand C7 which would blow both the C2X and the C3 out of the water.

If budget is an issue, make sure you take a look at Hailun pianos which are almost half the price of the same sized Yamaha. For about US$25k you could get a brand new 218cm Hailun 218 which is a pretty nice piano. I would take a Hailun 218 over a C3 or C2X any day. Hailun 218 vs C7 is a more subjective comparison.

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It’s possible there’s a little more negotiation room in these prices, but I’m not sure if what you quoted includes tax, delivery, adjustable bench, included in-home services, etc.

Chris Venables details some of the evolution of Yamaha in the more recent era on his website (and some posts here from years past). And there’s the C7 vs C7x review I wrote for the Piano Buyer, several years ago. They don’t answer your question directly (it really comes down to the individual pianos), but they can provide some relevant info.

It sounds like you like the used C3 better.


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OP here. Thanks again everyone. I will try both pianos again tomorrow and hopefully will get a firmer impression of which I prefer. I also got the tech report today, and there is nothing wrong with the 1992 C3 -- it is in great condition.

Someone asked why I am limited to these choices. Well, budget-wise I am trying to stay under 30K. Space-wise I think 6'1'' is about the biggest I would like to go. I looked at a lot of (baby) grand pianos so far (Baldwin, Boston, Kawai, Yamaha, some restored Steinways). Started out looking around 5'4'' but gradually found myself gravitating toward larger pianos. Also decided I didn't much like Baldwins, and gradually came to think I prefer Yamaha over Boston and Kawai -- for some pieces, e.g. Schubert impromptu no. 3 op 90, I like the darker tone of the Bostons and Kawais, but I like the way I can get different voices to come out clearer on Yamahas. And Schubert still sounded very good on the C3 -- it is less mellow but has more color.

I will let you all know what I decide (assuming I do decide soon). One issue is that I feel I can always look more and get a CX2 later on, but it seems the C3 presents more of a rare opportunity and is likely to be purchased by someone else pretty soon if I don't buy it. And I can't count on another C3 like it coming along (I think). Someone said I seem to prefer the C3 -- at the moment this is the case.

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If you're talking purely on quality and taking price out of it, which I know is difficult, you have two factors:

The C2X is new and of the latest design, so it has that advantage, but the C3 is longer and is one of Yamahas most successful models for a reason. In cases like this, two pianos from the same brand and the same series, usually newer is better but usually longer is better, so you see the issue here?

A heavy action on a Yamaha will loosen up a bit with use, and as the piano brightens up your perception of the feel will change but the thing is, it's always better to have these issues addressed by a technician rather than hope for something to happen that may not happen in the way that's the best fit for you.

Also regarding the old C3, I know a concert pianist who has a C3 from almost that year, she bought it from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she works. She's an incredible and demanding pianist. The piano was completely played out, but she has had it re-centred and new hammers, shanks and rollers put on it, and the top section restrung and she's very happy with it. I don't know whether it's actually any good or not because I haven't played this particular piano in a very long time. Concert pianists are often content to practice at home on not the best pianos, so just because a concert pianist has a particular instrument it doesn't mean that it's a great instrument. Performing is a different matter of course. But the point about the C3 is, and any Yamaha for that matter, they're just so reliable. They just go on and on, and if the hammers are changed, etc, then the sound can be revived pretty easily..


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Joseph Fleetwood lays it out pretty clearly. You're in a tough spot, OP!


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Thanks for that helpful post. Suppose that hypothetically I someday want to replace hammers, etc. on the C3. Do you have a ball-park figure for how much that costs? I suspect it is much less than the price difference of the two pianos I am considering.

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Originally Posted by MusterMark
Thanks for that helpful post. Suppose that hypothetically I someday want to replace hammers, etc. on the C3. Do you have a ball-park figure for how much that costs? I suspect it is much less than the price difference of the two pianos I am considering.

I don’t know I’m sorry! You’d need one of the techs here to give you that ballpark!


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I just had my piano worked on by a prominent tech, East West coast prices probably about the same.

If I remember correctly changing hammers would be starting about $5000.


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If you like the action and the everything checks out with a tech, I'd go for the C3. You'd have the better bass a larger piano brings, plus plenty of money left over to do a good regulation and hammer voicing or hammer change. I think a C3 properly prepped would always sound more satisfying than a C2 or C2X.


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Originally Posted by MusterMark
it seems the C3 presents more of a rare opportunity and is likely to be purchased by someone else pretty soon if I don't buy it. And I can't count on another C3 like it coming along (I think).

If you've played the CX series and are not sold on their advantages over the C series, and don't want to look at Hailun, you might as well buy a second hand C series.

But the C3 is a very popular piano and it is very easy to find these second hand. I don't know why you see it as a rare opportunity. That one is nearly 30 years old. You can likely find some closer to 10 years old.

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