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#3145795 08/13/21 05:02 AM
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Hi everyone!
I was thinking about buying a piano from Kawai GL series. I recently read on 3-4 forums here that Kawai don't hold their tune for long, you might need at least 4 tunings per year, a lot of post sale work is required to get good sound out of them. While Yamahas are more easy and do not require much work.
So, in your experiences how true are these statements?
I was interested in GL30/40/50 or GX2/3, but most probably GL30/40. I was interested in Yamaha CX series which is quite expensive compared to Kawai GL series.
Your thoughts please.
Thanks in advance.

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Posted in error


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What forums did you read this on? I certainly never heard anything like this and it's impossible for me to imagine it's true. Sounds more like something a Kawai competitor would say.

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First, the GX series is more comparable to the CX series. The GL should be compared with the GB and GC series pianos, depending on size.

Second, any new piano would really benefit from 4 tunings in the first year, to help everything stabilize in the long term. Most people don’t do this, though.

Third, there is an adage, “You get what you pay for”. It is generally true among new pianos, though some are certainly better value than others, and in my market, some are (in my opinion) overpriced.

Finally, where on earth did you read some of the opinions you are posting? Sometimes (even here) the loudest opinions you read on the internet are coming from people who have only tried one piano/model of a brand, are near-novices who honestly have a lot to learn/experience, or have a vested interest in steering you toward or away from a particular brand, for financial reasons or because of “confirmation bias”.


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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
First, the GX series is more comparable to the CX series. The GL should be compared with the GB and GC series pianos, depending on size.

Second, any new piano would really benefit from 4 tunings in the first year, to help everything stabilize in the long term. Most people don’t do this, though.

Third, there is an adage, “You get what you pay for”. It is generally true among new pianos, though some are certainly better value than others, and in my market, some are (in my opinion) overpriced.

Finally, where on earth did you read some of the opinions you are posting? Sometimes (even here) the loudest opinions you read on the internet are coming from people who have only tried one piano/model of a brand, are near-novices who honestly have a lot to learn/experience, or have a vested interest in steering you toward or away from a particular brand, for financial reasons or because of “confirmation bias”.

As always, you make some good points, Owen.

One thing that I'm not so sure of, however, is that you always "get what you pay for". Sometimes you do, and perhaps the majority of the time, but not always.

That said, I'll join in the philosophy conversation. It is definitely true that you can't always believe everything you read on the internet, and that includes this forum. I think many of the regulars here, especially the industry pros, have a reputation that precedes them, and is generally very good. And, when they speak, others listen.

One the other hand, I was recently told about a highly regarded RPT who did some expensive piano tech work for a client and that client was so dissatisfied with the work that they hired another tech to undo everything the other tech did. I was rather shocked and surprised at that statement, based on my impression of that tech, who shall remain anonymous. Whether or not that is true, I have no idea. But I have a high regard for the reputation of the person who told me that.

However, for the purposes of making my point, again, you can't always believe everything you hear or read on the internet, and that includes negative (or positive) reviews of someone or some particular brand or model piano. You really have to experience it for yourself and find out if the all the hype is true or not.

The title of this thread is somewhat a negative connotation toward the Kawai brand in general. That in itself is something to be taken with a grain of salt. Kawai is a fine brand, and I own one. Any and all brands can have issues...

While I'm on a roll here, ( smile ) many years ago, when I was much younger, I applied for a job at a company that paid well. When I turned in my application, the person who worked in the office and took my application told me that position had already been filled. I had an inclination and an instinct that I just didn't feel confident in that person's comments. I told them I wanted to submit my application anyway. A few days later, the manager called me to schedule an interview, and hired me for the job. What happened to "that job has already been filled"?

Moral of the story? Never put aside that internal gut instinct or intuition. It may serve you well in life. smile

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Originally Posted by WPianoY
Hi everyone!
... I recently read on 3-4 forums here that Kawai don't hold their tune for long, ...

I will provide one and only one anecdotal evidence enough to discredit this statement. About one year before COVID started, my wife and I were in her parents' house where the Kawai grand that she grew up with is located. I don't know the exact model (I didn't lift up the lid to check), but it is a piano made from the mid 1980's of the "Size 5" (Kawai and Yamaha lingo) range, or probably the 200 cm model. As she had not lived in that house for more than a decade up to that point, the piano had not been tuned for at least 10 years. When we played on it, it was in tune enough that while a more sensitive pianist could certainly find fault in it, it was definitely very playable.


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Add me to the chorus of people who have never heard this perspective about Kawais!

The OP says they read it "on 3-4 forums here", but I've read PW daily for going on a decade, and I've never read that perspective.


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Sharing my experience. I bought a brand new Kawai K300 5 years ago and I had to tune it 4 times a year until it stabilized roughly 2-3 years later. Even worse, many time it went out of tune right after the tech left my doorway. Even after the piano became stabilized, there were still couple notes that were still easy to get out of tune faster than the rest of the piano. But overall, once it became stabilized, I would say it still held up pretty well.

In April this year, I bought a brand new Yamaha C2X and the experience so far has been night and day different. It held up in tune so well. It came in to my home perfectly in tune and remained in tune 2 weeks later when the piano tech came in to do the first tuning. 4 months has passed and it is still perfectly in tune.

Last edited by JerryFan2000; 08/13/21 01:59 PM.

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Originally Posted by JerryFan2000
Sharing my experience. I bought a brand new Kawai K300 5 years ago and I had to tune it 4 times a year until it stabilized roughly 2 years later. Even worse, many time it went out of tune right after the tech left my doorway. Even after the piano became stabilized, there were still couple notes that were still easy to get out of tune faster than the rest of the piano. But overall, once it became stabilized, I would say it still held up pretty well.

In April this year, I bought a brand new Yamaha C2X and the experience so far has been night and day different. It held up in tune so well. It came in to my home perfectly in tune and remained in tune 2 weeks later when the piano tech came in to do the first tuning. 4 months has passed and it is still perfectly in tune.
The same problem happened to me with a new out of the crate U1.Not only tunings problems either.I sold that piano and was glad to see it go., besides the tone was consistently as bright as broken glass.
Recently I tried a new Yamaha grand ( GI) Not impressed!


My piano's voice is my voice to the great unknown, out there..in other words a hymn.That is all but that is enough.

Just sold my old C2 and am thinking of replacing it with a CBechstein124, Schimmel K132 or a YUS5.
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Comments such as made by the OP about tuning often (in my experience) come from people who previously owned an old piano that they tuned once every 5-10 years "whether it needs it or not", and then they get a new piano and are suddenly hit with what appears to be massive instability "for a brand new instrument".

The problem is that they don't "get it"...never did, never will. They draw their conclusions based on assumptions and that's the end if it. They just don't get it no matter how much you explain the situation.

I'm not saying the OP is like...just that comments about tuning being repeated, without proof, from who knows who, on the internet...you know what I mean.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

Last edited by P W Grey; 08/13/21 02:06 PM.

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This is the first I'm hearing about this. I know the dealer's pre-delivery prep is important, but two years for the piano to stabalize seems a bit beyond the dealer's responsiblity.


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Add me to the chorus of people who have never heard this perspective about Kawais!

The OP says they read it "on 3-4 forums here", but I've read PW daily for going on a decade, and I've never read that perspective.

Although it is not uncommon to see arguments or disagreements here, Piano World is really a gem compared to misinformation that can be quite abundant out there.


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Originally Posted by Dave B
This is the first I'm hearing about this. I know the dealer's pre-delivery prep is important, but two years for the piano to stabalize seems a bit beyond the dealer's responsiblity.

Forgot to mention. I placed a powerful humidifier near my Kawai K300 to keep the piano room at 40% level during winter since its first harsh Toronto winter. I actually baby my piano very much as it was my first piano. So at the time, I thought all piano was like that as I had no previous experience as reference to compare to. .

For OP,
I think Yamaha is probably able to stay in tune better but at the end of the day I would still recommend you to pick the piano with sound you like. If you buy Yamaha due to its superior stability but hate its tone, then u will still hate the piano no matter what.

Last edited by JerryFan2000; 08/13/21 02:24 PM.

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My two cents:

I bought my first 'baby' grand, a Kaway GL30, two months ago. After one month, the technician from the shop tuned the piano and it was like a new sound came from the piano! My idea is that in the shop the piano was not tuned well.

Conclusione, Is not only the brand that we should consider but also how the piano Is prepped by the seller.

Guido


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Originally Posted by JerryFan2000
Originally Posted by Dave B
This is the first I'm hearing about this. I know the dealer's pre-delivery prep is important, but two years for the piano to stabalize seems a bit beyond the dealer's responsiblity.

Forgot to mention. I placed a powerful humidifier near my Kawai K300 to keep the piano room at 40% level during winter since its first harsh Toronto winter. I actually baby my piano very much as it was my first piano. So at the time, I thought all piano was like that as I had no previous experience as reference to compare to. .

For OP,
I think Yamaha is probably able to stay in tune better but at the end of the day I would still recommend you to pick the piano with sound you like. If you buy Yamaha due to its superior stability but hate its tone, then u will still hate the piano no matter what.
Well from my experience both Yamaha and Kawai pianos may need more tuning, touch up voicing when they are new sometimes for months sometimes as long as two years.Your Kawai 300 sounds unusual though.... Yamaha pianos do not have a superior stability.😀 Your CX2 is similar to a GX Kawai these pianos are equal in quality.

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Any piano will go out of tune as soon as the tuner leaves.

Chances are more for the piano to stay in tune if it is kept at 42% RH and 21 C all the time. Any deviation will cause the piano to detune.

Even if RH and temp is kept constant, still the unisons will detoriate and the tuning will get flat as you play the piano eventually. You will need to have it tuned at least four times the first year and twice per year later.

You might consider a digital piano.

Last edited by Hakki; 08/13/21 03:25 PM. Reason: typo
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Originally Posted by Hakki
Any piano will go out of tune as soon as the tuner leaves.

Chances are more for the piano to stay in tune if it is kept at 42% RH and 21 C all the time. Any deviation will cause the piano to detune.

Even if RH and temp is kept constant, still the unisons will detoriate and the tuning will get flat as you play the piano eventually. You will need to have it tuned at least four times the first year and twice per year later.

You might consider a digital piano.

Exactly! New pianos need more frequent tunings, especially if they have been recently uncrated. Straight from the crate, the piano needs prep work. After that, all the materials have to settle in. My Yamaha was quite stable in part because it sat on the dealer’s floor for awhile.

Both Yamaha and Kawai have good reputations on this Forum.

For Kawai the GX series is a step above the GLs and for Yamaha the CX are above the GC and GB series.
Best Wishes!

Last edited by j&j; 08/13/21 05:14 PM.

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Here is something from PianoBuyer that talks about some new pianos that take a year or two to stabilize.Consindering this it suggests a new piano may need multiple tunings to settle.It also covers the differences between buying new "out of a crate" and buying a more settled instrument that has had numerous tunings and preparation in the store.

https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/dealer-preparation-of-new-pianos/


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Saying that any piano starts going out of tune as soon as the tuner leaves is irrelevant. If one uses that definition of being in tune then one should tune the piano daily. Pianos are not either in tune or out of tune. The degree or being in tune is a continuum.

For the owners who said their piano went out of tune quickly, we don't know:
1. How well they were being tuned by the tuner
2. How sensitive the owner is to a piano being out of tune
3. What the owners mean when they say the piano was out of tune
4. How well the piano were prepped by the dealer
5. Whether the owners were even correct when they said the piano was out of tune

Neither Yamaha or Kawai is known to have tuning stability problems and their piano have been around for a long time. It's possible that some specific piano from those makers could have tuning stability problems because any maker, no matter how good or prestigious, can make mistakes. That doesn't mean a make has tuning problems unless many pianos they make have that problem.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Saying that any piano starts going out of tune as soon as the tuner leaves is irrelevant. If one uses that definition of being in tune then one should tune the piano daily. Pianos are not either in tune or out of tune. The degree or being in tune is a continuum.

For the owners who said their piano went out of tune quickly, we don't know:
1. How well they were being tuned by the tuner
2. How sensitive the owner is to a piano being out of tune
3. What the owners mean when they say the piano was out of tune
4. How well the piano were prepped by the dealer
5. Whether the owners were even correct when they said the piano was out of tune

Neither Yamaha or Kawai is known to have tuning stability problems and their piano have been around for a long time. It's possible that some specific piano from those makers could have tuning stability problems because any maker, no matter how good or prestigious, can make mistakes. That doesn't mean a make has tuning problems unless many pianos they make have that problem.
I agree totally!


My piano's voice is my voice to the great unknown, out there..in other words a hymn.That is all but that is enough.

Just sold my old C2 and am thinking of replacing it with a CBechstein124, Schimmel K132 or a YUS5.
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