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Yes

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


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Some large uprights can sound better than baby grand pianos, some may sound like a medium sized grand.This is not always the case though.It depends on the brand and model (the design)as P.W.Grey suggests.

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I generally prefer a full-sized upright to a baby grand, although Baldwin in the past had a bit of a track record of making pianos that "played larger" than their size-- the Model M grand, Hamilton studio upright, and Acrosonic spinet generally outperformed pianos of similar sizes of competitors.

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Thanks all for your wise words. Ruled out K500 in terms of heavier keys, loudness and size. Trying the K300 next week and also W Hoffman v112. Good review on Merriam pianos. Anyone got one of these by chance that could offer any insights?

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Did you play the K-500?

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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Did you play the K-500?
Yes Cutec, I would certainly play the K-500. And note that I didn't mean to disqualify the K-500 as too heavy per se. I ruined my fingers on a digital first, and now the K500 is too heavy for me. Also there are some who feel the K500 is similar to the K300 in terms of action. APianistHasNoName in this thread, but I have also heard another member in this forum describe the action of the K500 as 'light'. I know for a fact that the actions have a different design, but I would definitely play both to see what you think. To me the difference is really substantial on the pianos that I played.

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Originally Posted by P W Grey
A common misconception and one capitalized on by marketing departments for well over a century. Longer bass strings do not automatically equate with great bass response. It's all in the overall design. One can achieve bigger bass with smaller board and shorter strings if one knows what one is doing. So the small increase in size from one model to another is of no consequence since they probably designed the whole system better.

Marketing departments have long overruled R&D departments for advertising purposes. Not universally of course, but it is often an ongoing battle. Don't be fooled.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

It's true that two pianos of different designs are not directly comparable, but as this is a specific comparison between K-300 and its bigger sibling K-500, perhaps one can appeal to elementary principles. Diagram below borrowed from https://www.stringsdirect.co.uk/blog/string-tension-101 (gauge = thickness, the description is for guitar strings, but the principles apply to piano strings nonetheless)
[Linked Image]

The difference in string length in K-300 vs K-500 is indeed small: 47.2" vs 48.4" - at constant tension the pitch ratio would only be 1.025, i.e. not even a quarter tone diffference (1.029). Precisely for this reason, I think it's a reasonable to assume that the strings would not have to be redesigned (same string thickness), so to maintain the same pitch, the increase in string length need only be compensated by higher tension, and thus louder tone. And it makes sense that to compensate for this higher dynamic range, the K-500 is fitted with heavier keys so one can still play pianissimo with ease.

So perhaps the marketing department is not at all misleading if they imply bigger piano = bigger sound, because the physics supports it. Now the example above doesn't account for yet the smaller sibling, K-200. I don't know how it fits into the design consideration (i.e. with respect to string length and thickness).


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Originally Posted by pianogabe
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Did you play the K-500?
Yes Cutec, I would certainly play the K-500.

Ah, I see in an earlier post that you have played it. Good!

If you are interested in Hoffman, there is a store in NL that has a lot of Youtube videos on all kinds of pianos, including Hoffman:

https://www.youtube.com/user/Bolpianos/videos

I think I am not making it easier for you to choose smile

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Also there are some who feel the K500 is similar to the K300 in terms of action.... I know for a fact that the actions have a different design...
Both have Kawai's Millenium III upright action. I believe the K-500 has longer keysticks, and it would not surprise me if the regulation specs are a little different as a result, but it probably is a bit of a stretch to say the actions have different designs.

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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
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Also there are some who feel the K500 is similar to the K300 in terms of action.... I know for a fact that the actions have a different design...
Both have Kawai's Millenium III upright action. I believe the K-500 has longer keysticks, and it would not surprise me if the regulation specs are a little different as a result, but it probably is a bit of a stretch to say the actions have different designs.
The K500 is certainly a far nicer sounding piano than a K300 and yes I played both.The U3 is certainly better than a U1 although the YUS5 is the best to play in these Yamaha uprights.like Sweelinck find most 130 uprights have a far better tone and are often far more responsive.I would choose a taller W Hoffman as well if possible.You should be able to play softly easier on a K500 than a K300 as well.

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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
[quote]
Both have Kawai's Millenium III upright action. I believe the K-500 has longer keysticks, and it would not surprise me if the regulation specs are a little different as a result, but it probably is a bit of a stretch to say the actions have different designs.

Correct, I consider longer keysticks as a different design. I have looked at both actions and to me it looks like the individual parts do not differ. I am still planning to see if I can find out if the hammers are different (i.e. heavier). But I guess I can only measure their size easily, not mass.

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I own a K500, and I'd like to point out a very important difference over the K300: the fallboard logo is brass rather than just a decal. wink
I don't find the touch to be heavy because I mostly play with the soft pedal depressed due to the piano being quite loud. =(
The change in tone across the bass/tenor scale break is quite pronounced in my piano, and isn't much better in other K500s I've tried. Certain bass notes seem to have quite pronounced metallic harmonics similar to a gong.


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Originally Posted by Ben_NZ
The change in tone across the bass/tenor scale break is quite pronounced in my piano, and isn't much better in other K500s I've tried.
Not an issue with mine.
Quote
Certain bass notes seem to have quite pronounced metallic harmonics similar to a gong.
Have that issue with a couple of my bass notes as well. Can be annoying. My tuner says it is not unusual for uprights - but didn't elaborate. He has yet to tune my K500, so we will see if he can do anything to mitigate it.


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Uprights can have a slight ringing on release of a bass note from the damper not having the effect of gravity to stop cold the heavier bass string vibrations. Is this what you are referring to? On the two uprights I've owned, this has been addressed adequately through adjustments to the damper regulation as needed.

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I very recently had all the composite damper barrels for the bass strings on my Kawai K800 replaced with brass damper barrels to address the additional ringing that could not be quelled with damper regulation. In general, I really like the results, the difference is very dramatic. The bass strings stop singing as soon as I lift the keys, just like in a grand piano. The trade off is that all the other notes sound less rich, but also much more clear. The brass dampers were not very expensive, and most of the cost was labor, so I suspect Kawai might have chosen not to use heavier damper barrels to improve the richness (through lower overtones) the extra bass ringing gives to the other notes. Previously, the extra ringing was obvious to the player, but may be less obvious to the audience, since it could be mistaken for room resonance. My tech left me the old damper barrels and felts in case I wanted to undo the work, but I do really like the results. Of course all the original resonance is back when the damper pedal is depressed.


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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Ben_NZ
The change in tone across the bass/tenor scale break is quite pronounced in my piano, and isn't much better in other K500s I've tried.
Not an issue with mine.
Quote
Certain bass notes seem to have quite pronounced metallic harmonics similar to a gong.
Have that issue with a couple of my bass notes as well. Can be annoying. My tuner says it is not unusual for uprights - but didn't elaborate. He has yet to tune my K500, so we will see if he can do anything to mitigate it.
No ringing in my upright either! "Mettalic harmonics in the bass like a gong"? I have tried number of new uprights in the dealer and have never heard that either.

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Thanks for replies all. Will be trying the K300 and W.Hoffman 112 over the weekend. Hope I'm impressed otherwise a new, probably more expensive search begins!

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I had a K300 bought brand new from Merriam piano. The key is also very heavy compared
To the one on their floor. Merriam piano did a lot of tuning and regulation to their floor models. You will never get the same touch and tone when they deliver to your home. So you should not make the decision based on how heavy the key is.


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Originally Posted by JerryFan2000
[...] You will never get the same touch and tone when they deliver to your home. So you should not make the decision based on how heavy the key is.

You will get the same "touch and tone" if you record the serial number of the piano you like in the showroom, assure that that serial number is on the bill of sale, and verify that the piano delivered is the one with the recorded serial number. The only variable being that the acoustics in the home might affect how one hears the tone of the piano, but the action must be the same if you get the same piano.

Regards,


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Originally Posted by JerryFan2000
I had a K300 bought brand new from Merriam piano. The key is also very heavy compared
To the one on their floor. Merriam piano did a lot of tuning and regulation to their floor models. You will never get the same touch and tone when they deliver to your home. So you should not make the decision based on how heavy the key is.


Sounds like you did not buy the floor model. No two pianos are alike, even the same model and age. Like the floor model? You need to buy the floor model.


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