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Joined: Jul 2013
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Hi all! I could use some advice if you don't mind. I'm a little all over the place so hopefully this isn't too much of a ramble.

My Piano Space: My husband and I are looking for a baby grand piano in our new living room (18' x 22') . The room has hardwood floors and double height ceilings (18'). I'm guessing this is considered a medium to large sized room for a piano?

Previous Piano: I've previously owned a Pearl River 48" upright EU122 in my old condo and while I liked it at the time (tile floors), it always felt a little tinny to me, granted the entire condo was 550 sqft and that upright put out some decent power. I sold it because I was moving a lot and since have enjoyed a Kawaii ES7 and now I own an ES110. I am now staying put for the next 7+ years.

Piano Playing Level:I'm still an adult beginner after 10 years of on and off lessons here and there (total of 2 years of lessons). Husband is brand new to playing piano.

Current piano shopping status: I went in to a store recently looking for a small baby grand, perhaps 5'1 to under 6'. I played a Pearl River baby grand that was 5'3 (160) and 5'7 (170). I liked these pianos until I played the Yamaha C2X (I also played a S7X - don't get me started on how amazing that was even for me as a beginner).

Current Conundrum: When I was buying the PR upright 10 years ago, I found it warmer than the Yamaha U1 which I liked. But now I'm confused, because this Yamaha C2X sounds so clear, but not what I would call "super bright" like the Yamaha uprights of 10 years ago. The things I like most about it are the action and the bright, but not tinny sound.

Sooooo here we go... and yes I know I'm comparing Apples to Oranges here.

Option 1: Pearl River GP 170 is : $11,600 + tax (seems like an amazing value)

Option 2: Yamaha C2X is: $ 36 - 39k depending on financing.

I can comfortably afford either. I love the Yamaha C2X I played, but objectively is it worth 3x the price of the PR ? For me, the factors I'm considering are sound, quality, action, name brand, aesthetics, inspiration, resale value (in that order). I know the Yamaha is more piano than I need, but it's the type of piano I'd love and be excited to play and have in my home. My heart says yes, but objectively is it really THAT different than the PR 170 being the same size?

Any thoughts?

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The Yamaha C2X is better than the Pearl River in just about every way. Between those two pianos, it is a total no brainer especially because you can afford and love the more expensive piano. You may have your piano for decades so buying quality will in the long run make more and more sense. Is it worth 3x the price of the Pearl River? If you use it a lot, absolutely. If you don't use it much probably not.
At the price of the C2X there are lots of other good options, but if you don't want to explore further, that Yamaha is one of their better designs and will serve you well for a long time.


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Objectively, Keith is right: the Yamaha is the winner.
But non-objectively, buying a piano you love to play is truly priceless. If you can see your piano and smile and want to sit done and play, that is priceless.

Buy the Yamaha 😊


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Yes, absolutely worth it.

You could also get a used piano, either restored or in like-new condition, one even better than the C2X, for less than the new C2X. Last year I bought a very lightly used Yamaha S4 (predecessor of either the CF4 or S3X, depending on who you ask), for under $30K, from PianoWorks in Georgia.

Last edited by RobAC; 11/11/21 11:27 PM.

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Agree…C2X

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I agree with those who favor the Yamaha C2X, but I might be biased as I have a C2X myself, and in a room very similar in size to yours. The C2X will sound really great in your space. I am grateful every day that I have this piano and I bet you will be too once you have one.

It might not be an issue for you, but I think you can pay a lower price than 36K for the C2X. That price seems a bit high, based on what I paid about 4 months ago. Maybe try to offer a little less to the dealer and see what they say.

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Thank you everyone for your insights. I'll take everything into consideration.


@MusterMark what did you pay and in what part of the US? I'm sure my local dealer will be competitive if I provide the research.

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Originally Posted by PianoGamer
I can comfortably afford either. I love the Yamaha C2X I played, but objectively is it worth 3x the price of the PR ? For me, the factors I'm considering are sound, quality, action, name brand, aesthetics, inspiration, resale value (in that order).

Any thoughts?

My thoughts:

Sound: Subjective

Quality: if you mean durability, at face value both should perform well within warranty duration (10 years?)

Action: Here's where objective assessment might distinguish the two. Can one be demonstrated to execute repeated notes better than the other? (And how relevant is it to OP as self-avowed beginner?)

Name brand: Yamaha has half a century head start on PR, so Yamaha +1, no question

Aesthetics: Subjective

Inspiration: Subjective

Resale value: By virtue of brand recognition Yamaha should depreciate less percentage wise, but in absolute terms it might be a wash (e.g. if the C2X depreciates by 17% and the GP-170 by 50%, it amounts to the same $6000)

Sorry to muddy the water 😅, but hey, you asked!


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For what it’s worth here’s my own experience of purchasing a 6’ grand.

I hadn’t played a grand in 40+ years and in my first couple of visits to a store didn’t feel I really had much of a clue nor felt I could tell there was much difference between different pianos. I’ve no issue in feeling like an idiot so asked the guys in the store to assume I had no knowledge and tell me everything and the differences. A few visits later I was in Yamaha’s main U.K. store and the chap got me to start at the lowest model and worked my way up to the SX’s. At that stage I felt the C3X was my sweet spot in terms of price/performance.

Post Lockdowns with mask in hand I ventured out into a number of stores and played a much wider set of pianos, some double my budget.

To me it sounds like you’re where I was early on in the journey if you’re undecided about two extremely different pianos, so I’d suggest you just head out more and play as many as you can. From my experience you will develop a clearer appreciation of the differences and a better understanding of what you like. Certainly if the C2X appeals at least try the Kawai equivalents (GX2/3).

In my case I didn’t buy the piano I was expecting to at the start.

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It seems like you prefer the C2X much more than the Pearl River. If you can indeed comfortably afford the more expensive piano, then why not treat yourself? However, there are more than just these two pianos, and I think as dhts points out, it can be very informative to play lots of pianos before deciding. Certainly if you’re going to pay the price of a new C2X, I think you want to be convinced that that is the piano you really want. You can also look at preowned pianos, which should be less expensive than new ones, although finding a young, slightly used C2X may take some time and searching. Good luck! I thought piano shopping was fun, although many seem to find it very stressful. Please try to enjoy the process.

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What is Pearl River? Get a C3X (or higher) instead laugh


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I second the C3X instead of the C2X.

It is not just the size but C3X has many improvements over the C2X.

Your room is large enough for a 9 ft piano. So C3X will sound fine in that room.

Piano is a long term investment. You will be much pleased with the C3X. It is Yamaha's one of the best selling designs.

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I sent you a PM.

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I'm obviously biased here, see signature....

But the Yamaha *is* far superior in every way. Sure, it's three times the price, but there are no shortcuts within that price. The G2, C2, and now C2X has become one of the most popular domestic and practice studio pianos in the world because of their durability and build quality, and their wonderful action and tone.


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You seem to be making one of the 5 biggest mistake piano shoppers make.

https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/five-mistakes-first-time-piano-buyers-make/

#2 - Shopping Backwards...


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Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
You seem to be making one of the 5 biggest mistake piano shoppers make.

https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/five-mistakes-first-time-piano-buyers-make/

#2 - Shopping Backwards...
Interesting. smile


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If I were in your shoes with your budget I would definitely look for longer piano. Used/refurbished premium brand. C2x is a great piano, but C3x is a different story all together. I'd rather have used C3X than a new C2X. Or better still, a well rebuilt Mason &Hamlin, Bechstein etc.
C2x I am sure will be one of the best pianos in its size, but it still is a baby grand.

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Definitely Yamaha. No questions. If you prefer warmer tones, take a look at Kawai also. Then you'd be comparing apples to apples.

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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
You seem to be making one of the 5 biggest mistake piano shoppers make.

https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/five-mistakes-first-time-piano-buyers-make/

#2 - Shopping Backwards...
Interesting. smile

I certainly agree that pianos should be compared based on comparable price and not on comparable length.

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I own a Yamaha C2 that I absolutely love, so I want to say to the OP "buy the Yamaha," I have to agree with Steve Cohen. If your budget can afford the new Yamaha C2x, you need to play a few more models/makes and sizes that are closer to that price range.

If you're in a hurry and just want to get the purchase over with, then hands down, buy the Yamaha C2x. But if you have time to do a little shopping and playing, then I think you should definitely do so.

As for size, if you haven't already, consider getting a floor template and seeing what the max size you could fit is. My room is on the small side, and although I played some nice C3 pianos, and other makes in that size, the slightly smaller C2 size works really well for me.

But if you can fit a larger piano, and you have the budget, then definitely branch out.

As for resale value, you definitely will do better on resale with a well-known brand, with Yamaha coming out on top compared to PR.

Oh, one other thing. I don't know where you're located, but I understand that between the pandemic interest in piano playing, and the weird things happening with the supply chain, piano sales are brisk and you may not get the same kind of deal you could have gotten two years ago.

In any case, best of luck and I hope you'll keep us posted with what you end up getting. Going from a not super great upright to a really great grand is just about one of the best things in the whole wide world!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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