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Posted By: PianoGamer Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/12/21 03:04 AM
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?
Posted By: Keith D Kerman Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/12/21 03:12 AM
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.
Posted By: dogperson Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/12/21 03:26 AM
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 😊
Posted By: RobAC Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/12/21 03:27 AM
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.
Posted By: New Englander Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/12/21 04:19 AM
Agree…C2X
Posted By: MusterMark Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/12/21 04:19 AM
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.
Posted By: PianoGamer Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/12/21 05:21 AM
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.
Posted By: cygnusdei Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/12/21 08:05 AM
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!
Posted By: dhts Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/12/21 09:19 AM
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.
Posted By: Sgisela Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/12/21 11:29 AM
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.
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/12/21 11:55 AM
What is Pearl River? Get a C3X (or higher) instead laugh
Posted By: Hakki Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/12/21 12:13 PM
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.
Posted By: MusterMark Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/12/21 02:26 PM
I sent you a PM.
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.
Posted By: Steve Cohen Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/12/21 03:56 PM
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...
Posted By: Carey Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/12/21 04:51 PM
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
Posted By: Walkman Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/12/21 05:13 PM
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.
Posted By: RayR3004 Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/12/21 05:13 PM
Definitely Yamaha. No questions. If you prefer warmer tones, take a look at Kawai also. Then you'd be comparing apples to apples.
Posted By: Roy123 Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/12/21 05:57 PM
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.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/12/21 09:57 PM
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!
Posted By: PianoGamer Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/13/21 12:34 AM
Thanks everyone for the thoughtful feedback; I appreciate it all.

I went with the PR 170 as I feel the price on the C2x was not great--- just 7% off the SMP (it's crazy to hear of the variance in prices for this model). The PR on the other hand is 28% off of the SMP. I also acknowledge that y'all are right, I should compare pianos at price point first, not size.

One thing I learned from this experience is that piano buying is intense as it could be the second largest purchase you make next to a house or a car... and even though one may have the money to spend there is always an opportunity cost. 30k can buy a lot of things (vacations, home improvements, cars, etc.).

The piano arrives tomorrow and I really hope it works out. I'm pretty sure my John Thompson Book 1 and Christmas tunes will sound great on either option lol

Good news is my local shop advertises that if you don’t like your new purchase for ANY reason, they will make a one time exchange of the piano within 30 days of your purchase when the item is returned. I'm not getting the PR with the intention of exchanging it, but it does relieve a bit of my anxiety just in case I absolutely hate it and realize it is just not the right piano for me. So we shall see. I'll post tomorrow with a sample piece in the appropriate forum to let you know how it sounds in my space.
Posted By: Sgisela Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/13/21 12:51 AM
Congratulations! 🎊🎉🎈
I hope you enjoy your piano very much, and for a long time!
Posted By: Ubu Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/13/21 01:54 AM
Good choice.

When one piano costs 3 times the price of another one, and still you have doubts about wich one you prefer, that means the cheap one is the correct choice.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/13/21 04:30 AM
Wow that was fast! Congratulations on your new piano!!
Posted By: PianoGamer Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/13/21 05:48 AM
Thanks to you and the community . Everyone has been very helpful.

And yes, I act fast - haha ! Leo Sun / Aries Moon for those that are into that stuff.
Posted By: Carey Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/13/21 06:15 AM
Originally Posted by Ubu
Good choice.

When one piano costs 3 times the price of another one, and still you have doubts about wich one you prefer, that means the cheap one is the correct choice.
thumb thumb thumb
Posted By: cygnusdei Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/13/21 08:22 AM
[Linked Image]

The wand chooses the wizard!
Posted By: ebonyk Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/13/21 05:40 PM
Congratulations, so exciting!!!
Posted By: Walkman Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/13/21 05:55 PM
Congrats! happy musicmaking!
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/13/21 07:08 PM
cygnusdei, love it! The piano chooses the pianist!
grin grin grin
Posted By: j&j Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/13/21 08:44 PM
Congratulations on your new Pearl River 170! I wish you many happy years playing.
Posted By: tre corda Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/14/21 12:19 AM
Originally Posted by cygnusdei
[Linked Image]

The wand chooses the wizard!
That is true! (It may make a good title of a thread though cygnusdei?)
Posted By: PianoGamer Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/14/21 03:02 AM
Update:

Here is the new piano in place.

[img]https://imgur.com/gallery/rkGthf8[/img]

I love the size and look. The sound is okay, wish it was warmer, but hoping to add a rug and some more sound dampening items in the room to help it out. The action is okay, but not bad at all. I do still feel like I'd prefer the Yamaha, but maybe that will be my treat in a few years after I recommit myself to learning piano!

It is nice to have an acoustic instrument in my place again as it seems to change the energy in the room. I've already spent hours playing this thing today (when I could pry my hubby's hands off of it). No more TV in the living room!
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/14/21 04:14 PM
yay, congratulations!!!

You may indeed benefit from adding some things to the room, including a rug under the piano, heavy drapes.

You might also ask the tech if voicing or other prep would help.

Also, does it have a half stick or short stick for the lid? If you can put the lid lower without closing it, you might like that better.

Remind me, is this piano brand new or did you buy it used?
Posted By: PianoGamer Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/14/21 07:56 PM
Agreed, I need a rug under the piano and will add in the castor cups now that I won't be moving it around anymore. It does have a half stick a well and I have played around with that. It's brand new.
Posted By: dogperson Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/14/21 08:05 PM
Since you have hardwood floors, I would recommend adding a thick (1/2) pad underneath the rug. The pads are much more reasonably priced than a thick rug.
Posted By: PianoGamer Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/25/21 03:03 AM
Well a week later, I am in like with my PR, but not in love. Headed back to try some more Yamahas & Kawais on Friday.
Posted By: Carey Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/25/21 03:39 AM
Originally Posted by PianoGamer
Well a week later, I am in like with my PR, but not in love. Headed back to try some more Yamahas & Kawais on Friday.
Please keep us in the loop !!!!
Posted By: Boboulus Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/25/21 04:19 PM
Originally Posted by PianoGamer
Well a week later, I am in like with my PR, but not in love. Headed back to try some more Yamahas & Kawais on Friday.

Yes I would love to hear your feedback after you have tried more pianos. I have more is less narrow down my search to Yamaha C1X/C2X or Kawai GX-1/GX-2 with silent systems.

It’s always interesting to hear other people thoughts about these pianos ☺️
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/25/21 04:49 PM
Originally Posted by PianoGamer
Well a week later, I am in like with my PR, but not in love. Headed back to try some more Yamahas & Kawais on Friday.

Yeah, I agree, you want to be *love* with your instrument if at all possible!!

Keep us posted!!
Posted By: Rickster Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/25/21 05:07 PM
Congratulations on your new Pearl River grand piano! I looked at the picture and it is beautiful! I love the look of the double casters on the spade legs.

I wish you many years of enjoyment playing it, and looking at it! smile

Rick
Posted By: Scott Cole, RPT Re: Yamaha C2X or Pearl River GP 170 - 11/25/21 11:36 PM
I realize this is after the fact, but for those considering something similar—Yamaha vs Pearl River—my opinion as a piano technician would be to steer my customers away from the PR. Or Young Chang or Samick, for that matter. If it came down to cost, then look for a good used Yamaha or Kawai. It’s like asking if it’s better to buy a brand new Fiat or a used Toyota—not even close.

I recently tuned a PR in a showroom, and it was horrible to tune, with sticky, zingy agraffes. Probably really cheaply made agraffes. The sound was cheap, with little depth, and when it was played loudly, the tone disintegrated and it just barked.

The other major issue is depreciation. Try to sell any kind of used Yamaha or Kawai, and you’ll have no trouble. Try to sell a Pearl River? Good luck with that.
It will take longer and you’ll lose more.

I’ve seen the occasional Fiat 500 on the road. Sure, they’re kind of cute. But what a terrible way to spend your automotive budget…
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