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#148039 - 01/14/08 12:48 PM Yamaha S Series
J. Mark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1323
There's not much real point to this post...other than to say... Holy Cow!

I was at the Yamaha store today and spent an hour messing with CLP's. Chatting with the manager, he invited me to play an S4 (he had just sold his only S6, which is how it came up). Oh my god, what a beautiful piano! It had such a delicate, responsive touch. And such a nice tone. I loved it.

Of course, I am not worthy!

One question -- those wooden black keys, with a rough grain, felt so nice, and my fingers didn't slip off of them easily. Is that a common feature on more expensive pianos?

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#148040 - 01/14/08 01:01 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
I agree.
The S series are killer pianos.

I was blown away when I played an S6.

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#148041 - 01/14/08 05:42 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
Starting Over Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Toronto
I found a new S6 a few months ago in a store and it is a very nice piano for sure. It was tagged at $10K higher than a NY Steinway B so it appears to be pricey. That said, I don't know what it really sells for. Yamaha is like that with it's pricing...

As for the sharps, the new Baldwin Ls have a similar wood-grainy look and feel to them.
Very classy.
_________________________
Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
Will Rogers


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#148042 - 01/14/08 06:26 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
Don't all tier 2 or 3 and up pianos have real ebony sharps? - or at least real wood?

I don't remember the last time I saw a grand with plastic sharps.

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#148043 - 01/14/08 07:05 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
J. Mark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1323
These felt different to me. I don't know why, but I liked them.

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#148044 - 01/14/08 08:04 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
Starting Over Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Toronto
The difference is in the finish. It's a matte finish that looks and feels different from the high gloss finish on most piano sharps. Both are nice.
_________________________
Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
Will Rogers


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#148045 - 01/14/08 08:46 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
byebye Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/03
Posts: 1426
The keytops are probably composite; Yamaha previously used real ebony. How do I know that? When they replaced the deteriorating Ivorite keys on our C3 they put in a complete set of new keysticks.

For many years all Steinways used plastic sharps.

And yes, there is a quality piano with plain old plastic keytops, supplied by Kluge. I cannot speak the name here, since it is spoken much too often...

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#148046 - 01/14/08 08:50 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
J. Mark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1323
They were not composite.

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#148047 - 01/14/08 09:39 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
mdsdurango Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/04
Posts: 1755
Loc: Durango Colorado
Actually - they are a composite.
"WPC" sharps, what ever that means.
They ARE wood, but a wood composite. They certainly look like real wood, but if you look close you will see that the grain is so incredibly consistant, giving some indication that they are a composite.
It made them no less attractive to me when I was looking at pianos. I found the Yamaha keys to be one of the best looking keys on any paino.

As for being "worthy" of owning an S6 - I had my lesson tonight and I don't feel worthy of a casio!

It is awfully sweet to play on such a nice piano daily.

Mike
_________________________
WHAT???????
Yamaha S6, U5C, P120
http://michaelstith.com

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#148048 - 01/14/08 09:55 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
schwammerl Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 2011
Loc: Belgium
I digged a bit further into the key material question.

Keys are made from spruce.

White keys are toppped with Ivorite[/b] - synthetic material; registred name by Yamaha.

Black keys are coverd with WPC[/b] - wood plastic composite.

Yamaha is not the patent holder of WPC. This composite has many application (flooring, garden furniture etc.). There are apparently two major groups: majority is a polyolefin (PE, PP) composite, the other a PVC composite, both with their specific benefits. An example of a typical PVC-WPC is: 69% wood powder, 23% PVC, 5% CaCO3 en 3% others.

Those intersted in chemistry: http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?wo=2007050324&IA=WO2007050324&DISPLAY=DESC

According to Yamaha's catalogues, both Ivorite and WPC are now being used on the C3 grands and above.

schwammmerl.

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#148049 - 01/14/08 10:19 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
byebye Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/03
Posts: 1426
As to the piano itself, the S4 at the dealer here was very interesting, with a European sound, but more powerful.

Why does Larry Fine rate this lower than a Shigeru Kawai?

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#148050 - 01/14/08 10:19 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
J. Mark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1323
Well I'll be damned. It sure felt like wood. Apologies for my ignorance. Anyway, the piano was incredible. Whatever they are using to make it is fine by me. I'm saving my pennies....

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#148051 - 01/14/08 10:21 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
mdsdurango Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/04
Posts: 1755
Loc: Durango Colorado
A bit of clarification schwammerl; I don't think that the black keys are "covered" with WPC. I believe that the keys are "topped" with WPC, so that the entire key part above the white keys is of this material.
It is amazing though that they actually have a grain. The side of the key looks like wood and the end of the key looks just like woods end grain. If I did not know that WPC is what is used I would be completly fooled - and I am a carpenter.

Mike
_________________________
WHAT???????
Yamaha S6, U5C, P120
http://michaelstith.com

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#148052 - 01/14/08 10:45 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
byebye Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/03
Posts: 1426
I only noticed because there was an immediate comparison with the old ebonies. So I asked the technician, who formerly worked for Yamaha in California. It has more woodgrain feel than real wood!! Maybe that was the tipoff.

Don't ask about the composite used in certain rims. The technician calls it paper.

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#148053 - 01/15/08 08:43 AM Re: Yamaha S Series
I. Bruton Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 861
Loc: Raleigh
When did Yamaha switch from ebony wood to Wood Composite? I was thinking that my C3 uses ebony (thought I'm not at all sure).
_________________________
I. Bruton
B.A. Music Composition
M.M. Music Education
High School Choral Director
Church Music Director
Pianos owned: Yamaha C3
Pianos at work: Yamaha P22, Kawai K3, Steinway B

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#148054 - 01/15/08 09:25 AM Re: Yamaha S Series
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3249
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
 Quote:
Originally posted by MarkS:
As to the piano itself, the S4 at the dealer here was very interesting, with a European sound, but more powerful.

Why does Larry Fine rate this lower than a Shigeru Kawai? [/b]
I like the S series a lot. I agree with Mark that the Shiguru Kawais and Yamaha S series should be side by side. It seems that Kawai is doing a bit more on the marketing of their more expensive pianos, and maybe this had some effect. I like Yamaha S series pianos much much more than several of the higher rated German/ European pianos. In a sense, I am dissapointed that they get so little representation and respect. I have said it before, if Yamaha and Kawai went with a Toyota/Lexus Honda/Acura Nissan/ Infiniti type marketing approach, it is possible that their higher end pianos would get more recognition and respect. On the rare occassion that someone is even aware of these instruments, I hear " it is just a Yamaha".
Of course, I don't really want to have to change people's perceptions about a piano I don't carry.
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
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keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

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#148055 - 01/15/08 09:31 AM Re: Yamaha S Series
eFatz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/18/07
Posts: 78
Loc: Singapore
Yeah I think Yamaha should market the S series as it deserves to be marketed, then it should probably garner the respect it deserves.
It certainly is a fine piano

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#148056 - 01/15/08 12:36 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
mdsdurango Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/04
Posts: 1755
Loc: Durango Colorado


Here is a close up of my S6 Black keys.

Mike
_________________________
WHAT???????
Yamaha S6, U5C, P120
http://michaelstith.com

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#148057 - 01/15/08 12:37 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
mdsdurango Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/04
Posts: 1755
Loc: Durango Colorado
Dang - Double post.
Mike
_________________________
WHAT???????
Yamaha S6, U5C, P120
http://michaelstith.com

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#148058 - 01/15/08 12:56 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
I love the S6/S4 pianos. I still play an S6 regularly at my teacher's studio. But it is definitely a European sound, much much cleaner sounding than a Steinway. Depending on my mood, sometimes it sounds too clean, but sometimes I prefer it.

It is such a contrast to the Steinway sound.
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Piano 88
My Blog

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#148059 - 01/15/08 01:13 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
.
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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#148060 - 01/15/08 01:30 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Interesting comment Dave F. My teacher, as you know is on his second S6, and he does have it voiced down a lot. So maybe there's a pattern here. But I know he won't give up the S6 for let's say a Steinway because he likes that particular tone of it.

As a contrasting story, when I was checking out an S400 ('90s), I didn't find it to be bright or have action issues, but the piano showed signs of heavy heavy use (worn down ebony keys). I thought it aged particularly well actually. It sounded great (consistent with a new S4). It wasn't a rebuild.
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Piano 88
My Blog

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#148061 - 01/15/08 02:03 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
.
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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#148062 - 01/15/08 04:36 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
df,

Teacher uses the S6 for recordings so he was very picky about it being a particular level of quality at all times. And even new, he's always constantly voicing the hammers down. I know what you mean about comparing it to the Hamburger. My ears are so attuned to the difference now that I now realize why I didn't pick an S4. But teacher does get a great sustained sound out of it. I think he likes it because it's like a signature sound for him.

You're 'Mr. Voicings' yourself so I can see why you'd lean to the D. I think Steinway is more suited for harmonic texture in Jazz, while the Yammie S6/S4 is great for playing the piano like a horn.
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Piano 88
My Blog

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#148063 - 01/15/08 08:19 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
.
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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#148064 - 01/16/08 12:04 AM Re: Yamaha S Series
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13965
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
The Yamaha S-series are very nice pianos indeed!

Real ebony sharps seem to have a bit of a comeback also on some much less expensive pianos, for example all Brodmann 6' grands up have them.

Not to be misconstrued as a 'reason' to choose a particular piano of course.....

But it does feel nice to 'walk on wood'....if offered as an extra bonus "for free"....

Norbert \:\)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#148065 - 01/16/08 01:32 AM Re: Yamaha S Series
Jeff Bauer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/03
Posts: 1718
Loc: Los Angeles
Yamaha upgraded the C1 & C2 recently with the ivorite keytops, WPC sharps, and vertically laminated bridges (and a couple other things I forget ATM) to make them similar to the C3 and higher grands. Look for these changes on these models with a serial # of 6.2 mil or newer.
_________________________
Jeff Bauer | Keyboard Concepts

Yamaha | Schimmel | Bösendorfer | Knabe | Seiler | Restored Steinway

BauerHouse Productions

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#148066 - 01/17/08 03:22 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
Craigen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/05
Posts: 1815
Loc: West Coast
Dave,
On balance, 3-4 hours a day is not common in home use. A similar sized new Steinway B would need significant voicing and action work at 10 years of this kind of use IMO. Of course your 2 yo S&S D is at its peak and will stay there longer in that it is a foot longer and you play it easier to get the same effect.

IMO the Yamaha S6 is a tremendous piano and will reguire no more or no less voicing or regulating or rebuilding than most other models in its size or catagory.
_________________________
Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.

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#148067 - 01/17/08 10:40 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
doremi Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1682
In a parallel thread, opinions were tossed up that the CFIIIS is an attempt to clone the Steinway D.

Is the S6 (or C6) an attempt to clone the Steinway B?
_________________________
I am doremi because I play scales
Had I progressed to playing chords, I would be domisol

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#148068 - 01/17/08 11:02 PM Re: Yamaha S Series
Craigen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/05
Posts: 1815
Loc: West Coast
IMO in the S6 they got come aspects better.

A B is still a B.
_________________________
Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.

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