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#1874624 - 04/06/12 11:26 AM Piano search review; Yamaha C6XA, sorry long post!
Scherzando Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/29/12
Posts: 6
Loc: Somerset
My daughter and I have been learning to play for a few years and, after moving house and having trouble adjusting to a grand piano in our exams, decided to purchase a new 6-7ft piano. Not knowing where to start I stumbled upon this forum and the education began! Above all, the most useful advice that I picked up was to trust your own ear and individual preferences. A big thank you to everyone on this forum for all the free, contrasting advice regarding piano buying which led to us to select the piano that ultimately makes us smile!

The first retailer we visited was Chris Venables Pianos in Hampshire, where we had our collective, family heart stolen by a Yamaha C6XA. To fall in love with a piano at the very first retailer you visit is definitely not helpful and reminiscent of certain dress shopping experiences…! We were placed in a completely unexpected situation where we risked losing our ideal piano against, on the other hand, risking post purchase regret from an incomplete search.

Reluctantly, our search pressed on with us risking missing out on the C6 piano that we tried, yet learning a great deal more about what exactly we were looking for in our ideal piano. Nothing lived up to the powerful tone or bespoke voicing of the Yamaha at the Venables’ dealership, although a few pianos definitely rivalled it for touch. It seemed, the further we travelled (conceptual and geographical) the more we realised that the C6 was the piano for us. Having found the perfect piano straightaway our search was slightly unusual. I became extremely reluctant to sacrifice family weekends travelling the lengths of the country with a contrary four year old and grumpy husband in tow. Armed with more knowledge, we returned to Chris Venables Pianos to try a second C6XA because, not unexpectedly, the first one had been sold cry

The second C6, was of course, much better than the first wink More importantly however, as a result of our search, we were able to provide a very patient and understanding Will Venables with specific requirements regarding our voicing/action preferences. So, after what has been a fairly quick search, we have finally paid a deposit for a new piano to assist our elderly but much loved Emmerson upright with its workload. For anyone who’s interested, the following pianos were our favourites and it was a tough call choosing between them;

Yamaha C6XA – awesome power, clear projecting tone, good touch
Boston 215 – singing treble, well balanced touch
Bechstein MP192 – sweet tone with perfectly balanced touch

The other pianos we tried are listed below. They did not make our favourites selection mainly due to being slightly smaller pianos and therefore having comparatively less power, too dark/mellow tone, and in a few disappointing cases, being obviously badly prepped (good prep is noticeable even to novice abilities!)

Yamaha C3M
Brodmann 212
Bechstein A190
Yamaha C7
Schimmel 213
Schimmel 189
Kawai RX5

Despite the poor prep of a few, I would like to emphasise that the majority of retailers we encountered were extremely helpful. Will Venables, Jerry Rusling (from Coach House Pianos, Swansea) and Neil Sail (UK sales director, Kawai) all did their utmost to accommodate our difficult scheduling/travelling requirements and focussed upon the honest selling of their brands. It was a pleasure to deal with them. Having shared my search with the forum, all that remains now is to keep my fingers crossed for the safe delivery of our piano in a few weeks, and for it to settle well in its new environment. Not forgetting to post some pics of course!!


Edited by Scherzando (04/07/12 02:31 PM)
_________________________
Working towards Gr6:
Waltz Op38 no7, Grieg
Lieb Schwesterlein Op32 no14, Fuchs
Adagio Glass Harmonica, Mozart
Allegro Op636 no6, Czerny
Nefeli and I Giorni, Einaudi

DD (9) working towards Gr3 piano and Gr1 violin
DS (4)learning piano keys, note flashcards, basic exercises

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#1874646 - 04/06/12 12:06 PM Re: Piano search review; Yamaha C6XA, sorry long post! [Re: Scherzando]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
As you probably know, the Venables have a great reputation. The more I read on PW, the more importance I place on that issue.

Like you I'm lucky to be dealing with a dealer with a great reputation (Classic Pianos in Portland, U.S.A.). They said I'd get a "free tune" but when I enquired about the details, they told me I needed to be happy with the end result and if I wanted the hammers voiced that was part of my free "tune" and they'd gladly do it.

Reputable dealers can be a real blessing and nobody in the U.K. has a better reputation than your guys!

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#1874659 - 04/06/12 12:57 PM Re: Piano search review; Yamaha C6XA, sorry long post! [Re: jivemutha]
Scherzando Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/29/12
Posts: 6
Loc: Somerset
They sure do! Great showroom, private appointments with on call technician willing to make bespoke adjustments on the spot to suit. Even my four year old behaved well there.. shocked

If I recall correctly, Jivemutha, it was one of your positive posts a while back that finally pushed me to get the ball rolling and go ahead with calling Venables Pianos... so thank you laugh

Congrats on your recent Yamaha purchase, your chosen dealership sounds great too! I think it's important to give feedback to other consumers about good retail service in what can sometimes be a tricky and time consuming purchase.

Adella


Edited by Scherzando (04/06/12 01:24 PM)
_________________________
Working towards Gr6:
Waltz Op38 no7, Grieg
Lieb Schwesterlein Op32 no14, Fuchs
Adagio Glass Harmonica, Mozart
Allegro Op636 no6, Czerny
Nefeli and I Giorni, Einaudi

DD (9) working towards Gr3 piano and Gr1 violin
DS (4)learning piano keys, note flashcards, basic exercises

Top
#1874672 - 04/06/12 01:26 PM Re: Piano search review; Yamaha C6XA, sorry long post! [Re: Scherzando]
schwammerl Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 2012
Loc: Belgium
Scherzando,

No doubt that you not merely bought a piano but acquired a lot of added value by puchasing one form C. Venables Pianos.

You emphasize a lot your enthousiasm for "awesome power".

May I ask why and in what environment (i.e. room size/type) the C6XA will be in?

What did you think of the C3XA? I cannot imagine this one belongs to the ones you qualify as "badly prepped"?

Enjoy your C6XA for many yeras to come!

schwammerl.

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#1874713 - 04/06/12 02:49 PM Re: Piano search review; Yamaha C6XA, sorry long post! [Re: schwammerl]
Scherzando Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/29/12
Posts: 6
Loc: Somerset
Mea culpa, unforgiveably, I think I may have got my C3s mixed up blush It may have been a C3M that we tried, according to earlier notes... I'm sure Will Venables will put me straight. Until I can clarify (which I will), whichever C3 we tried, we found it to be well prepped just no comparison to the power of the C6XA. I also remember finding the touch slightly more difficult to control on the C3. For wrong or for right, I was and still am completely seduced by the feeling of having controllable,well harnessed power at my fingertips ready to unleash when desired. We also found the tone of the C6XA to be expressive and very clear which were other attributes that we were looking for. Magic happened for us with this piano.

The room that the piano will be going in is 21'x22', carpeted but with slightly lower ceilings (approx 8') than is preferable. It will be interesting to hear how it sounds eek However, I'm comforted by the technical support that I have with this purchase which (along with the power laugh ) was undoubtedly a big factor in our final choice.
_________________________
Working towards Gr6:
Waltz Op38 no7, Grieg
Lieb Schwesterlein Op32 no14, Fuchs
Adagio Glass Harmonica, Mozart
Allegro Op636 no6, Czerny
Nefeli and I Giorni, Einaudi

DD (9) working towards Gr3 piano and Gr1 violin
DS (4)learning piano keys, note flashcards, basic exercises

Top
#1874765 - 04/06/12 04:45 PM Re: Piano search review; Yamaha C6XA, sorry long post! [Re: Scherzando]
Robert 45 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 1195
Loc: Auckland New Zealand
Scherzando,
How wonderful that you have found a piano that delights you!

Warmest congratulations and many many years of happy playing!

Robert.

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#1874883 - 04/06/12 08:38 PM Re: Piano search review; Yamaha C6XA, sorry long post! [Re: Scherzando]
ClsscLib Online   content

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1706
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Congratulations! I haven't had the good fortune to try any of the Yamaha "X" models yet -- I'm really looking forward to playing one.
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#1875083 - 04/07/12 09:55 AM Re: Piano search review; Yamaha C6XA, sorry long post! [Re: Scherzando]
ChrisVenables Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 727
Loc: Hampshire, England
Hi Adella

Thanks for the kind words. Thanks also to Jivemutha and Luc.

Re your query about the C3 you tried here, it was a C3M - C3XAs are sold out until the end of the month.

Will is looking forward to doing any final toning work in your home to best match the piano to the acoustic of the room. I think that the carpet will enhance the tonal quality without compromising the piano's clarity.

Best wishes.

Chris
_________________________
Tech. & Partner: Venables Pianos
Yamaha Piano UK main dealer and Grand Piano Centre
Stocking new Yamaha, Brodmann and Venables & Son

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#1875127 - 04/07/12 11:26 AM Re: Piano search review; Yamaha C6XA, sorry long post! [Re: ChrisVenables]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: ChrisVenables
. . . Re your query about the C3 you tried here, it was a C3M
Chris


The "M" has caused a little confusion here in America. As I understand it, it primarily refers to the use of a hardwood-capped vertical bridge in the treble--a change that has improved Yamaha's sound in C series grands. Here in America, the switch to this more Steinway-like treble bridge HAS been made, but for whatever reason, the "M" has not been added to the new instruments. Anyone considering the purchase of a Yammy grand in the U.S. can sort this out by simply looking at the end of the treble bridge. If it has got the vertical laminations, you have the new "M," albeit without the letter added. What I can't seem to find is when this change was made in pianos reaching the U.S. Also, in keeping with their frustrating website, last I checked the website write-up on some of the pianos that DO have this improvement does not include mention of it. Yamaha should have fired whoever writes text for their website long ago--e.g., try using the current website descriptions to compare one model to another and mostly what you get is marketing drivel and adjectives.

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#1875180 - 04/07/12 01:32 PM Re: Piano search review; Yamaha C6XA, sorry long post! [Re: Scherzando]
ChrisVenables Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 727
Loc: Hampshire, England
Jivemutha

In Europe (can't speak for North America) in 2007 the M brought about an upgrade on the spec on the C1L and C2L to the exisiting spec at the time on the C3L (Ivorite naturals and WPC sharps, plus redesigned treble bridge). The changes to C3, 5, 6 and 7 were only cosmetic, (brass propstick holders and restyled music desk).

Regards.
_________________________
Tech. & Partner: Venables Pianos
Yamaha Piano UK main dealer and Grand Piano Centre
Stocking new Yamaha, Brodmann and Venables & Son

Top
#1875201 - 04/07/12 02:24 PM Re: Piano search review; Yamaha C6XA, sorry long post! [Re: ChrisVenables]
Scherzando Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/29/12
Posts: 6
Loc: Somerset
Robert and ClsscLib thank you for your congrats, it’s great to share the excitement with piano people that really understand!

Hi Chris, thanks for clearing up my confusion, I really should use my notes more crazy Congrats also on selling out on C3XAs already, it speaks volumes about your pianos/customer service. I feel like a child whose Christmases are set to come all together. I can’t wait for the piano to arrive and after that I still have the toning to look forward to, wow!!

Not wanting to muddy the waters, I find the differing piano terminology between different countries confusing too. Is this a similar situation to the RX Blak branding in the US whereas it’s non-existent in the UK? Or am I getting confused again? Regardless, I know we’re not that different from our cousins across the pond!

Adella
_________________________
Working towards Gr6:
Waltz Op38 no7, Grieg
Lieb Schwesterlein Op32 no14, Fuchs
Adagio Glass Harmonica, Mozart
Allegro Op636 no6, Czerny
Nefeli and I Giorni, Einaudi

DD (9) working towards Gr3 piano and Gr1 violin
DS (4)learning piano keys, note flashcards, basic exercises

Top
#1875377 - 04/07/12 11:57 PM Re: Piano search review; Yamaha C6XA, sorry long post! [Re: ChrisVenables]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: ChrisVenables
Jivemutha

In Europe (can't speak for North America) in 2007 the M brought about an upgrade on the spec on the C1L and C2L to the exisiting spec at the time on the C3L (Ivorite naturals and WPC sharps, plus redesigned treble bridge). The changes to C3, 5, 6 and 7 were only cosmetic, (brass propstick holders and restyled music desk).

Regards.


Thanks, Chris. The North American C2 also has the Ivorite and WPC sharps (as well as the vertically laminated bridge) so it's pretty clear we're all getting the same thing. Whether the changes occurred 5 years ago here I don't know. Oddly the GC1 does have the "M" added to the latest designation.

Speaking of confusion in nomenclature, The GC1 and C1 are very different prices but the differences between those instruments as at best been poorly described. Larry Fine talks about their similarites but if there are no differences why 2 names and 2 very different prices?

Thanks again.


Edited by jivemutha (04/09/12 03:22 PM)

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#1875464 - 04/08/12 06:41 AM Re: Piano search review; Yamaha C6XA, sorry long post! [Re: Scherzando]
ChrisVenables Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 727
Loc: Hampshire, England
Originally Posted By: Scherzando

Not wanting to muddy the waters, I find the differing piano terminology between different countries confusing too. Is this a similar situation to the RX Blak branding in the US whereas it’s non-existent in the UK? Or am I getting confused again? Regardless, I know we’re not that different from our cousins across the pond!

Adella


Hi Adella

It's probably a combination of Kawai and Yamaha head offices in Japan thinking they know what's going to sell best in each country and also each country's distributor telling Japan what their customers want.

Yamaha Japan are certainly listening more now to the feedback they receive from Europe (and I imagine from North America too) eg, last week we had a visit by three of their top piano gurus from Japan asking us what changes we would like to see in terms of sound quality, touch and style. The launch of the new CXA and CF series and in a few months the SE European spec uprights (Euro hammers, strings and soundboards) shows that they're listening.

So yes, confusing to have further model codes and spec to remember but worth the trouble if the pianos continue to improve.

Regards.
_________________________
Tech. & Partner: Venables Pianos
Yamaha Piano UK main dealer and Grand Piano Centre
Stocking new Yamaha, Brodmann and Venables & Son

Top
#1876237 - 04/09/12 02:14 PM Re: Piano search review; Yamaha C6XA, sorry long post! [Re: ChrisVenables]
Scherzando Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/29/12
Posts: 6
Loc: Somerset
Hi Chris,

Thanks for sharing your recent experience regarding the ideas exchange between distributor and manufacturer. It’s great that the manufacturers are seeking feedback from the proverbial horse’s mouth! I completely agree that it is well worth the extra mental somersaults for the consumer to be provided with evolving and improving product lines at increasingly diverse price points; it’s something I have literally bought into! Without the improvements in product lines, I’m not sure I would have found my ideal piano at the right price.

I would say though, that although I have no problem with changes in the terminology of improved products it can be confusing when there has been no difference or improvement to the actual piano. Conversely if the product has been improved, by all means, change the model name, but please apply that name change to all the international markets that the new upgraded model will be sold in. I’m not sure which bracket, if any, my previously used example (Kawai’s RX Blak) would fall into?

Any change in the terminology of a product for whatever reason is fine, just please try and do it consistently across countries so that those consumers who conduct extensive research using global resources, have a clearer picture of what is or isn’t available to them at their point of purchase. I guess that nowadays, terminology differences between differing consumer markets is a minor, irritation for the globally aware consumer and I completely agree that as long as pianos continue to improve the grounds for complaining are negligible smile

Adella
_________________________
Working towards Gr6:
Waltz Op38 no7, Grieg
Lieb Schwesterlein Op32 no14, Fuchs
Adagio Glass Harmonica, Mozart
Allegro Op636 no6, Czerny
Nefeli and I Giorni, Einaudi

DD (9) working towards Gr3 piano and Gr1 violin
DS (4)learning piano keys, note flashcards, basic exercises

Top

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