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#1912490 - 06/12/12 07:52 PM Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG?
nillabean Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/12
Posts: 26
Loc: San Francisco, CA
I am the proud new owner of a Yamaha YUS5SG as of last Saturday.

The piano was taken from this large SF Bay Area Yamaha Dealer's warehouse and literally unboxed right outside my door.

My first impression was that it just didn't sound as good as the 2 I played at other stores (both had already been sold). I felt so lucky being able to have one delivered to me shortly after purchase, but now I am questioning whether it is better to buy from the showroom floor.

The dealer assured me that Yamaha's have the most consistent and reliable manufacturing techniques with their pianos, and that they don't need to be prepped before or at delivery to the customer's house. But my research on this forum tells me otherwise--that ALL pianos require proper preparation in order to play at their potential.

Though this is my first piano I've owned, I have been playing for 30 years and can tell its a bit off. I have a free tuning, of course, but am told to wait 4-6 weeks for the strings to stretch, piano to settle, etc. I don't want to waste it on doing something that the dealer should have done on a $15,000 piano. But I think they felt I was getting a really good deal, and was lucky to grab the last one in stock.

Besides, I don't think I understand what preparation really entails, and how will I even know if a Yamaha tech/tuner does all the possible things to bring out the best sound from my new instrument?

This was the biggest investment (next to my car) that I've ever made, and I want the most out of it. Before I go to the dealer and demand they send a technician to my house, I wanted to get some feedback from this community.

Thanks

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#1912505 - 06/12/12 08:44 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: nillabean]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1242
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Clearly it is better to buy a piano that you have actually played, and no doubt the two pianos that you did play were in more refined condition than this slightly raw product now in your home. You'll get good advice from others here, but you bought from a dealer who is just out to move product, so when they do send someone out in 4-6 weeks you won't get more than a tuning and any basic needed repairs (a stuck note, for example).

My advice is to hire an independent technician now, and be done with this dealer. Forget about your free tuning and move on. Pay for an informational service call from someone who cares, and now begin to turn this piano into a fine instrument - no doubt it can become one rather easily. This might cost you $200-$500 and a couple of visits over the next month or two.

Congratulations on the purchase in any case!

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#1912545 - 06/12/12 10:27 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: nillabean]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Did you get this from the dealer on Van Ness in the city?

Please don't panic. True, if the dealer did no prep then even a Yamaha will be a bit rough literally out of the crate. That said, it CAN be made to sound just like the 2 you played except for one significant difference: the difference between the acoustics in your home vs. the dealership. That's more than can be said for any American, Korean, or Chinese piano (and it's probably more than can be said of some German pianos as well).

YUS5SG is a great upright for that price and if you do have to take a few hundred bucks out of your pocket for regulation you will still have gotten a terrific deal.

QUESTION: When you listen through the headphones, focus on the difference in sound between playing isolated lines versus multiple-note chords. Does the sound of the latter lack some of the clarity of the former? I'm currently trying to sort this out in my new silent Yamaha and while our models are different (C2SG for me), the digital components are purportedly identical. Thus your answer to this question may be of real use to me in sorting this one out. Also, if you have the same problem I'm having (a little fuzziness with multiple-note chords through the headphones that absolutely does not occur when playing isolated lines) then perhaps I'll be able to tell you a few things that WON'T solve the problem to save you the trouble. Thanks.

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#1912622 - 06/13/12 01:32 AM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: jivemutha]
Rafterman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 407
Loc: New York
I just bought a brand new Yamaha YUS5 a few months ago.

At the dealer I was going back and forth between the YUS5 and a Yamaha U3. I thought the YUS5 had a "dull" bass heavy sound. The Yamaha U3 did NOT have the typical old reputation bright sound.

I had a fantastic piano tech from this forum come up to work on my Kawai K3. He took a look and played the Yamaha YUS5. The dealer had put a lot of prep wotk into it. He said it was fine.

I would talk to the dealer about getting a tech out there. I agree with the other posters about bringing your instrument up to par with the other YUS5 you played. If worse comes to worse...get your own independent tech. It's a great feeling knowing a pro will tell you everything with no other interests to the dealer. Absolutely worth the money.

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#1912858 - 06/13/12 01:16 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
nillabean Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/12
Posts: 26
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Peter:
I appreciate the feedback...and agree that finding a good tech to work on my piano is well worth the additional investment. But wouldn't it still be worth it to have the free tuning? I could then talk to this person and see what they think--maybe I can even get them to do a little more? If not, at least I got a regular tuning out of it...?

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#1912867 - 06/13/12 01:27 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: jivemutha]
nillabean Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/12
Posts: 26
Loc: San Francisco, CA
jivemutha,
Thanks, not panicking...Yes, it was from the Van Ness store in SF, lol. They had one on the storeroom floor, but it had already been sold. Although one thing that appeals to me about the new in box scenario is that I know people weren't messing with the Silent System on a showroom floor. I swear that the lever you pull to engage the silent was a little looser on the showroom floor model. Mine is nice and tight--I like knowing that my electronics haven't been touched by tire kickers.

I did get a great deal on the piano as I took my time and haggled between a few stores. So I am comfortable spending some more time/money to get the piano properly tuned, regulated, and voiced. I've been playing as much as possible since I got it, and though I do notice some room acoustic differences,the piano is clearly a bit out of tune and a bit rough in other ways that I can't really put a finger on yet. But ultimately I still love it and am looking forward to the "fine tuning" I will have over the years.

I will keep experimenting with listening for the issue you speak of, but as of now, I haven't noticed anything along those lines.

How long should I wait to have a tech come to my place? Should I use the free tune now, to get it at least in tune in my living room? I've been trying to play pretty hard on it to stretch the strings, and see if i notice anything I don't like. I've discovered a couple notes that seem a bit harsh, and I just wonder if I should keep playing hard on it before I have anyone come out.

Anyway to get tech recommendations on this forum for San Francisco?

Thanks

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#1912871 - 06/13/12 01:32 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: Rafterman]
nillabean Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/12
Posts: 26
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Rafterman,
I find the bass on my new YUS5 to actually be pretty awesome. Its more the middle register that I notice some issues with. How do you know what work was done by the dealer on your YUS? How is it now that its broken in? I have a tech that lives a bit far away, and though I think he's pretty good, (and he's cheap) I feel like I want a real Yamaha specialist. I don't know if I want to get recommendations from the dealer...
It seems living in SF, there should be a lot of really good techs out here. And I've been monitoring the temperature and humidity in the location my piano sits, and its very consistent and within the recommended numbers.

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#1912890 - 06/13/12 02:09 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: jivemutha]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19099
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: jivemutha
True, if the dealer did no prep then even a Yamaha will be a bit rough literally out of the crate. That said, it CAN be made to sound just like the 2 you played except for one significant difference: the difference between the acoustics in your home vs. the dealership. That's more than can be said for any American, Korean, or Chinese piano (and it's probably more than can be said of some German pianos as well).
That's a big exaggeration IMO. A more reasonable statement is that it may be easier to get your piano sounding more like the ones in the showroom than if you bought a piano from the other countries.

As far as sounding "just like" the ones in the showroom, that may not be possible even for a Yamaha since all pianos vary a little.

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#1912936 - 06/13/12 04:05 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: pianoloverus]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: jivemutha
True, if the dealer did no prep then even a Yamaha will be a bit rough literally out of the crate. That said, it CAN be made to sound just like the 2 you played except for one significant difference: the difference between the acoustics in your home vs. the dealership. That's more than can be said for any American, Korean, or Chinese piano (and it's probably more than can be said of some German pianos as well).
That's a big exaggeration IMO. A more reasonable statement is that it may be easier to get your piano sounding more like the ones in the showroom than if you bought a piano from the other countries.

As far as sounding "just like" the ones in the showroom, that may not be possible even for a Yamaha since all pianos vary a little.


Well, we disagree. I'm assuming from the strong comment you made that you've already played several new Yamahas of the same model and found them to sound quite differently from each other. So have I!!!! For example, a C2 nuzzled into a corner of a small space in Santa Monica sounded twice as big as a C2 in the middle of a big showroom in San Francisco. BUT (and it's a big "but"), if you think about it, I bet you'll admit when they sounded different the acoustics were different. The C2s I played in S.F. and here in Portland were in similar acoustic surroundings. They sounded identical to each other, as best my ear could tell--and this has always been my experience with Yammy's, and of course they have that reputation, supported by the fact that they're mostly assembled by robots and not people.

If you were to play 2 new (gotta be new) Yamahas of the same model regulated by the same tech in the same acoustic location and you were blindfolded, the chance you could tell them apart would be small and the chance you'd really have a strong preference for one over the other trivial. This extraordinary quality control is the reason Larry Fine has made a point of how remarkable the ready-to-play-out-of-the-box nature of Yamaha (and Kawai) are versus other pianos.

My dealer sells mostly pianos better than Yamaha (M&H, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Walter, etc.). When I went to special order my Yamaha (because silent pianos are not kept in stock, so I was stuck buying something I couldn't play ahead of time), the dealer, who has an excellent reputation, told me they would have strongly discouraged me from buying anything I hadn't played on beforehand, Yamaha being the ONLY exception. (They don't sell Kawai, I should note.)

If you're talking about used instruments that have been played on for some time, of course that's admittedly a whole other story.

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#1912979 - 06/13/12 05:02 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: jivemutha]
nillabean Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/12
Posts: 26
Loc: San Francisco, CA

I wrote Yamaha because I was curious what their response would be. Here's what I got back today:

"Thank you for your inquiry and I am sorry you are having disappointments already with your new piano. The one unfortunate aspect about this is that we really can’t tell the dealers how to conduct their business. We don’t like and discourage the delivery of pianos in their boxes and we wish the dealer would unbox and prep the pianos at their stores before delivery. But, this continues.

I assume by your address your dealer was xxxxx xxxxxxxx. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Have you contacted the dealer with your concerns? At this point that is what you need to do. Maybe they are waiting for your first tuning. Was a tuning included in the sales agreement?

If you like I’d be happy to put in a word with them but I’ll need to know who it is and the serial number of your piano.

You purchased our finest upright piano and deserve to be happy with it."


Edited by nillabean (06/13/12 05:06 PM)

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#1913076 - 06/13/12 07:47 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: nillabean]
Rafterman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 407
Loc: New York
I have to tell you after the first tuning and a little tweaking you might be very surprised. I had my Yamaha YUS5 tuned to A= 441. It seemed to give it a slighty brighter sound. It was a day and night moment.

I also temperature control my house where my instruments are. I keep the temp to 72 degrees year round. I use a humdifier in the winter and a de-humdifier in the summer. I keep the humidity at around 47% to 50% all year.

I bet once you get it tuned again and it stabilizes to your home emvironment there will be a significant change.

On an unrelated note when I got my Kawai K8 delivered and my piano tech came......I was shocked by how much packing junk was still in the piano....styrofoam, paperwork, tags, etc.

Get some prep work and join the Yamaha YUS5 kicks upright ass club!

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#1913162 - 06/13/12 11:05 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: Rafterman]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: Rafterman
Get some prep work and join the Yamaha YUS5 kicks upright ass club!


Yep. Short of spending near-obscene money (for an upright) on something like a K52 Steinway, etc., the YUS5 produces a very sophisticated delightful sound (at least to my ear) that's a far cry from all the old "too bright" complaints waged against earlier U series Yammies. Once you get it sorted I bet you'll love it! (Also, those Ivorite keys don't make it sound any better but they sure make you feel like you're playing on a grown-up's piano!)

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#1913427 - 06/14/12 11:46 AM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Steve Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 634
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Clearly it is better to buy a piano that you have actually played, and no doubt the two pianos that you did play were in more refined condition than this slightly raw product now in your home. You'll get good advice from others here, but you bought from a dealer who is just out to move product, so when they do send someone out in 4-6 weeks you won't get more than a tuning and any basic needed repairs (a stuck note, for example).

My advice is to hire an independent technician now, and be done with this dealer. Forget about your free tuning and move on. Pay for an informational service call from someone who cares, and now begin to turn this piano into a fine instrument - no doubt it can become one rather easily. This might cost you $200-$500 and a couple of visits over the next month or two.

Congratulations on the purchase in any case!


Peter's advice is spot on. The 'free' tuning will be a contract tuning from the low bidder for the job. Chances are, it will be worth every penny. You will need a good tech to maintain the piano for a long time, and the best time to start the relationship is now. The dealer can pay your tech the fee that they pay and you can pay the rest of the fee. If there are any deficiencies, the tech can contact Yamaha for guidance.

Take care,

Steve
_________________________
Vintage Piano sales and restoration in Toronto
Exclusive Live Performance Player Systems Dealer

http://stevejacksonpianos.com

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#1913434 - 06/14/12 12:02 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: Rafterman]
nillabean Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/12
Posts: 26
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Rafterman,
Really good to hear...you really recommend A441? I don't feel like I need it to be brighter necessarily. As I've been banging on it for the last 5 days I am definitely noticing that its getting even more out of tune. I especially noticed this when I was practicing a section of a song on silent last night, then removed the headphones and played acoustically--Whoa!! A few keys were really noticeable. I guess ultimately that's good--I suppose it means that it at least partially explains why I was feeling this piano doesn't sound great yet, and it means that I am successfully stretching my strings (I love to play hard.)

I've also been experimenting with acoustics: I moved the piano away from the wall a bit more, put two large acoustic foam panels on the wall, moved the piano more towards the center of the room... I feel like the piano is quite loud, though it is possible to play quietly as well (so maybe its just me).

AS far as temperature and humidity control, I have been using a hygrometer to monitor humidity and temperature and my front living room stays pretty consistent, being that I am in SF and that room doesn't get much fluctuation from sunlight, drafts, or heating. Not sure how it will be in the winter, esp rainy days, but for now I am maintaining 40-50% humidity and about 65-75 degrees temp fairly easily. I do notice that my living smells of new piano smile

The movers, when delivering the piano did open everything up, and remove all packing material--I frankly was surprised how little there was--I really expected more stabilizing materials--but they told me because an upright is never placed anyway but upright while be shipped, it remains stable and needs no precautionary packing materials.

I am thinking to just have the free tune sooner than later, then do another tune a few months after that. This is a kick ass piano---it calls to me as I walk by it...and the silent feature is amazing...especially when I can practice something repeatedly, then take it off silent and play the song much better (for my neighbors, as they can hear my piano as though its in their living room as well.)

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#1913439 - 06/14/12 12:08 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: Steve Jackson]
nillabean Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/12
Posts: 26
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Steve,
Thanks for the feedback. Are you saying I should use the free tuning certificate and see if I like the person (I have his name already) and be prepared to offer more money to do more work? Or are you guys really recommending not even bothering with this free tuning and start from scratch with an out of pocket quality tech? Or are you saying that the dealer may be able to may the small fee for tuning to a tuner of my selection, and then I pay the rest?
I definitely want to find a form a relationship with a good tech that I will use for years to come, but I may as well get a remedial tune from a supposed Yamaha tech, and find out if he wants or can do any extra work. Who knows, maybe I will like him.
Thanks

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#1913442 - 06/14/12 12:19 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: jivemutha]
nillabean Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/12
Posts: 26
Loc: San Francisco, CA
jivemutha,
Thanks for the positive feedback!
I already love the piano, and am not too worried. I just keep assuring my gf (who is a singer I play with) that this is the worst this piano will ever sound...she knows what a big investment it was, and as a singer, she notices that something is a bit off with it (tuning, for sure).
But now, with all the feedback from here, I am actually excited about how much better I can get this thing to sound--because even at it is, I really like it.
The more I learn about pianos, the more I am in awe at what amazing living creatures they are.
And yes, the ivorite was a huge selling point for me--after playing with it, and then sitting with a U3, the plasticky feel just didn't seem acceptable for me in the long run. The only direction I can go from here, is 6+foot grand, which may not happen for many years, so for now I will enjoy all the deluxe features of "Yamaha's finest upright piano" grin

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#1913447 - 06/14/12 12:34 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: nillabean]
Steve Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 634
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: nillabean
Steve,
Thanks for the feedback. Are you saying I should use the free tuning certificate and see if I like the person (I have his name already) and be prepared to offer more money to do more work? Or are you guys really recommending not even bothering with this free tuning and start from scratch with an out of pocket quality tech? Or are you saying that the dealer may be able to may the small fee for tuning to a tuner of my selection, and then I pay the rest?
I definitely want to find a form a relationship with a good tech that I will use for years to come, but I may as well get a remedial tune from a supposed Yamaha tech, and find out if he wants or can do any extra work. Who knows, maybe I will like him.
Thanks


I would say to find your own tech who is not affiliated with the store and pay him/her. Ask the dealer, or have the tech ask the dealer for the normal fee they pay, and pay the tech their fee on top of that. A dealer who ships in the box usually do not have the best techs.

Take care,

Steve
_________________________
Vintage Piano sales and restoration in Toronto
Exclusive Live Performance Player Systems Dealer

http://stevejacksonpianos.com

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#1913462 - 06/14/12 01:26 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: jivemutha]
nillabean Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/12
Posts: 26
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Originally Posted By: jivemutha
Did you get this from the dealer on Van Ness in the city?

Please don't panic. True, if the dealer did no prep then even a Yamaha will be a bit rough literally out of the crate. That said, it CAN be made to sound just like the 2 you played except for one significant difference: the difference between the acoustics in your home vs. the dealership. That's more than can be said for any American, Korean, or Chinese piano (and it's probably more than can be said of some German pianos as well).

YUS5SG is a great upright for that price and if you do have to take a few hundred bucks out of your pocket for regulation you will still have gotten a terrific deal.

QUESTION: When you listen through the headphones, focus on the difference in sound between playing isolated lines versus multiple-note chords. Does the sound of the latter lack some of the clarity of the former? I'm currently trying to sort this out in my new silent Yamaha and while our models are different (C2SG for me), the digital components are purportedly identical. Thus your answer to this question may be of real use to me in sorting this one out. Also, if you have the same problem I'm having (a little fuzziness with multiple-note chords through the headphones that absolutely does not occur when playing isolated lines) then perhaps I'll be able to tell you a few things that WON'T solve the problem to save you the trouble. Thanks.


Jivemutha,
I experimented last night regarding the digital fuzziness with chords. My question to you is how much time have you spent playing keyboards? I've pretty much only played keyboards the last 25 years and my experience is that there is always some mushiness with multiple notes played--especially through headphones. Are you using the included headphones, or some of your own? I had some really nice ATH-500 Audio Technicas that I thought would sound better than the included Yamaha ones, but actually I ended up liking the Yamaha ones better--mostly because they seemed louder and more clear for piano. Anyway, I feel like I too noticed the fuzziness, but that I accepted it as the limitation to listening to digital piano through headphones. Have you tried hooking up speakers and seeing if you notice it there?

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#1913477 - 06/14/12 01:53 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: nillabean]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: nillabean
Jivemutha,
I experimented last night regarding the digital fuzziness with chords. My question to you is how much time have you spent playing keyboards? I've pretty much only played keyboards the last 25 years and my experience is that there is always some mushiness with multiple notes played--especially through headphones. Are you using the included headphones, or some of your own? I had some really nice ATH-500 Audio Technicas that I thought would sound better than the included Yamaha ones, but actually I ended up liking the Yamaha ones better--mostly because they seemed louder and more clear for piano. Anyway, I feel like I too noticed the fuzziness, but that I accepted it as the limitation to listening to digital piano through headphones. Have you tried hooking up speakers and seeing if you notice it there?


First, thank you very much for taking the time to do this bit of detective work on my behalf. Regarding your comments . . .

Initially I tried the Yamaha headphones. That's when I first noticed the problem. PW people recommended that I get fancy expensive headphones. $400 later, I discovered that Sennheiser HD650 phones rated as terrific by all but some of the obsessively complusive audiophile contingent did not get rid of the problem. Then, PW people and the place that fixes my stereo equipment asked if I needed to turn the volume way up when using the fancy headphones. When I answered "yes" they then recommended a headphone amplifier. $50 later, I discovered that also did not get rid of the problem.

I went back to the dealer to play Disklavier Yamahas with the same basic digital specs as your and my "silent" pianos. The same problem occurred.

What PW audio techy people are currently recommending is buying special software for my laptop and running a signal (perhaps from the USB port hidden under the black box hanging under my keyboard) to the laptop and plugging my fancy headphones into the laptop. This would mean having the laptop next to the piano whenever I played through headphones. Yuk!

At least for now, my feeling is the same as yours: I give up. I think the best thing is to accept the limitations of the technology rather than jump through all the hoops needed to conduct the next experiment (the one with the laptop).

I have not tried speakers. If I'm in a position to play without headphones (which in my condo means after 9 a.m., before 9 p.m., and for practical reasons when I'm NOT playing awful repetitive stuff like learning a new voicing in 12 keys) of course I only want to hear the real piano--not the digital. After all, of the whopping $26K I had to pay for the C2SG, all but 3K was for the real thing. Besides, I really dislike the sound of digital pianos--even the AvantGrand--and use headphones only when there's absolutely no other option.

Again, thank you very much! Your comments are helpful and in an odd way reassuring.

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#1913480 - 06/14/12 01:59 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: nillabean]
Rafterman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 407
Loc: New York
You should do what I did with my Kawai. Get the best Yamaha experienced PGT tech/tuner to do a once over and make any adjustments. Also have him tune it.

Tell the store that you want to defer the free tuning for later for whatever rerason you feel. They will honor that.

I bet you the tech finds something that has been bugging you. The results will put you at ease.

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#1913505 - 06/14/12 02:58 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: jivemutha]
nillabean Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/12
Posts: 26
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Originally Posted By: jivemutha
Originally Posted By: nillabean
Jivemutha,
I experimented last night regarding the digital fuzziness with chords. My question to you is how much time have you spent playing keyboards? I've pretty much only played keyboards the last 25 years and my experience is that there is always some mushiness with multiple notes played--especially through headphones. Are you using the included headphones, or some of your own? I had some really nice ATH-500 Audio Technicas that I thought would sound better than the included Yamaha ones, but actually I ended up liking the Yamaha ones better--mostly because they seemed louder and more clear for piano. Anyway, I feel like I too noticed the fuzziness, but that I accepted it as the limitation to listening to digital piano through headphones. Have you tried hooking up speakers and seeing if you notice it there?


First, thank you very much for taking the time to do this bit of detective work on my behalf. Regarding your comments . . .

Initially I tried the Yamaha headphones. That's when I first noticed the problem. PW people recommended that I get fancy expensive headphones. $400 later, I discovered that Sennheiser HD650 phones rated as terrific by all but some of the obsessively complusive audiophile contingent did not get rid of the problem. Then, PW people and the place that fixes my stereo equipment asked if I needed to turn the volume way up when using the fancy headphones. When I answered "yes" they then recommended a headphone amplifier. $50 later, I discovered that also did not get rid of the problem.

I went back to the dealer to play Disklavier Yamahas with the same basic digital specs as your and my "silent" pianos. The same problem occurred.

What PW audio techy people are currently recommending is buying special software for my laptop and running a signal (perhaps from the USB port hidden under the black box hanging under my keyboard) to the laptop and plugging my fancy headphones into the laptop. This would mean having the laptop next to the piano whenever I played through headphones. Yuk!

At least for now, my feeling is the same as yours: I give up. I think the best thing is to accept the limitations of the technology rather than jump through all the hoops needed to conduct the next experiment (the one with the laptop).

I have not tried speakers. If I'm in a position to play without headphones (which in my condo means after 9 a.m., before 9 p.m., and for practical reasons when I'm NOT playing awful repetitive stuff like learning a new voicing in 12 keys) of course I only want to hear the real piano--not the digital. After all, of the whopping $26K I had to pay for the C2SG, all but 3K was for the real thing. Besides, I really dislike the sound of digital pianos--even the AvantGrand--and use headphones only when there's absolutely no other option.

Again, thank you very much! Your comments are helpful and in an odd way reassuring.


I actually was doing some searching for headphones and found the forum where you initially asked every what they thought--and saw the recommendation to use amps/midi out, etc. i imagine that would be a slight improvement, but I share in your annoyance of going that far--who wants to add all this crap to your setup. I honestly view the silent feature as simply the greatest way to be able to practice after hours--making the acoustic playing time that much more satisfying (and more quality due to the extra practice). For me last night, it wasn't even quiet hours yet (10pm at my place) but I could hear my neighbors hanging out in the living room next to me and didn't want them to hear (nor me feel self conscious about) the repetitive practicing I was engaged in. I tried a few different headphones, and really experienced the drastic difference between digital and acoustic. I also noticed that it sounded more in tune, lol.
But it was so helpful--it reminded me of my lonely, albeit it productive days, of doing nothing but playing with headphones. Its just a different experience completely, and one that is there as a tool to practice--not perform. The greatest thing about it being that you get to use the same great action and keys on your amazing hybrid instrument. People who recommend getting an electric keyboard to play after hours--no thanks.
Anyway, I seriously doubt the fuzziness is anything wrong with your piano.
What the speakers are good for, btw, is playing afterhours at a low volume, without having to use headphones--like if you have company for example and are messing around. I was amazed at how good a couple of powered speakers sounded sitting on top of the piano--especially with the other sounds. Have you tried the other instruments yet? Electric piano, organ, etc.? They are really great samples and sound totally cool.

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#1913513 - 06/14/12 03:33 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: jivemutha]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19099
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: jivemutha
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: jivemutha
True, if the dealer did no prep then even a Yamaha will be a bit rough literally out of the crate. That said, it CAN be made to sound just like the 2 you played except for one significant difference: the difference between the acoustics in your home vs. the dealership. That's more than can be said for any American, Korean, or Chinese piano (and it's probably more than can be said of some German pianos as well).
That's a big exaggeration IMO. A more reasonable statement is that it may be easier to get your piano sounding more like the ones in the showroom than if you bought a piano from the other countries.

As far as sounding "just like" the ones in the showroom, that may not be possible even for a Yamaha since all pianos vary a little.


Well, we disagree. I'm assuming from the strong comment you made that you've already played several new Yamahas of the same model and found them to sound quite differently from each other. So have I!!!! For example, a C2 nuzzled into a corner of a small space in Santa Monica sounded twice as big as a C2 in the middle of a big showroom in San Francisco. BUT (and it's a big "but"), if you think about it, I bet you'll admit when they sounded different the acoustics were different. The C2s I played in S.F. and here in Portland were in similar acoustic surroundings. They sounded identical to each other, as best my ear could tell--and this has always been my experience with Yammy's, and of course they have that reputation, supported by the fact that they're mostly assembled by robots and not people.

If you were to play 2 new (gotta be new) Yamahas of the same model regulated by the same tech in the same acoustic location and you were blindfolded, the chance you could tell them apart would be small and the chance you'd really have a strong preference for one over the other trivial. This extraordinary quality control is the reason Larry Fine has made a point of how remarkable the ready-to-play-out-of-the-box nature of Yamaha (and Kawai) are versus other pianos.

My dealer sells mostly pianos better than Yamaha (M&H, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Walter, etc.). When I went to special order my Yamaha (because silent pianos are not kept in stock, so I was stuck buying something I couldn't play ahead of time), the dealer, who has an excellent reputation, told me they would have strongly discouraged me from buying anything I hadn't played on beforehand, Yamaha being the ONLY exception. (They don't sell Kawai, I should note.)

If you're talking about used instruments that have been played on for some time, of course that's admittedly a whole other story.
Yamahas can be voiced differently like any other piano. Until a tech listens to the OP's piano and the one in the showroom he liked better, there is no way of knowing if his liking the showroom piano better is a result of the prep of that piano, the lack of prep for the piano he got, or some combination of these.

Consistency out of the box is not the same being able to make them sound exactly the same. It means that unless an unusual voicing was done to the piano in the showroom it will probably be easier to make two sound similar because they will sound similar to begin with.

The more expensive pianos you named are not voiced at the factory or dealership with the intention of making them sound exactly the same. Dealers, if they have more than one of a given make and model, typically voice them differently so that customers have a choice. This does not mean they can't be made to sound the same.


Edited by pianoloverus (06/14/12 06:33 PM)

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#1913602 - 06/14/12 06:51 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: nillabean]
Scott Schroeter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 40
Hi Nillabean,
Congrats on your purchase. Please keep in mind that all factory regulation is "roughed in" and needs adjusting after uncrating as well as tuning and tone regulation. The Silent pianos are not regulated exactly like the non-silent pianos. You need a tech that knows how to regulate such an instrument and will be thorough. Out of the box Yamaha's are nice but well prepped they are wonderful, IMO.
Good luck!
_________________________
Scott Schroeter
Artist Pianos Ltd.
Manager
Technical Service Mgr.
www.artist-pianos.com
Yamaha - Kawai - Mason & Hamlin

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#1913694 - 06/14/12 09:33 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: pianoloverus]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Yamahas can be voiced differently like any other piano.


Can a Yamaha dealer chime in here to provid us with information to help clariyf this issue?

Repeatedly one hears that Yamaha's are checked out of the box for regulation specs by good dealers, often needing surprisingly little adjustment. I had NOT previously heard that Yamaha dealers routinely do post-factory voicing in situations where no buyer or potential buyer has yet requested special voicing. If pianoloverus is right, it means Yamahas DO routinely get voiced--not simply checked to see if the factory voicing is even and where it should be. Is that so? (If it is, then of course I'm left scratching my head about why the new Yammies I've played in related acoustic settings have all pretty much sounded the same if they're the same model.)

Thanks in advance if Chris Venables or Jeff in Santa Monica or some other Yamaha dealer can solve this puzzle for me.

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#1913739 - 06/14/12 11:18 PM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: nillabean]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: nillabean
. . . I honestly view the silent feature as simply the greatest way to be able to practice after hours--making the acoustic playing time that much more satisfying (and more quality due to the extra practice).


'Couldn't have said it better myself!

Originally Posted By: nillabean
. . . I could hear my neighbors hanging out in the living room next to me and didn't want them to hear (nor me feel self conscious about) the repetitive practicing I was engaged in.


Precisely the same for me.

Originally Posted By: nillabean
I . . . experienced the drastic difference between digital and acoustic. . . Its just a different experience completely, and one that is there as a tool to practice--not perform. The greatest thing about it being that you get to use the same great action and keys on your amazing hybrid instrument. People who recommend getting an electric keyboard to play after hours--no thanks.


PW people seem quite split on whether a top end digital sampling a skillion dollar 9-foot grand (viz., the AvantGrand) beats an affordable acoustic or not. To my ears the acoustic is a piano with a soul, while the digital is at best a decent recording of a piano (that has a robotic quality to it).


Originally Posted By: nillabean
Anyway, I seriously doubt the fuzziness is anything wrong with your piano.


After my experience with the Disklavier and your comments I'm convinced you're right.

Originally Posted By: nillabean
What the speakers are good for, btw, is playing afterhours at a low volume, without having to use headphones--like if you have company for example and are messing around. I was amazed at how good a couple of powered speakers sounded sitting on top of the piano--especially with the other sounds.


When it's uncool to play the real thing for guests (e.g., too late at night), I simply won't play. I figure they can come back some other time (-:

Originally Posted By: nillabean
Have you tried the other instruments yet? Electric piano, organ, etc.?


I'm embarrassed to say no. I admit to being a Luddite, but in addition, it's the sound of a piano I'm looking for, so frankly I don't know if I'll ever take out the book and figure out how to sound like a Hammond B3 organ.

Thanks again, nillabean. Your comments have allowed me to drop the elusive search for an answer to my not-so-important question and move on, playing the real piano whenever I can. Enjoy your new YUS5SG, especially when the minor bugs get sorted as they certainly can be! They're terrific uprights in my view.

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#1913791 - 06/15/12 02:04 AM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: jivemutha]
TunerJeff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 443
Loc: Oregon Coast
Good dealers prep their pianos.
1. String seating on the bridges.
2. String leveling to the hammers.
3. Regulation of the keys-lost-motion, let-off, checking, etc.
4. Tune in store!
5. Minor voicing to even tone and sound.

Good manufacturers actually compensate dealers to do this. Which sound odd, when you think about it, but is the norm. Yamaha is not alone in offering what amounts to an hour+ of tech-time with each piano.

A dealer who sells a piano, and then uncrates it in your driveway is NOT being reasonable or offering the best service to his clients. Things change in a new piano. Felts, wood, leather/buckskin, keyfelts/bushings, are both temperature and moisture sensitive; the shift in climate between Japan and the USA can create significant differences as your piano adjusts to the new 'micro-climate' in your home. A dealer suggesting that a new piano will be just fine..perfect even...after shipping halfway around the world has a different concept of perfect than you and me!

Tune your piano, with the freebie, about 3 to 4 weeks after delivery. If the tech does well, answers your questions, and relieves your concerns; stick with him/her! If this is yet another 'cheapie' offered by the dealer from the tooner-guy who charges the least (...likely, from your unbox-story), then you'll want a different tech in future. Don't try to reserve the 'freebie' for the future; many dealers insist that you use the 'freebie' within a certain time frame, 3 to 6 months, and you may lose the chance to get something back from your dealer.

All said; you bought a dandy piano! The fact that it plays well, and sounds pretty good to you is a testament to the high standards and quality materials of the manufacturer.

Enjoy!

Another armchair quarterback,
Technically speaking,
I am,
_________________________
Jeffrey T. Hickey, RPT
Oregon Coast Piano Services
TunerJeff@aol.com

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#1913792 - 06/15/12 02:10 AM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: nillabean]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20766
Loc: Oakland
I think you should see what you get from the dealer, and if it is not sufficient, ask for more.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1913890 - 06/15/12 08:23 AM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: jivemutha]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19099
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: jivemutha
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Yamahas can be voiced differently like any other piano.


Can a Yamaha dealer chime in here to provid us with information to help clariyf this issue?

Repeatedly one hears that Yamaha's are checked out of the box for regulation specs by good dealers, often needing surprisingly little adjustment. I had NOT previously heard that Yamaha dealers routinely do post-factory voicing in situations where no buyer or potential buyer has yet requested special voicing. If pianoloverus is right, it means Yamahas DO routinely get voiced--not simply checked to see if the factory voicing is even and where it should be. Is that so? (If it is, then of course I'm left scratching my head about why the new Yammies I've played in related acoustic settings have all pretty much sounded the same if they're the same model.)

Thanks in advance if Chris Venables or Jeff in Santa Monica or some other Yamaha dealer can solve this puzzle for me.
Read the post by a Yamaha dealer above your post. Of course, I'd assume some Yamaha dealers(like dealers of any other make) do less voicing than others and some do little or no voicing.

BTW I didn't say that dealers regularly voice Yamaha pianos for the showroom floor. I said Yamahas can be voiced in different ways (just like any other make can be voiced differently). Unless you think voicing can't affect the sound at all, I don't think there's anything to "clarify".


Edited by pianoloverus (06/15/12 08:27 AM)

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#1913923 - 06/15/12 09:45 AM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: nillabean]
Mike Carr Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/20/09
Posts: 714
Loc: BANNED
Prep? If you ask 15 different dealers, you’ll get 15 different answers. It just depends on what their play is. In the bay area a fairly large segment of piano buyers want a Japanese piano delivered in the box.

So, the dealers give the customer what they want. Dealers around here don’t do a lot of prep on new Japanese pianos. The pianos are voiced differently at the factory, some bright, some not so. Still, I’ve never heard any two sound alike, besides tonal similarities inherent in the design. And I have heard YUS5’s voiced very bright from the factory. I’m not sure where people get the idea all yamahas sound the same out of the box. Most of them are ready to play out of the box. There is a difference. But then so are Walters, Bosendorfers and a number of other pianos.

Remember the two most important phrases when dealing with pianos are “it depends” and “we’ll see.”

The extent of preparation is a business decision not a moral one. There is no "good" or "bad". And there are no free tunings, you’ve paid for it. You don’t leave a piano dealer with gifts. The guy shows up for your “free” tuning, if he’s independent, likely as not will not get paid his full fee by the dealer, hoping to pick up extra business. It’s a business contact. Do I need to a hear a pitch from a tuner? No. Some of these guys are worse than door to door bible salesmen. If the tuner is working for the dealer he’s not getting paid as much either because the dealer has to dip his beak.

Having said that I don’t know any dealer around here who won’t prep a piano to the customers satisfaction. But your own tuner can do it cheaper in your home as long as you don’t charge him rent or a parking fee.

In this case, I’d let the dealer finish his play. Pianos are a work in progress, all of them. And you might find a connection with the tuner that shows up. Stranger things have happened. Remember, it depends.

Mike
_________________________
smoke 'em if you got 'em

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#1913946 - 06/15/12 10:40 AM Re: Dealer Preparation for a brand new Yamaha YUS-5SG? [Re: jivemutha]
ChrisVenables Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 727
Loc: Hampshire, England
Pianoloverus is right of course that Yamahas can be voiced differently (including meaning a good tech can change the tone totally from very bright to very soft, or vice versa). Some dealers do just this as a selling point, sometimes to tone the piano to take into account the acoustic of the customer's room, or because the customer invariably wants the tone mellower, as well as the dealer wanting to ensure his showroom stock is as sweet as it can be.

I agree with Mike, Yamahas of the same model, irrespective of the series (budget, mid or high end) do vary despite their high build quality. Yamaha have an army of toners at their factories and despite instructions on their adhering to the Yamaha signature sound of 'clarity' no two techs have the same ears or ideals on the optimum sound for each piano.

Unfortunately, Yamahas are often considered as a commodity more than a musical instrument because of their reputation for coming out-of-the-box in good order, (although I've had a few lately that have needed more than a good day's regulating, but build quality is still the tops). Hence the fashion in some places for saving cash and taking the piano boxed. If, as nillabean said earlier, Yamaha US aren't happy with dealers supplying customers with boxed pianos, they could do what Yamaha Europe do and deliver to dealers unboxed. I fully agree with Tuner Jeff (always a good post) don't buy boxed - insist on playing the one in their store that they're delivering to you. If you're worried that someone's going to beat seven bells out of it or burn out the electrics before it's delivered to you, get the dealer to seal it up in front of you once you've bought it.
_________________________
Tech. & Partner: Venables Pianos
Yamaha Piano UK main dealer and Grand Piano Centre
Stocking new Yamaha, Brodmann and Venables & Son

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