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#1940975 - 08/11/12 06:39 PM Advice needed: Yamaha G2 (1988) vs. Kawai RX-2 (1999)
yeyaya88 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 2
Loc: South Florida
Hi, everyone:

My family has 3 kids, 11, 8 and 4. The older two have been taking piano lessons for the last 3 years. We are ready to invest in a grand piano as they are getting more advanced and the younger one is about to start. We found two used grand pianos nearby:

1. The first one is a 1999 Kawai Rx-2, from a private seller. The piano comes with a player system that we don't need. Question is how much does the player system affect the "playability" of the piano? The piano itself wasn't played much, is in very good condition checked out by our tech. It has nice sound, a bit heavy touchweight (60g). Really nice bench too! Willing to sell @6700, will pay first tuning, cost $300 to move, so total is $7000.

2. The second piano is a 1989 (?) Yamaha G2, with new pins and new strings installed by a reputable dealer. Outside condition looks pristine. Inside we found a few rusty screws but the important parts like action, pins / strings, soundboard all look brand new. Really not being played much if any, nice sound, kids like the touch( because it's lighter?). The dealer is willing to throw in 1 yr parts and labor warranty, and maybe two free tuning. Willing to sell $7500 includes tax, move.

Both pianos are in very good condition, hardly played. The Kawai is much newer, and the Yamaha looks older inside. The kids seem to like Yamaha sound and touch slightly better. The Kawai has a player system that we really would rather not there, but the tech said it does add to resale value. The only drawback with Yamaha is its old age, about 10 years older than the Kawai. The price is comparable (within $500).

How do we decide? Our feel is if the Kawai doesn't have the player system, we will probably go for it. With the player system on Kawai, and slightly better touch / sound on Yamaha, we are leaning a bit towards the Yamaha. Does 10-years older age matter with the Yamaha, with the new pins / strings?

Your expert opinions will be greatly appreciated! We need to make a decision pretty soon as the private seller is leaving country, so appreciate your prompt responses. Thanks,

In search of that used baby grand......

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#1941013 - 08/11/12 07:34 PM Re: Advice needed: Yamaha G2 (1988) vs. Kawai RX-2 (1999) [Re: yeyaya88]
Rickster Offline

Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 9337
Loc: Georgia, USA
Hi Jun, and welcome to the PW forums!

Wow, that is a tough decision, as both pianos have an excellent reputation.

I'm no expert, but here is my .02:

At this point, the player on the Kawai is more of a liability than an asset for your purposes. It shouldn't affect the playability of the piano, however. Kawai grands of that vintage are known for a heavier action touch. Some say that is a plus and makes the fingers stronger, but your kids still have a long way to go with the learning curve, and the more they feel comfortable with the touch, the better.

Not sure why the dealer replaced the strings and pins on the Yamaha, but that has to be a big improvement over the older strings. Piano strings last a long time, but new, fresh strings sound great. Going to the next size larger tuning pins was a good idea too, and should give good tuning stability. As far as the rusty screws on the Yamaha, I've seen rusty screws on brand new cars; I wouldn't be too concerned about that. The fact that your kids like the tone and touch of the Yamaha says a lot.

I think the price of both pianos is very fair, with the Kawai likely the better deal in terms of price...

In all honesty, I personally do not put a lot of stock in the dealer warranty in terms of value added features, but that is just me. However, the Yamaha may well have received more attention from the dealer in terms of service and regulation than the Kawai, though the Kawai is newer.

Still, a hard decision.

I'd be inclined to lean toward the Yamaha and seek further price concessions in lieu of the dealer warranty.

Disclaimer… my advice is worth about what it cost, or maybe a little less. smile

Good luck, and keep us informed.

Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

#1941101 - 08/11/12 11:23 PM Re: Advice needed: Yamaha G2 (1988) vs. Kawai RX-2 (1999) [Re: yeyaya88]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2350
Loc: USA
The RX series is usually compared to the Yamaha C series, which is a step above the G series. Going by just that, I'd pick the RX-2. If you really like the G2, perhaps negotiate it down so that it compares better against the RX-2.

#1941181 - 08/12/12 02:46 AM Re: Advice needed: Yamaha G2 (1988) vs. Kawai RX-2 (1999) [Re: yeyaya88]
rlinkt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 321
Loc: CA
Its very hard to make calls on individual pianos without actually hearing them. I recently purchased a piano, and heard quite a few pianos in the process. To my ears, the RX-2s that I heard were better sounding than the Yamaha G? models that I heard. Unfortunately I no longer remember exactly whether I heard a G2 or not.

One personal observation based on the few pianos that we heard, though I would not generalize from the small sample. Although my daughter had some clear tonal palette preferences, she favored brighter sounds within that palette. In general the Yamahas provided a brighter sound in the middle range. But in the upper register there was a harshness that she did not like. The Kawai RX-2s were more rounded and more attractive sounding across the range. You may want to try out the upper octaves in the Yamaha and make sure you like the tone when played loud.

Edited by rlinkt (08/12/12 02:48 AM)

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#1941482 - 08/12/12 03:27 PM Re: Advice needed: Yamaha G2 (1988) vs. Kawai RX-2 (1999) [Re: yeyaya88]
master88er Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/07
Posts: 958
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Hi Jun:

Welcome to the Forum:

IMHO, I'd go for the RX-2. The G2 Yamaha is a pretty vanilla instrument, and while it has good reliability, the tonal and performance capability is limited and, IMHO, bright and shallow. The RX-2 certainly has a broader tonal spectrum and, IMHO, more depth of sound. Additionally, the Kawai action is a very responsive one and easily regulated and maintained.

The player systems installed after 1990 pretty much don't affect the touch of the piano. If it worries you, it can be removed. If it were me, I would update the player head to the modern ones using IPHONE/IPAD/IPOD/IDONTCARE playlists and wireless play features as well as record. This will give your family both a fabulous instrument AND an wonderful entertainment system to enjoy (two for the price of one...such a deal).

Of course, if you really want something with a deep tonal palate, I would suggest you also try instruments from other manufacturers before making a purchase. The Ritmuller 170 would be a good instrument for you to compare to the two pianos you are currently considering. Just a NOT UNBIASED thought whistle
Russell I. Kassman
R.KASSMAN, Purveyor of Fine Pianos
Berkeley, CA

FORMER US Rep.for C.Bechstein

SF Area Dealer: Steingraeber•Grotrian•Sauter•Estonia•Kayserburg•Baldwin•Brodmann•Ritmüller

#1941681 - 08/12/12 10:38 PM Re: Advice needed: Yamaha G2 (1988) vs. Kawai RX-2 (1999) [Re: master88er]
yeyaya88 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 2
Loc: South Florida
Thanks all to your great advice!
Fir what it worth, the dealer told us the price for the Yamaha is the best he can do while the price for the Kawai is after negociating it down from 7.5k. Balancing all the feedbacks, we are now leaning towards the Kawai RX-2.
Regarding Ritmuller 170, we found out the nearest dealer carrying that brand is 150 miles away, I searched in this forum and on the web but could not find the "selling price" of the Ritmuller. Our buget is about $7000 , if it is well above that number, then we would probably not going to even try to visit.
We will try to visit a couple more stores that have greater selection of different brands to further compare as well. It is not as easy and straightforward as we thought/like, but we really don't want to be in this for the long haul. Maybe we should just grab the RX-2 and be done with it? frown
So for our budget, any other suggestion on good used piano? Thanks again!

In search of that used baby grand......


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