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#1966590 - 09/29/12 11:38 PM Which pianos might best meet our needs?
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona

We're purchasing a new piano for our church sanctuary (seating capacity 300) to be used for weekly traditional church services and special musical programs (primarily classical repertoire). I'd appreciate hearing your opinions/suggestions regarding the following instruments currently under consideration.

Yamaha C7 7'4" - built 1969 - one owner - home use - excellent "original" condition - nothing has been done to it other than tunings and regulation - warm (not bright) tone - responsive action - clear thunderous bass - built like a tank - excellent finish - no warranty.

Kohler and Campbell Millennium KFM-700s - 7 foot - built 2001 - one owner - home use - lightly played - pristine condition - responsive action (Renner action parts and hammers) - two year warranty.

Kawai RX6 - 7 foot - built 2006 - one owner - home use - excellent condition - millennium action - warm even tone - original transferable warranty.

Albert Weber AW208 - 7 foot - NEW - powerful bright tone - strong bass - responsive action (Renner action parts and hammers)- full 10 year warranty.

Young Chang YP185 - 6'1" - NEW - action is very responsive (Renner action parts and hammers) - warm tone - bass more subdued - full 10 year warranty.

Which of the above instruments are most likely to hold up well over time in an institutional setting?

Any and all observations would be most welcome - Thanks !!
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#1966601 - 09/30/12 12:00 AM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
I have seen it all to often that institutions, groups and churches go out and buy the longest piano their budget can afford. Be sure to resist that temptation.

If the piano will be used for contemporary services, i.e. competing with electrified guitar and bass, it will need to be mic'd anyway and you don't need an instrument that can fill a huge auditorium.

Yamaha is always a pretty safe bet for standing up well in institutional settings, but some of the other contenders look OK too.
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#1966607 - 09/30/12 12:14 AM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: Supply]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Supply
I have seen it all to often that institutions, groups and churches go out and buy the longest piano their budget can afford. Be sure to resist that temptation.

If the piano will be used for contemporary services, i.e. competing with electrified guitar and bass, it will need to be mic'd anyway and you don't need an instrument that can fill a huge auditorium.

Yamaha is always a pretty safe bet for standing up well in institutional settings, but some of the other contenders look OK too.


Thanks Jurgen !! We probably won't go the contemporary service route - but you never know !!!! For the time being we'd like to avoid using a mic !! The only concern about the Yamaha is its age.
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#1966637 - 09/30/12 02:14 AM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3360
Originally Posted By: carey
Yamaha C7 7'4" - built 1969 - one owner - home use - excellent "original" condition - nothing has been done to it other than tunings and regulation - warm (not bright) tone - responsive action - clear thunderous bass - built like a tank - excellent finish - no warranty.


I don't really have a lot of respect for the older Yamahas. Their fit and finish is inferior to the new ones IMO, and I think they sound cheap. You could probably make it sound nice, but to sound and play its best, it'd probably need an action overhaul and restringing. Tonal clarity tends to degrade over time (aka false beats). I would be concerned about the longevity of this piano in an institutional setting due to its age.


Originally Posted By: carey
Kohler and Campbell Millennium KFM-700s - 7 foot - built 2001 - one owner - home use - lightly played - pristine condition - responsive action (Renner action parts and hammers) - two year warranty.


You know, this would probably be a good choice. It has a hard maple rim and Renner parts. Ron Overs used the Samick 225 (K&C is a Samick) rims for his pianos, so that should tell you something.

Originally Posted By: carey
Kawai RX6 - 7 foot - built 2006 - one owner - home use - excellent condition - millennium action - warm even tone - original transferable warranty.


It might be ok. I don't really like Kawai all that much, and don't really see the millenium action as an automatic benefit. Kawais are used a lot in institutions and tend to hold up ok.

Originally Posted By: carey
Albert Weber AW208 - 7 foot - NEW - powerful bright tone - strong bass - responsive action (Renner action parts and hammers)- full 10 year warranty.


If this is the new Fandrich design, I'd strongly consider it. If it's not, I wouldn't.

Originally Posted By: carey
Young Chang YP185 - 6'1" - NEW - action is very responsive (Renner action parts and hammers) - warm tone - bass more subdued - full 10 year warranty.


IMO, too small for any decently sized sanctuary that also caters to "special music programs" that focuses on classical music. Not recommended.



Originally Posted By: carey
Which of the above instruments are most likely to hold up well over time in an institutional setting?


Probably not the Yamaha. At its age, you can expect pin torque to start slipping, and action parts needing refurbishment, and tone degradation due to ageing strings and terminations.

Your guess is as good as mine with the YC and AW.

Kawais generally hold up ok, though my alma mater purchased one a few years ago, and it was sent back to Kawai under a warranty claim. In my experience, their pinblocks get a little mushy.

K&C I've never seen in person, but it has a maple rim and Renner action parts... it'll probably be fine.


Get these inspected (particular attention to the Yamaha). ANY of these pianos WILL need concert prep to be considered optimal. This includes a friction treatment to various action parts, regulation (including the damper action), string leveling, and voicing.
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#1966673 - 09/30/12 06:34 AM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Carey,

This is a bit of a surprising question as you are not exactly a newbie around here.

The Yamaha can be quickly dismissed. This is from the very beginning of the imports to the USA and certainly is not to be considered as the Yamaha's are today. Remember, back then, Yamaha was thought of as a street bike, not a piano. Even a full rebuild wouldn't be worth the cost.

Is the new A. Weber an indicator of potential budget? The AW designation and the use of Renner indicates that it is the Fandrich design. I've only played one and they are impressive instruments, but I'm not sure they are really designed to fill a large space. Also, there have been some birth pains and the track record is very short.

The K&C Millenium would be the lowest cost option and lowest quality option relying on the warranty as the "get me out of trouble" factor. Even thought the Young Chang is also the Fandrich design, it does not rise to the same quality level as the A. Weber and you loose the extra volume projection for the space.

My finger, from a proven quality, age of instrument, and tonal factor, would point to the Kawai.

Are you on the search committee?

Good Luck.
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It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#1966728 - 09/30/12 10:19 AM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Thanks much for the input thus far guys!!

Marty - don't be surprised. I "am" the search committee on this one ha which is why I've decided to reach out to my PW friends for a reality check. I'm hoping that some of you have actually had experience with the specific types of pianos being considered. The piano we currently have in the sanctuary is 5 feet long - well past its prime - and about 70 years old (i.e., pretty horrible). Anything would be a vast improvement.

Of course I've played and researched each instrument and have known what questions to ask. Each piano has its strengths and weaknesses. None is perfect. Unfortunately our budget is limited.




Edited by carey (09/30/12 05:56 PM)
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#1966778 - 09/30/12 12:03 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1343
Can you give us the prices on the instruments too? That might help. Out of that lot I'd probably go for the Kawai, although I don't know what the new Young Changs or Webers are like.

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#1966781 - 09/30/12 12:06 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
TunerJeff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 494
Loc: Oregon Coast
Concur that the Kawai looks good (...from a distance). Their pianos are quite reliable, too. Once that action is properly regulated, and the voicing done through, they tend to stay put and maintain tone for quite a while. Solid.

I do have a retired teacher who owns a 1970 Yamaha C7. The piano has been well-maintained and is a very fine instrument. To this day; all original strings, hammers, etc. It still sounds, plays, and feels very good. But, the keys do want rebushing, and the C7-C8 octave is just a touch 'weak'. Those high strings should be replaced. But, that's really all it wants! Quite a testament to the build quality, I'd say.

If your budget will stretch, go Kawai. If your budget is smaller, go C7 and plan on fundraising for strings, hammers, in the future.

Your mileage may vary,
Just an opinion!
I remain,
Yr. humble and ob't svt.,
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#1966785 - 09/30/12 12:14 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21818
Loc: Oakland
Do you have a technician? The technician will be a bigger influence in the longevity of the piano than the manufacturer. Shop for a technician first. That will be a better source of information than anyone here.
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#1966794 - 09/30/12 12:28 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7265
Loc: torrance, CA
Carey,


Your words make them all 'sound' great. You should get a weekend job as a salespro.

Originally Posted By: carey
I "am" the search committee on this one...... Unfortunately our budget is limited.


The Yamaha is listed first. Wherher that's because you're listing in order of age, attractive price, or personal preference, be sure to perform your due diligence. Get someone who really knows his way around aging Yamahas to look it over. Usually an old C7 is moving in the opposite direction -- from institutional use to home use. Your situation may present a different set of potential problems.

Church pianos usually suffer more from institutional neglect -- lack of use, maintenance, and indoor climate control -- than from pounding that wears out moving parts. What kind of maintenance is your church likely to support in taking care of a replacement piano?
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#1966819 - 09/30/12 01:24 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
Robert 45 Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 1299
Loc: Auckland New Zealand
For a church setting using traditional church service music and a primarily classical repertoire, I would be looking at a 7' piano rather than a 6' instrument.

Although a Yamaha C7 is a wonderful piano, I would have reservations about a 1969 model because of its age and because tonally, it is probably on the downward slope. The risk of buying an old piano and then having it restored is that you can never be sure how well the restoration will turn out.

I would again carefully try all the pianos under consideration and listen to find the one that will best satisfy the musical requirements of the church. Remember that, despite what some people say, the perfect piano does not exist.

Best of luck!

Robert.


Edited by Robert 45 (09/30/12 01:25 PM)

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#1966937 - 09/30/12 05:08 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 641
I tried an Albert Weber (228, not 208) and liked it very much, but not a real loud piano. Without knowing your budget, it is hard to tell what piano would fit your needs best, but are these the only ones you can consider? I think there might be a lot of pianos out there that would beat this list.

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#1966939 - 09/30/12 05:09 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: joe80]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: joe80
Can you give us the prices on the instruments too? That might help. Out of that lot I'd probably go for the Kawai, although I don't know what the new Young Changs or Webers are like.

Joe - Without being too specific, asking prices for the Yamaha, Kohler and Campbell and Young Chang are in the $15K range. The Albert Weber and Kawai are in the low 20's. We have about $15K to work with. Going higher would be a stretch.


Edited by carey (09/30/12 05:11 PM)
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#1966944 - 09/30/12 05:16 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: TunerJeff]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: TunerJeff
Concur that the Kawai looks good (...from a distance). Their pianos are quite reliable, too. Once that action is properly regulated, and the voicing done through, they tend to stay put and maintain tone for quite a while. Solid.

that has been my impression as well.

Quote:
I do have a retired teacher who owns a 1970 Yamaha C7. The piano has been well-maintained and is a very fine instrument. To this day; all original strings, hammers, etc. It still sounds, plays, and feels very good. But, the keys do want rebushing, and the C7-C8 octave is just a touch 'weak'. Those high strings should be replaced. But, that's really all it wants! Quite a testament to the build quality, I'd say.

The one I'm considering is even a tad better than the one you describe - thus my dilemma. Seems to contradict everything I'd normally expect from a C7 of that vintage.
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#1966950 - 09/30/12 05:22 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: BDB]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: BDB
Do you have a technician? The technician will be a bigger influence in the longevity of the piano than the manufacturer. Shop for a technician first. That will be a better source of information than anyone here.

Interesting point !! Yes - we have a good tech. And, with the exception of the Kawai (which is privately owned), I also am familiar with and have confidence in the techs who have prepped the other pianos at the dealers.
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#1966960 - 09/30/12 05:35 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: turandot]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: turandot
Carey, Your words make them all 'sound' great. You should get a weekend job as a salespro.

ha In the showroom they all sound and play very well.
Quote:
The Yamaha is listed first. Whether that's because you're listing in order of age, attractive price, or personal preference, be sure to perform your due diligence. Get someone who really knows his way around aging Yamahas to look it over. Usually an old C7 is moving in the opposite direction -- from institutional use to home use. Your situation may present a different set of potential problems.


I listed then by age. As for the due diligence, the tech who prepped the C7 has received specific training from Yamaha and I spoke with him while he worked on the piano. He said it was in excellent condition for its age.

Quote:
Church pianos usually suffer more from institutional neglect -- lack of use, maintenance, and indoor climate control -- than from pounding that wears out moving parts. What kind of maintenance is your church likely to support in taking care of a replacement piano?


As long as I'm around the piano will be tuned twice per year. grin At a minimum the piano will be used weekly (not including rehearsal time). I can't vouch for the climate control - but the interior temps don't vary too much throughout the year. Not so sure about the humidity - but the Yamaha has been in the desert for 40 years, so it is probably well acclimated. As for the others - who knows !!
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#1966966 - 09/30/12 05:41 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: Robert 45]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Robert 45
For a church setting using traditional church service music and a primarily classical repertoire, I would be looking at a 7' piano rather than a 6' instrument.

Our priority as well.

Quote:
Although a Yamaha C7 is a wonderful piano, I would have reservations about a 1969 model because of its age and because tonally, it is probably on the downward slope. The risk of buying an old piano and then having it restored is that you can never be sure how well the restoration will turn out.

I doubt that we'd want to do any "major" work - beyond (down the road) strings, hammers and regulation.

Quote:
I would again carefully try all the pianos under consideration and listen to find the one that will best satisfy the musical requirements of the church. Remember that, despite what some people say, the perfect piano does not exist.


I've been able to try each piano on at least two different occasions. Our modest budget really is the limiting factor here. And yes, I agree that the "perfect" piano does not exist - no matter how much you pay for it !!!
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#1966977 - 09/30/12 05:51 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: Chopinlover49]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Chopinlover49
I tried an Albert Weber (228, not 208) and liked it very much, but not a real loud piano. Without knowing your budget, it is hard to tell what piano would fit your needs best, but are these the only ones you can consider? I think there might be a lot of pianos out there that would beat this list.


Of course - very few instruments are going to be as powerful as our M&H BB's !! grin I was surprised, however, by the sound and touch of the Albert Weber 208 - even if it was a bit bright. Our budget is a limiting factor. Quite frankly, I'm trying to stay away from Chinese built instruments at this point (nothing against them - but they probably wouldn't do well over time in an institutional setting). I've owned a Young Chang Weber in the past and was pleased with it. And, of course, I've played many Yamahas and Kawais over the years - going way back to when they were the new kids on the block !! Plus - the higher quality instruments available in our region are either too expensive, or not in very good condition. I've probably tested over 50 pianos in the past two months !!
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#1967089 - 09/30/12 09:36 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 641
The Albert Weber is built in Korea. Renner hammers, German strings, overall good quality materials.

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#1967100 - 09/30/12 10:04 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 1016
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
I guess you've already narrowed to these choices--but, used 7' Baldwins seem to run in this price range these days. They are real workhorses with a big sound, as you probably know.
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#1967110 - 09/30/12 10:37 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: jdw]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: jdw
I guess you've already narrowed to these choices--but, used 7' Baldwins seem to run in this price range these days. They are real workhorses with a big sound, as you probably know.

You are absolutely correct !!! I recently found a 17 year old seven foot Baldwin that was in the ballpark price-wise. The instrument played very well and was equipped with a Baldwin Concertmaster system. Two speakers were attached to the bottom of the piano - along with two other "boxes" and lots of hanging cords. And due to the installation of the system, the Sostenuto pedal was non-functional. Visually, it simply wouldn't work for us to have a piano up on the alter with all of those gizmos hanging from it. Removing the system would be an option, but I was concerned that the piano had already been structurally compromised due to the installation. Any insights anyone might have about this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks !!!
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#1967330 - 10/01/12 02:05 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
John Pels Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/07
Posts: 1263
Loc: Tomball, Texas
Carey, I removed that system from my SD10, mainly because I would never use it and it certainly wasn't working. The only issue that I found was that long cutout in the keybed. That said, the keybed is made of the same laminated material used for the pinblock and it is tougher than the usual typical domestic keybed of the days of yore. I wouldn't think that anything was seriously structurally compromised by its removal. The contest is between the RX6 and the Yamaha. Since the Kawai is newer, I would go with that. Six years of typical home use for that piano shouldn't be a big deal.

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#1967374 - 10/01/12 03:53 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: John Pels]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: John Pels
Carey, I removed that system from my SD10, mainly because I would never use it and it certainly wasn't working. The only issue that I found was that long cutout in the keybed. That said, the keybed is made of the same laminated material used for the pinblock and it is tougher than the usual typical domestic keybed of the days of yore. I wouldn't think that anything was seriously structurally compromised by its removal. The contest is between the RX6 and the Yamaha. Since the Kawai is newer, I would go with that. Six years of typical home use for that piano shouldn't be a big deal.


Hi John - Good to hear from you !! I just discussed the Baldwin with my tech, and he said pretty much the same thing - so we are going to continue to explore that. Your observation about the Yamaha versus the Kawai is helpful - THANKS !!!
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#1967627 - 10/02/12 02:58 AM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1343
Yup I was going to say the same. A nearly new Kawai for around half price is good (is that half price over there?).

Think about, not just how the piano sounds now, but how long it will retain it's sound. With the Yamaha, you may be looking at replacing it in 10 years or so. Perhaps not, but a it's probably on the downward slope. That said, if you have the budget to recondition it, well, Yamahas turn out pretty well. These pianos are well built and once you add a new set of strings and have the action rebuilt, then I'm sure the piano will be good for another 50 years.

The Kawai will be good for another 20 to 30 years probably, providing it isn't being practised on for hours a day, and providing you keep it under good conditions - not too humid/dry etc. In fact, you might get more out of it. Kawai pianos are built extremely well, especially the new ones, and they have one of the best actions on any piano - incredibly fast (if it's not fast, it isn't set up well, your tech can fix it). Also the tone is workable, suitable for all types of music, more middle of the road than Yamaha, which is perhaps a bit cleaner or brighter. The Kawai has a bit more harmonic to it I'd say.

If the pianos were new, I'd go for the one I liked the best, but since there is such a huge age gap, I'd go for the younger.

You might find with the Albert Weber and the Young Chang, that they sound nice now, but they're not perhaps the workhorses you need in an institutional setting. Also, if you have visiting pianists, you want a piano that will stand up to quite a lot. While most pianists will play beautifully, you'll get the odd one who plays with the touch of an elephant... the Kawai will stand up to that, no problem.

I have no experience of Baldwin pianos - and at the end of the day, it's you and your church who are using the piano.

Very best of luck

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#1967717 - 10/02/12 10:23 AM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Thanks for your thoughtful post, Joe.

Here's where we are in our search....

For a variety of reasons (limited funds and other pressing church capital needs, etc.) we've decided to cap the amount we can spend. Thus the Kawai RX6 and the Albert Weber 7 foot pianos are no longer being considered.

We've decided against the Kohler and Campbell due to concerns about its holding up in an institutional setting.

We've decided to work with a tech and look into the possibility of removing the player system from the 1995 Baldwin SF10 - assuming we can find the trapwork parts needed to make the change and reconnect the pedals.

We are still considering the 1969 Yamaha C7, even though there are concerns about its age.

Note: Neither the Baldwin nor Yamaha would come with a warranty.

The new Young Chang YP185 (6'1") is still in the running. It has a warranty - but there are still questions related to its size and ability to hold up in the church setting - even though it would lightly used.

We've found (and I'm going to check it out today) a NEW Yamaha GC2 (5'8") that would come with a warranty. It appears that this instrument is not all that different (on the inside at least) from the current Yamaha C2 - which is very appealing. On the other hand, I don't know how it would hold up over time compared to a C2 - and the size is a concern given the space. However, the GC2 is larger and sturdier than our existing ancient 5 foot piano which we've been using in the space for 5 years now.

If anyone here has any experience with the GC2 in an institutional setting (light, not heavy use) I'd love to hear your thoughts.

The four instruments currently in the running all are at the same price point.

This has been an interesting journey thus far. smile


Edited by carey (10/02/12 10:25 AM)
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#1967760 - 10/02/12 12:45 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
TunerJeff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 494
Loc: Oregon Coast
Carey,

I have several GC2 owning customers but no churches or schools with one. They are a fine piano, presenting no issues in voicing or playability after a thorough regulation and initial 'prep'. I find them generally a bit more 'bright' than the C2 in tone. But, I have no issues with them in the home that I can share. They are a solid product. Not sure that they can fill your space, however. It is not a large instrument, more a medium size, and I'd probably be suggesting a 6+ for what you have described.

But...you have a hard choice here! There is, as someone else pointed out, a real difference in the sound of a 7-ft piano! String length is just not something that can be ignored. Bigger pianos can run the plain-wire deeper in the scale before they need to wrap the wire (weight substitutes for length), so they are more even and smooth in their scaling and sound. 'Richer' might be a word to apply.

I'm not that fond of the SD-10. They tend to have a more 'bland' tone. Not as rich a 'palette' of color. Their hammers are relatively firm and don't seem to give as much to work with. Just an opinion. The fact that it may have been beaten with a player (..before it failed) also suggests more wear than the simple age would reflect. I'd listen to the technician's opinion of the instrument on that one.

I'd really love to touch the dang things myself. As I've said; I have a wonderful old C7 in my current client list, but not all pianos are equal. Lean on your tech, play the pianos thoroughly (...not just a few chords or notes), and really get a sense of how they will play and sound. That's the best I can do (sigh).

Good Luck!
_________________________
Jeffrey T. Hickey, RPT
Oregon Coast Piano Services
TunerJeff440@aol.com

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#1967771 - 10/02/12 01:37 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
I appreciate your perspective, Jeff. Thanks so much for taking the time to respond.

I have the same concern about the size of the GC2 - but we'll see.

Seven feet is definitely better. I personally own a Mason and Hamlin BB - so know how BIG the sound can be. Certainly fills our living room, the whole house, and part of the neighborhood !! It really would be fun to see how a 7 foot piano would sound in our sanctuary.

We definitely will need to rely on the opinion of my tech particularly when it comes to the Baldwin SF10. I've had very little experience with SF10's myself - but many years ago I played full recitals on a 9 foot Baldwin and it was just fine !!! The Renner Blue hammers on my M&H tend to be rather firm as well.

Your encouragement is appreciated !!

Anyone else here familiar with the new GC2's????
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#1969637 - 10/07/12 12:14 AM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
Airspeed Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/09
Posts: 23
Loc: Washington, D.C.
Limited opinion here: previous pianos I had an old Bluthner, then a recent Bosendorfer 200, now a 1970 Japanese rebuilt Yamaha C7. My tech and I agree - the Yamaha is by far the best I have owned. I now know why Richter liked them. If you find a good one, they are unbeatable in terms of value. The only replacement for me will most likely be a Hamburg Steinway B. Also, his 21k investment beats the heck out of any new NY Steinway B I have played at many dealerships.

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#1969782 - 10/07/12 11:11 AM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
SCCDoug Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 663
Loc: Canada
Hi Carey

I realize you are a choral conductor and would have your own opinions, but as a singer and choral enthusiast I recommend a brighter piano, or at least one with strong fundamentals. Having clear accompaniment is so helpful, especially with repertoire with more challenging tonality (say Elgar for example) where being able to pull a note into your head from the piano bass line three measures before in order to hit a clean entrance is a requirement. What sounds beautifully rich and mellow to the audience can be a bit of a muddy mess to the singer. For me, I would lean towards a Yamaha depending on how the instrument is going to be used.

Good luck to you. I must confess that our family has pretty much given up on church choirs as it seems much more likely to find decent classical repertoire with a good community chorus these days. But, I digress . . .
_________________________
Doug

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

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#1970994 - 10/09/12 08:27 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: Airspeed]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Airspeed
Limited opinion here: previous pianos I had an old Bluthner, then a recent Bosendorfer 200, now a 1970 Japanese rebuilt Yamaha C7. My tech and I agree - the Yamaha is by far the best I have owned. I now know why Richter liked them. If you find a good one, they are unbeatable in terms of value. The only replacement for me will most likely be a Hamburg Steinway B. Also, his 21k investment beats the heck out of any new NY Steinway B I have played at many dealerships.


I bet your rebuilt C7 is very nice indeed !!!
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#1971000 - 10/09/12 08:35 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: SCCDoug]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: SCCDoug
Hi Carey

I realize you are a choral conductor and would have your own opinions, but as a singer and choral enthusiast I recommend a brighter piano, or at least one with strong fundamentals. Having clear accompaniment is so helpful, especially with repertoire with more challenging tonality (say Elgar for example) where being able to pull a note into your head from the piano bass line three measures before in order to hit a clean entrance is a requirement. What sounds beautifully rich and mellow to the audience can be a bit of a muddy mess to the singer. For me, I would lean towards a Yamaha depending on how the instrument is going to be used.

Good luck to you. I must confess that our family has pretty much given up on church choirs as it seems much more likely to find decent classical repertoire with a good community chorus these days. But, I digress . . .


Thanks for the input Doug !!! Fortunately our church choir still does traditional repertoire (Tallis, Palestrina, Bach, Byrd, Mozart, Stanford, Bruckner, Howells, Franck, Faure, Vaughan-Williams, Holst, etc.) but we primarily use the organ for accompaniment, unless, of course, the organist happens to be ill on a certain Sunday.
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#1971003 - 10/09/12 08:43 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Just to bring closure to this thread......my tech inspected the 1995 Baldwin SF-10 and gave it an excellent bill of health - so we've decided to purchase it and spend some extra bucks to remove the existing player system and restore the piano to its "pre-player" configuration. I have folks lined up who have a good track record doing this type of thing and I'm very optimistic that the piano is ultimately going to work quite well for us. Of course, the adventure isn't over quite yet.......
_________________________
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#1971005 - 10/09/12 08:54 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2385
Loc: SoCal
Best of luck!
_________________________
Gary

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#1971772 - 10/11/12 11:14 AM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
Glenn Grafton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 190
Loc: Souderton PA
Personally I'd go with the Kawai RX6. The age of the Yamaha would be a concern to me.

The Kawai is fairly new and has the balance of the new 10 year warranty. It also has the Millenium III action which is more responsive on soft play and has faster repetition than a traditional wood action.

In my experience at our store the Korean brands do not hold up as well over the years.
_________________________
Glenn Grafton
Grafton Piano & Organ Co.
Souderton PA
877-GRAFTON (877-472-3866)
Remove "nospam" in email address.
glenn@nospamgraftonpiano.com

Grafton Piano Home Page

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#1971797 - 10/11/12 12:31 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9358
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: carey


Kohler and Campbell Millennium KFM-700s - 7 foot - built 2001 - one owner - home use - lightly played - pristine condition - responsive action (Renner action parts and hammers) - two year warranty.

Kawai RX6 - 7 foot - built 2006 - one owner - home use - excellent condition - millennium action - warm even tone - original transferable warranty.

Albert Weber AW208 - 7 foot - NEW - powerful bright tone - strong bass - responsive action (Renner action parts and hammers)- full 10 year warranty.


Carey,

Based on experience I would limit your choices to these instruments. I would further say that the Kawai might be my first choice, depending on the instrument, followed closely by the A. Weber.

Definitely have the final choice (and maybe your runner up) examined by an independent tech.

I know you've gotten lots of responses so far, but more information couldn't be a bad thing. smile Keep us posted as to your progress please.

Happy piano to your church!
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
www.cunninghampiano.com

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#1971842 - 10/11/12 02:23 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2349
Loc: USA
Congrats on the SF10. That's pretty awesome.

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#1971912 - 10/11/12 04:22 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: Glenn Grafton]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Glenn Grafton
Personally I'd go with the Kawai RX6. The age of the Yamaha would be a concern to me.

The Kawai is fairly new and has the balance of the new 10 year warranty. It also has the Millenium III action which is more responsive on soft play and has faster repetition than a traditional wood action.

In my experience at our store the Korean brands do not hold up as well over the years.


Glenn - The 1995 Baldwin was half the cost of the 2006 Kawai. We could afford the Baldwin - but couldn't come close to the asking price for the Kawai. The Renner action in the Baldwin isn't all that shabby either - even though I like the Millenium III action as well. And yes - we ruled out the Korean pianos due to concerns about how well they'd hold up in the church setting - and the Yamaha because it was just too darn old.
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#1971914 - 10/11/12 04:24 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: gnuboi]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: gnuboi
Congrats on the SF10. That's pretty awesome.


Thanks - we're pretty excited about it !!!!
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#1971923 - 10/11/12 04:47 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Hi Carey,

That Baldwin will sound great! - Congratulations

It will be enjoyed by your congregation for many years to come.

Great job as the search committee!
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#1972034 - 10/11/12 08:31 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 1016
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Congratulations! I'm sure this will be a great piano for your church!
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Grieg, Papillon
Mozart, K 330
Brahms, Op. 118 no. 2

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#1972211 - 10/12/12 07:52 AM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
FormerlyFlute Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/06
Posts: 235
Loc: Maryland
Good you decided against a small piano. I recently attended a concert in a medium size church with a pretty small Kawai grand around 5'6", I'd estimate. The pianist played the Grieg concerto with a community orchestra and even though I was 3 rows back, I could barely hear the piano.
_________________________
Piano: Brodmann PE 187 Strauss
Flute: Sankyo CF-201 with RT2 headjoint

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#1972216 - 10/12/12 08:05 AM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
Every piano I chose has been disagreed with the posters.. Maybe you can find a used Baldwin.. they are so fundamentally sound and stable usually.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1972217 - 10/12/12 08:06 AM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
Oh my gosh.. i just finished reading the end of your thread. A SF10 would be my first choice. you done good!

fantastic!!!!!
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1972358 - 10/12/12 03:20 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
Glenn Grafton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 190
Loc: Souderton PA
Originally Posted By: carey


Glenn - The 1995 Baldwin was half the cost of the 2006 Kawai. We could afford the Baldwin - but couldn't come close to the asking price for the Kawai. The Renner action in the Baldwin isn't all that shabby either - even though I like the Millenium III action as well. And yes - we ruled out the Korean pianos due to concerns about how well they'd hold up in the church setting - and the Yamaha because it was just too darn old.


Carey,
I missed seeing the discussion of the Baldwin later in the thread. Knowing your budget and choices you made a fine choice. I evaluated a 1965 Baldwin 9' D last year, while it was beat on the outside still has many years of use in it before a rebuild is needed.
_________________________
Glenn Grafton
Grafton Piano & Organ Co.
Souderton PA
877-GRAFTON (877-472-3866)
Remove "nospam" in email address.
glenn@nospamgraftonpiano.com

Grafton Piano Home Page

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#1972537 - 10/12/12 11:47 PM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Marty - JDW - FormerlyFlute - Apple - Glenn -

Thanks for the affirmation !! I will meet the movers on Monday afternoon to pick the Baldwin up. It will go to the rebuilder for removal of the player system, replacement of the wood sections that were removed from the keybed and action assembly when the system was originally installed, and reconfiguration of the pedal trapwork. To do this work the piano lid and action assembly must be removed and the piano turned upside down. Arghh !! We will then move the piano to the church for tuning and major regulation !! In the meantime we're ordering an artist bench, padded piano cover, and piano dolly. Hopefully everything will come together in about three weeks. I'm hoping the church will be able to get a good 15-20 years out of the instrument - and I'm looking forward to playing it myself !!! grin
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#1972545 - 10/13/12 12:05 AM Re: Which pianos might best meet our needs? [Re: carey]
ChrisKeys Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1277
Loc: Dallas, TX
Hi carey, I've been following your journey and I'm excited for you! I bet the Baldwin will be great after all the work is done. We'd love to see photos (before and after). And of course, a recording or two!

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