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#2037566 - 02/22/13 03:17 PM Buying advice for new small grand
Marjorie2 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/21/13
Posts: 10
Loc: United States
Some background: I am an adult beginner and my children have been playing for about four years. I have a 2-year-old Yamaha U1. I used Larry Fine's Piano Buyer book and ratings, price, and local availability to narrow my choices to Kawai (GE or RX1/2), Yamaha (GC, C1, or C2), Boston, Hailun (HG161 or HG178), and Perzina. I expect this purchase to be my last. So far we have been able to try out only Kawai, Yamaha, and Boston.

A few questions:

1. A "piano expert" told me that unless my new grand is at least 6', it won't sound any better than my U1. Thoughts?

2. I have found that the Bostons are priced much higher than the Kawais. Are they worth it? While many posters prefer the Kawai action, the Boston gets (higher?) praise for sound. The Boston design elements and materials might be an upgrade over the Kawai. They both sound “good" to me, but it's hard to compare when they're not in the same store. Also, due to price, I might end up with a smaller Boston than Kawai.

3. There are many posts here praising Hailun. Am I reading, "this is an excellent piano" or "this is an excellent piano for its price". If I can afford the Japanese grands, should I forget about the Chinese-made brands or do they sound better than Yamaha/Kawai/Boston?

4. My last question is about Kawai specifically. It seems like the GE30 and the RX2 are the sweet spots or value points in the line-up. That said, Piano Buyer draws a hard line between the GE30 and RX1 which seems to go against the sentiment on this board that the GE30 is similar to the RX1 for a lot less money. I can read the differences in specs, but I'm looking for experienced musicians who can compare the sound.

Thanks in advance for your responses. I have learned so much already from this board and am so grateful to have found it.

Marjorie

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#2037578 - 02/22/13 03:44 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
Steven Y. A. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 291
Loc: Toronto
Bostons and Kawais have very different sound and design despite the same factory.
My favorite grand at this price range is the Vogel V180 (around 20k) as I have a strong preferrence to European sound, they are basically Schimmel C180 with different cabinet design (same action, sound board etc). For the money of Boston I'd get a Estonia.

Hailun makes very nice grands, specially the larger ones.

Yamaha and Kawai are time tested pianos. You cannot go wrong with either one.
_________________________
PLEYEL P124

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#2037595 - 02/22/13 04:16 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14267
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:

3. There are many posts here praising Hailun. Am I reading, "this is an excellent piano" or "this is an excellent piano for its price". If I can afford the Japanese grands, should I forget about the Chinese-made brands or do they sound better than Yamaha/Kawai/Boston?


Questions like that are increasingly being answered by people simply trying out all kinds of different makes/models on market and then learning what their money can buy them in today's market.

Unless you want to limit yourself right from the beginning, nothing should be initially in-or excluded.

Going by brand name alone opens the first fallacy in that the models by the different makers can and often do have very different quality.

For example, most Japanese makers [as well as others] offer entry level, intermediate and advanced all at same time.

Some of their advanced models at much higher price directly compete with pianos of even higher quality so comparing things
in today's market is an absolute must.

In order getting the better piano, it seems much more productive by not starting with "brand" as many people have in past, but examining and trying a number of different makers and their models especially at or near same price point.

Point your cheque book like a gun and ask dealer to show you his very best candidate at that particular price range.

Now the pressure is on him - not you.

If done right, some of the previously thought of contenders mayturn out almost toys in comparison to others while at same time you may discover some real gems not previously considered or having been aware of.

It's the best you can do for yourself [and worst for most dealers..] but will guarantee you "best piano" in the end.

At least to some extent...

Anybody knowing a better trick, please let us know.

Norbert smile


Edited by Norbert (02/22/13 04:36 PM)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#2037596 - 02/22/13 04:19 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19644
Loc: New York City
Your questions are good and important ones, but I think few of them have simple answers.

For example, in #1 the meaning of "much better" is open to interpretation. Most agree that a smaller grand will have some tonal limitations compared to a larger one of the same make but how big the limitations are is open to opinion. And the advantages of a grand over a vertical are also related to touch.

When you read praise of a particular brand I would not put too much emphasis on it when it's given by dealers for that brand or owners of the brand. Dealers have an obvious conflict of interest and many owners naturally want to feel they've made a great choice and may lack objectivity(not always true, of course).

I do agree with the suggestion of shopping for pianos within a certain budget (which is almost a given). But unless the budget is 100K, the choice unfortunately usually involves some degree of compromise. Do you get a longer piano of maybe somewhat lesser quality than a shorter piano of a higher quality? Do you love a wood finish piano but decide to get an ebony one because it's generally less expensive so you can get a larger model for the same price as a shorter wood finish?


Edited by pianoloverus (02/22/13 04:30 PM)

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#2037659 - 02/22/13 06:22 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 868
A consideration that occupied me during my own search was - how long will my instrument live a musical life? That excluded some brands for me that (so far) have no long lasting record of quality instrument-making and experience.

Even if I might not play my piano for more than a dozen years, the next generation might, or even a future owner. A good piano *should* retain its quality for a long time.

Of course, as said above, a compromise will be made in most cases. And choices such as yours are highly individual. The most important advice is to go, play, and listen to the instruments you have in mind.

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#2037665 - 02/22/13 06:30 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
rlinkt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 320
Loc: CA
Heed Norbert's advice.

I was in the same situation about 7 months back when I was looking for a small grand for my daughter. I started with a consideration of 'around 6' grands', and specifically the Kawai and Yamaha pianos. Based on all my secondary research I narrowed down my choices to Kawai and Yamaha. Then I started going to the stores and listening, mostly to new and used pianos from these two companies, I initially settled on the Kawai RX2. There were also a few used Baldwins I came across in the process which were fabulous, but at 6'4" or so, a little too much for my space.

Then I decided to listen to some of the newer design Chinese pianos. To my surprise, I thought these sounded really good, and well below the price tag of an RX2. Eventually I settled on a Ritmuller GH170R as the one that best suited my tastes. Seven months later, I think I made the right choice about the dealer + piano combination.

So my suggestion: Go to as many dealers as possible, and listen to as many pianos as possible. Do not rule anything out without giving it a listen. Once you hear them, you will know what you like the most -- and IMHO, that's the only opinion that should matter. I personally found it impossible to compare pianos across dealers. The only way to compare are if they are next to each other -- and even then, its not so easy. The RX2, Hailuns, Ritmullers -- they all sound very good, and by the time you are at the next dealer, its impossible to make a fair objective comparison. So go with your instincts about if you like the piano sound or not. Also, that's why my comfort level about dealer also played a big role in my decision. I got lucky that the piano I wanted to buy was available at the dealer I wanted to buy from.


Edited by rlinkt (02/23/13 02:27 PM)

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#2037692 - 02/22/13 07:16 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
personne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/24/12
Posts: 127
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: Marjorie2
1. A "piano expert" told me that unless my new grand is at least 6', it won't sound any better than my U1. Thoughts?


6" grand is better than smaller grands, if they are in the same league.
Probably smaller grand will sound better than your U1, but 6" (or better 7") make really big difference.
_________________________
Roland HP-507RW | Yamaha U1

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#2038256 - 02/24/13 01:57 AM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
musicpassion Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1154
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: Marjorie2
Some background: I am an adult beginner and my children have been playing for about four years. I have a 2-year-old Yamaha U1. I used Larry Fine's Piano Buyer book and ratings, price, and local availability to narrow my choices to Kawai (GE or RX1/2), Yamaha (GC, C1, or C2), Boston, Hailun (HG161 or HG178), and Perzina. I expect this purchase to be my last. So far we have been able to try out only Kawai, Yamaha, and Boston.


Just an observation: everything on your list is Japanese or Chinese. That's ok - but I mention it because if you widen your scope a bit your might discover something you truly love. Or you might decide what you truly love are the Asian pianos. But it's always good to hear what's out there, espicially if this is going to be your last purchase.

Quote:

1. A "piano expert" told me that unless my new grand is at least 6', it won't sound any better than my U1. Thoughts?


I don't agree. To compare Apples to Apples, the Yamaha C2 (at 5'8") IMHO beats the U1 in every way, most certainly including sound. Does the C1? I'm not sure - I haven't played the C1 enough.

Quote:

2. I have found that the Bostons are priced much higher than the Kawais.


I like the Kawais better. I'm sure other people feel differently.


Quote:

3. There are many posts here praising Hailun. Am I reading, "this is an excellent piano" or "this is an excellent piano for its price". If I can afford the Japanese grands, should I forget about the Chinese-made brands or do they sound better than Yamaha/Kawai/Boston?


It's an excellent piano for the price. But the exact same is true of the production line Kawai and Yamahas: they are excellent pianos for the price. All of these pianos you are looking at are consumer grade and built to a price point. You can throw the "for the price" phrase out the window once you start looking at an artistic high end rebuild or a top tier new piano like Fazioli, Bluthner, etc.

That being said, I'd suggest looking at the Hailun or the Fuerich if you can find it. I like them.

Quote:

4. My last question is about Kawai specifically. It seems like the GE30 and the RX2 are the sweet spots or value points in the line-up. That said, Piano Buyer draws a hard line between the GE30 and RX1 which seems to go against the sentiment on this board that the GE30 is similar to the RX1 for a lot less money. I can read the differences in specs, but I'm looking for experienced musicians who can compare the sound.


Sorry - I don't have enough experience with the GE30.
_________________________
Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2038316 - 02/24/13 07:44 AM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1794
I do not think that your "piano expert" is correct in setting the critical size at 6' or more. I would never claim that I was a piano expert, but I do know that much.

There are a lot of wonderful pianos in the 5'6" range, for example. The 5'6" Mason and Hamlin is a fabulous piano. So, incidentally, is the even smaller one, whose size I do not remember exactly. While I do not know your price range (I apologize if I missed it in your post), I would agree with the other posters who suggested that you try out all different brands in the size range you are seeking.

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#2038413 - 02/24/13 12:12 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
For question 4.

I recently played the GE30 and thought it was a really nice piano in terms of both sound and playability. It felt like a quality instrument. The bass was nice and full and I think it's probably as small as I would want to go in order to get a nice balance between quality and affordability. The salesman told me they don't carry the RX1 because not many people buy it. It's a fair bit more expensive than the GE but is actually the same size. If you were going to spend RX1 money then it could be worth stretching to the RX2 which I also played. There was a noticeable difference between GE30 and RX2 but then you would expect that for the price premium. For me the GE30 seems the better buy.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#2038497 - 02/24/13 03:04 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
Marjorie2 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/21/13
Posts: 10
Loc: United States
Thank you all so much for the excellent advice. In response to several posters, I haven't had much luck finding new European or American made small grands locally that are in the same price range as the Asian-made pianos. I can investigate Petrof and Estonia somewhat locally, but I think they're out of my budget. Honestly, unless I score a great deal, the RX-2 and C2 are out of reach as well.

I will be continuing my search over the next few weeks and will post back if I make any progress. If anyone else would like to add an opinion, I'm grateful.

Marjorie

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#2038546 - 02/24/13 04:38 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
musicpassion Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1154
Loc: California, USA
Petrof and Estonia are certainly two that come to mind. I'd strongly suggest you check them out, even if they seem to be out of budget. If you fall in love with one of those brands, then it might be worth considering an excellent condition used piano.

I know you are wanting to buy new, but if budget is an issue, I think a gently used (and excellent condition) piano is the best value. Keep in mind pianos have a long service life - they're not a cell phone smile

Best wishes and keep us updated.
_________________________
Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2038579 - 02/24/13 05:20 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
personne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/24/12
Posts: 127
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: Marjorie2
I can investigate Petrof and Estonia somewhat locally, but I think they're out of my budget. Honestly, unless I score a great deal, the RX-2 and C2 are out of reach as well.


Petrof and smaller Estonia L168 (5'6") I believe can be found around the same price as RX-2 and C2-C3 or Boston grands.
I did not hear RX-2, but I tried L168 & 190 and Petrof PIII, and they beat Yamaha C3(which is a quite nice instrument, but Estonia and Petrof are just finer - and have better action).

PS. I liked Yamaha more than Boston, but it is my personal taste - Boston sounded brighter.
_________________________
Roland HP-507RW | Yamaha U1

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#2038597 - 02/24/13 05:46 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


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

You haven't mentioned where you are located. If you can get to Philadelphia, it would be worth checking out the Cunningham 5'4" Studio Grand. I haven't played this model, but its larger brother (5'10) is very, very impressive. The Studio has received a lot of good response. Rich and Tim would not put out an inferior product and their designer is one of the very best.

http://www.cunninghampiano.com/
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2043887 - 03/06/13 11:38 AM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
Marjorie2 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/21/13
Posts: 10
Loc: United States
I have now had the opportunity to visit the Kawai/Yamaha/Estonia dealer twice, Boston twice, and the Hailun/Perzina/Petrof dealer once.

My daughter likes the Yamahas best, followed by the Perzina (5’3”). We have a U1 so she's used to light touch and bright sound and because she's 11, she likes what she's used to.

I like the Boston and Hailun (5’4”) the best, but I would not want to be blind-tested on these versus any other piano I’ve listened to such as the Kawai (5’5”). I’d fail. And if my beginner fingers aren’t lying, the Boston has a heavier touch. Really, everything sounds good to me, but nothing earth-shatteringly better than my U1.

I have a full-value trade-in deal at the Yamaha/Kawai/Estonia dealer so that is an incentive to buy there. (At $30,000 the Estonia (L168 5’6”) is out of my budget and neither my daughter nor I are able to currently appreciate it nearly 3x as much as the least expensive piano I’m considering.)

I know one musician who I trust in terms of honesty and ability, and he likes Boston. That weighs in my decision as well.

Overall, I’m not sure if my personality matches up with the Chinese brands Hailun and Perzina – shorter track record, questionable resale value, no one I know has experience with them.

Finally, the Boston dealer is offering me a 10-year-old model GP156 (5’1”) for around $12,000 cash plus my 2-year-old U1. Is this a fair price – it doesn’t seem that great to me? He’s asking $24,500 for a new GP156 Performance Edition. That also seems high.

Marjorie (P.S. - Marty, I am not near Philadelphia)

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#2049424 - 03/16/13 11:54 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
love my baldwin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/15/13
Posts: 3
I will relate my experience since I just bought a piano one month ago. I thought I wanted a Kawai because I have a Kawai digital already. The first dealership I went to was a Kawai and Steinway dealer. I played Kawai, Kohler Campbell, and Steinway. Steinways are out of my budget, I didn't like the Kohler & Campbell sound so it looked like I would be getting a Kawai. The next dealer was a Yamaha dealer. I found I didn't like Yamahas much. Then I tried a Baldwin L. The piano was built in 1950 and had been totally redone. When I played it there was no question about which piano sounded best to me. The clairty of this piano was like none I had heard before. I purchased this piano for $7800 and I don't believe I could have found a better sounding piano for $40,000. The point here is that you are the only one that can listen through your ears. I have no idea what sounds good to you, only you do. Play the various pianos (don't discount used), listen to what sounds and feels best to you, negotiate a good price and then enjoy that piano for years to come.

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#2049648 - 03/17/13 12:35 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
Radio.Octave Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 443
Not sure if 6' is the magical number, but it seems like as pianos start approaching 6' (or longer), they start to sound really good. IMO, most really short pianos (around 5') have a tone that is mediocre or lacking. I owned a 5' baby grand and also a 52" upright for a short period of time. The upright sounded nicer than the baby.

Of course, sound isn't the only thing. The action in a grand is probably going to perform better than that in an upright. Baby grands look great and are a nice piece of furniture, but I don't think they can compete with a good quality upright when it comes to tone. They still have to adhere to the laws of physics, and when a piano becomes very short, compromises must be made.
_________________________
Kawai RX-6 BLAK

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#2049674 - 03/17/13 01:21 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Radio.Octave]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 477
Before buying my mediocre/lacking baby grand I tested several pianos, bigger size, to see what I was losing. Based on reviews and comments about newer models, I ended up with a Young Chang y150 which sounded to my ears very nice and feels great too. Yes its entry level but more experienced reviewers tend to agree and for my room size, it was a perfect match so looks like small grands are getting much better these days....


Edited by shaolin95 (03/17/13 01:28 PM)
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

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#2049711 - 03/17/13 02:06 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: shaolin95]
Radio.Octave Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 443
Originally Posted By: shaolin95
Before buying my mediocre/lacking baby grand I tested several pianos, bigger size, to see what I was losing. Based on reviews and comments about newer models, I ended up with a Young Chang y150 which sounded to my ears very nice and feels great too. Yes its entry level but more experienced reviewers tend to agree and for my room size, it was a perfect match so looks like small grands are getting much better these days....


There are exceptions to every rule smile I was just saying that in general, the shorter the piano, the harder it is to get a nice tone. I'm sure they have improved a lot over the years, but acoustics is governed by physical laws.

What really matters is that you found a piano that makes you happy and meets your needs. thumb
_________________________
Kawai RX-6 BLAK

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#2049725 - 03/17/13 02:24 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Radio.Octave]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 477
Originally Posted By: Radio.Octave
Originally Posted By: shaolin95
Before buying my mediocre/lacking baby grand I tested several pianos, bigger size, to see what I was losing. Based on reviews and comments about newer models, I ended up with a Young Chang y150 which sounded to my ears very nice and feels great too. Yes its entry level but more experienced reviewers tend to agree and for my room size, it was a perfect match so looks like small grands are getting much better these days....


There are exceptions to every rule smile I was just saying that in general, the shorter the piano, the harder it is to get a nice tone. I'm sure they have improved a lot over the years, but acoustics is governed by physical laws.

What really matters is that you found a piano that makes you happy and meets your needs. thumb

Indeed, and of course your wallet also dictate your choices sadly. lol
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

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#2049812 - 03/17/13 05:26 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: shaolin95]
Radio.Octave Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 443
Originally Posted By: shaolin95
Originally Posted By: Radio.Octave
Originally Posted By: shaolin95
Before buying my mediocre/lacking baby grand I tested several pianos, bigger size, to see what I was losing. Based on reviews and comments about newer models, I ended up with a Young Chang y150 which sounded to my ears very nice and feels great too. Yes its entry level but more experienced reviewers tend to agree and for my room size, it was a perfect match so looks like small grands are getting much better these days....


There are exceptions to every rule smile I was just saying that in general, the shorter the piano, the harder it is to get a nice tone. I'm sure they have improved a lot over the years, but acoustics is governed by physical laws.

What really matters is that you found a piano that makes you happy and meets your needs. thumb

Indeed, and of course your wallet also dictate your choices sadly. lol


Yep, I hear ya. That's another important factor. I'm all for any company that can make a good-sounding piano at a reasonable price. Some of the "best" pianos out there will never be available to the average person because they're prices are so outrageous.
_________________________
Kawai RX-6 BLAK

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#2049827 - 03/17/13 05:50 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Radio.Octave]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 477
Originally Posted By: Radio.Octave
Originally Posted By: shaolin95
Originally Posted By: Radio.Octave
Originally Posted By: shaolin95
Before buying my mediocre/lacking baby grand I tested several pianos, bigger size, to see what I was losing. Based on reviews and comments about newer models, I ended up with a Young Chang y150 which sounded to my ears very nice and feels great too. Yes its entry level but more experienced reviewers tend to agree and for my room size, it was a perfect match so looks like small grands are getting much better these days....


There are exceptions to every rule smile I was just saying that in general, the shorter the piano, the harder it is to get a nice tone. I'm sure they have improved a lot over the years, but acoustics is governed by physical laws.

What really matters is that you found a piano that makes you happy and meets your needs. thumb

Indeed, and of course your wallet also dictate your choices sadly. lol


Yep, I hear ya. That's another important factor. I'm all for any company that can make a good-sounding piano at a reasonable price. Some of the "best" pianos out there will never be available to the average person because they're prices are so outrageous.

Like I went shopping for a violin with a set budget..so I asked for their best instrument then within my budget looked for the one that got me the closest performance...would I like to get that big expensive one...sure but yeah, we all cant afford those sublime instruments. Luckily there are very nice options there for us laugh
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

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#2050003 - 03/18/13 01:22 AM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: musicpassion]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: Marjorie2
...I will be continuing my search over the next few weeks and will post back if I make any progress. If anyone else would like to add an opinion, I'm grateful.

Marjorie


Originally Posted By: musicpassion
... it might be worth considering an excellent condition used piano.

I know you are wanting to buy new, but if budget is an issue, I think a gently used (and excellent condition) piano is the best value. Keep in mind pianos have a long service life - they're not a cell phone smile...


+1
Just check online. There are some awfully good deals out there.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2050022 - 03/18/13 02:46 AM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
ahhsmurf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/13
Posts: 48
Loc: Banned
Yes its entry level but more experienced reviewers tend to agree and for my room size

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#2050082 - 03/18/13 06:49 AM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
patH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 601
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: Marjorie2
1. A "piano expert" told me that unless my new grand is at least 6', it won't sound any better than my U1. Thoughts?
Last year, I bought a Yamaha C2, and before buying it, I compared a few pianos of the same brand, but with different sizes. My personal observation concerning Yamaha C2 and C3XA, and Bechstein A.175 and A.190: The bigger pianos don't have a more beautiful sound, but they have a more powerful sound (louder). So one thing to consider is also: Do you have neighbors, and do they like music?
If by "better", you mean "louder", then bigger is better.

Originally Posted By: Marjorie2
4. My last question is about Kawai specifically. It seems like the GE30 and the RX2 are the sweet spots or value points in the line-up. That said, Piano Buyer draws a hard line between the GE30 and RX1 which seems to go against the sentiment on this board that the GE30 is similar to the RX1 for a lot less money. I can read the differences in specs, but I'm looking for experienced musicians who can compare the sound.
I compared both of them, and I liked the GE30 better. But that's because I like clear metallic sounds over mellow sounds. The RX-2 sounded a bit mellow to me.
I have not tried an RX-1.
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#2050118 - 03/18/13 08:34 AM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
Radio.Octave Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 443
Don't forget, one big perk of having a longer piano is the bass. The treble will be relatively similar on most pianos, but with the longer ones, the bass is outstanding. It's like having a subwoofer in your piano smile That could be part of the reason they sound more powerful.

I don't have measurements, but from what I've read, larger pianos aren't necessarily that much louder than smaller ones. High sound levels can easily be achieved on a small grand, or even an upright.
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#2050232 - 03/18/13 12:42 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2398
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: Marjorie2
Honestly, unless I score a great deal, the RX-2 and C2 are out of reach as well.


If you are in Southern California, there are two Kawai dealers liquidating stock right now. I've seen some pretty good prices, particularly on a couple of wood finish RX-2s.
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Gary

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#2050273 - 03/18/13 02:26 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
Marjorie2 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/21/13
Posts: 10
Loc: United States
Thanks for the continued advice. I'm still working on this project. Leaning toward the used Boston I mentioned previously or a Kawai GE30 or RX-1. Defininitely want black. I still feel that I need to play these pianos again to make up my mind. Marjorie.

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#2050376 - 03/18/13 05:44 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Plowboy]
pianoSD Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 57
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: Plowboy

If you are in Southern California, there are two Kawai dealers liquidating stock right now. I've seen some pretty good prices, particularly on a couple of wood finish RX-2s.


Where in Southern California? I'm in downtown San Diego.


Edited by pianoSD (03/18/13 05:45 PM)
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#2050414 - 03/18/13 07:04 PM Re: Buying advice for new small grand [Re: Marjorie2]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2398
Loc: SoCal
Field's in Orange County and SoCal Pianos in San Marcos are both getting rid of stock in order to become Steinway Galleries.
_________________________
Gary

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