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#2046574 - 03/11/13 05:16 PM My journey to my first grand piano: A Yamaha C2 SG
patH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 561
Loc: Germany
Last year, I bought a grand piano. Here's a short summary of my journey to it.

I first set myself a limit of 15.000 € and baby grand size. My living room is 24m² big, so I thought a small piano would be ok.
I also have neighbors, so a silent system was a requirement.

Since Yamaha is the most experienced piano maker with silent systems, and almost all piano dealers consider the Yamaha Silent System to be the best, I was biased towards Yamaha from the beginning. Add to that that I had excellent experiences with their after-sales service, when they repaired my six-year old Clavinova free of charge, I said to myself: If I am going to buy another piano than a Yamaha, it has to be significantly better than a Yamaha.

But I still checked the Internet for all piano brands that offer built-in silent systems. I found only five piano manufacturers that offer their grand pianos with built-in silent systems: Yamaha, Kawai, Young Chang/Weber, Bechstein/Hoffmann, and Irmler.
I'm a bit skeptical about silent systems build in afterwards. I had the opportunity to test a pre-owned Schimmel C182 with silent system; and the silent system was in a terrible shape. So a piano with built-in silent system was my first choice.

About the size: On the Internet, writers like Larry Fine do not recommend baby grands; sometimes calling them "Piano-shaped objects". And there seems to be a consensus that a minimum length of 1m70 is the limit for grand pianos as serious music instruments.
After trying out a few baby grands, I concluded: The baby-grand-bashers were right. Most baby grands sounded strained. Notable exceptions were the Kawai GE30, and to a point also a Samick SIG50, which unfortunately does not come with a built-in silent system.

But I still took the two following steps:
1) I moved furniture in my living room, so it would be big enough to hold a 1m80 piano,
2) I raised my price limit to 25.000 €.

This still ruled out Bechstein, but the five other affordable brands were still options.
Here are my observations.
Action: Very good for Yamaha and Kawai, not too bad for Weber, Hoffmann and Irmler.
Sound: mostly good, except for Irmler which terribly disappointed me. Surprisingly, I liked the sound of the Kawai GE30 better than of the RX-2. Bigger is not always better...
Feeling of key tops: Great for Yamaha (Ivorite), quite good for Kawai (Neotex), only average for the three others (Acryl).
Silent system: Only testable for Yamaha and Kawai. Kawai was good, Yamaha was very good.

During my testing and trying process, another instrument also became an option: The Yamaha N3 AvantGrand, which has a very nice action. But I would only have bought it if no acoustic instrument had been to my liking.

So, I finally narrowed my choice down to three options:
Yamaha C2
Kawai GE30
Yamaha N3

In my hometown, not one piano dealer carries Kawai pianos. One dealer who carries Yamaha, Bechstein and Hoffmann, said: Kawai ist not good. Considering I liked the Kawai pianos better than the Hoffmanns, I thought this to be a bit unfair.
I found a dealer about 300 km from my hometown where I could compare the Yamaha C2 and the Kawai GE30. And the Yamaha C2 won.

About three months later, on my birthday (June 21st), it was delivered. There were little problems with the silent system at first; but the piano dealer fixed it as soon as possible (which was 4 days after the delivery), and it has been working fine since then.

Here's a link to a picture of it.
EDIT: This picture also contains a poster that some people might not consider appropriate for a family oriented forum. Only click if you can handle Victoria Frances' art.
Picture with Yamaha C2 SG


Edited by patH (03/12/13 04:56 AM)
_________________________
Everything is possible, and nothing is sure.
XXXI

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#2046617 - 03/11/13 06:29 PM Re: My journey to my first grand piano: A Yamaha C2 SG [Re: patH]
Mark VC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/12
Posts: 110
Hey, looks great and congratulations. Re-post with your later impressions in a week or so - I'm particularly interested in what you think of the Silent mode after using it for a while.

Also.... that poster on the wall, cool! Who is she?

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#2046627 - 03/11/13 06:49 PM Re: My journey to my first grand piano: A Yamaha C2 SG [Re: Mark VC]
patH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 561
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: Mark VC
Hey, looks great and congratulations. Re-post with your later impressions in a week or so - I'm particularly interested in what you think of the Silent mode after using it for a while.

Also.... that poster on the wall, cool! Who is she?
It's a picture by Victoria Frances from her "Favole" series.
Victoria Frances main page

I use the silent mode when I want to play after 20:30, or when I practise a piece of music.
My opinion: The sound is good (also depends on the head phones); but the key action feels a tiny little bit different. Maybe a bit harder than without silent mode.
But it still feels better to me than the action of my old Clavinova.

One thing annoyed me a little bit about the silent system: The first weeks, when I played in non-silent mode, there were a few vibrations in it, when I hit certain keys (like E flat). It has become better with time; but it took a few weeks.

But one thing is nice about the silent system: The recording possibility. You can record MIDI tracks. However, this you can also do with a digital piano.

Bottom line: I don't know which is better: Grand piano with silent system, or grand piano and digital piano as second instrument. Both have advantages and disadvantages. But the only digital pianos I met that come close to matching a grand pianos action are the Yamaha AvantGrands.

Maybe first become a millionaire, then buy a mansion, then a really big grand piano, and a Yamaha N3, so you can play without waking up the butler, the cook or the gardener. wink
_________________________
Everything is possible, and nothing is sure.
XXXI

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#2046657 - 03/11/13 07:58 PM Re: My journey to my first grand piano: A Yamaha C2 SG [Re: patH]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8488
Loc: Georgia, USA
Nice looking piano, but the picture on the wall in the photo is on the verge of being inappropriate for a family oriented forum. It’d be nice if you could edit/crop the photo to remove the racy portrait and leave the piano.

Rick

P.S. Thanks for editing your post...


Edited by Rickster (03/12/13 07:51 AM)
Edit Reason: Additional info
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#2046658 - 03/11/13 08:00 PM Re: My journey to my first grand piano: A Yamaha C2 SG [Re: Rickster]
Scott Hamlin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 550
Originally Posted By: Rickster
Nice looking piano, but the picture on the wall in the photo is on the verge of being inappropriate for a family oriented forum. It’d be nice if you could edit/crop the photo to remove the racy photo and leave the piano.

Rick


Family-oriented????

If my wife and son show up here I'M LEAVING!!!!
This is the only place I got... and that includes
the bathroom!!!!!!!!


Edited by Plinky88 (03/11/13 08:01 PM)
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http://DulceLabs.com
Sound, Video, Design

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