So I am planning on upgrading from my Australian built, and completely restored 48" Wertheim upright (when I say completely restored, I mean 14 years ago), so I am shopping for a baby grand, and along my search I played a few 52" uprights and now they are on my short list, which I have narrowed down to a Yamaha U3, Kawai US50 and a Toyama Baby grand.
(Yes, I am on a tight budget!
The Toyama had a very nice action and the sound was actually quite impressive for a 5 foot grand- Better than the Yamaha and Kawai 'equivalents' (I also tried the Kawai GM10- the action was nice, but the sound was quite yuck and muddy, and every one I tried had a strange feeling pedal action. And after accompanying everyday all day for a week for a big singing competition on a Yamaha GB1K, I was sworn off them!
) I felt that the action of the Toyama was a little on the firmer side (which is what I prefer!) and like I said, the sound was quite good too! However, there is not much on the internet about Toyama so I am a little cautious in purchasing a piano that has not built a name for itself yet!
I also tried a few Yamaha U3s (I know some people say there is nothing wrong with Grey Market pianos, but I am trying to avoid them- better to be safe than sorry?) I really liked the action, as they were somewhat firm (Were not overly firm but had some resistance to them!) but the sound was not as good as I have read it to be... But that might also be due to the show room! I felt the sound of the piano I tried after to be a lot more full and round, and powerful, and that piano was the Kawai US50!
The Kawai has an awesome sound, however, the action was a little too light for my liking- it was extremely responsive, and it felt nice to play, its just a little too light for my liking... However I love the design so much more than the Yamaha!
Which is why I have come here! I am torn between the 3 and can't decide! I have read many threads on here and most people say "Go with the one you like the most" but I would like to get some other thoughts, and maybe your experiences too, and hopefully they will try and help me make my decision!
Also, I tried some Alex Steinbach baby grands (built by Samick) and I found the actions on them to be rather choppy and clunky! Anyone else feel this?