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#2179717 - 11/09/13 06:06 PM Just compared Yamaha to Story and Clark
philipandmaribeth Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/07/13
Posts: 2
I just got back from 2 stores to compare a 5' baby grand of each brand. The S&C has a qrs disc player and the Yamaha would have a new system put in that links through an iPad and is wireless.

The S&C is sold for 6,500' the Yamaha for 8,750.

We heard them both and didn't notice much difference but we don't have trained ears. Both say there's is superior to the other. The Yamaha model is ga1e. It's 13 years old. I forgot to get the model on S&C ( emailed them for it so will add) and they say it is roughly 10 years old.

We like the upgraded auto player on the Yamaha but we're told we can upgrade the qrs too. We're trying to figure out the v
Best way to go and any suggestions will be helpful.

The guys selling S&C showed me. A book stating Yamahas last 15-25 years. We saw nothing on S&C but they said it would last much longer. The other store disagreed.

I am lost here and need advice. Thank you!!!

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#2179722 - 11/09/13 06:16 PM Re: Just compared Yamaha to Story and Clark [Re: philipandmaribeth]
Roger Ransom Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/05
Posts: 1300
Loc: SouthWest Michigan
I have a Yamaha grand piano that is 52 years old and going strong so that statement is ridiculous to say the least.

Don't know about Story and Clark but with decent care, most pianos last longer than 15 to 20 years.

In marketing that technique is called FUD. If you can't think of anything else, spread Fear Uncertainty and Doubt.

What book did he show you?

It will be recommended that you have an independent technician look at them. Good advice.
Laugh More
Yamaha G7 - Roland FP7

#2179732 - 11/09/13 06:40 PM Re: Just compared Yamaha to Story and Clark [Re: philipandmaribeth]
Rickster Online   content

Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8599
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: philipandmaribeth
The guys selling S&C showed me. A book stating Yamahas last 15-25 years. We saw nothing on S&C but they said it would last much longer. The other store disagreed.

This is very strange and something I've never heard of... Like Roger, I have a Yamaha grand from 1978 (35 years old) and it was in such good condition when I bought it about 3 years ago, I honestly thought it had been rebuilt at some point in its life. A fantastic, well known concert piano technician (Sally Phillips) told me it had not been rebuilt and was in excellent original condition.

So, who ever said Yamaha pianos only last 15-25 years, well, I'd rather not say what I really think of them... smile

Buy the piano you like the best and can afford...

Good luck!

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

#2179755 - 11/09/13 07:30 PM Re: Just compared Yamaha to Story and Clark [Re: philipandmaribeth]
Eric Gloo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1277
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
Keep in mind, whichever piano you choose, the player unit will require maintenance. Also remember that a player unit will work only as well as a piano is regulated. So, if the actual piano does not, mechanically, play as intended, the player unit won't either. Many piano technicians do not offer player unit repair/maintenance service. You'll want to ask each dealer about player unit warranties, and piano warranties. If it were me, I would be VERY careful about buying a piano from a dealer who badmouths another dealer, or leads you to believe a certain brand won't last very long. If they are deceiving you about another brand, there's no guarantee they aren't deceiving you about the actual piano you are interested in buying.
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

#2179758 - 11/09/13 07:34 PM Re: Just compared Yamaha to Story and Clark [Re: philipandmaribeth]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22267
Loc: Oakland
A 52 year old Story & Clark was not made by the same people or in the same place as a 10 year old Story & Clark. The only thing the two pianos have in common are the name. That said, it is possible that the new one is a better piano than what they were making 52 years ago.
Semipro Tech

#2179776 - 11/09/13 08:33 PM Re: Just compared Yamaha to Story and Clark [Re: philipandmaribeth]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2854
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Considering these are pianos with player systems, at these prices, they are very, very entry level. Many player systems cost more than $6,500 to install on top of the price of the piano. I don't want to be critical of your budget, but at these prices, brand has zero to do with making the correct choice. Compare the individual pianos to determine your preference and hire an independent tech to evaluate the actual condition of the ones presented to you.

Good luck in your search.
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
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#2179779 - 11/09/13 08:40 PM Re: Just compared Yamaha to Story and Clark [Re: philipandmaribeth]
WurliFan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/13
Posts: 207
Loc: Western PA
I find it sad that once Proud American names aren't made in America anymore.
That being said, Story and Clark DID make a decent Piano........but, as BDB stated, that was a different time, and it was the Original company.
It's wrong of the competition to knock on each other. Don't listen to them. Choose which piano you think will suit your family best, and which fits your economic needs!
(PS: It's also best to not mention other Pianos to other Dealers. This can cause a hissy fight that will confuse the heck out of you. )
Best Wishes! smile
1952 Wurlitzer 2150 Spinet...'The boogie-nator' laugh
I'm OCD with pianos, spinets in particular.
Famous Studios That Have Used Spinets in the 50s, just for fun!
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Specialty Records
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Imperial Records
Chess Records
Still counting.....

#2179785 - 11/09/13 09:03 PM Re: Just compared Yamaha to Story and Clark [Re: philipandmaribeth]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1262
Loc: California, USA
I think the quality control on either of these pianos could be iffy. The Yamaha ga1e was, I think, assembled in Indonesia. Some difficulties with tuning stability have been reported on this forum.
So, as others have mentioned, I suggest hiring an independent tech to go with you to each piano and then follow his advice.
Auto player systems are so far from what I want that I know very little about them.
Pianist and Piano Teacher

#2179813 - 11/09/13 09:43 PM Re: Just compared Yamaha to Story and Clark [Re: philipandmaribeth]
Caowner2013 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/13
Posts: 79
As a parent who had just gone through this similar process, I would respectfully but strongly propose that the whole process be slowed down significantly because of the following:

1. Cannot hear differences.
2. The purpose of the purchase is unknown.
3. Daughter's level of play is unknown.
4. Intense focus on only two pianos based only on price and availability of "player" system.

I would respectfully suggest to first be very clear about the purpose of this purchase.
1. Is it for your daughter, an accomplished pianist, to play for fun?
2. Is it for your daughter, a beginning piano student, to practice her lessons?
3. Is player more important than a piano that can help your daughter rapidly improve her piano skills?

For #1 above, your daughter will need to decide which grand is best for her. She will have touch and tone preferences that may or may not be served by the two choices.

For #2, I respectfully propose the following for your considerations:
1. A good sounding piano excite the student as well as the family.
2. A piano with good action helps a student improve continuously and motivates that student to practice.
3. A piano with good tones and touch improves finger strength and control.
4. A piano with good tones develops the "ear" of a student (and family) and this is critical for learning to express various pieces of music.
5. A piano with poor actions and poor tones limits the ability of a student to progress swiftly.
6. Lack of progress can dampen enthusiasm and discourage a student.

I saw all of the above in my own children.

As Jolly and David Horner posted earlier:

1. There may be very good grand and upright for rent in your area. It is worth checking that out.
2. Rental will allow practice to commence while affording everyone time to develop an ear and appreciation for a piano, the piano music and the skills needed to be a pianist.
3. There are also excellent uprights within your price range. Yamaha makes good ones, and so does Charles Walter. An upright can do a lot for a beginning student.

THis is also from our own experience.

For #3,

1. A decent consumer-grade microphone can be had for around $400.
2. It records directly to a computer; no extra gear necessary.
3. THe recording can then be loaded onto Mobile devices or burned onto CDs.
4. The music is then preserved practically for as long as the media and the CD format survive.
5. The recording can be played anywhere, by anyone, from any CD-capable system.
6. We use such a set-up to help analyze my children's practice and for me to play their better pieces in the car and on home stereo.

I can understand why a "player" system is attractive but why would it become a critical need that limits the choices to just two specific pianos? It is baffling to see a piano-purchase be limited by the "player"? Is the "player" more important than the piano?

Lastly, there is a world of wonderful pianos out there at all price ranges, in all sizes, that can really excite your daughter (and you too) and plant a seed for future upgrades.

I would respectfully and strongly suggest that your daughter plays as many brands, sizes and models as possible, regardless of prices. This will help TRAIN everyone's ears and provide an overall understanding of your own decision.

Whatever you decide, I hope it all works out! Good luck!

Edited by Caowner2013 (11/09/13 09:52 PM)

#2179821 - 11/09/13 09:51 PM Re: Just compared Yamaha to Story and Clark [Re: philipandmaribeth]
Caowner2013 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/13
Posts: 79
Originally Posted By: philipandmaribeth

...The S&C is sold for 6,500' the Yamaha for 8,750….

At $8750, one can buy a brand new Charles Walter upright from a willing dealer. This is an excellent American-built upright that sounds glorious and is excellent at training students' finger capabilities.

My children started with this after moving off our old "dying" hand-me-down upright.

#2179841 - 11/09/13 10:17 PM Re: Just compared Yamaha to Story and Clark [Re: philipandmaribeth]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2713
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
I didn't see anything the OP said regarding a "daughter" using the piano.

My comment is regarding player pianos. Nearly every one who purchases one, finds that the player will not play the piano as softly as they would like it to. Adjusting this could get expensive depending on the nature of the piano and the quality of the player and it's installation.

Have an independent technician who has a good understanding of how electronic players systems operate and how to tone regulate pianos to evaluate any prospective piano.
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

#2179861 - 11/09/13 11:02 PM Re: Just compared Yamaha to Story and Clark [Re: Eric Gloo]
michaelha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 1080
Originally Posted By: Eric Gloo
I would be VERY careful about buying a piano from a dealer who badmouths another dealer, or leads you to believe a certain brand won't last very long.

In my area, that eliminates about 3/4 of the dealers.

The best guide to give you overall quality/performance of piano brands/models is this:

That basically throws most of the pianos into a few tiers. Don't just look at the brand though, look at the model series since many makers make different series' at different quality/price points.

I think both the S&C and the Yamaha GA are in the same category, and if you can't tell the difference or find someone that can convince you to spend $2000 more, get the cheaper one.

I've noticed that disklaviers on 15+ year old Yamaha's are priced the same as ones without. It's like a computer, and a 15 y.o computer is pretty much worth nothing. I'd take your time, learn more, and scan craigslist regularly. I wouldn't buy a used piano from the dealer. I'd rather buy it from the guy who sold it to the dealer and for that price. Perhaps put a "Want to buy" ad on Craigslist, you might find someone who's thinking of selling to a dealer and searching CL to research pricing.

#2179867 - 11/09/13 11:18 PM Re: Just compared Yamaha to Story and Clark [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Voltara Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/09
Posts: 132
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
I didn't see anything the OP said regarding a "daughter" using the piano.

The OP mentioned it in another thread from yesterday:


Their daughter is a few years away from college, so the player system is their idea for how they might make use of the piano after she moves away.

I can think of at least one other thing to do with a grand piano in the home... (and who knows, they might actually like it!)

#2179958 - 11/10/13 08:00 AM Re: Just compared Yamaha to Story and Clark [Re: philipandmaribeth]
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14056
Loc: Louisiana
IIRC, it's Indonesian Yamaha vs. Dongbei. The asking prices for the pianos are about what those pianos, without player, sold for brand new.

If this is your final choice, I think it's a pick 'em, based solely on condition.

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