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#2201742 - 12/23/13 08:07 AM Kemble Concerto vs Yamaha P116
Yelena S Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 7
Loc: Europe
Hi, I'm new on the forum which I discovered by chance. I'm a beginner piano player and about to buy my 1st upright piano. The dealer recommended me a Yamaha P116 and an Kemble Concerto (which is not so well known in my country, but has a beautiful casework in wood).

The dealer tells me the Kemble has been assembled in England with Yamaha components, but all I can see inside is "made in London". When I asked him about the serial number CONCERTO 34XXXX (last numbers hidden) he said there's no way to check on the year it was built. The sound is pretty nice and I can notice little difference when compared to the P116, but wonder whether I should go for the Yamaha P116 which is coming into the shop as new. I know about the Kemble factory closing down in 2009, but the dealer assures me the Concerto is a real Yamaha and is willing to include 'Yamaha piano' in the bill. My other question is whether the Kemble Concerto will also require extra care compared to the Yamaha (traditional finish in Black Polyester), as its casework is in natural wood. Both go for the same price. I will appreciate your help as I have to make my mind up! Thanks and merry Xmas to all. Yelena.


Edited by Yelena S (12/23/13 08:13 AM)

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#2202185 - 12/24/13 04:51 AM Re: Kemble Concerto vs Yamaha P116 [Re: Yelena S]
williambonard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/22/11
Posts: 94
Loc: Essex, UK
Hi Yelena, Merry Christmas to you! Welcome to the forum also.

Rightly so, components of the Kemble are assembled here in England (where I'm from) however I can tell you now that the pianos are not built here, nor in London. The Kembles, in fact, are built in Indonesia now, along with certain lines of Yamaha pianos.

It's a real shame you don't know the year/age of the piano because that would really help.

Yes, the Kemble factory here in England did close in 2009 but the piano, in effect is just a Yamaha since Yamaha bought out Kemble and were the ones who decided to close the British factory and outsource production to Indonesia. It's a shame really - nothing's made here in England any more!

Both sound like fantastic pianos and as most people will tell you: go with the one you like the most, based on its touch and tone. However, some may argue that newer is better (I, myself, would prefer a brand new piano over second hand in most cases, especially as you don't know the age of this Kemble). It must be said though that newer isn't always better.

I wouldn't worry about the natural wood finish too much. Just remember the basics such as keeping it out of direct sunlight and keeping it away from sources of heat such as radiators. Theses sorts of things would greatly affect and damage the finish - this goes for the polyester finish, also.

I wish you the very best of luck in your piano search - we've all been there!

If you have any further questions then please don't hesitate to ask :-)

Once again, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
_________________________
Kawai K-15 E upright piano
Yamaha Clavinova CVP-208 digital piano
Aspiring concert pianist

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#2202217 - 12/24/13 07:09 AM Re: Kemble Concerto vs Yamaha P116 [Re: williambonard]
Yelena S Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 7
Loc: Europe
Hi Williambonard, thank you so much for your answer. It does throw some light on my piano search. The dealer assures me the Concerto has been in his shop for a year, but then it would have been built in Indonesia as you say. So I think it may well be one of the last Kembles built in England around 2009 (that would explain the "made in London" display next to the serial number). Then again, I'd certainly appreciate any hints on how to check on the serial number... since this is all I could find <http://kemble-pianos.com/en/information/serials/>

The Kemble's woodcase has beautiful inlaid marquetry <http://www.yorkshirepianos.com/img/bigs/kchop4.jpg> which is no longer available if I order a new Concerto (which would come from Indonesia). The sound is a bit more mellow too. To be honest, I would rather escape from "black boxes" and a piano being built in England is a bonus in my opinion.

I agree with what you say about newer being better, but not always. I guess I'll ask the dealer to let me try the new Yamaha P116 as soon as it comes into the shop and then decide. I'm looking forward to playing my short repertoire on my new piano!

Thanks again for your help Williambonard. Merry Christmas and a Happy 2014 to you and everybody on the forum!!


Edited by Yelena S (12/24/13 12:12 PM)

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#2202693 - 12/25/13 08:33 AM Re: Kemble Concerto vs Yamaha P116 [Re: Yelena S]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1094
Hello Yelena! Merry Christmas! And Hello William and merry Christmas!

The best thing to do is to contact Yamaha UK with the serial number of the piano, and they will tell you if it's an English or Indonesian finished piano.

Natural Wood finish is easier to keep than black polyester as it shows up fewer scratches, and is much more beautiful to look at!

Even the Indonesian kembles are good, but I personally prefer the idea of an English one. Whether that is based in sentiment or there is an actual difference I do not know. Yamaha are pretty reliable across the range.

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#2204361 - 12/29/13 07:21 AM Re: Kemble Concerto vs Yamaha P116 [Re: joe80]
Yelena S Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 7
Loc: Europe
Thank you Joe, I've tried but couldn't get in touch. I got an asnwer from a local forum telling me to double check the serial number because they thought I had added an extra digit (!!)

In the meantime, the brand new Yamaha P116G arrived into the shop and I went to try them both. I finally understood what everybody refers to as a difference in sound (mellow vs brighter). I did try them both and making my mind up was a bit of a mission impossible as I kept trying them.

We noticed two scratches on the Kemble's lid and the "made in England" on the outside was half blurred (which again makes me wonder how long it's been sitting in the store on display). Still, it's a very nice piano, although I thought the Yamaha was closer in sound to the Seiler I usually play at school. I even had time to try a Yamaha baby grand and fell for it, but I guess I'll have to work real hard on my technique before I even dream of buying one.

I finally decided to go for the Yamaha P116G... unless I change my mind again, because the Kemble still lingers in my mind!!

Thanks a lot to William and Joe for your advice and everybody who read me.... and happy 2014 to all.


Edited by Yelena S (12/29/13 12:20 PM)

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#2204384 - 12/29/13 08:39 AM Re: Kemble Concerto vs Yamaha P116 [Re: Yelena S]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8422
Loc: Georgia, USA
Congratulations, Yelena!

You looked at your choices and made your decision...

Please post pictures when you get it delivered to your home/flat. smile

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

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#2204484 - 12/29/13 12:28 PM Re: Kemble Concerto vs Yamaha P116 [Re: Yelena S]
williambonard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/22/11
Posts: 94
Loc: Essex, UK
Hi Yelena,

That's such great news to hear! I'm sure you'll be very happy with the new Yamaha once it's arrived in your home.

Happy New Year to you too.

All the best.
_________________________
Kawai K-15 E upright piano
Yamaha Clavinova CVP-208 digital piano
Aspiring concert pianist

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#2204528 - 12/29/13 02:17 PM Re: Kemble Concerto vs Yamaha P116 [Re: Yelena S]
LarryShone Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 777
Loc: Darlington, UK
I would go for the Kemble even if it is just a rebadged Yam.
_________________________
If the piano is the King of instruments then I am its loyal servant.

Yamaha PSR225-I NEED A PIANO wink

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#2204538 - 12/29/13 02:32 PM Re: Kemble Concerto vs Yamaha P116 [Re: LarryShone]
Yelena S Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 7
Loc: Europe
Wow Larry... you are making it tough for me!! crazy I thought I had made my mind up.

Why do you think it's a better option? (is it a Yamaha you own by the way? smile

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#2204555 - 12/29/13 02:55 PM Re: Kemble Concerto vs Yamaha P116 [Re: Yelena S]
LarryShone Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 777
Loc: Darlington, UK
Originally Posted By: Yelena S
Wow Larry... you are making it tough for me!! crazy I thought I had made my mind up.

Why do you think it's a better option? (is it a Yamaha you own by the way? smile

No I dont have a piano at all. I would only go for the Kemble because it represents a British piano company that is no longer extant.
_________________________
If the piano is the King of instruments then I am its loyal servant.

Yamaha PSR225-I NEED A PIANO wink

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#2204609 - 12/29/13 04:49 PM Re: Kemble Concerto vs Yamaha P116 [Re: Yelena S]
ECP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 25
Yelena, Yamaha is my first choice piano, especially the U series. I enjoy selling them because they are a fantastic piano. Having said that... in my thirty five years of tuning pianos I have never come across a Kemble except seeing them on display at Harrods many years ago. Recently we got in a Kemble piano, it has "Kemble's beautiful inlaid marquetry" as you put it. This instrument plays so beautifully, it is the piano I would choose. All the best.


Edited by ECP (12/29/13 05:06 PM)
_________________________
James Nicoloro
East Cambridge Piano
Massachusetts
617-354-4061

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#2204640 - 12/29/13 05:54 PM Re: Kemble Concerto vs Yamaha P116 [Re: Yelena S]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
Hi Yelena - Welcome to Piano World!

Let me try to add something to the conversation, though a bit dated. First of all, let me state that I am unfamiliar with those model numbers or the "new" Yamaha/Kemble, as neither is sold in the U.S.

In 2008, a local piano dealer introduced the Kemble line into the mid-west. There was much hoopla and banner displaying. I was curious about the pianos and spent a good deal of time playing them.

The grands were very nice pianos, but really didn't jump out as something special. To be fair, it was in a showroom with Steingraebers, Grotrians, and Petrofs. However, the verticals were a totally different story.

The verticals were quite extraordinary! They had a beautiful, rich sound with great bass. The action could easily keep up when playing "La Campanella" (my action test) and had a bit of weight to it without any slop. I was very impressed.

It was unfortunate that they disappeared as quickly as the came.

Just my $0.03.

Enjoy your quest,
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2207032 - 01/02/14 05:14 PM Re: Kemble Concerto vs Yamaha P116 [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Yelena S Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 7
Loc: Europe
The great news is my piano is finally home and guess what.... it makes me smile everytime I play it.

I know Yamahas are a safe buy and my Kemble (yes!! I told you it was still lingering in my mind) is a piano with a soul. I hope I can play it for years to come yippie

Thanks to William, Joe, Larry, Rickster, ECP and Marty (I quite agree with what you both say, ECP and Marty!!), I do appreciate all your comments and suggestions. Here's a couple of pics I've managed to upload, isn't it a nice looking upright? laugh

Happy 2014!!!





Edited by Yelena S (01/02/14 06:55 PM)

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#2207044 - 01/02/14 05:45 PM Re: Kemble Concerto vs Yamaha P116 [Re: Yelena S]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
Hi Yelena,

It is gorgeous and the marquetry is so tasteful!

There is no doubt that you will enjoy it for many years to come.

Happy New Year!
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2207045 - 01/02/14 05:46 PM Re: Kemble Concerto vs Yamaha P116 [Re: Yelena S]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
PS - Is that oil finished rosewood?
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2207059 - 01/02/14 06:11 PM Re: Kemble Concerto vs Yamaha P116 [Re: Yelena S]
ECP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 25
It does look like rosewood, beautiful. The Kemble we have is burled walnut with the marquetry banding. It really is a piano with soul, great choice.
All the best.
_________________________
James Nicoloro
East Cambridge Piano
Massachusetts
617-354-4061

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#2207072 - 01/02/14 06:49 PM Re: Kemble Concerto vs Yamaha P116 [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Yelena S Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/08/13
Posts: 7
Loc: Europe
Thanks!

In fact, it is satin walnut. I guess it must be similar to the one James (ECP) is referring to. I'm really pleased with my new piano. It really stands out, appealing both to the eye and the soul (at least mine!) smile


Edited by Yelena S (01/02/14 07:07 PM)

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#2207396 - 01/03/14 11:54 AM Re: Kemble Concerto vs Yamaha P116 [Re: Yelena S]
williambonard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/22/11
Posts: 94
Loc: Essex, UK
Wow, what a truly stunning looking piano, Yelena! I'm very glad you went with the Kemble - it would have been my choice too.

Happy 2014 and happy playing too!
_________________________
Kawai K-15 E upright piano
Yamaha Clavinova CVP-208 digital piano
Aspiring concert pianist

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