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#937118 - 09/05/08 05:41 AM Yamaha U1 vs U3 vs Schimmel C116 (with silent system)
oibinkun Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/26/08
Posts: 7
Loc: Norway
It's the perennial question: Which piano should I buy? \:\)

My wife and I have been looking for a piano for some time now, and three alternatives kind of stand out:

A brand new Yamaha U1 w/ silent,
a used Yamaha U3 (3,5m serial, 1982, newly serviced, excellent condition, 5 yrs. warranty),
a new Schimmel C116 w/silent

We have both been playing the piano for most of our childhood, although I am largely self-taught, playing jazz/gospel/blues and progressive rock (on a 1980-82 Petrof), while my wife is classically trained (on a vintage Yamaha grand).
Neither of us have been playing much for the past 7-8 years, but we have both been longing for a piano. Now we finally have the space and the money to buy one. We also have the added incentive of wanting to give our now 16 mths. old daughter the opportunity to learn to love the piano the way we did. In the end, of course, it doesn't matter whether she actually develops an interest in the instrument or not (since my wife and I will continue to enjoy the instrument until our fingers wither from old age), but we feel that we would be taking something away from her if we didn't at least give her the opportunity.
This means that we're looking for an instrument that is inspiring, reliable, and of a high enough quality to last a long time, should she decide to pursue the piano.

This is the background (sorry if it is a little long, but I think that, in order to get the best advice, I should include our motives for purchasing a piano). The question is, of course, what is the best alternative? :-)

The new U1 with silent system and the used U3 with an aftermarket silent system (I'm looking into the MIDI9-system coupled to a PC running something like Ivory) are about the same, price-wise, with the Schimmel (also with silent) being roughly 15% more expensive.

We have played them all, and although they certainly sound different, neither seemed inherently "better" than the other… just different (The Schimmel impressed me the first time I played it, but for some reason less so when I tried it again one week later… )

We will try them all again this weekend, but any advice, thoughts or insights are most welcome!

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#937119 - 09/05/08 07:06 AM Re: Yamaha U1 vs U3 vs Schimmel C116 (with silent system)
currawong Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 6002
Loc: Down Under
You'd probably do better to post this in the Piano Forum - not only because that's where the experts hang out, but also because it gets a lot more traffic than this teachers' forum. Good luck with your decision \:\)
Du holde Kunst...

#937120 - 09/05/08 07:12 AM Re: Yamaha U1 vs U3 vs Schimmel C116 (with silent system)
oibinkun Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/26/08
Posts: 7
Loc: Norway
Oops, sorry, I was reading a post in the teachers' forum, and forgot to switch forums before posting! Will move immediately!

#937121 - 09/05/08 07:15 AM Re: Yamaha U1 vs U3 vs Schimmel C116 (with silent system)
oibinkun Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/26/08
Posts: 7
Loc: Norway
Oh, and moderators: Please feel free to remove this post! :-)

#937122 - 09/06/08 04:04 PM Re: Yamaha U1 vs U3 vs Schimmel C116 (with silent system)
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
In silent mode these silent acoustic pianos
operate essentially as a digital piano,
so the argument can be made that you
could get a digital piano for less than
half the price of one of these and have
the same thing. This is especially true
if you're going to only use them in silent
mode. The acoustic part then never gets
used, and so what's the point of having it?
Moreover, in silent mode you can only
play with headphones, while a digital piano
can be played with or without headphones.

I played on acoustic pianos only as a child
taking lessons, but now I play only
digitals and I don't miss acoustic
pianos and all the tuning, repair, moving, and
noise problems associated with them.
My current digital cost $900, and it plays
grand piano-like, and I use it to work
on the most difficult classical repertoire,
and it serves well for that purpose.

#937123 - 09/06/08 04:20 PM Re: Yamaha U1 vs U3 vs Schimmel C116 (with silent system)
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
Purists aren't going to like this, but
I personally think that acoustic pianos are
all but obsolescent today. The technology
is almost to the point where the
entire sound spectrum of a concert grand
can be duplicated by a computer--like
computers can now beat any human chess
player. Just 30 yrs. ago, if you wanted
to use a computer you had to go downtown
to a timeshare company and access a
mainframe from a computer terminal, but now every
home can have a pc with the kind of computing
power that was once reserved for research
labs. Similarly, today every home can
have an inexpensive digital piano with
grand piano-like performance. We no
longer use horse and buggies, or manual
typewriters, or film cameras, or
mimeograph machines, or harpsichords,
and the acoustic piano is rapidly going the
way of those devices.

#937124 - 09/07/08 06:02 AM Re: Yamaha U1 vs U3 vs Schimmel C116 (with silent system)
mcpepe Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 19
Loc: Spain
I think that to a beginner/intermediate piano player the electric is the best choice, BUT to an intermediate/advanced player an acoustic piano is a must.


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