Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198?

Posted by: sgao

Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 02/22/12 08:55 PM

I've spent a few weeks visiting dealers, and reading posts on this forum. The reading part is quite enlightening, but it has unfortunately "complicated" the process (if you know what I mean).

I want a good (but not fancy) new grand around 6' for my kids (grades 8 and 4). It has now come down to RX2 vs. YP185. From earlier posts, I understand that (most) people think that these are both good pianos, and that I should choose the one I like, and I would be happy with either.

But I still hope to get some more advice to base my "like" on. I don't play piano, and am in no way musical, so it's not easy for me to feel the touch, or tell the subtle difference in the sound. I also believe that there are other factors that could affect how satisfied one with a piano. So here's my appeal:

- Are there factual differences between these 2 models? I know about the M3 action on the RX2, and the 5 year more warranty on the YC. Are there others that you are aware of? Service issues? Resale value?
- Are there subjective/sound/touch differences that would swing you toward/away from one of them? Would love to hear some details here, so that I can see if it would apply to my situation and my kids. (And they are not mature enough to be able to help yet.)
- According to the Piano Buyer, there is almost a $7K difference in the SMP. But here in Toronto, Canada, both are priced at around $25K. I understand that the SMP is more a guidance than absolute, but should I expect to be able to knock a few more Ks off the YC? (I haven't started the negotiation process.) If anyone purchased either of these recently (especially in Canada), would you be willing to shed some lights on what price I should expect realistically?

I would really appreciate your help.
Posted by: Rafterman

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 02/23/12 02:41 AM

Well to start with...That Kawai RX-2BLK has a 10 year transferable warranty if you decide to sell it.I was told by a reputable dealer tha the RX-2 BLK is the best selling Grand worldwide outside of one higher end manufacture. (Don't know this for certain). If you live in or outside a major metropolitan area those prices are meaningless as far as SMP goes. Trust me on that one.

What is your attraction to the Young Chang? Is it the price point or a tonality specification? I personally love the Kawai Rx-2 and may purchase one in a year.
Posted by: sgao

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 02/23/12 09:29 AM

Rafterman, thanks for your reply.

About the warranty, I just did another search and realized that YC's is 12 year transferable, as opposed to 15 as I originally thought. I was also told by the dealer that RX-2 is the best selling grand. I haven't been able to verify that. I think Toronto should qualify as "a major metropolitan area" by most standards. :-) (English not being my first language), which one did you mean to be "meaningless", the ticket prices, or the SMP? And would there be reasons for the SMP to mean differently in Canada?

About YC, price is one factor. It sounded pretty good when my kids played it. (But I wouldn't trust myself to judge if the sound is better/worse than some other models.) I've also read many posts on this forum (by searching Young Chang, and YP185) and it seems that many people think YC (especially the YP/JP series) is as good as the Japanese counterparts. Some (not all) even believe that YP/JP has surpassed Yamaha C and Kawai RX. To me, "as good" is good enough. :-)

But that doesn't mean I already prefer the YC. Kawai's reputation and history, and the "best selling" aspect (if true), are still very compelling. This is why I'm seeking advice here.

Thanks again!
Posted by: Poli

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 02/23/12 11:12 AM

I must admit that I am not an amateur pianist and my experience is limited, but I have recently purchased a new (as in never used) 2002 JP208. I have done my research as you did and played lots of pianos…even those that I will never be able to afford. The Yamaha C7 I tried was phenomenal and I liked both the RX2 and RX3 (very nice action and feel), but what it came down to in the end was price. The way I see it pianos are like wine. A very good bottle will cost you between $20 and $30, but if you really want an amazing wine you will end up spending way over $100. Thing is…is that extra flavor and taste really worth the additional $70? If you are really into wines and have the money to buy it sure. But if you are not a beginner/intermediate piano player probably a used YP185 is probably good enough. I loved the new C7 I played but at 37K (SMP) it did not “taste” as good as the used JP208 I got for 6.6K (delivered).

BTW, if it is a recent YP-185 (>2005) it is made by Samik and not Young Chang.

My two cents…
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 02/23/12 11:38 AM

Originally Posted By: Poli
I must admit that I am not an amateur pianist and my experience is limited, but I have recently purchased a new (as in never used) 2002 JP208. I have done my research as you did and played lots of pianos…even those that I will never be able to afford. The Yamaha C7 I tried was phenomenal and I liked both the RX2 and RX3 (very nice action and feel), but what it came down to in the end was price. The way I see it pianos are like wine. A very good bottle will cost you between $20 and $30, but if you really want an amazing wine you will end up spending way over $100. Thing is…is that extra flavor and taste really worth the additional $70? If you are really into wines and have the money to buy it sure. But if you are not a beginner/intermediate piano player probably a used YP185 is probably good enough. I loved the new C7 I played but at 37K (SMP) it did not “taste” as good as the used JP208 I got for 6.6K (delivered).

BTW, if it is a recent YP-185 (>2005) it is made by Samik and not Young Chang.

My two cents…

Good analogy about the wine and the piano in terms of taste and cost. However, I rarely ever drink wine, so I wouldn’t know a fine wine from a $5 wine-o variety. laugh

Rick
Posted by: sgao

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 02/23/12 01:04 PM

Thanks Poli (and Rick for agreeing)!

I absolutely agree with your Wine analogy (which I think also applies to many other situations). I was going to settle for Yamaha GC1/GC2 at the beginning. I think that could be enough for my kids (I don't see them growing into professional piano players). This forum partly changed that view. RX2/YP185 don't seem to be "a lot" more expensive, but should offer a much better sound, to develop their "musical" skills (not just piano playing).

I think the JP name is owned by Samik, and YPs are made by YC. e.g.
http://www.youngchang.com/index.php/upright-pianos/66-yp185

I didn't want to go the "used" route. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but I don't trust that I possess the patience and skill to get a good piano/deal buying used. (A quick craiglist search in the Toronto area didn't reveal a lot of interesting items either.)

Now back to my questions... It sounds like you feel that the RX2 could be better than YP185, but not certain if the difference justifies the ~7K price difference. Fair paraphrase?

Not known as a good negotiator, I'm not confident that I can negotiate a 6/7K difference out of the 2 "similarly priced" items.
Posted by: Poli

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 02/23/12 01:43 PM

Let me correct what I have said before…I AM an amateur pianist. That said, I think that in my search I had the advantage of living in a major city (Los Angeles) where there are lots of choices when it comes to used musical instruments. I was not known to be a good negotiator until I got screwed badly (excuse my French) a few times…different story for a different forum. Buying a used piano can be a very frustration experience, but also a very rewarding one if you do your home-works, look hard enough, have patience…and are a bit lucky. Before finalizing my deal I hired a well known piano technician that did a wonderful job inspecting the instrument ($75 well spent). I would definitively recommend going for a used instrument but opinions, needs and budget vary widely from person to person. As for the JP-208 vs RX-3 comparison…I slightly preferred the RX-3 (slightly warmer tone, slightly smoother action…slightly better piano in my view) but, again, that slight difference would have cost me 8+K more.

Two more cents…
Posted by: sgao

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 02/23/12 08:05 PM

Another question if I may... If I buy a new piano, typically do I get a chance to look at/try it before it's delivered, or would it go straight from the warehouse to my house, assuming the prep work is done at the warehouse?

Would still love to see advices on my other inquiries.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 02/23/12 11:50 PM

Originally Posted By: sgao
Another question if I may... If I buy a new piano, typically do I get a chance to look at/try it before it's delivered, or would it go straight from the warehouse to my house, assuming the prep work is done at the warehouse?

Would still love to see advices on my other inquiries.

I think this varies from dealer to dealer; however, I'd certainly want to play the exact piano that gets delivered to my home... new or used.

Since you are writing the check, I think you have some leverage here... reserve the right to see it and play it before the deal is closed.

Good luck

Rick
Posted by: gnuboi

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 02/24/12 02:06 AM

Kawai is popular and resale would favor it definitely. However, the Young Chang has a length advantage... it is more or less the size of the RX-3. If it is anything like the RX-3, then you should be able to hear the clearer bass vs. the RX-2. If you don't play much yourself, bring a friend or the piano teacher to give you feedback on the action and tone.

Pricing in Canada is just crazy compared to the USA, so without knowing what the typically selling price is, it's hard to tell you which one is the better value. If they are priced the same, I might lean toward the RX-2. If the larger YP-185 can be yours for several thousands less, then it suddenly becomes incredibly compelling. If there happens to be an even larger YP-208 or YP-228 similar to the Canadian price of the RX-2, then oh yea I don't even need to hear it to know the YP-228 must be killer awesome vs. the RX-2.

But I do like the Kawai tone a lot. YC Prambergers are on the slightly bright side but still pretty enjoyable, to me.

Always buy the piano you have tried in the store before you buy. Don't get one shipped to you straight from the factory. Buy the one that has first gone into the sales floor, tuned a few times, inspected by the dealer, prepped by the dealer (smoothing out any uneven voicing or regulation issues); so that it presents its best musical potential to shoppers.
Posted by: gnuboi

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 02/24/12 02:08 AM

Oh it's pretty easy to tell a $5 bottle from a $10 bottle. And once you start you don't go back to beer wink
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 02/24/12 09:26 AM

Originally Posted By: gnuboi
Oh it's pretty easy to tell a $5 bottle from a $10 bottle. And once you start you don't go back to beer wink

My 76 year old mom has a saying, (one I've hear many times) "you can't drink Champagne on beer money". She has another one similar, “don’t feed me cornbread and call it biscuit”; Another one… "if you make your bed hard, you’re the one who has to sleep in it". I love my mom! laugh

Rick
Posted by: Poli

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 02/24/12 12:07 PM

>Oh it's pretty easy to tell a $5 bottle from a $10 bottle.

True, but it is a lot more difficult to distinguish between a $30 and a $50 bottle...and sometimes the $30 one tastes better wink That said, the better wine I have ever had was a $500 bottle of "Brunello di Montalcino"...about $10 a sip..lol It is good to have rich friends...ahah
Posted by: Glenn Treibitz

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 02/25/12 07:38 PM

These are both very good pianos. There is a size difference and you should really compare the 6'1" Young Chang to the 6'1" RX3, not the 5'10" RX2. Personally while I find the RX2 to be "nice" and do everything one would ask in a competent way, IMHO the Young Chang YP offers a more inspirational playing experience with a tone containing more Steinwayesque harmonics and color compared to the more sterile tone of the Kawai.
Posted by: sgao

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 03/01/12 12:10 PM

This is not getting easier...

Fearing that I would not get a good deal on the YC from the more conveniently located dealer, I visited another YC dealer. It was interesting to see that most new pianos there are priced exactly at the SMP.

The particular YC I was looking for (YP185) was unfortunately located in a backroom with concrete floor and surrounded by busy furnitures. I wasn't impressed by its sound (with my limited ability to judge), but I don't know how much of that has to do with the environment. And this is the only new piano that was priced significantly lower than the SMP. > 20% lower. I asked why, and the dealer's answer was, roughly, "I can price it at whatever I want."

I should have tried harder to get a clearer answer, but most of my attention was drawn to some other pianos, Hailun 178/198. (And an M&H AA, which sounded supreme, but I'll stop here and leave it as "not relevant to my goal".)

I had seen a few good comments about Hailun before my dealer visits. I didn't want to consider it seriously, because of the combination of "China" + "relatively new brand". This changed when I saw them and heard them played. I can't say I "wow'ed" or fell in love with them immediately, but they did sound very good, especially considering their prices. 178 (same size as RX2, but many Ks cheaper) sounded quite acceptable for my purposes, and 198 would be a bonus just in case one of my kids grow to be a lot more musical than I am.

When I got back from the dealer, I sat down, opened the PW site, and typed "Hailun" in the search box. There were quite a few threads on Hailun in the past 4/5 years. Most of them seem to be very positive about Hailun, and they showed that Hailun grands have kept improving. Of course, some of the "good words" were questioned, but I've yet to find one comment that would cause me to want to stay away from Hailun.

The dealer has 178 in stock (the new ones with the slow-closing feature on the lid). He only had one 198, which is the one in the showroom. This one doesn't have that new feature, so probably not the latest one could get. He indicated that the 198 is fairly new, because he only started selling new Hailuns about 8 months ago. Its serial#, IIRC, is "05730", in case someone can help verify how "old" it is. (Hm... this doesn't look right. I recall seeing "33xxx" for the 198s in posts from 2009. I may call him and ask.)

I'm *currently* leaning toward the 198. Still cheaper than RX2 but 20CMs longer. But I'm not sure if I should get the one he has, or wait for a new one. Any thoughts on this? (I did hear that having the piano tuned and played a little makes it better than a completely new one.)

One thing I noticed was that it takes less effort to play keys on the Hailuns. YC keys felt "tighter" (not sure if that's the right word to describe it), and RX-2 was even tighter, and requires more effort to play. When my kids played on the RX, sometimes they'd miss a note. I can see this both ways. Lighter keys make it easier to play and may encourage the kids more; but heavier keys will exercise their fingers more. Which is true? And can this be adjusted, say to make the Hailun keys a little tighter?

Thanks again for those who offered useful inputs to my questions. PW is indeed a great resource for us inexperienced piano buyers!
Posted by: terminaldegree

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 03/01/12 01:13 PM

Hi sgao,

You don't mention that you played the Hailun 198 in your post, just the 178. If that were the case, I'd go back and spend an appreciable amount of "seat time" with it, as it's been noted here that the designs for the various Hailun grand models isn't exactly unified tonally from one to the next.

Regarding newness, I wouldn't get too hung up on having to have one built in 2012... the floor models that get to acclimate and be played, tuned, and adjusted for a year or so are generally more stable and have fewer "teething" issues than one that just got here. Auditioning two of the same side by side would be a great option, but isn't feasible at every store. The grand lid closing feature would not be a serious consideration unless you think it would be opened and closed a lot by someone who's not strong enough to do it.

The action feel is important - keep in mind that brighter pianos tend to feel lighter (it's usually psychological). A piano whose action is too light can actually be difficult to control or make playing more "normally" weighted pianos difficult. Just try a variety of brands to see how this compares.

If you liked the YC at your local dealer, don't be afraid to go back and let them know what you found (price-wise) at the other dealer. See if they can make a better deal, because you sound like you'd prefer to work with someone local.
Posted by: gsindela

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 03/01/12 01:47 PM

sgao,

I am new to the world of pianos, but I dove in head first in the deep end having done extensive research into the buying process. My two cents...

If resale is a consideration, then I think the Kawai would be a much better option than the Young Chang. The Kawai brand is simply many degrees stronger than the YC which will be reflected in the marketplace.

I didn't read this entire thread word for word, but it seems to me that you should be looking at Yamaha's as well. Their resale value is remarkable. Comparable to Steinway in my experience.

A word about the warranty periods: 10 year vs. 12 year is really irrelevant. If there is anything materially wrong with the instrument, it is highly likely that it will appear in the first few years.

I'm not sure if this interests you, but in that price range, you can get yourself one heck of a nice used Steinway or Mason and Hamlin, which over the long haul may hold its value better than any of the Asian pianos. Assuming you have it inspected by a reputable technician, the warranty issue is really irrelevant in this scenario.

Whatever the outcome, I wish you luck!
Posted by: sgao

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 03/01/12 03:25 PM

I've called the dealer and confirmed that my memory about the serial# was correct. The dealer also reassured that the piano was received late last year and was made sometime in 2011.

Originally Posted By: terminaldegree
You don't mention that you played the Hailun 198 in your post, just the 178.

I did play (well, hear) both 178 and 198, and the 198 did sound better, which is why I lean toward it.

Originally Posted By: terminaldegree
Regarding newness, I wouldn't get too hung up on having to have one built in 2012... the floor models that get to acclimate and be played, tuned, and adjusted for a year or so are generally more stable and have fewer "teething" issues than one that just got here... The grand lid closing feature would not be a serious consideration ...

Agree on both points. I just wanted to make sure that the floor model wasn't a lot older than 0.5 years. The serial# isn't very helpful with the confusion.

Originally Posted By: terminaldegree
A piano whose action is too light can actually be difficult to control or make playing more "normally" weighted pianos difficult.

Exactly my concern. My current piano feels lighter than my son's teacher's Kawai and sometimes he misses notes that he can normally handle at home. But the same hasn't happened (too often) when he played on other pianos.

Do you happen to know if this is something that can be adjusted?

Originally Posted By: terminaldegree
If you liked the YC at your local dealer, don't be afraid to go back and let them know what you found (price-wise) at the other dealer. See if they can make a better deal, because you sound like you'd prefer to work with someone local.

I may do just that when/if my Hailun enthusiasm calms down. :-) And it's not really local vs. remote. More like 10 vs. 30 mins' drive.

(I'm running out of time responding to gsindela. No school bus today, so I have to drive for the next 2 hours, gathering kids all around the world...)
Posted by: sgao

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 03/01/12 05:28 PM

(OT: I don't get how they determine when to cancel school buses. The little snow in the morning didn't seem to warrant the cancellation, which required so many parents to adjust their schedules to accommodate... Most roads are completely dry now.)

Originally Posted By: gsindela
If resale is a consideration, then I think the Kawai would be a much better option than the Young Chang. The Kawai brand is simply many degrees stronger than the YC which will be reflected in the marketplace.

Resale value is a factor, but probably not very high on the priority list. My hope is that at least one of the kids will continue to play for some years. Even if they all quit, maybe someday I'll learn to play. Would be healthier, both physically and mentally, than "surfing"... the internet, that is. :-)

Originally Posted By: gsindela
I didn't read this entire thread word for word, but it seems to me that you should be looking at Yamaha's as well.

Yamaha is where I started. It seems to be the most *popular* brand. A used GA1E, then GB1, GC1/2, and C2. While I didn't find much that I didn't like about C2, RX2 seems to be a better piano overall. (A "C2 RX2" search here also suggests that more favor RX2 than C2.)
Posted by: Rotom

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 03/02/12 07:54 AM

Originally Posted By: sgao
One thing I noticed was that it takes less effort to play keys on the Hailuns. YC keys felt "tighter" (not sure if that's the right word to describe it), and RX-2 was even tighter, and requires more effort to play. When my kids played on the RX, sometimes they'd miss a note. I can see this both ways. Lighter keys make it easier to play and may encourage the kids more; but heavier keys will exercise their fingers more. Which is true? And can this be adjusted, say to make the Hailun keys a little tighter?

Maybe the word you are looking for is "firmer"?
Posted by: mikeheel

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 03/02/12 11:29 AM

I may get flamed for this, but for the price (price being the important point here), I did not like the RX2, particularly the bass. The action, however, is very, very good.

Based on the pianos you're looking at, I'd suggest you look at the 6'2" models by Brodmann and Ritmuller, if you can find them in your local area. Other than that, of the pianos you listed, I would probably lean toward the larger Young Chang. But I'd prefer either Brodmann or Rit over any of them.

In any event, the point is to buy something YOU are happy with, so take my opinion as simply that - an individual opinion.

Good luck,
Mike
Posted by: Chopinlover49

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/04/12 02:27 PM

I am a little confused by the Young Chang models and there is not much information available or good You
Tube videos to help with a buying decision but here is what I have been offered recently: A dealer has an RX-2 BLAK from Kawai on order. He will sell it to me for $20,000 after he preps it. Or, he has a 2012 Albert Weber AW76RSES in satin ebony which he will sell for $21,000! Albert Weber is Young Chang's premium line according to their website and they are advertising that several prominant venues in New York City have installed these premium pianos recently. The Alber Weber is 7'6" while the Kawai RX-2 BLAK is only 5'10". I am impressed with the Kawai's reputation, have watched the website videos, etc. and believe it is one of the best-selling pianos, but this Albert Weber is a real beast! I am just trying to get more information about Young Chang, Albert Weber, and so on. Will it hold up? Is anyone able to give personal experiences with these pianos? Are they about the same as the Prambergers made by YC in the past before Samick got the rights to the name? I am really leaning toward the bigger piano, but I want to wait to play the RX-2 when it comes in. I have played a lot of high-end pianos and even among the C.Bechsteins, the Bosies, the Schimmels, etc, I favored the bigger pianos, but the price!!! I am not trying to hijack the OP but since the Young Chang was in consideration, I thought I would add my insight.
Posted by: sgao

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/04/12 03:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Chopinlover49
I am not trying to hijack the OP...

No worries. :-)

Originally Posted By: Chopinlover49
Or, he has a 2012 Albert Weber AW76RSES in satin ebony which he will sell for $21,000!

Wish I lived close-by and had the room to fit it. That sounds like a great deal. Its (new) SMP is $48,144.

What I heard was that the current YP series (and AW) share the same design as the old Prambergers, but YP will soon be merged with AW. See http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post1868863
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/04/12 03:20 PM

Quote:
I'm *currently* leaning toward the 198. Still cheaper than RX2 but 20CMs longer.


Thinking that this is no longer a contest.

Norbert
Posted by: Kurtmen

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/04/12 06:58 PM

SGAO,
The opinions of all of us in terms of tone are personal. I don't think we can help you in that sense.

The following are undeniable facts that may help you with your decision.

The Kawai RX series is a line of pianos that has been available for about 15 years. The curve of developing of this line has been consistent and very positive.
This is something that Young Chang simply doesn't offer because of all the changes with the brand ocurred over the recent years as they bounced from one ownership to other.
I don't mean to say that the Young Chang is a very generic instrument but doesn't come close to a well developed product such as the RX series.

The action of the Kawai is unquestionable.
The re-sale value of the Kawai is also higher hands-down.

These are facts.
Best Regards,


Posted by: Norbert

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/04/12 07:32 PM

Quote:
don't mean to say that the Young Chang is a very generic instrument but doesn't come close to a well developed product such as the RX series.


Would be nice to substantiate this.
Care to elaborate?

In this case Dell can do no better that designing "very generic" piano sound.

Not being dealer for either make, I have played these pianos few times before myself.

Respectfully beg to differ.

Norbert
Posted by: Sparky McBiff

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/04/12 09:51 PM

Originally Posted By: sgao
I've called the dealer and confirmed that my memory about the serial# was correct. The dealer also reassured that the piano was received late last year and was made sometime in 2011.


My Hailun 198 is #36660 and I bought it in May 2010 (in Toronto).

I was originally planning on getting the 1789 buyt was offered what I thought was a great price on the 198 and I'm very glad that I chose it over the 178.

And I'd also check out the Brodmann if you can since they are very impressive indeed.

The reason why I went with Hailun was because the quality and sound really impressed me and the price difference compared to a Kawai or Yamaha (which I'm not a fan of anyways) meant that I could get a significantly larger piano for the same price.
Posted by: sgao

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/04/12 10:47 PM

Kurtmen, thanks for the input. I do think that RX2 is a great instrument, and will be a "safe" purchase. At the same time, it's hard to ignore candidates like YP185/HG198, which are both cheaper and bigger, and, very importantly, have received good reviews from many folks here. Not an easy decision.

Sparky, yeah, that "05730" number is very puzzling. I'd probably ask for a new one if I do decide to buy Hailun.
Posted by: Sparky McBiff

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/05/12 10:41 AM

Originally Posted By: sgao


Sparky, yeah, that "05730" number is very puzzling. I'd probably ask for a new one if I do decide to buy Hailun.


Yea I would because apparently Hailun is constantly improving their models.
My only regret is that I could not afford to buy the Hailun 218 (or the Brodmann 212) because once you get a piano that hits 7 feet for some reason they really start to come alive.
I've never known anyone to regret buying a piano too large but lots of people regret buying one not large enough.
I may still trade up in the future if I ever can afford it.
As it is I'm extremely glad I went with the 198 instead of the 178 because I know I would not have been satisfied knowing that it would have only cost me a few thousand more for the extra 20 cm.
Always make sure you can play the exact piano that you are going to buy instead of buying one sight unseen. This goes for any brand that you are considering.
Posted by: Robert 45

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/05/12 02:03 PM

Remember that when you are buying a new piano, you are buying something that you are going to have for a long time, even a lifetime.
You need to choose wisely and consider not only the musical and expressive qualities of the piano in relation to sound and touch, but the durability of the instrument and the history and reputation of the company which produced it.

A new grand piano is a significant investment and the brand name and model will always influence its resale value.

In brief, my advice is to choose the piano that not only appeals most to you for its sound and touch, but which also provides assurance of reputation and brand name.

Good luck for your decision.

Robert.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/05/12 02:54 PM

I always tell my own customers to play as many pianos as possible.

I also make them aware that as pianos in similar leagues are often priced differently, it can create serious confusion.

For example, we recently sold a certain brand only to have customer come back a second time and decide on another one.

The piano he chose was over $15,000 cheaper but customer suddenly liked it even better than the more expensive piano he had decided on before.

In reverse, piano buyers have to ask themselves "how much better" a piano of higher price really is and if it's really worth spending the extra doe.

When someone shops in the 15-18 k range and ends up buying another brand for $ 25,000 later, he often has not checked what he could have gotten for same $ in first line up of pianos.

Outside simple brand name recognition, I know of no other product where someone would be willing to pay so much more without actually "getting" more.

So this "getting more" is for people to find out themselves.

It it can be a "very revealing experience"....

Norbert smile
Posted by: Gomer

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/05/12 02:57 PM

Norbert, I wanted to send you a PM but you seem to be over the PM limit. Best to email you via your company website link?
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/05/12 04:16 PM

I wouldn't draw any conclusions from Hailun's serial numbering right now. My two most recent grand arrivals had serial #5xxx and #10xxx. I have uprights ranging from #40xxx to #70xxx. You can always call their offices to track a specific instrument.

And in response to Robert, many highly respected brands have entrusted Hailun for production of parts and/or instruments. Not to be picky, but I like to clarify that brands don't "have" resale value, they "earn" resale value through continuity. Hailun has all the right signs for improving resale value, and at the same time, I point to American Baldwin pianos as an example where you just cannot predict. Kawai, of course, has done a great job with their brand, but I could make the case that they have greater challenges ahead of them then Hailun.

In any case, we're referring to mass produced instruments, not Bosendorfer or Steinway. Happiness is your best gauge for success once reasonable concerns have been addressed.
Posted by: master88er

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/05/12 06:48 PM

Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
I wouldn't draw any conclusions from Hailun's serial numbering right now. My two most recent grand arrivals had serial #5xxx and #10xxx. I have uprights ranging from #40xxx to #70xxx. You can always call their offices to track a specific instrument.

And in response to Robert, many highly respected brands have entrusted Hailun for production of parts and/or instruments. Not to be picky, but I like to clarify that brands don't "have" resale value, they "earn" resale value through continuity. Hailun has all the right signs for improving resale value, and at the same time, I point to American Baldwin pianos as an example where you just cannot predict. Kawai, of course, has done a great job with their brand, but I could make the case that they have greater challenges ahead of them then Hailun.

In any case, we're referring to mass produced instruments, not Bosendorfer or Steinway. Happiness is your best gauge for success once reasonable concerns have been addressed.


+1

.... and Ditto for pianos from Ritmüller, the new Feurich, Brodmann, Perzina, the new Seiler etc.
Posted by: Robert 45

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/05/12 08:39 PM

I agree completely that pianos "earn" resale value and "branding" is a very significant in that equation.

I believe that most people would have more trust in a company that has been successfully making pianos for 85 years in the case of Kawai, and even longer for Yamaha, than those companies which have been in production in China for a relatively short time.

I mean no disrespect to theses new brands like Hailun who are relative new-comers to the piano industry with about 20 years of piano production. Indeed, their instruments may surpass the Japanese pianos in every way.

My point is that the Japanese pianos have "earned" their reputation while the newer brands being produced in China are still "earning" it and name and reputation affect re-sale values.

Regards,

Robert.
Posted by: Sneakers

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/07/12 06:21 AM

Originally Posted By: Robert 45
I agree completely that pianos "earn" resale value and "branding" is a very significant in that equation.

I believe that most people would have more trust in a company that has been successfully making pianos for 85 years in the case of Kawai, and even longer for Yamaha, than those companies which have been in production in China for a relatively short time.
I think what you're trying to say is that Yamaha/Kawai are a very poor investment, because you're already paying for their reputation. If you want to make money, you need to anticipate a brand whose reputation will be better five years from now than it is today.

Do I have that right?
Posted by: Rotom

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/07/12 08:12 AM

My view is that pianos are not investments, they get old and devalue without exception. But if you are going to sell your piano, you will get more money back from a piano that says Yamaha, Kawai or something relatively well known on the fallboard than a newer brand of piano or a lesser well known word on the fallboard.
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/07/12 11:46 AM

Originally Posted By: Sneakers
I think what you're trying to say is that Yamaha/Kawai are a very poor investment, because you're already paying for their reputation.
I won't speak for someone else, but I'll answer this how I do regularly with our customers. The value of the brand is most significantly in the competitive designs/models that expanded the makers reputation rather than those that are designed to hold onto market share. I can point to many negative examples, but I'll stay positive. From Yamaha, for example, certain models like the U1 have absolutely irrationally high resale value, while others like the YUS3 are, at best, average, regardless of the real quality.
Originally Posted By: Sneakers
If you want to make save money, you need to anticipate a brand whose reputation will be better five years from now than it is today.

Do I have that right?
If I change the one word, I believe that becomes an accurate statement, though probably not a reasonable goal for the average buyer. I'll say it is part of my business strategy.

Only high-end pianos with strong continuity & branding should be spoken about in the context of investment and then only in the very long term. Speculative investing, like in an investment property or in commodities like gold and coffee, is risky and not for most people. Many people wear gold, enjoy coffee and live in homes. The rest is the insanity of buying and selling.

Even though the trends are to buy and sell more homes in a lifetime, the trend is to buy less cars, and certainly is still to buy 1, maybe 2 pianos for most people's lifetime.

The secret about most promotional models from good brands is that so long as they work, most owners will have only a faint idea of what oppotunities they missed out on.
Posted by: johnlewisgrant

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/08/12 06:04 PM

I've been playing classical, mostly, since I was 5. Now I'm 58, and STILL playing 1-3 hours a day. I've played every piano ever made over these happy years. At 13 my parents kindly purchased for me what is now called the "RX 2" Kawai, a 5'10" grand, which still sounds better than many of the smaller-sized grands, including New York Steinways, at least most of them, that are smaller than, say, 5'10". That's a critical size, because anything smaller (in my view) and you're almost always better off getting a high-end upright. They'll just sound much, much better for the money.

Having said that, things get very tricky over 6' in grands. You're getting into interesting territory, and prices vary hugely. A good used Steinway used to be the obvious choice from 6 to 7 ft, if you could find a good one for the money. Even the best-sounding Kawais and Yamahas just didn't "sound" like a good Steinway. We all know that. We've all grown up with the Steinway "sound" in our ears, and in some rare cases, with the Bosendorfer "sound" (an acquired taste some would say) "in our ears." That's what you hear, usually, in good jazz and classical recordings. It's pretty distinctive, and I for one think it "really IS beautiful", a really good German-built Steinway can just blow you away. But how often to we really get to here them????

Well, listen to this piano....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxGdncwv1N4

It's mine. I tried to capture it's beauty here, although it's not perfectly in tune, and the mics are not the best. Still, it was pretty obvious to me--the ultimate hater of every Chinese piano I've had the misfortune of hearing much less playing--that this piano was, quite honestly and frankly, in a class of its own.

That's all I have to say. The piano that, so to speak, "dare not speak its name." A game-changer.

JG
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/08/12 06:24 PM

Everybody knows that the market is changing quicker right now than we can post here.

While there are certainly some threads to some, there are also incredible oportunities for others.

Everybody has to sort this thing out himself, deciding on "how much" one has to spend in today's market for a great sounding piano.

The rest is all postering of what "may" or may "not" be important for the average buyer.

Sound and touch still seems to be number one.

With "affordability" being a close second.

Or was that number one?

Norbert wink
Posted by: johnlewisgrant

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/08/12 07:30 PM

And variability within instances of the same model can be very important.

For myself, I would never "order" a piano. I would, absolutely, only purchase something I played for myself, preferably played on different days, in different positions in the room, and right next to "known" excellent pianos.

Acoustical spaces and the position of a piano within them can be hugely important.

JG
Posted by: sgao

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/09/12 02:53 PM

Thank you all again for your thoughtful input.

While I can definitely see the "peace of mind" effect and better resale value for a brand like Kawai, I've now convinced myself that I don't want to spend twice the price for that.

After a few more dealer visits, the choices have come down to:

1. Hailun 198. Unfortunately, I doesn't seem like I can get a new one for x% off the old SMP of $22.5K. The new SMP is $28.5K. The dealer has a floor model. It's about a year old. (It came into Canada last April, according to Hailun USA.) It doesn't have the new slow-closing lid, which I don't miss too much. There is also a small crack on the piece of wood right beside the keys. The dealer will fix it before delivery, but the warranty will not include finish. The dealer agreed to massage the price a little because of this.

2. Brodmann PE187. Its touch seems to be a little lighter than some of the other grands we tried. The dealer told me that this can be adjusted if we want it heavier. But of course the kids like the lighter touch (easier to play; more similar to our upright).

Assuming that I can get prices that are acceptable for both of them, and they both sound well enough, what advices would you give?
- Hailun is 4 inches longer. Would you consider this an important factor? Would it be too loud? The room is roughly 15x14, but one side has no wall and opens to the corridor and another room.
- Any concern with the lack of warranty on the finish for the Hailun? (I actually don't understand why fixing a crack would remove the warranty.)
- Other than the slow closing lid, are there other differences between new Hailun 198 and one that's a year old?
Posted by: Sparky McBiff

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/09/12 03:07 PM

Originally Posted By: sgao


1. Hailun 198. Unfortunately, I doesn't seem like I can get a new one for x% off the old SMP of $22.5K. The new SMP is $28.5K. The dealer has a floor model. It's about a year old. (It came into Canada last April, according to Hailun USA.) It doesn't have the new slow-closing lid, which I don't miss too much. There is also a small crack on the piece of wood right beside the keys. The dealer will fix it before delivery, but the warranty will not include finish. The dealer agreed to massage the price a little because of this.....


- Hailun is 4 inches longer. Would you consider this an important factor? Would it be too loud? The room is roughly 15x14, but one side has no wall and opens to the corridor and another room.
- Any concern with the lack of warranty on the finish for the Hailun? (I actually don't understand why fixing a crack would remove the warranty.)
- Other than the slow closing lid, are there other differences between new Hailun 198 and one that's a year old?


I bought my Hailun 198 (serial #36660) in May 2010 and it has the slow closing lid. I've actually never seen a Hailun without one and I just assumed that they all came with it.
I've never heard that fixing a crack would invalidate the warranty. Something seems strange there.
(Also I got mine for many thousands less than 20K).
Posted by: sgao

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/09/12 03:51 PM

Sparky, did you mean the lid or the fallboard. The slow closing lid feature seems to be introduced in 2011.

I'm in the process of getting an explanation about why the warranty will no be honored. (My recollection was "I paid less because of that; now you are paying less too.")
Posted by: Sparky McBiff

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/09/12 03:59 PM

Oops, my bad.
Of course fallboard was what I was referring to.
Haven't seen the slow closing lid yet.

Originally Posted By: sgao

I'm in the process of getting an explanation about why the warranty will no be honored. (My recollection was "I paid less because of that; now you are paying less too.")


Hmmm. Less than what I'm wondering.
Posted by: johnlewisgrant

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/11/12 08:24 AM

Apart from warranty issues, I played that particular Hailun model, and sonically I don't think it takes a back seat to any of the best pianos in that size. I believe the 198 is the grand that came out even-Steven with Steinway in a blind test conducted in France a number of years ago.

Anyhow, I've also played quite a few Brodmanns. I don't think they're in the same league, at all. But I've never played the Brodmann and the Hailun 198 NEXT to one another. Simply going on memory. Brodmann seems to be one of the better-sounding Chinese-made pianos, but again not in the Hailun league. The Hailun is something special, which may be why the prices appear to be skyrocketing.

JG
Posted by: Sparky McBiff

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/11/12 12:42 PM

Originally Posted By: johnlewisgrant
The Hailun is something special, which may be why the prices appear to be skyrocketing.

JG


I knew Chinese pianos were going to be increasing significantly in price but I haven't been monitoring the price at all.
But if the prices are increasing dramatically then that makes me feel even more lucky that I got my 198 at such a steal, although regret that I never even considered the 218 at the time.
Posted by: ChrisVenables

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/11/12 01:25 PM

Originally Posted By: johnlewisgrant
Apart from warranty issues, I played that particular Hailun model, and sonically I don't think it takes a back seat to any of the best pianos in that size. I believe the 198 is the grand that came out even-Steven with Steinway in a blind test conducted in France a number of years ago.


JG


Hi John

It was the 178 which won a prize, about 5 years ago. The Hailun 198 has never been distributed in Europe.
Posted by: sgao

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185 - 04/11/12 05:10 PM

Originally Posted By: johnlewisgrant
I've also played quite a few Brodmanns. I don't think they're in the same league, at all.

John, I'd appreciate it if you could provide a few hints how you arrived at that conclusion.

I've seen good reviews for both brands. I haven't found many direct comparison though. Larry Fine gave them the same rating. (Now that Hailun has the Vienna models, priced much higher than the traditional ones, I don't know how they will be rated now.)
Posted by: Sparky McBiff

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/11/12 05:56 PM

Both John and I separately tried out the same Brodmann 212 at a certain dealer here.

He apparently wasn't impressed whereas I really liked it.

It just goes to show how much of a variation in personal preference piano selection can be between individuals.

(I should also note that he is a WAY better piano player than myself so I would think that that should definitely be a factor in things) blush
Posted by: johnlewisgrant

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/12/12 01:43 AM

I played the Brodmann available at Robert Lowrey's and found the tone and touch distinctly "rubbery," for want of a better term. I may be up at the Eglinton Ave store again to purchase some mutes (they'll sell that stuff to you, sometimes), at which point I should play that piano again so that I can say EXACTLY what I don't like about them. Mind you, it was just THAT particular Brodmann. About 7 ft, I think, and Lowrey's best Chinese brand, at least, that's what they will tell you. Expensive, too.

There is a Youtube recording of a Brodmann that is pretty accurate re sound

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpeuIobdE5Y

Again

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKP3RJYNUP4&feature=related


This is close to what I remember. Not a "bad" piano, but listen to the low notes.... nothing there really .... for a 7 foot piano. And the top end is, I'm sorry, just a tad "tinny" as opposed to "bell-like." They talk about "resonance" in these adds, but that's exactly what ISN'T there, to my ears.

Still, it could be a tuning issue.

Now here's the PE187, nicely tuned and played and recorded too. This Brodmann (not the 212 I played at Lowrey's) sounds much better on the face of it!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJvL3HV_w3c&feature=related

If I'm at Lowrey's I'm going to try to find one of these...

JG
Posted by: Steve Chandler

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/12/12 09:29 AM

I listened to the three youtube performances and my impressions are as follows.

#1. The player has a ham handed touch. The piano itself doesn't sound bad, but the very top notes just sound plink, plink with no sustain. The other merely higher notes sound pretty good. It should be noted that the camcorder used compresses the sound significantly so the sound you hear does not an accurately represent the sustain of the instrument. In reality there will be less sustain.

#2. Freddie plays very few notes at the very top and their sound (beyond initial attack) gets lost in the wash of sustain. He's not a ham handed player and makes the piano sound as nice as it can at a NAMM show.

#3. Agreed, the best sound of the three, pro player, pro recording. It makes a difference.

I will say that if you feel these pianos sound bad then your taste in pianos runs contrary to mine. If these pianos had been widely available when I was shopping (2005) I might have a different piano now.
Posted by: jivemutha

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/12/12 10:26 AM

Are you guys listening to YouTube through some special equipment? I though most people play YouTube through their computer speakers. (That's the only way I can do it.) Regular computer speakers seem sooooooooo inferior as to make a determination of how a piano sounds virtually impossible. I think I must be missing something, as frequently PW people direct each other to YouTube recordings, I listen, and for the life of me I can't imagine how anyone could compare piano sounds listening through (at least my) computer speakers.

So, clearly y'all know something I don't. What is it? Thanks in advance for a reply.
Posted by: Furtwangler

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/12/12 11:10 AM

You have to take into account that the piano that Freddie Ravel is playing is the "Artist Series" - made in Germany. It is roughly twice the cost of the first piano played by Nick in his store.

I do agree about the third video - Chris Venables does a marvelous job on his recordings and this video shows the PE 187 for what it is (or at least can be). Not bad for a 187cm grand piano in the mid-teens ($).
Posted by: johnlewisgrant

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/12/12 11:56 AM

For all the reasons stated above, you wouldn't assess a piano on the basis of a youtube recording or any recording, however good and however wonderful you're sound equipment at home! It's just a starting point. You have to play the instrument in question, and play it many times with different material, and right next to a piano that is known to be, and actually is, a very good or even "great" instrument.

It's all relative!

JG
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/12/12 12:25 PM

Originally Posted By: jivemutha
Are you guys listening to YouTube through some special equipment? I though most people play YouTube through their computer speakers. (That's the only way I can do it.) Regular computer speakers seem sooooooooo inferior as to make a determination of how a piano sounds virtually impossible. I think I must be missing something, as frequently PW people direct each other to YouTube recordings, I listen, and for the life of me I can't imagine how anyone could compare piano sounds listening through (at least my) computer speakers.

So, clearly y'all know something I don't. What is it? Thanks in advance for a reply.
The way to take advantage is to get some good headphones and you'll notice that some people are really putting out some higher quality recordings. YouTube does compress files, but the bandwidth for audio isn't nearly as restricted as the video compression. I keep headphones at work and at home and it's great.
Posted by: Furtwangler

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/12/12 12:28 PM

I agree with Sam.

I listen to music through my stereo speakers all the time (YouTube, Spotify, Rhapsody etc)

When I really want to hear something, however, I use a good pair of headphones.

Makes all the difference in the world.
Posted by: jivemutha

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/12/12 01:53 PM

Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
Originally Posted By: jivemutha
Are you guys listening to YouTube through some special equipment? I though most people play YouTube through their computer speakers. (That's the only way I can do it.) Regular computer speakers seem sooooooooo inferior as to make a determination of how a piano sounds virtually impossible. I think I must be missing something, as frequently PW people direct each other to YouTube recordings, I listen, and for the life of me I can't imagine how anyone could compare piano sounds listening through (at least my) computer speakers.

So, clearly y'all know something I don't. What is it? Thanks in advance for a reply.
The way to take advantage is to get some good headphones and you'll notice that some people are really putting out some higher quality recordings. YouTube does compress files, but the bandwidth for audio isn't nearly as restricted as the video compression. I keep headphones at work and at home and it's great.


Thank you, Sam. I've found the place to plug in my headphones. I'm getting a bunch of windows appearing on my monitor that I don't understand and no sound is coming through the phones. One of my techie friends will be here Saturday. I'm sure he'll figure it out. Then I'll know what you guys are talking about. Thanks again!
Posted by: Sparky McBiff

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/12/12 08:54 PM

Originally Posted By: jivemutha

Thank you, Sam. I've found the place to plug in my headphones. I'm getting a bunch of windows appearing on my monitor that I don't understand and no sound is coming through the phones. One of my techie friends will be here Saturday. I'm sure he'll figure it out. Then I'll know what you guys are talking about. Thanks again!

Make sure you plug it into the small green jack since the pink one is for microphone input.
Also make sure that your headphones don't have a volume control on them somewhere that is turned down.
You really shouldn't need a "techie" just to plug in headphones to your computer.
Usually you can just unplug the speaker connection and plug the headphones right into there.
Posted by: jivemutha

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/13/12 08:53 AM

Originally Posted By: Sparky McBiff
Make sure you plug it into the small green jack since the pink one is for microphone input.
Also make sure that your headphones don't have a volume control on them somewhere that is turned down.
You really shouldn't need a "techie" just to plug in headphones to your computer.
Usually you can just unplug the speaker connection and plug the headphones right into there.


Thanks, Sparky. Actually it's a laptop, the jacks that are a match with my headphones have no pink, green, or other color to distinguish them, I've checked the volume control on the phones, and plugging in (besides getting me no sound) triggered a bunch of messages that a Luddite like me can't decifer AND my techie buddy will be here tomorrow. I am sure he'll be able to solve the problem and that it's likely to be mundane but if anything interesting comes of it I'll post it here. Thanks again.
Posted by: Sparky McBiff

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/13/12 07:01 PM

Strange I've never heard of or can imagine how it would happen that any messages would appear on the screen when you plug a headphone in because the usual 3.5 mm jack isn't directly connected to anything in the software like a USB connection is.
Generally the PC won't know if something is plugged into the jack or not since there's no feedback to the computer from the audio out jack as far as I know.
And if it is a PC I've only known them to have the audio output colour coded as a standardized green on every pc I've ever seen (don't know about Macs).
Even though you don't know what they mean what do the windows that pop up say?
I might be able to figure out what the issue is from that.
Posted by: jivemutha

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/13/12 07:46 PM

Originally Posted By: Sparky McBiff
Strange I've never heard of or can imagine how it would happen that any messages would appear on the screen when you plug a headphone in because the usual 3.5 mm jack isn't directly connected to anything in the software like a USB connection is.
Generally the PC won't know if something is plugged into the jack or not since there's no feedback to the computer from the audio out jack as far as I know.
And if it is a PC I've only known them to have the audio output colour coded as a standardized green on every pc I've ever seen.
Even though you don't know what they mean what do the windows that pop up say?
I might be able to figure out what the issue is from that.


It turns out there are 2 jacks despite zero color designation (maybe 'cause it's a laptop?), they must be different, and I had plugged into the wrong one. This time I tried the other jack. It did know I plugged in something and gave me a window with 2 options one of which was "headphones." (That option did not appear in the sequence of windows that had popped up when I had mistakenly used the other jack.) Of course I clicked on "headphones." That's all I needed to do! Now it works! Thanks, Sparky!

The headphones I'm using are standard Bose noise cancelling phones my brother bought me years ago. Are they supposed to be any good?

I ask because I'm literally spending more than half my practicing (on a Silent C2 Yamaha) through these phones, they sound OK to me but not as great as what I've heard about Yamaha's supposedly terrific silent system (though they do sound better than the phones that come with the piano), and I hate the fact that it has batteries and if something better is out there that doesn't require batteries, I'm [as they say] all ears. If only I didn't have to worry about neighbors below and to the sides, alas . . . (I much prefer the sound of the real piano component to the digital, of course.)
Posted by: Wound up

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/13/12 08:11 PM

I would try Beyer or Sennheiser
Posted by: Sparky McBiff

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/13/12 09:29 PM

Hey good to hear jive. thumb

I was almost certain that it was probably a very simple thing.
(I think you just plugged into the mic input instead of the headphone output since they're almost always right beside each other).

I'm not too knowledgeable on different headphones themselves but I'm sure the Bose are going to be WAY better than listening through computer speakers.
I do know that there are much better ones out there and Bose is known for having very good marketing but they are far from the best but you just have to decide if they are fine for you.
Unfortunately there's no real way to tell until you compare them with others.
Other people will be able to help you more than I can with headphone selection.

But I'm glad you got it working.
Posted by: Gomer

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/14/12 12:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Sparky McBiff
Strange I've never heard of or can imagine how it would happen that any messages would appear on the screen when you plug a headphone in because the usual 3.5 mm jack isn't directly connected to anything in the software like a USB connection is.
Generally the PC won't know if something is plugged into the jack or not since there's no feedback to the computer from the audio out jack as far as I know.
And if it is a PC I've only known them to have the audio output colour coded as a standardized green on every pc I've ever seen (don't know about Macs).
Even though you don't know what they mean what do the windows that pop up say?
I might be able to figure out what the issue is from that.


My computer knows when stuff is plugged into different audio jacks. With nothing plugged in, the impedance across the terminals is Gohms+ but once something is plugged in, the impedance changes. You can sense this by simply monitoring the dummy voltage. Mics and headphones are extremely related (you can technically use a mic as a crappy speaker and a speaker as a crappy mic). Electronically, mics typically have a substantially higher input impedance compared to headphones.
Posted by: jivemutha

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/14/12 12:36 AM

Originally Posted By: Wound up
I would try Beyer or Sennheiser


Maybe a trip to the library is in order, as Consumer Reports might deal with this kind of thing. That would be a whole lot easier than pawing through audiophile magazines . . .
Posted by: Wound up

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/14/12 02:02 AM

With all respect Monitoring systems are much like pianos, In that even among top pros there is a wide differential of opinion-- Also like pianos the differences are rather easy to hear once you A+B them.. Especially for a specific function.. Find a shop that will let you demo a few or get ready to buy and return etc. If you go for something fairly high end someone will likely play along. Bose are great for noise canceling but they are certainly strange to listen too. I personally hate them. I do not shop at sweet water but I would say Beyer is a good place to start if you do not wanna mess around with a/b ing--

consumer reports might be the worst place haha


http://www.sweetwater.com/c412--Beyerdynamic--Headphones
Posted by: Sparky McBiff

Re: Kawai RX-2BLK or Young Chang YP-185... Or Hailun 178/198? - 04/14/12 07:56 AM

Originally Posted By: Gomer

My computer knows when stuff is plugged into different audio jacks. With nothing plugged in, the impedance across the terminals is Gohms+ but once something is plugged in, the impedance changes. You can sense this by simply monitoring the dummy voltage. Mics and headphones are extremely related (you can technically use a mic as a crappy speaker and a speaker as a crappy mic). Electronically, mics typically have a substantially higher input impedance compared to headphones.


Interesting.
I wasn't aware that some computers can monitor the impedance at the audio outputs to give some sort of configuration feedback.
Thanks for the heads up, I appreciate it.