Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2

Posted by: ling

Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/18/04 09:32 PM

Hi,

We are in the process of buying a new piano for our daughter (4.5 years old). Both my husband and I don't play piano. So it is hard for us to judge which piano is better. We have to rely on outside information to make the decision. We bought the "The Piano book", went through all the local dealers here. Finally, the choices are:
Yamaha C2
Kawai RX2
Young Chang Pramberger

The prices they quoted us are: Yamaha: 17600$, Young chang: 16300$, and we have not got the price for Kawai RX2. My guess is that it will be close to Yamaha C2.

SO among those three, which one is better? Or is there a better one we missed that is in the similar price range. The price they gave us is negociable, but how much room are we talking about here? 20%. 30% or even more?

thanks in advance.

Ling
Posted by: Frank R

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/18/04 10:07 PM

Ling,

Check out the Estonia 168. About the same price range but a much different sound, you might like it better
Posted by: JAmesH

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/18/04 10:31 PM

Get either one if you like partical board
Posted by: Axtremus

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/18/04 11:25 PM

See these:

I was quoted $15.3k for a new, black Yamaha C2 about a year ago (before any negotiation) in the New England area.

Disclaimer: I own a Kawai piano (not RX-2), I have my Kawai bias, and I tend to pay more attention when Kawai prices get quoted on this Forum (as opposed to other brands' prices) ;\)

Good luck! \:\)
Posted by: Sir Lurksalot

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/19/04 05:08 AM

Agree with Frank. Estonia and Petrof both fall into that price range, and are generally considered to be better pianos than the 3 you listed. Check them out, but trust your own ears if you like the others better.
Posted by: Jim Volk

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/19/04 06:21 AM

I don't think Estonia and Petrof are necessarily better pianos by virtue of quality, or consistency, or longevity: Yamaha and Kawai have a great reputation, and there is no denying that.

I don't know of any piano manufacturer that is not using "particle board" as JAmesH calls it, or more correctly, lumber-banded particle board or lumber-core plywood. Using solid wood to build case parts is not common practice, because it's much more likely to warp, and doesn't have the resilient strength of layered wood materials.

As Frank notes, you may find a preferable tone and touch in an Estonia, etc., but that's an issue that is more subjective than build quality. And be advised, in some regions, the names "Estonia" and "Petrof" are almost meaningless to the average piano buyer, and if you're concerned with resalability the name "Yamaha" is going to give you the best potential advantage.

Myself, I prefer a Kawai. At least check out the RX-2. Even if you and your husband don't play, you can still sit there for a while and doodle around on just the white keys, playing up and down the keyboard, using the left and right pedals, experimenting and getting enough of a feel for the piano to compare it to another one.

Play up and down the keyboard, too, all 88 keys. That will also help you in your comparison shopping. Don't be intimidated by the fact that you're not an accomplished pianist, or worry about the salesman's opinion of your playing.

You don't need a driver's license to test drive a piano, you know. ;\)
Posted by: Sir Lurksalot

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/19/04 06:39 AM

Jimbo,

Good points - I knew that my statement wouldn't go unchallenged, and I don't necessarily disagree with you. But a question like Ling's usually causes someone to recommend The Piano Book, in which Ling will see that Estonia and Petrof are a tier above Yamaha C, Kawai RX, and YCP. Rather than turning this into yet another thread that argues the merits of those rankings, I decided, based on that information AND my impression of the general sentiments of this forum, to simply say that Estonia and Petrof are GENERALLY considered to be better pianos. I considered adding a further qualifier that it's a very close call, but decided that my last comment about personal preference would suffice.
Posted by: Mikester

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/19/04 07:47 AM

The piano that sounds better probably is. Quote by Arthur Rubinstein (I think).
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/19/04 08:04 AM

I would think that at these prices you should be able to buy the Pramberger JP185, a 6'1" piano (as opposed to the 5'8 C2 and the 5'10"? RX2)of comparable quality. It also has quite a different tone quality that many prefer.
Posted by: ling

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/20/04 03:12 PM

Thanks all for your inputs.
We will check out the Petrof, we did not find any Estonia in the dealers we have visited.

We got the price for RX2, it is 1000$ more than the Yamaha C2.

From what I read so far, I like RX2, now it all comes down to the price.

Any tip on the negotiation?


PS: we certainly will take Jimbo's suggestion to sit there and play those pianos.

My daughter will start her piano lesson once we get the piano into the door. And I plan to learn along with her. But from what I have heard, she will be way ahead of me pretty quick.

thanks all

Ling
Posted by: Grotriman

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/20/04 03:19 PM

Buy a much less expensive upright from the dealer that sells brands you like with a guarantee you can trade it in for some percentage of new value for a grand piano later - if your daughter decides she likes to play the piano. This will save you over $10K and she can help you decide later.

(My apologies to the dealers on this thread.)
Posted by: KawaiDon

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/20/04 06:36 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by JAmesH:
Get either one if you like partical board [/b]
James,

There is no particle board in a Kawai RX series grand piano.

Don Mannino RPT
Kawai America
Posted by: Jeffrey

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/20/04 06:49 PM

I must second the idea of looking at some quality vertical pianos. Spend the extra money on a good teacher, more frequent lessons etc. If in a few years your daughter really enjoys playing the piano, you can trade up to a really first rate grand. Is there a reason you are looking for a grand in that price range?
Posted by: Jim Volk

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/20/04 08:05 PM

Maybe for the same reason Bill Clinton gave for his dalliance with an intern...

"I did it because I could."

Heck, if I could throw down $20K for a piano, do you think the thought of buying a vertical would even cross my mind? Nah.

If Ling's husband is able do it, more power to him. What if he actually started out planning to buy a Steinway D, and decided it would be more practical to negotiate a good deal on a cheapy first (like an RX-2, maybe)--and then trade up later to the D if his daughter decides she really likes playing piano? Hmmmm? Ever think of that?

Grotriman, apology accepted. Your punishment: 6 months of Chopin Etudes on an old Lester spinet. Yes, one with plastic elbows. :p
Posted by: Keith D Kerman

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/20/04 08:24 PM

Jimbo,

Thanks for making that point, I was just about to write essentially the same thing.
Posted by: rh26

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/20/04 08:37 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ling:
Thanks all for your inputs.

We got the price for RX2, it is 1000$ more than the Yamaha C2.

From what I read so far, I like RX2, now it all comes down to the price.

Any tip on the negotiation?
[/b]
I purchased an RX-2 about 3 months ago and managed a price below $16,000.

Of course, negotiation highly depends on the dealer. One area dealer quoted a price ABOVE the "sticker" price in the Piano Book and when I suggested that a somewhat lower price was appropriate, was essentially told that a lower price was impossible.

When I went to another dealer (that I found much more helpful), their "list" prices were MUCH lower. After a bit of friendly talking and playing the pianos (actually not playing as I can't play, but rather just hitting keys and comparing sound) I told him I was ready to buy an RX-2 if I got a price I liked (by this time I was certain the Kawai was what I wanted). He asked what price I would like and I told him (based, I might add, on research done here!) that I would like to buy in the "fifteens". He checked with the store owner and came back with a price in the fifteens. I suspect that at that point I might have nickel and dimed him for a few more dollars, but I had already determined from our conversation that this dealer would give me quick delivery, good service, and was enjoyable to deal with-- why blow that for an extra $100?

I think one key to this successful negotiation is that the price I started with was reasonable. Obviously, I would have liked to buy an RX-2 for $10,000 but that wasn't a reasonable offer.

Robert
Posted by: Axtremus

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/21/04 08:15 AM

The prices Ling quoted (C2 for $176000 and RX-2 being $1000 more than that) seems high for basic black pianos for those models... so I suppose it should be mentioned that non-black pianos with wood finish or other casing/furniture styles will cost more depending on the finish/furniture style. Just in case Ling was looking at non-black pianos, she shouldn't be mislead to think that she's been quoted unfair prices just because we're comparing prices to black pianos (with a black non-adjustable wooden bench). We also do not know Ling's location (prices do vary from one place to another) and whether those numbers include various taxes and delivery charges. ;\)
Posted by: ling

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/21/04 03:15 PM

I thought about the trade-up. But the dealer said when we do the trade-up, they will use the list price instead of some price that we can negotiate.

Why not a good upright and save 10K?

Our floor plan is quite unique. It is 2.5 story, and there is one quite open space between the first and second floor, it is perfect for a grand piano. And actually the builder calls it music room. So my husband insists on a grand instead of upright. And I don't want a bottom line grand. That is how we ended up here. I guess we have to save this 10K somewhere else. ( like my husband's next car)

But if we can not get the price we wanted, then we have to search for a used one.

By the way, we are in Texas.

Ling
Posted by: Jeff Bauer

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/21/04 04:38 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ling:
Why not a good upright and save 10K?...So my husband insists on a grand instead of upright. And I don't want a bottom line grand...I guess we have to save this 10K somewhere else. ( like my husband's next car)[/b]
Something tells me if you phrase it this way to yor husband, you may just get your upright ;\)
Posted by: Keith D Kerman

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/21/04 07:52 PM

Spend 10k more on a piano, spend 10k less on a car. Sounds basic to me. What's the question?!!
Posted by: ling

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/21/04 08:03 PM

Forget to mention that the prices quoted to us are all for the basic black model.

By the way, I agree with Keith. After ten years, you probably can still sell your piano for the amount you originally paid. (Assume you maintain it well).But thinking about your car, how much can you get after ten years? ( 1/3 - 1/2 ?)

Ling
Ling
Posted by: teachum

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/21/04 08:18 PM

Axtremus is right - I was quoted much better prices for an RX2 black before deciding on Estonia 190. $13,200 for 2003 year (without newer action) and $16,000 (2004 model with new action) ordered in wood finish/cabinet.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/21/04 10:58 PM

As so many times before, the typical "this brand versus that brand" type of question is always hard to answer,especially for the novice buyer.

Since I happen to be one of the believers in the coming "blood bath" in the piano industry,
I would give everyone today pretty conservative advice,especially at this particular point in time.

Perhaps a good upright will just be fine for now.

Or if grand - let a dealer explain why his piano that's priced higher than the competition's similiar or basically identical model,should really deserve the extra dollars.

Then see if it makes sense and adds up.

Believe me, if asked in private - many dealers here couldn't give you the answers themselves.

At least not the ones you like to hear.

Norbert
Posted by: Niet Over Een Nacht IJS

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/22/04 12:25 AM

Norbert,
What do you mean by the coming "blood bath" in the piano industry?
What is conservative advice in this context?
Do you expect that buying a grand 1-2 years from now will be a lot cheaper than now?
Posted by: tl91pink

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/22/04 12:06 PM

ling,
In my opinion, they are probably pretty equal in quality, especially the Yamaha and Kawai. Kawai might be a little better. So, to me the big decision would be the sound....Listen, listen, listen to the difference. There is a huge difference in sound. Which one is more pleasing to your ears because your daughter may be practicing a lot in the future years, and you are going to hear that piano a lot. Since she is a beginner, I would think you all would prefer the Kawai because it is more mellow and low and not as high, shrill, and bright as the Yamaha. Sometimes, when not voiced extensively (which you probably wouldn't do for a beginner), the high notes on the Yamaha could give you a headache being so piercing...Just my two cents and advice as a mother...Ha!
Posted by: ling

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 07/31/04 10:06 PM

Ok, We went to "chat" with the Yamaha dealer and Steinway dealer today.

The prices we got now is 15K for the new Yamaha C2 (ebony polished) and 16k for the Boston GP-178 (5'10, Mahogany polished). But the Boston is a 2003 model. The sales man said it has never been sold.

Question:
1. are those two deals sounds good? Which one is better. My husband likes the bright tone of Yamaha, but I like the warm tone of Boston. But we both don't have too much strong preference. Either one will just be fine.
2. For the Boston, if they have loaned it to someone, or it has been used besides in the show room, do they have to disclose?

We will visit the Kawai dealer tomorrow, to check out the RX-2.

Please let me know your opinion.

Thanks

Ling
Posted by: Rich Galassini

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 08/01/04 04:16 AM

Ling,

It isn't unheard of for a piano to be in a showroom for 6 months just waiting to be sold. The Boston does have a warmer sound than the Yamaha and I personally prefer a warmer sound.

Jimbo is correct that Estonia and Petrof mean little in rural areas that can't support a dealer for them. In these same markets, Boesendorfer and Bluethner probably mean little as well.

BUT if you can find a dealer for them, you may be very pleased with what you hear.

Philadelpha's classical music station, WRTI, recently sent musicians out to play everything to choose a grand piano for a newly built studio performence space. They chose an Estonia over everything and are raving about it, even though they hadn't heard the name before shopping.

My 2 cents,

Full disclosure - I have sold Kawai, Petrof, and Estonia.
Posted by: KawaiDon

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 08/21/04 08:11 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by JAmesH:
Get either one if you like partical board [/b]
James, there is no particle board in a Kawai RX-2.

Don Mannino RPT
Kawai America
Posted by: kentm

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 08/29/08 12:24 PM

Tomorrow I will be purchasing a Sapeli Mahogany RX-2. A local showroom just received 100 new Kawais this week. As a first time buyer, I was amazed at the difference between individual pianos. Each has its own sound and character. This particular sapeli mahogany was a noticeable cut above the other RX-2's, due in no small part I'm sure to the wood. It made a couple grand difference in the price, but it was worth it.

There's no question as to the build quality on the Kawais, and the price you quote is a good one on a piano of this quality. Just take your time on your choice, and listen to as many as you can. There's a lot of wisdom from the people on this forum. I spent a lot of time reading here before I made my choice. Whatever you decide, may you be happy with your perchase!
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 08/29/08 04:29 PM

You do realize this thread is four years old?

My head was spinning at the prices is the opening posts...
Posted by: kentm

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 08/29/08 05:40 PM

Mmmmmmmm....

No wonder it seemed like such a smokin' deal.

Maybe there should be an "auto nuke" feature for posts over one year old...
Posted by: ktg159

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 08/30/08 05:50 PM

I noticed this thread was active again, and just read the added posts. Kentm, out of curiosity, what were you quoted on that RX-2 in Sapeli? I am asking, becasue I just today purchased that same piano in Florida.
Posted by: John Mila

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 08/30/08 09:37 PM

So should you choose the Kawai that is muddy and dull and dark sounding, or the Yamaha that is clear and happy sounding?
The terms 'shrill' and 'bright' are catch phrases to describe the Yamaha, by people trying to sell you something else.
Try a Yamaha made in the last 5 years, at a Yamaha dealer and you'll find that they are not Bright or Shrill.
The headaches are caused by the lacquer painted Yamaha hammers on Kawai dealers floor.
John
Posted by: ktg159

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 08/31/08 09:16 AM

Actually I did my research, went to the Yamaha and Kawai dealers separately, listened to both pianos, and made an informed decision to purchase the Kawai. Both are beautiful piano, both had nice, but different sounds (although played next to the Boston, the Yamaha had a distinctive shrill sound).

One of the reasons I decided on the Kawai after careful research was for exactly what you wrote in your post. I found the Yamaha dealers to be very negative about other pianos, choosing to sell on what they perceived as weakness in another brand rather than strength in their own brand. Telling me people will be impressed I havaea Ymaha piano sitting in my home is not a selling point.

I told the manager of the Yamah dealer and will state it here, sell on your merits, don't disparage other quality products, and come up with a reasonable market price and you will have a better shot at promoting your insturments and making the consumer feel good about it.

Both of these pianos are lovely, but negative selling does not appeal.
Posted by: kentm

Re: Kawai RX2 or Yamaha C2 - 09/01/08 04:42 PM

John:
You owe it to yourself to play the Sapeli Mahogany. It is clean and clear...not dark or muddy at all. discussions about the tone of the piano are all so subjective. I played several new Yamahas before buying my Kawai. They do have a very clean crisp sound, but a bit too much so for my taste. I played one C-3 that was so bright I thought it would peel the paint off the wall.

Yamaha makes a great instrument, but I went with what sounds most pleasing to my ears. After all, I've got to LIVE with it.