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Author Topic: Yamaha S6 (6'11") vs. Steinway B  (Read 8275 times)
Stacey
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« on: March 12, 2005, 03:33:40 AM »

I'm debating between a Yamaha S6 and a Steinway B.  Do you have any feedback?
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Axtremus
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2005, 06:50:01 AM »

Yes.

Yamaha S6 is usually cheaper and usually has a lower snob factor.

Steinway B is usually more expensive and usually has a higher snob factor.

What other sort of feedback would you like to have?

Assuming you have played (or at least listened to) both, which one do you like better yourself?
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jbmajor
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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2005, 03:12:42 AM »

Yes.

Yamaha S6 is usually cheaper and usually has a lower snob factor.

Steinway B is usually more expensive and usually has a higher snob factor.




.........not to mention about twice the price.
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Waldszenen
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2005, 12:33:16 PM »

I love the "snob factor" part.

But yeah, a Steinway is always greater than a Yamaha in all aspects (including, unfortunately, the wallet sector).
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nomis
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2005, 01:09:03 PM »

Test the pianos individually, and see which you like better. Do not go for brand names when you can test them.

That said though, if you want to sell you piano, Steinways keep their value better because they're so famous.
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Axtremus
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2005, 04:14:09 PM »

But yeah, a Steinway is always greater than a Yamaha in all aspects (including, unfortunately, the wallet sector).
I disagree. Steinway is NOT always greater in all aspects. I once played 12 Steinway B's (all brand new) and one Yamah S6 in the space of one month, and going by musical performance (no doubt much of it is a matter of subjective personal preference), I'd say that only two of those Steinway B's outperformed the Yamaha S by a bit, the next two Steinway B's performed at about the same level as the Yamaha S, the rest of the Steinway B's weren't all impressive. So, based on that experience, I think it boils down to the individual pianos, the individual doing the selection, the circumstances of the selection, and the condition of the pianos at the moment.

That said though, if you want to sell you piano, Steinways keep their value better because they're so famous.
Not disagreeing with that statement verbatim. Just presenting another side to this: let's say (hypothetically, using constant dollar) you spend $45k to buy a Yamaha S, and ten years later, you get $20k for it -- you lose $25k. You can spend $65k to get a new Steinway B, and ten years later, you get $40k selling it -- you would also lose $25k. So eventhough on a percentage basis Steinway would seem to retain a higher percentage of its initial purchase price, the absolute net cash out lay comes up to about the same. In the mean time, you have an additional $20k tied up in the piano if you buy the Steinway B, and there is an opportunity cost associated with that $20k.

Unless you're very sure you WILL sell the piano in the not-too-distant future, better to just get the piano you like best that you can afford than to devine what the piano's resale value might be in the next 10, 20, 30+ years. Steinway or Yamaha or Pearl River, pianos are consumer items, they are depreciative assets. IMHO, value ("bang for the buck") is better measured by how much joy/utility you extract from the piano divided by the cost of the piano. Wink
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dhb
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2005, 05:34:49 AM »

Before you buy anything try out the new Baldwin F.  I recently purchased the F that was brand new off the assembly line in Arkansas and it is by far the best of anything I have every played.

Traded the Steinway B and am considering very heavily leaving Steinway artist group and applying to Baldwin. 
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G.Fiore
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2005, 06:00:15 AM »

 dhb,  I do hope you mean you purchased a new SF-10E,  and not a model F.  The F has'nt been in production for at least 39 years.
 Anyway, I had a 2001 SF-10 that I traded in in a new Bösendorfer model 214. The SF can be an excellent instrument when properly prepped. Your piano will benefit from a great prep by a good tech.  Don't go by how they arrive from the factory. It might seem great, but believe me it can be much, much, better with a full days going over.
 Enjoy!
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dhb
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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2005, 06:12:17 AM »

yes, and i have had a master tech on it doing some voicing and regulation but seemed to be fairly minor.  Tuner just came again yesterday and I was astounded at completion the difference.
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erecording
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« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2005, 05:10:43 PM »


Steinway is a good manufacture- don't get me wrong. I have a soft spot in my heart for them. However, the key advantage to a Yamaha is consistency. I don't feel this is the case with Steinway. I think they have gotten a bit sloppy over the years. They don't pay attention to details like Yamaha. Both are nice pianos, but the S6 has my vote!

Also, people talk about Steinway holding it's value more than any other piano. I was once told that Steinways appreciate in value 2-4%/yr. If this were true, why do they only offer 100% in trade. I know it sounds like a large amount, but you would think they could offer more if the previous statement is true.

 

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eventemp
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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2005, 03:05:58 AM »

I agree with the comment that Yamahas are more consistant..I owned a C-3 before buying a Steinway Model L...and the L is far superior, to my ear.  But it requires much more expert care..which I can afford and which I have access to, since I live in New Jersey and can get the factory techs to work on it. 
We recently went on a cruise on Holland America, and they had 7 Yamaha grands on board...which would also be my choice for taking a piano to sea. 
Financially, Steinway is a better bet in the only run, no doubt about it.  Right now Steinway is doing very well selling pianos (check their quarterly report @ ticker symbol lvb) .  Last I checked the Steinway dealer in NJ didn't even have any used Model Ls...and had a waiting list of interested buyers. 
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Axtremus
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« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2005, 06:12:41 AM »

We recently went on a cruise on Holland America, and they had 7 Yamaha grands on board...which would also be my choice for taking a piano to sea.
Makes sense... you can buy a much bigger piano (or buy two or three pianos instead of one) for the same money if you choose Yamaha over Steinway, and in case of emergency at sea, bigger pianos make better boat anchors. Cheesy

(Sorry... couldn't resist... Grin )
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allthumbs
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2005, 02:53:33 AM »

Greetings

Both Steinway B and Yamaha S6 are very good pianos and it is true some Steinway B's may not be up to par as far as the reputation of the Steineay name is concerned,however, I would still go with the Model B. I would try out several pianos and pick one that appeals to you, provided you have the money as they are more expensive than the S6. Don't forget, a good piano technician can rework the piano and often bring it up to concert level provided the quality is there to begin with..


Cheers

allthumbs



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LJC
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2005, 06:15:35 PM »

If you find a top B it is noticably better than an S6. I was quoted a very high price on the S6 in NYC which I later found out to be a rip. The 2 S6s that I tried were different and so the S series appears to me not to be as consistant as the C series. I guess a handmade piano demands a discriminating buyer. I much prefer the Steinway's sound. The action in all the Yamahas is as good as anything out there.
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jolly
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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2005, 07:55:23 PM »

The best "home-sized" Steinway built in America is a M&H BB.
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serge1paris
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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2005, 09:24:57 PM »

Hello

I am coming in late on this topic but I went through the same choice a few months ago.

I had a Yamaha C3 for 25 years.  When I recently decided  to undertake serious piano playing again I found it limited and unsatisfactory.

The time had come for a new piano and the S6 became very fast my first choice. Splendid action, beautiful sound... an extremely reliable piano.  I liked it. I found out that the high price (47 000 euros) could be bargained a lot. I could buy it brand new  at about 38 000 and much less when  some retailers had it in shop for a long time. In all cases my C3 was bought back at  5000.

At that time, Steinway was not even in my mind because the high price (67 000 euros) seemed to me out of reach. One day probably  because  I was still hesitating between different retailers for my S6, I called Steinway and checked.  They told me they had  second-hand models B to be rebuilt from 45000 to 50000 euros.

I went there and was extremely attracted by a 1980 Hambourg model B at 45000 euros.

The snob factor is even stronger in Europe and I can't deny it. But the singing warm tone was irresistible and here my C3 was taken back at 10 000 euros. Hard to resist and not so much difference after all ! I didn't resist. I had to wait 4 months to have it rebuilt and delivered home.

The S6 is still a piano I would be delighted to live with.

The model B obviously demands more expert care and excellent techs to deliver completely but the range of expression is wider and the playing more exciting.

I probably would like to have both. The S6 is better for work and studying and model B a more involving instrument, much more emotional. At least the one I've got..
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LJC
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« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2005, 08:20:58 PM »

Jolly, I think the BB is a great piano. There was a BB when I was in college that was great but for the most part I like more Bs than BBs.
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The New Concept: Scores for All Stages of Learning

On the recent Music Education Expo in London, Piano Street presented a new concept for sheet music publication. Depending on your own level of experience and where you are in the learning process of a particular piece, you may need fingering, pedal markings, practice and performance tips, or perhaps the right opposite - a clean Urtext score. Read more >>

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« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2005, 03:24:18 AM »

I'm debating between a Yamaha S6 and a Steinway B.  Do you have any feedback?

The best bet is to go try it yourself, Stacy.  If you got the money, Steinway's are always the best.  Just find the one that's right for you.  Cheers. Wink
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violinist
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« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2005, 11:09:32 PM »

I'm going to try some Yamaha S6's and Shigeru's this weekend.  I currently have a brand new Steinway B - straight from the store, no voicing or tuning yet.  Perhaps I'll have some comparisons to talk about.
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« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2005, 05:36:48 AM »

A lot of your choice will depend on what kind of music you like to play.  Jazz guys love Yamahas - it has a bright, crisp sound they like.  I am more of a classical person, and I personally do not like the way Yamahas sound or the action - too "harsh" and "brittle" for my taste. 

That said, even though I like to gripe about Steinways ocassionally, a good B is a really good piano.  Trouble is you will have to play several to figure out which ones are the good ones and which are not.  They are more variable individually.  They frankly aren't making as many good ones now as they  have in past years.

Yamaha, on the other hand, is a precision-manufactured "machine".  One S6 will be virtually identical to the last one you played.  Because of that, just like in Japanese cars, they will have all the "character" of a mass produced gadget.  Steinways will have more individual character. 

Much of your choice will depend on what kind of person you are and what you like. 
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Axtremus
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« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2005, 07:08:59 AM »

...

... [Steinway] frankly aren't making as many good ones now as they have in past years.
Just curious: How many "past years" Steinway B's and how many "recent years" Steinway B's have you played to come to that judgement? Is it statistically significant?

I have seen/heard people writing/talking about how older Steinways are better than newer ones. But that doesn't jive with my own experiences with old and new Steinways (I like more of the new ones than the old ones), so I'm curious to fine out just how statistically valid the claim is regarding the old/new Steinway comparisons.

...
Yamaha, on the other hand, is a precision-manufactured "machine". One S6 will be virtually identical to the last one you played. Because of that, just like in Japanese cars, they will have all the "character" of a mass produced gadget. Steinways will have more individual character.
Again, out of curiousity, how many S6's have you sampled to come to that conclusion? I have so far played only ONE S6 (and the dealer makes it a point to stress that the S6 is "hand-built in very small number," not "mass-produced"), so I cannot really tell if indeed what you wrote about the S6's is true. Though I do agree that the Steinway B's can vary from one to another quite a bit.

"Individual character" is just another name for "inconsistency." "Consistency" by definition eliminates "individual character." FWIW, I've played 8 or 9 different Fazioli pianos, all sizes from sub-6' to the F-278 concert grand, 3 of which are F-228's, my favorite. I have found even more consistency among the Faziolis than I have from the Yamaha C-series. Still, I like the Faz more than anything else -- all of them have very wide ranges of expressive capabilities for their respective sizes, I feel they are intuitively predictable and entirely dependable, and I don't have to worry about quirks stemming from "individual characters" of the pianos. That lets me concentrate better on the music.

From my vantage point, I really don't want a piano to have too much "character" of its own, much less "individual character" that can deviate greatly from one piano to another within the same make/model. The "character" should be moulded by the composition and the pianist, not something imposed by the hardware.
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allthumbs
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« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2005, 07:32:55 PM »


Greetings


I have seen/heard people writing/talking about how older Steinways are better than newer ones. But that doesn't jive with my own experiences with old and new Steinways (I like more of the new ones than the old ones), so I'm curious to fine out just how statistically valid the claim is regarding the old/new Steinway comparisons.

I think that the old/new comparison of instruments is one that should be made with a few caveats.
Firstly, when comparing an older instrument, (I’m assuming you are talking about ones that are 25 years or older), I think that it's important to realize what condition it is in. Has it been regularly maintained (tuning, voicing, regulating and wear and tear maintenance of parts etc.)? Has it been housed in a suitable environment, been abused?

My experience in general is similar to yours as far as older instruments go. They tended to be disappointing to say the least. However, I have played on some older instruments that have met the criteria I mentioned above and they were beautiful to play. Perhaps a comparison of a fully rebuilt instrument to a new one would provide a better result.

After all, any instrument that has superior materials and craftsmanship would hold its own new or used.


Though I do agree that the Steinway B's can vary from one to another quite a bit.

Yes, I have played on several Model D's, as well as perhaps two dozen B's and the variance between instruments within each model was surprising.

But, it's not a perfect science, as each instrument is unique (materials, craftsmanship) and each has something to offer.


"Individual character" is just another name for "inconsistency." "Consistency" by definition eliminates "individual character." FWIW, I've played 8 or 9 different Fazioli pianos, all sizes from sub-6' to the F-278 concert grand, 3 of which are F-228's, my favorite. I have found even more consistency among the Faziolis than I have from the Yamaha C-series. Still, I like the Faz more than anything else -- all of them have very wide ranges of expressive capabilities for their respective sizes, I feel they are intuitively predictable and entirely dependable, and I don't have to worry about quirks stemming from "individual characters" of the pianos. That lets me concentrate better on the music.

Do you think that the sound and performance of these instruments are commensurate with the higher price?



From my vantage point, I really don't want a piano to have too much "character" of its own, much less "individual character" that can deviate greatly from one piano to another within the same make/model. The "character" should be moulded by the composition and the pianist, not something imposed by the hardware.

I agree, however it's hard to get away from this idea of 'character' as each instrument is unique and will affect the resulting sound that is produced by the pianist.   

Ultimately, one should choose the instrument that speaks to them regardless of the make and price (within your budget of course).

Everthing else becomes academic. Smiley

Cheers

allthumbs




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