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YAMAHA C2 VS KAWAI AND BOSTON (Read 798 times)

Offline delmbcan

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YAMAHA C2 VS KAWAI AND BOSTON
« on: August 26, 2020, 03:22:22 AM »
I am looking for opinions about a piano purchase which will happen in the next month likely. I am so confused talking to all the piano dealers/technicians.

Background: I have six kids, ages 18-4, 5 play piano right now, next year the youngest will start. Piano grades:Gr. 10, Gr. 9, Gr. 8, Gr.6 and beginner. I also would like to take lessons once I am done paying for the kids. ;)

I have found a used ten year old Yamaha C2 for $15,000 Canadian. It is rated 4.7/5 on an appraisal by a reputable technician and seems mint. It was only used for kids up to gr. 5 piano, so barely broke in.

I also looked at new Yamaha which was around the $31,000 mark. I loved the silent feature, but I have a hard time paying so much for that feature. ($8000)

I currently own a 5 year Essex (China Steinway) upright. I can trade it in (retains full value I paid) towards a Boston Grand (kawai made), but I am looking at more money.

My kids are serious about piano, do festivals/exams, etc. We need a better instrument with the abuse my piano takes when everyone practices.

Will I notice 5'8 vs 5'10? Kawai warmer than Yamaha? I live in the middle of no where so I drove 6 hours round trip to try Yamaha. I have heard the Boston and we have listened to recordings of Kawai. Is it just voicing or will they always sound a certain way?

Which piano would you recommend? The upright is going.

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: YAMAHA C2 VS KAWAI AND BOSTON
«Reply #1 on: August 26, 2020, 08:54:09 AM »
I own a Yamaha C2 and I loved it FAR more than your standard Kawai models. If it was a Shigeru Kawai, I would have to think more about the comparison - but the sound and feel of a Yamaha is far better than a Kawai.

Boston, I sadly don't know enough about - but I think that statement serves as a self-explanatory reason few know about it.

Offline quantum

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Re: YAMAHA C2 VS KAWAI AND BOSTON
«Reply #2 on: August 26, 2020, 01:47:21 PM »
The university I attended had both Kawai and Yamaha.  I play a C3 at home.  Personally, I felt the largest differences were in the tonal characteristics between Kawai and Yamaha.  Sometimes a passage that I learned at home on my Yamaha, would need to be revoiced to play on the Kawai pianos at school, because the Kawais just dealt with tones differently.  It's not a bad thing, you just need to know the pianos will react differently to your inputs. 

I like both brands, and appreciate the qualities each of them highlights.  To my ears, Kawai tends to put more emphasis on overtones, Yamaha has more sculpting of the fundamental.  I love the Yamaha pianissimo, and the range and depth of tone you can get playing softly. 

You can voice a piano to a degree, but it is good to start with a piano that is in the ballpark of what you are looking for.  My Yamaha does not have the typical stock sound, it has a darker tone with less of the hardness some people criticize about the Yamaha tone. 

Agree with perfect_pitch, the Shigeru pianos I've played were sublime.  The most responsive action I have ever played. 

I would not put too much weight on trade-in value.  Get the piano you want, not the piano that shows a flashy deal.  A little money spread over a lifetime of music and enjoyment, what is that worth to you.

For a silent playing, I would opt to supplement a grand with a digital stage piano.   It is portable when you need it, plus you can move it beside your computer if you want to do some work in a DAW or notation entry.  You could also move it into another room so two people can practice at the same time.  You might even end up doing 2p4h concertos since you say your kids are serous about music.  The total cost of grand + digital would likely be far less than getting a silent acoustic piano.  The two instrument solution, is also more versatile. 

I've played some Bostons, they tend to have a beefy low end.  If you like impressive sounding bass, then go try one.  Although, the cost to performance ratio is something I would think about.  A little bit more and you can get a Steinway. 

As for the Yamaha or Kawai, I strongly urge you to play a Kawai in person in order to make a fair comparison.  It is something that you really need to experience to understand the differences. 
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: YAMAHA C2 VS KAWAI AND BOSTON
«Reply #3 on: August 26, 2020, 02:04:03 PM »
Agree with perfect_pitch, the Shigeru pianos I've played were sublime.  The most responsive action I have ever played. 

Erm... a little out of context. I said that Shigeru were better than your standard C brand Yamaha pianos, but they're not that brilliant. Fazioli are far superior to Shigeru's; almost to the point where I feel that Kawai were trying to emulate the action of a Fazioli.

Offline quantum

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Re: YAMAHA C2 VS KAWAI AND BOSTON
«Reply #4 on: August 26, 2020, 05:28:05 PM »
Erm... a little out of context. I said that Shigeru were better than your standard C brand Yamaha pianos, but they're not that brilliant. Fazioli are far superior to Shigeru's; almost to the point where I feel that Kawai were trying to emulate the action of a Fazioli.

I must have interpreted your post inaccurately.

Though, I think it is a matter of taste at this level of piano.  I stand by what I say about Shigeru.  Fazioli may have a more impressive sound, but IMO the Shigeru action is unmatched. 
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline quantum

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Re: YAMAHA C2 VS KAWAI AND BOSTON
«Reply #5 on: August 26, 2020, 05:38:09 PM »
To the OP,

Another thing,  some people feel that the Kawai sound shares some characteristics with the Steinway sound.  Boston is manufactured by Kawai. 


Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline delmbcan

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Re: YAMAHA C2 VS KAWAI AND BOSTON
«Reply #6 on: August 27, 2020, 04:53:14 PM »
Thank you all for your input. I will not forget what you have said. I am keeping it for reference if we ever switch again.

So, we decided and ended up getting the C2. It was $15,000 (keep my Essex) and I was looking at $27,000 for the Kawai and $28,000 for the Boston with my Essex traded in. So, if I can sell my Essex for $5000, hopefully more, I will have bought a C2 for $10,000 difference. I hope I made the right decision..... Perhaps, down the road I can trade the C2 in for a "dream" piano, but for now, I think this will get the job done.

Next step, covers. Do I need it on all the time? What type should I get. Again, I am not musical and my husband isn't either, so please be brutally honest about the pros and cons.

Offline quantum

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Re: YAMAHA C2 VS KAWAI AND BOSTON
«Reply #7 on: August 27, 2020, 06:20:12 PM »
Congratulations on the decision.

For my own piano, I thought about getting a cover for it after it had arrived in my home.  It just did not happen, I play it too frequently to cover it up.  I've got a thick piece of fabric to use as a dust cover, but it is not one of those specially formed piano covers.  It always gets removed when I play. 

The specially made piano covers can be thick, heavy, difficult to fold, and awkward to stow away when you are using the piano.  They do a great job when on the piano.  If you need it, you need it.  Just be mindful of where you are going to put it when it is not on the piano.  Under the piano is an option, though it will absorb sound there and it is not the neatest looking presentation, probably okay for practice.  For example, the dust cover for the 6 foot piano in a church I regularly played at, rolled up to the size of approximately two carry-on luggage cases.  It was easier to roll than to fold it.   

Here is a tip, always fold or roll a dust cover so the outside facing surface remains outside.  If you fold it so the inside faces out, that surface could pick up dust from wherever you stow away the cover. 

You have a lot of people in your family that like to play piano.  Consider this in the value of your Essex.  What is worth more to you, $5k or a second piano to play, a second piano for duets?  Think about how your piano or pianos might be used.  Would having a second piano benefit the way you or your kids practice.  You already have the Essex, you don't need to do much else to acquire a second piano, it is already in your home.  You are unlikely to be loosing any value on the Essex by trying out how two pianos work in your family for a couple months. 



Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline delmbcan

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Re: YAMAHA C2 VS KAWAI AND BOSTON
«Reply #8 on: August 28, 2020, 08:53:45 PM »
Hi Quantum,

Thanks for the tips. I will certainly try and convince my husband we should keep both pianos, I would love them to be able to play duels, but we don't have a big living room to handle a grand and upright (and a Christmas tree in Dec). We have a very disproportionate house since we spend a lot of time with family in the kitchen and dining area. The kids play lots of duel piano material with their teacher, so I was hoping the little ones could pair up with the older ones and try it at home. We will see....

I am a bit confused about the statement, "outside facing surface remains outside" and I'm not sure how to roll it. I may get a thin sheet type, if I get one. Yes, our piano will be used much of they day since I have five kids homeschooling this year, to avoid all the COVID mandates. I have a feeling the kids will end up home most of the time anyway, so I thought we will just avoid it this year - less stress.

Last question, humidifer - YES or NO? I hear such conflicting information. It is $850 to put it in the grand. Our Essex already has one, but I second guess it. In Manitoba we have a variety of climate and most people I know have them.

Offline quantum

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Re: YAMAHA C2 VS KAWAI AND BOSTON
«Reply #9 on: September 02, 2020, 02:03:57 PM »
The specially made piano covers have one side that is intended to be in contact with the piano (inside facing) and one intended to protect the piano (outside facing).  The inside facing fabric is soft and the outside facing fabric is tough and canvas like. 

If you were to fold or roll the cover so the soft inside facing fabric faces outward and store the cover on the floor while playing the piano, then the soft fabric meant to prevent scratches could pick up dust and debris from the floor and eventually get that on the piano finish when it is placed back on the piano.  It would negate the reason for having a dust cover - dust itself is an abrasive.  So when you fold or roll the cover keep that tough outer material facing out.  It takes more work to fold like this, but it will help keep your cover clean on the inside.  The specially made piano covers are not as easy to fold as a bed sheet or tablecloth, as the side pieces can be bulky. 

If you can sew, you could make a cover yourself.  It would be good to look at one of those covers first, to get an idea of what goes into it. 

A humidifier can allow a tuning to last longer.  Have you tried turning your Essex humidifier off, having observed if it made a considerable difference?  If you are questioning its effectiveness you could try your C2 without a humidifier for a year and see how it copes.  If it goes out of tune too quickly then you could put one in at a later date.  I don't have one installed on my piano, and just try to keep the room temperature and humidity from large swings.  However, I do tuning on my own piano, and have observed the times of the year the piano tends to shift tuning. 

Definitely consider keeping the Essex if you can.  With so many in your family wanting to play the piano, having two could provide that extra outlet of creativity. 

Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline visitor

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Re: YAMAHA C2 VS KAWAI AND BOSTON
«Reply #10 on: September 02, 2020, 02:33:54 PM »
Lot of good info said already

If you plan to keep it or trade up to steinway grand later , get the new boston , if instrument will see heavy use the warranty had value here . Trading in within your timeline to a steinway will be a key reason to stay in the program and so thinking long term what model you'd want in the future will let you back into the costs you're willing to tolerate now 

Offline dogperson

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Re: YAMAHA C2 VS KAWAI AND BOSTON
«Reply #11 on: September 02, 2020, 06:37:10 PM »
Lot of good info said already

If you plan to keep it or trade up to steinway grand later , get the new boston , if instrument will see heavy use the warranty had value here . Trading in within your timeline to a steinway will be a key reason to stay in the program and so thinking long term what model you'd want in the future will let you back into the costs you're willing to tolerate now


Hey Visitor
They purchased the C2