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Searching for a Good Baby Grand model. (Read 900 times)

Offline ivorycherry

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Searching for a Good Baby Grand model.
« on: November 06, 2020, 02:38:06 AM »
Hey guys,
Iíve never really posted on pianostreet but I am in need of an acoustic piano(preferably a baby grand under 6- 6 1/2 feet). I have been playing on a digital piano and itís starting to become hard to express dynamics and the touch isnít great either. Recent pieces Iím playing are ChopinĎs Etude opus 10 no 12, Lisztís Liebestraum no 3, Scriabin impromptu opus 12 no 2, both Brahmsí rhapsodies op 79, Beethoven Sonata no 8 first movement, and a bunch of Bach WTC.

I am looking for a baby grand under $20k U.S. dollars and not any longer than 6- 6 1/2 ft. I really liked the Yamahaís c series. And have also been looking into some Kawai too. If you guys could be kind enough to tell me which brands and models you guys found good and would reccomend and which ones to steer clear from.

Thanks,
Alex :)

Offline ivorycherry

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Re: Searching for a Good Baby Grand model.
«Reply #1 on: November 06, 2020, 02:40:20 AM »
Sorry meant to say $25k was my budget. The piano also doesnít need to be new too.

Alex

Offline ivorycherry

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Re: Searching for a Good Baby Grand model.
«Reply #2 on: November 06, 2020, 03:06:47 AM »
What I meant by the piano doesnít have to be new is that a Piano may cost 30k as new but used it might cost only 20k.

Offline ivorycherry

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Re: Searching for a Good Baby Grand model.
«Reply #3 on: November 06, 2020, 05:10:19 AM »
Are any of the Yamaha GB1K/GC pianos any good?

Offline derschoenebahnhof

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Re: Searching for a Good Baby Grand model.
«Reply #4 on: November 06, 2020, 07:04:48 PM »
Quote
Are any of the Yamaha GB1K/GC pianos any good?
I would stay away from the lower end GC1 or GC2. The Sostenuto pedal only applies to half the strings.

Personally I have a Yamaha C2X (bought 6 years ago) and happy with it so far (but yes it is bright). You may need to do some voicing to tame the brightness, I do light voicing every few months. I love the Yamaha action too.
If looking at used pianos I suggest try Mason Hamlin, I tested one in a store and it had a gorgeous sound and light action (just the right bright / bell like sound), but my wife didn't want to buy a used piano. Different issue there obviously :D

My own experience is that it is hard to shop for an acoustic piano when you have only played a digital before. After a few years using an acoustic you start to understand what to look for (but that is after you already bought the instrument). After you play on an acoustic you will rarely want to go back to a digital though  8)

Voicing can make a huge difference if you find a qualified technician. A good voicer mostly uses needles and not chemicals (especially to soften a hammer, there is no need to ever use a chemical IMO).

Offline ivorycherry

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Re: Searching for a Good Baby Grand model.
«Reply #5 on: November 06, 2020, 08:29:15 PM »
Hello,
Thanks for responding. Any thoughts on the GB1K or GH1? I used to play a GH1 and a C2X at my teacherís studio and from what I remember I really liked them. Unfortunately, because of COVID my piano teacher is doing everything through zoom or Skype so I donít really have the chance to test pianos out. My teacher mostly recommend Yamahas, and Kawais but not as much as Yamahas.

Iím kind of uneasy about the GB1K and the GH1 because they are both under 5í3Ē. I like the C2X, but buying a new C2X is just too far over my budget. But there a lot of places near by which sell used ones in good condition from 10k to 20k. I was looking at Kawais, and the GL-30 seems good because I could stretch my budget a little but itís only 5í5Ē. The GL-40 looks like a way better choice and itís 5í11Ē but itís also a little too much over my budget. New pianos are expensive. Thatís where I have two questions. One, at least how long should the piano be? I was uneasy about the Yamahas GB1K and the GH1, and the Kawai GL-30 because of their length. Could you guys tell me at what length a piano starts to have good sound? Two, new pianos are very expensive and the only ones I can afford are under 5í5Ē. Is it worth to buy a used piano? They are a lot cheaper and I could probably get a good Yamaha or Kawai Saloon or Conservatory size piano that way. Are used pianos okay to buy? Or are they not good because theyíre used? Iíve been told very different answers from different people so just wondering.

Lastly, about Yamaha pianos, I understood from what you were saying that I should voice my Yamaha if possible. I know that Yamaha has a very bright sound, so the extra voicing would be a very likely possibility, but is it something mandatory to do with Yamahas or should the voicing be based on personal opinion? I myself prefer a warmer sound, but not a dull one so I am curious.

Thanks in advance,
Alex :)

Offline derschoenebahnhof

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Re: Searching for a Good Baby Grand model.
«Reply #6 on: November 06, 2020, 09:37:30 PM »
Quote
I donít really have the chance to test pianos out
Aren't some stores open (even if by appointment only)? I would really try to get the feel of the action and the sound too.

To me, if money is a concern then yes I would go with a used piano, and I wouldn't go below 5'8". I tested a 1978 C3 sold by a private owner (didn't end up buying it as he was asking for too much), but lovely sound and great action and it was under 20k. The recommendation I read is to have a technician inspect a used piano before buying, it may cost some $ but save more later.

Larger pianos have richer sound as well as a more thunderous bass.

Quote
Lastly, about Yamaha pianos, I understood from what you were saying that I should voice my Yamaha if possible. I know that Yamaha has a very bright sound, so the extra voicing would be a very likely possibility, but is it something mandatory to do with Yamahas or should the voicing be based on personal opinion? I myself prefer a warmer sound, but not a dull one so I am curious.

Voicing is not mandatory but very personal :) The sound you will get depends on the environment where your piano will be located. Hardwood floor (will sound brighter) or all carpeted (will sound warmer)? Low ceiling, high ceiling? Avoid being too close to a large window as well (oops, I have all these combined, low ceiling, hardwood floor, and large window). I have wood panelling on top of drywall (old house) - I think it brings more brightness and echo.

Other brands may have a warmer sound, like Baldwin, Steinway (warm sound but $$$), Bechstein...

Anyway, hmm, back to work  ;)

Offline ivorycherry

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Re: Searching for a Good Baby Grand model.
«Reply #7 on: November 06, 2020, 11:52:26 PM »
Thank you for your help. I have scheduled a visit to a store nearby for Monday next week and I will test out some pianos and get some experience(hopefully) have some questions for you guys.

Offline jcazador

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Re: Searching for a Good Baby Grand model.
«Reply #8 on: November 08, 2020, 01:11:30 AM »
I have a Yamaha C3, 10 years old.  I bought it used earlier this year.  I love it.  I do not comprehend why pianists who are concerned about finances restrict themselves to buying a new piano.  Even a new piano will benefit from adjustments by an expert.  In my case, the expert took my action to his shop for a week, and now my piano could not sound or feel any better.
Yes, you need to find an expert you can trust.  But that is also true if you buy a new piano.

Offline ivorycherry

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Re: Searching for a Good Baby Grand model.
«Reply #9 on: November 08, 2020, 01:40:00 AM »
Thank you for your thoughts, they are much appreciated.

The reason I am sort of limiting myself to a used piano is that my budget is around 25k to 30k usd and the piano I would like to purchase would be a Yamaha C2 or C3 since those are the most recommended to me and I like the action of Yamaha, but they are out of reach for my budget for them to be bought new. I am going to a store nearby tomorrow to test out a bunch of different brands and hopefully get some knowledge on which other brands and models I like and could be in my financial reach.

About the technician and adjustments, if I purchase a used piano should it be mandatory for me to have an expert make adjustments or tweak some stuff, or is it not significantly important if the piano seems to already be in good condition?  Also, should I have an expert inspect it BEFORE I purchase the piano as @derschoenebahnhof suggested to make sure itís actually in good condition? I am wondering because the store that I am purchasing my piano seems very qualified and I donít think thereís a need to inspect the pianos because they say that they make sure once in a while to keep their pianos in good shape.


Thanks in advance,
Alex :)

Offline jcazador

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Re: Searching for a Good Baby Grand model.
«Reply #10 on: November 09, 2020, 01:06:08 AM »
I spent a lot less for my Yamaha C3 than the figure you mention,
even including the trucking and adjustments.  And I almost bought a Baldwin Model L for even less. 
I searched for 2 years before I found my C3.  Meanwhile I played a Yamaha U1 that was excellent musically, it had some external superficial termite damage, so I paid very little for it.
My search was extensive, using craigs bookmarks for all the major areas of USA.  I spoke with people who make crates and specialize in shipping pianos.  And I found experts to examine each piano in which I was interested.  It was a lot of time and effort but it paid off in the long run.
Eventually I bought my C3 from an 87 year old professional jazz musician who was closing down his studio.
There are lots of good pianos out there, you must be patient if your budget is limited.
As Duke Kahanamoku said: "be patient, wave always come".

Offline madame k466

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Re: Searching for a Good Baby Grand model.
«Reply #11 on: January 10, 2021, 12:19:13 AM »
I would try different brands of pianos. What about ED Seiler, or
Schimmel model C (used) I believe the Wilhelm Schimmel also
has a very nice tone. Just a thought, look beyond Yamaha.

Offline madame k466

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Re: Searching for a Good Baby Grand model.
«Reply #12 on: January 10, 2021, 12:24:15 AM »
I would try different brands of pianos. What about ED Seiler, or
Schimmel model C (used) I believe the Wilhelm Schimmel also
has a very nice tone. Just a thought, look beyond Yamaha.

Offline ivorycherry

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Re: Searching for a Good Baby Grand model.
«Reply #13 on: January 10, 2021, 05:28:50 AM »
Omg thank you so much for replying I thought no one would ever reply here again. So, my family is in a situation right now where we found out weíre gonna be moving in July and I couldnít  stand my digital piano and it really sucked so we rented an upright for 6 months and then when we move we will buy a baby grand. And so the brand of the upright is Hallet Davis and Im generally really happy with it and think it will be adequate for 6 months. And when I was at the store I played on their grands and I really loved them. I just felt like the action and the heaviness of the keys on the Hallet Davis grands was just right and the sound was awesome. They fit my budget pretty well. Any thoughts on this brand? Anyone even hear of it before? The name was new to me when I visited the store last week.

Thanks in advance,
Alex



P.S.
When I was at the store I played Petrof grands and they were AWESOME! Like literally the best pianos I ever played on. I liked them more than the Steinways and Bosendorfers. Too bad theyíre waaaaaaaay out of my budget. But Iíll be sure to invest in one when Iím older.

Online lostinidlewonder

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Re: Searching for a Good Baby Grand model.
«Reply #14 on: January 12, 2021, 07:01:48 AM »
Baby grands are more of an ornamental piece, you just don't really get the benefit from longer strings in a baby grand setup and putting your money towards the best upright will give you a better instrument. If you have $25k to spend you really can go for a good 2nd hand deal. I sold a couple of years ago a 7'4 Kawai grand for $15k Australian dollars (I actually made money off that sale too!). If you look around carefully you will find an amazing deal for the price range you are looking at. Avoid retail stores and go for private sellers, you may need to hire an accredited piano tuner to appraise any instrument you are serious in buying. I bought the Kawai without having seen it, it was in another state, so I paid a good technician to go have a look at it for me and send me a report. I don't know about your covid restrictions in your area though, but certainly take time, don't rush and see if you can find a great private deal.
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Offline chouca

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Re: Searching for a Good Baby Grand model.
«Reply #15 on: January 27, 2021, 07:26:49 AM »
Yamaha GC1 (2006) is a very nice little grand and it has true Sustenato not limited in any way.