1

Topic: Cheap pianos vs expensive pianos

Interesting :


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApGXujZVWf4


I didn't imagined a Yamaha could cost so much.

Last edited by Beto-Music (28-09-2017 04:45)

2

Re: Cheap pianos vs expensive pianos

I believe the premise of this video is flawed from the standpoint of "cheap" versus "expensive" pianos.  Nowhere was a cheap Chinese (Pearl River) or Korean (Samick) piano represented.  At the same time, no Bechstein or Bösendorfer or Shigeru Kawai pianos represented the cream of the top end.

* * * * * * * *

Well, the upright piano was horribly out of tune; in Pianoteq-speak, it was approximately the equivalent of setting the Unison Width slider to values in excess of 3.00 and possibly as high as 4.50.  So let's rule the upright piano out of the game for now.

The other used pianos were approximately 6 feet in length.  Yes, they were in tune for the most part, but the pianist seemed unwilling (or unable) to unleash the beauty of each piano example.  It was equivalent of playing the same somewhat mediocre midi file on all of the instruments and presets of Pianoteq, and then complaining that "all Pianoteq sounds the same".

Ironically, the two Yamaha examples were of a completely different length than the older used pianos, to say nothing that they were new pianos instead of 60+ year old examples of used pianos.  Again, in this video, I believe the performer was unwilling (or unable) to evoke the sounds that each piano is capable of producing.  Therefore, I submit that the video was rendered useless for its intended argument.  I would prefer to rename that video:  "Do all pianos sound the same when played by the same mediocre pianist?"

* * * * * * * * *

The last time I was at a NAMM show (National Association of Musical Merchants) in Annaheim, California USA, I had the opportunity to play pianos representing Yamaha (CFIII at the time), Shigeru Kawai, Blüthner, Bechstein, Steinway, Fazioli, Bösendorfer, Petrof, August Føerster, etc.   Yes, I even tried playing a 9' Pearl River! Each of these pianos was exquisitely regulated and tuned, as each manufacturer wanted to make its own product line sound as beautiful and expressive as possible. 

A particular characteristic I noted (that was not shown in this video) was just how well these high-end pianos sounded when they were played softly.  In fact, I distinctly remember playing a 9' Bechstein very quietly and luxuriating in the sound with the Una Corda pedal pressed, when I was brought back to reality by a fellow NAMM attendee who sat down and began banging away on the Bechstein adjacent to me.  THEN that piano sounded overly bright and comparatively ugly under the hands (or fists or meat hooks?) of that person.

* * * * * *

As usual, I write way too much response in these threads.  Suffice to say, high-end pianos of any brand are truly musical "instruments", much in the manner that an ordinary pair of scissors for lay people becomes an instrument in the hands of a skilled barber or an expert surgeon. (Recall the TV commercials of The Ginsu Knife, which performed so well ... at the hand of a master chef hawking the item.)

Cheers,

Joe

Last edited by jcfelice88keys (29-09-2017 00:34)

3

Re: Cheap pianos vs expensive pianos

+1, Joe !!! :-)

4

Re: Cheap pianos vs expensive pianos

Well, even my ears were able to register clear difference in quality and integrity of tone between first (cheaper) Yamaha and previous 3 older instruments (Yamaha was much better). The last Yamaha didn't impress me that much, though.

Last edited by AlexS (30-09-2017 21:49)

5

Re: Cheap pianos vs expensive pianos

No doubt that most of us would pick a nice house in Florida over a 1983 VW, if we had an extra $363K to spare - and I mean "TO SPARE", i.e. with no higher spending priorities.
OTOH if you want a piano and $600 is all you have (with no higher spending priorities) would you go into debt for something significantly "better" ?
{rhetorical, many people do and do so at hideous interest rates - which forms the basis of debt laden economies}

The law of diminishing returns still applies.

6

Re: Cheap pianos vs expensive pianos

All in all, try to buy the instrument you deserve (now and maybe later)! I once bought a new inexpensive grand: the sound was not too bad, not very ggod either, but the action was awful. One year later I sold it and bought a good second hand grand instead. Just a bit more expensive - yes, I paid more for the second hand one! But it's with me since 35 years now and I still love it :-)

7

Re: Cheap pianos vs expensive pianos

Joe, you are right, this video could be better. Anyway it's interesting.

Why this Yamaha it's so expensive if it's not a brand used in concerts ?

What is the most expensive grand piano for concert, Steinway or Bosendorfer Imperial ?

8

Re: Cheap pianos vs expensive pianos

Do you remamber about the comedy film Crazy People (1990) ?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFUdhSnu5sQ

I can't avoid to think in about a crazy ad in the movie's style (ultra sincerity) for digital píanos, based in theses remarks about real pianos, prices, quality.

A ad like:

"Advanced digital pianos, for you who are too poor or too cheapskate penny-pincher to buy the real thing but enjoys quality."

Last edited by Beto-Music (01-10-2017 16:58)

9

Re: Cheap pianos vs expensive pianos

Beto-Music wrote:

Joe, you are right, this video could be better. Anyway it's interesting.

Why this Yamaha it's so expensive if it's not a brand used in concerts ?

What is the most expensive grand piano for concert, Steinway or Bosendorfer Imperial ?

Regarding your question about Steinway, I may answer you in one word:  "branding".
Steinway does a marvelous job of marketing its pianos by furnishing a worldwide stable of pianos for Steinway Artists, (free of charge, in exchange for the brand name to be placed along the body of the piano for the world to see) and everyone else gets pushed to the side.  In reality, 90% of the world's stages use two brands of pianos, and one of them IS Yamaha(!); however, almost none of those pianos are the 9' Yamaha.  So it's a bit of a shell game in saying that Yamaha shares the world stages with Steinway.

* * * * * * *

When (unsigned Steinway) artists are allowed to select from any brand in the world, they often select a different brand.  However, in light of paying to have those non-Steinway brand pianos dragged to the world's concert stages, most artists choose Steinway.  On the other hand, Steinway artists are bound by contracts to play Steinway and only Steinway in public concerts.

* * * * * *

I have played the CFIII at NAMM shows, and believe it is a truly marvelous piano.  Now, given the choice between the Yamaha 9' grand, and a Bösendorfer, Fazioli, Blüthner as an alternate to a Steinway D, I must confess that Yamaha would not be at the top of my list if the above three brands were at my disposal, and if cost to deliver, tune and prepare the piano were not a concern.

Cheers,

Joe

EDIT:  Oops, I neglected to answer your original question about price comparisons of Steinway D and Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grands.  In fact, the highest price must go to the Bösendorfer.  Again, however, Steinway seems to have cornered the market for providing instruments and setting them up "free of charge" for their Steinway Artists, but these costs get added to the base prices of every other Steinway.  So, "free" to a concert artist is not "free" to the regular customer or institution that purchases a new Steinway of any model.  (Inidentally, I believe Yamaha Corporation has a similar set-up with its own Yamaha Artists, and those extra costs get paid for by every non-artist and institution that purchases a new Yamaha piano.)

END EDIT

Last edited by jcfelice88keys (02-10-2017 01:44)

10

Re: Cheap pianos vs expensive pianos

jcfelice88keys wrote:
Beto-Music wrote:

Joe, you are right, this video could be better. Anyway it's interesting.

Why this Yamaha it's so expensive if it's not a brand used in concerts ?

What is the most expensive grand piano for concert, Steinway or Bosendorfer Imperial ?

Regarding your question about Steinway, I may answer you in one word:  "branding".
Steinway does a marvelous job of marketing its pianos by furnishing a worldwide stable of pianos for Steinway Artists, (free of charge, in exchange for the brand name to be placed along the body of the piano for the world to see) and everyone else gets pushed to the side.  In reality, 90% of the world's stages use two brands of pianos, and one of them IS Yamaha(!); however, almost none of those pianos are the 9' Yamaha.  So it's a bit of a shell game in saying that Yamaha shares the world stages with Steinway.

* * * * * * *

When (unsigned Steinway) artists are allowed to select from any brand in the world, they often select a different brand.  However, in light of paying to have those non-Steinway brand pianos dragged to the world's concert stages, most artists choose Steinway.  On the other hand, Steinway artists are bound by contracts to play Steinway and only Steinway in public concerts.

* * * * * *

I have played the CFIII at NAMM shows, and believe it is a truly marvelous piano.  Now, given the choice between the Yamaha 9' grand, and a Bösendorfer, Fazioli, Blüthner as an alternate to a Steinway D, I must confess that Yamaha would not be at the top of my list if the above three brands were at my disposal, and if cost to deliver, tune and prepare the piano were not a concern.

Cheers,

Joe

FWIW, can anybody tell the difference?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qPp0njnWhk

I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order

11

Re: Cheap pianos vs expensive pianos

In the first video, is it wrong ?
The wide difference in price range for two Yamaha CX7 models from 2017.

yamaha C7X 2017  363.000,00
yamaha C7X 2017    47.000,00

(according the video)

Last edited by Beto-Music (02-10-2017 23:46)

12

Re: Cheap pianos vs expensive pianos

"Piano Sounds Never Heard Before!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHWex94-mHg

13

Re: Cheap pianos vs expensive pianos

Beto-Music wrote:

In the first video, is it wrong ?
The wide difference in price range for two Yamaha CX7 models from 2017.

yamaha C7X 2017  363.000,00
yamaha C7X 2017    47.000,00

(according the video)

$47K seems more "in line" with what I vaguely remember Yam prices to be - if it MATTERS you could look it up in piano buyer's guide.

PART of the reason that some of us here have Pianoteq is that (while it isn't a "perfect" emulation of the various wooden pianos) it is so much less expensive that it represents much better value - i.e. a much high quality/price ratio.
A couple or few hundred dollars vs tens of thousands - - but critics complain that is is a percent or two short of a wooden one.
Hmmm...

14

Re: Cheap pianos vs expensive pianos

I watched the video asking you to tell the difference between various piano brands.

Here is my commentary:

When recordings of pianos have been "normalized" to be within a decibel of each other, it is darned hard to tell them apart.  To me, a better is one that allows me to "emote" -- it has a greater dynamic range and response to my touch -- something that CANNOT be captured in a video.

So, if the bass of a bass-heavy piano has been adjusted to matched the bass of a bass-light piano, then the video and audio have been doctored.

I remain firm in my opinion that videos of these types, while interesting, have little to no value in demonstrating what they claim to portray.

<climbs down from soapbox>

Joe

15

Re: Cheap pianos vs expensive pianos

A particular characteristic I noted (that was not shown in this video) was just how well these high-end pianos sounded when they were played softly.  In fact, I distinctly remember playing a 9' Bechstein very quietly and luxuriating in the sound with the Una Corda pedal pressed,
* * * * * *
Cheers,
Joe

I agree with you totally.  It's all about the clarity of the sound.  I hate old pianos that have hard hammers which make them almost impossible to play with nuance and expression.

Pianoteq Pro 6.x - Linux Mint 18.2 - Mate Desktop