Australian Piano Fair 2011 – Friday 15th July
I went to the Australian piano fair after work today after finding out that it was over 3 days including the Friday which I didn’t realize until I got to work, so not many photos for this day.
My goal is to check out all the grand pianos to figure out which one to save up for in the future.
I tried a number of grand pianos and they felt quite different from what i expected.
The first i tried was a Yamaha GB1K and it was a lot smaller than I imagined. The action was a bit more heavier than my Yamaha T121 and the sound was dull and muffled sounding. When I mentioned that to the Yamaha representative showing me the pianos, he agreed about the sound and mentioned I had good ears. He recommended me to try some of the higher end grands in the C series such as the C2, so I gave them a shot.
I felt that they were not loud enough for me. I tend to like a piano to be loud and let me feel the bass notes as i’m playing them. I feel I get the sensation when playing my upright but it was lacking in the grands. The Yamaha representative mentioned that the piano isn’t near a wall like a vertical is, so it was likely that the sound is projected differently so from a player’s perspective it isn’t as loud but going to the side of the piano, you can hear it louder.
I still felt that the action on the grand was different from my upright. Of course, grand pianos are supposed to have a different more superior action from uprights, so I think it’s likely that i’m just not used to playing grand pianos.
I played most of the C series grand pianos, except one on a raised floor that looked like a concert grand. I didn’t have much time that evening so i didn’t try them all out as thoroughly as I wanted to.
After trying the yamaha grands, I checked out the T121 they had there and felt that the action and sound was not the same as mine. I felt that mine suits my tastes better sound-wise than the one I tried there for some reason.
I tried the other yamaha uprights of the various higher grade models and they certainly have a good improvement to the sound. The action feels different, but is something I can get used to easily. If I were to not get a grand, but a high end upright, these would be worth considering. The ones I liked the best out of those were the YUS3 and YUS5.
I tried some China made pianos.. I think it was Richard.Lipp & Sonn pianos, but both the uprights and grands were terrible. I didn’t like the cheap plastic feeling keys and the tone was not nice. I need confirmation tomorrow as my memory fails me as i can’t remember the exact name of the brand but I think it’s this one.
I continued to try more Chinese made pianos and tried a Story & Clark grand SCS700V priced at $16,499AU. Somehow it seemed to catch me by suprise as it had a sound that i was looking for and with an action that felt good. However there was an area of concern where of the bass G# keys got stuck down a bit when pressed and didn’t return properly. The difference from my upright is an improvement in sound but not by a huge amount.
When I tried the Story & Clark uprights, the tone and action didn’t meet my expectations.
There were a lot of other Chinese pianos but I didn’t get to sample them all as I didn’t have the time. I’ll try them all out tommorrow and the day after. I did recall some had sticking keys, cheap feeling keys, or squeaking pedals. However I believe all those problems are minor and can readily be fixed during a tuning. It still does make you wonder about quality control though.
I did find a used Kawai piano which was about $4000 and sounded and felt similar to the Yamaha
uprights. I will have to replay it to figure out how it really compares. The touch I think was lighter, but sounded very similar.
I tried a few digital pianos too, The top Yamaha clavinovas, the CLP-480 wasn’t as good as I expected. The action wasn’t to my liking and the sound wasn’t acoustic level either. Also there was no resonating soundboard or vibration when playing bass notes like what I felt when playing a high end yamaha digital piano last year in Japan. I have no idea what model it was but I’d like to play it again. I’ll check again for it tomorrow.
I found the new model of my Yamaha DGX-630 called the DGX-640. The design I don’t like as much and the sound is the same but the key action feels much more realistic. It is closer to the type of touch I like in a digital piano.The price is also much cheaper, I paid $1600AU for my DGX-630, but the DGX-640 is only $1199 I would love to upgrade to the newer one but I can’t really justify it just for the action.
The YDP-S31 next to it is much simpler, just a piano sound but it is a slightly better one and also has a better feeling action. It is very compact and I can’t figure where the speakers are located. The speakers are a little lacking for bass, but it’s stylish and compact.
I tried the Yamaha Modus H1 and F1/F11 and they were quite pricey.. Near the $10,000 price. They weren’t particularly great with the sound though as I tried playing a song using some jazz/blues chords and it just sounded wrong compared to how it sounds on an acoustic. I suspect it’s either the speakers or the recording of the piano.
Anyway, thats all I can recall at the moment. I’m still excited after trying out heaps of pianos and can’t wait to try more over the weekend. Currently I think my year of playing an upright piano has made me biased towards uprights for being closest to my ideal feel and sound of pianos.
More to come in my next post. (Pictures to be added soonish)