The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Yamaha Grand Piano Recording in a Studio
Old 14th May 2017
  #31
For something like a piano, surely it's unique to every instrument - especially 2nd hand? like old guitars, there'll be some great ones, some dogs. We have a lovely C7 that isn't that bright but people love it - both to play and to record. However, the piano tuner says it's a dog to tune, and he keeps trying to sell me a $27k new one...!
Old 10th June 2017
  #32
Gear Maniac
 
jffmusic's Avatar
 

OK, I have being trying Pianos and checking prices on used ones.

I'm moving towards:

Yamaha C3, G5 or C5 (C7 would be great but over my budget right now).

This would be for an all purpose Piano for a Studio, mostly for band playing but I imagine sometimes could be used for Solo playing as well.

Details:

1) For Pop and Rock, do you think any of these work fine? Do you think would be a much difference in quality between the C3 and the G5/C5 for this kind of Music?

2) For Solo music let's say classical music, can you have good results recording any of these or some of these are too small for this purpose?

3) Starting on what size you consider a Piano to be professionally fitted for a Studio and that could attract Clients? Is the C3 does not look professional for a Studio?

4) I see some dealers that are importing Pianos from the 80's from Japan and they automatically change all strings, placing some Custom made strings copies of the original Yamahas. They clean the Piano and put it ready for sale. Do you think this is good? Would this renew the live of the Piano? I can't find many bad reviews and they say they are selling a lot to Studio in LA and other parts.

5) Which would be the best place to get these used Pianos?

Thanks!
Old 10th June 2017
  #33
Gear Addict
To be honest, all the different yamaha models over the years confuse the hell out of me, but I can tell you this: you need a piano about 7' long in order to have a scale design that doesnt have noticeable breaks between the bass and lower tenor region(where the copper wound strings meet the regular strings. Properly rebuilt/refurbished pianos can be just as good as new models for sure(and a decent piano from the 70s is quite young and really wouldn't need more that new strings or a good cleaning of the old strings as well as some action regulation and maybe voicing down the hammers), but you have to do your homework. I'm no expert yamaha guy, but I remember there being some problems with certain era yamahas not handling the more drastic American climates that well, but that could just be some yamaha haters.

Yamaha c7 is a pop icon piano and it can work with classical music as well but would probably need to be voiced quite differently. I don't know your budget but pianos can vary widely in price depending on where you shop.

The best deals are most definitely to be found on craigslist where you can find the panicked buyers that are moving and have nowhere to put their 7+ foot pianos, but you have to search and you have to know what to look for. There is also a site called pianomart but the sellers there tend to value their pianos much higher and arent in a hurry to sell. Also be sure to check out ebay. Working with dealers with not get you anywhere near the deals, but you should have the dealers support in case something goes wrong and to some people that is very important.

I think another great brand for a generalist kind of piano would be from kawaii, particularly the RX series. There are tons more pianos of course, but those two brands probably make the pianos that are most similar in quality from piano to piano.

May I ask your budget?
Old 10th June 2017
  #34
Lives for gear
 
Joao B.'s Avatar
 

I'm currently in a similar situation bur considering the S4. Anybody wanna share their opinion regarding this model?
Old 10th June 2017
  #35
Gear Maniac
 
jffmusic's Avatar
 

Yes. I would like to spend between 6K to 8K, not sure if a bit more in case I could find a good deal for a used C5.

C3 maybe a little small, it's a 6.1 feet. It sounds good anyway.
C5 is 6.7 feet so I think it's a good size.
G5 it's also 6.7 feet but depends on the year this could be an option. It's a bit cheaper but I would prefer a C5.
C7 is too expensive now.

Thanks.
Old 10th June 2017
  #36
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by jffmusic View Post
C7 is too expensive now.

Thanks.
I would regularly check craigslist. You might get surprised by what you find.

But yeah I think 6' 7'' would be a pretty workable size for a recording studio particularly with a contemporary music leaning.


Also, you might want to look at older baldwin pianos, maybe around 1980. You can get crazy deals on them and they really are equivalent to american steinways as far as build quality, plus they have much more attack to them and so I think they work well for pop and rock music. One just sold on ebay for 8k, and it was a 9 footer. The SD and SF models are the good ones. Just make sure they were pre gibson era baldwins.
Old 10th June 2017
  #37
I tried over 30 pianos before I found 'the one'. If you take your time and choose on the basis of how it plays and sounds rather than what model number it is, you wont go wrong.
Old 10th June 2017
  #38
Lives for gear
 
Joao B.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I tried over 30 pianos before I found 'the one'. If you take your time and choose on the basis of how it plays and sounds rather than what model number it is, you wont go wrong.

Trevor, which one did you get?
Old 10th June 2017
  #39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joao B. View Post
Trevor, which one did you get?
Not what I expected to end up with at all. But I was advised to keep an open mind and I'm very glad I did. I ended up with a Yamaha UX3 (which is an upright). I have had some pretty big names in since I got it and while some people have been sniffy when they arrive and realise it's an upright, all have been complementary about it (one very well known piano player saying it was the finest upright he had ever played).

There are three clips on this page: Opera, Alan Taylor and Piano in which it features. You can hear how different it can sound just by changing mics and positions: Soundfiles | Circle Studios
Old 10th June 2017
  #40
Lives for gear
 
Joao B.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Not what I expected to end up with at all. But I was advised to keep an open mind and I'm very glad I did. I ended up with a Yamaha UX3 (which is an upright). I have had some pretty big names in since I got it and while some people have been sniffy when they arrive and realise it's an upright, all have been complementary about it (one very well known piano player saying it was the finest upright he had ever played).

There are three clips on this page: Opera, Alan Taylor and Piano in which it features. You can hear how different it can sound just by changing mics and positions: Soundfiles | Circle Studios
That's pretty cool!

I know how sniffy players can be. While piano hunting with the help of a professional piano player he said that some people don't even consider a studio if it has a C5, which I think is complete nonsense.
Old 11th June 2017
  #41
Gear Maniac
 
jffmusic's Avatar
 

Thanks Sroreilly!

Yes craigslist and ebay are good options. My concern is how I check it if it's not in the same city as I am. A C5 was sold sometime ago for a very good price through e-bay but the guy didn't offer return, so I didn't risk it, and it was in a different city. Or you don't think it would be a risk to go for it??

How you see the difference in sound, quality and client attraction between having a C3 (6.1 feet) and a C5 (6.7 feet).

Yes I agree that each Piano sounds different and you have to look for the one you like. Also I have played C3s that sound better than a C5. But not sure if that difference matter when the shop changes all the strings?? There are some shops that buy Pianos in Japan from the 80's/90's and just change all strings and sell those as "new". People buy those online without even playing it. Not sure if this is OK.

Also it's important for a commercial studio the perception of your potential clients about what you have. Yes they could come in and try it and if it sounds good thats cool. This is my concern on the Baldwin as well.

Thx!
Old 12th June 2017
  #42
Quote:
Originally Posted by jffmusic View Post
Thanks Sroreilly!

Yes craigslist and ebay are good options. My concern is how I check it if it's not in the same city as I am. A C5 was sold sometime ago for a very good price through e-bay but the guy didn't offer return, so I didn't risk it, and it was in a different city. Or you don't think it would be a risk to go for it??

How you see the difference in sound, quality and client attraction between having a C3 (6.1 feet) and a C5 (6.7 feet).

Yes I agree that each Piano sounds different and you have to look for the one you like. Also I have played C3s that sound better than a C5. But not sure if that difference matter when the shop changes all the strings?? There are some shops that buy Pianos in Japan from the 80's/90's and just change all strings and sell those as "new". People buy those online without even playing it. Not sure if this is OK.

Also it's important for a commercial studio the perception of your potential clients about what you have. Yes they could come in and try it and if it sounds good thats cool. This is my concern on the Baldwin as well.

Thx!
After the experience I had I just wouldn't even consider buying a piano I hadn't seen/heard/played. If you aren't willing to travel to see the piano in question, rule it out. At one dealer I played multiple pianos right next to each other, theoretically identical. All felt and sounded entirely different (and I didn't go with any of them).
Old 12th June 2017
  #43
Lives for gear
 
studiostuff's Avatar
 

Having a grand piano that sounds good and is in good tune and good repair is expected at some level of running a commercial studio. No big deal...

If however you have an outstanding grand piano, the word will get out and it won't matter very much what brand or what size it is.

I've restrung several dozen grand pianos in the past and would never buy one that had been restrung. Are the tuning pins oversized...? Is the pin block damaged or rotten...? Has the soundboard been replaced...? All indicators of serious piano damage (not always, but often).

Play the piano you are thinking of buying. When it is the right piano, it will absolutely talk to you and tell you so...
Old 12th June 2017
  #44
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Not what I expected to end up with at all. But I was advised to keep an open mind and I'm very glad I did. I ended up with a Yamaha UX3 (which is an upright).
Yes! The Yamaha U's can sound great, players seem to like playing them, and in a pop/rock-recording context I like them because the soundboard is right there in the player's face, not off thataway somewhere.

Only thing I don't like about uprights is the eye-contact issue, but it's not a deal killer.

I've been hunting for a used U1 for a while now.
Old 14th June 2017
  #45
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by jffmusic View Post
Thanks Sroreilly!

Yes craigslist and ebay are good options. My concern is how I check it if it's not in the same city as I am. A C5 was sold sometime ago for a very good price through e-bay but the guy didn't offer return, so I didn't risk it, and it was in a different city. Or you don't think it would be a risk to go for it??

How you see the difference in sound, quality and client attraction between having a C3 (6.1 feet) and a C5 (6.7 feet).

Yes I agree that each Piano sounds different and you have to look for the one you like. Also I have played C3s that sound better than a C5. But not sure if that difference matter when the shop changes all the strings?? There are some shops that buy Pianos in Japan from the 80's/90's and just change all strings and sell those as "new". People buy those online without even playing it. Not sure if this is OK.

Also it's important for a commercial studio the perception of your potential clients about what you have. Yes they could come in and try it and if it sounds good thats cool. This is my concern on the Baldwin as well.

Thx!

well... one answer is that no, you should not buy a piano without playing it and even then you would want to have some basic knowledge about what can go wrong on a used piano and what to look for. You can always pay a local tech to check out the piano for you. It would probably set you back 100$ or so. Also you have to consider the moving costs, which can be quite expensive.

As a side note about yamahas(and kawais): they are known, in their mid-tier pianos, for the efficiency and ability to replicate exactly one piano to the next in their building of these particular pianos. These are not handmade instruments, and the quality control is actually quite excellent. So in a sense, these two makes of piano do not vary as much piano to piano in the building process; their variance is more based on the history of each particular piano and what it has gone through.

So basically, I would never recommend buying a piano without playing it first, but if I were to recommend a brand to do so with, yamaha would be at the top of the list... but still at least have a tech check it out. It is worth the $100.
Old 14th June 2017
  #46
Gear Head
I have a Yamaha U3 upright here in my home project studio. It's not a great room but I'm getting some pretty workable sounds and in the store I bought it from it definitely spoke to me. They had 3 or 4 that I tried out and I could tell it was the one. I started looking on Craigslist but decided to go with a dealer that offered a warranty and full purchase price for trade ups as long as it was tuned every 6 months by a certified piano tech.

I've had it for about 6 months and am working on a friends project when we have time. He is loving the tones we're getting and it's the first time I've tried recording piano. Although I didn't ask, I have a hunch it's one of the ones that was imported used from Japan i.e. gray market. It's on the bright side but with some different micing techniques I've gotten it to sound a bit darker.

I guess I'm just reinforcing the point of keep an open mind and play everything until you find something that you really like. I'd also suggest being careful about buying a used piano where you're uncertain about how it was maintained.
Old 14th June 2017
  #47
Lives for gear
 
Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jffmusic View Post
Yes. I would like to spend between 6K to 8K, not sure if a bit more in case I could find a good deal for a used C5.

C3 maybe a little small, it's a 6.1 feet. It sounds good anyway.
C5 is 6.7 feet so I think it's a good size.
G5 it's also 6.7 feet but depends on the year this could be an option. It's a bit cheaper but I would prefer a C5.
C7 is too expensive now.

Thanks.
I've been recording my C5 for 17 years now. It's a great piano in the studio - it's rock stable and has that standard Yamaha presence in the upper mids.

If I have a criticism, it's the bass - once you play a C7, you'll want the bass response it delivers. For the work I do (underscore for television), if I'm recording the piano solo or featured as a primary instrument and I need a stronger bass, I layer a synth underneath - usually a clean square wave or even sine wave type of sound, it works very well.
Old 14th June 2017
  #48
Lives for gear
 
Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
For something like a piano, surely it's unique to every instrument - especially 2nd hand? like old guitars, there'll be some great ones, some dogs. We have a lovely C7 that isn't that bright but people love it - both to play and to record. However, the piano tuner says it's a dog to tune, and he keeps trying to sell me a $27k new one...!
Piano tuner/technicians are a subculture onto their own - you have to be careful with those guys, they're always shifting and moving pianos around My guy of 30 plus years finally retired, but he was always trying to move me into a 40k Steinway B ... yikes!

Couldn't have lived without him though ...
Old 14th June 2017
  #49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
Piano tuner/technicians are a subculture onto their own - you have to be careful with those guys, they're always shifting and moving pianos around My guy of 30 plus years finally retired, but he was always trying to move me into a 40k Steinway B ... yikes!

Couldn't have lived without him though ...
I agree - like maintenance techs, you have to feed them coffee and leave them to it else they'll talk your ear off!
Old 24th September 2017
  #50
Gear Maniac
 
jffmusic's Avatar
 

Studio - Grand Piano Yamaha C5 or C7

Hello,

I just wanna update on my way looking for a good Yamaha Grand Piano. I ended up deciding for the C5 (6.7 ft).

Here is what I have seen if you can give a feedback. I have to make a decision soon:

1) I saw one C5 1983 re-strung in very good condition, a tech checked it. It's a bit bright but the owner mentioned he made it like that on purpose, making the hammers harder. This is 12.5K.

2) At the same time I saw another C5 1990 original in very good condition. Doesn't sound as bright as the other but asking 14.5K.

3) Finally I saw a C7 1983 that I have to check with a technician. It seems original and says in great condition. They ask 16.5K. But maybe go down for the same as the C5 for 14.5K. This is 7.6 ft.

In case the C7 is in the same condition as the C5 which one would you choose?

Do you think having a C7 in a studio attracts more clients than a C5? That it gives a better name to the studio having a C7?

Do you think these prices are good?

In case I can get the C7 for 14.5K should I choose this one?

** One thing I'm afraid of on the C7 is if it's too big/heavy to move in the studio and the C5 is more practical. The C7 doesn't have wheels I believe. Maybe I will have to put wheels on it's legs if that's possible.

Thanks a lot!
Old 24th September 2017
  #51
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jffmusic View Post
** One thing I'm afraid of on the C7 is if it's too big/heavy to move in the studio and the C5 is more practical. The C7 doesn't have wheels I believe. Maybe I will have to put wheels on it's legs if that's possible.
That's what these are for.
Attached Thumbnails
Yamaha Grand Piano Recording in a Studio-piano-dolly.jpeg  
Old 24th September 2017
  #52
Lives for gear
 
timtoonz's Avatar
I'm no expert, but I think the C7 is a more established and recognized 'name' in pianos, so that might give it an edge in terms of studio marketing.

I bought a piano about 10 years ago, and must have listened to about 50 new and used instruments from all makes and designs. The Yamaha's always seemed too 'hard' for my tastes, and there was a refurbed Steinway B that I lusted after, but I finally found a great deal on my Bechstein A190 and it's been my pride and joy ever since. I think the only way to really pick a piano is to play it and then let your ears and your fingers tell you which is 'the one'. For me, the Bechstein had the best feel, the most lively dynamic range, and just the right balance of woody 'thunk' with wiry 'smack' when you dig in.

All that said, the C7's I heard were the most reliable and consistent of any. Hard to go wrong if that's the sound you want.
Old 24th September 2017
  #53
Gear Maniac
 
jffmusic's Avatar
 

Brent, do you have a link where to buy those?

Those go permanent on the Piano legs or how it works?

Thx
Old 24th September 2017
  #54
Gear Head
quick google search http://grkmfg.com/accessories/mobile...piano-mobileer

There may be other less expensive options but this gets you in the ballpark.
Old 24th September 2017
  #55
Lives for gear
 
andersmv's Avatar
 

I just went through the whole piano buying thing over the summer. Unfortunately I'm in a really small town in norther Arkansas, so not much locally besides Little Rock (Which is still 2 hours away). There were 2 good stores I checked out in Little Rock, but their prices were on the high side for everything I was looking at. My budget was $8k max, which is what you originally said your budget was (But now you're willing to go up to $14k?). I understand if you're set on a yamaha, but if you want to keep with your original budget, I would suggest you check out some used Kawai's. Similar spec'ed ones just don't hold their value the way a yamaha C series does.

Fortunately for me, I prefer the Kawai sound most of the time (Although I did play a C5 that sounded great, one of my favorites. It was purposefully voiced a bit darker though). I found overall that the Kawai's didn't have as strong/loud of a low end, but it was more defined and balanced. To me, that translates as easier to pull out when recording as opposed to fighting it when you get in close with mics. I also found the attack from the hammers way too annoying on a lot of yamahas, but that's just something I know I'm sensitive about. For example, on the C3's I've recorded over the years, I've noticed that the frequency range I try to boost to give some presence is always the same area where you hear a lot of the hammer hits and attack. More presence almost always turned into more "clicking". Nothing major, but smaller things I noticed the more I used C3's and close mic'ed them.

So ya, in the $8k budget I would recommend you give some Kawai's a try. You can always have the felts voiced a bit harder. As far as pulling in clients, it's probably not going to do as much as having a yamaha. I found 2 uprights that I thought sounded amazing, but in my area I thought having a grand was going to be a better pull. I'm not really a piano player, so this was purely a business move. I ended up with an older Kawai KG-3 from livingpianos.com. It's in great shape, sounds mellow just how I like it, the action is on the heavy side but still good, and they delivered it to me for free. That was at the very top of my budget, but I'm pretty confident that I got the best thing I could for my budget. It's basically Kawai's version of the C3, just voiced more to my liking.

Check out living pianos, they have great information and their videos are pretty good and represent the pianos well. They have a C5 in stock, but it's probably over your budget. They do negotiate on price a bit, so maybe worth contacting them. I dealt with Shon over there and he was top notch. I dealt with about every other online dealer and they were ALL a hassle, with the exception of living piano. He got back to me in under an hour with every question I had and gave me strait forward, no BS answers. Every other dealer beat around the bush, were pushy and insisted talking over the phone. I was just WAY too busy to do that most days. The stores I actually got to go to were worse than car salesmen, I had to sit there and listen to them seemingly enjoy the sound of their own voice while they tried to sell me on a bunch of marketing crap. I was well research and prepared, knew what I wanted, and it was just turning into a frustrating ordeal until I dealt with living piano.

At any rate, PM me if you want to talk more. Here's a video when I got the piano back in July:

Old 24th September 2017
  #56
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jffmusic View Post
Brent, do you have a link where to buy those?

Those go permanent on the Piano legs or how it works?

Thx
See jodywa's link. And in a studio, no reason to ever take the piano off of it -- it only elevates the piano an inch or so, and I've never seen a player bothered by it.
Old 26th September 2017
  #57
Gear Maniac
 
jffmusic's Avatar
 

Wow just tried a couple of Pianos... The C7 eats the C5 for breakfast.

Is there any advantage that you see of the C5 over the C7 besides price? What if the cost it's the same.

One thing that I could think about is functionality, easier to move and practicality... Any other thought? Have anyone here has a C7 that needs to move from one room to the other, etc.

"Sound" wise I think it's clear. And probably this is what it should command the decision, besides the price right..

Thanks!
Old 26th September 2017
  #58
Gear Maniac
 
jffmusic's Avatar
 

Does any one has experience with the Piano Spider Dolly that could recommend brands or comment any point of view?

Thanks!
Old 26th September 2017
  #59
Gear Addict
 
hw2nw's Avatar
 

I'd go C7 and grab a spider dolly. The balance from low to high is really fantastic.

Funny that I missed this thread from a while back - that C7 you mentioned at Stagg Street Studio in Van Nuys is one of my favorite pianos to track in all of Los Angeles and I've cut a ton of records on it. It's inspiring to play and sounds like God on playback...for pop/rock it doesn't get much better. Part of why that piano rocks is also the tech(s) that work on it (Jim Wilson maybe?)


Quote:
Originally Posted by jffmusic View Post
Hello,

I just wanna update on my way looking for a good Yamaha Grand Piano. I ended up deciding for the C5 (6.7 ft).

Here is what I have seen if you can give a feedback. I have to make a decision soon:

1) I saw one C5 1983 re-strung in very good condition, a tech checked it. It's a bit bright but the owner mentioned he made it like that on purpose, making the hammers harder. This is 12.5K.

2) At the same time I saw another C5 1990 original in very good condition. Doesn't sound as bright as the other but asking 14.5K.

3) Finally I saw a C7 1983 that I have to check with a technician. It seems original and says in great condition. They ask 16.5K. But maybe go down for the same as the C5 for 14.5K. This is 7.6 ft.

In case the C7 is in the same condition as the C5 which one would you choose?

Do you think having a C7 in a studio attracts more clients than a C5? That it gives a better name to the studio having a C7?

Do you think these prices are good?

In case I can get the C7 for 14.5K should I choose this one?

** One thing I'm afraid of on the C7 is if it's too big/heavy to move in the studio and the C5 is more practical. The C7 doesn't have wheels I believe. Maybe I will have to put wheels on it's legs if that's possible.

Thanks a lot!
Old 28th September 2017
  #60
Gear Maniac
 
jffmusic's Avatar
 

Cool hw2nw,

I don't have much experience with a spider dolly.

Is there a specific brand and model that you can recommend for this C7?

Thanks!
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
Spall / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
25
jrshap / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
8
achabloop5080 / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
8
amathie / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
2
Hans Hitmachine / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
8

Forum Jump
Forum Jump