Kawai RX-2 vs Yamaha C2

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Tony M 2007
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Kawai RX-2 vs Yamaha C2

Post by Tony M 2007 » 13 Nov 2007, 15:30

We have decided to buy a piano for home use (both children play)...We are looking at the Yamaha C2 vs a Kawai RX-2...

The dealers in the US all say the same thing...When we go to Kawai, they say Yamaha is inferior to their product - especially with the "New" Millenium III Action...When we go to Yamaha, they say Kawai is inferior, Yamaha is made of wood and Kawai makes their parts from plastics??

Can someone please provide honest advice...Committing to spend US$18,000 is a big commitmment...Appreciate any honest and sincere advice we can get...
Thanks Tony M

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sussexpianos
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Post by sussexpianos » 13 Nov 2007, 16:15

I guess both grands are good, but you need to decide on the tone you want and the touch. Both have different tone and touch. Quality will be the same on both. Just for a small bit of info, Trinity College of London is a well respected music & arts college and nearly all the pianos are Kawai. But at the end of the day, its what you like the sound off.

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Openwood
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Post by Openwood » 13 Nov 2007, 19:15

A few years ago I knew nobody who had a Kawai piano but since then they have become much more popular. I've played a few and my experience was that there was nothing between them and Yamaha; they both seem to offer excellent build quality and good sound for less than their European counterparts. If you can afford a top of the range piano go European but if you want a very good affordable piano for home/institutional use I really believe you can't go wrong with either Kawai or Yamaha, but buy the best model you can afford. I know a few teachers who own C2s and they are very happy with them.
When we go to Yamaha, they say Kawai is inferior
No Love, Sherlock......

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Openwood
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Post by Openwood » 13 Nov 2007, 19:17

No Love, Sherlock......
That is not quite what I typed. The nanny state strikes again :wink:

Tony M 2007
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European Brands

Post by Tony M 2007 » 13 Nov 2007, 19:45

Openwood wrote:A few years ago I knew nobody who had a Kawai piano but since then they have become much more popular. I've played a few and my experience was that there was nothing between them and Yamaha; they both seem to offer excellent build quality and good sound for less than their European counterparts. If you can afford a top of the range piano go European but if you want a very good affordable piano for home/institutional use I really believe you can't go wrong with either Kawai or Yamaha, but buy the best model you can afford. I know a few teachers who own C2s and they are very happy with them.
When we go to Yamaha, they say Kawai is inferior
No Love, Sherlock......
What do you play in the UK
Thanks Tony M

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Openwood
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Post by Openwood » 13 Nov 2007, 22:17

I'd say there are probably more Yamahas than Kawais in the UK at the mo. I have no evidence to back up this claim other than personal observation. Actually, if I were asked to provide yet more unfounded and therefore meaningless speculation on the subject I'd wager that there are probably more Yamahas than any other make of piano in the UK. How about that for a rash claim?

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Re: Kawai RX-2 vs Yamaha C2

Post by PianoGuy » 14 Nov 2007, 02:04

[quote="Tony M 2007]
Can someone please provide honest advice...Committing to spend US$18,000 is a big commitmment...Appreciate any honest and sincere advice we can get...[/quote]

With the RX series, Kawai have finally caught up with Yamaha. The action is a delight and the tuning instability which blighted Kawais of the past is totally absent.

It's all down to personal choice now!

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Post by superquark » 17 Nov 2007, 19:23

I must have worked on dozens of Yamaha C series grands over the years. They are popular for a reason - great build quality, excellent reliability and a powerful sound all suit them to use in institutional and professional settings. There isn't much wrong with them, except perhaps, a sound that is not always suited to domestic use.

I have worked too on many Kawai RX series grands in recent years, and personally I prefer them. My opinion is that in terms of quality, there is almost nothing to choose. But I do prefer the action, which for me gives a more subtle touch, and mostly I prefer the sound - a slightly more "european" sound (whatever that means), and one which is not likely to overpower you in your home. Kawai also give a 10 year guarantee on all their acoustic pianos now (5 years parts and labour, another 5 years parts). I wouldn't recommend the Kawai GE/GM grands unless money is really tight, but the RX-2 and RX-3 in particular are superb at the price.

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Post by sussexpianos » 19 Nov 2007, 11:28

The RX models are very good. I think Kawai are on their way to the top. I think Guild Hall are also getting some Kawais. Kawai make the Boston piano for Steinway, but I have been told that its not anyway near the quality of the Kawai. The rim is thinner, the actions are poor and there are other areas which don't come close to the quality of a Kawai grand. I wonder who designed the Boston? It was built to a price.

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Post by RWAS » 28 Nov 2007, 05:32

I have recently acquired a new Kawai RX3 grand piano and I am delighted with it although it is still being "played in".
I had tried the slightly smaller RX2 model and was most impressed by its responsive action and singing tone.
The RX3, because of its length gives a more powerful bass response.
I previously owned a Boston GP178 which was a nice piano, but the Kawai has a brighter, more joyous sound with more sustain throughout its scale than the Boston.
I am unable to compare the Kawai RX3 with the Yahama C3.

I was more drawn to Kawai as a make because I believe that it is an innovative company and the new Millenium III action is evidence of that. The Shigeru Kawai range has also received international acclaim and if I should be able to upgrade it would be to one of those glorious instruments.

Ultimately the choice of a piano comes down to personal preference but I believe that we should be open-minded and judge the sound of each instrument on its own terms rather than comparing it to the "Steinway" sound or whatever.

Kind regards,

Robert.
I love the piano and its music.

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Post by sussexpianos » 28 Nov 2007, 11:34

bigger is sometimes better :)

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Post by Stuart » 03 Dec 2007, 16:23

About 2 years' ago I compared the RX2 to the C2 before buying an RX2. The RX2 I found warmer in tone and the touch is lighter. Having said that, it really is a matter of personal preference. They are both good - go with what you enjoy playing best.

I am happy with the RX2, save for a small elusive noise on some notes - the supplier is arranging for a Kawai technician to fix it and my tuner, with experience of selling Kawais, assures me that their post-sales service is good.

Will try to remember to update the forum with any siginificant developments with the RX2.

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Post by Openwood » 04 Dec 2007, 19:17

I am happy with the RX2, save for a small elusive noise on some notes
That's interesting - what sort of noise is it? I've had a problem with a metallic-type of background noise on some notes on a new C7.

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Post by Stuart » 16 Dec 2007, 21:27

Sorry for the delay - life got in the way. Just a few notes, especially in the upper bass. My tuner listened hard and thought it was just as the hammer hit the string, he referred to it as metallic and also thought that whoever fixes it will either take five minutes or spend hours on it. Not a noise he has come across and he has sold Kawais and likes them. It is not a thud, nor a ping, nor a vibration. The best I can do is call it a slight action noise which if it were uniform across the keyboard might not be noticed, or might be thought to be a somewhat 'noisy action' by those with golden ears. It does not affect the touch and can be unnoticeable in playing, but Alberti basses on the 'wrong' notes cause it it to be audible. It affects about 4 -5 notes around an octave below middle C and 1 -3 notes an octave above middle C. Sorry to be so vague. Most of the time it doesn't worry me at all, but the piano is still under guarantee so it's worth pursuing.

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Post by Len » 04 Jan 2008, 12:59

superquark wrote:I must have worked on dozens of Yamaha C series grands over the years. They are popular for a reason - great build quality, excellent reliability and a powerful sound all suit them to use in institutional and professional settings. There isn't much wrong with them, except perhaps, a sound that is not always suited to domestic use.
Hi superquark - I was wondering what you mean when you say the Yamaha "sound that is not always suited to domestic use". Is that because you find it is too loud/jarring/bright for domestic use?

I am eyeing a Yamaha C1 and Kawai RX-1 at the moment and would be interested in all views.

Many thanks and Happy New Year!

Len

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Post by sussexpianos » 05 Jan 2008, 16:16

Len,
I tune for a few concert halls and they all have Yamaha pianos because they are good workhorses and the punters can hear the piano well due to its bright tone but, and this is just personal pref, the tone can be a little too bright for the home (esp. with wooden lam floors) so some people pref. a softer, more rounded tone for the home. You just need to remember that when you play the instrument, take into account the surrounds like soft furnishings, floor type, height of ceiling etc. Yamaha is a good brand name and a lot of people go for Yamaha because of it, there are many brands outs there which are worth a look at.

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Post by Len » 05 Jan 2008, 16:33

Hi - thanks; I figured that was it. This morning I got the chance to try out the Kawai RX-1 and RX-2 and know what you mean. The upper register of the Kawai is more mellow/smooth than the Yamaha C1 and C2, although not too significantly so. The Millenium III action was also very attractive in feel, although a bit light for me. Decisions, decisions...

Either way I'll be placing a carpet under the piano to absorb some of the sound - it will be sitting on a wooden floor.

My final visit before deciding will be to try a Reid-Sohn/Samick NSG series piano next week. Then I'll make my decision. It would be nice to have all three pianos next to each other to hear the difference, but that is wishful thinking! :)

Cheers

Len

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Post by mdw » 05 Jan 2008, 19:39

I think Yamaha are also so popular because they are so heavily discounted. Does make you wonder what the numbers would be if they sold side by side with Kawai at the same price. Dont get me wrong they (Yamaha) are good kit but I think the price discount is the killer thing for most people that tips them one way or another. Plus Kawai should realy do a bit of PR rather than let Yamaha rule the roost!
The saying I heard the other day was "Never a bad one but never a great one either" which I guess is all that most people want. Mind you I guess he hadnt tried the B range when he made that comment :shock:

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Post by PianoGuy » 06 Jan 2008, 11:45

mdw wrote:I think Yamaha are also so popular because they are so heavily discounted. Does make you wonder what the numbers would be if they sold side by side with Kawai at the same price.
Good point well made!

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Post by sussexpianos » 07 Jan 2008, 11:34

The Samick NSG is a great piano which I sell a few off. Id try the 175 and the 186 as they are great sounding pianos. The 156 is good for its size as the body is fatter at the back. Id be interested to hear your comments on the NSG.

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Re: Kawai RX-2 vs Yamaha C2

Post by RWAS » 14 Dec 2012, 18:03

More than 5 years ago, I posted comments about my then new Kawai RX3 grand piano which was delivered to me in Auckland, New Zealand. I thought it could be helpful to give some feedback on the same piano which has had a moderate amount of playing.
As with all new pianos that are played over a period of time, the hammers have hardened and the tone in the treble has developed more clarity and sustain. This has been a pleasing development for me, as when the piano was delivered, I thought that some of the treble notes sounded "tight" and short in sustain. Not only in the teble, but across the entire range of the piano, the tone has improved in this way.

Within the first year of having the piano, I remember that my piano tuner applied some kind of lubricating powder to the treble action as it seemed that the hammers were a little slow in rebounding. Since then with each tuning he has had to do very little in regulating the action or voicing.

When the piano was just a couple months old, it developed a "buzz" with the B flat in the "killer" octave. That was easily corrected by adjusting the string on the front duplex. There have been no other problems so far with this piano.

Yesterday, I had my piano tuned and my tuner who is a Steinway afficionado and a tuner of extensive experience in the UK and internationally, said that it was the best Kawai piano that he had come across.He added that if I wanted to upgrade it would be difficult to find a better piano in its class.

I should add that I keep the piano in a constantly dehumidified room and I have it tuned 4 times a year. I also try to care for it by keeping it always covered when not in use and keeping its interior spic and span.

Maybe, as some say, a piano is 80% dependent on the care and maintenance and the rest is the intrinsic quality of the instrument. In conclusion, I am very happy with this piano and I would be interested to hear of feedback from owners of similar pianos.

Compliments of the season to all.

Robert.
I love the piano and its music.

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Re: Kawai RX-2 vs Yamaha C2

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