Which silent piano? Yamaha MP70N, Yamaha P112N or Kawai K15

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bonettil
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Which silent piano? Yamaha MP70N, Yamaha P112N or Kawai K15

Post by bonettil » 15 Aug 2019, 09:50

Hello. I’m looking for a silent piano so the kids can still play at 7am without waking the neighbours (or me!). I’ve seen a Yamaha MP70N for £2000 and a Yamaha P112N for c£2500 (both silent, of course). All things being equal, which would be the more sensible option?! Is there much to choose between them? Thanks.
Last edited by bonettil on 10 Sep 2019, 09:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Which would you choose?

Post by Barrie Heaton » 15 Aug 2019, 19:14

The Yamaha P112N better Bass

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Re: Which would you choose?

Post by bonettil » 15 Aug 2019, 22:12

Thanks Barrie - much appreciated!

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Re: Which would you choose?

Post by bonettil » 15 Aug 2019, 22:51

Oo, and what about a 9 year old Kawai K15 ATX for £2850? Of course, I should try them all out my self and make up my own mind, but they’re in 3 different parts of the country, I have 3 small kids and I don’t drive! So, expert opinions on these pianos is very much appreciated...

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Re: Which would you choose?

Post by Barrie Heaton » 16 Aug 2019, 16:56

I do like the sound of Kawai pianos mid and top treble over Yamaha. Also, the actions are a tad more responsive.

Sorry, I read your post wrong I was thinking of the P122, not the p112 so the base will much the same

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Re: Which would you choose?

Post by bonettil » 16 Aug 2019, 17:02

Argh! But the Kawai over the Yamaha MP70N??

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Re: Which would you choose?

Post by chrisw » 16 Aug 2019, 17:44

The Kawai K15 seems a little expensive for nine years old. (edit; price may be reasonable as I see Bonners sell them new for about £4900). Is it being sold by a reputable dealer? Are the Yamaha pianos brand new or second hand and if second hand must ask again if they are advertised by a good dealer. All things being equal I think I might favour the Kawai but is it possible for you to give us more detail so we can hopefully give more advice. There are some dealers which will work with you over the telephone to try to tailor what your exact requirements are.
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Re: Which would you choose?

Post by Barrie Heaton » 16 Aug 2019, 18:50

When you are dealing with second-hand pianos it is all down how it has been looked after. What guarantee will the dealer give you on both parts?

if buying private get a local tuner to look at it for you

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Re: Which would you choose?

Post by bonettil » 16 Aug 2019, 21:28

Thank you both. Here’s a bit more detail about the pianos:

Yamaha MP70N (1998) £2000
From reputable shop. Fully serviced and price includes delivery, tuning, stool, taking away existing piano and 3 years guarantee on piano and electrics.

Yamaha P112N (c2004) £2500
Private sale. Well loved and looked after piano. Tuned twice a year. Price is for piano only (no delivery, guarantee or removal of old piano).

Kawai K-15 ATX (2012) £2650
From reputable shop. Condition “as new”. Price includes delivery and old piano taken - or £2500 for piano only. 3 years guarantee on acoustic side only.

Does this help at all?

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Re: Which would you choose?

Post by chrisw » 16 Aug 2019, 23:18

Both Yamaha and Kawai have good reputations although some people will say that the Yamaha sound is too bright. My feeling is that this criticism is often over emphasised and in any case it can be made to be more mellow if that is what the owner wanted. When my piano teacher bought a new Yamaha G1 grand she did so without going to the dealer to select it beforehand. She was confident that all Yamaha pianos are robust.
If all three pianos fall within your budget I would be tempted to consider them in the order of age, with the youngest the first priority. This is the Kawai. Good that it has a guarantee because you can let your tuner have a look at it once it is delivered. It may be a shorter piano than the other two (less tall) so the bass could be marginally less powerful but it is likely to be played in silent mode anyway. Some dealers offer to return pianos if the new owner isn't fully satisfied. Since it is unlikely that you can visit the dealership are they willing to do this ? The other thing to bear in mind is that summer is a slow time for selling pianos so the dealer may consider an offer. It is a shame that they are not willing to guarantee the electronics so might be as well to enquire how much it would cost to replace if it went faulty.
With the private sale you do need to organise an inspection by a tuner as Barrie has advised. If you personally know the sellers they hopefully would give you the name of their tuner and you could contact the tuner independently. Knowing the sellers would to some extent make me more relaxed about the fact that it doesn't have a guarantee. Getting this piano moved may cost ~£200.
The older Yamaha is four years younger than my own upright which still plays and looks pretty new. The guarantee makes this piano attractive.
Hope this provides a little help with the decision. If you have specific questions please ask .

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Re: Which would you choose?

Post by Barrie Heaton » 17 Aug 2019, 11:52

For me, the Yamaha MP70N is looking like the winner manly for what they are offering. However, two concerns with Yamaha pianos of that age are the spring lops and the bass string going dull, but the 3-year guarantee is a plus.

As to the electronics I have many older Yamaha pianos with silent systems, and none have given me any problems to date, but again 3-year guarantee is a big plus as Yamaha don't do that on new ones.

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Re: Which would you choose?

Post by bonettil » 17 Aug 2019, 12:06

Thanks again. Here’s my current thinking...

1) Yamaha MP70N (1998)
Best all round deal and warranty but has developed a sudden problem with one the keys in silent mode. The dealer is confident in getting this sorted (by Yamaha themselves) but might this start happening with other keys? Very basic silent system, with no midi output.

2) Yamaha P112N (c2004) £2500
Confident from correspondence that piano is in perfectly good order (and has midi output) but will have to fork out extra cost of (and arrange) delivery, and removal of my existing piano - around £400? Obviously no guarantee. So it’s the most expensive in the end and the most inconvenient.

3) Kawai K-15 ATX (2012) £2500
The youngest piano with a more feature-rich silent system (My kids would probably love the different voices, built-in metronome and ability to record). Midi output would also enable connection to laptop/iPad. The dealer offered to collect me from a station 30 minutes away so I could get to try it! They won’t guarantee the silent part because they “don’t know much about that side of things” - mm...

I should add that last week, I visited a local music shop and tried out a new Kawai K-15 ATX3 next to a new Yamaha B1. Now I know the B1 is said to be an inferior product (possibly to the ones mentioned above?) but I definitely preferred the feel and tone of the Kawai. This surprised me, as I used to have a Yamaha U1, which was my pride and joy! I then tried the Kawai CA98 and it was amazing, which makes me wonder if my future is with Kawai!

Talking through all of this with you guys is so helpful and I am so grateful for your insights and expertise. I think I’m going to revisit the local music shop today and have another play on the new ones. Then, when I get home from my impending holiday, I’m going to visit and test the secondhand Kawai. Although I am still interested in the first one, oh and the second one...!!!

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Re: Which would you choose?

Post by bonettil » 17 Aug 2019, 15:15

I’ve since been offered the P112N for £2000, which puts it back in the running...

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Re: Which would you choose?

Post by chrisw » 17 Aug 2019, 16:49

Your enthusiasm for selecting a piano well and truly comes through and it is a pleasure to respond to questions on this forum when the original poster then enters into a dialogue.
I am not absolutely certain but I think I remember reading somewhere that the Yamaha P112 models were built in England at the Kemble factory. My piano is a Kemble built by them after the Yamaha takeover. I didn't try out my piano in a shop before deciding on it. The shop did have the same model in stock but it had a wood veneer finish and I wanted black polyester.
I also have to admit not to have expert knowledge about pianos. I have been a professional engineer and continue to be just an amateur intermediate(ish) pianist.

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Re: Which would you choose?

Post by Barrie Heaton » 17 Aug 2019, 20:36

The Yamaha P range of pianos was made in the UK until 2009. Then production of the P range was moved to Indonesia.


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Re: Which would you choose?

Post by bonettil » 18 Aug 2019, 22:44

Yes, both Yamahas were made in the UK. TBH I feel confident that any of these pianos would suffice on the acoustic side. I’m a little less sure how the respective silent systems compare, as I’ve only heard their latest versions. The benefit of the second and third pianos having midi are that I could connect to a vst if the sound was that bad (I think!).

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Re: Which would you choose?

Post by chrisw » 19 Aug 2019, 08:19

This is unlikely to be relevant to you but I have come across someone who fits silent systems to acoustic pianos. I have no idea how much is charged and I get the impression it is sometimes done without taking the client's piano away. Seems to be run by a chap called Lee Cooper and called The Silent Piano Company tele 07831 215833.
I have just been looking at the website of my local music shop. They have a freelance electronic engineer as an associate to help with maintaining customers pianos and organs.

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Re: Which would you choose?

Post by bonettil » 19 Aug 2019, 09:53

Thanks Chris. I have read that the action isn’t so good when retro fitted but I’ll certainly take a look at the link. What I really need it to speak to someone who has experience of both the Yamaha P112 and the Kawai 15. Surely plenty of piano tuners on here have... Or to get a piano technician to test both pianos for me - but I guess that would be really expensive as one is in Yorkshire and the other in Suffolk! Anyone fancy a trip...?! 😉

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Re: Which would you choose?

Post by chrisw » 19 Aug 2019, 10:03

Whereabouts in Yorkshire ? I have visited Yorkshire Pianos a number of times and can vouch for the people who run it.

With regard to the action not being as responsive, I wonder if the same applies to both factory fitted and retro silent systems. I think it is due to the rail which prevents the hammer hitting the strings and the hammer set off point having to be made a little larger than normal. I guess this would make soft (piano) playing slightly more tricky when not in silent mode but hopefully the effect is marginal.

I have a friend at the piano club that I help to organise who bought a second hand Kawai upright with silent system a couple of years ago. I believe she likes it alot. Please see the correspondence she had at the time.
https://www.piano-tuners.org/piano-foru ... aks#p65007

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Re: Which would you choose?

Post by Barrie Heaton » 19 Aug 2019, 17:56

Silent systems do impede on the action. There are three main types.

Yamaha: set off, and checking has to be altered and make the touch fell yuck The IMDI sucks (may have improved) Voices Good

Quiet time: set off, and checking has to be altered and make the touch fell yuck not as much as the Yamaha The IMDI is V good Voices very Good

Gabor (Geno system): set off, and checking on pianos over 120cm do not need to be altered, so no change to the touch The IMDI is outstanding Voices: suck big time

The problem will all Silent systems is dust if they use the optical sensor. I have done seminars on all three the QT was with Kawai, and I must admit I do like the Kawai factory set up.


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Re: Which silent piano? Yamaha MP70N, Yamaha P112N or Kawai K15

Post by bonettil » 10 Sep 2019, 09:48

Hello again! Well, here’s the latest update.

#1) Yamaha MP70N: has now had a new circuit board fitted (to fix the dodgy key) and the seller has discovered that it does have midi!

#2) Yamaha P112N: no change

#3) Kawai K15: I was able to test this piano last weekend... and I loved it! It was beautiful and had a lovely feel and - as hoped - it was lighter to play than any of the new silent pianos I’ve played - both in acoustic and silent mode. The sound in silent mode was also most agreeable. BUT!!! The setting mode that allows you to change voices, and use other features such as the metronome etc, didn’t work!! You have to depress the soft pedal and hold the #88 key to access the settings but it just wouldn’t engage! Arghhhh!! The seller is adamant this will be sorted but it did make me wonder, who would I contact if I ever had issues with the electronic side of things? Chris, you mentioned an ad for a technician in your local music shop window but I wonder if that’s a rarity?

On a positive note, both Yamahas don’t have extra voices or metronome etc so all three pianos are now essentially the same!

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Re: Which silent piano? Yamaha MP70N, Yamaha P112N or Kawai K15

Post by chrisw » 10 Sep 2019, 14:00

Hello Bonettil,
Thanks for keeping us updated with your search for a new piano.

It wouldn't surprise me if the c88 key problem with the Kawai has been caused by lack of use and cleaning the contact puts it to right. I might be tempted to get back in touch with the seller asking if the problem has been fixed and then enquire what was done to fix it. If you like this piano, which you sound as though you do, you could consider pressing the seller for a one year guarantee on the electronics. After all the claim that they know nothing about the electronics thus preventing them offering the guarantee somewhat falls down because they now have a little problem to fix before any potential purchase.

My feeling is that finding an electronics repair engineer shouldn't be too difficult and I would enquire first of all at music shops that sell electronic organs or I might send an enquiry to Kawai UK.

I was in Forsyth's music shop in Manchester last Friday and by coincidence their piano technician was preparing a Kawai K15 for delivery to a customer. It did look a nice piano, very much the same size as my own Kemble. I also had a look at digital pianos because you had mentioned how good the Kawai CA98 was. There didn't seem to be a CA98 on display so I tried a few less expensive models from Kawai, Yamaha and Casio. To my mind the actions are nowhere near as positive as an acoustic action and the keys can be made to wobble from side to side. Still I can understand why digital pianos are the best option for many people.

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Re: Which silent piano? Yamaha MP70N, Yamaha P112N or Kawai K15

Post by bonettil » 10 Sep 2019, 17:31

Thanks Chris. I did contact Kawai and they’ve given me the details of two local Kawai dealers, who should be able to advise. I did also consider offering the seller £500 or so less to take the piano as is (the extra functions were a bonus rather than a necessity) and getting the issue sorted myself! I’ll get there in the end...

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Re: Which silent piano? Yamaha MP70N, Yamaha P112N or Kawai K15

Post by lissa » 11 Sep 2019, 05:18

This post is great hub of useful information. I appreciate all the views. Thanks for sharing.

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Re: Which silent piano? Yamaha MP70N, Yamaha P112N or Kawai K15

Post by bonettil » 11 Sep 2019, 14:44

Thanks lissa. Are you interested in getting a silent piano too?

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