i'm going to buy a grand piano soon and before i do, i wanted to see if any of you had some advice for me.  from my limited experiences, i've generally been very happy with most of the yamaha c3 pianos that i find are very popular.  i have one at the church i play at and love it.  i've played several others and they have been consistently very, very good.  they even use one at the premier jazz club here in l.a. at steamers.  even my piano teacher, tamir hendlemen has one at his house.  so that's what i am preparing to buy.  if you have any comments on that, please let me know.

i feel like you get the most bang for the buck with the c3.  i'm bracing myself to spend between $10-15k.  anything more and it would make me think twice about it.

your thoughts are appreciated.
There are 17 comments, leave a comment.
before you buy that yamaha check out some boston grands around that same price range. their 163 is a comparable model, but a far, far superior instrument. it is a steinway product manufactured by kawai, but ain't anything like a kawai ( which isn't a bad piano at all either) the extra bucks you may pay will be worth your while.  for instance, compare the grains on the soundboard. the closer they are the better sound you'll have. the boston is a more durable instrument--just by what materials are used in its construction and its resale value will last much longer.
     many of the asian manufatureser will throw really cheap wood into their soundboards, and to compensate pull their strings much tighter which gie their isruments a real bright sound --that sounds good when it 's new, but listen to them 5 years from now.
the only thing i'd say is first, get a used piano and hire a piano technician to go check out any piano, new or used, before you buy.

the thing to remember is that any piano is only going to sound and feel as good as the technician who works on it.  it's something to think about- you'll need someone to take care of your piano for you, even more so when you pay that kind of money for one.

anyway, used grands give you a lot more bang for the buck and if they've been played, any problems will be apparent.  on a new piano you never know what kinds of problems there will be until you find them.

last thing, the piano technicians in your area probably know the best deals as far as what's for sale.

don't jump into anything.  don't feel like you're going to lose a piano if you don't buy now.  it's a buyers market.  you're the boss, you decide which piano you want and how much you are willing to pay.  basically, you have the power as a buyer so take your time, look at a couple dozen used pianos in your price range, play them in people's living rooms, etc...

don't worry if it takes time, it's a lot of money, get exactly what you're looking for.  don't rush it.  

and have fun while you're playing all these pianos!
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superboy: sorry for off topic but what do you think of the lessons with tamir hendlemen. he plays with jeff hamilton right? do you know if he gives online piano lessons?
regards
nihonjin
i'll second what scot said.  i casually looked around for years.  a few months ago i stumbled onto a 39 year old baldwin m that had hardly been played.  i got it for $7000 and spent another $1000 having a tech work it over.  it plays like a dream and sounds better than just about any piano in the $20,000+ plus range.

prior to finding my piano i saw  used yamaha c3 for $10,000 advertised for sale at a the steinway dealer. i was really excited to see it and play it but when i did, it sounded very "tinny" and the action was wobbly. (i had been playing on a newer one that played and sounded great) franz mohr happened to be in the store that day and showed me a boston.  it was a very nice piano!

after purchasing my baldwin, i still stop in pianos stores from time to time to compare mine with what's out there.  to be honest, the kawai's are the only pianos that come close to my baldwin (a personal thing for sure).  

kawai has been around for many years.  in fact they used to make the howard pianos for baldwin.  now they make bostons for steinway...

if you pursue used pianos, don't forget to check out steinways, mason & hamlin, chickering, etc...

having said all that, there is nothing wrong with buying a c3!  they are wonderful pianos, and you may actually prefer the "brightness"  (personally i find that i can play more expressively on a piano that is not so bright)   but if you're gonna spend that kind of dough, i hope you look around a bit.  

keep us posted!
i meant to say i'll second what scot and casparus said...
in fairness, although i did look around for years, i have always been partial to baldwin grands.  so when i saw this old gem sitting in the back of the store, it was lust a first sight.  the guy tried to sell me some of the new pianos in the $7000-8000 range but of course i wanted the baldwin.   the only piano in the store that i liked a little better was a brand new 7' mason & hamlin - they wanted $65,000 for it - although he said he'd sell it to me for $42,000 if i really wanted it - dang!  that's some mark up! (watch out for the new ones:)
i personally endorse the used approach unless you have lots of disposable funds. one thing i do know for sure is that many well-to-do people will by a beautiful piano only to let it sit and be a piece of furniture, many times with no proper maintenance. unless you are a technician you may want to enlist one's assistance, it would be money well spent.
thanks for all the advice, everyone.

i'm now open to a used piano, that sounds good.  i'll try to see what connections i have to any local technicians and see if they are aware of any good deals around los angeles.  i'm all for buying a nice used piano and spending a little more money for an experienced technician to tweak it just right.  if any of you can recommend anyone (technician) or any stores to go to in southern california, i'd be most thankful.

also, if you could teach me about things to look for in a grand piano, that would help also.  right now, all i can go by is how it feels and how it sounds, but i know next to nothing about pianos (brands, history, good names, bad names, construction, wood, etc.).
reply to nihonjin:
i like tamir a lot.  i only took a few lessons from him.  he only does lessons at his home (no online that i know of).  i jumped on the chance to learn from him because he plays with jeff hamilton, and jeff has played with all my favorite pepole (gene, oscar, ray, monty).  what i liked most about him is that he's a very well-grounded, practical teacher.  he doesn't spend a lot of time about your "vibe" and "energy" and stuff like that.  his advice and lessons were very pragmatic.  in fact, i was a little "out there" with my misconceptions, and he helped me focus on practicing in a way that was going to accomplish very specific goals.

i went to him and wrote an outline of exactly what i wanted to learn.  i was very specific, down to specific songs from certain albums.  i said i want to play like gene; i want to be a gene clone.  i asked him how he goes about learning a piece.  tamir is very straight forward, no nonsense.  it's funny, i was playing lil' darlin for him from a transcription i did, and he said i'm playing the wrong chord (it's one of those chords that can go many ways).  i asked him he knew it was wrong, thinking maybe he just prefers to hear it another way.  his answer was simply, "because i know that arrangement, i've played it before."  i thought that was funny, i actually have that recorded on audio.
definitely get acquainted with a reputable tech.  https://ptg.org/ is a great place to start, but of course you may want to ask around too.  even brand new pianos can require a bit of tweaking from a qualified tech, although that should be covered buy a warranty. it's probably a good idea to pay a tech to check out any piano before you buy.
by not buy - jeesh!
what's your budget?
i've set my budget at $10-15k, but i'm flexible.  since i'm not well educated about pianos, there isn't much intelligent thought put into it.  i can afford more, but i'd get a little nervous about it.

but i've played several of those yamaha c3 conservatory pianos, and i like them a lot.  and the price for those have usually been around $11k in really nice condition.  i really like those pianos.  i played one again this weekend and it was great.
knowing a great piano technician in these cases can solve so many headachss.  sometimes you can arrange to pay a great piano tech a "finders fee".  another words... pay someone who knows more about pianos than anybody else where you live to find the best deal on a piano that there is near where you live for you.  the fee for this might run up to about $500.  when you are talking about a 10,000. plus purchase for a piano that so many things can go wrong with this fee can be so worth it.   but the trick is knowing a great piano tech.
i happen to know the guy where i live.  if you lived near where i live
i would hook you up.  how you figure out who "the guy" might be near you if he even exists ... i do not know.
on the other hand having a piano tech go give you his opinion of a piano you are considering buying can cost as little as $35.  to not do this can be the biggest  mistake of your life.
i have bought several pianos now, read several books about them, know how to do many repairs myself, yet i would never ever even accept a piano for free with having my piano tech look at it first.  even if you get one for free they are a very heavy difficult piece of junk to get rid of if they turn out to be junk.  and they can easily turn out to be junk.  the stories i could tell you about new students i have taken on..
walked into there houses to find beautiful pianos that they had spent small fortunes on... and  the pianos turned out to junk... and i ended up having to be the one to tell them.
thank you mike.  i'm definitely going to do that.  i have a friend who swears by her technician, so she is helping me.
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