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Estonia Pianos
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#3229661 07/01/22 09:48 PM
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Is it okay to compare an Estonia 168 to Yamaha C2X? If the price difference between the two is $5500 (Estonia costing more) for a 1 yr old Estonia and a brand new Yamaha… which one would you pick and is it worth it pay the $5500 premium for the E? I like the sound of both pianos and understood they are different… E is more rich and warmer and Y is more crisp but not too bright…. I’m interested to know from a maintenance, quality and value as well as resell (tho I don’t planned on selling it but just in case I have to) perspectives. Any opinions are welcome!

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I think that you should pick the one you like better. I haven't played the Yamaha C2X, but I did own an Estonia 168, and I now own an Estonia 190. For the five years I owned the 168 (long before the current refinements and design improvements) and for the 15 years I have owned and regularly played my 190, I have had only one very minor maintenance issue that was easily and quickly resolved.

Tuners and technicians who have serviced my piano have all commented on the high quality of the construction. I am sure that can be said of Yamaha pianos, too; I just have no experience with the C2X.

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Totally a personal thing here. The tone, the touch, and you (that's all there is). Well, and the budget. But other than that. I've played both brands but can't really speak to it. I didn't give Estonia a huge chance, but I wasn't compelled by it. Yamaha I was already a fan but it didn't feel right. I think for me it was worth going for a preowned higher-quality instrument, of a kind I hadn't played before and found really special, if it were in good enough condition. Hence the reason why I didn't go with a new Yamaha or Estonia, but instead with a restored Bosendorfer. Then again, I had quite a good budget to work with.

But I figure it's worth more if you like that piano better, and it's significantly so...not just a "more or less" kind of thing where they cancel each other out with different strengths. A clear winner, I think would be worth putting some money out for. Because after you buy it, you're going to think about it, and mull over it...at least some, I can guarantee. It's the fate of you playing it for a long time and spending this much on it, etc.


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Can you share the prices you are seeing? Because I'm surprised a used Estonia 168 costs more than a new C2X. They should be very close in price brand new. It really is a preference thing. A lot of people are convinced the Estonia is a class above the Yamaha CX series, but I feel like they are equally quality instruments. If going larger, I really like the Estonia 190, probably a tad moreso than the CX3.

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Sorry! My mistake! The price diff is nearly $2700 before tax not $5500..😅 will PM’ed you on actual price

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Can you clarify — has the one year old Estonia been sold to a buyer during its year of life? Or has it been at the dealer of a year? If it has not been pre-owned, it would be considered a ‘new’ instrument — and will have the warranty from the time of purchase, not from the time of manufacture.

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Emeraldwynn, first and foremost, you should buy the piano you like best. "Like" should include sound, touch/action, everything.

Then you asked about "maintenance, quality and value as well as resell" and I would prioritize those as:
quality
maintenance
value/resale

For quality and maintenance, obviously Yamaha has an excellent reputation. And I'm not aware of any negative views of Estonia. Could you have an independent tech evaluate both instruments? Because I don't see how else you could compare the maintenance and quality of two pianos in a meaningful way besides having both inspected by a pro. Otherwise, we're just talking about reputation

IMO, value is personal, i.e. how valuable it is to you. And resale value is very difficult to predict. So I put those at the end. Nevertheless, it might be easier to sell the Yamaha for a higher price just because of name recognition. But I don't think this is a reason to choose Yamaha over Estonia, and I have the impression that you don't either.

So, I feel like nothing I wrote is helpful, all I'm really saying is "you have to choose the one you like." Sorry! whome


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In my opinion:

Tone is personal, you may prefer one over the other and for whatever reason. I haven't played a new Estonia, the newest Estonia I've played is now over 20 years old, so it's still within the time frame of the company being privately owned, but I believe there was a full redesign of the models since then and for that reason I'm not going to use that experience to pass comment on the current piano, but I remember the Estonias ranged from the very nice to the thoroughly average. Now it's probably different, we can't compare new manufacture to even that of twenty years ago when there has been such a big change in process and design.

For me though, Yamaha always wins out on the action. The actions are just so precise and always very hand-friendly. Yamaha have always been very good at putting the quart in the pint pot, and their small pianos have always been excellent instruments. Many professional pianists who have limited space at home buy the C2X and predecessors as their home practice instrument, because the tone is excellent and the reliability is second to none. Even the 1974 G2 we have in our family (which actually needs new bass strings and new hammers and shanks by now) still works remarkably well and it's not even close in quality to a C2X. As for resale, there is always a demand for Yamaha pianos, it's such a well known name and if you keep the piano in good condition you'll have no problem selling it. Many tuners and technicians love working on Yamaha pianos because they are predictable. They can also be voiced to sound warm and mellow, although usually the default factory voicing is a little brighter with, as you noted, that kind of crisp and clear sound.

Note here I'm not saying Estonia isn't good, and doesn't have a good resale value, and aren't loved by technicians. I know Estonia is well thought of by technicians and I think there are quite a few dealers who carry both lines. They aren't comparable in terms of tone because they offer a completely different sound world, and I think that diversity of tone between piano makers is a good thing. What you need to do is play both pianos for a period of time, and see which sound world you want to live with. We on the forum all have our preferences but ultimately this comes down to what you want.

Finally, regarding resale values, it's always ALWAYS a crapshoot. Yes, there are instruments more likely to sell faster, and instruments more likely to sit around waiting to be sold, but with second hand pianos it all depends on who is looking for a piano and how much they have to spend. It also depends on whether you can afford to wait for a piano to sell or whether it has to sell quickly. Pianos basically have a few values attached to them and that includes the approximate amount a particular piano is worth based on age and condition, new for old insurance value, and actual price paid. Personally I wouldn't bother thinking about resale value between these two pianos and just pick the one you want.


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Originally Posted by Emeraldwynn
Is it okay to compare an Estonia 168 to Yamaha C2X? If the price difference between the two is $5500 (Estonia costing more) for a 1 yr old Estonia and a brand new Yamaha… which one would you pick and is it worth it pay the $5500 premium for the E? I like the sound of both pianos and understood they are different… E is more rich and warmer and Y is more crisp but not too bright…. I’m interested to know from a maintenance, quality and value as well as resell (tho I don’t planned on selling it but just in case I have to) perspectives. Any opinions are welcome!

All great responses so far. I particularly like Joseph Fleetwood's POV. He has played a tremendous amount of instruments in his career.

I am honored to carry both pianos and you are asking a question many have asked over the past 5 or 6 years. The answer really comes down to your preference. I can tell you that both instruments can shine when properly prepped by a technician and both instruments will hold up easily for many years. The C2x the a way more popular choice, but the Estonia has its loyal owners who love their piano.

So, bottom line - choose what you love. You can't go wrong!

My 2 cents,


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Yamaha always wins out on the action

This was certainly my experience when piano shopping, and it's a big part of the reason I bought the piano I have now, a Yamaha C2 built in 2000. I bought this piano from a private seller, and when I first went to play it, they hadn't had it tuned and it sounded awful. Like, so out of tune that you wonder if you're playing in the wrong key. But I could feel something in the piano that made me think it had potential, and I knew the action was fantastic. I didn't buy it right away, and I was able to convince them to get it tuned so I could better evaluate it first, but initially, it was the action that kept this piano in mind for me.

Anyway, my point is, Joseph's comments about the action really resonate with my experience. And I would never buy a piano if I liked the sound but the action wasn't pleasing.


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From earlier threads, I understand that you are pretty new to playing piano, and this piano purchase would be your first acoustic piano purchase (upgrading from a 10 year old digital piano). Also over the past couple months, it looks like you are moving higher up the piano price/tiering scale, in terms of the piano under consideration. To be very honest, every piano you have mentioned in this post and prior posts would be a massive, massive upgrade from what you currently have and would certainly meet your musical needs for many years. This includes pianos that are much less expensive than the ones that are the topic of this thread.

My main question is in regard to why you are moving up the price/tier scale. If it is because you sit down at the CX2 or L168 and feel like you have a much more satisfying playing experience than with the Kawai GL 30 or some of the other pianos you looked at, and you are willing to pay the extra money, then I think this is a good reason. But if you are sitting at a piano that is a lot more expensive and you don’t feel a significant preference, I’d buy the less expensive piano. One of the reasons is that you seem to be pretty early in your piano journey, and as you continue to play, your tastes may change considerably. This doesn’t have to be the last piano you buy. So buy a piano that makes sense for you now. Down the road, if your preferences have evolved, you can consider other options/upgrading. At that point, you may have a more distinct preference for specific pianos.

Ok, that’s my unsolicited advice based on your prior threads. Now onto your specific questions and the models you specifically cited.

I suspect you are looking at 2 pianos that would be considered ‘new,’ although it would be important to confirm this (new means no prior owner). You can take a look at the PianoBuyer.com articles for each of the manufacturers to give you a ballpark on pricing (as well as the description of how to understand the suggested maximum price, or SMP). From my back of the envelope calculation, assuming you are starting with the Polished Ebony models and taking 20% off the SMP of each, I would expect the price difference to be ~1600 more for the Estonia. But pricing is not at all straightforward, and there could be many reasons for differences in pricing.

I have an Estonia L210. I don’t think there were any L168s in the store when I was shopping, and of course my experience was limited to the pianos I tried. Since action has come up, I like the action of my Estonia piano very, very much, and I liked the action of the other Estonia pianos I tried, too (an L190 and an L225). They were all lovely instruments. And I preferred them quite a bit (mostly because of the tone, but I didn’t feel like there was any compromise I was making on the touch) over the Yamaha CX pianos I tried at a different store — they had a C2X, C3X, and C7X.

I will also say, as a piece of furniture, Estonia pianos are stunningly beautiful, and to my taste, substantially more attractive than the CX pianos (which are very nice to look at, but I do not co wider them stunning). I think the Karelian birch rim is just drop dead gorgeous. So not a musical consideration, but it is nonetheless something that I think is worth mentioning.

I agree with others that the resale consideration should be secondary, but I do suspect that given name recognition, it would probably be a little easier to sell a Yamaha.

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I feel like...they're pretty different instruments, especially in terms of tone (and also touch, to some degree). Estonia is a European brand and moreover trying to get the European sound. So they're more comparable to something like Schimmel. Between Schimmel and Estonia, I think I preferred the tone of Estonia but the action of Schimmel. Yamahas are just very nice to play in general. Nice balance between sounding and feeling good. I still play my U1 sometimes, it's a pleasure to play. Yamahas are known for being very consistent pianos. Like others, I figure you can't really go wrong with either of these.


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I agree with almost all of the above posts. I think your main concern should be which one you prefer in terms of touch, tone, and appearance. Both have very high build quality, and I think the ease of resale(which is hard to determine as Joseph explained) should only be a consideration if you think there is a good chance you will sell the piano fairly soon. If you like the more expensive piano more, unfortunately only you can determine if the extra cost is "worth it". I don't think you can go wrong with either piano.

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Sounds like there isn't an especially bad choice here, especially given the possibility to flip if you really find your dream axe in a few years. I know which I'd be biased towards, but I am sure the other will also work out really well for you.

Go with your gut, and see what develops.

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It was sold to a buyer and due to unexpected emergency, they sold it back to the dealer.. it is a 2021 piano.

Last edited by Emeraldwynn; 07/03/22 11:35 AM.
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I just played both. Both are excellent choices.
C2 will be more popular and have better resale value.
To me C2 have better action and control, but I’m not a big fan of Yamaha tone.
Estonia have more interesting tone. Also good action.
My personal favourite at this price range is the W.Schimmel I thought has the most appealing tone to me.
Also W.Hoffmann is worth checking.

In the end both are good choices l, but the tones are very different I thought you should have a instant preference .


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Originally Posted by Steven Y. A.
the tones are very different I thought you should have a instant preference .

I didn't necessarily find this to be the case when I was piano shopping. I felt like it was often easier to choose a favorite from among two pianos that were fairly similar. But for some pianos that just sound totally different, I felt like I liked them both, just differently. For example, the Boston grand sounds totally different from the Yamaha grand, and while piano shopping, I played some new Boston grands that I really, really liked. In my case, budgetary constraints also played a big role. I couldn't find any used Boston grands and couldn't afford the new ones, and there were no pianos in my price range that came close to the quality and sound of the C2 I eventually bought.

So I didn't find myself having to choose between two very different pianos I liked a lot, but I could imagine it being very difficult almost because of the difference.


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For me, I found that there were certain things that I enjoyed playing on pianos with very different tonal qualities, and some pieces for which I strongly preferred how they sounded on specific pianos. Put another way, there were things that I didn’t really enjoy playing on some pianos that otherwise seemed to me to be very nice instruments. Maybe that speaks to some of the limitations of my playing, and if I was flexible enough, I could adapt my playing in order to enjoy certain kinds of repertoire on those pianos. But I did find that with some pieces, I was much more particular about the pianos I liked more vs less.

Getting back to the OP — it is possible that some of these kinds of preferences will not be obvious now, because the repertoire they play is more limited or because some of these preferences may develop over time. Which takes me back to my point that it might not be the time to look for a ‘forever’ piano, but rather a piano that best suits your budget, space, and musical needs today.

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Regarding the Estonia pricing, this is a weird situation, because the piano is used but very, very young. Unless it was in an institutional environment or owned by a professional pianist or subject to extreme climate conditions, I would guess that it should be in ‘like new’ condition. But I looked back at my Estonia’s warranty agreement from the manufacturer, and it very specifically says that the manufacturer’s warranty is to the first owner of the instrument. So you would not be getting the manufacturer warranty, which to me is quite significant. I also have to imagine that when the dealer bought back the Estonia, that they did not buy it back at full price, so if they’re selling it at close to full price a 2nd time, they’re getting a lot from that instrument!

I don’t know if the PianoBuyer depreciation calculations specifically hold for this set of circumstances, but if you use their guidelines, I am calculating the following as a ‘reasonable’ price:
SMP 42,200 x 0.8 (20% discount from the original sale) = 33760 x 0.8 (depreciation for piano under 5 years old in ‘better’ condition) = 27000 x 1.2 (20% markup for being sold by a dealer rather than through a private sale) = 32400. Again, this strikes me as a bit of an unusual situation, but that’s how I’d interpret the PianoBuyer’s price guidelines in this situation. I would think that at the very least, there is room for significant price negotiation.

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+1 to Sgisela. What's the difference in price with a brand new Estonia? I'd check around at different dealers just to make sure you are getting the benefit of a "used" price. It honestly doesn't matter how little time it's been in the first owner's hands here. You simply won't get the mfg warranty or support for a used instrument.


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