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Kimball Pianos? #106695
05/29/03 04:11 PM
05/29/03 04:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 61
Ohio
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pianogurl Offline OP
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pianogurl  Offline OP
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Ohio
Hello, all!

We have been looking for a piano for a few months now, and we found an ad for one the other day. It is a 1960's Kimball console. We called, and the woman told us that she is remodeling her house and this piano was there when she bought it. She already has a piano, thus the only reason she is getting rid of it is that she does not have room for two.

The finish is cherry. She is asking $500 or less for it.

Does anyone know anything about Kimball pianos? Is it a good brand? I have been playing for 7 years and am starting to get pretty serious.

Also, we are going to see it on Saturday, so any recommendations on a good type of song to play?

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Re: Kimball Pianos? #106696
05/29/03 04:20 PM
05/29/03 04:20 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 2,943
San Juan Capistrano, CA
Penny Offline
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Penny  Offline
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San Juan Capistrano, CA
If you have been playing for seven years and have been getting serious about it, then this Kimball is not for you. Kimball is more furniture than piano. A 1960s piano which has most likely seen a lot of neglect (as it wasn't even worth moving by the house's previous owner) is even MORE like furniture than most of the brand's subpar pianos. I wouldn't even look at it.

What do you play on now?

Is $500 the most you have to spend? A $500 piano is SOMETIMES OK for a beginner but most likely NOT for you. I would think about a serious savings plan to get you the piano you deserve!

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

penny

Re: Kimball Pianos? #106697
05/29/03 04:21 PM
05/29/03 04:21 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,432
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Since you already play 7 years you should be able to get a bit of a feeling YOURSELF [!]

Though most members here would tend not think that highly of Kimball, the price tag MAY MAKE it worth looking at![at least interesting...]

heck, I tried some of these pianos that weren't all that bad.

And after some good 'handi-work' of ours,they were actually quite 'nice' [Ouch,I feel the torch being thrown at me... laugh ]

And when they were [the occasional!] "good" trade in in my store...I sold them for a lot more than that!

A lot more. wink

norbert


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Kimball Pianos? #106698
05/29/03 04:32 PM
05/29/03 04:32 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,416
Washington D.C. Metro
Cindysphinx Offline
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Cindysphinx  Offline
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Washington D.C. Metro
Hi, pianogurl,

I am so honored that someone is asking about the very type of piano I have in my living room!

I have a Kimball upright of that vintage. It has two important features.

First, it works.

Second, it was *free.* The "seller" was a person who had the piano in the home for years and years and years and now wanted to disappear it. I paid to move it and tune it, and I have had it ever since.

No, you won't be happy with the piano, but if you can get it for nothing, it might tide you over for a few years until you get something nicer. That was my plan, anyway. But I was a total beginner, so your needs may be more sophisticated.

That's my long way of saying you might want to offer to take it off her hands, but I wouldn't pay for it, myself.

Cindy

Re: Kimball Pianos? #106699
05/29/03 05:38 PM
05/29/03 05:38 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 3,773
Boulder, Colorado
KlavierBauer Offline
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KlavierBauer  Offline
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Boulder, Colorado
Everyone knows I'm the first to push people towards getting a higher quality piano, and this situation is no different.

HOWEVER

If this is truly the price range you have to be in, you could do worse. It's important to know how old the piano is, how it was maintained, etc. As a general rule, old pianos are junk. But you might find worth playing, at least for awhile until you can get what you want.

Have a tech look at the piano, and if it's a real whiner, look at your other options.

KlavierBauer

Re: Kimball Pianos? #106700
05/29/03 06:06 PM
05/29/03 06:06 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 3,378
North Carolina
bcarey Offline
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bcarey  Offline
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North Carolina
Agree with cindysphinx. Sounds like the seller is trying to get something$ for nothing (worth anything) and the buyer is trying to get something for not much of anything$.

Why not call it even, and take it off her hands for nothing$.

Re: Kimball Pianos? #106701
05/29/03 07:27 PM
05/29/03 07:27 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 2,943
San Juan Capistrano, CA
Penny Offline
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Penny  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 2,943
San Juan Capistrano, CA
Quote
Originally posted by KlavierBauer:
Have a tech look at the piano, and if it's a real whiner, look at your other options.
See, that's what I'm scared of. It might be a real whiner much more than a winner! laugh

penny

Re: Kimball Pianos? #106702
05/29/03 10:07 PM
05/29/03 10:07 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,386
Maine, U.S.
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RachFan Offline
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Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,386
Maine, U.S.
All I can say is... Kimball (groan) :rolleyes:

Re: Kimball Pianos? #106703
05/30/03 12:19 AM
05/30/03 12:19 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,432
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Surrey, B.C.
All I can say is $ 500.00.......

...buys you [normally] a...

.......mediocre GUITAR....

norbert


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Kimball Pianos? #106704
05/30/03 02:03 AM
05/30/03 02:03 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 123
cyberspace
JDWooWoo Offline
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Posts: 123
cyberspace
I grew up with a Kimball and have tried several others. I don't particularly care for them, and it looks like I'm not alone. To my ear, the tone has an odd quality - I can best describe it as sour, even after tuning.

Regardless of brand, my own experience leads me to advise extreme caution when considering an old cheapie, esp. if you're hoping that it will tide you over while saving up for a better one. I recently bought a used spinet with the same mindframe. Problem is, I found I'd rather play nothing at all, than play that thing. I doubt that's where you want to be.

What has worked for me is a digital piano. A decent one would probably cost you about what a cheapie plus fixing it up would cost anyway. Some people have cautioned that using a digital may not be good for your piano technique, but personally I have not found that to be the case (I am probably around the same playing level as you are). At any rate, I definitely enjoy playing it, and that's good enough for me. (On the other hand, the spinet sure is handy when I feel like playing 'piano technician'!)


Disclosure: adult self-teacher ~RCM 8. ~~ Must - Get - Off - Everquest ~~
Re: Kimball Pianos? #106705
05/30/03 11:43 AM
05/30/03 11:43 AM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 80
Fredericksburg, VA
jimmyD Offline
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jimmyD  Offline
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Fredericksburg, VA
My parents bought me a new cherry Kimball console in the mid 1960s. I used it as an adult in the mid to late 80s for taking lessons and getting back into piano playing before purchasing my grand. I kept it maintained, and the piano tech I used said that Kimballs of that vintage were much better made than the new/current ones, which were, in his opinion, junk. My sister still has the piano. There are some things wrong with it that need fixing, but it still works. Anyway, have someone check it out if that is what fits your budget. Kimball was better back then. It might not be that bad for what you need it for.

Re: Kimball Pianos? #106706
05/30/03 11:46 AM
05/30/03 11:46 AM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 3,749
Chicago
kluurs Offline
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kluurs  Offline
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Chicago
please, please, please god, help her find a better piano...

Ken

Re: Kimball Pianos? #106707
05/30/03 12:47 PM
05/30/03 12:47 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 80
Fredericksburg, VA
jimmyD Offline
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Fredericksburg, VA
You mean like a Steinway B, perhaps??? laugh

Re: Kimball Pianos? #106708
05/30/03 02:51 PM
05/30/03 02:51 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,654
New York City
Phlebas Offline
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Phlebas  Offline
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Posts: 4,654
New York City
One thing to think about:
Put yourself in the seller's shoes. If no one buys it, what will she do with it? Probably trash it, or try to donate it somewhere just to get it out of her house? That is a strong possibility. So, don't pay someone $500.00 for doing them a favor (getting rid of something they don't want).
I remember once I shared an apartment with someone who had an ok piano. When she was moving out, she tried to sell it to me for a few hundred dollars. I told her I wasn't interested. Guess what? She left it behind.

Re: Kimball Pianos? #106709
05/30/03 03:06 PM
05/30/03 03:06 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 3,749
Chicago
kluurs Offline
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Chicago
Quote
Originally posted by jimmyD:
You mean like a Steinway B, perhaps??? laugh
excellent choice!

Ken wink

Re: Kimball Pianos? #106710
05/31/03 11:23 AM
05/31/03 11:23 AM
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 61
Ohio
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pianogurl Offline OP
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Ohio
Okay-We won't buy it! LOL We cancelled our appointment to go see it today, deciding that since we would be busy anyways it would be a waste of time.

Now we're potentially thinking about a 1904 Hamilton piano that is VERY large and mahogany. Any thoughts?

Re: Kimball Pianos? #106711
05/31/03 11:26 AM
05/31/03 11:26 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 10,953
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Steve Cohen Offline
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Probably a WORSE alternative. Simply too old!


Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

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Since 1937.

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My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.
Re: Kimball Pianos? #106712
05/31/03 11:28 AM
05/31/03 11:28 AM
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Posts: 61
Ohio
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pianogurl Offline OP
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Ohio
What would you recommend in the $500-$1000 range?

Re: Kimball Pianos? #106713
05/31/03 11:40 AM
05/31/03 11:40 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 10,953
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Steve Cohen Offline
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First, I would try to increase your price range. And shop around a good bit begore buying.

The only way to get a decent paino in that range is going to be from a private party. Keep searchjing the local papers and post any finds here.

We help you make the best buy under the circumstances.

Also, you might consider renting, if your budget is low because you fear a loss of interest.


Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.
Re: Kimball Pianos? #106714
05/31/03 03:58 PM
05/31/03 03:58 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 3,291
Yorba Linda, CA
Steve Miller Offline
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Yorba Linda, CA
Quote
Originally posted by pianogurl:
What would you recommend in the $500-$1000 range?
I have seen various and sundry usable pianos in this price range. The trick is going to be to find one in servicable condition, and to have a tech look it over before you buy it. Your best bet will be private party - dealers just can't afford to handle pianos in this price range any more.

What to look for? Perhaps a Yamaha upright - U series are sometimes available in the $1K range - find someone who sells the gray market ones or who has bought one and now wants to sell it. Baldwin Hamiltons seem to last a long time - they might be worth looking in to. There are a lot of them out there. There are others too - condition will be more important than brand name.

If you like the idea of owning one, a Big-o upright is not instantly an unacceptable alternative. I will grant that MOST of them will be, but there are exceptions. If one of these really has had regular maintenance done on it over the years, they can be a good choice at your price point. Again, the key is a tech you can trust, and an understanding that this piano will not last forever.

So $1000 pianos are not going to be new, and they are going to need some work. Still, there are any number of pianists who are playing substantially less piano than I have seen for $1000, and if you search carefully you should be able to find something that does what needs to be done in your price range.

Good hunting!


Defender of the Landfill Piano
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