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Buying my First Piano #1168208
03/24/09 07:58 PM
03/24/09 07:58 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 4
K
Kokoro Offline OP
Junior Member
Kokoro  Offline OP
Junior Member
K

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 4
Hello All,

This is my first post here, though I have been a regular visitor to this forum since I started researching for my impending piano purchase.

I have been looking for about 6 months now and originally started out looking at second hand models. I found however that there didn't appear to be too much of a price margin between a decent second hand and new, especially after adding on the cost of a tech inspection, so I have decided to increase my budget and get the best new piano that I can afford.

I should mention that I live in Adelaide in South Australia which is probably one of the worst second hand markets in my counrty owing to the smaller population, there just isnt the range or competitive pricing unfortunatly.

So my budget is $7000 AUD. So far there are 3 models in this price range that have caught my eye:

1). Kawai K3 - $6500.
This is fully made in Japan, 12 year unlimited warranty, has the millenium III action and slow fall fallboard which are all attractive features to me.

2). Yamaha T121 - $5999
Obviously Yamaha is a well known and respected brand, the one i played in the store was a little bright for my tastes but then it would sound very different in my lounge room and the dealer said it could be tuned to sound mellower (checked this with my tuner and he said it wouldn't last though). The price is the most attractive feature here, the RRP on this model is $7999 so that's already a $2000 discount plus when I mentioned to the dealer that i was leaning more towards the Kawai he said he would be willing to go lower on the price again.

3). Alex Steinbach Romance - $6570
This piano is made by Samick in Korea and I probably wouldnt have considered it except that a tuner recommended them to me as good value for money. It surprised me that the price was so close to that of the K3 and T121 which are both fully made in Japan. This one also has a lifetime warranty and double felted hammers which the others do not.

So if anyone has any thoughts or opinions on my choices (or even other options within my budget) I would welcome any suggestions! Conversations with the dealers have only served to confuse me as they all say that thier brand is the best and I'd be mad to choose any other. The Yamaha dealer said the kawai would not last as long but my tuner said this is rubbish. I dont know who I can trust to give me an honest opinion and am beginning to understand the "car salesman" experience that so many others have described here!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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Re: Buying my First Piano [Re: Kokoro] #1168251
03/24/09 09:46 PM
03/24/09 09:46 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 7,439
torrance, CA
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member
turandot  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 7,439
torrance, CA
Originally Posted by Kokoro

So if anyone has any thoughts or opinions on my choices (or even other options within my budget) I would welcome any suggestions! Conversations with the dealers have only served to confuse me as they all say that thier brand is the best and I'd be mad to choose any other. The Yamaha dealer said the kawai would not last as long but my tuner said this is rubbish.


Smart tuner!

Kokuro,

Assuming these are AUD prices, the price you have been offered on the K3 is excellent, the price on the T121 less so. If you like the tone and touch of the K3, I don't think you should let further discounting of the T121 lure you away. You can't beat the Kawai warranty and there is a lot of value packed into the K3.

A small point of clarification. Although the Samick-produced Alex Steinbach has parts from Korea and elsewhere, it is built at the Samick factory in Indonesia. I'm not saying that's of any importance, but it's a fact.

Bernstein Music has the full line of Hailun pianos branded with the Bernstein name. These are from China. They have attracted a following in the US (branded as Hailun). If you have a Bernstein Music location in or around Adelaide, you could check them out. But again, if you like that K3, I don't think you could go wrong.


Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier
Re: Buying my First Piano [Re: turandot] #1168266
03/24/09 10:17 PM
03/24/09 10:17 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,829
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Jeff Clef  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,829
San Jose, CA
Looking at the build quality and reputation of the maker is important--- but the real question is which instrument feels the best and sounds the best to you.

Most new pianos will get somewhat brighter with use as the hammer felts compact. Voicing will help to an extent. Look for the instrument to "bloom" for you after a year or two of playing and regular maintenance.

Your research has put you on a sound footing to make a good choice. Ask yourself which one you love hearing, and touching. The look can be pretty important, too.


Clef

Re: Buying my First Piano [Re: Jeff Clef] #1168317
03/25/09 12:09 AM
03/25/09 12:09 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 32
Singapore
W
Wye Mun Offline
Full Member
Wye Mun  Offline
Full Member
W

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 32
Singapore
Sounds like you already like the Kawai best!

Having an instrument you really like will help motivate you to practice. Helps if it sounds nice to you and feels right and looks right.

Go for the Kawai, I say! smile

Re: Buying my First Piano [Re: Wye Mun] #1168336
03/25/09 12:56 AM
03/25/09 12:56 AM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,348
Hillsboro Beach South Florida
Bear 1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Bear 1  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,348
Hillsboro Beach South Florida
Of course. in my very biased opinion, Buy the Kawai. smile

Bear


Barry J "Bear" Arnaut ♫
46 Years in the Piano Industry
Retired Kawai/Shigeru Kawai Regional Manager
(My posts and threads are my opinions only)
Re: Buying my First Piano [Re: Bear 1] #1169005
03/26/09 06:06 AM
03/26/09 06:06 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 4
K
Kokoro Offline OP
Junior Member
Kokoro  Offline OP
Junior Member
K

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 4
Thanks everyone for your words of wisdom.

I went out today for a second play and the Kawai dealer had just recieved a second hand 1 year old ex rental K3 in "as new" condition (it actually sounded even better than the new ones having had some "breaking in"). It had been rented by an Asian family who were now returning to Asia and it had obviously been very well looked after. Had a tech check it out and confirmed it was in perfect condition.

In the end I got it for $5500 (Australian dollars)including delivery, two tunings and they even threw in the full 12 year warranty!

The piano is being delivered next Wednesday, and I can hardly wait!! Will post some pics if I can figure out how.

Thanks again for the advice.

Wye Mun - you were right, I was always leaning towards the Kawai. The Yamaha just sounded too bright and grainy for my tastes. Although I did try out a C2 in the store that sounded absolutely devine, too bad I dont have the budget or the space for a grand..

Very happy with my K3 purchase and looking forward to spending lots of time with it!

Re: Buying my First Piano [Re: Kokoro] #1169011
03/26/09 06:15 AM
03/26/09 06:15 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 128
Delaware
JWP Offline
Full Member
JWP  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 128
Delaware
Hi Kokoro,

Congratulations on your new piano! When I was looking at pianos I thought that the K3 was a very nice piano.

Monica must be asleep. On her behalf 'you must post some pics'.

John


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