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#1178353 - 04/11/09 07:50 AM 7 year old Kawai 506S in ex cond - fair price?
dingap Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 26
I will take a look at Kawai 506S.
It is 7 year old and in mint condition as advertised.
How much would be a fair price? Assuming a comparable new Kawai can be purchased at around $5000~$6000, $2000 would be a good price? Or, steal or just fair price?
I would still need to pay for $300~$400 for moving.

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#1178451 - 04/11/09 12:17 PM Re: 7 year old Kawai 506S in ex cond - fair price? [Re: dingap]
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
The 506S was not Kawai's finest work. I am not a fan. Especially from that era when they were ramping up their Indonesian factory. You can do better for that money.
Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.

#1178689 - 04/11/09 08:08 PM Re: 7 year old Kawai 506S in ex cond - fair price? [Re: Marty Flinn]
dingap Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 26
I looked at 506S and I was not impressed. It was rarely played and looked like just new inside out, but the sound was pretty dull. The base was tiny and the treble was thin. It has not been tuned since purchased.
I also looked at 25 year old Kawai 803F and 20 year old Kawai UST-8, advertised at $1000 and $1800, respectively. According to the owner, 803F was bought new but rarely played at all. It looked like a very fine piece of furniture, but the sound was worse than 506S. It was not tuened for over 15 years old.

UST-8 was different. It has a full and loud base and the treble was very clear and bell like sound. The action was a bit heavy. However, it looked heavily played and some keys looked uneven -- the middle E is tiny bit (about 2~3 mm) lower, and some keys did not look straight, which means some keys separated more/less than other keys each other. Also, there was some uneveness of volume, barely noticeable, but still noticeable. The touch was all even, according to myself and my wife.

I don't think I would go for any of these.
Thanks for your input.

#1178769 - 04/11/09 11:13 PM Re: 7 year old Kawai 506S in ex cond - fair price? [Re: dingap]
Nick Mauel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/08
Posts: 804
Loc: Sarasota and Naples, FL

The problem with the pianos you mentioned, as you indicate, is that they have not been tuned.

If you want to save money via a private party transaction you have to take a slight risk in not knowing what the final outcome will be. 2 tunings will make a HUGE difference.

My pick would be the 803. There is a big difference in the quality versus the 506. It was made in Japan. The other piano had some cosmetic issues with the keys which show it has been used quite a bit.

I once sold a used 800 series Kawai console that was one of the most incredible sounding pianos ever. Big bass, and they were built very well. It's not overpriced, and if you could get it for even less, and the furniture is good, it would be absolute steal. Just my 2 cents, as Bear would say.

Nick's Piano Showroom
Naples, Fort Myers, & Sarasota, FL
New Estonia, Mason & Hamlin, Baldwin, Brodmann & Ritmuller
239-206-4541 direct line

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#1179305 - 04/12/09 10:57 PM Re: 7 year old Kawai 506S in ex cond - fair price? [Re: Nick Mauel]
dingap Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 26
I talked to a local piano technician today. He told me that there is not whole lot of difference between 803 ($1000, 1985) and UST-8 ($1700, 1993). His pick was also 803. He pretty much ruled out 506S. He told me that the dull sound of 803 most likey has to do with the piano not being tuned for a long time. Since 803 is much nicer looking furniture in home, he also prefers it to UST-8 which is mainly targeted for studio use and looks quite sterile. The dark cherry color of 803 also matches to our living room, but the light oak color of UST-8 would not fit well in the my living room. However, my mind is still toward UST-8 mainly due to the sound, and I may go for it if the keys can be easily straitened out and there is no major issues found, and if I can go a bit lower.
I will bring him to take a look at both and decide between the two.

Many thanks for your input.

Edited by dingap (04/12/09 11:02 PM)

#1179417 - 04/13/09 06:35 AM Re: 7 year old Kawai 506S in ex cond - fair price? [Re: dingap]
Rich Galassini Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 10451
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey

You are going about this the right way. By all means bring the piano tech. to examine your choices. I am also not a fan of the 506S, but the new selling price that you have quoted for this series is also quite high, at least here in the Philly area.

I think you may wind up with a piano you enjoy. Good luck!
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
Check out the Science Channel's "How Its Made" featuring our piano restoration:

#1179902 - 04/13/09 11:26 PM Re: 7 year old Kawai 506S in ex cond - fair price? [Re: Rich Galassini]
dingap Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 26
My technician checked 803F and he found it is terribly out of tune. He said he would need to tune 3 times to make it in perfect tune, which would cost me about $150.
Oddly, he was more impressed by the look. The 25 year old piano does not have any scratches on inside/outside. It also looked a very nice piece of furniture. According to him, it worth $1000 just as a good looking furniture. confused
He promised me that after it is tuned, it would sound much better. I hope so.

In the mean while, my wife just played a 15 year old Weinbach 114 (44"). It is rarely played and almost like new inside out. It is being sold from a piano store and in perfedt tune. Asking price is $3000. The problem is, she likes Weinbach much more than any Kawais. The touch was more refined and the sound was full and round. According to the seller, no Kawai upright is a close match to his Weinbach. shocked
Anyway, I don't want to spend that much of money for Weinbach, and it looks almost likely that the $1000 Kawai 803F would be my new piano.

Edited by dingap (04/13/09 11:38 PM)


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