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Knabe WKV 131 #1209091
05/31/09 07:46 AM
05/31/09 07:46 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 6
North East Pennsylvania
Oraangio Offline OP
Junior Member
Oraangio  Offline OP
Junior Member

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 6
North East Pennsylvania
Hello everyone,
I'm considering purchasing a new Knabe WKV 131 via the internet. I played one sevral months ago and liked the one I played.
If anybody has any experience playing or thoughts regarding the quality of this instrument and has some time to give me some feedback I would appreciate it.
I'm an adult beginner playing for almost three years learning with my son and I'm completeley hooked. I have a console piano and would like to upgrade to better quality full upright. The warden won't give me the green light for a grand--yet. Thank you for your time.


Oraangio
Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
Piano accessories and music gift items
Re: Knabe WKV 131 [Re: Oraangio] #1209118
05/31/09 09:14 AM
05/31/09 09:14 AM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 649
Georgia
C
ChasT Offline
500 Post Club Member
ChasT  Offline
500 Post Club Member
C

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 649
Georgia
I liked the WKV-121 I saw a lot and the 121 and 131 models get good press on this forum. Use the search function at the top of the page and check for yourself.

This particular piano wouldn't be the one for $4500 on Ebay "Piano Liiquidations," would it? I really wondered about that one and was seriouisly considering the 9 hour drive to go see it. I was concerned about buying from a non-dealer and worried that there might be a warranty problem. If your situation is similar, I'd recommend getting the serial number and checking things out with Knabe (1-800-592-9393.) And, you won't be able to touch and hear the instrument. They're all different, your know; this one won't be quite like the one you played. Be very careful with your money until you're 100% certain everything's legit. And good luck!

Charles

Re: Knabe WKV 131 [Re: ChasT] #1209124
05/31/09 09:40 AM
05/31/09 09:40 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,811
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Jeff Clef  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,811
San Jose, CA
Personally, I wouldn't do it. You have some pretty good dealers not so far from you who will give you a good instrument at a fair price, with the ability to play it and check it out for yourself. You do not need to expose yourself to the risk of buying from an unknown person, at long distance, sight-unseen. The warden could be very displeased with the outcome. Anyway, how can you tell if you love it?


Clef

Re: Knabe WKV 131 [Re: Oraangio] #1209148
05/31/09 11:10 AM
05/31/09 11:10 AM
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
If you could play the piano. check its provenance and clear its warranty with SMC (Samick) through a serial number which you personally verify, pay for an independent technician's appraisal, pay for professional delivery to your home...all of that included at a still attractive price, and still feel good about the piano and the deal, then maybe.

From the appearance of the listing, the seller would not have a problem with any of this......

"We understand purchasing a piano on the internet is intimidating. Therefore, if you are in our local area make an appointment to come to the warehouse and play or simply listen to this instrument. If you cannot visit in person we suggest you contact a piano technician in our area to come inspect the piano on your behalf. If you would like a recommendation for a technician, please give us a call and we can provide several suggestions. This piano is brand new, free from defects, and covered by manufacturer warranty."

The WKV 131 is a very desirable piano with a nice touch, a beautiful tone, and a presence that is big, deep, but not harsh in any way. The tone reminds me of woodwinds. It is probably not for everyone, but then again, what piano tone is?

This particular piano is from the inventory of a defunct dealership in Florida. The forner owner's name is Gene Grant. The dealership was called MG Piano Gallery. Mr. Grant's eBay handle is genegr2. If you trace all of his eBay sales from that account, all merchandise seems to be sheet music. There is no clear record of piano sale transactions from the reported feedback info. even during the store closing period of August to November, 2007 when the entire store inventory was listed on eBay. This is not reassuring. It would be nice to read about satisfied customers who bought pianos.

During those months on eBay in the fall of 2007 when the owner was liquidating pianos from his store, I know that some sales were claimed by him, but I cannot find any account on eBay now that actually records piano sales from that inventory. Maybe a bad sign, maybe not.

According to the current listings, the pianos are presently in storage in Alabama and the store owner in Singagore. Again a potential red flag, but maybe not. The store owner had plans to leave the country when he closed the business.

For background on the closing of the store, you can read this thread. The owner was a member here and made a rather tumultuous exit from the piano biz on Piano World blaming a flood of cheesy Chinese pianos for his failure. Once again, this is not necessarily a negative. A lot of dealerships have failed in the past few years. A lot of failed owners have had bitter feelings as they exited. Undoubtedly Mr. Grant had poured a lot of money into his business, and the result was not what he expected.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/240905/1.html

Those WKV's were in the store inventory before it closed, so they are at least a couple of years old. Once again, not necessarily a negative. A lot of pianos on showroom floors have been in inventory even longer. The key element here would be the warehouse conditions under which they have been stored since the store closed. Here is a link to the store closing website. You will notice an inventory very similar to the present inventory of Piano Liquidations.

http://www.mgpiano.com/

I know the piano market is terribly slow, but those Knabe listings on eBay have been there for weeks. The fact that the Knabe verticals and the small Knabe grand haven't received bids at those prices is curious even in this climate of slack sales. The latest renewal on the WKV 131 has upped the price from 3.9k to 4.5k. I remember that Mr. Grant used the same strategy of bouncing around the listing prices during the store closing period.

If you do follow up on this, please report what you find.



Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier
Re: Knabe WKV 131 [Re: turandot] #1209247
05/31/09 03:02 PM
05/31/09 03:02 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,604
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Marty Flinn  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,604
I am a big fan of the Wm. Knabe WKV131 and 121s. They are great performance values and built well. I am not a fan of buying sight unseen over the internet. I strongly advise against this.


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.
Re: Knabe WKV 131 [Re: Marty Flinn] #1209634
06/01/09 08:05 AM
06/01/09 08:05 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 6
North East Pennsylvania
Oraangio Offline OP
Junior Member
Oraangio  Offline OP
Junior Member

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 6
North East Pennsylvania
First let me thank everyone for taking the time to respond with your thoughts and advice. ChasT thanks for the phone number and turandot thanks for all the great info. Very helpful!!!
Yes, it is the piano on e-bay. The current listing is for a mahogany 131. The previous listing for $3900 was for an ebony 131 which was sold.
I'll try to verify the serial number, storage history and warranty and let you all know what I find. The seller has been quick to respond to my questions so hopefully I will know more soon.
Thanks again to everyone.


Oraangio
Re: Knabe WKV 131 [Re: Oraangio] #1209685
06/01/09 09:28 AM
06/01/09 09:28 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 12
Norfolk, VA
Valkyria Offline
Junior Member
Valkyria  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 12
Norfolk, VA
Hi Oraangio! I bought a Knabe 131 a few months back and have really been enjoying it. I paid a little bit more than what the ebay one is listed for, but I purchased it from a local dealership who got it prepped and tuned up for me. (I may have overpaid, but what's a little extra money in the grand scheme of things when I plan to keep the piano for a very long time smile Mine was a few years old and used when I purchased it though. It does have a lovely sound and I like that it has a sostenuto pedal.

Good luck on your purchase!


Not all those that wander are lost.
Re: Knabe WKV 131 [Re: Oraangio] #1209688
06/01/09 09:33 AM
06/01/09 09:33 AM
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
"The current listing is for a mahogany 131. The previous listing for $3900 was for an ebony 131 which was sold."

As I said, there are no recorded piano sales on that eBay account. There are no sales of any kind since April. This is one more thing to be careful of.

Some piano sellers float their inventory on eBay as bait in the hopes of drawing customers in by email or tel. call. If a sale is transacted, they do if off eBay to avoid the final valuation fees. It's no big deal. It's common enough. Those fees are of no consequence to you. The seller pays them. Plus, drawing you in is a big positive for you since you will audition the piano. That's the way a piano should be sold.

However, there is a level of protection for you in an eBay transaction, not as much as in a credit card transaction, but something. And you clearly want to know exactly who owns the pianos at this point, and what kind of business it is.

In this case I would advise you to find out exactly who you are dealing with. When Mr. Grant closed, he wrote in his web site that the pianos had been purchased by the finance company. I don't think a finance company would play this sort of game on eBay, but I could be wrong. I also don't think the account would be registered with eBay as a Singapore seller if the pianos were owned by a finance company in Alabama.

Be careful of every aspect of this. Don't let the fact that you want everything to be okay blind you to any red flags.





Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier
Re: Knabe WKV 131 [Re: Valkyria] #1209703
06/01/09 10:08 AM
06/01/09 10:08 AM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 649
Georgia
C
ChasT Offline
500 Post Club Member
ChasT  Offline
500 Post Club Member
C

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 649
Georgia
Oraangio,

When I was shopping, I was very tempted by this ad. As I live 9 hours away from the piano's location, I could have driven over to see it. IF I had decided to check it out and buy it, it would have cost me an overnight trip, a tech's evaluation (unless I felt brave and a bit foolish), greater shipping cost, tuning and any necessary prep costs, and a complete lack of any dealer service. I decided to look elsewhere. And I paid a little more. You have to decide what's right for you--and The Warden.

Jeff Clef, Turandot and Marty Flinn all really valid points. Consider them carefully. And make ssure The Warden is in agreement if you decide to go with this piano. This may be a wonderful deal--or not.

Good luck and I hope whaterver you buy is all you hope for.

Charles

P.S., It looks like Turandot was writing while I was wordsmithing. He's right about the red flags. It was all a little too screwy for me. That why I left it alone. ChasT


Last edited by ChasT; 06/01/09 10:19 AM.
Re: Knabe WKV 131 [Re: ChasT] #1209716
06/01/09 10:33 AM
06/01/09 10:33 AM
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
And Chas T brings up another very valid point. Add up all the expenses as he has suggested. The piano may have been put into storage in unprepped state. Even assuming optimum storage conditions, it will take more than pocket change to get the piano into optimum playing condition.

Since you're in Pennsylvania I think a good comparison for you is the experience of another member here - Henry TD - who bought the very same piano from a dealer member here - Rich Galassini - at Cunningham's in Philadelphia. I don't know how much Henry paid, but as his piano was personally selected for him and autographed by Andre Watts, I'm sure there were no red flags of any kind. You might want to check out this Galassini guy, or maybe it's Gasolini. I can never get it straight. grin


Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier
Re: Knabe WKV 131 [Re: turandot] #1209727
06/01/09 10:59 AM
06/01/09 10:59 AM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 649
Georgia
C
ChasT Offline
500 Post Club Member
ChasT  Offline
500 Post Club Member
C

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 649
Georgia
Oraangio,

You never knew you had so many mothers, did you?


Re: Knabe WKV 131 [Re: ChasT] #1210044
06/01/09 09:57 PM
06/01/09 09:57 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 14,237
Louisiana
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Jolly  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 14,237
Louisiana
Contact the finance company. Offer $3K cash.

See what happens.


www.coffee-room.com

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