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Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 500 #1242560
08/03/09 11:53 AM
08/03/09 11:53 AM
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madpiano Offline OP
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Hello,

We are looking at a used piano to buy, 1982 Kawai Grand Piano Model No. 500, 85662, which is said to be 25 years old (1982), being sold by the second owner. It measures approx 6 ft in length. It has No. 500 engraved on it. and a five digit number little further away, that reads 85662. I do not know much about pianos, and looking for one b/c of my young son's love of learning to play. So any help on how much this model might be worth, and how reliable, will help me a huge deal! The condition is average, with few chips & dents, the vineer at the back is coming off at one place. The pins and the felt have been replaced back in 1995, and was last tuned in 2006. It has two pedals instead of three. I would greatly appreciate any input from you guys! Google failed me when I searched over and over for any info on this model! Thank you so much for your help!!

Last edited by madpiano; 08/03/09 12:03 PM.
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Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 500 [Re: madpiano] #1242575
08/03/09 12:27 PM
08/03/09 12:27 PM
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Roy123 Offline
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If my memory serves me correctly, the model 500 preceded the KG2. I think it's an inch shorter than the KG2, but more importantly, I think the model 500 was discontinued long before 1982. Check carefully, because the seller may be trying to pull a fast one, or perhaps is just mistaken.

Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 500 [Re: Roy123] #1242625
08/03/09 01:22 PM
08/03/09 01:22 PM
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madpiano Offline OP
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Thank you for your response, Roy123! After lot more research, finally found out that Model 500 was made in the '60's! But that is about it, there is not much online on the quality of this piano. Hope someone here will know more about it. Thanks again! smile

Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 500 [Re: Roy123] #1242629
08/03/09 01:25 PM
08/03/09 01:25 PM
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ChasT Offline
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According to the Kawai website, that piano was built in Japan in 1963. 46 is getting pretty old. Pianos wear out, just like cars do. Newer is normally better. If they didn't replace the strings with the pins, it's time. How's the pinblock? Cracks in the soundboard? There are about 8 or 9 thousand parts in that piano, lots of them wood. Before you buy anything used, get a piano tech with no connection to the seller to check it out for you. Depending on where you live, it should cost around $100, give or take $50. It's money really well spent.

Charles

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Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 500 [Re: ChasT] #1242714
08/03/09 03:41 PM
08/03/09 03:41 PM
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madpiano Offline OP
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Thank you Charles, do appreciate your help! The owner replaced the pins in 1995, but not sure about the pinblock. Did not notice any cracks on the soundboard as far as I remember. The keys are plastic of course, has stains on them. Is $2000 worth going for it, without knowing much more? Thank you so much for all the input!

Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: madpiano] #1242766
08/03/09 04:58 PM
08/03/09 04:58 PM
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San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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If you're dying to get this particular piano, first have a technician who is paid for by you and not in cahoots with the seller, evaluate it for condition and give you his opinion about the market value. http://ptg.org is a good resource for finding one. This is a good rule for any used piano, and could save you a lot of money and trouble.

Fifty years old pretty much means this old nag is ready for the glue factory--- or will be soon. Needing new pins is a symptom of an instrument on its last legs, musically; it means the pinblock would not hold a tuning.

I think you would benefit from reading Marty Flinn's book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buying a Piano. At about twelve bucks from Amazon, it will give you a good groundwork of information; I'm not crazy about the title, but the book is not bad at all. Buying a used piano is a good way to make your piano bucks go further, but something well under fifteen years old is a better buy for you.

Many people have a failing memory as to their piano's age, but "forgetting" 25 years is pushing the envelope pretty hard. It verges on fraud.

Would you tell us what else you've looked at, or what your goals are? Grand, upright, your son's age and ambitions, space available, etc. Including your budget range would help. There are some great deals out there on good used instruments... but, I'm sorry, this does not sound like one of them to me.

PS- Stains on the keys is not a big deal, necessarily. The veneer coming off sounds like water damage. A good tech can read the story the insides of the piano has to tell.

Last edited by Jeff Clef; 08/03/09 05:03 PM.

Clef

Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: Jeff Clef] #1242775
08/03/09 05:09 PM
08/03/09 05:09 PM
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Marty Flinn Offline
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The serial number you posted is from 1976. The model 500 was 5'10" in length. While a fan of Kawai, I am not a fan of this model. At 33 years old, this piano is long in the tooth for many more years of musical service to your family. I nine year misrepresentation in age is material and should be noted. Look for a much newer piano.


Last edited by Marty Flinn; 08/03/09 05:14 PM.

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: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: Marty Flinn] #1242780
08/03/09 05:15 PM
08/03/09 05:15 PM
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ChasT Offline
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Marty,

Where did you get the 1976 production date? I just rechecked and the Kawai site says 1963's serial numbers begin with 85622.

Charles

Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: ChasT] #1242840
08/03/09 07:05 PM
08/03/09 07:05 PM
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madpiano Offline OP
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Thank you very much for all the valuable information Jeff, Marty, and Charles. I had visited the Piano Forum before, without being registered, and was always amazed with the amount of helpful information available. I have just registered today, and already feel very grateful to everyone guiding me through the process! ...lot of people out there probably will not understand this, but my son for whom I am looking for the piano is pretty young. I cannot buy a piano with a lot of money. Through my Google research, and mostly by reading everyone's postings on Piano Forum, I have learnt a little bit about piano, and felt Kawai is a good quality piano. Of course Steinway is there, but I cannot even dream about buying one! I would like to buy a baby grand, not an upright, while my budget is only $2000. This Kawai, offered at $2000, seemed too good to be true. Reading all the responses to my posting today it seems it could be so after all. ...$2000 is nothing for a good piano I know that for sure, but that is all I can effort. Thus, if not this one, I have to wait for some time. Thank you very much again, everyone! I will definitely keep you posted on what ends up happening. But please let me know if there is something else that you remember and if you have the time. I am learning a lot from all of you, and I truly appreciate it all!

Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: madpiano] #1243234
08/04/09 12:03 PM
08/04/09 12:03 PM
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madpiano Offline OP
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One more question to everyone, can you kindly give me a rough idea, based on our discussions, how much longer this piano might last if it is around 40 years already? It would give me some idea to make a final decision. I really appreciate your input!

Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: madpiano] #1243270
08/04/09 12:48 PM
08/04/09 12:48 PM
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This piano structurally is just as well built as the later Kawai KG series. In that the seller repinned and restrung it and hung new hammers fairly recently (1995),I would say,not bad for 2K. Without seeing it,I can't assess the level of the refurbishment,but it's most likely adequate.The Japanese both Yamaha and Kawai use less than number 1 size tuning pins originally so....repinning the piano with oversized pins, first time around is probably OK in that the piano is a mere 40 years old. Of course a new pinblock is best but in this situation not,most likely the pinblock is original. Actually I'd rather have an original pinblock than a substandard new pinblock not fitted to the plate which I see more often than not. We ALWAYS change the pinblock but that is in Steinways and Masons exclusively. So you might spring for the tech assessment to assess the refurbishment level or you could live dangerously. The refurbishment cost far exceeds the price of the piano. Good deal!Good luck! wink

Last edited by pianobroker; 08/04/09 12:49 PM.

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Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: pianobroker] #1243325
08/04/09 02:03 PM
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ChasT Offline
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Pianobroker,

Madpiano says the pins and felts have been replaced, not the strings and hammers.

Charles

Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: ChasT] #1243329
08/04/09 02:12 PM
08/04/09 02:12 PM
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ChasT Offline
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Madpiano,

Have you been shopping craigslist.com and pianomart.com as well as your local dealers? Are you open to an upright instead of a grand? How far would you have to travel to find a bigger selection of pianos? This particular piano isn't the only one out there. With the economy as it is, you should be able to find something suitable for $2K. Try to stay under 10 or 20 years. It's out there.

Charles

Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: ChasT] #1243349
08/04/09 02:40 PM
08/04/09 02:40 PM
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madpiano Offline OP
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Thank you, Pianobroker, thank you, Charles. Yes I had been searching Craig's List mostly. The local piano dealers, few I have visited did not seem to have anything within my price range. But maybe I should not be so diheartened, and go out there to look around a little more. Like you said Charles, maybe it is out there. Thank you for the words of encouragement.

Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: ChasT] #1243354
08/04/09 02:45 PM
08/04/09 02:45 PM
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pianobroker Offline
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Originally Posted by ChasT
Pianobroker,

Madpiano says the pins and felts have been replaced, not the strings and hammers.

Charles
Uh....In all my years as for facilitating restorations,I've never repinned a piano without restringing it. Not to say it can't be done,but it's not usually done. The assumption in the industry is that it is also restrung. The only other option would be repinning the hammer flanges which in context is not what is implied.
As for when someone refers to the term felts,they usually are refering to hammers. Of course,one could be refering to damper felt,back rail felt,bushing felt,name board felt,understring felt or.....hammer felt. As to a layperson's perspective of "changing the felts" I would assume it to mean Hammers.
Now you got me curious! Addressed to the techs and rebuilders,"What does it relay to you when one saids they changed the felts not in context as for also restringing the piano"? wink

Last edited by pianobroker; 08/04/09 03:16 PM.

www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
Hailun dlr.818-255-3145
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8RvhXGKzY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voo0zumHGgE
Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: ChasT] #1243360
08/04/09 02:50 PM
08/04/09 02:50 PM
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Jeff Clef Offline
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Just my opinion, madpiano, but two thousand bucks is not chicken feed, and I think a lot of us might think it's a significant amount of money. True, you're not going to land a nine-foot concert grand for that kind of cash... but for a young beginning player, I would think you might be well able to find a very decent used upright, not too old, in good shape, that will serve for a long time. And, if you decided to sell it and move up, it would retain some value.

But it sounds like you like this piano. So, seriously, spend a hundred bucks before you buy and have a piano tech look it over. IF it's in good shape, it might last you ten to twenty years, tops. If it needs a lot of parts repaired or replaced, they could be expensive or disappointing years.

We have a young player who posts here who got an older upright, had some work done on it, and just posted a message thanking his parents very warmly for getting it for him. So, it can mean a lot to your kids, and I think you're doing a great thing that way. I also realize that a young parent may not have all the time in the world to shop around.

Well, just think it over. If this deal falls through, something else will come through for you. It can happen in the most surprising way.


Clef

Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: madpiano] #1243384
08/04/09 03:11 PM
08/04/09 03:11 PM
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ChasT,

My goof. I missed a digit. Yes, you are correct. The Pierce Atlas shows 1963. That makes it 46 years old. IMO this is too old for many musical years left. How long will it "last?" Depends how you define "last." The physical instrument will last almost forever. It will not be long, if not already, before:
1. Will not hold a tune at concert pitch for any length of time.
2. Will not produce a very musical tone.
3. Will not have any degree of sustain.
4. Will not be able to be regulated to product consistant key touch response.
5. Will not be long before strings begin to break during tuning and regular play.
6. Will not be long before action parts will begin to break.


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: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: Marty Flinn] #1243419
08/04/09 03:39 PM
08/04/09 03:39 PM
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Pianobroker,

I understand what you're saying. Piano maintenance and restoration isn't my field, but if I were selling a piano that had new pins and strings, I would specify new pins and strings. Same with hammers. I suppose someone might say felts, not hammers. (Isn't this where we're supposed to recommend an inspection?)

Jeff Cleff,

Did you watch the credits at the end of Tilan's video? That was nice. Good kid.

Charles


Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: ChasT] #1243666
08/04/09 10:02 PM
08/04/09 10:02 PM
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madpiano Offline OP
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Hi Jeff, two thousand is a lot of money for me, and I can justify it for the sake of my son, and that I can get a baby grand. That is what I started looking for in Craig's List. I have read in various reviews online that Kawaii is very reliable/good quality piano. Therefore, when I came across one, mentioned to me as 25 yr old, I did have my hopes really high, and my heart set. I did make a counter offer of 1500, just so that I feel a bit better taking my chances if it ends up being in really poor condition, but have not heard back from the owner. The piano is in a different location from where the owner is, pretty far away from where I live too, so not sure if the owner would entertain the idea of showing me yet again. The first time around, after an hour and half drive, I had to wait in front of the house for another hour before she showed up.

Thanks Marty, all the points are noted, and such concerns are keeping me from getting this piano right now.

Hi Charles, hi Pianobroker, the lady told me that her friend offered her that with new pins the piano will play better, and therefore she went ahead and changed them when she bought it in 1995. Not that that changes were necessary. She then added that she had went ahead and changed the felt as well. Obviously I do not know what that means in technical terms.

I believe a lot was being concealed from me, as despite several emails requesting the model number before I drive out there, she did not give it to me. Finally, when I spoke to her over the phone, to set up the time, and asking whether she remembered anything at all in terms of what is on the piano, she said "G something and the number 500" is all she could remember. When I was in front of the piano is when I got the model no. and the serial number. And the fact that the veneer was coming off off the curved side of the back. I wonder, if one has the piano in the house since 1995, hildren growing up playing the piano, how can you not know the model? But then again, how or how not is not my concern. I am glad I found the model number before I made the payment, and thanks to you all found out that it is not a 25 year old piano, but a 46years old piano.

I do not know if I can get a Kawaii grand/baby grand with my budget, but thanks to all the encouragement, I will go out there looking for it at least. As always, thank you! smile

Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: madpiano] #1243740
08/05/09 01:08 AM
08/05/09 01:08 AM
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San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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Let the gears turn, madpiano. It's bedtime in California, and even more so in every other time zone. I'm sure people who know the field will recommend some specific models, and situations where this could be possible... or close enough to it. You may yet end up bringing home the baby.

Disregard this if it sounds too foolish... but close your eyes for a minute. You see the piano, where it is now. It used to be the kid's who lived there, but no one plays it now. It's in a house... warm in winter, cool in summer. They dust it, and still tune it once a year. The people who live there know that all it needs is a new kid who loves music like the other kid did. They are well-to-do, not super-wealthy, but able to offer a bargain on a piano, which was a nice instrument when they bought it, to someone who will give it a new life, and help another young child grow up with music. They haven't wanted to sell it to just anyone...so it's waiting.

New situation: they hear about you and your boy who wants to play. Maybe a friend tells them, maybe a minister. Maybe you meet "by accident" in a piano shop, they there to sell, you to buy. They invite you to look at it; you bring your young son to see how he likes it. Hmmm... it's fading for me, but it's your dream.

Your dream, but it has an attractive power. I see the piano coming closer to you. You are choosing a nice place for it in your home, moving some furniture, running the vaccuum cleaner. You find a nice lamp for it, and a bookcase just the right size for music scores to go next to it.

The movers are ringing the doorbell... they're setting it up... your kid is trying the keys... the tuner is on the way, so you say goodbye and thank them with sandwiches, cold drinks, and a little cash with your sincere thanks.

Maybe it's the dream; I'm getting very sleepy... but there's more, years more...


Clef

Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: Jeff Clef] #1245464
08/07/09 04:37 PM
08/07/09 04:37 PM
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madpiano Offline OP
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Plunging into this deal tomorrow. Kawai Model 500, 46 years old, for $1500, plus the associated cost of moving, advance tuning, etc. Praying that there isn't any major issue other than general aging. And my son is able to play/learn in this piano for at least some years. Thank you very much dear friends, for all your helpful suggestions, and responses! I will be back soon, to let you all know what I found, and to read more, to educate myself. I will also buy the book that Jeff suggested. Thanks again, and have a great weekend! smile

madpiano

Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: madpiano] #1245473
08/07/09 04:59 PM
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...when i say deal, i do not mean to say i am getting a "deal", i mean i am going forward with it ...

Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: madpiano] #1250820
08/17/09 01:59 PM
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... just wanted to give you guys an update - still in the market for piano due to "cold feet" with the 46 year old Kawai Model 500. Hope I will be able to bring home the right one soon ...

Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: pianobroker] #1251349
08/18/09 01:01 PM
08/18/09 01:01 PM
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The last time I came across a piano with "new felts" were only found at the balance rail under the keys. However the owner insisted that the previous tuner replaced all the felts. The balance rail felts were the only new material, and the keys were not leveled after !!!! Wow !!!


Richard, the"Piano Guy"
Piano Moving Tuning & Repair
From London ON to Fort Erie ON
Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: Piano Guy] #1256126
08/25/09 09:07 PM
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Still in the market looking for the right piano. This Kawai KG-2C is offered at $7500 (negotiable). It is made in 1978, serial #618565. According to the owner, very good condition with new sound board, strings and pins in 2007. I would like to find out if this piano is reasonable to buy that would last several years, generally speaking based on the ad. What would be a reasonable counter offer? Thank you for your suggestions, will be great help!

Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: madpiano] #1256129
08/25/09 09:10 PM
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Another one I am looking at is a 1991 Kawai GE-1 model, number 1975731. This one is asking for $5,000. I do not want to rush in, despite the fact that it is for my young son. I would like to get a decent piano, a Kawai preferably, and not older than maybe 12 years. Thank you for all the helpful/friendly suggestions!

Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: madpiano] #1256137
08/25/09 09:25 PM
08/25/09 09:25 PM
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Steve Cohen Offline
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Steve Cohen  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 10,896
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Someone is very likely lying to you. No way a new soundboard was put in that KG.


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: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: madpiano] #1256147
08/25/09 09:37 PM
08/25/09 09:37 PM
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
Hi, Madpiano,

It's good to hear from you. I'm glad you're doing your research and not jumping in feet first with your eyes closed. How old is your son? I do hope you're letting him have some input.

According to the Kawai website, the KG-2C was built in 1972. From what I find, it was well up the Kawai line of grands. It's had the work done that probably would have had to be done on the 500 pretty soon. If your tech gives it the thumbs up and you and son like it, it could be a contender.

The GE-1 was built in 1990. It was probably first sold in 1991. It should have a year or two of warranty left.

I can't say much about price, but, all other things being pretty much equal, the 5'10" KG-2C should have a strong lead over the 5'1" GE-1. Personally, I would prefer a piano over 5'6", but if you have to go shorter, Kawai grands do have a "bigger" sound.

Now, let's wait for the posts from the folks you really should be listening to.

Charles




Last edited by ChasT; 08/25/09 10:15 PM.
Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: ChasT] #1256162
08/25/09 10:01 PM
08/25/09 10:01 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 29
M
madpiano Offline OP
Full Member
madpiano  Offline OP
Full Member
M
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 29
Hello Charles,

It is very nice to hear from you as well. And I appreciate your suggestions a lot too! My son is four and half, loves piano, loves music, and remembers a lot for his age -whether it is songs or any occasional lessons he gets at his cousin's! He is not taking any piano lessons outside the family yet, but my search is because of him and to get him started on lessons on a regular basis. I would like to get a grand or a baby grand, my biggest regret was not being able to get this RX-1, which was 10 years old, in good condition, for only $4,500! That would have been ideal given my space and budget. But that is what happens when you shop on Craig's List, due to limited budget. But after losing the RX-1, I have told myself to wait until the right one comes my way.

I will keep your suggestions in mind, and check out the KG-C2 first hand. Thanks again! smile

Re: Please Help!! Can't find any info on Kawaii 50 [Re: madpiano] #1256163
08/25/09 10:04 PM
08/25/09 10:04 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 29
M
madpiano Offline OP
Full Member
madpiano  Offline OP
Full Member
M
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 29
Hello Steve,

Thank you very much for your input. Can you explain a little more about why no way a new soundboard was put in that KG? I do not know a lot about pianos, which is why I am here for suggestions. And I do appreciate everyone's time a lot!

Sincerely,
madpiano

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