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#1306146 - 11/15/09 03:42 PM First post, question about "gray market" Kawai NX40  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 7
Fairview Offline
Junior Member
Fairview  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 7
United States
Hi All,
Our first post and we need help already. The local piano dealer is recommending a 6'1" Kawai NX40. In researching for information, we haven't found much- only that this model is referred to as "gray market".
I'm not sure what that means, but it doesn't like a good thing, especially for $16,000.00.

Any help? Thanks, Fairview

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#1306152 - 11/15/09 04:12 PM Re: First post, question about "gray market" Kawai NX40 [Re: Fairview]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,604
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Marty Flinn  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,604
Please use the search function on this forum for "Gray Market" and "Grey Market". If you can get us the serial number for the piano we can tell you the age. The NX40 is a model not distributed in North America to my recollection. $16k sounds expensive unless it is relatively current.


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.
#1306170 - 11/15/09 04:42 PM Re: First post, question about "gray market" Kawai NX40 [Re: Marty Flinn]  
Joined: Sep 2009
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Oolong Offline
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Oolong  Offline
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Seattle, WA, USA
Generally, "gray market" means it was sold through unauthorized channels. What it usually means to the buyer is that it is not covered by the manufacturer's warranty.

If you're worried about whether there is something illegal about it, there is not. It is legal.

Added: What I mean is the term "gray market" doesn't imply anything illegal. Of course, I don't know your case.

Last edited by Oolong; 11/15/09 04:45 PM.
#1306174 - 11/15/09 04:47 PM Re: First post, question about "gray market" Kawai NX40 [Re: Oolong]  
Joined: Nov 2006
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Marty Flinn Offline
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Marty Flinn  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,604
Another generalized meaning of the term is for a body of used (mostly Yamaha and Kawai) brought from Japan for sale in the U.S. These pianos were not cured for drier climate in the West and have had years of use in the more humid East.


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.
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#1306181 - 11/15/09 05:01 PM Re: First post, question about "gray market" Kawai NX40 [Re: Marty Flinn]  
Joined: Nov 2009
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meowmix52 Offline
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meowmix52  Offline
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Posts: 110
Originally Posted by Marty Flinn
Another generalized meaning of the term is for a body of used (mostly Yamaha and Kawai) brought from Japan for sale in the U.S. These pianos were not cured for drier climate in the West and have had years of use in the more humid East.


Actually, that is just a marketing ploy devised by Yamaha of America to protect their own interests. They didn't want everyone to buy gray-market imports from Japan. The curing of wood may be different, but the climates in the East are no different from the climate here in the US. There are humid climates - southern coastal regions such as Florida. And there are also very dry climates like in Arizona or in Colorado. Will pianos in "Phoenix,AZ" need to be cured specially to "endure" a harsher climate? That is just BS. The climates in the East also vary depending on latitude and geography - mountains, large bodies of water etc...

In the end, don't let the term "gray" market scare you. If the dealer offers their own warranty, and you like the piano and the price, go for it. Kawai NX40 is comparable to the RX 3 I guess, so 16K is not too shabby.

#1306192 - 11/15/09 05:30 PM Re: First post, question about "gray market" Kawai NX40 [Re: meowmix52]  
Joined: Nov 2006
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Marty Flinn Offline
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Marty Flinn  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,604
Meow,

Forget the curing aspect if it makes you feel better. Consider:
1. 25-30 years living and being used in Japan's more humid climate and different attitudes re. HVAC.
2. Many/most of these pianos come out of institutional use with wear way beyond their manufacturing year.
3. Many/most are misrepresent to the customer as being "rebuilt" when they have just received a dusting and polish job.
4. Many/most are misrepresented to the customer in age, often presented as 6 or 7 years old when they are actually 25-35 years old.
There is much more to the "Gray Market" discussion than Yamaha's marketing.

I have no problem with these instruments when they are accurately presented and represented. Also, when the potential buyer takes the additional step to have a qualified tech check them out before purchase.

Again, $16k is a bundle. Age and specific condition are critical.


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.
#1306217 - 11/15/09 06:17 PM Re: First post, question about "gray market" Kawai NX40 [Re: Marty Flinn]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 7
Fairview Offline
Junior Member
Fairview  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 7
United States
Wow, thanks for the quick and very informative replies.

We do not have the serial number, but this Kawai NX-40 is reportedly a 1993. Other pianos we are considering (for our teenage daughter who is making piano a big part of her life and future plans) are a Kawai RX2 5'11" ($15,000) from the same dealer, or a refurbished Chickering grand from the 1920's from a family friend.

I think we were surprised in doing our homework to read that the NX-40 is a gray market piano and that Kawai does not offer any parts support for that piano. (per Bear 1 on this site in this thread: Bear 1 post )

I don't mind spending the money on something that is a solid buy, but don't want to buy something that appears to be unsupported by no one other than the selling dealer.

However, the dealer is very reputable, offers a five year warranty, with 100% "trade up" arrangement. We'd like to buy from the dealer, but don't want to pay a foolish price or make a foolish choice.

Help! And thanks, Fairview



#1306220 - 11/15/09 06:23 PM Re: First post, question about "gray market" Kawai NX40 [Re: Fairview]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
pianobroker Offline
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pianobroker  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.
The NX40A is a great piano. It is more characteristic to maybe a 6'1" artist level mdl. between a Kawai GS40 and the early RX3.It is also very similar to the gray market Kawai CA40A with the fancy nosebolts. All the harps on all these mdls.look the same as all of them are 6'1" mdls..Kawai is very vague as for the exact differences in that Kawai makes many many mdls for the international market. The NX40A and th CA40A both have neotex keytops and have ABS flanges but regular wood shanks.They do have the top quality yellow underfelt Kawai hammers.
Of course I would have a third party assess the cond. of the piano if it gets to that point but I will say this,I've had maybe 10-15 preowned NX40A over the years and they are USUALLY in fine condition in that they are a newer gray market mdl. Most are of the 1990(s)so the chances of an extra crusty one are minimal compared to other Kawai older gray market mdls. Until recently Kawai never really made a stinct as for gray market until recent.Kawai International at one time used to buy up all the used gray market Kawai in Japan and market them themselves to many countries other than the USA so....

In conclusion,even though the yen/dollar exchage rate may not be favourable to the US at present16K is way too high. Kick in a bit more $ and get a new RX2 or even a RX3.


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#1307019 - 11/17/09 05:12 AM Re: First post, question about "gray market" Kawai NX40 [Re: pianobroker]  
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Posts: 7
Fairview Offline
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Fairview  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 7
United States
Thanks everyone. We took your advice,Pianobroker, especially looking at a new RX2. The Kawai dealer will sell a brand new RX2 to us for about the same money we were quoted for a 9 year old one by someone else! I'm glad we asked you for advice. Fairview

Last edited by Fairview; 11/17/09 05:12 AM.

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