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Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183214
06/03/08 04:24 PM
06/03/08 04:24 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 4
united states
Wingzrow Offline OP
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I'm selling my baby grand and wanted to know if you guys think it's worth anything. I basically had it for show for 15 years now and ive never had it used. Now i'm no musician by any stretch of the word so i came to you guys. What do you know about this piano and what do you think of it?

eBay Auction

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=380034168061


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Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183215
06/03/08 05:06 PM
06/03/08 05:06 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,071
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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Hi Wingzrow, and welcome to the PW forum.

I must say that we don’t hear much about a Tokai brand piano on the PW forum. I happen to have Tokai G-180 grand that I am rather fond of, but I’m afraid many of the members here are sick of hearing about it laugh .

As for what I think of my particular Tokai, (which is a larger size and a little younger than the one you have for sale) it is as nice a piano as I have seen or played in terms of what I paid for it. Not only does it sound good and play good to me, but every other person who had visited my home and played it has commented about how good it sounds and plays. Of course, that opinion is purely subjective.

As for as your particular Tokai, it appears to be a 5 foot model and in good condition judging from the pictures; the cream color may not necessarily be the most popular color. Unfortunately, the Tokai brand is not a well known brand (although it is a Japanese made instrument) and may have mixed reviews as to the level of quality. However, I am a firm believer that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.

In terms of what your piano is worth, that is a tough one. My first impression is that it aught to be worth at least $1500 to $2500; but that is just based on the fact that, in my opinion, any 5’ grand piano of any make that is 20 years old or less and in good condition is worth that.

Everything I have said here is purely subjective, but I hope it has been helpful to you in some way.

Best regards and good luck with your eBay auction.

Rickster


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183216
06/03/08 05:55 PM
06/03/08 05:55 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 4
united states
Wingzrow Offline OP
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Wingzrow  Offline OP
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united states
thanks for the opinion, i may end up dropping the auction if it doesn't end at more than 2000 then. Anyone else have an opinion on this piece?

Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183217
06/03/08 07:54 PM
06/03/08 07:54 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 788
Massapequa, NY
hotkeys Offline
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Welcome to the forums Wingzrow.

I looked in Larry Fine's book and I was stumped! eek It did mention Tokai stopped exporting pianos to the US in 1989, so I gather these instruments were more trouble for the dealers as the pianos required extensive preparation before sale.

I believe Rickster's quote is in line with what can be expected for this size piano for this age. I would advise finding out the age of this piano through pianoatlas.com which will enable you to see if Rick's quote is reasonable.

If the piano is older (say 25 years for example), it would be even less and Rick's bottom number ($1500) may become the most you could get. Hope that helps.

- Mark


...The ultimate joy in music is the joy of playing the piano...
Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183218
06/03/08 09:02 PM
06/03/08 09:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,071
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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Hotkeys:
Quote
I looked in Larry Fine's book and I was stumped! It did mention Tokai stopped exporting pianos to the US in 1989, so I gather these instruments were more trouble for the dealers as the pianos required extensive preparation before sale.
That is interesting, Mark. I don’t have a copy of the Fine book, but I know that the previous owner of my Tokai grand said he bought it new in 1989 from a Baldwin piano dealer in Lima Ohio. He said at the time, the Tokai sounded better to him than some of the Baldwin grands in the store, but I would imagine his pocket-book had a lot to do with that decision as well wink .

As far as the quality of construction and the materials, I think the Tokai is probably about equal to some of the other better known brands of that era that I will not mention.

One thing is for sure, brand equity goes a long way and a lesser known brand can be a hard sell. Only the eyes, ears and keytouch can convince a prospective buyer to buy a lesser known brand name piano.

Best regards,

Rickster


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183219
06/04/08 06:41 AM
06/04/08 06:41 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,555
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Bob Newbie Offline
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If it plays well (action) and sounds good..it should sell.. problem is color! you get more takers if it was black..

Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183220
06/04/08 10:28 AM
06/04/08 10:28 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 314
Iowa
PianoPro Offline
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Iowa
Pierce Piano Atlas says Tokai was made from 1973 but only shows serial # dates between 1980-1983 for grands. The serial number (I can see on the plate above) indicates 1983.

As has been said, the color really hurts the value in the midwest. If you were in the SW or on the coast somewhere, it would be a huge advantage.

Good luck! thumb


Dennis C.
Piano Store Operator,
Former District Manager,
20 Year Industry Experience

"Tell the truth, honor God, and make money!"
Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183221
06/04/08 10:34 AM
06/04/08 10:34 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,462
Western Canada
Diane... Offline
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Western Canada
Wingzrow,

Wow! That is a beautiful piano! Love the color! Love the color! Did I say I "Love the color"!

I say it has a chance! I say it would sell easily!

That baby would go nice anywhere!


http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher
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Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183222
06/04/08 10:36 AM
06/04/08 10:36 AM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,163
Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
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sotto voce Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by PianoPro:
As has been said, the color really hurts the value in the midwest. If you were in the SW or on the coast somewhere, it would be a huge advantage.
I've never heard this before; I thought that white pianos were at a disadvantage generally.

Is there actually a market—geographic or otherwise—in which a white piano is desirable?

Steven

Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183223
06/04/08 10:51 AM
06/04/08 10:51 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,660
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by sotto voce:
Is there actually a market—geographic or otherwise—in which a white piano is desirable?

Steven
As an item of home decor for someone who is more interested in filling a Florida- or California-style space than playing the piano, I would say that this might be a saleable item.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183224
06/04/08 10:52 AM
06/04/08 10:52 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 314
Iowa
PianoPro Offline
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Iowa
Yes, color can be geographically demanded. When I was a factory rep we sold over 70% of our white pianos in California and Florida. Most of the rest went to Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.


Dennis C.
Piano Store Operator,
Former District Manager,
20 Year Industry Experience

"Tell the truth, honor God, and make money!"
Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183225
06/04/08 12:15 PM
06/04/08 12:15 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,071
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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Since we are discussing the Pierce Piano Atlas and the age of Wingzrow’s Tokai grand piano, I was wondering if someone could tell me the actual age/year of my Tokai G-180 grand; the serial number is 41896.

The previous owner said he bought it new in 1989. I’m thinking it is around a 1987 model but I’m not sure.

There appears to be somewhat of a conflict between the serial numbers and ages in the Pierce Piano Atlas and Larry Fine’s comments about the Tokai being imported into the US up until 1989. There is a six year discrepancy between the information in the Pierce Atlas and Fine’s comments.

Oh well, another piano mystery. laugh

Best regards,

Rickster


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183226
06/04/08 12:43 PM
06/04/08 12:43 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,462
Western Canada
Diane... Offline
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Western Canada
Is there actually a market-geographic or otherwise-in which a white piano is desirable?
_______________________________________

This piano is cream (off-white), not white. I've seen white pianos, and they are harsh looking! This one must be cream, right!

Again, love that color!


http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher
[Linked Image]
Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183227
06/04/08 09:17 PM
06/04/08 09:17 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,660
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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Victoria, BC
Quote
This piano is cream (off-white), not white. I've seen white pianos, and they are harsh looking! This one must be cream, right!

Again, love that color! [/QB]
I don't think that most people are going to make much distinction among the choices of Devonshire cream, Vancouver fog, French vanilla or Antarctic shadow; to most it's a white piano.

You can't rely on the rendition of "white" in a photograph made by a single-flash, on-flash camera; ambient lighting and reflections can do much to add colour overtones to the subject that aren't there when viewed in "real life". Just look at the differences in the colour of the piano in every picture, depending on how close the camera was to the piano in each photograph.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183228
06/04/08 10:50 PM
06/04/08 10:50 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,195
Axtremus Offline
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Beautiful pictures! Never knew that a white (ok, "cream") piano can look this good! thumb

Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183229
06/05/08 08:02 AM
06/05/08 08:02 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,555
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Bob Newbie Offline
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One nice thing..it blends well in a room without overpowering it..some rooms scream piano..others a gentle meow.. smile

Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183230
06/05/08 12:37 PM
06/05/08 12:37 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,815
West Coast
Craigen Offline
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West Coast
I did some part time work for a Tokai dealer back in the early 1980's. To my recollection they did not require any more prep work than some of the best Chinese today or the Japanese grands back then. I always thought they were good little pianos. There was a 5' one and a 6' one as I remember. Re. the age of yours, not uncommon for white grands to linger in stock for several months or even years. Still "new" if never sold before.

Does it have value? Yes. Pianos like this sell for in the $3500-$4000 range at dealers on the West coast.


Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.
Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183231
06/05/08 01:16 PM
06/05/08 01:16 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,071
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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Good information, Craigen. Thanks.

My guestimation on the value of Wingzrow’s Tokai may have been on the low side, but what do I know. (FYI, I paid $4250 for my 5’11.5” Tokai.)

Of course, I’ve gotten that much enjoyment out of it since I’ve had it; not to mention all the hands-on practice I've gotten for honing and improving my meager tuning and piano-tech skills laugh .

I’ve noticed Wingzrow has gotten a couple of bids on his eBay auction for his Tokai grand piano. I like the way he worded his ad, “Rare brand and hard to find”. Sounds good to me wink .

Best regards,

Rickster


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183232
06/05/08 01:57 PM
06/05/08 01:57 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 314
Iowa
PianoPro Offline
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Iowa
Quote
Originally posted by Rickster:
Since we are discussing the Pierce Piano Atlas and the age of Wingzrow’s Tokai grand piano, I was wondering if someone could tell me the actual age/year of my Tokai G-180 grand; the serial number is 41896.
Rickster, here is the entire grand numbers for Tokai in pierce Piano Atlas:

1980-00001
1981-10110
1982-10278
1983-30622

That would make your piano a 1983 build.

Vertical piano numbers do go back to 1978.

Be well my friend! thumb


Dennis C.
Piano Store Operator,
Former District Manager,
20 Year Industry Experience

"Tell the truth, honor God, and make money!"
Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183233
06/05/08 05:58 PM
06/05/08 05:58 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,071
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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Hi PianoPro, and thank you for your response to my question about the age of my Tokai.

However, I’m wondering if Tokai actually manufactured and exported 11,274 grand pianos to the US in 1983 (41896 – 30622 = 11,274). The previous owner stated that he purchased it new in 1989 and Fine’s book states that Tokai imported pianos into the US until 1989, so I’m still a little confused. But that’s okay; I’m not confused when I sit down to play it laugh .

Thanks again,

Rickster


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183234
06/05/08 09:23 PM
06/05/08 09:23 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 82
New Jersey
J
Jerry Cohen, RPT Offline
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Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 82
New Jersey
Rickster,

Just because Pierce listings only go to 1983, doesn't mean that production stopped in 1983. It just means that Pierce has no further information (or they really did stop production).

Also, the big jump between 1982 and 1983 usually means they startd a new serial # sequence, not the number of pianos built.


Jerry Cohen, RPT
Piano Craftsman offering, concert tuning, voicing, regulating, rebuilding.
Serving Northern New Jersey, New York area.
Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183235
06/05/08 10:01 PM
06/05/08 10:01 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,071
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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Thanks, Jerry. Actually, there is not a whole lot of information available on the Tokai brand piano. Tokai Music Company is still in business in Japan manufacturing various musical instruments, particularly guitars (for which they are best known). There is also a Tokai University in Japan.

I’m not sure when they stopped production of their piano’s, but I have read that one of the reasons is that they were having difficulty competing with Yamaha and Kawai on the production of pianos.

I think Wingzrow’s got it right on his eBay ad, the Tokai is a rare and hard to find brand laugh .

Best regards,

Rickster


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183236
06/06/08 09:24 AM
06/06/08 09:24 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 314
Iowa
PianoPro Offline
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Iowa
Quote
Originally posted by Rickster:
...the Tokai is a rare and hard to find brand laugh .

Best regards,

Rickster
You know, I don't think these pianos were bad, but I sure have had trouble getting the few used ones I have aquired sold. A decent piano but not trmendous, I would think I could get used Kimball money out of them, but people just seem to walk around them. Have a console right now that I have had forever. Go figure! confused


Dennis C.
Piano Store Operator,
Former District Manager,
20 Year Industry Experience

"Tell the truth, honor God, and make money!"
Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183237
06/06/08 10:33 AM
06/06/08 10:33 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,071
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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There is one small piano store located in my area. They are a Bergmann and Story and Clark dealer as well as Kurzweil digitals. I actually visited the store a few times when I was looking for a piano and was given a price on a new 6’ Bergmann grand.

I visited the shop recently just to browse and see if they had any new or interesting pianos; the shop owner asked me if I ever bought a piano; I told her that I had bought a pre-owned Tokai grand. She said “a what?” I said “a Tokai”. She says “I’ve never heard of the brand”. Now keep in mind that this person has been in the piano business for many years and says they have never heard of a Tokai.

Yes, PianoPro, apparently they are rare and hard to find laugh .

Rickster


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183238
06/06/08 11:51 AM
06/06/08 11:51 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
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Iowa
PianoPro Offline
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Iowa
I've never seen a lot of them, that's for sure. unfortunately, the ones I have seen tend to stick around! Not bad pianos, just don't seem to sell. Maybe if I put a YAMAHA decal on the fall...

Just kidding! laugh


Dennis C.
Piano Store Operator,
Former District Manager,
20 Year Industry Experience

"Tell the truth, honor God, and make money!"
Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183239
06/06/08 02:20 PM
06/06/08 02:20 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,071
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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Hi PianoPro,

One thing is for sure, Yamaha does have the benefit of name recognition.

Maybe if your pre-owned Tokai was a taller vertical or a grand, it would have a better chance of selling at your store.

Now I’m starting to sound like a piano salesman. (Oh no!). laugh

Rickster


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183240
06/06/08 02:23 PM
06/06/08 02:23 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 314
Iowa
PianoPro Offline
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Iowa
Quote
Originally posted by Rickster:

Now I’m starting to sound like a piano salesman. (Oh no!). laugh

Rickster
Come on over to the dark side, I've got a job for ya! laugh


Dennis C.
Piano Store Operator,
Former District Manager,
20 Year Industry Experience

"Tell the truth, honor God, and make money!"
Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183241
06/06/08 11:11 PM
06/06/08 11:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 4
united states
Wingzrow Offline OP
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united states
Man, i know people to ebay snipe and buy at the last moment possible but this is crazy, i thought it would be much higher than this by now.

Re: Tokai Baby Grand Piano - Worth Anything? #183242
06/07/08 11:19 AM
06/07/08 11:19 AM
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Posts: 12,071
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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Hi Wingzrow,

Well, the way I see it, you’ve got three things that are not in your favor…. As discussed already, although the Tokai can be a decent piano, it is not a well known brand; secondly, the cost and the hassle of having it moved is a deterrent for eBay pianos. It could cost several hundred dollars (or more) to have it moved, depending on destination. And, thirdly, most serious acoustic piano shoppers will choose to examine and play a piano in person before purchasing.

Chances are, those bids you have are piano dealers looking to make a quick buck on your Tokai. Depending on how desperate you are to sell it, I would either put a reserve on it before it is too late or just pull the ad altogether.

Of course, another option is to just keep it and learn to play it. laugh That is my .02.

Good luck with your sale.

Rickster


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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