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Kawai KG-2C questions. #1847748
02/19/12 11:22 AM
02/19/12 11:22 AM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 15
4
4and1 Offline OP
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4and1  Offline OP
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Still looking for a piano. Struck out on #2. Next piano of interest:

Kawai KG-2C. Don't have serial number yet, but was made in 1974. One owner. She was a piano teacher. She is now in a nursing home. Family sold the piano to a local piano technician. Technician has had the piano for 6-8 months.

Per tech, piano in great shape. Supposedly even strings are in good shape. He is asking $5900 and will move and tune it. He is firm on the price.

Unfortunately, piano is 2 1/2 hrs away from us. So, we will have to do things a little backwards. Will have to decide if price is reasonable being he is firm. 2nd - have piano evaluated by an independant RPT. 3rd - go look at it.

My questions:

Assuming piano has been well taken care of, is $5900 a reasonable price? Reviewing online ads from Ebay & dealers, same model pianos of similar vintage have prices between $7K and $9K.

I realize there are potential issues with a piano approaching 40 yrs old. Seller / tech says strings are in good condition. Even if this is the case, I assume strings will need to be replaced by us within the next 10 yrs? Approximate cost of this?

Assuming piano has truly been well maintained and we care for it correctly, how long can such a piano survive without needing to be "rebuilt"?

Thanks in advance for all the help.

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Re: Kawai KG-2C questions. [Re: 4and1] #1847759
02/19/12 11:43 AM
02/19/12 11:43 AM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,755
Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
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It's hard to say hypothetically. Until a more knowledgeable tech chimes in--

You seem focused on strings, which don't tend to just up and die-- the performance degrades over time. The tone quality and evidence of string breakage should be your guide more than age. With a piano that age, I'd be equally concerned about the condition of the pinblock, bridges, and whether this teacher-owned piano's action is worn out. Each of those steps can cost more than putting a new set of strings on the piano. (completely redoing an action could equal the purchase price of this piano in some markets)

$5900 would buy a great new or more recent used upright, fwiw.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Kawai KG-2C questions. [Re: 4and1] #1847767
02/19/12 12:02 PM
02/19/12 12:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,203
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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It may well be a nice piano, and that make and model is fairly popular.

However, I’m thinking the price is at the top of the retail ladder for a piano of that age, but not totally outrageous.

Being 2.5 hours away, you can figure about $400 to $500 moving cost and about $100 for a tuning. That leaves about $5300 for the piano itself.

The way I see it, you’ve got two choices… buy the Kawai at the firm price, or keep looking.

Good luck!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Kawai KG-2C questions. [Re: terminaldegree] #1847771
02/19/12 12:10 PM
02/19/12 12:10 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 15
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4and1 Offline OP
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Terminaldegree - thanks for your comments.

Assuming an RPT evaluates piano and determines that piano is in good shape and no repairs are needed - is $5900 a reasonable price?

I've had similar thoughts re: upright. However, wife is set on a grand. Don't think I'm going to win that argument.

Re: Kawai KG-2C questions. [Re: 4and1] #1847791
02/19/12 12:46 PM
02/19/12 12:46 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,124
pagosa springs,co
rada Offline
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rada  Offline
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pagosa springs,co
I have a KG-2C that I bought in 1980 for $4400.....everyone that's ever laid their hands on the piano liked it immediately...I bought it in San Deigo and it is now in Colorado...beautiful instrument...
great touch and sound....

rada

Re: Kawai KG-2C questions. [Re: 4and1] #1847792
02/19/12 12:47 PM
02/19/12 12:47 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 800
Westchester, NY
fingers Offline
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fingers  Offline
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Westchester, NY
I owned one(bought new) that I sold around 2004 for $1000.
I liked the piano and held up well but $5900 seems steep.

fingers


Playing piano at age 2, it was thought that I was some sort of idiot-savant. As it turns out, I'm just an idiot.
Re: Kawai KG-2C questions. [Re: 4and1] #1847828
02/19/12 02:04 PM
02/19/12 02:04 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,705
USA
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gnuboi Offline
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Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,705
USA
The price isn't outrageous... There are nice new grands for a bit more. Not as large as the KG-2 nor have the same long track record as Kawai, but that's the risk/cost tradeoff.

If an independent party can confirm that the condition is decent, it's not an awful price especially with delivery included.

Re: Kawai KG-2C questions. [Re: 4and1] #1848095
02/19/12 10:23 PM
02/19/12 10:23 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 472
Texas
Annitenth Offline
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Annitenth  Offline
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Texas
I had a KG-2D which I bought new in 1984, walnut satin. Good condition, and used only by myself (an amateur), not as a teaching instrument. I sold it last fall for considerably less than $5,900 to a friend to whom I owed a favor, so I gave her a great deal.

However, I would not have expected to get more than $5,000 for it at the most. One local dealership said perhaps I could get $1,000 for it !!! (I did NOT try to sell it through him on consignment.)

Although you will get a free tuning from the seller, as well as delivery, and perhaps you have to expect to pay a little more than from a private seller...I think the price they are quoting is too high. It is, after all, an almost 40-year-old piano, and some seem to think pianos at that age need serious [expensive] work.

You may see pianos of the same vintage listed at $7,000 or $9.000, but are they selling at anything near that price?

That said, I think the KG-2's are basically good pianos. But I wouldn't pay one penny over $5,000 (what I would have expected to get for my 27-year-old piano).


Anne
B�sendorfer 225
Technics PCM Digital Ensemble PR307
Re: Kawai KG-2C questions. [Re: 4and1] #1848122
02/19/12 11:06 PM
02/19/12 11:06 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,919
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Supply Offline
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Supply  Offline
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Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
I'm not sure about the price, but here are a few things to look out for: Two common issues I seem to find on old KG2s:
1) poor sustain in the treble (right where much of the soaring melody part is supposed to happen) as well as
2)lots of false beats due to bridge/termination issues. The latter causes an unclear tone and makes a piano difficult to tune.

Re: Kawai KG-2C questions. [Re: 4and1] #1848749
02/20/12 11:51 PM
02/20/12 11:51 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 15
4
4and1 Offline OP
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4and1  Offline OP
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Thanks for all the comments. They are much appreciated.

We are searching for a piano for my children. My oldest is now 11 and has been playing for 5 yrs. She is dedicated and enjoys playing. The room where the piano is going can probably hold a piano up to 6'. We've been considering those ranging from 5' to 6'.

Consensus here seems to be that the KG-2C is overpriced. We're not hoping for an "amazing deal"; however, we certainly don't want to overpay. My wife and I will discuss, but I'm inclined to offer $5K at most. Given seller's ad he will probably decline.

We have been searching for about 3 months now, but have not found the "right piano" at the right price. I have no problem taking our time to find the right piano. Only problem is that the piano my kids are currently practicing on is a $400 upright. Some keys don't even work any more.

Only other piano I've seen that has caught my eye locally from a private seller is a Kimball Viennese 5'8. Made sometime in the 80's. I called seller yesterday to get info, but they have not returned the call yet. 2 seperate ads were placed on craiglist at $5800 & $5500. From what I've read, the piano is one of the better pianos Kimball made; however, Kimball is now non-existant and price definately seems too high. The Kimball is also 2 1/2 hrs away.

Gnuboi commented that there are nice new grands for a bit more. I assume that such pianos would probably be 5'0 in size and Chinese? I was assuming going from an older & larger Kawai to a smaller and newer Chinese piano would sacrifice too much in sound quality. Perhaps I'm wrong. Any specific new pianos we should be looking at?

Given that this will be for our children, we don't need the finest piano around. We are looking for something that sounds good and is going to last. Budget is not critical. Ideally in the $5-6K range. But depending on the piano, would be willing to spend anywhere between $3K to $10K. Would only approach the $10 mark if we were getting a pretty good deal.

Again, thanks for the help. Has been invaluable.
Chad

Re: Kawai KG-2C questions. [Re: 4and1] #1848813
02/21/12 01:47 AM
02/21/12 01:47 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,705
USA
G
gnuboi Offline
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gnuboi  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,705
USA
Originally Posted by 4and1
Gnuboi commented that there are nice new grands for a bit more. I assume that such pianos would probably be 5'0 in size and Chinese? I was assuming going from an older & larger Kawai to a smaller and newer Chinese piano would sacrifice too much in sound quality. Perhaps I'm wrong. Any specific new pianos we should be looking at?


Yes, around 5' and made in China or Indonesia. You can use the Piano Buyer (read it!) website database search to find some models to look for (roughly SMP with 30% discount ~= $6k). You might find the Baldwin/Hallet 5' in your area. There's also the Hailun baby grand (haven't played the smaller ones, but heard that they are quite ok), and the newly redesigned Young Chang Y150 and the Weber W150 (more mellow). Your local prices may vary, though.

I liked the W150 over the tall uprights... felt more "live" and less "boxed in". It's a baby grand but sounds way better than entry-level baby grands from the 90s or earlier. If you can find a dealer with the W150, they probably also carry the older Kawai (like the KG you found) and Yamaha (G) grands at similar or higher prices. That would be an excellent opportunity to compare new vs. used. You might also find a used YC JP Pramberger closer to 6' (not sure on pricing), those I hear are quite good in both sound and value.

When I shopped I only spent a very short time and was keen on Japanese/American. I paid for the name brand and got a great piano, but wow that was a lot of money, looking back. Since then I read the Piano Buyer and this forum and learned a lot.

Re: Kawai KG-2C questions. [Re: 4and1] #1849637
02/22/12 02:06 PM
02/22/12 02:06 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 15
4
4and1 Offline OP
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Gnuboi & others - Thanks for the help. I'd previously read a lot of the e-version of the Piano Buyer, but had concentrated on the "used" section. I read part of the "new piano" section yesterday. Was very informative.

Given research and help of those in this forum, we've decided to elminate this Kawai as an option given the combination of age and pricing. There's another piano we've found which I'll post about in a new topic.

Re: Kawai KG-2C questions. [Re: 4and1] #1850255
02/23/12 04:18 PM
02/23/12 04:18 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 283
El Paso
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Edtek Offline
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El Paso
Could be worse. There is a 35 year old KG2C with rusty strings, two large full length SB cracks and an obsolete player attachment with price of $9500 on consignment at a local music store. It's been there for months. The salesman said they have had no offers.


Ed (Out in the West Texas town of El Paso)
Yamaha P255
Re: Kawai KG-2C questions. [Re: 4and1] #1850257
02/23/12 04:24 PM
02/23/12 04:24 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,203
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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Originally Posted by Edtek
Could be worse. There is a 35 year old KG2C with rusty strings, two large full length SB cracks and an obsolete player attachment with price of $9500 on consignment at a local music store. It's been there for months. The salesman said they have had no offers.

I see this scenerio often... a way-over-priced used piano that is advertised constantly but never seems to sell. I suppose the seller is waiting for a buyer to come along who doesn't know any better.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Kawai KG-2C questions. [Re: 4and1] #1851031
02/24/12 08:19 PM
02/24/12 08:19 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 182
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Maxtor Offline

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I've seen slightly younger Kawais of that model sell for a lot more than $5900.
if you like the kg2, see if there is a kg3 in your area. Sometimes the price increase is modest for an extra three inches, and in my experience they have similar atributes but the kg3 is a bit better at everything.

Also, for that price range, look at some used Baldwins.

I would discourage you from looking at any used pianos made in China, I think it's a waste of your time. The pianos made in China today are getting quite good (and some are very good), but those are all new. You won't find anyone selling a used piano that's only a year or two old. I'm not saying anything bad about Chinese pianos; Im just saying that none of the pianos made in China are suitable for your needs and budget.
But, if you find a new Hailun or Ritmuller at the right price, that would be worth looking at, but I think they are all beyond your price range. Gnuboi has an excellent point in that regard.

The most important factor is the independant technician.

Re: Kawai KG-2C questions. [Re: 4and1] #1851120
02/24/12 11:25 PM
02/24/12 11:25 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 18
Raleigh
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I would definitely stay away from the Kimball Vienese. Every one I have had the displeasure of tuning has been dreadful. The KG-2s are pretty solid pianos usually. I definitely tune plenty of them. Around here it seems like half the churches have one. It wouldn't be a bad choice but with any piano in that quality, newer is better and they don't have enough value to warrant any major work. Better to buy one that still has some life left in it IMO. 25 yo or newer. Plus that eliminates a lot of the Grey market instruments you might come across.


John Ruggero RPT
Ruggero Piano
Raleigh,NC
A third generation technician based buisness representing: Bosendorfer, Fazioli, Bluthner, Mason & Hamlin, Schimmel, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Vogel, May Berlin, Hailun, and others.
www.ruggeropiano.com
Re: Kawai KG-2C questions. [Re: 4and1] #1851216
02/25/12 04:18 AM
02/25/12 04:18 AM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 15
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4and1 Offline OP
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We will definately avoid used Chinese pianos. Will consider new Chinese pianos at higher price if we can't find a non-Chinese used one which will work.

Thanks re: comments about Kimball Viennese.

Re: Kawai KG-2C questions. [Re: 4and1] #1851346
02/25/12 10:43 AM
02/25/12 10:43 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,112
Toronto, Ontario
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Sparky McBiff  Offline
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Toronto, Ontario
Personally I too was shopping the used market and generally liked the Kawai sound but all the Kawai grands that I always came across were ridiculously overpriced, especially for their age. So I decided to spend a little bit more than I was planning and purchase a new piano of one of the better new Chinese brands. Brodmann and Hailun and Ritmuller are at the top there and I haven't regretted my eventual purchase for one second (except for the fact that I couldn't afford to buy anything above 7').
I also believe that when you are talking about small (baby) grands the better Chinese brands sound and play better than the small more established brand models (Yamaha, Kawai) of the same size. It really is impressive what they have done with their price point.


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