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New Purchase
#1862556 03/15/12 02:17 PM
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Hello to the piano world. This is my first post. I am a new member of the forum here. I wanted to ask a question to those "in the know" about purchasing a piano for my children to learn on. My son started playing the piano about 3 years ago and my daughter began about 1 year ago. I have another child who will begin playing in 2 years. When my son first began, we were encouraged to buy a top of the line Roland KR-107 for it's versatility and mastery of realistic piano "touch". It cost about $9,000 new and has served us well until now. Due to the advanced nature of my son's development, he is now suffering from "lazy" fingers and poor feel. We need to get him and the rest of them a piano which they will not outgrow. I am looking at the Baldwin "L" Series, Yamaha "C", Petrof III, and perhaps a slightly smaller Mason & Hamlin (5'8"). Is the sacrifice for size vs. quality worth it?They all seem to be similarly priced. Resale value is a consideration as well. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. There are numerous great values right now due to the economy. Our budget is about $12,000. Thanks for your consideration.


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Re: New Purchase
Don Vito #1862561 03/15/12 02:24 PM
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Welcome to the forum.

What a diverse range of potentially nice (I assume used) pianos you list as possibilities! They will have distinct sounds and touch - some have a reputation as being more lyrical, some precise, some with great quality control, and another is often a diamond in the rough.

After you get through the process of auditioning them, I'd have an independent tech check out the one you like best prior to purchase to give you information on the condition of the innards of the instrument (and ensure you're not throwing your money at impending, expensive problems in the near future).

In terms of resale, at that price I think it should be a non-issue; the piano you prefer in touch and tone matters most, and most of the depreciation would have already taken place. The Yamaha would be easiest to resell if it were in good condition, fwiw.


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Re: New Purchase
Don Vito #1862582 03/15/12 02:47 PM
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Thanks for the reply terminal degree!
Yes. These are all used pianos. Some are local, others are not. I am not a pianist, so I really don't know what to look for in terms of "touch". I can say that I really enjoy the sound of the Mason & Hamlin and the Baldwin. The precision of the Yamaha and uniqueness of the Petrof are also attractive. Would a piano less than 6 feet suffice for advanced players? I really do not want to "outgrow" another piano (this is getting expensive!). Additionally, a couple of the pianos are located a long way from me. Should that automatically rule them out? I will, however, find a reputable local tech to examine the piano before purchasing regardless of it's location. Any other suggestions in this price range would be welcome!


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Re: New Purchase
Don Vito #1862747 03/15/12 07:49 PM
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What does their teacher recommend? Ask and go with that. Oh, and welcome to the forum.

Thanks,
Woody


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Re: New Purchase
Don Vito #1862763 03/15/12 08:28 PM
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Woody -- Thanks for the advice! I'll ask her. They play on a concert 9' Steinway for their lessons. Hopefully I won't be asked to buy one of those!


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Re: New Purchase
Don Vito #1862891 03/16/12 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Don Vito
Woody -- Thanks for the advice! I'll ask her. They play on a concert 9' Steinway for their lessons. Hopefully I won't be asked to buy one of those!


Awesome! That's like being at recital every time.

Anyway, I don't think size has much to do with technique. The bigger pianos sound "better" and that's usually about it (although larger pianos tend to be in higher quality tiers so there are some upgrades too). Among your choices the most important thing to look for is condition so follow terminaldegree's suggestions. A 5'8" with a long life ahead of it is a bit more important than a 6'3" that requires some major work (unless you want to pay for that and the tech believes it has real potential). The Baldwin L is a nice piano. Don't like the R nearly as much.

Re: New Purchase
gnuboi #1862899 03/16/12 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by gnuboi
The bigger pianos sound "better" and that's usually about it (although larger pianos tend to be in higher quality tiers so there are some upgrades too).


One of my advanced students played a dress rehearsal on a S&S D and part of a recital on an S&S B within an hour of each other this week. The two pianos were the same age, receive roughly the same amount of use, and are cared for by the same technician in the same environment. The student was shocked at how different the 9' piano felt and how much easier it was to control fine details vs even the 7-footer.

Given the pianos you're considering are roughly the same size, the state of regulation, parts selection, and geometry will probably have more of an effect than the length of the keys, though.

Many fine pianists practice on sub-6' instruments without a problem. The clarity and authority of the low bass region and bass/tenor transition becomes increasingly difficult to execute well the smaller you go. The treble section of shorter pianos have comparatively few shortcomings compared with larger pianos. In my experience (let's use common NY Steinway models as the example), take the typical grand sizes: D (~9'), B (~6'11"), A (6'1"-6"4"), L/O (5'11"), M (5'7"). Individual pianos vary, and the quality/frequency of technician's work has a lot to do with how well a piano performs. I probably love 35% of the D's I get to play, 25% of the B's, 20% of the A's, 15% of the L/O's, and 10% of the M's. Generally speaking, the larger pianos are more desirable, but you will occasionally/infrequently find a stunningly good smaller grand.


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Re: New Purchase
Don Vito #1862913 03/16/12 03:00 AM
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Our budget is about $12,000. Thanks for your consideration.


In this case - as is in many others - it's easy.

Simply keep looking within your budget of $ 12,000.
Who the "winner" will be is anybody's guess.

Once you got 2-3 final contenders, come ask again,

happy looking...

Norbert smile


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Re: New Purchase
Don Vito #1862923 03/16/12 03:21 AM
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Wow! Great forum here. Many helpful suggestions. Thank you. My main quandary was really the size issue. I have read some threads that sometimes people regret buying sub 6' pianos. Just wanted a little more help in that area and got it! I was also hoping maybe someone could nudge me in the direction of one of the aforementioned pianos based upon reputation or personal experience. I am now seeing that they do indeed all act very differently (unlike our Roland KR-107). Neither my son nor I can truly assess proper feel or what advanced players look for in a piano. I will rely on the wisdom of the techs and possibly their piano teacher for real discernment in that area. Thanks again for the help--I really appreciate it! I am kind of leaning toward the Baldwin. One more question for you teachers-- Do you go piano shopping with your students? Hope I won't be out of line to ask her to come along.

Last edited by Don Vito; 03/16/12 03:23 AM.

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Re: New Purchase
Don Vito #1862930 03/16/12 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Don Vito
Hope I won't be out of line to ask her to come along.


I don't think you would be out of line in asking, especially if she was instrumental (no pun intended) in your initial decision to shop for a new piano. You might start with asking her opinions of each of the pianos you are considering, as they relate to your goals.

Once you've narrowed it down to 1 or 2, the teacher can help evaluate the action. Of course, her input on tone would be valuable, too, but I suspect you could also form a valid opinion on that yourself. After all, you are the one that will be listening to it day after day.


David M. Boothe, CAS
Re: New Purchase
Don Vito #1863202 03/16/12 03:59 PM
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Why not ask the piano teacher to go with you and try out the final two or three and ask for her recommendation? She would know what your children need and can recommend a piano they won't outgrow.

Good Luck - the shopping, trying out, and struggling to make a decision is really a lot of fun!


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Re: New Purchase
Don Vito #1863237 03/16/12 04:42 PM
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Why not ask the piano teacher to go with you and try out the final two or three and ask for her recommendation? She would know what your children need and can recommend a piano they won't outgrow.


There's pluses and minuses to this.

On the plus side teacher is open-minded, sensitive to the instrument and especially: realistic to people's budget.

On the minus side advice by others simply using these situations for self-amusement or 'power-tripping', such help might be less helpful than suspected.

In such situations the discussion often centers around pianos much above the budget of their clients. Some stores use this by showing off and impressing by their $ 200,000 pianos first this, to get control and to establish a quick sense of "shock & awe"...

Add to this frequent prejudices for certain brands and at worst - expecting or getting commissions from stores recommending them - and you quickly get the worst type "help" available.

Always step carefully and use your own brain with - and "without" outside help.

Remember, your own ears [and fingers..] may still be the very best friends you have out there.

If you can trust nobody, learn how to trust yourself - it's not really rocket science.

Norbert wink

Last edited by Norbert; 03/16/12 04:46 PM.

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Re: New Purchase
Don Vito #1863239 03/16/12 04:46 PM
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It took me about nine months before one popped in my price range. PM me if you want to know what I paid for my Schimmel 208. It sounds corny, buy my piano sounds like pianos twice its price.

Re: New Purchase
Don Vito #1863241 03/16/12 04:48 PM
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It sounds corny, buy my piano sounds like pianos twice its price.


And so it should!

Norbert thumb


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