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#194984 - 02/03/05 07:20 AM First Grand Purchase  
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hgiles Offline
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Charlottesville Virginia
I am looking for the best value grand piano I can get for $10,000. Any reccommendations?

I currently have a 1969 cherry Knabe vertical (40" or so) and it sounds great/ plays great. I just want to step up to something better that will last me the rest of my life. Also my wife prefers that it fit in better with our decor -- she prefers the polished ebony finish.

Any suggestions?


Haywood
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#194985 - 02/03/05 07:39 AM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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kenny Offline
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I'd first read The Piano Book, by Larry Fine.
It is a great introduction to pianos.

Personally, with a budget of 10k I'd be shopping for used grands.
Be sure to find a tech to evaluate the piano for you.

#194986 - 02/03/05 07:48 AM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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I went through this just recently. We started with a target of $7500 to replace our old grand piano. It soon became apparent that with that budget we would shop a long time for a used grand that was in satisfactory condition, right finish for the house, etc. or buy a good quality upright. If you can push your budget up to the mid to upper teens you really have some choices in 6' and under grands. New grands under $10K were not as playable nor did they sound as nice as our old piano and the old one needed new strings and pin block.

#194987 - 02/03/05 08:09 AM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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I agree with Bronicadave. Think used. What area of the country are you in?

Jim

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#194988 - 02/03/05 08:45 AM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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You might do a search on this forum under Chinese pianos. There are some who think they offer a good value for a new piano in this price range .... esp. with some good negotiating on the price and some excellent dealer prep. ..... It all depends on what sounds good to you. Find a good dealer and play enough different ones ... you can do research on them here. and you may run across some good used pianos ..... just take your time.

Touch, tone and looks!! laugh laugh


Jay

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." -Katharine Hepburn
#194989 - 02/03/05 11:18 AM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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I know I am taking a risk by saying this, but here I go. Beacuase I know them better than any other piano out there, I would like to say this. . .simply try the new Yamaha GB1. I just had ours tuned and prepped and it IS much improved over the GA1. Granted, this is a small piano at only 4'11". There certainly is a world of other pianos out there, so look around and take your time. Used is also always a good option. . .from a reputable dealer. Cheers!


Representing Yamaha, Story and Clark, and other fine instruments
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#194990 - 02/03/05 12:12 PM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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When we considered pianos in the 5 foot class we realized we were paying a lot just to have a grand. In terms of sound and action there were better uprights to be had than anything I saw in the short lengths. There is no question that there are good used pianos avaialble from dealers. However, there was nothing I saw at the time that would have met our criteria. Now that doesn't mean that one wouldn't have come in the next day.

#194991 - 02/03/05 08:29 PM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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hgiles;
Agree with FranklySpeaking. thumb

As to recommendations I could give you my biased opinion as a consumer, but it depends where you live. wink
IMHO Definitely do not consider anything under 5'2" or 5'5" (my dealer was absolutely right) - you want that length in the strings and more sound board, otherwise stick to the vertical - unless it is for furniture. And with the Chinese grands it really depends on the prep and if it is "beefed" up (ie. better components etc). (Now of course I am speaking in terms of Canadian dollars) Played some Chinese grands and was not impressed - others can be shockingly good. laugh

disclaimer - I own a Chinese grand that has been substantially upgraded.

#194992 - 02/03/05 08:55 PM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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CPS ,
Good post! (IMHO) laugh -- you identified your bias (we all have them) and gave a good option for hgiles to consider while also telling him to "look around and take your time"... hopefully no one will think that is a problem, cause I sure can't see it. thumb laugh


Jay

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." -Katharine Hepburn
#194993 - 02/04/05 06:59 AM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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hgiles Offline
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Went by Virgina House of Music here in Charlottesville Virginia and see he has a used Yamaha C1 5'3" for about $11k. Is this too good a deal to pass up. He remarks that it is a C series and not a G, of course I don't know what that means.

$11k is the price on the tag and I also have a good trade in. I figure I can be out the door for less than $10k on this piano if it's what I want. I really want a 5'8" or so , since this seems to be the 'breaking new ground' size.

I trust the reccomendations for the Yamaha, but feel I might always wish I held out for a 5'8".

BTW, the local piano rebuilder her (Cville Piano) is a really passionate guy whom I tend to like a lot has really high prices on his pianos in comparison to House of Music.

Just thinking out loud.


Haywood
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#194994 - 02/04/05 07:39 AM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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buyer Offline
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Maestoso from Piano Craft in Gaithersburg, Maryland (301) 840-5460 might start from $11k for 5'5" and $12k for 6' if my memory serves me right. This is a Chinese DongBei piano customized, thus made it a much nicer piano, by Piano Craft, who is a reputable rebuilder for many prestigious brands such as Steinway. Search for Maestoso in this forum and you will find more information about it. Good luck!

#194995 - 02/04/05 07:50 AM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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Haywood:

You have a lot of ways you can go with this, but one option to consider is a used Yamaha or Kawai. While there are better pianos out there, these are both well respected brands. They have different feels and sounds, so you’ll have to try a few and decide what you like. If you have the room for a 6’ 1”, I would definitely consider a Yamaha C3 or Kawai RX3. You get a big jump in quality and sound when you cross the 6 foot threshold. Yamaha has been using the C3 model for many years. The older models of Kawai will be called GS-30, KG-3, or CA-40.

You should read Larry Fine’s “The Piano Book” and search this forum for information on “gray market” pianos (i.e., used pianos from Japan). Some people will tell you to avoid them at all costs, but many others will tell you that they’re fine. To be in your price range, you will be looking at a 10 – 20 year old piano. This is still a young piano, which should last you a lifetime. Many of the ones that I looked at had beautiful finishes and looked almost new.

Don’t limit yourself to your local dealer. There are a lot of used Yamahas and Kawais on the Internet. I can point you to some sights, if you’d like. I’d even check out eBay. However, don’t consider buying a piano without first having it checked out by a registered piano technician! You can find them at www.ptg.org.

Good luck on your piano quest. Take your time deciding what make and model you want and then wait for the right deal to come along. My story is very much like yours. I had an old upright and a $10K budget. I started my piano search thinking that I was going to buy a 5’5” new Chinese piano and ended up with a 25 year-old 7’4” Yamaha.

Barry


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Not burdened by a wealth of facts to color my opinions.
#194996 - 02/04/05 09:38 AM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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Jolly Offline
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10K?

Do a search on that, and you should generate a lot of stuff, some new, some old.

As for the Yamaha...that would have to be a mighty cherry C1 to command 11K...say less than 10 years old, and in immaculate condition.

Tell you what I'd do...1)Piano Book, as always recommended 2)shop used, which is what you've been doing, 3)shop Korean. Young Chang is having a few problems right now, and some dealers are moving them out. Since pianos tend to have few warranty issues (and I think Samick would honor all issues, anyway), I'd sure be tempted at your budget to see wha I could get a JP series for...and 4)shop big Chinese, well prepped.


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#194997 - 02/04/05 02:40 PM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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hgiles,
I second Christopher Smith. The new Yamaha GB1 is nothing to sneeze at. Check it out...
Ghost-


"Are you the instrument?"
#194998 - 02/04/05 08:49 PM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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hgiles Offline
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I ordered the FINE book with supplement, so I will soon be able to stop bugging you guys!

It seems like I've targeted the right brands (Yamaha, Kawai, Baldwin, Knabe, Estonia) or rather they've targeted me due to my price limitations ($10k) and size requirements (5'8").

If anyone hears of any killer deals, keep me informed.


Haywood
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#194999 - 02/05/05 11:08 AM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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Christopher P. Smith Offline
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Hgiles. . .

Are you limited to a certain size?

I know of a used Yamaha C5 just above your price range, its about 17 years old.


Representing Yamaha, Story and Clark, and other fine instruments
Menchey Music Service
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Serving Central Pennsylvania and the Greater Baltimore Area
#195000 - 02/05/05 11:54 AM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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Sir Lurksalot Offline
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I agree that 11K sounds steep for a used C1. With just a little luck you should be able to find a used C2 or similar piano for that price.

I suspect that PERHAPS the price reflects the common practice of "trade-in mark-up." In other words, someone without a trade-in might be quoted $9800 right off the bat, but since he knows you expect something for your trade-in, he starts at 11K and ends up with the same profit. Of course this only applies in cases where the trade-in piano is really of no value to the dealer. Does he have 35-year-old uprights on the floor? If not, he might have a warehouse full of them, many of which are ultimately scrapped. (Of course I know nothing about your piano other than your brief desciption).

#195001 - 02/08/05 09:44 AM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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AmRov Offline
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Hello, first post. (Although I'm an avid MINI2.com poster.)

We are in the market for a grand, and we were impressed with a Yamaha C3 at our local dealer -- and even though he came way down off of list, ouch on the price. We'd like to keep this under $20K.

I've seen a couple of postings on eBay, such as from Piano Outlet of Florida, at what seem to be very good prices for slightly used "new" condition C3s.

Advice on how to approach such a sale? Also, we live in Texas, and are a little worried about shipping.

They claim to offer a 5-year warranty, but I know that will likely do me no good in Texas.

Thanks in advance.


Total Noob.
#195002 - 02/08/05 10:43 AM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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hgiles Offline
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SIZE LIMITATIONS?

Not really, but under 6'1" seems about right for the size of the room/house. The physical dimension between a 5'1" and a 6'1" seems small and easily accommodated yet the price difference between them and the sound is huge.

Seems worthwhile to go up to 6'1" if the budget allows. Acoustics of the room (wood floors, wood furnishings) is such that even my vertical piano is quite loud in there.


Haywood
-------------
#195003 - 02/08/05 10:55 AM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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hgiles Offline
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BEST BANG FOR THE 10K BUCK?

The room is about 13x13 with 10 foot ceilings. I guess what I really want to know is which Pianos (new or used) offer the best Value in the 10k range? I am still thinking used Kawai/Yamaha, but can be persuaded into at least trying a new Nordiska or something. A C5 seems like it might be out of my price range. That's a large piano at 6'5" isn't it?

Still waiting on my book to arrive. I am sure the book will answer most of my questions... Thanks though!


Haywood
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#195004 - 02/08/05 02:36 PM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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Hello:

First, let me say my experience is all opinion. I don't presume to be an expert but I do claim to have good ears. Just a year ago at this time I was doing the same thing you're doing. I started off with a budget of $6,000 thinking I could find a used grand in the 6' range. With most manufacturers there is a magical difference that occurs when you reach the 6' range in the clarity of the bass and in the transition from the tenor to the bass sections that is hard to find below that size, or at least hard to find in that which is affordable. After doing a lot of looking I begrudgingly admitted I'd set my sights too low in price and agonized my way up to a $10,000 out-the-door and in-the-house budget. I looked at probably 25 pianos and concluded for the $10K I could spend a used Yamaha might be the best choice for a piano in very good condition with good sound and good mechanics. I was also open to a Kawai of equal size/cost. The piano that found its' way into my Living Room and into my heart wound up being a 6'-8" 30 year old Kawai KG 5C. Why? My criteria was a non-restored original piano that showed little wear on the hammers, a good consistent action, solid soundboard, and good cosmetics. In my search I came across BHA Piano in Dayton, OH. Even though it was a 1 hr flight away from my home in Chicago, I decided to make the trip. We played a half-dozen instruments there including the Yamaha C5 (which is what I actually went to investigate), and wound up writing the check for the Kawai. Yes, it's used, and no, it's not a Steinway, Mason Hamlin, Estonia, or a few others I still would love to have, but after getting it home - and here's the big part - after having a professional RPT regulate and voice it for a total of $400, the instrument is spectacular! The $400 investment truly transformed it from a nice sounding instrument for which I felt I had made compromises to a friend I play "with." I can not possibly recommend strongly enough buying this way. Get a good instrument with good "karma" (one that looks sounds and feels as thought it's been played lovingly and carefully - it will communicate this to you when you play it) but leave some $$$ in the budget to "perfect" it.

IMHO your room size would make the 6' size perfect for sound quality vs sound propagation. To go smaller will likely mean a lesser defined deep bass and bass/tenor break unevenness. To go larger will simply consume real estate that is probably at a premium. I don't share the belief that small rooms need small pianos and large rooms need large ones. It's all in the sound quality of the instrument and how you play it.

Think of your newly acquired instrument as a starting point, one that can be coaxed and massaged with the proper skill to sound better and better, and that can truly reach unanticipated heights with enough time, patience and a little cash.

Good luck!

Rolland Rahr

#195005 - 02/09/05 08:22 PM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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Haywood, buying a piano is often a very personal and emotional choice, but I’ll give you the cold, calculation engineer’s point of view.

Pianos depreciate by far the most (typically 12%) during the first year when they go from being brand new to used. After that they typically depreciate around 2% for next 30 years. After that, the depreciation is negligible and the price is mainly dependent on how well it is maintained. Larger / more expensive pianos stop depreciating at around 20 years. While pianos continue to improve in scale design and sound, the change is fairly slow and not very significant.

Therefore, you will get the best quality piano for the least amount of money with a 20 to 30 year old, good quality piano. Additionally, this piano will maintain its value very well. The nice thing about this is that you should be able to resell the piano for about what you paid for it, in case you decide that the piano isn’t right for you.

For example, you should be able to buy a 6’1” Chinese made in the Dongbei factory, which many people thing produces the best Chinese pianos, for around $9,000. For that price, you should be able to buy a 25 year old, 6’1” Yamaha C3 or Kawai GS-30 or KG-3. Rolland's story is a nice example of a good "bang for your buck" choice.

Take your time deciding how you want to balance factors like economic issues with other factors, like how much pleasure you would get out of buying a brand new piano. Having a new piano is very important for some and of little importance to others.

Good luck finding the right piano for you.

Barry


No piano industry affiliation.
Not burdened by a wealth of facts to color my opinions.
#195006 - 02/10/05 08:23 AM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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I've more or less given up on a "new" piano -- just can't justify the cost. We found a 1993 Yamaha C3 (confirmed date through serial no.) for $13,500. We are going to look at it tomorrow... Seems like a good price to me (right at half of what I'd pay the dealer for a new one, if you include sales tax).

The seller (private party) claims it is in "excellent condition." We will have it looked over by a professional tuner/appraiser -- similar to what I'd do if I were buying a used car for this price. I hope it works out!


Total Noob.
#195007 - 02/10/05 08:59 AM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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Used piano availability is heavily dependent upon the buyers location. In the last twenty years, in my part of the world, I've not seen one C3 Yamaha for sale.

Not one.

Nada.

Zippola.


A good piano, particularly a good used piano, is where you find it. Sometimes, you must travel, or refine the search to what is available at the budget point.


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#195008 - 02/10/05 12:38 PM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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$10K is a tough budget but IMO stay away from Chinese pianos.
Everything is compromised in a Chinese piano. Tone, Touch, Stability and Longevity.

I played at the NAMM show a 9' """"concert grand""" by Pearl River(literally is the biggest piece of junk I've ever played). The same day I Played three German made uprights that sounded much better,
and probably they cost less.

#195009 - 02/10/05 12:50 PM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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Iyi said: ". . .stay away from Chinese pianos.
Everything is compromised in a Chinese piano. Tone, Touch, Stability and Longevity."


A $10k piano is NOT going to be the same as a $20k or $25K piano etc. Its just not! even with the best prep. Even we novices know that. However that doesn't necessarily make it a "piece of junk" & something to be necessarily avoided. People have finanical constraints & sometimes must compromise & buy "less than the best" (as Derick once said)

I own an Indonesian made Kohler & Campbell 5'9", that can also be had within the original posters budget. Again, its not going to be the same as a $25K piano because it is NOT a $25k piano. ...as in most things in life, pianos being no exception, you usually get what you pay for.

Regards.

#195010 - 02/10/05 01:18 PM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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justme Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by iyi bir piano:

I played at the NAMM show
Okay. So, who are you affiliated with? Go ahead state your agenda.

#195011 - 02/10/05 01:28 PM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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ditto mama ..... there are some very nice sounding pianos for just us "plain ol folk" in that 10k bracket ,.... IMHO :rolleyes: laugh


Jay

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." -Katharine Hepburn
#195012 - 02/10/05 01:45 PM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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From our own recent experience, there's a huge shift going on right now in the market, definitely much more from *used* to *new*.

Of course it doesn't completely eliminate the *quality used* or restored market - but considering the arrival of Estonia and similiar pianos - it has certainly reduced even that segment for those dealers doing both.

When also considering the hugely improved quality among many pianos coming especially from China at this time - also increasingly in actual *drop dead* gorgeous finishes - one clearly sees how this whole market is undergoing major change.

People still decide what is right for them - and always should - but the market forces presently evolving are rather strong and there is no end in sight.

New pianos with increasingly good-excellent quality, now from China, are here to stay and the market is responding accordingly.

Like it or not.

norbert smokin


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642 www.eliteheritagepianos.ca Edmonton, Alta dealers for Estonia,
Brodmann 780-405-8908
#195013 - 02/11/05 11:10 AM Re: First Grand Purchase  
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Okay, I have got the PIANO BOOK and did a cursory read of the pianos that might be in my price range. Ultimately I think it comes down to used KAWAI, used YAMAHA, and a brand new NORDISKA.

I am still in the 10k price range, but may do a little more if the right steal comes along. I am by no means a great piano player, but I am a connoisseur of quality whether its a pair of shoes or a piano. Having said that I also know extravagance when I see it.

I am also looking in the 6'1" range (C3, RX3 or older equivalents). I think there is something to be said for consistent construction quality and I like that in the Japanese pianos.

Now that I have narrowed my search a bit, I am just looking for a good deal.


Haywood
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Has anyone played a 3-Sensor Fatar TP100 action?
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