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Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199856
02/24/04 04:53 AM
02/24/04 04:53 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 30
Brits, South Africa
johnc_brits Offline OP
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Brits, South Africa
Greetings all,

I have been looking for a grand piano to buy. We are in South Africa. I quite like the Kawai RX2, compared to other new and used models in that price range. I have also just tried a Lothar Schell. Perhaps the hall I was in did not do it justice, but it seemed to lack a powerful bass compared to the RX2, and the notes did not sustain as well either. The agent claims that the all wood construction is more durable than the materials used in the Kawai, that the action is Errard, and that the perceived lack of bass was due to the wooden stage floor!

In this search, I have been going in circles. At present I have an upright Kawai KS3F, about a 1984 model. It has an excellent sound. But it needs tuning quite often, like every 4 months. The action is also very light. I was under the impression that this was the fault of the piano – that maybe after about 20 odd years of heavy playing it is not robust enough.

Or maybe the KS3F has been damaged because we bought it new when living at an altitude of around 1600m. About 4 years later we moved to sea level, and about 7 years later we moved again to an altitude of around 1400m – about 9 years ago. It never needed such regular tuning in the past. So at first I discounted looking at a Kawai, but now another Kawai appears the main option.

I would appreciate some comments re the state of the upright KS3F, and also the RX2 versus Lothar Schell.

Many Thanks, JohnC


Maestro Music South Africa
Representing: Bluthner, Grotrian, Haessler and Irmler
Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
Piano accessories and music gift items
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199857
02/24/04 06:24 AM
02/24/04 06:24 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 9,217
Deep in Cherokee Country
Larry Offline
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There is no comparison. The Lothar Schell is a decent piano for a Chinese built piano, but it isn't up to par with a Kawai. The price difference alone should testify to that. If the Lothar Schell is priced anywhere close to the Kawai, all the more reason to drop it from consideration. You should be able to buy it for a *lot* less than the Kawai.

The salesman is trying to knock the Kawai because of its plastic action parts. This is silly - there is nothing wrong with the Kawai parts. Ignore his sales pitch.


Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199858
02/24/04 11:30 AM
02/24/04 11:30 AM
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Posts: 310
So California
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Aye, don't believe the plastic action parts nonsense. I didn't and bought an RX-2 -- I'm very very happy with it. It has only seemed to get better in the past 18 months since i got it smile

Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199859
02/24/04 01:08 PM
02/24/04 01:08 PM
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Olympia, Washington
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Del Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by johnc_brits:
Or maybe the KS3F has been damaged because we bought it new when living at an altitude of around 1600m. About 4 years later we moved to sea level, and about 7 years later we moved again to an altitude of around 1400m – about 9 years ago. It never needed such regular tuning in the past. So at first I discounted looking at a Kawai, but now another Kawai appears the main option.

I would appreciate some comments re the state of the upright KS3F, and also the RX2 versus Lothar Schell.

Many Thanks, JohnC
I have been in the factory that builds the Lothar Schell grand pianos. Take another look at the Kawai.

The problems you are having with your current piano are most likely due to the rather radical climate changes it has been through and/or its current location. Is the climate around the piano (i.e., inside your house) stable? Are there large temperature or (more importantly) humidity swings? Is it sitting where sunlight can get to it? Have you great confidence in your tuner?

Del


Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199860
02/24/04 01:42 PM
02/24/04 01:42 PM
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JohnC,

I am the proud owner of a Kawai RX-2. While it took a little while, plus minor regulation and a couple of tunings to acclimatize it plays and sounds even better today than it did 4 years ago when I bought it. According to Larry Fine the quality of ABS parts are a non-issue. I had not heard of Lothar Schell pianos and so cannot comment.

Ollie

Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199861
02/24/04 01:53 PM
02/24/04 01:53 PM
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I agree with everyone above. I own a Kawai Console and have been to the Kawai factory and would say that you would be much better off with the kawai. It is a much better instrument.

Brandon


Selling my piano on pianoworld. Ad # BB4020713. Kawai Console 2yo $2200.
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199862
02/24/04 06:12 PM
02/24/04 06:12 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 30
Brits, South Africa
johnc_brits Offline OP
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Hi Del

The piano is not in any sun. The temperature is relatively constant, but yes humidity varies from drought conditions a month ago to heavy rains at the moment. Regarding the tuner, we have had several, some doubtful. I have confidence in one of them, and when tuned nicely the tone is excellent. The tuner is coming early March, and I'll test again.

Can the action be stiffened?

Thanks, John


Maestro Music South Africa
Representing: Bluthner, Grotrian, Haessler and Irmler
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199863
02/24/04 06:42 PM
02/24/04 06:42 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,406
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Del said:

"I've been "in the factory" that builds the Lothar Schell grand"

Question: why then is the factory not also called "Lothar Schell"....this at least after their own product"??

Or is supposed to be the other way around?

Give credit to Kawai which at least names their baby after themselves!

And if you must insist on having a "German" name on your product [as you don't seem to quite have the confidence yet to call yourself by your own name]...........may I perhaps recommend at least.... "Einstein".

At least make it truly great.

[Yeah, I know, it's one of those hang-ups I'm supposed to have........ frown ]

Calling Mr. Smith by his own name: "Mr Smith"

norbert eek


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199864
02/25/04 12:09 AM
02/25/04 12:09 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Norbert:
Del said:
"I've been "in the factory" that builds the Lothar Schell grand"

Question: why then is the factory not also called "Lothar Schell"....this at least after their own product"??

Or is supposed to be the other way around?

Give credit to Kawai which at least names their baby after themselves!

And if I'd go by a truly great German name...I'd call it perhaps "Einstein".

At least make it truly great.

[Yeah, I know, it's one of those hang-ups I'm supposed to have.... frown ]

norbert
"Lothar Schell" was only one of the names being put on the pianos built in that factory.

The days of naming a piano after its builder or designer are nearly over. To the best of my knowledge nearly all of the venerable old American, Canadian and European brand names being put on pianos made in Japan, Korea and China have very little to do with the original pianos and/or the factories that made them. Any resemblance between the original and the present is purely accidental.

You pay your money and you get your instant heritage.

Del


Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199865
02/25/04 12:26 AM
02/25/04 12:26 AM
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Ah, but in the case of the LS, did Schell not design the piano?

If that is the case, is not that a little truer than most?

Or does D.H. still run Baldwin, or did the Steinways take back their factory?

Business is business. A piano is a piano, and should be judged for what it is, not the name on the fallboard, nor the name of the designer.

If it is a good piano, it is a good piano, if a bad one, then it is a bad one.

Very simple, but very true.


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Over 1.4M (and counting) posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199866
02/25/04 12:28 AM
02/25/04 12:28 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3
los angeles
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Norbert said:

Question: why then is the factory not also called "Lothar Schell"....this at least after their own product"??

Enough is enough. Norbert- Get off your high horse. I do not question that you you know pianos, but how about enrolling in your local community college for marketing 101 class??

The easiest analogy that everybody can understand is cars....I'll put it very simply for you.......Why doesnt Lexus name their cars Toyota, or Acura call their cars Honda or GM sell under the Chevy, Buick & Pontiac? If you dont undertand that analogy since you may/may not be a car guy- then how about Gap & Old Navy being the same brand- in most cases manufactured in the same factory. If you are neither a car "guy" or clothing "guy", can you were confused with both examples....then I'm sure you know since you are in the business that the average person isnt a piano "guy".

After you take that final exam in marketing 101, then we can have a real conversation and I maybe even tell you where you can get you those Estonias.

Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199867
02/25/04 01:41 AM
02/25/04 01:41 AM
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Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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"Where you can get you those Estonias"

English ain't exactly your forte pal, ain't it,
- English 101 somebody? laugh

By the way,not too bad a shot - Garyc - after all, this being only your second [highly impressive!] post here!

"High horse"?

For your information:
..just because I live in Canada doesn't mean that everybody here is also a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police! laugh

[Perhaps Geo 101 would help....]

And if I remember right from my own college days, marketing 101 in most respected schools I know, has more intelligent content to offer than simply suggesting that printing a German name on whatever product will do the job.

Unless that's where you attended school.

At least the car makers you mentioned above had the good sense to stick to some names more reminiscent of their OWN hemisphere!

[Their execs obviously attended Harvard...]

Now - by the way - where did you say these "hard to get Estonias" are so readily available?

You must have been reading here for a while.

Do I presume right that you actually work for the amply stocked competition somewhere else?

Presumably I need to take marketing 201 for getting the answer.

But for that - I will choose my own school!

norbert smokin


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199868
02/25/04 11:45 AM
02/25/04 11:45 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Jolly:
Ah, but in the case of the LS, did Schell not design the piano?

If that is the case, is not that a little truer than most?

Or does D.H. still run Baldwin, or did the Steinways take back their factory?

Business is business. A piano is a piano, and should be judged for what it is, not the name on the fallboard, nor the name of the designer.

If it is a good piano, it is a good piano, if a bad one, then it is a bad one.

Very simple, but very true.
I don’t know if Mr Schell designed those pianos or not. They all looked pretty much the same to me regardless of the name going on them. I was unimpressed by the materials, both in quality and how they were handled (especially their lack of moisture control and/or monitoring), build quality (the lack of any semblance of quality control was, shall we say, interesting), the lack of features most technicians would consider important (such as any mechanism for leveling and bedding the keyframe), etc. But in the end, as you say, “if it is a good piano, it is a good piano, if a bad one, then it is a bad one.” This one did not sound good either. Even acknowledging that it is a very short piano the bass section was, without exception, the poorest I’d heard to that date. The crossover (bass/tenor) was painfully obvious. The voice across the keyboard compass was, to put it kindly, uneven.

No, D.H. Baldwin does not still run the Baldwin company. Which, perhaps, explains why guitar parts are now appearing on the frontboard of some of their verticals. Nor have the Steinways returned to the Steinway company which, perhaps, explains why they are now building somewhat better pianos than they were in the 1960s.

And, yes, I realize business is business and marketing is marketing. Still I believe it is disingenuous to claim a heritage that is not your own in a rather blatant attempt to deceive the prospective customer. Looking at some of the literature put out by these manufacturers and/or distributors you would think there was actually some direct line of descent right on down from the original founder of the company, on across the Pacific and right into some joint venture between the Chinese government and some obscure financial investors.

Ah, well … as you say … .

Del


Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199869
02/25/04 07:19 PM
02/25/04 07:19 PM
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Del:

Thanks for speaking the....ahem.... simple truth!

"Perception is reality", as they say.

Add to this: "only for consumate or [in-]voluntary FOOLS"!!

Common sense 101

NORBERT thumb


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199870
02/25/04 07:34 PM
02/25/04 07:34 PM
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Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199871
02/25/04 10:16 PM
02/25/04 10:16 PM
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Lb:

In case you didn't know:

Pramberger was REAL guy who happened to be "burdoned" by his parent's German heritage name.

Joe himself, never laid any claim to German engineering,design or anything like that.

To throw dirt on this fine American national at this time, who contributed so much to the industry and sadly passed away last month, is below the lowest sqaundrel attack I've ever seen.

And one more thing for your obviously chicken-flu infected brain:

"Bergman" happens to be a declared lineage name chosen for the "Heritage Series" by Young Chang making no claim to German ancistry, design or quality whatsoever.

[Which can't be so easily said about your Czech 'Weinbachs' and 'August Foersters'......]

In fact if you'd ever set foot in a modern day piano store these days and seen a genuine 'Bergman'....
[which you obviously never did!]..... you'd see Young Chang's name SQUARELY PRINTED on these pianos and also its name clearly printed on the acompanying factory warranty papers.

Go back and chop some more wood.

Your obvious speciality!

Norbert


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199872
02/25/04 11:11 PM
02/25/04 11:11 PM
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Del Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by johnc_brits:
Hi Del

The piano is not in any sun. The temperature is relatively constant, but yes humidity varies from drought conditions a month ago to heavy rains at the moment. Regarding the tuner, we have had several, some doubtful. I have confidence in one of them, and when tuned nicely the tone is excellent. The tuner is coming early March, and I'll test again.

Can the action be stiffened?

Thanks, John
If the atmosphere around the piano is undergoing significant changes in humidity that by itself would explain its inability to maintain stable tuning. You might check into the availability of Dampp-Chaser systems in your area. They do help, especially in vertical pianos.

Del


Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199873
02/25/04 11:37 PM
02/25/04 11:37 PM
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POMPANO BEACH FLA.
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Norbert,
The last years of Joe Preamberger's life he lived on Savannah, Ga not far from my piano shop,(the economy got me). He was a fine engineer and a good friend. He will be truely missed. He never claimed to be German. He never claimed German engineering experience. He only did his job making the Young Chang better and enjoyed every minute of it.


007JR
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199874
02/26/04 01:30 AM
02/26/04 01:30 AM
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Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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PIANOSOO7:

So very true!

That's why it's despicable to smear the man from behind or use his name to support an idiotic argument here!

Rest in peace,dear Joe!

norbert


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199875
02/26/04 05:29 AM
02/26/04 05:29 AM
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Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199876
02/26/04 06:23 AM
02/26/04 06:23 AM
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Brits, South Africa
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Mr. Schell recently launched his pianos in South Africa with a concert in Pretoria. He was there at the launch to promote the pianos.

See: http://www.pianomaster-za.com/pmaster.swf

Despite whatever name is on them, it was the lack of bass which Del speaks of, and sustainable notes, which were the most obvious on this one occasion I heard and tried it. The price was close to the Kawai.

Many thanks for the comments. I will most probably go for the Kawai, or a used Bechstein which I saw. I will also investigate the humidity.


Maestro Music South Africa
Representing: Bluthner, Grotrian, Haessler and Irmler
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199877
02/26/04 06:29 AM
02/26/04 06:29 AM
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Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199878
02/26/04 09:06 AM
02/26/04 09:06 AM
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Deep in Cherokee Country
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A Lothar Schell priced the same as a Kawai is a royal ripoff. He didn't design anything - it's just a Dongbhei piano with his private label on it. If you're comparing it with an RX2, a 5'10" piano, then I would assume the Lothar Schell is a 6' model, in which case you should be able to buy 2 Lothar Schells for the price of a new RX2. Maybe 3.


Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199879
02/26/04 10:24 AM
02/26/04 10:24 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Larry:
- it's just a Dongbhei piano with his private label on it.
There may be multiple sources for these pianos but those I saw were not being built by Dongbhei. It was a factory just outside of Beijing.

Del


Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199880
02/26/04 10:47 AM
02/26/04 10:47 AM
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Deep in Cherokee Country
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I don't think there's multiple sources - I think it's me getting the wrong factory....


Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199881
02/26/04 10:47 AM
02/26/04 10:47 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by PIANOS007:
Norbert,
The last years of Joe Preamberger's life he lived on Savannah, Ga not far from my piano shop,(the economy got me). He was a fine engineer and a good friend. He will be truely missed. He never claimed to be German. He never claimed German engineering experience. He only did his job making the Young Chang better and enjoyed every minute of it.
To Whom It May Concern:

I do not consider the Pramberger line by Young Chang to be "stencil" pianos. Joe Pramberger spent a great deal of time in Korea working with the factory on the design and development of this piano line. He worked hard on them and they bear his imprint and his ideas. It is entirely appropriate to name the line after him.

It is also appropriate for any manufacturer to come up with whatever brand names it wishes to distinguish its various model lines. Automakers do it all the time as do the manufacturers of many other product lines. As I have said before, Steinway — with one of the most effective marketing organizations to be found in the piano industry — deserves much credit for naming their Boston and Essex pianos lines as they have. Neither name claims credit for a heritage that it did not earn. They simply distinguish various product lines within the companies overall product mix.

It is inappropriate, in my opinion, to apply a brand name that still carries a certain amount of prestige based on its original design, manufacture and performance to a piano of completely unrelated design, manufacture and performance (regardless of where it is built) yet claiming to posses all of the century-old heritage of the original. Even though some of these efforts are able to claim the use of some of the “original machines” and some of the “original designs” so much has been lost in the translation that to compare the current production with the original is a travesty. The real problem goes beyond this, though. It is the heritage that is being claimed, not just the product line and I’ve heard more than one dealer passing these pianos off as the real thing to unsuspecting buyers.

Del


Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199882
02/26/04 10:54 AM
02/26/04 10:54 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,406
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Norbert  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,406
Surrey, B.C.
It's nice to see that Del and others are always able to bring sanity back into these discussions.

Unfortunately some of our efforts here need to to corall some of the increasingly aging and rapidly deteriorating village idiots of this venerable Forum:

Including our very own "lb"= "Low Blower":

[P.S.You don't treat the honourable prisoners of war in your private camp very well,do you? laugh ]

And especially those "arrogant Germans" must have left an indelible impression on you from some earlier encounters before...perhaps?

Did that gorgeous blonde that used to spank your bum eventually leave you?

Or was it your genuine German "Schoenhut" piano that caused you so much grief?? :rolleyes:

And you also seem to be a true master of graveyard descecration!

Nice going!! thumb

Now go back and chop some more wood.

Or I'll send my big arrogant German sister to show you!! eek wow

norbert smokin


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199883
02/26/04 10:57 AM
02/26/04 10:57 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 9,217
Deep in Cherokee Country
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Larry  Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 9,217
Deep in Cherokee Country
German personals ad:

SWF, 32. I pull *big* plow.

(sorry for stealing your line, Mr. I'll leave Anonymous...)


Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199884
02/26/04 11:02 AM
02/26/04 11:02 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,406
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Norbert  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,406
Surrey, B.C.
lb="Low Blower" wouldn't need that.

He pulls his own!! ha

norbert


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Kawai RX2 vs Lothar Schell #199885
02/26/04 11:44 AM
02/26/04 11:44 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 413
POMPANO BEACH FLA.
PIANOS007 Offline
Full Member
PIANOS007  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 413
POMPANO BEACH FLA.
With all the bashing and fighting I completly forgot what this thread was all about.
Kawai vs. Lothar Shell??? GET A GRIP!!!!!!
Thst is a classic case of comparing apples and oranges. The Lothar Shell isn't even close to a Kawai. Larry is right. You can buy 2 Lothar Shells for the price of one Kawai. And I would rather have one kawai than two Lothar shells. I had a dealer friend who carried Lothar Shell for a while and had trouble giving them away. He dropped the line and replaced it with Conover Cable(Samick)and has been diong fine ever since.
Forget the sales talk that dealer is spewing and get a quality piano if you can afford the extra cost.


007JR
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