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#2087954 - 05/24/13 12:12 PM Piano decisions  
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 6
piano_1 Offline
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piano_1  Offline
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Joined: May 2013
Posts: 6
I've been shopping for a grand piano and am having a hard time settling on exactly what I want. Here are three options I'm looking at. Would be curious about any input you'd have about my thought process.

1. A fairly modern Kawai, probably a KG3, circa late '80s or early '90s for $8,000-$10,000.
This seems like the logical, rational choice. I love the sound of Kawais and can't stand the brightness of Yamahas. Just a personal preference. I know this would be a reliable piano I could love for a long time, but the downside is that it has no history to it. I like the "soul" of old pianos, as illogical as that may be. My wife is also concerned about how a high-gloss finish would look in our 1920s house and how it would collect fingerprints from our three kids ... but satin finish KG3s seem to be hard to find in my area.

2. An old, well-worn Steinway.
When I play a good Steinway I think "this is how a great piano should sound." I want one. Unfortunately, my budget tops out at $10,000 right now. I could keep saving up for a $12,500 to $15,000 Steinway, but that price range is very much "entry level" for the ones I'm seeing on the market.

3. A low-budget special.
The miser in me is also interested in saving money. An Indonesian, 5'0" Kawai is tempting at around $5,000. It sounds good for its size.

I also played a 1922 Estey that was restored in the 1990s, priced at $2,500, that was cosmetically gorgeous but needs some mechanical work. The tone was good enough that I'm tempted to have a tech check it out and give me a report on the repairs needed (several sticking keys and a metallic clanging sound on the bass notes at forte). I could LOVE this piano for the price, depending on what it sounded like after the repairs / regulation / voicing were completed. That's just hard to judge in its current state.

Last edited by piano_1; 05/24/13 12:12 PM.
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#2087965 - 05/24/13 12:20 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 389
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
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Nash. Piano Rescue  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 389
East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
I have found a problem with saving up in that the amount of inflation exceeds the saving part. So in two more years those Steinways are still out of reach. I think regardless of price piano buying is still difficult. It can be a nightmare with endless choices too not just budget.

You may just have to wait for " The One" that just speaks to you. If you are unsure of a brand make sure your tech you hire for inspection is not a brand loyalist because he may not like anything except the one brand he/she likes.



J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
www.NashvillePianoRescue.com
East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
Chamber of Commerce
Member/Sponsor

Putting inspiration in the hands of area musicians
Through restoration/renovation
#2087981 - 05/24/13 12:36 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,291
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rickster  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
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Georgia, USA
Welcome to Piano World!

My vote would be for the Kawai KG3... but wouldn't exceed the $8K mark, unless it is in like new condition.

As far as the entry level Steinway, why pay for just a name on the fall borad when the piano is warn out? The older I get, the more I appreciate a "playable" musical instrument.

As far as your low-budget, 5 foot Indonesian Kawai, are we talking new? If so, it may be worth considering further.

I agree with J. Christie, in terms of saving up for the right piano... the older I get, the more I realize that we only live one day at a time... tomorrow never comes. In fact, I wrote a song once entitled, "Happily ever after in the here and now". smile

Good luck, and keep us informend!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#2087996 - 05/24/13 12:58 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]  
Joined: May 2013
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piano_1 Offline
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piano_1  Offline
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Thanks!

I've found a 1991 KG3 for about $8,900 total (including taxes and delivery.) Or the same thing, but from 1981, for $7,300 total. Both are in like-new condition.

I was mistaken about the budget Kawai. It's a 5'1" GE-1 from 1984. Weren't they all built in Japan then? Anyway, it's for sale by an individual asking $6,000. Plays beautifully for its size, but I'm afraid I'd always wish it were a bigger model. I could love it for the right price. I'm thinking of offering $4,500 for it. Sound reasonable?

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#2088011 - 05/24/13 01:18 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]  
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 6
piano_1 Offline
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piano_1  Offline
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Posts: 6
Also interested in a Kawai GS-50 from the early 1980s. Would be $9,600 total, including taxes and delivery. This one is bigger than the others (nearly 7 feet, if I recall right). But I don't know much about the GS line.

#2088044 - 05/24/13 02:07 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,291
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rickster  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,291
Georgia, USA
If you have room for the 7 foot Kawai, I doubt you would regret buying it. smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#2088264 - 05/24/13 07:05 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]  
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,604
Dave B Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Dave B  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,604
Philadelphia area
I'm leaning towards the GS-50 if its in good condition and low wear. My guess is that its been played a lot.

The 1991 KG3 'like new' might be your best buy.


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
#2091640 - 05/29/13 09:04 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]  
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 6
piano_1 Offline
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piano_1  Offline
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Joined: May 2013
Posts: 6
Just thought I'd post an update.

We found our piano!

After obsessing about it for way too long, my wife and I finally found a piano we both agreed on: a 1917 Steinway Model O. It plays beautifully and actually fits (barely) within our budget at $9,000.

Compared to other "entry level" playable Steinways that I saw priced from $12,000 to $16,000, this one seems to have the best feeling action to my taste and one of the richest sounds. Unfortunately the case has a lot of wear, to put it politely, on the original ebonized finish. Hence the low price.

On the plus side, my wife says she likes the rough case because I won't be freaking out every time my kids touch it. We can get it refinished when they're older smile

I've already had one piano tech check it out for me today. It came away with a clean bill of health. I'm having another tech take a look at it in the morning -- the owner's tech who has serviced it for the past couple of years -- but that's more for information and insight about what he's already done to it.

The delivery is scheduled for tomorrow. Can't wait to get it in our house!

#2091660 - 05/29/13 09:34 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,327
malkin Offline
4000 Post Club Member
malkin  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2009
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*sigh* Salt Lake City
Congratulations!


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2091798 - 05/29/13 11:22 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,291
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rickster  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,291
Georgia, USA
Wow, congratulations!

Only the most elete, sophisticated, and wealthy own a Steinway (as a general rule)! smile

Post pictures when you can...

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#2092274 - 05/30/13 04:17 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]  
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 422
Carbonblob Offline
Full Member
Carbonblob  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 422
Los Angeles, Ca.
Congrats! Be sure to take pix of it coming off the truck and up the walkway......lol. I documented my delivery and it's fun to look back and remember the excitement. it was much later in life for me and that made it all the sweeter when the day came. You're going to have so much fun playing all your music again and hearing how different it all is. Discovery is half the fun too. I found that I played much better in just the few weeks after delivery. That's what a good action will do for you. Pix are required, that's what they told me.......have fun. blob


KAWAI RX-3 BLAK
YAMAHA GRANTOUCH GT1
#2092316 - 05/30/13 05:14 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]  
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 445
j&j Offline
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j&j  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 445
Southwest
Congratulations.....and we love an update with happy news. Do take pictures of the whole delivery process because it allows your friends on the Forum to share in the fun! I wish you many happy hours of playing and practice on your new baby!


J & J
Yahama C3 PE
Casio Privia PX-330
"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." Pablo Picasso
[Linked Image]
#2093002 - 05/31/13 04:53 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]  
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 6
piano_1 Offline
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piano_1  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: May 2013
Posts: 6
I'm neither elite nor sophisticated nor wealthy ... but I do enjoy a good piano smile

I didn't think to take many pictures at the time. Was more excited about playing it that photographing it. But here are a couple.

Attached Files photo(5).JPGphoto(4).JPG
#2093020 - 05/31/13 05:30 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]  
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 970
dynamobt Online content
500 Post Club Member
dynamobt  Online Content
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 970
NH
Your links don't work for me.


1918 Mason & Hamlin BB
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
#2093041 - 05/31/13 06:14 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,291
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rickster  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,291
Georgia, USA
Here are some instructions on posting pictures on the PW forum. Note, the digital picture has to be hosted on a web site, which PW has a photo hosting site. Instructions on posting pictures

Here are additional instructions: Once you complete the “upload pictures” form and submit, you will get an email from PW immediately with a web link that hosts your photo. What I usually do is open the link and the photo will be displayed; right click on the photo and select “properties”; copy the address, starting with "HTTP" and ending with "jpg"; paste this link in the “add non-floating image” option in your PW thread.

Then, you can look at your post by clicking on the “preview reply” option and see if your picture actually appears in the post.

I hope this helps, and we all look forward to seeing the pictures of your new-to-your Steinway grand! smile

Rick



Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#2093162 - 06/01/13 12:19 AM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 389
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member
Nash. Piano Rescue  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 389
East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
Plus when you are done with all that . Rebuilding a Titan V rocket engine in your bathtub will be a snap ! smile


J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
www.NashvillePianoRescue.com
East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
Chamber of Commerce
Member/Sponsor

Putting inspiration in the hands of area musicians
Through restoration/renovation

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