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Considering purchase of Kawai GM-11 this weekend. #2203642
12/27/13 03:53 PM
12/27/13 03:53 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 108
Raleigh/Durham NC
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7notemode Offline OP
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My 80 year old mother insists on buying a piano for her home. Multiple family members can play when they come to visit, which she thoroughly enjoys. She lives in a smallish central Louisiana town. We made the rounds. I tried an entry level Yamaha and a Knabe baby grand. I liked the Kawai GM-11 feel and tone the most of the three I tried. 5 feet is about as big as the room will hold. It is a new model and there isn't much out there about it. I hope it is made in the Japan factory, but I don't know this. Anyone have any information on or experience with the model?
Thanks!
Tom

Last edited by 7notemode; 12/27/13 03:54 PM.
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Re: Considering purchase of Kawai GM-11 this weekend. [Re: 7notemode] #2203654
12/27/13 04:41 PM
12/27/13 04:41 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,191
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Online content
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Originally Posted by 7notemode
My 80 year old mother insists on buying a piano for her home. Multiple family members can play when they come to visit, which she thoroughly enjoys. She lives in a smallish central Louisiana town. We made the rounds. I tried an entry level Yamaha and a Knabe baby grand. I liked the Kawai GM-11 feel and tone the most of the three I tried. 5 feet is about as big as the room will hold. It is a new model and there isn't much out there about it. I hope it is made in the Japan factory, but I don't know this. Anyone have any information on or experience with the model?
Thanks!
Tom


Tom,

My personal opinion here and this is what I would tell you if you were my brother. I do not like the GM series of Kawai or the GB series of Yamaha. Both designs are compromises from the start, which, I suppose can be said of any piano in that range.

If you can stretch to the GE series or the GC series of Yamaha you will get more piano, but at bigger $$.

However, the Ritmuller Premium, Perzina, Feurich, and Brodmann are better values in my book.

Yours,


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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Re: Considering purchase of Kawai GM-11 this weekend. [Re: 7notemode] #2203655
12/27/13 04:43 PM
12/27/13 04:43 PM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,734
Auckland New Zealand
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Robert 45 Offline
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Hi 7 notemode,
I do not know if the new model Kawai GM-11 is made in Japan. However, you can easily check as Kawai grands have a clear "Made in Japan" label on right leg, just under the inner rim of the piano. The dealer should also be able to give you that information.
I read in a recent post "Buy the piano, not the brand." I think that I would also add, "Buy the piano, not the model". If you like a particular new piano and it meets your requirements, that is probably the best piano for your mother.
If you prefer this piano after you have compared it with other similar sized grand pianos then that is what matters. Kawai has an excellent reputation for its warranty support and their grand pianos are well regarded.

Best of luck with your choice!

Robert.

Re: Considering purchase of Kawai GM-11 this weekend. [Re: 7notemode] #2203657
12/27/13 04:51 PM
12/27/13 04:51 PM
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Read about half way down this page:
http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall13/173.html

They're made in Indonesia like it's predecessor the GM-10 but with a few new features. It looks like Kawai's most entry-level grand which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The GM-12 and up is made in Japan.

Re: Considering purchase of Kawai GM-11 this weekend. [Re: Rich Galassini] #2203671
12/27/13 05:17 PM
12/27/13 05:17 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 108
Raleigh/Durham NC
7
7notemode Offline OP
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Rich, Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated!
Unfortunately, or fortunately $10,000 is about it. We have to go local which limits us. I've played Brodmann in Raleigh where I live and like it a lot. We may keep looking, but I won't let her spend over $10K (mainly because I'm kicking in as well :-)
Thanks.

Re: Considering purchase of Kawai GM-11 this weekend. [Re: Robert 45] #2203675
12/27/13 05:22 PM
12/27/13 05:22 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 108
Raleigh/Durham NC
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7notemode Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Robert 45
Hi 7 notemode,

I read in a recent post "Buy the piano, not the brand." I think that I would also add, "Buy the piano, not the model". If you like a particular new piano and it meets your requirements, that is probably the best piano for your mother.
If you prefer this piano after you have compared it with other similar sized grand pianos then that is what matters. Kawai has an excellent reputation for its warranty support and their grand pianos are well regarded.

Best of luck with your choice!

Robert.


Robert,
Good feedback. I like the action on the Kawai. There is only so much the sound can do with a 5 foot baby grand, so I guess I could say the sound is nice considering. It's interesting doing this 'small town'. My mother's anxiety level goes up when I talk about having something shipped, plus the church pianist owns the music store, so there is a relationship connection she is comfortable with. I may ask about the GM 12 just for grins as I look elsewhere.

Re: Considering purchase of Kawai GM-11 this weekend. [Re: BornInTheUSA] #2203679
12/27/13 05:26 PM
12/27/13 05:26 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 108
Raleigh/Durham NC
7
7notemode Offline OP
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Originally Posted by michaelh
Read about half way down this page:
http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall13/173.html

They're made in Indonesia like it's predecessor the GM-10 but with a few new features. It looks like Kawai's most entry-level grand which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The GM-12 and up is made in Japan.


Thank you for that! That's terrible news! (sigh). I don't know if Indonesia is at anymore of a disadvantage than a China factory given Kawai's QC, but it is a negative in my mind. I guess I have more looking to do. It's interesting when you set a hard price limit and decide what compromises are the best to make -- much like looking for the best $10,000 car.

Last edited by 7notemode; 12/27/13 05:42 PM.
Re: Considering purchase of Kawai GM-11 this weekend. [Re: 7notemode] #2203703
12/27/13 06:49 PM
12/27/13 06:49 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 14,228
Louisiana
Jolly Offline
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Louisiana
Originally Posted by 7notemode
Originally Posted by michaelh
Read about half way down this page:
http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall13/173.html

They're made in Indonesia like it's predecessor the GM-10 but with a few new features. It looks like Kawai's most entry-level grand which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The GM-12 and up is made in Japan.


Thank you for that! That's terrible news! (sigh). I don't know if Indonesia is at anymore of a disadvantage than a China factory given Kawai's QC, but it is a negative in my mind. I guess I have more looking to do. It's interesting when you set a hard price limit and decide what compromises are the best to make -- much like looking for the best $10,000 car.


If you are buying in Central Louisiana and are considering Indonesian or Chinese pianos...

1. Broussard's in New Orleans has (or did have) a really nice 5' Baldwin. It's going to be very close to your budget. Do not look at the older Baldwin they have with the little "c" above the I in the Baldwin name. They deliver to central Louisiana for free.

2. Lafayette Music has a really nice 5'9" Baltimore series Knabe. I don't know which tech does this guy's pianos, but they are markedly better done than the sister store (Red River Music) in Alexandria. The Lafayette store routinely runs an ad at the start-up of Piano Buyer and says they will meet any written price on a Yamaha or Knabe. BTW, the Knabe is within your budget. They deliver to central Louisiana for free.

3. Check with Steve Gitz in Lafayette at Gitz Music, and see if he has something used (although that may be where you found the Kawai). They deliver to central Louisiana for free.

If you are holding out for Japanese Kawai, there is a private owner KG-1 in Lafayette and a D.H. Baldwin (Kawai???) in Vicksburg, offered by private sellers.


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Re: Considering purchase of Kawai GM-11 this weekend. [Re: Jolly] #2203799
12/28/13 12:19 AM
12/28/13 12:19 AM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 108
Raleigh/Durham NC
7
7notemode Offline OP
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Raleigh/Durham NC
Originally Posted by Jolly
[quote=7notemode][quote=michaelh]

If you are buying in Central Louisiana and are considering Indonesian or Chinese pianos...

1. Broussard's in New Orleans has (or did have) a really nice 5' Baldwin. It's going to be very close to your budget. Do not look at the older Baldwin they have with the little "c" above the I in the Baldwin name. They deliver to central Louisiana for free.

2. Lafayette Music has a really nice 5'9" Baltimore series Knabe. I don't know which tech does this guy's pianos, but they are markedly better done than the sister store (Red River Music) in Alexandria. The Lafayette store routinely runs an ad at the start-up of Piano Buyer and says they will meet any written price on a Yamaha or Knabe. BTW, the Knabe is within your budget. They deliver to central Louisiana for free.

3. Check with Steve Gitz in Lafayette at Gitz Music, and see if he has something used (although that may be where you found the Kawai). They deliver to central Louisiana for free.

If you are holding out for Japanese Kawai, there is a private owner KG-1 in Lafayette and a D.H. Baldwin (Kawai???) in Vicksburg, offered by private sellers.


Thanks, man. That is great info! You really have the 411 for pianos in Louisiana! Do you know a good piano technician that comes to central Louisiana?
Best,
Tom

Re: Considering purchase of Kawai GM-11 this weekend. [Re: 7notemode] #2203808
12/28/13 12:48 AM
12/28/13 12:48 AM
Joined: Jun 2013
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If you have a problem with Chinese or Indonesian pianos, which is understandable, most of the pianos recommended by Jolly are Chinese or Indonesian. Baldwin is now made in China. Knabe, owned by Samick, I think is also made in China.

There's a premium for American, Japanese and German pianos probably because they pay their workers more among other things. I guess it's just impossible to make a profit manufacturing grand pianos in these countries for the price you're looking to pay.

As far as Kawai goes, their mainstream line of grands are their GX which recently replaced the RX which you may still find. The GM and GE are "price point" pianos designed to compete with the Chinese stuff, but it isn't their best effort.

Several people here seem to like the new Chinese stuff. If you're not completely opposed to "Made in China" I'd check them out.


Re: Considering purchase of Kawai GM-11 this weekend. [Re: 7notemode] #2203820
12/28/13 01:46 AM
12/28/13 01:46 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,432
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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For those avoiding the better cut Chinese made pianos, there's of course always the other stuff available, presumably the "safe choices"...
Somebody's gotta buy it too, so go ahead.
The last GM 12 we took in trade was on our floor for almost 2 years.
Tough sell besides those pianos we offer at same or lower price point. But then again, who cares.
Once at home and not exactly "side-by-side" to certain others, differences among pianos are often non-conceived...
Norbert

Last edited by Norbert; 12/28/13 03:35 AM.

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Re: Considering purchase of Kawai GM-11 this weekend. [Re: BornInTheUSA] #2203823
12/28/13 01:57 AM
12/28/13 01:57 AM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 108
Raleigh/Durham NC
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7notemode Offline OP
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Originally Posted by michaelh


Several people here seem to like the new Chinese stuff. If you're not completely opposed to "Made in China" I'd check them out.



I'm comfortable with China/Indonesia manufacture. In fact, I'm grateful for it! There would be no new $10k baby grand options were it not for the efforts of China in the past 10 years. My only other option at a $10K price point is used, and of course that has no warranty and the potential for surprises. There are some great used values out there, but my mom wants new - I know my place, and I can't argue with that! It has actually been an interesting exercise to see what is available. Any choice is going to be some sort of compromise, but that's totally OK with me. Maybe I'm easy to please, but I have now played several 5 foot grands that I could derive plenty of musical pleasure from (kawai, pearl river, broadman, knabe, samick) Some definitely sound and feel better quality than others. At home I have a wonderful Steinway B that has been regulated and voiced to my notion of ideal. Totally worth the effort, but I don't impose that standard on this exercise. It would be interesting if it were possible to do a graph of cost (X) vs. quality (Y) of all piano models for sale. Of course there is no consensus, so it couldn't be done. My point is and from what I have seen, I think there are higher quality and lower quality options that exist at the exact same price point -- in this case, $10K. Of the ones with similar quality, it really comes down to preference of sound and feel. I wish I had more options, but there are advantages to living in a city that don't exist here. My visit ends soon, so I'll have to make a choice pretty soon.

Re: Considering purchase of Kawai GM-11 this weekend. [Re: 7notemode] #2203898
12/28/13 08:28 AM
12/28/13 08:28 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
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San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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Is there some reason your mother isn't shopping for this piano, herself? It's a pretty personal choice, when you get down to it--- if it were me, I wouldn't entirely depend on someone else to make this decision.

If it doesn't have to be a grand, you can get a much nicer upright for the available funds... which may fit the space more comfortably, and in the end, might be easier to find a buyer for later on.


Clef

Re: Considering purchase of Kawai GM-11 this weekend. [Re: 7notemode] #2203899
12/28/13 08:29 AM
12/28/13 08:29 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 14,228
Louisiana
Jolly Offline
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Originally Posted by 7notemode
Originally Posted by Jolly
[quote=7notemode][quote=michaelh]

If you are buying in Central Louisiana and are considering Indonesian or Chinese pianos...

1. Broussard's in New Orleans has (or did have) a really nice 5' Baldwin. It's going to be very close to your budget. Do not look at the older Baldwin they have with the little "c" above the I in the Baldwin name. They deliver to central Louisiana for free.

2. Lafayette Music has a really nice 5'9" Baltimore series Knabe. I don't know which tech does this guy's pianos, but they are markedly better done than the sister store (Red River Music) in Alexandria. The Lafayette store routinely runs an ad at the start-up of Piano Buyer and says they will meet any written price on a Yamaha or Knabe. BTW, the Knabe is within your budget. They deliver to central Louisiana for free.

3. Check with Steve Gitz in Lafayette at Gitz Music, and see if he has something used (although that may be where you found the Kawai). They deliver to central Louisiana for free.

If you are holding out for Japanese Kawai, there is a private owner KG-1 in Lafayette and a D.H. Baldwin (Kawai???) in Vicksburg, offered by private sellers.


Thanks, man. That is great info! You really have the 411 for pianos in Louisiana! Do you know a good piano technician that comes to central Louisiana?
Best,
Tom


Gary Neie in Pineville is good (past president local PTG), but he's getting pretty old, and his ears aren't what they used to be. Still very good at repair and action work.

There are a couple of guys in Lafayette who swing through Cenla on a periodic basis.

And their is a Steinway tech from New Orleans that passes through on a regular schedule, twice a year.


www.coffee-room.com

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Re: Considering purchase of Kawai GM-11 this weekend. [Re: 7notemode] #2203903
12/28/13 08:37 AM
12/28/13 08:37 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 14,228
Louisiana
Jolly Offline
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Originally Posted by 7notemode
Originally Posted by michaelh


Several people here seem to like the new Chinese stuff. If you're not completely opposed to "Made in China" I'd check them out.



I'm comfortable with China/Indonesia manufacture. In fact, I'm grateful for it! There would be no new $10k baby grand options were it not for the efforts of China in the past 10 years. My only other option at a $10K price point is used, and of course that has no warranty and the potential for surprises. There are some great used values out there, but my mom wants new - I know my place, and I can't argue with that! It has actually been an interesting exercise to see what is available. Any choice is going to be some sort of compromise, but that's totally OK with me. Maybe I'm easy to please, but I have now played several 5 foot grands that I could derive plenty of musical pleasure from (kawai, pearl river, broadman, knabe, samick) Some definitely sound and feel better quality than others. At home I have a wonderful Steinway B that has been regulated and voiced to my notion of ideal. Totally worth the effort, but I don't impose that standard on this exercise. It would be interesting if it were possible to do a graph of cost (X) vs. quality (Y) of all piano models for sale. Of course there is no consensus, so it couldn't be done. My point is and from what I have seen, I think there are higher quality and lower quality options that exist at the exact same price point -- in this case, $10K. Of the ones with similar quality, it really comes down to preference of sound and feel. I wish I had more options, but there are advantages to living in a city that don't exist here. My visit ends soon, so I'll have to make a choice pretty soon.


I forgot one piano. Hall's in New Orleans had a 5' Essex that was their primary teaching instrument. It has been tuned and voiced to a fare-thee-well, and is much better than the garden variety Essex. Also within your budget.

Of the pianos I mentioned, if Broussards still has the little Baldwin, it is the best piano, IMHO. It might stretch your budget by almost $1K, but that piano has some nice components ( hard rock maple rim, sitka soundboard, etc.) and it'll durnnear play itself.

I'd rate the Knabe in Lafayette #2. A litle bigger than you wanted, but it's been voiced like no Knabe you've played at that price point...warm and musical, it wants to sing...


www.coffee-room.com

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Re: Considering purchase of Kawai GM-11 this weekend. [Re: 7notemode] #2203908
12/28/13 08:46 AM
12/28/13 08:46 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 14,228
Louisiana
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One more thing...

It's not expensive to ship pianos.

$500 from Dallas to Cenla, maybe $1000 from the East Coast...


www.coffee-room.com

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Re: Considering purchase of Kawai GM-11 this weekend. [Re: 7notemode] #2209454
01/06/14 02:44 PM
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I would steer clear of the very short pianos. I had a GM-12 many years ago and got rid of it because I just wasn't happy with the sound. I would either look for a larger used piano or maybe check out a new full-size upright. The Kawai K-series is very nice. Maybe give a K5 or K6 a shot.


Kawai RX-6 BLAK

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