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Bohemia upright vs Kohler & Campbell grand?
#233659 09/13/06 03:47 AM
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I'm thinking of buying a nice grand in a couple years, perhaps something like a Mason & Hamlin AA. Unfortunately, I don't happen to have that kind of cash yet, and my electronic keyboard is dying. I think I can swing $4000 - $7000 this year, so I figured that an upright would be my best bet. I'm planning on trying a Bohemia soon, and noticed that one dealer close by has the Professional 125 (50") priced under $7000. I'm guessing that it would be a nice instrument, and that the tone would probably be warmer and more to my taste than a Yamaha. I'll have to play them, of course.

Now I see in the paper an ad for a gently used Kohler & Campbell grand, Model 600, 5'9", for $4000. This is making me pause, since I thought that in this price range a quality upright would be my best bet. If you could have either of these pianos, and if they were both in great shape, which would you take? And why?

I looked at Fine, and was disappointed to read that some of the Kohler & Campbells surveyed had short sustain, small dynamic range, and uneven action. These are the main things that I look for in a piano, besides a singing tone. But things may have improved in recent years. And it is a grand.

Anything else I ought to consider in this range? I'm now in the Seattle area, by the way.


"If I had fingers, I'd be dangerous."
Re: Bohemia upright vs Kohler & Campbell grand?
#233660 09/13/06 09:09 AM
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"for a couple of years". This is a key quote here. I would go for the K&C grand @ $000. You should be able to recover your purchase price when you upgrade.

Bohemia is undoubtedly a better piano, but it's lack of name recognition makes the tradein or sale more difficult.

I would guess that the difference in performance between the two would even out, as the grand action would be superior and the 5'9" size would give pretty decent tone.


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Re: Bohemia upright vs Kohler & Campbell grand?
#233661 09/13/06 09:17 AM
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I agree with Steve on this.

Another option you might want to consider is using the money you have now as a down payment on the M&H and financing the rest. Which option ends up making the most economical sense depends on what kind of financing you could get, and whether the interest paid on the loan is more than what you lose on your trade-in. (If Steve is right that you would recover the price of the K&C, that would imply strongly it would make more sense to buy the K&C first and then save for the M&H.) But you also need to add in non-economic factors, e.g., how much is it worth to you to have the piano of your dreams right now vs. in a few years?

Re: Bohemia upright vs Kohler & Campbell grand?
#233662 09/13/06 10:43 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Anodos:
I'm thinking of buying a nice grand in a couple years, perhaps something like a Mason & Hamlin AA. Unfortunately, I don't happen to have that kind of cash yet, and my electronic keyboard is dying. I think I can swing $4000 - $7000 this year, so I figured that an upright would be my best bet. I'm planning on trying a Bohemia soon, and noticed that one dealer close by has the Professional 125 (50") priced under $7000. I'm guessing that it would be a nice instrument, and that the tone would probably be warmer and more to my taste than a Yamaha. I'll have to play them, of course.

Now I see in the paper an ad for a gently used Kohler & Campbell grand, Model 600, 5'9", for $4000. This is making me pause, since I thought that in this price range a quality upright would be my best bet. If you could have either of these pianos, and if they were both in great shape, which would you take? And why?

I looked at Fine, and was disappointed to read that some of the Kohler & Campbells surveyed had short sustain, small dynamic range, and uneven action. These are the main things that I look for in a piano, besides a singing tone. But things may have improved in recent years. And it is a grand.

Anything else I ought to consider in this range? -I'm now in the Seattle area, by the way.
Samick has been making that K&C since who flung the chunk.

There is a reason that the same model of piano stays in a manufacturer's line for years - it's because it sells.

And this one ( if made in Korea) sold for between 9-10K just a few years ago.

Play the grand. This model was not made for jazz or for cutting through a mix, IMO, so I think you might like the tone. If you like it, have it evaluated by a good tech. You may have found a decent piano at a very good price.


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Re: Bohemia upright vs Kohler & Campbell grand?
#233663 09/13/06 02:03 PM
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Good buys on used grands should be available in your area, if only because so many people move in and out. IMO a used grand is an excellent choice.

The best money you'll ever spend on a used grand is a pre-purchase inspection by an experienced tech who has no affiliation with the seller. Here's a link for locating an R.P.T. in your area: your tech

Re: Bohemia upright vs Kohler & Campbell grand?
#233664 09/14/06 06:10 PM
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Ironically, I owned a Bohemia 125 Professional and upgraded to a K&C 6'1" grand. I bought mine new and it is made in Indonesia.

The Bohemia is a nice upright. Mine had Renner hammers on a Bohemia made action frame. I believe it is an upgrade option so you may want to check this on the one you are looking at. I found the action to be a bit too light for my taste, but the treble notes have a great singing quality.

While myself and my children really liked the Bohemia, we love our K&C. The feel of the action and the deeper fuller tone is really apparent when comparing the two. (of course there is an obvious size difference)

I also read Larry Fine's comments on the K&C's. However I did not experience any of the larger grand models with uneven action or short sustain. His comments have been in the Piano book for years w/o update (I think since 2001). I'm not sure why. I played the 5'9" and I feel it is very nice for the money.

I would reccommend trying one out. I looked at pianos for months prior to buying and I felt that the K&C grands offered the most bang for the buck.

Good Luck.


Kholer & Campbell KCG 650 6'1"
Re: Bohemia upright vs Kohler & Campbell grand?
#233665 09/14/06 06:45 PM
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I own the 5'9" Kohler and campbell KCG 600. Think its a great piano for the money. Sounds like you are being offered a fabulous deal if that piano checks out by a tech! I would'nt hesitate at that price point!

Best wishes

Re: Bohemia upright vs Kohler & Campbell grand?
#233666 09/16/06 05:57 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by FogVilleLad:
The best money you'll ever spend on a used grand is a pre-purchase inspection by an experienced tech who has no affiliation with the seller. Here's a link for locating an R.P.T. in your area: your tech
Thanks for the link! I found a local RPT, and told him what I was thinking. I was surprised by his take on Kohler & Campbell, though:
Quote
They are a low-medium grade piano with a pretty ill-defined tight tone tending to the bright side. Temporary voicing to make them palatable to the ear yields mixed results and is just that; temporary at best. I do not find the actions well-balanced, and tending to be heavy feeling as regards the dynamic weight perceived. As far as the manufacturer, Samick, they produce the K & C brand for Sherman Clay and are the best of the Korean ilk.
Fine's book also has some negative comments on Kohler & Campbell, as did some tuner comments I read online, including a PianoWorld post by cps on this old thread: Yamaha or Kohler & Campbell

So, the reviews are mixed. I guess there's no substitute for actually playing pianos for myself and forming my own opinions, wink assuming that the seller ever gets back to me.


"If I had fingers, I'd be dangerous."
Re: Bohemia upright vs Kohler & Campbell grand?
#233667 09/16/06 06:11 AM
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It seems to me that both these pianos have a lot to offer, but which criteria are most valuable is a matter of preference. Just to let you know where I'm coming from, resale value and appearance are at the bottom of my list. The main things I look for are a beautiful tone (ah, and what's that mean? wink ), long sustain, and great control of nuance and dynamics. The thing that I remember frustrating the @#$! out of me before was trying out cheap pianos that made me fight them in order to produce nuances of expression.

So, forgetting all about resale, finish, the prestige of owning a grand, the question I'm asking is this: which of these instruments will be most musically satisfying when I'm working on a Chopin Ballade or Rachmaninoff Moments Musicaux, or trying to make a Chopin Nocturne really sound like someone singing?


"If I had fingers, I'd be dangerous."
Re: Bohemia upright vs Kohler & Campbell grand?
#233668 09/16/06 08:19 AM
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Bohemia. Definitely.

Not to slight the K&C in any way as I like their instruments, but if you most value action and tone, I'd go for the Bohemia. They really are lovely, warm and a little dark. Very nice actions.

The other side of this is for you to consider, not necessarily share with us.. how can you be sure you will be able to get the better grand in a couple years? Things happen and it could be considerably longer (Man plans, God laughs... laugh ). Which would be more acceptable to you longer term?

Just a thought.. I wonder what renting for that couple years would cost you? Maybe you could move to the better grand immediately..


Michael

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He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'
Re: Bohemia upright vs Kohler & Campbell grand?
#233669 09/17/06 04:06 AM
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mikhailoh, thanks for the good ideas. And thanks to all of you. It's really great to be able to touch base with so many people.

I'm still waiting to try out the Bohemia, and the seller of the Kohler & Campbell doesn't seem interested in replying to me. In the mean-time, I visited Helmer's Music in Bellevue, WA today. I happened by when there were few people in the store, and I had a great time. Terry Winstead was friendly and very cool, and just let me play. I think he realizes that he has products that sell themselves! The Shigeru Kawai SK6 spoiled me for everything else. Hamiltonian, if you're reading this, you're a lucky man. thumb

I think the two uprights I liked best were a Kawai K60 and a Schimmel -- way over my budget. I'm still looking forward to trying the Yamaha U3 and the Bohemias. I brought in some of the music I used to work on when I had a piano to play: a Chopin Nocturne (Op 72 No 1) and a Rachmaninoff transcription of Earl Wild's, and the first Rachmaninoff Moments Musicaux. Unlike most of the uprights, I liked the Schimmel tonally, but the action didn't work quite as well for me. I had to be more careful to pick my fingers off the keys before a repeat. The Kawai seemed a good compromise and a good value.

The real fun was playing the grands. I had never played a Charles Walter before; I wish the treble had more body, but I found the action very responsive. I played a George Steck grand that seemed to be a real bargain; it had a nice sound, but not enough dynamic range for me. I like the responsiveness of the Schimmel grands, and I can't fault them; still, it's just not the sort of sound I'm after. The Kawai grands were nice. There were two used Steinways (I think an M and either an M or an S), and a used Baldwin SF-10. I think the Baldwin would be an overpowering beast in my apartment -- not a subtle instrument, at least not in my hands. There was a used Yamaha C3, and I'm starting to realize that I want a richer, more sustained sound than that. If someone dropped a bag of cash on me, I'd probably have a show-down between Mason & Hamlin AA, Steinway A or B, Shigeru SK6, and Yamaha S6. Perhaps after I have a house to put it in. . . wink


"If I had fingers, I'd be dangerous."
Re: Bohemia upright vs Kohler & Campbell grand?
#233670 09/17/06 09:22 AM
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I love the CW grand action too. IMO, it is very much like the very light and fast Steinways I have played.. both seem to mnake me a better pianist.


Michael

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He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

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