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Help! Is this a fair price for used Kawai K2? #2359400
12/07/14 11:26 PM
12/07/14 11:26 PM
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thestar Offline OP
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Hello. I'm looking for a piano for my eight year old daughter, who has been taking lessons for a year at her grandma's house. She truly loves it, and I've decided to buy one for our home. I cannot afford more than about $2300 for everything (piano plus costs of inspection, moving, first tuning a month after moving).

I found a beautiful used 2010 K2 (ebony). It is one owner, only played by one adult, tuned every six months, all paperwork/records available, transferable full warranty until 2020, sounds wonderful (to my untrained ear), immaculate condition (though still must be verified by a professional inspection of the inside). It seems unusual thus far in my search to come across such a well-kept, recently manufactured, high-quality piano with the warranty intact.

They originally paid a little over $4000, and their asking price was $2600. I offered the most I could pay: $2000 (to allow for the additional costs of inspection, moving, etc.). They responded with a counter-offer of $2200, which would bring the total I'd spend to about $2500. I'd have to borrow money from someone to pay that extra $200, which I don't want to do, BUT if $2200 (plus about $300 for other costs) is a steal for a piano with the above specs, it might be worth it. Let me know what you think!

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Re: Help! Is this a fair price for used Kawai K2? [Re: thestar] #2359406
12/07/14 11:54 PM
12/07/14 11:54 PM
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Posts: 4,601
Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
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Seems like a fabulous price to me. I'd hurry, as that piano isn't going to be around long in most markets...


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Help! Is this a fair price for used Kawai K2? [Re: terminaldegree] #2359414
12/08/14 12:54 AM
12/08/14 12:54 AM
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thestar Offline OP
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Thanks for your reply. The owner has actually been trying to sell it for several months, and I was the first person to come look at the piano. Other than that she's just had some people call.

I so wish I didn't have to worry about moving costs, but I will only hire a good company and it will end up costing $250ish, if not more. If I pay the $2200, my total costs will be at least $2500. But if that's still a great deal, I'll likely move forward with the purchase.

Re: Help! Is this a fair price for used Kawai K2? [Re: thestar] #2359422
12/08/14 02:13 AM
12/08/14 02:13 AM
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Auckland New Zealand
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Robert 45 Offline
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Welcome to Piano World!
It seems an excellent deal on an almost new piano. You are absolutely doing the right thing and I hope that everything works out smoothly for you.

Regards,

Robert.

Re: Help! Is this a fair price for used Kawai K2? [Re: thestar] #2359495
12/08/14 09:56 AM
12/08/14 09:56 AM
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KurtZ Offline
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I wish I had found a deal like this when I was shopping with a budget of $3000. One owner, light usage and well maintained, it's a keeper.

Kurt


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Co-owner (by marriage) and part time customer service rep at an electronic musical equipment repair shop.
Re: Help! Is this a fair price for used Kawai K2? [Re: thestar] #2359546
12/08/14 12:56 PM
12/08/14 12:56 PM
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thestar Offline OP
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Thanks all. You have given me a lot of confidence in this purchase. This is a wonderful forum. I went ahead and accepted her offer, and unless the piano tech finds something very unexpected (highly unlikely), the piano is mine. It will be the surprise of my daughter's life! I am so excited.

Re: Help! Is this a fair price for used Kawai K2? [Re: thestar] #2359547
12/08/14 12:59 PM
12/08/14 12:59 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,660
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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Originally Posted by thestar
Thanks all. You have given me a lot of confidence in this purchase. This is a wonderful forum. I went ahead and accepted her offer, and unless the piano tech finds something very unexpected (highly unlikely), the piano is mine. It will be the surprise of my daughter's life! I am so excited.


We feel and share your excitement. Congratulations!

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Help! Is this a fair price for used Kawai K2? [Re: thestar] #2359583
12/08/14 02:44 PM
12/08/14 02:44 PM
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BornInTheUSA Offline
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Congrats! Yes, it isn't everyday that you can find a Kawai K series with only a few years on it selling for about half price! Kawai makes great pianos, I have one too. Having a good instrument, especially with a nice action like Kawai's, will definitely have a positive impact on her playing. What a great Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa present. She's going to be stoked!

Re: Help! Is this a fair price for used Kawai K2? [Re: thestar] #2359630
12/08/14 04:40 PM
12/08/14 04:40 PM
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Posts: 422
Los Angeles, Ca.
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Carbonblob Offline
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congrats too!

My bro bought a K2 the same time I purchased my piano in 2012. I played several K2's when helping him decide what model to purchase. If I had to have an upright, this would be the one. I was very impressed with the tone and action. I played several in different dealerships across California. Kawai has won numerous awards for this model and it's very popular. Provided the piano checks out, you got a really good deal. It's never fun to over extend but as others have mentioned, you'll be doing a greater service for your little girl's musical future. A great piano like this will help develop her technical skills and inspire her to continue. You're a good parent! .........blob


KAWAI RX-3 BLAK
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Re: Help! Is this a fair price for used Kawai K2? [Re: thestar] #2359733
12/08/14 09:58 PM
12/08/14 09:58 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,900
SoCal
Plowboy Offline

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SoCal
I had a K-2 for several years. If I was smart, I'd probably still have it and have quite a bit more money in my bank account. It held a tune quite well. It needed a bit of voicing after a couple of years, and it responded well to that. The action was really nice. My technician had it playing and sounding really nice.


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
Re: Help! Is this a fair price for used Kawai K2? [Re: thestar] #2360067
12/09/14 10:02 PM
12/09/14 10:02 PM
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thestar Offline OP
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Great stories! Thanks for the encouragement. I do feel like a rather wonderful parent right now smile From everything I've read here and elsewhere, the K2 is the ideal choice for someone who is serious about playing long-term on a well-made piano but is on a rather strict budget.

The technician did actually find something unexpected--he was testing things using his instrument and something seemed "off" (the best way I can describe it, sorry), and the piano was quite out of tune, so he opened it up and found the original manufacturer's bag of silica still in there--which should have been removed by the store prior to selling five years ago! He removed it right away and said it's a good thing he discovered it because the stresses of moving and adjusting to a new climate with it in there, especially in winter, could have led to cracks in the soundboard (or something along those lines). He said the soundboard is intact, no cracks, but is dried out, and he advised me to put a few mason jars filled with water in the piano once it arrives. He said he'll tune it up nicely about a month later.

Knowing next to nothing about the internal workings of pianos, I'm wondering if any of you have feelings about this. I like the technician a lot and he seems very trustworthy, so don't misconstrue this as me doubting his expertise, but I'm interested in hearing a few other opinions. I'm mostly curious as to whether or not that intense drying out of the inside of the piano for about five years could have "weakened" anything in some sort of way that could lead to something failing down the road sooner than it otherwise would have. Any thoughts? Would an issue like this give you pause before buying?

Re: Help! Is this a fair price for used Kawai K2? [Re: thestar] #2360081
12/09/14 10:39 PM
12/09/14 10:39 PM
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thestar Offline OP
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I should add: I just looked at my notes and saw that I jotted down "crown not as many varying degrees" when talking with the technician about the silica bag. Not sure if that is meaningful information or is just hastily written gibberish on my part that would only make sense explained by him...

Re: Help! Is this a fair price for used Kawai K2? [Re: thestar] #2360117
12/10/14 01:41 AM
12/10/14 01:41 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 229
Auckland, New Zealand
Ben_NZ Offline
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Auckland, New Zealand
Perhaps it's a bit of both. wink
"Crown" presumably refers to the deliberate curvature of the soundboard (think of it like the shape of an audio speaker cone, projecting sound out the back of the piano). Perhaps the technician is concerned that the soundboard crown could have been affected by the wood shrinking from drying out too much.
I have no idea on whether the jars of water are a good safe and quick way of undoing the dryness. If they do their job they will presumably throw the piano out of tune as the soundboard wood expands, which fits with the tech's plans to wait a month before tuning the piano.

Re: Help! Is this a fair price for used Kawai K2? [Re: thestar] #2360127
12/10/14 02:25 AM
12/10/14 02:25 AM
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Posts: 1,291
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maurus Offline
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To me both the recommendation and the note sound reasonable. My own upright also had (for other reasons) a period of dryness a few years ago, and my technician - a rather competent person - suggested the same, plus taking suitable care of room humidity. After a few months the piano (an old, wonderful Pfeiffer) reacted and became much more stable again than it had been in the dry environment. That was most apparent in tuning though, rather than sound, so I am a little less sure whether the suggestion about crown is a real concern here - but it might.

It is generally a good idea to keep room humidity within a range of about 40-65%.


Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.
Re: Help! Is this a fair price for used Kawai K2? [Re: thestar] #2360336
12/10/14 04:01 PM
12/10/14 04:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 422
Los Angeles, Ca.
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Carbonblob Offline
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thestar,

I thought once a piano loses its crown, it's game over and you can forget tuning stability and producing a decent tone. As for getting the crown back, I thought you had to throw money at it. Maybe a quick search here, on this subject could arm you with facts. When you said, "crown/soundboard" my head went straight to DEFCON 3. As for putting water in the piano, hmm......scary too. Please don't think I'm throwing cold water on this piano. I'm just putting myself in your shoes and in so doing, I'm concerned about your techs findings concerning the soundboard. I'm hoping a tech will chime in and tell me to shut up, it's nothing to worry about. Maurus stated he had the same issue and advice from his tech and all's well now.

Hang in there..........blob


KAWAI RX-3 BLAK
YAMAHA GRANTOUCH GT1
Re: Help! Is this a fair price for used Kawai K2? [Re: thestar] #2361111
12/12/14 09:44 PM
12/12/14 09:44 PM
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thestar Offline OP
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Carbonblob, I did share your concern for a few days, but after much research I think the real issue here might be that I simply chose the wrong technician to do an evaluation. I called around and spoke the dealer who sold the current owner the piano, a Kawai rep, and multiple other local tuners/techs, and was told by all that the things the tech brought up either didn't make sense or were non-issues. Also, I had asked the tech to email a written report after the eval, which we agreed upon before the inspection, and it has been several days and I haven't received it. (I'll have to call him over the weekend). And, he apparently used some type of instrument he invented himself to test for cracks in the soundboard--the seller told me this. I don't know what that could be or if it could do any damage to a piano, which I suppose is doubtful, but it concerns me nonetheless. I'm trying to see this as simply a good learning experience and will likely decide to go with another person for tuning.

maurus, the piano is scheduled to be moved on Monday, and I'm almost certain I'm going to have the Dampp Chaser system installed towards the end of next week by the local technician who is recommended by the company as a certified installer of their systems. I'm considering getting a room humidifier to have up and running when the piano arrives, because the system won't be installed for several days and my house is quite dry in the winter due to my heating system. I don't want to "shock" the piano upon its arrival and am hoping a humidifier will help.

All this to say, I wish I were as knowledgeable as so many of you are here, but I'm spending most of my spare time busily learning smile

Re: Help! Is this a fair price for used Kawai K2? [Re: thestar] #2361309
12/13/14 01:50 PM
12/13/14 01:50 PM
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Los Angeles, Ca.
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Carbonblob Offline
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the star,

My compliments to you for your exhaustive research, way to go. Now there's no doubt about your piano.

I wish I could put a humidifier in my music room, it won't work for my configuration. You must be feeling pretty good knowing you left nothing to chance in terms of evaluating the piano(s). Just shows us, we can learn a lot using this forum. Good move on waiting for the piano to settle. When I was selling the C. Bechstein for my friend, I had it tuned within days of arrival (fearing someone would come to look and the piano be out of tune). Big mistake, I should have let it acclimate, just as you're going to do. Keep us posted!

Later..........blob


KAWAI RX-3 BLAK
YAMAHA GRANTOUCH GT1
Re: Help! Is this a fair price for used Kawai K2? [Re: thestar] #2361353
12/13/14 04:35 PM
12/13/14 04:35 PM
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Arkansas
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supersport Offline
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Congratulations and best wishes to your daughter.

Now you get to research humidifiers! Watch out for the ones that generate "white dust." Possibly they are the ultrasonic cool mist ones?


David



Re: Help! Is this a fair price for used Kawai K2? [Re: thestar] #2361654
12/14/14 06:44 PM
12/14/14 06:44 PM
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Thanks, blob!

Thanks, supersport, and extra thanks for the warning. I wouldn't have known to avoid that--and yes, after doing some reading, it's primarily the cool mist ultrasonics that generate white dust.

I'm so excited about tomorrow that I likely will barely sleep tonight. Just got a giant red bow to put on the piano. Can't wait for the expression on my daughter's face when she first sees it smile


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