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New member, searching for a new-to-me grand #2476556
11/02/15 01:16 PM
11/02/15 01:16 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 5
Virginia
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BrianMo Offline OP
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Greetings all - new member here after lurking for a while. Just sold my full-size upright (1926 Gulbransen) and started actively looking for a used grand to replace it with, ideally something around 6' for less than $8K. Got a few on a short list right now, both Yamahas - a G1 and a G3. The G3 falls squarely in the 'grey market' category, which doesn't excite me any...(1965 build, not original for US market). The G1 has a nice light touch, but might be a bit bright in the treble.

Spent an hour playing several in a store yesterday, visiting another place on the way home today.

I'm a mid-grade amateur player (classical, on a Chopin kick right now; jazz mostly Brubeck and the like) and a real amateur tech. Started working on the upright because I could, learned to tune and replaced two strings.

I'll go back to lurk now, and offer a pre-emptive thanks for the forum. I've learned lots of things about other brands, that I've been able to take off my list.

Brian

Last edited by BrianMo; 11/02/15 01:25 PM.

Yamaha G-1, S-90
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Re: New member, searching for a new-to-me grand [Re: BrianMo] #2476564
11/02/15 01:39 PM
11/02/15 01:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,095
Georgia, USA
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Hi Brian, and welcome to Piano World!

Many here will be quick to point out that a 1965 model piano is an oldie... that may well be true, but I own a 1969 Howard/Kawai 550 (5;10") that wasn't played much and is a fantastic sounding and playing piano. I also own a 1969 Kawai upright, K48A, that is a very nice piano still, in spite of its age.

With that said, I would not pay a lot for an older Yamaha grand, whether it was grey market, refurbished, or whatever.

Many here would disagree with me, but for $8K, you should do pretty well in the used market; although you may have to be patient. I know what it is like to be champing at the bit (as we say here in the south smile ) for a good used grand, but you have to be patient to find the better values.

The used piano dealers will always have a few offerings of used pianos that are not the cream of the crop, and at the top of the retail price range.

Also, I try to stick with a well-known, reputable brand, if possible. Remember, be patient and keep looking until you find what you are looking for... (the newer the better).

Not sure if this helps, but I hope it does. smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: New member, searching for a new-to-me grand [Re: BrianMo] #2477119
11/04/15 08:24 AM
11/04/15 08:24 AM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 5
Virginia
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BrianMo Offline OP
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Rick - thanks much. Here's a semi-stupid question to check my comprehension:

I've tried to compile several "brand reputation" lists for the flavors available around me. Does this grouping pass the sanity test?

Top: Yamaha C series
Middle: Baldwin, Kawai, Yamaha G series
Bottom: Chickering, Hallet Davis, Knabe, Kohler & Campbell, Samick (including all stencil brands), Young Chang, Howard, Wurlitzer, Hardman & Peck

My final choice will be driven by what sounds and feels best, but I'm trying to do a quality cut up front, and based on actual inventory, I think I'm going to end up in the middle brand list.



Yamaha G-1, S-90
Re: New member, searching for a new-to-me grand [Re: BrianMo] #2477121
11/04/15 08:29 AM
11/04/15 08:29 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,699
Kuwait
PhilipInChina Offline
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I wouldn't put Kawai below Yamaha.

Be patient. There are plenty around. Your last sentence is bang on!


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: New member, searching for a new-to-me grand [Re: BrianMo] #2477122
11/04/15 08:41 AM
11/04/15 08:41 AM
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Philadelphia, PA
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jdw Offline
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Many would think you have Baldwin underrated there. But of course, I'm biased.


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Chopin, Waltz in E minor (op. posth.)
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
Mendelssohn, Op. 19 no. 2
Re: New member, searching for a new-to-me grand [Re: BrianMo] #2477134
11/04/15 09:13 AM
11/04/15 09:13 AM
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New York City
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I'm pretty sure Kawai has several quality levels to their pianos and the best would be equal to the Yamaha C.

Re: New member, searching for a new-to-me grand [Re: BrianMo] #2477146
11/04/15 09:53 AM
11/04/15 09:53 AM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 5
Virginia
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BrianMo Offline OP
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Thanks - you do have a point regarding Kawai - I've seen the RX/GX series ranked with the Yamaha C, and the GE lumped in with the Yamaha Gs. My challenge is fitting in the older models that don't correlate very well.

Patient....yeah, kind of. My conclusion while playing a few nights ago was "if my S-90 was a piano, I wouldn't buy it"...but that's not really what it is for.

I'll probably make it another few weeks before pulling a trigger.


Yamaha G-1, S-90
Re: New member, searching for a new-to-me grand [Re: BrianMo] #2477178
11/04/15 11:58 AM
11/04/15 11:58 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 599
Arkansas
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Hi BrianMo,

This is obviously at a dealer but if I were looking in your price range I would be interested in checking this one outand having it evaluated.

http://richmond.craigslist.org/msd/5280592395.html

You are luck there are a number of places to shop in your part of the country.


David



Re: New member, searching for a new-to-me grand [Re: BrianMo] #2477184
11/04/15 12:27 PM
11/04/15 12:27 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 5
Virginia
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BrianMo Offline OP
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David - yes, that one is on my list, even though it is about three hours from here. Means I have to add a higher moving cost, of course. Kind of an amusing statement on dealer pricing, though...

Their website lists that piano for $16,800 - at the same time they are running a Craigslist ad for $7,990.

odd.

Brian


Yamaha G-1, S-90
Re: New member, searching for a new-to-me grand [Re: BrianMo] #2477189
11/04/15 12:45 PM
11/04/15 12:45 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,095
Georgia, USA
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Originally Posted by BrianMo
Kind of an amusing statement on dealer pricing, though...

Their website lists that piano for $16,800 - at the same time they are running a Craigslist ad for $7,990.

odd.

Brian

Welcome to the wild and crazy world of piano shopping! smile

What you just described is one of the many tactics/antics/ploys/strategies used by piano dealers. It is like a chess game of moves and counter moves in an effort to win (make a sale) smile .

Chances are, if you get to look at that piano and like it, you may well get it for less. The higher price on the dealer's website was likely for someone wanting to trade something in...

Also, for the record, I'm not knocking or criticizing used piano dealers... it's just that my interest in pianos has led me to realize/experience many of these tactics. And, not all piano dealers are the same, or fit the same mold.

Another popular tactic/ploy used by used piano dealers, especially on Craigslist, is to advertise a piano under the guise of being a private seller/owner rather than a dealer. That happens quite often on the Atlanta Craigslist, and mostly by the same dealers.

Some popular slogans are:
Moving, must sell
Downsizing, must sell
Son or daughter no longer plays, must sell
I have medical bills to pay, must sell
My great uncle stumped his toe, must sell wink grin

Well, you get the picture.

Good luck, and keep us informed.

Rick



Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: New member, searching for a new-to-me grand [Re: BrianMo] #2477194
11/04/15 12:57 PM
11/04/15 12:57 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 5
Virginia
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BrianMo Offline OP
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Virginia
Rick - a similar game here. The Craigslist ad doesn't say "dealer", and unless you realize that someone in the town of Glen Allen seems to have quite a few used pianos to sell, or compare the phone number listed to the dealer's number, you can't tell.

There are a few dealers around here I've written off because of how they advertise. Same piano (picture) on two different ads, use of the same serial number on different pianos, prices that mix and match... all smells a bit - shady - and not someone I am interested in dealing with.

In the end game, I'm planning to show up with a wad o' cash that matches what I am willing to pay. Something about actual hard money that tends to make people say "yes" faster.


Yamaha G-1, S-90
Re: New member, searching for a new-to-me grand [Re: BrianMo] #2477201
11/04/15 01:23 PM
11/04/15 01:23 PM
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Reseda, California
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Originally Posted by BrianMo
I've tried to compile several "brand reputation" lists for the flavors available around me. Does this grouping pass the sanity test?


The big trouble with that kind of list is that brand quality varies over time. For instance, Knabe up to 1929 was in the same league with Steinway and Baldwin. 1930 to 1985 they were owned by Aeolian, and were mid-range. Some time thereafter, the name only was sold for use on new Asian pianos. The Baldwin name, too, changed hands in the late 1980's, IIRC.

The other issue is that other than new pianos, the initial build quality is pretty much irrelevant. It's trumped by the condition of the individual instrument. When you find something you like, have your own tuner/tech check it for you.

Another thing to think about is how much room you can devote to a piano. Used concert grands can be a real bargain, because so few people are willing to deal with the size. I got mine for $6500.



-- J.S.

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Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
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Re: New member, searching for a new-to-me grand [Re: BrianMo] #2477326
11/04/15 09:26 PM
11/04/15 09:26 PM
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Posts: 599
Arkansas
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supersport Offline
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Wow that is certainly a variation on the bait and switch, just change the price on the same piano. Maybe it's an honest mistake in the listing. Definitely requires extra caution. Sounds like you have been ferreting out some shadiness already.


David



Re: New member, searching for a new-to-me grand [Re: BrianMo] #2477367
11/05/15 12:39 AM
11/05/15 12:39 AM
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California, USA
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musicpassion Offline
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Originally Posted by BrianMo
I've tried to compile several "brand reputation" lists for the flavors available around me. Does this grouping pass the sanity test?

Top: Yamaha C series
Middle: Baldwin, Kawai, Yamaha G series
Bottom: Chickering, Hallet Davis, Knabe, Kohler & Campbell, Samick (including all stencil brands), Young Chang, Howard, Wurlitzer, Hardman & Peck
Nope, doesn't pass the test. Yamaha C series isn't the top of anyone's chart. A Shigeru Kawai outclasses a Yamaha C series. A very nice Young Change might be nicer than a dumpy Yamaha.

Try the Piano Buyer - it's linked at left. It has a chart you might find usefull, and it's about as good as such a thing can be.

Quote
My final choice will be driven by what sounds and feels best, but I'm trying to do a quality cut up front, and based on actual inventory, I think I'm going to end up in the middle brand list.
You are trying to make something simple which isn't simple. It's not a television. It's an instrument.


Pianist and Piano Teacher
Re: New member, searching for a new-to-me grand [Re: BrianMo] #2477381
11/05/15 02:11 AM
11/05/15 02:11 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,699
Kuwait
PhilipInChina Offline
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In UK a trader posing as a private seller is actually breaking the law. Perhaps you need more laws and more lawyers in USA.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: New member, searching for a new-to-me grand [Re: BrianMo] #2477385
11/05/15 02:46 AM
11/05/15 02:46 AM
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Originally Posted by BrianMo
Thanks - you do have a point regarding Kawai - I've seen the RX/GX series ranked with the Yamaha C, and the GE lumped in with the Yamaha Gs. My challenge is fitting in the older models that don't correlate very well.


The Yamaha G's were replaced by the C's which were then replaced by the Cx's recently. The current GB & GC's aren't related to the old G's. The GB & GC's are Yamaha's budget/smaller baby-grands. The G, C, Cx are their best mass produced pianos, then they have their handmade/concert pianos like the S and CF series. And then I think there was a series before the G from the back in the 60's that would say "Nippon Gakki" on the plate, but don't quote me.

Here's a thread about G's and C's: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubb...aha%20G%20series%20vs.%20C%20series.html

Kawai's equivalent of the G/C/Cx are the KG -> GS -> RX -> GX. Then their budget line/small baby-grands are the GM and GE.
http://www.kawaius-tsd.com/pages/old_grands.html - Also note somewhere around 2004? Kawai changed the actions in the RX's.

It is pretty confusing. I wish they at least started the budget lines with another character besides "G." When I first heard about the new Kawai GX I thought "oh, it starts with G (for garbage), must be one of their budget pianos," but it isn't by any means.




Last edited by michaelha; 11/05/15 02:48 AM.
Re: New member, searching for a new-to-me grand [Re: musicpassion] #2477421
11/05/15 07:40 AM
11/05/15 07:40 AM
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First Town, First State
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Originally Posted by musicpassion
Originally Posted by BrianMo
I've tried to compile several "brand reputation" lists for the flavors available around me. Does this grouping pass the sanity test?

Top: Yamaha C series
Middle: Baldwin, Kawai, Yamaha G series
Bottom: Chickering, Hallet Davis, Knabe, Kohler & Campbell, Samick (including all stencil brands), Young Chang, Howard, Wurlitzer, Hardman & Peck
Nope, doesn't pass the test. Yamaha C series isn't the top of anyone's chart. A Shigeru Kawai outclasses a Yamaha C series. A very nice Young Change might be nicer than a dumpy Yamaha.

I love posts like this (in moderation) with loads of mis-information and judgements based on emotion.

First, the Yamaha CX series is not the equivalent of the Shigeru. However, the Yamaha CF series certainly is.

Second, I do agree that the Piano Buyer is a great resource for relative levels of quality. Apparently this poster did not actually bother to read it.


Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
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Re: New member, searching for a new-to-me grand [Re: pianoloverus] #2477428
11/05/15 08:08 AM
11/05/15 08:08 AM
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Posts: 24,220
New York City
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I'm pretty sure Kawai has several quality levels to their pianos and the best would be equal to the Yamaha C.
I should have said whatever Yamaha line is second from the top and not the Yamaha C.

The Shigeru Kawai and highest level Yamaha are around equal.

Re: New member, searching for a new-to-me grand [Re: musicpassion] #2477432
11/05/15 08:15 AM
11/05/15 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by musicpassion
Quote
My final choice will be driven by what sounds and feels best, but I'm trying to do a quality cut up front, and based on actual inventory, I think I'm going to end up in the middle brand list.
You are trying to make something simple which isn't simple. It's not a television. It's an instrument.
Actually, I think the poster's approach was very reasonable even if their list was off. In fact, I think it's the way many approach piano buying...they realize they can't afford the absolute best because of price and look for something in the middle range of quality.

Re: New member, searching for a new-to-me grand [Re: BrianMo] #2477433
11/05/15 08:17 AM
11/05/15 08:17 AM
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There was a time when I didn't know what I really wanted, or what a good quality piano was, that I could afford. You read all kinds of opinions (subjective mostly) here on Piano World.

The first grand I had was a "Tokai"; an obscure, rarely heard of brand made in Japan primarily during the 1980s. What little history I could find on the Tokai (which wasn't much) said that the Tokai was the result of a group of folks who formerly worked for Kawai in Japan and decided to strike out on their own.

My Tokai was not a bad piano... not as good as my Yamaha C7 (by a long shot) or my older Howard/Kawai 550, or my Baldwin R (circa 1998/99; which is trash according to some here on PW smile ). But I got a lot of mileage out the Tokai and had a boat-load of fun with it. And, the guy who bought it from me was a classically trained pianist who loved the way it sounded and played and seemed thrilled with it when he bought it. So, it couldn't have been all that bad.

Ironically, some of the dealers here, who were so critical of the Tokai, sold them when they were "not so bad". Yet, they were very critical of the brand. I wonder why they were not so critical when they were selling them to the general public. Oh well, that's one of those dealer things that I don't understand. They will sell one brand for a while, the greatest thing since sliced bread, and then drop the brand, and suddenly the brand was trash. What about all the customers they sold the trashy brand to??? Profits made and water under the bridge, I guess.

I agree with John Sprung... what matters is what is in front of you that pleases you a lot, puts a smile on your face and helps you sleep well at night. laugh

Hey, what happened to "a good pianist can make any piano sound good"? smile

It's all beyond me...

Wishing you the best, Brian!

Rick

P.S. My opinions are my own, and not that of Piano World.


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: New member, searching for a new-to-me grand [Re: BrianMo] #2477436
11/05/15 08:20 AM
11/05/15 08:20 AM
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Kawai and Yamaha are very similar in quality and price, at the various levels. Unless you are very unlucky you won't go wrong with either. So play about a zillion of them and choose the one you like!


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"

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