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Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI #2496564
01/03/16 05:15 AM
01/03/16 05:15 AM
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moonshining6 Offline OP
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Hello,

I am new here and about to buy a used grand piano in a local dealer where I found two options there after looking at them:

1. LESTER(Length: 162cm).As I can't find the series# in it,not sure about its model# and production year.As this brand went out of its business in 1960,I am a little worried if it is too aged,which might shorten its remaining useful life,although the dealer says it is well maintained inside and not too much used, so no need to rebuild and they will only do the recondition on its appearance such as spray and clean the dust.The sound is very mellow like singing,the touch is also very good.But surprisingly each key is shorter than the one in other pianos,i.e.the length of the black key is 9cm long but 9.5cm in other piano.Same case for white keys and I wonder if it would be inconvenient when playing some classic piece of work.Also,not like other pianos,there is no trade mark inside the keyboard cover but I noticed its action stamped with a leather belt which has a mark of "BOESENDORFER".The dealer asks for around $10k after the currency convertion including importing tax,VAT,etc.

2.KAWAI GE20,special edition,2007. Very new according to dealer's rating, it can be 9.9 new. $11K.The sound and touch are also good and it fits well to my playing habit.I am used to touching keys hard and this one won't sound harsh when striking the key too much.

Frankly speaking, I prefer the LESTER if the problems concerned above won't be a big deal.Appreciate if you could give me some adivce.If both of them are not right for me,I will take a look at others. Thank you.

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Re: Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI [Re: moonshining6] #2496603
01/03/16 09:20 AM
01/03/16 09:20 AM
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Georgia, United States
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Age makes a significant difference. This is what was written by Steve Chandler, another member on this forum:

(Age is a factor for many reasons. A piano is made of wood, leather, felt, metal and glue, all of it under significant pressure (the strings). The biggest factor is aging a piano is swings of humidity between humid summers and dry winters. This will tend to deteriorate the cells of the wood in the sound board. Eventually the sound board loses its crown and its ability to project a good sound. The strings will rust, and over years (20 to 50 depending on use) their sound will deteriorate. With use the hammers compact. Over many years the pin block will lose its ability to hold the strings in tune. Dust and detritus will settle into the action, and the felt in the action will compact. In addition any springs or strings can and will deteriorate over time. All of this assumes reasonable care and maintenance. It only gets worse with neglect. And this is why it's important to have a used piano inspected by a knowledgeable technician. It's also important to know exactly what was done when a seller claims a piano was refurbished or rebuilt.)

If the piano is all original, you may want to find out when it was actually built. Even if it was very well maintained/less used, a piano may not hold up for over 75 years (this depends of course). I haven't personally tried this particular model of Kawai, but Kawai pianos are excellent. But in the end, it is all your preference/whichever one you like better. Are you narrowing your search down to these, as the Kawai RX-1 may be a possibility as a big step up from the GE20? Where are you located?


Music Lover: "Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever."
Baldwin Model R.

Currently Working On:
Chopin Scherzo No.2, Op.31 (Scherzo in B flat m)
Re: Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI [Re: moonshining6] #2496674
01/03/16 01:14 PM
01/03/16 01:14 PM
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Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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Hello, and welcome to Piano World!

I agree with GB on the age factor, but age is just one part of the condition equation.

Also, and this is just my unprofessional opinion, I think the price of the Lester is excessively high for what it is... if fact, at that price, I'd go for the Kawai in a NY minute for another $1K. I'm not sure where you're from, or the pre-owned piano market there, but I just don't see paying $10K for a piano that would sell for around $3K to $5K in my neck of the woods (if that much). And, I doubt someone removed the Bosendorfer decal on the fall-board and replaced it with a Lester decal, but stranger things have happened, I suppose. smile

Now, the flip side of that opinion (other side of the coin) is that if you really like the Lester, and there are no more options in your area, then go for it! smile

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: Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI [Re: Rickster] #2496689
01/03/16 01:46 PM
01/03/16 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
Hello, and welcome to Piano World!

I agree with GB on the age factor, but age is just one part of the condition equation.

Also, and this is just my unprofessional opinion, I think the price of the Lester is excessively high for what it is... if fact, at that price, I'd go for the Kawai in a NY minute for another $1K. I'm not sure where you're from, or the pre-owned piano market there, but I just don't see paying $10K for a piano that would sell for around $3K to $5K in my neck of the woods (if that much). And, I doubt someone removed the Bosendorfer decal on the fall-board and replaced it with a Lester decal, but stranger things have happened, I suppose. smile

Now, the flip side of that opinion (other side of the coin) is that if you really like the Lester, and there are no more options in your area, then go for it! smile

Good luck, and keep us informed!

Rick


Yeah, I felt the price was high as well. As a matter of fact, there was a 7 foot Lester Semi-Concert Grand that was rebuilt and was being sold for 1500 in Atlanta. I couldn't jump on that deal, but still, Lester pianos haven't been made in a long time, and if that hasn't been rebuilt, that asking price is very high.


Music Lover: "Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever."
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Chopin Scherzo No.2, Op.31 (Scherzo in B flat m)
Re: Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI [Re: GB Piano Lover] #2496833
01/04/16 12:23 AM
01/04/16 12:23 AM
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moonshining6 Offline OP
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Hi GB Piano Lover,

Thanks for your reply.

I am in Shanghai,China.You are right.Age is really the factor concerned and that's why it is quite difficult for me to make the decision.

There is no KAWAI RX1 in that dealer's storage currently,but a RX2 GEU limited edition which is 178cm long and the size is too big for my room.Around $16k.Also an ATLAS ag500wcp,150cm long, 1995,special edition, $13.5k,vintage appearance with a keyboard made of elephant's tusk and ebony.

Plenty of upright pianos there to choose but as I prefer a grand piano, not too many options for me right now.

Re: Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI [Re: Rickster] #2496841
01/04/16 01:24 AM
01/04/16 01:24 AM
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moonshining6 Offline OP
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Hi Rickster,

Thanks for your reply.

I feel the same that the price asked for LESTER is too high because instead of being rebuilt, only the recondition work will be done.

I am in Shanghai, China. I took a tour in the local retail stores and found the pianos imported from abroad in new condition are much more expensive than the ones produced within country due to importing tax and VAT.That’s why I am looking for a well-maintained pre-owned piano.

There is a LESTER trade mark on the steel board so the dealer regards it as a LESTER piano.He told me when he saw it and heard its sound he decided to make the purchase without considering the brand and he didn’t know the action is from BOESENDORFER until he checked the inside. He said he wouldn’t trade the piano which has a poor condition.Their technician also recommended this piano to me saying the age is not quite a problem as its sound and touch are so nice which indicates a good quality and he will do the tuning to make it much better and those pianos from Europe can hold up for 100-150 years and 70 years for pianos from Japan. But honestly I doubt it after reading the article concerning age posted by GB piano lover.

If only the forum had a pic function, then I could post some pic taken from the dealer to let you see its appearance and inside. Maybe this LESTER has ever been rebuilt by its pre-owner and equipped with a BOESENDORFER action, which made it reborn. No idea...

Re: Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI [Re: moonshining6] #2496849
01/04/16 01:55 AM
01/04/16 01:55 AM
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BDB Offline
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There is a picture function on this board. But this piano sounds like there is a lot of fakery going on with it. Bösendorfer has not made actions for over 100 years, so it would not have a Bösendorfer action. Most Lester pianos were no better than average quality pianos.

I suggest you avoid it.


Semipro Tech
Re: Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI [Re: BDB] #2496857
01/04/16 02:34 AM
01/04/16 02:34 AM
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moonshining6 Offline OP
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Hi BDB,

Thanks for your reply.

I have the same doubt as you but the dealer said maybe this piano is a special edition.

I can only find the "Enter an image" function on the board,which requires to enter a URL, but the pics are stored in my computer not a URL and seems no upload function here.

Re: Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI [Re: moonshining6] #2496858
01/04/16 02:43 AM
01/04/16 02:43 AM
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Posts: 26,692
Oakland
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Semipro Tech
Re: Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI [Re: moonshining6] #2496876
01/04/16 05:28 AM
01/04/16 05:28 AM
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moonshining6 Offline OP
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Dear All,

I have uploaded the pic of LESTER in the photo gallery according to forum member BDB's instruction. Thanks!BDB

As the piano is currently under recondition,the dealer can only provide me with the pics taken before such as the trade mark and its action and as I focused too much on playing the piano rather than taking pics,I only took its appearance pic that day cry but the dealer said he would send more pic to me after the work being completed.

Please help me take a look at them.Thank you All!

[img]http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/galleries/2496872.html#Post2496872[/img]

Re: Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI [Re: moonshining6] #2496898
01/04/16 08:42 AM
01/04/16 08:42 AM
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Posts: 133
Georgia, United States
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In my opinion, I would be wary of that dealer. That is not how it would be presented, and if the Atlas piano is the one made in China, I wouldn't recommend that as well, and I feel the price is higher simply for the ivory (which I don't agree with), but this is all my opinion. I would suggest the Kawai GE-20 over the Lester anyday, but to be on the safe side, hiring a piano technician is probably essential in this case.

To other forum members, did Lester continue with the production of their grands along with the Betsy Ross Spinets, or were the grands stopped before?


Music Lover: "Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever."
Baldwin Model R.

Currently Working On:
Chopin Scherzo No.2, Op.31 (Scherzo in B flat m)
Re: Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI [Re: moonshining6] #2496906
01/04/16 09:24 AM
01/04/16 09:24 AM
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Not to sound like a nay-sayer, but that Bosendorfer plate/emblem screwed on to the action frame doesn't look very authentic to me. It would be the equivalent of me putting a BMW emblem over the Chevrolet emblem on my pick-up-truck steering wheel; that wouldn't make my steering assembly a BMW steering assembly.

But stranger things have happened, I guess.

It's interesting that the old American made piano brands are popular/expensive in China. I thought the reputation and quality of the Chinese made pianos were much better now than in the past. Perhaps it's a cultural thing...

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI [Re: GB Piano Lover] #2496918
01/04/16 10:36 AM
01/04/16 10:36 AM
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moonshining6 Offline OP
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The Atlas is made in Japan.This dealer only does the pre-owned piano trade imported from abroad like Japan,Europe,U.S as he believes the sound and touch of those pianos are better than the ones in new condition made in China on the same price level.

I saw a new Baldwin smallest grand piano made within the country in the local retailer is asked for around $11.5K but the imported one made in U.S is much more expensive.I didn't asked about it because it will definitely exceed my budget I can imagine.

Re: Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI [Re: Rickster] #2496922
01/04/16 10:52 AM
01/04/16 10:52 AM
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moonshining6 Offline OP
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When I played it I thought the sound is very special and I didn't know about the Bosendorfer emblem untill the dealer told me.I have to admit it really caught my eyes and made me think maybe this is the reason to make the piano sound mellow.I haven't tried playing on a Bosendorfer piano before because the local retailer requires a reservation for a trial play in its store,so can't do the comparison.

Re: Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI [Re: moonshining6] #2496927
01/04/16 11:06 AM
01/04/16 11:06 AM
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That is not a Bösendorfer action. Bösendorfer used Schwander or Rippen actions; the latter is the current supplier. Neither of them used eyelet screws for letoff.


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Re: Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI [Re: BDB] #2496937
01/04/16 11:29 AM
01/04/16 11:29 AM
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moonshining6 Offline OP
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Thanks for your information,BDB!

If that is the case,the emblem is not reliable.No idea what happened to this piano and as Rick said something strange has happened.

Re: Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI [Re: moonshining6] #2498221
01/07/16 11:37 PM
01/07/16 11:37 PM
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moonshining6 Offline OP
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After contact with Bosendorfer office, they have confirmed that action is not made by them. I am a little sad hearing about it.

Although its sound attracts me a lot,finally I decide not to buy that Lester as the dealer is not willing to low down its price.I will visit the dealer and see KAWAI GE20 GEU again.

Thank you all for your kind advice:)


Re: Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI [Re: moonshining6] #2498226
01/07/16 11:52 PM
01/07/16 11:52 PM
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I should have said Renner actions, not Rippen. Rippen was a piano company, not an action supplier.


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Re: Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI [Re: BDB] #2498234
01/08/16 01:10 AM
01/08/16 01:10 AM
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moonshining6 Offline OP
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Never mind,BDB. Bosendorfer office said their factory doesn't produce action and yes they are using Renner action smile

By the way, I mistakened the GE20 special made version as a GE20 GEU, actually it is not a GEU like RX-2 GEU, but is equipped with a sound decreasing system under the piano and the player can set up the system to make the sound smaller and instead of the black appearance,it is a color piano, so the dealer called it as a special version.

Re: Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI [Re: moonshining6] #2498271
01/08/16 07:35 AM
01/08/16 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by moonshining6

Although its sound attracts me a lot,finally I decide not to buy that Lester as the dealer is not willing to low down its price.I will visit the dealer and see KAWAI GE20 GEU again.


Obviously, the Bösendorfer label on the action is a forgery/scam. Even if the dealer didn't do this himself, he's at least willing to participate in and benefit from the scam, seeing that he doesn't remove the label and even actively points out the "Bösendorfer" action as a feature to achieve a higher selling price.

I would think twice before buying any piano from this dealer.

Re: Advice needed on used grand piano: LESTER vs KAWAI [Re: JoBert] #2498437
01/08/16 08:54 PM
01/08/16 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by JoBert
Originally Posted by moonshining6

Although its sound attracts me a lot,finally I decide not to buy that Lester as the dealer is not willing to low down its price.I will visit the dealer and see KAWAI GE20 GEU again.


Obviously, the Bösendorfer label on the action is a forgery/scam. Even if the dealer didn't do this himself, he's at least willing to participate in and benefit from the scam, seeing that he doesn't remove the label and even actively points out the "Bösendorfer" action as a feature to achieve a higher selling price.

I would think twice before buying any piano from this dealer.


My sentiments entirely. I can't believe he didn't know it was a scam! If he genuinely didn't know, then he isn't much of a dealer.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"

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