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Charles Walter v. Kawai v. Yamaha? #255425
09/25/07 01:07 PM
09/25/07 01:07 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 34
Virginia
P
Paul C Offline OP
Full Member
Paul C  Offline OP
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P

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 34
Virginia
As I posted previously, I have narrowed the purchase for my sons first piano to Kawai K-3, Yamaha U-1 and Charles Walter 1500. Prior to beginning my search, I had never heard of CW and their brochure doesn't give me much confidence (looks like it hasn't been updated since 1980) So please help me through this process. What is so special about the CW vs the other models? Which would you buy? Why? Sound quality and resale are the most import factors.


One day my son will be a great pianist or baseball player. Or he could always end up playing the organ at the stadium. Charles Walter 1500
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Re: Charles Walter v. Kawai v. Yamaha? #255426
09/25/07 03:14 PM
09/25/07 03:14 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,431
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Personally I think the C.W. is so different from the other 2 pianos that there really isn't much of a *comparison*.

Granted, all pianos somehow 'compare', but here you have 2 VERY different tone families, and - if I may say - *quality* groups.

Please make the round one more time and see [hear.. wink ] if my words have any validity for you at all...

Norbert wink


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
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Re: Charles Walter v. Kawai v. Yamaha? #255427
09/25/07 04:11 PM
09/25/07 04:11 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
San Francisco
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FogVilleLad Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
San Francisco
The Walter Piano Company is a small, family run corporation which produces very good quality instruments. Walter Sr. designed their upright, Del Fandrich designed their grands. They do not seem to be particularly web or advertising savvy, but that's not a reason to worry about their products.

You can't go wrong buying any of your three choices.

In general it's tone, touch, appearance, then price. Buy the piano, not the deal. If there's no clear preference at the moment, just be patient and, as Norbert posted, continue to audition.

Re: Charles Walter v. Kawai v. Yamaha? #255428
09/25/07 07:59 PM
09/25/07 07:59 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,418
Dallas, TX
packa Offline
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Dallas, TX
Any concerns about the Walter Piano Company are, in my opinion, groundless. True, they are a bit old-fashioned, but that extends to their concern for quality and craftsmanship too. Not a bad thing for a company that produces a small number of essentially hand-built pianos each year. (Fair disclosure: I have owned a Walter 1500 in the past and loved everything about it).

But I think the question about sound quality is more important here. The Walter, in my opinion, has a completely different sound than the Yamaha or the Kawai and the first question is: which do you prefer? If you prefer the Yamaha or Kawai sound, then go for it and don't look back. But if you find that you prefer the Walter sound, you need have no fear about the company. Keep looking as long as it takes to be sure what you want.


Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718
Re: Charles Walter v. Kawai v. Yamaha? #255429
09/25/07 11:27 PM
09/25/07 11:27 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 190
Oregon
H
Happyshawtrapp Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 190
Oregon
Having shopped down this road before. I decided that I could not tolerate the "brightness" of the Yamaha and I did not see a Kawai. But I ended up buying a Charles Walters. I love it. I have absolutely no regrets what so ever. If you are in the Charles Walters price range, I don'tthink you can go wrong with a walters piano.

Re: Charles Walter v. Kawai v. Yamaha? #255430
09/25/07 11:46 PM
09/25/07 11:46 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 684
Louisiana, USA
swampwiz Offline
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Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 684
Louisiana, USA
The Charles Walter console is an excellent piano, and definitely a cut above the Kawai or Yamaha. It's just a very well manufactured piano, and a former owner, I HIGHLY recommend it for your child.

How good is it? I was so spoiled by my CW that I determined that if I were to get a grand, I would need to get something of equal quality, as I would not be satisfied with an inferior instrument. I predict that your child will think the same way years from now.

Re: Charles Walter v. Kawai v. Yamaha? #255431
09/27/07 03:23 AM
09/27/07 03:23 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 796
Massachusetts
rustyfingers Offline
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rustyfingers  Offline
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Massachusetts
Add me to the list of happy CW owners. I tried smaller Yamahas and Kawaiis than you are looking at, but the Yahamas in particular were too bright for my tastes. If it were me, I wouldn't worry as much about resale value as about tone quality. All of these instruments are well respected, and a knowledgeable buyer should know that. The CW isn't as well known, but it is well respected.

Good luck with your decision.


If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient.
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Re: Charles Walter v. Kawai v. Yamaha? #255432
09/27/07 11:01 AM
09/27/07 11:01 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
Kansas
apple* Offline
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Kansas
the action on the CW's is so responsive and even.. quite remarkable..

i play an old one for choir practice occasionally (maybe 25 yrs) and it still is great.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)
Re: Charles Walter v. Kawai v. Yamaha? #255433
09/27/07 11:31 AM
09/27/07 11:31 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,188
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Online content
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Rich Galassini  Online Content
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,188
Philadelphia/South Jersey
My 2 cents,

The Walter is the finest quality between the pianos.

However, the others are not bad pianos by any stretch. I say buy what you love.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
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Re: Charles Walter v. Kawai v. Yamaha? #255434
09/27/07 01:11 PM
09/27/07 01:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 391
Indianapolis
diinin Offline
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diinin  Offline
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Posts: 391
Indianapolis
Without question, the Walter! They don't need to spend time designing a fancy website or nice brochures. Their pianos sell themselves.


Charles Walter Queen Anne 1520 (polished cherry)
Roland fp-4 (black)
Re: Charles Walter v. Kawai v. Yamaha? #255435
09/27/07 04:43 PM
09/27/07 04:43 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,745
Vancouver B.C. Canada
Rod Verhnjak Offline
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Rod Verhnjak  Offline
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Vancouver B.C. Canada
diinin

I like your comment thumb


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of Fine Heirloom Pianos

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Re: Charles Walter v. Kawai v. Yamaha? #255436
09/27/07 07:22 PM
09/27/07 07:22 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,195
Axtremus Offline
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Axtremus  Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by pdcheek:

... Kawai K-3, Yamaha U-1 and Charles Walter 1500. ...

What is so special about the CW vs the other models? Which would you buy? Why? Sound quality and resale are the most import factors.
Yamaha and Kawai make two orders of magnitude more pianos than Charles Walter. So by comparison, Walter pianos are much rarer. Whether "rarity" translates to "special," or whether ubiquity breeds contempt, that depends on your sentiment.

Sound quality -- entirely a matter of subjective opinion. You listen to them with your own ears, and you judge which one you like to listen to better.

Resale -- Yamaha wins.

Re: Charles Walter v. Kawai v. Yamaha? #255437
09/28/07 12:10 AM
09/28/07 12:10 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,431
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Surrey, B.C.
Quote
Resale -- Yamaha wins.
'Speed of incoming calls' or - 'recovery of money' paid from when new?

Norbert frown


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Charles Walter v. Kawai v. Yamaha? #255438
09/28/07 12:16 AM
09/28/07 12:16 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 144
USA
ASOP Offline
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ASOP  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 144
USA
Axe is dead on Pdcheek. Someone who doesn't carry Yamaha might feel otherwise but that is understandable.

Re: Charles Walter v. Kawai v. Yamaha? #255439
09/28/07 12:18 AM
09/28/07 12:18 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,431
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Norbert  Offline
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Surrey, B.C.
Yeah right - 1 million used grey-market pianos - 'not built for our climate' - yet for sale on seemingly every corner store of the nation, won't make the slightest difference...

Norbert


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Charles Walter v. Kawai v. Yamaha? #255440
09/28/07 12:53 AM
09/28/07 12:53 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,815
West Coast
Craigen Offline
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Craigen  Offline
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Posts: 1,815
West Coast
I agree that the CW will have that domestic tone. You might compare the Baldwin 243 model, features, and price.
The two Japanese models on your list are good performance values if you like the brighter sound.


Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.

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