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Kawai K500 in black/nickel finish
#2565748 08/24/16 05:20 PM
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Hi, this is my first posting on this site, but I've enjoyed reading through other postings. I'm looking to buy a piano for both my daughter (7 years old, lessons for 4 months) and myself (>7 years old ;-), studied somewhat seriously for about 10 years (London College of Music Grade 8), through my early 20's; haven't played in 20 years; enjoy Beethoven, Field, Chopin, as well as ragtime and traditional Irish/Cape Breton music). Opinion seems to be very divided on Chinese pianos (love Ritmueller, hate Pearl River - huh?). My ears loved Schimmel, but my wallet won't go there. So I think I'm going Japanese. I'm drawn to the Kawai sound, more than Yamaha, and I've got a few questions. Let me start with this:

It seems to me that there's a real step-change in going from the K300 to K500, even more than from the K200 to K300. That sonorous bass (K500) is fantastic, and is everything I felt was lacking in the pianos I grew up playing in Ireland (e.g., refurbished Geo. Russell). The dealer where I played them all side-by-side felt that it was the 200 that was the outlier, and there was only a slight edge between 300 and 500. I'm in the Boston (Massachusetts) area where prices are around U$7k (300) - US$8.5 (500), including delivery and in-home tuning. So with negotiating I might be able to drop it another 10% (it's already about 20% below Fine's SMP). Now, I'm clear that the 200 is not what I want, but I'm looking for some validation here. There's still a difference of >$1000 between 300 and 500, which is real money - do you think it's worth it? (Yes, I know it's subjective - I want your subjective opinion.)

Many thanks,

IrishRags


Kawai K-500
Re: Kawai K500 in black/nickel finish
IrishRags #2565757 08/24/16 06:07 PM
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I was basically one phone call away from finalizing buying a K500 since for the price, nothing I had tested could compete (the wife vetoed my decision and we went with a piano that was way above my budget). Both the K300 and U1 were decent playing pianos, but neither really impressed me. Adding in the bass of the K500 really opened up the sound over the K300, and gave it a much more satisfying full-bodied tone.

As for prices, the lowest price the dealer would give me was $1000 CAD (~$750 USD) over the lowest price of the K300, which is definitely a much smaller difference than what you are looking at, so for me it would have definitely been worth it.

Re: Kawai K500 in black/nickel finish
IrishRags #2565817 08/24/16 10:27 PM
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I recently played a new K500. I found the tone tone a little dark for my taste, but otherwise was quite impressed with this piano. To me, it was much more satisfying than the K300 next to it. Just my two cents, but for such a small difference in price, I'd go for the 500.

Trust your gut smile

Re: Kawai K500 in black/nickel finish
IrishRags #2565820 08/24/16 10:50 PM
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Thanks for the feedback, guys. A follow on question: my wife hates the look of shiny black lacquer! She's pushing for the matte black finish,with nickel trim. It's a $500 upcharge. Anyone know how it weathers over time?


Kawai K-500
Re: Kawai K500 in black/nickel finish
IrishRags #2565873 08/25/16 06:28 AM
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Does this mean you have to buy a piano you haven't actually played, to get that finish?


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Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Kawai K500 in black/nickel finish
IrishRags #2565884 08/25/16 07:34 AM
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It's a little confusing which piano you eventually bought. Was it the K500 or as you said something above your budget?

I have a High Gloss Black polyester Blüthner upright. It is essential to feather duster it at least weekly and to use smooth linear strokes with a microfibre cloth Buy a Cory one with Cory High Gloss polish on this forum shop)

Only clean the piano yourself and then you have only yourself to blame for any scratches.

I too was concerned that moving from a mahogany finish to a high gloss would upset my wife as she has never see it before it arrived!

She loves the finish as do I and I could shave in its high gloss!

Ian

Last edited by Beemer; 08/25/16 07:42 AM.

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2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: Kawai K500 in black/nickel finish
terminaldegree #2565886 08/25/16 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by JazzyJamMan
I recently played a new K500. I found the tone tone a little dark for my taste...

I suspect that it sounds best a little dark and might end up a mess of metallic overtones if it brightens up too much. I'll confirm in a few more years. smile

Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Does this mean you have to buy a piano you haven't actually played, to get that finish?

Not if he finds a gloss black example that sounds good then lets his wife attack it with sandpaper or chalkboard paint.... thumb


2014 Kawai K-500
1920s Sir Herbert Marshall Sons & Rose upright
Kurzweil PC3LE8 stage piano with Pianoteq 6
Re: Kawai K500 in black/nickel finish
IrishRags #2565971 08/25/16 12:46 PM
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Haven't bought anything yet, though inclined toward 500. Just wondering about how those matte finishes weather over time...


Kawai K-500
Re: Kawai K500 in black/nickel finish
IrishRags #2566061 08/25/16 07:18 PM
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Just keep everything away from the finish regardless of whether it is the poly black or the matte. Scratches aren't trivial for either finish.

The K500 has a much nicer keytop surface than the K300; the same kind they put on the grands.


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