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#2633467 - 04/16/17 01:45 PM Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800  
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Patrick Bauer Offline
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Hi guys,
I'm looking for an accoustic upright piano and really like the K-500. My dealer could order the K-600 or K-800, but is it worth the upgrade?

I know they are slightly taller, but would I need that inside a home? Are things like agraffes important?

I'd like to hear your opinion if its worth to upgrade or if the K-500 is more than enough. I'm a new player (1 year) and like to buy a piano for the next 20-30 years. Thats why I don't want to regret the decision down the line in the next years.

Greetings
Patrick

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#2633483 - 04/16/17 02:31 PM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: Patrick Bauer]  
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Richrf Offline
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Whenever I have questions about my Kawai (UST-7), I call the manufacture directly for discuss information, e.g. construction, materials, etc. They have always been extremely forthcoming and helpful. I believe the resale on a Kawai is quite good, mine is especially well constructed, so that if your taste changes, as it will might, you can still recover part of your investment. I've had my Kawai for 25 years and love it more as time goes on.

#2633489 - 04/16/17 02:52 PM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: Patrick Bauer]  
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Patrick Bauer Offline
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Wouldn't they try to upsell me immediately for the bigger sale? I know that the K-600/800 are better. They are taller and have some nice additions. But I don't know if its worth the higher price.

#2633504 - 04/16/17 03:49 PM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: Patrick Bauer]  
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huaidongxi Offline
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give both pianos a thorough test play before deciding. if you are not confident in your own skill and knowledge, have a teacher or friend who's owned or played different top quality pianos do the test playing. what is the price difference, and how far do you wish to go with your playing ? from your comments you do not intend to change to a grand in your piano future, but should you want to, either piano well maintained will be simple to resell or trade in. the K800 has some features closer to a grand, with its middle pedal and music desk, full duplex scale instead of partial. even so, you might prefer the sound and responsiveness of the less expensive piano.

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#2633506 - 04/16/17 03:52 PM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: Patrick Bauer]  
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terminaldegree Offline
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It's preferable to purchase a piano that you've actually played first. If you're picky, just because you like one example of a model doesn't mean you'll like every example of it (or a different model, for that matter). Tall upright pianos aren't popular in some markets, so if a dealer gets stuck with one (or they order one for you and you decide you don't like it), it could end up sitting on their floor for years.

Also, don't buy based on features in marketing literature alone. Just because a grand piano has a particular part doesn't mean an upright piano with a similar feature is automatically better.

Last edited by terminaldegree; 04/16/17 03:55 PM. Reason: added second paragraph

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#2633508 - 04/16/17 03:59 PM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: Patrick Bauer]  
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Hendrik42 Offline
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Personally, I think the K-300 is already large enough to fill a house with sound. Also I find that the step up from a K-200 is really significant, sound wise.

That said, the K-500 is of course "more" in the bass and in the diskant again vs K-300. I have tried to find out about agraffs myself, my current understanding is that they might have been more important in the past than now to precisely position the string.

So I am not sure about K-600 vs K-500. But a K-600 with sostenuto pedal... :-)


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
#2633520 - 04/16/17 05:04 PM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: Patrick Bauer]  
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Robert 45 Online content
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Welcome to Piano World Patrick Bauer

It is quite difficult to keep up with the changes in Kawai's vertical models. There is no longer a K-600 advertised on Kawai's North American website from which we may infer it is discontinued.

Both the K-600 and the K-800 have agraffes which are the brass studs through which the strings pass near the tuning pins. They help provide stability for the strings in holding them in alignment close to where the hammer strikes. They also provide a clean termination point for the string(s).

It is my guess that they are less important in an upright piano than in a grand piano where the upwards hammer blow can lift strings slightly and contribute to tuning shifts in strings without agraffes.

The Capo d'Astro bar can be used as an alternative means of stabilizing strings and improving the brilliance of tone in the treble section without agraffes of grand pianos.

I agree with the advice above that choosing a piano according to its specifications is unreliable. While some background knowledge is helpful, the more important criteria are how the piano plays and sounds as a musical instrument.

All the best for your piano selection.

Kind regards,

Robert.



Last edited by Robert 45; 04/16/17 05:24 PM.
#2633521 - 04/16/17 05:11 PM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: terminaldegree]  
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Almaviva Offline
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Tall upright pianos aren't popular in some markets, so if a dealer gets stuck with one (or they order one for you and you decide you don't like it), it could end up sitting on their floor for years.


In what markets would tall uprights be unpopular? Why would they be unpopular?

#2633530 - 04/16/17 05:48 PM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: Patrick Bauer]  
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musicpassion Offline
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The larger Kawai uprights are worth the extra money, but that doesn't mean you need the larger, or that it's worth it for you.

As others have already suggested, you should play them. Bring a pianist friend along, and listen to him/her play too. Listening and playing is about the only way to answer if it's worth the extra money for you.


Pianist and Piano Teacher
#2633574 - 04/16/17 10:04 PM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: Almaviva]  
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terminaldegree Offline
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Originally Posted by Almaviva

In what markets would tall uprights be unpopular? Why would they be unpopular?


Much of the US, according to the new piano sales stats that get published regularly in the Music Trades. It probably has to do with average home sizes in this country, combined with the perceived prestige in owning a baby grand of any size/quality.

The tall upright piano I own was new on the sales floor of a Dallas dealer for 5 years.


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#2633601 - 04/17/17 12:31 AM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: Patrick Bauer]  
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PhilipInChina Offline
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Funny that that question has been posed. I don't understand the aversion to tall pianos. All uprights take up effectively the same floor area.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
#2633619 - 04/17/17 03:07 AM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: Patrick Bauer]  
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Patrick Bauer Offline
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Thanks for all your replies so far!
I think I'll have to try out some more models and maybe some dealer will have a K-600/800 in stock (I live in Germany, the K-600 is still available here). Maybe its a good idea to settle with a less expensive model first and upgrade in several years if needed smile

#2633702 - 04/17/17 11:29 AM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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gnuboi Offline
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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
Funny that that question has been posed. I don't understand the aversion to tall pianos. All uprights take up effectively the same floor area.


But vertical visual space is important too. You could hang a nice painting or put a lamp there above a shorter piano when you cannot do the same with a taller one. A large upright is imposing and impacts how you might need to arrange furniture or how cramped you may feel (esp. for us shorter peoples).

Same thing with grands. Suppose I swap out my dining table with a grand piano. Same floor space, but that extra bulk and height of a grand creates a less comfortable feeling.

#2633756 - 04/17/17 01:46 PM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
Funny that that question has been posed. I don't understand the aversion to tall pianos. All uprights take up effectively the same floor area.

Well, we do live in three-dimensional world, afterall...


I do music stuffs
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#2633937 - 04/17/17 09:03 PM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: Patrick Bauer]  
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In my lessons at a small music school I would float between a Kawai K-15, K-3 and K-5. The K-5, in my opinion, was easily the superior piano.

The caveat being that the small K-15 with my teacher playing was head and shoulders above the K-5 with me at the controls.


Gary
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#2634128 - 04/18/17 01:54 PM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: Patrick Bauer]  
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#2634217 - 04/18/17 08:06 PM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: Patrick Bauer]  
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Originally Posted by Patrick Bauer
Thanks for all your replies so far!
I think I'll have to try out some more models and maybe some dealer will have a K-600/800 in stock (I live in Germany, the K-600 is still available here). Maybe its a good idea to settle with a less expensive model first and upgrade in several years if needed smile


One of our guys on TNCR is German and just finished building a new home. He wanted a second piano for the kids to practice on and for him to noodle around on, but he wanted a vertical to put in the corner of their Family Room.

He's not a bad pianist at all and found a Kawai K-300 worked for him.

Of course, he still prefers his Grotrian grand over the Kawai. grin

I think the 500 will do what you want it to do.


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#2635750 - 04/23/17 09:08 PM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: Patrick Bauer]  
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Well I bought a K-500 a month ago and I had the chance to play the K-800 side by side to the K-500. . In a nutshell the sound of the K-800 sounded like the K-500 but much louder. The cost between the two was several thousand dollars. personally I needed the practice petal rather than the sostenuto petal. The K-500 has plenty of sound to fill my great room and i did feel like the sound of the K-800 would overpower the room. I did like the music desk on the K-800 over the K-500. Both are excellent pianos in my humble opinion.

#2635768 - 04/23/17 10:23 PM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: FrankDaddy]  
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k800 has both! sostenuto and a practice rail on a hand lever under the left hand side.
But Yes it is alot more expensive.

I agree tho I think the K500 is the best value in the Kawai range, particularly up against the similarly priced yamaha yus1 at only 121cm tall.

I think the Kawai kills it.

Last edited by pianofactsman; 04/24/17 12:44 AM.
#2635806 - 04/24/17 03:42 AM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: Patrick Bauer]  
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Patrick Bauer Offline
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Thanks, that are the the answers I was looking for smile

If the sound is "roughly" the same, but louder, then I'm more than happy with the K-500. Sure, the sostenuto pedal and the music desk would be nice, but I don't think they are worth several thousand euros / dollars for me.

Good bass response is very important to me. I played on a (very) small grand and was really disappointed by the non-existent bass. I'm sure due to slighly longer strings, the K-800 would provide a bit more bass, but I think that too is not worth the much higher price.

Last edited by Patrick Bauer; 04/24/17 03:42 AM.
#2636405 - 04/25/17 11:41 PM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: Patrick Bauer]  
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But before you buy please spend some time playing the K-500. The 52" seiler that I played may have a hair more bass but the treble was not as clear as the K-500. The treble range in the Kawai really sings. also the neotex key surface on the K500 and above is the same that is on their top of the line grands. Also the K series uprights are build in Japan at the same factory as the Grands. Also Kawai was very open to making a deal and the Seiler dealer was not. I got the K-500 because the bass quality was better than a small grand.

#2636564 - 04/26/17 12:49 PM Re: Kawai K-500 vs K-600 / 800 [Re: terminaldegree]  
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by Almaviva

In what markets would tall uprights be unpopular? Why would they be unpopular?


Much of the US, according to the new piano sales stats that get published regularly in the Music Trades. It probably has to do with average home sizes in this country, combined with the perceived prestige in owning a baby grand of any size/quality.

The tall upright piano I own was new on the sales floor of a Dallas dealer for 5 years.
I don't know that it has much to do with Tall as it does to do with top-of-line uprights vs. small grands. Price is also a considerable factor that, for uprights, is partly about the efficiency of the most popular models vs. the "best" models.

In other words, for a mass producer like Kawai, the extra cost to make the top models is both the cost for the upgrades and the less efficient cost to produce less. If they make 20 K500 for each K600....

Now with smaller makers, there is less benefit due to efficiencies, and the top of line uprights will still do well in proportion to smaller, less expensive models.

Dallas, like Atlanta and many other markets in the US tend to have homes that could accommodate a grand. In more vertically oriented cities or those with much older homes and smaller rooms (Singapore, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong) even small grands are impractical regardless of budget. Here, top-of-line uprights also tend to do well.


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