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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2731847
04/26/18 12:17 AM
04/26/18 12:17 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 3,776
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Retsacnal Online content

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Retsacnal  Online Content

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Don't be afraid to look at second-hand grands. You might be surprised what you can find within your budget. Just out of curiosity, I took a peek at the Las Vegas Craigslist. This Baldwin R might be worth having a look at:

https://lasvegas.craigslist.org/msg/d/tuners-sale-baldwin-grand/6529591003.html

The listing says it's an RPT's personal piano. Just to see if it might be a scam, I Googled the contact phone number in the listing and it hit several music related links, including this one to an RPT's listing on the PTG website:

https://www.ptg.org/scripts/4disapi...=DirectoryDetail&PersID_W=14863&

If I was shopping in Las Vegas with your budget, I think I'd take a look.

There are others too, and more over in Los Angeles (I'd second the notion of going there to look if you need to).


"If it sounds good, it is good." - Duke Ellington
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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: Retsacnal] #2731920
04/26/18 07:24 AM
04/26/18 07:24 AM
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GC13 Online content
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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Don't be afraid to look at second-hand grands. You might be surprised what you can find within your budget. Just out of curiosity, I took a peek at the Las Vegas Craigslist. This Baldwin R might be worth having a look at:

https://lasvegas.craigslist.org/msg/d/tuners-sale-baldwin-grand/6529591003.html

The listing says it's an RPT's personal piano. Just to see if it might be a scam, I Googled the contact phone number in the listing and it hit several music related links, including this one to an RPT's listing on the PTG website:

https://www.ptg.org/scripts/4disapi...=DirectoryDetail&PersID_W=14863&

If I was shopping in Las Vegas with your budget, I think I'd take a look.

There are others too, and more over in Los Angeles (I'd second the notion of going there to look if you need to).


I second that idea! The Baldwin R can be a very nice piano. I'd definitely take a look at it if I were in Las Vegas. Good luck. I hope you find something you like.

Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2731946
04/26/18 09:44 AM
04/26/18 09:44 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 139
Alsea Oregon, USA
jshelton Offline
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Originally Posted by schinl

jshelton: That is exactly my dilemma. On one hand I feel I should stay within a lower budget and stick to practicing on an upright, and then get a grand when I have a better repertoire, experience and budget. On the other, skipping all the steps, rearrange some furniture and fit in a beautiful grand. Unfortunately for my $10k purse, I can get either a very good upright or a lesser quality used grand!

A GC1 is pretty good! What are you looking to upgrade? What don't you like about the GC1?

I played a Kawai GX2 a while back and loved it. It stood up well to several much more expensive pianos at the same shop. I like the mellow voice better than the strident voice of our Yamaha and the action was very smooth.


John Shelton
Shelton-Farretta Guitars
www.sheltonfarrettaguitars.com
Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2731966
04/26/18 11:50 AM
04/26/18 11:50 AM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 103
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schinl Offline OP
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huaidongxi: Thanks for the tip. Which piano shops in California do you think I should visit? It would be fun to make a weekend trip visiting friends and piano shops. Now that I see buying pianos long distance isn't that big of a deal, I feel more open to the idea.

Norbert: Yes, I have tried dozens of pianos costing from $3k all the way to $70k Bosendorfers. I know I am thoroughly confused. The only thing I know for sure is I wish I had a bigger house and budget!

Retsacnal & GC13: The members of PW never fail to amaze me. Within a day of making this thread I feel more ideas and options opening up. Thank you so much for the link and research, I can't believe I missed it. I will make a call to her today!

jshelton: I have tried a Kawai GX also, and yes they are so wonderful. I do tend to lean to Kawais as I enjoy the responsive action very much. Best of luck and I hope you will get your GX2 soon.


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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732037
04/26/18 04:11 PM
04/26/18 04:11 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,387
Urbandale, Iowa
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Steve Chandler Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
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Urbandale, Iowa
Originally Posted by schinl
huaidongxi: Thanks for the tip. Which piano shops in California do you think I should visit? It would be fun to make a weekend trip visiting friends and piano shops. Now that I see buying pianos long distance isn't that big of a deal, I feel more open to the idea.

Good! Just to be clear, I bought my piano half a continent away. The fact is if you get tech services through your dealer you'll probably be paying a higher price. That's why you want to develop a direct relationship with your tech.

However, dealer prep is important. Your local dealer doesn't care to stock a high end upright. My guess is they don't stock Kawai's high end grands either. Do they talk much about dealer prep or is that something you first heard about here? Many dealers don't do much more than tune their new pianos unless there's a problem. I wish I cold recommend dealers in Southern California, but one has already been suggested (Estrin). Maybe others will chime in with their favorites in the region.

Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732045
04/26/18 04:45 PM
04/26/18 04:45 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 103
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schinl Offline OP
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Steve Chandler:
Did you also visit your piano in person, then have them send it to you half a continent away?? How did you acclimatize your piano then, was that just between you and your own tech?

The local dealer actually has wonderful high end Kawais, there were new Shigerus and GLs. They only had K300 and K400 uprights unfortunately, so I'm not sure why they don't spare some space for a K500.

We did not talk much about dealer prep. But I do know that I much prefer trying the actual piano I want to buy in store before paying. I know Kawai is very reliable but I'd hate to be the exception to the rule.

If anyone has some SoCal piano store recommendations I'd be very interested to hear them!


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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732064
04/26/18 06:13 PM
04/26/18 06:13 PM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 1,080
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huaidongxi Offline
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schinl, there are a number of participants here who have been around to the major dealers in the metro LA/orange county area. one individual for example is D.Ferris, a professional performer who found a used kawai grand recently in the area for a colleague.

Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732097
04/26/18 07:49 PM
04/26/18 07:49 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 717
San Mateo, CA
Kurtmen Offline
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San Mateo, CA
In Southern California you have Kim's Piano, they are a big Kawai dealer. I personally know Bajamin Kim and Steven Rivera both very professional.


San Mateo Piano
Kawai Piano Dealer San Francisco Bay Area
www.sanmateopiano.com
Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732220
04/27/18 08:47 AM
04/27/18 08:47 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,387
Urbandale, Iowa
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Steve Chandler Offline
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Urbandale, Iowa
Originally Posted by schinl
Steve Chandler:
Did you also visit your piano in person, then have them send it to you half a continent away?? How did you acclimatize your piano then, was that just between you and your own tech?

Yes, I played it and many other pianos and arranged to have it delivered to me. As for acclimatizing it, I just had it set up and started playing. After a few weeks I got a tuner in to go over it, but it was still in pretty good tune. My piano still has very good tuning stability. Any work has been done at my expense by techs I've hired, with one exception. I had 1 string replaced because of inharmonic overtones (that was covered by warranty).

Last edited by Steve Chandler; 04/27/18 08:49 AM.
Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: Steve Chandler] #2732338
04/27/18 04:03 PM
04/27/18 04:03 PM
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 328
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SMA55 Online content
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Originally Posted by Steve Chandler
I had 1 string replaced because of inharmonic overtones (that was covered by warranty).

Wow! You actually got the manufacturer to accept a warranty claim on the basis of that? I am truly shocked and impressed. Was that Estonia?

Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732340
04/27/18 04:05 PM
04/27/18 04:05 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 103
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schinl Offline OP
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huaidongxi & kurtmen: Thank you, I have looked at Kim's pianos and am very impressed with their selection. I will make a visit there next month.

Steve Chandler: Wonderful, that sounds like such a pain-free experience. I hope that whenever I do get my piano long distance it will be the same!

Which brings me to today's piano adventure, I found a used Petrof model 4 for $12k. It sounded beautiful, very responsive touch, and upon asking it is about 14 years old, with one previous local owner. I was actually quite interested and was going to ask if my tech can take a look at it. And then the seller mentioned it actually has a cracked sound board... upon inspection I found 3 large cracks right across the soundboard! Now I am not so sure...


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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732365
04/27/18 05:44 PM
04/27/18 05:44 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,022
Phoenix, Arizona
Carey Offline
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Carey  Offline
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Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,022
Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted by schinl
Which brings me to today's piano adventure, I found a used Petrof model 4 for $12k. It sounded beautiful, very responsive touch, and upon asking it is about 14 years old, with one previous local owner. I was actually quite interested and was going to ask if my tech can take a look at it. And then the seller mentioned it actually has a cracked sound board... upon inspection I found 3 large cracks right across the soundboard! Now I am not so sure...
Rather unusual for a 14 year old piano to have a cracked soundboard. Is this piano being sold by a dealer? If so, I'm surprised.


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732386
04/27/18 07:02 PM
04/27/18 07:02 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 103
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schinl Offline OP
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Yes, I thought so too. The story is the dealer sold it as a new Petrof to the buyer 14 years ago. It came from Czechoslovakia and the change in humidity (where I live is very dry) caused the cracking. They sent a Petrof technician to fix it, and the buyer kept it all this time and is now selling it through this dealer on consignment. No warranty claims since. I've been trying to get a hold of my technician and see if it's worth checking out as the cracks look pretty substantial to me, but then again it is a Petrof, maybe it's not that big of a deal.

Last edited by schinl; 04/27/18 07:02 PM.

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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732415
04/27/18 10:20 PM
04/27/18 10:20 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,022
Phoenix, Arizona
Carey Offline
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Carey  Offline
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Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,022
Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted by schinl
Yes, I thought so too. The story is the dealer sold it as a new Petrof to the buyer 14 years ago. It came from Czechoslovakia and the change in humidity (where I live is very dry) caused the cracking. They sent a Petrof technician to fix it, and the buyer kept it all this time and is now selling it through this dealer on consignment. No warranty claims since. I've been trying to get a hold of my technician and see if it's worth checking out as the cracks look pretty substantial to me, but then again it is a Petrof, maybe it's not that big of a deal.
It's a big deal - Petrof or not. Help me understand - did they actually repair (shim and fill in) the cracks? Even if they did, I'd still be wary about considering this instrument - particularly for $12K. Soundboard cracks happen....but there had to be something unique about this particular situation. European built pianos (Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Petrof. Estonia) generally do just fine here in the dry climate of Arizona. I'd be interested in your tech's opinion.


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732491
04/28/18 10:40 AM
04/28/18 10:40 AM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 103
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schinl Offline OP
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I’m not experienced enough to be able to tell if a crack has been shimmed but here are some photos. I don’t know if it’s even worth spending the money to get the tech to look at it, if it really is that bad.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]


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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732493
04/28/18 10:56 AM
04/28/18 10:56 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,903
Oakland
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BDB Offline
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Offer them less than they are asking, buy the piano, and stop looking at the soundboard. You will never know the difference.


Semipro Tech
Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: Kurtmen] #2732499
04/28/18 11:07 AM
04/28/18 11:07 AM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 552
USA
TomLC Online content
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USA
Originally Posted by Kurtmen
In Southern California you have Kim's Piano, they are a big Kawai dealer. I personally know Bajamin Kim and Steven Rivera both very professional.


You should (also) visit Pierre's fine piano's in West LA. He has a close relationship with Kawai US in Rancho Dominquez. Besides a large inventory of new and used grands, and uprights, he will probably have a Kawai Novus NV10 you can try. I bought mine from him and the service was top rate.


[Linked Image]

Kawai Novus NV10
Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732502
04/28/18 11:15 AM
04/28/18 11:15 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,756
The Heart of Screenland
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KurtZ Offline
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The Heart of Screenland
Isn't warranty service billed back to the factory? In which case, any authorized Kawai shop is your after sale service point, right? Kawai Don, if you read this, maybe you could help clarify? What happens if I buy from the Kawai dealer down the block and then move 2 states over? I certainly don't lose my access to warranty support.

I've shopped at Ben Kim's Garden Grove location twice. Both time I've been super impressed with the ratio of prep, store condition, professionalism and courtesy, to price. They didn't get the sale because Hollywood Piano had the hot deal on a new old stock YC Pramberger which was a taller, better sounding piano than the K3 for less money.

Kurt


**********************************************************************************************************
Co-owner (by marriage) and part time customer service rep at an electronic musical equipment repair shop.
Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732560
04/28/18 03:59 PM
04/28/18 03:59 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 103
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schinl Offline OP
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BDB: But I'd never be able to sell it!

TomLC: Yes, I saw his shop website, it looks very fancy and out of my price range! I want to try and visit both Pierre's and Kim's, unfortunately they are not very close together, but I am sure I can make it work.
Congratulations on your Novus10! I have been drooling over it myself, and would LOVE to try one. How do you like yours?

I tried a Pramberger and it sounds really good but not a fan of the action, do you remember which was the one you tried?

Last edited by schinl; 04/28/18 04:00 PM.

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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732573
04/28/18 04:56 PM
04/28/18 04:56 PM
Joined: Sep 2016
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huaidongxi Offline
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R.Estrin has three grands listed in your budget range (he includes moving in that price range). Howard model 550 was built by Kawai for Baldwin. Kimball Viennese Classic was made when they owned Boesendorfer and used the Austrian scale and plate designs. Estrin himself provides a demo video on these ; the Kimball does not sound like any Kimball most of us have played. he also has a vintage Baldwin model C, which later evolved into their model L according to his info (he knows Baldwins better than most). in the next price tier up, he lists a Baldwin F (7 ft.), a Mason & Hamlin A (regarded as one of the best grands under 6 ft.), and a Mason & Hamlin AA. his location isn't very close to Hollywood pianos but isn't far in orange county terms from Kim's flagship location in Stanton.

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