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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732340
04/27/18 05:05 PM
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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 06:44 PM
04/27/18 06:44 PM
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Phoenix, Arizona
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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
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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732386
04/27/18 08:02 PM
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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 08:02 PM.

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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732415
04/27/18 11:20 PM
04/27/18 11:20 PM
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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.


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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732491
04/28/18 11:40 AM
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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 11:56 AM
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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.


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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: Kurtmen] #2732499
04/28/18 12:07 PM
04/28/18 12:07 PM
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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.


Kawai Novus NV10
Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732502
04/28/18 12:15 PM
04/28/18 12:15 PM
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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


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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732560
04/28/18 04:59 PM
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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 05:00 PM.

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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732573
04/28/18 05:56 PM
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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.

Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732602
04/28/18 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by schinl
BDB: But I'd never be able to sell it!


Just add $1000 to your price and wait for someone to knock $1000 off the price because it has a crack in the soundboard!


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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: SMA55] #2732693
04/29/18 11:03 AM
04/29/18 11:03 AM
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Urbandale, Iowa
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Originally Posted by SMA55
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?

Yes, Ori and Indrek made that happen?

Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2732726
04/29/18 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by schinl


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?


My Pramberger is quite different from what you tried. Joseph Pramberger had worked as a designer at Steinway. He was hired by Young Chang to design a series of "European" voiced instruments to go along with the Young Chang branded pianos which imitated the Yamahas. The Prambergers were built in YC's Korean factory as a premium model. After Joe died, his family sold the name but not the designs to Samick where they are now built in China (Parsons?) and the same piano is used with three different names that Samick also owns. The YC Prambergers were renamed Albert Weber. The Weber pianos were split into 3 lines and some of them along many YC pianos were re-scaled by Del Fandrich to great reviews. Unfortunately, soon after this big step forward in sound, YC was acquired by Hyundai and at least here in America both brands have languished. If you want to try something similar to my piano but probably even better since it was one of the ones redesigned by Del, it's the Albert Weber AW-121.

Kurt


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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2733044
04/30/18 01:55 PM
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huaidongxi: I'd love a Mason and Hamlin, but I'm pretty sure I won't be able to afford even an older used one. Thank you so much for this, I found his Youtube channel and have spent all weekend watching his tutorials and demos.

BDB: Haha! Anyway, my tech will be looking at the cracked Petrof this week when he has time. He said he might have seen or known someone who was it when it was being fixed 14 years ago, but not sure.

Kurtz: Oh yikes, I feel like I need an excel sheet to keep up with all these incestuous piano company histories!!! This is another reason I am apprehensive about looking into used pianos.. I know I would be in for a world of research. Thank goodness for Piano world. The Pramberger I tried is a brand new one, so I don't think you would be very impressed with it.

On to my latest piano adventure, I went to the Craigslist listing of the 1960 Baldwin R. It is indeed owned by a RPT, who did considerable work on it. It used to be owned by a church. It is a little expensive (though I'm sure it can be talked down), plays great, feels great, the RPT offered to ship and tune even, however... and I know I will be yelled at for this... I just do not like the color. It is an light brown/orange color that I simply do not like. Yikes!

Later this week I will be looking at a 18 year old SKG600 Kohler & Campbell from Craigslist. Does anyone know anything about this model?


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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2733048
04/30/18 02:15 PM
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Georgia, USA
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The cracked sound board repair on the Petrof IV looks pretty rough to me. It looks like they tried to repair it with the strings still in place, though I could be wrong.

Petrof is a nice piano, but I would not pay $12K for it in that condition. I'd be reluctant to offer $6K. Whatever price you pay, if you ever decide to sell it, you will be stressing out trying to explain the cracks in the sound board to potential buyers. But that is just me.

Good luck!

Rick


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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2733053
04/30/18 02:45 PM
04/30/18 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by schinl

Later this week I will be looking at a 18 year old SKG600 Kohler & Campbell from Craigslist. Does anyone know anything about this model?


The SKG600 was built by Samick in Korea, and was ranked by Larry Fine in the Piano Book (2001 edition) as a "medium quality consumer grade" piano. He also stated that Samick pianos in general were suitable for average home use, but not "for heavy or institutional use."

I recall playing several new K&C's back in 2002 when I began my grand piano search. The prices were appealing - but the instruments really didn't "wow" me. Because I was a more advanced player, the sale persons kept trying to steer me over to better quality instruments, that could stand up to frequent use.

I saw the craigslist ad. The photo is not of the actual instrument. The price is reasonable if, indeed, the piano is in excellent condition. Your tech should evaluate it if you are interested in it.

Personally, I would consider a Korean built Young Chang product over anything produced by Samick. The Young Chang Prambergers and special edition Webers built in the early 2000s prior to designer Joe Pramberger's untimely death were very good instruments for the price.





Last edited by Carey; 04/30/18 03:03 PM.

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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2733139
04/30/18 08:21 PM
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Rickster: You are right. I love the thing but it would be heck to try to sell it. And even if I can, it would probably not be for very much.

Carey: The K&C I am going to look at is not on Craigslist, it is on an app called Offerup. I'm not sure how to link to it, but the photos look pretty genuine to me. I'l be happy to send you a screenshot if you are interested. I did some research as well and SKG600 seems to be the Millienium edition grands, which should be built from better parts. I'm hoping that will mean it is better than the usual Samicks you see around.

Has anyone tried the Kawai GL10? Thoughts? The dealer here is doing $10k for it.. very tempting! I fell in love with the GL40, and I know the GL10 is nowhere there, but still...


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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2734093
05/04/18 01:11 PM
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Is there something wrong with Boston GP156s?? I saw three used ones for sale in three dealerships here.


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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2734100
05/04/18 01:43 PM
05/04/18 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by schinl
Carey: The K&C I am going to look at is not on Craigslist, it is on an app called Offerup. I'm not sure how to link to it, but the photos look pretty genuine to me. I'l be happy to send you a screenshot if you are interested. I did some research as well and SKG600 seems to be the Millienium edition grands, which should be built from better parts. I'm hoping that will mean it is better than the usual Samicks you see around.
According to the Piano Book (2001) the regular Samick Korean built grands had the prefixes SG and SKG. The World and Millennium models had the prefixes WFG and KFM.

Quote
Has anyone tried the Kawai GL10? Thoughts? The dealer here is doing $10k for it.. very tempting! I fell in love with the GL40, and I know the GL10 is nowhere there, but still...
Indonesian built - 5 foot - pretty basic piano - but at least it has the Millenium III action going for it (as well as other higher end Kawai GX features such as agraffes, longer keys, full sostenuto pedal and a soft close keyboard). Price is excellent.. May not be your "forever" piano - BUT it is a NEW piano with a warranty. thumb I'd suggest you spend a lot of time playing it before making a decision. .


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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2734145
05/04/18 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by schinl
Is there something wrong with Boston GP156s?? I saw three used ones for sale in three dealerships here.
If you decide to look at Boston, I recommend at least the GP163.


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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2734148
05/04/18 05:39 PM
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Today I went to look at the new 5' Kawai GL10, it seems a wonderful little entry level grand, great for my budget and space. The sound is a little dull across the board however, and the action a little stiff, but the dealer mentioned it has not been prepped and regulated and will do so after purchase. Still, it feels and sounds great for $10k 'right out of the box.' He also mentioned the sound will mature after a couple years. I really wish they would just prep their showroom pianos rather than wait for someone to buy it first.

However, right on the other side of the room I found a used 2004 5'1 Boston GP156. I found it very responsive to my touch, and sounds so beautiful. There is a buzzing on the lower notes but the dealer said it is just a damper issue and will be fixed after purchase. It is a little expensive at $9.5k, so it is a toss up between that and the Kawai GL10. The dealer seems to really dislike this piano, but I'm sure he would rather me buy his new GL10 instead! I don't know the history behind this piano, but it has been at the store for over 6 months.

I found another used Boston GP156 in dealership B, it is from 1996 and cheaper at $7.8k. There is also a buzzing and stuck key issue which the dealer promised to fix next week. I can't wait to go back and try it and see if it is comparable to the one above.

Yet another used Boston showed up at dealership C, this time a 5'4" GP164 from 1994. It is also quite beautiful but more expensive at $12k. It is a little over my budget, but I really like this dealership the best and trust them more.


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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: PianoWorksATL] #2734149
05/04/18 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
Originally Posted by schinl
Is there something wrong with Boston GP156s?? I saw three used ones for sale in three dealerships here.
If you decide to look at Boston, I recommend at least the GP163.


Please tell me more about Bostons! I know they don't have the Kawai millenium action, but I honestly still like the touch, and the sound as well. Is the extra 5'4 worth the upgrade from a 5'1?

Last edited by schinl; 05/04/18 05:42 PM.

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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2734167
05/04/18 06:45 PM
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IMO, the 5'4" is worth much more than the 5'1" Boston. While I think Kawai's millenium action is a good thing, it's not a "revolutionary" thing, and their wood action (used in the Boston) is still pretty good. When lubricated and regulated, Boston actions tend to be firmer than average, but predictable and controllable. We've had a couple of GP163's that were very forgettable, but a few that were remarkably sweet and musical.


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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2734168
05/04/18 06:50 PM
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the small grands under 170 cm. or so (approx. 5.6 feet) are generally a challenge to the designers. overall design, quality of materials, standards of execution matter more than size, same as the full size grands, but with smaller margins for compromises or poorly executed scales or construction. my own preference would be for a higher tier and slightly bigger piano used, rather than a brand new entry level piano, but you're the one who'll be living with it. the used piano quest certainly demands more patience and travel.

in the small size range, the pianobuyer.com staff picks have two pianos in your budget range, a Ritmuller and a Weber. the staff picks in the next size up that you might find a good deal in your budget are Hailun, Perzina, and Pramberger.

Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2734174
05/04/18 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by schinl
Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
Originally Posted by schinl
Is there something wrong with Boston GP156s?? I saw three used ones for sale in three dealerships here.
If you decide to look at Boston, I recommend at least the GP163.


Please tell me more about Bostons! I know they don't have the Kawai millenium action, but I honestly still like the touch, and the sound as well. Is the extra 5'4 worth the upgrade from a 5'1?


I'm assuming you've read this....

https://www.pianobuyer.com/Resources/Piano-Brands-Profiles/Detail/ArticleId/55/Brand/BOSTON

This general description of the Boston piano in the Piano Book/PianoBuyer hasn't changed much in the past 18 years (with the exception of mention of more recent enhancements). I believe that Boston pianos are a tad overpriced - compared to other mid-tier pianos built by Kawai. IMHO, the price differential has much to do with the Steinway connection. as opposed to the inherent attributes of the instruments themselves. I've always felt that the Kawai's were better deals. In this instance, however, you are comparing a NEW entry level Kawai with a warranty to older, slightly larger, higher tier USED Bostons without warranties. If the warranty and millennium III action really don't matter to you, go with the instrument that feels and sounds the best. However, $12K for a 24 year old Boston GP164 is way too high - even if it says "designed by Steinway" on the fallboard. .



.


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: Carey] #2734285
05/05/18 11:57 AM
05/05/18 11:57 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,585
Atlanta, GA
PianoWorksATL Offline
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PianoWorksATL  Offline
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Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted by Carey
However, $12K for a 24 year old Boston GP164 is way too high - even if it says "designed by Steinway" on the fallboard. .
If in excellent condition, sold used by a dealer, presumably with some store warranty and after sale service, then I have a hard time saying the price is "way too high". The OP's market isn't the most crowded for competition either. In my market, which is more competitive, it would be only a tad high.


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
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Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: PianoWorksATL] #2734289
05/05/18 12:16 PM
05/05/18 12:16 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 8,921
Phoenix, Arizona
Carey Offline
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Carey  Offline
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Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
Originally Posted by Carey
However, $12K for a 24 year old Boston GP164 is way too high - even if it says "designed by Steinway" on the fallboard. .
If in excellent condition, sold used by a dealer, presumably with some store warranty and after sale service, then I have a hard time saying the price is "way too high". The OP's market isn't the most crowded for competition either. In my market, which is more competitive, it would be only a tad high.
Thanks for the additional perspective, Sam. Good point about dealer vs. private sales - and different markets. Perhaps I should qualify my statement by saying that I personally would not be inclined to buy a 24 year old Boston GP164 for $12K. smile


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] #2742555
06/06/18 01:44 PM
06/06/18 01:44 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 93
S
schinl Offline OP
Full Member
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Just an update on my piano search progress. I came across a very good deal on a practically new Yamaha GB1K, but the sound just isn't my sound. I had to let it go, unfortunately.

The $7k 1996 Boston 156 sold before I could take a second look at it. I was quite upset!

The other 2004 Boston 156 is still there. I brought a pianist friend there and he likes it too, but also agrees the buzzing is very irritating. I really wish the dealer would just fix it and we can evaluate it properly.

I went to a wonderful dealer in Tennessee and found a beautiful Kawai 2007 RX2, for $20k. A gorgeous instrument, one of my grails, but unfortunately over my budget. I would have really loved to own this piano.

Also found a Novus10 there! I was so excited to try it as a hybrid would solve all my concerns, but the sound quality is just not up to par.

And finally I got my hands on a new Kawai GL20, and could compare it to a GL10 sitting right next to it. The GL20 is so much better, and I like it so much. It doesn't have that much of a singing treble as the Boston, but that's not that big of a deal. However, it is over my $10k budget by about $4k, so at this point I wonder if I should just bite the bullet and get a new GL20? How does the GLs compare to RX?

I also tried a GX7 and a Bosendorfer, oh my word, such beauties. Not a big fan of the Shigeru though!

Anyway, I have made plans to go to California next month and visit Pierres, Ahn's and Knauer and see what I can find. The excruciating search continues...


_________________________________
www.openinkstand.com
Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2742616
06/06/18 05:08 PM
06/06/18 05:08 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 206
Fayetteville, GA
M
mivaldes Offline
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Fayetteville, GA
Sounds like fun looking at least!


Marcus Valdes
Fayetteville, GA
Kawai RX-5, Kawai CA78
Re: My piano buying adventures [Re: schinl] #2742773
06/07/18 09:34 AM
06/07/18 09:34 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 119
USA
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ghostwind Offline
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USA
Originally Posted by schinl
Just an update on my piano search progress. I came across a very good deal on a practically new Yamaha GB1K, but the sound just isn't my sound. I had to let it go, unfortunately.

The $7k 1996 Boston 156 sold before I could take a second look at it. I was quite upset!

The other 2004 Boston 156 is still there. I brought a pianist friend there and he likes it too, but also agrees the buzzing is very irritating. I really wish the dealer would just fix it and we can evaluate it properly.

I went to a wonderful dealer in Tennessee and found a beautiful Kawai 2007 RX2, for $20k. A gorgeous instrument, one of my grails, but unfortunately over my budget. I would have really loved to own this piano.

Also found a Novus10 there! I was so excited to try it as a hybrid would solve all my concerns, but the sound quality is just not up to par.

And finally I got my hands on a new Kawai GL20, and could compare it to a GL10 sitting right next to it. The GL20 is so much better, and I like it so much. It doesn't have that much of a singing treble as the Boston, but that's not that big of a deal. However, it is over my $10k budget by about $4k, so at this point I wonder if I should just bite the bullet and get a new GL20? How does the GLs compare to RX?

I also tried a GX7 and a Bosendorfer, oh my word, such beauties. Not a big fan of the Shigeru though!

Anyway, I have made plans to go to California next month and visit Pierres, Ahn's and Knauer and see what I can find. The excruciating search continues...


I went through a similar search the last two months or so, before settling on a new Boston 163. You asked earlier if it was worth the upgrade from the 156, and my answer is most certainly yes! I found none of the entry level baby grands (be it Kawai, Boston, Yamaha, etc.) to be good, but the next one up was quite a different story. The 163 has much better sound, color, and depth. The transition from bass - tenor is much better than on the 156. Same can be said of the Yamaha GC1/GC2, and Kawais. In addition, the action on the 163 is the same exact one as on the 178 - meaning longer keys, as the 178 is a 5'10" piano. For me, my budget, and space, the 163 was the sweet spot.

I did go back and forth between Kawai's GL20/30 and GX-1 (much better!) and the Yamaha GC1/GC2 as well. I found the Yamahas to still be too bright and not as well built - cheaper in other words. The Yamaha CX series is more comparable. I also found the Kawai action to be too hard, stiff, etc. Not a fan. And the sound darker and less singing, sustain, color. Interestingly enough, the two Kawai dealers mostly spoke about how strong, reliable, and how good the Millennium action is, but they never talked about sound. Their main focus was on the physical characteristics of the piano - reinforced keybed, strong rim, heavy fallboard, strong keyslip, the carbon action, etc. And that told me a lot, not that I couldn't tell the clear difference in touch and sound between the Boston and Kawai. I was comparing the GX-1 and 163. The 163 is just as well built as the GX-1 (same parts it seems even) but with better feel and sound. I don't get the Kawais to be quite honest. I couldn't care less about plastic/carbon/wood - I just care how it feels and how it sounds. Anyway, that's my story - hope it helps a bit.


2017 Boston GP-163 PE II
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