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Buying a grand piano soon
#2797356 01/01/19 07:09 AM
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Hey guys
Im thinking about buying a grand piano. Right now im thinking about getting either a new Kawai gl 10 (from 2015 but it has never been used) or a used 10 year old boston gp-156. The boston is about 1000 $ more than the Kawai.

What do you guys think?

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Re: Buying a grand piano soon
PieterDBD #2797416 01/01/19 10:58 AM
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Don't get either one.

Too small.

Save your money and/or find a grand that is 5'10" or larger.

That's my advice.


Amateur Pianist and raconteur.
Re: Buying a grand piano soon
PieterDBD #2797425 01/01/19 11:35 AM
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+1 for Furtwangler’s advice. First determine the biggest grand you can comfortably locate in your chosen piano location. Many dealers carry stencils which you can borrow for piano placement. Then determine the max budget you want to spend for the piano of your dreams.
Some piano dealers stress that you can buy small and trade up, but of course that only applies to buying their pianos and often spending more
money than if you just save up for the dream piano.
If you’ve determined that you just don’t have the room for a 5’ 10” grand, then you might just do what many Piano World folks do and buy a big high quality upright.
Best of Luck, happy piano shopping!


J & J
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Re: Buying a grand piano soon
PieterDBD #2797507 01/01/19 03:47 PM
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The GLs are very nice pianos, I would definitely choose that over a Boston, which I believe is still made by Kawai. The Boston does not have Kawai's millennium action which, IMHO, is superb.

Get the size you like and can afford. If you've played and enjoyed your choice, there's no reason to cotton onto the idea that bigger is better. Not all of us can fit or afford a 5'10" or bigger.


Lisa

Playing RCM 7 & 8 repertoire
Kawai UST-9, Yamaha CLP565GP & CLP645

"I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." - Frederic Chopin
Re: Buying a grand piano soon
PieterDBD #2797545 01/01/19 05:54 PM
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I would not automatically choose a GL Kawai over a Boston, rather I’d judge the touch, tone, appearance, price, dealer service, and warranty, in whatever order you value most. In these cheaper and very small grand sizes, there are going to be compromises, which is why some are suggesting a larger model if logistics and budget allow.


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Re: Buying a grand piano soon
PieterDBD #2797585 01/01/19 08:05 PM
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I have a GL10 and like it very much, I've not played that model Baldwin. I made my selection by playing a lot of pianos over several years and narrowing it down to the brand with the touch I preferred. I also wanted a grand action, otherwise I would have chosen the K300 or K500 because I think they sound a bit better than mine, although the difference is not significant. Presumably you've played enough to be able to identify the touch and sound you prefer, I'd say pick the one you like the most in your price range.


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Re: Buying a grand piano soon
PieterDBD #2797604 01/01/19 08:51 PM
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If you're in no rush, perhaps wait to beef up the budget . but the GL series are a joy to play - it should give you years of enjoyment - it just won't sound drastically different than e.g. a kawai K series upright.


"Play Bach constantly. That will be your best means of progress." -F.Chopin
Re: Buying a grand piano soon
Furtwangler #2797606 01/01/19 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Furtwangler
Don't get either one.Too small. Save your money and/or find a grand that is 5'10" or larger. That's my advice.
Although I agree that very small grands generally have tonal compromises, I don't think it makes sense to give a specific length where a piano suddenly becomes acceptable. Pianos like a Mason A, 5'6" Estonia, or Steinway M, among others would satisfy an awful lot of even demanding pianists.

Re: Buying a grand piano soon
PieterDBD #2797630 01/01/19 10:28 PM
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I have a GL10 and love the sound and design of it. A longer piano will have deeper bass, but there is nothing wrong with the GL10's bass. In fact, it sounds very balanced. However if you want that deep powerful bass sound, you'll need the longer piano.

Do you like the sound of the Boston or the Kawai better? Go with that one. Remember, however, that you often can't judge the sound of the piano at the piano desk. Have someone else play it and stand to the side. I played a Schimmel once that sounded real tinny at the piano desk, but was rich and lovely from the side and back. My GL10 also sounds better from the side, but still sounds pretty good to me from the piano desk.

The other thing in deciding which piano you like is the action. However, unless both actions have been properly regulated, it won't be a meaningful comparison between any two pianos. You could have a GL10 that plays much smoother than a Boston, or vice versa. My GL10's action was heavy and a little sluggish when delivered, as the dealer did not properly regulate it. After lubrication and regulation, the action is now quick and wonderful, so keep that in mind. I'd say get the GL10, all things being equal, and spend the $1000 you save to get it regulated and lubricated by a good technician.


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Re: Buying a grand piano soon
PieterDBD #2797661 01/02/19 02:35 AM
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the gl10 is ok. if the action was light enough, i would be happy with it. its definitely better than the yamaha equivalent. i know some of the old bostons were pretty terrible. i have heard they are better today. im not sure what year they stopped being 'bad'. try both.. go with the one you like I suppose.

Re: Buying a grand piano soon
PieterDBD #2797680 01/02/19 05:01 AM
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The minimum size I would consider for a grand is 5'8". Better if you can find one around 6'.

You can look for used Kawai RX2 or RX3 and Yamaha C2 and C3 respectively, though C2 is a bit shorter than RX-2. Both brands are well made quality pianos.

Just be sure to have the piano checked by an independent technician before you buy.

Re: Buying a grand piano soon
Emery Wang #2797708 01/02/19 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Emery Wang
Remember, however, that you often can't judge the sound of the piano at the piano desk. Have someone else play it and stand to the side. I played a Schimmel once that sounded real tinny at the piano desk, but was rich and lovely from the side and back.
Unless a piano is regularly used for in home concerts, how the piano sounds to someone not seated at the piano is mostly irrelevant. How it sounds to someone seated at the piano, who is the person that will do most of the listening, is by far the most important.

Would you actually consider the Schimmel that sounded tinny at the music desk just because it sounded better from other locations?

Re: Buying a grand piano soon
pianoloverus #2797809 01/02/19 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Emery Wang
Remember, however, that you often can't judge the sound of the piano at the piano desk. Have someone else play it and stand to the side. I played a Schimmel once that sounded real tinny at the piano desk, but was rich and lovely from the side and back.
Unless a piano is regularly used for in home concerts, how the piano sounds to someone not seated at the piano is mostly irrelevant. How it sounds to someone seated at the piano, who is the person that will do most of the listening, is by far the most important.

Would you actually consider the Schimmel that sounded tinny at the music desk just because it sounded better from other locations?


Good point. Fortunately, the GL10 sounds good at the desk.


Kawai MP11SE
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Re: Buying a grand piano soon
PieterDBD #2797912 01/02/19 07:12 PM
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If you like the sound of these pianos and you have
have had some experience with different pianos then
buy the one you like .
A tall upright will give you a similar or better tonal
experience. It should however be a good upright .
These of course are often more expensive than
some grands .
Whatever you decide have the piano checked by
a technician before you buy .
Both Kawai and Boston make good quality grands.

Re: Buying a grand piano soon
PieterDBD #2798080 01/03/19 11:50 AM
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Don't worry about this size too much. I just bought a 5'3 JD Grandt and it uses hybrid stringing for more even tones. The 6' models for most reputable companies are about twice as expensive. I don't feel the need to spend double to get something a little longer with a full line of credit or after saving for another five years.

If it is a personal piano, all that matters is how it sounds to you. Play the $150,000 7' Steingraeber, play the $40,000 6' Yamaha, play the $16,000 5'2 Kawai. Play them all and make the best decision for you. You don't want to have too much piano for the room.

The only thing I would recommend against is going sub 5' - 5'3. I played a 4'11 and it sounded too small, the low end sounded... dirty. I asked about it and the dealer said that the size is for someone who wants to play a couple times a week/month and wants it to be a nice piece of furniture.

When judging smaller pianos, learn the intro to "When Rivers Flowed on Mars" by Telfer. Play that one octave lower and you will get a good sense of the base capabilities of the instrument compared to the same notes played on a larger one.

Q


Q
Re: Buying a grand piano soon
PieterDBD #2798149 01/03/19 04:19 PM
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The GL10 is the entry-level model and, not discounting its strengths, is not as well made as the Boston GP163. The construction of the Boston is simply put, more robust. The Boston has more musical potential: greater dynamic range, greater tonal change, better sustain. For these reasons, it has a higher ceiling for a developing pianist, and greater potential for long-term use. When considering them as presented, both pianos are young, so the specifics of condition matters more than age. If you like the Kawai better and it suits your current needs, then get it, enjoy it, and know that an upgrade may be in your future.

In Kawai's GL-series, the GL20 and larger seem to have more in common in terms of design and construction.


Sam Bennett
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Re: Buying a grand piano soon
PieterDBD #2798918 01/05/19 11:32 PM
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Pieter, it all depends on what you hope to get from the piano. My advice is take your time looking and perhaps beef up your budget.

I was lucky, I got a fantastic instrument for a reasonable price. Those things are out there if you look and wait.

But most importantly, acquiring a new piano is a learning experience. Take your time, enjoy the process, try a lot of pianos, ask a lot of questions, and you’ll find the instrument that’s right for you. There’s always another good deal somewhere so learning more about pianos and what you like and need should now be your main priority.

Re: Buying a grand piano soon
PieterDBD #2799517 01/07/19 09:06 PM
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I disagree with some the forum's members, The Boston GP156 and the Kawai GL10 are good instruments. There are up sides to both pianos and also it is matter of personal preferences.
The GL-10 it is a very stable piano, it holds in tune very well. The composite materials in the action allows for a high precision touch, the action, it easy to regulate.
The tone is clean and defined; I like the fact that it doesn't have a duplex-scale, which sometimes takes away definition and creates unwanted harmonics.


San Mateo Piano
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Re: Buying a grand piano soon
Kurtmen #2799524 01/07/19 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Kurtmen
The composite materials in the action allows for a high precision touch


Every single Kawai (other than Shigerus) that I've ever played on, is stiff.

RX, GX, GL. All of them. Harder than a diamond in an ice storm. I seriously think I got stress fractures in my wrist from one.

Shigerus, though, oh, heaven. Talk about precision touch! I felt I could get any tone out of it that I wanted. It was glorious.

Re: Buying a grand piano soon
Piano90X #2799526 01/07/19 10:00 PM
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Sorry to hear about your stress fractures, if it is too stiff don't play it too hard.

Last edited by Kurtmen; 01/07/19 10:00 PM.

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