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Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
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Joined: Feb 2019
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xXJFBXx Offline OP
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Hi.

Have been doing research on this for the better part of two weeks... And I seem to have exhausted all internet available information. I now have to turn to this membership to help me make my decision... I've read countless posts on this forum and I know I will receive well thought out input. So I thank you in advance.

A little about me. I am a self taught guitar player. I have been playing for 25 years. I consider myself an intermediate player. I have a good ear and I can pretty much play anything I decide to play. I pick up some songs by ear without having to search for a tab on the internet. But I haven't really played in the last five years. My house is kept at 22C and the humidity is controlled at my furnace to be around 40% (unless it's minus 20C outside, and then the humidity in the house probably drops to 20%)

My 8 year old started piano lessons about 2 years ago, and it motivated me to show her what playing music was all about. So I learned some songs on the piano (I know nothing of the piano at this point). I took a few lessons, but it wasn't going in the direction I wanted, so I stopped. I may start again. I have been playing for about a year and can easily play basic songs like Let it be, Hey Jude, Lady Madonna, Imagine (anyone see a pattern?) and am working on Piano man right now and should master it within a week, playing about 1-2 hours a day. I'm not sure where this piano playing will take me, but I do enjoy it, and really like the sound filling the house.

Come to pianos. I originally purchased a Casio keyboard, only to find out it was bad for my daughter's practicing as there was no weight in the keys. Sold it. Then I was offered a free 50 year old upright piano, which I got moved ($350CAD) then tuned ($150CAD). Only to find out it could only be tuned in A flat as the strings were too old. The tuner told me if he came back 3-4 times, he "might" be able to put the A at 440. But there are no guarantees. At $150CAD a tune, it's an investment. Maybe one I could put in a better piano... Bought a Casio PX-160 digital. It's wonderful, but it's not the same as a piano. I know it, I feel it, I hear it... it's different. I need a real piano...

Started researching pianos. Thought I had made a good choice of a B1 with my research, until I played my first chord on it. Pish-posh!. Nope. Not enough base. So my research has led me to decide (and try out) a Yamaha U1 and a Kawai 300. I have tried both instruments and really like the sound.

Now come my two choices. I have narrowed my choice to two pianos. I know they are not the same, I know one is used and one is new, and I know one is more technologically advanced than the other. But which represents better value now and for the long term? Here are the details of both pianos.

Kawai 300
-New (2018 model)
-10 year Kawai transferable warranty
-prepared, delivered and tuned
-Damp chaser 75W
-adjustable bench
-$8800CAD (including tax and damp chaser)

Yamaha U1
-2008 model, 1 family owned
-Is immaculate inside, looks new
-10 year piano store warranty
-prepared, delivered and tuned
-Damp chaser (which has been in since original purchase in 2008)
-original Yamaha fixed bench
-$6048CAD (including tax)

I'm inclined to think the Yamaha U1 represents better value as when I look for them online, I see prices ranging in the $4000CAD to $6000CAD for all years 1970 to 2000 inclusive. I figure the price I'm looking at for a 2008 in mint condition will probably hold its value for years to come... I'm thinking the Kawai 300 might lose about 30% coming out of the store, mind you the salesman told me Kawai increases their price 5% every year, and he should be able to buy it back from me in 5 years for the price he's selling to me now (I know, sales pitch, right?). I can'T find many K300 nor K3s online to compare used prices...

Now I like the sound of both pianos. I do admit I feel the sound of the Kawai is richer, creamier and more muffled (compared to a slightly brighter Yamaha). I understand the Yamahas have tried to move away from the "bright" sound they've been associated with for a long time in the newer pianos. Anyone know when that has started? I seem to remember trying out a 1993 U1 and it sounding brighter than the 2008 I am looking at, but I could be out to lunch. The point is, since I like the sound of both, am I correct in thinking the 2008 U1 represents a better value for this purchase? Is there something I am missing with the Kawai 300?

Any input would be greatly appreciated as the U1 salesman just called me and said someone is coming to see the piano Saturday, so I am going there later this afternoon to either buy it or pass....

Thanks everyone for your valued input.

Undecidedly yours,

JF (lol!)

Last edited by xXJFBXx; 02/07/19 01:15 PM.
Joined: Feb 2015
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It really just depends on which one you enjoyed playing more. Did one have a better or smoother action than the other? Were you able to play softly better on one? Test them again and then make your decision. I personally prefer the Kawai's millennium action over the U1's, but that's just me. I have a new UST9 that I enjoy much more than my old U1, but my U1 was a 1995. It really just depends on your preferences.

Good luck, both are nice pianos!


Lisa

Playing RCM 7-8 repertoire
Cunningham Studio Grand & Yamaha CLP645

"I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." - Frederic Chopin
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OK, let's challenge some assumptions:

Is the old 'free' piano you have got a good or a bad piano, what piano is it? I suspect that it is not too good as it was given away but who knows. Any piano you buy you'll probably want to have tuned twice in the first six months and then every six months after that, so four tunings to raise the pitch isn't so very far away and absolute pitch may not matter unless you are playing with other instruments. Possibly (although perhaps unlikely) you might have a good piano in otherwise good condition that would justify keeping it and replacing the strings. Ask your tuner, I suspect it's not worth it but you never know.

I would ignore the salesman's pressure (or even strike him off my list of people I'd want to do business with). There are lots of secondhand pianos on the market so someone coming to play one you are interested in is neither here nor there, there are probably several people coming into a dealers shop each day to play pianos, including 'yours', so it's no big event.

You have done a lot of research being concerned about value and resale values and supposed performance and narrowed it down to two pianos to try? I'd suggest this is a recipe for another disappointment as soon as you play another piano you prefer to the one you buy. Instead I suggest going out and playing *lots* of pianos until you find one you really love. Don't worry about what brand/model of piano they are, different pianos even of the same model play differently anyway, just play, and play and play until you find the one. Then buy that one secure in the knowledge that you have played several dozen pianos and know yours is the one you really like, it doesn't matter what other people like or what the resale value will be. It does matter what the condition of the piano is so you don't buy a money pit. if it is oldish and you have even the slightest doubt about its history or condition it is always worth having an independent inspection - you can always make an offer 'subject to inspection' once you have found the piano you like and are ready to buy.

P.S. it is, at least around where I live, common for a dealer to offer a lifetime 'buyback at original selling price when you trade up to another model'. That isn't such a good deal as it sounds because you invariably then pay full store price for the upgrade model rather than a normal discounted rate, but it is some peace of mind having the guarantee.

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Your daughter is the primary pianist and has the most experience, what is her preference between the two pianos, and has she had a chance to play others?


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
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xXJFBXx Offline OP
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@ebonykawai: I've played a few pianos in both stores I went. IT is slightly obvious to me when I play a more expensive piano, I seem to like the sound a little better. The base is richer, the top notes don't hurt my ears as much, etc. But I run into another issue which I haven'T mentioned: I need to fit the piano somewhere and have to go through stairs and it seems 48 inch might be my limit. I wouldn'T want to go bigger. The piano mover came, and I have (I still can't believe it) a full cardboard 48 inch piano, complete with cardboard notes... The mover and I tried it in the stairs, and even 48" is tight. So going to a bigger, better sounding piano might not be an option for me. When it comes to the actions, I haven'T played them enough to even realize if I could possibly feel a difference. I guess I would have to play them side by side for a good 20-30 minutes to figure that out. But then again, I'm not sure I am experienced enough to notice a difference...

@gwing: The old piano is old. it is at least 50 years old. It does sound good, don't get me wrong, but I need it tuned. I play guitar, I play along with the radio, etc. and furthermore, my OCD won'T allow me to have a detuned instrument, lol! You do rais a good point that I will have to get any piano tuned either way, so the cost of tunings really shouldn't be a factor. But I did look inside my old piano, and when you see brown strings without a hint of cooper, I think neglect right away. Plus this old piano is a 54 inch, it's just way too big to fit up the stairs, and the missus (and I I'll be honest) don't really want it in the kitchen anymore, nor the living room... I am quite apt at ignoring their sales tactic, but in this case, There aren't any other 2000+ U1s on the market that I can find (and I've been looking for two weeks, on a daily basis, everywhere) It seems most are from the 90s or the 80s or 70s. That's too old for me, regardless of quality and upkeep. At that point, I'd rather buy new. My other option would be to wait around until another pops up, if this one sells, and that's something I could do, possibly. But being an impulse buyer, and a sucker for a deal, I'm having a hard time motivating my brain to go that route... Resale value is only one aspect of the process to choose a piano. If I have two that I like and I know one will resell better, all other things being equal, then I'll chose that one. I may have mis-expressed the weight resale value has in my decision process. It has weight, but not nearly as much as feel and sound. Sound is my #1 criteria. Thank you for your comment about buyback value. I hadn't imagined it with that angle... True, full retail price minus buyback value still equals more money spent...

@MarkL: My daughter is not the primary at this time: I am. She used to be, but she wanted to take a break for lessons (she isn't very far with lessons so far). What I know from myself is that if it sounds good, I'll be that much more motivated to play and learn and develop my skills, and that, I hope, may in turn motivate my daughter and son to pick up instruments for the rest of their lives (which I find important in personal development). But if that is my motivation, you do bring up a good point that I should bring her along so she could try them out and tell me what she thinks... Her opinion will matter in the long run, so thank you for that, I hadn't considered that...

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I would worry more about what you like and want and less about potential resale value unless you are planning on getting rid of it soon.
Or do what I did and rent a piano and see if it’s really what you want.
I’m renting a K300 ATX 2 - lessons learned so far are that I love the sound and action and hardly ever use the silent functionality so I may opt for a bigger non silent model when the lease is up.

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Looking at your musical preferences, I would guess the Yamaha would be more suitable. It also represents better value since it won't depreciate as much as a new piano. In the end, you need to decide which piano sound you prefer. You'll be listening to it for a long time. Make sure it's something you can live with.


Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

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