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Baby Grand Advice #2823769
03/07/19 01:04 PM
03/07/19 01:04 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 14
Orange County
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toodifficult Offline OP
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Orange County
Hello, I have a 19 year-old daughter who has been taking piano lessons for 15 years. She is good and enjoys playing but is not a prodigy. She is in her freshman in college and her major is music education with a vocal emphasis. Her voice is her primary instrument followed by piano. She is still taking private piano lessons and does recitals. We got her a Yamaha T116 when she was 6 and she is still playing it at home.

Her piano teacher has a grand and she plays that during her lessons. She plays and sings classical music. I have never truly seen her excited about playing the piano until we went to Costco last week for their piano road show. She played the GB1k which is their 5' model at ~10k and the GC1M which is 5'3" for ~ 17k. She absolutely "lit-up" when she began playing first the k then the m. Even though her piano teacher's piano is larger she loved playing these two instruments. I've never seen her that excited about playing. I did some research and for fun played a YouTube of someone playing a Bosendorfer, Yamaha and Steinway. She guessed the Yamaha said the Bosendorfer sounded "dull"(can't think of the word she used) and the Steinway was in between. The Yamaha and Steinway were her favorites ( Steinway out of price range) It seems to me she likes "bright."

My question is would either of those lower-end Yamahas be enough of a step up from the T116 to justify the purchase? Space and price is a consideration. Is there enough of a difference between the GC1M and the GB1K to justify the jump in price? What else should we be looking at ? Thanks for any advice and help you can offer.

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Re: Baby Grand Advice [Re: toodifficult] #2823778
03/07/19 01:24 PM
03/07/19 01:24 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 14
Orange County
T
toodifficult Offline OP
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Orange County
Forgot to mention the two piano models I specified at Costco were Yamahas.

Re: Baby Grand Advice [Re: toodifficult] #2823782
03/07/19 01:31 PM
03/07/19 01:31 PM
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 71
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Horowitz67 Offline
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Either would be a wonderful step up for her. A brand new baby grand,
with a brand new baby grand action would be heaven for her.
I think either would be a homerun, and those prices seem quite good..I would try for the gc1. It is made in Japan, the other on Indonesia. The gc1 is very close to what Yamaha had going with its
C1, that is proven, wonderful.. and served infinite pianists and institutions for decades .
The touch on the gc1 is much more responsive than its less expensive
sibling, and sound is the classic Yamaha sound.

Re: Baby Grand Advice [Re: toodifficult] #2823787
03/07/19 01:40 PM
03/07/19 01:40 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 161
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redfish1901 Offline
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The prices at Costco are probably the best you can find locally--by 10% or more.

If you are in the mood to splurge now, the Costco deals are good--Good prices for decent instruments.

If you have time and willing to shop around, there are many (too many!) options. I found the Kawais of similar size are generally priced better than the Yamahas, likely even lower than the Costco prices. And there are the decent, Chinese made grands (Hailuns, Ritmuellers), depending on your location.

It sounds like your daughter is ready for a grand piano. Playing on a grand is a very special experience. I think the most fun thing would be to give her a budget, and let her browse through all the piano shops in the area, and see if she finds a good match.

Best of luck!

Re: Baby Grand Advice [Re: toodifficult] #2823789
03/07/19 01:41 PM
03/07/19 01:41 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 14
Orange County
T
toodifficult Offline OP
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Orange County
Thank you so much for the advice! I appreciate the insight and to my untrained ears, the smaller did sound a bit more brassy (for lack of a better word) than the C1.

Re: Baby Grand Advice [Re: toodifficult] #2823794
03/07/19 01:47 PM
03/07/19 01:47 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 14
Orange County
T
toodifficult Offline OP
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Joined: Mar 2019
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Orange County
Thank you for your help. Yes we do have some time if we want to take advantage of the Costco deal. I think it ends in April in our area. I am in Orange County, CA . The Kawai is a brand I have heard of but when I checked it seemed more expensive than Yamaha but perhaps I wasn't comparing apples to apples.

Re: Baby Grand Advice [Re: toodifficult] #2823801
03/07/19 02:16 PM
03/07/19 02:16 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,629
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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Victoria, BC
While price should - in some cases, must - be a consideration, I wonder about the wisdom of buying a piano from Costco. A purchase from a reputable piano dealer might initially cost you more, but you may well have better after-purchase service from a reliable dealer than from Costco. Does the Costco price include delivery and any in-home tunings after delivery? What warranty issues are covered by pianos sold by Costco? Is the manufacturer's warranty applicable? Are Costco pianos "prepped" as they are at a good dealership, or do they come straight out of the box without any prep?

My main concern would be any after-purchase issues that may arise, and they could, even with high-grade pianos. Would Costco cover any such eventuality or would you be on your own to find and pay for a technician to resolve any future problems?

I would strongly suggest - even if you end up purchasing from Costco - that you shop a few piano dealers, if there are any in your area. That may give you more information upon whether or not to buy from Costco.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Baby Grand Advice [Re: toodifficult] #2823807
03/07/19 02:41 PM
03/07/19 02:41 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 161
R
redfish1901 Offline
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Posts: 161
BruceD,
Costco Yamaha sales are partnered with a local Yamaha dealership. That dealership is responsible for prep, delivery, service, etc.

It's not like Costco is trying to scam customers into buying 17K pianos in crates with no support! That would be very terrible customer service, and very unlike them.

Re: Baby Grand Advice [Re: redfish1901] #2823808
03/07/19 02:47 PM
03/07/19 02:47 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,629
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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Victoria, BC
Originally Posted by redfish1901
BruceD,
Costco Yamaha sales are partnered with a local Yamaha dealership. That dealership is responsible for prep, delivery, service, etc.

It's not like Costco is trying to scam customers into buying 17K pianos in crates with no support! That would be very terrible customer service, and very unlike them.


Thanks; that's good to know.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Baby Grand Advice [Re: toodifficult] #2823812
03/07/19 02:55 PM
03/07/19 02:55 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 695
Indianapolis
G
GC13 Offline
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Joined: Jan 2017
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Indianapolis
If you're in Orange County CA, I highly suggest a trip over to Living Pianos. You might be surprised at what you find there. You might find a much nicer used piano (a model that is more of a professional grade model than those offered by Yamaha @ Costco which are more of a consumer grade instrument) at a much comparable price. There are lots of options on the used piano market. If I lived in SO_CAL, I'd definitely check this place out before buying anything.

Re: Baby Grand Advice [Re: redfish1901] #2823813
03/07/19 02:57 PM
03/07/19 02:57 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 61
Vancouver, WA
T
texasdiver Offline
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 61
Vancouver, WA
Originally Posted by redfish1901
BruceD,
Costco Yamaha sales are partnered with a local Yamaha dealership. That dealership is responsible for prep, delivery, service, etc.

It's not like Costco is trying to scam customers into buying 17K pianos in crates with no support! That would be very terrible customer service, and very unlike them.


So essentially Costco is just providing floor space for Yamaha and the local dealer to sell pianos outside their regular showroom? Do they have Yamaha sales reps, or local deal reps or both at these "events?" I assume that since Yamaha generally only has one exclusive dealer for each metro area that one can easily figure out in advance who you will actually be dealing with if you buy at Costco. I assume also that you aren't walking out of Costco with a boxed up grand piano like it is a patio furniture set. You are just ordering one that the local dealer will be delivering and providing the initial setup? Or is this some sort of different factory direct thing?

I'm asking because I see on the web site that we have a local Costco that will be getting the Yamaha road show next weekend. I thought it might be interesting to swing by the local Yamaha dealer this weekend to look at the pianos and take careful notes on prices and service, then go by Costco next weekend and see how the prices and sales approaches compare. And if the service packages, financing, and fine print is the same or if they are doing something different at Costco.

I have two daughters who are younger than yours and we are just starting the process of shopping for a new or used grand to upgrade from our current Kawai digital. The two models that your daughter liked are also on our radar. We are not space constrained but we are budget constrained.

Last edited by texasdiver; 03/07/19 02:58 PM.
Re: Baby Grand Advice [Re: BruceD] #2823814
03/07/19 03:03 PM
03/07/19 03:03 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 14
Orange County
T
toodifficult Offline OP
Junior Member
toodifficult  Offline OP
Junior Member
T

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 14
Orange County
I will look into the warranty with Costco. Thanks for the tip.

Re: Baby Grand Advice [Re: toodifficult] #2823818
03/07/19 03:14 PM
03/07/19 03:14 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 161
R
redfish1901 Offline
Full Member
redfish1901  Offline
Full Member
R

Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 161
texasdiver,
The Costco Yamaha event near me was staffed by a local Yamaha dealer, and he was very happy to chat with me about how it all worked.

From the dealer's perspective, it's additional foot traffic. I think the original poster demonstrated that it works!

For the customer, the pricing is quite nice. Costco negotiates fixed prices for certain models. Naturally the list of pianos available at "Costco Price" was limited--only the lower end, like the B series uprights and the GC grands, and digitals. No, you can't buy a CFX at Costco smile Still, the list was longer than what was displayed, which was a nice surprise. I saw the N3X AvantGrand for 15K last year, which was (still is?) a great price. Event the factory holiday discounts applied.

I think there is no financing though. If you wanted to finance it, you would buy it through the dealer, rather than through Costco, and maybe the dealer would let you have it for "Costco Price".

Overall, I thought it was a pleasant experience, even though I didn't end up buying through Costco.

Re: Baby Grand Advice [Re: toodifficult] #2823819
03/07/19 03:14 PM
03/07/19 03:14 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,002
Ocala, Florida
M.O.P. Offline
1000 Post Club Member
M.O.P.  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,002
Ocala, Florida
The warranty won't be with Costco. It will be through Yamaha and it's exhibiting Dealer, just the same as if you were shopping in the piano store. Costco essentially provides a floor space for the local Yamaha Dealer to sell to Costco customers as they are shopping.


Nancy Fanzlaw
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"The piano was God's gift to music." Lou Mason

Re: Baby Grand Advice [Re: toodifficult] #2823857
03/07/19 04:31 PM
03/07/19 04:31 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 1,651
North Vancouver
L
Lady Bird Online content
1000 Post Club Member
Lady Bird  Online Content
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Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 1,651
North Vancouver
I agree that costco is not a place to buy pianos .Before delivery the piano needs to be prepared.Pianos arrive from the warehouse and really need to be adjusted after being shipped through high and low temperatures and humidity. This needs to be done by a RPT technician.
Then there is the "new " piano problem .They need more tunings as they settle to the new environment of your home .Perhaps 3 tunings
a year for the first 2 years .After about 6 tunings they settle down and
then about 2 or at the very least 1 tuning a year .
Sometimes new pianos have minor problems like a squeakin pedal or a note buzzes .Since the piano is under warranty these problems
need to be sorted out .
So I would check out the after sales service of Costco .Best wishes .

Re: Baby Grand Advice [Re: toodifficult] #2823871
03/07/19 05:00 PM
03/07/19 05:00 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 14,241
Louisiana
Jolly Offline
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Posts: 14,241
Louisiana
Originally Posted by toodifficult
Hello, I have a 19 year-old daughter who has been taking piano lessons for 15 years. She is good and enjoys playing but is not a prodigy. She is in her freshman in college and her major is music education with a vocal emphasis. Her voice is her primary instrument followed by piano. She is still taking private piano lessons and does recitals. We got her a Yamaha T116 when she was 6 and she is still playing it at home.

Her piano teacher has a grand and she plays that during her lessons. She plays and sings classical music. I have never truly seen her excited about playing the piano until we went to Costco last week for their piano road show. She played the GB1k which is their 5' model at ~10k and the GC1M which is 5'3" for ~ 17k. She absolutely "lit-up" when she began playing first the k then the m. Even though her piano teacher's piano is larger she loved playing these two instruments. I've never seen her that excited about playing. I did some research and for fun played a YouTube of someone playing a Bosendorfer, Yamaha and Steinway. She guessed the Yamaha said the Bosendorfer sounded "dull"(can't think of the word she used) and the Steinway was in between. The Yamaha and Steinway were her favorites ( Steinway out of price range) It seems to me she likes "bright."

My question is would either of those lower-end Yamahas be enough of a step up from the T116 to justify the purchase? Space and price is a consideration. Is there enough of a difference between the GC1M and the GB1K to justify the jump in price? What else should we be looking at ? Thanks for any advice and help you can offer.


Set a budget and start looking. Your sample size is too small. You may eventually come back to Yamaha, but you never know what's out there until you look.

And just a word of advice...get a piano template or make one of your own and have some fun placing it in different parts of the room(s) you are considering for the piano. Most people are shocked how little the difference is in the room taken up by a 5' vs. a 5.5' piano. And in the mid-five foot range you start to run up on some nice pianos, indeed.


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Over 1.4M (and counting) posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.
Re: Baby Grand Advice [Re: Jolly] #2823922
03/07/19 06:13 PM
03/07/19 06:13 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 14
Orange County
T
toodifficult Offline OP
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Orange County
I want to thank each and every one of you for your advice. I would like and actually did try to respond to everyone individually but I am only allowed one post every300 seconds and it just got too tedious. We just got back from a piano store and she tried the Kawai, Young Chang, Baldwin, Essex and got to try a 90k Steinway ( experience of a lifetime). All were good and with the exception of the Steinway she prefers the Yamahas. She just likes the brighter tone. If we ever win the loto, the Steinway would be the way to go. I am not sure if it is because she has been playing a Yamaha all her life or what.

Good idea about the template. We have our upright in the entryway right now.

I appreciate the advice about tuning. I did not know it had to be tuned that much the first year .

Re: Baby Grand Advice [Re: toodifficult] #2823929
03/07/19 06:19 PM
03/07/19 06:19 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 572
UK
S
ShyPianist Offline
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Joined: Feb 2019
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UK
Quote
I am only allowed one post every300 seconds and it just got too tedious.


Aw, hang on in there, it should pass after a few more posts (not sure how many). It drove me nuts too, and it turns out there was a bug that would have kept me and others in “one post per 300 seconds” jail forever! I believe that’s sorted now.


Pianist, independent music arranger, violinist, mother
Re: Baby Grand Advice [Re: toodifficult] #2823934
03/07/19 06:34 PM
03/07/19 06:34 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 14
Orange County
T
toodifficult Offline OP
Junior Member
toodifficult  Offline OP
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Joined: Mar 2019
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Orange County
:-) thx.

Re: Baby Grand Advice [Re: toodifficult] #2823943
03/07/19 07:10 PM
03/07/19 07:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,113
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Online happy
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Orange County, CA
Does it absolutely have to be a brand new grand piano?

There are so many well-maintained used pianos for sales, at much more reasonable prices.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
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