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Kawai, Petrof, and Weinbach #2823882 03/07/19 04:10 PM
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Hello,

I am so torn between a 1996 Kawai GM 10 (fully regulated 2 years back, but got dust everywhere inside), a 2000 Petrof 5'3" (well maintained), and a 1996 Weinbach 5'3" (looks "like new"). I probably will have to go play all of them, however, if anyone in the forum can shed some light in terms of overall quality/craftsmanship/hammer actions/tuning stability etc., would be of immense help. I am a beginner.

Thank you!

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Re: Kawai, Petrof, and Weinbach [Re: APassionatePianist] #2823900 03/07/19 04:41 PM
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my first grand was an early 70s yamaha the same size as the petrof and weinbach you're going to look at. having that piano pretty much attached me to playing for the rest of my life. your body and your ears should be able to sort out which of the three really sings to you and responds to your playing, and have a qualified technician check any finalist candidate. even though there's only a 10 cm. length difference between the kawai and the two euros, that can be significant in the small grands, but be guided foremost by your own experience with the instruments. buona fortuna with your journey.

Re: Kawai, Petrof, and Weinbach [Re: APassionatePianist] #2823946 03/07/19 06:17 PM
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Have you not seen them yet (you said you'll have to go ...)". Don't rush - there are always plenty of pianos.

My gut feeling would be that the KAWAI would be the better brand if you want a long term stable piano. As a general rule, KAWAI or YAMAHA are solid pianos.

For any piano of that age, I'd always have a technician inspect and evaluate the one you prefer - the fee is well worth the security of knowing that you haven't bought a problem - and gives you a chance to back-pedal and go elsewhere if he/she finds something untoward.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Kawai, Petrof, and Weinbach [Re: APassionatePianist] #2823952 03/07/19 06:36 PM
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Petrof ,also a well respected and they can be wonderful. You have to play these to decide. (Good idea to let someone else play as well so you can listen .)Then you need a technician to check .

Re: Kawai, Petrof, and Weinbach [Re: APassionatePianist] #2823988 03/07/19 07:59 PM
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If you’re not yet comfortable making a decision between them, and assuming all else is about equal since you’ve zeroed in on these three, then I’d suggest going with the Kawai, given their reputation. OTOH, if one really speaks to you, go with that one. Regardless, be sure to have your final choice inspected before purchase.



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Re: Kawai, Petrof, and Weinbach [Re: APassionatePianist] #2824073 03/08/19 02:03 AM
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I could be mistaken, but I think Weinbacks may have been made by Petrof. Also, Kawai models confuse me, but I would wager that a circa 2000s petrof would have better materials than a lower range kawai and maybe even the RX GX range. Kawai is probably the "safest bet" of the three, but not the horse I'd put my money on in this race. Have a tech inspect the pianos; should shed some light.

Re: Kawai, Petrof, and Weinbach [Re: APassionatePianist] #2824143 03/08/19 07:30 AM
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I think you're right - Weinbach is Petrof's budget line - later ones made in China I think.

Definitely get a Petrof checked - there are some which might be OK - but not as safe as a YAMAHA or KAWAI.

I did my diploma exam on a Petrof - and - I'm thinking of a way to say it nicely that I didn't like it at all.

That said - I think there are 2 versions of the GM-10 - one Japanese, the other Indonesian - and I'm not sure whether that makes a difference with KAWAI. With YAMAHA, the Japanese are significantly better pianos.

Interestingly - when I was searching for pianos a few years ago, I was also searching for an upright for my mother, the upright PETROFs impressed me more than their grands.

The KAWAI RX mentioned above is a better piano than a GM - but will cost more.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Something to consider - is a good upright - I would consider a K8 or K6 KAWAI might satisfy you more than a GM-10. To be honest, a good upright will outperform a 5' grand.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Kawai, Petrof, and Weinbach [Re: APassionatePianist] #2824192 03/08/19 09:21 AM
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Thanks you all for the great advice, truly appreciated - I will answer all your questions below:

The Kawai GM 10 - It's made in Japan, 1996. The person who owned it took great care of the piano, a true gentleman, who, due to his old age, cannot play any more. The internals are shabby and needs thorough cleaning, which will probably cost me few grands to get professionally cleaned. The sound is so "Kawai" and I love Kawais in general, very warm, and probably a bit dark, solemn.

The Weinbach 5'3" - It's made in Czech Republic, looks like never played, pristine condition, not sure if it has Renner actions. But definitely at that period, Petrof and Weinbach used to be literally same pianos under different names - correct me if I am wrong.

The Petrof 5'3" - Very much like the Weinbach above, and occasionally played during the holidays, kept well in a private home.

My next action would be to have them checked with a pro technician and play them myself.

It appears to me, forum's general perception about Kawai is that it has more stability, while Petrof/Weinbach could be a great instrument if one found in good condition.

As much as I love Kawais (overall sound, for some reason got great respect for them), I always wanted to own a European piano (Bechstein - out of my budget as of today, Bluthner - hard to get good ones in USA, Estonia - never tried, Petrof - I love Czech craftsmanship, and for some reason, probably the wood, they have a singing tone/voice).


Once again, such a great insight from you all! Made my day. And I am going to check them out soon.
Will keep you all posted.


Best!

Last edited by APassionatePianist; 03/08/19 09:22 AM. Reason: Typo
Re: Kawai, Petrof, and Weinbach [Re: APassionatePianist] #2824430 03/08/19 06:48 PM
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Looks "like new" can sometimes be a problem. A piano which isn't played is often not serviced regularly. A grand should be serviced at least twice a year - I have mine done 3 (sometimes 4) times a year.

A piano left to deteriorate can take a lot of servicing (mainly tuning) to come good - I've known pianos which have been ignored to be serviced, and being noticeably out of tune within a couple of weeks. When tuned again, it held for a bit longer et al. Tthe last one I knew like that (an upright) took about 5 or 6 tunings within a year to become relatively stable. The bargain the person thought they were buying cost them considerably more once the servicing co$t$ were added.

Again - a technician's advice is important - though it will cost for the assessment, it could save a lot of unexpected servicing costs (or even repairs).

.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Kawai, Petrof, and Weinbach [Re: backto_study_piano] #2824445 03/08/19 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by backto_study_piano
Looks "like new" can sometimes be a problem. A piano which isn't played is often not serviced regularly. A grand should be serviced at least twice a year - I have mine done 3 (sometimes 4) times a year.

A piano left to deteriorate can take a lot of servicing (mainly tuning) to come good - I've known pianos which have been ignored to be serviced, and being noticeably out of tune within a couple of weeks. When tuned again, it held for a bit longer et al. Tthe last one I knew like that (an upright) took about 5 or 6 tunings within a year to become relatively stable. The bargain the person thought they were buying cost them considerably more once the servicing co$t$ were added.

Again - a technician's advice is important - though it will cost for the assessment, it could save a lot of unexpected servicing costs (or even repairs).

.


This is a great piece of advice. Thank you!

Re: Kawai, Petrof, and Weinbach [Re: APassionatePianist] #2824555 03/09/19 07:28 AM
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At that time, the Weinbach and Petrof pianos were exactly the same. Two different names were used in the USA originally because the company felt that some Americans would not like a Czech name and would prefer a German name. Later it became a way to have 2 dealers in one marketplace with an "exclusive" brand. This did not work out so well so the Weinbach name went away, then returned as a budget line of Petrof.

The Weinbach you are considering might be a great option. Price and present condition notwithstanding, here would be my preference based on original manufactured quality:

1) 2000 Petrof (In the 1990's the company had some QC issues that had largely been taken care of by 2000)

2) 1996 Weinbach (Same as Petrof, but this was made during the QC time period and used a DeToa action instead of Renner. Still fine potential here)

3) 1996 Kawai GM10 - Entry level grand, period. It was built to be cheaper than your first two options and it will not get better.

My 2 cents,


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Re: Kawai, Petrof, and Weinbach [Re: Rich Galassini] #2824577 03/09/19 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
At that time, the Weinbach and Petrof pianos were exactly the same. Two different names were used in the USA originally because the company felt that some Americans would not like a Czech name and would prefer a German name. Later it became a way to have 2 dealers in one marketplace with an "exclusive" brand. This did not work out so well so the Weinbach name went away, then returned as a budget line of Petrof.

The Weinbach you are considering might be a great option. Price and present condition notwithstanding, here would be my preference based on original manufactured quality:

1) 2000 Petrof (In the 1990's the company had some QC issues that had largely been taken care of by 2000)

2) 1996 Weinbach (Same as Petrof, but this was made during the QC time period and used a DeToa action instead of Renner. Still fine potential here)

3) 1996 Kawai GM10 - Entry level grand, period. It was built to be cheaper than your first two options and it will not get better.

My 2 cents,



Thank you Rich. I think I am going to see the Weinbach and the Kawai very soon. The Petrof next. Will keep you posted.

Re: Kawai, Petrof, and Weinbach [Re: Retsacnal] #2825129 03/10/19 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
If you’re not yet comfortable making a decision between them, and assuming all else is about equal since you’ve zeroed in on these three, then I’d suggest going with the Kawai, given their reputation. OTOH, if one really speaks to you, go with that one. Regardless, be sure to have your final choice inspected before purchase.

Kawai's are generally reliable ,good pianos.Strongly made ,a lovely tone and responsive touch.

Re: Kawai, Petrof, and Weinbach [Re: APassionatePianist] #2829506 03/21/19 11:46 AM
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Updates!!!

I went to see the Kawai and turns out it's a Kawai GE-1 and NOT a GM-10. Made in the year 1996 - so probably one of the last batches of GE-1, which later became GE-1A, and GE-20 subsequently.

The piano is maintained so well and was fully regulated two years back by a well-known technician. This probably does not come with a duplex scale.

The touch was precise, in fact very responsive! The overall tone is mellow with good focus/clarity on each note. The base notes are, in my taste, just okay, wee bit flat and lacks some depth/dynamics compared to some of the modern pianos with wide-tail design - however has a good balance overall. The pinblock is in great shape, felts are good, hammers are good, soundboard is perfect!

I loved the sound and the overall feel. I still think some minor voicing would be necessary to give the treble notes little more brightness, middle section - some more focus, and the base notes - I don't know honestly, if some depth and loudness can be achieved. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

In my first impression it feels just so right in a NYC apartment setting, where you wouldn't like to bring a way too bright and loud instrument. Above all, I felt so much closeness with the instrument.


Best!!

Re: Kawai, Petrof, and Weinbach [Re: APassionatePianist] #2829662 03/21/19 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by APassionatePianist
Updates!!!

I went to see the Kawai and turns out it's a Kawai GE-1 and NOT a GM-10. Made in the year 1996 - so probably one of the last batches of GE-1, which later became GE-1A, and GE-20 subsequently.

The piano is maintained so well and was fully regulated two years back by a well-known technician. This probably does not come with a duplex scale.

The touch was precise, in fact very responsive! The overall tone is mellow with good focus/clarity on each note. The base notes are, in my taste, just okay, wee bit flat and lacks some depth/dynamics compared to some of the modern pianos with wide-tail design - however has a good balance overall. The pinblock is in great shape, felts are good, hammers are good, soundboard is perfect!

I loved the sound and the overall feel. I still think some minor voicing would be necessary to give the treble notes little more brightness, middle section - some more focus, and the base notes - I don't know honestly, if some depth and loudness can be achieved. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

In my first impression it feels just so right in a NYC apartment setting, where you wouldn't like to bring a way too bright and loud instrument. Above all, I felt so much closeness with the instrument.


Best!!


Sounds like you have "almost" made your decision?!



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Re: Kawai, Petrof, and Weinbach [Re: NobleHouse] #2829713 03/21/19 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by NobleHouse


Sounds like you have "almost" made your decision?!


Not yet but very close tho! I would like to ask the forum about anything about GE-1 that I should be aware of.

Did anyone experimented voicing for overall brilliance, and more dynamics and power on the base notes? I must confess that my piano vocabulary is weak. Hopefully you guys are getting the point smile

Thanks for all your generous and exceptional advices!

Best!

Re: Kawai, Petrof, and Weinbach [Re: APassionatePianist] #2833760 04/01/19 08:49 AM
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Well, I have narrowed down to the Kawai GE-1 and a Yamaha G1: below are some of the key differences.

The Kawai - 1996 made. Needs some voicing in the lower register.

The Yamaha - 1986 made. The lower register is good, but the upper register needs voicing.

Both have warm tone, for some reason the Kawai is stuck in my head. I made an iPhone video of the Kawai being played by my tech, the sound came awful! But when I played it, it felt so good! FYI, my tech is not a pianist.

On the other hand the Yamaha was played by the owner who’s a Juilliard trained accomplished pianist. It sounded so good. However, when I played it, it didn’t appeal to me.

Is it something to do with skills?

Is there anything else would you guys suggest between these two pianos given the age, brand, anything else?

Once again, thank you for all the help.

Have a wonderful day!

Re: Kawai, Petrof, and Weinbach [Re: APassionatePianist] #2833955 04/01/19 05:42 PM
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Any suggestions?

Re: Kawai, Petrof, and Weinbach [Re: APassionatePianist] #2833996 04/01/19 07:07 PM
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How much are these used pianos? FYI, my new Kawai GL10 was $7,900 delivered with 10 year warranty. It's a 5 foot grand, and I believe it is the successor to the GE1 and GM10.


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Re: Kawai, Petrof, and Weinbach [Re: Emery Wang] #2834036 04/01/19 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Emery Wang
How much are these used pianos? FYI, my new Kawai GL10 was $7,900 delivered with 10 year warranty. It's a 5 foot grand, and I believe it is the successor to the GE1 and GM10.
Emery - You got an excellent deal on a solid piano. So glad it has worked out well for you !! (I was thrilled to only pay $8K for my K-500 last year.)


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