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Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? #2847917
05/13/19 09:45 PM
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texasdiver Offline OP
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Came across this listing in my neighborhood. Wondering if it is worth it to go check out and play.

https://portland.craigslist.org/clk/msg/d/vancouver-price-drop-charles-walter/6886965778.html

I understand it is not a very common brand. And pretty old-school still made here in the US. The Larry Fine book seems to speak highly of them. The Fall 2018 piano buyer supplement has the 6'4" grand priced in the $80,000 range which seems absurdly high. I'm wondering if that can be correct.

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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2847924
05/13/19 10:14 PM
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All it will cost you to look is your time and travel. Walter makes fine pianos, so if it is something you might be interested in buying, by all means go and try it.


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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2847937
05/13/19 11:42 PM
05/13/19 11:42 PM
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Phoenix, Arizona
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If the piano is in good shape, $11.7K would be an exceptional price.


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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: Carey] #2847950
05/14/19 12:40 AM
05/14/19 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Carey
If the piano is in good shape, $11.7K would be an exceptional price.


That's what I was sort of thinking based on the two Larry Fine books I have and what else is out there. I can only find two pianos of the same model for sale nationwide. One for $24,900 at a dealer that is 2-years newer and one for $19-something on ebay that is 3 years older.

Going to take the girls out to see it Friday and see what they think. Piano shopping has been an adventure with my two kids. The younger one has been extremely indoctrinated by her teacher and is now super-fussy. She wants a piano with a light action like a Yamaha but with a richer less bright tone like a Bosendorfer and that has a lot of dynamic range. She has vetoed a lot of pianos that have actions she doesn't like or don't have the range that she likes (down to ppp) or that are much to bright like the old heavily used Yamahas. And in the $10k range that Dad can afford.

I'm in no hurry to buy something. But this seems a probable time of year to find a good Craigslist deal as lots of people, especially those with kids, move this time of year so they aren't breaking up their kids school years. Luckily we are in a large enough metro area that something is sure to eventually pop up that works for us.

If it meets their approval and checks out by the tech that I've already used to inspect another piano, it might be a keeper. Wasn't a brand I was first looking for as I don't think any local dealers sell these. But now after reading about these I'm curious about it.

Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2848005
05/14/19 08:00 AM
05/14/19 08:00 AM
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Don’t know how quickly pianos sell for in your area, but that quality piano at the asking price should not last long if it is in good condition. Good luck.

Rich


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Anton Rubinstein said about the piano: "You think it is one instrument? It is a hundred instruments!"
Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2848006
05/14/19 08:08 AM
05/14/19 08:08 AM
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Go and play it. This is a piano that is quite well made and is a very good value at that price.

I assume you are in Vancouver near Portland? Well, the man who designed that piano lives in Hoquiam, Wa. and, although he is in retirement age, he could likely be coaxed to visit and make that piano sing the best it can. His name is Del Fandrich and he is a member here on PW. Hopefully, he will see this thread.
His fee will not be cheap, but at the asking price, you have plenty of elbow room.

...there is also the real possibility that Del is just too busy to make that drive. I hope I am not building up unrealistic expectations.

Please come back here and tell us what you think.


Rich Galassini
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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2848053
05/14/19 11:11 AM
05/14/19 11:11 AM
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Thanks guys. Yes, the Vancouver across the river from Portland. I already found a good tech in the Vancouver area who already inspected another piano for me that we decided against (a Young Chang with a player installed) and who I'll be using for future tunings of whatever I buy. So I don't think I really need someone from 3 hours away to do an inspection. I assume anyone who's been in the business for a few decades can do a competent piano inspection regardless of the brand.

I've been watching Craigslist for a few months now and nothing is really selling fast around here. I see some of the same pianos relisted again and again. The only stuff that seems to sell reasonably fast are late model Yamaha pianos priced well. Anything more eclectic than a newish Yamaha grand seems to sit a lot longer. One piano salesman told me that reflects a bias of all the local Chinese families who like to only buy Yamaha or Steinway (or maybe Kawai). When you go to recitals and competions around here seems like half the families and kids are Asian so I guess that is a large component of the local market.

So I think the best deals are pretty much anything not Yamaha or Steinway.

Last edited by texasdiver; 05/14/19 11:17 AM.
Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2848126
05/14/19 04:20 PM
05/14/19 04:20 PM
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Yeah for that price it’s certainly worth a drive to check it out. The first person it has to please is the buyer. I don’t remember if you play or just your kids. But you’ll be listening to all the practice so get a piano you want to hear.


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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2848132
05/14/19 04:34 PM
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If the piano is in good shape, that price is incredible. I played one of these once and thought it beat the pants off either an M or O.

Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2848150
05/14/19 06:05 PM
05/14/19 06:05 PM
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I have only encountered one Charles Walter 6'4" grand, and it was outstanding! When I think of the top 5 best pianos I've ever played, that Charles Walter grand makes the list.


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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2848249
05/15/19 12:24 AM
05/15/19 12:24 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dli4sU_4HKg

this might be very similar to the piano in question. Might help you decide whether or not to investigate further.

Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2848259
05/15/19 12:50 AM
05/15/19 12:50 AM
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Phoenix, Arizona
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Another video - highlighting a 2004 CW 190 - with Classical repertoire..

https://youtu.be/bFUSSi_Kp5Q

Beautiful instrument..

Last edited by Carey; 05/15/19 12:52 AM.

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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2848262
05/15/19 01:08 AM
05/15/19 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by texasdiver
I already found a good tech in the Vancouver area who already inspected another piano for me that we decided against (a Young Chang with a player installed) and who I'll be using for future tunings of whatever I buy. So I don't think I really need someone from 3 hours away to do an inspection.
.


You misunderstand me texasdiver. Of course you would not want Del Fandrich to drive 3 hours to inspect a piano. He would not do that either. He is in demand and still travels all over the world.

However, Del could be the finest person in the world to get the most out of a Walter grand as he designed it. I am referring to fine regulation, voicing, and prep. of a fine piano that this Walter might benefit a lot from. He might have interest in visiting a Walter grand as well.

To make an analogy, that would be like having Chopin himself coach you to get the most out of playing one of his etudes... but you can also take a lesson from the lady down the street. smile

Seriously, good luck and keep us posted,


Rich Galassini
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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2848432
05/15/19 10:40 AM
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Thanks guys. I'll keep you all posted.

Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2848945
05/16/19 06:17 PM
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I purchased my Charles Walter W-190 new after playing dozens of different grand pianos all over the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Both of the piano techs I've used over the years love to work on it. They say it's built like a tank.
If the piano you're considering has been well taken care of, that is a steal of a price. I hope you get a chance to play it, because if you do you will definitely want to stretch your budget to get it.
If you have any specific questions about the quality and sound, please feel free to PM and I would be happy to give you some feedback.
Jon


"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein
Charles Walter W190 Ebony
Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2849119
05/17/19 06:31 AM
05/17/19 06:31 AM
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When I came across this thread, I too was going to mention that Del Fandrich designed this piano. I have never played one, but Del rebuilt my current piano. His reputation is outstanding, and it is said he put his years of knowledge and expertise into designing the CW grands, and I have heard it said that they are excellent.

I personally spoke with Del about my grand twice before buying it preowned (someone else initially bought it from him after the rebuild). Even though it was 10 years later, he remembered every detail of my piano. My tuner, who has worked for Steinway for 30 years, was blown away about the quality and attention to detail that was put into the rebuild.

I’d definitely jump on this CW, provided it has been well maintained. Don’t be shocked if it needs a tune or regulation. However, provided it checks out, it would be well worth it.


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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2849431
05/17/19 11:01 PM
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Vancouver, WA
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Update from the OP here:

Went out and looked at it tonight with the girls. They played around on it for about a half an hour and gave a thumbs up on both the action and the tone. I don't think it was necessarily a super enthusiastic thumbs up but it was a Friday evening and they were tired. But they liked playing on it. It seemed a pretty nice piano. It is the first in about 10 pianos that we've looked at that they both agreed was nice.

I was surprised to find it somewhat battered. Lots of little nicks and scraches on all sides. Not the sort of thing you'd expect to find on a piano sitting on someone's living room. Especially an older single woman. I asked her about it and she said it was like that when she bought it. She bought it from a Portland dealer used and apparently it was used previously as a practice piano at a university which would explain the relatively battered state of the piano.

She has the original receipts of the piano. She paid $26,900 for it in 2007 which seems rather high for a used and somewhat battered Charles Walter W190. Says the piano is a 2002 model. I kind of don't think they sold for much more than that new. The serial number is 529329 if anyone has a book and can check. I guess that might make sense if a college uses pianos for 5 years and then turns them over. Her price of 11,750 is quite a price drop and seems like a reasonable price. I'm just kind of fussy and wonder about paying that much money for a piano that is somewhat nicked up.

I think it is worth getting my tech out to inspect it which I'm going to do and see what he has to say.

I have no idea whether it is even possible to polish up and refinish a piano like this that has a satin lacquer finish. It would probably require a complete refinishing to erase all the little dings. So probably not worth it and just consider that part of the "patina" I guess.

Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2849435
05/17/19 11:18 PM
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The date is correct. The finish could probably be repaired fairly well by a good finish repair specialist.


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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: BDB] #2849480
05/18/19 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by BDB
The date is correct. The finish could probably be repaired fairly well by a good finish repair specialist.



Yep, it is 2002. Also confirming that the right finish technician can do wonders. Complete refinishing is likely unnecessary. (Of course, I haven't seen the piano).


Rich Galassini
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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2849498
05/18/19 06:50 AM
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If you can post some pictures of the scratches and dings, some members will probably be able to say with a good degree of certainty how well they could be fixed by a good finish expert.

Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2849499
05/18/19 06:51 AM
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If you can post some pictures of the scratches and dings, some members will probably be able to say with a good degree of certainty how well they could be fixed by a good finish expert.

Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: pianoloverus] #2849512
05/18/19 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
If you can post some pictures of the scratches and dings, some members will probably be able to say with a good degree of certainty how well they could be fixed by a good finish expert.

Of course the other issue is that if the exterior is in bad shape, what about the inner workings. Soundboard, pinblock, etc. It’s not that old, but depending on how it has been stored, humidity issues, etc, it could be in any kind of shape.

Sounds like getting the technician out there is a good move.


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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2849527
05/18/19 09:01 AM
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University practice piano.... technician time. I'd be more concerned about inside than outside.

Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: dhull100] #2849541
05/18/19 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by dhull100
University practice piano.... technician time. I'd be more concerned about inside than outside.

Absolutely. Nothing gets a workout like university practice pianos. Nothing. Adds years. There's a lot of felt in there. It just wears out.

Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2849563
05/18/19 10:37 AM
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Indeed, the prior use as a university practice piano goes a long way into explaining the price, which seemed impossibly low for one of these. It could still be a very good option for the price, but you're going to want the tech to go over it with a fine-toothed comb. Watch out for evidence of drink spills, strings being badly tarnished from being touched, and all the wear points in the action, which can indicate upcoming repairs that could be 4-figure amounts of money.


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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: pianoloverus] #2849569
05/18/19 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
If you can post some pictures of the scratches and dings, some members will probably be able to say with a good degree of certainty how well they could be fixed by a good finish expert.


I didn't take pictures but there are probably a couple dozen small scratches and dings around the perimeter, top and music desk. Mostly they are small but perhaps 3 or 4 of them are deep enough to expose the white or lighter color underneath. It's all cosmetic, no LARGE gouges. But as an amateur woodworker there are a lot of little spots to fill and refinish that I'd almost think it would be easier to just refinish the entire thing rather than to try to spot fill a whole bunch of little nicks and dings.

The sort of thing that you'd expect if the piano is being moved around and bumping into doorways, elevators, etc. Metal music stands being banged against it and so forth. Not at all the sort of thing you'd expect to see for a piano sitting in someone's house. The piano my kids have been playing on for 9 years has not a scratch on it by comparison.

Last edited by texasdiver; 05/18/19 10:53 AM.
Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2849715
05/18/19 05:51 PM
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I’ve seen some really professional refinish work done on furniture and pianos so dings and dents shouldn’t worry you too much. Sometimes scratches and dings give you a lower price on purchase. I admit I flinch thinking about a scratch on my piano or vehicle but there are artists that can make it look like new, so when/if I see a scratch after the involuntary grimace, I know it can be fixed. Another weird thing, once my SUV or piano has been scratched, the pressure is off. I can relax a bit.


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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: j&j] #2849726
05/18/19 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by j&j
I’ve seen some really professional refinish work done on furniture and pianos so dings and dents shouldn’t worry you too much. Sometimes scratches and dings give you a lower price on purchase. I admit I flinch thinking about a scratch on my piano or vehicle but there are artists that can make it look like new, so when/if I see a scratch after the involuntary grimace, I know it can be fixed. Another weird thing, once my SUV or piano has been scratched, the pressure is off. I can relax a bit.


That's the thing. We have a yellow lab and two cats. All our furniture is cheap IKEA stuff because the pets and kids tend to abuse it. So a perfectly polished museum-quality piano would be something I'd probably stress over and make everyone else in the house crazy. So buying one that is pre-dinged up will take the pressure off.

Frankly I'm probably exagerating how bad it is. When you walk around a piano doing the white glove thing inspecting every surface you are going to find dings and scratches that might not even be visible from 3 ft away. I don't know how much will polish away too. It looks like the piano was not polished much or correctly because I can see the circular swirls and I don't think circular is the way to polish these lacquered pianos. I think one would want to polish it along the direction of the grain.

I spent a half an hour on the phone with the tech who has been servicing, tuning, and voicing the piano every 6 months for the past 10 years. He spoke very highly of it, says these are built like tanks and that all the structural pieces are in excellent condition. He says what he would do is just put it in the room and have the kids play it hard for 5 years then when we finally have an empty house and no more chaos, perhaps treat the piano to a good refinishing.

I think I'll schedule a different tech out to give it a thorough inspection and then if he gives thumbs up we'll pull the trigger.

Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2849727
05/18/19 06:55 PM
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In the Ozarks of Missouri
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Originally Posted by texasdiver
Originally Posted by j&j
I’ve seen some really professional refinish work done on furniture and pianos so dings and dents shouldn’t worry you too much. Sometimes scratches and dings give you a lower price on purchase. I admit I flinch thinking about a scratch on my piano or vehicle but there are artists that can make it look like new, so when/if I see a scratch after the involuntary grimace, I know it can be fixed. Another weird thing, once my SUV or piano has been scratched, the pressure is off. I can relax a bit.


That's the thing. We have a yellow lab and two cats. All our furniture is cheap IKEA stuff because the pets and kids tend to abuse it. So a perfectly polished museum-quality piano would be something I'd probably stress over and make everyone else in the house crazy. So buying one that is pre-dinged up will take the pressure off.

Frankly I'm probably exagerating how bad it is. When you walk around a piano doing the white glove thing inspecting every surface you are going to find dings and scratches that might not even be visible from 3 ft away. I don't know how much will polish away too. It looks like the piano was not polished much or correctly because I can see the circular swirls and I don't think circular is the way to polish these lacquered pianos. I think one would want to polish it along the direction of the grain.

I spent a half an hour on the phone with the tech who has been servicing, tuning, and voicing the piano every 6 months for the past 10 years. He spoke very highly of it, says these are built like tanks and that all the structural pieces are in excellent condition. He says what he would do is just put it in the room and have the kids play it hard for 5 years then when we finally have an empty house and no more chaos, perhaps treat the piano to a good refinishing.

I think I'll schedule a different tech out to give it a thorough inspection and then if he gives thumbs up we'll pull the trigger.

Sounds like a smart plan. Good luck and keep us posted.


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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2849741
05/18/19 07:39 PM
05/18/19 07:39 PM
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New Hampshire
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They are great pianos. Everything can be fixed. Just a matter if time, talent, and money. You won't find a better made 6'4" grand anywhere in that price range.

One reason for the price is that Walters do not have wide spread name recognition. Nice piano...just not well known.

Pwg

Last edited by P W Grey; 05/18/19 07:39 PM.

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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2849902
05/19/19 09:37 AM
05/19/19 09:37 AM
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Georgia, USA
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I agree the case can be fixed/refinished, but at a cost.

I've seen fairly nice, brand-name pianos with the case and exterior kind of banged up and scratch up; some much worse than others. I was fortunate in that the Yamaha C7 I purchased from a Church was in very good condition, inside and out (minus a couple of broken strings smile ). When Sally Phillips visited my place to do some work on the C7 she commented on what nice condition it was in, including the case.

My Baldwin R, on the other hand, had experienced a couple of rough moves and a dog that liked to chew on certain areas of the piano cabinet. But it was not something I couldn't fix, or at least improve to an extent.

The worst examples of scratched up and banged up piano cases and cabinets I've seen have been college practice room pianos. I think they get the brunt of the scars and nicks. Nevertheless, as others have said, it (scratches and dings) is something that can be fixed or improved greatly.

I think the worst example of a nasty piano I ever saw was a used 6'8" Kimball Viennese grand at a piano dealer in Macon Ga. The outer case looked okay, minus some very fine hairline cracks in the thick, glossy polyester (ebony) finish, but the sound-board, bridges and strings had a very nasty looking residue/glaze that looked like grease mingled with dust. The store owner said he was selling it on consignment for a friend, but my guess was that it spent a good portion of its life in a restaurant or bar (near the grill:-).

But even so, being the piano enthusiast that I am (or at least used to be) and not afraid of a challenge, I made them an offer on the piano, which they turned down. That was probably good fortune on my part... smile

Good luck with the Charles Walter!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: Rickster] #2849950
05/19/19 11:23 AM
05/19/19 11:23 AM
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Southwest
j&j Offline
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Originally Posted by Rickster
I agree the case can be fixed/refinished, but at a cost.

I've seen fairly nice, brand-name pianos with the case and exterior kind of banged up and scratch up; some much worse than others. I was fortunate in that the Yamaha C7 I purchased from a Church was in very good condition, inside and out (minus a couple of broken strings smile ). When Sally Phillips visited my place to do some work on the C7 she commented on what nice condition it was in, including the case.

My Baldwin R, on the other hand, had experienced a couple of rough moves and a dog that liked to chew on certain areas of the piano cabinet. But it was not something I couldn't fix, or at least improve to an extent.

The worst examples of scratched up and banged up piano cases and cabinets I've seen have been college practice room pianos. I think they get the brunt of the scars and nicks. Nevertheless, as others have said, it (scratches and dings) is something that can be fixed or improved greatly.

I think the worst example of a nasty piano I ever saw was a used 6'8" Kimball Viennese grand at a piano dealer in Macon Ga. The outer case looked okay, minus some very fine hairline cracks in the thick, glossy polyester (ebony) finish, but the sound-board, bridges and strings had a very nasty looking residue/glaze that looked like grease mingled with dust. The store owner said he was selling it on consignment for a friend, but my guess was that it spent a good portion of its life in a restaurant or bar (near the grill:-).

But even so, being the piano enthusiast that I am (or at least used to be) and not afraid of a challenge, I made them an offer on the piano, which they turned down. That was probably good fortune on my part... smile

Good luck with the Charles Walter!

Rick

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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: j&j] #2850181
05/19/19 11:35 PM
05/19/19 11:35 PM
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Rockville, MD
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This is just a speculation, but I thought it **could** be possible that this "university practice piano" for which the current owner paid so much, might have been in a "loaner program" at a university or college.

If that is the case, then, based on what I know from working on setting up a loaner program at a school where I was teaching, it could be that the piano was in service at the school for less than a year before being sold.

At 6'4" it also seems unlikely - though not impossible - that it was in a practice room, more likely a teaching studio, or a class room.

...which could mean it hasn't been beat to death yet, thought it would have had a lot more wear than typical for "home use".

Seems worth a technician's inspection fee at the asking price.


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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: Seeker] #2850495
05/20/19 05:16 PM
05/20/19 05:16 PM
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Vancouver, WA
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texasdiver Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Seeker
This is just a speculation, but I thought it **could** be possible that this "university practice piano" for which the current owner paid so much, might have been in a "loaner program" at a university or college.

If that is the case, then, based on what I know from working on setting up a loaner program at a school where I was teaching, it could be that the piano was in service at the school for less than a year before being sold.

At 6'4" it also seems unlikely - though not impossible - that it was in a practice room, more likely a teaching studio, or a class room.

...which could mean it hasn't been beat to death yet, thought it would have had a lot more wear than typical for "home use".

Seems worth a technician's inspection fee at the asking price.


That makes more sense. I've never seen HS or college practice rooms with grand pianos in them so it was probably more likely in a music classroom for band or orchestra or choir. Might explain why the exterior is more battered than the interior which looks pristine. If it was always getting pushed around a classroom but not necessarily getting used all that much.

Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2850546
05/20/19 09:06 PM
05/20/19 09:06 PM
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Florida
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The university where I take lessons had about 30 rooms - all with grands.


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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2850737
05/21/19 12:33 PM
05/21/19 12:33 PM
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Went to 3 schools of music - long story - all had grands in practice rooms - as well as some uprights.

Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2855871
06/05/19 06:45 PM
06/05/19 06:45 PM
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Posts: 726
Louisiana, USA
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This might be anecdotal, but when I had a CW console, it seemed like was a breaking a bass string every couple of months. Of course, maybe that's because the bass was so good for a little piano.

Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2857116
06/09/19 09:48 PM
06/09/19 09:48 PM
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San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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"... if a college uses pianos for 5 years and then turns them over. Her price of 11,750 is quite a price drop and seems like a reasonable price. I'm just kind of fussy and wonder about paying that much money for a piano that is somewhat nicked up."

Yes, a university practice room sacrificial virgin. The only worse environment is a church. They buy 'em too small, beat 'em too hard, and economize on the climate control, so it's always up and down, up and down, every week. But I see hope for you in the next sentence:

"I think it is worth getting my tech out to inspect it which I'm going to do and see what he has to say."

Ding-ding-ding, Jackpot! And by this end of the thread, we already know that the seller has been very good to her piano and has put you in touch with the tech who maintained it. This would be almost as good as it could be, for buying a used piano which is (1) within the time window of its musically useful life, (2) of excellent make, (3) BOTH daughters have confessed in the presence of witnesses that they find it acceptable, (4) that you can afford, and (5) that you're sending your tech over, just to be sure. Call it pro forma.

"I have no idea whether it is even possible to polish up and refinish a piano like this that has a satin lacquer finish. It would probably require a complete refinishing to erase all the little dings. So probably not worth it and just consider that part of the "patina" I guess."

You guess that, and I'll guess that the saying which "Reader's Digest" printed many years ago, says it for you. It went, "When we got married, the floor looked like the top of the piano. After raising three kids, the top of the piano looks like the floor."

You are a lucky man, it sounds like to me.


Clef

Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2857352
06/10/19 07:37 PM
06/10/19 07:37 PM
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San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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If I could say one more thing, you might offer the seller a refundable deposit, to hold the piano until your tech gives you the story. Nothing says, "I'm really serious," like a cash deposit. Write up a little receipt stating the terms, another sign of the serious buyer who means business.

About that $80,000 quote. When I bought my piano, seven or eight years ago, the salesperson tried to interest me in one of the CW grands that stood right beside the one I bought. I knew nothing of the marque, just enough to notice that the underside of the piano was finished as nicely as the top (Darlene pointed this out). And, that I got more of a sound in the store from the one I bought. The CW was quieter. It was much later that I learned that the size and sound envelope were intentionally made that way, to better suit playing conditions in a residence.

Stores are not a great place to listen to pianos. My ears paid for my ignorance, until I managed to get the large and oddly-shaped living room acoustically tuned.

I also loved the Kawai RX-5's key finish, and the touch. Just a beautiful action. I got that part right; they are famous for this. I did not love the plastic-topped keys on the CW, and I don't remember the touch. Oh well, so I missed what might have been a wonderful opportunity.

The price was pretty close to the longer RX, maybe a few thousand more. Call it 35,000, maybe 36. Not 80, certainly. Both were new. Possibly a little horse-trading might have gotten it down some. I've tried to think of how that figure could have come up. An insurance valuation, just a little puffed up? A store, marking the price up to twice what they wanted to get? Sounds pretty edgy to me. I'm going to go with, "It was a typo." These things happen, even in the most reputable publications.

Come to think of it, while you're writing up a receipt for your deposit, you might as well mention the price you were offered, and which you have agreed to pay, pending your own tech's evaluation. If he is able to give you an estimate on whatever work needs to be done to get it in tip-top shape for your most finicky young daughter. Add that to the sale price and you will know the actual figure.

The price offered is very close to what the same dealer I bought from asked for a beautiful CW upright. Not with the fancy decor treatment; it was a plain 'ebony' polish case. I wanted it! I have become a rabid partisan of this little piano that gives back so much.

Anyway, congratulations again.


Clef

Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: texasdiver] #2857470
06/11/19 10:29 AM
06/11/19 10:29 AM
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Louisiana
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To be blunt...

If the piano checked out, buy it. Buy it and don't look back.

They are very good pianos. Ask yourself would you give $11K for a good Steinway of that vintage. Well, they are built just as well (probably better) and with the right prep can sing.

I'm biased, of course. The 6'4" is one of my favorites.


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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: Carey] #2862952
06/26/19 11:30 AM
06/26/19 11:30 AM
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Boise, ID USA
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Originally Posted by Carey
Another video - highlighting a 2004 CW 190 - with Classical repertoire..

https://youtu.be/bFUSSi_Kp5Q

Beautiful instrument..


This is a beautiful instrument. I purchased it.

Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: RPA88] #2862968
06/26/19 12:20 PM
06/26/19 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by RPA88
Originally Posted by Carey
Another video - highlighting a 2004 CW 190 - with Classical repertoire..

https://youtu.be/bFUSSi_Kp5Q

Beautiful instrument..


This is a beautiful instrument. I purchased it.


Congrats!! It is indeed a beautiful piano


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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: RPA88] #2863068
06/26/19 04:45 PM
06/26/19 04:45 PM
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Phoenix, Arizona
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Originally Posted by RPA88
Originally Posted by Carey
Another video - highlighting a 2004 CW 190 - with Classical repertoire..

https://youtu.be/bFUSSi_Kp5Q

Beautiful instrument..

This is a beautiful instrument. I purchased it.


WOW - that's terrific. Congratulations !!!!!! thumb


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Re: Opinions on Charles Walter Grands? [Re: Carey] #2863130
06/26/19 08:21 PM
06/26/19 08:21 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 2,826
In the Ozarks of Missouri
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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by RPA88
Originally Posted by Carey
Another video - highlighting a 2004 CW 190 - with Classical repertoire..

https://youtu.be/bFUSSi_Kp5Q

Beautiful instrument..

This is a beautiful instrument. I purchased it.


WOW - that's terrific. Congratulations !!!!!! thumb


Outstanding!!


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