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1987 Yamaha U1AR, 1990 Kawai UST-8a or 2000 Kawai 902F #2859772
06/17/19 10:41 PM
06/17/19 10:41 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 4
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yifengwu Offline OP
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yifengwu  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 4
hello, everyone

I am new to this forum. We are trying to get an used upright piano for my 5 year old son to start with. We have been looking around in stores, Craigslist or nearby facebook market. Finally we have narrowed down these 3 options for us:
1. 1987 Yamaha U1AR from private party. the seller is a musician and he bought it new around 1990, tuned and maintained twice a year. He claimed that it was in great conditions, pictures are here:1987 yamaha U1AR
I think this piano has been played quite a bit but since the owner is a musician, so I guess it has been pretty well maintained. Asked for $3450 obo. Is it too old and how much should I negotiate if I decide to buy it? no tax and shipping is on him. We have not got the chance to hear it yet, I need to drive two hours over, however, owner gave me the contact information of his piano technician if I need more information.

2. 1990 Kawai UST-8a from piano store. Personally I like this piano, it is listed for $2470, plus tax and delivery the price will be around $2800. My wife does not like the oak style and this piano has been held by private owner. It has been gently used. 1 year warranty. I am also concerned about the year since this is also a 30 year old piano.

3. 2000 Kawai 902F. 46.5" studio piano from a store. it comes with 10 year warranty. everything together I am looking at paying $3750 ($3488+delivery, notax since it is out of state). they claimed it has been gently used (and we opened and looked as well), nothing has been improved or fixed. french furniture style which my wife likes a lot.

Sound wise they are all good to me. We do prefer a studio kind of size since it sound much better.

Please give your comments. Right now we are leaning to 2000 kawai 902F. however, the price can not be negotiated.

And do we still need to hire a professional technician to exam the piano before I buy it? even if they are providing 10 year warranty?

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Re: 1987 Yamaha U1AR, 1990 Kawai UST-8a or 2000 Kawai 902F [Re: yifengwu] #2859853
06/18/19 05:04 AM
06/18/19 05:04 AM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 250
Chiltern Hills, England.
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gwing Offline
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gwing  Offline
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Chiltern Hills, England.
Welcome to the forum :-)

From your description I would also lean towards the Kawai 902F but that doesn't really matter. Any Kawai or Yamaha in good condition will be a very nice instrument for someone to start with but they are all different so the important thing is to choose a piano *you* like not one that someone else likes. So do play the pianos if you can, or if not at least get someone else to play them and listen - and then favour the piano you or your son like to play and listen to.

An older 30 yr piano is fine if it is in good condition, and for an older piano condition is really the only thing that determines its value, or whether it has any value at all, so you really are best advised to get it checked before purchasing. Even for younger 902F it would be better to have a check done but, if you trust the dealer, and the guarantee is good, and you can afford the gamble of writing off the cost or alternatively spending half as much again on repairs if necessary, then it's up to you whether you fancy taking the risk or not. I did that when I bought my own piano, but it perhaps isn't generally a good idea.

Good luck and happy piano playing - do go out and play them, don't just listen to a recording :-)

Last edited by gwing; 06/18/19 05:05 AM.
Re: 1987 Yamaha U1AR, 1990 Kawai UST-8a or 2000 Kawai 902F [Re: gwing] #2859954
06/18/19 10:28 AM
06/18/19 10:28 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 4
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yifengwu Offline OP
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yifengwu  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 4
gwing, Thank you. Price wise do you think they are reasonable?

Re: 1987 Yamaha U1AR, 1990 Kawai UST-8a or 2000 Kawai 902F [Re: yifengwu] #2860006
06/18/19 11:58 AM
06/18/19 11:58 AM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 250
Chiltern Hills, England.
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gwing Offline
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gwing  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 250
Chiltern Hills, England.
Originally Posted by yifengwu
gwing, Thank you. Price wise do you think they are reasonable?


I can't really help you with that as the value is entirely dependent on condition - an older piano might need anything from nothing to several thousand dollars to bring it up to good playable condition and you'll only know what needs doing once you have an inspection done.

That said the the Yamaha UI feels a little expensive and here in the UK I could get a newer one in good condition for a bit less - but the price isn't outrageous and the market where you live will have different prices to other locations. Don't get hung upon 'book' value though, if you find a really nice piano it is worth paying a bit of a premium on it and a nominal $2000 dollar piano in superb condition is worth much more than a nominal $4000 piano that needs a major rebuild.

Re: 1987 Yamaha U1AR, 1990 Kawai UST-8a or 2000 Kawai 902F [Re: yifengwu] #2860368
06/19/19 09:57 AM
06/19/19 09:57 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 4
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yifengwu Offline OP
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yifengwu  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 4
for the yamaha U1, I guess it's been used quite a bit since the owner is a musician, tuned twice every year, and I have not got the chance to see it yet. One of the stores near me has the same year U1 which is listed for over 5000 dollars, they claimed it had not been used much.

Re: 1987 Yamaha U1AR, 1990 Kawai UST-8a or 2000 Kawai 902F [Re: yifengwu] #2860476
06/19/19 01:58 PM
06/19/19 01:58 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 4
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yifengwu Offline OP
Junior Member
yifengwu  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 4
Can anyone take a look at the pictures in the above link? Please look at the hammer grooves, does that mean the piano has been frequently used?


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