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Piano Search continues.... #2893368
09/23/19 11:16 AM
09/23/19 11:16 AM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 14
Charlotte, NC
M
momofboys Offline OP
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Charlotte, NC
Hello Everyone,
Thank you for the great advice and discussion on my earlier thread about buying a piano for my 13yr old. He has been learning for last 5 yrs.
We went to another store over the weekend and here is what I found....
1, Yamaha M500 - 2004 yr; $2995
2. Samick 5'1" grand , 1986 yr, $3795
3. Yamaha U1 , 1974 yr , $4995
4. Yamaha U1, 1984 yr, $5995
5. Yamaha U3, 1986 yr, $6995

to my untrained ears - I really liked the Yamaha M500 and older U1...
my son would like a grand - but we can maybe fit a baby grand so he is kind of leaning towards the samick but he also liked the U1

tomorrow I am taking his piano teacher - who is also a technician to see these and hopefully we will have picked one from these....

any guidance or advice on these choices is most appreciated.

thanks

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Re: Piano Search continues.... [Re: momofboys] #2893369
09/23/19 11:20 AM
09/23/19 11:20 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,539
Southeast US
ShiroKuro Offline
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Southeast US
Oh how exciting!!! I'll let someone else comment on the Samick since I know nothing about them, but it looks like a good list overall. Was this Marshall's by any chance, or somewhere in Charlotte?

I know that Marshalls gives a warranty on all their pianos, if this isn't Marshall's, do these come with warranties?


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Piano Search continues.... [Re: momofboys] #2893379
09/23/19 12:04 PM
09/23/19 12:04 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,298
Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Samick grands are known to suffer problems in the action pinning or action centers as wee call them, (the little felt bearing the parts turn around).

How it usually manifests itself is after the piano has been played for an hour or so. The action centers begin to get so tight the parts stop returning to rest.

Samick grands also have other quality control issues a bit to numerous and lengthy to explain suffice to say they don't fit the action properly into the piano and this causes playability issues.

That said the larger Samick grands 5'10" and above can be rather nice once all the problems are undone. But this can cost $10K when you include string issues.

I have done a few with new hammers, strings, re-engineering the pedals trapwork, and refitting the action properly into the piano with rather excellent results. The action parts and keys are rather well made just not fit into the piano properly.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
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Re: Piano Search continues.... [Re: ShiroKuro] #2893412
09/23/19 01:08 PM
09/23/19 01:08 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 14
Charlotte, NC
M
momofboys Offline OP
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momofboys  Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2019
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Charlotte, NC
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Oh how exciting!!! I'll let someone else comment on the Samick since I know nothing about them, but it looks like a good list overall. Was this Marshall's by any chance, or somewhere in Charlotte?

I know that Marshalls gives a warranty on all their pianos, if this isn't Marshall's, do these come with warranties?


Yes this is at Marshall's in Rockhill SC. They are offering 12 yr warranty on all of the above pianos and free delivery and in home tuning after delivery.

The 2 Yamaha U1 - as per the salesperson have come from a dealer in Japan - so they have not done anything to prepare them for sale etc.
The U3 - they had sold it to a family who had it for last 30yrs - very well maintained and now they have sold it when kids moved out.

Frankly - I did not like the sound of the Samick myself frown

Re: Piano Search continues.... [Re: momofboys] #2893439
09/23/19 02:28 PM
09/23/19 02:28 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,429
Phoenix, Arizona
Carey Offline
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Carey  Offline
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A 12 year warranty on pianos that old seems unusual, to say the least.

Did they tell you exactly what the warranty would cover?


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Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
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Re: Piano Search continues.... [Re: momofboys] #2893445
09/23/19 02:51 PM
09/23/19 02:51 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,429
Phoenix, Arizona
Carey Offline
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Phoenix, Arizona
Also will be interested to hear what the piano teacher thinks. With the exception of the M500, all of these instruments are quite old. So much will depend on current condition.

Personally, I would avoid the Samick. The M500 is certainly the newest of the bunch, but a step down in initial quality from a U1.

The prices of the other Yamahas seem high given their age - particularly if very little has been done to refurbish them.


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: Piano Search continues.... [Re: momofboys] #2893449
09/23/19 03:07 PM
09/23/19 03:07 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,539
Southeast US
ShiroKuro Offline
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,539
Southeast US
Re the warranty, it's notable that Marshalls does either a 10 or 12 year warranty, and when I was there the owner did mention that they pay attention to the condition of the piano when they buy it b/c of their warranty/guarantee.

Also, I've seen the back room and upstairs where they work on pianos (all the piano guts are out!) so depending on the instrument, they may have put more time into them.

Re the price of the Yamahas... I also think they price their Yamahas that way because they can sell them at those prices. Which isn't to say that the pianos aren't worth it, but just that in this market, Yamahas are super well-known and well-regarded, and the price of the used pianos reflects that. IIRC their Yamaha grands (which when I was there were all G-series and 5'3") are priced 2x or more than that Samick, just as a comparison. I didn't play the Samick when I was there, I only played their Yamaha grands and the Petrof they had (which I think has been sold).

Although I didn't end up buying from them, I'll confess to being biased in their favor just from my discussions with the owner and the other genteman (uncle of owner?? I don't remember)

Also, my piano was originally purchased there, although I purchased it from the original buyers rather than from the shop.


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Piano Search continues.... [Re: momofboys] #2893469
09/23/19 04:51 PM
09/23/19 04:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 2,658
North Vancouver
L
Lady Bird Offline
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Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 2,658
North Vancouver
I also think the price of the 1984 Yamaha U1 is high.
Recently I bought a Kawai 1985 (49")in very good condition.
The tone is a beautiful mellow sound ,and the action feels like
a new piano.The price paid was $4000 CAD
I would say this Kawai equal in terms of quality to any
Yamaha U1 ( I have owned two U1's in the past ,the last U1 that
I owned was brand new)
As for the warranty I am not so sure these dealer warranties are
any where as good as a manufacturer warranty for a new piano?

Last edited by Lady Bird; 09/23/19 04:52 PM. Reason: Spelling
Re: Piano Search continues.... [Re: momofboys] #2893471
09/23/19 04:55 PM
09/23/19 04:55 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 2,658
North Vancouver
L
Lady Bird Offline
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Joined: Aug 2018
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North Vancouver
I would try for the 1986 U3 if you can get him to lower his price ?
The Kawai upright I bought was also from a dealer.

Last edited by Lady Bird; 09/23/19 04:57 PM. Reason: Spelling
Re: Piano Search continues.... [Re: momofboys] #2893474
09/23/19 05:13 PM
09/23/19 05:13 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 47
Texas
Nelsthepianoplayer Offline
Full Member
Nelsthepianoplayer  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 47
Texas
I would avoid the Samick on its size alone. A 5'1" grand is awfully small. If you can't find a good 5'7" minimum grand in your price range (probably not), I'd stick to an upright.

Last edited by Nelsthepianoplayer; 09/23/19 05:14 PM.

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Re: Piano Search continues.... [Re: momofboys] #2893658
09/24/19 11:16 AM
09/24/19 11:16 AM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 14
Charlotte, NC
M
momofboys Offline OP
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momofboys  Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 14
Charlotte, NC
Thank you everyone for your views.
The dealer said their warranties cover parts and labor - basically if anything broke inside etc.

I am also a bit concerned about the U1- since 1 is 45 yrs old and other one is 35 yr old.

The other option I found at Miller's piano last week was a brand new Kawai St-1 and Kawai K200 - bother for $6000
and a New Essex 116E for $6900

These all sounded quite good.

The M500 sounds really good and it is only 15yrs old and price is $3800

very confused at this point smile

Re: Piano Search continues.... [Re: momofboys] #2893666
09/24/19 11:34 AM
09/24/19 11:34 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,539
Southeast US
ShiroKuro Offline
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ShiroKuro  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,539
Southeast US
Hmm, although I'm definitely partial to Yamaha, I would most likely choose a 15 y/o Kawai over a 35 or 45 y/o Yamaha. That's a Kawai right, the M500? If it sounds good, I definitely would get it over a new one. Then take the money left over and spend it on piano lessons, or seed money for your grand piano fund! whome


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Piano Search continues.... [Re: momofboys] #2893669
09/24/19 11:43 AM
09/24/19 11:43 AM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 14
Charlotte, NC
M
momofboys Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 14
Charlotte, NC

The M500 is a Yamaha.
they also have a Baldwin baby grand ($3900) and a Yamaha baby grand 5'3" Model GH1B for $9000 - which is stretching my budget a bit too much!!

Anyone has an opinion on Baldwins?
They also have a Kingburg 50" upright - I have never heard of this brand - its new and $6000


I had really liked the sound of a used Boston upright at the Steinway gallery for $10K!!

Marshall's don't negotiate the prices frown

We are going there later today - so lets see what we decide...

Re: Piano Search continues.... [Re: momofboys] #2893705
09/24/19 01:28 PM
09/24/19 01:28 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,899
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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San Jose, CA
Has your son expressed an opinion?

It would be somewhat miraculous if a 13-year-old did not....


Clef

Re: Piano Search continues.... [Re: momofboys] #2893726
09/24/19 02:50 PM
09/24/19 02:50 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,305
Dublin
johnstaf Online crying
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Dublin
Originally Posted by momofboys

Anyone has an opinion on Baldwins?


Baldwin made some of the finest pianos in the world until fairly recently.

Re: Piano Search continues.... [Re: Jeff Clef] #2893738
09/24/19 03:11 PM
09/24/19 03:11 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 14
Charlotte, NC
M
momofboys Offline OP
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momofboys  Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 14
Charlotte, NC
Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
Has your son expressed an opinion?

It would be somewhat miraculous if a 13-year-old did not....

Oh yes. He wants a baby grand. He also offered to pay for it from his savings wink

We are in the store now and there is a Yamaha 4' 11". 2001 yr for $7k
Which both my son and his teacher really loved.

Re: Piano Search continues.... [Re: momofboys] #2893758
09/24/19 04:46 PM
09/24/19 04:46 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 2,658
North Vancouver
L
Lady Bird Offline
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Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 2,658
North Vancouver
Originally Posted by momofboys
Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
Has your son expressed an opinion?

It would be somewhat miraculous if a 13-year-old did not....

Oh yes. He wants a baby grand. He also offered to pay for it from his savings wink

We are in the store now and there is a Yamaha 4' 11". 2001 yr for $7k
Which both my son and his teacher really loved.

Do you know what model this Yamaha is ? Yes Boston is also a good brand piano
on the same level as Yamaha and Kawai. It is made by Kawai ,designed by Steinway.
But do not get carried away by the Steinway hype !

Re: Piano Search continues.... [Re: momofboys] #2893774
09/24/19 05:38 PM
09/24/19 05:38 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,539
Southeast US
ShiroKuro Offline
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Posts: 4,539
Southeast US
Is that 4’11” at Marshall? I’m trying to remember if I played or not.

I know that the smaller grands are not popular with some people but a Yamaha that’s only 20 yrs old is likely to be a great instrument. And if you like how it sounds, that’s a definite contender.

Keep us posted!!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Piano Search continues.... [Re: Lady Bird] #2893775
09/24/19 05:40 PM
09/24/19 05:40 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,971
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Originally Posted by momofboys
Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
Has your son expressed an opinion?

It would be somewhat miraculous if a 13-year-old did not....

Oh yes. He wants a baby grand. He also offered to pay for it from his savings wink

We are in the store now and there is a Yamaha 4' 11". 2001 yr for $7k
Which both my son and his teacher really loved.

Do you know what model this Yamaha is ? Yes Boston is also a good brand piano
on the same level as Yamaha and Kawai. It is made by Kawai ,designed by Steinway.
But do not get carried away by the Steinway hype !


Would this be the Yamaha GA1E? Most would not recommend a grand that small. Scale and tone are compromised to such a degree that an upright at the same price would give much better musical results.

Back in 2004-2005 (according to The Piano Book Annual Supplement) the GA1E was listed at $9,990.00 new (before discount), so an almost 20-year old piano (particularly one of this size) would be no bargain in my non-professional opinion at $7,000.00.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Piano Search continues.... [Re: momofboys] #2893779
09/24/19 05:49 PM
09/24/19 05:49 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,797
New York City
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Originally Posted by momofboys
Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
Has your son expressed an opinion?

It would be somewhat miraculous if a 13-year-old did not....

Oh yes. He wants a baby grand. He also offered to pay for it from his savings wink

We are in the store now and there is a Yamaha 4' 11". 2001 yr for $7k
Which both my son and his teacher really loved.
As much as a grand would appeal to most pianists, I think it's important to realize that there are usually inherent tonal weaknesses in most grands that size, mostly in the bass. This doesn't mean I think one should not get a grand that size but I think it's important to try to be as objective as possible when comparing a small grand to other non-grands in that price range. So remembering that bass tone is just one consideration when buying a piano, I would listen to the tone in the bass of the Yamaha grand vs. the Yamaha or other verticals.

Some (but certainly not all) people feel that up to a certain price point it's better to buy a nice vertical vs. a similarly priced grand. Unless one has 100K buying a piano usually involves some compromise so I think one should try, as best as possible, to weight the pluses and minuses of any potential purchase.

It's also important to remember that since you and your son are used to a lesser instrument(I don't remember what he plays now) almost any nice vertical or grand is going to sound fantastic. But I think one should also consider how it compares to other similarly price pianos.

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