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Kawai baby grand #2919228 12/02/19 09:33 PM
Joined: Dec 2019
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summerwinter Offline OP
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I am looking for purchasing a baby grand piano for my 7years old son who enjoys to play piano. He has upright piano but it is very old and not in the greatest condition. I found a Kawai KG-1C for $3,000 online. It's a 1977 piano and had two owner. The current owner says it got tuned 2 months ago and tuner said it was in very good shape.
His piano teacher says 1977 piano is way too old and probably not have much of life left. She also says 7years old does not need a grand piano yet although she agrees our current piano is not in good shape.
Any thought? I do not know much of piano unfortunately...

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Re: Kawai baby grand [Re: summerwinter] #2919243 12/02/19 10:49 PM
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Rickster Offline
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Hello and welcome to Piano World!

Sounds like your piano teacher is making a lot of assumptions, just as myself and other posters here will be making assumptions, having not seen the KG-1C in person. My assumption is that the Kawai KG-1C could well be a very nice baby grand piano and well worth $3K, which is a pretty good price for a nice baby grand from a very reputable maker.

Only a qualified piano technician could tell you for sure what kind of condition the piano is actually in, despite being recently tuned. And, the current owner is going present the piano in the best light possible in an effort to get it sold.

That said, it has been my experience that the older Kawai grand pianos can have an action key-touch that is a little on the heavier side of the spectrum. The KG-1C you are considering may not have a heavy action, but the tech inspection could reveal the true condition of the action, key-touch, and the rest of the piano.

If you are really interested in the Kawai KG-1C, I'd suggest going to look at it, with your son, and perhaps the piano tech as well, and see what you think. If that is not feasible, have the piano tech do the inspection first, and then decide if you want to go look at it, based on the tech's recommendations. You could ask the piano teacher to go with you to look at, but her opinion of the piano is biased to begin with, based on her assumptions that the piano is too old, and your son doesn't need a grand piano.

Remember, you are buying a piano for your son, and not the piano teacher. I'm sure she has a nice one already. smile

Good luck!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Kawai baby grand [Re: summerwinter] #2919249 12/02/19 11:45 PM
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terminaldegree Offline
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You don’t mention your country/province/state, which might be helpful to know regarding selection and pricing in your local market.

For example, if this were a piano in the upper midwestern US, at the age of 42 it might be pretty tired unless it were in a surprisingly well-controlled humidity environment...due to the extreme seasonal weather changes. Other locations are far kinder.

Without much knowledge about pianos, I would suggest having a thorough pre-purchase tech inspection performed, so you know what the instrument might need. This is akin to hiring a mechanic to look over a used car. If you don’t mind a shameless plug, there’s a lot of info for first time buyers in the Piano Buyer, which you can read for free online.


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Re: Kawai baby grand [Re: summerwinter] #2919339 12/03/19 09:09 AM
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I wholeheartedly agree with Rick and terminaldegree. There is another thought nagging at me to share with you. Baby (small) grands have almost a magical appeal to new piano buyers. They’re not too big and can easily fit in a small parlor. It has the curvaceous shape of a grand piano and the sound comes up and out like a big grand. Because of their small size, baby grands have to make compromises that their bigger cousins don’t, in sound and action. Many people, including your son’s teacher, usually recommend a big upright over a small grand. There are different compromises in action and sound but a big well made upright can often deliver more “bang for the buck”.
I wish you and your son the best on your piano shopping adventure. I myself bought a baby grand and loved it until I traded up to a 6’1” grand piano.


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Re: Kawai baby grand [Re: summerwinter] #2919389 12/03/19 12:19 PM
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summerwinter Offline OP
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We are in northeast, USA. Thank you all for advice. I will go with a tuner to check it out together.
My biggest concern is that this model is already over 40years old. My son just turned to 7 and we are looking for the one that will last at least 11 more years.

Re: Kawai baby grand [Re: summerwinter] #2919391 12/03/19 12:27 PM
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Rickster Offline
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Originally Posted by summerwinter
We are in northeast, USA. Thank you all for advice. I will go with a tuner to check it out together.
My biggest concern is that this model is already over 40years old. My son just turned to 7 and we are looking for the one that will last at least 11 more years

A piano of this caliber can last for many years. If it is indeed in very good condition, it will last many more years, with proper care and tuning.

If the age of the piano bothers you, you can always buy a newer piano. But that will cost you more money, and perhaps a lot more. It all boils down to cost-benefit.

You have a good plan to have the tech check it out for you. He will be in a position to give you the best advice.

Also, and this is more philosophy related, we can only live one day at a time. If the piano plays well today, and tomorrow never comes, it will play well the next day, until it gets to the point where it doesn't play well, which is an unknown variable. smile

All the best!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Kawai baby grand [Re: summerwinter] #2919517 12/03/19 08:28 PM
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spartan928 Offline
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I was given a 1965 Kawai and spent about $700 tuning, regulating, shaping hammers voicing, etc. As a beginner, it's a fine piano, holds tune, is beautiful really and I enjoy it. But, the tone is dull and would benefit from refurbishing but not really worth the investment so I'm saving to trade up to a newer grand. Point being, I could play this for 5 years or so and it's OK, but as others have said, go on the advice of a good tech and consider the tone as it is today. If it is pretty lifeless and dull look around some more. See how you and your son feel about the action and tone first before deciding. Then, try out some uprights or other grands in a range you can live with. You might be surprised what may turn up that you find inspiring and enjoyable for just a few thousand $ more than what this particular model is offering. You want a piano for 11 years? That's a long time so make sure it's something that will please your son for that length of time.

Re: Kawai baby grand [Re: spartan928] #2919525 12/03/19 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by spartan928
I was given a 1965 Kawai and spent about $700 tuning, regulating, shaping hammers voicing, etc. As a beginner, it's a fine piano, holds tune, is beautiful really and I enjoy it. But, the tone is dull and would benefit from refurbishing but not really worth the investment so I'm saving to trade up to a newer grand. Point being, I could play this for 5 years or so and it's OK, but as others have said, go on the advice of a good tech and consider the tone as it is today. If it is pretty lifeless and dull look around some more. See how you and your son feel about the action and tone first before deciding. Then, try out some uprights or other grands in a range you can live with. You might be surprised what may turn up that you find inspiring and enjoyable for just a few thousand $ more than what this particular model is offering. You want a piano for 11 years? That's a long time so make sure it's something that will please your son for that length of time.

I had a Kawai grand (5'6" ? from 1965 or 1966) bought for me new by my parents in South Africa. The piano remained with me up to 2017 when I sold it .It kept it's wonderful tone right to the end.In 2016 one day I noticed that had lost some of its brilliance in the upper treble.The main problem was that the strings had become very rusted and had started to break.
We brought that Kawai grand with us when we emigrated to Canada in 2001along with a U1 upright
Both pianos arrived in excellent condition.Two months later we had both pianos fully regulated by an excellent technician.This technician was really amazed at the condition of the Kawai grand. At that stage I thought we were going to have the grand restrung.However we sold both the Kawai grand and the U1 in 2016 and bought a new upright. Both pianos were a testament to how well these Japanese pianos cope with extreme climate difference.No humidifiers or dehumidfiers were ever used with these instruments.
The Kawai is being used as a practice piano in a dealer in Richmond.One day I need to go and see her.

Re: Kawai baby grand [Re: summerwinter] #2919533 12/03/19 10:05 PM
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I would say that a 1977 KG Kawai has a good few years left to be an excellent piano as long as the
condition is good now. However these pianos usually have a lifespan of about 50 years.
Well who knows, it would depend on who owned the piano and how much care was given.
My suggestion to people who own grand pianos is always keep the piano closed when not in use especially if you live in a fairly humid climate. There were times when I neglected doing this as a young person.


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