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1991 Kawai UST-7 vs 1998 Yamaha C108
#3029554 09/27/20 11:56 AM
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Dear all,

I’m offered two options of second hand pianos- 1991 Kawai UST-7 and 1998 Yamaha C108. They are of similar price. Kawai UST-7 was bought first hand with one owner since 1992. The Yamaha C108 is polished and owned now by a dealer. They seem to be in good condition. Which one is of better value?

There are also two super cheap options- a 1968 Kawai K-35 with two pedals @HKD1,000 and a 1988 Kawai CE-7N@HKD500. Almost free of charge... just need to pay the transportation fee. Are they good for a beginner?

I’m looking for a piano for my 7- year old son and 4-year old daughter.

Would be grateful for any advice!

Best,
Valerie

Re: 1991 Kawai UST-7 vs 1998 Yamaha C108
ValerieL #3029594 09/27/20 01:29 PM
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First, welcome to PW!

Second, a free piano is usually never free. Generally, older (and neglected, as free pianos usually are) pianos are in need of a fairly significant amount of work. If you are not a piano aficionado, you're probably better off getting a piano that needs nothing beyond regular tunings.

So, assuming your budget allows it, I would prioritize the two you mentioned first (the 1991 Kawai and the 1998 Yamaha). There's something to be said for buying from a dealer -- generally, the piano will have some kind of warranty, the dealer may deliver for free, the piano has been "vetted" etc. Nevertheless, you should probably have both pianos evaluated by an independent piano tech (i.e. someone who you pay, so that person is working for you, not the dealer).

Have you been to see the two pianos yet? I would do that first, and then decide if you want a tech to evaluate both or if you have a clear preference and then only have that one evaluated.

As to the specific models, I don't have any experience with either, but both Kawai and Yamaha make very good instruments, so assuming the condition is good, I think it will come down to your own preference (or, again, to which piano is in better shape).

Good luck!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: 1991 Kawai UST-7 vs 1998 Yamaha C108
ValerieL #3029657 09/27/20 05:26 PM
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The UST-7 is probably the best of those pianos. Nothing 108 cm tall is ever that inspiring...

But this is only on paper, you’ve got to see and play these pianos, and we strongly recommend having pianos checked out by an independent technician prior to purchase, so you really have a thorough assessment of the condition.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: 1991 Kawai UST-7 vs 1998 Yamaha C108
ValerieL #3030082 09/28/20 10:02 PM
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Kawai ust7 would be my first choice assuming it’s in good playable condition. In general, I would suggest a piano with a height of 45” or taller and not too old, not from the 60s unless it’s in ok condition, next to free, and not planning on using it long term. In any case, if it’s a private sale you should hire a piano technician to check it out. Good luck!

Re: 1991 Kawai UST-7 vs 1998 Yamaha C108
ValerieL #3030104 09/28/20 11:50 PM
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Welcome to the Forum, ValerieL!

I agree that the Kawai UST-7 could be a good candidate. At 30 years old, if we believe our rule of thumb that ordinary pianos with ordinary care might have about 50 years of musically useful life, we have some life expectancy left. It is a sturdy model, built to take heavy use, and that it has had a single owner might bode well. Of course, if that single owner was a church, a bar, a nightclub, or a piano teacher, keep looking; they use them up fast. I would be interested in knowing what the seller is asking; it could be an indication.

Alas, that we know so little about you, your present ability, your intentions; even your city of residence. The climate in which an acoustic piano has been kept can make a big difference in its condition over the years. It is possible that there could be people in your area who might be able to help you. The advice to hire an independent piano technician to examine any used piano for condition is really imperative, if you are not able to read its story for yourself. It can save you from an ocean of tears.

Piano Technicians' Guild
http://ptg.org

offers a utility on its site that will help to look up its members in your zip code. Not all good tuners belong to such an organization, but reaching out, absolutely cold, for someone you hope is qualified and who can be trusted to act in your best interest, it gives you a little more to go on. Anyway, whatever piano you buy, you will be needing someone to take care of it.

We used to say that inspections run about $100, and an easy one, not at too remote a driving distance, might still be that. Or maybe a bit more Looking at one which is offered in a store, presumably tuned and dusted off, is helpful. If a piano cannot be made to hold a tune, it's not a good candidate. Ask the store if they object to allowing the tech to inspect; it can go either way.

As for the two which are offered for the cost of hauling, the answer is No, and No. If you want to buy a digital piano, get a new one.

I would have assumed you already saw the pianos, and played them, but one of the other responders seems to think it possibly hasn't happened yet. You could write back and give your impressions, or ask any question you may have. We love these piano search stories.

https://www.pianobuyer.com/buy-books/ There are several other references available to you, if oyu want them.

Best of luck!


Clef

Re: 1991 Kawai UST-7 vs 1998 Yamaha C108
ValerieL #3030516 09/30/20 10:52 AM
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Thank you all for your suggestions! I finally got a better piano- Yamaha U1 made in 1998! I have followed your suggestion to get an independent technician to check out this piano. It’s even cheaper than the previous two options, but the technician said I was very lucky to get the Yamaha U1 because it’s maintained in good condition and it’s a deal of super value.

This forum is great!

Thanks again!🌺🌺🌺

Re: 1991 Kawai UST-7 vs 1998 Yamaha C108
ValerieL #3030879 10/01/20 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by ValerieL
Thank you all for your suggestions! I finally got a better piano- Yamaha U1 made in 1998! I have followed your suggestion to get an independent technician to check out this piano. It’s even cheaper than the previous two options, but the technician said I was very lucky to get the Yamaha U1 because it’s maintained in good condition and it’s a deal of super value.

This forum is great!

Thanks again!🌺🌺🌺

Congratulations on your Yamaha U1!

The U1 is a very popular model and well thought of amongst piano enthusiasts.

Enjoy your new-to-you U1! smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: 1991 Kawai UST-7 vs 1998 Yamaha C108
ValerieL #3030886 10/01/20 09:34 AM
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Excellent choice - congratulations !!


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