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Would you ever buy a new piano"blind"
#3048430 11/23/20 12:44 AM
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What I meant is would you ever order a new piano from a dealer without having tried the actual piano you will receive ?
How about if the manufacturer will send you a video recording of that piano ? Of course you would have to have a great deal of trust in the manufacturer.
I was careful in choosing when I chose my piano and tried quite a few others before deciding on this one .

Re: Would you ever buy a new piano"blind"
Lady Bird #3048435 11/23/20 01:14 AM
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Actually I did buy my Kawai RX-2 unseen in 2005.

I had tried an RX-2 abroad before but the local store only had an RX-1. They gave a very good discount for a new order of an RX-2 and since then I am happy with my choice.

IMO Kawai and Yamaha pianos are consistent in quality, touch and tone.

Re: Would you ever buy a new piano"blind"
Lady Bird #3048458 11/23/20 04:19 AM
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Only if I had money to burn! Same applies to a DP, even entry level.

Re: Would you ever buy a new piano"blind"
Lady Bird #3048469 11/23/20 05:58 AM
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There are some pianos I probably would be confident buying blind, but only certain models, and only new ones. I'd be confident with Fazioli, Bechstein, Bösendorfer, Sauter, Steingraeber, Blüthner, and some Steinways. I've probably forgotten some others.

I'd prefer to try it first, but I believe that I'd grow to love any of the above pianos. I'd want a guarantee that I could return the piano if there were problems a good technician couldn't rectify.

The advice is usually to buy the piano you love, but say I wanted a Bechstein C234 (my dream piano) and I went to choose one. I don't know which one I'd prefer in five years time. I just know I love the C234 in general.

Re: Would you ever buy a new piano"blind"
johnstaf #3048477 11/23/20 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
I believe that I'd grow to love any of the above pianos.

I believe every new piano is an adventure in love. By definition it will be a little different from the one you were used to. The little devils in the old one are gone, but so are the little angels. New devils and angels appear. But yes, definitely, a new piano must "grow" on you, you must learn to love it.

I have always ordered new pianos unseen, because my wife and I insist on fine wood finishes as part of her home architecture concerns. I have always been pleasantly surprised, but yes, "surprised". I like serendipity and accept a little risk and chance.



Steinway "A". Roland LX 706. Viscount Sonus 45 hybrid organ with 165 real pipes. Harpsichord by Marc Fontaine.
Re: Would you ever buy a new piano"blind"
Lady Bird #3048480 11/23/20 07:01 AM
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I bought my new kawai K500 "blind". The dealer had a no. of pianos on the floor including 2 k500, but both were already sold.
I would classify myself as a beginner/early intermediate, so wanted a piano I would not grow out of.
I found while testing the pianos there was alot of variety in tone (I could hear differences in the 2 k500s even though they were side by side).
However the showroom was a large tiled room, so the acoustics at home would be significantly different (plus I'm lead to believe a new piano needs 'breaking in' in its first few years).
I focused more on the touch, dynamics, ease of playing and for me the k500 was both a clear winner and consistent (between the 2 on display).

Based on the above, plus buying new, an established brand and from a local dealer, I was happy to buy blind. (I passed on the opportunity for some saving by not ordering from an online seller).

If I was a more accomplished pianist, I would probably want to choose my individual piano. In addition if the cost justified it, I would probably want to visit the factory and pick one out (if new).

Re: Would you ever buy a new piano"blind"
Lady Bird #3048487 11/23/20 07:51 AM
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I did.

I wanted a piano with a silent system, and an opportunity to compare the two models I had in the close selection side by side (a Yamaha C2 and a Kawai GE30).
I found one dealer who had both models; but they did not have a built-in silent system. So I decided on the model I liked better (the C2), and ordered one with built-in silent system.
Three months later, it was delivered, and the action and acoustic sound were exactly as for the model in the showroom. I guess Yamaha just builds constant quality.

So, in my opinion you don't need to try out the exact same model when the manufacturer is good. Just try a model from the same series; and if you like it, the one you eventually get will most likely not disappoint you.


My grand piano is a Yamaha C2 SG.
My other Yamaha is an XMAX 300.
Re: Would you ever buy a new piano"blind"
Lady Bird #3048503 11/23/20 08:43 AM
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Quote
Would you ever buy a new piano "blind"

No, not under my current circumstances.

The conditions under which I would buy a piano without ever having played it myself would be 1) that I were buying a new, top tier piano from a respectable dealer (which will never happen unless I win the lottery), and 2) that I had already played the exact same make and model of similar vintage, and preferably more than one of those pianos. Oh, or 3) if money and time were no objects.

These conditions will almost certainly never be met, so I don't think I'll ever buy a piano without first playing it myself.


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Would you ever buy a new piano"blind"
Lady Bird #3048517 11/23/20 09:25 AM
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I did buy my digital Casio online blind so to speak but if you try one digital of that model it plays just like every other one straight from the box. No organic parts that slowly change.

An acoustic piano? I don’t think so. When I bought the Estonia I had hoped to see and try a Schimmel. Either a C189 or a K195. All they had to try was a C168. I was rather disappointed in it. I was told they could order a C189 but of course the price wouldn’t be discounted for the sale and I’d have to imagine what it would sound and feel like. There sat the Estonia L190 ready and waiting. A slight touch up in the tuning and it was ready to go home. Plus it was priced slightly lower the Schimmel C168. So I tried it Friday afternoon and bought it when I went back Saturday.

It’s ironic really. For the better more expensive pianos, it seems they have more individual character for the exact size and model, dealers can only afford to stock only so many more expensive pianos and those are the ones that require the buyer to buy blind. So, I don’t think so. Although if Santa ordered me a Konzert series Schimmel or a Bosendorfer I’d likely be thrilled with either but Santa cut me off at the new piano list after the Estonia. wink


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
My piano’s voice is beautiful!
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Re: Would you ever buy a new piano"blind"
Lady Bird #3048531 11/23/20 10:39 AM
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I've bought two grand pianos sight unseen (except lots of pictures and discussions with the seller) and unplayed, my Howard/Kawai 550, and my Baldwin R.

But I bought them at bargain prices, and knew it would either be a bargain or a bust. Also, I knew it would be a gamble, but the amount of money involved was not what I would call substantial, or more than a two week family vacation at the beach (depending on the accommodations and the location:-).

Fortunately, my gamble paid off both times, and I could not have been happier with the piano purchases.

On the other hand, I would be very reluctant to buy a very expensive, high priced piano sight unseen and unplayed. Yes, what I did was a gamble for sure, but there is a difference between a high roller and a low roller. I'm a low roller, a very low roller, when it comes to gambling.

On the other, other hand ( smile ) I have heard and read of some people purchasing very expensive pianos in advance of actually playing them. It is likely done more than we realize in the real world of high-end piano sales.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Would you ever buy a new piano"blind"
Lady Bird #3048533 11/23/20 10:50 AM
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Friends:
It seems that I have a reputation on this site for disliking almost everything, with the possible exception of a vintage Steinway of my own choice. In this attitude I continue the tradition of our Marty, of happy memory.
In fact, I can name two retailers and two artist-rebuilders that I would trust to chose a piano for me as they know, completely, my mind and heart in these matters. Steinway is generally my default choice in almost any situation, but my personal preference is really vintage M & H. It's kind-of like Chopin's comments on Erard vs. Pleyel.
At the end of the day, it just depends . . .
Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY
P.S. HAPPY THANKSGIVING, one and all.

Re: Would you ever buy a new piano"blind"
Lady Bird #3048541 11/23/20 11:30 AM
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Hi LadyBird- are you just curious about the subject of buying blind or is there a special piano in your thoughts. Curious minds... smile


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
My piano’s voice is beautiful!
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Re: Would you ever buy a new piano"blind"
Lady Bird #3048545 11/23/20 11:49 AM
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The only time I would purchase a piano without playing it first is if the intent of the piano is to be a piece of furniture, with someone occasionally playing it. However, if your intention is to play it regularly and enjoy making music with it, I wouldn't buy a piano without trying it and comparing it first.

I recall someone on another thread giving advice that you should choose a piano that speaks to you. Whenever I stop into a piano store and try different pianos, I always keep that sage advice in mind with the feel of the action and the tone.

Pianos seem to be just as individualistic as we are, and what each of us are looking for in a piano that will speak to us when we play it will be different for each person.

When we bought our Yamaha C2X this year, the touch and tone was what I was looking for in a piano (within our range). Tried many pianos over several weeks (new, older, larger, smaller, different brands) at multiple dealers to compare with each other and kept coming back to the one we eventually bought. It has a wonderful feel and clear, sparkly tone which I enjoy hearing immensely every time I play.

By way of comparison, since we bought ours, I've since played two more C2X pianos, one of which is sitting in the same dealer showroom we bought ours from, and did not care for the sound at all from either if them. In fact, if we were still looking for a piano, I wouldn't have bought either since they didn't speak to me, as it were.


Yamaha C2X
Yamaha P-125
Re: Would you ever buy a new piano"blind"
Lady Bird #3048547 11/23/20 12:05 PM
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Guilty! I bought my Baldwin BP190 new - sight unseen. I was uncomfortable at first but talked to the owner (a technician really) numerous times, asking specific questions, and gradually warmed up to it.

Re: Would you ever buy a new piano"blind"
Lady Bird #3048552 11/23/20 12:28 PM
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If a piano is bought without having been personally played, then how can the purchaser be confident that no other piano of the same specification would give greater satisfaction? Of course there are players who are quite happy to play and listen to pianos that are out of tune or have some characteristic that they would find would unacceptable. So I say 'why take the risk'?
Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: Would you ever buy a new piano"blind"
Beemer #3048558 11/23/20 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Beemer
If a piano is bought without having been personally played, then how can the purchaser be confident that no other piano of the same specification would give greater satisfaction? Of course there are players who are quite happy to play and listen to pianos that are out of tune or have some characteristic that they would find would unacceptable. So I say 'why take the risk'?
Ian

Good point, Beemer.

On the other hand, I've read numerous threads here on PW over the years where an enthusiastic buyer bought a brand new piano from the dealer, after auditioning the piano numerous times at the dealer's showroom, only to be dissatisfied and unhappy with the piano when it was delivered to their home, and didn't sound quite like it did in the dealer's showroom.

Sometimes this situation has been rectified by the dealer, and sometimes not...

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Would you ever buy a new piano"blind"
Lady Bird #3048572 11/23/20 01:44 PM
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Another definition of buying a piano blind would be trying pianos with no idea of the make and model or whether they were new or used.

We have messed around with this at PianoCraft, masking off brand names and other indicators to the best of our abilities and allowing pianists to experience the pianos with less bias. It can be very interesting.

My business partner Shaun Tirrell often speaks of a a talk given by Andre Watts in which he bemoaned how so many choose a piano with their eyes rather than their ears and fingers. Of course, this approach destroys all of the FUD marketing.


Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales - vintage and used Steinway, Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Baldwin
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check out www.sitkadoc.com/ and www.vimeo.com/203188875
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keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460
Re: Would you ever buy a new piano"blind"
Beemer #3048581 11/23/20 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Beemer
If a piano is bought without having been personally played, then how can the purchaser be confident that no other piano of the same specification would give greater satisfaction?
Personally playing a piano can tell the purchaser they like it. But it's impossible to know if no other piano of the same specification would give greater satisfaction no matter how many pianos ones plays. One might be able to know if no other piano at a given dealer at a given point in time would give greater satisfaction.

Re: Would you ever buy a new piano"blind"
Hakki #3048583 11/23/20 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Hakki
Actually I did buy my Kawai RX-2 unseen in 2005.

I had tried an RX-2 abroad before but the local store only had an RX-1. They gave a very good discount for a new order of an RX-2 and since then I am happy with my choice.

IMO Kawai and Yamaha pianos are consistent in quality, touch and tone.
I also bought my RX-2 unseen in 2007. Turned out to be a wonderful piano.

Buying Japanese made piano unseen is like being involved in a prearranged marriage but you don't have much to worry about because everyone in the potential line-up is "hot". wink

Last edited by Jethro; 11/23/20 02:06 PM.

Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Preludio: Bach/Rachmaninoff E Major Sonata for Violin
Chopin: G Minor Ballade


Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: Would you ever buy a new piano"blind"
Lady Bird #3048590 11/23/20 02:50 PM
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Since I learned that voicing affects the sound of a piano so much, and regulation the touch, I became less afraid to buy a piano without first playing it. So long as it's a reputable brand, been in a good environment (e.g. in a home and not the practice room of a school), and a tech gives it a clean bill of health, then I would be fine with buying blind. In my case the only deal killers would have been if the bass was somehow substandard, the piano was overly bright, or the touch very heavy. My tech confirmed bass sounded normal for its size, piano did not sound overly bright, sustain was good, and touch was medium. He also sent me a recording. Armed with that, I pulled the trigger and there were no major surprises. I am learning that Petrof has a certain quality to its sound that's different than what I was used to in my Kawai, but in the end, it's a 6 foot piano and sounds like one. I tend to like warmer sounding pianos so voiced it down a little, and now all is well.


Daily driver: Kawai MP11SE
First crush: Kawai GL10
Current fling: Petrof III
Foster child: 1927 Kurtzmann upright
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