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The cheapest new 6-foot grand piano
#3050127 11/27/20 12:58 PM
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A friend has a gifted 10-year old who wants his all-new grand piano. Little Abby got a $150 000 Bösendorfer and deserves it (see ABF), but I am not ready to make Christmas presents of that magnitude. I was willing however to pitch in with his parents, cause I love that kid and he is really dedicated and talented.

So I do like everyone in Europe and open Thomann's "Klavier" page and come up with a "Roth & Junius 186" advertised at € 7900, which is the same as about US $ 7200 when you deduct VAT. The piano "looks" great and is very affordable.

I quickly find out this is a Korean-made Samick SIG 61, selected by Thomann. OK with me so far. To my surprise, the US MSRP in Fine's book is way, way, more.

The important factor here is Thomann. Less-known in the Americas, Thomann is such a dominant mark of excellence and consumer support in Europe, the ultimate no-nonsense retailer interested only in maintaining its sterling reputation, that I buy absolutely everything I can on line from this "Music Haus". (They do not sell new Steinways, unfortunately, but have an excellent selection of rebuilds).

So I have a "feel" that anything Thomann selects as a budget price is outstanding value, and cannot be a smear on their reputation, laminated soundboard or not. Should this kid get his Christmas present? Remember it has to be new, 6 foot, and not more expensive. Nothing else will do.

Last edited by Vikendios; 11/27/20 01:00 PM.


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Re: The cheapest new 6-foot grand piano
Vikendios #3050135 11/27/20 01:14 PM
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Why does it have to be new, six feet, and inexpensive? I don't think you should buy a piano without trying it out or based on the reputation of the store. You shouldn't be looking at the MSRP but 30% off SMP. Better not to rush before considering other possibilities.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 11/27/20 01:20 PM.
Re: The cheapest new 6-foot grand piano
Vikendios #3050139 11/27/20 01:31 PM
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Since I don't know your market as well as you may, I can only say from what you have written that your criteria (or is it that of the parents?) are somewhat off base. Six-foot in length, new and cheapest can certainly lead to an instrument of compromised quality whereas slightly under six-foot, used may possibly yield a much better instrument.

It is interesting that you laud the quality of the rebuilds of Thomann Music Haus, yet you insist on cheapest new. Surely the rebuilds or simply used but of recent vintage have the potential of a better instrument than the one under the criteria you listed. Would it not make more sense to have a budget and see what best value you can get within that limit?

According to Thomann Music Store (Germany) website, they do sell Steinway along with Kawai and Yamaha.

Regards,

Last edited by BruceD; 11/27/20 01:36 PM.

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Re: The cheapest new 6-foot grand piano
Vikendios #3050143 11/27/20 01:48 PM
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The kid wants a grand and believes baby grands are for babies (Kid logic, I love it). I can agree with six feet. SMP on Fine's is still $ 16 258, more than twice Thomann's. Daddy knows nothing about pianos, and has no time to shop around, so he wants new, and trusts Thomann. Thomann does not sell used pianos except expensive rebuilds, nearly all Steinways.

https://www.thomann.de/de/fluegel.html?ref=intl&shp=eyJjb3VudHJ5IjoiZGUiLCJjdXJyZW5jeSI6IjIiLCJsYW5ndWFnZSI6ImRlIn0%3D



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Re: The cheapest new 6-foot grand piano
Vikendios #3050147 11/27/20 01:53 PM
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Since the child is an experienced player, take him along and let him decide if he likes the action and sound. If he does, forget everything else and buy it. If he doesn't, don't buy it. I agree buying from Thomann gives you assurance you're getting appropriate value from a reputable seller.


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Re: The cheapest new 6-foot grand piano
Vikendios #3050152 11/27/20 02:03 PM
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Covid restrictions in France : All piano stores are closed and kids must stay home except for school. Also Daddy wants to make the kid a surprise.



Steinway "A". Roland LX 706. Viscount Sonus 45 hybrid organ with 165 real pipes. Harpsichord by Marc Fontaine.
Re: The cheapest new 6-foot grand piano
Vikendios #3050158 11/27/20 02:22 PM
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If the kid is an experienced player he needs to try the piano.

You might be setting yourself up for an expensive mistake.

Last edited by Learux; 11/27/20 02:23 PM.

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Re: The cheapest new 6-foot grand piano
Vikendios #3050159 11/27/20 02:22 PM
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If Daddy wants to make it a surprise gift, have him put a picture of the piano in an envelope ("the envelope, please"), and when the stores open up, he can play the instrument & decide if he likes it. Physical gift deferred for the moment.

Re: The cheapest new 6-foot grand piano
Vikendios #3050164 11/27/20 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Vikendios
The kid wants a grand and believes baby grands are for babies (Kid logic, I love it). I can agree with six feet. SMP on Fine's is still $ 16 258, more than twice Thomann's. Daddy knows nothing about pianos, and has no time to shop around, so he wants new, and trusts Thomann.
Fine's price lists are for the U.S. only. You should take 30% off SMP to get a typical selling price.

Most would not think the reasons you gave are particularly good reasons for choosing the size or make of the grand.

Re: The cheapest new 6-foot grand piano
Vikendios #3050173 11/27/20 02:47 PM
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I am delighted with all the answers, but the issue is not about my heuristics, but about the value in a new 6-foot Samick SIG61 for $ 7 250. I would welcome information from people, if any, that have some knowledge of this instrument, which we all know is not a Fazioli. So far the most interesting comments I have found on these forums are about techs discussing the kind of soundboards they use, which appears to be spruce laminated between two veneers. And some comments were quite positive.

My guess is we'll order it. The financial risk is limited, and there is a thirty day return policy at Thomann, no questions asked, which is one of the reason they are such an esteemed on-line house. And my second guess is that the kid will be enthusiastic and learn to love it, his first acoustic, at least for a while...



Steinway "A". Roland LX 706. Viscount Sonus 45 hybrid organ with 165 real pipes. Harpsichord by Marc Fontaine.
Re: The cheapest new 6-foot grand piano
Vikendios #3050189 11/27/20 03:34 PM
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I think a Samick SIG61 is likely worth $7250. If you add to the budget a couple of days worth of work from a good piano technician I think you are reasonably safe considering your trust of the dealer. The biggest problems from a practical point of view that we see in Samicks is they can have noisy action parts and heavy actions.


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Re: The cheapest new 6-foot grand piano
Vikendios #3050193 11/27/20 03:42 PM
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I understand that all Samick grands sold in the US are built in Indonesia.
Would a Samick SIG 61 sold in Europe be built in Korea?


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Re: The cheapest new 6-foot grand piano
Vikendios #3050200 11/27/20 04:11 PM
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I do not know, but my guess is that it is made in Indonesia, unless Samick also has a production line for this model in Korea. Of course the subject piano is not sold under the Samick name but under "Roth & Junius". This brand is nowadays actually owned by Thomann and used as a house brand for "value" instruments of all kind.

They clearly explain this here:

Roth & Junius

So the reputation of Thomann, by far the largest and most respected on-line music store in Europe, is on the line. My guess the piano would be very well prepped.



Steinway "A". Roland LX 706. Viscount Sonus 45 hybrid organ with 165 real pipes. Harpsichord by Marc Fontaine.
Re: The cheapest new 6-foot grand piano
Vikendios #3050204 11/27/20 04:30 PM
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Hahaha!


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Re: The cheapest new 6-foot grand piano
Vikendios #3050209 11/27/20 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Vikendios
I do not know, but my guess is that it is made in Indonesia, unless Samick also has a production line for this model in Korea. Of course the subject piano is not sold under the Samick name but under "Roth & Junius". This brand is nowadays actually owned by Thomann and used as a house brand for "value" instruments of all kind.

They clearly explain this here:

Roth & Junius

So the reputation of Thomann, by far the largest and most respected on-line music store in Europe, is on the line. My guess the piano would be very well prepped.

There are similar online retailers in the US, such as Sweetwater and Musician's Friend, which have a good reputation. However, selling electronics and mostly electric musical instruments online is different than selling sensitive acoustic instruments that rely on good dealer preparation and set-up to perform optimally. I would not trust either of the aforementioned US dealers to know how to properly prep an acoustic piano, but Thomann may be different.

Either way, it sounds like you had your mind made up from the get-go. I'm sure the youngster will be thrilled with a real acoustic grand piano.

Re: The cheapest new 6-foot grand piano
violarules #3050246 11/27/20 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by violarules
There are similar online retailers in the US, such as Sweetwater and Musician's Friend, which have a good reputation. However, selling electronics and mostly electric musical instruments online is different than selling sensitive acoustic instruments that rely on good dealer preparation and set-up to perform optimally.

I have lived many years in New York and know the US retail environment well. Sweetwater is a great outfit, and Chuck Surak was a fun saxophone player and band sound engineer. Thomann is different because it's DNA is Bach and Beethoven. It was founded after the war by a family of wood and brass instrument makers, supplying provincial german classical capelles. Of course today it will deal in everything for popular music and show business, but violins and clarinets are still very much up there. It is also a "Bauhaus" type of business that regards consumer information, satisfaction and service, not marketing and hype, as paramount. You can even feel this from the elegant but subdued style of their website.

Now I have no vested interest in this retailer, and I am sure plenty of clients of such a large organisation have had some gripes. But I can vouch personally for years of successful purchases from guitars to digital pianos to flutes, and it is easy to check the value they offer.

I did have a mind set that their cheapest grand could be a good idea, but I was cautious that some irremediable pitfall could exist, and trusted that it would be pointed out by forum members if it did.



Steinway "A". Roland LX 706. Viscount Sonus 45 hybrid organ with 165 real pipes. Harpsichord by Marc Fontaine.
Re: The cheapest new 6-foot grand piano
Vikendios #3050249 11/27/20 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Vikendios
Originally Posted by violarules
There are similar online retailers in the US, such as Sweetwater and Musician's Friend, which have a good reputation. However, selling electronics and mostly electric musical instruments online is different than selling sensitive acoustic instruments that rely on good dealer preparation and set-up to perform optimally.

I have lived many years in New York and know the US retail environment well. Sweetwater is a great outfit, and Chuck Surak was a fun saxophone player and band sound engineer. Thomann is different because it's DNA is Bach and Beethoven. It was founded after the war by a family of wood and brass instrument makers, supplying provincial german classical capelles. Of course today it will deal in everything for popular music and show business, but violins and clarinets are still very much up there. It is also a "Bauhaus" type of business that regards consumer information, satisfaction and service, not marketing and hype, as paramount. You can even feel this from the elegant but subdued style of their website.

Now I have no vested interest in this retailer, and I am sure plenty of clients of such a large organisation have had some gripes. But I can vouch personally for years of successful purchases from guitars to digital pianos to flutes, and it is easy to check the value they offer.

I did have a mind set that their cheapest grand could be a good idea, but I was cautious that some irremediable pitfall could exist, and trusted that it would be pointed out by forum members if it did.

I wasn't knocking Sweetwater at all! I have purchased many products through them over the years. I had a suspicion that Thomann was different, but the "online retailer" title gave me pause.

Re: The cheapest new 6-foot grand piano
Vikendios #3050250 11/27/20 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Vikendios
I did have a mind set that their cheapest grand could be a good idea, but I was cautious that some irremediable pitfall could exist, and trusted that it would be pointed out by forum members if it did.

I think someone did and it seems you may have missed it:

Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
The biggest problems from a practical point of view that we see in Samicks is they can have noisy action parts and heavy actions.

I would be very, very hesitant to buy a piano without trying it first if there was even a hint of heavy action, especially if it's going to be used by a 10 year old child.


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Re: The cheapest new 6-foot grand piano
leel #3050260 11/27/20 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by leel
If Daddy wants to make it a surprise gift, have him put a picture of the piano in an envelope ("the envelope, please"), and when the stores open up, he can play the instrument & decide if he likes it. Physical gift deferred for the moment.

I like this idea. Properly done and presented, the contents of the envelope should make the child very excited. Then going to the store to actually try the instrument will make the child even more excited. I have in the past been given surprise presents which were not a total 100% success. You don't want to risk that.

Re: The cheapest new 6-foot grand piano
David-G #3050265 11/27/20 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by David-G
Originally Posted by leel
If Daddy wants to make it a surprise gift, have him put a picture of the piano in an envelope ("the envelope, please"), and when the stores open up, he can play the instrument & decide if he likes it. Physical gift deferred for the moment.

I like this idea. Properly done and presented, the contents of the envelope should make the child very excited. Then going to the store to actually try the instrument will make the child even more excited. I have in the past been given surprise presents which were not a total 100% success. You don't want to risk that.


I think the card is a great idea— as long as there is s Plan B in case the student doesn’t like this particular piano


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