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After playing piano for 30+ years, I finally embarked on my journey to buy a grand piano (yes, under this COVID situation). Given what I experienced with my two previous piano purchases (1 digital and 1 acoustic), I'm scared as heck but I want to do it right.

The problem is that my knowledge on grand pianos is surprisingly laughable -- and hence I'm asking for some advice here.

My budget is $30K and have space for a 6' piano (or slightly bigger). Obviously, good action and dynamic control is important to me. When it comes to sound, Yamaha is a bit too bright for my taste. I live in SF bay area, where everything's very expensive.

Without really checking, I assume Japanese brands like Yamaha and Kawai would fall in this price range. What other brands should I consider for my budget? Would I have better luck if I go for a used one instead of a new one at this price range? If you live in my area and know some reliable dealers, would you recommend?

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There are the 7'2 Feurich 218 and Hailun 218 (almost the same piano) which can be had brand new for probably $25k.

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Thanks, Sonepica. So Feurich is also a Chinese brand?

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It's made in the Hailun factory. Feurich is an Austrian company who specify some different components to the normal Hailuns and put their own name on the piano. You can search for both of these names on PW as there are lots of threads about them.

Last edited by Sonepica; 02/24/21 01:45 AM.
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Kawais are a little cheaper than comparable Yamahas. Probably you can get a bigger Kawai for the same price.

You might start reading http://pianobuyer.com

You might probably pay about 15-30% off from SMP for a Kawai grand depending on the dealer. Maybe you can get a new Kawai GX-3 if you stretch a bit. In any case a GX-2 seems within your budget.

https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/kawai/

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I'm also at SF Bay Area and just bought a 1982 used Steinway B for 35k. I have my purchase experience here.

If you want to buy new, your budget fits in the range of Japanese production pianos. However, after visiting almost every dealers in the area, the inventory of Japanese pianos are pretty small, thus harder to get a good deal. If I were you I would lean towards the used market and search on Craigslist. You can find pretty good deal on CL. Some used Yamaha/Kawai/Baldwin/Schimmel/Mason & Hamlin grand selling for 10-20k and they are pretty good.

If you still want to go new, I would recommend taking a look at Kawai GX2/GX3, Yamaha C2X/C3X and Estonia L168/L190. I've tried these pianos and they are pretty good pianos for the price.

Last edited by Harpuia; 02/24/21 03:00 AM.

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Check Out Ric Kassman in Berkeley
https://www.rkassman.com/


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Feurich 218 is great piano. Its tone and touch are totally different from smaller size Feurich grand.

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Originally Posted by brdwyguy
Check Out Ric Kassman in Berkeley
https://www.rkassman.com/
Apart from their used pianos, they also sell Kayserburg, which has gained some nice attention.

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Definitely play some new Kawai and Yamaha grands to see what you think about how they sound. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Another model that I really liked when I was piano shopping (and probably would have bought if I had your budget) is the Boston grand. I am not remembering the prices but I bet you could afford the 178 new.

You might also try a Seiler. I only played one (and had to run from the store because the dealer was off the rails) but I really like it for the short time I played it.

I also like Petrof and Feurich and encourage you to try them out.

You may also consider used, but I think you need to feel comfortable with your own knowledge first. So I would recommend "assuming" you're going to buy new, and start by visiting as many dealers as you can. Play as many models as you can, and make a note of the ones you really like. This includes pianos you might think are over your budget.

Then after doing this for a while, you will get an idea of whether you really want to consider a more expensive piano as a used instrument, or if you want to stick with new and get one of the models you've tested.

Good luck!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Just repeating some things here, but I hadn't noticed this thread until now.

$30k is a huge budget, in my opinion. Keep in mind that each of the brands I list below are all very, very different in sound and feel from one another. I prefer Kawai over Yamaha because of the sound, similar to you, but keep in mind that a lot of these brands (other than perhaps Kawai and maybe Boston) are "bright-but-clear". So keep open ears. Also, keep in mind that dealers will sometimes tell you that any piano can be regulated and voiced to your taste, which is true to a tiny extent, but really try to find a piano that sounds and feels the way you want it to without further adjustment, because pianos will often "find their way back" to how it was when you first saw it. But, also keep in mind that your home vs the showroom can be extraordinarily different and this concept is often severely under-discussed. I don't know any way around it, though, other than to have the dealer push the piano around as you play it.

New grands can get you: Kawai, Yamaha, Boston(maybe), Seiler ED-series, Estonia, any of the Samick brands (Knabe, et al), any of the Chinese-built brands (Baldwin, Hailun, et al), and any of the Chinese stencils.

Used, private seller, can get you: The right private seller and the right patience, you can get a six-figure (when new) grand piano for $30k if older-but-hardly-played. But you have to be patient and have a tech on standby to check it out.

Used, dealer, can get you: A can of worms. With covid and people at home starting or revisiting at-home hobbies, prices and availability are all messed up, at least where I live.

The only useful thing I can say is try to stay as close to 6' as you can. You won't regret it. But slightly shorter will be okay with some brands. Just depends on the sound you are looking for.

If you want my biased opinion in your price range? Look for a new Seiler ED186, new Estonia L168, new Kawai grand, used Petrof III, in that order. If you want to look for used, try to find a used Charles Walter grand, though winning the lottery might be easier. They go anywhere from $20,000-$40,000 used. They start at around $100,000 new, though. People either love them or hate them. YMMV.


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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
If you want to look for used, try to find a used Charles Walter grand, though winning the lottery might be easier. They go anywhere from $20,000-$40,000 used. They start at around $100,000 new, though.

I haven't been paying much attention to piano prices lately, so I was shocked to read the above statement that Charles Walter grands start around $100K. According to Pianobuyer.com, the 175 model starts at $80K and the 190 at $85K. Assuming typical industry discounts, this would translate to somewhere around $60-65K. Still a big increase from back when I was familiar with the brand, but nowhere near $100K.

Last edited by Sir Lurksalot; 02/24/21 11:37 AM.
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Originally Posted by Sir Lurksalot
Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
If you want to look for used, try to find a used Charles Walter grand, though winning the lottery might be easier. They go anywhere from $20,000-$40,000 used. They start at around $100,000 new, though.

I haven't been paying much attention to piano prices lately, so I was shocked to read the above statement that Charles Walter grands start around $100K. According to Pianobuyer.com, the 175 model starts at $80K and the 190 at $85K. Assuming typical industry discounts, this would translate to somewhere around $60-65K. Still a big increase from back when I was familiar with the brand, but nowhere near $100K.
According to my Walter dealer, Walters have gone up dramatically recently. He doesn't even bother stocking the grands because people will opt for a S&S instead. I know what PianoBuyer says. I don't know when those numbers were updated, though.

And "industry discounts" here in Minneapolis don't seem to apply as they do in other parts of the country. It's something that has always disappointed me. Even my own favorite Walter dealer applies them differently across brands. A tangible example from three days ago, though not my Walter dealer, is my local Kawai/S&S dealer has every single Kawai, Boston, S&S, and Essex way above SMP/MLSP listed in PianoBuyer. Same with the Yamaha/Young Chang dealer here, too. My student bought a Yamaha grand recently that was so far above PianoBuyer's SMP/MLSP that I didn't have the heart to tell him.


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Yep, I have a YouTube channel!

Current:
1998 PETROF Model IV Chippendale
LEGO Grand Piano (IDEAS 031|21323)
YAMAHA PSR-520

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2017 Charles Walter 1500 in semi-polish ebony
1991 Kawai 602-M Console in Oak
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Originally Posted by JHL
After playing piano for 30+ years, I finally embarked on my journey to buy a grand piano (yes, under this COVID situation). Given what I experienced with my two previous piano purchases (1 digital and 1 acoustic), I'm scared as heck but I want to do it right.

The problem is that my knowledge on grand pianos is surprisingly laughable -- and hence I'm asking for some advice here.

My budget is $30K and have space for a 6' piano (or slightly bigger). Obviously, good action and dynamic control is important to me. When it comes to sound, Yamaha is a bit too bright for my taste. I live in SF bay area, where everything's very expensive.

Without really checking, I assume Japanese brands like Yamaha and Kawai would fall in this price range. What other brands should I consider for my budget? Would I have better luck if I go for a used one instead of a new one at this price range? If you live in my area and know some reliable dealers, would you recommend?
If you can stretch your budget just a little you could afford a Shigeru SK2. A wonderful sounding/playing piano that I suggest you try. San Mateo Pianos carries those. I visited my step son I usually go there to rent a practice room. They have Sk2's and 3's on display there just make sure they have been prepped before you try them out. You might want to give a shout out to KawaiDon. He'll hook you up. Close to your price range personally I think that's one of the best buys for a high end piano that has a more mellow tone though the SK's tend to be voiced a little brighter out of the shop than they apparently were in the past.

Last edited by Jethro; 02/24/21 11:56 AM.

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Originally Posted by Jethro
If you can stretch your budget just a little you could afford a Shigeru SK2. A wonderful sounding/playing piano that I suggest you try. San Mateo Pianos carries those. I visited my step son I usually go there to rent a practice room. They have Sk2's and 3's on display there just make sure they have been prepped before you try them out.
Based on my statement above, I wonder what my local Kawai dealer would charge for a new SK-2. Probably $800,000 and two-year wait. Hahaha!

ETA: Sarcasm. Lightly applied, but still.


I do music stuffs
Yep, I have a YouTube channel!

Current:
1998 PETROF Model IV Chippendale
LEGO Grand Piano (IDEAS 031|21323)
YAMAHA PSR-520

Past:
2017 Charles Walter 1500 in semi-polish ebony
1991 Kawai 602-M Console in Oak
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Posts: 2,348
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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Originally Posted by Jethro
If you can stretch your budget just a little you could afford a Shigeru SK2. A wonderful sounding/playing piano that I suggest you try. San Mateo Pianos carries those. I visited my step son I usually go there to rent a practice room. They have Sk2's and 3's on display there just make sure they have been prepped before you try them out.
Based on my statement above, I wonder what my local Kawai dealer would charge for a new SK-2. Probably $800,000 and two-year wait. Hahaha!

ETA: Sarcasm. Lightly applied, but still.
Then again, you might want to wait a while after you start seeing people no longer wearing masks and completely disregard the thought of learning the piano once again.


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Originally Posted by Sonepica
There are the 7'2 Feurich 218 and Hailun 218 (almost the same piano) which can be had brand new for probably $25k.
The OP said he had space for a 6' piano.

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Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Originally Posted by Jethro
If you can stretch your budget just a little you could afford a Shigeru SK2. A wonderful sounding/playing piano that I suggest you try. San Mateo Pianos carries those. I visited my step son I usually go there to rent a practice room. They have Sk2's and 3's on display there just make sure they have been prepped before you try them out.
Based on my statement above, I wonder what my local Kawai dealer would charge for a new SK-2. Probably $800,000 and two-year wait. Hahaha!

ETA: Sarcasm. Lightly applied, but still.
Then again, you might want to wait a while after you start seeing people no longer wearing masks and completely disregard the thought of learning the piano once again.
I totally don't get this, but I bet it's completely hilarious. smile


I do music stuffs
Yep, I have a YouTube channel!

Current:
1998 PETROF Model IV Chippendale
LEGO Grand Piano (IDEAS 031|21323)
YAMAHA PSR-520

Past:
2017 Charles Walter 1500 in semi-polish ebony
1991 Kawai 602-M Console in Oak
Joined: May 2001
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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
I know what PianoBuyer says. I don't know when those numbers were updated, though.
They are updated twice a year.

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