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#3128387 06/16/21 11:11 AM
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Hello everyone,
I am hopeful that someone can provide me with guidance on some work to be done on a piano. We just purchased a 1998 Kawai Rx2 for my kids from a private seller. This is our first piano purchase (our kids have been using a family hand me down upright). I did have a tech inspect it prior to purchase. He seemed surprised that the action was plastic (Kawai's 2nd generation action composite). He warned me severely about this and how it shouldn't have plastic flanges and weapons. These parts are currently in great shape but I was warned that they "could break".

In addition the keys need to be leveled slightly and he said it needed to be regulated (per owner never done). He said otherwise it is in great shape, soundboard looks great, tuning pins and bushings are great.

Given that I help repair people and not pianos, I would be so grateful if someone knowledgeable could comment on the composite action especially flanges and weapons as well as the regulation. I was quoted $1500 and 10days work for the regulation and $4500 to replace action (which I do not have the money or really the desire to do)

Does this sound right/fair? Should I be deathly afraid of the action?

Thank you in advance!

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Perhaps afraid of a technician desperately seeking work. Considering the current value of your piano and that it works I would get a quote for regulation from a different tech. There are two types of regulation. The first is regulation to adjust the action to bring it back to manufacturers specification. This is done to adjust for normal wear and compression of felt. Such a regulation can be done in one day or less. The second is where parts require repair or replacing and might also include work on the hammer felt to reface them and to use needles to improve the tone (voicing). Such work has a variable time but I cannot accept that the quoted ten days is justifiable.
I tune and regulate my own piano but you might want to wait and see if professional technicians reply with their considerable experience and expertise.
Ian


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Hi Ken:
I've been in the business for 30+ years, and worked for a store that sold Kawai pianos back in the late '80's. They had plastic action parts back then, and they still work well today. If you worry about plastic parts, you should also worry about the plastic in your drain pipes. The plastic that was used long ago (in the late '40's and 50's) is not what is used in Kawai pianos today. The plastic back then had problems because the plasticizer would evaporate, and the plastic would crumble after many years.
There has been extensive testing done on the Kawai parts, and have proved reliable over many years and in many venues. No reason whatsoever to worry about the use of modern plastics in Kawai Pianos. (Disclaimer- I don't work for any store, nor do I own one or sell Kawai pianos except on occasion).


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You should be deathly afraid of the technician.

Even if the parts do fall apart, there is no reason to do that before they start to fall apart, and as others have said, they are less likely to fall apart than the parts that were made in the early days of synthetic materials.

Regulation is probably worth doing, but it should only take at most 3 or 4 hours on a piano this new. The keys are likely level enough. They do not need to be micrometer exact, and they do not stay that way even if you aim for that.

Technicians like that are the bane of the industry. People want pianos that play well at a reasonable cost. They do not want race car service on their family sedan. After all, race car engines may only last one race, and you want your family sedan to last many years.


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Your Kawai composite action from 1998 is fine, don't mess with replacing it. It will actually be a lot more stable when exposed to environmental changes in humidity and temperature than comparable wooden parts in other pianos. I think you mean flanges and "wippens" not "weapons." smile Leveling the keys is a normal regulation step if the piano has been played a lot. Enjoy your new piano!

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Originally Posted by heavypiano
I think you mean flanges and "wippens" not "weapons." smile Leveling the keys is a normal regulation step if the piano has been played a lot. Enjoy your new piano!

ROFL. Yes indeed, wippens makes much more sense! My daughter was a tad concerned about the "weapons" in her piano.

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I can only echo others' disquiet about this 'technician'. Perhaps, on his say-so, the entire Kawai piano company should cease, quietly folding its tent and departing into the night.......

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Thank you all for your assistance. I shall ask around and find a new tech! My gut reaction was that I should move on from him but I felt I needed done expert opinions. Thank you again!!


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