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#3165915 10/23/21 09:59 AM
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Emanuel Offline OP
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Hello All,

I need some help making a decision, and would appreciate some input. Some background: I have a gifted 10.5 year old son. He's playing Mozart sonatas and Chopin waltzes and lots of jazz. He's in a chamber music group. He goes to piano camp in the summers. He loves it.

We have a Kawai upright - an NS-20A. Made in 1993. It's in pristine condition. Has a dampp chaser in it. Had one owner before us, has been well maintained.

Now here's the rub: somebody wants to GIVE my son a Samick grand. It's in pristine condition. It's a G-3A 5ft 9 serial # 841505. She thinks it was made in Korea in about 1988. She said "there is a transition in the #s between 1985 and 1990." I know the owner, I know it's been well cared for, tuned, etc.

We're going to see it later today and of course my son will play it. If we decide to take it, we'd sell the Kawai. I'm hesitant about the Samick though. Will it be a significant upgrade from the NS-20A? I know Samick would not be an easy re-sell later on.

Thoughts appreciated.

Thanks.

PS We cannot afford to spend any money on a piano now, fyi. As it is will have to pay to move the Samick if we take it.

Last edited by Emanuel; 10/23/21 10:05 AM.
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It sounds like you're not sure if the Samick is worth the trouble. But in the event that you do, you don't have to sell the Kawai, do you? I think most uprights can fit in the corner of a bedroom.


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We don't want or need two pianos. And we could use the money for other things my kiddo needs/wants (related to music). He needs a new drum set, needs a new laptop to upgrade his DAW, etc.

Last edited by Emanuel; 10/23/21 10:08 AM.
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I strongly suggest you hire a piano technician who is skilled in action regulation/reconditioning work to inspect the Samick grand.

I like Samick grands AFTER I do much work. The bones of the pianos are good. All the work done by machines on the pianos are excellent. All the hand work is not.

The most glaring issue you may well face are problems with the action centers. Samick grands are famous for suffering from "mystery sluggishness".

We call it mystery because the notes are working when you first start to play but after 15minutes to a couple of hours some notes begin to seize up. Let the piano rest for a while and it works again.

The only long term fix is to dis-assemble the action including the dampers and re-pin all the action centers.

This also means the action must be regulated again so I am talking about up to and over a weeks work.


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Thanks. We have a very skilled technician who has worked on our Kawai. I have absolute confidence in him. Perhaps, since this Samick would be a gift, I could ask him to work on the action if warranted? I know the tuner the owner has used so I can ask him what he thinks....

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Whatever you do, do not sell the Kawai until completely happy with the new piano for a good amount of time.


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Emanuel Offline OP
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Good advice.

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Would it be possible to sell the Samick shortly afterward (if you didn't like it, or it became problematic), without hurting anyone's feelings? Perhaps the price that + your Kawai would fetch would yield a better piano, should that be your goal.

If the action has the problems that Mr. McMorrow is talking about, it's going to be a time-intensive fix for a technician, and won't come cheap. I recently ran across one of these (different brand name, same maker) from the 1990s that I was able to treat the worst offenders with a specific chemical, but this is a stop-gap solution that I don't expect to last terribly long...and it was on a "free" piano where expectations were low.

It may be worth having your technician check out the piano before accepting it, if you can find a delicate way to do that.
There is no such thing as a piano from 1988 in what I'd call "pristine condition". Or at least, I've never seen it...pianos don't get better with age.


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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
There is no such thing as a piano from 1988 in what I'd call "pristine condition". Or at least, I've never seen it...pianos don't get better with age.

This. I think people tend to look at the case, the keyboard, parts you can inspect visibly and conclude that the outside is pristine, so the [i]piano[/] is pristine.

The other thing, re the action, if if has problems with the action but the current owners don't play any other piano (or no longer play at all), they will most likely not notice or realize there's a concern.

A free piano is never free.

Good luck!


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Update - saw the piano, my son played it. It sounds good. It's G-3A, serial number 841505. Also there are some decals (?) inside. Royal George Felt, Delignit, Schicht fur Schicht Unschlagbar, and Stahl Drahtwerd Roslau etc. Last time it was tuned was almost 2 years ago, and it's in good tune. Bright sound. One damper stuck a little but then resolved. It hadn't been played in some months. The owner is wealthy, a pianist, also has a Fazioli in another home.

We are inclined to take the piano, and (thank you!) keep the upright for a while as we make sure the Samick is okay.

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Ed McMorrow, you said above "...because the notes are working when you first start to play but after 15minutes to a couple of hours some notes begin to seize up. Let the piano rest for a while and it works again." What do you mean by "seize up" ?

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I believe he means that the centerpin/cloth bushing pivot points (there are several on each note in the action), which need a very particular amount of friction to feel and perform properly, start to act up after being played for some length of time. The amount of friction becomes too high and the action fails to cycle properly, and the touch becomes problematic.

Also, unless you live in a place where the seasonal weather changes extremely little, or the owner does an extensive amount of humidity control to keep it in a very tightly monitored range, it's extremely likely the piano needs tuning after 2 years of not being serviced.


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Thanks. Of course we will have the piano tech come right away, for inspection, tuning, etc. I'm going to call our piano tech and discuss all of the issues raised...


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