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Hi all - i'm new here and hoping this isn't a double post...

My daughter is advancing in piano and after playing on an electric for many years we've decided to go for a baby grand piano. She loves music (also plays the trumpet) and her teacher recommended we now get a "real" piano, esp because I'm also trying to get back into it again (I used to be fairly advanced before life got in the way many years ago). My budget is under $10k (preferably under $9k to cover tax, delivery and so on).

After trying many pianos, we liked 2 pianos in our price range:
1. Hallet Davis, 2012, 5', $8500 + delivery
2. Hallet Davis, 2000, 5'3", $7000 + delivery

Both have warranties.
We tried them and love the feel and the sound, and the price seems reasonable. Is one the better choice vs. the other? Are there other options in our price point? For perspective, we did love a used Kawai baby grand we tried but it was way out of our price range (almost $17k).

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

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You could also check out pre-owned pianos. I suspect there are a fair number in NJ. You'll likely get the best deals on the private market without huge dealer markups. You have to be careful, of course. Never buy sight unseen. Play the piano, and if your own inspection doesn't reveal any problems then hire an independent technician to give it a thorough evaluation on the inside it before putting down an offer. The pre-owned market offers the possibility of getting a higher quality piano if you're patient and careful. And if you don't find anything, the Hallet-Davis type piano will always be there.

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One question: is 5 3 the biggest grand your space will support?


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Yes - the 5'3" is already kind of pushing it frown...definitely cannot do a grand piano (I wish!). I originally was thinking closer to 5'1" but I realize that I should try to go as large as possible.

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Piano-dad, I'm assuming when you say pre-owned it's going with someone who is just selling it privately? It's so odd, but I called a number of people who were selling pianos listed on FB or other places and most don't bother responding so I gave up. I'm also not keen on going to strangers' homes randomly, esp with Covid and everything else! So I figured pre-owned through a dealer was the next best thing, even if it would cost me a little more.

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That's unfortunate. You'll usually be much better off, musically, in the 5'7"+ range.

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Hello, and welcome to Piano World!

I've never played a Chinese made Hallet Davis brand piano, but was told they were among the better pianos made in China during that timeframe. Of course, a piano salesperson told me that.

Also, I've read good things about the Hallet Davis here on the forum over the years. That said, a good piano is where you can find one you can afford.

Personally, based on my own past experience, I'd look for an older Yamaha or Kawai, or Baldwin, baby grand that you can afford, depending on the condition of the piano. It is my view that condition trumps age, as a general rule. Pianos can last a long time, if housed in a good environment.

If you all really like the 2000 model 5'3" Hallet Davis, you might be able to negotiate the price some. If not, that is still not a bad price, if the piano is in good condition, and only a qualified piano tech can verify that.

Bottom line, if you and your daughter like the piano, that is all that matters.

Good luck!

Rick


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I would say a U1 or better still a U3 or K500 would be a better choice.Yes a good used Kawai, Yamaha, or Boston grand would be great.


My piano's voice is my voice to God and the great unknown universe, and to those I love.In other words a hymn.That is all, but that is enough.Life goes on, despite pain and fear.Music is beautiful,life is beautiful.


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I’m going to second Tre corda’s advice and suggest that you also consider uprights. Small grand pianos tend to be somewhat compromised in the tone of the bass, and good uprights can do better in this area than a small grand.
A 10k budget will also go a lot further with an upright than with a grand. As Tre Corda mentioned, the Yamaha U1/U3 and Kawai K300/K500 are very popular models, and they’re popular for a reason.

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See if you can find pre-owned piano in your area: you can also buy from a dealer. They are nice pianos and good value for the cost,


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Thanks so much all! I'll keep looking but am leaning towards the 5'3" Hallet at the moment. But i'll see if a couple of people respond to the ads they posted in my area might find a couple of other options! Much appreciated!

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Originally Posted by NJ_Piano_Mom
Thanks so much all! I'll keep looking but am leaning towards the 5'3" Hallet at the moment. But i'll see if a couple of people respond to the ads they posted in my area might find a couple of other options! Much appreciated!


Check back; I suspect someone will post specific information on the Hallet.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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You should have the used Hallet Davis inspected by an excellent tech not beholden to the dealer. It has the advantage of being less expensive and longer but its condition also should play a big part in your choice. A tech inspection is the only way to determine its condition. It could be in excellent, terrible or somewhere in between condition.

I also agree with posters who suggested you at least consider a high quality and tall upright.

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If you do decide that the 5’3” Hallet & Davis is a strong contender, I think it will definitely be worth your while to get an independent technician (someone not affiliated with the dealer) to assess the piano. 20 years is a good amount of time in the life of a piano, and you want to make sure you understand the condition of the piano and what kind of work may be needed in the near to medium term. This is true even if you think the piano plays well.

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ok - where do you reco I find a piano technician? is there a resource here for a search? thanks!

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You should think about whether the prices quoted are reasonable. Based on the prices for new Hallet Davis pianos in the Piano Buyer, I think prices may be way too high. In fact, it seems that brand new versions of the same models should sell for only a little more than the prices quoted for the 10 and 22 year old models.

You should read articles in the Piano Buyer about SMP and discounts to SMP and about the depreciation table. Those will help you decide if the asking price is reasonable.

For example the SMP for a new 5'3' HD is $13,190 so a reasonable selling price with a 25% discount is $9892. Taking 40% of that for depreciation of 20 years and then adding on 20% if its being sold by a dealer with a warranty gives a price of $4748. These calculations are not meant to be definitive but the result is much lower than the asking price so that price may be too high.

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Normally, you can find technicians through https://www.ptg.org/find-rpt, the website for the piano technicians’ guild. But this function has not been working for a while. They do have a phone number you can call. You may also get private messages here with recommendations. I believe there are plenty of people who post here from New Jersey. Keep an eye on the upper right hand corner of this screen — if there’s a flashing red envelope, it means you have a private message. Just click on it to see the messages.

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Originally Posted by NJ_Piano_Mom
ok - where do you reco I find a piano technician? is there a resource here for a search? thanks!


http://pianotechnicians.org/USA_NJ.html


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Those prices seem high to me too.

I agree with Piano*Dad’s point that you’re likely to find the best values in the private market.

What part of NJ do you live in? NYC metro? Philly metro? Elsewhere? (If people know your area then they can make more precise recommendations.


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Wow, you guys are great!! I live in the Princeton area - so central NJ.

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