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#908860 - 03/17/02 09:19 AM what should I buy for my 8 years old  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 1
winnie Offline
Junior Member
winnie  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 1
Virginia, VA
My kid has learned music for the 2 1/2 years and she has showed interest to switch from the electronic keyboard to a real piano. We just got our first showroom tour yesterday, but I felt totally ignorant and need some advice.
First of all, I don't play music at all, so the difference in sound quality is not too obvious to me as to all of you.
We definitely want a vertical, a grand is too big for our house. We haven't set our budget because we have no idea how much a piano should cost. When I mentioned that I need a low maintainence upright, he show me a Steinway that cost $16K. Then he showed me a korean brand that costs $3K, which he said is compatible to a Kawai or Yamaha. While the Steinway felt and sound great, I just can't justify the big difference in cost.
Can a upscale vertical keep it value over the years? Let say my kid dropped her piano class 2 years later, is there a market for used piano?
What is the best brand/model for starters?
If we decided the brand/model we want, where can I found out the reasonable price for that brand/model? and if there anywhere I can get a better price than a piano dealer?

Thanks.

Winnie

#908861 - 03/17/02 10:57 AM Re: what should I buy for my 8 years old  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 14,183
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Jolly  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 14,183
Louisiana
Hi winnie,

Your question is a very common one. If you'll use the "search" function on the forum, you will find a lot of in-depth answers to your question. I'm going to give you the Reader's Digest version:

1. Buy "The Piano Book" by Larry Fine. Also a good idea to buy supplement book that contains "list" prices for new pianos. Read the book and get an idea for the quality/price aspects of piano buying.

2. You NEED a good dealer. Pianos aren't cars. The dealer is your best, last, and sometimes only person you can depend on to honor your piano warranty. Choose him wisely.

3. You NEED a good piano tech. The acoustic piano is made up of thousands of parts, and sometimes they go out of adjustment. Or maybe all the piano needs is a good tuning. Whatever your problem, be it a repair or routine maintenance, you will save money and enjoy the instrument more if it is serviced by a good tech. A tech can also evaluate a used piano for you, if you decide to go that route. Where do you find one? Ask your daughter's teacher, the local university music department, or check at www.ptg.org , for a guild member in your area.

4. Budget. There are verticals out there you can buy for 2k and some that will cost 20k ( or more). After a little pencil time and soul searching, please tell us what you would like to spend. This board is all about choices - you will recieve many specific recommendations of pianos to peruse within your price range. What you will have to do, is to decide which is YOUR favorite.


Good Luck! smile


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#908862 - 03/17/02 01:28 PM Re: what should I buy for my 8 years old  
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 718
SR Offline
500 Post Club Member
SR  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 718
Los Angeles
Just how good is the kid ? Quality matters more than age. If you've got a child prodigy on your hands, find money and space for a grand, it does make a difference in development. The fact that an eight year old wants an acoustic piano instead of an electric keyboard speaks volumes about potential playing ability to me. For the vast majority of us though, our ability will never surpass the ability of an upright.

Steve

#908863 - 03/17/02 04:31 PM Re: what should I buy for my 8 years old  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 19
Marianne Stephens Offline
Junior Member
Marianne Stephens  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 19
Seattle, WA
We are in a similar situation. I am the one who posted the question about a Yamaha U1 vs. a Petrof vs. a Kohler-Campbell. I also have a son (7 1/2) who is taking piano lessons, and who is currently using an electronic keyboard (I know, here that is considered bad bad bad, but that's what we could do at the time.)
We are looking to spend in the $6000 to $8000 range. We think that there are some very good verticals in that range, and like you, we are not learned enough to appreciate the differences between an $8000 piano and a $16,000 one. However, we want a decent instrument, and most good verticals do hold their value. Some dealers give 100% trade up if you do end up wanting a high-end piano.
We are now comparing different brands, and are taking time to go around to various dealers. Different dealers & pianos have different deals: some may include delivery, others will charge for delivery, and even for benches. It is hard to do the comparisons, and sometimes we feel more confused than ever.
The Larry Fine book that was mentioned is an essential resource. Without it, we would not have any basis for comparison. Though he has the ratings, you will have to make some decisions based upon sound, appearance, the sense that you have a good dealer, etc., for your final decision. Good luck.

Marianne

#908864 - 03/17/02 06:39 PM Re: what should I buy for my 8 years old  
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,237
reblder Offline
1000 Post Club Member
reblder  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,237
Sherman Oaks, Calif.
To save on cost, I'd personally recommend buying from a private party BUT it's imperative that you hire a tech to check it out before committing yourself.

I happen to like(and recommend to those looking)the Baldwin Acrosonic spinets from the 50's and early 60's. Their usual price range is about $1200-$1500. I'd also recommend the used Yamaha U1's or U3's which might be about $2500-$3500. Kawai also has made pretty decent uprights like the UST7 or UST8 models in addition to the NS20 series.
Their CX5 is a little shorter but also respectable in quantity as well.
I wouldn't recommend the older Young Chang's, concentrate only on the Pramberger if you run across one. It would have the letters PG before the model #.

Mark Mandell www.pianosource.com


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