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Buying a grand piano soon

Posted By: PieterDBD

Buying a grand piano soon - 01/01/19 11:09 AM

Hey guys
Im thinking about buying a grand piano. Right now im thinking about getting either a new Kawai gl 10 (from 2015 but it has never been used) or a used 10 year old boston gp-156. The boston is about 1000 $ more than the Kawai.

What do you guys think?
Posted By: Furtwangler

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/01/19 02:58 PM

Don't get either one.

Too small.

Save your money and/or find a grand that is 5'10" or larger.

That's my advice.
Posted By: j&j

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/01/19 03:35 PM

+1 for Furtwangler’s advice. First determine the biggest grand you can comfortably locate in your chosen piano location. Many dealers carry stencils which you can borrow for piano placement. Then determine the max budget you want to spend for the piano of your dreams.
Some piano dealers stress that you can buy small and trade up, but of course that only applies to buying their pianos and often spending more
money than if you just save up for the dream piano.
If you’ve determined that you just don’t have the room for a 5’ 10” grand, then you might just do what many Piano World folks do and buy a big high quality upright.
Best of Luck, happy piano shopping!
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/01/19 07:47 PM

The GLs are very nice pianos, I would definitely choose that over a Boston, which I believe is still made by Kawai. The Boston does not have Kawai's millennium action which, IMHO, is superb.

Get the size you like and can afford. If you've played and enjoyed your choice, there's no reason to cotton onto the idea that bigger is better. Not all of us can fit or afford a 5'10" or bigger.
Posted By: terminaldegree

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/01/19 09:54 PM

I would not automatically choose a GL Kawai over a Boston, rather I’d judge the touch, tone, appearance, price, dealer service, and warranty, in whatever order you value most. In these cheaper and very small grand sizes, there are going to be compromises, which is why some are suggesting a larger model if logistics and budget allow.
Posted By: MarkL

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/02/19 12:05 AM

I have a GL10 and like it very much, I've not played that model Baldwin. I made my selection by playing a lot of pianos over several years and narrowing it down to the brand with the touch I preferred. I also wanted a grand action, otherwise I would have chosen the K300 or K500 because I think they sound a bit better than mine, although the difference is not significant. Presumably you've played enough to be able to identify the touch and sound you prefer, I'd say pick the one you like the most in your price range.
Posted By: kdr152004

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/02/19 12:51 AM

If you're in no rush, perhaps wait to beef up the budget . but the GL series are a joy to play - it should give you years of enjoyment - it just won't sound drastically different than e.g. a kawai K series upright.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/02/19 12:52 AM

Originally Posted by Furtwangler
Don't get either one.Too small. Save your money and/or find a grand that is 5'10" or larger. That's my advice.
Although I agree that very small grands generally have tonal compromises, I don't think it makes sense to give a specific length where a piano suddenly becomes acceptable. Pianos like a Mason A, 5'6" Estonia, or Steinway M, among others would satisfy an awful lot of even demanding pianists.
Posted By: Emery Wang

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/02/19 02:28 AM

I have a GL10 and love the sound and design of it. A longer piano will have deeper bass, but there is nothing wrong with the GL10's bass. In fact, it sounds very balanced. However if you want that deep powerful bass sound, you'll need the longer piano.

Do you like the sound of the Boston or the Kawai better? Go with that one. Remember, however, that you often can't judge the sound of the piano at the piano desk. Have someone else play it and stand to the side. I played a Schimmel once that sounded real tinny at the piano desk, but was rich and lovely from the side and back. My GL10 also sounds better from the side, but still sounds pretty good to me from the piano desk.

The other thing in deciding which piano you like is the action. However, unless both actions have been properly regulated, it won't be a meaningful comparison between any two pianos. You could have a GL10 that plays much smoother than a Boston, or vice versa. My GL10's action was heavy and a little sluggish when delivered, as the dealer did not properly regulate it. After lubrication and regulation, the action is now quick and wonderful, so keep that in mind. I'd say get the GL10, all things being equal, and spend the $1000 you save to get it regulated and lubricated by a good technician.
Posted By: kokatla

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/02/19 06:35 AM

the gl10 is ok. if the action was light enough, i would be happy with it. its definitely better than the yamaha equivalent. i know some of the old bostons were pretty terrible. i have heard they are better today. im not sure what year they stopped being 'bad'. try both.. go with the one you like I suppose.
Posted By: Hakki

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/02/19 09:01 AM

The minimum size I would consider for a grand is 5'8". Better if you can find one around 6'.

You can look for used Kawai RX2 or RX3 and Yamaha C2 and C3 respectively, though C2 is a bit shorter than RX-2. Both brands are well made quality pianos.

Just be sure to have the piano checked by an independent technician before you buy.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/02/19 12:00 PM

Originally Posted by Emery Wang
Remember, however, that you often can't judge the sound of the piano at the piano desk. Have someone else play it and stand to the side. I played a Schimmel once that sounded real tinny at the piano desk, but was rich and lovely from the side and back.
Unless a piano is regularly used for in home concerts, how the piano sounds to someone not seated at the piano is mostly irrelevant. How it sounds to someone seated at the piano, who is the person that will do most of the listening, is by far the most important.

Would you actually consider the Schimmel that sounded tinny at the music desk just because it sounded better from other locations?
Posted By: Emery Wang

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/02/19 04:48 PM

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Emery Wang
Remember, however, that you often can't judge the sound of the piano at the piano desk. Have someone else play it and stand to the side. I played a Schimmel once that sounded real tinny at the piano desk, but was rich and lovely from the side and back.
Unless a piano is regularly used for in home concerts, how the piano sounds to someone not seated at the piano is mostly irrelevant. How it sounds to someone seated at the piano, who is the person that will do most of the listening, is by far the most important.

Would you actually consider the Schimmel that sounded tinny at the music desk just because it sounded better from other locations?


Good point. Fortunately, the GL10 sounds good at the desk.
Posted By: Lady Bird

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/02/19 11:12 PM

If you like the sound of these pianos and you have
have had some experience with different pianos then
buy the one you like .
A tall upright will give you a similar or better tonal
experience. It should however be a good upright .
These of course are often more expensive than
some grands .
Whatever you decide have the piano checked by
a technician before you buy .
Both Kawai and Boston make good quality grands.
Posted By: SilentQ

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/03/19 03:50 PM

Don't worry about this size too much. I just bought a 5'3 JD Grandt and it uses hybrid stringing for more even tones. The 6' models for most reputable companies are about twice as expensive. I don't feel the need to spend double to get something a little longer with a full line of credit or after saving for another five years.

If it is a personal piano, all that matters is how it sounds to you. Play the $150,000 7' Steingraeber, play the $40,000 6' Yamaha, play the $16,000 5'2 Kawai. Play them all and make the best decision for you. You don't want to have too much piano for the room.

The only thing I would recommend against is going sub 5' - 5'3. I played a 4'11 and it sounded too small, the low end sounded... dirty. I asked about it and the dealer said that the size is for someone who wants to play a couple times a week/month and wants it to be a nice piece of furniture.

When judging smaller pianos, learn the intro to "When Rivers Flowed on Mars" by Telfer. Play that one octave lower and you will get a good sense of the base capabilities of the instrument compared to the same notes played on a larger one.

Q
Posted By: PianoWorksATL

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/03/19 08:19 PM

The GL10 is the entry-level model and, not discounting its strengths, is not as well made as the Boston GP163. The construction of the Boston is simply put, more robust. The Boston has more musical potential: greater dynamic range, greater tonal change, better sustain. For these reasons, it has a higher ceiling for a developing pianist, and greater potential for long-term use. When considering them as presented, both pianos are young, so the specifics of condition matters more than age. If you like the Kawai better and it suits your current needs, then get it, enjoy it, and know that an upgrade may be in your future.

In Kawai's GL-series, the GL20 and larger seem to have more in common in terms of design and construction.
Posted By: Mark Polishook

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/06/19 03:32 AM

Pieter, it all depends on what you hope to get from the piano. My advice is take your time looking and perhaps beef up your budget.

I was lucky, I got a fantastic instrument for a reasonable price. Those things are out there if you look and wait.

But most importantly, acquiring a new piano is a learning experience. Take your time, enjoy the process, try a lot of pianos, ask a lot of questions, and you’ll find the instrument that’s right for you. There’s always another good deal somewhere so learning more about pianos and what you like and need should now be your main priority.
Posted By: Kurtmen

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/08/19 01:06 AM

I disagree with some the forum's members, The Boston GP156 and the Kawai GL10 are good instruments. There are up sides to both pianos and also it is matter of personal preferences.
The GL-10 it is a very stable piano, it holds in tune very well. The composite materials in the action allows for a high precision touch, the action, it easy to regulate.
The tone is clean and defined; I like the fact that it doesn't have a duplex-scale, which sometimes takes away definition and creates unwanted harmonics.
Posted By: Piano90X

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/08/19 01:45 AM

Originally Posted by Kurtmen
The composite materials in the action allows for a high precision touch


Every single Kawai (other than Shigerus) that I've ever played on, is stiff.

RX, GX, GL. All of them. Harder than a diamond in an ice storm. I seriously think I got stress fractures in my wrist from one.

Shigerus, though, oh, heaven. Talk about precision touch! I felt I could get any tone out of it that I wanted. It was glorious.
Posted By: Kurtmen

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/08/19 02:00 AM

Sorry to hear about your stress fractures, if it is too stiff don't play it too hard.
Posted By: Piano90X

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/08/19 02:33 AM

Originally Posted by Kurtmen
Sorry to hear about your stress fractures, if it is too stiff don't play it too hard.


But I have to play hard to get the hammer to strike, otherwise I get no sound out of the piano.

I'm exaggerating (in case that wasn't obvious), but I've always found them stiff. Some pianists like that, though.

But the Shigerus . . . wow, I think the SK-6 or -7 is my dream piano. They are beyond amazing.
Posted By: Kurtmen

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/08/19 02:49 AM

[quote ]But I have to play hard to get the hammer to strike, otherwise I get no sound out of the piano. [/quote]

No you don't. So assuming that you are trained pianist; Pianos like a Shigeru, Bosendorfer or anything very smooth it is a rare luxury. Think about the practice rooms and venues where you play far worst pianos than ANY new piano in the in today's market. If what you said is true, all pianist will be crippled!!
Also I wonder about when you had the opportunity to try that many Kawai pianos GL GX and SK and got enough time playing so hard to the point you got stress fractures. So technically you blasted the Shigerus and then GX and GL and then you felt injured.(all in one sitting where??)
Posted By: Piano90X

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/08/19 03:05 AM

Kurtmen, you're taking my comments very literally. I said that I was exaggerating, and I even quoted Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby to underscore that I was joking about the degree of stiffness.

Having said that, yes, I absolutely find them stiff.

I've played them in private homes, churches, and in a variety of showrooms. And I've also visited a Kawai factory store not too far from where I live (where I got to try the Shigerus).

Some pianists prefer stiff because it gives them more control.
Posted By: Kurtmen

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/08/19 03:23 AM

originally posted by 90x
Quote
I just finally have enough money saved to buy a nice piano, and I've found the process maddening. It probably doesn't help that the major dealer in my vicinity went out of business a couple years ago, so it's very difficult to find certain brands without flying to other states. But dealers are so tight-lipped about prices that I effectively have to buy a ticket and fly out there to get much information.

It'd be irresponsible of me to spend money on a plane ticket to try a piano unless I know how much it costs.


I assumed then you are in Huston? Kawai's factory store is in Huston... There are plenty of places to buy a piano in Huston or near Huston. Are you trolling?
Also I read on another post that you wrote, you had lessons as a kid, and now you are playing on a digital piano so you are getting back into it... now you play in churches and all kinds of places??
Posted By: Kurtmen

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/08/19 03:36 AM

posted by 90x
Quote

I've played them in private homes, churches, and in a variety of showrooms.
So according to what you said, you spent a fortune in airplane tickets... so nothing left to buy a piano.

Trolling is not cool...
Posted By: Piano90X

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/08/19 03:39 PM

Kurtmen,

You just can't handle criticism of your brand, so you make these silly accusations of trolling and you creep my posts. It doesn't look good. This kind of stuff shows up in search results when people look up your business. If you're going to behave like that, you should at least do so anonymously when not representing your real-life identity and business.

Yes, the major piano dealer in the Houston area, Forshey, went out of business. They carried new and new-er used Estonias and Mason & Hamlin pianos. And I've found it extraordinarily difficult to find new-er used models of those pianos locally. No other local dealer is an authorized retailer of those models (new with some new-er used), other than Collora up in Dallas, which is a 5 hour drive or . . . you guessed it . . . a flight!

Yes, I took lessons for 10 years as a youth, and I've played continuously ever since then. During the course of those decades, I've played on countless pianos. Yes, in private homes, churches, and showrooms. Is that odd? More recently, yes, I've sought a piano teacher to take my playing to the next level, especially now I'll be buying a real piano.

Yes, I've begun looking nationally to find the right piano. Why is that controversial? I've saved a small fortune to buy a great piano, so I don't mind flying to find the right one, especially if I can get some price transparency before I buy a ticket. To illustrate, on PianoMart right now, a 2013 Shigeru Kawai SK-6 is selling for only $45,000.00. Your asking price is probably over $80,000.00, plus taxes and shipping. And that's fine! But, heck yes, it's definitely worth it for me to pay a couple hundred dollars on a plane ticket to check out a piano if it'll save me $40,000.00! Math is awesome.

A piano is a lifetime purchase, so spending money on plane tickets to find the right piano is a drop in the bucket, especially considering the potential savings.

Regarding Houston's piano market, I won't name any names, but the post-Forshey piano dealers in Houston (other than the official Kawai, Steinway, and Yamaha dealers) have been underwhelming. And I'm not the only one on this forum who has expressed this sentiment. Further, Houston's sales tax is exorbitant, so buying from a private seller--yes, even in another state--will save me thousands of dollars. I don't know why basic math is so controversial.

Yes, I own a weighted key digital pending my purchase of an acoustic. I bought it during undergrad and grad school because, like many students, I didn't have a whole lot of extra money or space to buy an acoustic. I just didn't have $60,000.00 of discretionary cash during those years. Sorry about that! Your snobbery about this is disheartening. Now, many years later, yes, I'm fortunate enough to have some significant discretionary cash and am shopping for an acoustic.

Yet this is all somehow trolling?

Methinks you are the troll.
Posted By: Piano90X

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/08/19 03:50 PM

And, regardless of any of that, Kawai pianos are still stiff.
Posted By: jarobi

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/08/19 06:07 PM

Originally Posted by Piano90X
And, regardless of any of that, Kawai pianos are still stiff.


This has also been my experience with Kawai and it's too bad because I really like their tone.
Posted By: JohnSprung

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/08/19 06:38 PM


Stiffness is friction in the action. A tech can regulate any make and model piano to correct that, but the work isn't cheap. Stiffness also goes away with playing, and high mileage pianos all tend to get too loose. So, it's probably best to start a little on the stiff side.

Surely there must be a university somewhere that has Kawai's in their practice rooms. Those would be the ones to try....
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Buying a grand piano soon - 01/08/19 06:46 PM

Originally Posted by Piano90X
Originally Posted by Kurtmen
The composite materials in the action allows for a high precision touch


Every single Kawai (other than Shigerus) that I've ever played on, is stiff.

RX, GX, GL. All of them. Harder than a diamond in an ice storm. I seriously think I got stress fractures in my wrist from one.

Shigerus, though, oh, heaven. Talk about precision touch! I felt I could get any tone out of it that I wanted. It was glorious.


I haven't had that experience at all, except with the old KGs.
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