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About kohler&campbell skg500s

Posted By: anana123

About kohler&campbell skg500s - 02/03/19 09:12 PM

l am looking to purchase a baby grand piano and have found one Kohler & Campbell's about 16 yeas old. The model is SKG500S,I was told the SKG500S is the millennium series, but I do not know for sure, and there is no much information I can find online about the millennium series at that time. And what is the value about this piano?

Any other information you may have to offer in regards to it would be great.
Thanks
Posted By: anana123

Re: About kohler&campbell skg500s - 02/03/19 09:30 PM

I have found skg600s is one of the millennium series, but not sure about SKG500S
Posted By: Carey

Re: About kohler&campbell skg500s - 02/03/19 10:12 PM

I just looked at Larry fine's "The Piano Book" 4th edition, (2001-02)

The piano your are considering is NOT from the Millennium Series.

In the late 1990s/early 2000s Kohler and Campbell Millennium pianos were built by Samick.

Model numbers of Millennium Series grands started with KFM. The smallest K&C Millennium grand built back then was 5'9" (the KFM600S).

The SKG prefix means the grand piano is a "regular" Korean built model.

If the prefix were KIG it would mean the grand piano was built by Samick in Indonesia.

Now you know more than the dealer. smile

Regarding value......how much is the dealer asking for the 5'1" SKG500S ??
Posted By: anana123

Re: About kohler&campbell skg500s - 02/04/19 12:29 AM

Thanks for your reply! The price from private seller is $3200
Posted By: Rickster

Re: About kohler&campbell skg500s - 02/04/19 01:11 AM

Originally Posted by anana123
Thanks for your reply! The price from private seller is $3200

That may well be a decent price for the K&C, or at least an average price of sorts. I wouldn't think you'd be over-paying anyways...

It would be best to have it inspected by a qualified piano tech before purchase.

Many years ago, (2005/2006?) when I first started shopping around for a grand piano, I played a new K&C SKG600, or maybe it was the 7 footer, SKG700(?), at a piano store in Atlanta, who was a K&C dealer at the time. I recall that the piano played pretty well and sounded pretty well, to my untrained hands and ears anyway. I do recall that the finish on the piano was absolutely beautiful. I was ebony polish with the birds-eye maple inner rim.

I also recall that the salesperson bragged on my playing at the time; said I sounded like Floyd Cramer. Of course, the complement didn't persuade me to buy the piano, but I did appreciate the complement. On the other hand, has a piano salesperson ever criticized a perspective customer's playing? I doubt it. smile

Good luck!

Rick
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: About kohler&campbell skg500s - 02/04/19 04:07 AM

Samick pianos from this era are prone to "mystery" sluggishness. We call it mystery because the exact cause is not known. How it manifests at first is the keys play when you first start, but after a few minutes some begin to get sluggish and freeze. The action centers start binding.

The only cure I feel confident in is re-pinning the action centers. The problem is found in the hammer action and the damper action. Proper repair adds up to well over a thousand dollars because the regulation of the action needs to be re-established. Plus if the dampers need work, many technicians are quite unskilled at damper adjustment so finding someone competent and efficient can be difficult.

I sometimes have Samick grands that I do quite extensive work that includes altering some string design issues, shaping V-bar to a V-shape, changing hammers to lighter, softer ones, modifying the klunky pedal system and installing my Fully Tempered Duplex Scale. They come out with a quite warm but dynamic tone and a very reponsive action that endures significant use well.
Posted By: anana123

Re: About kohler&campbell skg500s - 02/04/19 03:25 PM

Hi Ed McMorrow,
Thanks for your professional comments! Have you had issues in tuning this model before? Should I stay away from this piano?
Thanks
Posted By: Rickster

Re: About kohler&campbell skg500s - 02/04/19 04:08 PM

Originally Posted by anana123
]Hi Ed McMorrow,
Thanks for your professional comments! Have you had issues in tuning this model before? Should I stay away from this piano? Thanks

Anana123, have you seen and played the piano you are asking about? If so, are the keys stiff and sluggish to start with and then the action just freezes up altogether after playing a short time as Ed states?

It seems to me that Ed is lumping all Samick made pianos from this era into one barrel. Also, with all due respect to Ed, if you go back and read his many threads here, in his opinion, as a general rule, every acoustic piano ever manufactured by any manufacturer is plagued with problems from the factory and the only way to remedy the issues is for him to rebuild it to his own specs. Or at least that is the way I interpret his comments here over and over again. And, I'm not being critical of Ed here; I'm sure he is very good at his craft... this is just the way I interpret things that Ed says here.

Again, if you are interested in the piano, find the best piano technician in your area and pay them $100 or so to inspect the piano for you. Ed has not seen or heard or laid hands on the piano you are considering and seems to be condemning it based on its basic DNA.

For the record, I am not a pro. I'm just a dabbler. But I hate to see new members go away more confused than when they came here...

Maybe some of the other pros can chime in and corroborate what Ed had to say about Samick made pianos.

Good luck!

Rick
Posted By: adamp88

Re: About kohler&campbell skg500s - 02/04/19 04:12 PM

Anana, I've worked on several of these pianos in the SKG series (400, 500 and 600). They tune just fine, but like Ed mentioned, they do tend to suffer from the "mystery sluggishness" that really affects playability. Ed is quite correct that the only real cure is to completely re-pin the action flanges, and yes, it is a costly repair. You can get by having your technician only re-pin the ones that are sticking at the moment, but if some are sticking now, the rest will eventually start sticking as well. Once everything is re-pinned and re-regulated, the action should give you trouble-free performance, but given the hassle and cost of this kind of work, I think your money would be better spent elsewhere.

To reply to Rickster: every single SKG series grand I've come across (10 so far) has had issues with sluggishness. In the technician community, it's a well known issue. You may get lucky - and perhaps a technician has already done the re-pinning work on this particular piano, but there's enough of a known issue with these pianos that if you don't know whether the action flanges have been re-pinned or not, you're taking a pretty big (and potentially costly) chance if you go through with a purchase.
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: About kohler&campbell skg500s - 02/04/19 04:23 PM

Gee thanks Rickster. And I don't think you have ever played one of my pianos. I know what I am talking about sir! I have gone deeper into design research than anyone else I know in the industry at great personal cost.
Posted By: Steve Jackson

Re: About kohler&campbell skg500s - 02/04/19 04:53 PM

Originally Posted by adamp88
Anana, I've worked on several of these pianos in the SKG series (400, 500 and 600). They tune just fine, but like Ed mentioned, they do tend to suffer from the "mystery sluggishness" that really affects playability. Ed is quite correct that the only real cure is to completely re-pin the action flanges, and yes, it is a costly repair. You can get by having your technician only re-pin the ones that are sticking at the moment, but if some are sticking now, the rest will eventually start sticking as well. Once everything is re-pinned and re-regulated, the action should give you trouble-free performance, but given the hassle and cost of this kind of work, I think your money would be better spent elsewhere.

To reply to Rickster: every single SKG series grand I've come across (10 so far) has had issues with sluggishness. In the technician community, it's a well known issue. You may get lucky - and perhaps a technician has already done the re-pinning work on this particular piano, but there's enough of a known issue with these pianos that if you don't know whether the action flanges have been re-pinned or not, you're taking a pretty big (and potentially costly) chance if you go through with a purchase.


I'm not so sure it's a mystery. It's been the same for decades. Cheap glue that softens during playing due to friction.
Posted By: Rickster

Re: About kohler&campbell skg500s - 02/04/19 05:18 PM

Well, there you go, Anana123... adamp88 and Steve Jackson have corroborated Ed's comments about Samick made pianos from this era.

Guess it's a good thing I didn't buy the K&C grand back in the early 2000s, but it wasn't because it had a sluggish action. The action felt great.

As a matter of general discussion here on PW, I suppose a little healthy debate never hurts, as a general rule. Also, FWIW, if Samick made pianos from this era were this bad, I'm surprised Samick is still in business. Yet they are still one of largest piano manufactures in the world, with Pearl River being the largest.

And, Ed, as I said, I meant you no harm or disrespect with my comments. I'm sure you are as good a technician, rebuilder, designer, and piano engineer as you say you are. As for me, I'm merely on the outside looking in.

Best regards,

Rick
Posted By: BDB

Re: About kohler&campbell skg500s - 02/04/19 05:31 PM

I have only run into a couple of them, and thought they were decent, although nothing to write home about. There was nothing wrong with the actions, but around here, that may not indicate that there could not be problems in other parts of the world. If there is, there may be other solutions than repinning. I have had good results cleaning up verdigris in center pin joints by cleaning them with orange oil thinner, for instance. It may not be permanent, but it is cheap and easy.
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: About kohler&campbell skg500s - 02/04/19 11:45 PM

Steve Jackson, If it is the glue, then why does repinning solve the problem? I have never had any problem with the felt coming out while I worked repinning them like NY Steinway centers have.

Some centers are definitely too tight and often just on one side. Some pins have damaged plating. So I have never found a definitive single fault. And then there is the fact that they worked for quite a while before freezing up.

Owners of these Samicks are not excited when they get the bad news.

Protek helps some but when they are flat out seizing, I have never found it permanently solves the issue.

I don't like the "patch-it-up-so-it-works-for-a-few-months" service philosophy. I have found that a properly put together piano housed in a stable environment is wondrously stable. Just a little tuning every so often and the dam thing always sounds nice and plays well when you want to play. I think that is the only way to have one, one that is always a joy. One only lives once.
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