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Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto?

Posted By: Hohum

Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 12/30/11 06:38 AM

Hi folks

I'm trying to track down a Toronto/GTA retailer for Kawai Pianos. I'm looking to buy myself a Digital Piano after a long layoff from playing. Been looking at either the Yamaha CLP-480, Kawai CA93 or the Roland HP307. So far the Kawai seems the best of the bunch from experiences I've read.

Unfortunately I can't find anywhere with one even in stock to go and play! Merriam Music is the only place I've found which sells them; currently out of stock and asking over $4500 to place one on back-order which is a lot to ask for sight unseen ordering.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 12/30/11 07:07 AM

Hello Hohum,

May I recommend contacting the folks at Kawai America (by phone or email) to request assistance. While the CA93 is a popular instrument, with a number of back-orders, the staff there may be able to recommend an alternative location where the piano can be play-tested.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: whitfit

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 12/30/11 03:57 PM

I've been trying as well. Merriam seems to be the only game in town for Kawai DPs (although I haven't contacted Kawai America directly). Someone recommended Long & McQuade, but they don't have any, either in their Toronto store, or even in their Waterloo store where they apparently have the Kawai APs.

Merriam did have a CA63 on display, and the MP10 if you want to get a feel for the keyboard.

It is strange that Kawai does not have someone selling their DPs in Toronto, but only outside of the city. You'd think that with the population here, music scene (and the RCM), and demonstrated interest in pianos, a dealer in the city limits would be warranted.
Posted By: ONfrank

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 12/30/11 07:38 PM

Kawai seems to want to stick strictly with independent B&M piano dealers for marketing reasons, even more so in Canada. It makes it awfully difficult to buy when there aren't very many dealers around. Good for manufacturer and dealer (perhaps) but not good for potential buyers.

It's aggravating when you can see competitors entry and mid-level offerings from Yamaha, Roland, etc available at both piano dealers and chain stores everywhere.
Posted By: Hohum

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/03/12 02:55 PM

Thanks for the responses. smile

Having contacted Kawai US and called around local dealers, it really seems that Merriam is the only place you can play and pick up a CA93. Considering the massive population centre that is Toronto, seems like a missed opportunity to me, but what do I know!!

I've decided to widen the budget a little to include the Yamaha AvantGrand N1. They appear to be a solid choice for someone in my situation, as I'm trying to find a non-acoustic instrument which is as close to the real thing as possible for Classical playing. Now I just need to find a local store which stocks THOSE pianos!!
Posted By: ZoeCalgary

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/03/12 05:30 PM

I'm having the same problem finding an MP6 to test. It is driving me crazy. I even tried Edmonton , Alberta a large city as is Calgary, and no luck. The Edmonton dealer told me it takes 2-3 weeks to get one. But they don't have one to try! Kawai is really doing themselves a disservice with limited availability of their pianos. How can they expect somebody to buy something for $2000 without trying it? It's just not right.

It is going to force me to stay away from Kawai even though the MP 6 seems like the perfect instrument for me.
Posted By: knotty

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/03/12 06:08 PM

I bought one sight unseen. Was completely unable to get my hands on one. Kawai dealers don't carry them, and other dealers dont carry Kawai. It's really poor marketing / strategy.
Seeing that the MP6 is the most affordable stage piano out there, and very feature rich, they could really make a dent in the competition.
Posted By: whitfit

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/03/12 06:13 PM

Originally Posted by ONfrank
Kawai seems to want to stick strictly with independent B&M piano dealers for marketing reasons, even more so in Canada. It makes it awfully difficult to buy when there aren't very many dealers around. Good for manufacturer and dealer (perhaps) but not good for potential buyers.


It seems to me that this can only be good for the existing dealers, and not the manufacturer. The volume that they sell around here can't be very large. Sure, the Canadian market is probably not that large, but the big cities/urban areas must be as large a market for these things as most of their other local markets, and given that they are already importing to Canada, it isn't like the marginal cost of getting a few more dealers involved should be that large.

I guess I should be satisfied that at least in Toronto, unlike in Calgary and Edmonton there is a dealer I can get to and can try the relevant models I am interested in. Zoe, did the dealer have any other DPs with the same action (I believe the RH with letoff)? I am of the opinion that the box doesn't give you as much information about the piano as the feel. The sounds, I guess, are a different thing, but at least for those you have some other subjective and objective (DPBSD) references on this forum.

I still haven't pulled the trigger on the MP10 I was considering. I'm now wondering if the MP6 might meet my needs, or if I should wait a little bit longer and save more and get better as a pianist...
Posted By: ZoeCalgary

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/03/12 06:54 PM

Hi Whitfit, yes there are 2 Kawai dealers. One only has some of the console model digitals (they don't sell Kawai acoustics), the other sells Kawai acoustics mostly and some digitals. Yet neither see it valuable for customers to have a demo of the MP6 or MP10 models? The Edmonton dealer did have an MP10. He was trying to convince me it was the exact same action as the MP6 so I didn't feel very confident in his knowledge of these particular pianos. In the end I didn't go see the MP10. I'm sure I'd really like it but again out of price range.

So, yes I have been able to try the Kawai console models. I liked the CN23 and CN33 (KawaiJames has confirmed that the CN33 has the same action as the MP6). But I also tried the CN43 and it also supposedly had the same action but it felt very different to me. Not sure why. I played both sitting down at the same dealer. The CN43 felt stiff and harder and more shallow (hard to explain in words). Either way it didn't matter because the CN43 is way out of budget.

Since I've tried one that has the same action as the MP6 I'm very tempted to order an MP6 online from the US. If I'm buying sight unseen I may as well save some money. I'd only worry about having to get work done on it. It would be a big hassle to have to send it back if anything was wrong with it.

I'm waiting to see what the January NAMM comes out with before I make my final decision. I'm also trying to get the local folks get an MP6 that I can try out in the store. I'd pay a bit more to get local but so far they haven't appeared to be very helpful.
Posted By: whitfit

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/03/12 08:10 PM

Originally Posted by ZoeCalgary
He was trying to convince me it was the exact same action as the MP6 so I didn't feel very confident..

Since I've tried one that has the same action as the MP6 I'm very tempted to order an MP6 online from the US. If I'm buying sight unseen I may as well save some money. I'd only worry about having to get work done on it. It would be a big hassle to have to send it back if anything was wrong with it.

I'm waiting to see what the January NAMM comes out with before I make my final decision. I'm also trying to get the local folks get an MP6 that I can try out in the store. I'd pay a bit more to get local but so far they haven't appeared to be very helpful.


Sounds like we are in a similar situation, although I was able to play MP10 and MP6 somewhat locally. The guys at Merriam music were helpful and knowledgeable, but I have learned in my quest that at other stores (that didn't carry Kawai) knowledge of the product is limited, and I've learned more on here than many salespeople know.

With respect to importing a keyboard from the USA, I looked at the warranty on Kawai's website and it didn't seem to be a barrier to warranty service. I guess it depends on how Kawai manages servicing products under warranty - you may be stuck shipping to Kawai USA directly anyway. Ordering from the us may be the best discipline on prices in Canada. If I can't bargain local dealer here down a little, I might take that route.

Edit: I should add that I would be willing to pay $100-$200 more to buy locally - having someone who can help with service and will have models on display is worth something, but not a 25% premium. It also seems like the discrepancy in console pianos is significantly higher.
Posted By: ZoeCalgary

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/03/12 09:43 PM

I agree. I was quoted $1900 for the MP6 from Edmonton dealer. Online I can get it for $1275 with current promos and as far as I know even with import duty it would be closer to $1500 than $2000! Some of the yamahas at local dealers seem on par with US pricing but not Kawai for some reason. I feel the dealers feel they can charge whatever they want cause there is limited availability. I will talk to the main Kawi dealer first though after the NAMM show, to give him a fair chance to make a fair deal. If not I will have to see if I will take the risk by ordering online or just going with a Yamaha.
Posted By: Hohum

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/05/12 01:00 AM

Well, I trekked out to Merriam to play their CA-63. Wonderful instrument and most definitely the best of the pure Digital Pianos I played (I can only presume the CA93 is better!).

In the end though it was a trip to Cosmo Music to try there AvantGrand N1 which sold me. It's unlike anything else in the digital market, and became a complete no-brainer decision for me from the first chord I played. They had a Yamaha CLP-470 on the floor also and the difference was like night and day playing the two side-by-side.

Good luck in finding your DP's folks!
Posted By: ZoeCalgary

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/05/12 03:48 AM

Hohum, I'm glad to hear you found something you like. So did you get the N1? I'd probably like them too but don't want to spend so much on a digital. All the best to you with your new N1!
Posted By: Hohum

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/05/12 03:51 AM

Thanks Zoe.

I did indeed opt for the N1. It was out of my initial budget range, but I decided to go a little higher to get something I loved rather than pay a lot for something I'd merely be content with.
Posted By: ZoeCalgary

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/05/12 04:13 AM

Oh Wow Congratulations then! Good for you. I'd like to stick to a budget but I'm afraid when it comes down to it...I'll end up raising the budget to get something I'll be really happy with. If I could just get my hands on an MP6....sigh!

All the best with your new piano! Are you going to post pictures?
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/05/12 10:09 AM

Congrats on the purchase of your N1 Hohum!

The AvantGrand instruments are without doubt the finest 'digital' pianos currently available. While you may well have yexceed your original budget, I'm certain that the investment will be worth every penny!

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: gnembon

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/09/12 04:36 PM

Guys, I will refresh the topic.
I have found that I have a choice of getting MP10 in Canada and the best offer I could get is 2800+shipping+tax (@Merriam) which gives roughly $3300. The same piano I can get in US for 2500 and it is not that far away from me.

The question is - "how hard can it be" to smuggle one through the border. I am just thinking that if I hide, or dispose original packaging and claim, if they ask, that it was just my keyboard I brought over from Canada, is there any way they can proove I just got it there and have to pay duty and taxes?

this is not a question about the ethical side of it, but rather is it technically possible.
Posted By: gvfarns

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/09/12 06:02 PM

If you don't take the packaging back with you, they won't even ask whether it was purchased in the US or not, in the unlikely event that your stuff is searched. For the most part you just go through easily, especially going from the US to Canada. The other way is sometimes harder, but still not hard.
Posted By: ONfrank

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/10/12 12:50 AM

If you were only in the United States for a couple of hours, that might get you flagged as suspicious. I am not sure if CBSA can ask you to prove that it was already in your possession when you initially left the country. If you get caught, you will have to pay a fine in addition to tax owing if you want your piano returned and your plates will stay in their computer records for a few years and you may get extra scrutiny each time you cross the border.

Kawai distribution in Canada is just sad. At least in the United States the portable boards ES6/EP3/MPx are available online and at many chain stores. Canadians for the most part only have independent B&M dealers to choose from and judging by what I've learned here, even in the major cities there's usually only one game in town.
Posted By: gnembon

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/10/12 05:02 AM

I thought about that and I will go there actually with a friend who has some friends in the US and we plan to stay for 2 days, visiting friends too. We have a good official reason to be there. BTW, do they ask you each time you cross the border with a laptop, where did you get it from? rather not. I was hoping somebody might have had some experience with moving bigger stuff.

I just wonder if there is any way they would know (except from posts on this forum [Linked Image] )
Posted By: whitfit

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/10/12 02:44 PM

In an earlier discussion on similar issues I wrote:

"Low risk, high impact. If someone caught me at border lying,it would probably just result in paying up. Then again, I'm a lawyer working for the government. I like my job and license to practice law more than a couple hundred dollars.

I also agree with our vat system as an efficient way to raise money to pay for health care, education etc. So, on balance, I'm happy to declare - not that I haven't brought many things across border in my time without declaring them."

I think that there is a risk that a brand new DP (unless you can play it a lot in the meantime) would raise some suspicions. At least a laptop goes in a small bag. I am not sure what happens when you do get caught. Like I say above, you might not get caught, but is it worth the risk? Depends on the punishment ...
Posted By: gvfarns

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/10/12 05:12 PM

I don't think they will check your stuff. The primary purpose of the border patrol is not to prevent individuals from bringing personal purchases across the border, especially from the US, which has a free trade agreement.

I don't think they would know or care that you went through recently either, nor keep track of the fact that you didn't have any piano in your car last time you went across. Nor could they prove that you bought it in the US even in the highly unlikely case that the question did come up (there's no way they could reliably mark down that you didn't have it when you crossed the last time). All you would have to say is that you brought it with you from Canada if it really came down to it and there's no way they could refute that.

If you are really paranoid, you could cross at a different place going back, which would drop the probabilities even farther.
Posted By: whitfit

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/10/12 06:24 PM

Originally Posted by gvfarns
I don't think they will check your stuff. The primary purpose of the border patrol is not to prevent individuals from bringing personal purchases across the border, especially from the US, which has a free trade agreement.


Being a Canadian, returning to Canada from the US by car, in fact the primary purpose of the border patrol is to do exactly that (well, not prevent, but make sure you pay taxes/duties on items above the personal exemption limits).

gvfarns, I think you are in the US, so might not have been exposed to that scrutiny, but Canadians are obsessed with cross border shopping (both doing it and taxing it).

One thing I have noticed, crossing the border as much as I do by car (I live in Toronto, my parents are in NY state), is that Americans care about who you are, and Canadians care about what you are bringing in to the country (as a Canadian). Canadian border guards may care more about who you are if you are not carrying a Canadian passport, but in Canada, cross border shopping is a big deal. It is a big deal to the Canadian border guards as well, who do actually check more thoroughly if you are a Canadian coming back into the country after a visit to the US for purchases. It is not necessarily an issue that is dealt with by NAFTA. There is a significant value added tax in Canada that applies to all purchases. Also, the NAFTA exemptions only apply to products made in the US or Mexico.

I'm not saying that they will put the effort into proving it, or that the proof is easy. I also believe that 99 people out of 100 would just pass through. I would just caution that as a Canadian, returning to Canada from the US by car, there is the chance you might get grilled. When push comes to shove, do you want to be telling the border guard that a brand new thing you bought was purchased in Canada, for a savings of a couple of hundred dollars? To me, lying to Federal agents, especially if they make me swear up and down about it, is not worth that price.

It also appears the border agency has the right to seize goods they don't think are being imported legally. I have no idea who has the burden of proof, or what the criteria are, but it might be a risk to consider. The cases below are for more serious things, and the facts probably would be different, but it seems like a failure to declare can lead to a pretty stiff penalty:

http://www.canlii.org/eliisa/highli...ca/fct/doc/2007/2007fc770/2007fc770.html

http://www.canlii.org/eliisa/highli...ca/fct/doc/2009/2009fc724/2009fc724.html

http://www.canlii.org/eliisa/highli.../fct/doc/2011/2011fc1365/2011fc1365.html
Posted By: gvfarns

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/10/12 06:35 PM

Hmm. Well sounds like you know more about it than I do. I haven't been to Canada in years, actually, so I'm just remembering how it is as an American and my info is out of date, apparently.
Posted By: whitfit

Re: Kawai DP Dealer - Toronto? - 01/10/12 07:42 PM

Originally Posted by gvfarns
Hmm. Well sounds like you know more about it than I do. I haven't been to Canada in years, actually, so I'm just remembering how it is as an American and my info is out of date, apparently.


I actually suspect that there is a big difference in how the border guards deal with Canadians and Americans entering Canada. They wouldn't worry about Americans importing goods and avoiding taxes as much as for Canadians, I suspect. It would be interesting to be able to do it both ways, and see what the difference in questioning is.

And I also suspect that most people wouldn't get in to the kind of situation that those cases I referred to led to, but it is something that scares me personally enough that I don't think it is worth the risk.
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