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Posted By: dvuder Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 06:04 AM
Hello all, I am trying to buy a digital piano in a baby grand cabinet but can’t afford 20k for the most expensive newest toys.

I found a Kurzweil152 (2008?)and a Kohler KD140 (2005). Both are said to be in excellent condition with no known functional issues and both are less than 2k, Kohler is somewhat cheaper.

Does anyone have any advice on these models?
Is it not recommended to get electronic models these old?

Thanks for your help

Col
Posted By: Cheshire Chris Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 07:10 AM
I’m sure they’ll be fine if your primary purpose is to buy a nice piece of furniture, but as pianos they’ll be severely lacking compared to modern digital pianos.

Is your main goal the furniture or the piano? If it’s the piano, I’d suggest dropping the grand piano requirement; you can buy a very good digital piano indeed for that £2000/$2000 budget.

Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 07:15 AM
I think nearly every piano sold is said to be "in excellent condition". Sellers are optimistic, right? And buyers have no way to assess the condition. That depends on the state of the parts inside, which are completely out of sight.

Kurzwel is still around. But not Kohler and Campbell. This was a maker of acoustic pianos until the name was sold (to Samick?). It was not known for its digital pianos.

Anyway ... both of these are way old. For $2000 you can get a modern digital. But digital in a baby grand cabinet? That will cost a lot.

Question: Do you care more about owning a good piano? Or about the grand piano furniture? Because at $2000 you cannot have both.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 07:25 AM
Originally Posted by dvuder
Hello all, I am trying to buy a digital piano in a baby grand cabinet but can’t afford 20k for the most expensive newest toys.

I found a Kurzweil152 (2008?)and a Kohler KD140 (2005). Both are said to be in excellent condition with no known functional issues and both are less than 2k, Kohler is somewhat cheaper.

Does anyone have any advice on these models?
Is it not recommended to get electronic models these old?

Thanks for your help

Col


Hi Dvuder,

This is a lot better as it reaches 128 note polyphony:

Roland KR-15

This one is a great deal

Roland GP607 PE

Kind regards,

Doug.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 08:57 AM
I completely get the concept of pianos as purely furniture. When my wife and I kept a flat in Shanghai, many of our friends had furniture grands of no particular make, as they were decorative. One particular couple without children had one and neither of them played piano. This was back before when I played, so I never tried it it myself, but I'm sure it would have been atrociously out of tune and not well regulated.

If the OP is interested in a piano as decorative furniture, I would suggest one of the many donation baby grand piano available online, such as via Craigslist in the US. If the OP wants both a piece of decorative furniture and something to play piano on, I suggest one of each - a donor piece of furniture, and an inexpensive modern digital such as an Roland FP30.

If the OP is a bit more handy, they could of course buy a donor baby grand piece of furniture, pull its action out and replace it with a small slab digital that fits that slot. Google for this as it appears there are a few DIY projects like this. It's actually not very involved. A basic conversion will not require a lot of skill, will call for the simplest tools and might only take 2-3 hours.
Posted By: Pete14 Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 11:39 AM
There are pianists starving all over the world, yet some people still own pianos for decorative purposes. If I had an MRI machine as the centerpiece of my living room (for decorative purposes), imagine how many people, in this sad planet of ours, would go undiagnosed whilst I show off my acquisition.
I vote for banning pianos as decorative items!
Who’s with me? grin
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 12:33 PM
When I bought my first upright I insisted on the polished ebony finish ... to look good in my living room.
When I later bought a digital console I insisted on the polished ebony finish ... to look good in my living room.
I'll likely replace the digital in a couple of years (maybe an NV10 ?) with that polished ebony finish ... to look good in my living room.

A piano is furniture and a piano is decorative and a piano is a musical instrument.
I insist on all of these things.

BTW ... my piano purchase preferences have not resulted in any starvation nor in any undiagnosed illness. smile
Posted By: Kbeaumont Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 01:33 PM
Many people think the tops of pianos are great for pictures and plants. And a place for guests to put their drinks!
Posted By: percy64 Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 01:38 PM
Originally Posted by Kbeaumont
Many people think the tops of pianos are great for pictures and plants. And a place for guests to put their drinks!

You should be banned from the forum for such obsenity
Posted By: Pete14 Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 01:42 PM
MacMacMac, I’m referring to people who don’t play at all (like some of Tyrone’s friends) grin and simply own a piano for decorative purposes.
Now, I wouldn’t mind a nice shiny piano, but its main purpose should be ‘instrumental’ in the pursuit of crafting something useful, like music, out of it.
I must say that Tyrone’s friends seem to be in the minority now, but back in the day owning a shiny piano for the sake of simply showing it off was a thing that the affluent indulged in.
Posted By: Pete14 Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 01:43 PM
Originally Posted by Kbeaumont
Many people think the tops of pianos are great for pictures and plants. And a place for guests to put their drinks!

mad
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 01:46 PM
Originally Posted by Pete14
I must say that Tyrone’s friends seem to be in the minority now, but back in the day owning a shiny piano for the sake of simply showing it off was a thing that the affluent indulged in.

I haven't seen this here in the US, but in China I think this might be part of the "Lang Lang, Yuja Wang, Li Yundi effect." Those with children send their kids for piano lessons. Those who are affluent enough but don't play piano themselves, buy themselves grand piano furniture as conversation pieces.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 01:47 PM
Originally Posted by Pete14
Originally Posted by Kbeaumont
Many people think the tops of pianos are great for pictures and plants. And a place for guests to put their drinks!

mad

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Pete14 Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 01:50 PM
Tyrone, did you just photoshop that! laugh
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 01:51 PM
Originally Posted by Pete14
Tyrone, did you just photoshop that! laugh

Wasn't me! grin
Posted By: dvuder Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 02:02 PM
Thanks for the replies

Yes, the baby grand idea is to have a good look also. yes I realize that from a functional piano standpoint it is in fact wasted money but to say we don’t make decisions with a view on looks is disingenuous. Take a look at all the nice looking cars everyone has paid too much money for when all that is required is 4 seats and a steering wheel.

That being said I guess the point of my question was to gauge the reality of whether these older electronic pieces have any real world deficits for an amateur. Are they likely to fail given how old they are? Is the reproduction of sound so much better in modern units, is more than 64 polyphony really going to change things unless you play professionally? That kind of stuff

I imagine at one point these were state of the art and people paid big money for them and thought they were close enough to acoustic to play and record with them.
Posted By: JohnSprung Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 02:05 PM

Start with a nice slab digital, say P515 or MP11SE, and a freebie junker acoustic baby grand from Craig's list. Discard the action and cheek blocks from the acoustic, and build the digital into it.

Measure the digital carefully and make sure there's going to be room for it before you pick up the freebie junker.
Posted By: JazzBow Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 02:30 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Pete14
Originally Posted by Kbeaumont
Many people think the tops of pianos are great for pictures and plants. And a place for guests to put their drinks!

mad

[Linked Image]


"Where have all the flowers gone? Long time passing "

--- Pete Seeger
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 02:51 PM
Originally Posted by dvuder
Thanks for the replies

Yes, the baby grand idea is to have a good look also. yes I realize that from a functional piano standpoint it is in fact wasted money but to say we don’t make decisions with a view on looks is disingenuous. Take a look at all the nice looking cars everyone has paid too much money for when all that is required is 4 seats and a steering wheel.

That being said I guess the point of my question was to gauge the reality of whether these older electronic pieces have any real world deficits for an amateur. Are they likely to fail given how old they are? Is the reproduction of sound so much better in modern units, is more than 64 polyphony really going to change things unless you play professionally? That kind of stuff

I imagine at one point these were state of the art and people paid big money for them and thought they were close enough to acoustic to play and record with them.

I don't think you will be happy with 20 year old action. After 20 years, even the lubrication will not be what it was when new. As I suggested above, and then JohnSprung further elaborated, you could just take a real grand and an inexpensive modern digital and get the best of both world's here. See his message and mine, above.
Posted By: peterws Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 03:38 PM
Originally Posted by Kbeaumont
Many people think the tops of pianos are great for pictures and plants. And a place for guests to put their drinks!


And underneath was room for my little lad in his catapult seat . . . . .quiet when his mother played. She played often.
Posted By: Cheshire Chris Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 03:43 PM
Originally Posted by dvuder
Thanks for the replies

Yes, the baby grand idea is to have a good look also. yes I realize that from a functional piano standpoint it is in fact wasted money but to say we don’t make decisions with a view on looks is disingenuous. Take a look at all the nice looking cars everyone has paid too much money for when all that is required is 4 seats and a steering wheel.


An awful lot of people here (myself included) have bought "slab pianos" primarily because we want to spend our money on a piano, not on a piece of furniture. You get an awful lot more for your money that way. For your suggested price of $2000 (you didn't specify a currency, so I'll assume US$ for the sake of argument) you can buy a really top end new slab piano which will sound far, far better than what you're proposing to buy, as well as having a much better keyboard action.
Posted By: Kbeaumont Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 04:15 PM
Originally Posted by peterws
Originally Posted by Kbeaumont
Many people think the tops of pianos are great for pictures and plants. And a place for guests to put their drinks!


And underneath was room for my little lad in his catapult seat . . . . .quiet when his mother played. She played often.


Well it least she played! My comment was about how many pianos I've seen that were never played by anyone. The stories usually go like this:
"I bought it for my child but he quit lessons after 6 months"
"Nobody plays it but my grand kids sometimes plink on the keys"
"It hasn't been tuned since 1980"
"It's a family heirloom, my grandfather bought it at a flee market back in the 60's"

My wife volunteers for the restore which sells donated items for habitat for humanity. When it opened it had 8 pianos mostly baby grands, 4 various brands of organs none Hammond. Every piano was in horrendous condition, extremely out of tune and white rings on the finish from placing a hot cup or dish directly one the wood. They no longer accept pianos.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 04:31 PM
Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris
An awful lot of people here (myself included) have bought "slab pianos" primarily because we want to spend our money on a piano, not on a piece of furniture. You get an awful lot more for your money that way. For your suggested price of $2000 (you didn't specify a currency, so I'll assume US$ for the sake of argument) you can buy a really top end new slab piano which will sound far, far better than what you're proposing to buy, as well as having a much better keyboard action.

And as JohnSprung said above, you can take that $2000, awesome slab, and insert it into someone's "free to take away" grand, and get a great looking piece of furniture too wink
Posted By: clothearednincompo Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 05:16 PM
Some other options are pre-manufactured "piano shells" that some companies sell, so no need to find a technically non-salvageable but good looking grand.

And Dynatone and Medeli make some cheaper grand shaped digital pianos that may be "perfectly adequate" even if not Yamaha/Kawai/Roland quality.

There are others too and some might actually be bad. No idea about the Orlas and such.

No comments on the Kohler and Kurzweil, but there are some videos on YouTube.

The Kurzweil sounds like a...Kurzweil. No surprise there:

Posted By: Nor Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/17/19 06:48 PM
Yes, it worth! I miss to my old RD-150, if I find one I will buy it.
Posted By: dvuder Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/18/19 02:53 AM
Won’t you lose the big speakers and volume output from building a slab into an acoustic cabinet compared to one wired into speakers built into the baby grand cabinet?
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/18/19 04:39 AM
Originally Posted by percy64
Originally Posted by Kbeaumont
Many people think the tops of pianos are great for pictures and plants. And a place for guests to put their drinks!

You should be banned from the forum for such obsenity

What about pianos as a place to set a decorative cat?

Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/18/19 04:57 AM
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
A piano is furniture and a piano is decorative and a piano is a musical instrument.
I insist on all of these things.

I think that being able to have both an aesthetic piece of furniture and a functional musical instrument really depends on whose perspective is being consulted. My wife who is an art historian specializing in contemporary art, would likely want me to get this:

[Linked Image]

or

[Linked Image]

neither of which I consider as "functional" as an N1X or NV10. Fortunately, this decision it's not up to her! wink

Having been together 20+ years, I know she would not consider either the N1X or the NV10 to be decorative, despite the ebony color/surface. frown
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/18/19 08:42 AM
Yes, you lose the speakers when building the slab into a cabinet.
Originally Posted by dvuder
Won’t you lose the big speakers and volume output from building a slab into an acoustic cabinet compared to one wired into speakers built into the baby grand cabinet?
But slabs don't have big speakers. You have to add them yourself ... like this:

[Linked Image]

He provided details here: http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2585740#Post2585740
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/18/19 09:41 AM
Or perhaps this one in an all-custom-built grand cabinet:

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/18/19 12:22 PM
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Or perhaps this one in an all-custom-built grand cabinet:

[Linked Image]

Wow! That's a very well done DIY project! thumb

(aside - wonder what those red buttons on the floor to right of the pedals are for? page turning?)
Posted By: Kawai James Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/19/19 10:44 AM
Yes, page turning.

If my memory serves me correctly, that cabinet was to house a VPC1, and was used in a theatre production. The owner documented the build process in considerable detail.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: Jethro Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/19/19 12:59 PM
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Or perhaps this one in an all-custom-built grand cabinet:

[Linked Image]

But why? WHY???

Edit: I see in Kawai James post was originally for a theater production and I guess someone wanted it.
Posted By: dvuder Re: Old digital piano-worth it? - 04/20/19 02:48 PM
I guess everything has a price. If this was $100 i suspect many people would go ahead and just take it. Let’s say theoretically you could only buy one of the two pianos I had listed above. What would be a reasonable price for something this old?
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