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Joined: May 2010
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All,

I am planning to buy a piano for my little sister who is about 12 years old and has been playing for the past 6/7 years on an old family piano. She is pretty good, I guess her skill level is average to average +. I think a new piano maybe a good investment for her. She doesn't have any preference on the piano aside been a grand and in shiny black.

I want to go for a "safe" choice, something common, everyone can like and most importantly a transparent price that I will not get ripped off for. So it came down to Kawai RX2 with some research and we liked the way it sound too.

From previous posts on this forum, a good price is around $15K, but that is from 2-4 years ago. What is a good price that I can hope to get nowadays? Any tips at buyin is highly appreciated. We live in New Jersey. Thanks!

Last edited by Jerry Sun; 06/13/10 12:39 PM.
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The RX2 has been replaced by the RX2BLAK, a significantly upgraded model. (See info on the BLAK Series at www.kawaius.com)

Some dealers may still have RX2's in stock, but even as discontinued models, the price would almost surely be well over $15,000.

What is your local Kawai dealer offering?


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if you were willing to find a slightly used one, you might be able to get by with $15K


Jack in TN

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You most definitely can get a new one for that price in this economy. It depends on the area you live in, though. I've heard there is not big differences between the BLAK and the "previous" model, and that it was more of a marketing tactic, similar to what Boston did with their "new" PE series.


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Hello Jerry,

What you propose is an amazing gift. Is this meant as a surprise or is your sister part of the selection process? What I mean is, an RX-2 is a good, safe choice, but if she's been playing for 6+ years, she may be ready to help select the piano. In other words, there are additional wonderful choices for new pianos, 5'6"-6' size, in the $15k-$20k range that would still be considered safe by all standards. Selecting a piano like this is usually a once in a lifetime opportunity so for your own benefit, see what is out there. I could offer some suggestions if that is important to you.

As for pricing, it will depend on RX-2 Blak vs. remaining RX-2 as others have said. When I've seen pricing close to $15k on a RX-2 it is almost always because the piano was a chain of stores downsizing, G-O-B sale, or repo piano from another store that already closed - some distressed situation. You get a good price, but you may be left without a dealer to provide service longterm.


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Originally Posted by choleric
You most definitely can get a new one for that price in this economy. It depends on the area you live in, though. I've heard there is not big differences between the BLAK and the "previous" model, and that it was more of a marketing tactic, similar to what Boston did with their "new" PE series.


Bull. Dealers cannot and do not sell at or that near cost, even in this economy.



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I agree with Steve- I bought a new RX-2H last week and $15K falls a bit short of the selling price I paid. I guess it varies from place to place but I'd think you would be hard pressed to find a new one at that price.

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Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
The RX2 has been replaced by the RX2BLAK, a significantly upgraded model. (See info on the BLAK Series at www.kawaius.com)

Some dealers may still have RX2's in stock, but even as discontinued models, the price would almost surely be well over $15,000.

What is your local Kawai dealer offering?


Today I brought my sister to the local store, they had 3 RX2 in the show room, btw it is a huge place with only us 2 visitors... The polished black was offered $15,500 and polished rosewood was offered $16,500. We liked the mellow sound of polished rosewood. From the serial code it suggest the rosewood one is from 2004-2005, and black one is from 2005-2006. She claimed both are brand new, and we shouldn't worry about what year the piano is build, is this statement true, from what I know the year of the build sort does matter...

Also I am a little concerned with the piano been sitting there for near 6 years not getting a single buyer, maybe there is something wrong with it that we are not aware.. or it sounds totally crap and we can't hear it? (the place we went is huge, it is more like a warehouse than showroom to me).

Last edited by Jerry Sun; 06/13/10 10:14 PM.
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
Hello Jerry,

What you propose is an amazing gift. Is this meant as a surprise or is your sister part of the selection process? What I mean is, an RX-2 is a good, safe choice, but if she's been playing for 6+ years, she may be ready to help select the piano. In other words, there are additional wonderful choices for new pianos, 5'6"-6' size, in the $15k-$20k range that would still be considered safe by all standards. Selecting a piano like this is usually a once in a lifetime opportunity so for your own benefit, see what is out there. I could offer some suggestions if that is important to you.

As for pricing, it will depend on RX-2 Blak vs. remaining RX-2 as others have said. When I've seen pricing close to $15k on a RX-2 it is almost always because the piano was a chain of stores downsizing, G-O-B sale, or repo piano from another store that already closed - some distressed situation. You get a good price, but you may be left without a dealer to provide service longterm.


Hi Sam,

Actually my sister wasn't impressed by the Kawai and she does prefer the way how the Steinway sound. But unfortunately a good sized steinway is out of my budget. I would love to hear your suggestions.

Jerry

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I don't know what year the Millennium III action was introduced but if those are new pianos with that action then the prices are very good.

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Rosewood is hard to sell, so it's not that unusual for one to be sitting around for several years. If the rosewood one is 2004 it does not have the newer action. Neither of them will be the newest BLAK series, but I don't think that's a huge deal. Those are amazing (borderline unbelievable, even) prices if they are legitimately new unsold pianos. The black one should have the Millenium III action. It is a little unusual for a black one to sit that long in a showroom. Maybe there is more to the story than you are being told. Other than revised features, if the piano has never been sold at retail it is considered new and is covered by the full factory warranty assuming that it's being sold by an authorized Kawai dealership.


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If your sister doesn't like Kawai, perhaps you should let her try out used pianos. You could possibly find a newer used Baldwin R or L in the same price range. These would sound more like the Steinway than they would like the Kawai.


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Hi Dennis,

I found the dealership via Kawai's websearch. The three RX2 they have on the floor,

The rosewood serial 2496xxx --> 2004-2005
1st black serial 2574xxx ---> 2008 or later (manufacture repossession, she said its from another dealership that went under and manufacture took back re-checked the whole piano and send to her shop)
2nd black serial 2606xxx ----> 2008 or later

For some reason both the two black ones sounded a lot brighter than the rosewood.

The Millennium III action you guys mentioned here, is it more like a marketting tool or is it actually something we should look to get. She just thought the Steinway sounded better, but she doesn't actually dislike Kawai, I guess she really isn't picky about piano but I want to make sure to get her a good one.

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I won't pretend that anything other than a Steinway has that sound, however, sound design is a wide spectrum. A Steinway may be voiced to have bright or mellow tone, but the sound tends to be rounded with complex overtones.

Of NEW pianos that tend to fall on that side of sound design (and still in your budget range) with selling prices under $20k, Knabe WKG-58, Pramberger JP-179, Hailun 198. I've played at least a few of these and they always incorporated the more "American" sound. This isn't an exclusive list, but it does give you somewhere to start, pianos to look for from your local dealers.

The Hailun 198 is a little bigger than the others, but still in line with price and sound design. The Hailun name may not yet meet your personal criteria of safe choice, but I was certainly comfortable recommending them even before I sold them (as well as selling many of the Steigerman Premium built by Hailun) because they are simply good pianos. I'm less familiar, but I believe the Young Chang Platinum fall in this category of sound design as well...YP-175 & YP-185. Maybe someone more familiar can comment on this.

That rosewood RX-2 sounds lovely, and a great opportunity but then I'm a sucker for rosewood. There are other, more European influenced pianos in your range as well. I find that while piano shopping, customers learn much more about their personal preferences and this leads to a better selection, long-term happiness. Once shoppers realize how good the various piano makers actually are in this range, it becomes harder to find a choice that isn't "safe."


Sam Bennett
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I actually bought my Kawai very recently, serial 256*, so it's not a BLAK but was new. It sounds wonderful. Also, I got a very good price due to it being non-BLAK, especially copmared to a new Yamaha.

The Millennium III action is something Kawai is quite proud of. It is their most advanced action that includes ABS plastic plus carbon fiber reinforcement. Supposedly, this means higher reliability vs. wood and also makes parts of it lighter. Still, I found it noticeably heavier than a Steinway or Baldwin of the same size. The BLAK pianos have an improved version of this action. Supposedly, the Millennium III is a very sensitive action that allows for fine control, soft playing, and fast playing. I've not played other grands for extended amounts of time, so I don't know for sure how much better it is compared to others in the same price range. I really like the action, though... definitely can play faster or softer than before.

Have your sister keep playing those pianos. It took me hours in the store to finally decide on the Kawai. Also, do try a Hailun or Ritmuller or Palatino of a LARGER size if they are similar in price to the RX-2 in your area. Most people can tell the difference between an RX-2 vs. RX-3, C2 vs. C3, R1 vs. L1, etc.; so a bigger Chinese piano with a competitive price is a good deal too. Although, these non-BLAK yet new RX's you (and I) encountered are a good deal already.

Others have wondered about pianos sitting in the store for so many years unsold. The plus side is that the piano is a bit more tuning-stable than a brand spanking new one. The down side is that many people have probably played on it when they shopped over these years, although nothing as bad as the piano being in a music school for a year or two. The other plus side is the potential for a good discount.

Last edited by gnuboi; 06/14/10 01:57 AM.
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Jerry, the Millenium III, to me at least, feels a bit lighter than the older Kawai action. I'm told it repeats faster as well. I am not a good enough pianist to notice that difference, though. The older action which the rosewood piano has is mostly ABS styran. The MIII is carbon fiber reinforced ABS - somewhat lighter and stronger than the plain ABS. I have played both, and they are both quite good. I prefer a somewhat heavier feel, so I like the older action. Most people can adjust either way, though. So, to come around finally to answer your question about whether it's a big deal - yes and no. Both are nice. The difference is real, but it's not like night and day.



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