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As was noted in a previous post, pianos are not like cars or washing machines. A Stradivarius is not inferior to a "new" violin.

Pianos take a break in time. I actually delayed picking up a piano so that it could stay on the shop floor a little longer and get broken in - and get some additional attention at the dealer before it came home with me.

Pianos take time to adjust to new environments - and a new piano "just out of the box" not only does not excite or interest me, it actually would make me nervous to own.

That "floor sample" piano is new until it is sold. It has had a chance to get a little broken in - and adjust to the environment. That means less risk to you.

Of course, you can fly to Japan and get your piano there - but to be honest, if you like the piano you've played here - i would not hesitate to purchase it. OTH, if you have serious doubts, then sure - go to Japan and try out the pianos - it does make a good story. For me, if I loved the piano I played here - I'd save the travel costs - or has been suggested - buy an SK5.

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Originally Posted by Robert 45
An SK4? There is no SK4 model to my knowledge. The models move up from SK3 to SK5.

Robert.


I think it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek Robert

And you are correct.


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I did not look at the context of the statement. I just saw SK4. I think that it must be the school teacher coming out in me!

Regards,

Robert.

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My new C3 had been sitting on the dealer's floor when I bought it. When I got it home it was stable from the get-go with no issues. As mentioned, I think a floor piano can be a very good thing.

Any way you do it, I am sure you are going to be very happy.

Please keep us posted, I am looking forward to playing one of these.


"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

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All I can add, is that you better be absolutely in love with it before you spend that much money.

I also always think it's usually a bad idea to buy a piano sight-unseen, unless you're a rebuilder who's going to tear it apart and do it over anyway.

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The Kawai dealer here in Japan told me that the wood of their pianos sold in Japan undergoes a somewhat different way of conditioning then the pianos sold in the US, because the humidity in Japan tends to be higher on average. Don't know whether this applies to the SK, though.

Anyway, I think it is a bad idea to go all the way to Japan to get your SK. There is no reason to believe you can get a better SK here than in the US. If you want comparison material, just visit several dealers in your wide neighborhood.


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Quote
The Kawai dealer here in Japan told me that the wood of their pianos sold in Japan undergoes a somewhat different way of conditioning then the pianos sold in the US, because the humidity in Japan tends to be higher on average. Don't know whether this applies to the SK, though.


Here we go again with this nonsense. Higher humidity than where? Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii......Arizona, the Northeast? How could the people seasoning the wood possibly know where in the United States the piano is ultimately going to wind up?


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Originally Posted by CC2 and Chopin lover
Quote
The Kawai dealer here in Japan told me that the wood of their pianos sold in Japan undergoes a somewhat different way of conditioning then the pianos sold in the US, because the humidity in Japan tends to be higher on average. Don't know whether this applies to the SK, though.


Here we go again with this nonsense. Higher humidity than where? Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii......Arizona, the Northeast? How could the people seasoning the wood possibly know where in the United States the piano is ultimately going to wind up?


It's not the person's fault they're being told this. In fact, is it not on the Yamaha and Kawai websites where you search for their serial #s? Of course, you are asking valid questions, but the point being, don't be surprised this is widely spread, because that is what these companies are saying.


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Unless I'm missing something, the OP is asking about a new instrument. The Shigeru didn't even appear until 2000. The issues of wood seasoning had long been addressed and overcome.


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Like Amy B, I recently (January) purchased a new SK5L, sight unseen. I played an SK5 elsewhere, before purchasing, however. I also had restored Steinway B and O pianos under consideration. The Shigeru quality control is so good, by reputation, that 9-10 out of 10 are going to sound relatively equivalent. I bought mine "in the box" because I trusted this and it helped my delivery (had to be done by crane). If you buy a new one, you will get the MPA visit with it and he can "tweak/regulate" to your need/request. (Amy and I are awaiting our MPA visits) I would not think that a trip to Japan would be necessary or worth the expense (use the $$ to get a larger model!), but would be a fascinating experience if $$ and time are not factors. I have no regrets.


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My MPA visit is scheduled late May. Hope he likes warm weather ( 97-100). But a dry heat. Ha.

SK3





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I would like to chime in with the others on the idea that a "new from the box" purchase is not the best way to buy pianos. But if one is choosing from brand new pianos at the factory, of course, then they will be boxed up after being selected and shipped (on a boat, not air freight), so I guess that would be one way to get it "new out of the box."

The problem is, the piano should still be opened and allowed to live in it's new environment for a week or so before being tuned and checked, and before being played by the new owner. Even if the environment in the store is identical to the factory, the piano has been through a lot of jiggling and vibration and living on it's side while in transit, and things need to be checked. I really dislike hearing from people who get a fresh piano from the box and it doesn't live up to their expectations because it hasn't been prepped.

Another answer is to simply come to the Kawai offices in California. We have a selection room where, by appointment only through your dealer, we can set up 2 or 3 of a particular model (depending on how many are available)and allow you to choose one. I prep the pianos and try to help with the selection process. The piano is then shipped to the dealer blanket wrapped and delivered to the home. A California vacation is a little easier to handle than one to Japan for most people. :-)


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Hi, I am the original poster.

From replies by other shigeru kawai owners, I am convinced of kawai’s consistency quality.
So I placed an order over the phone, and a new sk3l is delivered to my house today!
Yes, it sounds beautiful!
I just made a video clip using iphone to share the joy of having it.

http://youtu.be/KCQt8Ix4mUA


Thanks everyone for your advice.

Last edited by dfieldman; 05/01/13 01:33 AM.
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This sounds fantastic! Awesome.

I just had my first free tuning done for my new SK-3. The tuner said he will come out more for free tuning, until the Japanese piano maker comes out to my home.

I am very excited to meet the Japanese SK-3 maker visiting my home. It will just be the best.

I love my SK-3 and hope you do too.

Best.


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There have always been quite a few cultures and levels of society in the world that will not buy anything that isn't straight out of the box, that is, delivered to the home in the box and who are willing to pay for it.

I have often been present at the delivery as a piano tech to ensure the piano is well set up and in tune when I leave and when I visit a few days later. This has been true with a few major city dealers and I'm sure still happens. Maybe not so much with Internet purchase today.

They always purchase a tried and trusted make, often the same as a neighbour or friend. There was never a problem with this purchasing arrangement.

Not every piano purchaser is a player and, as such is dependant on the reputation of the dealer and the manufacturer but, as in this case, often fine musicians purchase this way. The specialist attention of Kawais' technical staff is added insurance in this case.

Fine pianos always reach a certain standard.
On the other side of the coin, I, and probably most of us have often observed pianists fall in love with a piano that isn't everything it should or could be.



Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.


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As for "new from the box", I'm for it now.

This is my recent experience buying a Shigeru Kawai which wasn't "new from the box", and it turned out to be an unenjoyable one (at least till this moment today):

"Miserable Keyboard on my Shigeru Kawai SK2"
http://tinyurl.com/dyp2g6w

Today is day 45, I wonder how many days I should wait endlessly for them to actually take action to revive my "new" Shigeru Kawai.

I should've purchased a new one from the box. I really regret it. I should have also considered Yamaha or any other brand with tolerable service...

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All the keys squeak like this on my Yamaha digital keyboard. I'm thinking that your piano came out of the box like this. This is something a good furniture technician should be able to take care of. Very often the cleaning and polishing of key tops is more suited to people who work on the cabinets than to tuner/technicians.


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
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By the way, there isn't SK4 or RX4, for 4 is a homophone of "death" in the Japanese language. Therefore "4" is generally avoided in Japanese products. The only exception I could come up with is Yamaha S4...

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Dave,

No, they didn't squeak until the techie's first "treatment".. And I also own a Yamaha Clavinova, its keys don't squeak either..

Charlie.

Last edited by Charlie Cheng; 05/12/13 10:47 PM.
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A similar key top issue came up with a Kawai K8 where the keys became stained by some dealer recommended polish contrary to Kawai recommendations. I know Kawai came through for the customer in a grand way. I am sure you will find satisfaction in a replacement Shigeru!

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