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Joined: Feb 2017
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I have a budget of approx 10k and have spotted these pianos in this range. I intend to have a technician look at them before I make a decision, but would appreciate input on these pianos. I am an applied piano graduate but only have 1-3 hrs daily to play.

Baldwin "Artist Series" Model L
Yamaha G5
Kawai CA-40
Kawai R-1

Thanks so much for your help!

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you're sufficiently advanced as a pianist to give your candidates a revealing work out. that step might eliminate most or all of them, and advice from folks who haven't seen nor touched the pianos would make minimal difference.

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Thanks for your response.

My question wasn't clear - I was wondering about the overall reputation/quality of the different brands of similarly-sized pianos. I will certainly decide after playing, but the more information I can gather, the better.

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not really familiar with all the model changes with kawai grands, but it seems that the R-1 began its life as a larger and more serious piano than the CA-40. obviously they've been subjected to variables since getting built, and your employing a professional for an assessment comes in. the Baldwin might be the real find of the group, depending what your technician and your own six senses tell you about it.

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All are definite possibilities, subject to condition and your personal preference.
I would suggest you whittle the field down to perhaps your favorite piano or two pianos, and have a technician inspect the "finalist(s)". Otherwise, you'll be spending a lot of money inspecting pianos that you might not actually like.

I've played some nice Baldwin L's and some not so nice ones of various vintages. I've also appreciated the extra fullness in the bass of the C5/G5s compared with the more popular G3/C3 little siblings. The Kawai GS series was their upper-end grand piano for that time period (their regular series was called the KG), while the R-1 (until KawaiDon sees this and gives us the exact answer) was something of a prototype for even higher end limited production models like the Shigeru Kawai, which came on the scene closer to the year 2000.

Having said all this, I've played examples of each I'd have been happy to own at one point in my life, and also examples of each that I wouldn't pay even $5,000 because they were clapped-out, lifeless, and didn't perform nearly as well as they looked on the surface.


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Thanks so much to both of you for your input. I don't know anything about Asian pianos and the Kawai information is most helpful. I've ruled out the Kawai CA model and Yamaha G5 (the seller imports from Japan "rebuilt to like-new condition").

The R-1 was made, according to the ad, in 1995. They are asking 13k.

I've learned that the Baldwin Model L was made in 1975 and they are asking 9k. This Saturday, I'm going to look at the Baldwin R. It was bought new in 1950 and the original owners are asking 6k.

Thanks again.

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The Kawai R-1 is a limited production top of the line model. I think it could be considered the precursor to the Shigeru Kawai.


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Originally Posted by BDB
The Kawai R-1 is a limited production top of the line model. I think it could be considered the precursor to the Shigeru Kawai.
Very fair assessment and has the most potential of the pianos on your list. Check the serial because the few I've encountered were older than 1995. After the R-1, I'd give the CA-40 the next most potential over the G5, even though it is a little shorter.

That only ranks potential, not actual condition. Good luck in your search.


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I assume that you went to some reputable piano dealer first but there was nothing that would fit your budget? I kind of hardly believe that.
Are those private sales? I would say it must be impossible to correctly judge real value of any used piano if you are not in the piano selling business. I am just saying, be cautious.


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The Baldwin L and CA-40 are through dealers. The other two I found on Craigslist. I appreciate your advice - I will be cautious. I'm taking my husband with me to look at the Craigslist pianos, and will hire a piano guild tech to inspect my favorite!

Thanks again and Happy Friday!

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Oscar1, an inspection for condition, made by a qualified technician, can include an estimate of the fair value in the local market, as well as an estimate of the cost to bring the piano to its best realistic condition. Or, if they can't say, they will tell you why. An RPT-certified tech from Piano Technicians' Guild should certainly be qualified to do this. http://ptg.org

Information like this is the reason it is so important to bring in a piano tech who has no personal interest in the sale, and who is in your employ, solely. They can include, briefly, what they have found as part of their invoice to you.

If you choose to make this information available to the seller, that is your own business. It could, for example, support your counteroffer, if you want the piano.

Oscar1, your concern for this shopper does you honor. Blueheeler's method and precautions make me think that she will have a good outcome.


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First, I would suggest you ignore Baldwin since it is no longer as good as used to be.

I personally like Kawai more than Yamaha. If you consider buy Yamaha, make sure it is make in Japan.


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Baldwin quality is all over the place. You need a tech you trust evaluate the piano. I do love Baldwins from the 80s and 90s. I would not buy one after 2000. Yamaha builds their high end pianos in Japan. There lower models are built in other asian countries. Kawai does too. I think you cannot go wrong on quality with either piano. But again get a tech you trust do a complete check of it. I prefer Kawai also. Just have any used piano checked out by your technician you are paying for.

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Thanks so much for everyone's input. It helped me so much! I bought the Kawai R-1 and am excitedly awaiting delivery.

Thanks again! Your information and advice was invaluable! This is a wonderful forum. smile

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When you get it, spend a little extra to get the regulation touched up. I think these were hand-voiced when new, so that would only require a little touch-up, too.


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Congratulations. blue. From afar, the R-1 looked to be the most exciting of your candidates, and I'm sure we'd love to see photos and hear a recording.

There are a lot of people out there who are daring to look for pianos in the 10K range. A lot of them, having got the piano fever, thrash around, shop ineffectively, and impulsively buy that "special deal" that will be "gone tomorrow" if they don't snap it up.

We can't help but kind of love them, yet despair at their chances for getting a piano that is a good value for their money--- which, as far as I'm concerned, ten thousand bucks is good money and I know it is hard come-by for these folk. I can only hope that they will consider your process, and use it to help themselves. Crossing my fingers for them; happy for you.


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Congrats on your piano! Enjoy!


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Thanks again to all for advice and encouragement. It is going to be delivered today!

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Congrats on the Kawai


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Would love to see some pics and maybe a recording on your new RX-1!!
Congrats!


Marcus Valdes
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