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#1163437 - 03/16/09 04:29 AM Need help please, buying piano Wednesday.
jason&jenny Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/15/09
Posts: 10
Hello everyone! My wife and I have been lurkers here for several weeks and decided to join this forum because you guys appear the be very knowledgeable and may be able to help us. Here it goes. We want to purchase a piano for our oldest daughter whom has obviously grown out of her $100 keyboard, lol. A local business is promoting Yamaha with Costco as we've seen they normally do. The last day for deals were actually today, however they have extended this sale to us until this Wednesday only. We initially were going to get the Yamaha M560 upright. I believe it was $3199 with an msrp of $5100. Our parents are going to help us split the bill 4 ways. We researched the M560 for the last week now and were very happy with it. Once inside Costco, one of the parents suggested we get the Cable Nelson baby grand instead! Ok, really? It was selling for $7,499.99 and it's MSRP was nearly double (according to them). Well after taxes and delivery fee's it comes out to $8,362.30. Split 4 ways, it's $2090.75. Now take in mind, our parents proposed this to us. They aren't rich or even close but feel this is the best way for all of us to get a good deal together. The Cable Nelson is 4' 11" and ebony black. Has the Yamaha seal and Costco warranty! That was also a big factor. The best part was indeed that this purchase was through Costco directly. I spoke with the manager on duty and he assured us the piano would still have the Costco 100% Guarantee! To be more specific, we can return the piano anytimewe want as long as we keep our membership! Anytime, he said. Even 5 years down the line and more. Well, consider one of the 2 pianos sold. That brings me to the reason I posted this. Which piano to get? . I am sooo confused cause we have never looked into piano's prior to this. The upright is indeed Yamaha and solid, sounds great and would be cheaper for us all. The Cable Neslon captured our hearts though for appearance and did also sound very nice.

We really don't want to pass this up. It's just picking the right one. I know the baby grand is not necessary the better one because of price, but it did draw us to it! As for the quick decision, the business moved out all it's pianos from Costco this evening at closing time. The gentleman there was wanting the sale and knew we were serious. He gave us only until Wednesday for the Costco price and the purchase would be made through Costco at that time. I know deals will come and go, but don't know if us or our family will have money later on to make these types of purchases. Sorry for the novel I wrote, but we really are confused. Can anyone please chime in on their thoughts and opinions. Thank you.

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#1163439 - 03/16/09 04:34 AM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: jason&jenny]
Maestro Ng Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/08
Posts: 148
Loc: Auckland, NZ
I've never heard of the Cable Nelson brand, but I do know that grand pianos this small really isn't much better than an upright, so I suggest you get the Yamaha.
_________________________
http://www.flickr.com/photos/maestro_ng/

Proud owner of a Schimmel K 189T and a Challen 130.

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#1163442 - 03/16/09 04:45 AM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: Maestro Ng]
jason&jenny Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/15/09
Posts: 10
Really, I thought they were pretty big since they were also part Yamaha. Also I was incorrect on the price of the upright Yamaha. It's $3,799.99. Still a good deal, I think?
Here's the link to the Yamaha website for the Cable Nelson.
http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA/Cont...5042318,00.html

Here's the Yamaha M560 Upright
http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA/Cont...D201000,00.html


Edited by jason&jenny (03/16/09 05:06 AM)

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#1163446 - 03/16/09 05:22 AM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: jason&jenny]
Konzert Patrick Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 791
Loc: The Netherlands
I would go fot the Baby Grand, it looks great, will sound good, it is the same as the GB1 from Yamaha, that's the best selling baby grand in the world, it recently won a price in the UK for best price , quality so....... easy pick.

Do know it it is more money and you do have to pay for it... if you can afford it , go for it. If you get the upright you will always think, will we ever get grand??

Also sitting behind a grand in the living room, looking into the room is more inspiring then looking at a wall.

Good luck
Patrick
_________________________
Schimmel Konzert 189 Tradition

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#1163490 - 03/16/09 08:35 AM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: Konzert Patrick]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4981
Loc: boston north
Why anyone would be more concerned about RETURNING a piano than the actual enjoyment of it, is beyond me.

crazy

Yet that seems to be your selling point. And it is a sales pitch.


As far as deals coming and going? NOPE. Deals come, and they come, and they come again! There is NO reason for the pressure of buying it now, when you are confused, other than to make the sale for the salesman. And no reason to buy it from Costco. (profit has to be split somehow doesn't it?)

As to comparison. Now that you have stretched your budget to over $8,000 you should compare piano to piano to THAT budget. You can even go outside of the Yamaha line or just upwards for the upright!

A piano is a musical instrument not just a pretty piece of furniture and many uprights will be better than very baby grands!

I sould suggest that you relax, keep looking, have fun and try other pianos for comparison in your new price range. Then make your deal. As I said, they're not going anywhere!!!



_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1163509 - 03/16/09 09:42 AM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: jason&jenny]
Horwinkle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 1011
Originally Posted By: jason&jenny
He gave us only until Wednesday for the Costco price and the purchase would be made through Costco at that time. I know deals will come and go, but don't know if us or our family will have money later on to make these types of purchases.

When a salesman says "hurry, you must make a decision by XXX date", your answer should be NO! When buying an expensive item, don't ever be rushed into a decision.

The salesman wants to close the deal. You don't. Rather, you want to make the right decision. You can't do that when you are rushed. So don't be.

The "sales event" may come to an end at this store, but the piano business is not coming to an end. The industry is suffering in a recession. If you "miss out" on this deal, odds are you'll find a better one.

Don't rush.

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#1163513 - 03/16/09 09:47 AM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: Horwinkle]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19591
Loc: New York City
If you "return" the grand piano, what do they give you??
If they claim to give you your money back it doesn't make sense because then they are renting pianos for free.

But if it's really possible to return either piano and this is clearly stated in writing, then it's a great deal if you want to try and save up for an even better piano or you think your daughter might lose interest or you're not sure about whether it's THE piano for you. I would expect you'd have to at least pay the return moving charges and possibly the delivery charges.


Edited by pianoloverus (03/16/09 09:54 AM)

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#1163519 - 03/16/09 10:03 AM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: Horwinkle]
Marty in Minnesota Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 02/09/07
Posts: 1178
Loc: Minnesota
I agree with all of the postings above.

Don't buy either piano. You will find the same, or better, prices at the dealership who was featured in the "sale."

Purchase a piano that you feel is right for you and your family. If you want a grand, great. If you want an upright, great. But, don't fall for a sales pitch.

Yahama builds good pianos, there is no doubt about that. But, why not take some time, with the whole family involved, to do some piano shopping in other venues than Costco?
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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#1163526 - 03/16/09 10:15 AM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: Horwinkle]
mike_klein5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/09
Posts: 83
Loc: Canada
I definately agree with the last two posts. Purchasing a piano is a big expense and spending $8000 (even if you are splitting it) is quite a bit of money. There are very good quality grand pianos from several different prominent piano companies which sell at that price. I totally understand your wish to buy from Costco though as I am an avid Costco shopper myself but, I would never buy a piano from them. Despite their warranty, a piano is an instrument that needs to be purchased with caution.

The absolute best option would be to visit different piano stores (new and used) and have your daughter try as many pianos as she can get her hands on within your price range. If you truly want to get the best quality, sound, and feel for your money browsing around is the best choice. It is important that a piano 'speaks' to you when playing it (the touch is right, the sound is right) and the more you compare the more you can eliminate to make a final decision. As great as the deal may be from Costco, it may not be the best choice when it come to using the instrument.

Good Luck!!!
_________________________
Michael Klein
Willis & Co. (MFD: January 1915) & Yamaha YDP-121 (MFD: 2001)

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#1163533 - 03/16/09 10:49 AM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: mike_klein5]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4437
Loc: San Jose, CA
Your goal of giving your daughter this opportunity is admirable. Succumbing to sales pressure and the availability of a piano at Costco is a poor basis for making a hurry-up-and-buy decision. A stronger basis would be to do some research (Fine's "The Piano Book" [for the basics] and "2009 Supplement" [for current market prices], Marty Flynn's "Complete Idiot's Guide to Buying a Piano.") Go to dealers in your area, see what they have, see how they treat you. Play lots of pianos, inside your price range and out of it, to see what sounds best and feels best... and looks best. It's a big object, you will be looking at it quite a bit.

Contemplate what your finances will actually bear. Realize that to get a favorable deal, you will probably have to negotiate--- but this is an excellent time for doing so. Factor in the costs of moving the piano (probably included in the purchase price) and of maintenance. New pianos need more skilled maintenance for the first few years. So find a piano technician (a recommendation is not a bad idea, some are better than others), whose advice can also help you make a good choice.

Reading up on the manufacturers' websites will help you some, reading on this forum can be helpful as long as you become somewhat discriminating about what you take in.

Your daughter's piano teacher may also be able to advise you. And see what your daughter likes--- she's the one who will be playing.

Costco will have another sale--- count on it--- and the Yamaha dealer will be there, sale or no sale.
_________________________
Clef


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#1163569 - 03/16/09 12:34 PM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: Marty in Minnesota]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
Originally Posted By: Marty in Minnesota
I agree with all of the postings above.

Don't buy either piano. You will find the same, or better, prices at the dealership who was featured in the "sale."

Purchase a piano that you feel is right for you and your family. If you want a grand, great. If you want an upright, great. But, don't fall for a sales pitch.

Yahama builds good pianos, there is no doubt about that. But, why not take some time, with the whole family involved, to do some piano shopping in other venues than Costco.
We want pics.....uh not of the piano but of the salesman's face when you tell him that you're not buying either. Take Marty's advice ,try shopping at some piano dealers rather than Costco.
_________________________
www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
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Hailun dlr.818-255-3145
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#1163581 - 03/16/09 01:00 PM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: Jeff Clef]
Jeff Bauer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/03
Posts: 1718
Loc: Los Angeles
Hello JJ,

Which of the two sizes were you considering? Larry Fine List price for the 5' CN 151 is 10.2K (5'), 13.8k for the 161 (5'3"). Yamaha's actual retail is a little higher than his supplement, but not usually beyond 10%.

The Cable Nelson is built by Yamaha in their Chinese factory, and I have played these - they are nice entry level instruments, and have a very similar feel to the grands that say Yamaha on them.

I would consider it a superior instrument to the M560, which is also built in Yamaha's Chinese factory.

When you purchase this through Costco, you buy it under Costco's terms: Exchange & return policy. If you want to know what the limitations are, just call and ask for the Costco manager (not the roadshow piano guy/girl) and ask them what the return policy is for such a purchase.

In terms of act now, or lose the deal: I have never been happy with a purchase made under those circumstances. True, the Costco roadshow may end on that day - the dealer (or Yamaha) will pack it up and send it to the next roadshow (you can check with Costco to find out the schedule). The piano will be available for purchase again in the future, most likely for the same price.

That said - if you know it's what you want, and you are happy with the instrument, there's no better time than the present. Ask to have the piano prepared and tuned prior to delivery, and one tuning in the home after. If that's not acceptable for the dealer, ask them to do the preparation & first tuning in the home, and ask for a secondary tuning within 1 month.

Good luck!
_________________________
Jeff Bauer | Keyboard Concepts

Yamaha | Schimmel | Bösendorfer | Knabe | Seiler | Restored Steinway

BauerHouse Productions

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#1163613 - 03/16/09 02:16 PM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: Jeff Bauer]
jason&jenny Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/15/09
Posts: 10
I first want to thank everyone who read and chimed in with their thoughts, I know I chose the right forums!
Secondly, I'll try to respond to as much as the replies as I can.
We did look at the other dealers prior to the Costco roadshow. I live in El Paso, TX which does not have many options. We've searched online-Ebay, classifieds, Craigslist, and the closest dealers just outside the city. It came down to convinence. It was not cost effective to travel or have a piano delivered. Another negative was that we only saw pictures and they can be deceiving. As far as our local dealers, we went and looked and looked. The dealer who sold at the Costco roadshow had a wide variety of pianos to chose from. *The Elton John red grand was also there for the week on display only - what a beautiful piano!! This dealer wasn't really pushy in his store either. We just honestly thought we were getting a better deal through the roadshow. I also can tell you honestly that the Roadshow salesman wasn't just trying to pressure us for a sale. He was just extending the invitation to us for a few more days. They are gone from Costco as of now and I can tell you that he wasn't 'pushy' at all. In fact, he never asked us for our phone number prior to us leaving. He just asked us to contact him if we want to purchase these items for the same price. The Costco roadshow does not carry many pianos. In fact, I think there were only 8 different styles. They just offer you wharehouse prices. As for as the instore policy, wouldn't you too also be more reassured with it? Absolutely no other dealer would give you the same 100% warranty as far as returns. I'm just saying what "if" my daughter loses interest later down the road. I'm sure it the piano would make a great piece of furniture but we don't want to go through the hassle of selling it. I'm not trying to promote the roadshow store or anything, but I'd rather buy there, IMO.
Timing is key to us at this point. I don't know when we will have another opprutunity to have assistance to make this purchase. I don't know if we can afford it later on either. The main thing for me is to make my daughter happy. She has taken up piano over a year now and is one of her instructors best students. She comes home from school and goes straight to her keyboard and just plays on her own. And over the weekends, she plays for hours. She loves music. She is only 7. She'll be 8 in December. I know a baby grand is probably 'overkill' but my wife and I honestly feel in our heart that she truly loves piano. Her piano teacher recommends either one. At the roadshow, she practically drew a crowd playing on the baby grand. She just loves music and we want to support her anyway we can. She's also loves playing the Violin and we think she just has a gift for playing music. After a few months of piano lessons, her school seclected her to play in the orchrestra and thats when she also studied the violin. We DO NOT force any of this on her. She is 7 and we know that 7yr olds' also love other things but her love is naturally music.
With her overwhelming intrest in music, we would rather invest in a good piano versus buying her an expensive game console. It's not typical, IMO, that a 7yr old rather have a piano than a Xbox or playstaion. What do those game systems offer for our children anyway, besides the capacity to watch a great blu-ray movie? I guess we are just trying to convince ourselves the best deal 'at this time' is at the Costco roadshow-which has ended. Friends, please keep in mind that we know deals will come eventually. But this appears to be that time where opprutunity is knocking. So if you were to pick between the 2 pianos you had your heart set on on, which one of the 2 would you pick that we like?


Edited by jason&jenny (03/16/09 02:40 PM)

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#1163623 - 03/16/09 02:37 PM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: jason&jenny]
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
Just a little correction on Jeff's post about Cable Nelson.
The CN116 upright is built in Yamaha's factory in China.
The two grand models CN151 and CN161 are built in Yamaha's factory in Indonesia right beside the Yamaha branded GB1 series.

When you buy through a roadshow the piano will receive no dealer preparation. On grands this is critical. You will likely get one post delivery tuning from the cheapest apprentice tuner in town. This will compromise the long-term performance of your new instrument. Your local dealer will likely match any price you get from Costco and give you the full service on top.
_________________________
Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.

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#1163633 - 03/16/09 02:56 PM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: Marty Flinn]
jason&jenny Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/15/09
Posts: 10
Originally Posted By: Marty Flinn
Just a little correction on Jeff's post about Cable Nelson.
The CN116 upright is built in Yamaha's factory in China.
The two grand models CN151 and CN161 are built in Yamaha's factory in Indonesia right beside the Yamaha branded GB1 series.

When you buy through a roadshow the piano will receive no dealer preparation. On grands this is critical. You will likely get one post delivery tuning from the cheapest apprentice tuner in town. This will compromise the long-term performance of your new instrument. Your local dealer will likely match any price you get from Costco and give you the full service on top.

The dealer is giving us 1 post delivery tunning and recommends it about 1 month after purchase. If I can't rely on their tuning, why would I rely on their instore purchases where I would get the tunning from the same person?

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#1163639 - 03/16/09 03:07 PM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: Marty Flinn]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17809
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Hi Jason&Jenny, welcome to the forum! smile And please accept my compliments at your willingness to nurture your daughter's talent... it sounds like she is a special little girl, and you are right to feel proud of her.

Grands have certain advantages over uprights with respect to their action and the ability to play keys repeatedly and quickly. Your daughter is not yet at the point in her training where she 'needs' a grand, though. Should she stick with piano, and it sounds like a good bet that she will, she would at some point benefit from a grand. But 4'11" is very short for a grand, and the tone you will have with such a short grand is not optimal. (Some would argue, convincingly, that a high quality upright will sound better than such a short grand.)

So I dunno. The bottom line is that, if your daughter stays with piano and continues to display the promise that she has to date, I don't think *either* of these pianos would serve as a long-term instrument for her. I think I would personally go for the less expensive upright now, with the idea of saving up and buying a higher quality grand a few years down the road should she continue in her piano studies.

But I'm me and not y'all, and there are other issues involved. It was, after all, your parents' idea to buy the grand instead... and they are being quite generous to contribute toward the purchase price. There is benefit in making them happy, too, so you would need to ask yourself (and them?) just how strongly they preferred the grand over the upright. But you would also end up paying more than you had initially planned, which is a separate issue: How comfortable do you feel, financially, with the greater investment required should you go for the grand?

Good luck, and let us know what you end up doing.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1163641 - 03/16/09 03:10 PM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: jason&jenny]
John Mila Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 245
Loc: So California
J&J,
Marty was referring to something different.
In So. Cal. When a piano is purchased from Keyboard Concepts, The piano gets prepped before delivery. This includes unboxing the piano, lubricating all of the friction points of the piano, (center and front rail pins), tapping the strings at the bridge, tightening all of the plate screws. Checking the rest of the regulation and voicing of the piano. Than Tune it. This stabilizes the piano and a month later we come and tune it again. This is about a $300. service.
Costco deals are delivered in the box, and tuned 1 month after.

(Thanks for the opportunity for shameless plug.)
_________________________
John Mila de la Roca, Manager
Keyboard Concepts, Tustin CA
714-544-0088
Yamaha-Schimmel-Bosendorfer
Piano Tuner/Tech 30 years
john.miladelaroca@keyboardconcepts.com
keyboardconcepts.com

Yamaha C3-KorgN364-Kurzweil K2500-Yamaha P200-Roland Ax1 & Les Paul Custom gold Top 57 re-issue and 6 nameless guitars.

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#1163658 - 03/16/09 03:46 PM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: John Mila]
CC2 and Chopin lover Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 1981
Though it seems that you will not be dissuaded from purchasing one of these two pianos at this time, there are a few things to consider. First, I'd like to clarify.....Are you saying that it is your understanding that this piano can be returned AT ANY TIME IN THE FUTURE FOR A FULL REFUND? Does that not strike you as being impossible for the dealer to live up to, or even offer? Second, the upright you are considering is 44 inches in height, so the folks here who are saying that a good upright can potentially be better than a really small grand are not specifically referring to THIS upright. This would hold true for a high quality upright of 52 inches in height.
_________________________
Piano Technician/Tuner

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#1163660 - 03/16/09 03:51 PM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: John Mila]
mike_klein5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/09
Posts: 83
Loc: Canada
The fact that you did take the time to look around a bit to the best of your ability is great. Personally, if it is something that you can afford with your parents help, go for the grand. They are both made by Yamaha and the 4'11" grand is still larger in terms of sound board compared to the upright console shown in the link.

My recommendation is to have her try both of them again and really hear which one sounds better. When playing the upright, make sure to open the top lid to get the full sound coming from inside. Judge the purchase based on that.
_________________________
Michael Klein
Willis & Co. (MFD: January 1915) & Yamaha YDP-121 (MFD: 2001)

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#1163685 - 03/16/09 04:44 PM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: Jeff Clef]
JF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 95
Hello J&J,

I am living walking proof that you should not be pushed into a quick sale. Before I found this site, I almost bought a very nice Yamaha U3 upright at a sale for a local theater. Limited time frame, just like you. Great salesman, low pressure, except for the time element. I actually signed the paperwork, with the proviso that I could cancel within 48 hours. I then found this site, found out some things I didn't like (grey market), and cancelled, thank goodness.

I then went on a slow, methodical search. Many ups and downs. Eventually, I found a terrific 6'7" Kimball grand for way, way less than the $8300 you are contemplating spending for your grand, and, based on size, most likely a far better piano. I found the piano on craigslist.

I looked on craigslist for you. As for uprights, there is not much in El Paso, although a few things caught my eye as interesting. There is a 100 year old Bechstein (one of the world's finest piano brands) upright, looks to be 50" tall or taller (taller is better in an upright), for $1,800. (Drawbacks: the piano is in Juarez, it's old, and it looks a little dirty. Still, I'd be interested in seeing it, based on the name alone, but the chances are slim that it's the piano for you). I like the looks of the Baldwin upright for $950; they say it's a model 2021, though, which yields no search results on PW, and is a model I've never heard of. Still, I really liked m any of the Baldwins I found, and I am partial to American-made pianos, even used.

As for grands, there is some good potential in El Paso. Someone is offering a K. Kawai (what model, age?) for $5,900, and someone is offering a 5'6" black satin Kawai (again, what model, age?) for $5K. I love Kawai grands (almost bought 3 of them in my search), and if they are in good condition, a 5'6" or 5'10" Kawai will be far better than the 4'11" piano you are considering. If I were you, I'd find out about those pianos.

I have also found that folks on craigslist will deal with you on piano sales, as much as 40% off their list, and possibly even more.

Now then, if you simply cannot wait and you absolutely have to get one of these two pianos, despite the advice of everyone on this forum, then I would get the grand piano.

The reasons: 1. Even the tiniest grands are better than the inexpensive uprights, in my opinion. The sound is better. Low cost uprights tend to sound like a piano trapped in a box. Unless this upright is just terrific, it will not sound nearly as good as the grand. 2. The grand action is better. See posts above. 3. Having a grand creates more a desire to play, in my opinion. It's a function of the psychological boost to playing a beautifully shapped grand instead of a box, and it's also a function of the better sound emanating and vibrating through and around the player. That creates more desire, in my opinion. 4. If timing is everything, and you don't know if your parents' assistance will be there forever, I'd get the best piano I can now. And that is the grand.

Best of luck to you.

JF
________________
_________________________
Kimball 6'7" Viennese Classic
Adult re-learning after 20-years

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#1163688 - 03/16/09 04:48 PM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: Monica K.]
jason&jenny Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/15/09
Posts: 10
Originally Posted By: Monica K.

So I dunno. The bottom line is that, if your daughter stays with piano and continues to display the promise that she has to date, I don't think *either* of these pianos would serve as a long-term instrument for her. I think I would personally go for the less expensive upright now, with the idea of saving up and buying a higher quality grand a few years down the road should she continue in her piano studies.

But I'm me and not y'all, and there are other issues involved. It was, after all, your parents' idea to buy the grand instead... and they are being quite generous to contribute toward the purchase price. There is benefit in making them happy, too, so you would need to ask yourself (and them?) just how strongly they preferred the grand over the upright. But you would also end up paying more than you had initially planned, which is a separate issue: How comfortable do you feel, financially, with the greater investment required should you go for the grand?

Good luck, and let us know what you end up doing.

Very good reply, which makes this decision harder for me,lol. You are absoultely right, even though the bill is split 4 ways, it still is easier financially to get the cheaper one.

**How do you do mulitple quotes here? I cannot figure it.**

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#1163690 - 03/16/09 04:53 PM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: John Mila]
jason&jenny Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/15/09
Posts: 10
Originally Posted By: John Mila
J&J,
Marty was referring to something different.
In So. Cal. When a piano is purchased from Keyboard Concepts, The piano gets prepped before delivery. This includes unboxing the piano, lubricating all of the friction points of the piano, (center and front rail pins), tapping the strings at the bridge, tightening all of the plate screws. Checking the rest of the regulation and voicing of the piano. Than Tune it. This stabilizes the piano and a month later we come and tune it again. This is about a $300. service.
Costco deals are delivered in the box, and tuned 1 month after.

(Thanks for the opportunity for shameless plug.)

Both pianos I am considering are already assembled, this I am sure of 100%. In fact, they would be the same ones displayed at the Costco. So I'm quite sure they were all put together properly by the piano dealer and not Costco employees.

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#1163691 - 03/16/09 04:56 PM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: mike_klein5]
jason&jenny Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/15/09
Posts: 10
Thanks Mike!

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#1163700 - 03/16/09 05:16 PM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: JF]
jason&jenny Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/15/09
Posts: 10
Thanks JF for the research you did! The only drawback from me buying used is that I have no idea what condition the piano truly is in. Grant it, most of the seller are pretty honest I'm sure. But I don't want to run the risk in buying one that will only bring me problems. I will check on those other Grands in my area just to see.

I know the baby grand is only 4' 11". But isn't it still considered a grand? If I were to get the 5 footer, people would tell me to get the bigger one and so on. I know that a very good (and expensive) upright will probably sound better than the baby, but personally, I'd rather still have a grand.

Boy, is this more difficult than ever. Everyone has such good opinions and ideas that it is actually making piano shopping even harder. I'm still pretty adement about going through Costco though for the 100% Guarantee. Even if I find a great deal somewhere else, I would ony have the manufactuer warranty if any. And if I go used....it's a gamble. For all those who do not believe me about Costcos 100% refund anytime, please call their 1800# and verify for yourself. You will be surprised.

**Can anyone please tell me how to multi-quote? Already checked the FAQ section**


Edited by jason&jenny (03/16/09 05:21 PM)

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#1163711 - 03/16/09 05:34 PM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: jason&jenny]
CC2 and Chopin lover Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 1981
Going used is not a gamble if you spend an extra $100.00 or so to have a qualified piano technician inspect the piano for you. He/she will tell you all you need to know to determine the quality and expected lifespan of the instrument in question. It is well worth the investment and, as JF has said, you can get a MUCH better instrument than you are considering now for a lot less money.
_________________________
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#1163713 - 03/16/09 05:37 PM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: jason&jenny]
JF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 95
J&J,

Costco is great. I will only shop there and Target. The 100% return policy is legendary. I would feel comfortable buying a piano from them if one of my big concerns was the ability to return it.

The 4'11" is still considered a grand. It will not sound as good as a 5'6" or larger piano, but it will sound better than the upright, unless something is wrong.

As for buying a used piano, I have no problem with it.

Reasons: 1. I use an Registered Piano Technician (RPT), or a highly-recommended piano technician to check out any piano I am interested in. They are very good judges of what is right and wrong with a piano, and I have never gotten a bum steer from one. Everyone in the know on this site will recommend the same, and believes it. 2. Pianos are generally durable instruments, and are built to last 50 or more years. Some are better than others; Kawais and Yamahas have a 50 year musical life, maybe more. 3. If you find a well-made used piano of size 5'6" or bigger, and spend $1,500 in having it tuned, serviced, cleaned, and fully regulated, you have a far better instrument, musically speaking, than the new 4'11" at a significant savings to you.

And by the way, the $1500 is a very high estimate, more than double what I am about to pay for all service except the regulation, and I am going to have all the dampers on the piano tightened and corrected. Any technician you hire should give you an estimate as to how much $$ to fix any problems found with the piano; that way, you will know how much the piano will cost you before you buy.

Ultimately, $8,300 is a fortune to spend on a 4'11" grand in this economic environment, in which piano deals can be had all over the country, both new and used.

The closest RPT to you is in Chaparral, NM.

SCHAIBLE, MARVIN RPT

Address: CHAPARRAL, NM 88081 USA
Chapter: El Paso, TX
Phone: 915-474-3964
Email: marvina440@juno.com

There may be other, highly-regarded, non-RPT technicians in El Paso; you might want to ask around.

JF
______________


Edited by JF (03/16/09 05:48 PM)
_________________________
Kimball 6'7" Viennese Classic
Adult re-learning after 20-years

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#1163817 - 03/16/09 08:58 PM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: CC2 and Chopin lover]
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1912
Loc: El Cajon, CA
Originally Posted By: CC2 and Chopin lover
Second, the upright you are considering is 44 inches in height, so the folks here who are saying that a good upright can potentially be better than a really small grand are not specifically referring to THIS upright. This would hold true for a high quality upright of 52 inches in height.


At home I have my 1956 45" Baldwin Hamilton upright sitting next to my mom's 1998 4'11" Young Chang PG-150 grand. To my ear, the upright sounds noticeably better than the grand, including in the low bass.
_________________________
Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
You can right-click my avatar for an option to view a larger version.

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#1163836 - 03/16/09 09:31 PM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: CC2 and Chopin lover]
jason&jenny Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/15/09
Posts: 10
Originally Posted By: CC2 and Chopin lover
Going used is not a gamble if you spend an extra $100.00 or so to have a qualified piano technician inspect the piano for you. He/she will tell you all you need to know to determine the quality and expected lifespan of the instrument in question. It is well worth the investment and, as JF has said, you can get a MUCH better instrument than you are considering now for a lot less money.

I didn't realize you also were a tuner/tech. That really is good advice. It would be very wise to pay the fee to have an older piano inspected prior to buying one. That brings me to one more question/choice.
The store (Washburn pianos) here in town does also have about 7 pianos given back to them on a trade in from the local University (UTEP). They are Mason & Hamlin uprights 52" age ranging from 1979-1983. Cosmetically, they have wear due to the number of students they went through but they do sound good. The bass is deep and they look well built. What are the chances, if I get an tuner/tech to look at them, to really get a good one without much mechanical issues? It probably depends on the particular piano but wont they eventually need alot of work? Buying new, I'll be getting a piano with zero miles and wont need more than a good tune for years,right or wrong?
I will call the tech you found in my area to go look at these Mason & Hamlins to see if he prefers a particular one from the bunch. As for the price, any of them regardless of condition are $1,500 each. I'll have to go to the store tomorrow to get some serial numbers and better info on the models. I'll let you know.

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#1163840 - 03/16/09 09:52 PM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: jason&jenny]
JF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 95
J&J,

I love M&H pianos; I almost bought a new 50" M&H upright myself. The 70's and 80's M&H's were made by a company named Aeolian, and while not the very top of the line at that time, they were very good pianos. I have played a couple of M&H 50's of this vintage and liked them just fine.

At $1,500 (or maybe less with some negotiating) it seems like they could be a good buy if they are not worn out.

Institutional pianos do get worn out, so it could be that those pianos are pretty well played out. The RPT I found on ptg.org should be able to tell you the condition of these, and may look at all 7 pianos for a small fee. There may be one that still have some good life in it!

I think it's definitely something to look into.

JF
_________________
_________________________
Kimball 6'7" Viennese Classic
Adult re-learning after 20-years

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#1164171 - 03/17/09 04:30 PM Re: Need help please, buying piano Wednesday. [Re: JF]
choleric Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/16/09
Posts: 233
Interesting thread...I'm not sure if I agree with those who posit that getting a baby grand over an upright is unwise. I find the feel to be much better and expressive on a grand piano. I have played the Cable Nelson and it stands out to me as better than the usual grand in that price range. I like a consistent feel, though, so I'm just speaking for myself.
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Choleric
Yamaha CVP307 digital piano

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