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#1198051 - 05/12/09 04:51 PM Grey Market Yamaha Model X
Christopher Sedlak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/17/09
Posts: 61
Loc: Indiana
On Thursday my piano student's family and I will be headed over to BHA Pianocenter in Dayton to take a look at the new Hailun uprights. I was reviewing their website today, and came across this instrument:

http://www.pianocenter.com/used-detail.asp?CATID=25300

I tried plugging the serial number on Yamaha's site, and it says that the serial number does not match a piano made for the North American Market. So I guess I'm dealing with a Grey Market piano here.

I've looked at the other threads about "x" pianos, but I'm confused as to whether this is a "UX1" or another type of "model X". Does anyone have any idea on the manufacture date of this piano?

While I understand the basic issue with greymarket pianos (humidity), I don't know if this is a good idea or bad idea to even consider. This is the top end of my student's budget, but I've heard wonderful things about the U series Yamaha's, and these are supposed to be even better built than the U's? But I obviously don't want this piano to have issues down the road either.

We started this search looking at a $750 M Series Yamaha and an $1000 Samick, and now we're up to $2500. See what you all made us do? wink

Seriously, thanks for all the help you all have provided me to date.

Christopher
_________________________
Composer & Solo Piano Artist
www.christophersedlak.com

(also offering piano instruction and web development services)


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#1198120 - 05/12/09 06:53 PM Re: Grey Market Yamaha Model X [Re: Christopher Sedlak]
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
Serial number is 1980 manufacture. Next year this piano will be thirty years old! Pianos don't last forever. Pianos don't get better with age. The last twenty years of its life will never be as trouble free and satisfying as the first twenty years.

The X model was a forerunner to the WX3 model that was eventually exported to the U.S. for a short time. The X model did not have all of the features and refinements and was built for the domestic market in Japan.

Grey market issues:
Humidity, saturated with years of accumulated moisture from living in the Far East.
Wear, worn beyond the serial number years in institutional use.
Misrepresentation, age mistated, repairs/reconditioning mistated, previouse use mistated.

I would check out the performance and value of a brand new Yamaha Cable Nelson CN116 or Yamaha T118 for just a few dollars more.
_________________________
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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#1198192 - 05/12/09 10:06 PM Re: Grey Market Yamaha Model X [Re: Marty Flinn]
Christopher Sedlak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/17/09
Posts: 61
Loc: Indiana
Marty,

Thanks for the response. I was concerned that it might be a bit on the old side. We'll pass this one by when we look on Thursday.

As for the Cable Nelson CN 116, I played one last week along with a few Stecks and J. Strauss & Sons at a dealer. In my opinion, these pianos were not prepped very well, if it all. The Cable Nelson, especially... the action was mush. When I asked the salesperson what they did for prep, he wouldn't give me any specifics other than tuning. I just can't justify paying a tech to do what the dealership should do in the first place prior to delivery. And I hesitate to do business with a dealer who doesn't know their product (when asked why it carried the Cable Nelson name instead of just the Yamaha name, he told us it was because some Americans were still prejudice against the Yamaha name since it came from Japan. I won't even go into the claim that carpeting would soften the voicing of the piano).

I did speak with another dealer about 90 miles from here that also sells this model Cable Nelson, but was told on the phone that they most likely could not match the price quoted by the dealer mentioned above.

I can not even begin to tell you how frustrating (and at times infuriating) this piano shopping experience has been. Misrepresentation, lack of knowledge, inflated pricing, and used-car-salesman tactics has left me bitter - and my student still without a new piano.

Thanks for letting me vent smile

Christopher
_________________________
Composer & Solo Piano Artist
www.christophersedlak.com

(also offering piano instruction and web development services)


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#1198632 - 05/13/09 04:31 PM Re: Grey Market Yamaha Model X [Re: Christopher Sedlak]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
Christopher,This piano is a UX3 not a UX1 in that it is 52" tall and of the early 80's.
This mdl.(UX3) was very expensive in it's time,much more $ than the traditional U3. As Marty made mention ,it is getting to the 30 year mark. It actually looks fairly clean but one can't really tell from a pic or video as for rep springs,pin torque ,overall wear on the piano action etc..I've seen and had UX3(s) that were really nice but than again I've seen some pretty crusty ones also. In the later 80's they discontinued the UX3 and just made a X3 and UX30BL which was a bit cheaper in case cabinetry but much newer as for the piano. If you can find a newer UX1 of 48",they are excellent and were all of a much newer vintage. Pricepoint $ levels out a bit because it is 48" as opposed to 52". Good luck!
_________________________
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#1198633 - 05/13/09 04:37 PM Re: Grey Market Yamaha Model X [Re: pianobroker]
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
Christopher,

Years ago I found a terrific and professional car salesman at the Oldsmobile dealership. He knew his products, told the truth, and was fair to deal with. I bought six cars from that man over a span of about twelve years. I wish more of my brethren in the piano business could/would follow that example.
_________________________
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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#1198636 - 05/13/09 04:46 PM Re: Grey Market Yamaha Model X [Re: Marty Flinn]
M.O.P. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 981
Loc: Ocala, Florida
Well put, Marty.

Sorry to hear you're having such an awful time, Christopher. Some salesmen (and women) need to step back and think how they would feel if they were the purchaser.

Try to stay positive, and I must say it sounds like your student is lucky to have you.
_________________________
Nancy Fanzlaw
Seamstress for the Band

www.FortePianoGallery.com
Forte' Blog - Technical Tuesdays
Forte' on Facebook

"The piano was God's gift to music." Lou Mason


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#1198900 - 05/14/09 02:30 AM Re: Grey Market Yamaha Model X [Re: M.O.P.]
Maxlee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 63
The problem is that the sales personal is rather different than before. Money could be the main factor nowadays due to the economy. How reliable is a sales person. I realised that a sales person could promised the consumers out of what the company offered just to close the deal. I am mentioning in real life whereas nowadays sales person will get a commision out of the sales. I would rather buy something with had warranty and after sales service either used, new or grey pianos.

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#1198990 - 05/14/09 09:04 AM Re: Grey Market Yamaha Model X [Re: Maxlee]
Christopher Sedlak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/17/09
Posts: 61
Loc: Indiana
Marty, MOP, and Maxlee:

Thanks for your comments. What it boils down to for me is if you treat me like a human being, point out the advantages and disadvantages of your products, and don't misrepresent it, I'm more likely to buy from you. In fact, I'm more likely to buy an inferior product from you than the guy down the street selling a better product, or having a better price because you treated me in this manner. If I see that a salesperson has my best interest in mind prior to the sale, rather than just making the sale at all cost, its a good indication of the type of service I'll get after the sale as well.

I doubt I'm the only one who feels this way. While I realize that high-pressure sales tactics can make for short-term success, in the long-term, these dealers dealers develop a bad reputation not for their quality products but rather their aggressive sales staff. We live in an increasingly mobile society, especially with the internet. I'm not stuck buying from the closest piano dealer (and taking his word solely). I will go out to sites like this one and read reviews, get opinions, and find opportunities that other dealers have.

Treat me well, and I'll treat you well with potential customers down the road. Word of mouth is still the most powerful advertising force there is.

Christopher
_________________________
Composer & Solo Piano Artist
www.christophersedlak.com

(also offering piano instruction and web development services)


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#1198992 - 05/14/09 09:11 AM Re: Grey Market Yamaha Model X [Re: Christopher Sedlak]
Christopher Sedlak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/17/09
Posts: 61
Loc: Indiana
Pianobroker,

Thanks for your comments, thanks for adding to what Marty already said. We'll skip this on our visit today. More than it being gray market to me is the age of the instrument. We definitely want to stay under 20 years old. If we found something else that was gray we'd definitely have it checked out by a tech because of the issues you and Marty mentioned.

Christopher
_________________________
Composer & Solo Piano Artist
www.christophersedlak.com

(also offering piano instruction and web development services)


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