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#1297923 - 11/01/09 08:14 PM Knabe 1960 Console - General Consensus on Quality?
Chooch Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/01/09
Posts: 2
Loc: Florida
I'm new to the forum and am considering purchasing a 1960 Knabe 41" console for my 10 yr old who is about a year into lessons. In doing research on pianos, I've been very impressed with the number of times that users of this forum have provided seemingly helpful answers to all kinds of posted questions. I'm at a crossroads and I hope you all can help.

I've heard great things about Knabe's but have also heard that the quality has gone down since 1960 or so. The piano I'm considering seems pretty nice (clean, relatively nice finish, only 2 owners). I don't know a lot about pianos, save what I've read here. Is the Knabe console regarded as a decent "learning" piano?

2nd question: what types of issues might cause a buzzing vibration sound when keys are struck with less than moderate pressure? The keys in the center section of the keyboard all caused this buzz.

3rd question: at what point should the felt on hammers be replaced, and is t expensive to do so? The felt on this piano's hammers were pretty well grooved.

I'd appreciate any thoughts or comments you can provide.
Thanks in advance.

Edited by Chooch (11/01/09 08:17 PM)

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#1297941 - 11/01/09 08:59 PM Re: Knabe 1960 Console - General Consensus on Quality? [Re: Chooch]
ChasT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 649
Loc: Georgia
Hi, Chooch. Welcome to the forum.

Wm. Knabe made and makes good pianos. I'm a fan. The one you're looking at, however, is too old. Pianos don't improve with age. They degrade, just like any other mechanical device. Fifty years is just too old. The good years are behind you.

Here are some general guidelines: Play lots of pianos. Give yourself (or your son) the chance to find the touch and tone you like. If you buy used, try to stay under 10 or 15 years. Big pianos sound better than little ones. Avoid spinets. The action is difficult/expensive to service. If you find a used piano you like, have a tech with no connection to the seller check it out for you. Visit all the shops in your area, check Craigslist, Pianomart.com, want ads, whatever is available. Be patient. It may take a while, especially if you're shopping used.

We have several forum members who are dealers in Florida. Last month, I visited M.O.P. at her place in Ocala. They had tons of pianos, new and used. www.fortepianogallery.com Nick Mauel's place is in North Venice. www.nickspiano.com I'm sure there are others. I just don't recall right now. Anyway, give them a call and see what they have.

Are you open to a new piano or are you just shopping used? What kind of budget? The folks here like piano searches, so hang around and ask all the questions you like. And good luck!


#1298007 - 11/02/09 12:11 AM Re: Knabe 1960 Console - General Consensus on Quality? [Re: ChasT]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22046
Loc: Oakland
They were nothing to write home about. They were a bit better than the Memphis Aeolian-Americans, but only so-so pianos. I would wait for something better.

Replacing the hammers would be prohibitively expensive.
Semipro Tech

#1298229 - 11/02/09 11:46 AM Re: Knabe 1960 Console - General Consensus on Quality? [Re: BDB]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19718
Loc: New York City
If you tell us the asking price, it would help to decide how good/bad the deal is. I don't know about the possible causes of buzzing notes, but you would have to hire someone before you buy the piano to find out if and at what cost they could be fixed. Between the cost of having someone look at the piano and doing the fix it might not be worth the extra $.

Are you trying to find a piano for a couple of years or one that could be a good instrument for you child for a much longer period of time?

Do you have a budget?

Edited by pianoloverus (11/02/09 11:48 AM)

#1298757 - 11/03/09 09:34 AM Re: Knabe 1960 Console - General Consensus on Quality? [Re: pianoloverus]
Chooch Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/01/09
Posts: 2
Loc: Florida
The seller is asking $650 for the piano, which is really about what I can spend right now. The idea is to have my child use the piano for a couple of years. If she sticks with it, I can consider different options at that time.

#1298785 - 11/03/09 10:23 AM Re: Knabe 1960 Console - General Consensus on Quality? [Re: Chooch]
guest1013 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 1239
Don't forget to consider costs of moving, tuning, and maintenance.

If you get a piano in good mechanical condition that your child likes to play, then she will be more likely to stick with it. But if you get a piano that plays poorly or that she doesn't like to play, then she will be more likely to quit.

If your budget is inflexible, you may be better served to try a lower end Yamaha (in general, Yamaha is said to be most popular digital piano in the world by sales volume, I believe) or Casio digital pianos with weighted actions. Casio is a budget priced type of product. I have one, and it is fine. However, like many products, you tend to get what you pay for with digital pianos. Roland, Korg, Kawai have well rated digitals, yet these may not be in your price range, I don't know about their lower budget products.

Edited by guest1013 (11/03/09 10:32 AM)


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