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#137394 - 02/02/08 04:19 PM New piano for military family
littleschu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 24
Loc: Monterey, CA
We are very NEW in the process of considering purchasing an upright piano for our 12 year old daughter (she has been playing for 2.5 years on a digital keyboard). She has gotten to the point in her piano learing that she doesn't have enough keys on her keyboard to play her pieces. SIGH! We are a military family that moves every 2 years. I need some advice on what we should do??? I have looked at the digital piano option and while it seems attractive from a moving/logistic viewpoint, I can't help feeling like we are just buying another "keyboard." I didn't like the touch on most of Yamaha ones we sampled. So far we have looked at used Yamaha U-1, used Kawai 48", NEW Brodmann, NEW Bohemia... I loved the Bohemia pianos. They sounded warm and expressive. The pricing $4000 on a 20 year old U1 seemed really high to me considering we could get a BRAND NEW Brodmann BU121 for $4600. I'm not a fan of the polished ebony though.... I thought the sound was similar to the Bohemia... What to do?? What to do?? Should we even be thinking of plunking down so much money on a new upright considering we move every 2 years??? Any suggestions/advice would be appreciated! \:\)

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#137395 - 02/02/08 04:40 PM Re: New piano for military family
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4377
Loc: Jersey Shore
If you know you will be stationed where a piano could go with you then its a good idea, but if your going overseas and must place in in storage or sell it then a high end digital would be the way to go. Kawai, Roland etc makes some very nice digitals...

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#137396 - 02/02/08 04:44 PM Re: New piano for military family
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
i personally might consider trying to buy the best upright on the used market and sell it when moving.. you wouldn't lose too much value in the transactions if you were lucky.

again and again.

or a high end digital (the first time i have ever suggested buying a digital). moving a piano is expensive and kind of risky.

i wish you luck
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#137397 - 02/02/08 04:55 PM Re: New piano for military family
guest1013 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 1239
I love an acoustic piano and knew nothing about digitals until reading about them and trying some in the local stores during the past two months.

I think you'd be well served to check out some of the newer 88 key weighted digital keyboards that have realistic grand piano sounds and keyboard action. Some have home console/cabinet styles with stands, music desks, and pedals that are easier to move than an acoustic. Some can be found in the $1000 to $2000+ range. A budget priced example is the Casio CDP100, an older model with stand, pedal, and desk, and there may be some more good sales (for less than $600) because Casio PX120 and 320 models are coming out this month. Yamaha Clavinova and CLP series and Rolands are more expensive than Casios and considered top of the line. Kawais are well regarded too. These may cost less than a new acoustic and the cost of moving and maintaining and acoustic every two years. With the acoustic, there would be a concern about whether you move from very dry climates to very wet climates(or vice versa?) because drastic changes in humidity are not good for the soundboard.
There is a big depreciation hit on a brand new piano in the event you'd need to sell it in the short term future.
Try posting in the digital forum too. There are many travelling musicians that need lightweight yet professional quality keyboards.
If you are longing for an acoustic, you might be better off renting one in each place you live instead of moving your own from place to place.
Thank you for your service to our country.
Good luck.

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#137398 - 02/02/08 05:31 PM Re: New piano for military family
ftp Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/05
Posts: 2365
Loc: Philadelphia
Another option is to consider renting (I don't know much about this market other than what websites suggest). You may be able to get an acoustic for $40-50 a month or $500 to $600 a year. The economics given other options may not be terrible, no hassle/cost in moving it, selling it and it gives you a chance to make a new decision after each move.

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#137399 - 02/02/08 05:53 PM Re: New piano for military family
littleschu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 24
Loc: Monterey, CA
We have already moved overseas twice (we moved from Japan last time) but there is no guarantee we won't go back. My best guess is that we have a minimum of 4 more moves to go! Thanks for the ideas so far!

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#137400 - 02/02/08 06:20 PM Re: New piano for military family
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
New acoustics are not a good idea, because you'll take too big a hit when you sell. If an acoustic is what you want, ask dealers about trade-ins. Also watch Craigslist, especially the Bay Area site.

The touch on good digitals is considerably better than that on what is probably an unweighted keyboard and "home" models have three pedals built into their cabinets. If you buy a new digital, *keep* the box. It'll make a good shipping container.

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#137401 - 02/02/08 06:28 PM Re: New piano for military family
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
A decent quality digital sounds like a good match for your needs. Few are disappointed with the touch on Yamaha CLP series Clavinova. Perhaps you tried one of the lower YDP or DGX series. Check out a Clavinova CLP240, 270, or 280 model and see if you can be happy.
_________________________
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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#137402 - 02/02/08 10:44 PM Re: New piano for military family
littleschu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 24
Loc: Monterey, CA
How risky is it to move a piano every 2-3 years? We do not incur any moving expenses so that isn't an issue for us. Reputable moving companies are always utilized.

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#137403 - 02/03/08 02:47 PM Re: New piano for military family
Craigen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/05
Posts: 1815
Loc: West Coast
Moving piano cross country exposes them to wide temperature and humidity swings in unheated/air conditioned vans, the constant rumbling road vibrations for hours, potential cabinet damage, and rare but potentially catastrophic mishandling. Always a crapshoot.
_________________________
Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.

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#137404 - 02/03/08 02:49 PM Re: New piano for military family
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
 Quote:
Originally posted by littleschu:
How risky is it to move a piano every 2-3 years? We do not incur any moving expenses so that isn't an issue for us. Reputable moving companies are always utilized. [/b]
are your possessions insured? .. could you ask about piano moving? if it were moved carefully and they'd fix or replace it if it were injured, i'd buy an acoustic readily.

(thank you for your service)
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#137405 - 02/03/08 03:44 PM Re: New piano for military family
littleschu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 24
Loc: Monterey, CA
Our possessions are ALWAYS insured as part of the move. The 1st question moving companies always ask us when they do our move survey is "do you have a piano." It is my understanding that special crates are built for piano and appropriate people are dispatched to handle the move. That said, moving is always a huge pain and carries potential for damage. We have always had "crated" moves as opposed to big moving trucks just loaded with our stuff. In 17 years we haven't had any catastropic damage to furniture. Our daughter is the primary player in the family and she is 11. I'm guessing she will be home with us for at least 7 more years. I just want to give her the best opportunity possible for enriching her piano playing and allowing her to develop as a musician. Thanks for all the comments and advice.

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#137406 - 02/03/08 04:02 PM Re: New piano for military family
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
i'd move one then.. at 11, a broken piano is not heartbreaking if it can be replaced. there is nothing like an acoustic. When selecting, i'd chose a well tested workhorse that get's alot of use, by schools for instance, where the case is well built and able to take 'abuse'..

if you can afford a Charles Walter - one of the plain ones without fancy legs.. that would be my choice.. they play so much like a Grand. i'm sure there are others who are better equipped for recommendations if sturdiness is a factor.. (definitely not a cheaply made one).
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#137407 - 02/03/08 04:23 PM Re: New piano for military family
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
 Quote:
Bohemia... I loved the Bohemia pianos. They sounded warm and expressive.
Nothing more to add.

Norbert ;\)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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