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#1390400 - 03/07/10 12:38 PM Kawai 52" advice
Tonio Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 104
Loc: California
I'm looking for a great upright and wonder if anyone knows this particular model. Had I the budget, the 50" W. Hoffman I tried yesterday would be in my living room today, but the 10.5 k is double my budget....so...I'm scouring the used market for that one special instrument that will satisfy my demanding tone and action desires.

This one is listed by a fellow that says it was made in 1991, and has been cared for meticulously.

Serial #1972786
Special Edition model US6X - Commemorating Kawai's Two Millionth Piano.

There's one other Kawai on the market that is above my budget, but it says it's 60" high. It's a K-5. I didn't know they came that tall.

The Yamaha U series seems fairly common, but I'm told the European pianos are better....for me, if it sounds right and the action is smooth and easy, I would be happy.

Anyway...advise on this Kawai and/or what I might want to set my sights on, would be most appreciated.

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#1390403 - 03/07/10 12:47 PM Re: Kawai 52" advice [Re: Tonio]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
Tonio, spend a hundred bucks and have a piano technician check the instrument out before you buy it. Nineteen years old is a little older than is really desirable in a used piano, but condition is everything.

I think you can just about get a new K-3 for the budget you have. It might be worth a look, and even a little stretch. Play it for a few years and then move up, if you want. I think your resale value would hold up better. They play and sound very well.
_________________________
Clef


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#1390444 - 03/07/10 01:35 PM Re: Kawai 52" advice [Re: Jeff Clef]
terminaldegree Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2648
Loc: western Wisconsin
The k5 is 50" tall, I believe. The biggest new production upright I've ever played is a Petrof 135 at 53", though I think there's a Steingraeber at 138 cm (very rare and expensive).
_________________________
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Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Casio px-200, Bechstein A190 #192939 @ home
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Schimmel 130T #339100, on loan

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#1390477 - 03/07/10 02:01 PM Re: Kawai 52" advice [Re: Jeff Clef]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2697
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Hello Tonio,

A K-5 is 49" tall and 60" wide, probably an error in the ad. I don't know of any Kawai's taller than 52".

I disagree with Jeff that 20 years old is any kind of deterrent on a higher quality piano. I'm less familiar with the US6X than I am with other models, however condition is far more important than age until you pass the piano's middle age. That said, I agree that an independent inspection will give you peace of mind about the piano's condition.

I think Jeff's suggestion of the K-3 is well worth looking into as a good piano in range of your estimated budget, but his statement about resale value is without context. If you strongly believe you will upgrade within 5 years, look for a dealer with an attractive trade-up policy because, otherwise, depreciation is steepest in the first 3 years. If you are looking to trade up or sell in 10-20 years then I think his preference for new is more reflective of the good resale value he speaks of.

The US6X may be nice enough not to need a trade-up, in which case, you have many wonderful years to look forward to.

I find that less than 5% (actually much less) of customers will upgrade from a good quality professional upright. And the reason is that once you have a good piano, it usually take a backseat to other priorities in your life (new car, vacation, home repairs, college fund, etc.) I would recommend selecting your piano as if it is going to be your only piano for the next 15+ years. No one's crystal ball is good enough to know your needs beyond that time. Whichever instrument you decide on, if you like it enough to buy it, likely someone else will also like it enough to want it should your plans change.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1390498 - 03/07/10 02:32 PM Re: Kawai 52" advice [Re: PianoWorksATL]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
I like Sam's advice and agree with his points.
Actually the US6X is or was a great piano. One probably wouldn't upgrade to another uprt. taking it's high quality level into account. Maybe a grand piano later on. The US6X and the US8X were KawaiUSA's flagship mdls. in that era. Since than the superceded mdls. that share the same cabinet look and design were the K80 and the present K8. Of course the newer mdls.have all the new upgraded features offered by Kawai. The US6X does not have sostenuto but does have the neotex simulated ivory keytops. A very nice piano,of course condition and price contingent. Good luck!


Edited by pianobroker (03/07/10 02:34 PM)
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#1390630 - 03/07/10 05:31 PM Re: Kawai 52" advice [Re: pianobroker]
Tonio Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 104
Loc: California
Thanks for the advise. I just sold my old Weber NY, made in 1900, because it needed a couple k worth of work, besides the fact that I'm am very ready for a quality instrument. I actually would love to have a baby g, but my living room would be overwhelmed by it.

What are the new upgrades in the modern Kawai models, that aren't in the older ones? Anything that I would miss?

Does this Kawai (or the KU2) compare in quality to the Bechstein/Hoffman T127?....not that it was the be-all-and end-all....it was certainly nice, but not the greatest.

I don't think buying new is necessary for me, considering the quantity of used selections out there. I will pursue checking this one out, and another Kawai, model KU2, that's claimed to be in perfect condition (but at a much cheaper price).


Edited by Tonio (03/07/10 05:51 PM)

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#1390663 - 03/07/10 06:16 PM Re: Kawai 52" advice [Re: Tonio]
mattchrisross Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 9
Loc: San Diego, CA
I absolutely love my Kawai US-6X that I purchased recently. Have a tech check it out, and if it's in good shape, I think you'll be very happy!
_________________________
Matthew Ross
Kawai US-6X (photos here)
Played for several years as a child and restarted as an adult in November of 2009

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#1390689 - 03/07/10 07:03 PM Re: Kawai 52" advice [Re: mattchrisross]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
Tonio,Now if that US6X that you are pursuing is as clean as Matthew's, I would say, you can't go wrong if the price is right.

Now there were two different KU2(s) in Kawai's history. Kawai changes their mdls. so often they are starting to repeat themselves. ex.K-8 of the seventies and the present 52" K8.

I believe there was a gray market 48" KU2D of the late
60-70(s)and a much newer KU2. Both are much lower end mdls. compared to the US6X so...you know my choice already. wink


Edited by pianobroker (03/07/10 07:04 PM)
_________________________
www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
Hailun dlr.818-255-3145
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8RvhXGKzY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voo0zumHGgE

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#1390904 - 03/08/10 12:48 AM Re: Kawai 52" advice [Re: pianobroker]
KawaiDon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/02
Posts: 1224
Loc: Orange County, CA
Tonio,

The US-6X was a very fine piano - if you like it it would be a great choice.

The newer Kawai upright pianos have the new action design, using carbon fiber in the action parts. You should play them to see if the difference is worthwhile to you. There are other smaller differences, but the new Millennium-III action could be the decision changer.
_________________________
Don Mannino, MPA
Kawai America

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#1390920 - 03/08/10 01:11 AM Re: Kawai 52" advice [Re: pianobroker]
Tonio Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 104
Loc: California
Great...sounds like the US6X is a good choice. I've seen the yamaha serial look up page that tells whether it was made for the us market. Is there something like that for a Kawai?

Now, about price, what's a good deal? 4k? I'll search for a tech to check it out, after I get a chance to look at it. Generally, I'm told it's a buyers market for pianos, but you'd have a better idea of the going rate, pianobroker. The KU2 is listed for about 1/2 the US6X, but, I'd gladly spend the $ for the superior instrument.

The action feel is going to be just as important as the tone. I've attempted to be happy with a stiffer action, but there's no way...I've gotta have a nice light touch. The physics behind the touchweight eludes me. It seems that the determining factor in how light the action is, is not just dependent on how much weight it takes to make the key move. It seems that when 55 grams makes the key move, it doesn't necessarily mean the action is going to be light to the touch.

Anyway....thanks for the help.

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#1391222 - 03/08/10 11:29 AM Re: Kawai 52" advice [Re: mattchrisross]
Tonio Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 104
Loc: California
Matt, The pics are stellar....I mean, the US6X is stellar. Wow, very nice. Can you tell me what you paid for it, and how old it was when you bought it? ...or, maybe you got it new?

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#1391444 - 03/08/10 03:43 PM Re: Kawai 52" advice [Re: Tonio]
mattchrisross Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 9
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: Tonio
Matt, The pics are stellar....I mean, the US6X is stellar. Wow, very nice. Can you tell me what you paid for it, and how old it was when you bought it? ...or, maybe you got it new?


Hi Tonio. Mine is the same vintage as the one you were looking at - from 92-93 approximately. I bought it from a private party for $2600 just recently.
_________________________
Matthew Ross
Kawai US-6X (photos here)
Played for several years as a child and restarted as an adult in November of 2009

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#1392159 - 03/09/10 12:55 PM Kawai 52" [Re: Tonio]
Tonio Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 104
Loc: California
That sounds like an amazing deal. The one I'm looking at it listed for $4500. Do you think that's too high a price?
I'm actually having a hard time getting the seller to respond to my emails. He replied to one initially, but didn't answer most of my questions.

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#1392830 - 03/10/10 11:22 AM Re: Kawai 52" [Re: Tonio]
mattchrisross Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 9
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: Tonio
That sounds like an amazing deal. The one I'm looking at it listed for $4500. Do you think that's too high a price?
I'm actually having a hard time getting the seller to respond to my emails. He replied to one initially, but didn't answer most of my questions.



It doesn't sound too high to me based on other ads I've seen in my local market (San Diego, CA), but I'm certainly no expert.
_________________________
Matthew Ross
Kawai US-6X (photos here)
Played for several years as a child and restarted as an adult in November of 2009

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