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#1432298 - 05/08/10 02:40 PM My Piano Hunt: in the home stretch (also Intro)
Zia Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 12
Loc: Vermont
Hi All,

I'm relatively new to the forum...been lurking on/off for a while. I've posted a couple of times (joined the MOYD challenge) and recently on most recent Adult Piano Camp thread over on Adult Beginners.

I am back at piano after a 47 year hiatus (had lessons ages 6-10, then stopped); am just now able to play things I could play my last year of lessons. In the method books I'm in Book 3 of the Celebration Series.

In Jan '09 I bought an old piano off of craig's list, figured if I got a year or so with it I was doing better than renting. It had issues then, and has more now, all of which drive me crazy, and are not worth what it would take to fix. No regrets, but ready to move on.

At the time I bought my piano, I was unable to really hear much difference between most pianos in my price range. I've been going to piano showrooms every few weeks for the past 4-5 months, and now hear and feel the differences posters on PW have described.

I now have a much better idea of what I like. Not surprisingly, it is not what I can afford, so I've finally surrendered to the fact that at this particular financial juncture in my life I must make compromises. After crunching the numbers every which way I can see I also have to accept that I cannot spend more than 20K...that is the absolute max. It breaks my heart, b/c I was offered a seriously amazing price on a Yamaha C5...but c'est la vie...reality bites.

So, I'm getting ready to pull the trigger. The solid contenders are: 1. a Yamaha C2 at 20K; 2. a Kawai RX-2 Blak at 18,500. These are 'gone to the mattresses' negotiated, offered and counter-offered bottom line prices, and I think good (both include free delivery, taking away the old piano, bench, tunings, etc.)

Any thoughts/feedback on these two pianos & prices??

(also: I think I prefer the Blak...will do one more listen to both...the Yamaha just entered the ring today when a dealer was finally willing to come down in price)

I have one more trip to another dealer planned, likely tomorrow, to see a 2005 Kawai RX-2, listed for 12K, but negotiable. They also have the Prambergers, which I believe are comparable to these two Japanese brands.

I would be interested in your thoughts about what would be a reasonable price for the 2005 Kawai; significant differences in it vs the Blak; any thoughts about the Prambergers (one dealer who used to sell them told me they dropped the line b/c warranty services were poor...) in general and pricing.

Thanks for any and all feedback. Sorry for the long post...it just felt so good to finally come out of lurk I couldn't stop typing.
_________________________
Zia

1913 5'4" Hallet & Davis

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#1432307 - 05/08/10 02:59 PM Re: My Piano Hunt: in the home stretch (also Intro) [Re: Zia]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
whoa.. don't feel bad.

20K well spent can buy a VERY nice piano. I would suggest buying used, taking your time and playing new pianos in the 25,000 to 35,000 range to further educate yourself... what's a few more months?

I personally would try find something over 5'8" on the 2nd hand market.. a Yamaha, Kawai or Baldwin (particularly). Just a few more inches makes a huge difference. As to the pianos you mentioned.. the Yamaha and Kawai are fairly comparable. I have play a Pramberger weekly and really dislike it's action.. mushy as can be. I would hope the Kawai or Yamaha would be better.

welcome to the forum and all - good luck.


Edited by apple* (05/08/10 03:05 PM)
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1432323 - 05/08/10 03:13 PM Re: My Piano Hunt: in the home stretch (also Intro) [Re: apple*]
Zia Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 12
Loc: Vermont
Hi apple,

thanks so much for your post, and for the suggestions.

I actually don't feel bad. In a way it is easier having a definite $ cap. I have played pianos ranging in price from 1200 to 120,000, and have looked extensively at both new and used, but haven't found much of anything locally after a year of looking. With exception of one, dealers are between 1.5 and 3 hours driving time, so it is a big undertaking to go look. Because I work full-time plus I don't have much time. I arrived at these choices after much deliberation. The problems with my piano are negatively impacting my hands, so I need to move on quickly. This will not be my 'final' piano...but some expenses (hand surgery for one) have set back buying 'the one' by 3-5 years.
_________________________
Zia

1913 5'4" Hallet & Davis

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#1432366 - 05/08/10 04:01 PM Re: My Piano Hunt: in the home stretch (also Intro) [Re: Zia]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
eek..3 hours is a long drive...

i guess my personal choice would be the new Yamaha. HOwever, if you're going to trade it in the future - I'd seriously consider the 2005 Kawaii.... you'll be able to trade or sell it close to it's price now. a new piano will lose considerable monetary value once it is sold the first time. the dealer must be paid. I don't think they make quite as much on a used piano. I may be wrong. does that make sense? It's kind of like a car.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1432404 - 05/08/10 04:44 PM Re: My Piano Hunt: in the home stretch (also Intro) [Re: Zia]
supersport Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 446
Loc: Arkansas
Hi Zia,

I have an RX 2 2008 and like it a lot so you can see where my bias lies. I cross shopped the RX2 and C2 too. If I had decided to buy one of the pianos you mentioned, the RX's or the Yamaha, I think for purely financial reasons the 2005 RX 2 makes the most sense since your intentions are to replace it in a few years. It would have the Mill.III action from Kawai and save you a bunch of money for your next piano since it has already depreciated. And it would not be too shabby either if your circumstances change and you held on to it a while longer. It should still have remaining warranty too. Have you had it checked out by an independent tech? Is it a US market piano? Do you have any idea of the flexibility of the price?

Good luck and happy shopping.
_________________________
David




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#1432408 - 05/08/10 04:47 PM Re: My Piano Hunt: in the home stretch (also Intro) [Re: apple*]
ChasT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 649
Loc: Georgia
Hi Zia,

The C2 and the RX-2 are both excellent choices. Between the two, it boils down to your personal preference. Apple's right about the used Kawai; if you think this piano may be temporary, definitely check out that used RX-2. It should have the Millennium III action and still have warranty which will transfer. Be sure to check the action to make sure it has the MIII action. Kawai started producing it in 2004.

Used Baldwins are great deals now, if you can find one. A nice used R or L would make me really happy.

Good luck!

Charles

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#1432491 - 05/08/10 06:27 PM Re: My Piano Hunt: in the home stretch (also Intro) [Re: ChasT]
Zia Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 12
Loc: Vermont
Thanks for all the replies! Very helpful.

I have not yet seen the '05 RX2...am going to go tomorrow to look. It is at a dealer, but they are not Kawai dealers. The salesperson did not seem very familiar w/Kawai. AndI think he would really like to sell me a new Pramberger or a new Yamaha, so was trying to sell me on their virtues.

How do I find out info about a used Kawai, e.g. whether or not it is a US market piano? should I get the serial number, and email the company...or is it the job of the dealer to do this for me?

Will definitely have a tech check any used piano first!

A lot will depend on how it sounds. The funny part of this journey is that once I started really "hearing" the differences between pianos, I could REALLY hear the difference between each and every instrument. It's like a part of my brain switch on, all at once.

I really, really liked the new RX2-Blak (I just like the Blak 3 and 6 better!!!) And I found the Kawai dealer I've worked with the most straightforward of all I have met...so that carries weight, too.

I haven't see any decent Baldwins in my hunting...but I agree, the right one would be sweet.

More tomorrow, after I go look further.
_________________________
Zia

1913 5'4" Hallet & Davis

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#1432526 - 05/08/10 07:22 PM Re: My Piano Hunt: in the home stretch (also Intro) [Re: Zia]
supersport Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 446
Loc: Arkansas
[quote=Zia]

How do I find out info about a used Kawai, e.g. whether or not it is a US market piano? should I get the serial number, and email the company...or is it the job of the dealer to do this for me?

You can find the age on these links:

http://www.kawaius-tsd.com/pages/used_pnos.html

http://www.kawaius-tsd.com/pages/serial_manudate.html

and Kawai's take on imported pianos. I thought there was a link to determine if the piano was originally sold for the North American market but I can't find it if it is still there.

I like the RX 3 and larger too, but had to make concession to the size of the room where I have mine. I was fortunate that my dealer sold both Kawai and Yamaha new. All I had to do was decide which one I like the feel and sound of better.
_________________________
David




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#1433020 - 05/09/10 02:36 PM Re: My Piano Hunt: in the home stretch (also Intro) [Re: supersport]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3890
Did you look further than Kawai and Yamaha? Tried german pianos?
_________________________

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#1433201 - 05/09/10 08:59 PM Re: My Piano Hunt: in the home stretch (also Intro) [Re: wouter79]
Zia Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 12
Loc: Vermont
German Pianos...funny you should ask...yes...I spent a lot of time looking and playing all the German pianos I could find, and fell hard for the Shimmels, and the Vogels. The Shimmels were out of reach entirely, the Vogel just beyond reach. I also got anxiety about them when I read about the bankruptcy, and all that, so sort of gave up on German (or Polish, as it were)

So...today's update: I went to look at the used Kawai, and the Prambergers. The used kawai was just 'ok' kinda beat up, especially the case (although they were fixing the dings)...it had been at a college...felt like it had been rode hard, and just didn't speak to me.

I played a lovely JP Pramberger 208, and was made a fantastic offer...but still a couple of thousand more than I had, and I'd have to pay delivery. I really liked it, but still didn't love it.

I left for the 3 hour drive home disappointed, and thinking maybe I should just wait, try to save more money, then look again. One of the other dealers was on the way home, so I thought I might as well stop and say goodbye to the 2 pianos I really liked there, but were out of my price range: that C5...and the Vogel 177. And perhaps part of me hoped there would be some miracle involving the pricing on those pianos. Each time I'd visited the C5 had come down in price some, but not the Vogel.

So I sat, and played them both, and listened to the owner play the Vogels for me and fell in love again with that piano, but felt hopeless and lamented with the salesman.

A while later the owner came back, and made me a bottom line offer on the Vogel...so I....

wait for it....

ran screaming into the street and drove home?
NOT!
I whipped out my credit card, and bought it on the spot, and I couldn't be a happier camper.

Within budget, bench, free delivery (and I live a very long way from the dealer), full warranty, two free tunings, and they will take my ancient piano away as well.

I will report more after the next visit (prep and final inspection) then delivery.

I am thinking of naming her 'Gretta' because while she was born in Poland, she has German parents.

wow...what a day...Life is full of surprise turns...
_________________________
Zia

1913 5'4" Hallet & Davis

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#1433218 - 05/09/10 09:28 PM Re: My Piano Hunt: in the home stretch (also Intro) [Re: Zia]
ChasT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 649
Loc: Georgia
Congratulations, Zia! You bought a fine piano. What's the finish? And when will she be home?

There must be something in the air; Howard64 just took delivery of his new Vogel 177 a day or two ago. I guess you saw his son's videos. Beautiful piano.

Congratulations again.

Charles

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#1433235 - 05/09/10 09:58 PM Re: My Piano Hunt: in the home stretch (also Intro) [Re: ChasT]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17876
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Congratulations, Zia, on your new piano!! Boy, I love a good piano shopping story with a twist at the ending. laugh

I'm really glad it worked out for you. Please post some photos when you get the chance, and keep hanging out in AB forum.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1433240 - 05/09/10 10:11 PM Re: My Piano Hunt: in the home stretch (also Intro) [Re: Monica K.]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
so now you are the mother of a piano

happy mother's day

Vogel's are sweet. I like them alot. I really favor their emotional inausterity... really sweet.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1433244 - 05/09/10 10:21 PM Re: My Piano Hunt: in the home stretch (also Intro) [Re: Zia]
supersport Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 446
Loc: Arkansas
Congratulations Zia. A happy ending to your search and a new beginning too!

I saw the post of the other new Vogel this weekend, very nice.
_________________________
David




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#1433384 - 05/10/10 05:48 AM Re: My Piano Hunt: in the home stretch (also Intro) [Re: supersport]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3890
Congrats! Good that I asked and good that you persisted with your preference :-)

"I am thinking of naming her 'Gretta' because while she was born in Poland, she has German parents."

"Vogel" means "bird".
_________________________

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#1433582 - 05/10/10 12:54 PM Re: My Piano Hunt: in the home stretch (also Intro) [Re: Zia]
howardc64 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/09
Posts: 21
Loc: Sammamish WA
Congrats Zia. We got the same piano (maybe different finish).

I gotta say... its hard not to fall in love with the Vogel 177 given its sound and price. It must be the lowest cost European made piano out there?

Love to see pics when you get it delivered smile


Edited by howardc64 (05/10/10 01:08 PM)
_________________________
Vogel V177R

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#1433783 - 05/10/10 05:29 PM Re: My Piano Hunt: in the home stretch (also Intro) [Re: ChasT]
Zia Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 12
Loc: Vermont
Hi ChasT,

Thanks!

This piano is the Tradition model, in polished ebony. I go back in about a week for the 'final approval inspection' after they fix one key that has a tiny issue...then I pick a delivery date, so probably in 2-3 weeks she will come home.

I did see Howard64s videos...very nice! It must be vogel season!
_________________________
Zia

1913 5'4" Hallet & Davis

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#1434000 - 05/10/10 10:26 PM Re: My Piano Hunt: in the home stretch (also Intro) [Re: howardc64]
Zia Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 12
Loc: Vermont
Hi howardc64,

Congrats right back at ya: Your Vogel is a beauty!

I got the Tradition model. Pics coming as soon as she arrives.

I think you may be spot on regarding the price. Amazing, really. Someday I would like to go to Poland and tour the factory. you know, meet the parents, aunts, uncles, cousins... smile
_________________________
Zia

1913 5'4" Hallet & Davis

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#1434056 - 05/11/10 12:06 AM Re: My Piano Hunt: in the home stretch (also Intro) [Re: Zia]
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1550
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
Congratulations, Zia! I really enjoyed reading your piano hunt story, and I am very glad you found a piano that really spoke to you.

Nancy
_________________________

Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3

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#1434117 - 05/11/10 02:39 AM Re: My Piano Hunt: in the home stretch (also Intro) [Re: NancyM333]
Konzert Patrick Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 791
Loc: The Netherlands
Congratulations and welcome to the Schimmel family! grin

Thanks for sharing your story... I will be waiting for the photos....
_________________________
Schimmel Konzert 189 Tradition

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