It seems like it's been a long road on this endeavor and not without lots of emotions even as I write this. I'm glad it's over!
My son started taking lessons last summer as a second instrument, his first is the cello. We started looking for a piano after finally (another long story) getting a tuner out to tune this old piano that had been in the family for many generations. Despite my mom telling me it only needed a tuning and some rice from a wedding reception removed from the sticking keys -- it was a great piano. It's a Clarendon made by Hadorff. I’ve posted about this before. Well, it needed at least $4K of work and was told it still wouldn't be a good piano (and by a few more people).
My son and I started looking at pianos at a few piano shops and I was researching and reading the Piano Buyer and posts here. My intent was to get an idea of brands that I could look for used. I was talking to my Dad about this experience comparing it to searching for a car, but worse and the need to negotiate prices I told him I was taking him along once we found a piano because this is his expertise and I wanted to learn the fine art. He just laughed. Two days later, I got a very unexpected call that he had passed away. Piano shopping and life in general was put on hold for a while.
When we started shopping late last summer, we tried Kawai, Yamaha and Baldwin. The Yamaha U1 was our favorite and Baldwin was next and maybe a P22. We had friends who owned each of these brands.
I searched craigslist what seemed like daily. I started even looking out of state! Finally, one came up this spring and we played it. My son really liked it. I thought it was a bit high for it, I researched and posted on this. I finally made an offer and it was rejected. What to do?
I was back out reading posts and many on PW suggested trying other brands than the usual Yamaha, Baldwin and Kawai. So, we went to Wells Pianos as his site had brands we couldn't find elsewhere. Kieran was very knowledgable about pianos and talked to us quite a bit about pianos in general. He even gave us advice on purchasing the U1 we liked! We were thinking the Hailun 116 was going to be the one. By the time we got back to Wells, it was sold, which was OK. I needed to do more research on this brand and play it again. My son tried the H5 and liked it too. We tried the Yamaha again and some used Baldwins (our other front runner). We went back a week later to try the ALL the pianos again and decided on the H5. My son liked the tone the best compared to the used U1. I liked it was new with a 15 yr warranty. Both my husband and I thought Kieran was passionate about pianos and that came across in trying to help us along with his honesty and fairness.
Back to the old Clarendon -- our piano tuner found someone to take the Clarendon. It was mfg’d for a family who owned a music store back in the 20's and now it's going back to descendants of the family. My mother was so happy to know it wasn't going to the dump. They picked up the piano last night.
Everyone is happy with the outcome of both the pianos! Our music director helped with moving the piano and he played a chord on it and recoiled in horror. LOL. He couldn’t believe that Nick was playing on the clunker. He liked the H5! My son has really enjoyed the H5 and I hear him playing it throughout the day. I'm really happy he has a good piano to learn and play on! Thanks to PW and Kieran!
Here’s a video of my son playing a song he just learned. Unfortunately, I think our video camera is dying -- the color is muted and it's a bit grainy.
If you notice, the piano has been satinized. Kieran has a contact that did a beautiful job. It looks like a classical piano to me, IMHO. Ahhh...... New Piano http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2yF8k5jLlw