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#1216642 - 06/12/09 11:30 PM Knabe vs.Knabe
jagshrink Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/09
Posts: 43
Loc: OH--IO
Hi all--first time poster, long time ghoster. Shopping for a replacement piano. Due to budget ($6,500 upper limit), skill level and space constraints I am opting for tall upright instead of small grand. On a recent shopping trip to the big piano store in town I looked at a NEW Knabe 118R in the showroom which was lovely in many ways, but not as tall as I was thinking, and price was $7,500 (yikes!) after 2 price drops from the sales man. The other Knabe was a used 131, supposedly less than a year old and taken back in trade on a Steinway. It also felt nice and is the taller piano I think I want. It didn't sound as good but it was in the warehouse on a concrete floor. Let's assume for the sake of argument, my expert piano technician has fully examined the used Knabe and pronounces it to be a fine instrument, accurately represented by the sales person, and worthy of being in my home. Opening price on the used Knabe is $8,200(yikes again!)--we did not yet discuss further price reduction on the 131. Please share your thoughts, especially about the sizes and prices. Thanks.

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#1216666 - 06/13/09 12:41 AM Re: Knabe vs.Knabe [Re: jagshrink]
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
In Northern California's highly competitive market, a new polished ebony 131 would have a street price of c.$7k.

It's very much a buyers market at the moment. Be prepared to look for other dealers, if you can't get the price that you want.

#1216704 - 06/13/09 06:28 AM Re: Knabe vs.Knabe [Re: jagshrink]
ChasT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 649
Loc: Georgia

My experience with Knabe pianos is limited, but here's what I found. The model 247 (46" studio not yet on website) was nice enough, but the bass end was not very full. The WKV-121 was really nice - good touch, sounded great. Folks here on the forum seem to like the WKV-131 a lot. The 131 could be the one if the seller gets real on the price. $8200's too much. A week or two back, a forum member said he'd been quoted $5300 on a new WKV-121. That sounded like the deal to me.

Does it have to be a Knabe? I'm a big Charles Walter fan. Nice touch, wonderfull sound, very, very solid, and over your budget. Maybe a used one? If you're anywhere around Indiana, the Walter factory has used ones that I would consider. And if you like the Knabes, try Kawai. Good touch, full, warm sound. The K-3 and the UST-9 are in your price range and are solid choices. (At least I hope so; I own one!) Anyhow, good luck and enjoy your serch. And keep us informed.


#1216719 - 06/13/09 08:42 AM Re: Knabe vs.Knabe [Re: ChasT]
jagshrink Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/09
Posts: 43
Loc: OH--IO
Charles--interesting that you should bring up the CW. I, too, am a huge fan. My parents have a less than 10 year old one with a "player" feature installed, in their home in Tennessee. Played really nicely last summer when I was there. They are pretty much in Florida full time now. I want to pay the $1000 to have it moved to my house (about 400 miles) but not sure mom will part with it. She wants to move it to Fla. I must add, that neither of them actually PLAYS piano! Jury still out on whether they will give it to me, but I will be lobbying very hard on an upcoming trip. Elkhart, IN is about 5 hours away, probably also about $1,000 to move a piano to my house. I'm sure I can make an advanced call to see what their used supply is. I wonder if prices will be good enough to offset the moving cost. jagshrink

#1218143 - 06/16/09 02:34 PM Re: Knabe vs.Knabe [Re: jagshrink]
Laurie Springs Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/13/09
Posts: 13

We are planning to head to the CW factory within the next week or so. We are about 1 hour from their Indiana factory. They do have some used pianos available, and we had planned to go a couple of weeks ago to look at a couple that were in our $$ range, but wouldn't you know it, by the time we were able to go, they were gone. Your piggybank is a little bigger than ours, so they may have more available within your price range. We're waiting for the factory to finish prepping a used piano that we're going to try. I am planning to report back to the forum after our trip. You would have a longer drive than us; however, if they have a good selection in your price range, it might be worth the trip. I can send you a message following our trip giving info on what we see when we're there if you would like. I can tell you I found out the original 12 yr. warranty will transfer for used pianos. I was told they offer a 1-yr. warranty on anything over 12 yrs.

Also, it might interest you to know Charles Walter pianos are currently the featured piano of the month on a website that gives a variety of info on pianos, ratings, etc., (Don't know if I can give names of other websites on this forum). It gave an excellent review for these pianos. Good luck with your parent's piano. Would be nice to have that one and save time having to look around--also nice for sentimental reasons. Best of Luck.

#1218191 - 06/16/09 04:25 PM Re: Knabe vs.Knabe [Re: Laurie Springs]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2173
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
jagshrink, your dealer needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Those are way overpriced from what I was quoted in Southern California. And not by hundreds...

I would've bought the 118R but it was outside my minuscule budget.
Gary Schenk

#1218192 - 06/16/09 04:26 PM Re: Knabe vs.Knabe [Re: Laurie Springs]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2173
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA

Edited by Gary Schenk (06/16/09 04:26 PM)
Gary Schenk

#1218295 - 06/16/09 07:16 PM Re: Knabe vs.Knabe [Re: ChasT]
jshelton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/09/08
Posts: 89
Loc: Alsea Oregon, USA
"A week or two back, a forum member said he'd been quoted $5300 on a new WKV-121. That sounded like the deal to me."

Even $5300 seems a little high to me. We bought a new WKV-121 at a small local piano store for $3895 around the first of the year. They called it a close out so maybe it was a really good deal.
John Shelton
Shelton-Farretta Guitars

#1218742 - 06/17/09 03:32 PM Re: Knabe vs.Knabe [Re: jagshrink]
Hop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 654
Loc: Hudson, FL
Well, you have been steered from a Knabe to a CW. I have heard very good things about a third alternative, the Hailun.

According to bluebookofpianos.com they make verticals from 110 to 131 (52inches). They are all have LIST prices of less than $6500 (for a new piano). If you follow Larry Fine's estimate of discounts to seek, it's easy to see that the Hailun's appear to be available for much less than what you have found.

I have only played about three notes on one, but it looked really nice. You might consider evaluating one. I have been quite pleased with my Hailun grand piano.

HG178, Roland FP-5, Casio PX 130

#1510307 - 09/06/10 06:27 PM Re: Knabe vs.Knabe [Re: jagshrink]
Josiah Caleb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/11/08
Posts: 45
Loc: Port Saint Lucie, FL
I have a Knabe WKV 131 (52 inches) that is about 6 years old. The cabinet is perfect and the piano has rarely been played. It looks great but it sounds like it is inside a 50 gallon drum and parts of the action have come unglued.

Edited by Josiah Caleb (07/10/11 02:14 AM)

#1510314 - 09/06/10 06:35 PM Re: Knabe vs.Knabe [Re: Josiah Caleb]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10343
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: Tetyana Kuliush
I have a Knabe WKV 131 (52 inches) that is about 6 years old. The cabinet is perfect and the piano has rarely been played. It looks great but it sounds like it is inside a 50 gallon drum and parts of the action have come unglued. This is an unbelievably low quality piano...just total garbage.

Strange that you would resurrect a thread over one year old to trash a relatively well repected brand.

Suspicious at best.
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.


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