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#1521769 - 09/24/10 11:09 AM Purchase Advice for Baby Grand
GOlson Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 2
Hi to the group!

I have been an active reader of the forum for the past few months and have enjoyed all the great informative posts... thanks to all.

My wife and I want to purchase a baby-grand (she's the 'player' in our family.. along with our grandkids when they come to visit). Our budget is 12-16K, and we think we can accommodate a piano in the mid-to-upper five-foot range. We have been to local and semi-local dealers and my wife has played various brands and models that have been on the floor. The two pianos that have caught our eye are a new Kawai GE-30 and a used Boston 178. My wife prefers the 'rounder' (for lack of a better description!) sound of the longer Boston, but the Kawai was very nice (if quite different in tone) and purchasing with a new warranty is appealing.

The dealerships are offering the Kawai for $16,300 and the used Boston for $13,900 (we haven't made any counter offers yet). The Boston is 11 years old, is in excellent condition, and the dealership is offering a one-year warranty as part of the purchase.

I would appreciate any thoughts/opinions on the relative value and price of the two pianos. I will also note that we are going to travel this weekend to look at and play a Hailun, so we won’t be making a final decision until after that trip.

Thanks in advance for any help/advice/guidance that you might provide.

Gregg

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#1521816 - 09/24/10 12:27 PM Re: Purchase Advice for Baby Grand [Re: GOlson]
Hop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 654
Loc: Hudson, FL
For 16k or perhaps slightly more, you could obtain a brand new or nearly new Kawai RX-2. (Prices may have changed, so look for you self. The economy is such that you will have substantial negotiating power.)

For less than 12K, you can obtain a Hailun HG 178 (178 cm. is about 5ft. 10inches), which I like and purchased. Two smaller sizes are also available, at lower prices yet. There are other brands also within your budget, including nearly new Yamahas, and new pianos of some of the other lesser known brands. See the Piano Buyer, which lurks in an ad to the left of this column. The electronic version is free, and can be obtained immediately.

Be sure to shop as exhaustively as your patience and time will allow; you'll keep learning more about pianos and more importantly what you prefer in a piano.

Have fun!

Hop
_________________________
HG178, Roland FP-5, Casio PX 130

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#1521818 - 09/24/10 12:31 PM Re: Purchase Advice for Baby Grand [Re: GOlson]
PianoMan1958 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 502
Loc: Tennessee
I would probably go for the Boston. It is made by Kawai in Japan and 11 years old is still pretty new, if it's been well maintained. I'm not as familiar with the GE-30 but I think they're considered to be one of Kawai's entry level grand and not made in Japan.
_________________________
Jack in TN

Plays:
Yamaha C5 grand (home)
Kawai KG5 grand (church)
Roland RD300GX digital (jazz group)

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#1521831 - 09/24/10 12:44 PM Re: Purchase Advice for Baby Grand [Re: GOlson]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
An eleven-year-old piano doesn't need a warranty very badly, beyond what the dealer is offering. Assuming it actually got played for a good chunk of that eleven years, then any things that were going to go wrong with it that might have been covered by a warranty have already happened, and what you see is pretty much what you get. One exception is the possibility of worn parts needing to be replaced or fixed before you hoped to have work done on it; but you say it's in excellent condition so hopefully that's not too much of a concern.
_________________________
(I'm a piano teacher.)

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#1521847 - 09/24/10 01:30 PM Re: Purchase Advice for Baby Grand [Re: PianoMan1958]
M.O.P. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 989
Loc: Ocala, Florida
Originally Posted By: PianoMan1958
I would probably go for the Boston. It is made by Kawai in Japan and 11 years old is still pretty new, if it's been well maintained. I'm not as familiar with the GE-30 but I think they're considered to be one of Kawai's entry level grand and not made in Japan.


Kawai's GE-10 is still made in Japan & is not the entry level grand.
_________________________
Nancy Fanzlaw
Seamstress for the Band

www.FortePianoGallery.com
Forte' Blog - Technical Tuesdays
Forte' on Facebook

"The piano was God's gift to music." Lou Mason


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#1521852 - 09/24/10 01:39 PM Re: Purchase Advice for Baby Grand [Re: GOlson]
gutenberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 380
Loc: Wichita, Kansas
I like the Boston 178 and I know what your wife means by "rounder." 13.9 seems a bit high though. True that 11 year old is good age in many respects, though if it were me I would have a tech look at it before I made a counter-offer. Also true that you should look at as many pianos as you can because it will develop you and your wife's ear for the sound you like, and because its fun. You don't say what she is playing now, but you shouldn't be in a hurry.

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#1521860 - 09/24/10 01:51 PM Re: Purchase Advice for Baby Grand [Re: GOlson]
elecmuse3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 304
Loc: Cincinnati
Given the amount of time you'll be living with this piano, the more pianos you can check out, the better. Besides, it's fun!
_________________________
Terry@cincyrockers.com
www.theplayerpianoshop.com

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#1521864 - 09/24/10 01:55 PM Re: Purchase Advice for Baby Grand [Re: GOlson]
ChasT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 649
Loc: Georgia
What brands are available within a couple hours drive?

If your wife prefers the Boston over the Kawai, try a Knabe, Perzina (w/Renner action), and maybe a Brodmann or Ritmuller.

Good luck with the search. Just take your time and enjoy the ride.

Charles

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#1521938 - 09/24/10 04:10 PM Re: Purchase Advice for Baby Grand [Re: GOlson]
PianoMan1958 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 502
Loc: Tennessee
M.O.P., I wasn't sure about the GE Kawai's being made in Japan. Maybe it's the GM series that's not?
_________________________
Jack in TN

Plays:
Yamaha C5 grand (home)
Kawai KG5 grand (church)
Roland RD300GX digital (jazz group)

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#1521944 - 09/24/10 04:17 PM Re: Purchase Advice for Baby Grand [Re: GOlson]
Plowboy Offline

2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2449
Loc: SoCal
The price for the GE-30 is high, at least for the Southern California market. If you like the GE-30, try the RX-1 which is the same length with upgraded design and materials.
_________________________
Gary

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#1522165 - 09/24/10 10:54 PM Re: Purchase Advice for Baby Grand [Re: PianoMan1958]
M.O.P. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 989
Loc: Ocala, Florida
Originally Posted By: PianoMan1958
M.O.P., I wasn't sure about the GE Kawai's being made in Japan. Maybe it's the GM series that's not?


PianoMan1958, That's correct. Feel free to ask any time if you have questions about Kawai, I'll be happy to help out.

GOlson, ChasT gives very good advice. Try as many brands as you can & decide for yourself. There are many good pianos out there that tend to fly under the radar, and are underrated by many. Best of luck to you!
_________________________
Nancy Fanzlaw
Seamstress for the Band

www.FortePianoGallery.com
Forte' Blog - Technical Tuesdays
Forte' on Facebook

"The piano was God's gift to music." Lou Mason


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#1522335 - 09/25/10 10:52 AM Re: Purchase Advice for Baby Grand [Re: M.O.P.]
GOlson Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 2
Many thanks to all who have contributed advice and opinions. We will certainly continue our ‘quest’ and try other piano brands, but I must admit that for me, the process is becoming tiring. Perhaps if I were the ‘player’ I would find the process more enjoyable. I know that my wife has really enjoyed the opportunity to play different pianos, including many that we could never afford.

The dealerships within 2-3 hours in our mountain-west location don’t overlap brands, so if you want to purchase a Kawai, or Yamaha or Knabe or <name the brand>, and you want to purchase ‘locally’, there is no opportunity to get competing quotes on the same model from different sources; perhaps why the 16.3K price for the GE-30 seems high for a different area, such as southern Cal. I’m pretty sure that you couldn’t purchase an RX-1 here for 16K, much less the RX-2 referenced in an earlier post. Part of the shopping stress is seeing postings on the forum of wonderful (meaning low!) purchase prices that seem unobtainable here.

Gutenburg: our current piano is a Baldwin Hamilton upright that we purchased new in the early 80’s. The Baldwin (still in wonderful condition) is being passed to the grandkids that I referenced in my first post. It will be a step-up over their current practice instrument.
Thanks again to all.

Gregg

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#1522354 - 09/25/10 11:29 AM Re: Purchase Advice for Baby Grand [Re: GOlson]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10561
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Take these low prices with a BIG lump of salt.

The wholsesale cost including freight, uncrating, prep and delivery on an RX-2BLAK is higher that the selling price quoted.
_________________________
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.

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

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#1522443 - 09/25/10 02:34 PM Re: Purchase Advice for Baby Grand [Re: GOlson]
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4681
Loc: San Francisco
Originally Posted By: GOlson
We will certainly continue our ‘quest’ and try other piano brands, but I must admit that for me, the process is becoming tiring.
If you need a break, jast take a break. You're not being timed. Impatience is your enemy.

Choosing a piano is ultimately an emotional decision. We often react differently on different days, so multiple auditions are a good thing. Maybe regard the auditioning as something nice that you can do for your wife - after you take a break;-)

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