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#1476267 - 07/17/10 07:49 PM Kawai KG-1C Baby Grand
Quickster94 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/10
Posts: 98
I've been somewhat shopping around for a new piano (to replace a Baldwin-Hamilton upright), and have found a Kawai KG-1C in the area.

It's 5' 1", made in 1980 or 1981. It's in very good condition, minimal scratches on the surface. I like the sound and the action, one complaint is the upper register is a little bright (my piano tuner said he can fix this easily).

Would just like to get other people's opinions regarding the piano and a reasonable price to pay/offer. Also, any information about the differences between the KG-1ABCDE models and comparisons to the current line would be helpful (search here reveals somewhat conflicting information).

Other available pianos in the area are a Yamaha G2 (gray market) and rebuilt early 1900's Chickering and Hardman baby grands.

I welcome other suggestions, but the market here is very small, I also have a very limited budget.


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#1476291 - 07/17/10 09:25 PM Re: Kawai KG-1C Baby Grand [Re: Quickster94]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4346
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
The KG1C is of the late seventies to early eighties. It was the first Kawai KG baby grand (5'1")with it's letter scale designation. The KG1C was the earliest,followed by the KG1D,KG1E,KG1A,KG1S.
The main difference was the hammer density and slight action change when going to the 5'4" mdls. The KG1E and subsequent were 5'4" as opposed to 5'1" of the KG1C and D.
The early KG1s were good quality pianos but now they are
30+ years old and the condition is going to vary between them. They are gonna range from extreme low milage to those that were heavily played, rusted out maybe being exposed to a nonfavorable climatic environment. Once they hit that 25-35 yr.old mark than the "extra thick crust" sets in and I'm not talking Pizza Hut or Dominos. I would say $2500-$3500 contingent on it being pristine if that is possible. Asking price ?

Now this is an excerpt of a post from another thread which I posted a while back.

"Prior to the onslot of the Chinese piano importation into the states, the hot ticket for that savy consumer in that moderate $ pricepoint were the preowned Japanese Yamaha and Kawai grands and uprts. Of course, mostly of gray market status. They were at one time much cheaper $ wise than the preowned pianos of nongray market status. The A grade grands were the sought after pianos a decade or so ago. Actually I've recently heard that the availability of preowned grands in Japan has diminished greatly as in the well is drying up as for preowned grands compared to a decade ago. Now the preowned uprts are a different story.

Now with the BETTER quality Chinese pianos coming on the scene, I've changed my "business mdl." 180 degrees as for finding a close to Japanese equal, in a NEW Chinese piano with a full manufacture warranty at the same pricepoint as a 25-30 yr. old crusty preowned Japanese artist level grand.

It is interesting that persons in the industry are privy to this change but it literally takes years for the public /consumer to catch on. Even here on PW with all the members being informed moreso than most in the real world, I continue to see this stereotype thread inquiry repeatedly ." Is $8000 a good price for this 1977 Yamaha G2?" There is a difference in BRAND NEW vrs.30 years old."

Edited by pianobroker (07/17/10 09:32 PM)
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#1476300 - 07/17/10 09:55 PM Re: Kawai KG-1C Baby Grand [Re: pianobroker]
Quickster94 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/10
Posts: 98
To pianobuyer: The information is much appreciated!

The piano was in fact originally listed (on Craigslist) for $6900. We offered $5000 which I thought was reasonable, the seller seemed pretty firm at $6000. I thought the piano was in very good condition, of course not as good as the local concert hall's Steinway D or my teacher's C7, but not exactly "old and crusty."

They're the second owners of the piano, and mentioned that they were told it was $22k new, that seems slightly ridiculous. Does anyone who's been in the industry long enough know about how much this would've sold for next 30 years ago?

Unfortunately a lot of the good Chinese brands you've mentioned aren't available in the area (Pramberger, Hailun). I haven't had a chance to play any of them either, so I'm not sure how I feel about them.

#1476338 - 07/17/10 11:43 PM Re: Kawai KG-1C Baby Grand [Re: Quickster94]
Nick Mauel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/08
Posts: 804
Loc: Sarasota and Naples, FL
This is a fascinating exchange which illustrates Pianobroker's expertise as well as the fact that many resellers are not in tune with today's market.

The seller should have accepted your high offer and ran to the bank! It might not be a bad piano, but I think you can do much better.
Nick's Piano Showroom
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#1476349 - 07/18/10 12:37 AM Re: Kawai KG-1C Baby Grand [Re: Nick Mauel]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4346
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
I strongly suggest you recind that 5K offer though in X law once the seller countered your 5K offer with the 6K,your original 5K offer is no longer. Just a little piano X law tidbit. grin

A purchase price of 22K for a Kawai KG1C 30 years ago. shocked WOW!As the saying goes "You find a lemon squeeze it" In this case you're not gonna get lemonade.

Hmmm...A new old sales strategy! "I want 150K for my rebuilt Steinway B s" "No reasonable offer refused"! "Oh...You are offering me 100K?" "I'm willing to accept your 100K offer though it is worth every penny of that 150K " smile

If you were willing to fork out 5K for this Kawai...uh you might wanna consider the BRAND NEW Pramburger,Hailun or ?.

These stereotype posts are like the Energizer Bunny They keep on coming and going and going and going and...... very unlike a piano. grin

Nick,we must be in the wrong part of town. confused

Edited by pianobroker (07/18/10 08:21 PM)
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
Hailun dlr.818-255-3145

#1476359 - 07/18/10 01:20 AM Re: Kawai KG-1C Baby Grand [Re: Nick Mauel]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2519
Loc: USA
I think the seller meant that new Kawai baby grands these days have MSRP of $22k. I see numbers used like that all the time on Craigslist.

#1476529 - 07/18/10 12:28 PM Re: Kawai KG-1C Baby Grand [Re: gnuboi]
eightyeight_keys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/08
Posts: 383
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
A 5 foot 1 baby grand is too small, and the price for the Kawai is too much as the piano is rather old. You won't get ANY bass tone in a piano of that size. A younger 5'5" baby Kawai would be a better buy. If you're getting a grand try yo get at least 5'5" to 6 ft long.

Now I have played some interesting new Chinese pianos, the better ones, and I was quite impressed! The Hailun is quite good, it's well made with attention to detail. It's called "Bernstein" here.

There are a few others but I can't remember the names. Many of the Chinese makers are bringing out German sounding names (some known and some not)- some are good and some are not.
Maybe a member of piano world will be able to enlighten us as to the good Chinese brands.
Kawai RX6G Grand
Bernstien/Hailun Europa BH - 1EP Upright
Roland HP-335 Digital Piano
Yamaha W7 Synthesizer
Roland E09W Interactive Arranger

#1476563 - 07/18/10 02:09 PM Re: Kawai KG-1C Baby Grand [Re: eightyeight_keys]
Quickster94 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/10
Posts: 98
Thanks for everyone's responses. Do most people think that the $3500 thrown out by pianobroker is a reasonable offer?

I think I forget to mention the piano has a humidifier system, but that doesn't really change much

#1476618 - 07/18/10 04:29 PM Re: Kawai KG-1C Baby Grand [Re: Quickster94]
Glenn Treibitz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/10/05
Posts: 646
Loc: Los Angeles/Burbank
Blanket prices statements here are being made without seeing the piano or knowing the playing it has had and the up keep. I would suggest hiring a good tuner/tech to look at the piano if you really like it. Anywhere from $3500 to $5000 might be ok depending on what the tech says.
Glenn Treibitz

Hollywood Piano Co. - Est.1928


Grotrian, Mason&Hamlin, Estonia,Schulze Pollmann,Albert Weber,Baldwin,Brodmann,
Ritmuller,Weber,Hardman,Roland,Casio,Used Steinway,Yamaha,Kawai

#1476650 - 07/18/10 05:46 PM Re: Kawai KG-1C Baby Grand [Re: Glenn Treibitz]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4635
Loc: San Jose, CA
"These stereotype posts are like the EVEREADY BATTERY commercial They keep on coming and going and coming and going and......"

Not to derail the topic here, but I believe you're talking about the Energizer Bunny--- my favorite mechanical animal.

Quickster, when you said your tuner remarked that he could fix the over-bright treble easily, did you mean he had seen the piano? I'd like to have his advice about the market value, the instrument's condition, and an estimate for repair work if I were the buyer--- based on a paid-for inspection. You might also check local piano stores for comparable instruments' asking price.

For a very small piano that's toward the end of its usable life (and is likely to need more fix-up than a little needling of the treble hammers), the asking price seems high to me... but, condition is everything. Your research may influence the seller to become more realistic.

Sometimes seeing that bird-in-the-hand fly away makes it seem like a better bird after all... such a nice, green bird now that the wings are spread, and it is gone.

Edited by Jeff Clef (07/18/10 05:49 PM)

#1476817 - 07/19/10 12:36 AM Re: Kawai KG-1C Baby Grand [Re: Jeff Clef]
Quickster94 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/10
Posts: 98
Do most people agree that this piano is nearing the end of its usable life? That seems a little extreme/scary to me. Also, my tech/tuner was also the tuner of this piano; he said the piano was in good condition, and suggested a price that was actually higher than what we offered.

#1476840 - 07/19/10 03:01 AM Re: Kawai KG-1C Baby Grand [Re: Quickster94]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2519
Loc: USA
Ask your tech what additional work he would recommend, for example, does the action require regulation, do the strings need to be replaced, etc. If you go out and play a new baby grand you might be surprised how different new strings and hammer felt can sound. Then you might also find the prices for some baby grands aren't too much farther from $6900.

I'd suggest hiring another tech to do an independent evaluation of the upkeep of this piano, if you are very serious about buying it. Although, I'd guess that even after an inspection, you would likely offer less than $5k and then the seller will reject the offer again.

Edited by gnuboi (07/19/10 03:03 AM)

#1478669 - 07/21/10 06:32 PM Re: Kawai KG-1C Baby Grand [Re: gnuboi]
Annitenth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 472
Loc: Texas
I bought a new 5'10" walnut case Kawai KG-2D in 1984 for about $7,000 or $8,000, as well as I can remember. So mine is some newer and a great deal "better" (because of the extra length) than the one you're looking at. I expect to get another 15 years out of it without major work. (Keep in mind I'm not a "real" musician...just play for my own enjoyment). If I were selling I'd be thrilled to get $7,000 for it now and would probably take $6,000. Your offer of $5,000 on a KG-1 was too high, IMO. Considering its age and how small it is, $3,500 sounds like a decent price. Perhaps the owner is just unaware of its real value.
B�sendorfer 225
Technics PCM Digital Ensemble PR307

#1555697 - 11/11/10 03:01 PM Kawai KG-1C Baby Grand [Re: Quickster94]
obl Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/11/10
Posts: 8
Loc: none
I was looking for a baby grand, and I also encountered a seller who wants $6K for a Kawai KG-1C made in 1973. The buyer states that the instrument is in excellent condition. Is the buyer misled about the value being $6k?


#1555706 - 11/11/10 03:24 PM Re: Kawai KG-1C Baby Grand [Re: Quickster94]
PianoMan1958 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 502
Loc: Tennessee
Sounds high for the KG-1 of 1973
Jack in TN

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

#1555769 - 11/11/10 05:13 PM Re: Kawai KG-1C Baby Grand [Re: Quickster94]
Quickster94 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/10
Posts: 98
$6000 seems incredibly high for a 1973 KG-1C... The above posters thought that $5000 was too much for this one (8 years newer). I'm not sure if it ended up being sold.

To anyone interested, I ended up purchasing a Kawai GS-40 (6' 1") and am incredibly happy with it.

#1555774 - 11/11/10 05:22 PM Re: Kawai KG-1C Baby Grand [Re: Quickster94]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2519
Loc: USA
Happy for you, Quickster. Excellent choice.


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