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#184823 - 01/31/09 06:26 PM Would you buy a white piano?
Melody7 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/31/09
Posts: 7
Loc: Australia
Hi,

I've just put a deposit on a new Kohler & Campbell upright, however I'm having trouble deciding between the Walnut or White finish.

Our house is quite light, and so white would suit, however, I've heard that white pianos can "yellow" over time. Has anyone experienced this or have any other opinion re choosing one finish over the other.

I'd appreciate your thoughts. Thanks

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#184824 - 01/31/09 06:32 PM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10530
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
No.

The resale value of white pianos is much lower than more common finishes.

The problem of yellowing was solved years ago.
_________________________
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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#184825 - 01/31/09 07:18 PM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19646
Loc: New York City
I don't remember ever seeing a single white piano in any of the 4 stores on Piano Row in NYC and I've been in some of those stores 20+ times.

But if YOU like it and aren't concerned about resale value then it's right for you! I would make the tone at least part of the decision between the two.

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#184826 - 01/31/09 07:20 PM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
No.

They make a great stage gimmick, but in practice, they are just plain ugly.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#184827 - 01/31/09 07:23 PM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Following up on Steve C.'s post, if you have a reasonable expectation of keeping the piano for, say, five years, - or if budget is not an issue - get the one that you prefer.

The longer that you play a piano, the easier it'll be to consider any loss as being less than you would have paid to rent one.

Tone, touch, and appearance - to your ears, your fingers, and your eyes.

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#184828 - 01/31/09 07:38 PM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
Bear 1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 1348
Loc: Hillsboro Beach South Florida
Hi Mellody7,

Welcome to the forum.

Snow White and Ivory finishes were big sellers in South Florida for many years. Some sales in Arizona and California too. The popularity of these finishes has dwindled to where it is sometimes difficult to find dealers that will stock White/Ivory pianos.
Yellowing is not an issue with the new poly finishes.
If you like the white one best, and now you know that it won't yellow as it ages, buy it. However, I concur the trade-in or resale value will be much much lower than a wood tone or even a poly ebony finish.

Good luck with your choice.

Bear
_________________________
Barry J "Bear" Arnaut ♫
46 Years in the Piano Industry
Retired Kawai/Shigeru Kawai Regional Manager
(My posts and threads are my opinions only)

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#184829 - 01/31/09 07:48 PM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
Melody7 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/31/09
Posts: 7
Loc: Australia
I should clarify, I live in Sydney, Australia, and so am not familiar with any NYC stores, sorry \:\(

I have seen a few white pianos around, however, I've definately noticed that they aren't as common as the black or wood finishes.

Secondly, both pianos are the same price.

Thirdly, I'm happy with the tone and touch of both pianos. I didn't include this in my original post for that reason.

I'm imagining that I will be keeping this piano for many years and as nice as it would be to purchase a beautiful European instrument, my budget just doesn't stretch that far \:\(

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#184830 - 01/31/09 07:51 PM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: Western Canada
Melody7,

This is a great question!

Personally, I love a "cream" colored pianos, and white can be, well, white like frigerators looked in the 50's. So I'd say, don't go into it thinking about selling it. Go into buying it cause you love the white. It will need lighting to adress the whiteness, so maybe consider pot lights above it. Lots of pot lights. Lighting can make a hugh difference.

Also, one of my students has a white grand piano. They have tried to sell it on a few occasion with no success.

Again, personally I would love a white piano, but that's from a woman's point of view! So go with what tickles your fancy. No one elses!

Hope this helps!
_________________________
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#184831 - 01/31/09 07:59 PM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I have quite a few clients with white pianos. One advantage over black? The dust doesn't show up nearly as much. Scratches don't either Diane.

I don't really notice any difference in quality but, as mentioned, the resale - and it is something to keep in mind as some day you may want to resell it - is much more difficult because most people want brownish or black.

More importantly? Get a good quality piano, be happy with it and take good care of it besides the occasional dusting... Tune it regularly.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#184832 - 01/31/09 10:01 PM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9411
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
One other thing,

White poly. can be easily shaded to just about any color of the rainbow by using a colored poly over it. Candy apple red? Deep purple? Peanut butter tan? We have had requests for all of these finishes and they are easier to do over a white piano than to start out on bare wood.

So.... maybe white is more desirable than ANY other finish. ;\)

(seriously, I agree with all the advice given so far. But my post was not a joke either)
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
www.cunninghampiano.com

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#184833 - 01/31/09 10:07 PM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Very interesting! Never heard of that one before Rich!
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#184834 - 01/31/09 10:09 PM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
doremi Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1758
Baldwin had zebra pianos, the best of both black-and-white worlds, no?

Well, my post is perhaps a joke
_________________________
I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked

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#184835 - 01/31/09 11:01 PM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
ChatNoir Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/19/05
Posts: 1481
Loc: Encino, California
As long as the tone is superb, the action divine and the price right, the exterior does not matter.
_________________________
Some men are music lovers. Others make love without it.

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#184836 - 01/31/09 11:25 PM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
pno Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 1042
Loc: ♪oron♪o, on♪ario, canada...
NO WAY! Any grand piano should be black polished only. Polished because it lets people see the reflection of the "actions" under the hood. Wood finishes make the piano look less serious and more like a piece of furniture, although it is quite acceptable for an upright. Art cases are for people with the taste of a 150 year old woman. White/red/any other colors are for posers only. Just my opinion. \:D
_________________________
♫♫♫ ♫♫♫
YAMAHA C2M PE

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#184837 - 01/31/09 11:31 PM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
quantumm Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 61
Loc: Canada
Someone once offered to sell me a used piano. I was going to pass the deal along to someone I knew who was looking to buy, but then the catch - it was white.


Personally I'm not usually picky on color, but I don't very much like white pianos. I agree with ChatNoir - tone and touch are paramount, aesthetics are secondary.

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#184838 - 01/31/09 11:33 PM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
Swell-Schimmel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/08
Posts: 157
Loc: Las Vegas
I can tell you that when we were looking at pianos the white ones were $4K less than the exact same models in black or wood grain. When we asked why, the dealer said white is very hard to sell and even harder to resale.
_________________________
1987 6'10" Schimmel C-208.

Scott
Las Vegas, NV

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#184839 - 02/01/09 12:41 AM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
dsch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/08
Posts: 325
Loc: florida
++ what pno said but satin.

I don't want to see my reflection while I am playing. It's distracting.

Pianos should be black. Other colors are more furniture-like.

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#184840 - 02/01/09 12:56 AM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
tanjinjack Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/08
Posts: 851
Loc: Malaysia
Walnut.
It is more labour-intensive to make the Walnut finish than the White finish. \:D \:D

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#184841 - 02/01/09 05:40 AM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
Beacon Chris Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/06
Posts: 465
Loc: Idaho
Melody,

I love white. Why not a white piano? Yes, resale is lower, but...

If it is your piano, get the color you like (or love)

BC
_________________________
Musician, Singer, Teacher, Humorist, Dad...

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don't want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live on in my apartment. - Woody Allen

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#184842 - 02/01/09 06:42 AM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
Melody7 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/31/09
Posts: 7
Loc: Australia
Wow! I never thought this topic would generate so much discussion (and heated opinions!).

When I said "white" I realise now I should have said "Off-white" (it's not stark white). Nonetheless, many of you think anything other than black or brown is ridiculous.

We'd be happy with either option, but at the moment we're leaning toward the Walnut (polished) - it just seems to be a safer choice - particularly regarding the re-sale situation. How long would you keep a piano for anyway before upgrading?

My dream is to have a baby grand - but I'd need a bigger house...

Any thoughts on leg style? K&C (121) offer a straight leg or a classical curved style.

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#184843 - 02/01/09 07:15 AM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
Bart Kinlein Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 715
Loc: Maryland
Have you thought about how it will look to you 5 years from now? Remember avocado kitchen appliances - or copper? :rolleyes:

I think the white would prove to be an annoyance after a few years, whereas a black or dark wood is timeless.

Also, since you aspire to a grand, it sounds like resale value should be a consideration.
_________________________
Steinway 1905 model A, rebuild started 2008, completed 2012
Yahama CVP-401
Will somone get my wife off the Steinway so I can play it!

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#184844 - 02/01/09 07:17 AM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
annifirst Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 54
Loc: Texas
I once had a black spinet. It needed to be dusted every day. I now have a plain vanilla case walnut satin. I'm nowhere near 150 years old, but that piano takes up a huge chunk of my living room, and I'd be much happier if I could have afforded a case of a style to match the remainder of my furniture. Black only? For everyone? That's crazy.
_________________________
annifirst

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#184845 - 02/01/09 08:00 AM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1555
I know it sounds strange..I like walnut for an upright but black for a grand.. and a white only if its free \:D

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#184846 - 02/01/09 11:51 AM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: Western Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by Melody7:
When I said "white" I realise now I should have said "Off-white" (it's not stark white). [/b]
A white piano is definitely not as good as an off-white piano. White can look quite antique. And I hate antiques. But off-white is beautiful! I'd call off-white, cream, french vanilla! If I could have found an off-white baby grand piano, I would have bought it!

Looks to me like more men are buying pianos than woman maybe!
_________________________
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#184847 - 02/01/09 12:45 PM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
Starting Over Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Toronto
In answer to the original question:

No, I would not buy a white piano.
_________________________
Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
Will Rogers


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#184848 - 02/01/09 12:52 PM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
Swell-Schimmel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/08
Posts: 157
Loc: Las Vegas
Well a French Vanilla piano sounds delicious.....
_________________________
1987 6'10" Schimmel C-208.

Scott
Las Vegas, NV

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#184849 - 02/03/09 05:25 AM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
Zormpas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/05
Posts: 616
Loc: Monterey, Ca
Horses for courses. No accounting for taste. All that.

Its fun spending other people's money. \:D

I vastly prefer woodgrain finishes for pianos - but then again, I like artcases too! I wouldn't want anything BUT woodgrain for an upright.

For grands, I still vastly prefer woodgrain. A close second is white or off-white (I think I share another poster's preference for off-white vs. pure white). High gloss black comes next, followed by satin black which just looks old and tired.

Which puts me in direct opposition to many/most here! But I'm weird.

Buy whatcha like, don't pay any attention to us - 'cause we're not you!
_________________________
-Zorba
"The Veiled Male"
http://www.doubleveil.net
1918 Hobart M. Cable "H"
"No-one would knowingly provide Franz Liszt with a mediocre piano." -E. M. Good

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#184850 - 02/03/09 07:41 PM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
DarkGreenChocolate Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 307
Loc: Michigan
I just went camping in Hell, Michigan. It's frozen over. I still wouldn't buy a white piano.

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#184851 - 02/03/09 09:20 PM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
ChatNoir Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/19/05
Posts: 1481
Loc: Encino, California
A real Steinway.
Now also in white.
Can you resist it?

http://webvoice.blogspot.com/img/steinway/louis-xv-ger-ornate.jpg
_________________________
Some men are music lovers. Others make love without it.

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#184852 - 02/03/09 11:02 PM Re: Would you buy a white piano?
RealPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2359
Loc: NYC
I favor satin black or wood finishes.

Curiously, where I live white finishes are popular. This fact generated many jokes when I was piano shopping. Dealers would say, "But you live in ________. Don't you want a white one?"

Actually, I would have considered a nice Steinway in white, if it played like a dream. It would have probably been a lot cheaper than in another finish, having spent years in the showroom!
_________________________
Joe

www.josephkubera.com

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