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#1859653 - 03/10/12 09:48 PM First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5
Sneakers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 21
Hi everyone - I've been reading the archives on this board for a few days, and have found a lot of useful information already.

I'm shopping for my first piano, and have had a chance to try some well prepared Kawai, Yamaha, and Charles Walter uprights. Great pianos all the way around. So far, I prefer the sound and touch of the Kawai K3/K5/K6 series the best. I wanted to try Hailun as well, but there doesn't appear to be a dealer in New England.

I have a rough idea of what these pianos should cost from Fine's guide, but I've seen several posts on this board indicating that Kawai dealers tend to discount aggressively. Like everyone who is cautious enough to visit a message board before purchasing, I'd like to know that I'm negotiating a good price. Does anyone have any recent K3/K5/K6 sale prices that they'd be willing to share?

Based on the quotes I've been given, I think the K5 is at the high end of my budget, and the K6 outside of it ($7.5k and $10k respectively). I'm ok with slightly used, but there are virtually no K3/K5/K6 pianos on ebay/pianomart/craigslist.

Any other brands - available in New England and at this price point - that I should be taking a look at before I make my decision?

Thanks so much for your help.

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#1859681 - 03/10/12 11:15 PM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: Sneakers]
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1528
Loc: Danville, California

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#1859752 - 03/11/12 07:42 AM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: Sneakers]
Sneakers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 21
Thanks Furtwangler. If you found that from CA, I probably need to brush up on my Google skills smile

I'll definitely check out the Hailuns there before I pull the trigger.

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#1859823 - 03/11/12 12:05 PM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: Sneakers]
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1528
Loc: Danville, California
Also Falcetti Music in Springfield MA may be a Hailun dealer.

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#1859857 - 03/11/12 01:01 PM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: Sneakers]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7165
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Sneakers
Thanks Furtwangler. If you found that from CA, I probably need to brush up on my Google skills smile

I'll definitely check out the Hailuns there before I pull the trigger.


Don't sweat your google abilities. The only way for a consumer to learn his nearest Hailun dealer is to e-mail the company with his name, physical address, and e-mail address. You can access that through clicking on any of the ubiquitous Hailun banner ads that punctuate forum threads. They're much easier to find than to avoid.

Furtwangler probably has a leg up on you in terms of Hailun research. He used to work for Hailun as a sales rep and also sold pianos made by them as a retailer.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1859991 - 03/11/12 04:22 PM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: Sneakers]
RJ10 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/12
Posts: 44
Loc: Chicago, IL
Hailun has a dealer locator on their home page:

http://hailun-pianos.com/

I service a lot of Kawai K's and I happen to prefer the K3 over the K5. While I like the Hailun pianos in general, I feel that the action of the Kawai is crisper, for want of a better description, than the Hailun (or Yamaha, for that matter). Either way, the K3 and K5 are terrific vertical pianos.

Best of luck
_________________________
“Music in the soul can be heard by the Universe.” ~Lao Tzu

Richard J Beebe, RPT
Piano Technician & Collaborative Pianist
Bb Piano Service
Chicago, Illinois

www.bbpianoservice.com
bbpianoservice@gmail.com

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#1860870 - 03/13/12 06:52 AM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: RJ10]
Sneakers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 21
Originally Posted By: RJ10
Hailun has a dealer locator on their home page:

http://hailun-pianos.com/

If you type into that box and click "search," nothing happens. I emailed Hailun on Saturday to ask where the nearest dealer is, and haven't gotten a reply.

I got in touch with Falcetti, but they don't carry Hailun (and have no Kawai in stock either).

I Wasn't able to reach Music Score LLC yet - I worry that the Hailun inventory detailed on their website may be their complete inventory - which would mean no place to try their 52" upright, or their grands.

We'll see. For the time being it's looking more likely that I'll end up with a Kawai.

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#1860900 - 03/13/12 08:02 AM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: RJ10]
Ovidiu M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/10
Posts: 196
Loc: Romania
Originally Posted By: RJ10
Hailun has a dealer locator on their home page:

http://hailun-pianos.com/

I service a lot of Kawai K's and I happen to prefer the K3 over the K5. While I like the Hailun pianos in general, I feel that the action of the Kawai is crisper, for want of a better description, than the Hailun (or Yamaha, for that matter). Either way, the K3 and K5 are terrific vertical pianos.

Best of luck


Would you be so kind to explain why do you prefer K3 over K5?


Edited by Ovidiu M (03/13/12 08:04 AM)

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#1860956 - 03/13/12 09:50 AM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: Sneakers]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7165
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Sneakers

If you type into that box and click "search," nothing happens. I emailed Hailun on Saturday to ask where the nearest dealer is, and haven't gotten a reply.


Hailun scores another marketing coup! laugh

I know it's not funny to you, and it probably doesn't amuse their dealers either, but things like this have plagued Hailuny in the past.

You could call or e-mail Beethoven piano in NYC, tell them where you are, and ask if there's any dealer closer to you. I don't think they're in hiding.

http://www.beethovenpianos.com/hailun.php
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1860986 - 03/13/12 10:40 AM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: Ovidiu M]
Sneakers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 21
Originally Posted By: Ovidiu M

Would you be so kind to explain why do you prefer K3 over K5?
I'd like to hear why as well. Personally, I liked the K5 better at one dealership, and the K3 better at another. It made me wonder if the pianos are close enough for it to come down to the prep work. They're only one inch apart in height. Other than the nicer key surface on the k5, are there any other significant differences?

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#1861051 - 03/13/12 12:31 PM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: Sneakers]
kdr152004 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/11
Posts: 88
i couldn't tell the difference in sound between the k3 and k5, why spend an extra 2K ?
_________________________
"Play Bach constantly. That will be your best means of progress." -F.Chopin

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#1861194 - 03/13/12 04:35 PM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: Sneakers]
Rafterman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 407
Loc: New York
Once again probably new un-prepped pianos on a dealer floor.
I had a similar experience where the K3 was prepped and the K5 was not. The K5 has the underfelted hammers as well.

In smart shopping theory it should not be $2000 more.

I went from 100% getting a K3 to ultimately buying a K8. If the dealer had not played the K6 after I played a K5 this would never have happened!

I also think that once you are in the K5 area you might as well buy the K6. It's a tremendous difference.


Edited by Rafterman (03/13/12 04:37 PM)

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#1861552 - 03/14/12 06:39 AM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: Rafterman]
Ovidiu M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/10
Posts: 196
Loc: Romania
Originally Posted By: Rafterman


I also think that once you are in the K5 area you might as well buy the K6. It's a tremendous difference.

Would you care to elaborate on that difference?

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#1861649 - 03/14/12 10:52 AM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: Ovidiu M]
Rafterman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 407
Loc: New York
Technical: Agraffes, Duplex scaling,Larger cabinet, 2.4 inch longer string length,and larger soundboard area.

Subjective: Richer overall sound,Complex overtone structure, Clear bass, fuller sound.

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#1861719 - 03/14/12 12:50 PM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: Sneakers]
Sneakers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 21
The price increase I was quoted from K3 to K6 was $4k different ($10k for the K6). I also haven't seen one in stock anywhere. At that price I would want to compare it against the Hailun grand (which I also haven't seen in stock anywhere).

I've received some PMs (thank you everyone for the messages!) suggesting that I could talk a dealer all the way down to $7k on a K6. If so, I'd be happy to pull the trigger today on one. However it sounds like a tall order to incite competition amongst dealers on a piano none of them have.

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#1861844 - 03/14/12 03:33 PM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: Ovidiu M]
RJ10 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/12
Posts: 44
Loc: Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: Ovidiu M
Originally Posted By: RJ10
Hailun has a dealer locator on their home page:

http://hailun-pianos.com/

I service a lot of Kawai K's and I happen to prefer the K3 over the K5. While I like the Hailun pianos in general, I feel that the action of the Kawai is crisper, for want of a better description, than the Hailun (or Yamaha, for that matter). Either way, the K3 and K5 are terrific vertical pianos.

Best of luck


Would you be so kind to explain why do you prefer K3 over K5?


The K3s and K5s I've played are at a local conservatory that I have been doing some work at as a piano technician. In the small practice rooms, the K3 has a fuller, less strident tone than the K5.
_________________________
“Music in the soul can be heard by the Universe.” ~Lao Tzu

Richard J Beebe, RPT
Piano Technician & Collaborative Pianist
Bb Piano Service
Chicago, Illinois

www.bbpianoservice.com
bbpianoservice@gmail.com

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#1861965 - 03/14/12 06:15 PM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: turandot]
Sneakers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 21
Originally Posted By: turandot

You could call or e-mail Beethoven piano in NYC, tell them where you are, and ask if there's any dealer closer to you. I don't think they're in hiding.

http://www.beethovenpianos.com/hailun.php
I heard from Hailun today, and this is the dealer they recommended as well. I'm on the fence about my willingness to head to NYC though. I do want to try these pianos, but I don't have a completely free weekend on the Horizon - I'd have to cram the 10 hour round trip plus time trying out pianos into a single day. We'll see.

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#1867778 - 03/24/12 03:31 PM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: Sneakers]
Willel Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 2
I'm in the same boat - buying a first piano and looking at the K5 or K3. My local dealer is offering a new K3 for $6500 but the sales rep told me I could probably convince the owner to sell it for $5800. That seems reasonable given Fine's Kawai info. But the piano I'd really like is a used K5 that is one year old and in great shape. The dealer is offering it for $8500, which seems higher than a new K5 should cost. And it's been on their showroom floor for a few months, so I would think they would be willing to negotiate. Sneakers, hope these prices give you a comparison point, and I'd be interested in others' opinion about how aggressive an offer I should consider on the K5 as it's hard to tell what a used K5 in this condition should fetch.

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#1867912 - 03/24/12 09:38 PM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: Sneakers]
SolidG Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/12
Posts: 30
Loc: New Jersey
I'm sure you already thought of this but Make sure you speak with someone at Beethoven and confirm they have what you are looking for before you make the trip. If you do go, their store is actually a really great place to browse. They have some new pianos but mostly they carry pianos that they have rebuilt or restored. You may find yourself considering a restored Mason & Hamlin upright instead of your other choices.

Beethoven is on Piano Row, on 58th street and across the street, and going East a few buildings ar several other piano retailers. Faust Harrison sells Yamahas and several other manufacturers (including Mason & Hamlin) and Allegro has Kawais and several other manufacturers. I have been to all three and found the salespersons at all three to be very helpful and decent to deal with.

You can also head one block south and a little further East on 57th Street and check out Steinway Hall. Even if you're not going to buy a Steinway (or Boston or Essex), it is a cool place to visit, if slightly stuffy.

So, you can make it a full day of testing pianos from nearly every major manufacturer. That might make it a worthwhile day trip.

By the way, as I mentioned on another post, these last few days of March seem like a great time to purchase a piano. The Kawai dealers are discounting them and you can still take advantage of the Kawai rebates. And Yamaha dealers are discounting because it is the end of Yamaha's fiscal year. I don't know if the same holds true for other makes. Good luck.

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#1867914 - 03/24/12 09:44 PM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: Willel]
Rafterman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 407
Loc: New York
Guys and gals, The Fine book is a good guide but it is not the "bible." for prices.
Larry says you have to take your market area into consideration.

Please type in the piano brand and models you are discussing in the search box.
You will find recent posts with a variety of quotes.

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#1867949 - 03/24/12 10:57 PM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: RJ10]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: RJ10
The K3s and K5s I've played are at a local conservatory that I have been doing some work at as a piano technician. In the small practice rooms, the K3 has a fuller, less strident tone than the K5.


Sometimes I think technicians hear with different ears than we players. Here, the tech, is preferring the smaller upright. Most players, I think it's fair to say, feel the opposite. Similarly, I've heard two tuners say they prefer U1 Yamahas to U3s. I've never heard a player say anything other than the opposite (though again, I'm guessing it must occasionally happen).

I have no idea what the tuners hear that most of us players do not, but in the end, it may be important for the buyer to please his or her own ears. Years ago, an audiophile friend helped me pick out stereo equipment. After the purchase he was laughing. I asked why. He said the equipment I picked was something no audiophile would every have chosen, but that he knew a bunch of musicians who had made the very same choice I did. I don't know what all this means but I find it puzzling . . .

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#1867957 - 03/24/12 11:11 PM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: jivemutha]
RJ10 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/12
Posts: 44
Loc: Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: jivemutha
Sometimes I think technicians hear with different ears than we players.


You're absolutely right about that - piano technicians and pianists listen in a completely different way. Many long-time pianists who begin to train as technicians have a difficult time learning to hear as a tuner does.

Also, I've recently been tuning a bunch of K8s that are absolutely wonderful.
_________________________
“Music in the soul can be heard by the Universe.” ~Lao Tzu

Richard J Beebe, RPT
Piano Technician & Collaborative Pianist
Bb Piano Service
Chicago, Illinois

www.bbpianoservice.com
bbpianoservice@gmail.com

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#1867979 - 03/25/12 12:36 AM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: RJ10]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: RJ10
You're absolutely right about that - piano technicians and pianists listen in a completely different way. Many long-time pianists who begin to train as technicians have a difficult time learning to hear as a tuner does.

Also, I've recently been tuning a bunch of K8s that are absolutely wonderful.


There I think many players would agree with you! Except, perhaps, the jazz players, who generally prefer U3s to K8s. I guess we all hear through different ears. Still, these differences are intriguing.

'Sounds like you might know something about the differences between what players hear and what techs hear. If so, I don't think I'd be the only one interested in reading whatever light you might be able to shine on this subject.

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#1867996 - 03/25/12 12:51 AM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: jivemutha]
Rafterman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 407
Loc: New York
Recently someone had picked up a Kawai K3 in NJ area for $4500.
I started out with the intent of getting a K3 but came into a fortunate situation and I am getting a Kawai K8. It would be a good idea to research the model from past posts.

It helped me out tremendously $$$$.

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#1868088 - 03/25/12 08:12 AM Re: First purchase - leaning towards Kawai K5 [Re: Sneakers]
Sneakers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 21
Willel, $8500 is not an acceptable price on a used K5, and I would encourage you to be careful with a dealer who has such an obvious disrespect for the intelligence of their customers.

I've seen more than one dealer with a pre-negotiating sticker price of $7000 on new K5s.

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