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#1985190 - 11/10/12 11:59 PM Opinion wanted!! Shigeru sk3 vs Bechstein a190
Icefox Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 26
Hi Guys,

I've been hunting a grand for my new house. After weeks of test playing I set my heart on Shigeru Kawai SK3 and Bechstein A190. To be honest I slightly prefer Shigeru which has a very pure and highly controllable sound (much more brilliant when played forte). Bechstein seems a bit too bright for my taste and also seems less variant when played piano vs forte, but it also has a pure sound which I like. (I like pure sound so I ruled out Mason and Steinway.) My wife says she likes Bechstein, but I feel she is also swayed a bit by the German name.

When I asked for "bottom line" quotes, I was offered $38.5k on Shigeru SK3 and $39.5k on Bechstein A190, including tax shipping etc. I think I should be able to get another 1-2k off. So what do you guys think of these prices? Any comments on these two pianos? Also can some one educate me about Bechstein Academy series -- are they as good as the C-series? Are they made in German or not?

Best regards,
Bin

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#1985219 - 11/11/12 02:34 AM Re: Opinion wanted!! Shigeru sk3 vs Bechstein a190 [Re: Icefox]
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6186
Both pianos are fine, and the price difference seems minute.
Seems to me this is more a matter of getting what *you* like better vs. getting what *your wife* likes better. Different couples resolve this sort of issue differently. Good luck resolving this with your wife.
_________________________
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

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#1985224 - 11/11/12 02:47 AM Re: Opinion wanted!! Shigeru sk3 vs Bechstein a190 [Re: Icefox]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3612
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Icefox
Also can some one educate me about Bechstein Academy series -- are they as good as the C-series? Are they made in German or not?

Best regards,
Bin


I was told that anything that says "C. Bechstein" on it is a German model. If it only says "Bechstein" it's not German made.

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#1985225 - 11/11/12 02:48 AM Re: Opinion wanted!! Shigeru sk3 vs Bechstein a190 [Re: Icefox]
Robert 45 Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 1263
Loc: Auckland New Zealand
Hello Bin,
Welcome to Pianoworld!
I am no expert in either the Bechstein Academy series pianos or the Shigeru Kawai instruments, but as far as I know, Bechstein Academy pianos are outsourced and not made entirely in the C. Bechstein factory in Germany. I believe that they used to be assembled in Poland although now, that may have changed.

Shigeru Kawai are of the course the "crème de la crème" of Kawai production and just a small number are made each year. The Bechstein Academy pianos are a cheaper variant of the C. Bechstein instruments and are probably produced in greater numbers than Shigeru Kawai.

As you are the prospective purchaser, you should allow your mind and fingers to help you decide in playing both pianos. Choose the piano which you like the most, irrespective of brand name.
From your comments it seems that you have almost made your choice.

Good luck!

Robert.

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#1985244 - 11/11/12 05:47 AM Re: Opinion wanted!! Shigeru sk3 vs Bechstein a190 [Re: ando]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1958
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: Icefox
Also can some one educate me about Bechstein Academy series -- are they as good as the C-series? Are they made in German or not?

Best regards,
Bin


I was told that anything that says "C. Bechstein" on it is a German model. If it only says "Bechstein" it's not German made.


The Bechstein website says the Academy models are made in Germany. Maybe some of the parts come from elsewhere.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#1985284 - 11/11/12 09:18 AM Re: Opinion wanted!! Shigeru sk3 vs Bechstein a190 [Re: Icefox]
Icefox Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 26
Guys, thanks a lot for the inputs. How about price -- any idea where the "true" prices are? I hate the fact that piano prices are so not transparent, even more so than a car's price.

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#1985286 - 11/11/12 09:21 AM Re: Opinion wanted!! Shigeru sk3 vs Bechstein a190 [Re: Icefox]
Lakeside Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/04/12
Posts: 108
Loc: Beijing China
I appreciate the pure, natural, bright and mellow sound, compared Boston, Yamaha, Fazioli, etc., I really like the voice of the Shigeru Kawai SK-3. It is very close to the sound I select audio equipment standard, natural, without modification. If you like the sound of the SK-3, for me, in touch and quality control and cost-effective, there is no suspense. Therefore, I chose the Shigeru Kawai SK-3. The past 2 years, I am even more obsessed with my SK If some regret, I think I should buy SK-5. This is my personal feeling, for reference only.


Edited by Lakeside (11/15/12 12:37 AM)
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK-3
Kawai CA95

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#1985287 - 11/11/12 09:22 AM Re: Opinion wanted!! Shigeru sk3 vs Bechstein a190 [Re: Icefox]
dsch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/08
Posts: 325
Loc: florida
I don't know where you are but there is a lightly used 2000 SK-5 in Garden Grove, CA for $35.8.

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#1985319 - 11/11/12 11:13 AM Re: Opinion wanted!! Shigeru sk3 vs Bechstein a190 [Re: dsch]
Icefox Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 26
Originally Posted By: dsch
I don't know where you are but there is a lightly used 2000 SK-5 in Garden Grove, CA for $35.8.

Ha! I just saw it on eBay. Would you think I'm totally crazy if I am to buy that one (possibly without even looking at it) in CA and ship it to NC where I live? Also do you think $35.8 can be chopped down still by a few thousands?

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#1985359 - 11/11/12 01:07 PM Re: Opinion wanted!! Shigeru sk3 vs Bechstein a190 [Re: Icefox]
panche23 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/07
Posts: 51
Loc: Arizona/Calif
Bin:

The price you were quoted is very good for a new SK3, its something to seriously consider. Is the SK3 you are looking at have the straight legs or the ice cream cone legs?

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#1985362 - 11/11/12 01:14 PM Re: Opinion wanted!! Shigeru sk3 vs Bechstein a190 [Re: Icefox]
AJF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 1625
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: Icefox
Guys, thanks a lot for the inputs. How about price -- any idea where the "true" prices are? I hate the fact that piano prices are so not transparent, even more so than a car's price.


Just check out PianoBuyer online. All the info you need on pricing is there.

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#1985364 - 11/11/12 01:20 PM Re: Opinion wanted!! Shigeru sk3 vs Bechstein a190 [Re: Icefox]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10490
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
You seem to be pre-occupied with price.

You will have this instrument for the rest of your life. You have found pianos that you like, at reasonable prices, within your budget.

Focus on the instruments.
_________________________
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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#1985370 - 11/11/12 01:52 PM Re: Opinion wanted!! Shigeru sk3 vs Bechstein a190 [Re: Icefox]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14139
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
"Pre-occupation with price" is often present when considering 2 similar quality pianos. [provided they "are"..]

Honesty about product and the representation of it is equally important.

This is of course for consumers to answer.

Good luck in making the choice!

Norbert
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#1985572 - 11/12/12 12:18 AM Re: Opinion wanted!! Shigeru sk3 vs Bechstein a190 [Re: Steve Cohen]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
You seem to be pre-occupied with price.

You will have this instrument for the rest of your life. You have found pianos that you like, at reasonable prices, within your budget.

Focus on the instruments.


Ya, maybe, maybe not. I'm now on my 4th acoustic piano. One was a Shigeru and it was an amazing instrument for the most part. Suffice to say that I thought it would be my last purchase, but I bought too small, and have since bought a bigger piano.

All that being said, the new SK3s are great pianos, especially so after the MPA visit.
_________________________
Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.



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#1985947 - 11/12/12 11:59 PM Re: Opinion wanted!! Shigeru sk3 vs Bechstein a190 [Re: Axtremus]
shortie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/08/12
Posts: 11
Originally Posted By: Axtremus
Both pianos are fine, and the price difference seems minute.
Seems to me this is more a matter of getting what *you* like better vs. getting what *your wife* likes better. Different couples resolve this sort of issue differently. Good luck resolving this with your wife.


It's better when there's only one pianist in a family. I am the player, he is the payer.

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