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#1997605 - 12/10/12 09:41 PM Roland KR-1070 digital grand - technology?
supra92 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 8
Loc: Austin, TX
Supra92 here, back after a fairly long hiatus. It seems my last posts were circa 2009, when I was shopping for a digital grand piano (Roland, Yamaha, Kawai in the full baby grand 5'-type cabinets), right around the time that BillM bought his Roland KR-17M. (Bill - how are you liking that after a few years?) Well, tempus fugit, but I've continued my piano search and finally seem to have found another reasonably-priced digital grand.

A local church is selling their Roland KR-1070 digital grand, and for what appears to be a quite reasonable price. There are two major caveats that I see with this situation:

1. It's literally been in the church since brand new ('99? '00?), and thus has likely seen fairly heavy use by a lot of different people. The case has some blemishes, but nothing outrageous -- the worst scuffs are on the piano legs.

2. It's not recent technology. Introduced around 1998, it was absolutely top of the line at the time, but its 64-note polyphony rather pales against the 128- and 192- polyphony that we're accustomed to seeing in recent years.

Is anyone familiar with this piano, and thus able to comment on it? It really is a beautiful piano, and the soundboard is in perfect shape. It sounds pretty nice to my ears, but being somewhat hearing impaired, I'm not the best person to assess piano sound quality. While it thusly isn't as critical for me, I'd be playing for others much of the time and I'd like people to enjoy that to which they're listening.

The church is asking roughly $3k for this KR-1070. Doesn't strike me as obscenely overpriced, since it's barely 1/3rd of what a new'ish Kawai CP207 would fetch.... but on the other hand I'm curious if folks here would say "walk away" simply due to the age and 64-polyphony aspects. I recognise that much of a piano purchase is personal preference... but since these are not small purchases I would appreciate others' thoughts on whether this is a solid value on an older-but-still-incredible instrument, or whether the technology is so outdated that it's not worth spending even a modest sum of money on.

Thanks, and cheers,

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#1997610 - 12/10/12 09:51 PM Re: Roland KR-1070 digital grand - technology? [Re: supra92]
ando Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 4374
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: supra92
it's barely 1/3rd of what a new'ish Kawai CP207 would fetch.... but on the other hand I'm curious if folks here would say "walk away" simply due to the age and 64-polyphony aspects.


But if you are still somehow drawn to it, make sure it's very cheap.

#1997731 - 12/11/12 04:40 AM Re: Roland KR-1070 digital grand - technology? [Re: supra92]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2692
Loc: UK
I wouldn't worry about the polyphony unless you are an advanced classical player. I would worry about the state of the keyboard action. Also any hidden damage from 'pests'.

#1997947 - 12/11/12 03:24 PM Re: Roland KR-1070 digital grand - technology? [Re: spanishbuddha]
supra92 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 8
Loc: Austin, TX
Appreciate the replies. Agreed about the age and keyboard action condition -- the latter of which is admittedly rather difficult for me to assess, seeing as I've not played piano on anything resembling a regular basis in 20 years, and this being my first digital piano purchase. I guess I'm picturing kids at the church (it's also a school) hammering that poor thing to pieces. OTOH, the piano really is in great physical condition considering it's spent over 10 years at that place -- they clearly have kept it covered and been reasonably careful with it. There's several scratches and small gouges around the legs, but only one or two mild scratches on the edges of the actual piano itself. No real way to know whether the church ensured that only the pianist/organist and music director played it, or whether they just let it be a free-for-all with the kids. I doubt the latter, honestly, but... there really just is no way to know.

The keyboard felt reasonably tight to me, but of course with high-pitch hearing loss I'm not able to assess the upper octaves very well. May bring along a friend later this week who could better assess it. It's rather strange feeling like such a newbie re: piano assessment after having the piano be such a huge/central part of my life from ages 5-16.

I see a pair of used KR-1070s on craigslist in two other cities, currently listed for $7k and $6k... albeit with far fewer miles on them and more of a pristine case condition. That seems extraordinarily high, given how old the tech is.

And ando, I suppose I have to admit that I'm somehow trying to make this piano work -- I am absolutely drawn to the "real" 5-ft cabinet digital grands (KR-1070, KR-17M, KR-117M, Kawai CP205/207D/209, Yamaha CGP-1000), and they are just typically rather out of reach for me, pricewise. The fact that this one is sitting here at $3k, and that the church has indicated in their ad to "make an offer"... I suppose I'm looking to make this work simply because it's so rare to find this type of piano in this price range. *Fully* appreciate/understand the adages of "if it seems too good to be true..." and "you get what you pay for", etc... but also recognise that this might be a solid and unusual opportunity as well, especially since the piano seemed to pass most initial tests in my short visit yesterday. I believe the church music director when he says they're selling it because it's too large and they're tired of rolling it around on the dolley all the time in/out of the storage closet, where it blocks access to everything else. Don't want to be foolish, either, and thus my welcoming of opinions/insights from others here prior to making any sort of decision.

One last thing -- I did bring along my little iRiver and recorded myself playing the very beginning of Moonlight Sonata (it's the only piece to which I semi-sortof remember the beginning, by memory) on the four different "grand piano" sounds that the KR-1070 offers. I also recorded a very VERY basic snippet of one of Bach's organwerks (BWV767, O Gott Du Frommer Gott) on the piano's "church organ" setting. Would it be at all useful to upload the MP3 of those here, somehow, so that people could listen and assess whether there's anything clearly wrong with the piano's sound? Granted the iRiver is older (circa 2004), but it does do a rather respectable job of recording sound through its internal speaker. If there's a way to upload, let me know and I'll happily do so.

Thanks again,


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