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#2002417 - 12/20/12 11:48 PM Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck?
TrueMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/12
Posts: 254
Loc: San Diego, California
So today I had a piano tech come by and give me piano a look over and tuning, and his comments weren't exactly positive. Basically, like I thought before he came, most of the bass strings are dead, as are a number of the higher notes in the treble. The hammers are hard and need to be voiced, the hammers are sitting almost a half inch to far away from the strings, and there were a number of other problems I'm not remembering currently. Essentially, his comments boiled down to this: We could get your piano back to a decent level with $600-$800, but that would be putting over half the value of the piano [he estimated ~$1200] into it and we really wouldn't get a worthwhile return on the investment, and to get it up to tip-top shape would cost a lot more than $600.

But, basically, this spawned new thoughts in my head about finding a way to get a better piano, and tonight my parents agreed to look into it! My dad said he would consider a rough price range of $10,000 for right now. The tech that came by recommended looking into Yamaha's for a solid bang for buck, and a local piano store has a sale on a GB1k for $10,000 even that ends on December 31st. Obviously I'm gonna be looking around a lot over the next few weeks and visit loads of shops, but what is your guy's opinion of the best grands for roughly $10,000?
_________________________
Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20

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#2002431 - 12/21/12 12:50 AM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
ju5t1n-h Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/12
Posts: 179
Loc: Vancouver, British Columbia
oooh I want to follow this, I want to know about the GB1K as well. That's the 4"11 baby right? looks pretty small, but i played one today and it actually sounded really good IMO
_________________________
Essex EUP-123S


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#2002455 - 12/21/12 02:34 AM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
Sam Rose Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 669
Loc: Los Angeles
In the private used market, you should be able to get a very nice Yamaha C3 (or similar) for that price range. Be sure to have it inspected before buying, and pay attention to age and usage (you want to get one that's as new as possible and was played as little as possible). I wouldn't settle for a GB1K at your price range. But that's just me laugh
_________________________
Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
"You can play better than BachMach2." - Mark_C
Currently Butchering:
Chopin Ballade no 1 in G minor Op.23
My Piano Diary: http://www.youtube.com/sirsardonic
♪ > $

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#2002464 - 12/21/12 03:43 AM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
TrueMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/12
Posts: 254
Loc: San Diego, California
I definitely am going to spend some time in the private market. I'd rather get something higher quality and used than new and lower quality. So yes! I sent my piano teacher an email asking him for advice and to come shopping with me, so I'm certainly aware that I need to be careful and get someone experienced to check the piano out for me, and who better than my teacher [who knows more about pianos than anyone else I know] and he knows more about my playing and needs than anyone else!
_________________________
Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20

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#2002477 - 12/21/12 05:27 AM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
Acca Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/12
Posts: 67
Have you looked at the Kawai GM10K ? Kawai has ABS composite parts for the action, which supposedly have a more consistent feel and is not affected by warping and humidity. I think the Kawai might also be slightly cheaper than the Yamaha. (I think the GM10K has a slightly cheaper version of kawai's trademark Millenium 3 action though) Both those models are made in Indonesia (hence cheaper), but quality control should be pretty good now.

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#2002486 - 12/21/12 06:02 AM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
Dara Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/18/09
Posts: 1028
Loc: west coast island, canada
Hello TM,
I began my search with about the same budget... 10k
Looked at lots of used and new pianos, below and well beyond 10K.
If 10K is your limit than perhaps best to hold out to find a good piano on the used market. Takes patience, time, travel, tech evaluation, synchronicity, and perhaps luck. As well as desirable sound, touch, condition and aesthetics.
It's often mentioned here that there are new pianos from the oriental market that have vastly improved over the past decade that also may fit your budget or slightly above, depending on the size of piano. Lots of info in the online Piano Buyer (click on ad on side column) and numerous past threads here on PW.
I eventually decided to buy new, and increased my savings and budget to do so.
Best wishes in your piano search.

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#2002505 - 12/21/12 07:55 AM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
jdw Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 946
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
I started out with a budget of $10,000 also, but wound up going somewhat higher to get my used Baldwin. Some people have been able to find comparable pianos for less, but this was by far the best deal I found in months of searching; I think a lot depends on your local market.

I did not like the pianos for sale new at that price range, but I know some people have been very happy with Brodmann or Hailun pianos (or Yamaha or Kawai, of course).
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Grieg, Papillon
Mozart, K 330
Brahms, Op. 118 no. 2

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#2002579 - 12/21/12 10:27 AM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19230
Loc: New York City
I mostly agree with all the advice so far. The ideal "value" is probably a lightly used and recent vintage used piano because the greatest depreciation occurs in the first few years. If you are lucky you can get a piano in virtually new condition for considerably less than what a brand new piano would cost. Even if you are concerned about the cosmetic condition(which seems not to be the case), it is possible to greatly improve or virtually eliminate many cosmetic problems for several hundred dollars by hiring a good piano touch up artist.

But buying a used piano usually requires much more patience/time and more care to avoid serious problems. I don't think it's a good idea to rush into buying the Yamaha because of its sale price. Any subsequent price increase is going to be a pretty small percentage.

Very important to realize that the small Yamaha may still sound great to you in comparison to your present piano. That's one reason it's important to play as many pianos in varying price ranges, sizes, and qualities to familiarize yourself with what the possibilities are.

At 10K you could also consider the better Chinese grands which usually get favorable reviews or even tall and high quality uprights. Verticals may not have the appeal of a grand but some people think at the 10K level are actually superior to a very small and/or relatively lower quality grand.


Edited by pianoloverus (12/21/12 10:34 AM)

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#2002609 - 12/21/12 11:15 AM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 3448
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
I service a lot of the Hallet, Davis 187s which have been sold out here, and I think they're a great value. They've held up very well. Lots of power.

--Cy--
_________________________
Cy Shuster, RPT
505-265-4234
www.shusterpiano.com
www.facebook.com/shusterpiano
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Registered Piano Technician
Dampp-Chaser Certified Installer
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#2002615 - 12/21/12 11:26 AM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21303
Loc: Oakland
I think that if you are buying a new piano, the best model of a less-expensive brand is more apt to be a better deal than a secondary model of a more-expensive brand, as the latter is definitely not the best piano that maker can build. It is not always the case, however.

Since you have experience with pianos, go out and try a bunch of them. This will be a learning experience that will teach you to appreciate whatever you get more.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2002621 - 12/21/12 11:37 AM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
Guapo Gabacho Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/11
Posts: 430
Loc: Rio Grande Valley of Texas
Originally Posted By: TrueMusic
... a local piano store has a sale on a GB1k for $10,000 even that ends on December 31st.


Don't fall for that one, kid. Take your time and shop 'till you drop, deals abound as it is a buyer's market.
_________________________
'86 Baldwin SF-10

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#2002673 - 12/21/12 01:29 PM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
jazzpianist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/07
Posts: 143
Loc: London
I have had excellent experience of Brodmann pianos. Some say that they don't or won't last, but I cannot see any evidence for this. I play three quite often, and they're all good. They're lasting so far!

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#2002721 - 12/21/12 02:57 PM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
TrueMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/12
Posts: 254
Loc: San Diego, California
Alright, well I'll be spending a lot of time hunting the used market then! Craigslist has some offers that definitely catch my attention [one dealer, and I'll say it's one of SD's more reputable dealers, has a post claiming used steinways for $10,000] and a I found a few nice looking Baldwin's well within my price range. I definitely realize now that if I want a quality instrument, than I'm much better off being patient and buying something used but still nice. Ideally, I'd like to find a piano ~6'0" range, that's probably about the largest I can convince my parents to let me put into the living room. :P

Also, what do you guys think of Weber piano's? found a 7ft grand that claims to have just been tuned and voiced [obviously need to go play it] but they only want $7000. Never played a Weber before though. There's also a Yamaha MARK III and C5 that are above my price range, but I might try calling and working something out.



Edited by TrueMusic (12/21/12 03:22 PM)
_________________________
Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20

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#2002747 - 12/21/12 03:54 PM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
Briguy65 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 285
Loc: So California
Play as many as you can first, even new ones above and below your price range, even at a piano store, so you can decide what sort of sound you like. Once you narrow that down you can probably ask more questions here and get advice. While every piano is different, many brands have certain tendencies that people either like or dislike or even don't care about. For instance, I'm not a big fan of a clear "bell-like" treble, but many people are.

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#2002857 - 12/21/12 09:26 PM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1912
Loc: Philadelphia area
I always suggest new pianos. New strings. New soundboard. etc. And a warranty. In the Philadelphia area, Cunningham grands fit your price range. They are well made and have a nice sound.

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#2002877 - 12/21/12 10:45 PM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
RickG1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/09/10
Posts: 301
Loc: TX
Yes, PLEASE don't get in a hurry!!! As stated, the Dec. 31 deadline should not rush you into something you will regret. Take your time, have fun!! I know I would. LOL
_________________________
Mason-Hamlin "A"
Steinway "B"
Baldwin console

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#2002928 - 12/22/12 02:26 AM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
TrueMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/12
Posts: 254
Loc: San Diego, California
I'll take my time and enjoy. I plan to take a trip to North SD tomorrow to play some pianos at a couple reputable piano stores in San Diego. I called one store today, talked to him about my price range and he said he had a few rebuilt ones in stock that are great, so I'll check them out! I think my ideal right now is a Yamaha. the owner of the store told me he has a Mason & Hamlin in my range that interests me, my favorite piano on earth is a mason & hamlin concert grand at my church that is simply gorgeous. But we'll see! The adventure starts tomorrow!
_________________________
Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20

Top
#2002970 - 12/22/12 06:31 AM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9143
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Here is my totally biased list of new pianos to consider in this range.

Hailun, Brodmann, Knabe, Perzina, Pramberger

If you want to speak with David Andersen in Los Angeles you could consider a new Cunningham (although David doesn't stock 5 ft. grands from any maker, I don't think)

I would not consider a gm1 or a gbk1. If you must have a Yamaha or Kawai, step up to a higher model.

As others have already said, there is certainly the used market to consider. You can find a good piano in this market or you can wind up with something less than desirable - it depends on how much time you put into carefully considering instruments as they present themselves. Also, have a technician available who has your trust.

Good Luck!
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Get Cunningham Piano Email Updates

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#2003034 - 12/22/12 10:27 AM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8422
Loc: Georgia, USA
I'd take a close look at the 7' Weber for $7K. Not a bad price, if it is in good condition.

I think you'll find a noticeable difference in the tone, (especially the low bass) of semi-concert grand vs. a baby grand.

Good luck and keep us informed!

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#2003041 - 12/22/12 10:38 AM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19230
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: TrueMusic
Also, what do you guys think of Weber piano's? found a 7ft grand that claims to have just been tuned and voiced [obviously need to go play it
but they only want $7000. Never played a Weber before though. There's also a Yamaha MARK III and C5 that are above my price range, but I might try calling and working something out.
You should start asking the owners of any pianos for a lot more information about pianos before looking at them even if they are only a short distance away or before asking about them here. For example, what is the year for this piano? Also, don't put too much regard for statements like "it's just been voiced". They're often almost meaningless IMO.

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#2003197 - 12/22/12 05:59 PM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
Bosendorff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 262
As previously mentioned, don't buy before you also try brand new Asian grands like Hailun, Ritmuller, Heintzman, Pramberger, etc. Just bought myself one and it's a great value for the price, since you have a limited budget too.

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#2003254 - 12/22/12 09:43 PM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17748
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
In the $10,000 range the best value I've come across is the New Cunningham, which I had the opportunity to try out last summer. It sounds from Rich's post above that a dealer near you carries it; if so, I'd definitely encourage you to try it out. It had the best bass for a piano in that price range that I've ever heard. smile

Of course, I'm biased toward Mason & Hamlin myself, but I'm curious to hear more details about the one you're going to look at soon. At the $10K price point I'm guessing it's an unrestored model, so a lot will depend on how old it is and what kind of condition it is in.

Keep us posted, and enjoy the shopping experience. smile
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#2003286 - 12/22/12 11:59 PM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
TrueMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/12
Posts: 254
Loc: San Diego, California
Well, spent the day at a couple different piano shops here in San Diego...found an incredible deal on a Yamaha C7 that sounded GORGEOUS and my parents said we could figure out a way to make space for it. I'm gonna get a tech down to check out the piano and give it a thumbs up, but I may of found it already. [If the piano is solid, the deal is much to good to pass up.] We'd be going a bit over the $10,000 budget, but I'm praying my parents back over the next couple years anyways [so it become my piano] so it will be fine.

But, I'm stoked if the C7 works out.
_________________________
Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20

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#2003438 - 12/23/12 10:02 AM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19230
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: TrueMusic
Well, spent the day at a couple different piano shops here in San Diego...found an incredible deal on a Yamaha C7 that sounded GORGEOUS and my parents said we could figure out a way to make space for it. I'm gonna get a tech down to check out the piano and give it a thumbs up, but I may of found it already. [If the piano is solid, the deal is much to good to pass up.] We'd be going a bit over the $10,000 budget, but I'm praying my parents back over the next couple years anyways [so it become my piano] so it will be fine.

But, I'm stoked if the C7 works out.
Buy the piano, not the deal.

While some people, like myself, spend an inordinate amount of time searching for a piano and that may be a mistake, I think two days of looking is, in general, a mistake. How can you possibly know what the possibilities are after two days? Also, why is this piano such a deal? If it's priced much less than the usual price for a Yamaha of the same age, there's usually a good reason why and it's may not be that the dealership is giving away Christmas presents. At least make sure the tech has no connection with the dealer and is giving you a very honest and knowledgeable evaluation.

What is the year for this C7?


Edited by pianoloverus (12/23/12 10:08 AM)

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#2003444 - 12/23/12 10:16 AM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8422
Loc: Georgia, USA
I know how you feel about the C7... I played an old, warn-out C7 at a dealer while looking at another piano, and fell in love with it, even in the warn-out condition.

So, I set my sights on a C7 and finally found one I could afford.

Keep us informed...

All the best!

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#2003501 - 12/23/12 01:13 PM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
Guapo Gabacho Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/11
Posts: 430
Loc: Rio Grande Valley of Texas
Originally Posted By: TrueMusic
We'd be going a bit over the $10,000 budget...


If the piano checks out, tell them your budget is $10,000 and offer it. Be prepared to walk away and for the acceptance call the next day.
_________________________
'86 Baldwin SF-10

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#2003529 - 12/23/12 02:19 PM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: Guapo Gabacho]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19230
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Guapo Gabacho
Originally Posted By: TrueMusic
We'd be going a bit over the $10,000 budget...


If the piano checks out, tell them your budget is $10,000 and offer it. Be prepared to walk away and for the acceptance call the next day.
Complete speculation about what might occur.

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#2003533 - 12/23/12 02:40 PM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21303
Loc: Oakland
There are only two possible replies, yes or no.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2003553 - 12/23/12 03:37 PM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: pianoloverus]
TrueMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/12
Posts: 254
Loc: San Diego, California
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Buy the piano, not the deal.

While some people, like myself, spend an inordinate amount of time searching for a piano and that may be a mistake, I think two days of looking is, in general, a mistake. How can you possibly know what the possibilities are after two days? Also, why is this piano such a deal? If it's priced much less than the usual price for a Yamaha of the same age, there's usually a good reason why and it's may not be that the dealership is giving away Christmas presents. At least make sure the tech has no connection with the dealer and is giving you a very honest and knowledgeable evaluation.

What is the year for this C7?


Well, this C7, besides a couple of the steinways that were four times the cost, was the nicest piano I played yesterday. So I would be buying the piano, but the deal would make me want to buy quicker.

I am still looking at other pianos, I'm driving down to check out the Weber in a few minutes. I'm not 100% that I NEED the C7, but it just was quite a find.

I've sent emails to a couple techs I know and I'm going to try to get one down there after Christmas. I'm certainly not buying it till a tech checks it out.

If I remember, the piano was an 87 or something. Somewhere around there.

Originally Posted By: Rickster
I know how you feel about the C7... I played an old, warn-out C7 at a dealer while looking at another piano, and fell in love with it, even in the warn-out condition.

So, I set my sights on a C7 and finally found one I could afford.

Keep us informed...

All the best!

Rick


Thanks! It really was a gorgeous piano. This one seemed to my untrained eye to be in great condition [nothing visible on the body that would have made me nervous, action was perfect, strings sounded great, pedals were all perfectly functioning, and overall it seemed to be in excellent condition. But again, I'm not a trained tech.

Originally Posted By: Guapo Gabacho
Originally Posted By: TrueMusic
We'd be going a bit over the $10,000 budget...


If the piano checks out, tell them your budget is $10,000 and offer it. Be prepared to walk away and for the acceptance call the next day.



He's already dropped the price about $13,000 for a buyer who was going to take it ahead of me but the guys credit didn't drop. It's not so far out of the budget that we can't do his asking price.

Also, one thing that gives me hope for the piano - his shop offers a 5 year warranty on all parts and labor for the piano, and that's included in the price. So that gives me some hope the piano is actually a fantastic deal, not just a dud. [if the dealer knew it was a bad piano, why would he offer to give it a 5 year warranty?]
_________________________
Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20

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#2003565 - 12/23/12 04:21 PM Re: Advice: ~$10,000 price range, best bang for the buck? [Re: TrueMusic]
Guapo Gabacho Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/11
Posts: 430
Loc: Rio Grande Valley of Texas
Originally Posted By: TrueMusic
if the dealer knew it was a bad piano, why would he offer to give it a 5 year warranty?]


Because normal wear and tear is not included and other than that, what is warranted?
_________________________
'86 Baldwin SF-10

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