Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#2014091 - 01/13/13 08:36 PM Buying Advice
Dan24012 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/08/13
Posts: 8
Loc: Greater Washington, DC
Hi,

I am in the market for piano for my kids. My first one has been taking lessons for 10 years and has grown out of our current upright. She plays classical music very well and also a gifted violinist, but, she does not want to be a music major in college. The younger one is still young having taken lessons only for about two years, but I am hoping she will keep up with the piano until she finishes high school.

After playing quite a number of pianos, Yamaha has been ruled out completely as they seem to be very bright for her tastes. She preferred the Kawai RX/ K5-K8 and also tried a used Steinway L (mid 1990s) and liked it a lot (a 10 in her mind vs 7-8 for the Kawai).

So, I would like to get expert opinions on the following:

1. Would a new Kawai RX-3 or the Steinway L be an overkill in this situation?

2. If it is, what should I be focusing on? The K5 or K8 models of Kawai sounded nice to her, but, she says there is no way they sound as good as the grands.

3. If it is not, what should be the cost of these two pianos now? I did see a couple of posts in here for RX-3 around $22k. I haven't talked price with the shop that has the used Steinway L.

4. I am a little wary of buying new having been told there will be up to 50% depreciation in case things change and I need to get rid of the piano. So, private sales don't interest me that much either because of the difficulty of getting the right price.

Will appreciate your thoughts.

Dan.
_________________________
Music has always been transnational;
people pick up whatever interests them,
and certainly a lot of classical music has
absorbed influences from all over the world.
-Yo-Yo Ma

Top
(ads 568) Hailun Pianos

#2014109 - 01/13/13 09:22 PM Re: Buying Advice [Re: Dan24012]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
Hi Dan - Welcome to Piano World!

Believe me, you are not the first to be in this situation. A good grand is never overkill. It is the proper instrument for young talented pianists.

Your older daughter has developed to the point where she not only knows which action responds better, but most importantly, has developed her ear to recognize the tonal variations (color) available on a grand. I doubt that any upright would totally satisfy her.

I agree with you about the Yamahas, and apparently so does your daughter.

$22K would possibly be the price on a used RX-3, but not for a new one. You would be looking at in excess of $35K for a new instrument.

The important factor about the Steinway would be its condition. An inspection by a qualified piano technician is a must, even if it is in a retail shop. Good Steinways hold high value. You could easily be in the same range as the new Kawai, but it could also be a much better instrument.

Good luck and please ask as many questions as you need.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

Top
#2014113 - 01/13/13 09:34 PM Re: Buying Advice [Re: Minnesota Marty]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty

$22K would possibly be the price on a used RX-3, but not for a new one. You would be looking at in excess of $35K for a new instrument.



Not where I live, and I live in Canada where things are inexplicably higher priced here. I believe a new RX3 is probably closer to 23K-24K before tax, so I'd imagine in the states 22K might be doable.

If you are looking at getting a Yamaha or Kawai though, I'd shop privately and save yourself the depreciation. There's not much that can go wrong with either of these brands, and if they're still under warranty so much the better. Maybe you can get a used RX5 or RX6 for less than you might expect.
_________________________
Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.



Top
#2014181 - 01/14/13 01:28 AM Re: Buying Advice [Re: Dan24012]
musicpassion Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 900
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: Dan24012
1. Would a new Kawai RX-3 or the Steinway L be an overkill in this situation?

As long as you can afford it, no. I think you should get the best instrument you can.

Quote:
2. If it is, what should I be focusing on? The K5 or K8 models of Kawai sounded nice to her, but, she says there is no way they sound as good as the grands.

If you can afford the grand, have space for the grand, and she likes the grand better, then cross the uprights off your shopping list.

Quote:
3. If it is not, what should be the cost of these two pianos now? I did see a couple of posts in here for RX-3 around $22k. I haven't talked price with the shop that has the used Steinway L.

Prices depend on your location, your negotiation abilites, etc.

Quote:
4. I am a little wary of buying new having been told there will be up to 50% depreciation in case things change and I need to get rid of the piano. So, private sales don't interest me that much either because of the difficulty of getting the right price.


There is depreciation, certainly. 50% sounds high to me, but I've never studied the question. If you are concerned about private party purchases there are some dealers who carry extensive inventory of used pianos. They might be a little higher price than a private party sale, but it does remove some of the risk. I think an excellent condition used piano is where the buyer can find the best value.
_________________________
Pianist and Piano Teacher

Top
#2014281 - 01/14/13 08:19 AM Re: Buying Advice [Re: Dan24012]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11422
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
There is definitely a difference in the feel and sound of a grand vs. an upright. I would not get an upright at this point for the older daughter, and it's a good "investment" for the younger one to be able to play on a good grand.

As far as resale value goes, if you are hoping your young one will stay with piano through high school, you wouldn't be looking to sell until then. I'm assuming this is a ways off, and who knows what will happen? Perhaps the oldest will want to have the grand in her home someday. So to buy with just the idea of reselling is not the angle to take on getting a piano. It's a poor investment monetarily when compared with other financial investment vehicles.

There are great advantages to buying new, but certainly buying something that is slightly used you can get more bang for your buck if everything checks out with the piano tech and your daughter. I think you could certainly do well with purchasing from a private party. You are assuming that people will always sell for too much, but that is not always the case. There are those that are in a hurry to get rid of the instrument and therefore will let it go for less than its value. And really, the only thing that determines a piano's value is what someone is willing to pay for it (like anything else). A good piano tech can give you an idea of whether or not the piano is worth the asking price or if you can talk them down a bit due to work needed to be done, the going market rate, etc.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#2014368 - 01/14/13 11:24 AM Re: Buying Advice [Re: Dan24012]
Dan24012 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/08/13
Posts: 8
Loc: Greater Washington, DC
Thanks to all of you who took the time to respond. You are so great!

Between my two kids, they have about 13 years at home left, so it is great to know that going for a grand piano is not overkill for us.

The price variation really confuses me about Pianos and I didn't expect this at all. I came across two used RX-3s one listed for $14k and another $18k both from around 2000 claiming to be excellent (both sellers were saying their pricing was reasonable). With the new RX-3s it seems some dealers' mark up exceeds $10k, however, it is easier to buy a new one given the warranty etc. If the dealer is going to be only marginally more expensive than a private party for a used piano, it makes sense to me to buy from a dealer every time, although I agree with Morodiene above as it may vary from seller to seller.

What is the general opinion on a mid-90s Steinway L? My daughter thought it sounded great but the satin black didn't look as good (had lots of visible finger marks on the fall board). I don't know the history of this piano, but assuming it is in perfect condition, what would be the range one should expect to pay for it? I have looked at various sources, but nothing very helpful.

Thanks,

Dan.
_________________________
Music has always been transnational;
people pick up whatever interests them,
and certainly a lot of classical music has
absorbed influences from all over the world.
-Yo-Yo Ma

Top
#2014405 - 01/14/13 12:17 PM Re: Buying Advice [Re: Dan24012]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
Hi Dan,

A Steinway-L is a very fine piano. There is no way to judge a price, however, about any given instrument from any given era. It would need a full technical evaluation to even begin to assign a value.

Never trust what the seller is telling you about any used piano. The age can be determined by the serial number of all modern builders.

Have you discovered "A&D Piano Buyer?" It is considered the 'bible' when shopping for a piano, new or used. You can find the link to the online version on the left side of this screen and there is no charge for using it online. I'm old fashioned and always purchase the print version. The prices for new instruments are listed and there are guides for calculating depreciation.

The $18K RX-3 is a little high and the $14K instrument is more in the ballpark, but, there is nothing to stop you from negotiating with the seller. Again, an inspection is necessary.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

Top
#2014500 - 01/14/13 02:57 PM Re: Buying Advice [Re: Dan24012]
Dan24012 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/08/13
Posts: 8
Loc: Greater Washington, DC
Thanks Marty. The depreciation table in the piano buyer is helpful and perhaps it is the best information available. However, I find it somewhat difficult to use.

For example, since for new purchase prices seems to vary wildly for brands other than Steinway, 50% of purchase price seems to be a moving target. I guess a rough guide is all one we can expect in pricing a piano.
_________________________
Music has always been transnational;
people pick up whatever interests them,
and certainly a lot of classical music has
absorbed influences from all over the world.
-Yo-Yo Ma

Top
#2014505 - 01/14/13 03:04 PM Re: Buying Advice [Re: Dan24012]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
Very true Dan. Like buying a used car, there are only generalizations and no definative answers.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

Top
#2014516 - 01/14/13 03:44 PM Re: Buying Advice [Re: Dan24012]
Rich D. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 1239
Loc: Rehoboth Beach De. USA
Dan,
Since you live in the great Washington DC area there are a number of reputable piano dealers (and rebuilders) that are within easy driving distance. It might even be worth your while to drive up to Philly and visit Cunningham Pianos (always a treat even if you don't buy from them). If your daughter hasen't already done so, playing other pianos such as new and rebuilt Mason Hamlins might provide additional options. Good luck.

Rich
_________________________
Retired at the beach (well maybe not completely)

"Life is like a piano....what you get out of it depends on how you play it"
Anonymous


Top
#2014520 - 01/14/13 04:01 PM Re: Buying Advice [Re: Dan24012]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
I will second the recommendation for a trip to Cunningham Piano in Philly. Taking the train could be a fun trip. The store is huge, very well stocked, and the re-building shop is a delight. It's a full piano education in one excursion.

Rich Galassini, the co-owner, is a frequent poster here and is a great guy. He enjoys meeting PW members and will treat you well.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

Top
#2014588 - 01/14/13 06:35 PM Re: Buying Advice [Re: Dan24012]
Dan24012 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/08/13
Posts: 8
Loc: Greater Washington, DC
Rich, Thanks. A friend of mine in Philly suggested the same thing.

Marty, I would avoid Amtrak to go to Philly although it is fun. Going by car is so much more efficient for shopping.
_________________________
Music has always been transnational;
people pick up whatever interests them,
and certainly a lot of classical music has
absorbed influences from all over the world.
-Yo-Yo Ma

Top
#2014606 - 01/14/13 07:23 PM Re: Buying Advice [Re: Dan24012]
LFL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/12
Posts: 69
In my recent search, I found new RX-3 (blak) pianos for around $24-25K. Depreciation is not 50% for the upper level pianos...less than that, although 25% is a round number for the first 5 years.
I highly suggest reaading Larry Fine's Piano Buyer Guide, if not also The Piano Book. You'll learn a lot.
Avoid the temptation to limit yourself. I got the advice in this forum to check out as many pianos as you can; even to travel. So, I agree with going to Philly, or even NY.
Please see a similar process I went through in a previous thread: "used SK5 vs. restored Steinway O" Lots of good comments there and I think they'll help you.
I wouldn't worry about depreciation too much. I assume you don't play?? If you do, then you'll keep a really good piano for a very long time. If you don't, your daughter will want something at home, even after she's left home, and someday might want it with her. I ended up buying new, which was not my first intention, after doing a long analysis, including potential for future expenses on used/restored.
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK5L

Top
#2014609 - 01/14/13 07:29 PM Re: Buying Advice [Re: Dan24012]
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1523
Loc: Danville, California
Why stop at Phila and NYC?

Maybe try London.

Top
#2014617 - 01/14/13 08:05 PM Re: Buying Advice [Re: Dan24012]
SidneyBlue Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/12
Posts: 3
Overkill is not possible. smile I just bought a grand for my 11-year-old and 6-year-old. Little did I know that more pianists are among the extended family!!! Lots of family and friends have stopped by to test run the new piano. I get to sit back and listen to the wonderful sounds which fill the house.
And - who knew - my husband of 12 years can play a little bit as well!

It has inspired all of us and looks fantastic in the house.

Good luck to you!

Top
#2014641 - 01/14/13 09:13 PM Re: Buying Advice [Re: Dan24012]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10451
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Maybe you can find what you want locally in Hanover, MD!
_________________________
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.

Top
#2014871 - 01/15/13 10:59 AM Re: Buying Advice [Re: Dan24012]
Dan24012 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/08/13
Posts: 8
Loc: Greater Washington, DC
LFL, Thanks so much. I read with interest that you finally decided to buy a new SK5. It seems that buying new is easier and worry free. Unfortunately, I don't play, so it is all for the kids.

SidneyBlue, thank you for your encouragement. As with all artistic endeavors, need vs want is not very clear cut when one is looking at a piano. I wish it was.


Edited by Dan24012 (01/15/13 11:00 AM)
_________________________
Music has always been transnational;
people pick up whatever interests them,
and certainly a lot of classical music has
absorbed influences from all over the world.
-Yo-Yo Ma

Top
#2017571 - 01/19/13 10:52 PM Re: Buying Advice [Re: Dan24012]
Dan24012 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/08/13
Posts: 8
Loc: Greater Washington, DC
Hi Everyone, I have some update and more questions. We went out to a few piano stores in the area to try a number of pianos. My older daughter tried out a whole bunch of pianos including a couple of Schimmels and a 2008 RX6 besides the whole range of Kawais. She didn't get to play the RX3 again, but she did play an RX2.

Alas, then she tried an SK3. Her score for the SK3, she said would be more than 20 out of 10 if 10 was for the late 90s Steinway L. She said the sound was so full and the control was amazing (her characterization: the Steinway sounded professional that she could imagine seeing it on stage and the SK3 sounded professional and sweet that she would dream of having in her living room!). Seems like she is completely into the Kawai action and sound. So,

1. What would be the ballpark price for an SK3? I read here in the forum it would be about high $30k or more. Although I could swing for it, I am a bit concerned because I would not even go for a car that would cost that much.
2. How is the performance of SK2 vs SK3? Would SK2 be an option (the dealer didn't have one on the floor, but given Kawai's consistency perhaps it would sound similar?

Thanks very much,

Dan.
_________________________
Music has always been transnational;
people pick up whatever interests them,
and certainly a lot of classical music has
absorbed influences from all over the world.
-Yo-Yo Ma

Top
#2017634 - 01/20/13 01:51 AM Re: Buying Advice [Re: Dan24012]
Steven Y. A. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 291
Loc: Toronto
I highly recommend to check out the Vogel V180 by Schimmel, 24k$ CAD new (asking price). Check out the local Schimmel Dealers.

Steven
_________________________
PLEYEL P124

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
What's Hot!!
Our latest Issue is available now...
Piano News - Interesting & Fun Piano Related Newsletter! (free)
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
158 registered (ajames, 36251, accordeur, 42 invisible), 1859 Guests and 12 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75516 Members
42 Forums
156160 Topics
2293270 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Medelssohn on meaning in music
by phantomFive
28 minutes 32 seconds ago
Correcting Heavy Piano Touchweight in Grand Pianos
by Paul678
42 minutes 14 seconds ago
[AMAZING PIANO COMP.] Anyone able to transcribe it from ear?
by Weakky
Today at 12:29 PM
[AMAZING PIANO COMP.] Anyone able to transcribe it from ear?
by Weakky
Today at 12:21 PM
Best Keyboard/Piano 600 light up keys
by barabusm
Today at 12:09 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission