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#2025947 - 02/02/13 03:17 PM Baby grand for $3k - $5k?
stevetothink Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/01/13
Posts: 6
I'm in the market to buy a baby grand (5'2" or so). My budget is $3k to $5k so I know I will be limited. Does anyone have suggestions on what brands/models to consider or avoid?

Thanks,
Steve

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#2025950 - 02/02/13 03:32 PM Re: Baby grand for $3k - $5k? [Re: stevetothink]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3457
Try finding a Chinese-built Hallet Davis. The larger models have excellent performance potential, so I expect the smaller ones to be at least decent.
_________________________
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M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
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#2025970 - 02/02/13 04:52 PM Re: Baby grand for $3k - $5k? [Re: stevetothink]
ju5t1n-h Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/12
Posts: 179
Loc: Vancouver, British Columbia
Just buy a decent upright, save up and wait till you have at least 10k for a grand. Why buy something bad that you'll end up wishing you'd waited? Trust me, I did the same thing with my last piano
_________________________
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#2025986 - 02/02/13 05:46 PM Re: Baby grand for $3k - $5k? [Re: stevetothink]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4381
Loc: Jersey Shore
Grands that small tend to have disappointing sound. Its like a big upright fell over. I'd get a nice quality high end upright before a sub par short grand.

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#2026017 - 02/02/13 07:29 PM Re: Baby grand for $3k - $5k? [Re: stevetothink]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8687
Loc: Georgia, USA
You can find a decent used grand in that price range if you look long enough and hard enough, but I doubt you will find a new baby grand in that price range, but you might.

I'd have a piano tech to inspect any prospects that you are serious about, if you buy used.

It can be done...

Good luck, and welcome to Piano World!

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

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#2026053 - 02/02/13 09:23 PM Re: Baby grand for $3k - $5k? [Re: stevetothink]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2895
Loc: Atlanta, GA
To accomplish the feat of finding a decent grand in that price range, it's best to inherit. grin

The common candidates are the old and decrepit brands of former glory, small, pretty, and ultimately too expensive to fix. The better candidates are the mid-life, discontinued brands that had a good run. If you find a good one of those, they are often undervalued for the use they give. What to watch out for is the glut of sub-5' grands that first appeared out of SE Asia, 15 or so years ago. They were made to an almost disposable quality. They look okay, owners think they just need to be tuned, and they are traps.

I'm still a bigger fan of a new or late model studio upright (45"+) for your money.
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PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
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#2026204 - 02/03/13 06:38 AM Re: Baby grand for $3k - $5k? [Re: PianoWorksATL]
stevetothink Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/01/13
Posts: 6
Thanks for the replies so far.

What brand of uprights would you suggest I consider? Right now I have an old steinway upright from 1890 that has a hard time keeping pitch. I really want to replace it with something MUCH better sounding.

I grew up with a Samick grand piano in the house and I just remember being blown away when we replaced our upright with the grand. In my mind, I just thought uprights don't come close to grands from a sound quality perspective.

I suppose I could go up to 6' in length for a grand if it's a better move but I'm open to all suggestions right now.

Thanks again.
Steve

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#2026210 - 02/03/13 06:56 AM Re: Baby grand for $3k - $5k? [Re: stevetothink]
Larry C Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Naples, FL
Steve - I bought a 1920's Mason & Hamlin A used off of Craigslist for $4,500. I did so after a qualified tech looked at it and I played the piano. Then we had work done on the keys and moved it in, all in I had $6,000 into the piano and it sounds great

I recommend you look at the used market

Good luck
_________________________
Steinway K-52 upright
Mason & Hamlin 50 upright
Yamaha CP5 keyboard

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#2026228 - 02/03/13 08:53 AM Re: Baby grand or small grand for $3k - $5k? [Re: Larry C]
stevetothink Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/01/13
Posts: 6
Thanks - I am definitely looking exclusively at the used market. I plan to have a tech look at anything I'm considering before I buy so I don't get something in need of more work than I can afford.

Thanks for the advice everyone. I appreciate it. Keep it coming.

Steve

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#2026315 - 02/03/13 01:22 PM Re: Baby grand or small grand for $3k - $5k? [Re: stevetothink]
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 1172
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Given the fact that you've been used to having a grand, you may not be happy with an upright. There are some very nice sounding ones (e.g. I used to have an older Sohmer upright that I loved), but the difference in touch is really noticeable once you get to intermediate-level playing.

It could take quite some time to find the kind of deal you're looking for. If you've got the patience, though, I think it's worth it.
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
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Debussy, La fille aux cheveux de lin
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#2028212 - 02/06/13 04:09 PM Yamaha G2? [Re: jdw]
stevetothink Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/01/13
Posts: 6
What's the general concensus on a Yamaha G2 5'8" grand?

Steve

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#2028330 - 02/06/13 07:50 PM Re: Yamaha G2? [Re: stevetothink]
Colin Dunn Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 538
Loc: Arvada, CO
I'll speak out in defense of small grands.

It is true the tone quality is about on par with a 48-52" upright, but the action is a significant improvement. So to me, a cheap grand can still be an improvement over an upright if you buy something that checks out OK.

A 5'8" Yamaha G2, if it looks good and checks out OK with a piano tech, for <$5K is a good price, at least in the area where I live. Yamaha is a reputable brand. The only thing to be wary of is that "gray market" Yamahas (used ones from Japan imported to the US) are not supported by Yamaha (i.e., they don't honor a warranty or provide parts). Piano technicians can still get whatever parts are needed to repair a gray-market Yamaha.
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Colin Dunn

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#2028401 - 02/06/13 10:04 PM Re: Yamaha G2? [Re: Colin Dunn]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2895
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Quote:
The only thing to be wary of...
The G2 hasn't been made in ~18 years. There is a lot more to be wary of than an expired warranty that only goes to the first owner regardless of which continent. I'm not here to debate gray market, just here to say that's pretty low on your list of worries if you can find a G2 that falls into your price range. Try to find parts for a 18+ year old, discontinued model of any brand besides those that wear out with normal use. Wear parts are common.

Age and detailed mechanical condition rank highest. I've known more than a few that look okay but aren't. A G2 has very good potential, but the popularity of the brand rarely brings them into that price range unless they are nearly ancient, have problems, or have unpopular finish color. If they don't have those drawback, dealers can flip them for a higher price, often keeping the price floor higher than $5k.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#2028402 - 02/06/13 10:04 PM Re: Yamaha G2? [Re: stevetothink]
JazzPianoOnline Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/07
Posts: 110
Loc: raleigh, nc
The g2 Is a fine piano. The g1 (5'3") is also a fine piano. Neither will give you a significant bass response but the midrange and treble can be very nice when maintained well. For the typical home, anything bigger than these pianos can be overpowering and way too loud so I think these are the ideal living room pianos.
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#2029369 - 02/08/13 03:44 PM Yahama GH1 [Re: JazzPianoOnline]
stevetothink Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/01/13
Posts: 6
How about a 1984 Yahama GH1 for $2,500K? Any opinions on that?

Thanks,
Steve

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#2029850 - 02/09/13 11:57 AM Re: Yahama GH1 [Re: stevetothink]
Colin Dunn Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 538
Loc: Arvada, CO
A 1984 Yamaha GH1 for $2,500K ($2.5 million) is rather overpriced. You could get 10 Bosendorfer concert grands for that kind of cash. smile

Steve is fortunate to live in an area where lots of Yamaha grands are being offered up cheap. I never see them in that price range in the Denver metro area.

The best grand pianos I've seen in that price range around here are lightly-used, lower-end makes like Kimball, Sherman Clay, Samick, Sojin, Story & Clark, etc.). There's plenty of 80-year-old stuff that likely would need expensive work.

These lower-end brands surely won't please a perfectionist or concert pianist. But I think that many people who have always dreamed of a grand piano in their living room would do fine with these pianos, as long as a tuner-tech gives it a clean bill of health.

That said, I'd advise budgeting $1,000 above the selling price for moving, initial tuning (neglected residential pianos usually need pitch raising), and a few hundred $$$ worth of small repairs (things like replacing a couple of missing strings, action adjustments, etc.). This can make a huge difference in the playability and sound of the instrument.
_________________________
Colin Dunn

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#2029878 - 02/09/13 12:54 PM Re: Baby grand for $3k - $5k? [Re: stevetothink]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8687
Loc: Georgia, USA
As Colin Dunn said, there are some off-brand grands that can offer a very nice option for a first grand piano.

My first grand was a late 1980's Japanese made "Tokai" G-180 (5'10"). When I bought it I had no idea what I was doing, other than the fact that I wanted a 6' or so pre-owned grand somewhere around $5000-$6000. The Tokai was located about 40 miles from my location and the owner was a full-time minister of music at a large church. I liked what the owner had to say, the way I was treated, and I liked the piano... I paid $4250 plus $350 for moving cost.

I enjoyed the piano, though it was the subject of ridicule by some here on PW... no matter, those folks had their fun and I had a nice piano for a few years. I sold it for $3500 and it was in better shape when I sold it than when I bought it.

So, in my opinion, a decent starter grand piano can be had for a budget of $3K to $5K (thought it might not be a Steinway smile )

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

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