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#2033660 - 02/15/13 11:03 AM Am I being unrealistic? 118E/U1/K3 for ~ $5k?
poggler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/13
Posts: 35
So I'm a new digital to acoustic convert. I visited a Steinway dealer recently and they pushed me towards a Henry Miller for about $4k but I really don't want a piano that was built in China. They had Bostons but from what I gather they could be overpriced (or just out of my budget).

I'd like to keep my budget around $5k. This could very well (and justifiably so) rule out the Boston 118E. Might be able to get the 118S but that's from Indonesia. I still have to visit the Yamaha dealer and try the U1 and Kawai dealer to try the K3. All of the dealers (except Boston) are about an hour away from me and each other so it's going to take a couple of weeks to visit each one.

Am I being totally unrealistic to want a new 118E, U1, or K3 for about $5k? If I am and had to settle for a Chinese built piano, are there any well-built compromises? I don't really care for the resale value atm because I'd like to keep the piano for a long time and don't know how my (still very amateur) ability will be 5 or 10 years from now. If I compromise on the mfg country, would it be advisable to go with a Henry Miller with the option to take advantage of the 10-year upgrade policy and upgrade to a Boston later?

I've read through Larry Fine's book and am discouraged by my budget and the maximum prices of the pianos I like.

Edit: Should also add there's another piano dealer near me I visited while shopping for a digital but they sold only Young Changs and Hailuns. I never considered them but if I end up compromising on mfg country due to my budget I may visit them again.


Edited by poggler (02/15/13 11:09 AM)

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#2033665 - 02/15/13 11:15 AM Re: Am I being unrealistic? 118E/U1/K3 for ~ $5k? [Re: poggler]
Steven Y. A. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 291
Loc: Toronto
Hailun Piano are well regarded, in fact Hailun HU 5P won the MMR award "beating" the Kawai K3.
http://www.mmrmagazine.com/6665/archives/december-2012/20th-annual-dealer-choice-awards/
http://www.familypianoco.com/hailun-wins-piano-line-of-the-year/

both are solid piano imo.
K3 is build in indonesia if im not mistaking.
pick the one sounds better to you.
_________________________
PLEYEL P124

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#2033679 - 02/15/13 11:38 AM Re: Am I being unrealistic? 118E/U1/K3 for ~ $5k? [Re: poggler]
concertina Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/11/11
Posts: 43
Loc: Canada
I thought the K3 was being built in Japan. A dealer where I live has a couple of two to four year old K3 on consignment and is asking $5000. You might be able to find a not-too-old used model for your price?

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#2033683 - 02/15/13 11:44 AM Re: Am I being unrealistic? 118E/U1/K3 for ~ $5k? [Re: poggler]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10444
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
The K-3s sold in North America ARE made in Japan.
_________________________
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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#2033712 - 02/15/13 12:45 PM Re: Am I being unrealistic? 118E/U1/K3 for ~ $5k? [Re: Steven Y. A.]
poggler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/13
Posts: 35
Originally Posted By: Steven Y. A.


Thanks for the info. I noticed Kawai didn't receive the award in 2012 and had been meaning to find out who did. I'll have to see about the Hailuns. Especially since the HU5-P is 50". Is around $5k reasonable for a new HU5-P? I noticed the suggested maximum price in the Larry Fine book was still around $8k.

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#2033719 - 02/15/13 12:52 PM Re: Am I being unrealistic? 118E/U1/K3 for ~ $5k? [Re: poggler]
KurtZ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 849
Loc: The Heart of Screenland
The MMR award winners are the lines that do the best for the dealers. The winners sell a lot and produce good margins. In the referenced 2012 awards, Gibson Les Paul guitars took the top spot from Fender Stratocasters. Neither of these guitars have changed significantly in 40 years. The only thing that changed was guitar fashion and or Gibson getting aggressive with incentives/dating/pricing/getting the product into the hands of the right guys with bad haircuts etc.

I will say that there seems to be correlation with the winners being perceived as good price to quality values. Here in the court of PW opinion, both the Hailun's and the K3 are seen as good bang for the buck instruments. In the audio world, the K series audio speakers by QSC are also winners and they are great pieces of kit for the price. They are selling quite well against traditional favorites to knowledgeable, savvy buyers not only in musical instrument stores but pro-sound provider companies are buying them by the pallet load to put into rental stock. So what I'm getting at is that the MMR awards need to be taken in proper context; they are not assessments of quality or suitability but they they are a reliable indicator of what other consumers are finding attractive. It's a happy accident that consumers seem to get it right a lot of the time. There are notable exceptions that I won't name. There are enough of them in the MMR awards that it proves that to be popular you don't have to be the best for the money, you just have to be the cheapest.

Kurt
_________________________
I just wanted to be just "a" guy. That's enough of a life.

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#2033732 - 02/15/13 01:08 PM Re: Am I being unrealistic? 118E/U1/K3 for ~ $5k? [Re: KurtZ]
poggler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/13
Posts: 35
Originally Posted By: KurtZ
The MMR award winners are the lines that do the best for the dealers. The winners sell a lot and produce good margins. In the referenced 2012 awards, Gibson Les Paul guitars took the top spot from Fender Stratocasters. Neither of these guitars have changed significantly in 40 years. The only thing that changed was guitar fashion and or Gibson getting aggressive with incentives/dating/pricing/getting the product into the hands of the right guys with bad haircuts etc.

I will say that there seems to be correlation with the winners being perceived as good price to quality values. Here in the court of PW opinion, both the Hailun's and the K3 are seen as good bang for the buck instruments. In the audio world, the K series audio speakers by QSC are also winners and they are great pieces of kit for the price. They are selling quite well against traditional favorites to knowledgeable, savvy buyers not only in musical instrument stores but pro-sound provider companies are buying them by the pallet load to put into rental stock. So what I'm getting at is that the MMR awards need to be taken in proper context; they are not assessments of quality or suitability but they they are a reliable indicator of what other consumers are finding attractive. It's a happy accident that consumers seem to get it right a lot of the time. There are notable exceptions that I won't name. There are enough of them in the MMR awards that it proves that to be popular you don't have to be the best for the money, you just have to be the cheapest.

Kurt


Thanks Kurt. I think I know what you're saying. I try not to be swayed by Top 10 lists too much. I have faith the piano I decide on will be the one I like to play/listen to the most. My concern over the pianos mass produced in China or Indonesia has mainly to do with production quality and warranty support (if something does go bad). I guess some hope with the Hailuns appearing on the MMR award list is that if there were any glaring production quality issues with the piano, it wouldn't have won. Could be way off base in my thinking, though.

I still have to research the Hailun warranty support guidelines. From what I read so far, it appears they want the dealers to provide support. The Hailun dealer near me has only been open about 4 months and is not a chain. Will they be around to support the piano a few years from now?

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#2036059 - 02/19/13 07:07 PM Re: Am I being unrealistic? 118E/U1/K3 for ~ $5k? [Re: poggler]
poggler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/13
Posts: 35
I'm now the proud father of a Yamaha U1. It cost a bit more than I was planning on (and a bit more than $5k) but I love the piano. While I still may be in the market for a far less expensive digital sometime in the future (for quiet practice and computer uploads) I'm really glad I got this piano as my primary.

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#2036063 - 02/19/13 07:21 PM Re: Am I being unrealistic? 118E/U1/K3 for ~ $5k? [Re: poggler]
Steven Y. A. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 291
Loc: Toronto
Congratulations!
_________________________
PLEYEL P124

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