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#2036564 - 02/20/13 05:48 PM New upright or used?
RobertS Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 5
Loc: Rhode Island
I am shopping for an upright piano. I thought I was going to get a Yamaha U1. I went and played a new one, and was surprised how nice it was. I then went to another shop and tried 3 Charles Walters, a few different Kawai K3's and K5's. Did not like any of the Kawai pianos, but one of the Walter's rather changed my mind about the U1. The black satin 1500 Walter started to sing. It reminded me of a good old Baldwin from back in the day. I went home to see who else sells new Charles Walters and found only one other place which is another 1 1/2 hrs trip for me . I called the place and was told he only had two used ones right now. I asked what yr - he went on about it wasn't all that important as they go through them and gives a 10 yr guarantee on them. He also said A new Dampp chaser system would be included plus possible free delivery. He didn't provide a price rather said I would have to drive out and we could make a deal. The new 1500 is bit under 7K and I would have to pay 300.00 for del, plus 500.00 for the DC system. I am a couple of hrs from this dealer. The CW 1500 has their action - but it felt good to me. I can afford the new piano but that being said, it would put a nice dent into my bank account. Is a new piano better to buy if you can? I am planning on keeping it for a long time. I am only in the market for a upright as I have to move into a small place and the grand wouldn't work so I sold it. I am up in the air right now with this new or used thing.

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#2036583 - 02/20/13 06:28 PM Re: New upright or used? [Re: RobertS]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014

Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Hi RobertS - Welcome to Piano World!

The Walters are great pianos. Lots of fans here at PW. I'm not surprised that it caught your ear, and I too, hear a bit of the Baldwin sound in the verticals.

It is rare to find a used Walter, much less two of them at the same store. Makes me wonder if the previous owners traded up to a grand. The 190 is a sweet piano.

As far a new vs. used, with the Walter quality, if you can get a good deal on the used, anything under 10 years would be a good choice. As with the purchase of any used piano, it is always good to have your choice checked out by a qualified and independent technician.

BTW - the price on a new 1500 is ~$13K (MSRP) and will go for ~$10-10.5K. The $7K would be a good deal for the new one.

Have fun hunting!
Marty in Minnesota

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

#2036643 - 02/20/13 10:43 PM Re: New upright or used? [Re: RobertS]
RobertS Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 5
Loc: Rhode Island
Thanks M. Marty. I was wondering if the price was good but had nothing to compare it to seeing as the other dealer only has used. I gather that the 2 used are most likely from the 80's seeing as the dealer wouldn't disclose. If they were newer, I'm sure he would have been quick to tell me. Big problem when shopping for used Yamahas and Kawai - all 70's & 80's. The only other thing that concerns me is the Walter action. Yes, it felt good to me but when I read it was Chinese made, I started to have 2nd thoughts. The dealer said Reener would cost another 1K. He went on to try to sell me on the Kawai due to their carbon fiber action. Well I never had action problems with previous wood action pianos Steinway, Boston, Baldwin, and even a crappy 70's Wurlitzer. I did have a vintage baby grand Chickering (that I loved) that always had action problems. Most likely only due to it's age.
I really don't want to spend the extra thousand on the upgraded action. I also did not want a Chinese piano or parts. I hardy want a Japanese piano as my Boston always sounded like it had a blanket inside. As nice as the U1 was, something sounds fake about it. Almost like a high end digital piano. It it nice to have a very stable piano but, not if doesn't have life in it. My Steinway was smaller than my Boston (5'7 - 5'10) but it could build and build sound till it screamed. The Boston just could not do this which always bugged me. I've read the past post about the Walter Chinese action and still don't know what to believe.
Even if the dealer ordered me one with Reener, perhaps the piano will not sound the same. He had 3 new ones on the floor and I only liked the sound of one. Well it's hand made so I expect that is the way it goes.

#2036651 - 02/20/13 10:59 PM Re: New upright or used? [Re: RobertS]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014

Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN

Yep, the Walter is an upper level, handmade, instrument. They each have their own personality and that is one of the nice things about handbuilt pianos.

About the action. There is no doubt the Renner is a fine builder of actions and parts. Keep in mind that both versions of the actions are virtually identical. I've played both, and it just seems to be the normal variation from instrument to instrument. The Walter family will stand behind the piano, which ever action is in it.

Are you familiar with "Piano Buyer" by Larry Fine? It is the standard reference for anyone shopping for a piano, new or used. The online version is free and the link is on the left side of this page. Read what is said about the Walter actions. You will find all sorts of stuff in the book.

I'm not sure if I'm helping, but feel free to ask any questions and I hope that others reply.
Marty in Minnesota

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


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