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#2087954 - 05/24/13 12:12 PM Piano decisions
piano_1 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/13
Posts: 6
I've been shopping for a grand piano and am having a hard time settling on exactly what I want. Here are three options I'm looking at. Would be curious about any input you'd have about my thought process.

1. A fairly modern Kawai, probably a KG3, circa late '80s or early '90s for $8,000-$10,000.
This seems like the logical, rational choice. I love the sound of Kawais and can't stand the brightness of Yamahas. Just a personal preference. I know this would be a reliable piano I could love for a long time, but the downside is that it has no history to it. I like the "soul" of old pianos, as illogical as that may be. My wife is also concerned about how a high-gloss finish would look in our 1920s house and how it would collect fingerprints from our three kids ... but satin finish KG3s seem to be hard to find in my area.

2. An old, well-worn Steinway.
When I play a good Steinway I think "this is how a great piano should sound." I want one. Unfortunately, my budget tops out at $10,000 right now. I could keep saving up for a $12,500 to $15,000 Steinway, but that price range is very much "entry level" for the ones I'm seeing on the market.

3. A low-budget special.
The miser in me is also interested in saving money. An Indonesian, 5'0" Kawai is tempting at around $5,000. It sounds good for its size.

I also played a 1922 Estey that was restored in the 1990s, priced at $2,500, that was cosmetically gorgeous but needs some mechanical work. The tone was good enough that I'm tempted to have a tech check it out and give me a report on the repairs needed (several sticking keys and a metallic clanging sound on the bass notes at forte). I could LOVE this piano for the price, depending on what it sounded like after the repairs / regulation / voicing were completed. That's just hard to judge in its current state.


Edited by piano_1 (05/24/13 12:12 PM)

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#2087965 - 05/24/13 12:20 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 389
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
I have found a problem with saving up in that the amount of inflation exceeds the saving part. So in two more years those Steinways are still out of reach. I think regardless of price piano buying is still difficult. It can be a nightmare with endless choices too not just budget.

You may just have to wait for " The One" that just speaks to you. If you are unsure of a brand make sure your tech you hire for inspection is not a brand loyalist because he may not like anything except the one brand he/she likes.
_________________________
J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
www.NashvillePianoRescue.com
East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
Chamber of Commerce
Member/Sponsor

Putting inspiration in the hands of area musicians
Through restoration/renovation

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#2087981 - 05/24/13 12:36 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8585
Loc: Georgia, USA
Welcome to Piano World!

My vote would be for the Kawai KG3... but wouldn't exceed the $8K mark, unless it is in like new condition.

As far as the entry level Steinway, why pay for just a name on the fall borad when the piano is warn out? The older I get, the more I appreciate a "playable" musical instrument.

As far as your low-budget, 5 foot Indonesian Kawai, are we talking new? If so, it may be worth considering further.

I agree with J. Christie, in terms of saving up for the right piano... the older I get, the more I realize that we only live one day at a time... tomorrow never comes. In fact, I wrote a song once entitled, "Happily ever after in the here and now". smile

Good luck, and keep us informend!

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

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#2087996 - 05/24/13 12:58 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]
piano_1 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/13
Posts: 6
Thanks!

I've found a 1991 KG3 for about $8,900 total (including taxes and delivery.) Or the same thing, but from 1981, for $7,300 total. Both are in like-new condition.

I was mistaken about the budget Kawai. It's a 5'1" GE-1 from 1984. Weren't they all built in Japan then? Anyway, it's for sale by an individual asking $6,000. Plays beautifully for its size, but I'm afraid I'd always wish it were a bigger model. I could love it for the right price. I'm thinking of offering $4,500 for it. Sound reasonable?

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#2088011 - 05/24/13 01:18 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]
piano_1 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/13
Posts: 6
Also interested in a Kawai GS-50 from the early 1980s. Would be $9,600 total, including taxes and delivery. This one is bigger than the others (nearly 7 feet, if I recall right). But I don't know much about the GS line.

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#2088044 - 05/24/13 02:07 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8585
Loc: Georgia, USA
If you have room for the 7 foot Kawai, I doubt you would regret buying it. 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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#2088264 - 05/24/13 07:05 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]
Dave B Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1981
Loc: Philadelphia area
I'm leaning towards the GS-50 if its in good condition and low wear. My guess is that its been played a lot.

The 1991 KG3 'like new' might be your best buy.

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#2091640 - 05/29/13 09:04 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]
piano_1 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/13
Posts: 6
Just thought I'd post an update.

We found our piano!

After obsessing about it for way too long, my wife and I finally found a piano we both agreed on: a 1917 Steinway Model O. It plays beautifully and actually fits (barely) within our budget at $9,000.

Compared to other "entry level" playable Steinways that I saw priced from $12,000 to $16,000, this one seems to have the best feeling action to my taste and one of the richest sounds. Unfortunately the case has a lot of wear, to put it politely, on the original ebonized finish. Hence the low price.

On the plus side, my wife says she likes the rough case because I won't be freaking out every time my kids touch it. We can get it refinished when they're older smile

I've already had one piano tech check it out for me today. It came away with a clean bill of health. I'm having another tech take a look at it in the morning -- the owner's tech who has serviced it for the past couple of years -- but that's more for information and insight about what he's already done to it.

The delivery is scheduled for tomorrow. Can't wait to get it in our house!

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#2091660 - 05/29/13 09:34 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2759
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Congratulations!
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2091798 - 05/29/13 11:22 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8585
Loc: Georgia, USA
Wow, congratulations!

Only the most elete, sophisticated, and wealthy own a Steinway (as a general rule)! smile

Post pictures when you can...

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

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#2092274 - 05/30/13 04:17 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]
Carbonblob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/13
Posts: 371
Loc: Los Angeles, Ca.
Congrats! Be sure to take pix of it coming off the truck and up the walkway......lol. I documented my delivery and it's fun to look back and remember the excitement. it was much later in life for me and that made it all the sweeter when the day came. You're going to have so much fun playing all your music again and hearing how different it all is. Discovery is half the fun too. I found that I played much better in just the few weeks after delivery. That's what a good action will do for you. Pix are required, that's what they told me.......have fun. blob
_________________________
KAWAI RX-3 BLAK
YAMAHA GRANTOUCH GT1

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#2092316 - 05/30/13 05:14 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]
j&j Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/09
Posts: 445
Loc: Southwest
Congratulations.....and we love an update with happy news. Do take pictures of the whole delivery process because it allows your friends on the Forum to share in the fun! I wish you many happy hours of playing and practice on your new baby!
_________________________
J & J
Yahama C3 PE
Casio Privia PX-330
"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." Pablo Picasso

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#2093002 - 05/31/13 04:53 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]
piano_1 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/13
Posts: 6
I'm neither elite nor sophisticated nor wealthy ... but I do enjoy a good piano smile

I didn't think to take many pictures at the time. Was more excited about playing it that photographing it. But here are a couple.


Attachments
photo(5).JPG (42 downloads)
photo(4).JPG (22 downloads)


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#2093020 - 05/31/13 05:30 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]
dynamobt Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 739
Loc: NH
Your links don't work for me.
_________________________
1918 Mason & Hamlin BB





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#2093041 - 05/31/13 06:14 PM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8585
Loc: Georgia, USA
Here are some instructions on posting pictures on the PW forum. Note, the digital picture has to be hosted on a web site, which PW has a photo hosting site. Instructions on posting pictures

Here are additional instructions: Once you complete the “upload pictures” form and submit, you will get an email from PW immediately with a web link that hosts your photo. What I usually do is open the link and the photo will be displayed; right click on the photo and select “properties”; copy the address, starting with "HTTP" and ending with "jpg"; paste this link in the “add non-floating image” option in your PW thread.

Then, you can look at your post by clicking on the “preview reply” option and see if your picture actually appears in the post.

I hope this helps, and we all look forward to seeing the pictures of your new-to-your Steinway grand! 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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#2093162 - 06/01/13 12:19 AM Re: Piano decisions [Re: piano_1]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 389
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
Plus when you are done with all that . Rebuilding a Titan V rocket engine in your bathtub will be a snap ! smile
_________________________
J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
www.NashvillePianoRescue.com
East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
Chamber of Commerce
Member/Sponsor

Putting inspiration in the hands of area musicians
Through restoration/renovation

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