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#2112310 - 07/03/13 04:43 PM Kawai Shigeru price
ZBGM0 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 100
Hypothetic question for you (for me is real)…..

You own RX-2 (2011) and you have opportunity to buy a showroom SK-3 (2011), which wasn’t sold yet. The whole price of piano is not important in this case. You must only consider relative price (between RX-2 in SK-3).

Additional payment for me would be about 9.000 USD. Good bargain:)?

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#2112330 - 07/03/13 05:36 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: ZBGM0]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 868
Depends on what $9.000 means for you, and what the difference between the pianos means for you.

In my experience, an SK3 is a significant step up from an RX2 (assuming both are in good shape and you like that particular SK3). When I bought my SK2 I compared it with several RX2 (and many other pianos) and was prepared to pay substantially more (but less than the figure you mention) since I found it *much* nicer. An SK3, though, was beyond my reach. Actually in the end I decided between an RX3 and the SK2 and opted for the latter, despite the smaller size.

Take your time, explore this SK3 in all possible ways (play it a lot), until you can hear and feel whether the difference to your piano is worth the money.

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#2112332 - 07/03/13 05:50 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: ZBGM0]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
If you like the SK-3, yes.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2112333 - 07/03/13 05:53 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: maurus]
ZBGM0 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 100
Originally Posted By: maurus
Depends on what $9.000 means for you, and what the difference between the pianos means for you.

In my experience, an SK3 is a significant step up from an RX2 (assuming both are in good shape and you like that particular SK3). When I bought my SK2 I compared it with several RX2 (and many other pianos) and was prepared to pay substantially more (but less than the figure you mention) since I found it *much* nicer. An SK3, though, was beyond my reach. Actually in the end I decided between an RX3 and the SK2 and opted for the latter, despite the smaller size.

Take your time, explore this SK3 in all possible ways (play it a lot), until you can hear and feel whether the difference to your piano is worth the money.


Maurus, very interesting! I always like to hear stories when people comparing SK2 and RX-3 and went with the smaller (SK-2) or when comparing RX-5 and SK-3 and went with (again) smaller SK-3.

Actually I heard for many cases where people prefer SK-2 over RX-3. Can you tell me your experiences when you compared SK-2 and RX-3? What was on SK-2 so much better than RX-3 that you decided at the end for SK-2…..sustain, clarity, bass respond….

All I know is that RX-3 that I played sounded much better that RX-2. It gave me impression that I play much larger piano – sound was much fuller. I haven’t tried SK-3 yet or SK-2 yet. I will next week.




Edited by ZBGM0 (07/03/13 05:55 PM)

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#2112351 - 07/03/13 06:14 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: ZBGM0]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19644
Loc: New York City
The Piano Buyer has SMP's of around 30K and 55K for the two pianos. So one would expect to pay 70%-90% of 25K more when buying a new SK3 vs. a new RX2. Since your RX2 is not considered new it's value is less than a new RX2.

Putting all the above together(but understanding these figures are estimates)the cost of 9K more seems extremely good. Possibly so good as to be slightly suspicious.

But I agree with those who said things depend on how much the 9K means to you and how much better you like the SK3.

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#2112352 - 07/03/13 06:15 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: ZBGM0]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 868
ZBGM0, perhaps the following differences were most important: a fuller, clearer treble and midrange with lots of sustain, and (at least subjectively) better response and precision of the action. Despite the small size, the bass of my SK2 has a lot of distinction and clarity which I like (while it's certainly not the most thundering bass a grand can have).

However, it may be that the two RX3 I tried were not prepared to their best, who knows. And I was offered a very good price for the SK2.

Much of this is very subjective so you should form your own decision. Once the SK2 was in my home, I modified the tone a little by selectively dampening certain bits of the duplex scale to emphasize fundamentals (particularly in the midrange) a little more; undampened, the SK2's tone is very rich with resonant overtones some of which may be very pronounced. Very happy with it now.
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.

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#2112375 - 07/03/13 06:55 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: ZBGM0]
musicpassion Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1154
Loc: California, USA
It is subjective of course, but you already know that.
I'd go for the SK3.
_________________________
Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2112376 - 07/03/13 06:59 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: pianoloverus]
ZBGM0 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 100
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
The Piano Buyer has SMP's of around 30K and 55K for the two pianos. So one would expect to pay 70%-90% of 25K more when buying a new SK3 vs. a new RX2. Since your RX2 is not considered new it's value is less than a new RX2.

Putting all the above together(but understanding these figures are estimates)the cost of 9K more seems extremely good. Possibly so good as to be slightly suspicious.

But I agree with those who said things depend on how much the 9K means to you and how much better you like the SK3.


Thanks Pianoloverus.

Actually it is not suspicious. I found out that prices in our small EU country are much different that in US market. I am not talking about the end prices of piano, but relative prices (when comparing different models of Kawai). I will give you examples:

SK-2 is cheaper than RX-3
SK-3 is cheaper than RX-5
SK-5 is cheaper than RX-6
etc.

If I understand correct this is not the case in USA. In US prices for Shigeru are much higher compared to RX. True?

One more thing: what you would buy if you could choose between SK-2 (2013 brand new) and showroom SK-3 (2011 – not sold)? Price is the SAME.

Of course I will be the one who will make decision at the end(if I will) but it is always interesting to hear opinions from other people.

Thanks


Edited by ZBGM0 (07/03/13 07:01 PM)

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#2112386 - 07/03/13 07:15 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: ZBGM0]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19644
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: ZBGM0
Thanks Pianoloverus.

Actually it is not suspicious. I found out that prices in our small EU country are much different that in US market. I am not talking about the end prices of piano, but relative prices (when comparing different models of Kawai).
I didn't realize you were not in the US. The Piano Buyer's prices, if I remember correctly, apply for the US or maybe North America, I forget which.

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#2112388 - 07/03/13 07:16 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: ZBGM0]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


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

The stores in the US try to stock at least one of each SK model on the floor for comparison. I always find that the SK's get better as they increase in length. So, in your hypothetical, I would select the SK-3, even though it is slightly older, but still new. There is an advantage to getting a piano that has been available for some break-in playing.

As a personal opinion, I find the SK pianos to be a major delineation from the RX series. Compared at the same length, I always prefer the SK. It will be interesting to do the same comparisons with the introduction of the GX.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2112392 - 07/03/13 07:18 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: pianoloverus]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: ZBGM0
Thanks Pianoloverus.

Actually it is not suspicious. I found out that prices in our small EU country are much different that in US market. I am not talking about the end prices of piano, but relative prices (when comparing different models of Kawai).
I didn't realize you were not in the US. The Piano Buyer's prices, if I remember correctly, apply for the US or maybe North America, I forget which.

The prices are for the US. The prices in Canada and Mexico are different. I bet Norbert could be much more specific as to how they vary in Canada.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2112404 - 07/03/13 07:34 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: ZBGM0]
Carbonblob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/13
Posts: 371
Loc: Los Angeles, Ca.
I just pulled my response Z, Marty just said exactly what I just wrote! Good luck.....blob
_________________________
KAWAI RX-3 BLAK
YAMAHA GRANTOUCH GT1

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#2112406 - 07/03/13 07:37 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: ZBGM0]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Great minds think alike!

grin
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2112805 - 07/04/13 12:48 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: ZBGM0]
AJF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 1664
Loc: Toronto
Another angle: sometimes people even prefer an Sk2 to an Sk3. One of the biggest fallacies I constantly see here on PW is the attitude 'bigger is better'. Not necessarily true. Sometimes the scale design of a smaller piano just works better overall than I larger counterpart. Yes there's a sacrifice in the low bass region with smaller pianos. But in some cases the overall playing experience may be better on a smaller instrument.
So buy the model that your fingers and ears like best, regardless of size.


Edited by AJF (07/04/13 12:49 PM)
_________________________

Pianist, Composer
Disclaimer: Shigeru Kawai Artist

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#2112869 - 07/04/13 03:01 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: ZBGM0]
panche23 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/07
Posts: 51
Loc: Arizona/Calif
If the difference is $9,000 for a new SK3, and you keep it for 20 years.
Its only about $1.25 per day to upgrade to the Shigeru.

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#2112902 - 07/04/13 04:30 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: AJF]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19644
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: AJF
Another angle: sometimes people even prefer an Sk2 to an Sk3. One of the biggest fallacies I constantly see here on PW is the attitude 'bigger is better'. Not necessarily true.
It's true a big percentage of the time.

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#2112909 - 07/04/13 04:41 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: AJF]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: AJF
Another angle: sometimes people even prefer an Sk2 to an Sk3. One of the biggest fallacies I constantly see here on PW is the attitude 'bigger is better'. Not necessarily true.

I agree with you completely. However in the case of SK, I find that it is a linear increase in total response and playability as the models increase in length. I don't find that to be true with the RX series, or with other manufacturers. I much prefer the RX-2 to the RX-3.

I'm becoming very eager for the GX series to become readily available.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2112916 - 07/04/13 04:58 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: ZBGM0]
AJF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 1664
Loc: Toronto
I was in Tokyo last week and played the GXs in the big Kawai store near Shibuya.
They were all fantastic (partly due, I'm sure to the fact that they are prepped and tuned regularly by Kawai "MPA's") I sat and played a GX5 for a good 20 minutes and thought to myself that I could easily be very happy with that piano for the rest of my life. To me the GXs I tried really start to blur the line between the Shigeru line and Kawai's 'second tier' line. On a side note the SK's were on average around $20k cheaper in Tokyo...
_________________________

Pianist, Composer
Disclaimer: Shigeru Kawai Artist

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#2112918 - 07/04/13 05:15 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: Minnesota Marty]
ZBGM0 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 100
Ok, here is the thing. Pianoloverus is right, it was suspicious. Here is my review:

I tried this two pianos and I looked for serial number of SK-3 which was 260…..(I don’t remember next numbers) but it is enough to conclude that it was actually manufactured in 2009 or 2008……right?

SK-3 was never sold but it was said to me that it was borrowed about 3 times for different shows but the condition makes me suspicious. There are many scratches on the music rack, so many that I can’t really believe that someone can cause this by only reading sheet music. The keys are not so white anymore and you can see that there is also wear on the white key (not much, but you can see it very clearly). My piano is one and a half year old, I play it almost every day and the keytops still look like new – no wear.

The most interesting thing was when I pressed down the white keys; for instance C4. Then you could see wood under the keytop of B3 (on the left side) and wood of D4 (on the right side). Well, on my piano the wood under key-tops still looks like new, it even smells like new, but on SK-3 you could see some sort of “stains”. This pattern of dark stains was on almost all keys and all stains were the same shape (under key-top) ……WHAT is that? can that be the sweat (of hands) that leaked between the keys? I don’t get it….

PERFORMACE COMPARISON

SK-3 had slightly fuller bass. I repeat: SLIGHTLY, it was no big deal. I expected to hear bigger difference. Middle and upper register was the same, only that SK-3 had little louder and BRIGHTER high tones, but NOT fuller or clearer. Maybe brighter tone is automatically considered louder as it strikes more in your ear. Maybe SK-2 would also sound “louder” if it would be voiced so. (SK-2 sounded more mellow). If you consider that I tried this two pianos in a pretty big room, then you can make conclusion that difference will be even smaller in a smaller room. What is more I found another metallic ringing overtone on SK-3 (most Kawai will have one or two), meanwhile SK-2 was metallic ringing overton-FREE!!! – every single tone was perfect. Based on my investigation it is not easy to find Kawai without overtones on the bass area (there was also many reports and complains about this “riiing riiing” issue, most of them were never fixed).

SK-2

SK-2 on the other hand is brand new, it still has this plastic foils (pedals, name on the fallboard etc.).. SK-2 is also the NEW Shigeru model, it is not 5'10" but 5'11", which means that it also has longer keys than SK-3 that I tried – another plus. It also has different (nicer) finish of the case (inside).

http://www.musictrades.co.jp/webnews/eng...hip-models.html

Older SK-3 is only 6 cm longer than new SK-2 (difference is 2,36 inches). Key action is …no words…..I don’t want to put down RX-2, but action of SK-2 is far superior(at least I felt so). Best I can describe: “playing is easier”, keys are lighter, so smooth… They both (my RX and SK) have Millenium III action but there is huge difference. Don’t know why, maybe because they put more work on it, maybe because of longer keys, maybe both. Action is what you call perfect. And sustain is the same on both pianos (SK-2 and SK-3). There is another assumption that brand new pianos normally don’t sound as good as the piano that is already played for 1-4 years, which means I can even expect improvement in sound?

So, here are the new facts. If you consider only the tone, then SK-3 is slightly better (but difference is really really small), at everything else (action, scratches, age, design/look of cabinet) SK-2 wins. On a certain register from F2 to C3 (yes small area) I even prefered SK-2. SK-3 sounded little twangy here (voicing? maybe, maybe not)

Brand new SK-2 or. slightly “better” 2009(?) SK-3?

Yes, it will be my decision at the end (if I will make decision) but it is nice to hear opinion from other members, especially about the “stains” on the wood under key-tops?

Prices are the same.



Edited by ZBGM0 (07/04/13 05:34 PM)

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#2113221 - 07/05/13 12:15 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: ZBGM0]
Carbonblob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/13
Posts: 371
Loc: Los Angeles, Ca.
ZBGMO,

after your last post, I want to retract everything I said! No way would I touch the SK3. You know, I also forgot they increased most all GX models (and SK I assume) by about an inch. So the difference now is 2". I simply wouldn't buy any piano with a water stain, period. Then, throw in worn key patterns and scratches! Even if you were to offer me that piano at a fire-sale price, with full warranty, re-polished and prepped, you could not sway me to purchase the SK3. Besides, you don't like the tone anymore so is there really any choice left?

Btw, your assessment was the same as mine when I was looking. I really felt a big difference on the GX action compared to the RX action.....blob
_________________________
KAWAI RX-3 BLAK
YAMAHA GRANTOUCH GT1

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#2113261 - 07/05/13 01:42 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: Carbonblob]
ZBGM0 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 100
Originally Posted By: Carbonblob
ZBGMO,

I simply wouldn't buy any piano with a water stain, period.


You think those are water stains? Wood under the keytops should be very bright on Kawai, but here you can see dark stains on bright wood – same pattern everywhere (it looks like it is dirty).

Yes, there are new models (little longer) for both Kawai (RX to GX) and Shigeru.

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#2113279 - 07/05/13 02:17 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: ZBGM0]
Carbonblob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/13
Posts: 371
Loc: Los Angeles, Ca.
Z,

Good question, I'll ask and see what the stain could be. I was too quick to assume it was water but perhaps it's glue from key lamination/compression or something along those lines. When fresh wood gets wet (for any reason) the wood will darken, provided it's pourous enough. The only other thing I can think of would be if the keys were cut from a continous piece of wood. That would show consistant grain pattern but I just don't think they would use wood with that much variation for keys!

I'm sure a rebuiler or tech has the answer for you. All I know is the word "stains" got my attention, as did "wear patterns". I'm guessing your instincts are telling you to back off. The closer you look, the more faults you're finding. I'm not saying these are red flags (that's why we always have tech inspections) but I'm hearing some disatisfaction, or at the very least, caution concerning whether the SK3 is for you......blob
_________________________
KAWAI RX-3 BLAK
YAMAHA GRANTOUCH GT1

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#2114025 - 07/07/13 12:33 AM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: ZBGM0]
Shahram Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/08
Posts: 23
Loc: United State
ZBGM0,

This is not a fair comparison, SK series are Kawai's high end pianos and hand made they are comparable with Boesendorfer, Steinway (Hamburg) and Fazioli.
Buying a Piano does not have any formula it is like a marriage you have to find the one which satisfies your ears and fingertips. close your eyes don't look at the brand and model just touch it and play your heart will never make a mistake.

Good luck
_________________________
Human Being & Planet Earth

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#2114137 - 07/07/13 10:44 AM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: Shahram]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3707
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Shahram
ZBGM0,
SK series are Kawai's high end pianos and hand made they are comparable with Boesendorfer, Steinway (Hamburg) and Fazioli.


I think this is highly debatable. In my tests I've found the Shigerus to be nice, but not in the league of the 3 you mentioned. Quite a distance behind, in fact.

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#2114166 - 07/07/13 11:47 AM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: ando]
ZBGM0 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 100
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: Shahram
ZBGM0,
SK series are Kawai's high end pianos and hand made they are comparable with Boesendorfer, Steinway (Hamburg) and Fazioli.


I think this is highly debatable. In my tests I've found the Shigerus to be nice, but not in the league of the 3 you mentioned. Quite a distance behind, in fact.


Personal preference. I know people who prefer Shigeru over Bösendorfer.

Anyway I believe Shigeru can easily be one of the best pianos in the world if you consider RELATON between price and quality. Steinway may sound 5-10 % better (maybe much less) but it will cost 200 % more. Same thing with Fazioli and Bösendorfer or any other group 1 piano.

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#2114269 - 07/07/13 03:39 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: ZBGM0]
LFL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/12
Posts: 72
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: Shahram
ZBGM0,
SK series are Kawai's high end pianos and hand made they are comparable with Boesendorfer, Steinway (Hamburg) and Fazioli.


I think this is highly debatable. In my tests I've found the Shigerus to be nice, but not in the league of the 3 you mentioned. Quite a distance behind, in fact.



And what tests are those?
George Kolasis, for one, disagrees with you:
http://www.georgekolasis.com/best-pianos.html

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#2114296 - 07/07/13 04:28 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: ZBGM0]
Robert 45 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 1318
Loc: Auckland New Zealand
While we all have our personal preferences, very few of us would have the depth and breadth of experience in working with pianos of George Kolasis. His treatise on this comparison of pianos is balanced and convincing. He has worked with many pianists at the highest level. I believe that he knows what he is talking about when he considers Shigeru Kawai pianos to be among the top four piano makes in the world.

Robert.

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#2114298 - 07/07/13 04:30 PM Re: Kawai Shigeru price [Re: LFL]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3707
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: LFL
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: Shahram
ZBGM0,
SK series are Kawai's high end pianos and hand made they are comparable with Boesendorfer, Steinway (Hamburg) and Fazioli.


I think this is highly debatable. In my tests I've found the Shigerus to be nice, but not in the league of the 3 you mentioned. Quite a distance behind, in fact.



And what tests are those?
George Kolasis, for one, disagrees with you:
http://www.georgekolasis.com/best-pianos.html


I just said it's debatable. I don't need you to agree with me. I personally have them considerably lower down the foodchain and they are priced accordingly. I base this on my feelings about tone, treble sustain and clarity of voices in dense chordal playing. I think the action is second to none, however. But as I said, just my opinion. They very nice pianos and good bang for the buck, but I can see why somebody might pay a lot more to get a Fazioli or Boesendorfer etc.

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