Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

the Forums & Piano World

Trying Something New with Search
(ad) The Best of Both Worlds
Yamaha Hybrid the Best of Both Worlds
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
79 registered (AndrewJCW, A Flat Minor, ando, 90abyss, ajyerly613, 29 invisible), 1060 Guests and 20 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#2140446 - 08/28/13 09:45 PM Charles Walter 1520 or a Kawai K-3
jenniferb Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/24/13
Posts: 4
Hi there,
I am new to the site, but I have been searching and reading posts for the last couple of weeks as I have been looking for a piano. I have read (parts of) The Piano Book also.
I am getting a piano for both me and my 6 year old daughter to learn on.
I found two pianos at different shops that I like and can get them both for about the same price (after my husband helped with some negotiations):
new K-3 with a 10 year warranty for $7100 (tax and delivery included) or a new (but probably sitting on the sales floor for YEARS) Charles Walter 1520 with Langer action and a 12 year warranty for $6995 (tax and delivery included).
I don't know what I'm doing - but they both felt and sounded good to me. From what I read I am gathering that the CW may be a better piano than the K-3, but I'm not sure? I really need to make a decision soon. I would love to get any opinions.

Thank you!

I edited the post to add the warranty information on the CW.

Edited by jenniferb (08/29/13 10:49 AM)

Hailun / Pearl River Pianos

Pearl River World's Best Selling Piano
#2140449 - 08/28/13 09:58 PM Re: Charles Walter 1520 or a Kawai K-3 [Re: jenniferb]
terminaldegree Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 3230
Loc: Wisconsin
I don't believe there's a bad choice to be made between the two instruments. That CW must have been sitting around a long while...
Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer

#2140456 - 08/28/13 10:26 PM Re: Charles Walter 1520 or a Kawai K-3 [Re: jenniferb]
jenniferb Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/24/13
Posts: 4
Thank you. Other than asking at the store tomorrow, do you know if there is there a way I can find out the age of the CW? The serial number is 528934. They came off the most on price, had been originally asking something in the $9,000s and it was on "sale" for $7715. They told me they could order me a new CW piano in the $8,000s - I didn't get an exact price, because it was a little more than I wanted to spend.

#2140466 - 08/28/13 10:59 PM Re: Charles Walter 1520 or a Kawai K-3 [Re: jenniferb]
RX2Bunny Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 119
Loc: Chicago
Hi Jenniferb - where are you located? K3 should be in the 6K neighborhood in my area. I don't know where you're located, but I haven't heard of $7100 so far. I think with that price, you should be able to get a K-5.

#2140487 - 08/29/13 12:13 AM Re: Charles Walter 1520 or a Kawai K-3 [Re: jenniferb]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1459
Loc: California, USA
I would go for the Charles Walter
Pianist and Piano Teacher

#2140495 - 08/29/13 12:43 AM Re: Charles Walter 1520 or a Kawai K-3 [Re: jenniferb]
KurtZ Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 1333
Loc: The Heart of Screenland

About the Charles Walter. You can call them in Indiana. It's a family operation and it's likely you'll wind up speaking to someone named Walter. I've chatted with them and they are friendly and non-intimidating. They take a real pride in what they do and will tell you everything they know about the piano.

One who does what the Friend wants done
will never need a friend.


#2140593 - 08/29/13 08:43 AM Re: Charles Walter 1520 or a Kawai K-3 [Re: jenniferb]
tdv Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/13
Posts: 69
Loc: MI
Both are great pianos. I have a Walter and love it. A friend has a top end Kawai that I love to work on. I would decide by touch and tone. FWIW.

P.S. If they are equal, I would go with the Walter. Quality made in the USA by a wonderful family run operation.

Edited by tdv (08/29/13 08:44 AM)
1978 Charles Walter piano
1915 5"1' Weber
Seeking truth in all areas of life

#2140602 - 08/29/13 09:17 AM Re: Charles Walter 1520 or a Kawai K-3 [Re: jenniferb]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9837
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Everything being equal, I would go for the Walter. Make sure the piano is well prepped and regulated before delivery.
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834

#2140609 - 08/29/13 09:29 AM Re: Charles Walter 1520 or a Kawai K-3 [Re: jenniferb]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4530
Loc: San Jose, CA
The full-width music desk on the CW is nicer than the K-3's little fold-out rack. However, check out the action carefully on the Walter and compare it to the MIII action on the K-3. The Kawai's action is very fine, and the keycover material is better, and these things make an important difference. Touch is our main interface with the instrument, except for how it sounds.

The CW has a very nice sound, especially for its size... but then, the K-3 sounds good, especially considering its position in the K-series. The 1520 will have a fancier case than the K-3 or the plainer CW 1500 (it's the same piano as the 1500 inside). On the other hand, if you think you may sell eventually and move up the piano food chain, the K-3 will be easier to turn over or trade-up, and its remaining warranty (which is transferable to the subsequent owner) has a money value.

I don't see a terrible downside to either choice. So, relax, play them both as long as you want, examine them for fit-and-finish, try every key and every pedal to make sure they do what you expect and that they're in proper adjustment. The one you like best will become clear in your mind, in the process. Otherwise, flip a coin, and make up your mind to be happy, whichever side it lands on.

#2140631 - 08/29/13 10:20 AM Re: Charles Walter 1520 or a Kawai K-3 [Re: jenniferb]
jenniferb Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/24/13
Posts: 4
Thank you for all of the responses.

Rileybunny, I live in Twin Cities Metro Area of Minnesota. After reading some other posts here, I believed that we would be able to get a K-3 for a little less than the price my husband was able to negotiate. They did come down another $100 to $7000 (which includes tax and the $225 delivery charge. So I guess it is about 6,250 before delivery and tax).

I think we are hoping this will be a piano that we keep and grow with. I honestly can't tell the difference between the sound or the way the keys feel on the two pianos. They aren't at the same stores, so it is hard to compare. I did look at other used pianos on the showroom floors and from craigslist that I didn't love - the keys felt too "loose and wobbly".

I don't think we would be looking to sell and trade up anytime soon. We might have room for a baby grand with some major editing and rearranging of furniture, but I don't know if it would be in the budget. Thank you for the information about the K-3 warranty being transferable (I hadn't thought of that) and your thoughts on the K-3 having better resale value (I had wondered about that).

I might like the style and look of the shiny black ebony K-3 a little better. The CW is the Queen Anne in cherry, and I think it is lovely also.

I think I like the idea of the "practice pedal" right now, but I don't know if down the road I will think it is better to have the bass sustain pedal. I like the duet bench better than the single chair that the Kawai comes with (although it may be better for my tiny almost 6 year old to reach the pedals with when she is ready for that). I like that the CW is a family owned American company. My husband is leaning towards the CW, because he feels that we are getting a better deal on it.

#2140644 - 08/29/13 11:00 AM Re: Charles Walter 1520 or a Kawai K-3 [Re: jenniferb]
jenniferb Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/24/13
Posts: 4
I just called Charles Walter Company and they told me that the piano I am looking at was manufactured in 2002, but may have been in their warehouse up to 4 years before being sent to a dealer.

#2141474 - 08/30/13 05:26 PM Re: Charles Walter 1520 or a Kawai K-3 [Re: jenniferb]
mahermusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 356
Loc: U.S.A.

+1 for the Charles Walter.
Charles R. Walter 1520 QA Mahogany #531739 w/ High Polish, Renner and Quiet Pedal

#2141480 - 08/30/13 05:48 PM Re: Charles Walter 1520 or a Kawai K-3 [Re: jenniferb]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014

Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
That's a good price on the CW. They are very good pianos.
Marty in Minnesota

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


Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World) our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps and more.

Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
(ad) Yamaha Stage Pianos
Yamaha CP4 & CP40 Stage Pianos
Ad (the Piano Store)
the Piano Store - Restored Steinway Pianos
(ads) PD - WNG - MH
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
New Topics - Multiple Forums
WPKN Interview on the use of Disklavier for Distant Voices
by fredericch
10/08/15 10:27 PM
Practicing gospel music - Jamal Hartwell's DVD.
by bgalbkatz
10/08/15 06:43 PM
Cleaning a VERY dusty Piano Lid
by NFexec
10/08/15 04:52 PM
Write musical scores on iPad (or Mac)?
by Eric NYC
10/08/15 01:10 PM
Any reasons, other than cost, NOT to go for a hybrid?
by barbaram
10/08/15 11:23 AM
What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
Forums Rules & Help
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
Forum Stats
80,981 Registered Members
44 Forums
167,395 Topics
2,453,218 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |

copyright 1997 - 2015 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission