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#2301911 - 07/13/14 05:00 PM How far to go?
ChopinFan66 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 18
Hi all:

Thank you for answering my previous questions. I understand that I will not find a "perfect" instrument and that I must just take the plunge after careful thought and time spent trying out different models. Please allow me another question though.

What if there is a model I want to try but my local dealer does not carry it? The next authorized dealer is 1 1/2 hours away. I have contacted them to see if they carry the model. If they do, I am willing to travel to try it out. But, if they do not...are there any other options..or do i just keep expanding my geographic search region?

thanks..

c

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#2301925 - 07/13/14 05:39 PM Re: How far to go? [Re: ChopinFan66]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11968
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I combined my search with a road trip I was taking anyways and stopped there on the way. It all depends what you'e willing to do. Or take a chance an by something untested, but that's not ideal/recommended if you can avoid it.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2301931 - 07/13/14 05:51 PM Re: How far to go? [Re: ChopinFan66]
Tuneless Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/17/13
Posts: 170
Loc: AZ, USA
The only DP I could find at a local shop was a Yamaha P105 that I didn't like the mid high notes on. The next was the big city of Phoenix, an hour or more away. I was able to pick days that we were going into the big city any way. I made up a list of all dozen or more music stores and still never saw any Kurzweils or any serious stage pianos setup to play.

My other comment is that many of the stores were so noisy, I could hardly hear the sound from the DP's speakers, but on a recent trip back to Sam Ash to hear another Roland FP-50 to determine if the odd sounds mine was making were a flaw in my unit or normal for the Roland, I went at opening time on a week day, before others had filled the store and added to the bedlam sounds. The odd sounds on my FP-50 were normal, which brings up another note for you. You will want to play every note and at different levels, as I found some really undesirable sounds on some keys. I also noted on a couple of Casios, at 2 different stores, that a key stood out form the others, a different key on each of the 2 boards, and I suspect that floor models get a lot of wear. But a bit disturbing if you are considering a Casio.

On the second trip I had nothing planned in the big city to go to, so I made a day of it and went to the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. You might want to find something to make the trip worth while.
_________________________
Cynthia

Roland FP-50
Conover Upright, 1888/9, but a very low mileage piano. http://www.pbase.com/schnitz/conover_upright_piano__1888_or_9 .
Tuneless = Don't play piano(yet) and couldn't tune a guitar, much less a piano.
I'm technically very capable. I love my piano and love tinkering with it.

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#2302017 - 07/13/14 10:43 PM Re: How far to go? [Re: Tuneless]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1336
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: Tuneless
. . .
My other comment is that many of the stores were so noisy, I could hardly hear the sound from the DP's speakers, but on a recent trip back to Sam Ash to hear another Roland FP-50 to determine if the odd sounds mine was making were a flaw in my unit or normal for the Roland, I went at opening time on a week day, before others had filled the store and added to the bedlam sounds.
. . . .


That experience matches my own.

That's a good reason to buy a set of _closed-back_ headphones (Sennheiser HD280 / Sony MDR-7506 / Shure SRH440)(or in-ear monitors like the Shure SE215) before you go shopping. They really help keep out the bedlam.

. Charles

PS -- implicit assumption: no DP (especially slab DP's) has loudspeakers that are adequate to fully appreciate what its sound generator is doing You should judge tone and playability using headphones. This is, of course, my _opinion_, and other may disagree.

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#2302174 - 07/14/14 11:18 AM Re: How far to go? [Re: ChopinFan66]
frb63 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/03/14
Posts: 19
For an investment like this, I think it's worth it to make the drive. I went three times to a dealer about 50 minutes away before closing the deal. I would have traveled up to 2 or 3 hours if necessary.

My advice would be: if you are within 2 hours of a city where you can demo each of the brands you're considering, plan on two trips. On the first trip, try them all. Spend as much time as you need to decide which action and sound suits you best, and to explore other features that might interest you. Be open to the possibility of falling in love with a model you hadn't previously considered. Take notes. You should come away from this day with a pretty firm idea of your first and second choices.

Now go home and let your impressions marinate for a couple days. Read some online brochures. Research market prices on your top two models and decide what you're willing to pay. Your second trip should be short and focused on making the purchase. (of course, you could this all in one trip, but that would require knowing market prices in advance on every model you see). Now treat yourself to a nice lunch and celebrate your wise purchase smile

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#2302213 - 07/14/14 12:52 PM Re: How far to go? [Re: ChopinFan66]
Kbeaumont Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 265
Loc: Virginia, USA
At some point it becomes cheaper to order it online with a dealer that has a great return policy like http://www.sweetwater.com/

The gas for me to drive 3 hours is less than the return shipping!

I have only done this once, but it was worth it. And as much stuff as I have bought from them over the last 5 years, they more than made up their shipping costs.


Edited by Kbeaumont (07/14/14 12:53 PM)
_________________________
A long long time ago, I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile....

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#2302302 - 07/14/14 04:45 PM Re: How far to go? [Re: ChopinFan66]
Tuneless Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/17/13
Posts: 170
Loc: AZ, USA
I agree, the second trip, but you may find things seem different on the second trip. First impressions are not always the same as last or later impressions. Some times your experiences makes your senses develop.
_________________________
Cynthia

Roland FP-50
Conover Upright, 1888/9, but a very low mileage piano. http://www.pbase.com/schnitz/conover_upright_piano__1888_or_9 .
Tuneless = Don't play piano(yet) and couldn't tune a guitar, much less a piano.
I'm technically very capable. I love my piano and love tinkering with it.

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#2302332 - 07/14/14 05:44 PM Re: How far to go? [Re: ChopinFan66]
Ben Boule Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/14
Posts: 33
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
If you have time to shop maybe you will get a chance to visit some of these dealers as you travel around for some other reason.

I bought my DP about 3.5 hours away from home, but it was near where I went to school. I was traveling there anyway for a reunion and knew there was a Kawai dealer near there so I planned to visit. It happened to be convenient.. I would have been driving at least 1-1.5 hours to one of the more local dealers so this was actually the easiest thing.

The internet doesn't really work for a lot of models as there are plenty of models from most of the brands except for Casio which are not sold online.. and besides you really should sit and play the piano before buying it. Personally I would never buy anything but a "stage piano" online if I thought I might have to return it.. it is way too much trouble to buy, assemble, disassemble, and return a console DP. And the shipping would be horrendous if you had to pay to return it.

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#2302393 - 07/14/14 09:48 PM Re: How far to go? [Re: Ben Boule]
Eldridge Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/14
Posts: 65
Loc: New Mexico
Casios are sold online, by several retailers. I bought my PX850 from Amazon.
_________________________
Hailun 178
Casio PX 850


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#2302531 - 07/15/14 10:28 AM Re: How far to go? [Re: ChopinFan66]
Kbeaumont Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 265
Loc: Virginia, USA
The OP never said he was looking for a "console". I returned a CP-5 because it had a ridiculous interface and I just didn't bond with it. I bought a MOX8 after it which had its own warts but I could live with them.
There is a Kawai dealer 50 miles away, but they don't carry anything digital. So if I were looking at an MP-11, instead of driving 4 hours to Washington DC, you can bet I would buy one online.
_________________________
A long long time ago, I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile....

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#2302555 - 07/15/14 11:37 AM Re: How far to go? [Re: ChopinFan66]
frb63 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/03/14
Posts: 19
Four hours would give me pause too. The OP mentioned 1.5 hours, which to me is more than reasonable for this kind of purchase.

From this and other threads, I get the sense that the OP is (like myself several months ago) both brand new to the DP market, and a bit of a risk-averse completist in his consumer habits. I would never have been comfortable committing to an instrument without first trying out several for comparison. The problem with ordering online is that, although you may be satisfied enough with your piano to keep it, you'll always wonder if you might have liked another one even better.

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#2302748 - 07/15/14 07:54 PM Re: How far to go? [Re: ChopinFan66]
Joe Garfield Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/13
Posts: 156
Loc: Ohio, USA
While I can't really advise anyone to just buy a DP without trying it, I believe the Kawai MP7/MP10 or later, or their furniture style counterparts with same keys and sound, are the best thing out there short of the Avant Grand (and I don't know that I'd say that's better).

I went through like 5 DP's (casio and yamaha, and tried roland and everything else worth considering) before I got to the MP10. After about 6 months of owning it I never think about the sound or the feel, I just play it.

I have been looking at acoustics for the past 2 or 3 days. I am finding that I prefer the MP10 to most (maybe all?) pianos under $5000 used. I think the closest one was the Kawai UST-9, then there was a Knabe baby grand that I really liked, and a Yamaha and Kawai that were decent.

Long story short, MP7 gets you a really nice action, really nice tone, a ton of features, at a competitive price. The wood keyed action of the MP11 is another step toward an acoustic action. My MP10 feels a little heavier and slower but also more similar to the acoustic actions that I prefer.

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