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#230992 - 03/05/07 04:07 PM Pricing for Boston Upright
rijaka Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 21
Loc: Washington State
This is my response from Steinway after giving the serial number for it. The story on this piano is that it was in a store that was bought by another store, has never been in a home, yet right now it needs regulating and tuning. They have dropped the price from 8K to $6800. It still seems overpriced, as an 06 Charles Walter is $7800. Please help me understand what the value on the Boston is. Does anyone know where it was manufacture?
Steinway email response:
This piano is a model UP118P in Berkshire Cherry Satin. It was manufactured in 1999.

Height 46 ½”

Width 59 ¼”

Depth 22 ¾”

Weight 473 lbs.

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#230993 - 03/05/07 05:15 PM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
JWP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/07
Posts: 128
Loc: Delaware
Hi Rijaka,

Per Larry Fine and his 'The Piano Book' the Boston pianos are made by Kawai in Japan per Steinway/Boston specs. Larry Fine's 2006-2007 Piano supplement for pricing does not list a Berkshire Cherry Satin UP-118P. The price range that he lists for the 46" vertical pianos is roughly from $6,000 to $11,000.

There are many fine pianos that can be had new for circa $7,000, such as Kawai K3, Yamaha U1, Petrof 118, Weinbach, Bohemia, Baldwin, and many others. Good luck with your quest for a piano.

John
-----
Bohemia Concerto 132
_________________________
Bohemia Concerto 132

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#230994 - 03/05/07 06:07 PM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
rijaka Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 21
Loc: Washington State
Thank you, John,
This one is 1999 as per serial number. I don't have the Piano Book, do you think it too was manufactured in Japan in 1999? If a new one was 6-11K, would a "new" one that had been sitting around since 1999 be in that range also? Thank you also for listing other pianos in that range.

My town doesn't have new Kawai, Weinbach, Bohemia, or Baldwin. We have available to us new: CW, Yamaha, Kohler and Campbell, Story and Clark, Pearl River?, Steinway, and I think that's it. I have found some pianos used, but mostly the same brands and some used Kawai. I am having a most difficult time deciding, because it seems that the best sounding ones in our town are the Charles Walter, Steinway (new is out of price range),this 1999 Boston, and a Yamaha T116se is 2nd to the others.
Thank you for helping!

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#230995 - 03/05/07 06:31 PM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
JWP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/07
Posts: 128
Loc: Delaware
Hi Rijaka,

I can't really definitively answer the first part of your question, whether a 1999 Boston was manufactured by Kawai in Japan, but I think so. There are others who can answer definitively. Regarding price I have no idea. Again there are others who can maybe provide some insight.

Of the pianos you listed I have only played CW and Yamaha. The CW pianos are thought very highly of at this forum and Yamahas are very popular. From Larry Fine the CW are ~ $8500, the Yamaha T116S is ~ $5800, and the Yamaha U1 is ~ $8500. These are the prices from which discounts are applied. I strongly suggest getting Larry Fine's book. It helps explain the differences in pianos, what's on the market, how to shop, and how to determine a price. Once again good luck!

John
-----
Bohemia Concerto 132
_________________________
Bohemia Concerto 132

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#230996 - 03/05/07 07:25 PM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
Apostle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/18/06
Posts: 33
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
What model and color Walter are you considering?

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#230997 - 03/06/07 01:26 AM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
rijaka Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 21
Loc: Washington State
The only new CW's available in town are 1520, 2 different, but beautiful styles. There is a well used '89 black studio also for $5500, which I think is over priced for the wear and chips all over the satin black finish. It sounds wonderful, though. I have nothing against the 1500, there just aren't any available. I personally (and my son) prefer the Boston and CW to the Yamaha. As you can see, we haven't considered higher models of Yamaha due to price.

This is such a great decision, as the one we have I have had since childhood; a 1945 Baldwin Acrosonic. Now my children have been playing it for the last 6 years since my Mom handed it down. The piano I now purchase may be with me until I can no longer play it! What decisions! In my heart of hearts, I would love to own a CW because I want to support the business in our town, but the new ones are still a bit out of price range. So, do I purchase a piano to enjoy now that wouldn't be as good, or wait until I save up the money for what I know will be treasured by all the piano players in the house? That's my dilemna. More than you want to know, but it sure is great airing concerns with those who have been there and understand!
Thank you.

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#230998 - 03/06/07 08:56 AM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
Apostle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/18/06
Posts: 33
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
$5,500 for a 1989 model 1500 in ebony is way over priced IMO, especially if it's all chipped up...you should be able to get a brand new one for not a lot more than that..around $6k depending on finish..IMO, if you want it to further your kids piano education, without much consideration for making it furniture, then I'd go for the 1500 over the 1520.

You are right that this is a big decision, therefore you need to equip yourself completely. Get Larry Fines book (4th edition in red covering) from your local library. You can then download his most recent pricing supplement as an e-book from his website here .

Then you'll be fully equipped and able to discern a fair price for whatever piano you are interested in. I had to drive an hour out of state to find a 1500 to try...sometimes they can be hard to find because they only build so many of them per year, but it can be done. The Walter website can direct you to authorized dealers by typing in various zip codes. Good luck and keep us posted.

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#230999 - 03/06/07 11:19 AM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
rijaka Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 21
Loc: Washington State
After advice earlier, I borrowed Larry Fine's book from the library and have perused it now. It is copyright 2001, so would the download update it?

I just received an email response about the 1999 Boston UP118. It was sold for $7400 new and they are asking $6800 now. I believe it is overpriced as well, as I saw on the depreciation schedule in the piano book that it should be worth perhaps 68% of new value if I interpreted it correctly.

The problem with the CW is there are no 1500's available in our city. The nearest are 300 miles away. If I go to Seattle, the nearest large city to me, I would have lots to choose from, but would have to add the moving price to that. I haven't looked into the moving of a piano and how best to do that because I'm still trying to purchase in town.

What I am finding out is that compared to where others live in this forum, the prices are quite high. I have gone in twice to ask what the bottom line on the Boston is and they insist $6800. That seems close to what they may have offered it for in 1999, perhaps 7K as their bottom line back then.
Thank you for your comments, they are all helpful. I can't wait to be showing my pictures!

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#231000 - 03/06/07 12:10 PM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
terminaldegree Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 3096
Loc: western Wisconsin
You might try the Fandrich and Sons shop in Washington state; I think they have Bohemias in that price range and would likely be prepped well...
_________________________
Pianist, teacher, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer

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#231001 - 03/06/07 01:00 PM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
rijaka Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 21
Loc: Washington State
Thank you, I looked at their website. They are 300 miles away, so should we end up looking in Seattle, we will definitely visit them. I notice you have a U1 at work, how do you think the sound compares with the Bohemia, the Boston, or the Charles Walter? I love to hear the sounds in the same room to compare, but I can't find a place in town with any Yamaha U series alongside the Charles Walter or the Boston, and I have never touched the Bohemia. Thank you

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#231002 - 03/06/07 04:34 PM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
terminaldegree Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 3096
Loc: western Wisconsin
rijaka,

Take whatever I say with a grain of salt, because instruments can vary from one to the next, dealer prep often matters, and I haven't played a Bohemia or Charles Walter before (but have read many good things). I have "tier one" grand tastes and a "tier three" upright budget, so my opinions tend to be rather critical.

My U1 (I've spent years practicing on three recent examples of these) is a consistently-made, good sounding upright with a nice, predictable action. It has held up well in an institutional environment. It's not a piano I'm really that passionate about, but it can handle just about anything I throw at it and does a good job. It's a piano that I like, but don't love. The only problems I've had are damper pedal noises (again, it gets hard use from both me and my graduate TA) and two of 'em had the occasional pianissimo double-striking issue that sometimes happens (one of which was corrected through action regulation).

I suspect you don't find the uprights from Yamaha, Boston, Charles Walter, Bohemia, Kawai, etc. together in the same store because they are competing for the same market segment. Marketing and salesmanship aside, they all have different sounds and actions, so the more brands you play the lower the chance of buyer's remorse.

The "distance to a good XYZ dealer" issue is one I had to deal with also. The Schimmel I bought was 250 miles away. If you're going to take the plunge and drive a long way to see a piano, I suggest calling ahead a few days in advance, then calling again the day of your visit (letting them know how far you are driving to see the piano). You stand a better chance of arriving to an instrument that's ready-to-show...

I mentioned Fandrich's store because I think they would do a good job tweaking and adjusting the instrument to your liking, and probably would service their customer well. This comes at a price, but I think it's well worth it. Ultimately, I want to be happy with my piano (whatever the cost), as I'll keep it anywhere from 5 years to the rest of my life.
_________________________
Pianist, teacher, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer

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#231003 - 03/06/07 06:17 PM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
JWP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/07
Posts: 128
Loc: Delaware
Hi rijaka,

During my piano shopping adventure I played the pianos you mention; Yamaha, Boston, Charles Walters, and Bohemia. I am no expert but IMHO the Yamaha and Boston had 'bright' sounds and I didn't care for the bass. The Charles Walters I just didn't care for, although it is a well regarded piano.

I did like the european sound. I tried Petrof, Schimmel (too expensive for my budget), czech built Weinbach and the Bohemia. I preferred all of these to the Yamaha, Boston, and Kawai's that I tried. The european built pianos were 'mellower' and sounded better to me.

My adjectives might not be what others would use to describe the sounds but you can certainly hear the difference. As everyone will suggest, and Larry Fine suggests, play as many differnt pianos as you can. Three hundred miles is a long way but you will probably have whatever piano you purchase for a long time, so I think it's worth a trip. Oh, by the way as you can see I bought a Bohemia 52" in polished mahogony and I just love it. Happy hunting!

John
-----
Bohemia Concerto 132
_________________________
Bohemia Concerto 132

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#231004 - 03/07/07 11:14 AM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
rijaka Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 21
Loc: Washington State
My Steinway dealer got a return on a Kawai K3, 48" and a new shipment of Essex and Boston so he called. Just what I wanted happened! Sitting next to the K3 was a Yamaha U1, and of course they had the Boston UP118, 46 1/2". My son, being the best pianist in the family, played for long time on them. We finally heard the Kawai K series. It is a beautiful piano, ebony, and tuned well because they had prepped it for delivery. Finally, a good price, $5K, on a good piano.

The U1 was eliminated first. It was a brighter sound than the other two and none of us preferred it, though, terminaldegree, I know they are a good piano and hold up well. My son really liked the K3, but preferred the sound of the Boston. After leaving for dinner and discussing "if you don't look at price, what is your favorite piano between the CW, Kawai, and Boston?" My 2 children favored the Boston, we, the adults, were torn between the Boston and CW, despite the great deal on the K3. The price was up slightly, only hundreds for the Boston and as I said before, the CW about $7500 total. They haven't had time to tune or regulate the new pianos, yet the Boston still had a mellow, sustaining base and full sound throughout the keyboard. The Boston is a studio style, so less expensive, and a satin black finish. I mentioned to my son that it will be hard to give up the natural mahogany piano we have now, and he said. "In people, the beauty in the heart is more important than the beauty on the outside; pianos are the same, Mom, it's the rich beautiful sound that is important, not the case on the outside." Wisely said.
So....we are very close, and I'll let you know soon, but I think it will be the new Boston UP118, as it is 2K lower than the CW and we are torn between the sounds of both pianos. I am very excited, as my kids play so well (I'm biased of course) on what we have, I can hardly wait until the new piano fills the house.

I asked them who tunes the pianos for them, and it is the same tuner I use, who is a member of the PTG. I was pleased with that!

Thank you for all your comments, and so much advice that I have used from this forum. I'll let you know as soon as we have spent the cash!

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#231005 - 03/07/07 12:41 PM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
Glenn Grafton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 190
Loc: Souderton PA
First off let me state the obvious.

You are comparing a Boston 46 1/2" piano to a 48" Kawai K3. The Boston is a shorter piano, shorter bass strings, smaller sound board.

You are grouping the pianos by price, not size. To be comparable you should really compare the Kawai UST8 to the Boston UP-118. Both are exactly the same height and both are made by Kawai on the exact same assembly line, by the same exact workers.

My feeling knowing what I do about costs is that the UP-118 is priced too high.

Another thing is that you mentioned the mellow sound of the Boston. You should realize that pianos can be voiced to suite your personal preferences. If you prefer a mellower sound you can have the piano voiced mellower. You can voice hammers, you cannot add string length or soundboard area.

Despite the fact that the shorter Boston is made by Kawai it still lacks the new Millenium III action that the K3 has. The new carbon fiber actions give you 17% faster repetition, better control on pianissimo passages and less problems with sticking keys.

The last point is about branding. There is a whole "feel good aura" that some people get engulfed in with the Boston brand name. While these brands are marketed by Steinway they are built by Kawai. The same goes with the Essex line which is made by Pearl River in China.

It's sort of like if Mercedes had a line of cars made by Subaru with a different brand name that they had on the same showroom as the Mercedes.

Musically the K3 in my opinion is a better piano and a better value.
_________________________
Glenn Grafton
Grafton Piano & Organ Co.
Souderton PA
877-GRAFTON (877-472-3866)
Remove "nospam" in email address.
glenn@nospamgraftonpiano.com

Grafton Piano Home Page

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#231006 - 03/07/07 01:27 PM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
rijaka Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 21
Loc: Washington State
Glenn,
I appreciate your advice. You are right, I am comparing what I have available in my price range. The Boston is $5800, the K3 $5000. Not so much different in price, both new 06 models, and the Kawai has a larger soundboard. The UST8 didn't sound as nice as the K3 or Boston for the same price, so we didn't even consider it.

Thank you for letting me know about the possibility of voicing the K3. I will ask my technician to help me with that. I am a consumer trying best to understand my options and be satisfied with a big purchase for our family. Thank you again for your help.

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#231007 - 03/07/07 03:30 PM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7639
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Hi Rijaka,

I purchased an identical Boston for my teaching studio in 1999, except for the case, which was matt black, and paid $6,000 for it at Sherman Clay, Seattle. It was at one of their warehouse sales over at the St Michelle winery.

After 8 yrs of 3/yr tunings, thousands of hours of student play, and a few minor string realignments by my tech, it has finally blossomed into a wonderful instrument. They must use the softer hammers which Steinway uses.

If you get to the down town store in Seattle, ask for Jennifer Bowman. The address is 1624 Fourth Avenue. Phone if you want to make an appointment:
206-444-8296, or email: Jennifer_Bowman@sclay.com.

Jennifer is a Juilliard grad, so she can help you evaluate and instrument from a musician's point of view (and NO, I don't get a kick back or gratuity. She's just a friend who works there.[/b]

John
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#231008 - 03/07/07 04:04 PM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
tjbsb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/07
Posts: 256
Loc: Houston, TX
Overall, the Kawai K3 is a better piano and you can likely get one around $6K.

For what it is worth, you can even get a Kawai K5 for less than $1,000 more than the price you were quoted for the Boston and it is even mo'better.

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#231009 - 03/07/07 05:34 PM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4683
Loc: San Francisco
The prices, are they arrived at after negotiation or are they the dealer's first quote?

If the prices are or turn out to be carved in stone, then you just have to go elsewhere.

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#231010 - 03/07/07 06:31 PM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
rijaka Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 21
Loc: Washington State
FogVilleLad,
The prices are their negotiated prices.

I went in twice (and after phone calls) to see the 1999 Boston UP118P, the second time expecting to purchase it for less than $5000, and the salesmen quoted me the same price ($6861 to be exact) both times and he knew I wanted it and didn't want to go up that high. I would have walked out of there with it if it were less than the new 2006 UP118S model. He also quoted it as an 02, then I found out through your help with the serial number that it is a 1999, interesting.....

I would love to go to Seattle, but it is 300 miles away. I'm trying to buy local. If I stay local, there are only 3 piano stores in town in addition to the want ads and craigslist. From what I hear on the forum, our prices are high, the dealers have us in a bad spot as we would add lodging, mileage, and piano moving to the cost of anything we would purchase in Seattle or (400 miles) Portland. I figured that would be $800.00 or more.

A little competition would do our city good. I hear people on this forum talk about the pianos all tuned up for them and ready to play. We don't have tuned pianos in the piano galleries, though they apologize for it.

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#231011 - 03/07/07 06:52 PM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
JWP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/07
Posts: 128
Loc: Delaware
Hi rijaka,

I agree with everything that Glen says about the pianos you are considering. Of course the decision is yours but I would suggest that you play some european built pianos such as Petrof, Weinbach, Bohemia, even Schimmel (though this would be out of your price range). They certainly sound different than the pianos you've played and heard so far.

John
-----
Bohemia Concerto 132
_________________________
Bohemia Concerto 132

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#231012 - 03/08/07 04:47 PM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
Craigen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/05
Posts: 1815
Loc: West Coast
I beleive that the Boston model you are referencing was made in Kawai's stateside factory in Lincolnton, North Carolina. This factory closed sometime in late 2004 or early 2005 and production moved to Indonesia. It was made right beside the comparable model Kawai by the same workers. It has an all wooden action mechanism that Kawai uses for distribution to Europe. This IMO is the only difference. I have always contended that the premimum for the Boston over the comparable model Kawai is warrantless.
_________________________
Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.

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#231013 - 03/08/07 08:43 PM Re: Pricing for Boston Upright
stellabella Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 81
I purchased a 2000 boston UP 118 model in polished walnut finish from an authorized steinway dealer, Field's Piano, in Santa Monica back in 2000. I paid $8600, not including delivery or tax. The piano had a few issues, which Steinway was very prompt in taking care of. i hope this helps.

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