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#232096 - 11/22/07 02:33 AM Need info ASAP...Wurlitzer C173
I've Got Rhythm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/15/07
Posts: 14
I have found a 2001 Wurlitzer C173 Baby Grand for $3500. Like Brand New. It has only been played about 12 times. Is this a good deal? I have heard that Wurlitzer is made by Young Chang. How reliable is this brand/piano? Has anyone played one or owned one? The seller says it is worth about 8K? Is that correct? I need to know ASAP as it might go fast.

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#232097 - 11/22/07 04:13 AM Re: Need info ASAP...Wurlitzer C173
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
If I'm not mistaken Baldwin purchased both Wurlitzer and Chickering in 1995. They were Baldwin's classic line (lower quality than Baldwin's artist grands)
$3500 for a newer 5'8"(2001)C173 grand having been played 12 times and not more than 13 seems like a great deal. Maybe a Baldwin expert can confirm my recollection or correct my assessment. Refer to Baldwin's website for specs. of the present Wurlitzer models.
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#232098 - 11/22/07 10:44 AM Re: Need info ASAP...Wurlitzer C173
I've Got Rhythm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/15/07
Posts: 14
Okay so now I have two options...THere is a 2005 Young Chang 52" upright for $3200 or the Wurlitzer 2001 5'8" Grand for $3500. Both are black and beautiful. How do these compare? Would you personally hold off for a Kawai or Yamaha in this same price range? A little more reliable? I realize they will all sound different to me, I live far away from them and would like to have some idea of whether it's worth the drive to see them. Thanks for any reply.

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#232099 - 11/22/07 03:00 PM Re: Need info ASAP...Wurlitzer C173
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
The Wurlitzer C173 grand sounds like a better value to me for $300 more than the YC uprt. Also resale down the road, in case you want to upgrade,you won't suffer any further depreciation on the grand. If you want to wait for a better newer low milage Yamaha or Kawai grand for $3500 you'll be waiting a long long time. Good luck!
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#232100 - 11/22/07 06:09 PM Re: Need info ASAP...Wurlitzer C173
I've Got Rhythm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/15/07
Posts: 14
Thanks. I really appreciate your opinion. I knew it was most unlikely that I could get a newer Kawai or Yamaha GRAND for around $3500, but what about an upright? Would you guess it would take me just as long to find a newer Kawai/Yamaha console or taller? (as none have come up in the past month) I had a dealer tell me that I wasn't going to find one in that price range in the colors I wanted (black or mahogany). I thought it might be possible through private sellers and was excited/surprised to find a black Wurlitzer Grand for $3500 for sale. I don't know if it is worth waiting for Kawai/Yamaha upright to show up or if my expectations are too high at this price point. Opinions?

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#232101 - 11/22/07 07:16 PM Re: Need info ASAP...Wurlitzer C173
MoodyBluesKeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 258
Loc: Trent Woods, NC
The only way that you are going to find out how the Wurlitzer plays and sounds is to make the trip (since I don't know where you are nor where the piano is located, I am not sure if it is a drive, or flying, nor whether an overnight stay would be needed). I serviced organs for both the Baldwin and Wurlitzer dealers back in the 80's and early 90's; Baldwin did buy the Wurlitzer company, and later, financial mismanagement took Baldwin down also. Baldwin did build some very good pianos back in the day (no, not in the league of Bose, Steinway, etc., but good), Wurlitzers were about the level of the lower end "Howard" grands that Baldwin sold - however this was 80's and early 90's; I'm not sure about 2001.

I must say that a seller telling me of a 2001 piano with only a dozen times being played (six years later) would not inspire me with great confidence, without other supporting evidence. A matter of interest would be what maintenance (if any) was done to the Wurlitzer - has it been tuned even over the past six years.

If you decide to make the trip, you should contact a PTG (Piano Tuners Guild) rated piano tech to examine the piano and report on its condition, before committing to purchase. There may very well be circumstances that have resulted in the seller being willing to sell at less than half of what the seller thinks the piano is worth, but; in the famous words of Lucille Ball's husband: "Got some 'splaining to do."

Even with all the above, presuming that the piano is in reasonably good condition (at that price, you can afford to have several tunings done to get it stable and back up to pitch); I would still rather have it than have the YC vertical. If you or your family members progress to intermediate and advanced music, the action on the grand will be more conductive to playing said music.

As far as getting a Kawaii or Yamaha at that price point, I'll leave that response to others who may be better attuned to current pricing.

HTH,
Jim
_________________________
Jim Cason
Promised LAN Computing, Inc.
Howard C171 Grand, Kurzweil PC3X, PC3, PC361, PC2X, PC2.
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Formerly in electronic keyboard repair trade - semi-retired

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#232102 - 11/22/07 08:50 PM Re: Need info ASAP...Wurlitzer C173
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 784
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by I've Got Rhythm:
I have found a 2001 Wurlitzer C173 Baby Grand for $3500. Like Brand New. It has only been played about 12 times. Is this a good deal? I have heard that Wurlitzer is made by Young Chang. How reliable is this brand/piano? Has anyone played one or owned one? The seller says it is worth about 8K? Is that correct? I need to know ASAP as it might go fast. [/b]
If there is nothing wrong with it, and it is really "like new", I would expect that it would go fast. The price is very good. Originally these sold for more like $10-12k.

This is a Samick built piano. Wurlitzer was built by Young Chang until about 1995, and then began production by Samick. Samick built a piano this size for Baldwin for a long time. It was a Howard C171, then a DH Baldwin C172, then a Wurlitzer C173. The C143 and C153 were Samick stencils, but the C173 wasn't. In other words, the smaller pianos were the same as other Samick pianos, but just had a different name. The C173 was actually a Baldwin scale design. I believe that it was the same scale as the Baldwin R.

I have tuned and otherwise serviced alot of these. They can be decent pianos when well prepped.
_________________________
Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com

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#232103 - 11/22/07 10:13 PM Re: Need info ASAP...Wurlitzer C173
I've Got Rhythm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/15/07
Posts: 14
That was very helpful. Thank you Moodyblueskeys. I WOULD like comments on the Yamaha/Kawai availability and invite anyone's input.

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#232104 - 11/22/07 10:30 PM Re: Need info ASAP...Wurlitzer C173
guest1013 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 1239
If you are near a metro area or a music school that uses one more than another, that might shed light on your local market.
If not, then some understanding of when either Yamaha or Kawai began selling in your region might help you weigh the likelihood of any used ones being nearby.

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#232105 - 11/22/07 10:32 PM Re: Need info ASAP...Wurlitzer C173
I've Got Rhythm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/15/07
Posts: 14
Thanks to Roy as well. I had no idea that it may be the same scale as the Baldwin R. I am in the process of getting in touch with the seller. (waiting for a response back) I plan on driving the 3 hours to go play and see it. If it is still for sale that is.

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#232106 - 11/22/07 10:38 PM Re: Need info ASAP...Wurlitzer C173
Piano Peddler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/28/04
Posts: 351
Roy is correct in that the C173 was a proprietary Baldwin scale design that they commissioned Samick to build in Korea for several years, under various names (Howard, DH Baldwin, and finally Wurlitzer). The model continues to be marketed through Baldwin today, although the new models are built in China (by Sejung and presumably now in the Baldwin Dongbei factory). The price is exceptional, in that the wholesale cost is now several thousand more (and list would be double that). You will not find a used Yamaha or Kawai grand in that price range, unless it is a very used gray market piano in only fair condition. If everything is as it seems, this looks like a no brainer.
_________________________
Craig Smith
aka "Piano Peddler"
Veteran industry professional
and keyboard musician

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#232107 - 11/23/07 11:10 AM Re: Need info ASAP...Wurlitzer C173
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9114
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
 Quote:
The C173 was actually a Baldwin scale design. I believe that it was the same scale as the Baldwin R.
[/b]

I respectfully refute the quote above. The C173 was not a Baldwin R, or any other Baldwin scale. The scale is the same as the Samick 172, however there was one difference - The Baldwin labeled piano had a traditional spruce soundboard and the Samick had a laminated board.

If there is any doubt about this, I have the stringing and soundboard area specs. here. Anyone is free to compare.
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#232108 - 11/23/07 01:30 PM Re: Need info ASAP...Wurlitzer C173
I've Got Rhythm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/15/07
Posts: 14
The Wurlitzer piano has been sold. I was set up to go see the piano today at 3:30 pm and she emailed me to say that one person came to see it this morning and bought it with cash and hauled it off. I am bummmed to say the least. Thanks to all for your input. It really made the process easier. I will continue to use this sight in my quest for my piano.

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#232109 - 11/24/07 12:19 PM Re: Need info ASAP...Wurlitzer C173
Piano Peddler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/28/04
Posts: 351
Too bad....brings to mind the old saying, "you snooze, you lose." Of course you had to conduct your due diligence on this forum to find out if the C173 was a decent price. Good luck finding another used grand in your price range.
_________________________
Craig Smith
aka "Piano Peddler"
Veteran industry professional
and keyboard musician

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#232110 - 11/24/07 06:33 PM Re: Need info ASAP...Wurlitzer C173
I've Got Rhythm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/15/07
Posts: 14
Actually, I was the second one to call her. I was just waiting for her to call me back. Meanwhile, I had time to check on more info on this site. She finally called me back, set up an appointment for me to come and her first appointment came and hauled it off. I am actually wondering if I would have liked it anyway. It ranks at the very bottom of Larry Fine's list! I finally got the book after ordering it and am hoping I can get a decent deal on something with better quality.

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#232111 - 11/24/07 06:34 PM Re: Need info ASAP...Wurlitzer C173
I've Got Rhythm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/15/07
Posts: 14
(probably vertical)

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