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#317476 - 10/28/04 01:59 PM Tokai Piano Any Good?
Steven Ross Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 4
Loc: Chattanooga, TN
I saw a 14 year old Tokai studio piano for $2500. Know nothing about this brand. Any advice? I currently play on a Baldwin Acrosonic.

Thanks for any advice...
_________________________
Steve

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#317477 - 10/28/04 02:22 PM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10561
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Run. Tokai was generally a poorly constructed piano.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#317478 - 10/28/04 03:22 PM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
Steven Ross Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 4
Loc: Chattanooga, TN
The salesman said the Tokai was a "Professional" model and it's been kept in tune. It seems to play well, but lacks the rich tone I'm used to with my Baldwin. Thoughts anyone?
_________________________
Steve

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#317479 - 10/28/04 03:32 PM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
PIANOS007 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 413
Loc: POMPANO BEACH FLA.
THE TOKAI PIANO WAS THE WORST PIANO EVER BUILT IN JAPAN. I WOULD AVOID ANY TOKAI PIANO LIKE THE PLAGUE. THEY WERE BADLY BUILY AND WILL NOT IMPROVE WITH AGE. DON'T BUT IT.
_________________________
007JR

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#317480 - 10/28/04 05:41 PM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
Steven Ross Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 4
Loc: Chattanooga, TN
Thanks for the advice. Apparently I was about to make a big mistake. I'll hang onto my Baldwin. One other question...what brand would you recommend for a "baby" grand? Thanks!
_________________________
Steve

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#317481 - 10/28/04 05:44 PM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
jchmag Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/11/04
Posts: 73
Loc: Dallas, Texas
They are crap.

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#317482 - 10/28/04 07:20 PM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
MaryAnna Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 400
Loc: Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by Steven Ross:
Thanks for the advice. Apparently I was about to make a big mistake. I'll hang onto my Baldwin. One other question...what brand would you recommend for a "baby" grand? Thanks! [/b]
Hi, Steven,

I think the first question to ask is, "What do you mean by the term "baby" grand?" Because I don't think there's a hard and fast dividing line that says "This grand is a baby grand and that one's not." It's just a term used by people who are trying describe a small grand piano designed for home use.

Most people on this forum would say that very small grands (probably less than 5'3" and certainly less than 5') look much better than they sound. If you're only interested in the look, that's fine--just try to get the piano cheap. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

If you're only interested in the sound, then an upright is a better choice than a very small grand. Or you may wind up budgeting a little extra money for a little larger grand, because even a few inches makes a difference. (We're not talking 9-footers here.) Once you know which you want and what your price target is, the people on this forum will be very forthcoming in recommending brands. Trust me on this.

Something to remember while you're fine-tuning a vision of your ideal piano: If, like most people, you want the piano that looks and sounds best in your price range, then you just need to shop a lot and play a lot, then be very aware of how you want to trade appearance and sound for dollars. Because that's true in every price range except the absolutely most expensive.

Happy shopping!
Mary Anna
http://www.maryannaevans.com
_________________________
Mary Anna Evans
Author of the Faye Longchamp mysteries
http://www.maryannaevans.com
Blogging at maryannaevans@blogspot.com

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#317483 - 10/28/04 07:29 PM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
pete Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/03
Posts: 797
Loc: port washington, ny, us
I was in a restaurant in northern Connecticutt about two weeks ago, and I noticed there was a Tokai grand piano, and a drummer was setting up his drum kit next to it. It was a Saturday, and they were going to have a little piano duet play for the patrons. I asked the bartender if I could touch the piano, and he said it was OK. I have never played such a crappy piano in my whole life. The action made a clattering and clicking with each note that was louder than the pitiful sound coming from the strings themselves. After playing two chords, I closed the fallboard, and walked away. Good luck to the poor sap that had to play that for the evening. Stay away.

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#317484 - 10/28/04 09:06 PM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
TP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 42
Loc: Midwest
I once went to service a Tokai and the pedal lyre had been installed so that the rods all hit the same pedal lever making all three pedals do the same thing. The customer was told that this was so that people that were right or left footed could have equal ability to use the sustain pedal.
_________________________
Find it, quantify it, fix it.

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#317485 - 10/26/06 09:29 AM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
Agathis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 420
Loc: Southwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by TP:
I once went to service a Tokai and the pedal lyre had been installed so that the rods all hit the same pedal lever making all three pedals do the same thing. The customer was told that this was so that people that were right or left footed could have equal ability to use the sustain pedal. [/b]
that's rich! man..... \:o

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#317486 - 10/26/06 11:30 AM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
Speaking of "baby grands"...ask Derick...

sorry Derick, I just remember when you commented on someone coming into you place, looking over and saying "nice baby grand" lol
_________________________
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

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#317487 - 10/26/06 12:22 PM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
Derick II Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/05
Posts: 1426
Loc: New York
No, they said "That's a baby grand right? It's a rather large baby grand, right?" I believe those were the exact words. It only goes downhill from there with the stupid/insulting questions they ask.

Derick
_________________________
"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid."[/b] - Soren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855)


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#317488 - 10/26/06 01:11 PM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2887
Tokai piano ?!

I only heard about their cigarette lighters. \:D
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

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#317489 - 10/26/06 02:30 PM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
Jan-Erik Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/18/05
Posts: 1302
Loc: Finland
What really means badly constructed?

What can go wrong in piano building if you copy a proven model and do not make your own experimental modifications?

Do the bad cosntruction refer to bad workmanship, big tolerances, poor material?

Or is the scaling conpletely weird and leverage of the action totally wrong?

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#317490 - 10/26/06 02:36 PM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10561
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
In this case I think it was bad workmanship.

Also the design was "thick", that is, too many ribs and too heavey a backpost assembly for the scale.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#317491 - 10/26/06 03:07 PM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
97fingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/23/06
Posts: 30
Loc: Earth
I have to put my two cents in... We owned a Tokai for many years. It was a piano that the previous owner had sent off to assorted telethons etc etc so it had quite a bit of use and mileage on it long before it arrived in our house.

I would say the build quality is about a 4 out of 10 and the sound, after proper voicing and tuning probably was a 5.5 or a 6. It certainly was not the World's Best Piano but you sure could do a lot worse.
We had none of the problems anyone above had mentioned and as for our needs the piano was; ok.

The funny story of the whole situation was back when my family was piano shopping. We went to all of the shops in town. The most exotic of them was the Kawai dealership, no Steinways or Bösendorfers to be seen anywhere. We had a nice time with the Kawai dealership while the Yamaha salesperson was the most aggressive of the lot. The Yamaha salesman was doing his best to push one particular piano and of course that just made us back off from buying it at that very moment. We thanked him and went away.
We happened to be good friends with the conductor of our local symphony and asked if he would be willing to join us for an afternoon of piano shopping as we would really appreciate his opinions on the various pianos. Again we went to all the showrooms in the city saving the Yamaha place for last. As soon as we walked back in they spotted our friend and was upon him like bears on honey. They kept appologizing for not having the piano very piano they we pushing on us the day before voiced and tuned and kept saying that if only they had known he was coming they would have done so much more for us. Needless to say his opinion was mediocre of the piano and less of the staff.
We ended up visiting a small music shop on the other end of the city run by a small Norwegian man who had no idea who our friend was but invited us over to his house where he was selling his own 6'1" Tokai. We all went over and played it and out of all the ones we had tried it sounded the most enjoyable of all. It played well enough and got the thumbs up from our friend.

So, don't be too harsh on the Tokai!
(But get something better if you can)

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#317492 - 10/26/06 03:54 PM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
Derick II Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/05
Posts: 1426
Loc: New York
I had a friend who had a Tokai. I think it sounded better than the two GH1 Yamahas I've talked about in other posts. But the action was far below Yamaha regarding responsiveness.

It was also quite a beautiful piano as it was a very dark wood with gloss finish. Very unique.
I don't recall him having any problems with it.

The thing I noticed about it right away was it had "dead" spots where notes would not sustain. I'm guessing this has something to do with a cheap laminated soundboard as opposed to a good laminated soundboard.

It certainly wasn't a great piano, but I've played new pianos that were much worse.

Derick
_________________________
"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid."[/b] - Soren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855)


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#317493 - 10/26/06 03:59 PM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
 Quote:
Originally posted by Derick II:
No, they said "That's a baby grand right? It's a rather large baby grand, right?" I believe those were the exact words. It only goes downhill from there with the stupid/insulting questions they ask.

Derick [/b]
Hey...I'm 50, I have a hard time remembering last week, had to do a search just to make sure it was Derick...II. As far as I'm concerned Derick, that has to be one of the funnest comments I've heard of...I mean, your Bose is AS BIG AS THEY GET...LOL take care...
_________________________
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

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#317494 - 10/26/06 04:08 PM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
markb Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 2593
Loc: Maryland
Steven, if you're looking to upgrade, I have a Grand spinet that you might be interested in... :rolleyes:
_________________________
markb--The Count of Casio

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#317495 - 10/26/06 04:55 PM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
Colin Crawford Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 438
Loc: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, U...
 Quote:
Originally posted by markb:
Steven, if you're looking to upgrade, I have a Grand spinet that you might be interested in... :rolleyes: [/b]
I tuned one of those recently. Better pianos came out of the Soviet Union!
_________________________
G.Colin Crawford MPTA

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#317496 - 10/26/06 04:59 PM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
97fingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/23/06
Posts: 30
Loc: Earth
 Quote:
Originally posted by Colin Crawford:
I tuned one of those recently. Better pianos came out of the Soviet Union! [/b]
Insert obligatory: "In Soviet Russia, piano voices you!" ? \:\)

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#317497 - 10/26/06 05:03 PM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
Colin Crawford Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 438
Loc: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, U...
"This pianos come from automatic factory in Arctic Circle!" (page K)
_________________________
G.Colin Crawford MPTA

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#317498 - 10/27/06 04:34 AM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
Jan-Erik Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/18/05
Posts: 1302
Loc: Finland
Steve Cohen:

I am interested to learn more about piano engineering, could you plese explain what is meant by too heavy a backpost assembly for the scale. Too heavily ribbed is an obvious cause of bad or dead sound.

Som German piano builders are very proud of their sturdy backposts (wooden frame or support for soundboard, iron frame, and cabinet) as it is supposed to give longevity to the piano and increase tuning stability, altuong there are American builder that do without any backposts (on uprights).

May be it is more the way you connect the soundboard to the rest of hte piano that matters - the small details, or tricks to be used to get a good result?

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#317499 - 10/27/06 08:12 PM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
masaki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 374
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
 Quote:
Know nothing about this brand. Any advice?
Here are some facts and info I have got from web pages in Japan lang and literatures.

FACT1: I had had a Tokai electric upright piano for ten years more than 20 years ago. This piano has no soundboard, instead it has tranducers on the bridge, an amplifier and a speaker. I decided to buy this piano because this was the only electric piano that has strings and real hammers.

FACT2: I have never seen Tokai grands. I see used uprights in the web ad.s these days but never seen grands.

FACT3: I have never heard anyone in Japan saying Tokai is worse than Yamaha.

INFO: According to seemingly reliable sources, Tokai has been establied since 1947 by ex-Kawai engineers, had been producing cembalos, light upright pianos and electric upright pinaos in the past.

My Interest:
I saw a Tokai grand in the Pictures thread and am wondering who made or forged that one.

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#317500 - 10/28/06 12:21 AM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
97fingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/23/06
Posts: 30
Loc: Earth
They were photos of the 6'1" Tokai I had. Nothing forged about it. \:\)

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#317501 - 10/28/06 03:00 AM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
Colin Crawford Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 438
Loc: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, U...
 Quote:
Originally posted by masaki:
[QUOTE]I had had a Tokai electric upright piano for ten years more than 20 years ago. This piano has no soundboard, instead it has tranducers on the bridge, an amplifier and a speaker. I decided to buy this piano because this was the only electric piano that has strings and real hammers. [/b]
No it's not!

There was the Kawai Electric upright EP705, and EP308 grand, the Yamaha CP50 upright, and most famously, the Yamaha CP70, CP80, CP70B, CP80B, and for the ultimate, the MIDI-out equipped CP70M and CP80M.
_________________________
G.Colin Crawford MPTA

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#317502 - 10/28/06 06:44 AM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
masaki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 374
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
97fingers,
 Quote:
They were photos of the 6'1" Tokai I had. Nothing forged about it.
I have made a intensive web search, and found that there were indeed Tokai grands. Sorry for the confusion.
I had been believing, until I found the web page, Tokai discontinued producing pianos in early 1980s, but it seems they were producing or at least carrying grands.

http://pianobusters.com/piano/siryositu/pianosize/tokai.htm

According to this web page, 180cm-long ebony-finish grands were bein produced in 1984 and list priced jpy1,500,000, which was more expensive than Yamaha C3 in that period. I am still wondering who built them.

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#317503 - 10/28/06 06:49 AM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
masaki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 374
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
Colin Crawford,
 Thank you very much for the info. As I know of, Tokai introduced the electric piano in 1975. Yamaha introduce in 1976. Am I correct? Do you know when did Kawai inroduce their electric piano?

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#317504 - 10/28/06 06:58 AM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
masaki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 374
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
According to Tokai Gakki(means Tokai Musical Instruments) web page, their products are The Best Musical Products in the World.
Unfortunately, they are not currently producing Pianos. Number of employees is 50.

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#317505 - 10/28/06 07:00 AM Re: Tokai Piano Any Good?
masaki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 374
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
Tokay web page is here.

http://www1.odn.ne.jp/tokaigakki/

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