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#85753 - 08/12/07 04:24 PM First Piano Purchase; advices and suggestions please?
Charlene. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 3
Loc: Canada
Hello everyone!

I'm planning to start taking piano lessons again so I'm looking into buying a piano but I am on a tight budget \:\( so I'm hoping to buy a decent quality piano at around CDN $2000 - $3000. I'm planning on buying a better quality piano in about 5 years when I'll be out of school and working and finished paying off my student loan.

One of the pianos I like the most out of the few I've seen in that price range is the Steigerman SU108 (For details of the piano: http://www.steigerman.com/upright_su108.htm), which is around $3K Is this piano worth purchasing?

I really don't know anything about pianos because I only played for about 3 years when I was 5 years old and haven't played the piano since, so any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated!

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#85754 - 08/12/07 06:42 PM Re: First Piano Purchase; advices and suggestions please?
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4683
Loc: San Francisco
At first it's a good idea to play as many different pianos as you can, even ones which are clearly out of your price range. As you continue to audition, you'll find that some appeal to you more than others. If you don't play, just ask the rep to play for you.

Going around to the shops will also help you to get to know the reps. This could be helpful, because shops get trade-ins - from people who are upgrading, for example. If you build up a network of contacts, you may be able to get a two- or three-year-old piano at a price that you want to pay.

Just take your time.

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#85755 - 08/12/07 08:55 PM Re: First Piano Purchase; advices and suggestions please?
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7439
Loc: torrance, CA
Charlene,

The Steigerman 108 is the lowest-priced piano that Steigerman Music offers. To be honest, it's nothing special. It is part of their Classic series. If the piano were priced at $3000 in the US, it would be more than a little overpriced and would not be a worthy competitor to others that you could buy for $3000. However, I don't know prices in your market or the current rate of exchange.

Steigerman's Premium line is more contemporary. By that I mean it is a better representative of Chinese piano quality today. It has received favorable reviews. If I were looking at Steigerman pianos, I would try to find the Premium 115 at a price I could handle. Chances are the dealer who had the 108 would stock the Premium line as well.

You might look at Heintzmann verticals as well. I think they are more easily found in Canada than here in the US. Another low-priced piano that has received some favorable coments here is Palatino. It would probably fit your budget if you can find one to audition and happen to like it.

With the low-priced pianos, finding a dealer who takes the low-end business seriously and preps the pianos to bring out their potential is just as important as the piano itself. That's not to say that all these pianos are the same level of quality. They are not. But any of them can sound bad and play badly if they are just dumped onto the sales floor without attention.

Evaluate the piano, the presentation, the salespitch, and the comfort level you have with the dealer. All of those should be part of your decision.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#85756 - 08/12/07 09:09 PM Re: First Piano Purchase; advices and suggestions please?
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
Check out the Yamaha model T118 and the Yamaha Cable Nelson model CN116. New, Yamaha, warrantied and in your budget. Decent performance on both.
_________________________
Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.

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#85757 - 08/12/07 10:56 PM Re: First Piano Purchase; advices and suggestions please?
Charlene. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 3
Loc: Canada
FogVilleLad, thank you very much for the advice, I've been trying to compare some of the sounds and touch of the cheaper and the expensive pianos and really wish I had the money to go with the more expensive one. One that I really liked was the Petrof, unfortunatly it is not something I can purchase at the moment.

turandot, I'm unsure of whether there's a dealer in my area that sells Palatino, I was on the website looking for a dealer near my area but got it said they couldn't find a dealer near my area.

I've been to the 4 piano stores that I've found around my area, through the yellow page, and it seems that the brands they have are Yamaha, Kawai, Hoffman & Kuhne, Petrof, Charles R. Walter, Steigerman, Baldwin, Wm. Knabe & Co., Kohler & Campbell, Heintzman & Co.

What are some questions i can ask or ways for me to know if the dealer preps the pianos to bring out their potential?

Marty Flinn, thank you for the suggestions, I will go have a look at the Yamaha T118. I really like the sound of the Cable Nelson CN116, but I find the keys a little "heavy" to push on.

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#85758 - 08/12/07 11:56 PM Re: First Piano Purchase; advices and suggestions please?
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7439
Loc: torrance, CA
 Quote:
What are some questions i can ask or ways for me to know if the dealer preps the pianos to bring out their potential?
Charlene,

Some things would reveal themselves without asking. If the piano is out of tune you'll probably notice. If keys are not level or stick when played, you'll know that too. If there are buzzes from the caninet or strings that twang, you'll hear them.


The question to ask is "How much work do these pianos require to set up when you receive them?".
If the asnwer is: "These pianos are good to go...or something similar, then you can assume they do nothing or next to nothing. If they say it requires time, ask them what they do.


BTW, I like Marty's suggestions of the T 118 and the Cable Nelson if they appeal to you. You say you want to keep the piano 5 years before upgrading. If the piano is a Yamaha product, it will probably be worth more in 5 years than the others. That's just how the market is. The action of the Cable Nelson can probably be adjusted more to your liking. Is the Cable Nelson around $3000 as well?
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#85759 - 08/13/07 01:13 AM Re: First Piano Purchase; advices and suggestions please?
Charlene. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 3
Loc: Canada
The cable nelson is approx $3600 + tax. Do you know the approx. price to adjust the action of a piano? I did not know that keys can be adjusted so that they don't feel as heavy to push on?

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#85760 - 08/13/07 02:11 AM Re: First Piano Purchase; advices and suggestions please?
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7439
Loc: torrance, CA
Any adjustments that can be made to suit you are done before you pay and as a condition of sale. There should be no charge. You should also be entitled to at least one free tuning after the piano settles in your home for a month or so. That tuning visit should also include a free fix of any little things that crop up during the break-in period. If you discuss these things with the dealer, you'll get a sense of how he operates and get a feeling about whether you're comfortable with buying from him.

Maybe some of our Canadian members can comment on that $3600 + tax price of the Cable Nelson and give an idea how much a Yamaha T-118 and Steigerman Premium 115 might cost.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#85761 - 08/22/07 06:48 PM Re: First Piano Purchase; advices and suggestions please?
008 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/23/06
Posts: 1
I paid around $3600 to $3800 (incl delivery, taxes extra) on the CN116 last year. Very nice piano but I don't have anything else to compare.

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#85762 - 08/22/07 07:07 PM Re: First Piano Purchase; advices and suggestions please?
SCCDoug Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 663
Loc: Canada
Charlene

To stay under $3000 tax in for a new piano in Canada is not easily done and you might find used to be a better value. If you have access to a good technician to check out any that you find you are interested in, it can also be a relatively safe purchase.

Digitals may also be an appropriate choice for you. We recently picked up a Yamaha P140 for our college student child because it offered some lifestyle and budget advantages. There are decent instruments well within your price range, and although they are still not as satisfying as acoustics they deserve a look. We will be better able to tell how well it works out for us later this year.

Best wishes and keep us posted.
_________________________
Doug

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

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#85763 - 08/22/07 07:28 PM Re: First Piano Purchase; advices and suggestions please?
birchy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/06
Posts: 323
Loc: Vancouver
I've heard some Steigerman uprights and they sounded great to me though I believe they were the Premium line. As Turandot points out, that is a superior line.

If you are in BC send me a personal message and I'll give you some tips from my recent shopping experience.

If the budget is tight you might want to think about the rent to own plan some vendors offer. It lets you get into pianos that seem out of range for you.

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#85764 - 08/23/07 06:04 AM Re: First Piano Purchase; advices and suggestions please?
superrand Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 12
Loc: Mesa, AZ
Hi Charlene:

If you decide to look for a quality used instrument as opposed to new, check out a Kawai UST-6 or 7. I've seen a few of these for sale for arond $2k.

As far as testing to see how much a dealer preps their pianos...I find the oldest, ugliest used piano in the place, and lift up on the keys. They should move upward slightly. If they stick up, or slowly fall back down, it's a bad sign. If they rebound, or seem to bounce a little, the dealer has probably done some adjustments to bring maintaince current. I actually do this on any piano I'm trying, it's like kicking the tires of a car. Not sure if it actually does anything, but it makes you look like you know what your doing, HA.
_________________________
James Rand
B.S. Music Education/Piano
Stock Broker by day
Wannabe pianist by night
Kawai US-55

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