Down To 3 Player Pianos... Which One Should I Go With?

Posted by: golf299

Down To 3 Player Pianos... Which One Should I Go With? - 12/05/12 05:02 PM

Hello -

I am a novice with piano knowledge, to say the least (besides what I've read from Larry Fine). My wife has always wanted a baby grand player piano, and I'm thinking of surprising her with one. She does play a little herself, and she's an interior designer so it has to look great too. And for her, name-recognition is important too. Our budget is $8000 for a 4'11" - 5'3" piano. What are your impressions and experiences with the following pianos...?

1) Wurlitzer w/ Concert Master by Baldwin - 1999 - $7500 firm
The piano is beautiful and sounds great, but I don't know if my wife can overlook the very large player system and remote that is supposed to sit on top of the piano.

2) Young Chang Signature series JJ Pramberger - approx 8-10 years old - Pianodisc 2000+ QRS player - Korean made - $7500 firm
The piano needs some cosmetic work. There are swirl marks on the polished ebony finish, as well as one corner of the casing being chipped. Also, one of the keys sticks in the down position when the player function is on, and the key does not stick when a person plays it. The seller is willing to polish the case, fix the chip and the sticking key.

3) Samick with QRS Petine player - Korean from 1995 - 1997
Original price $8900 on consignment at a store. After more inquiring, the price is now $7900. The piano appears to be in great shape and sounds good.

Of course, any one that I choose I will have an independent specialist appraise and inspect it.

Thanks for your insight!
Posted by: golf299

Re: Down To 3 Player Pianos... Which One Should I Go With? - 12/06/12 10:03 AM

Anyone able to offer any help / suggestions / insight?

Thanks!
Posted by: Cy Shuster, RPT

Re: Down To 3 Player Pianos... Which One Should I Go With? - 12/06/12 10:03 AM

Which model of pianos are they? You've given us details about the player systems, but the model, size, and year of the pianos themselves are also important.

The new wireless interfaces are a big improvement (iQ by PianoDisc; the latest QRS systems). The Petine can be easily upgraded; PianoDisc can if the player system has SilentDrive (ask). The ConcertMaster is the very first player system with a remote.

--Cy--
Posted by: golf299

Re: Down To 3 Player Pianos... Which One Should I Go With? - 12/06/12 02:03 PM

I have the info for the Samick right now:

The Samick is model # SG-161 / Serial # IQAG0136

There is also a sticker on the inside that says: KR-8860

And on the front under the keys there are 2 circular emblems, and I'm not sure what those mean either.

Any idea where or when it was built?

I am leaning towards the Samick because it looks the best, sounds great, and as you mention it is easy to upgrade the petine system.

The Young Chang is a PG-150

Thanks!
Posted by: Cy Shuster, RPT

Re: Down To 3 Player Pianos... Which One Should I Go With? - 12/07/12 09:45 AM

If the Samick serial number were IG instead of IQ, that would correspond to 1997. The 161 is its length in cm, which is a big improvement over the YC at only 150 cm.

As always, have an independent tech check out any used piano before you shell out $7K, and find out if there's any warranty.

--Cy--
Posted by: golf299

Re: Down To 3 Player Pianos... Which One Should I Go With? - 12/08/12 12:54 AM

I contacted Samick and was told that it is Korean made in 1997. Does that sound right?

More info on the piano from Samick:

Klaus Fenner German Scale Yes
Height (cm) 103
Depth (cm) 161
Width (cm) 148
Weight (kg) 310
Soundboard-All Spruce Protected Surface Yes
Tone Collector Yes
Ribs Notched to edge Soundboard Yes
Rib materials-Sitka Spruce Yes
Soundboard Area (cm²) 11,014
Laminated Treble Bridge Yes
Pinblock 16-17 ply,Perma-Seal Perma-Grip Yes
Tuning Pins Cut Thread Reverse Torque Yes
Action Wood Maple
Hammer Felt
Hammers T-wired Reinforced Yes
Genuine Buckskin-Knuckles and Backchecks Yes
Individually Balanced and Weighted Yes
Key Buttons Hard Maple Yes
Key Sticks Straight Grain Sitka Spruce Yes
Bass String Speaking Length (cm) # 1 119.5
Type of Keybed Multi ply, Cross Laminated Yes
Aluminum Action Rails Yes
Soft Closing Fallboard Yes
Forged Brass Pedal Yes
Vacuum Cast Iron Plate Yes
Pedals Soft, Sostenuto, Full Sustain Yes
Anti-warp Key Slip Yes
Upholstered Benches Yes
*All Hardwood Cabinets Yes
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: Down To 3 Player Pianos... Which One Should I Go With? - 12/08/12 01:46 AM

Prices seem rather high to me, and none of these are all that great in the "name-recognition" dept. Personally, I'd be hard-pressed to recommend any of these....
Posted by: golf299

Re: Down To 3 Player Pianos... Which One Should I Go With? - 12/08/12 11:45 PM

So what would you recommend then for a baby grand in the sub-$8000 category?
Posted by: Cy Shuster, RPT

Re: Down To 3 Player Pianos... Which One Should I Go With? - 12/09/12 12:08 AM

Consider that it costs $5,000 to $6,000 to add a player system to any existing piano, so at $8K you're looking at used pianos. The electronics have gone through dramatic improvements in ten or fifteen years, obviously a much bigger difference than the pianos have. Player pianos tend to have more wear, just because they're used more.

If you save up about $10K, you can get a brand-new piano like a Hallet, Davis with the system installed. New piano, new electronics.

--Cy--
Posted by: golf299

Re: Down To 3 Player Pianos... Which One Should I Go With? - 12/15/12 09:20 PM

I am now a bit interested in a Lyrica baby grand from Schmitt Music. They are offering a new 4'8" with QRS PNOII player installed for $9,700.

The Samick I'm looking at (see above posts) has a Petine player, is 15 years old, 5'3" and on consignment for $7500.

The Samick is Korean built and the Lyrica is from China.

What is the better deal at this point?

Please help this newbie! Thanks!
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: Down To 3 Player Pianos... Which One Should I Go With? - 12/18/12 09:37 AM

I am leary of new private label pianos such as the Lyrica.

I think the best deal at this point is to give your wife a "music box" piano with a card explaining that you will shop buy a real piano between Christmas and New Year. That way you still have the surprise element and can take advantage of post-holiday sales.

Posted by: supersport

Re: Down To 3 Player Pianos... Which One Should I Go With? - 12/18/12 10:44 AM

Hi,

I think if I primarily wanted something that looked like a piano and plays music and that I could occasionally play it myself, I would be looking at a digital in a grand piano form. Good luck in your search.

David