Kawai K-3 vs. Essex EUP-123S

Posted by: grapesoda8342

Kawai K-3 vs. Essex EUP-123S - 01/10/13 05:39 PM

hi. i'm on the verge of purchasing a piano for our family. i've narrowed the selection to the essex 123s and the kawai k-3. are there any blaring inadequacies in either piano/company i should know about? i preferred the essex sound and action to comparable yamaha uprights. i've read that the k-3 is another solid option, so my next step will be to go down and play the k-3.

i prefer a more classical sound with rich low register and lots of sustain. any information and/or opinions from those in the industry is appreciated.

oh, and the essex i'm looking to purchase has been offered to me for $4999. i'm in southern california. opinions on pricing? should the k-3 be priced similarly? thanks.
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: Kawai K-3 vs. Essex EUP-123S - 01/10/13 05:51 PM

The K-3 is a Japanese-made piano, while the Essex is made in China. The Boston UP-118S would be more comparable to the K-3, both being made by Kawai in the same factory.

While the country of manufacture isn't a difinitive measure of quality, it has a major effect on selling price and resale values. The Essex will therefor be considerably less expensive than the K-3.

The K-3 action is generally thought to be superior, although only marginally so.
Posted by: musicpassion

Re: Kawai K-3 vs. Essex EUP-123S - 01/10/13 05:56 PM

I would go for the Kawai
Posted by: grapesoda8342

Re: Kawai K-3 vs. Essex EUP-123S - 01/10/13 06:16 PM

thanks. after further research, i find it a little odd that the essex dealer only showed me essex and yamaha. not sure why he left out boston. i'm assuming he had boston uprights, since he had essex and steinway....

sorry to be an ignoramus. in general, japanese made pianos are superior to chinese made ones - in resale value?
Posted by: grapesoda8342

Re: Kawai K-3 vs. Essex EUP-123S - 01/10/13 06:18 PM

Originally Posted By: musicpassion
I would go for the Kawai


any reasoning behind that?
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: Kawai K-3 vs. Essex EUP-123S - 01/10/13 06:50 PM

Originally Posted By: grapesoda8342
in general, japanese made pianos are superior to chinese made ones - in resale value?
That's not the correct generalization. There are numerous Japanese built pianos with poor resale mostly because the brands are no longer current and some because they had deficiencies. And even among the 2 big Japanese names, resale is not equally valued across their lines.

Branding has significant affect on resale. Continuity has a significant affect on resale. In your specific comparison of Kawai K-3 vs Essex EUP-123, Kawai has the edge in both of those areas regarding resale. I wouldn't give outstanding weight to that factor among these pianos. Discussion of resale may be a diversion for some or vitally important to others.

To your original question, there are not blaring inadequacies regarding the pianos/companies you are considering. I would yield my choice to subjective personal preference after listening and playing the individual instruments.
Posted by: Plowboy

Re: Kawai K-3 vs. Essex EUP-123S - 01/10/13 06:51 PM

Here's the opinion of a complete piano nobody, worth every penny you paid for it: I've owned both an EUP-111 and a Kawai K-2 simultaneously. I'd give the Essex an edge on bass tone. I'd give the Kawai an edge on touch. A good tech can have the Kawai action feeling super smooth.

The Kawai developed some brightness ofter a couple of years, easily taken care of with some voicing by the tech.

Both are very stable tuning wise after a year or so. Maybe a slight edge to the Essex there.

They are different pianos and I've enjoyed them both.

Buying either one will not be a mistake. Play both multiple times, go with your own preference and you won't go wrong.

Posted by: Dave B

Re: Kawai K-3 vs. Essex EUP-123S - 01/10/13 07:01 PM

I like the Kawai.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Kawai K-3 vs. Essex EUP-123S - 01/10/13 07:36 PM

Hi GrapeSoda - Welcome to Piano World!

I agree with your comparison of the Essex vs. Yamaha. Trying the K3 will also figure in when you have a chance to play one. I even prefer the tone of the Essex over the K3. The Boston is considerably more expensive and becomes a large consideration. Have you tried a Hailun yet? It is worth putting on your try-out list.

I don't know if the Cunningham verticals are marketed yet in Southern California. You might send a PM to Rich Galassini. In this price range, they are quite exceptional.

As always, Mr. Bennett has given excellent advice and it really does come down to your preferences. The quoted price for the Essex seems to be very fair.

Good luck in your search and don't be afraid to take your time.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Kawai K-3 vs. Essex EUP-123S - 01/10/13 08:17 PM

Advice on these pianos can only be based on on-sight inspection and individual preference.

There's nothing IMHO that makes either piano sufficiently superior over the other.

Re resale value it will certainly help if a model's designation will not be changed in future and be replaced by a new model of same height later.

This has happened in industry before and has never been an advantage to the owners of those pianos later....

Good luck in your choice!

Norbert smile
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: Kawai K-3 vs. Essex EUP-123S - 01/10/13 08:51 PM

Originally Posted By: Norbert
This has happened in industry before and has never been an advantage to the owners of those pianos later....
To the best of my knowledge, the K-3 has the longest current tenure of any Kawai upright at ~10 years. Typically, their 48"+ models have had a name change every 4-6 years. Kawai has had so many model names and numbers over the years, they are actually repeating themselves.

Many makers will keep a model name in spite of internal changes. Yamaha's U1 has been around for over 50 years with numerous variations and design changes over the years, but that significant continuity becomes a factor in market penetration and ultimately resale.

I wonder if Hailun's recent win as Acoustic Piano Line of the Year with the HU-5P will free up Kawai to rename the K-3? wink
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Kawai K-3 vs. Essex EUP-123S - 01/10/13 09:14 PM

Sam:

Would love to meet you on NAMM and compare notes!

They will soon have to build Autobahns for us guys to keep up with the industry's speed!

Now,I already said years ago the Hailun HU 5P has always been the best piano in their line up. thumb
[honorary mentioning: H3 - discontinued?]

But today I would say....nah - who cares....

Norbert wink
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: Kawai K-3 vs. Essex EUP-123S - 01/10/13 09:38 PM

Sorry for the detour...couldn't resist the softball intro to Hailun that Marty tossed out there. An ad, perhaps but still on topic.

Norbert, we will have to catch up at NAMM.

To the OP, when buying competitive uprights these days, the splitting of hairs is best done with your ears. The dealer's presentation will make or break any shopping trip.
Posted by: grapesoda8342

Re: Kawai K-3 vs. Essex EUP-123S - 01/10/13 11:45 PM

thanks all. sounds like either option is a good one. it's nice to know i'm free to choose whichever one just plain feels better under my hands and in my ears. i'll admit i'm tempted to live in ignorance with the essex and skip the trip to another piano store with my two little ones under 4yrs:) isn't ignorance still bliss these days;)?
Posted by: musicpassion

Re: Kawai K-3 vs. Essex EUP-123S - 01/11/13 01:24 AM

Originally Posted By: grapesoda8342
Originally Posted By: musicpassion
I would go for the Kawai


any reasoning behind that?


Yes, but it's mainly based on personal experience with one particular piano. I played a Kawai upright that size for about 9 years at a church job. The piano was overworked, played hard, and undermaintained. Even so, it survived and was still a pleasing musical instrument.

My concern with the Essex is that it's a third line piano, and that means it is purposefully built to the lowest price point of any piano they distribute. But I don't have personal experience playing an Essex over an extended time.
Posted by: grapesoda8342

Re: Kawai K-3 vs. Essex EUP-123S - 01/11/13 11:17 AM

thanks for the input:)

Originally Posted By: musicpassion
Originally Posted By: grapesoda8342
Originally Posted By: musicpassion
I would go for the Kawai


any reasoning behind that?


Yes, but it's mainly based on personal experience with one particular piano. I played a Kawai upright that size for about 9 years at a church job. The piano was overworked, played hard, and undermaintained. Even so, it survived and was still a pleasing musical instrument.

My concern with the Essex is that it's a third line piano, and that means it is purposefully built to the lowest price point of any piano they distribute. But I don't have personal experience playing an Essex over an extended time.
Posted by: asd123321

Re: Kawai K-3 vs. Essex EUP-123S - 01/13/13 11:02 PM

I haven't been impressed with the sound of the Essex, but the Kawai has a heavier action than some, and more than I like. I would question whether they would be good for a 5 year old. What other brands are near?
Posted by: UK Paul UK

Re: Kawai K-3 vs. Essex EUP-123S - 01/14/13 05:01 PM

Yeah, my k3 is lovely but the action is on the heavy side.... but then so is my last teachers yamaha grand.... my previous teachers bechstein and my new teachers grand ( first lesson tomorrow.... Xcited!!!!! )

Lighter action would be nice, but easier for lessons and gradings with what i have...