Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase

Posted by: HappyDrone

Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/04/13 02:35 AM

Hello we've been looking at pianos for a while now and we've narrowed down our choices to a Shigeru Kawai SK5, a Schimmel 213 and a used SK6.

The Schimmel is a few thousand cheaper than the SK5 but we do like the Shigeru more and are leaning toward it for a little over 40k.

The SK6 was rented out new for two years to a church, and has just been returned. It appears to be in pretty decent condition, except that it seems the treble and middle has been played a lot more than the base. There is a fairly noticeable (and annoying) increase in stiffness toward the lower range. The sound quality of the treble and mid ranges are very nice and comparable to the SK5 that we like, but the bass is clearly superior. They are asking a little bit more for it than the SK5.

We were wondering if the touch could be regulated properly so that it feels the same for the entire range, and if this would need to be redone after the lower keys are broken in.

Also is this a reasonable price for this used piano? It was bought/rented 2 years ago and according to that piano buyer's book the Shigeru's were all a significant amount cheaper than they are now. In fact, the price they are asking now is a fair ~60% off the suggested price of a new 2012 version, however it's not at all a good price given the 2009/2010 price and it's been used. What's with the big price increases anyway? It seems Shigeru's were much cheaper before.

There's also a new Sauter 185 for (I believe after some discussion) somewhere near the 32k range that I find myself coming back to play every time.
Any opinions or suggestions on the pianos themselves is welcome.

Thanks.

EDIT:
One last thing, there's an SK3 that we do like as well but doesn't doesn't sound very clear, a good bit different from the other Shigerus. It's in a different part of the store with a lower ceiling, hardwood floor (though everywhere is hardwood), glass door, corner... etc... Maybe we will ask but the store owners have not offered to move it somewhere else. I know it's hard to say but does anyone have experience with Shigeru's being a bit muddy or is it probably poor positioning?
Posted by: maurus

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/04/13 04:57 AM

In your situation I'd probably tend to buy new. I suppose you are based in the US - then that will include the visit of a highly qualified technician to your home, regulating and voicing the new Shigeru Kawai to your preference. You wouldn't get that with the used one. Moreover, two years in a church may mean (may, not must) fairly rough treatment, and I doubt the difference between an SK5 and an SK6 compensates for that.

As for the smaller SK3 - I own an SK2 (budget being the main reason for not choosing a larger one) and am rather happy with it. However, positioning in the room and the nature of the room certainly DOES influence the sound A LOT. Thus if you are interested in that SK3 please ask the dealer to place it side-by-side with the other pianos you are looking at. Some dealers will even go so far as bringing it to your house for a test in situ.

The other pianos you mention are fine pianos as well! Good luck with your choice.
Posted by: backto_study_piano

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/04/13 08:09 AM

Originally Posted By: HappyDrone
... There's also a new Sauter 185 for (I believe after some discussion) somewhere near the 32k range that I find myself coming back to play every time ...


You need to consider WHY you keep coming back to play it every time.

Maybe it's telling you something.
Posted by: HappyDrone

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/04/13 11:14 AM

Sorry please ignore.
Posted by: HappyDrone

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/04/13 11:18 AM

Thanks for the replies.
The tone of the Sauter is different and much more fundamental tone than the Shigerus. It sounds very pure and the treble is powerful. However I think I do like the Shigerus more, though I wonder about what other people would think because people seem to like Sauters here.

In this situation I am also leaning toward new, but one of my main questions is about the price of the used one. In my mind I would think that the SK6 should be a fair amount cheaper and in that case I think I would have that one checked out by a technician and probably pick it. As I said it doesn't seem abused and the sound is very nice and on par/better than the SK5.
Posted by: Timski

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/04/13 11:46 AM

We just finished a search for our new piano at church and it came down to a decision between an SK6 and the Sauter Delta 185. They are both very fine playing and sounding pianos. We both liked the action on the shigeru a tiny bit better, but there was something indescribable in the sound of the Sauter that we couldn't leave. The pianissimo playing on the Sauter was unparalleled by anything we tried. Norbert at Heritage Pianos also seemed much more dedicated to ensuring the long term setup and care of the piano as opposed to delivery and initial tuning of the Shigeru.

Other pianos we tried were numerous Steinways, Bluthner, Bosendorfer, C Bechstein, Charles Walther, Kawai rxblack, Yamaha, Hailun, Ritmuller and a few others. Unfortunately, perhaps due to room placement, both the Bluthner and Bosendorfer were disappointing (both were tucked into the corner of the room) whereas the Bechstein and Walther were really nice but didn't move us. The biggest surprises were the Charles Walter and Sauter, neither of which I knew about before and also the calibre of the Hailun and Ritmuller grands. I found them surprisingly good at an affordable level.

Ultimately your ears have to make the decision for you, no one else. If you can afford to, take the price out of the equation and pick which piano speaks to you, if you don't you probably always will be thinking what if. Regarding 2 years in church, there are churches and the are churches and it may or may not be a good value. I'd ask for the maintenance records and have the regulation done first to see how it is before making that decision. Perhaps attend the church once to see how the instrument is used would be worth your while as well.
Posted by: Robert 45

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/04/13 11:59 AM

A two year old piano is virtually a new piano, and provided you seek reputable professional opinion on its condition and action regulation, preferably from someone experienced with Shigeru Kawai pianos, I believe that you should trust your instincts.
I would also ask searching questions about its history of use and maintenance at the church.

Good luck!

Robert.
Posted by: Steve Chandler

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/04/13 01:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Robert 45
A two year old piano is virtually a new piano, and provided you seek reputable professional opinion on its condition and action regulation, preferably from someone experienced with Shigeru Kawai pianos, I believe that you should trust your instincts.
I would also ask searching questions about its history of use and maintenance at the church.

I agree with much of what Robert says, except I don't really care what the maintenance record is (they probably only had it tuned). Have it checked by a qualified technician who will be able to tell you what the costs would be to fix the issues you raised. I'm guessing it'll need regulation and voicing. I was told Shigeru hammers require different voicing techniques then other pianos. The benefit of the larger piano is the better bass (as you noted). If you think the price is high offer what you think it's worth (or less as a starting position). Unless this is your church don't worry about offending them. So if you think it's worth $35K after it's been inspected offer that and see what they say.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/04/13 01:54 PM

Originally Posted By: HappyDrone
There's also a new Sauter 185 for (I believe after some discussion) somewhere near the 32k range that I find myself coming back to play every time.
I do not understand that price. The least expensive Sauter 185 in the Piano Buyer has an SMP of 89K. This would mean the piano is selling at over a 60% discount from SMP. This may very well be below the wholesale price.
Posted by: Jeff Clef

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/04/13 03:02 PM

"...I wonder about what other people would think because people seem to like Sauters here..."

If you add, to the difficulties of choosing a piano for your own use, worries about what other people like, a nervous breakdown could be closer than you think--- and if not that, then the agony of buyer's remorse.

Choose what you like. Go back at least three times, on three different days, to thoroughly audition your candidates. Do not hesitate to request that a piano you would would like to consider, be moved to a different place in the showroom. After researching the market, do not hesitate to negotiate with the seller, aiming for a fair deal, and putting aside any worries that they might be offended--- that is not your concern. Their job is to represent their interests, and your job is to advocate for your own. So, relax and negotiate with a smile, and if you need a few days to think over the terms of their best offer, take them. In the meantime, they could be thinking it over themselves.

You are absolutely right to consult a qualified technician to examine serious candidates, to know in detail their present condition, and to have a dollar estimate for the cost to put the piano in its best playing order. Church pianos are highly suspect--- they are often mistreated, seldom maintained, and never kept in a even temperature/humidity environment which pianos require. However, with a fine piano like a Shigeru, prospects are very good for placing it back in proper tune, good voice, and evenly-regulated touch.

Get the longest one you can afford and house. The one I loved best when I was shopping was an SK-7... and it badly beat even its shorter brethren of the same model.

If a new piano is within your financial means, there's a lot to be said for it. Proper and regular maintenance in the early years of a piano's life pay off in better tuning stability, and a touch and sound that are adjusted properly for your own music room and your own hand and ear.

Good luck to you. You sound like a careful shopper, and someone who loves a fine piano. I'm surprised you have been resourceful enough to turn up used Shigeru's at all--- people who have them, usually keep them.
Posted by: bobinski

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/04/13 04:12 PM

A new Sauter 185 in the 32k range....And you keep going back to it......And you're contemplating???.....You're kidding right? I mean about the price of the 185....
Posted by: Timski

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/04/13 05:26 PM

32k seems very low for a new Sauter from my research, less than we just paid considerably. On a similar note, the initial short term "sale" price was 44k for the Shigeru sk6 which seemed pretty good to me. This was a one time sale price with list being 85 or so. Try them all and then do it again. It isn't really about getting a bargain or value, just the best piano for you. At the end of the day, you are the only one that matters.

Not to high jack the thread or anything, but until meeting Rod from Vernhjack and Norbert from Heritage, no store or technician had ever brought up voicing or regulation. My personal training was pipe organ, I picked up piano and choral by doing it so I never officially studied piano. But, in 30 years as a musician in many churches with many tunings etc and 4 piano purchases before this one, no one either asked or offered these services or other maintenance concerns to me or other church musicians. Maybe it's assumed churches don't and won't care but some certainly do and will, from now on one will anyway.
Posted by: HappyDrone

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/04/13 05:44 PM

About the Sauter what I've been told is that this dealer got it new after sitting at another dealer for 2 years, and that since then it's been sitting there and they want to get it sold.
~32k is a guess, the initial offer price was several thousand more but we haven't tried bargaining with it at all. Either way the reason I asked was because the asking SMP of the Sauter is so high this seemed like almost a steal so I was wondering if it really was such a nice piano. In my experiences though it's clearly a very fine piano I like the tonal quality and action of the Shigeru better. It's in a corner of the shop but it seems like a very powerful piano, especially the treble.

For those who have said to spend some more time I've been going to the store somewhat regularly for a few months now and have even been very close to putting money down. I think by now they are rather annoyed with me smile

Anyway thanks again for the replies but it hasn't quite answered the question...:
Based on the 2009 or 2010 Piano buyer guide the SK6 is listed at I believe $60k new, and with a solid discount percentage like 60% of the original price that puts it at being sold for $36k new, but now they are asking for $40k+, for a rented one!
I don't really know anything about used piano prices but I was thinking that I should be able to get the price down a fair bit lower like $30k? Or is that too low? I'll see if I can find a technician with experience with Shigerus to take a look however right now I can say that the tone is warm, clear, and rich. It's very very similar to the new SK5 but with a stronger bass. I suspect that it hasn't suffered too much abuse. Visually it looks fine except the keys are a little duller.
Right, so I am lost as to a fair price to offer.

Just to be clear it's not really about trying them out more and seeing which one I like best. They're both quite similar and I'd be very pleased with either one. I am leaning toward the new one, but if it turns out the SK6 can be had for less money, I think I'd choose that one.
Posted by: LFL

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/04/13 06:22 PM

Happy--I can help you with the Shigeru issues. I just bought a new (2012) SK5. Actually the proper nomenclature for these now is SK-5L, as this is the "concert series" with various upgrades from pre-2012 models. Please see my previous thread regarding the process I went through (search for SK-5 in the forum). Clef had some good comments there as well.
First, if you are using Fine's guide, realize that the depreciation percentages listed for used pianos are based on CURRENT pricing, not the list price or SMP during the year of manufacture. He explains this in the write-up for depreciation. Second, as a reference point, I almost bought a used 2000 Sk-5 from a dealer (so retail, not private sale) that was around $35K. It was in great condition and I had a very experienced technician look at it. I ended up with the new one for various reasons (again see the previous thread). Third, a used piano MAY require some $$ outlay sooner, rather than later for upkeep. Fourth, I am wondering where you are getting an offer for a new SK5 for just over $40K. That's an outstanding price--are you sure it is "new"....or is it a "new" older year model (i.e. never sold). Check that out. Fifth, I am told that the prices went up in January for all the Shigerus.... Lastly, I would estimate that the 2 year old SK6 (with moderately heavy use assumed)would be worth $42-46K -- lower end in a private sale, higher end of this in a retail situation. Again, when you say it is 2 years old, it means to me that it was sold 2 years ago, but I am not clear what the year of manufacture is. There is some potential difference in value if the dates are not the same. All this is my humble opinion, but based on very recent experience. Please contact me via PM if I can be of further help.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/04/13 06:41 PM

Any Sauter Delta offered for 32k cannot be *new* as dealer cost is quite a bit higher especially today.

Few years back there was a number of in-transit damaged Sauters floating around which were part of an insurance claim, later offered to dealers. Some never sold and were later shifted from one dealer to another.

Damage apparently involved structural damage - to varying degrees.

We also received an offer - but declined.

Norbert
Posted by: HappyDrone

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/04/13 07:15 PM

Information about the Sauter noted. I'll be careful if I do end up considering it.

Hmm we might be at a misunderstanding here but I will definitely take a second look at the book.
What I mean is that in the 2009 or 2010 edition of the book, the price was listed for the newest model SK6 as about 60k. That 2009/2010 (can't remember exactly) was rented out to the church during approximately the same time frame so it was the latest 2009/2010 model when they rented it out.

Originally Posted By: LFL
Fourth, I am wondering where you are getting an offer for a new SK5 for just over $40K. That's an outstanding price--are you sure it is "new"....or is it a "new" older year model (i.e. never sold).

It was the newest model until the new 2013 models were released a little while ago. Those are encouraging words for a buyer smile

Posted by: Robert 45

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/04/13 11:37 PM

Another thought. Would the Shigeru Kawai SK6 in the church have had the visit from the Shigeru Kawai MPA? I believe that all owners of new Shigeru Kawai pianos in the USA have a complimentary visit from the MPA technician from Japan to regulate, tune and voice the piano to the owner's wishes.
Possibly, a rented Shigeru would not have had this final touch and if so, would you, if you purchased the piano, be entitled to that service? This relates to my earlier comment about checking up on the piano's history in the church.

All the very best!

Robert.
Posted by: Jeff Clef

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/05/13 08:28 AM

"...I've been going to the store somewhat regularly for a few months now and have even been very close to putting money down. I think by now they are rather annoyed with me..."

You are not making a purchase to please them, but yourself. Keep your priorities where they belong; a shopper's attention only has so much bandwidth. If you have discussed your shopping experience frankly with them, they will know that you are a serious shopper and should be glad that you are giving them a chance at the sale. But, you do not 'owe them' for giving them the opportunity.
Posted by: HappyDrone

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/05/13 02:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
"...I've been going to the store somewhat regularly for a few months now and have even been very close to putting money down. I think by now they are rather annoyed with me..."

You are not making a purchase to please them, but yourself. Keep your priorities where they belong; a shopper's attention only has so much bandwidth. If you have discussed your shopping experience frankly with them, they will know that you are a serious shopper and should be glad that you are giving them a chance at the sale. But, you do not 'owe them' for giving them the opportunity.

Yeah I realize that.

I don't think I get the MPA visit with the used Shigeru, and I'm not sure if they got it either since it wasn't a purchase. I'll see if I can look into that.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/05/13 04:47 PM

You might try contacting KawaiDon. He is a member here and a frequent poster. He is the field services manager for Kawai USA.
Posted by: AJF

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/05/13 10:33 PM

Originally Posted By: Robert 45
Another thought. Would the Shigeru Kawai SK6 in the church have had the visit from the Shigeru Kawai MPA? I believe that all owners of new Shigeru Kawai pianos in the USA have a complimentary visit from the MPA technician from Japan to regulate, tune and voice the piano to the owner's wishes.
Possibly, a rented Shigeru would not have had this final touch and if so, would you, if you purchased the piano, be entitled to that service? This relates to my earlier comment about checking up on the piano's history in the church.

All the very best!

Robert.


I know the warranties are transferable so I would assume the MPA visit would be too if it hasn't already been used.
Posted by: HappyDrone

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/06/13 06:11 PM

The transferable warranty is definitely good.
But, it still makes me wonder that a reasonable sale price for a new SK6 at the time of the rental is even lower than what they are asking for it now. Could it have possibly appreciated so much while being borrowed and used? Or should I try to offer price more in the 30k+ range?
Posted by: Butteman

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/07/13 03:26 PM

Happy,
If this is any help, I purchased a new Shigeru Kawai SK-2 after shopping 2 years. I made my decision based on two things: the rich tonal quality and the precise action. IMHO the Shigeru “Millennium III Action” is superior to any of the other brands, at any price. Also something important that I had not realized at the time of purchase; within the first year of ownership I received a visit from a MPA (Master Piano Artisan). Mr. Otaki spent over 6 hours providing concert-level regulation, voicing and turning to my desires. Now the sound is even more incredible than in the showroom, even after several tunings. Once in a great while, I'll feel a slight twinge if I think about the money and how much I could have saved by buying a used Shigeru…pianos aren't cheap! However, that has been far outweighed by the near-daily pleasure I get from playing it, when I feel like it's one of the best things I did with my life, and wouldn't trade it in for anything. So here’s how I feel: spend a little more and buy the SK-5. After your MPA visit it will sound as good (or better) than the used SK-6. As far as negotiating the price: If you don ASK, you won’t GET!
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/07/13 07:34 PM

Congratulations to your Kawai Shigeru - very fine piano!

Quote:
IMHO the Shigeru “Millennium III Action” is superior to any of the other brands, at any price.


Can you give an example of this?

The Shigeru action may be a very good action but in which way would it be truly 'superior' to an engineered, high quality Renner action as found in Fazioli, Hamburg Steinway, Boesendorfer and many others? What's exactly is 'missing' in those making Shigeru's action 'superior'

Repetition, touch-feel, enhanced control, stability?

I have been seriously pursuing this question for a while now appreciating answers by those who have come to this conclusion in one way or another.

Thanks in advance.

Norbert smile
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/07/13 07:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Butteman
So here’s how I feel: spend a little more and buy the SK-5. After your MPA visit it will sound as good (or better) than the used SK-6. As far as negotiating the price: If you don ASK, you won’t GET!
I don't think there's any way of knowing how the SK-5 will compare to the larger model even after an MPA visit. And I don't think there would be unanimous agreement about the comparison either.

As far as spending more money that's something that I think is really a personal decision with no right or wrong answer unless a poster says that money is no issue. PW members often seem very willing to spend other people's money but suppose someone had said while you were deciding that you should really get a bigger Shigeru than the one you purchased?
Posted by: scepticalforumguy

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/08/13 05:35 PM

Originally Posted By: Norbert
Congratulations to your Kawai Shigeru - very fine piano!

Quote:
IMHO the Shigeru “Millennium III Action” is superior to any of the other brands, at any price.


Can you give an example of this?

The Shigeru action may be a very good action but in which way would it be truly 'superior' to an engineered, high quality Renner action as found in Fazioli, Hamburg Steinway, Boesendorfer and many others? What's exactly is 'missing' in those making Shigeru's action 'superior'

Repetition, touch-feel, enhanced control, stability?


Norbert smile


Touch-feel, enhanced control and stability are all incredible. Repetition is too, apparently, but I've found other pianos just as fast. Wooden actions are simply not as nice, IMHO, unless they are tweaked, tweaked again, and then again. That being said, the MIII action in an RX piano is not the same as in the Shigeru. Whatever the MPA does, he definitely does it right.
When I owned a Shigeru I couldn't play ANY other piano except the Fazioli without wincing at the action to some degree.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/08/13 05:43 PM

Thanks James, appreciating your experiences!

Please come visit again when our new group of Sauter grands arrives in 2-3 months time.

best wishes,

Norbert smile
Posted by: HappyDrone

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/08/13 07:29 PM

I suppose I just have a preference for the Kawai action. I had more trouble playing softly with the Sauter but it was really well controlled with the Kawais.

Still rather confused about the price of that SK6 smirk
Posted by: Kurtmen

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/08/13 07:37 PM

Quote:
Repetition, touch-feel, enhanced control, stability?

I have been seriously pursuing this question for a while now appreciating answers by those who have come to this conclusion in one way or another.

Thanks in advance.


The weight distribution and geometry is very good: Strong up weight very good when playing pp-legatos, also a very high repetition speed rate, precision it is excellent in all regards.
Well balanced actions they don't feel too light as in many high-end European pianos or heavy and work very smoothly.
One particular improvement on Kawai actions is the jack made of carbon fiber, significantly reduces the friction between the knuckle and the tip of the jack a lot better than graphite on a wood jack.

Kawai as a manufacturer has the particular advantage of having a research and development department. Over the years they have been able to re-engineer their actions and come up with vast improvements.
Another factor is that in order to get close to such a high-performance action in a European Piano requires a very large investment. In my opinion Kawai have done an excellent job in using technology to offer high quality and performance at a reasonable price. This is something the European piano makers have not been able to do or embrace.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/08/13 09:04 PM

Quote:

Kawai as a manufacturer has the particular advantage of having a research and development department. Over the years they have been able to re-engineer their actions and come up with vast improvements.
Another factor is that in order to get close to such a high-performance action in a European Piano requires a very large investment. In my opinion Kawai have done an excellent job in using technology to offer high quality and performance at a reasonable price. This is something the European piano makers have not been able to do or embrace.


From a Euro perspective it's never just about 'touch' also 'tone'. Ideally both being interrelated.

One should be careful with the idea that a newly introduced technologies are immediately deemed superior even when appearing first to be so.

Never forget that other companies are also thinking about and testing things - often in greater detail than is imagined.

For example German Renner has done extensive research with a large variety of highly advanced composite materials and the bonding/glueing of felt parts within center pins,etc

In the end they came to a different conclusion of things claiming their own, more traditional method was preferable to using non-wooden parts.

In the end it's not so much about "superiority" of one method/technology over the other but simply "choice" - by both manufacturer and customer.

Live and let live.

Norbert smile
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/08/13 09:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Kurtmen
The weight distribution and geometry is very good: Strong up weight very good when playing pp-legatos, also a very high repetition speed rate, precision it is excellent in all regards. Well balanced actions...
Is it possible to explain in a little more detail but in simple terms about some of these points?

1.e.
1. What is weight distribution?
2. What makes one action geometry better than another?
3. Why is strong up weight good in playing pp legato?
4. What is a well balanced action?

Thank you
Posted by: Robert 45

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/08/13 10:24 PM

At the risk of being derided by the cognoscente of this forum, I'll give you my understanding of these terms.

Weight distribution: The weight required to depress the key is heaviest in the lowest bass note and is graduated over the entire keyboard to the top note of the piano which needs the lightest weight to depress it.

Action geometry: would refer to the action design in creating the most efficient working of the various levers involved. A longer key is a critical part of action geometry and I note that the newest range of Shigeru Kawai pianos and the Kawai GX pianos have a slightly increased key length which is advantageous.

Good strong up weight for playing pp legato: Up weight is the slight pressure you feel under your fingers when the key rises after it has been played. The up weight allows us to sense and to hear that the key has not been released and its damper has not muted the note. This awareness is critical in playing legato as the sound of the preceding note must very slightly overlap the next note played to attain a good legato.

A well-balanced action: is an action in which all the levers, weights and counter balances work harmoniously together to create a sensation of ease, smoothness and control at all levels of playing.

Kind regards,

Robert.
Posted by: HappyDrone

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/09/13 04:13 AM

That sounds like a good explanation but to be honest, I have not consciously noticed myself "sensing" the things you've described and they're not things that I notice.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/09/13 12:15 PM

Quote:
I have not consciously noticed myself "sensing" the things you've described and they're not things that I notice.


One can "sense" things if and when an action is properly set up, i.e. regulated by someone who's good in his trade.

Even at that point there are individual preferences by different pianists, there's no "one size fits all"

As long as much of the industry keeps selling pianos "out the door" with barely one tuning to it, it's an experience not easily found or - becoming aware of.

Dedicated dealers spend a lot of time on this, making all the difference in the end. It may even be called a "Sale"

Norbert wink
Posted by: Robert 45

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/09/13 02:13 PM

Yes, and often it is the negative things about a poorly produced or regulated piano action that we sense first. If the piano action feels too heavy and sluggish and even more frustrating problems like sticking keys can turn us off an instrument instantly.
Conversely, a well regulated piano action on a good piano can transcend the minutiae of those thousands of moving parts and allow the skillful player to feel a complete and perfect connection with the instrument for the transmission of musical expression.

Kind regards,

Robert.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/09/13 02:37 PM

It is still possible that someone prefers the action of one piano over another on a "general" level as may well be the case with Kawai or Shigeru.

Considering that there are dealers who sell these pianos but also offer a number of other high end European makes, the spread must indeed be there. Unless they are using Bosendorfers and Steingraebers to "up-sell" on the other ones. grin

It's great that consumers have so many option on market today and rightfully can feel good about whatever choice they are making.

It's much become a level playing field.

Norbert smile
Posted by: HappyDrone

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/09/13 08:01 PM

I meant that I have actually never consciously noticed that the higher keys are actually a lighter touch and I have never though about feeling for the upweight while playing.

Anyway they said it comes with the full warranty and the MPA visit, but didn't know or say anything about the conditions it was used in and if it was tuned or not during use. We offered 35k but they've returned 40k again.

I also reread the piano book and I understand now that a fair price for a new 2010 SK6 would be around 45k, but I still think that a good conditioned used SK6 should receive more than a ~10% discount off the new price for two years of use.
I know that it may be different but I think the used Steinways value dropped about 10% per year of use for the first few anyway.

Also how would I look for technicians in my area that are impartial and have some experience with Shigerus?
Posted by: LFL

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/10/13 10:39 PM

The ptg.com website (registered piano technicians) can help. If you let us know roughly where you live, specific recommendations from the members of the forum can be forthcoming.
Posted by: HappyDrone

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/11/13 05:24 PM

Thanks for the replies.
I'm in Utah, near the Salt Lake City area.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/11/13 11:18 PM

Try Rick Baldassin

http://www.baldassinpianos.com/

Norbert
Posted by: HappyDrone

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/12/13 05:40 AM

But he's the Schimmel dealer that we've been dealing with as well.
I'm not sure it's such a good idea considering that the Schimmel is just behind the Shigeru on our preference list and he knows that.
Posted by: Robert 45

Re: Used Shigeru Kawai pricing and general opinions on purchase - 02/12/13 11:27 AM

You could request information by PM from KawaiDon who is a Kawai representative and a highly respected piano tuner-technician. He is also an active member on Piano World, especially in all matters relating to Kawai pianos.

Kind regards,

Robert.